Page 1


UK’s top alternative wellbeing magazine




"How meditation changed my life"






Eat to beat tiredness



Reset your body with our easy plan








HEALTHY Holistic ways to beat SAD, arthritis & stress




NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:13 Page 2



DEPUTY EDITOR Allison Jacobs

We could all do with an energy boost – turn to page 72 for the foods you need to beat tiredness!


I’ve been flirting with the idea of going vegan – check out our vegan special on page 117.


New year new skincare routine, and I can’t wait to try the budget-friendly finds on page 80.


... to the January issue of Natural Health. With the festive celebrations behind us and the Christmas decorations packed away for another 12 months, it’s time to look ahead. Now I know many people have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions, but I always find this time quite exciting. Waking up on January 1st (albeit with a slightly fuzzy head), I can’t help but feel a strong sense of anticipation and ambition as I look forward to the next 52 weeks. It may be a cliché, but the start of a new year invariably heralds change, and I say embrace it. Want to reset your diet? Embark on a new fitness routine? Introduce more mindfulness into your life? Go for it! There really is nothing to stop you reaching your goals – and at this point in the year, the world really does feel like your oyster. To help you on your way, we’ve packed this issue full of healthy eating tips, holistic therapies to try and useful meditation exercises, so you can ride the wave of the new year safe in the knowledge that you’re doing everything you can to achieve ultimate wellbeing. Happy new year!

Claire Claire Munnings, Editor, Natural Health NATURAL HEALTH 3




CONTENTS January 2017



star prize

39 The yoga reboot Refresh and rejuvenate your entire body with these postures, says expert teacher Sue Fuller

9 Over to you Your views plus the chance to win our 10 This month Inspiration for the first month of the new year 12 Natural news The latest from the holistic health world 15 Therapy of the month Could rolfing structural integration help you? 17 NH’s talking about We shine a spotlight on drinking vinegars 19 Shop yourself healthy Our monthly round-up of must-have items 21 Healthy reads Books for your wellness journey 22 The interview “You have to believe in yourself, because if you don’t, no one else will,” says international makeup artist Wendy Rowe 25 Janey Lee Grace Make this your year 26 The fat that makes you slim Meet brown fat, your body’s new best friend for ultimate health, says Jayney Goddard 29 Ask the experts You talk to our wellbeing wonder-team 31 Patsy Kensit The British actress on letting go 4 NATURAL HEALTH

36 Body news Research proven to help boost your body

45 Have no fear Fear is the biggest drain on our kidneys Emma Cannon tells us how to banish it 48 Do you have SAD? Are you feeling down in the dumps? You could be suffering from winter depression 51 Glynis Barber On how to ward off winter bugs 52 Your weekend detox Banish the effects of the festive season with our easy two-day plan for mind, body and soul 55 Salt of the earth Our green goddess Jo Wood explores the wonders of Himalayan rock salt 57 Natural ways to ease sore joints If you suffer from arthritis, these tips will help 58 Why you should try reflexology How this holistic massage can help restore inner calm and improve your wellbeing


62 The superfood hotlist Fill your basket with the latest healthy eating must-haves




25 64 In the kitchen with… Author of Eat Natural Naomi Smart 67 “It can be easy to forget why we set our New Year resolutions” Ian Marber gives his advice on how to ensure your resolutions stay firm this year 69 Everyday eats We show you how easy veganuary can be with delicious recipes from Jessica Prescott 72 Eat to beat tiredness Boost your energy levels with these tips from nutritional therapist Henrietta Norton 74 The swap shop Are you gluten-intolerant? Swerve the freefrom aisles and try these tasty alternatives


80 10 of the best beauty buys under £20 Who says you have to spend big to achieve flawless results? 82 The beauty detective Could testosterone be the new natural botox for women? Emma Van Hinsburgh investigates 83 Beauty ed’s picks Gorgeous beauty buys hot off the press 84 Beauty awards Cast your vote and win some clothing vouchers 86 Your ultimate anti-ageing plan Try these age-busting beauty techniques for instant fresh-faced results 89 Jo Fairley’s skin-detoxing saviours The Beauty Bible guru’s top purifying products


92 Try the holistic approach Are you unhappy in your career and longing for an alternative job role? We’ve got just the thing 95 Lynne Franks It’s time for a new kind of grassroots feminine leadership, says Lynne Franks


98 Living news Our home, fashion and environmental round-up 100 Street wisdom What have battered road signs and crumpled tin cans got to do with the meaning of life? 103 Winter coat edit Beat the chill in style with these chic designs from Reformation 115 This month we’ve been The latest from Natural Health HQ


117 Vegan special From supplements to fruitarians – we put your questions to our panel of experts


126 Horoscopes What the stars have in store for you this month 130 Jane Alexander Our holistic hero on giving life meaning

THIS MONTH’S OFFERS 32 Subscribe today and receive a free kale 3D cleanse from Nourish


Win a calming spa break


Take part in our awards and win some ethical clothing vouchers


Win a one-year membership to an online yoga service, a collagen bundle and a threemonth fitness and nutrition plan COVER IMAGE: Jump Foto PHOTOGRAPHER: Kristiane Vey


NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:13 Page 6





UK’s top alternative wellbeing magazine





"How meditation changed my life"






Eat to beat tiredness





Reset your body with our easy plan




HEALTHY Holistic ways to beat SAD, arthritis & stress






Glynis is an actress, anti-ageing guru and the co-author of The In-Sync Diet


Emma is a fertility, pregnancy and integrated women’s health expert


Editor Claire Munnings Deputy Editor Allison Jacobs Health & Fitness Writer Jody-Ann Miller Content Writer Lauren Godfrey Group Editor Naomi Abeykoon Advertising Manager Belinda Buckle Deputy Advertising Manager Natalie Cleal 01206 506261


Ian is one of the UK’s top nutritional therapists and health writers

JANEY LEE GRACE! Janey is the author of Look Great Naturally and runs the website

Senior Account Manager Samantha Wilson 01206 506232 Business Development Executives Lauren Gale 01206 506266 Jess Sayer 01206 506226 Art Director James Philp Designers Debbie Pratt and Leo Bond


Jayney is president of the Complementary Medical Association


Jo is an organic living expert and creator of her own natural beauty range

Design/Reprographics/Typesetting Ace Pre-Press, 19 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester CO2 8JY Accounts Debbie Starrs 01206 505995 Promotions Manager Andrea Turner Subscriptions 0844 815 0036/+44(0)1795 414 669 Publishing Director Helen Tudor Publisher Matthew Tudor



Lynne is a women’s empowerment guru and runs BLOOM Wellbeing Retreats

HENRIETTA NORTON! Henrietta is a nutritional therapist, author and co-founder of Wild Nutrition

DISCLAIMER The views within this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Articles and advertisements are for information only. They are not intended to replace medical care. Check with your GP before trying any of the remedies in this magazine. Always seek medical advice if you are pregnant or taking medication before following any of the advice given in articles or advertisements in this magazine. © ACEVILLE PUBLICATIONS LIMITED. Company no. 04109672. Printed in England


NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 15:27 Page 8




Your September issue was the first copy of Natural Health that I read and I am now hooked! I have been experiencing severe hip pain due to inflammation caused by arthritis and in your October issue I read about eating plant-based minerals. I have changed my diet and am happy to say that my pain has reduced drastically, and the yoga exercises are also helpful. Thank you for your informative magazine. Gwen, via email



I really liked Jo Wood’s article about garlic in November’s issue (Not Just A Pretty Taste, p55). I’ve been taking a supplement for a while now and I agree that it helps to ward off colds and, like Jo said, clears toxins from my body. Garlic is a powerhouse and I’m a big fan! Caroline, via email

I wanted to say thank you for all of the amazing things you do at Natural Health. I have a number of health problems and have had to stop working which has been really hard for me as I’m only young. Thank you for helping to improve people’s lives like mine. Jenny, via email


I really enjoyed your feature on how to get rid of a cold in a day (24 Hours To Beat A Cold, p56, December issue) – what a great idea! I always come down with them in winter and it’s so annoying when it stops you from doing things, especially during the festive season. I’ll be saving this for future! Helen, via email

THIS MONTH’S STAR LETTER WINS... a Star Flower and Orange Skin Boost Facial Serum and Cloth and Cleanser from Myroo worth more than £55! The award-winning facial serum, packed with omega oils, antioxidants and minerals, is ideal for boosting skin and combating the wear and tear of daily life. The gentle but effective cleanser leaves skin glowing, soft and smooth, while the cloth exfoliates, leaving you with a brighter and fresher complexion. (


I loved Janey Goddard’s latest article in the December issue (The Motivation Molecule, p28).With so many people suffering from mental health problems and searching for happiness, it’s really useful to discover ways in which we can help ourselves and enhance what we’ve already got. I’ll definitely be trying a supplement. Natasha, via email

SEND US YOUR LETTERS: Write to us at, tweet us: @natural_mag and find us on Facebook at for you chance to win our star letter prize! NATURAL HEALTH 9




WASH WELL We all know the importance of washing our hands regularly to avoid catching nasty winter viruses, but did you know the latest advice from the government is that we should wash for 30 to 45 seconds, or about the amount of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice? It’s worth being dedicated to the cause and scrubbing for those extra few seconds if it saves you being ill in the future, and should be done regularly seeing as cold and flu viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours. Just make sure it’s a natural soap – we love Dr Organic Manuka Honey Soap, £2.99,


GET YOUR FIBRE It’ll protect you from the outside in: researchers have found that if we don’t eat enough roughage, bugs can invade the body through the lining of our gut. That’s because

our digestive microbes can start destroying its protective layer if they do not have enough fibre to feed them, allowing in potentially devastating bugs like E. Coli, which can make you really sick.

We already know that getting enough fibre every day (we need 30g) cuts the risk of heart disease, stroke and bowel cancer, so fill up on lentils, brown rice, wholegrains and vegetables like broccoli to stay well.


The latest in

NATURAL HEALTH Homeopathy ABC Mani Norland, principal at the School of Homeopathy (, tells us:


is for Veratrum Album

#1 remedy for diarrhea and vomiting Veratrum album is a poisonous medicinal plant of the lily family and has a paralysing effect on the nervous system. It is used to treat severe nausea and purging from both ends, particularly when they are accompanied by dizziness and weakness. The patient will often be losing large quantities of fluid, feel cold and be bluish in colour yet drenched in sweat and sometimes may even fall unconscious.


Meet Magdalena Mecweld, yoga teacher and author ( NH: What got you into yoga? MM: I injured my back and was in constant pain, and after being told that I would have to be in a wheelchair, I decided to try a yoga class on a beach in Thailand. After two sessions the chronic pain was gone and it hasn’t returned since – that was 16 years ago. You could say that I was immediately hooked! NH: What is yin yoga? MM: It’s a very slow style of yoga that goes deep into the connective tissues. We stay in each position for at least three minutes and try to relax whilst doing it. Despite the easy pace, it can be uncomfortable and intense but is extremely rewarding. NH: Why did you choose it over other types of yoga? MM: It’s the yoga form that changed my body from stiff and painful to agile, and it also freed my mind from rigidity and anguish. I am much more flexible, open and relaxed now. NH: What’s the best thing about your job? MM: Seeing how yin yoga transforms and heals people’s bodies and minds. NH: Have you got anything new in the pipeline? MM: Yes, I’m currently working on a book about restorative yoga. 12 NATURAL HEALTH


Fay Higginbotham at Solgar ( on the benefits of sage If you believe that sage is only useful for menopausal women experiencing hot flushes, or as a garnish for your Sunday roast, you might like to reconsider. The popular culinary herb has a long history of traditional use, starting in Ancient Greece where it was used to help heal wounds. Research has recently shown that this may be due to it having antibacterial properties including working against some strains of staphylococcus and streptococcus. Studies undertaken in the last few years also support the Ancient Egyptians’ use of the herb for memory, finding that sage may help increase acetylcholine which is an important chemical for transmitting messages in the brain. Other health benefits this herb has to offer include lowering inflammation throughout the body, alleviating skin conditions and regulating digestion. Time to stock up!

“Mover over kombucha - drinking vinegars are stealing the spotlight as the hottest new health beverage” - p17

WHAT’S THE BUZZ ABOUT? POKÉ Poké (pronounced poh-keh) is a raw fish salad all the way from Hawaii currently taking the UK by storm. Inspired by the Japanese, poké – which means to chop in Hawaiian – is best described as a mix between sushi and ceviche. Dishes combine cubes of raw marinated fish, usually tuna or salmon, with rice, kale or quinoa as a base and a variety of toppings such as seeds, vegetables, avocado and sauces – the possibilities are endless. These tasty concoctions are a lot easier to make at home than sushi and also provide a wider range of flavours and nutritional benefits. The popularity of poké has resulted in three restaurants dedicated to it opening in London last year. To get your fix, take a trip to the capital and visit Black Roe, Ahi Poké or Tombo.

Small steps

New research shows that minimal exercise may be all it takes for postmenopausal women to better regulate insulin, maintain metabolic function and help prevent significant weight gain.

Animal activism

Stars from the stage, screen and beauty industries have collaborated on a new campaign film for animal welfare charity Naturewatch Foundation to highlight the use of animals in cosmetic testing.

Fighting fit

A new study has found that a high level of fitness offers particularly effective protection for professionals who experience a high degree of stress in the workplace.

The BAROMETER Porky pies

According to new research, telling small lies desensitises our brains to the associated negative emotions and may encourage us to tell bigger fibs in future.


A recent study has shown that on average, women now spend 12 hours more per week on their smartphones than with their partners.


Despite regularly being used by women with urinary tract infections (UTIs), a recent trial has found that taking cranberry capsules has no significant effect when compared with a placebo.


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Rolfing structural integration There’s a wonderful world of alternative therapies out there just waiting to be discovered. This month, we shine a light on rolfing structural integration

Rolfing structural integration, named after its founder Dr Ida Rolf who developed the therapy in the 1960s, is a specialised method of bodywork which reorganises the connective tissues in the body. Through the manipulation of these tissues, the therapy relaxes, realigns and balances you as a whole. Dr Rolf realised that rather than being a collection of separate parts, the body is an integrated network of tissues which surround, support and permeate all of our muscles, bones, nerves and organs. When this internal system is over-extended or moves out of place, it can cause tension, resulting in persistent joint pain, muscle soreness and postural changes. Consequently, what may have been a compensatory shift in the natural body structure can develop into longer-term habitual and restrictive movements and postures. The aim of rolfing is to help restore the body to its most efficient form to enable complete relaxation and freedom of movement. Sometimes specific moves will be suggested by the practitioner and on other occasions they will be elicited through the patient’s own explorations. The treatment takes place over a course of 10 sessions, known as the 10 series, and has the potential to be a transformative experience. The body awareness that rolfing invokes tends to continue to bring change long after the sessions have finished. The health benefits of this versatile therapy include reduced pain and discomfort in the body, greater flexibility and movement, improved posture, enhanced energy, better physical performance and greater resilience to injuries. Rolfing is well-known amongst sportsmen and professional ballet dancers but can be administered to anyone, including children. To learn more and find a practitioner visit


Everything you need to know about your first appointment The practitioner will often ask about your health history so that they are aware of anything that has affected your physical structure. Typically, you’ll be in your underwear and they will observe you standing and moving to assess balance, alignment and mobility. As the tissue is released through the movements, you may experience a variety of sensations ranging from pleasant to uncomfortable. The practitioner will apply appropriate pressure during the session based on your feedback so the pace is under your control. NATURAL HEALTH 15

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NH’s talking about:

Vinegar prevents blood sugar spikes and subsequent crashes, keeping insulin levels balanced

DRINKING VINEGARS Move over kombucha – drinking vinegars are stealing the spotlight as the hottest new health beverage. We know

Start the new year by sipping your way to good health

what you’re thinking – it tastes great drizzled on fish and chips, but actually knocking back a glass of vinegar doesn’t sound too appealing. Luckily, there’s a bit more to it than that. Apple cider vinegar has become increasingly popular of late and some celebs, including Hilary Duff and olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, apparently take a shot of it to detox every morning. We’re not suggesting you do that, but raw unpasteurised apple cider vinegar does form the basis of a lot of drinking vinegars as it is thought to have the most beneficial properties. “It aids digestion, is great for circulation and contains vitamin C,” says nutritional practitioner Chloe Elgar. The other ingredients in drinking vinegars vary from brand to brand, but usually they include fruit or vegetable juice, distilled water, herbs or spices and some sort of sweetener such as maple syrup.

While drinking vinegars are a fairly new phenomenon, the fermented liquid has been consumed for centuries due to its health benefits. A lot of folk remedies recommend adding a tablespoon or two of unpasteurised vinegar to water with lemon juice and honey to ease a number of ailments, including an upset stomach and the flu. Knocking back a shot of vinegar has also been said to help treat allergies, IBS, high cholesterol, dry skin and candida. As well as being a good source of a range of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, raw unpasteurised vinegar also features gut-friendly properties. As a fermented substance, it contains probiotics which support the function of the GI tract, and the consumption of these has been shown to reduce constipation and intestinal inflammatory conditions and boost the immune system. So, while they may initially sound like an unusual beverage, the health benefits of drinking vinegars mean that they should definitely be high on your list of things to try in 2017. NATURAL HEALTH 17

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6 3 7 4






Everything you need in your life on one page 1 GETTING SHIRTY

This classy number from People Tree is the perfect addition to your wardrobe to power dress your way into the new year. People Tree Shelby Shirt Dress in Navy, £95,



This opulent candle, crowned as the Indian Mistress of the Night, is handmade with eco soy wax and features the aromas of the tuberose flower, orris and spicy ginger amongst others. Tuberose and Ginger Soy Candle, £40,


This stylish 500ml bottle is BPA-free, leak-proof, preserves the flavour and freshness of drinks and will keep them cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. What more could you want? Chilly’s Bottle Matte Edition, £20,

Protect yourself from the January chill with this aztecinspired scarf which is so big and cosy that you can also use it as a shawl. Natural Collection Fair Trade Large Aztec Stole Scarf, £19.95, Getting fit really can be fun, and this skipping rope from John Lewis is a great way to start. It has removable weights in the handles to increase resistance and is ideal for doing some exercise at home. John Lewis Weighted Skipping Rope, £10,


This luxurious facial oil has been developed to combat dehydration, minimise redness and protect against the harmful effects of the elements. De Mamiel Winter Facial Oil, £70,



Jot down your new year’s resolutions and big plans for 2017 in this notebook made from 100 percent recycled paper. Plans to Move Mountains Notebook, £3.95,


Fjallraven has released a special edition of its popular Kanken Mini rucksacks made entirely from polyester recycled from plastic bottles. Fjallraven Re-Kanken Mini, £60, NATURAL HEALTH 19

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READS We cherry-pick four books worth buying this month...



Nicole Herft, £7.99, Thanks to this new book from chef and food stylist Nicole Herft, you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage while also getting your five-a-day. Using delicious combinations and superfoods instead of sugary mixers and syrups, Nicole has created naughty but nourishing cocktails brimming with flavour and fresh ingredients. We can’t wait to try the peach and chia bellini!

Fiona Hunter & Caroline Bretherton, £14.99, With detailed profiles of 90 superfoods – their health benefits, how to maximize their power, and 250 ways to use them in your meals, drinks and snacks – this is the ultimate guide to enhancing the nutritional punch of everything you eat. There’s also advice for a variety of health concerns, such as eating for clear skin and better sleep.



Derren Brown, £10, Illusionist and magician Derren Brown has now added philosopher to his list of talents with his first book Happy, which aims to reclaim the emotion and enable us to appreciate the good things in life in all their transient glory. Drawing on the vast body of philosophical work that already exists, he explores changing concepts of happiness, from the Epicureans in classical times right up until today’s self-help industry.

Joe Wicks, £8, Bestselling author Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, has released the third and final instalment in his Lean in 15 series, The Sustain Plan. 2016 was an incredible year for Joe, now the second most influential person in the food industry and apparently responsible for a 25 percent increase in broccoli sales in the UK! If you want to get fit and shed a few pounds, then this is the book for you. NATURAL HEALTH 21


You have to BELIEVE in YOURSELF, because if you don’t, no one else will There a few more successful in the world of beauty than Wendy Rowe, so when word broke out that she was writing a book full of skincare tips, glow-inducing recipes and insider secrets, we hunted her down to get the full 411 If you’ve ever admired Kate Hudson’s dewy glow or Nicole Kidman’s perfectlylined lips, chances are you’ve been staring at the work of international make-up artist Wendy Rowe. Born in Essex, Wendy trained first as a graphic designer before falling in love with beauty and moving to Paris to fulfil her dream. Since then, she’s secured her dream job as Burberry Beauty’s creative consultant, but despite her busy schedule, she’s still found the time to share her expertise in a new book, Eat Beautiful. 22 NATURAL HEALTH

It was a close friend that suggested I make the switch from graphic design to make-up artistry. She was a hair stylist and she wanted us to be able to go on trips together! In the beginning, I used to pay for myself to go to Paris, Milan and New York to assist on the shows backstage. I also worked on music videos and after a while things just developed. It all sounds so natural when I recount it, but I grafted super hard to get where I am now. The first time I started to become really aware of the impact diet has on the skin was when I moved to Paris in my early 20s. Fresh, seasonal food is the norm over there and I saw that it made a real difference to my complexion. When I moved back to London, I started doing lots of research on nutrition. It was an enlightening time for me and I soon started experimenting in the kitchen and trying out my recipes on friends. When it comes to diet, not eating good quality produce is one of the most common mistakes people make. As for skincare, people often don’t clean their skin properly or do enough to protect it. If I could recommend three lifestyle tweaks for a flawless visage it would be to cook from scratch using fresh, seasonal ingredients, drink water with lemon every morning and ensure you’re getting enough omega oils through your diet.

Writing my book, Eat Beautiful, has been a real highlight for me – it meant that people were interested in what I had to say! It’s very personal and it enabled me to share my secrets and my travels with people. I think it shows a completely different side to me! One of the biggest challenges for me early on in my career was not having regular income or knowing where the next pay cheque was going to be coming from. My best advice is that you need to believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, then nobody else will! The most common skin complaints I hear about are to do with under-the-skin pimples, dryness and dull skin. If you have bumps under the skin, then along with addressing your diet, you really need to have an extraction facial to clean the skin properly. Face Place ( is, in my opinion, one of the best locations for such treatments. If it’s dryness that’s getting you down, you need to add omega oils into your diet. I’d also recommend the regular use of serums and facial oils as well as a good hydration mask like Sarah Chapman’s 3D Moisture Infusion Sheet Mask (£39 for four, For dullness, you should exercise more to boost your circulation. You can also use a face mask to brighten up your complexion. Try the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask (£60 for six,



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These things I know...

