Skip to main content

I need any excuse to bake, but one thing I never thought I would mess with is my childhood American favourite - the chocolate chip cookie. Here's the problem. If I can make it as far as baking all of the cookie dough off without eating half of it first (Ben & Jerry were totally genius for turning this into an ice cream flavour!) then the next hurdle has to be eating them straight from the oven... all warm and gooey. That's just what baking is all about! Well, now that I am studying be a Naturopathic Chef, I decided I needed to be able to have a new go-to recipe with (almost) no guilt. Almost? Well, yes, it does still have of a bit coconut sugar in it and some would say it IS a better option than the refined white stuff due to some mineral content but at the end of the day, sugar is sugar. But as an occasional treat, I do like to have my cake and eat it too :=)

Aside from everything else, this is truly a simple and quick cookie to whip up. Start to finish? 30 minutes. I've tested three different recipes on my children, friends and family and this was our personal fav. There's no butter and sugar to cream. No measuring out a flour-y mess, and only one egg to crack! Whip out your stand mixer and let it do all of the work for you. 30 minutes flat from start to finish.

You can use any nut or seed butter (or combo of) but I would make sure there isn't any added oils or sugars. I also preferred the crunchiness of a crunchy cashew butter but you can use a smooth version as well. These would also be GREAT for packed lunches - just skip the nut butter altogether and use a seed butter instead! Go organic whenever possible here. Everyone that tasted these also preferred the cacao nibs for their delicate crunch and subtle cocoa flavour they impart.

Cashew Cacao Chip Cookies

  • 1 large organic egg
  • 70g organic coconut sugar
  • 340g nut or seed butter, or a combination of two
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda/baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 70g cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
  • optional add ins- unsweetened shredded coconut, or dried fruits

Pre-heat the oven to 175C/350F. With a stand mixer, combine egg and coconut sugar and mix well on medium-low. Next, add the nut and/or seed butter, bicarb, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Finally, stir in the cacao nibs/chocolate chips by hand or on low. Using a cookie scoop, drop each cookie onto a tray lined with parchment paper and then flatten slightly. Or, as my kids like to say, STOP, DROP, and BAKE. Bake 8-10 minutes and be sure not to over-do them! Let cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cookie rack (or your mouth!). Makes approx 18 perfect sized cookies.

It's THAT simple.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn

Not only is this a super quick dessert to throw together, but it also packs a huge Omega-3 and antioxidant punch! The Omega-3 family includes polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that we need to get from our diet as our bodies cannot produce them. They are used in our body for cell membrane building and repairing so without enough of them, our cell structures can start to degenerate! There are also a lot more areas of the body EFAs help with as shown below:

Easy sources of EFAs to incorporate in our day-to-day diet:

  • Seeds - flax, chia, pumpkin, hemp
  • Walnuts
  • Wild oily fish - salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies
  • Algae - spirulina, chlorella (available at The Perrymount Clinic)
  • Oil from fish - high quality fish or krill oil supplements but not fish liver oil (available at The Perrymount Clinic)

The word chia means "strength" in the mayan language. Chia seed benefits include promoting healthy skin, reducing signs of ageing, supporting the heart and digestive system, building stronger bones and muscles and more (1). They are high in fibre, protein, good fats, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus (2). Chia seed pudding is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get more EFAs in our diet and kids love it to! But don't just save it for dessert, you can also change up the ingredients to whip up a quick breakfast the night before or as a snack in that packed lunch (remember to swap out the nut milk for a nut-free option here).

It's important to note that chia seeds can soak up 12 times it's weight of liquid and in this recipe we are soaking them. However, you can eat them unsoaked or grind them up but just remember to increase your water intake for the day to compensate (3).

Why Acai Berry? The Acai Berry is well known to have a high content of antioxidants. These antioxidants go around your body and essentially help to escort the free radicals (the baddies) out of your body. Acai Berries also help with boosting your immune system, improving digestion, heart health and anti-inflammatory.

Acai Berry Chia Seed Pudding

  • 350ml nut or seed milk, water, or organic whole milk
  • 4 Tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons acai berry powder
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • berries, nuts, seeds, bee pollen for topping

I combine all of my ingredients except the toppings in a clean, lidded jam jar and shake until mixed. Place the jar in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. When ready to eat, you can either add your toppings straight to the jar or spoon into a bowl, top and eat! You can also serve it with fermented or cultured dairy such as Kefir or yogurt for your breakfast topped with berries, nuts, & seeds.

Experiment with other ingredients such as raw cacao, pureed or sliced fruits, matcha powder, or anything else you can think of!

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn

Do you want to easily reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer?

