In this episode, I will be speaking with London nutritionist and health coach, Marcelle Rose. The number one complaint of people with binge eating, food addiction and emotional eating is usually a digestive one. That makes sense because the digestive track depends on receiving enough fiber and other nutrients to work well. Also many of the binge foods or “food fixes” are foods that can cause inflammation in the gut. The gut has also been called “the gut brain” because it is so closely tied to our actual brains and problems in the gut can increase issues with depression, anxiety and more.

In this episode, you will learn:
1. What are supplements that can help soothe inflammation in the gut?
2. How to heal problems with the gut such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
3. What our thoughts have to do with gut issues?
4. How emotions can influence gut function and vice versa.


Marcelle Rose | BA(Hons) | DipCNM | mBANT | mCNHC | NCFED Master practitioner

Marcelle is an experienced Registered Nutritionist, Health Coach and Master Practitioner in Eating Disorders and Eating Distress. She specialises in helping women beat binge eating, bulimia, emotional eating and yo-yo dieting so they can make peace with their body and heal their relationship with food. For many women this is a transformational experience, so they are able to reclaim their life.

Marcelle consults with clients nationwide and worldwide bringing together nutritional practice, the psychology of eating and behaviour change. Keen to support women however she can with food and body challenges, Marcelle runs a free Facebook group community, The food Freedom Collective.

‘What the Diet Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know’ – free download which exposes the biggest weight loss myths and why you might be trapped in the dieting cycle
The FOOD FREEDOM COLLECTIVE free Facebook community
Supporting women to find peace with their body & build a happy relationship with food



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Hi everyone, Dr. Carolyn here, and I have a special guest with me today. Her name is Marcelle Rose, and she’s from London, so we have an international guest. Let me tell you a little bit about her, Marcelle is an experienced registered nutritionist, health coach and master practitioner, and eating disorders and eating distress. She specializes in helping women beat binge eating, bulimia, emotional eating, and yo-yo dieting so that they can make peace with their body and heal their relationship with food. For many women, this is a transformational experience, they’re all able to reclaim their life. Marcelle consults with clients nationwide and worldwide, bringing together nutritional practice, the psychology of eating and behavior change. Keen to support women however she can with food and body challenges, Marcelle runs a free Facebook group community called The Food Freedom Collective.

Dr. Carolyn: Welcome to the show, Marcelle.
Marcelle: Thank you for having me.
Dr. Carolyn: No, you’re very welcome. So you have your own journey in this arena, right? You had some issues with food yourself. Can you start off by telling us a little bit about that?
Marcelle: Yeah, well, I suppose as an eating disorder, uh, specialist, uh, many people sort of come from, you know, having gone through that experience themselves, mine is slightly different in that I had sort of, I came from gut problems and that’s how I got into it, but it did affect my relationship with food in a way, um, perhaps slightly differently where, you know, I probably became a little bit obsessive about what foods, you know, cutting out lots of foods for my diet and thinking that was gonna help my IBS and so it was more from that, that perspective really.
Dr. Carolyn: Okay. So what, what interested you then in working with people with eating disorder?
Marcelle: Well, I was, well I started off as a nutritionist, sort of more generalist nutritionist. And I was seeing a lot of people with, with the gut problems. And, I trained in the health coaching then and, but I was getting more and more people coming to me that I felt, you know, they were sort of coming and asking for, for help with weight loss and I felt actually there was more going on there and that they needed. You know, some tools to, instead of working on weight loss, there was, there was other stuff they needed to work on because there was quite a lot of disordered eating going on. So I felt, that’s when I thought there must be more to this. And I need to, you know, do some more training and find out more about how I can help people. So I think it came from that. Cause I never really was interested in sort of the kind of world of weight loss at all. But it was more around the psychology of eating and you know, and I definitely say to people when they phone me up now and they, I still get a lot of people who say, you know, I need help with my weight even though I’m quite clear on the fact that I really work with people with disordered eating.
Dr. Carolyn: Yeah. So not so much about the weight, which is the same that I talk a lot about on all the podcasts because you know, often you have to meet people where they are and help them to understand why weight is not the problem.