Make this your year

So our thoughts start to turn to new year and our resolutions. The word resolve suggests to really struggle to commit to something; we have all experienced years of making our ‘resolves’… to eat less chocolate, stop smoking, lose weight, go to the gym, learn a new skill, only to see them come crashing down usually by the end of the month. (If you really want to join a gym wait till February, it will be much less crowded!) I’d love to encourage you to see the whole ‘new year new you’ as a gift to yourself rather than beating yourself up to do things differently. Set a few outcomes that you’d like to achieve in your personal life, around your health, relationships, beliefs on money, self esteem, and then ask yourself what can I do to move towards my goals? Perhaps 2017 is the year you will do what you have always talked about…write your book, start your business, climb that mountain or take that online course. Now is the time and it’s not good for our health and wellbeing to constantly procrastinate. Marianne Williamson, author of The Age of Miracles (Hay House), says: “We were all born carrying a promise – a promise to make the world better – and

Have a great new year – and look after yourself!

Janey is the author of Look Great Naturally and runs the website

there’s a yearning to make good on that promise that none of us can suppress forever.” Don’t suppress it! Own your uniqueness this year. I call it your YOU-nique brilliance, and remember, we all need help sometimes. I’ve recently discovered theta healing, which can identify the issues that cause challenges in your life. It’s incredible that 95 percent of our thoughts are held in the subconscious and we hold on to trauma within our cellular memory. Treatments like this can help to address stuff at the root cause, often using a combination of therapies to help heal the past and look to a brighter future To find out more about theta healing, check out Helen Patey, The Holistic Emotional Healer at



that makes you


Meet brown fat, your body’s new best friend for ultimate health, says Jayney Goddard Our body fat is far from being an inert tissue that just hangs around being annoying. In fact, fat is a biologically active tissue and comes in a couple of different types: white and brown. Once believed to be inert, white fat produces a harmful range of messenger hormones called cytokines. These speed up the development of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other conditions that have an underlying inflammatory component; the vast majority of cancers, most types of arthritis, neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and more. Each white fat cell stores energy in the form of a single large, oily droplet. Brown fat cells, also known as brown adipose tissue or BAT, by contrast, contain many smaller droplets, as well as chestnut-coloured molecular machines or organelles known as mitochondria – our cellular powerhouses. These organelles burn up the droplets to generate heat.


Brown fat can fuel itself with triglycerides which it draws from our bloodstream. This is exactly the kind of fatty molecule known to increase the chances of developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that raises our risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Brown fat cells also draw sugar molecules from our blood. This is helpful as chronically high levels of blood glucose wreak havoc on all body systems and promote premature ageing through the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). AGEs cause proteins in our bodies to become stiff and brittle and eventually this leads to them simply falling apart – we see this when our skin wrinkles, but internally AGEs have far more serious consequences and are implicated in kidney disease, blindness, cognitive impairment and more. Previously it was believed that adults don’t have much or even any brown fat, and it was thought that only babies had high deposits of it to keep them warm through thermogenic activity – or the warmth provided by the mitochondrial burning of the fatty deposits in the brown fat cells. Babies rely on thermogenic deposits of brown fat in the neck and around the shoulders to stay 26 NATURAL HEALTH

warm as they can’t shiver, and it was assumed that all brown fat disappeared during childhood. More recent findings revealed otherwise. Adults have brown fat, too, but it is quite hard to find. When the thermogenic role of brown fat became clear, it was as if the holy grail of weight management had been discovered! The idea was appealingly simple: if researchers could figure out how to incite the body to produce extra brown fat, or somehow rev up what was already there, a larger number of calories would be converted into heat, reducing deposits of white fat in the process. Brown fat proved challenging to study in adults, however, mainly because it was so hard to locate. In addition, some experts doubted that enough of it could remain in the grown-up body to make much of a difference for the obese. Now, however, science is turning a corner, thanks to vastly improved scanning techniques. The latest evidence suggests that the brown stuff can indeed reduce excess stores of fat even in the obese. So, how can we activate brown fat? The easiest way is to expose people to low temperatures, which somewhat diminishes brown fat’s appeal as a weight-loss tool. In a 2012 study, six men remained inactive for three hours while wearing a cold suit that circulated water with a temperature of 64.4 degrees fahrenheit over their skin – cold enough to lower their body temperature without causing too much shivering. That way the researchers could be sure that most of the extra calories burned during those three hours were expended by brown fat cells rather than quivering muscles. The volunteers burned an extra 250 calories compared with what they would have used up during three hours of inactivity at more typical indoor temperatures. Although that may not sound like a lot, an extra 250 calories a day for two weeks would consume enough energy to allow a dieter to lose nearly a pound of fat (one pound of fat provides 3,600 calories). One pound of fat lost per fortnight doesn’t sound much but actually equals a total loss of 26lbs in one year – which is highly significant. There is no doubt that an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle are the two chief drivers of the obesity epidemic, but lack of exposure to temperature variation could be a subtle

TOP STORY It was as if

the holy grail of weight

management had been

discovered contributor. In other words, central heating has its drawbacks, in part because it may dampen brown fat’s activity. Not quite ready for the chill? Exercise may be the key: researchers have also identified compounds that can activate brown fat without the need for unpleasantly chilling temperatures. Several molecules have been identified that may be able to stimulate the ‘browning’ of white fat without the need for cold. Two 2012 studies showed that a hormone called irisin, which is released from muscle cells after exercise, coaxes white fat to behave like brown. Exercise has also been shown to increase UCP1 activity in brown, making it more active. Don’t under-eat or over-eat – the chemical signals that tell us when to stop eating are also involved in turning white fat into brown fat. A study from Yale University, published in the journal Cell, found that eating too few calories prevented white fat from turning brown. However, eating just enough to satisfy hunger – which catalyses the action of the signalling neurons – causes white fat to turn brown. Conversely, other research shows that overconsumption increases the white stuff and compromises brown fat’s ability to burn calories.


The hormone melatonin helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle, however, research published in the Journal of Pineal Research found that in rats, it increases the presence of ‘beige’ fat – similar to brown fat in its calorie-burning capabilities. Instead of taking a melatonin supplement, try to stimulate your body’s own natural production by avoiding nighttime exposure to light from TVs, computers and other screens. Try to get some sunlight exposure during the day, and load up on melatonin-rich foods, including tart cherries, almonds, tomatoes, coriander and cardamom. Ultimately, a wholefood, vegan, plant-based antiinflammatory diet with sensible exercise and stress management through mindfulness meditation is the best way of conserving brown fat stores – and if you feel inclined, turn down your heating just a notch to get yourself into that thermogenic mode – you’ll be helping yourself and the planet. Jayney Goddard is president of The Complementary Medical Association. Visit or NATURAL HEALTH 27

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ASK THE EXPERTS Don’t suffer in silence – our wellbeing wonder-team of experts is on hand to answer your health questions I’m a really bad hypochondriac – I am constantly convinced that I have some sort of serious illness. I’m always stressed about it and it’s affecting my work and relationships. How can I stop doing this to myself? Dr Megan Arroll, a researcher and health psychologist (, says: Every day we all experience physical sensations – some of these can be signs of an underlying health problem but most often they are simply the normal functioning of our bodies. When we interpret these feelings as representing a serious illness and then go on to assume the worst, we are caught in a catastrophising thought pattern. The good news is that you’ve already started the process of breaking this negative way of thinking by recognising that it’s a problem and seeking help. Now, every time you have a thought like this write it down and challenge the catastrophic prediction with logic and evidence. Ask yourself if you’ve ever had a serious illness before, how often it has happened, and realistically is it likely to occur again? You should find that your answers lead you to see that the disastrous outcome is unlikely. Do this exercise every time you have negative, worried thoughts and over time, the way you think about your health will change.

How can I use aromatherapy to help me sleep better?

Can the food we eat affect our genes? Vera Martins, a graduate in naturopathy and herbal medicine from the College of Naturopathic Medicine (, says:

Absolutely. Our genes are flexible entities that can be switched on and off through a mechanism called epigenetics. Certain Whether you experience difficulty in falling asleep dietary compounds are or your problem is frequent or early waking, known to control these essential oils can really help. Having a relaxing switches, affecting various aromatherapy massage before going to bed would health conditions. be a great help but sadly few of us have a personal Foods rich in the therapist! The good news is that there are a number of ways in which you can make the most of polyphenols curcumin (found in turmeric), epigallocatechin the calming, soothing benefits of essential oils gallate (present in green at home. tea), resveratrol (present Having a warm soak before bed is very in grapes and berries) and effective – add three to four drops of your chosen isothiocyanates (found oils once the bath has been run. Diluting them in in broccoli and kale) are a teaspoon of milk ensures even dispersion. Use only one or two drops for children and just one for key to keeping our genes happy. These antioxidant babies under 18 months, and ensure that they are compounds can reduce always diluted. cancer growth and A vaporiser can also be effective but do not promote longevity. use a tea light in a child’s bedroom – simply put Sugary, processed foods a couple of drops of essential oil on a cotton wool will negatively affect genes ball and place on a radiator. If you are tempted to linked to cardiovascular put a drop or two on your pillow then put the oil health and memory, so try on the underside, otherwise you may inhale too to steer clear of these. A much which could cause a headache. In terms of what oils to use, lavender is popular diet rich in bad fats can also for its sleep-inducing properties and alpine lavender switch off the gene for leptin, is known to be particularly effective. Others include a hormone which regulates sweet marjoram, neroli, sandalwood, sweet orange, appetite, meaning we may eat more than we need. valerian and roman chamomile. Sweet dreams! Ian Cambray-Smith, an expert in essential oils and technical director at Fragrant Earth International (, says:


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Up until six or seven years ago I was someone that constantly worried about things that would never happen. I would give this


in feelings of bitterness and resentment but at that moment I decided not to. I choose to let go of all of that, and instead find my truth and understanding. If you truly want to change and go on a journey (whether it’s a physical journey or a mental one) you have to accept that everything that has happened in your life, every person you have met and every situation you have been in, is all part of who you are. Yes there are things that may have happened that you wish hadn’t, but you can’t dwell on them. I want to make sure I’m looking forward and not back. Everyone always talks about what I was doing in the 90s but that was just one moment of many. It was great and wonderful but it doesn’t define me. I try to accept everything. And, most importantly I now accept myself. I know all my defects of character and all the difficult realities about myself but I can forgive and love myself. I also learnt the importance of gratitude at Chiva Som. When Matthew McConaughey won his Oscar he said that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude can bring you your wildest dreams, and it’s true – to a certain extent. I believe it’s just so important to say thank you every day. Some people see gratitude as a weakness but it’s not. Seven years ago my journey really began and I want to say thank you for that. I’ve found my piece of heaven there and I try to go back every year when possible. 

What I’ve Learned: LETTING GO

anxiety so much time and energy both physically and mentally that I forgot to live in the present, and I was never in the now. At that point in my life, I decided I needed to change and I told myself that I was going to become the master of my own thoughts. I’d heard quite a bit about a retreat called Chiva Som (chivasom. com) in Thailand and so I went there and learnt how to start meditating. I can’t tell you how life changing it was. When I was there, I realised that I was overthinking everything and that to counteract it I had to learn how to quieten my mind and basically just be. I discovered that if you can work on that and clear your thoughts (even if it’s just for three minutes a day), your world can be completely and utterly transformed. I spent my days doing guided meditation sessions, and I got up at 5am every morning to walk along the beach and watch the monks with their urns doing their blessings. I remember one beautiful and bright morning I saw this monk moving towards me on the sand. His face felt so familiar and right at that moment something just clicked in me. I thought to myself: I’m here, but I’m just so full of fear and I didn’t know why. It was a key moment for me and from that point on I worked on letting go of my anxiety. In the run up to my trip to Thailand, I’d had a bad time with the press. There was a character that the media created and it was someone that was crumbling, and to be honest I didn’t feel like it was me. I could have easily got caught up

Actress Patsy Kensit on how meditation has transformed her life

Patsy’s beauty range, Preciously Perfect, is available from Ideal World ( or on Sky 654, Freeview 22, Virgin 747 or Freesat 812. NATURAL HEALTH 31


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NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:13 Page 34


Easy ways to look and feel amazing inside and out

Are you looking to maximise your wellbeing in 2017? Well, a new self-diagnostic system from Cerascreen may be able to help you do just that. The healthcare company has released eight of the

most relevant tests for better personal performance which can all be carried out

from the comfort of your own home. The kits will enable you to test for food reactions, vitamin D deficiency, histamine, gluten and lactose intolerances, concentration of vitamin B12 and levels of testosterone and the stress hormone cortisol. To find out more and purchase a test, visit


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25/11/2016 11:06

The latest in

PHYSICAL HEALTH MANAGING THE MENOPAUSE A leading women’s health campaigner has launched the first workplace training programme to support female staff through the menopause. Seven out of 10 women aged 45 to 55 experience debilitating symptoms but according to research conducted by, 72 percent feel unsupported at work and half are too embarrassed to bring it up with their boss. Simply Hormones founder Kathyrn Colas, who quit her job when she hit the menopause, said: “We have found that employers can implement simple changes to dramatically improve staff retention, reduce absenteeism and create a happier, more productive work environment. For example, they can make sure that women experiencing hot flushes are able to regulate the temperature around their work station instead of having to go out for air, making them more comfortable, relaxed and productive.”



Our top three natural ways to make your smile shine brighter 1 Oil pulling is a common technique used to achieve pearly whites and the lauric acid in coconut oil can get rid of bacteria found in plaque which makes them yellow. Pop a tablespoon of it in your mouth and swish it around for 10-15 minutes, then spit it out, rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth. 2 Baking soda is quite a well known ingredient when it comes to teeth whitening and lemons can also be effective in removing stains. When combined however, they make a particularly powerful smile-brightener. In a small bowl, mix a pinch of baking soda with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. Before brushing the mixture onto your teeth, use a cotton swab to wipe saliva and excess plaque from them. Leave the baking soda and lemon on for a minute (no longer) then remove with a toothbrush. 3 Rumour has it that Catherine Zeta Jones uses strawberries to whiten her teeth, and if it’s good enough for the celebs, then it’ll do for us! They’re high in vitamin C which can help to break down yellowing plaque and also contain an enzyme called malic acid known to be effective in removing surface stains. Mash four or five strawberries and rub the mixture all over your teeth, then rinse well.


Energy boost Exposure to daylight and getting enough shuteye are essential for maintaining your internal body clock and keeping you alert and energised, which can be harder in winter. Neil Robinson, sleep expert from Sealy UK (, explains how to get the maximum benefits from both to keep your energy levels up and stay in sync during the darker months. • Seek out sun exposure where you can as this will help to adjust the body’s biological processes. Invest in a sun lamp or just try to get out and about! • Do some exercise outside – this will keep your energy levels high and should ensure that you’re tired enough to sleep in the evening. • Diet is key to feeling energised so make sure you’re eating healthily and try to avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially before bed as they will impact your quality of slumber. • Avoid napping as although it may seem like a great energy-booster, it could actually stop you from snoozing as well during the night. • Make sure you have a comfortable, relaxing sleeping environment and refrain from using technology at least an hour before you go to bed, as seeing bright lights tends to delay your body clock.

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a severe winter depression that usually hits when the clocks go back and lifts again in the spring”- find out more on p48


New research from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition ( has found that 62 percent of over 30s believe that looking young is the biggest sign of ageing well. The findings revealed that we put more emphasis on looking after our physical appearance than other key indicators of health, such as maintaining a good memory, staying independent and preserving eyesight and hearing. 70 percent of people did, however, say that they think being active is the strongest indicator of ageing well and 81 percent recognised that diet and lifestyle impact the ageing process. Only 45 percent acknowledged the benefits of avoiding regular consumption of alcohol and 30 percent recognised the importance of social activity, which can help to keep the mind and body active, in ageing healthily.

BODY Exercise

According to new research, walking briskly or cycling for the recommended 150 minutes a week can reduce a person’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 26 percent.

Birth control

A new contraceptive injection for men has been found to be effective in almost 96 percent of users. Researchers are now working to reduce the risk of side effects.

Oral hygiene

Recent analysis has shown that regular trips to the dentist may decrease the risk of pneumonia by reducing bacteria in the mouth which can trigger the lung infection.


Recent analysis has shown that women now consume almost as much alcohol as men, who used to be far more likely to drink and have resulting health problems.


Scientists have revealed that elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol can reduce the chances of conceiving through IVF by almost a third.


A new study has found that men who suffer from anxiety are twice as likely to die from cancer as men who don’t.


NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 16:10 Page 38



YOGA REBOOT Keep in shape and agile with these asanas, says expert Sue Fuller


Ardha matsyendrasana

This spinal twist will release tension through the pelvis and lower back. It will help to elongate the spine and align the energy centres that are situated between its base and the crown of the head, and this will enhance the flow of prana around the body. Sit with both legs extended. Cross your left leg over your right, placing the sole of the left foot to the floor and directing the left knee straight up. Flex your right foot and draw the left knee in towards your body with the right arm. As you inhale lengthen your spine and as you exhale rotate around to the back. Breathe slowly for 15 or more complete breaths, working on lengthening the spine each time you inhale. Then repeat on the other side.


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BODY CAT PART 2 Start by breathing slowly in and out through your nose making sure that you engage the lower abdominal muscles to protect the spine. When you are ready, on an exhalation round your back up and drop your chin onto your chest so that you are looking through your legs. Draw your navel up towards your This version of child pose helps to open the chest and the spine as you do this. fronts of the shoulders whilst allowing the body to relax As you inhale, maintain the lift through your lower and recharge. abdominal muscles and think about lengthening your tail From all fours relax your bottom on to your heels and bone away from the crown of your head, then allow your release your forehead to the ground. Interlink your hands pelvis to gently tilt as you lift your chest and head. Work to behind your lower back and lift the arms away from your maintain the length of the spine to ensure that you do not body. Remain here breathing slowly through your nose compress the vertebrae. Continue for 10 or more complete for 20 or more complete breaths. breaths through your nose and as you do this work to gradually lengthen each breath.




CORE STRENGTHENING EXERCISE This is not a typical yoga posture, however, it is fantastic to help raise energy levels and increase the internal fire required for digestion and motivation. A strong core provides us with a solid centre. It helps to keep us grounded and gives protection and stability to the body. Lie on your back with your hands under your hips and both knees bent. Inhale and as you exhale extend your right leg whilst drawing your navel back towards your spine. As you inhale return to your starting position and on your next exhalation extend the left leg as you draw your navel back towards your spine. Continue to work alternate sides for 30 or more complete breaths.




This posture is extremely nourishing and refreshing. It removes fatigue, improves circulation, increases energy and helps to balance the entire body. Begin lying on your back. Roll your knees towards your forehead so that your hips leave the ground. Place your hands to your lower back to support the body and slowly extend your legs. Lift your chin a little so that the back of the neck is free and unrestricted. Breathe slowly for 30 or more complete breaths. This posture is not advisable to perform during menstruation. If a shoulder stand does not feel comfortable you may lay on your back with your legs extended up a wall, or just draw your knees in towards your chest.

Sue is a leading yoga teacher and writer with over 20 years of experience. She is also the creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes. Visit Photography:


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Fear is the biggest drain on your kidneys in winter, so banish it, says Emma Cannon Fear is everywhere in society today; in politics, in the media, in our neighbourhoods – economic fear and fear in our minds. The problem is fear begets fear; it spreads like wild fire. Sometimes referred to as scarcity thinking, I prefer to call it barren thinking. This barren thinking has taught us that there will never be enough. There is never enough money, enough success, enough time or enough babies to go around. If someone else is winning, that means I must be losing. The media reinforces this with fear-driven headlines; “She’s left it too late.” “Her eggs are running out.” “Immigrants are taking our jobs/children’s school places.” “Other people are draining our resources.” Social media tells us that we can never be thin enough, fit enough or liked enough. In Chinese medicine fear is said to drain the kidney energy. The kidneys are the source of our will; our will to survive. They are our drive and our deeply-stored resources. When we are in a prolonged state of fear, this exhausts our kidney energy and leaves us lacking in motivation, drive and will. Fear cuts to the very source of our being and robs us of hope and belief. But we are not all the same and whereas some people can be affected easily by the impact of fear, others seem to be more resilient and are able to ‘walk through fire’. In my clinic I see that patients who are resourceful cope so much better than those who are not. Emotional resilience is likely to be a combination of constitution (how you were born) and childhood experience. Having a strong foundation in life seems to impact on people’s ability to be able to withstand its struggles, real or perceived.


Winter is the time that our kidney energy is tested the most so it is important to listen to your body at this time. The key is to find the balance between doing and resting that is right for you and your body. If your fears ever become so great that you feel at all overwhelmed then counselling is always an excellent thing to consider. It is ok to take some of the weight and responsibility from your shoulders. As well as being strong, work on being tender and open as well and develop a softer approach. This is not weakness, instead see it as a counter balance to your strong will and sense of self-possession. Try to connect more to others and not cut yourself off emotionally. Exercise classes with other people in a group, for example, are a good idea. With rest, your energy reserves will build and courage will come again as it is your great strength. Do not suppress your fears; allow yourself the time and space to explore them; within your fears you may find your greatest dreams too. Rest and warmth will build up your reserves. Try a lovely heat wrap treatment and acupuncture with hot needles to warm your body and drive out coldness.

• • • • • • •

Emma is an integrated women’s health expert, registered acupuncturist and author NATURAL HEALTH 45


4 of the best

ANTI-AGERS Boost beauty from within with these hero supplements

Lines, creases and wrinkles are all part of the natural ageing process. However, 41 percent of British women would prefer their faces to look fresh and radiant, according to a new survey. While some may turn to botox, there are also natural solutions which can work in synergy with the body’s own biological processes to help support skin suppleness and radiance no matter what your age. Here’s our pick of the top four:


Solgar Collagen Hyaluronic Acid Complex (30 tablets £33.86) Restore natural collagen and moisture levels for firmer, radiant, younger looking skin. Designed to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle, this daily restore complex combines a special form of bioavailable collagen (BioCell Collagen II), hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulphate and vitamin C to help keep the skin looking soft, supple and less wrinkled. BioCell Collagen II is clinically shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce skin dryness, and increase collagen content in the skin. Studies show that daily ingestion of BioCell Collagen Type II increases the collagen content in the facial skin. Vitamin C also contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of skin.


