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Beverley Jarvis – Eat Well To Age Well

international womens day

The latest book from fabulous author Beverley Jarvis is: Eat Well To Age Well. It covers some amazing recipes with a variety of delicious ingredients, all packed with healthy nutrients. The recipes are designed to be made by anyone, no matter their culinary abilities.

Beverley has filmed some fantastic video content for us to share. Firstly 2 recipes from her book, an Asian inspired pan fried Turkey and Vegetable stir fry, secondly a Sweet Potato dish with Smoked Mackerel, Horseradish and Parsley

In her second video, Beverley shares some simple healthy food swaps that we can all make to improve our diet:

Lastly, with the amazing invention of the Air Fryer, Beverley shares a beautiful Salmon Dish, along with some fantastic home-made muffins that you can do in your Air Fryer.

Click here to buy Eat Well To Age Well, directly here on the Hammersmith Health Books Website.

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Recipes for the Holiday Season

In preparation for the festive season, author of ‘Eat Well to Age Well’ Beverley Jarvis has provided two delicious recipes so your loved ones can enjoy something different and nutritious this Christmas!

Christmas Salad

Spinach is a good source of magnesium, potassium, and iron, as well as vitamin A. Kiwi fruit are an excellent source of vitamin C and fibre.

  • 150 g young spinach leaves, stalks removed
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 8 dried apricots, or 2 satsumas, chopped
  • 2 red-skinned eating apples (Cox’s or Pink Lady varieties are nice), cored and chopped
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 1 kiwi fruit, thinly sliced
  • 50 g pecan nuts, chopped

For the dressing:

  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp runny honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon or granary mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  1. In a small bowl, toss the prepared chopped apples in the lemon juice.
  2. To prepare the dressing, put all the ingredients for the dressing into a screw-top jar, screw the lid on tightly and shake to form an emulsion.
  3. Prepare the salad. Put the spinach into a large salad bowl, add the chopped apple and lemon juice and top with the tomatoes, carrots, dried apricots/chopped satsumas, and kiwi fruit.
  4. Drizzle the prepared dressing over the salad and toss together. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the pecan nuts.


Festive Salmon

Easy to put together and speedy to cook, this pretty salmon dish and the accompanying salad make a delicious meal to serve on Christmas Eve and are also ideal for the Boxing Day buffet table.

Salmon is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and potassium, also providing 6% of your RDI for vitamin C, 53% of vitamin B12 and 30% of vitamin B6.

  • Spray oil
  • 1 x 1½ kg salmon side, skin on
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, red variety if possible, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • Juice 1 satsuma
  • 1 large chilli, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 lemons, in wedges
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan), Gas 6.
  2. Line a large roasting tin with non-stick liner or tin foil and spray with a few sprays of spray oil.
  3. Blot the salmon dry with absorbent kitchen paper, then lay it in the roasting tin, skin side down.
  4. Put the red pepper, spring onions and fennel, into a large mixing bowl. Add the satsuma juice, chopped chilli, coriander, sesame oil, olive oil and a light seasoning of salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
  5. Top the salmon with the prepared vegetable mixture, spooning it over evenly. Add the lemon wedges, arranging them evenly round the edge of the salmon. Spray all over with about 6 sprays of spray oil.
  6. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the salmon is cooked to your liking and the lemon wedges are lightly charred.
  7. Transfer to a large oval platter, using fish slices. Serve hot or cold.


For more delicious recipes, check out ‘Eat Well to Age Well’ by Beverley Jarvis which has over 75 delicious recipes to inspire her super-ager peers to eat well, with all the nutrients that are increasingly needed as we get older.

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Preparing for a Vegan Christmas


Blog written by Sandra Hood, author of ‘Feeding Your Vegan Child’

Christmas always takes me by surprise. I think I’m organised and then I find I have less than a week to finish my shopping and write Christmas cards. So, this year I have started planning who I am sending cards and letters to and to whom I am giving gifts. Even if you do not celebrate Christmas, it is the perfect time to spend with loved ones away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The majority of shops are closed, there is less traffic on the roads and it is generally quieter. Make the most of it!

