Whether you are looking to conceive naturally or increase your chances of IVF success – nutritional therapy can help you to achieve your pregnancy goals.

I offer support to couples who have been trying to conceive for a while, experienced miscarriage or are just beginning their fertility journey. Optimising your diet and lifestyle can help to balance your hormones, restore your cycle or address a PCOS diagnosis.

Nutritional therapy is so much more than achieving pregnancy; it’s about supporting a healthy pregnancy and optimising the future health of your offspring, as well as your own health postpartum.

Any couple planning to have a baby should consider their own health first. We provide our offspring with an ‘environment’ long before the egg and sperm even meet. It takes three months for the egg and sperm to develop and mature prior to fertilisation. This gives us a window of opportunity to improve egg and sperm health (and reduce the risk of miscarriage) with personalised nutrition.

For couples trying to conceive, I offer a bespoke 12 week programme. During our one-to-one consultations, we will make a thorough investigation into your health and the health of your partner so that I can offer you a unique programme designed to support you on your fertility journey.

It’s mental health awareness week and the theme is loneliness.

🧠 Loneliness is the feeling of being alone, regardless of social interaction. For some feeling lonely can be down to social isolation.. but you don’t need to be alone to feel lonely.

Living in a foreign country, away from family and friends, trying to raise a young family; I have certainly felt lonely these past two years.

A year ago I didn’t realize I was lonely until I was talking it over with an old friend and it suddenly dawned on me that that was what I was feeling…. after a long period of separation from family and familiarity due to Covid restrictions.

I've been thinking a lot about the things I do to improve my mental health and mood.

💪🏻 Exercise is a huge one for me. The release of endorphins provide me with an immediate boost, but the benefits carry me further than this as my mind becomes sharper and I feel more confident in social situations.

🥑 Supporting my gut health. More recently this has been an ongoing challenge for me… pregnancy, c-section, breastfeeding and now sleepless nights - all have an impact on my energy, cravings, food choices and lifestyle habits.

🌿 Being with nature. We are lucky to live in the mountains so getting outside even in those cold winter months is not so hard. But the arrival of spring and the warm weather has boosted my energy and mood considerably.

🏒 Stepping out of my comfort zone. I often do things that I’m not entirely comfortable with, to help me grow as a person and meet new people. Last year I joined the local leisure ice hockey team and met a bunch of crazy cool people who have a shared love for the ice. Tomorrow, I’ve signed up to Silent Counselling training to better support my clients who have experienced some kind of trauma or emotional block to making long lasting progress. I can’t wait to meet more like minded people who share my passion for coaching others !! Wish me luck 😬

#mentalhealthawarenessweek #healthcoach #loneliness #brainhealth #mentalhealth #guthealth #gutbrainlink #gutbrainconnection #connectingwithothers
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Cod with capers, lemon and parsley 🌿

This recipe is so fresh and the fish cooks to perfection. Antioxidants and adequate protein in the diet are needed to support liver detoxification to protect the brain from circulating toxins. Protein (amino acids) is also needed to make neurotransmitters in the brain to support mood and cognition.

Serves 2-3

🛒 Ingredients

350g cod
230g brown rice
520ml water
250g mixed colour cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Small knob of butter
2 tbsp capers
3 garlic cloves (minced)
Bunch of fresh flat parsley (chopped)
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

✨ Recipe

Cut the fish into three equal pieces and squeeze over 1/4 of the lemon. Allow the lemon juice to sit on the cod for about 15 minutes.

In a large pan add the brown rice and pour over the water. Put on a high heat and cover with a lid.

Whilst waiting for it to come to a boil, slice the tomatoes in half and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and white wine vinegar, mix and season with salt and pepper.

Place the cod into the pan, pushing them into the rice. Add the dressed tomatoes to the pan, put the lid back on and let boil for 10 minutes.

In another pan, melt the butter and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Heat the garlic and capers for 2 minutes. Add the juice from 1/2 lemon and the parsley, and stir on the heat for 2 minutes.

Remove the lid from the fish and transfer the caper and parsley sauce into the pan. Let it cook for another 2 minutes until all the water has evaporated.

Serve with rocket or spinach leaves.

#sophienielsennutrition #personalisednutrition #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #brainhealth #mentalhealth #guthealth #gutbrainlink #depressionawareness #gutbrainconnection #easyrecipes #moodboosting #fishrecipes #aminoacids #tryptophan #antioxidants
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This is a question I get asked a lot in clinic. And the answer isn’t a simple yes or no.

☕️ As a stimulant coffee can have beneficial effects on our digestive system, athletic performance and cognition.

