The health benefits of pumpkins, plus healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkins have numerous health benefits – they’re rich in vitamins and minerals. Below is more information on this bright orange squash, followed by healthy and unique ways you can enjoy it.

Younger skin

Eating pumpkin can help you look younger as the beta-carotene in pumpkin helps protect us from the sun’s (wrinkle causing) UV rays. But the pumpkin pulp also makes a fantastic all-natural face mask which exfoliates and soothes. Just mix some pureed pumpkin, an egg, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of milk. Then apply and wash off with warm water after 20 minutes.

Better immunity

The large shot of vitamin A that this squash provides helps your body fight illnesses and infections. Pumpkin is also packed with nearly 20% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which can help you recover from colds faster.

Weight loss

Pumpkin is rich in fibre, which slows digestion. In fact, there are 7 grams of fibre in 120g of pumpkin, which is more than what you’d get in two slices of wholegrain bread. It also keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

Sharp vision

We know that pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, and this is essential for eye health, helping the retina absorb and process light. A single cup of pumpkin contains over 200% of most people’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A, making it an outstanding option for optical health.

Unique ways to have pumpkin

Sweet or savoury, roasted or mashed, pumpkin is a hugely versatile vegetable with some surprising health benefits too.

Here are some BBC Good Food recipes:

Roasted pumpkin and spinach lasagne

Pumpkin lasagne

You won’t miss the meat in this roasted lasagne, thanks to the chunky roasted pumpkin and rich, earthy flavours. This is a comfort food the whole family can enjoy.

See recipe

Pumpkin curry with chickpeas

Pumpkin curry

Curry will warm you up as the nights draw in, and this pumpkin curry with chickpeas is the perfect main or tasty side. It’s dairy-free, vegan and low calorie; a lighter option that’ll fill you up.

See recipe

Spicy squash and apple chutney

Pumpkin chutney

Capture the taste of the season with this spicy squash and apple chutney. The sweet flesh of the pumpkin, mixed with a hint of spice, apple and vinegar makes a delicious pot of blended flavours.

See recipe

Pumpkin hummus

Throw a Halloween party and use a carved out pumpkin to create this creamy hummus.

See recipe

Pumpkin pastry

Now for a bit of sweet. This delicate pumpkin and pecan strudel has a subtle sweetness that works well with a dollop of custard or a drizzle of syrup. A winter dessert with a difference.

See recipe

Till next time,


A client case study

Here is a testimonial I have recently received from a client who suffers with arthritis.

“I contacted Shoela Detsios after I had been diagnosed with Viral Arthritis, with the potential of being Rheumatoid. I was hardly able to walk, I couldn’t grip a pen or knife & fork. I felt permanently unwell and the specialist had put me on high dose steroids. Once the course was finished I was told that if I required more, then the only option was Rheumatoid Arthritis drugs.

I had also gained considerable weight that I was unable to lose. I was permanently tired and lethargic. As a former sports person I was finding these dramatic changes in my physical being really hard to accept.

I had some blood tests that I was able to share with Shoela and she suggested I also undertook a dry urine sample.

I visited Shoela in Uxbridge and for the first time I felt that someone was truly hearing me. She understood my symptoms, asked detailed questions and at the end of our meeting she gave me some natural drops to put on my tongue. She later emailed me a detailed programme of natural supplements.

We kept in touch monthly and Shoela told me until my gut was improving it would be unlikely I would lose the weight, but I improved almost immediately in the way I felt. I found my energy levels beginning to improve and I was less lethargic.

During our Skype monthly calls Shoela and I talked about things affecting my health, my work, home, family and the pressures I was under. Each time we finished a discussion I would receive a follow up email with a slight change to my supplement programme, with advice on other changes she suggested I make.

I stuck to the programme, but I was also heartened that Shoela accepted I was human and sometimes sticking with the programme was not always possible.

I am now 2 years on and I have now shed 21lbs of the weight I gained, I have been signed off from the Rheumatoid specialist, who doesn’t understand how I’ve changed so much! I feel amazing. I haven’t taken another steroid and I realise just how big a part my gut plays in my general health and well being.

I am so pleased I was introduced to Shoela and I recommend her and her methodology to anyone who will listen!”

Liz Doogan-Hobbs MBE

The benefits of seeing a Naturopath

Consulting with a Naturopath is very different to an appointment with a doctor. Below are the main benefits you can get from seeing a Naturopath.

