Improve your digestive health

 

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

If you have an unhappy tummy then this workshop is for you. By practicing some tummy loving yoga poses and receiving healthy eating advice you will ensure your digestive system is back on track

DigestiveHealthWorkshop22-3-15

 

 

Protein shakes

Protein shakes – is it the way forward?

 

What are they for?

When should we take them?

Best ingredients to have?

How much protein do we need during a normal day and when we exercise?

 

What are they and when should they be eaten?

IMG_2725Protein shakes are mostly consumed by people who train and want help with performance and muscle repair, and they see them as a convenient way to do that. If however you are taking a protein shake as a meal supplement then you need to make sure it contains all the correct components i.e. vitamins, minerals, protein, carbs and fibre.

 

People who consume protein shakes could get the same benefits by adding good quality high-protein foods like meat, tofu, eggs, dairy, beans and quinoa to their diets; either as snacks or main meals. It would certainly be cheaper and more cost effective, but admittedly maybe not as convenient

The optimal post-workout meal or drink should include 15– 25 g protein in order to maximise muscle repair. However too much protein in the diet can be hard on your kidneys and your liver and could also increase your risk of getting osteoporosis

It should also include protein to carbohydrate in a ratio of about 1 : 4. This means 1 gram of protein per every 4 grams of carbs. Since most protein powders have at least 20 grams of protein per scoop, you’d need about 80 grams of carbs to go with that scoop to get the proper proportion of nutrients!

Best ingredients to have

IMG_2727Whey is the most commonly used ingredient in protein shakes, because it’s a water-soluble milk protein. It’s also a complete protein, because it contains all nine of the amino acids essential for human dietary needs. It is also ‘fast acting’ meaning its starts to repair and build muscle very quickly after being digested.

People who are vegan or lactose intolerant may prefer soya, pea or hemp protein. Pea protein is a “slow-digesting” protein, therefore it may be able to keep you fuller for longer. If you are consuming non milk protein shakes as a meal replacement remember that, unlike whey they are not a complete protein and you will need to eat other proteins to obtain all the essential amino acids. if you are consuming protein shakes to build muscle and for fitness then pea protein has been proven as effective as whey at maintaining muscle mass[1]

IMG_2419Protein shakes are an easy and convenient source of high-quality (and often complete) protein. But remember, most people, even athletes, can also get everything they offer by eating sources of lean protein like meat, fish, chicken, tofu, nuts, quinoa, beans and pulses and dairy products.

 

How much protein do we need?

Recreational athletes need 0.5-0.75 grams of protein daily for every ½ kg of body weight. For instance a 10st or 63.5 kg woman would need 70 – 105 gs of protein per day, that’s the equivalent of

  • IMG_24102 poached eggs on toast for breakfast (16g)
  • a jacket potato with a small tin of baked beans and 25g of cheddar cheese for lunch (22g)
  • a yoghurt for an afternoon snack (5g)
  • a grilled chicken breast with roasted vegetables and chickpeas (55g) for an evening meal

 

 That said most of us exceed the recommended daily amount of protein, so there is often no need for additional protein in our diet

If like a lot of people who want to lose weight then the amount of protein you need to consume is 1.6 to 2g protein per kg of body weight a day. So again a 10st or 63.5kg woman would need 101 – 127g. Substituting the baked beans for tuna would add and extra 14g of protein, and a handful of nuts as a snack after the evening meal would add an extra 12g

It seems counter intuitive to eat more protein than someone who is training in order to lose weight, but the extra calories from protein will balance out the reduced calories from carbs. Protein also produces a feeling of fullness and satiety. When you eat less of certain carbs like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes and more protein a state called ketosis can be activated, whereby the body can burn fat instead of carbs for energy. This can be beneficial in the short term but long term it could lead to some health issues like kidney problems

For weight loss a 10st or 63.5kg woman would need to consume between 3-5 g of carbs per kilo of body weight i.e. 190 – 317 g

That means a 10st female would need to consume between 400 – 500 calories from protein and between 760 – 1,270 calories from carbs (that not only includes bread, rice, pasta, potatoes but all fruits and vegetables)

Arbonne

With sales of protein shakes and powders expected to reach over £8bn over the next five years worldwide it is no wonder that large companies are coming up with different products.

