Tag Archives: cancer

Gluten – friend or foe?

Gluten isn’t always the culprit when we have problems with digestion or the gut in general. Bread isn’t the enemy! In reality, proper bread is your gut’s friend. So, how do you know whether you really do have a problem with gluten, or whether it’s something else? And how do you find a loaf that nourishes while taking action to restore balance to your dodgy digestion?

The fibre in good bread is crucial to such diverse factors as gut health, probiotic environment, toxin removal, hormonal balance, energy, reduced bowel cancer risk, and much more. On this full day masterclass you’ll not only get the definitive good gut guide from a functional nutrition perspective, you’ll also have this info weaved seamlessly through a foundational artisan bread making experience as fine as the crumb on a loaf even Paul Hollywood would approve of!

There are only 7 places left – to pay in instalments, drop me a message via the Enquiries tab. Event details are here.

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!


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….

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!

The recipe for delicious healthy eating…

Everyone who knows me and what I do will tell you that my passion lies in helping others use real food to live real life to the full, and attain real health via delicious, easy healthy eating – busy women especially, who so often put themselves last on the list because they are trying to give to others. But you are the ones who need to put self care top of the list, and daily eating has to be at the top of every serious self care list!

How do I know this? Because I did too much for too long and paid the price – three severe brushes with serious ill health. More on my story another time. This post is about you and your food!

Eating the right way to fuel body and brain is easy (when you know how, of course!) The balance between good carbs, quality protein and healthy fat, taking micronutrients and fibre into account, getting in proper servings of fruit and veg; sounds complex, but it’s really not that hard.

I’ve put together this resource so you have a day of delicious eating to fire you up, calm you down, and generally have you rocketing through your to do list with energy to spare. Perfect!

Grab your copy here, and enjoy!

By the way, until November 8th, there are huge pre-launch discounts on my new online programme, the Real Food Reboot. I’ve ploughed all my knowledge, experience, passion and love of gorgeous food into creating a programme with 3 levels of support that can deliver a calmer, slimmer, bouncier, happier, healthier you with delicious ease in only 12 weeks!

To find out more, check out the details here.

Spring has sprung with the season’s new potatoes!

Potatoes are one of those foods many cut from their diet as we head towards beach season: perceived as highly starchy, calorific carbs, the humble potato has had quite a bad press in recent times. The truth is very different! Any potato smothered in butter or eaten in large quantities is, of course, going to lead to weight gain. The season’s new potatoes, though, make a body (and weight) friendly part of nutritious eating. Cook with the skins on to preserve nutrients, as many are just under the skin.

Cutting the potatoes makes them go further, and the addition of healthy fats increase the anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy and brain-boosting qualities of this simple dish. Tomatoes and chives both offer significant nutrients, and new potatoes themselves partner this with their own essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Particularly high in vitamin C, A, K, B vitamins, folate, potassium, iron, phosphorus, copper, chromium, magnesium and calcium, new potatoes are true stars of energy release, cardiovascular and immune support, plus a real mood food. Even better, they boast a range of antioxidant flavonoids, carotenoids, and kukoamine compounds which research has shown may prevent hypertension, heart disease and cancer.

So, hot or cold, give these little nutritious nuggets a place on your healthy plate. Make the most of the wild garlic when it springs up in the woods, and use instead of chives for a wonderful kick!

Grilled Potatoes with Chive (or Wild Garlic) Dressing
450g salad/new potatoes
1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil/rapeseed oil
1 1/2 tbsp chopped chives or wild garlic
10 chive or wild garlic flowers
2-3 tomatoes on the vine

Boil (or steam) the potatoes in lightly salted water for 10 minutes, or until just tender. Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar with 2 tbsp of the oil, then whisk in the chives/wild garlic and flowers. Drain the potatoes and cut in half horizontally if small, or cut into thick slices. Season, oil the cut sides with the remaining oil, and place cut side down on a heated griddle or frying pan. Cook until golden, then turn to briefly cook the other sides. Place in a bowl and coat with the dressing. Serve hot as part of a meal, or cold as an alternative potato salad. Enjoy!

photo anankkml at freedigitalphotos

Spectacular spinach!

Spinach is one of those green leafy veg that mothers and grandmothers have exhorted us to eat for generations. Clearly they knew something, well before the age of nutritional research! Calorie for calorie, spinach provides more nutrients than any other food, topping the rankings for nutrient richness and diversity. 

Bursting with high levels of a spectrum of vitamins and minerals, it’s also brimming with phytonutrients that provide powerful antioxidant protection. Although virtually all vegetables contain a wide variety of phytonutrients, spinach is prized for its flavonoids and carotenoids. Researchers have identified more than a dozen different compounds in spinach that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents, with exciting studies ongoing.

That old enemy, inflammation, has been shown to be quelled by eating spinach, particularly in the gut, while bones, blood pressure, circulation, nerves and eyes all benefit. Its high proportion of protein and essential fatty acids boost mood and motivation too.

With its delicate texture and jade colour, baby spinach can be enjoyed as a salad leaf, sandwich filling, or even as part of a fruit smoothie (yes, really!) Creamed spinach is one of my favourite ways to make this lovely leaf the star, but it’s such an accomplished mixer that it can go with almost anything. Despite its impressive nutrient profile, it’s true that the more variety you can squeeze into your eating, the better. So, here’s a classic pairing of tomato and mozzarella with a spinachy twist – heap onto sourdough toast for a gorgeous lunch, or accompany with meat or fish and a green salad for a main meal.

