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We all know Vitamin C is important for the body. It has to come from our diet as it is not a nutriet we can make and it has so many functions its difficult to know where to start! It is used to treat so many conditions and the research and anecdotal evidence behind it as a nutrient is vast. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I  look at all of my clients individual needs before prescribing any supplement or food changes. It is recommended that you consult a professional Naturopath or Nutritional therapist before making any changes yourself.

What Does it Do?

The C stands for many things

Citrus (from where it is known mostly to be found),

Coughs, Colds and Cancer (it is central to stimulating the immune system and production of immune cells. Along with its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it may help to prevent and heal many illnesses)

Collagen (of which it is a main co-factor in producing),

Controversy (over which form to take, how much to take and whether it works against cancer etc),

Contained in most fresh foods (it is water-soluble  so is sometimes lost when the food is cooked),

Co-factor (from collagen, connective tissue, red blood cell, bone, teeth and gums, immune cell to energy production vitamin C is found in most chemical reactions withing the body),

Cholesterol (it regulates cholesterol breakdown ),

Cell (maintains health of cell membranes so reduces tumour spreading, is a powerful anti-oxidant and helps in wound healing)

Calm (supports the adrenal’s and ovaries)

Clear (may detox many toxic metabolites and helps to excrete heavy metals. It may also protects against nitrate digestion)

Cognitive (Helps regulate brain function and messages to and from the central nervous system)


Where is it Found?


Mainly found from plant sources. Generally in fruits and vegetables that are vividly coloured. Especially orange and yellow, green (leafy veg) and blues (blueberries and blackcurrants). Most plants will contain vitamin C to protect their cell membranes and produce energy. It is very susceptible to heat, light and movement. The vitamin C content is diminished by these factors. So the fresher the produce the better. The fruit with the highest levels is the  Kakadu plum from Australia closely followed by Camu Camu a plant with berries a little like cherry’s that contain high levels (normally found dried or in powdered form (Vitamin C is water soluble) then Sea Buckthorn (a berry) and Arcola cherry. Then the fruit and vegetables are all much lower. Interestingly until fairly recently we were consuming enough Vitamin C through diet alone. Consuming less fresh and more industrialised and processed food has great increased our need and decreased our intake of Vitamin C.

Factors that deplete it (increasing demand)

Smoking (it is a cell membrane protector and anti-oxidant), stress, acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, allergies, pregnancy, breastfeeding, heavy metal toxicity, exercise, diabetes, wounds, burns (including sun burn) and high blood sugar.


Supplementation advice

Ascorbic acid is the most widely available form of vitamin C- it is very acidic on the body. Better to supplement with the buffered Sodium ascorbate which is easier for the body to absorb and use. Beware however most vitamin c is derived from corn and mostly GMO corn. Try to source non- GMO corn sources for supplementation. Contact your practitioner (Nutritionist or Naturopath) for dosage advice.






Every week we have a vegetarian and a fish night. Now that summer is on its way there will also be a raw night. I believe 80/20 ratio fits my families lifestyle completely. 80% of the time we are incredibly healthy- always cook fresh and have a good mix of protein, carbs and fat. the other 20% of the time we have what we want when we want it. I find this helps when we eat out, when the kids are given those foods I dont give them myself by well-meaning others and if you can eat what you want when you want it you are less likely to binge or somehow ‘fail’ oursleves.

In this vein Easter was a little indulgent. There was some rubbish chocolate involved, but there was also some great nutrition there too. I even got my husband a little inspired by raw foods. Since then I thought I would start to get creative with my vegetarian options.

I love salad, craved it in my last pregnancy and would happily eat it every day of the week. My husband is Irish ( he loves his potatos, bread and simple foods). We compromise with meals. Tonight was a big compromise on his part. He ate it but he didnt like it. Thats ok, I enjoyed it and my 10 month old son ate it all up, but my daughter (who is coming up to 3 and a half) decided that she wasn’t having any. Fine too. I explained that there was nothing in there that she didn’t like, and to be fair she tried it. I think we forget how much they absorb and watch. Since my husband was making a fuss- so did she. There was little chance she was going to eat it when she had a model (one she massively looks up too) to copy. Who knows what might have happened if it was just the 3 of us round the table. Think about how many times we say my kids wont eat that, they are fussy eaters. What would happen if we only ever said- lets see what they like and if I am sitting there eating it maybe they might pick up their forks and absorb and watch. 10 times (kid and adult alike) you have to try something before you taste buds adapt. Most of it is all in your head. As long as the taste buds receive sweet, salty, bitter and spicy- they are happy!

