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EDITOR’S LETTER

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THE TEAM

DEPUTY EDITOR

Allison Jacobs

I’ve always had long,

unruly hair that’s prone

to frizz, so I couldn’t

wait to get cracking with

the tips for glossier locks

on p100

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Emily McMullin

Find out what could

be stopping you from

losing weight in our

Slim down naturally for

summer special on p63

CONTENT WRITER

Lauren Godfrey

Looking for delicious and

healthy meals for the

summer? We’ve got some

mouth watering salads

from Amelia Freer on p83

WELCOME...

...to the June issue of Natural Health.

How often do you take a moment to sit down, listen to your body and

check in with your thoughts and feelings? Like us, you’re probably guilty

of rushing around from place to place, ticking jobs off your list while you go and planning the

next load of chores, but finding time to connect with yourself is something that’s incredibly

important. This is something that a lot of our contributors are talking about this month and

here at NH HQ we’ve been thinking a great deal about how we can nourish our relationship

with our inner self.

Over on page 24 yoga teacher Annie Clarke talks about how her discovery of the

mind-body connection inspired her new book Mind Body Bowl, while on page 27 Janey Lee

Grace explains how writing can be a good form of catharsis. Glynis Barber reveals how

meditating helps her find resolution in times of stress on page 53 too.

And, of course, it’s not just your relationship with yourself that’s important – your

connection to others is also key to happiness and wellbeing, and that’s the message expert Jan

Day is trying to get across over on page 106. Here she talks about conscious relating and why

it’s essential to have open channels of conversation between yourself and your loved ones.

Claire

Claire Munnings,

Editor, Natural Health naturalhealthmagazine.co.uk

NATURAL HEALTH 3


17

83

NATURAL HEALTH

CONTENTS

June 2017

UP FRONT

9 Over to you

Your views plus the chance to win our star prize

10 This month

Inspiration for June

14 Natural news

The latest from the holistic health world

17 Therapy of the month

How laughter therapy could help you

19 NH’s talking about

We shine a spotlight on palm oil

21 Shop yourself healthy

Our monthly round-up of must-have items

23 Healthy reads

Books for your wellness journey

24 “We are all individual and our approach to

wellbeing should be too”

All-round wellness warrior Annie Clarke tells us

why it’s so important to listen to your body

27 Janey Lee Grace

Why writing is the best therapy

28 5 youth-boosting herbs

How precious plants can help to turn back time

31 Patsy Kensit

On why it’s crucial to take breaks

33 Ask the experts

You talk to our wellbeing wonder-team

BODY

38 Body news

Research proven to help boost your body

41 Yoga to balance your chakras

Poses to encourage physical, emotional and

spiritual wellbeing

47 Free your qi

Stuck, stagnant and frustrated? It’s time to bring

vision and movement into your life

49 Go with the flow

Work with your menstrual cycle rather than

against it for health and happiness

53 Anti-age your brain

How meditating can keep our brains young

54 6 ways to a healthier ticker

Find out how to future-proof your heart

57 A pinch of salt

Jo Wood on the wonders of Epsom salt

58 Get back in sync

The anti-ageing benefits of the in sync diet

SPECIAL

63 Slim down naturally for summer

Healthy tips and tricks to help you get into

shape the holistic way

EAT NATURAL

74 The superfood hotlist

Fill your basket with the latest healthy eating

must-haves

4 NATURAL HEALTH


IN THIS ISSUE

63

90

60

24

76 In the kitchen with...

Wellbeing guru Liz Earle, who’s just launched her

new book The Good Gut Guide

78 Waste not, want not

Handy tricks to cut your food waste

81 “It’s wise to take a vitamin D supplement

year-round”

Ian Marber on why we may not be getting

enough, even in the summer

83 Summer staples

Say hello to the warmer weather with these

delicious recipes from Amelia Freer

86 Eat to beat: The menopause

How your diet can help to relieve symptoms

89 Get the glow

Fve foods to achieve a glowing complexion

90 To veggie, or not to veggie?

Why a plant-based diet could be the one for you

BEAUTY

96 10 ways to summer-proof your

beauty routine

Say goodbye to melted make-up and hello to an

airbrush finish

98 Beauty ed’s picks

Gorgeous beauty buys hot off the press

99 The beauty detective

Could a hardcore liver flush help you to get a

holiday-ready body?

100 How to anti-age your hair

Achieve luminous locks with our simple guide

to anti-ageing your hair

103 Jo Fairley’s travel essentials

The Beauty Bible guru reveals her holiday

must-haves

SELF

106 Keeping relationships strong

How having a conscious relationship can help

deepen your emotional connection

109 Lynne Franks

It’s not just the woodworm and damp that

needs sorting out when buying an old house

110 5 essential oils you need in your life

Feeling stressed or sad? There’s an oil for that

LIVING

114 Living news

Our home, fashion and environmental round-up

116 It’s the thought that counts

We’re in love with ethical brand Thought’s

latest collection

122 Good vibrations

Ramp up the good energy in your home

REGULARS

126 Horoscopes

What the stars have in store for you this month

130 Jane Alexander

Our holistic hero on facing our fears

THIS MONTH’S

OFFERS

34

Subscribe today

and receive a free

Almond Trio from

Weleda

60

Win a four-night

spa break in Italy

125

Win a spa break

and a bodycare

bundle

COVER IMAGE: Camera Press/

Picture Press/Optische Werke

NATURAL HEALTH 5


OUR

CONTRIBUTORS

NATURALHEALTHMAGAZINE.CO.UK

EMAIL: LETTERS@NATURALHEALTHMAGAZINE.CO.UK

FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/NATURALHEALTHMAG

TWITTER: @NATURAL_MAG

ACEVILLE PUBLICATIONS, 25 PHOENIX COURT,

HAWKINS ROAD, COLCHESTER, ESSEX CO2 8JY

GLYNIS BARBER

Glynis is an actress, anti-ageing guru

and the co-author of The In-Sync Diet

agelessbyglynisbarber.com

IAN MARBER!

Ian is one of the UK’s top nutritional

therapists and health writers

ianmarber.com

JAYNEY GODDARD!

Jayney is president of the

Complementary Medical Association

the-cma.org.uk

LYNNE FRANKS!

Lynne is a women’s empowerment guru

and runs BLOOM Wellbeing Retreats

bloomretreats.com

EMMA CANNON!

Emma is a fertility, pregnancy and

integrated women’s health expert

emmacannon.co.uk

JANEY LEE GRACE!

Janey is the author of Look Great

Naturally and runs the website

imperfectlynatural.com

JO WOOD!

Jo is an organic living expert and creator

of her own natural beauty range

jowoodorganics.com

HENRIETTA NORTON!

Henrietta is a nutritional therapist, author

and co-founder of Wild Nutrition

wildnutrition.com

Editor Claire Munnings

Deputy Editor Allison Jacobs

Editorial Assistant Emily McMullin

Content Writer Lauren Godfrey

Group Editor Naomi Abeykoon

Advertising Manager Belinda Buckle

Deputy Advertising Manager

Natalie Cleal 01206 506261

natalie.cleal@aceville.co.uk

Business Development Executives

Lauren Gale 01206 506266

lauren.gale@aceville.co.uk

Cindy Munro 01206 506226

cindy.munro@aceville.co.uk

Art Director James Philp

Designers

Debbie Pratt and

James Tuthill

Design/Reprographics/Typesetting

Ace Pre-Press, 19 Phoenix Court,

Hawkins Road, Colchester CO2 8JY

Accounts

Debbie Starrs 01206 505995

Promotions Manager Andrea Turner

andrea.turner@aceville.co.uk

Subscriptions

0844 815 0036/+44(0)1795 414 669

naturalhealth@servicehelpline.co.uk

Publishing Director Helen Tudor

Publisher Matthew Tudor

NEXT ISSUE ON SALE 8TH JUNE 2017

DISCLAIMER The views within this magazine are not necessarily those of

the publisher. Articles and advertisements are for information only. They

are not intended to replace medical care. Check with your GP before

trying any of the remedies in this magazine. Always seek medical advice

if you are pregnant or taking medication before following any of the

advice given in articles or advertisements in this magazine.

© ACEVILLE PUBLICATIONS LIMITED.

Company no. 04109672. Printed in England

NATURAL HEALTH 7


June

OVER TO YOU...

LETTERS

JUNE’S STAR LETTER

I wanted to let you know how beneficial

Natural Health has been to me. The last

few years have been tough due to family

bereavements and personal health issues, but

instead of giving in to the stress and anxiety I

decided I would look into natural remedies.

I now practise meditation, have acupuncture

and use as many natural products as possible.

Your magazine serves as an invaluable guide

and source of encouragement, and also gives

me a chance to have some me time and enjoy

a cup of tea with my feet up while I read it.

Anne, via email

SELF-CARE

It’s amazing how many times Natural

Health has the right article at the right

time for me, and Janey Lee Grace’s

piece These things I know (May issue,

p25) was exactly that. After a holiday

in South Africa I was dehydrated but

on a daily basis I failed to pour myself

a glass of water and instead did things

for others, especially my children. The

result was tonsillitis and a cold – I’m

now back to my normal water intake

and health but what a lesson to learn!

Ann, via email

SPREAD THE WORD

I have been a subscriber to Natural

Health for several years and during

a recent trip to Spain I gave some

back issues to a friend there who is a

therapist. She was blown away by the

magazine and the wealth of knowledge

it offers on natural products,

holistic treatments and cutting edge

information. I’ve now been asked to

buy copies for her and her friends

when I next visit and some have

already subscribed!

Billee, via email

THIS MONTH’S STAR

LETTER WINS...

AA Skincare’s aromatic natural haircare range worth

more than £55! Made up of five plant-inspired

shampoos and conditioners, the range features holistic,

ayurvedic herb powders to boost hair health. From

the Cedarwood and Peppermint Deep Cleansing

Shampoo and Conditioner to the Amla and Clary

Sage Rejuvenating Shampoo and Conditioner, the

nutrient-rich products combine essential oils and

natural extracts with healing herb powders to nourish

and strengthen tresses. (aaskincare.co.uk)

GOOD GUT

What a fantastic article by Henrietta

Norton in May’s issue (Eat to beat

depression, p76). I have taken my gut

health for granted over the years and

it is a much overlooked subject when

it comes to overall wellbeing. Living

in a modern world that bombards us

with so much, we really need to look

after our guts to maintain our bodies’

optimal immune function. Thank

you so much for this in depth article.

Caroline, via email

SEND US YOUR LETTERS: Write to us at letters@naturalhealthmagazine.co.uk, tweet us @natural_mag

or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/naturalhealthmag for your chance to win our star letter prize!

NATURAL HEALTH 9


This

MONTH

JUNE IS THE MONTH TO...

KEEP COOL

The weather's finally warming up, but if you're finding yourself

having more hot flushes than usual, it could be time to see your GP.

Traditionally a symptom of the menopause, they affect three in four

women going through the change. But researchers have found that

frequent hot flushes in women aged between 40 and 53 may be a

sign of blood vessel damage, which can lead to heart disease. It's

thought the flushes impair the blood vessels' ability to dilate. There

was no link in those aged 54 to 60 — suggesting only having flushes

in the younger age bracket is a problem.

10 NATURAL HEALTH


MAKE TIME FOR

MAGNESIUM

INSPIRATION

Foods like leafy greens, nuts and pulses

are bursting with this miracle mineral,

and should form a big part of your diet. But

scientists have recently made a breakthrough

in bone health, and are now suggesting middle

aged people could prevent brittle bones in later

life by taking magnesium supplements. Or

you can try it trans-dermally with BetterYou's

Magnesium Oil Spray, £12.20, betteryou.com

NATURAL HEALTH 11


TAKE A NAP

Who doesn't love a quick nap?

Previous research has shown that

taking some quick shut-eye for 30

minutes or less can boost productivity

and focus, but now scientists say

short naps can make you happier too.

The benefits of a short daytime

sleep are highly regarded among

some of the planet's most successful

companies, such as Google, which

has installed dedicated nap spaces in

its offices. Who are we to argue?

12 NATURAL HEALTH


INSPIRATION

LOVE YOUR GUT

Educate yourself on what foods and lifestyle

makes for a healthy gut – your face will thank you

for it. Recent research has found that feeding mice

on high fat, processed sugar-filled diets resulted in

an impaired digestive system with an overgrowth of

bad bacteria, which in turn caused their intestines

to become leaky. The result of this was an impaired

immune system and accelerated ageing. Live,

fermented foods help boost you gut's good bacteria

– quick, pass the miso!

NATURAL HEALTH 13


The latest in

NATURAL

HEALTH

Homeopathy ABC

Mani Norland, principal at the School of

Homeopathy (homeopathyschool.com),

tells us:

Ais for Anxiety

Homeopathy can help with

many forms of anxiety. If you’re highly

self-conscious; often obsessed with

tidiness and order; insecure; restless and

fidgety, try arsenicum. For acute fear

and panic – fear of death, for example,

or anxiety before flying – opt for

aconite. To ease anxiety about

performance before an event or exam,

irrational worries or fear of loss of

memory, go for argent nit.

WELLNESS WARRIOR

Meet Shann Nix Jones, author of The Good Skin Solution (Hay House, £10.99)

NH: What brought you to a more holistic lifestyle?

SNJ: I began to look into natural remedies when my husband caught a lifethreatening

superbug infection – all his good bacteria had been wiped out by

antibiotics, leaving his body open for the bad bugs to take over. Our goat’s milk

kefir re-populated the good bugs and brought the pathogens under control.

NH: What happened next?

SNJ: I learned to put kefir into soaps and lotions, which we make with our

own goat’s milk on our family farm in Wales. We launched our little business,

Chuckling Goat, and three years later we have 70 goats, 14 employees, two

best-selling books and 30,000 customers in 28 countries!

NH: What is so beneficial about goat’s milk?

SNJ: Kefir is the only probiotic that shows statistically significant results for

healing the gut. Goat’s milk kefir, made in the traditional style with real grains

and left unflavoured, is the most beneficial and powerful probiotic available.

NH: Where does skincare come in?

SNJ: Essentially, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne are not skin conditions

at all – they are autoimmune disorders that sit inside the gut so you must heal

the gut in order to heal the skin.

14 NATURAL HEALTH


NEWS

SUPP SPOT

Flying long haul? Bring a little natural

medicine into the equation, says Fay

Higginbotham at Solgar (solgar.co.uk)

Sitting still for long periods at altitude can

make you more vulnerable to thrombosis,

otherwise known as a blood clot, especially

if you like to snooze the time away. Drinking

regularly and strolling up and down the aisle

are enough for most people to keep the

circulation flowing, but if you want to take

precautions without turning to medication you

could consider pycnogenol (a product derived

from pine bark). Research shows that it has a

blood thinning effect comparable to aspirin,

but, unlike the painkiller, it also supports

venous tone, enabling dilated veins to return

to normal more quickly. This means that you ‘ll

actually be able get your shoes back on after

a flight! Don’t shove it to the bottom of your

bag once you arrive at your destination though

– studies suggest that pycnogenol can also

reduce sunburn damage (and wrinkles).

“They say that laughter is the best medicine,

and it turns out that there may actually

be some truth to this” - p17

WHAT’S THE BUZZ ABOUT?

SUPERCHARGING

Did you know that the groceries in your

shopping basket can be ‘supercharged’

to give them superfood status? That’s

the claim of James Wong, the botanist

behind new book How to Eat Better

(£20, Octopus Books). “Improving the

nutritional benefits of crops really isn’t

that complicated,” says James, who

believes hard science should play a

bigger role in our food choices. “It’s just

about how you choose to select, store

and cook them. Little changes can have

surprising impacts.” Were you aware, for

example, that simmering tomatoes

doubles their lycopene content? Or that

chopping salad leaves the night before

using them boosts polyphenols by 50

percent and cooked green bananas are

one of the healthiest sources of

carbohydrates? Well, you do now!

Marmite

Already one of Britain’s most popular

spreads, Marmite is now improving

your brain too! Researchers have

discovered that a teaspoon a day

increases levels of a neurotransmitter

known to regulate brain activity.

Say thanks

Giving voice to our gratitude is

good for our emotional wellbeing,

according to new research which

suggests that saying thank you

contributes to the long-term

success of relationships.

Home birth

A recent study of women giving

birth amid perceived increased

risks – being over 35, overweight

or having undergone a C-section

– found that home births are more

likely to have a positive outcome.

The

BAROMETER

Muffin tops

Forget beach body diets – a more

compelling case for losing a few pounds

might be the increased cancer risk

associated with carrying excess weight.

However, just one in 10 of us are

motivated to lose weight to up our odds,

says new research.

Anxiety

Researchers from the University of

Toronto have found a correlation

between anxiety and migraines.

Yellow fingers

A new study has revealed that children’s

hands can carry significant traces of

nicotine just by touching contaminated

items and surfaces.

NATURAL HEALTH 15


IN FOCUS

THERAPY OF THE MONTH

Laughter

therapy

There’s a wonderful world of alternative therapies out there just waiting

to be discovered. This month, we shine a light on laughter therapy

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and

it turns out that there may actually be some truth to

this. We can all pay testament to the fact that laughing

makes us feel good – when we are sad, angry or under

the weather, being made to laugh can quickly improve

our mood and make our fears and frustrations seem less

significant. The positive effect that laughter has on our

minds is really quite powerful, and it has actually been

described as internal jogging as it may offer the same

psychological benefits as a physical workout. It stimulates

hormones called catecholamines which in turn release

endorphins, making us feel happier and more relaxed, so

it’s an effective tool for relieving stress and anxiety and

boosting energy.

Part of laughter therapy involves finding out what

makes you giggle as well as developing the ability to see

the funny side of situations which initially may not seem

particularly amusing. This can help people to loosen up

and deal with difficult scenarios more effectively. In fact,

researchers at Texas A&M University found that humour

leads to increased hopefulness and can help to fight

negative thoughts.

The benefits of laughing aren’t confined to the

mind, however. It’s thought to work as a painkiller and

make people more able to withstand discomfort – a

study conducted at UCLA found that watching funny

programmes increased children’s tolerance for pain.

Research has also shown that the level of natural killer

cells (a type of immune cell that attacks virus and tumour

cells) is increased through laughter, and it has been

calculated that 20 seconds of chuckling could be as good

for the lungs as three minutes on a rowing machine. Who

knew! To find out more visit laughtertherapy.org.uk

or laughternetwork.co.uk

ON TRIAL

Everything you need

to know about your

first session

The aim of laughter

therapy is to help

you laugh more

easily. It is suitable for

everyone although

most therapists work

within the healthcare

profession or in the

workplace, where

laughing is used to

relieve stress and

tensions. The therapy

is available in group

or individual sessions,

which usually start

with a warm up – this

may include stretching

or movement of some

kind – followed by a

variety of activities

and exercises

designed to get you

giggling. You may

experiment with

different types of

laughter and will often

find that faking and

forcing it turns into

the real thing.

NATURAL HEALTH 17


TREND

Palm oil

is popular

because it’s

cheap but it

can come at a

big cost to the

environment

Palm oil is the world’s most widely

used vegetable oil and is added to

a variety of goods, from spreads and

noodles to soaps and detergents. But,

despite its popularity, the oil has been

linked to environmental, animal and human rights issues.

Unsustainably sourced palm oil has become one of the

world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction and plays a

key role in human-induced climate change. In 2009, nearly 30

percent of Indonesia’s reported carbon emissions were caused

by deforestation, and according to the Say No To Palm Oil

campaign, every hour an area the size of 300 football pitches is

cleared in Idonesia and Malaysia to make way for plantations.

Unsustainable production of the vegetable oil is also driving

animals to extinction, in particular orangutans. Scientists

predict that they could become extinct within our lifetime if we

continue to destroy their homes for palm oil plantations and

the Orangutan Conservancy estimates that they have lost more

than 80 percent of their natural habitats over the last 20 years.

NH’s talking about:

PALM OIL

Is this vegetable oil

a friend or foe?

The industry is thought to be riddled with

human rights abuses too. Thousands of the

workers are child labourers, and according

to a report published in Business Week, a

lot of people are pulled into the industry

through debt slavery or by human traffickers.

Concerns have also been raised about the effects of palm oil

consumption on our health. It is often oxidised, i.e. processed, and

in this form it can pose dangers, including reproductive and organ

toxicity, especially to the lungs and kidneys. A lot of companies

began using palm oil as a ‘healthy’ alternative to trans fat, but it is

still high in saturated fats so should be consumed in moderation.

So, it seems that this oil’s bad reputation is warranted when

it comes to the unsustainable kind, but we shouldn’t avoid it at

all costs. Environmental experts have warned that palm oil is an

incredibly high-yielding vegetable oil which means that anything

replacing it will have to use more land, so the key is to pressure

companies to source it responsibly. As consumers, we arguably

have the most power when it comes to holding them to account.

NATURAL HEALTH 19


MUST-

BUYS

LUST-HAVES

2

5

3

6

4

1

SHOP YOURSELF

HEALTHY

Everything you need in your life on one page

8

7

1 IT’S A WRAP Who says you can’t look elegant and

stylish when lounging around? Made from organic cotton,

this beautiful kimono dressing gown is ethically produced

and perfect for wearing when enjoying breakfast outside.

Geisha Long Kimono Dressing Gown, £109, verykerry.com

2 JET SETTER Travel in stress-free style with this

lust-worthy passport holder and luggage label made

from recycled leather. Undercover Recycled Leather

Palm Passport Cover and Luggage Label, £27.25,

notonthehighstreet.com

3 KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON This gorgeous oil is

designed to alleviate tension, promote muscular relaxation

and reduce the physical signs of stress. Apply a few drops

to your pulse points, temples, behind the ears or between

the toes, inhale deeply and feel yourself become zen. Uma

Pure Calm Wellness Oil, £60, cultbeauty.co.uk

4 TO THE RESCUE This compact and stylish device is

quite literally a lifesaver. It may look like a simple flashlight,

but packed inside is a handy first aid kit, including antiseptic

wipes, bandages and medical tape. A camping trip essential!

VSSL First Aid Flashlight, £69.99, thefowndry.com

5 A PINCH OF SALT Enriched with hand-picked flowers

and herbs from the Björk & Berries gardens in northern

Sweden, these luxurious, all-natural bath salts will relax,

detoxify and soothe you. Bjork & Berries From the Garden

Bath Salts, £27, cultbeauty.co.uk

6 FUNKY FRESH We love the cocktail shaker look of this

flask. It’s ideal for staying cool and hydrated in the summer

as it keeps drinks cold for an impressive 25 hours, plus there

are three sizes to choose from. Corkcicle Canteen in Peach

Echo, £20 – £30, root7.com

7 FEEL THE BURN This organic vegetable wax candle,

which comes in recycled glass, is subtly scented with a

herby blend of pure essential oils. It’s suitable for use indoors

and outdoors and is great for keeping bugs away in the

summer months. Rather Lovely Love Herbs Organic Candle,

£12.50, ratherlovely.co.uk

8 EYE SPY We’re big fans of these stylish unisex

sunglasses and the fact that they’re recycled is the icing on

the cake. Offering 100 percent UVA and UVB protection,

they’re a summer must-have. Carla Colour Lind Recycled

Sunglasses in Cream, £152, ethicalcollection.com

NATURAL HEALTH 21


BOOKS

HEALTHY

READS

We cherry-pick four books

worth buying this month...

THE BIKINI BODY

28-DAY HEALTHY

EATING AND

LIFESTYLE GUIDE

Kayla Itsines, £18.99,

amazon.co.uk

Fitness fanatic and Instagram

sensation Kayla Itsines’ first

book is a pre-holiday musthave.

Featuring 200 tasty and

nutritious recipes, weekly menus

and a four-week exercise plan

which includes her signature

28-minute workouts, it will get

you fit and toned in no time!

EAT WITH INTENTION

Cassandra Bodzak, £14.99,

amazon.co.uk

If you have a difficult relationship

with food and are stuck in a

cycle of destructive eating, Eat

with Intention is the book for you.

Each recipe is accompanied by

a meditation and self-care tips

are also included to show readers

how to treat their body with

love and fuel it with delicious,

nutrient-rich food. A truly unique

cookbook with great recipes and a

wonderful concept.

DELICIOUSLY ELLA

WITH FRIENDS

Ella Mills, £25, amazon.co.uk

Bestselling food writer Ella

Mills is back with her muchanticipated

third cookbook.

Whether you’re planning a laidback

brunch, fancy dinner or

last-minute lunch, Deliciously Ella

with Friends has got everything

you need to satisfy your loved

ones with healthy yet hearty

dishes. We can’t wait to whip up

the mouth-watering blueberry

pancake stack.

CLEAN BEAUTY

Dominika Minarovic and Elsie

Rutterford, £18, amazon.co.uk

Join the natural beauty revolution

and make your own skincare and

beauty products with this gorgeous

guide from the Clean Beauty Co.

Packed with original recipes using

only the best natural ingredients,

you’ll find everything from

frappucino body bars and a coffee

scrub to a fragrant face bronzer and

banana split hair mask. Time to get

the girls round for a much-needed

pamper session!

