Ella Owen Natural Nutrition Wellness Coaching

Blog. Spring Tulip

Time for a Spring cleanse?

Spring is a time of growth, new beginnings, creativity, expansion and expression. It's a natural time to let go of the old in order to make space for the new. In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the Spring season corresponds to the Wood Element, which govern the liver and gallbladder energy meridians. Now is a great time of year to support your liver and detoxification pathways. If your liver gets congested or overloaded with toxins, your body's ability to detoxify on a daily basis becomes impaired. Headaches, joint and muscle aches, skin outbreaks, irritable bowel symptoms, fatigue, emotional stress - these symptoms may greatly improve after gently cleansing and supporting your liver. Spring is a great time to address congestion or excess weight accumulated over the Winter months. In TCM, the liver energy meridian corresponds to the emotions of anger and frustration, and the healthy expression these. Liver cleansing will help you to clear your mind, focus, plan and move forward with renewed purpose and energy.

Here are some useful tips to make the most out of Spring:

Add fibre to your diet in the form of oatbran, vegetables, fruit, beans, ground seeds or nuts. It is very important to make sure your colon is working well on a cleanse and avoid constipation, otherwise released toxins will be reabsorbed and circulate within the body. Nutrition tip: Try Linwoods milled mixed seeds, milled flaxseeds or probiotics (such as Optibac Probiotics for Every Day).

Drink 1.5-2 litres of water a day, spread over the day. Pure water in addition to cups of tea/herbal tea. Do get a kitchen tap water filter (or at least a filter jug) if you don’t already use one. This will help to filter out some of the toxic metals, that can otherwise build up in your body.

Eat a variety of vibrantly coloured vegetables, as well as fruit, so that you get an array of beneficial plant antioxidants.
Green foods are particularly high in chlorophyll, perfect for a spring cleanse.

Spring foods
Broccoli, watercress, ginger, chicory, spring greens, cabbage, beetroot, spirulina, salads, radishes, spring onions, garlic, lemon, carrots, quinoa, lettuce, cucumber, seaweeds, celery, apples, fennel and fresh herbs will all support your liver.
Buy organic and free range produce whenever possible. Foods with the highest level of pesticides include berries (particularly strawberries) apples, pears, grapes, soft fruits, salad leaves and kale.

Start Juicing
Specifically green juices in the Spring (My favourite- lettuce, cucumber, celery and fennel). Once a day.

High Quality Protein
Include sources such as pulses, almonds and seeds – proteins provide essential amino acids that are also needed for liver detoxification.

Oil Up
Drizzle organic flaxseed oil and olive oil over salads or take an omega 3 supplement such as fish oils or vegan EPA/DHA. Due to the toxicity of the oceans, fish oils can be toxic too if they are not sourced and filtered properly, therefore always buy a high quality brand of fish oils, rather than from regular high street stores.

Liver Herbs/Spices
Use turmeric in your cooking as it improves liver detoxification and can reduce inflammation. In the clinic I also recommend clients to supplement with milk thistle herb or artichoke, to naturally support their liver function.

Nutritional Support
I find many of my clients need some sort of nutritional supplementation to provide everything they need to detoxify properly. Phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification pathways rely on certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients to function. A liver support formula might include vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, selenium, plant source antioxidants and specific amino acids. I use kinesiology muscle testing to check which remedies or supplements would be helpful in each client case.

Don’t Go Over the Top
It is not uncommon for people to take too many dietary supplements. Don’t overwhelm your system, especially if you are a sensitive person. Certain supplement brands and types of nutrients are not absorbed or tolerated well, so that is why I always ask clients to bring in their own supplements and remedies so that we can muscle test for compatibility. This could also save you a lot of money by not purchasing nutritional supplements that you no longer need!

Cut it Out
Start to cut out or reduce intake of excessive caffeine (ie tea, coffee, chocolate, cola), alcohol, greasy foods, refined sugars and refined flour products. If you know that you have specific food sensitivities (gluten, wheat or dairy for example) cut these out too. This will certainly take some stress off your liver!

Easy Does It!
If you are starting a spring detox, remember to begin slowing, this way you can minimise any possibility of a detox reaction. This could happen if your routes of elimination (your liver, bowel, kidneys or lymphatics) are a bit stuck or are struggling to clear circulating toxins that are coming out of your cells. Detox reactions could include headaches, an irritable digestive system, fatigue, skin outbreaks, muscle aches or joint pains.

