• Adrenal Fatigue/ Autoimmune diseases/ Blood sugar management/ Exclusion diet/ Health/ hormones/ Hyperthyroidism/ Hypothyroidism

    Thyroid disruption and modern diet/lifestyle influence

    Thyroid Hormones

    A while ago I wrote an article about why I thought we needed to look at the treatment of low Thyroid  (Hypothyroidism and especially Hashimoto’s) in a more holistic way. Today I would like to discuss why we have an Hypothyroid epidemic that is also treated inadequately by mainstream medicine. Modern Lifestyle has created the perfect storm – stress, low fat, high carb diet and disrupted Thyroid/hormones. Nutrition and lifestyle changes can have a great effect, as I have proved by my own, so read on to find out…..

    The Functional Medicine approach of  an understanding of the root cause and lifestyle choices can lead to better outcomes with or without hormone replacement.

    I remember being taught that the Pituitary was the conductor of the endocrine orchestra… many years ago but analogies often stick in the mind. This basically illustrates that all the hormones in the body when healthy, work together  in a balanced and synchronised way and if one instrument was to play the wrong notes then the whole production would be discordant.

    Now let’s look one of the most common chronic problems – FATIGUE. Not just feeling tired because you have been over-working, over-exercising or ill but a chronic fatigue that means you never really have much energy, you might even wake up feeling tired and you mostly feel lack-lustre with no get-up-and-go and no incentive to do anything. You go to the Doctor and after some blood tests you are told you have low Thyroid function and they may suggest that you need to take Thyroxine – for the rest of your life.

    The Thyroid Gland

    The Thyroid Gland in your neck, controlled by a hormone from the Pituitary called TSH, produces hormones T3 and T4 that regulate your metabolism and that doesn’t just mean how many calories you burn and whether or not you put on weight – it means that the thyroid hormones regulate the way every cell in the body functions. Just to list some of the functions that are affected:

    • Heart Rate
    • Breathing
    • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Body Temperature
    • Muscle Strength
    • Menstrual Cycles
    • Blood sugar
    • Cholesterol levels

    Therefore when the Thyroid Gland is producing either too many hormones or too few the symptoms in the body can be very diverse and affect the quality of life.  Sometimes this prevents someone going to their Doctor because they feel they will be perceived as a hypochondriac and they are not sure how to describe the feeling they have “not being quite in control” or “out of sync” – which is exactly what, in fact is happening with imbalance in the whole endocrine system.

    Let’s revisit that Orchestra….. one musician is playing off key, so what are the choices? Remove them, replace them or find out why and try to correct the problem. Exactly the same in medicine. The Doctor might remove the Thyroid Gland (either by surgery or with Radiation), or the most common scenario is to replace the missing hormones with just artificial T4 (which frequently turns out to be an inferior player!) or, as in the Functional Medicine approach, investigate why it is out of balance and try to correct the problem.This can be complicated and time consuming because you have to look at all the hormone systems and how they regulate each other. It could cost a lot of time and money and a specialist to interpret all the results and we are really only just beginning to understand how things work on a cellular level.

    NB. frequently Hypothyroidism is preceded by a period of Hyperthyroid type symptoms. Hyperactivity, anxiety, poor sleep and stress because the body is pumping out lots of TSH from the Pituitary to try to get the Thyroid to work harder. If, at this stage you are treated aggressively for Hyperthyroidism then you will end up in an even worse situation, possibly even without a Thyroid Gland.

    The Nutritional Approach

    I like to take a different approach. I start with what we know –

    • Thyroid imbalance sometimes has an Autoimmune cause with anti-bodies present in the blood. Ask your Doctor to do this test.
    • There is often a history of chronic stress, sugar/caffeine cravings with resulting high Cortisol. Thyroid hormones help eliminate excess Cortisol but if the hormone Pregnenolone is low the body will be using too much thyroid hormone and the body may be struggling to produce more. See the OAT axis mentioned in the Medical advice section.
    • or a history of years of yo-yo low fat dieting, metabolic syndrome or Diabetes.
    • there may be a history of hormonal disruption, menstruation problems, fertility problems, Birth control hormones or HRT, oestrogen dominance symptoms. Oestogen can prevent the conversion of T4 to its active form of T3 in the body. All connected in the OAT axis.
    • look for clusters of symptoms – there are over 300 connected to Thyroid dysfunction but it is important to see beyond the symptoms and be aware of underlying nutritional deficiencies.
    • A Leaky Gut or poor gut microbiome may have caused or added to the problem – especially if thyroid antibodies have been found.
    • Coeliac Disease or a Gluten or Lactose intolerance could have caused nutritional deficiencies
    • or there may be deficiencies due to a restricted diet. Selenium, zinc and iodine are essential for the production and utilisation of Thyroid hormones.
    • There may be an underlying infection. Epstein Barr Virus has been implicated recently and this could also account for some of the more advanced symptoms such as tingling of the hands and feet, itchy skin, irregular heart rhythm and nodules in the Thyroid gland. There may be a history of infection such as Glandular Fever or ‘Mono’, Herpes virus, Shingles etc. These are viruses that can lay dormant for years but activating the immune system and it is believed that the percentage of people now carrying these viruses is extremely high.

    What can we do to correct the imbalances.

