Category Archives: Health

Best Vegan Sources of Protein

You need protein for the growth and repair of muscles, organ tissue and DNA, production of white blood cells, enzymes and hormones. Protein is rich in B vitamins which are good for the nervous system and helps us to cope with stress and reduce anxiety. Signs of deficiency include anxiety and skin problems. Vegans need to eat a variety of plant foods to get all the required amino acids that the body needs. As a qualified Nutritional Therapist, I have a good knowledge of the best vegan sources of protein.

52075101 - top view of various leguminous with a cookware

Here are the best vegan sources of protein:

The following foods are complete proteins containing all the essential amino acids.

Tofu – is made from soy bean mashed into a block. It is a great source of protein. However I would not recommend eating a lot of tofu as it contains phytooestrogens which mimic the hormone oestrogen. It can mess with your hormones, especially if you are a man. It is popularly believed that they eat a lot of tofu in the East, but actually they eat mainly fermented soy beans such as tempeh, miso and natto.

Quinoa – is a seed that is a complete protein containing all 9 amino acids. It is quick to cook in around 10 minutes. You can use  it in place of a grain with a main meal or in a salad.

Amaranth – is also a complete protein. It is sweet and makes a tasty amaranth porridge in place of the usual oat porridge for breakfast.

Buckwheat – is a complete protein as well. It goes well in a main meal with carrots, brocolli and a veggie burger.

Hemp seeds – You can use hemp in the form of hemp protein powder. It is great added to smoothies or on your porridge for breakfast. It is one of the best sources of vegan protein as it is a complete protein.

Chia seeds – you can sprinkle chia seeds on your breakfast porridge, add to smoothies or make chia pudding for a tasty dessert.

Other Good Sources of Protein

The following foods are not complete proteins and may have one essential amino acid missing. Therefore you need to eat these proteins with other plant-based foods such as chickpeas, nuts, seeds and beans.

Lentils – are a good source of protein. There is 20g of protein in 75g of lentils, which is 1 or your 2-3 daily portions of protein. It is delicious in a red lentil dhal. However they are not a complete protein so you need to eat them with rice or bread to get all the essential amino acids.

Almonds – these contain the high amount of protein of any of the nuts. You can have a handful of almonds as a snack, add them to cereal, oat flapjacks or in smoothies. You can also grind them up with other nuts to make a great base for raw vegan desserts such as raw mango cheesecake.

Chickpeas – you can add chickpeas to curries for extra protein or make hummus which can be used as a dip or spread.

Beans – you can also add beans to curries for additional protein or with a baked potato. You can make a delicious vegan spaghetti bolognese with kidney beans. Also you could make a tasty butter bean spread.

If you would like more information of vegan nutrition, please contact me to book an appointment for a nutrition consultation.

Copyright: peangdao / 123RF Stock Photo

Supplements for Vegans

When on a vegan diet it is important to make sure you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs to function optimally. I have listed the 4 essential nutrients and supplements for vegans below. My recommendations are based on the knowledge I have learnt on my 3 year nutrition course. I want to share my knowledge with vegans so they can remain healthy on a vegan diet.

  • Vitamin B12 – is important for making red blood cells, energy and concentration. It is found only in animal products so it is vital that you take a vitamin B12 supplement. I recommend BetterYou B12 Boost Oral Spray. It is a sublingual spray that is absorbed under the tongue directly into the blood stream for faster action.


  • Omega 3 EPA & DHA – is important for brain health, building cell membranes and reducing inflammation in the body. The active form of omega 3 EPA and DHA is only found in fish and eggs. ALA is found in flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, rapeseed oil and walnuts. ALA is converted to EPA and DHA is the body but it is thought that only 5% is converted. I recommend taking Opti-3 Omega DHA & EPA supplement. The recommended amount of omega 3 for an adult is 2g per day.


  • Zinc – is involved in over 100 enzyme reactions in the body. It is also important for a healthy immune system, producing stomach acid to digest food, appetite and taste. Zinc is found mainly in animal products, especially seafood and also in fresh root ginger, cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds. I recommend all vegans take 15mg of zinc daily. A good supplement is Biocare Nutrisorb Zinc Plus Ascorbate with zinc in it’s most absorbable form. Also good is Biocare Zinc Citrate.


