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Endometriosis Awareness Week - What is it and why does it happen (Part 1)

For many women, the monthly cycle is a minor inconvenience to an otherwise amazing life. For others, their period – and the run up to it – can feel like a living hell. They put up with long, very heavy and incredibly painful periods. If this speaks to you, your symptoms could be linked to a number of conditions (which is why you need to talk to your GP about any concerns about your cycle), and one of them is endometriosis.

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Endometriosis is estimated to effect 3-10% of women at reproductive age, and in 9-50% of infertile women. It is defined as the presence of endometrial glands and stroma outside of its normal location. These cells should normally only be present inside the uterus, but can appear in the pelvis, fallopian tubes, vagina and ovaries, and in more unusual locations such as in lung, brain or scar tissue.

Here’s where the problem is: those cells are hormonally active, just like those that line your uterus, and when womb cells shed every month (your period), the other cells do, too. The blood can’t flow out of the body, and this leads to the build-up of scar tissue and cysts. Because these endometrial cells can grow almost anywhere, women experience different symptoms, ranging (in addition to heavy painful periods) to painful bowel movements, pain during sex, back pain, fatigue and depression.

Endometriosis affects 2 million women in the UK alone. Most are diagnosed between 25 and 40, and it’s more common in women over 30 who haven’t had children.

The symptoms of endometriosis can vary a lot between individuals, some women have endometriosis without experiencing any symptoms at all until they have trouble getting pregnant. Most common symptoms include pelvic pain before and during sex, pain during sex, irregular bleeding or heavy periods, painful/bloody bowel movement during menstruation, painful/bloody urination during menstruation, swelling in lower abdomen, extreme tiredness, fertility problems.



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Doctors don’t yet know what causes it. It may be one of a number of causes or a combination of several. We do know that it can be hereditary, and that retrograde menstruation might play a role (this is when the womb lining stays inside the body rather than leaving it as your period). Doctors do know that oestrogen dominance (where there is an excess of oestrogen compared with progesterone) plays a part.

An impaired immune response might also play a role, resulting in ineffective clearing of refluxed endometrial cells at the time of menstruation. This prompts inflammation contributing to an oestrogen/progesterone imbalance further feeding the cycle. It is unknown if these immune abnormalities are a cause, or result, of the endometriosis.

The only way to officially diagnose endometriosis is by laparoscopy, an operation during which a tiny camera is inserted into the pelvis. On average, it can take 7.5 years for a woman to be diagnosed with the condition, so if you have any concerns, you should see your GP right away.

There is currently no cure for endometriosis, but nutritional therapy can be an effective way to help you manage symptoms.

If this is something you have been diagnosed with, I warmly invite you to book a free female hormone health check with me. During our call, you can tell me about your experience, your diagnosis and we can work out the best next steps for you.



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10 Ways to Boost your Immune System this Winter

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When the temperature drops, the chance of you coming down with a cold or the flu increases significantly. It’s widely accepted you’ll get sick more often in the winter. That’s because you’re likely to be inside more and the common cold thrives better in dry air than where there’s humidity. And, when you spend more time indoors, you’re exposed to more germs.

Here’s something interesting about the common cold: when your core internal temperature falls after exposure to cold, the immune system’s ability to battle the rhinovirus is also reduced. The immune system literally slows down. Cold feet may also play a part. In a recent study, researchers made students sit with their feet in cold water for 20 minutes. These students were found to be statistically much more likely to catch a cold in the next five days than the control group (those who didn’t have to sit with their feet in cold water).


The flu virus is also transmitted much faster when it’s cold out because the lipid (fatty) coating of the virus becomes more resilient the colder it gets. 


Your immune system is the most powerful weapon you have against disease. Strong immunity means that the body is better able to fight off viruses and germs.


Fewer colds and sick days this winter would be good, right? There are many diet and lifestyle tweaks you can make to reduce your risk of catching a cold and flu this season (and ensuring it’s shorter and less serious if you do get the lurgi). Here are my top ten tips to keep you fighting fit this month – and beyond.

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Print out this list and stick it on the fridge as a reminder to you (and your family) that prevention is better than cure.


Your body needs real, unprocessed food to stay healthy and not the processed foods we kid ourselves are OK for us to eat.

Focus on eating natural, unprocessed food as often as possible. Follow the 80/20 rule (for the avoidance of doubt, this means eating healthily 80 of the time – think fresh apples rather than apple juice, or wholegrain bread instead of a white bread butty).

