Cacao-Pecan bars with creamy frosting

Member Recipe FLF 2013  Ruth Moore

Cacao-Pecan bars with creamy frosting

225g raw pecans
50g raw cacao powder or good quality cocoa
10 soft medjool dates, pitted,
60ml agave nectar

4 soft medjool dates, pitted,
1 medium hass avacado
25g raw cacao powder or good quality cocoa
60ml agave nectar
30g raw pecan nuts roughly chopped to decorate

To make bars put pecans & cacao in food processor until finely ground and loose, add dates and nectar and process till mix starts to stick together and forms coarse crumbs

Sprinkle mix into tin, size 30 x 10cms lined with parchment paper
press evenly to compact, chill in fridge for 20 mins.

To make frosting cover dates with cold water and soak for 20 mins, drain and put in food processor with avocado, cacao and nectar and process till smooth, stop occasionally to wipe down sides of bowl with spatula.

Spread frosting on top of bars and scatter with chopped pecans. Refrigerate for 2 hours then cut into slices and serve chilled. Store in fridge for 4 days in airtight container.

Recipe seriously good, if it’s allowed on fat loss (Jax?) will try and remember to bring some to class on Wednesday evening to try x

Thanks Ruth,

The recipe looks great – can’t wait to try them… I’d like to adapt the frosting to include some protein powder.. a natural one perhaps – unless you have a really good choc one – (sadly most have nasty sweeteners or soy in them… )


How to Drink Bicarbonate of Soda for Health

How to Drink Bicarbonate of Soda for Health

Written by Chyrene Pendleton


Bicarbonate of soda, better known as baking soda or sodium bicarbonate, has numerous uses–it’s a cleaning agent, antacid, fire extinguisher and more. There also are interesting health benefits when you drink baking soda, which is alkaline, in water. Viruses and diseases such as colds, flu, cancer and even heart disease thrive in an acidic body, but cannot survive when your body is alkaline. The 2009 Journal of the American Society of Nephrology revealed a study of 134 patients with advanced kidney disease. Taking baking soda daily dramatically slowed down the progression of kidney disease, resulting in no need for dialysis.




To increase your body’s pH, take 1/4 tsp of baking soda dissolved in one-half glass of water on an empty stomach, once in the morning and again before bedtime. Acidity and alkalinity is measured by pH, which ranges from 0 to 14 with 7.0 being neutral; a pH above 7.0 is alkaline, and below 7.0 is acidic. Baking soda has the highest pH of 14. Create a healthy body by keeping your body’s pH between 7.1 and 7.5.

Drink the baking soda and water solution at the very beginning of cold or flu symptoms, such as a runny nose or sneezing, to help kill the viruses. Keep your body alkaline by increasing fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Wonderful Bicarb!

Use This to Remove Splinters — and to Address Many Other Health Needs

August 27, 2012 | 119,563 views  By Dr. Mercola (plus extras from me)

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a staple in many homes for baking and cleaning purposes – but there’s a good chance you’re not taking full advantage of all that baking soda has to offer.

For instance, did you know there’s a whole gamut of medicinal uses for baking soda, such as safely removing splinters from your fingers, or just brushing your teeth?

It rates right up there with hydrogen peroxide as one of the most inexpensive and safe health tools around (you can buy an entire box of baking soda for about $1), so it makes sense to learn all you can about the many, many uses of baking soda.

A Brief Baking Soda History

In its natural form, baking soda is known as nahcolite, which is part of the natural mineral natron. Natron, which contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, has been used since ancient times. For instance, the Egyptians used natron as a soap for cleansing purposes. Later, anecdotal reports throughout history suggest that many civilizations used forms of baking soda when making bread and other foods that required rising.

However, it wasn’t until 1846 when Dr. Austin Church and John Dwight began to manufacture and sell the compound we know as baking soda today. By the 1860s, baking soda was featured in published cookbooks, and in the 1930s was widely advertised as a “proven medical agent.”1 Come 1972, the idea to keep a box of baking soda in your fridge to keep food fresh was born, and it really caught on … raise your hand if you have a box in your fridge right now!

