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

Breakfast nori rolls

Breakfast nori rolls

I’m a convert! I saw this recipe on social media and had to give it a go. Nori is a type of seaweed and it’s available in sheets in supermarkets – I got mine in Sainsbury’s. I love seaweed! It’s really tasty and nutritious – it’s packed with minerals and full of fibre. Seaweed is especially rich in iodine, which is needed for good thyroid function and other metabolic functions. Our diets are typically low in iodine now that most of us don’t eat much fresh seafood.

These nori rolls could be made the night before and kept in the fridge for breakfast on the go. They could also be taken as a packed lunch. Yum! They’re really easy to make, satisfying and nutritious!

 

Coconut oil (& why it’s one of only three fats/oils in my kitchen)

There’s been A LOT of press coverage recently about an American organisation saying that coconut oil is not good for you. To use an American word – baloney!!

I explain in my article about fats why I use and recommend coconut oil for cooking. However, I had a kinesiology client this morning who asked whether to stop using it so I’ve dug out the following images to make it really clear.

What are we looking for in a healthy cooking oil? We’re looking for the oil to remain stable when heated. The most stable oils are those which have a high saturated fat content (the least stable are polyunsaturated oils – yes, the very ones your doctor may recommend! Rapeseed, sunflower, etc.). The only exception to this rule is olive oil which is mostly mono-unsaturated but has a naturally-occurring, built-in antioxidant (a tocopherol) which protects the oil’s structure when heated. The level of this antioxidant is highest in virgin or extra virgin olive oils.

This image shows the saturated, mono- and poly-unsaturated levels in popular cooking oils:

You can immediately see from the above image that Coconut oil is the most saturated, ghee (clarified butter) is next. My grandparents only ever cooked with lard. (I’m ignoring margarine because that’s a “Frankenstein food” – made in a factory by a process of hydrogenation and, along with white sugar, hydrogenated fats are about the worst things for your health you could eat.) So, coconut oil is THE most stable cooking oil you could use. 

Here’s another helpful image – which of these oils looks the most stable?

As for nutritional content, it’s true that most western diets are too high in Omega 6 – we need a balance of Omegas (essential fatty acids). This is why Omega 3 supplements (fish and flaxseed oils) come up as being needed so often with my kinesiology clients. And it’s true that coconut oil doesn’t have any Omega 3 content … however, I’m cooking with it, not using it as a supplement. And for cooking, it’s THE most stable oil you can buy. If you think it might be fattening, read my other article on fats.

 

Systematic Kinesiology: a case study

C was referred to me by her chiropractor in November 2016. At her first visit, we recorded the following 8 main symptoms/issues to address. Last week I asked her to rate her level of improvement after Systematic Kinesiology sessions with me:

  1. Tired all the time – even on waking/after 9 hours in bed.
    General tiredness 90% better, on waking about 60% better.
  2. Fear of fainting – 70%
  3. A sensation like an air lock at the bottom of ribcage, bubbles in throat. 100%
  4. Belching and indigestion – 90%
  5. Eating a restricted diet (no wheat, yeast, mushrooms, dairy, vinegar, oranges, cocoa, chocolate, oats, eggs) – 90%
  6. Difficulty (fear of) driving – 60%
  7. “often anxious/stressed”. Not doing hobbies.
    “This is tricky as stressed at moment (due to a life event), had improved, but not now.”
  8. Pain in nape of neck – 60%

What did Systematic Kinesiology (“SK”) do to help C?  In every kinesiology session, I address whatever comes up as a priority for the person, at that time. With SK I am seeking to establish a ‘silent dialogue’ via gentle muscle-testing. I can then look in the four realms of health: structure, bio-chemistry, emotions, energy – to see what needs to be addressed. I then muscle-test a choice of nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, essential oils and Bach flower essences. When I have identified all that tests positively, I balance the person using techniques which include lymphatic massage, neuro-vascular work, acupressure points, meridians, chakras, etc. I then re-test to make sure the balance has worked. At the end, I check all the remedies and supplements that have come up in the session and make recommendations.

In C’s case, in the first session, wobbly blood sugars showed and Chromium and Fish Oil supplements were what I recommended. We also did a lot of emotional release work using Bach flower essences, affirmations and tapping. I made up a bottle of Mimulus flower essence and gave C some tapping and affirmations to do for homework. At the end of the session, we also muscle-tested some of the foods C had removed from her diet years before (as a result of Vega testing) and she agreed to try reintroducing wheat, eggs, cheese and butter.

