“My mission is to help you feel a sense of wellness within everyday by reconnecting with whole foods”.
I'm Aarti Bhanderi-Shah - Registered Nutritional Therapist, health expert and passionate foodie.
I'm really excited you are here. My mission is to help you feel happy and energised everyday. I will empower you with lifelong practical tools and the knowledge you need to eat and live in a way that maximises the potential of your unique genetic blueprint and your lifestyle.
First and foremost I am passionate about tasty, flavoursome food and believe it is one of life's joys.
Changing your diet and making positive lifestyle changes can seem like a daunting task but with my support, coaching and inspiration we can achieve your health goals.
There is a misconception that healthy eating means dieting, deprivation and boring food but this couldn't be further from the truth.
I have seen and experienced the powerful healing effects of food and lifestyle changes on the mind and body, both personally and with my clients.
What you put on your plate can make the difference between feeling ok and feeling fabulous.
Making your health a priority will create a positive ripple effect in other areas of your life - you will have more energy for yourself and your family, more mental clarity and a greater sense of happiness and wellbeing each day.
Food really can be as powerful as medicine and once you start this journey you will not look back.
“First we eat, and then we do everything else” M F K Fisher
The Early Years
From a young age I was always "the chubby kid" in school, taller and rounder than the other kids. I would eat what was on my plate and anything else leftover on other people's plates.
Even today I still have a “healthy appetite”. I was a sporty child and grew up in a family where we enjoyed meal times and eating well - this seed was sown from a young age.
Growing up in the 90's I was lucky enough to have lived in the era of Spice Girls and Madonna - however, female role models like Kate Moss were sending out negative health messages such as "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".
At University I binged on processed, convenient foods and revelled in the cheap booze. In spite of a poor diet, I continued to stay active and discovered a love for Yoga after stumbling upon Geri Haliwell's Yoga video (I really was a huge Spice Girls fan and yes, it was a VHS video!).
the mind body connection
In my 20’s, a good friend of mine recommended I try Vipassana Meditation - a 10 day silent retreat in the countryside. No talking, no mobile phones, 4am wake ups and two meals a day for 10 days. The experience taught me the importance of the "mind body connection", the philosophy of acceptance and how mindfulness can help you in your daily life.
It is now commonly accepted within the medical sphere that a patient’s state of mind has a huge impact on their physical wellbeing, mental health and overall quality of life.
Mother’s wisdom and family loss
My mother was a pharmacist and a keen complementary health practitioner - she respected the role of conventional medicine but also appreciated the healing power of food, herbs and alternative therapies.
I recall the numerous conversations my Mum would have with patients about their diet. She would duly dispense a patient’s antibiotics and recommend eating homemade yogurt to rebalance their good gut bacteria. These were not mainstream medical concepts 20 years ago.
To help with cold symptoms she would recommend a hot drink made from fresh lemon, turmeric and manuka honey alongside Benylin. Increasingly, scientific studies are proving the efficacy of many of Mother Nature's ingredients.
In 2005 my mother sadly passed away from Multiple Myeloma (a type of blood cancer) after 4 years of battling the disease. My father passed away 5 years later. They were both relatively young and in their 50’s.
It was a huge loss and a huge shock for our family.
Anyone who has lost a parent or loved one knows that death is a time of great grief and also a time for reflection - it is often a pivotal moment for reassessing your own path in Life. I was in the midst of embarking upon “a safe career in Finance” - in the back of my mind I had a strong inner calling to follow my passion and help others to live a long happy and healthy life.
How Aartizen life started?
I have always been fascinated by the science and healing aspects of what we put on our plate. I have had my own health niggles during adult life - acne, sciatica (back pain) and candida - I have found that a combination of diet and lifestyle interventions have helped to heal me alongside medication where advised. This fuelled my desire to study the subject of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine in more detail.
Before entering the exciting world of Nutrition I worked in the corporate world as an accountant. I have to admit I gain much more satisfaction helping people to balance their blood sugar levels than balancing balance sheets!
I have completed a 4 year Diploma in Nutritional Therapy from the Institute of Optimum Nutrition (UK). I am also registered with BANT.
I am trained in the principles of functional medicine - an evidence-based method of analysing the root cause of disease and not just treating symptoms. This is a holistic approach that assesses the person as a whole (physical and emotional state) and makes recommendations on how to support and optimise an individual’s state of health.
I regularly attend seminars and courses to keep up to date with the latest research and best practice in the world of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine.
A new era in health
Diabetes and obesity are putting a huge strain on healthcare systems around the world and I truly believe we can reverse this upward trend by changing what we eat and improving our lifestyles. The NHS spends almost 10% of its entire budget on diabetes and diabetes related conditions. Obesity is a risk factor for many long term health conditions including heart disease and cancer. Lifestyle medicine can have a huge positive impact in this area. That change isn’t easy but it is possible.
Increased life expectancy is testament to effective medication but an ageing population also puts more strain on public health services. Positive diet and lifestyle interventions can go a long way in alleviating some of the challenges that come with the ageing process and helps people to live more happily in their elderly years.