crash-diet
Crash Diets Don’t Work

How many times have you been on a diet? Do you get excited about the latest diet, follow it for a while and see what happens, only to find that it didn’t live up to expectations, or do you have one favourite diet that you go back to time and again that gets you the […]

Read more
exam-nutrition-brain-food
Brain food – what to eat if you’re doing exams

Exam season is fast approaching, and students everywhere are cramming in as much revision as possible. If you are on the brink of sitting your GCSEs, A-levels or end-of-year exams, spare a thought for how the food you eat could help to optimise your brain power. Simply making a few changes to what you choose […]

Read more
It’s not what we eat, it’s what we don’t eat – the value of a well-balanced diet

The fact that eating a well-balanced diet supports our mental and physical wellbeing and is likely to reduce risk of some diseases like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers is old news, but what may come as a surprise is just how dangerous the food on your plate could be. Last week the […]

Read more
workplace health nutrition desk
Vital Nutrition for Workplace Health

Most days of the week I am popping in and out of workplaces all over Northern Ireland advising people how to eat well at work as part of their workplace health strategies. Here at Vital Nutrition HQ, we support business large and small to make their workplace a healthy place to be. Today’s blog is […]

Read more
How healthy are you and can eating affect that?

How would it feel to be 100 per cent super duper healthy? When I ask that question in the workshops that I run, the first thing people usually say is “to feel energised”, closely followed by “happiness”. Sunday April 7 was World Health Day. According to the WHO (The World Health Organisation), the definition of health […]

Read more
Why you should eat your greens (and purples)

The term ‘superfood’ is often used to describe exotic foods that are relatively new to our diet, with exotic names like acai, goji or chia, but there are a group of green (and purple) super-duper foods that the Irish have been eating for generations that promise a myriad of health benefits. Brassicas or cruciferous vegetables […]

Read more
How to control sugar cravings

Do you have a sweet tooth? Wondering how you can control your sugar cravings? If so, you are not alone. It is estimated that the average adult eats 130 teaspoons of sugar a week. That’s three times that recommended by the WHO. Our sugar consumption has got out of control and it is wreaking havoc […]

Read more
Immune Boosters

If you have been feeling a little under the weather, a bit run down, and just not quite as healthy as you would like to feel, I have a few simple immune boosters that most of us will find easy to include in our regular diet. My top ten immune boosters: Berries – dark coloured berries […]

Read more
Eat yourself to sleep – 10 tips for better shut-eye

A good night’s sleep leaves us refreshed, revived and ready to start the day with a spring in our step. With the recommended eight hours a night, sleep plays a significant role in healing and repairing our body. Insomnia and erratic sleep patterns have been associated with everything from obesity and cardiovascular disease, to depression […]

Read more
Do you know what’s in your daily multivitamin?

Do you take a daily multivitamin? How do you know if it’s doing you any good? In an age where we can buy cheap multivitamins off the shelf at the supermarket for a few quid, or spend a hefty wadge of cash on more expensive ones from health-food shops and specialist online stores, do you […]

Read more
Eat more fibre, for the good of your health!

We know it keeps us regular and helps to prevent constipation, but apart from the effects on bowel health, did you know that getting sufficient fibre in our diet is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, weight management and bowel cancer.  We should be aiming for 30g fibre a […]

Read more
A healthy body isn’t made of New Year resolutions

Now that most of us are back at work and 2018 is becoming a distant memory, you might be starting to reflect on how you can make 2019 the year that you become a newer, faster, fitter, slimmer, better version of yourself. However well-intentioned our New Year’s Resolutions, often we set the bar too high. January […]

Read more
Eat, drink and… try my homemade Ferrero Rochers

Let’s face it – Christmas is not a time for diets, detoxes or counting calories. The season to eat, drink and be merry is definitely upon us. Most of us do our best to eat as well as we can throughout the year, making choices to ensure we eat our five a day, drink enough […]

Read more
What to eat to stay on your feet, here’s your Christmas shopping survival guide!

