Interview - Clarissa Lenherr

by Alexandra Radiance,

We're thrilled to have interviewed nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr this month. Read on to find out Clarissa's perspective on nutrition, and life in balance. 

Thank you so much for chatting to us. Can you tell us a little bit about what got you into nutrition, and the story behind your training?

It was a personal journey that kick started my shift into a career in nutrition. I spent my early adult years working in corporate marketing, and experienced first-hand how burning the candle at both ends can massively impact our health. After a few years of managing to handle the heavy nights and the stressful days, I noticed that my energy, immune system and digestion was rapidly deteriorating.  I felt rubbish, yet I made no connection with how I was feeling to the food I was eating. 

 It wasn’t until my best-friend insisted that I see a nutritionist that the penny dropped! It honestly transformed the way I thought about health, and changed my life. Instead of focusing on medicine and treatments that might prolong my ability to lead the chaotic lifestyle I was leading, I was able to see how eating the right nutrients and investing in myself was the better solution. 

After changing my diet, working on my lifestyle habits and investing in some “me-time” I realised just how fundamental nutrition and nutritional therapy can be to our health. 

After seeing first-hand how nutritional therapy helped me, I knew I needed to help others. So, I made the decision to go back to studying, whilst still holding down a full-time job. It was tough and a real commitment, but it was worth every long evening and weekend of studying. 

Nutritional advice is something people are more aware now of than ever - but there are so many different approaches - are there and key principles you'd suggest are a good starting point?

1.     Try to eat real food without labels. Foods that come from nature and the earth are what we are designed to consume. 

2.     Drink more water. Most of us are chronically dehydrated, which given that we are roughly 60-70% water, means that just a small change in the water we consume can have a huge impact on our bodies homeostasis. Water is crucial for every cell, organ and system in the body, and vital for us to function at our optimum state. When we are dehydrated, our energy creation, digestive system and food cravings all fall out of whack. So often, my clients are confusing thirst with hunger and end up snacking when all they need to do is drink more water.

3.     Listen to your body – learning to be intuitive, sensitive and conscious of what are bodies are telling us is key to achieving health and happiness. If your body is telling you that it craves a certain food type, listen to that. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent and are equipped to tell us when it needs something. And listen to your hunger cues. If you are hungry, it is for a reason, and listen to your stomach when it tells you that you are full. More often than not, we are so busy in our modern-day world, that we forget to listen to our bodies and brains, pushing ourselves beyond the boundaries that our bodies are telling us to stay within. 

4.     Move daily – whatever your preferred form of movement is, from going on a walk to gardening or kickboxing, enjoy movement as part of your day to day routine. Physical activity is beneficial for both the mind and the body.  

With hectic lifestyles and being on the go all the time, we're all sometimes a little lacking in energy. Do you have any suggestions for energy boosting foods, or ways to keep us from feeling sluggish?

Achieving a balanced plate at all meals is crucial and ensures we are getting the right macronutrients to fuel our bodies with energy. I like to refer clients to this diagram when they are struggling with their energy and need some guidance on what and how they should be eating at every meal. 

As long as we are filling our plates with a handful of good quality complex carbohydrates, two hands of vegetables in all their colours, a palm sized portion of protein and 1-2 thumbs of healthy fats such as olive oil or nut butter then we are on the right track!  

 

 

Juicing has had its fair share of controversy, we'd love to hear your opinion as a nutritionist on the benefits of it, and how you'd suggest it to your clients.

Juicing is a fantastic way to get a quick and readily absorbable influx of nutrients and nourishment into the body. It can often be difficult to physically eat as many vegetables and fruits that can be fit into a juice. 

Additionally, embarking on an occasional one to three-day juice cleanse can be a great way to re-set your body and in particular your liver and digestive system. If you are finding your energy systems are a bit sluggish or your stomach is frequently over-saturated with rich food, a juice cleanse can help you clean the slate and start fresh.

However, I will note that I am a fan of predominantly green vegetable juices over those that are only fruit based. We can all enjoy eating fruit in its whole form, but not all of us tend to snack on raw kale and spinach! 

