• 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.





  • Anxiety/ Blood sugar management/ Energy/ Health/ Sugar Detox/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Low Blood Sugar causes Anxiety

    low blood sugar

    Following on from my article on Overcoming Sugar Addiction I thought this excellent article and research findings from Trudy Scott (CN) would be of interest. As well as anxiety I have found that a diet high in processed Carbs and high glycemic foods that lead to low blood sugar episodes also cause inflammation in other tissues and can be a contributing factor to many conditions.

    One of the most helpful additions to your diet when transitioning to a healthier way of eating is a breakfast that includes protein, fat and fiber.  I like to make it easy for people that are not used to eating a healthy breakfast by preparing a highly nutritious smoothie the night before and popping it in the fridge. Here is one of my favourite recipes – I like it thick so that I eat it with a spoon and it does thicken slightly overnight so adjust milk accordingly. You can also vary it by adding cinnamon when you don’t have berries or use frozen fruit.

    Choco-loco Breakfast Smoothie

    Into a blender pop

    100-150 ml non-dairy milk like coconut or almond milk  

    a handful of berries, peeled and chopped pear or small slightly unripe banana

    1 scoop of whey free vanilla Protein Powder (or natural plus some vanilla essence)

    2 tsp. Almond Butter

    1 tsp. Coconut oil or MCT oil

    1 Tbsp. Cocoa powder

    1 tsp. Maple Syrup or honey

    50g gluten free oats

    Empty the contents of one Probiotic capsule and blitz until smooth. Cover and pop into the fridge overnight and then in the morning all you have to do is top with a few more berries and nuts for texture – almond flakes, pecans and walnuts all go well with chocolate. Enjoy.

    Article from Trudy Scott CN

    A paper published by the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine last month supports what I see with my clients on a daily basis: when it comes to anxiety caused by low blood sugar (or hypoglycemia) the correct diet can have a huge impact. And this means is the inclusion of enough protein, fats and fiber, especially at breakfast.

    Here is the abstract from the paper: Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Hypoglycemia Symptoms Improved with Diet Modification

    Observational evidence suggests that a relationship may exist between high glycemic index diets and the development of anxiety and depression symptoms; however, as no interventional studies assessing this relationship in a psychiatric population have been completed, the possibility of a causal link is unclear.

    AB is a 15-year-old female who presented with concerns of generalized anxiety disorder and hypoglycemia symptoms. Her diet consisted primarily of refined carbohydrates. The addition of protein, fat, and fiber to her diet resulted in a substantial decrease in anxiety symptoms as well as a decrease in the frequency and severity of hypoglycemia symptoms.

    A brief return to her previous diet caused a return of her anxiety symptoms, followed by improvement when she restarted the prescribed diet.

    This case strengthens the hypothesis that dietary glycemic index may play a role in the pathogenesis or progression of mental illnesses such as generalized anxiety disorder and subsequently that dietary modification as a therapeutic intervention in the treatment of mental illness warrants further study.

    Here are some details about this case report for AB, who was a 15-year-old female student of south-Asian descent:

    Read More

  • Blood sugar management/ Cancer Prevention/ Energy/ Health/ Inflammation/ Probiotics/ Sizzling Minerals/ Sleep/ Sugar Detox

    SUGAR and overcoming addiction.

    Sugar - overcoming addiction

    You might be surprised that I start by discussion Fat more than Sugar but understanding the connection between the two is vital to understanding SUGAR and overcoming addiction.

    From years we have been told that saturated fat was bad for us and that it caused weight gain, high blood sugar, heart disease and strokes and from that false belief, more and more processed low-fat foods flooded the market. Thousands of fad diets were promoted all centered on low fat and the prevention of weight gain and disease and yet the population has just gone on getting fatter and more sick.

    We now know that advice was totally wrong and that refined vegetable oils and transfats are the lethal ones that age us faster, damage cell walls and cause chronic inflammation and disease. Over these same decades we have eaten more and more carbohydrates to try to satisfy our hunger.  Many of the processed foods and drinks have hidden sugars in an attempt to make them more palatable. Healthy fats satisfy our appetite and have a stabilising influence on blood sugar.

    Insulin Resistance

    Our bodies were not designed to run on sugar and lots of processed carbohydrates like packaged cereals, pasta etc. and therefore we have a hard time converting all those foods to usable fuel. Most modern meals contain much more of this fuel than we can use in the short-term and so the body produces lots of Insulin to process it and allow what is needed to go to work in the muscles, brain and liver. When these cells are full the rest of the glucose is converted to FAT for storage.