    1. Start with your diet. A Paleo Approach diet that includes plenty of leafy vegetables, Berries, healthy fats and enough quality (organic if possible) protein. Eliminate gluten, Dairy and Soy plus any other food you appear to react to. Good substitutes for Dairy exist in Coconut milk/yogurt products or Almond Milk but initially it is best to avoid all processed Gluten Free products to reduce inflammation as much as possible. Change to using Celtic Sea Salt as this contains iodine which is essential for Thyroid hormone production. Ordinary table salt is just sodium chloride, chemicals and some added iodine whereas Celtic Sea salt is natural, sun dried salt and has other important minerals including magnesium, manganese iron and zinc. Selenium is another mineral that is required by the thyroid and is often deficient in the soil and diet in many countries so it is well worth adding about 200mcg a day. Selenium works well with adequate levels of Vitamin D3 and therefore it is best to get levels checked and to take 4,000 – 5,000 iu per day during the winter.
    2. Reduce sugar in all its forms and do not use artificial sweeteners. It is very important to balance your blood sugar therefore make sure you have protein and healthy fat at each meal – this is NOT a calorie controlled diet, if you eat enough of the healthy proteins and fats you will not feel hungry but you will still lose weight because your body will adapt to burning fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. Restricting Calories can lead to even more stress on the Adrenals and make losing weight harder. It can take a little while to adapt to this ‘keto’ diet and initially you may get some symptoms of detox which is because lots of toxins are stored in body fat and when you start to burn that fat you will start to eliminate those toxins. Drink plenty of water or coconut water (unsweetened) and add 2-3g of vitamin C if you get constipated. Warm Epson Salts baths may help as well so that all the detox pathways – skin, kidneys and bowels are working well. The liver will also have to work hard at first so be kind to it – start the day with warm water and fresh lemon juice and avoid alcohol until you are feeling much better.
    3. Healing the gut and reducing inflammation are very important and I have many articles (and an e-book) on how this is achieved and supplements that can speed the progress so I won’t cover it again here.
    4. Reduce Stress – examine your lifestyle/commitments and work out ways to reduce the stress. Yoga or Pilates can work wonders if practised at least every other day and there are some brilliant, free video courses on YouTube. this is my favourite teacher Yoga with Adriene

      She has a brilliant one for neck and shoulder relief and this is where so many of us hold our stress and tension.

    5. After 2-4 weeks I would suggest trying some adaptogenic herbs – these help to balance your hormones, can help with relaxation and sleep. They have been used for hundreds of years in Ayurvedic Medicine but research which sound best for you and whether they are safe to take with any pre-existing condition, pregnancy or breast feeding. Ashwaganda and/or Licorice root are good but try one at a time to see if they suit you.
    6. Then we can add some foods and supplements that can help reduce your viral load – if that is possibly a problem for you. I would start by gradually increasing the coconut oil/cream in your diet. Use Virgin Coconut oil in cooking or as a spread with nut butter and maybe add some MCT oil to your coffee in the morning. if you add too much too quickly you will give yourself stomach cramps and possibly diarrhoea. The beneficial fat in coconut oil is Lauric Acid which can be converted to the active ingredient Monolaurin in the body or for a stronger effect you can buy Monolaurin as a dietary supplement. Other supplements that can kill EBV are Lemon Balm, L-Lysine an amino acid, Olive leaf, Black seed oil or Scutellaria (the herb Skullcap). These may be natural remedies but they are strong and it is important to follow the dosing advice if self treating.

    My Personal experience…

    If you suspect that your Thyroid is not performing as it should you could take your morning temperature before you get out of bed.(This is called your Basal body temperature and will likely be low if you have low Thyroid function.) My worst symptoms were hair loss, tingling of hands and feet and poor sleep.

    • My Basal Temperature was about 34.2C when I first took it in July of 2017. My pulse 48 and irregular (sinus Bradycardia)and my blood pressure always low. Normal basal temperature would be 36.1 – 37C & a normal pulse is about 60 -72 beats per minute.
    • I started taking Selenium at this time because as I was already following a healthy Paleo diet, gluten, soy and dairy free,eating organic veg and taking additional minerals this was one mineral I knew I could be short of living in the UK.
    • I started taking Methyl B complex vitamins as they are better absorbed.
    • After just 2 weeks my Basal temperature had already risen to between 35C – 36C
    • I then tried adding a Tyrosine capsule a day but this gave me a headache and a discomfort in my throat – it is not recommended that people with auto-immune Thyroid (Hashimotos Hypothyroid) use this as it can trigger a bigger immune response. I stopped this on day 7 but noticed that my metabolism was up, I was actually feeling warm and the tingling in my hands and feet was much better.
    • After a few days I started taking Ashwaganda. This according to Ayurvedic medicine is best taken with milk (coconut or almond for me)and honey prior to bed.
    • I then thought I would try a protocol that would reduce any EBV activity. I have a strong history of Shingles x 3 with the first severe infection when I was 12 and a severe Glandular Fever aged 18 that left me with post viral fatigue for several months. I vary what I take to give maximum effect. L-Lysine first and I actually got herpes pain over the area of my back that had been affected and just a couple of blisters appeared! I then tried Black seed oil for 3 weeks and I started to feel much better. Everything improved except my sleep which was erratic – having some great nights followed by a few of not being able to get to sleep until 3 or 4 am.

    Now, January 2018, my Basal Temperature is 36.1C and my pulse 60 and regular. My blood pressure has remained similar 120/60. I bought Thyroid Healing by The Medical Medium because although not a medical man he has a great knowledge of healing with diet. I added freeze dried wild blueberries, celery, apple and papaya to my diet. Previously I had concentrated on raspberries, blueberries and strawberries but in the Winter in the UK these are imported and not tasty whereas freeze dried wild blueberries are more nutritious and there is no waste.

    What next for me? 

    Continue on my improved diet, continue to take supplements as needed. This year I am going to keep up my Yoga practice, spend more time in Nature and have the whole of February Free of social media if you want to join me #freefromFeb is the hashtag! Just need to improve my sleep so will give my brain a detox.


    In six months I have managed to improve my Thyroid function to near normal limits and avoided prescription medication. I have no symptoms of parasthesia in my hands or feet and they are actually warmer than they have been in years! My sleep is still not right so I have just started taking Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese Skullcap) following an excellent webinar from Metabolic Healing on Thyroid management. This herb has many therapeutic benefits and references can be found here

    and even more science here 

    Described as the most powerful antioxidant owing to its 5 compounds and strong anti-inflammatory actions, ease of crossing the blood-brain-barrier and it has neuroprotective properties.

