Tag Archives: mental health

Chocolate! Make, Eat, Nourish.

Chocolate. That one food that has so many connotations. Comfort food, treat, stress-buster, guilty pleasure, sinfully bad, and now, health food!

Ancient civilisations revered it as sacred, a food of the Gods, used it for ceremony, community, and for its health benefits. You can learn to do that too, finding out exactly why it is so good for you, when to use it and how, plus the fun of creating your own mini masterpieces to take home and either enjoy yourself, or choose to share!

Master chocolatier Louise Taylor from JM Chocolate will teach you how to make your own beautiful chocolates, good enough to gift as well as eat. I’ll be fleshing out all that indulgence with the real health aspects that make chocolate the super food it truly is, whether for mood, hormones, inflammation, and more, and how to use it for effective health boosting.

Should you eat it? Yes! Come and master chocolate and its benefits to the full.

Find out more about Louise here: https://jmchocolate.co.uk/

Only a very small number of places available – BOOK HERE!

Venue will be confirmed on booking – the class will take place in Plymouth.

The Lifestyle Project 30 Day Online Fast Track – November

30 days to change your ways!

If you are looking for real change in your health, eating habits, or nutrition knowledge for daily diet, the 30 Day Fast Track eating plan could be for you. I’ve created it because I’ve seen just how many there are who find themselves confused by conflicting information, stuck in their progress towards whatever health/weight/daily eating/habit goal they have, or just feel that they are fed up with feeling like they do. Is there a better way from a reliable source? Yes! The 30 Day Fast Track is designed to be just that!

What is the 30 Day Fast Track? It’s a month of real, focused change, inside and out, with me daily, with advice, recipes, video demos, live Q + As, guest experts and motivation to guide, support and empower. It includes mindset and exercise to bring truly holistic guidance and progress to shifting into a healthier, happier, more balanced state of wellbeing. It all happens on Facebook in a secret community for your intake.

Make a change for life, not for just January!

With the right food and everyday habits, your body can function efficiently giving you stable energy levels, vibrant health, and a glowing sense of well-being, plus of course, increased resilience to disease and stress, and reaching your happy weight, the weight that’s right for your body.

Re-energise your body, revitalise your health, reboot your lifestyle with an everyday masterplan that revolves around delicious real food! Add mindset, exercise and self care and you have a true holistic transformation. No quick fixes, no short term gains, just long term, healthier habits.

I’ve ploughed all 20 years of functional food knowledge, experience and passion into creating online solutions that can deliver a calmer, slimmer, happier, healthier you.

You get my most popular and effective eating plan. Here’s what Zoa had to say about it:

“I started The Masterplan last week and I am absolutely loving it!! I’ve already lost 2lb and an inch from my waist which is incredible but most of all I’m really enjoying experiencing loads of new food. I never really bothered too much before because life gets in the way so I would eat the same things all the time – things which I actually thought were quite healthy but wow, if this is healthy, bring it on !! I have never tried so many different foods before and I thought I had a fairly good diet! I’m also finding ways to slip gut friendly food into the family’s meals too, it’s great, I am loving the creativity of it all! It’s time for me now. Thanks Jane!”

The Fast Track is a huge holistic collection of what it takes to get you on the right track with the right tools in your toolkit – food, nutrition and diet; exercise; mindset; self care; recipes; video demos; resources; shopping and food lists; and me by your side!

Book your place on the next intake in November 2019 to commit to transformation today!

For the Food Foundation level, CLICK HERE.

For the upgrade to the Functional Gut Focus level with added gut support package, CLICK HERE.

There is also a general free group for all interested in changing their lifestyle holistically – The Lifestyle Project.

T&Cs: Fast Track intakes begin periodically through the year – email if you wish to confirm the next start date or check out the Functional Foodie Facebook page events. Purchases are non-refundable due to the nature of the product and process – if you have particular dietary needs, these can be accommodated by arrangement, so please email to confirm your needs and arrangements, or ask any questions before purchase.

No results are guaranteed – progress and success will depend on your own application of the information and support/guidance provided, and individual factors that cannot be predicted or accounted for in advance/without full assessment. 

To discuss whether this is for you, get in touch and I’ll be happy to have a chat.

