Saturday, 11 November 2017

New Goals, New Paths, New Beginnings

Soon I will move to Mataró, a small city near Barcelona , in Spain. A personal decision that takes me out of comfort and family, those things I desired the most 5 years ago, while still living in London. (strangely my facebook profile reminded me ´what I was thinking´on this day 11/11 (angel number signs again?) and it was just that longing for comfort and family that I missed the most. (London is famous for kicking you hard and testing your strength)

 It is scary, uncomfortable and unstable , but life is like this. You start something new and you feel the fear , aches and tumbles in every step you take. Just like the first day you venture yourself to the gym!

BUT! I´m taking baby steps and I have been working on my new website on and off in the past few months ( and still I am). Even though there are some areas (La Nutriteca recipes) that are in working process, the rest is all done.

I know my new goal: I am a professional dietitian specialized in emotional eating and Nutritional coaching for reeducation as part of the regular consultations.
I want to focus on English speaking clients living in Spain who feel more comfortable with their native or more frequently used language than Spanish.

Of course , all Spanish speaking clients will also be attended.

NEW WEBSITE! Soon I will have the English version too. In the meantime here is the Spanish site:

NUTRIC - Dietética y Coaching nutricional in Mataró and Barcelona 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

I can´t lose more weight...How to readjust your metabolism

The most common concern after a few months of dieting is that you either reach plateau and can´t lose more weight, or you put on weight as soon as you come out of the calorie restriction.

If you are still reading this it is because you  have probably experienced this sometime in your life. Or, you are close to someone who complains about this and is on a permanent diet.

What is happening to you? This: You have "damaged" your metabolism. But, you can Fix it!

I have to mention that this information I´m giving you below is a guide to understand how the metabolism can change. However, any diet should always be followed under the Dietician supervision. 

Your metabolism has slowed down to preserve energy as it believes that it´s in survival phase and there is no food available.

An example: After getting my BMI and measurements checked  I find out that I have 5kg extra of  what my healthy weight should be. So, I want to tackle the excess weight as fast as I can so I start a diet while I keep a HIIT/crossfit /cardio training 6 days a week.

The diet is no more than 1300 kcal/day(which is low calorie diet) and I workout with cardio routines. The result is that , in a few weeks I loose 2 kg, however, during the 3rd week I start noticing I can´t loose more than a few grams, already. And I don´t understand how is that possible, as I should be burning off all calories through cardio. So ,I decide to reduce even more the caloric intake to 1100 kcal.  But... it doens´t work... I barely loose any weight.... Crazy...
The answer to this situation even if it´s hard to accept it, is that reducing the calories by 50% of what I should eat has damaged my metabolism slowing down the calorie consumption because the body is under huge stress due to excess cardio exercise and very low food intake. The adrenaline levels (stress hormones) set the body into a flight or fight mode when we are cardio junkies and as there is not enough fuel, our perfect machine sets a new lower metabolic rate to preserve energy.Remember that genetically speaking we haven´t changed much since the cave days, and the mechanism is still in favour of keeping instead of loosing.

How to Rise Up again your Metabolism?

First:  Stop dieting and Stop doing crazy intense cardio workouts.

To reset metabolism to the rate you should have you should know your daily calorie needs first.
The Dietician will give you your accurate Basal Metabolic Rate and your Daily Recommended Intake:

For example: Daily Intake for 40yo man could be 2000 kcal /day

Step 1:Reverse and Refeed Go back to eating your recommended daily intake for 2 months.For example , if you are on a 1400 kcal diet go back to 2000 kcal . But it will be a well-balanced nutritional plan with the correct macronutrients percentage.

1400kcal--> 2000kcal (maintenance) : 2 months

Do´s and Dont´s: 
Don´t increase the calories slowly ,cause this will only delay and drag the process.The faster you go back to maintenance calories the sooner you will pass the healing period.
Don´t go on/off eating your 2000 kcal because you feel guilty one day and the next day you restrict calories again, cause you will delay the process.