    It should not be taken by people on statins, diabetes medication or anticoagulants. It is not recommended for anyone with oestrogen sensitive conditions and  there is insufficient evidence to say if it is safe in pregnancy or breastfeeding.

    Medical Advice

    I am not giving medical advice here and in the first instance you should always see a doctor to get blood tests and rule out any other disease or problem. I did this and I would encourage everyone to do the same but the reality in the UK and in mainstream medicine generally seems to be that you normally only get tested for TSH and T4 and that the ‘normal’ range for these appears to be too high in relation to what is actually being observed as signs and symptoms. You could ask that your adrenal function and oestrogen and progesterone are tested as well as the Thyroid anti-bodies test. Peri-menopause can give many of the same signs and symptoms or a Hysterectomy may have prompted problems.

    Doctors not trained in Functional Medicine do not usually look at the OAT Axis for imbalance between the Ovarian-Adrenal-Thyroid hormones and at how a low fat, high sugar /carbohydrate diet and chronic stress can impact the body. This is what the information above is able to address.

    Most of us would rather avoid surgery, radiation treatment or a lifetime of taking prescription medicines, either natural or artificial hormones. If you can get the help of a Functional Medicine Practitioner then great or an Ayurvedic practitioner but whatever you do you will need to document your symptoms and take responsibility for your health. We live in an age where chronic conditions – that cannot be cured with a prescription- are increasing at an alarming rate but it has been proved that nutrition and lifestyle can give you your quality of life back.





  • Health/ Healthy Food/ Nutritional Medicine

    Warming Winter Soup in 20 mins.

    Warming Winter Soup

    At this busy time of year there is nothing better than a bowl of warming Winter Soup. Here is a recipe for one of my favourites. It is a healthy mix of vegetables that increase circulation, boost the Thyroid and help the body to detox – like a bowl of sunshine!


    4-5 carrots peeled and chopped

    1-3 apples cored and chopped

    thumb sized piece of raw ginger, peeled and chopped

    2 celery stalks chopped

    Add all to a large pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil and simmer for 5 mins. Add at least a pint of hot chicken stock and simmer for 10 mins. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Blitz  and serve. I like it with gluten free seeded toast. 🤗

    For more ideas check out my other posts

    Nutritious Comfort Food for Winter

    Lunchtime Low Carb High Healthy Fats Treat

    and Fabulous Easy Salads


  • Easy Salads/ Health/ Healthy Food/ Immune System/ LCHF diet

    Nutritious Comfort Food for Winter

    Nutritious Winter Food

    Quick and easy nutritious comfort food for Winter that is also cheap!

    Even in Winter I like to eat salad and this one is super tasty and gives plenty of healthy fats and nutrients to boost immune system.


    Nutritious comfort Food for Winter

    Ingredients are

    • crunchy lettuce plus fresh herb leaves
    • cucumber
    • mini tomatoes
    • avocado
    • optional celery or fennel
    • tinned sardines in olive oil
    • roasted squash or pumpkin still hot and scooped out with ice- cream scoop just before serving
    • sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
    • dress with Virgin Olive oil or avocado oil

    Stuffed Mushrooms

    I love mushrooms for boosting the immune system so here is a lovely supper treat

    Nutritious comfort food for winter

    Make the filling by frying these chopped ingredients

    • tomato
    • red pepper
    • onion
    • Pancetta  or streaky bacon
    • plus the chopped stems from the large flat mushrooms

    Fill the mushrooms. top with torn Basil leaves and soft cheese or a coconut cream cheese alternative. Bake in oven 200C for about 15-20 mins. You can also pierce some extra tomatoes and roast them in the same pan.

    I love these served with some cooked Romanesco – if you have never tried it give it a go. It is similar to cauliflower but with a firmer texture and more nutty flavour. My son, who has never liked cauliflower, loves this.

    nutrious comfort food for winter

    Slow- Cooker Hot Pot

    A Winter Staple that makes life easy.  I just add cheap cuts of meat (preferably on the bone) and whatever vegetables I have plus some good organic stock and leave it to cook for at least 4 hours. Normally one pot full will last us for two days – so I get to have a day off from cooking 🙂

    This one was lamb shank with carrots, parsnip, courgette and potatoes plus Rosemary and Bay leaves.

    Get creative and add spices, herbs, or fruit – apricots with lamb and Moroccan spice or chicken with preserved lemons…..my favourites!

  • Gluten Free/ Health/ LCHF diet/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza

    Would you love a fresh, tasty and super-quick supper? Then here is my quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza that you can be eating quicker than a Take-Away! Approx. 20 minutes!


    One gluten free Wrap per person

    Onion – chopped

    Red Pepper – small slices

    Mushrooms – sliced

    Herbs – such as oregano, Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence

    Fresh tomato – sliced or chopped tinned tomato drained well

    Vegan Cheeses both creamy and original solid (I used ‘violife’)

    any quick cook protein – smokey bacon, pepperoni, ham, prawns, tinned tuna etc.

    Fresh Basil leaves if available


    Pre-heat Oven to 200C or preheat grill to 190C.

    Lightly grease an oven tray or grill pan. Place the wraps in position. They only take a few minutes to cook therefore put the onion, pepper and  mushrooms into a pan with a little oil and cook until soft – approx 5 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs and season, then spread evenly onto wraps.

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy free Pizza

    Top with the creamy vegan cheese – this gives a good richness and texture similar to mozzarella.

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy Free Pizza

    Then top with tomatoes, chosen protein, grated vegan cheese and torn Basil.

