08 Jan Q & A with Cornwall Nutrition ♥

I was at the hairdressers the Monday after new year and my lovely stylist commented how lunch times after new year always made her smile. Plates in the kitchen full of green leafy veg and salon staff full of good intentions but by the end of the week most had fallen of the clean eating wagon and picked up where they left off at the close of last year. And these lovers of locks are not alone.  A recent report found that few people manage to keep their healthy eating resolutions for more than a few days.

We asked Latoyah Wilcox of Cornwall Nutrition how to get back on and stay on the clean eating wagon.

D: Thank you for taking the time to share your nutritional nuggets. This must be a busy time of year for you as people try and get themselves back on track with eating well. What are the most common complaints your clients present with after a period of overindulging?

L: The most common complaint I hear is feeling bloated and sluggish.

D: So just how robust is our digestive system when it comes to toxic overload?

L: It is probably not as ‘robust’ as most people think. A lot of problems stem from GI dysfunction, such as bloating, burping, flatulence, heartburn, cramping, constipation, diarrhea etc and in the long term, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and osteoarthritis. So the functioning of your gut needs to be optimal. A healthy functioning gut will have minimal production of toxic gases from dysbiosis (an in balance of bad and good bacteria in the gut), prevent toxic molecules from translocating across the gut membrane into your blood stream, due to a leaky gut and have regular elimination, because constipation can lead to reabsorption of toxins that your liver has worked to remove.

D: What do our poor overloaded little digestive organs need us to do to get back on track?

L: The main detox organ is our liver, but the largest is in fact our skin. Have a look at what products you are using. Are they natural organic products? Or are they supermarket / department store brands? You don’t need to spend a lot of money on products. A massive jar of coconut oil costs no more than £10 (AUD$20.00) and is a fantastic versatile product. It can be used as a moisturizer, hair mask etc. Epsom salts are also very good to use in your bath because they are high in magnesium and also does not come with a price tag. Just remember that what you put on your skin you absorb and it can be another route for toxins to enter your body.

D: Detox or healthy eating plan?

L: Our bodies never stop detoxing. All a detox essentially does is remove more toxins than we are taking in. This can be easily achieved eating healthy all the time. A heavy ‘detox’ once or twice a year is not enough, you should be doing that most of the year.

D: What is the craziest detox you have come across on your nutrition travels?

L: The craziest detox I know of is the detox tea that seems to be very popular at the moment. It’s a crazy price and claims to help people lose weight. The main ingredient is yerbe mate, which is a diuretic, so you basically lose some water weight. All herbs are naturally detoxing, you don’t need to be spending £30 (AUD$60.00) on a special detox tea, when a box of Pukka tea works perfectly.

I must add another detox myth, the juicing detox. People have to be careful with these types of cleanses because although they seem very healthy – consuming all those juiced fruit and vegetables must be good for you right? Not when this is all you are consuming for a few days. It can actually cause an increase in toxic load in the body! This is for one main reason – lack of fibre. Where do you think a lot of toxins go when they leave the body? Down the toilet in your stool! If you remove fibre from your diet, toxins have one less route of removal therefore it builds up inside your body. Another important reason that juicing alone would not work in detoxing is because there is a lack of protein. Your liver is your main detox organ and to function effectively it needs a good source of quality protein, such as beans, pulses, nuts, seeds and fish.

I am however an advocate for fresh vegetable juices, they are packed full of nutrition, but I would always recommend they are part of a meal, not in place of it.

D: How can you maintain the healthy eating intentions you set for ourselves this time of the year?

L: Don’t set unrealistic goals. It can be very difficult to change everything all at once and maintain it because it isn’t routine yet and you may give up on it all together. I always find it easier, and this is true for my many clients, is to focus on one thing at a time, when that becomes habit you can then focus on the next thing. Within a few months you have a handful of healthy habits and found it easy to do. For example, I find one of the most important habits start with is to find ways of including more water into the diet (this is also a very important in helping detoxing), when that is mastered, you can then move on to the next such as creating a nutrient packed breakfast every morning.

