Metabolic power of slowing down

If I had to choose another name for my profession, it would be ‘balancer’. As each patient comes and goes, I relish in the honour of watching the full array of humankind appear before my eyes; some tormented, some calm, some energetic, some lethargic, some positive, some negative, some open, some closed and so on. What jumps out most acutely is that we seem to find ourselves stuck in spirals of behaviour, and this tends to be when negative habits, and neuroses (such as obsessive healthy eating), kick in.

One specific patient type, who I’ll call the ‘self punishing pusher’ – ever so popular in high achieving places such as Cambridge – will have the perception that all achievement (in my profession’s case: body image, energy, immune function) must be won through pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion. So yes, even if we’re completely kaput, attending a specialist hot yoga ballet endurance class is a must or we’re ‘weak/giving in’.

Well, actually it is not. Human progress, both physiological and spiritual, is often won through striving for balance and stopping to smell the roses, not pushing ourselves to the edge and beyond. If you’re tired, sleep. If you’re hungry, eat food (not food-like-products). If you’ve been running around like a headless chicken, do slow yoga. If you’ve been lazing around on the sofa all day, go for a brisk walk and a high energy class. Balance: don’t keep pushing in an exhausting direction. Stop, feel where you are, and do the kind, balancing thing. Health is something which organically occurs if we’re mindfully engaged in aiming for balance.

I recently found this video about the metabolic power of slow – and how slowing down actually creates a positive impact on our health (yes, including body weight!). It’s definitely worth a watch  (cover your ears when he says that ‘slow is the new sexy’ – cringe!! Bit too cheesy for me) but forgiving the man that sentence, his message is important.

You don’t need to suffer or feel strain to achieve your health goals.


Dental nutrition: expanding practice

Hello everyone,

It’s been such a busy summer. I was expecting clinic to go quiet over August like it normally does, but instead the work demands seem to have doubled – I feel so blessed to be helping people feel better!

I am very excited to be starting work at the unique and outstanding Granta Dental centre in Newnham, Cambridge. It will compliment my existing practice at The Therapy Room – a place I love dearly. This change is in addition to my imminent departure from my NHS position and introduction into Cambridgeshire’s weight loss services (both clinical and public health) at the beginning of September – more on that later. I am hoping to create a lot of waves of change!

Granta Dental is unique among dental services in that, like me, it believes in the principle of ‘first do no harm’.  Such focused, renowned and gifted holistic dentists who help people overcome dental challenges with minimal invasive treatment are rare. If you find yourself dealing with recurrent dental issues, it is worth the investment to have a consultation with Granta’s dentists. True healing comes from identifying and healing the source of the problem, rather than putting a ‘plaster’ on it.  Every time the director of the clinic, Helen, explains something to me I am in awe! I am very excited to learn as much as I can about their work as I join the team.

My work at Granta will involve general nutrition counselling and will also specialise in ensuring we’re creating the most efficient immune system, systemic and oral health possible for each patient. Here’s a link to learn a little more:

Hope to see you there 🙂



The Cookbook for Children with Special Needs

A dear friend and wonderful woman, Deborah French, has published her second book which I was honoured to endorse. It is a cookbook for children with special needs, but truly is a must for all parents to have in their kitchen. Many parents theoretically believe that their children should be part of meal preparation, but when it comes to the crunch, don’t know how to navigate it. Deborah’s book walks you step-by-step through all aspects of food preparation, food and kitchen safety, recipe reading, balanced nutrition and joyful eating in such an eye catching way.  I am excited to have it on my bookshelves and will certainly be using it with my children. Please see the link below for more information about the book.

Remember, the earlier children are involved in the kitchen, the better. Being able to create beautiful, nourishing dishes really raises a child’s self esteem and levels of sensual comfort. It helps these little growing people develop a palate which rejects processed, adulterated food-like-products, guaranteeing an entrance into adulthood which involves an earthy and joyful relationship with real food.


Inflammation and the power of nutrition

One of my consultant colleagues in the NHS was teasing me today about overusing the word ‘inflammation’: my response was that ‘it’s all about inflammation and the microbiome’. And it really is. Even your doctor may not be there yet.

Inflammation, a bit like stress, is a wonderful thing. That is, it is a wonderful thing when short lived and like a good story, has a beginning, a middle and an end. Inflammation which fails to switch off, or remains chronic (even if less aggressive) is a major contributor to most, if not all, chronic disease processes: type 2 diabetes, skin problems, arthritis, dementia, depression, heart disease and so on.

Some major breakthroughs are being made with medicines which help to lower inflammatory levels in the body: for example, statins have been found to not just lower cholesterol, but also lower cardiovascular inflammation. The problem is that statins have side effects. ALL medications have side effects. And side effects usually lead to more medications and here we enter a slippery slope.

Nutrition has no negative side effects. In fact, it has innumerable positive side effects! And nutrition is a key tool in maintaining a state which can perform brilliantly when acute inflammation is a much needed blessing, but stays cool the rest of the time.

One of my guru-types, Dr Andrew Weil, built an anti inflammatory food pyramid and I love it. See the link below to reach his advice and if you’re at the junction of taking medication for a chronic, inflammatory disease, come and see me instead and I’ll show you the delicious magic food can do!


Aim for a galaxy ripple: your poo in chocolate!

My dear friend Andrew very thoughtfully sent me the stool chart below. He probably knows that one of my primary assessment tools is asking people about their poo (goat? camel? cow pat? if you’ve worked with me you’ve been through it! ). I thankfully, unlike Gillian McKeith, do not look at my client’s poo but certainly like to know about it. Your poo says a lot about you. My little brother went as far as to joke that I should approach people in public who fart and explain to them why they need my services; because I can tell by the scent of a fart what state a person’s bowels may be in (we all have our talents): I have not done this yet, but perhaps I could make millions developing a scentometer? Anyway – about your poo – aim for the galaxy ripple below. And if your poo is consistently similar to the other types, do get in touch; I can help!