Solgar Nutri Nano CoQ10 (50 softgels for £32.49) CoQ10 is a compound that occurs naturally within the cells of the human body and is known to have antioxidant properties that help to protect skin cells. With age, the level

of CoQ10 in your body diminishes, resulting in premature skinageing. Solgar Nutri-Nano CoQ10 has 3.1 times better absorption than traditional CoQ10, helping to replenish your skin from within.


Solgar Skin, Nails and Hair Formula Tablets (£11.99 for 60 tablets) Combining MSM, an organic bio-available form of sulphur and hero ingredients l-lysine and l-proline to help build collagen and keratin which helps maintain the integrity of healthy skin, nails and hair, whilst vitamin C’s antioxidant properties protects cells from oxidative stress, these supplements leaving you with shiny, healthy hair, strong, healthy nails and glowing skin – the ultimate beauty hat-trick. Copper contributes to normal hair and skin pigmentation, Zinc to the maintenance of normal skin, nails and hair and to the protection of cells from oxidative stress (damage).


Solgar Liquid Vitamin E (£11.75 for 59.2 ml) Our skin faces a lot each day – dirt and pollution, the weather, air-conditioning, lack of sleep and even eating on the go. The impacts of city living can contribute to dry skin, redness and premature ageing. Liquid vitamin E provides drops of beauty support to skin cells, offering antioxidant protection against free radical damage. Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress (damage).

Food supplements should not be used instead of a varied balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Visit for more information. 46 NATURAL HEALTH


WIN a balancing spa break

WORTH £1,000! Make time to relax, unwind and achieve a sense of harmony with a two night getaway at Boringdon Hall’s Gaia Spa. The luxury five star country manor hotel on the edge of Dartmoor features the new nature inspired Gaia Spa and is the perfect place for a rejuvenating break. With the finest wellness facilities, Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall features an infinity pool, hydrotherapy pool with outdoor swim-through, a Finnish sauna, crystal salt steam room, aromatherapy steam room, laconium, herbal sauna and shower experiences. The spa also features a state-of-the-art gym by Pulse Fitness, 12 dedicated treatment rooms, a deep relaxation room, beauty salon with champagne services, Spatisserie restaurant and outdoor areas for relaxation, yoga and meditation. Gaia Spa is a unique place of wellness designed with the need for complete wellbeing in mind.


• Two nights’ accommodation for the winner and a friend in a four-poster bedroom • Full use of the spa facilities • 120 minute Gaia Ritual, choosing from the Gaia Raindrop or Crystal Therapy or Total Holistic Ritual • A la carte dinner in the Gallery Restaurant each night


The prize is subject to availability and advance booking is required. The prize excludes bank holidays, certain dates and seasonal occasions. There is no cash alternative and travel is not provided to or from Boringdon Hall or Gaia Spa. All food and drink not stated above is excluded from the prize. Check-in is from 3pm on the day of arrival and check-out is by 11am on the day of departure. Prize winners must be aware of all hotel and spa terms and conditions prior to arrival. The prize is valid for one year from the date the winner is notified.



We’re all familiar with the term winter blues, but what if it’s something a bit more serious? Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a severe winter depression that usually hits when the clocks go back and lifts again in the spring. “SAD has been strongly linked to reduced levels of serotonin, an important ‘feel-good’ hormone that is a natural mood stabiliser and helps with a variety of bodily functions including sleeping, eating, and digesting,” says Mary Dalgleish, vice president of the Federation of Holistic Therapists ( It’s easy to feel miserable when the rain’s lashing down and you’re shivvering at the bus stop, but it’s not the cold, dreary weather that causes SAD – experts believe it’s related to daylight, not temperature. Most of us don’t get enough daylight in the winter, so if you’ve been feeling a bit below par, read on to see if you might have the condition...

1 2


SAD?   Are you down in the dumps as soon as the evenings draw in? You could be suffering from winter depression...


Are you finding your usual hobbies and interests have lost their appeal? Sufferers of SAD often feel no enthusiasm for activities they usually looked forward to in the summer months. Even things like seeing friends for dinner can seem like a huge chore when it was previously a treat.


...Yet don’t feel the benefit. Feeling tired during the day no matter how much sleep you’ve had is a warning sign. People with SAD also find it very diffucult to get out of bed in the winter mornings.



But don’t worry, you can have them – just don’t overdo it. It’s thought that eating carbohydrates allows our body to make serotonin, the feel-good hormone, and so this acts a bit like an anti-depressant. Choose complex carbs like wholegrains and sweet potato.


4 5

YOU’RE FEMALE That’s right, as if we don’t have more than our fair share of bodily hassles, being a lady makes SAD much more likely, statistically.


...and lifted again in the spring time. SAD sufferers have a very winter-specific condition, and to be medically diagnosed sufferers must have had the symptoms during the last two consecutive years.


WHAT T0 DO? l Visit your GP and explain how you are feeling. Investigate natural self-help stratergies proven to help, such as buying a lightbox. Studies have shown that between 50 and 80 percent of light therapy users experience a remission in symptoms. l When you’re feeling crappy it’s easy to reach for comfort food, but eating well can help to boost your mood. Oatmeal and other complex carbs like brown rice will help to boost serotonin levels. Dark green leafy veg like kale, savoy cabbage and broccoli are packed with folate and vitamin B12, which also boost the happy hormone. Omega 3 fatty acids in oily fish help the body fight depression, as can walnuts and flax seeds, and avocados are rich in tryptophan, which calms and lifts mood. Another nut to eat is the Brazil – it’s packed

TRY this FOR A

with selenium, and low levels of this mineral are implicated in depression. l Try and plan activities with friends and people who can help you feel better, even if you don’t particularly feel like it, and let family know how you are feeling so they can offer support. l You might be suprised to learn that simple aromatherapy can work wonders, too: “Inhalation of citrus essential oils, particularly bergamot, lemon and orange, can enhance the mood, and one study shows that depressed patients treated with a blend of these oils were able to reduce their dose of antidepressants,” says Mary. Pop a few drops into your bath, or blend with a carrier oil and massage into your skin.


Lipolife Immu-POW Liposomal Vitamin C & D3, £24.99,


NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:13 Page 50


Glynis Barber

Ward off winter bugs

Have a healthy January with these holistic tips from our new columnist Is it just me or do winter viruses seem to be getting worse each year? More and more people

appear to be falling ill and the bugs seem nastier as well, taking people out of action for a week or so. But why do some people succumb so often while others get through winter with only a slight sniffle? It’s all down to how well our immune systems work and lifestyle, diet and stress all play an important part. In 2015 I spent the whole year appearing in a production in the West End. I was the only cast member who never took a sick day despite the fact I was decades older than the rest of the actors who were all in their twenties and early thirties. At one point a very nasty strain of the norovirus swept through the theatre and 19 actors out of a total of 26 succumbed, as well as most of the stage crew and front of house staff. This went on for weeks and those of us who hadn’t caught it yet were terrified – we felt like dead men walking. One by one they fell and I couldn’t quite believe it when it was finally over and I was still standing.

So was this luck? I definitely felt lucky but I also had a few tricks up my sleeve. While many of the team used hand sanitisers religiously, I never used them once. Instead I washed my hands every time I came back to my dressing room using good old fashioned soap and water. The reason for this is that it’s been suggested that sanitisers can contribute to the creation of drug-resistant bacteria and they also have an impact on your own good bacteria. I’m also an enthusiastic supplement taker. I take lots of antioxidants including vitamin D3 (along with K2). Vitamin D plays a critical role in our ability to fight off infections but many people in northern climates are deficient in it. I keep anti-viral supplements to hand too. At the first sign of any virus or a tickle in the throat, I take oregano oil which is one of the most powerful anti-virals I know of. Olive leaf extract is also good and when I think I’m getting ill, I take them both together. Usually within 24 hours all signs of infection are completely gone or if I do succumb it’s short and mild. Of course to have a healthy immune system, a healthy lifestyle is paramount. It’s important to cut back on sugars to keep the gut healthy. Getting adequate sleep and rest is important too.


1. Take vitamin D This is vital for good health and the prevention of disease. Take it with vitamin K2 for optimal health. 2. Use anti-viral supplements Oregano oil and olive leaf are some of nature’s most powerful anti-viral agents. Use at first sign of a cold or virus and take occasionally as a preventative measure. 3. Look after your gut A healthy gut is essential for a healthy immune system. Probiotics restore beneficial bacteria that may have been lost due to overuse of antibiotics or poor diet. 4. Try pelargonium sidoides This is a herbal medicinal product that has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It’s particularly good for upper-respiratory tract infections such as a blocked nose or sore throat.

Glynis Barber is an actress, co-author of The In-Sync Diet and founder of



WEEKEND DETOX Banish the effects of the festive season with our two-day plan for mind, body and soul


8am HOT WATER AND LEMON It’s an oldie but a goodie: squeeze half a lemon into hot water and sip to wake up the digestive system and get things moving. Packed with vitamin C, lemon is alkalising and will get you off to a great start.

8.30am BREAKFAST: CLEANSING ENERGY SUPER SMOOTHIE “The potassium, iron, vitamin C and magnesium in this super smoothie help with energy production and collagen cross linking,” says Rick Hay, anti ageing food and fitness nutritionist ( “These nutrients are also essential to help fight tiredness and fatigue. “Blend one banana, one date, hanful of English spinach, 200ml of rice or almond milk and a handful of cashews and drink,” says Rick. “As this smoothie is rich in fibre it helps with weight management and to release energy slowly, so that you can train for longer. The cashews are high in protein which helps with muscle strength and endurance and they provide essential fatty acids that help with cardiovascular health.”

10am GET MOVING Pick something you’re going to enjoy, and try and keep it up for an hour. Make sure it’s something that’ll raise a sweat, to get the circulation and lymphatic system flowing. Perhaps you could rent a badminton court with a friend, go for a jog or take a class at a local gym. Don’t want to go it alone? Check out, a website which organises free timed 5km runs in local green space for all ages and abilities. 52 NATURAL HEALTH

1pm LUNCH: BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER CASHEW NUT STIR FRY “Stir fry a cup of broccoli and a cup of cauliflower florets in a low heat in a little olive oil,” says Rick. “Add a couple of splashes of soy sauce and two handfuls of cashew nuts. Serve with half a cup of brown rice to increase the fibre content and to help with blood sugar regulation. Add spices like turmeric or chilli to spice things up a bit! “You should be including more plantbased protein into your diet and this option is fast and nutritious – it’s easy vegetarian cooking that’s good for heart health.”

3pm HAVE A MASSAGE A good, deep detoxing massage not only makes you feel brilliant, it stimulates the circulatory system too. Toxins are pushed out of the tissues they’ve been stored in and enter the blood stream to be removed from the body. That’s why it’s important to drink plenty of water after this kind of treatment – you’ll need extra to help flush these toxins out. If you can rope in a partner or friend to do the deed then do so – if not, treat yourself at a good local salon or health centre.

6pm DINNER: CAULIFLOWER RICE WITH TOFU AND CHICKPEAS “Blend up a quarter of a chopped cauliflower for 30 seconds, or grate it if you want chunkier rice, and then lightly steam it for a few minutes. Season with rock or sea salt,” says Rick. “Grill a small piece of salmon or tofu, brush with olive or coconut oil, slice and add to the

cauliflower rice when ready. Add quarter of a can or sachet of chickpeas together with some grated carrot for colour. Use two teaspoons of tamari or soy sauce to taste.”

9pm DO SOME YOGA Spend 15 minutes practising relaxing yoga asanas to help your body switch into sleep mode. Some of the best poses for sleep include standing forward bend, child’s pose and legs up the wall pose, but you’ll find lots of how-to videos by searching on YouTube.

9.15pm HAVE A BATH Run a hot bath and pour in Magnesium Flakes from Better You (£9.99, hollandandbarrett. com). Magnesium is thought to help draw toxins from the body, and improve the quality of your sleep that night. The mineral really is your body’s best friend because it also helps to make insulin more effective, reduces inflammation, eases stress and improves concentration, plus helps to prevent hardening of the arteries. We’ll have some of that!

10pm SLEEP WARM At bedtime, place a warm hot water bottle wrapped in a tea towel over your liver area (your lower ribs on your right-hand side.) This simple measure will improve its function and, therefore, aid detoxification

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8am LEMON WATER Same as yesterday.

8.15am DO SOME GENTLE YOGA Practise three rounds of sun salutations to awaken your body and welcome the day. In Ayurveda, this routine is believed to bring great mental and physical benefits to the body and should be performed every morning.

8.30am BREAKFAST: BERRY SUPERFOOD BOWL “Think LA when you think of the superfood bowl,” says Rick. “This is true nutrient dense fuel for the body. “It is an antioxidant powerhouse that will really boost immunity and help with recovery and tiredness after exercise. It’s a mini multi vitamin in a bowl. “Blend 100ml of almond milk, a banana, a handful of spinach and pour the mixture into a bowl. Top it with a few blueberries and strawberries, half a sliced kiwi fruit, a dollop of natural yoghurt and a few teaspoons of desiccated coconut.”

9.30am BODY BRUSH Get your lymphatic system pumping with some dry body brushing. Sweep from your fingers and toes upwards towards your heart in long, firm brushes.

10am HUG A TREE Yes, really, says Estelle Lefebure, author of the new Mindful Beauty, How to Look and Feel Great in Every Season (Flammarion). “In my opinion, hugging a tree is the very best way to feel at one with nature and draw upon its strength,” she says. “Find a tree that inspires you, in a garden, park or forest. Go ahead – clasp your arms around it tightly as if you were lovingly embracing someone dear to you. Press your ear against the trunk to sense its inner life. “Tree hugging may seem odd at first, but it’s based on scientific studies. Trees are actually central to our very existence because they convert carbon dioxide into the oxygen that we need to breathe in all day every day. So, if we get it at the source, this essential force will have a genuine impact on the stress levels in our minds, as well as the oxygen levels in our tissues.”

1pm LUNCH: SUPER SOUP “Thermogenic herbs help speed up fat loss,” says Rick. “Add a cup of canned organic lentils and two cups of green vegetables to 400ml of water. Put some chilli, turmeric and ginger to taste and simmer slowly for around 10 minutes, then serve.”

3pm GET MOVING Go for a brisk half-hour walk. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, a 20-minute jog or a mixture of both. Make sure you raise your heart rate. If it’s raining, skipping indoors will do.

6pm DINNER: COURGETTI “Spiralise or thinly slice two small courgettes and fry briefly in a little olive oil for about a minute,” says Rick. “Add some garlic, basil and parsley to taste. Some crumbled feta cheese can also be added to increase protein levels.”

9.15pm TIME TO RELAX The same bath routine and liver compress as before and hit the sack – job done! NATURAL HEALTH 53

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SALT OF THE EARTH Our green goddess explores the wonders of Himalayan rock salt

My love affair with Himalayan sea salt began many years ago with the purchase of a pink salt lamp. I’ll admit it was the lamp’s unique aesthetic that initially drew my attention, but upon further inspection, I was delighted to discover that the desk light, due to its air-cleansing properties, had a ton load of wellbeing benefits to boot! Following this enlightenment, I began to look into the detoxing capabilities of pink bath salt and ultimately the health benefits of pink cooking salt. Unsurprisingly, I was not disappointed and I still use both to this day!

THROUGH THE AGES So why is this salt so amazing and why is it better than sea salt or table salt? Well, it all boils down to history. Approximately 200 million years ago, the crystallised sea salt beds of the Himalaya mountain range were covered with lava, and because they were subsequently enveloped in snow and ice for a millennia, they were protected from modern day pollution and preserved in an untouched, pristine environment. For this reason, experts believe it to be the purest salt on the planet.

BREAK IT DOWN The ancient salt contains the same 84 trace minerals and elements that are found in the human body. This includes sodium, chloride, sulphate, calcium, potassium and magnesium. And because it is unprocessed, each mineral exists in colloidal form, which means they are small enough for our cells to absorb.

A CUT ABOVE With our oceans becoming more and more polluted each year, regular sea salt just isn’t what it used to be and the table variety is even worse! This kind is completely stripped of its minerals with the exception of

sodium and chloride. It is then bleached, cleaned with chemicals and heated at extremely high temperatures. After this, synthetic iodine is added, which is hard for our bodies to absorb, and anti-caking agents are used to prevent the salt from going lumpy in the container. These agents also prevent it from absorbing into our bodies, however, which can lead to build up and deposits in the organs, causing significant health problems. Studies have shown that for each gram of table salt that the body cannot process, 20 times the amount of cellular water will be used to neutralise it.

THE AFTERMATH This is why salt has got such a bad name over the years. It’s not that salt is bad for us – quite the opposite – it’s actually only refined salt that is inferior for our health. The trouble is that so many people eat processed convenience food that’s packed with refined salt and they’re often adding more to the equation to make it worse. Taking this on board, it’s clear that consuming homemade food and using a natural, untainted salt for seasoning is one of the best ways to stay healthy and avoid sodiumcaused implications such as high blood pressure.


• Aids vascular health • Supports healthy lungs and respiratory function • Promotes a stable pH balance within the cells • Reduces the signs of ageing • Promotes a healthy sleep pattern • Increases libido • Prevents muscle cramps • Strengthens bones • Detoxifies the body of heavy metals



A THUMBS UP FROM ME! For almost 30 years Linda has put up with painful joints, but not anymore, thanks to Flexicoll Platinum “Flexicoll Platinum has helped me to do the job I really love,” says Linda Williamson, a 62-year-old self-employed seamstress, mother of two and grandmother of seven. When Linda was only 29 years old she was diagnosed with an inflammatory type of arthritis. “My elbows and fingers would swell up unexpectedly. I would go to bed one night and be fine but in the morning it would feel as if I had been beaten up and my bones had been broken.” Over the years Linda has seen many specialists who put her on various types of medication. She was very unsure about taking prescribed medication at such a young age because of the side effects they can have.” I did try but found the stomach pains and nausea hard to live with,” she says. Three years ago she was having severe pains in her hands, particularly her thumbs. It was decided that surgery was the only option and she was put on a waiting list,

although, for various reasons, she was not keen to have it. “I was determined to do the things that other people of my age were doing and not give up. Over the last 20 years or so, the pain and inflammation could happen unexpectedly. The lack of mobility in my lower back was my main concern. “At the age of 60 I was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon and was put on a waiting list for an operation on one of my thumbs. But I didn’t feel that it would help in the long term.” A turning point came for Linda by chance. She found a natural product that worked for her and made her feel that she didn’t need the operation. As she explains: “Four years ago I was introduced to Flexicoll, a natural collagen product in powder form which I mix with water. In just three weeks I felt a difference especially with the stiffness in my joints in the morning. After six weeks there was even more improvement. I was delighted. “Then five months ago I was asked to take part in a trial of a new improved collagen product called Flexicoll Platinum. I feel totally amazing. Working as a dressmaker is so important to me and I don’t think I could have continued without this wonderful product.

The main ingredient in Flexicoll Platinum is fortigel, a hydrolysed collagen. Fortigel has won awards for the best natural product for five consecutive years in Poland for sports injury repair and the relief from osteoarthritis symptoms. Flexicoll Platinum contains 6000mg of Fortigel collagen per serving, having a low molecular weight (3000 daltons) which gives optimum bioavailability at a cellular level. Flexicoll Platinum also contains: • The anti-inflammatory supplements serrapeptase, bromelain, celadrin and rosehip, which can alleviate inflammatory conditions. • Hyaluronic acid, which acts like a cushion and lubricant in the joint tissues, almost like a shock absorber. • Inulin, a prebiotic, which improves digestive health. • Flexicoll Platinum is not a pain-relieving product, it works over a period of time repairing and renewing tissue. It can take six to 12 weeks for significant results to appear but benefits can be felt in as little as three weeks. Flexicoll Platinum can repair damage to tendons and strengthen ligaments. It also helps to lubricate and alleviate inflammation in the joints as well as minimise wear and tear by helping to reduce friction. On top of this, it can also improve the condition of skin, hair, nails and gums. “Since taking Flexicoll Platinum I can now go to the gym three times a week! What a difference it has made to my life. I have cancelled my operation as I don’t feel that I will need it anytime soon.”


Readers of Natural Health magazine can get £5 off a purchase of Flexicoll Platinum RRP £34.95 by calling 01670 511066 or for more information visit

For more information visit 56 NATURAL HEALTH


Arthritis is one of the most common diseases associated with old age

Extract taken from Arthritis: Drug-Free Alternatives to Prevent and Reverse Arthritis, Lynne McTaggart, Hay House UK, £9.99.

Natural ways to

EASE SORE JOINTS Most of us accept that, as we get older, we’ll be more likely to start suffering from aches and pains. Even in early

middle age, many people suffer back pain that is so severe that they have to take time off work. We may not even call it arthritis: it might start out as a twinge that just gets progressively worse. It’s just ‘wear and tear’, as our family doctor might put it. But these ‘worn-out’ joints have reached pandemic levels in the Western world. A chronic condition that bedevils conventional medicine, it’s one of the most common diseases associated with old age, and one of the biggest causes of disability at any time of life. Actually, arthritis isn’t a proper disease but an umbrella term that describes a collection of symptoms with many potential causes. It simply means inflammation of one or more joints in the body. Pain and stiffness are the most universal symptoms of arthritis, and the pain, which can be severe, is as crippling as the physiological debilitation itself.

