Making those New Year’s Resolutions stick

The new year often starts with the best of intentions. But by the middle of the month, most of us have already begun to abandon the resolutions we made so resolutely on the first of January.

The cold, dark weather, the long wait until payday, and the desire to cheer ourselves up often means we let our plans slip and before we know it, we’re back where we started.

So, how can we really realise our goals? How can we protect ourselves from self-sabotage and make those resolutions a reality? Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks.

Smartblood Articles


What’s in your festive spirit? Understanding alcohol intolerance

‘Tis the season to be merry’, so the saying goes. And for many of us, merry means a festive glass (or three) of something fizzy, brewed or distilled.

And while it’s not unusual for us to overindulge at this time of year, leaving us nursing a hangover headache, if you find that your favourite tipple isn’t quite getting you into the festive spirit, and you’re experiencing the after-effects of a heavy night after only a drink or two, it might be time to consider what’s in that glass.


How to have a festive free-from Christmas

‘Tis the season for festive feasting as tables groan under the weight of decadent spreads. There’s nothing quite like Christmas for getting us excited about food and it’s generally accepted that we will over-indulge. Well, it is the time to eat, drink and be merry after all.

But what if you suffer with a food intolerance? If there’s something in your diet that doesn’t agree with you, navigating the tempting treats can be a challenge, particularly if you don’t know exactly what’s causing the problem.


How can you combat winter skin?

As the temperature drops, many of us notice our skin starts to change. The winter months can wreak havoc on our complexion, causing a whole host of irritation and inflammation.

While we know it’s important to wrap up warm and protect our extremities from extreme weather, keeping our skin nourished as the cold sets in involves a lot more than remembering to wear a scarf and gloves.


The hidden intolerances in a vegan diet

Climate concerns, animal welfare, health and wellbeing. Whatever the reason, more and more of us are adopting a vegan diet, or at least looking to cut down on the amount of animal products on our plates.

While maintaining a healthy, balanced diet free from meat and other animal derived produce is completely possible, a radical shift in eating habits can have an unexpected impact on health and how we feel day to day.


Winter aches and pains. Could there be more to it?

When the cold weather sets in, many of us experience flare ups of discomfort in our joints. Old injuries can rear their heads as the temperature drops, causing us to reach for the anti-inflammatories. But could something else be behind those aches and pains?

If you experience joint pain but are struggling to put your finger on the cause, it could be worth considering whether something in your diet could be the trigger.


Food intolerance and fatigue. Is there a link?

It’s perfectly normal to experience fatigue from time to time. From poor sleeping patterns to stress, overworking to changes in routine, there are many lifestyle factors which can lead us to feel tired and lethargic.

But if this exhaustion continues, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear reason, it might be worth taking a closer look at your diet to understand whether something you’re eating could be contributing to your feelings of fatigue.


What Natasha’s law means for food labelling

On 1 October 2021, a new law on allergen labelling came into effect. From this date, any food business selling pre-packaged foods for direct sale (PPDS) must include full ingredient details on the label, with allergenic ingredients highlighted.

The rule, known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, follows the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who suffered a fatal allergic reaction to the sesame baked into a pre-packaged baguette from chain café Pret which, at that time, did not require allergen labelling.


A closer look at labels. Hidden sources of food intolerance.

When you know a certain ingredient causes you problems, avoiding it eventually becomes second nature. But being able to do that depends on knowing what it’s called. Seems obvious, right? Well, not always.

When it comes to food labelling, things aren’t always as they appear. Depending on their use, or the way they’re processed, certain ingredients are often listed by alternative names, making it tricker to spot your trigger foods.


Can you be intolerant to coffee?

For many of us coffee is a vital ingredient in our lives. That first cup in the morning sets us up for the day and when we don’t have it, we miss its ability to perk us up and deliver a boost of energy.

What if you’re a moderate coffee consumer? Or you prefer to drink decaff? If you’re still noticing unwanted symptoms, it might be time to put the mug down.


