Vegan Broth

vegan broth.jpg

Vegan Bone Broth

This healing vegan bone broth is nourishing, gut-friendly and tastes fabulous!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Calories 78 kcal


  • 3 large carrots , chopped

  • 3 celery stalks , chopped

  • 1 large onion , quartered

  • 2 - 3 garlic cloves , skin on

  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, juice removed

  • 1/3 cup dried chickpeas

  • 75 - 100 g dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 30 g wakame seaweed

  • 1 tablespoon miso paste

  • 1 bunch parsley

  • 10 cups water


  1. Add all the ingredients into a slow cooker. Stir and then put on the lid.

  2. Set the heat to medium and set the timer for 2 hours.

  3. Pour the contents through a fine strainer, being sure to only capture the liquid. Discard the veggies or blend them up with some water for a soup.

  4. Pour the vegan bone broth into jars and allow to cool to room temperature. Seal and freeze or keep in the fridge for 4 - 5 days.

  5. To serve, either drink the broth cold or gently reheat on the hob. Taste and add a touch of salt and pepper and fresh chopped parsley.

Vegan, Gluten Free Pancakes


Makes 10-12 4" Pancakes 


·         1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

·         1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

·         2 teaspoons baking powder

·         2 teaspoons ground organic cinnamon

·         1/4 teaspoon salt

·         2 tablespoons honey

·         1 teaspoon vanilla essence

·         1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce – baby food is fine 😊

·         1 cup any non dairy milk


1.     Grease a frying pan and heat.

2.     In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

3.     In a separate bowl, combine the honey, vanilla, applesauce, and milk. Slowly mix half of the liquid into the dry ingredients, stirring continuously, and the rest 1/4 cup at a time to avoid a runny batter. Mix until you get the lumps out of the batter.

4.     Begin to cook the pancakes, using about 1/4 cup of the batter for each one.

5.     Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they start to bubble around the edges and flip. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan, and serve with chopped banana and honey or for lower GI spike try Yacon syrup.

Making Your Own Bone Broth


Serves: 8 

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 2 bay leaves

  • cold water to cover

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

  • Method
    Prep: 25min  Cook: 8hr 25min 

    1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Line a baking tray with foil; spread beef bones out on prepared baking tray.

    2. Roast bones in the preheated oven until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

    3. Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves in a slow cooker. Place roasted bones over vegetables; pour in enough cold water to cover bones. Add apple cider vinegar and salt.

    4. Cook on Low for 8 hours. Pour broth through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard peppercorns and bay leaves, you add can add back in the other softened veggies if you want a thicker soup .

    Great for gut health and healing the digestive tract.

Food Intolerance Review - Patient Blog

We had to share this fabulous blog from Cheryl from The Power of 3 :) Cheryl had our food intolerance test and is doing so well with improved skin and less brain fog! Click here to see her blog


The last year and half, I have been on an incredible journey of changing my mindset which has resulted in reducing and managing my anxiety and depression.  This has come from a reconnecting to myself and finding joy in the small things as well as the bigger things in life.       

My life experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today, but I continue to learn, grow and evolve and work every day on being the best version of myself. 

The main focus up to now has been my mental health and I am now in a good place and feel so much better.  I still get times or days when things are more challenging, but I have the tools and mindset to be able to work through them. So, the feeling does not stay around for too long but flows in and out.  My focus now is my physical health whilst maintaining good emotional health.  

Now for quite some time I have felt unwell and not really listened enough to my body which is awful to say but it is the truth. I have been feeling constantly exhausted, having skin flare ups, bloating and suffered with brain fog.  

I have always had problems with not getting enough sleep.  I am not sure where this stems from because one of my family members could fall asleep on a washing line.  I did have a large period of time and still do this but when I am anxious is that I can’t sleep.  I tend to stay up late with the belief that I can calm my anxious brain down but in reality, I was set myself up for a fall each time because all I do is override the part of my body that wants to rest and repair and then this cycle is repeated for days until your body forces you to sleep.  

Over the years I have purchased loads of different face creams and face washes to clear my skin and whilst I have had great results in the beginning they don’t seem to last.   

I was diagnosed about 10 years ago with an underactive thyroid and the doctor told me that as long as I was taking my medication, I would be fine.  

Having read around the subject and listening to various podcasts it seemed that it was possible my symptoms were linked to thyroid issues and possible food intolerances.   

What is a food intolerance? 

A food intolerance occurs when a person’s body has difficulty in digesting a particular food.   

Symptoms of a food intolerance?

  • Feeling under the weather;

  • Migraines;

  • Bloating;

  • Stomach pains;

  • Skin rashes.

If you are experiencing, any of these symptoms or others then please seek professional help from either your GP or a qualified nutritionist that offers intolerance testing.   

The next step for me was contacting Amie Marshall from Body Fabulous based in Salisbury.  I have known Amie for a number of years and knew that she had an upcoming clinic day for intolerance testing. 

On the day of the test I drove down to Salisbury and had my consultation with Amie where she took my blood and had a little discussion.  The results revealed I am intolerant to cows milk.  Amie also advised that due to my thyroid issues it would be best to reduce/remove gluten from my meals as well as contacting my doctor to have further blood tests done to find out how well my thyroid is functioning. I contacted my doctors surgery the following Monday and booked an appointment which is still a few weeks away.  

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been removing products with any cows milk and have been using alternatives like coconut milk and coconut yogurt.  I have been also working on my sleeping pattern. On the nights I manage 8 hours I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go and my productivity at work and home has increased. As for my skin I have seen a great improvement.  I have not had any flare ups and that in itself has made me feel better. I am not experiencing so much brain fog either.  

I have taken this opportunity to get to grips with my own nutrition and am tracking my food using the MyFitnessPal app and ensuring I stay within my calories whilst increasing my protein intake.  I have kept my plan simple in order to build consistency and adherence.  

