Low B12?

What do anxiety, fatigue, and migraine headaches all have in common?

I recently saw a client with all three. He had a history of 10 years of suffering and was on multiple medications to mange all three – separately.

He brought some recent standard blood work from his doctors in with him. As I reviewed the results, one thing stood out over and over again:

An elevated MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume)

Previous this seemed to have been completely ignored.

If you are wondering, an elevated MCV value means that your red blood cells are too large.

This one finding was extremely important because an elevated MCV most commonly can mean that a person’s vitamin B12 levels are low. And this is where we can connect the dots.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a known cause of anxiety, migraine headaches, and anemia**.

But the question I wanted to know, with my functional approach – Why was his B12 low in the first place? I suspect Gluten Sensitivity. You see, gluten sensitivity is a major cause of stomach/intestinal damage, and vitamin malabsorption. The area of the intestine responsible for B12 absorption takes the greatest amount of gluten damage.

**Medical Resources:

  1. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(5):828-35.
  2. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002 Apr;14(4):425-7.
  3. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Feb 1;79(3):203-8.


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Less can most definitely be more…..

I grew up in Lewes, moved away for many years and returned 6 years ago. it’s heartwarming to see a town with so many independent shops and cafes, and even more so when you see them prosper and grow. Such was the story of Bills http://bills-website.co.uk/story/
Local boy (started as a green -grocer), that opened on the high street and due to the floods that hit the town in 2000 he reinvented the premises as a cafe. And what a delight it was, supporting local producers at every turn ( salad leaves and veggies from Fletching glasshouses , all vegetables sold in both the cafe and shop where “local” , meats and cheeses from the likes of High Weald dairy). As it states on their website today they “supported local suppliers” and the food presented was beautiful . What I experienced last night ( at the original Bills in Lewes) however was such a cop out to the corporate world.

Bills now has 45 outlets all across London and the UK, the whole experience is a far cry from what it set out to do. All the food comes prepackaged from a central kitchen, no more brimming bowls of colourful salads and local cheeses and olives on display. My halloumi ( 2 slices!) was pre-cooked and presented on a limp piece of iceberg lettuce – where are the mixed leaves from Fletching? A side order of tender-stem broccoli was cooked to an inch of it’s tiny life with any ounce of folate, magnesium or anti-oxidants left in the pan some hours ago!  My husbands ribs where “sold -out” then miraculously they had a delivery (mmmm… at 7pm on a Saturday or had they come out of the freezer). They where served with a coleslaw dripping in mayonnaise, compared to a previous choice of freshly made salads that you could choose from the counter. My daughter choose pasta – which was bland – pre-cooked and overcooked at that. Sadly, Bills won’t be getting a return visit anytime soon from this local family. Too many corners have been cut and the only people to benefit are the corporate investors I guess.

Lewes is full of other pasionately and  locally run cafes and restaurants…..such as the lovely Le Magasin or Buttercup cafe https://www.facebook.com/LeMagasinCafe
We’ll keep going there me thinks!

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Moroccan Chicken Burgers

Ingredients( serves 4)
4 Breasts organic chicken
100g fresh papaya or mango
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 handful organic fresh spinach, chopped
1 handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
2 slices gluten free bread, made into breadcrumbs in food processor
Black pepper – ground

1. Take 2 chicken breasts and pulse in the blender. The remaining two dice into approx 2cm cubes.
2. Steam fry onions and garlic until soft.
3. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl expect the breadcrumbs.
4. Make mixture into 4 patties and roll in breadcrumbs.
5. Heat some olive oil in a non-stick pan and brown patties on either side – then put in oven at 180 degrees on tray until cooked through – approx 10-15 minutes.

Serve with large salad( watercress, avocado, sun-blushed tomatoes, celery, pepper, spinach leaves, rocket) and olive oil and lemon juice dressing.

I have just returned from a wonderful week working for In:spa in Morocco and the flavours and spices inspired these tasty burgers tonight – I hope you enjoy them too.

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The Metabolism Miracle

Do you find it impossible to lose weight and keep it off despite your best efforts to diet? Does everyone around you seem to eat more than you – and yet somehow end up slimmer? Do you struggle to resist carbohydrate foods such as bread, cakes, chocolate, crisps and pasta? Do most of your excess pounds sit around your mid-rift? 

OR have you been told you have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, type II diabetes or PCOS?

If you answer YES to some or all of these questions, there is no doubt the cause is your “metabolism”, and I don’t want you to take offence, but it’s in a right mess!

It can however be rectified, with the right diet and lifestyle advise, and I’m not about to tell you to stop eating carbs or tell you about a magic protein pill that will make the lbs melt away.