Celebrating National Chocolate Week

Chocolate Week – yes, it’s a real thing. This celebration of all things cocoa runs from 14th to 19th October, acknowledging our love of the rich and indulgent treat. From truffles to Toblerone, brownies to buttons. If you love chocolate, this is the week to get stuck in.

Of course, too much of the stuff can make anyone feel a little poorly. It’s a treat high in fats and sugars and should be enjoyed in moderation, as part of a balanced diet. But what if you already do? If you have good control over your chocolate consumption but find than even modest amounts seem to have an adverse effect, it might be worth taking a closer look at what’s in your favourite treat, and why it might be playing tricks on you.


National Arthritis Week 7 – 13 October

It’s estimated that around 10 million people in the UK suffer with some form of arthritis. And contrary to common belief, arthritis isn’t a condition that only affects the elderly. People of all ages can develop it and, depending on the type, the impact on a sufferer’s life can be debilitating.

So, what is arthritis? What causes it and how can sufferers ease the symptoms? For National Arthritis Week, we’re taking a look at the UK’s most common cause of disability.


The perfect free from hot chocolate

With the end of summer comes the promise of crunchy leaves and chilly air. What better way to warm up on an autumn walk than with a gloriously decadent flask of hot chocolate? It’s one of our beloved cold weather drinks but, if you have certain intolerances, a mugful might not leave you with that warm and fuzzy feeling.


Food intolerance friendly packed lunches

As the kids head back to school, the task of putting together tasty, balanced packed lunches also returns.

The morning scramble to get everyone ready can make pack ups challenging enough, but what do you do when you need to account for food intolerances too? Read on for some of our top tips.


Is something in your diet causing your migraines?

If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you know how painful, draining and debilitating they can be. Often coming out of nowhere, the impact of a bag migraine can last hours, and sometimes even days.

This Migraine Awareness Week (5 – 11 September) we’re taking a look at the link between diet and migraine, and whether what you eat can play a part in triggering an attack.


Getting under the skin of eczema. Common questions.

If you suffer with eczema, you’ll know all too well the frustration of flare ups. From identifying your triggers to managing the symptoms, living with skin complaints such as eczema can take a toll emotionally, as well as physically.

As we kick off National Eczema Week (13 – 19 September) we’re taking a look at some of the common question people ask about the condition.


Eating out with a food intolerance

When something in your diet doesn’t agree with you, it’s likely that you’ll do what you can to avoid eating it at all costs.

From bloating to migraines, skin complaints to joint pains, our trigger foods can cause a host of unwanted conditions that, given the opportunity, we’ll make an effort to steer clear of.

Here are some of our top tips:


Packing a food intolerance friendly picnic

The weather is warming up and, with social distancing still recommended, outdoor picnics are a great way to get together and enjoy the summer safely.

But for those of us with a food intolerance, many of our traditional picnic favourites can feel like they’re off the menu.


Best ways to beat bloating

It’s a fact of life. From time to time, for one reason or another, we all feel a little bloated. After a big meal, we generally expect to feel full, and sometimes, a little uncomfortable.

But for some of us, bloating can get quite severe and painful. When this happens, we want relief as soon as possible.


Going Free From – Top tips

When you realise something you’re eating isn’t agreeing with you, the next logical step is to remove it from your diet. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

Our trigger foods can often be some of our most favourite things to eat, making them very hard to resist. They can also be ingredients which feature heavily in meals, and prepared products, making it difficult to avoid them.

If you’re trying to make changes to your diet to avoid a problem food, here are some of our top tips.


Are superfoods really that super?

It seems like every year there’s a new round of wonder foods, vying for a place on our plates. But is there any truth to the superfood claim or is it a case of hype over health benefits?

5 ways food intolerances affect your fitness

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic, or you’re taking steps to introduce a little more activity into your daily routine, it can be frustrating when you’re not seeing progress.

We all know that results come from a blend of regular exercise and a balanced diet. But, on the diet side, sometimes even the healthiest meals can undermine your efforts if you’re eating something that doesn’t agree with you.


Should I give up gluten?

Cast your eye over any Free From options on a menu, or the supermarket shelves, and it’s likely you’ll see gluten-free alternatives high on the top of the list.

