Sweet Potato – Turmeric Soup

Sweet Potato – Turmeric Soup

This lovely warming soup is a great winter warmer filled with goodness!


3 large sweet potatoes

1 large onion

2 celery sticks

2-3 cloves garlic

2 tsp tumeric powder

1 tsp paprika powder

1 – 400g can/container chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

2.4 litres water



Add the olive oil to a large pot, place on stove top on medium heat.

Chop the onion & celery and add both to pot. Soften onion for about 10 minutes then add chopped garlic, turmeric, paprika and cook for 2 minutes.

Chop sweet potatoes into small chunks, add to pot with tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down a bit to simmer for 25-30 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft.

Turn stove off and mix soup with a stick hand mixer or cool soup and add to a blender to mix.

Reheat soup on stove top on low if needed and serve.

What The Heck Are Free Sugars with @sr_nutrition

In this interview with Registered Nutrition Consultant Charlotte Stirling-Reed I ask….”What the heck are free sugars and how many should we have?”


What The Heck Are Free Sugars from Charlene Hutsebaut on Vimeo.

8 Top Tips to manage your IBS and keep food interesting

A guest expert post by Nutritional Therapist Ian Craig – @ian_fsn

Reader Question: “I’m always on the hunt for ideas to manage my diet: I have IBS and tend, if anything, to lose weight rather easily so eating is not about control or restriction for reasons of weight loss. It’s more about keeping me interested in a rather restricted diet and maintaining health & strength.”

Answer: IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a term used to say that you have a nondescript imbalance in your gut function – it’s often the ‘diagnosis’ used when the doctor doesn’t really know what’s wrong with you…. In my clinic, I see IBS sufferers on an almost daily basis and when they are willing to engage in some significant eating and lifestyle changes, I almost always see great improvements in gut health.


Here are eight top tips for interesting eating that should alleviate IBS symptoms:

  • Food sensitivities – the first thing I do when someone presents with IBS is to find out which foods are irritating their gut. I either use a IgG food sensitivity test or I do a food elimination-challenge test. Try this: remove all wheat, dairy, sugar and alcohol from your diet for 2 weeks. Then, taking 2 days per food, consume that food at least 3 times per day and simply take a note of your symptoms. This should give you a good sense of intestinal irritants.
  • Food replacements – now you’ve identified some foods to avoid, you’ll be looking for alternatives. For wheat, the obvious suggestion is to go gluten free, but I often find that that isn’t completely necessary. Try a 100% rye sourdough bread instead of wheat bread; try oat cakes instead of wheat crackers; try pasta made of vegetables or quinoa instead of wheat. For dairy, I tend to go for sugar-free nut milks and rice milks…. or proper fermented milks.
  • Embrace fermenting – fermenting is not only an old method of preserving food. It uses healthy bacteria and yeasts to break down the hard-to-digest proteins and sugars in foods, plus it provides your gut with these healthy microorganisms. For example, proper probiotic yoghurt and kefir are much easier to digest than milk. Even people with dairy ‘sensitivities’ may be fine with these. Try some sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) – this really is the ‘new’ probiotic supplement and tastes great with a salad.
  • The power of fresh – fresh fruits and vegetables contain enzymes that help you to digest foods. Pineapple and papaya are particular favourites, but also just try to include a small salad with most meals. Additionally, when you are steaming green vegetables, you will maintain some of their raw values by pulling them off the heat the moment they begin to soften.
  • Stocks are king – If you’ve just had a roast chicken, put the carcass plus the gelatine in a slow cooker, add water and 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, and cook for 2 days. Then freeze small containers of the stock and each time you make a soup, stew, curry etc, add in a portion. Stocks are high in collagen, gelatine, minerals and various nutrients that are nourishing to your gut lining – this is an age-old practice for improving gut health. Also, buy bones and joints from an organic butcher for making other kinds of stocks.
  • Prebiotic fibre – prebiotics feed our probiotics (good bacteria). They are very simply a certain type of fibre, found in common foods. eg. a slightly under-ripe banana, Jerusalem artichokes, cooked cooled potato or rice (eg. potato or rice salad). One of my favourites is stewed apple with cinnamon. The pectin in apples is very restorative to gut health, especially when it has been cooked.
  • Anti-microbial foods – nature contains foods that fight the microbes that we’re exposed to on a daily basis. For example, coconut contains caprillic acid, which is effective against Candida; oregano and thyme, typical of Italian cooking, contain strong anti-parasitic properties; and garlic is pretty much effective against any microorganism. By including these herbs and foods in our diets on a daily basis, we should rarely need the antithesis of nature: antibiotics.
  • Pack in the protein – I noted in your question that you were having problems maintaining body weight. By including a lot of the suggestions above and improving your overall gut health, this should make a big difference. In addition, aim to include protein in your diet on a regular basis. Stocks are a great way of getting this in. It might also be worth you making a smoothie once/day with a whey isolate or brown rice or hemp protein powder – it also gives you the opportunity to include some healthy fruit and fermented milk product like yoghurt or kefir.