WAYS TO EASE ARTHRITIS Sort out your gut. Get tested for candida overgrowth, parasites or a leaky gut, low stomach acid and fructose intolerance, which are all shown to cause arthritis symptoms. Also get tested for food and environmental allergies and eliminate allergens from your diet and lifestyle. Change your diet to a low-inflammation one. Avoid the big common allergens like dairy and wheat, red meat, all nightshades, processed foods and those laden with sugar. Drink at least eight glasses of pure water a day, as well as fresh

• • •

ginger juice, extract or tea. Take mineral baths with magnesium. Consider one or more of the following joint-healthy supplements: glucosamine (up to 3,200mg/day) chondroitin (up to 3,600mg/day), bromelaine (750– 1,000mg/day – usually in four divided doses), collagen hydrolysate (up to 1,200mg/day) or hyaluronic acid (40mg/day). Have massage sessions to increase circulation and mitigate the pain. Try these nutrition-boosting supplements, which can ease arthritis: vitamin C (1–3g/day), a balanced B-complex supplement, vitamin D3 (2,000IU/day), vitamin E (1,200 to 1,800IU/day) or astaxanthin (300mg/day). Have acupuncture, which like all the alternative treatments shows scientific evidence of success. Try these homeopathic remedies: Bryonia alba for pain with inflammation made worse by movement, calccarb for arthritic knees, colchicum for arthritis pain made worse by exercise, guaiacum for gout and joint abscesses, hypericum for nerve pain from rheumatoid arthritis or ledum pal for gout and rheumatism. Try energy techniques such as qigong, reiki and therapeutic touch. Look to herbal helpers such as: bromelain (750–1,000mg/day – usually in four divided doses), black cumin (1tsp of black cumin seed oil with meals), curcumin (400–800mg/day), ginger (2–4g of fresh ginger juice, extract or tea daily. Or rub ginger oil directly onto a painful joint), rosehip powder, devil’s claw (750mg three times a day), guggul (500mg/day taken with food), traditional Chinese medicine herbs such as shu guan wen jing and shu guan qing luo, cayenne cream and willow bark.

Do you suffer from arthritis? These holistic hacks from Lynne McTaggart will help

• •

• • • • • •

If you’ve had any history of arthritis, it’s recommended that you only follow this programme under the supervision of a qualified, experienced professional. Also, consult a professional with knowledge of nutrition about the doses of supplements to take, since these vary depending on your individual needs.




How this holistic therapy can help restore inner calm and improve your wellbeing

reflexology helps them sleep better, too. Sign us up now!

The benefits of reflexology are well known and yet a large proportion of people claim it’s not for them, without even trying it. Granted, we don’t all like this part of our body being touched, but as our feet bear the weight of our whole body and propel us forward in our dayto-day lives, surely they deserve a little attention? Holistic foot massage has been practised for thousands of years – it’s thought that reflexology was developed in China as early as 4,000BC, and it was also championed by the ancient Egyptians and various native American tribes. It’s based on the idea that your feet (and hands and ears to a certain extent) are like mini maps of your body – with every organ and section interlinked to a corresponding region of the feet. By stimulating certain points, called reflexes, it’s believed that therapists can help revitalise energy pathways, reduce blockages and trigger the body’s natural healing process, thereby helping address different issues. Here’s why you should try it…

Always suffering from cold feet? Our sedentary lifestyles mean we don’t necessarily use our feet muscles properly and this, coupled with tight shoes and socks, can hamper the circulation in this area. Problems with blood flow are even more noticeable in winter but because reflexology focuses on massaging and applying pressure to the feet, it can temporarily boost circulation to this area.


Any sort of therapy that involves massaging or stimulating areas of the body can help with relaxation, and reflexology is no different. Studies have suggested that massage can not only help lower blood pressure but also the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies and for this reason, reflexology is gaining a stellar reputation among stressedout individuals. As well as reporting a release of tension, many people say that 58 NATURAL HEALTH



According to the results of a 2013 study, reflexology could be as effective as painkillers as a method of pain relief. Researchers at the University of Portsmouth found that people who were undergoing reflexology felt about 40 percent less pain, and were able to stand pain for about 45 percent longer. Dr Carol Samuel, who led the study, said the results suggested that reflexology could be used to complement conventional drug therapy in the treatment of conditions associated with pain such as osteoarthritis, backache and cancers. “It is likely that reflexology works in a similar manner to acupuncture by causing the brain to release chemicals that lessen pain signals,” she explained. Many people who use reflexology also report an ease in headaches and migraines and PMS and menopause symptoms, too.


Reflexology involves a variety of ‘warm ups’ and ‘mobilisation’ techniques, which are designed to help relax your

It is likely that reflexology works in a similar way to


feet for the treatment, as well as improve movement in your feet and ankles. This can be particularly useful for those who have to stand a lot, or have poor mobility in their feet and ankles.


Many couples trying to conceive find reflexology beneficial and there are countless stories in the news of women who claim that the treatment helped them fall pregnant. While there has been no conclusive scientific research into this, reflexology is believed to help due to the balancing effects of the therapy and the fact that it helps to promote relaxation at a time that can be particularly stressful. Similarly, many pregnant clients also find reflexology relaxing and helpful at a time when they are going through major physiological and emotional changes.

“I FIND REFLEXOLOGY THE ULTIMATE RELAXER” Fifty-three-year-old Helen from West Sussex has been enjoying reflexology treatments for more than 12 years. Here’s why she’s such a fan of this holistic therapy…


While going to a trained reflexologist will allow you to enjoy a personalised treatment that’s designed to help address specific issues with your body, there are certain techniques you can employ at home. For your own mini foot treatment, start by relaxing your feet – gently kneading them and pressing them softly to soothe the muscles. Using your thumb inch it up your foot,‘walking’ it up to the top of your toes in a caterpillar-like fashion. Now depending on what you would like to focus on, press on one or more of the following reflex points.

• For your head/brain – the top of •

each toe. Pressure here can promote clarity and positive thinking. For your pituitary or ‘master gland’ – the centre of your big toe.

This can stimulate and balance your hormone secretions. • For your pineal gland – the outer side of the big toe. This part of your foot can help with the secretion of melatonin which impacts on our circadian rhythm/sleep cycle. • For your neck – the base of the big toe. Release tension by focusing on this part of your feet. • For your chest/lungs – the pad of your foot. Pressure here can calm your breathing. • For your solar plexus – underneath the pad of your foot in the centre. This part of your foot can help encourage relaxation and the release of tension.    Finish by gently kneading your feet all over, and then lightly run your fingertips down your skin in a feathery motion.  

“I first discovered complementary therapies when I went to a therapy taster session at a colleague’s house. At the time I was suffering from sciatica, as I have a lower back problem that stems from a car accident and years of horse riding. After just a short massage treatment from Alison, the therapist there, I could feel the pain start to subside. I have had other treatments for this condition, but nothing that provided relief so quickly “I now have regular reflexology treatments with Alison as I see it as the ultimate relaxer. I also find that it alleviates the nerve pain I experience from an old running injury, and the arthritis in my big toe. My treatment not only provides me with deep relaxation, but helps me to care for my overall health and wellbeing. “The holistic aspect of reflexology is very important. There have been times when I have been under a lot of stress, or my health has been poor - both mentally and physically - and Alison has been able to adjust the treatment to help provide me with the support I need. “I find it is a much less aggressive way of dealing with problems. Both reflexology and other forms of complementary therapies are supportive and don’t have the same side-effects as drugs or other physical treatments. In addition, any problem I have is not treated in isolation to other aspects of my life and health, so they provide broader support to my overall health and wellbeing.”

Helen’s therapist Alison is a member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (the FHT). For more information or to find a therapist near you visit NATURAL HEALTH 59

NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:14 Page 60

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Living healthily from the inside out

New research from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has shown that vitamin

D benefits bone health and muscle strength. The positive effects of vitamin D are also related to adequate levels of calcium in the body as the functions of both are closely linked. Government guidelines recommend that we consume approximately 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day, which we can get from foods such as egg yolk, oily fish, red meat and wild mushrooms. According to the SACN however, food sources are inadequate for a lot of people and we should consider taking vitamin D supplements during the autumn and winter months.


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The superfood HOTLIST

//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Fill your basket with these latest healthy eating must-haves

BREAKFAST CLUB Qnola has launched a new granola blend inspired by snickers. Qnola SniQkers with He Shou Wu, £7.80,

GOING NUTS These tasty nuts come in four flavours. African Sky Macadamia Nuts, £4.50 - £5.75,

ALOE ALOE ALOE This organic aloe vera juice is made using South Africa’s ‘miracle plant’, aloe ferox. Aloe24 Organic Juice, £8.99, Waitrose

SIMPLY DIVINE We can’t get enough of Divine’s latest fairtrade offering. Divine Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Salt, £2.19, Wholefoods

NH LOVES Touted as nature’s sherbert, try this sprinkled over yoghurt or fruit salad. Graze Super Baobab, £6.99,

SNACK ATTACK Keep one of these fruit, nut and seed bars in your bag for an on-the-go energy boost. Acti-Snack Bars, £1.30, Ocado

MATCHA MAGIC Try one of three new flavours – powerdrive, nutrifusion and trimtime. Bloom Matcha Teas, £16.99, Harrods

EDITOR’S PICK Tideford has added a new flavour to its range of soups. Tideford Beetroot Curly Kale Soup, £2.89, Waitrose

FUNKY FRUIT These fruity bites are available in three tasty flavours and contain no artificial ingredients. Fruit Bowl Fruit Bites, £2, Tesco

A TASTE OF INDIA These teabags are perfect for making chai lattes on cold winter mornings. Tea India Coconut Chai, £2.45, Waitrose

PROTEIN PUNCH Try a three bean or chana chaat pot for a healthy take on Indian cuisine. Gourmosa Chaat Pots, £2 £2.59, Ocado

DRY JANUARY Non-alcoholic wines to help you detox – choose from a shiraz or rosé. Belvoir Wines without the Hangover, £2.99, Tesco

FEELING SHEEPISH Never tried sheep yoghurt? Now’s your chance! Delamere Dairy Natural Sheep Yoghurt, £2.50, Ocado

BE KIND We love the new flavour from KIND’s range of snack bars. KIND Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond Bar, £1.49, Wholefoods

STICK IT Yushoi has added coconut and chilli to its range of rice sticks. Yushoi Snapea Coconut & Chilli Rice Sticks, £1.99, Tesco


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////////////////////////////////////////////////// NUTRITIOUS INSPIRATION & IDEAS

SOUPER DUPER Warm up with a bowl of this delicious vegan soup. Yorkshire Provender Moroccan Vegetable Tagine, £2.49, Waitrose

CRUNCH TIME Gluten free corn cakes jazzed up with protein-packed chia seeds. Kallo Corn Cakes with Chia Seeds, £1.29, Tesco

BOTTOMS UP This luxury nonalcoholic drink is perfect for a midweek tipple. Thomas & Evans No. 1, £3.95, Harvey Nichols


Philips Airfryer Content writer Lauren Godfrey gets frying the healthy way

ROOTING FOR YOU The UK’s first whole vegetable blends in five flavours – drink up! Roots Collective Blends, £2.95,

LAYER UP Try these dual-layered coconut milk yoghurts for dessert. CO YO Toppers Coconut Brownie, £2.49,

SMOOTH CRIMINAL Frozen smoothie kits in three combinations – energy, detox and defense. PACK’D Frozen Smoothie Kits, £3.50, Sainsburys

TAKE A DIP Dunk pitta bread into this new seaweed houmous for a superfood hit. Me Too! Seaweed Houmous, £1.50, Tesco

GOODBYE GLUTEN Schar’s latest loaf is made with quinoa and chestnut. Schar Gluten Free Wholesome Vitality Loaf, £2.60, Tesco

DATE NIGHT These heart-shaped dates come in four yummy flavours perfect for a sweet treat. Beloved Date Hearts, 75p, Asda

It doesn’t matter how strict I try to be, I’ve always had a weakness for chips. My love affair with deliciously crisp fried potatoes has always hindered my dinner plans, especially when trying to make them as healthy as possible. I’ve tried everything from coconut oil to sweet potatoes, so when I was presented with a healthy way to create the perfect fries I simply couldn’t resist. The Philips Airfryer is basically a portable fan-assisted oven which circulates hot air to cook food, using up to 80 percent less oil than a conventional fryer. You can fry, roast, grill and even bake (yes, there’s a mouth-watering ricotta and lemon cheesecake recipe I’m going to try next) all of your favourite meals in one simple gadget. Alongside producing the most delicious homemade chips using a tiny amount of my favourite low-calorie spray oil, I’ve also roasted a chicken, baked scrumptious jacket potatoes and grilled a fillet of salmon. Even for a novice cook like myself, using the airfryer couldn’t be simpler. A quick turn of the two dials, one to adjust the temperature and the other to control the timer, and you’re away. What’s more, it’s easy to clean too. Top marks from me! Philips Airfryer, £180, NATURAL HEALTH 63

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Eat Smart: what to eat in a day, every day by Niomi Smart (HarperCollins) £20, is out now.

Niomi Smart, lifestyle blogger and author of Eat Natural


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My journey into healthy eating began when I started to put more thought into the food choices I was making. If you asked me to cook something years ago I would have shied away from it. But now I find it a sort of therapy, a time for me to relax and be creative in the kitchen. I get so much joy making meals for friends and family, and I feel great too from all the nutrients I pack into my daily diet. I’d like to think my attitude to food has become a more considered one – I really think about what I’m putting into my body and listen to what it needs. I don’t like not knowing what’s in my food, so going for a more natural, plant-based approach gives me peace of mind. My online audience and readers of my blog really encouraged me to put my recipes into a book. They were responding so well to my food videos so I couldn’t wait to share the ones I had been creating over a long period of time.   I became a vegan two and a half years ago and for me it was a lifestyle choice. I was feeling sluggish a lot and had been researching the health benefits of a plant-based diet so thought I would try it for myself. I’ve seen improvement in my skin, hair and nails and I now have that energy boost I was lacking. I’ve also met so many lovely people with beautiful food blogs who I now call my friends. The community is amazing.  If you’re keen to start cooking healthy dishes, I’d suggest starting with simple dishes, ones with just a few fresh ingredients, and then build your cooking confidence from there. You don’t have to change the way you eat overnight or even your entire diet – the best thing to do is introduce healthy food gradually to a point where you really enjoy it and want to make that choice. Also go into your local bookstore and have a read through the host of amazing recipe books on the market to get some ideas and inspiration. 

If you struggle with a lack of time, tupperware containers are your friend! If you make too much food for dinner, the leftovers can be kept for lunch the following day. Similarly, on a Sunday I like to roast a big tray of vegetables and then keep them for salads during the week. Preparation is key. Now that I have all my recipes documented in Eat Smart I don’t find eating healthily hard at any point in the year. I guess the tendency is to turn to comfort food in colder months but once you start experimenting with healthier alternatives to your usual treats, you will never go back. One of my favourite winter comfort foods is my plant-based take on a shepherd’s pie – the filling is made with lentils and a variety of different vegetables to get that meat-like consistency and it’s topped with a delicious parsnip and potato mash.


foods I’ll be eating THIS MONTH

ABOUT NIOMI STUDIED Law at the University of the West of England BECAME A VEGAN Two and a half years ago CAREER HIGHLIGHT  My book becoming a Sunday Times Bestseller SKILLS / EXPERTISE Experimental cooking – coming up with delicious healthy alternatives to classic comfort food.

Butternut squash You can make soups, stews, healthy spaghetti and desserts with this root veg, it’s so versatile Bananas For extra energy add them to smoothies, or blend when frozen to make ice-cream

Dark chocolate This is my vice to satisfy sweet cravings


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NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:14 Page 66

Seriously. A crème fraiche without the crème, which means that for hat fo the first time st tim ever, every one veryon very on can enjoy it. You might ht be thin king: “No crème? How can it be a crème fraiche?” Which is exactly why you should consider putting this ad down and picking up a carton to try yourself. In Sweden, where we make this amazing

product, it has done nothing less than han revoluti revo nise the lives onise of f our veggie, ve gan and ctoseaverse friends e friend because not only is it completely dairy-free, it performs just like fraiche, which is pretty fraiche if you think about it. Oh, one more thing. You’ll find it in the chilled section at Tesco. Enjoy.




“ It can be easy to

forget why we set our New Year resolutions ” Nutritional therapist Ian Marber gives his advice on how to ensure your resolutions stay firm this year

January is the time of year for resolutions but how realistic are they? A survey commissioned by BUPA in 2015 suggested that 32 percent of us planned to make a New Year resolution for 2016 – with 35 percent of us attempting to lose weight and 32 percent vowing to eat more healthily (interestingly this is compared to just 14 percent who resolved to spend more time with friends and family). However, the same survey showed that 63 percent of people who make resolutions fail to keep them and more than three quarters of those gave up on their target within three months. So what went wrong? Resolutions regarding diet, be they for weight loss or general health, can be thwarted for several reasons, but in my experience they are more likely to fail if the resolution is either unattainable, unlikely to fit in with your lifestyle or are too vague. If they are too strict and involve daily exercise and big dietary changes that mean more demands on an already busy schedule,

being thrown off course or missing the target can result in giving up altogether. On the other hand, a vague resolution, such as eating more healthily, is hard to quantify as it lacks specifics. Over time it is easy to forget why we wanted to make the changes in the first place and so it can be useful to make a mark in the sand at the beginning of the process by writing down exactly what you want to do, and then why you want to do it and what it means to you. Let’s say it’s losing weight. You might note how carrying extra bulk affects you, for example – perhaps you feel frequently tired, or frustrated that your favourite clothes don’t fit anymore. Your points could also be physical, such as aching joints or headaches – anything that reflects your experience. You should aim to get five to 10 items on the list as it is probably going to be useful a few weeks on. Now print a few copies, mark the date on one and then give each of your points

Ian is one of the UK’s top nutritional therapists

a score from one to 10, one relating to mild issues which aren’t really a problem and 10 being something that really bothers you and happens frequently. Keep the other unmarked copies and then two weeks into your new plan, revisit a fresh copy of the list and score them how you feel at that point (don’t peek at your original scores). Do this again after a month and then compare the scores to the very first list. Hopefully you will see an overall improvement but also, having identified specific areas of concern, you can see where more focus might be needed. It seems simple but charting progress is a useful tool in achieving a goal that means something to you.

Resolutions regarding diet, be they for weight loss or general health can be thwarted for several reasons NATURAL HEALTH 67

Ian Marber.indd 2

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NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:14 Page 68

We’ve been trying to bring this amazing product to you since we introduced it in Sweden and saw how it changed people’s lives. What’s so amazing about it? It’s a single cream that performs exactly like regular cream but is completely free from dairy making it perfect for our veggie, vegan and lactose-averse friends. What about the taste? Perhaps you should answer that yourself by picking up a carton and trying it out rather than relying on the writer of this ad. You know writers of ads, they always try to make things so positive. Oh yeah, for your convenience, you will find it in the chilled section at your favourite Tesco from now on.



EVERYDAY EATS Try going vegan for a month with these delicious recipes from Jessica Prescott


•400g basmati rice •2 tsp garam masala •500g baby spinach •¼ tsp hing •2.5cm piece of fresh (asafoetida) ginger •1 tsp sea salt •5 garlic cloves, •2 tins of cooked peeled and crushed

•1 large tbsp coconut oil

•1 medium white

onion, peeled and finely chopped 2 tsp cumin seeds 4 small tomatoes, chopped 1 tsp ground turmeric

• • •

chickpeas or 500g (1lb 2 oz/3 cups) 1–2 tbsp coconut milk, plus extra to serve A handful of cashews, to garnish A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped, to garnish

• • •

SPINACH AND CHICKPEA CURRY 1 Cook the rice according to your preferred cooking method. 2 Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Place the spinach in the water and cook for three minutes. Drain and then puree with the ginger and half of the crushed garlic 3 Dry the saucepan in which you blanched the spinach, and place it back on a medium heat. Melt the coconut oil in the pan and add the finely chopped onions and cumin seeds. Stir for a couple of minutes and then add the remaining garlic and tomatoes. 4 Cook until the tomatoes are soft and then add the turmeric, garam masala, hing and salt. Stir for a minute and then add the spinach puree and about 400ml of water. Gently stir a little more and then add the chickpeas and coconut milk. Place the lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or for up to two hours if you are making it in advance. Serve with the basmati rice and garnish with cashews, coriander and an extra splash of coconut milk. NATURAL HEALTH 69

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•A drizzle of olive oil, for the pan •2 small white onions, peeled •4–6 large kale leaves For the scone mixture: 375g plain flour 6 tsp baking powder 1 tsp sea salt 50ml olive oil 250ml nut milk of your choice Pumpkin or sesame seeds, to garnish Sea salt flakes, to garnish (optional)

• • • • • • •

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C and place the shelf on the middle rack. Place a frying pan on a medium heat and cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil. Cut the onions in quarters to remove the skin, then cut each quarter into 5mm slices. Place in the pan and stir for a couple of minutes. Rinse the kale leaves. Slice down

the middle, removing the toughest part of the stem, then slice each leaf into 5mm strips. Add to the pan with the onions. Stir until the onions are translucent and the kale is limp. Remove from the heat. 2 Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir with a fork to combine. Add the olive oil and stir again with the fork, then use your fingers to mix thoroughly. Add the nut milk, then using the fork followed by your fingers, gently combine everything together. Add the kale and onion mixture and use your hands to again, gently combine the dough. 3 Still using your hands, place eight blobs of scone mix onto an oiled baking tray. Sprinkle the scones with pumpkin or sesame seeds and additional salt if you’re a salty lady like me. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until golden. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.


•155g cashew nuts •155g almonds •125g sunflower seeds •125g walnuts •2 tbsp each of sesame, linseed and poppy seeds, plus extra sesame seeds to sprinkle on top 1 tsp powdered veggie stock 4 tbsp chia seeds 100ml olive oil Juice of 1 lemon 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped 6 mushrooms, finely chopped 1 large courgette, grated 3 tbsp flour (plain, rice or buckwheat)

• • • • • • • • •


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EAT WELL Looking for some help in your quest to eat more healthily? Nutritionist Resource could be the answer, as Ellen Hoggard explains Diet is the cornerstone of optimal health and wellbeing and we believe everyone deserves health, happiness and access to quality nutritional information and advice from professionals. That’s why we set up Nutritionist Resource – a website dedicated to offering a simple way to connect with qualified nutrition professionals across the UK.


•1 tbsp finely chopped winter savory

or flat-leaf parsley 1 tbsp other dried herbs, such as thyme or rosemary ½ tsp chilli flakes or smoked paprika (optional) Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

• • •

To serve: Mushroom gravy Roasted veggies of your choice Leafy salad

• • •

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the cashew nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, linseeds, poppy seeds, powdered veggie stock, chia seeds and olive oil in a food processor with 100ml of water and blend until the nuts are well chopped. Add to a large mixing

bowl with the remaining ingredients and season to taste. Stir well. 2 Line a 28cm loaf tin with parchment, spoon the mixture into the tin and press flat with the back of a spoon. You want it to be quite firm. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and bake for an hour, turning halfway to ensure even baking – especially if your oven is a dodgy old codger like mine. 3 Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with mushroom gravy, roasted veggies and a big yummy salad.

