Take your foodie health to a new level with The Functional Foodie hub!

You love good food and great health. You live life to the full, and want the energy and joie de vivre to squeeze everything out of every day. So, how do you do that, with all the demands of modern living? Keeping up to date with the latest news, information and advice on health and food is an essential part of protecting yourself and your loved ones.

Recipes, health information, wellbeing motivation, and the most accurate advice – that is what the hub is all about.

We all have health concerns, or have loved ones who do. What would it be like to be able to access the professional input of an experienced functional nutritionist without having to spends hours, and a fortune, in consultations? Get the latest, researched knowledge and advice every month, with a different issue, condition or niggle under the spotlight each time.

Members can access my advice round up on the focus issue, a targeted recipe and demo video for that issue. Our private Functional Foodies closed Facebook group is yet another benefit of joining us.

Food is the ultimate healer – it’s our fuel, our nourishment, our daily foundation for energy and existence. What could be better than knowing exactly what foods can do to heal and protect, with recipes right there for you to use?

Each month members have access to recipes targeted at healing the health focus for that month. As the months go by, the scope of professional advice and healing recipes broadens and builds. Your personal health library and cooking bible, all in one place.

Get the inside track on foodie health from me every month, with videos, targeted recipes, your questions answered, and a private Facebook community, plus an extra recipe hub and exclusive resources. Daily healthcare made easy!

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Here’s a peek at the Foodie Focuses for the next few months:

In January we had Real Food for Real Life: What IS the ideal diet?

In February I talked about The Omega Question: The essentials about fats.

In March I gave members the inside track on Supercharging: Easily boost the nutrients in your daily diet.

In April I’ll let Foodies in on Beating the Bloat: The causes and how to beat it.

May will be about Gluten: Hard to stomach?

In June we’ll examine The S Word: Conquering the sugar monster.

And so it continues every month!

There is so much confusing information out there, often contradictory, and it can be hard to know who and what to trust. This is a place where my members’ questions and concerns are addressed, where information can be relied upon, and where you’ll get the inside track on health and how to use food as daily healthcare. The professional input of an experienced functional nutritionist at your fingertips – what’s not to like?

The price for full annual Foodie membership will rise monthly this year as the content keeps on going and keeps on growing, so joining earlier locks in a year of amazing value for an incredible price – in April it’s only £55 (approx $78 USD). Awesome value!

Check out this blog post on how to influence your mood with food – it’s the essence of functional food. Check out the hub and membership here.

Keep calm with duck….

The best of functional food….

We’ve made it to February, with spring hopefully just around the corner. I, for one, will be very happy to see more sunshine after an incredibly dreary, rainy winter. It makes me want to hibernate and reach for comfort food, so it’s lucky comfort food can still be very healthy!

To me, all good food is comfort food, so there isn’t one particular recipe I go to. There’s nothing better than poring over a luscious collection of lovely dishes to see what takes your fancy. I’ve often been asked how big my recipe collection is, and whether I’ll be compiling a cookbook to gather together my years of healthy food work.

Well, yes, a cookbook is definitely under way, but for those who’ve been asking for a way to have them in one easy-to-see place, I’m now very excited to announce that the Functional Foodie recipe hub has launched!

More than a recipe hub, the site offers health resources, targeted advice, and specialist courses to tackle the big stuff. With a free or an annual membership, there’s plenty of valuable content to help you achieve the level of health and happiness you want to enjoy.

Hop over to get a taste, without having to sign up for anything. Instead of a monthly recipe here, choose from the 12 available on the recipes page without a membership: The Functional Foodie

And here’s another gift for you – to celebrate the launch I created a free download of an ideal day’s eating (complete with recipes and shopping list) for healthy, happy deliciousness as a free gift for anyone joining the Functional Foodie family – you receive it when you subscribe or join as a member.

I’d love your feedback on the site, whether you just take a look around or join as a subscriber, as a Freebie member, or as a Foodie member. What would you like to see, either in the recipes, the resources, the Foodie advice section, or available as a course?

