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Is Gluten the Culprit of YOUR Health Problem?

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How can eating gluten create health problems in so many parts of our body?


This is a question I get asked a lot during coaching, and the answer can get quite complex.

In this week’s video I explain very simply how eating something like gluten (in breads, pasta, pizza, etc) can not only give you digestive problems such as bloating and IBS, it could be the culprit for many problems in your body, including but not limited to:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • IBS and abdominal pain
  • Malnutrition/Failure to thrive
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Celiac disease
  • Hair loss
  • Chronic Fatigue/ME
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Memory loss
  • Thyroid disorders, eg hypothyroidism, hashimoto’s disease
  • Skin disorders, eg eczma, psoriasis, rosacea
  • Joint pain and arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Water retention

That’s quite a list, huh! So, how can so many different symptoms possibly be related to eating gluten?


The problem begins in your gut, or your lower intestine to be precise.

Because gluten is not easily digested, these proteins damage the wall of your intestine – where your body absorbs nutrients from your food.
Over time, the millions of tiny protrusions called Villi that absorb nutrients become damaged and the surface area available for absorption reduces.

This means that even if you are eating nutrient-rich foods, your gut may not be able to take up those nutrients and convert them into energy and other functions such as body maintenance and repair.

Gluten proteins also damage the ‘barrier’ between your intestine and what lies behind it – your bloodstream and immune system.
This is commonly called Leaky Gut Syndrome, because your gut literally has holes in it that leaks particles of food past where they should be!

Once gluten particles get into your bloodstream, they are free to roam wherever your blood takes them. They’re on the trip of a lifetime with an access-all-areas ticket!
But in the meantime, your immune system is on to them, uh huh… sounds like your body’s home guard are going to save the day, right? Um, not exactly…

One of the first actions your immune system takes is to attach an enzyme to the gluten proteins in a bid to neutralise the threat.
The problem with this response is that the enzyme your body sends to jump on the gluten and grapple it to the ground, is the same type of enzyme that is also present in countless cells and organs of your body!

When your immune system sends the troops in to attack gluten, it assumes that the enzyme now attached to it is also part of the problem (I feel bad for this enzyme – Tissue Transglutaminase or Ttg – it got mixed up in the wrong crowd and it’s guilty by association!).

This means your immune system thinks that wherever it comes across this enzyme, it should attack.

It may detect this enzyme in your brain, joints, thyroid, liver, heart, skin… are you seeing the potential scope of the problem?

This is where auto-immune diseases take hold: your immune system attacks your own body’s cells because it thinks they are the enemy.

When your own body begins to attack itself, that’s bad news… but there are ways to bring peace to your body.

  1. The first step is to literally stop feeding the problem.
    Quitting gluten can be tough when we find it in most of everyday foods. But it is essential to find out if it really is the culprit. I help my clients navigate this challenge without feeling confused or denied.
  2. The second step is to heal the damage.
    The leaks in your gut and your compromised absorption in your intestine CAN be healed. And until you close that unauthorised access AND get the most nutrition from your food, your body can’t even think about dealing with the war happening elsewhere in your organs.
  3. The third step is to take care of your wacko immune army and re-educate those trigger-happy soldiers to stop attacking the good guys!

If this unconventional biology lesson has set off some alarm bells for you and YOUR random symptoms, that is actually GREAT NEWS!
Because you can start the healing process.

Is Your Body Battling Gluten?
Book a Free Session with me to find out and take action!

If you want to start the amnesty process with your body, I am offering free sessions to three lucky readers in the next week where we can create an action plan for your first steps to peace in your body.

If you have questions about your symptoms or the information here, please leave a comment and I’ll help you with answers.

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What to Eat Instead of Pasta – And Save Time!

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“I know pasta makes me feel bloated and sluggish, but I just don’t have time to cook healthier food.”

If I had a pine nut for every time I heard this… well, I’d be making pesto right now!

But if you find yourself stuck for what to eat instead of pasta, I am here to prove that eating healthier can be quick.

First of all, why is pasta so bad for us?


  • Pasta is made from refined flour – finely ground wheat or other grains.
    These grains can irritate your gut, causing symptoms such as bloating, constipation and gas.
  • Grain flours are primarily starch – and starch is basically sugar.
    Sugar is absorbed quickly and can raise your blood sugars rapidly. Your body reacts to lower your blood sugar, storing the excess in fat cells. This means you store extra fat and get that slump that I refer to as ‘carb coma’.
  • Although ‘whole wheat’ pasta includes the fibre of the original grain, this fibre also contains natural chemicals that can irritate your gut and interfere with nutrient absorption. It can even leach essential minerals from your body.
  • Refined grain products have less nutritional value than more natural foods. So, although you may feel (often uncomfortably) full, your body is still feeling starved of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.
  • Over-using grain products can lead to food sensitivities, damaging your gut and depleting digestive enzymes. This can lead to a myriad of health problems, from digestive disorders to chronic fatigue, celiac disease and other auto-immune diseases.
  • ‘Bulking up’ meals with pasta often means we don’t reach our target portions of fresh veg and fruit per day – and most of us could do better in this department!