Lots of my friends and family are feeling the pinch this year. I have, therefore, decided to give homemade Christmas hampers containing ‘useful’ gifts. The hampers are made from empty boxes covered with an assortment of old Christmas and birthday cards and glazed with glue. In completing this task it made me realise how many cards have pictures of animals and nature, and how humans get great pleasure from the natural world. Children’s Christmas gifts, whether they are games or toys, are often in the image of some animal or other. Why is it that many people still don’t make the link between loving animals and eating them? Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent. This is what I am going to include in the hamper:

Home-made crackers – you always need something noisy for Christmas. These are quite quick and simple to make and can be a lovely gift if you put something particularly special inside. There are lots of great videos around on how to make crackers.

Cookies – I’ve been saving my jam jars and will fill these with mini ginger cookies*. These always go down a treat and I wish I had included this quick and easy recipe in my book.

Candles – A must if we get the power cuts predicted! I’ve managed to pick up all different shapes and sizes from charity shops.

Dried apple rings – I’ve got a dehydrator and it has come into its own this year as I have managed to get lots of free apples from friends and family. When you dehydrate fruit and vegetables the flavours are concentrated, they seem like a different food. Tomatoes and apples are particular favourites of mine.

And last but not least I will pop in a copy of my book – if they haven’t had the wisdom to have bought a copy! I’m not very good at blowing my own trumpet but it is Christmas after all. I’ve had lovely feedback from vegan families who liked the fact that my book was a small handy guide and not overwhelming. They have also commented that it is a useful guide for adults as a practical overview to check they were meeting their nutritional requirements too.

Finally, please bear in mind my book isn’t just for Christmas! Happy Christmas and I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2023.


*Recipe for ginger cookies

  • 115 g (4 oz) margarine
  • 85 g (3 oz) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 115 g (4 oz) self-raising flour
  • 115 g (4 oz) oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp dried ginger
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  1. Cream margarine, sugar and syrup together.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and mix evenly.
  3. Roll into 12 balls.
  4. Place on a greased baking tray.
  5. Press each ball flat with a fork.
  6. Bake at 175oC/350oF/Gas 4 for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
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National Picnic Month – Healthy & Delicious Recipes for your family to enjoy

National Picnic Month – Healthy & Delicious Recipes for your family to enjoy 

Celebrate National Picnic Month with a variety of fun and healthy dishes your whole family can enjoy. These recipes from some of our best-selling books are guaranteed to boost your energy and get you feeling the summer spirit. 

‘Living PCOS Free’ by Dr Nitu Bajekla and Rohini Bajekal

Beetroot Rocket Salad 

Studies have shown that eating foods like beetroot and leafy greens that are nitrate-rich can improve brain function, reduce blood pressure and improve exercise intensity and duration. As an added bonus, beetroot is rich in vitamins and minerals with 100g providing 27% of the daily requirement for vitamin B9 and nearly 3g of fibre. 

A Beetroot Rocket Salad is as easy as it gets! Toss all the ingredients together and you are ready to serve a delicious snack at your picnic: 

  • 2 large handfuls rocket leaves 
  • 3 cooked beetroots, chopped 
  • 1 handful crushed walnuts and/or seeds 
  • 1 large handful mung bean or broccoli sprouts (optional) 
  • 1 tsp seaweed flakes (optional) 
  • 1 large glug balsamic vinegar 

‘Five-a-Day plus One – The Vitamin B12 Cookbook’ by Martyn Hooper


The pinnacle of any great picnic is the sandwiches and despite the simple concept, a homemade sandwich can be packed full of ingredients that maximise B12 while remaining delicious. 

Cheese and seafood are two excellent sources of B12 so why not try some of these combinations: 

  • Cheese and onion 
  • Egg and cress 
  • Liver paté 
  • Prawn mayonnaise 
  • Beef (and horseradish) 
  • Salmon (on its own or with cucumber) 
  • Chicken and sweetcorn 
  • Tuna and sweetcorn 

‘Eat Well to Age Well’ by Beverley Jarvis

Dark chocolate and cherry cupcakes 

If you are looking for a fun and relatively healthy treat option for your next family picnic then look no further because these cupcakes are sure to be the talk of the town. 

Though requiring slightly more preparation time than many of the Eat Well recipes, these can be stored in a cool place for up to 5 days or frozen in sealed plastic bags for up to 2 months. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are high in antioxidants and provide 67% of your RDI for iron and 89% for copper per 100g. 

