Qualifications: MSc Nutritional Medicine, BSc (Hons) Health Sciences: Nutritional Therapy
After a long career in the health and beauty industry, I went to university to study nutrition, and I have been practicing since 2002. For eight years, I was the Senior Nutritional Therapist at London’s prestigious fertility and pregnancy Zita West Clinic, designing the nutrition programme for the clinic, and seeing thousands of clients. I also worked at a private GP practice for five years, which was a huge learning experience, and for a complete change I taught cooking skills to teenagers with learning difficulties for a small charity called Foundations. In 2009 I joined the team at In:Spa, consulting clients on retreats in Morocco, Spain and France, and a year later I decided to go out on my own specialising in pre-conception, IVF and pregnancy nutrition, working in Central London. For five years, I wrote regularly for the Sunday Telegraph Stella Magazine Q&A health page, and more recently for Harper’s Bazaar Online and I have written the chapter on nutrition for a forthcoming book – Female Infertility: Basic Science and Clinical Practice to be published in 2018.
As well as consulting clients on both improving their natural fertility and preparing for IVF, I am particularly interested in endometriosis and PCOS and the effect of nutrition on ameliorating their negative effects on fertility. My Masters studies have given me the most up to date evidence-based information that is so important for my clients, and my final thesis researched the effect of obesity and diet on male fertility. I feel very strongly that male factor infertility is very poorly addressed and I want to be in a position to highlight this to doctors and IVF clinics as I have seen the positive effects of diet and lifestyle changes on sperm quality with so many of my clients.
Although my specialist area is undoubtedly in pre-conceptual and pregnancy nutrition, including weight loss (and gain) and immune issues, my experience has helped me develop sound evidence-based advice for all hormonal conditions including the menopause (I ran a menopause clinic at the Zita West Clinic). And my work for GPs and studies has hugely consolidated my advice for other conditions from digestive problems to cardio-vascular issues such as high cholesterol, type II diabetes and high blood pressure, which sometimes accompany infertility.
Above all I am not a hard-core kill joy; I like my wine, chocolate, roast potatoes and croissants and I hope that one of my most highly regarded skills is my ability to make clients feel thoroughly relaxed and to really enjoy their consultations. I want you to feel that you are adding good things to your diet, not taking them away and generally making your life a misery! I also give you rationale; by being able to understand why some things help your fertility and some may not be so good just makes it much easier to adapt to new, healthier habits. It’s a project essentially and I endeavour to give ideas that fit in with your life, with recipes and tips that actually help you to leave the consultations feeling quite excited.