Top 5 food tips for students

Top 5 food tips for students

A-level results are out, so for many its now off to University.  You may be completely prepared for it or you might be terrified of what the next three years holds for you.  But either way you will have to be more independent than you probably have been.  And that goes for what you eat.

Follow my 5 simple tips and at least you will have the food side of things sorted!

Tip #1

Try and avoid fast food outlets, takeaways and ready meals.  If that’s not possible limit them to once or twice a week.  The reason being they are heavily processed, contain high amounts of salt, sugar, fat and calories and are often lacking in nutrients.  The result could be weight gain, tiredness, bad skin, irritability, poor sleep and concentration.  Instead focus on plenty of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, water, nuts and pulses.

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Tip #2

Buy the basics; by that I mean a selection of tins, jars and packets that can quickly be turned in to a nutritious meal.  And don’t be afraid of frozen veg and fruit; they are nutritious, inexpensive, reduce food waste and easy to prepare.

store cupboard basic

 

Do your food shop at the end of the day, when you are more likely to bag bargains like reduced prices.  Also buy food the day before a shop is closed for a public holiday (and they have to get rid of stock).  Buy fresh fruit and veg when its in season – it is bursting with nutritional goodness and also cheaper (often greengrocers or local Asian supermarkets have very reasonably priced items).  But don’t buy food when you are hungry, it will encourage you to buy high fat, sugar processed items

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Tip #3

Buy in bulk.  Dried goods are often cheaper when bought in quantity.  If you haven’t got the space to store lots of food, club together with your friends; share the cost, share the quantity, share the discounts.  Don’t be afraid to shop around; Aldi, Lidl, Coop, Morrisons are often cheaper than the big named supermarkets.

Tip #4

Whilst you’re still at home get some quick and easy recipes under your belt.  Base your meals around vegetables, they are incredibly cheap, nutritious, versatile and easy to cook

  • spaghetti Bolognese – either with mince, Quorn or lentils, tinned tomatoes, lots of herbs, chopped veggies (carrots, peas, sweetcorn, onions, mushrooms courgettes, or wherever you have available) and some stock powder. Served with wholemeal spaghetti (to keep you fuller for longer)
  • Curry – cauliflower and chickpea is simple and cheap.  Fry frozen cauliflower in a pan with a chopped onion.  Add a jar of curry sauce or curry powder/paste.  Add a tin of chickpeas and its water (if using curry powder or paste).  finish with a splash of lemon juice and some fresh coriander (if you want it to look cheffy!

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  • stir-fry – use can use a frozen stir-fry mix and a jar of Sharwoods black bean and pepper sauce (low in sugar).  Add chicken, beans, tofu, nuts or Quorn for protein

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  • cheats risotto – using microwave wholegrain rice, frozen veg and leftover cooked chicken, Quorn, tofu or beans.  You can make it fancy by adding fresh or dried herbs and spices

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Tip #5

If you really don’t know where to start come to my student cookery classes that take place in West Bridgford, Nottingham every Thursday at 2pm

student cooking

How to be a healthy vegan

How to be a healthy vegan

What a vegan diet should include (macro and micro nutrients)

 

People have very different reasons for choosing a plant-based diet and for some the transition can be daunting and fraught with complexity.

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Hopefully I can help you navigate your way through and understand what food types, nutrients and minerals you should include in your diet and what if any supplements you should ask your GP about

 

Lets start with the biggie PROTEIN!

Protein, if you didn’t know is a “macronutrient,” meaning you need relatively large amounts of it to stay healthy. Different protein sources contains various amounts of amino acids that help build and repair muscles in our bodies

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The average UK adult should eat about 50g of protein a day. To be more precise, it’s about 0.75g per kilo of body weight. If you weigh 11 st (70kg) your daily protein intake should be 52.5g. For a vegan that’s about 2 palm-sized portions of tofu, nuts, vegan quorn etc or pulses and beans

Protein rich meal ideas

Carbohydrates

This is another macronutrient, and its fair to say we should and probably do obtain most of our carbs from eating wholegrains, fruits, veg and pulses. And as with any healthy diet the carbs from simple sugars (cakes, biscuits, pastries, processed food etc) should be limited, as they have little nutritional value.

pasta-portionIf you need to lose a kilo or two I would advise you to portion control your bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. A balanced portion of wholegrain pasta or rice is 75g uncooked or 125g cooked. A portion of potato is 80g, and a serving of wholemeal bread is one slice

 

 

Fats

This is the final macronutrient. Its role is to transport fat-soluble vitamins, as a secondary energy source, to keep us warm and to aid brain function. It is the most calorific food at 9 calories a gram compared with protein and carbs at 4 calories a gram. So moderation is the watchword!

