We are all unique.

We have our own combination of health, nutritional, and lifestyle needs, all of which can affect the balance of nutrients we need.  That is why I spend time during consultations to get to know my clients.  I can then better support them in achieving their health goals.

I’m Karen.  My interest in nutrition began when I was a teenager.  I chose to become a vegetarian and knew it was important to find out how to stay healthy.  The more I read, the more I came to appreciate just how amazing the human body is.

The biochemistry can certainly be baffling.  But, the number of processes happening in the body all the time, and the interactions between them is fascinating.  And, what’s more scientists are discovering more about us all the time!

In 2021, I achieved a Master of Science degree in Nutritional Science & Practice enabling me to use my personal interest to help others, like you.

Photo of me in branded shirt

A YOU-Centred Approach

shopping bags on kitchen table

Food: The Ideal Vs Reality

A daily trip to the greengrocers, bakery, butcher or fishmonger for the freshest food; beautifully presented dishes, prepared with the utmost care and great skill – so delicious, so homely – so idyllic?  Sadly, the idyllic life is not the reality for many of us.  Therefore, we need our meal planning, preparation and presentation to be practical and manageable – it needs to fit in with our lives.

Likewise, the approach we agree to optimise your health needs to work for you.  If it doesn’t fit in with your life, then you are likely to find it overwhelming and a struggle to apply.  Therefore, during consultations we discuss your food ‘normal’ and agree what changes you feel able to make at that time.  While the goal may be a big change, we will break it down into smaller steps if that is what you need.

At your subsequent consultation, we will then review your successes and challenges to monitor your progress and consider how you can overcome any obstacles.

My Thoughts on Organics

We often read and hear that organic food is better for us.  There is certainly no denying that there are benefits to organic foods, and wild, not farmed, fish. But, the hefty price tag and reduced variety mean they are not accessible to everyone.  Organic food may also not keep for as long once you get it home.

From a nutrition perspective, organic food can reduce an individual’s intake of toxins.  But, for the majority of us making sure we get a good variety of good quality whole, healthful foods should be the main focus.  If clients are able to buy organic foods, that’s great – if not, we work with what is practicable.

To reduce pesticides in your diet without the organic price tag, try choosing fruit and vegetables grown with less chemicals applied.  The Pesticide Action Network UK publishes a list of the “dirty dozen” to guide you.  You can sign-up to receive it here: https://www.pan-uk.org/dirty-dozen/.  Whether you buy organic or not, always wash plant foods before you eat them.

Basket of veg with sun hat and garding gloves

While I will make recommendations to support your health based on science, the overall approach we agree on will be based around your lifestyle, dietary preferences, needs and beliefs.

Karen Austin MSc, mBANT, rCNHC

BANT and CNHC logos

I qualified to practise nutritional therapy in 2019 before completing my MSc in 2021.  This qualification allowed me to become a member of BANT and to register with CNHC.

BANT is the professional body for Registered Nutritional Therapy Practitioners in one-to-one clinical practice.  BANT also self-regulates BANT Registered Nutritionists®.  BANT promotes the application of nutrition and lifestyle sciences for optimum health, disease prevention and client care.

CNHC is the only independent accredited register for complementary healthcare.  It was set up with the support of government to help protect the public.  CNHC work to improve the regulation and registration of people working in health and care, with a requirement for registered parties to be suitably qualified and insured.

Both BANT and CNHC require me to complete a set number of hours of learning and training each year to maintain and develop my knowledge and skills.

I am insured through Balens Ltd.

A Few of my Foodie Likes and Dislikes

  • White potatoes.  Despite the bad press, potatoes contain many beneficial nutrients, are versatile, and are easy to grow and store.  Cooked & cooled they provide resistant starch – great food for gut bacteria.
  • Leafy green veg.  Leafy greens provide many nutrients, including fibre (great for the gut).  Note: suddenly increasing your intake by a large amount may cause digestive discomfort!
  • Raspberries.  This soft fruit is full of anti-oxidants and can be eaten as a snack, included in fruit salads, added to desserts, used as a porridge topper…. yum!
  • Eggs.  The ultimate convenience food (for non-vegans and those without allergies).  Eggs are a nutrition power-house.
  • Dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate can be good for us in small amounts – it is a great source of magnesium, antioxidants and iron.  Go for good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids).
  • Coconuts. These are one of my biggest food dislikes.  They are great for us but I don’t like the smell or texture – yuck!
bowl of raspberries
frozen lemon slice

My Top Tip: Make Friends with Your Freezer

Most fruit and vegetables can be stored in the freezers.  This is great if you have a glut of summer veggies in your garden, or have some shop bought items that you are unlikely to use.  Many can be bought frozen – this can be cheaper than buying fresh, and they may contain more nutrients than their ‘fresh’ counterparts.

Even meat and fish can be frozen from fresh, or bought frozen.  But take care with fish.  It may be sold as ‘fresh’ when it is more than a week old, or it may have even been frozen and thawed.  If this has been done you may not be able to freeze it once you get home.  It is always worth checking the small print!

Even some bakery and dairy products can be frozen to help you manage your shopping days.

Freezers are also useful for batch cooking.  Make a large pan of your favourite pasta sauces, or a large shepherd’s pie and freeze the leftovers.  This can be a great help with managing budgets, and also provides healthful convenience foods for when you are short on time.