BOOK shelf Recipes extracted from Vegan Goodness by Jessica Prescott (Hardie Grant, £15). Photography by Jessica Prescott.

Whatever your reason, the site can help you realise that change is possible, support is available and you are not alone in the journey. Our website includes everything we wish we’d had access to when starting our journey – a detailed library of fact-sheets featuring useful information about some of the reasons you may want to consult a nutrition professional as well as articles, blogs and recipes to help you keep up-to-date with all things nutrition. All of our members have a personal profile where they provide plenty of information about how they work and who they are, helping you decide whether they are the right person for you. For more information visit


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TIREDNESS  Say goodbye to the 3pm slump and boost your energy levels with these tips from nutritional therapist Henrietta Norton

There is no doubt that many of us lead life in the fast lane and expect our body and mind to keep up. But what is often forgotten is that just as a car requires regular servicing and the correct fuel to drive the distance, your body needs the same level of care and attention. This is both in the form of ‘fuel’ (i.e. food) but also in the form of restorative ‘servicing’ or self-care. Without these two aspects, our body simply can’t produce the currency it needs to make the energy to keep up. The dominant currency our body uses for energy is known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and this is made by the mitochondria within each of our cells. How efficiently these mitochondria work, and therefore how much ATP they can produce, is affected by a number of different factors but the food we eat heavily influences this process. Here are a few things you should be eating to help your body feel energised: • FOODS HIGH IN PROTEIN: Protein slows down the breakdown of foods and absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and you should eat protein-rich foods with every meal or snack. The types of foods highest in protein are eggs (choose free range and organic), meat, fish, beans and legumes (such as lentils and chickpeas), nuts and seeds. These protein-rich foods support amino acids like glutathione that protect the mitochondria and coenzymeq10 and alpha lipoic acid that support ATP production. • FOODS RICH IN B VITAMINS: The B vitamins are essential for energy and vitamin B5 in particular for production of the glucocorticoid hormones in the adrenals, such as cortisol. Good sources include whole grains, eggs, beans and lentils, a wide range of vegetables, fish and meats (choose good quality or organic meat). Taking a B vitamin complex (such as the one offered by Wild Nutrition) can be very supportive. 72 NATURAL HEALTH

• MAGNESIUM-RICH FOODS: Magnesium is essential for energy production and for our adrenal hormones, and is quickly used up when we are stressed. The best examples of foods high in this mineral are nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds), buckwheat (groats or flour), greens such as spinach and kale, and fish and seafood. If sleep is an issue then taking an additional 80mg of food-grown magnesium at night can be a great support. • VITAMIN C-RICH FOODS: Vitamin C is another nutrient that is vital for the manufacturing of adrenal hormones. Fruits and vegetables are the best source but, contrary to popular belief, oranges do not have the highest levels; better sources include peppers, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, watercress and red cabbage.

Protein slows down the breakdown of foods and

absorption of glucose



Henrietta Norton is a nutritional therapist, author and co-founder of Wild Nutrition ( She has clinics at Grace Belgravia and SP & Co in London.

coffee, tea or energy drinks to boost their energy and get through the day. But caffeine also stimulates the adrenals and forces them to work even harder, making the situation worse in the long run. Even decaffeinated versions of coffee and standard tea can contain other stimulants such as theobromine and should be avoided. Drinking green tea can be a good option as it contains less caffeine and tannins. It’s also worth noting that mitochondria are sensitive to toxins and interesting research looks at how some medications and chemicals compromise its function. Supporting the mitochondria with what is needs (e.g. nutrients) is just as important as removing factors which block its function. This is where cleaning up your diet becomes essential and removing unnecessary toxins becomes key. Supporting the health of the gut is also part of this as this in turn supports the immune system and healthy management of inflammation. When inflammation gets out of control it can affect the mitochondria – what is termed as mitochondrial dysfunction. Long before we even understood the science of energy and the mitochondria, natural practitioners across the world have been recommending healthy detoxification as a means of supporting energy production.

CREAM OF BROCOLLI & CASHEW SOUP This nutrient-rich soup is perfect for cold weather days and will keep your energy levels high! Make a large batch and freeze it for use another day. • MICRO-ALGAE: If you make smoothies, add in a spoonful of chlorella or spirulina. These foods are extremely rich in a wide range of nutrients, including those mentioned above, and are easily absorbed because they need little processing by the digestive system. • FOODS HIGH IN HEALTHY FATS: These ‘good fats’ are ‘fuel’ for the mitochondria so make sure you increase the amount of oily fish in your diet and also incorporate avocados, coconut oil, olive oil or flax seed oil into your weekly dishes. Healthy fats protect the mitochondria by providing anti-inflammatory support too. • LESS CAFFEINE: People with low energy and low adrenal reserves often crave stimulants such as

•½ large onion •2 pints of water •1 chopped garlic clove •10g freshly grated ginger •50g cashew nuts •1 sprig rosemary •½ tsp ground cardamom •¼ tsp ground cinnamon •½ tsp ground cloves •½ tsp ground nutmeg

•½ vanilla bean •Pinch of freshly ground black • • • •

pepper & rock salt 600g broccoli chopped into small pieces (include the nutrient rich stem!) 1-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1-2 tbs apple cider vinegar Tamari soy sauce to flavour

Combine the water, onion, garlic, ginger, cashews, rosemary, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, pepper and salt into a large pot and bring to the boil. Add the broccoli and boil for two minutes until its tender. Allow to cool until just warm. Whizz in the blender until velvety smooth. Add in olive oil, vinegar and process again. Serve hot with a few drops of tamari soy sauce to taste. NATURAL HEALTH 73

Pasta A life without spaghetti bolognese and a creamy carbonara doesn’t bear thinking about. For those experienced in the kitchen, making homemade gluten-free pasta may sound like a welcomed challenge but if you’re short on time and lacking in the culinary department, just swap your spaghetti for ribbons of vegetables. “Spiralizers were the gift of 2016 and they make a mean courgetti bolognese,” explains Amanda Hamilton, nutritionist and author of G-Plan Diet, on sale 12th January 2017 ( “Simply peel your courgette into strings, cook in a little olive oil, and pour over your favourite pasta sauce.” And if you’re looking for a fresh take on a modern classic why not try adding a bit of colour to your dish? “Spiralized courgette, carrot and beetroot make great rainbow noodles,” explains Clare. Plus, they taste delicious!

The swap


Are you gluten intolerant? Swerve the freefrom aisles and try these tasty alternatives A world without gluten is actually pretty difficult, especially if you’re a foodie. Avoiding common grains such as wheat, rye and barley

If you’re lacking in the culinary department just swap your spaghetti for ribbons of vegetables


Biscuits & crackers A great after dinner delight or simple snack option, cheese and crackers always hit the spot. However for the gluten-intolerant, this tasty treat can hit more than just your taste buds. Instead swap the cracker for slices of cucumber or reach for oatcakes. “Stack oatcakes with layers of pesto, hummus and tomato,” recommends Clare. “Or if you’re looking for something sweet, bake a batch of paleo-style dark chocolate cookies.” At NH HQ we like to consider a cup of tea with a biscuit as one of life’s simple pleasures and there’s no need for the gluten-free to miss out on this. Simply make your favourite biscuits using almond flour. From shortbread to peanut butter rounds, there’s a vast array of recipes out there. Go on, give Mary Berry a run for her money!

Illustrations: Jane Heinrichs (

may sound simple, but those little fibre-fuelled products have found their way into a host of foods from bread to cereals so for those with an intolerance, eating classic British meals can become a trial. “Don’t be fooled into thinking that shopping wholesale from the gluten-free aisle is a move into healthy eating,” explains registered nutritional therapist Clare Grundel ( “Those shelves tend to be sugar-laden and heavily processed.” So what are the alternatives?





Illustrations: Jane Heinrichs (

Bread is a key ingredient for many meals but it can easily be substituted for a tasty, and healthier option. If a sandwich is your go-to lunch option vamp up the filling and get creative with the casing. “Little gem lettuce leaves make great taco ‘cups’ or opt for omelette wraps,” says Clare. Similarly, burgers needn’t be cast aside just because you’re gluten-free – they’re easy to adapt. “Swap the burger bun for large portebello mushrooms or experiment with slices of aubergine,” advises Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfood UK ( “In my opinion, this makes it even more delicious.” Not to mention easier on the waistline.

Feeling peckish on the go? Try Eat Real Quinoa Puffs, £1.79, available at health food wholesalers and

Cereals A staple choice in the morning, cereals and many porridge oats are laden with gluten, however cutting them from your diet may become a much healthier option – even if you’re not gluten intolerant. “Cereals are usually very unhealthy due to the amount of added sugar,” says Shona. “Do yourself a favour and abandon the habit of having cereals and choose scrambled egg, or boiled egg with mashed up avocado, instead.” Eggs are a good alternative breakfast choice as they are a great source of protein, have been linked to supporting healthy eyesight and may even help with brain development and increased memory retention. “At breakfast, why not try boiled eggs with asparagus ‘soldiers’ for dipping?” asks Clare. “These will keep you fuller for longer and reduce mid-morning snacking.” Not keen on eggs? Switch your usual oats based bowl for quinoa topped with yoghurt and berries. Yum.

If you don’t have time to get the spiralizer out simply pick up Uniqueitalia courgetti nests, £1.75,

A cupboard or desk drawer staple Nairn’s oatcakes are perfect for those times when you just can’t wait until dinner. £1.79, available at



EAT WELL IN 2017 Looking to begin a healthy eating regime in January? These tasty items will help you on your way!


FRESH & FRUITY For a great start to the new year, why not try Cracker Drinks Co.’s range of natural fruit juice drinks with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners? They are high in fruit content representing one of your five a day while being less than 90 cals per serving. And they taste delicious. Available in Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose, RRP £1.50,

If you’ve been searching for a healthy alternative to white bread made without using wheat, then look no further as Village Bakery Melmerby’s 100% Organic Rye bread is here to help. You’ll love the nutty, tangy taste of the recipe and so will your tummy (Rye fibre contributes to normal bowel function). Delicious with something as simple as mashed avocado or as bold as smoked salmon, it’s a lunchtime go-to. From £1.40, Waitrose, Ocado, Budgens and other good health stores.

PERUVIAN HEROES English and Peruvian cultures have combined to create a captivating and profound partnership that now resonates through Super Cholo Foods, bringing you an explosion of Peruvian ingredients from the leafy village of Lanchester in County Durham. Working hand-in-hand with their Latin American partners, Super Cholo Foods sources the best natural and nutritious ingredients for you. From £3.49,

GO GLUTEN-FREE YOUR ENERGY BOOSTER Do you always suffer from a 3pm slump? If so, ditch those cups of coffee and reach for PureChimp’s Matcha Green Tea instead. This super tea will help give you a boost, as it can help steady energy levels for up to six hours, meaning no more peaks and crashes. Plus, it can help to boost your metabolism – win win! The powder can be added to hot water, smoothies, protein shakes and baking. From £6.95,

GET PERKY! Perkier’s all natural quinoa bars are a delicious healthy snack bursting with nutritious slow release energy. The range has four varieties, including Cacao and Cashew for a chocolatey hit and Cashew, Chia and Pumpkin Seed Quinoa bar for a seedy and nutty hit. One hundred percent plant-based, and packed with wholefoods, each bar provides a great source of fibre and protein, and is rich in omega 3 and antioxidants. Plus they’re 100 percent vegan and free from gluten, wheat and dairy. Perkier Cashew, Chia & Pumpkin Seed Quinoa Bar, 75p, in the free-from aisles of supermarkets

What could be better on a dark chilly winter night than a warming pie? If you’re going gluten-free this year, you may think pastry is out of the question, but not now! Handcrafted Voakes’ steak pie is made with gluten and wheat-free pastry, slowly braised tender steak and a rich, peppered gravy, making it ideal for those with gluten intolerances. We suggest serving it with sweet potato mash and a healthy pile of greens. From £2.50,


Advertorial Food.indd 1

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Better skin, hair, make-up naturally – here’s how

1 Faith in Nature Handmade Soap, £1.95, 2 Thalgo Marine Algae Cleansing Bar, £11.75, 3 L’Occitane Bonne Mère Soap Collection, £20 for four, 4 The English Soap Company Green Tea Bath Soap, £4.95,


2 3 4

There’s something quite nostalgic about the humble bar soap; the way its subtle scent slowly envelops the bathroom and its quaint appearance atop porcelain suites. Sadly, this once staple item has been overshadowed by colourful liquids and scented foams, but a new wave of innovation is set to change things up. These next-gen bars are designed for gentle, non-abrasive cleansing and can be hand-picked to cater to individual beauty concerns. NATURAL HEALTH 77

BEAUTY on-the-go Look your best 24/7 with our top pick of handbag essentials

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A no fuss, no hassle approach to skincare, Skinade is an innovative and highly effective skincare drink that helps nourish and support your skin from the inside out. Available in a handy travel sachet, simply dilute in water to stay looking tip-top throughout the day. £99 for a 30 day course,


Ensure your ‘do is styled to perfection wherever, whenever with a little help from Tabitha James Kraan Compact Organic Dry Shampoo. An ideal size for your handbag, it helps to naturally balance oil production and soothe your scalp. Complete with a gorgeous scent, prolong you blow-dry or style with one quick spritz. £19, available in fair and dark,


Advertorial BEAUTY.indd 1


Rehydrate dry hands with this intensely nourishing cream scented with ho wood and red mandarin. Plus, with every purchase of Green People Nourish Hand Cream a donation goes to Butterfly Conservation to protect British butterflies. A handbag must-have. £6.50,


Every handbag needs a soothing lip balm, especially during the colder months. Our go to has to be Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick which softens lips and offers protection for those prone to dryness. A practical companion for silky soft lips, it’s formulated with nourishing shea butter, beeswax and almond oil to seal in moisture and look after even the most sensitive of pouts. £9.25,

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Keep your body smooth and hair free with BodyVerde Speed Shave To Go which features a high quality disposable razor pre-loaded with waterless shaving lotion in the handle. Requiring no water or rinsing, you can shave literally anywhere... although we recommend somewhere a little private. Lasts for 10-12 shaves. £12,




Using Lip Architecture technology for immediate volumising action, IncaRose Piu Volume Plumping Gloss is all you need for pout perfection. Enriched with natural ingredients and hyaluronic micro-filling spheres, choose from six luscious colours to finish off your make-up routine. We never leave the house without the natural translucent option to keep our smile topped up all day. £10 each,



Staying away overnight? Don’t pack without this handy Natural Beauty Skin Care Kit from Zuzka. Including a travelsize cleanser, toning-spritz, exfoliator, mask and moisturiser all in a clear toiletry bag, you’ll have everything you need for glowing skin 24/7. Made from organic herbs, plants and flowers, there’s a kit suitable for all skin types. £30,



Keep fine lines at bay thanks to Rio Rosa Mosqueta Rosehip Discovery Set. Featuring an anti-ageing day and night cream to help protect skin from harmful UV rays during the day, and hydrate skin while you sleep, we like to keep a tube close-by for daily top-ups. The set also includes a lightweight rosehip seed oil to help repair scars, stretch marks, fine lines and sun damage as well as a gentle cleanser. £12.95,


For ultimate skin hydration we always keep a Facial Hydrosol from Soothe-Me handy. Delicately scented and oil-free, it nourishes and revives skin in one simple mist. Stock up with the company’s gift set which includes all three varieties along with an organic cotton mini face cloth. £20,


Salt of the Earth’s travel-sized Natural Deodorant Spray and Crystal Classic are ideal for those on-the-go. Offering long-lasting and effective odour protection, these unisex, 100 percent natural deodorants are fragrance free and won’t leave white marks on your clothes. Vegetarian and Vegan Society approved. Starting from £2.99, available from independent health stores and pharmacies, selected Waitrose stores, Ocado and Holland & Barrett.


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BEAUTY BUYS UNDER £20 Who says you have to spend big to get flawless results



We’re not shy about our love for micellar water and Mádara’s organic version is a welcome addition to our ever-expanding list of favourites. Sweep it across your face to gently remove make-up before part two of your double cleanse. Unlike traditional cleansers, micellar water never leaves your skin feeling tight or dry – just clean and balanced. The £12 price point doesn’t hurt, either!


Mádara Organic Skincare Micellar Water, £12,



This lightweight cleanser completely dissolves all traces of dirt and make-up – even waterproof mascara and eyeliner – while nourishing the skin with a rich antioxidant complex. The texture transforms from a silky cream to a milky lather as you massage it into your face, so we like to take our time and really work it in for top results. Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Cleanser, £18,


NH health writer Jody-Ann swears by this under-theradar facial toner. Made with soothing aloe vera and revitalizing lime oil, just one spritz instantly perks up tired, dehydrated skin and gives you a natural-looking glow. Bloom and Blossom Rejuvenating Facial Spritz, £15,


Regular exfoliation is particularly important for oily skin types because excess sebum makes it easier for pores to clog. However, everyone can benefit from exfoliating weekly. Doing so will improve elasticity and softness by eliminating dead skin, encouraging cell turnover and increasing collagen production. This organic scrub uses gentle actives to reveal your inner glow after just one use! Green People Age Defy+ Soft Buff Skin Exfoliator, £20,


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Sourcing products that can effectively multi-task without sacrificing on quality is one of the best pieces of money-saving beauty advice we’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving. Better to have one mid-range product that nourishes from head to toe, than a bunch of cheaper items that aren’t earning their keep. This tub of ivory shea butter can be used to moisturise hair, face and body, and, because a little bit goes a long way, it will last for ages, too!


There’s a reason this Inika face oil has reached cult status, and no, it’s not just because of its ridiculously low price tag! Formulated entirely from high-quality, certified organic rosehip oil, it repairs and nurtures the skin, creating a luminous complexion while fighting against all seven signs of ageing! Inika Certified Organic Pure Rosehip Oil, £16,

LIHA Beauty Ivory Shea Butter, £20,



Picture your most hydrating night cream. Now take out the heaviness, and infuse it with exquisite clary sage essence and a whole slew of skin-loving botanicals – you’ll get something akin to this gel-like moisturiser from Burt’s Bees. Apply at night for skin that radiates come morning. Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream, £19.99,


Chocolate in your skincare products? That’s right, this delicious treat can do wonders for your skin when applied topically. The antioxidants in raw cacao protect against free radicals to leave your visage feeling softer and firmer in virtually no time at all. This Evolve Radiant Glow Mask also contains a hit of nourishing coconut oil for an extra dose of luminosity. Evolve Raw Cacao & Coconut Radiant Glow Mask, £18,



Baby, it’s cold outside, and we hate to break it to you, but it’s going to stay like that for at least a few more months. Time to embrace it! While its important to keep lips hydrated yearround, cold weather can often bring the problem of chapped lips into sharp focus. Fortunately, you don’t need to break the bank to perfect your pout. This Cowshed lip balm uses essential oils of linden blossom, rose geranium and ylangylang to protect against the elements and intensely moisturise. Cowshed Lippy Cow Natural Lip Balm, £6,


The delicate skin around your eyes requires a much gentler approach than the rest of your visage, so the best way to combat the appearance of bags, puffiness and fine lines is to use an eye cream or serum with ingredients that are lighter in consistency. JOIK’s nourishing eye cream uses mango butter and argan oil to deliver goodness without weighing your peepers down. JOIK Eye Cream with Mango Butter and Argan Oil, £12, NATURAL HEALTH 81

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BEAUTY detective

That is why it’s essential to get a proper diagnosis, says Dr Eccles, who prescribes natural ‘bio-identical’ hormones including oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone derived from plant sources. He gives consultations at his clinic or over the telephone and offers tailor-made prescriptions based on blood tests taken regularly throughout your treatment. These could include anything from vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids to the aforementioned hormones. My blood analysis showed that I was also low in DHEA, the youth-boosting ‘mother’ hormone that declines as we get older. Like 70 percent of the world’s population, I was also low in vitamin D, which is vital for the proper functioning of our bodies. Luckily, I’ve now been prescribed a fabulous array of supplements to get my body firing on all cylinders again. Seriously, what’s not to love? Getting tested on a cellular level to address physiological imbalances and to make sure we are functioning at peak health is such a great idea that it should be provided free of charge on the NHS. And if the resulting prescription includes vitality-boosting, age-busting testosterone, bring it on! A consultation with Dr Nyjon Eccles costs from £225. For details go to

Could testosterone be the new natural botox for women? Our beauty editor at large Emma Van Hinsbergh investigates Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just pop a pill every day to stop us getting old? If all those boring niggles such as ageing skin and lack of energy would just be gone in the drop of a hat? Our bodies age for many reasons, from oxidative stress and inflammation in our cells to unavoidable damage to our DNA over the years. However one of the main reasons that women start to feel their age could also be down to a lack of the male hormone testosterone.

NATURAL HORMONES While the use of oestrogen in HRT as we get older is madly popular, it seems that adding testosterone in to the mix could help to maintain our youthful good looks too. Dr Nyjon Eccles, one of the country’s top anti-ageing experts, explains that while older women usually have low levels of oestrogen and progesterone, they are often deficient in male hormones too. “Women produce about 10 percent of the testosterone produced by males but it plays an important function in maintaining a healthy libido and maintaining muscle tone,” says Dr Eccles. What’s more, testosterone could also promote youngerlooking skin and an increase in energy too. Book me in, doctor!


Youth-boosting treats to supercharge your skin

BALANCE YOUR SYSTEM But is it almost too good to be true? Some medical experts think that using testosterone to combat what is essentially a natural process is unnecessary, and it can upset your body’s fragile balance if administered incorrectly.