Too much fat has been associated with heart disease, obesity and some forms of cancer. With that in mind I would suggest for general cooking, dressings etc you use olive oil or rapeseed oil. Coconut oil has a higher smoking temperature and can be used for deep fat frying and roasting. Be careful of processed, diet foods and ready meals as these can have high levels of fats

vegan-shoppingAs more and more supermarkets are stocking vegan versions of family favourites it is now easier than ever to find vegan cheese, milk, yoghurts and ice cream. But just take a look at the labels and check the fat content as you may be consuming more than the recommended daily amounts of saturated fat (20g for a woman and 30g for a man)

Other fats to incorporate are from avocados, nuts and seeds.  They contain good levels of omega 3 fatty acids

Now we get on to the micronutrients! The foods we need in smaller amounts

 

Vitamins

Many vegans will have been told that they will be lacking in vitamin B12 and D. This of course can be the case but it could also happen to a meat or fish eater. It really depends on the person’s ability to absorb nutrients and how varied and balanced their diet is. That said vegans do have to take more care as B12 especially, is only found naturally in a few foods and most of those are animal in origin

B12

 

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin; in order to keep your levels topped up spend about 10 minutes a day outdoors without sun protection. If that isn’t possible some vegan foods are fortified with this vitamin i.e. soya milk, orange juice, cereals and breads. Just make sure your D3 is from vegan sources. There is some evidence that if mushrooms are placed in the sunlight they will synthesise the rays in the same way we do and produce vitamin D enriched mushrooms

 

Calcium

Ryvita hummus

 

This mineral works with vitamin D to produce strong bones and helps maintain the function of our heart, muscles and nerves.

Good vegan sources are green leafy veg like chard, cabbage, spinach, kale, sesame seeds (hummus and tahini), oranges, soya (beans, milk, tofu)

 

 

Iron

Another mineral that vegans may have difficulty consuming because it is found in large quantities in meat and offal. But it is possible to have healthy iron levels if your diet contains some of the following: fortified breakfast cereals, kale, broccoli, watercress, soya based foods, dried prunes, dried apricots, nuts and seeds, beans, pulses and fortified wholemeal bread.

Vitamin C rich foods help with the absorption of iron but tea and coffee can hinder it.

Vitamin C

Meat Free Monday

Meat Free Monday

In some circles Monday has been deemed ‘Monday Free'; with bloggers and recipe writers like myself posting meat free or vegan dishes, and promoting the idea to be meat free at least one day a week (and hopefully more!).

Meat Free Monday

If you are looking for inspiration then check out my recipes on the right of this post

Or maybe you need more confidence to try Meat free; if that’s the case then why not come to my vegan cookery classes in West Bridgford, Nottingham?

They are for a maximum of four people and occur on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 11 – 12.15pm, Tuesday from 12.15 – 1.30pm and Tuesday evening from 5.30 – 6.45pm – although the times could be flexible.

vegan classes

It costs £25 a session (includes ingredients, equipment and recipes), or if you block book all six you only pay for five i.e. £125

If you are thinking about going meat free you may feel you need some nutritional support to make sure your meals contain all the elements for a healthy balanced diet.  I offer one to one tailored nutritional sessions that will help you to achieve that balance.  A 50 minute session costs £40 or 3 sessions for £100

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Contact me for more details or to book your place on my cookery classes 07946 301338

 

 

Easy beetroot hummus

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

beetroot hummusEasy beetroot hummus

I made a variation of this dish last year but over the weekend I wanted a snack; I had a tin of chickpeas and some left over blended beetroot and this super quick protein packed snack was created!

It makes enough for half a dozen people, although it keeps for 3-5 days in the fridge

This can also be made with shop bought or left over home-made hummus. Simply tip it in the blender add your beetroot and switch on!

Beetroot’s are rich in fibre, vitamins (especially folic acid) and antioxidants.  If you buy fresh beetroot you can also eat the leaves which are full of calcium and iron

beetroot hummus400g tin of drained chickpeas – reserve some of the water

1 clove of garlic

1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

1 tables tahini – sesame seed paste

3 cooked beetroot’s (I use the ones in the vacuum packs)

pinch of salt and pepper

 

beetroot hummusPut all the ingredients in a blender. I like to use my nutribullet but a food processor or hand stick blender is just as good.

