Monthly Archives: February 2016

Stories I loved this week.

stars

It’s nearly Mother’s Day here in the UK and my two guys took me for a lovely brunch this morning – it’s a week early, I know, but I’ll be in clinics all next weekend, so it’s nice to have an early treat!

Are you excited about the new season of House of Cards? I am. Have you been curious about Kevin Spacey’s Southern accent in the series? Here’s an explainer. (Vox)

What it’s like to work in Hollywood, if you’re not a straight, white man. (New York Times)

This is why you poop so often during your period. (Self)

A good reminder for those really trying parenting moments – how to avoid bribes and threats. (Mother)

It’s interesting to see much umami features in so many culture’s palates, yet seems to be very slowly growing as a taste in the UK. I’d personally love to see more fermented foods in major supermarkets. (The Spectator)

I really love what LocoL stands for and hope it’s a success. (The Guardian)

In light of the current meningitis B national conversation in the UK, here’s a fascinating (and highly rationale) perspective on parents who choose not to vaccinate or follow the recommended vaccine schedule. It’s not as anti-science as you’d expect. (Aeon)

Photo by Vashishtha Jogi

Stories I loved this week.

mist

How’s your week been? I just handed in my second assignment and once I found the time to get down to it, it was really interesting. We had to do an analysis of food diaries – our own, the average Western diet and a Western diet with naturopathic adjustments. It was eye opening to see how low in antioxidants and phytonutrients the average Western diet really is! With that assignment out of the way, next up is some proper studying for my semester one exam in mid-March.

I’d like to try this zero-waste restaurant in Notting Hill. I love that they donate all excess fruit and veg to food banks. (Protein)

More women are choosing ‘curvy’ career paths and I salute them. (The Pool)

A great first-hand look at why different diets work for different people. Call me a broken record, but there really is no one sized fits all solution in nutrition. (Verily)

How are you protecting yourself from environmental toxins? (Chris Kresser)

Great coconut oil beauty hacks. (Self)

Why poor children can’t be picky eaters. (New York Times)

An eye opening look into the world of Tumblr teens and how they make their money. (New Republic)

Have you tried rebounding? I really want to figure out a way to fit a small rebounder into my flat. (goop)

Photo by Frances Gunn

Frittata with Sauteed Peppers and Courgette


I’ve been itching to make a frittata for a while now.

The opportunity struck today when I massively over ordered eggs (accidentally!) in this week’s Ocado grocery delivery.

I’ll admit that I’ve never made one before, so I relied on some advice from my husband and random Googling to cobble together this recipe from things in my fridge.

And what an easy and tasty lunch, with lots of leftovers to take to work in the week!

Ingredients:

8 medium or large eggs

3 peppers, ideally red and yellow peppers give the dish some nice colour

3 garlic cloves

4 small buffalo mozzarella bocconcinos. (I like this brand)

1 large courgette

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Rosemary

How to make it:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200c.
  2. Use olive oil to oil a square of greaseproof paper and fit into a pie dish.
  3. Finely dice the garlic and sauté in one tablespoon of olive oil on medium-low heat in a non-stick frying pan until soft.
  4. Chop the peppers and add to the garlic.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste, with 2 teaspoons of rosemary.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat to release the sweetness of the peppers.
  7. While the peppers and garlic are cooking, crack 8 eggs into a bowl.
  8. Fold the eggs so that the egg yolks and whites are combined.
  9. Cut the mozzarella into quarters and add to the egg mixture.
  10. Chop the ends off the courgette and using a vegetable peeler, peel the courgette into long strips. Add to the garlic and pepper mixture and cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Take the sautéed vegetables off the heat, add to the egg mixture and stir until all ingredients are combined.
  12. Pour the mixture onto the oiled greaseproof paper lining the pie dish.
  13. Put into the warmed oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the frittata is completely set.
  14. Serve with mixed leaves and enjoy!

 

Stories I loved this week.

woman and dog

Little J has been sick for most of the week and it has really wiped me out. The interrupted sleep and crying has been challenging, but just in time for the weekend, he is recovering, so I get to spend the next two days doing a bit of recovery too. And lots of cooking. Soups, stews and a beef rendang are on the menu.

Apparently souping is the new juicing. (New York Times)

Do you use organic tampons or a menstrual cup like the Mooncup? Here’s more evidence on why you should make the switch from standard bleached tampons. (goop)

10 reasons to eat more collagen. I like to add collagen powder to my morning smoothie. (Mark’s Daily Apple)

A physical and emotional answer to the question – ‘where do food cravings come from?’ (Frame)

How to relearn the art of eating. (Guardian)

How bad is it when you hold in your poop? (Greatist)

This is fascinating stuff. A signal from gravitational waves has been discovered emanating from the collision and merger of two massive black holes over a billion light-years away. (New York Times)

Photo by Vladimir Kudinov

Roasted Broccoli with Avocado Oil & Za’atar

I’m a huge fan of Middle Eastern food, especially the seasonings and spices. Dukkah, which is actually more of a spice blend than a spice, is on constant rotation in my kitchen and I’m starting to use za’atar a lot often more too.

