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Did you know that getting out into nature is good for both your gut microbiome and your skin microbiome? Emerging studies (in animals at the moment) suggest that exposure to good ol’ dirt may also help to reduce inflammation—which could have a knock-on acne and other skin conditions. Hope you manage to get a little dose of nature this weekend. p.s spot the 🐶 in this photo!
We're all aware of our gut bacteria, but do you ever think about the friendly bacteria on your face? Emerging research suggests they play an important role in creating a glowing complexion. I'm delighted to be in this month's @healthymagdaily speaking about the skin microbiome, along with Marie Drago from the brilliant @gallinee_beaute Get your copy to learn to how to cleanse, eat and play (!) in a way that encourages beauty-boosting bacteria.
'Will cutting out dairy cure my acne?' A quick Google search makes it seem as if the dairy-acne connection is gospel. But if you really look at the research, it's far from clear. Some people will see a dramatic improvement when they eliminate cow's dairy, while others will barely notice a difference. To find out which applies to you—so you don’t have to restrict your diet unnecessarily—read my latest article. Link is in my bio 💫
I haven't posted about my favourite nutrition books in a while, so here's the next one on the list. The Digestive Health Solution by the brilliant @benbrownnd is THE guide to tackling digestive symptoms. Covering everything from bloating to the gut-brain axis, it showcases deep knowledge of the research while still being easy to understand. Read this and you'll discover how your diet and lifestyle influence your digestive health and other symptoms (including skin conditions). Read this and you'll also discover a new appreciation for kiwi fruit...🥝
I embarked on a little project earlier this year. It started as an idea for a blog post but—as I began to write—I realised I needed more space to do the subject justice. Thousands of words later, I’m delighted to introduce my first book, The Happy Skin Solution: How to beat acne from the inside out. • It’s a fascinating topic, not least because the research surrounding acne, food and lifestyle is a complex beast. To write this book, I’ve read more than 80 scientific studies, but I’ve also interviewed scientists, fellow practitioners and acne sufferers. What I’ve discovered is clear: it’s not your fault you have acne, but there’s so much you can do help yourself. • Forget searching for the next ‘miracle’ product or pill—and instead come on a journey that takes you through your hormones, liver, gut, skin microbiome and mind. I blend the latest scientific evidence with practical tips, showing you what you can do to make a difference today. • As a final note, it was my skin struggles that first sparked an interest in nutrition. In The Happy Skin Solution, I’ve written the book that I wish I'd had all those years ago. It’s available on Amazon (the link is in my bio) and I’d love to hear your thoughts!
The brilliant @ian_marber has been a practising nutrition therapist for 20 years—and he's the first to admit that social media has changed the industry. Anyone can give diet advice on here, which means there's a lot of well-meaning but inaccurate information. Ian's educated, no-nonsense approach is a breath of fresh air. In this month's Health Heroes interview, he explains how food extremes create fear, reveals why he'll never talk about his 'tummy', and questions whether we should really view food as medicine. If you're confused about nutrition, this one's for you. Link is in my bio.
Book three in my series of recommendations: The Diet Myth by @tim.spector Having studied twins for more than two decades, Professor Tim Spector observed that they often had different health journeys. He discovered that the main difference between twins was in neither their genes nor their lifestyles—but in their microbes. He set out to learn more about our inner ecosystems, and this book is the result. Tim's passion for research is infectious, and his findings will challenge the way you think about food. If you want to learn more about your gut bugs—and you like your science with a serving of humour—this one's for you. p.s. I also interviewed Tim for my 'Health Heroes' series. Click the link in my bio to find it!
Wise words from Alexandra Soveral, the facialist, cosmetic formulator and mastermind behind the luxury skincare brand @soverallondon She's been called a 'miracle worker' in Vogue, so it's worth reading what she has to say in this month's Health Heroes interview. Click the link in my bio to discover what this skin expert eats, how she approaches skincare, and why she doesn't believe in quick fixes...
Hot day = cold pasta. This is brown rice pasta with pumpkin seeds, rocket, and simple homemade pesto. To make your own, pop 100g watercress (or other salad leaves), 25g basil, 70g almonds, 1 large garlic clove, 100ml olive oil, the rind of 1/2 unwaxed lemon and 40g parmesan (or 3 tbsp nutritional yeast) in a blender. Blitz for less than a minute and it's ready! The cool thing about this pesto is that you're eating 6 gut-loving plant foods in one easy serving. You could even throw in a few edamame beans for a little extra plant protein 💪
Back from a wonderful break in the Dordogne. From croissants to camembert to ice cream, I enjoyed lots of foods that I don't often eat—and I felt great! I also spent my days relaxing and walking, and my nights sleeping well. It was a gentle reminder that what you eat is important—but how you sleep, relax and move are just as significant. I've returned with a determination to relax a little more in everyday life, and I'm open to suggestions! How do you chill out? I’d love to hear.