Blend for 20 – 30 seconds or until you get your desired texture.  Add some of the chickpea water if it’s too thick

Taste and add more lemon juice or pepper if necessary

 

beetroot hummusTip in to a bowl. To firm up the texture and to let the flavours develop cover and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes or longer.

But if you can’t wait that long serve immediately with some Ryvitta or vegetable sticks

 

 

 

Dementia: food and lifestyle

Dementia: food and lifestyle

According to NHS choices dementia is a syndrome (a group of related symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. It is a common condition, affecting about 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65.

dementia

As its ‘Dementia Awareness Week’, I’ve pulled together the findings from recent research to give a guide on what should and shouldn’t form part of a healthy balanced lifestyle

 

Be the correct weight for your height

Being overweight or obese could increase your risk of dementia.

puzzles

Keep the brain active, with puzzles, learning a new skill or language, get smartphone or tablet savvy

 

Challenge yourself, by trying something new or different each week; go to a different supermarket or coffee shop, try a new recipe, read a different type of book than you normally would, buy a new magazine or paper, walk a different way to the park or a friends house, eat with your opposite hand!

 

Include a range of healthy foods in to your diet. This can include:

  • fruit and vegPlenty of fruits and vegetables (especially green leafy veg); think a ‘rainbow of colour’
  • Wholegrain rice, bread and pasta – for increased fibre
  • Less saturated fat, from dairy, meat and processed foods and more fat from olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • Increase your intake of beans, peas and lentils – low in fat and high in fibre
  • Oily fish like salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel and sardines. Or linseeds, chia seeds or seaweed if you are vegetarian or veganbeans
  • Reduce your salt intake; try and aim for no more than 6g (or 1 ½ teaspoons) a day – this will help maintain a healthy blood pressure
  • Reduced the amount of ready meals, takeaways and processed foods you eat – these can be high in fats, sugars and salt

 

 

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Get more active, walk a bit more rather than always take the car or bus, spend time in the garden, do the housework, mow the lawn, go swimming, practice yoga or pilates, or go dancing. Walking as little as 15 minutes a day can help reverse shrinking of the brain.

 

 

Stay within a safe alcohol limit; that is now 14 units a week for both men and women. The latest advice is to also have a number of alcohol free days.

 

WIBe sociable, join a class or group, get to know others or have family gatherings and keep your brain active

 

Try and manage your blood pressure – many of the above lifestyle changes could have a positive impact on your blood pressure

 

Stop smoking (if you do)

heart and brain

A good guide is that what is good for the heart, such as regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet, is also good for the brain.

dementia brain food

Information and support can be vital in maintaining mental heath and wellbeing. I can help support a person to make informed food and healthy eating choices that’s right for them.

I can give informal and practical advice about food shopping and budgeting. How to turn those foods in to simple low cost meals that can be eaten on the day, stored in the fridge or frozen (ready for another day).

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 17.01.17Why not consider coming to learn how to make simple vegetarian or vegan meals in my kitchen in West Bridgford

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Testimonials

 

“We enjoyed Susan’s visit to our group we found it very informative,

She was very easy to listen to and was very knowledgeable regarding

the questions asked, We are so pleased that we are currently arranging for her to come back and give us a talk on food and mood. We learned new things about the everyday foods we use. As a result of this we have started to change some of our eating habits. Very knowledgeable and understanding of our needs Thank you” The Gedling Follow On Group

 

 

memory cafe keyworth“Susan very generously gave her time and expertise to speak on eating well for brain health at a memory cafe I run.

 

Thank you so much for coming to talk to us at the memory cafe this morning Susan. Everyone said what a good talk you gave. I’m sure people will be greatly helped in putting your suggestions into practice. You gave us very clear, practical advice and guidance, and enabled us to feel it’s okay to have some treats too. We really liked the simple and quick meal suggestions, and ways of adding fibre and protein to foods in easy ways.” H Rawlinson, memory café Keyworth

Nutrition, Meditation and Yoga

Nutrition, Meditation and Yoga 

It’s cold, its damp and its February! At this time of year when all we seem to do is work, eat and sleep it’s easy to become sedentary, sluggish and rely on carbs to see us through. But it doesn’t have to be that way; I’ve teamed up with Kim Rossi to deliver a relaxing and restorative workshop called ‘Nourish your body and mind with nutrition and yoga’

yoga-and-nutrition-feb

The nutrition and yoga workshop takes place in West Bridgford on Friday 24th February from 10.30 – 12.45.