Eat to Beat Stress, Depression and Anxiety – Diet for Mental Health Workshop

Mental health is as important as physical health, or at least, it should be! The brain is an incredible organ, controlling everything we do, whether we’re conscious of its workings or not. The causes of mental health disruption can be intricate, and can be causal, situational or a combination of both, but diet is a key part of getting, and staying, balanced.

Feeding your body and brain the right foods and nutrients to support mental health (and the function of the brain, adrenals and gut) is now recognised as one of the single most important steps everyone should take as a foundation for controlling anxiety, balancing mood, and protecting yourself from stress.

Knowing what other factors affect brain function, what to do (or not do!) and how to go about taking control for ourselves is essential too.

This session looks at the what, why and how you can ensure the best environment for optimum functioning, including wider factors and interventions. This is an interactive session, with the opportunity to ask questions, so you leave ready to eat to beat stress, depression and anxiety, and protect not just your own mental health, but your loved ones’ too!

You’ll be able to choose one of the three Happy Brain Series packs worth £10 as a complimentary gift to use after the event to carry on the good work!

Book your place HERE »

Early bird tickets available until May 26th. Limited places.

Terms and conditions: all bookings are final and non-refundable. If you are unable to attend for unavoidable reasons, it may be possible to attend a later event if there is space.

Delicious dipping for endless energy!

One of the things that I end up talking about a lot, whether in classes or with clients, is the importance of keeping blood sugar balanced throughout the day.

Avoiding the late morning or mid afternoon slump that has us reaching for a quick fix is a key factor in sidestepping a number of niggles that you may not associate with plunging blood sugar levels. It’s not always the obvious symptoms like hunger that signify a need to fill the tanks.

Other symptoms might be things like fatigue, headache, dizziness, irritability, feeling slightly wobbly, or even feeling anxious without a real reason.

Resolve this by ensuring that you have a good breakfast with a major protein component (whether that be something like eggs, yogurt, or nuts and seeds), and have decent snacks prepared if there is a delay of longer than 3-4 hours between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner.

The best snacks for maintaining blood sugar levels are protein based too – in fact, all meals and snacks should be a combo of protein and complex carbs with a bit of healthy fat for prime nutrition and fuelling.

Is it difficult to do in the everyday run of things? Not if you are prepared, and even that preparation is often just a chuck in and whizz exercise!

This is one of my two favourite dips – not only is it quick and easy, it’s full of all round fresh goodness, keeps well to last through the week, it’s easily transportable for going out and about, and absolutely delicious!

For all of us ladies over 40, edamame beans are obligatory for getting the best soya phyto-oestrogens in the most natural, healthy form. Stay away from the processed soya like meat replacements, milks and yogurts that are just frankenfoods, and eat this  Grab edamame beans from most supermarkets in the frozen section, or just pop into a Chinese supermarket.

Lovely and light, perfect for the return of the light as we hit spring and look forward to summer!

Edamame Energy Dip

250g edamame beans (thawed if from frozen)
3 cloves of garlic
50g baby spinach
20 mls white miso (from paste and water mixed)
50 mls coconut oil
50g tahini
lime juice to taste (1-2 limes)
seasoning
sesame, poppy, pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds

In a food processor, whizz up all the ingredients except the lime juice and seasoning until the lumps have blended out. Add the lime juice and seasoning until you’ve reached your desired taste and consistency. Serve with the seeds scattered over the top, and dig in with veg crudités and wholegrain crackers.

Deck the tree with (healthy) cookies!

The festive season means many things, but to me, on the inevitable taste and sensory level that I seem to have as a default mode, December means spices. Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, oranges, all spice, and so much more. Jewelled colours, rich aromas, and warmth to counteract the wintry chill.

There are so many ways to incorporate this – strategically placed bowls of satsumas, a pot pourri made of dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and juniper berries, and of course, spiced biscuits!

I love making these gorgeous spiced biscuits that can be used as decorations for a few days before being eaten.

Although based around a gingerbread recipe, if you don’t like gingerbread, leave the ginger out and use other spices – all cooking should be adapted and a creative therapy in itself.

This is a lovely family activity, both creatively and food skills and health-wise. Spices are wonderful for health, as are herbs. Sprinkle around liberally, and add to everything!

Christmas Spiced Tree Cookies

175g dark muscovado sugar
85g golden syrup
100g butter
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat the sugar, golden syrup and butter until melted. Mix the spices and flour in a large bowl. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in 1 tsp cold water. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the melted mixture, the egg and the bicarbonate of soda solution. Mix well. At this stage the mix will be soft but will become firmer as it cools in the fridge.

