Natural Hayfever Remedies

Every year I suffer terribly with hayfever and every year I always resort to medication because I can’t handle it. My symptoms include: unbearable itchy inner ears, throat, and also eyes. Streaming eyes, and eyes that are puffy and inflamed. Groggy, drowsy and generally feeling like I’m coming down with a virus. Sometimes I get headaches and the pressure makes me need to lie down and shut my eyes. Every morning I wake up feeling like I have a mild hangover and my throat is sore and my eyes are shut tight together.

I Google natural remedies every year for hay fever or go to medical research to find a natural cure as I try to avoid taking medication unless I really need to. But every year I seem to half-heartedly give natural remedies a go as they never immediately relieve my symptoms.

So even though I have used antihistamines this year, I’ve really stuck to a more natural approach and have managed to stop taking medication for well over two weeks now. I’ve noticed symptoms are no way near as severe and some symptoms have gone completely.

I reached out to you guys for your tips and also my nutritional therapist friend who is a fountain of useful knowledge in this area and gave me some sound advice.

Suggestions from everyone included:

  • Vitamin C = Natural Antihstamine

    Bromelain Protiolitic enzyme help with sniffles and nasal drips.

    Quercitin Red Onions (500mg)

    MSM (sulphur is a natural antihistamine, properties also in garlics and onions, cabbage etc)

    Glutamine strengthens the mucous membranes to prevent pollen getting in.

    Essential Fats EFA’s Anti inflammatories.

    Take out Wheat and milk.

    Reduce the total load of allergenic substances / triggers.

    Sleep with window open at night and closed during the day (I’m out and about in the day so not great for me but might be a good tip for others).

    Put coconut oil in and around nostril to prevent pollen getting in

     

  • Include a lot of the following foods in the diet:

    Dark green, leafy vegetables

    Deep yellow and orange vegetables

    Nettles, bamboo shoots, cabbage, beet tops, beets, carrots, yams

    Onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne, horseradish, tumeric.

    Kiwi fruit, pineapple.

Out of this comprehensive list I’ve been doing the following:

  • Taking a higher dosage Vitamin C supplement every day as well as having extra lemons and oranges.
  • MSM powder in my water first thing in the morning. Product linked.
  • Even though i have a very healthy balanced diet I consciously increased the following in my diet – ginger, garlic, red onion, spinach, cayenne, turmeric, cabbage, beetroot, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, lemons.
  • Reduced dairy and wheat (but not completely cut out).

By continuously doing the above and not giving up after a few days I have noticed a significant difference. My symptoms aren’t completely gone but they have certainly improved. The itching in my ears has completely gone and so have the headaches. I still get a little bit of an itchy nose and a bit of pressure behind the eyesbut this has certainly reduced. So I’m pretty pleased with the results and can enjoy being outside more.
I hope this has been helpful in some way. Let me know if you try any of these and how you get on.

Love Lea xx

Happy New Year from me to you

So, we’ve come to the end of another year. Who’s been doing a lot of reflection of late? It’s been a bit of a crazy year my end. The beginning of 2017 started out fairly strong. I had lots of plans for the year ahead (particularly with Naturallea) then it all went a little crazy. Work life went stupidly busy, patient referrals hit an all time high and staffing at an all time low. Which has been leaving me feeling quite drained for some time. We moved house which has been and continues to be a huge renovation project/headache. I can’t believe how hard it’s been if I’m honest. I don’t do too well with mess, builders walking through my house, and what feels like disorganization. Oli had a car crash. He was fine, but then we were down to one car. Which for us, is a logistical nightmare. Then I decided now was a good time to embark on my yoga teacher training. Then just to throw more chaos in to the works Oli thought it was a good idea to get not one but TWO puppies. Definitely my biggest challenge so far. Most the time, my life is all a bit of a comedy sketch and I feel like I’m in the middle of it all, losing my mind slightly. BUT, I sort of see light at the end of tunnel now. I’m hoping that my life in 2018 will have a bit more calm with more direction and not just about surviving the day. So, although I don’t really do resolutions as such, I have given myself some goals. I think giving yourself some sort of focus or a goal is a positive thing. You’re sort of just gently giving yourself a sense of direction. So direction for me looks like this right now:

  1. Make more time for blogging (currently getting off to a flying start).
  2. More recipe creating (and then blogging about it).
  3. More yoga teaching. More yoga learning.
  4. Get outside and run more.
  5. Having the best time with Amelie before she starts school in September. I’m currently off Tuesday and Friday’s with her so I’m going to enjoy every minute before the routine changes again.
  6. Smiling more at all the good in my life and not fretting about some of the shit that happens. It happens, I need to learn not to dwindle on it.

