Stories I loved this week.


How has your week been? It’s starting to feel like Autumn in London and we’re starting to pull out our jumpers and fall coats and laying up. I like the crisp weather and the smell of fires being lit. It reminds me of starting a new year of university in Montreal and all the lovely fall foliage and coziness.

The weekend we’re going to try to catch this bee exhibit at Kew Gardens. What are you up to?

Are mothers the most efficient workers? (Motherly)

I want this coat. (ASOS)

This is really worrying, given the huge problem of antibiotic resistance and the effect antibiotics in the food supply can have our gut microbiome. (The Guardian)

Are you the type of cook that keeps bones in the freezer? Yep – the more bones you have, the more gelatinous the stock. (The Kitchn)

Wow – 100% of the mothers at this company return to work. (Quartz)

I’m starting to get fed up with using cling film and have been looking for sustainable alternatives. I love the look of these reusable silicone lids. (Food 52)

It’s so important for women to talk about miscarriages and for this be normalised. (Stylist)

This cheered me up on a gloomy afternoon at work. (Glamour)

Have you tried seed cycling?


I first heard about seed cycling a couple years ago on a natural health podcast and found it very intriguing.

The basic principle of seed cycling is that it is possible to use the primary micronutrients in a few seeds to help balance female sex hormones.

Infertility, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, PMS, acne, fatigue and other problems that have links with the menstrual cycle and female sex hormones are becoming more common.  Some of this is due to lifestyle and diet choices, which for some women can cause sub-clinical deficiencies in zinc, selenium and B vitamins –  some of the key micronutrients that help build female sex hormones.  Adding these micronutrients back in systematically can help restore balance.

What are the female sex hormones and why are they important?

If you think back to your biology classes in high school, there are four phases to a woman’s monthly reproductive cycle. At each phase in her cycle, a woman’s body produces different hormones to support the different activities that are happening in her uterus and ovaries.

  1. Menstrual phase: Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  2. Pre-ovulatory phase: Estrogen and Luteinising Hormone
  3. Ovulation: Luteining Hormone
  4. Post-ovulatory phase: Progesterone

Good, balanced hormone production is important not only for regular menstrual cycles, but only for stress management. Too much estrogen (known as estrogen dominance) and too little estrogen can both be problematic in their own way.

Some doctors will prescribe the OCP as a means of hormone balancing. Before going down that route, there are some natural methods, like seed cycling, to consider.

The nitty gritty of seed cycling

You’ll be using flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, all of which have different micronutrients that support hormone production at different phases of the menstrual cycle.

Flaxseeds and sesame seeds: Both seeds contain lignans, a polyphenol phytonutrient which can block excess estrogen production in the body.

Pumpkin seeds: The zinc in this seed supports progesterone release, which is important for having normal, low pain periods. Zinc also ensures that excess estrogen doesn’t convert to testosterone, which can be very problematic, particularly in PCOS sufferers.

Sunflower seeds: The selenium in this seed supports phase 1 liver detoxification (where your liver begins to clear excess estrogen from the body).  Selenium also helps produce glutathione peroxidase, a very powerful antioxidant.

How to do it

This can take between 1 and 4 cycles to see an effect, so bear with it. If your cycle is longer or shorter than 28 days, just start the second phase the day you ovulate. Day 1 starts the day of your period. If you aren’t tracking your cycles already with an app or notebook, I strongly urge you to do so. It’s interesting to look back and see how different events can affect the length and strength of your cycle.

Day 1 – 14 (follicular phase): 1 tbsp flax seeds, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds – these seeds help your liver clear the extra estrogen that can occur during this time of your cycle and the zinc in pumpkin seeds prevent excess testosterone production.

Day 15 – 28 (luteal phase): 1 tbsp sunflower seeds, 1 tbsp sesame seeds – these seeds are rich in zinc and selenium which help progesterone production during this phase of your cycle. They are also high in essential fatty acids, which help balance progesterone and estrogen and support the cell membrane (outer layer) of your eggs.

