7 Healthy Leafy Greens to Add to Your Meals

Adding leafy greens to your plate is an excellent way to improve your diet and overall health. However, some greens are more nutritious than others. For instance, iceberg lettuce may be popular in salads, but it pales in comparison to kale or spinach. That’s because dark, leafy greens often contain more nutrients, including iron, protein, calcium, and fibre. Get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals by incorporating these healthy greens into your meals.

1. Spinach

Spinach is one of the most versatile leafy greens out there. Add it to salads, omelettes, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, and more. Your options are practically endless. The best part is that spinach is chock full of antioxidants like kaempferol, which can reduce your risk of cancer. It also triggers the release of satiety hormones to help you feel more full and satisfied after meals. Enjoy at least three cups a day to support brain and eye health, fend off heart disease, and manage blood pressure.

2. Watercress

Popular in Australia and Europe, this salad green isn’t so common in the U.S. Yet, it’s more nutrient-rich than romaine or regular old leaf lettuce. A single serving contains nearly a full day’s value of vitamin K, a nutrient that promotes oral health and increases bone density. Because it’s 95% water, watercress can also promote hydration, which inevitably benefits every cell in your body. Add this green to salads or puree it into a soup for an extra dose of nutrition.

3. Collard Greens

If a dish needs some crunch, reach for collard greens. This nutritious, leafy green makes an excellent addition — in both texture and taste — to stir fries, soups, meaty braises, and casseroles. You can even use the leaves as a wrap instead of tortillas and pita bread. Collard greens have all of your daily vitamin K, plus some vitamin C and E, so they’re sure to boost your health regardless of how you prepare them.

4. Kale

Broccoli, kale, and cabbage all originated from the same species, so they share similar nutritional qualities. That means if you don’t like broccoli or cabbage, you should be adding a bit of kale to your plate. This way, you still get your daily dose of phytonutrients, calcium, and vitamin K. While kale is delicious raw or cooked, it’s easier for your body to digest if you sautee or bake it first. It also pairs well with fall foods like squash, nuts, seeds, and beans.

5. Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are peppery and a little bitter, making them an excellent addition to salads with sweet ingredients and dressings. They’re also excellent sauteed with olive oil and herbs or ground into a fresh pesto with pine nuts and parmesan cheese. One cup of this leafy green fulfills almost half your daily vitamin C requirement and all of your vitamin K. Plus, it contains folate, a nutrient that helps form new blood cells to improve overall health.

6. Swiss Chard

Like many other leafy greens on this list, swiss chard has plenty of vitamins C and K. However, this delicious veggie also contains a good amount of vitamin A, which helps maintain eye and skin health and protects you from infection. Swiss chard tastes similar to spinach, so you can use it in many of the same ways. Because its leaves are bigger, however, you may also turn them into wraps or even taco shells in a pinch.

7. Beet Greens

While beet bulbs get most of the attention, their greens are equally delicious, not to mention versatile. Sauteed beet greens are delightful on sandwiches, in slaws, or mixed into grain, egg, and pasta dishes. Because they become more tender when cooked, they make a great alternative to crunchier varieties like kale and chard. Beet greens are packed with nitrates, protein, calcium, zinc, and fiber, so they’re healthy no matter how you eat them.

Getting Creative in the Kitchen

If you’re unfamiliar with pairing and preparing healthy leafy greens, pick up a recipe book, do a bit of research, and experiment in the kitchen. Get creative as you add these nutritious vegetables into breakfasts, snacks, appetizers, and more. There are endless possibilities for cooking and combining ingredients, so think outside the box and let your tastebuds lead the way. The more you do, the more willing you’ll be to add leafy greens to your meals.

Healthy Diets for Every Budget + Meal Prep + Wholefood Recipes

Supercharge Your Day with These Amazing Foods

As a fitness enthusiast, you soon come to learn that sugar-filled drinks aren't always the most efficient way of getting the much-needed energy boost you crave during the day. If anything, these foods often do more harm to your body than good.

There are actually other more helpful food products that can get your energy levels up and supercharge your day.

Besides providing you the energy you need for the short-term, these foods also have other long-term benefits. And while adding a wallpaper of your favorite foods from https://www.photowall.co.uk/wall-murals/our-favourites can sometimes get your salivating glands tingling, you still need the actual foods to give you the kick you need to get through the rest of your day.

For that, we compiled a list of the top foods you should take to supercharge your day with the much-needed vitamin, fibre, and minerals.

  1. Salmon

Salmon contains vitamin B12 and Omega 3 fatty acids, which have great energy-boosting qualities. The fatty acids are great for reducing inflammation in the body that can cause exhaustion. On the other hand, vitamin B12 stimulates the body to produce more red blood cells that, in turn, increase your energy levels.

Generally, eating fish is always beneficial and qualifies for a great fast meal. Many families prefer to eat salmon because of its mild and savoury taste. Plus, it cooks up very quickly. Check out my One Pan Salmon with Greens healthy dinner recipe for a simple salmon main dish.

  1. Beans

Beans are jam-packed full of minerals and vitamins that your body can convert into fuel very easily. They are even more efficient than sugar or caffeine. Beans, like salmon, also reduce inflammation-related exhaustion and are always a quick way of giving your body the energy boost it needs. We all have different body types and nutrition is key. 

Beans are also relatively easy to prepare and make a yummy and quick meal. Simply put it in your Instant Pot and let it cook. You will have a ready meal that supercharges your system for the better part of the day. You might also like to try my Vegetable and Bean Casserole.

  1. Avocado

The healthy fats and fibre in avocado are absolutely essential and make it one of the best superfoods for long-lasting energy stores. Avocado also contains several B vitamins that are essential for red blood cell count. These vitamins help regulate the iron levels in your body, giving you the energy you need for the rest of the day.

Avocado is just super tasty and makes for a great recipe to add alongside any meal. You don't have to prepare complicated meals to enjoy this amazing superfood. You can even enjoy it in this Avocado Lassi.

  1. Eggs

Many nutritionists and researchers have dubbed eggs the perfect food to give you the energy boost you need. And for a good reason, because eggs are just packed with protein power that will supercharge your system.

The protein in eggs provides the type of energy that doesn't spike your insulin levels as other energy sources do. These proteins also last much longer and have many other health benefits. Therefore, it's no surprise to find multiple types of B vitamins in eggs.

Perhaps the best part of making eggs is just how fast they cook. They are the perfect meals to prepare, especially when you're in a hurry, and are perfect for any time of the day, whether it is for dinner or breakfast.

So, get your extra energy boost today to make it through the rest of the day. A simple breakfast casserole is the perfect meal for you. You could also try this Hoppers with Egg and Peanut Sauce

  1. Brown Rice

You have always been told repeatedly that brown rice is better for your health than white rice. But why is that? Well, white rice is often refined and tends to burn quickly like many other refined sugars. White rice also spikes insulin levels and can cause your system to crash.

On the other hand, brown rice is packed full of lower glycemic index sugars and fibre that don't spike your insulin levels. As such, they provide your body with energy that burns slowly for longer periods. And the best part is that you don't have that sugar crash.

Brown rice is full of vitamins and minerals that also help to create good health. And the best part is that you can substitute white rice with brown rice for pretty much any recipe. One of the best meals that go with brown rice is stuffed peppers. If you take this meal in the morning, you can be sure of having a supercharged day and have plenty of energy to take you through the night. You can also add it to Nori rolls here.

Get More Energy with Long-Term Benefits

The superfoods mentioned above are great options for providing you with the energy you need and better substitutes for coffee and other sugary treats. Preparation is the best way to combat tiredness and keep you energized throughout the day.

You can now enjoy your favourite foods without worrying about their health benefits.