Cover the surface of the biscuit mix with cling film and leave to cool in the fridge for about 1 hr or until it is firm enough to roll out.

Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to make a little more pliable. At this stage the dough can be wrapped and kept in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen. Roll out to around 2-3 mm thick. Cut into your favourite seasonal shapes, then transfer to baking trays, leaving room for them to spread. If you plan to hang the biscuits up as decorations, make a small hole in the top of each one using a skewer. Repeat until all the dough is used, or freeze any leftovers for later, to keep the decs going all Christmas – they will get eaten after all!

Bake for around 12-15 mins until they colour a little. If the holes you have made have closed over while baking, remake them while the biscuits are warm and soft using a skewer or knife. Cool for a few minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool and allow them harden up completely for decorating. Decorate with icing, edible glitter, or any other decorations you fancy.

If hung up on the tree or around the house, the biscuits will be edible for about a week, but will last a lot longer as decorations. Maybe make in the few days before Christmas for decs that last through the celebrations for some new year nibbles!

Do you need eating plans for your clients?

Do you need professionally designed, nutritionist formulated eating plans or resources with a proven track record of success for you to use with your clients?

Health professionals can white label my tried and tested eating plans and resource packs to reflect their own brand or business. 

All my Easy Start Eating Plans are available for white labelling via two levels of package, whether you would like my designer to design, brand and present your chosen plan or plans or use your own design professional. The end result will suit your business and reflect your area of practise.

The packages also include a licence to use the content as you wish for a year, after which you can renew annually for the basic licence cost only.

Altogether this is an effective way to bring professional nutritionist-standard eating plans and resources to your clients as part of your business model, and as a extra element in your work, helping your clients to improve their holistic health with real food solutions that address their bodies and brains on a multi-system level, repairing and re-establishing a functional food foundation for optimal health.

If you would like to discuss the available plans and their suitability in depth, please contact me to set up a call – I’d be happy to help.

To check out the available plans, and for full details, click the link below.

Eating Pans and Resources For Health Professionals

How To Cook Vegan For Health – June 2018

EARLY BIRD PRICE OF £45 AVAILABLE UNTIL MARCH 31ST (subject to availability)

Vegan eating is gaining popularity and ground as a diet that’s better for our bodies and the planet. A plant-based diet can be very nutritious IF it’s done properly. Too often becoming vegan can result in simply cutting out meat, dairy, and animal products without considering what unique macro and micro nutrients need to be substituted in other ways. Removing significant sources of essential nutrition can result in health issues, defeating the object of changing our diet to be healthier!

So, if you’d like to try a vegan diet, want to ensure that your diet is giving you everything you need, or just want to see what the possibilities are and add more animal-free meals to your diet, this class is for you.

You’ll learn exactly what and how to eat for blooming, plant-based health, cook a selection of delicious vegan meals, and take away the information and recipes you need to carry on cooking at home.

BOOK HERE! 

This is a very popular class and sells out quickly, so book early to ensure a place!

Early bird price of £45 applies if booked by March 31st, subject to availability. Full price of £55 after this date. 

Please note, booking closes on May 26th to allow for ingredient purchase, information production, and staffing.

T&Cs: bookings for events are non-refundable, but attendance can be transferred to another event or a later date at my discretion if I’m informed a week or more prior to the event, or two weeks prior for a cookery class.

Prices will be increasing significantly for future classes to cover increased costs – to take advantage of this class at an amazing price, book one of the remaining spaces.

Also note that you will be added to an email list to be sent joining details and event information, plus any resources. Your data is kept safe and secure at all times on a dedicated email platform. You will not be sent marketing or other newsletters unless you create an account on the website or sign up via my Facebook page to receive my free resource.

Seaweed sandwich, anyone?

If your consumption of sea vegetables thus far on your culinary journey has been limited to a bit of sushi from the supermarket, then you’re missing out. Whether it’s for flavour or health, seaweed is a fantastic food to add to your diet, and best of all, it doesn’t have to be from imported sources at the health food shop or oriental market. Our shores are teeming with varieties of seaweed that are not just edible, but absolutely delicious too.

