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Archive for March 26, 2014

Artificial Sweeteners – Health Dangers + Natural Alternatives

We know that too much sugar is bad for our health.

But swapping to artificial sweeteners creates more problems than it solves for our health.
Just taking Aspartame as an example, this additive is responsible for 75% of the FDA’s recorded adverse reactions to foods.

But are there any safe ways to sweeten our foods?

In this week’s video I show you not only the dangers of artificial and even so-called ‘natural’ sweeteners, I show you my favourite, natural alternatives.

And below the video you will find a recipe for my all-time best natural sweetener, containing just two raw ingredients.
Trust me, it will satisfy your sweet tooth without the adverse effects of sugars, artificial sweeteners and processed products on the market.



natural date syrup recipe

Date ‘Syrup’ is easy to make + healthy to eat

Home Made Date ‘Syrup’

Dates are packed with nutrition and healthy fibre, as well as imparting a rich sweetness to many foods.

Making your own date syrup is super-easy and avoids any processing or pasteurising involved with shop-bought varieties.

This recipe will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks… but I bet you find so many ways to use it instead of sugar that it won’t last that long!





  • 2 large handfuls of dates (I use Medjool but this works with any variety)
  • Water – preferably filtered


  1. Rinse the dates and place in a large bowl and cover with water so they are all submerged.
  2. Soak for a minimum of 2 hours (I often soak them overnight for convenience)
  3. Once sufficiently plump from soaking, pinch the stone out of each date and place them in a jug blender or a jug if you are using a hand blender.
  5. Instead, add about half to the dates and then blend.
  6. Add the remaining water and extra if required to achieve your ideal consistency.
    You can keep the consistency quite thick to keep the sweetness more intense, or more liquid, it’s up to you.
  7. Decant into a sterilised jar or bottle and keep in the fridge.

Use this marvellous concoction to sweeten smoothies, juices, hot drinks, porridges and baked goods.
Experiment! Because your body will love you for it ;-)

Unmask the Sugar Baddies + Rescue Your Health!

Sugar is a hot topic right now, with the World Health Organisation stating the health benefits from halving their recommended daily sugar intake to six teaspoons per day.

But what do we recognise as sugar?

Sometimes it’s obvious – the cakes and sugary sodas we know we shouldn’t be eating!

But it can be less obvious when it’s hidden away inside low-fat foods and even products that we assume are healthy.

For me and my clients, the story doesn’t end there… because baddies can be very stealthy! Watch my video to learn what I’m talking about…


Yup. There are other foods that have similar effects on our body as sugar, but do not fall under the sugar umbrella – the Ninja Foods ;-)
But they are often more harmful simply because we are less aware of their unhealthy properties and keep consuming them.

If you’re wondering whether these ‘Ninja’ foods are affecting your health – causing high blood sugar; fat storage; low energy; digestive disturbances and even auto-immune disorders such as celiac disease, food intolerances, hashimoto’s, arthritis, etc., use my Sugar Baddies Test when you’re making food choices.


Are you allowing Ninjas to infiltrate your shopping trolley?

Are they secretly affecting your health goals?

Do not fear! There are oodles of genuine ‘good guys’ just waiting to take their place and restore your health.

Try these simple alternatives to pasta and bread and kick those ninjas out the door!

Instant Pesto Zucchetti

pesto courgette zucchini pasta

Use Courgette/Zucchini as a healthy alternative to pasta










This is such a quick dish to rustle up for lunch, with just a few flavourful ingredients making a big impact.
Courgette/Zucchini are a fab replacement for pasta and even quicker to prepare.
Healthy No-Bread

healthy grain free gluten free bread alternative

delicious, grain-free alternative to bread









You can make this in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer for those moments when you just want bread! This will actually balance your blood sugars instead of spiking them.

Is there a Food Ninja you could kick out of your kitchen?
Have you had a health win from cutting down on these foods?
Please comment and share with us! 


Are You Missing Something?

Do you ever feel like something is missing?

No, I’m not talking about that Monday meeting that left you needing carbs covered in cheese!

Fill the Gap

we often notice the gaps when life challenges us

There are times in life when we recognise there is some vacant space that needs filling in order for us to make progress.

  • It may be a gap in our qualifications that needs work for us to advance our career.
  • Or an absence in our relationships where we’re seeking something deeper and more fulfilling.
  • And sometimes we have a health challenge that highlights all kinds of gaps – in our knowledge; in our motivation to get better; gaps in the right help we need to make progress.

When life throws a challenge at us, the gaps in our support network become very acute.


I remember this feeling from when I was sick with chronic fatigue and leaky gut syndrome: many people doubted I was even ‘really’ sick, and my real friends were well intentioned but not equipped to really help me.

Friends can be a source of great strength and encouragement.
But they often don’t have the knowledge or skills to help you fully.
They are also having their own life experience and this affects the way they view you – projecting their own lives onto you, often with good intentions and sometimes not. It’s not their fault, we all do it!

It can be hard to find impartial, practical, emotionally supportive advice in your regular life.

I got lucky. I had a boss who was rather like a health coach and this was my first introduction to being helped by someone who knew things I didn’t know.

Every week or so he would ask me about my health; my thoughts about an article he’d sent me; had I been practising the breathing exercise he suggested, etc.
It kept me on top of my game because I didn’t want to say, “No I haven’t done that.”