If you would like to find out more about Amie and the work she does then click here on the link to her website 

Until next time.

Much love 


Amie's Spanish Chicken - Treat Night


The simple supper dish makes a lovely weekend treat - perfect for dinner parties or those looking to avoid takeaways!

Serves 6

3 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tsp Himalayan Salt

2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tbsp Plain Flour

2 tsp Smoked Paprika

8 Skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 Red Pepper cut into cubes

1 Orange Pepper cut into cubes

180g Cooking Chorizo cut into slices

2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

800ml Organic Chicken Stock / Bone Broth

3 tbsp Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

300g Basmati & Wild Rice mix

75g Frozen Peas

  1. Heat 1.5 tbsp of the oil in a large pan. Add flour, salt and peeper and paprika to a zip lock bag. Ad chicken and mix / shake bag well to coat the chicken. Fry for 4 minutes to brown chicken until golden brown then pop chicken in a low heat oven to rest.

  2. Heat remaining oil and cook onion and peppers until soft then add chorizo and cook until it begins to turn crispy. Add garlic and cayenne pepper and cook for a further minute.

  3. Add stock, return chicken to the pot. Add 2 tbsp of parsley and bring to boil. Reduce to low heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

  4. Add dry rice and stir well. Cover and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes until rice has cooked. Stir in peas and rest for 5 minutes with lid on but heat off. Serve with sprinkling of fresh parsley.

    680 cals per portion 69g carbs, 27g fat, 1.6g salt, 4g fibre

Amie's Asian Chicken Salad

IMG_6349 (002).jpg

This vibrant salad is tasty as well as healthy! 245cals per serving, 13g carbs, 8g fat, 1.3g salt, 4.5g fibre

Serves 4

2 chicken breasts (skinless & boneless)

Pinch Himalayan salt

4 tbsp lime juice

4 tsp Thai fish sauce

1.5 tsp Xylitol

Pinch of chill flakes

1 Little gem lettuce, shredded

100g beansprouts

1 large carrot, shave with vegetable peeler

15cm piece of cucumber - deseeded and finely sliced

1/2 red pepper - finely sliced

1/2 yellow pepper - finely sliced

15 cherry tomatoes - halved

Small handful mint leaves, chopped

Small handful coriander leaves, chopped

50g salted peanuts

  1. Poach chicken in saucepan in salty water so its just covering the chicken for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool, thinly slice.

  2. Whisk lime juice, fish sauce, Xylitol, salt, and chilli flakes together in a large serving bowl

  3. Add in all the other ingredients and mix together with your hands to ensure sauce covers all the veg and chicken. Save a sprinkle of herbs and the nuts to add just before serving.

Amie's Veggie Soup

IMG_6082 (002).jpg

Prep Time: 10 mins

  • Cook Time: 45 mins

  • Servings: 6 


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 medium carrots, diced

  • 3 stalks celery, diced

  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth + 1 cup water

  • 2 x can diced tomatoes

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

  • 2 handfuls of spinach

  • 2 handfuls of kale (stalks removed)

  • 2 tsp Himalayan salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic and a teaspoon of salt and cook about 8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, potatoes and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring often. Add Italian seasoning and cook for one more minute.

  2. Add broth, water, tomatoes, bay leaf, and several grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered until the vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, kale spinach. Leave for 2 minutes then remove bay leaf and season

Probiotics – What Is Your Gut Telling You?


By Amie Richmond - Senior Nutritionist at Body Fabulous

When I opened my nutritional health clinic, Body Fabulous in 2014 I already had a good understanding of gut health and the importance of our microbiome but as the range of health complaints I started to see in clinic increased, I realised so many of these patients had one thing in common – their gut.

Suggesting probiotics and probiotic rich foods to patients who were taking or had recently taken antibiotics was already widespread practice in our clinic and the results never failed to amaze me.

Antibiotics can sometimes wipe out the protective gut bacteria, resulting in diarrhoea and other gastrointestinal issues but could these probiotics do more? I was keen to find out and began some research of my own.

Antibiotics are medicines (such as penicillin or its derivatives) that inhibit the growth of or destroy microorganisms. Improving a patient’s gut health after antibiotics is one thing but I subsequently found that treating other illnesses and conditions with these good bacteria has proved to be massively beneficial.

So what is a probiotic? Simply put it is substance which stimulates the growth of microorganisms, especially those with beneficial properties (such as those of the intestinal flora). So antibiotics destroy microorganisims and probiotics stimulate their growth. There is a time and a place for antibiotics and they save many lives but over use of them in our society has caused massive issues. Antibiotics kill off the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ microorganisims leading to a host of other health complaints in some patients.

My initial research into probiotics involved me understanding the different strains of these bacteria.  With well over 500 strains of probiotics, it would be impossible for a supplement to contain them all so which one’s are the best?

The most important aspect of understanding probiotics is to identify the main species required to treat a patient and then the correct strain of that species. I identified 4 major species to research in clinic and looked closely at supporting evidence to their effectiveness;

  • The predominant and most important bacteria that reside in the small intestine are the Lactobacillus species. There are over 180 strains in this species including L. acidophilus, L. fermentum, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. salivarius, L. paracasei, L. gasseri and  L. reuteri. The Lactobacillius species is used in clinic for overall digestion, nutrient absorption, relief from occasional cramping, gas and diarrhoea, immune health, urinary and vaginal health, detoxification, oral health and liver health.

