Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

This delicious risotto is easy to make and takes around 40 minutes from start to finish. It requires no cheese or dairy to enhance it’s flavour. If you use brown rice it will increase protein, fibre and B Vitamin content, but if time is of the essence then Aborio Risotto is fine.  Serve with rocket and cherry tomato salad.

Ingredients/directions for 4 servings (this can keep in the fridge overnight must be heated through before eating)

2 cups of Aborio Risotto rice OR if you want to be healthier
you can use brown short grain rice or wild rice

(takes about 20 minutes longer and needs more liquid)
250g chestnut mushrooms – washed and sliced
200g- mixed exotic mushrooms – washed and sliced
Half cup of dried porcini mushrooms – washed then soaked for 30-60 minutes
1 litre of stock (can be chicken, mushroom or vegetable stock using filtered water) or if reducing salt intake just water
5 cloves of crushed garlic
Extra Virgin olive oil
4-5 handfuls of young spinach leaves
Pinch of pink Himalayan finely ground salt
1 tpn of ground white pepper or a pinch of cayenne

Option: Truffle oil

Place a large pan on medium-high heat and add some olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic, stirring all the time.
Add the rice and stir thoroughly, don’t allow to catch on bottom, add half the liquid. Drain the porcini mushrooms saving the brown liquid. Chop the now moist mushrooms and add to pan. Also add the brown liquid but making sure the grainy residue remains at the
bottom and is discarded. Watch the mixture in the pan stirring regularly. As it thickens add more liquid until the rice is soft. Once all the liquid has been soaked up, add all the spinach; a little more olive oil or truffle oil and season with the pink salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with the rocket salad.


Nutritional benefits: Mushrooms contain a wide range of polysaccharides (a chain of bonded sugar molecules) called beta-glucans, which have a broad impact on boosting the immune system. Spinach is high in folate, iron, calcium and other minerals as well as protein and fibre.

Read Full Post »

Antibody-Antigen Complexes

Antibody-antigen complexes are cleared by a normal immune system, if however immunity is compromised, then macrophage cannot clear the build up of antigen complexes. These accumulate in the tissue causing inflammation in the tissues of organs, skin and joints. They can also accumulate in the nervous tissues. (As explained by Dr Reeve of Cambridge Nutritionals who developed the FoodPrint IgG food intolerance test)

If offending foods are removed from diet and immune function is supported over a period of time, the antigen complexes are then removed from tissues via the immune system’s macrophage cells thereby reducing the symptoms of the food intolerances. If the immune system is supported continually then the patient can re introduce that substance, however if immune function is impaired the inflammatory response will reappear and all the previous symptoms will return.

Busy stressed people are advised to not reintroduce the foods they have eliminated until a complete lifestyle change – even then – if immune function has not recovered and is still impaired then food intolerances will not cease.

The symptoms range from anxiety and fatigue to inflammatory bowel disease. Unfortunately, many people are given pharmaceutical drugs to suppress these, which actually harms the immune system even further. The medical profession needs more understanding and acceptance of the consequences of prescribing to suppress, so that these vicious circles can be avoided.

Paying special attention to health of your digestive system, the gut in particular (small intestines and colon) and to the microbiota (bacteria and microbes) that inhabit the gut is one of the most helpful things you can do to support immune function so reducing inflammation and increasing good health.

The biggest promotor of inflammation is your diet and lifestyle. It doesn’t just happen.




Read Full Post »

Foodspa's Blog

What can you make for lunch when you have two guests that are expecting something delicious but at the same time ridiculously healthy? Is there indeed such a thing?

If you know what to buy and how to cook it, there are many such lunches. Most of the people I talk to and pretty much ALL of my clients want Easy to Make meals. There just isn’t the desire to slave over a stove anymore unless you are cooking to show off, or perhaps Sunday Roast (Which I find well worth slaving over due to the endless praise I get from my 10 year old gravy monster)

I made this lunch for two friends that are both on a quest to get better health, and it will fit into my beautiful skin recipes simply because it is filled with all the right ingredients to support skin health (and in doing…

View original post 415 more words

Read Full Post »

Cellulite formation has many aspects which could be connected to sluggish circilation and the leaking of blood and lymph vessels due to the weakening of connective tissue. This can cause fat to bulge out more and give the dimpled effect. Women have different tissue structures to men – female septae tissue is mesh like and holds onto fat cells (important in reproduction) men’s are smooth and don’t hold onto as much fat.