NATURAL HEALTH 23


ANNIE CLARKE

We are all INDIVIDUAL

and our approach to

WELLBEING should be too

London-based yoga teacher and all-round wellness warrior Annie Clarke

on why it’s so important to listen to your body

Inspired by her own

experience of poor

health and depleted

energy, Annie Clarke

is on a mission to

help others take

responsibility for their

wellbeing. She set up

her blog, Mind Body

Bowl (mindbodybowl.

co.uk), two years ago

to encourage people

to think, move and

eat their way to better

health and has just

released a book of the

same name. Based

on her three pillars

of wellness, the guide

shows how you can

welcome strength and

happiness into your life

by focusing on a

healthy mind, a fit

body and a good diet

and is packed full of

nourishing recipes,

meditation exercises

and mindful tips.

I was always fairly conscious of keeping myself healthy

and fit, but I definitely didn’t always do the best job.

By the time I left university, I was struggling a lot

with feeling exhausted and having persistent stomach

problems and decided something had to change. I knew

I was intolerant to certain food and so I decided to focus

on sorting these problems out first. I was so surprised

at how quickly my gut healed and my energy came

back after several years of feeling totally miserable. I

think that is what really sparked my interest – I became

fascinated by the small lifestyle tweaks that can make a

big impact on how we feel. I started to piece together

the connection between my mind and body and

notice a little more each day about how it all works.

What became most obvious was that we are all hugely

individual and so our approach to our own health and

wellbeing should be too. I started working with that idea

and haven’t looked back since!

I don’t have a typical day as everyday is totally different...

and that is one of the best things about my job! That

said, most weeks I will teach about 10 to 14 hours of

yoga and perhaps run a workshop. I’ll also be recipe

testing and creating YouTube videos and blog posts, so

my week can get busy very quickly! I try to make sure

I take time for myself as that benefits everything – my

work, my relationships and my all-round wellbeing!

Eating well doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. I love

simple, delicious, healthy food and that is what I wanted

to share in my new book, Mind Body Bowl. I wanted to

remind people that it doesn’t have to be inconvenient

to eat well and you don’t have to go out of your way to

find ingredients you’ve never heard of. But, even more

important than that for me is the message that food is

just one part of wellbeing, and this is what my book is

really about. Everything is interlinked – so, rather than

focusing solely on what we eat or how we exercise, there

needs to be a relationship between many aspects and that

sense of balance is totally unique to each person. The

book is based on that message – it’s a non-prescriptive

approach to empower you to find your own balance.

Yoga started as exercise for me. I wanted to stretch,

strengthen and sweat so it seemed like a good place to

look. Now my attitude has totally shifted. I don’t view it

as exercise at all – for me it is all about enjoying space

and time to connect to myself. It is the perfect way for

me to bring my mind and body together. I practise

lots of different styles of yoga and I love everything

from dharma and rocket which are more physically

challenging, to vinyasa flow, yin yoga and restorative

which are much more still.

If you want to start focusing on your wellbeing, I’d say do

what you can to listen to your body and don’t worry

about what everyone else is doing. We are all so totally

unique – so, yes, take inspiration from the world and

people around you, but don’t become attached to their

opinions and experiences because they won’t necessarily

be the same for you.

I’m working on lots of exciting plans for the next year.

A lot of my efforts are going towards organising some

really cool events and retreats to help people work with

their own sense of wellbeing.

Annie’s new book, Mind Body Bowl: Think, move and eat

your way to a more balanced life (£16.99, Thorsons,

Harper Collins), is available now.

24 NATURAL HEALTH


INTERVIEW

NATURAL HEALTH 25


JANEY LEE GRACE

Writing is the best therapy

WISDOM

These things

I know...

As we line up our sizzling summer reads for the

beach, I’d suggest that along with the Kindle or the

paperbacks, you pack a notebook. I’m increasingly

aware of the benefits of writing, not necessarily

because you want to be published, but because it

can be an incredibly cathartic experience and is

well documented to be good for your health. I was

recently lucky enough to speak at an event with Julia

Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way – which has

sold more than four million copies and to this day

remains a classic for anyone who wants to expand

their creativity. She believes it’s imperative to write

‘morning pages’ – at least three sides of longhand

writing every morning, yep, handwriting – remember

that? No laptops, tablets or phones, just an oldfashioned

pen and paper! There’s something unique

about letting the words flow on to a page. Unsure

what to say? Just write anyway. It can be about

nothing, or everything, but the act of writing it down

is very cathartic and brings peace. It’s rather like

a creative form of meditation – in fact Julia says

spirituality and creativity are intrinsically linked.

Janey is the author of Look Great

Naturally and runs the website

imperfectlynatural.com

My favourite saying is


‘You don’t have to get it right, you

“just have to get it going’

They do say there’s a book in us all, too. My

favourite saying is ‘You don’t have to get it right,

you just have to get it going’. Mindy Gibbons Klien,

founder of The Book Midwife, says: “I strongly believe

that expressing yourself articulately, and sharing

your biggest, boldest ideas articulately, are critical for

strong self-esteem and mental health.” Mindy runs

an organisation that literally helps people to ‘birth’

their book, starting with the idea (the conception) and

through to delivery. Visit bookmidwife.com for

more information. So pack writing material in the

hand luggage, and if you are the kind of person who

loses pens all the time, (I swear there’s a pen monster

in my house), I’ve just seen that a company in the

US is launching the world’s first trackable pen –

perfect! Now you can combine your love of tech and

stationery (or is that just me?).

NATURAL HEALTH 27


5

youth-boosting

HERBS

Jayney Goddard looks at

how these precious plants

can help to turn back time

Much more than just a flavour hit for your

fantastic soup, salad or pasta, herbs have

been used since the beginning of time

for the enhancement and maintenance of

beauty. Medicinal plants that are used nowadays in natural

skincare and beauty products can provide great anti-ageing

benefits – and even the vast beauty conglomerates now

spend huge amounts of research and development money

on ascertaining exactly what benefits the youth-giving

properties of traditional herbs and spices confer. Given the

exponential growth in the anti-ageing skincare industry,

paired with an increase in interest in taking more natural

approaches to skincare – and health in general, I wanted

to examine which beauty herbs offer the best anti-ageing

properties – and to find out if we can harness some of these

benefits easily at home.

But first, what exactly do we mean by anti-ageing?

Full disclosure: I’m not really a huge fan of that term.

It feels a little negative to me – but I tend to use it as a

form of shorthand that most of us understand to mean

holding back the signs of ageing on our skin – reducing the

appearance of wrinkles, or even preventing them, firming

up skin and dealing with age spots and uneven tone.

Overall, an effective anti-ageing approach will help us

to look younger – and it is crucial to realise that this can

only be achieved with a truly holistic approach. It would be

marvellous if we could nip to the shops and buy a cream

that we could simply apply once that would make us look

more youthful – but we all know, deep down, that despite

the marketer’s promises that this elixir of life simply

does not exist. Ageing is a holistic phenomenon – and that

while we can really help improve the appearance of our

skin – with diligent application of products – we need to

ensure that our lifestyle choices support our overall aim of

rewinding our body clock and reducing our biological age.

Why is a natural approach good? We can’t help seeing

the thousands of anti-ageing skincare products on the

market, but most of them contain all sorts of ingredients

28 NATURAL HEALTH


TOP STORY

that – unless you have an advanced degree in chemistry –

you don’t have a hope of identifying. Furthermore, many

of these vast companies employ animal testing – not in

Europe now of course – but through the back door by

outsourcing their research and development to countries

where the laws still permit this abhorrent and totally

unacceptable practise.

So what do we need to look for when using

plants as effective anti-ageing treatments?

Youthful beauty develops from the

inside, so first and foremost, we

want to look towards plants that

are high in antioxidants, and

many of these will also

possess anti-inflammatory

and even regenerating

properties. These herbs

will contribute towards

combatting many of

the underlying factors

that cause us to age

prematurely. Of

course, diet and

lifestyle play a

huge role in ageing

well – and maintaining

a youthful appearance –

but as this piece is dealing

specifically with anti-ageing

herbs – we will stick to

discussing those.

We also want to select herbs

that will actually help us to look better

on the outside too.

So, what are the best anti-ageing

herbs for youthful beauty? My

top five are on the right – I

have selected them because

they are easy to use, safe

and are genuinely

effective.

We want to look

towards plants

that are high in

antioxidants and

anti-inflammatory

properties

GREEN TEA (Camellia sinensis)

Aside from being a delicious drink, 1hot or cold, it is a powerful

antioxidant and provides numerous benefits as part of an anti-ageing

skincare programme. I personally use ceremonial grade matcha

tea – which provides around 137 times the anti-oxidant content of

conventional green tea. (Culinary green tea is not as high quality and

is best reserved for cooking – not drinking.) The EGCG compounds

in green tea are protective for the skin, they provide UV protection

and improve the appearance and hydration of skin.

CHAMOMILE (MATRICARIA CHAMOMILLA)

This little power-packed wonder 2herb can be used in an antiageing

beauty regime in two ways – as a tea – and as an essential

oil. It has clinically established anti-inflammatory and repairing

properties. Applied to the skin in a carrier oil, it is antibacterial, antifungal,

anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It is also considered to be

hypoallergenic and is able to protect our skin against irritants. As

an essential oil, there are two different types of chamomile; German

is more potent than Roman chamomile as it has a slightly higher

content of azulene, the organic compound which promotes renewal

of skin cells.

ROSE AND ROSEHIP 3(ROSA CANINA)

Rose petal extract and rosehip extract have long been used for

their anti-ageing properties. Rose essential oil is helpful when

moisturisation and regeneration is needed. I always use rose oil in

a carrier oil – such as grapeseed – as this too has a profound antiageing

effect. Rosehips have been shown to improve skin hydration

and are frequently used in anti-ageing and antioxidant products.

4

5

LAVENDER (LAVENDULA OFFICINALIS)

Lavender – used in its essential oil form - is anti-inflammatory,

antiseptic, antibacterial and is used to treat burns and wounds. It

stimulates cellular growth and regeneration and tones the skin.

Lavender also contains antioxidant properties – so this little flower

packs a huge anti-ageing punch.

HORSETAIL (EQUISETUM ARVENSE)

This herb has been used across the millennia – predominantly as

a tea – and the ancient herbalists described it as soothing, healing

and softening. Horsetail is very high in the mineral silica which is

essential in strengthening connective tissue and helping to grow

healthy hair and nails. It has been traditionally used to tone and

regenerate the skin.

Do try to harness the power of these valuable herbs in your beauty

and skincare regime, they are generally extremely safe and are very

effective. However, we aren’t all the same, so if you want to try some

of the topical treatments mentioned above and you haven’t used them

before, always remember to patch-test and check the result 24 hours

later to see if you react in any way. If you intend to drink any of the

teas I have mentioned, again, check for allergies first.

Jayney is one of the leading experts in complementary

medicine, helping clients worldwide achieve good

health and abundant energy. Visit jayneygoddard.org

NATURAL HEALTH 29


TREND

In today’s busy society,

many of us live to work and

unfortunately that’s the way

the world is – our office is

in our pocket. People can

now answer emails from

anywhere and everywhere

and therefore we’re working

more and more outside of

normal business hours.

However, I’m a big

believer in the fact that we

need to dedicate time to

ourselves and ensure we

have some space away from our computers and phones.

Regular readers of my column will know that I meditate

every day as soon as I wake up at 5am – I find this is a

wonderful way to set yourself up for the hours ahead and

give yourself some peace.

The thought of going and sitting in the park – even on

a Saturday – may seem alien, but getting some time outside

and to yourself is so important. I remember one of the best

afternoons of my life was spent in St Regent’s Park in London

with my friends. There were people playing cricket, and

people laughing and talking, and I just laid down on the grass

and relaxed. In fact, I relaxed so much I fell asleep! I didn’t

have my phone with me and I felt completely restful and calm.

You don’t necessarily need a lot of time or money to

escape like this – you just need to be able to relish the time

away from your daily stresses and make the effort to connect

with your mind and body. Whenever possible I walk to

work, and strolling through the park near my house allows

me to pay attention to something other than my work

commitments. Taking this time to look around me and really

take in the beautiful green space of the park feels like it’s a

break, and I really enjoy this ‘me time’ where I can switch

my brain off.

PATSY KENSIT

What I’ve Learned:

GETTING AWAY

FROM IT ALL

The same can

be said for holidays.

Everyone loves the

thought of a two-week

getaway to somewhere

exotic but sometimes

this just isn’t possible.

Whether it’s because

of a lack of time or

money, a longer break

can sometimes feel

as though it brings

unwanted stress

along with it – the

very opposite of what you’re trying to achieve! Plus, I’ve

found that the price of these vacations seems to have risen

astronomically lately.

And so I’ve begun to think that the way forward is to focus

instead on taking just three or four days away. I say this because

a friend of mind recently went to Marrakesh for four days, and

she returned looking and sounding as though she’d been away

for 14 days! It completely rejuvenated her and gave her a real

sense of renewed energy that was apparent to everyone.

You don’t necessarily have to go somewhere you can lie

by a pool for your short getaway – you could go and climb a

mountain, sit in a bakery in a little village in Scotland or go to

Morocco and spend your time shopping in the souk markets.

Three days at a spa or on a weekend detox is a brilliant way to

give yourself a mental and physical break too.

The fact we work to total exhaustion scares me and taking

these breaks is vital for our health and wellbeing. I’ve got plans

to go to York in a couple of weeks to see my friends, and I’m

also hoping to go to Marrakesh and on a three-day active skiing

trip (to have my time on the piste, as it were!).

Be smart and look for cheap deals, and make sure you

can really enjoy this downtime. After all, you deserve it!

Happy holidays!

Patsy Kensit on why it’s important to

have a break every now and then

Patsy’s beauty range,

Preciously Perfect, is

available from Ideal

World (idealworld.tv/

search/Preciouslyperfect-by-patsykensit)

or on Sky 654,

Freeview 22, Virgin 747

or Freesat 812.

NATURAL HEALTH 31


Q&A

ASK

THE EXPERTS

Don’t suffer in silence –

our wellbeing wonder-team of

experts is on hand to answer

your health questions

I suffer from anxiety. Are there any

foods I can eat that might help?

Louise Blanchfield, a nutritional therapist

(nutritionist-resource.org.uk), says:

Anxiety can be relieved by boosting the levels of

the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-amino

butyric acid (GABA) which has a relaxing effect

on the brain. Foods that can be made into GABA

include beans, almonds, mackerel, lentils and oats.

Magnesium is a mineral that can ease anxiety and

green leafy vegetables as well as nuts and seeds are

a good source. Theanine, found in green tea, also

helps to promote relaxation – two to three cups a

day will get you the maximum benefits.

Balancing your blood sugar is important too

and the following tips can help you to do so:

• Stick to a regular eating pattern and don’t

skip meals

• Include protein with every meal

• Eat low sugar fruits on their own and high sugar

ones with a handful of nuts

• Avoid fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, sweets,

chocolate and fruit juice

• Eat whole foods such as brown rice, wholemeal

bread, vegetables, meat, nuts, seeds and fish

I’m thinking of going vegan. Will it help me to

lose weight and improve my health?

Dr Sally Norton, an NHS weight loss

consultant (sallynorton.co.uk), says:

Veganism can be a really healthy way of eating

if undertaken properly. In fact, studies show that

vegetarian (including vegan) populations tend to

be less overweight and are less likely to suffer from

diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and more, and

therefore live longer.

However, going vegan as a quick weight loss

method isn’t recommended as it takes care to

ensure a fully balanced diet and avoid missing out

on essentials like calcium, iron and vitamin B12.

Also, some useful nutrients are easier to obtain from

animal products than plant-based sources so you may

need to consume larger quantities of the latter to get

the same benefits.

It’s important to be aware that a lot of foods

that seem vegan may actually contain small amounts

of gelatine, dairy or other animal products so read

labels carefully. Be wary of food manufacturers that

are jumping on the bandwagon and cashing in on

people prepared to pay more for vegan foods that are

processed and may not actually be healthier at all.

For any diet to produce long-term weight loss

or better health, it has to be sustainable, so there’s

little point in adopting veganism unless you’re really

motivated and committed. Be sure to do it carefully,

stay active and don’t throw things like portion control

out of the window.

What is the gut microbiota

and how can it affect my

mood and wellbeing?

Vera Martins, a herbalist

at the College of

Naturopathic Medicine

(naturopathy-uk.com), says:

The gut microbiota is the

community of microorganisms

living in our gut. We now know

that stress not only affects the

microbiota, but that the microbiota

impacts our stress response in a

two-way communication – the

so-called gut-brain-axis. Gut

bacteria can send chemical

messages to the brain through the

secretion of neurotransmitters,

affecting conditions such as

anxiety and depression. More

than 50 percent of irritable bowel

syndrome sufferers, who typically

have a disturbed microbiota,

present mood disorders.

You can keep your gut

microbiota balanced by supporting

the growth of friendly bacteria.

Opt for organic produce and

include fibre from vegetables in

your diet, as well as fermented

foods (e.g. sauerkraut and kefir)

and prebiotic options (e.g. onions,

garlic and leeks). Consume herbs

such as cinnamon, oregano and

pau d’arco, and avoid caffeine,

sugar, alcohol and smoking.

NATURAL HEALTH 33


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Body

Easy ways to look and feel amazing inside and out

Lifestyle

brand Boom Cycle,

known for its fast-paced,

music-focused spinning classes, is

set to open its flagship studio at Battersea

Power Station in the new Circus West Village

in London. Guests will be able to take part

in a range of sessions lasting between 25 and

45 minutes and there will be a juice bar and

communal spaces for socialising and relaxation.

Still in development, Battersea Power Station

is going to have a real focus on fitness,

with gyms, pools, parks and riverside

running routes. To find out more visit

batterseapowerstation.co.uk

NATURAL HEALTH 37


The latest in

PHYSICAL

HEALTH

MOVE MORE

We might be a nation of Fitbits, designer water bottles

and high-performing ‘athleisure’ wear but our actions

don’t match our intentions. That’s the finding of a

new survey by Opinion Matters that suggests the

average Brit gets just 48 minutes of exercise per week

– less than a third of the recommended minimum.

More than 60 percent of respondents were aware

that Live Well, the healthy living scheme from NHS

Choices, recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate

aerobic exercise – think cycling, or walking fast – or

75 minutes of vigorous exercise – running or playing

tennis for example, plus strength exercises on two or

more days a week. The research also found men were

likely to clock up more activity than women. “While

the general population needs to increase their levels of

physical activity, it’s important to emphasise that any

level of physical activity is better for your health than

none at all,” says Elbha Purcell, dietician for research

commissioners Aramark. “It’s important to increase

exercise commitments gradually.”

38 NATURAL HEALTH

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? Brittle nails

Whether caused by simple wear and tear, an ongoing vitamin

deficiency or even the effects of chemotherapy, brittle nails can be

painful and create a potential sight for infection.

1 A change in the condition of your nails may be due to hormonal

fluctuations. Step up your meal planning to make sure you’re getting

nutrients that support normal nail growth. Biotin-rich eggs, nuts and

seeds, and fresh veg all contribute, as does plenty of protein and drinking

plenty of water.

2 Besides the more obvious enemies of healthy nails – chemotherapy,

for example – there are less apparent dangers. Research suggests

psychological stress can also take its toll, not least because of the

physical tics – nibbling, rubbing and tugging at nails – that result. Calm

stress-ravaged hands with soothing almond oil massage and keep nails

short to minimise damage.

3 It can be tempting to hide problem nails behind shiny gels or acrylic

fake nails but harsh and dehydrating solvents used to remove them will

exacerbate the problem. Occasional use of gentler varnishes are your

best option; Orly Breathable Colour (orlybeauty.co.uk) is made with

argan oil, pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin C (and without a long list of toxic

nasties) to minimise damage and help support healthy nail growth.


BODY

Something in the air

Air pollution is rarely out of the news

these days, with the scale of our

problem in large cities becoming

alarmingly apparent. New research by

the University of Washington proves

that the impact of poor air quality goes

well beyond respiratory conditions. A

large observational study suggests a link

between air pollution and cholesterol,

with women more likely than men to

suffer heart attacks and strokes thanks to

damage done to helpful HDL-cholesterol.

“It is still too early to say how these

findings might fit in to the wider picture,

but the underlying message is the same:

air pollution poses a serious risk to heart

health,” says Sir Nilesh Samani, medical

director of the British Heart Foundation,

which has contributed over £1.7 million

to research into air pollution at the

University of Edinburgh. Avoiding busy

roads remains the simplest but most

effective way of reducing your exposure

to risk.

“When you start practising menstrual cycle awareness,

you reunite with the source that nourishes you and

restore your connection with the natural world”– p49

EYE EYE

There’s nothing like a box set

marathon or epic WhatsApp

chat with friends to leave your

eyes feeling tired and strained.

This month another preventable

problem is in the frame;

National Glaucoma Week (12th

to 18th June) is the perfect time

to get your eyes checked for

early signs of this treatable set

of conditions. Damage to the

optic nerve – often caused by

a build up of pressure within

the eye – can cause irreversibly

misty or patchy vision but early

diagnosis, careful monitoring

and the regular use of

treatments will safeguard vision

in many cases. Put yourself in

the clear with an eye test at your

local optician.

Avocados

A study has found avos really do

have superpowers, with evidence

suggesting they protect against

high blood pressure, hardening of

the arteries and obesity.

Good bacteria

Gut microbes are at it again,

winning headlines for their role

in causing or preventing previously

unlinked conditions. Now it’s the

turn of type 2 diabetes, apparently

halted by an acid produced by

‘good’ bacteria.

Caffeine fixes

We Brits spent an impressive £3.4

billion at coffee shops last year

so it’s lucky that research reveals

it to be a source of heart-healthy

polyphenols!

The

BAROMETER

Poo taboo

New research backed by the

IBS Network suggests six out

of 10 IBS sufferers soldier on

without professional help due to

embarrassment.

Pearly whites

Nearly 50 percent of Brits are

failing to brush their teeth before

bed, suggests new research,

despite 90 percent admitting to

eating sugary foods after 5pm.

Tut, tut.

The fruitbowl

Sainsbury’s is the latest store to

expand its frozen fruit offering;

its smoothie ‘pellets’ are the latest

way to hit your 10-a-day without

the expense or waste of fresh

fruit. Tempted? Search for My

Goodness! fruit and veg packs in

the freezer cabinet.

NATURAL HEALTH 39


BODY

YogaFOR

BALANCING

YOUR CHAKRAS

Leading teacher Sue Fuller explains poses which will

encourage physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing

THE BOW

Dhanurasana

This posture will help keep the spine agile, but care must be taken to keep the spine long and

not to compress any vertebrae. It will help to align and balance all of the chakras, and allows

time to focus on sahasrara (the seventh chakra) spinning above the crown of the head; this one

is the gateway to higher states of consciousness.

Lay on your front, bend your knees and hold onto the insides of your feet. Push your feet

into your hands and begin to lift your chest and legs from the floor. Breathe slowly and work

to maintain a long spine. Visualise each chakra positioned along the spine; spend a little longer

visualising sahasrara, the crown chakra, spinning just above the top of your head.

NATURAL HEALTH 41


THE INCLINED PLANE

Purvottanasana

This posture opens the heart and stretches the front of the body. It will

stimulate the abdominal chakra (svadisthana), the solar plexus chakra

(manipura) and the heart chakra (anahata). Among many other things, these

chakras deal with emotional issues, self-confidence and unconditional love.

Sit on your bottom with your legs extended. Place your hands beside your

hips with your fingertips facing forwards. Push down into your hands, point

your feet, lift your chest and then lift your hips from the ground keeping your

neck in line with your spine.

As you hold this posture visualise svadisthana, the sexual chakra, as

an orange disc spinning just below your navel, manipura as a yellow disc

spinning just above your navel, and anahata, the heart chakra, as a green disc

in the centre of your chest. Picture each one as the size of a grapefruit.

42 NATURAL HEALTH


POSE OF THE CHILD

Balasana

This posture is extremely nurturing. By resting your forehead on the floor you

will stimulate ajna (the brow chakra), also regarded as the area of intuition.

From kneeling, relax forward so that your forehead rests on the floor, direct

your fingers towards your feet and breathe slowly. If this is uncomfortable you

can make fists with your hands and place them under your forehead.

On completion of the above postures, roll onto your back and draw your

knees in towards your chest.

BODY

NATURAL HEALTH 43


THE BOUND ANGLE POSE

Baddha konasana

This posture helps to open the hips and release tension through the

pelvic girdle. It also stimulates the root chakra (muladhara), which sits

at the base of the spine and helps connect us to the earth. It deals with

our basic instincts such as survival.

Sit with a straight spine and the soles of the feet together. Allow

the knees to fall towards the floor. Hold on to the insides of the feet

and gently open them so that the knees move closer towards the floor

and the soles turn up.

Draw up your lower abdominal muscles as you hold this posture

and focus on the connection between your sitting bones and the earth.

Picture muladhara, the root chakra, at the base of the spine, as being

bright red in colour, the size of a grapefruit and spinning slowly in a

clockwise direction.

44 NATURAL HEALTH


BODY

THE PLOUGH

Halasana

As well as stimulating and balancing the functions of the thyroid

gland and releasing tension in the back, neck and shoulders, this

posture stimulates vishuddhi (the throat chakra) which deals with

creativity and expression.