  • Vitamin D – most people in the northern hemisphere are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D functions like a hormone and is important for bone health and mood. You can get vitamin D from animal products and mushrooms. The easiest way to get vitamin D is from 20 minutes exposure to sunlight on bare face and arms daily. In the winter months it is recommended to supplement with vitamin D as your body stores are used up after 3 months, so last until December. A good, clean vegan supplement is Cytoplan Vitamin D3 2500IU made from lichen.


It is always best to get the nutrients you need from your diet if possible. Supplements ‘supplement’ your diet and are not a replacement for a healthy diet.

10 Things to Know After Diagnosis of ME/CFS

Recently I received a comment from someone who has just been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They asked me “Is there anything that you would recommend for someone in the early stages of ME? Is there anything you wish you had known in the beginning that would have helped in the long run?” Thank you for your questions Venture Beneath The Skies. Here are my top 10 things to know in the early stages of ME/CFS:

  1. Give yourself time – ME/CFS takes time to heal. It does not just appear out of nowhere. Ill health has built up gradually over time due to poor diet, unresolved emotional traumas and many other lifestyle factors. It requires time to peel away the layers of the past that brought you to this dis-ease and regain your health.
  2. Get support – it is a good idea to get some support from your family who can care for you while you are ill and give you emotional and financial support. You may have to move back home to live with your parents. You could apply for disability living allowance.
  3. Don’t rely on doctors – doctors do not understand the holistic nature of ME/CFS which is an illness of body/mind/emotions/soul. They will give you drugs which will suppress the symptoms but will not treat the root cause of the illness. You need to spend time doing the inner healing work.
  4. Visit a nutritionist – there are often gut problems such as Candida overgrowth in ME/CFS which can cause the brain fog. Nutritionists can do food intolerance tests and will give you a diet plan to support your health as well as a supplement plan to get rid of the infection.
  5. Glandular fever – most ME/CFS begins by catching glandular fever/Epstein-Barr/mononucleosis virus. It is likely that your immune system was already weak due to stress and unresolved past emotional traumas, then you caught the virus and your body is finding it hard to fight it off. This is often the cause of the fatigue. You can look to an immune-boosting diet or supplements such as grape seed extract to remove the virus.
  6. Triggers – it is important to find out what your stress triggers are and avoid them as much as possible. It may be loud noise, light, travel, conflict, gluten etc. Take good care of yourself and create a peaceful environment in which to heal yourself.
  7. ME/CFS is curable! – don’t believe any person or website who tells you otherwise. I have recovered and I know many other people who have and are living normal lives. Your life will be completely different to the life you had before you got ill. Health will be your number 1 priority, you will stick to boundaries, respect yourself, speak up for yourself and live a life following your passions.
  8. Take control of your health – spend time reading about healing methods that you are drawn to and try them out. You have the power to heal yourself.
  9. Reconnect with nature – when I was first ill I used to sit in the conservatory and watch the birds in the garden. It was so relaxing and helped me to connect to the present moment. If you can get outside in the garden and enjoy the beauty of nature. It has many health benefits such as reducing stress and will uplift your mood. Bare foot grounding is amazing for healing the body.
  10. Be kind to yourself – healing take time so don’t beat yourself up for being ill. Thank yourself for the gradual progress you are making. Take good care of yourself and get lots of rest.

I hope these tips have helped you as you begin your journey back to health! Best wishes for your recovery!

15 Minute Daily Light Meditation

There are many benefits to meditating daily including quieting the mind, feeling more calm and reducing stress. Meditating slows down your breathing rate, which calms the adrenals and oxygenates your body. It is especially important for people with ME/CFS who may be stressed at being ill and whose adrenal glands are often in overdrive.

It can seems difficult to find time to meditate when you are busy, but I find that setting aside 15 minutes every morning is manageable and helps me to wake up in a gentle way. It may take time to get into the habit of meditating everyday but after you have done it sevens days in a row it becomes a habit that you do without thinking about just like brushing your teeth.