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For an introductory price of £30 you will participate in a relaxing and nurturing yoga and meditation session, conducted in a beautiful, clam setting with warm underfloor heating

I will be on hand to prepare your light 2 course vegan healthy lunch. You can help with the finishing touches, before we all sit down to eat and talk about how to stay healthy over winter

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I will share with you my knowledge and experience and give you some nutrition top tips to keep you on track

Contact me on 07946 301338, or Kim on 07940 311061 to find out more or             to book your place 

 

kim-yoga-poseKim’s been teaching yoga for ten years now and has been on a personal journey of self-discovery which has enhanced her practice and life. Originally trained in Vinyasa but she also draws upon her learning and experiences in connecting with the body, imagery and visualisation, Chinese medicine theory, shiatsu, hypnotherapy and NLP.  Her aim is to fill the world with beauty and love and passion for life.

 

Nottm Post WinterAnd as you may know through my articles on the West Bridgford Wire, I also deliver healthy eating advice to individuals, groups and businesses. By talking informally about how to develop a healthy balanced diet I encourage people to make small but permanent changes to the foods they eat.  Being a chef is a great advantage as it allows me to develop healthy eating recipes for those that need a helping hand.

My vegan cookery classes are a great way to put that knowledge in to practice.  I also deliver regular wellbeing workshops at Maggie’s Cancer support centre at the City hospital in Nottingham. And finally, I write a monthly restaurant review for the Nottingham Post

With our help you can feel energized and nourished and be ready to ‘spring’ in to March

 

Healthy eating

Healthy eating – what do you want to know?!

 

NY resolutionsNew Year is usually about new resolutions, getting fitter, healthier and more focused. So I decided to ask my clients and social media followers what healthy eating questions they had for me so they could get on track and stay there.

 

Here’s a selection

What generally constitutes a healthy balanced diet?

I tell my clients and cookery class guests that its all about variety i.e. eating a rainbow of colour, so lots of different coloured vegetables and fruits will small amounts of wholegrain pasta, bread and rice. Moderation is also key and by that I mean portion control.

healthy eating

A good guide is to use your hand; protein should fit on the palm of your hand, potatoes (also rice, bread and pasta) should fit in to a cupped hand and veggies in both open hands. That brings me to balance; no one food should dominate your plate, meal or daily diet i.e. wheat or sugary foods/drink. We often hear about people cutting out food groups (wheat and dairy are the obvious ones) but I prefer substitution not elimination. That means having rye or oats instead of wheat and replacing cows milk and cheeses with non-dairy substitutes. And finally for a healthy diet it’s essential that you curb your caffeine, alcohol and sugar intakes.

 

Best vegan cookbook?

vegan cookbook

 

vegan cookbook2These two books come highly recommended: Eat vegan, Smith & Daughters by Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse for a Spanish vibe to vegan recipes, and Super Foods Super Fast by Julie Montagu. Does what it says on the tin!

 

Any foods recommended that help combat dementia?

Firstly I’d start with a healthy balanced diet that’s low in sugar, salt, saturated fat and processed foods.

fruit-and-veg

More specifically include vegetables (especially dark skinned versions like aubergine, courgettes, spinach, kale and peppers), berries/fruits, nuts, green tea, olive oil, fish (especially oily fish like salmon, trout, mackerel) and unsaturated fats from milk products and spreads. Think Mediterranean diet.

 

How do I ensure my vegan teenager gets enough protein?

beansNuts and seeds, tofu, tinned beans (chickpeas, borlotti, cannellini, butterbeans etc), hummus, vegan cheese/dairy, edamame beans, peas, vegan quorn are all great protein sources

 

How does 5:2 fasting work?

When we eat a lot of carbohydrate (like bread, potatoes, rice and pasta) or foods high in sugar, it causes our blood glucose levels to rise. Our body produces the hormone insulin as a reaction to eating to keep our glucose levels stable.

Insulin also encourages fat cells to take up fatty acids and store them, the way it encourages liver cells to take up sugars and store them.

fastingStudies have shown intermittent fasting increases the effectiveness of insulin to store glucose and break down fats. This process will reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive decline

Another way fasting works is by reducing the amount of insulin-like growth hormone, which has been shown to reduce your risk of many age-related diseases, like cancer.  High levels of this hormone later in life appear to lead to accelerated ageing and cancer.

