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Student News Bulletin

Belatedly, we’re hoping you all had a much-needed and restful break over Easter, and managed to soak up some of this glorious sun. There’s only a few months left of the academic year – keep going! For some relevant distractions, we’re telling you about our next free BANT student webinar on Wednesday 26th April and highlighting the fabulous education day courses run by ION in Richmond. Also, consider becoming a student rep. Our team needs you!


Free Student Network webinar: ‘Introduction to Nutritional Genomics’

If, like me, the words Nutritional Genomics reminds you how little you think you know (not true, by the way), perhaps you should tune in to the next webinar, on Wednesday 26th April at 11am, which tackles this subject head on. Dr Eve Pearce will cover epigenetics, nutrigenomics and the influence of diet, lifestyle and environment on gene expression. To refresh your memory, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are small changes in the DNA code that can have an impact on overall health and wellness. We cannot change our genes, but, thanks to epigenetics, we now know that genes are not our destiny. Genetics can be modified and managed through lifestyle and nutrition.

Click here to book your place or e-mail Alma at [email protected] by Monday 24th April 2017.

To find out more about the subject before the webinar, you can watch this TED talk and read this paper.


The Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) food and public education days 

Did you know that ION run fabulous day classes in Richmond on a number of different and highly relevant subjects? The ones we have attended so far have been incredibly useful, and varied: Fabulous Foods for Children’s Health, Fabulous Foods for Digestive Health, Eat Right for Coeliac Disease, and more. Belinda Blake, Jane Nodder, Christine Bailey and Carole Granger are among the regular, highly respected presenters. The days are relaxed but focused and provide an opportunity to get the latest, up-to-date information in combination with tastings and, usually, cookery demonstrations. Typically lasting from 10am to 4pm they are always interactive and have provided us with far more than we expected.

There’s enough time to sign up for the FODMAPs diet and education day on Wednesday 10th May with Christine Bailey. If, like us, you have had to follow the FODMAPs diet as a requirement of your course, you’ll understand how difficult it is to enjoy meals on this challenging and restrictive regime. This day should enable you, as a student practitioner and later when you are qualified, to gain a deeper understanding of the diet and enable you to make creative meal suggestions and recipes. It is this practical support that clients need and will benefit from so greatly.

The day costs £120 to students (with ID proof), and takes place at The Institute for Optimal Nutrition, from 10am to 4pm at ION HQ (Ambassador House, Paradise Road, Richmond). Click here for more information about the education days, and here for the FODMAP day. As students keen to do well academically, we have our eye on the Eat Right for Brain Health in October…


Consider becoming a BANT College Student Representative

The Student Network Team is tirelessly working towards getting BANT students more in touch with each other, to develop a community and support network, and to be more engaged with BANT as a whole, now and in the future. To that end, we aim to have at least one BANT student rep established at each of the accredited colleges. BANT student reps are a key point of contact within each college, receiving feedback and offering advice and signposting to BANT resources for all student members. It is a great opportunity to find out more about what BANT is doing.  Plus, meeting students from other training providers is hugely enjoyable and is good practice for the networking we will all rely on once we are qualified. Specifically, we are looking for students from ION, BCNH and the Northern College of Acupuncture. Come and join the team!

We understand that studying takes up most of our spare time, so this is an opportunity that one or more students per college can take up, to share the load. If you are interested, e-mail Catherine: [email protected] who will be happy to tell you all about it. Don’t be shy…


…and don’t go yet – if you have any recipes, reviewsbook recommendations or comments , or there’s something you’d like to see, please send it to [email protected] or post it here in our LinkedIn page (BANT Student Network). Don’t forget twitter (@BANTonline) and our Facebook account (BANT Members Group). We’d love to hear from you!

Student News Bulletin

It’s coming up to the end of term time so many of us will have a lot of assignments and/or exams. So, this will be a short and sweet bulletin focusing on one future event and one from the recent past, and finishing off with an Easter treat.

IHCAN Conference on ‘Inflammation and Antioxidants’ 

The upcoming IHCAN Conference (formerly CAM Conference), ‘Inflammation and Antioxidants’ is taking place on 22 April 2017 at Cavendish Conference Centre, London.