Halloween Monster Mash + Six Pumpkin Recipes

They did the mash, they did the monster mash, the monster mash, it was a graveyard smash!

Even though "trick or treating' may be off the cards for many this year, I've got some spooky 'evilcado' toast to celebrate Halloween.  

These Dracula and Frankenstein treats are simple for the kids to make (get mum or dad or caregiver to help with the chopping) and they'll keep the kids occupied and locked in to the Halloween spirit!

Don't forget to dress up and post some pics too! Just because you're at home doesn't mean you can't put on your spookiest, funniest costume. I'm looking straight at you white sheet! But I know you can do better than that, get creative with home made costumes to really tickle your funny bones.

And for the treats...

All you need is:

  • 2 slices of bread toasted for face
  • 2 sheets seaweed for hair and mouth
  • 2 cashews for ears
  • 1 TBS fresh mozzerella for eyes
  • 3 blueberries 
  • 1 small Roma tomato (ends cut for eyes)
  • 1 small capsicum 
  • 1 pumkin seed kernel for nose


Toast the bread, meanwhile smash the avocado in a bowl 

Smooth avocado over the toast

Cut out the Dracula and Frankenstein hair and teeth

Cut two circles of mozzerella for eyes

Slice capsicum for mouth and fangs

Once all the ingredients are prepared decorate as you like!

Happy Halloween!

And if you're looking for ways to use up the excess pumpkin, I've put together five delicious tricks for pumpkin treats here !

Or try these tried and tested tricky treats...

My Golden Gut Pumpkin and Nut Loaf

My Raspberry Studded Pumpkin Pie  

Pumpkin Porridge

Lamb and Pumpkin Salad

Oven-Roasted Pumpkin Chips

This chunky Root Veg Mash from my gut-supercharging and life-altering book, Supercharge Your Gut, is a great side to any mains. It’s a smooth way to get your roughage in too and its loaded with fibre and prebiotics!

This delicious vegie mash is suitable for vegans, but you can also replace the vegetable broth with the Gut Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth for some extra gut love. 

Chunky Root Veg Mash 

Serves 4

  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin (squash)
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 whole leek, white part only, washed well and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 125–250 ml (4–9 fl oz/ 1/2–1 cup) Vegetable Broth or Gut Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth.
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (optional, if tolerated)


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). 

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Peel the carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and sweet potato, if you prefer, then roughly chop. Place in a large bowl with the leek and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over and rub it in with your hands, until the vegetables are well coated.

Spread the vegetables on the baking tray, add the garlic clove and bake for 35–45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are roasted and caramelised, checking now and then and removing the vegetables as they are cooked.

Leave to cool slightly.

Slip the garlic out of its skin, into a high-speed blender. Add the roasted vegetables, lemon juice, 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) of the broth, and the nut butter, if using. Whiz until you achieve a mash-like consistency, adding more broth if required. (Alternatively, for a coarser texture, you can mash the mixture together with a fork.)

Transfer to bowls and enjoy. 

Lee xo 

5 Tips to Spice Things Up and Get More Creative in the Kitchen

Cooking at home is the perfect way to elevate your diet and eat more healthfully. You control what goes into each dish and can modify recipes to suit your tastes and nutritional needs. You can also save considerable cash over ordering takeout.

However, things can get stale when you get stuck in a rut, eating the same dishes week after week. How can you bring more excitement to mealtime? Here are five tips to spice things up and get more creative in the kitchen.

1. Try a New Plant-Based Dish

Have you made friends at your local farmer’s market yet? It is the harvest season. Why not go on a mission this weekend to find the most unusual plant-based food you’ve never tried and add it to your dinner menu?

For example, you can fry some lotus chips instead of the traditional potato to pair with your mackerel or cod. You’ll still get a heaping serving of fiber with a uniquely nutty flavor. Fiddleheads are delicious as a side dish, especially when paired with a bearnaise sauce the way you might asparagus — the taste is similar. Jicama strips sound exotic but add a slightly sweet, tangy and satisfying crunch to wraps and salads.

2. Reach for the Salsa

What elevates many restaurant meals from ordinary to extraordinary? The secret often lies in the sauce.

If you’re trying to cut calories, salsa makes a fabulous alternative to butter and sour cream as a baked potato topping — why reserve it for chips? You can also ladle it over chicken for a spicy kick.

Heart-healthy olive oil makes an excellent base for other sauces. You can go with an avocado lime for topping fish or a french sauce for marinating cauliflower steaks.

3. Experiment With Different Pairings

You might treat your kitchen like a gourmet restaurant, but you don’t have to follow every rule. While hearty reds such as cabernets traditionally pair with meat dishes, who says you can’t enjoy a glass of the full-bodied stuff with a lighter meal? Experiment a bit. An earthy pinot noir pairs perfectly with a mushroom pizza — but a chardonnay can also create an intriguing contrast.

Wine isn’t your only choice when it comes to marrying your main dish with a beverage. You might enjoy a rich and citrusy IPA with a meal like lobster mac and cheese. Nor must you go with an alcoholic drink. If you prefer tea, a light chamomile pairs beautifully with white fish, while floral varieties like passionflower and lavender set off acidic dishes like pasta.

4. Get Out Your Foraging Basket

Is your grocery budget a bit tight? You might have noticed prices at the store creeping up of late. Why not leave your wallet at home and hit the wilds with your foraging basket to see what local goodness you can add to your meals?

You might not have to look much further than your backyard. Dandelions have long played a role in food and even wine, and all parts of the plant are edible. Do you live in the desert southwest? Prickly pear fruit makes an incredible jam or chutney, and it contains compounds that can lower your blood pressure.

If you learn a bit about wild greens, you can make an entire salad from what you find in waste areas. Be sure to avoid any regions your community might treat with toxic pesticides — the idea is getting back to nature, not falling ill.

5. Bring a Little Fusion Magic to the Table

Fusion dishes wed two or more diverse cuisines into one to create a new, eclectic and altogether delicious dining experience. Celebrity chefs such as Ignacio Solano gain fame and fortune by uniting food cultures in a fabulous burst of flavour.

Why not take inspiration from such masters and incorporate fusion principles into your kitchen? You could pair Spanish rice with tandoori chicken for a unique and spicy meal. Instead of using Kashmiri chiles in that curry, why not substitute jalapeños for a Mexican twist? Make taco Tuesday unique by stir-frying veggies in a wok instead of stuffing them with ground beef.

Spice Things Up and Get More Creative in the Kitchen

Cooking at home is one of the best ways to improve your health, but you don’t want to get stuck in a rut. Try one of these five tips to spice things up and get more creative in the kitchen tonight!

Lets us know how you go, in the comments section below.

Intermittent Fasting, My Day On a Plate + Recipes

Spring has arrived in Sydney, and a fresh and new change is in the air.  Spring is a good season for us to be in the fresh air, take in some vitamin D and witness the awakening of nature.

When it comes to spring eating, I like to keep it light and fresh so with that being said, today I'm sharing my "Day on a Plate"- Intermittent Fasting style and including some delicious recipes. Tracking can also be very helpful so that you can see your progress. You can use user-friendly and simple applications like DoFasting as your intermittent fasting tracker. 

If you’re worried that intermittent fasting may look like drinking endless amounts of celery or beet juice, there's no need to worry. You may be surprised by how many delicious foods you can eat while doing intermittent fasting. So, that’s why I’m sharing a sneak peek at my intermittent fasting day on a plate to inspire you, just in case you'd like to give it a try.

As you probably already know from reading my blog, I’m a little gut health obsessed. After tackling some personal health issues, healing my digestive system was key to helping me get my health back on track. Once my gut lining started to repair itself and my gut flora became balanced, every aspect of my health improved. 

