Mum – You Are Enough!

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I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue some four years ago. For me then, it is of utmost importance that I pace myself, take time out to recharge and most importantly of all, feed myself the right foods. Knowing this is the most important thing that I can do for both myself and my family, it is my priority. The one thing that I will not accept compromise on.

 If the cleaning does not get done once in a while there are no consequences. If the children miss a football or dance session occasionally then so what. But if we do not fuel ourselves with replenishing, nourishing and nurturing foods, then we do bear the consequences. Feeding myself not only nutritious but also totally delicious food, is the highest form of self care  – for myself and my children, knowing every cell of our bodies is renewed from every mouthful we eat. 

So knowing the food we eat has the power to protect us from illness, disease, and promote longevity, it often interests me to look at the reasons people give for not eating more healthily. I examine each of the following in more detail in my book but they distil briefly to the following;

No time – I’m far too busy to cook from fresh each night; it’s just unrealistic

Too much conflicting information out there – I’ll stick to what I know

I never get ill!  – I’ll be ok whatever I eat (I call this the Myth of Invincibility)

Too hard – I’m not very good at cooking and it doesn’t come easily

Fatalism – if I’m going to be ill there’s not much I can do about it anyway!

Not worthy – Unconscious or conscious view that I’m not worth looking after (often a protection mechanism)

If you are a mum reading this and recognising yourself in any of those scenarios, particularly the last point, then I would urge you to look afresh at your relationship with food. 

I have no doubt that as a mum you are overstretched, a little frazzled to say the least and juggling your commitments like crazy while feeling the guilt that comes with the territory. I am sure you are always on the back foot and maybe dread the first question from the children as they step foot inside the door ‘What’s for dinner mum?’. You may also feel like you can never please anyone and that it is impossible to accommodate all the different dietary needs in your house. Perhaps you have built your eating habits around everything else instead of everything else around the priority of your nourishment. Maybe you find yourself giving into foods for children and you, just to placate them or for an ‘easy life’. But you can move from this place of overwhelm to confidence around healthy food, ensuring it underpins your own health, and then consequently that of your family.

Self love and self care are about you mum! You as a priority. Your health as priority. Your wellbeing. So build yourself a triangle of health, balancing your exercise, your sleep and most importantly, your nutrition. Count nutrients, never calories and treat food always as your number one reward, never denial for eating well is about self love of the highest order. 

My mantra as a yogi is always ‘enough is good enough’. 

Make it yours too. Please recognise long term change comes from gradual sustainable changes. 

While I am always wanting everything now, and to be the best I can, at this point in my life I am trying to be kinder to myself. You should too. 

Let things go.

Stop beating yourself up if something doesn’t go to plan.

Trust in the process of change; make a goal and know you will get to where you are going.

Be  mindful of what you are eating.

Try to understand better what it’s doing for you.

You should be thinking ‘ME FIRST’ ALL THE TIME. I DESERVE THE BEST!’

All this ladies……,

Is enough! 


Are enough


What is Serotonin?

A neurotransmitter that is linked to better mood and overall feelings of satisfaction.

But as well as regulating mood, serotonin is also needed for motor skills and brain function. It can help with memory and learning and give you a healthy appetite.

It also helps with nerve function and regulating blood pressure and heart rate so it’s very important!

Dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin are also valuable neuro transmitters that play a valuable part in mood and work together with serotonin to make us feel good.

A balanced diet that contains adequate protein, vitamins and minerals, probiotics and a moderate amount of saturated fat can help your body produce the dopamine it needs.

Meditation, listening to music and exercising can also release dopamine

Endorphins are another brain chemical released after exercise, or a hearty laugh or eating spicy food even. They make us feel naturally high.

Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of the brain. It’s sometimes known as the “cuddle hormone” or the “love hormone,” because it is released when people snuggle up or bond socially.

How to Boost Serotonin

Eat well – lots of probiotic foods and fermented foods will support excellent gut health which supports mood

Sleep Well

Get your Vitamin D


Get outside in the light and sunshine when you can

Foods to boost Serotonin

Food doesn’t contain serotonin but it can contain something called Tryptophan which is an amino acid that is converted to serotonin.

