Follow Me on Pinterest Life After Bread - Part 2

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

Pin It
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?
Pin It



Make Your Heart Happy With This Luscious Smoothie

Pin It


An unhealthy heart is an unhappy heart

An unhealthy heart is an unhappy heart

If your heart could write you a letter this Valentine’s, would it be loving or leaving you?

Many of us take our heart for granted.
Like any long term relationship, it’s easy to become complacent.

We forget to appreciate our heart and how much it does for us day in, day out.

We may neglect its needs, take more than we give back and not consider what would happen if one day it decided it was fed up of being treated that way!


Some of us ignore the warning signs of our own heart’s heartbreak…

  • It feels our stress so it beats really fast sometimes and makes us panic.
  • It’s struggling to cope with our food and lifestyle choices so it raises our blood pressure.
  • It feels overworked and clogged up and so we feel breathless and lacking energy.

We may secretly worry that our heart will suddenly pack up and leave! Oh but wait, it can’t leave! We have all the exits covered! So let’s just push that feeling down and leave it for another day…

Or maybe we could spend a little time with our loyal and loving heart and reap the benefits?
You know, one of those equal, loving relationships where both sides are happy – the kind that we all want ;-)

On the day dedicated to all things heart-shaped, how about showing your real heart some love?

Sound good?

Here is a quick and easy way to show your heart some real love this Valentine’s, and I guarantee your heart will love you right back for it!

Heart Healthy Smoothie Recipe

Happy Heart Beet Smoothie

















These ingredients are proven to support your heart’s healthy function. Put them all together and you have a recipe for perfect heart love:

  • Beets – contain Betaine, a key nutrient for regulating inflammation and homocysteine levels in the cardio vascular system.
  • Dark-skinned Berries – Your body loves the antioxidants and polyphenols that berries are rich in. Your heart will love how these regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, making its job of pumping that good stuff around so much easier.
  • Spinach – Packed with antioxidant vitamins and minerals, spinach is a strong ally in preventing oxidative conditions of the blood vessels and arteries such as atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. It also contains certain peptides that can help lower blood pressure by inhibiting a specific, harmful enzyme (Angiotensin).
  • Avocado – Think fat is bad for your heart? Think again! Research shows that inflammation, oxidation and even healthy cholesterol levels are all improved by consuming avocados. Their essential fatty acids are, well, essential for heart health.
  • Chia Seeds – Another rich, plant-based source of Omega3 fatty acids along with antioxidants and fibre to support healthy heart function. These little seeds pack a very big punch!
  • Raw Cacao – The raw and unadulterated ingredient in chocolate is bursting with antioxidants, flavanols and minerals that can improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad type) and strengthen artery walls.
  • Dates – These dried fruits are a great way to add sweetness without spiking your blood sugar. The high fibre content helps regulate both blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and their potassium can help lower blood pressure.
  • Nut/Seed Milk – Choose an organic brand of your favourite nut or seed milk to thin out your smoothie and you will benefit from a plethora of nutrients such as polyunsaturated fats and vitamin that are essential for heart health. It’s also an easy way to reduce your dairy intake and increase nutrient diversity in your diet.

Happy Heart-Beet Smoothie


  • 1 small beet, peeled and chopped
  • 2 handfuls berries –  choose your own combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc
  • 1 handful spinach
  • ½ – 1 Avocado, de-stoned and peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds, soaked in 3 Tbsp of water until they ‘gel’
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Cacao Powder – optional but recommended (because who doesn’t love chocolate?!)
  • 3-5 dates, de-stoned
  • Nut/Seed Milk – my personal favourites are almond milk and hemp seed milk

Make the Magic

  1. If you have a jug blender, simply add all the ingredients with a little of your chosen milk. Pulse and blend until smooth, adding extra milk to your desired consistency.
  2. If you only have a hand/stick blender, you can still make this but it will take a little more effort to blend down. Chop the beetroot into small pieces to aid this process and add ingredients gradually if necessary.

Even if you don’t have any heart health concerns, this recipe will show your body’s hardest working muscle just how much you appreciate it!
And if you have any family history of heart, blood or cholesterol problems, this smoothie is delicious insurance against any future ills.

So tell me, do you worry about your heart, appreciate it or never think about it?
Will you be showing your heart some extra love this Valentine’s?
Please like and share this article with anyone you know who may benefit and let’s spread some cardio love!