    We now consume nearly four times as many carbohydrates(including sugars of all types), a lot less fiber and often poor quality fats and oils. In time, the insulin receptors on the surface of your cells start to decrease in number and also in efficiency and if the glucose can’t get into the cells because they are full – it stays circulating in the bloodstream. The Pancreas senses the high levels of blood glucose and secretes more Insulin and the receptors on the cells  become even more resistant! Constantly higher blood glucose causes inflammation and damage to cells. The main signs that you have a degree of Insulin Resistance is fat distributed around your middle and around your vital organs that is very hard to shift. This is dangerous Visceral fat that can also affect hormone levels.

    We now have 3 generations of people with some degree of Insulin Resistance which has reached 1:2 of the whole population. Type II Diabetes and Cancer are epidemic. Even children are now being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and yet a generation ago it was mainly a disease of middle-age.

    The good news is that it is reversible.

    Read More

  • Blood sugar management/ Cancer Prevention/ Health/ Healthy Food

    Confused about Healthy Eating?

    Confused by Nutrition?

    Confused about Healthy Eating? – you’re not the only one! The Public, the media and some Professionals  seem to be struggling to keep up with the massive influx of new scientific and nutritional information that has come to light over the last 5 years. Good nutritional advice is now very much more complex as it involves knowing not only which foods to eat and in what quantities but how to avoid toxins from herbicides, pesticides, GMO foods, chemicals and other health damaging ingredients in foods plus knowledge of the nutrients we may be deficient in due to soil depletion and farming methods. We are living at a time of the highest levels of chronic ill health and we need to understand about healthy eating as part of living a longer life, maintaining a good quality of life and avoiding diseases that are preventable.

    The media are not helping and some newspaper/magazine articles and TV programs are just adding to the confusion by presenting out of date or misleading information and not being able to differentiate between marketing and science. Take “The Truth about….Healthy Eating” on BBC 1 last week – quoted as being an investigation into if we can eat and drink our way to good health. Read More

  • Anaemia/ Autoimmune diseases/ Blood sugar management/ Cancer Prevention/ Energy/ Immune System/ Stress Reduction/ Supplements

    B Vitamins and Autoimmune Disease

    B Vitamins

    There are eight numbered B Vitamins that are all important for cellular metabolism but with more recent findings we know the importance of some B Vitamins and Autoimmune Disease.

    People who suffer from Autoimmune Diseases and/or have genetic mutations that affect the way Vitamin B is used in the body may benefit from supplementing the natural forms of B6 (Pyridoxine), B9 (Folate) and B12 (Cobalamin). These three vitamins are critical for for supporting the methyl cycle and DNA and RNA synthesis. B Vitamins are all water soluble and easily lost or destroyed by water, heat processing, roasting and canning. Elevated homocysteine is a proven factor for cardio vascular disease and taking B6, B9 and B12 can lower Homocysteine levels.

    Vitamin B6 as the co-enzyme form Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, P5’P  is used in the metabolism of proteins and fats and is necessary for creating glucose from these foods and is also essential for the synthesis of neurotransmitters and red blood cells. It is necessary for the production of Hydrochloric acid and the absorption of Magnesium and B12. Helps the body metabolise and transport selenium and zinc, is a natural diuretic and alleviates nausea. It is involved in converting 5-HTP into Serotonin and also the calming neurotransmitter GABA.

    Signs of Deficiency are

    • Anaemia not corrected by iron
    • poor sleep
    • kidney stones
    • morning sickness
    • PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome
    • Skin rashes and dry skin
    • Anxiety and nervousness
    • Insulin Resistance
    • muscle spasms and cramps
    • Carpal Tunnel syndrome
    •  Asperger’s and Autism
    • Heart Disease

    Causes of deficiency are Read More

  • Blood sugar management/ Cancer Prevention/ Health/ Healthy Food/ Mineral Depletion/ Sizzling Minerals/ Sugar/ Sugar Detox

    Need HELP with SUGAR?

    Need HELP with SUGAR?

    The health dangers of sugar have been in the news a lot lately with governments even considering taxing sugary drinks, as they have in Mexico, to try and improve the health of the population – especially children. So if you need help with sugar avoidance and dealing with a ‘sweet tooth’ here are a few pointers.