1. In-depth health review

A typical visit to a GP is usually a 5 to 10 minute meeting. This contrasts with visiting a Naturopathic Practitioner, which is usually 30 to 60 minutes, as your health is discussed in depth with an assessment. At the end, the Naturopath can establish a holistic understanding of your health conditions. This involves looking into your health history as well as your current health status and any problems.

2. Identify the roots of health issues

If a person has been diagnosed with something, it doesn’t been that it started at that point. It could have developed months or possibly years prior to the diagnosis. Identifying the cause is a vital step in paving the way for a treatment plan.

Catching things before they have the chance to evolve is even better. An example of this could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Steroids or another conventional medicine might be prescribed to suppress symptoms and reduce inflammation. However, steroids do not address the underlying cause of the problem, therefore it can return.

If the cause is left unattended, it can furthermore be allowed to develop more into a wide variety of ailments, from fatigue and inflammation, to migraines and eczema, and more. Getting to the cause early can save many problems in the future.

3. Complements medical practitioners

Naturopathy can compliment what other medical practitioners may also be doing for you. They will bring advice that Doctors often don’t provide, as Naturopaths are taught a different philosophy and are therefore treating your health from a different angle. Rather than suppressing symptoms, the philosophy is about identifying and treating the underlying cause, so the condition can be worked out and released from the body.

4. Tailored medicine and treatment plans

In natural medicine, programmes and treatment plans are tailored to each individual. Once the reason behind the illness is identified, a plan using natural therapies can be put in place. The length of treatment varies from each person, how long one has had a condition and the severity of it.

5. Restoring natural healing ability

The goal is to always return to your natural ability to heal and achieve optimum health. The vast majority of us today have nutritional deficient of some kind. This is for various reasons, including:

  • A lot of our food is transported around the world before being stored for days or weeks in supermarkets.
  • Food is roughly half as nutritionally dense as it was for our great grandparents.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables can lose 50% of their nutritional quality in 48 hours of being picked.
  • Processing of food is on a mammoth scale, leading to problems such as chemicals and pesticides on foods.
  • With a change in lifestyle, we are eating almost 20 times more sugar than 80 years ago.

Strengthening your body and correcting toxicity with natural remedies is hugely beneficial. In my practice, I employ herbal medicine, nutritional medicine (vitamins and minerals) and homeopathic remedies.

Till next time,


8 superfoods to naturally keep your hair healthy

Lots of reasons exist for hair damage and hair loss, but a healthy diet also plays a huge part in the maintenance of your hair. Research estimates that people can lose up to 50-100 strands. But the important part is that shortly after, new hair should regrow from the same hair follicle. If your body isn’t able to produce the desired nutrients, this can lead to an emerging cause of hair loss. Fortunately, correcting the underlying deficiencies can promote stronger hair back.

Here are 8 superfoods that can naturally keep your hair healthy and revive your dull locks:

1. Yoghurt

Yoghurt’s smoothening properties are not just great as a hair conditioning mask, but regular yoghurt consumption will keep your hair shiny and strong as it’s full of protein. Protein is a crucial nutrient for healthy hair growth.

2. Carrots

Carrots contain beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A, a vitamin that helps in promoting hair growth. Regular consumption of carrots can also prevent premature greying.

3. Flaxseeds

Along with lots of other nutrients, flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids like fish, making it a great alternative for vegetarians. A spoonful of flaxseed a day can give an easy boost to your hair. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce dandruff and itchy scalp.

4. Bananas

While looking to add superfoods to your diet, it’s essential to include foods which help to absorb the received nutrients. Bananas work fantastically well for the health of hair; they’re rich in vitamin B6 and zinc, meaning they help hair follicles absorb hair minerals better.

5. Tomato

Rich in vitamin C and an important source of lycopene, tomatoes help to control collagen. Getting enough intake can keep your strands plum and voluminous, reducing hair loss.

6. Spinach

Not only is spinach loaded with iron, it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and beta carotene. Green leafy vegetables like spinach can keep your hair moisturised and promote hair growth.

7. Green tea

Drinking a cup or two of green tea daily can help reduce DHT hormone, which is responsible for hair loss and baldness. If you don’t like drinking green tea, it can be cooled and used to rinse hair. Leave it in for 15 minutes and then wash as usual.

8. Dark chocolate

Lastly, a little bit of indulgence. Chocolates containing 70% or more cacao can promote abundant health benefits. Its properties can improve blood flow and promote cell renewal, resulting in shinier and healthier hair.

