Sauerkraut recipe

Earlier this year, I attended a fermentation workshop with Fran & Jude. Out of all the fabulous recipes they shared, Sauerkraut has become a staple for me. I love the salty sour taste and fermented foods can have a beneficial effect on our microbiome (the 2-3lbs of ‘friendly’ bacteria which live in our gut doing invaluable work helping our immune system, making vitamins, hormones, etc).

I’ve been asked to share the secrets of making your own successful batch, so here’s how I do it:

Ingredients:

  • an organic or home-grown cabbage (you don’t want any chemicals in the mix as it may affect fermentation). You can use any variety of cabbage – I prefer to use red as it has the added benefit of even more antioxidant nutrients)
  • pure sea salt (preferably unrefined or ‘grey’ – you can buy it locally here)
  • seasonings – to taste and definitely optional – choose from: a bay leaf, 10 peppercorns, 6 juniper berries, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2 cloves, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tsp celery seeds, clove of garlic, a few chilli flakes, half an onion.
  1. Remove any damaged outer leaves of the cabbage. Then remove and keep two whole large leaves (these will form a lid later).
  2. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the hard core.
  3. Weigh the remaining cabbage and calculate how much sea salt to use – 10g (two teaspoons) per 1kg of cabbage.
  4. Slice the cabbage finely, put it into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on the sea salt.
  5. Wash your hands with natural soap and hot water (don’t use strong smelling or antibacterial soap!).
  6. Now knead and massage and pound the cabbage with your hands until it’s about half the volume and there’s a few tablespoons of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. This can take 10 minutes or more.
  7. Add the seasonings (if using) and mix well.
  8. Pack the cabbage into a clean jar. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover it completely. If not, go back and knead it some more.
  9. Cover the cabbage with the saved outer leaves.
  10. Weight the cabbage down so it all remains below the liquid – I use a glass jammed in the lid (see pic) *this bit is really important* 
  11. Seal the jar and place it in a warm, dark place – I use the kitchen cupboard next to the dishwasher. You can start to eat the sauerkraut whenever you like – the longer you leave it, the more it ferments. I leave mine 4-6 weeks.
  12. When it’s at the required fermentation (tangyness), store it in the fridge.
  13. Eat with everything!

**If at any time your sauerkraut grows a mould which is any colour other than pure white, compost the whole lot! White mould can be scraped off.**

 

 

The thymus thump: fanning our inner flame

The thymus gland is located behind the sternum (breast bone)

If you want to improve your immunity and fan your inner flame with self-love and self-respect, then thymus thumping while saying affirmations is a very powerful Kinesiology self-help tool. It’s ideal for low self-esteem, chronic illness or auto-immune conditions.

Thymus comes from the Greek for heat or energy and this gland controls our very life force or vitality. It is also where white blood cells are trained how to protect us from bacteria, viruses, etc. The thymus is very sensitive to stress and it shrinks when we live with fear or anxiety.

The thymus gland loves to be tapped – especially in waltz time (1-2-3, 1-2-3). You can strengthen and build it up by smiling and laughing more … and also by saying affirmations while tapping or thumping. I suggest the following phrases (but it’s much more powerful if you find your own):

  • I am strong
  • I am worthy of love and respect
  • I love and respect myself
  • I am what I am
  • I have everything I need

Donna Eden is the Queen of Energy Medicine. If you want more energy and to be balanced and grounded, practise this five-minute tapping routine every day:

As Dr John Diamond said: “a true cure always involves a major change in a person’s attitude towards themselves and towards life”. He wrote a seminal work on the thymus gland in the 1970s:

 

Rahanni Celestial Healing

I was attuned to Rahanni in November 2017. It has had a profound effect on me and my work as a therapist. For the previous 20 years,  I could always feel heat and sensations when working with my hands but I hadn’t ‘formalised’ their healing ability. Rahanni gives me a channel and specific guides to call on for help in all three aspects of my work: kinesiology, massage and healing. If you want to find out whether Rahanni is for you, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

What is Rahanni?

“Rahanni” means Of One Heart. In other words, there is no separation between us – we are all connected to each other and to divine energy. Rahanni is a form of hands-on and hands-off healing which channels high-level vibrational energy to balance and clear the physical body, mind and soul. Rahanni is particularly focussed on the heart centre and provides love and compassion to everyone.

Who can benefit from Rahanni?

