How To Stay Healthy and Avoid Hangry


How To Stay Healthy and Avoid Hangry

How To Stay Healthy And Avoid Hangry.

Picture the scene.

You’ve been working hard.  Focussed on some super-important task.  Shizzle that must be done. Maybe it’s really interesting and you got lost in doing it.

Hours tick by.

Your bum is numb in your chair. Back killing.

Eyes are crossed from staring at a screen.

You haven’t had a brew in eons.

And you notice your energy really f-l-a-g-g-i-n-g.

One computer error or the broadband goes down and suddenly you turn from a Mild Mannered Miss to totes Bitch Troll From Hell, hurling your stress ball and unrepeatable abuse at your computer screen.

You’re more than thirsty, peckish and tetchy. You’re full on HANGRY. 


When Hangry Strikes

So what do you do in your hangry state?

Crash into the kitchen like an ogre  and look for the quickest, easiest, most fuelling – AVAILABLE  –  foods. It usually involves bread and cheese (or that classic variation toast and cheese). Or a shrivelled, microwaved, chewy potato.  Or the contents of the cookie jar.

If you’re out at work or college, you go to the canteen or shop and carb up big styley. Maybe even with bread and cheese again.

Am I right?

Washed down with a mug of coffee as big as your own head.

Any thoughts of nutrition, protecting your health, balancing your hormones, stabilising energy or moods, boosting your fertility – woooooshhhhhh. They flew straight out of the window.

Sticking with healthy habits isn’t always easy.

We’re busy, tired and sometimes don’t feel like rustling up a healthy meal or snack. I get it.

Sometimes, get pretty hangry myself. I have been known to eat doorsteps of sourdough toast and almond butter for lunch.

The key is a bit of PLANNING AHEAD.  And EATING LITTLE AND OFTEN.  Even though it’s tempting to skip meals when we’re busy.


Reasons To Avoid The Hangry

The main reason for hangry-ness is not eating regularly or skipping meals altogether.

Here’s why that’s not such a great plan.


  • Not eating  often or skipping meals messes up our blood sugar levels.  When our blood sugar is out of whack, so are our energy levels, moods and hormones.
  • It also affects our mood and concentration.  We can feel tired, sluggish and moody. Hell yeah.  We might also find it tough to concentrate which leads to poor performance.
  • If we make skipping meals a habit it can alters our metabolism. Our systems thinks it’s starving. Metabolism goes down. Our bodies stores and hangs onto fat.  Bummer.
  • Again, over time, it can increase our risk of diabetes. Blood sugar is higher and insulin balance thrown out of kilter.
  • We can have lower nutrition because we miss out on meals or we reach for poor food choices when we’re really hungry.
  • It can affect blood pressure. The drop in blood sugar levels due to skipping meals stimulates our bodies to release hormones to make up for low blood sugar. This in turn causes an increase in blood pressure levels.
  • We risk digestion issues. One of the key causes of acid, reflux, stomach pain and gas is skipping meals. When our stomachs are empty for a long time, there is more acid. So every time we skip meals, our stomachs produce acids that attack the stomach lining leading to acidity, ulcers and abdominal pain.


Best avoided, yes?

But how?


Planning Ahead To Avoid The Hangry and Stay Healthy

Planning ahead is key. It doesn’t just start in the kitchen, though, it goes way back to meal planning,  shopping and meal prep.


Here are some of my top tips:-


#1 Always make a list before you shop.

That way you’ll be less likely to meander around being tempted by the unhealthy and convenient choices. You could shop online to reduce risks of impulse shopping even more.  If it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it either. ‘Nuff said.


#2 Never shop hungry.

It’s too tempting to reach for chocolate, crisps or cake. Or a family sized pizza. All of which aren’t really healthy, hormone balancing or fertility-friendly.  Food is fuel and food is medicine. Cake is neither fuel nor medicine *winks*  It IS food for the soul … that should only be quaffed in the 10% of the time that we eat for the soul.


#3 Shop for fresh produce regularly.

You want veggies and fruit especially fresh to max the nutrition value and fresh fish tastes much nicer than frozen – I think anyway.


#4 Plan meals ahead.

That way you can shop more effectively. Maybe cuts down on any food waste too.  I actually have a one page meal planner. I use it for planning main meals, but you can use it for snacks too.

AND if you’re savvy you can cut down on food prep and cooking with the “cook once, eat twice” idea. e.g. cook a roast chicken on Sunday and eat leftovers for lunch or dinner for Monday!


#5 Batch cook and store food in the fridge or freezer.

Of course, be mindful of food safety. Don’t eat spoiled food. I often cook up a lot of healthy food on a Sunday to have in the fridge or to freeze for meals in the week or weeks ahead. Soups, stews, casseroles, curries, dhaals are good choices. I even cook up things like more rice than needed or a large pan of quinoa and transform it into different lunch dishes during the week.

Get the whole family roped into batch cooking to make it quicker, easier and more fun.


#6 Portion up food for meals in advance.

For example box up or plate up lunches tonight for tomorrow. So if hangry strikes, you just reach into the fridge and grab your healthy, filling food… feeling more saintly than if you snarfed a cheddar sandwich. And feeling loads better for a nutritious meal. You can even portion up and freeze food to defrost and reheat.