Pin It



Why Extreme Tiredness Is A Sign You Shouldn’t Ignore

Pin It

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?

Pin It



Gluten Sensitivity – Are You Making This Rookie Error?

Pin It

Are Gluten Free Products Keeping You Sick?

gluten free packaged foods

gluten free packaged foods may be harming your health


Being diagnosed with gluten sensitivity was like a saviour and a curse at the same time.

It was such a relief to finally know that gluten sensitivity was making me sick and what I needed to do in order to get better.

But… never eat soft, doughy bread again??? Really???
Not another Big Mac? Like, not even just one? Ever?

The only thing that made this whole gluten sensitivity thing easier to bear was learning there were some gluten free foods such as breads and pastas available (this was 10 years ago, the supermarket shelves were not heaving with them!).

Phase One of my post-gluten life consisted of trying every gluten free bread, pasta and cake product I could find. I scoured supermarkets and specialist websites. I became an authority.

Phase Two came when the packaged offerings had all been tried and I was fed up with sandwiches reducing themselves into breadcrumbs in my lunchbox. I wondered if I could re-create my favourite bready products myself? With the help of the internet, of course.
My kitchen became a laboratory. I tried to perfect that delicate balance of unfamiliar flours, eggs, vinegars, thickeners… It was the culinary equivalent of a historical re-enactment; trying to capture that elusive elasticity of gluten using fancy new saviours such as xanthan gum.
I was obsessed like Frankenstein working desperately to bring his monster to life.
My gluten free baking experiments were often a horror story too!

I spent a year in my kitchen.
And you know what I learnt about recreating gluten free versions of favourite foods?
Don’t bother.
Because not only will they never taste as good as your memories, you will likely delay the healing in your gut.

And healing your gut is the key to recovering your overall health.

Those cocktails of rice flour, maize flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, guar gum, etc, are not doing your damaged intestines any favours. In fact, they are likely to be keeping you sick.
Those flours may be technically gluten free (although this is debatable and another blog post on its own), but they are still concentrations of finely ground starchy carbohydrates.
They are spiking your blood sugar and keeping you in a vicious cycle of energy depletion. Not to mention the increased risk of diabetes, a condition closely associated with gluten sensitivity/coeliac disease.
These grain flours and concentrated extracts can still irritate your intestines, preventing healing and compromising absorption of nutrients. This again leaves you bereft of energy and also keeps your body under-nourished, unable to repair itself.

These are just two of the many reasons why you will not fully heal and recover until you get over your obsession with gluten-like foods.

This is the reason why so many gluten sensitive and allergic people do not get better on a gluten free diet. If you just replace your old favourites with gluten free substitutes, you are simply replacing gluten with a cocktail of other irritants.

What is the solution?

Real, whole foods. Forget the white powders. Eat real food instead.

This way, your gut can begin to heal the damage, your blood sugar can start to regulate itself and your body will feel safe. When your body feels safe, your whacked-out immune responses will normalise. Only then are you on the road to recovery and reducing your risk of developing further auto-immune diseases.

And you know what? In a short time you will adapt. Your taste buds will recover and you will enjoy the taste and texture of foods other than soft, doughy-ness. You will forget what your old favourites tasted like and you won’t miss them (honest!). If you approach this with the right attitude and celebrate your recovering health, the thought of ‘cheating’ will never feel worth it.

And you don’t have to feel denied. You can enjoy food that actually tastes of something instead of simply being a carrier for other flavours or a method of packaging fillings.
You can enjoy healthy, guilt-free versions of your favourite treats in the knowledge that your body still feels safe and satisfied.

And we all need a little treat every now and then!
That’s why I created this new recipe for grain-free, guilt-free chocolate brownies.
You can enjoy a treat that gets its sweetness naturally from real foods that retain their fibre content. That fibre will keep your blood sugar stable and also means you won’t feel the need to binge on them – you will feel satisfied with less.

gluten free grain free chocolate brownies

sign up to get this grain-free choc brownie recipe

Bake up a batch of these and keep them in the fridge all week. Like people, they get better with age ;-)

This recipe is one of five smart swaps for starchy carbs that I have compiled in my latest free ebook.
You can sign up here for a free download of the book:
No Pasta? No Bread? WTF Do I Eat Instead?! EBook Download

Take Action Now

  • Sign up for your free copy of my EBook
  • Share this post with anyone who needs to know that eating packaged gluten free foods will not make them feel better.
  • Comment and tell me if you plan to try the Grain Free Guilt Free Brownies recipe.