Two world-renowned experts will take the stage throughout the day – Dr Thomas Levy, MD, JD, and Professor Stig Bengmark, MD, PhD.  Dr Levy will present ‘The Cause of All Disease: A Unified Theory’ and ‘Vitamin C and Infection: The Ultimate Antibiotic’, while Professor Bengmark will present ‘Choosing Health – Honour your intestinal microflora, so that you may live long’ Parts I & II.

The conference will be accredited 4.5 CPD hours from BANT, and all attendees will receive a goody bag and a free, three course gluten-free buffet lunch, as well as refreshments throughout the day.

To find out more and book head to


Making the most of your BANT Student Membership 

Did you miss last week’s webinar? Catherine Pohl and Barbara Powell ­ presented the webinar ‘Making the most of your BANT Student Membership’ which provided information to understand and give information about what BANT is doing for students, how to get the most out of your student membership and to feel connected to the profession from the commencement of your studies. BANT student membership includes a wide variety of benefits, from access to Local Networks which provide networking and knowledge sharing opportunity’s with practitioners and students in your area, to Regional Branch Meetings, as well as access to the BANT Professional Practice Handbook in support of your clinical studies. In addition, there are discounts from a whole host of providers. To find out what BANT is doing for students, how to benefit from your membership, and to watch the recording, click here.

Almond Rocky Roads, from Naturally Sassy

Easter is coming so if you feel the need to indulge in something healthy that tastes naughty, this could be the trick. It’s packed full of almonds that are chock full of the antioxidant vitamin E.


2 cups Medjool dates

2 cups almonds

3/4 cup almond butter

3/4 cup coconut oil

1 cup cacao powder

1 cup sultanas

6 oatcakes (dry oat biscuits)


1)  Pitt the dates and add them them to a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 3-5 minutes until the dates are soft. Drain the water and add the dates into the blender.

2)  Melt the coconut oil and add it to the blender with the almond butter and cacao. Blend up until a smooth mixture. Pour out of the blender into a mixing bowl and let it cool.

3)  Add the whole almonds and sultanas to the bowl and stir into the chocolate mix.

4)  Break up the oatcakes into thumb nail sized pieces and add to the mixing bowl.

5)  Give the mix a really good stir, and pour into a brownie tin.

6)  Place in the freezer for 60 minutes until totally hard and crunchy, and store in the fridge.

7)  Slice, serve and enjoy

From Naturally Sassy, enjoy the YouTube demonstration here

Don’t go yet – if you’ve got any recipes, reviews, book recommendations or comments, or there’s something you’d like to see, please send it to [email protected], or post in our LinkedIn page here

Student News Bulletin

This fortnight’s news is here! Read on for information about an up-coming student webinar about member benefits on 30th March, a fantastic online SIBO course by Dr Seibecker (with a discount to students), an update following the BANT AGM on Saturday 18th March, and a book that might help advance your therapeutic touch in training clinic and beyond…

Free BANT Student Network Webinar: ‘BANT – Making the most of your BANT Student Membership – Member Benefits, Discounts and Offers’ 

Tune in to our next BANT Student Network Webinar with Barbara Powell and our own Catherine Pohl from the Student Network Team, titled ‘BANT – Making the most of your BANT Student Membership – Member Benefits, Discounts and Offers’.

This will take place on Thursday 30th March from 7.30-8.30 pm. As always, it is free and exclusive to BANT student members!

During the webinar, Barbara and Catherine will explain how to get the most out of your student membership and how to feel connected to the profession from the commencement of your studies. BANT student membership includes a variety of benefits, from access to Local Networks which provide networking and knowledge sharing opportunities with practitioners and students in your area, to Regional Branch Meetings as well as access to the BANT Professional Practice Handbook in support of your clinical studies. In addition, there are discounts from a whole host of providers. So to find out what BANT is doing for you and how you can benefit from your membership, click here to book your place or e-mail Alma or Becky at [email protected] by Monday 27th March 2017.

Click here to see the full list of benefits on the BANT website.