What is za’atar? It’s a blend of sesame seeds, dried sumac, salt, dried oregano, cumin and dried marjoram. The combination of these herbs is quite powerful, so a little za’atar goes a long way!

A really easy way to try za’atar is to sprinkle it on broccoli or kale- you can then roast or eat as is.

Last night, I made a roast chicken for dinner and roasted broccoli with avocado oil and za’atar was a lovely side dish.

Here’s how I made it:

  1. Heat oven to 180c.
  2. Chop 2 medium sized heads of broccoli into florets and place on a baking tray.

IMG_0337

  1. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of avocado oil over the broccoli so they are lightly covered.
  2. Shake 2-3 teaspoons of za’atar blend over the broccoli.
  3. Give the tray a little shake to ensure that all florets have some oil and za’atar on them.
  4. Roast in the oven for 15-20 on the bottom shelf to avoid burning.
  5. Remove and enjoy!

IMG_0338

Do you cook with za’atar? What’s your favourite recipe?

I Tried It: Juicing

I’ll start this blog post by admitting that I have never really been a fan of juicing. I hate the hype and near-religious devotion to it. I hate the waste – seriously, what do juice bars do with all the leftover pulp? I hate that people were replacing meals with giant bottles of green juice. I’ve seen both of Joe Cross’ films, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and its sequel and left both sceptical about how people would go from juicing 100% of the time to eating real food, without any real nutrition education.

After the last few weeks, I like juicing a little more than before. Why, you may be asking?

It all started three weeks ago when my husband reminded me that our Magimix has a juicing attachment. Curiosity struck and the next thing I knew, I was cutting up some vegetables and we had a fun time letting our son feed the chopped veg into the machine and push it down with the plunger. And it was a good result too, for my first try 😄.

Here’s what I put in it:

1 celery stalk

1 fennel stalk

2 small apples

1 medium carrot

1 knob of ginger

After a good tasting session, we decided to lay off the fennel the next time, because it overwhelmed the rest of the flavours.

Then on Wednesday, I was at home with my little guy. He had just finished his post-nap snack and turned to me and said, “Mama, I want to make juice.” I chuckled, gave a little internal hurray for building good nutrition habits, grabbed all of the juice attachments for the Magimix and we set to work.

img_0237

img_0236

This time, we mixed it up and put a bit more veg in:

1 beetroot

1 golden beetroot

1 celery stalk

2 medium carrots

2 small apples

1 knob ginger

1 knob tumeric

1/2 small cucumber

I ended up with enough for two full glasses and a bottle to put in the fridge for later.

homemade carrot, apple and beetroot juice

Here are my top tips for juicing:

1. Always drink juice with a meal. 

Because the juicing process removes the fibre from the fruit and veg, it gets digested VERY quickly and you get hungry again an hour later. Chewing starts the first part of the digestive process (which happens in the mouth!) and just drinking juice bypasses this, which is not a good thing.

If you drink your juice with a nutritious meal, the protein and fat from the food will slow digestion down and you won’t get hungry again as quickly.

2. Vegetables should form the bulk of the juice. 

The fructose in fruit juices can cause insulin spikes, which can lead to energy crashes. Vegetables modulate this process and keep blood sugars steadier.

3. Use the pulp! 

Apparently, the pulp can be used in broths, smoothies, muffins and omelettes. I’m going to figure this out, because it feels almost criminal to throw out all of this goodness!

Do you juice? What are your top tips?

Stories I loved this week. 

stories i loved this week.

Another week has gone by and here we are in February. My little guy has a terrible cold, so sleep has been a bit broken and a bit more coffee and concealer has been needed!  But I keep going, especially since I have a full weekend of clinics and observing patients.  Enjoy your weekend!

Do you talk to strangers? I loved the comments about ‘Britishing it out’. (The Pool)

In praise of bland food. (Rachel Laudan)

A fascinating report from the UK Food Foundation that shows how the odds are stacked against eating a nutritious diet in the UK. (Food Foundation)

The smoking ban has reduced harms from passive smoking. Hurrah – I absolutely hate smoking. (Buzzfeed)

Pret-a-Manger is going to start trialling bone broth in some of its UK stores. And they’re using the bones of grass-fed cattle! (Well To Do)

This feels like a look into my mind. (Stylist)

How to use your food waste. (The Guardian)

What top chefs pack their kids for lunch. (Bon Appetit)

Photo by Oliver & Hen Pritchard-Barrett