Sam Silvester C.H. Ed. (Dip. NutTh) MBANT NHC is a Nutritional adviser.

What’s Eating You Nutritional Therapy provides an achievable and helpful programme to support your nutritional needs.

With the latest scientifically backed health news and information that cuts through the confusion.

In 2020, many people started working remotely and more purchasing was made on line.

As a consequence, they spent a lot more time sitting.

Bouts of physical activity counteract some of the negative effects of extra sitting, but how much is needed?

A meta-analysis compiled results from nine different studies on the topic and showed the average daily sedentary time ranged from 8.5 to 10.5 hours (not counting sleep), whereas the average daily moderate physical exercise time ranged from 8 to 35 minutes.

The results suggested that while higher sedentary time is associated with increased risk of death, the risk can be partially offset by 30-40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day.

For those exercising regularly, you can experience ‘exercise resistance’ which means that your body is used to that length and intensity of activity. 

In order to overcome this, you need to make changes to the length or intensity of activity to keep your metabolism fired up. 

This might me a longer or faster walk, or incorporating more hills.

I’m always trying to get people to eat more greens and hadn’t found a nice ‘green’ soup, until this one. 

If you don’t like dill swap for parsley or coriander.

Serves 2

2 tbs coconut oil

1 clove garlic chopped

1 small onion chopped

¼ tsp caraway seeds

3 stocks of celery

½ tesp ground coriander

3 cups boiling water

1 Knorr Stock jelly

Finely grated zest and juice of ½ lime

1 + 1/3 cups of broccoli or Romanesco

2 frozen spinach lumps

½ avocado

½ cup of dill

Saute the garlic, onion and caraway seeds in the 1 spoon of oil for 2 minutes and then add 1 cup of boiling water.

Add the celery along with zest and juice of lime plus ground coriander and simmer for 5 minutes

Add broccoli and spinach, stock and 1 ½ cups of water and simmer for 8 minutes

Transfer to a blender and add the avocado and dill and blend until smooth adding more water if needed

INGREDIENTS – makes about 25


  1. Add the apple rings, apricots, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest (reserving 1 teaspoon for later), and coconut oil to a food processor.
  2. Process on high until thoroughly combined and sticky, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the shredded coconut, sea salt, and reserved lemon zest and stir to combine.
  5. Using your hands, form the apple mixture into small balls, about the size of 2 tablespoons, and roll through the coconut mixture before placing on a plate.
  6. Once all of your “bites” are formed, place them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to harden. Keep refrigerated before serving, or they will be tacky
  • With food prices soaring, here are some tips to eat cheaper and healthier for the whole family
  • Make use of cheaper veg such as spring greens, cabbage (red, white and green), carrots and root veg.
  • You can use these to make homemade coleslaw (recipe available), braised red cabbage and steamed greens, and roasted roots.
  • Use romaine lettuce or little gems, rather than bags of salad as this lasts longer and is cheaper – better still grow your own rocket and cut again salad leaves
  • Use frozen veg such as peas, spinach and mixed veg as healthy standbys, and soups in the winter.
  • Bags of wholemeal rice allow you to make risottos, rice salads (recipe available), and stir fries.
  • Make extra rice for lunch the next day with some salad and tuna
  • Potatoes are a healthy food and don’t deserve their bad press.
  • Use new potatoes with salads, jacket potatoes with tuna or humus, and roasties in their skins.
  •   I like a beetroot, feta, radish  potato salad
  • Buy melon such as Honeydew which will last a few days in the fridge and isn’t as expensive as stoned fruit.
  • Buy wonky strawberries – half the price
  • Buy smoked salmon trimmings rather than slices of smoked salmon for salads – half the price
  • Use chicken thighs when roasting chicken rather than whole chicken or breast, it is cheaper, and more tender.
  • Years ago we used to eat all of the animal – nose to tail, but this is increasingly going out of fashion.
  • If you like offal, use liver, cheek and oxtails in stew – all are really tender tasty cuts of meats for a fraction of the price. Recipes available
  • Make use of tinned lentils and beans to bulk out stir fries, stews and curries, or use them on their own in salads or with rice
  • Use pasta with passatta which is a fraction of the cost of ready made pasta sauces.
  • Adding some balsamic vinegar and Worcester sauce adds flavour. 
  • A nice pasta dish is with Essential black olives, feta cheese or vegan feta, or bacon and some fresh cherry tomatoes with plenty of basil.
  • Use fruit as a snack rather than crisps or cereal bars – or buy bags of dried dates
  • Check the price at local markets versus supermarkets. They are often similar, but bigger and fresher
  • Tinned mackerel and tuna, and smoked mackerel are good sources of protein and omega 3 oils. Mix with lemon juice, mayo, curry powder and a few raisins. Frozen cod or basa fillets are great in a fish pie with spring onions, peas and mash, topped with chives and cheese
  • Buy ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables which are much cheaper.
  • Check out any larder schemes in your area where excess supermarket waste is sold cheaply or given away
  • Don’t buy vegetable oils such as sunflower oil as a cheap alternative to extra virgin olive oil. These oils create inflammation in the body and interfere with metabolism
  • Eggs are a nutritious alternative to more expensive meat and great way to start the day.
  • Reduce alcohol to allow more money for fresh food, and swap your evening tipple for a summer evening walk which will support your mind and body
  • Find out more