Ian current

Ian Craig MSc (Ex Phys) BSc (Nut Ther) DipCNE INLPTA is an exercise physiologist, nutritional therapist, NLPpractitioner and an endurance coach. He was a British competitive middle-distance runner for 20 years and is now a more leisurely runner and cyclist. Ian specialises in Functional Sports Nutrition, a fast evolving discipline that considers both health and performance of an athlete from an integrative health perspective. Ian is the editor of the UK magazines, Functional Sports Nutrition and Total Sports Nutrition, he leads the Middlesex University Personalised Sports Nutrition postgraduate course and the new Functional Sports Nutrition Academy. In South Africa, he is a consultant for genetics company DNAlysis Biotechnology and runs a private exercise & nutrition practice at the Morningside Sports Medicine clinic in Johannesburg. 

To have a skype session with Ian go to his website here.


Naturya – Organic Hemp Protein Powder

Increases Energy ,Vitality and Well Being

Our hemp protein powder contains 50% protein and is 100% natural with no additives or sweeteners , preservatives or agents

Certified Organic, Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-free

Packaged in a resealable pouch for flawless freshness

Gluten and lactose free, has a perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 and 3

Great post-workout to help with recovery

Press on the photo (left) to order yours through Amazon today.


IBS - Char

Sauteed Spinach with Shallots

– A guest recipe post by Anna Atkins of @lemonsqueezy – Sauteed Spinach with Shallots

Notes from Anna:

This tasty, quick and healthy side takes just 15 minutes to get to the table. Enjoy with meat or fish such as Anna’s Salmon in Citrus Sauce



  1. Rinse the spinach under running water. Peel and finely chop the shallot. Peel and crush the garlic.
  2. Warm the olive oil in a shallow pan. Add the chopped shallot and a little salt and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Put the spinach in the pan and stir briefly. Cover the pan with a lid and steam-fry the spinach for 1 minute.
  4. Remove the lid, season with a little salt and a good grinding of black pepper and boil rapidly to evaporate any cooking liquid. Serve immediately.

 Try this with Anna’s Salmon in Citrus Sauce

Salmon in Citrus Sauce

– A guest recipe post by Anna Atkins of @lemonsqueezy – Salmon in Citrus Sauce – A yummy, quick healthy dish!

Notes from Anna:

A healthy, tasty dinner bursting with zingy flavours.  Salmon is rich in the all important Omega 3 healthy fats, while the citrus fruit adds vitamin C and antioxidants.

Flake any leftover salmon and mix with chopped tomatoes and lettuce for a delicious sandwich filling for tomorrow’s lunch.



  1. Wash the orange and lemon. Grate the zest and squeeze the juice.
  2. Peel and grate the ginger.
  3. Rinse the salmon fillets and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  4. Trim the spring onions, discarding the tougher green end and the outer leaf. Finely slice and rinse under running water.
  5. Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the salmon fillets and cook over a very low heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  6. Scatter the spring onion slices, the orange and lemon zest and the grated ginger on top of the salmon and continue cooking for a further 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the orange and lemon juice over the salmon, sprinkle with salt and cook for another couple of minutes.
  8. Serve immediately.


Post-workout | Green Juice

– Experts now know it is important to take in post workout nutrition to enhance recovery and future performance.

Let’s keep it simple…..

This post-workout green juice is fabulous for replenishing energy stores and rebuilding tissues because of the carbohydrate (natural sugars) from the apple and the protein of the hemp powder.

