Get that vegetable vibe

Get that vegetable vibe – all hail the kale!!

UnknownNational Vegetarian Week 2016 runs from 16-24 May; it is a celebration of all things veggie.  We are all told that when it comes to vegetables 5 a-day doesn’t cut it any more and we should be eating 7 or more a-day.

So during this celebratory week ask yourself how is it possible to consume more veg and even if we could why should we?

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For an answer to those questions and a few more check out my new article on the Health Sciences Academy website http://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/news/susan-hart/

IMG_1368I go on to explain that vegetables (and fruit) should form a large part of a healthy diet in order to reduce the risk of suffering from some major illness like strokes, type 2 diabetes’s and some forms of cancer.  Its in part down to the wealth of antioxidants they contain.

 

veggies on the rise

 

Perhaps the message about the health benefits of being vegetarian is fining ground; The media, only this week announced that 25% of us will be veggie within the next 25 years.

So whether they are fresh, frozen, tinned, dried, cooked or raw vegetables and fruits will all add fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet; without adding lots of calories, fat or cholesterol.  Whats not to love?!

One of the easiest ways to add more veg to your diet is to buy an inexpensive stick blender and blend lots of cooked imagesvegetables into a thick tomato sauce.  This can be used to make a healthy lasagna, vegetable and lentil soup, veggie pizzas, spaghetti Bolognese or shepherds pie.

Another tip is to turn your veggies and fruit into smoothies.  A green smoothie is a great way to mix the two.  IMG_2210Try adding kale, spinach, apple, mint and pineapple to a powerful blender like a nutribullet.  The resulting green mix will be packed with vitamins, minerals (including iron and calcium) and disease fighting antioxidants.  Add a couple of spoonfuls of oats and you will increase the fibre content, which will have you feeling fuller for longer

Try taking your time with your smoothie; think of it as a meal rather than a drink.  It takes about 20 minutes for messages to get from your stomach to your brain to say you are full.    Taking your time also allows all those hard working enzymes to extract maximum nutrients from your food.

If the thought of going veggie is too much then why not start with just one day a week.  There is a movement called ‘Meat free Monday’, and you’ve guessed it you have a meat free day on a Monday (and possibly Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday..!) I have created some great recipes that may inspire you to embrace this concept http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/category/meat-free-monday-2/

If you don’t fancy cooking your own veggie food then why not check out my reviews of vegetarian food in local restaurants around Nottingham. Cafe Roya, in Beeston is a great example of how veggie food can be imaginatively prepared and served

http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/category/restaurant-reviews/

IMG_6140Sometimes I even go further a field like Fellinis in Windermere, Lake District.  Their vegetarian food is well worth the trip

Today is also #foodrevolutionday, an idea devised by Jamie Oliver to encourage more children to become involved in fresh and healthy ingredients.  And you guessed it vegetables and fruits are high on the agenda

Why not share your tips for adding veg to your diet –   what worked best?

English watercress; king of the summer salad leaves

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

watercressDid you know it is the start of the English watercress season, which means that the greengrocers and supermarkets will be full of those peppery verdant leaves.  But why is it so good for you and what can you do with it?

That question was put to me by Jeremy Lewis at the Nottingham Post, and I replied…..

Watercress contains lots of vitamin K that helps calcium to form strong bones.  It also has an abundance of vitamin A, which is really good for eye health.  And if that wasn’t good 14281445-largeenough it also contains good levels of glucosinolate compounds, which many studies now suggest have anti-cancer effects.

So what to do with these little leaves of goodness?  Soup is the obvious choice, adding it to bulk out a salad is another great idea and cooking it into a frittata is a great way to get some additional nutrients.  And at only 26 calories per 100g you can afford to be generous

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My full response can be read in todays Nottingham Post or online English watercress, king summer salad leaves