BCNH History, Ethos & Objectives
BCNH (unofficially Breda’s College of Nutrition & Health) was formed at the dawn of the new century, in 2000, by its founder and Principal, Breda Gajsek, who is passionate about high quality education and a firm believer in the power of Nutritional Therapy.
Breda’s dream is to help facilitate the integration of Nutritional Therapy into orthodox medicine.
My personal journey – in Breda’s words
Eating lots of apples ‘cured’ my heart disease
“I’ve been passionate about the power of nutrition as medicine since being diagnosed with rheumatic heart fever from an early age. I was told that my life would be in danger unless I took antibiotics until the age of 25.
After 3 years of taking medicine, I accidentally came across an old cookery book which suggested that eating apples helps to strengthen the heart muscle. I started to eat lots of apples, while at the same time, without my parents’ knowledge, I stopped taking the antibiotics (I was too young to appreciate the risk I was taking).
Three years later I had to undergo another medical examination in preparation for a demanding 4-year pre-university study. At that time the medical profession realised that I had not been taking the medication all that time and were surprised that I was still alive. Another X-ray and another visit to a cardiologist confirmed that I was ‘miraculously’ cured.
I told them it was down to eating lots of apples but they laughed at me and declared that I was a ‘miracle’. Medicine in those days did not have the knowledge we have today – there is plenty of research showing that apple polyphenols have beneficial effects on many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
That was my first introduction to Nutritional Therapy, the subject I love and have been teaching since 1996.
Depression – a catalyst for a new start
However, the real catalyst for forming my own college was a medical check-up, following a bout of depression, having left the job I loved (teaching nutrition at another college).
I visited my GP thinking that he would prescribe me Prozac, however, my GP (to my huge surprise) advised me to take some rest and suggested that I should start my own college – ‘If you are that passionate about nutrition, why don’t you open your own college?….’
And that was the beginning of my new journey….”
Collaboration with the University of Greenwich
Since the formation of BCNH in 2000, we have gained a distinguished reputation for the quality of our teaching and academic standards and we are now one of the leading providers of Nutritional Therapy courses within the UK.
Just five years after the foundation of the original 3-year diploma course, BCNH embarked on an academic collaboration with the University of Greenwich, who credit rate our modules.
Collaboration with the university elevated our standards even higher, and in order to ensure students achieved comprehensive academic and clinical training the 3-year Diploma was extended to a 4-year Diploma, with Year 4 solely dedicated to clinical training.
1. Food as medicine
Our main ethos is to emphasize food as ‘medicine’ and to use supplements with caution, thus encouraging long-term dietary and lifestyle changes to promote and maintain optimum health, happiness and longevity.
2. Holistic approach
We also teach nutritional therapy based on the principles of Functional Medicine, addressing the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and addressing the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.
- Our main objective is to provide top quality nutrition education, based on the latest discoveries and developments in the field, to help facilitate the integration of Nutritional Therapy into orthodox medicine.
- We also aim to teach nutritional therapy as an evidence-based subject, rather than an ‘alternative’ medicine and we strive to provide top quality teaching and a rewarding experience for all our students.
- Our objective is also to help students develop intellectual and clinical skills, in preparation for independent clinical practice. We also offer on-going clinical support to our graduates.
- We also promote equal opportunities on all levels for people with or without a disability. We have an Equal Opportunities Policy giving all students the opportunity to realise their individual goals and aspirations, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, age or disability.