Are you middle age spreading?

Sugar in all its many manifestations; from chocolate to pasta and all the biscuits, ice cream, bread, and cake in between, produce an energy rush. These refined sugars are easily absorbed into the bloodstream and give us a getup and go. However, there is a price to pay, as sugar levels stabilize themselves by dipping as low as they rise. This cycle of energy ups and downs, really exhaust the body.

The stress our body undergoes through sugar highs and sugar lows produce the hormone, cortisol, which if in the bloodstream over long periods of time, can affect your libido, menstrual cycle and most importantly your metabolism. If you find you gain weight around the chest and abdomen which is hard to shift, whilst your legs and arms stay slender and slim then you probably have high cortisol levels within the body.


This is especially prevalent as we enter menopause and the change in hormones may mean we find it harder to maintain our normal body weight. In Chinese Medicine, this is under the domain of the Liver and my next online course will be covering this aspect in detail but before we can get the liver working tip top we must stabilize our sugar intake and ensure the spleen is healthy. The liver maintains the metabolism and the excretion of hormones such as cortisol but before addressing the symptom we must address the cause of cortisol and excessive sugar intake is a primary cause of the stress hormone cortisol being produced in the body.

Quick tip – chewing your food and taking time for your meals lowers stress levels and cortisol in the body. The act of chewing breaks down the food and releases the sugars into the mouth giving a relaxed feeling of satisfaction.

If you want to learn more quick tips and recipes to manage your sugar intake without denial or special diets to regulate your weight, moods and hormone levels then visit the 6-week online programme to Stop Sweet Cravings. This personal programme with 1-1 support will help you balance your sugar levels, your body weight, and your hormone levels.  There are only a few places left and enrollment closes 30 October 2017

Here’s what you will receive

  • Direct personal contact with me to guide you through the Chinese Medicine information. During the programme, you will face challenges and tough times but I will be there to support as you make changes in your life
  • Instructional video classes – these are entertaining TV cookery programmes with added bites of nutritional information about how the food works on your body in Chinese Medicine
  • Loving Kindness meditations for sleep and daytime. The energy that we need for a happy balanced life comes from more than just food – it comes from care and love. These meditations will help you generate these feelings
  • Helpful tips and hints including a shopping list so that you know what to have in your cupboards and can stay on track long after the course is over.
  • Access to the secret Facebook group so that you can share your experience and gain support from fellow participants in our online community.

For More information on the 6-week online programme to Stop Sweet Cravings click the button
There is a special offer running at the moment – sign up a friend and receive 50% discount on the upcoming Sailing through Menopause – Sexy and Savy course

special offer

Don’t forget to add your email on the home page to receive many more tips, recipes thoughts, and musings from Shiatsu & Conscious Cooking home page to subscribe


Healthy, Easy, Hands-on​ Cooking Classes

Have fun and try new food – Baldoyle Community Centre

Evening Classes – Tuesday 7pm-9pm      (7th Nov running til 12th Dec)

Morning Classes – Thursday 10.30-12.30    (9th Nov running til 14th Dec)

Cost €60 (includes all ingredients)

Call  086 607 0432 to book a place

 Healthy Immune System & Reducing Cholesterol  

  • Turkish Lentil Soup
  • Carrot & Courgette Wheat & Gluten free bread

Regulating hormones & maintaining strong bones

  • Corn Bread with Walnuts, Feta &Seaweed
  • Seaweed & Caramelized Onion Quiche
  • Carrot & Arame Seaweed Salad

Improve flexibility and joints & Learn to detox effortlessly       –

  • Lemon & Parmasean Brussel Sprouts
  • State of Return Soup using Angelika Root

Healthy Heart reducing stress and anxiety 

  • Beetroot, Pear & Feta Salad
    Raw Chocolate Power Balls
  • Watermelon & Feta Salad

Healthy alternatives to stop sweet cravings

  • Spinach with Garlic & ginger
    Sweet Potato Falafel
  • Millet Muffins

Balance in the body for harmony and health

  • Beet Marmalade
  • Zingy Potato Salad


Location  Baldoyle Community Hall

Im done with Groupon’s coupons & Pigsback, Wowcha vouchers

carry on

I’m always tempted when I see a massage for cut-price value – oooooh I think, nice, something for me ……… but I have decided I am worth more.  Too many disappointed, wasted afternoons spent on uncomfortable plinths feeling like I was being pummelled by a few feathers instead of receiving a deep tissue massage.  It’s always a sinking feeling when I turn up and its a beauty parlor.  I know this is not the massage that satisfies me. I want connection and deep holding, not product and generic strokes.

