However troubled someone’s relationship with food and their body is, people can be helped to heal. This belief, with a commitment to compassion and respect, are the cornerstones of my practice.
My approach, the Well Now way, helps people address poor body confidence and end yo-yo dieting. It works by helping people let go of body shame, and make sense of their eating. It integrates self-care and nutrition science.
This means it can be helpful for anyone with digestive problems such as IBS or generalised gut discomfort, or PCOS. This is because digestive problems may benefit from enhanced body-mind connection, and stress regulation, and mindfulness and compassion are integral to the dietary input.
Anyone with personal or professional experience of mental health difficulties may likewise recognise the value of this approach to recovery.
The Well Now way helps people learn new ways to take care of themselves as they trust their body signals, listen to their emotions, and gain fresh perspectives on food and health. Paradoxically, those who have spent a lifetime dieting or battling ‘unhealthy eating’ habits find this gentle approach to food and self-care works for them where rules and nutrition facts have failed them time and again.
My approach is suitable for people of all shapes and sizes who want to feel more relaxed about food and confident they are doing the best they can to take care of themselves, including managing diet-related conditions (blood pressure, heart health, diabetes, IBS etc). It builds body awareness through teaching people how to tune in to body signals like hunger, taste, energy levels, and by combining mindfulness. It helps people keep food and eating in perspective by drawing on a bigger picture of health. Uniquely, it helps people make sense of non-lifestyle, or social, determinants of well-being. It’s effective, ethical, evidence-based and life changing for clients and practitioners alike.
I am pleased to offer support for people with specific issues (such as weight concerns, yo-yo dieting, eating disorders/troubled eating, body shame, IBS, constipation, digestive problems, coeliac disease, depression, PTSD).
I also have relevant professional and life experience for working with particular groups of people. This includes people from the LGBTQ community, Quakers, and athletes and dietitians with eating issues. And I work with parents and carers who are interested in learning how to support children and teenagers with eating for wellbeing and body confidence.
Training, qualifications & experience
Qualifications and Experience
I am a HCPC dietitian and an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Public Health. I am on the British Dietetic Associations' Roll of Honour and am a member of the European Federation of the Association of Dietitians expert specialist network of public health dietitians. I’m proud to be one of the founder members of the pioneering organization Critical Dietetics, a group of like-minded nutrition professionals and allies who are working to broaden “what counts” in dietetics. We include and also look beyond the biomedical to ensure we embrace compassion and social justice in teaching and practice.
For my PhD, from Coventry University, I researched lifestyle body weight management practices with a focus on ethics, effectiveness and equity. This provided opportunity for me to theorise and refine the work I was developing where the focus is on promoting body respect and health-gain for all.
I’m known for my ground-breaking work developing the health-gain approach the Well Now way and introducing it into the NHS. I have an extensive list of publications for lay and academic readers and many free resources on my website.
Please note: While my listings appear under "weight management" on this site I in fact use an alternative approach (that is not available to select). In teaching the Well Now way I teach body respect and health-gain and not weight management.
Areas of nutrition I deal with
- Anorexia nervosa *
- Balanced diet
- Binge eating disorder *
- Bulimia nervosa *
- Coeliac disease
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Constipation *
- Eating disorders *
- Fibromyalgia *
- Food allergy and food intolerance
- Healthy eating
- Heart disease *
- High blood pressure *
- High cholesterol *
- Irritable bowel syndrome *
- Polycystic ovary syndrome *
- Pregnancy and preconception
- Schoolchildren and teenagers
- Sports nutrition
- Tiredness *
- Weight management
- Women's nutrition
* If you have been diagnosed or suspect you may have one of the medical conditions starred above, you should consult your GP for advice, diagnosis and treatment and always inform your health professional before starting any alternative or additional therapies, treatments or making any major changes in your diet or exercise programme.
- 27/09/16 - Kindful eating part one - accredited workshop
- 28/09/16 - Kindful eating part two - accredited workshop
- 03/10/16 - Kindful eating part one - accredited workshop
- 04/10/16 - Kindful eating part two - accredited workshop
- 06/10/16 - Kindful eating for children and families - accredited workshop
- 18/10/16 - Kindful eating part one - accredited workshop
- 19/10/16 - Kindful eating part two - accredited workshop
Appointments are offered as a package according to the issue you would like support with.
Typical prices are 3 appointments for £150; 6 appointments for £270; 8 appointments for £350.
Please ask about concessions if you are on a low income.
The first appointment is for 60 minutes. Thereafter appointments are up to 45 minutes.
Please note, I support people to address weight concerns and body shame using an innovative approach. This is different to 'weight management' . Weight management appears with my profile as it is the only category mentioning weight that is available in the listings.
I offer 1-2-1 appointments in Church Stretton (near Shrewsbury in Shropshire) and in London.
I run a Nutrition Education group that helps people sort out what's true and what's not in nutrition messages. It's for anyone who is confused by 'healthy eating' and who wants to be more confident in their food choices. There are 4 sessions of 2 hours each.
A second group I facilitate covers the Well Now approach to weight and wellbeing. We explore nutrition, self-worth and shame, understanding emotional eating, the bigger picture of health and more. There are 8 sessions of 2 hours each. You'll get handouts and lots of friendly group support.
Training for Health Professionals
My introductory workshops are designed to enable nutrition professionals to meet their professional obligation to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in our areas of expertise.
