News Article

Many of our articles are aimed at you the adult, but what about our children’s health. Now if you don’t have children it’s not switching off time. Ultimately the children of today are our future for tomorrow. Do we want a healthy, intelligent, independent, compassionate  generation for the future? Or a sick, dumbed down, co dependant, uncaring society?

Well as we know by now the foods that go into our body system have the capacity to shape the way we look, feel and act. So that makes it pretty crucial to get our children’s meals right doesn’t it?



Image supplied by Torrey Wiley

Once children are at school age is it acceptable to simply put all of our faith into the school system, blindly hoping that school meals pull through for us and offer up tasty, nutritious, natural goodies for children to enjoy?

This article is about taking responsibility and empowering you the parent, aunt, uncle or friend to get educated and supply the children of today with the best, most affordable options for healthy school lunches.


FACT – Did you know that ADHD and ADD have been linked to food additives, colours and preservatives as well as allergies to food such as Gluten (the sticky protein found in wheat, barley, oats and rye)?

TIP –  if your child or a child you know is displaying behavioural and/or attention issues start looking at their foods. Eliminate all processed packaged foods, actively avoid e numbers, colour and preservatives’. If no improvement is seen. Try a 21 day Gluten Free Trial, swapping wheat, barley, oats and rye for buckwheat, rice, quinoa and millet.

RECIPE – Lunch Time Patties

Ingredients make 8  patties6305931954_ec4e2a5e98_m

Beef or lamb mince

Fresh herbs of your choice

Sea salt and fresh black pepper

1 egg to bind


                                                                                                    Image supplied by Chloe Lim

  1. Simply mix and roll into 8 balls. Flatten between your palms.
  2. Grill for a few minutes on each side.

Accompany with a fresh salad, or veggie sticks and some homemade ketchup or mayo


FACT – Did you know that Childhood Obesity and Type II Diabetes are on the rise and are caused by excess sugar and refined grain products (cereals, bread, pasta, cookies, cakes) in the diet?

TIP – To avoid these health risks reduce the amount and frequency of grain based products in the school lunch box. Swap sandwiches for snack box nibbles (see below), replace conventional cakes with homemade whole grain fruit, nut and cereal bars. Limit grains to one item in the lunch box and aim for at least 2 grain free lunch boxes per week.








Image supplied by Victoria Koh

RECIPE – Snack Box Nibbles


Veggie carrot & red pepper sticks


Squares of homemade vegetable and meat frittata

Mixed berries with plain full fat yogurt and local honey

Homemade granola bar made with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, honey and shredded coconut flakes

Have you ever noticed that the stresses of work, life, family and more affect your desire to be intimate with the one you love? Are you feeling old before your time with no drive to fulfil your sexual desires? Or maybe you are feeling guilty, never wanting to commit physically to your partner’s needs? Believe it or not this is incredibly common and has no bearing on gender or age in our clinical experience.

So why does stress have such a huge impact on our sexual desire and function? And what can we do to redress the balance naturally?

It is incredibly important to understand a little about the steroidal hormone pathways in order to truly grasp the concept of what is happening. Think of you steroidal hormone pathway as a family tree; Your tree starts with your Great Granddad, his name is Cholesterol. Cholesterol has to be obtained from saturated fat (eggs, red meat, butter etc). Now cholesterol is needed to run every single hormone pathway whether it is a stress pathway, growth, repair or sex hormone pathway. So if cholesterol is in short supply in the diet due to a low fat or vegetarian diet we will soon have issues producing ALL hormones effectively!

The important thing to know is that when your body perceives a stress; this could be anything from physical pain, emotional bereavement, financial worry, fear, to inappropriate eating patterns (too much, too little, too infrequent) and chemical toxins in your food, water and personal care products. It will drive its energy into producing stress hormones (Adrenaline/Cortisol) to manage the stress. Now the whole time it produces these hormones its attention is directed away from producing growth, repair and SEX hormones!

