Follow Me on Pinterest Life After Bread - Part 3

Juices + Smoothies – Health Hit or Miss?

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So, you’ve become a convert to liquid nutrition!
But are you falling into this common trap?

Fresh smoothies and juices have catapulted in popularity in recent years, with the sipping of colourful concoctions in fancy containers becoming commonplace.
And they are a great way to pack more fresh nutrients into your day rather than chowing down on a bag of raw kale!

But before your next smushing session, take a moment to check you’re not falling into this easy trap:

I call it… Dah dah DAH! Fructose-Aggedon!

Many of us hauled ourselves on the liquid nutrient bandwagon to kick a sugar habit of some description. It may have been Diet Coke or pain-au-chocolats or too many caramel lattes. Whatever it was, that sweet tooth can still nag at us to make our healthy alternative just as sweet and palatable. Here are some pointers:

Keep it moderate:

  • Be careful how much fruit you are adding to your juice or smoothie mix, because even though fructose is a naturally occurring sugar in fruits, it still spikes your blood sugar. Your body may choose to store that excess sugar in fat cells, it may feed a bacteria imbalance, it may exacerbate inflammation in your body…
  • When using the whole of the fruit in a smoothie, you keep the benefits of the fruit’s fibre content. This reduces the blood sugar spiking effect.
  • But when you push fruits through a juicer, all the fibre remains in the pulp that you throw away, so you get liquid vitamins, phytonutrients, etc… and fructose.

You will adjust:

  • If you’re loading up your blender with fruits, keep in mind that it only takes a few days for your taste buds to adjust to a lower level of sweetness, and this is a good thing all round! After all, wouldn’t it be great to sip a soda and realise it’s actually sickeningly sweet and you genuinely don’t want to drink it?! I promise you, it happens!
  • Eating naturally sweet vegetables also helps to curb our desires for super-sweetness. Add carrots, bell peppers and beetroot to your juices and smoothies to get a more subtle level of sweetness and lots of vital nutrients too.

Try alternative sweetness:

  • You could forego the fruit altogether and add a pinch of natural stevia leaf to your veggie drink. Stevia leaf is one of the most potent sources of natural sweetness on the planet, and it has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels. It’s subtle aniseed flavour works well with vegetable juices and is certainly worth a try for the health benefit potential of drinking purely veg-based juices and smoothies.
  • Beware of common brand names that are a play on the word Stevia. Most of them will be packed with additives such as maltodextrin, they contain very little Stevia, making them not only bad value but not exactly a health food. You can also buy stevia extract as a super-sweet white powder – fewer additives but still a processed version of the natural leaf.
  • Personally, I buy pure, dried stevia leaves – it’s not exactly a chore to crumble some into a smoothie or juice!

Herb and spice things up:

  • Experiment with herbs to add flavour, variety and extra health benefits to your drinks. Parsley and coriander (cilantro) are potent detoxifying herbs. Mint makes for a really refreshing elixir and naturally aids digestion.
  • Spices can also add new flavour profiles and nutritional value to your drinks.
    Try ginger for warmth, spiciness and immune-boosting and digestive benefits.
    Cinnamon helps to curb blood sugar spikes and promotes satisfaction.

Here are two recipes that will help you get the balance right

juices and smoothies
Super-Green Juice Boost

1 small cucumber – peeled if not organic
1 celery stick
1 Kiwi fruit
1 large handful of spinach or kale
1 small handful parsley
1 courgette (zucchini)
1/2inch slice ginger
1inch slice lemon or lime
pinch stevia leaves
Juice all the ingredients except the stevia. Crumble the stevia leaf into the juice, stir and enjoy!

Special Choc-Mint Smoothie

½ banana
½ avocado
3 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked in a little water
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 handful spinach leaves
A few mint leaves
Pinch of stevia to taste if required
Whizz all the ingredients in your jug blender or with a hand blender until smooth. Thin with water, coconut water or almond milk to required consistency. Sip and enjoy.
Tip: One of my clients takes this to the cinema as an alternative to a soda or milkshake.