 

Is Agave a good alternative to sugar?

agaveIt has the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener (90%). Fructose causes insulin resistance and significantly raises triglycerides (a risk factor for heart disease). It also increases fat around the middle, which in turn puts you at greater risk for diabetes and heart disease. It also has the same calories per gram as all other sweeteners (4 calories per gram). So like all sugars use agave with caution and moderation.

 

Could you suggest some healthy cooking oils for a vegan diet?

It depends on how high you are getting the oil, as some degrade and de-nature which will not only alter the taste but make it harmful. For high temperature cooking i.e. stir-fries or deep-fried I’d go for rapeseed or coconut oil. Sunflower oil should not be used for high heat cooking as it breaks down and forms aldehydes and lipid peroxides, which are harmful.

For general frying both coconut and rapeseed oils are also good and you can add olive oil to the list. But again not sunflower. But be aware that all oils contain the same calories per gram i.e. 9 cals. So whichever you choose try and use as little as possible and pat the food dry after frying. Also do not re-use the oil and keep the bottles out of direct light.

 

 

Let me know if you have some burning healthy eating question that you’d like some help with. Or maybe something’s caught your eye in the paper but you’re not sure about it?

 

Foods to boost your immune system

Foods to boost your immune system

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

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Working at Maggie’s cancer supper centre in Nottingham, I’m often asked about what foods can help build up our immune system.  This is especially important to cancer patients who may have undergone some quite radical surgery, chemo or radiotherapy.  All of which can have a debilitating effect on the body

 

 

 

img_8426A strong immune system is also important to many us as we enter the autumn and winter months.

To strengthen your immune system it is important to

  • Load up on the foods that pack the biggest nutritional punch
  • Whilst avoiding processed foods (often high in fat and salt) and
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet.
  • You can do even more by selecting foods that are loaded with specific immune boosting nutrients.

Top tips for a healthy immune system

  • chopped veggies

    A rainbow of colour

    Eat a ‘rainbow’ of colour to get more antioxidants in your diet.  By that I mean have plenty of variety,  all the following foods help to nourish the thymus gland, which is responsible for much of the immune-system function.  Eat at least two servings a day of these foods rich in vitamins B, C and E, plus beta-carotene (vitamin A) and zinc – red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, oranges, apples, tomatoes, kiwi, carrots, berries, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes.  You get the idea!

  • Cook frequently with garlic because it’s a proven immune booster and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. The allicin helps to prevent and fight colds. So add it to hummus, pasta and curry dishes. Rub on to toasted sour dough for a low cal garlic bread
  •  spinachSpinach is rich in folic acid. It can be made into spinach pasta, added to soups, smoothies or pasta sauces.  It can brighten up a curry or an omelette and bulk out a salad
  • Cinnamon is antiviral, anti fungal and antibacterial; sprinkle it on your porridge or muesli. Add it to low sugar bakes and biscuits or smoothies
  • Mushrooms – contain vitamin D (and will absorb more if placed on a sunny shelf), which is good at combating viruses. Add to omelettes, stir-fries, soups and pasta dishes

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  • Stay hydrated  – try and drink at least 6 glasses of water, fruit teas, green and black teas etc a day

 

 

  • Tactivity exercise walkingake some regular exercise: If you want to boost your immune system, get active. Just increasing your heart rate for only 20 minutes three times a week is associated with an increased immune function, and a brisk walk five days a week can help reduce your risk of catching a cold.  Also being out and socialising can help boost your immune system

 

  • Have a giggle! –  Laughing decreases the levels of stress hormones in the body while increasing a type of white blood cells that fights infection.

 

What to do with all those pumpkins!

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

What to do with all those pumpkins!

imagesWell Halloween has come and gone but we are still left with all those pumpkins and no clue what to do with them or why we should be eating them in the first place!  Pumpkin (or butternut squash and other squash’s)  is very low in calories (under 30 calories per 100g) and fat but high in vitamin A ,great for eye health, and fibre, brilliant at keeping you fuller for long and giving you good digestive health.

And during World Vegan Month it is an ideal vegetable to incorporate in to a healthy vegan diet.

The recipe ideas below are all vegan that is because not only are vegetables, seeds and beans nutritious they are also inexpensive.  Added to that the latest research has shown that eating a more plant based diet has numerous health benefits, such as a lower BMI (Body Mass Index), lower cholesterol levels, a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and certain cancers

IMG_1906A simple way to use pumpkin (or any other squash) is to make a soup.  First of all cut up, peel and de-seed your pumpkin and place in a lightly oiled roasting tray.  You can add some spice like chilli flakes, cumin, coriander or curry powder.  Bake for 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile in a pan add about 500ml veggie stock, a garlic clove and two handfuls of red lentils, cook for 20 minutes until soft.  Add the roasted pumpkin, season with salt and pepper.  You can either leave it chunky or blend. Then finish with some chopped herbs like parsley or IMG_1919coriander.  This will serve two people.