Even more surprisingly, those of you who are currently thinking that seaweed is the last thing that you would want to eat may change your minds when you taste dulse, one of our most commonly found varieties – it tastes like bacon when it’s cooked. Maybe not as convincing as a bacon sandwich, but still, not exactly what you might expect.

So, what is it, and how do we make the most of this natural harvest right on our doorstep? Dulse is part of a large family of edible saltwater plants and algae that also include more readily known varieties like nori and kelp. Like all edible seaweed, dulse provides a wealth of nutrients, fibre and protein, rich in vitamins, trace minerals, healthy fatty acids, and antioxidants.

It’s easy to buy dried dulse, and as its nutritional value doesn’t degrade after it’s converted into powder or flakes, having some on hand to sprinkle into salads, soups and stews is convenient. Store it in a dry and dark place and it’ll last for at least two years, making it truly a go-to health booster to use in all kinds of ways.

The assumption that seaweed will taste a bit too, well, seaweedy, has doubtless put many people off trying it at all, but with the accessibility, sustainability, and variety of uses, surely it’s something that we need to consider as conscious consumers. The big bonus is in the health benefits – while all natural foods have distinct and purposeful nutrient profiles, seaweed is a truly exceptional all rounder. Just some of the health benefits of dulse include its ability to protect vision, boost the immune system, build bone health, optimise the function of the thyroid gland, increase growth and repair, support the gastrointestinal tract, lower blood pressure, strengthen the brain and nervous system, and boost circulation.

A fantastic food, and a great focus for your next beach visit! To achieve that bacon-like effect, pan-fry some dried whole-leaf dulse with oil over medium-high heat until crisp, then make up your dish or sandwich. Delicious!

Another way to use dulse, or any other seaweed that you have chosen, is to cut strips from a sheet, or take some larger flakes, and allow them to float gently in this lovely broth. Health in a bowl!

Miso Broth

miso paste (authentic paste from an oriental market)
pak choi, each leaf sliced in half lengthwise
sliced greens or cabbage
red pepper, thinly sliced
garlic, very thinly slivered
ginger, very thinly slivered
good quality bone broth or stock of your choice
seaweed strips
chicken, fish, beef or tofu pieces

Pour the required amount of bone broth or stock into a pan, bring to a gentle simmer, and add a teaspoon or two of miso paste, stirring to dissolve. Add the garlic, ginger, meat/fish/tofu, and sliced veg and simmer very gently for a few minutes until the veg is just tender and the meat is cooked through. Add the seaweed and turn off the heat, allowing the seaweed to steep for a couple of minutes. Serve up in big bowls and enjoy!

The Walnut has landed!

After a few days of strange, unusual, and if I’m honest, chaotic events (culminating in nearly running over a suicidal seagull focused only on the lollipop clamped jealously in its beak, proving how dangerous junk food is!), I was thrilled to receive the inaugural copy of Walnut magazine – I was approached to write foodie health articles for it a while ago and completely forgot about it, so this is my first view of the finished mag and my mental health nutrition article.

If you’re in the Bristol area, you’ll be lucky enough to be able to grab a copy – beautifully designed and produced, and packed with wonderful information, advice and recipes. If you don’t live in the distribution area, you can purchase a copy of this hefty quarterly gem here: Walnut Magazine

Welcome to Walnut! Great stuff, Dermot!

Boost mood with food for better mental health…..

Great news! I was first switched on to the impact of food on mental health at an international conference nearly 15 years ago, and haven’t stopped studying it since. Evidence of those early pioneering theories has gradually grown as research was commissioned. The more research emerges, the more is commissioned, and so we begin to really join up the dots.

It’s really hard work making progress without a body of major scientific evidence, but it does look like a corner has been turned and the food-mental health link is now accepted enough for a real food for the brain message to be listened to. With mental health statistics and the numbers suffering reaching crisis point, it’s not a moment too soon.

See the full article here.

‘Director of Deakin’s Food and Mood Centre Professor Felice Jacka said the results of her team’s new study offered a possible new treatment approach to depression, one of the world’s most prevalent and costly medical disorders.

“We’ve known for some time that there is a clear association between the quality of people’s diets and their risk for depression,” Professor Jacka said.

“This is the case across countries, cultures and age groups, with healthy diets associated with reduced risk, and unhealthy diets associated with increased risk for depression.

“However, this is the first randomised controlled trial to directly test whether improving diet quality can actually treat clinical depression.” ‘