Do treat yourself! As long as you follow a healthy nutritious diet 80% of the time, you can allow yourself that junk food the other 20% . By doing this, you will stop demonising and/or treating a chocolate as your enemy and you won´t binge on it.
Do eat plenty of wholefoods, fresh fruits, vegetables, wholemeal pasta, rice, nuts, seeds, olive oil,lean fish,meat,eggs.
Do change the perception of your body and give yourself some love. During this phase you will gain some weight (maybe a few kg), but it is necessary, your body needs that extra fat to be able to get back on track.Change the perception you have of your body appearance and give yourself some love because you are healing!

Regarding Exercise...say YES! to Weight Lifting  and NO to Extreme Cardio .If you have been non-stop exercising doing just very high cardio workouts like crossfit/HIIT almost everyday you should Stop now. Stop and change the routine. The key is the more muscle you build the higher your resting metabolism will be in the long term. As opposed to High cardio, which increases metabolism throughout the same day of exercise.

Step 2: Weight Loss with small  caloric deficit
Once your body has readjusted it´s metabolism you can start loosing some weight:
The key is to  start reducing calories veeery slowly at no more than a 10% deficit.

From 2000kcal--(< 10%) ---->1800 kcal : For 4 weeks or until you reach plateau

Then reduce again a 15-20% for another 2-3 weeks /plateau. -300kcal

1800kcal--(<15-20%)-----> 1500 kcal:  4 weeks or until reach plateau again...what do you  then?

Back to maintenance. After 2 months or a second plateau then you should go back to maintenance so your metabolism doesn´t adapt to a lower calorie intake and doesn't go into panic mode (therefore reducing the energy expenditure)

1500 kcal----> 2000 kcal maintenance for 2 weeks. Don´t worry, you will not put on more weight and it will help

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Hazlo Ahora!

El comienzo del calor es una buena época del año para reajustar los hábitos alimentarios y como suele ser habitual, el peso.

Puede que el peso siga estable , pero la alimentación deja que desear.
Puede que haya fluctuación de peso respecto del pasado año, por cualquier motivo, por lo que hay que ponerse manos a la obra para aumentar o perder el peso, si es necesario. Ponerse siempre en manos de un profesional dietista-nutricionista impulsará a hacer las cosas bien y sesiones de coaching nutricional ayudarán a ir al fondo de la cuestión más allá de intentar seguir la dieta del papel.

Cada año las cosas cambian

La edad y el peso: A partir de los 30 hay que cuidar que no haya aumento importante de peso y una de dos: aumentamos el gasto calórico o disminuimos la ingesta. Por que sino llegaremos a los 50 y nos preguntaremos : ¿pero si siempre he comido igual?  Este es el problema, señor/a! No se puede comer igual a los 20 y a las 50! El metabolismo ( o sea, las calorías que tu cuerpo utiliza) se hace más lento con la edad. ¿Por que ocurre? Porque el músculo, riñones, hígado... pierden tejido,  se atrofian, y las células consumen menos energía.  ¿Que solución hay?

- Haz más deporte que incluya pesas---> Es la única forma de mantener y aumentar la masa muscular. El músculo es el que consume más calorías en reposo y con la edad se pierde. Por eso es tan importante realizar ejercicio no solo aeróbico , sino de fuerza. Y para las mujeres, no hay que preocuparse por parecer Hulk, al contrario: la corriente mucho más acertada entre las que quieren tener cuerpo 10 es olvidarse de 1 hora de bici estática para conseguir perder peso y pasarse a entrenamientos cortos pero intensos para estar 'healthy fit', o lo que es lo mismo, sano y en forma. Lo importante no es el peso total en la báscula sino el porcentaje de músculo y la fuerza que se consiga. Para ello hay que ejercitar los músculos menores además de los mayores.

- Come(y Bebe) más sano ---> No es nuevo. Los fines de semana de pizza y botellón de los 20 no pueden repetirse a los 30+ . Beber alcohol (del tipo que sea) como norma habitual no es aconsejado, por mucho que la (nefasta y errónea) pirámide nutricional actual española se empeñe en dejar el alcohol.