Did you know you can improve your health by eating more? Sounds good, doesn’t it? These statistics on increasing your fruit & veg intake to 10-a-day are absolutely amazing! So why not give it a go?

Eating up to 800 grams of fruit and vegetables a day (10 portions) as compared to no fruit or vegetables was associated with:

* a 24% reduced risk of heart disease
* a 33% reduced risk of stroke
* a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
* a 13% reduced risk of total cancer
* a 31% reduction in dying prematurely

Current fruit and vegetable intake recommendations:

  • 5-a day England, World Cancer Research Fund & World Health Organisation
  • 6-a-day in Sweden
  • 7.5-a-day in Denmark
  • 7 - 9-a-day in Norway
  • 8 - 10-a-day in the USA

This study shows that the number of preventable deaths globally due to fruit and vegetable intake under 10-a-day in 2013 would have been:

  • 1 340 000 for coronary heart disease
  • 2 680 000 for stroke
  • 2 270 000 for cardiovascular disease
  • 660 000 for cancer
  • 7 800 000 for all-cause mortality
  • 7.8 million premature deaths estimated as preventable if 10-a-day eaten

What equals a portion of fruit or vegetables?

An 80 gram portion of fruit or veg equals 1 portion. Eating 10 of these will greatly boost your health and increase disease prevention.

Top tip: To prevent too much fruit sugar consumption and blood sugar spikes, eat more vegetables than fruit. For 10-a-day eat 6 or 7 veg to 3 or 4 fruit.

Fruits

  • ORGANIC* Medium apple
  • Half an avocado
  • Medium banana
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of blackcurrants / blueberries
  • 2 clementines, satsumas, tangerines, or 1 orange
  • Half a grapefruit
  • Handful of ORGANIC* grapes
  • 2 kiwi
  • Half of a mango
  • 1 ORGANIC* peach or pear
  • Pineapple- 1 large slices or 12 chunks
  • 2 plums
  • 20 raspberries
  • 9 ORGANIC* strawberries
  • ORGANIC* Tomato- 1 medium or 7 cherry tomatoes

Vegetables

  • Asparagus- 7 spears
  • Aubergine- a third
  • Beans, French / broad / butter / kidney / runner- 3 heaped tablespoons
  • Beetroot- 3 baby or 7 slices
  • Broccoli- 2 spears
  • Brussels- sprouts 8
  • Cabbage- 2 handfuls of slices
  • Carrots- 3 heaped tablespoons of slices
  • Cauliflower- 8 florets
  • ORGANIC* Celery- 3 sticks
  • Half of a large courgette
  • ORGANIC* Cucumber- 2 inch piece
  • Kale- 4 heaped tablespoons
  • Leeks- white portion only
  • Lentils- 3 tablespoons
  • Mange tout- 1 handful
  • Mushroom- 14 button
  • Onion- 1 medium
  • Parsnips- 1 large
  • Peas- 3 heaped tablespoons
  • ORGANIC* Pepper- half
  • Radish- 10
  • ORGANIC* Spinach- 2 heaped tablespoons
  • Sweet potato- 1 large
  • Sweetcorn- 6 baby or 1 on the cob

*Please note: We have highlighted the EWG.org "Dirty Dozen" recommendations for the fruit & veg that should ideally be organic whenever possible. Please see their website for more details at www.ewg.org

Fewer than 1 in 3 UK adults are thought to meet the current 5-a-day target let alone the 10-a-day target which provides incredible health benefits.

Need a helping hand?

If you are struggling to get your 10-a-day down, there are easy ways to consume a few extra portions a day. These are powdered, dried fruits and vegetables that come in capsule form or powders that can be added to smoothies. Visit the clinic to find out more or visit www.theperrymount.com/shop

The Perrymount Power Smoothie


  • 250ml organic unsweetened nut milk
  • 250ml filtered water
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1 small banana or half of a large one
  • handful of berries
  • 1 cup fresh, washed organic spinach or kale
  • ½ cup unsweetened live yogurt (Greek or coconut milk based) or Kefir
  • 2 tablespoons collagen protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon whole linseeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon organic spirulina powder (optional)
  • Optional add in: Nutri Superfood powder, G&G Green powder, or Chlorella and Collagen powder available at The Perrymount Clinic or www.theperrymount.com/shop

For best results, add to a Vitamix or similar blender and blend until creamy (about 30 second on high). If you find that the smoothie is too thick, just add a bit more liquid until your desired consistency is reached.