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Have You Got A Hot Body In All The Wrong Ways? 7 Signs of Inflammation + What To Do About It

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We all want a hot body, right?

We want rock-hard abs; a beach-volleyball player’s butt; energy to dance all night and still get up the next morning.

But what’s going on under the surface?

Could your internal fire be the reason you’re not looking or feeling as hot as you’d like?
This internal heat is known as inflammation and one way or another it will get your attention.

Inflammation is kinda like your body’s pet puppy:
When your puppy is happy and well trained, it will behave and only bark at the door to alert you to a possible danger.
But if you neglect your puppy and let the local ginger tom into the house, cutesy turns into crazy-commando-dog and will destroy all in its path in its quest to catch the cat!

Let’s take a look at our two puppies in turn:

Happy Puppy is inflammation that knows exactly what its role is. You trip over in the snow and sprain your ankle and inflammation reacts by swelling up the area to protect it and alert your body’s healing mechanisms that they have work to do.

Neglected Puppy gets fed all kinds of junk each day, doesn’t get walked or cleaned, which eventually makes it cranky and confused until it bites us to get our attention!

Chronic Inflammation is your body’s neglected puppy – if peeing on the couch doesn’t work, it will bite to get your attention! [Click To Tweet]

Our modern lifestyles mean we constantly bombard our bodies with things that trigger inflammation responses. Eventually this chronic inflammation in our body will bite to get our attention. But sometimes we don’t even realise what’s biting us.

If you have any of the following conditions, you have a hot bod in all the wrong ways, and it’s trying to get your attention:

  • Overweight/excess belly fat
  • Stomach problems – IBS, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, gas, etc
  • Unexplained Fatigue and/or Brain Fog – inc. PVFS, CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, etc
  • High cholesterol/High blood pressure
  • Type 2 Diabetes/pre-diabetes
  • Skin problems – eczma, psoriasis, acne, etc
  • Chronic pain – joint pains, regular headaches, migraines, etc

And beware, because if you don’t pay attention now, your body will bark louder and bite harder.

So, if you’ve figured out that your body is barking at you, I guess you’re wondering what happened to make your bod all hot and bothered. There are many causes of inflammation, and modern living means most of us will probably tick more than one of these boxes:

  • Poor diet—too much sugar, processed food, trans fats, etc
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Hidden allergens such as gluten or dairy
  • Hidden infections with viruses, bacteria, yeast, or parasites
  • Toxins such as mercury or pesticides
  • Molds—mycotoxins, black mold, etc

If you think that your body has a slightly crazy inflammation puppy running around it, and you have an idea of what turned the cutesy into commando, what do you do?
Do you need to call the Body Dog Whisperer?

The really simple solution to getting rid of chronic inflammation is:

  1. Treat any underlying infections (with care)
  2. Take out the stuff that’s causing inflammation
  3. Put in stuff that reduces and heals inflammation

Here’s How:

  1. Deal with infections
    While your first port of call will most likely be your doctor, be mindful that tests for infections, toxins or food allergies are often not top of the list of offerings. You may need to go equipped with your own research and a clear picture of what you want.
  2. Take out the bad, put in the good
    Many of us get stuck on this part… what is good and what is bad??? They may not be what you first think!
    This Infographic can help you make healthy choices. Pin it to your board, put it in your purse or stick it on your fridge to remind you to make healthier decisions…

You will see that some of the causes on the list are lifestyle choices. These are often the most difficult changes to make. Working with a professional such as a health coach, to create and implement lifestyle changes can really keep you on track and make sustainable improvements. 

Contact Me if you would like to arrange a no-obligation Health Breakthrough Session (It’s Free)

If you have a problem, please take this advice and deal with it NOW. I work with clients at various points on the inflammation scale, from fatigue problems to medicated diabetes. Believe me, it is much easier for my clients to reverse health problems lower down on the scale!

