food

Inspired by the first graduate of dietetics in the UK – Dr Fred Pender!

I had the pleasure this week of meeting Dr Fred Pender the first graduate of dietetics in the UK and author of several textbooks, including the informative Blackwell best seller ‘Clinical Cases in Dietetics’.Fred 3Dr Pender has practiced as a Dietitian at the Murrayfield Hospital since it opened in 1984 and has a very impressive CV. This includes Dietitian in gastroenterology; Chief Renal Specialist; Area Dietitian; a range of teaching posts and presenting his body of work in Boston, San Diego, Assisi, Madrid, Umea, Jerusalem and now Ormskirk in Lancashire!Fred1

I met Dr Pender as he delivered his lecture as part of the Edge Hill Public Lectures Series organised by the University’s Health and Social Care Faculty. His presentation ‘Life is a Minestrone’ provided a fascinating insight in to his role as Lead Specialist Dietitian with the bariatric weight loss service at the Spire Edinburgh Hospitals where he has developed the dietetic arm of the multi-disciplinary team supporting clients who are overweight and obese.Fred 2

Dr Pender talked about the challenges faced by his patients, the different types of bariatric surgery and some of the changes patients experience after surgery including; reduced appetite, a heightened sense of sweetness and smell, and psychological displacement.

As part of the lecture we were all asked to complete a questionnaire to help us explore our relationship with food, and the nutrition students amongst us were encouraged to try to understand other people’s relationship with food too, including taking time to observe people eating in large groups.

The lecture was illuminating from start to finish and Dr Pender closed by highlighting the importance of having a skilled workforce to help address the issue of overweight and obesity. If you are interested his suggestions for good eating behaviour, they were:

  • Eating slowly
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Regular eating
  • Awareness of serving size
  • Varied eating – consuming a range of different ingredients per day, e.g. aim for seventeen
  • Good meal composition

You couldn’t help being inspired by Dr Pender and as I pen my application for a Post Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics at Chester University I’ll be thinking about the difference he’s made during his dietetic career, spanning 30 years.

A big ‘thank you’ goes to Dr Pender for taking the time to come to Edge Hill University and for agreeing to do a ‘posey’ photo for my blog.

Val

Meet Hayley a mother who followed her instinct…

As a nutrition student I love chatting to people about nutrition related health issues. This week I met Hayley Anderson who delivers ‘Walking Away From Diabetes’ sessions at the Skelmersdale Community Food Initiative. Hayley a former Community Nurse, who studied at Edge Hill University, shared with me the story of her son Evan and the concerns she had about his digestive health, from an early age.

Hayley & Evan

Hayley & Evan

Hayley told me that as a baby Evan had suffered from recurring bouts of reflux, projectile vomiting and problems swallowing and how initially this was put down to possetting or common digestive problems.

Having trained as a nurse Hayley was able to question what she was being told by health professionals, and press for an endoscopy to investigate further. The endoscopy revealed that Evan was suffering from a severe case of Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) an allergic / immune condition which causes inflammation or swelling of the oesophagus which is the tube that sends food from the mouth to the stomach.

A 2013 study by Redd & Schey reported that the prevalence of EoE is said to have increased significantly over the past few years, however, it is unclear whether the prevalence is actually increasing or if health professionals are just recognising it more often.

The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) outline that in EoE patients, large numbers of white blood cells called eosinophils are found in the tissue of the oesophagus, where there are normally none. EoE is said to occur at any age and most commonly occurs in Caucasian males.

Evan in hospital

Evan in hospital

The symptoms of EoE are said to vary with age:

  • Babies and toddlers may refuse food or not grow properly.
  • School-age children may suffer from recurring abdominal pain, vomiting or have trouble swallowing.
  • Teenagers and adults most often have difficulty swallowing. The oesophagus can narrow to the point that food gets stuck and is called food impaction which is a medical emergency.The 2013 study referred to earlier, provides details of treatments such as the six food elimination diet which is the treatment being tried by Hayley and Evan. The diet is based on removing those foods groups with the most allergenic potential, namely, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, nuts, and seafood. This diet is less restrictive than elemental / formula diets and does not require the in-depth allergy testing necessary in specific food elimination diets. Studies in adults have shown varied results, which are possibly associated with the degree of compliance to the diet itself. There is evidence from one study of 35 patients with EoE, which found that 74 % of the patients showed improvements both clinically and histologically.
Evan lost weight when he was first born

Evan lost weight when he was first born

I was in a similar position to Hayley before my son was diagnosed coeliac disease, and like Hayley I just knew that there was something wrong and wouldn’t give up. Evan is very lucky to have Hayley as his mum, our concern is that other children may not be so lucky and be suffering unnecessarily.

For me as a Nutrition and Health student this case highlights the importance of ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and keeping up to date with new research findings.

Evan after his diagnosis

Evan now after his diagnosis of Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

Both Hayley and I say to parents everywhere you know your babies better than anyone else, so follow your instincts.

Val

More information on EoE can be found on the following websites: http://www.apfed.org/drupal/drupal/index.php
http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/related-conditions/eosinophilic-esophagitis.aspx
http://curedfoundation.org/site/

http://www.allergyuk.org/childhood-food-allergy/eosinophilic-oesophagitis

Reference:

Redd, M. & Schey, R. (2013) Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Current Treatment, Digestive Diseases and Sciences<spacer.gif>58.3<spacer.gif>

Foodie Pen Pals – delivered a lovely surprise!