The factors involved are:

  1. The contraceptive pill – can cause excess oestrogen, which is designed by nature to cause weakening of connective tissue to facilitate birth.
  2. Excess oestrogen, can also cause the body to build fat up in certain areas around thighs, breasts and buttocks- due to preparation for reproduction and breast feeding. The reason why men don’t  normally get cellulite.
  3. Damaged blood and lymph tissue can cause a build up of free radicals (toxins), which then cause more damage to connective tissue. This can also cause water retention so exacerbating the dimpled effect.
  4. Damage to fibroblast cells which produce the connective tissue can cause the fat cells to be coated with an impenetrable protein layer, this can prevent circulation and removal of the fat cells.
  5. Toxins are stored by the body in the fat cells so they do not do further damage, during detoxification process – it is important to support getting the toxins out of the body quickly to prevent cell damage.
  6. Both lack of exercise and over exertion can cause cellulite – the former due to sluggish circulation and the latter due to damage and tightening of muscle tissue that does not allow the fat to escape.

Reducing cellulite

It appears that it is not possible to completely eradicate cellulite – even liposuction won’t stop it from forming again. However making dietary changes, increasing nutrients and using food supplements to target circulation can help reduce it and prevent further cellulite forming. Foods containing Indoles (I3C) like cabbage can help reduce the toxic affect of excess oestrogen. Raw or very lighlty cooked.savoy cabbage smaller

Anti oxidants, Bioflavonoids and Vitamin C (at least 200omg of the buffered form ) are vital for healthy connective tissue. Gentle detoxification is also needed – this you can do through dietary changes, more fluid intake, and exercise – especially Yoga. Hot baths, saunas and steam rooms are all recommended.

Some literature suggests that getting too hot on the inside from over exertion in exercise can force some fat out of cells making it unable to be burnt up in metabolism, and stopping it from being removed – especially if you have poor circulation of lymph. Exercise like Yoga stretches out every muscle and joint creating better circulation.

Some products also claim to get rid of cellulite – most of them if they are good will just smooth the skin.
Yoga orange image banner


Read Full Post »

Butter bean with turmeric tomato sauce

1 Carton or Tin of Organic Butter (Lima) beans
2 x tbsp of organic tomato puree
2 heaped tsp of turmeric spice
Splash of olive oil
A little water
Pinch of pink salt and ground black pepper
Handful of Fresh organic watercress.

Strain butter beans add to pan on low heat. Add tomato puree, splash of olive oil,stir in, add a little water and then add the turmeric and seasoning. Stir until heated through but not over cooked.

Serve with watercress. You can add a dressing if you like but the flavours are so clean and strong you don’t really need to. If you want to make a more substantial lunch, toast some home-made brown Rice and Gram Flour flaxseed bread (recipe to follow this)

Health benefits / supports:

Liver, digestion, colon, blood sugar, reduces inflammation, joint health, cardiovascular.

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years to support all round health and studies have shown that the extract from turmeric called curcumin is the part that plays a huge role in reducing inflammation.

I try to use turmeric everyday, and find ways to get it into my cooking and food prep.There are many ways to do this. You can also Take a supplement of the extract curcumin, which does help avoid the yellow fingers!

I made a bone broth and vegetable soup laced with turmeric for a friend who had an injury that required good nutrition for bone and joint healing. She loved the soup but wasn’t so sure about the yellow tongue. To me this just assured me that the curcumin was really getting into her tissues.

You can buy organic Turmeric from “BuyWholeFoodsOnline” https://goo.gl/jNPzWz, which may be a little cheaper as you can buy in larger amounts.
You can also buy the extract curcumin in food supplement form from health stores.



Read Full Post »

With reference to today’s headline food News in the British
press and Media on Fat.

Don’t get carried away and think you can eat whatever you want – Oh no that is not what today’s news means, the press of course have sensationalised it. They’ve created drama where there isn’t any. Nothing has changed – it’s just that the medical profession is catching up with the science.

Nutritional therapists on the other hand are well ahead of doctors in this. We have been saying fat is good, sugar and carbs are bad, for years. There are many fats that are NOT good for you – but these are not the normal natural fats that the medical profession and manufacturers have convinced people over the last 3 decades or more to avoid.
Saturated fat is a normal requirement of the human body. It helps give us more energy and makes us more satiated (feel full) than carbohydrates. It is sugar and carbs that get turned into and stored as fat in the body. It is the carbs without fats that cause blood sugar imbalances and create problems. We NEED fat – it is vital for health.

