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Do you know anyone with CFS, fibromyalgia or ME?

I am delighted to announce that today I gained accreditation as a Foundation Level Chrysalis Effect Practitioner. The Chrysalis Effect (www.thechrysaliseffect.com) is an organisation that supports sufferers with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia and M.E. (Myalgic encephalomyelitis) on the way to full recovery. These conditions can affect all body systems but are most commonly characterised by long-term disabling tiredness, muscular pains, joint pains, disturbed sleep, brain fog and headaches. The Chrysalis Effect is unique in that it offers a holistic guided approach to recovery. If you are suffering from one of these conditions, then you may feel that you are not listened to, tha

All is not lost!

Even nutritional therapists have "off" days now and again, so after a weekend of socialising and indulgence, I rustled up this Sunday brunch today to get back on track. Scrambled egg, stir-fried kale, salad, avocado, houmous, roasted aubergine and feta cheese made a yummy meal before a lovely long autumn walk with the family. With the festive season just around the corner, I would like to point out that a few days of over-eating and drinking might not be helpful if you are following a healthy eating plan, but they are certainly not catastrophic. The important thing is to enjoy them (rather than feel guilty) and make plans to return to normal eating as soon as possible afterwards.

What am I eating today?

Here's a super-speedy, low-carb, nutrient-packed, colourful breakfast that takes less than 3 minutes to prepare. Chop up some cucumber and tomato, add a hard-boiled egg, one small avocado and a dollop of houmous. Some people are afraid of eating eggs, but they are a whole food containing vitamin K, biotin, thiamine, vitamin B12, selenium, vitamin D and protein. They also contain cholesterol, which is the thing that makes people most afraid of them, however dietary cholesterol has been shown to have little effect on blood cholesterol levels (1). In fact, we produce cholesterol in our livers as it is an essential building block for many hormones. Eggs are also a source of choline, a key compo

Are you giving your heart everything it needs to keep you healthy?

Cardiovascular disease (an umbrella term used to describe all heart and circulatory disease) causes more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK (British Heart Foundation, 2017). Cardiovascular disease is a non-communicable disease and many risk factors increase your likelihood of developing it. High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and obesity are all associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, yet these factors can often be caused or exacerbated by nutrition and lifestyle. Doing exercise and eating a healthy diet can support the health of your heart, but what is the right diet for heart health? There is plenty of conflicting information out there. One

What's for lunch?

People often ask me what I give my kids for packed lunches. When I tell them I give them a salad, I get looks of surprise: "Do they really eat that?" and "How do you have the time each morning?", so today I thought I'd give you some insider info on how I prepare healthy packed lunches every day whilst staying sane! The key thing is preparation. On Monday morning I boil up enough quinoa or barley to last a few days. This grain forms the basis of the salad. This week I also boiled some puy lentils, which I used as the protein. You can also used tinned chickpeas, tuna or hard-boiled egg - all great sources of protein. I grate enough courgette or carrot for two days, and keep it in the fridge. T

Calling all bread lovers

As a nutritional therapist, I am known to advocate a low-carb approach and bread is usually a rare treat. That is until I came across Charlotte Clif and her amazing sourdough bread. As I sit in her cosy farmhouse-style kitchen in Hendon (North-west London) munching this delicious bread and moaning how bad it is for my waistline, Charlotte tries to convince me that it is really beneficial. I am unconvinced, so I go away to do my own research, and am not ashamed to admit that I was wrong. Although sourdough provides the same calories as regular bread, it has plenty of hidden benefits. Sourdough is made by a long fermentation process and consequently has reduced phytate content. Phytates are co

Which of these three foods might help PMS?

The answer is all three of them! Fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, acne, insomnia, food cravings - PMS can really make your life miserable for those few days every month. PMS is different for every woman, and can even differ each month for the same woman, but it usually occurs at the same time each month in your menstrual cycle. The causes of PMS are unclear – hormonal fluctuations produce symptoms in some women but not others. Genetics, weight, lifestyle and medications can all influence whether you suffer and your symptom severity. As a registered nutritional therapist, I use a functional approach to understand the possible causes of your PMS. Together we will develop a nu

What am I eating this week?

I made this colourful salad for a light supper for the family. Containing complex carbohydrate (barley), protein (edamame), healthy fats (olive oil) and plenty of antioxidant-providing vegetables and fruit, it ticked all the boxes. Here's how I made it..... Boil up half a packet of barley - it takes about an hour. Then arrange spinach leaves in a large salad bowl. Put barley on top, then add whatever salad vegetables you have in the fridge. I used grated carrot and cucumber, but baby tomatoes, spring onions or grated beetroot would work equally well. I added edamame beans and finished off with pomegranate seeds. Extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to dress, and then everyone tucked in!

Healthy sustained weight loss

Sometimes nutritional information can be so confusing. One minute we are told that a low-fat diet is best, and the next day we are told that low-carb is the way to go. Nowhere is this more confusing than in the area of weight loss. Type “weight loss” into a search engine and you will be inundated with different diet plans, herbal remedies and even drug treatments all promising to help you lose those extra pounds. The truth is that all the solutions work for different individuals. But how are you to know which one will work for you? As a nutritional therapist, I use a functional approach in order to identify lifestyle factors and nutritional imbalances that might explain why you are strugglin

Is there a healthy alternative to roast potatoes?

Who doesn't love roast potatoes? A favorite side dish at family dinner tables up and down the land. But is there a healthier alternative? And what did my family think of it? I served up these orange and purple sweet potatoes yesterday evening. I also chopped up carrots and red onions, drizzled with some olive oil and a few grinds of Himalayan pink salt and baked in a moderate oven for 1½ hours. Sweet potatoes are high in fibre and vitamin C, and are a great source of carotenes, potassium, calcium and vitamin K. They have a low GI and therefore keep you feeling fuller for longer than traditional white potatoes. The purple variety also contain anthocyanins, which are the same antioxidant pigme

What am I eating today?

I am often asked what I eat and what I feed my family. Since I started studying nutrition, I have made several changes in the way my family eats, but in a way that will not make my kids want to leave home! So, once a week, I will be sharing with you what is being eaten in my house. This is what me and my daughter had for breakfast today. A bowl of natural yogurt with fresh figs, almonds and chia seeds. The yogurt contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12 as well as beneficial bacteria. Figs are rich in fibre, potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and protein, while almonds are a good source of healthy fats, protein, potassium, magn