Image result for plate harvard

 Parece que la SENC (Sociedad Española de Nutrición) quiere contentar a la industria y al consumidor, venga te dejo esa copita que tanto te gusta. La educación y promoción de la salud nutricional no es contentar, sino decir lo esencial para mantener la salud. Todo lo demás sobra.  El alcohol es un hepatotóxico y jamás ha sido esencial en la salud del cuerpo humano.  Pero si lo es la fruta, verdura, hortalizas,proteínas limpias ,aceites de semillas, cereales y granos enteros no refinados. No hagáis caso a esta pirámide, y haced caso al plato de Harvard

Pirámide nutricional SENC

Recuerda la frase: Hazlo o no lo hagas, pero no lo intentes!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

¿Qué pinta un técnico dietista en hospital?


Nada como la comida de hospital...

El técnico dietista (ciclo superior) y el nutricionista (grado) son figura esencial en nutrición hospitalaria en muchos otros países del mundo, como Estados Unidos, Francia, Reino Unido o incluso Corea del Sur,  pero por desgracia en España la figura no está considerada como tal en Salud Pública. A pesar de estar oficialmente reglada la formación en el sistema educativo, las perspectivas laborales son casi siempre en sector privado en consulta o industria de catering.

Respondiendo a la pregunta que encabeza el título de este artículo. Actualmente : Nada. (excepto en alguna que otra comunidad autónoma como Andalucía donde han aparecido contadas plazas)

Las funciones del Técnico Dietista están recogidas en la legislación Española: 

Real Decreto 536/1995, de 7 de abril, por el que se establece el título de Técnico superior en Dietética y las correspondientes enseñanzas mínimas.

De todo esto es responsable (en teoría) un técnico dietista en hospital, que trabaja bajo la dirección del especialista médico, tanto en Planta como en Cocina:

Funciones del técnico dietista en nutrición hospitalaria
Pero como soy idealista y creo que tiene que haber un cambio, tarde o temprano España se pondrá las pilas y seguirá a los demás países mucho más avanzados en nutrición y dietética. Mientras tanto, la Sanidad seguirá desnutrida y el menú del paciente hospitalizado supervisado por algún que otro becario en prácticas y enfermeros.

The World is becoming more and more Intolerant

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT FOOD INTOLERANCE (not getting into the other ones)

All types allergies and food intolerances are getting spread like a pandemic disease. From the most popular ones: gluten and lactose to the rarest ones:  meat, sesame .

And we become intolerant/allergic because there is an inmune reaction to that food protein that the body identifies as dangerous. The guard is up for as long as the food is present in the body.

But, what are the most and less popular ones?

These are the eight foods that should be identified by law on the food label, they are the most common allergies:

These foods or any ingredient that contains a protein from those are potential allergens: For example:
milk , and  whey (contain the casein- milk protein)  


Meat: It is caused by a sugar found in it (alpha-galactose). Most people allergic to meat-beef specially- are also allergic to milk.

Sesame seed: It is also a very rare allergy, it is caused by a specific protein. Only 0.1%

Avocado: It is linked to Latex allergy, because avocados have proteins very similar to the natural rubber found in latex. Papaya, Banana and Kiwi have also a similar protein therefore if there is allergy to avocado it is very possible to have a reaction to those fruits too.

Gummy Bears: All those soft jelly like sweets like marshmallows contain gelatin, the animal protein. Allergy to this protein is linked to allergy to flu vaccine too.

Corn: Uncommon but causes a very strong reaction like seeds.

Mango: Like Avocado, the protein is similar to natural rubber in latex and it causes the allergic reaction.

Sulphites, preservatives that prevent oxidation: It is a preservative found in Dried Fruits, Wine, canned vegetables...

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dieta para... procesos diarréicos

¿Quién se ha librado de un proceso diarréico? Nadie. El intestino sufre con frecuencia el ataque de todo tipo de agentes patógenos al que le añadimos un componente nervioso.

