Monday, 8 December 2014

A Natural Cleaner

A couple of weeks ago I got a letter from the environmental health people at Leeds City Council to say they were coming to inspect my kitchen! I had registered that I was making food for public consumption a few years ago, so was expecting them at some stage. The letter however threw me into a little panic. 
Not because my kitchen is anything other than immaculate most of the time, but the word 'inspection' is just so ... formal and intrusive sounding. 

I booked my lovely cleaner Marianne to come the day before just to make sure everything was as clean as a whistle, and waited impatiently the following morning, wanting to get it over. The fridge was in perfect order, the cooker was clean inside and out, pots and pans were where they should be, the sink was gleaming... You get the picture. 

The lady arrived, we sat and chatted over a herbal tea, and I relaxed. She wasn't here to catch me out, she was genuinely interested in what I was doing with my refined sugar free business, and during the conversation I almost forgot why she'd come. 

She didn't look in my fridge, or my cooker, or my cupboards for that matter. She was , however, keen to know what I cleaned my kitchen with. Ok, so I don't use chemicals if at all possible in my house, in bathrooms, kitchen, or on my skin, or in my body. When she asked to look in the cupboards under the sink I thought she might not approve of my all natural Lemon Myrtle antibacterial cleaner, bought from my local health food shop The Good Life. Although it claims to kill 99% of all germs it's quite clearly NOT Dettox! 

It is however antibacterial and anti fungal, eco responsible and bio degradeable. I was prepared for a long discussion on this product, given that it's far from mainstream, and I wasn't sure she would approve. 

How very wrong I was.. this fabulous product passed the test. The lady from the council she say "yeah" !! It has all the correct classifications on the packaging, that I wasn't aware of, and ultimately does what it says on the tin - WITHOUT using any nasty, synthetic chemicals that you may inhale, or may get through your porous skin into your precious body. 

So no need to worry, Lemon Mrytle will do the job, just as well as your supermarket chemical , mass produced cleaners. It may be slightly more expensive but isn't your health worth it?! 

Oh I forgot to say : it smells delicious! 

Have a great , healthy,day.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure...

I love this statement. 
Today's blog is short, with no pretty pictures but a profound and deliberate message to all of us. I'm in the bath typing after a busy day at the Tadcaster Christmas Fair, where I've been selling my Sweet Enough Food - no refined sugars/carbs in sight. I love this market, have done it for three years now and get the same people coming back plus new faces each year. 
Lying here reflecting on the day and suddenly the title of this blog sprang into my mind... the culmination of my reflecting. 
I'd say 90% of the people who bought from me today have a health issue that means they can't eat sugar/gluten/dairy/meat/eggs.. All or any of the above. A lot of them shared their stories and the years of frustration, pain, research and challenges they've endured to get to this day. Health issues that may have been with them for decades, symptoms they've ignored in the hope that they'd go away, rather than look to the source of their 'problems' (don't like this word usually). 
Some of them have been hospitalised, spent thousands on tests, had a lot of time off work until they became aware that perhaps lifestyle changes were needed drastically. 
I've been here too so I can empathise fully. Adrenal Fatigue made me stop, take stock and make Massive Change. In any situation we have two choices, accept things as they are or make changes. Thankfully I chose the latter and it guided me to where I am today.. Emma Lane, digestive health guru, My Sweet Enough business, my Energy 4 Life Wellness Coaching Course, my daily spiritual practice and my mindful and fully conscious 'behaviour'. I'm grateful, and I give thanks every single day for my change of path . 
Baby steps are the way to make change initially. And when stuck to lead to a greater all round wellness, rather than the chance of succumbing to dis-ease if no change is made,  despite the body shouting loudly that's it's unhappy. Dis-ease can take years to manifest and that's when the pound of cure is needed, and unless Massive Change is made here drastic consequences may result. 

So, to all you people at Tadcaster Christmas Market who dismissed my stall in favour of the sugary, carby,  cake stall two doors down... think and reflect. Is your body trying to tell you something?

An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. 
Have a great day, 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Pretty Pink Cheesecake (Strawberry and Beetroot)

I've been asked to make a pink cake for a local charity event next week, so had a little experiment in the kitchen yesterday with some natural foods to give me the desired colour. Beetroot, cherries, raspberries and strawberries are the obvious choices for lots of colour... Ended up with a mix of strawberries and beetroot. Beetroot offers such a very strong colour, but used on it's own I figured it would completely overpower the taste of the whole cake, as it gives a powerful hit of 'earthiness'! 

I bought some gorgeous little heart cake pans the other days, so decided on a cheescake mix rather than a baked cake. Ideally going for lots of raw desserts, treats and snacks now his month particularly as I'm doing 30 days (90%) raw.

Really happy with the way it turned out, and it's pretty easy to make, that's the way I like recipes! 

Ingredients :

Base :
1 cup dessicated coconut
4-5 dates
1 tbsp raw, organic, fair trade coconut oil
1 tbsp raw cacao powder

9tbsp almond flour/ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract (or one scraped vanilla bean pod)
1tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 beetroot chopped and peeled
A handful of fresh strawberries 
Raw honey - to taste (depends on the amount of beetroot) 
1 tbsp coconut oil (as above)
Sprinkle of Xanthan gum (you can add more and whizz up again if it's too runny)
Coconut cream - add gradually to achieve the desired consistency 

Dessicated coconut
Freeze dried strawberries 

Method :

Whizz up all the base ingredients in a Nutribullet or food processor
Press mixture into a greased cake pan or muffin cases or similar- I used heart shaped mini pans and it made three.
Put in the fridge to set

Topping : add all the ingredients to a food processor and whizz up until smooth. If very very thick add some more coconut cream, if too thin and runny add another sprinkle of Xanthan gum.

Spread over the base and smooth down.

Decoration : whizz up the coconut and freeze dried strawberries , so the strawberries 'stain' the coconut.
Sprinkle over the top.

Cool in the fridge, and eat and enjoy! 
Stay healthy! 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Raw For 30 Days Days 1 and 2

I've been experimenting with raw food over the last six months, and the main reason for this is because I've been listening to my body. I've been lucky enough to travel to NYC, Greece and Poland in the last six weeks and whilst it's been Amazing the food hasn't always been what I would normally eat. 

So I feel a little out of kilter, a little sluggish, a little full of 'stuff'... and that doesn't sit well with me. Hence the 30 days Raw experiment. I'm not saying I'm going raw full time, in fact I pretty much know I won't ; there are some foods at the moment I don't think I can live without forever... But I'm always up for a challenge. I know if nothing else, at the end of 30 days I'm going to be so full of CLEAN food, and that has to be a good thing! 

I made the mistake of thinking it would be easy just to switch to a fully raw diet, but here we are in the middle of day 2, and I'm feeling a bit stuck. Yesterday for day one, I literally ate juices and smoothies all day to kick start my system. I can make all sorts of variations of these in my sleep so no problem there. I was hungry last night but I'd cut my calorie intake dramatically and did weights and cycled. Bed by 9pm, and not a minute too soon. 

Today I've been to the supermarket, and started automatically reaching for the things I'd normally buy... lentils, mung beans - can't eat because they need cooking (unless they're sprouted apparently) , pro biotic organic yoghurt , I usually get sheeps yoghurt, but supermarket yoghurt is definitely not raw! Butter... Noooo I can't eat butter! I'm definitely sourcing raw butter. 

