• Charlotte Woods ANutr

Welcome to Balance

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Hi! My name is Lottie. I am an NMC Registered Nurse and an AfN Registered Associate Nutritionist. I would like to welcome you to my personal blog, aimed at decoding scientific evidence into easy to understand nutrition information that can be incorporated easily into everyday life. Food is the literal fuel for life and I am hoping that the information provided here can help you to improve your quality of life and personal wellbeing.

The motto ‘be your best self’ encompasses what I believe to be the most important goal in life. It can be agreed that life’s purpose is to be happy and living authentically and unapologetically one’s self can help to achieve this. With this in mind the best version of one person can look very different to that of another’s. Each individual has different needs, strengths and weaknesses and goals should be targeted to those aspects.

This leads onto the concept of personalised nutrition. In this sense, people not only have their own likes and dislikes, but their bodies have nutrition and exercise requirements specific to them. Whilst I cannot give direct advice to each individual reading this blog. I can stress the importance of listening to your body, trialling advice to see the effects and tailoring all advice to suit your own needs.

I have three core principles regarding a healthy lifestyle. These principles remain simplistic to make them easy to remember and incorporate into daily life however will be explored in further detail in the coming future.


The underlying basis of this blog is balance. A lot of nutrition based scientific research looks at different components of diet, breaking each down to be tested individually on their effect on weight, health and disease risk. There is later research focusing more on the diet as a whole and how all the contributing components of that diet work together to provide the nutrients and minerals necessary for health. One example of this is the Mediterranean diet, of which has been studied and found to increase health outcomes and reduce the risk of chronic disease [1]. Further investigations needed to form more robust evidence but this blog will aim to underpin what balance of foods is necessary to maintain health and wellbeing.


With equal parts to starchy carbohydrates, largest food group that should be consumed is fruit and vegetables [2]. This is because they come with an abundance of micronutrients and antioxidants combined with a relatively low calorific value, allowing a larger amount to be consumed. Fruit and vegetables naturally come in many different colours, generally responding to the type of micronutrients and antioxidants they contain. Therefore, having an abundance of different colours on your plate is a visually easy way to ensure a good quantity and variety is being consumed in your diet. This blog will explore uses, types and seasonal availability of fruit and vegetables.


Evidence has shown that portion size can be an important problem in relation to obesity as larger meal sizes attribute to higher energy intake [3,4]. Studies have shown that training on portion size and energy dense foods can help to reduce overall energy intake from size and choice of foods [4]. Reducing portion size can be daunting to some people, but there are many tools that can be used to decipher whether you are consuming the correct amount of food and how to adjust this if necessary.

Feel free to read, ask questions and evoke discussions on any health-related topic. However, I must stress that this is a safe space, and any unconstructive comments will be deleted to allow other readers to learn and share their experiences. With that said, keep an eye out for further information which will be available shortly.

Love Always,


[1] Dinu, M., Pagliai, G., Casini, A. and Sofi, F. (2018) ‘Mediterranean diet and multiple health outcomes: an umbrella review of meta-analyses of observational studies and randomised trials’, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72 (1), pp. 30-43.

[2] Public Health England (2016) The Eatwell Guide. London: Public Health England.

[3] Rolls, B. (2014) ‘What is the role of portion control in weight management?’, International Journal of Obesity, 38 (1), S1-8.

[4] Zuraikat, F., Roe, L., Sanchez, C. and Rolls, B. (2018) ‘Comparing the portion size effect in women with and without extended training in portion control: A follow-up to the Portion-Control Strategies Trial’, Appetite, 123, pp. 334-342.

NMC - Nursing and Midwifery Council

AfN – Association for Nutrition



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Plymouth, United Kingdom

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