Dos razones para tener diarrea:

- infección por bacterias, virus, parásitos -la típica gastroenteritis del viajero o ingesta de alimentos en mal estado o contaminados
- situaciones de nervios/estrés donde el intestino incrementa su motilidad

En cualquiera de estas situaciones, pero especialmente la primera es importante llevar a cabo una dieta progresiva en fases, para no alargar el proceso diarréico más de la cuenta.

No se debe frenar una diarrea con medicamentos antidiarréicos, solo en casos extremos bajo supervisión médica.

Dieta Progesiva:

 Dia 1: Ayuno absoluto. No ingerir nada de alimentos. Solo reposición hidrosalina mediante la siguiente sencilla receta. Bebiendo a sorbos durante el dia para reponer sales y agua, además de para contrarrestar la acidez estomacal si además hay vómitos.
1.5 L de agua mineral
zumo de 1 limón
1 cucharita de sal
2 cucharas de azúcar
1 cucharita de bicarbonato sódico

Reposición hidrolítica salina

Dia 2 y 3 :Astringente estricta.  Se introduce agua de cocción de zanahoria o arroz. El poder astringente natural del agua de cocción del arroz y zanahoria facilitará que la diarrea se vaya frenando. Como el intestino está inflamado habrá que introducir alimentos suaves y fáciles de digerir como el pan blanco tostado, patatas cocidas, manzana cruda rallada sin piel o membrillo. Pero solo si es tolerado por el cuerpo.

Dia 4 y 5 : Astringente moderada. Si la dieta se va tolerando bien se puede comenzar a tomar proteinas. Pechuga de pollo sin piel, pescado blanco magro como merluza o pescadilla, al vapor cocido o a la plancha, sin nada de aceite. Podemos añadir jamón York magro y otras sémolas o pastas de sopa  y galletas María. Las únicas frutas recomendadas son: manzana asada/cruda rallada sin piel, plátano y membrillo.

Dia 6: Dieta basal normal. Podemos introducir alimentos muy beneficiosos para recuperar la flora intestinal como el yogur natural. Lo último que se introducirá es la a leche y las ensaladas/ fibras como salvado de trigo solo se tomará cuando esté totalmente recuperado el organismo.
Por supuesto, nada de excitantes irritantes de la mucosa intestinal como el café, chocolate o alcohol.
El te verde suave en cambio si es recomendable por ser astringente.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Dieta para...Síndrome del Colon Irritable// Diet for... Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Comienzo una serie de dietas tipo para diferentes condiciones. Teniendo en cuenta que las dietas siempre deben personalizarse, aquí voy a presentar a modo educativo/informativo lo esencial para comprender cada peculiaridad aplicándolo  a un menú adaptado.

Síndrome de Colon Irritable

¿Qué es? Un síndrome , significa que es un conjunto o serie de síntomas típicos , a veces no tienen una causa conocida (como ocurre en una enfermedad donde la causa puede estar bien clara-virus, etc). El síndrome de Colon irritable se manifiesta con unos síntomas digestivos que son crónicos.

¿Que síntomas son característicos?

  • Diarrea
  • Flatulencia
  • Dolor intenso tipo cólico
  • Indigestión
  • Estreñimiento
  • Vientre hinchado
  • Cansancio generalizado 
  • Tendencia a desnutrición por malabsorción de alimentos

¿Que factores empeoran los síntomas?

  • Estrés: Las contracciones intestinales se ven afectadas por el sistema nervioso
  • Hormonas: mujeres tienen el doble de probabilidad de SCI. El cambio hormonal antes/durante la menstruación empeora los síntomas.
  • Infecciones: gastroenteristis, exceso de bacteria en el cólon
  • Alimentos: La ingesta de irritantes/flatulentos/alcohol...provoca más diarrea.

Alimentos aconsejados 

Fibra: La fibra es necesaria ya que el estreñimiento es síntoma frecuente de SCI pero tomarla con precaución porque al igual que se sufre de estreñimiento también hay episodios de diarreas. Incrementa o reduce el tipo de fibra necesaria en cada situación, de manera progresiva para evitar flatulencias o cólicos.

