New pic by the talented Evan Doherty…..
Hair by Niamh Roche @ Style Club
Make-up by Lauren Enright
Soooo I’ve just returned from a whistle stop trip to London, where I attended the 25th birthday party celebrations for Hello! Magazine. Hard to believe the much-loved celeb mag has been going for a quarter of a century, and still remains a firm favourite. The glam bash took place in the luxe surroundings of The Wallace Collection in central London. This national museum, within an historic London town house, plays host to 25 galleries of French 18th century painting, furniture and porcelain. Guests gathered in the bright and spacious courtyard, where waiters ensured the champagne flowed steadily all night. I spotted some famous faces amongst the crowd, many of whom have graced the cover of Hello! more than once. Rod Stewart and his wife Penny, the legendary Joan Collins, Bruce Forsyth and his beautiful Puerto Rican wife Wilnelia, presenter Denise Van Outen and Girls Aloud hottie Kimberly Walsh were all enjoying the evening. I wore a skirt and top combo by designer Maria Grachvogel, with silver pointed heels from Topshop and clutch by Mango.
Thanks again to Hello! for a wonderful evening and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Wishing you many more fun-filled returns….
Well, according to the Andrea Roche Model Agency at least! Last night, Andrea gathered together her gaggle of models to celebrate the start of summer. We all assembled in Harry’s on the Green, where everyone enjoyed cheeky cocktails, tasty nibbles and a couple of mandatory dance-offs. As always, it was lovely to catch up with friends and colleagues, and to officially feel like summer has arrived! In keeping with the sunshine theme, I wore a colourful blue, cream and coral striped miniskirt from Awear, a light white blouse from Zara, a fun parrot necklace from Topshop, nude and gold chain ‘Quinn’ bag by Russell and Bromley, and studded nude shoes by Zara. Keeping it from the high street!
Many of my nutrition clients and even friends on Instagram complain that bloating is an issue for them, with certain foods consistently triggering it. There may be a number of reasons for bloating, from food intolerances to poor digestive health and even inadequate water, fibre and exercise. If you are switching over to a more plant-based diet rich in fruit and veggies, then it’s perfectly normal to feel bloated for the first week to ten days while your system readapts to the extra fibre. It’s nothing to worry about! However, if the discomfort and bloating continues, you may want to investigate other possible causes. Here are my top ten tips to beat the bloat…..
1. Food Intolerances: Firstly, isolate and eliminate ‘trigger’ foods. For many of us, these can be gluten and wheat products such as bread, pasta, crackers and biscuits, or dairy products like cheese, milk, yoghurt, chocolate and ice-cream. Gluten and casein (the protein in dairy) are particularly difficult for humans to digest, and can cause an inflammatory reaction in the intestinal lining which may lead to a ‘leaky’ gut and a spectrum of health problems, from autoimmune diseases to allergies, rashes, acne, asthma, eczema, depression and other mental psychoses, such as schizophrenia. If you suspect an intolerance, such as bloating - though not everyone has obvious symptoms – try eliminating the food completely for 11 days. On the 12th day, eat as much as you want of that particular food, and then monitor your symptoms on the following 2 to 3 days. If the bloating and other discomfort reappears, then you may be best to avoid that food item entirely. The elimination is quite a straightforward way of figuring out what food causes problems and many of my clients find it useful.
2. Chew Your Food: Ensure that you’re not gulping down your food and swallowing too much air or not chewing it properly. Chew your food well until it’s almost soupy in texture when you swallow it. Avoid drinking liquids with your meals as they can dilute digestive enzymes, making them less effective. Drink water 30 minutes before or after a meal.
3. Probiotics: One of the most important things to introduce to your daily life. I’m obsessed with eating and drinking probiotics and fermented foods on a daily basis! I make my own simple raw sauerkraut, coconut water kefir and also take a daily probiotic capsule – Udo’s Choice Super 8. The benefits of probiotics to your digestive system and overall health and well-being are immense. They play a critical role in immune system health, as 80% of our immune system is based in our gut. Our bodies contain more bacteria than body cells and a healthy body should have 80 – 85% friendly bacteria. Numerous diseases and problems arise from an excess of unfriendly bacteria in the gut. One of the many reasons I recommend to my clients to massively reduce/eliminate all animal protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs etc.) is because rotting heavy proteins in our guts create the ideal breeding ground for unhealthy bacteria, creating intestinal toxaemia, accelerated ageing and a whole host of other problems. Meanwhile, good bacteria (probiotics) improve digestion, liver function, allergy resistance, B vitamin synthesis in the gut, increase overall energy, enhance nutrient absorption which also improves your skin… plus they help to get rid of bloating. I cannot recommend probiotics enough!! Though I would never recommend probiotic yoghurts or yoghurt drinks as dairy is an extremely clogging and mucus-forming food, and they often are packed with sugar which feeds the unhealthy bacteria.
4. Digestive enzymes: These can really help with digestion. Simply swallow a capsule with some water before a meal, and an extra one during the meal if it’s particularly heavy or high in fat. The brand I use is Udo’s Choice Ultimate Digestive Enzyme Blend.
