Tanya Borowski works privately with clients from her clinic on Harley Street, specializing in a functional medicine approach to health care. She works mainly in the area of digestive and gluten related issues, immune and auto-immunity, thyroid health – being 1 of only a handful of practitioners in the UK to have undergone postgraduate training with Dr Datis Kharrizan, the leading integrative Dr in this area, and fatigue syndromes such as CFS.
“At its core, my diet is a plant-based diet, with two thirds or more of my plate covered with plant foods and only one third with animal foods and some lovely fats and fresh herbs for flavour. Of course, meat consumption is enthusiastically endorsed as well because it provides vital nutrients not obtainable from plant sources. Sourcing the highest quality food you can is encouraged, meaning choosing grass-fed or pasture-raised meat, wild-caught seafood, and local organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible”.
1. Eat organic as often as possible. Check with the Environmental Working Group as they change and update the “Dirty Dozen” list every year.
2. Shop local: I recommend buying meat from a local butcher (know where your meat comes from), use farmers markets and veg box schemes for your produce and proteins. Riverford and Abel & Cole also do some really lovely delivery schemes.
3. Limit food choices that contain a food label on a box, packaged in a bag, or plastic wrapper- eat real whole food as often as possible.
4. Animal proteins: make sure its beef from grass-fed cows, wild caught fish (not farm raised) and “happy” chicken i.e.: organic and not kept in cages.
5. Increase your fibre intake. No, not from fake fibre supplements, from real food! Fruits, vegetables, tubers (sweet potatoes and yams). Aim for 8 serves of vegetables a day and 2 fruits. Plants contain phytochemicals and these “chemicals” have so many health benefits: anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, aid liver detoxification pathways, modulate the gut microbiome…. See too many to mention, but my all time favourite, if I had to name it –broccoli!
6. Stop overcooking your food, especially vegetables! This denatures and destroys most of the sensitive nutrients and enzymes, especially vitamin C.
7. Gluten: in or out? Well, my overall recommendation is out. If you have an autoimmune condition, inflammation or looking to lose weight definitely take it out. Replace with wholegrain: rice, quiona, oats and buckwheat – and don’t become a gluten free junkie i.e.: buying refined packet foods and bread that is full of other inflammatory starches and additives. Definitely however remove wheat, it plays havoc with blood sugar and is responsible for many gut issues from constipation to bloating.
8. Limit dairy. Most dairy is produced with unethical farming practices and contains a host of chemicals, hormones- if you do consume dairy, opt for organic and farm fresh.
9 Toss the refined sugars. If you want to live with inflammation- continue using. If your goal overall health or even fat loss, cut.them.out.
10. If artificial precedes another word- get rid of it! (Artificial fillers, sweeteners, preservatives, etc.)
11. Add (raw) apple cider vinegar to your meals throughout the day to aid in digestion.
12. Cook/prepare your own food as much as possible.
13. If you drink alcohol, do it responsibly- on special occasions, not on a weekly basis and be sure to drink plenty of water alongside.
14. Don’t fear the fat! Especially saturated fat (coconut oil, ghee, etc.): Try using coconut oil (the unfiltered, cold pressed, virgin kind) it contains a “super fuel molecule” called beta-hydroxybutyrate -special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain.
15. Nuts and seeds offer great health benefits, but they’re also high in calories. Be mindful if overall fat loss is your goal.
16. Speaking of nuts, if you have digestive “issues”, limit them or use soaked until the gut is healed (I have a specific gut-healing plan for my clients).
17. Omega-3’s are your best friend. Find them in foods like salmon, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed; or in supplement form (fermented cod liver oil is great).
18. Unless you have severe blood sugar issues, don’t snack between meals. Leaving 4-5 hours in-between meals also triggers that super molecule – beta-hydroxybutyrate- again and stimulates fat burning.
19. Condiments: If you can’t pronounce an ingredient on the list- don’t eat it. Stick with more natural items (fresh herbs, mustard, guacamole, etc.).
20. Drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day- until your urine is pale yellow/clear.