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As the festive season draws near, you begin to dread the prospect of having to attend Christmas office parties, family get-togethers, and a host of generally over indulgent chow-downs. But you’re still committed to your schedule of carefully measured calories, exercising, and reasonably good and healthy eating habits. Or are you?

The problem with overeating, or not, is it’s so easy to give in to temptation. Especially when the environment you’re in expects you to dance to the same familiar tune. Everyone is enjoying themselves –  ‘it’s only right that I do too’. However, if you’re serious about maintaining your figure and physical wellbeing – the result of a whole year’s consistent effort, then you need to make firm intentions before the cookouts start rolling in.

The last thing you want coming over the festive hill is to have to battle away hard to burn pounds you put on rapidly while having a good time, and the depressed mindset that comes along with this. So it’s best to avoid this from happening by curbing your appetite.

Here are some intelligent ways you can bite the bullet and refrain from overindulging:

Let your daily calorie allowance be your guide.

Since you’re probably on an intelligent eating plan, it shouldn’t be difficult to monitor if you’re consuming either too much or too little calories on any given day. To stay on song, all you have to do is find ways of sticking to your personal optimum calorie target. You can do this easily by factoring in your own tasty snacks and treats. The beauty part of making these yourself is that you will no doubt do your best to keep away from ingredients which are fattening and unhealthy.

You knew about fibre already.

Foods which have ample stores of fibre in them are excellent deterrents from overindulging. They make you feel nice and full and if chosen cleverly will also mean you won’t be consuming extra unwanted calories. Fruit and vegetables are the obvious choices, and they also boost your body with essential vitamins and minerals. When you top up on fibre your body produces more insulin, which will help meltdown fats and sugars you happen to eat on those festive occasions. So even if you happen to be a bit naughty at Christmas you’ll still manage to keep added inches off your waistline.

Snack up smart before you…

While you’ve promised yourself not to get glued to a chair and go at it with ‘all you can eat’, you might still find it hard to resist those innocent looking Christmas nibbles. If you don’t watch it these can and do start piling on the calories. But if you go into a party well prepared beforehand, you’ll find it easy to turn down those salty and sugary hors d’oevres. Make a delicious snack you know you’ll enjoy heartily, something healthy and energy boosting. Chew on almonds and drop an apple or two before hitting the party.

Just mind the calorie culprits

It’s easy to assume what kind of foods will be served at a Christmas party. One thing you can be sure of is that the place will be packed with variety. So in addition to the salty and fat-filled snacks, you will probably find foods that will not have an adverse effect on your diet. Make the wise choices, be calorie conscious, and eat the healthiest options you can find. There’s nothing wrong with seafood, lean meats, and tasty salads. And go easy on the dressings and condiments.

But it’s Christmas

There’s no need to be extremely hard on yourself and no one wants to engage the sour face of the party. Within reason go ahead and enjoy. Sometimes cutting back on heavy workouts, taking a break, and easing off from your fixed diet can do wonders for the body to rejuvenate itself. Just don’t allow the break to extend beyond a week of relaxed eating and lazing about. You’re in control and get to set your personal eating limits. If you remember this, you’ll come back primed, stronger and more dedicated than ever before.

Article by Marc Dressen

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It is too easy to grab the wrong type of snack when you are fitting ‘eating’ around a busy schedule of clients, or if you are dashing from one appointment to the next, or if you have back-to-back meetings or events to attend… Chocolate and crisps are so convenient, but scream empty calories and low nutritional value…  What about a nice fresh piece of fruit? Fruit is amazing to include in our daily diets, for so many positive reasons, but on the go fruit can easily bruise, or get squashed, or can be messy to eat, and sometimes even the most exotic and freshest of fruit can be a little bland…

holistic therapist magazineAnd bland is something that Dilly and Wolf Super Snacks are definitely not! “We set out on our culinary journey searching for exciting flavour combinations that would work well with our naturally delicious and nutritious pulses to create a new breed of savoury Super Snacks. From street food vendors in Asia to spice markets in India and back to our own shores, our inspiration has come from near and far.

