Is nutritional advice for you?

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

A month or so ago I received a call about a nutrition consultation, what it involved and could the person make an appointment on behalf of  someone else.  All very mysterious!

It turns out that the potential client is a local blogger; in fact she has a top ranking UK lifestyle blog – The Ana Mum Diary

At the initial consultation I made it clear that confidentiality stopped me from sharing any details about the consultation, but  I would be happy for Amanda, as a blogger to share her experience with her audience.

And this is the result Nutrition and Mindfulness

ana diary3

ana diary ana diary2










What Amanda received was personalised one to one advice based on her food diary, client questionnaire and what she shared during the consultation.  If appropriate I will create personalised weekly meal planners, recipes and fact sheets based on my clients needs.

Amanda will be visiting me again and will know doubt be sharing her thoughts via her blog.

So if you are unsure if nutritional advice is for you then please click on her blog and have a read.  It may just change your mind


I’d be happy to offer you a free initial consultation, so please contact me today

07946 301338,



Veg out – Signature steak house, restaurant review

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

signatureA few weeks ago it was mothering Sunday and I thought what better way to celebrate than by taking my mum for afternoon tea, but where? After scouring the Internet I found that Signature on Melton Road, West Bridgford had a lovely menu so I booked a table for four; well we couldn’t leave the men out!

signature NPMy review of Signature has appeared in the Nottingham Post.  Check it out online or buy todays paper


So at 3pm prompt we arrived with a card and a bunch of daffs ready for our ‘tea’. Now I have to explain that I’d previously made 2 phone calls and popped in to the restaurant to check the veggie options. They assured me they could make adaptations to meet any of our requirements. So I had high hopes


IMG_5542We were seated in the main restaurant with the other diners all enjoying their Sunday lunch. A quick conversation with the manager and we were re-seating in the ‘casual’ dining part of the restaurant with the other afternoon tea-ers.


The restaurant was naturally very busy so it took the staff a while to take our order. We asked for a variety of sandwich fillings, all on wholemeal bread and desserts that were suitable for vegetarians. I’d previously checked and was told the cheeses were not suitable so I opted for egg and cress and avocado and black pepper.


IMG_5544 IMG_5543Our drinks arrived, and then there was quite a long wait. Eventually some cutlery and plates arrived, shortly followed by 2 cake stands suitably groaning under the weight of our afternoon tea goodies. But it soon became apparent that not all was as it should be; the tuna and chicken were combined in to one sandwich filling, with enough for four people. IMG_5547Which possibly explained why my veggie sandwiches were missing. After a 10 minute wait the absent sandwiches arrived (although the egg was fresh from the pan and therefore rather hot!)


We all tucked in and enjoyed the light and soft savoury course, but I was disappointed not to see any salad in the fillings or on the plates. On to the sweet course, first of all an enormous fruit scone (the size of a tea cup) that was light and delicious, we only had two servings of jam and cream so had to ask for extra. Personally I thought as lovely as the scone was, it was too large for an IMG_5546afternoon tea as we all felt quite podged. However we ploughed on to the last sweet dish a rich chocolate mousse. Again I felt the need to call over a member of staff to check that it was veggie friendly – a quick check with the kitchen and I tucked in. It didn’t disappoint it was rich, thick and very chocolatey and not overly large. To accompany it our tea pots were replenished


Overall I thought it represented good value for money at £17.95 for two. (add champagne it comes to £31.95 for two).   Although as is often the case I would have preferred more savoury treats than sweet ones – maybe a mini quiche, some olives, sundered tomatoes or just simply more delicate sandwiches.  The restaurant setting is good and has a nice atmosphere. There is definitely a high proportion of regular customers– so they must be doing something right. The service was very polite and helpful if haphazard; maybe it was extra busy because of Mothering Sunday. Having said that the ‘afternoon tea’ market has a lot of competition so I would probably go to another restaurant next time I fancy some mid-afternoon delicacies.

