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5 Books Recommended for Summer Reading

Summer is the perfect time to dive into some enriching and thought-provoking reads. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, taking a break at the park, or enjoying a quiet evening on your balcony, our curated list of thought-provoking books from Hammersmith Health Books offers something for everyone. From practical self-help guides to poetic reflections on the medical field, these books will inspire, educate, and entertain. Here are our top five recommendations for your summer reading list:

  1. ‘The Getting of Resilience’ by Sally Baker

Combat life’s challenges with resilience.

In ‘The Getting of Resilience’, award-winning therapist Sally Baker provides a comprehensive guide to developing resilience, a crucial trait for navigating life’s inevitable challenges. Baker delves into family dynamics and early life experiences that shape our coping strategies and offers practical tools to reassess and overcome self-sabotaging behaviours. With insights from her extensive therapy practice, this book is a gentle yet powerful resource for anyone looking to move from negativity to self-empowerment.

Read the first chapter for free here.

  1. ‘Suburban Shaman’ and ‘An Amazing Murmur of the Heart’ by Cecil Helman

A compassionate journey into the world of a GP.

The late Cecil Helman, a pioneer in medical anthropology, shares his unique perspective on being a general practitioner in ‘Suburban Shaman’ and his follow-up compendium, ‘An Amazing Murmur of the Heart’. These companion books, celebrated as ‘Book of the Week’ on BBC’s Radio 4, reveal the importance of empathy and adaptability in medical practice. Helman’s insightful reflections illustrate how doctors must navigate their patients’ worldviews to provide effective care, making this a compelling read for anyone interested in the human side of medicine.

Read the first chapter of An Amazing Murmur for free here.

For more information on Suburban Shaman see here.

  1. ‘The Energy Equation’ by Dr Sarah Myhill

Optimise your energy for a healthier life.

Dr Sarah Myhill’s ‘The Energy Equation’ is an essential guide for understanding and optimising your energy levels. From elite athletes to office workers, everyone can benefit from the practical advice in this book. Dr Myhill, along with editor Craig Robinson, explains the balance between energy generation and energy use, offering actionable strategies to ensure you’re operating at your best. This book – also available from our website as an audiobook – is a must-read for those looking to enhance their performance and overall well-being.

Read the first chapter for free here.

  1. ‘Eating Plant-Based’ by Dr Shireen Kassam & Dr Zahra Kassam

Debunking myths and embracing plant-based nutrition.

In ‘Eating Plant-Based’, Dr Shireen Kassam and Dr Zahra Kassam tackle common questions and concerns about transitioning to a plant-based diet. With a Q&A format, the doctors (both cancer specialists) provide clear, scientifically-backed answers to common queries, such as those about protein, safety for children, and the effects of soya. This book is an invaluable resource not only for individuals considering a plant-based lifestyle but also for health professionals who encounter patients making this dietary change.

Read the first chapter for free here.

  1. ‘Playing God – Poems about Medicine’ by Glenn Colquhoun

Poetic insights from a doctor’s experience.

‘Playing God’ by Glenn Colquhoun, a New Zealand-based GP and acclaimed poet, offers a poignant and poetic exploration of what it means to be a healthcare practitioner with the many responsibilities that entails. Through his collection of poems, Colquhoun reflects on the delicate balance between medical authority and human vulnerability. This book provides a unique, artistic perspective on the complexities and emotional depths of practising medicine, making it a captivating read for those interested in the intersection of the humanities and healthcare.

For more information see here.

Not sure you’ve found the book for you? Check out our full catalogue of books here.

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Sitting with Uncomfortableness – Sally Baker

Blog by Sally Baker – author of ‘The Getting of Resillience from the Inside Out’.

The Getting of Resilience from the Inside Out – disclosing my own story

My work as a therapist frequently involves disclosure. It’s not mine, though; it’s my clients sharing how they feel about what has happened to them and me bearing witness to their truth.

I’ve been around disclosure for so long that I mistakenly thought I was good at it. I am good at it when it comes to bearing witness, but I’m resistant to disclosing my own story, and no one has been more surprised to discover this than me. My resistance feels like the layers of an onion – I’ve become well-versed at telling my truth over the years in my therapy sessions or one-to-one conversations with friends or colleagues; I’ve also told my truth without hesitation to small groups, and even sometimes larger audiences. However, the writing down and potential publication of my truth has been a tough test and one that I’ve very nearly failed a number of times in the process of writing my latest book, ‘The Getting of Resilience from the Inside Out.’