Marcelle: Yes. Absolutely.
Dr. Carolyn: So in your case, one of the problems sounds like you work on is the gut.

Marcelle: Yes.
Dr. Carolyn: So what. I know that anything to do with digestion is probably the number one complaint of patients with eating disorders is gut dysfunction. I actually wrote a couple chapters in two books written by a gastroenterologist about this scary thing.
Marcelle: Oh, amazing.
Dr. Carolyn: Yeah. Yeah. So tell us a little bit about what you are seeing in your practice and how the gut really works.
Marcelle: Yeah.
Dr. Carolyn: eating disorders or it doesn’t work in people with eating disorders.
Marcelle: Yeah, so I see, I, I’m literally seeing, I would say the majority of people that I see have some kind of kinda functional gut disorder, so something around the symptoms that they see is IBS, perhaps irritable bowel syndrome, but things like constipation. Perhaps alternative constipation and diarrhea in some people, but very much about the bloating. Bloating is a big, you know, a big trigger as well at pain and often acid reflux and things like that. I see that a lot and it’s interesting, I think, cause the stats show that about 44% I think of people with functional gut disorder are disordered eaters.
Dr. Carolyn: Yeah.
Marcelle: And about 16% are, have eating disorders. And then when you flip it on the other way, up to 98% of people with eating disorders, they say how, you know, from studies, they, they say co-occurring gut disorders it’s gonna make sense.
Dr. Carolyn: But which came first, the chicken or the egg.
Marcelle: Yeah. Yeah. And I think with some people, they have manifested from, from the eating behaviors and the stress around food and for others it’s actually, did they have that first? And that’s led to the disordered eating. I think it’s, it’s interesting…..
Dr. Carolyn: In your case, if you had irritable bowel syndrome, I can imagine that you were restricting, you know, what we call restricting in the eating disorder world because certain foods were upsetting for you. And, did you ever see a doctor who thought you might have an eating disorder because of all of that?
Marcelle: I don’t think I did. I don’t think it was that, I don’t think I was sort of at that stage, but I could see myself going that direct toward becoming a bit obsessive. So I think I was somewhere along that spectrum of disordered eating, but not, not yet at that. So, luckily not, not at that stage. And I was able, You know, do a lot of work around that.
Dr. Carolyn: Yeah.
Marcelle: And my relationship with food.
Dr. Carolyn: So tell me what kind of work you do with your clients who come to you and have disordered eating and also digestive issues.
Marcelle: Yeah, so I think I’m a little work a bit differently to, I suppose, nutritionists who don’t sort of work with disordered eaters or people with eating disorders in that. I really focus on the relationship with food first. I think that that’s almost first and foremost because I feel that with a lot of the of my clients, they are almost, when we’ve worked on the relationship with food, when we’ve worked on things like bringing things back into the diet, bringing diversity into the diet rather than stripping things out, which I think, I suppose if you, the common thing is to eliminate and then people have eliminated and eliminated. They don’t know what they can anymore do. Because the just everything doesn’t seem to. And yeah, so really firstly, really work on the relationship with food and you and my language around food, I think I think language around food is so important at this point, but bringing in regular eating, working on mindful eating as well, so really trying to get the clients to engage in their rest and digest state. You know, that parasympathetic nervous system working on breathing. And trying to remove that stress around eating and, how they feel around food and the anxiety around food and what they’re eating and how much they’re eating.
Dr. Carolyn: And I think that the most, the exciting and interesting thing to me is how they call the gut, the second brain.
Marcelle: Yes.
Dr. Carolyn: Because anxiety, anxiety, depression, stress, all have a pretty tremendous impact on the gut. So just you’re saying if people are stressed when they’re eating or they’re stressed about eating, then that can also lead to gut dysfunction and digestive issues?
Marcelle: Yeah, absolutely. It’s that whole thing of if they’re in that stress response all the time, their bodies thinking they’re dealing with a threat. It’s cortisols being released all the time and they’re, they’re sort of diverting all energy and Blood supply away from the guts into the muscles to, you know, run away from something, fixes a threat. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and then, you know, things just aren’t working as well, like releasing digestive enzymes or stomach acid or, you know, just general digestive function it can make…..