Begin lying on your back. Place your hands beside your hips

and roll your knees in towards your forehead and then place your

hands onto your lower back for support. Direct your toes towards

the floor, when you are ready interlink your fingers. Lift your chin

a little so as not to compress the back of the neck. Picture a light

blue disc spinning in front of your throat.

Sue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher and writer with

over 20 years of experience. She is also the creator of

the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes. There are

over 60 Yoga 2 Hear audio yoga classes for all levels

and abilities available on CD and MP3 from all leading

booksellers and yoga2hear.co.uk.

NATURAL HEALTH 45


COLUMNIST

Free your

QI

Stuck, stagnant and frustrated? It’s time

to bring vision and movement into your

life, says Emma Cannon

Qi (energy) is all around us. It is in the wind, in flowers, in us

and in every living thing. At this time of year the natural flow of

energy is to rise and to move without obstruction. Many people in

life get stuck and lost because they focus too much on the obstacles

that are in the way of their goal. They focus on the things in the way

instead of focusing on what they want. They become stuck, stagnant,

frustrated; they lose the ability to take action and become defeated.

But if we look to nature we see that there is plenty of opportunity

for growth and flow as the natural world comes alive after a deep

slumber. Bulbs buried underground for the long winter bravely

show themselves. The world becomes colourful and vibrant with the

energy. I often think how brave the little snowdrop is popping up in

an otherwise barren flowerbed.

It always reminds me of the cyclical nature of our own lives; the

world and us go through periods of great change, movement and

growth. It is part of personal and global evolution.

It is important to keep this movement and flow in our lives.

Sometimes it is necessary to let go of things in order for growth to

happen. This may feel like failing but often it is just keeping things in

flow, moving stagnation.

Just before the snowdrop came out of

the earth it must have been in the darkest

place – but it did not say: “I give up, I

have no hope”. It just kept searching

for the light, letting itself be carried by

the energy, without resistance and with

flexibility. Like the pioneer, daring to

forge ahead, striking out on its own.

So if you are feeling a bit stuck in

your life, stagnant and frustrated ask

yourself: What is my vision for my life?

Look at yourself in the mirror, really

stare deep into your eyes, connect to your

soul and be with your true self. See what

comes to the surface and act on it.

THINGS THAT CREATE MOVEMENT

• Exercise and dancing, particularly yoga which brings flexibility

• Making a plan of action. Write down where you want to be,

and with whom.

• What do you want to achieve and how will you get there? Be

detailed with this.

• Make a mood board so you can envisage your life and your hopes

and dreams. Really allow yourself to see where it is you want to get

to. The eyes are the window to the soul so using vision as a means

to focus on what we want in our life is powerful work for the soul.

• Be brave, take a few risks and become the pioneer or the leader of

your own life.

• Sometimes stagnation settles in the chest and we find we sigh a lot.

If this is the case you need to release this by using your voice. So go

to Speakers Corner and speak your truth,

sing in the shower or your car. Go for

some talking therapy or say something

that you have been holding back on and

needs to be said (do this with kindness

and always using ‘I’ instead of ‘you’ as a

starting point).

• Have acupuncture, especially on points

on the liver channel which activate the

flow of qi around the body.

Emma is an integrated women’s

health expert, registered

acupuncturist and author

emmacannon.co.uk

NATURAL HEALTH 47


BODY

Go with

THE FLOW

Work with your menstrual cycle rather than against it to increase your health and

happiness, say authors Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer

The moment you start

practising menstrual cycle

awareness and encounter

this living presence within

you (or in another), and let yourself

be initiated by the death and rebirth

process within it, you reunite with

the source that nourishes you, and

restore your connection with the

natural world, the cycles of life and

the divine force of love. Each month

you move through an inner winter,

spring, summer and autumn and back

to winter again. Each phase ushers

in a set of very specific psychological

challenges. As you learn about yourself

through the inner seasons, you develop

the skills to handle your emotions

and make better choices around your

behaviour. It’s a means of personal

therapy and healing that teaches you

how to harness the power of your

unique nature. Becoming familiar

with the map of the inner seasons will

support you as you recover the powers

of each one. While approximate days

are given for each, these are estimates

and will vary depending on the length

of your cycle and various other factors

in your life. It’s far more helpful to

sense for yourself when you’re moving

from one season to another. Here’s

our guide...

NATURAL HEALTH 49


INNER WINTER

(Menstruation - days 27-5)

In your inner winter lie the natural powers

of detachment, inner connection, effortless

presence, stillness, expansive awareness and

altered states of consciousness, restoration

– purification, soothing and

healing, bliss, acceptance,

receiving self-love, experiencing

all life as sacred and inner

guidance and instruction.

We like to say that how

you bleed sets the tone for the

whole of your cycle. We think

of menstruation as ‘the miracle

cure’. Many of the challenges

that show up throughout the

menstrual cycle can be eased or

remedied by a deep visitation

of your inner winter, allowing

yourself to release and deeply

rest. Like land that’s been overfarmed

and monopolised for production,

our souls are thirsting – longing to lie fallow

and drink in the nourishment of stillness

and unhurried languor.

As you begin to bleed you may feel an

intense need to stop, or at the very least

move more slowly. If you can, follow your

body as much as possible. Your first task

is to know when menstruation is roughly

due and mark yourself in your diary as

‘unavailable’. Plan for empty space and

reduce what you have to do as much as

Know when

your period is

due and mark

yourself in

the diary as

unavailable

possible, within the realities of your life.

Do your big shop before your period is

due; get the fridge stocked, a few meals

prepared and your family and friends on

side. Call in your allies and get all hands on

deck. Remember, you can offer the same

practical help to your friends

when they menstruate.

If you can’t do that, at least

choose to move at the pace

of your body, and don’t let

yourself get harried by the pace

of the world. Ignore the ringing

phone, turn off all electronic

devices and lock the front door.

Burn your list of things to do,

give up your agenda, cocoon

yourself from demands – both

inner and outer – and allow

yourself to gently potter, drift

and saunter around without

an apparent care in the world.

Even if it’s just for an hour.

Indulge yourself in pleasure, good oldfashioned

pleasure: sit in an armchair and

stare out the window, lie on the grass and

watch the clouds, luxuriate in a hot bubble

bath, or oil your skin from head to toe with

aromatic elixirs. Do anything that really

indulges your senses and pleasures your

body. Even if it’s only for half an hour, just

give yourself some or all of this. Actually,

your one and only sacred task of winter is to

utterly give in and receive.

Adapted from Wild Power by

Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo

Wurlitzer (Hay House).

INNER SPRING

(Pre-ovulation - days 6-11)

In your inner spring lie the natural powers of

tenderness, containment, curiosity, playfulness,

imagination and possibility, surging energy and

life, desire – sexual and emotional, motivation

and enthusiasm, positivity and assertiveness.

After rest at menstruation, you arrive in

your inner spring cleansed, sanctified and set free

to start afresh. Resurfacing in the world innocent

and pure, a clean slate. Everything is possible

once again: the old skin has been shed; you’re

born anew and free to re-choose your life.

You may suddenly notice the practical

detail of your life, as well as find yourself

planning and plotting grand schemes. You’re

blessed with an effortless focus that will help

you contain and hold your emerging ideas,

50 NATURAL HEALTH

and your new tender sense of self, until the

time is right for both to be revealed. It can feel

wonderful as life opens up and your energy

and joy increase.

The first task is to move tenderly as you

emerge from winter, and not let your wilful

power of agency take over too soon. You have

to remember you’re like a newly hatched

chick – your undefended, uncompromised

self needs time to find its footing back in the

bright lights of the world. You need to cherish

this tender self so that it might have more

purchase and place in your everyday life.

Secondly, allow yourself to really feel the

rising new life – without impulsively acting

on it all at once, lest it blow your fuses.

Remember that newly hatched chick? If you

can negotiate this well, you’re pretty much

home and dry with this season.

The challenge is to learn how to hold and

pace that vulnerability in a culture that’s so

driven. No doubt you’ll have a pile of stuff

awaiting your return from menstrual retreat.

Tempting as it may be to quickly get things

back on track and step on the accelerator,

you’re likely to overshoot.

Your energy could be scattered and your

nervous system primed for burnout. When

this happens it’s a sign you’ve lost connection

with yourself, leaving you disoriented. It

could be bad news if you enter the wonderful

summer energy of the cycle feeling this way,

as you’ll probably end up doing everything

for everyone else and not fulfil what you

really want.

You may be full of ideas now but your

challenge is to keep your cards close to your

chest. This is not the moment to reveal all.

In this stage, everything is possible once again: the old skin has

been shed; you’re born anew and free to re-choose your life


INNER AUTUMN

(Premenstruum – days 20-26)

In your inner autumn lie the

natural powers of insight, saying no,

the critic, editing, truth-speaking,

completion, provocation, losing it

and drifting.

For many, this season of the

cycle is the most misunderstood

and mismanaged. It has had a

bad rap. In part, that’s because its

powers aren’t valued – you

channel some fierce, kick-ass,

provocative energies.

Your shadow side is starting

to awaken. The things you’ve

neglected in yourself, the needs

you’ve sidelined, the feelings

you’ve overridden, the historical

woundings that have

been relegated to the

subconscious, can all

break the surface

as they seek conscious

recognition and

integration.

Women

often

notice a

compulsion

to clean, tidy

and organise

stuff at this time.

It’s as if we’re taking

BODY

stock and preparing for retreat. This

demand for order and completeness can

also serve you to bring things to a close,

including unsatisfactory

relationships. You’re the truthspeaker

now and what you

have to say isn’t going to go

You’re

the truthspeaker

now and

what you

say isn’t

going to go

down well

down well. Your tolerance is

at an all-time low and you’re

going to call it as it is.

Your first task is facing

yourself: meeting your shadow

side, and cleaning up all that

just isn’t you anymore, the stuff

you’ve outgrown. You’re also

called – and this is the second

part – to be fully embodied

and present with the truth of

who you are. Your challenge

is to go slowly – to create some

space between your feelings

and your actions. This isn’t

always doable and you can

applaud yourself for being

human if you fall into this briar patch a

million times.

It’s really important that you celebrate

yourself in the crossover from summer

to autumn because this will give you the

buffer you need to face your shortcomings,

blind spots, shadow side and the inner

critic. You need to be braced and at the

ready to spot when your critic has turned

up, and listen to what it has to say.

INNER SUMMER

(Ovulation – days 12-19)

In your inner summer lie the natural powers

of outward focus, loving others, visibility,

optimism, taking charge, mastery, high

energy, charm, magnetism and attraction,

generosity, gratitude and pleasure.

Oh, the summer! A time of plenitude

and ease. You have arrived. Your energy is

at an all-time high, giving you the capacity

to ‘have it all’. There really are no limits

now: you can be all things to all people.

‘Superwoman’ lives, and you get to be

her – for about 10 days, that is. While it

lasts you can be a powerhouse of

productivity, multi-tasking and fun.

You care less about what others think

– if anything, you’re more likely to imagine

everyone is on your side right now. At this

time, it’s not too hard to believe that life

loves you and is conspiring to help you.

Your magnetism is at an all-time high. The

summer can be a very grounded time – if

you’re in connection with your cycle. Your

body opens to pleasure and sensual delights

may captivate you. You may feel drawn to

be more affectionate and tactile, and are

likely to experience greater pleasure from

touch and close physical contact with others.

Things can feel so darn good.

At this time of heightened sexual energy,

some women feel really turned on and

aroused. The sensations of rising sexual

energy can be quite strong and sublime – it’s

as though you’re being charged up by this

creative force.

This is the season for mothering. As a

mother you can easily hold your children

and your family’s best interests at heart,

think about their needs and desires, and give

generously to them. If you could be here all

month long, mothering would pose far less

of a challenge, but you would be in danger

of completely losing yourself.

Your mind is more logical, neat and tidy

now; things are simple and straightforward.

You tend to see the best in everything and

everyone. Nothing is too much trouble, and

it can feel right and satisfying to say ‘yes’ to

whatever comes your way.

Make contact with friends, catch up

and enjoy long, lazy conversations. Let

go, let your hair down and enjoy yourself,

whatever that looks like for you.

The inner summer is the time to strut

your stuff, flirt and let your sexuality show.

We can easily forget that it’s only good

because it’s temporary. If this high-speed

pace were permanent it would lead to

exhaustion and burnout. Deliberately pause

as you enter the summer and ask yourself

what you want to use this energy for – and

commit to it.

NATURAL HEALTH 51


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TREND

Glynis Barber

Anti-age

YOUR BRAIN

Our natural guru looks at

how meditating can keep

your brain young

When you have an injury or don’t use your

muscles, they begin to atrophy. This also

happens to them with age unless you make efforts

to counteract it. But did you know that your

brain atrophies with age as well? Not great is it?

However it appears there’s an antidote.

Something that is beneficial in so many ways it

can have a profound effect on your life. And that

is the power of meditation.

I have some personal experience of this.

A number of years ago I used to meditate on

a daily basis. I was very disciplined about it,

starting every single day sitting cross legged, and

surrounded by incense burning. The effect on my

life was transformative. By nature I’m a worrier

and can easily get overwhelmed by problems and

stress. Meditating had a deep calming effect on

me and solutions to problems would often pop

into my head and the way forward would become

clear and simple.

And then I had a baby. My nice calm

schedule went out the window and even though

I do still meditate occasionally, I’ve never

quite managed to get into a daily routine

again. Looking at all the research on the

benefits, I’m rather regretting it. In fact my

new year’s resolution this year was to meditate

more. Much more.

And here’s why. To start with, the newest

research shows that meditating slows agerelated

brain shrinkage which is caused by

loss of connective tissue, affecting memory

amongst other things. At UCLA’s School of

Medicine’s Neurology Department, research

found that long term meditators had younger,

denser brains. One of the explanations is

thought to be that the focused attention and

concentration can actually stimulate growth

in neural structures and increase connectivity

between neural networks. It’s even thought

that meditation can buffer the brain against

the negative effects of stress. I would certainly

agree with that from my own experience.

If you’ve not tried it until now, fear not,

you will still reap many benefits if you start

today. Besides the problem-solving and

calming effects that I experienced, meditation

is also energising in a similar way to caffeine.

But whereas caffeine can trigger your

adrenal glands to release the stress hormone

adrenaline, meditation makes you more awake

and productive without the adrenaline rush.

Meditating for 20 minutes equates to an

hour and a half nap but leaves you feeling

fully awake, refreshed and alert while at

the same time calming the nervous system.

This makes it easier for the body to release

unwanted stress. And as we all know, stress

can lead to risks of all sorts of problems from

depression to heart disease.

AND BREATHE...

1. Meditation comes in

different forms and it’s

good to find the one

that suits you. For me

it’s sitting either cross

legged on the floor or in

a chair with feet planted

evenly on the floor and

with back upright.

2. When meditating,

close your eyes and

observe your thoughts

rather than getting

involved with them.

A misconception is

that you need to stop

thinking to meditate.

The brain is a thinking

machine so don’t fight it.

3. Try mindfulness. This

directs your attention to

each task, concentrating

and focusing on one at

a time.

4. Transcendental

meditation involves

choosing a mantra that

has meaning for you.

Twice a day sit quietly,

eyes closed and repeat

the mantra for about 20

minutes reaching a place

of restful alertness.

Glynis Barber is an actress,

co-author of The In-Sync

Diet and founder of

agelessbyglynisbarber.com

NATURAL HEALTH 53


6

Future-proof your heart with

our top holistic tips

steps to a

HEALTHIER

TICKER

If you’ve been experiencing chest pain

recently, it could be down to more than just

indigestion. According to the British Heart

Foundation, seven million people in the

UK are currently living with cardiovascular

disease and shockingly, it now causes more

than a quarter of all deaths. For many of

us, symptoms are triggered by our lifestyle

choices – from what we eat every day to how

we deal with stress – and over time, these can

lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol

and obesity that all put a strain on our heart.

The good news? Research has proven that it

is possible to rewind the clock and get your

heart health back on track – starting with

your diet.

1. REACH FOR SUPERFOODS

An easy way to boost your heart health

is to increase your intake of superfoods.

Nutritionist Rick Hay (rickhay.co.uk)

recommends a mixture of brightly

coloured purple fruit. “Choose blueberries,

blackberries, raspberries and acai berries

to help keep your heart fighting fit,” he

says. These all contain high levels of the

antioxidant, anthocyanin, which has been

shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks

in women by up to 32 per cent. For best

results, Rick suggests whizzing up a heart

healthy smoothie. “I blend mine with a

handful of spinach or kale, some blueberries

or frozen mixed berries and a banana,” he

explains. “To finish, add a teaspoon of acai

or spirulina, 200ml of coconut milk and some

mixed seeds to increase essential fatty acids.”

2. STOCK UP ON SUPPLEMENTS

While you can’t beat a diet rich in fruit and

veg, supplements are an excellent way to

top up the vital vitamins and minerals you

need for a healthy heart. “An added bonus

is that supplements often have a higher

nutrient density and generally deliver a

more concentrated amount than if you were

to eat the food stuff itself,” says Rick. So,

what should we be looking out for on the

shelves? “For heart health, keep an eye out

for coenzyme Q10, olive leaf extract and

magnesium – for vegetarians, I recommend

algal oil.” Individually, these have been

shown to reduce levels of ‘bad’ LDL

cholesterol, boost arterial health and support

a stronger heartbeat.

3. WAKE UP TO GREEN TEA

By swapping your morning cup of char

for a mug of green tea, you can quickly

improve your circulation. Research from the

European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and

54 NATURAL HEALTH


BODY

YOUR HEART

HEALTHY MANTRA

David suggests easing into your

day with a taoist meditation

called 'Becoming the Observer':

• Sit or lie in a comfortable

position, drop your shoulders,

take a long calm deep breath.

• Mentally step back from

everything that is going on

around you. Begin to focus your

attention on how your breath

and body interrelate and work

together.

• Start to observe the different

feelings and sensations in every

part of your body, from your

head, right down to your toes.

• As your body begins to relax,

melt into the experience of being

at ‘one’, and quietly affirm to

yourself as you breathe: ‘I breathe

in with love, I breathe out with

gratitude.’

Rehabilitation found that volunteers who drank

a cup of green tea experienced significant

artery dilation within just 30 minutes; longterm

this will help to reduce the risk of blood

clots that can trigger a heart attack. “Green

tea has also been shown to kickstart your

metabolism, which helps with fat burning

and in turn lowers cholesterol,” adds Rick.

4. STEER CLEAR OF SUGAR

Sugar. It’s everywhere – from caffeinated

drinks to pasta sauces – and recent reports

from Public Health England suggest we

should be reducing our daily intake by at

least half. The sweet stuff not only increases

our likelihood of obesity, but can significantly

raise our blood pressure, heightening our

risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 25

percent. Monitoring your sugar intake is

key to keeping your heart healthy, so keep

a notebook handy to write down when you

are craving sugar and how much you have

consumed in a day. This can help you start

to notice your triggers and be better prepared

to resist temptation.

5. PRACTISE MEDITATION

If you often feel yourself getting het up

at work or frustrated with your partner,

your stress levels could be enough to put

your health at risk. “Many of us who suffer

with stress use unhealthy lifestyle habits

to deal with negative emotions, such as

seeking comfort in fattening foods. But

it is these misguided coping mechanisms

that are, in fact, the biggest danger to your

heart,” says David James Lees, founder of

integrative health centre Wu Wei Wisdom

(wuweiwisdom.com). “People often believe

that they are the ‘victim’ of stress, when in

fact they are the creator of their emotions,”

says David. The great news is that it is

possible to take control of your stress levels.

“Just 10-15 minutes a day of mindfulness

is enough for you to become aware of your

thoughts and emotions and maintain a

balanced and positive mindset,” he adds.

6. UP YOUR DAILY EXERCISE

You don’t have to be a gym bunny to reap

the rewards of regular exercise. Research has

shown that people who don’t exercise are

almost twice as likely to develop heart disease

– but a mere 30 minutes of moderate exercise

a day is enough to transform your heart

health. David recommends an integrated

workout, such as qi gong: “Qi gong not only

benefits you physically, but unifies the mind,

body and spirit through graceful stretching

and relaxing movements,” he explains.

NATURAL HEALTH 55


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£6 (on offer in June at two for

£10), Tesco, urtekram.com

PEACE OF MIND

Keeping your skin happy when you

have an allergy can be a minefield,

that’s why the Bio-D range is made

from natural ingredients and is 100

percent hypoallergenic, so there’s one

less trigger to worry about. The Bio-D’s

fragrance-free laundry range, including

Unfragranced Laundry Liquid,

has been approved by Allergy UK,

providing additional peace of mind.

Bio-D Unfragranced Laundry Liquid 1

litre, £4.85, biodegradable.biz

FRESH AS

A DAISY

Give your family

a daily treat by

showering in

water that feels

as soft and clean

as pure rainwater

with the Sensitive

Skincare Company’s

Shower Filter. Easily

fitted, it completely

removes chlorine and softens hard water

thereby removing the unpleasant damaging

and drying effects that daily bathing can

have on a sensitive and delicate skin. £35.25,

sensitiveskincareco.com

SKIN TLC

The changing weather and a combination

of allergies can often cause skin problems

to flare up, so avoid dry skin and soothe

eczema with Hope’s Relief therapeutic

skincare. The range helps to relieve itchy,

dry patches and is specially formulated

for those prone to eczema, psoriasis

and dermatitis. Developed with over

35 years of research by naturopaths,

Hope’s Relief is an effective, natural

alternative to cortisone. £17.49 from

all good independent health stores and

pharmacies, hopes-relief.com

CLEAN &

GENTLE

Akamuti’s nourishing

range of 100 percent

natural unscented

soaps and moisturisers

are ideally suited to

sensitive, problem

and allergy-prone

skin. Free from

artificial fragrances,

preservatives and

other nasties. Liquid

African Black Soap,

£7.50 for 250ml,

akamuti.co.uk

56 NATURAL HEALTH


COLUMNIST

Jo Wood

A PINCH OF SALT

Our green goddess on the benefits of Epsom salt

It’s easy to find, affordable, versatile and named after a

saline spring in Epsom, Surrey. Used for centuries, it was

my grandma’s favourite remedy, and now it’s back in fashion as a

cheap, green living wonder ingredient. Yes, that’s right – I’m talking

about Epsom salt, and it’s a household must-have!

Did you know that it’s actually a mineral compound made up

of magnesium and sulfate and not really a salt at all? More than

300 enzymes in our bodies are regulated by magnesium, which we

know helps to reduce inflammation and alleviate the hardening of

the arteries. Sulfate, on the other hand, is useful for flushing out

toxins and improving the speed at which we absorb nutrients. Both

are easily absorbed into the skin so the health benefits are available

to the body almost immediately. Here are some of my favourite uses

for Epsom salt that I recommend you try too...

AS A FOOT SOAK

Tired, achey feet can be soothed by an indulgent Epsom salt

soak. Put half a cup into a foot bath and leave your tootsies in for

30 minutes, or for as long as you’re comfortable. For a spa-like

experience, add a few drops of organically

produced essential oil – my favourites are

citrus or lavender in the summer and neroli

during the winter months.

AS A BODY EXFOLIATOR

Rub a handful of Epsom salt over your

body while damp to remove dead cells

and leave skin smooth, soft and

healthy, or take it a step

further by making your

own scented body

scrub. Combine

one cup of salt,

half a cup of a

neutral oil (e.g. almond or jojoba) and five to 10 drops of an essential

oil of your choice, then give yourself a good scrub and wash off.

You’ll feel and smell gorgeous!

AS A HAND WASH

Mix equal amounts of Epsom salt and olive oil together to create

a moisturising hand cleanser that is also environmentally-friendly.

Keep it next to the sinks in your house and use regularly for soft,

clean mitts.

AS A BATH SOAK

It’s said that the absorption of Epsom salt (in particular the

magnesium it contains) through the skin can help to relieve muscle

tension, pain and inflammation in the joints, and even alleviate

stress-induced headaches and abdominal cramps. Add up to a cup to

the water, sit back and relax. Again, a few drops of organic essential

oil and a candle (please try my new Amka and Usiku candles and let

me know what you think!) can transform a simple bath into a home

spa experience. Enjoy!

FOR HOUSEPLANTS

Epsom salt is a popular fertiliser in organic

gardening for those who, like me, are interested

in green living. It’s affordable, gentle, ecofriendly

and doesn’t build up in the soil. Start

by adding two tablespoons to a gallon of

water and feed your plants with it once a

month instead of watering them. This is

especially useful for apartment dwellers

with no garden space as it allows you to

grow blooms even in a confined space.

To get your fix, try Westlab’s

Epsom salt (£5.99 for 1kg,

westlabsalts.co.uk).

NATURAL HEALTH 57


Extracted from The In Sync Diet

by Glynis Barber and Fleur Borrelli

(£14.99, amazon.co.uk)

- Get back in -

SYNC

Nutritionist Fleur Borrelli and actress Glynis Barber

show how the in sync diet can not only help you

lose weight, but also turn back the clock

At some point in our lives, most of us will

have been on a diet. Some may well have

spent a fortune on the various diet books,

services, meal replacements and other

‘miracle cures’ that there are on the market. But they

often don't work – and the reason is because many of

us are still out of sync.