I share lots of easy recipes on my Facebook page, Instagram feed and in the blog.  Keep checking back.


Stay healthy, avoid hangry ladies.




The Moment of Truth – When I Decided To Change

The Moment of Truth - When I Decided To Change

The Moment of Truth –  When I Decided To Change.

In my life I have had many truth bomb moments.

Some have been about health. Some about life. Some about happiness.

AND I remember one biggie.  Tthe moment of truth when I decided to get my sorry ass into gear.

The moment of truth when I decided to change.  For the better.


Happy Holidays?

Rewind to Summer 2008.  Mr P and our year old Labradoodle – Django – go to Northumberland for a cottage holiday. To catch up with my ‘rents and my bro and his family.

There’s sun, sea and sand.  The sun does shine in the North East, honest. And the beaches are peachy.

There’s real ale, fish and chips and ice cream.

There’s fun, love and laughter.

Then there’s the holiday photos, of course. Capturing lovely moments. Like Django rolling in a dead fish.  Mr P making a chip buttie as big as his head.  And me walking on the beach.


Moment of truth.


THE Moment of Truth

In the photos….

There’s my bloated face, belly overhang and fat bottom.

There’s my straw hair, eye bags and spotty chin.

And that’s what you can SEE.


What you can’t see is the creaking joints, rumbling tum and neck pain.

The haywire hormones, fibroids and period problems.

The tiredness. The stress. The burning my candle at both ends.


EVEN after having left my full time job about 9 months before. To finish my anatomy and physiology and homeopathy courses without having a  breakdown. To protect our home life and my health.

Well my home life was better – with one person at home more, life was easier for both of us.

But my health?

I had an osteopath for the joints and neck.

My own homeopath was very helpful.

A nutritional therapist was trying to sort out my digestive issues.

The moment of truth?

What was I DOING?

Answer: not enough. Not enough self-help. Not enough self-care. I wasn’t taking responsibility. I wasn’t owning my own shizzle (one of my fave sayings now).


Owning My Own Shizzle

THAT was the moment of truth when I started owning it.  Surely, a busy job hadn’t helped my health?  Was it in the genes?  What more should my doctor be doing?

BUT really who or what was to blame?

Nothing? No-one? Me? I had choices. I still have. We all do.

So I started making different choices.

And I learned much more about health and hormones and natural therapies.

I still had help from my super support team. I needed that and still do.  No man is an island and this gal isn’t one either.  People guide me, support me, challenge, heal me, help me.

But it started with me.  It always starts with yourself, I think.


Fast Forward

Years later and life has changed. I changed. I CHANGED ME. 

Through better diet. Good lifestyle choices. Avoiding toxins. Reducing stress. Changing my outlook.

Living a healthy, hormone-friendly life at leasts 80% of the time. Heck, no-one wants sackcloth and ashes and never eating cake again, right?

All this is the stuff I made it my mission to teach to other women.

I never pretended I’m a Goddess – body beautiful, brimming with health and vitality all the time. No, I’m a pretty darned healthy 50 plus who weighs over 2.5 stones less than I did, who eats well, looks after myself and navigates through menopause as best I can.  I look and feel better than I did all those years ago, despite being menopausal. I kid you not.

AND I know a canny thing or two about hormones.


Is This YOUR Moment of Truth?

So, I’m wondering when is your moment of truth? What will trigger it? How will you start making changes? Who will help YOU?

If you want that Cheerleader and Wellbeing Fairy Godmother to be me, let me know.

I’ve been there. Seen it. Done that. Got the t shirt.








Quick Breakfasts for Busy Women

Quick Breakfasts for Busy Women

Quick Breakfasts for Busy Women.

I can see there’ll be A LOT of eye rolling at this.  Quick breakfasts.

“I’m far too busy for breakfast”

“YOU try getting  your family out on time AND make and eat a healthy breakfast”

“You gotta be kidding me”

“*!++@> off!”


I’ve heard them all, when I suggest that breakfast is kinda important.

Important for women.  Everyone, in fact.

Important for blood sugar, energy, mood, brain power, weight and hormones. And MORE.  Learn the benefits of breakfast here in this fab blog.


But I get it. I too have to wear my pants on the outside of my tights in the morning …

… making Mr P a quick cuppa and a small protein packed smoothie

… making him a really good lunch on the days he’s at his office (his coworkers snicker at his non BPA tubs of fresh goodies)

… shoving him into the car and pointing him  the railway station /his office

… walking mutts

… feeding mutts

… emptying the dishwasher

… tidying kitchen

… thinking about dinner

… getting myself ready

… making the bed

… gathering my work

… eating my own quick breakfasts

… cramming washing into the machine

… YOU get the picture.  You feel like you’ve done a days work and it’s not even close to 9am.


I do understand that it’s so much easier to..

a) Have NO breakfast, just wash and go

b) Just slurp down a mug of coffee as big as your head

c) Wind in a doorstep of white toast with margarine and a big fat dollop of sugary jam


It doesn’t have to be this way. There are quick breakfasts that are nutritious breakfasts.

