Author Archives: Olivia

How to Optimise Your Skin Health

By Penny Barnett

Penny is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and has been working in health and well-being for over 10 years. Having originally studied and worked in the film industry she decided to turn her passion into her career, and to take her health into her own hands after suffering with facial acne for many years. She now has a young daughter with her husband Jonathan and is very happy in her skin! She trained with the Nutritional Healing Foundation and currently practises in Bristol. You can also sometimes find her on the shop floor working at Wild Oats among the products she loves!

T. 0772 556 9440

The skin is an organ, the biggest organ of the body, and it needs to be supported and nourished to keep it functioning properly. It has to deal with a lot – atmospheric toxins, heat regulation, sun exposure and it acts as a barrier to protect our precious insides!

Skin health can be a difficult subject to discuss for the person suffering, as for some people their skin issue may be visible and therefore embarrassing to talk about. It can create great stigmas, unhealthy habits and discomfort, affecting the person socially, mentally as well as physically. This can leave the person psychologically and physically tired, which unfortunately will only exacerbate the issue further.

Healthy on the inside and out

There is a wide spectrum of skin problems including acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, shingles, cysts and eczema and in all these cases in could be said that the infection is trying to make its way out of the body, using the skin as its route of elimination, and for that reason it is important to maintain total body health for ultimate skin health.

Skin problems can vary greatly, but the solution for each and every one can be helped with a few skin care essentials.


✓    Water intake – make sure you’re getting enough water to help flush out toxins and hydrate your system; drinking herbal tea can also be a great, therapeutic way of staying hydrated.

✓    Dry skin brush – stimulating for the lymph and supportive for cleansing

✓    Epsom salt baths – rich in Magnesium Sulphate, which is hydrating and relaxing

✓    Sleep – at least 8 hours a night and switch off electrical devices before you get into bed.

✓    Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) – make sure you’re getting a sufficient amount of good EFA’s internally through food or supplementation, and apply oils, like coconut oil, directly to the skin (seek advice for the correct recommendation for your skin type)

“High levels of omega-3 have been shown to plump up the look of the skin as well as the quality, by reducing inflammation as well as supplying the building blocks for healthy skin cells.” [1]

✓    Organic and natural skincare products – there’s ample to choose from at Wild Oats!

✓    Exercise – oxygenate the blood and move built-up stagnancy in the body

✓    Antioxidant-rich food – helping to fight free radicals which can lead to skin cell damage

✓    Supplements – vary depending on the person, but a multi-vit and an Essential Fatty Acid are the basics. Herbal supplements can greatly can reduce skin issues.

✓    Sunshine – seek an organic/natural face and body cream that contains a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) for the summer. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are natural active SPF ingredients to look out for. Aloe Vera also has natural SPF of 5.

And reduce…

➔        Caffeine and alcohol – both are dehydrating for the body and stimulating for the liver – impacting the proper functioning of the liver, which can lead to a build-up of toxins in the body.

➔        Processed food and refined sugar – reduce your intake of acidic and inflammation-causing foods, including fried food, margarines and fast-foods as well as refined (white) sugar products.

➔        Dairy – dairy can clog the system and introduce pathogens to the body, which are an added burden for the system to process. The possible exceptions are kefir (cultured dairy), organic live yogurt and organic butter.

➔        Stress – skin issues are stressful enough, let alone any external stress added on top! Stress creates chemical reactions in the body that make skin more sensitive and reactive, and slowing the healing process. Hormones such as cortisol are released under stress, resulting in increased oil production by sebaceous glands, which makes the skin more prone to acne and other skin problems.

Eat a rainbow and glow

Spring is the perfect time to cleanse the system from the rich foods that we indulge in during the colder months, and to awaken the body from increased stagnancy (hibernation!). Some simple ways of kick-starting a cleanse is to focus on what you’re putting in your body, and giving your body the food it needs to maintain the perfect glow.

For ultimate skin health, it is important to eat fresh, alkalising and nutrient-rich food.

Increase these great foods for great skin…

★        EFA rich foods such as flax, oily fish, almonds, hemp and pumpkin seeds

★        Avocado

★        Carrots

★        Sweet potatoes

★        Spinach

★        Tomatoes

★        Squashrecipe 3

★        Broccoli

★        Apricots

★        Citrus fruit

★        Apple

★        Papaya

★        Mango

★        Berries

★        Cucumber

★        Wholegrains

For Penny’s recipe for optimum skin health (pictured),
click here…

Less is more

We use toiletries to make us look good, feel good and smell good, but do we really need as much as we use to achieve the required end result?

