Good Fat

Fats have a bad name and have, in the past, been associated with a myriad of health issues. Unfortunately, all the old advice about fats threw out ‘the baby with the bath water’.

Fats are an important part of the diet, but not all fats have the same effects on health. While good fats can actually lower cholesterol levels, boost brain function and help you feel satisfied, unhealthy fats can lead to chronic disease and weight gain.

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Food for a strong immune system

Are there foods that support the immune system? Yes, here are some foods credited with boosting your body’s natural defences.

Eating well can boost your wellbeing in many ways, and supporting your immune system is just one of these.

The best thing to do for your immune system is to eat a balanced diet. That means making sure you get a good mix of all the food groups, avoid overly salty, sweet or processed foods, and eat at least ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day

Firstly, some interesting facts
Fact 1: People with more body fat tend to have a higher respiratory quotient (RQ) and tend to rely on their glucose burning (aerobic) metabolism and are, therefore,  more susceptible to being out of breath (note: hypoxia is a key symptom and cause of death COVID-19). Due to oxidative priority, your body has to burn off any excess glucose in your system before fat and we consume around 30% more oxygen when be burn carbohydrates compared to fat. 

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Thai Turkey Burgers

This is a make-it-up-as-you-go recipe that worked out very well. Served with a big salad and a dash of lime, it’s perfect for a sunny day.


Serves 3-4 

450g turkey breast
1 red chilli, chopped finely
1 cm knob of ginger, peeled and grated
Zest of one lime
Handful of coriander, finely chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper

You can either place everything except the turkey breast in a food processor and whizz until all the ingredients are finely chopped (this would save time) and then add the turkey breast and whizz again until everything is incorporated and chopped. Or, you could just place the turkey breast in the food processor and add all the other prepared ingredients and whizz!

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Unexplained fatigue

We all feel tired from time to time; a busy family and social life, a few late nights, deadlines at work – whatever the reason, tiredness can catch up with all of us at times.

But you may have realised that you’re feeling tired all the time, perhaps for no apparent reason, and even tired when you wake up. It’s a common problem. I see lots of clients who are, to some extent, ‘tired for no reason’. ONE of the reasons may be an underactive thyroid.

Production of too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) is a common cause of unexplained fatigue; production can be affected by all sorts of things – an autoimmune response, for example, or other factors such as prolonged stress or intake of certain drugs which can damage your thyroid.

Thyroid function is assessed via blood tests but often few markers are included, and whether you are found to be inside or outside the normal range can depend on where the test is carried out.

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Cut the carb cravings

Firstly, craving carbohydrates and comforting food in uncertain times is not a sign of weakness or being greedy. It’s actually a fairly common hormonally-driven reaction to stress. The stressed brain craves a carb fix and the fastest, and unhealthiest, way to get it is with sugary, starchy processed foods which are chemically engineered to make you crave them. And the more carbs you eat, the more carbs you crave – creating a vicious cycle. So, be kind to yourself because we are going through unsettling times and instead, start the new year letting go of carb cravings and finding other ways to soothe yourself.

One very good reason to put your carb house in order is that as we’ve seen in countries hardest-hit by the virus, the majority of those who died from the disease also had sugar dysregulation and metabolic problems (obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure). Fortunately, metabolic problems are reversible. Here are some steps you can take to wean yourself off carbs and lose weight.

Snack smarter, by drinking first.

The pandemic has turned our daily routines upside down. Long periods at home with a stocked fridge, home-schooling and hours on Zoom make us fatigued and looking for treats to lift our mood and energy levels. But before raiding the biscuit tin, it’s worth checking this isn’t just thirst. Perhaps make yourself a nice cup of tea (without sugar) to help fill the gap.

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Avocado Mash with Quinoa Flatbread plus Kale Salad


Taken from Sirocco: fabulous flavours from the East by Sabrina Ghayour
I’ve adapted it by adding quinoa flatbread and coconut yoghurt rather than dairy yoghurt.

Avocado Mash with Quinoa Flatbread

1 large ripe avocado
2 tbsp garlic oil (as long as oil is just infused, this is ok for FODMAPS)
or plain olive oil
Chives, half a pack, chopped finely
Coriander, half a pack, chopped finely
1 tsp ground coriander
Slice of quinoa bread
Sea salt and black pepper

For the dressing

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Super simple homemade chocolate


Chocolate is one of the most delicious and desirable foods on the planet. You only have to look at the vast array of chocolate bars on supermarket shelves, not to mention the increasing variety of artisan and raw bars available, to see the hold it has over us.

Top quality dark chocolate is also good for us, when made with minimal and unprocessed ingredients. The antioxidants in chocolate help to protect our cells from damage, and dark chocolate helps increase levels of feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. One of the many theories as to why we crave it, apart from the delicious taste and feel-good factor, is the fact that it is a rich source of magnesium. Women, especially before their period, may be drawn to chocolate for this reason.

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Apple and Almond Cake





At our fortnightly WaistWatchers meetings we prepare a healthy snack. This week we’ve made a deliciously moist cake which can also double up as energy bars if you slice it up.

For the apple puree

  • 3 eating apples 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the cake

  • a little coconut fat or butter to grease tin
  • 8 large eggs
  • 325 grams ground almonds
  • 150g Xylitol or 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 50 grams flaked almonds


  1. Peel, core and chop the apples roughly. Put them in a saucepan with the lemon juice and bring the pan to a bubble over a medium heat. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until you can mash the apple to a rough puree with a wooden spoon or fork. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF; oil a 25cm / 10 inch springform tin with almond or coconut fat and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  3. Put the cooled puree in the processor with the eggs, ground almonds, Xylitol or Coconut sugar and 1 tablespoon – or generous squeeze – of lemon juice and blitz to a puree. Pour and scrape, with a rubber spatula for ease, into the prepared tin, sprinkle the flaked almonds on top, and bake for 45 minutes. It’s worth checking after 35 minutes, as ovens do vary, and you might well find its cooked earlier – or indeed you may need to give a few minutes longer.
  4. Put on a wire rack to cool slightly, then spring open. This cake is best served slightly warm, though still good cold.
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A Ho Ho Healthy Christmas

Can Christmas really be healthy and still enjoyable?

Resisting temptation at this time of year can seem impossible, and frankly quite boring, but no-one likes the weight gain, bloating or sluggishness that comes from overindulging during the festive period either.

We firmly believe that you can still enjoy Christmas without sacrificing your health or your waistline – here are our 12 top tips for a wonderful, delicious and healthy Christmas…

1. Get out and exercise every day, even if it’s just a walk round the park, it makes all the difference.

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Chocolate Orange Cake with Creme Patissiere

In the spirit of The Great British Bake Off, here is our contribution. This cake tastes good even without the Creme Patissiere. It’s gluten free, low gi (good for your waistline) and delicious!

Serves 10-12

150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
50 g good-quality cocoa powder, raw is best (sifted)
125 ml boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150 g ground almonds (or 120g coconut flour)
Zest of one orange
1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch of salt
150g Xylitol or 3 tablespoons of Maple syrup
3 large eggs

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