Head, shoulders, (tum, bum) knees and toes…

Gill from Central Healthcare
Our recent posts have featured how Nic and I are becoming the best we can be in 2016.
Both of us have decided to get well in our own way whether it be going through C.B.T (cognitive behavior therapy) or sorting out toe nails. So here’s the next installment and this time it’s all about cleansing.

You may have seen the tweets about going for colonic irrigation. This was the ‘in thing’ back in the day, everyone seemed to be talking about it and even though you might not hear it as a buzz word anymore it’s still well and truly alive in Newcastle at Central Healthcare. It’s something I’ve thought about doing for years and since I’m wanting a full cleanse of my life it seemed sensible to include my colon too.

I’ve heard lots of stories, the good the bad and the indifferent. Prior to my appointment I was called by the Gill a nurse of 27 years to go through ‘what to expect’ which put me at ease and I was able to ask questions. The questions that had prevented me from going in the past. Things like, ‘will it hurt?’, ‘what are the short, medium and long term benefits?’, ‘will it hurt?’, ‘will the water be warm?’, ‘will it hurt?’…..

Gill talked me through her experience and why she is so passionate about the treatment. She went through the ‘ins and outs’ so to speak. Appointments last one hour so this pre visit call is very beneficial so it doesn’t actually eat into therapy time. One thing that Gill highlighted on more then one occasion was that the treatment MAY not lead to weight loss. I accepted the statement but also thought that if poop was being irrigated then surely weight loss is a side effect albeit only until you replace it with more food.

One week after the call – appointment time

I ensured the appointment could be on a child free day and I arrived into Newcastle city centre (train station area). There is on street parking nearby and two multi-storey car parks in the area. Ensure you buy a ticket and display it (I didn’t display so got a lovely parking ticket which I successfully appealed).

Central Health care is situated in one of the newly developed railway arches and looks unassuming from the outside which I saw as a positive as I’m not sure I’d want everyone to know where I was headed (instead I’ll write it down in detail and tell 1,000’s about my experience).

Gill welcomed me in and immediately put me at ease. I completed a short medical questionnaire and we went through the process again. He’s an A to K – of the process;

a. Entered white room with two white beds adorned in red towels. I recognised one of the beds locations from a     review by Lisa of Tried and Tested for a vitamin infusion.

b. Gill then went through the entire process with me and showed me where I could undress from the waist down.

c.I lay on the bed and Gill got to work. The sterile parts of the equipment was opened in front of me and then the speculum was popped into where it needed to go. Although completely being put at ease I did feel quite             embarrassed.

d. It was now time for the actual irrigation to commence. Here a slow stream of water went up the tube and goes     inside to fill the colon.

e. This gentle process carried on for a few rounds but then the intensity increased. Gill massaged my tummy and   then turned the water pressure up and she asked me to hold it for as long as possible and then release. I’m not     ashamed to say it, I was crap rather rubbish at the hold and it was definitely my least favourite part of the process. It simply felt weird and uncomfortable (not painful).

f. After the initial site of the number two there was nothing for a while. The clear water went in and tinged water
came out but there was NO substance to it. I really thought there would be a never ending exodus of backed up     poop from my rather poor diet. A few minutes went by and nothing.

g. Gill asked me if I thought I could take the deeper pressure again, and because I wanted the best results
possible I said yes….Then the pressure was upped and voila more extract happened but this was nearing the end of the prescribed treatment time, however she continued until more came and then that was over. A very quick hour.

h. Now time to extract the speculum.

g. Gill cleared up and disposed of all of the now non sterile equipment used whilst and I went and got dressed.

h. I went to the toilet as recommended to ensure any movement came out then and there.

i. I entered the main room again. Had a drink of water and a probiotic (you can read about their benefits in a Central Healthcare blog post here) which I was recommended to take for 30 days. I could have bought a supply but I knew I had some unopened probiotics in the house.

Then it was time to say goodbye…. 

How did I feel straight after the treatment? I felt clear in my brain as I’d been suffering from a niggling headache for days. My bloating reduced and I felt more vibrant. Gill recommended some more sessions to get the full benefits of irrigation.

Within the hour after treatment

Stupidly I decided to enjoy more mummy time off and headed to the Metro Centre and embarrassingly I did a big pump and more….I was mortified. I needed to find a toilet really quickly and whatever got moved during the colonic came out quick smart.

Rest of the day

I spent quite a lot of time at the loo and I drank lots of fluids to ensure I stayed hydrated.

