Breaking Bread - Prawn Curry: Food, Love & Sacrifice with MiMi Aye

In this episode I am Breaking Bread with MiMi Aye.

MiMi is British-born to Burmese parents, and has spent her whole life soaking up Burmese food, language, and culture through endless trips to see family and friends in Burma aka Myanmar.

She is a passionate advocate for Burmese cuisine, the founder of supper club and online community, Burmese Food and Beyond, and author of NOODLE! 100 Great Recipes. Her next book, MANDALAY: Burmese Food & Beyond is out in June 2019 and contains nearly 100 simple but authentic recipes revealing the secrets of the Burmese kitchen.

This is a real foodies’ episode. MiMi describes many of the key foods of Burmese culture, their preparation and symbolism. She shares her meaningful food in a story about prawn curry that brought us both to tears, as well as the legends of the illegal prawn procurement and the take of an unwanted edible gift from a military dictator. This episode was really a crash course in the traditions of the Burmese dinner table and cultural food practices, and it was absolutely fascinating. I hope you enjoy sitting around the table with Mimi Aye.

Show Notes

MiMi’s Website

MiMi on Twitter

Burmese Food & Beyond on Face Book

MiMi on Instagram

Q&A: Self, False Self & People Pleasing

This episode follows the podcast on Self, False Self and People Pleasing. I received so many comments and questions after that episode went out that I thought it would be helpful to do a separate episode where I could answer your questions and go in to more depth on some aspects of the theory. So thank you to everyone who submitted your questions and if you haven’t listened to the previous episode I recommend listening to that first as I do refer back to it. I hope you find it helpful.

Show Notes

The Graceful No

Self, False Self & People Pleasing

For this episode I want to talk to you about something that I think is incredibly common but that you might not be entirely familiar with. I want to talk to you about a psychological concept called the False Self and how it relates to the more well-known phenomenon of People Pleasing. I'll introduce the concept of the self and how it develops, the conditions that lead to the development and reliance on a false self and what the implications are for mental health and wellbeing.

Hot Sauce & Beach Snacks - Identity, Art & Assimilation with Shivi Ramoutar

In this episode I am Breaking Bread with Caribbean cook, author and presenter Shivi Ramoutar. For this episode I joined Shivi at her home which gave me the opportunity to twist her arm and get her to share some of her wonderful classical piano playing, which you can hear at the top of the episode. And on the theme of music we discuss how, as a black musician starting her music career, she was pigeonholed into performing RnB even though that was not her personal style of music.

In the rest of the episode Shivi shares some very funny stories about her family’s addiction to the hottest homemade chilli sauce,she retells the story of her disastrous first round of MasterChef and explains why she was the WORST. LAWYER. EVER.

Super multi-talented, warm and such a funny, deadpan story teller. I hope enjoy this conversation even half as much as I did.

Rose Harissa - Food as a Moment of Light in the Darkness with Ryan Riley

In this episode, I am Breaking Bread with Ryan Riley. Ryan is a food writer and stylist and the founder of Life Kitchen, a charity he launched in memory of his mother, Krista, who died of cancer. About 50% of people who undertake chemotherapy experience changes in taste that can take away the pleasure in eating. Life Kitchen designs recipes and runs cookery classes to help guests enjoy food again.

In this episode Ryan describes how he set up Life Kitchen, what his mum would have thought of the endeavour and shares some very touching anecdotes about his close relationship with his best friend.

Iced Buns: Remembering & Moving Forward with Anna Pancaldi

In this episode I am breaking bread with Anna Pancaldi. Anna is a singer-songwriter from glorious Essex who is being tipped as a rising star in the music world. Though still very early in her career she has toured in Europe and the US, and starred in a campaign for Levis, for which she also wrote the song. I first met Anna at the launch of a charity recipe book that I had written a recipe for and where she was performing. I was so moved by her voice and have been a fan ever since so I am really happy that she agreed to be my guest on the show.

