Just Another Middle Class Con?

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“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight."

– M.F.K. Fisher

Middle-Class Con or Everyones Real Health Hero?

Going through a bit of a sourdough love affair of late? You're not alone.

This timeless bread-making technique dates back to the earliest civilizations and remains a staple in many homes. The secret behind sourdough's benefits isn't in it being a "probiotic" food but rather the fermentation process it undergoes.

Unlike some breads that masquerade as sourdough (dubbed "sourfaux" with added vinegar, vital wheat gluten, oil, and dough conditioner), authentic sourdough bread is a labor of love, crafted from only three basic ingredients - flour, water, and salt, sometimes with a smidge of commercial yeast. These breads undergo a careful fermentation process that spans anywhere from 18-36 hours, lending the bread its unique flavor and texture.

While it's true that sourdough involves beneficial bacteria, it isn't classified as a probiotic food. (So, don’t believe that supermarket packaging!)

Why, you may ask?

The heat from baking inactivates most of the yeast and bacteria. However, the fermentation process has other benefits - it makes the nutrients in flour more absorbable by our bodies.

Interestingly, this fermentation process can also break down oligosaccharides - fermentable carbohydrates in wheat, rye, and barley. This can be good for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), who may find sourdough bread easier to tolerate compared to other wheat-based products. But do bear in mind that it’s NOT quite gluten-free enough to be safe for people with celiac disease.

There’s only one way to ensure that…

By making your own deliciously tantalizing gluten-free sourdough from the comfort of your own home!

[Continue reading here… ]

Menopause: A Weighty Issue

Maybe I’m naive, but I’m a big believer that age is just a number, and you’re as old as you feel. What do you think? I’m still 21 in my mind (although my bed times say otherwise)

One thing I know for sure is that losing weight is a challenge for everyone…

And it's especially difficult if you happen to be a woman in her middle age due to factors such as genetics, hormonal changes, lifestyle and, of course, the nuisance of aging itself.

As you may know, during perimenopause, there's a dramatic hormonal flux that disrupts menstrual cycles, triggers hot flashes and alters metabolism.

As estrogen levels drop, women tend to lose lean mass or muscle, leading to an increase in fat mass, particularly around the midsection – a phenomenon often referred to as the "middle-age spread" (Although I much prefer the term ‘love handles’).

As a result, joints become weaker, physical activity becomes harder, and it becomes increasingly difficult to burn calories and maintain weight loss.

Gosh, I think that’s enough of the negative science chat!

Now, let's focus on the silver lining. The positive actions we can all take! Despite challenges, there are scientifically supported strategies to help prevent weight gain during menopause.

First, consider adjusting your diet to include whole, unprocessed foods. Think MediterraneanAh that got your attention!

While there's no one-size-fits-all diet for women, and calorie-restrictive diets often aren't a long-term solution, diets like the Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, fruits, and grains, are recommended for their health benefits.

Second, get your beauty sleep! While it's easier said than done, getting consistent good quality sleep (over seven hours each night) has been shown to help prevent weight gain.

Finally, Let’s. Get. Physical! 🎵 Only a fraction of middle-aged women meet the recommended weekly goals for moderate activity (at least 150 minutes per week). Regular physical activity – even simple daily routines like walking to work – can make a significant difference.

As always it's important to address the weighty issue of menopause with your doctor and come up with a plan. Despite the challenges, adopting these strategies can bring joy and improve overall health!

Beware Food That Isn’t Food: “In Just a Few Weeks I Felt Like I aged 10 Years”

Chris van Tulleken, a prominent podcaster and foodie author, has some strong opinions when it comes to soft breads and ever-lasting candies…

In this latest podcast he challenges the traditional idea of "junk food" being merely high in fat, sugar, and salt. Van Tulleken shifts the spotlight to ultra-processed food (UPF), focusing not on its nutritional profile, but on the industrial processes it undergoes and the artificial chemicals used to enhance its flavor and longevity.

In his book, "Ultra-processed People," van Tulleken recounts his personal experience with a UPF-heavy diet, which, in just a month, aged him significantly both physically and emotionally…He was left feeling achy, exhausted, miserable, and irritable…

Sound familiar?

