I read an article about depression recently. The article detailed how in Northern Ireland more people have died by suicide than were killed in the Troubles. 

I was born into this land, right on the wrong side of a British border  Now, I live here by choice but it has been a country I have tried to run from for most of my adult life. 

I dreamed of escape and  adventures ensued to Europe, Asia, and Australia,  leaving many times, forever digging up the roots and pulling out the weeds to satisfy a free spirit.  Anywhere, far enough away to be free of an oppressive overall mood so deeply woven into earth. 

Roots…they hold on to survive and seemingly  we must travel very far to make the shortest journey between the head and the heart. On my adventures what I have arrived to know is that food is medicine.   

Nature has its own Pharmacy and the early influence of my mother the cook and my father, the pharmacist, have been integral in my evolution. 

Fermented foods has brought better gut health, digestive ease, symptom free asthma and greater mental clarity. 

Seemingly the more I ate of these foods, the happier  and more alert I became.  As if by magic it was a positive feedback loop, they kept me craving the right stuff.  Were some invisible critters occupying my gut and controlling my mind?

Oddly too, no longer my location seemed of concern, that nagging unhappy need to flee was wavering and my kitchen and  mind was  becoming the happy place. In fact i would be so bold to say that this city has thrown its arms around me!

Come see me in my Lab!!!!!


When you fall so deeply into a topic, your fascination and capacity for research is unending. This is a hot topic of ground-breaking research.  Research is unfolding daily with solid information on gut health and how altering the microbiome is integral to mental health.


The Cultured Club is collaborating to host an event to welcome Professor Ted Dinan to Belfast.  A morning lecture on the lastest research from University College Cork.  


The long standing mental health issue of this place I called home was upsetting.  The statistics are evidence and the residual trauma and emotions in this country are deeply felt and far reaching.  We are equally delighted to welcome Professor Siobhan O’Neill to present on her research in the context of Northern Ireland .  In studies relating to other countries from Israel, to South Africa and the Lebanon, Northern Ireland was peaking in statistics and not looking good. How come I had escaped?  


Changing your microbiome allows you the capacity and opportunity to change your thoughts and your mental state.  Abundant communication is going on between the gut and the brain so can it be that the bacteria living in your gut determine what type of person you are and how you behave?

If you are interested to know more about this event happening on September 20th in Belfast:

Click Here


Artwork by Leo Boyd @ Vault Artist Studios