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Anxiety

Eating for Anxiety

I was really excited to talk to Nour Maurice from one of the best vegan spots in London, Wild Food Cafe about food and nutrition. Nour is a chef and head teacher at their training school and she is passionate about eating for health. We talked about lots of things from food and immunity to food and good mood. Naturally I was particularly interested in the relationship between food and anxiety, we talked about the fallacy of comfort food: how when we feel sad, low or anxious we crave the high fat and high sugar hit that gives us a brief serotonin kick followed by a crash. This crash not only escalates feelings of anxiety as we berate ourselves for being out of control, it also stresses an already strung out system and a study conducted in 2017 has clearly shown the link between sugar consumption and depression. Nour gave some great advice, which is that any comfort food can be recreated in a healthy way. For instance, if you want pasta and cream sauce you can replace the white pasta with wholewheat or spelt or any number of whole grains, or even better, with courgetti which is now widely available pre-spiralised in supermarkets. The cream sauce can be made with soaked and blended cashews for a rich, satisfying, decadence that is much higher in micronutrients and heart healthy unsaturated fats. This kind of replacement is a smart technique that is not only healthy for the body, but also for the mind. 

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My Top Five Yoga Teachers

01 Sylvia Pinzaglia

Sylvia’s manner is extremely feminine and soft, her classes are always varied and she changes her sequences often – a rarity for most yoga teachers. Her pace is gentle but the classes are still powerful as she coaxes you into the most challenging form you can reach. Note I used the word ‘coax’ you don’t even realize you are outdoing your usual level. The classes are beautifully paced and put to music and her training as a Zen master and in deep meditation is clear from the profound shavasana at the end.

02 Tass Cambitzi

I have only attended Tass’s Yin class, which was hands down the best Yin Yoga class I have ever been to. She has an exceptional knowledge of the structure of the body and her classes are designed to work both the subtle and the physical as effectively and gracefully as possible. I never have any doubt whatsoever that Tass’s instructions and corrections are safe and accurate unlike many other yoga instructors, whose attention to detail is often lacking.

03 Austin Ince

Austin has an incredibly grounding energy. He is not afraid to move organically in his classes and his extensive teacher training and experience is clear in the free movements, alternative suryanamaskars and creative sequencing. Whilst there is a strong fire element to his classes you never feel like you have been at the gym doing a work out, you always feel like you have participated in a gentle flow although physically you leave feel stronger and leaner afterwards. He encourages advanced postures for those that are open to it but never shames or pushes too hard. He is a true yogi and great teacher without the ego some of the other top teachers have.

04 Erin Prichard

Erin’s classes are Vinyasa based flow and her interest in philosophy is evident in the guidance she keeps up during the class, which is full of both ancient wisdom and practical advice for the poses. As you are flowing though her lovely and varied sequences you are absorbing good vibes and encouragement from her that you carry with you throughout the day. If you’re feeling in need of direction this is a good class to go to because it is a moving meditation accompanied by thoughtful reflections.

05 Stewart Gilchrist

Is a legend in his own right and the yoga teacher of yoga teachers, if you go to his class at least 25% of the class will be recognizable yoga teachers. His training in India is obvious in that he is a stickler for alignment and has no problem humiliating his students if they are out of line or slow or not listening. If you are even remotely sensitive his class is not for you! However, his reputation amongst yogis is well deserved, he is a master of his art and studied with the top yoga gurus of the 20th century and the lineage is obvious in his challenging and traditional Ashtanga based classes. If you can hack his fiery manner Stewart’s classes leave you feeling totally aligned.

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My Top Six (!) Ethical Vinegar Brands

Willy’s

Willy’s produces a raw, unpasteurised, apple cider vinegar, suitable for vegans, free from any gmo, made in Herefordshire from 48 varieties of apples grown in the orchards surrounding the farm, using a 300 year old ‘mother’ and rested in oak casks before being bottled in glass and sought out by me for its probiotic goodness.

Natural Umber

Natural Umber is owned by the Mackle family in County Tyrone, Ireland and produces a delicious apple cider vinegar which they named after its colour. It is raw, organic, unfiltered and contains the ‘mother.’ I find that it retains an apple taste and doesn’t need honey to make it palatable. In 2018, the Guild of Fine Food in London awarded Natural Umber a praiseworthy Three Stars.