Take the seeds in the morning if possible, try to get organic seeds and with the flax, try to grind them fresh because the oils in the seeds can go rancid if they’re ground and kept out for too long.

There are so many different ways to have the seeds in the morning.

  • Add them to a morning smoothie
  • Mix them up with some organic full fat Greek yoghurt
  • Make an omelette and then sprinkle them over the top
  • Mix them into a morning salad
  • Date balls! Try this recipe and add in the relevant seeds for the respective time in your cycle
  • Or simply take them with some water

Have you tried seed cycling? Did it work for you?

Photo by Unsplash


An ode to self-care, rest and reflection.

I talk a lot about food on this blog, a bit about fitness and a smidgen about love. The eat, the love and the move.

What I’ve been realising this summer is how important rest and a sense of peace are to your own self-love, self-care and ability to love others.

By September this year, I was feeling a bit done. Burnt-out on all of the demands on me, my time and my spirit. I felt like I was giving a lot and not getting a lot back.

I’ve come through to the other side of this feeling with a reminder that there are lots of seasons in our lives. There will be seasons of unrelenting busyness and there will be seasons of peace and reflection. There will be times that you give a lot and you don’t get a lot back.



We need to give ourselves permission to go with this, knowing that these are the ebbs and flows of life. Living at an unrelenting pace is just not sustainable.

Our trip to Mallorca a few weeks ago gave me a enough distance not only from the UK, but from my everyday life to remind me of all of this. It gave me a chance to take a deep breathe, get away from the rush of London and listen to my own rhythm for a while. It also reminded me that I love taking photographs with my DSLR and that I should do more of this!

What is your self-care routine? What do you do when the rush of the city, of life gets a bit too much?

Stories I loved this week.

I’ve had a little hiatus from the blog. Things were getting on top of me and I needed to stop, have a breather and take stock. It’s important to do that once in a while, don’t you think?

We’ve also been on holiday to Mallorca (one of my favourite places on earth!) and although I came back with a cold, I feel mentally rested and ready to start my final year of my Nutrition degree (this weekend!).

Could you be a fruitarian? I personally couldn’t, but it’s interesting to get a peek into how they rationalise their choice. (Broadly)

How much do celebrities spend on fitness? (Well + Good)

How the sugar industry shifted the blame to fat. (NY Times)

Ketchup chips – any good Canuck will love these. (AV Club)

Great exercise rule – try not to skip two days in a row. (Summer Tomato)

I’ve just bought this cookbook and I’m really enjoying working my way through it. The chickpea pancakes on page 92 are great.

Feeding babies peanuts and eggs can reduce their risk of allergies later in life. This is an update to the previous advice that said that parents should wait to introduce allergenic food. Makes sense, especially based on what we know about the immune system and the role gut bacteria play in digesting food. (JAMA)

Foodie things I’ve bought, foodie things I want 

I love my Instant Pot. I got it on Prime Day earlier this year and it has become an amazing addition to my kitchen appliance arsenal. My bone broths are so much more gelatinous because of it and my pulled pork is so flavourful. Get it!


I want to start making my own ferments – kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut. I know there’s a wealth of information about this on the internet, but I couldn’t resist picking up this lovely looking compendium, Ferment, Dry, Pickle to flip through for inspiration.


Until I crack making kombucha myself, this is the best kombucha I’ve ever tasted. It’s not too sweet and not too bitter and it comes in lovely looking brown glass bottles.


We’re about to add some new shelves into our kitchen and I love the look of these floating wooden shelves.

I took a knife skills class at Leiths this time last year and improved my cooking immeasurably. Everything just seems so much easier. I’m now eyeing up their food photography course, as improving my food photos, (especially in low light!) is on my to do list.

I Tried It: Replacing My Amalgam Fillings

When I was a child, I felt like I was always at the dentist. Back and forth, getting filling after filling. The end result was that by the time I entered adulthood, I had a mouth full of metal fillings (10 in total!).

The good news is that I haven’t needed a filling since I was 18. The bad news is that 95% of my fillings were amalgam – you know, metal with mercury.