Baking soda was popularized by Arm & Hammer more than 150 years ago, and while many are aware of its versatile qualities for cooking and household use, few people realize that baking soda also has potent medicinal properties.

Baking Soda May Help Fight Colds and the Flu

Some people believe that when taken internally, baking soda can help maintain the pH balance in your bloodstream. This is likely the basic premise behind its recommended uses against both colds and influenza symptoms. In their booklet “Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Medical Uses,” published in 1924, Dr. Volney S. Cheney recounts his clinical successes with sodium bicarbonate in treating cold and flu:2

“In 1918 and 1919 while fighting the ‘flu’ with the U. S. Public Health Service it was brought to my attention that rarely anyone who had been thoroughly alkalinized with bicarbonate of soda contracted the disease, and those who did contract it, if alkalinized early, would invariably have mild attacks.

I have since that time treated all cases of ‘cold,’ influenza and LaGripe by first giving generous doses of bicarbonate of soda, and in many, many instances within 36 hours the symptoms would have entirely abated.

Further, within my own household, before Woman’s Clubs and Parent-Teachers’ Associations, I have advocated the use of bicarbonate of soda as a preventive for ‘colds,’ with the result that now many reports are coming in stating that those who took ‘soda’ were not affected, while nearly everyone around them had the ‘flu.’

Not too certain though about how valid the pH optimizing is as to baking soda’s mechanism of action, as clinically I have frequently used diluted hydrochloric acid intravenously to also help people nearly instantly recover from acute infections. Obviously this is pushing the pH in the opposite direction, yet both appear to work, suggesting that the mode of action may be other than pH mediated.

The administration is easy enough, and is relatively harmless even if you should not experience relief from your cold symptoms. Simply dissolve the recommended amount of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink it. Recommended dosages from the Arm & Hammer Company for colds and influenza back in 1925 were:

  • Day 1 — Take six doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at about two-hour intervals
  • Day 2 — Take four doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water, at the same intervals
  • Day 3 — Take two doses of ½ teaspoon of baking soda in glass of cool water morning and evening, and thereafter ½ teaspoon in glass of cool water each morning until cold symptoms are gone

11 More Medicinal Uses for Baking Soda

You’ll be amazed at the myriad of remedies you can whip up if you have a box of baking soda handy. Among them:

  • Ulcer Pain: I have personally recommended this to many including family members and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is. This would make sense, as the baking soda would immediately neutralize stomach acid. Dosing is typically 1-2 teaspoons in a full glass of water.
  • Splinter removal: Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days using this treatment.
  • Sunburn remedy: Add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than towelling off the excess baking soda, for extra relief. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.
  • Deodorant: If you want to avoid the parabens and aluminum found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water instead. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant.
  • Enhanced sports performance: Distance runners have long engaged in a practice known as “soda doping” – or taking baking soda capsules — before races to enhance performance, a measure that’s thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading. While I don’t suggest you try this at home, it’s another example of baking soda benefits.
  • Plaque-busting tooth and gum paste: For an incredibly effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts of baking soda to one part of sea salt. Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums. Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria.
  • Insect bites: Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin. This is also effective for itchy rashes and poison ivy.
  • Teeth whitener: For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.
  • Foot soak: Add three tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak. It will soften hard skin and corns.
  • Exfoliator: A paste made from three parts of baking soda combined with 1 part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body. It’s natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.
  • Detox bath: Baking soda and apple cider vinegar make a wonderful spa-like bath for Detox – soaking away aches and pains. It also cleans the bath and the drain, as a bonus!