✨ Coffee beans are rich in polyphenols including caffeine, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and hydroxyhydroquinone. These polyphenolic compounds are responsible for the health promoting effects of coffee, due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

☕️ Low to moderate coffee consumption (1-3 cups/day) has been associated with a lower risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.

☕️ Drinking coffee has also been associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease - with research suggesting polyphenols can positively modulate our gut microbiome.

🤯 However, some of these benefits are reversed with high coffee consumption. A recent UK Biobank study showed that more than 6 cups/day is linked to 53% increased risk of dementia (and smaller brain volumes) compared to those having 1 or 2 cups per day.

😷 Heavy reliance on caffeine to boost energy or mood will only mask issues of fatigue and mood problems, preventing you from getting to the root cause of your symptoms.

🧬 Everybody reacts differently to caffeine (dependent on genetics & liver metabolism). If you’re already experiencing blood sugar issues, caffeine can worsen insulin resistance and stimulate the release of adrenaline, raising blood sugar; especially if your caffeine consumption disrupts a healthy nights sleep.

🤯 Caffeine intake should be limited for those experiencing high levels of stress, sleep issues, as well as during pregnancy.

☕️ So it seems a little (without sugar) can be good for us, but too much can be detrimental. Withdrawal from caffeine can lead to muscle fatigue and headaches, so if you’re trying to reduce your coffee intake, make these changes gradually.

#sophienielsennutrition #personalisednutrition #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #parkinsonsdisease #brainhealth #mentalhealth #depression #guthealth #gutbrainlink #gutbrainconnection #coffeelovers
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Broccoli Soup 🥦

This is another favourite in my house. Quick and easy to make. Packed full of fibre, prebiotics and antioxidants to support gut health. Try using your own homemade chicken stock for even more gut healing properties.

🧅 Onion, leek and broccoli all contain antioxidant compounds to support liver detoxification and brain health.

Serves 4

🛒 Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
Small knob of butter
1 large onion (chopped)
1 large leek (chopped)
300g broccoli (cut into small florets)
Medium sized potato (cut into small cubes)
750ml chicken stock
3 tbsp cream/natural yogurt

✨ Recipe

In a large pan melt the butter and add the oil. Add the onion and leek, and cook until softened.

Add the broccoli, potato and chicken stock to the pan. Bring to a boil for 2-minutes. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15-minutes until the broccoli and potato are cooked.

Using a hand blender or food processor, blend until almost smooth. Add the cream/yogurt. Gently reheat on a low heat if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve into bowls and sprinkle with your choice of seeds.

#sophienielsennutrition #personalisednutrition #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #brainhealth #mentalhealth #guthealth #gutbrainlink #gutbrainconnection #easyrecipes #moodboosting #antioxidants #fibreforthegut #seedsfortryptophan #foodforthebrain
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Research into Parkinson's Disease is significantly underfunded and its aetiology still remains unknown.

🌎 Yet it is the second most common neurodegenerative disease affecting around 1 in every 350 adults in the UK, and up to 10 million people globally.

🧠 The cardinal symptoms of PD include tremor, muscular rigidity, postural instability and bradykinesia - due to loss of dopamine neurons in the brain (substantia nigra region).

🤯 Less well-known symptoms include gastrointestinal dysfunction, depression and sleep disorders. These non-motor symptoms can have a significant negative impact on a person's quality of life.

🧬 What we do know is that genetics, toxin exposure, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress can all play a part in this progressive degenerative disease. Gut dysbiosis and antibiotic use have also been implicated in the pathology picture.

🥦 Nutrition protocols can be used to support dopamine production, detoxification, mitochondrial stimulation, methylation, glucose management and the reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation. Nutrition can also be used to address a patient's non-motor symptoms.

🧑‍⚕️ PD is a very complex and progressive movement disorder. In addition to a neurologist, patients need care and assistance from many different health/medical disciplines including psychotherapy, nutrition, speech, physical and occupational therapy. To reduce symptoms and slow the progression of this disease, harmonious collaboration with other healthcare practitioners is crucial.

💊 Nutritional therapists can also assist with drug-nutrient interactions to optimise the safety and effectiveness of any medications.

#parkinsonsdisease #parkinsonsawarenessweek #worldparkinsonsday #brainhealth #mentalhealth #depression #guthealth #gutbrainlink #gutbrainconnection
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Peanut Butter, Almond and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars 🥜

Makes 10 bars

🛒 Ingredients

2.5 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (or your favourite nut butter)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1 tbsp sunflower & sesame seeds
2 tbsp ground almonds
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

✨ Recipe

Preheat the oven to 190C. Line an 8x8 inch baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup and eggs until smooth. Add the oats, nuts, seeds and chocolate chips and keep stirring until all ingredients are well combined.