    Hidden Sugars

    Aside from not adding sugar to your tea and coffee and avoiding sugar laden desserts, cakes and cookies you should start checking labels so that you can find how much hidden sugar is in your diet. If you have children then checking sugar intake is vital to their health as well as protecting their teeth. A third of children leave primary school already obese!

    1 teaspoon of sugar = 4 g

    Daily recommended maximum intake is 50 g (1.7 oz) for Women and 70 g (2.5 oz) for Men but 28 g = 1 oz (7 teaspoonfuls) would be better. Many people average nearer 130 g a day which is equal to 32 teaspoonfuls!

    First of all sugar is disguised by so many different names, anything that ends in ‘ose’, fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, then cane sugar, cane crystals, corn syrup, fruit concentrates, honey, Maple syrup and Agave.

    High Fructose Corn Syrup seems to add more fat around the middle and around vital organs (visceral fat) -the most dangerous kind.

    Soft drinks are the worst for hidden sugar, even ‘enhanced’ water can have 15 g per 500 ml. Pre-packaged food – even savoury foods like Pasta Sauce and coleslaw can be loaded with sugar; bread, biscuits, energy bars, low fat yogurt often has more sugar than regular yogurt.Need help with Sugar

    Processed Cane or Beet sugar doesn’t contain any nutrients and is often called ’empty calories’  but other sugar types are also devoid of nutrients and even heavily processed using chemicals. When I want to sweeten something I would usually choose a little honey, Pure Maple Syrup or molasses sugar because these do also contain some nutrient benefit and are not over processed.

    Artificial Sweeteners

    It is not a healthy option to swap your sugar for artificial sweeteners as they have many additional problems.

    • they may taste sweet but they have no useful energy
    • they have no appetite suppression effect, unlike sugar and so can cause overeating and weight gain.
    • Many sweeteners may be toxic to the body
    • if you really feel you need them -do your research. At present Stevia seems to be the least toxic but definitely avoid Aspartame which has been linked to mental problems, brain tumour and epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, Fibromyalgia and diabetes plus possibly cancer. Avoid Sucralose which is sucrose that has been denatured using Chlorine.

    How to Cut Down on Sugar

    If you have become aware of just how much sugar you are eating and have started reading food and drink labels that is a huge step in the right direction. We can all be caught out – my son is hooked on mince pies at the moment and 1 mince pie has 22.5 g sugar which is nearly 6 tsps of sugar and only 1 tsp off his healthy daily limit. So my tips are:- Read More

  • Blood sugar management/ Healthy Food/ Mediterranean diet

    Viva the Spanish Mediterranean Diet!

    Viva the Spanish Diet!

    The Mediterranean Diet has been heralded as a very healthy one for many years but the Mediterranean coastline covers many different Countries, Cultures and the diet varies from country to country. Much has been written about about it and much has been researched so I am going to just write about the diet of Southern Spain firstly because I lived there for a few years and secondly because I love and thrive on the food in Spain!

    In researching this article I read a lot of older comments that are inaccurate. Maybe because it was generally touted that the Mediterranean diet was healthier than other European Countries or the USA and that there was less heart disease, people automatically assumed that the diet was low fat. Throughout the last 50 years this is what we have been told was necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system – low total fat, low saturated fat and low dietary cholesterol but the Spanish Diet is none of these! Lots of food is fried, lots of fatty cuts of meat and sausages are eaten, plenty of cheese and dairy are consumed and yet Cardiovascular disease is 9% lower, Cancer 6% lower and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease 13% lower in a study reported on PubMed in 2008. More recent studies have confirmed that the Mediterranean Diet is much better at protecting us from chronic disease including this one from Medical News Today in 2014. Some studies claim that meat is eaten less often but this is also not true and in the winter many of the dishes are very hearty stews with Goat, Pork, bacon, lamb, Rabbit, Venison or beef and throughout the year Chorizo and Morcilla sausages are used a lot in dishes. There are also some very good cheeses – my favourite being a sheep’s cheese called Flor de Esgueva.

    So what makes this diet so Healthy? Read More

  • Adrenal Fatigue/ Arthritis/ Autoimmune diseases/ Blood sugar management/ Cancer./ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Detox Drinks - healthy drinking/ Energy/ Health/ Hyperthyroidism/ Hypothyroidism/ Mineral Depletion/ Nutritional Medicine/ Sizzling Minerals

    Optimum Health and Energy


    Do you exercise, eat a healthy diet and spend a lot on daily supplements but still feel there is something missing? Would you love to have Optimum health and energy? Wake refreshed? Have better digestion and more stable blood sugar? Plus Sports enthusiasts can improve performance, Prolong Endurance, increase stamina and have rapid recovery.

