My “Red Juice”

This is my “energy giving juice,” as it comes from a selection of root vegetables and an apple. There are about 350 calories in it. Drink a small glass of it whenever you need a boost or crave something sweet.

My sweet treat!

My sweet treat!

I call it my red juice, for obvious reasons, but without the beetroot, it would be orange in colour. What I’m trying to do is consume as many of the colours of the rainbow each and every day, combining the vegetables as I like. This is a nice and easy guarantee of getting the range of nutrients we all need.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is your best bet for preventing every chronic disease. The evidence in support of this recommendation is so strong it has been endorsed by U.S. and U.K government health agencies and by virtually every major medical organisation, including the American Cancer Society. So don’t just take my word for it!

Here is a link to a TED lecture presented by an American physician who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She deteoriated to the point of living in a wheelchair, but later recovered her health by eating, as recommended, as rainbow of coloured whole foods and a paleo diet. Just click on it when you have 20 minutes.


The substances which protect us against our diseases found in these fruits and vegetables, are phytochemicals. They include pigments such as carotenes, chlorophyll and flavonoids, also dietary fibre, enzymes and vitamin-like compounds. If you can consume these foods raw, you will preserve the enzymes (so helpful for easy digestion and maximum absorption), that’s why people have taken to juicing.

Carotenes act as anti-oxidants and enhance our immune systems. Flanonoids act as anti-oxidants, have anti-tumor effects and also enhance our immune systems. Limonoids enhance detoxification and block carcinogens. Chlorophyll may stimulate haemoglobin and red blood cell production.

Here are a few examples of foods in each colour category:

Red – Beetroot, tomatoes, red pepper, strawberries, raspberries, red currents, cherries, red grapefruit, watermelon.

Yellow – Yellow pepper, lemons, banana, pears, melons, apples, yellow grapefruit.

Orange – Papaya, mango, orange pepper, carrots, Sharon Fruit, pumpkin, squash, oranges, apricots, sweet potato, yams,

Green – All green veggies & leaves, kiwi, avocado, limes…the list is endless.

Blue/Black – Blackberries, blue berries, purple cabbage, plums, aubergines, red cabbage.

Anyway, back to the method. Wash thoroughly and juice 2 carrots, 1 beetroot, half a sweet potato, a lemon or a lime, a chunk of ginger (size to your liking) and an apple if you want extra sweetness. That’s it. Drink in small amounts as you need to.

I did look to do a mineral analysis on this juice, but the mineral content didn’t look that impressive. The vitamin values, however, were more significant. For example, this juice will provide you with well over the Vitamin A you need for a day. Also, least 50 % of Vit. C, 70% of B6, 50% of folate, 50% of B5, 25% of manganese we need each day.

Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid, fibre, manganese and potassium. They significantly help the liver in it’s detoxification functions. The pigment betacyanin gives it it’s vibrant colour and is a powerful anti-cancer fighting agent. Beetroot fibre (not found in the juice of course) has a good effect on bowel function and cholesterol levels. It raises the levels of anti-oxidants enzymes, specifically, gluthathione peroxidase and glutathione S-transferase, as well as increasing the number of white blood cells responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells. In a study of patients with stomach cancer, beet juice was found to be a potent inhibitor of the formation of nitrosamines (cancer-causing compounds ingested as nitrates when we eat smoked or cured meats (look on the labels of processed meats, they all have nitrates and nitrites added as preservatives). Beetroot also inhibit cell mutations caused by theses nitrates.

Carrots provide the highest source of pro-vitamin A carotenes. Two carrots provide roughly four times the RDA of Vitamin A. They also provide excellent levels of Vitamin K, biotin, Vitamin C, B6, B1 and potassium. They are high in anti-oxidants. They contain beta-carotene which we all know helps our night vision and similarly provide protection against macular degeneration and the development of senile cataracts.

Sweet potato’s contain a unique storage protein with very high anti-oxidant properties. Generally, the darker the flesh, the more caroteines they contain. The help to stabilise blood sugars and improve the body’s response to insulin and and are hence called “anti-diabetic”. They are high in Vitamin C, Vit A, B6 manganese, copper. biotin, B5, B2 and fibre.

“Nasties” lurking on the shelves of our supermarkets!

I  subscribe to this group of health experts. This is a particularly practical article which is relevant to all of us and our children. I hope you learn something useful from it. The link below is to the article on their web site. You can join here if you want to.