The next day

Again I was quite poo tastic and the contents of the loo were rather bright yellow in colour. Normal? It didn’t look normal but I reassured myself that it was. (NOTE: yellow poo can be down to lack of good bacteria in the body).

Later that week – Fat class weigh in

As for weight loss on my weigh in I got a ‘maintain’ rather than a loss, so Gill was right after all but surely there should have been pounds lost from my body, I guess not.

Would I recommend colon therapy? I am of the persuasion that you shouldn’t knock anything until you try it. Gill and I talked all of the way through the treatment so it was akin to visiting a hairdressers in that respect. Therapy for the mind not the body; What I would do before, during and after a second treatment;

  • Clear your day if possible
  • Relax during the treatment (easier said than done)
  • Eat some probiotic yoghurt
  • Do not go shopping
  • Go home
  • Rest and enjoy the clarity
  • Don’t go with the expectation of miracles or weight loss.

Treatments start from £75.00. You can follow Central Healthcare on Facebook and Twitter  To find or give them a call on 0191 222 0100.


Stay Here: Living it up at The Lowry

The Lowry Bedroom

Where do you go to spend some time with your partner before baby is born or infact whenever the fancy takes you? A five star hotel that’s where.

When I put my cast out for a localish babymoon to mark our last date night before baby two arrived several hotels got in touch (how lucky am I?). Since our last visit to a ‘Leading Hotels of The World’ in 2013 in the form of The Landmark London we’d been craving to stay somewhere else from the prestigious selection so when The Lowry Manchester got in touch we accepted their kind invitation.

So the date was set for Friday 24 July (31 days before due date) and Tiffany Rose the gorgeous maternity and nursing brand were sending my dresses of choice, well a woman has to look good no matter what stage we are in our lives.

We were so excited bags were packed in advance (a first for me). We wanted to make use of every minute so even the school run had been sorted so I didn’t have to get up and rush to get me plus one ready (being 34 and a bit weeks pregnant was depleting my energy lots).

So the 24 of July arrived and so did my little baby boy! (another story). H2B contacted the hotel and spoke to the concierge and explained that alas we wouldn’t be reviewing that evening. My hospital bag was my overnight hotel bag so check me out on the hospital ward with a slinky nightie (yes I was heavily pregnant but I looked fab so slinky and hotel worked but slinky and hospital post C Section, not so much).

Fast forward a few months and we finally made it to The Lowry!

After a car journey from Durham to Manchester we were ready for a lovely evening. The sat nav kept wanting to take us to the rear of the hotel where there is no parking so I’d advise you take a quick look at google to navigate where you need to be. One side of the hotel is classed as Salford and the other Manchester and it’s a hop skip and a jump from Spinningfields where I’d pre signed us up for one of their yellow discount cards.

I must admit that the exterior of the hotel didn’t do it for me in terms of grandeur but I was looking forward to going over the threshold.

Check in: This was seemless. Five star hotels are no longer stuffy and pompous like they were in the past, we definitely agree with the Lowry’s tag line of ‘Where things happen for the modern luxury generation’. The Lowry Hotel went through a full refurbishment in 2015 and was looking good!

The room: We checked into our superior deluxe corner room.  As we entered the room there was a walk in wardrobe on the left and a bathroom on the right. One step further and there was an orange chaise longue in front of floor to ceiling windows (of which I tweeted about immediately).

The bed was massive and conducive to having a little cat nap. The pillow and duvet were just right.

The mini bar: I was a bit peckish so H2B popped to the local supermarket to buy some supplies as we saw the five star prices of the contents. It is really well stocked but be mindful of the potential midnight feast.

The bathroom: If you are a lover of gigantic bathrooms then this isn’t the place for you ‘compact and bijou’ is what you will find. There was a good selection of toiletries by Aromatherapy and I loved the squishy bathrobes.

Breakfast: In the morning we headed to the River bar and grill for breakfast. A hotel stay can be completely ruined if this isn’t good. A fabulous selection of buffet and a la carte was available.

The buffet was adorned with cereals, breads, pastries, cheeses and some of the best smoked salmon I’ve had in a long time alongside the traditional ingredients of a full English breakfast.  My H2B bumped into someone whilst at the buffet and I heard him say, ‘after you Mr. Bridges’, yes the magnificent Kevin Bridges was at breakfast along with Romesh Ranganathan. H2B loves a bit of celeb spotting alas I of course had to trump him. As he was telling me about Mr. Bridges I lifted my head only to see the legend that is Ian Wright on the opposite table sporting a fabulous pair of moccasin slippers. H2B was beside himself and the appearance of one of the Neville brothers made his day.