Baking Soda is an Excellent Household Cleaner, Too

After you’ve stashed a box of baking soda in your medicine cabinet, put one under your kitchen sink, in your bathroom and with your cleaning supplies too …

  • Baking soda is great to scrub your bath and kitchen with.  Just sprinkle the baking soda on the surfaces and scrub. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to its’ storage container. Lavender and tea tree oil have potent anti-bacterial qualities.
  • Baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar is a bubbly combination that has many uses. As a drain cleaner, sprinkle baking soda down the drain, then add apple cider vinegar and let it bubble for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water. This is a safer alternative to dangerous drain cleaners.
  • Soak pots and pans in hot water and baking soda for 15 minutes to easily wipe away baked-on food.
  • Use baking soda to scrub your barbecue grill.
  • Clean baby toys in a mixture of 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of water.
  • Baking soda can also be used as a fabric softener in your laundry, or to get your clothes whither and brighter (add ½ – 1 cup to your laundry load).
  • Baking soda is a natural carpet cleaner. Sprinkle it onto carpets, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum it up.
  • To polish silver without using toxic silver polish, fill your kitchen sink with hot water, add a sheet of aluminium foil and baking soda, and let the silver pieces soak until clean. It is an easy and fun way to clean silver.
  • Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes for a natural deodorizer.
  • In the event of a minor oil fire in your kitchen, use baking soda to help smother out the flames.


Combine three parts bicarb to one part liquid hand soap to create a scrubbing hand wash. This will power away tough grime and dirt without irritating the skin, leaving it soft and smooth.



In certain illnesses, such as gout or kidney disease, the levels of acid in the bloodstream or urine can become excessively high. Bicarbonate of soda can be administered either orally as a tablet or powder or intravenously in controlled medical situations where acidosis of the body occurs.



When using bicarbonate of soda, ensure it is completely dissolved before taking the solution. Do not take sodium bicarbonate solution as an antacid on a full stomach. If you are on a low sodium diet, taking prescription medications, administering to a child younger than 5 years old or if symptoms last for more than two weeks, consult your physician.



Not bad for around £1 a box, right?

Bread is BAD! What?

Daily Bread is NOT Bread……     One Small Change – Eat Better Bread.

If you know me, you’ll know that I call a few foods – bread included – ‘The Devils food’  Supermarket Bread in one… and not just because of the glutens…….

An interesting read ….  Do you know what’s in your Daily bread?……

By the end of October 1911, the paper (Daily Mail) felt able to announce ‘The Triumph Of Standard Bread — A Change in the Food Of A Nation’.

‘Today, Standard Bread is firmly established in the homes of hundreds of thousands of families … demand is increasing. In many places, the cream-coloured loaf has completely ousted the pasty-white usurper …’ ran the article.

Even Northcliffe’s (founder of Daily Mail) enemies were forced to admit he had done the nation’s health some good.

Though Parliament debated Standard Bread, the government did not act in 1911.

During World War II, however, white bread was banned entirely. As a result, the nation was said to be healthier in 1947, after eight years of brown bread and rationing, than it was in 1939.

So, what has all this got to do with today’s bread? 

White bread was made legal again after the end of the war, and supermarket shelves are now filled with dozens of different types of bread — white, brown and black.

Though rickets is a distant memory, the Real Bread Campaign, a non-profit pressure group, claims that bread has actually got worse since 1911 in terms of secret adulterants — enzymes that do not have to be declared on labels — still being smuggled into it.

Today, despite the modern fashion for healthy eating, ‘nutritionally empty’ white bread accounts for more than 50 per cent of what we buy.

Despite the fashion for eating healthily, ‘nutritionally empty’ white bread accounts for 50 per cent of sales

Meanwhile, there is growing belief among medical researchers that modern industrial baking methods may be behind today’s extraordinary rise in digestive illness such as gluten intolerance and coeliac disease.

‘People suffering from coeliac disease or from joint pain find that they do not do so if they eat traditional sour-dough bread,’ says author and baker Andrew Whitley.

 ‘The bread on offer in the shops seems to be making people ill!’ he writes in his influential book, Bread Matters.

Whitley sells a sourdough rye bread that ferments with the  natural yeasts in the flour over 24 hours. He believes that customers who eat his bread find that their digestive problems disappear.

