Autumn, the month of mists and mellow fruitfulness is here and November – arguably – is one of the best months to really ramp up your health.  Before the chocolate onslaught of Christmas, pumpkin and mandarin season is nudging us to “eat orange” and make nourishing soups, before the whirl of winter bugs starts doing the rounds.

The best cure is prevention, as they say, but it’s never too late to take things up a notch.  There’s a lot we can do before winter seriously sets in, to improve immunity, things like sleep quality, our nutrition levels and cool down those stress levels.

Here are 5 ways to optimise your health this month, and a quick look at some 2019 Wellbeing Awards entries which we’ll be testing until mid January.  Both The 2019 Beauty Shortlist Awards and our inaugural 2019 Wellbeing Awards are now closed for entries but you’re warmly invited to join us on Friday 1 March for our annual all-day, all-night celebration when we’ll be honouring the winners! (Side note: this year is a record breaker, last week was the busiest week ever in the history of The Beauty Shortlist and on Friday afternoon at one point we were receiving 2-3 entries per minute).

I’m really looking forward to sharing some of the most useful health tips, resources and must-try recipes all this week on social media on Twitter and Instagram at @BeautyShortlist – starting tonight!   Feel free to tag me with any good tips and recipes, and I’ll try and RT them.




  1. MEDITATE – life-changing and so good early in the morning or just before sleep, meditation can be a game-changer. And GRATITUDE is up there. Simple things, like before you hit the pillow write down 5 things/people you are grateful for. One thing I say every day is: “I am so grateful and thankful for…”  I do it when I’m making tea, walking to the corner shop, on the bus, taking a 10 minute work break – whenever I remember, basically. When you make gratitude your “preset” things change for the better.
  2.  TIME FOR A PARASITE CLEANSE? – parasites can cause fatigue, foggy thinking, nausea, diarrhea, irritable bowel, skin rashes…the list goes on. Despite the stigma, parasites are a much more common problem that we’d like to think.  Doing a cleanse like this can also help issues like candida so check Dr. Josh Axe or Dr Jockers’ on YouTube/Google, both doctors outline effective protocols you can follow for a couple of weeks or more. You’ll definitely want to cut out sugar, even fruit, at first and be taking anti-parasitic supplements that contain the “big three” – wormwood, black walnut and clove.  Oregano oil can also be hugely helpful (also for dealing with minor infections), as is ACV (apple cider vinegar), a good, multiple-strain, high strength probiotic, lemons, raw garlic and onions.  And coconut oil.
  3. GET YOUR HEALTH INFORMATION FROM UP TO DATE SOURCES – information on sites like Cancer Research, The Alzheimers Society and the NHS are – sorry to say – light years behind the new research and functional medicine in my opinion, and I’ve been researching health (almost daily) for about 25 years. Why will there never be one pill that cures cancer or Alzheimers? Because there’s no money in it. Global pharma companies make billions more spewing out little white pills that often work more as “band aids” than real cures for these kinds of diseases. So, for cancer: Dr Jockers, Chris Wark (Chris Beat Cancer), Chris Woollams, Dr Josh Axe, Sayer Ji (check out the NOCIBO effect) and Ty Bollinger all have really excellent info for anyone dealing with cancer, while for Alzheimers, the days of “the long goodbye” may soon be over.  US neurologist (UCLA, The Buck Institute) Dr Dale Bredesen has now halted and in some cases reversed memory loss (this is in older patients with Alzheimers, not young-ish people with memory problems!) with his 36-point ReCODE protocol.  For more, see his book The End of Alzheimers (just published in French) on Amazon. Dr Bredesen’s protocol is being rolled out in the UK by Dr Rangan Chatterjee and in Australia by ReCODE practitioners trained in the Bredesen Protocol. Watch this space: just like cancer is no longer an automatic death sentence, Alzheimers will be the next treatable and preventable disease. Further proof is the proliferation of books – and nootropics and brain supplements – coming out on the topic of brain health.  Put another way, Aricept might slow down memory loss for months or even a year but it won’t reverse it. But a combination of lowering homocysteine levels (with B12), coconut oil, curcumin, magnesium, ashwaganda, ginko biloba, CoQ10, omega 3 oil, extra virgin olive oil, meditation, exercise and really good nutrition and of course brain exercises (learning new things is always good – e.g. a new language) may halt memory loss and actually improve it. In Dr Bredesen’s study, patients who could no longer drive started driving to work again, and Dr Mary Newport’s well documented coconut oil success (with her husband who had Alzheimers) is worth watching/reading. Also check out Dr Eric Berg, he’s a chiropractor and I think he’s streets ahead on natural healing and manages to explain some complex issues with refreshing clarity. You have to rebalance what’s off-kilter, go back to nature for nutrients and make it your mission to be well/get well/stay well and believe you absolutely can.
  4. SAYER JI – GREENMEDINFO.COM – If I could only cite one health website to do your research at (in addition to Chris Beat Cancer or The Hippocrates Institute) this would possibly be it.  Founder Sayer Ji’s Green Med Info has over 20,000 researched articles spanning everything from cancer to curcumin, from how blocking Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) exposure produces significant changes in 90% of patients with autoimmune disease, to why grounding (also called “earthing”) appears to be one of the simplest, yet most profound interventions for reducing cardiovascular risk.  The articles can be a bit heavy going at times, but this resource is incredible – kudos to Sayer Ji for creating it. I use Green Med Info a LOT.
  5. GET OUT INTO NATURE (MORE) – While there aren’t as many sunny or even just rain-free days as summer now, everyone knows getting out into nature is one of the best health tonics “out there”. Forests of falling leaves, stark corn fields with crows and twiglet trees kissed by the mist and a weak winter sun…the perfect prelude to a cosy cup of tea later. Even squeezing in two ten minute walks a day is a whole lot better than nothing. Something is a start. Nothing gets you nowhere.  Happy November!