From bloating to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), skin complaints to weight gain, when it comes to shining a light on the foods that may cause us to feel unwell, gluten often gets the blame. But are we being too quick to judge?


Can food intolerance cause acne?

Acne breakouts can be incredibly frustrating. Even if you maintain a healthy diet, great skincare routine and drink plenty of water, flare ups can still come out of the blue, causing irritation, discomfort, and embarrassment.

Could beer be behind your bloating?

The easing of lockdown has ushered in a welcome return to the beer garden. While many of us indulged in alcoholic drinks at home over the past year, the social element of the pub has been something that many of us have missed.

Getting fit this summer. How to make real sustainable changes.

With the weather heating up, many of us are turning our attention to the extra pounds we gained during lockdown.


Are food intolerances more common now?

Ask one of your grandparents and they’ll probably tell you that food intolerances were pretty unheard of in their day. Free From options simply didn’t exist.

Can you grow out of a food intolerance?

When you’ve eaten a varied diet all your life, it can be frustrating to find out that foods you previously enjoyed without issues are now causing you to feel unwell.

Could food intolerance be causing your joint pain?

Sore, aching, and stiff joints are something we commonly put down to ageing, or a natural response to exercise. We often excuse aches and pains without much thought, managing the symptoms with over-the-counter medication


Could something in my diet be causing my eczema?

Itchy, painful, and hard to hide, for many of us, skin complaints are the bane of our lives. From rashes to acne, when we suffer a flare up, finding ways to soothe the skin is only half the battle.

Struggling with your weight. Could food intolerance be to blame?

When you’re trying to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and generally make efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it can be frustrating not to see the results you’d expect on the scales.

From bangers to burgers. Could you have a meat intolerance?

Plant-based diets may be on the rise, but it’ll be a while yet before they completely replace meat.


4 reasons why your Nutritional Therapy consultation is the most important part of your food intolerance test.

Have you ever tried to make a major change to your diet?

Food intolerance: Testing methods under the microscope

It’s estimated that around 45% of the UK population has a food intolerance. With almost half of us experiencing an issue relating to our diet, it’s not surprising that we want to get to the bottom of it.

Food intolerance and depression. Is there a link?

With Easter out of the way and spring in full swing, many of us are looking forward to casting off the winter blues and enjoying sunnier days.


Could your lockdown diet have triggered a food intolerance?

With the end of lockdown in sight and sunnier weather beckoning, many of us are turning our attention to our diets, looking to shed the unwanted pounds brought on by one too many slices of banana bread.

Should I just give up dairy?

When it comes to making connections between our diets and our health, dairy often gets a bad rep. The increasing availability of Free From alternatives, combined with celebrity-endorsed food trends and the rise of veganism have all made going milk-free more mainstream. But is dairy really a problem?

What’s behind the bloating?

We’ve all been there. Tucking into a delicious meal, we overindulge until the waistband is digging into our stomach and the button is ready to pop. That uncomfortable feeling of fullness is a common result of overeating, and generally nothing to be concerned about.


What are the common symptoms of a food intolerance?

It’s estimated that around 45% of adults in the UK suffer with a food intolerance. With almost half the population experiencing issues with something in their diet, it’s clear that food intolerances are common. But are the symptoms?

Are food intolerances and food allergies the same?

The terms ‘food intolerance’ and ‘food allergy’ are often used interchangeably. While they are commonly mistaken and misunderstood, the two reactions involved are very different.

Research grant helps Smartblood make food intolerance testing more affordable.

At Smartblood, we’re delighted to be able to offer our most comprehensive food intolerance test at a market leading price, thanks to a new research grant.


Q&A with Smartblood Nutritionist Sheila.

Food Intolerance - Smartblood Q&A - Cameron Harris is a Fitness Expert and co-founder of TRUTH Gym, a 5 star fitness facility based in the prestigious Devonshire Club in the City of London.

Smartblood Q&A - Marathon

Smartblood Medical Director prepares to run London Marathon.

