Tag: gut health

Stories I loved this week.

  Want a more innovative company? Hire more women. (TED)   I loved reading this history of the chopped salad. (Bon Appetit)   Broccoli helps promote a healthy gut. (Science Daily)   Stop telling women their pain is normal. It should be treated. (The Guardian) […]

Stories I loved this week.

We’re squeezing the last bits out of summer and starting to think about school. I can’t believe my little boy is about to go into his first year of school. I predict quite a few tears on his first day! I’d love a few tips […]

How many portions of fruit and vegetables do you eat each day?

vegetable smorgasbord

 

This isn’t a trick question! The NHS recommend at least 5 portions of fruit and veg per day and a recent study by Imperial College London went all the way up to 10 portions per day.

 

Does that sound like a lot?

 

Let’s put in in the context of what a portion of fruit and veg actually is. 10 portions is 800g of fruit and veg. What does that add up to across the day?

 

Here is how these ten portions of veg could factor into one day’s meals.

 

Breakfast: this could be incorporated into a big smoothie or onto a big bowl of porridge. Or you could mix things up by having a vegetable omelette or frittata instead!  

1 banana

1 handful of berries, like blueberries, raspberries or blackberries

 

Snack

1 large nectarine

 

Lunch: this could be a big salad with some grilled chicken or fish 

1 medium tomato

1/2 head of broccoli

1 carrot, grated

2 big handfuls of mixed leaves, such as spinach, watercress or kale

 

Snack

1 medium apple

 

Dinner: this could be a part of a typical meat and two veg meal

1/2 head of cauliflower

1 sweet potato

 

Is this achievable for you? If it seems intimidating, build up to it, adding another portion each week until you’ve hit the 10 a day target. And if you can’t eat 10 a day every day, don’t worry about it. Even four or five days a week is better than nothing at all!

 

Try to eat organic if possible. But if you can’t, wash your fruit and veg throughly before eating or cooking with them. I like this fruit and veg wash.

 

There are no shortcuts in health, but adding in fruit and veg to your daily diet has loads of benefits, including increasing the antioxidants in your body to fight free radical damage, help to balance hormones, reducing constipation (the fibre!), supporting your immune system and feeding the good bacteria in your gut.

 

Have you tried eating 10 portions of fruit and veg a day? How did you find it?

 

Get in touch for to book a free, no commitment 20 minute health coaching call to find out more about how you can improve your health & wellbeing and reduce your stress.

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Stories I loved this week.

Happy weekend! I can’t wait to hang out with my husband and son and relax this weekend.  And it’s Bonfire Night on Saturday! We’re going to check out our local Guy Fawkes fireworks display and let J have a few sparklers  – can’t wait! What […]

Don’t forget about your gut.

Remember what Hipprocrates said so long ago: All disease begins in the gut. In our modern world, we’ve forgotten a lot of this and rely on band-aid solutions to get us through whatever ails us. Our gut and the bacteria within in are so important. […]

Stories I loved this week.

wembley stadium

I got my exam results this week and I’m officially out of my funk! Without fully realising it, I’ve been really stressed out about getting my results back and it’s had a knock-on effect on other parts of my life. When I got my mark and saw that I had passed (with flying colours!), it felt like a weight off my shoulders.

And now the weekend’s here and I’m looking forward to pottering about, heading to a few children’s birthday parties with little J (he’s almost 3 and he has a fabulous social life!) and checking out Soho Farmhouse with some friends. Here’s hoping we have some great weather too!

I have been really getting into using my pressure cooker this week and I’m really enjoying going through Nom Nom Paleo’s pressure cooker recipes. The Instant Pot really is a game-changer!

It’s amazing what Olympic / professional athletes eat and utterly unsurprising they gain so much weight in the off-season. (Bon Appetit)

More reasons why breast milk is amazing. There are compounds (human milk oligosaccharides) in it that were previously thought to be indigestible, now known to there specifically to good bacteria in the baby’s gut. So cool. (The New Yorker)

Is your gut making you sick? (The Guardian)

How community supported agriculture is becoming messy in the US. (New York Times)

I really want to try this earl-grey glazed salmon. (Hemsley + Hemsley)

6 things you need to know about marketing yourself as a practitioner. (Dr. Jill Carnahan)

You and your gut.

What is gut bacteria, the gut microbiome and why are people talking about it so much lately? There has been a huge surge of interest recently, off the back of a lot more research into this area. Here are some of the key terms that are worth […]

Stories I loved this week.

What a week it’s been here in the UK. Huge divisions have been exposed that will take a long time to heal. It’s time to move forward. I love these types of articles – a 10 year oral history of The Devil Wears Prada, one of […]

Stories I loved this week.

bike in the golden hour

It’s been a bit of daze of working and studying recently. I’ve managed to squeeze a few fun things like seeing Sarah Wilson speak last week and have some lovely dinners with my friends and my boys.

Only a few more weeks of study and I’ll be done for the summer! What are your summer plans?