One of the things I learnt through this experience was that the digestive system, like you and I, sometimes needs a little rest to function optimally; this is where intermittent fasting comes in.  

Most people who want to try an intermittent fasting approach are;

  • Tired of feeling tired
  • Keen to hop off the diet rollercoaster for good
  • Eager to lose weight and keep the weight off
  • Wanting to improve their gut health
  • Desiring to rev up their metabolism
  • Ready to have more vitality and improvement in their day to day energy levels

If any of the above sound like you, then you might like to consider intermittent fasting. If you’re looking to dive right into intermittent fasting (IF), check out my life-changing fast your way to wellness online program here. I've also written a book with lots of information, meal planners and delicious IF recipes called Fast Your Way to Wellness.

I practice intermittent fasting to give my digestive system some well-needed TLC. Before you panic and hit the red x at the top of your screen, intermittent fasting doesn’t mean you have to stop eating altogether, deprive yourself of food or starve. Intermittent fasting is simply eating less and focusing on nutrient-rich and easy to digest foods.   *And, a big exhale from the crowd.

I follow the 5:2 method, where I eat fewer calories two days a week, but various fasting methods are available that can suit your unique needs and lifestyle. As a guide, the daily total calorie intake on fasting days should be around 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men. But there are other IF protocols where calorie consumption is higher. Just do what works for you and find your own number.

When it comes to  breakfast, I usually make...


Layered Blueberry Pistachio Parfait

In a hurry? Not a worry. The parfait can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight for the chia seeds to reach full volume. It fills you up and keeps you energised which is helpful when doing (IF). This recipe comes in at 202 calories per serve.

Serves 4


  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • stevia, to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons black chia seeds
  • 310 g (11 oz/2 cups) blueberries
  • 20 pistachio nut kernels, optional
  • finely grated zest of 1/2 lime, optional


In a medium bowl, mix the coconut cream, lime juice and stevia.

Add the chia seeds and stir to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes to thicken.

Take half the blueberries and distribute them evenly between four glasses.

Distribute the coconut cream mixture evenly between the glasses. 

 Add another layer of blueberries to each glass. 

Top each with five pistachio kernels and a pinch of lime zest, if using.

Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate for 30 minutes to set, then serve. 

Supercharged Tip: For juicier blueberries, place them in a small saucepan with two tablespoons of water and cook for 1–2 minutes over low heat until they start to soften. 

Drink Throughout the Day

By choosing to intermittent fast, you give your body the gift of healing, regenerating and detoxifying, so you’ll need to drink adequate fluids to help out these processes. Aim to drink at least 2L of water during the day.

Some of my favourite ways to increase your water intake include:

  • Bringing a bottle of filtered water with you wherever you go.
  • Sipping on herbal tea throughout the day.
  • Infusing your water with mint, berries, cucumber or whatever else tickles your fancy to make you want to drink more water. 


At lunchtime I usually go for a protein based meal...

Minty Zucchini Fritters

Makes 8

To get your metabolism going, these fritters are wonderfully light, delicious, and high in nutrients and thermogenic ingredients such as chilli and paprika. They’re gluten-free, and the addition of mint also makes them very soothing on the digestive system. Make a batch before your fasting day, then warm one up in the oven for lunch. Each fritter is 103 calories.


  • 405 g (14 1/4 oz/3 cups) grated zucchini (courgette)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 15 g (1/2 oz/1/4 cup) chopped mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly whisked
  • 155 g (5 1/2 oz/1 cup) brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil or coconut oil spray


Using your hands, squeeze any excess liquid from the zucchini, then put it in a large bowl. 

Add the chives, mint, chilli, paprika, lime zest and juice, and eggs. Stir to combine. 

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Heat a few drops of coconut oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat, then drop heaped tablespoons of batter into the pan. 

Cook on each side for 3–5 minutes, or until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Dinner is generally a veggie heavy meal with lots of flavour.  I tend to eat earlier around 5pm or 6pm, then have breakfast later the next day.


Sweet Sicilian Caponata

Caponata is a glorious Sicilian dish that consists of eggplant, other vegetables, celery, olives and capers in a divine sauce. It’s the perfect dish to round out a fasting day and weighs in at 138 calories per serving. 

Serves 2


  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 350 g (12 oz) eggplant (aubergine), cut into dice
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) filtered water, plus extra as needed
  • 1 small zucchini (courgette), cut into dice
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 large brown onion, diced
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • a small handful of green olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • a handful of basil leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. 

Add the eggplant and cook for 5–6 minutes, or until soft. 

Add the water, a little at a time, to prevent the eggplant from sticking to the pan.

While the eggplant is cooking, put the zucchini, celery, onion and tomato in a saucepan with a large splash of filtered water. 

Cook for 15–20 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Add the cooked eggplant with the capers, olives, apple cider vinegar and thyme, then cook for a further 5 minutes.

Serve topped with basil and pepper. If you’re ready to take the fasting leap, but still a little sceptical about the benefits of intermittent fasting, I’ve got your back! Research studies show intermittent fasting can;

  • Reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
  • Reduce inflammation and heightened blood pressure
  • Reduce free radical damage
  • Increase fat burning and your metabolic rate
  • Improve the bacteria in your gut
  • Lower your blood glucose and normalise insulin levels
  • Normalise ghrelin (the hunger hormone) for better appetite control   

I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me! 

Not only does my Fast Your Way to Wellness program include delicious healing recipes like the ones above, but it also contains critical tools to show you how to implement intermittent fasting and self-care routines into your weekly life. 

Over the six-week plan, you’ll discover:

  • What your cravings mean and how to knock them back.
  • Self-care practices that work.
  • How to practice portion control.
  • My tips on cleaning out your pantry and enjoy foods that benefit your health without restriction.
  • How to re-wire your brain for complete wellness. 

And so much more!  

If you’re ready to heal your gut, brain and body and give it time to reboot and recover, head here to join Fast Your Way to Wellness.

We recommend taking this intermittent fasting quiz to find out which method is the best for you.

Have you ever tried intermittent fasting? What’s your favourite method and did it help you? Let me know your experiences in the comments below.

How to Level Up Your Energy and Stay Motivated Plus a One Pan Salmon with Greens

Does this sound familiar? 

Your third alarm for the morning goes off. You feel groggy and have a dull headache. 

Why? Well, you ended up going to bed later than you had anticipated, thanks to that new show you’re hooked on (yes, Netflix, I’m still watching. Don’t judge me!), and now, you’re suffering the consequences. Your brain feels foggy, your body aches all over, and you feel like you’re running on empty. You roll out of bed and head straight to your local to pick up your coffee (extra strong, please!) and something sugary to get you going. And there it is, that sweet, yet momentary, relief.

Then, a couple of hours later, you feel that mental and physical exhaustion start to creep in, so you dive straight into another coffee or espresso and munch on something deliciously sweet. 

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Most of us think having low energy levels and feeling tired are standard parts of life. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but they’re not, and the good news is that they don’t need to be.

Let’s uncover why you may have low energy levels and strategies to help boost your energy levels and up your motivation naturally. 

Drivers of Low Energy:

  1. Poor Sleep 

Let’s start with the lowest hanging fruit: poor sleep.  

Poor quality sleep, combined with a short amount of time spent asleep, is one of the biggest culprits behind low energy levels. If you’re not sleeping deeply or for a long enough time, your circadian rhythm, or sleep/wake cycle, which regulates feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness, will be disturbed, causing low energy levels.1

  1. Elevated Stress

Chronic fatigue and decreased energy levels can cause prolonged stress.2 In 2017-2018, an estimated 2.4 million Australians reported high or very high levels of psychological stress, which may explain why everyone at work is complaining about being tired.3

  1. Imbalanced Gut Bacteria

The gut microbiota regulates several processes in the body, including the absorption and digestion of nutrients; this plays a significant role in sustaining energy levels.4 So, things that impact the balance of the gut microbiota, such as broad-spectrum antibiotics, can dysregulate the gut and disturb normal energy levels. 