Another idea is to use the roasted pumpkin in a salad, throw in some chickpeas and you have a fibre and protein rich vegan meal

A creamy risotto would also benefit from this brightly coloured vegetable. Just omit the hard cheese and it instantly becomes vegan friendly.

pumpkin-spaghetti

 

A warming and nutritious pasta dish from Lazy Cat Kitchen

 

vegan-pumpkin-pie

 

And if puds are your thing then why not make a pumpkin pie here’s a recipe vegan pumpkin pie – just substitute canned puree for the equivalent weight in fresh pumpkin (peeled and cut in to chunks and cooked in boiling water for 15 mins)

 

If you have a glut of pumpkins, don’t worry if stored correctly they can see you through the winter.

pumpkin-seedsAs well as the flesh, pumpkin seeds are also highly nutritious; they are low in cholesterol and sodium and high in *magnesium and zinc. These two minerals are great for bone and muscle health, metabolism and supporting your immune system.  They are also great for adding texture and crunch to a dish and they make a satisfying afternoon snack.  28g or a small handful is a portion size.

*Tip Foods that are high in fibre like fruits and veg, nuts and seeds are generally also high in magnesium

 

I’d love to hear what your best pumpkin recipe is!

 

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Part time veggie

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

thai-tofu-curryOn Monday why not take part in ‘meat free Monday’ and become a part time veggie.   The idea is that one day a week you eat vegetarian or vegan meals. There are now an estimated two – three million vegetarians in the UK, who for a variety of wide-ranging reasons have given up meat and fish. You could become one of them

The number of vegans in the UK is also growing as the evidence that a plant based diet has health benefits increases

 

Why should you bite the bullet (or rather the carrot!)?

  • Weight – According to recent research by Cancer research UK vegetarians and vegans have a lower body weight.  Meat eaters who continue eating meat will carry on putting on more weight over a five year period, compared to those who switched over to vegetarianism.  The World Health Organisation believes being overweight can increase the risk of serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, and some cancers.  What is not widely known is that the risk of health problems starts when someone is only very slightly overweight, and that the likelihood of problems increases as someone becomes more and more overweight
  • imagesCholesterol – vegetarians  and vegans generally have lower cholesterol levels.  A recent study demonstrated that a vegetarian diet made up of specific plant foods can lower cholesterol as effectively as a drug treatment.
  • Longevity – many vegetarians and vegans will live longer due to their reduced risk of becoming obese, developing diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases; in fact vegetarians have 32% less chance of having heart disease than their meat-eating friends.
  • Saturated fat – Red meat, especially processed meat, contains a lot of saturated fat (plus sodium, nitrites etc) that have been linked to increased risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • beansCost – as food prices rise its good to know that you can still buy good quality inexpensive protein like beans and pulses and turn them into delicious meals such as  veggie chilli or cauliflower chickpea curry.  Buying seasonal vegetables and fruit will also make your meals less expensive and more nutritious. More delicious veggie and vegan recipes can be found on my blog

Quick tips

  • Add a tin of beans to your soups, curries, chills and pasta dishes.  You’ll be adding low fat, low cholesterol protein
  • Make a frittata bursting with veggies like peppers, onions, courgettes and mushrooms.
  • soupHomemade soups are a great way to introduce a vegetarian meal.  Add lentils for additional protein.
  • Spiralise vegetables and have them instead of pasta
  • Nuts can be ground to make your own nut butters – packed with protein and good fats
  • Chickpeas make great hummus. Add to jacket potatoes, enrich a cauliflower curry or smear on to a piece of toasted sourdough

However the veggie garden isn’t completely rosy.  There is a higher risk of developing a B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia.  Eating plenty of milk, cheese and eggs or certain fortified breakfast cereals, non dairy milks, nutritional yeast if you’re a vegan, should provide enough of this essential vitamin

coucousIf you’d like to increase your vegetarian repertoire then why not come along to my vegan and vegetarian cookery classes in West Bridgford? They occur most days from 11am (Tuesdays start at 12.15), I also run a session on a Tuesday evening at 5.30pm

Contact me for more details or to book a place 07946 301338

 

More detailed information about healthy eating can be obtained from my previous healthy diet blog