Good snack, bad snack!

In an ideal world we would probably eat three healthy meals a day and never experience hunger. However, many people function better with three meals and two snacks a day as it helps keep blood sugars and energy more even. A poor choice of snack on a regular basis will quickly sabotage all the best intentions for a healthy lifestyle or weight loss plan.

So, here are some Good snack ideas:

  • Fruit e.g. apples and pears
  • Raw veg e.g. carrots, celery
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Smoothie – home-made (there is little nutrition in packaged smoothies)
  • Bean salad
  • Soup – home-made (which can be purchased) not tinned or packet
  • Stew – home-made transported in a food flask
  • Quinoa or other grain e.g. millet and salad or beans etc.
  • Fish & salad
  • Wholemeal bread / toast / pitta with butter and e.g. tinned fish, cheese, nut butter
  • Natural yoghurt
  • Oats – flapjack or porridge etc.
  • Home-made biscuits & cakes – ingredients chosen with care

Bad snack ideas will probably not harm you now and then, but for every day I suggest you think twice before eating convenient junk foods. You are what you eat.  Your body’s cells of tomorrow are made from the food you eat today. Think before you eat.

nicola@plusnutrition for holistic lifestyle advice to help achieve a healthier you.

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Naughty-but-Nice Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Brownies

Everyone deserves a treat now and again, and these will go down a storm at parties with adults and children alike…



150g Dark Chocolate, broken into peices (70% cocoa)
50g Milk Chocolate, roughly chopped (good quality)
I punnet of Raspberries (save at least 8 for the top, cut into halves)
130g Butter, chopped into small squares
225g Caster Sugar
55g Cocoa Powder (Plus extra for dusting at the end)
75g Plain Flour
¾ tsp Baking Powder
3 eggs, beaten

You will need:

A 20cm Square baking tin (or disposable foil baking tin of the same size) lined with baking parchment.

To make:

  1. Preheat Oven to 180 degrees
  2. Heat the butter and dark chocolate in a saucepan, once melted and glossy take off the heat.
  3. In another bowl, sift the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and add in the sugar.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the melted chocolate and stir until well mixed.
  5. Add the beaten eggs, and stir in the chopped milk chocolate and raspberries. Give it a good mix.
  6. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, flatten out with a spoon and top with the raspberry halves. (Sprinkle randomly over the mixture.)
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  8. Move from the oven and cool in the tray before pulling out using the baking parchment and then cut into squares.
  9. Dust with a little cocoa powder.

Delicious Served warm with creme freche or ice cream.

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Upper Cross Syndrome

This could be you? To be honest we all have to a degree, and I would like to mention it just briefly.

If you stand yourself or your partner, up against the wall with your back to the wall and your feet just 2/3 inches away, you should be able to get you back, from the base of your spine up through your entire torso and the back of your head to almost meet with the wall. Try it…

If you find that when your lower back comes close to the wall and your shoulders lift off, or when you put the shoulders back and in contact with the wall, it leaves a big gap at your lower back, you are probably someone who has the above.

Is it bad? No, not necessarily, but it can lead to many problems and you may be suffering with its negative effects now. Because of the rotation it causes in the shoulder girdle, it can cause tension headaches, dizziness, shoulder pain, pain when lifting the arm, numbness in the fingers, pain in the upper back between the shoulder blades (scapula), to name a few.

Is it easily rectified? With education and a little hard work and dedication, in most cases it is! The cross (X) part refers to the muscles being tight in one section of the cross and loose in the other, therefore creating an imbalance in the way we function in the upper torso.

If we move and posture incorrectly for a long time this causes the body to compensate and over use one set of muscles and renders the opposing muscles inactive. To improve the situation, you need to first become aware of what is occurring and then set about correcting it, by stretching the tight set of muscles and then strengthening the weak (loose) set.

Simple? It really is! But you will need someone who is a specialist in anatomy and movement to help you to build a plan to correct it.

If you are suffering with any of the above, clinic and posture are my passion and I would love to help. There, so now you know a little about upper cross syndrome and how to test for it.

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Chicken and Quinoa Balti Curry

Who said all curries were bad for you? Try this healthy take on an Indian classic – you won’t be disappointed!


4 skinless Chicken Breasts (1 per person)
2 Large Onions, sliced
200g Quinoa
400g tin of Chopped Tomatoes
4 tbsp balti curry paste
1tbsp Olive Oil
Bunch of Fresh Coriander (roughly chopped)

To make:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and fry until soft and golden – about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.

2. Add the chicken breasts, brown for a few minutes on each side, then add the Balti paste, quinoa and pop the onions back in.

3. After a few minutes of sizzling, pour in the tomatoes, stock and give it all a good mix. Leave to cook for 25 minutes.

4. Just before serving, add most of the coriander to the mix and stir.

5. Pile onto a plate or wide bowl, and sprinkle the remaining coriander on top and around – for that decorative touch!

Serve as is, or with some Garlic and Coriander Naan to mop up the juices!

