Tag: healthy eating

Autumn Pumpkin Waffles

I’m still on a pumpkin kick, adding it into as many dishes as possible to fully capture that lovely autumn feeling. They’re such an amazing vegetable, full of energy producing B vitamins, immune boosting zinc and fibre for your digestive system. And the seeds are […]

Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes

I love making pancakes on the weekend. Something about the ritual of measuring out the ingredients and gently stirring, folding and mixing them all together is so calming to me.   My son loves his weekend pancakes and I now have the challenge of creating […]

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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Sweet Potato Sliders

This weekend, I really fancied an open-faced sandwich, but had no bread in the house. I shuffled through the cupboards and found a bag of sweet potatoes and decided to see what sweet potato ‘bread’ tasted like. Stay with me… it was pretty good.   […]

The Easiest Frittata Recipe

Aside from their significance as a major plot point in the Harrison Ford – Rachel McAdams film, Morning Glory, frittatas are one of those recipes that everyone seems to have their own little twist on. And why not? Their versatility means that even the newest […]

Food is food – nutritious, cheap and tasty.

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This week, a prominent doctor in the UK talked about the need to reduce the 5-a-day fruit and vegetable intake recommendation because it was ‘unrealistic’ for low-income families to achieve this. She says that lots of families may struggle to afford the recommended amounts and that “many children are being brought up with a culture of not having any fresh fruits and vegetables at all.”

I was shocked when I read this headline (which was repeated across multiple websites) and decided to dig deeper into the story. What she is actually says, is that “in the consultation with patients, it’s vital that GPs sometimes need to tailor the advice to the family in front of them. That may be starting with one or two portions a day and building up to the five portions a day.”

My frustration with this misleading story (tailored advice is a good thing) reminded me of a quote I recently read in a profile of Jamie Oliver.

“It’s quite British, this association with having any degree of thought or love of food being upper class or middle class or whatever you want to class it up as. That’s not the rest of the world. On my travels, the best food has come from the most economically challenged areas.”

It’s easy to understand why there are such strong class associations with food in the United Kingdom – classism persists across all areas of life. It’s really quite remarkable. Even still, there has been a lot of great work by the likes of Jamie Oliver, Jack Munro and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to make food and food preparation more equalitarian and accessible.

It’s remains true that the more fresh fruit and veg you eat, the better for you.

So here are the million pound questions:

How can we continue to spread the message that eating well needn’t cost a lot?

That it is possible to get your 5 to 7-a-day without breaking the bank?

What role do supermarkets play in this? Schools?

I don’t have all the answers, clearly.

What I know, is that it’s our role as nutritionists and health professionals to present simple, easy to understand messages of food and health to our patients and clients. To teach them tasty and nutritious food can be inexpensive.

This lovely warm chickpea and bacon salad (47p per serving!) is a great example of cheap, tasty and nutritious.

Chestnut and caramelised apple and pear pancakes

I’ve been on a massive pancake kick recently. It’s probably because I associate pancakes with the comfort food of my childhood and right now, I seem to like the idea of getting a bit of comfort through food. Analyse that how you will.   Other […]

Clean eating? Healthy eating? What about nutritious eating?

There’s been a lot of chatter in the media this week about the end of ‘clean eating’, with many disavowing this term, saying that it has led to a rise in disordered eating and anorexia. The denouement of the majority of these pieces tend to […]

Sweet Potato & Dukkah Crisps

sweet potato crisps

We’re into the dog days of summer and the weather has gotten exceptionally warm here in London. No complaints here – I adore hot weather and any opportunity to spend some time getting some vitamin D.

Happily, my enforced furlough at work has coincided with this heatwave and I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, playing around with new recipes and ingredients.

Last week, I tried the Beetroot Crisps recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new book, It’s All Easy. It wasn’t successful for me, so I made my own twist on the recipe. I knew it was successful when I got a text from M telling me they were ‘the bomb’. 😊

sliced sweet potatoes with dukkah

What you need:

2 large sweet potatoes, washed. (don’t bother peeling them – the skin has loads of nutrients!)

4 tbsp dukkah spice blend

4 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt

A mandoline

sweet potato crisps just out of the oven

How to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C.
  2. Place your mandoline over a small bowl and use it to make circles of sweet potato. Slice up both sweet potatoes.
  3. Use a baking brush and brush 1 tbsp of olive oil over a large baking tray.
  4. Place the sweet potato circles on the tray, making sure they are evenly spaced and don’t overlap.
  5. Brush 1 tbsp olive oil over the sweet potatoes, making sure they only have a light coating. Too much olive oil and the sweet potatoes won’t crisp up.
  6. Take 2 tbsp of the dukkah spice blend and sprinkle it over the sweet potatoes.
  7. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the sweet potatoes.
  8. Place the tray into the top shelf of the oven for ten minutes.
  9. After ten minutes, move the tray to bottom shelf of the oven.
  10. Take the tray out of the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
  11. Transfer to a bowl and repeat steps 3-10 with the rest of the ingredients.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon, Date & Cashew More Balls