At the next visit, C reported driving was “a lot better”, the ‘air lock’ sensation was “not as bad”, no big belching, she wasn’t waking up hungry in the night, she’d been eating wheat and eggs nearly every day with no ill-effect and she’d got her first period in four months (an unexpected improvement). In this second visit, we checked more foods, did more stress release work and some structural work on her jaw. The flower essence which was helpful this time was Hornbeam. Again, I gave it and some stress releases as homework.

At the third visit, C reported the “air lock” sensation had gone, tiredness was better, driving was ok, digestion was “better” and she was very happy with the new foods she was eating (especially chocolate!). At that visit, we worked on balancing female hormones.

So, in just three sessions we made massive improvements. C chooses to continue to come every 4-5 weeks since – for a ‘balance’ and to address whatever issues come up. At visit 7, C reported that she felt ‘vibrant’ and that she hadn’t felt ‘this good for 3-4 years’. She’s continued to make steady progress, despite some life events which have increased stress levels.

Here’s what C says about kinesiology: “don’t understand really how it works! but it does! My diet has really improved so very much, it was such a negative thing for me, but my progress has been rapid and very positive. I am still working on the stress-related elements as these are quite deep-seated and so I expect they will take a while to resolve, however I have made really great progress. My lifestyle balance is improving every time I see Jane.”

It’s been a huge privilege to help C with her health – I love what I do! Contact me to see how I might help with your list of symptoms. I practise Systematic Kinesiology in Weymouth and Dorchester, Dorset.

Allergies & intolerances – June 2017 special offer

Our young cat Sam made my eyes and nose stream when we first rescued him.

Does your pet make you sneeze? Are you missing out on cuddles with your cat? Is grass pollen season a nightmare time for you? Are there foods which give you indigestion or bloating?

If so, there are lots of Kinesiology techniques which can help alleviate or reduce the symptoms of allergies and intolerances. Hay fever, pet allergies, food intolerances … they can all be tested for and symptoms improved with relevant kinesiology techniques. (We can also test for supplements to support your immune system.)

As hay fever season is well and truly upon us, I’m offering a 55-minute “allergy” appointment for £25 during June 2017. You will need to bring a small amount of whatever gives you symptoms – grass seeds, pollen, pet fur, foods, etc etc. This price is for existing clients only – all new clients will need to have an initial assessment appointment first (1.5 hours at £50).
I used to get awful hay fever type symptoms from just about everything and kinesiology has really helped me. I hardly suffer at all now and never need to take an anti-histamine – thank goodness. However, when we rescued our little cat Sam last summer, my eyes and nose were streaming within days. I went to see my kinesiologist with some fur from his brush. We established that the Energy Mismatch technique was relevant (my body was confused and treated him as an enemy of my immune system). She did a fix there and then and I repeated it for homework, along with cross-crawling with the little packet of fur on me. Within a week I had no more symptoms and I can now give him all the cuddles he deserves!
Contact me ASAP to book in for June – let’s see how kinesiology can help alleviate your symptoms!

Quick Flatbread – grain free, dairy free

Flatbread with bacon, mushrooms and sauerkraut

These make a great weekend breakfast or brunch as well as a tasty light lunch. Ideal if you’re cutting out wheat, gluten and/or grains, this recipe uses coconut flour and arrowroot powder. The flatbread works really well with smoked salmon & avocado or bacon & tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. You could take them with you too – add some houmous and salad for a quick packed lunch.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C
  2. Beat the egg in a large bowl, add the sea salt, lemon juice, olive oil and water – mix well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix into a ball.
  4. Roll out to about 1/2 cm thickness between two sheets of baking paper
  5. Bake on one of the sheets for about ten minutes or until the edges are golden and the bread is firm to the touch.

Meridian Massage

Sculpture and photo by Ian Grist – copyright belongs to him.