Smoothie tip: Avoid using just fruit in your smoothy which can contain a lot of fruit sugar which can spike your blood sugar. Notice how the Perrymount Power Smoothie has a mix of fruits, green vegetables, avocado & linseeds for good fats, yogurt & a protein powder source to give a complete balanced start to your day which will boost you nicely towards your target 10-a-day fruit & veg.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements versus Real Food

Vitamin and mineral supplements contain just that, vitamins and minerals. When you look on the label, what you see is what you get. At times these are extremely useful, for example, getting 400 mg of magnesium in a supplement has fantastic health benefits. However, you couldn’t fit all the ingredients of a single strawberry on a label. There would be over 10,000 phytonutrients that have amazing health benefits, all working synergistically together. For long term use it is preferable to use real food and be helped by “real food” supplement powders, which help with convenience. If you would like a full advanced nutritional consultation using the Avatar with Christian Bates then call 01444 410944 and click HERE for more information.

The statistics for this information hand-out are extracted from this research paper:

Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality–a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies Dagfinn Aune Edward Giovannucci Paolo Boffetta Lars T. Fadnes NaNa Keum Teresa Norat Darren C. Greenwood Elio Riboli Lars J. Vatten Serena Tonstad Int J Epidemiol dyw319. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyw319 Published: 22 February 2017

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn

For as long as I can remember, Easter to me wasn't just about the candy and the sweets - it was about dyeing and colouring the eggs. My mother would boil a dozen eggs for each of us, let them cool and then we would spend our afternoon 'dyeing'. I shared my American childhood tradition with my twins and every Easter we continue to do the same.

I bought an egg cooker a few years ago and highly recommend it to make life super easy. Mine cooks 7 eggs at once which is great for keeping extra in the fridge for a snack attack or quick breakfast.

Deviled eggs are a beautiful addition to any Easter table and make great canapés which can be prepared a day in advance. You can find some amazing deviled egg platters for displaying your eggy creations - I bought mine from Anthropologie in London:

Here's what you need

  • 7 hard boiled eggs, peeled, rinsed, and carefully sliced in half
  • 50g mayonnaise
  • 35g unsweetened live yogurt
  • 4g mustard
  • 2g or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp parsley flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish ideas - smoked salmon, minced fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, or chives), sprinkled paprika, crumbled bacon, curry powder, capers

Method

Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Arrange the empty whites on a platter or deviled egg dish, cut-side up. In a separate bowl, mash yolks with the back of a fork until completely crumbled. Measure in the mayo and mix and combine into a smooth paste. Add the rest of the ingredients; mix well and season to taste. Carefully spoon or pipe (I use a Wilton #1M tip) yolk mixture into egg whites.

These can be made the day ahead and kept refrigerated in an airtight container. Garnish just before serving!

Easter Egg Dyeing Tips: Typical Easter Egg dyes these days contain a lot of toxic colourings. You can make your own dyes out of turmeric, beetroot, blueberries, etc (see method here). Alternatively, as most households around the Easter hols tend to be very busy, I've found these all natural dye kits to be great in a pinch and available to order here. If you can find white eggs instead of brown, the colours come out even better.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn

Sleep science for your spine: Bed retailer teams up with osteopath to help customers’ health Science has been weaved into the fabric of a bed retailer’s new mattress range after it struck up a pioneering partnership with a neighbouring osteopath. Sussex Beds, a family-run firm with seven branches across the county, has launched its new Spinal Therapy range of mattresses - which was designed with input from experienced osteopath Christian Bates - to help its customers maintain good back health.

As well as his input into the design of the new range, Christian – who has been practising osteopathy for 20 years – has held training sessions with Sussex Beds staff, helping them further understand the best sleeping positions to maintain good spinal health.

Christian said: “I have seen first-hand the damage a poor supporting mattress can have on people’s spines and was really pleased to work with Sussex Beds on their new range.”

The spinal therapy mattresses feature a pioneering ‘zoned spinal pad’ that keeps your back in alignment, preventing stress on the spine while sleeping, as well as reinforced springs and edging to give excellent support. Steve Pickering, Sussex Beds MD, said: “Back pain is a huge problem in the UK – with a recent study finding 10 million working days were lost to the chronic condition* – and the way we sleep can have a huge impact on the spine’s alignment. Our customers maintain a healthy back, which is why we developed our new mattress range. It’s been great to have Christian on board and his training will help us further support our customers in finding the right bed for them.”

The Spinal Therapy range has been designed with those with back problems and pain in mind, but is also aimed at supporting heavier sleepers, with all in the range having been tested rigorously to take up to 30 stone in weight.

For more information about the range visit The Sussex Bed Centre
Prices for a double start from £1,279.99.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn


One day a year just isn't enough to celebrate all of you lovely mums, so we've put together a 'treatmail' to thank you with instead.

As you may know, we see a lot of new mums and babies in the clinic. We've listened to your requests and have compiled some 'snack hacks' for your fridge. These are core eating strategies that will get you prepared for whatever these first few months of motherhood throw at you.

