Monday, May 13th, 2013
This week we are showing our support and raising awareness of Coeliac Awareness Week.
Coeliac disease is a common digestive health issue, causing inflammation and damage to the small intestine. It is an autoimmune disease in which individuals have an adverse reaction to gluten
Gluten is a protein found in wheat (e.g. spelt, couscous, bran), rye, barley and oats. Those who have coeliac disease should avoid sources of gluten such as bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, flour, cakes and biscuits.
At first cooking and eating gluten-free foods can often seem overwhelming and frustrating, however, there are a range of naturally gluten-free foods (including; rice, potatoes, corn, pulses, meat, fish, fruit & vegetables) and gluten-free substitute foods (pasta, breads, biscuits) which are available in the shops.
To celebrate Coeliac Awareness Week try this delicious bread and butter gluten-free pudding:
Gluten-free Apricot and Almond Bread & Butter Pudding
Cook for 35-40 minutes
8 slices of gluten-free sliced white bread, crusts left on
75g (3oz) salted butter, softened
200ml (7fl oz.) whole milk
100ml (3½fl oz.) double cream
4 tbsp. apricot jam
1 tbsp. Demerara sugar
1 tbsp. flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and grease an 18cm (7in) by 23cm (9in) baking dish.
- Generously butter the bread on both sides, then form into sandwiches and cut into triangle quarters. Arrange these quarters neatly in the dish so that they are overlapping each other.
- Whisk the milk, cream, eggs and apricot jam together thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the buttered bread and scatter with the Demerara sugar. Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and scatter over the flaked almonds before baking the pudding for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
For further information and support on Coeliac disease visit http://www.coeliac.org.uk/
Monday, April 8th, 2013
Eaten too much chocolate recently?
For many, the long Easter weekend meant excessive indulging in CHOCOLATE, and as we all too easily know, sugar can be very addictive. While we all love a treat sometimes, frequent and regular consumption of sugar laden foods can lead to serious health implications such as obesity, diabetes type II and heart disease. Over the last few centuries the consumption of sugar has dramatically risen. High fat and high sugar foods are notoriously low in fibre and therefore provide little support to healthy bowel movements. As well as being a high energy dense food and placing strain on the pancreas and liver, sugar can also disrupt the natural balance of the gut microbiota.
Below are a few tips to help reduce sugar consumption:
- Dilute fruit juices with water.
- Use sparking water with a fruit squash or a squeeze of lemon instead of a ‘typical’ canned fizzy drink.
- Read labels – the ‘traffic light’ system is used on a lot of products to highlight when sugar is in excessive amounts.
- Replace sugar added to cereals with fresh fruit.
- Make the right choices at meal times. Breakfasts can often be full of hidden sugar. Stick to a whole-bran or whole-wheat product, or try eggs with wholegrain toast.
- Be aware of hidden calories. A lot of low fat products often make up for taste by adding large amounts of sugar. Lots of products such as soups, salad dressings and sauces can contain a lot of hidden sugars.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. Not only is alcohol high in calories, but it is often mixed with high calorie drinks. Furthermore, alcohol can lead to peaks and troths in blood sugar levels which can contribute to unhealthy eating patterns.
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012
Its finally here, it’s Christmas Eve. Now it’s time for you to sit back and enjoy all the hard work and preparation you have been doing over the last few weeks.
Why not prep this delicious Christmas inspired casserole the day before Christmas Eve so that you really can put your feet up and relax right from the start of the Christmas Period.
- 3/4 lb stewing beef diced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 4 cloves cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 beef stock cubes
- 3 onions roughly diced
- 28 ozs diced tomatoes
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 6 ozs spinach
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 bell peppers
- 4 large potatoes
- Wash, peel, slice and dice all the vegetables.
- Dice the stewing meet.
- Boil the kettle and add 1 litre of water to the three stock cubes.
- Pour some olive oil in the casserole dish.
- Place the onion, garlic and stewing meat in the casserole dish and seal the meat.
- Add the vegetables and stir.
- Add the red wine, beef stock, thyme, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cloves and stir.
- Allow to boil before placing in the oven for 3 hours minimum.
- You may need to add some water if the sauce has reduced too much.
- Ensure you stir occasionally.
- Serve with baked potato and source cream (you can place potatoes in the oven whilst the casserole is cooking) or rice.
Happy Christmas everyone!
Monday, August 1st, 2011
Are you finding yourself in front of a BBQ frequently? Whether it be you hosting it or being invited to one…too many BBQs may not be healthy…
Meat can form part of a healthy balanced diet if you make healthy options. It is a good source of protein in your diet, as well as vitamins and minerals. However, some meats are high in saturated fat, which can raise blood cholesterol levels and having high cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease. Also, eating a lot of red meat (such as beef, lamb and pork) and processed meat has been linked to the likelihood of bowel cancer. Processed meat refers to meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives. This includes sausages, bacon, ham, salami and pâtés. If you currently eat more than 90 grams (cooked weight) of red and processed meat a day, the Department of Health advises that you cut down to 70 grams.
Sausages and burgers are favourite choices at a BBQ. However too many of these meats may cause a favourable environment for “bad” bacteria (such as salmonella and E.coli) to multiply in your digestive system, causing gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea.
So be prepared by topping up on your “good” bacteria (that may help to reduce the chances of the tummy problems mentioned), which are found in probiotic products, during the busy BBQ season!
Monday, July 25th, 2011
The school year has finally finished, the sun should be shining brightly and many of us will have holiday plans on the horizon. Whilst all this sounds like ‘heavenly bliss’ getting to the point of relaxing on the beach can often prove to be quite stressful with packing, sorting out the currency, arrangements for family pets etc. Furthermore when we actually get to our exotic destination of choice we have other factors to consider such as coming into contact with different germs and bacteria. Therefore it is also important we plan ahead for the potential dreaded ‘Delhi belly’ to help prevent this and to ensure we get a well-deserved break.
Why not try the following steps to help your digestive health and you can enjoy your trip away in paradise:
- Top up on good bacteria before you go: This can be done by increasing your consumption of prebiotics such as fruit and vegetables and also probiotics.
- Don’t overindulge on the food: Visiting different countries means you will be exposed to many dishes you may not get at home. Whilst this is very exciting our digestive system may not be used to some of these combinations of food. You should aim to be sensible with your choices however don’t be discouraged from trying new things.
- Go easy on the alcohol: When we are abroad we may tend to consume more alcohol as we don’t need to be thinking about getting up early for work the following morning. Whilst it sounds exotic having cocktails by the pool or beach ensure you also keep drinking sufficient water so as not to become dehydrated. Did you know that we are dehydrated way before we are even thirsty?
- Work in some exercise: Exercise is always a healthy part of any schedule, even when you’re traveling. Exercise can help ward off constipation, not to mention burn off some of those extra calories you might be taking in. Why not try swimming a couple of lengths of the pool before the end of the day or take a nice long stroll along the promenade after dinner.
- Pack your medications: Whilst we can prepare our digestive health to ensure we do not become ill on our holiday, sometimes it is impossible to prevent. Therefore it is important that you bring the essential medication such as heartburn, constipation, or diarrhoea tablets.