Rebalance your health energise your life!

ALISON GATT - BA [Hons], BSc, Dip ION, mBANT CNHC  


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7.11.2016

Pumpkin, Sage and Pancetta Risotto




Thank you to Melissa Gatt for doing her Halloween tricks in the kitchen! She turned her pumpkin into an absolutely delicious risotto... What a treat!
Here's how she made it...

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26.10.2016

Mushrooms and spiralised cougettes

Tonight I wanted to cook something seasonal, filling and warming! I was inspired by my packet of funghi porcini and this is what I made...




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1.5.2016

Coconut & Cherry Chocolates


Since these chocolates went down a storm at our Fasts Track to Fabulous Evenings, I decided to share the recipe with you, so, you too can make these healthy delicious treats. However, I cannot take all the glory as it was my  dear friend Belinda Blake, who introduced them to me. Thank you Belinda :) 

To Make 26 Truffles ..... 


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27.3.2016

Lamb shoulder with broad beans and herbs by Ottolenghi

 

It’s lambing season so spring is the perfect time of year to be eating this nutritious red meat. Like the broad bean in this recipe, it too is a great source of iron and B12 but iron from meat is more easily absorbed than from its plant cousin. Iron is essential...

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11.2.2016

Vegetable of the month - Jerusalem Artichokes




This wonderful, nutty flavoured tuber can be boiled, mashed, steamed, baked or fried! It is a versatile vegetable giving you an abundance of energy thanks to its slow releasing storage of inulin (not sugar). This vegetable is ideal for anyone trying to lose weight or suffering from diabetes and insulin resistance.
Actually, it is the soluble fibre of the inulin that makes this plant a good source of ‘prebiotics’ which feeds our ‘good gut bacteria’, aids detoxification of toxins and helps lower cholesterol! . However, it is this same composition
that also makes this vegetable notorious for inducing wind! Therefore, I would suggest starting with small quantities and building up!


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10.2.2016

Seasonal sniffling, sneezing and sore throats?

It’s that time of year again where colds are going around and spreading like a viral infection. Well, that is because it is a viral infection!  The virus triggers the immune system, which then activates the mucus layer in the eyes, nose and throat causing us to feel all bunged up and ‘snotty’! 


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10.2.2016

Fancy some nuts?



Here is a very quick recipe to jazz up some mixed nuts and seeds - it takes 10 mins and is a perfect snack to take anywhere and for anyone! ‪They are gluten free and rich in good fats, magnesium, vegetarian protein, selenium and zinc........


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12.12.2015

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

6000 years ago, our ancestors were roasting chestnuts on open fires in the Mediterranean mountains. Chestnuts were key to their survival thanks to their complex carbohydrates and B vitamins. These ingredients contribute to both brain function and energy levels, which was of course, essential in keeping them alert and fit for hunting in the harsh environment.


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2.9.2015

Back to school lunch box for happy, healthy children!

 It’s time to go back to school  and for many children this is a stressful time.  Choosing the right nutrients for their packed lunch could play an important role, not only on their moods and concentration levels throughout the day but also on their immune systems to fight off the colds and sore throats that start to circulate this time of year! .

So here are a few top ‘lunch box’ tips to help your children stay happy, healthy and energised!   

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9.6.2015

The wonders of watercress


Vegetable of the Month - Watercress

Making an appearance this time of year is a wonderful, peppery, leafy green called watercress. This plant, once revered by the ancient Romans for its medicinal powers, was fed to their soldiers to fight against diseases such as scurvy, bronchitis and ‘ill’ blood. 

Today, watercress is making its comeback not only because of its rich variety of nutrients but also thanks to its delicious fresh flavour and versatility in the kitchen.

Here’s a wonderful summer recipe that is perfect as a light lunch but is also delicious as an accompaniment to roasted meats. The fresh, peppery flavours of the watercress contrast with the sweet, zesty juice of the oranges. Together, they cleanse the palate and help digestion as well as add a splash of summer colour to the table.



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4.4.2015

Rosemary the perfect herb for the Easter holidays.



Traditionally, Easter provokes images of delicious family lunches of roasted Iamb with rosemary. So, I thought this would be the perfect time of year to share with you some of the health benefits from this wonderful fragrant herb. It is however, an evergreen plant, so the fresh leaves are available all year round.



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4.4.2015

CRACK OPEN AN EGG THIS EASTER!