Probably one of the names that is gaining in recognition is Arbonne protein shake powder. A £54 pouch contains 30 servings, which works out at £1.80 per serving. Each serving contains 20g of vegan protein, 14g of Carbs (64% of which is sugar or just over 2 teaspoons), various vitamins and minerals and 2g of fibre

IMG_2724In the interest of research I met with a local Arbonne representative who was very happy to give me some samples. So I made up the protein shake (2 scoops of vanilla powder to 270 ml of water, shake vigorously and drink). My first reaction was that it was very sweet so I added a drop more water and it made it slightly more palatable. The texture was very powdery and it left an unpleasant artificial aftertaste. I got through about half of it then gave up and threw the rest away. Not my cup of tea

It might be improved by whizzing it in a blender with some fresh fruit. But this would increase the calories and the carbs but in a positive way the fibre content.

Arbonne advise you to have no more than 2 servings a day (160 calories per serving). I guess in part because it contains amongst other things Fructo-oligosaccharides – a natural plant sugar (which can also be produced in a lab), which can be taken for constipation.

As mentioned earlier if this is a protein shake for people who like to train the ration of protein to carbs should be 1:4. Arbonne contains 20g of protein but only 14g of carbohydrate – significantly less than the 1:4 ratio) therefore I would not take it as a post workout food. I’d be more likely to have a chocolate milkshake or a bowl of cereal.

If it is intended as a meal replacement I would prefer to have something that tastes more natural and that I could enjoy.  So I decided to make my own!

How to make your own protein shake

IMG_2738

  • 1 banana
  • 250ml of milk or non dairy alternative (coconut milk is my current favourite)
  • 1 tablespoon wholenut peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon porridge oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Put all the ingredients in a blender (or in my case the nutribullet) and whizz up until smooth.  Eat this shake like you would a meal i.e. take at least 15 minutes

 

 

Will you be losing lbs or just losing £s?!

IMG_2703Overall if you have a varied diet, containing plenty of natural protein like eggs, fish meat, beans, lentils, nuts, tofu and quinoa you will obtain sufficient protein for all your dietary needs, event whilst training. And at a fraction of the cost of protein powders and drinks

 Please share with me your thoughts, do you buy protein powders, as a meal replacement or for muscle building?

Do you like them, if not why not try my version or share with me your own homemade shake

 

Ditch the protein powders and have some hummus on Ryvita instead

[1] http://www.jissn.com/content/pdf/s12970-014-0064-5.pdf

Parents are confused about sugar

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

 

New research shows that ongoing advice on what children should be eating and drinking is leading to confusion amongst parents

IMG_1081Almost 80% of parents would like clearer, more realistic guidelines when it comes to children’s drinks and food.

I recently blogged about children and sugar and how sugary drinks, sweets and snacks are all leading to massive tooth decay in UK children.  If that weren’t bad enough a high sugar diet can have a direct impact on the increase in obesity levels in our children; almost a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds are overweight or obese.

Today I was interviewed by Gem106 to talk about how to help parents to make informed choices.  Here’s a little extract of the interview heard on the main news bulletins this morning  sugar clips.wav

My advice to parents or anyone concerned about their own sugar consumption is to

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  • Reduce the number of sugary drinks you give your children – water and milk are the healthier options

 

 

  • IMG_2731Read the labels on food and understand how much sugar it contains for instance to convert grams in to teaspoons divide the figure by four.  Take this is a photo of a small individual lemon steam pudding. it clearly states it has 38.8g of sugar, divide that by four and the pudding has nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar! That would definitely not be a dessert I would give a child.  Instead I’d offer a yoghurt with some chopped up fruit or a few dried raisins
  • Understand the number of calories your child should have and how much of that should come from sugar.
  • There is no official guidelines for daily amount of sugar for children, but it most commonly stated as the same as adults i.e. (For FREE sugars only – those added to processed food) 10% of daily calories (1700) 170 calories = 45g or 11 teaspoons – WHO (World Health Organisations) wants this to be reduced to 5%
  • A food or drink is HIGH in sugar if it contains more than 22,5g of total sugar per 100g
  • A food or drink is LOW in sugar if it has 5g of total sugar per 100g

Are you a parent, are you concerned about the amount of sugar in processed food?  if you are please add a comment and share your concerns and maybe together we can all make a difference

 

 

Slug & lettuce review

Veg out – Slug and lettuce, Cornerhouse, Nottingham

The big reveal!

