Maya Flynn is a qualified functional nutritional therapist, with an integrative approach to diagnosing and treating health issues. Before we even met for my initial consultation, Maya had detected some issues with my diet – from my answers to her nine-page questionnaire, sent in advance.
This comprehensive document is designed to elicit information about diet, lifestyle, medication, and body systems. Maya is also a certified Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) practitioner and her interest in the gut microbiome means you’ll find some poo-related questions. Don’t be shy! All information is treated in strict confidence, so I recommend full and honest disclosure for optimal results.
I was intrigued to hear Maya’s findings. Could she help me – someone who doesn’t believe in trendy weight-loss diets – to shift some stubborn extra kilos?
When I met Maya in her consulting room at the Club de Mar Medical Center in Palma, I realised that GLOW couldn’t be a more apt name for her consultancy. She could be the poster girl for glowing health: clear skin, bright eyes and, despite being well into pregnancy, apparently energetic and fit. Polish-born Maya lived in Galway for 12 years before moving to Mallorca – hence her appealing Irish-tinged accent.
From my questionnaire answers, Maya had already detected some clues to my inability to lose weight – despite what I believed to be my healthy flexitarian diet. She examined my fingernails, elbows, and heels: “I think you might not be having enough fat.” Next, she used a body composition analysis machine to check my BMI, bone mass and weight, muscle, fat, and metabolic age.
“The machine’s not 100 per cent accurate, but gives helpful indications,” she said. I sincerely hoped that my metabolic age reading (which shocked me) had erred on the high side. At least my daily-scraped tongue had passed muster: “Healthy…pink…nice.”
As we discussed Maya’s findings, I realised that my diet was not as healthy as I thought. “There is no right diet for everyone: even the healthiest of foods can cause disease in some people,” she explained. “Most people who come to me with weight or metabolism problems are staying away from the most nutritious things. This slows down metabolism.”
I’d also completed a one-day food-and-exercise diary, which revealed a problem with my daily breakfast of sugar-free granola. Whilst the nuts, seeds, blueberries, and kefir I added were healthy, the granola wasn’t. Maya had checked the product label: although no sugar is added, the carbohydrate ingredients metabolise to glucose: “It’s all very sugary.”
Maya suggested some breakfast alternatives, including eggs. I grimaced, replying that I wasn’t keen on eggs. “Sweet taste damages our palate and we become picky,” she said, urging me to give them a try. She told me her subsequent report would include some breakfast suggestions and a recipe for a protein granola.
The media bombards us with dietary advice – often conflicting – and not always based on nutritional science: marketing is a powerful tool when it comes to influencing food choices. Maya cites the example of butter: “Our grandparents thrived on it, but butter is not very profitable, so we’re not told it’s healthy.” Plant oils are more profitable and often cited as healthier.
My biggest surprise was that – as well as lacking fats in my diet – I was eating too little. “Your body is holding onto everything because it’s not getting enough nutrients. The more you have, the better the metabolism,” she explained. “Nutrition is more important than calories. You want nutrient-dense foods to speed up the metabolism.”
Maya recommended that I add good-quality beef and grass-fed lamb to my diet. “Even organ meats, like liver,” she said, adding that some people are surprised by this suggestion. “I understand their reaction, but liver is packed with nutrients and when I see people starting to have nutrient-dense foods they start shedding weight quickly.”
Within three days of my informative consultation, I received Maya’s comprehensive one-month weight-loss kick-start plan, along with some meal suggestions and recipes, a food-shopping list, and other lifestyle information, such as the types of exercise that would most benefit me.
Maya is a warm, non-judgmental person with a genuine interest in helping people to deal with a variety of issues, through appropriate nutrition and lifestyle choices. It was interesting to hear her views on vegetarian and vegan diets and on eating fish which may be contaminated with microplastics. She gave me plenty of food for thought.
Although I haven’t lost much weight yet (I still need to bump up my daily exercise), adopting Maya’s dietary suggestions has left me feeling more energetic, healthier, and nourished.
Maya offers face-to-face and online consultations (via Skype, Facetime, or WhatsApp). The number needed depends on the individual. For details of prices, see Maya’s website. As well as completing Maya’s questionnaire and one-day food-and-exercise diary, it’s helpful to provide recent blood-test results.
Club de Mar Medical Center
C/ de ses Rafaletes
Tel +35 386 231 7036
Written by Jan Edwards
About the author
Jan is an English freelance writer, blogger, and radio broadcaster, who moved from Oxfordshire to Mallorca in 2004. She and her husband – aka The Boss – have since lived in rural tranquillity in a solar-electricity-powered finca near Manacor. They share their property with six ‘adopted’ cats.
A former BBC local radio presenter and journalist, Jan hosts gastronomy and hospitality show ‘Table Talk’ on Saturday mornings from 10 on English-language station Mallorca Sunshine Radio.
Jan has had numerous Mallorca-related articles published in print and online and is delighted to be a Nourish The Guide contributor. She also blogs about her country life on www.livinginruralmallorca.com and about food, drink, and places to stay, on www.eatdrinksleepmallorca.com. She has had several short stories published and is currently writing a novel.