Are you nutritionally overdrawn?

Are you nutritionally overdrawn?

These days it’s so easy to eat, isn’t it? We can be exposed to literally hundreds of food options on a daily basis. Just walking into a supermarket or a fast food outlet and you’ll instantly see dozens of options.

But is the food you’re eating making regular deposits into your nutritional bank account? What I mean by this is, when you eat are you really nourishing your body?

Pretty much everyone understands the concept of a traditional bank account. Wages and other funds are paid in and your bank balance increases. Bills and other spending goes out and the balance goes down again.

Depending on the rate you spend and how often you have income to deposit your bank account balance is likely to fluctuate up and down over time.

If you’re good at budgeting you may have a little left over each week or month to build up a buffer so that you can enjoy treats and holidays or should anything come along out of the blue like a burst pipe or an expensive car repair you’ve got it covered and won’t need to dip into an overdraft or borrow money to pay for it.

Or on the other hand, you may struggle to make ends meet. Bills seem to come in faster than you can earn money to pay for them, your overdraft is almost at it’s limited and you’re not sure how you’ll make it to the next pay day.

Have you ever considered that the same principles apply in your body?

Every day you consume food and drinks and every day your body uses up nutrients to heal and repair and to perform both vital and non-vital functions. This causes the levels of nutrients to go up and down, just like the funds in your bank account.

Hopefully, if you’re eating lots of healthy foods you’ll be depositing plenty of nutrients to enable your body to put together the right combinations to carry out all of the functions it needs to do each day.

If your diet is mainly processed or convenience foods you may be eating plenty of food but you may not be getting a good amount all of the nutrients you need.

When nutrient levels fall too low and you dip into your overdraft this is when you may experience health issues. The symptoms you experience may be minor and over quickly but if you stay overdrawn for too long chronic health conditions may creep up on you.

Unlike a traditional bank account though the combination of nutrients available in your body is also important. Don’t worry, you don’t need to over complicate things, it’s not necessary to scrutinise all of your different nutrient levels on a daily basis.

Simply start to focus on eating a variety of different plant based whole foods and this will provide your body with the majority of what it needs.

Need help with this?

If you’re concerned that you’re not getting the right balance of nutrients to support a happy, healthy you, I offer one to one nutrition coaching (which can be via phone of video call) and I also run a variety of workshops in my local area, please contact me at to discuss your unique requirements.

Sprinkle, sprinkle and sprinkle some more

Sprinkling seeds onto your food can really ramp up the nutrient levels in your meal.

Seeds are tiny powerhouses of nutrition. It makes sense when you think about it, they have everything they need, with the exception of water and light, to burst into life and grow.

Different seeds have different specific nutritional values some are higher in calcium and others have more zinc but all seeds are packed full of goodness which makes them a fantastic way to boost your nutrient levels.

Eating a few different types of seeds will help you to get a great variety of different nutrients so why not make up a seed mix and store it in a small glass jar. It’ll be ready to sprinkle anytime you need it and you won’t have to keep opening all of the individual packs or jars each time.

You can even take your seeds with you when you’re out and about to add to meals or for a nutrient boost during the day.

This super seed sprinkle combines four different seeds

Super 4 seed sprinkle

Makes 100g

40g pumpkin seeds

30g sunflower seeds

20g flaxseeds

10g black sesame seeds *

Put the seeds into a bowl or jar and give them a good stir or shake and you’re ready to enjoy them.

This combination works well and gives a nice mix of the different seeds. This is just a guide, you could change the ratios to suit your own preference.

So now you’ve got your seed mix what will you do with it?

Start sprinkling extra goodness onto your food of course.

They’re great on porridge in the morning, salads at lunchtime or even sprinkled onto soups and stews in the evening.

You can even add seeds to cookies and desserts for extra crunch.

*I like to use black sesame seeds for the colour but regular sesame seeds work just as well if you can get the black ones.

Oyster Mushroom Satay

Oyster mushroom satay

This oyster mushroom satay serves 2 hungry people and is so easy to make from just a few ingredients.

I don’t often use pre-prepared products in my cooking but this recipe does utilise a few of my panty staples to create a super-tasty dish with minimal effort.

When buying tamari, creamed coconut and peanut butter always go for organic whenever possible and for the creamed coconut and peanut butter choose the 100% versions that don’t have any unwanted added ingredients.

Tamari is a gluten-free version of soy sauce so it is suitable if you are following a gluten-free diet.

400g oyster mushrooms
½ teaspoon coconut oil
1 small onion
1-2 cloves garlic
Small piece fresh ginger
1 teaspoon organic tamari soya sauce
100g creamed coconut
150 – 200mls water
75g organic crunchy peanut butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

Cooking the oyster mushrooms

Place the oyster mushrooms in a single layer into a large dry frying pan over a moderate heat.

Allow the mushroom to cook and dehydrate gently whilst you prepare the sauce. If you don’t have a big enough pan you may need to do this in a few batches.

I find that cooking oyster mushrooms in this way gives them a slightly chew texture and the gentle caramelisation adds a slightly sweet and nutty flavour to the mushrooms.

It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten chicken but this cooking method kind of reminds me of eating roasted chicken thighs way back. The mushrooms have slightly crispy edges but are soft and juicy inside.


Finely chop the onion and mince or grate the garlic and ginger.

Melt the coconut oil in a small pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Gently fry until softened.

Add the tamari, creamed coconut and 150mls water and continue to heat gently until coconut cream is melted.

Remove from the heat and use a stick blender to blend the mixture until smooth.

Return to the heat and add the peanut butter, black pepper and chilli flakes, if using, stir well until peanut butter is incorporated into the sauce.