Easter chocolate

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

IMG_0896Easter will soon be upon us and our love of chocolate can be indulged, but why should the children be the only ones to have a sweet treat.  Try these delicious  dark cacao coconut bites.  Fresh coconut is very low in cholesterol and sodium. It is also a very good source of potassium and Manganese, which are needed for good heart health and healthy bone structure.  The oats are high in soluble fibre which helps to regulate blood sugar and the flaxseeds which are a good source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids are good for heart health .


However a word of warning; coconut it is also very high in saturated fat so make only small bites and eat only eat one or two.  But enjoy!

Coconut bites makes 25, 45 calories each

1 cup (100g) raw grated coconutIMG_0947

¼ cup (50ml) coconut oil

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground flaxseeds

2 tbls golden syrup or argave

2 tbls unsweeteded cacao or cocoa powder

50g porridge oats


 Now for the complicated bit!

Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly

Shape into bite sized balls (x25) or put into moulds and place in the fridge to firm up  – preferably overnight


You can then cover them in melted dark chocolate and put back in the fridge to set.  But they are equally delicious as they are

If all of that seems too much like too much hard work then invest in some really good dark chocolate.  conscious chocAt the moment one of my favourites is ‘Conscious’ chocolate; hand –made vegan chocolate bars


The Sugar tax

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website


IMG_5653In this weeks Budget the Government announced plans for the much talked about sugar tax, which comes into force in two years time. Raising around £500 million revenue that will go towards investment in school sports.


So are you for or against a tax on sugary drinks and what do you think it will achieve?


We all know there is an obesity epidemic, and that being overweight or obese increases a persons risk of getting some serious long term conditions lie type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and some forms of cancer. But I believe one of the main reasons for a sugar tax is to try and reduce the number of obese children. And here’s why


  • 1 in 5 children is overweight or obese by the age of 5
  • For 5-9 year olds the biggest single reason for hospital admissions is tooth decay
  • The average five-year-old consumes the equivalent of their own body weight in sugar in the course of a year
  • Being overweight or obese in childhood can have an impact on both short and long term physical and mental health.
  • Children who are overweight and obese are more likely to become obese adults
  • Severe obesity in children has also been associated with absenteeism and poorer school performance


Recommended daily maximum added sugar for children



On average children are consumiing 3 times that amount, mostly from sugary drinks

Here are some typical drinks that children might have


sugary drinks table

Watch the size of the bottles, dome are 250ml, 330, 500 or even 750ml – they should all have average serving size information


11873788_10153625340999015_4728823108939216858_nChildren who are a healthy weight tend to be fitter, healthier, better able to learn and are more self-confident. They are also less likely to have low self esteem or be bullied. And crucially they are much less likely to have health problems in later life.


imagesTo help children understand the sugar content in their favourite drinks (and snacks) Change4Life have recently launched the Sugar smart App

Recently I visited Carnarvon Primary School, in Bingham, Notts and gave a talk about sugar.  The children were really engaging and loved the gruesome images of tooth decay.  But I know the message about too much sugar and unhealthy eating really hit home

 Could the Sugar tax be seen as an opportunity

for manufacturers reformulate drinks so

they are not as sweet?


What to give children to drink


  • Water is the obvious choice – its cheap and readily available and contains zero sugar!
  • Milk is full of bone building calcium and is a great thirst quencher. Non dairy milk alternatives are widely available
  • Fruit juices or ‘healthier’ drinks are often laced with sugar, so please read the labels

Thai tofu curry

Thai tofu curry (Vg) – Serves 4

IMG_5535This is a delicious lower fat, protein rich vegan curry, thanks to the low cholesterol tofu and the reduced fat coconut milk.  It is also a very versatile dish, so you can vary the flavours by adding cauliflower, French green beans, courgettes, broccoli, fresh spinach leaves, mange tout, grated carrot, Baby sweetcorn, a few cashew nuts or sesame seeds.  Or serve with buckwheat noodles instead of brown rice.

