Monday, 28 July 2014

Transcendental Meditation (TM): Reduced stress, improved health & mental clarity

“Transcendental Meditation: Reduced stress, improved health & mental clarity” - The Meditation Trust.

Transcendental Mediation (TM) is an effortless, easy and enjoyable way of meditating and research shows that it can improve health problems including Anxiety & Depression, Addiction, Blood Pressure, Fatigue, Heart Health, IBS, Insomnia, Migraine and PTSD.

As many of my loved ones know, I tend to be a ‘worrier’ with occasional moments of anxiety and I have been saying to myself for years that I should take up meditation but just never had the time (an excuse that I use far too often!). Then, one day, one of my darling clients gave me a cut out on The Meditation Trust and the benefits of TM.  After many years of procrastinating, this made me realise that this was the right time in my life to learn. Conveniently there was a course a few weeks later so I booked in.  

After a rather intriguing ceremony when I was given my secret mantra and 3 sessions of long talks lasting 3 hours each, I had the power of meditation…it was as easy as that.  And it really is that easy.  I always assumed that meditation was going to be really hard for someone like me who had endless thoughts but unlike other forms of meditation, TM practice involves no concentration, no control of the mind, no contemplation, no monitoring of thoughts – anyone can do it.

So, once you have been taught by a certified teacher, all you need is your mantra and 20 minutes twice a day (you can be sitting on a bus or a tube so no excuses!) and you will notice subtle changes to yourself in everyday life within weeks.  I’ve been practicing for a week and I already notice a change. I feel calmer, more patient, more energetic, lighter and have a happy awareness of being in the present.  

A lot of us are very aware of our general health and wellbeing and spend a lot of time doing exercise and eating well.  This is great for our bodies, but are we forgetting to look after our minds?  As we all know the mind and body work together – the Mind Body connection.  So if you want to better yourself even more, I would hugely recommend taking up TM – it will work!  If you interested in the TM course but have any questions or queries then please let me know.  Have a happy day xxx

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


I am completely mad about Maca and have it every morning in my brekkie.
Maca is a root that belongs to the radish family and is most commonly available in powder form. Grown in the mountains of Peru, it has been called “Peruvian ginseng.”  It is abundant in amino acids, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, vitamins (B1, B2, C & E) & minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulphur, sodium & iron). Maca has so many benefits but here are a few:
  • Helps increase energy & stamina and oxygenate the blood
  • Strengthens the body and increases stamina
  • Helps us deal with stress
  • Helps balance hormones naturally
  • Helps increase sexual libido and male fertility
  • Helps us sleep and can cure insomnia
Creative Nature Superfoods knew about my love for Maca and kindly sent me some of theirs to try.  Here are a few of my favourite breakfast recipes I made using their deliciously creamy organic Maca powder


Maca & Coconut porridge - Serves  1
 - 1 cup of water
- 1/3 cup of oats 
 - 5 tablespoons of coconut milk
 - 1 tablespoon of almond butter
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of Creative Nature Maca Powder
 - blueberries and almond as a topping 

This is SO easy and SO quick to make.  All you need to do is pour the oats, water and coconut milk in a saucepan and slowly heat for about 6 - 8 minutes (or until all the liquid has been absorbed).  Then stir in the almond butter, coconut oil and maca powder, pour into a bowl and top with your favourite toppings!

Maca, barley and chicory hemp latte - Serves 1
 - 1 teaspoon of Creative Nature Maca Powder
 - 1 teaspoon of Barley & Chicory powder (a great coffee alternative)
- 1 cup of hemp milk (almond milk is also yummy)

Place the Maca and Barley & Chicory into a cup and stir together.  Heat up the hemp milk and pour into the cup and stir well.


