Post natal depression & nutrition
Kat D’Andrea – dipNT CNM, mBANT, rCNHC – is a London based specialist in Women’s Hormonal Health & Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist dedicated to helping those who have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis and also those who suffer with PMS.
What inspired you to become a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist – and where do you practice?
I was inspired by my own journey back to health.
I went 7 years without having a period and experienced constant bloating and fatigue, acne, irritability, severe period pains, and an eating disorder.
I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which affected my emotions, moods and ability to concentrate on everyday things. Little did I know at the time that this could all be related to previous stress, lack of vital nutrients and natural nourishment from ‘real food and real rest’.
After a constant battle with my health, I decided to look at other options to help me feel better. I started to think differently and decided to honour my body by listening to what it was trying to tell me. Instinctively, I stopped taking the contraceptive pill and all the various supplements I had been taking to ease my symptoms.
The first thing I did was to feed my body with natural foods and natural remedies. It was amazing how well I felt just from making small changes and carving out time for rest and relaxation.
However, whilst I noticed some improvements, my symptoms would sometimes creep up and I would feel worse than before. This is what’s called a ‘healing crisis’, although I didn’t know that at the time.
Things became so difficult that I was led to making radical changes. I completely changed my job, lifestyle and general outlook on life. I decided to live more holistically. A year after I’d embarked upon these changes, I had a period. I truly believe that lifestyle; faith, stress levels and our mental outlook play a huge part in our body’s ability to recover. Getting sufficient rest is essential to recovery. Truth be told, I’d had years of reduced sleep and excess stress, which I needed to recover from.
Nutritional Therapy and my own faith have helped me achieve a complete recovery. I now have periods every month and no symptoms of PCOS whatsoever. A scan also showed no signs of polycystic ovaries. My recovery has inspired me to help others along their journey through Nutritional Therapy.
What’s your favourite quick, real food supper family recipe?
I like to cook a good lentil dish for the family. Its cost effective, quick and nutrient rich. I believe that most people could do with increasing their vegetable protein intake. So, I tend to cook that for guests as a meat alternative.
Here’s how I make it:
- Fry 1 large red onion, ½ bulb garlic, 2 tablespoons of organic turmeric, pinch of cayenne pepper, paprika, cardamom, paprika, Himalayan salt and black pepper with extra virgin coconut oil for 3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of water and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add in organic passata and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Cook wild red rice for 8 minutes.
- Add pre-cooked puy lentils into the passata sauce mix, along with some beans of your choice (butter or kidney beans work well). Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add a small chunk of creamed coconut and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Lightly fry or steam green leafy veg in a pan with coconut oil (spinach, Swiss chard or kale).
- Serve ½ plate of green veg, ¼ passata lentil mix, ¼ of the cooked wild rice dish and serve with sprinkled coriander and parsley on top.
What three key pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to improve his or her nutrition?
1. Always have something to eat within an hour of rising – a breakfast shake like Purition works well if you have no time or appetite.
2. Always ensure your lunch involves 50% of your plate to be something green like I.e. rocket, watercress, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli.
3. Increase your water intake – it will transform your body!
Can you give us a taster of your exercise regime and how you make time for it?
I like to work out 3 times a week. When I don’t exercise this much, I notice the difference hugely, just in productivity alone.
I love doing the small PT classes at the London Fit Club where my clinic is based. This is a 45-minute series of strength and conditioning, cardio, kettle bells, working legs, bums and tums and circuit training. I love being around people so the group classes give me a boost of energy and are great fun!
I know myself well enough to know that if I fit in too much work and social activities then I won’t have time to exercise, so I always prioritise my health. If I have a busy day ahead then I will wake up earlier, focus on work without any distraction on my phone. Or sometimes I will take a break, exercise and work a little later.
If you really want something, then you will make time for it.
How do you stay focused on healthy eating?
I have a passion for it. I always think, if I am not healthy, then how can I help others around me. I perform at my best when I am healthy and I make it fun by having one day a week where I come up with something different.
If I am having a busy week, then I will ensure I take extra green veggie juices, wheatgrass, ginseng and green leafy veg in all my meals.
Go to post workout meal? Protein shake with a banana, cashews, cacao.
Favourite healthy snack? Home made protein balls.
Energising workout tune? Anything with house music!
Your perfect weekend consists of… Flight out Friday night to an Italian wellness retreat on top of the mountains, full of organic food with just a couple of friends or my husband. Long chats, long walks and amazing food!
Kat D'Andrea's Purition review
“I recommend my clients have protein in their breakfasts in the mornings to help stabilise blood sugar levels, improve mood and transport hormones. Purition is perfect for women’s health!
It's also high in fibre, which helps bind to toxins and eliminate them out of our system. What I particularly love about this natural protein powder is the mineral content magnesium, potassium and selenium from the essential fat in nuts.
Extremely essential for energy throughout the day.”
Kat D’Andrea ∙ Specialist in Women’s Hormonal Health & Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist.
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