Dr Allison Siebecker’s online, certified SIBO course

If small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, is an area that interests you, consider signing up for this 4-week training course given by the renowned SIBO specialist Dr Siebecker. The in-depth course covers everything from the basics to the pathophysiology and functional assessment of the conditions, delivered in live, weekly webinar classes on Wednesdays from 4-6pm. These will be recorded and will accompany electronic hand-outs, supporting material and Q&A. At the end of the 4 weeks, a simple multiple-choice test will certify the 8 hours of SIBO education and CPD.

Run by Invivo Clinical and hosted by their SIBO expert, Tanya Borowski, the course will run from 3rd to 24th May 2017, and costs £149. BUT students get a 10% discount! As well as being highly qualified, Dr Siebecker has specialised in SIBO for seven years and her work focuses solely on SIBO, so there really is no better person to learn from.

For more information and to book, follow this link. To learn more about SIBO, Dr Siebecker and her amazing work, click this link.

Update following the BANT AGM 

The annual BANT AGM that was held on Saturday 18th March provided a useful insight into BANT in its 20th year, ongoing initiatives and further projects. Of particular interest were:

  1. BANT Regulations and Stakeholder Engagement Director, Sarah Green, brought us up-to-date on BANT’s work establishing functional dietetics as an alternative dietetics model, leading to Health Care and Professionals Council (HCPC) registration. Currently, BANT members are regulated voluntarily by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), but once these courses are designed and approved, BANT will commence working on grand parenting routes for existing Nutritional Therapists to qualify for HCPC regulation, affording them the same advantages as dieticians.
  2. BANT Supervision Manager, Helen Monk, updated us about the development of the BANT Supervision Groups. Particularly relevant for us students are those running at the Training Providers for final year students, giving them an idea of what supervision is about, how it is structured, and how groups are run. ION are running an online session on 4th July and an attendance session in Richmond on 13th July. More information will be released closer to the time about those and others taking place at different training providers.
  3. Emma Hendricks, BANT’s Centre of Excellence Manager, unveiled information about a Nutrition Evidence Database that is to be launched later this year. The database will be invaluable for students (and NTs, of course) in helping to find and understand the scientific nutrition papers we need and use. That should help us with our assignments!
  4. Catherine Pohl, Training Liaison Manager for our BANT Student Network Team (SNT), described how the SNT is expanding yet again to further support students. Details of up-coming webinars between now and July, an initiative to recruit student reps from all training providers to help improve the communication between the providers and BANT, and plans to improve the resources available to students were discussed.

Do watch out for the link to the AGM recording, which will be posted here as soon as it is available.

‘Magic in Practice’ by Garner Thomson

It’s all to do with the first 30 seconds, apparently, according to Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner and trainer, Garner Thomson in his updated edition of ‘Magic in Practice‘. This book aims to expand and enhance the quality and effectiveness between healthcare professionals and their clients by establishing effective rapport and concordance – an ideal book to study if either you are soon to start training clinic or your own clinic. It costs £24.99 but is currently on offer at £19.98 on Amazon. Click here to view.

Don’t go yet – if you’ve got any recipes, reviews, book recommendations or comments, or there’s something you’d like to see, please send it to [email protected]

Student News Bulletin

In this issue we continue to look to the future with another webinar with information for the all-important life after study, a new look at an old diet and a recipe to celebrate chocolate season (aka Valentine’s Day).

Free BANT Student Network Webinar: ‘Evidence Based Practice vs. Personalised Practice’

We would like to invite you to our next BANT Student Network Webinar with Michelle Barrow titled “Evidence based practice vs. Personalised practice”. On Thursday 23rd of February from 7:30 – 8:30 pm, the webinar is free and exclusive to BANT student members!

The webinar explores the meanings of evidence-based and personalised practice.  Evidence based medicine has had numerous criticisms over the last few years but does personalised medicine provide the answers?  We’ll explore various meanings of ‘personalised nutrition’, one being personalised to the individual’s needs and another that refers to genetic profile based interventions. The strengths, limitations and ethical consideration of personalised, evidence-based, nutrition practice will be reviewed. More questions may be raised than answered, but these questions are essential for informed practice.

