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    How I healed 12 years of terrible skin...

    How I healed 12 years of terrible skin...

    I must’ve invented my first recipe when I just turned 14 years old, but it wasn’t delicious. It didn’t get better with age. It was rather unsightly too. It also caused much pain for years to come, but at the same time, it was the recipe that made me.

    This recipe involved a combination of teenage hormones, stress in my body caused by a near fatal car crash and a morphine overload pumped into me at the hospital, which I turned out to be severely allergic to…

    What I got was an entire back full of hideous, giant, repulsive acne, which I was too freaked out to lay a finger on myself, let alone have anyone know the real reason I preferred to sunbathe only my front or why I loved long sleeved dresses so much even in scorching hot weather or why I needed a sick-day as soon as the school announced a swimming event.

    It was hard enough being a teenager, but having to hide was pretty damn depressing.

    Eventually I learned to come to terms with what I thankfully didn’t need to look at, as it was going on behind me. I simply figured that it is what it is and it’s never going to go so I’ll just plan my life, my road trips, holidays, sports I played and even friends I spent time with- around how easy it is to hide my back.

    This went on for many many years. And then I discovered raw food!!

    Waamp waamp waaaaamp…

    You thought I’d have something new to share, right? Aha- that I do, and I want to tell you my secret in person!

    I’ll be doing just that at 2 epic events this May…

    MBS workshop Tanya MaherTOPIC | Detoxing the fun way (my talk and demo all about how to cleanse naturally)
    LOCATION |  Mind Body Spirit Festival at Olympia London
    TIME | 1pm-2:45pm, Monday Bank Hol 2nd May
    FEE | £15, limited seating, book here>>events tanyas talks

    TOPIC | Sexy Glowing Skin (skin expert panel revealing their top tips and secrets)
    LOCATION | Tanya’s at MY Chelsea
    TIME | 7pm-9pm, Monday 9th May
    FEE | £25, includes green juice, limited seating, book here>>


    Really hope I’ll see you at one or both of the events! They are both very different and will be jam packed with incredible eye opening info on what is going on inside your body, what is causing the issues and how to clear them (and your skin) for good.

    My own secret, which I’m going to reveal to you is so good, I usually save it for my retreat attendees only. This time I decided to share it in my classes too, since this year’s retreat is still under question…. but if for some reason you can’t make it or live too far away, let me know in the comments below that you’re keen to read about how I healed 12 years worth of awful skin. If there’s enough interest, I promise to write a post for you guys!

    Master of The Month | Mel Wells | Raw Chocolate Goji Berry Brownies Recipe

    Master of The Month | Mel Wells | Raw Chocolate Goji Berry Brownies Recipe

    I met Mel at a Hay House bloggers event, just before my book ‘The Uncook Book‘ was published and when her own book ‘The Goddess Revolution‘ was still only a dream.

    Today, we don’t only share the great honour of belonging to the Hay House family, we share a massive vision for a brighter, more vibrant, greener, kinder planet via inspiring others to be kinder to themselves. And Mel does this impressively well, every single day…

    She helps women worldwide quit dieting and finally end the war on their bodies through an abundance mindset and practicing true self love. She does this through her website, social media and an online academy. If you ever do get the chance to meet her in person at one of her retreats, I would seize the opportunity, if only to see for yourself how happy, joyful, beautiful and lovable you can be when you are as loving, sweet, kind, friendly and non-judgemental, as Mel is to herself and to everyone around her.

    Meet our April’s Master of the Month…

    mel wells - credit to caroline white2


    No matter what I choose to eat or drink, I always start by listening to my body and make my food choices accordingly. Sometimes I’ll fancy avo-toast for breakfast, sometimes it will be my sweet Sunday pancakes and sometimes I’ll just have some green juice!

    For lunch I might have a salad or eat out – there are so many great healthy restaurants in London now and then for dinner I might have my Green Goddess bowl of love or a thai green curry. I love to batch cook my main meals so dinner one night will often be lunch the next day too.