  • The Bifidobacterium species are another majorly important group of probiotics found in the walls of the large intestine. Like the Lactobacillus strain, Bifidobacterium produce lactic acid, which provides up to 70 percent of the energy required by cells that line the intestinal wall. Bifidobacterium also produce B-complex vitamins and vitamin K. This species also helps with digestion, immunity, detoxification and diarrhoea but I most commonly use them for nutrient absorption issues and relief from bloating and constipation. There are over 40 strains in this species but the commonly applied bifidobacterial probiotics on the market include B. longum, B. bifidum and B. infantis.

  • The Bacillus species are spore-bearing bacteria that are highly resistant to heat, moisture and light, making them highly resistant to stomach acid. Mainly found in the small intestine, Bacillus also resides in the body longer than other bacteria and is excreted slowly. There are over 200 strains of the Bacillius species and in clinic we use it for treating certain digestive issues, for relief from occasional constipation and for vaginal health.

  • Streptoccocus Species is found in the oral cavity’s mucus membranes and is known for its ability to produce BLIS (bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances), which inhibit the ability of other undesirable bacteria to grow. Great for overall oral health and immunity there are over 50 strains in this species including S. Salivarius K12 and S. Salivarius M18.

In years gone by we would be exposed to far more of these bacteria naturally but as our daily lives have become so sanitised it is clear that we are ALL deficient in some strains of good bacteria.

My first research patient was a young boy with attention deficit disorder (ADD). At 12 years old the child presented with acute behavioural issues resulting in difficulties at school and in friendship groups. His mother brought him in to see me and after research into his gut health I discovered some classic irritable bowel syndrome issues otherwise known as IBS.

Countless strong medications had been prescribed to the child from his GP to help calm his outbursts and temper issues but his difficulty in concentrating and sitting still was very evident on meeting him. Whilst medications were helping in some respects the child’s bowel health had not been treated.

The boy had regular diarrhoea which started after a 30 day course of antibiotics for a previous infection unrelated to his ADD. In researching his condition further I was struck to find this quote on the NHS website;

“Preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD)

There's fairly good evidence that taking high doses of some probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Saccharomyces boulardii) while taking antibiotics can help prevent children getting AAD.

Without probiotics, antibiotics can sometimes wipe out the protective gut bacteria, resulting in diarrhoea. 

Probiotics given with antibiotics may also reduce the risk of developing a Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection.”

I subsequently suggested to the patient’s mother that a course of probiotics that included the strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Saccharomyces boulardii could be tried to treat the diarrhoea.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most widely used probiotic strains. Various health effects are well documented including the prevention and treatment of gastro-intestinal infections and diarrhoea and stimulation of immune responses. Saccharomyces boulardii, or S. boulardii, is actually not a type of bacteria. It's a yeast that happens to function like a probiotic in the body. 

Within 2 weeks of taking this combination of bacteria and yeast the child’s diarrhoea had completely gone but the unexpected results included a marked improvement in behaviour. Whilst there is no scientific evidence to support this theory that the balance of bacteria had improved his ADD condition, it was certainly a welcome side effect and a great relief to his mother!

You can get probiotics from supplements, as well as foods that are prepared by bacterial fermentation such as some yogurts, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh and kimchi.

The gut flora actually performs many functions that are important for health. It manufactures vitamins, including vitamin K and some of the B vitamins. Most of the gut flora is found in the colon, or large intestine, the last part of the digestive tract.

To help me understand if these probiotics could help with other conditions I looked at patients suffering with obesity.

Mary aged 51 presented with a well balanced food diary with no obvious signs that her portion sizes were excessive. After years suffering with obesity and obesity related illnesses, Mary was desperate for help and advice.

I started studying nutrition after losing 65kg myself so I was well aware of the emotional and physical problems related to obesity but Mary’s well balanced diet and exercise regime was puzzling me. Mary presented with very slender arms and legs but significant weight around her waist area.

My research took me to the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Their most impressive study on this was published in 2013. It was a study of 210 individuals with central obesity (fat around the middle).

In this study, taking the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri caused people to lose 8.5% of their belly fat mass over a period of 12 weeks.

Lactobacillus gasseri is a species in the genus Lactobacillus, which is a type of bacteria naturally present in the human digestive, urinary, and genital systems.

Mary decided to start taking a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus gasseri and was delighted to find that after 14 weeks she had lost over 5 inches from her waist.

Again further studies must be undertaken to prove that this strain is effective at treating weigh loss but initial research is promising. The NHS themselves declare ‘it does seem that for most people probiotics appear to be safe. If you wish to try them – and you have a healthy immune system – they shouldn't cause any unpleasant side effects.’

My next patient case came several months later with a gentleman in his 40s suffering with severe lactose intolerance diagnosed using our igG testing. The patient complained of stomach cramps, flatulence and diarrhoea after consuming even the tiniest amounts of lactose and was finding it hard to avoid all sources in his diet.

We were able to identify hidden sources of lactose in his crisps and gravy powder but we also decided to trial Lactobacillus acidophilus to see if it would help.

A 2016 double-blind placebo* control trial assessed the effect of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 on alleviating lactose intolerance symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, flatulence and abdominal cramps. The study involved 38 participants with lactose intolerance and they all got a chance to take the placebo and the probiotic supplement containing 10 billion CFUs of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 as it was a 2-arm crossover study. They found a statistically significant improvement in diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and overall symptom scores compared to the placebo group.

This time after just 7 days of taking the probiotic Lactobacillius Acidophilus, the patient was able to consume very small amounts of lactose with no uncomfortable side effects, allowing him to enjoy some of his favourite treats again! Whilst by no means a cure for lactose intolerance again the results indicate a marked improvement in tolerance levels.

Aware that a growing number of my patients were being offered prescription medication for anxiety or depression, I then set about researching the ‘brain gut axis’ and the links between low mood and a poor diversity of bacteria in the gut.