In this warm and touching conversation Anna talks about the early roots of her musical career including getting started and her long battle to overcome stage fright. She also discusses what depression is like for her and how song-writing is her way of processing difficult and painful emotions. She also tells me the hilarious story of her worst ever gig and how she recovered from it.

Anna is so open and funny and I am sure you will love not just her voice but her too. 

Show Notes

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert - Your Elusive Creative Genius (TedTalk)


Matt Ingram

Anna on Twitter

Anna on Instagram

Anna on Facebook



Too Busy To Chew? Honest Review and Thoughts on the Rise of 'Drinkable Meals'

'Drinkable meals' are being touted as the future of food, with the makers claiming they are the perfect nutritional solution for time-poor, ambitious professionals. In this episode of the podcast I take a look at the world of drinkable meals. As well as giving an Honest Review, I look at the nutritional claims, get feedback from other users and think about what the rise of these products says about our changing relationship with food.

I'll be asking the following questions:

  • What are they?
  • Where did they come from?
  • Are they food?
  • What's the point?
  • Are they any good?
  • What does they say about how we think about food?

Heads up: this is a pretty nerdy episode, it's kind of an audio-documentary, so it might not be for everyone. But if the socio-politics and marketing of food are your thing then I hope you find it interesting!

Suicide Prevention

This episode is an urgent response to some very sad recent news about two high-profile individuals taking their own lives and some very worrying statistics. In the same week as the deaths a report was published in the UK showing that teen suicides are on the rise and have increased by 107% in London in the last 5 years, which is four times the national average. Recent research from the CDC showed that since 1999 the suicide rate in the US grew by more than 25%. Last week the funeral was held for Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii, who is also believed to have taken his own life.  

So, in this episode, I have teamed up with a colleague to help offer some support for people struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide or anyone worried about a loved one. Dr Sarah Vohra (@themindmedic) is a Child Psychiatrist, Columnist and Bestselling Author of Mental Health in Children and Young People and we discuss how to identify depression and suicide risk in yourself, children and adults. We offer strategies on how to intervene during the early stages of depression before it reaches crisis point but also describe what the priorities are if you believe someone is at imminent risk of self-harm or suicide. Crucially, we offer practical tips on how to have the very difficult but incredibly important conversation, how to ask someone if they are having thoughts of taking their own lives. We talk about what happens after an attempt and provide resources for people bereaved by suicide.

This was a heavy conversation even for us and we understand that these issues are very difficult to think about, talk about and listen to. So please, if you are concerned about yourself or someone else right now, do call emergency services immediately. This episode is for information only and should not be taken as diagnosis or treatment. It does not replace contact with a health professional. If you are feeling particularly fragile it may be best for you not to listen to this episode but to reach out to a friend or one of the resources that I have attached to the show notes that can be found below. 


      • 111 - NHS Urgent Concerns
      • 999 - Emergency services
      • Samaritans 116 123 Text:  Email
      • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men. Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
      • Maytree - A sanctuary for the suicidal 020 7263 7070 (North London)
      • MIND 0300 123 3393 (Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm)
      • Papyrus - Prevention of Young Suicide 0800 068 41 41 (Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm / 7pm – 10pm. Weekends 2pm – 5pm)
      • Childline – 0800 1111
      • Silverline 0800 4 70 80 90
      • James’ Place – Non clinical space for men in crisis. Based in Liverpool Opening on 19th June.
      • Nightline - university campuses. Nighttime listening service. Run by students for students. Details available from your student union
    • America
      • National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
      • The Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth 1-866-488-7386 text ‘Trevor’ to 1-202-304-1200
      • SamaritansUSA
      • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
    • Global

Bereaved by suicide

Medjool Dates: Food, Faith & Culture with Salma Haidrani

In this episode I am breaking bread and breaking fast with Salma Haidrani.

Salma is a multi-award winning writer and journalist whose work focuses on contemporary faith, food, women’s health and social issues. She writes for national magazines and newspapers including i-D, Vice, Broadly, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, and Time Out London among others. Last year she was awarded ‘Young Journalist of the Year’ at the GG2 Leadership Awards and was the youngest winner of the ‘Best Feature’ award at the End Violence Against Women Media Awards for her work investigating so-called honour killings on British soil.