Fibra insoluble: no se disuelve en agua, la absorbe e incrementa el volumen fecal.
Si hay diarrea, reduce estas fibras:

  • piel de frutas y verduras
  • salvado de trigo
  • maiz
  • nueces y semillas

Fibra soluble:  se disuelve en agua y se fermenta por las bacterias del intestino
Si hay estreñimiento aumenta estas fibras:

  • Avena
  • Plantago ovata
  • Semillas de lino
  • alubias y legumbres

Frutas: las más aconsejadas son todas las que tienen cantidad moderada de fructosa , es preferible su consumo cocido, asado o en compota o crudo sin piel.
-  Se recomiendan las siguientes: Papaya, melocotón, nectarina, mandarina, naranja, pomelo, sandía, kiwi.

- No se recomiendan: Pera, manzana, dátiles, higos, uvas pasas, uvas, caquis, cerezas

Fermentados : Yogurt, kefir  Los probióticos hay que probarlos poco a poco y ver el efecto que producen.

Alimentos desaconsejados

Bebidas excitantes: Cafe, Te, Mate, Chocolate, Red Bull, Coca Cola

Fibra en exceso

Grasas: carnes grasas, grasa visible, fritos, chocolate, pastelería, quesos grasos, mayonesas

Procesados: Alimentos ricos en grasas, azúcares y almidones -->Salsas industriales,  Pizzas de supermercado, patatas fritas, pasteles, bizcochos, galletas, cereales de desayuno

Leche:  La lactosa dificulta la digestión.

Fructosa de la fruta: Limita el consumo a no más de 3 piezas al dia. La fructosa puede producir diarrea.

Sorbitol: Está presente  en chicles, caramelos sin azúcar y alimentos dietéticos sin azúcar. Puede producr diarrea.

Maltitol: Al igual que el sorbitol produce mucho gas y diarrea. Cuidado con los alimentos que se venden sin azúcar(galletas,etc) por que casi todos tienen maltitol.

¿Qué planificación dietética puede ayudar a reducir los síntomas?

Desayuno: copos de avena suaves,leche de almendra,arroz o soja, infusión digestiva tipo manzanilla/anís/hinojo/regaliz/alcaravea

Snack: yogurt natural, tortitas de arroz

Comida: Sopa de pasta / calabacín a la plancha/ pollo al horno con patata y hierbas aromáticas.

Merienda: Bebida de avena/almendras y montadito de tomate y jamón serrano

Cena: Huevo revuelto con champiñones


This is the first of a series of posts I am going to write about different conditions that are affected(positively or negatively)  by the type of food we eat. Considering that each diet should always be personalised according to individual needs, I start by giving some general diet guidelines that will be useful to start off.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What is it? It is a Syndrome, which is a series of typical symptoms that often have no specific or known cause ( an illness can have a specific cause such as bacterias, viruses...)

Main Symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Stomach cramps
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Bloated stomach
  • Difficulty to absorb well all nutrients leading to undernourishment
  • General tiredness
What worsens the symptoms?

  • Stress--> Anxiety and stress play a big role in IBS as it triggers a cascade of chemical reactions affecting the bowel movements and hormones
  • Hormones--> Women are more affected by IBS due to the hormonal changes occurring before/during menstrual period.
  • Food--> Processed food is a well known factor that worsens the symptoms. Alcohol, Flatulent foods and stimulating drinks will have the same negative effect.
  • Gastrointestinal infections--> Bacteria overgrowth will provoke more diarrhea and flatulence.

Recommended Foods

Fibre: Fibre is necessary for well functioning of bowel movement as well for keeping healthy bacteria in your gut. BUT! Careful with the intake: As the bowel of someone who suffers from IBS can be very delicate we should be cautious with the quantity. Increase or reduce the following types of fibre very slowly to avoid cramps, bloating and flatulence.

Soluble Fibre--> It dissolves in water. Will be fermented by the intestinal bacteria
If there is Constipation, increase the intake of these fibre:
  • Oats 
  • Barley
  • Psyllium Husk
  • Linseed
  • Pulses, legumes like lentils and beans 

Insoluble Fibre--> It adds bulk to the faeces as it absorbs the water but cannot be dissolved in it. 
If you suffer from Diarrhoea, avoid them
        • Fruit and vegetables skin  
        • Wheat bran 
        • Corn
        • Nuts /seeds

Water and Warm Digestive herbal teas--> Drinking plenty of water and warm chamomile tea will help calm down the stomach cramps and will reduce constipation.

