hawkwell herbs

Sage Advice from Hawkwell Herbs

It is still cold...  Pasta awaits.  "Spag Bol" awaits.  Fish in tomato sauce awaits.  Roasted veggies in tomato sauce awaits.  We all want a bit of wa...

hawkwell herbs

January Herb Salad – from Haw...

Sara Dixon from Hawkwell Herbs has come to talk to us about cooking with herbs, her monthly slot will include some herby recipes, plus where to find h...

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hawkwell herbs

Sage Advice from Hawkwell Herbs

It is still cold...  Pasta awaits.  "Spag Bol" awaits.  Fish in tomato sauce awaits.  Roasted veggies in tomato sauce awaits.  We all want a...

Wellingborough & Great Doddington

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The New 21 Day Clean Reset – Lose the Weight You Hate

There are a few “21 Day Reset” Diets on the internet right now, but in my opinion they all contain questionable chemicals.  I don’t like to use things if I don’t know what’s in them and what exactly they will do to my body.  Taking drops and shakes of dubious origin is no longer for me.  After around a year of finding out about nutrition, toxins and clean eating I am a big advocate of knowing what’s going into and indeed onto my body.

Hence, I devised my “21 Day Clean Reset”

The science part….

There are different types of fat…

We have three types of fat in our body. The first is what we use for energy, which we obtain from our food.

If we are eating too many calories and not burning them off, we lay down fat as visceral fat, the 2nd type of fat. This is the dangerous fat which collects around our organs. It can be a contributing factor to heart disease and diabetes. It also makes our body produce extra hormones which can raise the risk of cancer and interfere with weight-loss. More about hormones later.  Visceral fat is extremely hard to lose and feels locked in.

We also have a 3rd type, which is structural fat. It’s underneath the skin, in our joints, and most importantly, in our lean muscle tissue. The heart is a lean muscle, so this is a fat that we don’t want to lose.  Unfortunately, it’s the structural fat that we do tend to lose on a traditional ‘diet’.

Oh no! You’ve slowed down your own metabolism…

Recent TV shows have shown that traditional weight-loss diets mean you burn the initial energy stores first, then the body turns to the structural fat to maintain the weight-loss.

Each time we lose structural fat, we slow our metabolism down, leading to us putting on weight again because we can no longer consume as many calories. We diet again, we lose more structural fat, leading to an even slower metabolism… This is how the yo-yo cycle begins.

People who do very low-calorie diets which consist of meal replacement soups and shakes can lose copious amounts of weight, but they lose the structural fat first, so end up with saggy skin. The weight goes back on quickly as they lose lean muscle tissue, which, slows the metabolism.

The Hormone Element

We’ve all seen on TV how our food (farmed animals mainly, but also sprayed crops) is now containing hormones, chemicals and all sorts of things which could potentially do us harm. It’s not just the food we eat, anything we put on our skin (from skin cream to having cleaning chemicals on our hands) also enters our blood stream – within 20 minutes of application.

diet and detox

When our skin and bodies are burdened by cumulative toxic chemicals, it interferes with normal bodily functions and can lead to an array of problems, such as weakening our skin barrier and making us more susceptible to skin conditions. For example, the rate of eczema is rising sharply, with a 42% rise in diagnosis of the condition between 2001 and 2005.  Our delicate hormone balance is also affected, and this is what helps regulate our weight.

SOURCE: Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2746851/


A study was done by UC Berkeley in California on 100 girls that tested positive for 4 of the most toxic cosmetic chemicals: phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone.  All these chemicals are found in make-up and skin care items.


The girls then only used products that were free from these toxic chemicals for just 3 days. Another body burden test was done after this time period to see if there was any difference, and they found significant drops in levels of the chemicals in the body, an average of a third, including parabens dropping by 45%.

SOURCE: Berkeley News: www.news.berkeley.edu/2016/03/07/cosmetics-chemicals
SOURCE: Environmental Health Perspectives: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5047791

A separate study conducted by the EWG on US teenage girls in 2008 found an average of 16 hormone altering cosmetic chemicals in their bodies – mainly chemicals that enter through the lips and eyes from toxic makeup.

SOURCE: EWG: www.ewg.org/research/teen-girls-body-burden-hormone-altering-cosmetics-chemicals#.Wm8I1Khl-Uk

cooking helen's chicken recipe in pan | nene local

The good news is our bodies can become detoxified over time. We need to look at the product we eat, the products we use on our skin and the products we spray and use around our homes.  We have no influence over what is used in our communal spaces out in the world but much can be achieved by ridding our own environment of toxins.

My Story


The scales said:                      11stone 7lbs (I needed to lose 2 stone) – I am 5’4″ tall.

