From Max Tomlinson’s book Clean Up Your Diet

The water you drink isn’t as clean as you’d think.


Max Tomlinson's weekend detox planWe take the safety of our tapwater for granted. Recently, however, naturopaths, doctors and the media highlighted the dangers of water pollution and some of the health risks from lead, chlorine, pesticides and various micro-organisms that have been found to contaminate municipal water supplies. Outbreaks of waterborne diseases are now common in Western countries and there is concern over the carcinogenic effects of certain organic chemicals in our water.

If you are concerned about the level of toxins in your diet, maybe it’s time to ask yourself Do You Need to Go on a Detox?

What is contaminating our water?

We are all taking the contraceptive pill

Millions of women take the oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) every day. The hormones in these pills pass through the body relatively intact and end up in the urine, from there into our water system, and eventually into our drinking water. This contamination is beginning to cause concern as it may not only contribute to lower sperm counts in men, but it is also thought by some experts to be the cause of more female fish and deformities in the sex organs of some, fish, making it difficult or impossible for them to reproduce.
Lead contamination

The heavy metal lead enters our water supplies from the corrosion of water pipes, joint solders in pipes, and plumbing fixtures. Lead in drinking water contributes up to 20 per cent of our total environmental exposure to lead. Young children and babies are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning, with even lowdose exposure causing intellectual problems and behaviour disorders in those who are susceptible. However, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the lead in your drinking water:

• Do not drink hot water from the hot tap, nor use it for cooking – hot water dissolves lead more quickly than cold water

• Never mix infant formula milk with tapwater – use cooled, once boiled water

• Run the taps for a while before drinking cold water – the fresh, cold water will not have been sitting in contact with pipes or solder

• Test your tapwater for lead and buy a water filter if levels are high
Germs and micro-organisms

Ground water, well water, river water, bottled water and some municipal water can contain dangerous micro-organisms (including coliforms, giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium) that can cause diarrhea and vomiting, especially in the vulnerable, such as children and the elderly. In the US it is estimated that close to a million people become ill each year owing to bacterial contamination in water.
Chlorine and other chemicals

Sewerage run-off, industrial chemical pollution, dirty storm water and run-off from farms and city streets have severely contaminated our water supplies. By-products of chlorine water treatment, such as trihalomethanes, remain in our drinking water after the water has been treated, and are under urgent investigation as possible carcinogens (they may cause cancer).

Legal and illegal chemical dumps leak a toxic cocktail into ground water. Arsenic, rocket fuel and many other toxic industrial chemicals contaminate most of the water in the UK, US, and around the world.

What do we need to do to drink clean water?

Distilled water – clean and clear winner

The best water to drink is steamd istilled water. It contains little or no contaminants and is the safest, cleanest and healthiest water available. It is almost pure H2O. Some say that distilled water depletes the body’s mineral content, but there is no biochemical basis or evidence for this. Others say that distilled water, unlike mineral water, has none of the beneficial minerals in it. In reality, mineral water provides only tiny amounts of the minerals you need for health – and besides, our minerals should come from our food, not our water. Distilled water is my winner. Best of all, home distillation units are easy to find and relatively cheap to buy.
Water filters – a clear second

Activated carbon filters remove most of the chlorine in tapwater. They also reduce the levels of trihalomethanes, the potentially carcinogenic by-products of chlorination, as well as some pesticides. The level of filtration will depend on the size and type of the filter, the degree of water pollution, and how often you renew the carbon filter. Replace your filters regularly, so that they are efficient and don’t begin to harbour harmful bacteria.
Bottled water – last place

Concern over the quality and safety of tapwater has led many of us to rely almost exclusively on bottled drinking water. However, regulations governing the purity and safety of bottled water are less stringent than those for municipal water supplies in most countries. Bottled water is often contaminated with heavy metals, solvents and bacteria. The carcinogenic chemicals (methylene chloride and vinyl chloride) that can enter the water from the plastic-bottle containers are also a major concern.

How can you rid your body of toxins? The answer is simple, and with this 3 step weekend detox plan you can get started straight away – you’ll feel so good you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner!

It’s moving day at Nourish today as we move from our home for the last 15 years on Wells Street to new offices is Islington.

If you need to contact us by post, our new address is

Nourish Books
Angel Business Club
359 Goswell Road

Or head over to our Contact Us page

Wish us luck!



Ageing expert Dr Sharma believes he has the secret to a long life. The good news is that with a couple of changes to your morning routine can help you live a healthier, longer life, without having to cut all the treats you deserve!

We all have things in our lives that we do knowing that they are bad for us. Boozing, takeaway nights, breaking into the emergency chocolate stash . . . Wiping out all the “naughty” aspects and religiously eating celery sticks as of January 1st can be overwhelming – and unrealistic. It is not about having the perfect lifestyle: it is about helping you achieve optimum health for as long as possible within your normal, everyday life patterns.

How is it possible to obtain a healthier, longer life whilst still enjoying life’s indulgences (in moderation)? Dr. Rajendra Sharma can show you how, with his 24-hour guide from his new book Live Longer, Live Younger which reveals how ‘healthy ageing’ is much more important than ‘anti-ageing’.

Over the next few days, we will be posting Dr. Sharma’s easy-to-follow steps on how to slow down the ageing process in your daily routine, starting with 5 simple things you can do each morning.


1. Drink a glass of water

Or consider a herbal tea such as green tea. This will have a cleansing effect on the body. Avoid highly caffeinated drinks (accepting that green tea has a certain amount of caffeine) until you are about to eat something as this artificial jolt speeds up the metabolism, thereby depleting some of the biochemical preparation for the day more quickly than is desirable.