    Do you suffer from chronic health problems, stress, poor sleep, low blood sugar, Type II Diabetes, bloating, IBS or other digestive problems, allergies and intolerances, poor focus or memory, pains in muscles, legs or joints? Then that something that is missing is almost certainly Minerals. You need about 60 different minerals a day for the proper function of your

    • Immune System
    • Enzyme functions
    • Balancing of body pH
    • Cellular Health – mitochondrial health, oxygenation and energy

    Linus Pauling stated “you can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency” and yet the estimate is that we are only taking in 20-25 now even on a good diet with at least 5 a day fruit and vegetables. Nutritionists and Doctors seem to frequently ignore the importance of minerals and yet we have an epidemic of immune system problems and allergies in all ages, but especially children.

    A post on Magnesium Deficiency went viral and the media seems to concentrate on Calcium and the problems with calcium tablets but what about the 58+ other minerals? We need 7 Macro-minerals for bone, muscle, heart and brain function and fluid balance – Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride and Sulphur All Trace minerals are incorporated into enzymes or hormones required in body processes. So here are just a few minerals and what they are necessary for. Read More

  • Blood sugar management/ Exclusion diet/ Nutritional Medicine/ Wheat and Dairy Intolerance

    Help with your detox diet – 2- Meal planning

    Gluten and dairy free fast food

    Meal Planning on your Elimination diet.

    Following on from healing your Leaky Gut and detoxing from Sugar we need to discover what foods might be causing a problem or intolerance – meal planning and appropriate shopping are important. The aim is to omit foods which can cause inflammation, slow digestion and blood sugar spikes, therefore Dairy foods, grains (gluten containing plus non-gluten) and cereals, sugar and high sugar/carbohydrate fruits like bananas and dried fruit are left out initially. The first couple of weeks on a detox/elimination diet are quite a challenge but if you plan ahead and are prepared to experiment a bit you will enjoy it. Quite often we get into a rut with our meals, with little time we throw something together at the last minute with whatever we have in the fridge. When you plan a change of diet it brings the food back into full focus and you can get more enjoyment out of cooking and trying something new. After 1 week I added in brown rice and sweet potato and had no trouble sticking to the diet because I felt so much better. Joint pain disappeared, no bloating after meals and much more energy.

    Get your mindset right. The main idea being that we are trying to make it easy for the body to digest and assimilate the nutrients it needs.

    Think protein and vegetables three times a day.

    Breakfast usually causes us the most problems. No cereal, no toast, no sugar !

    Do not try to go low fat as well, even if that is how you have been used to eating. You need those good fats because some of those essential nutrients are fat-soluble vitamins. You will lose some weight anyway because your body will adjust to the low carbs by boosting your metabolism.

    Here are just some suggestions for Breakfast

    • bacon, tomatoes and rocket
    • eggs and spinach
    • Herb omelette and bean-sprouts
    • Mushroom omelette and asparagus
    • Bacon and mushrooms with cooked spinach or Kale
    • Miso soup with grilled fish and zucchini (courgette)
    • Cashew nut yogurt or coconut yogurt(non dairy) these are available in some shops
    • Coconut kefir
    • Smoothies – there are hundreds of recipes but experiment with your own. I love Almond milk with fresh raspberries or strawberries and a teaspoon of coconut butter or a chocolate one with a hot cup of cinnamon or ginger tea, cocoa powder, a few nuts and coconut cream.

    If it is texture you are missing try a few nuts – brazil, pecan, cashew, or walnut and keep a small bag of them with you when you are out and about and need a snack to keep your blood sugar OK.

    Lunch  –  Protein of your choice and a large (and as varied as possible) salad.

    Dinner  –  Protein of your choice and a large amount of steamed or lightly cooked vegetables.

    I love stir -frys as they are quick and easy and you can make them varied and colourful.

    There are times when you just feel like you need a sweet course. You could do a less liquid smoothie with frozen berries and a spoon of coconut butter and it will come out like a mousse. Generally it is better to have fruit in between meals and not immediately after so I prefer to leave a couple of hours between a main meal and fruit, it just helps the digestion. I have made my own Raw Chocolate slightly sweetened and with nuts or peppermint essence – it is so rich you only need a little! There is caffeine in it so anyone who is caffeine sensitive should be careful eating it in the evening.