Here are some of my own go-to quick breakfast. Perfect for busy women. Vary your brekkie for nutrition and to avoid getting stuck in a breakfast rut.


Overnight Oats 1 Serving

This is easy peasy and you can pimp it up how you like. No cooking and it’s really filling. Even kids will eat this. And oats are pretty cheap. You can even take this to work with you!


  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (organic ideally)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup (depends how thick you like it) organic milk or non dairy milk e.g. I love almond milk in mine
  • 1/3 cup plain organic Greek yogurt OR a little extra milk OR Cashew Cream (whatever you prefer)




  1. Buy yourself a kilner jar or other pretty jar … because you’re soooo worth it. And we eat with our eyes too.
  2. Shove the ingredients into the jar and soak them in the fridge overnight for the magic to happen.
  3. Get creative! You can add 1/2 chopped banana or 1/3 cup fruit or fruit puree, chopped nuts, seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut, dried fruits, nut butter, maca powder stirred in (hormone balancing), cacao nibs/a little grated dark chocolate/stir in some cacao powder or even spices like a pinch of cinnamon or a little vanilla paste.  If you need a little extra sweetness honey or maple syrup or date paste is good.
  4. Scoop it down with a smug look on your face knowing it took less than 5 minutes and it’s doing you the power of good


Chia Seed Pudding 2 -3 Servings

Another super simple one you can take with you. You’ll find chia seeds at health stores or online. They are more pricey.  But are protein, fibre and nutrient packed little powerhouses.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups organic milk or non dairy milk e.g. almond milk, coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 – 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup or honey, to taste


  1. Grab your cute kilner jar.
  2. Shove the ingredients into the jar, STIR REALLY WELL and soak them in the fridge overnight for the magic to happen.
  3. Go go go with the toppings again!
  4. Enjoy!

Note: it’s really yummy with coconut milk and tropical fruits with coconut shards and chopped nuts. OR make it chocolatey with cacao powder, some cinnamon and a little vanilla.


Chia Seed Pudding


Avocado Toast 1 Serving

I know it’s toast. Yay!  But not just any old toast. It’s important to get good bread.  Not the usual supermarket stuff.  Read the truth about your supermarket loaf … even the ones marketed as healthy and wholegrain!

I prefer sourdough as it’s natural yeasts and left to prove of a longer time, so easier to digest and full of flavour.  Sure, it will cost more money.  If your budget is tight, buy it when its cheap and freeze it.  Or make your own at the weekends and freeze it.  Mr P makes 6 loaves at a time and freezes them.


  • 1-2 slices sourdough bread toasted or another healthy loaf from a bakers
  • 1 small avocado
  • Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
  • Squeeze lemon or lime juice
  • A sprinkle of chopped red chilli and fresh coriander (optional)


  1. Make your toast
  2. Smoosh up your avocado all over the toast
  3. Top with a drizzle of oil and lemon or lime juice.
  4. Sprinkle with chilli and herbs if you’re using them.
  5. Scoff down.  The crunchy toast with the creaminess of the avocado is delicious.

Sometimes, I sprinkle my avotoast with a tiny crumble of organic feta and a grind of pepper instead of chilli end herbs.  Feta adds protein.


Smoothie 1 Serving

Play around and make some blends that you love!  This is a basic guide to making your own recipes.


  • 2/3rds mug liquid – choose from organic milk, non dairy milk, coconut water, juice, yoghurt, kefir …
  • 3/4 mug fruit – choose from banana, berries, mango, stone fruit, melon ….
  • 1 tbs protein – choose from organic yoghurt, cashew nuts, chia seeds, nut butter, ground flax seeds, organic protein powder, quinoa flakes …
  • Make sure it has some healthy fats e.g cashews, nut butter, chia seed, 1 tsp coconut oil, 1/2 avocado, ground flax seeds …
  • To go “green” add a handful of spinach leaves or other greenery (spinach has less flavour so easier to “hide”)
  • Pimp it up with some superfoods like maca (hormone balancing), “greens” powders, spices like vanilla or cinnamon, cocoa/cacao powder …


Whizz it all up in a blender or food processor.  I use my Froothie blender for mine .

And schhhluuuurrpppppp.

It takes longer to wash up the blender than to make these super dooper quick breakfasts.

I have my Kapow Chocolate Chilli Smoothie recipe here.



Buckwheat Pancakes 2 Large or 4 Smaller Servings

I know pancakes takes yonks eh?

Well these DO take longer than 5 minutes to make and cook, but guess what? I make them on a Sunday and freeze them for the week ahead and then you could warm them in the toaster or microwave them (I prefer not to microwave, so toaster zap them).

Watch me making my pancakes right here – the ingredients and method are also included.


So come on lovely ladies, give some of these quick breakfasts a go. You won’t look back. Your health, hormones, energy levels and happiness with thank you for it. Your family may even thank you.

If you try any recipes, post a picture on my Facebook page and let me know how you get on.  I love to see your ideas and creations too.






Fertility and Vegetarian Diets or Vegan Diets


Fertility And Vegetarian Diets or Vegan Diets


Fertility and Vegetarian Diets or Vegan Diets.