2. Stretching

Stretching removes metabolic products that build up during the night – particularly advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and protein bonds that are a fundamental part of the ageing process. A simple 3-5 minute programme of stretching, yoga or tai chi can minimize the effects of AGEs by increasing blood flow and waste drainage through the lymphatic system. Yoga and tai chi techniques also focus on breathing exercises, which are also invaluable to health.

3. Exercise

Exercise can be done at a time of day that suits the individual. Some people do well to burn up the adrenaline they have derived through the day by exercising in the evening, whereas others are better off using up energy reserves that have amassed through the night. However, do not get up too early and sacrifice sleep for exercise. A mix of aerobic, stretching, balancing and strengthening is undoubtedly best. Finally, make sure you shower or bathe as soon as you can after exercise. A lot of water-soluble toxins come out with the sweat, but your body will reabsorb them if they are left to sit on your skin.

4. Ablutions

Ablutions are a very important part of your morning routine, and include going to the toilet, brushing your teeth and washing your body. Holding onto toxins in your bowels throughout the day is not a good thing; try to empty your bowels in the morning, before breakfast. Taking a bath or shower to remove toxins that your body eliminates through sweat during the night is as important as doing so after exercise.

Clean your teeth regularly. Some age-related health conditions, particularly arterial and heart health, have a direct link with poor oral hygiene, infections and inflammation in the gums. I would strongly advise against applying deodorants, especially antiperspirants, directly onto the skin. Many deodorants carry metals from their container, and spraying yourself daily with a toxin that is capable of being absorbed through the skin will take its toll as metals are associated with so many age-related conditions.

5. Breakfast

The golden rule is, of course, do not skip it! Skipping breakfast, contrary to popular belief, will push you toward obesity and the health problems associated with that. The idea that cutting back on calories by missing breakfast will help you lose weight is a falsehood – any decrease in calories is more than overcompensated for by a downturn shift in metabolism that leads to weight gain. The simple rules for breakfast are:

– Avoid refined foods such as sweetened cereals
– Go easy on cow’s products, preferably using soy, almond, rice, goat’s or sheep’s milk instead
– Eat some food with any caffeinated drinks
– Consider having a freshly made fruit or vegetable juice or smoothie as an integral part of every breakfast


Dr Sharma believes that the answer to a long life is not anti-ageing creams and drugs, but little, easy changes to everyday life – here he explains what’s the real secret to a long life.

Praise for Live Longer, Live Younger:

‘Healthy ageing from within as much as from without is the key. Dr Sharma and his book will continue to guide me’ – Marie Helvin, model, author and TV presenter

‘Dr Sharma has been a vital part of my own healthy ageing, and I know that his book will be invaluable to a lot of people’ – Hayley Mills, actress

‘Live Longer, Live Younger is a clear and consise guide to optimizing health as we age… Dr Schama provides us with the information and tools to prevent and heal premature ageing and disease and the sooner we start, the easier it is’ – Fouad I. Ghaly MD, Diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Ageing Medicine



Find out more about Live Longer, Live Younger 



a thrifty meat-free cookbook from Nicola Graimes

Welcome to the world of Veggienomics!

This month, we’re publishing a new kind of vegetarian cookbook from Nicola Graimes. Discover a world of exciting vegetarian recipes that won’t cost the earth. Find ways to cut down on the cost of your weekly shop without compromising on quality, or on taste.

The ‘veggienomics’ principles for cheap, vegetarian cooking

Be storecupboard savvy and create exciting dishes from those everyday staples – beans, pulses, rice and pasta.

Homegrow and forage to add fresh, seasonal ingredients or shop seasonally at the local market to create meals that are in time with the seasons, and keep costs down.

Be freezer friendly and buy and cook in bulk so that you always have quick meals to feed the family when time and energy are short.

Love your leftovers by transforming them into delicious new dishes.
We are all increasingly aware of the price of food and the environmental cost and inefficiencies of producing meat on a large scale, which is why cooking vegetarian – whether 100 per cent or the occasional meal – makes both economic and environmental sense.

Most of us don’t have much time to spend shopping or cooking on a daily basis, so Veggienomics helps you to plan ahead (making the most of what you’ve got is crucial when you’re on a budget), with advice on shopping, stocking the storecupboard, making the most of your freezer, using up leftovers, menu planning, growing your own fresh produce and even foraging for free.


Cheap vegetarian cookbook recipes from VeggienomicsNot your ordinary salad – Tandoori Halloumi with Coconut and Pineapple

Veggienomics takes a back-to-basics approach to vegetarian cooking, with recipes for making your own stock, spice mix, soft cheese, yogurt, preserves, pickles and syrups, as well as sprouting your own beans. These aren’t just fun and easy to do, but they also make economic sense – these foods can be pricey to buy. Some figures suggest that in the West we throw away as much as a third of the food we buy – which is why it makes sense to make the most of the food we have by using the freezer, and cooking with leftovers (even just a crust of bread, cheese rind or some surplus cooked veg).


Roasted-mushrooms-with-couscous-crustRoasted Mushrooms with Couscous Crust


Geared to our busy lives and varying culinary demands, each chapter in the book includes vegetarian recipes and suggestions for snacks, lunches and dinners. There are also suggestions for matching recipes if you are cooking a whole meal. Where a recipe uses a slightly more unusual ingredient, an alternative is given in case you can’t find it. I also like to use the same ingredient in a few recipes so you aren’t left with a bottle of something languishing in the cupboard.
forage-and-grow-your-own-vegetables-to-save-moneyEmbrace the Veggienomics lifestyle with tips on growing your own fresh produce and foraging. This book isn’t about living off the land a la The Good Life – rather it is intended to give you a taste of what’s feasible from a small plot, or by discovering your local environment. Don’t be a slave to the supermarkets – just following a couple of simple guidelines and you’ll be able to save money and have a closer understanding of nature (as well as having some delicious seasonal ingredients!)