I’m very excited to announce the launch of my new service – a massage treatment combining kinesiology and aromatherapy. It’s unique and incorporates all my training and experience in one therapeutic and pampering session!
Here’s what clients have said about Meridian Massage so far:
– “First Jane used kinesiology to find out that my stomach meridian was out of balance. She then tested & found specific aromatherapy oils that would rebalance me. Using those beautiful oils she then gave me a wonderful relaxing massage that left me relaxed and energised. Jane then retested and I was balanced again. Highly recommended!” MA
– “It was lovely. I felt very relaxed and calm afterwards.” MW
Contact me to book in – you definitely deserve it!

My thoughts on vegetarianism

Veg & fruitI couldn’t possibly be as biased as The Two Fat Ladies (a BBC cookery programme from the 1990s – see clips of their hilarious comments on vegetarians here) but I must admit to having a couple of concerns about vegetarian diets. I’m talking here about ‘western’ diets … not traditional vegetarian diets around the world.

I think the main issue is protein. It’s a really important macronutrient (fat and carbohydrate are the other two macronutrients) made up of combinations of 20 amino acids, of which 9 are “essential” which means we must eat them in our diet. We need amino acids to make new cells (something we’re doing every day, all day long). If there aren’t enough or the amino acids required, the new cells we make will be faulty … and this leads to disease. Cancer is a defect in cell reproduction … to learn more about how we make new cells from amino acids (protein), watch this brilliant video.

Closeup view of a bunch of upright ears of ripe wheat harvested for their seeds and used as a staple grain in foodstuff or as a winter feed for livestock
Whole grains are a source of protein but can cause digestive problems and intolerances.

The fact is protein from animal sources is “complete” (contains all the 20 amino acids we need). Vegetarians will argue that they can get these from combining whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds … yes, they can. However, I have only ever met one vegetarian whose diet consists of vegetables and these foods. Most British vegetarians seem to live on “replacement” foods – highly processed, manufactured from goodness knows what stuff made to look and taste like meat or carbohydrates with dairy (jacket potato and cheese, pizza, pasta, etc). These foods are low in lots of nutrition, high in anti-nutrients and people can end up overweight, lacking energy and really ill.

There are usually two main reasons why people choose a completely vegetarian diet here in the UK. One big reason is animal welfare. I get this. I love animals. In fact, all my babies have had four legs and fur! I would never buy eggs from caged hens, having kept hens myself. And I buy the best animal products I can afford – as close to the source as possible, whenever possible. However, it is a fact of life that human animals are higher up the food chain than farm animals … in fact, we give farm animals life … we engineered their species in most cases … in order to sustain our own lives. That’s just the way it is – and always has been.

egg
Eggs contain 13g of “complete” protein

The other reason for being vegetarian is because of the mistaken belief that meat is bad for us and that fat is the enemy of health. This is a leftover piece of bad science from the 1960s and I sincerely hope it will be lost forever soon. Read more about why fat is NOT the enemy in my article.

I admire and often refer to Dr Adamo’s work on blood type diets. I know it works for me – I’m O+ and I definitely feel best on a diet of meat, fish, eggs and vegetables. Dr Adamo says those with blood group A are likely to be healthier on a diet lower in animal products and higher in whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. However, complete proteins are still required – we need all the amino acids every day.

Here’s some helpful information:

  • the recommended daily intake of protein is 0.75g per kilogram of body weight (you may need more if you exercise regularly or you’re looking to gain weight/muscle). So, if you weigh 75kg, you need 56.25g of protein per day. Two eggs provide 26g of complete protein (you’d need to eat 1kg of cooked brown rice to get the same quantity of protein and it would still be lacking in some amino acids)
  • amaranth, quinoa, soya, dried split peas and chickpeas are the best sources of vegan protein
  • eating eggs, cheese and a combination and wide variety of whole grains, pulses (lentils, beans, peas) and nuts and seeds every day is the best way vegetarians can ensure they get all the amino acids
  • read more on the Vegetarian Society‘s website

Pulses and grains contain naturally-occurring chemicals which can cause digestive problems and intolerances. If they give you excessive amounts of indigestion, bloating and wind, book in for a kinesiology session with me. We can look at food intolerances and ways to get your gut healthy again. If you live too far away from me, taking a course of probiotics with a prebiotic may help. I can recommend this product. Contact me and I’ll send you a discount code for ordering from this website.

 

Soup, glorious soup!

IMG_0502While salads are the mainstay of my diet in summer, in the deepest, darkest days of winter the last thing you want to eat is cold food. Your body has to get it up to body temperature to start with – before it can begin digestion. That takes up a lot of energy and effort.