    Cook for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melting and protein cooked through. I personally don’t mind if the tomatoes are only lightly cooked as it as another texture to the meal. If you like them more cooked than in the photo then slice them very thinly or use well-drained tinned ones or Passata but you don’t want to burn the base.

    Serve with a side salad or coleslaw.

    My Quick Gluten & Dairy Free Pizza



  • Exclusion diet/ Healthy Food/ Leaky Gut/ Nutritional Medicine

    Confused by all the nutritional advice? What should you eat??

    Nutritional advice

    Are you confused by all the nutritional advice out there? It is hardly surprising! Nutritional science is moving at an unprecedented pace and much of what we were told in the past and even advised by our Doctors, has been proved to be wrong.

    Any diet given a name seems to be either praised or condemned by someone. Some are aimed at fast weight loss and others more recently at reversing conditions that we previously thought had no cure.

    Atkins/SouthBeach/Dash/Paleo/AIP/LowFodmap/LCHF/  Flat Belly/Slim-fast/Weight Watchers/Slimmers World/Clean/RealFood ……….

    The list goes on and on…  and these days Doctors and Nutritionist are talking much more about Personalised Healthcare and plans that suit the individual – not just the condition. After all, if you are overweight it might be due to diet, lifestyle, hormones, Digestive Problems, Thyroid function, Insulin Resistance etc. and the important thing is to get to the root cause.

    Functional Medicine

    The Functional Medicine approach is based on finding the root cause of your health problems and supporting normal healing by making individual diet and lifestyle choices. It is a system strongly backed by science, evidence and a belief that we all have an ability to heal ourselves and have less reliance on drugs. It is also a system of medicine that believes that health is not just the absence of disease but a state of vitality and mental and physical energy.

    See this article for more information

    What Nutritional advice would I give?

    Modern technology means we can be more aware of our health, our heart rate, quality of sleep, exercise levels, steps taken, energy burnt and we might be more aware of anything not right about our health. Monitoring people and treating the person, not the symptoms is the future of medicine.

    I believe that no one diet suits everyone. For health and vitality you need the most varied diet you are able to digest and you need to work to improve your digestion for the optimum benefit. To get this right we need to let go of any previous beliefs and become aware of what our individual bodies like and need to thrive. Science is telling us that a lot of processed food contains substances that are damaging our health and therefore the ‘trend’ is towards cooking and much more fresh food than has been common over the past few decades. Your diet should not cause inflammation in your body and stress to your immune system but modern processed food diets are proven to do so in a large percentage of the population.

    Canada has just bought out new Nutritional advice and food guidelines based on fresh food and they have a new food pyramid.

    This is based on eating healthy fats, low carbohydrates, plenty of vegetables and some fruit. Good nutritional advice compared to most Countries guidelines.

    In the UK the NHS promotes “The NHS Diet Plan – Science has a go at Diet Plans” – just the title makes me wince!  Out of date Nutritional advice. They are still promoting cereals, bread and wholewheat pasta as a source of fibre and as the bulk of the diet with the emphasis on low fat foods as in the Eatwell Guide which also stipulates vegetable oils and low fat spreads. Functional Medicine Practitioners have been trying to educate people away from these choices for years!

    I do not promote the Low Fodmap diet (often suggested for IBS) as this is one of the most restrictive diets to stick to and doesn’t address healing the digestive system first. No diet should be so restrictive as to take all joy out of eating. Many people that follow this diet might get some digestive relief but will almost certainly suffer from nutrient deficiencies if not carefully monitored and supplemented. Where possible I always favour real food over supplements.

    So what is out?

    • Calorie Counting
    • Low fat diets
    • Meal replacement drinks and Bars
    • Low salt (better to have sea salt than processed sodium salt)
    • Low Cholesterol diets
    • using only egg whites
    • artificial sweeteners
    • MSG
    • other processed food additives and colours
    • all day snacking (harms the normal digestive process)
    • Long exercise sessions (HIIT training was proved to more beneficial many years ago – research Loughborough Uni 2013)


    If you are free from any digestive problems, achy joints, autoimmune disease, disrupted thyroid hormones, skin problems, heart or blood sugar problems then I would suggest that you look at incorporating more fresh foods into your diet, more healthy fats (natural saturated fats, meat, fish, butter, cheese, olive oil, olives, coconut oil, nuts and seeds), plenty of fresh vegetable and some fruit. As you increase natural fats into your diet you become hungry less often and you do not crave snacks or sweet foods as much. You may feel you eat more and feel more satisfied than previously. Cut out as much sugar and processed carbohydrates as you can  and drink in moderation (wine and occasional spirits but less mixers).

    If you have any of the health  issues listed above then I always recommend an Elimination Diet for 4 weeks and the addition of supplements to heal the digestive tract. Probiotics, L-Glutamine, omega 3 oils, Licorice extract, and possibly Silicogel or Aloe Vera until your gut doesn’t bloat or feel uncomfortable and your bowel movements are easy and regular. Following on by very careful reintroduction of individual foods to see if your body reacts to them. This is because the root cause of many of these conditions is a damaged digestive system that might have been caused by infection, stress, antibiotics or intolerance to certain foods. If you can find and afford a Nutritional Practitioner then it would be best to work with them. They may be able to do blood, urine and stool tests as well as allergy and sensitivity tests that may speed the process. It is easy to get confused when doing it by trial and error. I tried going gluten free several times over the years and always felt better initially but it wasn’t until I carried out a proper Elimination diet that I discovered I also had intolerance to Dairy, Soy and oranges! I personally favoured using the Paleo AIP diet initially but have since been able to expand my choice of foods to include rice, gluten free oats, nuts and seeds – all in moderation. That is why I use the terms Paleo Approach, Clean and Real food. No one single diet should define what you eat or restrict foods that you do not have a problem with.

