Friday, 29 November 2013

On the right path....

I'm waking up in the night at the moment, between 3 -4am, thinking about my Dad, and other thoughts come and go, and can overwhelm me quite quickly with negativity if I'm not careful. It's a scary time the middle of the night if you let it be...

This morning at 4am, I got really cross with myself. There is nothing wrong with my life, so why go down the negative path; why let negative thoughts dominate. I'm healthy (I think), I live in a nice house, I have three beautiful children, two gorgeous black cats, a supportive partner AND ex husband ( how many people have that?! Lol! ) A mum who lives close and helps me with the kids so I can have abit of freedom, and I live in a fab part of the world .I love what I do, I want to do more of it. I know my purpose - it may have taken me a while to find it, but I have, that's the main thing.

So, this morning I thought positive thoughts, and I'm blogging in detail the things in my life that make me happy, bit random some of them, and I hope you're still reading! You're probably thinking why am I interested in what makes her happy! My point is that we ALL have something to be grateful for, every day, however small and this needs to be our focus. Sometimes it's about training your brain to 'go down the right path', the one that leads to contentment and not the one that leads to unhappiness, blame, frustration and lots of other negative emotions. 

Here goes:

Waking up in the night with a new healthy recipe idea

Snuggling in bed with Nat and Lauren in the morning when it's dark and cold outside 

My black cats, Minx and Elle, jumping on me the minute I sit down

Watching Hawaii 5 0 under the duvet on the settee with Ben and John

Walking Millie, the most beautiful golden retriever, on the Ings, the most beautiful place in Wetherby especially first thing, with my mum, the most fab mum in the world

Smelling fresh air

Spritzing my home with home made aromatherapy sprays 

The smell of wood burning in my stove and lying in front with the door open for maximum heat

Having a lazy day with John watching DVDs, eating nice food, drinking nice wine, and having lots of fab closeness

Having cups of peppermint tea with girlfriends and putting the world to rights

Grabbing a quick glass of wine in the Muse with my bestest male friend, Jonny Smith - he's so wise


Body brushing- love that tingling feeling

Really hot baths, large mug of peppermint tea, and a fab book

Listening to Lauren talking about her cousin Noah, and seeing her face light up

Seeing Noah, and his mum, my lovely cousin Ali, who's always so happy and positive 

Listening to 80's music- especially with Andrew and Paul, two lovely happy friends 

Chasing Lauren and Nat up the stairs and hearing their giggles

Laughing at Nats hilarious antics- he should be on the stage

Johns enveloping cuddles and telling me everything's going to alright when I start to go down the wrong path 

My mum.... For never giving up on me when I was a challenging teenager

Jumping on my trampette

Doing hot yoga

Watching Ben interact with all his beautiful friends who turn the house into a youth club, a privilege to witness 

Cooking beautiful healthy food

My morning juice

My digestive specialist Emma Lane - the most amazing holistic health 'specialist on the planet

Covering my body in oils and lotions (organic of course) after a bath. Or any time...

Being massaged

Having acupuncture with the amazing Mrs Urqhart, I love needles. They hurt but it works

Jenny Kaye - chakra balancer extraordinaire 

White flowers , lilies and roses

Glossy unnecessary magazines

Sneaking in an episode of Doctors during the day

People /things that make me laugh

Crisp white bedding from The White Company 

The odd treat from Hotel Chocolat, dark of course

Positive feedback to my recipes

Meeting new like minded people 

Facebook for helping with the above

Learning to let things that don't matter go

Wandering round the shops on a week day 

Reconnecting with old friends

Climbing mountains with John and eating pub lunches afterwards and feeling like I deserve it

Having weekends away

Taking the kids on new adventures and seeing things through their eyes

Massaging my kids beautiful skin

Wow! If you're still reading I can't believe I came up with so much good stuff! And I could go on... So really I never need to go down the negative path..... I AM SO GRATEFUL  for my life. If you ever hear me moaning , ever, please just tell me to shut up.

Would love to hear what makes you feel happy and grateful.

Have a superb day.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Fabulous Figs

Today I'm celebrating the humble fig. I've always loved figs, my mum taught me from an early age how versatile, tasty and nutritious they are.. I remember eating them fresh with a little bit of cream. Years later they became a regular for me in the Flying Pizza in Leeds; they used to serve them as a dessert with a wonderful syrup, and some double cream. Fantastic!

So today's blog is all about how great they are for us, and why we should include them in our diets.

First of all they are a fruit so you can include one serving in your five (or ten) a day.

Secondly, how great do they taste! The textures are great, the combination of the soft inside with the tougher, chewy skin is wonderful. And pretty unique too.

They are so full of goodness; antioxidants ; Vitamin C , B Vits, Vitmamin A and Vitamin K , calcium and potassium, and others to a lesser degree.

They can help with weight management; they are great for constipation for starters!! They are also full of dietary fibre, which makes us feel fuller faster and so we don't need to eat as much; that sounds good doesn't it?! 

Apparently I found out recently the leaves can also be used ; for diabetics to help reduce the amount of insulin they use naturally.