If you’re vegetarian or vegan planning to get pregnant, read on…

NOT because I’m going to try to talk you out of the diet.  Heck no.

BUT there are some things you might want to know.  So you can make sure your diet and lifestyle don’t get in the way of getting pregnant.


Traditional Fertility Foods

Traditional cultures often have “fertility foods”.  They are highly prized foods given to new married couples to boost baby-making.

They are usually meat or milk, fish or shellfish. Animal products.

Weston Price – he studied traditional cultures and diet – found no communities living on ONLY plant foods for generations.

Plant foods miss some important nutrients. Or have them in lower amounts.

So you have to be more savvy with what you eat to stay fit and healthy. And baby-fit and healthy.


Fertility and Vegetarian Diets – Protein

It’s tougher to get complete proteins on a vegan diet.

Egg and sperm health need good quality protein in decent amounts.

Healthy vegans will eat a range of plant proteins like corn, soy, quinoa, leafy greens, spirulina and more.

If you choose soy, it’s best to eat it only in moderation when trying to get pregnant. The natural oestrogen’s ( phytoestrogens) in soya can affect your cycle. Make sure it’s not GMO soya. There are worries around GMO and impacts on fertility. Fermented organic soy products miso and natto can be good choices.


Fertility and Vegetarian Diets – Vitamin B12 and Other Good Stuff

Healthy vegans will also know that it’s tough to get Vitamin B12 on a plant diet.  Many get more B12 in their diet from supplements.  B12 is important to healthy development of a baby.

Some vegans lack the mineral iron, because its not easily absorbed from plants.  Iron is good for egg and sperm health,

Certain Omega 3 fats may be lower in vegan diet.  Try to get related fats from flaxseed and walnuts to help the body to make some of the missing ones.

Vegetarians eating eggs and high-quality, organic dairy are probably okay, as long they are eating a wide range of nutritious foods.


So my message ISN’T don’t be a vegan or vegetarian …

…it’s PLEASE take a careful look at your food and lifestyle choices.  Make sure you are maxing health and fertility before trying for a baby.

Invest time and effort in your  care for a better chance of natural conception and a healthy pregnancy and baby.



P.S. Learn more about healthy vegetarian diets and healthy vegan diets at The Vegetarian Society  and The Vegan Society

P.P.S. If you love my fertility boosting tips, check out my FREE, CONFIDENTIAL online course 7 Steps To Boost Fertility. It’s got ALL the basics you need for a  fertility friendly lifestyle whether you’re trying to fall pregnant naturally or via IVF.  Some info you might find surprising.

Grab your spot here >

Super easy to access from a link I send you. You get access to lots of short videos and my notes. Watch at home or listen on headphones – discreetly. I get that’s important to you.

Sexual Health and Fertility


Sexual Health and Fertility.

Today, I’m talking about another pretty tough subject.

It’s sexual health.  You know the infections “down below” you need to get checked out at one of those clinics.  Let’s call them GUIs (genito-urinary infections) rather than STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). You’ll see why.

And it IS tough subject. One I raise with all my baby-making couples.

And I often watch their faces drain of colour. Because they think I’ve assumed something about them or at least one of them.

I HAVEN’T! Honestly.

People often skip this step when they’re planning a baby, because they’re in a committed, long-term relationship. AND have no symptoms of a problem.

I want to bust a few myths and let you see that it’s a good idea to get checked out before making a baby, even if you’ve only ever had sex with one another and are totally faithful.

Let’s start with the “face draining” issue ….

Sexual Health – Not All Infections Are Sexually Transmitted


Does that make you feel better about yourself and your partner?

It’s totally true.

Not ALL GUIs are caught through sex. Some are bowel bugs.  They can travel and cause infection elsewhere.

AND any infection of the urinary tract or prostate that a guy has OR had in the past can cause damage and affect fertility right now.  Like mumps, for example.  Yes, past infections can be troubling you now.

So, it’s good to get checked out even if you’ve only ever had sex with one another.


Sexual Health –  You Might Have An Infection And Never Know

Yup. Some infections can be symptom-less or symptoms might be at such a low level you don’t even notice or worry about it.  Not all infections are easy to spot, because you may show no obvious symptoms.

Only a test by a doctor or nurse might show them up.

Please get checked, everyone.

But especially if you’re struggling to fall pregnant or have a history of miscarriage.


Sexual Health – Infections Can Cause Fertility Problems

GUIs can can be bad for you, your ability to get pregnant AND your future baby.

Infections like chlamydia can cause blocked fallopian tubes and lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) too. Both of these can lead to issues trying to get pregnant.

Untreated GUIs can even affect your future baby’s health if they are born naturally (not c section), as they pass through the birth canal.


Sexual Health – Some Symptoms Of Infections

Symptoms of GUIs can include:-

  • Irritation and itching down below
  • Burning on pee-ing
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Pain on sex
  • Pain in the lower tummy area
  • Discharges that are out of the ordinary
  • Tiredness
  • Lumps, warts and ulcers on your genitals
  • Swollen and painful testicles.