15 Minute Light Meditation

This is the meditation I do first thing every morning

  1. Stand on your bedroom floor with your feet hips width apart.
  2. Now imagine roots reaching down from the soles of your feet all the way into the core of mother earth. This will ground you.
  3. Next draw up white light from the earth and visualise it filling up every area of your body and cleansing and dissolving any black energies sitting in your body.
  4. You can repeat this exercise with any colour of light such as light pink light for unconditional love, purple light for protection from negative energies or sky blue light to cleanse your throat chakra for clear communication.
  5. Next open up your crown chakra and draw down white light from the universe. Imagine it moving down into your body filling up your head, arms, hands, torso, legs and feet.
  6. Again you can repeat this practice with any colour of light.
  7. Now imagine white light from above cleansing your aura and any negative entities moving out of your aura space. Purple light is very effective for repelling these negative energies.
  8. Ask Archangel Michael to cut your cords. You can see these black cords coming out of your body, usually in your back, and attaching you to other people who may be draining your energy. I ask the angels to pull out the remaining ends of the cords and visualise them surrounded in bright white light until they dissolve.
  9. Now push out a sphere of white light from your being to patch up any holes in your aura.
  10. Finally draw up your roots from the earth and close your crown chakra.
  11. Thank mother earth, the universe and the angels for the healing light meditation.

I always feel a lot better after doing this cleansing meditation. I feel centred and peaceful and it sets me up for a great day! I hope you find a way to fit meditation into your daily routine and start reaping the health benefits!

Triggers to CFS

There are many triggers to CFS, not just one cause. Recently I have been studying disease triggers on my nutrition course and thought back to when I first got ill in 2008 as to what triggered my CFS. Below is the list of my triggers as well as the factors that were driving my symptoms.

My Triggers to CFS





Suppressed memories



High sugar diet



High wheat diet


Glandular Fever


Low immune system


Mercury exposure

Working with chemicals

High tuna diet



Food Additives/Aspartame


processed foods



Geopathic stress

Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)


Moving home/New job/Working full time and studying/Stress

Lack of emotional support/

Poor diet/Poor sleep

Exhaustion/Adrenal fatigue


I would love to hear what were the triggers to your CFS. It is something that is worth thinking about so that you can avoid the triggers and symptoms in future and live a more peaceful, happy and healthy life.

What is ME/CFS?

ME/CFS (Myalgia Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is a chronic debilitating illness characterised by fatigue that does not go away with rest. The newest name for the illness is SEID (Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease).

There are many symptoms including:

  • Fatigue not eased on resting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Brain fog
  • Poor concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Palpitations
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue on exertion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms and twitches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Food intolerances
  • Insomnia
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

With Fibromyalgia there are additional symptoms of:

  • Systemic pain

CFS is diagnosed by elimination after various NHS tests such as blood tests, endoscopy, ECG, postural tests, MRI scan etc. If all their test results come back negative then they may diagnose you with CFS.

Often people with ME/CFS are housebound or even bedbound. The illness can last for a few months to several years. I had CFS for 3 years and after making diet and lifestyle changes was able to function in society again.

I hope this information has helped you to better understand ME/CFS/SEID.

Foods for The Throat Chakra

Your chakras are seven energy centres which govern certain areas of your body. When they are open and spinning at at the right speed, we have vibrant health and all areas of our life work well. When they are closed or underactive, we get illnesses and problems in areas of our life such as finances, relationships, self-esteem etc.

The throat chakra governs communication and is about speaking your truth and expressing yourself.

People who are quiet with low self-esteem who do not speak up for themselves often have a closed throat chakra. This can stem from being told off for expressing their true self as a child and being taught to conform and behave in a certain way. It is important to open the throat chakra and find your voice in order to communicate our thoughts and feelings and have healthy relationships.

To open it, practice speaking up for yourself to the right person at the right moment. Activities such as singing are helpful to open your throat chakra. Foods to stimulate the throat chakra include drinks especially water, juices, smoothies, fruits, soups, sauces and sea vegetables.

Recipes for the throat chakra include:P1010161

Smoothies & Drinks

Lemon Juice in Water
Tropical Pineapple & Mango Smoothie
Green Smoothie
Vegan Mango Lassi


Summer Fruit Salad


Carrot & Coriander SoupP1000048
Green Pea & Mung Bean Soup

Sea Vegetables

Nori Rolls


Minich, D. (2009). Chakra Foods for Optimum Health. United States of America: Conari Press

Personality of People with ME/CFS

People who are ill with ME/CFS tend to be workaholics and overachievers. They think their self-worth is determined by how much they do and what they achieve. That mentality means you neglect your needs such as food, water, sleep and time to relax and leads to burn out and chronic fatigue. This is what happened with me.