Many of us resort to expensive chemical hair loss treatments in the hope of an instant cure, but in the long run they can do more harm than good. The best way is to let it heal from the roots with in. Opt for balance between the right lifestyle and personalised naturopathic treatments which can lead to guaranteed wonders in improving hair growth and appearance. If you are struggling, please get in touch.

Till next time,


Tasty healthy snacks for evening cravings

For many people, the evenings can be the hardest time to not give into those snack cravings. If you’re wondering what to eat at night when you’re hungry, here are some of my favourite healthy snacks that are satisfying. Whether you’re dieting or not, I’m sure you’ll find at least one suitable snack on this list. The options in this article are all healthy and aren’t high in calories.

Foods to avoid late at night

Some foods induce sleep, but others keep people up tossing and turning. The following foods should be avoided after 8pm:

  1. Fatty foods: Fatty foods (such as chicken wings) take a long time to digest, and can cause significant gastrointestinal distress in some people.
  2. Super-spicy foods: Like fatty foods, spicy foods can cause discomfort in the tummy. Those prone to acid reflux may find snacking on spicy foods counterproductive to counting sheep.
  3. Complex grains: Complex carbs such as those in multigrain bread take a while to digest. They provide valuable fibre that keeps people feeling fuller for longer, so save the grainy toast for breakfast.
  4. Sugary snacks: Sugar-added snacks cause blood sugar to spike, which can make sleeping seem elusive. Although blood sugar from these foods processes quickly, the resulting crash can result in waking with hunger pangs.
Healthy evening snacks for those counting calories

Here are some low-calorie snack options for people who are watching their weight:

  1. Apples and nut butter: Nut butter (almond butter is a must-try) helps ease people into slumber, as do apples. Nut butter can be high in calories, but just a spoonful in moderation provides the body with protein. Try to find organic, 100% natural nut butter.
  2. Greek yoghurt: Greek yoghurt contains dairy with a powerful punch of probiotics. Probiotics help to balance stomach bacteria which reduces indigestion. So snacking on this with some berries prior to bedtime can prevent abdominal woes from waking you up.
  3. Seeds: Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds contain fat, but in the hearty-healthy, omega-3 variety. Because of the high vitamin E content, eating seeds before bed can help neurons heal during rest. Simply toss in olive oil and bake for a few minutes in the oven, then sprinkle with a small pinch of salt.
  4. Slightly salted popcorn: Popcorn is high in fibre, so enjoying some before bedtime is a recommended snack. Air-popped popcorn contains few calories and is tasty with a sprinkle of salt.
  5. Edamame: Edamame beans make the perfect evening snack – roasted edamame contains few calories and tastes delicious.
Healthy evening snacks for those maintaining weight

These super healthy snack options will satisfy even the most demanding of appetites:

  1. Cottage cheese: Although it’s long considered a diet food, full-fat cottage cheese has quite a few calories. Choose the low fat version to consume less calories.
  2. Carrot chips: Drizzle carrot sticks with olive oil and dust lightly with salt. Bake them in the oven, then add some parmesan or mozzarella cheese to create a healthy twist on cheesy fries.
  3. Dried fruit and nut blends: If making your own mix, raisins and dried cranberries pair well with almonds and walnut pieces.
  4. Cheese and fruit: Cheese is high in calories, but tastes delightful in little amounts with grapes and apple slices.
Best evening snacks for vegans

Those who prefer to pass on animal products might still crave late-night snacks sometimes, so here are some vegan favourites:

  1. Hummus and veggies: Hummus is so easy to make at home. Simply dip in some pepper slices, cucumber or cauliflower florets.
  2. Rice cakes with guacamole: Rice cakes contain just 35 calories each, and avocado-rich guacamole provides omega-3s and vitamin E. Enjoy this treat any time of day.
  3. Salsa and tortilla chips: Salsa is incredibly low in calories and is delicious with tortilla chips, most of which contain no animal products.
  4. Frozen grapes: Frozen grapes take a little prep time, but they taste like mini ice pops! They also add an interesting flavour to smoothies when used instead of ice.

Everyone craves the occasional late-night snack. But by selecting a healthy one, people can enjoy a good nosh any time of the day or night.

Till next time,


The best natural remedies for hay fever

This time of the year isn’t easy for hay fever sufferers and people often hunt for the best remedies to reduce their symptoms. Hay fever tablets work to some extent, but not always for those who suffer severely. They also come with side effects, meaning the popularity of natural hay fever remedies is increasing.

