Areas of expertise
Nutritional ketogenic diets
I specialise in creating personalised ketogenic dietary plans that are easy to integrate into your current lifestyle. I’m passionate about helping people to find a ketogenic plan that’s enjoyable for their personal tastes and preferences while being nutritionally balanced. I also have personal experience following the ketogenic lifestyle, so I can help you overcome common mistakes and pitfalls, ensuring you get the most out of your keto way of eating. An important part of my approach is providing bespoke meal plans, recipes, food tips, guidance on navigating special occasions and advice on supplements that make your transition to ketosis more exciting, easier and fun!
What is a ketogenic diet?
Ketogenic 'keto' diets can help your body to burn fat for energy, leading to weight loss, reduced food cravings, and better overall health. Many people find that ketogenic diets can increase energy levels, improve mental clarity, and enhance overall well-being. Learn more about the potential benefits of ketogenic diets on mental health here.
Why is starting a ketogenic diet so difficult?
Many patients struggle with beginning a ketogenic diet on their own because this way of eating is so different to their current diet. As a ketogenic diet requires you to stop eating most carbohydrates, it’s important to begin adding other foods (such as non-starchy vegetables) to replace these carbs. I find it helpful to gradually guide you into ketosis as it takes time to find new recipes you like, learn how to prepare new foods, and build new habits into your routine. I’ve personally tried and tested many of the keto products on the market. I always provide my patients with an extensive list of recommendations, recipes, meal plans, shopping lists and helpful gadgets to make transitioning to a ketogenic diet as enjoyable and easy as possible.
What are the benefits of ketogenic diets?
Soon after starting a personalised keto diet, my patients typically start feeling more energetic and experience fewer food cravings. After several weeks or months, they usually report better sleep, a feeling of calmness and serenity, and less pain. In the long term, keto diets can help to improve some of the symptoms of chronic conditions and reduce the number of medications needed to manage these conditions.
Feeding problems in children
I have been helping children who struggle with fussy eating since 2008, and fussy eating was the focus of my Master’s research dissertation in 2012. I’ve helped many children to overcome their fussy eating and discover the joy of trying new foods, which relieves the stress and pressure on parents who are trying to ensure their child has a balanced diet with the vital nutrients and supplements essential for development. I believe that using compassion and kindness combined with nutritional expertise is essential for developing a successful treatment plan that addresses fussy eating and ensures your child is happy, healthy and nourished.
Fussy eating or food neophobia ('fear of the new') is a natural part of a child’s development. In fact, fussy eating is an evolutionary mechanism that helps children avoid potentially dangerous or toxic foods while they’re growing up. Toddlers naturally become fussy as they start to walk and have access to more danger. They simply stop putting new food in their mouths. Parents and carers often worry, and the problem can worsen, even with the best love and intentions. Sometimes children who are fussy eaters can also have nutritional deficiencies despite being a healthy weight, which is crucial to address as early as possible.
The good news is that fussy eating problems can be managed and treated with the right advice and therapeutic strategies. Firstly, a thorough assessment is essential to understand the underlying reasons for your child’s likes and dislikes. For example, children with autism, dyspraxia, or sensory processing issues may dislike the variety in food textures or colours. Typically, they will gravitate to a 'beige' diet of uniform consistency. Once I identify the reasons behind your child’s preferences, I’ll help you to implement strategies to gradually introduce new foods into their diet and provide advice on supplementation if needed. As part of my personalised approach, I’ll recommend activities based on your child’s personality and interests to help them to discover new foods with enjoyment.
Nutritional genomic (DNA) testing is a new and exciting science that allows us to personalise dietary recommendations based on your unique genetic makeup. The advantage of nutritional genomic testing is that it becomes much easier to benefit from your diet and optimise your lifestyle once you understand how your body works. I’ve completed advanced training in food and nutrition and genetics and regularly use genomic tests to help people optimise their diets by understanding what works for them and why.
In addition to your genetic test, I’ll go through a comprehensive assessment of your overall health, medical history, lifestyle, food diary, eating habits, food preferences, allergies and intolerances. I’ll then interpret the results of your genetic test in the context of your lifestyle to develop a dietary plan with actionable steps that will create a high impact in line with your goals. Instead of interpreting complex data, I’ll provide you with a clear report explaining how to optimise your diet according to your genes.