I made these very moreish date, cashew, seeds and cinnamon balls on Saturday and needless to say, they were almost all gone by Monday morning. Hence the name, more balls – you know, because you want more!   They’re a really nice variation on the […]

Refreshing Strawberry and Mint Ice Lollies

It’s FINALLY summer here in London and I’ve been experimenting with some fun warm weather recipes. You know, the type of food that you want to eat when the temperature rises and you desperately need to cool down. I made this ice lollies at the weekend […]

Stories I loved this week.

golden gate bridge

The countdown continues. Only one week left until my exam and I have to admit that it’s been incredibly challenging to study this week. My concentration has been completely shot, as I toggle through various tabs of post-Brexit coverage on my browser, whilst I incessantly refresh Twitter. Absolutely breathtaking times.

Any tips for how to concentrate?

P.S. Happy belated Canada Day!

An interesting take on the fetishisation of all things French – women, parenting, etc. (NY Mag)

Have you listened to Garance Dore’s podcast, Pardon My French? Here’s her latest, with a really sweet interview with Corinne Bailey Rae.

Good ideas for how to get rid of all the little condiment dregs that end up hanging around in the fridge. (Bon Appetit)

I’ve recently revamped my eating habits a little, taking down my meat consumption to just once per day, mainly at dinner time. It’s easier to guarantee that I’m eating good quality organic meat – I’d rather not eat meat at all than eat conventional meat. (Chris Kresser)

I want to try this summer quinoa salad recipe. I’ve been sprouting my quinoa before I cook it and I’m sure it’s making it easier for me to digest. (Summer Tomato)

A nice explainer on antioxidants. The easiest way to get them? Eat more fresh fruit and veg! (Greatist)

Photo by Denys Nevozhai

Simple Baked Wild Salmon and Vegetables

I threw this together early this week after a long day of clinics when I knew we needed to eat well and I couldn’t justify the expense (both caloric and monetary) of ordering in. From start to finish, the meal took me 30 minutes, including […]

Lemon, Ginger and Oil of Oregano Cold Remedy

As you can probably imagine, I’m not a huge fan of off the shelf cold remedies you might find in your local Boots or Superdrug. I always prefer a natural remedy whenever possible. A few weeks ago when I was fighting a little cold, I […]

Courgetti Bolognaise

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This is truly one of my go-to dishes. I love making a big pot of the bolognaise on a Sunday and then having it as a part of easy meals throughout the week.  I like to eat the sauce with spiralised carrots or courgettes or if I want to change things up a bit, I might pop the bolognaise into an omelette with a bit of rocket. Wild!

My recipe has evolved over the years to the point where I feel like I’ve almost perfected it. Note that I said almost! 🙂

Courgetti Bolognaise (serves 4-5)

What You Need
Bolognaise 
2 tablespoons fat – I like ghee
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 large garlic cloves , finely diced
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
200g mushrooms, roughly sliced
2 tablespoons Magic Mushroom powder
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons basil
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
200ml bone broth
500g minced beef or lamb
1 can chopped tomatoes

Courgetti
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 large carrots, spiralised
4 large courgettes, spiralised

How To Make It

  1. Heat fat in a large enamel pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic and carrots, with a large pinch of salt and saute for at least 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the carrots are softer.
  3. Add the peppers, 1 tablespoon each of oregano, basil and magic mushroom powder. Stir and saute for 5 more minutes, until peppers are softer.
  4. Add the mushrooms, chilli flakes and bone broth. Let this cook for 5 more minutes, but do not let the  mixture boil.
  5. If using the minced lamb, brown the meat and drain off half the fat. If using minced lamb, add to the main mixture, breaking up the meat with a spatula so no large chunks remain.
  6. Let this mixture cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Add the rest of the oregano, basil and magic mushroom powder, as well as the fresh and canned tomatoes. Stir and increased the heat, so the sauce is lightly simmering. Season to taste with salt.
  8. Set a timer for 30 minutes and let the sauce reduce, stirring occasionally so it reaches the desired thickness. I like a very thick sauce so I leave the cover off the pot and let it reduce that way.
  9. While the bolognaise has 10 minutes left to reduce, spiralise the carrots and courgettes.
  10. Heat the olive oil on a medium-low heat and lightly saute the carrots so they reach a ‘al-dente’ consistency. After 5 minutes, add the courgettes and lightly saute for 2-3 minutes. Do not cook them for any longer or they will get too soft.
  11. Take the sauce off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  12. Serve with the sauce on top of the spiralised courgettes and carrots.
  13. Enjoy!