As I’ve learned more about the body, its systems and the effects of what we put in through my naturopathy and nutrition studies, I decided to look into what I could do about my teeth. It had always bothered me that I had so much metal in my mouth and that I never knew exactly what effect it was having on me.


Amalgam contains a combination of metals, including silver, mercury, tin and copper. And in some cases, zinc, indium or palladium are also used. I didn’t like the idea of having so much mercury in my body. Research has shown that very small amounts of mercury vapour can be released as the amalgam filling wears over time through chewing, biting and in my case, excessive grinding (yes, I grind my teeth at night – my worst habit!).

I booked a consultation with my local holistic dentist, Dr. Batavia, who took me step by step through the process of removing my amalgam fillings and replacing them with composite. Because I had so many fillings, I needed three appointments over three months, which gave me a chance to get my head around the whole process, not to mention, avoid excess jaw strain!


The process of removing the fillings is one that has been created by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, using SMART (Safe Metal Amalgam Removal Technique).  In a nutshell, lots of protective layers on the areas of the mouth that aren’t being worked on, a strong air filtration system and an after care protocol that supports healing and detoxification.

I was given a supplement protocol that included Vitamin C, charcoal, vitamin E and selenium to aid healing and removal of the mercury from my systems.

It’s been three weeks since my last appointment and I’m very glad that I’ve had it done. Not only because the entire process is finished (!), but because I have the peace of mind of knowing that all of the metal is gone from my mouth!

Have you had your fillings replaced? What did you think?

How can we create a better food culture in the UK?

camber beach

On our trip to Rye, we ventured over to Camber Beach a few times, excited about the prospect of warm late summer days of sand and surf. It definitely felt weird to be on the beach in England (I grew up with summer holidays visiting grandparents in Bahamas, so summers are permanently associated with lots of sun, sea and fish in my mind), but we loved every second of it. We might even head over to the beach in Cornwall next summer – how daring of us! 😊

The beach was packed both days we were there with lots of families taking advantage of the hot days before kids head back to school. I’ve been pondering how to write the next part of this blog post without judgement, so here goes. It was rather alarming to see how many very overweight toddlers, children and teenagers there were and what their parents were giving them to eat – lots of pop, sweets, cakes and crisps.

It got me thinking about food traditions, cooking and how we can teach our children to cook and eat in nourishing, tasty ways.

It’s no secret that food and nutrition education in England is patchy at best. Jamie Oliver’s programme Jamie’s School Dinners ten years ago put a spotlight on this and a follow up interview last year, he said that one of the reasons this initiative failed is that “in Britain, eating well and feeding your kid right and being aware about food is all considered very posh and middle class, but the reality is that in most of Europe some of the best food comes from the poorest communities.

This makes me really sad. Food and nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or defined by class. There are amazing food traditions in European countries that are enjoyed by the rich and the poor. The Greek obsession with fresh ingredients and traditional Greek dishes immediately springs to mind.

In the same article, Jamie Oliver then goes on to say, “we need to make fresh food more affordable than processed food because the most at-risk people right now won’t be my kid or yours [speaking of lower income families]”.

And this is the heart of the issue. We have a class-based food culture that is creating an obesity time-bomb.

In England, cooking habits are seemingly not passed on through families like they are in Italy and France and cooking is generally seen as a chore rather than a pleasure. Without this essential skill, families start to over rely on cheap, processed food, ready meals and takeaways to feed themselves. This lack of food knowledge goes on and on through families – children don’t know where their food comes from, can’t identify fruit and vegetables and are overfed and undernourished.

I wish I was exaggerating.

Cooking and eating delicious, nourishing food is such a pleasure, and this pleasure needn’t have any class based connotations.

How can we get people to start taking a long term view on what they eat, realising that the benefits of spending money on fresh food that will make a few meals vs. buying takeaways each night. Enjoying the savings both financially and health wise in growing your own fruit and veg?

I don’t have the answers, but it seems like that part of the solution could be simple food and nutrition education for parents and children –  using so-called pester power in a positive way.

What do you think?