LifeForce Nutrition’s tips for surviving the festive season!


Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, you see people you haven’t seen in ages, cosy nights in with your loved ones, friends and families have get-togethers and parties, the atmosphere is a happy festive one. Christmas is also a time where over-indulgence in food and alcohol becomes the norm, and this can take its toll on you, especially if you are not used to eating rich foods and drinking mulled wine at every turn! So, here are some simple, easy tips to help you survive this festive season!

  1. Alcohol – most people consume more alcohol around this time of year, with Christmas parties, family gatherings etc., there’s always an excuse to pop a bottle of fizz! Alternating your drinks with a glass of water will help to maintain your hydration levels, and reduce the chance of a hangover and help you feel less “tired”! It will also reduce the amount of alcohol you will consume too. Opt for clear spirits with soda water, or add sparkling water to your white wine to make a spritzer.
  2. Sugar & processed foods – in terms of weight gain (along with alcohol) these are the foods that do the most damage over Christmas. There is an abundance of cakes and chocolates EVERYWHERE! They’ve been in the shops since the end of October for heaven’s sake!! If you are someone who can’t resist these items, don’t buy too much for your own home, as you will only feel the need to eat it, and when you go out, avoid the sugary options on the menu.
  3. Batch cook and freeze – there comes a point over Christmas where everyone is looking forward to getting back to their regular routine and eating a little healthier again! To help this process along, batch cook and freeze some healthy meals such a warming soup or stew, or a vegetable curry. tea
  4. Don’t forget your vegetables – Christmas is a time we put extra demands on our bodies, we are busier in general for many weeks, so it’s vital that you supply your body with lots of micro-nutrients to get you through this busy season to avoid feeling run down or under the weather. A variety/rainbow of vegetables every day will ensure your body is getting what it needs to survive the silly season! Aim for between 5 and 8 portions per day.
  5. Make time for exercise – making sure you squeeze in that hour of exercise over the festive season will keep you feeling fit, and burn off those excess calories being consumed. Exercise helps to reduce stress (and let’s face it, we all have plenty of it at Christmas!) and increases serotonin levels in your brain, giving you that warm fuzzy feeling we all love!
  6. Catch some Z’s – If you are lucky enough to have some time off over Christmas, why not make the effort to relax a little and even take some power naps during the day. The overall result will be more energy, and less exhaustion heading into January 2017

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy Christmas 2016

Joanne x ♥


Winter Wellness – Simple Tips for Surviving the Winter!


Winter Wellness – Simple Tips for Surviving the Winter!

At this time of year, everyone seems to be sneezing and sniffling! The temperature changes, and we get our hats and scarves out to wrap up and keep warm. But is there anything else we could be doing to stave off the common cold? The answer is a resounding YES!

  1. I’m only going to say this once, if you have a cold, antibiotics will not help you!! Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections, a cold is caused by a virus, and antibiotics will not kill a virus.
  2. It sounds simple, but keeping yourself warm is important. When we get a “chill” it weakens our immune system and we may be more susceptible to the viruses that cause a cold.
  3. Keep your digestive system happy! Using your chicken or beef bones to make a bone broth is an excellent way to boost your immune system. Bone broth keeps the helps to improve gut health, which we know is essential for a healthy immune system.
  4. Get some Vitamin C into you! Vitamin C is one the best immune boosting vitamins. Get this from citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts), bell peppers, to name a few.
  5. Ensure you get out into the daylight, we receive Vitamin D from the sunlight. Unfortunately, in Ireland during winter, sunlight can be a scarce commodity, so when the sun is shining, make the most of it. Supplements with Vitamin D3 during the winter months is also an option.
  6. Limit your sugar intake. Excess sugars in the diet dampen our immune system and also interfere with healthy gut bacteria, which is essential for a healthy immune system.