If the sauce is too thick at this stage add a little more water.

To serve pile mushrooms over short grain brown rice and spoon the sauce over the top, finish with a squeeze of lime and a few chopped spring onions if you have some.


To see more plant-based, gluten-free and refined sugar free recipes and ideas visit my Vibrantly Healthy website or follow me on Instagram or Facebook

Plan to be healthy

Plan to be healthy - blog

Planning is something we do naturally in certain areas of our life, work, booking holidays, finances but how well do you plan for your health?

Your health should be one of your top priorities. Afterall, without vibrant health how will you care for your family and do all the things you want to do in life?

It’s all too easy to get distracted by everything else that’s going on in your life and let unhelpful and unhealthy food choices creep in or take over.

How often do you just have coffee for breakfast, eat on the go or a pick up a take away on your way home from a late meeting.

Whilst it may seem like the only option at the time you’re not really giving your body what it needs. Stodgy sandwiches or greasy takeaway food doesn’t provide the nourishing nutrients your body needs to thrive and you could be filling your tummy yet starving fr nourishment.

Do you have a bucket list?

How many of the things on your list are you able to tick off? How many things on your list are for ‘one day’ in the future when you have the time, energy, money…

Have you considered that if you’re not planning to be healthy now, your health may become the limiting factor in the future. You may have all the time in the world but if you don’t have your health you still won’t be able to do those things.

There always seems to be a reason to not do things now and to put them off until later and it can be exactly the same with your health. Do you catch yourself thinking ‘I know I should eat healthier foods but I’m too busy right now so I’ll start next week’

Don’t put off your health until ‘one day’. Start planning to be healthy now.

Don’t wait until Monday or the start of the next month or until you have time to empty the fridge and clear out the kitchen cupboards.

Start right now, from where you are and with what you have. You can figure out the rest as you go along and if you find it all a little overwhelming I’m here to help so please get in touch.

Contact me by email at for information about nutrition coaching or for details of upcoming workshops.

Life without nightshades doesn’t have to be all green

Life Without Nightshades - Blog

I was recently chatting with a group of ladies at a networking meeting and a question came up that I thought might be useful to share as I’m sure there are loads of you with the same dilemma.

The question went something like this…

How do I add colour to a salad if someone in my family can’t eat nightshades? It always just looks very green and boring.

Nightshades are from the Solanaceae family of plants and whilst some amazingly nutritious foods come from this this group of plants they are not suitable for everyone to eat.  People who live with auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease may experience a worsening of their symptoms.

However, it’s not a given that if you live with one or more of these conditions that you’ll experience issues. Every body’s body is unique and their reactions to the foods they eat are unique too.  But if you do think they may be affecting you it’s worth cutting them out for a few weeks to see if you feel any different.

So what do you need to avoid?


Tomatoes and tomatillos



Chillis, chilli powder, paprika

As you can see some of the foods that are often used to add colour to your salad bowl like tomatoes and peppers are off limits, hence the reason for the original question

What’s the answer?  Actually, it’s good news!

The number of foods that can be used to add colour to your salad is much bigger than those that need to be avoided so it’s really easy to create a beautiful colourful salad bowl without nightshades.

Starting with the obvious choices here are a few vegetables to think about:

Roasted butternut squash

Roasted or raw beetroot, for something a little extra special Chioggia beetroot have red and white stripes and look pretty cool

Red cabbage

Red onions

Corn on the cob or baby corn – look for organic and non-GMO

Grated carrots – you could even try yellow or purple carrots

Radish – red, white or purple

Yellow courgettes

Fruit can be added to salads too and can add a lovely freshness and a bit of zing. Here are a few you might like to try:

Orange segments




Pomegranate seeds

Or what about edible flowers?

Chive flowers




So as you can see there are a whole host of options to choose from. Salads don’t have to be a big bowl of green even if you can’t eat tomatoes. Have fun experimenting

If you need help figuring out what the heck to eat, and think nutrition coaching might be the answer, why not get in touch to find out how I can help?

Drop me an email at so we can book a discovery call.

“I’d love to eat more healthily but it’s just too expensive”

“I’d love to eat more healthily but it’s just too expensive” I hear this a lot and, every time I do, I have to bite my tongue because honestly this is total rubbish!

Eating healthily doesn’t mean buying only trendy, expensive, artisan products from posh health food stores.

Your local supermarket has everything you need to create delicious, wholesome and healthy meals that don’t break the bank.

In fact, have you noticed that all of the UK supermarkets seem to be trying to out-do each other on who can sell the cheapest vegetables and fruits?

This week in my local Tesco the root vegetable medley pack that included an onion, a parsnip, 4 carrots and a whole swede was on offer at 75p.

All of this for just 75p! I know it’s crazy, right? And it’s only £1 for all of this even at full price.

Anyway, I’m a sucker for a bargain so I grabbed a pack and set about thinking what I could make with it.

Butter bean and vegetable stew was the answer.

To my bargainous veg pack I added some celery, garlic, butter beans, herbs, stock and black pepper.

You can make this kind of stew with all kinds of veg – celeriac, butternut squash and turnips also work really well and kale is a good call too. So look out for bargains and make the most of them.

Oh and if you have tomatoes in the fridge that need using up they make a great addition and introduce a pop of colour too.

My impromptu version made 6 good sized portions of stew and whilst that was cooking I also boiled up all of my trimmings with some herbs and black peppercorns to make a batch of vegetable stock.


The total cost of all the ingredients was well under £3 so that’s less than 50p per portion.

But how can that be? Healthy eating is expensive, isn’t it?

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