Transfer the mixture into the baking tray. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the mixture and firmly press to flatten the mixture evenly into the tray. Bake for around 15 minutes.

Let the granola mixture cool and cut into 10 bars.

#sophienielsennutrition #personalisednutrition #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #brainhealth #mentalhealth #guthealth #gutbrainlink #gutbrainconnection #easyrecipes #moodboosting #plantprotein #fibreforthegut
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Do you find yourself constantly on a diet? Do you restrict or skip meals to be able to go out for dinner? Or punish yourself in the gym after a slice of cake?

Improving your relationship with food is such a critical step to any nutrition programme, whether your health goals are to regulate your cycle, improve your skin health or lose weight.

I have to admit, when I decided to study nutrition (motivated by a love of science and food), I was worried that it would change my relationship with food. That I would become more anxious about what or where I ate, ‘𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘥?’. But I was fortunate to train alongside so many like-minded people ❤️🙌🏻

I can honestly say, the knowledge I have gained about nutrition has only increased my love and RESPECT for all foods.

I am much more adventurous in the kitchen, experimenting with different veggies, pulses, herbs and spices; boosted by the knowledge of their therapeutic powers for body and mind. And I don’t feel guilty when I eat out, have a glass of wine or slice of cake 😋 You don’t need to eat a perfect diet 100% of the time.

Your diet (what you eat on a daily basis) should not be focused on restriction or giving up foods, but inclusion of delicious nutrient dense foods.

Improving your relationship with food is the first step to improving your health. If you’d like to break the cycle of yo-yo dieting or guilt around food, please contact me for your free 15-minute discovery call.

#sophienielsennutrition #optimumhealth #personalisednutrition #noonesizefitsall
#fertilitynutrition #fertilityclinic #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #foodfreedom #weightloss #lovefood
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I am, of course, a big fan of eating MORE plant-based foods 🙌🏻 🌱 Not only are veggies and pulses delicious with the right combination of herbs and spices… they provide essential fibre and antioxidants for gut, hormone and brain health.

❌ But unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all diet for optimising YOUR health. A vegan diet has not been 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘦𝘥 to your unique genetics and biochemistry.

🥕 Following a vegan diet may be right for some (*if appropriately supplementing), where gut health and genetics are supportive of 𝙙𝙞𝙜𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙖𝙗𝙨𝙤𝙧𝙗𝙞𝙣𝙜 and 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 nutrients from a plant-based diet (e.g. beta-carotene to vitamin A (retinol).

➞ On the other hand, it can leave you lacking in essential nutrients for fertility such as omega-3, choline, iron and vitamin A, as well as vitamin B12.

🌍 I will always support a client’s ethical choices but it’s also important to have all the facts regarding your body and health. If you’re looking for personalised and targeted nutrition advice, using a thorough investigation into your genetics, biochemistry and nutrition status, please get in touch. Link in bio 😊

#sophienielsennutrition #optimumhealth #personalisednutrition #noonesizefitsall
#fertilitynutrition #fertilityclinic #fertilitysupport #infertility #reproductivehealth #fertility #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #fertilityjourney #ttcsupport #ttccommunity #ttctribe
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We’re always being told to drink more water, but why?

💧 On average a person’s body is around 60% water, varying with age, gender, hydration and body composition (fat tissue holds less water than muscle).

✨ Our cells contain water - to function properly adequate hydration is needed to aid cellular transport (of vital nutrients) and cell communication.

🌡 We also need water to regulate our body temperature!

𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝘆𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘀𝗼 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗳𝗲𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆?

❌ A high toxic load in the body can impact fertility. Water is needed to support our detoxification systems and flush out any toxins.

🙋🏽‍♂️For men, their semen (the fluid containing sperm) is mostly made up of water - so when dehydrated this can affect semen volume and sperm quality!

🙋🏽‍♀️ For women, during ovulation we produce cervical mucus which helps the sperm to travel through the vaginal canal and cervix to meet the egg for fertilisation!

💦 So don’t forget to listen to your body and stay hydrated over the Christmas period!

#sophienielsennutrition #fertilitynutrition #fertilityclinic #fertilitysupport #infertility #reproductivehealth #fertility #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #fertilityjourney #ttcsupport #ttccommunity #ttctribe #stayhydrated #hydration
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Dhal and crispy sweet potatoes 🍠

Ever since a friend shared this Dhal recipe by Anna Jones, we haven’t been able to get enough of it in my house! 😋 So I had to share my (very slightly adapted) version of this delicious recipe with you all…

Serves 4

🛒 Ingredients

For the sweet potatoes
2 sweet potatoes, skins on, washed and chopped into 1.5cm cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
Olive oil

For the Dhal
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Ginger, thumb size piece, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
220g red lentils
200ml tin coconut milk
200ml chopped tomatoes
650ml vegetable/chicken stock
1/2 bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

✨ Recipe

Preheat oven to 220°C/fan 200°C. Put your sweet potato on a roasting tray and add a pinch of salt and pepper, the cumin and fennel seeds, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 mins, until soft in the middle and crispy on the outside.