This episode was recorded during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and, as a practicing Muslim, Salma describes what it means to her and how a month of fasting affects her relationship with food and her faith. Along the way we also discuss the 'rediscovery' and repackaging of traditionally ethnic foods as part of the wellness movement and how, as a result, she is reclaiming dates as part of her heritage.

At times this conversation may feel a bit challenging for some listeners. I hope you can stick with it because a) I think it is important for us to have our opinions challenged and b) we can only grow by making room for the experiences of others.

Kim Kardashian's Bad Science Lollipops

In case you have missed it, Kim Kardashian recently posted an advertisement on her Instagram account endorsing an apparently appetite-suppressing lollipop to her, at that time, 111m Instagram followers. Her caption under the photo said that the lollipops were ‘literally unreal’ and as I describe in the episode that comment couldn’t be more true. 

Much of the backlash about the post was linked to the effect that promoting a diet product would have on her followers, but I was also interested in the claims themselves. In this brief bonus episode I take a look at the evidence behind this apparently 'powerful weight-loss agent' that the makers claim provides 'spectacular' effects.*

*NB: Don't hold your breath...

Cheese Toasties – The Making of a Wellness Rebel with Pixie Turner

In this episode I am breaking bread with Pixie Turner. Pixie, who goes by the name Plant Based Pixie on social media is a nutritionist registered with the association for nutrition. She can be found across her social channels and often on the news debunking nutritional myths and promoting an evidence-based and balanced approach to nutrition. But it hasn’t always been like that.

For around three years Pixie was deep into the very side of wellness that she now tries to protect others from. At the same time she was building a name and a following as a wellness blogger, subscribing to ideas and practices that have no grounding in science despite her background in biochemistry. So how did she get drawn in and, maybe more importantly, how did she get out? In this conversation Pixie tells me her story, in which she describes, amongst other things, the differences between wellness trends in different parts of the world and explains how compelling it is to receive glowing praise from complete strangers.

Orthorexia: When Healthy Eating Goes Bad with Renee McGregor

My guest is Renee McGregor. Renee is a Performance and Eating Disorders Specialist Dietitian. As part of her very impressive career so far she has been the dietitian for athletes at the London 2012, Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralmpic Games, and the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In addition, she is a member of the International Task Force on Orthorexia. Orthorexia is a relatively new mental health condition which is characterised by a dangerous obsession with clean or ‘perfect’ eating, and its rise has been linked to the growth in wellness bloggers and influencers promoting restrictive diets on social media.

In this conversation Renee gives some incredibly touching, and at times shocking, descriptions of the struggles of some of the people she has worked with, really illuminating the seriousness of the challenge of eating disorders and feeding problems and why she, I and others care so much that the information about food, diet and nutrition that is out there on social media is safe and accurate.

Chocolate Brownies & Fig Cake - Coming Back to Food with Henrietta Inman

In this episode I am breaking bread with Henrietta Inman. Henrietta is a pastry chef, author and cookery teacher, who specialises in whole and heritage grain baking. After graduating with a distinction from the Professional Patisserie Scholarship at Westminster Kingsway College she apprenticed at the prestigious 5 star Lanesborough Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge. She is the author of the book Clean Cakes and her second book, The Natural Baker, is released in March. In this episode we talk about the difficulties and controversies of applying the word ‘clean’ to food. She also opens up about having an eating disorder and how she is reconciling her relationship with food.

Henrietta is one of the gentlest, most self-effacing people I have every met and I found this conversation both brave and very touching and I am incredibly grateful to her for sharing part of her story with me and all of you. 