B. Longum is one of the species researched for the role of probiotics in the gut brain axis. A report from University College Cork found in a study of healthy men that supplementing with B. Longum 1714 caused stress levels to decrease and memory to improve.

In the study, healthy men took a daily capsule of a billion probiotic bacteria for a month, and then switched over to a placebo for a month, or vice versa. None of the men knew which pill they were getting. At the start and after the first and second months, their stress levels and memories were tested, along with brain activity via an EEG machine and results showed a marked improvement.

“When they were given these bacteria they were less anxious and their capacity to memorise material seemed to be enhanced.” The findings were released at the Society for Neuroscience.

David 34, had been on antidepressants for over 6 years and came to our clinic to see if there was any way he could improve his mood naturally. I started him on B. Longum powder and in conjunction with his GP he slowly reduced his medication, eventually stopping all medication after just 6 months of starting his probiotics.

David and his supportive GP where delighted with the results, however It is fair to say that this strain has not been effective for all my patients therefore more research needs to be done in this area.

Over 300 researchers, physicians, dietitians and other healthcare professionals gathered in Rome last March, for the 7th edition of the Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit 2018. They discussed the latest developments in the field of gut microbiota and their application to clinical practice. There conclusions found that although more research and clinical studies are required, the gut microbiota is key in diagnosing, managing and treating disease.

In conclusion I feel that probiotics could be an exciting new field of treatment for those suffering with a range of health complaints and our research work at The Body Fabulous Health Clinic will continue to investigate and research new findings.


Bibliography References;

US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

*M. N. Pakdaman, J. K. Udani, P. M. Jhanna and S. Michael , “The effects of the DDS-1 strain of lactobacillus on symptomatic relief for lactose intolerance - a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial,” Nutrition Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 1-11, 2016

Amie's Grown Up Beetroot Avocado Brownies


Amie’s Low GI Grown Up Beetroot & Avocado Brownies


1 extra large, raw beetroot (or 3 small)

1 small, ripe avocado

1 shot of strong coffee

50g extra virgin coconut oil

3 tbsp carob syrup

3 organic medium eggs

150g buckwheat flour

50g finely ground almonds

2 tsp baking powder

6 tbsp organic 100% cocoa powder

½ tsp Himalayan salt

75g of 85% dark chocolate


For the topping:

Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

1/2 ripe avocado

20g coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp carob syrup

3 tbsp organic 100% cocoa powder



Heat oven to 180°C and lightly grease a square shallow baking tray with coconut oil.

Cut the skin off the beetroot but leave it whole. Peel and grate the beetroot and put to one side.

Melt the coconut oil over a low heat in a saucepan.

Blend together the avocado, coconut oil, carob syrup and coffee until smooth.

Beat the eggs together.

Transfer the avocado mixture to a large bowl and gently whisk in the grated beetroot and beaten eggs.

In a separate bowl mix together the buckwheat flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt thoroughly.

Add the flour mix to the beetroot mixture and fold in gently with a metal spoon.

Roughly chop the chocolate into small chunks.

Stir the chocolate into the mixture.

Spoon into the baking tray, smooth the top with a spatula and bake for 25 mins until the brownie is well risen, coming away from the tin.

Allow to cool on a metal rack.


For the topping:

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender until it forms a thick and glossy paste. Spread the topping over the cooled brownie.

Cut the brownie into squares and enjoy!

Nutrition For Mental Health


We caught up with Salisbury Health Hero Amie Richmond from Body Fabulous to talk about the impact nutrition has on our mental health.

Balance Is Key - Nutrition For Mental Health

With 1 out of 7 of us suffering from depression symptoms at some point in our lives, mental health is fast becoming a pressing health concern. The World Health Organisation predicts that depression will become the second most prevalent disease worldwide by the year 2020.

Antidepressants however are not the only option, as we increasingly look to diet and supplements for a more natural solution.

"1 out of 7 of us will suffer from depression symptoms at some point in our lives"

My Top Tips For Improving Mental Health With Holistic Nutrition

What to Include -

This may sound obvious but restricting certain nutrients can massively affect our mood. It is important to make sure you have all your macro nutrients so ensure lean proteins, carbohydrates and good fats are all incorporated into your diet. Eat foods that support your neurotransmitters, which are the brain’s messengers that control your mood and energy levels. These include Omega-3 rich foods such as wild salmon, mackerel or herring as well as nuts & seeds and eggs. Don’t fancy any of these foods? Don’t panic you can take a supplement instead!

A diet high in fruits and vegetables increases your intake of vital nutrients that support your mood. Fruits and veggies high in folate, promote the brain’s metabolic processes so you should include foods like spinach, asparagus, avocado, beetroot and broccoli. Eating probiotic foods is also a great step forward as they increase energy levels, support cognitive function and promote mental wellness. Some of the top probiotic foods include kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso, kimchi and sauerkraut.

And finally, don’t forget your vitamins! Research has shown great mental health benefits from taking Vitamins B12 & D3.

"Stick to real, whole foods that are in their natural forms"

"Try not to consume more than 30g of sugar per day"

What to avoid

Refined carbohydrates and sugars such as those found in crisps and chocolate, trigger a release of serotonin which does improve your mood….but only for the moment. The side effect to these foods are weight gain, issues with sleep and low energy levels, therefore making your depression symptoms worse in the long run.

Diets that are high in refined sugars are actually harmful to your brain because they promote inflammation and oxidative stress.

To reduce depressive symptoms, avoid eating packaged and processed foods that are made with refined carbohydrates and sugars. Stick to real, whole foods that are in their natural forms. Try not to consume more than 30g of sugar per day, check out the ‘Change 4 Life’ app to help you track how much sugar you are consuming

By Amie Richmond, Senior Nutritionist at Body Fabulous

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes With Diet


A diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes can be very scary but I have worked with so many patients now that I KNOW you can reverse it with the correct diet and some exercise. Don't resign yourself to a lifetime of medication - take control of your diet and get your health back.