So don’t be shy, get yourselves checked out, before trying to get pregnant or if you are having trouble conceiving. There are free sexual health clinics in most towns and cities or talk to your Doctor.

They are used to talking about this stuff all the time.  It’s confidential. And they literally have seen it all before.



P.S If you value these tips to boost and protect fertility, please sign up for my fab FREE online programme 7 Steps To Boost Fertility which is jam packed with great hints and tips for preconception care.

It’s for anyone from the couples with a twinkle in their eye to the couples  who have been trying and struggling for a while.  And if you’re trying naturally via IVF.

Check it out right here >>> 7 Steps To Boost Fertility <<<

No-one knows when you sign up but me. You get a link to a private online classroom with all the videos and notes. Watch at home or listen with headphones in and no-one will know. It’s super easy to use even if tech leaves you cold – even I can work it!


A Fertility Friendly Kitchen

Fertility Friendly Kitchen

A Fertility Friendly Kitchen.



I’m always banging on about eating a varied diet of nourishing foods to protect and fire up fertility. I know I do.

But did you know, that what you buy, how you cook it and how you store it is important too?


Well grab a brew, pull up a chair and read on missus. I’m about to share my top tips for a fertility friendly kitchen.


Fertility Friendly Shopping

So what are my best secrets for being a savvy shopper when it comes to protecting and boosting fertility?

  • Start with replacing the packets, tins, jars and cartons with real food.  Proper foods.  Fresh foods. Buy food that is ingredients, not has ingredients.
  • Buy organic as much as you can – certainly meat and poultry to avoid the growth hormones and drugs. AND any dairy you choose to eat for the same reasons. PLUS the “dirty dozen” most polluted veggies and fruits.   Also read my blog on how to deal with the hormone harmers lurking in your fridge if you can’t buy all organic stuff.
  • Buy fresh.  It’s better to do a couple of shops a week and have fresh stuff than one big old shop and be snarfing limp, sad, tired veggies by Friday.
  • Become an avid reader of labels – avoid additives, preservatives, colourings, GMOs, sugar (including all the words with “ose” that are actually sugars) and other nasties that harm hormones and health.

Fertility Friendly Cooking

Did you know the materials you cook with have an impact on your food?

And your food impacts on your health and fertility.

The three safest options are:-

  • cast iron
  • enamel coated cast iron
  • stainless steel.

Non-stick pans are convenient, but can cause problems if you scrape the coating and it gets into your food. Teflon has been linked with reduced fertility, thyroid issues and cancers.

Copper can leach from copper pans. Its allergenic, toxic and high copper can affect women’s hormones and fertility.

Aluminium has been linked with oestrogen-driven cancers and Alzheimers. Maybe time for a change?

And do you use a microwave to cook?

Microwaving alters the structure of food. Some studies suggest it’s harmful, others pooh pooh that. When stuff isn’t clear, I’m personally very cautious. I don’t eat microwave food, knowingly.


Fertility Friendly Food Storage

Again natural materials are best for food storage.  Think fertility friendly wood, ceramics, glass, stainless steel, cast iron.

Avoid copper, aluminium and non stick.

PLUS plastics. Many plastic storage containers contain BPA which is a known hormone harmer.  It’s in plastic drinks bottle too.  Look out for BPA free containers – I bought mine on the high street, so they’re easy to get.

And what of food wrap?

Avoid using aluminium foil right next to the food, if you can.

Ditto PVC plastic food wrap. Especially fatty food like cheese and meat.

Cover the containers rather than wrap the actual food.

I like paper bags, greaseproof and non PVC wrap myself.


There’s a lot to take on board here. But start with ONE change.

Once that’s mastered, take another step…and another.

Soon you’ll be shopping, cooking and storing food like a fertility friendly Ninja.  Any questions, just ask over on Footsteps to Fertility



If you liked these tips , you’ll LURVE my FREE online programme called 7 Steps To Boost Fertility. 

It covers ALL the basic you need to know to get baby-fit and boost fertility.

It’s for you whether you’ve pee’ed on a gazillion sticks already or you’re just starting to get your head around getting baby fit.

It’s for anyone trying naturally or via IVF.

I hope to see signing up to grab this for FREE.

It’s super easy to access from a link I send and super easy to use.  Watch the videos and read the notes at home or listen to me via headphones and no-one will know. Only I know when you sign up.

Froothie Dehydrator Optimum P200 – My Review

Froothie Dehydrator Optimum P200 - my review



Froothie Dehydrator Optimum P200 – My Review

I make no secret of the fact that this girl loves her Froothie Blender – my Kitchen BFF – and my Froothie Juicer (which gets a mention here).

So when I heard that Froothie were launching a dehydrator here in Blighty, I HAD to have a Froothie Dehydrator.  *whispers – my trusty Excalibur went to a good home with a dear friend and her lovely vegan daughter* That one had served me very well. It now serves them very well.

I could hardly contain my excitement when it arrived. I didn’t know whether to mug or hug the delivery driver. I did neither, you’ll be pleased to know.

I was very keen to unpack it, even though I was literally about to go on holiday and couldn’t use it for over a week. #bittersweet


Froothie Dehydrator – The Looks

So, I think it’s kinda handsome.