There was a sense of positive accountability that I had not experienced on my own.

It also opened my eyes to the benefits of being coached in a regular, focused format.

I come from a working class background, and the idea of paying someone to help me with my health and happiness felt frivolous and selfish! I had never invested in just myself before then and I had a lot of guilt around the idea.

Who do I think I am, something special?

How can I justify spending money on myself for this when I can just google anything I need?

And so that’s what I did:

  • I joined online forums for gluten sensitivity and chronic fatigue
  • I googled gluten free foods
  • I joined the celiac society.

And a year later I was a walking catalogue of every gluten free product on the supermarket shelves, I was depressed from reading online forums and I was no healthier.

I felt like I had walked around in a big circle for a year when I could have just made the investment and walked a much more direct and fruitful path. Doh!

I remember the first coaching session that I paid for.

I remember the sense of relief from realising that I had been walking around in this circle judging myself:
For not being knowledgeable enough;
For not being motivated enough;
For not being able to ‘fix myself’ on my own.

I remember the relief of talking to someone who accepted what I said about my health, life and fears and didn’t start each reply with, “oh you should do this,” or “don’t be silly!
It felt so much more collaborative than that.
Gentle but positive.

I knew that this collaboration would get me to my goals quicker and more efficiently than any combination of doing it on my own, help from well-meaning friends and forums.

And truly it was the best decision I ever made. Not only for my health but for my life in general, because I was able to make changes in my diet; how I organise my life; in my career; relationships with others; re-connecting with my creativity and other things that make me light up.

Three years on, I help women who are feeling as crappy about their health and their life as I was, to take practical and fun steps every day toward their goals.

:: Whether that goal is cutting out bread because you know it bloats you
:: Or never wanting another debilitating migraine
:: Or getting your blood sugars to healthy levels or planning a meal strategy that will keep you energised alongside a hectic job…
:: Or even if you can’t think straight enough to even know what your goals should be!

Why not take a step out of your comfort zone and arrange a complimentary Health Barrier Breakthrough Session with me.
It will only cost you the time it takes – about 30 minutes – and it could save you a lot of walking around in circles.
Believe me, I know this from personal experience! :-D

life after bread free session

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A Better Way to ‘Give Up’ Bad Habits

sugary snacks

Can you give up your nemesis for Lent?

It’s that time of year when many of us feel the calling to be more mindful about our consumption – and more to the point, our over-consumption.

And so, tradition dictates that we should give something up for the 40 days of Lent.

But what if this traditional practise is actually taking you further away from your health and happiness goals?

Would you make a small change to this tradition for your success?

Wikipedia Definition:
Lent is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations.
The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial.

In my work as a health coach, the concept of Lent presents some problems.

There are reasons why ‘giving up’ does not work.

My partnership with my clients refutes the concept of just ‘giving up’ things – whether it is foods, thoughts or habits.
As complex human beings, we need more motivation to succeed than just the reward of denying ourselves.

Is this how you operate?

  1. When you think about giving up something, you immediately feel a sense of lack, of deprivation.
  2. And those feelings just make you want that thing more!
  3. Your mind races ahead, past the smugness of your self-control, directly to the times when you will crave that which you are denying myself.
  4. You can imagine precisely the feelings of frustration at your own faltering willpower; the moments you will contemplate breaking your vow and the relief of crossing the finish line and rewarding yourself with exactly the thing you’ve been denying yourself!

Seriously. What will you have learned from this other than how to make yourself crazy?

But, a small shift in this thinking can make the difference between failure and success.


My challenge to you if you are participating in Lent, is this:

Instead of Giving Up, what can you swap?

It sounds like such a simple and obvious shift that it’s hardly worth the words I’m writing.

But this is so much more powerful than you think.

This psychological shift can create a pattern of thinking that helps in every change you wish to make in your life. Think about it:

  • Instead of giving up chocolate bars, I will swap to 85% cacao, organic chocolate or even raw chocolate smoothies
  • Instead of giving up coffee, I will swap to a satisfying substitute
  • Instead of giving up bread, I will swap to grain-free alternatives
  • Instead of [trying to!] give up negative thoughts about myself, I will make a practise of positive affirmations every morning.

I can honestly say that my clients have made life-changing improvements to their health and happiness by employing this tactic of swapping where previous attempts to ‘give things up’ had left them feeling like failures.
I have witnessed clients eradicate caffeine from their life with NO withdrawal symptoms; easily reduce their sugar intake with no cravings; lose lbs simply by swapping pasta for healthier alternatives and prefer them.

The simple message is this:

It doesn’t have to be an ordeal to be effective. In fact, it will be more effective if it is not an ordeal!

What can you swap in the next forty days instead of just denying yourself?

As the day before Lent is traditionally a time to fill our boots with yummy pancakes, I thought this client-favourite recipe would be appropriate. Not only can you treat yourself to pancakes, you can do it in the knowledge that these are much healthier than the usual white flour offerings.

CLICK HERE for Sweet Potato Pancakes Recipe

sweet potato pancakes stack

Sweet Potato Pancakes Stack – A Guilt-Free Treat


And please drop me a comment below about what swap you could pledge for the next day, week or even forty days of Lent.