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Five Nutritional Trends To Have On Your Radar

Nutritional Trends

Confused about celery juice? Tempted to try a new dairy alternative? Between the continuously changing health advice and the latest buzz ingredients we’re encouraged to adopt, the term ‘healthy eating’ can be tricky to balance. To make your life a little easier, health and beauty writer Danielle Fox has spoken to the experts and outlined the key nutritional trends to take note right now…

Celery Juice

Scroll through the hundreds of thousands of hashtags of #celery #celeryjuicebenefits pictures and posts on Instagram and you soon realise celery juice has become the latest health trend to take over social media. Made popular by the ever influential wellness warrior, Gwyneth Paltrow, who champions celery juice, guru Anthony William aka ‘The Medical Medium’ who, guided by the knowledge of a spirit (yes!) claims a daily celery juice is a miraculous healthy elixir. And the anecdotals are impressive; clearer skin, better gut health, de-bloats, gives more energy and even soothes eczema and arthritic pains, the list goes on.

But what exactly is the science behind the green stuff? “There is no science behind this at all,” says nutritionist Eve Kalinik. “Celery juice is mostly just water (to make you juice one bunch of celery and that’s it) and claiming that it has the ability to kill off pathogens is dangerous thinking.” Texan-based dietitian Ali Millard agrees and also warns that raw celery increases the sensitivity of the skin particularly for UV damage. “Stick to eating not juicing broccoli, sprouts and cabbage all which are far more potent detoxifies,” says Millard.

Oat Milk

You may be well-versed in a plethora of dairy alternatives, but there is one milk in particular that is having a real moment popping up on your local baristas menu. Some believe it’s down to the backlash against soya, the fact that it’s naturally sweeter than most alternative milk, has a dairy-like creaminess and that many of us are embracing veganism with open arms this year. But how nutritious is oat milk? “For those that can’t tolerate casein (whey proteins) oat is gentler on the stomach,” explains Millard. But most plant-based and nut milks are simply expensive water she says, and nutritionally speaking coconut milk, consumed moderately, is the only one she recommends swapping to as it is abundant in rich fats, fibre, vitamins and electrolytes.

Algae Oils

We know the extraordinary benefits of omega 3, a real hero for easing inflammatory flare-ups and also excellent for the health of the heart and nervous system. But, experts advise you do your due diligence with omega 3s as the word covers a broad range of fatty acids. Look for EPA and DHA (both found in fish) instead of ALA, which are more difficult for the body to use.

However, algae oils are thought by some to be far safer, purer and more eco-friendly. Unlike fish they don’t contain heavy metals and algae omegas are straight from the source – no fish is needed. But this school of thought is still hotly contested by some nutritionists who argue that seaweed is incredibly effective at absorbing toxins from toxic seas. “Always buy organic where possible and check out the source,” advises Millard.

Vegan Bone Broth

While the name suggests a little bit of a misnomer, yes, bone broth cannot be vegan, in a new era of liberal veganism it can certainly be adapted. Enter vegan bone broth – a nutrient-rich plant-based broth. When you break it down, the benefits of a bone broth – curbing inflammation, soothing the gut, supporting joint health and boosting antioxidants you can find many plant-based alternatives that do all of those things.

When nutritionist Eve Kalinik feels under the weather, she always makes a shiitake, leek and seaweed broth which is full of immune-boosting and naturally anti-inflammatory ingredients. “Shiitake mushroom is the star turn in this broth as not only is it a fantastic prebiotic but manages cortisol, the stress hormone too.” By adding mushrooms (B Vitamins, iron and zinc), seaweed (iodine, anti-inflammatories and B vitamins) and a vegan collagen powder to a base of onions, celery, herbs, ginger and turmeric, you have beautiful broth with all the benefits.