If you are popping antacids or painkillers on a regular basis, having trouble sustaining energy for your normal life or looking in the mirror wondering where that belly fat came from, you are at the perfect time to take positive steps to reduce your inflammation and recover health before it turns into something more serious.

Comment Below and tell me what part of your body you think may be barking to get your attention.
Please SHARE to help your friends pay attention to their barking body!

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Write Your OWN Oscar Speech to Set Health + Happiness Goals

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write you own oscar speech and increase happinessCelebrating yourself and practising gratitude can increase happiness, motivation and help you set goals.

As the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards are revealed today, think about this:

When was the last time you prepared an acceptance speech?
Ooh, what was that?
“Can’t remember”?
“I never win anything!”?
Or maybe “I have my lottery winner press conference all figured out!”

Well it’s true that unless you’re Meryl Streep you probably don’t have a mantelpiece heaving with gongs (your parents spare room still decorated with your childhood swimming certificates don’t count, sorry). Not so many opportunities for us regular joes to take the spotlight and acknowledge the people who have helped us reach such lofty heights.

But I think there’s an opportunity being missed here…
As we launch ourselves into this fresh new year, maybe filled with energy for our resolutions, perhaps not so much, I encourage you to take a break and think about this:
You ARE a winner. You are here right now in 2013, doing your thing. And if you’re reading my blog, you most likely have an interest in making this year even better than all the ones you’ve lived so far.
So, how about writing your own acceptance speech for your life? Your life so far, right up to this point of existence.
How about giving thanks and acknowledgement for everyone who has played a part in where you are right now?

Think about the archetypal Oscar speech. Our celluloid heroes take the opportunity to thank the people who have helped them and who collectively deserve recognition in their achievement.
And although our own speech may not include our Hollywood agent, we are all people having a life experience of other people.
It is possible to achieve some things on our own, but most of us have been blessed at some point with the support/inspiration/example of another person.

Can you run a scan of your life and pinpoint those people?
The ones you remember and think “yeah, a part of me exists today because of that experience”.

Go on, take a moment and write a list…

I feel lucky that my own list is long. Here is just an excerpt (what can I say, I’m going through my glittery pen phase):

my oscar thankyou list

I am so happy that I have had the honour of adding my clients to this year’s list.
Being a part of the power of people working together to overcome chronic fatigue, reverse type2 diabetes, manage stress, begin exercising regularly, get their dream job, increase their confidence, regain their cognition, eradicate PMT, etc, has been truly amazing. It also shows that being of service to others deserves just as much space on your list, because by helping others we help ourselves.

So, back to your list and the people on it:
what is/was it about them that had such a profound effect on you?
Sometimes the reason is hard to pin down, but somehow we were able to relate to that person, connect with them, bounce off them, trust them.
They were also probably in exactly the right place at the right time for you.

Most of us possess enough knowledge and skills to complete a task, but we work better with people around us. In our corner. On our side.

This was exactly my experience during my health coaching training.
Technically, I had the skills and the resources to complete the course on my own. But even if I had been able to muster the motivation with only myself to be accountable to, it would not have been the enriching, life changing experience that it was without my health coach and my fellow students to support me and keep me on track.

When we think about the people who have helped us become who we are today, very often what they did was give you a safe space and provided the right tools for you to step into your own power.
They didn’t do it for you. They empowered you to do it for your self in your own unique way.

So, you’ve taken the time for an energising gratitude practise. What happens next?
This is the really exciting bit – the BIG BANG ACTION STEP to move you forward.
It’s a brand new year with fresh new goals. Keeping in mind the lesson that we people are connected to each other through our experiences, who will feature in the goals you want to achieve this year? Who do you need in your life to help you achieve those goals? Who will be in your speech this time next year?

