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holistic scotland M AY 2 0 1 8


M I N D, B O D Y & S P I R I T

Revitalising retreats







a family eco-break

I watch the clock “ Why and not the calories ” NUTRITIONIST AMANDA HAMILTON TALKS GUT HEALTH



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Better02health through optimum body pH balance. | may 2018 | holistic scotland

Welcome... the first issue of Holistic Scotland Magazine! We hope you enjoy reading the first issue as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. From here on in, we plan to get bigger and better and would love your input to help make that happen. In fact, you can help shape the future of the magazine by dropping me a line at and giving me your feedback. Readers’ letters are also welcome and we promise to publish as many as we can.


Meet the team

Lynda Hamilton Parker Publishing Editor

In the meantime, put your feet up and enjoy what we hope is a real feel-good read. We can’t wait to bring you issue two!


Hannah Hamilton Editorial Assistant

Lynda Hamilton Parker Publishing Editor Holistic Scotland Magazine Holistic Scotland Magazine Email: Facebook: HolisticScotMagazine Twitter: HolisticScotMag Instagram: holisticscotlandmag Published by Lynda Hamilton Communications, 14 West Vows

Walk, Kirkcaldy, Fife KY1 1RX Publishing Editor: Lynda Hamilton Parker Editorial Assistant: Hannah Hamilton Design & Production: Adam Pajdzik, Project Eleven / Laura Henderson, Multiprint Print: Gladstone Media Distribution: Next issue: June 2018

DISCLAIMER: The views within this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Articles and advertisements are for information only and are not intended to replace medical care. Always check with your GP before embarking on any new nutritional or fitness programmes and before trying any of the remedies featured in this magazine. Always seek medical advice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or taking any medication before following any advice featured in this magazine. Although the publisher has made every effort to include and recommend products and services which are sustainably packaged, Fairtrade and cruelty-free, please note it is not always possible to tick every box. Always visit the product website to check the nature of its packaging, along with its Fairtrade and cruelty-free credentials.

03 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

Katrina Mather Columnist

Pamela Spence Columnist

Contents May 2018 06 08 11

A few of our favourite things


Colour your home happy Therapy pets


Why spending time with animals is good for your health

32 34 36



War on waste: plastic


Understanding allergies YorkTest’s Dr Hart answers some frequently-asked allergy questions

Food allergy or food intolerance?

56 60

Kids corner

Healthy Snacking


Wild days out with the kids


Win an eco-break for the whole family!

Looking for a green escape this summer?

Nutrition Cooking with Cacao


The great outdoors

What to do in the allotment this month

No nasties Tried & tested: kindnatured nail polish

The importance of maintaining a healthy pH balance

The beauty of hemp

This season’s must-have hemp products




04 | may 2018 | holistic scotland



Revitalising retreats


Time to reconnect with nature


Spotlight on luxury Scottish candlemaker Jo Macfarlane

holistic scotland M AY 2 0 1 8


M I N D, B O D Y & S P I R I T

Revitalising retreats







a family eco-break

I watch the clock “ Why and not the calories ” NUTRITIONIST AMANDA HAMILTON TALKS GUT HEALTH





FOR YOUR DIARY A Quest for Healing: Zhang Yanzi 27 April – 4 Nov 2018 Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh

Galerie Ora-Ora presents gallery artist Zhang Yanzi’s first UK solo exhibition – incorporating East and Western medical philosophies and contemporary arts. The exhibition will showcase the artist’s latest work stemming from her curiosity about the human body and her investigation of the human condition, medicine and healing.

Bowhouse Food Weekends Dates throughout the summer Balcaskie Estate, Near St Monans

Bowhouse, which is thought to be one of Scotland’s most innovative food and drink hubs, will host a series of free Food Weekends in 2018. These unique, indoor events will provide an opportunity to see, discuss, taste and buy the best local food and drink available with live music and food demonstrations from leading experts.

The Scottish Vegan Festival which has proved so popular in the past that it’s being repeated twice this year, promises a day out full of talks, films, cooking, campaigns, cosmetics, food stalls and more.

Scottish Hypnotherapy Foundation Conference

Dundee Flower & Food Festival

Broomhall Castle, Stirling 22 September 2018

31 Aug - 2 Sept 2018 Camperdown Park, Dundee Although the line-up is yet to be announced, you can guarantee a great day out packed with stalls, cookery demonstrations, artisan foods, floral and other horticultural displays and much more.

Scottish Vegan Festival

21 April & 20 October 2018 Edinburgh Corn Exchange

The charity’s annual conference will, this year, welcome author and hypnotist Kelley Woods; Bob Burns, creator of the Swan Protocol; author Mark Tyrell, and Sheila Granger – best-known for the Virtual Gastric Band Programme.

05 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

A few of our favourite things… 9Nine Original, Carob & Hemp Seed Bar

Peppermint Tisane by Newby Teas of London

9Nine Super Seeds bars are our new go-to mid-morning snack and this recipe is our favourite. There are more seeds and goodness in each bar than you can shake a stick at and enough sustenance to keep you going till lunch. But don’t just take our word for it, find them in Asda and other selected supermarkets, or sign up for a subscription online and get them delivered to your door.

We love this refreshing Peppermint Tisane from Newby Teas. It’s the perfect after-dinner, early evening infusion of spicy whole peppermint leaves (enclosed in a luxury silken pyramid) which slowly release invigorating menthol oils. Both the taste and aroma are hugely calming and rejuvenating.

Coconut & Oat Energy Balls by Deliciously Ella

Each energy ball is made with just six natural ingredients, is vegan-friendly and free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. This recipe combines sweet dates and chewy coconut pieces with creamy oats and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It’s even on the website so you can have a go at making the balls yourself.

BLOGGER OF THE MONTH If you suffer from digestive problems such as IBS and, like blogger Sarah, are following a low FODMAP diet (which cuts out certain carbohydrates for periods of time to help reduce or eliminate symptoms), this is a great website to follow. From her base in Edinburgh, Sarah shares low FODMAP recipes and some of the lifestyle tips she’s picked up along the way for coping with her IBS. She also regularly reviews cafes, restaurants and hotels in the capital from an IBS sufferer’s point of view.

06 | may 2018 | holistic scotland



Argan Oil with Gold Flakes by The Pure Collection

In Ancient Chinese medicine, gold was believed to be the secret to youthful skin and this latest offering from The Pure Collection combines luxurious flakes of gold with pure, cold-pressed Argan Oil. The product is said to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin, minimise fine lines, improve skin tone and neutralise free radicals which can cause signs of ageing. We’re pleased to report we have noticed a significant improvement in the softness and general appearance of our skin – especially in the under-eye area.

Can’t live without!

Olverum Bath Oil £29 for 125ml We are officially in love with Olverum Bath Oil and its gorgeous glass bottle. Let’s just say a bath infused with luxurious Olverum and its unique blend of 10 different essential oils is like a warm embrace – especially at the end of a long, demanding day. We think it’s the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of modern living, with its scent alone creating an overall sense of wellbeing. The oil is a highlyconcentrated combination of Eucalyptus, Lavender, Juniper, Lavandin, Lemon Peel, Siberian Fir Needle, Exotic Verbena, Lime, Geranium and Rosemary, which is highly aromatic and therapeutic. Not only that but it’s free from artificial colours and preservatives and is cruelty-free. What’s not to love?

Use it for:

• Deep relaxation and stress relief • Soothing aches and pains

MOMA Super Seeds Porridge

Available in pots and sachets, this mixed seed porridge is a brilliantly chewy combination of pumpkin, linseed and chia seeds and, of course, chunky oats – making it a great choice for a protein boost. It’s gluten-free with no added sugar and guaranteed to fill you up.

• Beautifully soft skin • All-out pampering

Kind Natured Heavenly Coconut & Passionflower Bath Soak and Body Wash

These are great budget buys at £4.99 each for 250ml and can be found in selected Boots stores. All Kind Natured hair and body care products are 97% natural and free from chemicals such as parabens, sulphates and silicones. Other variations include Sea Salt & Bergamot and Amber & Pink Pepper. Order direct and get free postage and packaging over £10. 07 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

Aestus has introduced Copy Classic – a glass panel radiator with clean lines which comes in nine intense and contemporary solid colour options which can be used to add an accent colour or as part of a full block colour scheme.

ULTRA VIOLET COLOUR OF THE YEAR Did you know Ultra Violet is Pantone Colour of the Year 2018? Find out why at

Furniture from

COLOUR YOUR HOME HAPPY Have you ever considered the psychology of colour? With the ability to influence both mood and aesthetic, colour has the power to communicate a message without words.

Colour blocking

Harness the positive energy of colour and create a colour-block interior in your home. No longer deemed a ‘thing of the past’, this retro trend revival is thriving thanks to the hipster generation that has reinvented this old-school style as ‘fashion-forward’. “Colour-blocking is a great way to inject personality into a room,” says the team at Aestus, which manufactures and supplies designer radiators and towel warmers. 08 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

Matching your mood

“Colour has always deeply affected emotion,” says Amanda Telford, a product specialist at CTD Tiles, whose new Match My Mood service recommends colours according to which emotions customers would like their rooms to evoke. “We wanted to create something that would really allow customers to customise their room with a unique blend of emotions and we think our customers will enjoy testing different palettes and realising the effect on their mood.” Find out more at


What does your favourite colour say about you?

Black – If your favourite colour is black, you’re likely to be artistic, sensitive and quite guarded at times. White – People who like white are often organised and logical and prefer minimalism over clutter. Red – If you love red, then you’re probably passionate, determined and like to live life to the fullest. Blue – Blue lovers are harmonious, reliable, sensitive and considerate of others. Green – If green is your colour, you’re probably affectionate, loyal and frank. Integrity is also likely to be very important to you. Yellow – Like a ray of sunshine, you’re constantly learning and sharing your knowledge with others. Purple – Like the late singer Prince, if purple is your hue, you are most likely artistic and unique.

