Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food – Hippocrates

A bit of a late blog this evening.  After a phone call with my Mum I started researching ways in which food and lifestyle have positive affects on the brain.  Just over a year ago my Mum had an acoustic neuroma tumour removed from her brain, they were unable to remove all of it but enough to prevent it from being life threatening.  Needless to say it shook the family up.  Since the operation there have been various complications, today she told me she is now looking at how to treat Synkinesis/Bells Palsy which has now developed.  One of the suggestions to her was to use Botox – to me this seems incredulous – why would you think that putting poison into your face is actually curing something?  So I have started investigating alternative methods and it’s a long process.

I wanted an answer to a question that popped into my head:
What foods have an affect on the brain and can it be broken down into what part of the brain they affect?

After starting 2015 working on my own personal health choices and what foods I put into my body I have learned many interesting facts about the benefits fresh foods contain and how they can help various parts of the body.  Food also affects hormones produced in the body.  Can I find a link that could show that certain foods included into my Mum’s diet could have a direct beneficial influence on Synkinesis?

In addition to my burning question I have also found (that don’t involve surgery, Botox or drugs) facial nerve physical therapy (not provided on the NHS in her town), acupuncture and of course plenty of water are beneficial but I want to do more research and find more answers.

I will keep on with my search and in the meantime I welcome any advice or information.

(Featured image from: jeffreysterlingmd.com)


New Habit Alert!

Every habit starts slowly and gradually and before you know you have the habit, the habit has you”  Zig Ziglar.


Source and more info: http://blog.addapp.io/hacking-habits-make-new-habits-stick/

We all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day – and I won’t become healthy immediately with a complete lifestyle change today but I’m slowly introducing new habits into my life.

Habit 1: Every morning I have and will have one full glass of water when I wake up.

In reading various articles I picked up somewhere along the way something that stuck with me – how much water we must lose during our sleep just through breathing.  It got me thinking about my morning routine which used to involve having a cup of tea once awake and then coffee thereafter – when did I even start to hydrate?  Maybe that would explain the headaches I used to get or sluggish feeling.  So now I down a glass of water as soon as I wake up and try to keep having glasses of water throughout the day.  After having done this for a few days or more now I am actually craving the glass of water when I wake up and needing the top ups throughout the day!

To make up for my lapse over the weekend I have ensured I have eaten well today.  I even made my very first smoothie (photo on instagram) of leek, spinach, cucumber, carrot, avocado and matcha powder.  I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever tasted but it wasn’t that bad either – I think I will need to work on it a bit more (a lot more!), perhaps find sweeter options.  To be honest I wasn’t planning on making a smoothie so I had just grabbed what I had in the fridge and threw it in the blender…I’m not highly recommending this recipe haha

Using Instagram to post photos has helped keep me motivated as well as gain inspiration from others who are on the same journey – it is definitely important that when considering making changes in your life that you find like-minded people who will encourage and support you it makes a huge impact to your motivation that day!

So, what’s going to be your new habit?

I’m not perfect.

And I’m not afraid to admit that I’m not perfect. Who would want to be. I am human and last night I went out and had a few cocktails and shots…needless to say I am feeling utterly terrible today – I decided against my better judgement to have junk food to soak up the alcohol in my system but to be honest with you the only thing that is making any difference to how I am feeling is good old fashioned water…

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and a lot of it! I guess that’s my body’s way if telling me what works and what doesn’t hey?!

Do post comments if you know what foods work best to help with a hangover so next time I lean for the take-out menu I can check in and find an alternative. Of course there’s always not drinking at all but I doubt that will happen immediately.

Any advice gratefully received!


Oooh just LOOK at what has arrived this morning courtesy of bookbargainsonline:


I am so excited to read this!!  Okay, let me back track a little.

You are wondering whyyyy am I reading a book that Cameron Diaz has written?  Well, I had assumed she was just this stunningly beautiful actor (who I was totally jealous of because, well, why can’t I look like that? She doesn’t even need make-up) but having seen her in a few interviews recently I actually came round from all the jealousy and actually started listening.  She was making sense to me and in a way that I found inspiring – most especially as she addresses the aging issue and who wants to get older right?  She has a great perspective on it, check it out for yourself and let me know what you think:


I’ve already read the first couple of chapters (!) and it’s an easy read.  I think this is definitely going to be a tool for me to use going forward.