The flavours that HTM tried were the BRITISH FAVA BEANS, SEA SALT & CIDER VINEGAR, which satisfy the crunch we love, and use the classic salt and vinegar combination in a high quality way – and this high fibre-high protein snack is the perfect alternative to a bag of crisps.

The COCONUT & CHILLI ROASTED PEAS BEANS AND SEEDS, are a fusion of thai flavours with the British grown British-grown peas, fava beans and split yellow peas, mixed with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. This super snack livens up salads.

And finally, the SWEET & SALTY ROASTED PEAS, BEANS AND SEEDS; this flavour is just the perfect balance of sweetness and helped stop sugary cravings… the combination of textures and sizes of ingredients makes this snack interesting and exciting to eat, especially if added to frozen yogurt or even as a porridge topping.

These snacks are conveniently stored in plastic resealable tubs, and are perfect for sharing or for saving until later… although they are super moreish and really delicious. They are great as a stand-alone pick-me-up, but also are very versatile to add extra flavour and texture to dishes.


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The brain is the most incredible machine we have ever encountered, constantly working to store, process and recall information. It’s a difficult job and modern day stresses like information overload, money worries, and the ups and downs of life make it harder on our brain function. Not only does the brain not keep up with the workflow, but it can cease repairing and building entirely. Revive Active‘s Dr. Daniel Jones, Director of Research & Development, has some tips to keep our brains in shape…


The brain is constantly working, and to an extremely high degree, resulting in a constant need for fuel. The fuel we give our brain plays a large role in its daily function. This is particularly important in the morning as our brains are just turning on for the day. A good start in fuelling the brain is a mixture of short chain carbohydrates (fruits), medium-long chain carbohydrates (oats and grains) and protein. Additionally, just as important as fuel is hydration, because as little as a 2% decrease in hydration can result in an impairment of mental performance.


A proper night sleep of a continuous eight hours is extremely important for daily mental performance. It is during this phase that the brain recovers and resets after a long day. Compromising the brains ability to rest and recover can lead to a domino effect of mental restlessness, decreased brain function, impaired mental performance and diminished memory function.


The information which is presented to the brain has a large impact on the function of the brain itself. Studies show that ‘moments of awe’, or moments where we may see a grand scenic landscape like the Cliffs of Moher or hear a grand idea like the size and scale of space, drive our brain to begin to rewire itself to accommodate this new awe inspiring information. Taking the time to seek out these ‘moments of awe’ result in significant benefits to the function of our brain as well as our mind-set and outlook.


Having a positive mind-set has been shown to improve the overall function of the brain, while negative outlooks including fear have been shown to impair brain and cognitive function. Having a positive mind-set also promotes the continued production of signals in the brain which help us feel confident and content. Physical activity, whether it be running, swimming or any exercise, is a great first step in promoting the generation of positive brain signals to start each day with a pleasant and happy outlook.


The rescores which the brain receives, similar to the fuel, has a significant impact on its daily function. Nutrients like choline and vitamin D3 help to improve mental focus, clarity and help to reduce brain fog by promoting the healthy production of brain signals and activity. Omega-3 fatty acid DHA and uridine support memory and mental performance by promoting the building of essential connections within the brain. Vitamin B5, B6 & B9 contribute to mental energy and cognitive function by helping to supply energy, oxygen and important nutrients to the brain.

Together these nutrients have an even more pronounced effect through their synergistic actions, then they would individually.

re1Dr Daniel Jones is R & D director at Revive ActiveAll of the nutrients needed for super brain function are contained in Revive Active‘s new Mastermind supplement. Available in all leading pharmacies and health food stores nationwide and online at


Why do people detox?

Most people still associate detox, fasting and colonics with old ideas about cleaning the colon of age-old mucous collected through a life of poor diet.

But since disproving these (motivating) stories, people still find enhanced energy, health and better digestion. How can this be?