  1. An Inflammatory Diet and Caffeine

Excess dietary consumption of foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates may alter sleep quality and quantity, leading to low energy levels.5

Ways to Up Your Energy:

  1. Enhance Your Sleep

Sure, poor quality sleep is associated with low energy levels, but it’s also linked to weight gain, hormonal dysregulation, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and reduced overall well-being.6

Here are some of my simple own sleeping tips: 

  • Set a consistent bedtime and wake time.
  • Create a bedtime routine to prime your body to help you fall asleep.
  • Sleep in a completely dark, cool and quiet room.
  • Expose yourself to bright light, preferably the sun, as soon as you rise.  
  1. Try Exercise Snacking

If you’re tired, the last thing you may feel like doing is an exercise class, but the research shows that low to moderate activity may be just what you need to increase energy and reduce fatigue.7 If you’re low on energy, you may want to skip the HIIT class and choose something like a light jog, brisk walk, Pilates or yoga class. 

So, what’s exercise snacking? Exercise snacking is a promising strategy where someone breaks down exercise into short bouts performed a few times a day.8 Doing ten squats while you wait for the kettle to boil or going for a few walks around the block a day are just two simple examples of exercise snacks.

  1.     Manage Your Stress

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (if so, hello! I’m glad you’re here! Fancy a cup of tea?), I’m sure you’ve experienced some level of stress over the last few years. Unfortunately, we know that experiencing high amounts of stress for an extended period can lead to many health consequences. 

Some of my favourite ways to reduce stress are:

  • Taking a few deep breaths.
  • Moving your body
  • Eating nourishing foods.

For more tips on ways to instantly destress, click here.

  1. Fulvic Humic Acid

In Ayurveda, the Indian traditional medicine system, they use fulvic acid as a health rejuvenator. It holds adaptogen qualities, which means it helps the body adapt to stress. I drop Fulvic Humic Concentrate (or, as the cool kids call it, FHC) into my water daily; it promotes mental health, enhances gut healing, and supports the integrity of the gut lining.9

  1. Eliminate Energy Robbers

Be warned: this is the point no one wants to hear, but it’s one of the most important.

I know when you’re tired, you’re likely to grab that cup of coffee and a sugary snack for some energy, and sure, that will give you a quick energy boost; however, the research shows that a few hours later, you’ll have less energy than before your treat!10

I feel more vibrant since cutting out coffee several years ago, but I know that cutting out coffee altogether isn’t for everyone. 

So, if you do want to continue your sugar or caffeine hit, and you don’t experience too many adverse reactions, I recommend the following: 

  • Keep to one coffee a day before midday. 
  • If you’re consuming a higher in sugar food, add a quality source of protein to slow down a possible blood sugar spike. 
  1. Foods to Eat

So, if high-sugar and caffeine food and beverages are a no-go, what can you eat? Well, unless you’re intermittent fasting, which you can find out more about here, I recommend consuming three regular meals a day with plenty of healthy protein, fats and lots of salad. This will help keep you satiated and keep your energy stable. Plus, vegetables deliver vital nutrients that support balanced blood sugar for regulated energy levels. 

  1. Regular Hydration

Here’s a simple thought: are you drinking enough water? Water is essential for maintaining blood volume and transporting nutrients throughout the body. Aim to consume around 2L of water a day, and add one glass of water for every cup of coffee, caffeinated tea or alcohol you drink. 

  1. Watch Out for Nutrient Deficiencies

If you’ve been struggling with low energy, it may be a good idea to get some basic blood testing done to see if a nutrient deficiency is the underlying cause of your fatigue. 

Some important markers to ask your healthcare practitioner to check include:

  • Iron 
  • Complete blood count
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Thyroid panel 

One of my favourite nourishing meals that will elevate your energy is this one-pan salmon with greens. It’s so clean and pure in flavour, and one of my ideal energy giving protein sources, both for its health benefits and its luxuriousness when presented simply.

This pan-fried salmon with asparagus, fresh herbs and sweet tomatoes is a lovely, fresh and incredibly easy lunch or dinner.  Seek out wild- caught salmon for its superior quality and flavour. 

One Pan Salmon with Greens

{ SERVES 1 } 

  • 40 g (11/2 oz) butter or 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed and for drizzling 
  • 1 x 150–180 g (51/2–61/4 oz) salmon fillet or cutlet, skin on 
  • 6 large sage leaves
  • 6 asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed 
  •  large handful baby English spinach leaves 
  • 8 small tomatoes, halved if large 
  • handful mint leaves sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 lemon (optional) 


  • Heat the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the salmon, skin side down for a fillet, and the sage leaves, then cook for 3–4 minutes.
  • Turn the salmon over, add the asparagus, and fry the other side for 2 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
  • Remove the sage from the pan once it is crispy and the asparagus when cooked through, with brown patches but not burnt. Add the spinach and tomatoes to the pan with a little extra butter if needed (but there should be enough pan juices).
  • Meanwhile, tear the mint leaves and spread them on a plate. Top with the tomatoes, drizzle over a little olive oil and season with salt.
  • Add the salmon, spinach and asparagus, and squeeze lemon juice over the top, if using.
  • Garnish with the fried sage leaves.

No matter the cause of your low energy levels, enhancing your diet, adding in more movement, and reducing stress will always benefit your life.

I’d love to know – what will you do today to improve your energy levels? Lee x

15 Natural Immune-Boosting Foods to Add to Your Diet

Your immune system is what protects you against nasties like bacteria, viruses, fungi, toxins and even pollution. It’s a complex system of various cells, organs and proteins that all work together to give you front-line defense to battle invaders.

Your body’s immune system has two main parts. The innate immune system, which you’re born with, and the adaptive immune system, which you develop over time as your body is exposed to the world around you.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) is considered a novel – or new – pathogen. That means that your body’s adaptive immune system isn’t able to battle it alone if you’re unvaccinated. However, having a solid innate immune system is critical, vaccinated or not, as it will help avoid severe symptoms. Bolster it with the correct diet, including superfoods and natural supplements, like CBD products derived from hemp plants, to give your body the best fighting chance.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to 15 immune-boosting foods and supplements that you need to immediately start including in your diet.

1. Garlic: According to research from the University of Copenhagen, garlic contains sulfurous molecules capable of inhibiting the defense mechanism of bacteria. It has also traditionally been used as an antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal agent.

2. Yogurt: Plain yogurt is excellent for you, thanks to the vitamins, protein and probiotics it contains. A great source of lactobacillus, this probiotic will help improve gut health and bolster your immune system as a result.

Sautéed Scallops with Mushrooms and Spinach

3. Spinach: This is a versatile leafy green that you can eat in salads, lightly steamed and add to smoothies. It’s rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene, increasing your immune system’s infection-fighting ability.

4. Papaya: This sweet, soft fruit hails from Central America but is now grown in tropical regions worldwide. It’s a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and Vitamin E, all essential antioxidants. In addition, the fiber is good for gut health and the folic acid in papaya converts potentially harmful homocysteine into less harmful amino acids.

5. Lobster: This delicious gift from the ocean is rich in zinc, which is great for boosting immune cells’ effectiveness. Best prepared in salted boiling water, be sure not to overcook your lobster as it will become tough and chewy.

6. Oysters: These shellfish are high in zinc like lobsters. They also contain selenium, a potent antioxidant that helps lower oxidative stress in your body. That means lower inflammation and increased immune response.