    My biggest inspiration has always been my Dad. I started researching diet and wellness when he was diagnosed with cancer, and that was the catalyst for everything I’ve done since, including becoming a health coach. I have also been hugely motivated and inspired by T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study, and the work of Kris Carr. She’s amazing!


    I think my biggest weakness is my schedule! I have an amazing but super busy schedule, and often it’s just too tempting to overeat in case I don’t have time to eat later or to get too engrossed in work and then skip food altogether! I have to actively remind myself to pause and give myself the time to sit and enjoy a meal. I drink a lot of green juice and smoothies on the go though which keeps me feeling nourished all day.


    Improving your diet is… focus on crowding in good things, rather than cutting out ‘bad’ things.

    Staying healthy while travelling is… to plan ahead and research healthy restaurants to visit! I spent 6 weeks city hopping in the USA last year, and loved exploring all the different healthy spots.

    Detoxing is… super important but easily used as a way to crash diet. To be done mindfully!

    Immunising is… much more effective when you have less meat and dairy in your diet, less processed foods, and more raw foods, more plants and more whole foods.


    The best compliments I receive are when a client tells me that the work I do has changed her life for the better. I could not wish for anything more and there is nothing more fulfilling than knowing that what you are doing is making a difference.


    I’d love to be remembered as being a force for good in the diet industry, and a change-maker. I hope to inspire thousands of women to ditch dieting for good and find true food and body freedom for life.


    From my kitchen it would have to be my Sage Juicer. Totally adore it. From my garden it would be my herb plants, for summer salads and from my bookshelf it would be….a notebook! I am constantly scribbling down notes and making lists – I would be lost without a notebook!


    My Dad

    Kris Carr – my biggest foodie inspiration

    Marie Forleo – my biggest business inspiration


    Quite simply for how it makes you feel! Your body is so clever and will always tell you what works and what doesn’t, some way or another. The body works better when it’s fuelled with more plants, more raw foods – you will have lasting energy, sleep better, better digestion, and lower risks of getting ill. Plus you are contributing to making our planet a healthier place for us all to live in. It’s a win win.


    Our Master of The Month shares her favourite raw food recipe…




    The Ingredients

    4 cups pitted dates
    4 cups walnuts
    1 cup raw cacao powder
    1 cup goji berries
    1 cup pumpkin seeds
    2 Tbsp coconut oil
    1 large avocado
    2 Tbsp Agave Nectar


    The How

    Blend the walnuts and raw cacao together in a food processor. Add the dates in, and keep blending, a few at a time.
    Add in the avocado, coconut oil, and agave, and continue to blend.
    Transfer to a mixing bowl, and add in the goji berries and pumpkin seeds to the mix, striring with a wooden spoon so they are well distributed.
    Line a cake tin or deep set baking tray with parchment paper – and fill the mix into the tray. Using the wooden spoon, press the mix into the tray so it is spread out and level.
    Freeze the tray for 1 hour.
    Cut into brownie pieces and serve to your guests!


    For more on Mel Wells, go to  www.thegreengoddesslife.com

    a surprising way to immunise naturally | by joanna scott-lutyens

    a surprising way to immunise naturally | by joanna scott-lutyens


    (A guest post by Joanna Scott-Lutyens of NutriEssence)

    When you feel that dreaded scratchy throat, vice-like headache or sudden endless sneezing, you know it is typically the onset of a cold or flu. Although guzzling a bunch of vitamin C might seem like the best way to boost your immune system at this time this rarely has the effect of changing the course of the illness, which often leads you to submit to it with a sigh of resignation. You might even reach for cold and flu tablets to ease the symptoms knowing that it will be a battle with every day life for a few days or weeks and you can use all the help you can get.

    But what if these symptoms didn’t make a cold or flu inevitable? What if there was another way to support your immune system that didn’t require eating a bag of oranges every day? Would you be interested to find out more?

    I’d like to introduce you to your glorious gut bacteria!

