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 Fat has long been considered the main cause for obesity. And although this is still the case when it comes to hydrogenated and some saturated fats – the consensus now is that the real culprit behind our obesity crisis is sugar and having a low fat diet can actually be bad for us.

We now have a sugar tax on all fizzy drinks and campaigns driven by chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. The aim of the latter is to get all food manufacturers to provide traffic light labelling to indicate the level of sugar content.

 hy are these measures necessary? Well, it’s because if you’re making an effort to reduce your intake of sugar by eating less of the stuff we all know is bad for us – such as cakes, biscuits, alcohol, and sugary drinks – then chances are you’re still consuming more sugar than you think.

And this is because sugar is also found lurking in many savoury foods.

 Unlikely foods that contain hidden sugars

Visit the NHS website and you’ll see a list of savoury foods where sugar is found in surprisingly large amounts, such as – pasta, bread, rice, stir-in sauces (Dolmio recently reduced its added sugar), ketchup, salad cream, marinades, chutneys, and crisps.

If this isn’t enough to shock, it also highlights a study by Which?  found ‘some ready meals had more sugar content than vanilla ice cream’.

It also highlights that although dairy products like cheese and yoghurt are good for you; ‘some, such as flavoured milks, reduced fat yoghurts contain a lot of added sugar’.

An exception however are root vegetables and fruit, which can also be high in sugars. This is because they contain natural sugars and are full of other nutrients that our bodies need. So it’s important to still include these as part of a healthy balanced diet.

 The effects of sugar and what you can do about it

In addition to making us fat, sugar is an inflammatory so it can exacerbate illnesses. It feeds the bad bacteria and yeasts (like candida) in our gut, making our bodies go out of balance and susceptible to ill health – for example affecting the liver, heart, and joints.

Furthermore, when we get stressed we need energy – and for most of us we get this from the sugar fix we get from unrefined sugar stuff such as alcohol, cakes, take-always. This is to fuel our fight or flight response to stress, but unfortunately this sugar goes onto inflame our anxiety so that we get more stressed and need more energy.  It becomes a vicious cycle.

  • To help reduce your sugar intakeread food labels carefully. Anything more than 13g per 100 is considered too much. And remember, there are different types of sugar found on food labels, including: high-fructose glucose syrup, honey, levulose , maltose, molasses, sucrose, corn sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, maple syrup, and agave syrup.
  • To help break the cycle of needing a sugar fix in times of stress – seek Relaxation therapy – such as massage and Reiki. As part of a healthier lifestyle which includes a balanced diet and exercise; this will help relax and de-stress the body and can help to break the cycle.

If you would like any further help or discuss any health issues, please contact me.


References/source for article:



aromatherapy treatments, reading, caversham - liata therapiesAs April is Stress Awareness month,  why not treat yourself to an aromatherapy back, neck and shoulders massage using a specially prepared blend of essential oils just for you for the special price of £20.00.






Are you struggling to get the recommended 7-9 hours a night of undisturbed sleep?  You know, the kind of sleep that when you wake up, you feel energised and not deprived?  If so, then you’re not alone.

In a recent survey*, 16 million Brits are reported to be suffering from poor sleep, with a third saying they have insomnia. Now that is a lot of lost sleep​and sheep counting!

And of course, not enough sleep can lead to poor health and general wellbeing. And in extreme cases, it can lead to long term illness and depression.

So I thought I would pass on a few of my tips to getting a good night’s sleep; some are well known  but still worth re-iterating and some you may not have heard of.

Firstly, colour (well colour is my ‘thing’ 🙂. Because colour can play an important part to help create a bedroom that has a calm and tranquil ambience.

The best colours for your bedroom walls as well as bed linen are soft pastel blues and greens. Blue is a great colour to help you relax.   Green is balancing, and is the colour of nature.  Also pink gives a feeling of positivity and relaxation. And did you know silver is also recommended as it mimics moonlight?

Colours to avoid are brown (it creates a feeling of gloom); grey can make you feel dreary and isolated.  Avoid o​range, purple, and red – as these are energetic colours that stimulate the mind. A word of caution: I had a client who covered herself in red – PJ’s, duvet and sheets etc – needless to say, she didn’t sleep a wink!

CrystalsTry putting a crystal under your pillow. This may sound strange but it has worked for me. Try Amethyst (also good for headaches), Moonstone, Smoky Quartz, Rose Quartz, Selenite, Sodalite, or Black Tourmaline.

Try Essential oils – either in a diffuser or put a couple of drops on your pillow. Try Lavender (still the best in my opinion) and Camomile. Try also Marjoram, Patchouli, Sandalwood, and Vetiver (also called Oil of Tranquillity).  Personally I like geranium and frankincense in a diffuser – both are calming, balancing and grounding.  NB.  Avoid Peppermint, Basil, Rosemary, Ginger as these are stimulants.

