Who’s The Expert? And Why?
“I don’t know Jeannette personally; we met briefly at a lecture once when she kindly gave me a copy of her book The Gut Makeover (see info below) which is excellent. Because I believe that gut health is fundamental to so many of us, I wanted to include Jeannette in my ‘Who’s The Expert?’ series so that you could all learn about her excellent work, too.” Amelia
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Jeannette Hyde BSc Nutritional Therapy, mBANT, CNHC
Nutritional Therapist & Author
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Where do you practice?
Where did you train & what are your qualifications?
At University of Westminster where I graduated from with a BSc (Hons) 2.1 in Nutritional Therapy. It was a four-year course based on latest nutrition research in combination with four years’ hands-on experience in a training clinic where people could access low-cost nutritional therapy overseen by tutors. I saw many cases from different walks of life – from people on benefits to barristers. It was a great training ground. Interestingly, the health issues were pretty universal to all whether unemployed or employed. I am also Functional Medicine trained (AFMCP).
What inspired you to work in your area?
Burn out, trouble managing my own weight, and an investigative streak which meant I wanted to learn more about the truth about food to help myself and others.
What do you specialize in?
The gut, which recent research has now established is the control centre of much of our health – from our immune system, to skin, brain, and energy. When the bacteria in the gut, the “microbiome” is healthy and thriving, we feel great. What we eat can have a big impact on it. Weight loss is often, for many people, the delightful side effect of a healthy microbiome.
What are the key problems that clients come to see you with?
I see many women with stressful jobs and IBS; long-running acid reflux/constipation cases, food intolerances, skin complaints, and a few autoimmune disorders;
What has been your most memorable client success story?
These are the ones that instantly come to mind: A lady in her forties who had suffered with severe adult acne since she was a teenager, and had tried many approaches. Her acne has gone, and still gone three years later. Another who has rheumatoid arthritis, and her pain score dropped from 10 (with 10 being the worst end of the scale) to 1, to the point she could go out dancing for a night. Another was a female with a rare Inflammatory Bowel Disease which made going out difficult. She said she “got her life back” for the first time in years. I must stress that in all these cases we worked together as a team for several months working on gut health and improvements were gradual as we tried a variety of personalized dietary approaches to make progress.
What would you say are the three biggest challenges faced by clients in your area of specialty?
- Work schedules which involve travel, change in time zones, different food availability on the road.
- Prioritising self care – many of us have a tendency to put our jobs and families before ourselves.
- Unsupportive family/friends/colleagues. If these are behind you, or even changing lifestyle habits with you, you have such a better chance of success.
How do you help clients to tackle those challenges?
Talking through and visualizing all the hurdles in their busy lives, working actively to read the road ahead and plan to succeed. Success often lies in the food planning so you don’t find yourself stranded with nothing but a vending machine or a petrol station which won’t help you reach your health goals.
Having a script for when people try to sabotage you…can be handy too.
Please describe an average working day in your life.
Every day is different! It can be a morning preparing and doing background work for client meetings, then being in clinic in the afternoon. The next might be writing articles on nutrition for media or updating and editing my book for the US edition which is going to print next week and in shops in May…or sharing new research or food ideas on social media. Or meeting up with St Mary’s University where I’m collaborating with the psychology department on some gut-brain research. Or I might be attending some new training or conference somewhere.
If you could give one piece of advice to everyone reading this interview, what would it be?
Bombard your body with lots of different vegetables and some fruits every day. We are only just learning the importance of diversity in the diet creates diversity of bacteria in the gut for good health. Chop fresh herbs, sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds from a packet, grate a bit of carrot on top of whatever you’re having get into the habit of variety rather than having the same thing every day. Make each plate as colourful as you can.
What is your favourite meal?
Roast chicken, slowly roasted, so it is falling off the bones, rubbed in herbs lemon and extra virgin olive oil (the recipe “Lemon and Rosemary Chicken” is in my book, The Gut Makeover, page 170). The Carrot and Kefir Salad (on page 163) which features cooked grated carrot – I could eat mountains of – and nowadays, I add tahini as well, which isn’t mentioned in the book.
How do you manage your work:life balance
Spending time with family, friends, neighbours. Talking and cooking and eating together. Walking. Yoga. Fresh air. Taking my son to football practice and standing on the sidelines in the rain. Taking a deep bath with Epsom bath salts. Pottering around markets. Playing cards with my husband and teenage children on a Sunday afternoon with a piece of dark chocolate beetroot almond cake and a cup of green tea. I find it’s easy to forget to make time to relax and take time to enjoy life in today’s social media, computer screen facing world!
Is there anything else that you think might be interesting for people to know about you or for anyone considering working with you?
I love Spain and all things (including food) Spanish. This started when I was 13 and started learning Spanish and went there for the first time on an exchange. So I’m mega delighted to be hosting more Gut Makeover Retreats for five nights again this year at the super dooper deluxe Cugó Gran in Menorca. Meals are all Gut Makeover designed, and there are consultations with guests included. It’s a relaxing and delicious environment to start feeding your gut bacteria well. There is cliff-top walking and private pilate, too – jeannettehyde.com/retreats.html
I’m author of two books: The Gut Makeover, and The Gut Makeover Recipe Book. I’m so delighted to see that gut health is really getting into the limelight. The Gut Makeover will also be in North America shortly.
I like interviewing experts … usually in corridors! I left journalism ten years ago for nutrition. I love sharing a new piece of research. It takes on average 17 years for new medical research to reach front line doctors, so I love it when I meet a researcher, or medic at a conference who is at the cutting edge of a subject and they are happy to speak about it on camera for sharing. I then put it online, and we all get the benefit of their wisdom without waiting a long time for the information to trickle down. facebook.com/TheGutMakeover/
Jeannette Hyde BSc Nutritional Therapy, mBANT, CNHC. Visit jeannettehyde.com