Recipe (serves 12): 

You will need a large mixing bowl, hand- held electric whisk, spatula, dessertspoon, teaspoon, cooling rack, 12-hole fairy-cake or muffin tin and paper cake cases. 

  • 80 g muscovado dark brown sugar 
  • 1 dsp runny honey 
  • 150 g unsalted butter, at warm room 
  • temperature, so that it is soft enough to beat 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 tbsp milk 
  • Finely grated zest 1 small orange 
  • 1 rounded tbsp ground almonds 
  • 125 g self-raising four 
  • 25 g cocoa powder, sieved 
  • 1 level tsp baking powder 
  • 25 g chocolate dark chocolate chunks, plus 
  • 36 extra, see method 
  • Approximately 12 tsp quality cherry jam (optional) 
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180° /160°C fan/gas 4
  2. Place 12 fairy cake paper cases into a 12-indent, fairy-cake tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, place all the ingredients except for the chocolate chunks and the jam
  4. Using the electric whisk, beat the ingredients together, slowly at first, to combine, then increase the speed and beat for about 1 minute until light and creamy
  5. Fold in the chocolate chunks
  6. Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases
  7. Poke 3 of the extra chocolate chunks into the top of each cup cake
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until well risen and springy to the touch
  9. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  10. Arrange the cakes on a serving plate and serve either plain, or top each with a teaspoon of cherry

‘Could it be Insulin Resistance?’ by Hanna Purdy

Kale-onion-goats’ cheese pie 

A fun recipe to consider trying for your next picnic outing is a kale-onion-goats’ cheese pie which is guaranteed to be as tasty as it is healthy. A low-carbohydrate diet reduces the amount of insulin needed which can ease the symptoms caused by insulin resistance. On top of this, it also burns excess fat to reduce the harmful effects of fatty liver and reduces chronic inflammation. 

Recipe (Serves 6 people): 

For the base: 

  • 300 ml cauliflower and broccoli, cooked 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 200 ml almond flour (or ground almond) 
  • 2 tsp psyllium husk 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Mash the cooked cauliflower and broccoli with a fork or blender. 
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and spread into a pie dish which has been greased with olive oil first. 
  4. Place the dish in the oven for 15 minutes. 


  • 3-4 handfuls kale 
  • 3-4 spring onions 
  • 50 g goats’ cheese 
  • 200 ml coconut cream 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 300 ml grated cheese 
  • salt 
  • black pepper 
  • white pepper 
  1. Chop the kale into small pieces and slice the spring onions. 
  2. Chop the goats’ cheese into small pieces. 
  3. Mix the kale, spring onions and goats’ cheese together and spoon over the pre-cooked base. 
  4. Whisk the eggs, add the cream and mix. 
  5. Add the grated cheese, salt and pepper, and pour over the filling. 
  6. Return the dish to the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top. 
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Be aware of allergies as the root cause of many problems including fatigue


Blog written by Sarah Myhill, author of Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Ecological Medicine, and The PK Cookbook

Allergy is the inflammation which results from response to substances (called antigens) from outside the body. Some of these present no threat to the body. Examples include pollen, house dust mites, animal dander and foods. Some antigens do pose a threat in high doses, such as metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, nickel), toxic chemicals (pesticides, solvents) or electromagnetic radiation (wi-fi, mobile phones, cordless phones etc).

Allergy has been known about for centuries. For example, 5-10 per cent of people with asthma are also allergic to sulphites. Pliny the Elder wrote of this when he reported the case of an asthmatic patient (rare for his times) who died from a bronchospasm in 79 AD after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The patient had lived a ‘normal life’ but for this ‘one incident’.

Allergy is the great mimic and can produce almost any symptom. Furthermore, one can be allergic to anything under the sun, including the sun! Allergy is also common – at least 30 per cent of the population are allergic to some foods. However, by the time allergy has produced fatigue (the major focus of my work as a doctor) it has usually caused other problems beforehand. Suspect an allergy problem if any, or a combination, of the following are present:

* The onset of fatigue is pre-dated by, and/or there is a long history of:

* asthma, sinusitis, rhinitis, eczema or urticaria

* irritable bowel syndrome with wind, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, alternating constipation and diarrhoea

* migraine or headaches

* joint (arthritis) and muscle pain

* mood swings, depression, anxiety, PMT

* almost any unexplained, recurring, episodic symptom.