    I have many posts on how to do this, which foods most often cause problems and with ideas for healthy foods  so that it is not about deprivation but about making choices that satisfy you and nourish your body, brain and immune system while giving you abundant energy and good sleep.

    My main tip is to learn to listen to your body. Every day your body will require different food depending on the weather, your activity, your emotional state…(that’s where the chocolate usually comes in)

    One day I might fancy a succulent salmon steak, one day lamb and bacon burger with guacamole and occasionally I fancy this…

           Gluten free seeded toast, baked beans and free range eggs with Celtic sea salt and black pepper.

    Variety is the spice of life:-)


  • Autoimmune diseases/ Celiac/ Health/ Hypothyroidism/ Immune System

    Why I think Hashimoto’s needs a different approach.


    This post is about my recent experience and why I think Hashimoto’s needs a different approach.

    What is Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism

    Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism is an Autoimmune disease where your body gradually destroys your thyroid gland leaving you with multiple symptoms such as

    • Loss of outer eyebrow hair and increased loss of hair on head and body
    • slow heartbeat
    • discomfort in throat
    • muscle aches and cramps
    • weakness
    • arthritis
    • cold intolerance
    • dry skin and hair
    • lethargy / fatigue
    • sleep disturbance
    • brittle nails
    • memory loss/poor concentration
    • weight gain
    • tingling or parasthesia in hands / feet

    Each individual will have any number of these symptoms and they can vary with the level of thyroid deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the right amount of hormone.

    There are other causes of Hypothyroidism such as cancer surgery, radioactive iodine treatment of hyperthyroidism, heavy metal poisoning and more rarely a problem with the Pituitary gland that is not producing enough TSH – thyroid stimulating hormone.

    Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism is by far the most common (90-95%) and that is what I am focusing on today.

    Treatment Options

    Normal medical treatment has always focused on replenishing the body with thyroid hormone – either in the form of a synthetic T4 drug or desiccated thyroid tissue taken from pigs or cows. In the case of a surgically removed thyroid or one that has been destroyed by radiation then this may be the only option.

    With Hashimoto’s I feel it is important to take a Functional Medicine approach to find and treat the root cause which is an Autoimmune reaction and to support the thyroid with the nutrition it needs for optimal function. There is frequently an underlying Adrenal imbalance as well and patients often say that they have had extreme stress previous to symptoms, or ongoing. There may also be a history of Epstein Barr infection or other herpes infections, all of which can affect the immune system long-term.

    It is very important to look at the medical history as the Thyroid may have been under attack for quite some time before multiple symptoms appear and a diagnosis sort. It is also possible that other Autoimmune problems are present, especially Coeliac disease or Gluten intolerance. This could mean that the digestive tract is damaged, already reacting to foreign proteins and not absorbing all the nutrients we need.

    Hashimoto’s is not something that I think you should try and treat yourself and it should be monitored with appropriate blood tests but there are certain actions that you can take yourself that can help balance your system, boost your health and at the same time help your Doctor see the overall picture of the effects of the disease and the treatment.

    If you think you may have Hashimoto’s rather than any other cause of fatigue then the first thing you could do is set up a chart to record your Basal Temperature. This is the temperature that you body falls to at night when you are sleeping. Have a thermometer by your bed and as soon as you wake take your temperature, in your armpit. Make sure that it is right in your armpit and leave it for 2-5 mins to get an accurate reading. If you have low thyroid function then it is likely to be several points lower than the normal range of 36.4C -36.7C . Do this for at least a week so that you have a record to show your doctor and you can also carry on to show any reaction to treatment.

    My own approach

    I have thought for years that my Thyroid was slightly under-active and have not been good with aerobic activity, climbing hills etc. since having Glandular Fever aged 20. I lost my outer eyebrows ages ago. I have been aware of my pulse being slow and irregular (43 -55) for over 10 years but have had ECG’s and told it wasn’t anything to worry about. It wasn’t until a medical showed a TSH of 5.25 and a slightly low FT4 of 11.8 that I thought I should probably do something about it if I was to continue to be healthy.

    It also made me realise that an increasing amount of tingling and parasthesia in my hands was probably more likely to be caused by my Thyroid than by neck arthritis. I felt, maybe wrongly, that if I went to my GP I would just be put on synthetic T4 Thyroid pills and from everyone I have dealt with over the years I knew this was not the cure all that it is often claimed to be.

    My plan was to first optimise my nutrition to see if that had any effect on my symptoms. I started by taking Bio-Selenium 200 as that is know to be essential for Immune and Thyroid function and it is a nutrient that many in the UK are know to be lacking. Ten days later I started a Basal Temperature chart and also recorded my pulse and blood pressure every few days. The first few days my temperature was in the range 34.1-34.4 C which is 2 degrees below normal therefore I decided to add an amino acid L-Tyrosine 500mg as I had read that this could possibly stimulate the available thyroid hormone. I realise that I was experimenting but I  researched and the only side effect was said to be that if you suffered with migraine headaches it may trigger them. I never get headaches since giving up gluten and dairy and therefore thought it was unlikely to affect me.

    Within 2 days my Basal Temperature was up 35.5-36.0 C and I actually felt very warm and my circulation was improved with warm feet – something that is a complete anomaly to me! This was in total contrast to the typical UK weather that had suddenly taken a dip back to cool and wet. That evening I started to get a headache and by the next evening it was continuous and worse – I felt like I had been kicked in the back of the head. Taking painkillers lessened it but then a couple of days later I started to get an uncomfortable feeling in my throat and a tight sensation on swallowing. Now this seemed extreme for a natural protein that is found in chicken, turkey and that I thought I probably was getting sufficient quantities of through my diet and so, listening to what my body was telling me, I stopped taking the L-Tyrosine. During the time I was taking it the tingling in my hands disappeared and I felt more energised and alert but I have since read that if you have autoimmune problems it may be too stimulating and cause more inflammatory reaction. If self medicating – even with nutritional supplements – always do thorough research!

