Essential Nutrition

Essential Nutrition

I recently attended a course on Nutrition Essentials by Kay van Beersum who wrote a book with Bear Grylls called Fuel for Life. I am really interested in nutrition and the profound effect it has on our general wellbeing and particularly our gut health. If your microbiome is good, then your whole body has its best chance of feeling good. You don’t have to make massive changes to your diet as a few improvements here and there will set you on a path to better health.

I have realised that the more you look at nutrition, the simpler it becomes! The essential message is to eat food in its most natural state. Leave the low fat options on the shelf and choose the good saturated fats which have not been meddled with and are without additives. Choose raw coconut oil over sunflower oil. Choose butter, in moderation, over margarine.


Ditch the breakfast cereal and have a lovely smoothie for breakfast. Make your smoothie 80% vegetable and 20% fruit. Use almond milk or coconut water and natural yoghurt. Add some chia or pumpkin seeds or nuts. You can put together a different smoothie for every day of the week.


How about a ‘rainbow’ salad? To form the base of the salad, crush a small clove of garlic and chop a 1/4 of a red onion for each person. Then add a selection from chopped broccoli, carrot, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, beetroot, courgette, celery, rocket, tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet potato, spinach and fresh herbs. The combinations are endless!

Make up a large bowl and keep in the fridge for a few days and then add a portion of protein such as fish or chicken, boiled egg, diced avocado or nuts and seeds. Make your own salad dressing – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Delicious!

This colourful mix stimulates digestion and is great for bowel and general good health. It is detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Choose organic vegetables if available.


Stir fries are brilliant! This is such an easy way to cook, combining a lot of different vegetables. Again, use garlic and red onion as your base and add lots of vegs such as kale, cabbage, beansprouts, peppers, grated carrot, broccoli or cauliflower florets and herbs and spices and cook in some raw coconut oil.

To add flavour, use a good pre-made paste (not sauce) or make your own and add coconut milk if you wish. Add to chicken, salmon, whatever you fancy. If you are cooking rice, make sure it is a small portion of wholemeal.


Cut out as much sugar as possible and be aware of ‘hidden’ sugars.

Eat slowly and mindfully and chew food sufficiently and swallow before preparing the next forkful.

Do not drink when eating (a few sips are acceptable) but otherwise your body will not be able to absorb all the goodness of the food. Drink water 30 minutes before or after your meal.

Avoid table salt! Use a good quality sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt. Consider keeping a food diary to be aware of how you feel after each meal as this way you can eliminate certain foods that you may be reacting to.

If you need to use sugar to flavour your food or for cakes etc. use stevia, xylitol or a little raw honey or maple syrup.

When you come along for an appointment with me at The Wellbeing Centre for reflexology, kinesiology, reiki or ear candles, we can talk about nutrition as part of the treatment and we can talk through some options that would suit you best. Please feel free to phone or email me for an appointment. I offer daytime, evening and weekend appointments subject to availability.

Helen Peedell

Helen Peedell is a professional therapist offering a range of treatments – Reflexology, Reiki, Kinesiology and Hopi Ear Candles. She is passionate about offering therapies that make a real difference to the quality of people’s lives.

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  • Thanks for the useful tips Helen. I always find that when I start the day with my special raw cacao and barley grass smoothie I have lots more energy throughout the morning. I like to add in macca, hemp, chia seeds, banana, ashwagandha and rhodiolia (thanks to Karen Neate for the inspiration for this). I will have to have a go at the rainbow salad idea – it sounds delicious and I like that you say you can make up a few days’ worth at a time. Love that you offer so much extra value to your clients!

  • Great tips Helen. I have recently made changes to my diet and, like you suggest, have binned the low-fat options and have gone with loads of different coloured fruit and veg. If people are used to a diet based on processed foods it can be a massive change! I found little steps works well!

    For example, first just focusing on a healthy breakfast (I’ve been having sourdough toast, poached egg, tomato and raw spinach or avocado). After I got used to that I then started swapping my snacks for fruit. And then I made changes to lunches – ensuring I was having at least 2 servings of veg or salad. For those people whose diet is mainly sugar and processed foods this step by step approach may help make the changes more do-able!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

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