Anyway here’s my new fav salad:


Sprouted Lentil Citrus Slaw and Sprouted Lentil hummus

1 cup of soaked and Sprouted lentils (soak for 12 hours then keep wash lentils morning and night for 2 days while they grow shoots 1-2cm long)

1 large grated carrot

1 Peeled and grated apple (up to here is what my 9 month old son had)

1 cup of finely sliced red cabbage

!/2 Onion finely diced

1/2 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley and mint

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds


juice of half an orange

juice of half a lemon

1/2 tbs Apple cider vinegar

1tbs Olive oil

pinch paprika (had my daughters mix without this ingredient)

Salt and pepper

(whisk together)

Hummus (Whizz all ingredients together in a food processor until reach desired consistancy- add oil and cooking water sparingly)

(3 handfuls of the above lentils)

3 cloves of garlic (roasted-makes the garlic a little sweeter)

1 tbs vegetable cooking water (or stock)

2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs sesame seeds (beware when giving this to infants- can be allergenic. I have had no reaction from my son when they have been previously introduced)

salt and pepper and a little of the above dressing

I am very happy- what do you think?


Here is where I got some inspiration for my recipe;

I recently read this post;

I battle within myself about not being perfect. I mean who doesn’t? Recently I have marveled at how incredibly strong my body is, how quick my mind is and how good I am at problem solving. I think not being perfect is an incredibly useful tool for our children to learn and so recently have started admitting to my daughter that I don’t know everything (that was a hard one as people who know me will understand!!) and that I can’t do everything. She recently said to me that she “loved everything I wore and I always looked so pretty” She is 3.5 and already so wise. I keep telling her that she can choose to be happy and that she has so many choices in life. I choose to listen to her and believe what she sees in me. Seeing myself through my kids eyes silences the past hurts, nastiness and regrets and allows me to be who I am and really really like that person.

Therefore my affirmation for this weekend is;


Homemade chocolate


This is how I make my chocolate-

1 Cup of coconut oil (or half with half cocoa butter)

1 cup raw cacao (or half and half with raw cacao nibs for a chocolate chip consistancy)

Sweeten to taste with coconut nectar or maple syrup- or coconut sugar if you dont want it smooth. I have also sweetened with goiji berries and dates.

blend in a food processor. either lay out onto greaseproof paper in a sallow baking tin or i like to 1/4 fill my silicon cupcake mold. freeze until hard (between 30 mins to an hour) break up and store in glass container in fridge.

you can add anything to this basic mix to flavour you chocolate. yum yum. also goes great in the Yonana’s machine! Full of magnesium and b vitamins and antioxidants!


Magnesium an element on the periodic table we can not live without. It has so many functions within the body, 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone (source) it is not a surprise most of us show symptoms of deficiency; As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I  look at all of my clients individual needs before prescribing any supplement or food changes. It is recommended that you consult a professional Naturopath or Nutritional therapist before making any changes yourself.

What does it do?

It is involved in enzyme reactions in the digestive system and many other systems, helps regulate bowel movements

Helps cells to manufacture energy, will help use sugar and fat for energy so may result in weight loss,

Balances calcium, helps to relax muscles reducing pain and stiffness, regulates muscle contractions especially heart muscle, maintains muscle

Pulls water into cells and therefore is essential to rehydrate the body,

Improves insulin sensitivity and therefore is important in blood sugar balance and hormone regulation,

Reduces blood stickyness for example found in heart disease and high blood pressure,

Improves circulation, reduces pain and twitches (for example restless leg syndrome)

Enhances the immune system,

Helps to regulate temperature,

Helps transmit messages from the brain to the muscles and therefore helps to ‘turn off’ the stress response, can help induce restful sleep, also good for people with high anxiety levels

Works with calcium and Vitamin D to maintains bone structure and health,

Facilitates DNA replication (for when the body is constantly developing new cells- perfect DNA is the key to cancer prevention and prolongs ageing)

It truly is an amazing nutrient!

Where is it found?

The main place to find magnesium is in green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Refined flours, rice, sugar and other products have removed magnesium and other nutrients in the processing. These are also to be avoided as they mainly need magnesium to help process them within the body.