IMG_2674Last week I went to the newly refurbished Slug and Lettuce at the Cornerhouse in Nottingham city centre. I was expecting great things especially as the renovations cost an estimated £320,000 and boasted some new dishes.

In the past I have been a regular visitor to this bar and enjoyed some tasty vegetarian food, would all the investment be an improvement, only one way to find out

IMG_2730My review is in Todays (25th Feb) Nottingham Post 

 

IMG_2673The place was buzzing for a Thursday night and the bar looked amazing; new furniture, funky lighting and very keen and eager staff. We are off to a good start.

 

We were quickly seated and presented with a large menu.   I was pleased to see there were some of my old favourites still on there like the falafel wrap (it also comes in a burger with all the trimmings) – why mess with a classic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2675

Most of the veggie options were in the Pasta and Risotto section and included linguine Arrabbiata (spicy tomato sauce with basil), butternut squash, spinach and goats cheese lasagne and an asparagus, pea and goats cheese risotto.  All very carb heavy but at least there was a choice.  Although, interestingly none of the specailaity salads were suitable for vegetarians.

All standard fayre for a lifelong vegetarian like myself. My dinner companions opted for chicken pie and beef and chorizo pie. Sadly there was no veggie version, so I plumped for the Arrabbiata, but had to ask them not to serve the cheesy tuile that accompanied it as the Grana padano cheese was not suitable for vegetarians. This came as news to our server who said she’d check for definite with the chef.

In fact a number of the vegetarian dishes that were clearly labelled with a ‘V’ were not suitable for vegetarians (according their allergy information on their website) including the sharing Mezze platter, goats cheese flatbread and the baked macaroni cheese

IMG_2676All the food arrived at the same time and was piping hot. My meat loving companions tucked into their pies with great gusto, I on the other hand stared at a sad plate of overcooked pasta. I think the phrase ‘al dente’ had passed the chef by. My spicy tomato sauce was indeed spicy but that was it. There was no freshness, no colour (some rocket IMG_2682would have been nice for colour and a peppery kick)nothing other than quite bland tomatoes ,even some capers or olives would have been a welcomed addition.  And because I couldn’t have the tuile crisp there was no contrast of texture or indeed protein. It was just overcooked mush with a few basil leaves and not a very enjoyable experience. No complaints from the pie eaters though.

The dessert menu was offered and I fancied the millionaire’s meringue but sadly it was made with gelatine so I watched whilst my companions tucked in to it. They all said it was delicious, rich and sweet; everything a pud should be.  I didn’t take a photo of it because quite frankly by this point I was rather annoyed with the newly refurbished Slug and Lettuce!

This is the first week of opening and presenting the new menu so perhaps my expectations were too high, but to be honest I can cook pasta better than that at home.  But I was expecting more from them and left hungry and disappointed

If I go again I will stick to what I know best; the falafel wrap or burger, they have all the things I love; taste, balance, texture and some greenery.

And please Slug and Lettuce when you mark something with a ‘V’ for vegetarian please make sure the cheese is suitable. I’ve looked at your allergen information and the pasta dish doesn’t have a ‘V’ next to it

Tomato and Spring onion crunch

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Tomato and Spring onion crunch – serves 1, 142 calories

IMG_2717This makes the perfect light lunch, ideal if you are on the 5:2 fast diet or enjoy your own version of intermittent fasting.  It is also a great way to make sure you get your 5-a-day

1 tsp olive oil

2 medium or 12 cherry ripe  tomatoes  (130g) – chopped in to wedges

2 large spring onions (35g) – thickly sliced

lIMG_2711arge pinch of chilli flakes

pinch of salt and pepper

large handful of fresh mint, washed and chopped

spash of lemon juice

2 Ryvitta

 

IMG_2712

Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add the oil heat for a few seconds then add tomatoes and cook for two minutes or until they start to soften and squish down. Add the sliced spring onions, chill, salt and pepper

Cook for a further 2 minutes until both veg are soft

IMG_2713Take off the heat and add the mint and lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary

Serve on top of the Ryvitas or crumble the Ryvitas and serve on top of the tomatoes

 

IMG_2718

Delish!