Worth mulling over?

I don’t think I need to say much here! Suffice to say, let’s all stop and have a think.

Dalai Lama

When, in our busy day, can we take a moment to stop and put our health first. Would it be learning to eat slowly and thankfully, promoting good hormone release as we eat. Would it be to buy more organic food or food we have grown carefully ourselves? Would it be to stop putting sugar, caffeine and alcohol into our bodies?

Perhaps the money spent on utilising simple preventative health measures like eating a natural diet and avoiding stimulants will save us money, that we, (or the NHS) will inevitably have to spend later on in life, on over the counter medicines, prescription drugs, and the expenses of a compromised lifestyle due to ill-health.

What do you think?


More “Green” Juices

Hi Folks,

Here are 7 more green juice recipes you can try. They are from a great American group of health experts called “Food Matters”. Enjoy!!!!!! Here’s a link to their web site:

Rosa New Dawn

Rosa “New Dawn” from our garden in Neston!

1. Perfect Green Juice 
Serves 1

• 1-2 celery stems • 1/2 cucumber
 • 1 large kale leaf

• 1/8 fennel bulb • 1 green apple • 1/2 lemon, peeled (optional)

 2. Crisp and Clean Green Juice Serves 1

• 1 large wedge green cabbage • 1 green apple
 • 1 large bunch romaine lettuce leaves

• 1” ginger root. Other optional greens: spinach, kale, chard and dandelion.

3. Boost Juice Serves 1

• 1/4 medium pineapple • 1 small handful alfalfa sprouts
 • 1 small handful parsley

• 2 large kale leaves • 1 large broccoli stem

• 1 oz shot of wheatgrass juice or 1 teaspoon of wheatgrass powder (optional)

4. The Nutrient Express Juice Serves 1

• 1/2 punnet berries
 • 1 small handful parsley • 2-3 large kale leaves

• 1 large carrot
 • 1 large celery stem
 • 1 green apple (optional)

Berries to try: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries.
Other optional greens: romaine, spinach, chard and dandelion.

5. Make Juice Not War Green Drink Serves 1

  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 large kale leaf
  • 1 large handful of sprouts (sprouts to try – 
sweet pea, alfalfa, broccoli, sunflower1 celery stem
  • 1 large broccoli stem
  • 1/2 pear or green apple (optional) 
Other optional greens: romaine, parsley, spinach and dandelion.

 6. Extreme Green Juice
 Serves 1

• 5 florets of broccoli
 • 1-2 celery stems • 1 small bunch parsley • 1 green apple

7. The Classic Green Juice Serves 1

• 1 medium zucchini • 2-3 large kale leaves • 1 green apple
 • 1 small handful cilantro (coriander) • 1 lemon, peeled
 • 1” ginger root (optional)

What Are You Drinking?!!!

You're really gonna drink that?!!

You’re really gonna drink that?!!

“What is that green drink”, my patients ask me with a look of horror and disbelief, half concealed by polite respect, all over their faces.

“Good question, everybody always asks,”I reply, smiling.

So here’s the answer to all those good folks who have asked me that very question when they see this “green” drink on my desk at work. And to whom I’ve never really had the time to explain it fully.

Here’s the method and list of ingredients:

Juice (using a juice extractor) of 1 peeled cucumber, 4 sticks celery, 1 un-waxed lemon, 1 inch fresh ginger root, 2 apples.  I juice these so as to extract as much “natural living water” from them as possible.

Once juiced, I put this into in a blender along with 1 or ½ a big avocado, a handful of spinach leaves, a handful of parsley leaves and a peeled pear. I blend these last ingredients because that adds thickness to the drink but more importantly it preserves the fibre, which I have lost by juicing the first set of ingredients.

Blend all together and drink fresh that day, (ok, so I make mine the night before). If you can get organic ingredients, so much the better. I have read that the foods one consumes the most of, should be the ones you buy organically. That makes sense logically.  If you’re going to eat a lot of something then it should be as high a quality as you can afford. I peel the cucumber only because the skin contains most of the pesticide residues. This quantity makes a little less than a litre.

Obviously, I wash all the ingredients thoroughly, as I will be consuming them raw. Tips: Make sure the avocado is properly ripe so that it blends smoothly. Remove the parsley and spinach stalks as they make the juice too “bitty”. Use them in your stir-fry’s instead.