When people suspect they have a food intolerance to wheat for example, they may go to their GP for a blood test.  This test can confirm if you have celiac disease, which is an ‘allergy’ to gluten.  They don’t test the IgG antibodies which look for food ‘intolerances’.


I find the best way to identify a food intolerance is to remove that food for 2 weeks and then reintroduce it, monitoring any changes.  Food intolerances can show as:

  • Loose stools or constipation
  • Bloating
  • Rashes or itching
  • Lethargy, tiredness, brain fog
  • Joint pain
  • Low mood
  • Feeling ‘high’

Some people assume that just having a little bit, during their elimination phase won’t matter, but it does skew the trial.

Often people are confused about what to remove and what to replace it with it.  Some ending up buying lots of Free From products which are often high in sugar, or high in oats, which can be an additional intolerance for some people.

To help work through this process properly, it is helpful to work with a Nutritionist who can give you a meal plan, and monitor the reintroduction process carefully.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend 0.83 g of protein per kilogram of weight each day. That works out to around 0.36 g per pound of body weight.

As a rough guide, protein should account for roughly 10–35% of your total calories each day.

  • Females aged 19 or older 46 grams (g) of protein daily.
  • Males aged 19 or older 56 g of protein daily.

It’s worth noting that these are just guidelines, though. For example, people training hard for an elite sports event may need to consume more. For most people, however, these levels will be adequate.

But what does this mean in practice? Here are a few food examples:

  • wholegrain rice: 1 portion (75 g uncooked) = 7 g protein
  • walnuts: 1 portion (30 g) = 4 g protein
  • peanuts: 1 portion (30 g) = 8 g protein
  • baked beans: 3 tablespoons = 6 g protein
  • lentils: 3 tablespoons = 9 g protein
  • tofu: 1 portion (100 g) = 8 g protein
  • grilled chicken breast without skin: 100 g = 32 g protein
  • lean grilled beef steak: 100 g = 31 g protein
  • baked fish: 1 serving (140 g) = 25 g protein
  • canned tuna: 100 g = 24.9 g protein
  • cheddar cheese: 1 serving (8 g) = 8 g protein
  • eggs: one medium egg = 7 g protein
  • milk: 1 serving (200 ml) = 7 g protein

As you can see vegetarians and vegans will need to concentrate on Tofu, pulses, nuts  and grains with every meal

Staying slim, even when eating lots of unhealthy foods, maybe not what it seems. Visceral fat is body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. Subcutaneous fat is stored just under our skin that we can see and feel.

Dangers of Visceral Fat  Too much of any body fat is bad for your health. But the visceral kind is more likely to raise your risk for serious medical issues. Heart disease, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, stroke and high cholesterol are some of the conditions that are strongly linked to this.

How can I tell if I have too much visceral fat?  There’s no way to know where and how much visceral fat is hidden in your body without expensive MRI test, however measuring your waist is a rough estimate. In women, 35 inches or more is a sign of visceral fat. In men, it’s 40 inches. This is a crude tool, especially if you’re a very big boned tall person. And if you’re of Asian descent, the benchmark for visceral fat drops to 31.5 inches for women and 35.5 inches for men.

A growing belly can be the result of both types of fat. For slim people we have no way of knowing if they are storing visceral fats except increase in body weight without extra muscle gain.  Fats in the blood or a fatty liver may be an indication.

Excessive BMI may be an indicator, 30 or higher could be a sign of visceral fat. If you’re Asian, a BMI of 23 or higher could be a concern. However BMI can be inaccurate if you are carrying a lot of external muscle.