Pin It



Bread-Free Wraps – Your Lunchtime Saviour!

Pin It

Bread, bread, bread… what to eat instead???!
bread free wraps

Finding healthy, tasty, EASY replacements for lunchtime sandwiches and on-the-go bites is by far the biggest challenge for anyone reducing their bread intake.

These days it is easier as mini marts stock shelves of colourful salads with dinky plastic cutlery…

But what if you don’t want a dressing with a zillion ingredients to it?

What if you’re not sure it has no gluten lurking in the unpronounceable additives?

What if you actually want to choose your own filling?!

These wraps are your path to freedom!
Freedom to create your own delicious lunches and snacks, knowing you are eating healthful ingredients.
Once made, they keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days, meaning you can make up a batch and have them on hand to save you from reaching for the bread loaf.
They also freeze well and defrost quickly. Just take them out of the freezer the night before and they’re good to go in the morning.
Tip: make up your filling the night before too, so you can grab both as you fly out the door in the morning.

Not only are these great because they contain no sugar-spiking, digestion-disrupting grains, they are veggie based so you get better nutrition and they don’t need any added salt. The fibre in the veggies mean you get sustained energy and you can tick one of your daily veg portions off the list ;-)

If you’re concerned because you’re not a huge fan of cauliflower, please just give these a try because they don’t taste overly cauliflowery!
And if you’re really not keen on cauliflower, they taste absolutely amazing made with broccoli instead! Click Here for Broccoli Wraps Recipe

The only thing that makes these wraps too good to be true?
They won’t make themselves! Yup, you’re going to have to set aside 30-40 minutes to make a batch.
But if you are prepared to do that, I think you will be as converted to them as I am.
After all, not only are they gluten free and veggie-based, they have taste! You can replace that floury tortilla wrap or bland white sliced bread with something that actually has flavour. Who knew!

Here we go with the extensive ingredients list…


200 grams Cauliflower (approx. 4 large florets)
2 Eggs
Olive Oil
Yup. That’s it!

Equipment you will need:

  • This recipe is written with the use of a hand (stick) blender. You can make it with a jug blender.
    If you don’t have either, you can even make them with the use of a grater or even just a knife and some commitment ;-)
  • Baking sheets – preferably 2 of them, each big enough to fit two 15cm (6 inch) diameter wraps on it.
  • Greaseproof/Baking Paper
  • A wide, flat spatula/fish slice, preferably a non-stick one rather than metal

Make The Magic

Magician’s Note: I have been experimenting with the best method to make these for weeks. But honestly, if you have different equipment to me, just experiment because it’s very difficult to get these wrong.

  1. Preheat oven to 190c / 370f
  2. Prepare your baking sheets by cutting greaseproof paper to fit each. Place a piece of paper on each baking sheet, pour a teaspoon size of oil on each and brush evenly over the whole surface [yes, you’re applying oil to greaseproof paper – trust me ;-)
  3. Next you need to get your cauliflower down to the finest texture you can:
    My favourite method for this is to chop them up roughly and then transfer to a measuring jug.
    Then I use my hand blender to really mush it up as fine as possible.
  4. Add the 2 eggs to the mushed up cauliflower and keep blending until it’s as fine as you can get it.
  5. Add a Tablespoon of olive oil to the mixture and blend again briefly.
  6. In the centre of one half of a baking sheet, spoon 2 Tbsp of your cauli mixture.
  7. Spread the mixture with the back of the spoon to create a roughly 6 inch round. It will be thin but make sure it’s even and you can’t see the paper beneath.
  8. Repeat this to make three more rounds on your baking sheets.cauliflower wraps on baking sheet
  9. Place on two shelves in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven.
  11. Carefully grab the baking paper with one hand and gently ease your spatula between the wrap and the paper to loosen it from the paper. Work around the edges of the wrap. It doesn’t matter if some of the wrap sticks to the paper, it’s the inside of the wrap anyway.
  12. When you have all of the wraps worked loose and free, flip them over on the baking paper and put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
    You can fold them in half at this stage if you like as they are at their most malleable.grain free wraps

Once cooled, you can store these in freezer bags. They will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for longer.