There are very clear biological pathways that describe why fasting aids the health and regeneration of cells even more so than eating. And a part of this enhanced cellular growth is the elimination of the wastes. The more time we give the body to deal with these processes, the more efficient it will be.

This is exactly where the modern lifestyle and diet fails us, and where the fasting state wins.

Taking a break from the rigors of our stressful lives, brings a freshness to our mind – any holiday can do that but when you take solid food out of the mix as well, the relaxing effects are amplified and transferred to systems beyond the mind.

The digestive system gets a deep, well-earned rest, and in doing so, shed some of the intolerances that were due to constant work in the gut. Very quickly the stomach adjusts, and we almost never complaints about being hungry.

The immune system has a chance to catch up on its many house cleaning jobs, freeing up muscles and joints from their inherent crystalising load of acidic materials, making them much more fluid and flexible.

As an extension to this, the inflammatory system can start to unwind, alleviating painful conditions, and allowing proper blood flow to return to affected areas for repair.

Emotions, long held in check by the suppressive effects of heavy foods, can come bubbling back to the surface for evaluation, expression and healing. A special atmosphere of well-being and self-empathy is naturally created in which to process levels of the psyche not usually available to us.

These ‘symptoms’ of a well-held fasting state can be temporary, and of course, we cannot sustain a fast for long in our busy lives. But having gone through the process, we have also reset our palette, and been educated in how to better feed ourselves, so we can bring more of this lighter state of being into our daily lives. That is the real gift of what we bring to this work.

And you don’t have to fly abroad, incurring the stresses and prices of air travel. We are in north Devon, close to the sea, with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, etc…

People leave fully equipped with emotional tools to better handle their stress levels and relationships, along with a fully refreshed understanding and passion for better foods.

Once is enough for some people, and sets them on a whole new track, but most people adopt this great resource as a lifestyle choice to be repeated periodically, giving them the downtime assess their situations, and check in with themselves.

If you’re starting to lose energy, gain weight, feel your health slipping away, or could just do with a proper break from life, to catch up on sleep, and get some perspective, then you should come along. You’ll love it.

………..Check out the testimonial from Gaynor a recent guest!

Visit their website for prices, dates, and many articles on the subjects mentioned:


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There are many people out there who are fabulous at home baking… and then there are the likes of myself…

I got to feel like a master chef however with the Wyldsson original bar mix.

First it arrived, beautifully and expertly packaged… and by ‘it’- I am referring to the box of things I needed to feel like a baker, without actually being one…

The tray, the packet of mix, and a tub of nut butter, and all I needed to do was to add a couple of bananas and an egg. I had lots of eggs… and I was so excited that I had two ripe bananas waiting to be mixed up with this gorgeous ingredients.

I cannot stress how stress-free this whole process is… for a busy working mum, being able to make these healthy bars that my whole family enjoy is brilliant.


The instructions are beyond clear to follow, and the steps are simple… the mixture fits perfectly into the tray and the bars cook in the exact time suggested… I am serious, it is the first baking experience I’ve had that has gone to plan… and they taste great. What I really love, other than the health part, and the simplicity, is that this brand seems to think of everything, and it feels honest, as though they really care about you as the eater of their bars… they give extra suggestions for adding certain ingredients for example, and you can even use the empty resealable ‘mix’ bag as storage for your bars.

Check out more about the product and brand: WYLDSSON

Mico-Leo (2)

Your gut flora and Lion’s mane: a match made in heaven

You would probably be surprised to know that 90% of our cells are foreign to us, they are in fact bacteria that outweigh, by far, the number of own cells in our bodies. Friendly gut bacteria plays a major role in the functioning of our organs and systems. Our microbiota keeps toxins and dangerous pathogens at bay, produces vitamins vital to our health and ensures our gut’s immune system is balanced. In fact the digestive tract is connected to many other systems including the impact on neurons in the brain. The effect of poor gut functioning can actually be noticed in these areas.

Impact of diet and lifestyle

Our Gut Microbiota is a complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract with a composition almost as unique as our own fingerprints!