For more information or individual advice on how to boost your immune system, please contact Joanne on

Beauty Is Not Only Skin Deep

As we know, health and well-being isn’t just about nutrition. As a nutritional therapist, I am very aware that is in not only the food that we put into our body’s that effects its function, but also the chemicals we apply to our skin on a daily basis.

There are so many elements that contribute to how our bodies work, and one of these elements is external toxins.  A substantial source of external toxins comes from what we apply to our skin. On a daily basis we wash with shower gels and soaps containing abrasive chemicals which dry out our skin and add to our body’s toxic load. We use deodorants with excessive chemicals that are known to affect hormone balance – Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). We unknowingly moisturise our faces with creams containing mineral oils and toxic chemicals such as sulphates, parabens and phthalates.

Personally, I use more naturally tailored products where possible. Also from my experience of working in Hazel’s Health Food Shop I am familiar with so many good quality, low chemical products. Here, I will share with you some brands that rank top of my list, for both body-friendliness, but very importantly, their effectiveness. None of these companies test their products on animals and are environmentally contentious.

Moo Goo – Moo Goo is an Australian brand, and does not use any chemicals in its products. The company offers shampoos & conditioners, body washes, soaps, face cleaners, moisturisers, deodorants….everything! The products are perfect for sensitive skin, and their famous Irritable Skin Balm can sooth any skin condition and reduce itchiness and redness.

I personally use their deodorant, soaps and facial oils.

Trilogy – Trilogy in a brand from New Zealand, and all of it products are based on the amazing Rosehip Oil. For me, Trilogy is the original Rosehip Oil supplier, and when I first used rosehip oil many years ago,  it was by Trilogy. The range has hugely expanded from anti-ageing serums to the cult Everything Balm, all of Trilogy’s products contain the liquid gold that is Rosehip Oil! I highly recommend this brand, the quality is very good, and the company’s ethos is inspiring!

The Handmade Soap Company – Made in the picturesque village of Slane, The Handmade Soap Company is an Irish brand to be proud of. They offer a wide range of liquid soaps, soap bars, body lotions and creams, bubble baths and candles. They have something for everyone with their combinations of fragrances – a personal favourite of mine is their Grapefruit and May Chang range

Voya – In wilds of the west coast of Ireland, Voya have established a famous seaweed bath in Strandhill in Co. Sligo. They have developed a range of seaweed skin products, to complement their famous seaweed baths. All of their products contain healing seaweed and they won’t irritate the most sensitive of skins. I am a huge fan of their shower gel and body lotion.

Faith in Nature – Faith in Nature produce a great range of shampoos and conditioners, body washes and soaps. They smell fabulous and are very effective, especially their shampoos. Their rosemary and lavender shampoo is particularly good, especially if you suffer from a product build up in your hair. I am a big fan!

Sukin – Sukin is another Australian Brand, offering a wide range of cosmetics from face cream, to hand lotions to shampoos and conditioners. This brand is also hugely ecological and they are carbon neutral. Their tagline – “Skincare that doesn’t cost the Earth”

Holos – Holos is an Irish company offering aromatherapy skincare. Each product line has a theme and corresponding aromatherapy combinations, giving the user the benefits of less chemicals and aromatherapy to lift their mood! They have ranges to suit young and mature skin, men, expectant mothers and babies

Kinvara – Kinvara is an Irish skincare company using Rosehip oil as its core ingredient. The three main products by Kinvara are a Rosehip serum, Day-cream and oil cleanser. The oil cleanser is incredibly popular and is particularly good at soothing combination to oily skin, and won’t irritate the most sensitive of skins.

Dr. Bronner – Dr. Bronner is a very popular US based skincare brand offering a wide range of products from soap bars to toothpaste to hand creams. Dr Bronner’s products are organic, using fair trade, and non GMO ingredients. They are a very environmentally conscientious company using minimal packaging. I love their soap bars, they contain more fat than most soap bars and do not leave your skin dry or tight, in fact your skin will feel very moisturised after using these soaps as they contain high levels of coconut and olive oils.

For more information on EDCs – visit