  • Childhood problems – This would include being a sickly child with recurrent ‘infections’, such as tonsillitis (actually probably allergy). Indeed, a colleague who is a consultant paediatrician considers it medical negligence to surgically remove tonsils without first doing a dairy-free diet. Rhinitis, sinusitis, catarrh and colic are typical dairy allergy symptoms.
  • Symptoms change with time – Often the allergen is the same, but the symptom changes through life. Allergy to dairy products typically starts with colic and projectile vomiting as a baby, followed by toddler diarrhoea, catarrh and glue ear, recurrent infections (tonsillitis, croup, middle ear infections) and ‘growing pains’. Teenagers develop headaches, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, PMT and asthma. In adult life, muscle, tendon and joint pain (arthritis). Any of the above may be accompanied by fatigue.
  • There is a positive family history – I have yet to find a patient who is dairy allergic who does not have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) who also has symptoms suggestive of allergy to dairy products. Allergy to gluten grains also runs in families.
  • There is a tendency to go for a particular food – One of the interesting aspects of allergy is that sufferers often crave the very food to which they are allergic. This was illustrated by one patient who told me that when he died he wished to take a cow to heaven with him. It was dairy which was his main problem! If wheat appears with every meal, then allergy to such is likely.
  • There are symptoms of fermenting gut – Microbes from the gut are minuscule and easily spill over into the bloodstream. This is called ‘bacterial translocation’. These bacteria do not cause septicaemia (blood poisoning), but they may cause allergy reactions at distal sites. I suspect many clinical pictures can be explained by this, including irritable bladder, interstitial cystitis, intrinsic asthma, chronic urticaria, chronic venous ulcers, polymyalgia rheumatica and arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and so on).

How to identify your personal food allergies

I never do tests for food allergy because they are unreliable. False negatives are common – so, for example, many people who are intolerant of gluten will test negative for coeliac disease. Often, when the test is negative, they are told by their doctor that it is safe to eat that food – not so! There are many tests for food allergy on the market, but again I find positive results can be misleading, not least because the patient believes absolutely in the accuracy of tests and ends up avoiding foods unnecessarily or eating foods which are causing them symptoms.

The only reliable way to diagnose food allergy is by an elimination diet. The key is to cut out those foods that one is consuming daily. The reason that reactions may be prolonged or delayed is that daily consumption masks the link between exposure and symptom. Western diets include daily consumption of grains, dairy products and often yeast. If in addition one is eating other foods, such as potato, soya or tomato, or drinking regular tea, coffee or whatever on a daily basis then this too should be excluded. One should stay on this diet for at least one month before reintroducing foods to the diet – this should be done cautiously since reactions can be severe. Dr John Mansfield developed a practical, easy-to-follow elimination diet that is described in his last book, Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss.

The Stone-Age or Paleo diet is a ‘best guess’ diet and a useful starting place, hence my recommendation of the PK (Paleo-Ketogenic) diet as explained in our book Paleo-Ketogenic: the Why and the How. If it transpires that there are multiple allergies, then these days I do not put people on a more restricted diet – that is because some people get completely stuck on two or three foods and are unable to bring in new foods because of the above severe reactions. Instead, I put in place the interventions I recommend for a general approach to inflammation together with specific desensitisation techniques to switch off allergy (see our book Ecological Medicine).

Increasingly I am finding that one does not have to be perfect to reduce allergy and allergy symptoms. Simply reducing the total load is helpful – attention to the general approach is as important as specific desensitisation. However, the key steps are:

  • The PK diet
  • Extinguishing the inflammatory fire with my Groundhog Chronic regime (see any of our books) including antioxidants, especially vitamin C
  • Identifying possible causes, not forgetting micro-organims in the upper gut that should not be there, and eliminating or avoiding them
  • Detoxing to reduce the factors that cause inflammation
  • Reprogramming the immune system with probiotics, micro-immunotherapy, enzyme potentiated desensitisation (EPD) and neutralisation – all explained in detail in Ecological Medicine.
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Spring-perfect recipes from ‘Eat Well to Age Well’

Spring has officially sprung so what better way to celebrate than by trying out some delicious and healthy recipes perfect for this season? Taken from the recently launched cookbook, ‘Eat Well to Age Well’ by Beverly Jarvis.