The wheatgrass is an added bonus as it has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels which in turn allows for greater transport of oxygen around our bodies. This can enhance performance when being active.

The spinach is a nice addition to increase our daily intake of vegetables!  We can all use a little more veg in our lives!!!


Naturya – Organic Hemp Protein Powder

Increases Energy ,Vitality and Well Being

Our hemp protein powder contains 50% protein and is 100% natural with no additives or sweeteners , preservatives or agents

Certified Organic, Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-free

Packaged in a resealable pouch for flawless freshness

Gluten and lactose free, has a perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 and 3

Great post-workout to help with recovery


Press on the photo (left) to order yours through Amazon today.

Magnesium to improve your fitness performance

– It is vital for your health and sports performance – yet the ‘forgotten mineral’.

 Guest author – Dr. Britt Cordi

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for our health – and ensuring an adequate intake has never been easier. Yet studies show that most people regularly eat half of the daily recommended dose!

Very few people are aware of how vital magnesium is for overall health and performance and it has been singled out as the ‘forgotten mineral’ by health specialists. 

Magnesium is involved in over 325 different biochemical reactions vital to health and performance.

It protects against heart disease and heart attacks, high blood pressure and stroke, type II diabetes and much, much more.

It is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and regulates all three of them. Contrary to popular misconceptions, it is magnesium that is actually most important in building strong bones and preventing bone loss.

When we get too low on oxygen, water or food, the consequences are serious. Yet, we often don`t realize the consequences of magnesium deficiency or imbalance, which are listed below:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep-disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Body-tension
  • Headaches
  • Heart-disorders
  • Low energy
  • High Blood Pressure
  • PMS
  • Muscle tension, craps, tremors
  • Backaches
  • Constipation
  • Kidney stones
  • Osteoporosis
  • Accelerated aging
  • Depression and mood swings, irritability
  • Irregular-heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle cramps (also in pregnant women)
  • Spasms Irritability

Just how important is magnesium to athletes?

Well, new research suggests that even small defiencies in magnesium intake can inhibit athletic performance.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency estimates that the average daily intake of magnesium in Britain for both men and women is just 227mgs – only two thirds of the US recommended daily amount (RDA) and studies carried out in 1986/87 revealed that gymnasts, footballers and basketball players were consuming only around 70% of the RDA (1).

So What’s The Take-Home Message For Athletes?

First, it’s all too easy to go short of magnesium, especially if your diet is light on foods like whole grains and cereals, green leafy vegetables, pulses (peas/beans/lentils), nuts and seeds. One study of male athletes supplemented with 390mgs of magnesium per day for 25 days resulted in an increased peak oxygen uptake and total work output during work capacity tests (2).

So how do we get enough magnesium – and what is the right proportion?

One of the major benefits of getting your nutrients from a varied whole food diet is that you’re far less likely to end up with too much of one nutrient at the expense of others. Whole foods in general contain all the co-factors and needed co-nutrients in the proper amounts for optimal health and performance.

The easiest way to secure your daily intake of magnesium in the right proportions is through:

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, wheatgrass, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds.

For vegetables, the greener the colour the higher the magnesium content.

Outdoor grown Wheatgrass is exceptionally high in natural magnesium, as it is the darkest green you have ever seen. Wheatgrass Juice has been highly regarded for its nutritional properties for many years amongst health professionals and is known as the number One Superfood as it contains over 100 nutrients.


Wheatgrass Juice – the No 1 Superfood

1 oz wheatgrass juice contains:

  • 5 times the amount of precious green chlorophyll than broccoli
  • is equivalent to 1.5 lbs of broccoli in Vitamin E content!
  • 530% RDA of B12 – that is almost as much as in shellfish and making it suitable for vegans and vegetarians
  • 17 times more Vitamin B5 than banana



  1. J Am Diet Assoc;86: 251-3 (1986) and Nutr Res;7:27-34 (1987)
  2. Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am 22:377-395 (1993)

Recommended Nutritionists

I am asked regularly what nutritionists I would most recommend.

Here are my most trusted, most of whom do skype sessions so can see you wherever you live in the world!

