Have You Heard of A Girl Called Jack?

Delicious Healthy Recipes, To Love To Read

If the answer is yes, how awesome is she?  If the answer is no, you seriously need to get involved.

I first heard of Jack about a year ago in a glossy magazine article and have kept half an eye out for her ever since.  As a single mum living on benefits, sick of the generalisation and stigma of how ‘poor people’ lived Jack started her blog with her first article Hunger Hurts talking about the real impact of poverty on her and her young son, it is heartbreaking and enlightening and I would recommend anyone taking a look at this blog entry: http://agirlcalledjack.com/2012/07/30/hunger-hurts/ (I also don’t want to put to many words into Jack’s mouth and think you should hear it directly from her).

Jack started including recipes on her blog, showing how she tried to keep her son well fed and healthy on a ridiculously small amount of money.  Jack’s blog led to a wonderful budget recipes book and ‘A Girl Called Jack’ hit the bookshelf’s this month.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

A Girl Called Jack

One of the things I personally love about this cookbook is that you can tell it is written by a mum.  Anyone who has read my blog will know that I am all about looking for ways to get better food into my children and minimal work / things we can freeze for later.  Even though this is done from a  not wasting point of view the same principle applied.  Its not fussy or pretentious, just healthy food that you will leaving you feeling pleased at the end of the meal if your kid has eaten it, knowing they just ate a plate of goodness.

I also love that so many of the recipes are vegetarian.  Again this is done in the book because meat can be so expensive but for me… We know that red meat can increase your risk of Colorectal cancer so am drastically trying to cut down but after 33 years of living as a complete carnivore, I find it hard to make a meal that isn’t centred around meat, but this cookbook has given me numerous options.

The TIP at the end of most the recipes are a fab idea too.  They give you information like how long a dish can be kept in the fridge, or if you have any of this sauce left over it can be a pizza topping, or the stock made by cooking vegetables in this dish can be stored and used in this dish… this girl has though of everything!

Every recipe you can see Jack has thought about it, lived it, improved it, seen how it can be made better and cheaper and now all this fantastic knowledge is being passed on to anyone who wants it.

Ignoring the fact that I think Jack is an inspirational and amazing woman who I could learn a lot from, I think, standing alone, this is a fantastic cookbook.  It gives a fresh take on some old favourites and has so many helpful tips it’s an inspiration and much needed addition to my kitchen.

I am going to be starting with Jack’s Simple Fish Pie this evening, will let you know how it goes!

What’s the Deal With – Aromatherapy?

Complementary Therapies

We hear the word Aromatherapy and Essential Oils quite a lot nowadays.  From shower gels to washing powder everything seems to have the words ‘contains essential oils’ or a list of plant extracts on it.  It can seem a little confusing when we are talking about true Aromatherapy and Essential Oils.

What Exactly Are Essential Oils?

The oil (it’s not always an oil to start with) is extracted through various methods from different parts of the plant.  This could be the leaf, bark, petal, twigs, roots, leaves, seeds, any part.  Different plants keep their life force in different places.

Some would consider essential oils the ‘heart’ or ‘life force’ of the plant.  The reason being that it is this special part of the plant which has the ability to change the chemical compound of the plant, telling it when to drops its petals and grow new leaves.  When these essential oils interact with us through our senses, they have the ability to alter our chemical make up too.  It truly is all very clever!

Lovely Lavender Fields

Lovely Lavender Fields

What Exactly is Aromatherapy?

Directly translated ‘Aroma’ means pleasant scent and ‘Therapy’ means treatment.  Aromatherapy it the name for the application of these essential oils, through a variety of means, letting the essential oils promote health and wellbeing both physically and mentally.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

How Can I Use Aromatherapy?

You can absorb essential oils through the skin or by smell.  The most common way is Massage and most Aromatherapists will be qualified in Massage, which is fab because then you get all the benefits of the massage as well.  You can also put the oils in burners or vaporisers, a couple of drops on a hot or cold compress, or a few drops in the bath.  If you are adding oils to the bath, you can dilute then into some full-fat milk as essential oils don’t mix with water.

Pop 3 drops of essential oil onto a cotton wool pad & place on a warm radiator. The heat will cause the oil to evaporate and fragrance the room.

A Few Things to be Aware of;

Aromatherapy is generally a safe treatment but there are things that you should be aware of and certain conditions that you should not have Aromatherapy treatments…

  • Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin & should be diluted into a carrier oil such as Sweet Almond Oil or Grape seed oil.
  • Essential oils are highly flammable.
  • Always keep away from animals and children.
  • They can be highly toxic if ingested.  They should never be taken orally.
  • If you have highly sensitive skin or allergies you should carry out a patch test first.
  • If you are pregnant I would always recommend seeking advice from a qualified Aromatherapist.
  • Aromatherapy is best avoided if you have epilepsy, high or low blood pressure, diabetes, spastic conditions, dysfunction of the nervous system, recent operation, varicose veins, fever, infectious disease, cancer, thrombosis or embolism.

If you are unsure you can always contact an Aromatherapist and ask for advice.

Reflexology for Lovers

Complementary Therapies

Happy Valentines Day!

If you’ve forgotten to get your loved one a gift don’t worry you can still buy a Gift Certificate from me today & I can drop it round (Harpenden and surrounding areas)

Reflexology Gift Certificate £35

Treatments are based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, close to the station.  To purchase a Gift Certificate please call 07834 789 107 or email nicola.bourne@yahoo.com

Gift Certificate

Reflexology works on the principle that nerve endings and energy pathways all travel down to the feet and present a map of the body on the feet. By massaging and stimulating these areas, we are able in turn, to treat the body internally and removing any blackages in the body’s energy.