Writing your list and checking it twice? If you are hitting the shops to do a spot of Christmas shopping this weekend, then I have a few ideas in my Christmas Shopping Survival Guide that might help to keep your energy levels fuelled. Hydrate yourself: The first sign of dehydration can be fatigue and flagging […]

Read more
Food doesn’t have to travel half way around the world to be a ‘superfood’

Goji berries, raw cacao and acai berries have been lauded as superfoods but I prefer to look a little closer to home, to foods that don’t have to travel hundreds or thousands of food miles to reach our breakfast bowl, lunch box or dinner plate for superfoods packed full of nutrition. The dictionary definition of […]

Read more
Eat with the seasons, for your health and to enjoy autumn’s flavour palette

The darker days creep up on us slowly but there is no denying the fact that we are well in the grip of autumn now. How does the change of season affect your health? Do you embrace the ritual of making seasonal and nourishing soups and stews, or do you find yourself eating more comforting […]

Read more
There’s more to health and safety at work than high vis and hard hats

Most of us are doing our best to eat well, most of the time with a view to staying healthy, but have you ever stopped to consider the impact of the food you eat on your safety at work. This week I have been visiting different workplaces across Northern Ireland to discuss just this. I’ve […]

Read more
Eating to boost your immune system for winter

As Autumn settles in and the nights get darker our health can take a bit of a downturn. Earlier this year, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended that honey and over-the-counter medications should be used for coughs and colds before turning to our GP to ask for an antibiotic. The common cold […]

Read more
How eating well can help optimise mental health

World Mental Health Day was on Wednesday. When we talk about mental health, often the food we eat and the impact it has on our mood can get overlooked. The field of nutritional psychiatry is a fairly new one, but more and more health professionals are looking to diet and nutrition as a way to help […]

Read more
What you eat can help during the menopause

Hormonal changes can rock your world. From hot flushes and anxiety to low libido and joint pain, menopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman. Typically women start to experience signs of the menopause between the age of 45 and 55. As women approach menopause, levels of oestrogen and progesterone begin to decline, eventually leading to […]

Read more
Eating for exercise – what, when and how much

When it comes to looking after yourself, diet and exercise go hand in hand. Whether you are exercising for health and wellbeing or for competitions and performance, what you eat before, during and after training can affect recovery, fat burning and stamina. Some smart choices will help you get maximum results. If you are trying […]

Read more
Nutrition is about much more than the sum of calories in food

Recent news reports have been all over the idea that there should be a calorie count on menus in cafes, restaurants and your favourite takeaway in a bid to help control the obesity epidemic. While I am all for helping people to make healthier choices, I am not entirely in agreement that calorie counting is a […]

Read more
Veganism is popular – but is it healthy?

2018 has been the year of the plant-based diet and the trend for veganism is on the up. With concerns over the environment, animal welfare and health, and supermarkets and major retailers offering new products to support a plant-based diet, more people are switching to the vegan way of life, at least a few days […]

Read more
Get into the swing of the changing seasons

September feels like a fresh start. A time to reflect and get ourselves back on track after the relaxed months of summer. Maybe its because kids are back to school and we are back in the routine of real life, or maybe it’s the change of season that gets us motivated to take action to clear […]

Read more
Bring balance back to your diet

If every Monday morning starts with great intentions to get fitter, healthier and become a new and improved version of yourself, but by Saturday you are chastising yourself for another failed diet, then maybe it is time to change the way you think about food. For many of us food means dieting, restriction, watching calories, carbs, […]

Read more
The health benefits of tea

If Ireland has a ‘national drink’, then arguably it has to be a good cup of tea: whether in times of grief and sadness or happiness and celebration, it is what we turn to for comfort. Tea drinking has been considered a healthy habit since ancient times, and now there is a mass of evidence to […]

Read more
Are you getting enough fibre in your diet?

Dietary fibre may not be the most glamorous subject in the nutrition world but there may be more to this indigestible substance than keeping us regular. Getting sufficient fibre in our diet could play a role in supporting weight management, blood-sugar control, cardiovascular health and hormone balance. :: What is fibre? When we think fibre, […]

Read more
The sweet and low-down on sugar alternatives
The sweet and low-down on sugar alternatives

Last week I was chatting to you about how to manage sugar cravings. So now that your sweet tooth is under control, let’s take closer look at some of the sugar alternatives available, for that every once in a while when you want a little something to sweeten up your life. Cutting back on sugar […]

Read more
A quick guide to curbing your sugar cravings

Do you need a sugar fix? If your sweet tooth is leading you into the temptation of chocolate, biscuits and sweets more often than is healthy, it could be more than just a matter of lack of willpower. We all know the dangers of too much sugar in our diet – from obesity and type […]

Read more
Get kids in the kitchen this summer!