Use instead of flour wraps or bread sandwiches and enjoy with your favourite filling!

Take Action Now:

Please comment below and tell me if you are prepared to invest the time to make these delicious wraps. If not, what would stop you?

Pin It



Is Gluten Getting You Down? The BEST Way To Find Out For Sure

Pin It

is gluten getting you down

Do you ever worry that your low moods, brain fog and lethargy are actually [gasp!] depression?

I remember driving back early from work with yet another migraine.

Barely able to concentrate, crying and so depressed, I contemplated simply driving straight on into the trees instead of turning into the bend ahead.
I mean, I felt lifeless anyway so what was the point of this constant battle?

At that time, the only thing that stopped me was the thought that I might not succeed and end up in more pain than I already was!

I didn’t know then that the root cause of my symptoms was something I was eating every day.
Gluten almost killed me. It was making my body sick, but it also almost drove me to kill myself.

Do you feel like you just can’t cope with everyday stresses as well as other people?

Exhausted. All. The. Time.! Can’t think straight and your memory is so bad these days?

Maybe it’s your age??? Like, WHAT?! Already???

I felt like this at age 30, but it took me years to figure out that gluten was the cause of my craziness! And there is growing scientific evidence to suggest it could be the same for you.

One of the lesser known effects of gluten intolerance is that it can fundamentally affect your cognition.

Awareness of celiac disease and gluten sensitivities has thankfully become more prominent in recent years. But most information covers physical effects such as bloating, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, constipation and physical fatigue.
Not so much is said about the effects gluten can have on our minds, our emotions, memory and thought processes.

But these symptoms can often be associated with gluten and can be equally devastating when you’re suffering with them.

What’s happening in your body?

When you are sensitive to gluten, your gut becomes inflamed and the walls of your intestines become damaged and permeable. This is often referred to as leaky gut syndrome.
These leaks in your intestines allow food particles and other pathogens to travel from your intestines and into other parts of your body…

It’s a complicated process but put very basically, these particles travel via the bloodstream and set off a myriad of responses in your body:

  • They cause inflammation in your organs.
  • They trigger an immune response that can lead to many different auto-immune diseases (ME/chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc)
  • They disrupt the production of hormones in your brain, thyroid and adrenal glands

Think about what you know so far about being happy…

I bet it includes references to ‘happy hormones’, right?

Or maybe you’ve heard that depression is caused by a ‘chemical imbalance’?

If you’ve googled your symptoms you may even have come across the term ‘adrenal fatigue’

The common factor in all of these is that they each describe some type of hormonal activity.
And a leaky gut can cause havoc with those hormones as your immune system goes to war on the invaders infiltrating your body.

In addition to hormone disruption, gluten can be a real bitch to your ability to absorb and use nutrients vital to the health of your nervous system and brain function.

When your intestines are damaged by gluten, it reduces your ability to absorb nutrients from your food. These vital nutrients include the B vitamins, minerals such as magnesium and chromium, and essential fatty acids that help keep your brain and nerve function healthy.

It makes sense to at least rule out gluten as a possible cause of your symptoms.

So, what do you do?

As a health coach, my first suggestion would be to try an elimination diet, excluding all gluten (and possibly other common allergenic foods) for at least 2 weeks.
If you have a busy life this can sound like such a daunting prospect!
But it really is the best way to find out for sure if gluten is causing or exacerbating your symptoms.

I often lead clients through the process of an elimination diet and this involves much more than just waking up one day and deciding you won’t eat any more gluten!
To be successful it takes forward planning and a good serving of practical and emotional preparation.

Your First Step [It’s probably not what you think]

The most important step in this process is to actually decide you want to do it and make a commitment.
Sounds obvious, right?! But it’s so important to give this step the attention it deserves because it will see you through the challenges ahead.

Take time to acknowledge your resistance points. By this I mean those thoughts that stop you from taking the plunge. Those things that you tell yourself in your head, such as:

“It will be so inconvenient to think of what to eat when I’m busy”

“I have no idea what to eat instead of pasta and sandwiches!”

“I’m worried that my loved ones will think I’m over-the-top if I do this”

Write all of these resistances down. Don’t skip this! This process gets them out of your head and helps you to formulate solutions and move forward.
Better yet, ask someone supportive to go through your list with you. Simply acknowledging these resistances weakens them.

