Friday, 31 January 2014

Easy and delicious recipe ideas for your supper…...

Prawn and Kale stir fry …..
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan
2. Add halved button mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes
3. Add some chopped garlic and a big bunch of kale and pour in a cup of vegetable stock or bouillon. Simmer for a few minutes
4. Add some fresh prawns to the pan and cook until they turn pink
5. Serve with some organic buckwheat noodles.

Tomato and Lentil stew…..

1. Heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan and add 1 chopped red onion. Simmer on a low heat until the onions turn soft. 
2. Add some chopped mushrooms, garlic and baby tomatoes to the pan and cook for a further few minutes.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to the mixture and stir well.  Add 2 tins of tin tomatoes, some fresh thyme, salt & pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. 
4. Add in some cooked lentils and stir the mixture well.
5. Serve with a steamed fillet of Sea Bass.

I hope you have a yummy sups! xxx 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: "February is the month to start your annual 'Detox' program" by expert Acupuncturist, Simon Cheung.

I’ve been fortunate enough to learn some tough lessons over the past years, the upshot being that I now have a black book of vital tips, tricks, exercises and formulas, which help me be the person I aim to be.  I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am without the help of expert Acupuncturist, Simon Cheung.  In my eyes (and I’m sure many others) he is a ‘miracle man’.  Through acupuncture and his wisdom he has provided me with the tools I need to help me live life to an optimal capacity.

"I am grateful to Chloe for the invitation for an opportunity to contribute to her February Blog on a topic related to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Natural therapy.

My name is Simon Cheung, I am practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. From my previous medical training in conventional medicine, I am a strong believer for the 'Integration' between Traditional Natural Medicine and the modern day Orthodox Medicine, rather than the 'Alternative' or the 'them-or-us' approach.

While we have made great progress in medicine through scientific advances and research, there are plenty of wisdoms from ancient culture that if we were to learn how to better our understanding of them and knowing how to apply them to medicine, it will often serve us well to improve our chances of not having to base our health care through continued dependence on biochemical or pharmacological means; a system on which conventional medicine has become heavily reliant on.

So I think February is a good month to start your annual 'Detox' program this year. We might have enjoyed the positive momentum of the New Year in January each year, where efforts to better ourselves are often easier. However, the real challenge of our good intentions begin now as we approach February and onward, when negativeness of everyday grinds gradually fall back into their places, and to remain within the positive frame of mind become increasingly difficult. 

For example, that month in January when some of us may have chosen not to drink may not have really made us feel that much better after-all. In contrary, what it often does is allow us to start drinking more yet again in order to compensate for our month of being tee-total thus putting back precisely the same 'toxins' that we managed to 'detox' in January, undoing any benefits we might have gained from our month of good intention. Next January is a long time away before we stop drinking again! So why do we bother to stop only to start again twice as badly? Kind of one step forward only to take two steps back so to speak!

The act of 'detoxifying' our body isn't based on just attending to our physically well being alone, it has to be followed by significant resolution of the 'detoxification' of the mind in order for us to gain the ultimate benefits of all the good intentions to improve our health. A consistent way to live our lives and manage our health from now on against the challenges of natural ageing process of the human body and everyday emotional stress and strains that we faced.

Apart from 'how to physically and emotionally improve in yourself' I would also like to suggest on how to believe in ourselves and to understand some of the rules or disciplines we needed to follow in order for us to be in control of our health in these areas. Traditional Medical techniques like Acupuncture, which addresses the disharmony between the mind and the body thought reconnecting or disconnecting the energy (Qi) that rules our lives through a networks of energy lines (Meridians) can also be an useful tools to fine tune and restore our body and mind back into harmony as well as a form of treatment to maintain our general well being. 

'Commitment' can be an imposing word! But committing ourselves to the principle of preventive medicine to stay well, a program of health management, which allows us to be in control of our health. Not a resolution that yet gets broken each year, but through a resolution to commit to our plan on how to looks after ourselves, how to reconnect ourselves mentally and physically, and the actions that we are willing to take and commit in order to improve on our health for now and for the rest of our lives.................rather than just for January!"

Friday, 24 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Health tips from expert health, beauty and nutrition consultant Karen Cummings-Palmer

February is the new January, the very start of the year is really more about ending, habits, thoughts and relationships that no longer support us.  A few weeks in and we can begin embracing better, healthier ways of being.

All this talk of detoxing leaves me a little cold.  Mid winter in England is not the time to adopt extreme diets when the body craves warmth and comfort, it is however a great time to introduce some cleansing foods, supplements and drinks.  Our body needs to do a little detoxing everyday, but save the raw food or fasting for warmer weather, when we need fewer calories and the sun is boosting our vitamin D and therefore 'feel good' levels.

I'm all about crowding out the bad stuff by adding in the good.  It is much easier to persuade a client to drink more water than it is to get them to drink less soda - there is only so much anybody can consume in a day so work harder at eating more greens than cutting out the fries.  As your taste buds begin to change so will your habits - it's easier to win when it's harder to fail.  