This can eventually create symptoms such as low libido, infertility, PMS, loss of the menstrual cycle and erectile dysfunction. Along with lethargy, low motivation, low mood and poor immunity (as the adrenal glands become exhausted from constantly producing the stress hormones) which only add to the feeling of disinterest in physical intimacy!

Seven Libido Boosting Tips

1. Plan regular holiday’s or weekend breaks with your partner (if you are in a relationship). This should be away from your home and without anyone else. It is vital to reconnect with each other away from everyday stresses! Don’t set any preconceived notions about HAVING TO have sex. Simply allow yourselves to enjoy each other’s company and act should spontaneity direct you.


Image supplied by Matthias Ripp

2. Create peace points through your day (they need only be a few minutes long if time is short) to help you manage mental/emotional stressors as they come up. Meditation, music, art and nature are all great ways to release stress. You can get great apps for your phone to prompt you through the day!
3. Focus on Yoga, Tai, Chi, Qi Gong or CHEK Zone exercises to stimulate the sexual organs, sacral chakra / zone 2. This will help to get the internal energy moving again. You can even repeat a positive mantra / affirmation such as “I have strong, balanced sexual desire”, whilst you carry out the movement. Check out our exercise of then month to get you started.


Image supplied by dMap Travel Guide

4. Create more fun in your life. Build more happiness and carefree time into your week. So many of us focus heavily on achieving at work, supporting the family, being a rock for others that life becomes incredibly serious and un-enjoyable. Find a hobby you really love. Surround yourself by people who lift you up rather than drag you down and find things to make you laugh regularly!
5. Cut down or remove processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol. These stimulants will further drive your stress hormone pathway directing energy away from your SEX hormone pathway and further driving your lacking libido.


Image supplied by Susanne Nilsson

6. For women step into your YIN feminine power. Career driven, independent women, single Mum’s and high achievers have become overly YANG/masculine. This pushes the men in our lives further into the feminine role. Try using music and dance to bring out your feminine sexuality.
7. For Men step into your YANG masculine power. Many men have become de-masculinised by overtly strong female partners! Get your YANG back by getting into the gym and enjoying weight based work outs (it needn’t be crazy heavy weights!)


Image supplied by Carlos Varela

Staying Focused When Your World Comes Crashing Down…

Life throws some curve balls at you doesn’t it? Just when you think life is plain sailing and things are feeling effortless something pops up to slap you in the face and reminds you not to get complacent! I read a great quote that went something like this: “What defines us is how well we rise after falling”.So what do you do when life gets really stressful, you know that kind of stress that makes you want to eat lots of sugary foods, open that second bottle of wine or slob in front of the sofa for the whole weekend? The kind of stress that makes life look hopeless and leaves you feeling like the victim of a very bad situation!









Image supplied by Alena Navarro- Whyte
Well Adrian and I were certainly tested to the max this last couple of weeks (and it’s not over yet!). Whilst Adrian was miles away on a course we had a huge flood at our clinic. It was incredible and humbling to witness the sheer power of Mother Nature. The water started on the third floor and managed to bring down the ceiling on the second (in our beautiful gym) flooding the treatment room too and washing down into the shop below! Thank God for the amazing Fire Crew and local business owners who supported a flapping teary eyed female (ME) who didn’t have a clue what to do!


In the aftermath of the clear up Adrian and I have had to regroup and really evaluate the messages in this painful experience so we thought why not share it with you too, perhaps there are some life lessons that will help you feel better supported during your stressful times x in the mean time stay tuned for our new look gym and our re-launch coming soon!

Tip1 – Stick to your Core Values

Do you know what your core values are? Most people have no idea because they have never been taught or guided as to how to define them. At PBB we do this as one of the first coaching sessions with our clients. Getting clear on what values are important to you both in self and others helps you stay true to your needs and wants during even the stickiest of situations.For example at PBB honesty, integrity and compassion are 3 of our core values. So when the pipe burst in the upstairs treatment room flooding the clinic we were certainly tested on these values. Did we look for blame or try to hide behind someone else’s responsibility? Did we hide from the truth in order to save face? No! Because truly none of that mattered, no one was hurt and everything can be repaired in time.