Look, if I’m going to be eating things I used to turn my nose up at and stop eating things I currently love – I want a damn good reason why!!

Knowledge is another key to success.

8 Amazing Health Benefits of Leeks

Having made a dinner of grilled salmon on a bed of sautéd leeks with other vegetables it got me wondering….are there even any health benefits to leeks?? I picked them up because I know they have a sweet taste and I’m a bit of a sucker for that. In asking my flat mate about the health benefits she didn’t think there was much in it, disgruntled I googled and now happy I came across this great post below!
I shall be eating leeks again!

The leek is a vegetable that belongs, along with onions and garlic, to the genus Allium, however unlike its fellow members, leeks do not form bulbs. The edible part of the leek plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths called the stem or stalk. While leeks may appear unassuming or even boring, they have several health benefits that are similar to those of garlic and onion.leeks

Nutritional Content of Leeks

100 grams of leeks contain about 83g water, 1.5g protein, 14g carbohydrates and minimal fat. Leeks are a source of several vitamins and nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, magnesium and manganese.

Health Benefits of Leeks

1. Fight cancer: Leeks are a good source of allyl sulfides which have been shown to modify certain pathways associated with the growth of tumors.

2. Protects linings of blood vessels: The flavonoid kaempferol which…

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Warning: Real and Raw blog do not read if sensitive to reality* and human nature.

Please heed the title warning!

I don’t know about you but on my search for change and looking into how to be happier and healthier I’m coming across all these sites that sing out from the bright silver linings of the clouds and spouting about the wonderment that is life that I’m somehow missing.  Don’t get me wrong, each to their own and it certainly is inspiring to read but after a few hours I start thinking – oh come on – really?!

Reality* check – as much as I’d love to, I am not going to wake up every morning with a sparkling smile on my face and a leap in my step Disney style.  In fact, there are some days that those people really get under my skin and the ones that do bring a smile to my face are Jack Dee types of the world who can make light of their (very normal, human and perhaps quite British) cynicism and grumpy views to this thing we call life.

I am keeping it real.  I am keeping it raw.  This is about my personal journey of discipline – i.e. making myself do things every single day that I may not necessarily feel like doing – but knowing it is for my greater good.  I am blogging about it because I am naively assuming you will take pity and throw out some words of encouragement (please!) or maaaaybe even inspire a few of you fellow cynics out there “if she can do it – so can I” style!  Or you can scoff, which you’re free to do but obviously I’d rather you didn’t, it’s not helpful – it will give you momentary pleasure but it’s not worth it, some part of your conscience will feel bad and then you’ll wish you hadn’t.  Plus karma will come and bite you.  Anyway, if you do, I will glance away from my screen and what will catch my eye, folding over the base of my laptop that’s precariously balanced on my lap?  My once toned stomach which now resembles more of a round podgy laughing Buddha stomach, it would be great if I had the spiritual wisdom or luck that came with that but I don’t – and I’m not laughing.  This will keep me on my path of discipline!

Anyway, this year I am determined to make changes so I feel happier.  It’s not just going to be about the food I eat, the exercise I do but also and perhaps more importantly it will be about how and what I think. Picking up the Buddha theme again inspired by my stomach: “What you think you become”.

I am going to update every day, be it one line or a few paragraphs – I’m human so bear with me and be prepared….you can bet I’m not going to be ‘oh la la la this is so fun and enlightening and I am floating on a cloud of bliss and happiness’… it’s going to be tough (I’ll be changing up bad habits of a lifetime here and introducing new ones I’ve previously dismissed), I’ll probably have my grumpy cat face on and I am going to have down days  – but this time I am going to work through them!  I am going to try, try, try, try, try and keep trying until I am doing – until I am being!  Until Health Becomes Me!

Join me on my journey!

Help me help you – or even better help me help me!!

Words of encouragement mean everything right now!

Thank you.


*NB Reality based on my personal experience and my view of the world (which some people might relate to or I might be standing out on that plank all on my own) also I’m not saying my said reality isn’t susceptible to change.  It does not in any way take away from other people’s reality, saying it’s right or wrong – we are all made up differently – thank God – makes the world an interesting place to be!