Since MUMs are the true stars here, we've collaborated with one of the best astrologers in the UK to interpret your cosmic unity and peek into your horoscope! Great for baby, child or any adult!

We also have a special offer on a "making sense of the menopause" event coming soon.

Finally, because every mum deserves Osteopathy, we've included a voucher for £5 off an osteopathy treatment with us.

To mums & good health

Christian Bates


For the LOVE of MUM

As a mother of 9 year old twins, I can sit here and say to you, hand on heart, that having infant twins was NOT what I expected! Yes, I admit – I didn’t want to leave the hospital as that actually meant I was officially a ‘mum’. Going home. With twins. Even though this was 9 years ago almost to the day, those sleepless nights, crying babies, and constant hunger pangs are forever etched in my memory. So if this is sounding all too familiar, then hopefully we can help give you some strategies through diet and nutrition that benefit both mum & baby.

Learn More


Formula MUM

Specifically designed for women to provide support during pregnancy, pre-conception and breastfeeding.

You can purchase this in the clinic or call Nutri direct on 0800 212 742


Tired Eyes?

By Elle Winslow, Winslow Skincare at The Perrymount

Eyes are often called the window to our soul however this fragile area of our skin is often prone to the first signs of ageing...

Learn More


Baby & Child Birth Chart Gift Vouchers

Robyn Ray is our local astrologer who specialises in preparing Birth Charts for Babies & Children. An Astrological Birth Chart gives an invaluable insight into the way a child learns. It highlights the child’s abilities & challenges and is a great guide for any parent or teacher. Until the April 30th, Robyn is offering a £5 discount on all Baby & Child Charts and a £10 discount on all adult consultations.

If you'd like a consultation, or to purchase a Gift Voucher, please call Robyn on 07734 101022 or visit her website HERE



Mother's Day £5 off Osteopathy for Mum or Baby

Print off and keep for yourself or give to a beloved mum in your life



EVENT: Making Sense of Menopause

"How to Survive Menopause without losing your mind"

Taking place at the beautiful Stanhill Court Hotel near Gatwick Airport on Saturday 1st April 2017. A full day event where we will talk through the symptoms & how to deal with them. Plus, get the WHAT, WHERE and WHY of MENOPAUSE, CHOICES & a PLAN!

Join us and know you are not alone on the journey!

There are only 15 spaces left and Perrymount readers get a discounted ticket rate of £57 (reduced from £92.50). Please register HERE



The Perrymount Clinic has three fully qualified osteopaths covering all aspects of treatments related to muscle, joints, nerves and ligaments- including cranial osteopathy for newborns.

We have Monday to Saturday appointments including early morning and some evenings. Please call 01444 410944 to book your appointment. We will also do our very best to get you an appointment on the day you call if you are in pain.

The Perrymount Clinic, 2 Clair Road, Haywards Heath, , West Sussex RH16 2BW, United Kingdom 01444 410944

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn

Firstly, we just wanted to say to all of you mums – thank you! Everything we are today, you helped us to be and that is no small feat!!

As a mother of 9 year old twins, I can sit here and say to you, hand on heart, that having infant twins was NOT what I expected! Yes, I admit – I didn’t want to leave the hospital as that actually meant I was officially a ‘mum’. Going home. With twins. Even though this was 9 years ago almost to the day, those sleepless nights, crying babies, and constant hunger pangs are forever etched in my memory. So if this is sounding all too familiar, then hopefully we can help give you some strategies through diet and nutrition that benefit both mum & baby.

At the Perrymount Clinic, there are some common 'new mum’ symptoms that we see:
• Exhaustion, tiredness, sluggishness
• Cannot lose excess ‘baby weight’
• Hormone imbalance and irregularities
• Thyroid issues
• Joint pain
• Digestive problems
• Anxiety
• Hair loss
• Depression
• If breastfeeding, your baby might be colicky

So if you ate poorly when pregnant or later when breast-feeding, your body will give nutrition on from your body to your baby’s body. You will literally be stripped of goodness for the sake of your baby. Clever body! But this is where we, as mums, need to pay close attention to everything we are putting in our mouths. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘eating for two’ but this also must go hand in hand with ‘quality over quantity’. So much research is out now that tells us that ‘food is medicine’.

Let’s start with this... What are you eating? If your answer is a mixture of cereal, toast, cheese sandwiches, pasta, and more toast then let’s roll up our sleeves and get cracking. The problem with those starchy snacks is that they are high carb (no surprises there) but also converts into sugar in your body which then causes your blood sugar to skyrocket and then crash. Eeek! Foods that are wheat-based have been known to increase colic in babies too… Double eeek! However, even if you aren’t breastfeeding, you are doing yourself a major favour by cutting out the refined carbs. We will get to why that is in a bit. Supplements can also help and we should incorporate them in our daily routine, however, they work even better when your diet is in check.