I would use kale if I could get it, (it’s obviously not in demand in the UAE) or watercress, mint, coriander, pak choi or any really dark green leaved vegetable or herb that your palate enjoys. Similarly, you can alter any of the ingredients and quantities depending on your nutritional needs and tastes. My husband drinks his on the way to work in the morning, says it has a kick like a mule and swears it beats a “Red Bull” to get his brain going any day!

Anyway back to the plot….

Why? Is the next burning question in most “normal” peoples heads. That’s a good one and certainly takes a little longer to explain! So here’s why. To be quite honest, I didn’t really know how good it was for me, until I did this little analysis.

Below is a table of major nutrients (in grams) and minerals (in milligrams) per 100g of the food.

Ingredient Ca Fe Mg K Zn Carbs Fats Protein Fibre
Cucumber 14 0.26 11 144 0.2 2.76 0.13 0.69 0.8
Celery 40 0.4 11 287 0.13 3.65 0.14 0.75 1.7
Lemon 26 0.6 8 138 0.06 9.32 0.3 1.1 2.8
Ginger 116 11.52 184 1343 4.72 70.97 5.95 9.12 12.5
Apple 7 0.18 5 115 0.04 15.25 0.36 0.19 2.7
Avocado 11 1.02 39 599 0.42 7.39 15.32 1.98 5
Spinach 99 2.71 79 558 0.53 3.5 0.35 2.86 2.7
Parsley 130 6.2 50 554 1.07 6.33 0.79 2.97 3.3
Pear 11 0.25 6 125 0.12 15.11 0.4 0.39 2.4

[Ca=Calcium, Fe=Iron, Mg=Magnesium, K=Potassium, Zn=Zinc.]

So, that’s all well and good but how many of the nutrients would I actually be drinking and what would that supply me with in terms of my nutritional requirements for that day, assuming that my gut is working well and I am absorbing the nutrients properly.

This thought takes me off on a tangent. How many of us know that we are consuming enough nutrients for our requirements. Very few, I suspect.  It takes a lot of work to calculate it all. Sure, we have rough guidelines, which help, and user-friendly marketing slogans like “eat a rainbow of coloured vegetables each day”. But for those of us who are sick, perhaps we should be working out our requirements to get ourselves better, rather than reluctantly taking the medications that our doctors prescribe. I can’t tell you the number of times patients have told me that they don’t really want to take their doctors prescription but they don’t know what else to do.  “Put the right fuel or building blocks into you body”, I say, “and your body will do the rest for you”.

My weightings came out like this and here’s the maths:

Ingredient      Ca      Fe     Mg        K    Zn      Carbs     Fats     Protein       Fibre










370g Celery










100g Lemon










60g Ginger










360g Apple










150g Avocado










60g Spinach










30g Parsley










160g Pear



























% RDA’s







Sure, I may be losing some nutritional value due to juicing the food and throwing away  (or composting) the pulp, but it’s a rough calculation. Not bad for breakfast instead of cereal, which is so depleted of nutrients in the processing that they have to add them back in at the end!

Now I can see that a lot (of those sampled) of my RDA’s are being met with this one drink, let alone the whole improved biochemistry one would get along with it. But more about that in a functional medicine blog late in the year.

We could also look, just for a taster, at what else I will be getting with each ingredient.

Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is a trace mineral important for our connective tissue. Cucumber also contains two compounds, Ascorbic acid and Caffeic acid which helps prevent water retention.

Celery is an excellent source of Vit. C and a good source of potassium, folic acid, Vit. B1 and B6. Celery contains phytochemicals like coumarins which have been shown to prevent cancer and enhance the activity of certain white blood cells. Coumarin compounds also tone the vascular system, lower blood pressure and may help migraines. Celery is rich in potassium and sodium and hence is great drunk after a workout to replace these essential electrolytes lost in sweat. Studies show it helps rheumatic pains, may help detoxify and lower cholesterol.

Lemon. We all know lemons are excellent sources of Vit. C, but additionally they are high in Vit. B6, potassium, folic acid, flavonoids and the important phytochemical limonene which is currently being trialed to dissolve gallstones and is showing great promise in anti cancer properties. Limonene is most abundant in the white flesh under then skin, hence why I juice the whole lemon.