3 WAYS TO INJECT COLOUR INTO YOUR HOME OR OFFICE Add some select, new cushions to the mix, such as these gorgeous Knot Garden Cushions from Invest in a few pieces of statement furniture. The Kaleidoscope range from is bright, bold and eye-catching. Splash out on a few colourful accessories like these pretty handwoven African baskets from

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Therapy Pets Why spending time with animals is good for your health

Animals have a long history of supporting vulnerable members of society, from Guide Dogs for the Blind to Medical Detection Dogs. But it’s not just people with sight problems or life-threatening health conditions that can benefit from owning a pet. A recent study by the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International revealed that pet ownership could save the NHS up to £2.45 billion a year by reducing GP visits - thanks to its mental and physical health benefits, which include illness prevention and boosting overall wellbeing. The Mental Health Foundation has reported that just stroking, sitting next to or playing with a pet relaxes and calms the mind. “Taking care of and spending time with a pet is a great way to give yourself some headspace to deal with life’s setbacks and challenges,” says Eugene Farrell, who is a mental health expert at AXA PPP Healthcare. “Walking your dog – or even borrowing one from a neighbour or local animal rescue centre – can do wonders for your wellbeing. It combines moderate exercise with taking a break from work or household chores and getting some

Here are AXA PPP Healthcare’s five top reasons why living with pets is good for us:

1. Unconditional love. However bad your day’s been, you’ll have someone who depends on you to shower you with affection. The British Medical Journal believes the emotional bond between owner and pet can be as intense as many human relationships and may confer similar psychological benefits. 2. Routine. The responsibilities that come with owning a pet can give your day purpose, reward and a sense of achievement. Regular routines and rituals are said to help forge discipline, help energy management and support mental space. Dogs Trust also highlights that a good routine is vital for your dog’s wellbeing too. 3. Lower risk of heart disease. Owning a pet can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It may be that dog owners naturally do more exercise, but pets also play a role in providing social support encouraging you to stick with a new habit or adopt a healthy behaviour. Owning a cat has also been associated with a reduced rate of dying from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and stroke to the stress-relieving effects of animal companionship. 4. Socialising. Pets can act as a social icebreaker between strangers, or as a catalyst for social interaction. Research suggests that dog walkers experience significantly higher social capital (interactions and relationships) than non-dog walkers. 5. Boost to mental wellbeing. Studies have found that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets and ownership can reduce stress and anxiety levels. Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.

10 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


fresh air. Similarly, caring for other types of pets can help us take time out of our busy schedules which can help us gain perspective and recharge our batteries.” Psychologist Dr Meg Arroll (pictured), who works with Healthspan Pet Health, echoes these sentiments. She says pets can also help to reduce blood pressure and keep us active, while pet therapy reduces anxiety in people with mental health conditions. She says interacting with an animal can reduce our perception of pain and even benefit children in hospital. She points out that pets are also a good way to combat loneliness and isolation in older people. “Interacting, or even simply being in the presence of animals can have a calming effect, she says. This is because humans are naturally drawn to other living things for survival. “Spending time with animals and caring for them can make us feel good. But pet therapy can also help people with acute psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and eating disorders, psychosis and mood disorders. “A study with 230 patients who were in hospital with mental health disorders found that just a single pet therapy session reduced anxiety. “In children and adolescents with mental health conditions, pet therapy improved young people’s day-to-day functioning and helped them get back into school. “Spending time in hospital as a child can be tough for both children and their families so it’s important that some semblance of normality is included in hospital life. “Researchers have looked at children

with chronic disorders, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and organ transplant, who were visited once a week in hospital by dogs. This pet therapy helped the children to focus less on being ill and offer some relief from life in hospital. “Isolation is a growing and serious problem for older people. As we live longer and rarely in inter-generational homes with other relatives, loneliness and depression has become a significant issue for older people and for us as a society. “A small study looking at 15 people with terminal illness found that animals also helped patients in the final stages of life. “After two visits, patients said they felt less anxious and that their level of despair had decreased. The animals also seemed to help these patients move through the stages of death by allowing them to let go of past relationships. “Therefore, for some people with a terminal illness, offering time with animals may be an important part of their end-of-life care.”

Cat cafes

Cat cafes have been popping up recently in Scotland and there are now four that we know of: Maison de Moggy in Edinburgh; Purrple Cat Café in Glasgow; Cat’s Miaow Kittea Café in Stirling, and The Cat in the Window Café in Aberdeen. What better therapy than a nice Earl Grey and a cuddly cat?

11 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


“Fostering dogs is so rewarding” Mary Reynolds, a Home From Home (HFH) carer for Dogs Trust, has fostered more than 15 dogs from the charity’s West Calder branch to help them find their forever homes. She has discovered, first hand, the rewards of spending time with these canine companions which, in turn, have become much happier and gone off to permanent homes. “The whole process has been very rewarding,” she says. “The dogs I’ve cared for range from young pups to older dogs looking for retirement homes. “The thing I love most is how much you learn from each dog. They look like lost little souls when they arrive, but they quickly start to come out of their shells.

Could you foster a dog?

“Little habits start to shine through and, the more you learn about how they behave, the more information you can

“Although it’s sad to see them go, it’s worth it – especially knowing that you’ve helped them find their perfect home.” pass on to potential owners. “I usually foster dogs for anywhere between one and nine weeks. A lot of people think it would be difficult to give them back after fostering them for so long. Although it’s sad to see them go, it’s worth it – especially knowing that you’ve helped them find their perfect home.”

In the last year, Dogs Trust West Calder has rehomed more than 400 dogs to new families thanks to the charity’s Home From Home Foster Scheme (HFH). “Fostering a dog allows you to do something rewarding which can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health,” says HFH coordinator Stephen Thomson. “The dog also gets to stay in a family environment for as long as possible and is better prepared to go to its forever home.” Find out more at or contact

12 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


Cleanse your mind and body for a happier, healthier you By Gillian McMichael

If, like me, you have spent much of winter curled up on the sofa away from the dark and cold, feeling the sun on your face and seeing some colour in the garden should give you a spring in your step. But how do you hold onto that feel-good factor and make the most of your new-found zing? Get outside Time outside in the fresh air is good for the soul. It can help give you a fresh perspective and more positive outlook on life. Embrace the feeling of being more energised, having a better mind-set and like you’re ready for anything. Exercise regularly Let the brighter mornings and lighter nights inspire you to get out there. Try yoga to strengthen your core, or light running for fitness. If these don’t appeal to you, then what about dancing? Just create a playlist and go with the flow!

Do something different Trying something new can bring new people, experiences and fun to your life. Set yourself the task of trying something you have always wanted to, such as learning to draw or a Thai cooking course. Review how you spend your time Make this the year to focus on you. Being a good friend, colleague or family member doesn’t mean your needs belong at the bottom of the pile. Selfcare is essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy body and mind. For more personal and professional development tips, contact Gillian (pictured) at

13 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

War on waste:


The world’s plastic problem has reached epic proportions, with 8 million tonnes of polymer-based waste – from discarded straws and bottles, bags and toys to cigarette filters, food wrappers and toilet seats – entering our oceans every year.


his plastic pollution is not only sullying our beautiful coastlines and killing huge numbers of wildlife, including seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles, but it’s winding up in our own water supplies and digestive systems. Now if that’s not enough to whet your appetite for change, a recent report by The Telegraph revealed that seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year.

Although there is currently no data for Scotland, 93% of Americans over the age of six test positive for Bisphenol A (BPA) – just one of the plastic chemicals absorbed by the body. In fact, enough plastic is thrown away every year to circle the earth four times. Virtually every piece of plastic mankind has ever produced still exists in some shape or form. But one Scottish company believes it’s found an answer. CuanTec based in Motherwell is a

Scientists at CuanTec have created a new method of extracting a natural biopolymer from the shells of langoustines.

We are creating a monster problem that’s going to take everyone to solve

an exciting new start-up which has created a new method of extracting chitin – a natural biopolymer – from the shells of langoustines. By using chitin in it’s more soluble form (otherwise known as chitosan), scientists at CuanTec have developed a new flexible film which can be wrapped around fresh food. “Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to breakdown,” says CuanTec CEO Cait Murray-Green. “But even when it does it just makes smaller microplastic particles. They get everywhere: into the fish you eat, the water you drink – we are creating a monster problem that is going to take everyone to solve.

14 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


Virtually every kind of plastic ever produced still exists in some shape or form.

“It’s not just plastic waste – humans are very wasteful creatures. A third of the food created in the Western world ends up discarded. That’s 7 million tonnes (or £13 billion) of food in the UK alone. Often the food waste – the ends of sandwiches, scraps from a ready meal – is wrapped in plastic. That means the plastic can’t be recycled (even if it is a suitable type) as it’s dirty, and the food scraps can’t be composted because they have plastic attached. “But we have developed a single solution to both problems by creating food packaging from food waste that actually makes your food last longer. “Chitin is the second most abundant biopolymer in the world. It’s all around you – in shellfish, insects and fungi

which all use chitin to give them strength and structure. We only work with chitin sources from waste and langoustine shells (or the bits of scampi you don’t eat) are plentiful. “Because chitin and chitosan are anti-microbial, they kill off any bacteria present in the food and make it last longer – so we’re using food waste to prevent food waste. It’s also compostable so you can just pop it into the compost heap with

15 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

everything else. “Initially we want to work with firms packing the likes of salmon steaks because we know they have shelf-life issues. If we can extend that shelf-life by 24 or 48 hours, we can make a major difference to their food waste. “Eventually we hope to get the packaging into mainstream supermarkets.” Find out more at Chitin sources from waste are plentiful


12 easy ways to use less plastic

Plastic has become a bad word in households across the country and, when you really look, it’s everywhere. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to lessen or eliminate your use of disposable plastic altogether. Here are 12 simple tips:




4 5

Use a refillable or travel coffee mug rather than ordering takeaway drinks in a disposable cup. Many places (such as Costa) already offer an incentive, such as a percentage discount, for using your own. There’s a great range available from

Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug

Invest in a reusable water bottle for using during yoga, at the gym and in the office rather than buying plastic bottles every time Keep some real cutlery and a glass in your drawer at work so you’re not caught out needing a disposable set Use only real plates or biodegradable alternatives, such as bamboo for the kids. Switch to biodegradable baby wipes, nappy sacks and re-usable nappies. There’s a great range at

6 7 8 9

Buy only wooden toys where you can. We’re avid browsers of Make sure you take your re-usable bags to the supermarket Never flush anything down the toilet other than toilet roll. Remember, what goes in the ocean goes in you. Make sure you recycle and compost your food waste

Bags for life at Asda

16 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


EVERYDAY ALTERNATIVES No excuse for single use

Created with natural bamboo fibre, which is thought to be the world’s fastest-growing, most sustainable crop, and non-GMO corn starch, Ecoffee Cup is BPA and phthalate free. Find out more at

More reasons to make a splash

The Lindy swimsuit by active swim specialist Aqua Sphere is made from Repreve – a clever fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. Six bottles make up one Lindy swimsuit, not only making it eco-friendly, but hard-wearing and chlorine-resistant with UV50 sun protection. Buy at

A better alternative, period

The FAIR SQUARED Period Cup is created from Fair Trade, biodegradable natural rubber and is vegan society approved and crueltyfree. Check it out at


11 12

Buy products in glass jars or bottles, or have fun making your own

Switch to bamboo cotton buds. Check out Surfers Against Sewage at to buy Try to buy loose fruit and vegetables and products in sustainable packaging at the supermarket or, even better, subscribe to a local, organic veg box.