Are eggs on your Easter menu?  I’m not talking about the seasonal chocolate ones but the eggs that we might scramble, boil or poach!  There’s often a lot of confusion around eggs;  with all the conflicting articles in the papers, it’s  no wonder we don't know if they are good or bad for our health!   So, I thought I would share a few facts with you to help you make up your own mind!


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3.3.2015

Naturally High Springs into Action!



Spring is in the air and one of the first vegetables of the season is asparagus. So, this month, let's focus on why asparagus should be at the top of your shopping list.

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17.2.2015

Happy Pancake Day!


Pancake Day!

 

Try this delicious gluten and dairy free pancake recipe for Pancake Day!

 




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12.2.2015

Chilli peppers can spice up your love life and much, much more!

We, as a nation, love ‘foreign’ foods.  This is possibly because of their exotic aromas and the fantastic array of spices used to enhance their flavours.

There are over 200 herbs and spices on this planet but on average, we only use about 5 of them in the UK!

 

Herbs and spices are Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet.   In fact, when I worked in the jungles of Belize, the local people used the herbs from the rain forest for their every day needs such as for snakebites, fever, antiseptics, contraceptives, headaches etc – it was fascinating to see first hand how they relied on their surroundings to survive and used their knowledge of the medicinal powers available.


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20.1.2015

DETOX TO FEEL NATURALLY HIGH

Are you one of the many who are detoxing this January?

Well, here’s some food for thought! Did you know the average person uses about 10 products a day?

This means that everyday on average we absorb about 126 different chemicals through our skin. How?  Lead is often used in red lipstick, aluminum in deodorants and flame retardants on our furniture. Then we drink the BPAs that seeps into our coffees from the plastic cups and eat the pesticide residue that is on our unwashed fruit and veg. This is in addition to all the shampoos, toothpastes, moisturizers, hair dyes etc which that all contain chemicals.

 

So what does this mean to our bodies?


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1.1.2015

Brussels Sprouts – Not just for Christmas!

As a child, I disliked Brussels sprouts and I know I was not the only one! You either love them or hate them. The latter is mainly due to their horrid sulphurous smell that fills the room when they have been over cooked.
 

Today, I love Brussels sprouts. So now, it’s become my aim to help the rest of the Nation fall in love with them too!

Below is a very simple, quick recipe for you to try, not just for Christmas day but throughout the whole winter.

Before I share it with you, I just want to give you just a little taster on how beneficial they really are to your health.

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18.12.2014

Celeriac – Beauty and the Beast.


In winter, Mother Nature  provides us with a power house of nutrients needed to protect us against the colds and flus that are flying around this time of year.  

Celeriac is quite an ugly, knobbly, root vegetable. Yet, behind it’s warty exterior, there is a treasure trove of surprises.

Ingredients;

1 butternut squash – washed and chopped into chunks (with skin on).

2-3 beetroots – washed and chopped into chunks.

2 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp fennel seeds

2 small chillies (optional)

1 garlic clove - crushed

pinch of salt and pepper

1tbsp olive oil.

 

Method;

Place the squash and beetroot into a baking dish.

In a pestle and mortar pound all the herbs into course powder. Add in the crushed garlic and mix with the olive oil.  Pour the mixture into the baking dish and mix it in with the veg. 

Bake it in the oven 200 C/400 F for about 30 mins.

 

This side dish goes well with meats and fish or you can just sprinkle goats cheese on it to keep it vegetarian.

Find out the benefits of this dish.



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13.11.2014

Is Stress Taking Over Your Health


Stressed out?


Are you aware that you might be suffering from a stress related illness? 

 

Are you lacking in energy? Do you crave sweet and/or salty foods? Are you putting on weight? Do you suffer from headaches or skin problems? Are you having digestive issues such as IBS, heartburn and food allergies? Are you suffering from excessive sweating or depression and mood swings? Do you have a low sex drive?

 

Any of these symptons could be an indication that you are suffering with long term stress.   So what is stress?


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2.11.2014

KRISPY KALE !

 



Today, I am proud to say that I made my first batch of Kale ‘crisps’ in my new dehydrator and what a success!  I was so surprised to see how my whole family polished them off in no time. In fact, the kids wanted more!  Kale is such a powerhouse of nutrients that it’s  a fantastic way of getting another green vegetable into the diet in the form of a snack  any time of the day. Whilst I used a dehydrator,  they can also be made in the oven too.