For clients, I recommend incorporating a green juice into their diets whenever possible.  For those of us who are chronically time poor and don’t have the ability to dictate what we eat at every meal, then incorporating a green juice every day ensures we are getting those vital nutrients in.

Life is all about balance, and we've got to be realistic about that. How do you manage keeping that balance day to day? Is there anything you'd completely avoid, or things you have in moderation?

I am a real foodie at heart, so I never avoid anything entirely (apart from dairy products as unfortunately I find them hard to digest).

I don’t believe in deprivation, and as long as you aren’t suffering with a health condition or find something doesn’t agree with you, I believe it is never a good idea to deny yourself of anything … it often results in over overconsumption later down the line.  

I am not perfect all the time, and I don’t expect my clients to be, as its not realistic or enjoyable. I enjoy red wine and coffee, for example. But I’m consistent in that I eat well most of the time and when I do eat something that might be termed “unhealthy” I make sure that I enjoy and savour it, rather than feel guilty. 

Do you have any favourite restaurants or delis in London you'd recommend are great for a lunch on the go?

Yes, one of my favourites is The Detox Kitchen in Fitzrovia and Soho, I love their different salads as they are always packed with flavour and nutrients. High Mood Food do a great banana bread with tahini which you can get to takeaway. If I am looking for a quick lunch that I can take away with me, I try to find a good quality Poke bar. I love the fact that you can build your own bowls depending on how hungry you are and what flavours you feel like eating! Plus they always have a wide variety of healthy ingredients you can choose from, whether its brown rice, quinoa, omega 3 filled salmon or kimchi which is fantastic for promoting good gut health. 

How can clients make an appointment to see you and what would that involve?

Clients can book through my website or by emailing me direct (clarissa@clarissalenherr.com). 

Clients can expect individualised support based on comprehensive health screens, dietary and lifestyle assessment, laboratory testing and ongoing nutritional supplementation where appropriate.

 The initial consultation is usually a lot of information gathering, I take a detailed case history from each client and ask them questions about their nutritional habits, lifestyle, medical history, family history etc. After evaluating this alongside their aims and concerns, we formulate a unique and bespoke plan together, in order for them to achieve their goals. 

 


Recipe - Roasted Harissa Aubergine

by Alexandra Radiance, , link

 

Serves Two

Ingredients:

For the Aubergine

- 1 large aubergine 

- 2 generous handfuls of fresh rocket

- 2stp of harissa spice 

- 2 tsp dukkah (nuts and sesame seeds)

- Olive oil

- Salt and pepper

For the Cashew Mayonnaise

- 100g cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours)

- 60ml olive oil

- 60ml water

- 1 tbsp lemon juice

- 2tsp cider vinegar

- Pinch salt 

- 1/4 garlic clove 

 

Method:

1. For the Cashew Mayonnaise - blend all the ingredients together until smooth, put in the fridge to chill.

2. Pre heat the oven to 200C

3. Slice the aubergine in half (lengthways) and score the flesh. In a separate bowl mix the harissa spice with olive oil to form a paste, and spread over the aubergine. Season lightly and bake for 20-25 minutes.

4. When you're ready to serve, sprinkle the dukkah over the cooked aubergine. Place on a bed of fresh rocket and dress with the cashew mayonnaise. Enjoy with a twist of lemon if you like.


Organic Sun Cream

by Alexandra Radiance, , link

Original Article from the Independent

Body sunscreen is integral to our health and wellbeing, even more so on holiday in long hours of sun exposure. What many may not be aware of is our skin still tans while wearing sunscreen and that’s because none offer 100 per cent protection. This is why there should never be a debate about whether to use or not use the stuff. The main culprits of skin damage are ultraviolet or UV rays, more specifically UVA and UVB. 

To break it down: UVA is 95 per cent of the UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface. The waves are longer so they penetrate right down to the hypodermis tissue. UVB are short waves that cause sunburn and skin-reddening, which can lead to forms of skin cancer. There is also infrared, and that is 55 per cent of the light that hits your skin daily, which penetrates through to the deepest subcutaneous layer.