So if you want to cut down on the amount of meat you eat on a weekly basis (or even cut it out of your diet altogether), and watch what you spend on your weekly shop, try the inspiring recipes in Veggienomics that won’t cost the earth.

Veggienomics by Nicola Graimes is available now with free UK postage

Order the book here



8 steps to plan your revision with memory champion dominic o'brien
dominic-o'brien-world-memory-championRevision is so easy to avoid sometimes, and other things always seem more important. But with just a little bit of preparation you’ll be able to stop procrastinating build a fantastic revision routine, and make working for exams a lot less painful. So follow these simple tips from 8 times World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brien and his book How to Pass Your Exams.

Planning your revision

The first thing to do when it comes to revising for an exam is to make a plan. It is vitally important that you organise a timetable to ensure that all the subjects you need to revise receive adequate attention.

How much time will I need?

Quantify the amount of work required for each subject. You must have some idea of the size of the task in hand before you can divide up your revision time, as some subjects will require more attention than others. Study the syllabus for each subject so that you know exactly what you are supposed to have covered, and get hold of past exam papers. Most important of all, seek advice – if anyone knows what work is involved, your teacher will.

Keep to your plan!

Having devised your exam revision timetable, keep to it! We humans are creatures of habit, which means we all too easily fall into the habit of avoiding tasks by using delaying tactics and allowing distractions.

Creating a timetable is like making a pledge: once you’ve agreed to it, it cannot be broken. Regarding it in this way will help prevent procrastination because you will not allow yourself the alternative of, ‘Well, never mind, I can always catch up tomorrow.’

You can turn this otherwise negative side of your habitual nature into a positive advantage by developing a study ritual. If you plan to work from 7.30 p.m. till 10 p.m., for instance, give yourself a countdown of activity starting, say, from 7 p.m. This could involve doing a crossword, playing computer games or engaging in some form of physical exercise. It doesn’t really matter, as long as it becomes a routine preamble for studying.

I speak from experience. Having an active imagination, I am vulnerable to the lure of distraction and am not naturally disciplined in the art of ‘getting down to it’. But I have found a very effective way of overcoming this problem.

Banish exam stress!

One of the reasons that we find it such an effort to settle down to work is that the mere idea of study can evoke in us so many negative feelings, emotions and associative images. A typical split-second flash of associations may follow a line of progression rather like this:









In short, study = pain, which is hardly an incentive to get started on an exam revision timetable.

There is a reason for stress. Its function is to warn us of impending danger, and so it protects us by prodding us into taking counteractive measures. Unfortunately, though, this incessant prodding can go too far and end up being counterproductive.

OK, so you realise that you should have started your revision much earlier; now you’re prepared to do something about it. The trouble is that stress levels are high, and the images of the exam room and your relatives’ disappointed faces loom ever nearer, which means you can’t concentrate. This is unfair; you’ve accepted intellectually that there is an urgent need to act, but you’re hampered by the physical and emotional effects of the stress triggered by your realisation.

Try these 8 steps to de-stress and get ready for revision

Some may compare the following remedy with practices such as meditation, self-hypnosis, or neurolinguistic programming. I prefer to call it ‘getting in the right frame of mind’. It is a method that I cultivated independently, and it not only banishes stress, but allows me to tackle any form of study head-on.

1. Lie on your back or sit comfortably in an armchair.

2. With your eyes closed, focus your attention on every muscle in your body, starting with your feet. As you work your way up, let go of any tension in those muscles until your whole body feels like a heavy, dead weight. Feel the tension go in your face muscles and let your jaw sag as it succumbs to the gravity.

3. With the rest of your body taken care of, you can now concentrate on your breathing, heartbeat, and any feelings of nausea caused by the anxiety of stress.

4. Breathe deeply and slowly, even though your heart may be pumping furiously.

5. Now, using your imagination, try to translate whatever feelings of tension, pain and nausea you may have into an associative tangible image. For example, the occasional nauseated sensation I feel at the back of my throat I picture as a slow trickle of tiny, greyish pellets. Lower down in my chest they gather into a heaving mass of sticky, soot-covered ball bearings. Whatever your representation, imagine a hand gently dipping into your body, grabbing the offending objects and throwing them far away. Continue the process until most of the stress has been removed.

6. With your body relaxed, your breathing deep and your nausea reduced, conjure up an image of a place or person that gives you a peaceful, happy or relaxed feeling. This could be a scene from your childhood, a holiday location or a loved one. Latch on to that image, and try to immerse yourself in those pleasant feelings.

7. Now, slowly superimpose that pleasant picture on to the image of your anxiety. You might, for example, visualise walking into the examination room and seeing your loved one standing there. In my case, I use the scene of a quiet casino with a croupier standing at an empty blackjack table (that always gives me a good feeling!). But sitting on the table is not a pack of playing cards, but … a word processor, which normally represents work, deadlines, accounts, and other aspects of responsibility. By blending or mixing the two images together – one of happiness, the other of anxiety – I am in effect neutralising the object of my fear.

8. Having stared my worst fears in the face and removed any bad feelings associated with them, I can now approach the job in hand in a completely relaxed, positive state of mind.

Try this method yourself. It certainly works for me, and it could help you too.