Today was the final straw when my therapist said that arms were not included in a full body massage.  Really!! You would think after the time I turned up for a Thai massage and the therapist opened the door wearing 3-inch heels with leather trousers I would have stopped buying massage deals promising all the extras, but no I carried on.  I had 1.5-hour treatments where they cut the treatment to an hour without explanation, another where the masseuse opened the door and had a conversation with her landlord as I lay naked on the plinth behind her. No one asks me if I have any injuries or what I would like.  I just get what I’m given. So enough is enough, I’m standing up, I’m being seen, I’m recognizing my worth………… I know what a good treatment is because I give them.  They are a held contained space, safe and warm where the client can enter deep states of relaxation.  Where their body is encouraged to start its own healing process.  Where I connect and talk to their body via the energy flow in the meridians;  I hear what it’s saying and my hands engage in a dialogue with their bodies present vitality.  Each treatment is different, unique and individual, just like the client on the mat.

I am grateful for all the mediocre treatments and even the downright awful ones because I now value my own healing Shiatsu treatments and I value the skill in the other Shiatsu practitioners that I will be visiting in the future.

So don’t sell yourself short – Have a Shiatsu.  Make sure you receive my next blog  “How to find a good practitioner” by entering your email on the homepage – they say teach what you need to learn 🙂


Love your food, Love yourself

Your relationship with food is a mirror for your relationship with life.  So rather than feeling bad about what you eat, be in love with the conscious choices you make every time you put a scrumptious morsel in your mouth.  Feel the love as the food gives you life.sweet cravings 1

Our relationship with refined Sugar can be difficult.  We love it, we hate it.  We swear we will never have chocolate again and yet when we are at our most vulnerable it comes knocking on the door, and like a lover we know will do us no good we let it back in. For in Chinese Medicine security, comfort and motherly love is found in sweet things.  Who doesn’t want a soft squidgy embrace full of love?  Unfortunately chocolate cannot give us this hug – it may alleviate uncomfortable lost symptoms for a while but really its just keeping us in a loop of highs and lows, comfort then guilt.  There is nothing wrong with Chocolate but it may be our relationship with it that might need to change so that there’s no addiction, there’s no “must have” with guilty feelings to follow.  You either have or don’t have – it’s got to be a conscious choice full of love.   

So how do we get to the state of choice with our food as sweet things can be very addictive, physically, mentally and emotionally.  Using my experience of Chinese Medicine and my background of facilitation and coaching, I have found that the big thing that helps us make a change is love.  Love for ourselves and love from others supporting us through the lifestyle transformations.  Others care for us; we care for ourselves

I will be offering 1-1 support and answer questions, provide solutions and possible alternatives to problems that arise throughout the course.  Also don’t underestimate the power of the group.  As we journey together the closed Facebook group can provide support through sharing and posting.  This interactive course is very different to a self help book that sits alone on your shelf.  This course is filled with living people all on the same path seeking to love food they eat.   Don’t miss out though – course is for maximum 20 people and enrolment closes 30th October.  I will not run this online course again until Autumn 2018 – scroll down for the freebie


Then there’s the Chinese Medicine information part.  There are points on the body and certain foods that will help alleviate sweet cravings and bring satisfaction.  Within the 6 week online supported programme I show you acupressure points, explain meridians, share ingredients and create dishes that are really tasty .  With all these tools we are more likely to make the change to a nourishing, wholesome, healthy life where we have a life full of love, delicious food and conscious choices



Healthy doesn’t mean denial – with my course it means the opposite – if you consciously love your food, you love yourself.

For a snapshot of the course visit  

Registration now open – course runs from Halloween till Christmas 2017 – 20 participants max

And for advice on a special ingredient Theres even a free video to stop sweet cravings: just click on the links

How sugar ages you and your skin

The Stomach & Spleen are responsible for the flesh tone of the body.  If you want everything smooth and plump with the resilience of youth then keep these two organs healthy.   The flavour that the Stomach and Spleen loves is sweet.  It gives us a feeling of satisfaction and support.  This is fine when it’s healthy sweet stuff, such as brown rice, butternut squash, chick peas, but the refined sugar of chocolate, cake and biscuits weakens these organs as it’s too much for the spleen to process and for the body to balance.

Perhaps the foods above don’t beckon and entice you but if you visit 6 week supported stop sweet cravings programme  you will find its full of delicious recipes including raw chocolate, spinach with ginger and garlic, rhubarb and apple crumble and roasted spiced chick peas which will support your spleen and stop your wrinkles.   

When we eat too much refined sugar it attaches to proteins in your bloodstream and forms a new molecule called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE’s for short – very appropriate)  these damage protein fibres such as collagen and elastin which keep skin firm and elastic.  Once damaged these protein fibres become dry and brittle – bringing on sagging and wrinkles.  The regeneration of the elastin and collagen fibres slow after the age of 35 so it is especially important as we age that our appearance doesn’t.  So even if your waistline isn’t your motivation its important from  an Eastern and Western Medicine point of view, to keep your sugars down if you want bright, fresh skin.

So what can you do?