As Pat Thomas highlights in her book ‘Skin Deep’,

“your skin absorbs up to 60% of the chemicals that come into contact with it and sends them directly into the bloodstream” [2].

Your skin has to deal with a lot: environmental toxins, as well as any chemicals used on a daily basis – deodorant, makeup, soap, perfume and household cleaning products -so why not lighten the burden and try reducing the amount you use? After all, you may not need an extensive facial routine to create the result you want. Try minimising and selecting more specific products. And what’s more, as your skin regains its natural healthy look, you may find you choose to rely less on make-up.

Natural and organic products will generally place less demands on the bloodstream, and they will ultimately be gentler on your skin, more hydrating and healing.

Additional therapeutic support

Nutritional Therapy – tailored nutritional and supplement advice for optimum health

Acupuncture – derived from Chinese medicine, fine needles are used for therapeutic and preventative use.

Holistic Massage – massage for detoxifying, relaxation and restoration

Colonic Irrigation – cleanse and hydrate the bowel and colon to support whole body detoxification


[1] How to eat for great skin – Dietary fats By Ian Marber
[2] Skin Deep, Pat Thomas, page 4.

More from Penny

For Penny’s recipe for Wild Oats, click here..

Take a step inside Penny’s kitchen, click here…

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Kitchen Encounters with Penny Barnett

This month, local naturopath, Penny Barnett, shares her store cupboard essentials and her favourite quick-cook meal.

For Penny’s blog on Tips for Optimising Skin Health, click here…

For another recipe from Penny, click here…

My Kitchen Staples

  • Coconut oil
  • A variety of teas
  • Oats
  • Oat milk

pennysplate2My Quick Supper


King Soba brown rice noodles
2 tsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
2 small organic leeks
Dash olive oil
1 cup cashews
Geo Organics Thai Green curry paste
Fresh coriander
1/2 lemon/lime



  • Heat 2 tsp of coconut oil in a non-stick pan
  • Dice the leeks into semi circles and add to pan on a low heat until soft
  • Chop the garlic into chunks and add to the leeks, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon (or lime)
  • Boil water for the noodles
  • Add half jar of curry paste to the pan, stir and leave for 5-7 minutes
  • Place 2 portions of rice noodles into boiling water for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly so they don’t stick!
  • Drain the noodles and refresh with cold water
  • Serve noodles, drizzle with olive oil, top with the curry, tahini, cashews and some fresh coriander.

Penny Barnett
T. 0772 556 9440

Penny is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and has been working in health and well-being for over 10 years. She trained with the Nutritional Healing Foundation and currently practises in Bristol.

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London Fog Latte

Celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight and rainy days in Brizzle!


1 cup of well-brewed Hampstead Fairtrade Earl Grey tea
1/2 tsp lavender, left to sit in the tea
1/2 cup gently warmed milk
1/4 tsp Madagascar Vanilla Bourbon extract
Fairtrade sweetener of your choice (Raynor’s golden syrup or Equal Exchange honey)


  • Brew the tea and leave to steep with the lavender seeds for about 3 minutes
  • Combine with the remaining ingredients and serve warm!

For more recipes, click here…

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Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl

Inspired by a recipe from

Ingredients (per person)

1 sweet potato
1/2 mashed banana
1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon, to taste
1 tbsp raisins and goji berries, soaked overnight
Several strands of saffron
Coconut cream / coconut manna / ghee
Handful of activated chopped pecans (soaked overnight and lightly toasted)
Maple / coconut syrup for a sweeter bowl

Your bespoke choice of sprinkles:
– desiccated coconut
– cacao nibs
– fennel seeds
– nut butter


  • Bake your sweet potato in foil and leave to cool. You could cook the night before, or leave to cook overnight in a slow-cooker.
  • Mash and warm the banana in a pan with the cinnamon, saffron strands and grated coconut cream / ghee.
  • Add the plump soaked fruit to the pan.
  • Mash together the sweet potato (with or without the skin, according to preference) and the warm banana mixture.
  • Place in a warm oven or under a grill to warm through if required, while you toast your pecans .
  • Add any additional sprinkles you fancy and enjoy!
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On Eating Well: My Top Medicinal Foods

