Practitioner Q&A – Melody Mackeown

Get to know Melody, our auto-immunity, digestive and cognitive health specialist

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January 11, 2022

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Melody MackeownMelody adopts a holistic (mind and body) approach to help clients, to enable them to restore their health to their maximum potential and has seen many people achieve significant improvements in their health and quality of life.

 

What brought you to nutrition?

Ultimately, a long-standing interest in food and how it can affect your body and mind.  I started to cook when I moved to Australia and when I returned a friend of mine gave me a popular nutrition book to read – I was hooked!  I was fortunate that I choose to enter the health arena because of my interest in nutrition and not because I had a particular health challenge.

However, it wasn’t until I started seeing clients that I really knew I was on to something – for example, I had one client with severe dermatitis/psoriasis which literally disappeared within 2 months after a 5 year battle and another client with Sjogren’s Syndrome, where all joint pain disappeared within a month! 

On the flip-side, many people take longer than this to heal or see improvements, especially where they have very complex health challenges and it took a client of mine the best part of a year of dedicated work to see significant improvements in his digestive health.  

You can’t always guess either who will respond quickly or not (unless you do not make any or enough changes) and it may take 6+ months or longer depending on your health journey and how many challenges you have.

 

What are your areas of interest in health and nutrition?

Digestive health problems, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances cognitive and neurological health.  

 

What can clients expect from a consultation with you?

The first consultation will start with a thorough medical and/or health history to see if we can discover the underlying cause or likely contributing factors to your health challenge and the reason you came to see me.  Sometimes GP collaboration will be recommended and set up. 

I will review your diet and help you to improve it.  However, dietary changes alone don’t always fix somebody’s health issue(s) completely, especially if you have a chronic long-term condition or undiagnosed gut dysbiosis, vitamin and mineral deficiencies or viral infections.  In this case, I would recommend functional testing to help you get to the root cause and/or contributing factors to your health challenge.

I often recommend specific nutraceuticals tailored to your needs to support your biochemical and physiological pathways, while you change your diet.

Very importantly, other lifestyle factors contributing to your health challenge will be discussed – such as sleep, exercise, psychological support and of course, stress relief and having fun!

Ultimately my aim is to have a partnership with you.  Throughout the appointment process, I will also help educate and teach you some of the latest (and oldest) nutrition science and to empower you to make positive long-standing changes.  Conversely, I always learn from my clients, as you know your body and health better than anybody else.  

That said, commitment is required from both you and me and an understanding that it can take time to optimise your health.  There is no one pill (supplement) that can fix or reverse an ill!

 

What is your favourite health and nutrition book?

It’s impossible to choose just one! Two of the most influential books for me in the last few years have to be ‘The Biology of Belief’, by Bruce Lipton (www.brucelipton.com) and ‘The End of Alzhiemer’s, by Dr. Dale Bresedan. Read them! The book that started my journey into the world of nutrition and health was Patrick Holford’s ‘Optimum Nutrition Bible’.

 

Favourite on-the-go snack?

At the moment, Pili nuts and organic dark chocolate.  Both are delicious (and that’s important!) and provide good levels of protein, fibre, anti-oxidants and polyphenols, vital for your gut microbiome and to support your health overall.  If you can’t find Pili nuts – try eating a variety of different types of nuts with dark chocolate.

 

Favourite form of movement?

Probably yoga – as it supports both body and mind and can be deeply calming.  Running, I have also enjoyed, as I always feel so good after it and I love seeing the changes in the seasons.

 

When you feel a cold coming on you…

I recently had a cold and my protocol was as follows: gargling with salt water and a drop of luggol’s iodine (which you must spit out).  Ginger and lemon tea and of course, early nights. 

I also took a high dose Zinc, Vitamin A, C, D supplement programme for 5 days as well as a herbal preparation with Echinacea, Elderberry and mushroom powder.  All have strong scientific data that they support your immune system when under attack.

I am happy to say that my sore throat went within 24 hours and I felt completely recovered after 5 days and could function pretty much normally while feeling under the weather.  

 

One lesson you will take from the covid-19 pandemic?

The most important lesson is to realise that we (humans) will always face viral challenges and this is not the first time (think Spanish Flu), nor the last. 

As a result, it is important to take steps now to improve your health and support your immune systems – don’t wait to get sick before trying to fix your health or wait for a vaccine to be developed.  Optimise your Vitamin D levels (and all nutrient status), keep fit and exercise, obtain adequate sleep and don’t let fear rule your life. Be respectful and tolerant of other people’s opinions. Have fun while you can too…! 

 

If you could give one piece of advice it would be?

I rarely come across anyone who eats a sufficient amount of healthy plant-based foods, whatever, dietary guidelines they follow.  

Aim to eat with the seasons (to vary what you eat), cover ½ your plate with vegetables (potatoes do not count), include them with breakfast where possible (e.g. avocado smash, roast tomatoes etc), eat unprocessed nuts and seeds as a snack.  

As plant-based foods are a rich source of fibre and polyphenols, which feed your gut microbiome and encourage the growth of anti-inflammatory gut bacteria and metabolites, they are key to supporting your health and healthy ageing.

 

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