  • It could be a career advisor to help you get that job you know you can shine in.
  • A friendship that could develop into a linchpin of support for both of you.
  • A health coach to give you that safe space and the tools to achieve your health and happiness dreams.

Get proactive in your search for the people who will become your collaborators in the life you really want to lead!

Leave a comment below about who you want on your list! Or post some gratitude about who is on your list right now. Studies show that writing notes of gratitude increases our own happiness, promotes quality sleep and helps us reach our goals.

If you want to give yourself the gift of some space to explore the possibilities for your health and happiness in this fresh new year, contact me to arrange a free, no obligation Health Breakthrough Session and see how the power of partnership can transform you!

I’ll leave you with a fab video that shows how expressing gratitude in your own unique way can make everyone in the room (including you) feel amazing!

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4 Steps to Help Overcome That Fear and Achieve Your Goals

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We can overcome our prehistoric genes, swim through those scarey moments and reach our goals.

overcome your fears

I could taste the saltiness in my throat as my breathing quickened, magnified and menacing through my snorkel.
I thought about the magnitude of what I was doing. For me, that is: a lifelong underwater phobic with an ironic obsession for coral reefs.
Others around me were swimming and diving with carefree ease. I was surrounded by water babies whereas I felt like a cat that had fallen into the fish pond!

I took a moment to tread water, risking being left behind by the group. I glanced back to where our boat was anchored. Both directions felt like a mile away!
I hesitated. At this point I could swim back to the boat and a reassuring dry deck with my panic abated. But I had visualised the experience ahead of me for a whole two years: floating above a coral reef, marvelling at the beauty, the colours, the serenity. At this moment, any available serenity was being drowned out by the din of my panicking lungs!
Another moment: Slow, regular breaths just like my meditation practice, a word to myself that I can do this. I turned away from the boat and started swimming.

And there it was. Everything I had imagined. The colourful corals, the fantasia of fishes elegantly swimming about their watery business, the sun’s rays penetrating the cyan water like the gods were shining a spotlight for us to witness the beauty.
And so I floated, I marvelled, I accepted every emotion. I allowed the fear to be, but not consume. I kept breathing.
And eventually I swam back to the boat buoyant with excitement, gratitude and pride.

Why am I writing this story all about me, me, me?
Because the experience pulled some important life and health lessons into focus.

Whether your goal is to eat healthier, exercise or pursue a more fulfilling career, there will be times when no matter how much you prepare, you will encounter inner resistance. Times when your familiar habits feel so much closer than your desired destination. But those are exactly the times when we need to take a breath and remind ourselves that we wouldn’t have started the journey if we didn’t know that what we are travelling towards is better than where we started from.

Here are some tips to overcome those moments when the leap ahead feels so much farther than the retreat to familiar territory:

  1. Be prepared
    Visualising achieving your goal and how your life will be when that happens actually changes you on a physiological level: your brain can’t tell the difference between a real and imagined action. When you imagine an action, your body produces the same electrical impulses as if you were doing it for real. This strengthens the neural pathways, creating a mental navigation plan for the action. This is why so many athletes use visualisation to gain a competitive edge.
  2. Acknowledge your fear/doubt/panic
    Say hello (or flick your tongue) to your lizard brain! Yes, we have a pre-historic lump near the brain stem that sends out those feelings of fear and resistance. And it isn’t going anywhere any time soon so we may as well make friends with it. Recognise that it’s just a part of you, trying to protect you. But that fear of the unknown need not be your whole story.
    Finding a way to acknowledge this part of our experience without allowing it to take over and hold us back is part of becoming the whole person you want to be.
    The visualisation from step 1 will help you keep the lizard in its cage. And if the lizard gets loose at the point of action, then deep, steady breathing works really well to calm your prehistoric pet.
  3. Take a bite at a time.
    It’s so daunting to look at your end goal, whether it’s life without your love handles or earning the salary you know you are worth. But breaking down your ultimate goal into achievable chunks makes changes much easier to adjust to plus you get to celebrate each step on the way. Take some me-time to figure out the ‘hows’ on the way to your goal.
    And here’s another cool factoid about Step 1 that supports this practice of breaking up your plan into bite size chunks:  There is a part of your brain called the posterior parietal cortex that is responsible for creating a navigation plan for action. It’s a busy bit of brain, gathering information from our skin, internal organs and vision to create these action plans. If we give it too much information at once through visualisation, it gets overloaded and your well-laid mental plans become less effective. Treat your visualisation as a practise. Imagine your end goal vividly to get your creative juices flowing, but also create a plan to visualise each step of your plan as you work through them.
  4. Take Action!
    Imagination is a wonderful gift, but Intention + Action = Miracles
    You have prepared yourself mentally for the steps required. Now it’s time to let those strengthened neural pathways do their job. You have your bite-size steps all ready to execute, so go get ‘em!
    And remember, when the resistance appears, you have the tools and understanding to KEEP. ON. SWIMMING.