I don’t normally like surprises but my ‘foodie pen pals parcel’ is definitely the exception. I recently signed up via the blog ‘thisisrocksalt.com’, and when my very first parcel arrived this month I was over the moon.

IMG_1703.JPGDawn my pen pal this month sent me a lovely card outlining what she had sent which included:

Barenaked Gluten Free noodles – which were featured on Dragons Den and only have 8 calories per 100g serving.

Green and Black’s chocolate bar – when, like Dawn said, anything other than chocolate just won’t do!

Graze Popping Corn – a gluten free treat ready in 40 seconds.

Itsu – pack of three chocolate covered rice cakes, yummy!

Mini caramel syrup – this made a great addition to my camomile tea.

Thespicery – jamaicanmethirsty – a cute little pack of spices to make a refreshing Caribbean cocktail.

Thespicery – ‘Brown Down’ chicken a world kitchen recipe kit. This was my absolute favourite item and my families too. It has a shopping list on the back and an easy to follow recipe inside.

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This gorgeous array of food + the delicious spices = a chicken and mash dinner with a difference.

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The sweet, spicy chicken, sweet potato mash and herby salsa made a great combination.

IMG_1795.JPGWill be making this again….

IMG_1777.JPGAnd again…….
IMG_1801-1.JPGI also enjoyed buying the contents of the parcel that I sent to my pen pal Nikki and I hope she enjoys the goodies (Mallorcan almonds covered in gold leaf, Tabasco and popcorn flavoured jelly beans from Selfridges, Carob for baking, dried physalis berries and gluten free stars) as much as I enjoyed choosing them.

If you are in Europe and you want to join, click on the link below.

I for one can’t wait for next months foodiepenpals surprise!
Thanks again Dawn for my first parcel it was a delight.
Val

A festival in a day!

I’ve always loved the idea of going to a festival but for one reason or another never managed to get to one. On Sunday however that all changed when I got a little taste of festival life and joined 50,000 other Radio 2 listeners at the ‘Festival in a Day’ The sun shone, the atmosphere was amazing and for 10 hours we owned a patch of grass 4msq in London’s Hyde Park!

20140917-215343.jpgThe line up included Paloma Faith, Bellowhead, Kacey Musgrave, Blondie, Chrissie Hyde, Billy Ocean and ELO’s Jeff Lynne who was on stage for his first gig in 28 years. It was great seeing inhibitions disappear and everyone going back to their youth and dancing ‘like nobody was watching’ including me!

20140917-220023.jpgAs a student nutritionist I was interested to see what the quality of the food would be like and it’s fair to say I was expecting a small selection of food outlets with poor quality food. But that wasn’t the case. There were noodle and deli bars, freshly made fish and chips, delicious smelling Churros, but what I didn’t expect was to find a great little gem of a stall called ‘The Honest Carrot‘ selling lovely vegetarian, vegan and gluten free food.

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I went for the halloumi, falafel wrap with chilli sauce which was absolutely delicious! Fiona the owner of ‘The Honest Carrot‘ said they had been trading at all the major festival with their biggest success being the Reading festival.

20140917-125959.jpgIt was great to see tasty, nutritious food on sale, and I’m glad I don’t need to wait for my next festival to enjoy what The Honest Carrot had to offer because I can order online for delivery to my door. That said, I don’t think you can beat picnicking on a sunny day, glass of wine in hand, accompanied by great company and great music.
Happy memories.😀
Val

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I’m an artist!……….

I’ve been on holiday this week in the Balearic Island of Mallorca. It was sunny, there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere, the sea was crystal clear and the food superb.

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Now I don’t know whether it’s this combination that makes your skin glow or if it’s purely the Mediterranean diet, but either way I loved it. Here’s a selection of what we ate, with special thanks to my sister Pam, who when she isn’t taking pictures of cats, takes a mean foodie pic.20140913-120154.jpg
Photographing food is the norm in my house, as I don’t think you can beat an original image to sit along side your nutritional musings. Generally my family and close friends accept that they are not allowed to eat or drink until I’ve got the right shot, which usually takes a few attempts. I thought I may attract attention in the beautiful surroundings of the Hotel I’ll a Dor and restaurants in and around Puerto Pollensa, but nobody batted an eyelid, I guess that’s the Tw-insta-book’ phenomenon!

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Come to think of it, the only place anyone has ever commented on this unusual hobby / obsession, is the
Manchester Art Gallery, when I whipped out my iPad to take a couple of pictures of a sugar bowl with a lovely array of sugar cubes, (no it wasn’t a display it was an actual sugar bowl on the refreshments table) and a member of the catering team said with a look of pure disdain “you’re taking a picture of sugar”. I replied “I’m an artist” and flounced off. One of my colleagues had commented earlier, that I was looking very bohemian that day, so I think I might just have got away with it!
To see a real food artist click on the following link to look at some amazing foodscapes by Carl Warner :
http://www.carlwarner.com/foodscapes/

I’m no Carl Warner, but I hope you enjoy the images, we certainly enjoyed what’s in them.

Val
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