5. Eat more fibre: Consuming adequate amounts of dietary fibre every day is essential to a healthy digestive system and to prevent constipation, which can really leave you bloated. Aim to eat a wide range of whole fruits, vegetables, gluten-free whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes for the best sources of fibre. Great examples include pears, apples, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, almonds, flaxseed and aubergines.
6. Water and Exercise: Water is essential to flush out the system and improve peristalsis in the intestine. Aim to drink 2 litres of fresh filtered/mineral water per day, and more if you’re exercising/in the heat. Adding a slice of lemon to your water can help enhance the flavour and keep your body alkalinised throughout the day. Regular exercise also helps hugely in reducing bloating and boosting the action of the gut.
7. Food Combining: For many people, poorly combined foods can lead to bloating and stomach discomfort. This is because concentrated animal protein requires an acidic environment and specific digestive enzymes to break down, and starches require alkalinity and different enzymes, starting with amylase in saliva. Together, they neutralise each other, rendering them less effective. As a general rule, try to avoid eating fruit after a meal as it digests faster than heavier protein and fat-rich foods, causing it to ferment and produce gasses. Eat fruit on an empty stomach! Other food combinations I advise you avoid if bloating is a problem, include two or more types of animal protein together in the same meal; animal protein and starch (eg. chicken curry and rice/bread and ham etc.), and practise moderation when eating fats and proteins together.
8. Prebiotic Foods: Certain foods contain ‘prebiotics’, which are non-digestible elements that feed/stimulate the action of those all-important probiotics in the gut. These foods include bananas, chicory, leek, garlic, onion and Jerusalem artichoke. Try to include one or more of these foods in your diet everyday.
9. Herbal Teas: These are a wonderful replacement for caffeinated drinks, and can really help to soothe or stimulate the digestive system. Try peppermint, ginger or fennel and aim for two to three cups a day.
10. Before Your Meal: Low hydrochloric acid can occur for a number of reasons, and this may lead to bloating and digestive discomfort. Before your main meal, I would advise you to eat a couple of pieces of pineapple or papaya or a small green salad with lemon juice. The former contain bromelain and papain respectively, which have proteolytic qualities that can boost the breakdown of protein foods in the stomach. The salad is a ‘bitter’ which can also boost hydrochloric acid production.
Hope that all helps! Here’s to a bloat-free stomach for summer
My name is Rosanna and I am a kale crisps addict. Yup, it’s true! Wherever I am in the world, I suss out the nearest Whole Foods or similar, and check out their range of kale crisps. However, I am fussy about the ingredients, and if there are any lurking nasties like added sugar, salt, preservatives or artificial flavours, then I’m out! Luckily for Ireland, the best kale crisps I’ve encountered are produced by Natasha’s Living Food, a fellow raw vegan food enthusiast. She coats the kale in a moreish mixture of sunflower seeds, tamari, nutritional yeast and many other natural ingredients. And as a result, they’re utterly addictive! She then uses a food dehydrator to crisp up the kale, while never heating it above 120F to preserve the food’s delicate enzymes. So last month, I made an executive decision to stop spending my hard-earning pocket money on the shop-bought kale crisps (sorry Natasha ) and to make my own! I got myself a 4-tray Excalibur dehydrator from Juicers.ie for €199 and set about making my own kale crisps, banana chips, apple crisps, flaxseed crackers and more! The kale, seen in the above picture, takes about 4 hours in the dehydrator, but comes out extremely well.
Here’s how I did it:
In a blender, combine three tablespoons of raw sunflower seeds with a clove of garlic, a tomato, half a red pepper, a good splash of tamari (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos*), a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, some cold water and half a cup of nutritional yeast*. Simply blend these ingredients, and coat a bowl of kale well. I used a 200g bag of curly kale, washed, dried and ripped into small pieces. This quantity fully filled the 4 dehydrator trays.
Then set the temperature dial to ‘vegetables’ and leave until crisp and delicious!!
*Bragg’s Liquid Aminos: A certified NON-GMO liquid protein concentrate, derived from healthy soybeans, that contains 16 Essential and Non-essential Amino Acids in naturally occurring amounts.
*Nutritional yeast, made by Marigold: A vegan godsend! I use it daily on salads, soups and roast veg. It is a savoury yeast condiment with a cheesy, nutty taste made from primary inactive yeast without additives or preservatives. Rich in B vitamins and fortified with Zinc and B12, it provides one of the richest natural sources of the B-group vitamins and trace elements.
It’s about that time of year again, where a little sunshine conjures up cravings for sweet, cold, delicious ice-cream. But it’s also coming into bikini and holiday season, which drives many women into a last-minute fitness frenzy. It’s certainly a dilemma for the health-conscious amongst us! Well I have found the perfect solution to combat ice-cream cravings in the most simple, delicious way possible…. FROZEN BANANA ICE-CREAM!! It’s literally made by blending 4-5 frozen skinless bananas at high-speed in a blender until they’re smooth, creamy and perfectly resemble ice-cream. If I could eat this and drink green smoothies everyday for the rest of my life, I would be a very happy camper! Add a splash of vanilla essence for added taste, or even blend up some soaked medjool dates with a little water and some cinnamon for an insanely delicious summer dessert. It is fat-free and free of processed sugars, colours and other nasty ingredients found in many commercial ice-creams. Plus bananas, with their fibre, potassium, prebiotic qualities, vitamin B6 and the myriad of health benefits they provide, from cardiovascular protection to improved mood, are really one of the most perfect foods for humans.
