Jennifer is a 35-year-old teacher from London, who had gradually gained weight since the birth of her second child, now a 7 year old. She came to see me in despair because her excess weight was getting her down and causing her to feel depressed. She was also feeling ‘sluggish’ and had low energy levels.
I gave Jennifer the nutritional health questionnaire to complete. After analyzing the responses I saw that she also suffered from intermittent constipation, and there were indications that her thyroid may not be functioning efficiently. Her diet appeared reasonable, however her refined white carbohydrate intake was fairly high, including pasta, white rice, bread, and occasionally, biscuits and cakes. Her water intake was low and sometimes she was only drinking one glass a day.
At our first consultation I asked Jennifer to conduct a ‘Broda Barnes’ temperature test, (giving her the appropriate instructions) in order that I may have a better indication as to how her thyroid was functioning. As I suspected the readings appeared to be on the low side. I explained that a ‘sluggish’ thyroid may be contributing to both her difficulty in losing weight and her constipation, as the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the metabolism.
• I recommended that she take a nutritional supplement containing the nutrients that are required for the conversion of the active thyroid hormone.
• I advised Jennifer to avoid all white refined carbohydrates as these contain only ‘empty’ calories, containing no nutrients or fibre, and being much harder to eliminate from the body.
• I gave her a list of healthy grains to be included in her diet, which contained plenty of fibre and B vitamins, both required for energy production.
• I recommended that Jennifer implement a daily juice programme (I included a list of recipes), adding a spoonful of a superfood powder, such as spirulina, for that extra health ‘kick’. This would give her a burst of nutrients and energy in the morning, and would also contribute to her ‘five’ a day, and help to ‘get things moving’ in her gut.
• I asked Jennifer to increase her water/herbal tea intake to six/eight glasses/cups daily.
• I recommended that she started an exercise programme three times weekly. This would also help with energy levels and would help to get her bowels moving.
• I suggested she make a batch of healthy food (and again included a list of recipes) at the weekend to take to school each day of the week, as well as recommendations for healthy snacks.
A further appointment was made in four weeks for a follow-up consultation.
At the next consultation Jennifer ‘bounded’ into the clinic. She was very excited, as she had lost 3 kilos, was feeling much more energetic, and was having her bowels opened on most days. Jennifer had followed her health plan rigorously. She had been juicing daily, had eaten no refined carbohydratesand had taken the supplement recommended to increase production of her thyroid hormone. She had put an exercise programme in place and felt this was of enormous help with both her specific concerns and her general sense of well being.
I asked Jennifer to continue with the diet as previously recommended and to take the thyroid supplement for another six weeks.
Jennifer made an appointment for two months time to ensure that she was still on the right ‘track’ and to enable me to make any tweaks to her health plan.