Bought some nuts, and a bit of fruit and veg .. Feeling a little despondent. In the end I went to M & S and bought a ready made salad; cucumber, carrot, and  lots of different lettuce leaves just because it felt like a 'treat'! I did make home made pesto to liven it up a bit. No pine nuts in Wetherby so I bought cashews, and whizzed them up in my Nutribullet with oil, garlic and basil. Very nice!!! 

I felt great after lunch, but craved something sweet. Thankfully I had a few small squares of my home made, home devised, blackberry coconut fudge. ALL RAW! Yeah! With a nettle tea that hit the spot. But I have no idea at this moment what I'm going to have to eat later. Yep I'm already thinking about tea ! 

To help me out I've downloaded an ebook by the smoothie Goddess  (no, not me although I'd like that title!) on how to transition to Raw in 21 days. That's my bedtime reading for the next week.

I'll crack it; I know I will. My mind is made up- 30 days 100% Raw.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Liquid Breakfast!

I'm in Whitby this week, chilling with my family... Easy to let things go and think oh well I'm on holiday so I can relax my eating and drinking. I've made the decision that that's NOT happening, and once my mind set is right that's it for me. Partly because we're going to Greece next week and I'll be in a bikini, so there's some vanity attached to my decision. 
Anyway just made a fab smoothie and juice for breakfast ; drank them in the sunshine listening to the sounds of the seaside, and soaked up some Vitamin D - it's All Good, as Gwyneth Paltrow would say... 

Smoothie : Superfood Special

Bee pollen, Maca powder, coconut oil, cinnamon, spirulina powder, almond milk, RAW honey, local blackberries (picked by me) , green cabbage. Whizzed up in my Nutribullet. 

Juice : Lauren's Love

Cucumber, carrot, green cabbage, lemon juice, coconut oil, and apple. Whizzed up in my Nutribullet .

That's it, all done and dusted in a few minutes. And drink at your leisure!!! 

Oh and I had a nettle tea with them as it's a great detoxifier for the liver.

And I'd already had two mugs of warm water with lemon, and done some yoga. My tummy is smiling... Now to go to the beach.. 

Have a great day whatever you're doing.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Raw key lime cheesecake

I've been asked by so many people to come up with this recipe, and after reviewing my blogposts I did in fact make one a couple of years ago! Here's an updated, even yummier version! And so easy to make!  

I made mine in a pie/flan dish and covered the base with cling film to make it easy to remove.

Ingredients :
Base :
400g mixed nuts (you can use them raw, you can activate them, roast them, whatever you like) 
6-8 medjool dates
4 tbsp raw cacao powder
2-4 tbsp coconut oil - I use LucyBees
Pinch sea salt
4oz dessicated coconut (you can toast this too first if you like)

Topping :
3 ripe avocados
1 pack of coconut cream
3 limes - zest and juice
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract (the proper stuff not vanilla flavouring)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum (to help it set) optional - you may not need this

Method : 

Whizz all the base ingredients up in a food processor- I use a Vitamix or my Nutribullet .

When it's formed a paste, not too wet, not too dry,  tip out into the lined pie dish. If it's too dry add more oil/dates, if it's too wet add more dessicated coconut.

Press down into the sides and base with the flat of your hands so that it's even.

Place in the fridge to firm up.

Topping Method :

Whizz all the ingredients in a food processor (as above) - it's that simple! 

Remove the base from the fridge, and pour the greeny topping over the base and spread with a knife.

Return to the fridge until set, or freezer if you're in a rush.

Decorate with lime slices if you like, it looks pretty, or you could dust with raw cacao powder.

Slice up and eat.


Friday, 20 June 2014

Morning Rituals

This morning I went to meet my best mate for a walk with her dog, early. When I got home after a lovely walk, cup of tea and a 'put the world to rights' natter I went home and realised something. I hadn't done what I usually do every morning ; my morning ritual. I'd never really thought about it as a 'ritual' before but guess I have been doing the same things most mornings for the last few years. It suits me, it works, and now it's what I do on automatic pilot- until today! 

So I thoughts I'd share with your my little routine, and would love to hear what you do each morning too, and your views on my mine!! 

My partner gets up ridiculously early, not my bag! I'm so not a morning person really so I start my day with a ten minute meditation using Headspace, it's an App I have on my phone (, and there are 10 days worth to choose from, so I select one at random. It helps me sort out my mind for the day.

I have the following quote by the side of my bed; I'm challenged sometimes with negative thoughts (aren't we all?) and find if I read this first thing it really helps to get things into perspective "You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you choose your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on your mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control." Elizabeth Gilbert . 

Oil pulling

This is an ancient Ayuvedic remedy for mouth health, overall detoxing, and one of the first things I do when I get out of bed. I use coconut oil by LucyBee, for the yummy taste, and texture, but you can use any cold pressed oil.
You swish oil around your mouth, getting into all the nooks and crannies for a minute or so (depending on how long you have, you can do up to twenty minutes - needless to say I've never managed this) , and it pulls harmful bacteria, and other nasties out of the mouth, and possibly lower down the body, and the you spit it out. Do not swallow! 

Next up : Warm water with lemon. 
Warm water with lemon is my first drink of the day, it helps kick start the digestion after sleep. Lemon is a great digestive aid, and liver cleanser. Lemons are antibacterial, antiviral, have immune boosting powers and taste great.

I also take evening primrose oil, fish oils, probiotics, aloe Vera  and a liquid multivitamin drink . Sometimes I add milk thistle, magnesium baths, and enemas. I also do a liver cleanse twice a year.

Then it's yoga time ...I do at least ten minutes of yoga first thing every morning (and more later on in the day) to help start my day the gentle way! I either make it up as I go along, or I'll go to youtube and select a routine by Tara Stiles. She is yoga guru extraordinaire, and I love her dulcet tones in the morning too, as well as her amazing routines. Check out her handstand blog - what balance! The beauty of yoga is at you can do it to suit your mood - balancing, energising, sleep inducing, strong, gentle...  Tara has a great website 

And that's me ready for my day! And ready for my children... Lol!! 

My morning ritual is included in my new ebook Soups, Juices and Smoothies available to download at 

Looking forward to hearing about your start to your day! 
Please leave comments!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Wetherby's Pilates Lady...

Today's guest blogger is non other than the Pilates Lady of Wetherby... Lindsey Jackson. 

Lindsey and I met when we both lived on Raby Park ,in Wetherby, and our children Sam and Lauren were in the same class all the way through primary school (also both little brain boxes, always coming joint top in tests etc.) . We realised we both come from a background of wanting to give our body's and mind the respect they deserve, with nourishment through food and drink, through movement, and through positive thinking... Lindsey is often better at the latter than I am! She is an eternal optimist! 

She's answered the regular blog questions I pose to people, and I'm sure you'll be really interested to read her replies. Thank you Lindsey - I was looking for the photo of us drinking champagne at the Year 6 leavers party, but thought maybe it wouldn't be appropriate... not that we do that very often (may dig it out if I can!)

1. Tell us how you got into this field of work? 

I've always had a deep feeling inside that it's not fair if people don't have their health. That life is for living to the full - so we can contribute to others. But I guess I moved away from the NHS (where people are treated after becoming ill) to Pilates, and my Forever business, because I'd rather shut the door before the horse bolts. I want people to experience energy, vitality and movement. I do what I do because I can at least help people with this skill.