Tip2 – Change Perspective

How you to choose to look at a stressful situation is key to the experience you have and the outcome that prevails. Now I am not for one minute saying this will be easy but let me give you an example.
Let’s say a loved one gets taken into hospital, they are unwell and naturally you are panicking, thinking the worst and worrying about how you will cope if they don’t pull through.
How about if you decide to change your perspective? You look at this as an opportunity to get educated on how you can support the improvement of your loved ones health, you decide to spend more quality time with them and plan the trips and outings you haven’t made time for in the past, you use the opportunity to truly connect with that person sharing how you really feel!

Tip3 – Be Grateful

This is a biggy and may take some thinking outside of the box. Let’s bear in mind that this universe is much bigger than just you and I, that there is energy out there that is more than just the energy we have in our own relatively small circle of existence.
So what if this horribly stressful experience you are going through is there to teach you something bigger than you can see or feel right now? What if this experience guides you down a path that would otherwise never have presented itself to you?
You often hear about people who rise above incredible adversity to do outstanding things. People who survive things like the Tsunami in Sri Lanka, the bombings in London or the Twin Towers in New York. These are extreme examples but think of the inspiration and connection these people bring to the greater community.
Even if you are struggling to see the good in the moment being grateful for the good that will come is an incredibly powerful way of moving from Victim to Conqueror!
Stress management is one of the foundational aspects of achieving optimal health; remember you don’t have to do everything on your own. If you are looking for support simply pick up the phone and book in for a free consult. 01242 254662

Are Your Carbs Making Your Jeans Tight?




The effects on the body of nature’s natural carbohydrates versus man’s processed carbohydrates are polar opposites. In nature, fruit and vegetables provide valuable energy to the body in the form of glucose (sugar). They come with health-promoting vita¬mins, minerals and enzymes which allow the glucose to be used appropriately. They naturally contain their own fibre, fats and proteins, which help the body to regulate the level of glucose in the blood, so that sustained and consistent energy is achieved for both body and mind.

Carbohydrates like fruit and vegetables are essential for the growth and development of the human body and provide a natural sweetness in our diet. Their sweetness indicates their natural state of ripeness and peak nutrient density.

In stark contrast, refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar are stripped of their nutritional status. Grains in general break down into simple sugars in the body and are hard to digest, cre¬ating inflammation. If you are eating a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates and / or grain, such as cereal, bread and pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will certainly be depleted in many vitamins and minerals and in turn will have impaired organ and gland function.

These types of carbohydrates take more energy out of the body to digest and assimilate than they actually provide, and are known as empty calories. Eating these foods creates a huge burst of glucose into the blood stream which can only fall again. This is the time when most people reach for the cake or coffee to rev them back up. These peaks and troughs cause an enormous amount of strain on the hormonal system, pancreas, liver, adrenals and thyroid gland and can lead to obesity, chronic fatigue, depression, exhaustion and behavioural problems such as ADHD.

Refined sugar, such as white (or even brown) table sugar, originates from sugar beet or sugar cane. Once refined and processed, the sugar is stripped of its naturally high levels of B vi¬tamins, magnesium and chromium. The body no longer reaches nutritional satiety when eating the sugar and so simply craves more and more sugar in a bid to sustain its nutritional needs. This type of sugar and, in fact, grain consumption can be linked to the increasing epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Obesity and excess stored fat arises due to the liver’s limited capacity to store glucose as glycogen. A daily diet rich in simple sugar will soon fill up the liver’s stores and will then be shuttled out to the body’s cells via the blood stream, to be stored as fatty acids in the buttocks, breasts, belly and hips.

Processed sugar is hidden everywhere and appears in many guises. High fructose corn syrup can be found in processed foods and bottled sauces: sugar is added to meat and poultry, spreads and soups. Its many aliases include fructose, glucose, maltose, lactose, sucrose – basically anything ending in ‘ose’ denotes sugar in your food!