Too often, our diet works against this delicate balance debilitating and dangerously diminishing it’s functioning. Excess of acidity caused by certain foods ( think wheat, dairy, sugar), antibiotics, lack of fiber and enzymes present in raw vegetables are elements that change the intestinal environment and dysbiosis.  In the immediate, this  can lead to overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria like candida. In the long term, inflammation slowly threatens the gut lining issues resulting in allergies, food intolerances and the famous ‘ leaky gut’ syndrome.

Probiotic VS Prebiotic: unwrapping the myths

Our usual tendency is to turn probiotics in an attempt to help our gut flora recover. The likes of Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus strains make an effective but transient effort to balance the ratio between good and bad bacteria in our guts. This beneficial bacteria, though momentarily helpful, struggle to remain alive and make our intestines their home.

Experts nowadays have started to speak the healing effect prebiotics:  non digestible food ingredients, like oligosaccharides, that stimulate the growth and activity of our bacterias living in the gut. Research shows that prebiotics significantly improve gut flora’s health without drastically changing its constitution and  making it easier for beneficial effects to last in the long term.

Mushrooms: natural prebiotics

In the mushrooms’ realm, a group of medicinal mushrooms excel for their content in a prebiotic substance called Beta-glucans, a type of oligosaccharides that literally ‘feeds’ good bacteria and sets off a cascade of health benefits in the immune system eventually preventing allergies, predisposition to infections and, even cancer.

Lion’s mane mushroom in particular (Hericium erinaceus) is our best ally for many reasons: it is a great prebiotic to protect our intestinal flora, it  works against many digestive disorders (Abdulla MA. et al) by regenerating the intestinal epithelium, preventing its degradation by renewing and generating a healthy intestinal “skin” which prevents allergens from getting into our blood stream (Michichiro et al).

Bio-IntestinHifas da Terra Mico-Leo is a high strength (6:1) Lion’s Mane supplement, produced using only the best raw materials, our organically certified mushroom are standardised to guarantee purity and efficiency. Mico-Leo is not only a prebiotic but also a natural source of vitamins B12, B2, B6, zinc, iron and copper.

It is powerful enough on its own, but combined with our Mico-Rei (Reishi) with anti-infllammatory properties and Mico-Polipor (Polypous) can enhance its effect in severe cases of dysbiosis.

Special Offer: Up to 40% Practitioner discount. Claim it now by emailing us at [email protected] 


Abdullah N, et al Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities . Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. (2012)

GIBSON AND MARCEL B. ROBERFROID Dietary Modulation of the Human Colonie Microbiota: Introducing the Concept of Prebiotics GLE/Y7YR. MRC Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and Unité de Biochimie Toxicologique et Cancérologique, Department des Sciences Pharmaceutiques, Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium,. “Imispain – International Mycotherapy Institute”. N.p., 2016. Web. 2 Mar. 2016

June L. Round1 & Sarkis K. Mazmanian The gut microbiota shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease Nature Reviews Immunology 9, 313-323 (May 2009) | doi:10.1038/nri2515

Mizuno, M., Kawakami, S., & Chida, Y. (2005). Inhibitory Effects of Extracts from Agaricus brasiliensis S. Wasser et al. (Agaricomycetideae) on Immediate Type Allergy Induced Compound 48/80 in ICR Mice. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms Int J Med Mushrooms, 434.

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Scotland’s celebrity nutritionist, Amanda Hamilton, is launching a NEW monthly detox retreat in her home town of North Berwick at the luxury spa destination of Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa. Renowned for its beautiful coastal setting and glorious 19th century Victorian architecture, there’s no better destination to begin your juice detox weekend or five-day juicing break!

For more than a decade, Amanda has set up spas and detox programmes across the world, most recently made famous by Kate Moss who has become a detox regular at Amanda’s program in Turkey. In recognition of her impact in the spa sector, Amanda’s business was recently short listed for an International Growth Award in 2015.

‘It’s great to have an international business but there’s simply no place like home and the Marine Hotel in North Berwick is an exceptional location’, comments Amanda. ‘There’s a great network of personal trainers and therapists locally that we are involving in the retreats which is really exciting too.