Let’s look at the problem a little more closely.

Our behaviour is regulated by daily rhythms known

as circadian, or bio, rhythms. Studies have shown

that it is the disruption of these biorhythms that

can contribute to conditions such as depression and

seasonal affective disorder.

58 NATURAL HEALTH


In today's fast-paced society, we are

surrounded by constant demands on our

attention and various stressors – all of which

are mentally and physically exhausting and

play a role in disrupting our biorhythms. On

top of this we are exposed to food choices

that our evolutionary ancestors would never

have dreamed of and we have very little

opportunity to move around in the way our

body needs. It is no wonder, then, that we

are all having to watch our waistlines – food

is available at every turn and we don’t need

to expend any energy to get it.

The principles behind the in sync diet

work to the idea that our clock genes work

best for us if we behave in our way we are

designed to – eating when we are hungry,

drinking when we are thirsty and sleeping

when we are tired.

But the problem is we don’t always have

the energy to act in this way anymore and

often we do the reverse – we eat in case we

get hungry and we have a cup of tea just

to break up the day rather than drinking

because we are thirsty. We don’t sleep well

because we don’t have the energy to go to

sleep and stay asleep, and then we resort to

stimulants such as coffee when we get tired

during the day which can negatively affect

our energy levels and drive up appetite.

Research shows that when you are out

of sync in this way, you are more prone

to weight gain, obesity, heart disease and

a whole host of other health problems. So

how do you survive this modern life, stay

lean and healthy and full of vitality?

PRINCIPLES OF

THE IN-SYNC DIET

Move before you eat

With the in-sync diet, this is fundamental

to maintaining a healthy body composition

and good health for the rest of your life.

Your Stone Age ancestors did not eat before

they set off in the morning and you do not

need to either! When you move around on

an empty stomach, your cells quickly adapt

and become incredibly efficient at burning

fat. The more you are able to do this, the

better control you will have of your blood

sugar levels and the less prone you will be to

putting on weight. So remember, move first

then eat, rest and digest.

Keep up your water intake

Aim to keep your water intake up by

drinking plenty in one go and then not

drinking again until you feel your thirst

returning. From our point of view, the

problem with constantly 'topping-up' our

water levels is that we may be losing the

ability to recognise when we are really

thirsty, and instead we may be mistaking

thirst for hunger or a craving. More often

than not, hunger cravings are quenched

with sugary, processed snacks which can

have a large impact on the health of our

body and lead to weight gain. To get our

thirst back, we suggest that you should stop

sipping through the day and only drink

when you first sense you are thirsty.

Eat two or three meals per

day and do not snack

We are not genetically made for frequent

eating and yet in modern life this is a

situation that is hard to avoid. It is actually

no mean feat to cut food intake down to

just three times per day because food is

everywhere you go. We often do not register

a lot of food we put into our mouths. The

in sync diet suggests that you should eat just

two or three meals a day, with nothing in

between. If you find you are getting a midafternoon

slump, it could be that you are

not eating enough protein at lunchtime and

you should put some more in.

Reduce your lectin load

This means eating a diet that hardly

includes grains or pulses unless this is part

of your culture or you do not eat animal

protein for ethical reasons. Lectins are

proteins in foods that are anti-nutrients

and can also damage your gut. While it

would be impossible to get them out of your

diet completely, you can certainly make

a difference by reducing them. Gluten

(from wheat, barley and rye) belongs to

this category as do legumes such as kidney

BODY

beans and all the other beans that need

soaking before cooking as well as lentils

and chickpeas. They can cause you terrible

discomfort such as indigestion, bloating,

nausea and soreness known as inflammation.

Inflammation, if not resolved, can cause the

perpetual release of inflammatory molecules

that travel around the bloodstream causing

damage to the body and speeding up the

ageing process.

Choose foods that support the

health of your mitochondria

These are the power houses of your cells

that provide the energy for your body

– if their capability declines so does the

capability of every organ and tissue in

your body. By supporting them you are

also supporting your anti-ageing systems.

Foods that help your mitochondria include

coconut oil, avocado, spinach, pomegranate,

blueberries, seaweed, almonds, salmon,

grass-fed beef, unrefined extra virgin olive

oil, mango and broccoli.

Keep hold of your brown fat

by avoiding sitting down for

too long and keeping active

Brown fat is so called because it has a large

blood supply and plenty of fat burning

iron-containing mitochondria that give it its

colour. Unlike white fat, which stores excess

calories in unwanted places around our

body, ‘good’ brown fat generates heat for us

by burning excess calories. This is a process

known as thermogenesis. You can boost

your levels of brown fat simply by exposing

yourself to cooler temperatures. Try not to

be too quick to turn on the heating in winter

and enjoy cold showers and swimming in

the sea in summer.

Reduce your over-response

to stress

Employ techniques such as yoga and

meditation each day that will allow you

to remove yourself from issues that are

bothering you so that when you look at

them again, you can appreciate them in a

new light.

Be mindful of your

biological clock

Many diseases such as heart disease,

obesity and diabetes can be related to a

disruption of your circadian rhythm. Make

sure you are getting to bed on time and not

eating too late

NATURAL HEALTH 59


WIN

a spa break for two

WORTH £2,000!

Adler Balance Spa and Health Resort is a secluded

retreat with just 31 bedrooms located in the mountains

of Italy’s South Tyrol region. Guests can detox,

destress and regenerate in a child-free zone, either in

a structured way under the guidance of the resort’s

interdisciplinary team of doctors or at their own pace

and in their own time, and we’re giving you the chance

to experience it for yourself with a four-night stay.

An oasis of peace and quiet, Adler Balance occupies

a sunny spot with panoramic views of Ortisei, the main

town in Val Gardena, and the awe-inspiring Dolomites.

Every aspect, from the healthy food to the building

(constructed from natural wood and slate in accordance

with organic architecture guidelines) is designed to aid

complete rest and recuperation.

Those wishing to follow a guided programme to

achieve a particular goal undergo a comprehensive

medical check up on arrival with one of the inhouse

doctors to establish whether they need to detox,

regenerate, lose weight or de-stress. A bespoke plan –

for the duration of the stay as well as on their return

home – is then put together to suit each guest’s physical

and mental needs. The resort’s holistic approach is

based on five pillars (diagnosis, a personal nutrition

plan, treatments to meet an individual’s needs, mental

training and exercise) and combines elements from both

western and oriental, classical and alternative medicines.

All guests can enjoy the wonderful spa facilities at

the adjoining sister property, Adler Dolomiti. There

they’ll find Aguana Waterworld, the biggest water spa

in the Dolomites, featuring a variety of indoor and

outdoor pools, good for both relaxation and exercise, as

well as a panoramic whirlpool and multiple saunas and

steam rooms. For those who simply want to unwind

and be pampered, there are plenty of face and body

treatments to experience at the Dolasilla Beauty and

Vitality World, which also boasts its own relaxation

room and garden.

60 NATURAL HEALTH


COMPETITION

For the active, there are cardiovascular and

strength training areas in Adlerfit, plus a studio where

a wide range of classes from guided meditation to yoga

and aerobic exercise are offered daily. The Dolomites

is a great area to explore on foot or on two wheels

and all guests can take advantage of the guided hikes

and bike rides, of varying lengths and difficulties, that

take place throughout the week on a complimentary

basis. A UNESCO world heritage site recognised for

its outstanding landscapes and culture, it provides

guests with a stunning natural environment in which to

exercise, as well as beautiful towns, villages and historic

sites to explore. For more information visit

adler-balance.com/en

“Aguana Waterworld, the biggest water spa in the Dolomites,

features a variety of indoor and outdoor pools, good for

both exercise and relaxation, as well as a panoramic

whirlpool and multiple saunas and steam rooms”

THE PRIZE

• A four-night half-board stay in

a Junior Suite

• A 50-minute massage per person

Terms and Conditions: The prize must be taken

Sunday to Thursday between 1st June and 19th

December 2017 or 2018, excluding August

and Halloween. More T&Cs are online.

ENTER ONLINE AT NATURALHEALTHMAGAZINE.CO.UK/GIVEAWAYS

Terms and conditions apply

NATURAL HEALTH 61


ADVERTORIAL

Are you

RAISIN

the bar?

The search for the perfect

pre and post workout

snack is over, thanks to

California Raisins

Revealed to be UK gold medallist

athletes’ snack of choice, the humble

California raisin is small, but mighty. Not only are they

packed with vitamins and minerals, they’re also 100

percent naturally sundried. We reveal why you should

make this snack your go-to bite when you exercise...

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS

OF CALIFORNIA RAISINS?

California raisins are produced using only fresh green

grapes plenty of sunshine and pure mountain water, so

they’re completely natural. This fruit packs a nutritional

punch, containing calcium, copper, iron, magnesium,

potassium, phosphorus and zinc, as well as vitamins B1,

B6, A, C and E. These little gems have only naturally

occurring sugars, with no added artificial colours or

flavours. They also release their energy slowly as they

have a medium glycaemic index (GI), meaning that your

blood sugar levels will be more even and consistent. Even

better – California raisins are a source of antioxidants

and a tablespoon counts as one of your five a day!

WHY SHOULD I EAT THEM?

A healthier, yet satisfying alternative to sports gels

and energy bars, and comparatively this fruit is also

better value for money. In fact, research conducted by

California raisins with endurance cyclists showed that

eating them during exercise is more beneficial than

manufactured sports food. While they have similar

performance effects, California raisins are a better

alternative because they provide micronutrients, which

are vital for good health and are a more convenient

food to snack on while you’re working out. A second

study found that athletes who were given either raisins

and water or sports chews and water while completing a

tough training session achieved almost identical results,

but it was discovered that the fruit provided a nutrientdense,

all-natural carbohydrate source, containing more

goodness overall.

If California raisins aren’t yet part of your diet,

you’re missing out on their naturally sweet, juicy and

fruity taste. Stock up on these smart snacks – they can

be carried with you wherever you go to give yourself an

energy boost, safe in the knowledge that they are natural,

healthy and nutritious.

California raisins are available in all major

supermarkets and health food stores – look out for

‘produce of USA’ if ‘California’ isn’t mentioned on

the front of the pack. For some great recipe and

snack ideas, visit californiaraisins.co.uk

62 NATURAL HEALTH


EXPERT GUIDE

SLIM

DOWN

naturally

for summer

Forget the crash diets and

three-hour gym sessions – we’ve got a

host of healthy tips and tricks to help you

get into shape the holistic way

NATURAL HEALTH 63


HEALTHY DIET PLAN

EAT YOURSELF SLIM

Get your diet back on track with this tasty,

nutritious and low calorie meal plan from Rick Hay

Despite our best intentions, it can be difficult to eat healthy meals every day.

On evenings when there’s no food in the house or you just don’t have the

energy to cook, it’s hard to resist the temptation to throw a pizza in the oven

and be done with it. We all find ourselves in that situation sometimes, but it

can be a real hindrance to losing weight. Lunches often pose the greatest

challenge – when you’ve spent an hour cooking dinner, the idea of staying in

the kitchen to prepare a meal that is both nutritious and satisfying for the next

day isn’t all that appealing.

Luckily, there are ways around this – planning ahead is an effective way of

avoiding the ready meals, sticking to healthy eating and keeping your weight loss

on track. We’ve enlisted the help of Rick Hay, nutrition director at Healthista

(healthista.com), to create a one-week lunch and dinner plan that will save you

time without compromising on flavour and nutritional value.

Sunday

LUNCH

TOFU OR CHICKEN AND

VEGETABLE CURRY

200g tofu or organic chicken;

sesame oil; 200ml coconut milk;

100g broccoli; 100g cauliflower

florets; 50g green beans; 1 tin

of chickpeas; handful or two of

cashews; 75g brown rice; a few

tsp of chilli or cayenne paper

and 1 or 2tbsp of red or green

curry paste; soy sauce or tamari

to taste

1 Stir fry the tofu or chicken

in the sesame oil and coconut

milk, then add the vegetables,

nuts, spices and curry paste and

lightly fry before boiling the rice.

Add the soy sauce or tamari.

2 Serve a third of the curry with

the rice and keep the rest for

later in the week.

DINNER

SARDINE AND SPINACH BOWL

4 or 5 sardines; olive oil; 2 hard

boiled free range eggs; 1 red

onion; handful of baby spinach;

1 tsp chilli flakes; 1 tsp paprika

1 Lightly fry the sardines in olive

oil and slice the boiled eggs then

put them into a bowl. Chop the

red onion, add it in along with the

spinach and season with the chilli

flakes and paprika.

Monday

LUNCH

Put a third of Sunday’s curry in one

wholemeal pitta bread.

DINNER

CHUNKY VEGETABLE SOUP

2 tomatoes; 1 diced onion; 1 diced

carrot; 2 handfuls of kale; 750ml

water; 1 tbsp fresh ginger; chilli

flakes to taste; cayenne pepper to

taste; pinch of black pepper; pinch

of sea salt; 1 garlic clove; 1 or 2

vegetable stock cubes; half a tin of

chickpeas (optional)

1 Cut the tomatoes into chunks and

heat with the onion, carrot and kale

in the water. Add the ginger, chilli

flakes, cayenne and black pepper,

sea salt, garlic and stock, as well as

the chickpeas if you want. Simmer

for 15 to 20 minutes.

64 NATURAL HEALTH


Tuesday

LUNCH

Add hot water to the remainder of

Sunday’s curry and eat as a soup.

DINNER

SWEET POTATO AND

FETA BOWL

1 sweet potato; handful of cauliflower

florets; handful of spinach; half a tin

of butter beans; 5 or 6 cubes of feta;

olive oil

1 Cut and lightly steam the sweet

potato with the cauliflower florets.

Place the spinach and butter beans

into a bowl then add the potato and

cauliflower and finish with the feta and

a drizzle of olive oil. Season with black

pepper and sea salt.

Wednesday

LUNCH

NOODLE BOWL

150g rice noodles; 2 hard boiled free

range eggs; 2 red peppers; handful of

cherry tomatoes; handful of spinach;

1 tsp chilli flakes; olive oil; coconut

oil; handful of pine nuts; 100g tuna,

salmon or chicken

1 Cook the rice noodles and place into

a large bowl. Slice the boiled eggs and

peppers and add to the bowl along

with the rest of the vegetables. Season

with the chilli flakes and a drizzle of

olive and coconut oil then sprinkle the

pine nuts on top.

2 Lightly fry the tuna, salmon or

chicken and put in a separate bowl.

Divide the contents of both bowls

into three servings and save two for

later in the week.

3 Use a third of the mixture and top

it with a third of the fish or chicken.

DINNER

SPIRALISED COURGETTI

1 courgette; olive oil; garlic, basil

and parsley to taste; handful of pine

nuts; small amount of grated cheese

(such as feta or parmesan)

1 Spiralise the courgette and fry

lightly in olive oil for a minute or so.

Add garlic, parsley and basil to taste

then top with pine nuts and cheese.

Thursday

LUNCH

Put a third of Wednesday’s mixture

and the fish or chicken into a bowl

and add hot water to make a soup.

Add a few teaspoons of tamari

to season and maybe a little

black pepper.

DINNER

GRILLED KALE WITH BEETROOT

AND FIGS

1 beetroot; 2 handfuls of kale;

olive oil; pinch of sea salt; 3 figs; 3

walnuts; 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar; 2

handfuls of pine nuts; 1 hard boiled

free range egg (optional); handful of

raisins (optional)

1 Peel and cut the beetroot into

wedges and lightly bake for 15

minutes. Coat the kale with olive

oil and sea salt then grill for five

minutes. Chop the kale and put it

into a bowl with the beetroot.

2 Cut the figs and walnuts and add

with the balsamic vinegar. Toss and

serve with two handfuls of pine nuts

and a few raisins if desired. A boiled

egg can be thrown in too.

EXPERT GUIDE

Friday

LUNCH

Stir fry the remainders of Wednesday’s

mixture and the chicken or fish in

coconut oil and add fresh spinach or

green beans if it looks too small.

DINNER

MEDITERRANEAN CHILLI ROAST

VEGETABLES

1 red onion; 1 courgette; 1 pepper; 2

tomatoes; olive or coconut oil; 2 garlic

cloves; a few tsp of chilli powder or

paste; half a tin of lentils (optional);

handful of olives (optional)

1 Slice the vegetables and put them

into a small lasagne dish with a drizzle

of olive or coconut oil then add the

garlic and chilli. You can also put in a

few olives and/or half a tin of lentils if

you want more protein. Bake for 20

minutes on a low heat.

Saturday

LUNCH

LENTIL SOUP WITH GREEN SALAD

1 onion; 1 courgette; 1 tomato; 40g

brown or red lentils; 300–400ml

water; 1 or 2 tsp paprika; 1 or 2 tsp

basil; pinch of sea salt; 50g–75g

mixed green leaves or rocket; 1 tsp

balsamic vinegar; handful of pine nuts;

a few squares of feta (optional)

1 Slice the onion and cut the courgette

and tomato into small chunks.

Combine with the lentils and water in

a pan and heat slowly on the hob until

the lentils are soft. Season with the

herbs, spices and salt.

2 Add the balsamic vinegar, pine nuts

and feta to the leaves in a bowl.

DINNER

VEGETABLE CURRY OMELETTE

2 eggs; splash of milk (cow’s or soya),

handful of green beans; 1 carrot,

grated; 1 courgette, grated; olive oil;

curry powder to taste; sprinkle of

turmeric; handful of raisins (optional)

1 Mix two eggs together with the

vegetables and milk. Lightly fry in olive

oil and add curry powder to taste,

then serve with a handful of raisins

and a sprinkle of turmeric.

NATURAL HEALTH 65


Accessorize

Longline

Embroidered

Kaftan, £35,

accessorize.com

Asquith Balance

Bra Top, £45,

Karma Capri

Herringbone, £52,

yogamatters.com

PeaceLoveYoga

Mat by YogaBellies

in Samisthiti, £79,

yogabelliesshop.com

Elemis Online

Exclusive

Cellulite

Programme,

£42, elemis.com

Vita Liberata

Body Blur

Instant HD Skin

Finish, £29.95,

vitaliberata.co.uk

SHOPPING GUIDE

A HELPING

HAND

Look and feel fabulous all summer

long with these must-have buys

Dr. Hauschka

Lemon Lemongrass

Vitalising Body

Milk, £24.50,

dr.hauschka.com/

en_GB

H&M Shaping

Swimsuit, £24.99,

hm.com/en_gb

Pour Moi? Hot Spots

Padded Underwired

Bikini Top, £22,

Control Brief, £18,

figleaves.com

Pastorale Meal

Planner, £8,

paperchase.co.uk

Heath & Heather

Organic Slim Tea, £2.99,

heathandheather.co.uk

66 NATURAL HEALTH


Even though we’re all well

aware that we should be

doing regular exercise, for

some of us it’s easier said

than done. This could be

down to a health problem

or injury, a lack of time

or the expense of a fitness

membership. We understand

the need for a way of getting

into shape without spending

hours in the gym, and luckily

we’ve found something that

fits the bill.

PiYo is a unique

programme that combines

the muscle-sculpting, corebuilding

benefits of Pilates

with the strength and

flexibility advantages of

yoga. It’s cheap, simple and

effective, and we’ve teamed

up with Chalene Johnson,

founder of PiYo and trainer

at beachbody.co.uk, to bring

you six moves that you can

practice from the comfort of

your own home. Do 10 to 15

reps of each move as many

times as you feel comfortable

with, resting briefly in

between each set.

PIYO PUSH UP

Begin standing with your feet

hip-width apart and then bend at your waist and

walk your hands down your legs with a flat spine

until they reach the floor. Next, walk the hands out

to a plank position in three steps and then, keeping

your elbows in tight against your torso, perform a

tricep push up by bending your elbows and bringing

your chest towards the floor. After doing three of

these, walk your hands back towards your feet, curl

your spine all the way up to standing and, keeping

your feet together, do three squats with your hands

clasped in front of the chest.

PIYO PIKE

Begin in a plank position with your arms straight.

Shift your left hand towards the centre of the mat,

open up your right arm towards the ceiling and turn

on the sides of your feet so that they are staggered

with your top foot in front. Reach your right arm

down and across the torso as your hips move up

towards the ceiling, creating an upside down v.

Lower your hips, reach the chest and right arm up

again and repeat on the other side.

HOLISTIC WORKOUT

GET SCULPTED

FOR SUMMER

Burn calories,

tone muscles

and improve

mobility with

a new kind of

workout

EXPERT GUIDE

LUNGE BACK TAP

Standing with your feet in a

hip-width parallel position,

step the left foot back into a

straight leg lunge and bend

the right knee 90 degrees.

Leaning forward at the

waist, but keeping the abs

engaged and chest lifted, tap

the left fingers to the inside

of the right foot. Return to

standing and repeat on the

other side.

CRISS-CROSS

Lie on a mat, with your

back to the floor and knees

pulled into your chest. Put

your hands behind your

head with your elbows wide

and extend your right leg

out just above the floor

as your right elbow twists

towards the left knee. Keep

the lower back pressed

into the ground and your

abdominals in a scooped

position, then switch your

legs and twist your torso in

the opposite direction.

SUMO BURPEE

Begin standing with your

arms extended up towards

the ceiling and your feet

wider than hip-width apart and pointing outwards.

Bend both knees, lower your hands to the floor

between your feet and step or jump back into a

plank. Make sure your hands are directly under

your shoulders, your head is in line with your spine

and your feet are together. Next, jump or step your

feet to your hands so that they are wider than hipwidth

apart, bring the torso up into a squat and

extend both knees, reaching your arms up again.

HIP LIFTS

Lying face up on a mat with your feet on the

ground, knees bent and arms extended flat towards

the heels, lift your right leg and cross it on to the

left thigh so that your ankle is resting just above the

knee. Lift your toes, push your right heel into the

ground and bridge your hips up towards the ceiling

while engaging your abs. Squeeze the glutes then

lower your hips and repeat on the other side.

To find out more visit beachbody.co.uk/product/

fitness-training/piyo-workout

NATURAL HEALTH 67


ADVERTORIAL

LOVE

YOUR

GUT

Take care of your

digestive system with

these helpful healers

SOOTHLY DOES IT

Get your stomach back in check and manage

your gastrointestinal disorder effectively with

the help of silicolgel. By forming a protective

and soothing coating over the lining of the

stomach, the gel ensures irritants and toxins

are adsorbed and passed through the body

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and instead receive much-needed relief.

Available from health

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pharmacies.

200ml is

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silicol.co.uk

BOTTLED

HEALTH

Looking for

a way to

reach your

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and veg every day? Enter The Healthy Juice

Company. Boasting a range of certified organic,

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ultimate botanical nourishment, this is one

hero brand you’ll soon fall head-over-heels

for... and for good reason! Freshly pressed daily

and never preserved, each juice is presented

in a pure glass bottle and is complemented

with earth friendly packaging. Plus, they offer

a range of one, three and five day cleanses to

give your insides a boost. Prices start from £49,

thehealthyjuicecompany.co.uk

DETOX PLAN

Flush out the bad stuff with a cuppa from

Addison Pure’s 14-Day Probiotic Detox Tea

Set. Made with all-natural ingredients, the

set includes green tea and ginseng to help

support weight loss, increase energy levels and

it removes toxins too. The added probiotics

help to boost the immune system and support

digestive functions – so you could be just two

weeks away from a happier gut. Price £36.99,

addisonpure.co.uk

CUP OF GOODNESS

When it comes to your health, green tea is a

powerhouse. Not only is Bloom’s Mindpower

Matcha naturally fat-free and salt-free, it’s also

high in fibre – great news for your gut. Try a

cup to help move things along, and enjoy the

hint of spice of ginger and ginseng too. Plus,

it’s free-from allergens and suitable for vegans

and vegetarians. Prices from £16.99, available

at Holland and Barrett and Ocado.

BANISH TRIGGERS

Many of us live with yeast in our body, without

ever thinking about it. However, researchers

have showed that high concentrations of yeastsuppressing

plant extracts have a positive

influence on the gut. Taking Dida is a long-term

solution to helping control yeast, bloating, sugar

cravings, and upset stomachs by combining

ingredients to help you feel good. Help symptoms

disappear with Dida for a happier, healthier you.

Price £21.86, newnordic.co.uk

BACTERIA BOOST

Good bacteria is vital for a happy gut, and

supplements are a quick and easy way of

ensuring you get enough. ProVen Probiotics

Adult Acidophilus and Bifidus-25 Billion contain

Lab4 friendly bacteria, shown in clinical studies

to reduce the symptoms of IBS and to support

the gut during and after antibiotic use.

Plus, the capsules are

gluten and dairy-free

and are suitable for

vegetarians.