Ginger is good for calming the digestive system, alleviating gas and as an intestinal antispasmodic, hence preventing diarrhea & constipation. It is an antioxidant and helps with motion sickness. It contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which helps ease the pain of arthritic joints if taken regularly. Gingerols also inhibit the inflammatory messengers of the immune system, thereby reducing inflammation.

Apple. In an analysis of more than 85 studies, apple consumption was shown to be consistently associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma and type-2 diabetes, perhaps due to its high amounts of flavonoids like quercetin. We all know apples are high in pectin which is a soluble fibre helping to push waste through the intestines. Apples are also high in Vit. C and a good source of potassium. The skin is high in phytochemicals like ellagic acid and flavonoids like quercetin. Phytochemicals are chemical compounds found in plants which have beneficial effects, like antioxidants, but phytochemicals are not essential nutrients in themselves.

Avocado. The good monounsaturated fats in avocado’s include oleic acid and linoleic acid helping to balance cholesterol levels. They are rich in potassium Vit. E, B Vitamins and fibre. One avocado has the same potassium content as 2-3 bananas.

Spinach is very nutrient dense. It is an excellent source of Vit. K (which stops your blood clotting), carotenes, Vit. C, folic acid, manganese, magnesium, iron, Vit. B1, B2, B6 and Vit. E. It contains twice as much iron as most other greens. It is very alkalizing, helping to regulate body pH. It is one of the richest sources of lutein, making it important for healthy eye-sight and preventing macular degeneration and cataracts. It is a strong protector against cancer. Researchers have found that spinach contains 13 different flavonoid compounds that function as antioxidants and anticancer agents.

Parsley is high in chlorophyll and carotenes. It is high in Vit. C, folic acid and iron. It is also a good source of magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc.

Pears are high in fibre. Actually, they have more pectin in them than apples. They are high in Vit. C and copper which is good at helping to prevent heart arrhythmia, Vit. B2, Vit. E and potassium.

Way back in biology lessons, I was taught the Krebs cycle. It’s actually a 3-part cycle, each part of the cog driving the next, whereby carbohydrates, fats and proteins are broken down to their constituent elements in the mitochondria in each and every cell of our body. From these chemical processes, we derive ALL our energy to make every cell in our body function and survive.  More recently, I learnt that for this amazing process to happen, we need certain chemicals, enzymes and vitamins to aid the processes of cellular breakdown.

They are, Carnitine, B1, B2, B3, B5, Lipoate, Cysteine, Iron, Sulphur, Magnesium, Manganese, Co-enzyme Q10, Lipoic acid, Vit C, Copper, Selenium and Glutathione. Working out which foods contain the most amounts of these chemicals, as I said earlier, will be my next job.

Dawn Rowland

UK Registered Osteopath, (currently studying functional medicine)

BSc (Hons), BSc (OST).

Abu Dhabi, UAE.

056 2121 676.

Dawn’s osteopathic philosophy


Dawn’s Osteopathic Philosophy

Today, most patients who are treated by a physical therapist, by that I mean an osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor, need to realise that these manual therapies are using a variety of manual techniques to address the person’s whole body function, not just the part that is hurting.

I would like to think that my approach for my patients would include the following:

1. Understanding my patient’s unique needs. For example, would they prefer to keep their clothes on for treatment; do they need a chaperone, interpreter or friend with them; can they physically get into a lying position on the couch?

2. What is their specific problem?  What is the medical diagnosis, if this is helpful? Is it a pulled muscle in their back or a joint rubbing or perhaps both? It may seem strange, but I always ask what my patient feels is wrong with them. That is because although they may not know the medical terminology, they do intuitively know their own bodies.

3. I always want to work out how the problem came about. Also, It is so important to find out what postures and habits aggravate the pain and what movements need to be stopped or minimised to give the injured part a chance to heal. What treatments have my patient previously had that have worked, and what have not worked?

4. We will agree together the proposed treatment plan. We will agree the number of treatments and realistic timescales. We should have an expected outcome for each course of action.

5. Each treatment will start with reassessment. If all is going well, we can stick to our plan, if not we need to work out modifications and alternative options.

6. Before, successful treatment is ended, long-term preventative measures need to be put in place to prevent reoccurrence. If treatment is not successful, I would always want to give my patients alternative options, therapists or therapies to try. Similarly, I would always refer patients back to their GP for additional scans, investigations or treatment if needs be.