So, we have soup just about every day for lunch at home and I promised a client I would share some recipe ideas. These are not soups for entertaining … these are for everyday lunches or light dinners. It’s more about getting in some good nutrients rather than impressing. So, the absolute best base to start with is bone broth – stock made from the carcass of a chicken or meat bones which have been simmered on very low heat for a long time. See my post on chicken soup here.

IMG_0734Other than that, here are my top tips for healthy, nutritious soups:

  1. If you don’t have time to make stock, then this vegetable bouillon powder is the best start: Marigold Organic Bouillon. (I like the Organic version best as it doesn’t contain as much added salt or any hydrolysed vegetable protein.) A heaped dessertspoon of this powder and a litre or two of cold water from the filter is the start of most of my soups.
  2. Chop vegetables small so they cook quickly. Use a wide variety of veg.
  3. Add onion, garlic, chili, ginger, fresh herbs, dried herbs, etc
  4. Try half a cup of red split lentils for extra protein and body
  5. No need to fry anything … just add raw veg to the stock.
  6. Cook only until the veg is just soft and then blitz with a hand blender.

Some recipe ideas:

  1. Carrot, parsnip, red split lentil, ginger, garlic, chili.
  2. Leek, potato, kale, garlic (blend most but leave some chunks)
  3. Meat stock, finely chopped carrots, beetroot, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, garlic, dried rosemary (don’t blend)
  4. Butternut squash, tin of coconut milk, ginger, turmeric root, red split lentils, garlic.
  5. Rice noodles, finely sliced carrots, peas, broccoli, onion, garlic, chili, ginger & raw king prawns, coconut creamIMG_0747

 

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU – Step 3: LUNGS

woman-570883_1920The lungs are where gas exchange takes place in our body. We breathe air in and exhale waste products and toxins in the form of gases and water vapour.

There’s that stuff again – WATER! It’s incredible how important water is to our body functions! It’s REALLY important for our lungs as they are 90% water. A litre of water is required inside our lungs in order for gas exchange to take place properly. And – when we’re dehydrated, histamine levels go up … a lot of asthma and allergies could be solved by simply being properly hydrated. Imagine that! It’s an almost-free health cure all!

Breathing is under the control of our autonomic nervous system – it’s a vital function and luckily therefore not something we have to do consciously. However, the autonomic nervous system also controls our stress response so breathing changes when we’re stressed (it becomes shallow and rapid). In Chinese medicine’s Law of Five Elements, the lungs are Metal which is melted by Fire (ie, buzzing, stressing, always on the go).

anatomy-117148_1280In this picture, the diaphragm is labelled. The diaphragm is a large flat wall of muscle between our lungs and our digestive organs. It literally cross-sections our body from front to back and side to side. It keeps our digestive organs in place, has a role in pushing food down into our stomachs and along the intestines. Our food tube goes through it. It’s also the best muscle for breathing – and yet lots of us hardly use it. It becomes weak through lack of use and then it doesn’t hold down the stomach and this can cause a hiatus hernia. If you have acid reflux or heartburn, you could well help them without drugs by exercising and strengthening your diaphragm.

So, one of the best ways to quickly de-stress and to improve digestion, is to breathe with your diaphragm (instead of your chest muscles or shoulders). It induces an instant sense of peace and relaxation … and massages your digestive organs as well as keeping them in place. Here’s how to belly breathe:

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the bed or floor
  • Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest
  • Take a deep breath and observe how your hands rise and fall
  • Take another breath – this time focus on only allowing the hand on your belly to rise and fall
  • Keep practising – it takes practice to get this right. You’ll be re-programming your brain and diaphragm to breathe more efficiently.
  • As you breathe in, allow your belly to inflate and push up, while keeping your chest absolutely still. You’re now using your diaphragm to breathe.
  • Once you’ve mastered this, you can use it anywhere, anytime you feel stressed.

Practising belly breathing for at least ten breaths every day will improve gas exchange (oxygen in, toxins out), your digestion AND relaxation.

Your homework for Step 3:

  1. Keep watering that pot plant! See Step 1. By now, you could have increased your water intake by two glasses per day and be well on the way to better hydration and therefore better health.
  2. Practise belly breathing for a minute or two – at least once per day.