They can be used in sweet and savoury dishes; I've started using them more in my RAW desserts and sweets as they are great as a base, mixed with ground nuts and coconut oil ie. cheesecake or with raw chocolate  or ganache on top . They help with moistness in any recipe, and are really pliable too.

They also make a great snack as they're very transportable both fresh and dried. Eat alongside a few nuts or seeds for a great mid morning or afternoon snack.

So if you haven't eat figs for a while, why not try them again. It's good to shake things up once in a while. Apparently most of us rotate just twelve foods in our diets! Given how many million there are to choose from that's a little pathetic isn't it. How about this week introducing a new food each day. You may be amazed at how great they taste. 

Happy Monday and here's to a healthier week.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

My Acupuncturist ....

I have blogged about my acupuncturist before but I'll keep doing it as and when necessary because she really is one special lady. She's Japanese and practises her very own style of Japanese acupuncture and homeopathy. What she doesn't know about the body is not worth knowing. I love going to see her just to listen. 

She had never used conventional medicine, she doesn't agree with pill popping unless they are homeopathic and uses a combination of this and needles through acupuncture to sort out many , many peoples health.

Unfortunately, we seem to have become a nation of pill poppers - pain relief via tablets can give us a quick fix I agree, but at what cost. Popping pain killers masks the pain and means we can carry on doing what we're doing. 

Pain in the body however is the body's way of saying "help" something is out of kilter, and if we choose to ignore it , it will not necessarily go away. Prescribed and over the counter medicines can also give us side effects- even headache tablets warn that they can cause headaches.

Mrs Uruhart believes that even though acupuncture and homeopathy may take longer, they are getting to the cause of the problem and not masking it. Yes you have to be prepared for a bit of pain with needles; it is short lived however. She has helped me over the last ten years with plantar fasciitis, migraines, back pain, skin disorders; she has helped my auntie with sinusitis, my friend with hay fever, my mum when she had her hip replacement, my cousin with her skin, my partner with sciatica and my son Ben get rid of his childhood asthma completely. 

She has also helped people with cancer by working alongside radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments , using homeopathy to reduce their side effects.

There are other natural ways to help our body's to return to homeostasis, and over the years she has offered me a great deal of advice. Here are a few that may help :

Manuka honey is great for sore skin (bit sticky but..) pimples, eczema, sores, blisters etc.

Cystitiss can be helped greatly with propolis tablets.

Tea tree oil is amazing to get rid of warts and verrucas (my chiropodist told me never to buy the 'stuff' from chemists- it's chemicals and non of them are effective). Nat recently picked one up in a swimming pool and we've treated it every day for a week with tea tree, and the chiropodist on Monday said it's gone! 

If you have pain on one side of your body, press hard intermittently on the opposite side in exactly the same place. It will help it to subside.

The froth that forms on the top of boiling barley is effective for cysts if you drink it regularly. 

Cough remedy :

Spring onion (white part sliced thinly)
Raw honey or manuka honey

Place the above in warm water and sieve. Sieve and sip slowly throughout the day.

Constipation and general health - eat lots and lots of different greens, including lettuce. 

There are many more, and I'll be writing them down each time I go now, because she has so much great advice in her head.

I've asked her if I can write a book on her, as I believe the way forward with treating disease is more often than not, the natural way, or at least alongside some forms of conventional medicine. 

By the way I hate the term conventional medicine, as the natural remedies have been around for much much longer so really are the conventional ones. What's conventional about the use of chemicals? They are a relatively recent inclusion in our lives.

Hope this was useful. If you have any other natural remedies please feel free to share.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Tell someone you love them and why...

I'm at a hugely challenging and sad time in my life... My Dad died just over two weeks ago, after only being in hospital a couple of weeks. Prior to that he was walking in the Lake District. It was all so sudden, none of us can get our heads round it.

The thing is, like most families we've had our ups and downs over the years. Some of the downs were major. My relationship with my Dad hasn't always been the best. But at the end of the day he was my Dad, and you only ever get one of those right. He loved his grandchildren and had a very special relationship with each of them. We miss him; I keep thinking I'm fine and then out of the blue I'll stop in my tracks, a memory having just flashed into my mind. Or I remember that's he's no longer here. It's amazing how the mind plays tricks on us.. allowing us to forget temporarily. My eyes are sore, and my head has a permanent dull ache deep inside. I feel empty, I feel like life has changed, and not for the better...

It's my Dad's funeral this Friday and the reason I'm writing this blog is because my children and I have written a poem, and I'm going to try to read it out during the service. I don't know if I can do it, but I really want to. The humanist lady, Cath, who's taking the service for us says she'll take over if I falter.

It took for my Dad to die though, for us to write a poem about him, to actually think about what it was that made him special, made him different, and what he added to our lives. I want to tell him to his face, and  I can't . How many of us take the people closest to us for granted, never expressing  the emotions that really tell them how we feel?  When we lose someone we love it's too late to tell them; so we need to tell everyone and anyone who is important to us, who means something, exactly that. NOW. That they are precious, that they are loved, that they are special to us, and why they are all of these things.