Red Capsicum and Hazelnut Pesto

7. Bell Peppers: Did you know bell peppers contain more vitamin C than most citrus fruits? That’s good news since vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that is involved in microbial defense.

8. Chicken: Chicken is a lean protein that will help boost your immune system in a heart-healthy way. There’s a good reason why chicken soup is so popular when we’re sick and need extra comfort. It also contains arginine, which helps with healing functions and fighting infection.

9. Almonds: A great addition to any diet, almonds are packed with vitamin E that will protect cells in your body from damage. That vitamin E is building a more robust immune system! Almonds are available raw, roasted, in nut butters and even as almond milk, giving you many ways to add them to your diet.

Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl

10. Hemp: The hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, has been used by various cultures worldwide for thousands of years. One specific derivative, cannabidiol (CBD), is being researched for its anti-inflammatory effects and benefits for the immune system. CBD can be added to your diet through simple-to-take CBD gummies or as CBD drops in your morning coffee or smoothie.

11. Ginger: This potent root vegetable is renowned for its flavor and ability to spice up an otherwise bland dish. Ginger has numerous health benefits, including bolstering immune response due to antioxidant activity and the stimulation of probiotics in the gut of those who eat it regularly.

12. Matcha: This specially ground green tea powder originated in Japan. This warm drink has been widespread and regularly consumed for thousands of years. In addition to providing the drinker with a slight caffeine boost, it is also rich in antioxidants which may reduce the damage done to cells in the body due to free radicals. Rich in catechins, matcha is being researched for its ability to combat metabolic disorders and boost immune health.

13. Turmeric: Best known in its bright yellow spice form, turmeric starts its life as a root much like ginger. It also contains high amounts of curcumin, which aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions. It can be incorporated into the food you eat or taken as a supplement in capsule form.

14. Kefir: You might not be familiar with this fermented milk drink, made from kefir grains which are a mesophilic symbiotic culture. This drink’s probiotic nature has been studied for its ability to modulate the immune system’s ability to suppress infections from viruses like Zika, hepatitis C and influenza.

15. Citrus Fruit: A class immune booster, popular citrus fruits include lemon, grapefruit, limes and, of course, oranges. But there are many others like pomelos, yuzu and sudachi, which are cultivated in various parts of the world. Whether eaten whole or as a juice, citrus fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C and folate, essential to healthy immune cells and reducing inflammation.

Other Ways to Stay on Top of Viruses

You indeed are what you eat, and a healthy diet is important, but other measures can ensure you keep a healthy body. Additionally, taking precautions, so you don’t introduce the coronavirus into your system to begin with, is a great idea. We recommend the following:

  • Wash your hands regularly and use a high quality hand sanitizer that doesn’t dry out your skin.
  • Wear a mask when in public, especially while in enclosed or crowded spaces.
  • Get 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise or activity per day.
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of clean, filtered water.
  • Avoid things that will damage your immune system like junk food, smoking cigarettes and alcohol.

Ten Ways to Find Light and Hope in Challenging Times + Recipes 

It’s been an incredibly challenging year for many. We’ve been thrown many curveballs in both our business and personal lives. For some, it feels a bit like a game of dodgeball that never ends.

So, today, I’m sharing some simple daily practices and rituals that when I'm feeling in a frazzle, lift my spirits and support my mind and body in the hope that they may just do the same for you.

Before I dive in, I'd love to draw your attention to a couple of quotes that have been inspiring me lately. 

Hopi Indian Chief White Eagle says this: 

“This moment that humanity is living through can be considered a door or a hole. The decision to fall into the hole or go through the door is yours. If you consume information 24 hours a day, with negative energy, constantly nervous, with pessimism, you will fall into this hole. But if you take the opportunity to look at yourself, to rethink life and death, to take care of yourself and others, you will go through the door. Take care of your home, take care of your body. Connect with your spiritual home. When you take care of yourself, you take care of others at the same time"

You can read more of the quote here.

For many of us who are in lockdown in states across Australia, our freedoms have been compromised, the ability to see extended family and friends, travel outside our local government areas and live our usual lives has been taken away. 

I have found Vedic meditation to very helpful in these times, my teacher Anna Young Ferris says "Freedom, from a Vedic perspective, is seen from a much deeper viewpoint and true freedom is actually none of these things. True freedom is our natural state of bliss, beyond the identification with our physical body and our mental tendencies, thoughts and the drama". For more about Vedic meditation, here is a free online intro talk.  

Freedom can be as simple as switching off the news and social media, not buying into social pressures, respecting the choices of others with compassion, remaining in a state of balance and equanimity no matter what the external circumstances are and being ok living in uncertainty.

When times are difficult both externally and internally, I have found creating a self-care toolbox to dive into when needed can be helpful. I’d love to know what’s in your toolbox and what’s helping you lift your spirits right now? If we share these things collectively, we can help bring light into dark times. 

Here are ten things that I include in my self-care toolbox that can help in challenging times. I hope that they may help or resonate with you. 

  1.     Tick off Your Values Daily

This year I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what I value. If I tick off my values every day, I know I’m on the right track to living a life that inspires and excites me.

My top three values are:

  1.   Health (I know, how original?). I tick off my health value by moving my body and eating nourishing meals, and getting enough sleep. 
  2.   Personal development. I tick off personal growth through daily Vedic meditation and reading things that inspire me. 
  3.   Connection. I foster my relationships through speaking to friends or family members every day. I also make sure to listen to and support my friends during this time. Today is Are you ok day?, which serves as a gentle reminder to regularly check in with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to make sure they are ok. 

What are your values, and how can you integrate them into your daily routine? Maybe yours include creativity, balance, truth, faith, kindness, ambition, or trust? 

Whatever your values may be, think about one thing you can do that aligns with your three highest values daily. While it seems relatively simple, if you don’t do anything but just tick off these three things each day, you know that you’re using the tools you have to live a life aligned with your values. Anything else is just a bonus.

  1.     Have a Morning Routine 

I’m not so strict with what goes into my morning routine, but it usually includes: 

  • Vedic Meditation

If you’ve read this blog here, you’ll know that I love meditation; it’s helped me through some of my most challenging times. Meditation isn’t about stopping my thoughts, becoming a monk, or levitating (although that does sound pretty good to me!). It’s about dropping into the present moment. Meditation has had a profound impact on my mental health, and I couldn’t recommend it enough.  

  • Movement 

Whether it’s a walk with my dog, online yoga class, movement is essential to get my energy going, especially in the morning. Maybe for you, it’s a walk in nature, a swim in the ocean or simply a stretch.

  • Other Morning Routine Features

I also love breath-work, journaling, reading a book, and listening to an inspiring podcast. 

  1.     Create a Schedule 

It can be tempting to roll straight out of bed, put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and do work in your pyjamas the whole day, but creating some sort of schedule will excel you in terms of productivity and make you feel better.

So, I recommend you:

  • Get dressed as if you’re going to work.
  • Set yourself a start time and end time.
  • Write the three most crucial things you have to do each day. 
  • Prepare your meals and snacks the night before.
  • Take a lunch break.

  • Stock up on your favourite drinks. I’ve been making a big batch of my Turmeric Toddy to sip on all day. And I make this Lockdown Gut Immunity smoothie daily, it's got all the rainbow colours and lots of health benefits too.
  • End your lunch break with a walk around the block.
  • End your day with the third space.
  1.     Invest in the Third Space 

 Hang on, the third what? 

The third space is the transitionary space between work and home life, and it allows us to move between the two. Usually, this space is the drive or ride home from work. However, when you’re sleeping, living and working in the same room, it can be challenging to create a third space, making it hard to move out of work mode and into home mode.