Once you have your routine in place, maximise your revision with You can use Dominic’s speed reading tips to read more in less time, and remember what you’ve read!

how to develop

Wouldn’t exams be easier if you could remember more? In How to Pass Exams by Dominic O’Brien – eight-times winner of the World Memory Championship – offers us tried and tested strategies and tips that will make your memory bigger, better and sharper, and pass your exams with flying colours!

Just £7.99 with free UK postage – click for more information!




What food says summer better than strawberries? Covered in whipped cream, served in a smoothie or in a fresh food salad, strawberries are essential for the sun. And, because of the amazing healthy benefits of strawberries, you don’t need to feel too guilty about indugling – we’ve even given you three recipes to get started!

The information below is from Natural Wonderfoods – a bible of ingredients to optimize your health and vitality!
What vitamins and minerals are in strawberries?

Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, C, K, folic acid; copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, iodine, potassium; flavonoids; fibre; omega-3 fatty acids; ellagic acid
What are strawberries good for?

These favourite berries have been popular throughout the ages and were prized for their therapeutic properties in ancient Rome. Strawberries enhance liver and gallbladder functions, and are a traditional remedy for treating gout, arthritis and kidney stones.

Strawberries are full of disease-fighting and age-defying nutrients. Packed with vitamin C, an average serving of strawberries gives twice the recommended daily adult intake of this immunity-boosting vitamin. The vitamin C in strawberries is essential for the manufacture of collagen – a protein that helps to maintain the structure of the skin, keeping it elastic and young-looking. Vitamin C also plays an important role in healing wounds and can ward off gingivitis, the gum disease that affects three out of four adults. It can also help to dissolve tartarous incrustations on the teeth.

Strawberries contain ellagic acid, a phytochemical shown to help fight cancer and destroy some of the toxins in cigarette smoke and polluted air. Their B-vitamin content makes them useful for supporting the nervous system and fighting stress-related conditions, as well as building resistance to disease, while their high iron content makes them therapeutic for anaemia and fatigue. The berries are rich in fibre for a healthy heart and digestive system. Strawberries also have a mild laxative effect and may help to regenerate intestinal flora.

Hint – Try fresh strawberries with a pinch of pepper for a novel taste with a sharp edge.

Recipes for Strawberries


3 kiwi fruit, peeled
½ pineapple, peeled and cored
3 bananas
16 strawberries
6 tbsp pineapple juice
2 tbsp agave syrup or clear honey

Cut the kiwis, pineapple and bananas into 2.5cm/1in cubes. Thread alternate pieces of the cut-up fruit and strawberries onto wooden skewers. Combine the pineapple juice and agave syrup or honey in a bowl and use it to brush the kebabs. Then, place them under a grill for about 6 minutes, turning frequently.



150g/5½oz/1 cup strawberries, hulled
2 limes
2 tsp icing sugar
100g/3oz/scant ½ cup ricotta cheese
cinnamon bagels, to serve

Mash the strawberries with a fork and grate the zest of the limes. Add the icing sugar and the lime zest and stir well into the ricotta cheese to form a smooth mixture. Spread over toasted cinnamon bagels for a delicious breakfast treat.



150g/5½oz/1 cup strawberries, hulled
1 banana, chopped
1 small pot plain bio-yogurt
150ml/5fl oz/scant 2⁄3 cup unsweetened
soya milk
mint leaves, to decorate

Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Serve in tall glasses topped with mint leaves.

If you’re looking for more strawberry smoothies, try this Orange & Strawberry Sunrise recipe from the guys at Crussh juice bars.




What are the benefits of an intermittent fasting diet? We asked nutritionist Amanda Hamilton, author of Eat, Fast, Slim to reveal the advantages of this diet over other weight-loss plans, and the scientific evidence behind its extraordinary results.


The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

amanda hamiltonIntermittent fasting is not something that most of us ever think about – food is everywhere and in all likelihood right now you’re within striking distance of an emergency skinny latte and a muffin. Now I love food as much as the next person, so what I find great about fasting is that it’s as much about eating delicious things as it is about abstaining. And there are none of the harmful effects you get from following crazy diets or popping pills, because fasting provides a natural high, an inner boost that works with your body, not against it.

Fasting adds years to your life and life to your years. It’s undoubtedly an excellent way of shifting the pounds and can help to change your shape. But, as you’ll discover, it helps your body work better on the inside, too. One of the amazing proven side effects of intermittent fasting is that it’s anti-ageing at a cellular level, which is the only place that really counts. This inside-out approach really can help to create a glowing beauty from within. This is because intermittent fasting gives your body a break and a chance to catch up on its inner “to-do list”. By allowing your body to have more of what it needs and less of what it doesn’t, you put less strain on your body’s resources and have more time to do the maintenance.

Fasting is so easy, you really can’t fail. In fact, it’s something we all do already – breakfast, quite literally, is breaking a fast of around 12 hours. And let’s not forget one of the best things of all – if you “do” fasting properly (there are several techniques to choose from and by the end of Eat, Fast, Slim you will discover which one suits you), you can finally give up on the endless hamster wheel of weight loss and gain that sees otherwise sane and successful people becoming slaves to whatever dieting fad happens to be the flavour of the month. I know the pain of that world because I existed in it for so long. I also know how good it feels to be free of it.