 

 

 

Non fast day additions

100g drained and rinsed butter beans – 80 calories

½ a ripe avocado – 178 calories

50g of  hummus – 160 calories

30g halloumi cheese– 90 calories

30g reduced fat halloumi cheese– 70 calories

30g crumbled feta cheese – 83 calories

1 small slice of wholemeal sourdough bread (25g)- 75 calories

High calorie foods

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Foods that pull their weight – high calorie foods

Not everybody needs to lose weight, some people find it hard to maintain their weight, want to gain weight or have lost weight through illness.

IMG_2700Foods highest in calories and nutrients are mostly those that are also high in fat.  Nuts, seeds, peanuts, nut butters, avocados, hummus and oils are great sources of healthy fats loaded with nutrients and are very calorie dense.

Animal fats provide nutrients and the same amount of calories as fats from vegetables and nuts, but they also contain IMG_2698saturated fats, which can increase bad cholesterol. Popular choices are full fat milk, full fat cheese, cream and butter

Consider some simple healthy changes to your diet if you want to increase your calorie intake

  • IMG_2703when you make a pasta sauce add in some tinned beans like butter beans or cannellini beans – they are high in protein and calories.  if it looks too filling blend them into a smooth paste before adding to the sauce
  • Drink high-calorie full fat milk and juices (like coconut water) as well as water and choose high-calorie condiments, such as mayonnaise, thousand island, and caesar salad dressings
  • Add protein or milk powders to your meals – like soya, hemp, pea or brown rice
  • Meal replacement drinks and smoothies are very convenient and are a quick way to consume calories without feeling too full or bloated – but they can be an expensive option
  • IMG_2704Eat plenty of nuts (preferably unsalted), chop them with a knife, or grind in a blender for a finer texture and sprinkle them on top of soups, salads, cereal, desserts yoghurts and casseroles for added protein, fibre, healthy fat and calories.
  • Granola is loaded with nuts and dried fruits, and is a concentrated source of nutritious calories – blend to make a fine crumb then mix with yogurt or milk (mixed with milk/protein powder for added calories) or cream. If it still too crunchy make the night before and leave to soak in the fridge
  • Dried fruits are a concentrated source of calories – again blend to a paste and water down with prune juice or coconut water. It can can then be added to yogurts (enriched with milk/protein powder), custard, ice-cream, cereals, stewed fruit or eaten by itself.
  • Potatoes need never be boring again!  When you cook potatoes (add in milk/protein powder/cream if you are mashing them) flavour with oils, cheese, avocado or beans.
  • Another easy way to add calories is to drizzle olive oil on vegetables, salads, whole grains, soups, casseroles and stews.
  • IMG_2482Avocado, kale, broccoli, spinach all make a great and nutritious smoothie.  Again add some protein powder for even more calories
  • If you make hummus with a can of drained chickpeas, 1 garlic glove 1-2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp tahini paste (ground sesame seeds), salt and pepper and a few dried chilli flakes, increase the calorie content by adding 1 tbls of olive oil and some milk powder for extra creaminess.  You can then load it on to some toasted sour dough bread, use as a topping for your jacket potato or stir into a tomato pasta sauce
  • IMG_2173Peanut butter, banana, protein/milk powder and coconut milk make a great naturally sweet smoothie
  • Sardines in tomato sauce (mix in some protein powder) on crumpets is an omega 3 busting lunch or snack
  • Avocado and mayonnaise or egg mayonnaise make nutritious sandwich fillings, especially when spread thickly
  • IMG_1523Porridge made with milk/cream and milk protein is a great way to start or end the day.  Serve it with a mashed banana, manuka honey and some finely chopped nuts and seeds
  • Try making porridge with Quinoa instead of oats, not only does it have the calories but more protein
  • Make a simple and quick dessert with custard, protein powder and mashed banana.  Add some grated dark chocolate over the top
  • Poached or scrambled eggs are really nutritious, serve with grated cheese or avocado IMG_1569for extra calories
  • Make a 3 egg omelette (adding milk and protein powder or cream) and fill with tuna mayo (again with added protein powder), grated full fat cheese or sliced avocado and tomato
  • Finally, don’t think that you have to eat lots of sweet things in order to increase your weight.  All you will be doing is filling yourself up with fast energy that won’t keep you full or nourished and could have implications for your insulin levels

Vegan sweet pancakes

Vegan sweet pancakes – Makes 8 small pancakes 118 calories each

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_2659As its Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) tomorrow I thought I would try and make a ‘free from’ recipe because a number of my clients have intolerances and they miss out on some great meals.  But not this time!