It’s bigger. A six tray. That’s one more tray than my previous one.  It looks a bit sleeker and funkier – space age even – and looks good in our new, modern Utility Room.

It’s digital not manual, so there are less fiddly knobs, which will need cleaning. You can set it by hours and minutes, which is also better. It has a variable temperature dial.

Yay, it’s BPA free and being a Defender of Hormone Health, that’s great news for me.

Although it looks good out on the worktop, it fits into the cupboard that housed my old one – bonus!

It came with two mesh trays and two drying sheets.

So far, so good. Fast forward a week or two until after my holiday…


Froothie Dehydrator – Thunderbirds Are Go

I’m the sort of girl who likes an instruction manual, a video tutorial and my hand holding.

No need to find anyone to hold my hand.  The booklet is brief, but covers what I needed to know. I didn’t even have to ask Mr P to help me.  It’s not that I can’t work stuff, it’s just electrickery bobbins makes me nervous.

Anyhoo, I’m sure FroothieTV on YouTube will have videos shortly. There are other videos on other appliances as well as some fab recipes.

And I know that I can contact Customer Service with any queries on my new baby.

I planned  make a couple of fave and basic recipes to get me cracking, so I opted for a raw red onion bread adapted from a  Anya Ladra recipe and some spicy snack almonds.  I temper the chilli in case I blow off Mr P’s head.

So I rustled up my recipes and headed for the Utility Room.


Raw onion bread ready for the Froothie Dehydrator

Froothie Dehydrator – The Results

The Froothie dehydrator was easy to programme and we’re away.

The first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. Of course, it makes a noise – it’s fanning your food dry – but it was slightly quieter than I’m used to.

I also think the drawers fit more tightly, so more of the warm air stays inside the machine.  The bread and almonds certainly dried quicker than in my previous machine, which is good news for energy efficiency.

AND it costs about the same price as my previous smaller one. BUT look out for regular promotions on the Froothie website.

I am sold.  I LOVE it.

The bread and nuts aren’t half bad either *winks*


Spicy almonds fresh from the Froothie Dehydrator


It’s big thumbs up from me Froothie.

Next project will probably be a mahoosive vat of dehydrator granola, when the extra mesh and sheets I ordered arrive. Form an orderly queue for breakfast chez Payne.

If YOU want to jump on the groovy Froothie train, check out the website for the latest products – the dehydrator, blenders, juicers, thermomix – and DISCOUNTS.  There are often some VERY GOOD offers.



P.S. I generally love Froothie products so much I am an Ambassador. This blog contains affiliate links. I genuinely prefer this new dehydrator to my old one.



10 Things We Do In The Morning That Harm Hormones

Blog 10 Things We Do In The MorningThat Harm Hormones

10 Things We Do In The Morning That Harm Hormones


“So have a nice day,

Have a nice day,

Have a nice day,

Have a nice day”

Any Stereophonics fans recognise that?  Love them!

And while I wake up every morning determined to make every a nice day, are we always making it a healthy day?   Are we protecting our health?  Are we protecting our hormones?

It got me thinking about all the things we do before we even leave the house that could potentially harm hormones and health. I counted 10, but there may be even more.

Here’s my  list with some alternatives to set you up for a nice day, week, month …


#1 Wake Up To Wifi

Who wakes up to the tinkly and tinny tune of their phone in a room full of tablets, computers and a TV set? Oh and wearing their fitbit?

The electromagnetic fields around this electronic equipment is thought to disrupt normal sleep.  They interfere with the sleep-wake pattern which  is governed by hormones.

If you’re having trouble sleeping and wake up unrefreshed, try banishing the gizmos to another room and invest in a good old fashioned alarm clock.


#2 Hit The Snooze Button

It feels so good and soooo naughty doesn’t it? Hitting snooze and getting a few more precious minutes snuggled under the duvet?

UNTIL it makes you hideously late so you rush about like a headless chicken, stressed as a stressed thing on the First Day of Stress.  And you risk making most of these 10 poor choices. Because you’re late. Again.

Stresses harm hormones. Your body pumps put the stress hormone cortisol, robbing other hormones like progesterone of their building blocks. Low progesterone risks a whole lot of symptoms from allergies through period problems to yeast infections.

Try to have a bedtime and wake-up routine that leaves plenty of time to fit everything in without stress.


#3 Take A Shower

Haha, I’m not REALLY suggesting we don’t shower or bath.  I just wanted to mention the different health benefits of choosing hot or cold water.

Showering in hot water apparently raises the hormone oxytocin, so a hot shower is good for easing anxiety and making us feel happier. It can also be good for aches and pains and help er em er clearing snot, when we’re bunged up.

Hot water isn’t so great for our skin or hair, though. And some women have issues with dry hair, skin and nails when they’re (peri)menopausal anyway.

A cold shower on the other hand is better for skin AND it helps wake us up and become more alert. Sorry, I still can’t be tempted to a cold shower. Brrrrr.


#4 Slather On A Chemical Cocktail

It’s estimated we put over 500 chemicals on our skin daily, ladies. Some of them are known to harm hormones and harm health.