Intermittent fasting could help you lose over 5kg in just 6 weeks – here’s some real life fasting success stories

Fasting vs fad diets

What I love about fasting compared to pretty much any other diet is its simplicity. It’s much easier to stick to something that is more about watching the clock than counting every calorie. It’s a healthy, simple answer to an industry that has become tricky, overcomplicated and sometimes just downright ridiculous (more on that in a minute). The fact of the matter is if a weight-loss claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is. No fad diet is practical in terms of everyday life and is therefore highly unlikely to be sustainable in the long term. That’s why the nutritional rules and intermittent fasting plans that you’ll find in my book are firmly rooted in sound healthy eating principles.

While you’re trying to find your way in intermittent fasting, you may come across a lot of weird and wonderful advice. If you’re looking for a book on fasting in order to lose weight, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the first book you’ve ever read on the subject (and perhaps you’ve already encountered some of the strange diets out there that could put your health – and your sanity – at risk). Below are some fun snippets that illustrate just what nonsense is out there.

“If you can find rabbit, it is an excellent source of pure protein. But do not add mustard sauce on Thursdays.”
The Dukan Diet by Dr Pierre Dukan (Hodder & Stoughton, 2010, p.143)

“You eat nine specially-formulated cookies (just 60 calories each) throughout the day to keep hunger away.”
The Cookie Diet (

“Eat absolutely no fruit, bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables or dairy products other than cheese, cream or butter. […] Eat nothing that is not on the acceptable foods list.” [The acceptable foods list includes such delights as pheasant, veal and flounder!]
Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins, MD (Ebury Press, 1992, p.123)

“The combination of no breakfast, a cold bath and a caffeine boost is powerful. […] If you hate black coffee, use caffeine pills.”
Six Weeks to OMG by Venice A. Fulton (Michael Joseph, 2012, pp.64–5)

Fasting is so much simpler.



Fasting – the future of weight loss

It’s time to stick my neck out. I’d go as far to say that I see intermittent fasting as the future of weight loss. The diet industry is just that – an industry – and a great many consumers have woken up to the fact that they have been sold a dummy. As any seasoned dieter knows, behind the hype and celebrity following, many trendy diet plans are just plain silly and impractical.

Long-term calorie restriction, the backbone of traditional weight loss, can make you prone to weight gain. Not only that, the nutritional aspects of many commercially savvy weight-loss plans are at best borderline, and at worst downright dangerous. The fact that one of the largest dieting companies in the world is owned by a confectionery company illustrates (to me at least) that the industry behind dieting and the promise of weight loss may need a bit of a shake-up.

Fundamentally, intermittent fasting for weight loss is all about nutrition. When you do eat, you must eat well. When you’re fasting, there’s no cutting out of major food groups such as carbohydrates or essential fats. In my fasting plans you’ll find lots of information about what to eat when you adopt a intermittent fasting regime, rather than simply calculating when you don’t eat. In fact, nutrition is even more important when you’re fasting since you’re eating less overall.

Every piece of advice in this book is sound and practical. In my research I’ve discovered that in order to achieve the best results, fasting techniques should be subtly different for women and men, and different again if you’re using intermittent fasting to enhance performance. Whilst science acts as the perfect signpost, we’re all unique – biologically, physically and emotionally, and ultimately it remains your job and your job alone to turn evidence into action.

Even with the greatest advances, there are certain things that science, or nutrition for that matter, can’t explain fully but I will nevertheless attempt to describe how intermittent fasting may make you feel more connected and happier in yourself. Fasting, more than any other nutrition or diet approach, can help you to reset your attitude and recognize the difference between physical hunger and appetite. Slowing down your eating can make the experience as much a “mental break” as a physical boost. Indeed, fasting has been used for centuries as a method of mental and spiritual purification. It’s like setting a part of you free again.

Does fasting work? These real life success stories will convince you.

The science of fasting

The evidence that is out there about the benefits of fasting is just so compelling and exciting that it’s worthy of a few minutes of your attention (and I’ll be busting several dieting myths along the way).

The following are a few highlights from the science of fasting

Fasting for weight loss

• It might seem counter-intuitive, but intermittent fasting could help you get your hunger under control. This is partly because of its effects on your hunger hormones, and partly because it helps you to learn the difference between physical and emotional

• Forget what you’ve been told about regular meals boosting metabolism – studies show that people who are overweight tend to snack more often.

• Fasting is just as effective as traditional diets for losing weight, but might be easier to stick to and less likely to slow your metabolism – perfect if you want to lose that last bit of stubborn flesh.

Fasting for health

• Fasting – especially in combination with eating less protein – acts like a “spring clean” for the body by switching on a cellular mechanism called autophagy and by reducing the levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) that can send cell growth out of control.

• Regular juice fasts may deliver potent anti-ageing benefits without you having to cut out food completely.

• Whichever fasting format you choose (whether it’s 16/8, 5/2 or another form of intermittent diet), it’s likely to reduce inflammation – good news for conditions such as eczema, asthma and arthritis.

• Contrary to the popular belief that sugary snacks are “brain food”, intermittent fasting may help adults to concentrate better. It could even help to build new brain cells.

Fasting for gym bunnies

• Doing weight training while fasting can help your body build more muscle.

• If you favour cardio workouts, training while fasting can help your body learn to tap into its fat stores more intensively – but it’s not such a good idea to run a race without eating beforehand.


Amanda Hamilton has helped thousands of people lose weight and gain body confidence. Try Amanda’s healthy plans with more than 100 nutritious recipes. Choose a plan to suit your lifestyle and maximize the benefits of fasting – lose weight, slow down ageing and boost your health. Follow Amanda on her inspiring website


A fasting diet plan from Amanda Hamilton

“Amanda is always an inspiration as she combines true professionalism with enthusiasm, intelligence and knowledge.”
Ian Marber, Nutritionist and Author

The Eat, Fast, Slim Diet by Amanda Hamilton

Buy the eBook for only £4.99






Change to lentil burgers for World Environment Day

According to a recent UN report, greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by up to 40% if Europeans cut meat and dairy consumption down to half. Celebrate Environment Day by trying out a delicious meal free from meat and dairy!