Skincare guru Antonia Burrell’s Biotech Supreme Pressed Serum hits the shelves this month. It combines stem cell technology with potent plant extracts. £95,


Murad Intensive Age Diffusing Serum instantly brings skin back to life with plant-based phyto-oestrogens such as clover flower extract. £65,


Spa Magik Organiks Omega Youth Smoothing Serum combines evening primrose oil and omega 3,6 and 9 essential fatty acids to nourish skin. £17.95,


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Antonia Burrell Biotech Suprême Pressed Serum, £85,

Maria Nila Head & Hair Heal Masque, £18.95,

Green People Revive Body Wash & Body Lotion, £19.95, Intelligent Nutrients Wave Spray, £28, intelligent Éminence Organic Skincare Age Corrective Ultra Hibiscus Instant Line Filler, £52,

Dietox Reducing Cream, £19,

Kind Natured Moisturising Coconut & Monoi Foaming Sugar Scrub, £5.99,


MUST-HAVES These gorgeous winter buys are hot off the press

Highgrove Signature Organic PostShave Oil, £22.50,

Noble Isle Fireside Bath & Shower Gel, £20,

Pai Head to Toe Hero Buriti Balm, £20,

Origins Charcoal Infused Body Puff £10,


NATURAL HEALTH International


2017 are here








The Natural Health International Beauty Awards is now in its 12th year and once again we’re handing a whole section over to you! Our readers have nominated their favourites and we’ve now drawn up a shortlist of the top five in each category. All you need to do is vote for your favourite champion beauty brand, hotel spa experience, natural high street retailer, all natural online retailer and holistic hero. Everyone who votes is entered into a prize draw to win one of three £100 vouchers from ethical ladieswear brand Beaumont Organic. This is your chance to reward those who make your pampering sessions extra special and your votes really count, so let us know your favourites today!



Fill in this form in BLOCK CAPITALS and post it to: Marketing Department, Natural Health Beauty Awards, Natural Health, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY.


1 2 3

Simply select your favourite in each category by ticking the boxes provided. You can do this on the form on the right or go to Send your entries to us at The Marketing Dept, Natural Health International Beauty Awards 2017, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8JY. The closing date for your votes is 9 February 2017. The winners will be announced in the Natural Health International Awards 2017 supplement with the May issue (on sale 7th April 2017).


Neal’s Yard Remedies

Balm Balm

Liz Earle

Bare Minerals


Ragdale Hall

Titanic Spa


Eden Hall



Neal’s Yard Remedies





Holland & Barrett

Neal’s Yard Remedies



Madeleine Shaw

Janey Lee Grace Jo Wood

Title .......... Initial ...........Surname ................................................... Address ................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................. Postcode .............................................................................................. Telephone ........................................................................................... Email ...................................................................................................

Beaumont Organic is an international ethical ladieswear brand that combines signature styling with contemporary classics and teams contrasting fabrics and unique silhouettes with luxury organic, fairtrade and eco fabrics to create a renowned style. On offer is a wardrobe of transitional pieces – everything a woman needs to dress up or down, day or night. Beaumont Organic introduces two collections a year along with a series of accessories that encompass the brand’s clean look and modern style. Beaumont Organic is inspired by making changes and paving the way for fashion to be more sustainable, and it does this by asking questions, producing ethically, reducing wastage, using offcuts for sampling where it can and keeping consumption low. Its latest collection is inspired by the changing seasons, from the falling autumn leaves to crisp, frosty mornings. It explores all of the colours of winter, mixed into textured knits, stripes, checks and much more. It has draped, pleated and appliquéd fabrics in a bid to depict the best of the British autumn and winter, creating a wardrobe that fits with the shifting seasons.

Signature ...................................................... Date ............................. TERMS AND CONDITIONS All voting forms via post or online submission must be received by 9th February. This prize draw is open to all UK residents aged 18 or over, excluding employees or agents of the associated companies and their families. Only one voting form per person. The prize consists of 3 X £100 vouchers for and will be given to three entrants that will be drawn at random on 9th March 2016.^ Votes must be on the forms provided (no purchase necessary) or online at naturalhealthmagazine/awards. Photocopies are NOT accepted. Illegible entries and those that do not abide by the rules and regulations will be disqualified. No responsibility will be held for entries lost, delayed or damaged in the post. Proof of posting is not proof of delivery. All entries become the property of Aceville Publications Ltd.* No correspondence will be entered into, only the winners will be notified by post. Winners’ names and counties will be available by sending an SAE marked Natural Health Beauty Awards 2017 to: Marketing Department, 21-23 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY. ^Prizes cannot be exchanged for goods or cash, or replaced if lost or damaged. *By entering you agree for Aceville Publications Ltd to contact you.


Your ultimate

ANTI-AGEING PLAN Want to turn back time in a matter of days? Try these age-busting beauty techniques for instant fresh-faced results! There are so many beauty products and treatments on the market it’s hard to figure out what really works when it comes to anti-ageing strategies. From cosmeceuticals and plant peptides to fractional lasers and intense pulsed light therapy, the array of wrinkle-busters on offer can be positively mind-boggling. Luckily we’ve got the lowdown on the best beauty buys that will make you drop a decade (almost) instantly. Try the eight steps below and you’ll be looking peachy-skinned in no time!

STEP 1 CHOOSE NATURAL WRINKLE SMOOTHERS While Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama swear by organic Biotulin Supreme Skin Gel (£43, for a natural botox effect, we’re with celebs such as Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow who regularly flock to uber-facialist Linda Meredith for a dose of her botanical Vtox (£55, The unique plantbased cream uses neuro-peptides and natural algae to block the contraction of facial muscles in the dermis. This results in smoother, wrinkle-free skin and an instant lifting effect that lasts all day, without that telltale frozen faced look caused by heavy-duty injectables!

STEP 2 UP YOUR MOISTURE LEVELS When you’re dehydrated, it is immediately reflected in the health of your skin, leaving it looking old and wrinkled. As well as drinking lots of water, you can boost skin moisture instantly by choosing products which contain hyaluronic acid, an amazing skin plumper that has the ability to hold a whopping 1,000 times its own weight in water. It is naturally produced by our bodies but levels decrease as we get older which means it’s essential to use it in your anti-ageing skincare routine. Find it in products such as Ytsara’s Skin Drink Fluid (£39,, which also contains ‘living water’ – a clever new technology that restores water to its pure original form, free from heavy metals and chemicals.  86 NATURAL HEALTH

STEP 3 TRY THE NEW MESOTHERAPY Formerly the preserve of silky-skinned French women, mesotherapy is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and here at Natural Health we’re huge fans. Often dubbed the natural alternative to fillers, it uses fine needles to introduce homeopathic medications, plant extracts, vitamins, and other anti-ageing nutrients into the skin. Skin guru Natali Kelly’s signature treatment in her Knightstbridge salon floods the skin with a potent natural cocktail of vitamins, amino acids and co-enzymes along with replenishing hyaluronic acid to stimulate collagen and elastin. Just one treatment will leave your skin looking 10 years younger, guaranteed!

BEAUTY STEP 5 BOOK IN FOR A FACIAL Want to know how TV stars such as Made in Chelsea’s Millie Mackintosh stay looking so flawless? They’ve been hotfooting it to Primrose Hill’s exclusive Aesthetics Lab ( for a Collagen Boost Facial, which combines several innovative treatments to transform tired, jaded skin. The £400 treatment combines a blueberry smoothie peel to dissolve old skin cells, micro-needling to plump up skin, and LED light therapy to increase cellular activity and boost collagen production. After 90 minutes you’re left looking radiant and wrinkle-free. It’s an expensive treat but worth it if you want to see instant results.

STEP 6 PAMPER YOUR EYES Tired eyes can be a dead giveaway when it comes to looking your age so make sure your peepers are at their sparkling best by picking top-notch products. One of our current faves is the SKN-RG range, created using certified organic and natural ingredients with clinically-proven anti-ageing benefits. The brand’s Eye Elixir (£65, effortlessly lifts and tones the eye area with a potent combination of acai stem cells, shizandra fruit to combat dark shadows and tramella mushroom to stimulate collagen and elastin repair within hours. 


STEP 4 EXFOLIATE REGULARLY Even the best products won’t do the trick if their active ingredients can’t work their magic properly. As we age, old, damaged skin cells sit on the surface for much longer, not only preventing products from being properly absorbed but leaving your complexion looking dull and lifeless too. For fast acting results, make sure you exfoliate properly with a dual action product such Green People’s Age Defy+ Soft Buff Skin Exfoliator (£20,, which contains high-potency enzymes from pineapple extract, bamboo stems and bentonite clay, then layer on your usual serum and moisturiser for a perfectly smooth polished complexion. 

Now Kylie Minogue has ditched the botox she keeps her skin looking smooth and wrinkle-free with radio frequency facials, which have an instant firming effect. The treatment works by sending radio waves into the skin to create a healing response that triggers the production of new skin-strengthening collagen and elastin. We love 3Juve, which creates bespoke facials by incorporating the wrinkle-busting techniques such as fractional laser to target wrinkles and intense pulsed light to target discolouration leaving you with a perfect complexion. Costs from £120 nationwide. For details go to

STEP 8 DITCH YOUR FOUNDATION Foundation can be extremely drying and seeps into fine lines and wrinkles, so you should seriously consider swerving it. Instead, opt for tinted moisturiser such as Lavera Organic Tinted Moisturising Cream (£12.90, and add just a touch of concealer under the eyes to instantly look years younger!  NATURAL HEALTH 87

advertorial Vitamin ACE Day & Night Cream A rich and balanced Day & Night Cream to unveil a fresh, vibrant and healthier complexion with a powerful super foods combination of Mediterranean extracts; Tomato, Olive and Fennel Oils which blend with Vitamin A for a truly radiant skin. The collection is recommended for anyone concerned with the signs of ageing. £34 for 100ml,

Vitamin ACE Hydra-Gel Serum Brighten, tighten and repair, with SBC’s Vitamin ACE Hydra-Gel Serum, which will give you radiantly healthy skin that feels as good as it looks. The complete Vitamin ACE Collection features oxysomes, the latest technology in advanced delivery systems, encapsulating brightening Vitamin C and refining Vitamin E, to revive neglected skin. £37 for 30ml,


DRY skin

Vitamin ACE Shower Gel

WIN Prizes worth £120!

Brighten and revive dry, dull skin on your face and body with SBC’s Vitamin ACE Collection WIN! SBC is giving NH readers the chance to win a bundle of goodies. One lucky winner will receive a luxury skincare treat containing the whole Vitamin ACE Collection as featured to the right. To enter simply visit* *Terms

and conditions apply. See online for details.

88 natural health

This time of year you need to consider skincare products that will address dull skin lacking lustre, so give your complexion some brightening assistance with SBC’s reviving Vitamin ACE Shower Gel with Oxysomes to deliver active ingredients quickly and effectively into the skin and reveal a healthier, brighter and firmer complexion. £29.50 for 500ml,

Vitamin ACE body créme An intense, silky yet light body crème enriched with moisture-boosting Vitamin A and the antioxidant power of Vitamin C to boost collagen synthesis and evens out skin tone. This luxurious, non-greasy smoothing crème will renew and revitalise leaving your skin beautifully soft. £22 for 200ml,

Vitamin ACE SKINCARE GEL Unveil fresh, healthier skin with Vitamin ACE Skincare Gel, which contains a superfood combination of Mediterranean extracts (including tomato seed oil, rich in omega 6, olive oil - a powerful antioxidant, and fennel oil which is soothing and anti-inflammatory). This effective cocktail of active ingredients blend with Vitamin A for a truly radiant skin. £12.50 for 200ml,

BEAUTY There’s no question about it: spots, skin


eruptions and oily skin cause huge distress. And to deal with breakouts and greasiness, the temptation is to reach for industrial strength toners and spot-zappers. In reality, a softer approach works best. If you start stripping away the skin’s natural oils, you’ll only cause sebum production to whir into overdrive to compensate. So the best routine for skin that’s prone to spots, congestion and blackheads is actually to tread gently. Go cold turkey on the ‘paint-stripper’ and opt instead for products designed to detox skin, while at the same time helping to calm and rebalance it. Luckily, natural products really come into their own when it comes to decongesting your visage. There are just so many botanical anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients that can assist in your quest for clearer skin. The following are all highly recommended, but I would say there are a few small lifestyle changes that can make a difference, too. First of all, keep hands scrupulously clean when touching skin – wash them, before cleansing, always. Keep your phone clean, too: I promise you’d be horrified to see a bacterial swab from the area of glass that touches your skin. Last but not least, muslin cloths and flannels need to be changed twice a day (and washed on a hot wash). Now onto the products…

SKIN-DETOXING SAVIOURS The Beauty Bible guru reveals her favourite purifying products

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish, £15.50,

I have lost count of the despondent teens I’ve started on a Cleanse & Polish regime, who’ve seen incredible improvements. The botanicals – particularly eucalyptus – really do help to decongest skin, but also leaves it comfortable and balanced. Unbeatable in my book.

Urban Veda Daily Facial Wash, £12.99,

Some people with spots and oily complexions prefer a bit of foam – and this cleanser delivers. The whole Urban Veda range contains neem, an anti-bacterial tonic to help treat blackheads, excess sebum and clear toxins. Of course, even the oiliest skin needs moisturisation, so I’d point you in the direction of Urban Veda Purifying Day Cream, £18.99, too.

Aveda Outer Peace Acne Relief Pads, £24,

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum, £16,

Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel, £15,

Infused with powerful plant extracts of tamanu, saw palmetto, boswellia (frankincense), lemon tea tree and rose geranium, these pads exfoliate blemished skin while helping to prevent new breakouts. Use post-cleansing for best results.

A daily face treatment that reduces blemishes and targets blackheads with soothing Roman chamomile, may chang, lavender and eucalyptus, alongside powerfully anti-microbial kanuka essential oil. On Balance Me’s website, reviews are universally five-star.

A dab of this intensive treatment instantly promotes skin healing and eases redness, thanks to blemish-busting salicylic acid (from the same plant ingredient that gives us aspirin). Red algae ramps up the skin-calming action, too. Why not tweet me your top picks? I’m @jojosams and always keen to hear other people’s favourites!


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Simple steps to balance your mind, body and soul

A lot of people draw up lists of optimistic resolutions ahead of the new year, but how many of us actually stick to them? According to psychologist Dr Paul Marciano, there are

some crucial factors to not giving up by mid-January, such as clearly defining your goals, tracking your progress, being patient, publicising your resolutions to friends and family, putting them in your schedule and not giving up at the first hurdle or slip-up. It’s not a question of willpower – developing the right skills and strategies is the key to success. Good luck!


Try the HOLISTIC APPROACH Are you unhappy in your current career and long for an alternative job role? We’ve got just the thing...


rom dull office jobs to demanding careers which come with more stress than they’re worth, we’ve all sat and daydreamed about retraining in something we’re more passionate about. But are you ready to take the plunge? “Find a quiet place and close your eyes. Then imagine your life in two years doing the same job and connect to how that makes you feel,” explains Sara Stevens clinical hypnotherapist and life coach ( “Now imagine yourself in your new, desired career. How do you feel?” This simple technique should make your choice easy, it’s having the confidence to bite the bullet that’s the hard part. “Confidence is a learned and developed habit,” explains Sara. “It’s best to try small but regular steps to help build your confidence and setting goals will help. With each new challenge you’ll start seeing your confidence grow.” So what are you waiting for? “It’s key to remember that the only thing in your way is you. Step aside and into a

new career,” she advises. We caught up with four experts in different holistic disciplines to bring you all the information you need before changing careers.

HOMEOPATHY Homeopathy is a natural medicinal practice which involves treating individuals with highly diluted substances, usually in tablet form, to prompt the body’s self-healing process. To become a fully qualified homeopath of degree level or higher it takes approximately four years, however it’s important to note that study can be done around current work commitments and family life. “Most courses are part-time attendance where the student studies one weekend per month and completes home-directed work which is usually the equivalent to two days per week,” says Mani Norland, principal at School of Homeopathy ( Not sure if you have the key skills required? “To be a homeopath you need to hold an interest in people, have a desire to help

It’s key to remember that the only thing in your way is you. Step aside and into a new career


CAREERS AROMATHERAPY Aromatherapy is gaining momentum in becoming a popular complementary medicine. Used in a variety of applications for pain relief, increased cognitive function and mood enhancement, the blending of natural plant oils can enhance our psychological and physical wellbeing. “Aromatherapy is one of the most gentle and versatile healing arts,” explains Christine Fisk, consultant aromatherapist at Base Formula ( “It harnesses the natural, therapeutic powers of essential oils to relieve a whole host of physical and emotional complaints ranging from stress, anxiety and fatigue through to insomnia, aches, pains and problem skin conditions.” Training to become a fully qualified aromatherapist takes a minimum of 10 months which includes at least 94 hours in a classroom. “Be wary of fast track courses as these invariably won’t lead to a professional qualification,” warns Christine. “It is important to choose a course provider which adheres to both National Occupational Standards and the Aromatherapy Council’s Core Curriculum,” she adds.


others and an interest in health, wellbeing and disease. You need to have the ability for analytical thinking using your intuition, have good listening and communication skills, the ability to remain calm under pressure and accurate recording skills,” he explains. Basic courses at The School of Homeopathy start from £199 with the practitioner course priced between £2,000 and £3,000 per annum. For more information visit

HOLISTIC THERAPY From reiki and massages, to the Bowen technique and reflexology, holistic therapy encompasses a range of practices to target various ailments. “Holistic therapy is a treatment which aims to treat a client as a whole rather than as a being separated into parts which do not interconnect,” explains holistic and lifestyle expert Sarah Jones ( All therapies treat

the individual’s body, spirit and mind and help us gain a deeper understanding of the whole self. Training to be a holistic therapist varies depending on the practice. “The type of courses available include a one-year course in reflexology and similar for reiki,” explains Sarah. “The content of each course differs from college to college and is not always confined to the obvious. However, whilst courses are very important, perhaps the most important qualification which will prepare individuals for all treatments provided by holistic therapists is anatomy and physiology,” she adds. Once qualified, Sarah’s one piece of advice is to stay focused. “Paddle your own canoe. While it is so important to keep up with the industry, don’t get swept away with what other therapists are doing. Focus on you and your practice, channelling your energy where it matters.”

The most ancient structure of medicine known to mankind, Ayurveda is a sophisticated health system which focuses on the power of the mind to heal the body using herbal treatment, diet and yogic breathing. “Ayurveda is a science-based healthcare approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore balance,” explains Dr Mauroof Athique, director of College of Ayurveda ( “Using core principles, ayurvedic practitioners focus on understanding the unique physiological processes, the environmental inputs, and the genetic predisposition that influence every person’s experience of health and disease.” To become a fully qualified Ayurveda practitioner, courses take around four years to complete. “The College of Ayurveda (UK) is the only institute that offers a comprehensive curriculum in the field of ayurvedic medicine and healthcare in the United Kingdom,” Dr Athique says. The college is accredited by the British Complementary Medicine Association and recognised by the Ayurvedic Practitioner’s Association and blends home-schooling with classroom education and one-to-one tutor guidance to help students learn around their lifestyle with adequate support. For more information visit NATURAL HEALTH 93

NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:14 Page 94



Like at least 50 percent of the world, I am still asking

“If there was ever a time for holistic, circular systems based on the feminine values of love, it is now” It’s time for a new kind of grassroots feminine leadership, says Lynne Franks

myself how did a man like Donald Trump end up as president of the United States? Many Trump voters were good citizens who simply cared about creating a positive future for their families. And that is what Trump – whether he can deliver it or not – did stick to when not abusing his political opponents and minority groups. The question is what does this mean for women going forward? Hilary Clinton may not have been everybody’s cup of tea but she would have cracked the biggest glass ceiling in the world on behalf of every little girl growing up in today’s society. As we see more women leaders in politics and business, they seem to be selling out to the old patriarchal system which has caused the problems we are now experiencing. I believe that Hilary Clinton ultimately lost the US election because she didn’t speak from the heart. She has been playing the power game in the men’s world for so long that she forgot to communicate as a woman. She certainly referred to the glass ceiling but I feel she didn’t talk credibly as a mother, grandmother or wife. She came with a lot of baggage and distrust, none of which disappeared when she didn’t reach out about the things that ultimately all women and many men really care about.


We have the technology to speak to someone on the other side of the world as if they are in the next room and soon we will be living with virtual reality and holograms to make us even closer. So that old maxim, repeatedly used by me and so many others of ‘Think Local, Act Global’ has to be the way forward. It’s what I call the pod effect, where we start with the personal belief that we can all be change-makers in our own way, join with others locally to create new initiatives that will help many and join up the dots with like-minded people all over the world to learn from each other. With community currency, local barter systems, crowd-fund sharing and online alternative economies growing daily, we can make change a reality and work together with new initiatives which don’t rely on top-down management and linear systems. If there was ever a time for holistic, circular systems based on the feminine values of nurturing, connecting, sharing and love, it is now. I have been developing some simple tools for individuals and communities to engage in this way of doing things for some time, empowering the self, creating pods and learning how to share our experiences, knowledge and wisdom. I will be teaching these tools at my first retreat in Somerset this May to a limited group of 20 or so women at the beautiful 42 Acres Retreat Centre. Join me in exploring how we can all become the creative leaders of our own lives, learning how to create change, collaborating and working with others and spreading the word to other women across the world. We don’t have to play the old-style masculine games to reach our true power – we can do it through trust, heart and real connection.

The answer has to come from the grassroots, with a different kind of leadership and collaboration emerging which cares about individuals and the environment. This doesn’t mean we isolate ourselves from the rest of the world – or even from the rest of the country – but join up with other local community initiatives or ‘pods’, that are part of a greater whole, sharing our stories and supporting each other.

Lynne Franks is the founder of SEED, the women’s empowerment platform, seednetworkingforwomencom and BLOOM Women’s Creative Leadership Retreats. NATURAL HEALTH 95


GET THE BALANCE RIGHT Could ionised alkaline water help diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels? Fifty-five-year-old psychologist Rita shares her experience Due to improved diagnostics and treatment, diabetes is no longer a fatal disease, but it remains an incurable, complicated health issue for life. The first signs of diabetes and the symptoms can progress and emerge for months or even years. And this is something psychologist Rita (who is currently writing a book about her experiences) knows first hand. “I was diagnosed with diabetes 18 years ago, at the age of 37,” she says. “One day I was struck with an acute episode, accompanied by intense vertigo and fainting. I called an ambulance and was hospitalised. The medical crew suspected a cardiovascular condition, but later the doctor suggested it may be diabetes. A blood sugar test was done, and the results perplexed the medical team: I had a comatose sugar level in my blood, reaching a total of 18 mmol/l. With such results, as every diabetes patient would know, I should have already been under the sod. Of course, this episode wasn’t anything new – it was clear that I had been living with diabetes for quite some time.”

