Monday, April 15th, 2013
This week, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession will make its way through the streets of London. Despite the strong political divide that surrounds her 11½ years as Prime Minister, the love she had for politics and her husband Dennis can never be debated.
Baroness Thatcher, without fail, would wake up and cook Dennis his breakfast every single morning. This got us thinking here at Love Your Gut, in memory of Margaret; let’s prepare breakfast that will help you to Love Your Gut!
When preparing your breakfast, remember that fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. It keeps everything moving through your digestive system and helps achieve optimal bowel movements. Try to choose wholegrain or brown bread if you enjoy toast in the morning.
To start you day with a high fibre boost choose porridge or a whole grain cereal. To make your porridge/cereal tastier try sprinkling some blueberries or sliced banana (our favourite!) over the top, this will also help to achieve your 5 A DAY!
Keeping hydrated is also an important dietary factor to ensure a healthy gut, so wash your breakfast down with a glass (250ml) of water to ensure your body remains hydrated, you could also try herbal teas or diluted fruit juice.
Here are a few options to try out;
- 40g Porridge made with 250ml semi-skimmed milk. Topped with ½ chopped banana and a handful of blueberries
- 45g Muesli made with 100g natural yogurt and add some prunes or raisins.
- 1 wholegrain bagel topped with cream cheese and strawberries
- 2 poached eggs served on a slice of whole grain toast (and a thin spread of butter)
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.
Monday, February 18th, 2013
Busy day? Busy week? No time to think about what to eat? …Why not try the below recipe for a mouth-watering lunch/dinner?
Basil and Lemon Chickpeas with Mackerel
•3 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 bunch spring onion, sliced
• 1 large garlic clove, crushed
• Zest of 1 lemon and squeeze of juice
• 2 cans of 400g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 150ml vegetable stock
• 85g sun blush tomatoes, halved
• 4 mackerel fillets, with skin
• 1 large bunch of basil
1. Using a large shallow pan, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the spring onions, garlic and lemon zest and cook for 2mins until the onions are tender but still green. Add the chickpeas and coat well in the onion mixture. Crush the contents in the pan lightly with a potato masher. Add the vegetable stock and tomatoes and simmer for 3-4mins, until the liquid is reduced. Set aside to cool.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan. Season the mackerel fillets on both sides and fry on each side for 3mins, starting with the skin side down.
3. Add the basil and lemon juice to the chickpea mixture and season to taste. Spoon the chickpea mixture on a serving plate and place mackerel fillet on top.
There you have it – a healthy, low GI meal!What’s great about this meal is that it is low GI so you will feel fuller for longer and you are consuming your one of three portions of oily fishes per week.
A healthy balanced diet contributes to a healthy digestive system – resulting in health benefits such as boosting energy levels and mood, feeling great inside and outside! Having an unhealthy digestive system may cause gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
Monday, February 4th, 2013
The cold weather can tempt us to comfort eat and lack of good digestive fibre has been known to play havoc with our guts. Why not try this delicious winter soup to keep you warm and is packed full of nutrients to keep your body ticking over the long cold winter months. Spinach is a great source of iron and the potato makes this a filling meal that will give you lots of slow releasing energy.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1lb fresh, baby spinach, washed
- 1lb fresh watercress, washed
- ¼ lb rocket, washed
- 35 fl oz/1 litre vegetable stock (if not fresh use a good stock cube)
- 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 8
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a stock pot or large saucepan. Sauté the onion for five minutes, then add the garlic cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the spinach, watercress and rocket to the onion and stir.
- Add the vegetable stock and potato.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cook until the potato is soft but not broken up.
- Blend the soup using a hand blender or food processor.
- Season to taste and serve or (optional) serve with bread croutons or with a little creme fraiche stirred through if you are not weight watching.
Monday, January 28th, 2013
It’s that time of the year! Planning a ski trip or have one booked already? Whatever your plans are, a ski trip is always an excitement!! It is always a good idea to take a few precautions to help you minimise the chances of digestive health problems when you arrive at your destination so that you can enjoy your much deserved holiday!
A few tips to consider before and during your travels:
- Look after your gut – Before traveling try to improve the health of your gut through diet. Consider including prebiotic foods in your diet such as asparagus, onions, and artichokes, eating a well-balanced diet and taking a regular probiotic product.
- Be prepared – pack some high-fibre cereal or dried fruits in your suitcase so you can have it for breakfast or as a snack. It is often a challenge to eat enough fibre whilst being on holiday, which can soon effect on your digestion.
- Stay hydrated – Dehydration is a major cause of gut problems when you’re on holiday so drink plenty of water and juices throughout your holiday, especially if you’re in the sun or on the plan as the dry cabin air can dehydrate you.
- Stay active – long periods of inactivity can make the digestive system sluggish so if you’re travelling on the plane do your leg exercises as suggested in your flight handbook or walk up and down the aisle every so often. When you’re relaxing by the pool or lying on the sun loungers, get up and move around every hour.
- Finally visit your GP prior to travelling to see if there are any vaccinations you may need to have before travelling to your chosen destination.