Author Archives: Olivia

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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Kitchen Encounters with Jamie Richards

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

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Bone broth
  • Fine wine

My quick rustle-up supper

Chicken noodle broth

There are no amounts or exact guidelines here. Just variations of a concept. The idea is to take the goodness of the whole chicken especially the carcass then add a host of beneficial ingredients and flavours that stimulate the senses and your digestion. This has been my favourite meal for quite some time now and I don’t see that changing in a hurry.

Whole organic chicken
Lemon grass
Fresh turmeric
Live miso
Lime leaves
Pak choi
Spring onions
Thick noodles
Soya sauce
Sweet basil
Mushrooms of some kind

  • Place a whole organic chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil, skim and then simmer for around an hour. Remove the chicken and leave it to cool whilst you strain the stock and return it to the pan.
  • At this point I normally have much more stock than I need so I put half of it to one side for the moment. To the other half I add 2 or 3 crushed lemon grass stalks (use the base of a saucepan or a rolling pin) and then a large thumb sized piece of crushed ginger and crushed fresh turmeric if you can get it, and 2 or 3 cloves of garlic all finely chopped or minced. Add 6ish kaffir lime leaves and a desert spoon of light miso or the Thai curry paste. Keep the broth simmering while you begin to strip the meat off the chicken. Add as much of the meat as you like and reserve the rest for another meal or two. Now add some noodles. I really like the King Soba pumpkin, ginger and brown rice ones right now. They’re substantial and have a nice bite to them. Add some greens like pak choi, chopped spring onions, a good splash of fish sauce and plenty of lime juice. Right at the end add a large amount of chopped coriander and some sweet basil and mint.
  • Lastly, you can break up the chicken carcass and return to the left over stock. Add some more water and add a good dash of apple cider vinegar to help release the goodness from the bones. Simmer it for another 2 hours at least (or ideally use a slow cooker overnight). Strain it off and allow it to cool. It will refrigerate well for 3 days or freeze for longer. Use ice cube trays to freeze it then you have small stock blocks to add to any cooking food.

Jamie Richards

Jamie is unique in the world of health and performance. Having studied as a nutritional therapist he went on to become one of the very few UK trained Clinical Psycho-Neuro-Immunologist. Jamie works with world class performers from free-divers to Everest summiteers and ultra-endurance athletes. The other side of Jamie’s business sees him work with those who are struggling with their health and may not be responding to conventional therapy. Unresolved pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, digestive complaints, migraines, skin conditions and bone disorders are just some of the conditions that may benefit from his approach.

Jamie founded and hosts the Health Connects Lecture series in Bristol.

Read more Kitchen Encounters, click here…

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Cauliflower, Turmeric & Cumin Soup

From Anna Middleton and the Diabeatit team

Soups are good for weight loss because of their low calorie density, or relatively low number of calories compared to their serving size. Fibre and protein are filling nutrients, so choose a soup with ingredients such as vegetables, beans and a lean protein.

3 white onions
3 cloves garlic
1 medium cauliflower
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch black pepper
1 Tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp veg powder

  • Roast or dry pan fry cumin seeds and put them to one side for later
  • Add onions, garlic and cauliflower to the pan with a little oil then, on a low heat, sweat them down with a pinch of salt for 30-40 minutes. Adding a pinch of salt at the beginning help
    If you can hear them frying the temperature is too high. The aim is to sweat them down to release the natural sugars not fry them.
  • When the vegetables are soft, add the turmeric and toasted cumin seeds and cook for another 5 minutes
  • When the vegetables are coated, add organic vegetable stock and cover with water. Cook for another 40/50 minutes then blend
  • Season with salt and pepper
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