For far too long the message going out to the public has been that a low fat diet is the healthy approach, to reduce obesity, high cholesterol, cardiac risk and diabetes etc.  Sadly this outdated mantra is based on a study that was done in the 1970’s by a scientist called Ancel Keyes. He stated there was possibly a correlation between saturated fat/cholesterol and heart disease. The government’s at the time in both the USA and UK needed to establish a definitive reason for the rise in heart disease and fat got that blame. Fat is bad was the message delivered to the masses and it’s become the foundation of our health policy  and the basis for our so called “eat well” plate –  PLEEEEEESE – Eat terribly badly plate more like.

This demonising of fats has been challenged for many years with increasing evidence, and what has been shown in numerous far more current research is that refined carbohydrates and sugar play a far more significant role in dis-ease progression ( and I write dis-ease in this way, as it refers to the body moving further away from”ease”…. poor health and an array of symptoms:- weight gain, raised LDL cholesterol, high blood sugar- a group of symptoms collectively termed by the medical profession as ……Metabolic Syndrome!). And, if we just stop to think for ourselves a minute – when did all these metabolic conditions and our waistlines start to explode in the UK? was it in the late 70’s and early eighties when “fat free” foods and cereal biscuit bars and super sized chocolate bars flooded the market that are full of……… you guessed it – refined carbohydrates, sugar and man-made trans fats!

I am personally delighted to announce that I can offer my clients the most effective long-term solution for addressing all the above  –  by literally re-setting their metabolism. The program is called METABOLIC BALANCE®  which encourages eating foods like this…





Metabolic balance® is a nutritional program set up by Dr Wolf Funfack, a German internal medicine doctor. Having now run over 400,000 plans, quite literally thousands of people (some more high profile than others! – a well known 80’s pop star icon….) have transformed their health and achieved their ideal weight.

MB® is based on sound science. It’s primary focus is on resetting and strengthening your metabolism. By re-regulating your metabolism, hormone levels (especially insulin and cortisol being the major drivers of the hormonal cascade) return to a state of equilibrium, thus promoting fat burning & weight loss, decreasing fat storage, reducing inflammation and promoting “anti-ageing”. What’s not to like?

As a nutritionist I talk to clients day in and day out about food, and what is “right for them”. There is NOT a one diet fits all approach, as we all have unique metabolism’s and health concerns or goals. What metabolic balance® can bring to the table is a methodolgy that is set in science and based on an individuals blood chemistry together with learning to eat real food and in the right quantities for them! I would add, that I’m not about “selling a new product” here, this isn’t going to be right or even appropiate for every client by any means, but I do believe for the right individual with certain health issues – it’s …. well, nothing short of  – genius!

Dr Funfack(founder of the MB® program) recognised, that for many people the issue affecting many of our metabolic disturbances(again remember these are symptoms such as raised blood sugar, weight gain, raised blood cholesterol, sex hormone imbalances like PMS and PCOS and others)lies in our excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates; again he has 370,000 patients to back this up. The science shows that the eating of simple carbohydrates causes a short spike in blood sugar but elevation of insulin in the blood for several hours. This has several detrimental effects, including increase in fat deposition, hormonal changes, cravings, elevation in cholesterol and triglycerides, increase in blood coagulation to name but a few. As a nutritionist practicing through the lens of Functional Medicine, I completely see metabolically how this occurs –  managing insulin which if left to run a mock is the most inflammatory and potent hormone in the body we have. And what is the biggest promotor of insulin????? – refined or excess carbohydrates/sugar. If we let insulin get out of control( which 9 times out of 10 is due to excessive carbohydrate intake)- all these health conditions and symptoms that we see as common place in our society result.

I’m very excited and proud to be able to offer metabolic balance as an option for my clients –  I truly believe if the NHS where able to offer this to patients instead of metformin as a first line therapy approach, we would half the metabolic based conditions in this country within a year!!

Sign me up for Secretary of State for Health!!



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Superfood Mackerel Salad

This is a great throw it together supper recipe. The mackerel offers lovely omega 3 oils whist also being a sustainable fish to boot!
It’s suitable for my NOURISH weight-loss program and perfect if following an anti-inflammatory plan.
The salad it’s is a positive medley of antioxidants, phytochemicals and botanicals.
Pomegranates are a source of polyphenols, which can help the body rid itself of cancer-causing agents; tannins, which have been shown to lower blood pressure and stimulate the immune system; and anthocyanins, which can reduce inflammation and protect blood vessels.
Tomatoes are high in important antioxidants such as vitamin C and Vitamin A. These vitamins work to fend of DNA damage from free radicals. Consequently, tomatoes may help to ward off age related diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.
Also this salad contains a mix of green leaves( watercress, spinach, rocket) which are full of minerals such as calcium and iron.

Ingredients – for 2
1 packet of mackerel fillets
Mixed organic green leaves( rocket, spinach, watercress)
12 cherry tomatoes
8 artichoke hearts
2 handful pumpkin seeds
1 packet or radishes
1 avocado
1 red and 1 yellow peppers – chopped
Tub of pomegranate seeds ( available for chilled cabinet in Tescos or Waitrose)
For dressing: Cold pressed olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard.

