Welcome To Week One
In week one, we are looking at some of the basics of a healthy diet when including supplements, begin our exercise program and mindfulness courses. As the weeks continue, we will be building upon the blocks that you have learnt the previous week. In addition, recipes will be provided each week so that by the end of the six weeks you will have a bank of delicious meals to try.
Supplements and Coeliac Disease: What do you need to know?
Supplements are everywhere, and it is easy to get confused about what you do or don’t need. In an ideal world, a healthy diet will give you all of the nutrition that you need. But sometimes your diet can need some extra help. So where do you start?
Coeliac disease can cause low vitamin D, low vitamin B12, low zinc, low iron, and low levels of other B vitamins. This is often seen when you are diagnosed. This is because you have not been absorbing all of your nutrients, often for years. Once you are diagnosed, and your gut starts to heal, you will start to absorb these nutrients again. However, lots of people with coeliac disease can still have problems with some nutrients even once they are on a strict gluten free diet.
What supplements and when?
Lots of you will need a supplement around the time you are diagnosed with coeliac disease. This is to help get vitamin and mineral levels back up to normal. After a few months, once your gut is healed, you don’t usually need a lot of supplements. It is important to talk to your dietitian about what supplements you need. Important ones are:
Vitamin D: lots of people are diagnosed with coeliac disease because they were found to have low vitamin D levels. In fact, anyone with a low vitamin D level should be checked for coeliac disease. It is a good idea to start a supplement of vitamin D of 15 micrograms per day for adults and 5-10 micrograms per day for children, depending on their age. This is good advice for everybody, not just people with coeliac disease. However, although official advice is to take vitamin D during the Winter, for people with coeliac disease it is best to take vitamin D all year round.
Iron: If you had low iron when you were diagnosed, you would need an iron supplement. Again, speak to your dietitian about the best iron for you. You need to take an iron supplement for three to six months and then recheck your iron levels. If your iron levels are back to normal (both your haemoglobin and your ferritin) then you can stop the iron supplement. However, it is really important to check your iron levels again in three to six months to make sure that your iron levels stay up once you are finished with your supplement. If your iron levels fall again, you may need to check that you are avoiding all gluten or get your diet checked to make sure you are eating enough high-iron foods.
Vitamin B12: This is another vitamin that is often low in coeliac disease and it can make you feel really, really tired. If you had low B12 when you were diagnosed it is also a good idea to take a B12 supplement for a few months. Other B vitamins can be low, so a B complex supplement that contains B12 can be very useful. Again, after a few months you can usually stop the supplement and just focus on your food. Your gut should be back absorbing your B vitamins again.
Calcium: Osteoporosis is a big problem for people with coeliac disease. People who are coeliac will often get more osteoporosis and at a younger age than everybody else. A balanced diet with plenty of milk, yoghurt and cheese is important as well as protein like beans, lentils, fish, chicken, eggs and meat. Lots of people with coeliac disease are lactose intolerant for the first few months after diagnosis. This means that they can struggle to get all of the calcium that they need. Cheese is low in lactose and lactose free milk is a great alternative. However, if you are struggling with your calcium, talk to your dietitian about a suitable supplement.
Zinc and other B vitamins can be low in people with coeliac disease when they are diagnosed. Zinc is not often measured and usually, levels do come back up on their own once you start a strict gluten free diet. However, a general multivitamin for the first few months may be helpful as you get used to your new diet. A multivitamin will have vitamin D, B 12 and other nutrients in it, but you will often need extra iron or calcium if these nutrients are a particular problem for you.
Finding gluten free supplements:
Most supplements are gluten-free, but it doesn’t always say that on the label. It is best to check the product you are using says “gluten free”. If you are not sure ask your dietitian or contact the Coeliac Society at firstname.lastname@example.org for more advice.
Do you need to buy expensive supplements?
There are hundreds of different supplements that you can buy – so how do you know which one to get? It helps if you know that cheaper supplements are often just as good as more expensive brands. The trick is to read the label.