Absolutely everybody and every living thing! Adults, children, pets and even plants can benefit from the healing energy of Rahanni. Rahanni does no harm – the body will take as much healing as it needs/wants. Please contact me if you have any concerns about whether Rahanni is right for you.

What can I expect as a Rahanni client?

When you book in, I will ask you to complete a short online questionnaire. For your appointment, you relax fully-clothed on a massage couch (or seated in a chair if you prefer). I will connect to the Rahanni healing energy and call on guides to bring you the healing you need. Some clients report feeling heat, seeing colours, feeling sensation/movement in their body, etc. Others fall into a deep sleep. This is all perfectly normal and varies from person to person. The healing usually lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. Afterwards, you are encouraged to drink plenty of water and to have nothing much planned for the rest of the day. It’s quite normal to sleep deeply the night after a session as healing is continuing to take place.

Rahanni sessions cost £30 at my home, £35 at Dorchester Yoga & Therapy Centre. Or £75 and £90 for three sessions (recommended) in those respective places.

How/where can I be attuned myself?

With effect from May 2018, I will be trained to attune others to Rahanni. You too could become a channel for this beautiful healing – for yourself, family and friends or as a therapist. It’s a simple one-day course (first date: 19 May 2018 in Dorchester) – please contact me for more information.

Water

Drinking plenty (1.5-2L per day) of pure unadulterated water is the simplest and best step you can take to improving your health.
I’ve been researching the best drinking water for more than a year and I’ve finally taken the plunge (groan!) and bought myself a Big Berkey filter.
The water tastes delicious, it’s had up 99.9% of contaminants removed by the huge charcoal filters and its pH is more alkali – win/win/win. I’m very pleased with it and so I’m happy to recommend them. Read the Big Berkey lab results for more information about what is removed. 
 
One of my concerns about charcoal filtering was that the beneficial minerals such as zinc, selenium, etc are also removed. So, I’ve added some Yve-Bio raw mineral and gem stones to the bottom of my Berkey (and my water jug – you may have spotted them at a recent appointment – and my water bottle). 
If you currently use a plastic bottle (or even worse you refill mineral water bottles with tap water), you should consider investing in one that’s stainless steel (or glass but that’s not really practical). That way you know that there are no plastic chemical contaminants coming from the bottle. I use this insulated 750ml bottle.
Cheers!   Salute!  Chin-chin!

Homocysteine: is it just about THE BEST indicator of health?

I read this book by Patrick Holford over the Christmas holidays. It may not be most peoples’ idea of a holiday read but I couldn’t put it down! For me it reinforced why so many of my clients see dramatic leaps forward in their health when they supplement B vitamins, Zinc and other nutrients.

Methylation (one of the more complex topics we studied in my Kinesiology training) put very simply is the chemical process by which we turn the food we eat into us – ie, our body’s cells. During methylation, methyl groups are added or taken away from other molecules in order to produce the substances we need to function, ie, to make, maintain or detoxify our cells, produce hormones, etc. We’re doing this millions of times per split second, every second of the day and night.

Homocysteine is the natural chemical we make from animal proteins we eat (specifically by removing a methyl group from the essential amino acid Methionine. Essential means it has to come from our diet.). We then add a methyl group to Homocysteine to make one or other of two chemicals which are absolutely vital to our health: S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe – pronounced sammie) OR Glutathione.

SAMe is our brain’s master tuner, it’s a natural anti-depressant and it’s anti-arthritic, liver-protecting and our main methyl donor (it gives methyl groups to other molecules to make what we need). Low SAMe would result in chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, as well as degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Glutathione is our body’s best detoxifying agent, it literally prevents us from going off, or ageing. A lack of glutathione would mean an increased risk of all disease.

A high level of Homocysteine in a fasting blood test is an indicator that Methylation is not happening as it should – we’re low in methyl groups. If we don’t have methyl groups available, not only can we not make vital chemicals but we also run the risk of methyl groups being taken away from our DNA and/or not having what we need to repair our DNA. Our DNA is the blueprint of life for us. If it’s faulty, we get faulty pretty quickly. Damaged DNA = disease, especially cancer and autoimmune conditions.

