Emma Nutrition

Simplifying the science through cooking and education. When I'm not on Mummy duties…

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Fat blaster drink [recipe by a Nutritionist]

Fat blaster drink Emma nutritionWhether you’re aim is to burn fat to look better or if it’s to make yourself feel a whole lot better this fat blaster is a thirst quencher hottie and will soon become a firm (get it, firm? hahaha hilarious) favourite! Sip it throughout the day and save a glass of it as an afternoon pick me up.

I’m reposting this as part of Emily’s link up at A Mummy Too #recipeoftheweek

Without further ado here is the

Fat Blaster Drink


Cinnamon x 1tsp
Cayenne (or paprika) x 1tsp
Water or cold green tea x 500ml
Orange x 1 juiced or squeezed. I put a whole orange in the juicer as that way you also get the antioxidant flavanoids from the pith and the skin.
Ice cubes x 5

Put all ingredients in a jar and shake. Leave in the fridge until you want to drink and up to 3 days or so. I like to drink this throughout the day.

Nutritional info:

Cayenne is a thermogenic that burns fat by activating lipid cells – one study has shown that inclusion of these compounds in the diet may aid weight management while cinnamon stabilises blood sugar levels keeping them balanced and reducing cravings. Additionally it’s obviously great to drink as much water as possible to keep hydrated, flush out toxins and assist metabolic processes in the body and if you use green tea you will reap extra thermogenic benefits.


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10 Steps to beat your sugar addiction

10 steps to beat your sugar addiction:

1. Clean out your kitchen beat sugar addiction
Check your labels and throw out anything that has sugar as the first ingredient. Ingredients are listed in order of volume so if sugar is first then the product is predominantly sugar. Packaged products should have less than 5 ingredients in them.

2. Learn what sugar is also known as
Rice syrup, glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup. The list is long and you should get to know what sugar is hidden as.

3. Ditch artificial sweeteners
While artificial sweeteners don’t contain sugar they do have an impact on blood sugar levels. They may not contain calories but the body is tricked into thinking it has had sugar and it releases insulin which makes you feel you need more sugar.

4. Eat clean foods
The cleaner your diet the better you will feel. Remove hydrogenated oils like corn and soybean, anything pre-cooked or altered from its natural state such as margarine. If you feel good you won’t need sugar as an artificial energy boost.

5. Get some supplements
Supplements such as Chromium have been shown to decrease cravings for sugar. Just 50mcg per day can reduce that afternoon sugar craving that many of us have.

6. Meditate
Meditating to break the cycle of mindless eating is a powerful tool that many people are now using. When you sit down for a meal take a moment to have a deep breath, smell your food and appreciate what it is that you are eating.

7. Find pleasure
Taking pleasure from other things in life can decrease your need or desire for ‘sweetness’ from sugar. Get your sweet treat from a massage, a walk in a field or some beautiful music.

8. Do squats
Squats and press ups have been shown to decrease post eating blood glucose levels by 62%! Doing just 5 mins of squats after you eat can reduce the impact that sugar can have on you. Additionally and most importantly if your blood sugar levels are stable you are less likely to crave sugar.

9. Drink Lemon juice
Consuming 4 tablespoons of lemon juice prior to a meal can again reduce the blood sugar impact. Even if it’s not sugar but a carbohydrate meal your body will thank you for this simple and easy tool that will stabilise your blood sugar levels.

10. Find sweet replacements
If you do like to have something sweet its best to factor it in and count your sugar levels that day, mindfully allowing for the sugar. Or better still use products such as 80% dark chocolate that contain less sugar or use Stevia, a healthy sugar replacement.

Following these 10 steps will help you to reduce your sugar addiction as well as boosting energy. You will feel better both physically and emotionally when you eat clean and mindfully. As a bonus the sum of small changes such as squats and a better diet will boost your metabolism and as a bonus it will boost fat loss; to burn fat you must first burn sugar. Limit sugar and your body has the opportunity to burn fat.

If you would like to take it one step further you can try my free detox program here.