What to look for in a body sunscreen?

Always buy “broad-spectrum”, meaning UVA and UVB protection. The SPF number is the protection from UVB, and the Skin Cancer Foundation considers “SPFs of 15 or higher acceptable UVB protection for normal everyday activity, and SPFs of 30 or higher acceptable for extended or intense outdoor exposures”. 

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What sunscreen should I use?

UVA does not currently have an FDA-approved measurement standard, but Japan has. It is called PA, an abbreviation for Protection Grade of UVA, ranging from a low protection PA+, moderate PA++ and high PA+++. Not all sunscreens use the Japanese rating system, but just make sure to get one that has the UVA stamp. 

The next decision you need to make is what form of sunscreen (gel, spray, cream, oil, stick) and for what purpose (sport, sensitive skin, vegan). If you are going to either sweat a lot or get wet, a waterproof is advisable, and if you are going to be sitting in direct sunlight during peak hours of 11am to 4pm it is probably best to use a high factor cream or oil to give yourself maximum protection. 

Rules of application for all of these are the same, including applying half an hour before entering the sun and topping up after two hours. Another point to note is sunscreen expires after three years, so don’t risk wearing ineffective lotion. 

There are three kinds of sunscreen – mineral (sometimes called physical), chemical/synthetic and ones that combine both. Mineral means the natural active ingredients blocking UV rays are zinc oxide or titanium oxide and sit on top of the skin to reflect UV light away. Chemical normally involves a combination of two or more of these active ingredients – oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. These absorb into the skin and convert the UV rays into non-damaging light and heat. People with skin conditions tend to prefer mineral sunscreens as they prove to be less of an irritant. Combination strive to offer a best of both. It’s important to note that there’s nothing better or worse about either mineral or chemical sunscreens, just what will work best on your skin.

Cosmetic consultant Dr Ross Perry of Cosmedics Skin Clinics said: “According to Cancer Research UK, melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased by half over the last decade in the UK.  

“Factor 50 is classed as very high protection – it is strongly recommended for children, the elderly, those with prior history of melanoma and those exposed to intense sun or in the sun for a long time. If you are just nipping to the shops and not in an ‘at risk’ group, then a factor 30 would be fine – but don’t skip the sunscreen altogether. You will tan even with sunscreen; it may appear that your skin is slower to change colour, but the key factor is to tan without burning. Sunburn should never be seen as part of the experience of getting a tan.

“Those with darker skin will know that they don’t burn as easily as those with fair skin. However, this does not mean they can skip the sunscreen. Skin damage from the sun’s UV rays can occur in people of all skin tones, so even if you’re not likely to burn, you still need protection from UVA/UVB rays. If your body is covered by clothing then that is likely to be enough protection but just be aware that you need to be careful about bare arms or legs on the odd warm day – bare skin should always be protected.”

How were they tested?

These body sunscreens were tested on people aged between two and 70 and judged on their absorption speed, appearance, feel, and efficacy during sunlight hours. All of the sunscreens tested were positively received. Some were more favourable than others, based on their consistency and overall appearance, but all provided adequate sun protection during the daylight hours of 11am to 4pm. 

Zelens Defence Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30, 125ml, £55, John Lewis 

Created by Dr Marko Lens, with over 20 years experience of researching skin ageing, this broad-spectrum oil is one of the most luxurious around. Offering incredible protection in the hottest midsummer heat, it absorbs quickly, moisturising skin and leaving you with a beautiful glow and a fragrant light citrus scent. Dr Lens uses micro-encapsulation technology, which basically means he encloses organic UV chemical filters within microscopic silica-based capsules. These sit on top of the skin to protect from sunlight. Those with dermatological conditions or allergies could benefit from this oil as it does not penetrate the skin. On testing, we found this to be true, with no skin irritation caused. This oil also contains active ingredients to help repair DNA and stop free-radical damage, which your skin will thank you for in the future.