Van Tulleken goes as far as to describe UPF not as food, but as an "addictive edible substance."

He cites a 2019 study led by Kevin D. Hall, where participants on an ultra-processed diet consumed more calories than those on an unprocessed diet. Van Tulleken’s contention, therefore, is not about whether one should opt for a full-sugar cola or a diet soda, but about recognizing and limiting the consumption of ultra-processed foodstuffs.

Given that UPFs make up a staggering 57% of the average American diet, it’s an important chat to have!

[Continue reading here… ]

Tastes Too Good to Be Gluten Free…

How much do you love to eat bread?


How would you like to try the best tasting bread of your life!?

Full of flavor and character… Far more delicious than any store-bought gluten-free could ever be. And…

What if this bread was gluten free? – the healthiest bread of your life!!


How it would be to experience the heart warming, heavenly aromas…

With sweet, fresh-baked smells rising from your kitchen oven… flowing through your family home, and putting peaceful smiles on your family’s faces.

Whether that’s luscious sandwich bread for your family to take with them into the world… Or

Maybe BBQ breads… perfect for hot summer days with your family!

Upgrade Your Plate…

As the school year winds down, we're all looking for ways to keep our children healthy, happy, and energized during the long, sunny days ahead.

That's why this week's 'Upgrade Your Plate' focuses on delicious, nutritious alternatives to traditional after-school snacks like your carby/ sugary PB&J sandwich…

Fiber filled Smoothies!

Smoothies have become a popular choice among health-conscious people for their ability to pack an impressive nutrient punch in a convenient, drinkable form. One of my favorites is the PB&J Smoothie, a delightful twist on the classic sandwich that your kids are sure to love.

Here's why swapping out those traditional snacks for a smoothie can be a real upgrade:

Nutrient-Dense: Smoothies made with whole fruits, vegetables, and other natural ingredients provide a range of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, you can sneak in some greens, and your kids won't even notice!

Hydrating: As the weather gets warmer, keeping hydrated becomes even more critical. Smoothies, which are high in water content due to the fruits and vegetables used, can help with that, keeping your little ones refreshed and hydrated.

Versatile and Fun: Smoothies offer endless possibilities for creativity. From berries and bananas to spinach and chia seeds, there are countless combinations to try. You can even involve your kids in the process, making it a fun summer activity!

No Added Sugar: Unlike many traditional snacks that are high in added sugars and low in nutrients, smoothies typically get their sweetness from natural sources, like fruit.

Satisfying: With the right ingredients, like the protein-rich peanut butter in our PB&J Smoothie, these drinks can be filling and provide sustained energy.

Including different types of healthful foods, like these smoothies, can help you and your children get a wide range of nutrients. So, let's make the most of the summer season and upgrade our plates (or in this case, our cups) with refreshing, nutritious smoothies!

Free recipe below!

The ​Cooking Corner

Summers Healthy Take on PB & J

This smoothie is such a fun way to satisfy those PB & J cravings! The frozen fruit and peanut butter make this smoothie ultra-thick and creamy. Serve any time of the day. It can be enjoyed as a meal, snack, or dessert!

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Serves: 2 servings

  • Note: Feel free to garnish with some fresh berries, a drizzle of peanut butter or mini Vegan chocolate chips if desired.


  • 1 frozen (118g) banana

  • 1 cup (190g) frozen raspberries

  • 1 cup (240g) Vegan milk

  • 2 tbsp all-natural creamy peanut butter

  • 1 scoop vanilla Vegan protein powder (optional)


  • First, add all ingredients to a blender.

  • Blend on high until fully creamy.

  • Finally, pour into cups and enjoy!

As easy as A, B, C…Enjoy!

[Find even more recipes here]

Food for Thought…

“I’m an impatient woman, the kind of woman that likes dessert for dinner”.

– Lesley Manville in Prime Video’s new series Citadel.

Patience may be a virtue but sometimes I just can’t wait…

Do you find yourself grabbing for the cupcakes pre-dinner?

My door is always open for questions, and don’t forget we have our lovely Facebook group where you can post, share and get inspired!

Nicole x

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