Unavoidable discomfort

My disclosure felt unavoidable, though, as I wanted the keystone of the book to be an understanding that it’s not what happens to us in life that matters the most, but the enduring, often harsh judgements we make about ourselves and those events. The writer, Neil Gaiman, said something about this self-exposure that rang very true for me – something like it’s at the moment you feel you might be walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and mind, showing too much of yourself… that is the moment you might start to get it right.

I had no choice but to trust I might be starting to get it right and include my own story of how something terrible happened to me as a seven-year-old. In short, without giving too much away, I told my mother what had happened, and she said never to mention it again. My mistake was that I thought she was angry with me and that it was my fault when her thinking was actually quite different. That misunderstanding undermined how I thought and felt about myself for many years while she had been hoping I had forgotten the event because I had been so young.


Skin in the game

It’s popular these days for some therapists and counsellors to talk about their trauma and to disclose they have ‘skin in the game’. However, that’s not the whole story as far as I am concerned. I think it’s not enough to have experienced trauma. I believe people deserve to see that trauma can be resolved and that mental health professionals who have experienced trauma do not live constricted life-sentences dominated by the past.


Childhood hardships cast long shadows.

Growing up, we rely on others for safety and nurturing to help us survive and thrive in our early years. How we are cared for – or not cared for – profoundly shapes us as we grow. Some childhoods provide the nurturing protection that helps ensure the growth of resilience, while other upbringings fail to deliver the supportive family structure where this vital capacity can take root.

Life’s unavoidable hardships can overwhelm those who lack robust resilience. Without inner reserves of grit and determination, it becomes difficult to cope with losses, traumas, illnesses, pressures and unexpected changes that are inevitable over a lifetime. The shadow of past neglect continues to impact long into adulthood, making it hard to have faith in one’s ability to handle whatever curveballs may come.

Yet the beauty of the human spirit lies in its potential to heal, learn and grow – at any age. Just because resilience failed to develop during the early years does not mean the opportunity has passed. When given the proper support, our capacity to cultivate resilience remains within us for our whole lives. Uncovering your inner resolve and strengthening it daily is always possible. As signposted throughout ‘The Getting of Resilience from the Inside Out’, even small steps to change how you think and feel about yourself can gradually nurture the deep-rooted resilience that provides the fortitude we all need.


Feeling uncomfortable

I was anxious about having my story published in the book. It has made me feel uncomfortable. However, I’m learning to sit with my discomfort while balancing my trust in the rest of my book. The book is a practical, self-help guide with actionable steps based on how I work in my therapy practice. It uses my experiences and those of some of my clients to explore how to unravel the past and build self-worth and resilience in the present. Each chapter includes an easy-to-follow worksheet requiring around 30 minutes a week as you work through the book to help develop resilience from the inside out. It can equip you with practical tools to strengthen your intuition, overcome unhelpful thinking patterns, break free from self-sabotaging behaviours and, most importantly, learn to let go of the past.



This book took many iterations and more time than anyone would have wished. I know it’s not unusual to thank one’s publisher. However, I am still incredibly grateful to Georgina Bentliff of Hammersmith Health Books, who understood how difficult this process was and encouraged me to keep going! My resilience has strengthened throughout this whole process, and I will never again experience the depth of uncomfortable and sorrowful feelings that my story caused me for so many years. Although I’m still a work in progress, I am proud to continue to thrive, feel loved, and be loved out in the world.


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Walk all over cancer 2024

How people with cancer can feel better by marching through March

By Caroline Garrit

It has been proven, irrefutably, that if people are able to be active after a cancer diagnosis then we are more likely to have better outcomes. We can reduce the myriad side effects – long and short term – from the various modes of treatment and, crucially, we can help to reduce our risk of the cancer returning. For those living with cancer, exercise can help slow its progression.

There are no guarantees, of course, but exercising is one thing that we can do for ourselves, that we can take control of, and that has been shown to help us to feel better in many ways.

Increasingly cancer patients are aware of the benefits of being active but are often unsure how to start. After my surgery, I started, as have many others, simply by walking. I went out for a daily ‘constitutional’, a gentle couple of miles at first and then gradually built up. It helped me cope emotionally and mentally, especially as I’d look out for birds, flowers and other signs that nature was carrying on as normal despite my little world imploding at the time.