Do you have a dream, a goal, an ambition that feels kinda scarey when you think about it? You know, that fluttery, knotty feeling in your stomach or a slight quickening of your breath.
Is your pet lizard flicking it’s tail at the thought of you getting outside your comfort zone?
THAT’S GOOD! That’s the place where the real magic happens.
Tell me what your dream is, what that deep down burning ambition is. Let’s imagine it together.

If you would like to talk through your health and life goals and discuss how you can achieve them, contact me for a FREE Health Breakthrough Session.


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Getting Back to our Roots (and squashes and plums…)

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LifeAfterBread Autumn Kale SaladThe *BOOM* of fireworks and bare trees indicates that we’re more than halfway through our autumn season now.

It can be an unsettling time of year.

We are in shock from the early descending darkness and it isn’t yet time to think of Christmas.

It’s plain cold, and the colourful autumn leaves are just litter now.
Oh November!

But this is an important time of year.
The trees have shed their leaves to concentrate their energies back into their roots, to build a strong foundation for the winter ahead and beyond to grow again in the spring. It’s a naturally grounding time, a time to look inward, conserve energy, and strengthen foundations for times ahead.

We are part of this universal web of life but that’s something we easily forget. Our natural rhythm is also to turn inward at this time of year: to reflect, re evaluate and refocus.
But our busy lives often mask this natural rhythm and we feel ‘out of sorts’, have trouble adjusting to the change in daylight and the cold months ahead only fill us with dread! But we may still have inklings of our desire to turn inward.
This may be not wanting to venture out so much socially, preferring to settle into the sofa (would X Factor have been such a hit if it had a summer scheduling?). We may try to fight against this instinct and carry on at the pace of the outgoing summer months, wondering what’s wrong with us for not feeling enthusiastic at the prospect.

When we honour our body’s natural rhythm, we make the transition into winter a far less rocky road and make healthier changes than just hibernating on the sofa with pudding and custard instead of ice cream!

Recognise that things change – always. The seasons change, and they come back round again. So it goes that our routines can and probably should change in line with that. Now is the perfect time to think about whether your routines are still working for you.

Should you switch your run from evening to morning and go to bed earlier?

Is your mediterranean salad lunch making you feel cold and unsatisfied? Perhaps it’s time to switch to soups or a more warming, spice-infused salad (see recipe below)

Would the run up to Christmas stress be more manageable with a yoga class instead of body pump?

Would you rather forsake the sailing club winter drinkies meetup for salsa classes or a language night course?

If we take the time to evaluate our routine, we can put in place healthier alternatives that are a better fit for the season. Otherwise there’s every chance we’ll just veg out on Downton Abbey reruns and emerge for the spring having missed some great opportunities to keep living life!

So, a little more about food (it’s always going to happen here). You can embrace this season’s offerings and fulfil your need for comfort and warmth with healthy choices.