By Atiya Khan
Nutritional Therapist (BSc (Hons), PGCE, Dip. CNM, mBANT, CNHC)

‘Food is medicine’ is a phrase we often hear, based on the words of the Greek physician, Hippocrates (486-377 BC), the father of modern medicine: “Let medicine be thy food and let food be thy medicine”. What does this really mean, and how can we apply this to our daily life? (1)

Food is information for cells

Raw materials for biological processes

Our food gives us the raw materials for the body to function. When a food is eaten, the digestive process, when functioning properly (a whole article in itself!), breaks down the food and extracts nutrients for absorption. Proteins are broken into amino acids, carbohydrates into simple sugars and fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (plant chemicals which are protective to plants, and in turn to us) are also extracted. Our nutrient requirements can change depending on our genetics, current health, health history, age, sex, environment and where we live. The foods we eat depend on our culture, where we live, access to foods, budget, our perception and habits. (2)

Our food and its absorption then determines how our body works (2). For example, B vitamins, protein, magnesium, iron and Coenzyme Q10 are all involved in a complex process of energy production, and when there is a lack of any of these, we can feel tired (3). Zinc is required for skin health, making proteins, cell growth, wound healing and hormonal health; zinc levels tend to be lower in teenagers, where acne is very common, so zinc rich foods or supplements can be used to help. Each of the nutrients has one or more specific roles in the body (magnesium has over 300! (4), and when there is a deficiency, symptoms may appear (5).

Medicinal qualities

Foods also have medicinal qualities. The traditions of Ayurvedic Medicine from India, Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Ancient Greeks and now nutritional science recognise how different foods, according to their properties, can be used to bring people into optimal health, rather than just being without disease. When a disease or illness does arise (e.g. through stress, injury etc), foods, herbs and other natural therapies can be applied to return the person to health (6). For example, many people use ginger for a sore throat or fennel to help with digestion (see more below) (5).


One size does not fit all! We commonly see how one diet, food or medical drug, exercise or therapy works for one person, but not on another. The ancient traditions understand the importance of our individuality, on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level, and target particular foods and therapies for that person. Nutritional therapy adopts this personalised approach, by thorough case taking, asking about family history and getting to know the individual. We are also learning more through the emerging field of nutrigenomics. Our genes can be switched on or off by foods, so we can target particular foods and lifestyle measures for that person to be in good health (7).

A Registered Nutritional Therapist will be able to direct you specifically to which foods are best for you. If you are on medication it is advisable to seek medical advice before embarking on any major changes.

My Top Eight Medicinal Foods (and How to Eat Them)

In general, aim to eat a variety of whole, natural foods – don’t always go for the same veggies and fruits – different varieties count! Different colours of foods give different protective effects; when we eat a range of naturally coloured foods (ie the spectrum of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple…including white and brown!), we gain these benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and hormone balancing effects (7). If changing your diet, remember to go slowly with any changes.

Here are my Top Eight everyday medicinal foods and why!

  • Apples 

Rich in vitamin C, pectin (a soluble fibre which can lower cholesterol and help with bowel movements), and the antioxidant quercetin.

Benefits: Consumption is linked to reduced heart disease, cancer, asthma and type 2 diabetes.

How to eat: Raw (include the skin), smoothies, salads, grated into porridge, soups (eg apple and beetroot), baked and in a healthy crumble (5).

They are local, seasonal, cheap and versatile!

  • kale fieldCruciferous vegetables

i.e. cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, radish, swede, kale, cauliflower, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, kohlrabi and watercress.

Benefits: Sources of vitamin C, carotenes, many vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron (have with lemon juice/vitamin C to increase iron absorption).

All of this family contain phytochemicals, known as glucosinolates, with anticancer properties; there are lower rates of cancer in people who regularly eat these foods. These compounds are high in antioxidants and help with detoxification. Cabbages have also been found to help with peptic ulcers.

How to eat: Steamed with a squeeze of lemon and a little sea salt and pepper, in soups, or mixed with other vegetables for a colourful salad (5).

  • Flaxseeds/linseeds

Excellent source of an omega-3 essential fatty acid, and plant lignans (which are linked to anticancer effects).

Benefits: Reducing risk of heart disease and cancer.