When you do this, you give yourself the impetus to take action. Trust me, this really works!

Take Action Now:

Do you have something stopping you from finding out if gluten could be the culprit of your symptoms? Tell me!
Use the form below to tell me your biggest concern or question about trying an elimination diet. I can help by answering you in future blog posts (don’t worry, I won’t use your name).
Whatever your resistance is, I guarantee you won’t be the only person that has it. You can help yourself and others by submitting your concern.


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Pin It



When Life Hands You Lemons – 4 Step Strategy

Pin It

life and lemons strategy
You’ve been working really hard on getting healthy and then you get the sickest you’ve been in years…

You work crazy hours and then lose that prestigious account…

Or how about: You promised yourself you would stay sensible during ‘wedding season’ and yet here you are stuffed with wedding breakfasts and champagne hangovers every weekend! (not so much life handing you lemons as life leaving free lemons on the table and you minesweeping them…)

When we get that knock-back, it’s so easy to go into panic and tailspin mode.
We start to question everything about ourselves and our lives, not just the problem at hand.
We judge every single component of ourselves, examining each element under our critical lense.

This is the time when a clear set of instructions is actually really helpful.
You know, the ones you’ve read in advance and don’t have to figure out when the crisis hits. So even if you’re riding high right now, sign up for my Life & Lemons Workbook for future reference ;-)

Here is my simple list of actions for those moments when life hands you a bunch of lemons:

STEP 1: Call Time-Out

When you’ve invested so much time and energy into something that doesn’t work out the way you want, it’s so tempting to just keep battling away.
You feel if only you had worked harder you could have made it work.
Or maybe that you failed and don’t deserve to take a break. You punish yourself.
But this is exactly the time to stop for a short while and re-group.
Trying to push on through when you’re exhausted, physically or emotionally or both, is just plain counter-productive. You won’t make good decisions when you’re emotional and panicky.
It’s also a danger time for your physical health: our appetite is all out of kilter because we’re stressed, our sleep is restless or even elusive, our energy is drained and it’s tempting to rely on caffeine and junk to get us through, comfort or even punish ourselves.

If you can take 24 hours out of your situation, as your (official or unofficial) health coach, I am writing you a permission slip.
It’s vital to nourish your body at this time. Giving yourself fresh, living foods will support your nervous system, reduce the effects of stress and restore your energy.
Take on this mantra: “When life hands you lemons, make smoothies!”
Try this recipe to support your body. It takes a few minutes to put together, so it’s ideal to keep you going when you really can’t be bothered to cook.

stress busting smoothie











During your time-out, be sure to focus on self-care routines.
Be sure to do things that make you feel good, nourish you – there are suggestions in the Workbook.
And try your absolute best not to feel guilty about it – feeling relaxed and refreshed is for your ultimate good and is the best circumstance to deal with your problem.

There are more self-care suggestions in the Life and Lemons Workbook I have created to accompany this post. You can receive your Free Copy HERE.

STEP 2: Time to Feel It

Once you’ve given yourself some essential replenishment, if you feel like you need to vent, do it now. But set yourself a time limit.

Set a timer for 10 minutes… now, GO! Really feel all those negative thoughts. Wallow. Get angry. Drop F-Bombs. Cry. Whatever comes up be sure to really feel it.
But feel it without judgement. It simply is what it is. Write it all down if it helps. Say it all out loud to yourself or to a friend if you prefer. But don’t try to fix it. It isn’t time for that just yet.
Have awareness of where you feel these thoughts in your body: is it your chest? or your tummy? your head?
10 minutes up? Ok good, now it’s time for…

STEP 3: Shake It Out!

Think of your body like a memory foam mattress: you stay in the same position and your body will hold those negative feelings in that same place.

When you move your body, the shape releases, the memories shift, and you will find the negativity releases quicker.

Although walks in nature and other soulful activities have their place, if you’ve just spent 10 minutes really feeling your negged out emotions, now is the time for something a bit less subtle! Short bursts of high activity are a great way to release those tensions from your body.
I’m a big fan of dance breaks for this – just crank up a tune and get moving! Feeeeeel that negativity getting shaken out of your muscles!
You can get literal here and use of one of my fave neg-busting choons:
Shake It Out by Florence & The Machine.

shake it out











Feel free to sing, wail, shout, throw offspring-embarrassing shapes, chuck everything at it!