Price, £13.95, available

from Boots and major

independent retailers,

and sold online at

provenprobiotics.co.uk

68 NATURAL HEALTH


THE SCIENCE

EXPERT GUIDE

THE REAL REASONS YOU’RE

NOT LOSING WEIGHT

We spoke to the experts to find out why you might

be struggling to shift the pounds

You have

A FOOD

INTOLERANCE

Dr Gill Hart,

scientific director of YorkTest

(yorktest.com), says:

While it is unnecessary and

unwise to cut things from your

diet without knowing if you are

actually intolerant to them, there

is research to suggest that food

intolerances can hinder people’s

efforts to lose weight. In a recent

study, a group of people suffering

from a variety of ailments took

a blood test to measure their

reactions to 158 different foods

and drinks. ‘Trigger’ items and

each person’s specific tolerance

levels were identified, then

nutritional support was given to

help the participants eliminate

their individual problem foods,

such as carrots, cow’s milk and

eggs. Everyone lost weight, with

43 percent losing between 11lbs

and 1st 6lbs despite weight loss not

being the main objective for the

majority of the group.

These results are significant

because, while the focus of the

study was on how a personalised

healthy, balanced diet could

improve health and wellbeing, weight loss was

revealed as an interesting by-product. The process

of food intake and uptake is complex, but it is

accepted that obesity correlates with inflammation

in the body, which has been shown to impair

the brain’s ability to receive appetite-suppressing

messages. We can attribute the weight loss in this

study to the digestive system functioning more

effectively and a reduction in the immune system

reacting to foods it sees as hostile. There are

countless dietary programmes out there, but few

recognise the possibility that even healthy foods like

lentils, buckwheat and limes can be an obstacle to

losing weight.

It’s all about learning which foods and drinks

work in harmony with your body and those that

should be avoided, and intolerance tests are an

effective way of doing this. If you are experiencing

issues with your health however, you should always

consult a medical professional.

NATURAL HEALTH 69


You’re SABOTAGING

YOUR EFFORTS

David James Lees, co-founder of

integrative health centre Wu Wei Wisdom

(wuweiwisdom.com), says:

A lot of people come to me when they are unable

to lose weight or maintain their ideal body shape

despite eating healthily and following a regular

exercise regime. In my experience, the problem

usually arises because they focus only on food and

working out and overlook the most important aspect

of living a naturally healthy and balanced life – their

mental and emotional wellbeing. For these clients,

their self-talk, mindset and belief system are all

programmed to sabotage their healthy eating and

active lifestyle as well as how they perceive the results

they get. Often, people strive for the ‘perfect’ weight

or shape as a means of self-validation and a way to

boost their poor body image, and their bathroom

scales become an enemy and unmerciful critic.

These strategies never work, and, without realising

it, people create what I call a carousel of despair. It

drains their motivation and energy, their mindset

becomes negative and rigid and so does their weight.

The solution is dealing with any self-esteem

issues or deeper unresolved emotions that caused

the original weight gain. You should begin by

focusing on your sense of self-worth and what you

think of yourself, regardless of weight or body shape.

You need to realise that your mindset, not your size,

dictates your self-belief and happiness.

3 steps to a happy mind

1. Become disciplined with your

internal dialogue.

If you find yourself comparing,

criticising or judging yourself,

put a stop to it. Instead, talk

to yourself with compassion,

positive encouragement and

patience, just as you would to

someone else. Ask yourself if you

would want somebody to speak

to or treat you the way you do,

and if that would be helpful or

simply hinder your progress?

2. Stop seeking approval.

Notice when you become

concerned about what other

people think about your weight

or appearance and remember

that your opinion should matter

the most. A mantra I teach my

clients is ‘what other people think

of me is none of my business!’ If

you can live by this affirmation,

even for just one day, it can

transform your life.

3. Acknowledge when deeper

emotional issues may be at play.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for

support from a friend or therapist

to deal with any misguided

beliefs about your self-esteem

and weight. This will allow you to

take full control of any unresolved

issues so that your goals can

become more authentic, realistic

and manageable.

You’re STRESSED

AND SLEEP DEPRIVED

Jacqui Cleaver, co-founder of New You Boot

Camp (newyoubootcamp.com), says:

Sleep deprivation will inevitably have a huge

impact on weight loss for many. Seven to eight

hours is the ideal amount of sleep for good rest and

recovery, and the most important time to be in a

deep slumber is between 11pm and 1am. Sleep

allows our cells to regenerate and our bodies are not

just resting during that time – they are recovering

and rejuvenating too. When we are tired our sugar

cravings will rocket as our bodies are searching for

energy, which leads to unstable blood sugar levels.

Fatigue tends to lead to self-medicating through

sugar and caffeine, both of which hinder weight loss.

Sleep deprivation also causes our bodies to go

into stress mode. It doesn’t always mean that we are

unhappy – there are a variety of lifestyle stressors

that become the norm for a lot of us, such as a lack

of shut eye, drinking too much alcohol, increased

70 NATURAL HEALTH


EXPERT GUIDE

sugar and caffeine intake and a fast-paced way

of living. Daily stresses cause our adrenal glands

to produce excess amounts of the stress hormone

cortisol, which is a big enemy when it comes to

losing weight. It is incredibly difficult to shed

pounds when we have too much cortisol in our

bodies as it makes our brains think that we are in

‘fight mode’, and as a consequence we store fat

and our blood sugar levels increase. Both sleep

deprivation and increased cortisol will make it

very hard to keep cravings under control and

lose fat.

When it comes to sleep and stress, exercise is

your best friend. Daily activity will significantly

help with both, whether it be moderate intensity

cardio, walking, HIIT or pilates. Learn to

manage your stress – morning yoga is an effective

and enjoyable way to stay calm throughout the

day, as is meditation. Even just doing 10 minutes

before bed can make a big difference. Cinnamon

is also a great addition to food and drinks for

stabilising blood sugar and reducing cravings.

You’ve GOT POOR GUT FLORA

Sandra Greenbank, a registered

nutritional therapist

(sandragreenbank.co.uk), says:

We all have a unique set of gut

bacteria that is collectively referred

to as the microbiome. From the

moment we are born – in fact, even

when we are passing through the

birth canal – we begin to acquire

our mothers’ individual collection

of microbes, and we continue to

pick them up from our environment

throughout our lives. Lifestyle and

diet affects gut bacteria and slim

people have been found to have larger

amounts of it as well as a more diverse

microbiome (i.e. a greater number

of strains of bacteria) than those

who are overweight. Precisely how

bacteria influence weight is not yet

known, but many researchers believe

that our gut microbiomes affect our

metabolism, the processing of food,

how many calories and nutrients our

bodies absorb and even how much

we eat in terms of how they impact

our hormones, such as insulin (the

fat storage hormone) and those that

regulate appetite (leptin and ghrelin).

So, someone with poor gut flora could

eat the same amount as someone with

a healthy gut, but extract more energy

from it and thus gain weight.

Optimal gut balance begins with

diet. Fibre and prebiotics found in

vegetables, fruits and wholegrains

nourish our microbes, making them

diverse and more likely to help keep

us slim. Healthy fats like coconut and

hemp oils, avocados, grass-fed butter,

almonds, fish rich in omega 3s and

extra-virgin olive oil also promote the

growth of good gut flora and increased

weight loss. Avoid inflammatory

fats such as sunflower oil and other

highly processed seed oils and try to

eat only free-range meat. Traditional

fermented foods including sauerkraut,

kimchi, tempeh, miso, yoghurt and

kefir are a good source of probiotics

and it’s wise to eat a mixture of these

regularly to promote a diverse set of

healthy bacteria.

Sugar feeds the ‘bad’ gut bacteria

and as refined carbohydrates (white

flour, pasta, bread etc.) convert to

sugar when we digest them, it’s best

to steer clear of these and stick to

wholegrain varieties. Limit your

intake of processed foods too as these

usually contain a lot of sugar and

unhealthy fats. You can also take

supplements such as a good quality

fish oil and probiotic capsules,

although there are no shortcuts

where the diet is concerned. Beware

that antibiotics can kill good as

well as bad bacteria and that

hormonal birth control and NSAIDs

(nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory

drugs) can contribute to unhealthy

gut flora. Finally, take lifestyle factors

into account – stress, for example,

has an enormous impact on the

functioning of the digestive tract

and adversely affects the health of

the microbiome.

And the rest...

You’re not drinking enough

Studies have found that people

who drink two 250ml glasses of

water 30 minutes before each

meal lose 5lb more weight, and

dehydration can lead you to eat

when what you really need is liquid.

You’re eating in front of the TV

Eating while distracted will cause

you to eat more as the signals to

your brain are interrupted.

You’re reliant on a fitness tracker

Research has shown that people

who wear trackers have a tendency

to overestimate calorie burn and

eat more when working out, which

can cause water retention and

consequently affect your weight.

You’re arguing with your partner

There is a strong link between a

person’s mood and what they eat,

and clashing couples are more

likely to overeat and burn fewer

calories after meals.

NATURAL HEALTH 71


EAT

natural

Eat natural Living healthily from the inside out

This year will see the launch of

the first Vegan Festival of Britain,

with events taking place across the UK

between May 20 and June 10. The three-week

festival has been coordinated by animal rights

group Animal Aid to celebrate its 40th anniversary

and will begin at Vegfest UK in Bristol, Europe’s

biggest vegan gathering. The organisers hope that

it will inspire people and serve to showcase

what the rapidly growing vegan movement

has to offer. To find out more visit

veganfestivalofbritain.org.uk

NATURAL HEALTH 73


The superfood

HOTLIST

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Fill your basket with the latest

healthy eating must-haves

PURE AND SIMPLE

This mildly sweet

vinegar is simply made

from coconut sap.

Coconut Merchant

Organic Coconut

Vinegar, £4.99, Ocado

EDITOR’S PICK

Try Arla’s two new

yoghurt flavours -

Rhubarb and Beetroot

and Apple, Carrot and

Ginger. Arla Skyr Pots,

85p, Tesco

GO NUTS

The blanched almonds

gives this milk a pure,

nutty taste. Califia

Farms Barista Blend

Almond Milk, £3.40,

Whole Foods

TEA TIME

Choose from two

new blends including

Honeybush and

Vanilla. Hampstea Tea

Herbal Tea, £2.49,

hampsteadtea.com

SOUPER DOUPER

Tideford Organics

has added two

delicious cold soups

to its range. Tideford

Organics Summer

Soups, £2.99, Ocado

GO GREEK

Breakfast yoghurts

with a handy spoon –

choose from natural

or honey. Rachel’s

Greek Style Breakfast

Pots, 99p, Ocado

RAISE A GLASS

We love this natural

sparkling nonalcoholic

beverage.

Who needs prosecco?

Botonique Crisp Dry

White, £6.99, tabl.com

COCONUT CRAZE

Pure, sustainably

sourced coconut

water. Rebel

Kitchen Organic

Coconut Water,

£4.99, Waitrose

SNACK ATTACK

A healthy alternative

to crisps in three

yummy flavours.

Nairn’s Gluten

Free Snackers,

40p, Sainsbury’s

SPREAD THE LOVE

Replace your jar of

Nutella with Meridian’s

newest flavour.

Meridian Cocoa &

Hazelnut Butter,

£2.79, Tesco

WELL AND GOOD

A new wellness tonic

packed with vitamins

and nutrients. Ojamin

Herb & Fruit, £29.99

(for one month’s

supply), ojamin.com

NH LOVES

A lighter alternative to

the much-loved classic

with hints of bergamot.

Newby Earl Green

Green Tea, £5.50,

newbyteas.co.uk

BALLIN’

Made using just

seven ingredients.

Boostball Coconut

Fudge Cake Protein

Ball, £17.99 (for 36

balls), boostball.com

MIX IT UP

Just add banana,

egg and milk of your

choice. Brunch sorted!

Wyldsson Buckwheat

Pancake Mix, £2.99,

wyldsson.com

FUEL FOR THOUGHT

Pureed fruit with

quark and yoghurt

– choose from four

flavours. Fuel 10k

High Protein Quark

pouches, £1.49, Asda

74 NATURAL HEALTH


EAT

natural

///////////////////////////////////////////// NUTRITIOUS INSPIRATION & IDEAS

CUP OF JOE

Coffee designed

to speed up your

metabolism. Skinny

Coffee Club, £24.95

(28-day programme),

Holland & Barrett

MILKING IT

Creamy cashew milk

yoghurts in three tasty

flavours. Nush Cashew

Milk Dairy Free

Yoghurt, £1.95, Whole

Foods Market

SUPER SAUSAGE

Gluten-free and

packed with vitaminrich

vegetables. Mor

Pork, Super Green

Veg and Lentil

Sausages, £3, Tesco

GREEN GODDESS

This salad jar is ideal

for a healthy lunch on

the go. Simply dress,

shake and enjoy! BOL

Super Green Salad Jar,

£3.33, Ocado

PERFECT PUDDINGS

These plant-based

desserts are perfect

for fuss-free dinner

parties. Freaks of

Nature Puddings,

£2.29, Tesco

SOYA LATER

Alpro has added a

flavour to its range of

soya yoghurts. Alpro

Go On Strawberry

Raspberry Snack Pot,

85p, Morrisons

PROTEIN PUNCH

The perfect postgym

pick-me-up.

Deliciously Ella

Almond and

Blueberry Protein

Ball, £1.79, Ocado

VERY BERRY

Tea made from 12

beauty and healthboosting

fruits

and herbs. Pukka

Wonder Berry Green,

£2.79, Ocado

TOTALLY TURMERIC

Turmeric lattes in four

flavours – choose

from vanilla, ginger,

choco and chilli choc.

Turmerlicious, £6.95,

turmerlicious.com

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Flat Three

Editorial Assistant Emily McMullin tries

Japanese and Nordic-inspired food

I’ve yet to visit any of the Nordic countries, nor

have I been to Japan, so I’m not overly familiar

with the cuisines of these places. I was very

intrigued when I heard about Flat Three in

Holland Park, London, which combines Japanese

food with dishes inspired by the cultural region

in Northern Europe, and once I discovered that

it had recently introduced a plant-based menu, I

just had to try it for myself.

The staff recommended the tasting menus

made up of an impressive seven courses. I went

for the vegan option while my date opted for the

standard menu, but each dish looked so good

that we shared them all. One of the highlights

was the sea bass which we both agreed was

the best we’d ever tasted. It was the epitome

of simple yet effective – a generously-sized

poached fillet in a fermented cauliflower broth.

I was particularly impressed with the flavours

and variety of the plant-based menu, which

really proved that vegan food doesn’t have to

be boring. I loved the linseed noodles and was

blown away by the tofu ice-cream.

The standard menu was packed with delicious

fish, including turbot, lobster and scallops, all of

which went down a treat. My date was a little

disappointed with the one meat dish – sirloin

steak – as they didn’t ask how he would like it

cooked and it was overdone to his liking, but the

chocolate cake made up for it. The atmosphere

in the restaurant is friendly and relaxed, and the

open kitchen allows you to watch the chefs work

their magic and have a little chat with them. A

fantastic venue for a special outing.

flatthree.london

NATURAL HEALTH 75


IN THE

KITCHEN

WITH...

Wellbeing guru Liz Earle, who

has just launched her new

book The Good Gut Guide

76 NATURAL HEALTH


EAT

natural

ABOUT

LIZ

FAVOURITE

SNACK

Plain dark

chocolate – 80

percent is my

favourite

I’ve been writing about how food can make us feel

good and look better for the past 30 years as our diet

really is the most effective thing we can control to

influence our wellbeing. My pioneering book Vital Oils,

which was published back in 1991, was one of the first

to highlight how good fats and oils can have an impact

on so many health and beauty concerns, from arthritis

and heart disease to eczema and psoriasis. Back then,

it was hard to find good quality, cold-pressed oils for

cooking, so it’s been a joy to see this whole area of

holistic healthcare expand so widely. I love that fact that

sustainability and provenance has become such a big

part of what we buy to eat too.

I’m constantly researching new areas of wellbeing

and I recently became increasingly aware that much of

the modern nutritional research and science is focusing

on the gut and our magnificent microbes. I looked at

so many scientific papers, which give us the scientific,

jargon and medical books, which bring us the health

studies, but I struggled to find a book that brought all

this together and showed how we can put this knowledge

into everyday practise. From focusing on how to rid

the body of damaging microbes and parasites to easing

eczema, improving mood and depression, assisting

weight loss and sorting out any digestive issues, there is

so much to be gained from better gut health, and this is

what inspired my new book The Good Gut Guide.

I loved working out a practical way we could all

easily start to see a real benefit, so I take my reader

on a journey that’s easy to navigate with a simple,

easy to follow guide. I start with an overview of what

your personal issues and needs might be, and follow

this up with ideas on ways to repopulate your gut with

beneficial intestinal flora. Then there are lots of recipes

for foods that will encourage and maintain the good

bugs. I loved the challenge of creating family-friendly

foods that even my smallest children love to eat!

If you’d like to focus on your gut health, look for

live, cultured and fermented foods and add a small

amount into your diet every day. You’ll find these

foods in every culture, from Korean kimchi to German

sauerkraut and French crème fraiche. I give recipes

for all these and much more in my book – even how

to make your own sourdough bread, which is easier to

digest as it has been fermented.

My advice is to start by clearing out your cupboards

and pass on all the things that will hinder progress –

white flours, refined sugars, processed foods. Write

yourself a good gut shopping list so you have plenty of

micro-flora friendly foods at hand. Take small steps and

acquire the taste for plain live yoghurt, kefir and kimchi.

Adding these new foods into your everyday normal diet

will give your microbiome a boost and is so easy to do.

Fill your fridge with healthy options that are always

at hand to grab and go when you’re in a rush. When

I know I’ve an early start, I pre-soak some oats in milk

the night before, throw in a few almonds and berries

and stir in a spoonful of plain, live yoghurt as a quick

breakfast. Soaking the oats starts the fermentation

process and makes them easier to digest. You can even

make this in a jar and take it with you to eat when

you’ve time.

3

foods I’ll be eating

THIS MONTH

British raspberries

These are packed with flavour as

well as antioxidants

New potato salad

Cold carbs are an excellent source of

resistant fibre to feed beneficial gut bugs

FAVOURITE

LUNCH

A bowlful of

brown rice with

sunflower seeds,

veggies, chopped

avocado and

maybe some

fresh tuna

FAVOURITE

SUPPER

A juicy Hereford

grass-fed steak

(packed with

omega3s) with

asparagus

and Jerusalem

artichokes (both

terrific prebiotic

veggies) and a

large mixed

green salad

Homemade kefir

This is delicious drizzled over Wimbledon

strawberries

NATURAL HEALTH 77


Waste not,

WANT NOT

Want to help stop tonnes of food going into landfill?

Get creative and you can be part of the solution

78 NATURAL HEALTH


EAT

natural

Food waste is a hot topic. Recent figures show

that in the UK, we threw away £13 billion of food

last year, and the waste and recycling body Wrap says

4.4million tonnes of it could have been eaten. So what

should we be doing about it?

1. HOME IS WHERE THE START IS

They say charity starts at home, so do your bit for this

good cause and have a look at what’s in your fridge

and larder. “Plan meals around the products which

are closest to expiring,” says Egzona Makolli, technical

nutritionist at Kinetic Enterprises. “Do this for all the

items in the freezer too, make a note of the date each

item was frozen to make sure you use them before they

pass their prime.”

Wise up on the difference between ‘use by’ and

‘best before’ dates – the former is a safety standard –

food should not be consumed, or frozen, after this date

as it may no longer be safe. Best before is a quality

guideline, meaning it’s possible the food may not be of

the same standard after this date (although very often it

still is) but it is safe to eat.

2. GET GIVING

There are plenty of charitable organisations out there.

Get properly involved in a food waste charity and

you’ll be helping surplus grub reach the plates of the

needy rather than being thrown in the bin. The charity

FareShare is always looking for volunteers. It has 20

centres around the UK which save food destined for

waste, and redistribute it to charities and community

groups that transform it into nutritious meals for

vulnerable people. Visit fareshare.org.uk

3. KEEP COOL

“Set your fridge to the right temperature,” says

Egzona. “Statistics show that around 60-70 percent

of our fridges are at high temperatures, so make sure

you store food according to the instructions on the

pack and do not leave foods like milk, cooked meat or

fresh ingredients out of the fridge as this cuts the life

of them by up to 100 percent. Make sure you keep it

between 1-5°C – this temperature has shown to help

you get the best from the food. If yours does not have

a temperature monitor, then you may want to invest

in a fridge thermometer.”

4. COMPOST IT

Chuck anything you don’t eat into a compost heap:

“It reduces the amount of rubbish you put out for

collection and creates a free, nutritious fertiliser

which will help your garden. You are able to compost

everything from uncooked vegetables, teabags,

eggshells and fruit peelings,” says Egzona. Don’t have a

garden, or space for a heap? No problem: “Many local

GET FOOD WISE!

Victoria Glass, author of Too Good to Waste (£14.99, Nourish Books),

an invaluable guide to using up the food you have, explains how you

can salvage what you might otherwise be tempted to thow away...

Leave it out

A whole head of lettuce will last

longer than a pack of leaves, but

when you’re tired and hungry,

those puffy bags make life feel

so much simpler. But they can

seem to shrivel in a matter of

hours. Instead of throwing sad

and soggy leaves away, there

are ways to rescue them. Often,

the wilting is just dehydration,

which can be easily solved by

plunging the leaves into iced

water for 20 minutes. You can

also freeze leaves to use in stews

and soups. Their cell structure will

break down, but the flavour and

nutrients will remain.

Fat chance

The war on fat is finally over!

Rendered animal fat should be

clarified, which is no great feat

of alchemy. Cool melted fat,

then chill in the fridge until firm.

The fat will rise to the top and

farmers will happily accept food leftovers for adding to

a compost heap. Go online to find local farms near you

and simply call them to ask if they take these,” she says.

5. SHOP SMART

“Use grocery lists and avoid any impulse buys as this

makes it less likely you’ll buy any excess food that you

don’t need and are unlikely to consume. Buy items

only when you have a plan to use them and wait until

it’s all gone before buying more. There are many

trendy apps which can help you prepare meals in

advance and save on food waste.

“You can also buy wonky produce – many fruits

and vegetables are thrown away because of their shape,

size or colour does not match the typical ‘look’. But

these items are perfectly good to eat and buying them

at your local farmers market or grocery store can help

use up the food which might be thrown

away otherwise.”

any meat protein will sink to the

bottom and set like jelly. Peel the

fat off and save the meat jelly

for enriching sauces and stews.

Melt the fat and strain it through

muslin/cheesecloth before leaving

it to set again. It can be kept in

a cool larder or refrigerator for

weeks (some even say years).

There’s no tidy use-by date, but

the smell and taste will tell you

when the fat’s day has come.

Taking stock

The smell of gently simmering

stock will instantly make your

home feel more welcoming, in

expectation of all the excellent

meals to come. You can stockpile

bones, veg trimmings and even

herbs in your freezer so that

once you have collected enough,

a good homemade stock is but

hours away. And with it, the

endless possibility of a

thousand suppers.

NATURAL HEALTH 79


IAN MARBER

EAT

natural

“It’s wise to take

vitamin D

year-round”

Nutritional therapist Ian Marber

on why we may not be getting

the vitamin D our body needs

– even in the summer

Although vitamin D is one of the

better-known nutrients, it seems

that we are still not getting enough of

it. Vitamin D has many scientifically

proven roles, including supporting

calcium utilisation (and therefore helping

bone and teeth health), as well as assisting

the immune system and helping cells

grow. Other claims are contested, such

as the idea that it may combat some

forms of cancer.

Nonetheless, its importance is

undeniable, yet the National Institute

for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

estimates that one in five adults and one

in six children in England alone may

have low vitamin D status.

HOW IT WORKS

Vitamin D is actually a group of

chemicals but in short, exposure to UV

light allows one variant, known as D3,

to be made in the skin, which is then

taken to the liver where it is turned

into calcitriol, the active form of the

vitamin. Supplements of vitamin D tend

to be another variant, D2, which is also

converted into the active form. Food

sources include oily fish, egg yolks and

liver, which is bad news for vegetarians

and vegans or anyone wanting to eat less

animal produce.

SUMMER SUN

Sunlight is vital when it comes to vitamin

D and we need around 15 minutes

of direct exposure, ideally between

10am and 2pm, for enough vitamin D

production to take place in the skin.

The skin should not be covered by UV

protection for it to gain the benefits of

vitamin D, but we do need to ensure

that we don’t spend too much time in

the sun without appropriate precautions.

It’s not enough to have just your face

in the rays – ideally your arms, legs and

even some torso would be exposed too

for optimal effect.

SUPPLEMENT

The NHS suggests that spending this

time in the sun and reaping the benefits

Ian is one of the UK’s top nutritional

therapists ianmarber.com

should not be a problem from April until

September, but in reality, sunlight is not

guaranteed in this part of the world,

even in the summer months, and

exposure is potentially limited by a lack

of time too – how many of us are actually

free during the day to get to enjoy the

warmth of this?

The general advice is to supplement

vitamin D in the winter months, but

people with darker skins are advised to

take a supplement throughout the year.

It is my opinion that unless we do get the

necessary sunlight every day and also eat

vitamin D rich foods, then it would be

wise for the wider population to take a

supplement year-round.

As for dosage, the NHS advise at least

10mcg or iu daily, although other health

sources suggest taking far more, often as

much as 500iu, although 100iu daily is

probably the upper limit for most people.