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Pyroluria – nutritional treatment for tension, anxiety and depression

Have you ever suffered from inner tension that you thought was just something you had to live with? Latest research has revealed a condition affecting some (stats are unknown yet) of the population and the best thing of all is that it is treatable. With simple nutrition. Amazing. There will be alot of information over the next few years regarding genetic predisposition to clinical conditions – a new branch of medicine called Nutrigenomics is merging and its very exciting. So back to the condition that causes exacerbation of tension, anxiety and depression… Pyroluria


The effect of pyroluria can have a mild, moderate, or severe depending on the severity of the imbalance. Most individuals show symptoms of zinc and/or B6 deficiencies, which include poor stress control, nervousness, anxiety, mood swings, severe inner tension, episodic anger (an explosive temper), poor short-term memory and depression. Most pyrolurics exhibit at least two of these problems. These individuals cannot efficiently create serotonin (a neurotransmitter that reduces anxiety and depression) since vitamin B6 is an important factor in the last step of its synthesis. Many of these persons appear to benefit from SSRI medications such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, etc. However, as with all mind-altering drugs, side effects occur and the true cause of the mental difficulties remains uncorrected. In addition these individuals often have frequent infections and are often identified by their inability to tan, poor dream recall, abnormal fat distribution, and sensitivity to light and sound. As you can imagine an SSRI will not correct these metabolic effects. More healthful benefits may be achieved by giving the appropriate supporting nutrients.

Pyroluria is a genetically determined chemical imbalance involving an abnormality in haemoglobin synthesis. Haemoglobin is the protein that holds iron in the red blood cell. Individuals with this disorder produce too much of a byproduct of haemoglobin synthesis called “kryptopyrrole” (KP) or “hemepyrrole.” Kryptopyrrole has no known function in the body and is excreted in urine.

Kryptopyrrole binds to pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and zinc and makes them unavailable for their important roles as co-factors in enzymes and metabolism.  These essential nutrients when bound to kryptopyrrole are removed from the bloodstream and excreted into the urine as pyrrolesArachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) also becomes deficient.

Pyroluria is detected by chemical analysis of the abnormal pyroles in urine detectable as a purple (on testing paper) metabolite in called “the mauve factor.

If you would like to take the Pyroluria Questionnaire to check if you have the symptoms you can do so here and if you would like to then take the lab test go here for further information.

What do you think of this emerging field of medicine and health? Do you find it exciting or daunting? Have you been tested for Pyroluria?


Image courtesy of natural health protocol


10 of the best foods to beat the afternoon slump

10 Best foods to beat the afternoon slump

If you’ve ever suffered the afternoon munchies (like me!) or the brain-deadness that many of us feel around 3pm in the afternoon try these foods to see if you have some improvement in your symptoms. Factor them in as your afternoon snack but don’t have them in addition to a biscuit 🙂

1. Chia seeds – high in Omega 3 oils as well as being a concentrated source of minerals Chia seeds can be made into balls with coconut oil and cocoa for a sweet tooth hit or soaked in water as a drink.

2. Cinnamon – high in Chromium cinnamon is the best spice for balancing blood sugar. Add it to a good quality coffee, tea or yoghurt. 70mcg of Chromium which can reduce blood glucose levels by up to 30%.  Continue reading


Nutritional Lab Tests [available now!]

Finally I’m so excited to let you know that I’m offering lab tests as a service without your needing to have a full consultation. You can also have a consultation if you like and it would be my pleasure to help you out with your health enquiry 🙂

Did you know that a Lab test can reveal where your health is really at? If you’ve ever thought you may have low Iron levels, an under-active thyroid or your hormones are out of whack a lab tests can show you alot more info than you probably thought. Lab tests with Emma Nutrition