The tape measure said:          Bust   37″  Waist   40″   Hips  45″

diet and detox

Detoxing for 21 Days

My plan focuses on ridding my home of toxic chemicals, ridding my body of the same – such as nitrites in processed food.

There are currently 85,000 chemicals developed for the US personal care market, with more than 1,000 new ones being introduced each year. And according to an analysis by the (EWG), 80% of personal care products contain ingredients that contain hazardous impurities such as proven carcinogens, reproductive toxins and hormone disruptors.

SOURCE: United States Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov/tsca-inventory/about-tsca-chemical-substance-inventory EWG: www.ewg.org/skindeep/why-this-matters-cosmetics-and-your-health/#.Wm8Hkqhl-Uk

A I detoxed, it took me just three days to start feeling better.

My 21 Day Clean Reset

My detox is based on nutritious food and drink.  Natural sugars.  Nothing processed.

Natural skin care, natural make up, natural house cleaners.

There are no replacement drinks or juices, fasting or any supplements.


Want to find out more?


What could you expect?


  • Your weight could decrease by up to 21lbs in 21 days
  • You could have more energy
  • Your skin should improve
  • Stubborn body fat should decrease
  • You could have less cold & flu type issues

…and in under a month!


Join the Clean Revolution


There are three packages available:


Budget – contains the Diet Plan, Detoxing your Home Plan, Detoxing your Skin Plan.



Standard – contains the Diet Plan, Detoxing your Home Plan, Detoxing your Skin Plan, plus a fabulous Starter Kit for your skin – with all natural Cleanser, Toner, Moisturiser, Skin Serum and Shower Gel.



Premium – contains the Diet Plan, Detoxing your Home Plan, Detoxing your Skin Plan, plus an amazing Body Kit for your skin – with all natural Cleanser, Toner, Moisturiser, Skin Serum, Shower Gel, Hand Wash, Shampoo and Conditioner.



There is also the option to purchase natural make-up and further bath, shower and skin items.

 How Much will You Lose?

To find out about my 21 Day Clean Reset and all the lovely foods you are allowed – email me on helen@aspengirl.co.uk  and ask me anything about it!

Sage Advice from Hawkwell Herbs

It is still cold…  Pasta awaits.  “Spag Bol” awaits.  Fish in tomato sauce awaits.  Roasted veggies in tomato sauce awaits.  We all want a bit of warmth and a bit of that feeling of eating something to make us warm.  Something tasty. Something that satisfies inside when all is cold outside.

Just as well then that the Herb of the Month is SAGE.  Which is PERFECT with tomato sauce because it ‘adds depth’. Whenever anyone says something ‘adds depth’ of flavour, I rarely know what they mean by it!  Here is what I mean. It is a taste which makes you want to eat more, lick your lips forever, and eat more again!  Perfect for that warmth inside when it is cold outside.

This month, therefore, we are going to make a tomato sauce which you can put with anything. And you can use ingredients in your sauce that you happen to have lying about (most likely) so I have given you plenty of alternatives…hawkwell herbs

What do you need?

Tomatoes…  Now, unless you are living The Good Life somewhere hot right now, you are unlikely to have fresh tomatoes…  If you are lucky enough to be near a Farmers’ Market where the farmer has a lovely heated polytunnel and can provide you with some, go for it. Otherwise, avoid the ones flown in from Lord Knows Where…  You may have some frozen from last year of course? Or bottled?  For this recipe, I chose a combination of tinned tomatoes and tomato soup! It is what I had…  You can do the same.  You will need about a pint of liquid, however it is made up.

Sage – our hero of the sauce. Choose the flavour Sage that you prefer.  Go easy to start with. Use about 6  leaves until you know how much you like. It is a strong herb…

Some oil

Some onions

And then your choice of other ingredients: I have gone for: a tin of tuna;  some kidney beans; and some coconut milk!  The coconut  milk was included in  my 1 pint of liquid. You might  like to add mince (for a spaghetti bolognese),  or garlic (not everybody likes it though), or just add nothing and leave it as a sauce for later with, say, a nice thick fish or poured over some mashed spaghetti squash.

How do you make it?

Chop your onions and your sage. Gently ‘sweat’ your onions in oil in a pan. Keep them moving so they do not burn. Then add your Sage (keep your Sage  moving too. Do not let it burn.)

Then add your liquid. Add your other ingredients (so here I added  my beans and my tuna). Heat it all up until it begins to bubble fairly ferociously! Then… turn it down and let it simmer gently.

How long for?  That depends what you have put in it. If you have added meat (eg mince) make sure that is cooked through. The idea of this sauce is that it slowly bubbles away, filling your home with wonderful tempting aromas! Some people like their tomato sauce quite ‘runny’, others like it nice and thick.  The longer it cooks, the more it will evaporate and become thicker. Up to you.