Aim to eat a rainbow of colour everyday to ensure you are getting the full array of cold-busting phytochemical found in colourful fruit and veg. 

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Following the low GL diet is key to sustainable, glowing health, as it provides your body with a steady supply of energy throughout the day, rather than a high-octane rollercoaster of energy spikes and troughs.


Did you know that up to 80% of our immunity to germs and disease is in the gut? The mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) in the gut is part of the first line of immune defense, so getting the right balance between beneficial, or ‘good’ gut bacteria, and the ‘bad’, or potentially pathogenic bacteria, is key.

How to do this:

The gut environment takes a beating year after year, owing to poor diets, too much sugar, stress, antibiotics and other factors. Even if you have no obvious tummy troubles, digestive health is vital, so it’s worth the extra effort to take care of it.

Add probiotic and prebiotic foods to your diet, as these re-populate the gut with good bacteria and feed them well enough to crowd out bad bacteria.

Here are some gut-friendly choices to get you started:

·      Choose naturally fermented organic dairy products like natural yoghurt (such as Yeo Valley or Rachel’s) and kefir.

·      Always buy full-fat, as the 0% or no-fat options have increased levels of milk sugars – and fat isn’t the enemy, either in life or in weight loss : )

·      Miso soup or miso bouillon paste (add these to soups and stews), another food source of probiotics.

·      Overnight oats not only make a super quick and easy breakfast, but are also a great source of digestible fibre, or prebiotic, that help feed the good guys in our belly. 

·      Onions, garlic and Jerusalem artichokes are another great source of tasty probiotics. 

·  Daily spoonful of sauerkraut or kimchi for a natural dose of pre and pro biotic. 



3. MAKE CHICKEN SOUP           

Did you hear that chicken soup is great when you’re unwell? If you thought it was just an old wives’ tale, you’d be wrong. Research suggests that a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup can slow the speed at which neutrophils move around your body. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell and part of the immune system, protecting your body from infection. When the neutrophils move slowly, there’s a greater chance of them becoming more concentrated in the areas of your body that need the most healing. Studies have shown chicken soup to be particularly helpful in reducing symptoms in upper respiratory system infections like the common cold.

Check out my super easy bone broth guide here 



Top of the list for immunity are a good probiotic, a multivitamin and extra vitamin C and zinc.

For most people, a daily probiotic will help maintain the right balance of bacteria in the gut. If you have ongoing tummy troubles like IBS or constipation, we should talk – you will need something for your specific symptoms. 

A multivitamin bridges the gap between what you are eating and what you should be eating, and takes care of any major deficiencies. The reality is our food sadly contains a lot less nutrients than it used to so it makes sense to provide additional support through supplement. I am a big fan of food based supplement brands such as Wild Nutrition.

Go large when it comes to vitamin C, both in food and supplement form. Broccoli and red peppers contain more C than oranges (contrary to popular belief) and there are loads of other foodie options, too: kale, cauliflower, parsley, spinach, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, blackcurrants, kiwi fruit, pineapple, mango, papaya and citrus fruits.

Top up zinc levels by eating more palm-sized pieces of lean meat (especially lamb, beef, venison and turkey), pumpkin seeds, ginger root, green veggies, oats, nuts, sesame seeds, yoghurt and scallops.



Adding flavour to food is a smart way to include delicious immune boosters on your plate.

I've shared with you before the potent superfood properties that garlic has. It is antimicrobial, thanks to the active ingredient allicin, which helps fight viruses, and has been used for thousands of years to boost the immune system and prevent sickness.

Most culinary herbs contain anti-inflammatory properties due to their phytonutrients, but oregano and thyme are particularly rich. Spice up your cooking with turmeric and ginger, too, as these are well-documented immune boosters.


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Even if you don’t consider yourself a sugar addict, it’s worth taking a look at how much you do consume – and trying to swap sugary treats for something more wholesome.

Sugar fans the flames of inflammation and affects the ability of white blood cells to fend off viruses and bacteria. Enjoy raw cocoa or cacao hot chocolate on chilly evenings, adding your favourite milk or milk substitutes (with a little xylitol or stevia to sweeten, if you like). A few squares of pure, dark chocolate will also satisfy – Green & Blacks, or any good chocolate with a higher cocoa content (at least 75%), is ideal.



