Category Archives: In The Media

relaxing holiday

24 Tips to get the most out of your relaxing holiday

Holidays are supposed to be a time for relaxation as well as fun, so how do you enjoy your holiday so that you come back restored and not more frazzled than when you left home?


When you’ve been working hard or running around after kids at home the last thing you want is for your well earned break to be equally stressful, so travel consultants Hayes & Javis have come up with some ways to get the most out of your holiday.


They’ve gathered tips from 24 well-being professionals to compile a downloadable guide so that you can learn and implement some key tricks to make you really chill out and enjoy your holiday, and come back restored and rejuvenated in the way that you hoped.


Up to 65% of people report feeling even more stressed while on holiday according to one survey, so don’t let yourself be one of them!


Their essential Four Pillars to Holiday Relaxation are:



Looking after your body means you’ll have more energy to do all the things you want to do on holiday. You know that, so how’s best to get physically prepped for you hols? This pillar covers all that.



Happiness and relaxation starts before you even leave home, as you’ll know if you’ve ever run around at the last minute trying to find a lost passport! Chilling out will help you think clearer and leave all your worries behind back home.



Spending days living closely with others from one small hotel room, apartment or villa with less time alone than back home means talking, communicating, and diffusing tension and disagreements is especially important. Nobody wants a fallout while you’re supposed to be enjoying yourselves.



How to use and enjoy food so that you feel good inside and out while still enjoying local culinary specialities.


In this final section I give you some tips on which foods and nutrients actually work in your body to reduce stress:

“Cooking is a relaxing and creative way to wind down and fresh food will get you feeling and looking good for your holiday. Some foods actually have stress busting properties themselves. Vitamins B and C get depleted under stress, so top them up with meat, wholegrains, red peppers and citrus fruits. Magnesium helps with relaxation and can be found in nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate. Omega 3 oils are fantastic for all areas of brain health including stress management, so make some tasty salmon or mackerel dishes to top up your stores.”


And yes they got a bit muddled when calling me a health & beauty therapist – I actually am a fully qualified beauty & holistic therapist but haven’t worked as one for some years! (but if you ever need help choosing skincare, you know who to call….;) )

You can pick up your own copy of the guide on Hayes & Jarvis website here.

Or download if directly here.


21 Stone Challenge – BBC Radio Interview

When you’re 21 stone and have been eating pies, pasties and take away meals for years it’s not going to be easy making changes, but that’s the challenge BBC 3 Counties Radio have set Glen, and they asked me to help.


Mass media such as radio, TV. magazines and newspapers allow me to reach and help more people like you, which ultimately is the end goal – I don’t get paid to speak, but I do it anyway because for me it’s fun and for you it’s useful.


Plus I get to debate with show presenters about whatever nonsense has been in the news or even they themselves have been spouting out – in this show presenter Jonathan Vernon-Smith made a daft comment about salad making you gain weight.


I made sure to correct him on that one!


We also talk about burgers, BBQ’s and why weight loss is, contrary to what people might think, actually very easy when you have a lot of weight to lose.


The recording will be available on IPlayer until the end of July 2017, though if you wanted to hear it after then get in touch with the show’s producers via the website to access past shows.

21 stone bbc radio



The Candida Diet – Could It Work For You?

The Candida Diet is a food protocol used primarily by natural medicine practitioners, naturopaths and nutritionists as a natural alternative to drugs for treating a candida infection.


Candida is a yeast that occurs naturally in out gut, but can become overgrown, causing IBS symptoms, usually bloating being the main one, as well as recurring thrush, brain fog, intense sugar cravings, low energy and mood, and even fungal nail infections.


But does the diet work? Women’s heath website Femedic asked me and a few dieticians for out opinions on whether the fairly extreme diet is effective.

garlic candida diet


I have personal experience of it when I was tested while having extreme bloating and sugar cravings (no other symptoms thankfully) and was put on the diet for a couple of weeks, alongside various antifungal medications.