Red Lentil & Beetroot Vegan Burger Recipe

Serves: 4
Preparation: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling (if time), plus making the relish
Cooking: 35 minutes
130g/4½oz/½ cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 small beetroot, roughly chopped
½onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tbsp tamari soy sauce, soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 small handful of parsley leaves, chopped
1 tsp crushed chillies (optional)
½ tsp sweet paprika
3 tbsp coconut milk, plus extra if needed
80g/2¾oz/¾ cup gram flour or plain flour, plus extra if needed
1 tbsp safflower oil, or sunflower oil, olive oil or coconut oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into dice
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp crushed chillies
350ml/12fl oz/1½ cups vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


4 wholemeal rolls
cos lettuce leaves
sliced large tomato


1. Put the lentils in a saucepan with 1l/35fl oz/4 cups boiling water and return to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10–12 minutes until soft. Drain in a colander and leave to one side.

Meanwhile, put the beetroot and onion into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Leave to one side.

2. Tip the lentils into a large bowl and add the beetroot mixture. Stir together to combine. Put the garlic in a small bowl and add the tamari, parsley, crushed chillies, if using, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper, then stir together to combine. Stir into the lentil mixture.

3. Pour in 3 tablespoons coconut milk, and half the flour. Stir well and then add the remaining flour. The consistency should be firm enough to hold its shape without being too dry, and this will depend on the liquid quantity from the beetroot. If it is too wet, add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time. If it is too dry, add more
coconut milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. If you have time, chill the mixture in the fridge for 1 hour.

4. Meanwhile, to make the relish, put all the ingredients in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the pepper is soft and the liquid has reduced. Adjust the seasoning to taste. When the relish has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.

5. Divide the burger mixture into 4 and form each into a burger shape. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Cook the burgers in the oil for 5–6 minutes on each side, until lightly golden – you may need to do this in batches. Serve with wholemeal rolls, salad, tomato relish and pickles.


Adele McConnell is the founder of the hugely successful vegan food blog,, and was the winner of the prestigious ‘Vegan Food Blogger Award’ by The Vegan Woman 2012. She loves sharing her passion for vegan food. Watch her inspiring, easy-to-follow cookery demonstrations on her YouTube channel.


Adele MacConnell - 100 Vegan Recipes

“Feed your soul, taste the love: 100 of the best vegan recipes”

The Vegan Cookbook by Adele McConnell


Click for more info!



phyllo baskets filled with orchid ice cream
Bethany Kehdy from The Jewelled Kitchen

bethany-kehdy-author-of-the-Jewelled-KitchenSalep flour, which gives this ice cream its light and elastic consistency, is milled from the dried tubers of a species of wild orchid found in the Anatolian plateau. These tubers apparently resemble the testicles of a fox, and this gave the flour its name. It is widely thought to be an aphrodisiac.

If you can’t get hold of salep though, cornflour will work just as well.


Wild Orchid Ice Cream in Phyllo cups

Serves 6
Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus 8 hours freezing
Cooking time:15 minutes

700ml/24fl oz/2⅔ cups whole milk
2 tsp salep flour or cornflour
¼ tsp mastic powder or about 2 small mastic tears ground using a pestle and mortar
175g/6oz/¾ cup caster sugar
1 tsp rosewater
2 tbsp roughly chopped pistachios, plus extra to scatter
3 sheets of phyllo pastry
40g/1½oz butter, plus extra for greasing
edible rose petals, to decorate (optional)
1. Pour 350ml/12fl oz/1½ cups of the milk into a small mixing bowl, add the salep flour and mastic powder and stir to dissolve.

2. Place a large pan over a medium heat, add the remaining milk and the sugar and whisk well to dissolve. Bring the mixture to the boil, then gradually pour the salep and mastic milk mixture into the hot milk as you continue to whisk vigorously, gently simmering the mixture over a low heat for 5 minutes, making sure it does not rise up in the pan and then overflow.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the rosewater and pistachios. Transfer to a freezer-safe mixing bowl, cover and leave to cool, then place in the fridge to chill.

4. Once the mixture has chilled, transfer to the freezer for 45 minutes, then remove and whisk well to break up all the ice crystals while incorporating as much air as possible to yield a creamier, fluffier end result. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes, then remove and repeat the process again, breaking up all the ice crystals that have developed. Repeat two or three more times. You may find that your whisk can no longer do the job as the ice cream hardens, in which case a spatula is a good substitute.

5. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas 4. Remove the sheets of phyllo from their packaging and cover them quickly with a damp tea towel.

6. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and brush six cups of a muffin pan lightly with some of it. Brush one phyllo sheet with more of the melted butter, add another layer on top, brush that one with butter and then repeat with the final layer. Slice the stack into six 15 x 13cm/6 x 5in rectangles, then gently press these rectangles into the greased muffin cups so that they form cup shapes.

7. Bake in the oven for 6–8 minutes or until golden brown. Tip the phyllo cups out of the pan and leave to cool. Fill with the ice cream and sprinkle with rose petals, if using, to serve.

Looking for something with zing? Try Bethany’s Moroccan Citrus Salad for a vibrant and refreshing taste of North Africa.



