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Tips to help keep you calm this Christmas


  1. Firstly Smile! and always eat a good breakfast: Incorporating  protein, a good example poached eggs with grilled mushrooms, spinach and fried tomatoes, or scrambled egg with smoked salmon or just some nut heavy granola with grated apple, yoghurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon
  2. Keep hydrated: If you drink alcohol you will benefit from drinking more water during the day, to help prevent dehydration.  Thirst is often confused with hunger, reach for a glass of water before a turkey sandwich!
  3. Dinner: Load your plate with the vegetables rather than the potatoes, you can have potatoes but not as many as you would normally eat, if you eat turkey it’s a great source of protein and will help to keep you full and a good nut roast will do the same.
  4. Dessert: It’s all about portion size, have a little and enjoy the flavours rather than eating at speed. (we use small bowls at home rather than the desert bowls in our cupboards, you could use tea cups or small glasses if you haven’t got small bowls)
  5. Keep your left overs out of sight: Remove the temptation to keep going back for more.  You can make the left overs into something yummy the next day, either soup, fry up the vegetables and sliced turkey, sausages and add some eggs for a hearty breakfast, yummy
  6. Take a walk: Get some fresh air after your meal and even before if you can
  7. Offer to wash up: Keep moving your body and help out the host!
  8. Have some healthy snacks to hand: Make mini turkey and salad sandwiches with some fresh fruit and nuts to nibble on.  Try displaying them on pretty plates to make them look even more delicious, use fruit and sliced carrots and cucumber and mint leaves to garnish.

These tips are easy to implement and will help you to sustain a calm Christmas.  If you do over eat and drink lots of alcohol, you may be left feeling a bit worse for wear.  So it’s totally up to you isn’t?  Maybe a January Detox is on the cards?

Noro Virus and hand sanitiser alert!


For those who have children, work in an office, use London transport or work in a hospital or doctors surgery and anyone else who is interested, here are some important tips to help avoid this horrible virus which is highly contagious:

Do these 2 simple things:
1. Use soap and hot water to wash your hands, take 20 seconds to do this and dry thoroughly with clean paper towels, do this regularly and especially after travelling on public transport and before you eat.
2. Keep your gut healthy – probiotics this time of year can be benenficial along with zinc and vitamin D3 supplements, to help support a healthy immune system.   And of course a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and a few pieces of fruit.

Don’t do these:
1. Don’t rely on alcohol hand sanitiser, it does not kill the Noro virus on your hands and it is also not protective against clostridium difficile (a very serious gut infection) you have to use soap and water as described above
2. Don’t use sugar and alcohol (in excess) they destroy the immune system, avoid eating sugar for energy and focus on energy giving foods like nuts and seeds and vegetables sticks for snacks.  Chopped up apple, carrots and celery is so refreshing with a few toasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts
3. Don’t burn the candle at both ends…. do get some good quality sleep – the body heals when its sleeping and gets worn out through poor quality sleep and late nights and this damages the immune systems function.

Hope this helps to keep you well!   Here’s to keeping warm and healthy this Christmas.

 

Psoriasis awareness week


 

 

 

 

 

 

Psoriasis is caused by an over stimulated immune system, this is called an auto-immune disease.  When the immune system is over stimulated, it creates a reaction within the body where your own immune system starts to attack its own tissues.  In psoriasis there is speeding up of skin turnover, and this creates the uncomfortable thick layering of dry inflammed skin  that can crack and become infected.

How can you manage or help this over stimulation of the immune system?

I always start with addressing the gut, by making changes to the diet to ensure it provides plenty of plant based fibre from vegetables, and pulses and fruit.  This supports the gut by providing food for the good bacteria to thrive.  Fat and protein are also necessary, so the main elements of the diet is really to reduce sugar and junk food like crisps, sweets, cakes, high amounts of carbohydrates and alcohol.  A study in 2013 used probiotics to improve tight junctions in the gut  and there are studies being carried out currently that are looking at the effects of probiotics and how they appear to speed up the healing of the skin.  If you want to do some research look for gut-skin’ axis. (sultanna et al, 2013)

Taking a broad spectrum probiotic can help; take them with food or after a meal.

Glutamine rich foods like stewed apples (the need for glutamine increases during stress, infection and inflammation) can help support the lining of the gut and has a positive effect on the immune function and overall health of the gastrointestinal tract, your digestive system.