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Do you want to look like a healthy cow?

Healthy calves grow into healthy cows by drinking milk in its natural state just as nature intended.  Calves fed our pasteurized milk fail to thrive and their internal organs are sickly.  And dogs drink natural dog milk, natural horse milk is for horses…do humans need pasteurized, homogenized cows milk in order to be healthy humans?

Worldwide it is a minority of humans who consume milk after weaning, quite possibly because of a lack of enzymes to digest it.

Scientific papers do not support the notion of milk as a ‘perfect food’.  Indeed scientists have linked milk with health problems including intestinal irritation, allergic reactions, heart disease and an increased risk of some cancers.

As someone who carries out food intolerance and sensitivity testing and advice, I know many people have problems digesting milk and feel so much better without it in their regular diet.  How about going dairy free for a while and see if any unpleasant symptoms subside?  This is especially recommended with a cold and / or congestion.  Rice milk, oat milk, almond milk and coconut milk are healthy alternatives which you can try.

nicola@plusnutrition for healthy eating, drinking and lifestyle advice to improve your quality of life

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Positive quote of the month…is a poem!


I heard of the man who got up to speak at a memorial to his friend,
He mentioned dates on her tomb stone, 1934-2000, the beginning and the end.
The first of course, recorded her birth, the second he spoke with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between the years.

For the dash represented the time that she had spent on earth,
And now only those close to her knew what that was worth.
What does it matter what we own, the cars the house, the cash?
What counts is how we live and love; just how we spend our dash.

So think about it while you can; are there things you’d like to change?
You never know what time you’ve left to try and rearrange.
Just take more time to listen, understand how others feel,
Getting the priorities right on what is lasting, true and real.

Be less ready to sit in judgement; show appreciation more
of the people in our lives who we’ve taken for granted before.
Treat everyone with due respect; more often wear a smile,
Recalling that this little dash might only last a while.

So when you’re eulogy’s being read, a life time to re-hash,
Will you be proud of the things they’ll say about how you spent your dash?


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September news update!

Welcome to our September update and we hope you have all had an amazing summer break. So let’s take the body in hand and get ready for the beautiful autumn season. Feel the energy rise as we stride through the wonderful countryside, with family and friends and make the best of the rest of 2011…

Biggest piece of news is that the clinic has moved and the fist open day is on Sunday 25th September From 10.00am ’till 4.00pm.

The address is
The Cabin, Seapier Arabians, Denstroude Lane Blean, Canterbury, Kent CT2 9JU.

Telephone: 01227 785807

Google map coming on the website.

All clinical appointments will be at this address from the 25th September.

On the open day we will be holding a raffle to give away two prizes, one for a treatment and the other will be a one to one session of Pilates or Personal training (winner’s choice) this is because people will be coming and going all day and this is a fair way to do it. All proceeds will be donated to a local charity!

The Clinic is a beautiful space that will enable lots of great holistic treatments to touch your life, with:
Stress Buster massages: (complete relaxation for 90 mins) this is a whole body massage, including face and bottom (not at the same time), with warm towels and essential oils to enhance the treatments, leaving you stress free and ready to face the world. This also makes a wonderful present for a loved one or a ‘thank you’ to a friend, gift vouchers available and only £40.

Sports injury treatments: including ultrasound, ice therapy, sports massage and rehabilitation. Consultation and first treatment only £40/hour. Subsequent treatments from £28 to £40. If you want to be injury free and get back to your sport or recreation, this is for you.

Spinal Touch: a gentle and holistic treatment that helps to correct the body and its functions. This is an energy treatment that works on the medians in the body, released blocked energy and helps the body to heal itself. I love this treatment too. With the use of a foot board and a plumb line we assess the body and then use specific points to correct the posture and after the session it’s back on the foot board to see the improvements! I recommend 5 treatments to get the best effect for £140 (saving of £10) normally £30/session.

Pilates: one to one sessions are available and very popular for even the most advanced; this can really sort out areas and give you a personal way to improve your work during classes. These sessions are completely built around your individual needs and working at your specific level! It is a great feeling when that light suddenly switches on! Only £35/session.

Small group Pilates: Starting from 24th of September, book your own group of four people for intense training/ beginner groups/ male only classes/ family groups/ big ball Pilates and children’s posture work. If there is only one or two of you, still let me know and we will work to fill the class.
The starting fee of these bespoke classes is £8 each and you will improve a lot with these almost individual sessions.

Personal Training News: Now in the beautiful countryside of Blean woods, I am starting a special training for those with complete dedication to change their lives, physically and mentally. The training will include fitness testing and training 3 mornings per week (Monday, Wednesday & Friday) at 6am. This will last for 4 weeks initially and then another fitness test to calculate the changes. You will be given nutritional advice all the way through and 24/7 support…

Training will be in the form of walk/runs, body weight strength training, core and flexibility, speed, stamina and definitely Posture.

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