Liz Butler– Richmond/London & Skype – Richmond/London & Skype – General & cancer

Charlotte Watts– Brighton/London, Skype & Phone – General & stress focus

Angelique Panagos– London – General & PCOS

Charlotte Stirling-Reid–Skype & Phone – General & Children

Ian Craig – Skype – General & Sports Nutrition

6 Sneaky steps to slim your tummy – Week 1 – Sugar

Do you think you have to do 100s of sit-ups to achieve a flatter tummy? Think again!

I have brilliant news!

Finding and keeping toned abs is not all about exercising. There are other parts of our lifestyles and health routines that are more important.

Let me share a story with you.

Over the years when I have met people at parties or networking events we always get around to the “What do you do?” question. When I tell them I am a personal trainer, most people look down at their stomachs, grab a bit of flesh and say, “So, how do I get rid of this?!” It amazes me how this happens over and over again. No one has ever asked me how to get toned legs, butts, arms etc.

You want it….you got it! Let’s talk about the ever elusive flatter tummy.

Over the next six weeks here on Life Labs I will share my “6 Sneaky steps to slim your tummy.” Each post will give you an insight and some practices to implement, slowly guiding you towards making positive changes and building new habits.



Who out there is a sugar addict?

*Hands up* from me for sure!

In a nut shell sugar can cause weight gain, mood swings, energy spikes/dips and inflammation in our bodies. This has far reaching implications not only on how our bodies feel and look but also on long term health.

When we eat sugar it spikes in our blood streams quite fast. This is dealt with quickly but the problem is we are so good at this process that our blood sugars drop so low it then creates a craving for our next sugar hit. This is why if you have a sugary breakfast option or something which is high glycaemic (food’s effect on a person’s blood sugar) you will find you are really hungry again within an hour or two, craving something again by 10 or 11am. These cravings are so strong that many people give in and have more.

Sugar is described as a drug by many nutritionists.

All of this means we are taking in more energy than we need so it is then stored, normally in fat cells. If you also have a stressful life the storage is more likely to happen around your midsection. I know someone out there is reading this and thinking but what if I work out to get rid of the energy. I would say yes, true… But there are better foods out there to nurture and support your body through a day including workouts where you will have more even energy.



A life without sugar means:

  • a healthier body shape, including your tummy
  • improved moods
  • better feeling, regulated energy levels throughout a day
  • less inflammation in our bodies, meaning less chances of injuries and future disease

Practices for this week:

  1. Decrease sugar intake (let’s keep it simple to start)
    1. This includes:
      1. white bread products, sugar, additives (corn syrup, glucose, fructose etc) – check your labels!
      2. soft drinks, fruit juices & energy drinks
  2. Increase vegetables and good sources of protein (fish, chicken, nuts/seeds, avocadoes, eggs, turkey, nut butters)

Each week keep the practices from the previous week going.

So, sugar will be taken out for all six weeks…..

Press here for Week 2



I have tried to keep our approach straight forward for you. If you want more information and guidance on sugar I highly recommend the following from a few colleagues of mine:

VIDEO: by Nutritional Therapist – Angelique Panagos – “Can I eat sugar and still be healthy” – find it on her homepage

Book: by Nutritional Therapist – Amelia Freer – “Eat.Nourish.Glow”


Press on the picture to find the book.


Get in touch!


I would love to know how you are doing over our six weeks so…..

Chat with me on twitterfacebookinstagram

Let’s have some fun!!!

Find other great workout & wellness stuff on my shop!

My top 9 healthy food swaps

Some of my healthy food sways to try!

  • Crisps for apple crisps or something similar.


  • Low fat products for real original.
    • (low fat products have high sugar alternatives such as fructose added which are high calorie and inflammatory to the body)


  • Regular yogurt instead of low fat.


  • Whole milk instead of skim.
    • (when milk has the fat taken out, the good parts – Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)-  are being taken away)


  • Butter instead of margarine.


  • Processed food for real food.
    • Cook real food as much as possible for yourself so you know the ingredients.


  • Breakfast bars for homemade or healthy bars.
    • Nakd or Trek bars are healthy alternatives.



  • Cook with Coconut Oil instead of other oils as it has a better response to being heated and keeps its original elemental makeup whereas other oils when over-heated can become unstable and unhealthy for humans.



  • Make homemade chocolate instead of eating store bought as it will have better oils and ingredients.

Recipe here!