Green leafy veg especially dark green like spinach and Kale. Whole grains such as oats, buckwheat, rye, barley, rice, Quinoa, millet and chia. Beans such as black, soy (preferably fermented), Kidney and lima, Nuts and Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, Almonds, Cashews, flax seeds, sesame seeds (tahini), sunfower seeds, pine nuts, watermelon seeds. Raw cacao, coconut (mostly in dried and creamed coconut), watermelon, eggs.

Factors that deplete it;

Stress, high blood sugar, diet high in processed foods (especially soft drinks), calcium supplements without magnesium, some pharmaceuticals, soft water, alcohol and other recreational drugs. The soil is also depleted of magnesium so there is sometimes a need for supplementation. You can also use epsom salts in the bath, or make a magnesium lotion or oil (see here, here and then use the magnesium oil to make a lotion adding it here– Thanks for the idea Coconut Mama)



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business card

Beautiful and handmade- very clever people;


I just made my second batch of home-made toothpaste. I started making it because buying fluoride  paraben and other nasty free toothpaste is difficult over here (I bought Aloedent in the UK) and really really expensive. Making your own is easy. I have to say my teeth definitely feel different and I can see my gums improving. I have very fine chips on the back of my two front teeth I was starting to worry about (it was a ‘Hey Big Spender moment swinging a caribou on a string at Drama School- another story!) They were starting to feel very thin- It feels completely different and the best way to describe it is stronger. 3 weeks on and I can hand on heart say I love this tooth paste!

My 3 year old was also spending a lot of time eating and sucking the toothbrush- now she just gets in there and cleans and spits which makes me happier. She also only complains about it to her Dad who also is wary of it- she just sees me get on with it- and there is no alternative which is sometimes a brilliant way to get kids to just get on with it!!

I took my inspiration from these blogs;

and Ramiel Nagal’s book  Cure Tooth Decay

I use;

In a glass Jar

2tbs coconut oil

2tbs calcium and magnesium powder (I use  this)

2tbs baking powder

1tsp salt (I use Pink Himalayas Salt)

8 drops Raspberry Medicine Flowers

10 drops of Mint Medicine Flowers

Mix it all together with a chopstick and put the lid on the jar!

Done and it lasts ages! (beware it is grey!)

Someone I respect as both a person and as a Personal Trainer posted this recently;

“Never ever listen to an overweight person trying to give you nutritional advice…”

It made me so mad for many reasons.

1. What is overweight anyway? By labelling someone as overweight you are saying they are not ideal weight. But who’s ideal? We all know that BMI is a complete waste of time, muscle weighs more than fat. In this instance I assume the person in question would be deemed by some as ‘overweight’. There is so much to take into account, water weight, what time of day is it, have the scales been calibrated and what are they wearing when they are being weighed. All of these factors have absolutely nothing to do with health. I know amazingly healthy people who are ‘so-called’ overweight. However I know more so called ‘ideal’ (read skinny) people who are frightingly unhealthy.

Just google image the word overweight-

overweight 4overweight 6overwight 5overweight 2

Which of these images is overweight to you? I chose these, amongst the somewhat obvious images that came up- these slightly alarmed me that they had been flagged with that tag. Are we so bland that we want everything and everyone to look the same- shouldn’t we as fitness professionals be supporting anyone’s attempt at making the world a healthier happier place? Should we be really be judging a book by its cover?

2. Which leads me onto why should that matter about what they are saying? Do you only ever listen to people who look amazing (whatever you deem to be amazing that is). How many doctors look the picture of health? Maybe on the TV, but we all know how real that is! How many so called fitness experts are just obsessed egocentrics that spend most of the time looking in the mirror at themselves rather than their client who is not doing an exercise appropriate to them or even correctly. I see that ALL the time. One persons attractive is another’s road kill. Most of all why should that matter what they look like if what they are saying is sound information that is well research and makes complete sense.

3. Surely someone professing to be a believer in Holistic health should know better than that. Does this person only train people to look like themselves- what does that say about that person if they do? Does that mean that anyone who trains with that person only want to look exactly like them- if so is that person training people of the opposite sex? What does it say about the person making the statement and their own body image and fears?

and finally, I keep asking myself this over and over- why does it bother ME so much! I am content with who I am, what I am saying and what I look like- or do I still have a little work to do?!

Bottom line- things will come back to bite you in the ass so better make sure what you are saying is kind, supportive, constructive and positive- and good golly that’s what you will receive right back at you! So say I say advise away overweight nutritional therapist- I salute your energy, your passion and your dedication x

What do you think?