I was invited for a complimentary Nutritional Therapy session and since I’m a veggie with food intolerance’s, MS and unreliable (hyper mobile) joints I thought that sounded like a very good idea.
Dalbinder Bains is a Medical Herbalist and Nutritional Therapist with a BSc in herbal medicine, and FdSc/Dip ION in Nutrition. She practices in Manchester at Neal’s Yard Remedies and in Liverpool.
Before the Appointment
The first step was to fill in a very thorough lifestyle questionnaire which was emailed to me, consisting of 5 pages asking about medical history, eating and exercise habits, what I hoped to gain from the session and any general ailments. I was instructed to take this with me to the session.
Health and Lifestyle Questions
It’s strange, I’m normally quite a friendly but guarded person when it comes to meeting new people but I found myself just saying anything and everything that popped into my head! Dalbinder asked me questions about allergies, past and current health problems, my diet, general lifestyle and what I wanted to concentrate on in the session. She also asked about my childhood and school days, my family, friends and boyfriend and what I like to do in my spare time. Well they do call it therapy and it is surprisingly cathartic talking to a stranger who doesn’t judge. Dalbinder made me realise I’m stronger and more knowledgable than I give myself credit for and that I’m lucky to have such a wonderful support system around me – something I take for granted, I’m ashamed to say.
Lifestyle and Nutritional Advice
I know a tiny bit about nutrition because I’ve had to learn about it in order to stay healthy over the years. I know that vit B12 and vit D is good for the brain, I know it’s not good to put on weight especially around your middle, I know that all of the protein, vits and minerals we need can be gained from a vegan diet, that red chilli peppers have almost three times more vit C than oranges and that taking a digestive supplement is good for everyone, among other things.
What I hadn’t realised was just how much protein I need on a daily basis and how important this is for my brain, my energy levels and my joints connective tissue. I was also underestimating how much healthy fats and oils I needed. I was over-estimating the amount of liquid I was consuming by thinking that the juice/water from fruits and veggies are absorbed into the body quicker than by just drinking water (which is true) but I still need to drink more water – a lot more.
I really liked that Dalbinder was immediately familiar with both Dyspraxia and MS so she knew that it would be difficult for me to start cooking complex meals and making even medium sized changes all at once. The most wonderful part of her advice was for me to buy a Nutri Bullet and cram seeds and veggies into it (along with any spices and mixers such as ice or almond milk or coconut milk/water) to have for my breakfast – which should not start at 2.00pm!
Dalbinder also understood how some people’s brains won’t always shut up and let them sleep so going to bed earlier isn’t always an option. However, getting up and eating earlier can be within our control. Even if I just alter it slowly in increments of lets say…15 minutes, at least it’s heading in the right, rather than wrong direction.
To Sum Up
This advice should help on a grass roots level with joint problems, memory and concentration problems and my random fatigue. I also hope it will speed up my metabolism as that aforementioned fat is starting to creep on around my middle. I think I’ve done well to get away with that until my mid 30’s though, to be fair!
I like that Dalbinder gave me credit for trying to keep on the right track and came across as informative and understanding, rather than patronising (unlike some health professionals). She also found my having a ‘cheat day’ acceptable but she also gently and constructively told me off for doing stuff that I knew wasn’t good for me and suggested simple practical ways to remedy this.
My Points To Work On
- Get up a little earlier if not feeling heavily fatigued (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Be sure to eat breakfast – including Linseed, Sesame and Pumpkin seeds (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Be sure to eat dinner including – Linseed, Sesame and Pumpkin seeds (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Eat evening meal earlier. Possibly including Linseed, Sesame and Pumpkin seeds (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Take-away more than 4 days a week is a no-no….Even Thai food!(Dalbinder’s advice)
- Work up to 5 -7 portions of fruit and veg (Dalbinder’s advice)
- 2 pints/ 6-8 glasses of water per day – and no, beer or cucumbers or melons don’t count, I mean drink this on top of everything else (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Get important protein and oils from nuts and seeds and beans and pulses and legumes (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Buy Nutri Bullett (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Use the bloody thing! (My own advice)
- Getting outside EVERYDAY is a great habit – keep it up (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Gentle exercise EVERYDAY is a great habit – keep it up (Dalbinder’s advice)
- Accept that I’ve been very miss-understood in the past and things haven’t been very fair in general but that I need to GET OVER IT (My own advice)
- Keep remembering that I’m luckier than I realise (My own advice)
- Keep remembering that I’m brighter than I realise and not as daft as I feel sometimes (My own advice)
- Even if I’ve only managed to make one change at a time that’s still progress (Dalbinder’s advice)
Dalbinder Baines commonly treats these areas:
Immune system deficiencies which can lead to recurrent infections and allergies
Digestive problems and absorptive issues
Skin Disorders e.g. psoriasis, eczema
Respiratory complaints e.g. Asthma, hay fever
Emotional and stress related conditions
Weight problems and weight loss
Preventative and enhancing well-being
Low energy and/or mood
*My Nutritional Therapy session was complimentary which does not bias my opinion. Honest as always.