I’m just back from a wonderful trip Stateside, where I was given the opportunity to visit Playboy boss Hugh Hefner in his infamous Playboy Mansion, tucked away in a beautiful part of Beverly Hills. I enjoyed a private dinner with the charming Hugh and his new wife, Crystal, before watching some black and white Charlie Chaplin movies in his cinema room. Last year, having seen my pictures in the German edition of Playboy, he extended this invitation to the mansion so that we could meet and discuss the possibility of me being involved in the US version of the iconic lads’ mag.
All I can say for now is….. watch this space!
Like most of us, my other half cannot tolerate gluten, so he does his best to avoid bread, pasta, gluten sauces etc. But he really misses the texture of bread. So I recently came up with a tasty alternative for when he’s craving that satisfying doughiness of freshly baked bread. And guess what? These crispy sweet cinnamon ‘dough’ balls are extremely good for you too! They’re not only gluten-free, but also free of dairy, sugar, added fats or oils, plus they’re vegan and high-fibre to boot. Phew!
So what’s in them? As I’m generally experimental (and extremely messy) in the kitchen, I just threw a load of ingredients into a bowl and hoped for the best. They ended up being roughly equal measures of:
- Cornflour (I used an organic brand)
- Chia seeds
- Gluten-free rolled oats
- Psyllium husks – These are the key ingredient to bind together all the other dry components as these husks absorb liquids and solidify.
I then added in the following for some texture, flavour and nutrition:
- Chopped raw almonds
- Goji berries (any dried fruit will work)
- 2 tablespoons of flaxseed
- Sunflower seeds
- Liquid Stevia (a non-toxic, herbal sweetener found in health food shops. Maple syrup would also work well)
- Splash of vanilla essence
Finally, I mixed all above ingredients with a combination of coconut milk and cold water until a dough was formed. I then simply rolled the dough into individual balls and baked them for 20-25 minutes in an oven at about 190 degrees C.
Hey presto! They were crunchy on the outside, doughy on the inside and really tasty. They would be delicious with a bit of jam, or a savoury version with sweet chilli sauce would also work a treat!
Wouldn’t life be just great if chocolate could be eaten guilt-free and was actually good for you? Well this is entirely possible! Don’t believe me? Check out this article I wrote at Easter for brand new Irish website TNT24.ie on the plethora of health benefits found in raw chocolate, plus a tasty and nutritious brownie recipe
What mental images are conjured up when you think of chocolate? Rich, silky decadence and your secret guilty pleasure, or the ultimate stress reliever after a hard day’s work all spring swiftly to mind. You may even keep a few sneaky bars stored away for when a couple of squares is the only solution to all of life’s problems. Indeed, many claim to prefer chocolate over a night of wild passion in the bedroom. And with the Easter weekend impending, millions of chocolate devotees around the world will be tearing open colourful foil wrapping to savour the sweet seduction of their favourite indulgence. This Sunday will see a host of aching tummies, hyper children and sky-high sugar levels, not to mention the chocolate-smeared faces of happy bunnies. Easter marks the relief of Lenten vows and a time for eating, drinking and merriment in celebration with family and friends. But what most don’t realise is that chocolate, in its raw unprocessed form, is one of the most powerful foods for good health and vitality in existence. Amongst its many anti-ageing elements, raw cacao is brimming with antioxidant flavonoids to reduce free radicals in the body, and magnesium, a key detoxification mineral which also aids our bones in absorbing calcium. In fact, it is one of the best sources of magnesium found in nature. It also boasts impressive levels of calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulphur and potassium. A superfood indeed! Whenever I fancy a cheeky choccy fix, I make raw chocolate brownies, which are really gooey, taste amazing and always go down a treat with family and friends. Made with raw cacao powder, nuts and dried fruit, they have numerous health benefits and don’t contain the ageing sugar, dairy and fats found in commercial chocolate. Healthy brownies? You better believe it! And they only contain five delicious ingredients, all of which are available in good health food shops. Enjoy!
The Raw Brownie
2 cups whole walnuts
2 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup raw cacao powder
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
¼ tsp. sea salt
1. Place walnuts in food processor and blend on high until the nuts are finely ground.
2. Add the cacao and salt. Pulse to combine.
3. Add the dates one at a time through the feed tube of the food processor while it is running. What you should end up with is a mix that appears rather like cake crumbs, but that when pressed, will easily stick together (if the mixture does not hold together well, add more dates).
4. In a large bowl (or the pan you plan on putting the brownies in), combine the walnut-cacao mix with the chopped almonds. Press into a lined cake pan or mold. Place in freezer or fridge until ready to serve (it is also easier to cut these when they are very cold). Store in an airtight container.