HOW CAN I PREVENT FAT BEING STORED AROUND MY ORGANS?  Regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, exercise reduce stress and sleep longer, Limit alcohol

If you want to improve your health and nutrition, reduce your caffeine. Caffeine, particularly coffee, is highly addictive.  When we have too much there are a variety of unpleasant side effects.  When you withdraw from caffeine (as we do overnight) you need a hit just to feel normal, in the same way as a drug addict needs their hit to start the day.

Excess caffeine (more than 2 small cups per day) can cause:

  • bad skin
  • fat around the middle
  • energy dips
  • sleep problems
  • irritability
  • hormonal imbalance
  • headaches

Buck the trend and swap coffee for naturally decaffeinated coffee or even better water.

Foods, supplements and lifestyle tips you need to know!

Top Foods
• Garlic
• Onions
• Mushrooms – especially exotic such as Shitake and Oyster
• Berries (frozen or fresh), kiwi and citrus

Reduce sugar and alcohol.

Best Supplements
• Vitamin D3 essential during the winter as it’s our sunshine vitamin.

Are you taking the right dose?

I recommend 2,000 iu during the winter – most over the counter D Supplements are only 400 iu
• Probiotics capsules such as the ones from
• Zinc 15mg per day (found in seafood and meat)
• Vitamin C (1000mg per day time released). Food is best ideally – citrus, kiwi, berries and pomegranates

• Sleep – are you getting 7-8 hours?

What about coffee which impacts on sleep?

I recommend no more than 3 caffeinated drinks before 2pm.   

Remember alcohol sedates, not promotes quality sleep
• Fresh air and daylight, even in the cold weather try and get a daily dose of fresh air and natural light.
• Move More – we can still keep moving even indoors.

There are plenty of free classes on line as well as yoga from YouTube
• Don’t Graze – over-snacking is common but our stomach needs a break from food so 3 meals a day works best.

Are you afraid to get hungry?
• How is your Mental health and who are you connecting with?

Find ways to connect  with people who make you feel good, and don’t drain you.
• Start a health routine, allowing time to cook from scratch and to move more.

Find out more

Are you thinking of having a dry January, if so what do you drink?  Many soft drinks are high in sugar so I recommend Fevertree Naturally Light Tonics, or sparkling water with added fruit, or a squash without sweeteners and preservatives, such as Rocks or Belvoir.  Kombucha which is a fermented drink is good for your gut, and coconut water is good for balancing electrolytes (something to bear in mind if you have been drinking)

If you want a grown up drink, here are some tasty alcohol free alternatives

Alcohol Free G &T

If you love gin but hate headaches, try creating a non-alcoholic version by infusing water with aromatics.


  1. Bring about three cups of water (750ml), 3 tbsp crushed juniper berries, a few cardamom pods, lemon peel and a little black tea to the boil.
  2. Cool, then strain and mix with tonic and lime.

Mulled cleanse drink                                

  1. Dilute unsweetened cranberry juice with a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part cranberry juice.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon of ginger and cinnamon and simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add the juice of 3 oranges and 3 lemons and stir. Sweeten with a little Stevia or maple syrup
  5. Sip slowly

Find out more

Our lives are so fast paced, there are massive expectations of us, however the majority of people could feel better by changes to their diet, plus a few simple adjustments to their lifestyle.

Below are the main causes of fatigue:

1. Balanced blood sugar – a diet high in refined carbohydrates & sugar can affect your blood sugar levels giving you energy highs and lows.
2. Stimulants – caffeine, sugar hype you up, but relying on them depletes your natural energy reserves.
3. Sleep apnea, stimulants, alcohol and lack of relaxation interferes with sleep / wake cycles leaving you unrefreshed.
4. The wrong lunch –a lunch high in carbohydrates can cause afternoon sleepiness
5. Too much stress can increase cortisol levels which impact on blood sugar and immunity.
6. Get iron levels and B12 checked at the GP. Anaemia can cause tiredness. B12 works best subliquinally or via injection
7. Thyroid – an underactive thyroid causes a sluggish metabolism and tiredness. A TSH reading of more than 2.5 needs nutritional support
8. ME / Chronic Fatigue – when the body has undergone prolonged physical or emotional stress, it shuts down. ME or Chronic Fatigue is a cry for help from your body.
9. Is the heart pumping well, are the blood vessels clogged, is respiration and oxygen delivery good?
10. Recharge & relax – Rest is something we do if we have time when everything else is complete. If you don’t make time to relax, your body won’t cope and you will feel fatigued and become physically or mentally ill.

Find out more 

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