Omega 6 and omega 3 oils can reduce the inflammation, start eating plenty of oily fish like sardines, pilchards, mackerel, salmon and anchovies. Vegetarians can use flax seed oil or milled flax seeds, to improve their levels.  Taking a dietary supplement can also help, but check with your Doctor or Nutritionist to ensure there are no contraindications with your current medication or health condition.

Managing stress, and finding space in your busy life to bring awareness to what causes you to feel stressed to help you manage it.  Regular exercise like yoga, tai chi and the use of meditation are all known to calm down the stress response. Breathing more deeply is totally free and important for managing stress too.

These small changes can have a profound impact on symptoms. If there is specific help required by a friend or family member for their skin condition please pass on my details.

Because I can see my clients using Skype, I can help you to create the happy and healthy life you are searching for without the travel.  Having the support of a health professional can be the difference that makes the difference.  I see clients face to face in Richmond, Fulham, Central London and over Skype.

(this information does not attempt to treat, cure or diagnose disease, please discuss any changes to your diet and the use of dietary supplements with your consultant or general practitioner)

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Yummy immune boosting smoothie


There are so many people coughing and spluttering at the moment, I wanted to give my body an immune boost to help me fight off those horrid viruses, which seem to be incubating well in this warm, humid and wet weather.

Here is my new breakfast smoothie with lots of immune fighting elements, it tastes amazing!
Yellow mellow immune smoothie: vegan and gluten free

 

 

 

 

 

 

*1 cup frozen mango (lots of vitamin C and fibre) makes it really smooth and adds a little sweetness
*1 dessert spoon Organic cold milled flax seeds (fibre for gut health, omega 3, zinc for immunity)
2 teaspoons Maca powder (fantastic for an energy boost and supports many bodily systems contains lots of minerals)
1/2 courgette (great fibre for the gut and lots of minerals and vitamins – easy to digest and tastes of very little)
1 teaspoon of inulin powder to support the gut and immunity (natural fibre tastes sweet)
*Heaped teaspoon of turmeric (fresh turmeric is amazing but couldn’t get hold if it)
Pineapple core (to support the breakdown of the nutrients so its easy to absorb – bromelian supplements are good to add if you can’t get pineapple core)
*200 ml Almond milk (choose your favourite plant based milk)
*2 inches of fresh root ginger (great for the immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory supporting Th2 immune reactions which increase inflammation)

Add all the ingredients to your nutribullet or blender and whiz it all up then pour into a glass and enjoy!

Sounds like a lot of ingredients, but I had everything in the kitchen so it wasn’t a bore having to go to the supermarket, but remember you can leave some of the ingredients out if you don’t have them.  The 5 ingredients that are essential are indicated with *

Here’s to a cold and cough free September!

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How is wine not vegan?


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I was out with a friend last night and we were having a glass of wine with our super healthy salad, when she asked the waitress is the wine vegan?

I thought, really is that possible?  How can wine not be vegan?  It is, after all,  a product made from grapes.   Not animals or fish.

So I went home and started to do some research.  I found out that during the wine process, fining agents are used and these are derived in most cases from animals.            As these fining agents are not additives, the wine industry does not have to disclose them in the ingredients like they do with sulphites!

This is what I found on the PETA website:

“The fining agent is used to remove protein, yeast, cloudiness, “off” flavors and colorings, and other organic particles. Popular animal-derived fining agents used in the production of wine include blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes)”.

Of course, there are other issues around these fining agents other than wanting to avoid animal products, these additives can create hangovers, increase issues with food intolerance and make you feel rather rotten the next day, even after 1 glass!

So next time you are out and fancy a glass of wine, ask the staff if you can have the list of vegan wines.  You will be delighted when you wake up the next morning without that foggy head and if you have chosen to be vegan you will be assured that you have been able to sustain your choice of avoiding all animal products in your diet.    Enjoy!

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Interesting facts about alcohol


Alcohol is made from sugar or cabohydrate and contains many calories, seven calories per gram!