Dr. Carolyn: So how do you, how do you help patients deal with the symptoms of digestive problem?
Marcelle: Yeah, so, obviously with the first, the food first, but then we work on lots of different things. So for example, you know, doing things like, I do use supplements if and when, you know, depending on the client. So sometimes we will bring in something like a digestive enzyme to help reduce bloating. And that helps obviously with the, the sort of triggering of the, you know, that situation. So something like that, something things to help. If there is constipation, there are certain things that, you know, I might work with certain foods that help to bring that regularity.
Dr. Carolyn: Oh, give us an example of some of those foods. Because one of the issues, um, in eating disorder, Is constipation related to restrictive eating? You’re not getting enough fiber in your diet, and therefore you can become constipated. Sometimes we’ll reach for a laxative, which causes a whole nother problem, you know?
Marcelle: Yeah, absolutely. If there’s a restrictive eating, then the likelihood is that that, that they’re gonna be very constipated. So, you know, diversity of foods, lots of plant foods, but also things like, you know, simple things like soaked flat seeds, for example. If you have that daily, whole soaked in water and food such as papaya can be an amazing food. It contains a natural digestive enzyme called papaine and, and that can be something. So we work on lots of different things, but I’m really, it’s very individual cause I work on where the client is, what they’re currently eating, and what can we add in to help with that, but we might even use something like magnesium if things are quite bad and, and magnesium can be quite helpful anyway with just as a calming mineral..
Dr. Carolyn: And for sleep as well.
Marcelle: Yes, exactly. But also just the lining of, you know, working on the lining of the gut. So if there is, you know, if it’s not very happy bring some things in. There’s, there’s, there’s numerous different things. Something like slippery elbar powder as a drink. That can be very, very calming and soothing. Um, things like….
Dr. Carolyn: It’s not fun to drink though. It’s kind a….
Marcelle: It’s not, it’s not great. It’s not great, but it can be amazing to just line that whole trap. The digestive trap. Colostrum can be amazing actually, for some people. It just depends on the person, obviously. It’s just, again, looking at that individual and seeing what they might need to calm things down. I don’t like to bring in loads and loads of supplements. I think, you know, they can, people can become quite obsessive and then think, oh, if I haven’t taken it on the right time, and then…
Dr. Carolyn: Or they substitute supplements for eating.
Marcelle: Yes. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. You’ve gotta be very careful with that as well. So, yeah.
Dr. Carolyn: How, how have you found your patients responding to these interventions and adding in food when they have been so restrictive adding in particular foods and…
Marcelle: Yeah, I mean, varies. I mean, at first it can be quite hard for especially, I think people who are, have been restricting that we do very, very slowly the worked on, for someone who’s got a lot of fear around foods and bringing foods back in, we would work very slowly in that. You know, we’d look at, say, I’d ask them what their, their red foods also. So the ones that then most fear the amber foods kinda, perhaps they fear too much of it. You know what quantities look at their foods rules. And look at their green foods, which are the ones in terms of the ones that they’re comfortable eating at the moment. And then we talk through one at a time. We might say, okay, let’s look at what you might wan’t introduce first, and we talk about maybe one or two foods at a time, and try it and see how you feel and when they feel that, okay, it was all okay, we can then work on the next thing. And I do explain that sometimes they might, you know, they might feel that discomfort just cause they’re not used to eating those foods. Their body’s not perhaps used to eating it might take a bit of time, but it, but you know….
Dr. Carolyn: Yeah, I thinks really good point, because whenever you increase your fiber in particular. It can cause more bloating in the beginning, but over time that should go away. What about people who are binge eaters? What are you seeing with their gut? And my second question is how do you deal with the gut microbiome?