Let’s find out why kale is so good for you!


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31.10.2014

CHOCOLATE - TRICK OR TREAT?

 

Food of the gods! The Royal Aztecs drunk a bitter, spicy, frothy drink called xocoatl. Today we know it as chocolate.  Like gold to the conquistadores, the cocoa beans were very precious, so much so, they were used as a currency.

 

In modern times, chocolate is still worshipped all over the world. Yet, it is often perceived as the irresistible temptation and sinful indulgence.

So, for this Halloween, lets take a closer look at this edible gold and find out if it is a trick or treat!



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25.8.2014

Breakfast Sundae



Here’s another breakfast idea that the children made themselves in one of our sessions in school that I did with “Eat Yourself Fabulous”. It took them 5 mins to make a very creative, colourful breakfast. They all enjoyed it because they chose the ingredients themselves.  

 

 

We had bowls of sliced bananas, stewed apple with cinnamon,  dried cranberries, Greek yoghurt, oats, almond flakes, pumpkin seeds and ground walnuts.

 

This provides both a crunchy and creamy layer as well as some fruit for a natural sweet flavour.

 

It  was a great success….


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25.8.2014

Breakfast leaves you Naturally High!



Skipping breakfast seems such common practice these days. Time pressures, dieting or just the lack of appetite in the morning are some of the many reasons I hear in my clinic sessions. Working in schools, I’ve also found that about 30% of the children do not have breakfast but picked up energy drinks and chocolate bars on the way to school.  

 

So, lets just focus on why it is so beneficial to find time for breakie.


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17.8.2014

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Stumbling across an untouched village in Tuscany.

 

We were looking for a quiet place to spend our last night in Tuscany.  We had been visiting many busy touristy spots, so were in search of a local hideaway.  As luck would have it, we stumbled upon Montemagno. A stone, medieval village tucked away in the rolling hills, surrounded by olive groves. It was only 20 mins drive from Pisa Airport, which was ideal for our flight the next day.  We happened to meet a very friendly, warm woman called Nicoletta. She took us into her home, gave us olive oil bruschetta and talked passionately about her production of organic olive oil.  While we were chatting, she mentioned she had a few apartments (18th C) in the village.  Perfect – we found what we were looking for...


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16.8.2014

Salmon with avocado and olives and a rich mixture of herby, leafy salad.



Salmon with avocado and olives and a rich mixture of herby, leafy salad.

 

This simple dish is very quick and effortless and full of health promoting nutrients. It took me 15 mins to prepare and cook!


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1.8.2014

My Cod with Chorizo and Lentils Supper!



Today, I want to share with you a recipe that I cooked last night for friends.

I had spent the day travelling so I was looking for something that was effortless to prepare and flavoursome. Flicking through an Olive Magazine on the plane, I came across  this recipe. It ticked all the boxes and looked really easy, so I decided to give it a go.  It was such a success that I wanted to share it with you! 


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30.7.2014

Naturally High wishes you all a very berry summer




 It’s that time of year where berries are in abundance. They epitomize summer and are fresh, juicy and tasty!

 Berries and cherries are nature’s natural pharmacy. They are packed with antioxidants, giving them those beautiful deep colours of blues, purples and reds. These antioxidants have a myriad of health benefits: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal to name just a few.  

These small fruits are also rich in polyphenols, which protects the fruit from natural preditors while growing. Research has shown that these compounds protect against Alzheimers, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes as well as having anti-cancer properties.

So, let’s meet these berry wonders……

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29.4.2014

Go Nuts!

Naturally High goes walnuts!

Nuts? Are they friend or foe? I can't tell you how often I hear clients say they avoid nuts because they think they are fattening. So, today, we are going to focus on the many benefits that walnuts have to offer, dispelling the myth that they are our enemies!

Most nuts have both Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids. Walnuts themselves have 8 times more omega 3 than any other nut. These fats are called 'essential' because, like vitamins, we must include them in our diet for survival. Omega 3, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, helps protect against arthritis, eczema and asthma. In addition, it is believed to increase elasticity in our arteries, resulting in lowering blood pressure as well as increasing HDL 'good' cholesterol. The walnut has been labelled cardio protective.

Did you know that 60% of our brain is made of fat? So, with that in mind, the fats found in walnuts are key to our cognitive function, memory and concentration as well as influencing our moods.