So, Methionine makes Homocysteine and Homocysteine makes SAMe or Glutathione. These processes require specific nutrients (co-factors) – ie, we need certain nutrients to be present in our bodies in order to produce these vital chemicals. When we don’t have these nutrients present, we will have a high Homocysteine level and this is connected to an increased risk of the following conditions:

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s
  • thyroid problems
  • depression/schizophrenia
  • Parkinson’s
  • infertility
  • chronic pain – arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines
  • autoimmune conditions
  • digestive disorders

The main nutrients needed for methylation are B vitamins – particularly B2, B6 and B12, as well as Zinc, Betaine, Folate and Choline. Other nutrients which are helpful are Omega 3 (EPA/DHA), Garlic, Sulphur and Magnesium. This explains why vegetarians and vegans are probably always going to have high Homocysteine levels. These nutrients are not or not easily found in non-animal foods. To make it even harder to methylate, a percentage of the population has a built-in genetic fault in the MTHFR branch of methylation (ie, to make SAMe). These people need even higher levels of the nutrients.

So, guess what depletes B vitamins? Modern life, in a nutshell … stress, alcohol, convenience foods, pollution, etc.

To check if Homocysteine is relevant to your health problems and which nutrients you need, contact me to book in.

Happy Methylating!

homocysteine pdf

My New Year Cleanse

Like most people, in December I tend to eat foods I don’t usually … and drink more alcohol. So, I’m doing a gut cleanse this week. Here’s what I’m doing:

Drinks: 

  1. NO alcohol or caffeine
  2. At least two litres per day of still mineral water and herbal teas. I use whole leaf tea – the flavour and quality is so much better. I have a teaball  for single cups and a teapot for when hubby joins me. I get my loose herbs from Helen’s Whole Foods in Weymouth or Buy Wholefoods Online. My current favourites are: nettle, dandelion, lemon verbena, fennel seed and dried ginger.
  3. I’m planning to include some home-made raw juices with plenty of fresh turmeric and ginger (but I haven’t got round to it … it’s something to do with the weather I think!)

Food:

  1. NO dairy (except small amounts of butter)
  2. NO sugar
  3. NO grains
  4. Low carb (very little rice or potatoes)
  5. Maximise veg, herbs and spice intake (I ordered in extra veg from Riverford this week along with organic turmeric and ginger root which I’ve been adding to everything)

Go to Menus below to see what I’ve been eating day by day and to download recipes (click on the links).

Supplements:

My kinesiologist came up with two products I needed to help cleanse my gut:

  • CandiSolve – a combination of digestive enzymes and a specific probiotic which re-balances candida overgrowth.
  • Punica Plus – a herbal parasite formula.

These were individually identified for me during a kinesiology session – I DO NOT RECOMMEND TAKING SUCH REMEDIES WITHOUT TESTING. Contact me to book in.

I’ve been experiencing some “die-off” symptoms – slight headaches and tiredness mostly. I’ve been resting, as well as getting fresh air and exercise.

Menus:

Day 1: (I made a batch of Muffins, Linseed crackers & cannellini bean Hummus)

  • Breakfast: Spinach omelette, linseed crackers, herbal tea
  • 11am: a muffin, herbal tea
  • Lunch: Spicy carrot & parsnip soup, linseed crackers, hummus, water
  • 4pm: handful of brazils & almonds and an orange, herbal tea
  • Dinner: sausages, braised red cabbage (no sugar), an orange

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: 2 soft-boiled eggs, linseed crackers, herbal tea
  • Lunch: Spicy carrot & parsnip soup, linseed crackers, hummus, water
  • 4pm: a muffin, herbal tea
  • Dinner: fish pie, leftover braised red cabbage

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: 3 rashers grilled bacon, half an avocado, half a paleo flatbread & butter, herbal tea
  • 11am: a muffin, herbal tea
  • Lunch: Cauliflower soup, linseed crackers, hummus, water
  • Dinner: beef & pork chilli, slaw, an orange

Day 4:

  • Breakfast: Spinach omelette, linseed crackers, herbal tea
  • Lunch: Cauliflower soup, linseed crackers, hummus, water
  • 4pm: a muffin, herbal tea
  • Dinner: sausages, broccoli, roasted parsnips, small amount of 75% dark chocolate

Day 5: (I’ve lost two pounds)

  • Breakfast: 2 soft-boiled eggs, linseed crackers, herbal tea
  • Lunch: Squash & red lentil soup, rice cakes, peanut butter
  • 4pm: a muffin, fennel & ginger tea
  • Dinner: Greek chicken, roasted parsnips, broccoli

Made another batch of hummus and linseed crackers and I’m trying out a new lemon cookie recipe. Riverford had bergamot lemons this week – smell amazing and the juice tastes like a cross between lemon and mandarin.