Real Patient Account:

I went to see Amie in December 2017 as I was struggling to lose weight with my own efforts. At that point I was 3.5 stone over my healthy weight. I was very tired all the time, with very little energy, not sleeping well and generally feeling very low and run down. Amie’s screening process picked up that my blood sugars were too high and she advised me to see my GP for a possible diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. She explained that many of the foods I was eating were spiking my blood sugars, but reassured me that type 2 diabetes is fully reversible with diet.

I was officially diagnosed soon after Christmas, with two HbA1c readings - one at 72, which is pretty high, and then another soon after at 62! It was a shock, but I was determined to improve the situation. In fact, the second reading, which was only 2 weeks after the first, showed a good drop already as the changes to my diet had started the moment I left Amie’s clinic. I knew just how serious diabetes is and wanted to turn things around as quickly as possible. Amie advised me to eat unprocessed, organic, food and gave me many ideas for healthy, satisfying, meals and snacks within her very comprehensive report. She also advised on some supplements to help improve my insulin sensitivity and digestion.

Within a few days I started to feel better, in fact after just 5 days I felt amazing, with more energy than I’d experienced for years. I no longer suffered from food cravings, whereas before I was constantly hungry and snacking all day long. I decided to get a blood glucose meter so I could check roughly how I was doing with certain meals  – I started testing myself about a month after changing my diet and was delighted to see nearly normal blood sugar levels. By that time I had also lost a stone in weight! For exercise I upped my daily walk with my dog to twice a day to increase my step count – I now intend to add some strength training into the mix as I continue my weight loss regime. 

Just under four months after my first appointment with Amie I had my HbA1c blood test taken again – it was 42, which means I have reversed my diabetes, and am in fact only just within the lowest level that pre-diabetes begins – my diabetes nurse is delighted with me! I have now lost 30 pounds with around 20 more pounds to go before achieving a healthy weight and I expect my next HbA1c to be even lower as my day-to-day blood testings are showing normal levels. My blood pressure, which was high, has now also normalised. All this has been achieved with diet and gentle exercise. I will never go back to my old habits as I haven’t felt this well for years, and have no intention of letting my diabetes return!

Healing from Stress & Anxiety


Article by Andrea Burton, Nutritionist at

Today I’m going to talk stress! I know, I know… it’s one of those subjects that brings out emotions and lots of “I’m not THAT stressed” comments but now, more than ever, we live in an age of high stress and I firmly believe that the right nutrition can have a dramatic impact on your ability to cope with it. So I put together my top 5 nutrients that may help your body to have a balanced response to stress, helping you to feel calmer and more relaxed.

Magnesium and calcium
Magnesium can help to relax muscles and reduce anxiety, while also playing an essential role in hormone and energy production. Nuts - particularly Brazil nuts - are high in magnesium, as are beans and lentils, wholegrains and leafy greens. A lack of either calcium or magnesium can make you more nervous, irritable and aggressive. Research into stress and diet shows that calcium may be able to help reduce certain symptoms, such as muscle tension and anxiety. So include plenty of calcium rich foods in your diet such as cooked spinach, basil, kale, rosemary, romaine lettuce, celery, sesame seeds, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus.

B Vitamins
B vitamins are essential for helping to cope with stress in a balanced way and can be found in bananas, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, meat, fish and dairy products. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) in particular is found in high concentrations in the adrenal glands (the part of the body that manages the stress response).

Vitamin C
The largest store of vitamin C is in the adrenal glands, so keep these glands healthy by eating plenty of vitamin C rich foods such as oranges, tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens and broccoli. This nutrient is rapidly depleted during chemical, emotional, psychological or physiological stress and it is particularly important to supply high quantities during these times to cope with increased demand.

L-theanine is a relaxing, health-promoting amino acid found in tea. Studies have shown that when theanine is absorbed by the body, it can help to bring about an alert, yet totally relaxed state of mind. L-theanine may help to support balance and improve the quality of sleep.

For more help and support on dealing with stress naturally check out our next event Saturday April 21st -

January Reset!


On average a whopping 7000 calories are consumed on Christmas Day - add to that all the other lovely excesses of December - many of us are feeling sluggish and bloated, our bodies more of a skip than a temple.

Rather than panic and start skipping meals (and therefore vital nutrients) here are my top tips to get back on track!

1. Re-alkalise

Post-Christmas, our bodies are usually very acidic thanks to all the extra sugar we have consumed. This leaves our immune system depressed and less able to deal with colds and flu.

To re-alkalise your system try adding in a supergreen powder to your morning routine which you can purchase at any health food shop.

These supergreens are a mixture of plant algaes, which help your body detoxify quickly and safely and have the added bonus of increasing your energy levels.

Start your day with hot water and add fresh lemon and ginger to flush your system then get those supergreens in you to fight the fatigue.

2. Drink to your success

There is no magic pill to lose weight but increasing your water intake is definitely a step in the right direction!

Excess sugar in the body leads to dehydration, so try having one pint of water every time you feel hungry.

If you are still hungry afterwards then it's time to eat.

Make sure you are consuming at least two litres of water per day to help flush the toxins from your body and rehydrate your cells.

Not only will you feel healthier and more energetic, but it should also improve your skin and hair.

3. Start Moving

You don’t have to be a gym bunny to move. If the gym is not your thing then purchase a pedometer and try to hit a target of 10,000 steps a day.

Not only will you burn through those Christmas calories faster, but you will also increase your muscle mass and metabolic rate, leaving you feeling fitter, healthier, and stronger.

If you are short on time then try out some an online workout you can do at home or try a quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, which is effective in a short amount of time.