2. Can you explain how you help your clients to improve their health and well being? 

I always start with the person in front of me. By teaching individuals and groups in my Pilates I hope to help them improve their flexibility, get stronger, and counteract poor postural habits we all get into with our more sedentary lifestyle . Most of us sit too much, me included. My Forever business allows me to support those who want great nourishment and strong immune systems ...starting with a healthy gut. 

3. What are your top three health and lifestyle tips?

Remove packaged food from your diet. Move (in whatever ways you can ). Find something that really matters to you to do in life and do it with all your heart, with belief and passion.

4. How do you start your day? 

Aloe, hot water, and supplements... Then if I'm not teaching I run Max (labradoodle and oodles of fun) or I take the boys to school, teach and then crack on with building the business. I'd like to say I meditate every morning, but it usually ends up being on the hoof or an evening thing.

5. What's currently in your fridge ? 

Blimey, a mish mash of : salad, veg, homemade carrot soup, cheese, rice milk, smoked salmon, ginger, garlic, wasabi paste( love it on sushi) , home made chutney from last year, sugar free jam.. Give you an idea? 

6. What is your guilty food pleasure, go on tell us, you must have one? 

Early Grey Redbush. Addicted! But when I'm tired/need comfort I grate Willy's Venezeulan Black 100% cacao into rice milk and heat it to make a filling hot chocolate. Hemp milk good too, but rice milk sweeter. My other guilty pleasure is Jane Nichols raw chocolate cheesecake . Quite often eat that when no ones looking!  Oh, and your chocolate, courgette buns if you've made any, I could eat three or four of those. 

7. How do you keep yourself fit? 

Run the dog, walk everywhere I can, use my Pilates reformer abit, teach classes, occasionally go to a class at the gym... But generally it takes up too much time. I'm afraid I have to have functional fitness these days. I'd love to get to more classes. Yoga especially! 

8. What is your biggest daily challenge? The one thing that can pull you off course if you let it? 

A feeling of panic, when by mid day I've still not achieved much...and my list is so long it's unrealistic. I'm a dreadful optimist about what I can achieve in a day/hour/minute!

9. How do you relax? a film...meditate. Enjoying Deepak Chopras free 21 day mediation challenge just now. 

10. If you had three wishes that would help the planet, what would they be? 

That we live from love and not fear. That we get back to food in its natural state. That we find ways to reduce our energy use. 

Thanks so much Lindsey ! 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Silky Smooth Skin

Given  my long term digestive challenges, it's not surprising my skin has suffered. They say your skin reflects what's going on ,on the inside.... well all I can say is, I've come a very long way! 

I've always loved lotions and potions, and over the years have taken great pleasure in buying the latest face creams, sold along with an anti ageing miracle we all know will never come true. I've used Clarins, I've used Body Shop, I've  used Clinique, Estée Lauder, Creme De La Mere even... And I honestly don't think any of them made a difference that was positive. 

I've finally come to my senses; no more chemically enhanced beauty products for me. I need simple, I need cost effective , and although I use some branded products I'm liking the idea of using the products I eat, to put on my skin. This way I get a double whammy - feeding my skin from the inside out, and the outside in..

I've been hugely inspired by David Wolfes book Eating For Beauty... So many tips too many to mention. I highly recommend the book! 

So, a couple of days ago I set about making an all over  moisturiser using three ingredients ; yes, you read that right, just THREE ingredients. Try looking on the side of bought products, not only is there a long list of ingredients but half of them I can guarantee you won't be able to pronounce, let alone have heard of.

The first ingredient is Raw cacao butter ( the same I use in Raw chocolate so you can imagine the smell...). I melted it in Bain Marie style, gently until runny.

The next ingredient is coconut oil, again a lovely smell, and a product I use every day in meal preparation; and the third one is cold pressed organic olive oil- I use this in food lots 

Mix these three ingredients up well  and then place in the freezer for a little while until they begin to set, approx 20 minutes.

Using a food processor, I use a kitchen aid, whizz up the mixture, until really creamy! Taste it, it's yum! 
And store in a jar... It will keep for months.. 

My children were all treated to a leg massage with this moisturiser, and loved the feel,   loved the smell, and loved the silky smooth feel of their skin afterwards.

An all round winner. Next time I'll experiment with putting essential oils in it..

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Dinner Party Dessert- Raw Berry Bowls

So happy with the beautiful little treats! I think they'd be superb for a dinner party served with a fresh raw coconut cream or drizzled in raw white chocolate! The idea came to me in the night having seen a baked berry something or other in a magazine a while ago.

I put coconut oil in the base along with the figs/date and ground almonds, but actually it was quite oily so I've omitted it from the recipe. If you find it's a little dry you could always add a little to yours.

The vanilla custardy filling  sitting underneath the berries is to die for. I deliberately put quite a lot of vanilla extract in, to replicate custard and it's worked a dream. I also added some chia seeds as they plump up puddings so well and help them 'set'. I made the sprinkly xylitol on the top by whizzing it up in the Vitamix to make it like icing sugar. 

I put the 'bowls' in the fridge for a while to slightly harden before adding the filling, and then returned them to the fridge before adding the berries on top so they didn't sink too far down into the custard.
I wanted to use blackberries as well but couldn't find any locally so ended up with blueberries and raspberries. I guess sliced strawberries would look good too. 

So here's the recipe :

Base :
 1 cup of ground almonds
  1 cup of mixed figs/dates , or fruit of your choice

Vanilla Custard : 
1/4 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup cashew nuts
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp Maca powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1tbsp Raw honey
1 tbsp coconut oil

Fresh berries for the topping
Ground xylitol 


Whizz up the  ground almonds and figs/dates to a soft paste
Press into individual cases, I used a bun tray
Place in the fridge to firm up

Whizz up all the topping ingredients in the Vitamix until it's a custard consistency
Spoon into the individual 'bowls' 
Return to the fridge to firm up

Place berries one by one on top of the vanilla custard, and sprinkle with ground xylitol. 


Honestly Healthy Cleanse - My Thoughts

I'm thrilled with my 5 day Honestly Healthy Cleanse, and so is my partner John. We planned, bought and prepared every meal we ate from scratch following Natasha's recipes, and there were only a couple I wouldn't rush to make again. In the main they were tasty, easy to make, nutritious beyond belief, and left us both with a 'clean' feeling.

Johns a big meat eater, and didn't miss it one bit! How amazing is that. He went to work with a spring in his step every morning after a juice and a breakfast, and his colleagues commented on the fabulous looking lunches he was eating in the the staff room each day.

My overriding favourite meal was the falafel wraps with tomato salsa! A massive success, and one I'll be making in bulk to freeze. 

This buckwheat granola is a fave too, I've had it several times since as we made loads, and it goes with any milk. Today I made cashew nut milk, and sprinkled some cinnamon on the top. Yum! 

The watercress, roasted onion and pistachio salad was yummy too - and the Aubergine dip absolutely delicious. So easy to make if you have a Vitamix! I thank the Angels every day for mine. They are expensive but worth the best investment. 

All the juices on the cleanse tasted great; I'm used to juicing but even if you're not I think you'll find them all very palatable. Not too heavy on the greens for beginners!! 

