Try out our recipe for savoury gluten free buckwheat pancakes

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Creamy citrus smoked salmon/smoked salmon and scrambled egg.     Serves 2

Shrove Tuesday may be long gone but this savoury pancake recipe is great for pancake lovers who may require gluten or dairy free options. These pancakes are also packed full of great nutrients. Salmon and eggs contain a good source of protein, omega 3 and vitamin B12 making this recipe an ideal breakfast option for a busy day ahead.  Buckwheat flour is a good source of fibre and is also gluten free, thus providing a perfect alternative for those who are gluten intolerant.

What’s also great about these pancakes is that you can vary the fillings and be selective to suit your needs with both dairy and dairy free options available.

Ingredients:

125g of buckwheat flour

250mls of milk or almond milk (dairy free)

1 large egg

Pinch of salt

Tbsp Coconut oil or rapeseed oil for cooking

Blueberry, banana and cardamom pancakes

Fillings:

100g Smoked salmon

1 pot of reduced fat Crème Fraiche

Juice of one lemon

Sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

Handful of rocket

Dairy free alternatives:

100g Smoked salmon

2 eggs (scrambled)

Sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

Handful of rocket

Nutrition and Hydration Week: 16th- 22nd March, 2015

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Often we forget how important it is to stay hydrated. Not drinking enough fluids comes with many consequences, including: an increased risk of infections such as urinary tract infections, a delay in wound healing, constipation, confusion and falls.  Keeping hydrated is not only important in the summer months but all year round too.  2015 marks the 4th Nutrition and Hydration Week, a global initiative to promote food and drink intake in health and social care. Love Your Gut thought it would be a great opportunity to put together some top tips for staying hydrated in 2015.

1)      Aim to drink around 1.6 – 2 litres of fluid per day, that’s around 8 glasses. How much you need to drink can also depend on the climate and your level of physical activity. So if it’s a hot summer’s day and you are taking part in lots of exercise make sure you are increasing your fluid intake.

Stay hydrated

2)      Avoid large amounts of alcohol, as it can dehydrate the body.  Although many of us like to enjoy a cocktail on a summer’s day, it is important to ensure you are also drinking other fluids throughout the day to prevent dehydration.

3)      Vary your fluid intake. It’s not only water that keeps us hydrated. Try other fluids too, such as herbal teas, milk and juice.  However, bear in mind the overconsumption of some fizzy drinks and fruit juices is not advised due to their high sugar content, so try to stick to water where possible.

4)      Always keep fluids close by. If you’re out and about on a busy day it’s often easy to forget to have something to drink. Keep fluids in easy access by carrying around a bottle of water or keep a glass of water at your desk to sip throughout the day.

5)      Make the most of your friends and family. As with eating, drinking is also a great way to be sociable and is often not enjoyed as much when alone, so why not invite some friends and family round for a cup of tea?

tea

6)      Increase fruit and vegetable intake. Not only are fruit and vegetables great for vitamins, minerals and fibre but they also contain lots of water. Try to include them daily in your diet to stay hydrated and healthy.

7)      Consume hydrating meals. If you’re struggling to drink large amounts of fluid you can try consuming more hydrating meals such as soup, which is perfect for staying hydrated in the winter months.

8)      Monitor fluid loss. You can monitor fluid loss by checking the colour of your urine. Your urine should appear a pale yellow colour. A dark yellow appearance to the urine can indicate dehydration so pay close attention in the loo and increase your fluid intake accordingly!

 

For further information on dehydration make sure you visit the NHS website: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dehydration/Pages/Introduction.aspx

For more information on Nutrition and Hydration Week and events which may be taking place near you visit: http://nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk/

 

 

The countdown begins… No Smoking Day 11th March 2015

Monday, March 9th, 2015

There are lots of reasons to give up smoking and with No Smoking Day fast approaching on the 11th March, what could be a better opportunity to kick the habit once and for all? We all know that smoking causes your health to deteriorate in many ways and it’s certainly not beneficial for your bank balance either! However, not many of us are aware that smoking can hugely impact on the health of your digestive system.

How does smoking affect my gut?

Here are just some ways smoking can affect your digestive health:

Stomach cancer - People who smoke are twice as likely to develop stomach cancer and it is thought that 1 in 5 cases of stomach cancer are a result of smoking. The good news is, that if you quit smoking now, you can significantly decrease the risk of developing stomach cancer. After 20 years smoke free your risk of developing the disease could be similar to that of someone who has never smoked.

Bowel cancer - Smoking has been found to be a contributing factor in the development of bowel cancer, with smokers being at a 17-21% higher risk of developing the disease; around 8% of bowel cancer cases in the UK are thought to be caused by tobacco smoking.