King Prawn Noodle Salad Bowl

Serves 2

This is a great fish dish with Oriental flavours. It is easy to prepare and speedy to cook – a tasty and nutritious meal, which looks pretty too.


1 tbsp sesame seeds

150 g wholegrain noodles

3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil

250 g shelled raw king prawns

1 rounded tbsp red curry paste

2 tsp runny honey

2 tsp fish sauce (I like Blue Dragon)

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1⁄2 lime, juiced

1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander

1 carrot, shaved into ribbons

2 radishes, sliced

4 baby sweetcorn, sliced thickly

2 spring onions, chopped



You will need a chopping board and knife, a large saucepan with a lid, a large frying pan or wok, a dinner plate, vegetable peeler, citrus juicer, tablespoon, and teaspoon, a small bowl, a wooden spoon and 2 shallow serving bowls.


The prawns make a valuable contribution towards your RDI for protein as well as providing vitamins A, B6 and B12 plus calcium and iodine. Prawns contain quite high levels of cholesterol but a 1996 study, compar- ing a low-cholesterol diet with one that included eating prawns every day, found that the prawn diet increased HDL (‘good choles- terol’) and significantly decreased triglycerides while only slightly increasing LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol). Prawns also have a good balance of essential fatty acids with almost three times more omega-3 fatty acid than omega-6 fatty acids (see page 17). The vegetables contribute fibre and antioxidants.


  1. In a clean, hot frying pan, over a medium heat, toast the sesame seeds for about 1 minute, stirring frequently, until golden, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, normally about 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the prawns and stir-fry for a minute or two until pink all over.
  4. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for a minute.
  5. Add the honey and fish sauce, with about 4 tbsp water, and stir and heat for 2 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, make the dressing by combining the soy sauce, lime juice, remaining oil and coriander.
  7. Combine the drained noodles with the carrot, radishes, sweetcorn and spring onions.
  8. Pour the dressing over the noodle mix and toss everything together.
  9. Serve the noodles, divided between the two bowls, with the prawn curry poured over, and topped with the reserved toasted sesame seeds.


Vegetable Risotto With Roast Tomatoes

Serves 2 – 3

Risotto makes a filling and truly delicious main course, which is easy to cook if you use this largely baked-in-the-oven method. It is a great complete meal, with bags of flavour in both the risotto, which is cooked in vegetable stock and the tangy tomatoes. I usually prefer using brown rice for extra fibre and vitamins. However, there are times when a creamy, satisfying risotto just has to be made with arborio rice. You will find it in supermarkets, alongside long-grain rice, sometimes just labelled ‘risotto rice’. However, don’t stress if you can’t find arborio risotto rice; just use long-grain white rice instead. It won’t be exactly like an Italian risotto but it will still taste great, I promise!


1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil 1 medium-size red onion finely chopped 1 stick celery, finely chopped

1 medium-size carrot

sliced 125 g sweet vine tomatoes, quartered, or halved if using cherry tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 150 g arborio risotto rice, or long grain rice, rinsed and drained

1 tsp freshly grated root ginger

1 clove garlic, crushed

650 ml hot vegetable stock

3 tbsp white wine, or dry cider, optional, or use water

5 tbsp frozen peas

1 small red or yellow pepper, de-seeded and chopped


You will need a chopping board and knife and a large frying pan with lid which is both hob- and oven-friendly. (If you are worried about the handle, triple wrap it in tin foil, before transferring the pan to the oven.) Also a teaspoon, tablespoon, wooden spoon, roast- ing tray, measuring jug and cheese grater.


The rice makes a valuable contribution towards your RDI for carbohydrate. The tomatoes and bell pepper add fibre, antioxidant polyphenols and vitamins A and C.


50 g vegetarian parmesan cheese, freshly grated. Handful basil leaves, chopped. The oven-roasted tomatoes.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 210°/190°C fan/gas 6.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat 1⁄2 tbsp oil over a medium heat, until shimmering.
  3. Stirring frequently, over a medium heat, fry the onion, celery and carrot for 5-7 minutes, until softened.
  4. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes onto a roasting tray. Drizzle them with the remaining oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast for about 15 minutes.
  5. Stir the rice, ginger and garlic into the pan with the vegetables.
  6. Increase the heat and add 300 ml of the stock, with the wine or water. Stir well and bring to a rapid boil.
  7. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven, above the tomatoes
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove the risotto from the oven and transfer it back to the hob.
  10. Gently, stir in the peas and the red or yellow pepper, with the remaining stock.
  11. Cook uncovered, stirring, over a me- dium-high heat, for 5-7 minutes or so, until the rice is al dente and the peas and peppers are just cooked.
  12. Remove from the heat, adjust the sea- soning if necessary, then serve, sprinkled with the basil, and the parmesan cheese, accompanied by the roasted tomatoes.