Buy now

Coola Eco-Lux Tropical Coconut Sunscreen Spray SPF 30, 236ml, $36 (£27), SpaceNK 

This California-born skincare brand creates 70 per cent certified organic, hypoallergenic, vegan and sustainable sunscreens. The most attractive quality of this spray is the ease of use. A totally transparent coating of protection covers the entire body in less than a minute. This new scent, tropical coconut, is a winner because it smells like holiday in a bottle. It is best to keep applying this one regularly, because the solution is so clear, you can easily miss spraying certain parts of the body. If you’re doing sport it is even more important to keep spraying every 40 minutes because it only lasts that long in water. Being topped up with locally-sourced antioxidants such as cucumber, algae, strawberry, and red raspberry seed oil for enhanced UV protection is an added bonus. 

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Natura Bisse Dry Oil Antioxidant Sun Protection Broad-Spectrum 100ml SPF 30, £51, Natura Bisse

Oil formulas are great for giving the skin a luminous quality, and this one definitely does that. This luxury Spanish skincare brand has not only created an extremely easy to use product, but one that also smells like fresh oranges, a pleasant change from the familiar light chemical scent. The ease of application is great for sunbathers as it’ll take less than a minute to reapply. We found that applied every two hours, as indicated, there was no burning and it actually enhanced the skin’s colour. There is carrot oil in this formula and vitamins E, F and grape seed oil for antioxidant benefits and skin regeneration. An added bonus is the 100ml bottle, which means you can easily chuck it in cabin luggage for quick getaways.

Buy now

Sisley Paris Super Soin Solaire Milky Body Mist broad-spectrum SPF 30, 150ml, £91.50, Sisley Paris

This milky body mist, from the French luxury beauty brand, comes at a hefty price tag, but the quality is undeniable. Around three sprays will provide good coverage, the white milk blending in effortlessly with no residue. It is scented with lavender and geranium that makes it pleasant to wear all day long. The ease of use is one of its real attributes, and it also works on all skin types, including pale or thin skin, which we found did not burn. Its added skin benefits include vitamin E acetate and edelweiss extract, which protect against free radicals and moisturise, along with shea oil, camellia oil and mango extract. If this is within your budget, it's well worth trying, although there are cheaper options that perform equally as well. 

Buy now

Ultrasun Glimmer SPF 50+, 100ml, £22, Ultrasun

This Swiss sun care brand has created a range that offers high protection for sensitive skin. The Glimmer SPF 50+ is particularly special as the reflective shimmer particles seem to last for days, even after washing. Not only that, the cream can withstand harsh temperatures on fair skin, with no burning whatsoever. This is a great for anyone with fair, sensitive skin that needs a strong transitioning cream from spring to summer. 

It has infrared protection too, which is a massive plus point as this is less common with sunscreen. The only slight annoyance is the length of time it takes to rub in as it’s incredibly white and thick. It doesn’t feel greasy though, but on non-white skin it does leave a slight paleness that isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as some of the other sunscreens.

Buy now

Shiseido WetForce Expert Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF50, 100ml, £33, Shiseido

The much-admired sunscreen from the Japanese beauty brand has been made even better with a new gel consistency, meaning it now absorbs invisibly, and includes an added ionic mineral powder in the patented WetForce technology, making it ultra water-repellent once in contact with perspiration or water. This formula even contains technology that converts the smell of sweat into a pleasant odour, and we were surprised to find it worked, with the citrus smell becoming more enhanced during perspiration. It wouldn’t be Japanese without serious skin benefits and this contains Profence CEL, a set of ingredients designed to prevent skin damage, wrinkles and blemishes. The other great thing about it is it can be used on the face – however we wouldn’t advise it if you have easily irritated skin, as this is quite a potent formula. 

