What happened when I stopped eating “Clean” – By Mel Collie

So many diets, so many statistics showing us that obesity is an epidemic, an overburdening NHS with no money and out of date health advice leaves us confused, unsure about what to eat, when, calorie counting, colour counting, weighing, guilt..this confusion leads to overwhelm and overeating, thats why I stopped eating “clean”…sounds like a crazy thing to do when theres an obesity epidemic, but I think that the trend of eating clean/paleo also has its issues that no ones talking about. It can be totally the wrong thing if you are anorexic or have eating disorders as its another way of controlling food.

What is eating clean?

Eating clean means no sugar and a whole lot of fresh food thats not processed.

Obesity hit the headlines again today about the fact that fat doesn’t make you fat..

Its something that us health and wellness instructors have known a while

Its important to eat fat, avocados are actually good for you, as are nuts and seeds and butter. Whole milk is better than semi or skimmed milk.

If its low fat its not healthy for you, its full of chemicals that your Liver doesn’t know how to break down and use.

Veg and healthy body movement makes a big step towards a healthy future for your body, which means less burden on the NHS and on your heart.

Flora is rubbish..its not good for you..butter is, its a healthy fat as is coconut oil.

However…as good as you are at eating well you will have days when you don’t…and want to eat sugar.

And thats ok!

Its ok to eat in moderation, have chips, cookies, cake, chocolate.

I’m sure that you will go out for dinner and have a pudding, and thats ok, as long as at the time you actually enjoy it, without the stress of feeling guilty, thinking it will all make you fat and sick and you’ve fallen off the wagon.

We are doing less activity in our lives, but we are rewarding ourselves more, thats why sitting in front of the TV is a great pastime with a bowl of crisps , we love the reward..but don’t like the task.

And the task is? Working your body, like its supposed to. Stressing the body by moving it.

We are creatures of movement, hunters, gatherers, our brains haven’t changed or evolved to accept or understand modern stress.

We now sit in front of a screen and don’t move for hours. We wonder why we get fat, sick, with painful joints.

We don’t challenge ourselves anymore, we love the comfort zone, nothing we do scares us anymore, unless you make yourself join something that challenges you, do an activity that means you have to soul search for answers.

At the risk of boring you about my time in Snowdonia, thats exactly what I faced.

High mountain climbs, testing myself, abseils, questions, challenges.

Realisation and acceptance is key to living in the here and now.

We lie to ourselves all the time, even when we tell ourselves  we aren’t.

I do believe that eating clean is the only way to have a healthy heart, liver, mind, movement. However, when I started eating things like biscuits and cake again, I started to love food again, love the energy around food, love the places I ate them in. I believe that eating clean can be addictive and controlling, we can beat ourselves up when we don’t, which leads to a hormonal cascade which is just as bad as eating something viewed as a “chemical shit storm” ..

Anyway, I just chose to eat less..

I don’t eat three meals a day, I don’t eat breakfast because I don’t feel hungry before mid day. Doesn’t mean I eat loads later. Sometimes I don’t eat lunch either. I have more energy on the days I don’t eat before dinner.

I’ve tried a few diets overtime, Ive listened to how my body reacts, how my energy changes, what happens to me. Not how it works for someone else.

Metabolism is unique and it changes all the time.

Its your job to be true to yourself and eat to suit you.

For me, my diet looks like this

Lemon water in the morning, 5g Vit C and some Ashwaghanda

Lunch, if I feel hungry, (do you know how that really feels?) is a couple of eggs, watercress and ham, sometimes, if we have some, in the house, I also have a couple of slices of Ciabatta or a flat bread , toasted, with the eggs, lush! Sometimes some Kabanossi sausage as well.

Its taken time for me to stop the “breads bad for you, its gluten” thought..however, it is for some people, it isn’t for others. If you find it leaves you bloated and tired, then you have an intolerance, and your gut has trouble digesting it, the same can be said of milk, but its not true for everyone.

Find what works for you.