Watch out for chemicals that harm hormones – phthalates, triclosan and more.

I suggest switching to natural, organic, non-toxic cosmetics and toiletries over time. I like Neals Yard, myself.


#5 Quaff Caffeine

Who needs their cup of Joe to kickstart their day?  Or a mahoosive mug of Builders’ Tea?

The caffeine can make our poor adrenal glands tired (they pump out stress hormone cortisol). It can affect fertility and is harmful in pregnancy. It also makes hot flushes and night sweats worse for many women.

If you are gong to drink caffeine drinks, it’s best to do it early in the day so it doesn’t disturb sleep later though.

Or you could choose maca powder in your smoothie, if you need livening up in the morning. It’s a so-called superfood.


#6 Snarf a Carbfest

For many women, breakfast is a couple of slices of toast spread in sugary jam. Or it’s a bowl chock full of sugary, carb-laden cereal.

And then you’re starving by 10am, right? And you feel like falling asleep? Or you want to rip off someone’s head?

Eating too many carbs also encourages fat-storing, which is the last thing you want if you’re trying to manage your weight.

It’s much better to choose PROTEIN for breakfast to balance energy, mood and hormones.

Think eggs, wild fish, nuts and seeds, chia seed, quinoa, organic meat and organic yoghurt  – non organic will contain drugs and growth hormones that the animals were fed and they can harm hormones.

Which leads me to…


#7 Skip Brekkie

Yes, some women are brekkie-dodgers.

It’s better for energy, mood and hormone balance to eat something healthy in the morning.  If you really can’t face eating too early, eat little later.

There are plenty of healthy things that you can eat “on the go” if you really must.  Like chia seed pudding in a jar. Or a protein packed smoothie. Neither take long to make, honest.


#8 Tell Ourselves (Lie) That We’ll Exercise Later

I know it’s tough. It REALLY Is. Especially in winter.  BUT it really is better to exercise in the morning. It “gets it out of the way”.  It wakes you up. And sets you up for the day.

Or you could exercise at lunchtime or early evening, if that fits better.

Exercising in the evening does risk getting you too “pumped” to sleep well because you’ll have too much cortisol and adrenaline and not enough melatonin, the sleep hormone.


#9 Check Work E Mails

Back to stress!

If you’re checking your work e mails whilst slurping down a coffee and ironing your shirt at the same time, it’s not likely you’re that relaxed.

Also see tip #2.

Make yourself a more relaxing morning routine.  You could make sure you’re ironing/making up lunches/getting bags ready etc the night before. AND make sure yo have plenty of time each morning for getting ready, getting your family ready and eating a healthy breakfast before you head out.


#10 Light Up

If you’re a smoker, I don’t need to repeat the dangers to health. BUT did you know smoking can harm hormones?

Smoking lowers oestrogen, which can cause early menopause AND the symptoms of menopause like dryness, hot flushes, low sex drive and more.


If you recognise yourself in here, maybe start by changing one habit at a time? Who knows, maybe you’ll have a much NICEr day?  And not harm hormones.



Natural Sun Protection – Stay Sunkissed Safely

Natural Sun Protection

Natural Sun Protection – Stay Sunkissed Safely

*sings* The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray!

Have you? Got your hat on, that is?

I know *rolls eyes* …there’s all that stuff about slapping on sunscreen and wearing a hat to avoid skin cancers.  You’ve heard it ALL before.  Or have you?

Just HOW savvy are you on sunshine and how to stay safe in the sun?

Here’s the lowdown on natural skin protection …AND I’m going to start with some CONTROVERSY! Read on …


Go Outside With No Sunscreen (BRIEFLY)

Say what? You thought this was a piece about natural sun protection!

YES, I really mean that. NO sunscreen …briefly. It’s good for hormones.

Yup.  Vitamin D is a hormone, not a vitamin.  We know that now.  There is so much more to learn about this hormone and there is much more research going into it now.

We do know that sources of Vitamin D in food – fatty fish, fish liver oils and some in eggs, cheese and ox liver –  aren’t enough to keep our levels topped up.

The main source is sunshine. Our skin makes Vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunshine.

So, whats a girl to do?

Experts recommend going out, exposing one third of your body (easy tiger!) to sunshine for about 10 minutes without sunscreen.  BUT avoid the hottest parts of the day 11am-3pm.

Then put on your sunscreen to protect your skin.

For children, you should reduce the sun exposure time down to a few minutes.  It’s not recommended that small babies are exposed to strong sunlight.  If in doubt, ask your doctor or take a look at the UK NHS guidance.

Don’t stay out in the sun too long. Never allow your sun to get red and burn – you’re damaging it.


Choose Safer Sunscreen

For the past few years, I’ve been searching for a sunscreen that provides natural sun protection and isn’t full of toxic nasties or hormone disruptors.

I just read yet another article  which recommended avoiding oxybenzone (hormone disruptor) and octocrylene and avobenzone (linked to allergy) and also homosalate (hormone disruptor).

Look out for harmful parabens, phthalates and artificial fragrance too.