Buy now

Green People Sun Lotion SPF30 Scent-Free Broad Spectrum, 100ml, £14.50, Green People

 

The reality of mineral sunscreen is it’s hard to find a formulation that does not leave a film of white residue on the skin. We were pleasantly surprised to find this 78 per cent organic, mineral sunscreen from the UK natural and organic skincare brand. Scent-free and using titanium dioxide, it rubs in surprisingly quickly, and dries clear. The high factor SPF means it prevents burning. Mineral sunscreens tend to be stickier and greasier than chemical, but this one is not, and although slightly thicker compared to some of the other creams on this list, it is very comfortable to wear all day. A handy 100ml size means it can be taken on airplanes for quick getaways and you even get the added benefits of organic aloe vera, green tea and edelweiss. This one would be best for eczema, psoriasis and acne-sufferers as it doesn’t clog pores.

Buy now

Institut Esthederm, Sun Care Oil for Strong Sun broad-spectrum UVA and UVB, 150ml £43, Feel Unique

For all the sun-worshippers who will not leave their holiday without a tan, there is Institut Esthederm. The French skincare brand has created a super oil that can be used on body and hair, protects against harsh sun but also allows for a smooth and long-lasting tan. Although this brand doesn’t have a SPF number, it contains patented intracellular protection technology, which has been tested and proved to provide protection from UVA, UVB and infrared rays. It also contains a patented Adaptasun oil technology, which actually improves the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, allowing more even pigmentation and preventing photo-ageing and dark spots. Anyone who loves sunbathing should definitely try this oil as it makes the skin look instantly radiant, but really promotes the integrity of your tan, which will last at least a good few weeks longer than normal – a nice bonus.

Buy now

Lancaster Sun Sport Roll-on Sun Fluid broad-spectrum SPF 30, 50ml £21, House of Fraser

Monaco-founded sun and beauty company Lancaster developed their first sun range in 1971, and it’s still as popular as ever. They have a fantastic range of sports sunscreens, which are always in high demand. This roll-on is so handy to pop in any bag as it comes in a 50ml size. The gel consistency is slightly white but rubs in smoothly to form a protective film on the skin. This is ideal for active outdoor people because it’s not heavy to carry around and is quick to apply. Lancaster boasts UVA, UVB, infrared and visible light protection – the most defence possible in a sunscreen. The Tan Activator Complex, which promotes an even tan, is an added benefit as well as being formulated for face and body, although we would advise people with skin conditions to use a specialised face sunscreen.

Buy now

Original Sprout Broad Spectrum suncream SPF 27, 90ml, £12.50, John Lewis

Made with the active ingredient of zinc oxide as the UV blocker, this vegan product is great for the whole family as well as being very affordable. The rosemary and coconut give it a pleasant scent, but application does take a little bit more time as the cream is thick. True to its claim, however, it is not greasy and leaves an invisible finish. The factor 27 proved to be high enough to prevent burning on all skin types, whether young or old. And the 90ml tube is ideal for taking abroad. Being perfume-free as well as having no petroleum or dyes means this is very good for troublesome skin. It claims to be good at clearing acne, eczema and dryness, and while we found it did not fix skin conditions, the cream did not irritate the skin at all. 

Buy now

Sensai Silky Bronze Cellular Protective Cream for Body SPF 30, 150ml, £64.85, Amazon

A good cream is possibly the hardest thing to find in the sunscreen market. But when we discovered this one by the Japanese beauty brand, we were overjoyed. Never one to follow the rule book, this sun cream is special for a few reasons but mainly because it contains Koishimaru silk extract, the rarest Japanese silk, which promotes moisturisation. If that wasn’t enough it has an Advanced Cellular Protector, which uses zinc oxide yet doesn’t leave the skin with a white residue. It genuinely glides on like silk and leaves no stickiness on the skin or hands, and has a light floral fragrance. To top it off it contains a formula called CPX Vital Extract that stops pigmentation and wrinkles from forming. This is not cheap, but if within budget, it may just become your go-to sun cream. 

Buy now

The verdict: Sunscreen for body

Anyone looking for a results-driven, easy to apply body sunscreen that looks good on will be blown away by Zelens Defence Sunscreen. It isn’t cheap but a little oil goes a long way, and you will find it will last for more than one summer. However, those in need of an affordable cream that is worry-free, pleasant to wear and suitable for the whole family should look to Original Sprout

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.



Established London 2009
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