If you need more inspiration for dance break tunes, sign up for my Life and Lemons Workbook [It's Free!]

Ok, feeling cleansed yet? Good. Now and only now is it time to…

STEP 4: Get Real

You’ve taken care of your physical and emotional needs.
You’ve speed-ranted.
You’ve danced the negativity away.
Now is the right time to sit down and figure out what happens next.

Use the questions in the Workbook to really drill down the issue and craft positive action.
It’s also really important to acknowledge what is going RIGHT in your life! And the workbook will help you to focus on that too and use that information to help solve your current lemon-flavoured dilemma.

So tell me, what was the last lemon-flavoured situation life threw at you?
Did you take steps to preserve your health and sanity?
Or did you soldier on through?
I would love to read your story in the comments below.

And don’t forget to claim your FREE Life & Lemons 4-Step Plan (also known as the Sh!t Happens Survival Strategy)

life and lemons workbook signup










We respect your email privacy

Pin It



Are You Being Spiteful to Yourself? 3-Step Formula to Find Out + Fix It

Pin It

Are you spiteful to yourself When I look back to the origins of my gluten intolerance and subsequent years of chronic fatigue, one realisation still makes me go “Doh!”:

My actions were rooted in spitefulness… against myself. And the consequence was a sick body.

Ooh that’s a hard thing to admit!
But let me explain how this lesson can keep you in check and identify harmful thinking when it tries to hold you back in your health and happiness goals.


When I moved from my home town to live with my boyfriend, everything about my life changed. But one of the biggest shocks for me was that my man would not cook. Not even a boiled egg. I knew he could cook, he just wouldn’t. And that got me so mad! I LOVED cooking! But not all the time, right?

My indignant feelings about having to provide all the meals altered my whole attitude to food. I got into a thought pattern of “well, if he isn’t going to spend time in the kitchen, why should I?
We spent a year living on microwave meals and takeouts. He was fine with that. I hated it. Go figure!

Then I got sick. It was ironic that a takeout sandwich gave me food poisoning. You may say that was just bad luck. But honestly, I had it coming.
A year of eating terrible food had taken its toll on my gut and my immune system… I had been steering myself toward a fall.

In hindsight, I could see this thought pattern had reared its head in lots of areas of my life:

He never cleans the bathroom, so why should I?
I gave in when I began to feel dirtier stepping out of the shower than when I stepped into it!

The guys at work just expect that I’ll do the washing up, but why should I?
Eight years of taking my own cup to work and back every day and only ever making my own drinks!

Why do we do (or not do) things that ultimately hurt us more than they hurt the person we are annoyed with?
It all comes down to how highly we value ourselves. I know, ironic, right?!
I mean, we withdraw our co-operation because we don’t feel the co-operation from someone else.
We withhold love because we don’t feel it from the other person.

If I had valued myself more…

  • I would have fed my body healthy food.
  • I would have recognised I was stopping my own shower time being an enjoyable experience.
  • I would have got the support of management to implement a washing up rota.

Can you identify this pattern of thinking in your own life?

You can use this simple formula to figure out if you’re thinking this way.
Are there any parts of your life for which you could fill in this statement?

Step 1 – The Formula:
[Name] is not doing [Action], so I won’t do [Action].

Step 2 – The Cost:
If you can fill in those blanks, ask yourself next, what is it costing YOU?

By not doing [Action], it is costing me [Consequence].

It doesn’t even have to be directed at another person. You can be equally spiteful against your own actions/inactions:
I am terrible at time management, so I’m not going to make plans for the weekend.”

Step 3 – Re-Frame:
Now, how can you re-frame that first statement into positive action that shows love for yourself?

“I am going to [Take This Positive Action] because I value my health and happiness.”

The Cost of my spiteful behaviour against myself led to gluten intolerance and six years of healing my gut and my health.
The Re-Frame was that I began to cook for my health. I learned to love the kitchen again! And my boyfriend installed my dream kitchen for me to spend time in.
Although ultimately we ended our relationship, when I left he asked me where he could buy replacements for the non-toxic, non-teflon pans I used. I bought him a set of those pans as a leaving gift.
Soon after, I met the man who is now my husband. He loves to cook for me! And it’s all healthy, gluten-free food. He values my health because I do.