An engaging speaker, Michelle has a first class degree in Nutritional Therapy, a Masters (MSc) degree in Evidence-Based Practice and is currently studying for a professional doctorate (DProf) at Middlesex University. As well as running a private practice Michelle works as Head of Education at the Centre of Nutrition Education and Lifestyle Management (CNELM).

Click here to book your place or e-mail Alma or Becky at [email protected] by Friday 17th February 2017

Joy Skipper’s previous webinar ‘Beyond Nutritional Therapy’ be viewed here 

Reducing Dietary Acid Load

US researchers published a review in Advances for Chronic Kidney Disease that postulated that humans consumed a predominantly alkalising food throughout most of our evolution. Hence, “humans may be poorly adapted to contemporary acid-inducing diets”. It was suggested that dietary “acid-inducing foods, such as meats, eggs, cheese and cereal grains, and base-inducing foods, such as fruits and vegetables” should be balance to mitigate further kidney damage, potential bone and muscle loss and ageing. However, it was highlighted that further studies with hard outcomes are needed to determine benefits of a food-based approach.

Read the full article here

Raw Cacao and Maca Superfood Vegan Truffles

This recipe comes courtesy of Alice Benskin, a CNELM graduate.

IngredienRecipe pic (160 x 160)ts:
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1/2 cup of maca powder
1/2 cup of raw cacao powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup of goji berries and mixed seeds
1 tsp of tahini paste

Melt coconut oil and mix maca and cacao powder together. Then add the turmeric, pomegranate, goji berries, mixed seeds and tahini. Stir together until thick paste and then shape into round balls. Place in the fridge for 10 -20 mins.

If you’ve got any recipes, comments or there’s something you’d like to see, send it to [email protected]

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Student News Bulletin

In our bulletin this fortnight, get organised for the months ahead with some suggestions for events and seminars by the Student Network Team, follow a link to the latest Functional Forum on YouTube and a reminder of the next BANT student webinar on 24th January.

Student Events

Lamberts give regular Practitioner Seminars by well-known speakers such as Marilyn Glenville and Lorraine Nicolle. At about £37.50 each, they are ideal for strapped students. Plus, the seminars are taking place around the country from Edinburgh to Brighton making it easier for us all to benefit. In the ‘Female Hormones’ seminar, Lorraine Nicolle will be guiding us on how to identify female hormone imbalances by identifying and supporting the most influential biochemical pathways. Also, the ‘Autoimmune Conditions’ seminar proves to be an interesting and useful day. The brilliant and humorous Shoela Detsois will be discussing the genetic susceptibilities, environmental triggers and biochemical mediators that drive autoimmunity, and how to support them with diet and supplementation. Here is the link to the list of venues and seminar topics. To view it you may need to register with Lamberts if you haven’t already.

Genova Diagnostics give extremely valuable talks on a range of their tests that help deepen insight and understanding on how to use them to enhance our clinical practice. On Thursday 7th February, Jo Gamble will evaluate the biomarkers used in the GI Effects stool test, a really useful test we will probably be relying on a good deal in clinic, so it’s worth getting ahead. She will unpick and explain the various biomarkers involved and will use case studies to help demonstrate their clinical relevance. Click here to book. Tickets cost £99. The seminar is from 9.30am until 4.30pm, at Kensington Close Hotel, W8 5SP.

CAM Conferences are extremely well attended for good reason: they draw speakers at the top of their profession who offer the most up-to-date insight into their specialism. The chance to mingle and network with other Nutritional Therapists and students is extremely valuable, as is the opportunity to try out new products at the stands during breaks. The gluten-free buffet lunch is included and is always pretty scrumptious. Plus, there’s a free goodie bag. Topics this year include ‘Nutrients and gene expression’, ‘Antioxidants’, ‘Autoimmunity’, ‘Functional Sports Medicine’, ‘Gut health’ and ‘Ageing’. Frankly, they all sound indispensable. Each seminar costs £95, but book before 10th February for the early bird price of £86. There are discounts, too. BANT members get 15% off while students get 10%. Click here for the booking form.