Did you know:

There are over 500 different flavours of Sage.  And Sage must always be planted by a stranger and always planted alongside other herbs. And it will only grow where there is a dominant woman! A little like Rosemary –  the size of the Rosemary bush reflects the power of the woman of the house.

My question for you

You have seen that I added a tin of coconut milk. What is YOUR favourite ingredient in your version of a tomato sauce?

Where can you find Hawkwell Herbs this month?

Saturday 2nd February – Thrapston Farmers’ Market

Sunday 3rd February – Olney Farmers’ Market

Saturday 9th February  – Oundle Farmers’ Market

Saturday 23rd February – Ely Farmers’ Market.

PLUS Sara delivers herbs in ‘HerbBella the Van’ to Loyalty Card customers on Mondays and Fridays to keep everybody topped up in between markets.

And if you are on Twitter

Sara will be ‘taking over’ the @smallholdersUK account for a week from Monday 4th February. Learn all about the life of the Herbs, how they are grown, how they can be used in cooking and, generally, about the life of a herb grower from Sudborough!

hawkwell herbs

Herb of the month for February

Sage – 5 different flavours – from the strong and punchy – the sweet and comparatively mild.   As always, a Cooking Ideas booklet comes with each herb. All available at the Farmers’ Markets.


January Herb Salad – from Hawkwell Herbs

Sara Dixon from Hawkwell Herbs has come to talk to us about cooking with herbs, her monthly slot will include some herby recipes, plus where to find her stall and how to order or buy…

It’s a cold January, so why a salad? We need taste still, we need to feel we are indulging still, but, let’s face it, we put ourselves under pressure to go ‘healthy’ at the beginning of the year.  This recipe has taste, indulgence AND health.

hawkwell herbs

What do you need?

Oil – oil of your choice – try using flavoured oils if you have any – try indulging with a nut oil if you are able.

Onion – I like to use red onions for colour AND strong flavour.  Chop your onion quite small after peeling.

Bulghur wheat or any other grain of your choice – as long as it is capable of filling you up.  You can even use beans if you prefer.

Herbs of your choice – I tend to go with whatever I have the most of! I have used Parsley, which survives cold, frost, snow… and I have gone for the flat leaved variety which I prefer to the curly, I’m using Mint and have gone for Moroccan as it has a punchy taste but try any flavour mint that you have, and Land Cress which, if you haven’t tried it, is peppery.

Preparation: Chop the herb leaves for the dish itself but RETAIN the stalks as well (see below)

  1. Cook your chosen grain/beans according to manufacturer’s instructions.
    1. If you are going with the Bulghur Wheat, it is one third wheat to two thirds water (in volume), bring to the boil, simmer for about 10 minutes.
    2. Drain any excess moisture away.
  2. Whilst cooking your grain/beans, start to gently fry your onion in the oil until it goes soft. This is when the natural sugars develop too. Which helps if you crave that still-remembered Christmas sugar hit!
  3. The amount of oil you add is up to you but this is a dish which involves Bulghur Wheat which soaks up the oil very nicely as part of the final mixing.
  4. Once the onion begins to go soft, add your herbs. Turn the heat right down and gently stir them until they too begin to wilt. I like some crunch to my herbs as well as rawness of flavour but if you are using herbs which need some cooking, stir them for longer.
  5. Then add your Bulghur Wheat/grains/beans to the herb mix and mix it all together well.
  6. Eat hot or cold.

Did you know?

Retain the stalks of herbs (unless they are used in the dish itself) as they still have a use! I use them in stock, stews, casseroles, even herbal teas/tisanes as they often hold a great deal of flavour.

hawkwell herbs

Where can you find Hawkwell Herbs this month?

Sunday 6th January – Olney Farmers’ Market

Saturday 12th January – Oundle Farmers’ Market

Saturday 26th January – Ely Farmers’ Market.

PLUS Sara delivers herbs in ‘HerbBella the Van’ to Loyalty Card customers on Mondays and Fridays to keep everybody topped up in between markets.

hawkwell herbs

Special events this month:

Monday 7th January – a healthy afternoon tea party hosted with AmbaScarlett  https://www.facebook.com/events/1611948945572240/

Sunday 27th January – Hanslope Vegan Winter Fair  https://www.facebook.com/events/728024497577611/

Herb of the month for January

Another themed month!  A variety of herbs to help you make tasty herbal teas/tisanes, as well as herbs to pep up a winter salad.   As always, a Cooking Ideas booklet comes with each herb. All available at the Farmers’ Markets.