Plant-based milks: 6 top tips

plant milk

There is one section of every supermarket and corner shop that is unrecognisable from ten years ago: plant-based milks. Or ‘mylks’, ‘m*lks’, or sometimes, confusingly, just ‘drinks’. I’m going with ‘milks’, partly for simplicity and partly because it amuses me that this offends some people. Terminology aside, one thing not in question is their unstoppable rise in popularity. Ethical and environmental concerns, dairy allergies and intolerances, and health considerations are all contributing factors here. Anecdotally, I’ve also noticed that friends and family find plant-based milks an appealing option even if they have no intention of going vegan or vegetarian. The […]

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Post-ICU and COVID-19 nutrition

post covid-19 nutrition

The road to recovery after critical illness can be long and challenging. However, it is only in recent years that Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) has started to be more widely recognised and understood, and therefore much better managed. PICS encompasses a range of symptoms that fall under the three broad categories of physical cognitive, and psychological impairment, with ICU-acquired weakness among the most frequently seen symptoms. Improving ICU survival rates are partly to thank for this growing interest in PICS, as we can now look beyond mere survival and consider quality of recovery. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also […]

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Veganuary 2021

Veganuary is back, and more popular than ever, with over 500,000 people signing up in 2021. Inevitably this also means more backlash than ever from the closed-minded meat-chompers who feel threatened by plant-based diets, but I find it’s best not to rise to the red-faced haters! If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it is hopefully that we should never take our environment, wildlife, or health for granted. OK, so those are three things really, but nevertheless, they are also the three main reasons that people choose to go plant-based. And unlike Dry January, which, although important, only serves […]

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2020: An unforgettable year as a runner…and ICU Dietitian (part 2/2)

July and August The second half of the year started in a similar fashion to June – just enjoying being in good shape and the very gradual easing of lockdown restrictions and return to some semblance of normality across the UK. This included our ‘Last Man Stands’ cricket season belatedly getting underway, albeit with lots of hand gel, elbow bump wicket celebrations and socially distanced team photos. I developed and delivered ‘introduction to running nutrition’ webinars to local running clubs and had a great response. We were also able to escape London and get a proper change of scenery for […]

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2020: An unforgettable year as a runner…and ICU dietitian (part 1/2)

Perhaps a little self-indulgent, but this year has been unforgettable for all the right and mostly wrong reasons, so here’s my month-by-month recap. I’m lucky that running is a constant in my life, and something I can turn to on even the hardest of days, so I’ve based this blog around that. January: Starting the year buzzing with optimism but still burdened by my terrible sense of direction, I got lost and missed the start of Whitstable parkrun, but caught up from the back and swore this year was definitely going to be the year I got to my first […]

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Keto diets in endurance exercise (part II)

Ketogenic diet for runners

I introduced the definitions and basic theory underpinning endurance athletes’ ketogenic diets (EAKD) in the first blog, but what happens when the theory is subjected to scientific research? A recently published systematic review (which by definition should incorporate all relevant, good quality studies) will help us answer this question. I will warn you that this is quite a detailed synopsis, so feel free to skip to my ‘take home thoughts’ at the end if what comes before is a bit too heavy. The review claims to be the first of its kind looking at EAKD and key outcomes for endurance […]

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A meat free year (and the growing evidence base)

I blogged last year about my steady drift towards a fully plant-based diet, and discussed some of of the key considerations and questions of doing so. I’m happy to report that this drift has continued, and I managed to avoid eating meat for the whole of 2018. Well OK, that is not entirely true, as I had one mishap on the flight back from my own stag do in Porto, when I ate a bread roll with chicken puree which I thought was hummous. Hard to believe that my abstinence was broken, not for a juicy burger or Sunday roast, […]

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Veganism and the plant based revolution (part II)

A week later than planned (as ever), here is the second part to my blog on plant based diets, this time looking at the final four FAQs that come my way as a Registered Dietitian. Some of it is a bit lengthy (and I promise future posts won’t always be), but it’s a huge topic and one that could probably have been split across about five blogs rather than two. I could easily have expanded on all of these answers, but it’s a start at least! Q2. What about protein? Protein remains all the rage, and people often worry that a plant […]

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Largentina

I’ve been a bit quieter on her recently, and although this can be partly attributed to the chaotic struggle for spare time that we call ‘life’ in London, more recently it is due to me taking a break from my day job as a dietitian for a few months and moving to Argentina. Latin America is my favourite part of the world, so when two friends asked me to join them on their trip, it was an easy decision (well, for me at least…maybe not for my employer!) We kept our plans for the trip deliberately vague, but the absurd […]

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6 Problems Facing Diet Research

Last week, I discussed the ongoing saturated fat debate, and hinted that diet research is often flawed… which can be why dietary science or evidence appears inconclusive. Here are six reasons to help explain why that can be the case: 1.  Long follow-up times The effects of dietary approaches are not going to be seen overnight. Instead, impacts on health might take years, or more likely, decades (which is why it is the habits of a lifetime that matter, not those of a month after Christmas). This means that studies have to be hugely ambitious from the outset, taking into […]

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