    Your gut and immunity are in fact inextricably linked. About 70% of your immune system is actually based in your digestive system, and the gut mucosa connects with a large collection of immune cells in the body. These come from what is known as the lymphoid system and are bundles of cells known as Peyer’s patches which work to protect the membranes of the small intestine from infections. They do this by releasing white blood cells known as T cells and B cells to defend from infection. These protect the gut from infection but they also migrate through to the lymphatic system preparing the whole body for an immune attack against a pathogen.

    Although your digestive system’s main role is to digest and absorb your food it also has a major role in defence. Have you ever considered that your gut is actually on the outside of your body? If you think about it you are actually open from top to bottom (literally) making your digestive system very vulnerable to attack from the outside.

    Other than the specialized immune cells, our friendly bacteria are absolutely vital to protecting our gut walls. When we take probiotics they travel to our gut and adhere to the gut wall and grow in numbers. These little bacteria are like soldiers protecting their fort wall and stopping any pathogen or infections from being absorbed into our blood stream. Sometimes called the ‘barrier effect’, this is a huge part of our immune system, and one we don’t really think of.

    As well as this is the nutritional side of immunity. More and more of us are becoming increasingly aware of how important our food is. That is fantastic news, but in order to optimise the use of these wonderful nutrients we need to be absorbing them. The correct function of the gut wall is vital for overall digestion and absorption of foods and again probiotics have a fundamental role in this. Optimised absorption of nutrients is essential for a strong immunity (you can check out the research here).

    So all of this sounds wonderful but is there any clinical evidence for this? The answer is yes. One meta-analysis1 found that the average duration of winter illness, and the number of days spent absent from work, were significantly reduced by taking a probiotic, compared to placebo.

    Another trial2 looked at immune function in professional rugby players. It was found that the group of players who took a probiotic suffered approximately 40% fewer colds and gastrointestinal infections compared to those who didn’t.

    So there are several studies highlighting the value of probiotics for keeping our cold and flu tablet bill down but how do we know which ones to buy? Well, the strain of the probiotic is very important. Different probiotics have different characteristics and are particularly beneficial for different things. In-vitro trials3 to investigate which probiotic strains were especially effective at combating food-borne bugs, found the strains L. acidiphilus UBLA-34 and B. longum UBBL-64 had excellent ability to inhibit Listeria, Yersina as well as a good ability to inhibit E. Coli and Salmonella. These strains of probiotic can be found in OptiBac Probiotics ‘For daily immunity’ (my preferred probiotic).

    In another studywhich was run in the winter season, 326 children were randomly given a placebo or the probiotic strains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® in combination with Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07. Their immunity was monitored and it was concluded that these strains in combination were an effective way to reduce colds, coughs and fever as well as time off school in children between children aged 3-5. These strains can be found in OptiBac Probiotics ‘For every day EXTRA Strength’ which is also a good probiotic for support with more challenging digestive issues.

    Want more confirmation that gut bacteria influence your immunity? Remember the last time you were stressed for a while? Did you come down with a cough or a virus you just couldn’t shake off? Stress is known to wreck havoc with gut bacteria, destroying the delicate balance of your microbiota and can be seen in how stress affects your ability to stave off bugs. Some people often get an upset tummy just before they come down with a cold or flu; another indicator that your gut is linked to your health. Antibiotics are also known to destroy not just bad bacteria but healthy bacteria too. It therefore follows that people often suffer from a bout of ill health following a course of antibiotics, again because the gut microbiota, and therefore the immune system is being compromised. These connections again underlie how inextricably connected your gut and immunity is, and therefore the importance of this surprising way to boost your immunity naturally.

    It’s never too late to start looking after yourself with these little bacteria.


    or more from Joanna Scott-Lutyens , passionate advocate of nutrition for wellbeing, nutritional therapist and founder of NutriEssence, visit www.nutriessence.co.uk and connect with her on Facebook @NutriEssence

    To find out more about the probiotics that Joanna recommends check out OptiBac



    1.Sarah King et al (2014) Effectiveness of probiotics on the duration of illness in healthy children and adults who develop common acute respiratory infectious conditions: a systematic review and meta-analysis.British Journal of Nutrition. July 2014; 112(1): 41–54.