Some of my favourite ways to move into the third space are:

  • Take a dance break to your favourite song.
  • Take a shower and wash off the workday.
  • Go for a walk when you finish work.
  • Do a micro meditation.
  • Put your work stuff away. (This one really helps!)
  1.     Boundary Setting 

 While the term boundaries gets thrown around a lot, many of us don’t know how to set clear boundaries.

If you need some help, think about your boundaries with the following:

  • When do you work, and when is it time to switch off?
  • What’s your relationship like with your phone? Is there a time at night that you should turn it off?
  • How about social media? 
  • When do you connect with your people? Is it at a time that works for you, or do you take calls midday when you get a phone call? 

Regardless of what your boundaries are, it’s essential to write them out and aim to stick to them to avoid any possible feelings of resentment, conflict or anxiety.

  1.     Enjoy the Simple Pleasures

Connecting with nature and living in alignment with it is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. It helps put things into perspective, activates your parasympathetic nervous system response (that’s your rest and digest system) and clears the mind. Some ways to connect with nature are;

  • Gardening: Plant a tree! Getting my green thumb on is one of my favourite ways to connect with nature. Head here for the 411 on growing your own veggies. I also just ordered and put together two new vegepods and planted them out for spring. I've planted edible greens, lettuces, spinach, rocket, kale, cucumber, basil, sage, coriander and capsicum. Roll on spring and summer greens!

  • Grounding: Do you remember the feeling of having the sand or grass in between your toes as a kid? It’s pure bliss. Little did seven-year-old you know, grounding or earthing can increase feelings of alertness and energy. Why not try it today?
  • Ocean swimming: if you’re near an ocean, jump in! Swimming is excellent for the immune system and is completely rejuvenating. Plus, it’s the ultimate mood booster. 
  • Becoming the conscious observer: learning to witness events and feelings without identifying or judging them is crucial in becoming an observer and not getting caught up in emotions. Becoming an observer is key to turning on your inner flashlight. Maybe go for a walk in nature or to a nearby park and tune into the sounds of the birds, the rustling of the trees, the sound of the earth underfoot. I promise you, you'll feel better for it.
  1.     Declutter Your Space

If I weren’t a clinical nutritionist or author, I would be a Marie Kondo-er. There is nothing I love more than a good old spring clean. I do a wardrobe clean-out every few months you can find my tips on this here.

But perhaps, maybe it’s time to declutter your digital space.

You could try the following:

  • Clean out your computer or phone and delete the things you don’t use or need anymore.
  • File everything in a way that serves you.
  • Delete any paid subscription services you don’t use (I mean, who needs five streaming services?). 

  1.     Cook Meals that Nourish You 

As I’m not a professional declutterer and food is a passion, my favourite ways to live with more joy and lightness is to cook meals that make me feel (and others when not in lockdown) good. 

  • Chocolate and Coconut Roughs: we all need something sweet now and then, and who could argue with chocolate’s antioxidant benefits (not me, that’s for sure!). My Chocolate and Coconut Roughs are a crowd favourite (and by a crowd, I mean me, because, well, #lockdownlife)
  • Antioxidant-Rich Salad: nourish yourself from the inside out with this Antioxidant-Rich Salad

  1. Get in Touch with Your Spiritual Side 

Life isn’t predictable; there are many ups and downs. These ups and downs can make it hard to keep the faith, and that’s okay; it’s part of being human. Having a spiritual belief or connection with something greater than you, whether that’s God, community, the universe, can help put things into perspective and help you lean into trust. 

You don’t need to have blind faith; a spiritual practice for you might look more like being in conversation with the universe or God. Trusting in the spiritual is primarily the work of creating a connection with something greater than yourself.

There are lots of ways to create a conversation with your spiritual side.

I recommend trying:

  • Closing your eyes and simply breathing
  • Meditating with a mantra
  • Praying
  • Honouring your intuition
  • Spending time in solitude
  • Writing down your thoughts

It’s easier to find trust in something bigger than you when you’re doing your part, not just patiently waiting for things to improve.  

10. Exercise your Creative Muscles 

 A fun way to ignite your light is to exercise your creativity. When you do this, remember that it’s more important to enjoy the process than worry about how the outcome looks. 

Some of my favourite ways to exercise creativity are:

  • Writing poetry
  • Painting
  • Taking up pottery 
  • Sewing
  • Knitting – I’m currently knitting Red Cross Trauma Teddies for my local Red Cross. You can get involved here.
  • Colouring in

One of the biggest challenges of being alive is witnessing the injustices of the world and not allowing them to consume our light. When we are guided by intuition and learn to tune into our inner guidance, we can be true to ourselves and live from a place of gratitude.

What I have found is that it's important to look at ourselves honestly and check for negative or dark spots, traumas, or parts of our lives that we keep hidden and then address them in a way that is most comfortable for you, that may be by speaking to a friend, a family member, a medical professional. 

Letting go of fears or narratives that are holding us back, means we can look at the world with a different perspective. One where we can start to live with more lightness and compassion and move towards self love and self-reflection. Living from this place, rather than from pain or fear, opens us up to evolving into the best versions of ourselves, and it’s from this place that we can help others.

It's when we live in the light that personal and planetary transformation can occur.

I would love to know how you are finding light and hope at the moment? 

Let me know in the comments below! xx

COVID-19 Vaccine Protocol

Yes, you read that title correctly. *Cue a protest in the comments section. *

But seriously, your body is truly incredible. Every single day, your immune system fights off hidden bacteria, viruses, and parasites to keep you safe. 

Regardless of how strong your immune system is, it won’t always be able to stop you from getting sick; that’s where traditionally, vaccines have come in. I believe everyone is entitled to their own choices, and I’m not here to judge, but whether you’re pro or anti-vax, the truth is, vaccines are here to stay, so it’s essential to be across what they are and how they work, that way you can make informed choices and decide what is best for you. You can use this protocol whether you are vaccinated or not the choice is up to you.

What is a vaccine, and what does it do to the body?

A vaccine is a biological product that induces an immune response to protect the body against infection and disease. There are a variety of vaccines that work in different ways. 

What are the different COVID-19 vaccines available, and how do they work?

COVID-19 has urged the scientific community to find solutions quickly. Mostly, the technologies used to create these vaccines have been around for several years. Here are some of the more common vaccines you might have heard of broken down simply.

AstraZeneca (viral vector type)

AstraZeneca is a modified, low-pathogenic virus that functions as a vector to shuttle pathogenic antigens into host cells, inducing an immune response against the target pathogen. In this case, the target pathogen is SARS-CoV-2.1

Pfizer (mRNA type)

Pfizer is a nucleic acid-based vaccine consisting of mRNA sequences that help proteins in the body induce an immune response and code for a COVID-specific antigen.

The cells use the instructions contained in the RNA to produce the spike protein (SARS-CoV-2). Immune cells recognise the spike protein as foreign and initiate an immune response against it. 

The data indicates that Pfizer is up to 90% effective by day 21, reducing COVID-19 infections and decreasing symptom severity.3 However the latest research shows that the effects of waning immunity may be beginning to show in Israel and more time and investigation is needed.

Moderna (mRNA type)

Moderna has just been approved in Australia, and Dolly Parton donated $1 million to help fund it, so you know it must be good. Like Pfizer, Moderna is a synthetic mRNA vaccine. It uses a genetic code that triggers the production of the coronavirus’s protein in the body, which helps immune cells fight it.3

Novavax (sub unit protein type)

Coronavirus is studded with spike proteins that it uses to enter human cells. The Novavax uses recombinant nanoparticle technology, which teaches the immune system to make antibodies to the spike protein. So, if someone were to receive Novavax and then get exposed to the virus, the antibodies would lock onto the spike proteins, and coronavirus won’t be able to enter cells, blocking the infection.12

In one clinical trial, adult participants conferred over 89% protection against COVID-19 after two doses of the Novavax vaccine.12

Johnson & Johnson (viral vector type)

Johnson & Johnson is a viral vector vaccine, where a vector enters the cells in the body and uses the cell’s machinery to produce a spike protein. The cells then display the spike protein on its surface, and the immune system recognises it doesn’t belong there. This triggers the immune system to begin producing antibodies and activating other immune cells to fight off what it thinks is an infection. In the end, the body learns how to protect itself against future infection. 