Don't leave it until it's too late. 

The other day on the radio Buddy Holly came on, and I sang along, knowing every single word without having to think about it. My Dad exposed me to Buddy Holly, and Elvis and many other great singers, and for that I'd like to thank him too. He (and my mum) introduced the Lake District to me. I hated it when I was little. Hated having to walk up and down mountains, eating packed lunches in the rain and having to wee behind a tree. As an adult I can appreciate the beauty of the mountains, the colours, the height, the fresh air, and I love it. My Dad had a very loud, raucous laugh. When I was younger I found it embarrassing, when we were out in public it made me cringe when people looked round when he laughed. Now I'm glad he laughed so much, and found humour in so many things.

My Dad was in no pain at all in his last two weeks,  for that I am grateful. All the people that he was close to made at least one trip to the hospital to see  him before he died (we didn't know he was dying)  including his grandchildren. He was so pleased to see them, and so very proud of them...

Wish me luck on Friday. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Cinnamon Apple Roll - so seasonal!

I'm loving this little recipe creation because it uses Coxs apples, grown locally and in season right now!! No air miles, no preserving them just lovely juicy fresh fruit. 

I love the combination of Apple and cinnamon, it reminds me of my childhood and bonfire night, so I guess it's comforting. Cinnamon is a great blood sugar regulator and apples contain flavonoids, high levels of soluble fibre, and are great for helping to detox the liver, so they're superb together. 

For more info on the benefits of apples go to

This recipe is quick to make and can be eaten anytime; breakfast, mid morning or afternoon snack or jazzed up for a dessert with some whipped coconut cream,  or organic double cream. 


For the filling: 
3 small Coxs apples
I teaspoon of cinnamon (or more depending on your taste)
A little filtered water

For the pancake rolls:

4 heaped tablespoons of unrefined flour. I used gluten free oat flour for mine, oats whizzed in the Vitamix until they're fine flour
1 organic egg
A large splash of almond milk, unsweetened 

Coconut sugar and cinnamon mix to sprinkle on the top

Organic RAW butter to spread on the pancake before rolling

Chop up and core the apples 
Stew the apples with the water and cinnamon until very soft- be careful not to burn! 

Using butter or coconut oil, pour some of the batter into a frying pan and cook on both sides until slightly crisp

Place on a plate, spread with butter , put some of the apple mix on top, and spread to cover the whole pancake
Roll it up and sprinkle with the cinnamon/coconut sugar mix
Enjoy, guilt free, whilst it's hot! 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Butter V Margarine? Happy Monday.. Here's To A Healthier You

The other day on Radio 2 the topics of conversation was Butter V Margarine, which one is the better one for us consumers. I pricked up my ears to hear the debate, this should be interesting, I thought. I had a very strong opinion already but just wanted it validated. My mum taught me from a young age that because butter is self limiting (ie you couldn't realistically eat a whole block in one go) it's absolutely fine to be part of the diet.

Well, Radio 2 had enlisted 2 'experts' each with very different views. I listened closely to what they both had to say, and also some members of the public who phoned in (who had serious health issues)  and quite frankly by the end of the programme was very confused, and had I not had my own opinion already would have been non the wiser.

However, having believed my mum all my life, and then had her opinion substantiated by various health courses I have attended, and research I've done, I'm sticking to butter and these are the many and varied reasons why :

We have eaten butter for thousands of years ... It's even mentioned in the bible (not that I'm religious but..) , not the same story for margarine! Lol! 

Butter comes from cows! Yes.. Really. My recommendation to clients  is to eat food that has had a mother or grown in the ground (top quality only obviously), so butter fits with this! RAW butter  from organic, grass fed cows produces a food containing many vitamins, minerals and fats needed for a healthy body. Avoid non organic however, as you get pesticides, hormones and antibiotics which non organic cows consume. 

Vitamins A, D, E and K, the fat soluble ones are found in RAW organic butter, and beta carotene, and selenium , all in an easy to digest form.

It also provides short and medium chain fatty acids that help support the immune system and boost metabolism; and we use it for 'quick energy' . Butter also has anti microbial properties. 

Butter contains lauric acid, I've only recently found this out, which can help with fungal infections and candida. 

It's also a source of conjugated linoleic acid , CLA, an immunity booster, potent anti cancer agent, and muscle builder. 

I could go on and on, there is so much to say about this stuff that's really good!! If you're not yet convinced please go to and and read about it in more detail. I'm sure you'll be convinced to include RAW organic butter in your diet.

Now for a little bit on margarine... 
Don't touch it with a barge pole! It's synthetic, manufactured originally in a science lab, fully processed, made commercially to 'be cheap', tastes lousy, looks fake, contains trans fats, and highly processed vegetable  oils. Oh and it's low fat! We need fat in our diets for goodness sake, our brains can't function without it for starters. The fat we eat just needs to be good fat, it's really not that difficult to get your head it?! 

I've found a great website called, they sell ORGANIC. RAW dairy - milk, butter, cream, yoghurt. They do a great 'taster pack' which is really reasonable. 
Hope that helps.

Happy Monday.. here's to a healthier week.