Turn off technology – i.e. Take TVs, phones, tablets, etc. out of the bedroom. Cover up electric clocks with blue / white lights as they mimic daylight.  If you need to wake up early use an old fashioned alarm clock to wake you up.

Get your body used to a bedtime routine. It helps signal to your brain and body that it is nearly sleep time. It is also a good idea to avoid sleeping during the day.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol at least two hours before bedtime as these are stimulants. A tot may help you relax, but a lot of it will keep you awake.  Different people have different reactions to caffeine, so listen to your body.   I cannot drink coffee any later than midday if I want a good night’s sleep.

Fresh air and exercise. Exercise your body as well as your brain.  All too often, our minds are tired but our bodies are not. Walking in the woods or your nearest park can also be very relaxing. The green of Mother Nature will balance and calm the mind.  Other things to help calm the body are massage, Reiki, yoga and meditation.   Find one that helps you.

Keep your bedroom dark​- it tells the body to go to sleep​ (as it  helps produce the natural​ sleep​ inducing hormone called  melatonin). ​Street lighting in towns can upset this balance; so try blackout curtain linings.

Keep your bedroom cool.   Also try opening a window to let in fresh air and stop stuffiness.  (My bedroom window is open all the time; I cannot sleep otherwise)

Try herbal teas such as camomile to calm the body.  ​Some manufacturers now make special blends to held sleep.   Again as before, avoid blends with Peppermint or Ginger as these can be a stimulant. 

If you lie awake having lots of ideas about what to do the following day, keep a notepad beside the bed and write them down.  Once written down you can forget about them till the morning.

And finally ​if changing your sleeping habits hasn’t worked;  you’ve had trouble sleeping for months; and your insomnia is  affecting your daily life in a way that makes it hard for you to  cope – go to see your GP.

* survey




Did you know that the third Monday of January is considered to be the most miserable day of the year and is referred to as Blue Monday?

According to a statistician back in 2005 – it’s down to a combination of post-holiday blues, cold dark days and, for many, the arrival of the dreaded post-Christmas credit card bill. It’s also around this time many of us will have failed in keeping well intentioned New Year’s resolutions.

Why it’s referred to as Blue Monday :  In colour therapy, blue represents feelings and emotions of sadness, stress, the debilitating sense of not being heard, nightmares (especially in children) and a lack of communication. In other words, the stuff that makes us miserable.

How to banish feeling Blue  :  The good news is that a colour also has its positive characteristics. For instance, blue also represents great communication, going with the flow, intuition, angelic support, authority, masculinity, being artistic as well as analytical. Focus on these and you have the tools needed to help you keep a positive outlook and not allow the short term gloom get the better of you.

It’s also useful to note that in colour therapy there are three other hues of Blue: Turquoise, Indigo and Blue Lilac. So if you’re feeling the negatives of a particular blue, well, there is no need to steer clear of the colour entirely; you still have three other tones to choose from!

Furthermore, you can also counteract the negative characteristics of a colour by wearing or surrounding yourself with its complementary colour. Orange is a fantastic complementary colour to blue because it has the power to help uplift negative emotions.

A pause for thought …      Finally, all because some statistician says it’s going to be a miserable day, well, does it really have to be? There are people who actually make a point to celebrate Blue Monday by doing whatever it takes to stay cheery. And that is to party, have fun, or just be a bit silly!


RETREAT IN SUFFOLK – 4 and 5 November 2017

My first retreat and what an experience it turned out to be. We stayed in a 16th century building just outside Lavenham in Suffolk and I slept in the Rose room overlooking fields as far as I could see. The weekend was full of activities which we could join in or just chill out. I decided to participate in all of them. In for a penny – in for a pound , as they say.
On this weekend there was also a full moon, a Super moon. That night as we made our way to the fire ceremony, the clouds parted right on cue and the moon beamed so brightly down on us as we symbolically threw into the fire those thoughts and emotions that we wanted to release. That night I slept with the light of the moon streaming in through the window. Just magical. The finale on the Sunday afternoon was a melodious stimulating gong bath given by the co-owner of the retreat centre. An incredible end to an incredible weekend.



It was the first time for the Its Your Life Show to be held at the Oakwood Centre in Woodley and it looks like it will become its permanent home as it was so successful. It was a fabulous show with many exhibitors and a really vibrant energy. It was lovely to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones.

I am looking forward to the next one which will be held on Sunday 6 May 2018 so put the date in your diary and I hope to meet you there.