It was difficult to follow and the medications were doing the bulk of the work in clearing the infection, but while benefits of the diet may be bigger in some people than others, I reasoned that anything that helped was worth doing temporarily. It’s not a way of eating that’s sustainable long term and I didn’t do the extreme ‘cleanse’ that some people start with.


Here’s an extract from the article on the Femedic Website which specialises in women’s issues such as menstruation, menopause and other areas of gynaecological health.


” Dietitians aren’t all that convinced by the claims of the Candida diet, and both stress the importance of not changing your diet or following any ‘cleanse’ without first consulting a doctor. However, others do believe that the Candida diet works – or at least it worked for them. Pollyanna Hale is a weight loss coach, personal trainer, and nutritionist, and thinks that some people could see positive results from the Candida diet.

“You can have a gut only Candida infection and not get thrush,” she says. “So regularly feeling bloated with a distended stomach would be a sign that Candida might be the culprit. Brain fog and sugar cravings are two other common symptoms, as well as skin and nail fungal infections.”

Pollyanna believes following the Candida diet could help relieve symptoms and clear infection. “The Candida diet cuts out sugar, yeast, fermented and mouldy foods, and foods that have a tendency to contain low levels of moulds, such as some nuts, which help Candida thrive. It also encourages natural anti-fungals such as garlic and coconut,” she explains. But not everyone will need to follow the diet as strictly as others. “The more severe or stubborn the infection, the more rigid you will need to be with what you eat and drink, until the infection is cleared,” she adds.

However, like Faith and Sophie, she does voice her concern at the extreme cleanse part of the diet, as advertised. “An aggressive reset won’t be necessary for everyone,” she says. “It’s basically just eating lots of vegetables and a little fat and protein to ‘flush out’ your gut and cut off the Candida’s food supplies to help stop it growing.” However, this sort of extreme eating (or abstaining) can be difficult to stick to, she notes, and says the Candida dying off can cause “unpleasant and flu-like symptoms”. She does add that anyone wanting to do the cleanse part of their diet should first seek a doctor’s advice. “It’s quite an extreme way of eating even if it is only for three days, and not everybody is suitable to follow such a protocol,” she says. ”

(click here for the full article)

I’d love to hear what you think and if you’ve tried anything like this to help with candida infections.

The best conversations happen over in my free Facebook Group so come and join us here and have your say. 


Pregnancy Diet Advice, and more for Mother & Baby Magazine

Pregnancy diet advice is pretty basic and it doesn’t require advanced knowledge of nutrition to stay well while you’re expecting.


But occasionally, due to the extra demands on your body, a Mum-to-be may have additional needs that basic healthy eating isn’t addressing, and in these cases a supplement can be helpful.


I was asked by Mother and Baby Magazine to help with their monthly Q & A section where readers can submit questions to experts on a variety of topics.


Here’s what I recommended for one expecting mother about vitamin B12 deficiency, and below you’ll find help with weaning premature babies and healthy food tips for fussy toddlers!


Question: I’m 20 weeks pregnant and have been told my vitamin B12 levels are quite low. What should I eat? Nicola Bicker, Kent Vitamin

My Answer: B12 benefits your mood, energy levels, memory, heart, skin, hair, digestion and more. Like folic acid, it’s also needed to prevent neural tube and other neurological defects in unborn babies. Low energy is the most common symptom of deficiency. Red meat, especially beef, is the best source during pregnancy. Organic grass-fed dairy products, free-range eggs, wild-caught fish and organic poultry are valuable sources, too.


Question: My baby was born six weeks early. Do I need to approach weaning any differently? Joanne Withers, Tyne and Wear

My Answer: It’s recommended that weaning starts at around six months. However, each baby’s development speed is different, so take her personal needs into consideration. Questions to ask are: ‘Can my baby sit up and hold her head unaided?’, ‘Is she showing an interest in my food?’, ‘Does she put toys in her mouth and attempt to chew on them?’. Of course, if there were any health complications as a result of being born early, seek advice from your health visitor as to what’s best for your baby.