Water is a miracle worker. It flushes germs from your system, helps your blood to carry plenty of oxygen to your body’s cells and allows those cells to absorb important nutrients.

Invest in a filter jug or bottle to avoid quaffing high levels of chlorine and fluorine along with your tap water.

Green tea and chamomile tea are also immune system strengtheners, as they contain antioxidants that help battle free radicals.




There are a variety of different natural ingredients that have been used traditionally to heal cold and sore throats with good reason.

My favourites include:


Fresh ginger added to boiling water may help sooth a sore throat or cough. Honey (look for raw honey or Manuka rather than the common-or-garden variety) is often teamed with lemon and cinnamon for a soothing drink for sore throats and may also act as cough suppressant. Raw honey should not be given to children younger than one as it may contain botulinum spores.

Sore throats may additionally benefit from gargling with salt water, while saline (salt water) nose drops help clear mucous from blocked nasal passages and soothes tender skin inside the nostrils.



As difficult as this is to achieve in winter, spending sufficient time in sunlight is a vital immune booster - why do you think we are off on retreat next month?! - Check out my Winter Sun finder Yoga and Surf Go with the Flow Holiday

Vitamin D is made by your skin absorbing sunlight, so planning an hour or two outside during daylight hours is a good reason to leave work early, or take your children to the park when you’d rather sleep late.

Expose as much of your bare skin to the sun as possible and don’t wear sunscreen during that time either, as it inhibits the process.

Supplement your vitamin D levels by eating more of the following foods: oily fish (salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna), beef liver, mushrooms, cheese, egg yolks and vitamin D-fortified foods, such as dairy products.




An age-old way to boost immunity is by following childhood rules – wash hands, go to bed early and take some exercise.


These simple measures may seem boring (and more difficult to achieve than popping a pill), but science proves that they work.

And your immune system will thank you for it.


Have you suffered from more than your dose of colds this Winter? Concerned your immune system could do with some additional support? Get in touch today and book your free Wellness Call where we can discuss in details causes for your lowered immune system and start creating a personalised wellness programme to boost you and your immune system. 



Immune Boosting, Digestion Soothing easy, peasy no-fuss Bone Broth


Bone broth has been a KEY star player in my SIBO treatment and recovery, and is something I encourage my clients to start making for themselves whether they see me for digestion, weight loss, immune support or hormonal balance. 

The health benefits are numerous and include:

  • Rich source of highly absorbable minerals including potassium, sulphur, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium

  • Has anti-ageing properties from collagen and gelatine which help to promote bone and joint healing as week as supporting digestion, improving skin elasticity and the reduction of wrinkles - who doesn't want a bit of that!?

  • Promotes Healing – Bone broth has been used successfully in treating gastro-intestinal disorders, including hyperacidity, colitis, Crohn's disease, and infant diarrhea

  • Rich source of easily digestibly protein - super important for anyone who suffers from digestive symptoms where protein malabsorption can be a cause

  • Boosts liver function by supplying a rich source of readily absorbable amino acids – Glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and lysine are key nutrients needed for detoxification in phase 1 pathways in the liver.

  • Immune System Enhancement – Promotes the assimilation of vitamins and minerals and thus supports immunity

  • Delicious and Nutritious – Use as soup, cooking liquid, sauce, or as a tea

  • Overall wellbeing – Finally, by initially healing the GI tract, bone broth creates an environment in which all of the nutrients being taken in, whether by food or supplementation, can increase their bio-availability to your body

Now, I am not going to lie, having once been a vegan I was a little grossed out at the idea of eating, let alone making, my own brone broth. And I still can't quite handle making my one broth from anything other than chicken or fish - the smell beef bones make is just too intense for me! 

Making the broth from chicken or fish is much more palatable to the nose and quicker to make too on the whole.


Now, this is a super simple, no-fuss, bare bones (lol) recipe which you can tweak and adjust as you get more comfortable with the process. There are two ways of going about making the broth - either poaching the chicken whole, removing the cooked meat, then letting the stock cook to make your broth. Or you can roast the chicken as normal, then boil the bones and bubble.......whichever works for you. 