How to eat: Ground (for their oil content) or whole (for insoluble fibre, for bowel movements). Buy them whole, keep them in a dark container in the fridge, and grind them as you need them. Use ground linseeds on porridge, in smoothies, as an egg replacement in baking, or buy the oil and use as a salad dressing (keep in the fridge and only use raw), (5).

  • Legumes  

Beans and lentils- rich sources of protein, antioxidants and fibre. Red lentils are versatile, cheap and quick to cook.

Benefits: Lower cholesterol levels, improve blood glucose control in diabetics and reduce risk of some cancers.

How to eat: For beans, soak overnight from dried and cook according to instructions (or use a pressure cooker), with ¼ tsp of bicarbonate baking soda or a bay leaf to soften the legumes (to reduce risk of flatulence, sometimes associates with beans!), as well as making them much cheaper. For lentils, cook lentils according to instructions – soaking even for an hour helps to reduce cooking time. If using canned, rinse after opening.

Enjoy them in stews, curries, salads, and make spreads eg houmous, or lentil pate (5).

  • Spices

Very high antioxidant content and specific uses of each spice. My favourites are:

Cinnamon: Can be used to help type 2 diabetes, arthritis, menstrual problems, asthma and digestant. Use in smoothies, over porridge, in baking and curries.

Cloves: Contain the compound eugenol, helping to lower joint inflammation and pain relief. Use in baking, curries or try giving your smoothie a healthy kick!

Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory effects including reducing pain in joints and period pains, and cancer protective effects. Use in curries, soups and make soothing drinks.

Turmeric latte: Warm a mug of coconut milk, pinch of cinnamon, turmeric, ground cloves and a dash of maple syrup.

Spice up your life! (5)

  • Herbs

Like spices, they are high in antioxidants and uses specific to each herb. Use fresh where possible – both for health benefits and taste! Eating dried herbs, however, are better than none at all.

Ginger: Good for digestion, passing of wind, feeling sick, contains a strong anti-inflammatory compound gingerol which can help with both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Use in tea (steep one-two centimetre piece in hot water), grated in salads, raw in smoothies, cooked in curries and soups.

Coriander: Both a herb and a spice as both the leaves and seeds are used. Helps with digestion (particularly of fats), relieves flatulence, detoxification and used traditionally in India to lower inflammation.

Parsley: Source of vitamin C, folic acid and many minerals including magnesium, calcium, potassium and zinc, helping with liver support (5).

Use coriander and parsley with curries, soups, salads, smoothies, juices and teas (steep a handful in just boiled water for a few minutes).

  • Berries

All of them, especially blueberries. A high source of antioxidants (especially anthocyanidins), vitamin C, other minerals, fibre, including pectin for bowel health.

Benefits: May protect against Alzheimer’s disease, improve vision and may help with both diarrhoea and constipation. Protects against inflammation, cancer and heart disease.

How to use: Add them to muesli, have a handful as a snack with a small handful of nuts, in smoothies, as a healthy pudding with coconut yoghurt and cinnamon, or in baking e.g. crumbles or healthy cakes. You can buy bags of organic frozen berries (5).

  • Lemons

High in vitamin C, antioxidants called bioflavonoids and limonene, and minerals including some magnesium.

Benefits: Helps with digestion, supports the liver with detoxification and weight management (contains the soluble fibre pectin, helping you to feel full).

How to use: Start your day with a squeeze of lemon juice with hot water, drink water steeped in lemon during the day, use in salad dressings, on cruciferous vegetables, on avocado with a little salt and pepper as a healthy snack (5, 8).

Enjoy experimenting with the range of foods that nature provides, and use them for taste, variety, and as your personal health kit!

Resources/Further Reading

·      Keep your plates colourful using this colour wheel:

·      Food is Medicine:

·      15 Mineral Rich Foods:

·      Eat your Medicine:


1. Langley, S. (2011). The Naturopathy Workbook. 3rd edn. CNM: West Sussex

2. Liska, DeA. Bland, J. S. (2010). Digestion and Excretion in Jones, D. S. Quinn, S.  Textbook of Functional Medicine. WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine, pp.190-191

3. Darland, G. (2010). Bioenergetics and Biotransformation in Jones, D. S. Quinn, S.  Textbook of Functional Medicine. WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine, pp. 183-188