ME/CFS sufferers are often keen to get back to work as soon as possible and are not keen to take the time needed to rest and heal. All their lives they have worked hard to prove to themselves that they are good enough. They were brainwashed at school that they are only as good as their grades. They often had workaholic parent or parents who criticised them a lot so they worked hard to get their approval by being overachievers. This behaviour continued into adulthood. They are perfectionists who never feel good enough, despite achieving more that most people.

I know that I am a workaholic who finds it hard to relax. I have to make time in my busy schedule for relaxation including meditation, yoga and walking in nature on a daily basis in order to stay healthy.

Ways to relax include:

  • Sleeping
  • Taking a nap
  • Meditation
  • Reading a book
  • Walking outside in nature
  • Sitting and watching the sky
  • Mindfulness
  • Epsom salt bath
  • Massage
  • Listening to relaxation music
  • Patting a pet
  • Aromatherapy
  • Sitting in the sunshine
  • Focusing on the breath

I only started to heal when I accepted I could no longer work and do as much as I used to do. When I let go of validating myself by societies high standards and just be myself. It is enough to just be.

The information in this post is my opinion and stems from my experiences with ME/CFS. I know many other people with ME/CFS who also had this tendency to push themselves too hard before they got ill.

Cooking for the Root Chakra

Your chakras are seven energy centres which govern certain areas of your body. When they are open and spinning at at the right speed, we have vibrant health and all areas of our life work well. When they are closed or underactive, we get illnesses and problems in areas of our life such as finances, relationships, self-esteem etc.

The root chakra governs survival and security in the world. It relates to basis survival needs such as food, water, shelter, feeling safe and supported in a community and finances. It spins at a slow, steady rate and is located between the legs in the genital area. It is red in colour.

A lot of illnesses stem from an underactive root chakra such as fatigue, anorexia, malnutrition or inability to deal with stress from not giving your body enough energy in the form of calories and protein. Lack of protein can cause skin problems, depleted immune system and anaemia. Also obesity is a root chakra issue from being so out of touch with your body and it’s signals that you overeat. Men with root issues have sex organ problems.

Here are some tips for cooking for your root chakra:P1010056

  • Cook high protein foods – foods such as meat, quinoa, mushrooms, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds will nourish your root chakra.
  • Get enough calories – I use the dietary analysis software to monitor my calorie intake to ensure I reach my 2000kcal per day and give my body all the resources it needs to function optimally.
  • Get enough calcium for your bones and muscles from dairy, kale, broccoli and chickpeas and iron from meat and green vegetables for your blood.P1000930
  • Cook root vegetables – anything that grows in the earth will nourish your root chakra such as carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, onions, garlic and ginger.
  • Cook red foods – the colour of the root chakra is red so eating red foods such as strawberries, raspberries, tomato, red onions, red meat will activate it.
  • Eat when you are hungry – respect your body by listening to its’ signals. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you feel full.

You can do this online chakra test to see which of your chakras are out of balance.

Here are some recipes to nourish the root chakra:P1010066

Berry Smoothie

Quinoa Porridge
Quinoa & Brown Rice Pancakes
Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins
Vegan Chocolate Muffins

Carrot & Coriander SoupP1000653
Quinoa & Lentil Burgers
Red Lentil Dhal
Red Lentil & Kidney Bean Curry
Roasted Root Vegetable Casserole
Quinoa & Mushroom Risotto

Minich, D. (2009). Chakra Foods for Optimum Health. United States of America: Conari Press

Therapies to Heal ME – Part 3

Here is part 3 of Therapies to Heal ME which includes all the therapies that I tried out in 2013 to the present day in an effort to cure my ME, including dates, and my experiences with them:



  • Yoga classes – I started attending a local yoga class on a weekly basis as I felt it was more in line with my spirituality than ballroom and latin dancing! It really helped me to relax, stretch out tension and strengthen my muscles. I took classes for a year, then stopped and now I do a short yoga routine every morning to stretch!


  • Emotional Scale – I discovered the emotional scale in the book ‘Ask and it is Given’ by Esther and Jerry Hicks. It explains that there is a scale of emotions at different vibrational frequencies. For instance the emotions of grief and anger are low vibrational and appreciation, love and joy are high vibrational. It taught me how to work out which emotional level I am currently feeling and step by step move up through the emotions to the highest level.


