The new winter issue of HEALTHY magazine (at Holland & Barrett) is out now, and I’ve shared a few favourite comforting, nourishing beauty and health picks for this season’s shorter days and longer nights (including Weleda, Tisserand, Yes To… and Pulsin’).


It’s so important to keep our spirits and energy up over winter’s sometimes cheerless months. November is a great month for a balance of hibernation and socialising, reinforcing your immune system and (for once and for all?) seriously improving your sleep (hours and quality). Sleep is the ultimate luxury and so critical for good health yet so many of us abuse it, with potentially serious ramifications.

We need ample, good sleep for autophagy  – this is when our body cleanses itself, literally consuming dead, diseased or worn out cells to make better new ones. Autophagy (from the Greek words for “auto/self” and “eating”) can help stop cancerous growths before they’re out of control, control inflammation and immunity and it’s a key to slowing ageing (and brain health). Sleep, fasting, exercise and ketosis all boost the autophagy process.

In the new Dec/Jan 19 edition of HEALTHY mag, chef Gizzi Erskine shares her struggle with anxiety, two experts debate whether Christmas is a stressful countdown fraught with family clashes – or a time of good cheer, and there’s a piece on how to find joy and peace in the darker months (a must-read if you’re a “summer, spring or autumn” person like me – anything but winter!).

I’ve shared my snow season comforts & joys in HEALTHY mag on p.61 and don’t miss the feature on recognising burn out. With most of us looking forward to some extra days off and longer lie-ins over the holidays, it’s a wonderful time to catch up in person (not digitally!!) with those we love, haven’t seen for a while – and in quieter moments, maybe do a life review, too?


Weleda’s Rosemary Bath Milk

…a head-clearing Friday night tonic after a really mad week

Much as I am not a fan of winter generally, it invites us to go deep inside on quieter, candle-lit evenings and ask important questions like “What really matters?”, “What’s my real purpose?”, “What should I keep, what should I let go of?”,  “What do I really want?” – what you leave out is as important as what you leave in. Eliminating negatives can is the ultimate cleanse  whether they’re people who steal your joy, grind you down and sap your energy, or the dodgy ingredients in your winter berry lipstick.

Nourish, recalibrate, reflect and rejoice…because whatever happened this year, there are still things to be grateful for and the beauty of it all is, the more we remind ourselves, the better it is for our heart, mindset and health overall.  Gratitude is a positive snowball, the more you express it, the greater it becomes. And as I mentioned in the HEALTHY mag feature, choosing organic/clean food and beauty is a form of self-respect – and respect for the planet we inhabit while we’re here.

“Now” is a brilliant time to start something healing, nurturing, rebalancing…whether it’s figuring out how to get better sleep, cool down the stress that’s been wearing you thin.

Introduce a few extra healthy swaps – herbal tea instead of builder’s tea, less time glued aimlessly to the internet, more time outside in nature.

Winter’s long dark nights offer more time for music, cooking, reading or reflection (or that evasive ultimate luxury, sleep!) The simple joys…burning a “modern Noel” essential oil like Tisserand’s Total De-Stress blend, which I thought would be classically lavender-based but it’s full of calm and cheer in a deliciously joyful blend of bright orange, grounding geranium and holiday season nutmeg. This blend really takes stress down a lot of notches, and I so love it – it’s very Christmas, but with a modern twist.

Scenting pine cones with spruce essential oil, weaving a winter wreath (I love year-round wreaths, not just holly berries at Christmas), taking your zero waste game up a couple of notches, giving away clothes you haven’t touched for months, volunteering, visiting someone elderly and lonely, experimenting with healthy Christmas recipes, adopting a dog, starting that book you want to read (or write?), designing next summer’s garden, transforming a loft or small space at home into a corner office…

Summer’s long, languid days are but a memory but it’s not long till the days get longer. Till then, winter has a magic all her own to be enjoyed…crisp walks followed by a cup of tea at the kitchen table, a surprise morning winter wonderland after the first overnight snowfall.

More time to nourish ourselves and others, give thanks, give back, to rest and recalibrate and overdose on candles and sofa-fireplace evenings.

However you’re spending yours, have a cosy, joyful, healthy and fruitful November! x




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