4. Higdon, J. (2001). Magnesium. Available at: (Accessed: 3 February 2017)

5. Murrary, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. Piatkus:London

6. Axe, J. (2017). Food is Medicine: The Diet of Medicinal Foods, Science & History. Available at: (Accessed: 13 January 2017)

7. Hyman, M. (2016). Eat Your Medicine: Food as Pharmacology. Available at: (Accessed: 13 January 2017)

8. Axe, J. (2017). Benefits of Lemon Water: Detox Your Body and Skin. Available at: (Accessed: 16 February 2017)

Atiya photo 28.10.16Profile

Atiya Khan (BSc (Hons), PGCE, Dip. CNM, mBANT, CNHC) is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and Yoga Teacher. Atiya has a degree in Biochemistry, and previously worked as a lawyer and primary school teacher. She now combines her experience and passion in promoting natural health through food and lifestyle, using a holistic approach. 

She sees clients individually, runs health retreats, cooking demonstrations, health talks, is an Assistant Clinical Supervisor for the College of Naturopathic Medicine, and a health writer for lifestyle magazines and a Feature Writer for BANT, the professional body for Registered Nutritional Therapists. She is inspired to help people feel at their best.

For a FREE 15 minute chat, contact Atiya:

T: 07901532704



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The Next Wild Oats Lecture in the Series…

We arrange talks and workshops throughout the year, aiming to make the world a healthier happier place. There is no need to book – just turn up on the night in good time.

Redland United Reformed Church
Whiteladies Road
Lectures are held in the upstairs meeting room, accessed via the side of the church on Redland Park.

By donation to the local charity, Penny Brohn Cancer Care.

Wednesday 15th March, 6.30 – 8pm
Mood Foods and Digestive Health


Wednesday 17th May, 6.30 – 8pm
Health & Illness: How Cultural Understandings Differ


Wednesday 5th July, 6.30 – 8pm
The Stacking Plan: An Approach to Optimising Nutritional Health


Wednesday 13th September, 6.30 – 8pm
Learning from Diets and Nourishing Traditions of the Past


Wednesday 15th November, 6.30 – 8pm
Optimum Nutrition for Dogs

 Kindly sponsored by
 Vogel logo sml
 biocare logo
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Squash(ed) Soup!


Approx 1.5L water
Half a butternut squash, peeled and cut into approx. 3cm cubes
2 medium carrots roughly chopped
A handful of roughly chopped cavalo nero or kale leaves
2 diced onions
4 celery sticks diced
3-4 cloves garlic crushed or chopped
3cm of peeled, chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
Freshly ground black or long pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of herby salt (e.g.Herbamare)
1-2 vegetable stock cubes (optional depending on your taste)
1 heaped teaspoons ground turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds


  • Use the oil to fry the onions over a very low heat, in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, until they soften.  Add the garlic, ginger, celery and spices and fry for a further minute, stirring to prevent sticking.
  • Add the water (pre-boiled to speed things up!) to the pan with the squash, carrots, salt & pepper and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for around 30 mins or until the squash and carrots are soft. Add the Cavalo Nero or Kale and simmer for a further 5 mins.
  • Take the soup off the heat and squash it to your preferred consistency using a potato masher. This creates a delicious hearty soup which still has texture. It can be blended if preferred but you will need to change the name!


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Kitchen Encounters with Mike Abrahams

Take a glimpse into the kitchens of the experts! We asked our favourite nutritional experts to share with us their top 4 store cupboard staples and their go-to rustle-up suppers.

My kitchen staples

  • Tamari
  • A selection of dried seaweeds
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh turmeric

My quick rustle-up meal

turmeric rootNoodles!

(Organic wherever possible)

Medium sweet potato cut into small chunks
Handful fresh greens (broccoli, hispi/sweetheart cabbage, kale or whatever – sprouts, even) chopped fine (including stems – slice fine)
Medium red onion, finely sliced into half moons
Quarter beetroot julienne
2 large brown capped mushrooms sliced
Finger of turmeric finely sliced
Thumb of ginger medium sliced
2 cloves garlic chopped
10cm Wakame seaweed or piece of dulse about the size of your palm finely cut into pieces
1 tbsp coconut oil
Tamari and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp pink peppercorns
25 – 35ml boiling water or surplus stock from the noodles.
Any kind of noodles

*** Optional (add at the same time as the greens) – tofu, tempeh, tin of beans or whatever (pre-cooked) protein you like.

