Category Archives: Other

Bella Italia Gluten Free Review

I was really excited to hear that Bella Italia have started to do a Gluten Free menu. As you many know I’m wheat intolerant, it’s not quite the same as gluten free but pretty close, especially as I am very sensitive to wheat, so I’m often found trawling the internet for new gluten and wheat free recipes. However every once in a while it’s nice to have a day off cooking and eat out. That’s not always easy when you can’t eat wheat/gluten.

Bella Italia were kind enough to offer for me to go and sample their menu for free, which was a real treat. We went as a family (myself, husband and my one year old) and I  must say that it was a very baby friendly place to eat, although maybe not so great on the baby change facilities. Our little one was given colouring things, stickers and a balloon. She was most taken with my meal though!

There is a completely separate gluten free menu which makes life very easy and there is a lot of choice which is amazing – 6 pasta’s, 7 pizza’s, 4 salads and more…wow. We  ordered the “Ragu D’Agnello” (Lamb ragu with pasta) and the “Pollo Piccante” Pizza (chicken, peperonata, mozzarella and chillies) plus a side salad.

The pasta was really good, perfectly cooked and you wouldn’t know it was gluten free. Some of the pasta’s I’ve tried at other restaurants have been pretty awful, this one gets a gold star.

The pizza looked great but the base tasted pretty much like cardboard. It looked like a pre-bought one to me and was quite hard in places. However it was great to have it as a choice on the menu.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some desserts included on the menu, we shared a piece of the  “Torti Di Ciociolato” (chocolate cake) between the 3 of us, it went down very well with everyone. DIVINE.

I’d certainly recommend Bella Italia for those of you who are gluten free and have been missing Italian, I know I had. The staff were helpful and the atmosphere relaxing, what more could you ask for? Thankyou Big Bella’s how about working on a home made gluten free pizza base next?!

Disclaimer  – all views are my own. Bella Italia did not pay me to write this post, I asked to review their menu and they gave me a free trial with no strings attached. 

A Client’s story: Dee’s Vegan Lent.

I’d like to introduce you all to Dee,  she’s an inspiration. I’ve been helping her with her eating and she’s been lovely enough to share her journey with you all. Please take a moment to read it.
“I’m a bit of a blogger on the quiet, so I was dead chuffed to be asked to write a guest post for DietitianUK.
 As a 33 year old, relatively fit and healthy, employed, mother of two, you would be forgiven for wondering why I wanted/needed the professional support of a dietitian.
This process started as a bit of office banter. I am the Corporate and Community Fundraiser for Hampshire homelessness charity, the Society of St James. 2012 is the 40th anniversary year of the Society, and we thought that was worth marking in the fundraising department. We proposed that individuals might like to undertake sponsored challenges based around the number 40, which so happens to be the number of days in lent when you take out the Sundays.
That’s where my challenge comes in. I always undertake some form of lent challenge with a view to a life change thereafter, so it tends to be something I have been wanting to address like my shopping habits. On this occasion though, it’s been somewhat more dramatic. My boss challenged me to go vegan for lent.
46 days of veganism is what My VeganLent is, raising money to support Hampshire’s homeless and most vulnerable people (through the work of SSJ) is why I am doing it.
I have a history of depression, and I felt that a radical diet change could potentially affect both my physical and mental health so I made an appointment to see DietitianUK – Priya. We started the planning and preparation process in January, with a follow up consultation in early February and ongoing contact and support via email throughout.
I am only one week and one day into being a vegan, and I can’t honestly say how easy/hard it is yet. I have started to really miss cheese, and cake (which makes it sound like I eat those things all the time – I don’t) but I feel that it’s going well at the moment.
 Embarking on this challenge with the support of a dietitian has meant that I am making informed choices over what I consume and how best to make up the potential deficits in my nutrition.
What has surprised me more is the problems and dysfunctions I had/have with food. Rather than focusing on what I can or can’t eat for this period, we (that is me working with Priya) have started the process of addressing some of those dysfunctions.
I respond well to challenges, so for January my challenge was to eat breakfast. That’s it. One challenge, no more no less, just eat breakfast. It’s now 29th February and I am STILL eating breakfast almost daily. February’s challenge was to increase (by one item) and vary lunches. Again, one step at a time, but if you look over on my own blog you”ll see that My Vegan Lent is shaping up well because I am eating a varied, balanced diet.”

Ryvita Thins GIVEAWAY.

I love to try new products. Walking round the supermarket picking up, having a browse, reading labels and backs of packets, it’s all part of the fun of being a dietitian….I admit it, I do LOVE MY JOB! However this time I have a problem. The lovely people at Ryvita have send me 3 packs of their Ryvita thins to try, extremely nice of them….however they contain wheat. So it’s over to you instead…A GIVEAWAY 🙂


Ryvita Thins

These are wheat and rye flatbreads and come in various flavours. At only 29kcals and 0.6g fat per slice they could make a perfect snack, I’m imaging them with some on my homemade hummous or some low fat soft cheese alongside some slices of cucumber and peppers. Yum. I’m guessing they could be a little too yummy and that portion control is going to be key here as eating the whole pack would mean you end up eating over 500kcals and 12g fat.