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“My health journey led to a new career” As the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) celebrates 20 years of training people in natural therapies, graduate Angela MacRitchie reflects on her own health journey. “I was a county gymnast but, at the age of 19, my knee swelled up and I could only walk with the help of crutches,” says Angela. “Over the next 20 years, I had six operations, took heavy pain-killers and was often bedridden with the pain. “I was prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs which brought down the swelling and meant I could get rid of the crutches, but I was still in pain and told I would likely have to take drugs for the rest of my life. “I wanted to take better control of my own health, so I started to investigate natural methods. “I detoxed, took herbs and made changes to my lifestyle and diet and eventually stopped having to take the drugs. I felt my body waking up again and challenged myself to a triathlon in two years’ time. “Two years later, at the age of 46, I successfully completed my first triathlon. “It’s now been nearly five years since I’ve taken any

kind of medication and my knee is fine. I’m pain-free and have more mobility than since I was a teenager. The only reason I haven’t taken part in any more triathlons is that I’ve been too busy studying at CNM! “I’ve learned so much at CNM which has really helped my own health. It’s helped me understand how much the body is always trying to return to balance and the importance of giving it the help it needs for healing. “I now run clinics in Glasgow, Newton Stewart and Manchester – offering my clients complete wellbeing packages. “It’s wonderful being a qualified practitioner, with the ability to inspire people to make positive changes in their own lives. “I don’t have the words to express how much studying at CNM has changed my life. It’s been awesome.” Find out more about the courses available at

19 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


GARDEN! If you’re a keen horticulturist or flower grower and have always dreamt of working from home, a new career you could be waiting for you right under your nose. British flower grower Amanda Fawzi

If setting your own hours, spending time in your own idyllic garden or allotment surrounded by pretty flowers, and working alongside the birds and bees appeals to you, could have what it takes to become a professional British flower grower. Just take a look at Amanda Fawzi of The Country Garden Company, who grows seasonal, local garden flowers, foliage and herbs from her home in Cupar.Her flower selection changes with the seasons – evoking the natural charm of a rustic Scottish garden. Head grower Amanda’s style is romantic, loose, slightly wild and always garden-inspired. As well as supplying ethical cut flowers throughout Scotland, Amanda arranges flowers for weddings, funerals and events and supplies seasonal wreaths.

She’s a member of Flowers from the Farm, a notfor-profit national network of artisan British flower growers working to represent a different range of flowers than those available in the supermarkets and wholesale markets.

20 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


Amanda’s garden is abundant with hundreds of varieties of native British flowers, including as dahlias, roses and peonies

From the Highlands to Cornwall, its members are growing a combination of old and new favourites, such as Sweet Peas, Bells of Ireland, Dahlias and Aquilegia and supplying a cut flower industry that’s worth 2.2 billion pounds every year. According to Flowers from the Farm, most of the flowers available for sale otherwise in the UK are imported. It says there are also very few varieties available and are likely to be Daffodils, Tulips, Alstromerias, Lilies, Sunflowers, Gerbera and Roses. It claims florists try to stock a wider range but they are often ‘stymied’ by the wholesale market which only takes flowers hardy enough to be transported around the world via Holland. Flowers from the Farm also says these flowers may be six to eight days after picking before they get to our retailers, let alone our homes. I just love being out in the garden,” says Amanda. “I love being able to get creative with flowers. The end product is just so lovely.


Do you feel over loaded - that your mind is constantly busy with no respite? Want to learn more about Mindfulness and learn to stop? Pause & Breathe is mindfully run by Susie Hooper Events and courses are held across Central Scotland For those further afield she can offer facetime sessions, or day or weekend courses

CONTACT Email: Follow on

21 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


She bangs the drums Meet sound healer Ali Gunning (pictured right), who talks us through an immersive sound bath and how the power of the gong can help bring us back into balance Ali Gunning is a sound healer from Glasgow who’ll be taking to the road this summer to share the energy and sound healing of the gong with Merchant City Yoga in her hometown, Edinburgh’s Santosa, and Art Angel in Dundee. But first, she talks to Holistic Scotland Magazine about selfhealing and the importance of routine. Q: What does your work involve? A: I work with sacred sound – in other words, sound used for meditation, transformation and self-healing. I specialise in using large-scale, planetary and symphonic gongs to create a ‘sound bath’ or ‘gong ceremony’. I use other instruments too, such as the hang drum, Himalayan bowls and crystal bowls, so it becomes a real journey. I’m also

Ali works across a diverse range of venues

interested in mantra and use my voice as part of the sound healing. Q: Who do you help? A: I work with individuals, couples and groups, as

22 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


well as in a therapeutic context, such as palliative and end-of-life care for young children, and addiction recovery. Q: How did your career lead up to this point? A: I’ve been practising yoga for about 14 years. It kept me (just about) balanced through my initial career in the hectic world of events and PR – until I realised that lifestyle, for all its excitement, wasn’t making me happy. I immersed myself fully in the yogic path, which led to teaching and training as a holistic yoga therapist. Chanting sparked my interest in the power of sound, then I discovered the gong – and my true purpose!

have a particular ability to re-balance and reunite all the layers of our being – physical body, energetic system, mind and spirit. There are certain instruments – the gong and the voice especially – which offer the widest array of healing overtones and harmonics. A sound bath can rebalance the nervous system and flow of vital energy; it can create space in our minds in which to access our inherent intuitive wisdom and the body’s natural repair mechanisms.

Ali uses a whole host of instruments to create an aural and spiritual journey

India, where I completed all my yoga teacher training, is like a second home. About this time of year my body craves the heat and my soul craves the freedom and adventure of travel. Q: How does sound healing work? A: Sound healing works on the simple principle that the universe arose from sound and is composed of vibration. And, as the universe in miniature, so are we – our thoughts and each part or cell of our physical body has its frequency. Healing means a return to wholeness and sound seems to

Q: What is a sound bath? A: Rather than bathing in water you are immersed in sound vibrations. There is a very watery feeling about the gong experience, the vibrations travelling through the fluidity of the body, which can have a cleansing effect, mentally and physically. The sound bath usually involves a selection of instruments designed to shift the levels of consciousness, ending with grounding and integration. Q: Why is this way of life so important to you? A: Routine is important because it gives us a constant against which to understand the changes in how we are feeling. I’ve experienced the personal transformation that is possible through yoga, meditation and sound. Without a daily sadhana, it’s easy to slip back into old patterns. To see Ali in action and experience a sound bath for yourself, check out her tour dates, workshops and retreats at

23 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

Amanda Hamilton

“You are what you absorb”

You may know her better as a TV presenter on BBC Two’s Something for the Weekend, which ran on Sunday mornings from 2006 till 2012, but North Berwick-born Amanda Hamilton has many more strings to her bow than just being a successful broadcaster. he Scottish mum-of-two is a nutritionist, health expert, broadcaster, writer and consultant whose passion is healthy living. She runs a string of award-winning detox retreats in four different locations, from East Lothian to Marbella, and a successful London personalised nutrition clinic. Here, Amanda talks about why she is so passionate about nutrition and helping people and why gut health is at the root of health and wellbeing. She also shares her tips for quick and easy family nutrition that you can achieve at home. But first, she tells us what’s wrong with many of our diets and why we are looking at digestive health all wrong.


“The impact of gut and good digestion is bodywide,” explains Amanda. “It’s the front line for our immune systems and needs the right balance of bacteria to function at its best. We used to say ‘you are what you eat’ but we are really what we absorb. We can get away with neglecting certain things when we are young, but it soon catches up with us. “Our diets are so far removed from what our bodies have evolved to cope with that we are in metabolic chaos. Gut health has a major influence on weight and mood and many of us are burnt out and hormonal. But these situations are reversible if we get our core nutrition right. We need to get the critical balance right and let our bodies come back to a state of working optimally.

a big fan “ ofI’mScotland’s

natural larder

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“Breaking free from the monotony of the ‘same old, same old’ diet is the fundamental principle of gut health. It’s a diet of abundance, not restriction. “Why? Because the Western diet, which is often based around processes, convenience food and drinks, tends to be limited. Surveys have shown many of us eat as few as six or seven meals on rotation. And a more diverse diet means a more diverse microbiome. So choose a rainbow of fruit and veg, eat seasonally, enjoy new foods and flavours and a more exciting, varied, natural diet. “I love whatever is fresh and in season and I’m a huge fan of Scotland’s natural larder. I eat lots of vegetables and love to pair them with fresh fish or game. A bowl of porridge is a daily staple too! “Stubborn fat, lethargy, dodgy digestion, poor skin and more may result from an unbalanced gut and re-nourishing the gut with the right foods could finally solve those frustrations, for good. “As many of us now know, the trillions of bacteria that live in the gut differ hugely from person to person are responsible for your unique response to food. You share around 99% of their DNA with the person next to you but the difference between any two people’s microbial populations (gut bacteria) are enormous. These microbes impact on your weight, health and mood. A diet or nutrition programme must take gut health into account otherwise it is

missing a key part of the overall picture. “People who have followed my latest G Plan Diet (G stands for gut!) diet typically lose half a stone or more in the 21 days, and often continue to lose weight, while raving about increased energy, better mood and, most importantly, not feeling hungry at all.” Amanda is also a fierce advocate of intermittent fasting. “For once, here’s a framework for eating and living that really delivers results without the need to give up the enjoyment of eating delicious food. “Losing weight - which is still the reason most people do intermittent fasting – can feel like going into battle, and it is a fight that most people will lose. Intermittent fasting works with the body not against it. “I document the various methods of the intermittent fasting approach in my book but for those who struggle with the dieting mentality, or for people who struggle to get by on just 600 calories in a day (I’m one of them), the 16:8 fast it’s a much better approach. It can be summed up simply as this – watch the clock, not the calories. “All you need to do is widen the gap between meals to allow your body to tap into fat reserves more easily. If you constantly drip feed fuel (food) into your body it never has to use its fat stores.” To find out more about Amanda’s clinic, G Plan Diet and wellness retreats, visit

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THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING A HEALTHY PH BALANCE Doctors and nutritionists rarely talk about the body’s pH balance and we tend to think that biological buffer systems will always keep the body in harmony. But even small deviations from your body’s optimum pH level can have a detrimental impact on its biochemistry. Modern living, including dietary choices, high stress levels and environmental pollution, can place a significant burden on the body’s pH buffering system. When out of kilter, we can suffer from fatigue and reduced immunity and it may even set the scene for degenerative disease. Research carried out by the University of California recently found that modern diets are resulting in an increase in metabolic acidosis, a condition which occurs when the body produces too much acid, or the kidneys are not removing enough acid from the body. If the body’s pH is too acidic, it can create an environment that encourages the rapid growth of pathogens which, of course, can cause disease. It also hinders the detox process and reduces the uptake of oxygen in the body. These can contribute to tiredness and poor immunity. Thankfully, there’s plenty we can do to keep our bodies’ pH well balanced: 1 DRINK PLENTY OF GOOD WATER

Water is essential - especially for the elimination of acidic toxins. To better hydrate the body and boost detoxification, drink filtered water. CUT DOWN ON SUGAR

2 Reduce your consumption of excess acid-forming foods, including sugar, which can be inflammatory and help to feed pathogens.