Something as simple as a daily walk ticks several boxes. It’s a basic, functional activity, it’s accessible and free. Walking can help our heart and lungs to recover their fitness and capacity after a period of illness or inactivity. Walking is a weight bearing activity, so it can help us to protect our bone density – which is often reduced by cancer treatments.

Walking uses the muscles in our buttocks and legs, which can be weakened by a period of inactivity. As a result of their cancer treatment, many people lose muscle mass from their limbs, and at the same time they gain fat around the torso. Walking can help offset both. A nice walk, in company or alone if you prefer, can sort your head out.

March is a lovely time of year to be thinking about walking more, when buds and blossoms start to appear, and will be followed soon by chicks and lambs. The longer days give us more scope to be outdoors, as does the finer weather.

Once we’re up and walking, there are things we can do to develop our walking to become even more impactful on our wellbeing,

Fine company

Walking with others can help spur us on. I’ve led Nordic walks through Maggies Cancer Support Centres for a decade now and one of the things I’ve noticed time and again is that people come as much for the company as they do the exercise. Walking with likeminded folks, in our case other people with cancer, means there’s a level of understanding and support that’s difficult to find elsewhere. Peer support, and the ‘social contract’ of a scheduled walk help us to making walking habitual rather than an occasional thing.


One of the most important aspects of cancer rehab is consistency. That we start gently in whatever form of activity we’re going to do, and we then build up, slowly but surely. You can’t buy consistency, it has to come from within, but it pays for itself in heaps.

I wrote a post about walking a year ago in celebration of Walking All Over Cancer – more about that below – and wrote about my client Sarah, who, with stage 4 ovarian cancer, was walking 100kms during March 2023 for charity. Since then Sarah has become an all-weather ‘parkwalker’ and passed the parkrun milestone of having completed 50 parkruns. She is well, and just completed the London Winter Run 10k race.

Build stamina

During cancer treatment – especially chemo and immunotherapy – many people find that their stamina is lessened and that they just can’t keep going for as long as they could before. We can use walking as a manageable way to re-build stamina by simply adding distance, gently, over time. I often find that a training plan, such as couch to 5k, adds structure here. (There’s a version of this in my book)

Last year I also wrote about Juliet, who was Nordic walking on Hampstead Heath after breast cancer treatment. Juliet achieved something brilliant last autumn when she built her stamina and strength, through increasing the distance of her walks and by taking up weight training, and completed the Future Dreams Challenge, a half marathon over the South Downs. She was rewarded handsomely at the finish line, with ice cream.

Build strength

Juliet, Sarah and I (and countless others) have felt the dual impact of walking and strength training. As with cardio exercise, people are often unsure how they could safely start strength training after a cancer diagnosis. Here is a short strength routine that you could do, mid walk. It doesn’t need any equipment except a park bench, a fallen tree truck or a low wall.

Park bench routine

On my walk today I stopped and did a few minutes of strength exercises, using just my body weight and a park bench.

I did: Heel raises  – Seated star jumps  – Press ups – Sit to stand – Mountain Climbers – Squat with knee drive

Join me here:

Walk all over cancer

‘Walk all over cancer’ is an annual month-long fundraising initiative by Cancer Research UK in which the charity challenges participants to walk 10,000 steps every day through March and to raise sponsorship and awareness of issues relating to cancer as they go.

10,000 steps a day is a public health benchmark used globally and is believed to be optimal for avoiding early death from certain conditions. It actually originated in the 1960s in a marketing campaign for a pedometer in Japan, but it has held true ever since.

By taking part in Walk All Over Cancer, people are helping to fund future cancer research raise funds that could ultimately benefit people with a cancer diagnosis to live and thrive.

The impact is broader than that though. By promoting walking as a form of exercise, cancer charities and organisations like parkrun are helping people to walk more and to gain the often unrealised benefits of this very simple, natural form of movement.

So, we march our way through March.


There’s more detail about the evidence around exercise and cancer, a description of the park bench strength exercises, and a couch to 5k training programme in my book ‘Get your oomph back, a guide to exercise after a cancer diagnosis’.

‘Get your oomph back – a guide to exercise after a cancer diagnosis’ by Carolyn Garritt is available in paperback and kindle, through Hammersmith Health books, click here to purchase yours today! 