This recipe is from poaching the chicken:

You will need:

  • 1 whole organic, free range chicken 

  • 1 onion, fennel or leek

  • Couple of carrots

  • Celery or bok choi

  • Peppercorns

  • Himalayan Rock Salt

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

  • Fresh herbs: whatever you have lying around, coriander is what I commonly use

Place the chicken in a large pot and cover with filtered water, throw in the veg and hearbs, a tsp of peppercorns, some salt and 2 tbsp of ACV. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Stand over the pot and use a spoon to remove any brownish foam that appears at the surface, this can take up to 10 mins or so.


Cover and leave until the chicken is cooked through, approx. 40 mins depending on size of chicken, you want to be able to easily glide a knife through to test.

Remove the cooked chicken and put on a large plate. Drain the stock and veg through a colander being careful to drain into another pot to put straight back onto the heat to make your broth. Place the veggies to the side - these can be added to bowls of chicken soup.

Wait for the chicken to cool, then remove all the meat from the bone. Place the bones back into the large pot and bring back to a simmer. Leave on a low heat for a minimum of 1 hour. This is where a slow cooker or Thermomix comes in really handy as you can slowly cook the broth over a low heat, just like you can in an aga too. If you have a hob then leave on a low heat, you might want to add in a bit more water. 

The longer you cook it the stronger the broth as immunoglobulins are released from the bones, note that more histamine will also build up in the broth. If you are dealing with a lot of gut issue I recommend starting with a 1 hour broth and slowly building up. Note, histamine also builds up in the broth after its cooked the longer you leave it. So I suggest freezing in litre bags as soon as cooled, unless you are going to use straight away. 

Use the chicken however you wish - my favourite is to make a jewish-style chicken soup, they don't call it jewish penicillin for nothing!, by adding 1 cup of broth, a handful of chicken and some of the cooked veggies to a bowl - delicious! You can add in some fresh or dried chillies for extra warmth : )


You can then use the broth in soups, stews, curries or sip on as a gut healing, immune boosting, fat burning snack throughout the day. 

I hope this has given you a little insight into the fantastic healing properties of probably one of the oldest meals going, and encouraged you to give it a go to support your health.

Do reach out with any comments, we would love to hear from you and your favourite ways to enjoy bone broth!




Start as you mean to go on

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On 1 January across the world, millions of us make lofty promises to ourselves. We’ll get healthy, go to gym, drink less wine and eat more greens. We plan to be perfect.

By February, most resolutions are gathering dust as we shake off the holidays and wrestle with the reality of work, friendship, parenthood and bills. It doesn’t happen to me so much these days because I have the skills to coach myself out of it but is this your reality?

Why can’t you follow through?

According to psychologists, even though you might want fast results, you procrastinate. Sustained effort is key to success, so by wanting too much and therefore spreading yourself too thin, you end up at the starting line, feeling defeated already (and even less inclined to begin all over again if you need to).

Resolutions are a healthy way to reboot your life – but you need to keep them real.

The secret is to fashion long-term, reachable goals that contribute towards what everybody wants, in the end: happiness. Here’s how:

1.    Your attitude determines your altitude. The way you get there is more important than the goal. It’s no use mentally committing to a 10-mile run three times a week if you’re going to think about it, rather than do it. Instead, stop plotting and start doing: get up, put on your trainers and just exit the front door. Less detail, more action.


2.    Baby steps. Taking one step forward is infinitely better than standing still. If your guest room looks shabby, clear out the clutter, as a start. You might dream of a décor overhaul this year, but why wait until you have enough money and time? Those crusty magazines and broken children’s toys aren’t going to move themselves.


3.    Focus on pleasure, not pain. Diets are a common New Year goal – but why turn your meal times into a prison sentence? Sustainable, health-boosting plans, such as my January Re-Set way of eating, are fun, affordable and delicious. Many people associate ‘eating healthily’ with deprivation, rather than delight. Turn those thoughts around – each healthy bite you’re choosing is a gift to yourself.


4.    If it ain’t broke…why fix it? Perhaps you’re feeling content with life ‘as is’ right now, so don’t fall into the trap of confusing ‘wants’ with ‘needs’. Modern society is aspirational – everything must be bigger and better. Sometimes, though, things are lovely just as they are. That’s where gratitude comes in. Be grateful for the most insignificant bits of your life. Each act or thought of gratitude eventually fills your happiness tank.


5.    Swap bad habits for good ones. You might not want to give up your Wednesday croissant and hot chocolate fix, but you can. Just replace it with an a healthier, alternative ‘treat’. Many of my clients say swapping out their tea and biscuits for two squares of 75% dark chocolate and a handful of raw cashew nuts was a lot easier than expected. Choose your habits wisely – don’t allow them to choose you.