Day 6:

  • Breakfast: 2 soft-boiled eggs, linseed crackers, herbal tea
  • Lunch: leftover Greek chicken, raw slaw, half an avocado, 2 lemon cookies (they’re good!), herbal tea
  • Dinner: beef & chickpea curry, shredded cabbage dressed with lime zest & juice and olive oil. A glass of wine and small amount of 75% chocolate (it’s Friday!).

Day 7:

  • Breakfast: 2 soft-boiled eggs, linseed crackers, herbal tea
  • Lunch: Squash & lentil soup, hummus, celery, herbal tea, lemon cookie.
  • 4pm: an orange and a muffin, herbal tea.
  • Dinner: pork & veg casserole, spring greens, muffin, two squares 85% choc.

I think that this week of menus shows you the diet which best suits me when I want to feel good and lose weight (I lost 3-4lbs – I’m back to my usual weight). There is no one-size fits all in terms of which diet is best … please contact me to book in so we can find which diet suits you. Happy new year!

FODMAPs

A low FODMAP diet often helps alleviate symptoms of IBS, colitis, indigestion, etc. FODMAPs are naturally-occurring sugars found in lots of healthy foods such as onions, apples, cabbage and lentils. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. Most people have no trouble digesting them but for some they cause symptoms such as: flatulence, bloating, stomach pain and acid reflux. These symptoms can be mild and tolerable or really uncomfortable and debilitating. 

However, I don’t think this intolerance is a condition in itself … and cutting all these healthy foods out of your diet on a permanent basis is not a good idea. I think not being able to tolerate FODMAPs is a sign of dysbiosis; that is an imbalance in gut bacteria. This should be addressed (with herbal remedies, enzymes and probiotics) so that these healthy foods can be reintroduced and tolerated.

Here are the five different groups of FODMAPs and the main foods in which they can be found:

Fructans: artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, aubergine, fennel, chicory, dandelion leaves, garlic, leeks, onions, radicchio, lettuce, wheat, rye, inulin, FOS (a prebiotic supplement).

Galactans: legumes – all beans & peas including kidney beans, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, baked beans.

Wheat is a FODMAP

Lactose: milk, cream, ice cream, custard, dairy desserts, yoghurt, soft cheeses 

Polyols: apple, apricot, avocado, blackberry, cherry, longan, lychee, nectarine, pear, plum, prune, mushroom, sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol (sweeteners).

Excess fructose: honey, apple, mango, pear, watermelon, high-fructose corn syrup, agave syrup, dried fruit, fruit juice

It may be that only one or two groups cause symptoms. To find out which, try eliminating all groups for a month and then introduce one group at a time week by week.

However, addressing the underlying digestive imbalance is the best solution. Kinesiology can identify the cause and find which natural remedies are needed. Contact me for more information and to find your way back to a happy relationship with these foods.

Could nail varnish be to blame?

I wonder whether the current pandemic of painted finger nails could be involved in increasing breast cancer rates? Nail varnish contains some really nasty chemicals and everything we put on our bodies ends up in our blood stream. When I was doing Aromatherapy training decades ago, I proved this theory by taping a slice of garlic to the sole of my foot. It could be smelled on my breath within minutes.

The breast cancer/nail varnish question came up on a recent training day with my professional association. Chris Astill-Smith mentioned that long-term exposure to low levels of an irritant can be worse for our health than a short, sharp exposure to a larger dose. I also knew this from my Aromatherapy training – and personal experience. I managed to sensitise myself to lemon type essential oils by diffusing the delicious essential oil May Chang day after day. Sensitisation is much longer lasting and potentially more dangerous than an immediate reaction. Chris also said that traces of the chemicals in nail varnish can be found in the lymph nodes in the armpits. This really got me thinking … about a client of mine who has had breast cancer and who always has her nails beautifully manicured and varnished.

A few days later, my beautiful stepdaughter was chatting with a friend and I overheard that another of their friends has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  All this got me thinking … and googling. It seems there are very definitely strong reasons to NOT have permanently painted finger nails. This article explains why. And this research does too … and this study looked at just one chemical: TPHP.

