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.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Happy New Year everyone!
2013 has arrived and the Christmas period is well and truly over leaving many of us with bulging bellies filled with guilt from all the delicious festive food we consumed.
With many of us making New Year resolutions and failing within the first few days why not scrap the idea of saying you are going to stop eating this, going to do that etc. and set out a list of goals or achievements for the coming year instead.
For example instead of saying you are going to lose weight perhaps state what weight you would like to be by the end of the year (or by a certain date) and what steps you are going to put in place. This may help you to reach your goal. It is also important to have reasonable expectations of what you can achieve as there is no point putting a plan into place that does not fit into your daily routine setting you up for an instant fail.
It may also be a good idea to not stress over putting your New Year ‘resolution’ into place straight away. Research has shown that there is a high instance of New Year resolutions being broken shortly after they were made. Getting back into the way of things after the Christmas period can be a bit of a struggle as the January blues set in and we get back to the grind stone. Why not ease yourself back into things first before setting your resolution.
Furthermore, our digestive health may not be at its best due to all the luxurious food we have eaten as well as the size of portions tend to be more generous and that extra chocolate too tempting. Not to worry though as once you are back into your usual routine, things should start to level out and your digestive system running more smoothly. To give yourself an extra digestive boost why not try to add a bit of extra fibre into your diet though eating brown bread, pasta and rice instead of white and a glass of orange juice to help kick start things. A brisk walk in the evening may also help to get things moving as well as making you feel more energised and good about yourself.
Whatever your plans for 2013 are, may we wish you the best of luck and success in achieving them!
Monday, July 16th, 2012
Summer berries are a great way to increase your vitamin C intake which helps our immune system and digestive health. Why not try this Summer Berry pudding which is not only rich in vitamin C and fibre but also low in fat therefore making it almost guilt free.
85g golden caster sugar
4 slices of brown bread sliced, (with crusts removed)
2 tsp cornflour
200g tub low-fat fromage frais
300g mixed summer berries (we used raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants, sliced strawberries) or 300g/10oz frozen berries, defrosted
1.Preheat the grill to high.
2.Lay the slices of bread slightly overlapping in a shallow flameproof dish.
3.Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the sugar in an even layer over the bread and grill for about two minutes until the
bread is toasted and the sugar is just starting to caramelise.
4.Mix the cornflour into the fromage frais.
5.Pile the fruit down the middle of the bread and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the sugar.
6.Drop spoonfuls of the fromage frais mixture on top, then sprinkle the rest of the sugar over evenly.
7.Put the dish as close to the heat as you can and grill for about 6-8 minutes, until the fromage frais has
browned and everything else is starting to bubble and turn juicy.
8.Leave it to sit for a minute or two, then serve hot, spooned straight from the dish.
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
It’s that time year again, Wimbledon has arrived and we are already a week in. Whether you are into Tennis or not Wimbledon is the opportunity to get into the spirit of summer and exercise in the fresh air. Exercise is also great for our digestive system staying healthy as well as it keeps us nice and regular.
Wimbledon is well known for its strawberries and cream. Why not try this digestive loving twist before hitting the tennis courts. This recipe is a good source of vitamin C and fibre.
•1 3/4 cups flour (use wholemeal flour to increase the fibre content)
•1/2 teaspoon baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
•1/2 cup butter, softened
•3/4 cup sugar
•1/4 cup light brown sugar (use if you want a sweeter bread)
•2 eggs, room temperature
•1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1 1/4 cups strawberries, fresh & coarsely chopped (do NOT use frozen) or 1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries
•3/4 cup walnuts
1.Weigh out all the dry ingredients and combine in a bowl and leave to one side
2.In small bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and airy
3.Next add the brown sugar and beat in eggs, one at a time
4.Beat in sour cream and vanilla
5.Fold into flour mixture
6.Fold in strawberries and nuts
7.Pour into a greased 8 x 4 inch loaf pan
8.Bake at 350°F for 60 to 65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
9.Let stand 10 minutes in pan
10.Turn out on rack to cool
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
Beat the bloat
Feeling bloated can often make us feel uncomfortable. It may also be a sign that all is not well in our digestive system. There are many reasons as to why we may feel bloated for example some women tend to get more intestinal gas and feel more bloated at certain times of their menstrual cycle or we may have an intolerance or allergy for example lactose or gluten. There are many medical reasons that may be contributing to feeling bloated and it if persists we would advise you to go to your doctor.
One common reason we may become bloated may be that we have an imbalance in the gut flora. For example, this may be due to going travelling or having a stomach bug. Constipation is another known factor in increased gas and having that bloated feeling. Interestingly densities of the well-known beneficial bacterial species Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus were observed to be lower in patients with constipation, and concentrations of potentially pathogenic bacteria and yeasts such as candida albicans may be higher. These often produce hydrogen or methane gas which contributes to making you r stomach feeling uncomfortable however the symptoms will be alleviated once this imbalance has been corrected. One way to fix this imbalance is to increase your consumption of foods that contain the beneficial bacteria, for example fermented milk products, yoghurts and also foods that promote the growth of the beneficial bacteria
Food that may help include promote the growth of beneficial bacteria may include:
• Wheat bran
As mentioned above a common problem of a bloated stomach may be maldigestion or malabsorption of carbohydrates. Unabsorbed carbohydrates in the colon act as food for bacteria, this breakdown produces hydrogen gas and short chain fatty acids. At the low end of the scale this can produce wind, and at the high end, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Lactose intolerance is a potential culprit, as is celiac disease.
Therefore you should try and limit you intake of foods containing gluten such as barley, rye, wheat and lactose i.e. foods such as dairy foods. However it is important to remember that these foods also contain essential vitamins and minerals such Calcium, vitamins A and D therefore you should ensure that you get these from other sources in your diet.
If the above symptoms persist, you may need to seek advice from your GP or Nutritionist to get a true diagnosis.