With a free membership option, and the full Foodie membership for even more targeted advice, monthly health bundles, resources and recipes, plus a building choice of dedicated courses and programmes to put your health back in your hands, my aim is to make this a one stop shop for delicious, actionable health and happiness!

Check it out here: The Functional Foodie

Are you feeling SAD?

SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is more common in the UK than we might think. Weak, watery winter sunshine, if we get any at all, doesn’t exactly encourage us to get out and about, leaving us at risk of low vitamin D and serotonin levels. So if you, or someone you know, seems to retreat into their shell in the darker months, feel down or lacking in energy, suffer mood swings or find their appetite significantly increases or decreases, they could be suffering from SAD.

Luckily,there are some easy remedies. Getting enough daylight is the most important; at least 15 minutes, preferably with forearms uncovered, but if you’re wrapped up, stay out longer. This will keep vitamin D production going, allowing your brain to keep up the levels of serotonin (a brain chemical essential for mood regulation). Eating vitamin D fortified foods, and supplementing will also help – vitamin D is fat soluble, which means you need to eat fat to absorb it. It is naturally found in oily fish (and fish oils like cod liver oil), beef liver, cheese, milk, egg yolks, button mushrooms, and oysters.

Eat foods rich in trytophan, which the body uses to make serotonin (such as chicken, turkey, fish, beans, milk, and bananas), but ensure a nutritious, fresh, unprocessed diet to optimise all the nutrients your body needs to keep mood and motivation high. Choosing complex carbs and avoiding caffeine, sugar, white flour products and saturated fat will help blood sugar levels stay stable. Exercise will stimulate the release of endorphins, promoting a positive mood, doubling your reasons to get out for a stroll in the daylight during the winter.

For those who find these steps are not relieving their symptoms quite enough, a lightbox may be the answer. Reasonably priced ones can easily be found on the internet, and they only need to be used for around 30 minutes daily to be effective. Make sure the one you buy has a strength of at least 10,000 lux units.

There are vitamin D sprays for a quick boost, but don’t overdo it – total supplementation should be no more than 5-10 micrograms (mcg). As with all nutrients, they rely on each other to be used by the body so a balanced, varied daily intake of nutrients from unprocessed, natural sources is essential. Natural nutrients from natural sources are always better utilised, so check out my recipe posts, and get cooking this winter to stay merry and bright!

Have a happy and healthy road to spring!

Introducing the Insider Secrets with The Functional Foodie™ healthy food radio show!

Feel fitter, healthier and happier with this healthy food focused show on the tips and tricks you really need to know! Simple strategies to tackle your most pressing health problems, from sugar addiction and cravings to low energy.and grumbling guts, with gorgeous recipes to make healthcare a breeze.

With nearly 20 years of experience behind me, and three determined recoveries of my own, helping people reach, and maintain, vibrant all round health, on all levels, is my ultimate aim, using nutritious, delicious food as a daily habit as natural as brushing your teeth – the essence of Functional Food.

Each show will have a topical health focus, and a recipe targeted to sorting that issue. To start, let’s look at the kind of niggles many people deal with every day, and the equally common answers. Food is daily healthcare, and one of life’s great pleasures. It’s not just possible to make daily eating tasty, enjoyable, and achievable, it’s essential. Your health depends on it!

Exhausted? Stressed? Join me for the first Functional Foodie show on Wednesday January 27th. In this launch show I’ll tell you the small (but crucial) mistakes in your everyday food choices that are keeping you sick and tired, plus the simple changes that will skyrocket energy and create calm, deliciously!.

Mistake #1

The breakfast mistake that’s ruining your energy and your waistline (it’s not what you think) and what to do about it.

Mistake #2

Why fads aren’t the answer, even if they seem really healthy. I’ll clear up the confusion on the good, the bad and the yucky.