If you often just grab the pasta pan because you’re tired, busy and can’t think of a quick alternative, my challenge to you is to watch my video that PROVES there is a simple alternative that is quicker.



Here is the link to the quick and easy Instant Pesto Zucchetti recipe showcased in the video.

pesto courgette zucchini pasta

Use Courgette/Zucchini as a healthy alternative to pasta











Courgettes/Zucchini are a perfect vegetable to use instead of starchy carbohydrate pasta:

  • They are antioxidant powerhouses! Packed with Vitamin C as well as a good amount of Vitamin A.
  • They also boast some more exotic antioxidants like the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are especially helpful in protecting eye health.
  • They are a very good source of potassium, helping to reduce blood pressure and heart rate by countering the effects of sodium. This makes it a very helpful choice for people with high blood pressure and heart conditions.
  • They are also a good source of the B Complex vitamins B1, B2, B6 and minerals such as iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc and potassium – essential for so many body functions, from the formation of healthy cells to transporting oxygen through the body to forming healthy bones and teeth.

Has this encouraged you to try Courgette/Zucchini ‘Pasta’ instead of regular pasta? Please leave a comment!

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Artificial Sweeteners – Health Dangers + Natural Alternatives

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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 ;-)

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Are You Missing Something?

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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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4 Healthy Snack Ideas to Keep You Energised On-The-Go

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healthy snack ideas - sugar snap peas

Hack your Snacks to feel energised

It can be a real challenge to choose healthy snacks when your schedule is crazy or you’re commuting a lot.

But I’m going to give you four great ideas for healthy and quick snacks to eat wherever you are.

The whole concept of snacking is relatively new in our culture, and has been made much more acceptable by clever marketing from the big food companies.

Just to add to the confusion, there are as many professional opinions on snacking as there are flavours of tortilla chips.
The eastern philosophy of Ayurveda does not advocate snacking and teaches a more ‘fill your boots’ approach to set day time meals.
And yet, supermarkets, mini marts and service stations are stacked with endless varieties of snack foods to keep us going during our hectic schedules.

Because many of my clients come to me with low energy and hectic schedules, snacking can be a tricky area to get right.
My most prevalent approach with clients is:

If you feel you really need to, eat healthy snacks.

Also, bear in mind that what works for you now may not work in the future. Keep checking in with yourself and make adjustments.

Let’s do a quick snack audit:

  • Have you ever been en route to an important appointment and just knew you wouldn’t get through it without an extra hit of energy?
  • Did you stop by the mini-mart and grab a bag of crisps or chocolate to see you through? Or maybe a vending machine coffee or energy drink?
  • Did it do the trick? You got through the meeting/class.
  • Were you either depleted or buzzed for hours afterwards? Neither is good for your body!

If your answer is “yes” to any of the above, it’s time to hack your snacks and make choices that will keep you energised without the unwanted buzz long after you needed it or the frustrating slump that often follows.

Because these on-the-go pick-me-ups can be transformed into an opportunity for healthy, natural sustenance and it really doesn’t take much extra work – Just a dash of inspiration and a little forward planning.

Here are 4 of my clients (and my own!) favourite, healthy on-the-go snacks.

I call them Snack Hacks ;-)

Bell peppers

healthy snack idea - bell pepper

Healthy Snack Idea – Bell Peppers

If you are not sensitive to nightshades, bell peppers are a really convenient snack food – you don’t even have to cut them up, just grab it whole and crunch your way through it.

As a woman, I really like the fact that eating a bell pepper whole won’t leave me with a tide mark of lipstick on my face the way that biting into a big, round apple often does!

While we’re comparing them to apples, they are easier and less messy to eat and even have a built-in handle ;-)

They also win out in the vitamin C stakes in comparison, having a whopping 117mg of it compared to an apple’s average of 4mg per 100grams.

Boiled Eggs

healthy snack idea - boiled eggs

Healthy Snack Idea – Boiled Eggs

These are the perfect protein snack to keep you sustained between meals, but also if you have an early start and breakfast was sacrificed.

Just put them on to boil while you’re getting dressed then wrap in a clean tea towel to grab and go.

They are self-contained in their own handy packaging, and I can often be seen in a car park before a meeting just peeling my egg into the tea towel and munching it in a couple of bites!


Home-Made Trail Mix

healthy snack idea - home-made trail mix

Healthy Snack Idea – Home Made Trail Mix

Instead of grabbing that not-so-healthy, secret-sugar-laden ‘Energy Bar’, take a few minutes to throw some raw ingredients into a zip-lock bag.

This way, you can choose your favourite flavours and get great nutrition when you need a lift.