  • Earthing – Sit in the garden with your bare feet touching the P1000016earth and the connection will drain away the positive electrical charge that has build up in your body from being in close contact with computers, mobile phones, TVs etc. After 30 minutes of earthing I feel so much better and more calm.


  • Sprouting – my boyfriend at the time gave me some of his sprouting jars and taught me how to sprouts legumes such as chickpeas. You put the legumes in a sprouting jar and soak them in filtered water overnight to remove the phytates that are hard to digest. Change the water at least once. Then you drain the legumes and leave them to dry. Left on the window sill they will start to sprout and as they do release more nutrients.


  • Juicing – my boyfriend let me borrow his juicer and I learned how to juice vegetables. The juice is highly concentrated in nutrients and it gives you a burst of energy!


  • Ayurvedic Diet – in Ayurvedic medicine there are 3 doshas or body types called vata, pitta and kapha. I am a vata and have weak digestion so need easily digestible cooked and blended foods to nourish my body. Vatas do well on sweet and sour foods. Pittas have very strong digestion and do well on bitter foods. Kaphas gain weigh easily and do well on raw foods. Eating for your type will give you more energy.



  • Inner child healing – involves reconnecting with the child inside of you who wants to play and be loved. When it is ignored and we don’t take time to play, we get depressed. So loving and respecting that little child, we will feel happier and feel more joy in our lives! When I see my inner child she is a baby inside my abdomen who is crying and reaches out to hold my finger for support.


  • Daily meditation – I started to meditate every morning for 15 minutes after being inspired by the Abraham Hicks meditation process. This transformed my life and kept me feeling balanced and calm all day. You can read about how to do my light meditation here.


  • Epsom Salt Baths – during a consultation at the student clinic, the student nutritionist advised that I take regular Epsom salt baths for relaxation as I was prone to anxiety. I used 1 tbsp of high grade Epsom salt in a bath tub of hot filtered water for 10 minutes twice a week. The magnesium in the salts absorbs through the skin and relaxes the muscles leaving you feeling completely relaxed. It is difficult to get out the bath afterwards!


  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – also known as tapping, it is a process of gently tapping specific acupressure points on your face to clear your energy meridians. The process starts with you thinking of a traumatic memory and feeling the intense emotional pain. Then you say the affirmation “Even though I have this feeling, I deeply and completely accept myself” as you tap the specific pressure points. It is a very powerful process as it release blockages in your meridians and leaves you feeling calm and relieved. You can watch a video on The Tapping Solution to show you where the tapping points are located.


  • Butekyo Breathing Method – involves using your abdomen to take a small breath in, then a small breath out and holding your breath for a minimum of 5 seconds. This gives your red blood cells time to transport oxygen to all areas of your body. The theory behind this is that we over breath which expels too much carbon dioxide from our body which is the very things that is required to aid oxygen transport around the body. As we build up the amount time between breathes, we experience healing effects such as detoxification as our bodies finally get the oxygen they need to function optimally. I use this technique to calm down my breathing when I get stressed and start to hyperventilate. It is very effective.


  • Plastic purge – I came across an article online that said that storing food and drink in plastic containers is harmful as plastic contains endocrine distrupters that leach into the food and reek havoc with our hormones and cause higher levels of oestrogen in the body. Up until then I had been drinking water out of plastic bottles! I immediately threw away the plastic bottles and started drinking filtered water from the tap which is much safer. Cans are lined with plastic and so canned foods also contain the endocrine disrupters! So now I buy bags of dry beans and legumes, soak them, then boil them. Using glass and steel containers instead of plastic is better for the environment as plastic is made from petroleum oil which is meant to be used for lubricating the Earth’s tectonic plates.
  • Adrenal Fatigue Diet – avoiding high sugar foods such as sweet fruits, dates, raisins, bananas and sweeteners keeps you blood sugar level stable and prevents dips during the day which put stress on your adrenals. Other lifestyle factors for adrenal fatigue include reducing exposure to stressful situations, meditation, yoga and walking in nature.

I am still learning and trying new techniques to improve my health today! Currently I am fascinated by Buteyko breathing!

If you have ME/CFS, I hope that these therapy reviews give you some ideas of healing methods you can try out. Everybody is different and what works for one person may not work for someone else. Still in my opinion it is worth trying everything that you feel may help until you find the one that works for you.