Functional Nutrition in 5 Easy Steps

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Before the reset can begin, every new patient undergoes a thorough case review, saving money and time in the long-run. Functional Nutrition is individually tailored and geared towards the individual person and her current conditions, lifestyle and goals which range from regaining bodily functions, desired measures or competing in the next Iron Man.  Therefore Chris wants to know you as intimately as you’re willing to disclose with him… but you will talk about bowel habits at some point. Find below a short overview what a typical Functional Nutrition consultation process will be like.

How does the 5 step ThinkFood process work?

Getting to know each other

01 The case review
02 ThinkFood2 a functional detox – Your first functional nutrition prescription (fx.)
03 ThinkFood14 or ThinkFood30 – Pressing the “Reset” button
04 Re-evalution and specific testing if required
05 fx. Amended functional nutrition with regular check-ups


 

Getting to know each other

This is the meet and greet where you can come to the practice for an info talk or an initial consultation. You will learn how I believe certain conditions can be positively affected by nutritional and lifestyle changes and why. This is the time to ask questions and receive an informed opinion from an alternatively thinking but classically trained healthcare professional. You will be supplied with plenty of links and reading material relevant to your condition which you should start reading so you are being enabled to take even better care of yourself in the near future. I believe in a relationship on the same informed level between you and myself.

The whole process and way forward will be explained to you and you will be given a first “Medical Symptoms Questionnaire” for you to fill and bring to your next consultation. This form will help to establish your ‘status quo’ during your next consultation and is a corner stone in the whole functional assessment for your Case Review. This initial encounter is often combined or extended to become a proper Case Review consultation.

01 – The case review

This is when we get more intimate and it’s time to disclose about your diet, sleep, emotions, ailments and bowel habits, yes. I deem the microbiome (aka microbiota: the combined genetic material of the microorganisms in a particular environment) as the hottest research topic since the discovery of vaccines by Louis Pasteur (Louis Pasteur was a French chemist and microbiologist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization) and I like to quote my teachers from the Institute of Functional Medicine: “If in doubt, treat the gut.”.

But before expensive tests are ordered I need to know from you personally. Your own health related story and when it started to go downhill. The Medical Symptoms Questionnaire will not only help to screen your whole body from head to toe for malfunctions or ailments. It will also help us to establish your current health status quo and set the base line on which to evaluate our treatment success. In order to have something ‘measurable’ you are required to have a basic fasting blood test done with the pathologist which usually includes a lipogram (HDL, LDL,  total cholesterol particles and triglycerides), usCRP (ultra sensitive C-reactive protein, an inflammation marker), fasting glucose (your blood sugar), a Full Blood Count and if indicated basic kidney, liver and thyroid function tests.

This will give us a head-start on your treatment as it ensures a comprehensive understanding of possible factors involved and will highlight problems which should be double-checked with your primary care physician or specialist doctor that already knows about your condition. I will consult with your doctor before suggesting any drastic changes or refer to my preferred network of Functional Medicine practitioners.


02 – ThinkFood2 – A Functional detox – Your first functional nutrition prescription (fx.)

Detox can be a quite controversial topic. Very often more harm is done and the body depleted from valuable and important nutrients, vitamins and minerals. There is also a lot of money tried to be made by scaremongers that claim to have found the latest substance or device to help with you detoxing from anything that ranges from heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides & herbicides, mycotoxins, and what you can think of.

However getting rid of most of hindering ‘matter’ when embarking on a nutritional change or an elimination diet (a tool utilised to help healing allergic/ immune related conditions, food allergies or food intollerances, autoimmune disease, inflammatory disease, etc.) does help to establish a ‘clean sheet’ and a basis to work from. Psychologically it does help to mark the cross roads between old and new habits because it can also be a very physical experience to remember 😉

 

03 – ThinkFood14 or ThinkFood30 – Pressing the “Reset” button

This is what you were looking for. Maybe a little bit of pain or not your usual ’80-20-walk-in-the-park-x-day-new-years-challenge following the latest advice from the national version of the Me Magazine or Boys Health. Don’t get me wrong, they might be yummy and even healthy to an extend, but maybe you need some more individual guidance and hands-on support from somebody that knows about functional nutrition and the real life challenges you might face when putting it into practice in a work, family or holiday setting, trying to deal with weird cravings, .2kg of weight gain when you’re supposed to loose, or a brain fog your struggle to explain to anybody else.

But at the beginning it starts with a personal consultation and a joined decision of what your own ThinkFood challenge will consist of and how long it is going to take. But be prepared to talk about meditation or relaxation and bowel habits more than numbers on the scale. I consider weight loss the most welcome ADR (Adverse Diet Reaction) and weight reduction usually just happens, once you get used to normal portions and proportions and inflammatory foods are eliminated from your plate. While we see brilliant results on the ThinkFood14 programme, you should remember that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. So please allow me to strongly motivate for the ThinkFood30 challenge whenever I get a chance to do so!

 


04 Re-evalution and specific testing if required

You will schedule regular check-ups with a practitioner at the Think Food Practice to re-evaluate your current progress. These check-ups are:

after 7 days, to make sure the new and maybe lightly unusual foods, food preparations and eating habits are properly followed. Most questions will arise during these first days and we will provide the best of answers for you. Sometimes one discovers the need for a little digestive support to kick-start the switch in fuel sources (previously easy carbohydrate focused, now more vegetable fibre, good fats and a decent amount of protein) is helpful.

after 14-28 days, to evaluate the first noticeable changes in health and well-being. Progress can now be evaluated more reliably. If you only look better, function better and perform better (physically, mentally, emotionally), we will motivate to change nothing but continue to progress with your ThinkFood14 or ThinkFood30 until you can not feel any better. If unforeseen (but unlikely) problems occur an appropriate supplementation, referral to a doctor or specialist, or further analytical testing can be advised.

1-3 months, during this time you will schedule monthly consultations and follow-ups.


05 fx. Amended functional nutrition with regular check-ups

For ‘normal’ people the ThinkFood14 or ThinkFood30 challenge will be like an epiphany after the initial challenge already. You continue with the given plan but are allowed to experiment – you actually need to try new things and learn how your body reacts to them. Singular meals may be substituted by something new or different. Surprisingly enough, a lot of patients resort to their previous favourite meal and find, that it doesn’t taste quite as good as it used to or doesn’t agree with them at all. You have started to listen to your body again. All ThinkFood patients rediscover a more refined taste sensation; your old palate is back. You might however come for an occasional check-in or a pep talk after a holiday indulgens – welcome to real life!