I'm now a fully fledge convert to fennel thanks to Honestly Healthy. It's never really appealed to me but having had it loads over the five days it's now going to be a regular addition to my diet.
Had to give my beautiful daughter Lauren a little slot in my blogpost, she helped with the juicing. She's asked lots of questions all week on the recipes, and even though she's not eaten everything we've had, it's raised awareness for her of how to keep balance in the body. Children are like sponges, and mine definitely learn best through getting involved! 

Overall I did I lose a few pounds, which wasn't the aim but is always a welcome side effect! I felt clean on the inside and out, and my energy levels were constant throughout the day, even though I'm used to eat two snacks a day. 

We're carrying on using the book, and loosely following the Lifestyle phase but really just picking out a recipe for each meal  for now. and we'll see how it goes. Tonight we're having mini pizzas, I'm taking the kids,  and my best mates dog to the woods after school so they'll be quick to make when we get back. Last night I also made the sweet potato brownies, OMG to die for!! Almost as good as the nutty ones in my first Ebook Bakes, Bites and Bars - available at 

So  a big thanks to Natasha and Vicky for highlighting the importance of eating the alkaline way - sure we can all make some changes to bring our body more in balance, and this book makes it really easy to do.

Have a great day and if you just do one thing different today to move you towards greater healthy and vitality - JUICE!!! 


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Honestly Healthy Cleanse Day 2

Feeling great after yesterday's alkaline meals, up early this morning to begin again with some more! 

Hot water and lemon started the day, followed by another green drink- today's was The Ultimate Morning Wake Up smoothie. Verdict : Delicious!!! Mango, seeds, greens, super green powder and more. Mine was really thick, not sure if it was meant to be! It was like a meal in itself! 

Breakfast followed: Quinoa porridge with Macadamia nut milk. I made the milk myself in my new nut bag, it was so simple! Had goji berries with the porridge, and pomegranate (not had this for years, my gran used to give me a pin to pick out the seeds!) and felt satisfied all morning. 

Verdict : porridge has never been top of my breakfast list. This was good though, and the pomegranate added another dimension. Not sure I'd make it again though. 

Went for a long walk this morning with my mum and Millie , the golden retriever she looks after, and had plenty of energy! 

Lunch today was not something I ever would have picked - the combination of pear and fennel really didn't excite me at all. However, I'm determined to do these five days and stick to the HH recipes so I got stuck in and made it and ate it straight after. Verdict : It was amazing! It was so fresh, so creamy, so wholesome tasting, and the chunks of pear worked wonders in lifting the fennel to another level! I've frozen the rest and looking forward to more already. 
I put a pic on Instagram, and Natasha, from HH, commented that this is her 'fave'. It's rating pretty high on my list too! 

No pics for this afternoons snack - forgot again. Duh!!!! Hormonal brain very much in evidence this week. Anyway, suffice to say the spinach and hummus dip is the most vibrant green ever, and tastes like it's doing a power of good. I made the Raw Flax Seed Crackers to go with it, and started them off on the lowest temperature in the oven, but they appeared to be drying too quickly, so I tried to transfer them to the dehydrator. Not the best move; they were pretty stuck to the baking tray! Managed to get them off in bits, and once dehydrated the 'bits' tasted great, I just wouldn't be presenting them at a dinner party any time soon. 

Verdict : both tasted fab! No presentation prize for the crackers! 

Did PiYo this afternoon, hard core - with Melissa Mcallister. Lots of energy, still. 

Dinner: I gave John, my partner the book to make Watercress, roasted onion, and pistachio salad, with an oil dressing. Verdict : Simply delicious. 

So, day 2 over, thoroughly enjoyed it. Tummy not as flat as I feel it should be on such wholesome, fresh food, but that'll be my hormones again.... 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Honestly Healthy Cleanse day 1

Ok so I did day 1 yesterday; and here's  how it went! My kitchen looked like an organic farmers market (wish I'd taken a photo) just before I started preparing all my food yesterday morning. There were a few bits I couldn't get hold of but in the main I've followed the recipes exactly. Swapped some of the meals and snacks around though, just because that's what I fancied doing, but I'm guessing it won't have a detrimental effect over the whole 5 day cleanse.

My day began with warm water and lemon, this is my norm anyway. It wakes me up, kick starts my metabolism and generally makes me feel good to go! 

The Toxin Reducer cleansing juice followed. Again, I juice every day so no changes here, but if have to say I've never used fennel in a juice before. Juiced with cucumber, ginger, an apple and some lemon juice the overall taste was very clean. Verdict : I'll definitely make it again. 

Breakfast was American Style Buckwheat Pancakes. I wasn't convinced these we're going to work when I read the ingredients but they turned out perfect. I didn't have rice flour, so just used all buckwheat ; no problem. The result; they were yummy! I spread them with Goats yoghurt and cinnamon but would have preferred some berries (not recommended for the cleanse). 

Verdict : I would definitely make them again.

Lunch took a while to prepare so I was pretty hungry by the time it was ready; I'd usually have a mid morning snack, but it's not on the cleanse so I didn't! 

Falafel Wraps were awesome! I've never made falafel from scratch before, but now I'll never buy them again. So easy to make, full of delicious veggies and nuts and seeds, and the recipe actually makes way more than enough for two people. I had three falafel, lots of tomato salsa (one of my fave all time foods) , and drizzled over goats yoghurt with some fresh mint leaves. 

Verdict :  Seriously yummy! 

My day suddenly got really busy at 3pm and I forgot to photograph my afternoon snack, and evening meal! Duh! Also started with a migraine, don't think it's anything to do with this food, as I get one a month and it coincides with bizarre hormone fluctuations. 

Anyway, I made the Smoked Aubergine dip, and had crudités with it (didn't have time to make dehydrated crackers but they do sound good). I baked the Aubergine for 10 mins, chopped it up, put it in my Vitamix, with some lemon juice, olive oil and lots of garlic. Hey presto , a creamy dip in seconds. 

Verdict : Yes please! It made loads too, so I'm keeping it for another day.

Dinner was my least favourite food of the day, I have to say I was a little disappointed. Mixed vegetable and Soya Bean Hotpot. Lots of veggies : potatoes, peppers, carrots, pumpkin, courgettes all simmered in soya bean paste didn't really work for me. It was warming, which was the nicest thing but not really my bag. 

Verdict : wouldn't rush to make again.

Went to bed (with a worse headache than earlier) feeling like I'd definitely eaten enough... Looking forward to day two. 

Thanks Natasha (from Honestly Healthy ) for liking all my Instagram photos.


Monday, 21 April 2014

Honestly Healthy....Eat with your body in mind, the alkaline way

I've had the Honestly Healthy book by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson since it first came out in 2012, and I've dipped in and out and looked at all the fabulous recipes but never really done as much with it as I wanted to. 

The philosophy behind it makes perfect sense, eating for balance is definitely the way forward, and most of us don't eat this way. All the processed foods, refined carbs, sugars, dairy and alcohol throw our systems out of line, and the more we eat of this 'stuff' the greater the scales are tipped towards an acidic imbalance.

I can tell when my body is acidic; I get bloating, I get headaches, I get moody, I get aches and pains, and just a general lethargic feeling creeps in, and that's where I'm at right now! Urrgh! I can't wait to do something about it and today is the day to start! 

Natasha and Vicky give details, in chart form, of which foods are acid forming and which are alkaline but to be honest I didn't find many surprises. Green veggies, and other non starchy ones are great , most fruits, a few starchy grains such as barley, and millet, and coconut oil and almonds. Raw honey is alkaline - phew! as it's my preferred sweetener, sea veggies are good, herbal teas, lemon water, apple cider vinegar (maybe that sounds surprising , think we assume anything to do with vinegar would be acidic) .