There’s a few things there. But they are things I feel quite passionate about so I’m pretty sure my focus won’t steer too far from this list. I also just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year (to anyone that might happen to be reading this). You are a lovely lot. I hope 2018 is bright and prosperous for you all. Resolutions or no resolutions just enjoy this crazy thing called life. Lots of love Lea xx

Christmas Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie tastes just like Christmas. Sooo delicious and my new favourite smoothie choice for this time of year. If you’re already starting to feel the affects of the cold weather or you have some serious Christmas parties happening this smoothie will really help you out.

Literally whizz up the following ingredients in a blender and voila.

Serves 2

2 heaped tablespoons of natural live yoghurt

2 bananas

1 teaspoon of Grated ginger

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of Turmeric powder

1 tablespoon of honey

300ml of Almond milk

And then just whizz up in the blender.

I’ve had this two days in a row now just because it’s so tasty. Let me know if you give this a try.

Love Lea xx

5 Simple Ways to feel good and at your best this Autumn Winter

I work in the health industry and work out in the community, so I’m exposed to everyone’s coughs and colds. A few ways I try to stay on top of my health and wellbeing are outlined below. Of course I sometimes fall short (like now *coughs and sniffs*) but that’s why I like to come back to a short check list to make sure I’m doing all the right things to help combat the winter bugs and blues.

  • Start the day right. This means having a healthy balanced breakfast. If you follow me on Instagram you know I love my porridge topped with fruit, nuts and seeds. For me, this provides the nutrients and energy I need to kick start the day. I also recommend introducing some lemon and ginger in hot water for your first drink of the day. This is great for breaking up the caffeine in take throughout the day too. I find it definitely provides that soothing and healing quality to a drink particularly when you’re feeling fragile. If your feeling massively adventurous my Mum swears by a shot of organic apple cider vinegar first thing. Now, I don’t do this very often, but when I do it really does settle my stomach. I might give this a try this winter.

 

  • REST, REST, REST. Particularly as we come in to the festive season. It’s so easy to start burning the candle at both ends. You must learn to relax and let your body and mind rest. Schedule a night in with your pj’s on and a good book or an afternoon of films and sofa snuggles. With rest in mind, this also means, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. I always tell myself “when you’re sleeping your healing”. I would say I definitely sleep more in the winter. I think nature wants us to sleep more in the winter months.

 

  • Keep active. It’s so easy to lose sight of your fitness levels as we head in to the colder and darker evenings. Social engagements creep up and our appetite for exercise tends to dwindle as we wrap up in extra layers. My advice would be to sign up to a fitness event like a run, or book in a term of yoga sessions, if you’re a member of a gym schedule in a weekly class. Or, if mobility or funds are an issue for you, get out walking with some friends.
  • Up your fruit and veg. Keep your fruit and vegetables up throughout this winter, it’s so tempting to up the carbs as it gets cold but don’t let your fruit and veg slide. You’ll need extra vitamins and nutrients to fight off the cold and flu viruses.

  • Spend a little bit of time out in nature and the fresh air. I’m talking wintery woodland walks, blustery beach strolls, hilltop hiking. Wrap up warm and get out in the fresh air. This will do your physical and mental health the world of good.

I will do another post going in to a little more detail of particular benefits of certain foods and exercises that will help to keep winter bugs at bay. I think being a little bit more specific in this area is useful when trying to keep your health in tip top condition. I am a little snuffly today so I’ve put some spinach and watercress soup on the hob, only took a few minutes of preparation and I will have some of that a little later. And obviously hope it works miracles immediately ; )

 

These are just a few hints and tips that I’ve tried and tested. Please share with me all your hits and tips in the comments below or connect with me on Instagram where I post a lot of meal ideas and healthy lifestyle tips.

Lots of love

Lea xxx

ACTIVEWEAR: AUTUMN FAVOURITES

MY EDITS

Autumn Activewear

The days are getting shorter and there is definitely a chill in the air and this is around the time of year I start to think “perhaps I’ll have an extra half hour in bed” or “I’d rather put my pj’s on early and drink tea than go for a run”. Who’s with me? Totally justifiable behaviour. BUT, I have my eye on a few goodies that are going to keep me kitted out for the colder weather ahead and keep motivated (and are of course totally necessary).