    Just enjoy trying new combinations of food end enjoy the vitality that comes from eating real, fresh food.

    After the initial phase of the detox you can add more. We found good quality Lemon, Raspberry and Mango Sorbets and a gorgeous chocolate or vanilla coconut ice cream that was dairy free and no nasty additives. Also found lots of ideas and recipes on Pinterest under Paleo Diet which should be Grain and Dairy free.

  • Blood sugar management/ Cancer./ Energy/ Mineral Depletion/ Nutrition and Cancer/ Nutritional Medicine/ Sizzling Minerals

    Magnesium – an essential mineral.


    One of the reasons we sometimes crave Chocolate is possibly that we have a Magnesium deficiency! Dark 80% + Cocoa solids would have the highest magnesium content.

    On a more serious note, you may have no idea that you are deficient in Magnesium. 65% of patients admitted to Intensive Care Units have a magnesium deficiency and up to 40% of the general population have also been found to be deficient in this very important mineral.

    Magnesium is mentioned rarely (certainly not as much as calcium) and yet it is vital to so many functions in the body. Stress depletes the body of magnesium as well as the B vitamins that work with magnesium and therefore if you have been under a lot of stress it will be beneficial to supplement with both of these nutrients for a while. In this stressful era we need more magnesium, it is the mineral of relaxation, but we tend to get  less because of our heavier reliance on fast foods and alcohol.

    Magnesium – what does it do?

    • it aids detoxification
    • relaxes the system to diminish – irritability, anxiety, unstable emotions, muscle spasms, insomnia, low back pain, constipation.
    • it raises HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol
    • it lowers blood pressure – if given I/V as soon as possible after a heart attack it improves survival.
    • it is a useful treatment in Angina
    • helps lower eye pressure in Glaucoma
    • improves Insulin production and utilization in Type II diabetes
    • lessens headaches and migraines and is useful to aid coffee withdrawal.
    • works with calcium to maintain healthy bones
    • regulates the absorption of other nutrients and the action of enzymes in our bodies
    • is essential in the Krebs cycle (energy)
    • helps to regulate body temperature
    • it is essential for nerve and muscle function

    Here are some of the symptoms that magnesium deficiency can cause:-

    • muscle weakness
    • abnormal heart rhythms or palpitations
    • tiredness
    • loss of appetite
    • cramps
    • fits
    • high blood pressure ( magnesium is the natural Calcium channel Blocker)
    • insomnia
    • sensitivity to loud noises
    • anxiety
    • difficulty swallowing

    Anyone who has any of these symptoms or who suffers from Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Heart disease, Kidney Stones or Attention Deficit Disorder could benefit from taking 400 – 1000mgs magnesium supplement but anyone with heart disease or kidney disease should discuss this with their doctor first. The most absorbable forms are citrate, glycinate or aspartate so avoid the cheaper forms that are not well absorbed. If you take too much magnesium it will cause diarrhoea. I always advocate taking a complete plant-derived mineral supplement because minerals work synergistically and your body needs the full complement of minerals to ensure health. My family all use Sizzling Minerals every day – find out about them here.

    Low magnesium and high sodium – a recipe for cancer.

    Magnesium is essential in moderating the levels of potassium (high) and sodium (low) in all our cells. If you are low on magnesium and eat lots of salty foods then the cells can become poisoned, low on oxygen, low on potassium and produce less energy. The acidity within the cells then goes up which impairs the chemical reactions and reduces the oxygen even further. Cells reproducing in this toxic state are more likely to mutate.

    The best sources of magnesium are:-

    • cocoa powder and dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids or more
    • seaweeds like Kelp, Nori, Dulse, Kombu etc.
    • Nuts – Brazil nuts, Pine nuts, Cashew nuts, Hazelnuts, Walnuts and Almonds
    • Seeds – sunflower seeds, sesame seeds.
    • Soya – mince and beans
    • Liquorice
    • Wheat germ and wheat bran
    • Millet
    • Rye
    • Brown rice
    • Dark green leafy vegetables
    • Figs and dates
    • Beans
    • Garlic

    For a quick fix prior to going to bed try soaking in a hot bath with 2 Tablespoons of Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate)added to the water and a few drops of a relaxing essential oil such as Lavender or Chamomile, the magnesium will be absorbed through the skin and you should sleep like a baby!