Wash and chop all vegetables, lay on plate
Add two of your mackerel fillets on top of each plate
Top with 2 tsp of pomegranate seeds and pumpkin seeds each
Make your dressing with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoon of balsamic and 1 tsp of dijon mustard- give it a good stir and pour over your bejewelled salad and feel proud!!

Bon appetite ……

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Salmon & Sunblushed Tomato Fishcakes


These delicious and easy to knock up fishcakes are so versatile, as they tick every health conscious box!
The salmon of course is a fantastic source of omega 3, the herbs and flavourings used are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and there are no “fillers” used such as wheat or potatoes.
All this makes for a great meal if you have been advised to follow a weight loss or management diet, remove or lower grains – especially gluten, follow an anti-inflammatory diet or simply eat good nourishing food!- Serve with a colourful salad and/or season vegetables- bon appetite.

Recipe for 2/3
2 Organic salmon fillets
6 sun blushed tomatoes
1/2 red chilli. seeded and chopped
2 inch knob of ginger root, peeled and chopped
Bunch fresh coriander
2 tsp of capers
Zest of a non waxed lemon
Pinch salt and pepper, or1 tsp of Boullion or shake of Herbimere(especially for my friend Abi)
(Brown rice or quiona flour)
Take the skin off the salmon, roughly dice and put in food processor with all other ingredients except the flour.
Blend on lowest setting, just for a minute – do not over do this, as it turns to mush.
Empty into a bowl and just add a tablespoon of the flour to add a firmness to the mixture.

Make 4 fish cakes and wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to firm for min 20 minutes.

Take a pan and put on a hot heat – no oil required, when red hot add fish cakes, and turn heat down to medium. Cook the cakes until golden brown on both sides.

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*NEW* 28 Day Summer Body Detox

Are you fit for summer?
Or do you want to drop a few KG’s to fit into that bikini or little black dress for a summer event?

 Do you also want to tone up and feel more energized?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions read on, we have created the perfect solution, a 28 day summer body detox based on our successful NOURISH diet program.

The 28 day summer body detox is run over 4 consecutive weeks. In a small group setting, we commence on week 1 providing you with the basic principles of The NOURISH diet that enable weight loss and teach a whole new approach to food.

3 subsequent 90 minute weekly meetings focus on an information topic,that through much experience in this area we know to be crucial for successful weight loss and on-going maintenance. Examples are:

Week 1  NOURISH rules – the science in simple terms of losing weight & maintaining it!

Week 2  Gut health and food intolerances.

There are accompanying food demonstrations, weekly menus with recipes and the meetings conclude with a Q&A session.

You will have the opportunity at week 1 and 4 to have your weight privately assessed with state of the art body composition equipment, as seen on channel 4’s the food hospital. The best weight loss achievement in the last 8 week group was an impressive 24lbs!!!

This special offer 28 day summer body detox will commence in Lewes at The Beauty Rooms on Tuesday 25th June at 7pm for 4 consecutive weeks until the 16th July.

Cost: Just £95 for the 4 week course – that’s a mere £23 a week or £3 a day (cost of a latte at Costa!). This price also entitles you to £10 off any full body treatment at The Beauty Rooms, Lewes. What is not to like?!!

Places are limited as group size is kept to just 12, book NOW to avoid disappointment, as places have gone already.

Call Tanya on 07515411056 or e-mail tanya@nutritionalvalues.co.uk or tanya@thenourishdiet.com
See http://www.thenourishdiet.com

NOURISH dinner recipe

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Coconut, Date & Almond Bliss Balls

In a blender :- The base is nuts( ground almonds and ground flaxseeds) + seeds and some dried fruit( figs or dates) + coconut flakes+ tablespoon coconut butter + tablespoon nut butter
Roll into balls. Coatings can be sesame seeds, coconut, or cacao




8- 10 dates
100g ground coconut
50g “linwoods” ground flaxseed with cocoa
50g omega mix nuts
100g ground almonds
Heaped tbl nut butter (almond, cashew or peanut)
Heaped tbl coconut butter

Blend in food procsessor – and roll into balls, then dust in coconut or cocao!…. store in fridge…. they don’t last long!

These yummy snacks are a good source of protein from the nut content, have a healthy fat profile of medium chain fatty acids that get converted into energy quickly from the coconut butter and omega 3’s from the flaxseed.

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A breakfast for the whole family

I am often asked for a truly healthy “breakfast cereal” by my clients, not just for themselves but  one that can serve the whole family.

So with that in mind I need to provide a meal that isn’t high in sugar and has good levels of protein to best manage weight and keep blood sugar levels steady, provides plenty of vitamins and minerals like magesium, zinc, calcium and vitamin D and of course tastes good!