So,the opposite end of the scale, the very acidic foods, you can probably guess: alcohol, meat, eggs, coffee, sugar, tea, peanut butter, breakfast cereals in brightly coloured boxes, cows dairy, wheat..... no surprises there!! 

Nuts fall mainly in the mildly acid forming category apart from almonds; also sweet potato, buckwheat, lentils, quinoa, oats and rice . 

So hopefully you're getting the picture. In an ideal world we should follow the 80/20 rule, as with everything, and eat mainly alkaline. When we veer too much towards the acidic foods and get out of balance, dis-ease starts... Well that's the theory behind the book, and it's one that I can understand and take fully on board. 

I know if I have too much to drink I don't feel good. I know if I eat too much wheat I feel bloated and lethargic. I know if I indulge in too many refined sweet things (very rare these days) I feel shocking. So for me, eating 80% alkaline sounds like the way forward. 

The cleanse aims to remove all those foods and drinks that we consume in a regular or addictive pattern, to lighten the load on the digestive system. I've read through it, it sounds time consuming, but only because it's all new and obviously all the recipes are made from scratch.

I'm starting today but have swapped today's breakfast with tomorrow's as shopping on Easter Monday for everything I needed probably wasn't the best idea! I'm short of a few ingredients but I'm guessing that mixing up the days foods abit won't hurt!? 

The best thing about this cleanse is the daily green juice - I always start my day this way, after a warm lemon water, so this is the easy bit! There is food for breakfast each day too! I know I'm not going to be  going hungry, I've got three meals and a snack to look forward to and the recipes sound delicious. 

So I'm off to do some yoga, and then make my juice and breakfast : Toxin Reducer Juice and Amercian Style Buckwheat Pancakes. Sounds yum! Photos and a full report later.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Listen to your body...

Hey there! 

Yep I'm talking to you! Since you were born I've been here, trying to get your attention in all sorts of ways. Sometimes I can,  sometimes you seem to want to ignore me and just do your own thing.

I've been sending you message after message in all different guises, in the hope that one of them may get through and you'll listen to what I'm saying and act upon it.

The thing is, you live inside of me, and have done since your conception, and you're growing and maturing all the time but I'm writing this because I'm hoping it will do the trick and you will at last take notice of me . 

I'm a little upset you see. I don't like some of the things you do to me and need to let you know. I get hurt by them , literally, and can't just take it without creating some kind of fuss. You make these strange decisions, over and over, with no regard for me. I do my best for you every minute of every day, and am very seldom rewarded for it. 

You fill me up with the strangest of substances, sometimes way too much, but it's more the content I'm worried about. You see when you eat lots of sugar, and refined carbohydrates, cheap nasty fats, and salts, I have to deal with it. When you pour alcohol down your throat with gay abandon I'm the one that has to bail you out! 

It's all getting too much and if you carry on I feel I'm going to be overpowered and the consequences of that are .... well, disastrous. I need nutritious food, I need fresh stuff, I need balanced food full of vitamins and minerals that I can work with, that I recognise. Some of the stuff you give me, I have to harbour in strange places because I don't know how to digest them . I just can't do it; it's not in my make up, and I can only adapt so far.

The other thing is I was built to move, and move frequently. I wasn't designed to sit behind a desk or a car steering wheel for hours at a time. If you let me I'll suprise you with my skills, really I can walk, run, jump, skip, swim and all sorts if you'll just give me the chance. It hurts me to sit around and not be active. I get all stiff and sore, and some parts of me have to overcompensate for other bits of me that don't work so well. Then I end up walking all funny, and it doesn't feel right.

The important thing to realise is that you can't replace ME , you only ever get one of ME, and so taking care of ME, should be your number one priority. It seems you'd rather be doing other things, and that perhaps I've become an after thought. But please, please, please, I am where you have to live. You can move house as often as you like and call it home but I'm your permanent home. You can't live without me.

So please, spare a thought for me and what I'm going through when you don't take care of me.....simple changes are all that's needed and you can begin today.

You can't carry on the way things are. 

With Love

Your Body

Friday, 14 March 2014

Spirulicious Energy Bombs

Yesterday I wanted to add spirulina to my diet; hadn't had it for a few days and after all it is a superfood of epic proportions! So I came up with this little beauty of a recipe... 

Please enjoy making these lovely little balls of goodness. They are gorgeous, and will perk you up at any time of the day with all natural ingredients.

So here's the ingredients for Spirulicious Energy Bombs : 

2 tsp ground almonds
100g macadamia nuts
100g medool dates
1 1/2 tsp Spirulina (or more or less to taste)
1 tbsp Raw cacao powder
1 tsp Raw honey or more to taste
1 tsp hemp seeds
2 tsp cacao nibs

Method :
1. Put the dates and the macadamia nuts into a Vitamix  and whizz up until paste like ( with the odd lumpy bit of nut)
2. Add in all the other ingredients gradually until you're left with a dark green paste.
3. Tip into a bowl and roll into lots of little balls.
4. Roll each one in dessicated coconut, or raw cacao powder, and place in the fridge to harden slightly.

Enjoy!! I love mine with a peppermint/ green tea. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Eat what you like, just make it yourself

If you had all the time in the world I wouldn't say "eat what you like, just make it yourself", but I know your time is as limited as mine, so it's safe to say.

What I'm getting at is, if you allow a big company to make your meals, you lose control over what  goes into it. The chances are it will be full of lots of fat, sugar and salt. These three ingredients are cheap, filling, and they increase the 'craveability' of food. So that's great for them because you want to eat more. 

It's way quicker to nip to the supermarket and buy a ready meal, or call at a takeaway on the way home from a busy day at work, and pick up dinner that you can eat there and then, or at least within minutes of heating it up in the microwave (don't get me started on those nasty, nutrient zapping machines). 

But you're putting your health in the hands of a big food corporation who , quite frankly, couldn't give a toss about you or your family. If they did they'd only use the finest ingredients, they wouldn't use chemically derived substitutes for real food, they wouldn't use ingredients that your body doesn't recognise and so harbours in your fat cells, and they wouldn't need to hide behind fancy packaging. 

They make their products taste so good they know you'll be back for more, and quickly. 

Let's take chips for example . To buy them takes seconds, and they're so more-ish they're gone in minutes. If you make them yourself though, you have to buy the potatoes, wash them, cut them up, cover them in oil and cook them. Time consuming and faffy, even if the result is that they taste great. So they're self regulating... Chances are you  don't have the time to make them every day. The same goes for cakes, biscuits, doughnuts etc. There are not many people who could be bothered to make these foods from scratch. But when you buy them you can eat them by the bucket load, and they're as cheap as chips!! 

If you want to take your health into your own hands the best way is to buy fresh food and cook it yourself from scratch. Cake , chips and doughnuts, within reason, made with quality ingredients will do you no harm if they are made and eaten 'sometimes'. 

A friend of mine told me he made KFC at home using a recipe he found on the internet. I googled it, it's simple, uses real ingredients and with organic chicken makes an amazing meal. Who needs bargain buckets? Why not try to make a 'fast food' meal at home. See how great it tastes, even though it's time consuming. Listen to you body afterwards and I think you'll be rewarded- no bloating, no gas, no feeling stuffed, no IBS, no reflux, just a satisfied gut. 