Spinach, Tomato and Mozzarella Gratin
1.5 kg of spinach, washed and drained well
175g baby plum tomatoes, halved
2 red onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300g mozzarella, sliced
fresh aromatic herbs of your choice e.g. basil, oregano, marjoram
thickly sliced sourdough, toasted
rapeseed oil and extra virgin olive oil

In a large pan, add a little rapeseed oil and fry off the onions until golden, adding the garlic just before the end to avoid it burning. Season and set aside, then wilt the spinach in batches in the same pan in a little rapeseed oil, setting aside to cool. Season as you go to ensure the spinach is well seasoned while all the water is drawn out by the salt at this stage. When cool, put in a colander and squeeze out any excess water. Preheat the oven to 190 C fan/210 C. In a gratin dish (approx 30 cm oval or equivalent) layer the spinach, onions and mozzarella, then top with the tomatoes and herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25-30 mins until golden and bubbling. To serve, rub the toast with garlic, drizzle with a little olive oil, and top with a sizzling scoop of gratin.


Photo by smarted FreeDigitalImages.n

Sweet on Corn…..

You can’t drive anywhere in our beautiful county at the moment without seeing fields of sweet corn ears standing tall and straight, waiting for harvest. As a child, I loved nothing better than freshly picked corn on the cob, hot from the pan, and dripping with melted butter which ran down my chin as I bit into the soft, sweet, yet crunchy kernels…. Foodily nostalgic excesses aside, harvest season is an amazing time for produce, with sweetcorn right up there among the best.

Although thought of as a vegetable, it’s actually a grain, albeit one with almost as much protein and fat in its profile as there is carbohydrate. The sunny yellow colour is an indication of its antioxidant benefits, and phenolic flavonoids, which along with vitamins A, C and E, B complex, zinc, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium and fibre, provide support to skin, membranes and energy production while protecting against inflammation. Sweet corn’s phytonutrients have shown promise in directly inhibiting an enzyme that causes high blood pressure, as well as in research into mouth cancers – another indication of the importance of eating a wide range of fresh foods, all with unique profiles and benefits.

So, is it just corn on the cob, with all that butter, that we should be enjoying now? Cut your kernels from the cob as ancient American cultures often did before cooking to create a world of alternatively delicious ways to enjoy this seasonal wonder. I love it with a caramelised accent and fresh herbs – try this simple method for a treat of a side dish this week!

Corn with Herbs

1 ear of corn per person

rapeseed oil

thinly sliced onion and crushed garlic, to taste

a little water

herbs of choice – I love sage, thyme or rosemary (or all three!) – thinly sliced, to taste

Sea salt (Cornish smoked sea salt if you can get it)

Carefully cut the kernels away from the cobs by running a knife down the length all around – this is better done before cooking or the kernels are too soft and end up mushy! Heat some oil in a pan and cook off the onions. Just as the onions begin to caramelise, add the corn, stirring around to colour slightly, then add a little water so that the corn is steam frying, then lower the heat and gently cook for a few minutes. When the corn is tender, and the water has evaporated, turn the heat up slightly, and add the garlic and fresh herbs. Stir to release the aromatic oils, cooking for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt, and serve.

Want to put the foundation of health in place in your life? Take a look at the plans, foods, starter packs and events that do just that!

photo: aschaeffer

The power of pak choi….

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


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.

Want to put the foundation of health in place in your life? Take a look at the plans, foods, starter packs and events that do just that!

Fabulous Fennel

Fennel is another of those ‘marmite’ foods – you either love it or hate it, depending on whether or not you’re a fan of the flavour of aniseed! Its flavour is also rather different raw, thinly sliced in a salad, than it is cooked. An easy vegetable to cook braised, roasted or as a gratin, but fennel does especially well when combined with other veg. Hardly a problem when variety and health go hand in hand!

Fennel boasts niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese, as well as a good amount of fibre, among its nutrient arsenal. In fact, its many benefits extend from digestive and respiratory health to regulating cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, fighting macular degeneration, boosting cognitive function, and even fighting anaemia – co-factors like histidine work with the iron, assisting in haemoglobin production. Research in 2011 even found that the extract of fennel seeds proved remarkable in its ability to not just fight tumour growth, but protect cells against the ravages of chemotherapy.

So, maybe more of us will learn to appreciate fennel’s gentle aniseed tang when it’s so good for us! This recipe weaves the slices with potatoes, topped with tomatoes, and spiked with the equally tangy parmesan cheese to create a powerfully healthy, satisfying and rich dish. Accompany with just about anything, from a salad to a slow Sunday roast, and enjoy!

2 fennel bulbs, trimmed
1kg floury potatoes, thinly sliced
200g cherry tomatoes
300ml vegetable or chicken stock
25g Parmesan, finely grated
3 tbsp olive oil

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan. Cut the fennel into quarters, removing the root, then slice as thinly as you can and season. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan, and cook until starting to soften. Oil the bottom of a 1.5-litre gratin dish. Layer the potato slices and fennel, seasoning each layer. Pour in the stock, season and drizzle with the remaining oil. Cover with a layer of baking parchment and bake for 1 hr. At this point, add the tomatoes and the Parmesan to the top, and return to the oven uncovered for 20 mins until the top is golden.

Want to put the foundation of health in place in your life? Take a look at the plans, foods, starter packs and events that do just that!