Mistake #3

What everyday emotion is a killer, and why dealing with it is essential to avoiding serious illness, not just right now, but in the future too.

Make friends with your body; join me to find out my Insider Secrets – listen here!

Kale and Walnut Omega Pesto

Kale is the daddy of nutritious greens! Very fashionable for a little while now, it has been an autumn/winter staple for much longer, and rightly so. It’s a potent source of plant betacarotene, cancer-fighting sulphorophane and indoles, as well as vitamins C and E. The amount of kale in this recipe alone outstrips the RDA for C, E and betacarotene. Calcium, potassium, and a host of other nutrients, also feature.

Kale is an easy cruciferous veg to include in our diets several times a week, shredded in stews or soups, steam-fried with mushrooms or bacon as a side, or lightly bound with crème fraiche after steaming. Using for a pesto is a great way to make a fridge standby for those frantic days where a quick, comforting, easy meal is all you’re thinking about.

The oils and walnuts join in to give the recipe its omega title – flax, rapeseed and walnuts are fantastic sources of omega 3 precursors, and with a touch of olive oil, the range of oils is available for your body and brain. Walnuts are high in B6 and folate too, along with magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese and phosphorous.

Garlic and lemon juice top up the health benefits as well as flavour. So, for your heart, immunity, mood, and many other benefits, get these choice ingredients down you with this simple recipe. And the parmesan? Well, you can’t have a pesto without the scrumptious Parmigiano Reggiano……

Kale and Walnut Omega Pesto

100g chopped walnuts

1 tsp salt

100g kale, ripped into pieces

2 cloves of garlic, minced

organic rapeseed, flaxseed or extra virgin olive oil (or a mixture of all three)

100g parmesan

juice of 1 lemon

 

Toast the chopped walnuts carefully in a dry pan, ensuring they don’t burn.

Cook the kale in water with 1 tsp salt, uncovered, until just tender, then drain.

Whizz up the garlic, walnuts and kale until combined, then pulse or whizz slowly, adding the oil in a slow stream.

Stir in the cheese, then add lemon juice and seasoning to taste.

Weave through beautiful wholegrain organic pasta, keeping the rest (if there is any!) in the fridge for another meal. Enjoy!

Body-is-a-temple comfort food….

I’m feeling the need for total nourishment today, and yet I’m craving light foods rather than comfort food (even in the depths of a British winter!) Think body-is-a-temple kind of food. but, being busy working away on the new website and preparing to start the radio show, it’s a working weekend, so quick and easy are necessities. Pak choi is a natural choice; incredibly nutritious, and easy to whip up something warming, light and delicious.

As a cruciferous vegetable, pak choi is fast becoming a more popular vegetable in its own right, not just used as part of asian cooking. A member of the cabbage family, it’s one of the highest nutritionally ranked vegetables, providing high amounts of more than 21 nutrients. Even more brilliantly, as well as the usual benefits of cruciferous veg, pak choi boasts omega-3s, as well as the antioxidant mineral zinc, boosting immunity, anti-inflammatory processes and brain function.

With vitamin C, carotenoids, manganese, and zinc, pak choi provides us not only with core antioxidants, but goes beyond this to a wide range of other phytonutrient antioxidants, like quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin. Why is this important? Different types of antioxidants function in different ways, and though all are helpful in fighting oxidative stress, they have a variety of roles to play, and it is the combination that make them so valuable. So, eating a wide range of foods is crucial, including ranges within veg and fruit families.

It’s true, too, that while all veg and fruit are good, some are downright extraordinary – recent studies have identified over 70 antioxidant phenolic substances in pak choi, with it being included in some large-scale human studies about dietary antioxidants and cancer prevention. Eat pak choi and its cruciferous cousins on a regular basis to harness fantastic health benefits, including them as part of your diet daily. Quick to prepare, with a light, crunchy texture and mild taste, it’s versatile and easy to use in a number of ways. Try this lovely, quick salad, for a light lunch or a side dish. Gorgeous!