6.    Tell a friend. Voicing the possibility for change makes it more likely to happen. If you can rope a friend into keeping you accountable, so much the better. Accountability is part of the role of a health coach; keeping you in action, motivated and moving towards whatever it is that you want for yourself and your life. Real goals aren’t like wishing on stars – you don’t have to keep them a secret. And having a team behind you makes winning that much easier.


7.    Ignore the news. While keeping abreast of current affairs is important to most, there’s no need to depress yourself. Being wired to the world is addictive. You’re far more inclined to feel out of control, unhappy and blue if you’re constantly bombarded with bad news. Have an information-free day a week (and yes, that includes browsing Facebook) will help you feel more spiritually rested.


8.    Record it. Seeing your resolutions in black and white increases your chances of sticking to them. Have them ‘in your face’, where you can read them daily. Don’t be fanciful – be practical. The fridge, your daily diary or the car are great spots.


9.    Respect yourself. The slightest improvement is worth a cheer. Be proud of and acknowledge what you’ve achieved, no matter how small. Drinking three extra glasses of water a day, or de-cluttering a corner of the living room, are as much steps in the right direction as clinching a directorship at work.


10. Explore, expand, experiment. Perhaps you have no idea where you’re headed. That’s okay. Treat the New Year as a chance to work out what makes you happy – and how to get there. This might be a good time to bring out the bucket list and tick something off. You never know what’s out there (and inside you) until you give it a go!


If you’ve decided to make 2018 the year you’ll fix those niggling health issues or  make a commitment to losing weight myJanuary Re-Set is the perfect programme to help you do so. Why muddle around in the dark when I've a tried and tested method that I cannot wait to share with you!





How to beat the bloat this Christmas season

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We’re all prone to a little indulgence at Christmas, but rich food and overeating can play havoc with your digestion, leaving you bloated and uncomfortable. It’s not surprising – we consume on average 6,000 calories on Christmas Day alone. That’s three times the recommended daily intake for women!

There are a variety of reasons why the holidays create more tummy troubles than the rest of the year:

·      You often eat more than you usually would, putting pressure on the digestive system.

·      You might be drinking a lot more when you eat – whether it’s prosecco at a party or red wine on Christmas Day – and this dilutes stomach acid, making it harder to properly digest your food.

·      More rich, creamy foods than you’re used to can trigger heartburn or reflux or else make IBS symptoms worse.

Though festive food and drink can be tough on the digestive system, it doesn’t have to be this way. Just follow my expert tips to trouble-proof your tummy this Christmas.




The first step in the digestive process is often overlooked, but it’s a really important one. Known as the cephalic phase, it’s triggered when you see or smell food. You are literally whetting your appetite.

When you start thinking about the lovely meal you are going to prepare, you are getting your digestive juices flowing. The enzymes in your saliva help you break down your food more easily, so, when the time comes, your body is actually ready to start digesting food before you have even cut the first slice – never mind actually put anything in your mouth.

It may sound an incredibly simple step – and it is – but these days we are often so busy that we don’t make the time to think about our food in this way. If you find you’re always eating on the go, throwing a sandwich down your neck at your desk or having a TV dinner TV, this is a vital step you are missing out on. One trick is to be mindful and try and spend a few minutes thinking about your tasty lunch before you eat it to get the digestive juices going.




Remember what Mum used to say? Well, she was right! Chewing your food (the second phase of digestion) is key when it comes to good gut health. With proper chewing, you are mechanically breaking down the food into smaller pieces, so that there’s a greater surface area and the digestive enzymes can get to work more easily, doing their job.

And the bad news? If you’re not chewing properly, it’s highly likely that you’re not digesting your food properly. And that means you won’t be absorbing the vital nutrients either. Not chewing also means the food you eat takes much longer to break down, and, as it hangs around in your digestive system, it can start to ferment, causing uncomfortable wind, gas and bloating.

Don’t worry about chewing a certain number of times – that all depends on what you are eating and various other factors.

Instead try this test: chew your food enough so that if someone asked you to spit it out, they wouldn’t know what you had been eating. Another sign you need to chew more is if you start to see undigested food in your stools.