Functional Forum

The Functional Forum was set up by James Maskell, author of the brilliant book ‘The Evolution of Medicine’. It’s a monthly conference for Functional Medicine practitioners around the world to tune in to learn the latest news, research, health technology and practise development. It’s a modern delivery and engaging to watch, and there’s usually a topic – this month’s was Mental Health. For the first time the forum was held in London, at the Royal Society of Medicine. James Maskell is working hard to bring positive change to modern healthcare for both physicians and patients. We are not trainee primary care physicians, but it will be valuable for our practise as Registered Nutritional Therapists to have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the healthcare system. Here is the link to watch this month’s forum on YouTube.

BANT student webinar – ‘Beyond Nutritional Therapy’

Don’t forget the next BANT student webinar is on Tuesday 24th January at 7pm. Joy Skipper will be discussing what to consider once our courses are over. For those of us in our final years of studying, it will be a helpful look ahead to life after our studies. It’s not too late to register: email [email protected].

If you’ve got any comments or there’s something you’d like to see, contact us: [email protected]pandora charms

Student News Bulletin

Welcome to 2017!  In our first bulletin for the year we’ve included some of the top New Year tasks. There’s membership renewal if you haven’t done it already. The perfectly timed new BANT detox for life poster below. And the latest free webinar recording.

2017 Membership Renewals Now Open

The BANT 2017 online membership renewal process is now open and you have until 31st January 2017 to renew your membership.

Renewal Deadline is 31st January 2017

Please note that if you fail to renew during this period your membership will become inactive and you will incur additional charges should you wish to renew at a later date. Refer to the BANT website for further information on these charges.

Click here to renew your Student Membership – If you are a Student Member and still enrolled on your course, you will also have to renew your membership.

BANT Member Benefits, Offers & Discounts

To revisit the many benefits of being a BANT member, please visit the website here.

BANT Releases Detox for Life Poster – Detox for Life, Not Just Post Christmas

Detoxification, the January BUZZ word! In January people are turning their minds to improving their health after the many indulgences of the festive season. Detoxification is a biochemical process that takes place within every cell in our body on a continual basis, not just during the quick-fix detox diets that detoxification is commonly associated with. The British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) experts have crafted a ‘Detox 4 Life’ infographic, based on the latest science and research in the field of nutrition that summarises the detoxification approach BANT registered practitioners consider when guiding their clients toward optimal health. Read more here

Candidiasis: aitiology and treatment (with Dr G. Georgiou)

Free Webinar Recording available

Dr George Georgiou of the renown holistic health centre in Cyprus will present a comprehensive approach in dealing with candida after covering its most common causes and triggers. Thanks to all those that attended the webinar by Dr Georgiou before the Christmas break.  Find the recording here.

If you have not registered this is your chance to register now and watch the recording in your own time.  You’ll need your membership number to register.

The next student webinar will be looking at life after our studies: Beyond nutritional therapy. It is taking place on 24th of January at 7pm with Joy Skipper. Watch out for registraton details.

If you’ve got any comments or there’s something you’d like to see, contact us: [email protected]

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Student News Bulletin

In this extended issue there are details on a free BANT webinar focusing on skills for future practice,  we highlight a useful blog by the University of the West of London and an unusual but delicious way of cooking Brussels sprouts. Also, a reminder that BANT student memberships expires at the end of the year.

Free BANT Student Network Webinar: ‘Beyond Nutritional Therapy’, Tuesday 24th January at 7.00pm with Joy Skipper

You’re invited to our next BANT Student Network Webinar with Joy Skipper, ‘Beyond Nutritional Therapy’ on Tuesday 24th January from 7.00-8.00 pm. The webinar is free and exclusive to BANT student members! Click here to book your place or e-mail Alma or Becky at [email protected] by Tuesday 17th of January.

Studying for your degree or diploma is the first step towards a new career, and the hard work doesn’t stop there. The next step is finding your niche, and finding work! In Joy’s experience, most Nutritional Therapists have a second string to their bow – something else that supports their new knowledge. For Joy it was a history of working with food and competing internationally in sports – with these contacts she could spread her wings and diversify into other areas that included nutrition.

If you don’t have your ‘niche’ yet and need some ideas to find it, this webinar aims to show you how to think outside of the box, and have fun whilst finding new clients.

