Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect at an initial consultation?

Whether you have booked onto a 6 month optimal health and performance programme or a two visit support package for a complex health issue, the approach progresses through at least the 5 steps below:

  1. A call or meeting will be set-up to determine best way to proceed by considering options and goals.
  2. Client completion of a health and nutrition questionnaire (and often a food diary) for review.
  3. Health Embrace aims to thoroughly understand detailed medical, health, lifestyle and exercise history in the 1st consultation. This is to identify systems such as detoxification, digestive, defence or energy systems that may have been challenged throughout life. The approach helps clarify why current symptoms present and also the areas that could benefit from focused improvement.
  4. Individual needs are then evaluated and importantly negotiated with you. The extensive evidence base for nutritional science is utilised for developing personalised recommendations.
  5. Follow up consultations are generally recommended after 4 weeks in order to monitor progress, discuss test results, if relevant and make any necessary adjustments.
How do I find out more about the next steps?

Please feel free to call, email or complete the contact form so that we can arrange a time to discuss your unique requirements and ideas. Personalised packages and programmes to promote optimal health and performance can then be designed around overall goals.

Exclusive to the Oasis Sports and Leisure Centre in Norwich, introductory functional nutritional therapy consultations are currently offered. Also, dietary education consultations and group workshops will be available from February 2014.

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How is nutritional therapy defined?

Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Nutritional therapy practitioners use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual's symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing.

Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a 'one size fits all' approach. Practitioners never recommend nutritional therapy as a replacement for medical advice and always refer any client with 'red flag' signs or symptoms to their medical professional. They will also frequently work alongside a medical professional and will communicate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client's care to explain any nutritional therapy programme that has been provided.

Can you provide more detail on why the approach is termed ‘functional’?

Quite simply, functional nutrition involves looking at nutrients in terms of their function, allowing a broad perspective. Nutrients and multipurpose molecules designed to support life may play more than one role in the body and this can be evaluated based on an individual’s needs. The targeted application of these key substances can then be adapted accordingly. This allows for the numerous essential food components to most effectively help promote optimal health.

An important component in the approach is a questioning of the options. Take fibre for an example - rather than stating x grams are needed per day, when considering its function on an individual basis, there are many possibilities. Questions might include; which type of fibre is needed, how well is it being broken down, what are the benefits of fibre, which processes does it affect and crucially is a particular fibre best performing it’s given role for this particular individual?

What type of functional tests are available?

Health Embrace uses many investigative and diagnostic tests available through private laboratories to help pinpoint and measure targeted strategies. These range from assessments of digestion/absorption function, hormone level balance and nutritional deficiencies to genetic testing and full metabolic function panels. Crucially any potential recommendation takes into account budget, specific requirements and which supportive testing options might be available via the GP or sports club.

Will supplements be included in my programme recommendations?

A large component of any health improvement plan will be an initial diet and lifestyle focus. This often involves reviewing ways to increase healthy foods whilst considering taste, time and preparation techniques to maximise their nutrient content.

High quality supplements may also be recommended on an individual case by case basis. Correcting and improving diet through food intake may not always be enough in the short term. Health Embrace specifically considers the optimum amount of nutrients necessary to promote good health.

It is well recognised that nutrient status has an effect on high performance due to the increased demand, and that sometimes more than food alone is often needed. For example, in a competitive sport scenario, any guidance would take into account factors such as; exposure to pollutants, quality and range of foods eaten, latest research, potential drug-nutrient interactions, anti-doping regulations, and where available testing results.

Can Health Embrace provide other services we might not have read about?

After taking time to understand unique objectives and goals, Health Embrace offers bespoke packages to businesses, individuals and clubs. This covers most aspects of nutrition and health related consultancy, including services not necessarily detailed on this website.

Examples include:

  • Dietary analysis and education
  • Healthy eating campaigns
  • Healthcare programme referrals
  • Corporate presentations
  • Company health reviews
  • Health writing/media services
  • Product development