Macdonald Marine Hotel and Spa is home to a stunning thermal suite which specialises in a range of natural and marine inspired seaweed treatments. There’s also a packed timetable of extra activities focused on inspiring healthier lifestyle choices through education and exercise. Guests are encouraged to participate in beach workouts suitable for all levels and have a daily workshop on subjects such as weight management, stress and nutrition for longevity.

We’re thrilled to have teamed up with Amanda Hamilton, such a professional in her field’, explains Jeanette Jones, Managing Director of Leisure and Spa at Macdonald Hotels. ‘We have followed Amanda’s work in spa and health for years and we’re delighted that Macdonald Marine is able to add to the detox retreat programs, by providing guests with high-quality service and a first-class spa experience’.

With both residential and non-residential options, the breaks are based around juice fasting to optimise nutrients and minimise calories. This helps shift weight safely and offers a chance for the body to heal from within, often with a dramatic effect on health markers such as inflammation, cholesterol levels and insulin sensitivity.

On the longer retreats, a personal nutrition consultation is included to tackle any specific health issues or lifestyle concerns with follow up advice and menu plans. Guests will also receive follow on support menus to help maintain the benefits longer term and a goodie-box featuring some of Scotland’s most successful healthy food and drink snacks from Healthy Nibbles – the perfect way to finish your retreat and kick start your healthy new lifestyle from home.

Amanda Hamilton’s Juice Detox Break includes:

  • Arrival 10.00am Friday
  • 2 nights’ accommodation
  • All juices & smoothies for the programme
  • Specialist digestive boost drink from Rhythm
  • Follow on personalised menus
  • Daily guided walks and outdoor workouts
  • Ishga Treatment
  • Comprehensive education seminars
  • Unlimited use of facilities and award winning thermal spa
  • Optional exercise classes
  • Depart 4.00pm

*Non-residential guests will be given a robe as well as having unlimited use of the luxury spa facilities.

Running until the end of October this year, there will be juice detox weekends once a month, with prices starting from £265.00 for the non-resident option, and £395.00 for the resident option.

“Amanda is Queen of the detox scene’ – The Times

To find out more, please visit:

Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa

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danielle shine chef in the city

Newly trained Natural Foods Chef Danielle Shine shares what it is like for an Aussie girl living in London to study in New York City…

“I’m moving to New York to become a Natural Foods Chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute”

Saying those words out loud for the very first time felt so good, but at the time I had no idea just how much it work it would take to make it all happen. Looking back on it now, I can honestly say it was all worth it – I am now a skilled health-supportive chef who wakes up every day to play with real food and help others clean up their diets and improve their health.

So how much work did it take to get to where I am now? Aside from having enough money to relocate my entire life to a completely different country for 6 months, I had to submit a considerable amount of paperwork and attend an interview with the US consulate to receive the all-important visa in my passport. Luckily, the Natural Gourmet Institute assisted me with this process, saving me a LOT of time and confusion. Once my visa was approved, I had to secure somewhere to live and prepare myself for the journey ahead!

Needless to say, I learnt an incredible amount during my 6 months in New York. Aside from the skills and expertise I now possess, I learnt new, very empowering things about myself. I won’t lie to you, becoming a chef is tough. Aside from the obvious aspects involved with becoming a chef – the observing, learning and doing part, there’s a whole other aspect I (and my chef-mates) didn’t even think about…the it takes on your body. Standing all day long, most days really teaches you about the importance of self care during your down time, of which we had very little. School ran all day and sometimes into the night on nights when I had to assist my Chef instructors in the kitchen – all mandatory requirements in order to graduate. I also had to lift really heavy things for the first time in my life, as well as learn how to work with a team of people of varying ages and personalities – it really was like going back to school only with super sharp knives a LOT of cooking involved!