 

 

 

 

Alcohol yields no nutritional value (apart from resveratrol in red wine and little bit of mineral in stout)1 pint of beer is the equivalent of 1 large pizza slice with pepperoni.. Alcohol is not stored in the body and is eliminated as a priority, compromising fat burning and nutrient uptake. The bottom line is, if you want to lose weight, you need to ditch the booze…. Of course we have the after effects of alcohol too, which will make food choices lean towards the fats and carbohydrates the next day leaving you anything but lean!! Check your unit intakes with Alcohol Aware’s calorie counter

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Weight loss…


fullsizerender-1Now that’s got your attention.  I have been reading the papers and felt quite saddened by the amount of articles and promotion of diets for weight loss since 1st of January 2017.

I realise there are many overweight people in the UK, but dieting always making us fatter in the long run as normal eating patterns always resume.  I have been using a combination of 5:2 fasting and time restricted eating for my clients and myself.  It’s something you can do forever and you can eat most things, so long as it isn’t really unhealthy all the time.   We know that the diet industry makes millions every year, and yet every year we are seduced by the promises of a “lean body in two weeks” or a body image that is never attainable.  Of course this creates unhappiness, when we should be focusing on health and happiness, not what weight we are, it should not define us.  Focusing on being healthy and fit rather than thin is a positive way of thinking and stops us feeling bad if the scales are not shifting.  This will also have long lasting effects and dieting will no longer need to happen as you will be toned, motivated and fit.  Ever noticed how fit people always look attractive!  Thin people don’t always look attractive.  Being fit makes you radiant and energised and that’s very appealing.

For me changing when you eat, rather than what you eat can be so liberating, you don’t have to buy a Nutri Bullet, you don’t have to use powders and potions and you can pretty much eat ‘normally’ within reason, and once a few pounds have dropped off exercise will feel easier and the rest will be history. None of this clean eating, although you can eat that way if you choose to of course.  Getting back to tradition, eating 3 meals not 5 and enjoying fat and not eating too much carbohydrate, simple?

Here’s a great article, it reports that for the first time in humans, eating early in the day lessens daily swings and hunger and changes the 24-hour pattern of fat oxidation and energy metabolism, which may aid in weight loss.

What are you waiting for?  Need more guidance, cooking lessons or support?  Come and see me and I can motivate you and support you on your journey back to health and happiness!  Book an appointment

Bonus breakfast recipe!


Breakfast is a great way to start the day, most of us enjoy breakfast but what’s the best breakfast?  Its one of the most coIMG_3234mmon questions I get asked, so here is a super healthy energy boosting gut supporting breakfast, and it tastes great too.

This is a small bowl, I encourage everyone to use smaller bowls and plates, unless they are manual workers, we really don’t need to eat as much as we do.  This breakfast is a slow releasing energy meal with a good amount of fibre.

What’s in the bowl?

Apple sauce, home made with organic braeburn apples, no added sugar – about 1 tablespoon

1 fresh ripe fig (or a dried fig)

Quinoa, buckwheat and chia porridge cooked with almond milk – serving size 50g

Dark brown muscovado sugar (less than a teaspoon)

What are the benefits and nutritional advantages of eating this for breakfast?  In a nutshell, supports energy production, helps keep blood sugar levels stable and provides your body with an array of vitamins, minerals and fibre! It tastes great too.

The apple sauce/puree can be batch cooked and I keep mine in the fridge, or I freeze it.  I don’t peel the apples, I cook them with the skins on and then puree them, saves time and adds fibre.  Cooked apples contain glutamine, which can help support the gut lining.  I use apple sauce for gut healing, especially for newly diagnosed celiac patients and those with auto-immune conditions.  Core the apples and add to a saucepan with a little water and cook for 10mins, then whizz them up in a blender.   Apples are slow releasing energy foods and help keep blood sugar levels stable due to their low sugar and high fibre content.

Figs are amazingly delicious, we are lucky enough to get them in UK even when they are not in season in Europe, but I look forward to fig season in July and August when we can make lots of amazing desserts with them.  Figs  are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of antioxidant betacarotene and vitamins E and K.

Quinoa is a high protein seed, provides magnesium, potassium, folate, iron and copper.  Vitamins B1, B2 and B6, less of B3 and vitamin E.  Pretty amazing for such a small seed.  High nutrient density helps support the body to create energy and support hormonal and cognitive health.

Buckwheat is a good source of fibre, manganese, zinc, iron and copper.  Buckwheat provides various plant compounds and is richer in antioxidants than many common cereal grains. The plant compounds found in buckwheat include rutin, quercetin, vitexin and D-chiro-inositol.  Buckwheat is gluten free and is an excellent alternative to wheat, which it is not related too.  Buckwheat is a member of the rhubarb family and is a seed rather than a grain, like quinoa.