Question: My two-year-old normally eats what we do – is it OK for his diet to completely change when we go abroad on holiday this summer? Christine Osbourne, Shropshire

My Answer:  One of the great benefits of holidaying abroad is being able to expose toddlers to new foods. Your break away is an ideal time to get your little one experimenting. The best way to do this is to eat new foods yourself – if he sees something he likes the look of on your plate, he might try it. Let him pick something off your plate that looks interesting to him – the fact that you’re eating it gives him the go ahead that it’s safe to eat. Of course, you do need to be careful about hygiene so, depending on where you’re travelling to, follow the recommended advice of choosing bottled water over tap, fruits that need peeling, and be wary of salads that may have been washed in local water, as well as meat and fish that could have been sitting around in the heat. Toddlers can be fussy but won’t let themselves go hungry, so if he’s refusing to join in and eats bread and butter for most of the holiday, don’t worry: he won’t be the first child to do so! As long as he eats well at home, it won’t hurt him.


Click Here or on the image below to see the full piece, scrolling to page 4 for the food advice.

pregnancy diet weaning




addicted to exercise

I Was Addicted to Exercise

A scroll through the #fitfam or #fitspo posts on Instagram will reveal countless images of gym buffs grappling with kettlebells, before-and-after transformations and motivational quotes. If you’re an avid exerciser, perhaps they inspire you to work out harder and longer, to try new moves that will lead to a more defined body, to exercise every day. But where does being fit, healthy and strong end, and an unhealthy attachment to exercise begin?
“Exercise addiction” used to be a relatively innocuous term – a jokey way of saying that you loved exercise – but now it’s a recognised problem and the British Medical Journal has even published a piece about how to recognise and treat it.
According to an Italian study, people who strongly identify as an exerciser and have low self-esteem are at a higher risk of developing an addiction. Women are more likely to suffer from secondary exercise addiction, meaning that it’s associated with an eating disorder. Over 40% of the 120 gym-goers who completed the study were found to be at risk.

What are the signs?

Those with exercise addiction might exercise even when they’re ill or tired. They might miss out on social or family occasions so that they can exercise. They might feel anxious and irritable if they can’t work out or they might exercise to the point that they experience physical injury, such as a stress fracture. They have an inability to stop or reduce their levels of exercise.
But plenty of people love exercise and train to a high level without a problem. So where does the boundary lie between healthy and unhealthy? “The difference is that a compulsive exerciser works out not to feel good, but to avoid feeling bad,” says Dr. Carolyn Plateau, a Loughborough University psychology lecturer who specialises in compulsive exercise. “They rely on it for mood regulation, may get feelings of guilt, failure or anxiety if they don’t exercise, and tend to have a very rigid routine. It comes above all else – exercise will always take priority.”
Polly Hale, 33, agrees. In her late teens and early 20s, she was addicted to exercise alongside having anorexia. She attended dance school, where image was all-important, and during the holidays she would exercise compulsively, seeing it as a way to burn as many calories as she could.
“I started cutting down on the calories I ate,” she says, “but I would also take any opportunity to exercise, such as walking everywhere (even if it took hours) or dancing without stopping all night at a club. If I was away with my family, I would have a strict regime of strength exercises to do. My motives were all wrong. I wasn’t exercising to feel good or stay healthy but to stay thin, and I would get overwhelming feelings of guilt and failure if I couldn’t exercise. I lost the ability to listen to my body and pushed on through, even when I was exhausted and undernourished.”
The triggers can vary. “It can be a small thing, such as a comment on your body made by a friend or family member,” says Carolyn, “up to a dramatic life change such as going to university, having a perfectionistic personality where you’re always striving for high goals, or having a difficult emotional experience and exercise becomes a way of avoiding it.”
“Social media can also play a role, particularly in people that use it a lot as they can lose a sense of the real world,” she adds. “There has been a backlash against being very skinny; now it’s all about lean and strong. But that can be equally damaging if you’re striving for an unrealistic image of a woman with a six-pack and zero body fat – she could be training for hours a day to look like that.”
And because exercise addiction is so often linked with disordered eating, the “clean eating” trend can also play a part. “Hyper-vigilance about what goes into your mouth and a focus on consuming only ‘healthy’ foods can often go hand in hand with compulsive exercise behaviours,” says Carolyn.
A problem with other people recognising it in you, or even a health professional diagnosing it, is that exercise is usually a positive thing. Where starving yourself is clearly a bad idea, we’re encouraged to exercise. “It can go under the radar if it’s not accompanied by an obvious eating disorder,” says Carolyn. “It can also be disguised in much the same way as the early stages of an eating disorder – ‘I’m just exercising a bit more at the moment to stay healthy’.”
“Although my family could see it was part of my eating disorder, they questioned the amount of food I ate but not the amount of exercise I was doing,” says Polly. “I recognised it in myself and knew that it wasn’t normal, but I couldn’t stop myself. The desire to exercise was so overpowering.”