Fruits: It is recommended to eat low fructose Fruits as the fruit sugar can have a negative effect on the well functioning of the bowel.

-Recommended: Papaya, Peach, Nectarine, clementine, orange, grapefruit, watermelon, kiwi

-Not recommended: grapes, apple, pear, dates, figs, raisins, persimmon fruit, cherries

Yogurt : Natural unsweetened Yogurt (no need of probiotic ones) will have a beneficial effect. However, as with the rest of the recommended foods, start introducing them slowly.

Not Recommended Foods:

Stimulating Drinks: Coffee, Tea, Mate, CocaCola, RedBull 

Too much fibre 

Fats: Visible fats, fries, chocolate, bakery products, fat from meat, sauces, butter, cheese

Processed foods:  Fast food, supermarket pizzas,  ready to eat meals contain starches which are difficult to break down and cause flatulence, bloating...etc.

Milk: Lactose is difficult to digest if there is a lactose intolerance or enzyme deficiency.

Fructose: Sugar of fruit can cause diarrhea. Maximum intake of 3 pieces /day.

Sorbitol: They are sugar alcohols present in many foods now and can cause diarrhea.

Maltitol: This one is like palm oil, you can see it everywhere. Many unsweetened foods or sugar free foods like cakes, biscuits,chocolate or cereals have it. Be aware of buying Sugar free food because maltitol it is reported to cause strong flatulence and bloating in many consumers.

Maltitol everywhere and some extra gifts for IBS: palm oil and wheat starch

Suggested Diet for IBS symptoms

Breakfast: Porridge in unsweetened non-dairy milk(soy, rice,almond) and herbal tea

Snack: orange fruit

Lunch: Pasta salad with chicken breast and light olive oil dressing, clementine.

Snack: natural  yogurt 

Dinner: Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and herbs, pita bread and kiwi fruit

Monday, 3 April 2017

Mood Food

Are you in a good mood? Maybe is the food

The food you eat can (and will) be partially responsible of your mood swings, whether if they are positive or negative. This is why the latest trend is to classify the foods according to the effect they have on our mood.

Back in 2002 a study carried out by the mental health charity Mind called Food and Mood Project confirmed that the participants correlated their food choices with their emotional stability (depression, anxiety, panic attacks). In short, the brief study supported two direct outcomings from two different groups of foods:

Stressor foods--> sugar, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate
Supporter foods--> water, vegetables, fruit, oil-rich fish

It was obviously a very subjetive study but it was the starting point.

Preventing depression through food

It is what the very promising pan-European trial called MooDFOOD is researching. 9 countries and 13 organizations are behind this study that will compare different nutritional habits that might change mood in people who are overweight.

Nutrition as a preventive strategy for depression could have ‘huge implications’ for future health policy. Which means that changing eating habits will reduce not only the chances of depression but also the presciption of antidepressants.
But again, this is not Lalaland, and only some doctors will challenge the Pharma industry and will consider the option of reviewing the eating habits instead of prescribing Prozac.

Best Foods to change your mood

Walnuts: full of omega 3, (ALA fatty acid)    -->  Helps neurotransmitters well functioning. 

Banana: full of tryptophan(amino acid) that boosts serotonine levels aka and increases your energy levels without overstimulating the nerve system.

Salmon: Trout and Sardines.Omega 3, again! 

Whole grains, cereals---> A study showed that following a very low carbohydrate diet is worse for your mood than a low fat one. No carbs reduces Serotonine levels. A source of unrefined carbohydrates with fiber and micronutrients(vitamins, minerals) prevents the mood swings.

Greek yoghurt and low fat milk: Rich in protein and vitamin D, to boost the mood too.

Greens: Folates in collards and leafy greens will support the increase of serotonin levels regulating the mood.