So I have a little pink/purple theme going on here which was initially unintentional but I’m loving. All but one item were sourced from Asos. Asos are an amazing source for all your activewear needs right now. Literally stocking everything you could possibly need really, which is great.

1. Reebok splatter leggings. These are just gorgeous and it looks like they have sold out of the sports bra, which is a bummer, but I’m sure I can track it down. On sale too!! Reebok Splatter Leggings

2. Adidas Halter Bra, such a gorgeous colour and I do love a high neckline. Pink Adidas Halter Bra

3. Any woman doing any exercise needs something to hold their (sweaty) hair back. This one looks great for colder weather too as you can use it to cover your cold ears and keep your headphones in. Nike Hairband

4. Phone holder. Well, this is just an necessity these days. Can’t go anywhere without your phone. I recently lost my armband and was tucking my phone up my sleeve/down my sports bra whilst out running. Not ideal. Purple armband

5. Windbreaker. If you’re out running in the cold weather a decent windbreaker is an necessity in my eyes. It really does help take the chill factor off when you start your run, without being too restrictive once you’re all warmed up. And if you end up tying it round your waist it isn’t too bulky or heavy. Also, think SAFETY, reflective gear is vital if running out in the dark, particularly around roads. I’ve pictured the pink version but there is also a black one. Reebok Jacket

6. I just like the idea of these trainers. Love trying out new things and these look fun. Click on the link for a closer look. New Balance Running Fuelcore Sonic Trainers

7. It’s all about thin layering in the autumn/winter and this top looks perfect and very autumnal! Reebok Training Burnout Long Sleeve Top

So those are my edits. Something I’ve not done before but thought it would be fun and perhaps useful.

 

Love

 

Lea x x x

 

 

 

 

 

What does exercise mean to you? 

I work with a lot of people who see exercising as a real challenge and something that only very fit people seem to be able to adhere to. Exercise to many is joining a gym, which some people find boring or not particularly enjoyable. Often the idea of exercise musters up unhealthy ideas about body image and what a fit person should ideally look like aesthetically. When really exercise should be about keeping a healthy mind and body through movement. Healthy comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. And the way you keep yourself healthy should be something that works for you. 

I like to bring it back to basics. Activity. I always ask patients/clients “what activities have you been doing?”. Activities can mean anything from a walk along the beach with the dog and the family, gardening, painting your living room, to a 20 minute hiit session in the garden. Just make sure you move! Of course, there are some that want to push themselves and set themselves goals to push themselves further. Great stuff! But I also urge those that get very little activity in to their lives from one week to the next to just start small. Start small and build up. Go for a walk and some fresh air in your lunch break, go for a swim, take a walk with the kids to the park. Just keep moving and find something you enjoy. Keep your mobility going and keep your energy up and try to adhere to it. I work with someone who has arthritis in one of his knees which makes a lot of exercise very difficult, this summer he’s discovered kayaking. He cannot get enough of kayaking, and has been going three or four times a week. 

I’ve personally had a very busy summer and the autumn/winter looks like it’s heading the same way. This means my running and yoga tends to be the things that get reduced in my schedule. This is something that really frustrates me but often I’m just juggling too many balls (desperately wanted a better phrase here). But one thing I never remove is walks with my little Amelie and my Oli. When Amelie was a baby we would go for walks with her in the pouch (baby carrier) or the buggy. Sometimes we would do this every day, sometimes just a few times a week. So when running and all the other crazy sports/hobbies I’ve tried over the years were out of the question, walking was always something I could do and enjoy. This has just been our ritual ever since. Amelie loves going for walks and exploring. Come summer, autumn, winter, spring, our walks are always constant. Don’t get my wrong there are times when she likes to have a little carry (as per picture above) but she’s getting far too big for this now, something she refuses to accept. 

So, I’ve set myself a few little goals to keep me active and keep me smiling. One is a winter 10k run with friends (we get a medal AND a mince pie at the end) and one is a yoga challenge to keep my practise consistent. So book some time in your schedule, do something ACTIVE, keep your body moving!! Don’t let the autumn/winter season keep you from doing your activities. 

Love, 

Lea xx

Slow cooker potato and courgette curry with roasted butternut squash recipe

Now this is a one pot wonder. AND vegetarian. AND vegan. AND enjoyable even if you love meat in your curry. Bursting with goodness and flavour this is a winner dinner.