Since we have a total understanding of the need for quick and easy grab-n-go foods, let’s not waste any time. The importance here is also not to overdo any one food. Variety is best. And if you are breastfeeding and suspect that a particular food is causing any discomfort in your baby through breast milk, try removing that food!

New Mum Snack Hacks

Remove wheat from your diet. As we mentioned above, wheat gluten triggers colic in babies passed on through breastmilk. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, gluten has been shown to contribute to damaging the lining of your gut, creating a ‘leaky gut’ syndrome. This leads to inflammation and kicks off a whole host of auto-immune diseases down the line. Be wary of "gluten free" processed foods on the supermarket shelves too - they are generally made with high glycemic rice and potato flours which also spikes blood sugar. Instead, choose breads like 100% Rye as not only is it very low gluten, but it will keep you fuller for longer. According to Dr. Josh Axe DNM, DC, CNS, a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist in the US, "Rye positively differs from wheat when digested, and it’s been shown to actually suppress body weight gain, as well as significantly lower obesity. Whole grain rye has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and lower total plasma cholesterol. " (1) Rye bread toasts up fantastically - why not smash some avocado on top or slather some almond butter? Easy peasy!

Eat more protein. Grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, or wild, oily fish. Protein and fats are the building blocks for your baby’s growth and repair; they are also very filling and satisfying foods which translates into breast milk and a fuller baby. If you are vegan/vegetarian, be sure to note that high protein vegetable foods tend to be the foods that create wind in both adults and babies. We recommend takings notes to see which are the main culprits and therefore then exclude from your diet while breastfeeding.

Get more Vitamin D3. The best way to get your body Vitamin D3 is to spend 10-15 minutes in the sun at least twice per week with as much skin exposed (no sunscreen!). However, we all know too well that this is somewhat impossible to do in the UK and it’s well known that most of us living on this island are very deficient. How important is D3? Vitamin D deficiency is positively associated with many diseases including cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, heart disease, Diabetes and the list goes on. Every single cell in our body has a receptor for Vitamin D, which means every single cell has a use for it. It does everything from regulate our immune system to aid in healthy brain function. The main building block that makes Vitamin D is cholesterol. Now think about that, it’s made of CHOLESTEROL. This 11 letter word that we have been led to believe is bad for us and to avoid, makes one of the most important substances in our body. We can get cholesterol from eating good fats – see below.

Watch out for toxins. In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to avoid every single toxin we encounter. One way is to read the labels. Your skin doesn’t have a filter on it so everything you put on your skin goes straight into your blood stream. Toxins even come in the form of E numbers such as E621 – Monosodium Glutamate. Sugar substitutes such as aspartame and saccharin can wreak havoc on your liver. Be sure to read ALL of your labels - chemicals are usually cheaper to use in food manufacturing, but that doesn't mean our bodies know how to digest them! Your skin doesn’t have a filter on it so everything you put on your skin goes straight into your blood stream.

Omega-3 oils (also known as "Essential Fatty Acids"). In importance of my findings this one is up there with Vitamin D deficiency. I was really shocked at just how low the Omega 3 oils were in new mums' diets because again they are so essential to health. Then I thought about it and it didn’t surprise me at all, because Omega 3 oils mainly come from fish, and the last thing new mums are thinking of preparing, cooking and eating is fish! This oil is so important for a growing baby, and there is a mass of scientific research showing the benefits of this oil for the health and growth of babies. Our brains, nervous system, eyes and in fact every single cell are made from this oil to a degree. It is also the oil that is most often used to help mothers with postnatal depression. If you didn’t consume fish (or another Omega 3 oil source) through pregnancy then your baby will have taken this from you. Since our brain and nervous system require lots of omega-3s, this brings a new understanding to 'baby brain’ … Your baby literally has your brain! Wild salmon and sardines are good sources here as are high-quality fish oil/krill oil supplement.

Reduce or even better yet, avoid refined sugars. Some great ‘approved’ sugar alternatives are raw honey, stevia (one drop goes a long way), dates, coconut sugar (use as a 1:1 substitute for regular sugar), maple syrup (the darker the better) and blackstrap molasses. Just note these are sugar alternatives and not the same as the non-sugar chemicals we talk about in the toxins section above.

Feel the love for fruit & veg. What’s easier and quicker to eat than some carrot sticks and hummus? Apple slices with nut butter? Smashed avocado on rye toast? Kale chips? Make sure this category for you isn’t all fruit – veg is the real winner here. You ideally want to manage your blood sugar levels and fruit is high sugar so best to eat some fat and protein with fruit.