The picture on the left shows three of the nasty toxins in commercial (ie, non-natural) nail varnish brands. These are all Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals – ie. they interfere with normal hormone function. Breast Cancer UK launched a campaign called Ditch The Junk this year aimed at highlighting the potential cancer-causing toxicity of so-called beauty products. Nail varnish is top of the toxic list. (Another really worrying chemical is Triclosan – found in handwash. It’s almost impossible to find a handwash without it in.)

I think it’s time to think twice before painting your nails! Let’s go back to the natural look please! Rub a little coconut oil into your cuticles and push them back with a cotton bud, then buff up your nails with a soft cloth. Wear your natural nails with pride – and protect yourself against cancer. It’s a win/win.

 

The importance of protein … again!

I see so many clients whose diet is very low in protein. If you’re vegetarian and/or you eat the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) of breakfast cereals, skimmed milk, sandwiches, pizza and pasta then it’s likely you’re not getting enough protein (let alone other nutrients).

We need protein to make and repair every cell in our body. If we don’t do that – efficiently and properly – every second of every day -we get degenerative diseases. Basically, if we don’t replace each dying cell with a healthy new cell, we age faster and die younger.

Protein is made up of amino acids. There are over 500 amino acids in nature; humans need 20 of them to build, repair and renew cells, make hormones, etc etc. Of those 20 – nine are essential – this means we can only get them from our diet. (The other 11 we can manufacture.) For me, this film shows the health implications of not having all 20 amino acids available in our cells …

Meat, fish, seafood, eggs and other animal products are the best and most complete proteins. Follow this link for an article listing vegetarian foods in order of their protein content.
Spirulina (blue green algae) is one of the most ‘complete’ vegan proteins. This Spirulina powder is the absolute best I’ve ever come across – it’s so natural – and it tastes great. It’s grown in a community project and sales support their work with hungry children in Africa (a real win/win).
In my personal opinion, the only ‘healthy’ vegetarian diet is one which is macrobiotic. This means carefully combining pulses and grains and including seaweeds and other nutrient-dense foods. You can read more about this diet here.

However, even if you’re a meat eater, you could still be lacking protein because your digestion isn’t working well enough to break it down and absorb it. You may need to supplement digestive enzymes with your meals, or drink a tablespoon of cider vinegar in a little water before each meal to pep up your digestive juices. I like to recommend taking a B vitamin supplement as most people I see are low on them and we need B vitamins to make digestive enzymes.

Contact me for more information and to book in for a kinesiology consultation.

Cook for Health

On 8 July 2017, twelve lovely eager people cooked up a storm of delightful dishes at St Aldhelm’s Church Centre. They made two different types of slaw, nori rolls, hummus, chorizo omelette and courgette muffins. At the end of the evening, we all tucked in to the tasty and nutritious breakfast and lunch alternatives.

I introduced myself and shared how my health has been turned around by eating like a hunter-gatherer – my version of the Paleo diet. I showed them all the blouse I’d bought 4 years earlier – I didn’t try before buying and when I got it home it didn’t meet anywhere near in the middle of my body! When I wear it now, it has enough room in it for at least half another person! Cook for Health is not just about losing weight, it’s also about gaining health and vitality, as well as having the energy you need to lead the life you want.

Cook for Health is about learning how to make simple everyday dishes which are nourishing and tasty and will keep you healthy, slim and full of energy. It’s not about exotic ingredients or fancy knife skills … it’s about basing meals around great veg (generously supplied for this particular evening by Dorset Riverford), good sources of protein and healthy fats. Cook for Health will change what you eat and therefore your health!

Here’s what some CfH participants said: “very inspiring – feel motivated to have a go!” “very informative – especially for someone who doesn’t know where to begin” “incredibly interesting – more classes please” “loved the new ideas – could listen to you talk about nutrition for hours!” 

Next weekly course starts: Thursday 14 September 2017 – 6-9pm at St Aldhelm’s Church Centre, Weymouth, Dorset. Cost: £95 for five weeks (includes all ingredients)

Bonus! On 28 September 2017, the evening will be led by Ben Oakley – Ben is an expert in change – he’s a life coach and he uses techniques from NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and hypnotherapy to help people get the life and health they want. The transformations he achieves are nothing short of incredible – and he does it in a fun and humorous way. I’ve invited him to lead this Cook for Health session because I often see a reluctance in clients to change their eating and/or lifestyle habits, even though they know it will be good for them. Ben will share practical skills to help make the changes you want, easily and happily. Read more about Ben’s work