There will be a chance to ask questions at the end of the webinar. Visit this page if you would like to ask Joy any questions prior to the webinar.

Recordings of previous student webinars are here on the Student Member section of the BANT website.

UWL Food and Nutrition Blog

This blog, set up earlier this year, is a useful platform for students to discuss and reflect on food and nutrition, health and wellbeing. Already there are posts ranging from summaries of recent symposiums, discussions about topical health issues such as orthorexia, general diets and specific nutrients. The posts are written by students and lecturers. So do keep your eye on this helpful resource.

Brussels sprouts with ginger, garlic and tamari

We are all enjoying the humble sprout now that they are in season, knowing, as we do, how supportive they can be for our health.  Especially as we indulge in the run up to Christmas. Here is a delicious and unusual method for preparing them.

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, according to taste, crushed
  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger, skin left on if organic, grated
  • 500g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut to similar sizes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
  • Sesame oil, for drizzling
  • Fresh coriander, roughly chopped, to finish

Melt the oil or ghee in a wide, thick-bottomed pan that has a lid, over a low heat. Add the garlic and ginger and warm through gently. After two minutes, tip in the sprouts, shake them about and stir them so they are covered with the garlicky, gingery mixture, splash in some water (a tablespoon or two), and cook for about 5-10 minutes with the lid on – you want them al dente. Timings will vary according to the  size and pan used. Do check them because the last thing you want is over done sprouts. They should give on the outside but have a firm centre when you stick in the point of a knife. Pour over the tamari, sprinkle over a little sesame oil and the coriander, and serve.

A reminder that BANT membership expires soon

BANT student membership runs out on 31st December 2016, in just under two weeks. Don’t forget that as a BANT student member we get FREE access to the invaluable Natural Medicines Database (normally $299), access to excellent member and student webinars (as above), CAM magazine at a lower subscription rate, reductions on tests, and more. Click here to see the list in full. An email will be sent out on 1st January 2017 with instructions on how to renew – so do look out for it!

Best wishes and a very Merry Christmas,

The BANT Student Network Team

If you’ve got any comments or there’s something you’d like to see, contact us: [email protected] air max 95

Student News Bulletin

In this bulletin we look at the research on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, we give you information on the up-coming webinar that we’re really looking forward to and the super quick, brain boost, guilt-free snack recipe to power you through this hectic end of term time.

Effect of DHA supplementation in a very low-calorie ketogenic diet in the treatment of obesity

This trial, published in Endocrine, compared the effects of a very low calorie ketogenic (VLCK) diet to VLCK diet supplemented with docosahexenoic acid (DHA) over a six month period.  Both groups lost around the same amount of weight and saw a positive impact on some cholesterol and inflammation markers. However, the group supplemented with DHA had further improvements in anti-inflammatory markers.  The authors stated, “[this] demonstrated that a very low-calorie ketogenic diet supplemented with DHA was significantly superior in the anti-inflammatory effect”. Read more here

Free BANT Student Webinar – ‘Putting you in the picture about nucleotides and their role in human health – Nucleotides: Nutrition’s best kept secret’ – Monday 14th November at 7.30pm

Join us for our next BANT Student Webinar on ‘Putting you in the picture about nucleotides and their role in human health – Nucleotides: Nutrition’s best kept secret’.

The webinar will take place on Monday 14 November from 7.30-8.30pm. The webinar is free and exclusive to BANT student members!

To book you place please see the email we recently sent you or contact the Student Webinar Team at [email protected].

Quick and health chocolate brownies

For those of us facing end of term exams and assignment deadlines here’s the quickest, simplest brownie recipe you’ll ever see!  Its choc-full of magnesium and flavanoids which have been linked to improved cognitive performance (Nehlig, 2013).


  • 50g         ground almonds
  • 50g         cocoa powder
  • 120g       almond butter or nut butter of choice
  • 120g       maple syrup
  • 150g       pumpkin/butternut squash puréed


  • Line a baking dish
  • In a mixing bowl mix ground almonds and cocoa together
  • In a saucepan melt almond butter and maple syrup together
  • Add puréed squash to the saucepan and mix until combined
  • Pour squash mixture into ground almonds and mix until combined
  • Pour into prepared baking dish and refridgerate for at least 1 hour

For extra nutrition add chopped walnuts (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) into the mix or whatever you fancy, enjoy!