Science is showing us that depression is an inflammatory condition, not a chemical imbalance as previously thought. It’s amazing that there more information emerging about the importance of the gut microbiome. (Well + Good)

I’m still thinking about the amazing 10% Human. So much fascinating research about the gut microbiome (i.e. the good and bad bacteria in our gut), its effect on our immune system and the connection to so many modern disease like obesity, depression, eczema and diabetes.

Why smoothies are better than juices. It’s about that fibre! (Nutrition Facts)

I really want this amazing summer dress. Y’know, for when summer finally arrives in London. (Finery)

How to poach an egg, including an Australian version. I need to learn this skill this summer! (Bon Appetit)

How restaurants ‘trick’ you into drinking more wine. (Science of Us)

I Tried It: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

As I go further into my Nutrition degree, we’ve been learning more nutrition theory and practical elements, like clinical practice with patients and specific dietary models. The third assignment this year is to trial one of the dietary models we could potentially recommend to a […]

Stories I loved this week.

Happy weekend! I am so thankful to have the next two days to rest, relax, exercise and spent time with my guys. It’s been a hectic few weeks with two weekends in a row of all day lectures, on top of settling into a new […]

What happens after baby led weaning?

Photo by leonie wise

When my son was three months old and I felt that we really had a handle on breastfeeding, I started to think about the next step – introducing him to solid food. My plan was to start giving him solids at six months, the age NHS recommends and the age when baby’s gut lining becomes less permeable and they have have a more mature, closed gut.

At five and a half months, all the signs of food readiness were there:

  • J could sit up without support
  • He had lost the tongue thrust reflex and was not pushing things out of his mouth with his tongue
  • He was trying to chew
  • He had a pincer grasp and could pick things up between his thumb and forefinger
  • He was grabbing food from my plate and seemed genuinely curious about trying what we were eating

So one day, I gave him some avocado, he seemed to enjoy eating and playing with it and we started to introduce more food slowly from there.

Anecdotally, many parents expect breastfeeding to reduce when they introduce solids. I can personally attest to the fact that this is not always the case. At seven months, J was still breastfeeding 5 times during the day and at least three times at night. It was only at 8-9 months when M and I started giving him three meals and two snacks a day, did the breastfeeding cut down to three times in the day and a few times at night.

Now that J is 17 months old, past the baby led weaning stage and no longer breastfeeding, what do we give him to eat? I started to think about this properly today after receiving the latest NHS email (which I find very informative). This email included a link to a Netmums page with lots of toddler recipe ideas, which got me thinking.

There is no doubt that feeding a toddler can be tricky.

They go through food fads, they refuse to eat when they’re tired, timing is key when you want them to try new things and they’re prone to throwing food all over the kitchen if they don’t like something. But the thing is, they’re capable of eating a lot more than we think and we need to trust them when they tell us they’re full – when J starts throwing food, the meal is over and I take him out of his high chair.

I’ve never really understood the recommendation to give babies and toddlers bland food. How will they develop a complex palate if they’re only exposed to mushy purées with no seasoning from the time they start solids? The same applies to toddlers. They are capable of trying and eating a much wider range of food that we seem to give them credit for.

Image courtesy of Maya Picture at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Maya Picture at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Think of the Koreans, who give their babies and toddlers kimchi, gradually increasing the spiciness until they’re capable of eating the same kimchi as their parents. The same goes for Indian and Pakistani parents who start their kids off with a mild daal, increasing the spiciness as they get older.

My personal experience of this comes from my Bahamian mother, who loves the spicy food from her native country and other surrounding Caribbean countries and would think nothing of giving my brother and I a spicy conch salad or rice and peas when we were toddlers, because she knew it was good for our palates and that we had to build up a tolerance to spiciness over time.

I try to apply these principles to my son J, who loves his food and generally loves to try new things. When M and I go out to eat, he’ll typically eat what we eat – steak, fish, bunless burgers, chicken, fish, curries, roasts, etc. M and I aren’t fussy eaters and enjoy trying new things, so J will generally eat from our plates as I’m not a massive fan of ordering from kid’s menus in restaurants.

At home, a typical day of food might look like this for J:

Breakfast: Omelettes, scrambled eggs or oatmeal with fruit

Lunch: Quiche, savoury tarts, stews, couscous with veg and hummus

Snacks: Banana, sweet potato, cheese, raspberries or blueberries, chorizo, fruit pouches (we like Ella’s Kitchen and Plum Baby)

Dinner: Leftovers from our dinner the night before. J eats his dinner a lot earlier than us so we typically eat something different to him and I make enough for him to eat the next day.

We definitely haven’t cracked it. Someday J eats a lot and will eat everything we offer and will do so with a fork or spoon. And then I do my happy mom dance!

Other days, he’s in discomfort from molars cutting through, sick, distracted or just plain tired, he doesn’t want to try anything new or eat much at all. What I’ve learned is that you just have to roll with it, not take it personally and know that they’ll probably eat more the next meal.  If you look at what they eat over a week, it all balances out.