Energetic & Emotional Cleanse
Balance your energy and emotions with flower remedies. Specialised flower essences can help support detoxification and letting go on an emotional and energetic level. I also use flower essences for space clearing.
For example Australian Bush - Purifying Flower Essence is a popular flower combination. One of the flowers in this remedy is Bottlebrush which is very good for those going through life changes. It 'brushes' out the past, allowing the person to move on.
There are hundreds of flower remedies to choose from, please contact me for further advice and help with choosing which remedies would be great for you.

This article is for information purposes only, please consult your doctor/ health practitioner if you are pregnant or have any health concerns, before making changes to your diet or taking health supplements.

Blog. Studying

How to increase your brainpower for learning and exams!

Are you or your children preparing for exams or having problems with learning and concentration?

Eating a diet rich in essential nutrients can significantly help brainpower and exam performance.

For instance research has shown that omega 3 fatty acids can improve brain function, memory and learning ability. In a study involving a group of more than 100 below average students, half the students took omega 3 capsules for 6 months and the other half received a placebo. The researchers found that 40% of the students who took the omega 3 capsules showed significant improvements in school performance in relation to reading, spelling and behaviour, these were not seen in the students who received the placebo.

Here are a few nutrition tips for exam performance and brainpower:

  • Increase foods containing zinc: eggs, seeds, fish.

  • Eat a good breakfast on revision days and on the day of the exams.

  • Follow a low glycemic diet (particularly for 3 days before and during the exams). This means no refined sugar. Eat slow releasing carbohydrates (such as oats) and proteins such as meat, fish, diary, nuts, pulses, humus, seeds, eggs. Have a small amount of protein with each meal.

  • Drink plenty of filtered water. Have a glass first thing in the morning and take some in to the exams.

  • Take a good quality multivitamin/mineral (not the effervescent brands).

  • Avoid potatoes and tomatoes for at least 24 hours before exams, these nightshade vegetables contain natural chemicals that inhibit the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is needed for memory recall and focus.

  • Take omega 3 fish oils - a quality brand is important as some fish oils supplements contain toxins.

  • Nuts and raisons are good snack to take into exams.

  • In addition, aerobic exercise starting a week before the exams. A little aerobic exercise on the day of the exam in the morning can help blood and oxygen circulate to the brain.

    A personalised natural nutrition consultation is a great way to address nutritional imbalances and dietary needs. If you want to enhance your learning capacity and brainpower please contact me for more details.

    This article is for information purposes only, please consult your doctor/ health practitioner if you are pregnant or have any health concerns, before making changes to your diet or taking health supplements.

  • Blog. pumpkin

    How to boost your immune system this Autumn & Winter

    Autumn is a time to nourish and strengthen your body in preparation for the Winter months ahead. When we live in harmony with the seasons we feel more balanced and well. In traditional Chinese medicine the Autumn season corresponds to the Metal Element, which governs the lungs, large intestine, mind and skin.

    Low immune system symptoms include:

    Frequent or chronic infections, such as colds, sore throats, viruses and yeast/fungal infections, frequent upset stomach, constant fatigue, lethargy, dark circles under the eyes, lack of concentration and motivation, a feeling of vulnerability and low mood.

    Stress, poor dietary habits and inadequate nutritional intake can have a impact on the immune system.

    Immune boosting foods:

  • Drink plenty of water (the most important tip) to hydrate and cleanse the body
  • Eat a hearty breakfast everyday (for example; porridge, eggs or other high protein foods)
  • Eat foods high in vitamin C, such as seasonal fruit and bright coloured vegetables
  • Eat foods high in zinc including eggs, seafood, sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds
  • Eat foods high in vitamin D including eggs, salmon, sardines, mackerel, dairy products. (we don’t get sufficient amounts from sunlight here in the UK between September to March)
  • Use fresh herbs, oregano and thyme
  • Add warming spices such as cinnamon and ginger to drinks and meals when it gets cold out.
  • Have probiotic and prebiotic foods such as live yogurt. kefir and sauerkraut. These help to maintain the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Your gut flora is the first line of defence of the immune system.

    Immune boosting supplements:

  • Manuka honey (great for the digestive system and sore throats too)
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Garlic capsules
  • Propolis
  • Medicinal Mushrooms such as Reishi or Maitake
  • Vitamin D3
  • Probiotics (for gut flora)

    There are also a number of different herbs and specialised supplements. If you are feeling under par, get yourself back on track with an immune boosting holistic nutrition consultation/program.

    This article is for information purposes only, please consult your doctor/ health practitioner if you are pregnant or have any health concerns, before making changes to your diet or taking health supplements.

  • Blog. Flower Healing

    My favourite Flower Remedies for stress

    I have a special interest in natural healing strategies that are gentle on the body, mind and soul. I have found that Flower Essences can be very helpful with managing overwhelm and stress, that can come with being naturally sensitive.