Safer choices contain minerals zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Check out the back of the bottles you have lurking in the cupboards, ladies.

I’ve ordered some g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s sun care products from my fave Neals Yard Remedies. *  Squeeeee.

Apply Your Sunscreen Properly

I know some of you will think I’m teaching my Granny to suck eggs, but if it helps one person it’ll be worth the rest of my lovely readers rolling their eyes and sighing… loudly.

Apply your natural skin protection sunscreen in a thick enough layer.  Apply it everywhere exposed to sunshine and to reapply regularly …especially if it’s likely to get washed off or rubbed off on a towel or clothes.

Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not just a fashion accessory. Although there are some pretty cools ones, huh?

They protect your delicate peepers from the fierce rays of the sun.   If you don’t wear sunglasses, you’re putting yourself at higher risk of eye damage.

Eye damage can lead to condition like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Not to mention skin cancer around the eye area, which is a common site.

Eat To Boost Skin’s Natural Defences

I mean eat lots of veggies and fruit. They are full of antioxidants to help protect from sun exposure and other modern life risks.

Veggies and fruits that are yellow, orange and red in colour are particularly helpful.

If you’re a Salad Dodger you could choose a good quality (you get what you pay for) supplement with Vitamins A, C and E.
And my final tip for staying safe and happy in the sun?

Be Prepared

Be like the Girl Scout and be prepared.  Think natural sun protection.

Make sure you take suitable clothes to cover up during the hottest part of the day, which might include a jaunty hat?

Take plenty of water (avoiding BPA plastic bottles which are hormone harmers) to keep you hydrated.

Oh and a book to relax and unwind…don’t forget the good book.


Enjoy the sunshine.


*P.S. Article contains affiliate link.

The Hormone Harmers Lurking in Your Fridge

The Hormone Harmers Lurking In Your Frdge



The Hormone Harmers Lurking in Your Fridge.

Guess what just popped into my inbox?

No.  Not info on my favourite shoe shop’s sale!

Delivery date for the parcel I’m waiting for? No.  Sadly.

Not even the promise of a lot of money from a total stranger in Ghana.


It’s this years guide Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce by EWG.  Yay.

Why am I so excited by a list of products with pesticides in them from the US?  Because I don’t want those hormone harmers and health harmers  lurking in MY fridge!  And the issue is pretty similar in Europe.


Hormone Harmers

Did you know there are hormone harmer chemicals? They pretend to be like our natural hormones. They interfere with normal hormone balance.  And that can cause hormonal issues. The tech term for hormone harmer chemicals is “xenoestrogens”.

They are found in pesticides and plastics and much more. They disrupt hormones in women and men.

There are plenty of sources who will tell you they are really safe. There are also many sources who say they are NOT safe.

And it’s not just human life that is harmed. There are scary studies, which tell us they make fish are becoming female in our polluted rivers and seas.  Due to the same hormone harmers.


Hormone Harmers In Fruit And Veg

One of the sources of hormone harmers are pesticides. Those sprays farmers put on their crops to kill bugs, creepy crawlies and slugs. And stop them eating stuff.

Those chemicals are still there when the produce go on sale to you and me.

You could argue about “safe limits” for pesticide residue, if you like. Personally, I don’t want to rely on a safe limit made up by politicians, lobbyists or commercial companies.  I’d rather make my own choice.  And I want to be eating as few chemicals that are designed to KILL things as I possibly can.

Pesticides are also linked to eye, lung and skin irritations, to brain and nervous system problems and to some cancers.

The results published by EWG (Environmental Working Group ) each year, are based on thousands of samples of fruits and veggies. Tests are by the US Department of Agriculture .

This results are published and a handy shoppers guide called Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen is produced. The Dirty Dozen are the most polluted fruits and veggies.  The Clean Fifteen are the least polluted.

So what can you do, armed with that info?


Reducing Risks From Hormone Harmers In Your Fridge

My top tips are:-

  • Buy organic or unsprayed fruits and veggies as far as you can. Or grow your own and don’t spray them with pesticides. At least buy or grow the “dirty dozen” as organic or unsprayed.
  • For produce that is not organic, wash and peel them to remove as much pesticide as possible.  Although this won’t remove all residue. The EWG study prepares produce as it would normally be eaten before testing e.g. a banana would be peeled then tested. And you can’t peel spinach.
  • Look at “washes” that claim to remove pesticides.  They might help, but if a product has “taken in” pesticides, washing won’t remove all traces either.

Buying organic also shows you support environmentally-friendly farming methods that is kinder to the environment and supports workers rights.  And that’s important to many people.

I Might As Well Eat Burgers If Veggies Are Hormone Harmers?

So you’re thinking, I might as well eat burgers?

Er no.  You’re pulling that one on me.

It’s still better to eat a range of fruits and vegetables than junk food.  Avoiding sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and additives are really important to good health and happier hormones.


I just want to help raise awareness of the risks linked with food,  so we can take steps to minimise those risks if we choose – for ourselves and our families.   It’s all personal choice.

I choose buying organic and growing my own, unsprayed as much as I can. I choose reducing my exposure to hormone harmers.

EWG is a good resource for more info, if you’re keen to learn more.