ADAPTING IS KEY “You can’t forget that you have diabetes. You have to adapt to it in order to control situation,”

says Rita. Over the years, Rita has tried a lot of treatment methods. With a wealth of knowledge, she has developed her own system of treatment, which features the best elements of all the methods she has tried herself, and this includes the positive effects of ionised alkaline water. “Almost five years ago I started to drink ionised alkaline water instead of regular tap water. I noticed that the water helped me to regulate my blood sugar levels. Now I know that one of the main pillars of good health is an acid-alkaline balance in my body,” says Rita. Drinking ionised alkaline water helps to restore your body’s pH by providing the body with a source of alkalinity, which it can use to counteract acidity. As a result, ionised alkaline water provides the pancreas with a break from its work of helping to balance the body’s pH and therefore helps to prevent the type of pancreatic breakdown that can lead to diabetes. Because alkaline water is ionised, it contains active hydrogen molecules. These molecules react with and neutralise the free radicals that attack healthy cells, thus disturbing their normal activity and this is why ionised alkaline water is considered an antioxidant. Using a water ioniser you can drink this water every day.

A GREAT HELPER “The basic advantage of ionised alkaline water, compared to chemical medications, is the absence of side effects. It is a natural product, helping to preserve inner purity of the body and activate its vital powers,” says Rita. Ionised alkaline water is not a panacea, but its unique capacity to remove acidic waste, thus hindering free radical activity and acidification of the body, may be utilised for the prevention of various pathologies. Understanding that our bodies are composed of around 70 percent water, the manifold positive effect of ionised alkaline water is nothing to be surprised at. And for those who care about their overall wellbeing, ionised alkaline water a great helper indeed.


ADROP is a specially designed domestic water ioniser. Visit for more information. Natural Health readers can save £40 by using the promo code SUGAR online or by calling 07497 093830 until January 31st, 2017.* *Terms and conditions apply

“Alkaline antioxidant water changes everything physiologically. It allows the enzyme systems to work the way they should. The alkalinity allows oxygen to get to the tissues. More importantly, it provides ready antioxidants to keep our bodies from rotting and rusting through the process of oxidation.”

Dr Ben Johnson, medical doctor, naturopathic MD and doctor of osteopathic medicine



Everything you need for a greener, healthier life

A new approach to food and wellness for travellers has recently been launched. Wanderfuel

offers carefully curated boxes of organic products, such as teas and

supplements, to ensure a healthy journey. The existing three selections are refresh and recharge, designed to enhance mind-body performance; detox, which helps to remove toxins and restore balance; and rest and calm, for soothing the senses and supporting sound sleep. All include both a snack box and a spa box. To find out more visit


The latest in


It seems very likely that 2016 will have been the hottest year on record, with global temperatures rising higher than the recordbreaking ones seen in 2015. Preliminary data shows that last year’s temperatures are approximately 1.2 celsius above preindustrial levels, and if this proves to be true, it would mean that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred in this century (the other was in 1998). Concentrations of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere also continue to increase to new records and arctic sea ice remained at very low levels, especially during early 2016 and the October re-freezing period. The signing of the Paris Agreement in April, however, offers hope that we will begin to see a reduction in global warming in the years to come.

DON’T HESITATE, INSULATE Insulating all of Britain’s homes would reduce the nation’s carbon footprint by 10 percent, but not all methods of insulation are eco-friendly. With the help of, we’ve compiled a list of three natural material alternatives for you to try. • Natural plant fibres flax and hemp typically contain borates which act as an effective fungicide, insecticide and fire retardant - very versatile! • Cellulose is a recycled product made from newsprint and other cellulose fibre and is popular with environmentally-conscious builders as it can be blown into cavity walls, roofs and floors. • Wood fibre, formed of wooden chips that have been compressed using water or natural resins, has very low embodied energy (the amount consumed by all of the processes associated with production) and uses by-products from the forestry industry. 98 NATURAL HEALTH



of the best...THROWS



Curl up on the sofa with one of these gorgeous ethical throws

Don’t be glum, chum – the Christmas decorations might have been taken down, but your home can still be happy and welcoming come January.


2 Dinna Throw, £98,

3 Fair Trade Traditional Aztec Kantha Throw, £115,

1 Fair Trade Geometric Herringbone Cotton Throw – Blue, £16.95,


“There are many pros and cons you should consider before embarking on your vegan journey” - p117


Tending to the garden isn’t the most appealing activity during the colder months but it’s important to take care of our greenery all year round. The Royal Horticultural Society ( says: “In January, your garden could need protecting from frosts, galeforce winds and heavy rain. Check stakes, ties, fleeces and other supports for damage and consider moving plants to sunnier positions to maximise light. Don’t forget to keep feeding the birds as food is scarce for them over winter.” You can also start cleaning pots and greenhouses ready for spring, repairing and re-shaping lawn edges and planning your next vegetable plot.



Lighting up your home is one of the most effective ways to combat the doom and gloom of dark, cold winter days and there are several ways this can be achieved. You can start by removing mesh screens and net curtains – they’re not necessary if the windows are staying closed and it will let in a lot of extra light. Add some extra electrical sources, like a string of fairy lights, and change the bulbs – the difference between warm and cool whites and a daylight bulb can really alter the feel of a room. Lighting a few candles will also create a lovely warm glow in your home.



Not only do pot plants offer a number of health benefits, such as easing stress and anxiety, helping you to breathe easier and sleep better and acting as a natural humidifier, but they’re also a great way to brighten up your home and bring a touch of nature inside. Choose plants that are suited to low-light conditions and treat yourself to a bright bouquet of flowers to display in a vibrant vase.



There’s no better time to change things around at home and do a bit of redecorating than at the start of a new year, especially as spending time outside isn’t particularly desirable or practical. Add some colour by painting the walls a bright shade, or if you’re not keen on getting the brushes out, do it through artwork and fabrics. Mirrors are also a great way to make the most of natural light – hanging one opposite a window will brighten dark spaces by reflecting the light. The perfect excuse to treat yourself to something new and shiny! NATURAL HEALTH 99

What have battered road signs, discarded leaflets and crumpled tin cans got to do with the meaning of life? The word on the street is: more than you think, says Alice Whitehead



Like so many people, I’ve walked past one or more of these things on my daily school run or trip to the shops and never given them another thought. Head down or phone on, there’s always an A to B intention that inevitably means the sights and sounds in between don’t register. But when I stepped out on a Street Wisdom walk in Northampton recently, I realised these seemingly insignificant street-scapes could actually help answer many of life’s niggling questions – and bring a whole new meaning to the idea of a two-way street.

STEPS AHEAD Put simply, Street Wisdom is a free way to tune in to what’s around us in the urban environment and use it to find answers to something that’s troubling us. A kind of mindfulness meets the ramblers, if you like, but for the street smart not the country set. Founder and business innovator David Pearl likes to think of the street as an ‘invisible university’. “While mindfulness meditation might try to diminish the wandering of the mind and focus on the ‘now’, Street Wisdom is about focusing on the wandering and seeing where it takes you,” he says. “Whether you’re figuring out what’s the next step or struggling with the day-today stuff, an ordinary city street can be an inspirational learning zone, which costs nothing to use.” But of course you need to learn to walk before you can run. While Street Wisdom runs numerous group taster events that introduce you to the concept, I took the plunge with a downloadable ‘wandercast’, which for a small donation gave me all the basics, albeit in a more condensed form. While organised events are normally around three hours long, my Wisdom

walk lasted just over an hour, and with my question in mind – “how to better support my husband during a difficult time” – an answer was forthcoming. I was intrigued. Had I tapped into something mystical? Had the stars aligned to bring me the answer, or was something simpler at play? Keen to find out, I engaged the services of my rather skeptical husband, Tom, and two friends to see if it was up their street too.

WARMING UP Split into three parts, the Street Wisdom concept consists of a ‘tune in’, where you sharpen your senses to pick up signals on the street; ‘the quest’, where you ask a question and look for answers; and ‘the share’, where you discuss what you’ve learnt. So just as you’d warm up for an exercise session, or deepen your breath at the start of a yoga practice, the tune in – split into four 10-minute walks, each with a simple instruction – helps you slow down and observe what’s around you. “It wakes you up, helps you listen and connects you with the street,” says David. For my motley crew, one particular instruction: to “walk slowly for 10 minutes”, proved to be as inspiring as it was frustrating. While my friend Alison and I found it almost embarrassing to slow our pace – worried about strange stares and the fact it looked like we were casing people’s houses – my pal Lisa found it very helpful. “Walking slowly allowed me to really appreciate everything around me in a way I’d not experienced before,” she says. “And it was so different not having a purpose to my walk. We’re all so afraid of not keeping up with the pace of everyone else, but it made me realise it’s okay to slow down.”

LIVING THE BIG ASK Once your senses are ‘tuned up’, it’s time for that all-important question. I have to admit I struggled with mine, worrying I would either make it too meaningless (i.e. “What colour should those kitchen curtains be”) or too meaningful (“Is there other life in the cosmos”), but David advises you stick to anything you’d like fresh answers to, such as ‘where should I buy a new house?’ or ‘how can I make more friends?’ “People often panic and think they only have a single shot at it but of course they can come back to Street Wisdom again and again,” he says. “It’s not an exam, it doesn’t have to be the ultimate question – it’s more of a direction setting.” And ultimately it’s your personal journey so there are no set rules. On my walk I was bombarded with advertising hoardings displaying photos of meals we’d enjoyed as a family; a graffiti ‘hi’ on the wall with a heart over the ‘i’; a deep red leaf and a succession of couples holding hands. For me, this all pointed towards a realisation that I didn’t need to ‘do’ anything to support my husband – love and companionship was enough – but someone else might have interpreted these ‘cues’ entirely differently of course. Tom and my friend Lisa both came up with the same question: “How can I relax more?” and while Tom noticed lots of symbols for time management and self-care – diaries and calendars in shop windows, a give way sign, a box with ‘lounge’ written on it (surely a motto for a good life) – Lisa’s experience was more auditory. “Within minutes of my walk, my eye caught sight of a leaf falling very slowly and quietly from a tree and it immediately made me think about how much I needed to slow down,” she

“ ” It taps into life’s

natural synchronicity

says. “I noticed the sounds that had annoyed me earlier in the day – like car horns, road works etc – were no longer affecting me and I was appreciating them for their tone and texture, rather than how loud or annoying they were. It has made me realise how noise sensitive I am usually.”

STREET SAVVY But of course Street Wisdom isn’t right for everyone. My friend Alison, a voluntary worker, asked what job she should go for – childcare or retail – but felt as muddled by the choice afterwards as she did before, even though she’d seen a business card on the ground with the words ‘Right Step’, and a sign saying ‘Children Welcome’. David says if nothing much seems to be happening, don’t force it. “Sometimes wisdom doesn’t shout, it whispers, and that breakthrough moment might appear but not in the way you expect,” he says. Street Wisdom isn’t (and doesn’t claim to be) anything magical. The street can’t physically give you answers, but the process helps you tap into life’s natural synchronicity, and it’s a fun way of allowing us to be more aware of the answers to our problems – answers that already lies within us. If nothing else, Street Wisdom gives us an excuse for physical space and time to unravel our thoughts; the structure to spend a couple of hours doing nothing but worrying about ourselves – and if we could all do that more every day, just think how much better we’d all feel about ourselves.

For more information on Street Wisdom, or to find an event near you, go to, or via Twitter @street_wisdom. NATURAL HEALTH 101

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Life support Relationship expert Jan Day shares her advice (

My son recently had a seizure and I am worried he’s been taking drugs. How do I approach him about it without coming across like an overprotective parent and pushing him away?

family MATTERS

The latest news and holistic views to keep your clan in tip-top shape JUMP AROUND


According to a new study, as little as 10 minutes of high-intensity physical activity per day reduces the amount of adipose tissues (which stores energy in the form of fat) and enhances cardiorespiratory fitness in six to eight year old children.

New research shows that children who use electronic devices like smartphones and tablets at bedtime have over double the risk of a disrupted night’s sleep compared to kids without access to such technology.

FIGURE IT OUT Researchers have found that dads are just as able to evaluate their children’s scholastic and social skills as mums. The study also showed that mothers with mental health problems often consider their offspring’s competence to be poorer than it actually is.


Oxford University researchers have found fathers who were emotionally connected with their children had better behaved kids 11 years on. Amount of time spent together was less relevant than emotional involvement.

Before you speak to him about this, take some time to inform yourself and also to get clear about your own feelings and need for support. You are probably feeling a whole mix of emotions from anger to anxiety and it’s important to have a place to express those so that when you talk to your son, what comes over is your love and concern for him and his wellbeing. It may be useful to seek out NAR-anon meetings ( which seeks to support families and friends of drug users. You could research some websites – is a good one with lots of useful information and advice from people who have used drugs. All of this should help you stay calm and open-minded so that when you speak to him you can really listen. Avoid getting reactive as that would only push him away. Give him a clear sense that you care about him and his wellbeing. And bear in mind that it is possible that he isn’t using recreational drugs or if he has, he may have already been shocked into stopping by the seizure. Try steering the conversation to ask him how his group of friends handles the issue of drugs especially when partying. Ask him if it is easy to say no and whether he feels comfortable with that. Let him know that peer pressure is very strong and that it could result in him doing things that he wouldn’t otherwise do. Also find a way to ask him about his sources of information regarding drugs. The most important thing when you do talk to him is to try to understand what his world feels like so that he doesn’t get the impression that you are against him. Get him to talk as much as possible. Avoid closed questions: tell me about xyz is a good beginning. Aim to be curious and interested and don’t interrupt however much you may disapprove of what he is saying. The more you can listen, the more he will open up and trust you as a confidante. And of course, it will be important that you also tell him your concerns and that you are worried for his health while also wanting to be there to support him no matter what. NATURAL HEALTH 109

NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:14 Page 110




Prizes worth

£540 WIN one of six one-year memberships to online yoga service Yogaia Natural Health has teamed up with Yogaia, the world’s first interactive online yoga service, to offer six lucky readers the chance to win a one-year membership worth £90. This om-azing prize will help you to stick to your new year’s resolutions and build a yoga routine that fits around your life. Yogaia provides more than 100 live online classes every week for

different levels of yogis via computer, tablet or mobile, so you can turn your living room into your very own yoga studio. All you have to do is switch the camera on and tune into a class, and the teacher can help you to find the right alignments and positions whilst you practice. It doesn’t matter if you miss a class as all of them are recorded and available to you 24/7. Yogaia has something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced yogi looking to take your abilities to new heights. To find out more visit

WIN one of three Medicare Europe collagen bundles

WIN one of three three-month fitness and nutrition plans

Medicare Europe is offering three readers the chance to win a bundle of collagen products from its three ranges. The Collagen Extra Marine range is made up of an award-winning liquid supplement which contains up to 20 times more collagen than any other capsule or tablet on the market and the Collagen Extra Day Cream. The Collagen Max Hair range, featuring a liquid supplement, lotion and shampoo, is designed to look after your hair from the inside out. The Collagen MSM Plus range also includes a liquid supplement, clinically proven to have a positive effect on joint, bone and muscle health, as well as a cooling gel. To see the full range of products visit

Fitness Ladies is the UK’s first online fitness and nutrition solution for women aged 30 and over fronted by celebrity personal trainer Cecilia Harris. Fitness Ladies is offering three lucky readers a 12 week structured plan suited to the individual, including workouts, recipes, nutritional guidance and mindfulness tips. Whatever your fitness level, this plan will enable you to get fit and healthy from the comfort of your own home. To find out more visit

Prizes worth


Prizes worth


Enter online at Terms and conditions apply. NH advises that supplements should never be used in the place of a healthy and balanced diet, and winners should always check with a health professional if they are unsure about whether a supplement is right for them



The 2016


From beauty must-haves to healthy brews, enter our favourite products from the past 12 months SCENTSATIONAL The first all-natural perfume to win the coveted Fragrance Foundation UK Award for Best New Independent Fragrance, India from Marina Barcenilla Parfums is a staple on NH’s dresser. A delicious blend of cardamom, coriander and rose effortlessly laced with an exuberant floral heart enveloped in an amber and sandalwood warmth, this scent is essential for any fragrance collection. £130,

MIX ‘N’ MATCHA Matcha is an antioxidant powerhouse with one cup of the tasty brew equal to three cups of regular green tea. Our favourite variety, Bloom has expertly blended organic, ceremonial-grade matcha with herbs and exotic flavours to create a range of delicious and 100 percent natural super-teas. Want to add an extra health kick to your morning routine? Visit Holland and Barrett or Ocado to get yours now! You won’t regret it. £16.99 each,

REEL BACK THE YEARS The Phytonutri Qi Enhancing Arctic Essence from cult beauty brand Mel Millis is an oil-based serum which helps stimulate the regeneration of skin and boost collagen production. Combining anti-ageing benefits of antioxidants and essential fatty acids with a carefully curated combination of the most exceptional and purest plant extracts, including arctic cranberry and arctic blackcurrant, this product leaves skin enhanced and hydrated with a smoother and brighter appearance. Hello beautiful! £85,


BATHING BEAUTY Bathe in the best of nature with Tisserand Aromatherapy Bath & Body Collection. This everyday affordable indulgence offers three exquisite, 100 percent natural fragrances, rich in essential oils which boast superior skin-conditioning benefits. Expertly blended by aromatherapists, the collection of body washes, bath soaks, hand creams and much more leaves you glowing from the inside out. From £4.50,

REPLENISH AND PROTECT SenSpa’s Lift Perfect Day Cream expertly combines a unique combination of shea butter with an advanced blend of natural ingredients to target the signs of ageing and provides the perfect replenishment for your skin. Boosted with antioxidant-rich edelweiss and a plant cell extract derived from Gardenia known for its collagen boosting benefits, this fragrant, lightweight cream helps impart maximum hydration. SenSpa’s Lift Perfect Day Cream, £14.99, and selected Waitrose stores

BE HAPPY Be Happy is Scentered’s new 100 percent natural, ‘sunshine in a stick’. This aromatic balm with invigorating pink grapefruit, relaxing lemon myrtle and stimulating spearmint, is the natural way to brighten your day, lift your mood and boost positivity. Simply apply to your pulse points, be happy and enjoy the moment! £12

KISS ME QUICK Discovering the perfect pout was certainly the most on-trend beauty quest of 2016 and thanks to the Lip Renew Plump and De-age Treatment from Pevonia, we’re entering 2017 with a fuller smile. Combining natural ingredients including collagen and shea butter to deliver plumping benefits and smooth wrinkles on and around the lips, use daily to help erase fine lines and leave lips luscious and kissable. £50,

NATURE’S BEST-KEPT SECRET … has been uncovered. TreeVitalise Organic Birch Water is the bright refreshing taste of a cool spring day. Harvested once a year in the Carpathian Mountains, the organic and unsweetened drink contains nature’s own blend of nutrients all freshly brewed inside a tree. Rich in manganese and available in three delicious flavours, it makes for a happier and healthier you. £2.69 available at Holland and Barrett.


LIQUID YOUTH Drink yourself beautiful with a helping hand from Skinade, a multi-award winning anti-ageing collagen drink. This professional product defines a new way of looking after your skin; from the inside out. Containing a patent pending formulation of active ingredients that aims to boost your body’s natural production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, you can improve skin’s appearance in as little as 30 days! £99 for one-month’s supply.

We’ve fallen head-overheels for Nourish Kale 3D Cleanse. The facial wash changes colour from white to green when massaged into skin to provide a visual reminder to help us cleanse thoroughly. It gently lifts impurities and melts away makeup in the blink of an eye. Add this product to your skincare routine today! £25,


NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 16:16 Page 114

You get so much more than just a gorgeous glowing candle with Creative Energy Candles – these luxurious 2 in 1 candles give your skin a beautiful, healthy ‘glow’ too! ✓ Organic ✓ Anti-ageing ✓ Scented (or unscented) ✓ Vitamins A, E and K

✓ Minerals & antioxidants ✓ 100% natural ✓ Phthalate-free ✓ 4 sizes

✓ Travel tin or glass jar ✓ Quality essential oils ✓ Unique recipe ✓ Organic cotton wick

Prices range from £7.99 to £23.99.


This month


///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// DRINKING JUICE

The Soap Kitchen is a unique company that provides the ingredients for people to make natural soaps and candles. They also sell their own products, and I was lucky enough to be able to try one of their handmade soaps which come in 15 different fragrances. I went for peony and pomegranate, and not only did it smell divine, but it also left my hands feeling clean and soft. To top it off, all of their soaps are beautifully wrapped in decorative paper and a colourful ribbon. Tested by Emily McMullin, £3.33,

The Juice Smith makes cold-pressed juices from fresh organic ingredients and you can actually taste the goodness in them! I tried the alkaliser two-day cleanse, a hardcore six juices a day for a mega chlorophyll hit, and I felt amazing afterwards. You will get hunger pangs but it’s worth it for the light, refreshed and restored feeling you’re left with. Tested by Allison Jacobs, from £99,


The lemon detox is a popular way of cleansing your body and shedding pounds. I completed it over three days as part of the fasting programme. I thought that I’d be starving but this wasn’t the case. I was hungry for the first few hours but once I’d had five cups of the syrup-based drink I felt full and satisfied. I mixed the syrup with pepper, fresh lemon juice and hot water and consumed a cup every hour and a half. By day three I was feeling much more alert, energised and refreshed! If you want to try it, you can take part in the 5DayFast charity challenge in January. Tested by Lauren Gale,



EATING OUT Clean eating and going out for dinner haven’t always seen eye to eye. It wasn’t that long ago that us wellbeing warriors had to forgo our healthy ways to keep our social lives thriving. Fortunately, there’s been a huge improvement in recent years; new health joints are opening up all over the country and pre-existing restaurants are giving their menus a long overdue nutrition overhaul. One such establishment is the Indigo restaurant in the One Aldwych Hotel in Covent Garden. This awardwinning venue is now gluten and dairy-free, but you’d never guess! Last year executive chef Dominic Teague quietly cut both from his lunch and dinner menus and not a single diner noticed the switch.