    2.Haywood, Brylee A. et al. (2012) Probiotic supplementation reduces the duration and incidence of infections but not severity in elite rugby union players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport , Volume 17 , Issue 4 , 356 – 360

    1. Laboratory analysis, Unique Biotech Limited, Hyderabad

    4.Leyer GJ, et al. (2009) Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidences and duration in children. Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Vol. 124, pp. 172-179

    What's in my pantry

    What's in my pantry

    When you are new to uncooking, not much looks or sounds familiar, and that’s ok- you were once new to cooking too. However as you skim through this list, you’ll notice that not only do you already recognise all the food groups, but that there are more of them than you originally thought.

    Raw foods are abundant in variety. Let this excite you rather than overwhelm you.

    There’s no need to spend a fortune- it’s all about stocking up a little at a time. Begin by adding 2-3 of the below items to your weekly grocery list and you’ll be equipped to make anything in the raw world… certainly anything in The Uncook Book: The Essential Guide to a Raw Food Lifestyle (UK or US).

    Yep your shopping list for the entire 146 recipes is below!

    If you’ve been reading the blog for some time, you’d know that I try my best to stick to the ingredients easily found either in a supermarket or your nearest health store, nothing too crazy. The Uncook Book was created exactly the same way.*


    Lemons, limes, avocados, apples, oranges, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe/rock melon, pineapple, berries (fresh and frozen), pears, kiwifruits, nectarines, passionfruit, grapefruit, grapes, papaya, figs, coconut (both mature brown and young green, which are mistakenly categorised as nuts).


    Courgette/zucchini, celery, carrot, beetroot, sweet potato, mushrooms (oyster, button, chestnut, portabella, shiitake), asparagus, fennel, sweet corn (fresh, frozen and baby corn), popped garden peas, snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, parsnip, Jerusalem artichokes, butternut squash or pumpkin, and of course tomato, cucumber, aubergine and bell peppers (which are all fruits, but found in supermarket vegetable aisle).


    Kale, cavolo nero, spinach, Romaine lettuce, chicory lettuce, watercress, rocket/arugula.


    Mint, basil, parsley, thyme, coriander, dill, green onion, chives, rosemary, snow pea and sunflower shoots, edible flowers (fresh and dried pansies or rose petals), micro greens.


    Nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, pistachios), seeds (sunflower, chia, sesame, pumpkin, poppy, hemp seeds (both hulled and in shell) plus buckwheat and quinoa (both of which are mistaken for grains)).


    Rolled oats (buy ready sprouted porridge oats), sprouted mixed beans and lentils, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts.


    Wakame, dulse, nori, kelp noodles, spirulina and chlorella.


    Himalayan salt, peppercorns, garlic (fresh and powder), onion (fresh white and red onions, scallions and onion powder), ginger (fresh and powder), turmeric, cumin, garam masala, paprika (plain and sweet smoked powder), cayenne, chili (fresh, powder and flakes), winter spices (cinnamon powder and sticks, nutmeg, coriander, star anise, cardamom), mixed Italian and other dried spices (dried basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, dill, rosemary, sage), caraway seeds, wasabi powder, Dijon mustard, vanilla (pod, extract and powder).


    Extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, toasted sesame oil (not raw, but so good, you’ll eat way more healthy salad with a dash of this), other (caster oil, hemp or flax seed oil), raw tahini, almond butter, coconut butter, peanut butter (not raw, use only occasionally), cashew/macadamia butter, canned coconut milk (not raw, buy only organic with no additives).


    Tamari or nama shoyu (both are fermented soy sauces), Bragg’s liquid aminos, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, miso paste (sweet white and dark), nutritional yeast (buy fortified with vitamin B12), sun-dried tomatoes (preferably preserved in salt, but look for quality oil if in oil), olives, tabasco sauce.