For more information

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The underlying problems of energy drinks

Mike McInnes, author of Honey Sapiens

The latest research on the toxicity of caffeinated energy drinks in youth, highlighted by Kate Pickles in the Daily Mail, and focusing on sleep impairment, is most welcome. However, it does not uncover the full neuropathological damage to these young brains. Shocking though this is to acknowledge, these drinks are degrading human cognition at breakneck speed.

Damage caused by consuming high levels of refined sugar

As I explain in much more detail in my recent book, Honey Sapiens, high levels of glucose in the human circulation actually starve the brain of the fuel it needs rather than providing this. The mechanism for this is that the body turns refined sugar (with energy drinks being a major source) into a massive hit of glucose that then degrades an essential enzyme as a result of oxidative stress. That enzyme is called glutamine synthetase; it is not widely known but it is the human brain’s fuel pump and consequently the enzyme of cognition, communication and language. This enzyme’s roles include the conversion of a neurotoxic substance that our bodies produce as part of the energy cycle – glutamate – into the beneficial amino acid glutamine; each turn of the energy cycle that the enzyme enables pumps energy in the form of glucose into the brain. Failure to complete the energy cycle and make this conversion as a result of oxidative damage to the enzyme results in two disastrous events – the brain is deprived of the energy it needs and the build up of neurotoxic glutamate destroys the brain’s nerve cells (neurones) via calcium overload[1].

Worse still, the build-up of toxic glutamate causes an inflammatory conflagration in the brain that cooks and digests neurones. This is a disaster for any brain, but especially for a growing brain.

What of caffeine?

Caffeine doubles the massive insult from refined sugar. It does this by increasing the concentration of neurotoxic glutamate in the brain, adding to the inflammatory tsunami and devouring neurones – in other words, causing an autoimmune fire storm[2]. The brain literally shrinks.

Combining caffeine with the known neurotoxicity of refined sugars is not radically different to adding petroleum to a house fire. Although coffee contains some neuroprotective principles, caffeine alone is now being increasingly recognised as neurotoxic[3][4].

The poisonous effects of glutamate

Excess neurotoxic glutamate in the human brain is the underlying pathology in all the modern human metabolic (energy dysregulation) diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and autism spectrum disorders. From the 1970s, when refined sugars began to be included in processed foods in large quanitites, these conditions have increased exponentially.

Alzheimer’s disease is increasingly recognised as a refined-sugar-induced condition, sometimes called ‘type 3 diabetes’, and is directly linked to excess glutamate in the brain. If this is the kind of neuropathology that refined sugars can inflict on the fully formed adult brain, what might be the effect on the developing brain in childhood?

If the current rate of increase in these metabolic, brain-destroying diseases is not halted, Homo sapiens will no longer be a cognitively competent species by the end of the 21st Century.

There is a healthy alternative

Is it possible to sweeten energy drinks without causing neurological and cognitive damage? Yes, it seems it is. From around the early 2000s, studies have been being published that show honey is the most antidiabetic and neuroprotective brain fuel known to humankind. These studies have largely been from non-western universities, but published in western peer-reviewed journals and then ignored – perhaps a mixture of western scientific arrogance, paternalism and racism?

Very excitingly, in March 2023 a seminal study was published in the journal Nutrients by a group of researchers at the Medical Research University in Malaysia. (Malaysia is the leading country in honey scientific research globally.) This study focused on the potential role of honey to avert neurodegenerative diseases and what the properties were that gave it this power[5]. To quote the authors:  ‘…the neuroprotective properties of honey are primarily attributed to its high polyphenol content, with quercetin and gallic acid being the most prominent. This review compiled considerable evidence of the anti-neurodegenerative properties of honey….’

At last, the news is out – honey is supercharged with neuroprotective bioflavonoids and polyphenols which enhance human cognition. Anybody producing or consuming energy drinks should take note!

© Mike McInnes 25th January 2024.


  1. Rorbach-Dolota A, Piwowar A. Neurometabolic Evidence Supporting the Hypothesis of Increased Incidence of Type 3 Diabetes Mellitus in the 21st Biomedical Research International Journal 2019; 2019:1435276. DOI: 10.1155/2019/1435276 PMID: 31428627
  2. John J, Kodama T, Siegel JM. Caffeine promotes glutamate and histamine release in the posterior hypothalamus. American Journal of Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 2014; 307(6): R704-R710 DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.001142014 PMID: 25031227
  3. Gorecki M, Hallmann E. The Antioxidant Content of Coffee and Its In Vitro Activity as an Effect of Its Production Method and Roasting and Brewing Time. Antioxidants (Basel) 2020; 9(4): 308. DOI: 10.3390/antiox9040308
  4. Schreiner TG, Popescu BO. Impact of Caffeine on Alzheimer’s Disease Pathogenesis – Protective or risk Factor? MDPI Journal Life (Basel) 2022; 12(3): 330. DOI: 10.3390/life12030330 PMID: 35330081
  5. Fadzil MAM, Mustra S, Rashed AA. The Potential Use of Honey as a Neuroprotective Agent for the Management of Neurodegenerative Diseases. Nutrients 2023; 15(7):1558. DOI: 10.3390/nu15071558 PMID: 37049399