Eat plenty of veg

3 Eating plenty of vegetables is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy body pH.

Consume the right oils

4 Make sure you consume plenty of good fats and eliminate processed oils. Use olive and coconut oil and take fish oils or flaxseed oil to increase the body’s omega 3 levels, in which many people are deficient. If you find your energy levels starting to drop – and your immunity is deteriorating – it’s worth having a look at your pH and making simple changes to bring it back into balance.

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This might not only help your short-term health but could help to slow the ageing process. Since its inception, Water for Health – based in Scotland – has focused much of its efforts on finding and distributing products to help promote proper hydration, good nutrition and healthy body pH balance. Find out more at


Coping with IBS pril was IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month so, in solidarity, I’m dedicating my first column to the condition. It affects so many of us, yet it often only appears in the ‘additional’ list for patients at my clinic. Maybe that’s because many people have found ways to just live with it, while others believe nothing can be done. The pain, constipation, urgency, bloating and loose stools can be anything from mildly annoying, to intense and lifestyle-limiting. Some sufferers are even afraid to stray too far from a loo in case they get caught out. Eating out can be miserable. If every other possibility has been excluded and you have been diagnosed with IBS, a good place to start is by eliminating wheat from your diet. Some


people find eating wheat can exacerbate symptoms and that cutting it out reduces bloating. But it’s important to understand IBS can also be made worse by stress. When we feel stress, we release a cascade of hormones directly affecting the gut – so try to avoid stress if you can! You can also try some simple herbs that can be bought as teas. Chamomile is great for easing bowel spasm, gently encouraging bowel movements and reducing anxiety. Fennel is the top remedy for bloating and wind, while Peppermint soothes the digestion and reduces feelings of nausea. Of course, one size doesn’t fit all and we herbalists have access to lots more remedies. Guelder Rose, for example, is a key gut antispasmodic, while Slippery Elm soothes irritated mucosa and slows down transit time. Whatever your symptom pattern, rest assured there are things you can do to improve the situation. Become IBS aware!

Pamela Spence MNIMH is a medical herbalist based in Prestwick. Find out more at or, to find a medical herbalist in your area, go to 27 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


Did you know sleep deprivation is classed as anything less than seven hours a night? Here are 10 things which will help you fall asleep faster and, maybe more importantly, stay asleep! 1. Bedtime Routine – (not just for babies!)

Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is probably one of the easiest ways to maximise the amount of sleep you get, as well as getting your body into a good rhythm. You can achieve this by going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day.

2. Power Down

Don’t use your phone, tablet or computer just before bed if you want to fall asleep quickly. The

blue light given off by these screens suppresses the secretion of melatonin (the hormone that helps you to fall asleep naturally) more than other types of light.

3. Create a Sleep Sanctuary

Create a sanctuary where you feel relaxed and safe by investing in warm, comfortable bedding and pillows. Make sure the room is very dark at night (blackout blinds are a good idea) to promote melatonin and get rid of the TV.

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4. Keep it cool

Studies have shown that warm temperatures can lead to a delay in falling asleep and fragmented sleep once you finally fall over. The ideal temperate for a restful sleep is between 18-19°C.


5. Be careful with caffeine

If you are having problems falling (or staying) asleep, try to drink caffeinated drinks before noon.

6. Eat foods that promote sleep

Foods containing an amino acid called tryptophan may help you to fall asleep. Tryptophan is a precurser to melatonin production and can be found in foods such as turkey, chicken, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, bananas and chocolate.

7. Avoid alcohol

The sedative effect of alcohol wears off after just a few hours, so a glass or two of your favourite tipple before bed could see you waking up in the middle of the night.

8. Read a book or write in a journal

If you find reading relaxing, then try something non-stimulating like a fiction novel.

9. Have a warm bath

The rise and fall of your core body temperature caused by soaking in a warm bath then getting out mimics the body’s natural temperature fluctuations when we get drowsy.

10. Do a brain dump

Write down the three most important things that you need to achieve the next day. This might help you to de-stress by knowing you’re prepared as soon as you wake up. Rachael Watson is a nutritionist based in Glasgow who runs, an online community for women who want to break free from yo-yo dieting and learn the basics of nutrition, cookery, and self-confidence to lead a happier life.

BETTER YOU MAGNESIUM OIL GOODNIGHT SPRAY This spray is said to top up magnesium levels and help you achieve a deep and restful sleep. It contains chamomile, bergamot and clary sage to soothe the senses and calm and relax the body. SLEEP STORIES Why not try the app that’s putting thousands of Brits to sleep? Readers include Joanna Lumley and Stephen Fry. KALMS NIGHT Drift off to sleep with the help of Valerian Root extract which is said to have a sedative effect. Find it in Kalms Night and Kalms OneA-Night.

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Our homes can be filled with airborne allergens during spring and summer. Dust, pet and mould allergens are common, as well as the tree and grass pollen that comes in from outside. This can be a nightmare for indoor allergy and hay fever sufferers – especially if you are prone to both! COPING WITH HAY FEVER

Although hay fever is usually associated with grass pollen in late spring and early summer, the symptoms start much earlier for around one in four sufferers. Tree pollen can be released as early as February, with the main tree pollens released from March to May. The main allergen-producing trees in the UK are Birch, Alder, Horse Chestnut and Hazel, to whose pollen most hay fever sufferers are allergic. The symptoms occur because of the immune system’s overreaction to the pollen, which causes the body to produce histamines. While normal amounts of histamines in the brain are good – helping to keep you alert, attentive and awake – too many can cause sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchy, swollen, streaming, watery eyes, as well as an itchy nose and throat.

Hay fever can also make it difficult to sleep which can, in turn, zap your energy levels and leave you feeling low and sluggish. Although there’s no known cure for hay fever, there are lots of natural remedies available to help reduce or prevent some of the symptoms. One such product is HayMax, an organic drug-free allergen barrier balm (sometimes referred to as a nasal balm), which is applied to the rim of the nostrils and the bones of the eyes. It has been proven by the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit to reduce the amount of pollen entering the body by more than a third.

30 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


It works by reducing the amount of pollen getting into the body and is made entirely from natural ingredients so can be used by pregnant and breast-feeding women. Because it doesn’t contain antihistamines, it doesn’t cause any drowsy effects and therefore can also be used when driving and operating machinery and will not affect your performance at work. HayMax organic drug-free allergen barrier balms cost £6.99 per pot and are available from Holland & Barrett, selected Morrisons and Boots stores, independent chemists, pharmacists and health stores, online and direct at Other natural remedies worth trying include Pollinosan Hay fever Tablets from A.Vogel which contain seven tropical herbs, including Luffa operculata and Galphimia glauca, which help with allergy to grass and tree pollen – two of the most common hay fever triggers in the UK – as well as allergies to dust, animals and pets, known as allergic rhinitis. A.Vogel Eye Drops, meanwhile, contain Euphrasia and can be used to relieve dry, irritated or tired eyes. The drops help to soothe and maintain lubrication of the eyes and are suitable for contact lense wearers. They are also suitable for use during pregnancy or whilst breast-feeding, and for children from two years and over. Both A.Vogel products are available – for £9.70 and £9.40 respectively – from health shops nationwide or

Tips for reducing indoor allergens • Keep doors and windows closed. • Vacuum the house regularly using a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) filter (especially beds and fabrics) • Use a damp or microfibre duster • Apply an organic drug-free allergen barrier balm to the nostrils and around the bones of the eyes in the morning, throughout the day and at night • Wash bedding regularly and use anti-allergy bedding made from ‘intelligent fibres’ • Dry clothes indoors rather than on a clothes line • Keep the humidity in your house to a minimum and avoid drying clothes on radiators and/or use a dehumidifier • Make sure your pet is well groomed and shampooed as much as possible • Wash your face as soon as you get indoors on high pollen count days • Shower at night before sleeping Find out more at

WIN a ‘best in test’ Bluair Classic 405 air purifier Say goodbye to 99.7% of all allergy-causing airborne particles down to 0.1 micron including pollen, smoke, dust, mould, spores, bacteria and pet allergens because the Blueair Classic 405 air purifier is here – and we have one to give away. The air purifier combines its unique filtration technology, HEPASilent™, with functional Swedish design features, including a digital display with touch-button control. It’s also energy-efficient, whisper silent and made of recyclable materials. Send your name, address and telephone number to with ‘Clean Air’ in the subject line by 30 May to be entered into the draw.

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Food allergy or food intolerance? What’s the difference? “Food allergy and food intolerance are often thought to be variations of the same thing, but the biological processes behind them and how they affect you are very different,” says Dr Gill Hart, Scientific Director at YorkTest Laboratories, which specialises in food reaction testing. “Food allergy is quite rare, affecting about 2% of the population and 6 to 8% of children. Meanwhile, it’s thought that around 45% of the population has a food intolerance.

“Food intolerance testing in many cases, could provide some answers for people who are experiencing this.

“During an allergic reaction, the body’s immune system believes it’s being ‘invaded’ and produces IgE (Immunoglobin E) antibodies to fight off the food ingredient it mistakenly considers to be harmful. This can result in severe inflammatory responses in the body which can potentially be fatal. “Unlike allergy, food intolerance usually involves a delayed biological reaction which, although often uncomfortable and unpleasant, is not life threatening. “Many people are living with food intolerances and their associated symptoms without realising that the food they’re eating is the root cause. “But food intolerance testing isn’t something that’s offered on the NHS. Instead, people are encouraged to eliminate certain foods one by one to help identify an intolerance. This can be a long and difficult process.” New research which found that 19% of 2,000 adults surveyed believe food allergies are intolerances are identical, also revealed that 18% of respondents had not been tested for food reactions even though they suspect they may have had one. Thirty-four per cent said their GP had never offered them a food intolerance test. YorkTest, meanwhile, has developed a series of food intolerance programmes to help people who think they may have a food intolerance skip the lengthy elimination process and quickly find out which foods and drinks are causing reactions in their body. “It’s a simple finger prick test that uses effective technology and proven science,” says Dr Hart. “It allows people to take control, so they can then start a supported elimination diet by cutting out their trigger foods.”

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“Many people are living with food intolerances and their associated symptoms without realising that the food they’re eating is the root cause.