It doesn't end there - walnuts are packed with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, including vitamin E, zinc and magnesium. B6 is especially important, for burning carbohydrates, protein and fat to give us energy. This explains its link to weight loss. Contrary to popular opinion, recent research has shown that eating a handful of walnuts a day helped participants to lose weight. Another study showed, eating a few nuts with breakfast will keep you fuller for longer and helps control both insulin and blood sugar levels, reducing the need to graze all day.

Even the Romans 2000 years ago, used nuts as a cure against poisons, gangrene and hair loss!!! So, folks of the 21st Century, crack open the walnut and make it your friend.

Why not try this simple, tasty recipe and remember nuts are an excellent source of protein.

Beetroot and walnut salad
In a bowl mix 3 chopped, cooked beetroots, a handful of walnuts and herbs of choice (parsley, chives, etc), 2 chopped spring onions and a sprinkle of pomegranates (optional). Season with olive oil and cider vinegar. Enjoy

If you have concerns about either weight management or inflammatory issues please contact Naturally High.


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14.2.2014

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

THE FOODS OF L♥VE

Valentine's day is fast approaching. It provides us with the perfect excuse to have foods with aphrodisiac powers. So,before getting down to the nitty gritty, remember, everything is best in moderation!

Oysters are the old favourite – according to legend, Casanova ate 50 oysters for breakfast every day! They contain D-aspartic acid found to increase sex hormones in both men and women. Plus they are one of the highest sources of zinc needed for a healthy reproductive system!

Asparagus is another one! Nicholas Culpepper, an English herbalist said, "asparagus stirs up lust in man and woman." That's why in 19th century France, asparagus was served for the nuptial feast.

Almonds, found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, were called the 'Greek nut' by the Romans. They are, in fact, the seed of the fruit, bursting with a multitude of nutrients. It includes tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin the 'happy hormone', said to arouse passion in women!


Finally, there is dark chocolate! Food of the Mayan gods! It is said, Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, drank chocolate daily to enhance is sexual prowess – he had 18 children. Chocolate contains theobromine and phenethylamine, known to stimulate both the nervous system and mood! 85% dark chocolate contains the highest levels of serotonin.

Here's a very easy recipe for Valentine's Day – it's quick and leaves you more time for romance♥!!

Chocolate Almonds Ingredients;

150gof 70% or more dark chocolate
100g -200g whole almonds (with skin)

Method;
1) Melt the bar of chocolate in a bowl over hot water.
2) Mix in the nuts – stir and cover with chocolate.
3) Cover a tray with grease proof paper, pour the chocolate/nut mixture onto the paper. Or place the nuts on the paper one at a time if you prefer individual bites.
4) Place in the fridge for 1 hour.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY FROM NATURALLY HIGH


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29.1.2014

EAT A RAINBOW A DAY

EAT A RAINBOW A DAY

The winter months offer us a rainbow of colours to boost our health and ward off all those colds and flus. Red peppers and pomegranates, green broccoli and Brussels sprouts, purple beetroot and raspberries, blackberries and carrots, swede and squash to name but a few. Each of these is bursting with antioxidants and vitamins that your body needs to keep you healthy on those rainy windy days.

So today, Naturally High is shining the light on the good old traditional carrot.

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene. In fact, that is what gives them that wonderful orange colour. It is converted, in the body, to vitamin A, which is needed for skin repair, the immune system, growth, development and eyesight to name just a few of its functions. The saying, "Eat carrots and you'll see in the dark" is not just an old wives' tale. Vitamin A is needed in the synthesis of the purple pigments in the retina, called rhodopsin, needed for night vision!

So let's spice us some carrots and enjoy the warmth and nutrients they give us.

Spicy Moroccan carrot salad - Serves 4

Ingredients;
1kg of carrots – grated (well washed)
80ml olive oil
1 onion – finely chopped
3 garlic cloves – crushed
2 medium green chilies finely chopped (optional)
1 spring onion – finely chopped
1/8 tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1tbsp chopped preserved lemon
40g fresh coriander – chopped (with extra for garnish)
120ml organic Greek or sheep's yoghurt - chilled
Salt and pepper (optional)

Method;
1) Sauté the onion for 12 mins in a little olive oil – medium heat.
2) Add all the ingredients except the yoghurt and coriander heat through for 4-5 mins. Season as desired.
3) Serve with a sprinkle of coriander and yoghurt.

I eat this dish with salads, curries, and cooked meats/fish or just as a snack if I'm feeling peckish! You can also throw in some almonds, pine nuts or raisins depending on your mood!