Your GP practice is not the only place to order functional lab testing. In fact, a functional practitioner can offer analysis of results in quite a different way. For example if your thryoid test comes back as ‘normal’ do you know what this means? It means that your thyroid is functioning in a way that fits into the middle range of the population. That population is made up of well people, sick people, old people, young people etc. A sample of these people are tested and the middle range is then set as the ‘normal’ range. Obviously this works statistically but its not specific and certainly not tailored to individuals. What is going on in YOUR body is what you want to know! Well that’s what I want to know when I have a test done. As much as I care for my elderly neighbour I’m not interested in how MY results compare to HERS or how YOURS to OTHERS but more what YOUR results mean to you and your health. If you want to know what’s really going in your body a lab test is a solid objective way to measure but make sure you get it analysed by someone who has functional diagnostics knowledge. For those who are interested I did my training with Dicken Wetherby and I keep up to date with his courses and books as well as with Invivo Clinical, Genova Diagnostics and Diagnostechs as well as independent laboratories.

Previously you’ve only been offered tests within consultations but now you can order tests directly without a full consultation.

Tests available:

Adrenal Stress Profile Test

Hair Mineral Analysis Test

Click the links to see sample results, prices and get more information.


Don’t forget to sign up for the hottest health news if you’re not already on the list!

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Expert Interviews – Digestive Wellness Series

Did you know that IBS is one of the most common digestive problems experienced by 10-15% of the population at some point in their lives. IBS sufferers are thought to account for: woman holding belly

  • 3.5 million Physician visits each year
  • $8 US billion in medical costs[1].
  • 40% of all referrals to hospital Gastroenterologists in the UK[2]

….and yet

90% of patients are still symptomatic 5 years later!

These stats and my own personal and professional experience with Digestive Wellness have prompted me to get in touch with some of the top experts on Digestive health and run some interviews. I’m so excited to be doing this and hope that as many people as possible will listen to the series, learn cutting edge info and get the help they deserve.

To get on the earlybird list for the series register here!

To hear my Intro (and first foray into podcast-ing!) listen here by clicking on the play button:

[1] (Viera AJ, 2002)

[2] (Murga M, 1998)


Image courtesy of: James Island Chiropractic



Should I take a multi vitamin and mineral supplement?

The million dollar nutritional question; should I be taking a supplement or are they a waste of money? In an ideal world we shouldn’t need to take additional nutrients; we should be able to get all of our nutrients from food and we would have no health issues to contend with. Getting nutrients from food is more difficult than we think. Firstly there is the issue of cultivation, then there is storage and lastly preparation.

Here’s a video I made on: Are Supplements Bad? For my Friends at BWN

Cultivation – what environment is the food grown in? Did you know that when a tomato is picked from the vine before it is a vibrant red colour it has less of the antioxidants, lycopene and beta carotene, of a vine-ripened tomato? Ever had a tomato that tasted like water and felt like powder in your mouth? How about a tomato that your grandmother grew and picked at its prime? Sweet and velvety right? Vine ripened tomatoes have higher levels of the super powerful antioxidants lycopene and beta carotene[1]. It isn’t just tomatoes that develop more nutrients on the vine or tree. The nutrient chemical pigments in a fruit or vegetable are also the same chemicals that give it colour. Low in colour = low in flavour = low in nutrients.

Storage – too dry, too cold, too moist, too warm, too long. Storage issues have a huge impact on food, as well as supplements.

Preparation – prepackaged food is always lower in nutritional value than fresh, cooking damages (to a certain extent) foods and as soon as we cut a vegetable or fruit it starts to oxidise.

Nutritional status is the foundation of wellness. It is what separates those in robust health to those who are at a sub optimal health. Therefore I conclude that a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement is the foundation to optimal nutritional status and therefore to wellness. In fact a scientific review on the topic from a team at Harvard University concluded that everyone should be taking a multivitamin. Suboptimal levels, above those causing classic deficiencies are a risk factor for chronic illness eg folic acid and vitamins B12 and B6 are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects and colon and breast cancers. It is very important to have a product of exceptional quality and efficacy.
How can I find an exceptional supplement?
Look for:
  • Evidence based formulations with clinically effective dosages ie they should have scientific references and be developed by practitioners/scientists
  • High levels of commonly deficient nutrients such as vitamin D, Zinc, Iodine and Selenium
  • Company should have standard formula for general use, as well as specific formulas for men, women, children and pregnancy
  • High strength B vitamins so you don’t need an additional B-Complex
  • Plant based phytochemical that support unique male and female health needs
  • Condition or illness specific formula
  • Professional strength formulas
  • Ingredients that have certificates of analysis ie testing of raw materials
  • Remember that quality ingredients delivered at effective dosages are not cheap
  • Formulas free from binders, fillers and additives