Dr Hart believes there is a lack of awareness associated with food intolerance. She points out that: “Medically unexplained symptoms or ‘functional symptoms’ where doctors can’t find a problem with the body that might be the cause, account for up to a fifth of all GP consultations in the UK, according to the NHS website. “Many of these symptoms, such as IBS, migraines and fatigue, are also symptoms of food intolerance. “It can be a very frustrating for patients who are returning to their doctor time and time again looking for answers but not getting any. “Food intolerance testing in many cases, could provide some answers for people who are experiencing this.” Dr Hart BSc (Hons), PhD, Cert Mgmt (Open), FIBMS is an expert Biochemist with more than 30 years’ experience in the development, validation and evaluation of diagnostic tests and testing services. Dr Gill Hart of YorkTest Laboratories

Are health foods making you ill? “In 2017 we launched our Modern Living Programme, which tests for reactions to popular health foods, such as quinoa, kale, sweet potato and chickpeas,” says YorkTest CEO Rachel Jansen. “This year, we wanted to go one step further to help even more people find their personal food fingerprints by testing for 50 extra ingredients. “People could be eating foods they believe are healthy, not knowing that they could be compromising their quality of life. They could be living with food intolerances and associated symptoms without realising the food they’re eating is the root cause.” YorkTest’s new Premium Food&DrinkScan programme tests for 200+ food and drink ingredients and is thought to be one of the most comprehensive food intolerance programmes on the market. Find out more at


Symptoms of food intolerance can include: • I BS and other digestive issues • Skin conditions, such as eczema and soriasis

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• Headaches and migraines • Fatigue • Joint pain

Cacao bliss balls

Cooking with Cacao The health benefits of cacao have been linked to reducing tiredness and fatigue, as well as supporting normal muscle function, teeth and bones, and the nervous system. Not only is it packed with magnesium, it’s a great source of protein and copper too. But what are you supposed to do with it? The answer is: get cooking and baking! Adding cacao powder to your concoctions makes for some seriously tasty smoothies, snacks and desserts and the results are super healthy! Check out some of our favourite recipes from health food specialist Aduna... 34 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

INGREDIENTS: Makes 14-16 1/4 cup Aduna Super-Cacao powder 1/2 cup almonds 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp oats 1 cup pitted dates 1/4 cup raisins (or more dates) 1/8 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla extract METHOD: Add almonds to a food processor and process until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients, except cacao nibs and process until the mixture begins to clump together. It can take a few minutes so be patient! Add the cacao nibs and pulse briefly to incorporate. Roll the mixture into balls and store in the fridge or freezer.

Healthy mocha-hazelnut mousse

Our Super-Cacao powder adds a powerful nutrition boost and delicious flavour to anything it touches but we especially love it in this rich chocolatey dessert with a hint of coffee and hazelnut. It might just be the healthiest chocolate mousse around! Serves 4-6 INGREDIENTS: 1/3 cup Aduna SuperCacao Powder 200g organic silken tofu, drained 1/4 cup roasted hazelnut butter 1/3 cup coconut sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp instant coffee powder Pinch of salt

METHOD: Blend together all ingredients in a highpowered blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into ramekins or small glasses and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with roasted hazelnuts and grated dark chocolate.


Skin-loving cherry, walnut & super-cacao smoothie Serves 1-2

INGREDIENTS: 2 Tbsp Aduna SuperCacao Powder 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries 1 ripe banana 1 cup dairy-free milk (we like coconut milk) ¼ cup walnuts 1 tsp honey (optional)

Did you know?

Aduna is an African-inspired health food brand and social enterprise, whose mission is to deliver the natural vitality of Africa’s superfoods, such as cacao, baobab and moringa, while creating sustainable livelihoods for the country’s small-scale producers and rural households.

Cacao & mango overnight oats

INGREDIENTS: Serves 1 1 tbsp Aduna Cacao Powder 1/2 cup rolled oats 3/4 cup non-dairy milk 1 tbsp chia seeds 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp-1 tbsp maple syrup Pinch of salt 1/2 cup diced fresh mango Extras: cacao nibs, nut butter, etc. 35 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

METHOD: Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and sip your way to glowing skin.


Both cacao and cocoa originate from the cacao bean but the differences in processing make cacao the one with all the health benefits. Cacao refers to the purest and most natural form of chocolate which is unprocessed and additive-free.

METHOD: The night before, mix together all the ingredients, except the mango and extra toppings, in a bowl or jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, layer up the oat mixture in a clean jar with fresh mango & add any extra toppings.

For more recipes, visit







Maggie Anne Nail Polish


Leighton Denny Expert Nails

This award-winning collection is vegan and free from six of the most commonly found toxins in nail polish brands. It’s also Peta cruelty-free and Beauty Without Bunnies licence-approved.

Not only is Benecos’ awardwinning nail polish collection vegan-friendly and free from eight common chemicals used in the industry. It’s 90% natural, feels incredibly rich, is easy to apply and comes in a fab range of colours.

The new Havana Heat springsummer collection from Leighton Denny is inspired by the colours, sights and fiestas of Cuba’s capital city. As well as being very ‘on-trend’ with the latino vibe, the polish is a joy to wear.

Special offer Get 20% off at Maggie Anne

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The Beard Necessities

Male grooming has never been so sophisticated! Just check out these top natural products for keeping your carefully cultivated facial hair in peak condition. The PÜRE Collection Beard Oil Organic

The PÜRE Collection’s Organic Beard Oil is said to contain the purest of oils, including OUD, Prickly Pear, Baoabab, Rose Otto and Sandalwood oils. 100% organic, it’s designed to nourish and protect your facial hair while moisturising the skin beneath. Suitable for all hair lengths.

The Vitamins for Healthy Strong Hair

The Vitamins for Healthy Strong Hair are It Really Works Vitamins’ bestselling product. MMA fighter Alex Reid claims they helped his new beard to grow. They are 100% natural, Kosher, Halal and vegan-friendly.

Bluebeards Revenge Cuban Blend Beard Oil

The Bluebeards Revenge Cuban Blend Beard Oil is said to be packed full of natural oils, helping to soften beard hair and leave a man’s facial fuzz looking and smelling incredible.

The course exceeded my expectations. I didn't expect to come away with such a level of knowledge and confidence.

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YOUR NATURAL LUXURY Inspired by Nature, Created in the

Indulge yourself in the natural goodness of pure essential oils and fruit and plant extracts and discover the power of nature. Paraben-free


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SKINCARE Highlands

THE BEAUTY OF HEMP This season’s must-have hemp products

Hempz Herbal Body Moisturiser

This vegan and cruelty and paraben-free moisturiser enriched with 100% pure, natural hemp seed oil has been causing quite a stir and has been featured on ITV’s This Morning. It’s even said to be a favourite of Katy Perry, who is rumoured to be so obsessed with Hempz that she carries a travel-size version in her handbag wherever she goes. Thanks, in part, to the product’s non-oily texture and subtle strawberry and banana scent, we can’t help but agree with Katy. It feels great, smells great, does wonders for your hands and is packed with essential fatty acids, and key vitamins and minerals.

Pure Bliss Herbal Bath by Kneipp

This luxurious herbal bath contains a blend of highlyconcentrated Red Poppy and Hemp essential oils which are said to create a sense of relaxation and wellbeing. It’s recommended for generating feelings of serenity and peace of mind, while nourishing oils soften and smooth the skin. It also wins points with us for being in a glass bottle rather than plastic.

WHY ALL THE HYPE ABOUT HEMP? Thanks to its high concentration of omega (fatty) acids, hemp oil is reported to help hydrate the skin and reduce inflammation – making it great for slowing down the signs of ageing and reducing acne. It’s also said to be good for nails and, because it’s made from the hemp seed, can be eaten. That means it can do its good work both inside and out.

Hempz Yuzu Starfruit range

Also from Hempz is this new everyday SPF collection enriched with 100% pure, natural hemp seed oil which has been formulated to hydrate, protect and condition. The range includes Daily Herbal Facial Moisturiser SPF 30; Daily Herbal Body Moisturiser SPF 30; Daily Herbal Moisturising Dry Oil Body Spray SPF 30; Daily Herbal Lip Balm SPF 15, and Daily Herbal Hydrating Stick SPF 30.

Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 Green Tea Pure Castile Liquid Soap Dr Bronner’s organic and Fairtrade Pure Castile Liquid Soap has 18+ different uses and has become the one product we can’t live without. In fact, we can’t recommend it enough. It’s possibly the best all-rounder we’ve come across and is a brilliant shampoo and body wash for the whole family, including the kids. If you only take one bottle on your travels, make it this one! Also available as a soap bar.

HEMP OIL OR CBD OIL? Hemp oil is made purely from hemp seeds, whereas CBD oil is made from the hemp flowers, stalks and leaves. 40 | may 2018 | holistic scotland



“I thought I’d never play again, but CBD helped me take back control of my life” hen Kyle Esplin’s music career came crashing to a halt after he contracted a virus, he thought he’d never play again. But five years later, he’s back behind the piano after seeing major improvements in his health which he believes are down to taking CBD (Cannabidiol) oils. In fact, Kyle is so convinced of the health benefits of taking CBD oils, that he and his business partner set up Holistic Hemp Scotland – selling CBD oils and hemp products from around the world – in a bid to help others. The website now draws thousands of people from all walks of life who want to start taking CBD oils or


Musician Kyle Esplin

supplements for a variety of different reasons. This is Kyle’s story… “My music career started when I was about 10, when I used to join my mum and dad on the stage and play the keyboard during the school holidays. “I started doing it full-time when I was 16 and got to travel throughout Europe and the US. I later went on to headline the entertainment programmes of some of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships, record five studio albums, and got to meet some of my early music heroes, including Jerry Lee Lewis and Sun Records producer Sam Phillips. “In July 2012, I came down with a viral chest infection. I went from being fit and healthy to almost completely house-bound. I felt like my brain and body just didn’t work properly anymore and my health deteriorated rapidly over the next few months. “After six months of tests, I was diagnosed with a post-viral fatigue syndrome – also known as M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). My GP could only offer me homeopathy or anti-depressants, but I didn’t feel depressed. “I tried different vitamins and supplements but

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nothing made any real difference. I felt like my life was over really. My prognosis wasn’t good and I didn’t think I’d ever perform on stage again. Not being able to play the piano, even for some therapeutic relief, was hard to take. “The illness caused me to develop sensory intolerance and I couldn’t even listen to music without being in pain or feeling disoriented. “On a good day I could walk outside for a few minutes but other times I was confined to my bed or the sofa and unable to take a shower without help. I saved what little energy I had left to read and research my condition. “I was looking for a solution, just anything


More importantly, I’m now back to travelling and performing stage shows again so I don’t have any complaints.