4.5.and 6 August 2017

I’ve a score to settle with that mountain’
With those words in mind off we set for another attempt at climbing Snowden. Last year’s attempt to get to the summit in memory of our mutual friend, Carol Massey, having been cancelled as the weather was so awful – heavy rain and 70 mph winds! As you can tell from the pictures taken at the time.
This time I knew that I was not fit enough to walk up and down, so decided to take the train up and walk down. I met with the others who had walked up and we set off in thick mist and rain. As we came down the path and went under the railway bridge it was like we were in a different world. It was bright sunshine and really hot and sunny for the rest of the descent. The Hotel was a welcome sight where a lovely cold drink awaited all of us at the bar!!




For many people 2016 was a challenging year and one they were happy to say goodbye to.  2017 promises to be a lot calmer and fruitful.  The Colour Mirrors bottle associated with 2017 is No 17 The Wish.

With the coral we have the love, care , nurture and self acceptance,  and with the indigo we have the intuition and psychic sight to help us see our future path.

The Wish is all about new beginnings, having your wishes fulfilled, and a time for positive payback for all the good you have done.  It also indicates a new way of describing yourself, marriage, a new career, there are many new possibilities.

To find your year bottle, add your day of birth to your month of birth and then add 2017, (using one digit foe each number) .  Keep adding until you get a single number number   ie   my birthday is 17 April,  1+7+0+4+2+0+1+7 = 22 :   2+2=4.

For me personally my year bottle for 2017 is No 4 Uranus,   one in which I will have to work hard to clear the old beliefs, structures, people and places that stop me from moving forward.

When you have a number, please contact me and I will let you know what 2017 holds in store for you.

NEW YEAR OFFER  :  With the start of the New Year I would love to invite you to sample colour therapy.  Find out how my coloured bottles can highlight patterns of behaviour and help us to move forwards.  I am offering  a session for the special price of £17.00 for 2017 (usual price is £25.00 per session), if you book before 28 February 2017.


It’s Your Life Show! – Sunday 16th October 2016


The It’s Your Life Show in Reading was a great success.  It was wonderful to meet lots of fellow therapists and the energy at the event was very positive.  It’s the first time we were at the Crowne Plaza which was perfect for this event and everything went really well.  It was also a special event for me, as all monies given for my treatments were donated to Macmillan Cancer Support and Children in Need, in honour of Massey’s Mountain Challenge (see the article below for more details).  The next It’s Your Life show will be in April 2017, so watch this space for more updates.

It's Your Life - Banner

Massey’s Mountain Challenge – 3rd September 2016

The big day arrived.  With the predicted forecast of heavy rain and strong, blustery winds and a 50-50 chance of the train running, it was decided that we could not attempt meeting at the summit as it would be too risky.  Not to be deterred, we rearranged our plans,  pulled on our waterproofs and walked as far as we could.  The TOG spirit remained high and kept us all going despite some of us being literally soaked to the skin!  It was fantastic to have a dedicated group ranging from 8 to over 65, all encouraging each other and raising a fantastic amount of money in memory of Carol Massey.  So far, we’ve raised over £3,100  (without Gift Aid), smashing our original target of £1,000.  Thanks so much to everybody who supported us.  The money is going towards Macmillan Cancer Support and Children in Need.  If you would like to make a donation please click here, any amount would be very gratefully received.



Massey’s Mountain Challenge – Training

On the 3rd September, please think of me as I will be taking on a charity Mountain Challenge and walking / scrabbling (!) to the summit of Snowdon!  This is something I have been building up to all year (even walking miles whilst on my recent holidays in Ischia in Italy and Alicante in Spain)!  A team of over 30 are taking part, with those who can’t walk the distance going by train and the rest of us will be encouraging each other along the challenging 8 mile route.  We are raising money in memory of our friend Carol who sadly lost her fight against cancer in February of this year.  If you’d like to make a donation, no matter how small, it would be very gratefully received (and will help ease the pain in my aching muscles!).  All monies raised will go towards Macmillan Cancer Support & Children In Need:

Alicante Italy1 Italy
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It’s Your Life Show! – Sunday 16th October 2016

The It’s Your Life Show! will be coming back to Reading on Sunday 16th October from 10:00am – 4:00pm.  Please note that for this show we have moved to the fantastic Crowne Plaza Hotel Reading, Caversham Bridge, RG1 8BD.   This event is free to attend with many stalls selling natural products ranging from skincare to food to cosmetics and much more. This year there will be a room dedicated to pampering with taster sessions, so come and have a facial or discover a new therapy.  I will be there all day with my bottles and would love to welcome you to my stall.  I will be offering a taster reading for £10.

Here are some photos from the Spring event, which had a great energy:

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Charity Coffee Morning – 19th May 2016

We were delighted to raise £90 for Macmillan Cancer Support at our recent colour coffee morning, featuring the colour red.  Thanks to Sarah (Absolutely Fabulous Image) and Diana (Your Good Health – Naturally) for their talks and everybody else who came along and supported the event.  Photos by Pixel Perfect Photograhy.

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For more news and updates please visit my Facebook Page.