  • Swap the imported strawberries, blueberries and raspeberries for more seasonal coloured fruits and retain your dose of antioxidants and vitamins. Think plums, fresh figs, dark grapes (preferably organic) and look out for gloriously smooth and sweet persimmons.
  • Add seasonal roots to your plates with carrots, beetroot, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, swedes, etc. Packed with nutrients and natural sweetness to curb sweet cravings. My husband had his cold weather dinner of sausage and mash last night but swapped the white spuds for sweet potatoes and preferred it. Sign up for my Take5 Series of healthy seasonal veg recipes for inspiration.
    Roots have a ‘grounding’ quality that complements their season and help give us calmness and clarity.
  • Use warming, calming spices such as cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, allspice and ginger in your cooking. Rub them into meats, use them in soups and even incorporate them into autumn salads.
  • Experiment with colourful autumn squashes. They are a wonderful cold-weather source of antioxidants and vitamin C

Warming Kale Salad

This is a variation on the Kale Orange Salad featured in my Take5 Series – Sign Up Here. The addition of yellow split peas and the warming spices were inspired by my own health coach’s recipe from her glorious Autumn Focus Cleanse, and the addition of seasonal fruit really embraces the flavours of autumn.
It’s a timely swap for those summer salads, bringing warmth and sustained energy. Make double and keep half for the next day, as the flavours marinate the kale beautifully. And it doesn’t wilt like the usual salad leaves would!

LifeAfterBread Autumn Kale Salad

4 Tbsp yellow split peas
4 Handfuls of kale, torn into bite size pieces omitting the stalks
2 Plums
1 Large orange
1 Tbsp mixed seeds
1 tsp  ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 lemon
Olive oil

Make The Magic

  1. Preheat your oven to 180c and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. First cook the split peas by rinsing thoroughly and placing them in a large pan with 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for approx 20mins. We want the peas to retain their shape and not turn to mush, so keep an eye on them. A large pan with plenty of room for the peas helps them retain their shape.
    Once your peas are simmering, prepare the plums:Squeeze the lemon into a bowl, add a tablespoon of olive oil and all the spices and mix with a fork.
  3. Slice the plums into thin wedges, toss in the spice seasoning and transfer to the baking tray
  4. Bake gently in the oven for approx 10 minutes, until just golden but still some firmness. Remove when ready and cut into bitesize pieces when cooled enough.
  5. When the split peas are cooked, transfer them to some kitchen paper to absorb the remaining moisture.
  6. Peel the orange over your serving bowl to catch the juices, then cut the flesh segments out of the pith. Cut these in half in your bowl.
  7. Add the kale pieces and a tablespoon on olive oil to the bowl and mix thoroughly to coat the kale pieces with the oily, juicy loveliness.
  8. Add the split peas and roasted plums to the bowl and mix again.
  9. Finish off by lightly toasting the seeds in a dry pan over a high heat. Move the seeds around until they are slightly browned.
  10. Scatter over the salad and enjoy!

This is great on it’s own at lunchtime or paired with rolled pork as a substantial and healthy side dish.

What changes do you think could benefit your autumn wellbeing?

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You Have A Cold, Not A Failure Infection!

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woman with coldFor most people, catching a cold is an inconvenient few days of sniffles and general under the weather-ness.

But when you are living with a chronic health condition, or even if you are a self-critical ‘perfectionist’ type of person, it can feel like so much more than that.

Not only do you feel worse because you are already dealing with your daily symptoms and now this dastardly bug has taken residence.
But it can also bring with it a lot of negativity surrounding your efforts to improve your health.

“I try so hard to be healthy, and yet I still caught this cold.”
“My body must be weaker than I thought.”
“I’m not doing enough for my health.”
“I feel like I let my body down.”
“I feel like my body let ME down!”

Do any of these sound familiar?

Don’t worry, you are not alone. It goes with the territory of chronic illness.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to feel better, both physically and emotionally.
Here are some action steps to improve your mindset and your body’s recovery from those cold bugs.