    The tingling in my hands returned, the throat gradually returned to normal and my Temperature remained above 35C.  On to a new plan…

    Ashwaganda, a popular Ayurvedic medicine used for a wide variety of disorders, is something I have used before to treat stress and fatigue. It is an adaptogenic herb with the ability to get the body to regulate itself. It has been proven to work well in regulating the thyroid gland when additional T4 and/or T3 is required or if the rate of metabolism is slow.  Scientists concluded that people with hypothyroidism benefited from Ashwaganda due to it’s ability to raise T4/T3 and its anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant and nerve protecting qualities. It is important to buy good quality herbs therefore I started on 1 capsule twice a day of fresh organic Ashwaganda Root Capsules.

    I also added Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabara) that supports immune function and with ingredients that heal the digestive tract, are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial. From my latest research it does look like there may be a connection to Autoimmune problems stemming from Epstein Barr infection that can stay dormant in the body therefore adding supplements that have anti-viral properties could help.

    So far, so good. I am generally sleeping better and have plenty of energy. The peripheral neuralgia is improving again and a month on my temperature has not fallen below 35C and I haven’t had any palpitations. I will carry on for another month with this plan as well as my usual Low Carb High Good Fat diet, Methyl B Vitamins, Vitamin D and keep eating nuts and seeds for zinc, Liver or pate for Ferritin levels, Lemon Balm (anti-viral) and Green Tea and Resveratrol in the form of Red Wine plus my Sizzling Minerals to make sure I get good magnesium levels and all the other minerals I need to help cellular function.

    I will get a repeat blood test and if I have to take a thyroid hormone then I would definitely prefer to take a natural one that provides all the elements needed and not just artificial T4 – thyroid function is complex. Functional Medicine is about looking for the root cause, assessing all the signs and symptoms and adjusting diet and lifestyle.

    This might sound a lot but it just becomes part of what you do – listen to your body, assess signs and symptoms and tweek as necessary! Those that don’t take time to maintain their health may end up losing time due to ill health!






  • Ketogenic diet/ LCHF diet/ Paleo Diet/ Sugar Detox

    My positive results from Paleo and LCHF approach

    Paleo and LCHF approach

    I would like to share with you my continuing journey with improving my health with nutrition and my personal results with Paleo and LCHF approach.

    Three years ago I was suffering from a few years of high stress. I was overweight and still gaining, tired, with a myriad of symptoms including poor sleep, IBS, dry skin and eyes, hearing problems, post nasal drip, sinus problems,and joint pains, which at times were severe and debilitating.

    I started on the Paleo Approach program by first doing a full elimination diet. Sarah Ballantine PhD of www.ThePaleoMom.com. I discovered I was intolerant of gluten, dairy and soy so totally eliminated them and started to reintroduce other foods gradually while watching for return of symptoms. I then progressed to what I call a modified Paleo diet where I ate some gluten free pasta and wraps, rice, potatoes and either almond or coconut milk.

    With each week I felt better and had more energy. I started doing more exercise including walking, rebounding and a Yoga sequence called ‘The Five Tibetan Rites’.

    I suffered occasional setbacks but with attention to healing my gut with Probiotics and L-Glutamine the inflammation soon subsided.

    Having reached a reasonable level of health I started looking for ways I could protect myself from chronic illnesses like Diabetes, heart disease, Dementia and cancer – these being the main worries as we age.

    I read more and more about eating low carbs and high natural fats, LCHF, followed the research www.DietDoctor.com and everything seemed to make sense. The idea being to keep blood sugar lower and level by eating quality proteins and natural fats like Avocado, olive oil, grass fed butter (which I couldn’t have), coconut oil, oily fish and fatty cuts of meat.

    It was quite easy to adapt from Paleo Approach to LCHF and within a very short time I noticed that my blood sugar was more stable, I could go without food for longer periods without turning into Golem and I was sleeping much better.

    I really felt the benefits so I wanted to see if medical tests would reflect the improvements. Unfortunately I didn’t have any baseline testing from the past to compare but I think you will agree that they stand alone.

    I am 66 yrs old. Metabolic age 55

    Weight is 67 kg  and stable

    BMI 24

    Blood pressure 123/64

    Liver Function Good

    Fasting  blood sugar 5.0

    Triglycerides 0.7

    Cholesterol LDL/HDL ratio 2.04

    Bone mass 2.2 kg Muscle mass 40.9

    As part of eating LCHF I have been having Bulletproof XCT oil in my coffee, I bake using coconut oil and cook with it. I use coconut milk and cream a lot as I love Thai cooking. I also use olive oil each day, eat garlic, onions, plenty of salad and green vegetables, sweet potato, berries, small bananas and only occasionally other fruit like mangoes or pineapple. I buy free range and grass fed meat as much as possible and have nuts, eggs and fish 2-3 times a week.

    My indulgences are red wine and Prosecco but I don’t drink every day. I have dark chocolate and use coco powder to make desserts or Brownies and sometimes sweeten food with a little maple syrup – keeping sugar to an absolute minimum.

    I am certainly not strict with eating LCHF as I do not measure my carb intake, only relying on 1-2 small portions a day, always with protein.

    Sometimes we eat out and the meal is not low carb at all – like gluten and dairy free pizza, Red Wine and Lemon Sorbet but then I am just more aware of how many carbs I eat the next day. Sometimes I skip breakfast and just have black coffee with XCT oil and that keeps me going all morning which is something I never thought I could do. In the past, after a breakfast of toast and marmalade I would be starving by 10:30am!