300g firm tofu, drained

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1cm piece root ginger, grated or 1 tsp ground ginger

1 – 2 tsp medium curry powder or Thai curry paste

¼ tsp ground turmeric

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste


1 green chilli, cut into slices

1 large sweet potato, washed and cut in to cubes

150g frozen peas

400ml reduced fat coconut milk

1 red or green pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbls lemon juice

1 tsp garam masala

1 large handful chopped fresh coriander leaves

  • Prepare the tofu by draining away the water – Wrap in kitchen towel or a clean tea towel, then place imagesbetween two plates and put a weight on the top one. This helps to drain the water and gives a firmer texture. After about 30 minutes it should be ready to cut into cubes.
  • Heat half the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion, garlic and grated/ground ginger and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are pale but soft.
  • Add the curry powder/paste, turmeric, chilli, sweet potato, pepper and bay leaf and IMG_0698fry gently for 1 minute. If the ingredients start to stick add some water (not more oil). Add the coconut milk and stir. Bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice, frozen peas and garam masala, stir and simmer for another 2 minutes. Check that the potatoes and peas are cooked and if so take off the heat.
  • Add the remaining oil to a wok or frying pan. Heat until really hot, then add the tofu pieces and turn down the heat. Fry gently until golden brown.
  • Add to the curry sauce and simmer for 5 minutes until thoroughly heated.  Remove IMG_5581the bay leaf and add the chopped coriander.  Taste and season with salt and pepper
  • Serve with plain steamed brown rice or if you want to go low carb; cauliflower rice.

Roasted butternut squash, carrot and lentil soup

Roasted butternut squash, carrot and lentil soup – makes 7 x 250ml servings, 95 calories a portion


Its Endometriosis Awareness Week and I thought a recipe using ingredients that could help improve the symptoms of this painful condition could be useful

For this recipe I originally used pumpkin, but now butternut squash is readily available, so I’ve done a quick substitute!  Don’t be afraid to be generous with the spicing  – The soup can pack quite a punch, which is perfect on a chilly day

Squashes are low in fat, calories and cholesterol, and high in fibre, vitamin A, iron and vitamin C.  Like squashes carrots are also packed with vitamin A and fibre, which will leave you feeling fuller for longer.  TheIMG_5540Vitamins are good for eye health, cell regeneration and for boosting the immune system.  Lentils are also rich in fibre and iron and are an excellent low fat low calorie protein source.

A winner all round!

if you don’t have butternut squash a pumpkin will work equally well


90g leek chopped

300g butternut squash or pumpkin, cut into wedges (no need to peel)

400g chopped or grated carrot

1 tsp olive oil

1 ½  tsp cumin, coriander

IMG_19141 tsp chilli flakes

100 g dried red lentils

1.25 ltrs hot water

1 tsp vegetable powder or 1 stock cube

1 tsp cumin and coriander and ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

black pepper and salt


  • Pre heat the oven 185oC
  • IMG_1904Wash and slice the butternut squash into wedges place in a large baking tray drizzle over 1 tsp olive/vegetable oil.  Sprinkle over the spices (1 ½ tsp cumin and 1 tsp chilli flakes).  Toss in the oil and place in the pre heated oven.  Cook until soft – about 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and place the wedges on to a plate and scrape the oil and seasoning in to a large pan
  • IMG_1906Slice the washed leek and add to the pan, don’t add any additional oil.   Cook until they soften – about 10 minutes, add the sliced or grated carrot and again cook until they soften. Chop up the squash (no need to remove the skin unless you don’t like it) and add to the pan
  • Add 1.25 litres of boiling water and 1 heaped tsp vegetable bouillon, 1 tsp cumin, coriander and ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • IMG_1917Cook until the lentils and carrots are soft – about 20 minutes
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper
  • Blend until smooth either in a blender or using a stick blender.  Add more water if it is too thick
  • Serve 250g/250ml in warmed bowls


If you want to make a smaller batch, just reduce the individual ingredients, but still keep the same proportions.  if however, you make a big batch simply put portions in to a freezer bags; it freezers for up to three months

Why not share your best recipe that utilises this great and versatile vegetable


Endometriosis and how diet may help

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website


It-ok-to-talk-facebook-banner-smallYesterday was the start of Endometriosis Awareness Week. If you have endometriosis it is important to consider your diet and lifestyle when tackling your condition. What you eat affects how you feel, and including or excluding certain foods may help to relieve many of the symptoms. Some foods are good at naturally controlling hormones, which play a key role in endometriosis symptoms. Other foods are great at boosting your immune system or reducing inflamation. Whilst certain foods may also have a negative effect, triggering symptoms.