Unfortunately, Johnson & Johnson is only 66.3% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections in clinical trials.13 

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

Side effects are common with vaccines and more adverse reactions are being recorded. Most adverse effects associated with these vaccines have been transient, lasting up to 72 hours. They include pain at the injection site, headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches and pains.4

However vaccine injury is becoming more apparent. You may have heard, AstraZeneca has been linked to blood clots (thrombosis) and low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia).11 While the risk of either of these is low, it is estimated to be higher in those under 60. 

If you are unsure and want to find out more about the possible risks of vaccinations, VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) records and investigates adverse effects. You can read more about it here.

I recommend speaking to your doctor or trusted health professional to find out what method is suitable for you, particularly if you have pre-existing conditions.

What can you do to protect your body before, during, and after the vaccine? 

If you choose to vaccinate, supporting your immune system through specific practices, such as a healthy diet, can enhance the efficacy of a vaccine and reduce your chances of experiencing potential side effects. 

The Weeks Prior: 

To stay well, actively supporting your immune system is essential. Optimising your physical and psychological health every day is the single best thing you can do to help your immune system before a vaccine. 

Gut Microbiome

The state of the gut microbiome can impact the immune system’s response to COVID-19. The research indicates that adverse reactions to the vaccine can be due to an imbalance of bacteria in the gut.5 So, before you receive the vaccine, support your gut health as much as possible. Head here for a gut health 101.

Nutrient-Rich Whole Foods

While there’s not enough research to indicate that a nutrient-rich diet will make the vaccine more effective, in general, eating a nutritious diet supports the immune system. Focusing on increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods is vital for helping the immune system thrive. Here’s the 411 on inflammation. 

The Day Before: 

As a qualified clinical nutritionist, one of the most regular questions I’m asked about in my clinic is whether there is a specific protocol for vaccinations. 

My COVID-19 Vaccine Protocol can help prepare your body for any potential side effects. If you choose to go down this road, I recommend implementing the following;

1.     Stay Hydrated 

It’s no secret that hydration is important for your health. Natural side effects of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, and muscle cramps, which are also common side effects of the vaccine. By avoiding dehydration, you can help reduce these side effects from occurring. Aim for eight glasses of water a day, and add one more for every cup of coffee, alcohol, and caffeinated tea.  

2.     Increase Your Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an integral role in regulating immune function and can help neutralise infections by stimulating white blood cells.6-7 Vitamin D deficiency is associated with higher levels of bodily inflammation and fewer antibodies to fight infection, which may exacerbate adverse reactions to the vaccine. 

The best way to increase your vitamin D intake is through spending time in the sun. You can also obtain vitamin D from salmon, egg yolks, sardines, and mushrooms that have been exposed to natural sunlight. I recommend getting your vitamin D levels tested to assess whether supplementation is necessary. 

3.     Prioritise Sleep and Rest

While the jury’s still out on the effectiveness of hitting the hay before the COVID vax, short sleep duration before other vaccinations have proven to result in lower antibody responses to the vaccine, making it less effective.8 Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep before the vaccine. My Pumpkin Almond Bake is mood-lifting and sleep-enhancing, making it a perfect side dish to try the night before vax-day.   

4.     Manage Your Stress

Stress is a no-go when it comes to preparing for your vaccine. While acute stress impacts the liver, which affects our mRNA expression, chronic stress impacts the microbiome, leading to less effective vaccine metabolism.8 Head here for ten of my favourite ways to manage stress.

5.     Zinc is Zinc-credible! 

Zinc is one of the most underrated immune-boosting minerals on the planet. It’s involved in several aspects of the immune system, helping to guide the normal development of immune cells.9 It can also improve the metabolism of the vaccine. 

Unfortunately, zinc is deficient in most modern diets. Increase your zinc intake by consuming oysters, seafood, beans, nuts, whole grains, and seeds or supplement if necessary.

6.     Emphasise Omega-3 

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, which means our body cannot produce it by itself and needs to be consumed through the diet. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) are long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that work together to fight inflammation, which may help reduce COVID-19 vaccination side effects. Find EPA and DHA in fish, krill and algal oil supplements and oily fish, such as salmon, herring, and sardines. 

Unlike EPA and DHA, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a short-chain acid found in flax, chia, and hemp seeds. ALA is not biologically active and must be converted by the liver into EPA and DHA for the body to use. Unfortunately, this conversion process is relatively inefficient, with approximately 5% for EPA and 3.8% for DHA.10 So, consume ALA-rich foods with EPA and DHA-rich foods. 

7.     Favour Fulvic Humic

Fulvic Humic helps carry nutrients into the cells and makes cell membranes more permeable, which may help in improving the metabolism of the vaccine to improve its effectiveness.14 Fulvic Humic also allows for a higher volume and more usable form of nutrients to enter the body, crucial for replenishing the gut microbiome and immune system. As the vaccine causes immune dysregulation, Fulvic Humic Concentrate is a welcome addition.

Current research indicates that Fulvic Humic is incredibly anti-inflammatory and beneficial for the immune system.14 Dilute up to 3 drops of Fulvic Humic Concentrate 3 times a day in your water bottle for maximum impact. 

After experiencing covid or Vaccination

1.     Win With Water

Ensure you’re well-hydrated to reduce any possible side effects. Aim for at least eight cups of water a day. 

2.     Prioritise Sleep and Rest

The vaccine can trigger fatigue, so if you can, take it easy the day after your vaccine and prioritise rest.8 Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep and watch your stimulant intake. If you want more tips on how to up-level your sleep routine, click here

3.     Nourish your Body

Continue to nourish your body with colourful, anti-inflammatory fruit and vegetables. I know you'll love my antioxidant-rich salad.

4. Quercetin and Vitamin C

Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid) which has promising signs when it comes to symptoms. It's safe and in combination with vitamin C, could aid in improving the severity of vaccine side effects. It displays a broad range of antiviral properties which can interfere at multiple steps of pathogen virulence -virus entry, virus replication, protein assembly- and these therapeutic effects can be augmented by the co-administration of vitamin C15.

For the Second Shot:

Repeat this protocol for the second shot. It typically takes two weeks after the second vaccination for the body to build protection against COVID-19, so focus on hygiene and rest. 

As always, this information is general. I recommend speaking to your healthcare practitioner to help you figure out what’s most suitable for you.

  • It’s also important to get tested MyBioSource if you are feeling flu-like symptoms or have recently been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Business owners can do their part by providing business COVID testing in Columbus and other US cities to protect their employees and help prevent an outbreak at the office.

After having covid this year, I used this protocol to recover:


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2Zhang C, Maruggi G, Shan H, Li J. Advances in mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases. Front Immunol. 2019 Mar 27;10:594. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00594.

3Mahase E. Covid-19: Israel sees new infections plummet following vaccinations BMJ 2021;372:n338 doi:10.1136/bmj.n338.

4Kaur, S. P., & Gupta, V. (2020). COVID-19 Vaccine: A comprehensive status report. Virus research, 288, 198114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2020.198114

5BMJ 2021;372:n149

6Fisher SA, Rahimzadeh M, Brierley C, Gration B, Doree C, Kimber CE, et al. The role of vitamin D in increasing circulating T regulatory cell numbers and modulating T regulatory cell phenotypes in patients with inflammatory disease or in healthy volunteers: A systematic review. PLoS One. 2019 Sep 24;14(9):e0222313. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222313.