Please comment and tell me your story of how you have been spiteful against yourself and your health. Can this formula work for you, to re-frame that withdrawal into love?

Pin It



How 1 Hour In The Kitchen Can Save You 10

Pin It


roasted root vegetables

One of the biggest challenges my clients come to me with is this:

“I really want to eat healthier but I just don’t have the time”.

It’s especially challenging when cooking for one, as it’s so easy to just grab
the nearest hunger-filler rather than cooking from scratch for one serving.

But with a little forward planning, healthy and delicious food is not only
achievable but can actually save you time.

Here is an exercise I set for many of my clients and you can try it too.
The forward planning starts with getting a stock of great tasty vegetables
ready for a good ‘ole cookup.

Try this shopping list to get started:
8 sweet potatoes, 1 medium size squash, 2 courgette/zucchini, 2 carrots, 1 beetroot, 1 parsnip, 1 turnip, 2 cups quinoa.

You will also need several storage containers to store your cooked up goodies, and two baking sheets. Freezer bags or paper bags are really handy too.
Got all that covered? Let’s cook!

1.      Preheat oven to 200c 390f Gas Mark6

2.      Cut the squash in half, rub olive oil into the flesh and place both halves flesh side down on a baking sheet.

3.      Rub olive oil into the skins of all the sweet potatoes and place these onto the same sheet.

4.      Place the baking sheet on a shelf in the oven.

5.      Now peel all the root vegetables and chop into approx. 1inch chunks. Toss them in olive oil then transfer them to your second baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and any herbs you like.

6.      Place these on another shelf in your oven.

7.      Leave all your oven ingredients to bake while you do the next step: cook your quinoa

8.      Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a sieve under fast running water then transfer to a cooking pot.
Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.

9.      Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

10.  While your quinoa simmers away, it’s time to do some real ninja veg prep: courgette/zucchini strips to use instead of pasta!

11.  Top and tail your courgette/zucchinis and cut lengthways at 1/2 inch intervals. Now take each ½inch slice and cut ¼inch slices lengthways until they all resemble tagliatelle strips.
Here’s an infographic 

12.  Place these strips in a paper/plastic bag or container and refrigerate to use within 3 days.

13.  Check your quinoa and remove from heat when cooked.

14.  Check your oven now to see how those roasted roots are doing. Go on, try a few. Softened but still some ‘bite’? Perfect. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

15.  Your sweet potatoes and squash should be done in about 45minutes, so check those too. The potatoes should be squashy and brown on the outside. Remove from the oven when cooked and set aside to cool.

So you have all this fabulous cooked food, now what do you do with it?


Sweet Potatoes
sweet potato pancakes








  • Use one or two as straight baked potatoes for dinner
  • Cut the rest in half and scoop most of the flesh from each half. Transfer this lovely flesh to storage containers to use later for mash, a base for healthy pancakes, potato cakes and even as a base for chocolate pudding.
  • You can freeze this flesh and defrost when required.
  • Don’t trash those skins! They make amazing loaded skins with toppings like salsa, guacamole, chilli, etc. You can freeze these for future use. They only take 30 minutes to defrost.

Recipes in my Free Recipe Series, so sign up if you haven’t already!

Roasted Squash
butternut squash soup









  • Scoop out flesh and transfer to storage containers to refrigerate or freeze.
  • Use to make satisfying soups or stir into quinoa for a healthy alternative to risotto.

Roasted Roots
roasted roots salad 







  • Transfer to storage containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • Use as a side to a meal, a base for veggie chilli or casserole, add to quinoa for a healthy warm or cold salad with herbs and pine nuts.

Recipes in my Free Recipe Series, so sign up if you haven’t already!

quinoa porridge 







  • Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate for up to 5 days
  • Use as a side to chilli or curries
  • Make a big ‘ole wholegrain salad with some of your roasted roots – perfect for packed lunches.
  • Make quinoa porridge for a protein-packed breakfast with almond milk and fresh or dried fruits.

Courgette/Zucchini Strips
pesto courgette








  • Saute lightly instead of cooking pasta/noodles

Recipes in my Free Recipe Series, so sign up if you haven’t already!


My math calculates that you will save about 10 hours of cooking time over cooking each of these options from scratch. Plus you’ll have great, healthy food choices on hand for every meal of the day.