For dinner then, maybe I will have a curry, with nana bread (shock horror!), or a tuna salad, or fish and salad – my gut isn’t a  huge fan of potatoes, they leave me feeling tired, or a picky tea which is a mixture of cold meats, cheese, beetroot, crackers, pickles..stuff like that, a shepherds pie, pizza, pasta and bolognese sauce…just good old fashioned food. I also love a slice of cheesecake, I also love chocolate peanuts and chocolate buttons, apricots, blueberries..but..in moderation.

Knowing that you can have a food, thats its not a sin, its not bad for you, means you are more likely to not binge eat it, because its is plentiful supply, you aren’t denied it, its not going to run out, it will always be there. Its not like Charlie and the Chocolate factory when the chocolate river and the sweets were all such a treat, it seemed they had to to eat it all and extra fast or it would all be taken away from them, so its a knowing that the food you have is plentiful and will always be there. You aren’t going to starve.

I just eat when I feel hungry. I do believe though that many of us truly knows how that feels, to be hungry, the feeling of being lonely, upset, stressed, unworthy, fed up, wanting a cuddle…can all be mistaken for the feelings of being hungry. We can snack in the car on the way home from a bad day at work and eat a bag of sweets before we’ve even left the car park. Empty calories we forget about because we’ve eaten them in a daze and without being conscious of it.

So, I suppose I stop eating at about 8pm, and don’t start until 1pm the next day if I feel like lunch, or 6pm for dinner.Its not an exact science, and its not regimented..sometimes those times change.

Thats a gap of 17 – 22 hours between meals.

The scaremongering stories are that your metabolism will slow down – thats not true, or that you will faint, thats not true, or that your body goes into starvation mode, that also isn’t true. Your body 2- 3 hours after eating,  is in a “fed” state, its still digesting the food you have just eaten, but you could still feel the urge to eat.

This is usually because we’ve been conditioned to feel hungry by the adverts we see, the words we hear, the smells from the supermarket pumping bread and coffee smells..

I’m just eating less.

Its how human used to eat. Sometimes a big kill and lots of meat, sometimes just nuts and berries and fish, sometimes nothing.

However…We are moving less, we don’t need to eat 3 meals a day. We don’t need to snack. We don’t need to graze. We are bombarded more with images of food through marketing of course, reminding us to eat , eat, eat…eating on the train, in the car, as we walk, we just eat mindlessly.

On the days you are doing a whole lot more like hunting tigers and climbing mountains, you may well need more sugar based energy releasing foods.

On days you aren’t, then your body just doesn’t require food as much as you think it does.

Don’t diet, still eat the foods you love, but less, its simple really, but as I said in the beginning, its a journey, you will travel, you will stop and get off, you will get back on again, you will discover, you will feel fear, anticipation, wonder and happiness.

Thats the joy of life.

Realisation and acceptance.

Mel Collie


Top 10 aromatherpy oils for Menopause

Guest Post

Here are a list of top 10 oils to use for menopause by Tracy Cornish



May help with irritability, impatience, insomnia and restlessness and any problems connected to the menopause and PMS. It is a calming oil very good for all sorts of situations.

Can be used by anyone.



Is the oil indicated for change, and helping someone to cope with that change,  which the menopause is.  It may be helpful again for stress related conditions, or irritability.

Very good for all menstrual problems.


Fennel (Sweet)

Is highly effective for the menopause as it helps the body to produce its own oestrogen. Most of the time we are in an oestrogen state, and should be trying to get in a progesterone state.  So maybe not to be recommended as a first oil to choose. It can also help to curb the appetite and detox the body. It may also give people hope in the face of hurdles which seem impossible to get around or over.

BUT this oil is NOT to be used on young children or epileptics or during pregnancy.  Bitter Fennel should not be used.



Lovely for helping to feel calm and just to stop and take a breath, when we are so busy all the time



Brilliant for the menopause and PMS, it can help to balance the hormones, help with hot flushes, very good for the nervous system, depression, tension, anxiety and lovely for the skin, which may get dry during menopause.



Can be used to help calm, relieve anxiety, low moods, can be used neat on the skin, also good for high blood pressure. An all round beautiful oil, very good as an immune booster.



Very good if you are feeling tired and exhausted, especially after a long day.