4. Clean out your cupboards

If you have flooded your body with alcohol, sugar and fatty foods, your body will be full of toxins. Give your liver a rest from dealing with these toxins by laying off the alcohol and putting some colour back in your fridge.

Bin all 'beige' leftovers including anything breaded, fried, battered or pastry encrusted and replace with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, eggs, seeds, pulses, and fish.

Reduce your complex carbohydrates like pasta and rice and try something new like lentil, chickpea pasta or quinoa which have higher protein content and will help you feel full for longer.

5. Set realistic goals

Rome wasn't built in a day, so don't expect the indulgences of a month to fall off instantly.

According to the British Dietetic Association the average person will gain up to 5lbs over the Christmas period, the good news is that with a balanced calorie controlled diet your body can return to it's 'pre-Christmas' shape in just a few weeks.

Set a weight loss goal of 2lbs a week and weigh yourself once a week to check you are on track.

Best of luck with your New Years goals - if you need any additional help or advice please do not hesitate to contact the nutrition team here at Body Fabulous for a personalised plan. For more information on keeping your immunity high post Christmas check out this article from probiotic experts Optibac - click here

Eat your way to a better night’s sleep


By Andrea Burton - Nutritionist at Body Fabulous

For many people, this time of year is quite stressful and can lead to occasional sleeping issues; be it difficulty falling asleep or frequent or early waking. And as we all know lack of sleep can make you feel pretty terrible. It’s hard to concentrate, make decisions and cope with small setbacks that would otherwise be manageable and you reach for comfort food to give yourself a boost because you just feel too tired to cook from fresh. These habits keep you in a poor sleep-exhaustion cycle.

If you wake up during the night or very early it could be related to a drop in your blood sugars in the night, or other changes in your normal eating patterns and daily routines.

Eat to improve your sleep

  • Balance blood sugars - If you wake up due to blood sugar falling, often after drinking alcohol, it might help to ditch the simple carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, potatoes, white rice) at your evening meal and replace them with complex carbohydrates (think sweet potato, wholemeal pasta). It may also help to eat a small protein and carbohydrate snack an hour before bed such as 10 almonds and 10 grapes to maintain consistent blood glucose and stop that dip that might wake you up.
  • Build up your hormones - Serotonin helps to us to get to sleep by producing melatonin, our sleep hormone. To make enough serotonin we need tryptophan rich foods such as turkey, eggs, pulses or bananas. Also get some daylight during the day with a walk outside if you can, to help reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Ensure adequate magnesium intake – Some studies have shown that taking a magnesium supplement can help reduce night time waking, early morning waking and improve how refreshed you feel in the morning. Magnesium is essential for muscle relaxation and can help you wind down and is depleted by alcohol. Include magnesium rich foods during the day like leafy green vegetables such as spinach, chard, coriander; seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds; quinoa, cashew nuts and black beans. Lamberts Magnesium is available in our online shop


Tips For Better Sleep

  • Avoid any stimulants such as caffeine from at least 6 hours before going to bed.
  • Limit refined sugars. Also avoid heavy meals late at night because you’ll be digesting as you sleep and you need to give your digestive system a rest.
  • Make sure your room is warm but not hot and keep your bedroom well ventilated. Keep lights as low as possible and making sure the room is as quiet and dark as you can make it. Close any gaps in the curtains, try blackout blinds or use an eye mask. This is because light supresses melatonin production, and if our circadian rhythms are knocked out it can affect sleep times and quality.
  • Try different relaxation techniques to find something that suits you – either deep breathing exercises, relaxation apps like Headspace, reading a book or journal writing.
  • Avoid blue screens, including smart phones and tablets, for two hours before bed to help stop the light disrupting your melatonin production. Even if you use f.lux on your PC or change the light settings on your Apple device, the light can still disrupt your sleep patterns.
  • Use aromatherapy oils such as lavender and chamomile in the room and in warm baths.

Have a fabulous festive time everyone and ‘see’ you all again in the New Year x

Managing My Dairy Intolerance

Article contributed by Jim Marshall

Article contributed by Jim Marshall

Our thanks to Jim for giving this interview on how he's doing after his food intolerance test last month showed a strong reaction to dairy. 

Says Jim, "When Amie asked me if I would like to have a food intolerance blood test done for a You Tube video I was intrigued to see if I had any reactions to the basic 46 foods. To be honest I have had tummy troubles on and off for years but I had learnt to live with the bloated, gassy feelings and acid reflux. My answer was just to reach for the Gaviscon or Rennie!"

Continues Jim, "The test itself was very simple and only involved a finger prick so not painful. The results only took 50 minutes to develop but those 50 minutes have changed my life and the way I eat now! The reaction tray showed a strong reaction to dairy and for those that have not seen the You Tube video of my test - click here to watch  - .Before we did the test I explained my symptoms to Amie and she predicted cow's milk would show up but the reality of seeing it in black and white made me realise how much my body had been struggling. I started excluding dairy straight away and as it was a strong reaction I have to remove it from my diet for 12 weeks. My greatest fear was no milk in tea and giving up cheese but I soon read up on what I could replace it with and began to relax."

Adds Jim, "Within 7 days of removing cow's milk from my diet I started to notice the difference, no more gurgling tummy and much less bloating and gas. I was really motivated to continue but I missed cheese so much that about 2 weeks in I buckled and indulged in 3 slices of cheesy pizza. It tasted delicious at the time but the following 4 hours were very painful and made me realise that because my reaction to dairy was very significant I was going to have to ban it entirely whilst my body repaired." 