The dishes created within the programme are full of potent AGE inhibitors.  The dish in the photo is a prime example, Roasted Vegetables with Brown Rice and a tangy asian dressing is full of B1, B6 vitamins and Alpha Lipoid Acid which have powerful anti-glycating properties.  

Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant. It is found in every cell, where it helps turn glucose into energy.  It is a potent antioxidant as unlike other antioxidants which only work in water or fats, alph-lipoic acid is both fat and water soluble.  Spinach is another amazing Alpha Lipoid Acid food and there’s a scrumptious recipe in there too.  In Chinese Medicine, Spinach also helps to drain the body of excess fluid so you can look healthy and plump for all the bright skinned, bright bodied reasons.  So come to my online kitchen table and discover delightful healthy food for reducing sugar cravings, dull skin and wrinkles



Danger, Danger – sugar for the over 40’s

In men, the risk of heart disease increases after age 45. In women, the risk increases after age 55. In people who have diabetes, the risk of heart disease increases after age 40.     * US department of Health and Human Services

You don’t have to have diabetes to put your heart at risk.  the more refined sugar we eat over the age of 40 the more likely we are to develop heart disease, high blood pressure and a greater risk of stroke.


Even though the flavour for a healthy Stomach/Spleen in Traditional Chinese Medicine is sweet, too much of a good thing can weaken these organs. It is the spleen (pancreas) that is responsible for insulin production which enables the absorbtion glucose (sugars) into the cells of the body.

Too much sugar means either the spleen cannot produce enough insulin or insulin that works (diabetes type 1) or the body becomes insulin resistant (diabetes type 2) Glucose that is unprocessed by insulin remains in the blood stream damaging arteries causing high blood pressure and heart disease.

High glucose levels also inhibit the digestion of fats and triclyceride levels within the blood rise. Tryglycerides don’t dissolve in the blood they move around the arteries where they can cause hardening, increasing the risk factor for stroke and heart disease.

So what can you do?

Refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta give quick sugar hits but are missing the fiber and minerals of whole-grains.  In Chinese Medicine to keep the Stomach/Spleen and Sugar levels healthy we would use wholegrains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa and starchy vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips.  Perhaps you think these foods are boring, that they won’t meet the needs of your sweet tooth? but healthy food doesn’t mean boring food – with my recipes it means the opposite – it means delicious, sexy scrumptiousness – if you consciously love your food, you love yourself.  One tip from Chinese Medicine is to CHEW CHEW CHEW your food.  This is where the sugars are released into the mouth, broken down by the teeth and saliva,  sending signals to the brain that this is sweet, tasty food.   


6 week supported programme to Stop Sweet Cravings

If you want more ways to lower your sugars, your risk of diabetes and your blood pressure, come and visit my online kitchen table and watch me prepare delicious dishes full of healthy ingredients that help to tone and heal the Spleen, balancing blood sugars and stopping the addictive cravings that refined sugars bring.  The 6 week supported online programme to Stop Sweet Cravings  is full of videos demonstrating how to make dishes that are sweet , satisfying and healthy.  They can reduce blood pressure, the risk of stroke and heart disease.


Because of the supportive 1-1 nature of the course it is only open to 20 participants maximum.  Be in the first 10 to sign up and receive a 15% discount by entering the code MONEYOFF4U.  Enrollment is open now and will close on the 30th October which is when the first live online lesson will begin.  For full details go to Information page

By finding healthy alternatives, to refined sweet foods such as pasta, bread and chocolate, that taste REALLY GOOD we are more likely to make a change to a nourishing, wholesome, healthy life.   This is especially important as we progress through life and our bodies repair and regeneration takes a little longer.  (click here to read sugar’s effect on premature ageing and what to eat to stop it)

So be sugar smart, keep your blood sugars healthy, blood pressure down and your heart pumping strongly





Cuffe Street Cooking Classes


Find out, what to eat to help you sleep, build healthy bones, maintain good blood pressure, to remain calm in stressful situations and to live a happy life, full of joy.


Have fun and try new food – Thursday 10.30-12.30 – Greenside Hse, Cuffe St

No need to book – just drop in

Cost €4 (includes all food eaten within the class)

Date               Topic                                     Dish                                               

28th Sept  Healthy Immune System

Chilli Pesto – Chilli Relish – Wheat & Gluten Free Drop Scones

5th Oct     Regulating hormones & maintaining strong bones

 – Arame with Carrots and Sesame  – Chilli & Parmesean Polenta 

12th Oct       Improve flexibility and joints & Learn to detox effortlessly

– Asian Style Autumn Slaw  – Spiralized Courgette with zingy dressing

19th Oct         Healthy Heart reducing stress and anxiety

  – Beet Marmalade  – Insalata Caprese  – Carrot salad

26th Oct        Healthy alternatives to stop sweet cravings

– Turkish Carrots  – Ginger & Garlic Spinach – Sweet Potato Falafel