I headed down there to try the dishes for myself and received a culinary experience that I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. Starters of quinoa salad and watercress soup were a tasteful and tantalising precursor to a delicious chickpea panisse that I’m sure couldn’t be beaten elsewhere in the capital. But it was the puddings that really caused a stir – the orange and almond cake had us dining in silence for fear that we’d miss out on savouring each fluffy mouthful and the chocolate mousse was so rich and creamy, we interrogated the chef just to make doubly sure that it was actually dairy-free! I’ll definitely be visiting again. Tested by Jody-Ann Miller, two courses from £27,

I love curling up in bed with a hot water bottle on wintery evenings, and coincidentally I tried out Noozie’s electric version just when temperatures plummeted. It’s really simple to use and can be heated from the comfort of your own bedroom – no kettle needed! All you have to do is plug the hot water bottle into a socket for 10 minutes and you’ll have yourself something nice and warm to cuddle. It retained heat really well and the shape is practical for using on various body parts to soothe aches and pains. Tested by Emily McMullin, £34.95, NATURAL HEALTH 115

This month we've been.indd 2

25/11/2016 11:07

NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:14 Page 116

General Dietary gluten-free PASTA

Lasagna 454g

Macaroni 454g

Small Shells 454g

Ingredients: Rice flour, water.

Vermicelli 300g

Gluten-free / Casein-free / Lactose-free / Egg-free / Milk-free / Wheat-free / Maize-free / Soya-free / Yeast-free Fat free Saturates free No added sugar(s) Salt/sodium free Suitable for vegetarians & vegans

Energy ......................1406kJ (336 kcal) Protein ............................................7.0g (of which gluten)...........................(nil) Carbohydrate................................77.0g (of which sugars) ............................0.4g (of which lactose)..........................(nil) (of which starch)..........................76.6g Fat ..................................................(nil) (of which saturates).......................(nil) Fibre................................................1.0g Sodium...........................................(nil) Carbohydrate as % of total energy 84% Carbohydrate.................77.0g per 100g Total fat as % of energy ...................0% Fat ......................................nil per 100g

Spaghetti 454g

Shelf-life is 3 years, ambient.

Available from wholesalers

Website: Email:

Phone: 020 3044 2933

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Ven. Lama Ngedon Drime (shri sadhu dharmavira) This unique workshop contains all the relaxation techniques needed to experience the wellbeing that comes through a life that is stress and anxiety free. This course was created for those who wish to teach others to be stress free. But, anyone who would like to attend for their own personal wellbeing, is very welcome.


Booking now for workshops In London and York. To ensure quality teaching, workshops are limited to a maximum of 6 participants To receive full details about the workshop and its benefits, please telephone: 01723 862 496 (calls taken between 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week)

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Vegan ecial Sp

From supplements to fruitarians – we put your questions to our panel of experts




What are the pros and cons of adopting a vegan diet?


Naomi Haynes, nutritional adviser and manager at Goodness Direct (, says: One of the most obvious benefits is the feeling of being healthier. In fact, many people report a feeling of lightness and vitality once they start eliminating animal products. This is most likely because plant-based foods are much easier on the digestive system, and less energy spent on this process means more energy for other bodily functions. It is well known that the healthiest diets on the planet are those that are mainly plant-based (such as the Mediterranean diet) and it is these diets that many of the longest living humans follow. Several vegans also found that ailments associated with inflammation

3 VEGAN ALTERNATIVES Booja Booja Dairy-free Ice-cream, £5.99, Waitrose 118 NATURAL HEALTH

CO YO Salted Caramel Coconut Milk Yoghurt, £1.99, Waitrose

Inspiral BBQ Kale Chips, £3.99,

massively improved within the first few weeks of switching their diet. But going vegan also comes with downsides. Many people find it difficult to give up the foods that they love most (milk chocolate, cheese, cookies… the list goes on). The good thing is that there are many alternatives out there if you know where to look. Vegan blogs and health stores are good places to start – through them you can learn about amazing recipes and ready-made products that can stand in for your favourite ingredients and dishes. You may even find that some are just as good as the items you were missing. People often worry about the nutrition side of things, too. Without fish, meat and dairy, it seems like an impossible task to meet your daily quota of recommend vitamins and minerals. But it is possible if you’re eating the right things, and nutrients such as B12 that can only be obtained through animal products can be easily supplemented. The potential for social separation is another common concern. Some friends simply won’t understand or agree with your decision to go vegan and eating out also has scope to become a bit of a nightmare (although restaurants have gotten a lot better in recent years). It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. It helps to get online. There is a widening community of vegans on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. By tapping into this network you will gain support from like-minded individuals as well as endless tips and recipe inspiration.




I’ve heard that there are many types of veganism. How do I know which one is right for me?

Sonal Shah, nutritional therapist and member of Nutritionist Resource (nutritionist-resource., says: In essence, a vegan diet is free from all animal produce, dairy and eggs. The diet is focused more on vegetables, fruits, grains, cereals, pulses, nuts and seeds. Depending on what your current diet is like at the moment, I would advise keeping it as simple as possible. If you can’t follow a vegan diet 100 percent, then follow it in a way that suits you. Making small changes to your everyday meals is one of the easiest ways to increase the amount of plant-based foods in your diet. The positive is that there is a plant-based alternative for almost every type of food. Vegan menus in restaurants are also becoming popular which is great

for those worried about social impacts. If your previous diet included dairy produce and cheese, which you are now ready to remove, then finding filling replacements of these foods is important to stop you from feeling hungry. Cow’s milk, for example, can be swapped for the numerous dairy-free milks available such as almond, coconut, or oat. Yoghurt can be replaced with coconut yoghurt or soya. There are even vegan cheese alternatives! The foods you consume should be tailored to your dietary needs and taste preferences. At times it may not be possible to eat vegan and you can choose to allow yourself certain foods. It is perfectly fine to follow an imperfectly vegan diet now and again. Listening to what your body craves is actually a good thing.

It’s true that there are different variations on the vegan diet, though, and the most common are below: The raw vegan: This is where raw food that has not been overly cooked or heated at high temperatures is predominantly consumed. Often people switch between different levels of ‘raw-ness’ at different times in their lives – although there are some hardcore raw foodies who are all in with no exceptions! The lacto vegan: These vegans avoids fish, meat and eggs but still consume dairy. The gluten-free vegan: Similar to a standard vegan, but this cat also avoids foods and grains containing gluten such as wheat and rye. So rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, oats, corn and gluten-free flours are all fine. The ethical vegan: They follow a vegan diet but also go that step further by prohibiting animal exploitation, so they do not wear leather, fur, silk, or any other clothes made from animals. They also do not use cosmetic products that are tested on animals. The fruitarian vegan: This diet is predominantly composed of fruit, and the rest is composed of nuts and seeds. I personally would not advise this diet due to the risk of nutritional deficiencies and lack of vegetables and protein in the diet. NATURAL HEALTH 119


I want to go vegan, but I don’t think I can give everything up in one go. How can I ease myself in?



Valeria Schmidt, nutritional expert at GreenBay Vegan Supermarket (, says: At GreenBay, we firmly believe a vegan lifestyle or a plantbased diet is for everyone, whether you dive straight into it or start slowly. There are different factors to consider when easing yourself into it, however, and they will vary between individuals. For starters, it is important to be clear whether you’re changing just your diet or your lifestyle as a whole, which is the difference between veganism and a plant-based diet. In short, veganism tries to avoid animal exploitation and suffering whenever it is possible and practical. So no animal products are consumed, clothing with materials such as leather, wool, fur and silk are not used and the same goes for products tested on animals. A plant-based diet, on the other hand, simply applies to food, so no animal products are consumed. If you’re considering veganism as a lifestyle, the best way to start is to use up anything you have in terms of cleaning products, cosmetics, toiletries and clothing and start replacing them with cruelty-free, vegan products as you go along. It’s not practical to get rid of everything and start again and this kind of ‘cold turkey’ deprivation

can cause people to quickly give up. When it comes to food, non-vegetarians may find that their whole diet changes quite drastically. If it feels too much at first, just slow down the pace. Perhaps you’ll give up red meat initially and then focus on white when you’re ready. Later you can tackle fish and eventually you’ll get rid of dairy and eggs, too. It also helps to balance the elimination of food groups with the introduction of exciting new ingredients that you might have never tried before. That way you’re diet becomes less about limitation and more about the inclusion of new flavours and dishes. If you are vegetarian, however, it will mainly be eggs, dairy and honey that you will be giving up. Silken tofu is a great substitute for fried and scrambled eggs and chickpea water (know in the vegan community as aquafaba) is great in place of eggs when baking. Milk can be swapped for nut variations, coconut yoghurt is a dead ringer for the real thing and nutritional yeast will satisfy any cheesy cravings. As for honey, a dollop of maple syrup will ensure you never miss out. Of course, it doesn’t stop there. There are plantbased alternatives for everything, from meats and fish to chocolate and cheese. Experimenting and discovering is a fundamental part of becoming vegan as it prevents boredom and allows you to continue enjoying the meals that you love. Health stores like GreenBay will often stock a wide range of vegan alternatives and you’ll even spot some quality finds in your local supermarket if you look hard enough.



Will I need to supplement to stay healthy?

Laura Walkley, nutrition and vegan expert at Inspiral Snacks (, tells us: One of the biggest concerns that many people have when transitioning into a vegan diet is that they may not be getting all their vital nutrients. The key to living a healthy vegan lifestyle is similar to those who choose not to eat animal products. The good news is that nature has provided us with everything we need to survive and thrive through plants, so your best bet is to avoid processed food and focus on nutritious fruits and vegetables. This may seem overly straightforward, so here’s a few of the ins and outs of the nutrients that vegans most commonly focus on.

PROTEIN A lack of protein is generally the first skepticism that people who are uneducated about the vegan diet may have. Our bodies need 20 amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and fortunately our bodies make 11 of these (non-essential) without having to do a thing! The other nine ‘essential’ amino acids can be found in plant foods. Quinoa, buckwheat, spirulina and chia seeds are ‘complete’ sources of protein, meaning they contain all nine essential acids. But don’t freak out! You don’t need to be eating every single essential amino

EXPERT GUIDE acid in every bite of food. Include plenty of vegetables (kale is particularly high) and fresh pulses and you’ll get all of the aminos in.

OMEGA 3 FATTY ACID Omega 3s are most commonly known for being found in fish, however the plant sources of this wonderful cellbuilding nutrient are a much cleaner, more eco-friendly alternative. Chia seeds, flax seeds and certain nuts contain the ALA type of omega 3 fatty acids, which are then converted into EPA and DHA acids (found in fish) by the body. Some strains are more efficient than others with this conversion, so if your levels are low you can take a vegan EPA/DHA supplement that has all the benefits of oily fish without the mercury and pollutants found in sea life.

IRON A lot of people, women in particular, will experience low iron levels at some point in their lives. In many cases people believe that this can be resolved by eating more red meat, which contains heme iron (easily digestible but also thought to be carcinogenic). The alternative is a lot healthier, and much tastier, too: raw cacao powder has 40 times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries and the highest amount of non-heme iron in any plant food with 7.3mg per 100g. Cacao is also packed with calcium, magnesium and is a natural mood booster! Make sure you’re sourcing the raw variety, though, as there is a big difference between raw cacao and processed cocoa powder.

Vegan must-reads

VITAMIN B12 B12 is a commonly deficient vitamin in omnivores and vegans alike. This vitamin essentially comes from soil, so as our food gets cleaner and agriculture is, more often than not, grain-fed, B12 is not as readily available as it once was. The good news is, this essential B vitamin can be found fortified in plenty of delicious plant-based options such as nutritional yeast (cheesy tasting flakes) and plant milks. Everyone should consider talking to their doctor about getting a B12 shot or supplement spray regardless of their diet, however.

Easy Vegan, £14.99, Murdoch

CALCIUM Calcium is often associated with dairy products, but there have been studies which show that communities with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest levels of osteoporosis. Broccoli, kale, oranges, nuts, beans and plant milk contain enough calcium to easily meet your recommended daily amount. While needing supplements may sound unhealthy, the truth is that most of those eating a British diet are not getting in their essential nutrients. The vegan diet is fantastic for lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of cancer and other dietary related diseases. Seeing a doctor to test your levels once a year will give you peace of mind and ensure you’re getting everything you need.

Go Lean Vegan, £14.99, Yellow Kite

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Is it possible to eat vegan on a budget?

Christine Bailey, nutritionist, chef and author of Go Lean Vegan (christinebailey., says: There is no reason why a vegan diet should be expensive especially if you focus on real wholefoods rather than processed vegan products. Here are some top tips: Experiment with beans and pulses. Not only are these wonderfully versatile and inexpensive, but they are a great source of protein and fibre. Buying dried beans is much cheaper than canned ones, but even tinned beans are inexpensive and they make it easy to whizz up healthy meals in minutes. Try adding more red split lentils to stews and soups, too – they take less time to cook and don’t require any soaking. Rotate your starches. One of the main concerns about a vegan diet is that it is too focused on carbohydrates. That doesn’t mean you have to ditch all the grains, but you may wish to focus more on starchy vegetables, like carrots, beetroot, sweet potato and butternut squash, which are not only cheap but packed with nutrients and often lower in carbohydrates. Just remember to rotate your starches so that you maximize nutrition and the range of amino acids you’re consuming. Buy them in bulk and store them in glass storage jars to save money. Keep it seasonal. We don’t all have time to go to farmer’s markets, but you can save money by buying things on special offer and choosing produce that is seasonal and local rather than always focusing on your favourites each week. This also keeps your diet varied which can often help to provide all the nutrients you need. Avoid fake foods. Skip the processed aisle – ditch those fake meat-style products which are not only expensive but highly processed. Cook in bulk. Make extra when you’re cooking your evening meals and portion it into containers which can either be kept in the fridge for the next day or frozen. So much healthier and cheaper than buying ready meals! If you have a pressure cooker or slow cooker use them. This can save time and energy. A pressure cooker is fabulous for cooking dried beans. Put them to soak in the morning, and they’ll cook in a pressure cooker in 20 minutes that evening. Snack smart. Make up your own healthy nibbles and skip those expensive energy bars which are often high in sugar. Bags of nuts and seeds are great if you need a nutritious pick-me-up. My cookbook, Go Lean Vegan, also has a great range of tasty snack recipes suitable for the whole family. NATURAL HEALTH 123



Can I still benefit from being vegan for a few days a week?

Adrienne Benjamin, registered nutritional therapist and nutritionist at ProVen Probiotics (, says: Committing to a 100 percent vegan diet can be a challenge. It requires dedication and usually supplementation to obtain some of the nutrients that are only available in animal products, such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Eating as a vegan two or three days a week is a much easier target and is thought to provide benefits for health as it can help to ensure we include a wider variety of different foods in our diet. It is also based upon our ancestors’ hunter-gatherer lifestyle, where meat was not a routine food, but available on the occasions when they were able to catch and kill it. Eliminating meat and dairy for a few days a week can help to make more room in our diet for fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Many people struggle to achieve the five-a-day fruit and vegetable target recommended by the government, which is


crazy considering nutritional therapists recommend between eight and 12 servings a day to support health. Cutting our intake of animal products can also help to reduce the amount of saturated fat we eat, while increasing fruit and veg will provide additional fibre and a wide variety of other nutrients. Then there’s the money-quality ratio to consider: organic, free-range, high grade meat and animal products can be expensive, so reducing weekly consumption may help us to afford healthier meats on a budget. The trick is not to just cut out meat and dairy, but to add healthy alternatives that we might not normally eat. This can include a wider range of whole grains, beans and pulses, nuts, seeds and ‘out-of-the-norm’ vegetables. Whole grains can include brown or wild rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa and millet; beans and lentils help to ensure that vegan meals contain adequate protein and are also a great source of fibre, folic acid, iron and potassium; nuts and seeds provide protein too, along with essential fatty acids, B vitamins and zinc; and vegetables add colour and texture to meals and provide a wide variety of nutrients including fibre, vitamin C and carotenes. It’s always best to include as many different coloured vegetables as possible as this will ensure a broader range of nutrients – think leafy greens such as kale and broccoli, orange and red vegetables such as carrots and peppers, cruciferous vegetables including cabbage and cauliflower and allium vegetables like onions and garlic. So stock your kitchen cupboards with grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, oils, vinegars, herbs and spices and use these to produce tasty vegetable-based meals a few times each week. Remember, many dishes that usually contain animal products can be made without them – simply add more vegetables and some beans or pulses. For example, Moroccan stew with chickpeas and squash, mushroom and vegetable bourguignon, vegetable curries, soups and stews. Enjoy!


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NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 11:14 Page 125


Find out what January has in store for you with Marjorie Orr

Dec 23 - Jan 20

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 22

SCORPIO Oct 23 - Nov 22

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 20

A slow start to the year will give you a chance to put recent events into perspective. You’ll need to dig deep to find your own answers. A friendship will go through a troubled patch around the 19th but be patient. You’ll bounce back with exuberance!

You’ll be reluctant to make plans as you won’t be sure which way you want the year to go. Your enthusiasm will stay high despite a few delays and dramas early on. Friends will keep you smiling and after the 19th you’ll be flying high and seeking recognition.

PISCES Feb 20 - Mar 20

GEMINI May 21 - Jun 21

ARIES Mar 21 - Apr 20

Be happy to pamper yourself if nobody else is offering. You won’t be as sociable as usual but some quiet time won’t do you any harm. By the 10th you’ll be in the mood to shrug off restrictions and suit yourself.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

Tucking yourself away quietly at home will be your dream. You’ll have a taste for rich and sweet foods, so you’ll need to exercise more and find some self-restraint. You’ll be keen to bury the past at home and establish a different kind of approach.

If there are misunderstandings, check what you thought you heard before responding. Thoughtful gestures from colleagues and others will keep your morale high. A sudden upheaval at home or an insight into an emotional dilemma will prompt you to make a hasty decision, but try to pause for thought before leaping into action.

You’ll be looking great and attracting flattering comments on your appearance. Certain friends will require tactful handling but try to avoid confrontation. In the final days you’ll be taking it easy, content to put your feet up and let others race around.

You’ll be keeping a few secrets close to your chest and thinking about personal matters. Don’t make hasty decisions. Your feelings will be intense but try to be moderate as it won’t last. After the 19th you’ll feel less drained.

You’ll be raring to go and keen to grab attention. Leave close partners to their own devices and please yourself. Be careful with money as there’ll be unexpected ups and downs. After the 19th you’ll appreciate the chance to settle into a routine.


AQUARIUS Jan 21 - Feb 19

LEO Jul 24 – Aug 23

Being helpful will get you further faster than being too forceful. You’ll be invited to special occasions and will put on quite a show. Be subtly persistent in getting better agreements and avoid confrontation as it won’t work.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 23

Your social life will be vibrant as you mix with the fun crowd. A chance to grasp new opportunities or step out into the unknown will arise around the 10th. Be bold but not impulsive. The final 10 days will be quieter and you’ll be pondering a dilemma.

You’ll have a busy everyday schedule but will still find energy for a packed social diary. Your charm will win you admirers and compliments but you’ll need to soften your opinions at times. Try not to push loved ones too hard in the second half of the month as they’ll be irritable and too much may be said in the heat of the moment.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 22

At home you’ll want beauty and elegance around to keep the family mood happy. It will be a good time to build bridges and ensure that past tensions are resolved. Try to curb your more outspoken comments towards the 19th when you’ll feel on edge.

Marjorie Orr is one of the world’s leading astrologers, with more than 25 years’ experience. For a personal consultation with Marjorie visit

For your personalised stars from Marjorie call 0905 072 3804 or speak to one of her psychics – call 0906 539 0201. Calls to 0905 cost 75p per min, 0906 cost £1.50 per min; from a BT landline/mobile costs will vary, 18 plus. All calls recorded for your protection and security.


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Jane is the author of Wellbeing & Mindfulness, The Energy Secret, The Weekend Healer and many other wellbeing titles. See her Amazon author page.

It was one of those weeks that seep into your soul, that change you subtly and



JANE ALEXANDER Our holistic hero on giving life meaning

In this crazy modern world, many of us are desperately seeking to find something to put us in touch, even if just for a moment, with the divine (whatever you perceive that to be). We’d love our lives to have more meaning, more purpose, more beauty. Rituals can help. Years ago, I wrote a book called Rituals for Sacred Living, and I still firmly believe in the power of a good ritual. I’m just back from a blissful retreat in Portugal, called Blush Love ( It was one of those weeks that seep into your soul, that change you subtly and sweetly, that stay with you forever. One of the things that made it so special was the way the leaders took simple things (lighting a candle, eating a square of chocolate, sipping a glass of wine, picking an oracle card) and made them moments to be savoured – little rituals. Then there were the bigger rituals. One night we mindfully walked a labyrinth made up of lights – coming to our centres – it was beyond magical. Throughout the week we created a medicine wheel, tying on bundles of the things we wanted to release, along with our hopes and dreams. We ended the week with a powerful fire ceremony that sent tingles down the spine. “Rituals are a beautiful way to honour our essence, develop spiritual connection and intuition, as well as a wonderful way to nurture creativity,” says Kate Taylor, co-creator of Blush Love. “The importance of ceremony is a basic need that cuts through the complexities of our busy lives. They are a way to slow down and 130 NATURAL HEALTH

connect to the divine with meaning and grace.” Absolutely! Sadly many of us have been put off the idea of ritual, linking it with religious ceremonies that have no personal meaning, or of turgid family rituals, set in stone. I’ll never forget a friend explaining how she was dreading Christmas because it was an absolute nightmare having to make her young daughters wait until after lunch for their presents. “Why not open them earlier?” I asked. She shook her head: “It’s the tradition in my husband’s family.” I felt so sad for her, her daughters and, indeed, her husband – all stuck in a ritual that didn’t serve any of them. Good rituals, healthy rituals, need to be vibrant, meaningful – they need to make the psyche smile. “There are so many ways you can create your own rituals, and it’s really down to what feels good to you,” says Kate. “They can be as simple as creating an altar using crystals, candles and incense and setting an intention towards your personal desires, or love and blessings for another person in your life.” I couldn’t agree more. One of my favourite small rituals is a ‘start the work day’ ritual. I light a candle, anoint myself with ila’s Vital Energy aroma roller (£29; and set my intention for the day. It gives me clarity. So play with ritual, see what works for you. Of course, if you want a totally delicious crash course in the joy of ritual, get thee to a Blush Love retreat – I can’t recommend it highly enough! Visit

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NATURAL HEALTH JANUARY 2017 ad master_NATURAL HEALTH 25/11/2016 16:37 Page 132

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