Crohn’s disease - Research suggests that smoking can both increase the risk of developing Crohn’s disease as well as increasing the severity of the symptoms experienced. Studies have also shown that smokers with Crohn’s require stronger immunosuppressant drugs and are twice as likely to experience a flare-up when compared to non-smokers.  The great news is smoking cessation could decrease the number of flare-ups, as well as reduce the need for repeat surgery.

cigarettes

So if you need a good reason to quit smoking this March, quitting for the ‘love of your gut’ may be a great start.  Don’t forget you are not alone; there is lots of help and support available to you. For further information visit the links below:

 

Information for this blog was obtained from the sources below:

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/bowel/riskfactors/bowel-cancer-risk-factors#tobacco

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cancer-of-the-stomach/Pages/Causes.aspx

http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/Resources/CrohnsAndColitisUK/Documents/Publications/Info-Sheets/Smoking%20and%20IBD.pdf

https://nosmokingday.org.uk/i-want-to-quit/help-to-quit/

Cooking for a sensitive gut

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), colitis or coeliac disease can all make the gut sensitive to eating certain foods. Although the types of foods which can irritate the gut varies between individual’s, there are some which are commonly problematic, i.e. certain fruits and vegetables, some fats, wheat, milk, hot spices and certain fibres.

Do not despair as the Love Your Gut team has developed a series of recipes that are simple to prepare and are low in ingredients known to irritate the gut.

Hot smoked salmon, wilted spinach and lemon salad

The recipes show the wide range of ingredients that you can actually eat.

As a starter, one of our favourites is a, simple to prepare, Gluten free bread  made with buckwheat, potato and rice flour and packed full of tasty seeds this can be topped with a Roasted red pepper pate  flavoured with rosemary or lemon.  Alternatively, try the Hot smoked salmon, wilted spinach and lemon salad  - spinach is a vegetable that is tolerated by most people with a sensitive gut and it complements smoked salmon very well.

For a protein hit try our scrumptious Aubergine, quinoa, feta and fresh herbs dish.  Quinoa is a great alternative to meat and is lovely in this Mediterranean style dish.Aubergine, quinoa, feta and fresh herbs

Don’t forget vegetables such as leeks, onions, cauliflower and sprouts can be a real problem for someone with a sensitive gut.  Prepare gut friendly alternatives such as spinach, butternut squash, pak choi, courgette or aubergine.

For some, fruit can also be a problem and it is often worth experimenting to see which ones you can tolerate. Try kiwi fruit, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. To complete your meal why not prepare a little pot of happiness – Granola pots with strawberry compote and yogurt or Chia with maple syrup coated pecans. Both will impress and hopefully keep the gut happy.

Granola pots with strawberry compote and yogurt

If you do have unexplained change in your bowel habits then it is important that you seek the advice of a medical professional.

We would also never advise cutting out major food groups from the diet without the guidance of a fully qualified healthcare professional.

Links:

For more Love Your Gut recipes see: http://www.loveyourgut.com/recipes/recipe/

Click here to see the Love Your Gut- Top tips cooking for a sensitive gut: http://www.loveyourgut.com/recipes/tips/

 

Exercise tips from triathlete Nikki Bartlett to kick start a healthy 2015!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Triathlete Nikki Bartlett, recently crowned British and Scottish Middle Distance Female Champion, explains how it is possible to fit a little exercise into a hectic schedule:

I am currently training full time as a long distance triathlete, working around a part-time job to go for my dreams of becoming a professional athlete. I have written training programmes for working mums and dads in high end jobs, working 40-plus hour weeks, with busy lives and long commutes. I can assure you that it really is possible to fit in exercise and reap the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle, without sacrificing time with friends and family. Here’s a training plan you could try:

Monday: Step into the week on a positive note, with a light 20 – 30 minute walk before work. Break this down into ten minutes of gentle and easy walking, followed by five minutes slightly faster so that your breathing becomes a little heavier and then 5 – 10 minutes of easy walking again.

Tuesday: Day off

Wednesday: 15 – 30 minute core and weights circuit. You don’t need to spend big money here: a few kettle bells and dumbbells, plus a fitness mat and Swiss ball will be more than enough to create a great circuit – you can get good deals from high street sports shops and supermarkets. I do mine in my hallway!

Thursday: Day off

Friday: 20-minute interval run or walk, changing pace with recovery in between. You can either do this as a run or a walk. Start with a five-minute easy run/walk, then do three lots of one-minute ‘pick up’ pace sessions: whether you’re walking or running, pick your pace up so that your breathing is a little heavier. Then between each lot of one minute, come back to an easy run or walk for one minute. Do the same again but 3 x 30-second, with 30-second recovery. Then either repeat, or do an easy 5 – 10 minute cool down.

Saturday: Fitness class: there are so many great fitness classes; they are enjoyable and sociable – and so can be a great way to start the weekend! My personal favourites are Boxercise, body pump, spinning and yoga – these are all great workouts, and you can push yourself to your own limits.

Sunday: Day off – or as an optional extra, head out on a leisurely local walk. Find a walking guide book for your area and discover walks that you never even knew existed! Take friends, family or next door neighbours, and explore the natural beauty of your surroundings. Or if you have children, head out for a steady walk or jog alongside them whilst they are on their bikes. Fit in physical exercise with family at the weekend if you can.

exercising-225x300

 

How to stay motivated through the week:

  • Have a goal: Exercise in order to improve your fitness levels for a specific event, whether that be a local charity walk, 5k run, or to be able to do 3 – 5 training sessions every week consistently.
  • Work out with friends to your favourite music!
  • Set out a realistic structure to suit you and your lifestyle; you may find that you can only fit in 3 x 15 minute sessions in a week, so do that instead of trying to fit in 4 – 5 x 30 minute sessions. Consistency is the key.

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