Marcelle: Yes, I was gonna say that actually. On that bit, but yeah. With binge eaters, we see a lot of discomfort over feeling of over and nausea, bloating and, and pain. Often constipation and sort of IBS type symptoms as well. I see with my clients. Yeah. And that can be in terms of the microbiome, cause any of that sort of eating behavior can really impact microbiome. So yeah, one of the things I haven’t mentioned is working on bringing in maybe some prebiotics or some probiotics depending. I think you still have to be very careful. It’s not, I wouldn’t say to anyone, just go away and try a load of prebiotics because that can, again, cause bloating depends what type…
Dr. Carolyn: Tell us, tell us first, or what’s the difference between pre probiotic? Lot of people don’t know about that.
Marcelle: Yeah, absolutely. So you’ve got the prebiotics, which are, is essentially like the food, it’s the, the fiber for the gut bacteria. So you, you know, your microbiome is like your ecosystem in the gut, and you gut feed it with the di diversity of food. So the more diverse you are with your, with your plant food, particularly, you are gonna get a lovely diverse microbiome. And in these prebiotic, there’s different types of prebiotic that you can have as supplements, as well as food powders. Some are better tolerated. I than others for people who’ve got dysfunction and it’s really about low and slow. Starting low and slow with that, I would say. And being careful.
Dr. Carolyn: Do you, do you feel that everyone should take a pre and probiotic?
Marcelle: No, I think it’s quite individual. I think for some people. The probiotic as well it depends what type, and not every probiotic is right for everybody and it depends what’s going on with people. You know, some, I’m finding more and more people with sort of histamine intolerance as well at the, and you have to be a bit careful there, which if you are using a probiotic, It’s okay for histamine intolerance.
Dr. Carolyn: And what about food sensitivities? Do you do any testing for food sensitivities?
Marcelle: I prefer to test with, to do comprehensive stool analysis because I personally find that if you’re testing sensitivities it doesn’t, it’s not getting to the root of what’s going on and the problem. So I think. Usually not test with these kind of clients immediately, depends. But usually we’d work on all the foods stuff, the relationship with food, and if there’s still then no budge in terms of those symptoms, then we would go down the comprehensive stool analysis sort of route and try and find out if there’s something else going on there usually.
Dr. Carolyn: So when, what kind of results do you get back from the comprehensive stool analysis that help you to determine what to do?
Marcelle: So we look at, so it gives you quite a good view of how your gut is looking in terms of the microbes, the diversity, and if you’ve got, for example, overgrowth, or if low in certain really beneficial bacteria, often it looks a parasite. If there could be an underlying parasite that could be problematic. Some aren’t problematic. But some of them do have evidence of, of causing some gut problems and symptoms.
Dr. Carolyn: I think it can also show how you’re able to break down fats and digest fats.
Marcelle: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. All of that. Yeah. Looking at how you’re digesting, are you absorbing your fats or are they coming through? Your digestive capabilities tell, it’s amazing actually, some of these tests, they’re, they’re really fascinating.
Dr. Carolyn: Yeah, I started doing those quite a while ago when I was in working at Sierra Tucson, which is a treatment center here for eating disorders and using, you know, digested enzymes, probiotics in my patients back in 20 years ago actually.
Marcelle: Wow. Yeah. And did you find you getting some good results from them?
Dr. Carolyn: Yeah, I felt that the testing was very helpful. We also tested for nutrient deficiencies, you know, like if somebody’s low in in B vitamins or they’re low in omega-3s. And that often is the case, particularly in the restrictive eating disorders like anorexia, but also in bulimia, and we see a lot of nutritional deficiencies. People think just because someone’s in a larger body that they’re overnourished, but it’s not the case. It’s usually, no, they’re undernourished and deficiencies and all sorts of other things, so, yeah.
Marcelle: Yeah. I get a lot of clients might not be, definitely disordered eaters and that, they’re vegan so that they’re restricting in that way. I’m not saying that every vegan is a restrictor, but you know, they’re using that as a kind of social acceptable way to restrict and they’re often very low in, you know, certain nutrients and that’s really impacting them in many different ways and especially kind psychologically energy…
Dr. Carolyn: I don’t, I don’t think many people really think about what it takes for the body to work and for the brain to work. And in terms of nutritional, you know, aspects. And I remember when I first started speaking on this, I used to have like a little chart that showed to make all the neurotransmitters in the brain, like serotonin, dopamine, and so on. You need all of these things, you know, zinc and copper and meat, vitamins and so on. And when you cut those out, then your brain doesn’t work as well. So Yeah. Yeah, it’s very thing we don’t teach that to our children, I don’t think, at least in the US it’s not taught. I don’t know.