Sunlight is vital when it comes to vitamin D and we

need around 15 minutes of direct exposure

NATURAL HEALTH 81


EAT

natural

SUMMER staples

Say hello to the warmer weather with these three

delicious recipes from Amelia Freer

SMOKED MACKEREL

PÂTÉ

I love this in a bowl for lunch with lots

of bits and pieces for dipping, but you

could also pile it into lettuce cups, or

even spread it on some gluten- free

toast for an alternative breakfast.

SERVES 1

•100g smoked mackerel, skin and

bones removed

•Zest and juice of ½ a lime

•3 tbsp finely chopped fresh

coriander

•1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and

finely chopped

•2cm fresh ginger peeled and finely

grated

•2 tbsp dairy-free coconut yoghurt

(or 1 tablespoon full-fat organic

mayonnaise)

•1 tbsp coconut aminos

•2 spring onions, finely sliced

•Sea salt and black pepper

TO SERVE

•2 or 3 gluten-free oatcakes

•1 apple, sliced

•3 portions of raw vegetable crudités

•2 tbsp toasted seeds

1 Mix all the pâté ingredients together

with a fork, tasting and seasoning

accordingly.

2 Spoon the pâté into a bowl and

serve with the oatcakes, sliced apple,

vegetable crudités and a generous

sprinkling of toasted seeds.

NATURAL HEALTH 83


EAT

natural

BEETROOT HOUMOUS

SALAD

I love the audacious colours of this salad

which (especially once you’ve made a batch of

houmous) is a very quick meal. There are a million

and one combinations that you can try so feel

free to swap or change the suggested vegetables

around according to what you have left in the

fridge or what’s best at this time of year.

SERVES 1

•A handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered

•1 spring onion, finely sliced

•1 yellow or orange pepper, deseeded and finely

diced

•A handful of rocket leaves, chopped

•A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

•A squeeze of lemon juice

•A pinch of salt

•2 tbsp seeds

•2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (or basil or

coriander)

•2-3 gluten-free oatcakes

•1 portion of beetroot houmous (see below)

1 In a bowl, mix together the cherry tomatoes,

spring onion, pepper, cucumber and rocket with

a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and

a pinch of salt. Leave the dressing off if you are

making ahead of time.

2 Serve the salad mixture topped with a sprinkle

of seeds and chopped herbs over the top. Serve

with gluten-free oatcakes and a generous dollop

of houmous.

BEETROOT

HOUMOUS

MAKES 3 PORTIONS

•1 medium raw beetroot (about

200g)

•10g chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons

dried dill

•1 clove of garlic

•1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained

and rinsed

•3 tbsp tahini

•½ tsp salt

•Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 Preheat oven to 170°C.

2 Wrap the whole beet individually in

small squares of foil lined with baking

parchment and place on a tray in

the oven for 60-90 minutes (the

baking time will vary depending

on the size of the beetroot), or

until a sharp knife slips easily into

the centre. I usually do this when I

have something else in the oven.

3 When cool enough to handle,

use kitchen paper to slip the skin

off the beets. Place one peeled

beetroot in the food processor

along with any juices in the foil

and the dill. Add all the other

houmous ingredients. Blend for

3-4 minutes, until really smooth.

You may need to add a tiny splash

of cold water if your mixture is

looking very thick. Taste and

adjust the seasoning as necessary.

84 NATURAL HEALTH


EGG SALAD ON

TOAST

New ways of enjoying classic eggs and

toast are always welcome at breakfast

– I hope you like this version as much

as I do.

SERVES 1

•2 large eggs

•1 spring onion, finely sliced

•Zest of ½ a lemon

•A sprinkling of chopped fresh chives

•½ a stick of celery, finely chopped

•A handful of cherry tomatoes,

quartered

•¼ of an avocado, peeled and

chopped

•A handful of rocket, rinsed

•1 tbsp of olive oil

•Sea salt and freshly ground black

pepper

•1 slice of gluten-free bread

1 Boil the eggs for 6 minutes, then

rinse under cold water to stop them

cooking. Peel the eggs and finely chop

them. You could do this the night

before if you know you’ll be busy in

the morning.

2 Put the eggs into a bowl with the

spring onion, lemon zest, chives,

celery, cherry tomatoes, avocado and

rocket. Add the olive oil and salt and

pepper, and mix well.

3 Toast the slice of bread, and load it

up with the salad.

BOOKshelf

Recipes extracted from Nourish

& Glow: The 10 – Day Plan

by Amelia Freer published by

Michael Joseph, £16.99

Photography: Susan Bell

PROMOTION

EAT WELL

Looking for some help in your quest

to eat more healthily? Nutritionist

Resource could be the answer,

as Ellen Hoggard explains

Diet is the cornerstone of optimal

health and wellbeing and we believe

everyone deserves health, happiness

and access to quality nutritional

information and advice from

professionals. That’s why we set up

Nutritionist Resource – a website

dedicated to offering a simple way

to connect with qualified nutrition

professionals across the UK.

EXPERT ADVICE

AND SUPPORT

Whatever your reason, the site

can help you realise that change is

possible, support is available and you

are not alone in the journey.

Our website includes everything

we wish we’d had access to when

starting our journey – a detailed

library of fact-sheets featuring

useful information about some of

the reasons you may want to

consult a nutrition professional as

well as articles, blogs and recipes to

help you keep up-to-date with all

things nutrition.

All of our members have a personal

profile where they provide plenty

of information about how they

work and who they are, helping you

decide whether they are the right

person for you.

For more information visit

nutritionist-resource.org.uk

NATURAL HEALTH 85


EAT TO BEAT

THE MENOPAUSE

Nutritional therapist Henrietta

Norton looks at how your diet

can help relieve symptoms of

the menopause

The menopause is a natural, transitionary stage

moving a woman away from the child-bearing years

into a stage that, according to ayurvedic and traditional

Chinese medicine perspectives, is characterised by

‘soul development’. Indeed Dr Christiane Northrop

beautifully says: “Our fertility stops being about having

children and starts being about what we create for

ourselves that benefits us and the people around us.”

Nonetheless, this time of life also comes with physical

symptoms that can be deeply uncomfortable for some

women.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT

YOUR BODY?

Whatever a woman is faced with it is vitally important

to remember that this is not a disease, it is a natural

progression to a different stage of a woman’s life cycle

and that it is a mind, body and spirit experience. This

means that any support programme should be holistic

and that helping with the emotional impact is just as important as

assisting the change in body chemistry.

NOURISHING NUTRIENTS

Here are some of the best vitamins and nutrients for menopausal

women and how to include them in your diet and lifestyle...

PHYTOESTROGENS (ISOFLAVONES, LIGNANDS

AND COUMESTANS)

Isoflavones and coumestans are thought to be protective against

hormone related cancers as well as moderate symptoms associated

with hormonal imbalance (such as hot flushes).

Where to find them: Miso soup, edamame beans, chickpea,

wholemeal bread, beansprouts, sprouts (alfalfa and chickpea), lentils

and splitpeas are good sources. Research suggests that brown rice,

oats, garlic, fennel, celery, rhubarb and parsely are also effective

phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms.

VITAMIN E

This has been shown to reduce vaginal dryness and hot flushes as

well as reduce risk of heart attack in post-menopausal women.

Where to find it: In foods such as sunflower seed oil, tuna, sardines,

salmon, wheat germ, sesame seeds and unsalted/unroasted peanuts.

B VITAMINS (ESPECIALLY B1, B2, B6 AND B12)

The B vitamins support the adrenal gland, and therefore help to

reduce symptoms such as irritability, tension, anxiety and poor

concentration and energy.

Where to find them: In foods such as wholewheat, wholegrain

rice, barley, oats, amaranth rye, quinoa and brewers’ yeast.

MAGNESIUM

This is needed during stages of menopause to form healthy bone

density and cardiac support. It can be used to support stress and

anxiety symptoms associated with the menopause.

Where to find it: Wheat germ, almonds, cashew nuts, buckwheat,

Brazil nuts, raisins and beans (especially anasazi, adzuki, black,

chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lentils) are good sources. You can also

find it in supplements such as Wild Nutrition’s Botanical Menopause

(£25, wildnutrition.com).

86 NATURAL HEALTH


EAT

natural

BORON

This is needed for metabolism of calcium and magnesium

and research has shown it can reduce risk of osteoporosis.

Where to find it: In foods such as alfalfa, kelp, cabbage

and leafy greens.

ZINC

Zinc is needed for proper absorption of osteoclasts and

osteoblasts for bone turnover.

Where to find it: Oysters, pumpkin seeds, wholewheat,

rye, oats, almonds and peas are high in zinc.

IODINE

This is essential for thyroid function and therefore for

hormonal equilibrium.

Where to find it: In foods such a organic yoghurt,

organic milk, strawberries, iodized salt and seaweed.

VITAMIN K

This nutrient is needed to make osteocalcin and

reduce the risk of oestoeporosis which is increased

post-menopause.

Where to find it: In cabbage, alfalfa and green

leafy veg.

DHA AND EPA

These are needed for the production of anti-inflammatory

prostaglandins and improving calcium absorption and

bone density.

Where to find them: Mackerel, tuna, salmon, sunflower

seeds and flaxseeds are good sources.

CALCIUM

Calcium helps to regulate blood levels of calcium and phosphorus

for bone health.

Where to find it: Cheese (especially Swiss and cheddar) is a good

source as well as almonds, brewers’ years, parsley, corn tortillas,

globe artichokes, prunes and pumpkin seeds.

VITAMIN D

This nutrient helps to regulate blood levels of calcium and

phosphorus for bone health. Vitamin D is also needed for the body

to absorb calcium.

Where to find it: In foods such as alfalfa, kelp, cabbage and leafy

greens. You can also make it from exposure to sunlight.

FOLATE

Folic acid can reduce homocysteine levels (associated with the

increase in bone loss) in postmenopausal women.

Where to find it: Beans (anasazi, adzuki, black, chickpeas, blackeyed

peas and lentils), kale, wheat germ, spinach, peanuts, sprouts,

asparagus, sesame seeds and broccoli are all good sources.

Make small lifestyle changes

Support your physical and mental health by making tweaks to

your lifestyle.

•Stress can have a significant influence on your

experience of the menopause. Set aside regular time

to do something that you love and that makes you

feel good, or try to find a hobby. Don’t feel guilty for

spending time on yourself. Laughter in particular is

highly stress-relieving.

•Be mindful of environmental oestrogens that may

act as harmful hormone disruptors. To minimize

your exposure to these, don’t cook or heat foods in

plastic – use glass or crockery instead. Use pots or

frying pans made of steel or non-toxic cookware too.

Reduce your use of chemical-based cosmetics and

household cleaning products.

•Smoking can lead to earlier onset of the menopause

so if you are a smoker, consider giving up.

NATURAL HEALTH 87


EAT

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1 AVOCADO

Often touted as a superfood,

avocado can certainly help get

glowing skin. It’s high in omega

9, a monounsaturated fatty acid

which helps to hydrate, supports

the soft texture and renewal of skin cells, and prevents dry flaky

skin. Avocados are also high in antioxidants, and vitamins E and

C, all of which help prevent the damage caused by pollutants and

toxins in our everyday lives. Try adding avocado to smoothies for

a creamy shake!

2 BLUEBERRIES

These little gems are high in antioxidants which help the body

slow the ageing process by mopping up free radicals and providing

skin cells with a shield to prevent further damage. A free radical is

a chemical reaction caused by pollutants that can lead to oxidation

and cell damage that increase the rate of wrinkles and ageing –

think of how a cut apple goes brown when you leave it in the air,

this is oxidation. Blueberries are an excellent source of a broad

range of antioxidants such as resveratrol, vitamin C, zeaxanthin

and gallic acid. Include them a few times a week to increase the

antioxidant content of your diet.

3 BONE BROTH

Currently on trend, bone broth is a must to increase glowing skin.

It is high in collagen, a protein naturally found in the skin which

helps maintain elasticity and prevent wrinkles, production of

which decreases with age. You’ll also find gelatine in there which

Get the

GLOW

yorktest.com

Nutritional therapist Alison Orr

reveals her top five foods guaranteed

to keep you looking fresh

Alison is a nutrition

consultant for YorkTest,

for more information visit

helps to keep skin firm, and

glutamine, an essential amino

acid that helps to support the

renewal of muscle fibres and

skin cells. Bone broth is full

of highly bioavailable minerals

such as magnesium and calcium too, meaning they can be absorbed

and utilised easily by the body.

4 KEFIR

Another hot favourite at the moment, and for a reason! Kefir is

milk fermented with live cultures to produce a natural probiotic.

Probiotics help to regulate the balance of bacteria in the gut,

supporting the beneficial bacteria and preventing any harmful

overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria. A healthy gut is essential for

healthy skin; it helps the absorption of nutrients and can reduce

inflammation which can stop breakouts and dry skin. Try making

kefir by adding live cultures to organic milk and allowing them to

ferment over 48 hours.

5 SWEET POTATOES

Rich in hyaluronic acid, a compound found naturally in the body,

sweet potatoes can help skin to retain moisture. It acts as a natural

lubricant, helping to plump out the skin and reduce the appearance

of wrinkles, giving a brighter texture. This miracle compound can

also have anti-inflammatory properties which helps support the

immune system, and in turn prevents break outs and dry flaky skin.

Sweet potatoes, like blueberries, are high in antioxidants too, which

can help reduce damage to skin from everyday life.

NATURAL HEALTH 89


VEG

OUT

Let our experts make you a

plant-based pro in no time!

The basic benefits of going vegetarian are clear:

research suggests non-meat eaters consume less

fat, have a lower cholesterol intake and a diet

rich in antioxidants. If you’re looking for some

nutritional advice on how to make your food

choices more plant-based, or if you’re still

deciding if the meat-free life is for you, we’ve

delved a little deeper into the issue with the help

of our experts. Plus, we’ve highlighted some tasty

and healthy vegetarian recipes to try this summer

over the page.

“WHAT ARE SOME OF

Q THE ‘HIDDEN’ NON-VEGGIE

INGREDIENTS THAT I SHOULD

BE LOOKING OUT FOR ON

PRODUCT LABELS?”

“Derived from the boiled bones, skins and

A tendons of animals, gelatine is used to create the

well-known texture of jellied sweets. Vegegel or agar

agar are suitable alternatives, so look out for these when

finding other options,” explains Indigo Herbs consultant

nutritionist Jenny Tschiesche (indigo-herbs.co.uk). “Rennet

in cheese is another ingredient to spot. Not all cheese is

vegetarian because some are made using animal rennet,

which comes from the stomach of newly-born calves,

extracted to bring about the curdling process. Parmesan,

gorgonzola and grana padano are all examples of cheese

using animal rennet.

“Cochineal is made from crushed insects and is used as

a red food colouring which can be found in products such

as jelly – it should be listed as E120 on ingredients labels.

Another E-number that is unsuitable for vegetarians is listed

on labels as E542. This is edible animal bone phosphate

and is used as an anti-caking agent in dry goods and sugar.”

90 NATURAL HEALTH


EAT

natural

Q

“I AM VEGETARIAN, BUT I’M

THINKING OF GOING VEGAN.

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO MAKE

THIS TRANSITION EASIER?”

“Making the transition from vegetarian to vegan

A can be simple and seamless when you make the

effort to seek out suitable substitutions,” says nutritionist

Julie Montagu (juliemontagu.com) “For example, if

you’re a cheese lover, sampling a range of vegan options

to find something that hits the

spot for you will help make the

process easier. The same concept

goes for the kind of milk that you

use in your tea and coffee, and

on your cereal. There is a huge

range of vegan alternatives to

dairy products which are widely

available, so it won’t be difficult

to find your new favourite.

“It is also a good idea to

up your intake of fresh, whole

foods. Adding more fruits and

vegetables to your diet will help your nutritional intake

to soar, while also encouraging you to try new foods

and make your diet more interesting. Experimenting in

the kitchen, and stepping out of your dietary comfort

zones will open up exciting plant-based possibilities to

you and your taste buds, easing your transition from

vegetarian to vegan!”


Try slicing and

grilling sweet

potatoes on the

barbecue


Q

“I CAN FEEL MYSELF

GETTING TEMPTED AT

BARBECUES. WHAT ARE SOME

HEALTHY OPTIONS THAT I CAN

HAVE INSTEAD?”

“You don’t need to feel that you’re missing

A out when it comes to the barbecue season

– in fact, some of the most delicious barbequed

food isn’t meat-focused,” says nutritional therapist

Shona Wilkinson (shonawilkinson.com). “Try slicing

and grilling sweet potatoes on the barbecue, and either

serve by themselves or top with some mozzarella cheese,

tomatoes and basil for a more filling option. Serve with

some extra virgin olive oil and a salad – yum! You can

also try making vegetable skewers and grilling them – this

is a really healthy way of increasing your veg intake.

“Another option is to go for a homemade veggie

burger. You can find some incredibly simple recipes to

make in advance, and you’ll probably find that people

who aren’t vegetarians will be wanting yours instead! Also

try corn on the cob. This contains two antioxidants called

lutein and zeaxanthin which are good for eye health.”

“I WANT TO BECOME A VEGGIE,

Q BUT WHERE SHOULD I GET MY

PROTEIN FROM?”

“You do need to be more aware of what your

A protein sources are as a vegetarian, but luckily

there are plenty for you to choose from and it’s not too

difficult to make sure you get enough,” explains nutritional

therapist Sandra Greenbank (sandragreenbank.co.uk). “A

complete protein has nine amino acids needed for vital

bodily functions. Quinoa, eggs, tofu and

dairy are all a complete protein so it’s a

good idea to make sure at least one meal a

day is based on one of these foods.

“Some vegetarian protein sources

don’t contain all nine essential amino

acids, but you can mix two foods to

achieve a complete protein. When you

combine beans, lentils or peanuts with a

grain such as wheat, rice or corn you end

up with a complete protein. For example,

try having some nut butter on a slice of

toast, or a classic dish of rice and beans.”

Q

“I OFTEN FIND MY ENERGY

DIPPING LATE AFTERNOON.

WHAT ARE SOME QUICK AND

HEALTHY VEGETARIAN SNACKS I

CAN PREPARE?”

“I truly believe that the well-known 4pm slump

A is rarely due to a need for food but in fact the

natural time of day that the body is due to have a rest,”

says holistic nutritionist and healer Pandora Paloma

(rootedlondon.com). “In the modern world where a lunch

break is a rarity, our peak energy levels are bound to drop

by mid-afternoon if we’ve been working since 9am!

“I encourage clients to take a five minute meditation,

drink a glass of water and then, if 20 minutes later, you are

still hungry, grab a snack.

“Savoury rather than sweet bites can be better in

balancing your insulin levels. Opt for a bean-based dish,

full of fibre and that’s energising for the mind and body.

Broad bean dip, humous or beetroot and cannelloni bean

dip go well with chopped raw vegetables. Or, if you’re

especially hungry, try a seeded crisp bread.

“Nut butters are a great source of protein and healthy

fats, and they taste great with an apple. Plus, if you have a

blender, nut butters are easy to make so get creative with

other super powders such as cacao, which is a natural

stimulant. They last too, so keep a pot on your desk for up

to 30 days.”

Turn over for some delicious vegetarian recipes

NATURAL HEALTH 91


GRILLED

COURGETTES AND

CORN WITH BASIL

SERVES 2

•2 corn cobs

•2 tsp coconut oil

•2 courgettes

•Sea salt flakes

•30g pumpkin seeds

•250g cherry tomatoes, whole

or halved

•Handful of fresh basil leaves

•Crushed chilli flakes

FOR THE LEMON GARLIC DRESSING

•1 small garlic clove, very

finely chopped

•2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil

•1 lemon, zest

•2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

•Pinch of fine sea salt

•¼–½ tsp pure maple syrup or raw

honey

1 Heat the grill to high. Husk the corn

cobs and rub them with a little of the

coconut oil. Place them on the grill

and cook, turning every few minutes,

until tender and bright yellow. Remove

92 NATURAL HEALTH

from the grill and leave them to cool.

Cut off the corn kernels by standing

each cob on its end in a shallow bowl

and slicing downwards.

2 Slice the courgettes lengthways into

0.5cm thick pieces (not too thin or

they will fall apart). Rub both sides of

each slice with a little coconut oil and

place on the grill. Cook, flipping once,

until both sides are tender and lightly

charred. Remove the courgettes from

the grill and place in the bowl with the

corn. Season with salt.

3 In a small bowl, whisk together the

garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt

and maple syrup to make the dressing.

Pour half of this over the corn and

courgettes. Toss gently to coat and

leave the vegetables to marinate for five

minutes. Preheat a small dry frying pan

over a medium heat. When hot, toast the

pumpkin seeds for three to five minutes,

tossing frequently, until fragrant.

Immediately remove the pan from the

heat and set it aside.

4 Place the courgettes and corn

on a large serving platter. Add the

tomatoes and basil, pour the remaining

dressing over the top and sprinkle with

the pumpkin seeds and chilli flakes.

Serve immediately.

CAULIFLOWER

STEAKS WITH

CHERMOULA

AND EGGS

SERVES 4

•2 heads of cauliflower

•1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee

•Fine sea salt

FOR THE CHERMOULA

•1 garlic clove

•2 pinches of fine sea salt

•½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

•¼ tsp smoked hot paprika (ground

chipotle would also work)

•½ tsp crushed chilli flakes

•1 tsp ground cumin

•½ tsp ground coriander

•4 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil

•4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon

juice

•60g fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves,

plus extra to garnish

•60g fresh coriander leaves, plus

extra to garnish

•4-8 large eggs (1-2 eggs per person)


EAT

natural

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the

cauliflower from top to bottom into

1.3 cm thick slices. Save any florets

or small pieces for another dish. Rub

the cauliflower with the coconut oil

and season with salt. Place it on a

large rimmed baking sheet and roast

for 20-30 minutes until golden and

tender but not mushy.

2 While the cauliflower is roasting,

make the chermoula: in a food

processor, pulse the garlic until very

finely chopped. Add the salt, pepper,

spices, oil and lemon juice and pulse

to combine. Roughly chop the herbs,

add them and pulse until the desired

consistency is reached – it’s delicious

smooth or left a little chunky.

3 Poach the eggs, one at a time,

in a shallow pot of simmering water

over a low heat.

4 To serve, place a generous dollop

of chermoula (about four tablespoons,

or more as desired) on each plate,

followed by two cauliflower steaks.

Season the cauliflower with salt, add

one or two poached eggs and top

with a sprinkling of fresh herbs.

Enjoy immediately.

SPICY

WATERMELON

MOJITO ICE

LOLLIES

MAKES 10

•1kg seedless watermelon flesh

•4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

•2 pinches of cayenne, as liked

•2 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw

honey, plus extra for the moulds

•3 tbsp fresh mint leaves, plus

extra for the moulds

1 Cut the watermelon into chunks,

remove the rind and place the flesh

in a blender. Blend on a mediumlow

speed until the mixture is

liquefied. Strain the juice through

a sieve into a jug with a spout and

press the pulp to extract as much

juice as possible. Discard the pulp.

2 Return the juice to the blender

and add the lime juice, cayenne,

maple syrup and mint leaves. Blend

just enough to chop the mint – do

not go too far or you’ll change

the colour of the juice. Leave the

mixture to steep for 10 minutes to

infuse the juice with the mint. You

should end up with at least 750ml

of liquid.

3 Brush a little maple syrup on one

side of the remaining mint leaves

and press them to the insides of the

ice lolly moulds – it helps to use a

chopstick. Use two or three leaves

per mould. (This is purely for

aesthetics, so if you’re pressed for

time, skip this step.)

4 Carefully pour a portion of the

watermelon juice mixture into each

mould, insert the wooden sticks and

set the moulds in the freezer for at

least three hours. To remove the lollies

from the moulds, run the moulds

under warm water for a few seconds

until the lollies release.

BOOKshelf

Recipes extracted from

Naturally Nourished by Sarah

Britton, £20 Jacqui Small.

(Available 15th June).

NATURAL HEALTH 93


BeautyBetter skin, hair, make-up naturally – here’s how

Natural

skincare pioneer

Green People is celebrating

its 20th anniversary by launching

two special edition collections. The first

is a damask rose trio made up of a cleanser,

moisturiser and hand cream, all scented with

precious rose otto. The second collection is based

on orange blossom and features an exfoliator,

cleanser and moisturiser. The brand will also

be introducing improved formulations,

handy travel sizes and stylish

new packaging.

NATURAL HEALTH 95


10 WAYS TO

SUMMER-PROOF YOUR

BEAUTY ROUTINE

Say goodbye to melted make-up and hello to an airbrush finish with these simple tips

1CLEAN THE CANVAS

Thanks to evil humidity, oil sits on the surface of your

skin for longer in summer, making it feel greasy as well

as blocking your pores which can lead to breakouts. The

first step to summer-ready beauty is a good cleansing

routine to remove any excess dirt and bacteria.

Renew Gel Cleanser, £34, pestleandmortar.com/uk

2USE THE RIGHT MOISTURISER

The way you care for your skin is just as important as the

make-up you apply to it. “During the summer months, you

don’t need to use a heavy lotion to properly hydrate skin,”

explains Bridget O’Keefe, make-up artist and founder of

Blush & Blow (blushandblowlondon.com). “Instead, opt

for a lightweight and, depending on your skin type, oil-free

moisturiser to help skin breathe.”