For a general multivitamin: Check that it has all of the vitamins – from vitamin A to vitamin E, check that it has lots of the minerals – iron, zinc, magnesium and so on. It doesn’t have to have 100% of what you need – a general supplement should be a top-up to your food, it’s not a replacement! There is no need to spend €40-50 on a multivitamin when you can get good versions for €8 in your local supermarket or pharmacy.
Buying individual vitamins? Just check that the supplement you are buying has the amount recommended by your dietitian. The cheaper ones are just as good – and you can check with your pharmacist or dietitian for cheaper alternatives.
Although you may need some supplements around the time you are diagnosed with coeliac disease, most people don’t need to take supplements all the time – with the exception of vitamin D. If you are not sure if you are getting what you need from your food, do speak to your dietitian who can guide you. You can book an appointment with the dietitian at the Coeliac Society at www.coeliac.ie or call the office.
Check out our recipe bank. This is not a menu plan but a collection of ideas that you can try as you go. We will add some new recipes each week along with more tips and a focus on a different aspect of nutrition from immunity to heart health.
Week One Physiotherapy - Balance
Join our physiotherapist Cathy for Balance exercises. Improving balance increases coordination and strength, making it easier to perform your daily tasks. Focusing on your balance can also help you to focus and clear your mind.
The information provided in these videos is intended for general guidance and educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your own general practitioner, chartered physiotherapist, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition or treatment.
As the creator of these videos, I am not liable for any injury or damage that may occur as a result of following the exercises or techniques demonstrated. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or injuries.
These videos are not a replacement for individualised assessment and treatment provided by your own chartered physiotherapist or healthcare professional. By participating in these exercises, you agree to do so at your own risk.
Pilates Week 1
Join Suzanne Clarke on your exercise plan as we cover everything from cardio and flexibility training to strength and overall fitness. Included in your programme are 3 video workout sessions per week where Suzanne takes you through movements and correct form as well as additional training days that include walking and core exercises.
In the couch to 5km you will begin your run walk program. Remember to allow time to warm up and cool down. Ideally 10 minutes either side of the given session (10 minute walk to warm up and 10 minute walk to Cooldown down).
Some of you will only do the exercise sessions and that is perfectly ok. If this is your choice, then I would advise that you still try to get in 10,000 steps per day on the cardio days.
You can, if you choose, pick one of the warm up sessions from your exercise days as the warm up before your cardio day. As mentioned above, a 10 minute slow walk works well for a Cooldown after your run/walk and will give plenty of time for those elevated heart rates to return to normal.
Remember to drink plenty of water after your cardio session to replenish the water lost through sweat on your run/walk session.
On your exercise session days, there are 2 levels of warmup session available to you. Level 1 and Level 2. Have a browse through the videos and pick the one that best suits your level.
If you feel you need a longer warmup you can always do Level 1 followed by Level 2 if your ability allows.
In week 1 – sessions 1 and 2 - there are 3 exercises per session. Each exercise is performed 12 times (12 reps). When you have finished the 12 reps, move straight onto the next exercise.
When you have finished the 3 exercises, take 30 seconds rest before you start your next set.
Complete 3 sets to finish.
Be guided by your abilities. If you need extra rest, you can add in extra rest between each exercise.
Make sure to have a bottle of water on hand and have a water break as needed and at the very least between each set.
All the exercises will be explained as you go through the videos so don’t be concerned if you don’t recognise the name of the exercise detailed in the days session.
The third session of the week will be at a much slower pace where we concentrate on core, mobility and stretching.
These sessions will be different every week and again all movements are fully explained during the video.
Feel free to put on your own music and once you are familiar with the session you can always mute the sound and just follow the movements.
Every week the exercises will progress to more advanced levels and the number of exercises will increase by 1 each week.
By week 6, the exercise sessions will have 8 exercises.
Enjoy your first week and the very best of luck with your health and fitness journey.
If you have any underlying health conditions (for example, osteopenia, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes to name but a few) or injuries please make sure to speak to your doctor or health professional before you start the program.
Feel free to contact me on email@example.com with any questions or queries.
An Introduction To Mindfulness
- What is it?
- How can I be more present?