May be helpful for soothing the nerves, calming the mind, helping with fluid retention and insomnia caused by anxiety.  This is a very gentle oil and can be used by adults and children.

You do have to be careful not to go out in the sun after using it as it is photo sensitive.



Is brilliant and is a dedicated oil for women, as it help with menopause helping with emotions that accompany menopause, it is a tonic for the womb. It may make a woman feel feminine and positive, the only downside is the cost which is £25 – £30 for 2.5ml.



Excellent for the nervous system, helping with anxiety and tension, and a very good antiseptic and immune booster. Smells gorgeous. Also helps with dry, cracked and dehydrated skin.


All of these oils need to be blended with a carrier oil such as Sweet Almond oil, a couple of blends might be: Frankincense, Geranium, Lemon,  or Mandarin, Lavender Sandalwood. Normally it is a rule of three. Only 3 drops of essential oil  to 10ml of carrier oil.


Also beneficial are Bach Flower remedies, i.e Rescue Remedy, good in all situations and Walnut for change e.g. menopause, or puberty, Larch for lack of confidence, there are others but too many to mention, I can let you know more if you are interested.


I hope this is helpful to you, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Best wishes




Tracy Cornish

Lifetime Platinum Pacesetter

Email: flower100@tiscali.co.uk




Bacterial Vaginosis During the Menopause – Guest Blog

The menopause is a challenging time for any woman and the hormonal changes that occur bring a whole new set of dynamics to how a woman feels. With decreasing production of oestrogen, which can cause vaginal dryness and loss of libido, it is hardly surprising that women can feel as though their life is changing and self-esteem can drop to a low. Bacterial vaginosis is a common condition that can be brought on by these hormonal changes. This can cause further problems from an emotional aspect, as one of the symptoms is a foul smelling discharge. BV is not dangerous on its own, but the emotional context can affect women especially at the delicate time of the menopause.


Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection caused by the differing levels of pH in the vagina. Typical symptoms are a discharge that has a distinctive foul smell. In contrast with normal vaginal discharge which changes during a woman’s cycle, BV discharge is white or grey and watery. BV can be brought on by a number of factors. Washing with shower gel or soaps, using intimate vaginal sprays, unprotected sex and hormonal changes can all play a part in the . BV is not considered as a sexual infection and while bacteria can be passed to your partner, there is no need for your partner to be treated. The importance of treating this bacterial condition cannot be stressed highly enough. Menopausal changes in a woman’s life are guaranteed changes that women cannot avoid only improve. Bacterial vaginosis is a condition that can be treated and prevented. It’s wise to do so.


BV is commonly treated by a GP with antibiotics to fight the bacteria. While effective in many ways, antibiotics can also diminish the presence of good bacteria in your vagina. This often leads to reoccurrence of the condition. Balance Activ can also be prescribed by your GP. It’s a vaginal lactic acid gel that promotes the growth of good bacteria while restoring the normal pH and bacterial balance. It works in three ways:

  • Neutralises Odour
  • Reduces vaginal discharge
  • Restores the pH balance to healthy levels

Balance Activ is clinically tested and is safe to use with other medication. It is widely available online and from major pharmacies both with and without prescription.


Find out more about bacterial vaginosis at the Balance Activ site. You can use the guide to symptoms to find out more about the condition.

The Menopause and a Hot Flush of Sex

Here is a great guest blog from my new friend Liz from The Little Shop of Erotic Delights.

Sex and menopause are not really talked about. It needs to be, the more we talk about it the less hang ups we will have 🙂