Where to get help

“The first and often the hardest step is admitting to yourself that you have a problem,” says Polly. “Then you can open up to someone else and say you need help.”
You can see your GP, who can refer you to an appropriate service. You could even open up to your personal trainer, who may be able to help you devise a healthier schedule and set positive goals, rather than exercising for exercise’s sake.
Treatment can include cognitive behavioural therapy and psychological help to equip you with healthier ways of dealing with negative emotions. “You wouldn’t necessarily have to stop exercising but you might be asked to reduce it or replace it with low-intensity exercise such as yoga,” says Carolyn. “It’s about reformulating your attitudes to both exercise and food (if it’s associated with an eating disorder).”
For Polly, her turning point was a night at the pub in her early 20s. She had been hospitalised three times but always relapsed. “That night, one friend announced she was pregnant and another that she was getting married. Something in my head just clicked and I realised that everyone was moving on with their lives and I was going to be left behind. No one would want a relationship with me and I would never have children (my periods had stopped long ago). I suddenly wanted this thing out of my life. I worked with a dietitian to help me see food as a pleasure and as fuel, rather than unnecessary calories, and my attitude to exercise slowly changed.”
Change doesn’t happen overnight but Polly proves that it is possible. She’s now a personal trainer and founded The Fit Mum Formula, helping women to learn to love their bodies, exercise and eat well because they want to look after themselves. She’s also married with two children. “It took me about five years to fully recover, but I now exercise and eat well because I want to enjoy life, and I appreciate what it feels like to be strong and healthy, rather than thin and exhausted.”

Pulsin Natural Protein Bars Review

I love protein bars because they’re filling, nutritious, and help build and repair muscle while allowing me to satisfy my sweet tooth, but natural protein bars are surprisingly hard to come by!


In fact one day I’ll make my own (watch this space) but for now my high standards when it comes to both taste and nutrition mean my options are fairly limited.


Most come coated in cheap chocolate (presumably to hold them together?), and are stuffed with artificial and unnecessary additives, fillers, sweeteners, sugar, preservatives and flavourings. Some are even just a regular chocolate bar with added protein!


All this is wholly unnecessary, I’ve experimented with homemade protein bars many a time, all natural, healthy and totally delicious, so I never could understand why it would be so hard for a brand to sell natural protein bars.


So while you can’t just buy any old protein bar it’s at least great that one brand – Pulsin – are making them, and are available online if you’ve not seen them in your local supermarket. (use code PTC20 to get 20% off)


Here’s a review of some of the bars that Pulsin make


Beyond Organic Fruit Bars

There’s enough fruit in each bar to count as one portion, which makes them so much better than those ‘squashed fruit concentrate’ snacks I see aimed at kids (a pet hate of mine). Free from gluten, dairy, soya, refined sugars and non GM, also suitable for both vegan and paleo diets!

