We are nearly at the end of the first week of the New Year and no doubt resolutions have been made and broken already!
It can be hard to change long held habits so even if your plans have not quite panned out there is still plenty of time to help our body get over the indulgences of the holidays.
Every year I write about the Liver – January being ‘love your liver month’ so here is an updated reminder for everyone and you will see it doesn’t take too much effort to introduce some new habits that will stand you in good stead throughout 2019.
PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK UK
CLEAN 18 (ok to buy if non-organic)
||Peas without pods
MEAN 18 (only buy these if organic)
||Beans with pods
|Citrus: oranges, grapefruit and lemon if peel is consumed
|Prepared fresh fruit
USA: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Here is their list of the most contaminated produce (most important to buy organic) known as the Dirty Dozen:
- Sweet Bell Peppers and chilli peppers
And here is their list of the least contaminated produce known as the Clean Fifteen:
- Sweet corn (Note: could be GMO)
- Sweet peas, frozen
- Papayas (Note: could be GMO)
- Honeydew Melon
Here’s a quick and easy way to wash veggies using baking soda:
For leafy greens
- Fill a salad spinner with greens, then fill with water.
- Add a teaspoon of baking soda and mix well.
- Soak your greens for a minute, swish, dump, then rinse, and spin dry.
- If you don’t have a salad spinner, you can add the greens, water, and baking soda to a bowl, let them soak, drain in a strainer, rinse, then pat leaves dry with a clean lint-free kitchen towel or paper towels.
How to wash fruits
Smooth skinned fruits, such as apples, nectarines, and cherries, can be washed in a baking soda bath the same way as veggies.
Berries can be rinsed under cold water in a mesh strainer, then gently patted dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels just before you intend to eat them.
Although your instinct may be to rinse off berries when you bring them home, doing so actually increases moisture and accelerates spoilage, microflora, and mould. Which is why it’s best to rinse them soon before you eat them.
Simply soaking your vegetables for a few minutes or rinsing your produce in running water for at least 30 seconds will help the food you eat and serve be safe.
As Nutritional Therapist I have an interest in inflammation in the body and the profound effect it can have on our wider health – on digestive function, our cardiovascular system, immunity and in the brain.
In particular I am interested in the effect inflammation has on our gut health and immunity – the gut being the gateway to good health.
For the past 5 years I have been working with Stephanie Moore at Grayshott Medical Spa where I am part of the team that run the Grayshott Regime – a gut restoration programme designed to improve digestive function and cleanse and balance the body.
Here is my simple guide to including anti-inflammatory foods in the diet.
It is well recognised that the traditional Mediterranean diet is considered the ‘gold’ standard of eating for both health and longevity and coupled with that there places around the world called ‘Blue Zones” – geographical areas where studies show people live measurably longer lives.
Both diets vary by region but the basic tenets are the same: the diet should be mainly based on vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, whole grains, olive oil and fish.
Research proves over and over again that people who put an emphasis on local produce, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats not only weigh less, but also have a decreased risk of metabolic diseases eg heart disease, diabetes and strokes. Continue reading
Lots of us start the New Year with all kinds of good intentions regarding our diet and it’s amazing how quickly we fall back into our old habits. What you eat and when you eat has a big impact on our general health on a daily basis affecting our energy levels, mood and ability to think and function properly.
The subject of breakfast is a controversial one ….. some nutritionists swear that it’s the most important meal of the day whereas others recommend missing out and making your first meal a bit later on.
My advice – as always – is listen to what your body is telling you. Do you wake up hungry? Then satisfy that hunger and help raise up your blood sugar levels. If you don’t, then wait a little later until you’re ready to eat. Do make sure that you are hydrated so starting the day with hot water and lemon juice or a herbal tea is a good choice.
I think the most important rule here is to make sure your first meal of the day – regardless of the time – is a nutrient dense feast to feed your body and mind and give you sustainable energy.
So here are a few ideas that will help give you energy and avoid fatigue without raising insulin levels and setting you on the path of endless snacking. Continue reading
As a Registered Nutritional Therapist I have to complete a certain number of hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) annually in order to meet the professional requirements of my governing body, BANT (www.bant.org.uk).
This week I have completed several hours on the subject of cancer – including prevention, dietary and nutrition strategies to deal with the condition including advice on how to make changes in lifestyle and diet.
One was an online lecture from the Royal Society of Medicine that was focusing on gut health particularly probiotics, prebiotics and the health of the microbiome as well as dietary manipulation with emphasis on gut cancers.
I also attended a very interesting lecture by Dr Michelle Kohn and Meredy Birdi at the LOC (leaders in Oncology Care) in Harley Street, London.
What is HPA Axis Dysregulation?
You may be familiar with the term “Adrenal Fatigue” and it probably conjures up images of a state of total physical and mental exhaustion as a result of exposure to high cortisol, one of our stress hormones. However, the picture is a little more complicated and in this blog I hope to give you a better understanding of what is going on in the body and the mind.
When tests are carried out for Adrenal Fatigue it is most common to see spikes of the hormone cortisol. Even when cortisol is low, it’s not necessarily due to the adrenals being “fatigued” or ‘exhausted’ and unable to produce the hormone.
We know there are many other mechanisms for regulating cortisol production including in the brain and central nervous system. Regulation of inflammation and blood sugar dysregulation are other issues that need to be addressed when considering the body’s response to stress. Continue reading
Many of my clients have been asking me about prebiotics and their role in improving sleep so I thought I would write some more on this subject as insomnia seems to be an increasing problem.
Many of you will have seen the BBC programme where Michael Mosley explored insomnia and gave some ideas of what to do about it.
He used prebiotics in supplement form and and found them helpful as was shown when his sleep cycle was analysed. Continue reading
A lovely warming drink I concocted this winter for all my family who have been down with coughs and sore throats……
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- sprig or two of fresh thyme (dried will do)
- sprig of fresh sage
- knob of fresh ginger grated
- spoon of raw natural honey
- herbal tea bag: lemon, honey and ginger
Put everything except the honey into a small tea pot.
Fill with boiling water and let it steep for at least 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Put a spoon of honey into a mug, add the tea and sip slowly.
The thyme is very soothing for a sore throat and chesty cough, and the ginger is anti-inflammatory, lemon provides Vitamin C and antioxidants. Sage is also useful for soothing sore, red, scratchy throats.
Some grated fresh turmeric would be nice or a 1/2 teaspoon of dried – see my blog on the health benefits of this lovely spice:
I can’t remember when I first came across this recipe but there are various versions online. I have made a couple of changes to the original one.
A slice of this loaf is a very satisfying alternative to bread. It’s very flavoursome so you can eat on its own or with a poached egg or little nut butter spread on top. It is an excellent source of protein, good fats and fibre.