Warm pak choi salad with ginger and chilli dressing – serves 1

2 pak choi, quartered
Dressing:
small piece of root ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh chopped chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the pak choi into a steamer and steam for few minutes until wilted. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl to make a dressing. To serve, pile the pak choi onto a serving plate and drizzle over the dressing.

Enjoy, and be nourished!

Getting the real food recipes out….

What a whirlwind life has been since Christmas! Besides being offered a twice monthly radio show (more details soon!), I’ve been busy loading fabulous recipes, health advice and resources onto the Functional Foodie membership, course and recipe hub website in preparation for launch later this month/early February.

Here’s my new logo, looking amazing on an apron that my brother and sister-in-law (coincidentally also my designers and tech wizard, David Jarvis and Tamsyn Jarvis at Skim New Media Ltd) had made for me for Christmas. Such a thoughtful gift – it means my videos are Functional Foodie to the max too!

So, if being health conscious and eating deliciously are your thing, keep a lookout for the launch – with a free membership option, and the full Foodie membership for even more targeted advice, monthly health bundles, resources and recipes, plus a building choice of dedicated courses and programmes to put your health back in your hands, my aim is to make this a one stop shop for delicious, actionable health and happiness!

What is it that you want to know, or want access to as a member? Let me know – the more I know about the information and advice that makes achieving health easier for you, the better I’m able to provide it.

To get a fantastic introductory Foodie membership offer, join the Foodie waiting list here: http://eepurl.com/VNBjz

Have a happy, healthy week!

Three ways to prioritise your well-being with healthy eating In 2016!

I asked my subscribers all about their health and well-being goals for 2016 and they told me. And they’re an ambitious, energetic bunch when it comes to healthy eating!

And I was so excited to see how many of you had already taken huge steps towards improved nutrition and were experiencing the benefits already.

Since there were many common themes among the replies, I’ve pulled the goals together into this blog post, which includes top tips to get you on your way to enjoying improved health and well-being in 2016.

  1. Have More Energy

The secret here is in how and when you eat. Want some quick tips that make a huge impact? Of course you do:

  • Eat breakfast (non-negotiable! Smoothies, if done properly, are amazing – check out my Supercharge handbook for more info; eggs can be quick and easy too, with the right recipes)
  • Eat regularly throughout the day (make sure you have good snacks like little bags of almonds or mulberries in your bag at all times)
  • Make sure every meal has decent amounts of protein and healthy fat as well as carbs (using guacamole instead of mayonnaise; prioritising eggs, healthier cheeses like feta, and good quality lean protein like chicken or salmon, for all meals and snacks, over bread, chocolate, pasta, etc; the list goes on!). Include chickpeas, beans and pulses daily if you can in hot or cold salad form, or mixed with rice in your main meal.
  1. Manage A Chronic Condition

Managing chronic disease is as much mental and emotional as it is physical. The interesting thing? The right diet has plenty to offer when it comes to healing or relieving symptoms, and of course, consulting a functional nutritionist is the best route to a definitive plan. The truth is, when you are in chronic pain or discomfort, you are vulnerable. Naturally, you want to feel better, and desperation is a horrible thing to feel. I know. I overcame Chronic Fatigue and cancer, so yes, I really do understand. What can you do for yourself? Don’t Google – there’s far too much conflicting information out there, plus an awful lot of people tacking nutrition advice on to other therapies or selling magic bullet supplements that can cause a world of other issues. Following the tips in this post is a great start to giving your body what it needs for healing, energy and proper function. Rest well, eat well, and treat your body as a holistic being with physical, mental and emotional needs.

  1. Develop Better Eating Habits

Prepare, prepare, prepare! Think about what you’re going to eat when you’re planning your week ahead; build a collection of recipes that can be batch-cooked and save time while nourishing you; learn to enjoy shopping, preparing and cooking; get the kids involved and make it a family creative life skills time; have a stash of healthy snacks (again, great recipes help, like my tahini hummus, honey roasted chickpeas, or edamame dip) to prevent blood sugar crashes that cause bad choices.