If a company can’t tell you the following don’t buy from them! :

  • Where their ingredients came from
  • Why the nutrients in the formula were included
  • Who developed the formula
  • What the formula is for and who it is best for
  • what relevant qualifications the staff have – biochemistry, nutrition, food science.

In summary have a read of the links below to make your own judgement. I know what works for me and my patients but you have to do what you feel is right for you. Multivitamin and mineral supplements are not intended to replace healthy eating recommendations; rather leading experts recommend they are used as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.



Colour changes and antioxidant content of vine and postharvest -ripened tomatoes

Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults; clinical applications

Most vitamin studies flawed by poor methodology

Vitamins and minerals can boost energy and enhance mood.

The Vitamin C pee myth


Embarrassing illnesses

Sometimes we have illnesses we would rather not talk about. ‘Your Healthy Living’ magazine has some advice on some of these embarrassing illnesses. I was delighted to be asked to give an expert opinion on the embarrassing illness bad breath:


“Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is usually caused by poor oral hygiene or cigarette smoking. Local infection, such as sinusitis or bronchial infections, are sometimes responsible. However, another common cause is poor stomach digestion, constipation or a functional gut disorder such as IBS.

Nutritional treatment is to eat more fibre, increase water intake to at least 2L per day, take digestive enzymes, breathe properly when eating, take apple cider vinegar with each meal, increase Zinc, eat natural yoghurt or take probiotics, drink liquorice/ or fennel tea to calm any gas and to treat any underlying functional disorders. Teeth brushing is of course highly recommended to ensure bacteria doesn’t grow from remaining food particles stuck in the teeth.”

Tongue diagnosis can also provide clues as to the health of the body. It is a very useful tool to use to gather information on digestive health, inflammation and nutritional status.

For advice on other embarrassing illnesses check out the article here.

Thanks for reading!


Why supermarkets want you to fail!

Researchers have proven that shopping while hungry influences what you buy, making it more likely that you’ll choose higher-calorie foods. Also:

  • Shopping when you’re hungry may, in fact, make it more difficult for you to avoid all the junk-food choices lining the shelves, so have a healthful snack before you go to help you resist temptations
  • Supermarkets have many psychological traps inside, which are designed to influence your food choices toward higher-revenue (i.e. junk food) products
  • Using a grocery list, shopping with a basket instead of a cart, leaving your kids at home and shopping the store’s perimeter are tips to help you avoid unhealthful food purchases
  • You can also ditch the supermarket and shop for your food at farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs and food co-ops instead
  • The advice to avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach has been around for some time, but researchers have now proven that shopping while hungry does influence what you buy …

    Why You Should Avoid Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry


    In a two-part study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,1 researchers first asked participants to shop for food in a simulated grocery store, choosing between healthful foods like vegetables and chicken breasts or junk foods. Half of the group had been given a snack first, and while both groups purchased a similar amount of food, those who hadn’t eaten first picked higher-calorie foods.

    The second part of the study involved shoppers in an actual grocery store, and there, too, those shopping at times when they were most likely to be hungry purchased more calorically dense foods.

    So it appears that shopping when you’re hungry may, in fact, make it more difficult for you to avoid all the junk-food choices lining the shelves. Cardiologist Dr. Rita Redberg wrote in an accompanying editorial:2

    “I think all diet guides include the advice to “never go grocery shopping when you are hungry”—and when I had young children, I added “and never with young children”—because either of these factors seem to lead to less wise food choices.”