If you are struggling with your diet or have any of the symptoms we talked about above, then please come in to see us for a nutritional consultation 01444 410944.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn

The subject of fats still causes massive confusion. People are unsure whether to avoid or include fats in their diet, and if they should include them, which ones are the right ones; and how much should they eat? And then there’s the subject of cholesterol … and what about trans fats? And soon enough, it seems like the easiest thing to do is avoid them altogether. Sound familiar?

In response to this overwhelming confusion, we’ve put together a quick summary of everything you need to know about fats and nothing else. Avoiding fats altogether can have disastrous effects on your health so instead we’ll help you navigate your way through the world of nuts, seeds and oily fish with a calm and clear head.

Ready to embrace the world of fats?

Why you need to eat fats

Fats are an absolutely crucial part of your diet, yet Western society still seems to be giving them a wide berth - supermarket shelves are piled high with zero fat yoghurts and pretend-butter packed with anything but real fat (go ahead and check the sugar content for starters!). Unfortunately, what these products don’t advertise is that fat phobia comes with a whole host of health problems, not least those related to mood and cognitive function. The brain is composed of 60% fat and this needs to be replenished through your diet. Fats also help to protect your organs from damage, act as insulation to keep you warm, help nerve cells to pass messages and can even help you to lose weight. People who are fat deficient tend to have dry, cracked skin, feel miserable and could be at higher risk of developing cognitive and cardiovascular health problems as they age. Most importantly, the right fat doesn't make you fat!

Here’s some health problems / symptoms that may be associated with a deficiency or imbalance of healthy fats:

Hair, Skin & Nails

Dry, rough skin, raised red bumps on the backs of arms (Keratinosis pilaris) Dry eyes Poor hair condition, loss of hair, dandruff Excessive thirst Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis Premature ageing

Immune

Frequent infections, poor wound healing, inflammation in the body causing auto-immune problems

Cognitive

Poor memory, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease Behavioural problems, hyperactivity Learning difficulties Aggression Parkinson’s Disease Schizophrenia

Hormonal

PMS Breast Pain Polycystic ovaries, endometriosis Infertility Menopausal symptoms

Mood

Anxiety, tension, depression / mood fluctuations

Inflammatory

Eczema, psoriasis, arthritis

Blood Sugar Imbalances

Weight gain, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes

Fat Soluble Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamins A, D, E & K

Those scientific-sounding words explained!

Clearly there are some fats that you’d be best placed not to eat too much of, and there’s others that almost everyone needs to eat more of. Here’s a quick overview of all of them, where you can find them in your diet and whether or not you should be eating them. We’ve used the scientific terms since this is how you’ll see them on a food label.

Saturated fats Where do you find them? – Pasture-raised meat (beef and poultry), lard, pasture-raise dairy products (cheese, milk, cream, butter, plain yoghurt), cocoa butter (chocolate), tropical fats such as palm oil (processed foods) and extra virgin coconut oil.

Why do you need them? To provide insulation around your organs and under your skin to keep you warm and absorb shock. Saturated fats also provide energy, calories and heat.

Unsaturated & polyunsaturated fats Where do you find them? – Unheated oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, sesame seed oil, blackcurrant seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage seed oil, algae, hemp seed oil, avocado, oily fish (such as wild Alaskan salmon), raw organic nuts & seeds.

Why do you need them? Unsaturated and particularly polyunsaturated fats are highly beneficial to health yet often missing from a typical Western diet. There are many different types of these fats, each having their own special function. EPA & DHA are special omega-3 polyunsaturated fats found in high amounts in wild oily fish, nuts and seeds. They are beneficial to cardiovascular health, mood, cognitive function (your brain!), learning and development, joint health and more. GLA is another type of omega-6 polyunsaturated fat found in high amounts in evening primrose, borage seed and blackcurrant seed oil – it is particularly beneficial for the skin and is often recommended for eczema sufferers. GLA is also widely used to alleviate the symptoms of PMS.

Do I need to eat them? Yes absolutely. Most people don’t eat anywhere near enough of these types of fats. See article on easy ways to increase your intake. It is also recommended that most people supplement with a high quality pure and stable fish oil supplement to ensure optimal daily intake. You can also supplement your diet with extra GLA in the form of borage seed oil. At The Perrymount we recommend Eskimo-3 as it is a very pure, clean and effective omega 3 to supplement with.

Did you know?

An easy way to tell the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats – fats that contain mostly unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (olive oil, flaxseed oil), whereas saturated fats (butter, lard) are solid at room temperature

Trans fats Where do you find them? – Margarines, shortenings, processed foods, convenience and fast foods and even some oils. Often labelled as ‘hydrogenated’.