3

IT’S ALL IN THE PREP

Want your make-up to stay put all day, even in tropical

climates? Then invest in a good primer. “A primer is a must

during summer as it helps to manage excess oil and creates

a smooth canvas for better foundation application,” says

bareMinerals make-up artist SJ Froom.

Prime Time Foundation Primer, £23, bareminerals.co.uk

SAY GOODBYE TO

FULL COVERAGE

Wearing less make-up lets your skin

breathe, making it less likely to sweat

and melt away cosmetics. “Switch your

heavy foundation for a light coverage

BB or CC cream,” advises Bridget. “A

light foundation with a high SPF is just as

ideal. Remember to avoid anything too

shimmery, though, as the hot weather can

make you look extra shiny.”

Pacifica foundation, £17.99, naturisimo.com

96 NATURAL HEALTH


BEAUTY

CHEAT A TAN

Give your cheeks a

golden glow the safe way,

by faking it. “Bronzer is

great for making your

eyes look brighter

and your teeth

whiter, while also

adding warmth to

your complexion,” says

Bridget. “Apply to the high points of your

face including cheekbones, chin, nose and

forehead for a sun-kissed glow.”

Trystal Minerals Self Tanning Bronzing

Minerals, £35, vitaliberata.co.uk

6TRY A GEL

“Let go of brow pencils in the summer

as they are prone to melting and try a brow

gel instead,” says Bridget. Want to ensure your

look stays all day? “Set your brows with a little bit

of hairspray,” advises SJ Froom. “Spray onto a

brow brush and comb through the hairs, upwards

and outwards.”

Angled Brow Spoolie Brush, £7, lilylolo.co.uk

7

LOOK AFTER

YOUR NAILS

Heat can play havoc

with your nail polish

collection leaving your

favourite shade gloopy

and difficult to apply.

“Sometimes your nail

polish can go a little

thicker in the warmer

weather and be harder to apply but do not

make the mistake of adding nail varnish

remover to thin it, as this will make the

polish weaker and chip easier,” says Mavala

hand and nail expert, Lynn Gray. “Add in

a professional polish thinner to restore to

the original condition.”

“It’s also worth knowing that with

prolonged wear of darker shades, your

nails can take on a slightly stained yellow

look in the summer. To avoid this, it

is important to always use a base coat

– not only does this protect, but it also

moisturisers the nail plate.”

Mavala Nail Colour Cream in Lilac Orchid,

£4.95, available at johnlewis.com

8REMEMBER

LESS IS MORE

That goes for everything,

we want to see those

freckles! For those who

are confident enough,

forego any base make-up

and simply touch up any

blemishes with a little

concealer. “Then apply

a finishing powder to the t-zone,”

says SJ Froom. “It will gently

absorb oil and help to minimise the

appearance of fine lines and pores.”

Active Light Under Eye Concealer,

£25, janeiredale.com

10

DRINK UP

Don’t forget to hydrate your skin

throughout the day. “Summertime

is prime dehydration season so it

is important to top up your moisture reserves

by drinking plenty of water and replenishing

your skin with rehydrating skincare,” advises

Emma. “You’ll plump, smooth and rejuvenate

skin in no time.”

Hydrating Beauty Mist, £25, arkskincare.com

BE BRIGHT

AND

BEAUTIFUL

“Have fun with

colour,” says

Emma Leslie,

beauty expert at

escentual.com.

“Winter is brilliantly

suited to rich dark

tones but summer is

the perfect time to flirt

with brighter hues that

will come to life in the

sun.” Think coral and

vibrant pink lip stains

or why not try a green

gel liner to really make

eyes pop?

Kajal Eyeliner in

Green, £14.95,

dr.hauschka.com/en_GB

NATURAL HEALTH 97


BEAUTY

ED’S PICKS

This Works 24hr Skin

Solutions Kit, £24,

thisworks.com

Frances Prescott

Tri-Balm, £39,

francesprescott.com

Éminence Organic

Skincare Stone Crop

Cleansing Oil, £45,

theskinsmith.co.uk

Elemis Life Elixir

Perfume Oil, £28,

elemis.com

Origins Age-

Defense Skin

Guardian with

White Tea, £36,

origins.co.uk

Jurlique Rose

Moisture Plus

Moisturising Lotion,

£32, jurlique.co.uk

Caudalie

Vinoperfect

Duo, £30,

uk.caudalie.com

NEW

MUST-HAVES

These gorgeous summer buys

are hot off the press

Tropic Summer

Goddess

Shimmering

Body Oil, £28,

tropic.com

Pestle & Mortar

Renew Illuminating

Lightweight Gel

Cleanser, £34,

pestleandmortar.com

Korres Castanea

Arcadia Anti-Wrinkle &

Firming Eye Cream, £36,

johnbellcroyden.co.uk

98 NATURAL HEALTH


THE

BEAUTY

detective

Could a hardcore liver flush help

you get a holiday-ready body?

Our beauty editor at large Emma

Van Hinsbergh investigates

My mother has always been super

switched on when it comes to health and

nutrition. Living in California back in

the 80s she was already raving about

essential fatty acids, alkaline foods

and phytonutrients while the rest of

us were still chugging back Ki-Ora

and frying Spam fritters in non-stick

pans swimming in trans fats.

So when she returned from a trip

to an organic juice retreat near Palm Springs

looking ridiculously radiant and waxing lyrical

about the joys of a liver flush, I sat up and

listened. The intense detox involves drinking

a combination of grapefruit or lemon juice

with olive oil and Epsom salts over several

days to flush away impurities. The main aim

is to eliminate liver and gall stones that can

accumulate in the body and affect its ability to

detox. However other welcome benefits, if you’re

anything like my mother, include weight loss

and fabulously glowing skin. So, as I was still

sporting an unseemly layer of winter blubber

with summer looming just around the corner, I

was ready to sign up in seconds.

HEALTH VIBRATIONS

Medical intuitive Andrea Moritz, author of The

Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush (£12.99, enerchi),

explains that regular flushing improves your

overall health and raises the body’s vibration.

“By re-opening the bile ducts, the body’s energy

circuits becomes restored and healing can take

place on all levels of body, mind and spirit.” But

it’s a pretty tough process (your body can expel

up to 500 pea-sized ‘stones’ over the course of

several flushes), and the jury is still decidedly out.

Integrative medicine expert Dr Andrew Weil

maintains that if you are in good health and not

overloading your systems with toxic substances

BOOST

Hello Day wellness boxes

contain a blend of healthboosting

nutrients for your body

tailored to each season. The

Spring Box includes detoxifying

fennel and energising ginseng.

£69 from hello-day.com

the liver will cleanse itself very well. “Using

supposed liver cleansing foods such as

concoctions of apple juice, olive oil, lemon

juice and Epsom salts is unlikely to result in

any improvement in health.”

CLEANSING JUICES

So with this in mind I opted for a less drastic

option and embarked on a juice fast instead.

This took the form of a three day Supergreen

Vegetable Cleanse, which is pure juices,

followed by a three day Liver Cleanse, which

is juices and two healthy meals a day from

Nosh Detox (noshdetox.com). Founder

Geeta Sidhu-Robb explains that when you

cleanse your liver, you help it promote the

production of bile, which will in turn assist

your body in metabolising fats. “If you are

serious about losing weight, then a liver

cleanse should definitely be at the top of

your priority list,” she says. Remember

though to consult your healthcare

practitioner before starting any diet, and

it’s not appropriate for everyone.

Twice a week (or four times a

week if you live in London) a box of

hand-pressed raw juices and tasty liverboosting

meals such as pumpkin soup

and roasted vegetables is delivered to

your doorstep. All you need to do is

open it up and tuck in. Everything

is delicious and it sure as hell beats

olive oil and grapefruit juice. And

boy, does it work! A week later I’m

feeling lighter and brighter and ready

to start my summer health kick. All of

a sudden, hitting the beach doesn’t seem

that daunting after all.

SECRET WEAPONS

3 top liver boosters

CLEANSE

Organax Revitalize is

a cleansing blend of plant foods

including wheat grass, barley

grass and spirulina to alkalise

and cleanse the body.

£26,99 organax.co.uk

BEAUTY

SUPPORT

Solgar Milk Thistle Vegetable

Capsules can help support an

overloaded liver with active

ingredient silybum, a flavonoid

with anti-inflammatory and

antioxidant properties

£14.50 from solgar.co.uk

NATURAL HEALTH 99


How to anti-age your

HAIR

Have luminous locks which boast volume and vitality with our simple guide

100 NATURAL HEALTH


Tackling the war on visible signs of ageing always

seems to stop at our complexion, but why? Our

hair may not fall victim to the dreaded wrinkles,

but it does get hit by time. From a loss of pigment

to dry ends and finer strands, your luscious locks

can take a battering. But much like our skin, a

healthy lifestyle, a few home hacks and an armful

of nourishing products is all it takes to keep your

tresses looking youthful. Not convinced? We’ve

drafted in the experts who’ve create a simple guide

to help you boost your hair’s vitality and keep it

looking, and feeling, young.

DON’T OVERDO IT

Overwashing hair is a common

problem, but it proves particularly

damaging for the more mature

strands. “Most people still use

shampoos that are too strong for

their delicate hair and use them too

often,” says Tabitha James Kraan,

founder and creative director at

tabithajameskraan.co.uk. “This is

quite literally washing the life out of

hair, leaving it looking dull, lifeless and

undoubtedly older than it should.”

The first step is to switch to a mild

shampoo which is free from harmful

silicones. “Choose a shampoo which

only mildly foams as the foam is really

bad for your hair. It roughs up the

cuticle layer and leaves it weak and

vulnerable to damage,” Tabitha adds.

“Think of your hair as a cashmere

jumper. It needs delicate nurturing

and care to keep it looking beautiful.”

GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS

When washing hair, focus on the roots only.

“Never wash hair ends. They are far more fragile

and porous than roots,” explains Andrew Bidwell

and Jonathan Stallick, co-founders of Swell Hair

(swell.co.uk). “Deliberately rubbing concentrated

shampoo into ends will only weaken, dehydrate and

break hair ends, making them look tired, dull and

old.” Target your shampoo on the roots, scalp and

mid-lengths to boost hair’s health and if ends do

look a little dry, hydrate them with a small amount

of coconut oil. It’s a great multi-purpose product

which can be used to instantly nourish dry and

brittle ends as well as tame flyways.

EAT RIGHT

Just like our skin, our hair is a product of what

we eat so choosing the right foods is paramount

to hair’s health. “Zone in on foods which are rich

in vitamins A, C and E,” advises Andrew. “Load

up on omegas 3, 6 and 9 too for healthy looking

Think of

your hair as

a cashmere

jumper – it

needs delicate

nurturing and

care to keep

it looking

beautiful

skin and luscious locks.” Omega 3 is found in the

cells that line the scalp and help to provide the oils

which keep hair hydrated. “Also, say yes to citrus

fruits, berries, leafy greens, nuts, oily fish such as

salmon and tuna, eggs and garlic,” he adds. Maybe

not all at once...

KEEP LOCKS HYDRATED

Want to get the most from your moisturising

washing routine? Then invest in an oil.

“Nourishing hair with a natural oil is the single

best gift for your thirsty locks,” explains Tabitha.

“When the oil balance of the hair is correct it has

a protective seal that can hold the

moisturising conditioners that you

apply. Remember all hair is dead

no matter how old you are but years

of abuse makes it porous and less

able to hold moisture. Putting back

a fine layer of oil from the roots to

the tips acts like a magnet to hold

moisture in place for longer.” From

central heating to the summer

sunshine, our hair has to battle the

elements daily and, just like our skin,

needs regular hydrating.

BRUSH BEFORE BED

No, we’re not talking about your

teeth. For a tangle-free slumber, give

locks a little teasing before turning in

for the night. “Brush your hair with a

pure bristle brush every night ideally

before you sleep and follow with oil

or moisturiser,” advises Tabitha.

“Make it a ritual and treat your hair

to what it needs every evening. Using

the right brush will move your natural oil down

the hair shaft which will seal and protect it, not to

mention make it shine. Your scalp will thank you

too, as the stimulation is hugely supportive and also

acts as a good way to relieve stress.” Just what you

need for optimal beauty sleep.

WISE UP WITH STYLING

Greying hair doesn’t have to be worn limp or in

a pixie crop. “Get your hairdresser to show you

how to style your hair in an up-to-date style,” says

Andrew. “Trust them and be open to change. An

old fashioned style is ageing so be brave.” Here at

NH, we’re huge fans of embracing a natural grey

hue but if you’d rather continue colouring your

hair, make sure you do it right. “Colouring hair can

take years off, but avoid old-fashioned dark colours

and solid, all-over tints,” Jonathan says. “Instead go

for different shades of highlights and lowlights, and

even allow a few greys to come through. This will

look softer and much more natural.”

BEAUTY

Anti-ageing

hair heroes

The Soap Kitchen

Coconut Shampoo,

£8.50,

thesoapkitchen.co.uk

Giovanni 2Chic Ultra

Volume Shampoo, £8.99,

lucyrose.biz

Dr Organic

Moroccan Argan Oil

Restorative Treatment

Conditioner, £14.99,

Holland and Barrett

NATURAL HEALTH 101


ADVERTORIAL

The real

BEAUTY DEAL

John Tierney, founder and managing director of PHB

Ethical Beauty, on why you can trust the company’s

ethical beauty products are 100% vegan

The cosmetics industry needs big change.

So many products contain animal-derived

ingredients and even ‘cruelty free’ brands can

be found using ingredients that have come

from animals. To us this is madness. Why

should an innocent creature lose its life in an

attempt to satisfy our vanity and self-interest?

All PHB Ethical Beauty products are 100

per cent vegan and cruelty free. For us, these

certifications go together and companies

should not be awarded one without the other.

I have been a vegetarian since I was

very young and have always felt that I loved

animals. In recent times I have come to see

that I at best liked them, but not enough to

overcome my own selfish desire for cheese

and milk. As human beings we are partly a

product of our environment, and so many

of us have been brought up to not question

eating animals. The good news is we have the

power to make positive change if we want it. If

going vegan feels like too big a jump, why not

consider stopping supporting companies who

test on animals and use animal ingredients

for everyday products such as cosmetics and

household goods? Why not look at reducing

your meat intake a little and substituting with

veg, fruit, nuts and other stuff? Since going

vegan, my partner (Rose, who is founder

of PHB Ethical Beauty) has become vegan

and so have my parents. It happened very

easily through a shift in perception in the

way we see the world. Animals can be our

companions, they don’t need to be our next

meal or make-up product.

Lots of great alternative information

is now coming out regarding the meat

industry, our consumption of dairy and the

horrific cruelty committed towards innocent

creatures. We have a charity called the

OneLove Foundation and we provide lots of

information there on these vital issues. Check

it out at onelovefoudation.co.uk

The cruelty in which we subject animals

to is so rife that we could fill all the books

in all the libraries with tales, stats and facts

on this horrific history and present state of

affairs. I intend to write and campaign on this

specific issue further in the months to come

and PHB and the OneLove Foundation will

continue to be a voice for the down-pressed,

raising awareness, donating and creating

ethical products as an alternative to the

unethical rubbish sold in many shops today.

I read a great quote recently from

a beautiful lady: “When we betray the

vulnerable for reasons that are undeniably

selfish, we instinctively want to silence the

moral minority pointing this out.” I believe

it a moral duty to stand against oppression

when and where I can to the best of my

limited abilities. Injustice anywhere is a threat

to justice everywhere. Been vegan isn’t about

being ‘perfect’ where animal rights and the

environment is concerned, it is about trying

your best to be loving, compassionate and

non-violent.

In helping to get our ethical approach

across to a wider audience we are offering 30

percent off all PHB products to all Natural

Health readers. Simply use discount code

NHVA3 on our website phbethicalbeauty.

co.uk. 20 percent of profit goes to charity,

and offer ends 31st of July.

102 NATURAL HEALTH


JO FAIRLEY’S

TRAVEL

ESSENTIALS

The Beauty Bible guru reveals

her holiday must-haves

The best things come in small packages,

we’re always told. Happily, then, the beauty

industry is increasingly offering us travel-sized

versions of fabulous products which are perfect for

slipping in our luggage when we’re satisfying our

wanderlust. Interestingly, this is in part due to the

boom in beauty boxes – when brands start to produce these sizes for

sampling, the next logical step is to incorporate them into a kit

of their own.

Often, I’ll decant my own favourite beauty products into

travel-friendly containers from Muji (muji.eu), which has a fantastic

selection in all shapes and sizes. The following, though, are great

downsized products which I also find ideal for travelling.

Happy holidays!


L’Occitane Verbena Refreshing Towelettes,

£8, uk.loccitane.com

This is the nicest pack of wet wipes you’ll ever come across. I never

go anywhere without these in my handbag, but they really come

into their own on long, sticky journeys (and for any time the loo

facilities are, shall we say, questionable…). They’re 100 percent

biodegradeable, scented with

uplifting and citrusy verbena

and won’t dry you out.


This Works Skin

Deep Leg Oil, £39.50,

thisworks.com

This isn’t as weird as it sounds

for a travel must-have. While

it’s brilliant for replenishing legs (which have very few

oil glands of their own and therefore have a tendency

to become dry and itchy), this product doubles up as a

superb body oil leaving you with gleaming, nourished skin. Infused with a blend of seven coldpressed

plant oils alongside nine essential oils including rose, sandalwood and tuberose, it now

comes in a size that you can slip into an in-flight toilet bag.


Fresh Therapies Natural Nail Polish Remover Wipes, £7.99,

lovelula.com

For on-the-move nail colour changes, pop a couple of sachets of these pre-soaked polish remover

wipes in your bag. They take up barely any space, are incredibly effective and, best of all,

they’re 100 percent natural.


Aurelia The Jet Set Weekender, £10, aureliaskincare.com

This dinky set (complete with mini-muslin cloth) from Aurelia, a natural brand that did

extremely well at this year’s beauty awards, should last you a couple of nights or so. It includes

downsized versions of their much-loved, sublimely-scented skincare products including the Miracle Cleanser,

Revitalise & Glow Serum, Cell Revitalise Day and Night Moisturisers and Cell Repair Night Oil.


Scentered Escape Therapy Balm, £14.50, scentered.me

I love Scentered’s twist-up aromatherapy sticks and this one is wonderfully soothing and calming for

travelling’s inevitable stressful moments (three-hour flight delay, anyone?). Featuring calming woods and spices

– such as oudh, sandalwood, cedarwood, clove and cinnamon – alongside warming frankincense and vanilla,

it’s great for re-charging your batteries and, thanks to the exotic blend, you’ll be halfway to your destination as

soon as you massage it into your wrists. And breathe...

Why not tweet me your top picks? I’m @jojosams and

always keen to hear other people’s favourites!

BEAUTY

NATURAL HEALTH 103


Self

Simple steps to balance your mind, body and soul

Would you like to

loosen up a bit, but feel selfconscious

when doing so? “Don’t be

afraid of being silly,” says Lisa Sturge,

author of Laugh (£7.99, Quadrille). “‘Silly’

comes from the ancient English phrase ‘gesaelig’,

meaning blessed, prosperous and happy. Children

are silly and playful and generally laugh a great

deal more than adults. Silliness is a liberating,

creative state that re-energises and frees us. If

we worry constantly about what other people

think then we will start to live our lives to

please others rather than listening to

our own desires.”

NATURAL HEALTH 105


How to have a

CONSCIOUS

RELATIONSHIP

Expert Jan Day explains why deepening your emotional connection with

your partner could be the key to a happy life together

At a certain point in a long-term relationship we

have a choice. Either we make a commitment to

keep facing what arises in the partnership, which

means to keep opening up to ourselves and our

partner, or we find ways to numb ourselves to what

is going on in the relationship, such as through

work, alcohol or other commitments.

When we first get together with someone we

have all sorts of fantasies about them. We project

onto them all the qualities that we are missing in

ourselves, and we see (and are often only shown)

the attractive side of them. As time passes, however,

what we were initially attracted to often becomes

what we are irritated by. Small resentments can

start to arise alongside a growing fear of rocking

the boat. Gradually we stop communicating

effectively and we lose the passion, the interest and

the intimacy that can be the jewel of long-term

relationships.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Conscious relating refers to making a commitment

to yourself and your partner. It involves leaning

into the relationship, including all its difficulties,

and being willing to face the discomfort of sharing

what you long for, what you are angry about and

what is scary. It is a guarantee you make to show

up so that your partner can see you, even if you fear

that they won’t like what they see. It’s a promise

you make to not brush things under the carpet to

make life comfortable, to not get into pleasing one

another simply to avoid an onslaught of feelings,

and a commitment for you both to stay interested

and present in the relationship so that you can find

a way through things together.

All of this will enable you to keep growing

in depth and intimacy and will transform a

relationship into a path of growth.

106 NATURAL HEALTH


COMMUNICATION IS ESSENTIAL

A key to keeping long-term relationships alive

and healthy is to practise communicating in a

way that supports hearing and understanding

each other. Often we think we have understood,

and we might say: “Yes, I get it, I really

understand you”. But in reality if you haven’t

confirmed that what you heard matches what

your partner meant, you have no idea if you

have understood them, and they don’t either.

The first step to ensuring you are

communicating in the best way possible is to

check in with yourself and see how you feel. If

you feel hurt, angry or pain, you need to realise

that and to relate consciously, you need to be

willing to feel that pain and show it without

hitting out. Sometimes that means taking a bit

of time out to cool down before speaking to your

partner. After some practise it can be amazing

to be able to say to your partner: “I’m hurting,

will you hold me,” and trust that in showing that

level of honest vulnerability, you will be held.

What can be even more healing is when two

people are able to say these words to each other

at the same time and then hold each other in

their mutual vulnerability. It takes some trust,

some courage and usually some practise.

Probably the most important conversations

that we need to have are the very same ones that

we most want to avoid. A tough conversation is

one where you think your partner is not going

to want to hear what you need to say. You’re

afraid it will really rock the boat and maybe they

will walk away from you or get angry. These are

the moments when you to check in that your

partner is willing to hear you.

You too have to be willing to feel the

discomfort (or comfort) of whatever their reply

is. If we restrict ourselves to only being how we

think our partner wants us to be, life gets very

narrow and we can too easily get into a routine

where we limit ourselves until we are bored and

then resentful.

It’s important to both recognise the reason

communication can be so tough is because

you care, because you value the relationship

and you value them. Stay focused on what

you are feeling, what is happening inside you,

what you are making the situation mean,

what you are imagining and what you’d

like to happen. Your aim could simply be to

be heard and understood, or you could be

requesting something specific or hoping to find

a solution together. It’s important to have these

conversations because without them you’ll either

find yourself withdrawing or resentment building

If we restrict

ourselves to

only being

how we

think our

partner wants

us to be, life

gets very

narrow

up. The longer you leave it, usually the harder it

gets. If you are both committed to your relationship

then whatever you need to talk about can be a

vehicle for growing in intimacy.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOVING TOUCH

As well as a lack of communication, one of the things

that often causes distance in a long term couple is a

lack of loving physical touch or a difference in desire

for sexual connection. What makes things worse is

when the lack of sexual connection also leads to lack

of loving touch. When we think it is a problem that

one of us wants more sex than the other, all manner

of power dynamics can kick in and they are usually

unspoken. Recognising that loving touch doesn’t

have to lead to sexual connection is key to thriving in

a loving long-term relationship. A wonderful exercise

for couples is to take turns in just giving or receiving

touch with an agreement that it is just that.

Loving touch is relaxing, nurturing and heart

opening. Being able to both give and receive this

can make a huge difference to the connection

between partners. It’s really worth making the

effort to give each other that time and this can help

re-invigorate your sex life and give you a sense of

being loved and nurtured.

Keeping the connection between you depends

on your commitment to keeping it going.

Jan Day is a relationship expert.

For more information visit janday.com

5 ways to keep

a good connection

Jan Day reveals how you can incorporate conscious relating into your life

1. Be honest about things that matter to you so that resentments and

misunderstandings don’t build up.

2. Make sure that you have time to connect with yourself so that you

can let your partner know how you are feeling.

3. Set some regular time aside for quality moments with each other –

this may include conversation and physical contact.

4. Make sure you spend time with yourself and friends of your own

sex. Time alone or away from your partner gives a wonderful

counterpoint to the times you have together.

5. Be willing to listen and understand your partner even if you

don’t agree.

SELF

NATURAL HEALTH 107


BECOME A RELAXATION TEACHER

Or just learn to relax yourself


THE ART OF

FINDING STILLNESS AND CALM

Relaxation and Daily Awareness Workshop

A unique one day certificated teachers

workshop with Buddhist monk

Ven. Lama Ngedon Drime

(shri sadhu dharmavira)

This unique workshop contains all the

relaxation techniques needed to experience

the wellbeing that comes through a life that is

stress and anxiety free.

This course was created for those who

wish to teach others to be stress free. But,

anyone who would like to attend for their

own personal wellbeing, is very welcome.


Booking now for workshops In London.