Next up in my nutrition-book favourites: Gut by Giulia Enders. This lady is an exceptional writer. She takes the complex workings of your gastrointestinal tract and manages to turn them into a page-turner! There are jokes, analogies and statistics galore, along with some great illustrations. The net effect? You learn how your gut functions and you take a whistle-stop tour through decades of research—but it doesn't feel heavy for a moment. You also come away with a new-found appreciation for your body. If you're looking for something different for a holiday read, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy 📚
It’s been a long but interesting week of writing and researching skin health—which means I’ve spent hours every day staring at a computer screen! Delighted to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I’ll be swapping research papers for something a little more lighthearted 💁🏻♀️
Are you tempted to get your gut microbiome tested? Or perhaps you already have? It's always fascinating to get some data on yourself but (due to overzealous marketing by some providers) there's confusion over what the data actually shows you. Read my article on @ourhealthpath about what to look for in a gut microbiome test and—most importantly—how to make the most of the results. Link is in my bio.
The brilliant @shona_vertue is redefining fitness. Rather than pushing it as one of those things we have to do, she's created a method that encourages us to cherish our bodies and prioritise fun. It's no wonder she's garnered hundreds of thousands of fans, including @davidbeckham If you'd like to discover Shona's inspirations and her philosophy on food—plus a surprising secret—click the link in my bio. This Health Hero interview is a good'un!
I have studied both English literature and nutrition, which means I'm constantly reading! I'm often asked which nutrition books I'd recommend, so this is the first in a series of posts on my favourites. I read this years ago when I first started studying nutrition. The author covers the key principles of good nutrition—such as blood-sugar balancing—and she was ahead of her time on the microbiome. But what I like most is its realistic approach. So much of what's written about nutrition is extreme or fear-mongering, but here the author promotes common sense and self-kindness. It's an easy read too. Fellow nutritionists and readers, what are your favourite books?
According to research from The American Gut Project, your gut microbiota thrives if you eat 30 or more different varieties of plant foods each week. Yes, 30! This can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be difficult. A particularly easy way to bump up your variety is to eat more fresh herbs. I threw together this salad to use up some dill—not a herb I have regularly, which is all the more reason to eat it! If you'd like to recreate it, simply grate some carrot and slice some onions, and stir them together with a big handful of chopped dill. It was fresh and aromatic, and it went well with some fish. Some more herby ideas: add basil leaves to salads, stir coriander into curries and chop some chives into your scrambled eggs. All delicious! p.s peekaboo Bertie 🐶
If you're like me and you enjoy trying new recipes at the weekend (so rock'n'roll), you can find a recipe for 'Herby Shepherd's Pie' by clicking the link in my bio. It's adapted from an @ocadouk recipe to include nine (nine!) different types of plant foods. It's colourful and comforting—and your gut bacteria will love it 👾 Happy Friday!
Things have been a little quiet on my Insta page because I've been a) working hard on a project and b) obsessing about this turmeric hummus. While I continue to work hard on a), I thought I'd share the recipe so you can obsess about b) too! • TURMERIC HUMMUS • 👉1 can chickpeas, drained 👉Juice of 1 lemon 👉1 garlic clove, peeled 👉1 tsp tahini 👉3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 👉1 tsp turmeric 👉Few grinds of black pepper 👉Pinch of sea salt • Blend all ingredients together until you reach your desired consistency. Enjoy with vegetable crudites, on oatcakes or straight from the spoon. p.s. I'll tell you more about my project soon!
Food is powerful—but it isn't the answer to everything. In this month's Health Heroes interview, immunologist @dr_jenna_macciochi chats about diet misperceptions, challenging dogma and the importance of balancing (not boosting) our health. Click the link in my bio for an enlightening read.
I get most of my recipes online, but I do love a good food magazine. This seasonal dish from @ocadouk magazine is on tonight's menu. I often tweak a few things to make a meal extra gut-friendly. For this, I'll add fresh rosemary and garlic for their gently antimicrobial properties, and stir in a cup of lentils to bump up the fibre content. What are you cooking tonight?
Does anyone else get excited when they discover a new food?! Peanut butter has long been a favourite of mine, but I recently came across the @proper_nutty version. It's literally nothing but peanuts (no salt, no sugar, no palm oil) but the way they roast and grind it makes it more rich and creamy than most. For all my fellow peanut butter aficionados, you'll want to try this. Here's how I've been enjoying it this week: slathered over toasted seed bread and topped with good old banana. Happy Friday!