Why do you need them? You DON'T need trans fats in your diet. In fact they are generally considered to be harmful to your health. Trans fats are basically fats which have been chemically modified to enhance the flavour / texture of some foods. They are often used to stiffen oils – for example to make food products such as 'pretend' butter and margarine spreads. Trans fats have been linked to cardiovascular health problems and a possible involvement in some cancers. Trans fats also interfere with vital functions of essential and other highly unsaturated fats. It's also worth noting here to always read your labels! Food producers and manufacturers are very good at hiding them.

Do I need to eat them? No – absolutely not – trans fats are best avoided.

Cholesterol Where do you find it? – Cholesterol can be made in our bodies or it can come from foods. Only foods from animal sources contain cholesterol – it is found in free range or organic eggs, pasture-raised meat, pasture-raised dairy products and shellfish.

Why do you need it? Our bodies make and balance steroid hormones from cholesterol: Which are oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and adrenal corticosteroid hormones. Cholesterol is also used to make bile acids and vitamin D and is secreted by glands into our skin to protect against dehydration and cracking. It also used as an antioxidant. 25% of your body's cholesterol is stored in your brain which is why we do actually need cholesterol in our diet!

Did you know?

Adding some beneficial unsaturated fats into your diet will actually help to increase your metabolism and support fat loss. A 2009 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that participants who consumed the most unsaturated fatty acids had lower body mass indexes and less abdominal fat than those who consumed the least. It might sound crazy but fats really do help to burn fat! Fat also helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer which helps to reduce cravings for unhealthy foods.

Feed your body with healthy fats… Fat is essential to life and is an integral part of any healthy balanced diet. It’s the fast foods and the refined, processed stuff that gives fat a bad name. Stick to the real, honest beneficial fats found in plentiful supply in nutritious foods such as nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocado and leafy greens and you won’t go too far wrong. As well as feeding your brain and your skin, your joints, cardiovascular health, mood and much more will benefit too. In our graphic below, you might notice we use "grass-fed" or "pasture-raised" terminology a lot. This is important when it comes to our farm animals. Why? Because when cows eat a diet solely of grass, they then produce milk which has the optimum omega 3 to omega 6 ratios that our bodies can handle. Remember, it's the omega 3's that we need in our diets! We also recommend taking a good quality fish or krill oil like the one we stock at The Perrymount Clinic.

Feed your body - The Healthy Fats to include in your diet

Grass-fed, organic, lamb, beef, bison, venison; organic poultry; organic or free-range eggs; organic, free-range, lard from grass-fed cows.

Wild fatty fish: sardines, mackerel, herring, black cod, and wild salmon. Shellfish, including clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and crab; calamari or octopus.

Grass-fed butter and/or ghee, unsweetened nut & seed milks.

Raw, organic nuts (winners in this category are almonds, macadamia, walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts. Hemp, chia, pumpkin, sesame, flax. Nut and seed butters (without added sugars or bad oils).

Coconut butter; organic, virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil; organic, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil; MCT oil; organic flax seed oil; organic avocado oil; walnut, pumpkin seed, pistachio and hemp oils.

Avocado, olives, cacao butter, dark chocolate.

*FOR COOKING: Always use your grass-fed lard, ghee, butter, coconut oil or avocado oil! Stop using vegetable oils - when heated, they "oxidise" which in turn causes inflammation that leads cardiovascular problems!

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn

Who doesn't look forward to the ONE day a year when pancakes are an acceptable, and let's face it, essential dinner option? Here's the thing, most pancake recipes out there just don't float our boat! Enter The Perrymount's go-to recipe for an American style Buttermilk Pancake that won't let you down. Packed with healthier options, this really won't break the "healthy" bank. Oh, and guess what? There are no added refined sugars... now that's flippin' pantastic!

We'd even LOVE to see your fluffy-fotos of your short-stacks so snap away and tag us on Facebook! #perrymountpancakes

Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to feed 2-3, however, if you have hungry kids like ours it may be a good idea to double the recipe. You can always put any leftover batter into an airtight container ready to go before the Wednesday morning school run:

  • 125 grams Sprouted Spelt Flour (we use Rude Health because it would be rude not to!)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 10 grams collagen powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons good quality Grade A Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon XCT oil, melted coconut oil, or cooled, melted grass-fed unsalted butter/ghee
  • Grass-fed butter, ghee, or organic coconut oil for frying

Directions

Whisk the spelt flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, salt, cinnamon, and collagen powder in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and maple syrup until foamy, then stir in the melted butter, ghee or oil you are using. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined. The batter will be a slightly thick, cake batter consistency. Don't overmix. Let the batter rest for five minutes.

