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  • Clare Backhouse

Nutrition for your new year

So we made it into 2019! Happy New Year! And we have got over the initial rituals - the celebrations, the resolutions, the holiday plans, the clearing up. We might also be needing some extra duvet time.

Yet it's actually now, in the greyish hinterland before real spring hits, that we can start nudging life's rudder in new directions.

Like the leafless trees outside, the structures of our lives - their strengths and weaknesses - often become more noticeable in winter. We can see more clearly what changes we might need.

One of the greatest changes in my life occurred when I met a Nutritionist for the first time. This is a big reason why I now do what I do.

Let me outline my story briefly, and explain why I think nutritional therapy could help you as well.

Back in 2011, I was sleeping just 2 or 3 hours per night. As a result I was, understandably, depressed.

My very nice GP recommended anti-depressants and sleeping pills, but their side effects - which included both depression and sleeplessness – didn’t tempt me.

Eventually, last resort, I went to see this Nutritionist. To my huge surprise she started to explain why she thought I was not sleeping. And her recommendations worked: not quickly, but gradually. Then one day I woke to realise it was 7am and I could not remember the night at all.

After a few weeks, I was a completely changed person. I also noticed some side-benefits, such as improved skin, and better moods.

Several years later, my life changed again when I decided to stop being an Historian and start being a Nutritionist.

Belatedly, and to my great irritation, I found I could not sufficiently care about promoting a generation of better historians.

But I did care mightily about changing the future, by promoting a generation who felt better.

I re-trained. Now, Nutrition connects my love of research and of people, with a sense of direction that I truly believe in.

But I have also hit upon a raw nerve.

We in ‘western’ societies are familiar with chronic, niggly ailments, such as energy, mood and digestive disorders, autoimmune disease, severe pains and weight issues. Most of the time, we do not know why we have these problems. We are just given some pills to help us cope. Or, indeed, nothing.

It’s bad luck, we’re told: it’s getting old, it’s one of those things, it’s idiopathic.


There’s always a reason, and if we do the work, we usually find it.

We can provide what the body requires for its own healing processes, and we do not have to put up with long-term side-effects.

Good nutrition works because it is bespoke. Good nutrition investigates the unique why behind a person’s particular symptoms, and works on that why. It is not a fad, it is not wedded to this or that fashionable diet, it is not about popping pills or living on kale.

Good nutrition will generally tell you things about your body that you did not know before.

Better nutrition will show where you were already on the right track, and how you can expand on that.

The best nutrition will feel encouraging, do-able and utterly congruent with you.

And, of course, you will notice the results. The whole point is the results. If something doesn’t work, then we find out why and change tactics.

Nutrition is a 'complimentary' medicine. So ideally, it operates alongside mainstream medicine. You wouldn't take a stroke, or a broken bone, to a nutritionist. But where mainstream medicine shines less brightly – typically with impaired energy, mood or digestion – this is where complimentary work can lend support.

My vision is to see each client transformed towards their healthiest self. And to this end, I am constantly developing my approach, using the latest scientific research. (For this reason I am quite unabashed about changing strategies: for example, I no longer recommend cod liver oils. But more on that another time.)

Last week a client observed that my ‘non-judgemental’ approach felt helpful. I was hugely encouraged. Because nutrition is never about a dietary telling-off, or a dispiriting list of dull foods.

Rather, what I do is full of hope. It’s about increased joy, greater balance, a better set of possibilities. It’s about the potential in someone becoming fully available again.

I want to see people fight injustice instead of insomnia. I want to see my clients smash challenges at work instead of battling their own moods. I want to see them experience great social connections, instead of cramps in the bathroom. This sort of thing.

That is why I do what I do.

So. Do get in touch if you know of anyone who could do with this kind of support for the year ahead.

I offer free 15-minute investigation calls for those who want to consider further, and I always refer if I think it will offer better results.

To your best of health, Clare

Clare Backhouse, dipION, Registered Nutritionist MBANT, Registered Nutritional Therapist CNHC

Consultations in London, in West Sussex, and online

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