Biona

Biona started out as Windmill Wholefoods in London and has expanded into supplying over 300 products, all of them organic. Biona’s apple cider vinegar is made from pressed organic apple juice fermented with its ‘mother’ and aged in wood barrels. It is raw, unfiltered, not heat-treated or pasteurised. Its cloudiness does not affect its benefits and it has 5% acidity. A genuinely good product. It offers many other vinegars also: white wine, red wine and balsamic.

Raw Vibrant Living

Raw Vibrant Living is a brand of Windmill Organics and concentrates on supplying many varieties of raw foods, including unpasteurised vinegar which, in my opinion, is equally as authentic and delicious as that offered by its mother company, Biona.

Living Earth

Living Earth is raw, unpasteurised, apple cider vinegar processed in Lewes, Sussex. It contains the mother and is made from organic apples. I am still looking for the organic certifying body and I wonder how old the mother is. Currently it is available only on Amazon or e-Bay which is a bit

Higher Nature

Higher Nature is a UK company which has been supplying nutritional supplements since 1994. Its products are ethically sourced with full traceability. Its website states that its apple cider vinegar is 100% organic, and naturally fermented and contains the ‘mother.’

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My Top Five Ethical Beauty Brands

Wild Sage

Wild Sage is a relatively new and also a family-run company so, because it is an expensive procedure to acquire organic certification, especially for a new and a small outfit, I am prepared to accept their word that their wonderful soaps are indeed cold-pressed. The soap doesn’t melt into nothing like commercially processed soaps do. In an effort to reduce my use of plastic containers, I particularly like their shampoo bar which lathers well and smells divine. As do their revolutionary candles in simple jam jars. The long-lasting scent throughout the life of the candle is wonderful and is based (on the word of Wild Sage) to be truly from the essential oil. I believe them.

Odylique

Odylique products are reliable because they are Soil Association certified as organic, which requires that health and beauty products should be ethical, free from toxic ingredients and as organic as possible. Odylique does not use artificial fragrances, nanoparticles, hydrogenated oils, or parabens. Furthermore this commitment to organic ingredients means that no Genetically Modified Organisms are allowed which is worth trusting. I have been using their products since they started business in Suffolk when they were known as Essential Care, and I have remained loyal as I believe in their ethos.

Alkena

Alkena skincare uses silk produced from biodynamically cultivated mulberry trees which is certified by the Swiss Institute for Market Ecology. Silk contains proteins similar to those contained in human skin which is why it is effective. Alkena’s superlative facial toner uses silk and rosewater and is completely free of synthetic products and neither its raw materials nor finished products has been tested on animals.

Weleda

Weleda skincare products all carry the NaTrue or BDIH seal and are governed by Good Manufacturing Standard which is the pharmaceutical standard. Weleda never uses microbeads or mineral oil in its products. The arnica items they produce comes from the only bio-dynamically certified herb producer in Britain.

Buddha Beauty

Buddha Beauty is a family run business that produces vegan, organic and cruelty free beauty products that are hand made in Manchester. Their formulations are made by a really nice man called Lewellyn (whom I met once!) who is an aromatherapist and member of the Federation of Holistic Therapists and whose products include essential oils and are free of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Silicones Synthetic, Micro Beads and Gluten.

Martina Gebhardt

Martina Gebhardt I know this is a Top Five but I do need to shout out to Martina Gebhardt whose products are Demeter certified which guarantees that items have been produced using bio-dynamic methods, meaning without pesticides, herbicides, and only naturally derived fertilisers and the emulsifiers used in Martina Gebhardt products include wool-wax or pea starch. If packaging is a bit old school the products are truly excellent quality.

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Dating Without Alcohol with Dalya Heron Brook

Changing your relationship with alcohol changes a lot of other things as well, including the way you relate to other people. And when it comes to dating, cutting out or limiting alcohol can be a dramatic change, because so many date scenarios include – or are even centered around – alcohol. Today’s guest brings an important perspective to the conversation around alcohol-free dating.

Dalya Heron Brook is a Transformation Coach who has a special focus on dating and intimate relationships. She works as a professional matchmaker with Asprey Introductions and is featured on the television show The Ultimate Matchmaker, in addition to her work as a coach.