Sales for heartburn tablets are skyrocketing because so many people wrongly assume that their digestive troubles are because of too much stomach acid. What nutritionists like me find more frequently in clinic is the total opposite! Getting older, stress and some over-the-counter medications can make your stomach acid levels drop to the extent that you don’t produce enough to digest food sufficiently.

Why is this important? The stomach acid you produce not only kills any bacteria in the food you are eating, it also breaks down the protein in your meal. If you’re not properly digesting the protein element in food, it can start to ferment, creating gases that force up the esophageal sphincter muscle (a type of muscle flap) and what little stomach acid there is can escape. So the burning feeling, especially if accompanied by smelly gas, can be a sign your digestion isn’t working as well as it should be.

One solution is to have a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before each main meal. It’s important you choose apple cider vinegar with ‘mother’, rather than one you can buy in the supermarket (that’s for your chips). You can also try starting your day with a cup of warm water and squeeze of fresh lemon to help balance out the pH of the digestive system, or sip on warm water with freshly sliced ginger throughout the day.

There are people who genuinely produce too much stomach acid and, if you try the apple cider vinegar trick and it seems to make things worse, you can neutralise the acid by taking a little bicarbonate of soda.



Digestive enzymes break down our food into nutrients so our bodies can absorb them. But as we age, we naturally produce fewer of these helpful enzymes. You can counteract this by increasing your intake of foods that are higher in them – eating pineapple or papaya before a meal can help.

If you aren’t a fan of these fruits, instead try a digestive enzyme capsule (available from health food shops), which will give your system a gentle boost to help it do its job properly.




It’s important to space out your meals so the digestive system actually gets a chance to rest. This might require some self discipline, if your house is routinely full of bowls of nuts or towers of chocolate boxes.

Eating every 3-4 hours is a good benchmark to aim for, and gives the body enough time to completely digest the previous meal and have a break before you put it to work again. Of course there will be days when your eating routine falls out of whack, but don’t beat yourself up. Just try and get back on track the following day.




When you walk shortly after you’ve eaten, magic starts to happen. To start, a gentle walk lowers your blood sugar levels, so your body makes less insulin. As insulin is the fat-storage hormone, taking a gentle stroll for 15 minutes makes you less likely to store fat and gain weight. Walking can also help you digest your food better, according to research. This is because a gentle walk increases the speed at which the food moves through the digestive system.

Go ahead - try these tips out for yourself this Christmas and see if any of your symptoms improve. If you have been struggling with digestive problems for a while, let’s book in a Wellness Call. I can help you understand what might be going on in your gut and take greater steps towards a resolution. 



Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

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I'm sure you've probably got plenty of recipes up your sleeves already for perking up the humble sprouts on Christmas day. This recipe is perfect for using leftovers on Boxing Day - or any other day whilst they are in season and you are in need of a nutrient boost!

Although these little balls of green goodness get a bad rep, they are loaded with nutrition are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, B vitamins and fibre.  

Serves 4-6 as a side


  • 4 cup of brussels sprouts
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp very thinly sliced coriander stems, and 1/2 cup chopped leaves

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp of coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1-3 red chilli's, thinly sliced with seeds

For the vinaigrette combine all ingredients in a jar and taste - adding more lime, fish sauce, sweetness to taste. Pour into a bowl and add the mint and coriander stems. 

Prepare the brussels sprouts by removing any discoloured or loose outer leaves, trim the end with a knife and cut in half. 

Cover the surface of a large roasting tray with a glug of olive oil and add the brussels sprouts coating in oil, cut side down. 

Place in a hot oven checking every 10-15 minutes, they are ready when tender with a nice dark brown colour. 

To serve add to a large bowl and cover with the dressing to taste and coriander leaves, toss once or twice to coat. 




The common ingredient that will help you live longer


The Greek physician Hippocrates is often quoted as saying “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”. There’s such a lot of truth in this, and nutritionists and health coaches like me have spent years studying what this actually means in real life. One of his secrets to lasting health was garlic, and he often prescribed it to his patients for its restorative power and life-extending potential.

I’m a massive garlic fan because many dishes are simply better with it in, but it is also a functional food, which means it actually does something above and beyond tasting good.

Here’s the science bit: garlic is packed with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, meaning it’s great at warding off infection. It contains high levels of vitamin C, known to for its immunity-boosting and disease-fighting properties. Indeed, a study even found that eating about two teaspoons or more of garlic a day could significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

In addition to that, garlic has a high potassium content that can help the body absorb essential nutrients, helping your digestive system do its job properly. This all singing, all dancing ingredient also has anti-inflammatory compounds that can help our musculo-skeletal and respiratory systems.