  • Fats are concentrated source of energy.
  • Carries and transports the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Helps the body use protein and carbohydrates more efficiently.
  • A component of every cell wall.
  • Deposits of fat in the body serve to support and cushion vital organs, and to provide insulation.
  • The body’s chief storage form for energy and work.
  • Carries the compounds that give foods their aroma and flavor.
  • Cholesterol is vital for making hormones and Vitamin D (which actually is a hormone named wrongly)
  • Can determine the amount of inflammation there is in the body.

Overeating it, for example fatty fry up is NOT what is being recommended. These are damaged, toxic BAD fats – and should  only be eaten every now and againButter fro Neals Yard

These are the fats to consume:

Butter – in moderation (Goats butter has much less cholesterol)
Olive oil – try not to use old olive oil that’s been sitting around for months
Avocado and avocado oil
Nut oils, Seed Oils, nuts and seeds – but make sure not old – keep in fridge
Flax oil – High content of Omega3 – helps keep blood thin, very good for skin and contains good natural estrogens. Coconut oil/butter – Make sure cold pressed and not heated (the fat in coconut milk should be eaten only in moderation)
WalnutAvocado butter with lemon small
Eggs – contrary to popular belief eggs are good for you- the organic version will have higher content of good fats as the chicken’s feed and life is higher quality.
Oliy fish – in moderation (due to heavy metal content)
Meat – in moderation.
Dairy – in moderation.

If you have been fat free for a while , you may find your digestion take a while to get used to it, reduce intake if any problems. Over eating fat can put a heavy demand on the liver and digestion, and if you have had your gall bladder removed be very careful of your fat intake and consult your doctor.

Read Full Post »

I wrote this guide for a talk I did with a group of mums, that were just past their first or second pregnancy or thinking of having another baby.

The organiser was Jenny Scott from http://www.mothers-meeting.com –  check out her site it’s full of helpful support and details on various meetings and talks specially designed for mothers.

In my time as a Nutritional Therapist I have met many mothers who do not look after their own nutritional health due to the main focus being the children and family.

Are you looking after your nutritional health pre, during and post pregnancy?Sarah Preg

Pregnancy is highly demanding on the mother and can have a profound effect on nutritional status during and after.
The baby will draw on the mother’s reserves as these nutrients are vital for growth. If the mother does not consume enough nutrients that can balance these needs she may feel more tired during the pregnancy and suffer even more afterwards.
New mothers can feel the effects of depleted nutrients well into the first couple of years. In some cases women with children that are 10 year or older may still be affected by nutrient depletion.  It’s why we Nutritional Therapists like to do a full case history to be able to assess nutrient requirements.

As we get older our digestions get less efficient, so even if the mother is eating a healthy, natural and well-balanced diet she may not be absorbing enough from those foods. Add stress, lack of sleep and  medications like pain killers and antibiotics then it’s easy to see how even after your body gets back into shape, you may not feel as vital and healthy as you did prior to pregnancy.

Iron – Cannot be absorbed without sufficient Vitamin C
It is not unusual to become iron deficient in pregnancy and after. B
e careful about taking cheap or pharmaceutical iron as this can cause constipation and nausea. The more natural liquid form is easier on the stomach. You can also squeeze lemon juice onto greens, red meat or any iron rich food and this will increase your absorption. Minerals can also compete for absorption, so take mineral supplements apart from each other –
I.e.: Calcium in morning and magnesium at night. Iron and zinc should be taken separately too.

Iron rich foods: Molasses, Rapa Dura sugar, red meat, dark meat from chicken and turkey, muscles, sardines, eggs, Mackerel and sea food.
Plant sources are not so easily absorbed but are still important: Beetroot, Spinach and all dark green leaves, Tofu. lentils and beans, tomato puree, figs, dates, Watermelon, raisins, prunes, pumpkin seeds, whole grains.
Prunes smaller

Other minerals are:
Magnesium – important for all aspects of health but vital for: healthy bones, healthy muscles, energy and stress.
Good sources: Green vegetables, nuts and seeds, figs, whole grains, avocados, raisins, basil, mint, parsley, pumpkin
and pumpkin seeds, barley, oats, dairy and fish.
Calcium – Vital for healthy bones but should not be over consumed, so if you are eating dairy and lots of green vegetables you don’t need a supplement.
Trace minerals – a healthy diet and good digestion should supply all you need, however adding a green drink, or kelp and using pink Himalayan salt
should supply your requirements for trace minerals.

Protein – Eating enough protein could be the single most important
thing you do for pregnancy and post pregnancy.