"8 weeks in now it has got easier to manage my dairy free lifestyle and I am no longer tempted to indulge - I don't want that bloating back again thank you! Its true what they say about planning ahead and part of that planning is checking labels, I've been amazed the number of things I've found cow's milk in. Crisps, gravy powder even some salamis have milk in so I am much more vigilant now. I use the Food Maestro app to help me identify foods with dairy in and I have let my friends and family know I am dairy free for a while so that helps when eating at other people's homes. If you are also following a food intolerance programme I really suggest you find alternatives to your favourite or most missed items. Also ask for the allergy details when you're in a restaurant as the good ones have a full list of what's in each dish."

Jim's Top Tips;

Milk for tea - I have found oat milk is a very palatable alternative, coconut milk just doesn't work for me but I do like it in coffee. Rude Health's range of nut and oat milks are the best I've found. 

Breakfast - Coconut milk is great in cereal and I have swapped my Greek yoghurt for nut based yoghurts made from coconut or almonds which are very tasty and still high protein. The only downside to nut yoghurts is the price but that's a small price to pay now I'm feeling so much better. Best brands are CoYo and KoKo.

Ice Cream - I have tried quite a few and found some very tasty options but I was absolutely shocked with how much sugar is added to the 'non dairy' versions. I now stick to natural no added sugar sorbet to be on the safe side or Perfect World carrot cake ice cream is amazing!

Cheese - I can still eat Goats and Sheep's cheese, there are some very tasty alternatives that I've tried but I've also fallen foul of one sheeps cheese made with raw milk (Roquefort), that didn't agree with me at all! I have learnt some things by trial and error but I know one thing for sure, vegan plant based cheese is not for me. Tastes of nothing!

Chocolate - Thank goodness there are some fabulous dairy free chocolates out there now but Salisbury based 'Heavenly Chocolate' is my favourite - and just down the road!

I'm currently working on my gut repair programme which means including foods and drinks I had never heard of before but that add good bacteria and healing properties. Kombucha, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and bone broth are now part of my daily food intake, I never thought I was say that!

My next step with Amie's help will be trial a few items to distinguish if I have a full dairy intolerance or just a lactose intolerance. It's been an interesting health journey so far with the added bonus that I have dropped 4kg in the process!


What Are The Best Supplements For Depression


My top 7 natural supplements for depression: 

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  New research has confirmed the positive effects of EPA on mood, even more so than DHA, as it provides a natural balance to omega-6 arachidonic acid. Lamberts or Eskimo are my favourite brands.

2. Probiotics. It is crucial to keep your bowels in good shape because your brain is only as healthy as your gut. The nerve cells in our gut manufacture 80 to 90% of our body’s serotonin, the neurotransmitter we need to balance mood. That’s more than our brain makes. The gut is in constant communication with the brain, sending it information that most definitely affects your mood. Good brands include Optibac and Bio-Kult.

3. Vitamin B-12. Bestselling author Mark Hyman, MD, calls Folate, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 the “mighty methylators for mental health.” He mentions a remarkable study in the American Journal of Psychiatry that found that 27% of severely depressed women over the age of 65 were deficient in B-12. I recommend professional strength B Complex from Lamberts

4. Turmeric (Curcuma longa).  Used for thousands of years in Chinese and Indian medicine to treat a variety of ailments. Turmeric is your brain’s best friend because of its ability to produce antioxidants and reduce inflammation, which then protect our precious mitochondria, the tiny organelles in our cells that generate chemical energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Again I prefer the Lamberts professional range.

5. Vitamin D. A deficiency in vitamin D will feel very much like depression. Lots of studies have found a close association between depression and vitamin D deficiencies. And as many as three-quarters of UK teens and adults are deficient. This one is so important that again, I suggest the professional dose of 4000IU from Lamberts.

6. Magnesium. Up to half of the UK today don’t get enough of magnesium because stress, caffeine, sugar and alcohol all deplete it. Unless you eat lots of seaweed and green beans, it’s wise to bulk up on magnesium because it is considered to be the most powerful relaxation mineral that exists. Solgar do an excellent magnesium supplement.

7. Melatonin. Anyone who has ever experienced insomnia knows about melatonin. It helps us get to sleep and regulates the sleep-wake cycle naturally without the use of sleeping pills. Unfortunately you need a prescription for this in the UK so speak to your GP about prescribing Pharma Nord to you.

Can Food Help Shift Anxiety?


Anxiety symptoms can make you feel very unwell and run down. Coping with anxiety can be a challenge not just for you but also for your family. Anxiety can leave you feeling powerless but by making some lifestyle changes you can get your power back! There aren't any diet changes that can cure anxiety, but watching what you eat may help.

Here are my top tips

1. Eating protein at breakfast can help you feel fuller longer and help keep your blood sugar steady so that you have more energy as you start your day. Eggs, Greek yoghurt, nuts and seeds are great options. Protein helps stimulate the production of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which, like serotonin, are neurotransmitters and carry impulses between nerve cells.

2. Carbohydrates are thought to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, which has a calming effect. Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as oats, quinoa, whole-grain breads and whole-grain cereals.

3. Try and eat a healthy, whole foods diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits. It is especially important to include foods that are rich in the B vitamins, such as beef, pork, chicken, leafy greens, legumes, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, nuts, eggs, whole grains, nuts and fish. A deficiency in B vitamins such as folic acid and B12 can trigger depression in some people. Vitamin B supplements can be very useful to add to your diet if you feel you are not eating enough vitamin B rich food.

4. Increase omega 3 in your diet. Evidence continues to mount that consuming omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines, can be uplifting and enhance your mood.

5. Tryptophan can have a positive effect on stress because this amino acid helps your brain produce feel-good chemicals. You will find tryptophan in a variety of foods such as turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds.

6. Pay attention to food sensitivities. In some people, certain foods or food additives can cause unpleasant physical reactions. In certain people, these physical reactions may lead to shifts in mood, including irritability or anxiety. If in doubt contact us to arrange a food intolerance blood test.

