Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Happy Solstice 2016

Nicki Edgell
Happy Solstice and festive holidays to you... read more on what the Solstice means and my top tips for reducing stress so that you can stay healthy and happy and enjoy some festive indulgence.

Happy Solstice and festive holidays to you

This is the time - RIGHT NOW at the Solstice… to stop the world and allow your body and your mind to recover fully from a busy hectic year. If you can it's a time to allow your energy to wind down and go inward for a day or two, allowing time to really think through what you want the next year to look like.  You might choose to make a vision board of images/words that sum up what you'd like 2017 to bring.  I'll be doing just that.

Setting the intentions for the new year is a very powerful thing and unlike new year's resolutions will energetically follow you through the year to help manifest what you would love.

I'd love to share with you some thoughts and tips for reducing the stress and enjoying the indulgence during your festive days ahead so that you can stay well and happy.

The Christmas Meal

The sheer thought of Christmas lunches and dinners make some people think of overindulgence and expanding waistlines. However when you focus on the nourishing aspects of the festive meals ahead you’ll realise that they have a wealth of therapeutic properties. Here are my top 5 foods that I hope you enjoy as much as I do.


Turkey is a rich source of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, is often described as the “happy neurotransmitter”. Serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a popular type of anti-depressant drugs that block the recycling of serotonin so more of it stays active. This brings a feeling of well-being and reduces feelings of worry, anxiety and depression. Serotonin that has come naturally from food also has similar effects on mood, as well as on satiety – the “feeling full factor” – and sleep quality.

Turkey is also a really good source of protein which helps keep your blood sugar levels stable. 

So, if you’d like to avoid succumbing to cravings for Christmas pudding, a generous portion of turkey, followed by a little break before deciding on whether you’re having dessert, could help.

Lovely roasted parsnips

Tryptophan requires the presence of a carbohydrate in order for it to travel across the blood brain barrier, the protective immune layer that keeps our brain safe from invasion by bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. as well as toxins. Parsnips provide a source of carbohydrate that’s mostly soluble fibre which is pre-biotic by nature, i.e. it feeds the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. These bugs produce a number of natural molecules. Some of them, known as short-chain fatty acids, have protective effects and anti-inflammatory properties. (For example, butyrate – a fatty molecule also present in butter).


The nutrients in sprouts and similar vegetables like cabbage can help reduce the risk of some cancers. In particular isothiocyanates, that help cells metabolise toxins. Detoxification is a function that takes place 24/7 in every cell of our bodies and some natural compounds like those in sprouts, can help us promote cellular health.

If you prefer red cabbage, you can give the sprouts a miss. The flavonoids in red cabbage are known to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, a natural muscle relaxant particularly in the blood vessels. This can help blood pressure go down.


Use chestnuts, rich in fibre,vitamin B6 and folate; two of the key nutrients for heart and brain health. They’re delicious roasted too. They could also be the perfect alternative to a sugary Christmas dessert... a few roasted chestnuts with a little dark chocolate melted on top may be the perfect solution.

70% +

High cocoa chocolate, with a minimum of 70% cocoa mass, is a good source of magnesium and contains a variety of flavonols believed to support good cardiovascular health. They also seem to have a positive effect on cholesterol balancing.

So my message is: enjoy and indulge in your Christmas meal!  It's a special meal and a time for celebration and togetherness. With togetherness in mind my top tip for reducing stress around cooking and the day itself is to cook the turkey the day before!  Controversial but tried and tested and works fabulously to free up the oven and your time on the 25th. You can also carve and make the gravy and parcel up with a little gravy in an oven proof dish ready to pop back in the oven 40 mins before the veg are ready.  The other thing I love to do is to get the whole family (including relatives who might be staying) to sit around the dining table the day before and all share in preparing the vegetables. It's a very sociable thing to do and makes everyone feel involved in creating the feast.

So rest assured that by choosing the right amounts of the right foods you are nourishing your body and promoting health to ensure you have a fabulous New Year.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful festive season and look forward to a happy 2017.


If you would like to book in to see me I'll be back working on the 4th January. Feel free to leave a message by email or telephone (07786405366)

About the Author

Nicki Edgell

I am a clinical Psycho-neuro-immunologist, Metabolic Balance Coach, Natural Nutritionist and Independent Nikken Consultant. I practice in Brighton in the South of England, helping individuals and groups towards the health, vitality and the life they want for themselves. I work under the principle that wellness depends on a balanced holistic approach to living, in all areas of your life: your body, mind, family, community and financial health all have an impact on your wellbeing.


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