The two one-day workshops Advancing Best Practice: Kindful Eating Part 1 and 2, introduce professionals to the theory and practice of kindful eating within a Well Now approach. We cover:
- from cognitive restraint to attunement
- pros and cons of size acceptance
- supporting compassionate self-care
- ethical issues in lifestyle weight management
- stigma and social determinants as health hazards
- evidence for effectiveness
The workshops are recommended for health, social care, community development and fitness professionals who have responsibility for healthy weight, eating disorders, mental well-being, health promotion and health inequalities. They are also relevant to those with responsibility for workplace well-being and equality and diversity eg. HR professionals.
I also facilitate workshops on children’s eating suitable for youth workers, parents, and anyone working around children's healthy weight or with families on healthy eating. Looks out for the Body Confidence for Children course too.
The Well Now way can be taught in one-to-one sessions and it is also available at an 8 module Well Now course. The Well Now course is run by licensed facilitators who come from a range of health and other backgrounds.
Further details, including booking, is available at www.well-founded.org.uk.
Here's a selection of comments from participants on my training workshops:
It has given me confidence in changing my practice – I know it was necessary to do so as current approaches not working, but this gives us an evidence base for change.
.. I think there is a fundamental need for weight management practice to change and the course is a source of confidence to do that. - Ruth Hancock, Weight Management Dietitian, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
… We need to frame dietetic/nutrition education differently, focus on acceptance and quality of life indicators. - Miriam Mullard, Specialist Obesity Dietitan
Any person working with clients with weight issues should attend this course so they do no harm to their patient. - Michelle McKenna-Walsh, Homerton NHS London, Community Dietitian – Obesity
Inspiring, confident speaker. Some great attendees that made it lovely. Thank you!
Very thought provoking and certainly something I would like to share with Livewell’s team of community health coaches. - Karen Davies, Services Dietitian, Livewell Suffolk
Very informative and good that it was very interactive. - Mairead Rowan,Student Nutritionist
Enjoyed the day very much. - Catherine MacDonald, Midwife
Thoroughly enjoyed the day and look forward to positive changes in my own lifestyle and that as a practitioner. Really looking forward to the glow! Thank you all for a life changing day. - Caroline Walker, NHS Highland Midwife
Really think about the effects of what I say when engaging with the public…. the inequalities in service inadvertently caused by our beliefs. Research base for current practice is poor. - Health Improvement Practitioner, NHS Highlands
It has influenced me both personally and in how I will respond to my patients. - Angela Kennedy, Community Staff Nurse, NHS.
Really fascinating and enjoyable. As an OT we look a lot at lifestyle and support people to identify/make/structure changes and it’s important to signpost in the right direction. - Camilla Leslie, Occupational Therapist
Very enlightening and it has given me permission to use another method to enable people to have a healthier lifestyle. - Anne-Lise Dickie, Professional Lead – Learning Disability Services
I felt very ‘out of my depths’ previously. I now feel a lot happier about the care I would give now. - Catherine MacCuish Public Health Staff Nurse
Really enjoyed today. Great introduction to [Well Now] I am going to go away and carry out follow up reading/study. Feeling passionate. Thank you. - Lynne Donoghue, Highland Council School Nurse Assistant
Very good – plenty of content and activities that made it easier to think and learn. - Juliana Dorman, Dietetic Support
I am already aware of the benefits of self-compassion. However, I feel it has given me the confidence to expand my current practice rather than sticking to the usual rules. - Registered Dietitian (RD)
Brilliant –all backed by evidence! The way forward. - Karen Davies, Service Dietitian
Loved the practical work. A “train the trainer” course in presentation , group work, visual, phrases that stay with you .
Excellent. Very glad I came to both days. Will recommend to everyone. - Michelle MCKenna-Walsh Homerton NHS RD
Excellent workshops. Enjoyed relaxed atmosphere and approach, enjoyed activities. Food for thought!! Different approach that could help clients tremendously. - Yolanda Snyman, Betsi Cadwalder Advanced Dieitian in Eating Disorders
Will open up discussion of ethics in my team. - Meriol Rattray, NHS Dietitian
Workshop was excellent. - Ruth Hancock UH Bristol Weight Management Dietitian
Refreshing approach – something different that could work.
Has it influenced how you see yourself, or your role, as a practitioner or educator?
Yes, supports the role of our patient being the expert.
Yes, both personally and as an educator – given me permission to move the focus.
Yes. Fattist – I have acknowledged my negative feelings towards weight – will try and confront and be less judgemental.
It has made me see my body differently.
Influenced every aspect of my life for the better.
Definitely, how I approach supporting people and offering skills for lifestyle training.
I feel it backs up my feelings that I’ve always wanted to tap more into the relationship element of food and weight and that there could be a gateway now. I feel I need to be more critical and challenging as a practitioner.
My previous approach to clients probably stigmatized them so this has been a good learning experience.
My brain is working overtime absorbing, questioning but smiling –thank you.
Hugely, I will be fully re-assessing my position. Personal Trainer
Yes –a 180% shift!
Yes, I hope I will be less bossy and know-it-all. RD
Heightened awareness of restrictive/intuitive eating, will influence my approach at work (Tier 3 Obesity Service).
Certainly has influenced me at a time when as a professional I was looking for an approach to ‘re-enthuse’ my thinking.
Yes, here to help not harm.
The workshop has had a huge impact on how I would like to practice professionally, but also my personal behaviour- it has also impacted on thinking about choices I make day to day.
Type of session
|Online nutrition support:||Yes|
|Telephone nutrition support:||Yes|
|Face to face nutrition:||Yes|