These are some great ingredients to choose from:

  • Nuts (except peanuts) – protein and healthy fats for sustenance and brain power
  • Raisins/sultanas – natural sweetness and fibre
  • Goji Berries – energy-boosting superfood
  • Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, etc – healthy fats again
  • Dried apricots/dates – natural sweetness and fibre
  • Raw cacao nibs – energy-boosting superfood and a natural chocolate hit!
  • Fennel seeds – great flavour, breath freshener and reputed to satisfy appetite quickly

Pre-Packed Veggies

healthy snack idea - packs of vegetables

Healthy Snack Idea – Packs of Vegetables

With just a little imagination, you can steer yourself away from the candy counter and look at the pre-packed veggie offerings in a whole new way!

This is a really easy way to increase your raw food intake and benefit from nutrition in its most natural form.

Look for stir fry packs and individuals such as sugar snap peas or baby corn, which incidentally will satisfy a sugar craving too.


So, are you up for the challenge to turn your snacks into healthy energy boosts?

  1. Please post a comment and tell me your favourite snack – healthy or not so much.
  2. If it isn’t so healthy, what could you swap it for that would help you toward your health goals?
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Why Extreme Tiredness Is A Sign You Shouldn’t Ignore

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We all get those periods of extreme tiredness for some reason or other.

It could be that extra busy time at work which coincides with school holidays and


Is extreme-tiredness letting you down?

entertaining the neighbourhood’s collection of hyperactive kids.

Or maybe wedding season has seen you burning all the candles at all their ends.

But when the tiredness does not lift after a period of rest and sleep, it is an indicator that something else is wrong.

Your body is alerting you to something deeper, and we ignore this sign to the detriment of our health.

Just as overwork or over-exertion is caused by our lifestyle, the feeling of being constantly tired is also linked to the lifestyle choices we make.

What Causes Extreme Tiredness?

Food Sensitivities

A major symptom of gluten food sensitivities is extreme tiredness, also known as chronic fatigue.

The tiredness is due to two major biological responses:

You may be eating foods that your body finds difficult to digest.

If you have switched to whole grains in a bid to be healthier, you may in fact be putting extra strain on your digestive system because these grains contain anti-digestive chemicals that your body cannot break down.

The extra energy your body has to dedicate to dealing with these foods often leaves little in reserve for our over-committed lifestyles.

Other common foods that are difficult to digest include dairy products, namely the sugar element called lactose. High fibre vegetables such as broccoli can also cause problems as the undigested particles feed bad bacteria and can cause an imbalance in gut flora – bacterial overgrowth such as candida has been linked to chronic fatigue.

When your body is dealing with foods it considers to be harmful, a complex immune response goes into action to neutralise the perceived threat. Your body directs a lot of energy into fighting the invader, taking it away from other functions considered less important, including the digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.

Imagine this response as a ship with a torpedo heading right for it: the alarm blasts out and all hands immediately take up their emergency positions. No one on board is going to be concerned with keeping the deck clean or feeding the crew!

But what if that torpedo alarm goes off constantly? Eventually the crew are exhausted and starving, and nothing can function properly.

This is what happens in your body when you consistently eat foods that your body is sensitive to. And the result is just the same: exhaustion and starvation of real nutrients.

Nutrient Deficiencies

This cause is often a consequence of the food problems described above.

Our digestive process is where your body begins to convert food into energy by breaking it down into easily absorbable elements. If your digestion isn’t working properly, is overloaded by hard-to-digest foods or damaged by food sensitivities, you’re screwing with the system! Your body can’t even break down and absorb the nutrients from the good stuff you’re giving it.

This leads to deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals, which in turn can lead to conditions such as anemia.

Over-Stimulation Leads to Exhaustion

This is a vicious cycle commonly associated with severe tiredness. It feels cruelly ironic that even though you are so tired, sleep is elusive. We then try to counteract the fatigue with stimulants such as coffee and sugary soda drinks just to get us through the day.

It’s a tough cycle to break but it’s essential as the use of stimulants can lead to adrenal fatigue, making the situation even worse.

Are you suffering from an extreme tiredness that isn’t alleviated by sleep?

If so, you are not alone. There are over 1 million diagnosed sufferers in the USA and 250,000 in the UK. And those are just the diagnosed figures, with many more struggling through life undiagnosed and wrongly thinking they are failing where others are succeeding.

Whilst it can be useful to give a name to your condition, it’s really just the start of getting better.

Figuring out the often-complex causes of your fatigue is absolutely vital if you really want to regain normal energy levels.

A big part of my coaching tackles food sensitivities and correct nutrition because it is often a major contributor to this type of extreme tiredness that casts a fog over all of your life.

Take Action Now

Do you think the food you’re eating may be a cause of your extreme tiredness in one or more of the ways described above?

Comment below and tell me which foods you think may be the culprits.

If so, would you consider eliminating these foods for a short period to find out for sure?

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