Ingredients 

5x small potatoes

3x sweet potatoes (1 was large, 1 medium and 1 small)

1x courgette

3x garlic

1x tablespoon of coconut oil

1x tinned chopped tomatoes

1x tin of hot water (I empty the chopped tomatoes and fill the tin with hot water)

2x teaspoon of ground cumin

1.5x teaspoon of ground coriander

1x teaspoon ground ginger

1.5 teaspoon mild curry powder (more or stronger powder if you want it spicier)

1x butternut squash

2x tablespoon of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Turn the slow cooker on to a medium heat and put in a tablespoon of coconut oil to melt. Peel and chop potatoes, chop courgette and peel garlic.

Once slow cooker is hot and coconut oil melted add all the spices and mix to a paste. Then add the chopped potatoes and courgette to the paste making sure all is covered by the paste. Next use a garlic crusher and add garlic to the mixture (if no garlic crusher simply mince). Put lid on and let mixture heat up/sweat for roughly 3 minutes. Then add tin of chopped tomatoes, fill empty tin with boiling water from kettle and add to mixture. Add a a generous dash of salt and pepper, give a good stir and put lid back on.

Now you can go off and enjoy your day whilst this cooks. I left mine to cook for about 6.5 hours. 45 minutes before serving I chopped the end off my butternut squash, and gave it a good wash. I then sliced length ways in to quarters, scraped the seeds out, placed in a roasting dish, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I then roasted at 200 degrees for 40 minutes.

And voilà. All done. Technically a two pot wonder dish. But this is super tasty and I didn’t even bother sautéing the courgettes or garlic, just threw it all in the slow cooker. You could also add an onion if you wanted. This would serve 4.

Hope you enjoy xxxx

Dauphinoise Potatoes with Crème Fraîche 

I made these dauphinoise potatoes last night but didn’t fancy using cream as I felt it would be too rich and heavy. Using crème fraîche and skimmed milk instead works really well. I slightly burnt the cheese on last night’s bake but it actually tastes quite nice a little crispy.

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

150ml skimmed milk

1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved

4 rosemary sprigs, plus extra for sprinkling

1 bay leaf

1 shallot, roughly chopped

5 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced

300g full-fat crème fraîche

75ml vegetable stock

Grated mature cheddar cheese (enough to cover potatoes)

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Brush the oil over the bottom and sides of a 20 x 30 x 5cm ovenproof dish. Put the milk, garlic, 4 rosemary sprigs, bay leaf and shallot into a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and add a little pepper. Set aside to infuse.

  2. Peel and then slice the potatoes very thinly. Layer the slices of potato on to the bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly, then season.


    Take the bay leaf and garlic out of the infused milk and pour into a jug. Put the crème fraîche into a bowl, then gradually pour in the milk, whisking gently until smooth. Then gently add the stock mixing as you go. Next using a ladel pour the mixture over the potatoes in the dish just covering them. Layer up the next layer of the potatoes, again cover the potatoes with your mixture. Note: you will need to keep enough of the mixture to cover the final layer of potatoes. Now layer up your final layer and cover with your remaining sauce. 

  3. Next cover the potatoes with the cheese and a grind of pepper. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 1¼-1½ hrs until golden and tender – test by inserting a sharp knife through the potatoes. Stand for 5 mins before serving.

    Enjoy guys, it’s really tasty and goes great with a salad.

    Love

    Lea

Megahome Water Distiller Review

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After much research Oli and I decided that we wanted to invest in a water distiller. We were already filtering water (standard Brita filter jug, nothing fancy) and frequently buying bottled water. For us we felt that a water distiller would be a good investment and much cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying bottled water. Not to mention better for our internal filtering system.

In our research in to whether water distillation was a good option or not we didn’t need much convincing and kind of felt we had no choice but to invest in one. We’ve actually been toying with the idea since Amelie was born, nearly three years ago. On a recent business trip to Europe Oli got to try some water from a water distiller and decided just to go for it. We had also done lots of reading on reverse osmosis systems (filtering out contaminants that are larger in size than water molecules, if the contaminants are smaller than water molecules they pass through and remain in your drinking water), for this reason we felt the water distiller was for us.  With a water distiller the process just seemed more effective. When using a water distiller the water is first gently boiled. This kills off viruses and bacteria and leaves all the pollutants behind. The steam is then captured in a stainless steel coil where it cools to form pure water. This water then passes through an activated charcoal filter to finally remove any trace of impurities. Common water impurities removed from water distillation are: antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides, chlorine, viruses etc. You can find a more comprehensive list here. There is an argument that using a distiller actually removes minerals that we humans do need and use, for example magnesium. However, for me I feel that I have a great diet and should be absorbing all the minerals I need from the foods I’m eating. I would much rather the filtering of harmful chemicals and pollutants happen outside my body than within.