    Flower Essences have a natural balancing effect – they can be used successfully to help manage difficult emotions, calm stress, and dissolve energy blocks. When a remedy is taken, it enhances one's life force, vitality and potential for healing. 

    Here are some of my favourite Essence Combinations you can safely try out at home: 

    - Australian Bush Flower Essence Combination - Calm and Clear
    Helps you find time for yourself, to relax without external pressures and demands, to wind down and enjoy relaxing pursuits.

    - Australian Bush Flower Essence Combination Emergency Essence 
    Helps you ease stress, panic and fear. Can give comfort, calm and greater ability to cope in stressful situations. 

    - Healing Herbs Bach Flower Essences
    Five Flower Essence

    Helps in distress and emotionally upsetting moments.

    - Alaskan Essences Spray Mist
    Calling all Angels
    For enhancing energy, hope, joy and love – also great for space clearing.

    - Alaskan Essences Spray Mist
    Soul Support

    For recovery, restoration and transformation. Helps with stress, fear, shock and trauma - also great for creating a safe space.

    For details on where to purchase flower essences and for information on Personalised Flower Essence Therapy consultations please email me.

    Blog. Food Plater

    How to resolve food sensitivities Part 1

    The body has an incredible capacity to heal itself, given the right conditions. Food sensitivities and allergies are no exception.

    Getting to the root causes

    If you are lacking vital nutrients, such as micro minerals, amino acids and omega fatty acids, this can dramatically reduce your ability to heal and improve your health. Imbalances such as chronic dehydration, low digestive enzymes, nutritional shortfalls in the diet, gut flora imbalances, leaky gut syndrome and adrenal stress are common factors underlying allergies and food sensitivities. True lasting health is achieved by treating these root causes and creating the inner environment for the body to heal. For many people the digestive system holds the key to resolving food sensitivities and allergies.

    Digestive health

    Food sensitivities and allergies can develop due a compromised digestive system. The digestive system contains more immune cells and produces more antibodies than any other area in the body. 'Leaky gut' is one imbalance that can play a part in the development of food sensitivities and allergies.

    Leaky gut

    The gut lining is a highly selective barrier that allows essential nutrients and digested foods into the bloodstream while protecting us from harmful toxins, bacteria and incompletely digested foods. The term 'leaky gut' is used by nutritional therapists to explain what happens when the gut lining starts to lose its integrity and become more permeable thus allowing more undigested foods and toxins to pass through. The passage of larger food particles through the gut barrier into the bloodstream can trigger multiple complex immune responses, inflammation and food sensitivity symptoms. 'Leaky gut' can come about as a result of infections, long term antibiotics, low quality diet, excessive sugar intake, stress, anxiety. The good news is that leaky gut can be healed using a therapeutic diet and natural remedies.

    Bio-chemical individuality

    A health and nutrition plan which works well for one individual will not necessarily work for another with the same health complaint. This is because we are all bio-chemically different and have different lifestyles and needs. Whether your food sensitivities or allergies are as a result of digestive issues, leaky gut, adrenal stress, nutritional deficiencies or other causes, natural nutritional therapy and holistic coaching can help to highlight 'hidden' imbalances and find natural approaches to help your body to heal.

    For further information please contact me on

    This article is for information purposes only, please consult your doctor/ health practitioner if you are pregnant or have any health concerns, before making changes to your diet or taking health supplements.

    Blog. Summer Kick

    Want a flat tummy this summer?

    Nutritional tips on how to banish bloating

    Here are my top tips on how to reduce bloating and have the flat stomach that you want. Abdominal bloating is very common, in fact most of my clients complain of it when they first come to visit me.

    Bloating is often to do with inefficient digestion of food. If you are not breaking down and digesting your food properly it can cause fermentation in the gut. This fermentation creates lots of gas in your digestive system, hence the bloating.
    So what simple things can you do to digest your food better?

    1. Eating habits
    The first thing to do is to look at your eating habits in an honest way.
    Are you giving yourself enough time at meal times?
    Give yourself at least 10 minutes before and after eating a meal to sit and relax. It is best not to eat on the run if you want to avoid bloating.
    Are you chewing your food?
    Chewing is an essential part of the digestion process, give yourself plenty of time to chew.

    2. Dehydration
    If you are dehydrated you may not be producing and secreting the quantity of digestive juices needed for the digestive process. Many people are chronically dehydrated. Drink approximately 1 ½ litres or more of filtered pure still water a day. If you notice you are dehydrated before eating you may want to have a glass or two of water, and then wait 10-20 minutes to allow the water to go down, before you eat. In contrast, drinking too much fluid straight after a meal can dilute your digestive enzymes and cause additional bloating.