    Dried fruits (pitted dates, medjool dates, raisins, apricots, pineapple, goji berries, mulberries, golden berries, and desiccated coconut), maple syrup (not raw, but contains minerals and beautiful flavour), agave (highly controversial, so make sure you know your source), raw honey (minimum of UMF 10+ is best), coconut palm sugar, xylitol, freeze-dried strawberries (or powder), yacon syrup and liquid stevia.


    Cacao (powder, butter, paste/liquor and nibs), matcha green tea powder, lucuma, maca, bee pollen, acai (powder and pulp), medicinal mushrooms (cordyceps, chaga, reishi), carob, algarroba and baobab.


    Dairy free probiotic capsules, Medicine Flower extracts (coffee, butterscotch or caramel), peppermint essential oil, coffee beans, Assam tea leaves (or English breakfast tea bags), coconut flour (or buckwheat flour), kombucha and rice papers.


    *Tanya’s Top Tips:
    #1. The further down the list you get, the more likely these foods are to be found at a health store, not a supermarket. Also check out the Resources section on page 189 for ideas on where I shop, or see some of them here>>
    #2. The foods within each category are listed in order of popularity in my kitchen.
    #3. Always buy nuts and seeds in bulk and store them in the freezer, where they could stay fresh for up to three years.

    On Sri Lanka, feeling like a failure and the best remedy for a cold

    On Sri Lanka, feeling like a failure and the best remedy for a cold

    sri lanka better raw travels

    Today marks one week since we returned from our Sri Lankan adventures.

    This destination has been on our list of places to visit for a long time (anything with tropical fruit for me and surfing for Elliot is on that list), but there was always something- either wedding planning, opening of Tanya’s, retreat in Ecuador or The Uncook Book deadline- which made it impossible for us to get away for more than 3 consecutive days.

    The baby wasn’t going to be a reason though.

    We decided early on that we’d have a travelling family and that our children would grow up learning about different cultures, foods and adventure. Why not start when they are still inside you, right?

    So at six months of pregnancy, a big growing bump and really the final month I’d be covered by insurance while flying, we finally took off for the honeymoon that was 18 months overdue. I learned a new word: babymoon!

    tanya maher pregnancy

    [Sri Lanka was magical and there is soooo much I can write about it, but I’ve already posted a daily highlight on Better Raw social channels and if you are on Instagram, I even tagged all the locations we stopped at. Just look up the hashtag #BetterRawTravels to follow along].

    Then after 10 blissful days of swimming, tanning, eating and relaxing like champions, I wake up aching all over, throat too sore to speak, nose too blocked up to breathe and eyes so watery, we had to head for the airport with my sarong instead of a hanky.

    In complete denial that I may have my first cold after 7 whole years of doing the proud raw food walk and intuitive eating, we landed back in London and I headed straight for my speaking appearance at a NZ Business Women’s Network event held at Tanya’s.

    That was last Monday and then on Tuesday I attended a bunch of meetings regarding the cafe and our recent pop-up in Selfridges, a preggie hospital check-up and even a magazine interview.

    By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was well and truly lacking all sense of desire, getting out of bed was suddenly the most tedious chore and worst of all, I was feeling so deeply sad and down, I couldn’t recognise the person experiencing any of this.

    Could this be post-holiday blues?

    Surely not, I felt so satisfied with this much-needed break and I truly looked forward to getting back to work and applying all the awesome ideas to my business which came up in Sri Lanka. And I’m also one of those super lucky/weird people that doesn’t experience jet lag.

    Could this be pregnancy blues?

    I doubt that, I’m loving every single day of being pregnant, the tiny ninja-turtle-alien dancing and bouncing inside me, observing how she reacts to various voices, the light and the positions I’m sitting or laying in, I’m loving how good my skin feels, how rarely my hair gets oily these days, how fast I tan, how full my breasts feel, how much energy I have, how peaceful I am and how natural it feels to be feeding and growing a happy little miracle.

    Then what could be making me so deeply sad?