Show Notes

Ruby Tandoh's 'Eat Up'

At The Table Magazine

The Natural Baker

Henrietta's Website

Henrietta on Instagram

Yogurt Bowls & Turmeric Shots - Food as Recovery with Thomas 'Hal' Robson-Kanu

My guest today is Thomas ‘Hal’ Robson-Kanu. Thomas is a Premier League and Wales International footballer and founder of The Turmeric Co. In this episode we talk about the personal experiences that led to him launching the family business that makes fresh blended turmeric shots, following a series of injuries that threatened to halt his career. We also discuss how he learned to manage his nerves on the pitch and how he copes with the pressures of top flight sports and the scrutiny that comes with being in the public eye. There’s also a little treat for listeners at the end of the episode so listen out for that. 

Show Notes


NSAIDS and Heart Health 

Piperine & Turmeric Bioavailability

Curry Consumption and Cognitive Function in the Elderly

Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 18-Month Trial

The Turmeric Co

Thomas on Instagram

The Turmeric Co on Instagram

Sausage Rolls - Emotional Eating & Vulnerability with Felicity Morse

My guest is journalist Felicity Morse who up until very recently was the online editor of the I newspaper, responsible for all the digital news content. She left that role just before Christmas to focus on investigating and writing about sex and relationships. Felicity is also exploring ideas around vulnerability and in this very honest conversation we talk about her experience of emotional eating and social media addiction. I am enormously grateful to Felicity for her openness and I hope you find the conversation as insightful and fascinating as I did.

Show Notes

Global Productivity Study

Barbecue Seitan - Intuitive Eating & Fighting Diet Culture with Laura Thomas

Laura Thomas is a registered Nutritionist with a Phd in Nutritional Sciences who specialises in Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, and non-diet nutrition. Through a non-diet approach she strives to help her clients and followers to develop a healthy and relaxed relationship with food that relies on acknowledging and trusting their own internal body cues rather than external rules and regulations. She was the nutritionist for the 2017 BBC1 documentary Mind Over Marathon, which followed a group of people with a range of mental health concerns training to run the London Marathon.

When she's not working with clients 1-1 she can be found calling out nutritional nonsense on her social channels. In this wide-ranging conversation Laura explains why she declared war on Diet Culture and her take down of Women’s Health Magazine. Actually, since then she also launched a successful Instagram campaign to get GymBox to take down a post that promoted exercise as punishment. She also describes the paradigm of Intuitive Eating (and its misappropriation), and the link between veganism and orthorexia.


Show Notes


The Vegan Yacht

Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Gender Identity and Eating Disorders (Research Article)

Disordered Weight Management Behaviors and Weight Perception in Transgender Youth (Research Article)

*That* Women's Health Cover

Intuitive Eating Book

Don't Salt My Game Podcast

Food Fight Intuitive Eating Course

Cream of Chicken Soup - Family, Community and Food Media with Clare Knivett

My guest is Clare Knivett. Clare is the last ever food editor of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie Magazine, which published its last edition in December 2017. She took some time out before setting off on her travels to talk to me about the role, what it was like to work with one of the world’s most famous chefs and shares a whole bundle of heart-warming food memories. We have only just met but she has already shown me such openness, warmth and generosity that she is rapidly becoming one of my favourite people. 

The Psychobiotic Revolution - The Gut-Brain Axis with Professor John Cryan

My guest is Professor John Cryan, who is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at University College Cork, and along with his long-time collaborator, Prof Ted Dinan, has lead much of the burgeoning field of the gut microbiome and the gut-brain axis.

In this episode we talk about what exactly is meant by the term ‘gut-brain axis’, the link between the gut and brain disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and depression and what you can do to look after your own gut bugs.

It is a fascinating conversation full of useful information, and he also answers some questions from the audience, so make sure you have your notebooks at the ready.

Show Notes


Treatment of Melancholia by Lactic Acid

A critical review of human endotoxin administration as an experimental paradigm of depression

A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ trial)

Innate Immunity and Asthma Risk in Amish and Hutterite Farm Children

Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 in Pregnancy on Postpartum Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety: A Randomised Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial

Prof. Cryan on Twitter

Prof. Cryan’s TEDx Talk

Prof. Cryan’s TEDMED Talk

The Psychobiotic Revolution

Prof. Ted Dinan on Twitter