To ensure optimum absorption across the brain barrier it is advised we eat tryptophan rich foods with some good complex carbohydrates to help them reach the brain.


  • Salmon – with brown rice
  • Nuts – with porridge
  • Turkey with spelt bread

Tips for Memory Retention and Performance

Whether you are sitting exams, prepping for a presentation, delivering training or simply want to boost your brain function, then my top tips below will support performance.

  1. Eat foods that keep you fuller longer and release energy into your system slowly, such as oats, chia seeds,  wholegrain bread and good cereals, brown rice, spelt, brown couscous, wholegrain, lentil or vegetable pasta, quinoa, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pulses, lentils, and bananas. A good breakfast is extremely important to wake up your system and give you energy.
  2. Drink a glass of water at least once an hour to keep you hydrated and your brain working optimally. Add lemon for vitamin C
  3. Eat some protein with your breakfast – studies have shown this keeps you feeling fuller longer so you won’t be distracted during revision or exams with a rumbling stomach or feelings of hunger. Eggs are good, or yoghurt, nuts and nut butters. Almond nut butters contain healthy fats which we need for optimum brain function, and a good dose of Vitamin E.
  4. Eat as much green leafy vegetables as you can. The list of these wonderfully healthy vegetables is a long one and includes; broccoli, kale, spinach and chard. They are a vital source of vitamins and iron (for energy) and in particular vitamin K which assists the neural pathways. They are also packed with anti oxidants and B vitamins which are often associated with being alert and a healthy functioning memory.
  5. Omega 3 and healthy fatty acids. These good fats cannot be made by the body and therefore we need to eat them. They are important in the context of revision and exams because they have been proven in tests to help reduce anxiety and even depression and help lift mood. Omega 3 therefore is crucial for our brains and may even fight inflammation in our body. Ways you can get your Omega 3 fats; Salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, shrimp, seaweed and algae, (chlorella and spirulina) walnuts, linseed, chia seeds, hemp, edamame ( soya beans) and kidney beans, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  6. Be careful of heavily caffeinated drinks but a white tea, or green tea might help keep you alert as well as offering valuable anti oxidants to your body to support your system. 
  7. If energy is low, then look to fruit. The fructose are healthier natural sugars which may give you a boost. Blueberries are an excellent choice.
  8. Plan and give yourselves good quality nourishing treats. This may be fruit, hummus and crudites, nuts, avocado, crispy chick peas, a bowl of edamame, nut butters with apple etc.
  9. Eat serotonin boosting foods. Foods don’t contain serotonin but they contain tryptophan which converts to this mood adjusting chemical 70% of which is made in our gut. You will find this in nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh cheese, red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, oats, beans, lentils, eggs – and a really good dark chocolate ( at least 70%).

Vitamin D can help with anxiety and low mood so make sure you get enough of it. Can be found in ;

  • Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.
  • Beef liver.
  • Cheese.
  • Egg yolks.
  • Mushrooms
  • Non dairy fortified milks
  • Tofu
  1. Keep your immunity high by incorporating foods such as turmeric which is anti inflammatory, anti viral and anti bacterial. Include garlic, ginger, and onions for extra protection and have a jar of Manuka honey with a high UMF value on hand to make wonderful nourishing and immune boosting drinks from fresh ginger, lemon, turmeric and Manuka.
  2. Eat foods rich in zinc which helps prevent illness during this time and may prevent colds. My healthiest recommendations would be; seeds, nuts, dark chocolate, whole grains, sweet potato, kale, chicken leg, eggs and shiitake mushrooms.
  3. Since studies were shown that students performed 5-7% better, rosemary has been added to my guide for optimum performance. Infusing a room full of the aroma can support ‘ remembering to remember’, but there are also benefits from putting it into food and adding a piece to a glass of water. Dinner of turkey, in a lemon and rosemary sauce with shiitake mushrooms with brown rice, is a perfect way to cram much of the stuff needed mid prep or exams.