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Young people and the importance of healthy eating  

Blog post written by Hanna Purdy, author of ‘Could it be Insulin Resistance?’

Insulin resistance and its corresponding effects, such as obesity, are alarmingly common issues in young people. In addition to excess weight, it is less commonly known and acknowledged that the effects of insulin resistance can also manifest as depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. This is due to the interconnection between the enteric nervous system, a collection of millions of nerve cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, and the central nervous system. This gut-brain axis means that our diet has a substantial influence over our moods. Therefore an unbalanced gut microbiome, hormonal imbalance and chronic inflammation, which are all effects of an unhealthy diet, go hand in hand with insulin resistance and negatively influence our mental as well as physical health. These effects are highly damaging to developing children and young people.


What is insulin resistance?

To briefly outline this concept, insulin resistance is where our cells are not responding to the effects of insulin in the way they should. The main cause of this is the overconsumption of sugary and starchy foods, as well as eating too frequently (e.g. snacking throughout the day). As a result, too much insulin is produced in the body, a hormonal problem also known as metabolic syndrome. A diet consisting of an excess of sugar and starch and a lack of integral micronutrients can also have an adverse effect on the good bacteria in our gut, causing abdominal problems such as IBS as well as mental issues such as depression. An excess of insulin and a deficiency of good bacteria can affect other hormones in the body, causing problems such as early puberty, acne and PCOS.

Children and young people are especially vulnerable to the consequences of insulin resistance, and therefore it is vital that parents are educated as to its cause and effects, as well as how to reverse it.


Educate your young people on insulin resistance

A common misconception held by both adolescents and adults is that you need to eat less to lose weight. It is important to understand that weight loss does not work that way, and under-eating can only do harm. It is essential for children and young people to eat the necessary nutrients (e.g. proteins, healthy fats) and the right amount of food to fuel their bodies. Excess weight is the result of too much insulin in the body, not too many calories, and exercising more does not solve this problem either. We also need to have an understanding of the micronutrients we get from our food, and why they are needed.

Education is one of the most important things if you want to bring about a lifestyle change, as cutting out sugar and starchy carbohydrates may be challenging. Educating your children and young people is very advantageous, as building an understanding of the topic of insulin resistance and healthy eating could motivate them to opt for healthier foods themselves. The WHY is very important. Simply making them eat more healthily “just because” will not help create long-term changes.


Learn to cook a wide variety of tasty and healthy meals

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about healthy meals is salad. It might be worth reminding young people that healthy meals can actually be delicious and tastier than fast food when cooked right. You can eat all your favourite foods if you just make them yourself, from good ingredients. A fun way to get creative is to make alternatives to your favourite junk foods and desserts. There are many websites online that provide delicious recipes for you to follow and tweak to your liking (and there are some in my book Could it be Insulin Resistance? also). Personally, I find that the healthier alternatives taste better and they make you feel great. Here’s an example recipe from my book:

Chilli con carne

For 4 people


  • olive oil
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or grated
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1-2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • sour cream
  • grated cheddar cheese for serving


  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan
  2. Add the mince and cook until it is brown
  3. When the meat is nearly cooked, add the onion and peppers and continue cooking for another 5 minutes
  4. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato purée and all the spices, including salt and pepper, according to your taste
  5. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with grated cheese and a spoonful of sour cream on top as well as a green salad


Replace fizzy drinks with water, kombucha and herbal tea

Soft drinks such as Coke or Pepsi can be very addictive. Kombucha is a great alternative. Not only is it pleasing for the taste buds, but it also provides probiotics, which are essential for gut health. If you can’t obtain kombucha, then herbal tea with some honey should suffice.

Now, if you think that replacing sodas with diet sodas is better, you have been misinformed. There are many articles on the Internet that provide valuable insight on the subject, but in short, diet sodas are very harmful to the body, containing artificial sweeteners as they do. Don’t forget, fresh water is always the best alternative for hydration.