I think that I can say, that historically, we have been far too concerned with “doing things” to the patient to “make him or her better”. Now, we realise that whereas we still need to do this, we also need to teach our patients to take responsibility to bring about their own long-term pain relief or cure. It is not enough just to treat the presenting problem in isolation.  Physical and psychological factors together, need consideration. We have to understand and treat both the mind and body. Is it not our mood, mentality and determination that gets us up and exercising on a regular basis? The two are completely linked and treatment plans must consider them both.

Please remember that most mechanical problems are not the result of a single injury. Even with a single injury our bodies begin to compensate for the injured part and if the injury never heals properly then the body’s compensations need to be looked at, as well as the original injury. I, other words, most non-traumatic mechanical pains are the cumulative effects of poor posture, faulty body mechanics, stressful living. poor working habits, thought processes, loss of strength and flexibility, mechanical wear and tear on joints and a general decline in the level of physical fitness. Months, or years, may pass before a combination of these factors result in an actual disorder. Understanding this, dramatically changes the overall management for my patients, shifting emphasis from me relieving their acute pain to team-work between us.

I know that in an ideal world, you would like to go to your osteopath, who takes away your pain in a couple of treatments…and cures you for life! As you know, this rarely happens with any form of physical therapy. Sorry!

I can make an analogy to brushing your teeth, twice a day, every day of your life. The theory is that this should stop plaque and dental disease. It doesn’t though, does it?  We still get plaque building up and need our teeth de-scaled. We go to the dentist and hygienist throughout the year to have our teeth cleaned and checked for disease – before plaque builds up, to such extent, that tooth decay and gum disease are inevitable. Back, some 60 years ago when dentistry became free as part of the NHS, the government educated patients via TV media campaigns, to take care of their teeth and visit the dentist regularly. It was an excellent campaign. We need the same education for the care of our spine and joints.

It is the same with preventing spinal and joint problems. I can honestly say that in the 20 years that I have been working as an osteopath, it is the patients who take on responsibility for their own bodies who make, and maintain, the best possible outcomes for themselves. They do the exercises regularly, they do come for check-ups, they do seek to improve themselves and maintain their levels of overall fitness. I see it as part of my job to help motivate my patients to do this.

Remember that it may be bliss when your therapist has taken all your pain away, but it will probably come back unless the other contributing factors are addressed. Education, exercise and check-ups are the only things likely to work in the long term. My objective is for you to be in control of your back…not to allow it to be in control of you!

It is my intention to offer you the most comprehensive back care treatment that I can. If you feel that I am not, please tell me!

What do I want from my osteopath?

There are obvious qualities that we would expect from all health professionals. For example, trustworthy, approachable, good reputation, safe, competent and good at what they do. Treatment should be patient-orientated and evidence-based.

My suggestion is to call the clinic, ask the receptionist as much as you can about the practitioner, such as what conditions do they like treating and which patient groups do they commonly treat, i.e. babies and children, the elderly or specific sports teams. This will give you an idea of what they are most practiced at and probably good at treating.

If you still have any further questions, then politely ask the receptionist to ask the osteopath to call you back at a time to suit them. The service-orientated osteopath should be happy to return your call when they can.

Now, assuming you have found the best practitioner for you and your condition, I still don’t think your preparation stops there. The more you can think about what you want from your therapist, both in terms of information and treatment, the better the service you will get from them.

Most people walk into the clinic and think of nothing more than “Please can you get rid of my pain. Then I’ll be happy”.

Others want to know much more information, such as:

  • “What’s causing my pain and why?”
  • “How do I prevent it happening again?”,
  • “What are you doing when you are treating me?”

Make sure you understand the answers you get and don’t be afraid to ask your therapist to explain it again. Ask for the medical name of your condition, so you can look it up on the internet and prepare further questions. Have they got leaflets or hand-outs?

I think you need to know the following:

  • What is the name of your problem or its diagnosis?
  • What can I do to help it heal as quickly as possible? e.g. some exercises, rest, medication or changing habits etc.
  • How does the treatment help me? How is it affecting my body?
  • How long should I expect to be treated for? Or how long will this take to heal if it is an injury, or how long should I expect to have to manage this for, if it is a more degenerative type of problem?
  • How can I minimise my muscle and joint pains as I get older?
  • Is my sport or lifestyle helping or aggravating my problem. What alternatives do I have?