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Ease the knees with squats and weights

Frances Ive – Author of One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis

For several years I have not been able to get up easily if I am bending down to a low cupboard to get something out, have a look or to clean it. In yoga I have avoided doing squats that hurt my knees. So, when I was asked to show the NHS physiotherapist some squats, I winced.  Then he suggested I did them daily to help ease my knees. It’s not always the arthritis in the knees that hurts, it’s often the tightness in and around them.

By regular exercise, in this case, squatting, we can protect the knees by building up strength in the surrounding muscles.  Check out the diagram on squats for the knees on page 27, Chapter 3 of my book, One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.

I had officially gone to see the physiotherapist about my about Plantar fasciitis in my foot, but after 14 weeks of waiting to see him, it had cleared up. I decided to discuss my osteoarthritis in the knees.

My next question to the physio was, ‘Should |I be doing weights?’  His answer – ‘Everyone should’.  So I popped into a large supermarket and bought two weights of 1kg each to start with – costing the princely sum of £6.

I combine the weights with the squat and with one in each hand I put my arms straight out in front of  me and squat slowly, easing onto a low chair. Obviously, the aim is not to use the chair eventually, and that may not be very far off.

What’s the result? After 10 days, surprisingly to me, my knees hurt less after exercise and when walking downstairs, but there’s a way to go yet.

A word of caution – only do this to suit your own level of ability. You do not want to hurt yourself – so start slowly with squats and gradually add in the weights, looking at the instructions  that come with them.  Better to start slowly and build up, not push yourself too hard.

One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis focuses on what everyone can do to maintain quality of life by  keeping active and mobile despite having osteoarthritis. I emphasise the importance of exercise, diet and weight loss as well as giving plenty of practical tips that are easy to follow.

Click here to read the first chapter for free or purchase your own copy!



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Happy New Year from Hammersmith Health Books

Looking forward to 2024

All the signs are that the world is increasingly troubled by conflict and there is little hope of quick resolution. Conflict, strife and stress are, we know, risks for our short- and long-term mental and physical health and the statistics on the increasing prevalence of chronic health conditions worldwide bear this out. Mental health problems are now the commonest reason people in the 25-40 age bracket in the UK are not able to work. As ever, HHB seeks to help its readers take charge of their own health by understanding the root causes of disease and improving their diet, lifestyle and stress levels where this is possible. Of course, a general book can never be a substitute for seeking individual advice from a health professional and a diagnosis can often turn out to be something you never even thought of, but we hope our books, backed up as they are by longstanding and cutting-edge evidence, will give you a good basis for improving your health and wellbeing in 2024.

We begin the year with Dodging Dementia by Mary Jordan, which includes a chapter on pharmaceutical issues contributed by author of Curing the Incurable, Dr Jerry Thompson. Mary reviews past and current research about the risks for developing dementia – those factors we can influence, such as diet and exercise, and those factors we cannot but must take into account, such as genetics and past trauma. She then shows how we can apply these general findings to our personal situation and consider what we can do as individuals to improve our chances of staying cognitively well. Her emphasis is on what is practical and worthwhile rather than being a counsel of perfection!

For February, we are very excited to announce the third edition of Dr Sarah Myhill’s bestselling Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalitis and Long Covid: It’s mitochondria, not hypochondria. Sarah, now with regular co-author Craig Robinson, has gone right back to basics, re-writing her best known book on a need-to-know basis that ensures fatigued readers are not overwhelmed with detail yet have all the information they need to restore their energy levels. This can be a long journey – there are no short cuts – but, as Sarah says, the measures she describes are also those that will support long-term good health across the board.

March sees the launch of therapist Sally Baker’s long-awaited The Getting of Resilience from Inside Out. Based on her work with thousands of clients, Sally brings the good news that resilience is something we can acquire no matter how bad our life experiences have been. She gives us the tools to achieve this, backed up with case histories and tried-and-tested practical exercises.