    Many of you will react with horror at ‘giving up’ many of the things you think of as staples at the moment but I can assure you that the health benefits are enormous and instead of feeling deprived I actually feel indulgent, eating so many of those high fat foods that we have denied ourselves for so long. Throughout my adult life the guidelines have been to eat low-fat to prevent cardiovascular disease and throughout that time heart disease and obesity have been epidemic – time to stop. No low-fat, no artificial fats or oils, low sugar, no calorie counting and no to try to ‘burn it off ‘ at the gym!

  • Exclusion diet/ Gluten Free/ Healthy Food

    Given up Gluten Grains ?- what you need to stay Healthy…

    Natural fresh healthy food Gluten Free

    Given up Gluten Grains?

    Well the media are at it again with their fear tactics and poor science. According to latest reports giving up Gluten could ‘make you more prone to developing Heart Disease and Diabetes’.

    Let me just turn this around for a moment and query whether they are saying that they have scientific studies that prove that eating bread, biscuits and cake prevent Heart Disease and Diabetes?

    NO – all the latest research shows the complete opposite.

    Let’s look at the facts.

    • The studies quoted were mainly based on the fibre content and lack of some nutrients connected to not eating Whole Grains.
    • The majority of gluten grains consumed in the developed World are highly processed.
    • Processing grains strips away the bran and the germ – removing more than half the B vitamins, 90% of the Vitamin E, most of the minerals and virtually all of the fibre.
    • The rise in Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes has been epidemic over the last 40 years when Governments have been pushing high carbohydrate, low salt, low fat diets.
    • People that develop Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes often are overweight and eat a nutrient poor diet.
    • Latest research in many Countries is confirming that a Low Carb, High Good Fats diet can prevent and even reverse both Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease and Government guidelines are being adjusted accordingly.

    What Nutrients do wholegrains contain?

    Processed flour products usually have some vitamins added back in plus sugar and salt to make up for the lack of flavour. Typically in cereals Vitamin D, some B Vitamins and iron are added.

    Unprocessed wholegrains contain

    • all the B Vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Biotin.
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin K
    • Choline, Inositol

    and the minerals

    • Magnesium
    • Zinc
    • Chromium
    • Copper
    • Manganese
    • Molybdenum
    • Phosphorous
    • Selenium

    Therefore if you find you need a Gluten Free Diet for managing IBS, Coeliac or Non-Coeliac gluten Sensitivity, any other inflammatory Bowel disease or Autoimmune Disorders it is important that you eat a varied diet that supplies these nutrients. This is not hard as these nutrients are in many other foods but it does become difficult if you also are limited to a vegetarian or vegan diet and in those circumstances I would suggest enlisting the help of a Nutritionist. If you are Paleo then you may not want to eat some of the foods on this list but for the sake of nutrition I prefer to eat what I term a modified Paleo diet and include them.

    I follow a Gluten free diet and am also dairy free. Many people that are sensitive to Gluten are also sensitive to Dairy, including people with Coeliac Disease. I like to include some non-gluten grains that I tolerate well and one of the important ones is Oats. Some people might contest this but as long as I buy GF Oats I find they are OK. Oats contain much higher levels of iron and Magnesium than wheat and also plenty of soluble fibre rather than the irritating bran fibre.


    What to eat to stay Healthy when Gluten Free


    Non GMO Corn, GF Oats, Brown Rice, Quinoa, buckwheat and millet.

    VEGETABLES and Legumes

    Leafy Green Vegetables, Avocados, carrots, sweet potato, alfalfa, kelp, tomatoes, Broccoli, mushrooms, peas, beans, lentils, onions, garlic.

    MEAT and FISH

    All meats, liver, pate and other offal for the important vitamin B content. Fish, oily fish and seafood.



    Melon, Bananas, fresh oranges, grapefruit, apricots, prunes.

    NUTS and SEEDS

    Almonds, Brazil nuts, Pecans, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Sesame seeds, Flaxseeds.


    Live Yogurt, Cheese, Milk. If you eat dairy or not I would add a good Probiotic as it is in the Gut that we make the most B Vitamins and neurotransmitters.

    Green Tea and Dark Chocolate

    for good sources of Vitamin K and Magnesium

    If you eat a good selection of these foods on a regular basis you will not be nutrient deficient or be lacking in Fibre but you will definitely be free of the chemicals they spray grains with (like Glyphosate) free from inflammation





  • Healthy Food/ Inflammation/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance


    Food Tends

    The Truth about FOOD TRENDS is that they should be based on knowledge and reality as opposed to ‘FADS’ that are just fashionable. The media appears to be in total confusion about the difference and continues to run stories on conflicting information but the public are become very aware of what the food industry is trying to do and the effect this can have on health.

    A sample of recent news articles

    • several newspapers have covered the topic of artificial meat and why customers are not taking the idea up. I am one of the people covering the story of feeding cattle sweets and other processed food products to fatten them up.
    • From www.glutenfreeschool.com ‘Gluten Intolerance Mouth Symptoms You Need To Know’
    • Wake up World on Facebook posted a video on the 9 things the food industry doesn’t want you to know. link here.
    • The Times 22  April – ‘Forbidden Foods: think twice before you give up dairy, meat or wheat’. ‘The fashion for free-from diets keeps growing, but could damage your health.’ This is statement is firmly in the ‘Fad’ bracket while also having another go at the ‘Clean Eating’ advocates (of which Deliciously Ella is not one). ‘More of us are avoiding sugar and other carbohydrates’ is a TREND backed by a huge amount of scientific research Worldwide as well as Governments in Sweden, New Zealand and in the case of Sugar – the UK. see www.dietdr.com

    The Food Trends for 2017

    The FOOD TRENDS for 2017 are firmly rooted in the knowledge that inflammation is a major cause of Chronic disease and that the epidemic of Chronic disease is crippling the economies and quality of life in all developed countries. Another TREND is that this is happening to our children, that more children are getting Diabetes and autoimmune problems and the TREND to eat high amounts of processed food and not cook fresh food at home goes hand in hand with the rise in health problems.

