The Easiest Frittata Recipe

Aside from their significance as a major plot point in the Harrison Ford – Rachel McAdams film, Morning Glory, frittatas are one of those recipes that everyone seems to have their own little twist on. And why not? Their versatility means that even the newest […]

Let’s drop the food guilt resolutions.

So it’s that time of the year again. Resolution time. Do you make resolutions? As a student nutritionist, I often hear people making resolutions to ‘do better’ with food, to eat healthier, to ‘be good’. These resolutions often come with a huge side of guilt. […]

Don’t detox, just eat better.

At this time of the year, newspapers and magazines are filled with weight loss, fitness and detox stories. And I’ll admit, I do enjoy reading them and seeing what nutrition & exercise (mis)information is being passed around.

One of my biggest gripes is seeing articles that talk about needing to detox post Christmas, with claims that a 3, 5, 7, 10 (you choose a number of days!) day detox will cure everything that ails you.

The biological reality is that your body is constantly detoxifying itself – that’s what your liver, kidneys, bowels, lungs and skin are for. And the by-products of this perpetual detoxification are stool, urine and sweat (really! they’re not just annoyances!).

The liver is the body’s waste purification plant and it is perpetually in motion, 24 hours a day. The more toxins you put in, the harder the liver has to work to remove them. By toxins, I mean products and by-products of the digestive system (excess sugar, trans-fatty acids and gut dysbiosis), alcohol, smoking by-products, environmental toxins (lead, chlorine, fluorine, insecticides, herbicides, solvents, metals, mould, pollen, algae) and oxidative stress (free radicals).

Your body really doesn’t want toxins to build up. So much so that the liver has a two stage detoxification process to make sure all the waste is removed – anything from alcohol to heavy metals to pesticides to the by-products of medication to hormones like xenoestrogens. The liver is continuously converting these substances to inactive forms for excretion in urine (via the kidneys) or stool.

How do you know whether your body’s detoxification functions are working correctly? Here are some signs and symptoms are suboptimal detoxification:

If your bowels aren’t functioning well, you’re likely to have bloating, fatty stools, constipation, diarrhoea, an intolerance to fatty foods and bad breath.

If your immune system isn’t functioning well, you’re likely to have food allergies, skin issues like eczema and psoriasis, recurring infections and potentially asthma.

If your endocrine system (hormones) isn’t functioning well, you’re like to suffer from high stress, infertility, PMS, mood swings, anxiety and potentially depression.

If your nervous system isn’t functioning well, you’re likely to have headaches, poor sleep, lethargy and poor memory and concentration.

So knowing all this, the real question (which is less of a quick fix and not as sexy a ‘detox’): how can I consistently support my liver, lungs, skin, digestive system, bowels and kidneys?

  1. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Most people are slightly dehydrated and often mistake thirst for hunger, so the bare minimum to aim for is 1.5L of water across the day.
  2. Eat green leafy vegetables. These contain the micronutrients and enzymes that support the first stage of liver detoxification and kickstart the second stage.
  3. Eat more nuts and seeds. Seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and nuts like almonds, cashews, Brazils and hazelnuts have micronutrients that help your liver work better.
  4. Eat enough protein. Red meat, nuts, eggs and fish are amongst some of the protein sources that contain the amino acids needed for the second stage of liver detoxification.
  5. Don’t drink alcohol every day. Metabolising alcohol puts pressure on the liver and diverts it from its other important functions, such as bile secretion, which is helps the body digest fats.
  6. Support your gut. A good balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut supports your immune and digestive systems and helps improve the quality of your skin.
  7. Get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Sleep is when your body has a chance to repair and regenerate and this supports its detoxification systems.
  8. Get sweaty at least 3 times a week. A good excuse for a run, a spin class or a shag!

Stories I loved this week.

It’s Christmas Day! Today feels like the culmination of a lot of happy planning and it’s been great to see the day unfold, with a very happy three year old running around. We had a very slow morning of presents, coffee and scrambled eggs with […]

Easy Potato Latkes

This is an easy recipe for those mornings when you want something substantial and savoury, but aren’t in the mood for something with eggs or bread. Latkes are so underrated. They should be on more menus because you can cram so much goodness into them […]

Stories I loved this week.

I’m so excited about Christmas. Are you? It feels particularly poignant this year, as J is getting older and better understands the meanings and traditions around this very special holiday. We’ve planned loads of Christmassy things, like trips to a pantomine and to the Winter Wonderland fair in Hyde Park.

And I’ve finally planned the Christmas day menu and have made a mammoth Abel and Cole and Ocado order for the two day feast. I can’t wait! Have you planned your Christmas menu yet? What have you got planned?