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂


Dog meat festival and hypocrisy

All of you have probably noticed the petition going around about how disgraceful the Yulin dog meat festival is in China. To most people signing this petition, and posting it all over social media, you’re committing a ridiculous, misguided (but probably well intentioned) act. Unless you’re a vegan, or exclusively eat pasture raised meat or poultry (or have been inspired to become either of the above by this petition) you need to take a good old look in the mirror before criticising another culture’s food habits. This is especially true given that these dogs probably had more freedom to walk around in their lives, then the pigs, cows and chickens of Westernised animal rearing methods ever will. I have always been irritated by seeing Facebook posts complaining about the suffering of fluffy little doggies posted by a particular kind of person: That is, if the post is on the wall of someone who, the week before, was posting pictures of how they fulfilled their meat craving: giant, greasy burgers, sausages, conventionally raised meat and so on. If you care about animal welfare, take some action for the sake of all animals. It’s true, fluffy doggies should not be made to suffer by humans, but a fluffy doggie is no more important then a cow, pig, chicken, duck or goose. Have you seen where conventional meat and poultry comes from? Conventionally raised egg laying chickens? If you don’t want to see this, that’s your choice but please, leave other cultures alone and get on with your overloading of was-a-suffering-animal protein foods.

For the record: I believe humans are omnivores, and consuming animal protein is normal, if not advised. But the way in which we do it needs to be addressed.

Here’s a link to a wonderful article which rants less then me, but I completely agree with.


Me in the Daily Mail (being a bit of a spoilsport)

Here’s an article in the Daily Mail promoting the benefits of milk chocolate for health, based on a study recently released. I’m a bit of a spoilsport in it given that I kind of dismiss the title (which tries to celebrate milk chocolate). I am still unwaveringly supportive of good quality, non Dutch processed, cocoa rich dark chocolate (with a bit of milk thrown in for soul rather than nourishment reasons).


Does nutrition really matter?

I had a wonderful discussion with one of my clients this morning: she, a lady of 70, asked me whether nutrition really matters? Surely our stress levels and emotions have a stronger influence on disease? One of the reasons she asked these questions was because of the anxiety caused by all of the diet and nutrition information fired at her curious mind from the media.

Beyond my obvious request to take whatever the media report about nutrition with a bucket of salt, my answer was as follows:

Nutrition matters a lot, because the food we eat is literally what our body is built from, and without our bodies, our life on Earth ceases (we do not know if there is life beyond it, so staying here strong and healthy seems like a good option!). However, I do agree with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin that we are ‘Not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience’ – and all that we feel, beyond bodily functions – stress, energy, love, positivity, negativity, mysterious telepathy and more – is our soul communicating, and we need to listen, and take action, in order to be healthy and happy.

Nutrition matters a great deal – we need to build our selves to our maximum potential. Once that self is built, and replenishing nicely, we need to ensure we are doing our utmost to allow it to function without the negative impact of poor attention to spiritual health. If we’re stressed, upset, sabotaged, lonely, frustrated, depressed, angry or more we need to compassionately take action to change the situation where ever possible to help optimise our experience of life. Stress is truly a killer. (See Karoshi:

Nutrition and spiritual health work hand in hand: You know that feeling when you’ve been eating and living well (exercising, sleeping, laughing) and you feel inspired to keep climbing up the positive pathway – we are happier when we are well nourished, and being happy makes us want to eat even better. You also know that feeling when something stressful happens, and suddenly you’re reaching for the processed food. Emotion directly impacts the way we choose to nourish ourselves, for good and for bad: Be aware of your patterns to ensure you learn about your triggers; this will help you catch them before you lose a lot of progress as a result of a few hard weeks. Much of the work we do in clinic is building easy systems to ensure a healthy diet doesn’t involve too much hassle. Often times the wrong kind of people are a big trigger: many a client of mine has succeeded in a permanent improvement of dietary intake as a direct result of removing toxic, draining people from their lives!

Grab a cup of tea to read the beauuutiful National Geographic article below: it covers the research done by the US’s National Institute of Aging: Scientists focused on several regions where people live significantly longer and healthier lives (Sardinia, Okinawa and Lonna Linda). These communities don’t just have incredibly high rates of people living to be 100, they also have a fraction of the diseases which we see taking the lives of people in Westernised society. These people don’t just live to 100, they live well to 100 – healthy life years is what we’re aiming for (preferably without unnecessary pharmaceuticals!).

A summary of the best practices of these communities (watch how they influence actual nutrition and spiritual health):

1. Honour family: Eat with your loved ones, talk and connect.

2. Drink red wine: In moderation – binge drinking is clearly unhealthy.

3. Stay active: Preferably at work and outdoors! Even if you go to the gym daily, sitting still for hours seriously impacts your potential for long term health – get up and move around.

4. Find purpose: Have something to live and aim for. Don’t expect someone to spoonfeed it to you – go out and discover what switches your passion centres on!

5. Eat vegetables: Now you know why I am always pushing vegetables (even over fruits).

6. Have faith: It doesn’t matter what you have faith in; just have it: Don’t be a cynic – there is a plan – “You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”
Christopher Columbus

7. Take time off: Stop trying to be perfect or over productive. Stand and stare!

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
W.H. Davies

8. Celebrate Life: Party whenever you can 🙂

Here’s the link to the article: Please read, absorb and eat something vibrant. Have a wonderful week!

Click to access Nat_Geo_LongevityF.pdf

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