that could possibly help. Then I came across The Rick Simpson Story about using cannabis oil to treat serious ailments. When I looked it up in the medical books, I was amazed to learn about the endocannabinoid system. I learned there are more cannabinoid receptors in the brain than serotonin and dopamine combined. And, after a lot of research, I finally felt like there was hope. “In 2013, I travelled to Holland and met with a registered doctor and one of the early pioneers of cannabis oil at an approved clinic. I was given a high-dose treatment containing both CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and then came back to the UK with a box of CBD oils to continue my treatment. “Within 48 hours I felt like something profound had changed inside me. My brain and body felt better connected and all the various symptoms I’d had quietened. I started to feel like my old self again and continued to improve from then on. “I wouldn’t say I’m completely cured; it’s an ongoing process. But I’ve regained a functional, active life so I’m very lucky. “More importantly, I’m now back to travelling and performing stage shows again so I don’t have any complaints.” After his own experience, Kyle wanted to help others and launched Holistic Hemp Scotland in 2016. Since then, he has seen a steady increase in demand for CBD and hemp products and says the number of people taking cannabis oil in the UK has doubled in the past year. Find out more at

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Driftwood Floatation Spa, Kirkcaldy By Lynda Hamilton Parker

If 60 minutes of total peace and tranquility sounds like your idea of heaven, then floatation is a therapy worth adding to your bucket list. I decided to tick this one off by paying a visit to Driftwood Floatation Spa in Kirkcaldy – home to Fife’s first and only open float pool, where you can create a bespoke experience and enjoy an hour of uninterrupted mental and physical downtime floating in the undisputed healing power of Epsom salts. I asked owner Sarah what people use the float pool for, and she told me that while many use it for pure relaxation,

A 60-minute session of floatation therapy at Driftwood Floatation Spa in Kirkcaldy costs £45 and can be booked by calling 01592 642676. The day spa also offers a variety of different ELEMIS treatments, massages, body wraps, facials, and scrubs, as well as manicures, pedicures and waxing. Find it at 61 Dunnikier Road or visit the Facebook page at

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DID YOU KNOW? • You can float as often as you like without any ill effects

a number of creative people, such as writers and artists, have claimed to do their best thinking while floating. Some people have even reported reaching a Zen-like state of relaxation while suspended weightless in the pool, whose water can be customised by being lit in different hues to help set the mood for some bonus colour therapy. Its health-boosting properties – which are thanks, in no small part, to the sheer volume of salt added to the water – are reported to help promote relaxation, reduce headaches, improve circulation and induce a more restful sleep. It’s thought that floatation can also help to relieve stress, anxiety and pain and even boost sports recovery, while some people report improvements in their arthritis, fibromyalgia and neck and back pain. Although wary of the water at first, once I’d learned to let go and trust my own buoyancy in the water, I found the experience to be a bit of a revelation. The flickering candles and soothing music all added to the ambience as the pressures of the outside world ebbed away with the ripple of the water. As I became still so did my thoughts and I’m certain I emerged a more balanced and centred person. It was intensely relaxing and uplifting and I’d recommend it to anyone in need of some sanctuary or TLC.

• The water is heated to a comfortable body temperature of 36 degrees C • The super saturated mixture of Epsom salts and water is what makes your body float • While candles, colour therapy and ambient music are options, some people choose complete darkness and silence • Immersing the body in Epsom salts has been reported to help stimulate lymphatic drainage and promote the absorption of minerals such as magnesium and sulphates.

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THE HEALING POWER OF FASTING Katrina Mather Vegetable-based juice detoxes are a wonderful way to rest our overworked digestive systems, while flooding the body with alkalising, anti-inflammatory nutrition that we can easily soak up and absorb he main argument from sceptics is that we shouldn’t need to detox, because the body is constantly detoxing itself anyway. And yes, the liver, the body’s detoxifier, works hard to purify the blood and keep us firing on all cylinders. So, why is it that so many people report transformational results after fasting? Most of us with our modern lifestyles will confess that our diets aren’t as squeaky-clean as they could be, and our hardworking livers often become overwhelmed just trying to keep up. In days gone by


(when we were hunter-gatherers), our bodies would have been fuelled by a cleaner, more natural diet. When we would be out hunting for our next meal, the digestive system would have longer rest periods, giving the liver a chance to clean up. Nowadays, with our

bulging fridges and three big meals a day, the digestive system is almost always engaged. With so many of us now experiencing digestive issues, even if we are making better choices, by constantly bombarding the digestive tract, the resulting pain, inflammation or bloating is almost like a white flag from our insides, begging for rest. Whilst the idea of ‘detoxing’ feels new, fasting has been in human consciousness for a very long time; there’s even an element of fasting in every religion. When we occasionally rest the digestion, the body is able to conserve a great deal of energy. For example, how do you feel after a big meal, like Christmas dinner? Wildly energetic? Or could you go for a nap straight away? Most of us feel sleepy after a big meal because so much energy has to be dedicated to breaking down our food. Of course we need to eat, but if we can occasionally take breaks from big meals, the body can use that digestive energy to heal, repair and regenerate. For that reason, I’m a passionate advocate of the occasional vegetable-based juice detox. They’re a wonderful way to rest our overworked digestive systems, whilst simultaneously flooding the body

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with alkalising, anti-inflammatory nutrition that the body can easily soak up and absorb. What I’ve come to realise is that most of us are actually overfed, but undernourished. It feels counter-intuitive if you’re consuming less, but people at my retreat regularly report that they have far more energy after a week of juicing than they do eating normal, big meals. Not only that, they report significant physical and emotional benefits like: improved sleep, digestion, weight loss, reduction in aches, pains and they generally feel happier. There are so many people reporting positive results from lifestyles that include an element of fasting, whether it’s juicing, the 5:2 diet or intermittent fasting. Intuitively, we know to eat less when we are unwell or poorly, as it speeds up the healing time - animals are the same. So, occasionally lightening the load on the digestive tract gets a resounding thumbs up if you want more energy, better digestion and to find balance with your weight. Curious to see how fasting could help you? Intermittent fasting is an easy but powerful way to enjoy the benefits of fasting. It’s not about changing your diet, but adopting a different pattern of eating. The aim of the game is to eat your daily meals over a shorter window in your day (between 8 and 10 hours), and extend the amount of time that you ‘fast’

(between 14 and 16 hours). So, you might have your first meal of the day at 12pm and your last meal of the day at 7pm, drinking plenty of water during the fasting period. If you don’t feel able or ready to go without breakfast, a vegetable-based juice is a light and nutritious option to keep you going. Be your own expert, why not try it and see how you feel?

Katrina is a health educator and founder of ‘The Body Toolkit’, an award-winning health retreat in the Scottish Highlands 47 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


Festival season is finally upon us – despite what the weather forecast might say! Come rain or shine, here are the top Scottish festivals to get along to this summer…

Scapa Fest 4,5,6 May

Three days of yoga, adventure and re-connecting with nature on the banks of Loch Fyne.

Pilates Festival Scotland 13 May Join other pilates enthusiasts for a big pilates day out!

Isle of Wight Festival 21 – 24 June

Major attractions for 2018 include boutique camping, as well as stellar acts such as Liam Gallagher, Depeche Mode, The Killers, Kasabian and The Script.

Kelburn Garden Party 29 June – 2 July

A feast of music, art and adventure in a 13th century castle fairytale setting less than an hour from Glasgow.

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Win tickets to Scotfest 2018 Freebird, Timed Out, Front Toward Enemy, The Session, and Blue Delta – the list goes on!

We have one pair of Friday tickets to what promises to be an amazing extravaganza of (mainly) 90s music to give away. If you’re our lucky winner, you’ll have full access to the main arena on Friday, 6 July to enjoy music from the likes of The Jacksons, Boyzone, B*Witched, East 17, Liberty X, Five, 5Star, David Lee Andrews, Tam Scott, Dionne Hickey,

TRNSMT 29 & 30 June; 1 July; 6 & 8 July

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to send your name, address and telephone number to competitions@ with ‘Scotfest’ in the subject line by 30 May.

Good luck! ButeFest 27,28, 29 July

Glasgow’s biggest music festival is set to be headlined this year by Liam Gallagher, the Stereophonics and Arctic Monkeys, while other acts include Queen and Adam Lambert, Jessie J, James Bay and the Darkness.

Scotfest 6 & 7 July

ButeFest is held in Rothesay Acts on the Isle of Bute. Acts confirmed for this year so far include Dougie Maclean, Mad Caddies, Talisk and Banshee.

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival 2, 3, 4 August

Music festival, whose line-up this year includes East 17, Five, Liberty X, The Jacksons and many more. To be held at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh.

Said to be the UK’s top summer music festival, Belladrum’s 2018 line-up includes Paloma Faith, Primal Scream Amy Macdonald, Professor Green, The Charlatans, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and more.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival 13 – 22 July

Groove Loch Ness 19 August

Power of Food Festival 16 & 17 June

Edinburgh International Festival 3-27 August

This year’s programme is being headlined by Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.

This year’s event will see 23 community food gardens across Edinburgh open their gates to the public for a weekend of fun and celebration.

The one night of the year when the banks of Loch Ness are transformed into Scotland’s biggest nightclub under the stars.

Edinburgh’s annual festival of performing arts spanning multiple venues.

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Glamping Special!