So often, we’re bombarded with negative medical information about the menopause and it’s content certainly makes me recoil as a sexually adventurous forty ‘something’. Sure, the menopause messes up our hormones and that includes an effect on our sexual mojo. Including: Vaginal dryness, libido, sleep problems, sweats, body image and ageing. Woah… what a lovely list to begin with!! Although these things have a huge impact on us emotionally and physically, it needn’t
mean the end of a healthy and abundant sex life. It just means we need to navigate  around the issues and fit our sex life in around the positive up times. Many of us may only have mild menopause symptoms, others the whole lot and the lucky
ones just sail through it – damn them.
The main asset to any woman, peri-menopausal or full flush, is a supportive partner. They need to fully understand how we feel, that doesn’t mean give it to them both barrels midflush and in an emotional rant. Pick a moment where you can discuss the new found menopause elephant in the bedroom.  Help them understand, that sometimes you just don’t feel like making love and other times you are as rampant as an alley cat. Explain how your body changes are making you feel
uncomfortable and sometimes unattractive – be open and honest. Communication is your ally.
If your partner loves you, they will love all of you. It’s not just YOUR menopause, it affects your partner too, therefore, it’s their responsibility to help and support you through it. A problem shared and all that.
My Story
Mr Delights my partner, compares me to Joan Collins in a recent chocolate bar campaign -we laugh about it. (Humour is a tonic!) I can get a little Diva-ish when my blood sugar is low or I’m tired from a broken sleep pattern.
I began having peri-menopausal problems about 4 years ago, it wasn’t such a big surprise to me, my own Mother was an early starter, as were her sisters. So, when I started have hot flushes like a volcano erupting, I knew exactly what it was.
My emotions can be erratic too, one minute I can be laughing and the next in a puddle of tears. It’s like PMT on steroids. Sex is also affected – one minute I can’t get enough and then I can’t be bothered. I don’t get caught up in the frequency, I concentrate more on the quality. I actively make time, when it’s my up time and (pardon the pun) I don’t sweat it when I’m off peak. Women go from having monthly PMT to monstrous menopause in what seems the blink of an eye but it really does not mean the end of something, it means a new chapter begins.
Sex is one way to keep feeling attractive and desirable again – the menopause does not mean the end of being sexy. So how do you maintain a happy, abundant and healthy sex life balance?
Don’t pressure yourself – If you aren’t in the mood for a bit of rumpy pumpy that night, have some cuddles with a dvd and a bottle of wine. If it leads to sex… great, if you aren’t in the mood, let your partner know gently and simply re-schedule. ‘NO’ is bound to cause some rejection issues, LATERS BABY is the promise of more to come.
Invest in some gorgeous lingerie – Bound to make you feel sexy whether sex is on the cards or not. Lingerie is not just for your partner, it will assist in making you feel feminine and desirable. Make every day a sexy lingerie day.
Make a Date Night – The promise of a regular special seductive night can do wonders for bringing you closer to your partner. Put it in the diary – intent is everything. Get that sexy lingerie on and be the seducer. Take control back from your menopause.
Culinary Foreplay – Cook some libido enhancing foods – food and diet are key to feeling better and also some pack a punch in the bedroom. Read more about libido enhancing foods here… http://littleshopoferoticdelights.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/6-power-foods-to-fuel-your-libido/
Be Playful – Life is dull without fun – so why not leave a little love note in their lunch box or sexy text them throughout the day. Let them know how much you love them and if you are game on for some bedroom delights, be explicit. Send a few throughout the day and one as they are leaving work. You will definitely be in for some fun when they come through the door.
Create Adventure  – As relationships move on, it can be all too easy to get into a rut. A quick under cover fumble is ok every now and again but it shouldn’t become a habit. With all the frenzy of 50 shades of Grey, more women are turning to sex toys and role play than ever before. Why not try a little light bondage, a sleep mask and a man’s tie would do the trick. Power play, allow your lover to dominate you or try the reverse. Variety is the spice of life.
PS: Don’t forget lube… lube is the greatest friend of the menopausal sex kitten.
Learn to Love Yourself – Your body is changing and will continue to do so – work what Mother Nature gave you. Find things you love about your body: boobs? eyes? bum? Concentrate on the positives and try not to be so hard on yourself. You are beautiful, you are attractive and confidence is the most attractive quality in anyone.

Regardless of age or size – you CAN rock that goddess!

Finally –The menopause is another journey we all need to navigate – being gentle on ourselves will lighten the load. Working with it, instead of fearing it is key – be proud of your journey as a woman, you’ve earned your stripes tiger!
By Elizabeth
Little Shop of Erotic Delights
For more information about Little Shop of Erotic Delights and to view more helpful articles
visit www.e-delights.com