If you’ve got any comments or there’s something you’d like to see, contact us: [email protected]


Nehlig, A., 2013. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Available at:

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Claire Foss, The Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION)

Having travelled to Australia in my 20’s to ‘find myself’, I discovered a wonderful Naturopath and decided this was a career route that appealed to me. Together with a dislike of the orthodox system (years of visiting doctors with ear problems and excessive amounts of antibiotics), I believed there must be a natural alternative to prescription drugs.

Fast forward fifteen years and here we are. Two children, a job, a house and a partner to add to the mix, it seemed a perfect time to embark on my ‘natural’ journey.

The Science Access course was a steep learning curve coupled with an undiscovered love of science, which I’m now trying to pass onto my son. The lecturer, Jack, was lovely, but at times I wanted to scream ‘I have no idea what you are talking about’! Other times I just wanted to cry. I ploughed on through, receiving a fantastic mark for the chemistry section of the course.

I happily skipped through year one, the only hiccup was me thinking I had every ailment we were currently learning about. This subsided and my fears are now focused on the teaching clinic!

Year two has been the most challenging, at times thinking the stress of the workload was actually going to kill me. That said, it’s great to meet every month with like-minded people, whom like me, don’t want to eat gluten. Not because it makes us bloat but because of all the other reactions it ‘may’ cause.

I am now in my third year, on occasions I felt like I was drowning in life, study and work. As I embark on the final stretch, there’s excitement (I’ve almost completed the course, can change my career and practice nutrition professionally),  trepidation (the training clinic awaits me) and a tinge of sadness that this will be my final year of monthly weekends in London, fun and laughter with new friends and regular visits to Itsu.

It has been hard work and a significant financial commitment but it has genuinely changed my life, my family’s (and some friends’) lives. What I have learnt during this process I now apply day-to-day, reaping the benefits emotionally and physically. I am excited by the prospect of practising nutrition professionally, making a real difference to the health and wellbeing of others.

Claire Foss is a 3rd year student on the Diploma of Nutritional Therapy  (DipION) at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. She is also a student member of BANT and volunteers as a BANT student rep. If you would like to write a story for the Student Spotlight, please email us at [email protected]

Sarah Dumont-Gale, Institute for Optimal Nutrition

My journey to study Nutritional Therapy started for me when I was 18 and living in Spain, away from home for the first time.  A row of tequilas was my pre-drinking tipple and my kitchen cupboards were bare apart from a few packet of crisps, just incase my hangover wasn’t at code red and I could stomach some salty snacks. I am happy to say that this life binge was short lived, but after finishing university and going back home my body made me pay the price.  I spent the next few years feeling sluggish, in pain, with a low mood even though I ate what I thought was a balanced diet, and exercised.  I had a regular date with the doctor and each time he fobbed me off with more painkillers for the headaches or nausea tablets for my growling stomach.  I was even offered anti-depressants, which I immediately declined.  After almost a year I broke off my relationship with the doctor, as it just wasn’t working, and it was definitely him not me.

I then sought out a Nutritional Therapist who suggested a food intolerance test.  My test came back flagging gluten, dairy and eggs, and whilst I was relieved to finally have an action plan, my first question was ‘HOW AM I GOING TO EAT?!’.  It was a shock to the system but with the help of my Nutritional Therapist, a lot of research and self-experimentation (and failed recipe testing), I have slowly refined my diet and started to heal my body.

My own healing and the amazement of what food can do, fuelled my want to learn more about this amazing subject, which lead me to enrol with the Institute for Optimum Nutrition.  I am simply fascinated at what the body is capable of and how harmoniously it can function when provided with the correct fuel.   Along side this, I have a passion to help people just as I was helped, so hopefully one day I can inspire someone, just as I was inspired.

Sarah is currently studying with the Institute of Optimum Nutrition (eNTDC) and has just started year two of the Nutritional Therapy Diploma Course after first completing the Science Access Course.