Give yourself a break
In these modern times of deadlines and heavy schedules, we often feel guilty for taking time out to care for ourselves. If you have already taken time off to deal with your chronic health symptoms, the guilt and fear can be overwhelming. But it is essential to put your health first.
Keep these things in mind:

  • No one ever gets a thank you for spreading that germ love around the workplace!
    Keep in mind that if you drag yourself to that meeting full of cold, your colleagues may think you’re a trooper, but they’ll also be seeing that imminent cold spreading to themselves and their family.
  • Investing some rest and recuperation time at the beginning of your bug-attack will mean a speedier recovery and get you back to full working condition quicker.
  • Your immune system relies on sleep time to perform its important tasks – give it what it needs to get your body better.

Choose Your Comfort Foods Carefully
When you are having an involuntary duvet day, it’s easy to console yourself with foods that you find comfort in but don’t exactly support your recovery.
You’re in that mind set of “well, I feel crappy so I may as well eat crappy”.
But diving into the biscuit tin will ultimately bring guilty thoughts as well as giving your body more work to do in regulating blood sugar and coping with further energy dips.
You can turn that mood around to positivity by choosing comforting foods that will support your body in recovery.

  • Drink plenty of fluids in the form of warm drinks like herbal teas, fresh veg and fruit juices and water. Good old warm water with honey and lemon is a great choice. Add some crushed ginger for extra anti-bacterial benefits.
  • Your immune system is working hard at this time, and 80% of your immune system is in your gut. Give it a break by choosing foods that are easy to digest. Comforting soups are an excellent choice, especially for sore throats. Try the super easy cold-fighting soup recipe at the end of this article.

Resting versus Relaxing
It is easy to think because you’re on enforced rest that you are actually relaxing. But the two aren’t necessarily the same thing. Loafing about in your pyjamas whilst running a tape on loop in your head about all the things you aren’t doing isn’t going to get you better quicker.
Take this time to really implement some proper relaxation and check the health of your thoughts as well as your body.

  • Take a warm bath with relaxing essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and rose. Add a scoop of Epsom salts if you can to help draw out toxins and absorb essential minerals. Be sure to relax for 20 minutes – no body maintenance allowed! Play some relaxing music if you like, or use this time to clear your mind of those negative thoughts. When a thought pops up, imagine the warm water washing over it and floating away…
  • Visualisation or meditation can be a powerful tool in your bug-busting box of tricks. Use an audio file to get you started if you are new to the practise. Your thoughts have a powerful effect on your physiology – think of it as a way to heal your body through your mind.
    Tip: You can search ITunes for free meditation/visualisation podcasts.
  • Most important of all, remind yourself often that this state is temporary. Your body will fight the bug and win! And working with your body in that task will reap quicker rewards and leave you in a more positive frame of mind.


Oriental Cold-Fighting Soup
This liquid cold remedy contains lots of cold-fighting compounds thanks to the garlic, onion, ginger and cinnamon. Shiitake mushrooms are known for their healing and restorative properties, and goji berries are packed with VitaminC and anti-oxidants.


2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion finely sliced
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 small cinnamon stick
6 Shiitake mushrooms or any dark-skin mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon dried goji berries
Handful of kale, finely chopped
1 sachet of instant miso soup dissolved in ½ pint boiled water  or  ½ pint of stock

Make The Magic
Heat a small amount of oil (olive, avocado or coconut) in a large pan and sauté the onion with the garlic, ginger and chilli flakes.
When the onion is softened, add the mushrooms and stir until softened slightly
Add the cinnamon stick to the pan followed by the miso soup or stock
Increase the heat until the liquid simmers and then add the kale
Simmer the soup for 5 minutes to soften the kale and then take off the heat
Add the goji berries and stir for a few minutes just until the goji berries have rehydrated.