Resilience is something we will all be needing more of as 2024 unfolds. Look out for our special offers and regular giveaways by signing up for our newsletter and/or following us on social media. Our regular blog posts will also, we very much hope, prove useful in the coming months.

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Reflecting on a year at Hammersmith Health Books…

It is the time of the year for taking stock of what the Hammersmith Books team and our brilliant authors have achieved over the past twelve months. The year seems to have flashed by so fast it is hard to remember that 12 months ago we were waiting to launch Dr Sarah Myhill and Craig Robinson’s Underactive Thyroid: Do it yourself because your doctor won’t. That book has had an excellent first year, both in the UK and North America, thanks to our ongoing collaboration with US publisher Chelsea Green. The second edition of Myhill & Robinson’s Ecological Medicine has likewise seen great interest, supporting Dr Myhill’s ongoing programme of workshops and talks.

Vicky Fox’s excellent second book, Time to Repair, has been taken up by a host of readers looking for gentler ways to promote healing and better health and finding that just five minutes of yoga a day can indeed make a world of difference. Along with her 2022 book, Yoga for Cancer, Vicky has shared with a whole new audience her specialist expertise in supporting individuals post surgery and other treatments.

In September, HHB was invited to provide the bookstand at Veg Med 2023, a remarkable gathering of health professionals interested in the benefits of a plant-based, whole good diet for health and wellbeing. We were delighted to be able to present our latest Plant-Based book, The Plant-Based Dietitian’s Guide to Fertility by specialist dietitian Lisa Simon. Her book sold out on the back of her excellent talk, as did conference organiser Dr Shireen Kassam’s Eating Plant-Based. There was great interest also in textbook Plant-Based Nutrition in Clinical Practice (edited by Kassam and Simon), Sandra Hood’s Feeding Your Vegan Child (also sold out!) and the life-changing Living PCOS Free by Nitu and Rohini Bajekal, who likewise gave an inspiring talk on restoring hormonal health with a plant-based diet.

September was an exceptionally busy month as we also took books to the Association of Naturopathic Practitioners annual summit, selling out of all Dr Sarah Myhill and Craig Robinson’s books and making links with many potential new authors. We have already booked to return to their 2020 Summit.

Other highlights of the year have included the unashamedly plain-spoken The Gut Chronicles: an uncensored journey into the world of digestive health and illness. Author Sandra Mikhail has been in demand on radio and in a variety of magazines to present her no-nonsense approach to improving gut heath. Meanwhile, the wonderful Honey Sapiens: Human cognition and sugars – the ugly, the bad and the good has proved as thought-provoking and contentious as we had hoped. The ‘honey-good/honey-bad’ debate looks set only to gain momentum through 2024.

We have been honoured also to take on the work of therapist Noah Goldhirsh, publishing new editions of her successful Power of Colors and Power of Animal Messages and launching her Power of Bach Flower Remedies for Children.

2023 has seen quite a few changes in the team supporting all these wonderful new and existing books. For social media we have been pleased to welcome Lydia Rowan and Harry Aitken (as ever, part of Action Group). On the PR front we are particularly sad to be saying good-bye to Sophie who has done amazing work for our books over the last three years but delighted to be continuing to work with the team at Katie Read Media, now joined by Grace Pilkington and Gabrielle Smith. We are also thrilled to say that in the US we will now be working with Kim Dower of Kim-from-LA for PR coverage there, who will be liaising closely with the KR Media team. On the distribution side, we were very sad to say good-bye to Lindsey Oakes, who retired from Combined Book Services in July, but have been pleased to welcome Rita Lai. Sadly too, at the end of this year, we will be saying another good-bye, this time to Deborah Wehner who has been Head of Production for the past three years. She is due to hand over to Angela Young at the start of 2024 and that process is already under way. Her final assignment is getting the third edition of our bestseller – Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue, Myalgic Encephalitis and Long Covid: It’s mitochondria, not hypochondria by Myhill and Robinson – safely to the printer.

As Hammersmith Health Books’ founder and director, and I must thank all these innovative and hardworking people, and all our many thousands of readers and followers, a huge thank and very best wishes for 2024.

Georgina Bentliff.

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Words from Lynn Crilly on Hope with Depression

This month is all about National Grief Awareness, and we understand that the holiday season can be tough. To spread some love and awareness, we’re giving away Lynn Crilly’s ‘Hope with Depression’, a fantastically practical book to help those suffering with depression.