    3. Digestive enzymes
    Taking digestive enzyme supplements (such as Udo’s Choice Ultimate Digestive Enzyme Blend or papaya enzymes) can help. These are made from natural plant enzymes. Some people get a lot of benefit from taking these supplements with their main meals or with large heavy meals. You may not be producing enough digestive enzymes if you are lacking certain vitamins and minerals, or are dealing with stress. Drinking enough water and eating plenty of alkalizing foods can help the production of enzymes. All vegetables and particularly green foods are alkalizing. Do not take digestive enzymes supplements if you have gastritis or ulcers, check first with your doctor if you have any digestive health problems.

    4. Probiotics
    Fermentation and gas is produced and exacerbated by an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeasts in the gut. Taking a good quality Probiotic supplement to increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut can help to reduce bloating.

    In addition cut down on sugar rich foods which feed bad bacteria and yeasts. This includes refined carbohydrate foods such as biscuits and white flour products. An imbalanced gut flora can also come about due to constipation, stress and antibiotic use.

    2. Prevent constipation
    Here are a few tips if you are prone to constipation:
    Increase soluble fibres from vegetables and fruit (not wheat bran) in your diet.
    Soak 1 teaspoon of linseeds/flax overnight in a small amount of water and take it before your breakfast.
    Increase green leafy vegetables and sunflower seeds for adequate magnesium in your diet. Magnesium helps gut muscle function for efficient gut motility.
    Drink plenty of water.

    3. Food sensitivities
    Food sensitivities can be a cause of bloating and many other health issues. Symptoms can appear up to 48 hours after eating a food, so it can be tricky to pinpoint what the culprit food is. Common food intolerances are wheat, dairy, yeast, sugar and soya.

    Also watch out for artificial sweeteners (in diet drinks and food) and additives such as monosodium glutamate (found in many crisps and savoury snacks these days) as these can play havoc with the digestive system.

    4. Food combining
    Eat fruit on its own away from meals (or with nuts and yogurt) but not straight after a meal as this can cause extra fermentation.

    Eating starchy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and rice in combination with animal protein such as meat and fish can, in some people, cause bloating. If you are one of these people try not to eat this combination in the evening, which is when your digestive fire is low. Instead of bread, pasta and rice, have plenty of vegetables, root vegetables and salad with your protein meals.

    5. Detoxify
    Consider doing a detox diet for a few days to cleanse your liver and digestive system.

    6. Herbs
    There are many herbs that can help bloating and the underlying causes. Drink herbal teas such as peppermint and fennel, or contact me, or a qualified medical herbalist, for further advice.

    7. Nutritional assessment
    If you have digestive issues, a natural nutritional therapy session/program can help you identify your specific nutritional needs. This is a fast track way to get back into balance and enjoy your full health potential.

    Please contact me for further information or to book a session:

    This article is for information purposes only, please consult your doctor/ health practitioner if you are pregnant or have any health concerns, before making changes to your diet or taking health supplements.

    Flower Remedies for sugar cravings and balancing emotions

    Bach Flower Essence: Walnut
    This flower essence is a spell breaker. It helps you to make a healthy transition and give you the courage to follow your own path in life.

    Australian Bush Flower Essences: Purifying
    This flower essence helps release and clear emotional debris, so that you can feel light, spring cleaned and able to make healthy choices.

    Blog. study

    Book Review

    I am writing this on World Book Day. I thought I would quickly share about a book I have read very recently that I’ve found inspiring.

    If you are a sensitive person you might find holistic psychologist, Krya Mesich’s book interesting and helpful:

    The Strength of Sensitivity: Understanding Empathy for a Life of Emotional Peace & Balance

    This is a book, as a holistic wellbeing practitioner, I wish I had written myself. I particularly resonated with her experience of using Flower Essences for herself and clients. Yarrow is her favourite Flower Essence. It provides profound support for naturally sensitive people. Some of the benefits her clients and workshop participants have reported after taking Yarrow Flower Essence include:

    - Feeling less overwhelmed in general
    - Improved clarity about empathic emotions, knowing what is their own and what is not their own
    - Feeling less annoyed with things that used to bother them (noise sensitivity or other sensitivities).

    As well as a practical introduction on how to use Flower Remedies, her book redefines sensitivity in way that is empowering, and offers useful guided meditations, and other helpful techniques and insights.

    On the same theme, you may be interested in Elaine N. Aron's classic book the Highly Sensitive Person (How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You) which explores her life's work as a research psychologist on the topic. She estimates that 15- 20% of the population (1 in 5 people) are born naturally sensitive, and discusses the advantages and potential challenges of having this trait, and offers new perspectives. On her website and in her book she has an easy self-test to find out if you are a Highly Sensitive Person.

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