Try and eat:


As well as helping you to keep fuller for longer soluble fibre helps the body to naturally expel hormones. Top foods that are rich in fibre include:

IMG_3701Apples, pears, plums, citrus fruits, beans, lentils, peas, oats, quinoa, whole grain foods, chia seeds, flax seeds and nuts. Try and aim for 24gs of fibre a day; i.e. bran cereal or oats with some raspberries and a teaspoon of chia seeds, a handful of almonds as an snack with an orange, wholemeal sandwich for lunch, an apple for an afternoon snack and a vegetable stir fry with brown rice for your evening meal


Omega 3 and 6 Essential fatty acids (EFAs)

EFAs help to control inflammation, contribute to helpful prostaglandin production, which can help with pain and may help to relieve endometriosis symptoms. Foods rich in essential fatty acids are:

IMG_2578oily fish, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. The nuts and seeds can be added to your muesli in the morning. And grilled salmon is the perfect healthy supper dish

Vitamins and minerals

A healthy liver is crucial for good hormone balance, as the liver detoxifies chemicals and waste products including excess hormones. To help do that it needs plenty of vitamins and minerals, particularly B vitamins and antioxidants (vitamins A,C & E). As well as the liver, these

Fruit and veg

Fruit and veg

nutrients will also support the immune system. Try and include these foods in your diet: red, green and orange fruits and veg, citrus fruits, blackcurrants, kiwi fruit, blackberries, peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes, vegetable oils, nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, seeds like pumpkin and sunflower. Green leafy veg like spinach, kale, chard, and broccoli. Fortified cereals, margarine, dairy, eggs and marmite. Using all the vegetables to make a warming soup is a great way to make sure you get plenty of vitamins and antioxidants.


Eating iron-rich foods will help replace iron that may be lost through heavy periods, and help reduce tiredness and fatigue

IMG_0711To ensure you’re getting enough iron in your diet, try to include more of the following foods:

  • dark green leafy vegetables like cabbage, kale, spinach, watercress
  • broccoli, beetroot, meat, fish, eggs, tofu, beans and pulses, nuts and seeds, iron-fortified cereals or bread, brown rice.

For the body to absorb plant based iron you will need to eat it with foods rich in vitamin C, such as peppers and fruits. Bubble and squeak is a great way to add green leafy veg in to your diet. Its great topped with a poached egg for even more iron


Try and limit

These are foods that may trigger or aggravate your condition.


Processed foods

IMG_3932Some processed foods may contain certain additives and preservatives that may result in inflammation. They may also be high in saturated or trans fats that could again lead to inflammation. Take time to read the ingredients list and look at the traffic light guidance before you decide to purchase soft drinks, sugary foods, ready meals and snacks, fried foods, smoked and processed meats, baked goods and white flour



IMG_4234Full fat dairy products are relatively high in saturated fats and as with processed foods may increase inflammation, Low fat options may be a better choice – although they may have higher sugar content. Or stick with full fat but just have smaller portions. You may decide to reduce your dairy intake, so opt for calcium enriched non dairy milks and yoghurts like soya, oat or almond




It is not yet fully understood why some people with endometriosis are also gluten sensitive. If you are affected try limiting your intake and eating naturally gluten-free options such as wild rice, quinoa and sweet potato to see if there is an improvement.


Other foods may trigger your symptoms

IMG_5040Alcohol – has an inflammatory response in the body as well as affecting vitamin D levels in the liver.

Red meat – can be difficult to digest , and like dairy is inflammatory

Caffeine – Can increase menstrual pain and oestrogen levels.

Soya – in some women the high levels of phyto-oestrogens can trigger endometriosis symptoms.


If you would like help and support to tackle your symptoms then please con take me for a free 20 minute consultation

07946 301338