Garlic is also an ace ingredient for helping your body to detox naturally. It contains several sulfur compounds that activate the liver enzymes responsible for expelling toxins from the body. It also has allicin and selenium, two important nutrients that play an important role in protecting the liver from damage.

Most of us will cook garlic straight after crushing or chopping, which doesn’t allow enough time for enzyme reactions that boost the healthy compounds in garlic. My tip for getting the most out of the garlic you use is to crush it at room temperature, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Never cook at high heat – try eating it raw or lightly cooked for maximum health benefits (parsley is excellent for combatting garlic breath!).

If you know your diet needs an overhaul that eating a few extra cloves of garlic is not going to fix, I have spaces for my Autumn Cleanse starting this Tuesday 10th September BOOK HERE




Why the answer to glowing skin is found in your belly

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Every day your skin reflects and reacts to what you eat and drink, your exposure to the elements, how you sleep, the stress you are under, and your general health. As one of the largest organs it has its own integrated immune system known as the skin microbiota that protects us from bacteria, viruses and pollutants, takes in nutrients and, through sweat, helps remove toxins, regulates body temperature, manufactures vitamin D from sunlight, and provides information through touch and pain. With all these highly important jobs the skin does for us, it is surely in our interest to look after it in return!

Eczema, breakouts, premature ageing, psoriasis are just some of the signs that your skin is not happy. While the temptation may be to try and fix the problem externally with expensive skin treatments and miracle promising products, the answer, like most things in life, can be found deeper within.

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The relationship between skin health and the digestive system is not a new one. As far back as the 1930’s scientists suspected a link between gut and skin health, and research has now confirmed the importance of this relationship. Probiotics have been shown to improve acne and eczema, and new research is emerging to support their use as a preventive therapeutic approach in aging skin.

How does your digestive system affect your skin you might ask?

Let’s briefly look at the role of the digestive system, amongst many other important functions, our digestive tract is where we absorb nutrients from our food, as well as eliminate toxins and waste products. If for any reason this isn’t working optimally, other organs will be used to eliminate toxins such as the skin.

The lower intestines are where we host our microbiota; a huge community of beneficial and not so beneficial bacteria, yeasts and funghi, that plays a huge role in our overall health. It is considered up to 90% of all diseased can be traced in some way back to the gut and health of our microbiome.

What I most commonly see in people with skin complaints is a condition called ‘dysbiosis’ where an imbalance in our microbiota has occurred, in simple terms the bad guys are outweighing the good guys. Due to the huge influence the gut has on our overall immune function and health, this dysbiosis can then be seen in the skin microbiota leading to skin complaints such as rashes, eczema or acne.

Dysbiosis can lead to changes in the lining of the bowel that increases the permeability of the intestine, resulting in a condition referred to as ‘leaky gut’. . Leaky guts causes inflammation both locally and systemically and sets the stage for a myriad of health problems including rashes, eczema, food allergies, chronic fatigue and more serious autoimmune conditions.

Possible causes for impaired gut function can include:

·      a low nutrient dense diet

·      high intake of alcohol

·      high stress levels

·      a diet high in processed foods

·      diet high in dairy

·      not getting enough fresh air or exercise

·      long term use of certain medications

·      recreational drug use

·      parasites

·      food poisoning


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Some people may already be aware of their digestion not working that well from regularly experiencing symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, burping, flatulence, pain, reflux and food intolerances. But for many of the clients I see, it’s only when we start making changes to their diet and lifestyle that they realize how bad their digestion had been before! I personally had struggled for years with bloating and discomfort after eating which I had thought was totally normal!

While I would highly recommend investigating your skin and digestive health with a qualified nutritional therapist, here are my 5 top tips to get you started on the path back to optimal digestion, and glowing skin:

1.     Ease off the stimulants


Stimulants such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine wreak havoc for your skin and digestion. They are inflammatory and cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, pulling on our stress hormones which takes energy away from digestion.

Sugar is a key player in premature ageing of the skin, it attaches to proteins in the bloodstream, forming larger molecules called advance glycation end products (or AGEs), that damage both collagen and elastin contributing to sagging and wrinkles. According to a 2007 study in the British Journal of Dermatology, these effects increase at 35 and continue rapidly as you age.