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the red onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes to release the oils. Add the lentils, coconut milk, chopped tomatoes and stock to the pan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer gently for about 25 minutes.

Take the dhal off the heat, and stir in the roasted sweet potato, chopped coriander and lemon juice. Serve with wholegrain rice and enjoy!

#sophienielsennutrition #personalisednutrition #optimumhealth #fertilitynutrition #reproductivehealth #brainhealth #mentalhealth #guthealth #gutbrainlink #gutbrainconnection #easyrecipes #moodboosting #lentils #plantprotein #fibreforthegut #annajones
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It’s December… an exciting time for many. I’ve started getting into the Christmas spirit and even made my own wreath this year.

💙 But it has been on my mind more than ever, how difficult this time of year can be. Those who have lost a loved one, lost a pregnancy or struggling to conceive.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know how best to support those who are struggling. Be kind. Be gentle. Be ready to listen to what they need. ❤️

#sophienielsennutrition #fertilitynutrition #fertilityclinic #fertilitysupport #infertility #reproductivehealth #fertility #nutritioncoach #fertilityjourney #ttcsupport #ttccommunity #ttctribe #mentalhealth #bekind
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Unexplained infertility is an extremely frustrating diagnosis to receive. Around 1 in 7 couples have difficulty conceiving, and up to 25% of infertile couples receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility… they account for an estimated 40% of those undergoing IVF.

👨‍⚕️ It is a diagnosis of elimination; your doctor has found no issues with your uterus health, fallopian tubes, ovulation, ovarian reserve, and partner’s semen analysis. But this does not mean your only option is IVF. There is a reason for your infertility, we just don’t know what it is… yet. Let’s dig a little deeper first!

👩🏻‍🌾 As a functional medicine practitioner, taking a detailed case history alongside functional testing, can provide a thorough investigation into many areas of health that can impact your fertility:

‣ Nutrient deficiencies
‣ Sperm DNA fragmentation/egg health
‣ Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s
‣ Blood sugar imbalance
‣ Hormone imbalance
‣ Oxidative stress
‣ Undermethylation
‣ Inflammation
‣ Gut, oral, seminal/vaginal microbiome imbalance
‣ Stress
‣ Toxic exposure and so on….

🍺 Certain lifestyle choices can be damaging to the maturing sperm/egg or lead to the depletion of important nutrients needed for fertility. But also, due to genetic individuality, our specific nutrient needs can differ.

👫 I conduct a thorough investigation of both male and female partner to get to the root cause of infertility. This is important to increase your chances of conception and to support a healthy pregnancy, whether trying to conceive naturally or through assisted reproductive technology.

👩🏻‍💻 If you would like personalised nutrition advice based on an analysis of your current diet, lifestyle, biochemical and genetic individuality, please contact me for your free 15-minute call nutrition@sophienielsen.com

#sophienielsennutrition #fertilitynutrition #fertilityclinic #fertilitysupport #femalefertility #malefertility #infertility #reproductivehealth #fertility #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #fertilityjourney #fertilitytreatment #ttcsupport #ttccommunity #ttctribe #unexplainedinfertility
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Berrie Beet Chia pudding 🍓

✨ Food for Gut & Brain Health ✨

Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 which has been shown to boost our good bacteria, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties which support gut health, brain health and mood.

Beetroot and berries contain antioxidants, known as polyphenols, which protect the gut lining (and the brain) by reducing inflammation. These polyphenols are also a prebiotic food for our good bacteria, helping them to thrive.

Serves 4 (190ml maisonette jar)

🛒 Ingredients
1/2 medium cooked beetroot (unpickled)
480ml almond/oat milk (unsweetened)
90g raspberries/strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1tbsp maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
80g chia seeds

✨ Recipe
Add the cooked beetroot to a blender with the almond milk, raspberries, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the chia seeds. Let stand for 10 minutes to thicken slightly and then divide between jars and refrigerate for about 3 hours.

Try adding toppings such as fresh blueberries, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds or almonds.

#sophienielsennutrition #personalisednutrition #optimumhealth #nutritioncoach #brainhealth #mentalhealth #depression #depressionawareness #guthealth #gutbrainlink #gutbrainconnection #easyrecipes #moodboosting #chiaseeds #chiapudding #polyphenols
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Contact Sophie

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