Marcelle: Yeah, I would agree. I think in the UK there, there, there should be more of that talk around that. Less around weight centric conversations.
Dr. Carolyn: Exactly. And less around certain foods being bad or, yeah. You know?
Marcelle: Absolutely. Yeah. We’ve got a lot of demonizing of sugar over here in the UK.
Dr. Carolyn: Oh my goodness. It’s the same here, and people convince themselves that they, you know, have this sugar addiction and it’s just the, again, the focus is on the wrong thing. We need to look deeper than just sugar or just, you know, size. So what, what are some of the successes that you’ve had in working with your clients? Can you think of any cases that have been particularly successful?
Marcelle: Yeah, I mean, I’m just thinking what I mean. One sort of lady who I was working with who struggled with binge eating, actually she came to me, she’d been struggling with gut problems four years, so she’s quite a good example here of someone who had been to get lots of help trying to get help on the gut. Her relationship with food had never been addressed. And that was kinda the missing link actually. She’d done all the testing, she’d done all stuff, worked on all these things and that was the thing that really changed everything for her. And of course then she solved kind of two problems at once. So that was amazing. You know, often it can make some difference, but we need to do more work. But you know, that was a real…
Dr. Carolyn: For her. You’re saying starting back to eating regularly and eating more variety and all the things we we know work, just simply doing that really changed her ability to stop binging.
Marcelle: Yes, and, and we do, I mean, I always do the work on with people as well, the education bit around food wisdom and sort of debunking those dieting and weight loss myths and all of that stuff. So help them, really working on, well, so, you know, because they, you can’t separate just the food and the thinking around it. So do a lot of work on that with them. So coaching them through that. So yes, we did do a lot of work on that as well. But yeah, she was able to overcome, she’d had a really hard upbringing. And you know…
Dr. Carolyn: I was gonna ask you about whether you’re seeing people who’ve had a lot of adverse childhood experiences or traumatic experiences in their lives.
Marcelle: Yeah, definitely. And she used to like eat her mother’s food by her father and things like that. So that was really traumatic, you know, and that’s when the binge eating started at a very young age. But yeah, I do see a lot of that sort of trauma and just people, and obviously I, I do work along, someone has trauma and eating an eating disorder I work alongside, you know, their therapist and very much, that’s very important.
Dr. Carolyn: Right. Absolutely. Okay. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about your work? Anything that I haven’t asked you about?
Marcelle: Thank you. Well, I suppose, yeah, I’ve talked about the, I think the thought work is, is really important part of, as well as the nutrition. We’ve talked quite a lot about, you know, nutritional, sort of rehabilitation a bit. You know, making sure that you’ve got all those sort of missing pieces in that can really help you feel better, immediate, you know, immediately. And just basically I try and help people really. Get that balance back in what they’re eating, regulate their blood sugar with what they’re eating is, is an important part I think as well. Just especially for, you know, for binge eating and yeah, there’s sort of lots of pieces of the, the puzzle I suppose with the work. You know, the coaching is, is important part, what I do as part of it.
Dr. Carolyn: And I really love your focus on the gut though, because I think that’s something that’s really not paid much attention to by other practitioners, including dieticians. So I think that’s really helpful for everything because if the gut works, the brain doesn’t work, if the gut doesn’t work, the brain doesn’t work and nothing else works. Cause yeah, it’s just the most important part really.
Marcelle: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.
Dr. Carolyn: Well, I’m, I have all of your links and so I will put those in the show notes for anyone who’s interested in connecting with Marcel. And I really appreciate your being on the show and wish you the best of luck.
Marcelle: Oh, thank you so much. It’s, it’s been great being on your show. Thank you.
Dr. Carolyn: You’re very welcome.