We asked Lynn to provide a few words on her book:

“Christmas for some is magical while for others can fill them with dread and fear.

In this fast, technology fuelled world we are all constantly bombarded with images of big happy Christmas filled with lots of food, family get togethers, presents and everyone living their ‘perfect ‘life, which can leave you feeling inadequate and unable to cope with the extra stresses Christmas can bring.

This of course is without the individual persons own reason for not looking forward to the Christmas period. Whether it be losing a loved one, mental or physical illness in the family, loss of income, loneliness, or something else. All of which can add to feeling low, unmotivated, and worthless, which in time could lead to depression.

Having suffered with Depression myself, I found writing Hope with Depression the most challenging of all to write, I wanted to speak from both personal and professional experience in a much needed positive, practical way, with real people sharing real experiences and advice.

I was keen to show that depression like all mental illnesses does not discriminate and can affect anyone regardless of their social background, sex, ethnicity, race or age.  Hope with Depression explains the many guises of depression, how to spot them and the possible causes and drivers and gives a balanced guide to available treatments – both mainstream and alternative. It is a practical, supportive guide for anyone with depression or supporting a loved one, teacher workplace colleague or friend. It recognises that each person’s illness and recovery will be different, and having detailed knowledge and a full toolkit of treatment options is the way to empower everyone with Hope for recovery.”

Head over to our Instagram for your chance to win a free copy of this wonderful book.

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Winter Soup Recipes

The Perfect Soup Recipes to warm you up as we enter the colder months

As the days get darker and colder, we thought it’s the perfect opportunity to share some fabulous winter warming soups with you. Packed full of nutrients and brimming with vitamins and minerals, these will help keep you fit and healthy through the upcoming winter.

Drinking soup during the winter months offers a multitude of benefits that cater to both the body’s physical well-being and the mind’s sense of comfort. As the temperature drops and the chilly winds prevail, a warm bowl of soup becomes more than just a meal—it becomes a source of solace. Beyond its obvious function of providing warmth, soup serves as a nutritional powerhouse. It is a versatile concoction that can include a plethora of vegetables, meats, and grains, delivering essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins vital for overall health. In the winter, when fresh produce might be limited, soups offer a practical way to ensure a balanced diet. Moreover, soups are hydrating, an often overlooked aspect of winter health, ensuring the body remains adequately watered even when the weather might not inspire regular hydration.


“Eat Well to Age Well” by Beverley Jarvis – Hearty Vegetable Soup

This delicious soup is super-easy to make. Once cold, it stores well, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. If frozen it may be stored for up to 3 months; de-frost overnight in the fridge before heating to serve.


  • 1 x 750 g packet ready-prepared diced vegetable soup mix from the chilled compartment of the supermarket or chop your own root veg of choice, such as onions, parsnips, carrots and sweet potato
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped (optional but nice)
  • 750 ml vegetable stock, hot 2 tsp vitamin-B-rich Marmite (optional, but nice as long as you are a Marmite lover)

EQUIPMENT: You will need a chopping board and knife, large saucepan with lid, measuring jug and hand-held stick blender or food processor.

NUTRITIONAL NOTE: The vegetables are a good source of fibre and contribute vitamins A, C and D plus the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Carbohydrates and fibre are in the bread.

TO SERVE: 1tsp of yoghurt per bowl; wholemeal French stick, sliced.

  1. Turn the vegetables you have prepared or the packet of prepared vegetables into a large saucepan, and add the dried herbs, and the celery.
  2. Pour over the hot stock, and add the Marmite, if using.
  3. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, removing and discarding any scum that forms with a large spoon.
  4. Simmer, covered, for 35-40 minutes, until the veg are tender, then remove from the heat.
  5. Blitz the soup using the blender or food processor, until almost smooth.
  6. Serve in warmed soup bowls, with a swirl of yoghurt, accompanied by the warmed and sliced wholemeal French stick.
  7. Ring the changes by adding 1 x 400 g can of chopped tomatoes plus 3 tbsp tomato purée with 1 tsp of runny honey to the vegetables, with the stock


“Five -a-day Plus One” by – Seafood Chowder

The word ‘soup’ is derived from the French meaning ‘broth’. This in turn is derived from the Latin for bread soaked in broth – suppa. A ‘broth’ is the liquid part of a soup and is my favourite word in the English language. Soups can be substantial meals in themselves, or they can be served as a starter or snack. They can be simple or intricate, but I’m just going to concentrate on soups that contain decent levels of B12 – so they will be animal or fish-based.