Being based on dried fruit these are higher in (natural) sugar than the Pulsin’s other bars, but this makes them great post workout (or intra-workout if you’re exercising for longer than 90 minutes, by which time your stored sugar levels may be running low). Or I would give these to my kids any day instead of sugary junk.

Bella loved the berry one in particular, while Aurora is my resident chocoholic so that’s her favourite.


Protein Boosters

The Protein Boosters are the bars I typically recommend to my Mums as being the highest in protein they’re the most filling, and low sugar which means fewer energy highs and lows. Xylitol, a very low calorie natural sugar alternative is used to sweeten – the same stuff that’s used in chewing gum because it’s good for your teeth!

Many protein bars on the market are simply chocolate bars with added whey protein, in other words protein boosted junk. While protein is important and most people don’t get enough, this is still completely missing the point.

Adding protein in itself does not make it a healthy bar, but Pulsin only use 100% natural, wholesome nutritious ingredients. There’s a misconception that ‘health bars’ don’t taste as good as less healthy snacks. In some cases I agree – you can’t compare a handful of almonds to a chocolate fudge cake.

But these bars really are delicious. The proof is always when my kids and husband like them and don’t realise they’re ‘healthy’ – that’s a true test of an amazing tasting bar!

I actually took the Vanilla Choc Chip bar as a breakfast on the go with some fresh fruit. I was worried that it wouldn’t keep me full all morning but I needn’t have; it was perfect (and I have a big appetite!)


Raw Choc Brownies

These are clever, because I’ve tried a lot of ‘healthy’ brownies in my time and none of them actually taste like a real brownie – you can tell they’re healthy. So considering these are so packed with nutritious superfoods like raw cocoa, cacao butter, green tea extract, maca, nuts, goji and chicory fibre it’s incredible my ‘I want real chocolate’ sugar addict husband loved them! Not as high in protein and higher in (natural, from fruit) sugar than the Protein Boosters these are more of a healthy and higher fibre alternative to refined flour & sugar brownie cakes and puddings, but they’re so chocolaty you’ll get your ‘hit’ pretty easily in one bar rather than bingeing your way through a batch of sugar and flour.


Fruity Oats Bars

These are Pulsin’s kid’s range, meaning big kids too obviously – they’re mini size and nut free, meaning school lunch friendly yay! As a parent finding healthy snacks that are both low sugar, nut free and need no refrigeration is harder than you think; most kids’ snacks are crazily high in sugar, both natural and added. Oats are a great source of sustaining energy for little people, but I’d eat these any day, especially as a quick post workout snack along with a protein shake. I felt guilty keeping it to myself even if I was reviewing them, so compromised by sharing with four year old Bella and 8 year old Aurora. Aurora is always needing portable snacks while she’s out and about doing various clubs and can eat so much food for her tiny frame, so it’s good to be able to give her more nutritious bars to fuel her active and growing body.


Protein Powders

Pulsin do a whole range of no-added-anything protein powders; whey, rice, hemp, pea, and soya, including organic versions. With no flavourings or sweeteners not only are they as pure as you can get, but they are a great canvas for adding whatever flavours you want, from fruit, cocoa, nut butters, and even savoury foods!

I took advantage of this over my usual vanilla shake and knocked up some beetroot whey protein pancakes by simply mixing whey with egg, mashed beetroot and herbs.


Pulsin have recently branched out into ingredients with Whey Protein Crispies and No Added Sugar Chocolate Drops that are perfect for healthy home baking or pumping up porridge, pancakes or as a topping to shakes and smoothie bowls.

There are also assorted hampers which make fantastic gifts, and once you’ve chosen which snacks and powders are your favourites you can save money with a subscription.

But for now you can get 20% off all Pulsin orders with the code PTC20 at the checkout.