Serves 1
 - 3 teaspoons of chia seeds
 - 3 tablespoons of oats
4 tablespoons of coconut milk/hemp milk/oat milk/almond milk (all are delicious)
 - 2 tablespoons of organic natural yogurt or dairy free coyo yogurt 
 - 1 teaspoon of Creative Nature Maca Powder
 - handful of pomegranate seeds

Again, this is unbelievably simple to make.  Simply put all the ingredients into a cup, stir well and leave to soak overnight (or 3-4 hours).  Then sprinkle the pomegranate seeds ontop.  I sometimes add other fruit like blueberries, banana or mango and some super seeds too - my favourite are Punch Foods Raw Cocoa boost.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

GUEST BLOG: Coconut Poached Salmon by Sprout Market

I met the lovely Sprout Market girls a few months ago and was immediately drawn to their love and passion for what they do.  As fellow New Yorkers, Sophie and I shared stories of our experiences in New York, especially the health lifestyle there.  Her time there spurred her passion to set about helping others discover that this way of living can be both manageable and fun!

By bringing together their naturopathic knowledge, cooking skills and love of healthy living, Sophie & Antonia have created Sprout Market, London’s bespoke well-being service. They have kindly offered to share some of my favourite recipes starting with this delicious coconut poached salmon….

Super quick and easy to make, our Coconut Poached Salmon is one of our go to suppers after a day at work. We recommend serving it with rice noodles or fresh steamed greens.
This dish is a nutrient powerhouse, containing some of the very best ingredients – salmon is full of omegas, coconut provides essential saturated fats and ginger and lemon are extremely soothing on the digestive system. 
 With this hot weather we fancied something light and zesty so we hope this meets your summer cravings too! 

Serves 2

  1. 2 cups coconut milk (roughly 1 tin)
  2. 2 wild salmon fillets
  3. 3 lime leaves
  4. 2 sticks of lemongrass
  5. 1 clove of garlic minced
  6. ½ red chili finely chopped
  7. a knob of ginger sliced
  8. a handful of coriander to serve
  9. a squeeze of fresh lime
  1. Place all your ingredients (apart from salmon & coriander) in a large shallow pan. Once the coconut milk has reaching boiling point, gently slide the salmon fillets in.
  2. Turn the temperature down and simmer the mix for 8-10 minutes or until your salmon is cooked through.
  3. Throw through the coriander and serve with a squeeze of fresh lime.
  1. Free from gluten, dairy and sugar.
  2. NB. Wild Salmon is a lot darker and can develop a pale layer when cooking, do not be alarmed! It is full of healthy Omegas you don't get from farmed salmon.
  3. Website 
  4. Twitter
  5. Instagram

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

GUEST BLOG: Mindful Eating by health coach, Lydia McCall

"It is lunchtime and you find yourself stuck at your computer replying to the constant stream of emails that keep hitting your inbox and as women we love to multitask. So you get through your emails while munching your way through lunch. Hitting two birds with one stone. You finally come to the end of your email session to find that your have devoured your whole lunch without even registering you were eating. We have all been there right. Thinking “I can’t have eaten that whole thing, where is the rest? Someone must have eaten it.”

This is a sign of mindless eating which is so common in this day and age as there is so much to do but so little time. We are rushing around grabbing food on the go and not taking the time to really be present with our food. Our bodies can only do one thing at a time so it is not registering that you have eaten which tends to lead you to feeling unsatisfied with cravings at an all time high. This leads you to devouring one to many digestive biscuits around mid afternoon. Not a great habit to get used to.

So if you are looking to get your digestion on track, lose a few pounds and start to become more in tune with yourself so you can understand what your body is really craving then please start putting these 3 steps into practise so you can become a more mindful eater.

 Make eating a special event

Food is something to be enjoyed. It is one of the most amazing pleasures in life. So make sure you treat it like so. Step away from your desk, put down that magazine and turn off your TV. Focus purely on your food with no distractions. Make your surroundings a place of calm, light a few candles, turn on some relaxing music or find a nice spot outside for lunch. Take a break to nourish your mind and body and you will feel energised and more focussed because of it and less snacking will take place due to the fact your body has registered that it has eaten.