In this article, I’ll list the best natural remedies for hay fever that you can try, and how they can work to make you feel better. Firstly, here’s how natural hay fever remedies generally work:

  • Reduce mucus production
  • Reduce inflammation in the body
  • Soothe the irritation in the mouth and eye areas
  • Boost the immune system
  • Prevent further allergic reactions

Some of the best hay fever remedies for you to consider:


Garlic is a natural antibiotic that helps to boost your immune system, making it beneficial to use when hay fever is affecting your body. By having a stronger immune system, your body is more able to fight off histamines (the cause of the hay fever symptoms). The severity of the allergic symptoms is reduced.

Garlic also contains quercetin – a natural antihistamine. This provides allergy relief and helps to reduce sinus pressure as well.


Honey has some brilliant healing properties and its pollen and plant compounds help to produce immunity in the body naturally. A study has shown that when honey is consumed in high doses, it can significantly improve hay fever symptoms.


Stinging nettle has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural antihistamine as it contains quercetin. This makes it a perfect natural remedy for treating hay fever. One study has found that freeze-dried nettles helped to relieve hay fever symptoms in 58% of participants.

Nettles can be added to soups, omelettes and risottos, but don’t eat them raw as they will sting! Cooking them will destroy the stinging formic acid. Alternatively, make nettle tea by steeping dried leaves in hot water for around 10 minutes. Make sure the tea is covered so the beneficial compounds don’t escape.


Elderberry flowers have anti-inflammatory properties and help to reduce the build-up of mucus in the body. Ideally, you should begin drinking an infusion of elderflowers daily in late winter and before the spring begins, then continue throughout the hay fever season. But it’s never too late to begin drinking elderflower tea. Or an alternative to tea is organic elderflower cordial.


Turmeric is well-known for its painkilling and antioxidant properties. It has a long list of health benefits and has long been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for a variety is ailments and diseases.

The active component in turmeric is curcumin which has antiallergic properties, helping to block mast cells from releasing histamine. As well as this, turmeric helps to reduce inflammation in the sinuses and respiratory tract. It’s highly beneficial not just for hay fever sufferers, but also for those suffering from asthma and other allergies.

Use lots of turmeric in curry dishes and soups. Also add some pepper to your dishes as well for better absorption of curcumin into your body.


Thyme is a herb that has been widely used in herbal medicine for chest and respiratory complaints, including coughs and chest congestion. It’s a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight infection, and a good source of vitamin C.

Thyme is good to use when your eyes and nose are watering, due to its drying effect. To use, pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoons of the dried herb and let it infuse for 10 minutes.

Till next time,


The benefits of nutritional therapy

It’s my goal to help clients regain and optimise their health and vitality. One thing I offer is nutritional therapy – a science-based approach which aims to identify and then address the underlying causes of illness and symptoms, by examining lifestyle habits as well as dietary intake. Many clients have experienced incredible results; below are the 5 main ones.

1. Improved digestion

Did you know that you have a second brain in your gut? When it’s not receiving nutrients or food that it can easily digest, it can cause many problems in your body. For those dealing with IBS or digestion issues, nutritional therapy can be really beneficial.

2. Weight loss

It may be obvious, but it’s important to note that when your body is consuming food that is packed with nutrients, you’ll more than likely experience weight loss. This is because you’re giving your body what it needs, instead of processed food or unnecessary sugar.

3. A stronger immune system

By consuming all of the nutrients your body needs, it’ll be able to function exactly as it was designed to. This means you’ll feel healthier in yourself and your immune system will be stronger at fighting off illnesses.

4. Reduced stress

Food you eat can cause inflammation in your body, which can lead to unnecessary stress. Consuming inflammation-fighting foods (e.g. leafy greens, fatty fish, berries) can reduce inflammation, limiting stress in your body.

5. Better sleep

When your body is functioning better, you’ll sleep better too!

If you wonder whether or not nutritional therapy is for you, I’d happy to speak with you to learn more about your goals.

Till next time,


Making homemade natural deodorant

Maintaining a good diet and drinking enough water can really cut down the body odour, but sometimes you need a bit more help. Conventional deodorant antiperspirants work, but they’re full of chemicals and additives.

There are a lot of natural deodorants out there, but the pickings are rather slim and they’re not all effective. So this article shows how you can make your very own natural deodorants – it takes more time than picking one up from the shop, but it lasts a lot longer and is much healthier.

Here are two homemade natural deodorant recipes which work really well.