6 key effects of stress on the body

It’s natural to feel stressed at different times in our lives. From micro stresses such as deadlines and traffic to more prolonged episodes of difficulty, we all succumb to the negative aspects of anxiety from time to time.


Smartblood Q&A

Food Intolerance - Smartblood Q&A - Cameron Harris is a Fitness Expert and co-founder of TRUTH Gym, a 5 star fitness facility based in the prestigious Devonshire Club in the City of London.

Behind the scenes at Smartblood for Healthcare Science Week.

Smartblood Co-founder and Scientific Director Peter Horlock has a passion for problem solving. Able to look at complicated problems and break them down logically until the best solution is found gives him the unique set of skills and patience best suited to a scientist.

Food Intolerance friendly Free From pancakes

We flippin’ love pancake day. With all those tasty toppings and competitive batter tossing activity, it’s one of those culinary points in the calendar we look forward to every year.

New Year, new you. Tips to get healthy in 2020

A new year, a new you. That’s what we always promise. It’s a good way to convince ourselves that we’re capable of change as we wolf down another Quality Street and struggle for the TV remote.

Can you be intolerant to chocolate?

Too much of anything can be a bad thing and that can certainly be true with chocolate. Tempting as it is, eating too much isn’t going to be good for your health, or your waistline.

What’s your poison? Is Alcohol intolerance the reason for your hangover?

But there’s a difference between that killer hangover after too many 3am shots of s...

National Curry Week – is the nations’ favourite dish making you sick?

Consistently voted Britain’s best dish, we love a curry. From korma to keema and balti to bhuna, we can’t get enough of that complex blend of spices. Whether you like yours mild, delicately infused with coconut or searingly hot, packed full of mouth watering chillies,

National Baking Week. Food intolerance friendly free-from alternatives

It’s that time of year again. Boosted by the encouraging words of Mary Berry and inspired by a trestle table groaning under the weight of brilliant bakes, we pick up the spatula, determined to clai...

Feeling SAD? Can food intolerance affect your mood?

The leaves are starting to turn. A chill is creeping into the morning air. As we kiss goodbye to summer and look to pumpkin spice lattes and snugly jumpers, we also usher in a darker side of the se...

Post-holiday poorly. Could food intolerance be to blame?

There’s nothing like a week or two away from the stresses of work to make you approach life with restored. The great British holiday is a time for carefree abandon as we jet off to exotic climbs, s...

Taking a Food Intolerance test?

The words ‘allergy’ and ‘intolerance’ are often used interchangeably but they are, in fact, very different things. An allergy (classed as an IgE reaction) is usually instantaneous after contact wit...

Smartblood - 7 tips to reduce bloating!

It has long been suspected that there is a direct link between thyroid disorders and troublesome gut symptoms – which in some give rise to the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). By accident more often...

Migraines and food - is your diet giving you a headache?

Anyone who’s felt the agonising crush of a migraine will tell you how exh...

From beer to bread, how to tackle a yeast intolerance

A living fungus, yeast is a natural, active ingredient used in both baking and brewing. Feeding on sugar, yeast converts it into carbon dioxide and alcohol, helping bread to rise and beer to brew. .

From your skin to your mood, the unusual signs of Food Intolerance.

When you think about food intolerance, you usually imagine the issues that problem foods can have on the digestive system. Bloating, diarrhoea and constipation can all arise when you eat something ...

'Nutrichondria' Are you suffering with the latest diet complaint?

From celebrity testimonials and social media to the Free From aisles in the supermarket, our diets are being increasingly influenced by the world around us.

The rise and rise of Free From foods

It used to be the case that, if you needed a Free From alternative, you’d have to visit the large supermarkets and even then, you were likely to find only a small offering of highly overpriced prod...

Dairy Free Ice Cream Alternatives for Summer!

The distant buzz of bees floats over the summer breeze; the sun beats down, heating your skin as you notice that nostalgic tinkle of the ice cream van coming closer. Sweltering summer days just are...

About your Thyroid & Food Intolerance

It has long been suspected that there is a direct link between thyroid disorders and troublesome gut symptoms – which in some give rise to the