    Supermarkets Want You to Fail

    …On your diet, that is. Supermarket chains go to great lengths to get you to buy what they want you to buy, which is the products that make them the most money, not necessarily those foods that are good for your health. The truth is, you’ll need to prepare yourself mentally before you even enter the store, committing to buying only what’s on your list. Otherwise, you’re likely to succumb to the psychological traps inside, which are designed to influence your food choices.

    If you’re hungry on top of it, you’re even less likely to succeed at your shopping trip, which is why it is a good idea to grab a handful of nuts or drink a glass of fresh veggie juice before you head to the store.

    You’re probably aware of the brightly colored displays, product samples, and prominent aisle endcaps trying to entice you to buy, but the marketing tricks used inside many popular supermarkets do not end there. Nor are they all this simple.

    When one Time Magazine author and marketing consultant got a glimpse inside a grocery store sales laboratory (yes, there is such a thing), he described a large “control room” reminiscent of NASA’s operations area, with rows of people intently observing shoppers on hundreds of screens, evaluating their behaviors and reactions to various displays and signage.

    He wrote:

    “Take a careful look at this lady,” said one of the monitors, pointing to a middle-aged woman on the screen. “She’s about to enter our latest speed-bump area. It’s designed to have her spend 45 seconds longer in this section, which can increase her average spend by as much as 73 percent. I call it the zone of seduction.

    The sign in front of the display read: “1.95. Maximum three cans per customer.” Before the shopper slowly sauntered off, she had carefully selected three cans for her cart.

    … The next time you go grocery shopping, take a look at the signs, the type of floor, and even the carts. Everything has been designed with an eye towards getting you to grab those three cans of something that was not on your list. The more attention you pay to the details, the more aware you’ll become of how you’re being manipulated.”

    Common Psychological Traps Intended to Change the Way You Shop

    Through sophisticated trials such as those described below, marketers have determined that:

  • During lean times, primitive survival instincts kick in, prompting you to purchase items that appear to be “limited” in some way. Using signage that restricts the sale to three cans per customer triggers the shopper’s subconscious drive to hoard.
  • Displaying a dollar (or £) sign on the display decreases the likelihood of you making a purchase, because it’s instinctively equated with “cost” or “spending.”
  • Larger shopping carts equate to increased spending.
  • The quality of the flooring can increase or decrease your speed when shopping. Flooring that makes a “clickety-clac” sound tends to automatically slow down your pace, which increases the likelihood that some well-crafted sign will catch your attention and lead you to make a purchase you had not originally planned.
  • While this may sound simplistic, these tactics can be profoundly effective. In one instance, by simply changing the flooring in one section of a store, removing the dollar sign, and adding a three-cans-per-customer restriction, the sale of one particular canned food increased sevenfold! Some grocers even pipe in artificial scents to entice you to buy more …

    It’s Not Only the Grocery Stores That are After Your Money …

    Processed food manufacturers are also vying for their piece of the proverbial pie, and they’ve got marketing budgets that number in the billions to do it. Often, this starts in your own home, as 75 percent of US food manufacturers’ advertising budgets are allocated for television. There is one food commercial in every five minutes of television viewing, often involving popular TV and movie characters that kids recognize, or promising a free toy with the food purchase.

    So, your kids see the junk-food ads on TV, then they go with you to the grocery store where these products are carefully displayed in prominent areas. Which items do your kids usually want? The bag of cookies or breakfast cereal with their favorite cartoon character on the front of the box? Or a fresh, ripe tomato or an organically grown carrot?

    The food manufacturers have primed your child (and you) to emotionally respond to their processed food products, so you feel good about buying cookies, chips and sugary cereal, even though you know it’s not good for your family’s health. Because fresh organically grown vegetables have no marketing budget to speak of (compared to processed food manufacturers), you have to rely on your intelligence and your rational thought, not your emotions, to purchase these kinds of fresh foods.