This recipe makes great vegan pancakes but it can be adapted to make them vegetarian, simply substitute the flaxseed and water for one egg.  Then there is also no need to add vinegar or lemon juice to the milk (which of course could be cows milk).  It is also gluten and wheat free

They make a great protein packed breakfast  as well as a delicious dessert, with low GI quinoa flour*.  The flaxseeds also add omega 3 fatty acids.  Any leftovers can be reheated for the following day or frozen for another time

When the pancakes cook they are much more delicate than other pancakes so be careful when you turn to flip them over!  Dont worry if they break up they can just be pressed together and they will firm up

 

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 250 ml unsweetened soya milk, coconut or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon white wine, cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 125 g quinoa*/coconut/wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 1 IMG_2642teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 50 g blueberries or 1 grated apple or pear, plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • soya yoghurt, maple syrup or agave and sesame seeds, to serve

 

IMG_2643 IMG_2641Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 2½ tablespoons of cold water, then set aside to thicken.

 

Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a medium heat or microwave on high for one minute, then leave to cool slightly.

IMG_2647Combine the soya, coconut or almond milk and vinegar or lemon juice. Leave to for 5 minutes then add the melted coconut oil and whisk in the flaxseed mixture.

 

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in the wet mixture, stirring continuously until combined – don’t worry if there are still a few lumps. Fold in the fruit, then set aside, until needed but at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature.

IMG_2658 IMG_2652

Heat about ½ a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and place a ladleful of the batter in the pan (one ladleful is enough for one pancake).

Add more ladlefuls of the batter, ensuring they’re nicely spaced out – you’ll need to do this in batches.

 

Cook for around 3 minutes, or until golden underneath and little bubbles start to appear on the surface, Use a palette knife or spatula to carefully flip them over. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. REMEMBER, these pancakes are much softer than others so flip carefully!

 

IMG_2656Place in the oven to keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes.

 Serve with a dollop of soya yoghurt, a IMG_2684drizzle of maple syrup or honey and extra fruit.  Oranges, banana, kiwi and tinned prunes all work well.

 

 

IMG_2644 IMG_2645
* Quinoa flour can be bought from most health food shops but it is easy to make your own for a fraction of the cost. Measure out 125g of uncooked quinoa place in a grinder (I used my ever versitile Nutribullet) and blend until it looks like a fine powder.  And hey presto you have quinoa flour!  You could also make wholemeal rice flour the same way

Valentines raw food menu

Valentines raw food menu for two

IMG_2487

 

Why not try something different this Valentines day – The people at Complete Health magazine did because they asked me to write a ‘Raw’ menu for their February edition.  I’m on page 45 and 46.

 

The article is available at http://issuu.com/hhealth/docs/february_2015

imagesI devised a two course menu of Courgette noodles, with tomatoes and cannellini beans and for dessert Peanut butter truffles.  The courgette noodles use a natty piece of kit called  a ‘spiralizer’ , click on spiralizer or for information about this gadget. Eating courgettes this way means you can enjoy the pasta twirling without the carbohydrate overload.  The tomatoes add some great antioxidants and the beans are a good low fat protein source, and both are a great source of fibre.

The dessert is only slightly naughty; the peanuts provide protein and fibre, the rice is gluten free, the chia seeds are bursting with omega 3 fats and the sesame seeds are a valuable source of calcium.  Finally, the dark chocolate contains some nice mood enhancing endorphins.  Making it an ideal choice for Valentines day

 

Courgette noodles with tomatoes and cannellini beans

 

  • IMG_13812 large courgettes, spiralized (or ribboned with a vegetable peeler)
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes or ½ chilli de-seed and finely sliced
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tin of drained and rinsed cannellini beans
  • Sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves chopped

 

IIMG_2437n a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together – except the sesame seeds and fresh mint. Taste and add some salt and pepper if needed or a bit more chilli

 

Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes for the flavours to IMG_2450marry together. Scatter over the sesame seeds and mint. Serve in a large clean bowl to share – visualise the spaghetti scene in the Lady and the tramp!

 

For dessert some little bite sized chocolate lovelies!

