On the 16th of October every year, World Food Day is celebrated.  It is dedicated to tackling and making people aware of the problem of hunger. Sadly this still exists today in many countries and according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been increasing since 2014.


Wasting less food is recommended to be one of the key ways of building a world free of hunger and so this month I’ve chosen a recipe which uses leftover chicken.


I hope you enjoy it.


Chicken and pumpkin laksa

(from: A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry)


Serves 4




450g pumpkin

2 bird’s eye chillies

2 lemon grass stalks

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

A good knob of coconut oil or 1 tbsp of another oil

Bunch of fresh  coriander

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime, or to taste

½ small onion sliced into thin wedges

600ml chicken stock

400ml can of coconut milk

2 tbsp of fish sauce, or to taste

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

75g dried rice noodles

250g cooked chicken, torn into pieces, you can add more if you have it

Big handful of baby spinach leaves

Handful of mint leaves, torn




Halve, deseed and peel the pumpkin. Then cut into chunks about 2.5cm square. Put these into a steamer and cook over boiling water for about 15 minutes.

Slit the chillies lengthwise (you can decide whether to remove the seeds or not (Diana doesn’t) and chop. Remove the tougher outer leaves of the lemon grass and roughly chop the paler hearts. Put the chillies, lemon grass, garlic and ginger into a small food processor (or a pestle and mortar) and whizz until you have a paste. If you’re using a food processor you might need to add a little oil to help it blend. Add the coriander stalks and half the leaves, both chopped, and the lime zest and blitz again.

Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently until it softens but is still pale in colour. Add the spice paste. Cook over a medium heat for a minute or two, until you can smell that the spices are no longer ‘raw’. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to just under the boil. Add the fish sauce and the tomatoes and simmer gently for about 7 minutes ( the tomatoes don’t have to get soft; they should keep their  shape.)

Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions.

Add the pumpkin, chicken and spinach to the laksa and allow the chicken and pumpkin to warm through thoroughly and the spinach to wilt. Finally stir in the rest of the coriander leaves, the mint and the lime juice. Taste for seasoning. Divide the noodles between four bowls and ladle the laksa on top.


Article provided by our Nutritionist, Nicky Seabrook












For October our blog focuses on massage and reflexology at the Centre, which are provided by Pat Miller, Donna Walker and Victoria Lily.

In this article Victoria gives us a brief introduction into both of these complementary therapies.


The term massage covers many different types of treatment, all of which involve the rubbing and kneading of soft tissues and muscles in the body.  This helps to promote healing and enhance the health and wellbeing of each person.

The therapists at WCHC practice various different types of massage treatment including sports massage, aromatherapy, deep tissue and ayurvedic treatments. When you come for your initial consultation the therapist will have a chat with you to determine how they can benefit you and which massage techniques will be best. Massage can be deeply relaxing and rejuvenating for both the body and mind.


Reflexology is a complementary health therapy based on the theory that there are many points on the feet, lower legs, hands, face and ears that relate to different areas of the body. It is thought that by applying pressure to these points, the relating point on the body can be re-balanced and made well.

Reflexology is usually practiced on the feet. Reflexologists work holistically with their clients to treat many different issues. Reflexology can be deeply relaxing and re-balancing for the body, creating a space for the body to be able to heal itself naturally.

Victoria Lily

If you’d like to know more about massage and reflexology at the centre you can click on the links to the relevant pages on our website or call us on 01394 388234.



Standing Forward Bend, Uttanasana

The art of the forward bend lies in bending from the hips, not the waist and this is achieved by mobility in the pelvis.  The more you are able to tilt the pelvis and extend the backs of the legs, the more easily you will find you can move into this posture.

This posture is shown in its final form and you can practice it gently to begin with.  Try extending your arms and placing your hands in front of you on a windowsill or table top and practice bending forward from the hips, keeping the arms straight.  This will encourage the stretch in the legs and the tilt in the pelvis while you remain safe and supported.