Summer holidays can be a challenging time for parents trying their best to feed their kids well. With long summer days, holiday lie-ins and the temptation to curb boredom with food, children (and adults) are more likely to be tempted by sugary treats, ice cream and junk food, but good nutrition does not have to […]

Read more
My tips for eating your way to better health

Good health is a question of balance. According to the World Health Organisation, health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. We have the power to change our health simply by making some changes to the food we choose, how we move our bodies […]

Read more
Fats and oils for cooking, spreading, drizzling

If there is one nutritional issue that tends to confuse people, it’s the question of fats. What are the best oils to cook with, spread on and drizzle over your food? Before we go any further, though, let’s talk about saturated fats. For years we have been told to eat ‘low fat’, avoid saturated fat and […]

Read more
Chewing the fat!

For far too many years, the diet industry has been encouraging us to limit our intake of calories in a quest to lose weight. A low calorie diet inevitably means a low fat diet, as gram for gram fat contains more calories than the other macros in our diet, providing 9kcals per gram compared to […]

Read more
Time restricted eating – a beginner’s guide

In modern life we are surrounded by food, all of the time. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready in an instant at any time of the day or night for when we feel a bit peckish. We have become a society of grazers. For the vast majority of us, […]

Read more
Don’t forget that there’s a knack to snacking

Are you a snacker? Sometimes there are so many conflicting rules and contrasting regulations about healthy eating, that it can end up getting totally confusing. Take snacking as an example. One rule says we should eat little and often, and then something else tells us not to snack between meals. So how so we know what […]

Read more
Sunny spell lays bare obesity problem

Seduced by the heat of the sun, t-shirts have been whipped off and legs that have been in hibernation since last summer have seen the light of day. If you have noticed an extra inch or a little more wobble with each passing summer, you are not alone. Research shows that, in the past 20 years, […]

Read more
Here’s my menu to help you survive your exams

AS EXAM season starts and GCSE and A-level exams get under way, good nutrition could be the key to helping students cope a little better with stress, as well as having an impact on memory and concentration. Here are my top tips for eating to survive exam season: :: Keep well hydrated. The first sign […]

Read more
Porridge for breakfast? There’s porridge and there’s porridge…

Take a walk down the cereal aisle of any supermarket and you are sure to be bombarded with promises of health and wellbeing. For most people, breakfast is a quick meal eaten to fuel our morning. Sometimes cereal packages are not what they seem, and with hidden sugars and incomprehensible food labelling, simply choosing a […]

Read more
Eating better is simplest form of health insurance

If I told you that there was something we could all do to be a healthy weight, feel more energised, stop sugar cravings, support our immunity and promote good health, would you want a bit of it? Most of us would jump at it, wouldn’t we? Although it sounds too good to be true, this […]

Read more
Diet tips for those with Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is neurological condition that affects around 8,000 people in Ireland. It is named after Dr James Parkinson, who first identified it in 1817. Parkinson’s disease affects the way the brain co-ordinates body movements. This Wednesday (11 April) is World Parkinson’s Day, with events happening all over the UK and Ireland all week to help raise awareness about […]

Read more
What has changed in our society to make so many of us fat & sick?

Recent headlines have not been great news for our health, and perhaps a sign that our nutrition is out of balance. Type 2 diabetes has increased by 62% since 2007 and more than 7 in 10 millenials will be overweight or obese by the time they reach middle age. Is this a sign of our times? What has […]

Read more
Eggs are not just for Easter

If you were off chocolate for lent, I’m sure you were eagerly anticipating munching your way through at least one chocolate Easter egg at the weekend.Whether chocolate, painted, rolled or hunted, eggs are synonymous with Easter celebrations as a symbol of new life, fertility and rebirth. The tradition of painting eggs pre-dates Christianity as a […]

Read more