    Another article this week from www.wellandgood.com



    Fighting inflammation with food is quickly becoming a major health priority—and for good reason, considering inflammation is linked to everything from bloating and acne to life threatening illnesses, say physicians and researchers.

    “We expect to see the market for inflammation-fighting foods to grow 7 percent by 2020 and expect 2017 to be a big year in terms of new product announcements and continued research and development,” says Deborah Barrington, a senior editor at Industry Dive.

    Inflammation-fighting ingredients are already trending on Pinterest. “Turmeric was one of our trending flavours in our recent Pin sights Flavor Report and specifically turmeric lattes. Ginger tea is also a trending search, up 20 percent,” confirms Stephanie Kumar, partner insights lead at Pinterest.

    It’s no coincidence that many healthy food trends—from the zoodle (zucchini noodle) and cauliflower rice to nut milks and vegan cheese—are substitutes for inflammatory ingredients like gluten, grains, and dairy.”

    My Approach to Food Trends

    So I am one of those Nutritionists that firmly believes in eating as much, fresh, healthy, preferably organic, unprocessed food as possible. Call it Clean Eating if you will but to me it is just normal eating – as opposed to what many people eat, that is a result of our food industry becoming industrialised.

    I have plenty of personal experience of improving health outcomes through diet. I constantly research new scientific advances, which have been extremely prolific in the last five years. We now have a far greater knowledge of how our gut and microbiome affect our immune system and brain and also how a High Fat Low carb diet can reverse Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease as well as how a leaky gut can lead to inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases.

    Gluten, Dairy, GMO, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners

    I also support finding out if any foods are inflammatory for you and damaging your health and wellbeing and that is what my eBook ‘Turn Your Health Around’ helps you to do. Many people have given up some of these foods and felt a huge impact on their health only to start to substitute with a whole load of substitute ‘free from’ processed foods and seen their health plummet. This is probably why some of the ‘FAD’ myths have endured. You can buy my book on the link below – it is on offer at just £6 at the moment.

    Buy my product


    Free From Foods

    I cannot imagine that anyone would stick to a ‘Free From’ diet if they didn’t feel or see a huge improvement in their health.

    A ‘Free From’ diet can be expensive, somewhat anti-social as it makes eating out more difficult and you have to spend a lot of time reading labels and becoming aware of hidden toxic ingredients but if your eczema clears up or your joint pain disappears then it is definitely worthwhile. Do I sometimes fancy a Baguette with butter and cheese? – would I suggest everyone give them up ? – NO.

    ‘Free From’ processed foods can be just as bad for your health as other processed food. Nestle new Go Free range of cereals are still sugar and salt laden GMO cereals and just because they add a few artificial vitamins and iron to them it does not make them healthy.



    We do eat a few products such as occasional gluten and dairy free wraps or bread and I do sometimes bake with gluten free flour but mostly we eat real food – meat, eggs, nuts, olive oil, vegetables and some fruit ….the clue is if it is real food it doesn’t need a label!

    If you do find that you have to eliminate some foods then it is important to make sure you eat a varied diet that is going to provide the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Plenty of information and recipes on my blog with links to many others, plus Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

    Other important Food Trends are

    • buying more vegetables,
    • organic vegetable and fruit boxes,
    • growing more produce at home,
    • communal gardens,
    • demand for allotments,
    • the popularity of Farmers Markets and
    •  Restaurants that produce fresh locally sourced food.

    Let’s hope that these Food Trends keep growing and that the media stops supporting the food industry giants and out of date nutritional guidelines. These Food Trends are just part of the paradigm shift and our rise in awareness of how we are steadily destroying our planet and our quality of life.



  • Celiac/ Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Hot Cross Buns & Chocolate Brownie Gluten Free/Dairy Free

    Hot Cross buns and Chocolate Brownie GF

    No need to go without Easter Treats – here are my favourite recipes that are full of nutritional goodness – Hot Cross Buns & Chocolate Brownies Gluten Free/Dairy Free.

    Both recipes contain some sugar, honey or maple syrup which I only use very rarely but I personally can’t stand artificial sweeteners of any kind. The high protein, good fat content help to keep your blood sugar on an even keel – as long as you don’t eat the whole tray! I have been experimenting with coconut nectar but it is not as sweet. Use whatever you prefer.

    Hot Cross Buns with Cinnamon Crosses

    2 Tablespoons Gluten free flour

    60g Coconut flour

    30g Psylliumhusks

    2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

    2 tsp Mixed Spice

    2 tsp Cinnamon

    3 tbsp raisins/sultanas/mixed peel

    1-2 tbsp of Honey, Maple syrup or Coconut Nectar

    4 Large Eggs beaten

    Just mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl then add dried fruit,  sugar substitute and mix in eggs until well combined. Mixture can then be spooned into large cup cake or muffin tin and will be enough for 8-10.

    Bake 180C/350F for 20-30mins.

    When cool you could ice a Cross on top with cinnamon flavoured icing.

    Chocolate Brownies

    Put 5-6 ozs dairy free chocolate in small bowl over a pan of warm water to melt

    In a large bowl place

    2 ozs olive oil Margarine or Ghee

    2 ozs Coconut Oil

    3-4 ozs soft brown sugar or a sugar substitute

    1-2 ripe bananas

    beat all the above ingredients with an electric whisk or by hand

    add 4 ozs Gluten Free Self Raising Flour plus

    2 dsp coco powder  alternating while adding 3 eggs so that the mixture doesn’t curdle.

    Then stir in the melted chocolate until all combined.

    At this stage you could add some nuts – flaked almonds, walnuts or pecans are especially good.

    Pour into a deep oblong baking dish or tin and bake at 160C fan oven for  about 30mins until centre bounces back when touched. Do not overcook  as you will loose that nice moist middle. 😋

    Happy Easter Holidays!