Bethany Kehdy is a pioneer of today’s new Middle Eastern cuisine.The Jewelled Kitchen takes you on an unforgettable adventure of Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. From Tuna Tartare with Chermoula and Sumac-Scented Chicken Parcels, to Cardamom-Scented Profiteroles and Ma’amoul Shortbread Cookies – mouth-watering dishes for you to try. Find Bethany at her inspiring food blog

“Original and delicious” – 
Yotam Ottolenghi

    The Jewelled Kitchen by Bethany Kehdy

    224 pages • Illustrated • £20.00

    AUS $32.99 NZ $42.00

     Buy the book now!




a quick quiz to work out how assertive you are
Dr Gary Wood from Unlock Your Confidence
dr-gary-wood-author-of-unlock-your-confidenceNon-assertive people let things happen to them without saying anything or making their feelings known. Some people may even describe themselves as ‘doormats’. They know it’s happening, don’t particularly like it, but often feel powerless to do anything about it, except ‘beat themselves up’. So what’s the alternative? Well, for many people the difficulty lies in working out the difference between assertive and aggressive, especially as the words are often used interchangeably. There’s a fine line between the two, between being reasonable but forceful, and being overbearing.

But if you lack assertiveness, you’ll be disadvantaged in many situations in life, both at work and in everyday life.

So, how assertive are you? Try this quick quiz and find out!

Assertiveness Quiz

On a scale of 0–10 rate the following statements, where 0 equals ‘totally disagree, not at all like me’ and 10 equals ‘totally agree, exactly like me’. You are free to use any point on the scale.

1. I say no without apology if people make unreasonable demands of me.
2. I express my opinions, even if others disagree with me.
3. I find it easy to ask friends for small favours.
4. I prefer to ‘nip’ problems in the bud rather than let them escalate.
5. When I think a person is being unfair I draw his/her attention to it.

For the remaining questions, the scale is reversed: 0 equals ‘totally agree, exactly like me’ and 10 equals ‘totally disagree, not at all like me.

6. I often feel intimidated by opinionated people.
7. I often end up saying ‘yes’ when I really want to say ‘no’.
8. I show my anger by swearing at people or belittling them if I think they need it.
9. I sulk or give people ‘the silent treatment’ to make a point or get my own way.
10. I tend to let others walk over me and treat me like a doormat.

Now total up your score

As a general guide, as the items in the quiz are self-explanatory:
• 0–40 indicates low assertiveness.
• 41–60 indicates moderate assertiveness.
• 61–100 indicates high assertiveness.

If you have a low score on question 8 it indicates a tendency for aggressive behaviour.
Aggression is not an extension of assertiveness. It’s a mask. Assertive-ness is firm and up-front but calm, relaxed, open and honest. Assertiveness is about believing that everyone has a right to express themselves honestly and make their feelings known. Aggression values none of this. Aggression is overbearing, threatening, demanding and often belittling. Aggression is about pushing for what you want with very little regard for the wants, needs and feelings of other people. If we measure confidence by relaxation and creating an environment where others flourish, only true assertiveness meets those criteria.

Being assertive doesn’t necessarily mean that you always get your own way. It means being able to speak up and put your case and yet recognize the right of others to hold different opinions. Aggressive behaviour gives rise to a culture of aggression, bullying and a lack of respect. Assertiveness builds a culture of respect where people feel comfortable speaking their minds and encourage other people to speak theirs.

So, if you’re lacking assertivess, try this exercise. You might be scared at first, but embrace this fear and give it a go – you might even have fun!

Personal Experiments in Assertiveness

Throughout Unlock Your Confidence there are repeated calls to build confidence in continuous, small but significant steps, assessing the feedback as you go, and building on it. This includes seizing small opportunities to pass on confidence to others. Here are some personal experiments.

Conversations with Strangers

One of the easiest ways to develop social skills, become more assertive and develop confidence is to strike up con-ver-sations. You can begin practising with friends before transferring these skills to the relative safety of the super-market. If Hollywood films are to be believed, there’s a lot of flirting done over the fruit and vege-tables. If this seems too bold, then simply ask an assistant or another shopper for directions to a particular aisle. Ask people for their opinions of products. If you see someone taking something off the shelf that you haven’t tried before then ask them about it. Queueing offers another opportunity to strike up conversations.

A while ago I realized that I’ve been passing the same shop a few times a week for about a year and not once have I said ‘good morning’ to the shopkeeper, who usually stands in his doorway. So I set myself the small goal of greeting him each time I passed. I now stop for the occasional chat and a laugh. So are there any people you pass by whom you could smile at and say good morning to?


Visit a car-boot sale and haggle over prices. Ask if that’s the best price. Half the price and then ask ‘How close can you get to that?’ Remember it’s only a bit of fun so don’t take it to heart. Similarly don’t get carried away and come home with a load of old tat. Of course, you may also want to try selling stuff at a car-boot sale to become experienced in being on the receiving end of the haggling.

Are you confident talking to others? How about negotiating deals? Or even saying no? The benefits of being confident and assertive massive, and Dr Gary Wood’s techniques means you can be more confident without being aggressive.


Unlock Your Confidence“A practical and inspirational guide to gaining lasting confidence in every area of your life – career, relationships and creativity”

Unlock Your Confidence by Dr Gary Wood

£9.99 with free UK postage

Find out more info



A recipe from the new book Veggienomics

The humble egg is the perfect complete, nutritious food encased in a convenient, individual package. It’s also very cheap!

Poaching eggs can be tricky, but if you follow the instructions below you should get good results. This recipe makes a fresh tasting weekday meal when serve with toast, or an elegant weekend meal when served with Asian-Style Mash (see recipe below) and foraged samphire.