There are still some great natural sugar products out there that you can enjoy in moderation and which actually have health-promoting qualities, including stevia (a herb), coconut sugar (which has a very low glycaemic index (GI) value) and organic raw honey. As far as grains go, I suggest a no-grain diet until you optimise your health and get any blood sugar instabilities and gut pathogens under control.

This may sound scary but there are over 100 grain-free recipes in my book, Meals That Heal – Inflammatory Healthcare & Free From Cooking to get you started.

Excerpt taken from, Meals That Heal – a Beginners Guide to Inflammatory Healthcare & Free From Cooking



3 Carb Combining Tips:

1. Swap your grains for fresh seasonal fruits and veggies.

2. Always eat your carbs with high quality saturated fats such as butter, ghee, coconut oil or tallow.

3. Accompany your carbs with an organic animal source protein such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, meat, fish or poultry.

De Stress Naturally with out Top 3 Holistic Tips


Image supplied by Matthias Ripp

1. Just breathe!

In our Free Stress Talks we take people through this little exercise, give it a go now. Breathe in fully, and then breathe out, expelling every last bit of breath from your lungs. Now hold your breath for as long as possible. How do you feel? Anxious, dizzy? What happens to your body? Does it go tense, stiff, do your shoulders move up towards your ears? Okay you can breathe in now! In just a few seconds you can start to feel how faulty breathing patterns can create both emotional and physical stress. Most of us do NOT breathe correctly, most of us do not breathe fully. When you shallow breathe your brain and body becomes oxygen deficient which will naturally impair physical and psychological function! When we are stressed out we automatically move into this breathing pattern, compounding the problem. Remember if you are stressed out physically those adrenal glands will be realising stress hormones. Excess stress hormones = decreased sex hormones, that means low sex drive, infertility and menstrual irregularities.

TIP: Before getting out of bed in the morning, sit up and try this simple breathing technique. Breathe in, fully expanding into your belly, pushing your belly out. Breathe out, pulling the belly button in. Repeat. Work your way up to 50 repetitions. It is incredibly energising and calming!

2. Cut the C.R.A.P

How many meals a day are accompanied by fruits and vegetables? How many packages goods do you eat in a day? Do you eat more white flour, bread and cake products than whole grain? In our free Stress Talk we discuss how the food you choose to eat literally make up the body you see each day in the mirror and the energy and mental focus you have to enjoy each day. Anything which is not a whole food, such as fruit, veggies, meat, fish, dairy, raw nuts and seeds and quality fats such as butter and olive oil are what we call non foods. These foods take more energy out of your body system to break them down and utilise them than they actually provide. So if you are eating lots of packaged and processed foods your energy levels will soon fizzle out.
TIP: As a starting point, try reducing these by one meal a day until you are eating no more than one serving of bread, pasta, crackers, flour, and cake based foods each day.

3. React or Respond

We may not always be able to control how other people communicate or interact with us but we DO always have a choice as to how we take ownership of the situation and how we choose to respond! Here’s an example. You get into work and notice that your boss is in a terrible mood. He shouts at you for being late when in actual fact you arrived early and have been helping out in the office, he just didn’t notice. You can a) choose to react by shouting back, defending yourself or you can b) respond by calmly explaining where you have been. A) Will cause you to feel angry, upset and frustrated, basically stressed. Stress hormones will be released from the adrenal glands which kick start a myriad of physical symptoms. B) May be more challenging and come less naturally however this is the response which will allow you to remain, calm, peaceful and unaffected!

TIP: Next time someone riles you, choose; ‘am I going to react or respond?’ and note the differences.

To find out more about our FREE Stress & Hormone talks, Women’s Wellbeing Workshops and Private 1on1 Coaching email or call our clinic on 01242 254662.

Our Next FREE Stress & Hormones talk is on August 14th at Cheltenham Isbourne Centre, at 19:15. Booking is required.