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2.     Populate your belly!

Although the thought of little bugs living in your digestive system might sound like a strange concept, hopefully you are now starting to appreciate the role of these little guys play in looking and feeling great. Ways you can support them are by increasing your intake of prebiotics (what the bacteria use as an energy source) and probiotics.

Prebiotic food source include: rocket, chicory, artichoke, dandelion greens, raw garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus. Note, lightly cooking or eating raw ensures the prebiotic fibres stay in tact, not to mention all the great microbes that can be found living on raw veg.

Probiotic food sources include: fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, natto, natural yoghurt, kombucha. Try including a source every other day and slowly building up, this can start as simple as a teaspoon of sauerkraut every other day.

Remember diversity is key so try to include as many different source of fresh fruit and vegetables every week as they all contribute to a healthy microbiota.



3.     Rest and digest


Combating stress, particularly when you are eating, is really important and is often overlooked. Digestion (a parasympathetic nervous system action) starts in the head – thinking, seeing and smelling food prompts your body to start producing stomach acid and digestive enzymes in order to get ready for the food it’s about to receive.

Cortisol, a stress hormone, prevents all that from happening and keeps us in fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) mode, so taking a few minutes to breath smoothly and deeply, and calm your body down before eating a meal can be a huge help. Eat away from any distractions – and yes this means away from your desk and phone, taking time to chew each mouthful properly.  Saying a prayer of gratitude for your meal can be hugely powerful tool in improving your mood and getting you in a calm state ready for digestion. Check out my Mindful Eating exercise here.

I see huge improvements in clients who have been suffering from IBS for years simply from creating a calm environment when they eat, and chewing their food properly. Remember it’s not what we eat, but what we absorb that counts.

Longer-term, yoga and mediation are great options to handle every day stress and aid digestion.


4.     Eat a diet based on whole foods

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Eating a whole foods diet rich in vegetables and fruits can support digestion by providing plenty of fibre to help eliminate waste material and toxins. Eating a whole foods diet also helps you to eat seasonally ensuring the most nutrient dense diet. Getting a local organic veggie box is in my mind one of the most accessible things you can do for your health right now. Food picked in season just a few miles away from you ensures it has the highest levels of nutrients, as opposed to being sat in a storage fridge for months and traveled half way round the world. 

Although a 100% organic diet might not be feasible for many of us, there are a few food groups I highly recommend going organic where possible. These include all animal products and the fruit and vegetable listed in 'The Dirty Fifteen'.

Include lots of fresh spices and herbs in your cooking daily . Fresh herbs and spices are not only loaded with flavour, but antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Try my Immune Boosting Broth and Anti-inflammatory golden milk

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5.     Move your body every day

While you shouldn’t do any high intensity exercise on a full stomach, movement is essential to your digestive system’s function. By increasing your heart rate once per day you are helping circulate nutrients to your skin and push toxins out. Further, certain stretches and yoga postures can help promote elimination. Exercise also helps lower your stress levels, leading to healthier, happier younger looking skin!



Chloe Manlay is a nutritional therapist, health coach and yoga teacher. She works with clients from her clinic in Hove and Tunbridge Wells and works with a number of clients nationally and internationally via Skype. Her special area of interest is digestion and skin health, having suffered for years with acne through her teens and twenties, she is inspired to help other women take control over their digestion, and find a sustainable treatment plan that works for them.

She runs online Seasonal Cleanses and has her next Autumn Cleanse starting on the 10th October, click here to find out more.



Mid-week heart warming, belly supporting, immune boosting pick me up!

This is a perfect mid-week meal for when you are feeling a little run down and in need of an instant soul warming, belly soothing, immune boosting pick me up!

  • 1 litre bone broth (or chicken stock)
  • 4 organic free-range chicken thighs (bone in, skin removed)
  • 3cm root ginger sliced
  • 1 lemon grass bruised
  • 1-2 red chillies
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 packet shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 packet fresh spinach
  • Udon brown rice noodles
  • Coriander, chopped

Place chicken thighs, ginger, lemon grass, ginger and shitake mushrooms into stock add soy sauce as seasoning and star anise. Simmer gently for approx 30 minutes and when chicken ready add noodles and spinach. Cook until noodles tender and serve with coriander and extra chilli as garnish if desired.