The supermarket aisles are jam packed with products claiming to be “high in vitamin D, fortified with vitamins and minerals and full of fibre” but as both a nutritionist and mum myself I don’t feel there are many options available that arn’t high in sugar and refined wheat, both of which play a significant part in weight gain, mood swings and the increasing prevelance of gluten sensitivity.

The recipe I’m posting today is a granola that can be made in bulk and kept for a month ( although I’d bet it won’t last that long!) in an airtight container. It is wheat and gluten free, an excellent source of protein and the benifical omega 3 and 6 fats and jam packed full of minerals, vitamins and soluble fibre.
Nutty Spicy Granola

100g of one or combo of:- gluten free oats, rice flakes, & buckwheat flakes
140g walnuts, chopped
140g almonds, chopped
140g hazelnuts, chopped
(or just get 400g of raw mixed nuts that don’t contain peanuts)
140g ground flax seed
100g coconut oil
1 tablespoon of local or manuka honey
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180°c. In big bowl, combine oats, nuts and flaxseed. In a saucepan, blend together, oil, honey, and cinnamon and cook on low heat on the cooker until mixture starts bubbling. Remove, add vanilla and stir. Pour over oat mixture and mix well. Thinly spread on baking sheet(s). Bake until golden approx 15 minutes. Cool thoroughly. Store in air tight container.
Serve with plain, unsweetened yogurt and berries of your choice –yum!!

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NOURISH – The Nutritionists Diet

A typical NOURISH evening meal

I have been working with a colleague for some months now to put together a diet that is effective, practical and nutritious.

So it is with much excitement, that I announce the launch of NOURISH,the nutritionists diet, found at: www.thenourishdiet.com

The Nourish program is run in a small group setting, of no more than 15, over eight consecutive weeks. Each weekly meeting will last for an hour and half, during which time there will be an information session or a food demonstration given by Tanya, you will be privately weighed and have your previous week’s progress assessed, and the meeting will conclude with a question and answer session.

Created and delivered by two qualified nutritionists who are passionate about great food, NOURISH  incorporates the latest scientific discoveries about health and nutrition. As such it addresses hormone and gut health, energy levels and toxicity, all of which can impact upon weight.

The Nourish diet however, is not a one diet fits all approach, when you enrol we ask you to complete a comprehensive health questionnaire that helps to illuminate if there are any system imbalances that may be hindering your personal weight loss. The week before the course starts, you will have a private one-one appointment with Tanya during which time your questionnaire will be assessed, your body composition measured and a subjective case history taken. She can then provide specific diet and targeted nutritional supplement advice that is relevant to you and assist in achieving the very best out of the NOURISH diet.

The NOURISH 8 week course includes:-
Personal attention
one week prior to the course commencing we provide each attendee with a 30 minute one-one session with our nutritionists. The results of your health questionnaire are assessed, your body composition measurements taken, preparation shopping lists and NOURISH diet advice provided together with bespoke recommendations if deemed appropriate, all to ensure best practice and great results.

Weekly monitoring
Your progress will be assessed with our state of the art equipment which measures body fat in relation to lean muscle – and not just your weight.

Weekly information sessions
Tanya will focus on factors that inhibit long-term weight loss, such as balancing blood sugar, identifying latent food intolerance’s or imbalanced hormones and will discuss how you might overcome these issues so that your weight loss is permanent.

Personalised supplement program
Tanyawill recommend the appropriate nutrients and supplements to enhance diet changes and thus promote more effective weight loss.

Food demonstrations
A series of 3 food demonstrations will show you how easy it is to prepare simple, healthy but delicious food featured in the NOURISH diet.

Guest speakers
Experts will be invited to present on topics related to weight loss and optimum health, such as a personal trainer to demonstrate fitness techniques, and a psychologist to discuss disordered eating behaviours

Each week your qualified nutritionist will host a Q&A session to answer your questions.

Nutritionally balanced meal plans
To provide maximum variety, we have devised weekly meal plans and shopping lists which will slowly accustom you to eating nutritiously and establish healthy eating habits for life.

Numerous recipes for you to keep!
We will provide you with delicious recipes including NOURISH crackers, NOURISH nut granola and NOURISH smoothies.

How much does this cost?
Only £240 for 8 weeks or if two of you book together it’s just £199 each.

Where & when?
East Sussex National Health Club & Spa, Little Horsted, Uckfield. East Sussex. TN22 5ES
Thursday 11th October: 30 minute private appointments held, time allotted on booking
Thursday 18th October: Course starts for 8 consecutive weeks until 6th December
Time 7.00 – 8.30pm
For more information- go to the NOURISH diet website www.thenourishdiet.com
Or call Tanya on 07515 411056 or e-mail : tanya@thenourishdiet.com


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