This soup recipe is from the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company and is one of their best-sellers.

The Captain Cat’s Mor Seasoning can be bought from their website or you can use whatever spice blend you like.


  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp stock powder
  • 1 tsp Captain Cat’s Mor Seasoning
  • 700 ml milk
  • 200 g prawns
  • 400 g fish (mix of white fish, pink fish and smoked fish)
  • 100 ml cream Vegetables, meat and liquid – together they make soup.


  1. Peel and chop up the potatoes, boil them in a pan until tender, then drain them and set aside.
  2. Heat another pan and add the onion, garlic, butter, stock and seasoning. Cook for around 10 minutes over a gentle heat.
  3. Meanwhile pour the milk into a saucepan and gently simmer over a low to moderate heat.
  4. Add two thirds of the potatoes to the milk and then, with a hand-blender, puree the remaining third of the potatoes into a smooth paste.
  5. Add the pureed potatoes to the milk and potato mixture – this will help to thicken the soup.
  6. Now add the onion mix, prawns and fish.
  7. Simmer until the fish and prawns are well cooked.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir through the cream.

Now it is ready to serve with crusty white bread.

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Embracing Winter: A Guide to Physical and Mental Wellbeing

Embracing Winter: A Guide to Physical and Mental Wellbeing

As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, preparing for winter becomes essential for both our physical vitality and mental peace. The colder months can often bring a sense of lethargy and gloom, but with the right strategies, you can not only endure but thrive during this season. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you prepare, both physically and mentally, for the winter months ahead.

Physical Wellbeing:

  1. Stay Active:

Regular physical activity is a natural mood lifter. Engage in indoor exercises like yoga or try your hand at winter sports like skiing and ice skating. Even just five minutes a day can make a significant difference. Check out Vicky Fox’s ‘Time to Repair’ for quick and easy yoga routines.

  1. Eat Nutritious Foods:

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein provides essential nutrients and boosts your immune system. For inspiration, explore Beverley Jarvis’s ‘Eat Well to Age Well’, which offers valuable insights into healthy eating habits.

  1. Stay Hydrated:

Despite the cold weather, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Warm beverages like herbal teas, broths, and soups not only keep you warm but also contribute to your overall hydration.

  1. Prioritize Sleep:

Adequate rest is vital for your body to repair and rejuvenate. Maintain a regular sleep schedule to ensure you wake up refreshed and ready to face the day.

  1. Get as much natural daylight and fresh air as possible

Despite the cold. As our ability to make vitamin D from sunlight reduces with shorter, chillier days we have to work harder to prevent the spread of germs and to improve our ability to fight them.

  1. Implement Groundhog Acute

Formulated by Dr Sarah Myhill in ‘The Infection Game and Ecological Medicine Second Edition’:

Mental Wellbeing:

  1. Stay Socially Connected:

Winter can make it easy to isolate yourself. Make a conscious effort to spend time with friends and family. If in-person visits are challenging, use video calls to stay connected and combat feelings of loneliness.

  1. Engage in Hobbies and Interests:

Find indoor activities or hobbies you enjoy, such as reading, painting, cooking, or playing musical instruments. Creative pursuits not only provide fulfillment but also enhance brain health. Consider exploring poetry, starting with Samantha Crilly’s ‘Hope Through Poetry’, as a source of inspiration and solace.

  1. Practise Mindfulness and Relaxation:

Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises are excellent practices to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. Regular mindfulness sessions can help you navigate the winter blues with grace and tranquillity.

  1. Set Goals and Look Forward:

Plan activities or events to look forward to, no matter how small. Whether it’s a movie night with friends or a cozy evening with a book, having something positive on the horizon can significantly boost your mood and motivation.

  1. Seek Help if Needed:

Remember, it’s okay to acknowledge your feelings and seek help if you need it. Winter can be challenging, but with the right support, you can manage your mental health effectively.

Embracing winter is about more than enduring; it’s an opportunity to nurture your body and mind. By staying active, connected, and mindful, you can transform the winter months into a time of growth, creativity, and self-discovery. Remember, your wellbeing matters, and with these strategies, you can thrive even in the coldest and darkest days of the year. Stay warm, stay positive, and embrace the beauty of the winter season.