I first became interested in nutrition around fifteen years ago when I had fairly awful health as a result of my pretty awful diet, which, through my twenties, had centred around pasta and wine, plus the odd leaf in a bag.

I went to see a wonderful nutritionist who, whilst massaging my feet as I lay in a reclining Swedish chair (so much more enjoyable than going to the doctor’s) chatted to me engagingly about my health, and gave me a list of things to eat plus some supplements.

Within a few weeks I felt as though I had been almost reborn – I had energy, the constant sneezing stopped, I didn’t catch colds all the time any more, I lost a stone, I had a good mood instead of regular depressions, and my skin cleared up.

This made me fascinated by the biochemical effect food has on our bodies, and I started to read everything I could find on the subject.  I was now eating healthfully, and friends, instead of ostracising me for being so holier-than-thou, started calling me up to ask me what they should eat, which made me realise how little most of us know about what we need to eat in order to be healthy.

At the time, I was working in television, developing a big National Geographic series about ageing, and I discovered that there are what I now call the ‘Longevity Hot Spots’ – pockets of ultra-healthy, very long-lived people around the world.  I ended up writing two books about the subject – The Live-Longer Diet and 50 Secrets of the World’s Longest-Living People.  I also enrolled at the UK College of Nutrition and Health (BCNH) whilst writing the books; I later returned to lecture there on the subject of anti-ageing.

I now practice in Bristol, UK, where I coach individuals and groups through my Stacking Plan, and I am also the regular nutrition columnist for Juno parenting magazine. I have led nutrition workshops in schools as part of the Engaging Minds project, given talks to students at Bristol University and at local businesses, and been a consultant to the US wellness company AKEA LLC. I have commented in national magazines and newspapers and have also featured on BBC Bristol and BCfm Hub Radio and in local newspapers.

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Since it's so hot, it's a good time to eat as much of this riDICulously delicious raspberry ripple ice cream as possible. I had to eat two bowls full just now as it kept melting whilst I took the photo. It's easy and fun to make - it's best if you have an ice cream maker (you can get a simple one for about £40).

INGREDIENTS: cashews, soya milk, coconut oil or manna, 1 lemon, vanilla, sea salt, maple syrup/agave syrup, 1 tin creamy coconut milk, 1 small tin coconut cream (optional), berries, cornflour.

- soak 1 cup cashews for a minimum of 2 hours (overnight is good)
- bring to a simmer 1/2 cup soya milk + 1 tin coconut milk + 2 tbsp coconut cream (optional - if your coconut milk is really creamy you may not need it) + a squirt or two of agave/maple syrup
- take a little out and mix it with 1 level tbsp corn flour to a paste, add it back, and simmer gently for 5 mins
- put the soaked cashews in a nutribullet or vitamix type blender with the rest of the ingredients + 2 tbsp coconut oil or coconut manna + the juice of 1 lemon + a pinch of salt + 1/2 tsp vanilla and blend until smooth. Cool for an hour.
- put it an ice cream maker and churn for 20-25 minutes
- just before the end add raspberries or any other berries - you can squash them up with a fork and add a squirt of agave or maple syrup if you want it sweeter.

You can get the full recipe (this is a simpler version) from Health Nut Nutrition's blog - it's called 'strawberry cheesecake icecream with a graham cracker crumble'.
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