Muscovado sugar, with some minerals present provides magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.  Unlike refined sugar which provides no nutrition only sucrose/glucose, which provides no helpful nutrition to the body, just a massive sugar hit.  This small amount provides a great dense sweetness with the added benefit of the minerals.

Why not swap this breakfast for your usual cereal or porridge to increase your nutrition?

January detox voucher


With the Christmas festivities well underway, you may be considering how you will feel by January 1st?

I am offering  a 21 day detox  including 60 mins consultation with me (in person or via Skype) at the beginning,  we will  schedule weekly phone calls or emails, throughout the detox and you will receive a 30 minute follow-up consultation at the end. You receive 21 days worth of supplements, food ideas and recipes to support the detoxification processes within the body.  It’s doable whilst carrying out your daily life, you will need to plan ahead though to make this work for you.

Why not buy a voucher for yourself,  your best friend, or Mum if you are still searching for the perfect Christmas gift,  just give me a call and we can arrange delivery.  The detox is £250 all in, all you have to do is follow the instructions and stick to it for two weeks! You will be saving £65 when you buy this voucher

This is a great opportunity to focus on your health, to ensure you achieve your professional and personal goals that you have set yourself for 2017

Can I help answer any of your questions?  please call on 07957 806 207.

Hungry?


I recently went on a yoga retreat. Infact it was a ‘detox’ retreat, I was going for a little holiday and some down time and didn’t intend  to do the juice fast.  I did the juice fast…

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I learnt to ignore the feeling of hunger!

At home I eat well, and I eat three times a day, however I felt I was sluggish and not as energetic as I wanted to be. I am a Nutritional Therapist, I wanted to find some answers and the retreat offered me somewhere to explore for myself what fasting in a safe environment might mean for me.

I started the ‘juice fast’ and thought I was going to have crashing blood sugar and severe hunger. I didn’t.   I was doing 2 hours of yoga, a few lengths in the pool and long walks of 1 or 2 hours each day. I felt fine, of course I wasn’t holding down a 9 to 5 job and looking after kids and cooking, cleaning and having a ‘normal’ life during this time, I was in bed by 9.30pm everynight, it was bliss. However I was surprised by my body’s reaction.

So why am I sharing this with you? I did feel hungry and I felt fine ignoring my hunger. It was liberating. I felt light, energetic and quite focused, not thinking about food or the possibility of food was great, think how much time I had for more positive things for myself?

So what was happening by fasting? I don’t believe I was detoxing, but I was changing my physiology and improving my health.

Detoxing happens all the time and some people need extra support to detox efficiently, this may be a genetic variation or due to a high intake of toxins, most of us do fine getting rid of these so called ‘toxins’. Detoxing means removal of toxins from the cells in the body to the outside. Toxins can be from the body’s natural metabolic process, drugs, alcohol, hormones, chemicals from our environment and stress.

Improving physiology through fasting, what does that mean?

Reducing the amount of energy your body uses for breaking down and digesting food, gives back some valuable energy to mend, cleanse and restore and perhaps improve the bacteria in the gut, it gives your pancreas a rest too. Fasting can  have a tremendous effect on energy levels and clearer thinking.

Getting back to you and hunger: What do you do when you feel a slight hunger pang? Do you go straight to the kitchen or coffee shop to quickly satisfy that hunger pang? We rarely ignore it. We are hard wired to respond to this feeling of hunger, its a normal physiological reaction, but an outdated one, we should all start to interlectualise hunger pains.

The take home message is; next time you feel hungry, see how long you can ignore it, stop the reflex to reach for a bag of crisps, a biscuit or a fruit corner yoghurt or a can of fizzy pop.   A drink of water, a hug, singing, breathing better and getting creative can all help blunt that need to fill the void.   What can you do to change this pattern of eating on your hunger pangs?

I get my clients to think about how long they may last without food (not water) before their body would be unable to create energy, i.e. use fat and muscle stores to survive.  It would definitely be longer than two days!  consider that when you are reaching for a biscuit… you won’t die if don’t eat it, but constantly reaching for them may well be what kills you!

And notice how much we all eat, look around you, in the car, on the train, in the buggy, at the desk, watching the TV; food is all around us…  You can stop snacking!