7. Could processed foods such as hot dogs, sausage rolls, pork pies and cakes cause anxiety or other mental health issues? Researchers in London found that eating a diet of processed and fatty foods increases the risk for depression. In the study, people who mainly ate fried food, processed meat, high-fat dairy products and sweetened desserts had a 58% higher risk of depression than those who ate "whole" foods such as fish and vegetables.To help lift mood and calm anxiety, keep away from processed foods and eat more natural products.

8. Although drinking alcohol seems to have a calming effect short term, it dehydrates the body and can actually end up acting as a depressant. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep so moderate it in your diet.

9. Sugar is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. The absorption causes an initial high or surge of energy. But that surge wears off as the body increases its insulin production to remove the sugar from your bloodstream. The result: You're left feeling tired and low. Avoid fizzy drinks loaded with sugar, instead drink plenty of water, to stay hydrated.

10. Reduce caffeine in your diet as this can make you feel jittery and nervous and can interfere with sleep. The problem is that caffeine has been shown to inhibit levels of serotonin in the brain, and when serotonin levels are suppressed, you can become depressed and feel irritable.

Try these 10 top tips and always remember - feelings by there very nature come and go. This too shall pass.

What I Eat in A Day

I get asked quite a lot about what I eat personally so this month's blog is a snapshot 'What I Eat In A Day'. If you follow me on Instagram @body_fabulous or Facebook @mybodyfabulous you will see that normally I just photograph odd meals I have in the day - mainly to provide different meal and snack ideas and to review new products that offer health benefits. Today you have a list of everything I have eaten and more importantly WHY. I'm very relaxed about food and I have a real 80/20 approach. I am not vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or dairy free. So this is me on an average day working from home;
BREAKFAST - 2 stewed apples a handful of blackcurrants from the garden with mixed pumpkin, chia and sunflower seeds, 3 tablespoons plain GF organic oats and 2 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt. Why Greek? It's very high in protein so much more filling than other yoghurt brands. The brand I use (Total Fage) has no added sugars but it made with skimmed milk thus keeping the calories down. - calories = 345 - GF (Gluten Free) - Vegetarian (for vegan swap to coconut yoghurt)
SNACK - I always have 2 snacks a day and I try and make sure they have protein, carbs and good fat in them, small banana and a boiled egg is a great combo for me. Organic eggs ALWAYS - twice the omega 3 content over free range. calories = 155 GF - Vegan - DF (Dairy Free)
LUNCH - I love the Soupologie range - this one is curried sweet potato with coconut and raw cacao, super tasty and no added sugars. Today I added dried seaweed for an extra iodine boost as this mineral supports the thyroid gland. I also added a handful of sprouted seeds. Sprouting whole grains reduces the amount of starch they contain and boosts their nutritional value. Along side I added the 'Rude Health' chickpea and lentil crackers which are just 21 calories each and glower GI (sugar spike) than standard rice cakes. calories 438 - Vegan, GF, DF
SNACK - pineapple slices and some organic chicken - granted not an obvious combo 😂. Actually there is a method to my madness though as pineapple contains bromelain which works as a tenderiser and breaks down other foods in your digestive system quicker. Organic chicken only - remember if you are a meat eater then you are what THEY eat! I don't want to be full of antibiotics, growth hormones or steroids so I stick to organic wherever possible. calories = 172 GF, DF
* you may notice that I have protein from the chicken and carbs from the pineapple but no fats so I added 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil to my black coffee after lunch to help regulate my blood sugar and stop cravings. calories = 12
DINNER - Chickpea pasta with turkey breast strips made with 'Mr Organics' pasta sauce which has no added sugars - I added a mixed green salad with 1/2 avocado. calories = 495 in total (325 consumed) - GF, DF .I was raised in an era where we did not leave the table if we had not finished eating - hands up if you are with me 🙋‍♀️ - I still find it hard to leave food but I got 2 thirds through and stopped because I was FULL - cling film and back in the fridge - I will add more salad and finish it off for lunch tomorrow. I am not a dustbin - my job is not to dispose of leftover food. My job is to feed and nourish my body so I have the vitality and health to live a productive and happy life 🙌🙏.
TOTALS - 1447 CALS CONSUMED - fat 59.3g carb 158.8g protein 80.4g

Coffee - Good or Bad?

Coffee swings from being beneficial to harmful in the nutrition world so what is the truth about our morning pick me up?

The Down Side to Coffee.

A cup of coffee contains up to 200 mg of caffeine, a cup of tea up to 80 mg and coca cola around 55 mg of caffeine. Due to it’s high caffeine content excessive quantities of coffee can cause unpleasant side effects such as restlessness, anxiety, sleep disturbances tremors and problems with blood pressure.

If you are a regular coffee drinker, you likely are aware that the caffeine in coffee is also highly addictive. Coffee is so addictive that even individuals who consume just one cup per day can go through severe withdrawals symptoms if they eliminate their daily cup. Who remembers my whinging when I did the juice fast sans coffee?!

The ultimate pick me up?

On the plus side coffee is packed full of antioxidants which studies show help protect against free radical damage and therefore diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Caffeine can also help improve your memory and mood. When you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain. Once in the brain the caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, which in turn allows an increase in your alertness and memory. 

According to studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, drinking coffee on a daily basis also lowers your chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 7%.

However, it's important to remember we are all different, meaning some people are slower caffeine metabolisers than others. Caffeine is metabolised in the liver through an enzyme called cytochrome P4501A2 (CYP1A2). This enzyme is responsible for 95 percent of the metabolism process for caffeine and differences in our genetic makeup decide how much of this enzyme we have. If you don’t happen to know your genetic predisposition to this enzyme then my advice is to stick to one good quality organic coffee per day.