Hey, would you like to come to this place, spend the evening at that place, have a mince pie, sausage roll, egg nog, mulled wine, taste my world-beating Christmas cake…?

And you’ll go because you can’t resist. You’ll feast like you’ll never see another meal, and you’ll consume frightening amounts of festive tipples because otherwise you’ll be missing out on all the fun, right?  FOMO – shorthand for fear of missing out – is the acute and often unjustified belief that everyone is having way more fun than you, and that you're somehow being left out of all the said fun. And it reaches its annual high any day now.  Small wonder. Apparently, the British cram 44% more social occasions into December than any other month.

But FOMO really is not your f...

This recipe started as the chocolate muffin recipe in my previous blog, however thanks to some inspiration from an online group member, and a few tweaks, this recipe works so much better as a brownie... and I have cut the sugar content massively. Those of you who love a chocolate kick but want to cut down on the amount of sugar you are consuming, please give these a go.  Don't think about the ingredients, and certainly don't tell your friends and family what they are, until they have tried them.  It always amazes me how afraid people are to try new things- YES! you can have black beans in a brownie, the same way you can have carrots in a carrot cake (as a secondary school teacher, the number of strange looks on kids faces I have seen when I tell...

Carrot cake is one of my ultimate favourites with its juicy sweet sultanas, crunchy walnuts and cinnamon aroma.  However, a lot of traditional carrot cakes are made using vegetable oil and a lot of sugar, both of which can lead to inflammation in the body at a cellular level.  When my daughter came along, I wanted to make something that I knew I wouldn't mind her trying at her 1st birthday party- and this was the cake I decided upon.  Of course, I made other types of treats for the party goers but wanted something special which I knew we could enjoy together.  With the natural sweetness of carrots, orange and dried fruit, I set about making this cake to suit all the requirements of the people attending the party- no added sugar, gluten free and...

One of the things I am asked about most as a nutritional therapist and health coach is sugar substitutes. “Surely honey is healthy?” I am asked, so here’s the low down on some of those sugar replacements you might think are healthy (and some that definitely aren’t).

Honey

Honey has a lot going for it in some regards. It contains amino acids, electrolytes and antioxidants, and antimicrobial compounds that can support your health. To get these extra benefits, you’ll want to choose a raw (unprocessed) local honey. It may also help relieve allergy symptoms, specifically hayfever, because the bees feast on the local pollen, and taking raw local honey can help you develop natural immunity over time. But, whichever way you cut it, honey is sugar. It may...

I didn't let on to my family what was in these before they tried them and they went down a treat!  They are totally plant based, no refined flour, no eggs, or butter, yet a good source of protein and little refined sugar.  To be honest, you could leave out the chocolate squares altogether, but I have to admit, coming out of the oven, the melted middles were a real delight!

Why not give them a go and see for yourself x

Ingredients:

240g black beans (I used a tin, please rinse and

drain well)

3 tbsp cacao

40g oats (whizzed in blender to flour consistency)

2 tbsp maple syrup

6 pitted dates 

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

6-12 squares of minimum 70% quality dark chocolate (I used Green & Blacks therefore used 2 squares per muffin as quite...

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.

Endometriosis is a long-term chronic condition that occurs when cells that are normally only found inside the uterus embed and grow outside the uterus, often on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, covering the top of the vagina or else on intestines. Doctors have even discovered endometrial cells in the eyes and brain!

Here’s where th...

Sweetened naturally with banana and pomegranate, these little oat cups are a delight for adults and small people alike!  Very quick and easy to make, why not give them a go!

Ingredients: 

Wet: 

2 eggs

1/3 cup 100% pomegranate juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 small banana

1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened

2 tbsps coconut oil, melted

Dry:

2 cups oats

1 tsp baking powder

100g pomegranate seeds (save 20g for decoration if desired)

Method:

1.  Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius

2.  Fill muffin tray with cases or grease a muffin tin with coconut oil

3.  Peel and add banana to blender to mash.  add additional wet ingredients (except coconut oil) and blend.

4.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

5.  Finally add in the coconut oil.

6.  Fill muffin cases ab...

It’s normal to want to indulge over Christmas, but the number of people joining diet clubs and gyms in January speaks volumes about how many regret their festive binges.


I wonder whether that’s a well-trodden path for you? Maybe you’ve grown up associating food with pleasure and fun, so subconsciously you fear that if you don’t eat tonnes, you won’t have a ‘happy Christmas’. It’s easy to slip into a ‘one more won’t hurt’ mind-set – just one of the many reasons you might have piled on the pounds during the festive period in the past.


When working with clients on weight loss programmes, I always like to get clear on what has held them back in the past. These are a few of the things that often come up:

  • Portion control – have you ever felt you’ve...

It’s only just November but as usual, there are signs of Christmas everywhere! I have to admit though that I have already started thinking about and shopping for the occasion, what mum hasn't!

I know I know, I should be happy knowing at Christmastime that we have our health...... however, at this time of year I do get excited by the prospect of a new gadget just for me and my kitchen.  So many shiny new toys out there that need to be tried and tested, some are definite luxury whilst others, in my humble opinion, are necessity to help us busy mums and working women to provide nourishing meals on a daily basis.  My Christmas list has always featured a new piece of kit for many a year, I remember back in the day asking for a slow cooker to the amaze...

How many of you were brought up going to school on a bowl of cereal? Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, Frosties, Coco Pops... Hot milk or cold milk... added sugar or syrup... the possibilities were and still are endless.  A whole aisle dedicated to breakfast cereals.  Surely they've got to be the best thing for us to fuel ourselves and our kids with first thing in the morning, right?! 

In the UK cereal and toast still seem to be our most popular and favoured food choices for breakfast.  They are supported by the Government guidelines set within the Eatwell Guide, suggesting a third of our daily food intake should be based on starchy carbohydrates.  

However, cereals have an exceptionally high glycaemic index meaning that the carbohydr...

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