Books

Books

All books are available to purchase on Amazon, on Gillbooks.ie or in Easons Bookshops nationwide.

 

Mediterranean Mood Food

My latest book is called Mediterranean Mood Foods.  It’s well established that adhering to the Traditional Mediterranean Diet brings many heart, circulatory and physical health benefits. But now, new evidence suggests that the Mediterranean diet may also help lower the risk of depression too, with those who follow the diet experiencing a significant reduction in symptom severity.

I want people to think ‘food first’ before they consider medication for mental and physical dis-ease. Medication is often long term and has side effects. Our food, drinking and activity habits can be as effective, if not more effective than medication when it comes to managing many mental and lifestyle related disease.

The new evidence we have on food and depression needs to be public knowledge and it affects many of us here in the Western World. The food-gut microbiome-brain connections are fascinating and many people are still unaware of the far reaching effects of what and how they eat.

I feel strongly about the environment and how food production can help or hinder it in the long-term. We need to define a safe operating space for food systems that can enable us to meet our environmental targets for this planet.We now have evidence that a more plant based diet is a win win for both human health and the environment. This book is based on a food pattern that is largely plant based with a moderate intake of seafood, poultry and dairy and the occasional red meat meal. The two agendas of health and sustainability can be merged and viewed as one.

Gut health is for everyone. Our challenge is how do we eat something living every day. Fermented probiotic foods are included in many recipes and most recipes are based on the premise that we need to eat more prebiotic vegetables daily. Rather than suggesting  people eat in a restrictive way my philosophy is to use fresh food with lots of flavour to make food and mealtimes enjoyable and accessible to everyone.

There are a number of jigsaw pieces that connect to build good mental and physical health. This book is about a sustainable long - term approach to good health and longevity - an antidote to the growing number of Fad Diets out there.

The science of ‘eating for health’ doesn’t need to be hyped to grasp attention. It just needs to be translated into some simple practical steps which most of us can understand and implement if we choose to.

In this book I give the Traditional Mediterranean Diet a make-over.  The foods in my recipes are pretty common-place, accessible and affordable. Mediterranean Mood Food is designed to be a flexible, easy to follow – a real food approach where calories are not the central focus, neither are units and points.

In a meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal, which collectively included 1.5 million people, researchers found that greater adherence to a Mediterranean Diet resulted in significant improvements to health, including a 9% drop in overall mortality, a 9% drop in mortality from heart disease and stroke and a 13% reduction in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

When you eat food direct from nature you don’t need to worry about getting enough vitamins, mineral or fibre to feed the good gut bacteria. And you don’t have to worry about the balance of fats  or avoiding trans fats , sugar or salt. When you focus on real food, calories and nutrients tend to take care of themselves.

This book is a modern twist on the traditional Mediterranean diet. It will help you physically and mentally to stay in great shape and lower your risk of lifestyle related disease.

 

Your Middle Years; Love them, Live them, Own them!

I had a lot of questions when I reached menopause. While doctors were matter-of-fact and friends had light-hearted conversations about this time of life, there was no road map for what, if unprepared, can be a turbulent transition. That’s why Kate O Brien and I put our heads together and wrote one ourselves.

Combining our joint expertise, it shows that midlife and the menopause years are NOT a stumbling block but an opportunity to embrace maturity, feeling energised, refreshed and ready to take on the next phase of life with gusto.

Your Middle Years, love them, Live them, own them is a timely call to women in midlife to make the most of what could be the most exciting chapter in their lives.

You can buy Your Middle Years on Amazon, on Gillbooks.ie or find it / order it in any good bookshop.

Click here for more details on Your Middle Years the book.

Gut Feeling

Fodmaps are found in many everyday foods. These foods are not necessarily unhealthy. In fact, foods such as chickpeas, butterbeans and cashew nuts and certain fresh foods (avocado, beetroot and apple) are both nutritious and high in Fodmaps.

Fodmaps stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are small constituents of foods that are poorly absorbed in people who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gut disorders.

When these food components fail to be absorbed from the small intestine, they continue along the gut into the large intestine. Here gut bacteria ferment the Fodmaps and cause a range of symptoms including excessive wind, abdominal bloating, distension and changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of both).

An Australian research team from Monash University was the first to investigate the benefits of restricting Fodmaps in IBS patients. As they manipulated the Fodmap content of the diet, they saw a significant change in the pattern of gas production and other gut symptoms. Since then they have established a precise method of analysing the Fodmap content of a wide variety of Australian and international foods. This means we can now access a comprehensive and accurate database of Fodmap containing foods.

It is estimated that bowel conditions affect as many as one in five people and IBS is particularly common in young women in their 20s and 30s. Gut symptoms can make people feel wretched and consistently interfere with the enjoyment of food and the ability to live a normal life. Thanks to the Monash scientists we understand the mechanism by which the Low Fodmap diet works and we have the evidence that symptoms either improve or are resolved in three out of four people with IBS.

Ideally Gut Feeling is an adjunct to help patients avoid their trigger foods, tailor their cooking skills and follow low Fodmap recipes. All recipes are analysed for their nutrition content and allergens. Symbols are used to help quickly identify meals relevant to the IBS patient; ‘high in fibre’, ‘low in calories’, ‘spicy’ etc.

The book also provides food swap ideas, eating out tips and information on how best to eat with specific symptom. For example, it is best to avoid supplementing your diet with wheat bran if you have constipation. Ground linseeds (6–24g per day) can help relieve abdominal discomfort and bloating if you have constipation.

With 100 versatile recipes, including dinners that include Beef and Bok Choy Stir-Fry and Chicken Skewers with Corn and Rice Salad those who suffer with a sensitive gut can find real relief and still enjoy their food.