Happy Munching!



celeb diets

Why Celeb Diets Don’t Work – The Sun Newspaper Feature

Fad celeb diets loved by Martine McCutcheon, the Kardashians and Alexandra Burke ‘DON’T work and actually make you GAIN weight’.


People who go back to eating normally after losing weight on a calorie-restricted fad diet tend to pile on the pounds much faster.


“My main concern is that even if it works short term, it doesn’t educate the dieter on how to live healthy and eat healthy and plan meals.

“That’s one of the reasons people regain all the weight afterwards, because they stop the diet when the weight is gone, but they still don’t really understand how to eat healthily.


To read the whole article I wrote for The Sun Newspaper click the link below:


Advice on Protein For Women

Are the recommendations on protein for women the same as for men?

Do most women need more protein need more protein than they’re currently eating?

Why? And if so, what’s the best way to get that protein?

The Huffington Post asked me if, and why, I use protein shakes.

I love (quality) protein powders – tasty, convenient, and yes, healthy!

Here’s the article where you can find out how to add protein powder into your diet:

Here’s Why More Women Are Increasing Protein In Their Diets, And The Right Way To Do It

sky tv eating disorder

Live SKY TV – Eating Disorder News Feature

Not many eating disorder news stories appear on your TV unless it’s a celebrity being ‘accused’ of starving themselves for a film role or bikini season.


Last May I finally came open about my past Eating Disorder and how I suffered and was very ill with Anorexia for years in my late teens and early twenties, being in and out of hospital several times.

(My ‘coming’ out video can be viewed here)


I also did another video about my recovery and how now I’m stronger than ever, both emotionally as well as physically – (watch that video here.)


I had kept it quiet for years, not because I felt ashamed or that anyone would judge me,


Just that I had moved on, put it all behind me and honestly?


There are some very dark memories attached to the years I was ill.


But I remember the day I was admitted to hospital for the first time.


I vowed that one day, when I was recovered and emotionally strong enough I would help other sufferers break free of their demons too.


It might seem ironic that I’m now a personal trainer and nutritionist helping Mums lose weight, but actually it’s all the same really.


If you do not love and respect yourself, and your body, enough to look after it, then you will..


  • Eat junk (or not eat properly) even when you know it’s not serving you
  • Skip exercise because other things seem more important at the time
  • Berate yourself for having no willpower
  • Have no self confidence or self esteem because you ‘can’t stick to a diet’
  • Feel bad about your body, because it doesn’t have enough energy to do the things you need to do to change, let alone look the way you’d like
  • Give up trying because every time you do, you fail


And even from an anorexic’s point of view, all of this I understand.

I knew what I had to do, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I felt mentally weak, and stuck, and miserable, but I couldn’t get out of the cycle.

But I learned to love my body and treat it well, and so can you.


Anyway what’s this about SKY News?


When ‘Beat’ eating disorder charity opened their helplines for the first time on Christmas Day to support sufferers and their families who might be struggling over Christmas,

SKY wanted to cover the story, came across my videos, and were so inspired they invited me to speak live from their studio during the morning Sunrise slot on Christmas Eve!

The video has been placed on the Sky News website – Click Here or on the link below to see it.

clean eating

Clean Eating – Is it right for you?

Clean eating has been a massive trend for some years now,

But what exactly is it, is it healthy, and is it right for you and your family?

While there’s no official definition of clean eating, most advocators insist on no processed foods, no refined sugar or flour,

And some cut out dairy and gluten and eat only organic food as well, though not everyone is as strict.

It’s not the same as a vegan diet which cuts out animal products – ‘clean eaters’ often still eat meat, fish and eggs, and some dairy.

clean eating

Click Here to read the full article and learn all about clean eating in Just For Families Magazine:

Have you tried a stricter version of clean eating? Or do you simply try and eat more healthy food and less unhealthy food? Let me know in the comments below.