Monthly Archives

September 2019


By Recipes No Comments

Makes 6

6 medjool dates
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
30g vanilla whey

Put everything in a food processor and blend
Start with 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, add more if it’s struggling to bind. This can take a while.
Scrape down the sides of the blender to keep everything moving, add a dash of water if needed.
Once combined shape into 6 balls and place in the fridge to chill.

NOTE: you can use any flavoured protein powder you have at home just remember it will change the flavour of the recipe, so something like strawberry may not be advisable.

#29 The Alkaline Diet

By Sunday Shutdown Series 32 Comments


What is it?

The alkaline diet is based on the idea that the food and drink you consume can alter the pH of your body. It is sometimes also known as the alkaline ash diet or the acid alkaline diet. The diet promotes the idea that eating acid forming or acidic foods will cause damage to one’s health and alkaline foods will improve it. Claims have also included curing diseases such as cancer. The diet states that foods such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, alcohol and grains are all highly acidic and damaging and those such as fruits, nuts, seeds, veggies and legumes are alkaline and therefore beneficial.

What is pH?

pH is a scientific measurement of how acidic or alkaline the body is and the pH of the human body as a whole is 7.4 which is just above neutral. Somewhere like the stomach has a pH of 2 as it contains acid to digest food whereas something like bleach has a pH of 12 and falls into the alkaline category. The body maintains its pH of 7.4 very strictly as this is where we can function. Just like it maintains our body temperature. If the pH of your body changed you are at risk of death, very quickly if untreated. Foods have the ability to affect the pH of our urine, however that’s something the body is getting rid of. In fact that is one of the ways your body maintains it’s pH by getting rid of very acidic or alkaline substances.

Is it safe?

Products marketed as alkaline are not regulated in the UK and any claims made on them are unfounded. A few years ago in the USA, Robert Young (claiming to practice as a doctor at the time), defrauded terminally ill cancer patients by informing them his baking soda infused drips would cure them. Many stopped their conventional treatment and subsequently died. In 2016, he was convicted of practicing medicine without a licence and sentenced to almost four years in jail. I appreciate this in an extreme, however people like this prey on the vulnerable and when you have tried anything and are at your wits end, you are likely to believe them. This is the severe danger of the nutrition industry. Food is not medicine. Please remember that. None of the claims made by this diet have scientifically been proven in humans.

#28 The Fast 800

By Sunday Shutdown Series No Comments


A relatively new diet plan developed by Michael Moseley focusing on weight loss. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?⠀

The diet focuses on 3 stages (we will discuss 2 of these today)⠀
? 800 calories a day⠀
? 5:2 or intermittent fasting⠀
? Maintenance⠀

Stage 1

800 calories a day is severe food restriction. And whilst for some people with a lot of weight to lose this may be a good way to start (especially when motivation is high) for many people this can be dangerous. Really anyone on a diet this low in calories should be under professional supervision. It’s recommended for between 2 and 12 weeks. 12 weeks with no supervision in my professional opinion is unsafe and setting yourself up to fail. It’s based on meal replacement shakes and whilst this is only advised for people with a large amount of weight to lose anyone can buy the shakes online. Not good.⠀

Stage 2

800 calories for 2 days a week, eating on the others days but with smaller portions, otherwise known as intermittent fasting. Yes, you will lose weight because you are still consuming less calories than your body requires. The thing that gets me here is not the weight loss but the fact it states the benefits of fasting include: cancer prevention and increased life expectancy. There is no clinical evidence to support these claims. Even on the science page of the website, only journal papers relating to weight loss are mentioned. You can reduce your risk of getting cancer, you cannot prevent it.⠀


Stage 1 is not safe, stage 2 will more than likely result in weight loss (you can do this without buying shakes, just consuming 800 calories, 2 days a week) and stage 3 is eating a balanced diet. If this will keep you accountable to someone or something for weight loss then it may be worth a try. However it’s worth remembering, this doesn’t stop at the end of your 12 week programme. This is a new way of life. This is building lifelong habits, not going back to the ones that got you in this situation in the first place.⠀

#27 CBD

By Sunday Shutdown Series No Comments


What is it?⠀

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an oil derived from the cannabis plant. It is well known for its role in pain management and can be prescribed via the NHS in the UK for this and motor sensory disorders. However, we are now seeing it on the shelves of pharmacies and health food stores, in both tablet form and as an oil. It’s expensive. A quick online search had me finding prices for the oils between £20 for a 10ml bottle and £34.99 for 60 tablets. Just this week I saw it mixed with coffee beans (@biffinskitchen), then there are also smoothies and breakfast items containing it being marketed as a master supplement. I’m not going to get into the detail of its role in medicine, but as it’s now promoted as a nutrition supplement, there is a need for me to have a voice!⠀

The research

A meta-analysis (lots of research all reviewed together) conducted by Bonaccorso et al this year, 2019, looked at the evidence for the use and safety of CBD in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Now this certainly isn’t my area of expertise as a nutritionist, however further reading in these types of areas is important and helps expand my knowledge. The results showed limited evidence for benefits to chronic psychological disorders but some therapeutic effects for specific disorders such as substance abuse and anxiety. And as for research on its nutritional benefits, there is 0.⠀

In summary

The safety of CBD’s use is still being researched, there simply aren’t enough trials or evidence of doses and the impact of taking too much. There are also no approved health claims which manufacturers can use on packaging. So in essence, any food product claiming it contains CBD and that it will bring benefit to your health is false. Please do not waste your money thinking this is a magical fix, it isn’t.⠀


By Plant based, Recipes No Comments

Something light, fresh and nutritious to accompany any BBQ. This will also last in your fridge for a good few days. And you can use any type of quinoa it doesn’t have to be the smoked variety which can be quite hard to come by.


2 cups raw smoked quinoa

100g feta cheese

1/2 a cucumber

1 cup of frozen peas

Salt & black pepper

Dressing – olive oil, lemon juice, fresh tarragon



Cover the quinoa with cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes until it is soft but still with a light bite to it. (If it becomes dry whilst cooking just add a dash more water).

Drain and rinse in cold water.

Finely chop the cucumber.

Mix the quinoa, frozen peas, cucumber and feta cheese together. Season with salt and black pepper.

Finely chop the tarragon. (You can use dried tarragon however the flavour won’t be as strong).

In an old jar add the olive oil, lemon juice and tarragon. Put the lid on and shake until combined.

Stir the dressing through the salad before serving.