Ultimately, it comes down to you. You know yourself better than anyone. Be realistic, if you think changing everything with your diet is going to work, then go for it! If not, then set those little goals for yourself. Just remember that it is the little things you do everyday that accumulate into something big!

D: If you choose to detox what are the key things you need to consider?

L: My top tips are:

  • Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water / herbal teas per day
  • Consume good quality protein, such as organic beans and pulses, a few nuts and seeds.
  • Eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables especially green leafy kinds and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower)
  • Go organic. If you are on a budget, check out the dirty dozen and swap them for the organic versions.
  • Don’t buy into ‘fads’ or products that claim to detox. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans and pulses and making sure you are only drinking filtered water and herbal teas is the best kind of detox.
  • Check what products you are putting on your skin, make sure they are organic or as natural as possible.


D: How can you eat clean through January?

L: Concentrate on incorporating as many different types of fruit and vegetables in your meals and snacks throughout the day. As a rule of thumb, for a woman it is 5 different types of vegetables and 2-3 portions of fruit and for a man it is 6 portions of vegetables and 3 portions of fruit. It sounds like a lot but it is actually quite easy to tally up the portions. For example, breakfast smoothie made up of banana, berries and lettuce (3 portions), a snack of a whole pepper and hummus (1 portions), lunch can be a large bowl of homemade vegetable soup with lentils (3 portions), afternoon snack is an apple and a small handful of nuts (1 portion) and dinner of salmon fillet, sweet potato, peas and spinach (3 portions).

D: What foods are on the naughty list for January?

L: I would avoid alcohol, as it depletes glutathione stores in the liver, processed foods because they contain chemical additives and high levels of salt, dairy because it is commonly intolerated and gluten containing products because gluten is ‘sticky’ in the gut and is difficult to digest.

D: What does your own daily menu consist of?

L: My diet changes with each season and what is grown locally. I have a large fruit and vegetable box from a local organic farm where they grow most of their produce.

My diet today consisted of a smoothie for breakfast (banana, mixed berries, lettuce, a scoop of green powder (chlorella, wheat grass, spirulina), rice based protein powder and coconut milk). Mid-morning snack was a Naked bar, an apple and a banana. Lunch was left over lentil and vegetable soup and a kiwi. In the afternoon I had a small mixed berry, almond and banana smoothie made with coconut milk.

For dinner I ate at my fathers and he cooked sausages, beans and mash – this is not something I would usually have, but I want to show you that you don’t have to eat perfect 100% of the time. I follow the 80/20 rule, this allows me to be more flexible. I would not say I follow a particular diet, I tend to be more plant based, but I eat fish a couple times a week and only consume meat based products when I eat at a family members. My usual dinners during winter include salmon with roasted vegetables and steamed greens, mixed bean chillis, vegetable curries, hearty soups and frittatas and salad.

D: Do you have any other tummy tips to aid digestion and improve nutrition over the next few months?

L: Throughout the Winter it is very important to make sure we are getting enough vitamin D. This vitamin is vital for calcium absorption and immunity. Good sources are from oily fish such as mackerel and sardines, and eggs. Include lots of probiotic foods in your diet such as fermented vegetables. By making these yourself you can ensure they contain live bacteria. Probiotics have been shown to reduce dysbiosis and certain types of diarrhoea and constipation.

Consume good levels of soluble fibre, including prebiotic foods, such as asparagus, onions and garlic. They help desirable bacteria populate in your gut. Soluble fibre is also found in oats, linseeds, chia seeds, and most vegetables, and it has a great many benefits for digestive health.

D: Aside from nutrition, what else is the body craving right now?

L: Time out. Take time to relax, meditate, read and do some gentle exercise such as yoga or walking. Stress puts a lot of oxidative stress on the body, increasing toxic load, so it is important to take time out to rest your mind. Going to a sauna, steam bath or infrared saunas make you sweat promoting toxin elimination through the skin.

D: Thank you so much Latoyah! On that note, I am going to jump back on my clean eating wagon and set the GPS for the nearest spa!

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Learn to really Nurture, Nourish & Love Your Belly this coming year ♥

For more information on Latoyah and Cornwall Nutrition pop yourself here.

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