The cooking takes not much more than 10 minutes, so prepare the noodles accordingly to be ready about 10 minutes after you start the rest.

  • Sauté gently the onion garlic, ginger, seaweed and turmeric in the coconut oil until the onion is transparent
  • Add the chopped mushrooms and stir to coat the mushrooms
  • Add the whole pink peppercorns and cover, taking care to keep it all stirred and not catching
  • In a minute or so the mushrooms will become moist. At this point add the sweet potato and beetroot, a sprinkle of tamari and cover again
  • Saute for a further 3 minutes, at which time the mixture may be drying out and catching
  • At this point add the boiling water and the chopped greens. Raise the heat to a medium flame and cover. The moment the greens have become iridescent green, they are ready
  • Serve and enjoy

Or for fish eaters…


2 eggs, hard boiled and cold
1 tin tuna, sardines or mackerel
1 large avocado
2 cloves (or more) fresh garlic
juice of half a lemon
pinch of salt
TB extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper

  • If using sardines, remove the spines first
  • Simply mash everything together to a firm mixture, leaving it coarse or fine according to preference
  • Serve on rice cakes, corn cakes, oatcakes or sourdough rye bread, with salad of your choice!

Mike Abrahams is the co-founder and Managing Director of Wild Oats!

Read more about the history of Wild Oats here…


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Kitchen Encounters with Atiya

Take a glimpse into the kitchens of the experts! We asked our favourite nutritional experts to share with us their top 4 store cupboard staples and their go-to rustle-up meals.

My kitchen staples

  • Red lentils
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Black bean spaghetti
  • Tamari

My 10 minute rustle-up meal

Atiya nutritionIngredients

Black bean spaghetti
Broccoli (or other seasonal greens)
1 carrot
1/2 avocado
Lemon juice


  • Cover black bean spaghetti in boiling water, and boil for about 5 minutes. You can add broccoli after a minute.
  • In the meantime, grate the carrot.
  • Once cooked, drain the spaghetti and mix through the carrot.
  • Serve with avocado, a drizzle of tamari and squeeze of lemon juice.


Atiya is a Bristol-based nutritional therapist (BSc (Hons), Dip. CNM, mBANT, CNHC, PGCE, GDL, LPC). Atiya offers personalised nutrition and lifestyle consultations, wellness packages with a private yoga class, home cooking advice and group health promotion programmes, all aiming to give you the tools to promote your own wellness.

Atiya is co-hosting a talk for Wild Oats on Mood Foods and Digestive Health in March, as part of the Health Connects Lecture series.


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Kitchen Encounters with Pam Buckle

Take a glimpse into the kitchens of the experts! We asked our favourite nutritional experts to share with us their top 4 store cupboard staples and their go-to rustle-up suppers.

My kitchen staples

Just 4 items? That’s difficult as I am the kind of person who likes a fully stocked kitchen at all times! But the 4 things I really hate to be without are:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts (almonds or walnuts)
  • Hummus
  • Organic carrots

Avocados give the feeling of a treat, while being ultra healthy. Either eaten alone, or whipped up into a version of guacamole and eaten with carrot sticks. My guacamole is either very garlicky with chilli and lemon, OR nothing like guacamole: creamy and mild with yoghurt.

A few walnuts or almonds are a quick snack, which will stop me wanting something sweet.

Hummus? Well, my friend Sian and I were saying the other day that you could probably live on it if you had to… protein from the chickpeas, healthy fats, garlic, and calcium from the sesame. Again eaten with carrot sticks is my favourite way. The smoked hummus we sell in Wild Oats is to die for, but it’s so simple to make hummus yourself with an ordinary blender.

And so organic carrots are my last staple for obvious reasons aforementioned! I will often take carrot sticks out with me in a tiny Tupperware. They satisfy a desire for sweetness too.

But what about…

Organic eggs: nature’s perfect packed lunch is a hard boiled egg;
Frozen peas
: they’re a green food in an emergency;
The essential bag of mixed leaves;
Frozen blueberries.

I could go on!

My quick supper

My quickest  supper has to be avocado slices with smoked salmon and rocket, all drizzled with extra virgin oil and a squeeze of lemon and black pepper.

Could that be any quicker?

Pam Buckle

Pam Buckle is in her 30th year of working as a Wild Oats Advisor! She is our natural remedies department manager.

To read more Kitchen Encounters, click here… 

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