If you do nothing else for your health in 2016, make an effort to try at least one, but preferably all, of these health resolutions. Each one is ‘one small change’ and together can have a huge positive impact on your mood, energy and well being:

  1. Eat fresh and natural, reducing processed, refined or convenience foods.
  2. Eat regularly to maintain stable energy release.
  3. Make each meal or snack a combination of healthy carbs, protein and good fats.
  4. Reduce additives, chemicals, pesticides and anything man made.
  5. If it doesn’t exist in nature, or come directly from the earth/tree/bush/field/stem, don’t eat it!

Are You Ready To Feel Better Than Ever?

I know that with the right food, our bodies can function efficiently giving stable energy levels, vibrant health and a glowing sense of well-being, plus of course, increased resilience to disease and stress. I’ve created The Real Food Reboot programme to help women achieve this level of well-being with delicious ease.

Nutrition education + understanding the psychology of eating + an easy, enjoyable at-home exercise regime = a sustainable boost in your vitality and well-being.

Plus you’ll have access to my exclusive Facebook group and the option of upgrading to personal 1-1 support from me in Cyber or Premium Personal packages.

And until the 25th December 2016, I’m offering huge discounts for my founding members.

Find out more here.

Disordered diets? Time to get real…..

It’s true that our size can have little to do with our health – if you’re a yo-yo dieter who has tried all the fad diets over the years (with January resolutions and approaching summers prime time for leaping for the latest diet ‘miracle’) it’s very likely that your body is totally confused. There are many, many reasons for this – as a functional food nutritionist, it’s not just what you eat that I look at. It’s the possibility of bio-individual, genetic influences, antibiotic history, previous dieting patterns, and more, examined alongside your current eating patterns and lifestyle.
 
If you’re slim, you’re not necessarily healthy. Some of the most disordered eaters I see are those trying so hard to be ‘healthy’, they have excluded a massive number of foods. The impact of this, without professional guidance, can be devastating further down the line.
 
We also can’t kid ourselves that a bit more ‘junk in the trunk’ as we get older is ok if our eating isn’t balanced. As women get older, the way we eat needs to change as much as the amount to keep excess weight off. At any age, excess weight is now one of the biggest health dangers society faces, along with diseases related to it – diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dental decay, and more.
 
It’s definitely time to get back to real food, cooking, sensible portions, nourishing ourselves, and a bit of good old common sense. Let’s hope 2016 sees a return to reality – real food and real health making real life happier and healthier.
Check out this article in The Guardian:

Obesity isn’t the half of it: fat or thin, our eating is disordered by 

 To start 2016 as you mean to go on, enrol on the Real Food Reboot Health Programme – change for life, literally! Details here. We start in January. Join us to rediscover your healthiest, happiest you!

A Smoothie Hangover Soother

If the seasonal parties are leaving their hangover mark, whip up the Greens in a Glass smoothie in your smoothie maker or blender. The nutrients will help your body deal with the byproducts of the overindulgence, and have you feeling better in no time! Get the ingredients in before your next night out……

Greens in a Glass
a couple of handfuls of spinach
1 small avocado
some shredded romaine or little gem lettuce
a small handful of rocket and watercress
half a cucumber
a few splashes of apple juice
a small handful of mint
water or coconut water to taste

Chuck in a blender/smoothie maker, whizz and enjoy! Green. Very green. Creamy too, and mild-tasting. No excuse now for not getting your greens…..

To find out how smoothies can add an amazing element to your daily eating, get a copy of Supercharge, my smoothie handbook. Get Supercharge here.

To start 2016 as you mean to go on, enrol on the Real Food Reboot Health Programme – change for life, literally! Details here. We start in January. Join us to rediscover your healthiest, happiest you!