Some of my previous patients have discovered that their genes caused them to metabolise caffeine poorly, struggle with digesting carbs and starch, or have a genetic propensity to overeat in response to stress (based on the expression of their hunger hormones). Identifying and addressing these issues helped them switch to a diet that led to significant weight loss, improved sleep and reduced snacking. In addition, seeing the genetic cause of their symptoms and difficulties with weight gain allowed them to see their differences and struggles empathetically, which improved their mental health and self-esteem.
My approach to treatment
I believe that everyone can benefit from personalised adaptations to their diet. My goal is to offer a compassionate, empathetic and supportive environment where we can proactively work together on achieving your goals. I always want to ensure that dietary plans are realistic and achievable and will recommend a range of strategies to suit your needs and preferences. Often, making simple changes that you can stick to consistently will lead to the biggest improvements. With the right support and information, dietary changes will be easier to implement and maintain than you might expect!
Many of my patients are surprised to learn that I’ve personally struggled with food allergies, intolerances and excess weight. I understand the discomfort and pressure these issues can put on one’s physical and mental health. Fortunately, I discovered that changing my diet, using the latest science and personalised nutrition, could make a life-changing difference to my health and well-being.
You are unique. Your thoughts, feelings, likes and dislikes and personal experiences with food are also unique. That's why your dietary plan needs to be unique too.
During your first consultation, I will gather information about your health and wellbeing, likes, dislikes, typical daily schedule and lifestyle. I want to understand your ideal vision of health and well-being and what this means for you so I can recommend the best dietary plan to help you achieve this. Every aspect and step of your dietary plan will be designed based on your personal goals, using food as your medicine.
When creating your personalised dietary plan, I believe the most effective way to change your diet is through a holistic lifestyle approach. However, I understand that you may need time to work up to significant lifestyle changes. Whilst looking at the big picture, I’ll provide actionable steps and helpful resources tailored to your unique needs. For example, I’ll consider whether you typically make your own food, how often you go out to eat, and strategies that still allow you to enjoy food when travelling or during special occasions. This could include bespoke personalised shopping lists, meal plans, recipes, or specific advice for eating out of the home.
I believe that medication can be an essential part of a health treatment plan. Medications can affect what we and how we need to eat, and diets may need to be modified to accommodate this. If you are following a nutritional ketogenic diet, you might be able to reduce the amount or dosage of medications. However, any medication changes will always be managed in coordination with your wider team of specialists and doctors.
Education & Training
I’m a Specialist Dietitian with over 20 years of clinical experience working with children, teenagers and adults in the NHS and private practice. I’ve treated over 20,000 patients in the UK and Canada. I’m registered with the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
In addition to my clinical work, I’m the Director of Boom House Books, an independent book publishing company. I’ve published two books on family walks in Derbyshire and healthy eating for children, one of which sold over 1,000 copies in a few months. I’m passionate about educating families about health and well-being and enjoy taking complex information and making it accessible for the public and enjoyable to read. I also hold Associate and Visiting Lecturer positions at Sheffield Hallam University and Derby University, where I teach about nutritional assessment, allergies, feeding and eating problems and communication skills for undergraduate and postgraduate dietetic and nursing students.
Regarding my education, I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences in 2001 at the University of Alberta, Canada, and my hospital dietetic training in 2002 in Vancouver and Victoria, Canada. In 2012, I earned a Master’s degree with Distinction in Advanced Dietetic Practice at the University of Nottingham, UK. My Master’s research and dissertation focused on feeding problems in children, which allowed me to hone my research skills further and know when to apply evidence-based research methods to my clinical practice. Finally, I completed a postgraduate clinical accreditation in food and nutrition and genetics (Food and our Genome) in 2021 at Monash University, Melbourne.
I love to travel, cook, read, and spend time with my family. My favourite places on earth are the tops of mountains and under the sea. Snowboarding, hiking, swimming and scuba diving are my favourite sports. I love that I can manage my work around my young children's schedules so I can enjoy watching their growth and development.