Mediterranean Mood Food 2019
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.
The food-microbiome-brain connections are fascinating and many people are still unaware that what they eat can affect their mental health.
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.
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 – 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.
Gut Feeling 2017
Fodmaps are found in many everyday foods. Fodmaps stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are small constituents of foods that cause problem in people who have hypersensitive guts, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gut disorders.
The gut bacteria ferment the Fodmaps in the large bowel 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.
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.
Your Middle Years; Love them, Live them, Own them! 2016
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.
With advice on diet, beauty, sex, sleep, emotional health and more, it will empower you before, during and after the menopause, helping you to anticipate and manage the changes. Don’t fear your middle years – embrace them feeling strong, vibrant and in control of your destiny!