Say goodbye to those winter blues!


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15.1.2014

TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

Naturally High takes a walk on the wild side of Jordan

Today, I want to share the flavours of the Middle East with you. I have just returned from Jordan - a beautiful and fascinating place. The scenery, hospitality and food left me Naturally High.

With over 4000 years of history and a melting pot of different cultures, the Middle East has created a tapestry of flavorsome cuisines, which are often simple, tasty and healthy.

For these reasons, I would like share this recipe with you. It is quick and easy to make and delicious too.

Butterbeans with feta, sorrel and sumac
Adapted from Ottolenghi's "Plenty"

Ingredients – serves 2
1 tin (410g) of butterbeans
8 Spring onions – finely chopped
4tbsp of olive oil (or 11/2 tbsp coconut oil)
1 clove of garlic – crushed
1 chili finely sliced (optional)
200g sorrel or parsley or chives or dill
11/2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 preserved lemon finely chopped
150 g of feta – crumbled
2 tsp sumac (found in the herb section of most supermarkets)

Method
1) Saute the butterbeans in olive oil (or coconut oil) for 2 mins.
2) Add spring onions, garlic, chilli and sorrel for another 2mins.
3) Take off the heat and mix in the rest of the ingredients.

This recipe can be eaten hot or cold but I love it when it is still warm. Beans are a fantastic source of energy and vegetable protein. It is gluten free too!.



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8.12.2013

Season Greetings from Naturally High

Naturally High offers you guilt free treats!

Christmas is approaching and we all know it is the hardest time of the year to resist temptation - all those naughty treats, nibbles and tipples!
So to help you enjoy the festive season without too much guilt, here's a delicious alternative recipe to help you on your merry way ho ho ho!

Naturally High wishes you all a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year!

Cinnamon Balls
Adapted from a recipe by Evelyn Rose.

Ingredients
2 egg whites
100g Xylitol
200g ground almonds
1 level tablespoon cinnamon powder

Method

Set the oven to 170˚C / 325˚F / gas mark 3.
Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
Fold in the remaining ingredients.
Form into balls with wetted hands (this mixture will make about 24).
Bake on a greased baking tray for about 25 minutes, or until just firm to the touch (don't let these overcook).Gently transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!


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4.4.2013

Feeling fabulous inside and out.

Begin on the inside and work your way out!

As a nutritional therapist, I have seen how people's lives can blossom when they adapt their diet to support their individual needs. It gives them more energy, a greater sense of wellbeing and a zest for life.

When we feel alive, we have more confidence and exude positive energy from within.

But it is also so much fun to feel fabulous on the outside too! Julia Vandenburg at the House of Colour in Twickenham (www.houseofcolour.co.uk/juliavandenberg/) helped me do just that!

As a style consultant, she showed me what colours suited me best with my skin tone and incorporated these colours into my make up. She wanted me to glow or "pop" as Julia says! And she was right! My face really did "pop"! Using these tones, Julia also showed me what style of clothes suited me best for my figure, height and weight emphasizing all the best features (and hiding the other parts!)

Wow, did it make a difference! I started to feel great in what I wore and felt confidence in everything I did. Julia is brilliant – she is brutally honest and won't let you put something on if it doesn't do wonders for you! Her passion is infectious and you leave her consultations walking with a confident feel good stride!

On a practical side, knowing what colours suit me, made a big difference to my wallet. I no-longer buy clothes that I never wear and everything in my wardrobe goes together – great when packing a suitcase!

Feeling good inside and out can change your life forever!



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3.1.2013

Naturally High has fun in the kitchen!



A Snack from the cupboard or a plate of vegetables? Why not combine the two?

Last week I helped Caterpillar's Kitchen (belinda@schoolsfoodcoach.com) to teach 6/7 year old girls and boys to make healthy scones with a secret ingredient!

That secret ingredient was butternut squash! The kids poured this wonderful orange vegetable puree into a bowl and mixed it into all the other ingredients to make a very gooey, squashy mixture. This was the highlight – sticky fingers galore!

The children loved it and they all went home very proud of themselves carrying their treasure of cheese and butternut squash scones.

I loved these cooking classes, they are proactive, fun and the children learn about the benefits of vegetables in a yummy way.

They all took home a healthy snack with a vegetable that they put in themselves!


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Setting the stage for empowerment and self responsibility



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