    I couldn’t make sense of my own feelings and after various attempts to cheer myself up either with an uplifting film, feel-good-quotes, a cup of hot melted raw chocolate, switching off all wifi devices, bonding with the cutest little reptile, going for a walk to breathe in my favourite time of the year or taking a bath full of healing oils and herbs, it wasn’t until I sat down to meditate, when the answer landed on my head like a brick!

    I didn’t like the answer, but at the end of the day ‘the truth will set you free’ and my truth was simple: I am sick. I used to proudly stand up in my classes, demos or talks and tell everyone that if they ate like me, they too will stay immunised. And now I am sick. I failed.

    Ouch. That brick is going to leave a bruise.

    It’s a pretty shitty realisation to be feeling like a complete failure at what you supposedly do best.

    But I know better. I know that the toughest job of getting out of your slump is to work out what the cause is, because a problem well defined is a problem half solved. Then once you work it out, the next step is not to turn your back on it but to acknowledge your feelings and to properly ‘feel’ them out, to let yourself get as low as those feelings will take you and to stay in that space until you have no more tears to cry and nothing else left to feel.

    That’s the power of release.

    No bottling anything in, because it’s when you hold on to negativity that it might eat at you like slow-releasing poison, breaking you down like acid.

    It’s the most liberating experience that will stretch beyond your own imagination. It’s also the moment, you will know what to do next. It’s not the step to be missed because the process itself is a divine intervention and only when you surrender to the truth, that you are able to hear guidance so clearly, your whole world becomes an effortless playground.

    In my case, when the time was right, I got up, walked into the kitchen, opened up the cupboards and after going through stashes of herbs and remedies which I’ve been saving up for a ‘rainy day’ like this, I was guided to the only thing that my body must’ve been needing at the time: Cinnamon oil.

    The very next day I was well again.

    cinnamon tree and bark

    So I wanted to share with you my top 3 remedies and how to apply them next time you have a nasty cold or a flu, but hopefully before they even get a chance to develop, because…



    What helped me rid of my full blown cold also happens to be something I bought in Sri Lanka, as if the angels told me I’m going to need it in a few days. There are many places you can buy it online, just make sure it’s top quality, for example Young Living brand. Cinnamon oil promotes healthy cardiovascular and immune function, relieves symptoms of sore throats, colds and congestion and is an excellent antibacterial and anti fungal agent, great for treating infections or supporting you during detox. It’s very very strong to taste and may cause irritation for some, so I’d urge you to use it with caution, however what worked for me was putting a drop into my hot herbal tea, adding slices of ginger and dried cinnamon bark to this infusion, then deeply breathing in the aromatic steam before taking each sip.


    This remedy has been a favourite of my entire family’s and something I would’ve definitely gone for this time to help with my cold if I only had it at home. As you’ve heard, I haven’t been ill for many years so I stopped buying it a while back. What it is is a pure extraction from olive leaves and you just swallow it by the dessert spoonful straight up or diluted in cooled down herbal tea or freshly made juice. It’s a potent liquid tonic, absolutely packed with antioxidants and contains 5 times the antioxidant activity of Vitamin C and 30 times the polyphonic content of extra virgin olive oil, which fight free radicals and help destroy bad bacteria. My trusted brand is a New Zealand company called Comvita, but you can find Olive Leaf Extract is produced by many others.


    These two key superfoods, particularly when taken together, are truly a God-send. We always tend to have them at home, because whenever I feel that my body is working hard to fight something or Elliot feels a bit under the weather, we mix a heaping tablespoon of Bee Pollen with a tablespoon of Camu Camu and chew this powdery mix with a cup of herbal tea. Usually once or twice is enough to wake up the next day feeling back to normal. Bee Pollen is a complete superfood, packed with amino acids and trace minerals, while Camu Camu is a sour berry containing the highest amount of vitamin C in comparison to any natural plant food. You can find both on DetoxYourWorld.com or many other online superfood stores and physical health shops.


    Have the best healthiest week!