Shea butter homemade natural deodorant


  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp shea butter
  • 2 tbsp (optional) arrowroot or organic cornstarch
  • Essential oils (optional)


  1. Combine in a small glass jar with a lid and place this in a small saucepan of water until melted. This can also be done in the microwave instead.
  2. Remove from the heat and add baking soda and arrowroot. Mix well.
  3. Add the essential oils and let it cool for several hours (it doesn’t need to be put in the fridge).
Coconut oil homemade natural deodorant


  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp baking soda
  • 4 tbsp arrowroot or organic cornstarch
  • Essential oils (optional)


  1. Mix the baking soda and arrowroot together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed.
  3. Add essential oils.
  4. Store in a small glass jar.

I urge you to try making your own deodorant. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you weren’t putting anything on your skin that you couldn’t consume? If you do try it, let me know your outcome.

Till next time,


The healing powers of herbs

Traditional cures from herbs have been used by apothecaries and herbalists for centuries. With their healing and restorative powers, herbs do more than simply add flavour and colour to your favourite dishes.

We don’t doubt that fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds contain vitamins and minerals, yet the nutrients in herbs are often overlooked. With that in mind, here are how herbs can help to heal…

Easing digestion

When herbs are heated their full aroma is usually released, which is what makes your mouth water. The release of saliva prepares your stomach for food, triggering the digestive process, helping the body break down fats and starches. If this doesn’t happen before the food reaches the stomach, then it isn’t properly processed and digestive problems such as constipation, wind, bloating and irritable bowel may occur.

Herbs to use: oregano, mint, rosemary, thyme.

Herbs with anti-cancer properties

Many herbs have flavonoids: nutrients widely available in fruits and vegetables and thought to help prevent cancer and reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Flavonoids help vitamin C work more efficiently as an antioxidant, mopping up the free radicals that cause cancer.

Herbs to use: sage, rosemary, thyme, chamomile, green tea.

Helping to prevent tumours

Some herbs contain phytochemicals called terpenoids. These are potent antioxidants which are thought to prevent the growth of tumours.

Herbs to use: spearmint, peppermint, coriander, dill, sage, lavender, lemongrass, basil, celery seed, chamomile.

Boosting the immune system

Herbs high in flavonoids also have mild anti-inflammatory properties. Echinacea is the best-known herb known to have immune boosting qualities. Garlic is known to be good for the immune system.

Herbs to use: thyme, rosemary, chamomile, sage, dandelion, green tea.

Herbs which may heal

Many herbs are believed to have direct healing qualities, for example aloe vera is widely known to heal burns.

Herbs to use for healing: elderflower for cold relief; chamomile for insomnia; lemon balm for headaches; rosemary to improve concentration; chamomile or peppermint to ease nausea and heartburn.

Till next time,


6 reasons why you have acne as an adult

Acne is something we typically associate with teenagers. However, it is a skin condition that can continue into adulthood for many. The good news is that acne can be successfully controlled by getting to the root of the problem. Like many other health issues, when the body is unwell, the skin and hair are the first places that reflect the illness.

So here are 6 reasons why you could still be suffering from acne as an adult.

1. Too many hair products

One of the biggest causes of adult acne is hair styling products – especially with acne on the forehead. Oily particles from hair gels seep down towards your face with sweat, which clogs your skin pores. This can lead to an acne outbreak on the forehead and t-zone.

2. Changing beauty products

A change from your regular beauty products can result in a breakout. This applies to cosmetics as well as face washes and moisturisers. Certain products can be oilier in texture or contain more chemicals which can cause acne.

3. Thyroid problems

Many women who suffer from thyroid problems and hormonal imbalance develop acne on their face, upper arms and back. Acne due to a thyroid disorder can be one of the hardest type to heal. Many women also experience acne during menopause.

4. Incorrect diet habits

Studies show that consuming a lot of dairy and sugar causes insulin spikes that are bad for your skin. Try to swap processed foods for homemade meals to lower your hidden sugar intake.

5. Increased stress

It is no secret that with aging, stress levels increase. Worries about future, finances and daily hassles takeover. Stress is a normal part of everyone’s life, but chronic stress can cause a severe acne breakout.

6. Sweat excess

When excessively sweating (e.g. during a workout), sweat can clog your pores and cause body acne on your chest, back, arms and thighs. This is especially true for those who wear synthetic clothes to the gym.

How I can help with your acne

I treat acne with medicines that are natural and free from side effects. My treatment for acne cures from the root by boosting the immune system to fight on its own. Healing the root of a condition always works more effectively than by just suppressing physical symptoms.

Get in touch with me for long-term solutions for healthy, glowing skin.

Till next time,