Sue Watkins Nutritional Therapist & Wellness Coach, based in Hertfordshire

Nutritional Therapy

07773 689441
Hint of Spring - time for that internal springclean?
March is already hinting at the arrival of Spring, daffodils, snowdrops and catkins starting to peep through, just a reminder though of Winter at our heels with the advent of snow!
Springtime is the opportunity to have a clean through and what a great idea to do this for our bodies too; in particular, the chance to clear the digestive system of the backlog that have accumulated over the last couple of months.
A sluggish bowel can impact our mood making us feel tired and worn out.  But, it doesn’t have to be that way, we just need to pep up our disgestion.
What does good digestion look like?
The body ideally should be clearing out the rubbish on a regular basis.  Ideally a bowel movement once a day (or even 2-3 times – without experiencing diarrhoea) helps to clear the backlog.  The bowel movement should be a straight forward performance with little paperwork.  If your bathroom visit consists of too much drama and strain these are hints that your digestion needs more support.
So what if that is not happening for you?  There are some simple things to try that might make a huge difference, let’s look at some top tips:
  • Keep hydrated-Centrally heated houses and wrapping up to keep out the cold means that we are likely to perspire more and lose fluids.Our digestion, just like our skin, can lose water and so drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day can keep us hydrated.It’s a good idea to cut down on caffeine drinks (coffee/cola) as these can leach water out of our body.
  • Activity-Maintaining movement such as walking briskly for 15-20 minutes, taking the stairs rather than the lift/escalator, standing up to take phone calls – they all amount to keeping your body moving.If your body is moving, your digestion is moving too – helping move the waste along.
  • Fibre-Adding more soluble and insoluble fibre to your diet will feed the good bacteria and help extract nutrients to feed your energy system as well as bulking the stool making it softer and easier to pass.Fibre comes from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes (beans and lentils), most of us eat 18grams per day ideally we need 30g-35g per day for a healthy bowel.Examples of high fibre foods:
    • Avocado (half) – 6.7g
    • Barley (per cup) – 6g
    • Bowl of porridge – 4g
    • Lentils (cup) – 15.6g
    • Peas (cup) – 8.8g
    • Broccoli (cup of cooked) – 5.1g
    • Raspberries (cup) - 8g
    • Fresh pear – 5.5g
    • Build fibre slowly to avoid overloading the system
  • Regular stooling  -  schedule your bathroom visit on a regular basis so that your system gets the cues that it is time to clear the rubbish.
  • Colonics  -  for those who feel that a complete clearance is order of the day then a colonic may well be the answer. 
If your digestion does not respond to the above just get in touch for a review.
February Eat in Season - Kale Chips

If you've seen kale chips in health food shops and facy trying your own, this recipe is for you!

75g cashew nuts (ideally soaked for 2 hours)
1 shallot, chopped
2tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp garlic salt
4 soft large dates, chopped
2tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp water
2tbsp apple cider vinegar
250g bag of chopped kale

1.   Blend all the ingredients except the kale until thick.  Add a little more water if needed.
2.   Remove the stems from the leaves.  Place the leaves in a bowl and pour over the sauce.  Massage thoroughly with your hands.
3.   Preheat the oven to 150C.  Spread the kale out in a single layer on a lined baking tray and bake for 15 mins then rotate the tray and continue cooking for a further 10 mins.  You may need several baking sheets to avoid the kale overlapping.    
4.   Cool for 5 mins on the baking sheet (ideally) eat right away or store in an airtight container (it will keep for about 3-4 days).     
December Eat in Season - Brussels Sprouts
DECEMBER BRUSSELS SPROUTS - Brussels sprout pad Thai (Serves 4)

I'm sure you've probably got plenty of recipes up your sleeves already for perking up the humble sprout for lunch on Christmas Day.  This recipe is perfect for using up leftovers on Boxing Day - but please do make it with fresh sprouts at other times.

250g flat rice noodles
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
200g cooked Brussels sprouts, sliced
100g beansprouts
30g peanuts, chopped (to serve)
Lime wedges (to serve, optional)

1.   Put the noodles in a lage heatproof bowl cover in boiling water and leave for 10 mins.  Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside.
2.   Mix togetehr the soy sauce, lime juice and sugar.
3.   Heath the oil in a large frying pan or wok.  Fry the garlic, spring onions, chilli and the cooked or leftover sprouts for around 2 mins, then add the noodles and beansprouts and fry for 1 min more.
4.   Pour over the sauce and toss well, working quickly to coat all the vegetables and noodles.  Once everything is heated through, season and divide between four bowls.
5.   Scatter with the nuts and serve with the lime wedges to squeeze over.
Carrot, Cumin & Quinoa Soup
Carrot, Cumin & Quinoa Soup - a heart warming receipe full of antioxidants and goodness


1/2 onion
100g quinoa
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g carrots, chopped
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 litre of hot veg stock
100g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tblsp pumpkin seeds, dry roasted in a heavy fryingp an
Fresh coriander, to serve (optional)

Warm through 2 tblp olive oil, then add the onion and garlic. Cook on a gentle heat without, colouring for about 5 mins. Add the cumin, pap ika and chilli, a splash of stock and then the carrots. Stir in the spices and add the rest of the stock along with 500ml of boiling water from the kettle. Cook the quinoa separately in boiling water, for about 8 mins (or according to the instructions on the packet), then drain and set aside. Let the soup bubble for about 10 mins.
Meanwhile, lightly toast the pumpkin seeds in a heavy frying pan, taking great care not to burn them. They will start to pop and splutter that 's the time to stick a lid on them and turn the heat right down, then off.
When the carrots are tender, take the pan of the heat and blitz the soup with a hand blender, adding a little more water it it's too thick .
Check the seasoning, then add the quinoa and stir gently. Ladle into warm bowls and crumble on the feta, sprinkle on the seeds and garnish with coriander and a grind of black pepper.