The art: Around the hotel were some fabulous artwork and this gallery changes on a frequent basis.

Super touch: The Lowry staff knew that we had a baby and thought we’d be bringing him along for the weekend too so a cotbed with teddy had been placed in the room. It was so lovely but I must admit we got housekeeping to remove it. Teddy made his way into our suitcase though and sits on Luke’s drawers.

Thank you for a lovely stay with celebrity spotting included.



Eat Here: Getting saucy in Sandyford

Suzanne HarissaNow when it comes to lovely dining, Sandyford in Newcastle might not spring to mind but our recent trip to ‘Harissa Mediterranean Kitchen’ has definitely opened our eyes. In fact we were a little reticent to share this gem of an establishment but since the blooming ‘Secret Diner has outed it as, “being so good he visited it twice” I only think it’s fair to give our view too.

This place most definitely has curb appeal and we were greeted by the owner (James/Jamie – depending on what day of the week it is) and we instantly felt as if we were at home, quite strangely as if we were going to a friends for dinner. Jamie was so friendly we were sure we’d already met him but couldn’t place where!

With a glass of ice cold water in hand, I started to talk to Jamie whilst Nicola took photos aplenty. My first question was; “What is Harissa” as I had visions of bottles of Harissa sauce in my head as my partner is a lover of all things spicy!  I on the other hand am a bit of a wuss, so Jamie talked through the menu and helped to select flavours that married well but weren’t overly spicy on the taste buds.

flowersThe decor is clean and crisp with such fab attention to detail. Jamie let us into a secret about the copper piping on the ceiling housing the Edison lamps (we’re not going to reveal his secrets though!).

Once all in-situ we were introduced to the restaurant and the concept of Harissa Mediterranean Kitchen or Harrisa for short.  Jamie explained the history of sister company Food Nation (at which point Nicola and I turned to each other and remembered Simon Preston who we’d worked with when promoting The Great North Eco-Feast way back in 2009 and is a director of Food Nation). You can read more about it here to stop me going off in on a whole other tangent!

Now back to the food. I was starving. I’d done a round trip to Leeds and back that day and Nicola had had a mega busy day and still had some prep for her LinkedIn training she was delivering the next day. Two tired, hungry ladies meant ‘eyes bigger then belly’ food consumption!

We started with a melody of nibbles in the form of spiced roasted nuts (hint go for the ones with less dusting for less spice), Honey, Cumin, Coriander & Smoked Paprika Marinated Olives (they warned us they weren’t pitted so all was good) Lemon, Chilli & Fresh Herbs Harissa House Pickles (punchy and well balanced).

Alongside this we ordered some marinated and char grilled Halloumi and some hummus – great flavours but I don’t think I will ever get used to the squeak of that particular cheese.

Fresh and lovely food Harissa

Next, mains. Be careful not to over order; at one point we had everything on our table as we hadn’t yet finished the starters.

We both opted for slow roasted shoulder of spiced pork with apple, grilled spring onion and crackling – they got me at crackling as it’s one of my all time favorites. It was tasty, but there was something missing and Nicola hit it on the head; honey. The very savoury taste needed to be lifted just a little with something sweet.

Et voila, a squirty honey pot was given to us and it really lifted the meal. Thankfully, the team didn’t think we were cheeky in-fact quite the opposite; the chef is going to make this part of the dish.

Mains HarissaDesert. We weren’t going to indulge but couldn’t resist and went for the honey, tahini & pistachio parfait and sesame praline orange and saffron polenta cake. Both were super scrummy but we couldn’t help coveting Laura’s and Kayleigh’s chocolate torte it was a ‘special’ and not on the menu. As we had already ordered it was a tad too late to change so we’ll go for that next time.

honey tahini and pistachio parfait


There was a nice blogging buzz in the restaurant and it would be amusing being a fly on the wall watching us all trying to get ‘that perfect angle’! What was even nicer though, was people who saw us eating started to walk in and sit down and were greeted with open arms and the waitress (I’m so sorry we didn’t take your name) looked genuinely chuffed to be helping, ‘real customers’.

Hats off to food, your mission and your fabulous customer service, we’ll thoroughly recommend Harrisa.

Love Suz and Nic. x