Peanut butter truffles

 

IMG_1816100g wholenut crunchy peanut butter

10g wholegrain puffed rice – toasted, cooled and lightly crushed

few drops of Vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp Golden syrup or Manuka honey

½ tsp Chia seeds

½ tsp Sesame seeds

40g Dark cholocalte

½ tsp Coconut oil

few grains of rock salt

 

Mix the first six ingredients together. Blend well

Line a tray with Clingfilm and shape the mixture in to small balls. Keep wetting your hands with cold water to stop the mixture from sticking to youIMG_1820

Leave the balls to firm up in for fridge for at least 30 minutes

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a pan over a bowl of hot water or microwave on high for 1 minute

Remove the peanut balls from the fridge and dip each one in the chocolate. Place on the clingfilmed tray to set. Crush a IMG_2248few grains of rock salt over the coated peanut balls.  Leave for a few hours for the chocolate to harden.  Then pop one in your beloved’s mouth and enjoy!

Carrot and parsnip soup

Carrot and parsnip soup

5 servings, 162 calories per portion

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_2608Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A, which is needed for a strong immune system , better vision and cell growth.  The lentils in this dish provide an excellent source of protein and fibre; needed for muscle building and a healthy digestive system

Plus it tastes delicious!

500g carrots – washed and chopped or gratedIMG_2598

200g parsnips – washed and chopped

150g leeks – washed and chopped

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp vegetable oil

100g red lentils

2 bay leaves

IMG_2599½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes

1 litre of hot vegetable stock

salt and pepper

 

 

 

IMG_2600Add the oil to a large pan and heat up on a medium flame. Add the chopped leeks and cook for 2 minutes. Add the parsnips, carrots, chilli and garlic. Cook for another 4-5 minutes on a low heat to colour and soften. Add the stock lentils and bay leaf.

 

The pressure cooker

The pressure cooker

Cover with a lid and cook until the lentils are soft about 25 minutes

Or like me you can do all this in a pressure cooker and it is done in 10 minutes!

Taste and add salt and pepper. The soup can be left chunky or blended with a hand blender if you like it smooth. This will make the soup thicker so you may wish to add more stock

IMG_2608

Why not make it on this cold Monday, you will feel warm and nourished in no time!

Makes 5 x 300g servings.

6 ways to support your mental well being

6 ways to support your mental well being

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

mental healthValentine’s day is a week away – the time to tell the one you love just what they mean to you.  But what if your life isn’t where you want it to be right now, or you have no one special in it. Then next Friday can be a real challenge for you, and that special day can become a symbol of sadness and anxiety.

Of course anxiety can get you at any time and can occur quickly and without warning.  According to Mind.org.uk 1 in 4 in the UK will experience some kind of mental health issue in the course of a year; with ‘mixed anxiety and depression’ being the most common

If you or someone you know is worried about things like money, jobs, health and family and are finding it hard to cope, aside from seeking medical help and support there are a number of things you can do to help yourself

 

  • IMG_2609eating healthily – are you an emotional eater, do you turn to food when you are anxious, stressed or sad.  The latest evidence suggests that good nutrition is essential for your mental health.  A diet that includes plenty of fruit and veg, some wholemeal carbs like bread, rice and pasta and Brazil nuts can help lift your mood. Try whenever possible to make food from scratch, so you can incorporate as many of the good foods as possible and less of the processed foods.  Read my earlier blog about mood food  for more specific advice about what to include in your diet
  • maintain relationships – drop someone an email, phone a friend, be there for someone in need, meet for a coffee, join a local knitting group or rail enthusiast club
  • keep active – going to the gym, walking with the dog, ask a friend to run or walk with you, join a cycle group, help a neighbour to tidy their garden.  This will also increase your uptake of Vitamin D, to help with healthy bones and teeth
  • activitykeep your brain active – read a book, do a crossword or puzzle, join a local college and learn French or another new skill
  • give time and energy – charitable activity benefits you and your mental health.  Follow this link for more information about volunteering http://www.volunteering.org.uk
  • being mindful – be aware of the things around you. The sights, sounds, smells and  being conscious of your surroundings.  This can be done as part of a meditation process or by just spending time observing your environment.  It can have a positive eggect on your emotions.  Go to the mental health foundation for more information

mental-health-nz-565x210

Further information

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

http://www.mind.org.uk

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/talking-about-mental-health

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/low-mood-stress-anxiety.aspx