  • Improves mobility in the pelvis
  • Extends the backs of the legs
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Produces some of the benefits of an inverted posture, e.g. increasing blood flow to the head and neck
  • Improves digestion (though not straight after a heavy meal!)
  • Can help with depression and anxiety

How to do it

  • From a standing position raise your arms above your head, breathing in.
  • As you breathe out, bend forward from the hips and extend the arms away in front of you.
  • Place the hands on the thighs, shins or further down if you can.
  • Relax gently into the bend, allowing gravity to help you
  • Use each breath out to help you relax.
  • Don’t over do it – it’s better to start gently and improve slowly.
  • Bend the knees before coming back out of the posture.
  • Unroll out of the posture, keeping the spine soft and bringing your head up last.
  • Stand quietly before moving on to other postures.

Things to watch

  • If you have problems with your eyes or ears, lowering the head in this way is not advisable.
  • For those with high blood pressure, avoid staying upside down for more than a moment or two unless you are satisfied that this is OK for you.
  • Avoid locking the knees back.
  • If you have back problems, keep the knees slightly bent.

Link for more info: http://www.bwy.org.uk/yoga-postures/ – it’s the 5th posture on the list

Izzy Ixer

British Wheel of Yoga Dip Yoga Tutor and Coach

You can find out more about Izzy here and about yoga at the Centre here

Twitter @IzzyIxer or @IzzyYoga


Sag Gosht


Sag Gosht

This is a delicious, fairly mild, Indian curry using two anti-inflammatory spices: turmeric and ginger. I’ve chosen it for two reasons. Firstly, after an amazingly warm September the temperature is finally beginning to fall and if you have been out and about on the heath or in the woods or simply tidying up the garden; nothing beats having something warm and spicy to enjoy when you get back home. Secondly, it is high in a nutrient called Co Q10. This nutrient has for many years been recognised as essential for maintaining good energy levels but recent research is now linking it to a wider range of health concerns including male fertility, statin use and obesity.


Butter and olive oil for frying

2 medium onions finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp chilli powder

1 tblsp ground coriander seeds

1tsp ground mustard seeds

¾ -1kg braising or stewing steak diced

1 x 250g packet of frozen spinach thawed and dried by heating gently in a saucepan over low heat.

300g of natural yogurt



Heat a knob of butter and a tablespoon of oil together in a casserole dish. Add the onions, garlic and spices and fry gently for 5 minutes.

Add the meat and brown on all sides. Then add the spinach and gradually stir in half the yogurt.

Cover the casserole and transfer to a warm oven (160C /325F or Gas Mark 3) Cook for 2 – 2 ½ hours or until the meat is tender. If the curry becomes too dry during the cooking time add a little water.

Stir in the remaining yogurt just before serving.

Serve with plain boiled rice, paratha or chapattis and mango chutney.


Nicky Seabrook BSc.Dip.IONmBANT CNHC


To find out more about Nicky and nutrition at the Centre visit her page here.



Ginger Essential Oil

It is the time of year when then seasons are changing. Back and forth, back and forth, hot, cold, hot cold. The equilibrium in our bodies changes during this time and we can find we our bodies might feel a bit niggly or tired.  Personally my left ear always gets poppy during the seasonal change times of year. It is often at these times that we can get colds. For this reason, my oil for October is Ginger.


Ginger has long been used to fight colds and infections. Use fresh ginger chopped into stir-fries or fresh ginger tea can be made with the ginger root. Ginger is also excellent as a digestive aid.


Used in a massage blend, ginger can help with the aches and pains that some of us have during the colder months as it is great for muscular stiffness and rheumatism.  A few drops in the bath can also be helpful for aches and grumbly muscles.


Victoria Lily



If you’d like to know more about Aromatherapy at the Centre visit our page here or call 01394 388234.

To find out more about Victoria Lily visit her page here.


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