Please read my book,Could it be Insulin Resistance?’, for more information on this topic.


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A sneak preview from upcoming release ‘Green Mother’

We have something a little different but equally as visually stimulating for you on our blog. A sneak preview of some beautiful illustrations from upcoming release ‘Green Mother’ by Dr Sarah Myhill and Michelle McCullagh with Craig Robinson. Launching later this year.

A family watering the garden
A mother breastfeeding
Children splashing in a puddle
A child splashing
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Vegan recipes for National Picnic Week

Photo credits – Andy Smart (@smartsnappers)

As National Picnic Week starts on Monday 21st June, what better way to celebrate than by trying out these four delicious vegan recipes, perfect for any picnic in the sunshine! Taken from our upcoming release ‘Feeding Your Vegan Child’ by Sandra Hood, available for pre-order now, launches 29th June.


Vegan sausage rolls (makes 8 sausages, 4 servings)

There are many shop-bought vegan sausage rolls now available but home-made sausages are worth the trouble and are very quick and easy to make.

For the sausages:

  • water or oil for cooking
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 50g oats
  • 400g tin of beans of choice
  • 40g of ground almonds (or nut of choice)
  • seasoning to taste
  • oil for frying

For the pastry:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g margarine
  • 5 tbsps very cold water


  • Heat a little water (or oil) in a pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until soft
  • Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Stir in the oats and add the paprika and cook for a few minutes more
  • In a separate bowl mash the beans (or blitz in a blender), add all the other ingredients and form into sausages
  • Fry in a little oil, *or baste with oil and bake in a hot over for 20 minutes, turning half way through
  • Rub the margarine into the flour to form fine breadcrumbs
  • Sprinkle on the water and gently knead until it starts to form a soft but firm mixture
  • Roll out into an oblong and on one side of the pastry lay the sausages
  • Fold over the pastry and seal the edges with water. Cut into sausage rolls. Brush with plant milk and cook for 20-30 minutes at 200o C/400o F/gas mark 6


Nori rolls (GF) (4 servings)

Ideal for parties and picnics. Instead of the filling in the recipe, you can use other popular fillings such as tofu and avocado, beans and sweet potatoes, sweetcorn and nuts.

  • 4 large sheets dried nori
  • 50g rice
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 3 tbsps peas
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 50g grated soya cheese



  • Cook the rice in boiling water but 5 minutes before it is going to be ready, add the diced carrot and cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the peas and onion and bring to the boil, then drain off any remaining water
  • Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese. Allow to cool
  • Spread it onto the sheets of nori, moisten the edges with water and roll up. Cut each roll into four pieces


Chocolate brownies (makes 16)

No picnic is complete without some delicious chocolate brownies!

  • 225 g dates
  • 60 g wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 100g margarine
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 75 g nuts (optional) of choice e.g. pecans or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence


  • Pre-heat your oven to 180o C/350o F/Gas 4
  • Place the dates in a medium saucepan with just enough water to cover them
  • Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until soft, then drain off the water, run them under a cold tap to cool and purée the dates
  • Cream together the dates and margarine until light and fluffy
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into the date mixture
  • Add the banana, nuts (optional) and vanilla essence
  • Pour into a lightly oiled tin (18 x 25 cm), spread evenly and bake in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the brownies start to come away from the sides of the dish
  • Allow to cool, then cut and serve


Scones (makes 20)

Finally, some classic scones to complete your picnic spread! Try them with coconut cream and jam for a delicious fruity number.

  • 450g self-raising flour
  • 100g margarine
  • 25g sugar (or replace with dried fruit)
  • 235ml water
  • pinch salt



  • Pre-heat your oven to 450o F/230o C/gas mark 8
  • Grease a large baking sheet with vegetable oil
  • Sift the flour and rub in the margarine until fine breadcrumbs are formed
  • Stir in the sugar or dried fruit
  • Add enough water to make a soft dough
  • Knead gently and roll out until about 1 cm/½ inch thickness
  • Cut into 20 rounds, brush with plant milk and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes


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How I came to write ‘Feeding Your Vegan Child’

Blog post written by Sandra Hood, author of ‘Feeding Your Vegan Child’. Available for pre-order now, launches 29th June.


