We've asked Eve a few questions about gut health to give you just the tip of the iceberg of what's to come in her class. Plus, scroll down for a few of Eve's breakfast recipes to give you the best start this month.
Coming from the fashion and beauty PR world, what hooked you on to nutritional therapy?
It was a personal journey that really kick started my shift into a career in nutrition after years of not finding the answers or treatment I was looking for. I went to see a Nutritional Therapist and it totally transformed my life. I wanted to do the same and help other people so made the decision to study whilst holding down a full time job. That was super tough but worth it in the end. All that being said, though, my parents are big foodies, they grow a lot of their own produce so I guess it was always in the genes!
Why do you think it's important we focus on our gut health/nutrition?
It is the core centre of our wellbeing. Most people think its just a waste disposal unit but our gut and its microbial army has significant (if not essential) influences on our immune system, cognitive function, hormonal balance, stress and weight management. Not to be cliché here, but Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut” and I think he had a point!
In a few words, can you also explain what a consultation with you might consist of and what kinds of ailments/desires/concerns patients come to you for?
I see clients with very different concerns, anything ranging from skin to autoimmune and of course digestive issues. The initial consultation is an hour long and within that we discuss presenting symptoms and concerns but also back track through their health, medical and personal history. The point is that I need to understand their entire ‘story’ in order to see where we might need to address the root causes. Any good therapist needs to see the full picture as we are all so unique and I love hearing another person’s journey. In fact my first degree was in Psychology and I genuinely think it makes such a difference to my practice.
You write an awesome column in Psychologies magazine destigmatising some of the foods we think are "bad" for us. Could you share a couple of those with us?
Yes, I really hate the concept of “clean eating” that then assumes that other foods are ‘bad'. In that desperate attempt to eat ‘perfectly’ we can miss out on a whole lot of nutrition. It's more about thinking about foods themselves rather than the group. So, for instance kefir: while it is dairy (which some have on their 'no' list), it is bursting full of probiotics and enzymes. In a similar way, sourdough might contain small amounts of gluten, but is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals. I’m also a fan of wine, but more the biodynamic natural stuff that doesn’t have synthetic sulphites and chemicals added. I think we just need to be more discerning in what we are choosing rather than vilifying entire groups.
We know you're currently furiously finishing your book, Be Good to Your Gut, what turned you onto gut health originally?
It was partly a personal thing having had a history with antibiotics and feeling the consequences of that first hand. But also just finding that particular area of nutrition absolutely fascinating. How can we not be when we know microbes outnumber us 10:1 and most of them live in the gut? I genuinely believe that in the not too distant future, health on many levels will focus on the gut. It is already starting to, in fact.
If you could have any 10 people to dinner who would that be and what would you serve?
That's a tough one and I feel like I’m somewhat dodging the question, but genuinely it would be my closest family and friends. They are THE best people on the planet as far as I’m concerned. That being said, I wonder what it would be like to cook for Sandor Katz, the pioneer in fermented foods. Naturally I’d have to see what he thought about my sauerkraut!
I love minimalist and delicate ceramics so the S&B plates with a gold rim are right up my street. Since I’m also a coffee fan then I would also have to say the lilac espresso cup and saucer. And nothing makes a meal complete like a great napkin - the Shrimps napkins in powder pink are unbelievably pretty. I just wish I had a big enough dining table for the Shrimps faux fur tablecloth.
If there was one tiny healthy habit change you'd recommend we all make in the New Year what would it be?
Being present with our plate. We often rush through meals with little chewing action so I would say make your meals a priority. Think of them as pockets of recovery in the day. Eat without distraction, with cutlery, and chew chew chew. Even something as simple (and free, may I add) as this can affect day-to-day symptoms such as bloating or indigestion.
Being a serious foodie, a big influencer in the food industry and a talented chef yourself, you are tuned onto the food scene in London (and the UK) in a big way. Who are some of your favourite ingredient suppliers and brands of the moment?
Oh wow well thanks for that! I think that the food scene in the UK is just so buzzing at the moment and I’m so happy to be a part of it. Where do you start?…well firstly I love PLENISH, I think they are always ahead of the curve in terms of the products they create and have some really exciting ones planned for 2017. I also love Daylesford for all that they do and produce—a real inspiration. And, Planet Organic for the same reason. A few of my other go-to brands include Rhythm Health, Bio-tiful, The Tiger Nut Company, Aduna,JARR Kombucha, Cru Kafe, Local Honey Man, Lalani & Co, Miso Tasty, Steenbergs (for every single spice or herb you can think of!), Homewood Cheeses (insanely good), Tickles Pickles and Organic Wine Club. And my fave restaurant is Spring - local, seasonal and just damn delicious!
From your Instagram feed, we can tell you're an avid excerciser. What are some of your favourite classes/gyms/things to do in London for a good sweat?
I love to move! Yoga is my first love and I have a stellar teacher called Philippa Gendall, her classes are just the best. I also think Ten Pilates are trail blazers in their field and they have an amazing team. I’m actually a qualified personal trainer so I do believe that some weight training is good for us too and try to mix up my routines with a bit of HIIT and then more functional training. Its good to get variety. Sometimes its just putting on a banging tune and dancing around the living room. Anything that gets you moving and having fun!
a few of Eve's breakfast and snack recipes
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons chia seeds mixed with 8 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or a few drops vanilla essence
1 heaped teaspoon matcha
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch mineral rich salt
1 teaspoon coconut oil for frying
Optional: I like to add a generous teaspoon of coconut yogurt to give a creamier texture.
Mix the chia seeds and warm water in a medium size bowl and leave for around 5 minutes until it gets sticky.
Meanwhile sieve the coconut flour, baking soda and matcha into another separate medium size bowl.
Add the vanilla and salt and stir so that everything is distributed evenly. Add this dry mixture to the chia seeds as well as the almond milk (and coconut yogurt if using this). Combine well. You will have a thick batter but that's what you need. Divide into 4 smaller balls and flatten into pancakes.
Cook on a non-stick shallow pan with the coconut oil on a medium heat. Fry for 2 mins on either side, flip and cook for 1 more minute. Remove and serve with plain coconut yogurt and flaked toasted almonds to finish. Yum!
1 cup brazil nut milk (you can sub for another milk, nut based or full fat organic)
1 generous teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Generous pinch ground cardamom
2 teaspoons maca powder
1 teaspoon coconut oil
3 ice cubes
To make the brazil nut milk, soak 1 cup of nuts for 3 hours, drain and rinse throughly and then put into a high speed blender (like a Vitamix) with 5 cups water.
Strain through a nut milk bag, pour the milk back into the blender and add a generous pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional). You can also add a date if you want a sweeter taste, although personally I don’t think it needs it.
Blend again and transfer into a glass jar with lid. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Now, to make this into a delicious turmeric chai latte mix one cup of the brazil nut milk with all of the other ingredients in a blender and process on high for around 10-15 seconds until the ice breaks down.
Simply sip and enjoy!
3 heaped teaspoons ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons maca powder
1 carrot peeled and cut into smaller chunks
2 medjool dates (without stone)
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
1/4 cup walnuts & almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or 2 vanilla pods
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinammon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch mineral rich salt
Peel and chop the carrot into smaller chunks. Place in a food processor and pulse until you have fine pieces. Add all of the other ingredients and pulse until you get chunks that stick together. You may want to add a touch of water to help binding. Remove and serve with warmed turmeric flavoured almond milk and/or a generous tablespoon of coconut yogurt.
Juice 1 lime
1 coconut kefir shot or 1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 cups water
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and power until you have a creamy texture.