To ensure quality teaching, workshops

are limited to a maximum of 8 participants

To receive full details about the workshop and its benefits,

please telephone: 01723 862 496

(calls taken between 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week)

VEN. LAMA NGEDON DRIME

(shri sadhu dharmavira)


SELF

LYNNE FRANKS

It’s not just the woodworm and

the damp that needs sorting

out when buying an old house,

says Lynne Franks

Our empowerment guru has experienced

some ghostly goings on

Having recently bought

a new home in deepest

Somerset with a long

history, I have for the first time found out that very old houses can

come with some uninvited guests.

My very special town house goes back to around the 15th century

and it transpires that it has brought with it some very old physical

problems that need a lot of work – floor boards dried out by many

years of hungry woodworm, smelly ancient damp spots and collapsing

beams to name just a few.

But what I wasn’t expecting were all the stories of a variety of ghostly

visions seen over the years in the house by different inhabitants and

visitors as well as a rather inexplicable atmosphere in several rooms.

Apparently I had now bought a house that is full of strange entities.

I started asking around for recommendations for ‘ghost busters’ and

was amazed to find how so many people I knew took the existence

of ghosts totally as a given. Of course I am in Somerset where mostly

everyone is very open to the occult and I was recommended a great

number of miracle dousers and house energy cleansers who could do

the job.

I started off with the very lovely Debbie Rye, who works virtually

from the other side of the country. She took a psychic look at my house

based on my address and reported back 37 earthbound souls, 45 dark

entities and a great number of negative energy blocks and imprints and

blocked ley lines.

I wasn’t quite sure what she meant. I do know that my little town

of Wincanton comes with ancient history, not all pretty, and is halfway

between Stonehenge and Glastonbury Tor. So why not, I thought.

After a week or so of strong dousing and asking the angels to

come and collect the lost souls, the house does indeed have a different

energy. Debbie has declared they have left and the old negative

energy has gone with it. I am prone to believe her as it definitely feels

completely different.

What has surprised me

is how many practitioners

there are out there who

specialise in energy and

ghost clearing. I was even

told that there is a vicar in

every diocese that is given

the job of clearing old souls

out of buildings and when

all else fails, are often the

way to go. Who knew?

I have always been very

sensitive to the energy of

buildings and have known almost immediately when I have found

the right house. And I believe strongly that the house I have just

bought is the right home for me at this point in my life. It is a

topsy turvy home for a topsy turvy woman with surprise rooms

and spaces for all I want to do there – including a shop at the front

for which I have all sorts of ideas. I firmly believe it will be quite

wonderful in approximately eight weeks when I move in!

As I believe that I truly am now moving into the wise woman

phase of my life, I am also engaged in getting rid of my own ghosts

and all the other negative energies that are holding me back in

some way. I am spending more time in nature, barefoot on the

earth, feeling gratitude to the great mother. I am meditating and

chanting more than I have for many years, sometimes in groups

and sometimes solo, and I am giving up my need to control my life

from my head and truly come unconditionally from my heart.

All is not perfect in the land of Franks but I am discovering

patience and I trust that my life will be healed on a personal level

and in my relationships with my loved ones. At the same time I

am looking forward to my new work with small circles of women

which will launch in my new cleansed and healing home, where

the light will spin out to help many others throughout the world.

I will be moving in in a few weeks with my crystals, sage, bells

and drums, letting all know that I come in friendship and love,

and holding the vision of my house as a healing space for many,

offering inspiration and creative leadership. See you there.

Lynne Franks will be announcing her autumn workshop

schedule for Women’s Creative Leadership and The Power

of Seven on lynnefranks.com and social media. Debbie Rye

can be found at alternativeways.co.uk

NATURAL HEALTH 109


Sweet Dreams

Pure Essential

Oil Blend

£6 for 10ml,

baseformula.com

Try these!

Gumleaf Essentials

Stress Less Candle,

£12, buckleyand

phillips.com

Tisserand Sweet

Dreams Body

Oil, £9.95,

tisserand.com

110 NATURAL HEALTH


SELF

essential oils

YOU NEED

5IN YOUR LIFE

Feeling tired, stressed or sad? There’s an essential oil to fix that...

If you’ve ever enjoyed the scent of fresh flowers in

spring, you’ve inhaled the aroma of the plant’s essential

oils. They are found in all parts of a plant, and have

been used for centuries for their amazing health benefits.

But there are a myriad to choose from, so here’s our

guide to which ones you need to pick off the shelf.

FOR STRESS RELIEF

Feeling frazzled? Ylang ylang is your friend. “Ylang

ylang is good for use in nervous tension, in the case of

frustration, restlessness, anger, anxiety, depression and

stress,” says Claire Kelly, co-founder of Indigo Herbs

(indigo-herbs.co.uk). “It is also the essential oil to use in

the case of shock and trauma to body or mind. It has

a beautiful relaxing aroma and can really aid an over

stimulated nervous system to unwind and relax.”

TO BOOST MOOD

“Mandarin has a soothing effect on the emotional body

and can bring relief in the case of insomnia, anxiety,

low mood and stress,” says Claire. “With its beautiful

sunshine colour, the essential oil is actually nourishing to

the nervous system. It is also thought to be uplifting and

restorative to the mind, bringing back zest, happiness

and concentration.”

TO PROMOTE SLEEP

It’s an old favourite and one most people know

about – lavender. “Lavender is known for its peaceful,

soothing and restful qualities,” says Claire. “It helps with

sleeplessness, headaches and irritability as it is calming to

the mind.

TO INCREASE CONFIDENCE

“Bergamot has a wonderfully uplifting aroma, and it is

used traditionally in aromatherapy for depression, low

self-esteem, melancholy and anxiety,” explains Claire.

“It is refreshing and invigorating. It is also indicated as

good for banishing stress and promoting confidence.”

TO RELIEVE PMS

“Clary sage essential oil is primarily a woman’s

botanical,” says Claire. “It is excellent for balancing

female hormones and of great use during menstruation.

It is a uterine tonic and has an emmenagogue action,

which means it can promote the healthy flow of blood

during the monthly period. It is also used to treat

menstrual cramps as it has anti-spasmodic and sedative

properties. It is relaxing and can balance the mood at

this time.”

So now you’ve got the basics, it’s time to reap the

benefits! But be warned – essential oils have medicinal

and beneficial properties, but are very strong and

cannot be applied directly to the skin. “It’s important

that we dilute the oils,” says Claire. “A great way to

ingest the beneficial phytochemicals in them is by

adding them to a hot bath and having a good long

soak, so we can add drops to either a bath oil or milk

before adding straight to the bath water.

“Applying the oils to the skin is another excellent

way to benefit, and this can be done by adding them to

a carrier body massage oil such as almond oil, or to an

aqueous cream, or even to a handcrafted balm made

with oils and beeswax. These preparations can be used

for whatever you need them for – beauty, muscle or

joint pain, wounds or promoting relaxation.”

You can also simply inhale them – a few drops can

be added to an essential oil burner, a handkerchief, a

paper towel, or simply to a bowl of boiling water. The

drops can also be blended with a flower water and used

as a room or body spray, even popping a few drops on

a radiator can mean that the oils evaporate and can be

breathed in and benefited from.

NATURAL HEALTH 111


Living

Everything you need for a greener, healthier life

Have you heard of mindful

gardening? “Gardening, like mindfulness,

is a way of finding a sense of calm in an

otherwise chaotic world,” says Holly Farrell,

author of Gardening for Mindfulness (£14.99,

Mitchell Beazley). “It offers a simpler existence, an

antidote to the generally sedentary and virtual lives

we lead. Both gardening and mindfulness

forge a connection to the world around

us - to nature, wildlife and people - which can

bring pleasure and peace.” See you

at the allotment!

NATURAL HEALTH 113


The latest in

NATURAL

LIVING

COMPANION PLANTING

Did you know space agency Nasa has compiled

a list of detoxifying plants that help promote

clean air? In her new book Living With Plants

(£15, Hardie Grant) botanical stylist Sophie Lee

celebrates the symbiotic relationships we can

have with our houseplants. Sophie recommends

air plants, maidenhair ferns and kokedama

(plants with their rootball bound in string) to

absorb excess moisture from your daily shower,

self-sufficient closed terraniums for visual

impact with minimum upkeep, and ‘plant

gangs’ of mixed varieties to encourage healthier

growth, easier watering and Instagram-friendly

styling. And those air-cleansing pot plants? The

list includes tropical bamboo palm (chamaedorea

seifrizii), bright gerbera daisy (gerbera jamesonii)

and even common ivy (hedera helix).

FOR PEAT’S SAKE

June is a fabulous time to be making the most of every

scrap of growing space but if you’re sowing seeds, potting

on or planting out this month, spare a thought for our wild

peatlands. Natural bogs store vast amounts of carbon,

reduce flood risks and host a huge diversity of rare wildlife

and yet this precious resource accounts for more than half

the material sold in bagged composts. “I urge you not to

buy any peat products for the garden,” says gardening

guru Monty Don, who backs a campaign by Friends of

the Earth, The Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. “If you cannot

find peat-free compost, make a fuss. Tell garden centres

they are losing a sale. Every time you use a peat-based

compost in the garden, you are deliberately participating

in the destruction of a non-renewable environment that

sustains some of our most beautiful plant and animal life.

No garden on this earth is worth that.” Learn more about

how you can grow for good at foe.co.uk

114 NATURAL HEALTH


LIVING

3

of the best...

SOLSTICE ACCESSORIES

Ready your garden for a midsummer night

celebration under the stars

1 Von Ombre

Tumblers, £15 for 4,

made.com

Greenpeace has called news of the world’s first

subsidy free wind farm “a watershed moment

for the world’s renewable energy market”

GET IN THE

GARDEN

If you’re planning a few sun

salutations for the solstice

you’ll feel the benefit when

you get around to gardening

jobs. The bending, stretching

and stooping required to

weed beds, pinch out

sideshoots and plant out

summer bedding plants

demands a little flexibility!

June 21st is the longest day

of the year, and the extra

light and warmth encourages

the garden to put on an

exuberant burst of growth,”

say the Royal Horticultural

Society (rhs.org.uk). “But this

extra light and warmth also

means weeds will sprout up

from seemingly nowhere;

keep on top of them by

hoeing regularly in dry

conditions.”

2 Mexican Fiesta

Bunting (4m), £6.99,

candleandcake.co.uk

3 Solar Hanging

Light Bulb, £3.95,

glow.co.uk

CULTIVATE

‘ZANMAI’

In her new book, Ferment for

Good: Ancient Foods For the Modern

Gut (£16.99, Hardie Grant),

Sharon Flynn translates this

Japanese word as ‘the art of

being luxury absorbed in

something’. Take time in June to

do just this with our top tips...

1 FERMENT

As well as talking about

zanmai in her book, Sharon

also give a great way to

incorporate it into your lifestyle:

by slow-fermenting your own

probiotic foods and thus

transforming your kitchen into a

fizzing, gently bubbling lab of

delicious and healing foods.

Sharon’s vintage jars, ceramic

crocks and rustic barrels conjour

a true sense of the good life – and

the book is well worth buying.

2 INSCRIBE

Your texting’s fast, your

typing is faster, but how’s

your handwriting? Take a

moment to luxuriate in the

sensory qualities of ink on paper,

paint on wood and event chalk

on blackboard. Classes with

modern calligraphy expert

Imogen Owen regularly sell out

but her new book, Modern

Calligraphy Workshop (£15,

Quadrille), will add an indulgent

element of mindfulness to your

notes, cards and even letters.

3 GAZE

Few artists have the power

to make us ‘luxuriously

absorbed’ in their work as that of

Katsushika Hokusai – his

woodcut print The Great Wave is

considered Japan’s most iconic

artwork – and this month the

British Museum gives you the

chance to immerse yourself in his

world. Beyond the Great Wave

brings together a captivating

collection of prints and paintings

– the perfect place to lose yourself

for a few hours. The exhibition

runs from 25th May to 13th

August. Britishmuseum.org

NATURAL HEALTH 115


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116 NATURAL HEALTH


LIVING

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NATURAL HEALTH 121


GOOD

VIBRATIONS

Ramp up the good energy in your home with

these simple sacred rituals

Your home is your sanctuary – a place

to recharge your batteries and replenish

your mind, body and soul. But what

happens when those batteries run out of

juice? Like our bodies, our homes can be

drained by negative influences triggered by

past emotional traumas. “Everything that

happens in a building – thoughts, actions

and emotions – is held there energetically

like cobwebs and dust, imprinted on

the walls, floors, and furniture,” says

professional space clearer Sue Holmes

(thehomehealer.co.uk). She explains that

past trauma such as grief, stress, anxiety,

arguments or ill health can leave bad vibes

lurking around your house, which can

affect your health and happiness. Luckily

there are loads of powerful yet gentle space

clearing techniques that can reboot the

good vibes. Here are some of our faves...

CLEAR THE CLUTTER

You’ve heard it before but this really is

one of the best ways to re-energise your

home. “Clutter clearing is a very powerful

action that shifts the energy instantly,”

explains feng shui expert Daniela Tuari

(spaceformiracles.co.uk) “By clearing

old, broken or unused items from your

house or anything that reminds you of a

negative period in your life, you make space

for the new fresh opportunities.” According

to clutter clearing guru Marie Kondo, the

best way to get rid of unwanted stuff is to

ask yourself of each object you own: does it

spark joy? If it doesn’t, bin it! It might seem

ruthless but you’ll be doing yourself and your

home a massive favour.

BRING NATURE IN

This is another simple but hugely effective

ways to freshen up the feel of your house.

Once you’ve cleared all the unnecessary

clutter, throw your windows wide open and

let nature in. Flood the rooms with natural

sunlight and let fresh air course through the

building, flushing out any heavy or stagnant

energy. If you live in a polluted area try

122 NATURAL HEALTH


LIVING

Light a candle

and go from

room to room

invoking your

own personal

blessings

using a Himalayan salt lamp to get the air

vibrating with negative ions, which create a

fresh and positive space. Finally, sprinkle salt

in the corners of each room to banish any

remaining stagnant energy.

PERFORM A SMUDGING

CEREMONY

A Native American smudging ceremony is a

powerful way to encourage good spirits and

dispel the negative or stagnant ones from

your living space. To perform the ritual

you will need a fireproof bowl, a bundle of

dried sage (or buy a smudging stick online),

a flame or a candle and a feather. First,

open all the windows in your home and

light the sage bundle. Then extinguish the

flames and place the smouldering herbs in

the bowl. Setting your intention, go from

room to room and waft the sacred smoke

around with the feather, making sure your

spend more time in the corners of rooms

where stagnant energy can collect. Feel the

cleansing smoke permeating everything and

re-energising the entire space.

TRY A PURIFYING

SOUND RITUAL

Many ancient traditions use the healing

element of sounds to clear stagnant energy.

Pagans used bells to drive out evil spirits,

and the Hindu and Buddhist tradition

used singing bowls, cymbals and other

musical instruments to banish a negative

atmosphere. Try ringing a Tibetan bell or

bowl daily to bring peace and harmony into

your home. Spiritual teacher Kala Ambrose

(exploreyourspirit.com) explains: “The

vibration and tone will clear negative energy

and purify the space, so that you can add

new energy, stating your clear intention of

the energy now in the home, such as: This

home is filled with love and light. Our home

is filled with peace and joy. Divine energy

and love courses through this home.”

CLEANSING PLANT ENERGY

In the traditional Chinese art of feng

shui, plants play an important role in

boosting good energy in the home.

The best time to add a new plant is

at the beginning of a new month or

at the new year, when it symbolises a

healthy beginning for you and your

family. Place tall plants in the

corners of rooms with sloped

ceilings or heavy exposed

beams to help offset symbolic

heaviness. Choose plants with

round leaves rather than those

with spikes or thorns. Some of the

most effective are peace

lilies, jasmine, lucky

bamboo, money

plants, orchids and

holy basil.

PRACTICE

GRATITUDE

A deep sense of

appreciation from

the heart is powerful

and transformative in a

home. “Being genuinely thankful

and grateful for everything in your life

including your house, friends and family will

raise positive energy,” says space clearing

expert Sandra Kendrew (thehousehealer.

co.uk). Every night when you go to bed, try

saying to yourself: “With infinite love and

gratitude I am thankful for…” listing all the

things that you are grateful for in your life,

and your home.

USE AROMATHERAPY OILS

Cleansing your space with essential oils

is a quick and easy recipe for a happy

home. Add a few drops of your favourite

oils (cedar, rosemary, frankincense, myrrh,

lavender and lemon are great energising

choices) to a water spritzer and spray it

around your home. As you do this, set your

intention, and repeat a positive mantra such

as: “I banish all negative energies from this

house with the energy of love and light.”

BLESS YOUR HOME

A house blessing is an ancient tradition

that invites positivity into your home and

works especially well after a cleansing

ritual. During a house blessing, you can

imbue the space with love, harmony and

prosperity. Light a candle and go from

room to room invoking your own personal

blessing, or try the following

from feng shui expert Jayme

Barrett (jaymebarrett.

com): “To the divine energy,

in lighting this candle we

summon love, harmony,

peace, and prosperity into

our home. May we be

blessed with good health,

happiness, success and

abundance. May this home be

a sacred dwelling for us

and our children. May

those who visit us

feel peace and love.

We decree that this

home is now shielded from

harm, illness or misfortune.

Thank you for bringing divine

light, love and energy

into our hearts, rooms,

and endeavors. With

tremendous gratitude,

we thank you. In full

faith, so be it and

so it is!”

NATURAL HEALTH 123


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COMPETITIONS

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WIN a bodycare bundle from

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Prizes

worth

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Dr. Bronner’s, North America’s top selling

natural soap brand, is giving away five coconut

oil gift baskets made up of a selection of its gorgeous

bodycare. Included is a jar of Organic Virgin Coconut

Oil farmed from the company’s very own coconut mill in Sri Lanka,

a tube of the new natural All-One toothpaste and three of the bestselling

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UP FOR

GRABS

THIS MONTH’S SELECTION

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WIN a spa break for two

Macdonald Inchyra Hotel and Spa is offering our lucky readers the

chance to win a one-night stay for two, with breakfast and a spa

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offers spectacular views and a beautiful backdrop for a relaxing

getaway from the city. It’s the perfect break to share with a friend or

loved one in a tranquil and calming environment where all of your

wellbeing needs will be met.

Following a multi-million pound investment, Macdonald

Inchyra Hotel and Spa provides state of the art facilities that blend

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You and your guest will both be treated to a one-hour treatment

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Terms and Conditions: The break must be taken within three months

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there is no cash alternative. Alcohol is not included.

Enter online at naturalhealthmagazine.co.uk/giveaways

Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

NATURAL HEALTH 125


Stars

Find out what June has in store

for you with Marjorie Orr

GEMINI

May 21 - Jun 21

You’ll be making quite a stir when you

go out and will be met with favourable

responses. Your focus will be on

improving your personal finances. If a

close partner is preoccupied, don’t take

it to heart – just remember that true

bonds will stay strong even through

rough patches.

CANCER Jun 22 - Jul 23

Affectionate friends will be around,

making you feel warm and happy. At

home you’ll continue to reorganise to

give yourself more space and allow for

more entertaining. From the 21st you’ll

surge forward with renewed vitality

and nothing will slow you down or

dent your confidence.

LEO Jul 24 – Aug 23

Circumstances will stop you from

being as pro-active as you might wish

for a few weeks so use the time wisely

to do some planning. Socially you’ll be

on top form and charming all the

right people.

VIRGO Aug 24 - Sep 23

This is the time to push yourself

forward and take the lead. You’ll have

energetic support from friends and

your social life will be adventurous

as you try out new activities. Just be

careful not to overspend and let your

enthusiasm run away with you.

LIBRA Sep 24 - Oct 22

You’ll be spreading your wings,

aiming higher and thinking bigger.

Even if some of your bright ideas are

unworkable at least you’ll be injecting

more zest into your life. Emotionally

you’ll be intense and secretive and

keeping people out.

SCORPIO Oct 23 - Nov 22

In quiet moments you’ll have a

sense of deep satisfaction about the

progress you are making in untangling

various dilemmas. See it as a clearing

out phase which will allow you to fly

higher once you’ve tied up loose ends.

A close partner will be affectionate.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23 - Dec 22

Togetherness will be the key to your

happiness so helping loved ones will

work in your favour. Behind the

scenes you’ll be struggling to solve

a few difficult situations, both

financial and emotional, and will

need to be persistent.

CAPRICORN Dec 23 – Jan 20

You’ll be out and about socially and

working hard as well. A close partner

will occasionally be impatient – you’ll

get on better if you co-operate instead

of arguing. Praise from the right

people will keep you smiling but don’t

let it go to your head.

AQUARIUS Jan 21 – Feb 19

Be bold and you’ll enjoy yourself. Try to

delegate chores to free up more time

for entertainment. Paying attention to

fitness will help if you’re burning the

candle at both ends and home will be a

happy place, with chances to relax and

indulge with loved ones.

PISCES Feb 20 – Mar 20

Settling into quiet time at home, you’ll

push the world to one side, although

your passionate enthusiasm won’t let

you sit still for long. Try not to be too

bossy with loved ones or children as

they won’t appreciate it. You’ll get

good news about money.

ARIES March 21 - April 20

The Gemini sun will keep you on your

toes and you’ll be making short trips

and talking non-stop. Certain projects

will be moving slowly no matter

how hard you push so try not to be

impatient. Flashing the cash will keep

you happily occupied.

TAURUS Apr 21 - May 20

Your social life will be on top form

and you’ll be attracting compliments

wherever you go. You’ll get frustrated

with delays and mistakes as your busy

schedule will be keeping you on the

move. Try not to let your enthusiasm

run away with you and commit

yourself to too much.

Marjorie Orr

is one of the

world’s leading

astrologers, with

more than 25

years’ experience.

For a personal

consultation with Marjorie visit

star4cast.com

For your personalised stars from Marjorie call 0905 072 3804 or speak to one of her psychics – call 0906 539 0201.

Calls to 0905 cost 75p per min, 0906 cost £1.50 per min; from a BT landline/mobile costs will vary, 18 plus. All calls recorded for your protection and security.

126 NATURAL HEALTH


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My mind

went into

meltdown.

My body went

into fear. I

came within

a whisker of

walking out

Jane is the author

of Wellbeing &

Mindfulness, The

Energy Secret, The

Weekend Healer

and many other

wellbeing titles.

See her Amazon

author page.

Face fear

JANE ALEXANDER

Our holistic hero on challenging assumptions

Years ago, I went on a group trip to Austria. Everyone decided

to go paragliding but I was locked in fear. “I can’t do it,” I kept

saying. “Oh, but what if you could?” said the owner of the hotel

(wiesenhof.at). “What if you tried?” She’s right, I thought. I can’t

let fear stamp all over me. So I took the cable car to the top of the

mountain and let myself be fastened into a tandem harness with

the instructor.

“Just run as fast as you can,” he said. He pointed at the edge

of the mountain. I ran, my mind doing cartwheels of terror, and

promptly fell flat on my face. He patiently untangled all the ropes

and laid out the parachute again. Off we went again. “RUN!” he

yelled but my legs gave way and I kissed the earth once more.

“This is your last chance,” said the instructor. “The wind is going

to change direction.” Part of me felt relieved but the larger part felt

regret. I couldn’t give up now. So this time, when he told me to run

I just said, “GO!” in my head. My mind was shouting ‘running off a

mountain is insanity’ but suddenly there was no mountain, only the

sound of the wind in my ears and the most incredible feeling. I was

flying, soaring, swooping. It was sheer magic, a total peak experience

– and I very nearly missed it from fear.

It’s not just big scary stuff like that either. About 25 years ago,

I tried an ashtanga yoga class. I was pretty fit, pretty bendy and

clearly way too cocky as I airily said I’d be fine doing an intermediate

practice. Ten minutes into the class I collapsed in a puddle of sweat

and crawled out of the shala.

I have never done ashtanga since. My beliefs? I don’t like

ashtanga. I can’t do ashtanga. Ashtanga is too hard. Ashtanga is only

for super-fit yoga bunnies. Ashtanga isn’t ‘spiritual’ enough.

So, when I saw my new gym had yoga classes, I asked what type

it was. “Oh, just… you know… yoga,” said the receptionist. “Not

ashtanga?” I said, warily. “Oh no,” she said. “Just the normal stuff.”

I pitched up to class. “I’m new here,” I told the instructor.

“What kind of yoga do you teach?”

“Ashtanga,” she said.

My mind went into meltdown. My body went into fear. I came

within a whisker of walking out. I recognised the voices wailing in my

head (you know the ones – the ones that say you can’t do it, you’ll

make a fool of yourself) and calmed them down.

“Ah,” I said. “In that case I may struggle. If it gets too much,

don’t be surprised if I make a quiet exit.”

“Just do what you can,” said the teacher. “Do what feels good.”

I sweated. I stumbled. I was ungainly, to put it mildly. I sank

into child pose when the long down dog holds were too much for my

shoulder. I did a bellyflop instead of chaturanga. But I did it. And,

get this, I enjoyed it.

So my new resolution is to drop my assumptions, to lose the fear,

and to be way more open to what’s on offer.

Jane’s website is exmoorjane.com and you can find her on Twitter or

Instagram @exmoorjane

130 NATURAL HEALTH

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