WIN a glamping holiday in Scotland

Campfire cooking

TOP 10

UK glamping experiences PLUS

• Phil Vickery’s top gluten-free recipes • Carol Smillie talks bladder weakness • Is your bed making you sick? 25 things to do in Scotland this summer for FREE

To advertise with us, email 51 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

“I really have found my Scapa” Scapa Fest founder Clemence Coquet reveals the inspiration behind the UK’s yoga and adventure festival of belongings to carry. Wherever I was, I hen we heard about Scapa Fest here at Holistic left no trace and was eating just enough to Scotland Magazine, we couldn’t wait to get involved. keep my body going. Not only were we blown away by the concept, but we “My senses sharpened like never were delighted to learn that this first-of-its-kind family event was before. I could hear all the animals and happening right here in Scotland, on the stunning banks of Loch creatures around me Fyne. and could sense the We jumped at the chance to become weather changing. media partner for the event and even more My senses sharpened like The feedback so to interview Clemence Coquet, who is not never before. I could hear I got from my only Scapa Fest’s founding director but the all the animals and creatures surroundings was so truly inspirational driving force behind the around me and could sense strong, it changed event which has been nearly four years in the my way of thinking, making. the weather changing. moving, being. Here, we find out what makes Clemence “I came back tick, what inspired her to develop Scapa Fest to the UK feeling and why she fell in love with Scotland as her fundamentally different and more ideal location for this two-day festival which embodies togetherness, balanced. I became passionate about adventure, environmental awareness, and nature at its best. recreating the circumstances that created “The seed for Scapa Fest was born in the Westfjords of Iceland,” that shifted in me and I realised I wanted she says. “I was on a solo 1,000km cycle trip when a deep shift in me to share that feeling with other people. took place. I was cycling 12 hours a day, living off glacier water and “The idea of gathering a community smoked salmon, and sleeping in a tiny 800g tent with less than 8kg


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of people to share in mind-body health, environmental action and outdoor education became more and more appealing and, by 2016, the seed had sprouted into a strong and viable project. “It’s since taken four years of creation, strategy, financing and production to develop Scapa Fest 2018. “I’ve been asked a lot about the name because people immediately think of Scapa Flow in Orkney, but ‘Scapa’ is a Norse word meaning ‘refuge’. It’s also the root of many words in various European languages, such as escapade, which means a small adventure. Scapa is both to escape and to take refuge, but not from a threat – it’s to find and embody our true selves through adventure, movement and nature. “I travelled around Scotland for about five months in search of the perfect site, which had to have direct access to water and a forest, mountains and paths for hikes and walks. It also had to be close to major cities and the airports. “Eventually I discovered Ardkinglas, an 8,000-hectare private estate with literally everything Scapa Fest needed. Owners David and Angela Sumsion were instantly supportive and have since both invested a lot of time and energy in helping me with the event. “When you’re working in a rural environment, there’s no existing infrastructure for power, water, lighting, sound, or even parking. We had to create and bring everything on-site and the costs associated with that are huge. “Long-term, I plan to hold an annual Scapa Fest in the Spring and a series of Wee Scapa in schools and corporate environments throughout the year. I’d also like to set up a Scapa Grant funded by the profits to support mind-body health, environmental action and outdoor education projects in the UK and throughout the world – ultimately creating a circular economy of differenceClemence with her two sons making businesses. “The process of embodying a vision on such a huge scale is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I have met people along the way who have changed my life and for the first time, I feel like the true version of myself – fully connected to my true nature. I really have found my Scapa.” 53 | may 2018 | holistic scotland



1 Scapa Fest is a more immersive environment than a yoga studio or adventure centre – which means you get all the benefits of a retreat or camp, but without the time commitment or financial investment. 2 You get a unique chance to meet and learn from the best teachers and instructors the world can offer, with exclusive sessions and workshops often only offered at Scapa Fest 2018. 3 You’ll feel more relaxed and balanced than when you arrived because you have spent time looking after yourself, following what excites your spirit and being surrounded by people who elevate you. 4 Your children will get to experience a supportive, creative playful and natural environment that will teach them self-care is crucial to growing up and having a healthy life. 5 It’s a great opportunity to get together to do something new and different with the people you love. Scapa Fest 2018 is guaranteed to leave you with incredible memories of time spent with your friends and family. 6 You can enjoy Scapa Fest 2018 whatever your budget. Kids under 12 go FREE and you can get along from as little as £35 per person. Camping and parking are FREE with weekend tickets. 7 It’s the perfect place to meet like-minded people who share the exact same passion and interests as you and that you wouldn’t have otherwise got to meet. That’s why there are so many people going to Scapa Fest 2018 solo.

YOUR GUIDE TO SCAPA FEST 2018 10 venues – 100 workshops – and just three days to do it in! To make sure you don’t miss out, here’s a run-down of what’s happening where at Ardkinglas Estate on 4,5 & 6 May. Now grab your ticket and head to The Compass! THE COMPASS:

Registration, wristbands, site plan, questions, products, publications showcase with Holistic Scotland Magazine, and departure for our Herbal First Aid Walks with medical herbalist Jean Senior.


Home of Jambo Dragon Yoga, Steph Wall Yoga and Laura McCrimmon - Yoga Teacher, for the opening ceremony, yoga workshops, The Third Ear Movement Meditation and our film screening of Tomorrow.

WILD THINGS BASECAMP: Adventure and bushcraft workshops with the expert team of Wild things! Environmental Education in Action.


Our outdoor kitchen where affordable and wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner will be prepared and served from by Food From Argyll.


Family, Kids, Tweens, Teens Yoga with Deborah from Yoga with Debsand Cacao ceremonies with the delightful Fiona Sears.


Open fire and communal eating with Food From Argyll.


Home of Acro Yoga teacher Ilka Schroeder, Katrino Yoga, Brigid Brennan Yoga and Janet from Leith Yoga, for their yoga workshops and Sunday evening closing meditation.


Camping (BYO) and luxury bell tents glamping with Tee&Toast Glamping. There’s also all the nooks & crannies of Ardkinglas Estate to explore... Look out for our wishing tree to make a wish for the Earth, our slackline hideout, sit by Caspian pond to meditate, breathe in the fresh air of Loch Fyne!


Home of Neil Harvey from Wild Journeys, Dougie Strang​, Chris Loynes and Kate Rawles from The Life Cycle, Mark Poulsen and Thea Hermansen from Let’s Go Slow, for their adventure workshops & talks. Also where the daily Bardic Fire will be held! 54 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


Natural crafts and bushcraft workshops with the Modern Wilder Women team of Roisin Lyle-Collins, Joni Mackay Forest School and co.


Yoga wear & accessories, skillful makers & seamstresses, modern apothecaries, craftsmen & women, crystals and therapies, with All That Is BRAW, Yogi Oils, Tricia Murray, PRIYA Activewear, Elevated Living UK, Wendy Harrower NYR Organic Independent Consultant, Friends of the Earth Scotland, Ruby Sievers Massage Therapy, The Essential Life with Stephanie, Penny Not Polly beeswax wraps and so many TBA....

General information: Gate Hours: Friday - 9am-midnight Saturday - 7am - midnight Sunday - 7am - midnight Advance booking necessary. No tickets on the door.


Hello sunshine! A

Feline-friendly gardening tips

s the weather begins to get warmer and hedges and trees burst into blossom, April and May are always busy months in a gardener’s calendar.

It’s time to fill up your thermos flask, pop on your favourite playlist or podcast and head out into the great outdoors to prepare your garden for the summer ahead. You might also want to take advantage of the newly-launched Dobbies Club, which is free to join and offers member savings, exclusive deals and more. Visit to find out more and for grow-your-own inspiration.

MAY ALLOTMENT PLANNER WHAT TO DO THIS MONTH May marks the last day of spring and the first day of summer. Therefore, it’s hard to know what the weather will do – particularly in Scotland! The most important thing to do this month is to protect young seedlings which have recently been moved out of the greenhouse, propagator or kitchen window and into the ground. Be prepared to keep them well watered and out of the direct sun if they look like they’re struggling. On the other hand, also be prepared to protect them from any heavy rain, hail, cold winds and late frost!

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• G rass is thought to help cats cough up hairballs. A popular variety is Cocksfoot, which has broad leaves – making it easy to bite. • The ultimate garden treat for cats is Catnip (Nepeta cataria), a member of the mint family. But it can become invasive so confine it to a pot! • Lavender is a great herb to plant in a feline-friendly garden, providing a bushy place to hide. • Cats love to lounge in the sun but can be prone to sunburn so plant large shrubs for shade. • Piles of logs make excellent areas for scratching claws. • Avoid plants which can be dangerous to cats. For a full list, go to


days out with

the kids

Let the kids run wild, get to grips with nature and have fun in the great outdoors this summer. Here are three great day-trip ideas to keep them occupied and get them thinking about ecology, rural life and the wonderful world we all live in. The Ecology Centre, Kinghorn The Ecology Centre in Kinghorn is an inclusive, community-led charity that has been connecting people and nature for the last 20 years. A visit here makes for a great, green day out for the kids and we guarantee you’ll enjoy it too. Take a picnic and explore the grounds, which are home to dozens of species of bird, including swans, herons and a kingfisher that’s made its home on the banks of Kinghorn Loch, which is central to the land here. In fact, the whole site – as its name suggests – is a haven for wildlife, plants and those who love them. This public-owned land surrounding the Centre is open to everyone, seven days a week, and costs nothing to explore. Kids are urged to investigate the bug hotels and bat boxes, check out the pond, play in the mud kitchen and watch the worms in the wormery. The Centre also offers a range of fun outdoor activities and holiday clubs, with environmental education at their heart – and there’s plenty for adults too. Its location is also home to the Earthship Fife Visitor Centre, which runs its own activities and is free to go in and look around to learn more about solar power and sustainability. Find out more at and

Wildhood Festival, Near Kinross For a day – or weekend – of complete family escapism, make sure you snap up tickets to Wildhood, a brand new festival for children to be

held in the grounds of Tullibole Castle near Kinross on 9 and 10 June. Designed for children 12 and under and their families, the programme includes campfire cooking, outdoor games and challenges, storytelling, nature walks and scavenger hunts, Celtic art, West African drumming, fairy training, family stone carving and much more. Day, weekend and camping tickets are available. Find out more at

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Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate, Thornhill For a top countryside day out, head to Drumlanrig Castle and Country Estate in Dumfries & Galloway where the kids can have hours of fun. Some of the activities on offer here include salmon and trout fishing; mountain biking; cycling; Land Rover tours; wildlife watching and walking and hiking and there’s a fab adventure playground with aerial runways, swings and more. One of the highlights of the castle’s events calendar is Galloway Country Fair – to be held this year on 18 and 19 August in the picturesque

surroundings of the estate. The awardwinning weekend fair showcases the best in country pursuits, local craftsmanship, artisan food and drink and entertainment and is an all-round celebration of rural life. There’s a free kids’ zone and hundreds of stalls for the adults to browse. Nearby camping is encouraged, with visitors invited to pitch a tent or park their caravan in a green field just a short walk from the showground. For more information, or to book, email For more information, visit

Cairngorm Lodges are 5 forest lodges set in the heart of Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms National Park. Choose to stay in a lodge secluded away in the Scots pine forest or in one overlooking the beautiful lochan. A true escape break destination with only red squirrels and roe deer for company. Lodges sleep 4 and all have wood burning stoves with wood supplied. Pets welcome.


Tel: 07583 436 040 | |



It can be tricky to keep finding nutritious snacks that don’t bore the kids, but we might just have the answer… Dried Jujube Fruit

Also known as Red Date, Jujube Fruits are packed with antioxidants, adaptogens and phytonutrients – said to uplift the mood, calm the mind, improve sleep and boost the immune system. They’re also reported to contain 20x more Vitamin C than citrus fruits. Check out

Bright Little Nuts

These nut snacks for kids from Whitworths are a natural source of phosphorous which is said to help energy release. Go to

Fruit Bowl Fruit Flakes

Fruit Bowl Fruit Flakes are low in fat, contain only natural colours and flavours and are one of your kids’ five-aday. Available from Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco, and Waitrose and from

Shaken Udder Kids

These organic snacks for kids are made from 100% fruit and vegetables. Popular products include Squeezy Pouches, Crunchy Puffs, and Real Fruit Made Crunchy, which can be found in selected Superdrug stores and at


Googly Fruit

These organic snacks for kids are made from 100% fruit and vegetables. Popular products include Squeezy Pouches, Crunchy Puffs, and Real Fruit Made Crunchy, which can be found in selected Superdrug stores and at



Fruit Shoot Bars

Fruit Shoot bars contain more than 99% fruit, are high in fibre, free from added sugar, artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners and count as one of ‘five a day’. Buy them at Tesco or Amazon.