When I first became vegan I was bombarded by friends and family who were really worried that I would become ill!  But this was back in the 1970’s.  There were no vegetarian, let alone vegan, ready meals available then. Meat and two veg was the norm with the Dairy Council diary being found in most households and adverts for the daily pinta and ‘go to work on an egg’ rife!!   I remember making cheese with the only vegan margarine available – melting it and stirring in soya flour and yeast extract and waiting for it to go hard – it was surprisingly tasty!

I joined the Vegan Society and as a member I received a small A5 magazine every month full of tips and recipes.  I loved the holistic approach, providing information on diet, animals and the environment.  It included a contact list so one could link up with other like-minded people – there were very few vegans back in the 1970’s!  Fortunately, there was a local vegan group near where I lived and my younger sister, who had been vegetarian since a child, and I went along.  I remember food was the main focus, with cakes and dishes being shared with great enthusiasm!  Those groups were so important back then to be able to spend time with others.

What’s cooking?

It was at the local meetings I met the wonderful Eva Batt.  I was so lucky to have a ‘celebrity’ living near me!  Eva wrote the first vegan cook book – ‘What’s Cooking’.  Eva inspired me to cook wonderful vegan dishes – back then everything had to be cooked from scratch, no ready meals then!  Her dishes were nutritious, colourful and tasty.   I still use Eva’s recipes to this day.

The first plant milk in the UK

As a member of the Vegan Society I was invited to attend the Vegan Society AGMs.  Back then, as the membership was so small, the AGM’s were held in the garden of Kathleen Jannaway, secretary of the Vegan Society. It was there where I met the late Arthur Ling.  There were no milk alternatives in the UK in the 1960’s and Arthur and a small group of other vegans tried unsuccessfully to get non-dairy milks imported into the UK.  Failing to achieve this they decided to produce their own and in 1964 Plamil was produced.  Check out the Plamil website to find out more about its fascinating history.  The company went on to produce other vegan products and is still going strong.  Arthur’s son Adrian, vegan from birth, runs the company and is known as the vegan Willy Wonka.

Children’s case histories

I worked with Arthur for a number of years. Whilst working at Plamil I was able to indulge in its other vegan products including peas pudding, rice pudding and delicious chocolates.  The soya milk came in tins and later moved to tetrapaks.  It came concentrated and you diluted it yourself with water.  The thought was that it was practical, not having to carry the extra weight of water, and also saved on packaging.  Wouldn’t it be great if this was the case today?  More environmentally friendly and really practical!! Arthur was way ahead of his time.

Arthur was so passionate about appropriate nutrition for children and adults.  He meticulously kept records of children whose parents were raising them on vegan diets and I was involved in researching these case histories.  I was fascinated by the simple whole foods that the parents were giving their children and how they thrived.  Plamil Foods produced 4 copies of these case histories over the years, with the first one produced in 1973 and the last one in 2000.

I wanted to learn more and I decided to study nutrition.  I also wanted to find out for sure whether a vegan diet was ‘safe’ and be able to answer the ongoing criticisms from friends and family, the majority without any nutrition knowledge, who said that the vegan diet wasn’t ‘natural’ and was inferior to an omnivorous diet.

Becoming a dietitian

University was tough and I was known as ‘the vegan’.  However, I thrived and decided to do the extra year’s study to qualify as a dietitian.  After qualification I was fortunate to secure a full-time post as a community dietitian.  I kept in close contact with the Vegan Society who welcomed my knowledge and asked me to become their gratis dietitian.  As such as I provided a nutrition page, answered questions and was generally available for any nutrition queries.

My first book

The Vegan Society was regularly being contacted by parents and health professionals alike asking nutrition questions about raising vegan children.  I suggested to the Vegan Society that we produced a book to support parents and health professions and in 2004 I wrote ‘Feeding your vegan infant – with confidence’.  The idea was to produce a complete guide from preconception through to infancy to reassure parents and health professionals alike that it was possible to raise children happily and healthily on a vegan diet.


Over the last couple of years there has been such a growth in plant-based eating.  Vegan diets are now something to aspire to.  Evidence is clear that raising children on plant-based diets not only meets nutritional requirements but indeed can benefit health.  In addition, it is the way forward for the planet.  As my book was still the only UK version on raising vegan children, I thought this was the perfect time for an update.  I wanted it to remain a practical but readable book to assist both vegan parents and health professionals. I am really hoping my book will do this.