Food for thought... You really can eat what you like, if you make it at home , with quality ingredients . Buy good quality meat,fish, sea salt, local organic produce, and avoid highly processed sugars and carbohydrates.. Oh and heaps of fruit and veggies. 

Health is the new wealth. 
Have fun!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Do these things .... Daily!

Today's blog originally started as a thought from reading a book on adrenal fatigue. I'm nearly out of the woods, but every now and again still have a 'blip' where I need to rest, take stock and always go back to the book Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L Wilson. To be honest it's a great book for all to read, as it offers the best advice for stressy, busy people... And doesn't that cover most of us??

Please don't stop reading .... This blog is not just for/about adrenal fatigue sufferers, it's for everyone living and breathing on this wonderful planet of ours....

This morning I started with warm lemon water, but still felt a little dehydrated. After consulting the book I've had two glasses of water with sea salt and a piece of lime- this helps to rehydrate (dehydration is a common symptom for all of us, but particularly people with adrenal fatigue. Don't try rehydrating with sports drinks, they're usually high in potassium and low in sodium , which is the opposite of what most of us need.

The book gives some great straight forward, simple, easy to follow advice for everyone..Adrenal fatigue is very rarely diagnosed by medics, but the following list of symptoms may mean your adrenals are being challenged to a certain extent, and I believe this is everyone at some stage in our lives :

difficulty getting up in the morning (err well that's most people isn't it?!) , 

feeling fatigued even after sleep, 

craving salty foods, 

feeling drained of energy, 

feeling like even small jobs are too much for you, 

not wanting to get it on in the bedroom, 

constant road rage, 

smoking too much, 


compulsive eating, 

yelling at your kids all the time, 

taking longer to shake off viruses,

feeling light headed when you stand up quickly,

feeling abit depressed but not able to work out why,

feeling a bit down, not laughing enough, not much interests you

bad PMS - wanting to kill your partner!, bloated , tired, crabby, cramping, cravings...,

feeling rubbish if you don't eat enough,

fuzzy thoughts, 'brain fog',

forgetting  things, 

getting quickly irritated, by people and things,

sensitive  to loud noise (this is me... still, even the tv being turned up too high),

getting second wind at 10pm, having been ready for bed mid afternoon, 

not feeling like you're achieving as much as you had to

So, to help with any of the above, the following things to do each day can be selected,  as many as you can do or want to do, or have the inclination to do .

 I dip in and out depending on how I'm feeling but it's worth revisiting the list, or picking just one or two to do each week until they become a habit.

Here goes :

Use salt in food and drink, but proper sea salt or Himalayan, not refined 
Look for things that make you laugh!
Be in bed by 10pm - this takes some doing for me!
Sleep until 9am whenever you realistically can
Be grateful for at least three things daily - I have an attitude of gratitude reminder on my phone at 6pm each day, and share this with my kids
Eat lots and lots of coloured vegetables, but especially green
Drink juice (80% veg, 20% fruit) 
Learn which foods make you feel bad - keep a food diary/mood diary
Move your body daily
Breathe properly - if you don't know how,learn
Do yoga
Meditate, even for ten minutes a day- I do it before I get out of bed, and use an app called Headspace on my phone
Make your lifestyle a healing one
Get rid of your energy robbers - those things/people that drain you. Make a list of things that serve you and things that don't and start to release the ones that don't 
Believe you are healthy
Do something you love every day
Chew your food well
Laugh a lot
Take the responsibility of your health into your own hands, it's not the doctors job ! 
Have acupuncture - it helps your body to heal itself, no pills required
Keep a journal
Make lifestyle changes that will move you to greater health
Make your own food, from scratch - if you can't, learn
Avoid CRAP foods 80% of the time
Drink herbal teas, reduce regular tea and coffee
Reduce alcohol intake 
Eat whole foods as nature intended 
Have a regular body massage
Bathe regularly in bicarbonate of soda/Epsom salts and lavender oil - heaven! 
Get outside in the fresh air every day
Go barefoot on grass or sand to ground you, whenever possible
Her your chakras balanced - Jenny Kaye in Harrogate is amazing
Massage your feet with oils - this stimulates reflexology points, and can help with pain relief
Surround yourself with what you love - candles, and flowers are my thing
Stroke pets - my two beautiful black cats, Elle and Minx do wonders for me when I'm having a bad day

And lastly .... Visit me for health coaching!!

Hope this has been helpful.
Enjoy your day. Rx

Friday, 28 February 2014

Chocolate Truffles ... With tahini? Really?!

Yes... I've added tahini to these little balls of goodness and they taste yummy! 

Tahini is a great ingredient, made from ground sesame seeds, for raw recipes as it's so creamy, it helps to provide moisture and an element of 'stickiness' that holds these little truffles together. Not only that though, it packs a punch where protein is concerned and is a rich source of B vitamins, Vitamin E and minerals too.

It has a nutty taste, some people are not keen on its own, but it's great mixed with other ingredients either as a savoury or sweet dish.

These coconut truffles make a fab gift ,in a little bag,or box, with ribbon, or to take to friends for an after dinner change to chocolates!

Here's the recipe, it takes minutes to make:

2 oz hazelnuts
2oz walnuts
2oz dessicated coconut
2oz raw cacao powder
3oz raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3oz tahini

Method :

1. Blend the nuts and coconut in a food processor. I use a Vitamix

2. Tip the mixture into a bowl and mix in the other ingredients gradually

3. Roll into small balls , they are rich so make the balls just bite size! 

4. Roll in dessicated coconut and chill in the fridge until ready to eat


This recipe is in my first Ebook Bakes, Bars and Bites - available from . If you don't have a kindle facility, please DM me through FB either on my Balanced PT page or my Sweet Enough page, and I can send you the PDF for the same price.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Guest Blog Post - Gilly Payne

I've been Facebook friends with this lovely lady for a few months now, having been introduced by Ian Mulrooney of Smartway2fitness (who starred in my last blog) . We finally met up a couple of weeks ago, along with Andrea Wood of Mind and Body Clinic fame (who has also starred in a blog post for me). The three of us put the world to rights where health and nutrition, and fitness is concerned! I hope you enjoy reading all about Gilly :

1. Tell us how you got into this field? 

I got into fitness and health when we lived in Sweden. Everybody does some form of fitness there, it's part of life just as you eat food and drink water . They don't even think about making time for it, it's just automatic. A great culture! 
I am a Nordic walking instructor. I came into this field through my Pilates Instructor, Tina Skidmore. Tina invited me to join her in setting up a Nordic Walking Business. I said yes without really knowing anything about it but I had immense faith in her and she is intuitive enough to have spotted something that would suit me down to the ground. She's a gifted lady, to whom I owe a great deal of happiness and fulfilment. Two weeks later I was on the course and loved every minute of it. The teachers are inspirational and it's a fabulous form of exercise. I recently extended my repertoire by qualifying as a personal trainer too. Primarily this was so that I had more exercises up my sleeve for the ski fit sessions that I run, and to extend the tool box of strength work that we practice on the walks too . I loved it so much I've now started working as a PT too!