Poached Eggs with Lemongrass Cream

8 eggs
1 tsp white wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

1 recipe quantity Asian-Style Mash (recipe below)
2 tbsp snipped chives
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
samphire or green beans

Lemongrass Cream Sauce

2 long lemongrass stalks, bruised 250ml/ 9fl oz/1 cup Vegetable Stock
100ml/ 3 ½ fl oz/scant ½ cup creamy top from a tin of coconut milk
2 tsp cornflour, mixed with a little water
finely grated zest of 1 large lime and juice of ½ lime
1. For the sauce, put the lemongrass and stock in a small pan and bring to the boil; boil for 10 minutes until reduced by a third. Remove from the heat and infuse for 30 minutes. Return the pan to the heat, stir in the coconut milk and the cornflour mixture and return to the boil, stirring continuously. Turn the heat down and simmer for 8–10 minutes until reduced and thickened to a creamy consistency. Add the lime zest and juice, season and gently heat through, stirring. Leave to one side.

2. To poach the eggs, fill a large, deep frying pan with just-boiled water from the kettle, at least 5cm/2in deep. When the water starts to simmer, turn the heat down to medium-low, add the vinegar and swirl the water with a spoon. Crack the eggs one at a time into a cup and lower them into the water (you may need to cook them in two batches – if so, reheat very briefly in hot water just before you serve them). Poach the eggs for 2–3 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks remain runny.

3. Remove the lemongrass from the sauce and reheat, if necessary. Divide the Asian-Style Mash onto four plates. Lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon and put on top of the mash, spoon the sauce over and around the edge and sprinkle with chives and chilli. Season with salt and pepper and serve with samphire.

Asian-Style Mash

This garlicky sweet potato and coconut milk mash is served with the Eggs with Lemongrass Cream, but could be served topped with strips of omelette, marinated fried tofu or roasted vegetables.

425g/15oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
425g/15oz white potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 spring onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves
100ml/ 3 ½ fl oz/scant ½ cup coconut milk
juice of ½ lime
1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Put both types of potato, the spring onions (reserving a third of the green parts to serve) and garlic in a large saucepan, cover with just-boiled water from a kettle and return to the boil. Turn the heat down slightly and simmer, part-covered, for 10–15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and return the potatoes to the pan and let them dry briefly in the heat of the pan.

Add the coconut milk, lime juice and chilli to the pan, season with salt and pepper and mash until
smooth. Serve straightaway.

Want to save money and eat healthily? Try Veggienomics by Nicola Graimes

veggienomics Award-winning vegetarian author Nicola Graimes has written a truly inventive book showing how adopting a vegetarian diet can significantly cut the cost of your shopping.

Veggienomics shows how to seek out the best-value vegetarian meals, focusing on in-season ingredients, foraging, growing your own, buying in bulk, and making full use of leftovers

Find out more!




learn how to speed read so you can read quicker and learn more

Exam revision – wouldn’t it be great if you could read quicker, and then remember more of what you’ve read? The secret is a form of speed-reading developed by eight times World Memory Champion Dominic O’Brien – use it to rip through those textbooks, reports, articles, or anything you need to remember quickly!

We live in an age of information. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to read every word in every piece of media presented to us, especially if you’re revising for an impending exam or deadline.

The good news is that we don’t need to read every single word on a page to understand its content. In fact, by focusing on key words, you can comprehend and store the information just as efficiently as you would if you read the text word for word, thus speeding up your reading. So, you could say that speed reading is a speed memorization technique.

How to Speed Read

The average reading speed is a little more than 200 words per minute for the average student with varying rates of comprehension. However, this speed can be increased – in excess of 1,000 words per minute with practice – by following these inextricably linked keys of speed reading:

Use a pointer. Although it may seem unnatural to begin with, using some form of pointer, such as a pen or your finger, helps the eye glide smoothly along the line. This allows you to develop a continuous rhythm, without distraction. Read a whole passage – or a short article – without breaking off, reading each sentence only once and taking in only the essentials.

If you give your full attention, you will not need to back-track: minor words need not detain you. Keep up a smooth, steady pace, and try increasing the speed with which you move the pointer.
EXERCISE: Speed Reading

This exercise lets you experiment with the technique of speed reading. First you need to calculate your existing reading speed, then monitor yourself as you work at improving it.

1 Take any piece of continuous prose in a book, magazine or newspaper and read, in your usual way, as much text as would fill one page in this book – about 250 words. Use a stopwatch to time yourself; or ask a friend to keep time for you in seconds and indicate to them as soon as you reach the end of your passage. Then calculate your reading speed using this formula:
(Total words read ÷ Time taken in seconds) x 60 = Words per minute
2 Check your level of comprehension by jotting down in your notebook the main points you have absorbed from your reading, including all facts and examples. Or get your friend to ask you comprehension questions. Satisfy yourself that you have absorbed the essentials of the passage.

3 Take another passage of similar length and similar density of content. This time, apply the speed reading principles described opposite.

4 Calculate your new reading speed using the formula above. Check your comprehension as before. Compare your second result with your first.

5 Experiment with different speeds of reading on different passages until you find a workable balance of speed and comprehension.

You’ll soon find that you can read more, and remember more of what you read, in less time!


You can use Dominic’s simple and ingenious memory system to remember lists of information – perfect for exams, or even the shopping list!

how to develop

Wouldn’t it be great if you could remember more? In How to Pass Exams by Dominic O’Brien – eight-times winner of the World Memory Championship – offers us tried and tested strategies and tips that will make your memory bigger, better and sharper, and pass your exams with flying colours!

Click for more information!