FREE talk Wed Jan 23rd Healthy Life Centre

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FREE talk Wed Jan 23rd Healthy Life Centre

I’m giving a free talk this Wednesday eve between 5.45 and 6.45 at the Healthy Life Centre, 35-37 Bread Street, Edinburgh.

It’ll be an informal and interactive session with tips on how following one way of eating can help you improve your energy, lose weight and balance your mood….should be good!!

Do let me know if you’d like to drop by.

An old favourite!

Ok, so we’re only halfway through January and I have to admit I’m going to cheat today and instead of offering you a new recipe, I’m going to upload a tried and tested favourite. True, until today I hadn’t had it for numerous months (that could even be over a year!) but, I admit, there was a time I cooked it often and so today’s dinner failed on the “increasing my repertoire” score. However, it passed on many other accounts. This month I said we would focus on weight loss and detox (let’s call that an early winter mini-cleanse – it sounds far more doable) and this spring green and lentil recipe contains many ingredients beneficial to both those themes.

Serves 4

• 350g spring greens or curly kale (the kale is more in season at the moment)
• 1 large red pepper
• 1 red onion
• 1 inch piece fresh root ginger
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 3 tsp sesame oil
• 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 400g cooked Puy/Green lentils (or one can)
• 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Sauce
• 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
• 2 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tbsp chili sauce
• 1 tbsp runny honey
• 3 tbsp water

• wholegrain rice, pasta or quinoa

This is a great recipe to help manage your weight as it’s low GL (glycaemic load), meaning it doesn’t cause spikes in your blood sugar which encourage foods we eat to be stored as fat. What makes it low GL? The key is there’s enough protein in the form of green lentils and sesame seeds, some good fats (olive, sesame oil) and it’s served with slow-releasing wholegrain carbs. Of course, it’s also high fibre with the lentils and veg – which helps with the low GL and has the added bonus of supporting our digestive system!

Are there any other nutritional benefits to this meal? Of course! The kale and red pepper are packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C, both great antioxidants. Kale is also really high in magnesium, which is deficient in many of our diets and can help us to relax.

Sesame seeds are packed full of calcium (as well as other minerals) and so are a great choice if you don’t tolerate dairy too well.

Onions and garlic are members of the sulphur family. Sulphur’s needed for the liver to do its job properly and fully break down and get rid of toxins- so use them freely. And of course, garlic and ginger both have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. So go on, get cooking and I’ll get a picture up there very soon!!

New Year, New Blog!

Happy New Year!! Another year upon us, good intentions set and possibly already broken or maybe not quite started. One of my intentions as a nutritional therapist in Edinburgh (and one of course that I shall keep) is to have a different nutritional theme to this blog each month.

January will be weight loss and detox
February will be mood
March will be energy

And the rest to be decided!

As well as nutritional tips and snippets of research, what I plan to do is try 2 new recipes each week related to the theme and post these with my comments. It’s so easy for us all to stick to cooking or knocking up the same things at meal times and this will be a great way to expand my repertoire and hopefully yours!!

So Weight Loss and Detox – 2 things on lots of peoples’ minds at this time of the year. If you’re determined to lose weight then do bear in mind that we store toxins in our fat cells and so as we lose the fat cells, those toxins can be found floating around our system, not doing us any favours. Keeping your diet full of fibre and antioxidant rich colourful vegetables and fruit can help you expel these toxins and feel good while losing weight, whereas adding in “diet” foods and drinks, packed with artificial sweeteners adds to your toxic load and can make it more difficult to lose weight long-term.

Here’s a great recipe that’s low-fat, high protein and packed with anti-oxidants (courtesy of The Optimum Nutrition Cookbook). Tried this week and went down pretty well!!

Grilled Carrot and Tofu Cakes – serves 2

1 red pepper – chopped very finely
200g firm tofu, mashed
125g carrots, scrubbed and grated
50g fresh breadcrumbs ( I used sourdough – wholemeal or rye are good)
25g ground almonds
4-5 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 large handful finely chopped coriander (optional – my addition, I love coriander)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl mix the chopped pepper with the mashed tofu, grated carrots, breadcrumbs, ground almonds, spring onions, coriander and garlic. Stir in the soy sauce or tamari and black pepper. Then shape the mixture into 4 cakes and press down so that they are not too thick. Coat each side with a few sesame seeds.

Place on some foil under a hot grill and cook for about 10 mins on each side.

Serve with a winter salad with chicory and beetroot (both fabulous for your liver)

If anyone else tries, let me know what you think 🙂 Enjoy!!!!