2. Can you explain how you help clients to improve their health and well being ? 

I provide a fun, friendly accessible form of exercise that is easy to learn, and as exercise goes is reasonably cheap, needing very little equipment and can be practised at home, alone. I try to encourage mindful walking and breathing and help them practice this in the sessions. I advise them on diet and lifestyle choices and listen to their feelings, worries and concerns, both with regard to their exercise and health,  but also in relation to their personal lives. Being a trained relate counsellor helps there! 

3. What are your top three health and lifestyle tips? 

I would say get out and move every day, even if it's just a brisk walk around the block (what could be more grounding?) . Learn to breathe properly and practice mindfulness. I think if you can do all of these the rest falls into place.  Stress, cravings, dietary dilemmas - they all dissolve.

4. How do you start your day?

I usually start my day with a shower and a good stretch session, in the shower ( unless it's a 6am start for a PT session) followed by porridge, with soya protein powder , flax seeds, blueberries and Redbush tea.

5. What is currently in your fridge?

Well I have three fridges so this could take a while!!  Soya milk, blueberries, strawberries, smoked salmon, celery, carrots, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, eggs, butter (from grass fed cows of course) , ham soya yoghurts, apples, lemons, Avacado, bananas, and because my son has been home there is also fresh ravioli, pate, a one month old Christmas pudding remains and orange juice but they are heading for the bin any second now!

6. What is your guilty food pleasure, go on tell us, you must have one!! ?

White wine! 

7. How do you keep yourself fit? 

Cross training suits my body; if I don't work out this way I become too strong in certain areas and not in others (generally those that have been injured in the past). I Nordic Walk, run, bike (road), practice Pilates and go to the gym. I'm also trying to return to Yoga, after a 5/6 year breather, so that I can keep these tight muscles in check by stretching them out. 

8. What is your biggest daily challenge? The one thing that can pull you off course if you let it? 

I'm prone to overtraining and then suffer adrenal fatigue. I love exercise and I love the endorphin buzz that one gets from it, so I'd happily do some form of exercise in every spare moment of the day but 'one' needs to rest. So, I guess my biggest daily challenge is to sit still!

9. How do you relax? 

I love a long bath with aromatherapy oils or Epsom Slts, if I've done a lot of exercise; alongside whatever book I'm reading at the time. I love to read in the bath! 

10. If you had three wishes that would help our planet, what would they be? 

I have to admit that I am the worlds most ignorant person when it comes to saving the planet, so my answers are a little tongue in cheek. Firstly I wish euthanasia would  become legal so that my children can shoot me when I start showing signs of dementia! That will de-stress  the planet an awful lot!
I wish I could remember to take my own bags to the supermarket each time I visit. 
I wish it would stop raining so that we could all walk mud free! 

Thanks very much Gilly!
You can contact Gilly through her FB page ; Gilly Payne

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Guest Blog Post - Ian Mulrooney

I'm delighted to introduce Ian Mulrooney as my guest blogger this week. I've known Ian for over thirty years (OMG really?!) and we re-connected many years ago, via social media. He was just in the process of changing his career, and he's now progressed to being one of the most knowledgeable sports injury therapists in the area. I love him getting his hands on me!! And so does my son Ben. 

You can find Ian at, and on FB - smartway2fitness.

So, here he is : 

1. Tell us how you got into this field? 

I am a sports injury specialist, structural integrator and neural/visceral body worker! Are you any the wiser? I got into this after meeting a magical lady..Janet Lech, on a train one morning whilst commuting to my previous job! After chatting I went for a treatment and thought why didn't anyone treat me in the same way when I was injured in the 80's! I quite like the sound of this.. I was a little bored and stagnant in my job, so I thought I'd look at training as a Sports Injury Therapist. I did this with Active Health and completed my Advanced Level 5 Diploma. I now work with that lady; she's very special!

2. Can you explain how you help clients to improve their health and well being? 

It all depends on the person. I work with them to resolve issues that they may have, highlighting the impact on their body, lifestyle changes, movement changes, nutritional advice, referrals, prefab, rehab, and looking at the problem causing the injury.

3. What are your top three health and lifestyle tips? 

Eat less and move more
Eat as much home grown, or locally grown food
Look after your body with good fuel (food), exercise, and bodywork!

4. How do you start your day?

I always start my day with a shower, quick meditation, and then if it's a Tuesday or Thursday I have blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apple, yoghurt, seeds, nuts, honey, cinnamon and porridge made with Raw milk. If it's Monday, Wednesday, or Friday I may have a run to start the day. Saturday is either a social bike ride with friends, or a lazy morning with the grand kids. Sunday is cycling, with coffee and a cake stop! 

5. What is currently in your fridge? 

A lot of everything, it's Christmas. I pride myself on having such things as Raw unpasteurised milk and butter, fruit, vegetables, and organically sourced meat.

6. What is your guilty food pleasure? Go on, tell us, you must have one! 

Wine, chocolate and cake! The cake I enjoy when I'm out cycling at quality cafés around Yorkshire!

7. How do you keep yourself fit? 

I like to cycle , run and walk! Also, I ensure I have bodywork every month.

8. What is your biggest daily challenge? The one thing that could pull you off course if you let it? 

Not sure I have one, if I'm honest I'd say patients.... they are all challenging, and I learn more from everyone!

9. Describe how you relax? 
I like to cycle , run, walk and read

10. If you had three wishes, that would help our planet, what would they be? 

Have dedicated cycle routes - to reduce obesity, pollution, and improve the health of the nation. 
Stop the population of the world increasing so quickly, we are a virus that is consuming  too much of the natural resource.
Be kind to each other with more hugs!!

Please go to Ian's Facebook page at smartway2fitness, and his website for more information, and to make an appointment. I promise you, you will NOT be disappointed. 

If you liked this blog I'd be grateful if you would click to follow, or leave a comment here or on Facebook.
Thankyou, here's to a healthy week.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Guest Blog Post Andrea Wood

I'm excited to introduce my first ever guest blog post. Andrea practises nutritional therapy at the Mind and Body Clinic, in the Rydale area of North Yorkshire; she can also do sessions by Skype. Here she's answers a series of questions I'm sure we're all interested in finding out the answers to! 

So without further a do.... Over to Andrea! 

Hi Andrea, tell  us what you do and how you first got into this field? 

I'm a nutritional therapist; I help people to improve their health with dietary changes, using functional foods, and supplements (where necessary) targeting the root cause of the problem. Nutritional therapy is about lifestyle changes for long term benefits, and not simply attaching a sticking plaster over the problem as so many conventional drugs tend to do.

Can you explain how you inspire clients to take an interest in improving their health and well being? 
With science based and anecdotal evidence, I help people to see how different their lives would be without that gut pain, arthritis, fatigue etc. etc. I show people  how small changes can make a huge difference, and how it can be done eating foods they enjoy. It's not always about giving something up, but putting something back in.

What are your top three health and lifestyle tips? 
1. Do eat a minimum of four veggies and two fruits daily to ensure an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals.
2. Move! Even a twenty minute walk helps the body to work more efficiently.
3. Cut down sugar, it is THE most detrimental non-nutrient known to man!

How do you start your day?
With a cup of red bush tea, followed by some exercise and fresh air before my usual breakfast of porridge oats, almond milk, fruit and protein powder(I'm dairy intolerant).

What do you regularly have in your fridge?
Almond milk, vegetables and salad, probiotics, organic full fat milk for my son. Fruit juice, butter, free range eggs, avocados, local free range bacon, organic cheese, cans of tuna,mackerel, salmon, home made mayonnaise and soups..... (Oh and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc!) 