Meso-Dosing

Having recently crept across the pond, the latest US wellness trend to hit our shores is meso-dosing. The term —which literally means “middle dosing” — refers to the in-between nutrients that you might be missing in your everyday diet. These meso-nutrients are the active compounds and antioxidants within superfoods such as the highly potent catechins found in matcha green tea. The likelihood is that we’re not always ingesting enough quantities of these actives from our daily diets to really reap all of the benefits. For example a turmeric latte while it may give you a macro dose of turmeric, won’t give you enough of the curcumin, the meso-nutrient, so in these cases you should turn to a supplement.

While the experts are still out on this wellness trend, nutritionist Eve Kalinik believes we should just keep it simple; “always turn to a food source first to get your nutrients, eat like our grandparents, go organic where possible, eat a varied diet full of grains and starch vegetables.”

Breathe Yourself Slim

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Most of us don’t breathe the right way.  In fact, we use at most 20% of our lung capacity.  But research from Harvard credits breath work to lift depression, relieve stress and anecdotal evidence suggests you can lose weight, perhaps connecting with our breath is more powerful than we had first thought?

“Breath is quite literally life,” says Alan Dolan, Global Breath Expert, “When you breathe better, you live better.” When the breath is out of kilter – shallow and disconnected – your body automatically holds this as stress and tension. But get the breath right and you start flooding cells with oxygen and energy and the body begins to heal, recalibrate and release the toxins responsible for holding weight.

But can connecting with our breath really whittle down our waist? According to Jill Johnson, the US founder of Oxycise it can be truly transformative. This popular deep-breathing technique focuses on using the diaphragm flexing and contracting muscles to help lose weight according to Johnson who went from a size 16 to a size 6 in a six month period. “Reducing your oxygen intake slows your metabolism and deprives your cells from receiving their most basic nutrient making it impossible for your body to properly metabolise fat,” explains Johnson. “The reverse is also true – increasing your oxygen intake revs up your metabolism and allows your body to thrive, breathing well is key to a slender, healthier body,” says Johnson.

Sounds almost too good to be true but a study from the University of Southern California showed that subjects burned 140% more calories with 15 minutes of Oxycise breathing and stretching techniques that when riding a stationary bike.

So how does it work?  According to Stuart Sandeman, Founder of Breath Pod breath work can realign your physical, mental and emotional states. “When you’re in alignment physically, mentally and emotionally you feel better, move better, have more energy and make better and healthier choices – a healthy body shape is a bi-product of this,” he explains. Breathing practices can challenge our body like a physical workout. “Our diaphragm works as a pump for the lymphatic system which clears toxins from our cells,” he explains. “Losing weight requires unlocking the carbon stored in the fat cells and when the oxygen we breathe reaches fat molecular, it breaks them down into carbon dioxide and water, to be exhaled.”

Consciously breathing deeply can also has a profound effect on our posture too. Like so many of us, we are stuck in a shallow ‘holding’ pattern day-to-day with a typical desk posture shouldered, hunched forwards constricting our breath.  Even holding your stomach in can create tension in the body. “The breath becomes short and shallow which sends a signal of stress to the brain and you limit the oxygen to your cells,” he explains. “This can lead to physical illness, lack of energy, fatigue and can trigger stress, anxiety and even depression.”

According to the experts when we mindfully breathe deeply, expanding our lungs, you sit up taller, your stomach appears flatter and you look brighter. “We forget that the rib cage is not a rigid structure,” says Sandeman. “Most of us use our secondary breathing muscles – the upper trapezius in the chest and the scalenes in the neck, and when we start to use the primary ones which are the four layers of our abdominals, the diaphragm and the intercostals in between the ribs, our entire posture changes giving the appearance of being leaner and longer.”

So how do we better our breath? In a calm, quiet space, visualise a balloon in your abdomen. Inflate the balloon by deeply inhaling via your mouth for three seconds, then exhale for one – the aim is to create a continuous flow with no pauses. Do ten minutes every day to see results from anti-ageing benefits to easing pain and even losing a few pounds.