Talking of soda - a word about the whole sugar debate.  Refined sugar is the one thing I do encourage my clients to reduce dramatically - it is ageing, inflaming and fattening.  If there is a food enemy it is the sweet stuff.  But my clients are already interested and invested in optimum health.  I think it is unwise to tell a sugar addicted nation that juice and soda are equally bad for our health - whilst juice is not the super healthy option everyone thought it was and it may be packed with sugar at least it is natural sugar and it contains some Vitamin C!  

Whilst food is the most important component when it comes to good health, exercise is key and we need to take a note from Nike and "just do it!"  Whether it is 10 minutes in your bedroom before work or scheduling (and vitally) paying for pilates, bar or spin classes we all need to stop thinking of it as a chore and start making it a ritual, when it enters what I call our 'soft DNA' it becomes effortless.

I think the first step to changing ones health is changing ones mind, we must re-frame our definition of comfort food and start craving food that fuels us - that's the first step to sustainable, attainable health.

Karen is sipping her anti-inflammatory, immune boosting Super Cider tonic

1/2 teaspoon of Turmeric
1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Manuka + 15 honey
A squeeze of lemon juice 
All Topped up with hot (not boiling water)  for bespoke wellness packages

Sunday, 5 January 2014


On Tuesday 14th January I will be discussing postures and correct body alignment at Slice Fitness in Parsons Green (Please buy tickets here!events/c1jxl).  So, as a build up to it, I wanted to outline the different posture types with the help of my great friend Kate Smith from Bodhi Osteopathy.

Do you have aches and pains and wonder if your posture is the source of the problem? If yes, Kate Smith from Bodhi Osteopathy and I are here to help you work out your posture types and how you can achieve an ideal posture to stay from musculoskeletal problems.

The 4 main stereotypical posture alignments are Ideal Alignment, Kyphotic/Lordotic, Flat Back and Sway Back.

In today’s world our bodies spend far too much time in environments that do not promote general well-being. Life can be very static and we often find ourselves spending long hours hunched over the computer or slumped in front of the TV. Kyphosis, or hunchback, is an unbalanced posture that can cause neck and back pain. The head is pushed forward; the upper back is rounded, increasing the flexion of the thoracic spine. Hip flexors, Quads and Gluteal muscles are also shortened and tightened.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help correct your Kyphosis:

·       Stretch the chest muscles
·       Think about gently drawing your shoulders back and down
·       Work on strengthening the rhomboid muscles (muscle between the shoulder blades). To strengthen the rhomboids, you want to perform any exercise that involves squeezing the shoulder blades together
·       Stretch your hip flexors, Quads and Gluteal muscles.
·       Ensure that your ergonomic set up at home at work is correct.  (Further advice can be given by Kate to make sure you are achieving this)

Lordosis is a back posture that exaggerates the lumbar curve (lower back) and an anterior pelvic tilt, when the pelvis tips forward when resting on top of the femurs. This can lead to excess pressure on the spine, causing pain. In addition to this, slightly hyper extended knee joints, tight lower back muscles, weak hamstrings, tight hip flexors also occur. Obesity, and pregnancy can also contribute to causing Lordosis.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help correct your lordosis:

  • Strengthen hamstrings, glutes and core muscles (see Chloe’s blog posts for exercises)
  • Stretch hip flexors and lower back (in flexion)
  • Think about slightly tucking the tail bone under when standing
  • Strengthening core muscles to strengthen the lower back (Pilates is a good method to achieve this)

Sway back is another name for Lordosis. The slight difference is that the pelvis is posterially tilted and the knee joints are hyper extended. The lower back is also flatter.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help correct your sway-back:
  • Stretch the lower and upper back  into extension.
  • Think about sticking your tail bone out whist standing.
  • Stretch hip flexors, Gluteal muscles and Quads. 

Flat back posture is exactly how it sounds. The head is slightly held forward. The upper part of the Thoracic spine is flexed as the lower part is flexed. The hip and knee joints are also extended.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help correct your flat-back:
  •  Strengthen the hip flexors
  • Stretch hamstrings and calves.
  • Stretch the Thoracics and Lower back in extension.

Ideal Alignment
After all this information, I am sure you are wondering what exactly is the “ideal posture” and how is this achieved.
The green dot running vertically in the picture above is called the plumb line. Ideally, the plumb line should pass through the ear lobe and straight down.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help achieve this Ideal Alignment;

When standing, imagine a piece of string being pulled from the top of your head. Elongate your neck and slightly tuck your chin in. Shoulders should be down and relaxed with arms hanging naturally at the side of your body. Knees should be slightly “soft” with your tail bone slightly tucked under. If this feels unnatural/causes any pain or discomfort then please do not hesitate to contact us as this may be due to a number of anatomical problems which can be assessed and corrected.