    Of course, the supermarket is in on the act, placing high-revenue processed products in areas that you’re most likely to walk by and see … they may even put a “speed bump” in to make sure you slow down when you pass by the junk food. This is why you’ve got to shop smart when you go into the store …

    Arming Yourself With a List is Grocery-Shopping 101

    If you’re not planning your meals (up to a week in advance, preferably), and if you’re not keeping an accurate shopping list that corresponds to your planned meals, then you need to seriously consider starting this valuable practice for several good reasons:

  • It helps you avoid “emotional” purchases at the supermarket
  • It focuses your meals on freshly prepared, nutritionally viable choices not empty-calorie processed food meals
  • It helps you avoid fast food impulse purchases
  • It helps you take control of your health
  • If you are truly ready to take the time to prepare fresh and healthy food, and serve the kind of meals for your family that will give you health and not health issues, then you need to get serious about meal planning and making a shopping list focused on whole, fresh, organic foods. Then, stick to your list when you shop. This is the “secret” that can help you avoid falling prey to many supermarket marketing tactics.
  • 12 Tips for Making the Most of Your Grocery Trip

    It may seem silly to “prepare” yourself for a trip to the supermarket, but doing so can make a difference in the food choices you make. And if the tips that follow help you to come home with several bags of fresh whole foods versus processed junk, it will make a world of difference for your family’s health.

    Some of the top tips to abide by include:

  • Forget the end caps: The spots at the ends of each aisle often contain “sale items” that aren’t very cheap — but which are conveniently placed.
  • Scan top and bottom shelves: The most expensive products are often deliberately placed at eye level. Take a moment to scan the entire shelf.
  • Appreciate the plain stuff: Product packaging is usually exceptionally bright. Less-gaudy house brands may be cheaper for the same quality.
  • Don’t fall for hyped numbers: Signs may say “10 for £10,” or “2 for £5,” but you’ll usually get the same price if you buy only one, so do the math! Also avoid marketing gimmicks like that put limits on the number of items you can buy (shoppers will usually buy the maximum allotted, even if they don’t need it).
  • Shop with a list: Preparing a list will help keep you focused—ideally on fresh, whole organic foods. Only buy what you need.
  • Shop the store’s perimeter: The outermost edge of the supermarket contains the healthier, non-processed foods. Once you become serious about healthy eating, you’ll rarely have to venture into the aisles.
  • Focus on fresh vegetables: The deeper and more vibrantly colored produce is packed with the most nutrients. They’re also better for you than canned versions.
  • Check the nutrition labels: The label helps you to identify ingredients, maximize nutrients and compare products.
  • Do your own math, and check the per unit price: Bring a calculator with you to the store or use your smartphone. As previously stated, signs boasting “2 for £5” may not be an indication of a bargain at all. Check the individual price to determine whether buying two is really cheaper than just one. Also remember to compare sizes when evaluating the price of competing brands.
  • Additionally, manufacturers of various products have begun tinkering with the pricing formula for multi-packs. It used to be that multi-packs were cheaper per unit than smaller or individual packs, but today you’ll frequently find that smaller packages are cheaper per unit! Again, it can pay to pay attention to the details…
  • Leave your kids at home: Many will buy a product they’ve never purchased before simply because their kids request it. Leaving them home, if possible, will help you avoid unhealthy temptations.
  • Eat before you go: As mentioned, it will likely help you to resist junk-food options and instead buy healthier food items.
  • Use a basket, not a shopping cart: A larger shopping cart has been shown to increase shoppers’ purchases by up to 40 percent.6 A basket gives you enough room for the staples you need for your meals without extra room for impulse buys.
  • Expand Your Food Shopping Beyond the Grocery Store

    Conventional supermarkets are only one option for where to buy your food, and, often, they’re not the best choice in terms of finding fresh, healthful, sustainably and humanely grown food.

    If you haven’t yet, try branching out to shop at farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs or food co-ops in your area. You’ll get access to the freshest foods available, without any of the temptation from processed-food manufacturers or grocery marketers trying to sabotage your whole-foods-based diet.

    Have you got any top shopping tips to share?

    This is a summary of a fascinating article by Dr Mercola. It can be found here.


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    The Special K Diet…

    Ever wondered about the Special K Diet? Go over to Maria Bell’s article on So Feminine to check out her summary of it and my expert opinion!

    Maria’s article can be found over here. Enjoy 🙂