Take stress out of the equation

If you eat in a stressed state your digestion will be severally compromised. Have you ever thought that you are doing all the right things and ticking all the right boxes such as eating well, exercising and drinking enough water but never seem to achieve that flat stomach. Well this comes down to not what you eat but how you eat. When you are stressed, blood gets pumped to your arms and legs and away from your digestive system as it registers your stress as danger and wants to be prepared to ‘run away’ from the danger so the foods that you consume are not being digested at an optimal level. Decrease your stress levels by taking 3 long deep breathes, in through your nose and out through your mouth. This breathing exercise helps lower the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body so will help in improving your digestion and get you one step closer to a flat tummy.

Create a strong mind body connection

Once you are sitting down in a clam environment and you are feeling relaxed. Simply say thank you for the food you are about to eat. This brings your awareness to the present moment and away from the to do list you have to get through or the washing that might be waiting to get done. When you are disconnected from your body it is hard to distinguish what your body truly needs. People often confuse physical hunger with emotional hunger. So ask yourself, “What does my body really need in this moment, what am I really hungry for?” If you are in fact hungry then eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful but if something emotional comes up try and soothe yourself in other ways such as going for a walk, calling a friend or having a lovely bath.

Do you want to get your cravings under control? You can subscribe to Lydia’s mailing list here to receive six top tips to beat your cravings effectively."

Twitter: @lydia_mccall_

Instagram: lydia_mccall


Building up your core strength is an important part of a well-rounded fitness program. Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work together.   This leads to better balance and stability, whether in sports or in daily activities. Core exercises are also key in helping your get your perfectly defined tummy!

Here are a few of my favourite core exercises you can practise at home….

Pilates in Chelsea

  • Start lying on your back with upper body flexed off the mat, legs extended towards the ceiling, gently holding onto the sides of your legs.  
NOTE: Spine is in imprinted position with your ribs drawing down towards your hips and a light posterior tilt in your pelvis. 

  • Inhale to prepare. Exhale and reach one leg away extending at the hip.   Reach hands towards the ankle of the leg closest to you. 
  • Inhale, start to switch legs by reaching them to ceiling so they pass each other in mid-air.
  • Exhale and reach the opposite leg into extension at hip.

Repeat 10-12 repetitions.

Pilates in Chelsea

  • Lying on your back with your legs up in a tabletop position, spine imprinted (ribs drawing down towards your hip bones and core engaged. Do not let your lower back arch)
NOTE: make sure your knees are directly above your hips and don't let them creep towards your face
  •  Hands behind your head with elbows wide. Inhale to prepare, exhale and lift your head and shoulders up and off the mat. 
NOTE: imagine you have an apple under your chin so you don't jam your chin into your chest and keep your elbows wide
  • Keeping your core tightly engaged, straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
  • Alternate sides.  Make sure every movement is slow and controlled
Repeat 10-20 reps on each side.


  • Start sitting sideways with your legs bent.
  • Place your supporting forearm onto the mat with your elbow underneath your shoulder. Lift your top hand up towards the ceiling. 
NOTE: Before coming up into the side plank, draw your core in, squeeze your bum and draw your shoulders away from your ears.
  •  Lift into the side plank and hold for 30 seconds. Alternate sides.

This an advanced exercise so make sure you have practised pilates before and listen to your body. 
  • Start lying on your back with your legs extended on the diagonal, core engaged in an imprinted spinal position.  
NOTE: keep your back flat on the floor and keep your ribs drawing down towards your belly button.
  • Inhale.  Exhale, nod your head slightly and scoop your abdominal muscles in and up so that your upper body begins to roll off the mat. Simultaneously bring your arms up so they are parallel with your legs.  

NOTE: keep your shoulders back and down.
  • Inhale as you come up to the top, lift your head up slightly and open your chest, extending from the base of your spine and lifting your arms up by your ears (see image) 
  • Exhale and slowly start to roll back down with control, initiating the movement from the lower abdominals.  
Repeat 5-10 times