Massage and cancer care… helping you to maintain and restore your wellbeing







Image supplied by Nick Webb

The Many Applications…..Many regard massage as a wonderful therapy, a special treat, a pampering experience. But massage has many applications. We’ve all seen images of well built sportsmen being robustly pummeled by an equally well built masseur on a massage table. We know some people would melt at the thought of a spa treatment. We may even have heard of cultures where baby massage is seen as necessary as mothers’ milk, such as in parts of India. We may not be so familiar with massage being used to support treatments for cancer and other medical conditions. We may not realise the many benefits massage has to offer the older generation in supporting their general health and wellbeing. Many may not be aware of massage and complementary therapies being regularly used in palliative care.


Why you may wish to consider having Massage….Being diagnosed with cancer has to be one of the most traumatic moments of a person’s life. Accepting this diagnosis and dealing with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy can be extremely stressful. When we add into the mix a lack of sleep, worry, anger and fear, it is not surprising your body may respond with tense muscles, sore joints, aches and general malaise.

During this time, life can often appear to revolve around hospital appointments, medical procedures, doctors and operations. Yet throughout all of this we may still be working and managing our day to day affairs.

There is no scientific evidence to show that massage can treat or cure cancer, but massage is commonly used to help people feel better and to reduce some of the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment. Some people worry that having a massage when you have cancer may make the cancer cells travel to other parts of the body, but research has clearly shown this is not the case.

These days complementary therapies are often available to people undergoing chemotherapy in hospital. They can support patients by providing a soothing, relaxing treatment during a difficult time or, by working on particular areas, making it easier for doctors to locate a vein.  A gentle foot or hand massage can help reduce tension, reassure an anxious patient, or even help lift the spirits of someone feeling a bit low.

Studies have shown that a diagnosis of cancer can make people feel ‘alienated’ from their bodies. Some may feel their body has failed them or that they have lost control of their body to the disease. They may not be willing to accept physical changes that occur during the course of their treatment. Many find it difficult to share their concerns with partners and family however much they would like to.

We may reach a point when we feel the need to rebuild our lives, to restore our sense of self. As with many types of complementary therapies, one of the main reasons that people with cancer use massage is because it helps them feel good, and is a way they feel they can help themselves. It is often promoted by such organisations as CancerResearch UK as a natural way to help you relax and cope with pain and anxiety. There is supporting evidence to show that massage can help lift your mood, improve your sleep and enhance your sense of wellbeing.

Many medical professionals now accept that massage has shown itself invaluable in helping people to:

  • · Accept their body as it is,
  • · Regain confidence in their body,
  • · Become aware of their body in a positive way

The benefits include reducing levels of stress, improving self-esteem and soothing and alleviating pain.
Is it safe for me….That said it’s not safe for everyone to have a massage so always talk to your doctor before using any type of therapy, and always make sure your therapist is qualified to treat you. This is especially important if you are having cancer treatment, are very weak, or are suffering from bone fractures.

If you are having radiotherapy you should tell the therapist so she can avoid massaging the treated area. You should not have massage to any area of your body where the skin is broken, bleeding or bruised.

What is involved in having a massage…On your first visit for a massage, the therapist will ask you some general questions about your health, lifestyle and medical history. If they are concerned that massage may interfere with your health or any medication you are on, they may ask if they can contact your GP. This is just to check that your GP is happy for you to have massage. In general, it is rare that your doctor will say no. But there may be situations where your doctor/ consultant recommend that you don’t have a treatment.

Most massage sessions usually last an hour, but this will depend on you and your therapist. Your therapist might play some relaxing music during your massage, and they will ensure you’re comfortable and happy with the pressure being applied. It is important that you let your therapist know if you feel uncomfortable and want them to stop at any time.

You will be asked about any allergies or sensitivities and appropriate oils may be used to smooth, calm and moisturise the skin. The therapist will ensure that only the part of the body being worked on is exposed and that you are happy and comfortable with the treatment.

Written by Sandra Baker – Therapeutic Massage

For more information contact Sandra at

Or to make a booking call Pure Body Balance Integrated Health Clinic on 01242 254662


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