Heat a ceramic non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat until hot. Carefully brush with a bit of butter, ghee or oil - go easy here, we aren't deep frying! Add the pancake batter using a 1/4-cup ladle. When the pancakes are nearly ready, about 2-3 minutes, you will see a ring of bubbles around the edges. Before you flip, take a peek at the underside to be sure it’s nicely browned. Turn each pancake carefully with a spatula. Cook the next side for half the time, about 1-2 minutes. Plate and serve immediately with your choice of toppings. Sliced bananas, berries, a bit of grass-fed butter and maple syrup is our champ!

Recipe & photo by @houseofcuckoo

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn

Sleeping well is a fundamental step in improving your health and maintaining good health. Often with sleep issues there is a cat and mouse type problem; the actual problem can be interrupting your sleep or the problem can be caused from lack of sleep.

I want to try and help improve your sleep using some simple techniques you can do straight away. Everyone is different so some may work better than others for you. Please email me your experiences and feedback if you try them out.

Do you always wake at the same time of night?

Many patients mention that they wake at the same time every night and it is especially common to wake around 3 am. In Traditional Chinese medicine, this is the time that the liver energises. One of the functions of the liver is to store sugar and it releases this if you have low blood sugar so it is very possible that you can wake due to this activity. The hormone that triggers the release of sugar is “cortisol”. Cortisol is actually the stress hormone that wakes us up in the morning so having it released in the middle of the night is not great for sleep!

To prevent this happening, you need to stabilise your blood sugar by eating regularly throughout the day and a formulated snack before bed. This is where there are differing opinions on what to do. Many people will suggest a banana before bed as it contains chemicals to help you sleep, however, bananas are high in carbohydrates so they may make the blood sugar spike and then crash which triggers cortisol to wake you up. A protein snack before bed may help as it has a slower sugar release that may get you through the night, however, it may not have enough sugar therefore waking you again from cortisol release.

You could also try a balanced snack before bed. By balanced I mean a healthy snack that contains protein, fat and carbohydrates; a piece of fruit and some yogurt or an oat cake with peanut butter.

Everyone is an individual so it depends on your “Metabolic Type” as to which will suit you - try 3 nights on each and see what works best. Keep a food journal and make notes of the food combinations and also the foods. Did you eat meat, alcohol, coffee, eggs, sweets, or cakes? You may find any one particular food that is the culprit.

STRESS and the 'Sweet & Salty' Sleep Connection

You may be able to link stress to sleeping poorly and after reading this you may also see another link? This is that cortisol the stress hormone keeps you awake or wakes you up. If you are stressed already, then have low blood sugar as described above, you will have a double whammy waking you up!

The stress hormone cortisol is made in the adrenal glands that sit on your kidneys. They also produce other chemicals to balance blood pressure which works well with the kidneys. Salt and sugar are another couple of interesting foods that involve decreasing stress and are generally thought of as bad for you! Like all foods, sugar and salt can be used therapeutically at the correct levels but if used excessively can be harmful. You can use them therapeutically to help you sleep. Sugar and salt have differing actions but can calm the stress output from the adrenals via blood sugar control and blood pressure too.

Here are two pre-bed 'nightcaps' to help calm you before bed and throughout the night. I personally try just about everything I recommend and these really work!

  • Fresh orange juice (sugary), add some powdered collagen protein (this adds dissolvable protein to the drink) and a pinch of himalayan salt.

  • A small glass of organic whole milk (contains calming minerals and a mix of sugar and protein), plus a little sugar and a pinch of himalayan salt.

One reason some foods promote sleep is because they have high levels of magnesium which is calming on the nervous system. Magnesium is one of the most common minerals to become deficient in as it is used for 100’s of reactions and chemical pathways in the body. Ironically, it is one of the best minerals to take if you are tired too. I have extremely good results with a magnesium night formula that also contains other ingredients to promote relaxation and sleep such as chamomile, hops and milk extracts.

We have had rave reviews and highly recommend this MegaMag Night Formula by Nutri below. You can order this direct from Nutri on 0800 212 742 or give us a call and we will order it in for you.

These are common signs you might be Magnesium deficient:

  • Muscle cramps and spasms
  • Sleeping problems
  • Chocolate cravings
  • Anxiety
  • High Blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Constipation

These foods have good magnesium levels in:

  • Dark leafy greens such as spinach or chard
  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds and pumpkin seeds
  • Mackerel
  • Beans & lentils such a black beans
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Figs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Unsweetened Yogurt or kefir

These tips relate to the foods your are eating before bed and to your stress levels affecting sleep. Of course there are other reasons that you may not be sleeping well that haven’t been covered. Balancing your blood sugar like this is also effective at helping other issues too and may have general health benefits on top of improved sleep.

Twitter Facebook Pinterest LinkedIn