The juice tour of LA made me laugh (a lot). (Lucky Peach)

What a great tip for taking the seeds out of pomegranates. (The Kitchn)

An oral history of why many African-Americans from the South carry hot sauce in their bags (really!). (Eater)

What does normal feel like to you? (LaTonya Yvette)

In praise of the only child. A nice read, especially more of my friends are having their second and third children and I stay resolute in only wanting one. (Tantrum XYZ)

Would you ever join a cookbook club? I love this idea – what a great way to try a cookbook before you decide to buy it. (Serious Eats)

Have you fallen into the current obsession for hygge this winter? This piece goes into the darker side of this Danish lifestyle mantra. (The Guardian)

I’m still using my Instant Pot loads and converting others to the sheer brilliance of it. It will really will change your cooking life. (Bon Appetit)

What are adaptogens?

Have you heard of adaptogens? If you haven’t yet, you will soon. In fact, there are a few you probably already know, but didn’t realise they were called adaptogens – do you recognise maca, ginseng and licorice? Why do we care so much about adaptogens? In […]

Just eat more vegetables.

People like shortcuts. Maybe it’s a symptom of our modern world, where we can get pretty much anything we want at the touch of a button. Speaking of shortcuts, I’m often asked by friends, family and colleagues about the fastest ways to get healthy / […]

Stories I loved this week.

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Have you read Zadie Smith’s new novel, Swing Time yet? I’ve started it and am loving it so far. I’ve enjoyed all the publicity she’s been doing around the novel, including this interview with Lena Dunham and the Proust Questionnaire in Vanity Fair.

We all need this reminder, post Brexit and US election – how to argue fairly.

I loved these tips for hosting a festive dinner in a small space with not a lot of money. Pot lucks are very underrated!

If you’re like me, seeing what’s happening in the world is putting a fire in your belly and now you’re wondering how to direct it. This is a nice piece on simple things everyone can do to make a difference. Call / write your MP and elected representative! I do this a lot and it really does help – promise!

How to navigate a mid-life creative detour.

This recipe for fruit roll-ups looks great. An easy way to get lots of phytonutrients in.

I loved this profile of Jessica Koslow and her restaurant Squirl – her passion for food is infectious.

4 women talk about going sober for a year.

Food is food – nutritious, cheap and tasty.

This week, a prominent doctor in the UK talked about the need to reduce the 5-a-day fruit and vegetable intake recommendation because it was ‘unrealistic’ for low-income families to achieve this. She says that lots of families may struggle to afford the recommended amounts and that […]

What’s your morning routine?

What are your mornings like? Are they chaotic and rushed? Calm and serene? Or a mix of the two? I often read articles where they talk about calm and easy morning routines with a mixture of awe and envy, and think these women are either […]

How to channel your anger in these trying times.

It didn’t feel appropriate to do my usual link round up today.

If you’re upset and angry about the events of the last week, and even the last six months, if we add on Brexit, here’s a list of organisations you should consider helping, either through your wallet or skills.

The UK

The Fawcett Society: This organisation campaigns for women’s rights in the UK.

Refugee Council: They work to support and protect refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.

Repeal: This organisation is on the front lines of the fight to change Ireland’s abortion laws and give Irish women safe access to abortions.

Liberty: They campaign for civil liberties and human rights in the UK.

The US

Emily’s List: This organisation helps pro-choice Democratic women get elected.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): They work hard to protect free speech and fight against injustice.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL): This organisation works to actively combat hate, discrimination and anti-Semitism.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC): They fight hate groups using education, litigation and advocacy.

Council of American Islam Relations (CAIR): They defend the civil rights of Muslims.

Planned Parenthood: The US’ leading sexual health and reproductive healthcare provider.

NAACP: They’ve worked tirelessly for decades to protect the civil rights of people of colour.

RAINN: The US’ largest anti-sexual violence organisation.

Stop telling me to be nice.

I wrote this on Instagram this morning and wanted to expand it out a little. In the last three days, I’ve been seeing many posts talking about the need to ‘be nice’ to others as we all process the result of the US election. These […]

The importance of self-care.

There’s been so much depressing, upsetting news recently that sometimes I feel like shutting off my phone and laptop and burying my head in my pillow until it all goes away. But it’s not going away, is it? Between Brexit, the US election, even the […]

Stories I loved this week.

Happy weekend! I can’t wait to hang out with my husband and son and relax this weekend.  And it’s Bonfire Night on Saturday! We’re going to check out our local Guy Fawkes fireworks display and let J have a few sparklers  – can’t wait!

What are you up to this weekend?

How it feels when your friends have babies. (Refinery 29)

What to eat when you have no idea what to cook. (The Pool)

I learned how to sharpen knives on Leiths knife skills course last year and it has been a revelation for my food prep. (Lucky Peach)

I love this idea of fine dining club for young children and their parents. I was a part of one when I was on maternity leave and it was incredible to be able to try some of the top restaurants in London with my son with me. (Bon Appetit)

The woman is incredible – doing so much, with a little toddler by her side. (Motherly)

How to choose a probiotic that will actually work. (Well + Good)

This is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. (Nplusone)

In case you missed it earlier on the blog…

I made chestnut pancakes and they were sooo good.

I’ve been wondering why we don’t talk about nutritious eating more.