Serve with a handful of fresh sprouting seeds/beans

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The Day I Stopped Sniffing Big Macs

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It was about a month ago. We stopped at that most evil of empires to a healthy foodie… the motorway services. I was relieved to see the Waitrose sign, and husband headed straight to the fast food counter.

And that’s the moment it didn’t happen. The thing that had become my post-gluten ritual for eight years.
I didn’t lean in for a long, lustful lung full of beef pattie and relish. I didn’t look forlornly at the soft, seeded bun and sigh, recounting my age old lament that if only I had foreseen my future gluten exile, I would have had just one last Big Mac…
That day, given the choice, I would have picked my fresh, tasty salad and fruit over the fast food choice hands down.

Do you recognise that feeling?
It may have been the day you realised you had finally woken up that morning not thinking of your ex. Or the day you are chatting with friends about having a drumstick lolly every day on the way home from school, and yet you can’t remember when you stopped eating them.

It had taken me eight years of holding on to that last ritual of loss, to suddenly realise that I no longer felt deprived. The script of missing that fast food gluteniness that I had been re-running in my head was outdated, obsolete, no longer required.
I had re-programmed my self without even realising.

It doesn’t matter whether you have given up gluten due to coeliac or sensitivity, or dairy to reduce your sinusitis, or texting your ex after too many margaritas. Most of us go through that mourning period. It’s perfectly natural, and if you are mourning the loss of something it’s important to acknowledge those feelings as part of the process.
But it’s equally important to be mindful of your mind set.
Because one day it won’t feel so bad. And that day will arrive sooner if you approach it with an adding-in attitude rather than a taking-away one.

Got to give up gluten? Start your quest to find the best tasting organic, raw chocolate on the planet!

Can’t face life without cheddar? Vow to find the healthiest, tastiest flavour that tickles your savoury taste buds (they are not cheddar-exclusive)

Text-pesting your ex? Text yourself some love instead! Use a reminder app to send you affirmations at your ‘danger times’ (or quit the margaritas? Yeah I know, one step at a time ; )

When ‘adding in’ it’s important to choose something that you will enjoy. Even if it’s just a little bit. Even if it just makes you smile. Raw deprivation tastes so bitter, you’ll never keep it down.

So, what will you ‘add in’ to your life this week? What will your addition be replacing? Blueberries and walnuts instead of Skittles?
Have you checked in with yourself recently to see if your Script of Loss is running in the background?
Do you really need it on loop? Or are you just stuck in the habit of feeling deprived?

I would love to read your triumphs and challenges around this subject.

So, What’s Your Script?
Post a comment telling me what you want to take out of your life, and what you think would be fun to add-in instead.

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Practise Makes Purpose

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“Write a blog”, they say.

“Express yourself”, they reinforce.

“Give value!”, ohhhhh now that’s just plain scarey talk!

But here I am, running after the far-ahead blog train, waving my arms and wailing “Wait! I have something to say! …”

And practising here is how I will get better at it.

practise    verb    to do something regularly or repeatedly in order to become skilled at it

But that isn’t my only meaning for ‘practise’ in this introduction…

This week I passed my mid-way Health Coach Training Program exam at the Institute For Integrative Nutrition, which means I can now work with clients professionally. I can practise.

practise   verb   to work in an important skilled job for which a lot of training is necessary

I love how the same word can have different meanings.
I love that a child practicing her spelling and a young man practising safe sex and a doctor practising medicine are all different and yet bound together by a common verb.
It reminds me of our differences and similarities, and to embrace and celebrate both.
To be aware of the parts of ourselves that intrinsically link us to others – our families, ancestors, that we are part of this great network of humanity. And also to acknowledge our unique individuality.
Keeping this awareness in mind can reap huge benefits when it comes to living a healthy and happy life.
Not all of this blog is going to be all deep and meaningful! But I can’t promise I won’t get all beardy weirdy on you every so often… stick around, it’s gonna be a smorgasbord-tastic health experience!

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