Championing the natural way of eating for health and joie de vivre

A passionate spokesperson for natural, nutrient-dense eating is launching her business from Birdham.

Sunday, 13th May 2018, 11:25 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:19 am
Isabel Hood

After ‘three long, grinding, gruelling years of learning’, former London caterer and international private chef Isabel Hood is offering her services as an international personal nutritional therapist.

Isabel is driven by her belief that food can be ‘utterly delicious, life-enhancing and gratifying - while simultaneously supporting thriving health, joie de vivre and energy’, alongside scope for ‘wickedness and treats’.

She said: “The many years I spent in the kitchen have been hugely rewarding, exciting and happy, but there has always been a deep undercurrent of conflict within me about the effect the dishes I prepare for my clients may have on their health.

“This is what finally pushed me into going back to school somewhat late in life and searching for a way to resolve the many contradictions which I have encountered during my gastronomic career, where the pleasure of glorious, mouth-watering cuisine and good health seemed to be mutually exclusive and incapable of living on the same plate.”

Isabel said nutritional therapy encompasses a natural and nutrient-dense way of eating which makes participants feel like a different person.

Her range of nutritional programmes therefore uses ‘the immense force of natural food to support healing and recovery’ and is designed to set clients back on the road to optimal wellbeing.

She said: “While my approach will be wide-ranging and all-encompassing, I am particularly interested in certain specific fields, predominantly dynamic ageing and brain health.

“I firmly believe that, although growing older may be inevitable, many aspects of ageing which are considered normal and predestined are in fact negotiable.

“Dynamic aging fascinates me because the ‘third age’ is often seen as a time of declining health, declining energy, declining activity, declining mental acuity, declining movement, declining curiosity and interest, declining possibilities. But it need not be!”

Isabel is also covering areas such as digestive health and detoxification, menopause and pre-conception and pre/post-natal support, along with skin, nutrition for dynamic health and vitality and plant-based cuisine.

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‘A totally new Third Age’

It’s never too late for a change of career.

Life-long chef Isabel Hood took the plunge three years ago, when she decided to go back to school at the age of 63.

Now a graduate in naturopathic nutrition from the College of Naturopathic Medicine at Brighton University, she is busy setting herself up in practice as an international personal nutritional therapist.

Isabel said the challenges of going back to school were immense: “My studies took over my life completely and the amount of studying involved was utterly overwhelming.

“The high points were the mutual support among my fellow students and graduating successfully. And I came away from my studies with an infinite respect for the human body, its resilience and magnificence and the infinite, beautiful, even incomprehensible way it flows and carries us through life.”

Isabel said a career change or further education in later years seems at times to be a ‘never-ending slog’.

Her main warning was that three years is a very long time: “Your studies will require a total commitment on your part, pretty much to the exclusion of everything else.”

However, she said she would definitely recommend it to others: “A whole new world and a whole career are opening up to me.”

She said: “It is a fantastic feeling to be walking down a totally new street in my third age. I am planning to get back into food writing as soon as possible, although obviously it will now be about food for vitality and vibrant health.”

Isabel said setting up your own practice is another challenge and the need to get known and build a reputation from scratch was difficult, hard work and time-consuming.

“But I am truly passionate about healthy eating and I am confident in my eventual success, as well as incredibly excited. I turned 67 in March and my first thought on waking that morning was, ‘what a wonderful age at which to embark on a new and meaningful career!’”

Isabel welcomes clients of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of their state of health, requirements or conditions, with the goal of helping them understand how following a natural, nutrient-dense way of eating can enrich their lives.

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