2019 Beauty Shortlist Wellbeing Awards (Year 1)

Entries are now closed, but here are nine products we’ll either be testing soon or have already tried which fit beautifully with Wellbeing November!

The categories for our first ever health awards include:

Nutrition, healthy snacks, protein powders, supplements, tonics, health drinks, sleep, stress, energy, immunity, women’s supplements (hormone balancing), probiotics, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, CBD, HEV/Blue Light, brain health, skin health, anti-pollution and more.

Pulsin’ – I’ve not yet had a chance to inhale this Raw Chocolate Brownie but I can vouch for Pulsin’s Orange Choc Chip Protein Booster (I’d keep 10 of these in my bag if I could fit them in – they’re small, perfectly formed, cold-pressed, dairy-free, with 12g plant-based protein and so delicious!)

Renew Life – Digest More (not yet trialled)

Neurella – Nootropic supplement for cognitive function (vegan version).  Neurella arrived from New York (for the Wellbeing Awards) in September and I’ve been trialling it (it’s also being trialled by some testers with moderate-advanced memory loss). Formulated for better memory, focus, energy and brain health protection, it includes some of the key essentials in Dr Dale Bredesen’s ReCODE protocol: Vit B12, Huperzine-A, Citicoline, Ashwaganda, COQ10, Tumeric root extract, Dimethylglycine, Grape Skin Extract, Cacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola (good for the adrenals!), and Green Tea Leaf Extract.  I’ve noticed a marked improvement in focus, and the ability to concentrate for longer periods. A side effect has been a noticeable calmness even when up against deadlines or stressful news.  Obstacles seem easier to surmount, life “stuff” evaporates like water off a duck’s back. It’s almost “brain cooling” if you get my drift.  More clarity, more equanimity, more brain stamina, if you like…it’s still a work in progress with the official testing, but so far, so good.

Hello Day Natural and Seasonal Supplements “Autumn Box”. Hello Day’s branding is so cheerful! Haven’t tried these yet but the Autumn Box shows contains 4 food supplements to improve: hair, nails and skin…as well as supplements to boost energy and mood in what can be a difficult season for some as summer sails off and winter looms (e.g. me!).  The 4 are: Beauty Boost, Digestion Cleanse, Vitality Balance and Immunity Shield.

True Veda – Ashwaganda. I’ve tried this brand before and I love ashwaganda as a stress “bodyguard”. True Veda uses a premier root-only Ashwaganda extract which is reported to be three times as potent (as other brands’).

HealthSpan High Strength CBD Oil – There’s only one way for CBD, and that’s up. Canada legalised cannabis a few weeks ago and retailers are literally scrambling to keep up with demand with 3-day orders running 3 weeks late, etc.  North America is ahead of the UK on the CBD front – they’ve got CBD chocolate, CBD water, CBD lots of things but it’s starting to grow (ha!) over here.  “Best CBD Product” (and Brand) is one of our Wellbeing Awards categories so this is a trend to watch (along with hemp).

HempTouch Organic Skin Care – Hemp Ointment for Irritated Skin…yes speaking of hemp here’s another entry which we’ll be testing soon.

Super50 Pro – 50 billion live friendly bacteria from four strains (bifidobacterium lactis BI-04, bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus Acidophilus La-14 and Lactobacillus Plantarum Lp-115) are joined by Vit D3, calcium and B6 in this formula. Probiotics can help with IBS so if you’re suffering, add them to your protocol. By HealthSpan.

Ancient + Brave – Cacao + Collagen – first of all, kudos to Ancient + Brave for the branding, and their gorgeous looking website. I’ve already heard reports from trustworthy sources…apparently it’s a great-tasting hot chocolate drink with 2,000mg of True Collagen, adaptogen and antioxidant rich. Made with organic Peruvian chocolate, Himalayan Salts, baobab, ginseng, beetroot and cinnamon.  Not for the vegan team, however as it contains 20% grass fed bovine collagen.

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