So we decided to purchase the Megahome Water Distiller from JD Harris for £139.95, this was the best price we could find for everything we wanted. For 4 litres of water it takes about 5-6 hours for the whole process to complete.  You might want to get ahead of the game and store a completed batch of water whilst distilling the next 4 litres. I guess it depends on how many are in your household and how much water you drink/use. Once the water has gone through is distilling process it is very clear and definitely has less of a taste, if that makes sense. I live in a hard water area and feel that I can really taste the tap water and the taste is quite distinctive and not pleasant. Sometimes it does make my face squirm.

Although at first glance spending this much on a water distiller seems like quite a big expense, the more I think about it the more I feel quite content with the investment. I won’t be buying bottled water anymore and I won’t be buying Brita filters anymore (quite expensive), and I won’t be doing that weird face squirm anymore ; ) From an aesthetic perspective, it is quite big and takes up a lot of room on the kitchen side. I went for the cream/off white colour to blend in with my new kitchen (when we finally move) and also the glass jug as it looked a little more classy/expensive. The actual main trunk of the machine gets quite warm so will provide a little heat in the kitchen in the winter too. Not quite sure how much electricity it uses yet, but I’ll worry about that later.

This post isn’t to try to push the product in any way. Just my thoughts on it in case you were wondering whether to make the purchase too : )

Love

Lea xx

 

 

 

Tips and Tricks for Cheap and Healthy Family Meals

 

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Butter Bean Curry

Feeding the family healthy meals that don ‘t break the bank and don’t take hours to prepare and cook night after night can be challenging and stressful. When you throw in the idea of healthy eating people often feel that it’s an expensive challenge. Many patients/clients/friends/family that I see think eating healthily is expensive. Agreed, it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Steer clear of gimmicky health kicks and tricks and stick to basics.

TOP TIPS

Fresh – Tinned – Frozen

We all know fruit and veg is good for us and will fuel our body with the vitamins and minerals our body needs to function. Yet we don’t seem to eat enough of them. Why? Buying fresh fruit and veg is great but there’s nothing wrong in using tinned or frozen too. If you’re worried you won’t use your fresh fruit and veg in time before they go off then buy some tinned and frozen options as well. Try to have a stash of fruit and veg in your cupboard and freezer so that you are able to add some plant power to every meal. On days when I’m working and don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast at home before dashing out the door with the toddler, I grab my overnight oats from the fridge and throw in a handful of frozen berries and eat when I get to work. That’s 1-2 portions of fruit before 9am. If life is hectic and there’s no time for meal planning, no time for food shopping you can easily add some frozen or tinned veg to a pasta bake. Just the other day I added some frozen peas and runner beans to a pasta bake. It helped to bulk out the dish with some extra green goodness.

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Meat-free Mixed Bean Lasagne

Pulses – lentils, peas and beans

Beans, peas and lentils whether they be dried or tinned are a great source of low-fat protein, are cheap and count towards your daily recommended portions of fruit and veg. Protein doesn’t just need to come from meat or fish, have you ever made a spag bol or chilli with beans rather than mince? It’s cheaper, tastes delicious and reducing your meat intake will aid to reduce your carbon footprint and won’t do your digestive system any harm either.

Bulk/Batch cooking

Making larger portions or extra portions on days when you have more time means you can then freeze and eat for lunches or dinners on days when you have less time. Having very little time to prepare and eat food is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients/clients/friends. Unfortunately, if we want to live long healthy lives we need to prioritize time for decent meals. Cooking from scratch is the best way to know that your food is decent and honest. Grabbing food from fast food chains or ordering a take away is not cost-effective (it’s really really expensive) and definitely not good for you. Making extra portions or batch cooking can be hard to get in the swing of as it takes a little forward planning but if you have young children this really will be a god send on those days you just run out of time!

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Big Batch Lasagne

I have plenty more tips and tricks like these so stay tuned for more by subscribing to my blog and you’ll get emailed them straight to your inbox. I think that’s how it works, ha, I’ve no idea. Just trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to blogging ; )

Happy Thursday you lovely lot!

Love

Lea x x