I have 3 packs of these to giveaway, if you win I’d love your feedback.

To win:



  • Follow me on Twitter (@DietitianUK) and Tweet “I’ve entered the DietitianUK Ryvita giveaway”


  • Comment on this post


  • Do multiple entries by doing all 3!

Winners will be drawn by random on Mon 27th Feb.

Disclaimer: I am not being paid for this blog, Ryvita kindly sent me some products to giveaway to my readers. I am not aiming to promote or endorse this product over any other, there are many other brands of crackers out there too. This giveaway only applies to UK mainland.

Goodies Snack Bars – Product Review and Giveaway

The lovely people at Organix kindly sent me a packet of their new Veg and Oat Bars for my little lady to try. They must have known I’ve been in snack bar mode, having just made some banana, date and oat bars of our own at the weekend. These ones are tomato and carrot flavoured, made with their “No Junk Promise”. Here they are:

Now as a dietitian I just have to put in a quick disclaimer and let you know that I’m not aiming to promote or endorse this particular brand in particular over another. In fact I’m not even suggesting you need to give your little one snack bars, there are so many ways to have healthy snack, however sometimes a pre-bought option has it uses! Phew…now we have got that out of the way back to the review…

Today little Kezia excitedly helped me unpack the box, full of foam pieces she had a lot of  fun 😉 Finally we found the veg and oat bars. Now I must admit I like the idea of a vegetable based bar, great concept. We opened one and you can certainly smell the tomato (think tomato soup), little Kezia went for it straight away and certainly enjoyed it. Her orange mouth was proof of that! I don’t think the box will last that long if she has any say in the matter.

If you’d like to win a box of these to try for yourself then I have got 5 boxes to give away. To be in with a chance of winning please either:

1.Comment below.

2. Like my Facebook page and  let me know by commenting below.

3. Follow me on Twitter  and let me know by commenting below.

That’s 3 chances….You’ve got until the 10th Feb.

Disclaimer: Goodies kindly sent me a box of these bars and I asked to do a giveaway for my fab readers. All opinions in this post are my own. This giveaway only applies to UK mainland.



Slim Down, Sense Up for 2012

Slim Down, Sense Up for 2012.

Do you need to lose some weight to improve your long term health? Made a New Years Resolution to get into shape? Have you cycled through numerous diets and not had much success, or put back on all the weight you lost a few months later? Do you struggle with comfort eating? Priya can help.

Dietitian UK has a special offer on in 2012, specifically designed to help you Slim Down and Sense Up – slimming down those bodies and building up your nutrition sense. This offer can carried out by Skype or in person.

 This package includes:

3 x 45 minute one to one weight management sessions with Priya – registered dietitian and fitness instructor

Email support between sessions with tips, recipe advice and meal planning help as well as   motivation and positivity to boost you on your way.

Each session will include invaluable advice on eating, cooking, recipes, meal planning and exercise. Some behavioural therapy techniques will be used to help you change your habits. There will the opportunity for a weigh-in, for body fat analysis and waist measures.

Let Priya help you become healthier and happier in 2012.

The Food Hospital.

The latest food programme to hit our screens is The Food Hospital. We have a GP, a consultant and excitingly a dietitian aiming to treat conditions with food alone. It’s been in a prime time slot, Tuesday evenings on Channel 4 and seems to be attracting quite a lot of attention. I know in “dietitian-land” there has been a lot of support for Lucy Jones, the dietitian who is bravely in the limelight and there has also been a lot of chatter after the show about the conditions covered. See here for an exclusive interview with Lucy Jones: 

The show has been promoting the use of evidence-based scientific research when treating conditions, rather than a faddy diet or an unresearched food. Because of the pace of the show and the type of show it is there hasn’t always been time to explain each condition and treatment in great depth, however the show does seem to have sparked a big interest in nutrition as a form of treatment.

Last night we saw Rianna being treated for Alopecia, it was her IBS that was targeted, the hypothesis being her IBS was causing her body extra stress which could be contributing to her Alopecia. A special probiotic supplement was prescribed (not the same as buying a probiotic yoghurt drink) and this seemed to have remarkable effects and it was exciting to see some hair regrowth occurring.

The previous week Chris, a man with Type 2 diabetes was put onto an 800kcal diet plan. Unsurprisingly he lost weight, a total of 2.5 stone in 6 weeks. Although usually as dietitian’s we would be advising people to lose weight slowly and to stick to a healthy eating plan that contains a lot more calories than this, this was all done under medical supervision. The evidence for this type of diet is new and experimental still, further research is needed. A small study on 11 people was carried out in Newcastle using a 600kcal diet plan showed pancreatic cells function went back to normal and a possibly reversal of diabetes.

I’d love to see this show follow some of these people up later down the line and compare their symptoms then. What I think I’d like to highlight is the fact that some of the research used is new and still in preliminary stages. The show could encourage people to go off and try some of these dietary regimes out for themselves, which would be potentially dangerous. If you feel you have a condition that could be treated by diet then please do get in contact me. I’d love to chat. I’d also love to hear your views on The Food Hospital, leave me a comment below or tweet me 🙂