Bread historians bemoan the day in 1961 when the Chorleywood Baking Process (CBP) was introduced. 

By juggling chemicals, flour types and adding three times as much yeast as had been used by bakers before, and then mixing at high speed, the scientists at Chorleywood Food Research Institute brought out a bread that was 40 per cent softer than previous loaves, and lasted twice as long.

This was the beginning of modern bread — ‘plastic bread’ to its detractors. Eighty per cent of all bread is still made the Chorleywood way. 

The most significant charge against CBP is that by increasing the yeast element, it may also have given birth to modern bread-related digestive illness, by introducing more yeasts to the gut flora that help us break down food.

More worrying are the enzymes that are used to aid the process — and give the idea of lightness and freshness. These don’t have to be declared on ingredients lists because they are ‘processing aids’.

One of the most common, amylase, is known to cause asthma, a common disease among bakers. Others have been linked to illnesses of the gut, such as coeliac disease.

As author Joanna Blythman, a critic of the food industry, says in her book Shopped: ‘Enzymes are our supermarkets’ way of giving us “fresh” bread that lasts a week  …  until it suddenly goes green.’

Lord Northcliffe and the Daily Mail of 1911 would not approve, says Real Bread campaigner Chris Young.

‘Given his belief that the people of Britain deserve the most wholesome bread possible, I think Lord Northcliffe would turn in his grave if he could see the state of factory loaves today.

‘Plastic’: Historians bemoan the day the Chorleywood Baking Process was introduced which resulted in a softer loaf, but many believe resulted in increased bread-related digestive illnesses

‘Once, the law was designed to protect us from manufacturers adulterating our daily loaves.

‘Now, it enshrines their right to throw in a whole cocktail of chemicals — and at the same time denies the people of Britain the right to know whether or not a handful of so-called processing aids has been snuck in, too.

We want the Government to give bread the same sort of protection as butter, so anyone wanting to throw in additives would have to come up with another name for it.

‘We believe it should be illegal to call that stuff bread.’

Don’t eat Supermarket bread.

If lasts days it’s NOT healthful.

If you must eat it –

Find an Artisan Baker that lets the dough prove slowly

OR –

Bake your own – choose real flour carefully, real yeast, control salt and take your time.

Sweat 4 Sue Fitness Charity Event Sat 19th & Sun 20th Jan2013

Facebook page –

Hi Everyone
I’m taking part in this fabulous charity event Timetable & links below.


SATURDAY 19th & Sunday 20th

Below is the time table, could you please send this to your mailing lists, promote on twitter and facebook, at your classes and ask them to promote. Zoe at Sue Ryder is contacting all the press etc. Anything you can do though would be great.


***BOOK NOW***
Timetable for Sweat for Sue on Sat 19th & Sun 20th at St Edward’s Junior School

10am – Cheerobics with Natalie Bones or Yoga with Lisa Morison
11am – Zumba with Emma from Zigs or Kettlecise with Sarah Gates
12pm – YFFF (Your Final Fitness Formula) with Laura Milne or Fitness Pilates with Jackie Allen
1.45pm – Crossfit with Cheltenham Crossfit or Super Seniors with Jackie Allen
2.45pm – Zumba Party with Natalie Bones  or Yoga with Jackie Allen

10am – Kettlecise with Sarah Gates or Fitness Pilates with Clare Bailey
11am – Bokwa with Clare Bailey or Yoga with Valarie Kenmir
12pm – Crossfit with Cheltenham Crossfit or Zumba with Clare Bailey
1.45pm – YFFF (Your Final Fitness Formula) with Laura Milne or Retrobics with Christina Poulton
2.45pm – Zumba Party with Emily Poole

£7 a class, 5 classes for £30. You can do more if you want. Whole Foods Market Cheltenham will be there giving out goodie bags and there will be a lunch break where they can get nutritional advice from me.


I hope you want to attend some classes to so please get booked on and make a weekend of it

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The classes are to be 45min long so there is enough time for change over, we have two separate halls.