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and going back to school to study something new, I say go for it! Aside from the new skills and experiences you’ll encounter, it’s highly likely you’ll meet people who become good friends for life – I have certainly made some and am already planning to be back in New York later this year! Studying in a different country will open your eyes (and heart) to a new side of you because when you’re in a different place with new people it can feel like a re-birth of some sort. I know if I had studied to become a chef in my home country it wouldn’t have been as magical, nowhere near the same!

Whatever you choose to do, I wish you well on your journey. Just remember “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step” so keep putting one foot in front of the other – make an appointment to talk to someone about your chosen area of study, send some emails, do some research and soon enough you’ll be on your way.



The mystical elixir has been used and honoured for more than 2000 years in the Eastern world. Throughout the centuries Kombucha Tea has been named; “Immortality Tea”, “Miracle Tea” & “Elixir of Long Life”, suggestive of its curative & energising nature. – Equinox Kombucha Tea

Admittedly this was purchased on a whim from one of my local health food shops – I had never even heard of Kombucha, assuming it was just a fruit tea, upon returning to the car I actually read the back; “Fermented tea” hmm… It doesn’t exactly inspire the idea of a delicious thirst quencher by any means.

Kombucha is an ancient Chinese tea that historically was home-brewed using a special type of yeast and bacteria to ferment black and green tea. It was believed that this was a health elixir, healing any and all illnesses from Cancer to a sore throat. I hate to sound skeptical so early on but some Chinese medicinal inclinations such as whale blubber and shark fins, don’t help me put a lot of faith in this, but it seems innocent enough – I well know how effective Ancient Eastern ways of living can be very powerful.

img_3312After my shopping trip I completely forgot about the Kombucha sitting in my boot – some days later after a run/walk I realised I hadn’t taken any water with me and was gasping for a drink. Opening my boot I saw the strange tea sitting there, it might as well of had and Alice in Wonderland “drink me” label hanging from it. Nervously, I peeled off the bottle cap and it fizzed everywhere (just like leaving any fizzy drink rolling around in your car for a few days), I managed to contain most of it then took a sip. My first thoughts? Vinegar. Yup, it tasted like vinegar and had a slight sweet aftertaste. Due to my thirst and the supposed health benefits written on the label I guzzled the rest down. The fizz tickled my throat and suddenly I felt this great warmth settling in my heart chakra, this energy spread across my upper body, making my breath feel deeper and my heart pound stronger. Now I know it does contain naturally occurring caffeine – which I usually avoid – so I wondered if this sudden hit had revved me up. Usually after having anything caffeinated I feel sick, light-headed and as though a migraine is coming on, but not this time. I felt so energised – quite a feat considering I could win an Olympic medal in sleeping. I felt so revived that I actually ran around a bit more, my heart banging in my chest, smiling like a lunatic for no apparent reason.

Packing quite a punch, I would recommend it as a healthier energy drink – I can completely understand why Samurai warriors used to drink this in order to receive the “Chi” (life force energy, similar to “Ki” in Japan) that exudes from it – I certainly had a sense of this during my experience.

Note: with regard to its health benefits, I’m not so sure and I didn’t see any immediate effect. If any of you lovely readers give it a try on a regular basis to see its effects, please let me know how it goes.

Appearance/Price: A funky looking bottle with Mandala design, its about the same size as a bottle of beer. It has an old-fashioned pull cap and isn’t a screw top, so be careful when opening (especially if you leave it rolling around in your boot…) My single bottle cost £2.99, on the Equinox website they do a multipack of twenty bottles for £20, which isn’t bad at all.

Taste: As I said previously, vinegar-y to begin with and then gradually once you are used to it, you begin to taste the raspberry flavour but didn’t get much of the elderflower.

Ingredients: Containing multiple organic products, Equinox believe in using ethical ingredients and use Fair Trade as much as possible, a portion of the profits also go to humanitarian efforts including rainforest conservation – how great!

Naomi Walker – blogger


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CONGRATULATIONS OUR 2017 HOLISTIC BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS AND SHORTLISTS. This years award were held at Olympia Beauty expo's nutrition and wellness live stages we a huge...