7Manzano-Alonso ML, Castellano-Tortajada G. Reactivation of hepatitis B virus infection after cytotoxic chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy. World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Mar 28;17(12):1531-7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i12.

8Zimmermann P, Curtis N. Factors that influence the immune response to vaccination. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2019 Mar 13;32(2):e00084-18.: 10.1128/CMR.00084-18.

9Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide. 3rd ed. Sydney (AU): Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone; 2010. p. 1037-51.

10Gerster H. (1998). Can adults adequately convert alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3)?. International journal for vitamin and nutrition research. Internationale Zeitschrift fur Vitamin- und Ernahrungsforschung. Journal international de vitaminologie et de nutrition, 68(3), 159–173. 

11Australia’s Vaccine Agreements. Australian Government Department of Health. 2021. 

12Saddof, J., Gray, G., et al. (2021). Safety and Efficacy of NVX-CoV2373 Covid-19 Vaccine. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2021, 384.

13Saddof, J., Gray, G., et al. (2021). Safety and Efficacy of Single-Dose Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine against Covid-19. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2021, 384.

14Winkler, J., & Ghosh, S. (2018). Therapeutic Potential of Fulvic Acid in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases and Diabetes. Journal of diabetes research, 2018, 5391014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5391014

15 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01451/full

How to Eat More Colour + an Antioxidant Rich Salad

Eat the rainbow; it’s one of the first things I recommend when someone sees me in my clinic and one of the most common health tips you’ll probably ever read.  

But before you ask, no, I’m not referring to skittles, M&M’s, or fruit loops (nice try, though). 

What I’m talking about is eating an abundance of fruit and vegetables made of various colours. 

The number one reason I’ll tell you to eat colourfully is that it’ll make your food pictures pop. 

Just kidding (kind of).  

My second reason is that it’s likely that you’re currently not consuming enough fruit and vegetables. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 96% of Australian’s don’t eat enough vegetables!1 While most of us know that vegetables are crucial for a healthy digestive system, they’re also associated with a reduced risk of developing diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. So, focusing on increasing the colours on your plate will inevitably help you eat more fruit and veg. You’re welcome. 

The other reason to start eating more colours is that each colour offers a different health benefit. For example, blue fruits may help protect against heart disease, and orange vegetables are vital for eye health.  

If you want the specifics (I know you do), read what each colour offers and where to get more of it below. 


The deep blues, purples and reds of eggplant and blueberries are brought to you by anthocyanins – a supercharged antioxidant. Anthocyanins are excellent for protecting cells against damage, promoting a healthy heart and sharp memory, and reducing overall bodily inflammation.2

You can increase your blue and purple intake through:  

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Eggplants
  • Figs 
  • Prunes
  • Plums
  • Grapes

BTW you seriously have to try this roasted fig, walnut and goat’s cheese salad


Carotenoids give our orange and yellow fruit and vegetables their vibrant colour. A well-known carotenoid, called beta-carotene, promotes healthy eyes, supports immune function and is crucial for strong joints and bones. My favourite benefit of beta-carotene is that it protects the skin from sun damage and pollution.3 I know – what can’t it do? You can read more about my love for beta-carotene here. 

To increase your orange and yellow foods, include the below in your diet. 

  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Carrot
  • Corn
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon 
  • Mango
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potato

Get the recipe for these sweet lemon thyme roasted carrots here.


While all colours offer different health benefits, green vegetables are (not so secretly) my favourite. Green vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals that protect the body from damage, restore vitality, aid tissue healing and provide digestive enzymes. Plus, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli offer an excellent folate source – a nutrient vital for pregnant women to prevent congenital disabilities. 

I also love green broccoli and Brussels sprouts because they’re part of the cruciferous vegetable family, enhancing immune function and assisting liver detoxification.4

Get your greens here: 

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Green cabbage
  • Kale
  • Kiwi fruit 
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mustard greens
  • Okra
  • Peas
  • Rockmelon 
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Spinach
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini

Swap out your noodles for zoodles (zucchini noodles) in my chocolate chilli beef zoodles here.

Red & Pink  

Ever wondered what makes that red tomato of yours so red? It’s because of a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that’s great for the heart, improves the skin’s appearance and quality, and supports healthy eyes. Some research indicates that lycopene may even protect against certain cancers.5

Increase your red and pink fruit and vegetables through the following:

  • Apple 
  • Beetroot 
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Capsicum
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon 

My strawberry and chia roll-ups are delicious for kids and adult-like kids. 


I know what you’re thinking – Lee, what are you doing? White isn’t a colour! 

I know that technically white is a shade and not a colour, but I wasn’t going to call this blog – how to eat more colours and shades of white, was I? So, do me a favour and play along for a second 😉

White fruit and veggies support bone health, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and help balance hormones. These guys also contain phytochemicals such as allicin, found in garlic, which has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties.6 They’re worth including in the rainbow conversation.  

Increase your white foods through:

  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Mushroom
  • Onion
  • Parsnip
  • Potato
  • Shallots 

My go-to immune booster is this thick and creamy garlic bisque

So, how can you start to eat more colour? 

An excellent way to track your colours is by creating a daily rainbow calendar, where you can tick off when you’ve eaten a specific colour. While this idea is excellent for kids and parents, anyone could find it beneficial. If you prefer, keep it in the notes section of your phone. 

Make a tropical rainbow fruit salad at the beginning of the day to serve up at snack time. You may like to include red apples, green kiwi fruits, yellow bananas, blue blueberries and orange mango. 

Do you love stir fry? Well, next time you’re making one, diversify it by including carrots, broccoli and red onion. 

Make a nourish bowl with deliciously nourishing colours, grains, nuts, and seeds, like my vegan roasted sweet potato with basil pesto and chopped salad.

This colourful lunch idea is so delicious! It's my brand new Antioxidant-rich salad.

Antioxidant-rich salad

Serves 2
How to Make It

Place the following in a large baking dish

  • 2 carrots sliced into batons with 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin chopped into cubes with 1/2 tsp cumin and coriander, a sprinkle of sesame seeds
  • 1 zucchini roughly chopped with 1/2 tsp lemongrass and ginger and one tbs tamari
  • Drizzle olive oil on top of all of the veg and season to taste
  • Bake vegetables in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 25 mins

Whilst the carrot, pumpkin and zucchini is cooking make up the salad with handfuls of Cos lettuce, rocket, or any salad greens you have

  • Add two radishes sliced
  • Add 1/2 cucumber sliced
  • Drizzle with your oil of choice, I used Sacha inchi oil mixed with my Golden Gut Blend 

I’d love to know - how are you going to include more colour into your diet?

Let me know in the comments below.

Lee x 


1Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018 

2Khoo, H. E., Azlan, A., Tang, S. T., & Lim, S. M. (2017). Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: coloured pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. Food & nutrition research, 61(1), 1361779. https://doi.org/10.1080/16546628.2017.1361779

3Schagen, S. K., Zampeli, V. A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012). Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(3), 298–307. https://doi.org/10.4161/derm.22876

4Guan, Y. S., & He, Q. (2015). Plants Consumption and Liver Health. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2015, 824185. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/824185 

5Story, E. N., Kopec, R. E., Schwartz, S. J., & Harris, G. K. (2010). An update on the health effects of tomato lycopene. Annual review of food science and technology, 1, 189–210. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.food.102308.124120

6Bayan, L., Koulivand, P. H., & Gorji, A. (2014). Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna journal of phytomedicine, 4(1), 1–14.

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