Reflexology increases movement in the circulatory (delivering blood, oxygen and nutrients to the cells and organs) and lymphatic (removing waste and toxins from the cells and organs) systems on a very physical and cellular level. You are basically flooding your cells with the good stuff and encouraging the removal of the bad stuff. Reflexology is a natural treatment that encourages your bodies own systems to work more effectivly. Having said that you need to do your bit to help. Drinking lots of water being step number one to keep flushing the cells clean.

Another effective function of Reflexology is that it balances the endocrine system which is in charge of all your glands, hormones, mood balancers, stress, which can go into overdrive when stressed or run-down. Balancing the glands again, can help with that lethargic and de-motivated feeling and can help to calm you and give you more energy. You will also feel like you have more energy once you body starts to detoxify…. another massive benefit.

On top of all this Reflexology is a very relaxing treatment that also offers wonderful pampering.


Treatments are based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, close to the station.  To purchase a Gift Certificate please call 07834 789 107 or email nicola.bourne@yahoo.com

New Years Resolutions – How Are You Doing?

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Goals

The lovely Leanne Clack

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?  Well I have been speaking with the fantastic Leanne Clack who has done amazingly well, completing a 21 day detox in January.  When speaking with Leanne just before she started she said

I was nervous about sticking to it but had been feeling so sluggish and put on weight over Christmas so I was determined to do it.

Leanne’s 21 Day Detox meant that she was only going to be eating pure, clean foods.  Basically vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts.  I can’t lie I was horrified at the thought.  I gave up alcohol for January and that was enough.  I’m all for eating well, but no coffee?  Step too far for me!

Leanne didn’t just decide I wanted to do it and start there and then.  She planned it and think’s that it was part of that planning that was key in her success.

I cleared out one kitchen cupboard that was just for me and only had food that I could eat inside it.  So when I was feeling peckish and tempted I could just open that cupboard and know everything in there I could eat and snack from and I made sure that it was full of really yummy things.

It also gave me time to go online and hunt out some delicious recipes such as the Mango ‘Ice Cream’ so I still felt like I was having treats.

I am terrible that if I know I am starting a diet or healthy eating plan, I use the time to binge on all the items I am planning on giving up as it will be my last chance to eat them, I have always considered this a fantastic argument but Leanne used to the time to start trying to get used to a healthier way and lower her sugar and caffeine intakes so it wasn’t a complete shock to her body when she cut them out altogether.  When you think about this for longer than a nano-second, clearly makes a lot more sense than my way.

Once on the detox a typical day for Leanne was;

  • Porridge made with water or rice milk with blueberries for breakfast
  • Homemade vegetable soup for lunch
  • Vegetable stir-fry with wholegrain rice for dinner
  • Snacks included fruit, peanut butter (as long as it is 100% natural) and nuts.

I also made sure that I ate plenty of quinoa, humous and nuts for protein.

It wasn’t all plain-sailing though.  I saw Leanne 3 days in and all was not so well.  Complaining of headaches, tiredness and feeling hungry I am sure that this is the point that I would have given in, but Leanne stayed strong and soon really started to feel the benefits.  According to Leanne, that was the hardest part and once she had got through it, the feeling of hunger and cravings for sugar and caffeine based products started to fade.

I was surprised on how quickly the cravings went and after the first few days it got easier and easier as the days went on.

After successfully completing her 21 day Detox, I was desperate to know how she felt, was it worth it and would she be sticking to it at all?

I have lost all the Christmas weight which is great, but more than that, I just feel so much better.  Not so sluggish, much more energy and I am not finding I miss sugar or caffeine now.

I am planning on keeping large parts of the plan because I just feel so much better, but I have introduced chicken, eggs and yogurt.  I really missed eggs and yogurt!

Leanne looks brilliant, she is looking noticeably slimmer but even more than that, she looks SO well.  The white of her eyes looks so white and clear, her skin is glowing and she is radiating health.  I must say I am feeling very inspired.  I have even replaced a couple of morning coffees with hot water and Lemon (which I love and for more information on the benefit of Hot Water and Lemon, click here) and I am cleaning out a cupboard all ready for me.

6 Health Benefits Of Oranges


Raguingan Health Blog


I love oranges. Orange is a very common fruit tree known for its orange color. It is harvested and produced from different parts of the world like Brazil, United States,  China,  and Egypt. It is delicious and rich in antioxidants. There are 6 reasons below why you should be eating orange.

1. Helps prevent cancer.
Citrus limonoids,  a substance known to help fight many types of cancers such as skin cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, and liver cancer.

2. Lowers Cholesterol.
Oranges are rich in fiber that helps lower cholesterol level.

3. Boosts heart health.
Orangeis richin potassium,  a mineral which is essential for the heart.

4. Anti-viral properties.
Polyphenols in oranges, a type of antioxidant, are known to have anti-viral properties.

5. For better vision.
It is rich in vitamin A, an essential vitamin for the eyes.

6. Helps in weight loss.

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Easy Healthy Summer Berries “Ice Cream”

Delicious Healthy Recipes

As you all know, I am all about getting the most amount of godness into myself and my kids in the easiest and tastiest ways possible.  So inspired by the Mango “Ice Cream” I mentioned as one of my Easy Quick Healthy Tips and a lack of dessert for my children and their friend’s dinner when my Tesco delivery failed to turn up, I managed to whip up a healthy, Summer Berries “Ice Cream”

  • Half a punet of frozen Summer Berries
  • 200g of Organic natural fat-free Live Bio yogurt (I used Yeo Valley)
  • Splash of Milk
  • All in the blender, but not to much you want it quite thick and ‘Ice Cream’ like
  • Serve!

This was more than enough for 4 children and they liked that it wasn’t too hard like Ice cream can be.  It was seriously yummy too!

Berry Ice Cream