For more recipes to use these great ingredients, sign up for my Take5 Series of healthy food inspiration.

Do you forward-plan and batch cook your food?
Have a fave time-saving food trick?
I would love to know your tips, so please leave a comment!


Pin It



Getting Started with Exercise – 7 Tips to Start Right + Stay On Track

Pin It


John Preston Personal Trainer

John Preston, Personal Trainer

Today’s post is brought to you by John Preston at Cheshire Personal Trainer.
I met John recently and was impressed by the open, inclusive and down-to-earth attitude toward health and fitness at his Gym in Stockport.
So, I asked him if he would write something that would encourage people who have been out of the exercise loop for a while (or perhaps never in it!) and give some advice on how to start.
A big thanks (and dips) to John for
his expert advice in his own words
and stay tuned for some exciting food and fitness collaborations in the near future

Getting Started With Exercise 

Ok, enough is enough…….time to make some changes to my diet and lifestyle!

I’m going to really try to eat the right things……….

I’m going to start exercising and get fitter…………

Sound familiar?

There are lots of reasons why people just like you struggle to get an effective exercise program in place and quite often it’s down to barriers such as:

I’m not fit enough to exercise

I don’t have time

I don’t want to join a gym

I don’t know how

As a full time personal trainer in Stockport and Manchester I hear plenty of barriers to exercise (commonly known as excuses)

The trick is finding the right type of exercise for you—one that you can easily fit into your schedule and that is something you actually enjoy. To help you make a start and get active, here are a few tips:

1.       Don’t Overdo It

It sounds cliché, but starting with the basics—walking before running, covering short distances before long distances is key for exercise newbies or even for more experienced exercisers who are trying to pick up some new moves.

Starting simple and perfecting form will also inspire confidence, avoid injury and allow an inexperienced exerciser to build one step at a time.

2.       Use the Buddy System

If you’re starting a fitness program for the first time, a good way to break in is by starting with a class or finding someone to start with you. For some people, training with a friend or within a group can be a great motivator.

Even if you don’t know anyone in a group fitness class on the first day, in time you’re bound to make friends. Knowing they will be at sessions and expecting you to be there is a great incentive to get to class.

3.       Challenge Yourself

While staying within bounds of what your body is capable of, working up to something and doing workouts that increase in difficulty is a great way to stay motivated.

People definitely seem to respond well to having the feeling of achieving something, so pick up the pace, add extra reps or try something tougher if rewards are what you crave.

4.       It’s not all about the cardio

If you’re looking to lose some body fat then endless hours on the treadmill or cross trainer aren’t going to help.

This type of exercise (apart from being a bit dull) will burn a few calories while you do it but not much else.

Try to get in plenty of resistance (free weights or body weights) to develop lean muscle and drive your metabolism through the roof.

Here’s a few links to some basic workouts I have suggested previously on my own website –
exercise for women

Lower Body Workout

Upper Body Workout For Women

If you are going to do cardio then it’s H.I.I.T.
all the way – High Intensity Interval Training
Ask at your local gym which classes are on and have
a go to see what suits you.

      Keep changing the exercise

Ever started an exercise regime and after a month it’s just not having the effect any more?

You have started to become conditioned to that group of exercises. It’s time to change your routine and shock your body with something new.

Try a different workout about every 3 weeks. If you go to a gym then the instructors should write you a different program at no cost.

Goal setting – This is REALLY important!

Long term – by summer / Xmas / when the divorce comes through  ;-)  I want to be……..

Medium term – by the end of next month I want to be

Short term – end of next week?

I will often say to my clients, choose an item of clothing that you can get into but if you lost a couple of pounds would fit perfectly. Hang that on the outside of your wardrobe where you can see it every day.

How good will you feel when that outfit looks amazing after a couple of weeks!

Last of all – Have fun!

If you hate what you are doing then change it.

Find an activity that you like and start with that.

If you are engaging in an activity that you find enjoyable then you will work harder. The more you put in, the better the results.

All the best!

John Preston
Director / Personal trainer at

Cheshire Personal Trainer
I have been involved within the fitness industry
 for over ten years now and have a passion for promoting a healthy lifestyle through diet and effective exercise.

My company’s motto has always been ‘fitness for everyone’ and over my years in the industry I have had the pleasure of working with children, adults, able bodied, additional needs, housewives, rock stars and captains of industry.
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter


Pin It