What is your guilty food pleasure, go on, you must have one?! 
Lindt 70% Chilli Chocolate....yummmmm!

How do you keep yourself fit?
I run, walk and cycle.

What is your biggest daily challenge - the thing that 'could' sabotage your good intentions if you let it?
Cooking for my son; he eats everything, and using cheese for him when I can't have it can be a real challenge.

Describe how you love to relax? 
In a hot bubbly bath with magnesium salts after a long bike ride or walk, listening to music with a good book in front of the fire, and I also find cycling long distances very relaxing.

If you had three wishes that would help our planet, what would they be?
1. That people would be more tolerant of each other, different cultures and opinions. We are all entitled to our beliefs but don't need to impose them on others.
2. That the NHS wasn't a puppet of the pharmaceutical industry and that nutrition was a large part of the medical qualification, so that GP's would understand how important it is (sorry that's' two!).
3. That more taxes were imposed on highly processed, refined and sugary foods and that the revenue raised went towards promoting healthy foods and teaching young people the benefits of a healthy diet, and more importantly, the very real risks of an unhealthy one.

Thankyou so much Andrea! 

Andrea can be found at, and on Facebook as Andrea Wood. 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Day Three : Juices, Smoothies and Soups

Yeah! Day three done and dusted, and we're still feeling great. Keeping it simple today, so here are the recipes :

Hot water and lemon to start the day, kick start your metabolism .

Breakfast : Chocolate - Coconut Smoothie

Makes enough for two (not sure whether I've said this on previous blog posts, the juices make enough for two as well, the soups make enough for four bowls, generally.

Ingredients :
2 scoops of Sun  Warrior Chocolate Protein Powder
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 small bananas 
Handful of spinach
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
Pumpkin seeds

Method :
Whizz up in the Viatmix, and devour it, it's gorgeous! And it will fill you up for hours.
No photograph guys - sorry!! I'll make it again and add one in at a later date. It looked good though! 

Mid morning Juice : Up The Apples And Pears

Ingredients :
Chunk of cucumber
1 large pear, or 2 small
2 small apples
Handful of spinach
Chunk of pineapple
Chunk of lime
Chunk of ginger

Method : juice the lot! And enjoy. I love this one, pears are one of my favourite fruits and I could really taste it. They're great because they're full of fibre, and help balance the blood sugar. 

Looks awesome doesn't it? I think it would work sooo well in the summer, with ice cubes added. 

Lunch today was Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup, recipe as of Day 1. This is one of my faves, really tasty, really warming.

Mid afternoon juice : Berry Burst. Wow! This is off the scale gorgeous! I love berries, any berries, and this is so berry rich, I likened it to a good red wine, but John didn't agree! 

Ingredients :

1 pear
Handful of spinach
Large handful of mixed frozen berries (I used predominantly blackberries and blueberries hence the dark colour) 
Handful of cabbage leaves - Kale great
Chunk of cucumber
1 tbsp Maca powder

Method - juice the lot and then add the Maca powder. Enjoy!

Dinner : Carrot, onion and ginger soup

Ingredients :

1 can beans/ pulses of your choice
600g carrots approx
2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
Sea salt and pepper to season
2 red onions 
3 cloves garlic
Chunk of root ginger
Fresh coriander to garnish
Coconut oil

Method :
Gently fry the opinions and garlic in the coconut oil
Add the stock and the chopped carrots and ginger (cut into small pieces) and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the carrots have softened. Add the pulses/beans and the salt and pepper and whizz up until smooth. Garnish with the coriander, and enjoy really warm. 

Wow that's day three done already, this week is flying by. Looking forward to tomorrow to continue eating good clean juices, smoothies  and soups.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Day Two : Juices, Smoothies and Soups

We've done day one, and it was fine! More than fine, we both even enjoyed it. We've got an absolute mountain of fruit and veg in the kitchen and we're having fun mixing them up to make different tastes. I'm in charge of smoothies, and we're sharing the juice and soup making. 

Very Berry Smoothie this morning - need some more unusual names don't we?! Anyway, it was yummy  and with the Sun Warrior Protein Powder in it fills us up for hours. We gave it 9/10.

Very Berry Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients :
Handful of Goji berries
Handful of frozen strawberries
2 cups Almond milk
1 cup Coconut milk
1 Avacado
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Raw honey

Method : simple, just whizz it all up in the Vitamix! And drink, slowly, and chew! Remember it's a food.

I walked/ran the dog, and collected wood again. And then did some yoga. Exercise done for the day- tick.

Mid morning juice - It's All Green (except it wasn't because it had lemon and ginger in it!) . Very refreshing! 

It's All Green (well nearly!) 

Ingredients :

Chunk of courgette
1 Apple
1 Pear
Chunk of lime
Chunk of ginger
Chunk of lemon

Method : juice everything and drink! Yum.

Lunchtime - Celeriac Soup, really creamy and very filling. We scored this with 7/10.

Celeriac Soup :

Ingredients : 

2 onions red or white
3 cloves of garlic
1 celeriac
1 large sweet potato 
2 pints of chicken stock or vegetable stock - home made
1 tin of beans or pulses, of your choice (optional but adds more protein)
Coconut oil 

Method :

Gently fry the onions and garlic in the coconut oil
Add the stock, and the celeriac and sweet potato chopped into small pieces.
Leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft
Add the beans/ pulses and whizz up in a Vitamix or using a hand blender

Celeriac is a great seasonal root vegetable perfect for soups. It contains lots of essential minerals, and B Vits,and plenty of dietary fibre.

Mid afternoon juice - Omega Juice, great this one, bit of an acquired taste! 7/10 but you can taste it doing you good! 

Omega Juice :

Ingredients. :

2 small apples
Chunk of pineapple
Chunk of ginger
Chunk of lime
1 tbsp spirulina
1 tbsp Organic Cold pressed Flax oil
1 shot glass of Aloe Vera
1 tsp Raw honey
Chunk of cucumber
1 Avacado

Method :

I whizzed the Avacado, flax oil. Chia seeds, aloe vera , Raw honey and  spirulina up in the Vitamix, and juiced the rest. Then mix the two together and drink slowly, swishing around your mouth like a food.

Dinner time soup - Spicy Chickpea and Lentil Soup. John made this and he wasn't over impressed but I really enjoyed it. It tasted like Chana Dahl, and I love that! I gave it 8/10, John probably slightly lower. 

Spicy Chickpea, mushroom and  Lentil Soup

Ingredients :

1 can coconut milk
1 pint of vegetable or chicken stock
1 can chickpeas
1 can lentils
2 red onions
3 cloves garlic
Cumin 1 - 2 tsps
Coriander, fresh or dried 1-2 tsps
Chilli flakes 1-2 tsps
Coconut oil
Handful of mushrooms

Method :
Gently fry the onions and garlic in the coconut oil with the mushrooms
Add the spices, and stir for a minute
Add the stock , the coconut milk, and the lentils and chickpeas and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes

Serve hot with fresh coriander to garnish. Yummy!! 

I had my usual spoonfuls of fermented cabbage before lunch and dinner to boost my gut health. Still acquiring a taste for it, but I'll get there because I know it's doing me good! 

So that's day two- we both feel great doing this eating plan. It's not torture, we're not starving, we don't feel deprived. We do feel clean, vibrant and excited for our next juice, smoothie or soup! Roll on day three.