Other colours and styles available – all from

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Win a family eco-break!

Looking for a green escape this summer? We have just the ticket! Comrie Croft is the kind of rural idyll where kids can be kids and adults can relax. With more than 230 acres of Birch woods, meadows, streams and hills to explore, there’s plenty of room for guddling, rope-swinging and getting downright dirty. Situated just outside Crieff, the Croft is also Scotland’s top-rated mountain bike trail centre, with free-to-use trails for all ages. If that sounds like your cup of tea, all you have to do is enter our competition by emailing your details, including your name, address and phone number, to with ‘Comrie Croft’ in the subject line, by 30 May 2018. If you’re our lucky winner, you’ll be staying in a hand-built

Nordic Kata – a large, tipi-style tent with wood-burning stove – where campfires are encouraged and marshmallows are available in the on-site farm shop. The prize also includes two-day bike hire. Nearby, you’ll find lots of walking trails, wildlife viewing and some of the best uninterrupted views in Scotland. The Croft is also a great base for Munro-bagging, with Ben Chonzie on the doorstep and 43 more within an hour’s drive. Find out more about Comrie Croft, Scotland’s awardwinning green destination, at

Inside the Nordic Kata

Terms and conditions: The prize is for a family of four or couple, staying for two nights Sunday to Thursday. The total prize value, including bike hire, is £323. The prize is subject to availability and cannot be exchanged. The prize draw result is final and no further correspondence will be entered into. Comrie Croft management reserve the right to refuse entry.

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REVITALISING RETREATS Whether you want to detox, lose weight, relax, or learn something new, take a look at our pick of Scottish retreats. Set in stunning surroundings and combining a range of disciplines, they’re guaranteed to leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for the beach this summer The Wellbeing Weekend If a non-residential retreat offering a combination of different workshops sounds like your idea of heaven, you’ll want to get along to the Wellbeing Weekend to be held in Lanarkshire this summer. Three holistic experts – namely Susie Hooper of Pause and Breathe, Gillian Booth of Acorepilates, and Gill McKinna of Eden Lomi Lomi – have teamed up to deliver an energising and relaxing weekend retreat combining mindfulness, pilates and Lomi Lomi massage on 23 and 24 June. The weekend promises plenty of opportunities to take

part in mindfulness practice and pilates classes in a beautiful and tranquil setting at Netherton Farm in Shotts. The two-day retreat is said to be suitable for both new and experienced guests, who will also

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enjoy a rejuvenating Hawaiian full-body massage as part of their experience. To find out more, contact The Signature Body Toolkit Retreat This six-night programme – set in the Scottish Highlands – is said to reward you with a body that looks and feels lighter, clearer and brighter. Suitable for all ages, it combines an organic juice detox, nutritional support; outdoor exercise, and help to establish the habits and thinking patterns for long-term change. The results are said to speak for themselves and commonly include having more energy; feeling happier with less mood swings; rapid, lasting weight loss; firming and tightening of the skin; less cellulite; a healthy glow and better skin; an improved immune system; relief from aches and pains, and better quality of sleep and sleep patterns.

You don’t have to ask us twice! For more information, including dates, go to Amanda Hamilton’s Personalised Detox & Fitness Break Held at the Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick (pictured), this four-day retreat combines a detox boot camp and active wellbeing with nutritionist, presenter and author Amanda Hamilton. The retreat, which is also dog-friendly, centres around a juice cleanse supported by daily exercise in the great outdoors, including morning walks along the beach on what is often dubbed Scotland’s ‘golf coast’. It’s said to be the ideal kickstart to a healthier lifestyle and there’s even an earlybird rate for those who book six weeks in advance. Find out more at


A retreat to help you reconnect with


Enjoy a week of peace and relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where you can eat nutritious food and take part in exciting activities and workshops.


tay in comfortable lodgings nestled in a rugged landscape of dramatic mountains and magnificent lochs on a Highland holistic retreat – facilitated by Clare Holohan of West Highland Herbal and Sun Fyre of Energised for Success this November. Clare is an experienced medical herbalist with a keen interest in nutrition, who is passionate about creating ethical food. Her nutritious vegetarian menu has been specially created for the retreat and she will share her knowledge at a series of workshops. She will also demonstrate how to make healing medicines from indigenous and home-grown plants. “Herbal medicine changed who I am as a person,”

says Clare. “It opened my eyes to a different way of perceiving life. Nature heals.” Sun Fyre is an experienced artist, dancer and fitness instructor, as well as a Shamanic practitioner and energy coach. She will explain how to clear energy blocks from the mind, body and soul in a series of creative, fun and easy workshops to help reboot and re-energise the system. “We have many untapped resources and skills available to us,” says Sun Fyre. “My job is to creatively facilitate access to this and re-energise and inspire women to achieve success.” Collectively, Clare and Sun Fyre are offering a unique and comprehensive mind, body and soul experience that’s relaxing and fun. There will also be an opportunity to enjoy time out by the fire or take walks in the wild and reconnect with yourself, other women and nature. “This is a great way to re-charge your batteries before the long winter ahead,” says Clare. To find out more, or to book, contact /

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YOUR WELLNESS COMES FROM NATURE Highland Retreat 9 – 15 November 2018 Relax, re-energise & deepen your connection with yourself, others & nature in a rural, Highland setting HERBALISM – NUTRITION/WEIGHT MANAGEMENT & DETOX – MOVEMENT & DANCE – CREATIVITY – ARTS & CRAFTS – NATURE WALKS

An amazing opportunity for up to 15 women Your hosts, Sun Fyre of Energised for Success and Clare of West Highland Herbal, will be offering inspiring & uplifting workshops for holistic wellbeing, mind, body & soul To find out more, contact or call 07870687616 63 | may 2018 | holistic scotland


What is reflexology?

a course of reflexology!


eflexology has been said to offer a whole host of health benefits thanks to its ability to stimulate the central nervous system. It’s thought to help boost circulation, eliminate toxins, reduce headaches, prevent migraines, and even combat urinary tract infections. Not only that, but this type of massage is said to speed up recovery after illness or injury, reduce sleep disorders and help relieve pain and depression. It’s so beneficial, in fact, that we have three deeply relaxing hour-long treatments to give away to one lucky winner – courtesy of Meadowside Therapies in Airdrie. All you have to do is drop us a line at with ‘Reflexology competition’ in the subject line by 12 noon on 30 May to be entered into the draw. If you’re lucky enough to win, you will receive a course of three reflexology treatments with therapist Maureen Shields IIR, MRA. Maureen and husband Gerry run Meadowside Therapies where they specialise in reflexology, Bowen therapy, and hypnotherapy to improve health and wellbeing. Find out more on the Facebook page: 64 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

Modern reflexology is based on an ancient form of therapy which dates back to 2330BC in Egypt. The Original Ingham Method is attributed to American therapist Eunice Ingham, who mapped out reflex points on the feet and hands corresponding to organs, glands and other parts of the body. Although foot massage is the most common form of reflexology, hand massage is said to be equally effective.

Although reflexologists are not currently regulated in the UK, the International Institute of Reflexology (IIR) recommends that you find a practitioner who holds the letters IIR, MRA. This means that they have graduated from the IIR and are a Member of the Association of Reflexologists. Find out more at


Spotlight on luxury Scottish candlemaker Jo Macfarlane “The 100% soy vegetable bean wax I use is grown in the States and is sustainable, renewable and lasts 50% longer than other mineral waxes.” eet luxury Scottish candlemaker Jo Macfarlane, a Fife entrepreneur who swapped a high-flying career with British Airways for a more holistic lifestyle by the coast. Having hung up her high heels and cabin crew uniform 10 years ago, she now makes white label eco soy wax candles for some of the UK’s leading hospitality brands, including The Fairmont St Andrews, as well as her own label creations. Jo’s captivating scents include Malt Whisky, Thistle and Scottish Heather and her candle-making workshops have recently been ranked No. 6 in a list of ’13 things to do in Anstruther’. Here, we’re delighted to profile Jo as our first ethical Business of the Month and share with you a bit more about what makes her tick. “I love making candles,” says Jo. “The thought that this little candle I can make with my own hands will light up someone’s home is so warming. I love the light from the flame, too, and how visually mesmerising it is.” “I stopped flying long haul with British Airways when I was pregnant with my son. The thought of being on a flight to the other side of the world when he came along was heart-breaking. When he was 12 months old, I thought it was a good time to start a business, but the candle-making really came about as a hobby. I started filling empty vessels that previously had candles in them. “Now I do private label work with luxury hotels, such as The Fairmont St Andrews and The Pullman London. I also have a couple of boutiques, beauty salons and yoga retreats that sell my candles. “At my Candle School, I teach people how to make their own so that they can go home and fill up their empties and I run a ‘Fill it up Friday’ so others


can pop in and get a discounted refill. It’s now quite common for me to come home to empty candles on my doorstep with little scent requests. “The 100% soy vegetable bean wax I use is grown in the States and is sustainable, renewable and lasts 50% longer than other mineral waxes. When you have a child, you look at the world through different eyes and see that recycling and being sustainable is crucial.” Perhaps that’s also why Jo donates 10% of the proceeds of each candle-making workshop she runs to Sreepur Village, a charity which funds a women’s and children’s village in rural Bangladesh. Last year, she paid a special visit to 10 Downing Street to represent small businesses. “It was the most surreal experience ever,” she says. “Even just asking the taxi driver to take me to the address! Twenty small businesses took over four of the rooms at Downing Street as part of Small Business Saturday and I was one of them. I was incredibly proud to have been chosen to take part in the shop small, shop local campaign. “Now I plan to grow my workshops and introduce an advanced version. I’m also creating a subscription service so my customers can receive a candle through the post every month. I have some video workshops in the pipeline, too, for those who can’t make it along. That will keep me busy for a while!” Find out more about Jo’s candle-making workshops and luxury scents at

65 | may 2018 | holistic scotland

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Holistic Scotland Magazine  

Scotland's first title dedicated to natural health and wellbeing and more mindful living

Holistic Scotland Magazine  

Scotland's first title dedicated to natural health and wellbeing and more mindful living