All posts filed under: Healthy eating

Barbecues – the easy way to make food taste amazing

It’s barbecue season once more which means loads of healthy and fabulous tasting food. Meat, fish and vegetables all take on extra flavour when barbecued. It’s also easy to make simple food taste good in summer as the fruit and vegetables in the shops are often grown closer to home and are naturally full of flavour. A dash of olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs is all it takes. Serve everything with a big salad. I would recommend investing in a gas barbecue as results are so much more predictable than on a charcoal one and it’s quicker and more user friendly. However, whichever type of barbie you have, here are a few simple ideas for fab food: 1.  Make your own burgers Finely chop 1/2 onion and add to 500g mince together with 1 tsp wholegrain mustard and a good dash of salt. Mix thoroughly and shape into patties with your hands, large for the adults and smaller ones for the kids. 2. Sausages with homemade guacamole Elevate the humble hot dog by …

To be or not to be a vegetarian

Becoming vegetarian is usually a decision based on religious beliefs or the ethics of eating meat. However, some people may try it for health reasons. A currently high profile example of this is the blog and recipe book, Deliciously Ella. Its writer, Ella Woodward adopted a vegan and gluten free diet after suffering a debilitating illness and found it helped her recovery. There are many different types of vegetarian diet, depending on what is excluded from the diet – some people eat fish but not meat, others avoid meat and fish but eat dairy products, while vegans exclude all animal products. On the whole, a vegetarian diet offers many health benefits; vegetarians tend to have lower body weights, lower blood pressure and incidence of heart disease and lower rates of cancer. However, to be healthy, a vegetarian must understand how to plan a balanced meal without meat. There are several important nutrients that are not as abundant or well absorbed in plant foods. Meat is a good source of protein as it contains all of …

So chocolate is good for you…..isn’t it??

Easter is just around the corner and the Easter eggs are already starting to appear in the house if you have kids. Many of us have read the newspaper articles in recent years that chocolate is good for you because it contains antioxidants. Does this mean that we should be stuffing our faces this weekend because chocolate is good for you or is it a myth after all? Chocolate is made from cocoa which in its purest form, contains high levels of flavonoids, a group of chemicals found in plants, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by normal bodily processes as well as environmental toxins and are thought to be anti-cancer. Flavonoids have also been associated with improved blood flow around the body, reduced blood pressure and a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. There is evidence to support this, but there is a catch. The levels of cocoa in chocolate vary widely and depend on the type of chocolate you eat. White chocolate contains around 20% cocoa, with milk …

How to eat out or take away the healthy way

Most of us eat out regularly, whether it’s dinner at a good restaurant or lunch from the sandwich shop near the office. Eating out can be fun and it makes a lovely change from cooking and eating at home. If you only do it once a week, you don’t need to worry too much about what you’re ordering. However, if you buy your lunch every day or have dinner out or takeaway several times a week, you would probably benefit from giving your choices some thought. It is much harder to get all the nutrients your body requires when you have little control over the ingredients in your meal. A few tips on what to choose and what to avoid can help you minimise the indigestion / sluggishness / guilt and get what your body needs. If you buy lunch, aim for variety – don’t just eat a supermarket sandwich every day. Many of them contain mayonnaise (full of saturated fat and little else) and there will never be much in the way of veggies …

Healthy eating for older people

As we get older, eating well becomes even more important than it has been throughout our adult lives. From the age of 50, our energy requirements decline as our metabolism and physical activity slows. This is often accompanied by a decline in appetite. However, our need for a regular intake of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals is as great as ever – to help us fight age-related disease and maintain healthy bodies. For older adults, being slightly overweight is not a health problem and is actually better than being underweight. Underweight may be associated with malnutrition and is linked to falls and osteoporosis. Underweight people may also have fewer resources to fight disease. On the other hand, obesity is still linked to heart disease and some cancers, so keeping weight at a healthy level is very important. The key to good health in older age is to eat plenty of nutrient dense foods. When the appetite slows, it is even more vital for the foods that we do eat to contain the vitamins and minerals …

Mexican inspired healthy eating

Probably the easiest way to eat well is to cook as much as you can from scratch. It isn’t always easy to do as life has a habit of getting in the way of good intentions. Having a stock of relatively simple and quick meals helps as does a bit of inspiration to expand the repertoire. My recent holiday to Mexico reminded me of the joys of fajitas and fish tacos. Eating them next to a beautiful beach helped but they are essentially very quick, tasty and healthy dishes if done right. The ubiquitous side dishes of guacamole and salsa are also easy to make and worth the effort. They work beautifully for a Mexican-themed dinner or as a summer barbecue accompaniment. For a more filling and super-nutritious weekend meal, serve with refried beans. All types of legumes are packed full of protein, fibre, B vitamins for energy and minerals. Fish Tacos Fish tacos are traditionally made with fried fish, however there is no reason why the fish cannot be grilled instead. Ingredients 400g firm …

More Tips on Feeding your Kids

What you should feed your children every day is essentially the same as what you should be feeding yourself. There is no reason why children should eat different food to adults and the vast majority of foods marketed for children are processed and nutritionally inferior, often containing hidden salt and even sugar. There is nothing wrong with serving fish fingers occasionally, but they contain considerably less protein than a piece of fish and are generally eaten with chips, which provide few nutrients. Children enjoy many of the same foods as adults – pasta sauces with tomatoes, garlic and herbs, casseroles, chilli con carne without the spice, steaks and prawns are super nutritious and should be eaten by all the family. Growing children need a regular supply of protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy. I believe that poor behaviour can often be linked to hunger or under-nutrition, which can be a result of them not eating the right foods rather than just not eating enough. A child’s diet should be comprised of …