Protein requirement in pregnancy
is weight in kilos x 0.8g then add 25g,
so if you’re 60kg x 0.8g = 48g + 25g = 73g of protein per day.
Protein post pregnancy is weight in kilos x 0.8g then add 10g while breast-feeding and recovering.
Protein for general health weight in kilos x 0.8g. If you do a lot of exercise then you may need to revise this.
Example Foods: organic eggs = 6g protein, 4oz Chicken Breast = 26g protein, 134g Asparagus = 3gegg -  in shell small
For sources of foods and to help work out how much you are eating please send me your email address and I will send you some useful information: sam@foodspa.org.uk
Caution – protein should not be over eaten, it can create a high acidic environment within the body and put strain on the kidneys.
Be aware:
Oily fish is important but should not be over eaten during pregnancy or breast-feeding. The high oil content allows dangerous heavy metals
especially methyl mercury to accumulate in the fish. Salmon, Sardines,
Mackerel and white fish can be eaten in moderation, but tuna, swordfish, king mackerel and other large oily fish should be avoided. During breast-feeding these toxins are passed into the baby.

Vitamins – can be depleted during and after pregnancy and are vital for growth and energy.
B Vitamins, especially folic acid or folate are very important for pre pregnancy to build up reserves and for the baby’s development.
B Vitamin supplement – take in the morning as can be too stimulating at night and cause sleeplessness. B Vitamins are vital for nervous system and energy – a deficiency can have an effect on how mothers feel.

Vitamin C – gets depleted really easily, especially when the body is stressed and tired. Keeping blood levels of Vitamin C up during pregnancy and post pregnancy supports immune function, tissue health and energy. It also supports hormone health. Use the buffered form to take higher doses, as ascorbic acid can cause loose stools.
500mg capsules of buffered Vitamin C can be taken 3-4 times throughout the day in pregnancy and more post pregnancy if you feel you need a boost to your immune system.
Foods high in Vitamin C: Broccoli, cabbage, red peppers, sprouted seeds, berries, organic strawberries, lemons. Many fresh fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C especially the organic varieties.

Vitamin D – Vital for immune health and healthy development of bones.
Many women are low in this substance which actually is a hormone.
You can get tested for Vitamin D deficiency. It is not found in many foods and is only in Dairy if it has been fortified. The best way to get Vitamin D is to be in the sunshine. During the winter you can take a supplement in the form of Vitamin D3, around 2000iu per day. You can sign up to the Vitamin D council’s News letter here: newsletter@vitamindcouncil.org, where you will find more information.

Fats & Oils – It is important to consume enough good fats during pregnancy, breasting and later.
Omega3 is generally missing in our diets, or only in small amounts. As it is not advised to eat a lot of oily fish in pregnancy or breast feeding,  yoCoconut 2u can take a highly purified fish oil supplement and/or use a good Flax oil. Some nuts like walnut, or organic eggs or even hemp seeds can contain Omega3 but in small amounts. Other oils that contain Omega 6 and 9 are Olive oil, Avocado oil, Cold Pressed Coconut oil, Organic sunflower, Organic Rapeseed oil as well as nuts and seeds.
Eat nuts in moderation during pregnancy. walnuts 2 small
These fats are really important for health cell membranes, brain and nerve development and function in growing foetus and children.
Also verFlax oily important for mum’s brain (which we all know falls apart post birth!) Fats and oils are important for helping to balancing blood sugar and give sustained energy – do not cut out fats to lose post pregnancy weight! Omega3 oils make sure that cholesterol is used correctly in the body and helps stop the blood from thickening.

Carbohydrates – Important for energy levels, using a variety of
grains/root vegetables and fruit in moderation should help keep you
energy levels up and support getting back normal weight after having a baby. Cutting right back on gluten containing foods like wheat or eating
bread and pasta very occasionally can also help with weight loss and water retention.
Good carbs: Rice, oats, quinoa, root vegetables, fruit

Foods to avoid 

Pink meats, smoked foods, highly processed foods, high sugar foods, damaged fats (overheated, hydrogenated or old fats) too much animal fat
(Dairy, fatty meats) Too much bread and pasta (Try different grains like Quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, arrow-root, kamut)
Alcohol – once you have stopped breast-feeding, drinking alcohol is very tempting, but do so in moderation and allow your body to recover from the huge trauma that is pregnancy and birth.

If you would like a more accurate idea of what you personal nutritional status is you can arrange to be tested.
The Personal Nutritional Evaluation test is called Nutrition ’One’ Test from Genova Diagnostics Laboratory. It tests urine for metabolic by products that can accurately show nutritional deficiencies.
If you are interested in this test or have any other questions please contact: info@foodspa.org.uk.

Please note that the information above is not intended as medical advice, if you have any health concerns you should contact you doctor, and if you are taking medications always check for any contraindications with your doctor or health care provider.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: