Microwavable Ready Made Meals: the antithesis of healthy eating. In an ideal world we’d spend the morning tending our vegetable patch/chickens in the back yard, then the afternoon pootling about in the kitchen performing alchemy with our produce. Historically, ready meals have been relegated by chefs and dietitians to the bottom of the culinary and nutrition pile. Little boxes of mush, hidden from view in cardboard boxes, often providing … Continue reading 9 of the Healthiest Supermarket Ready Meals
It can be frustratingly difficult to find a flapjack recipe that isn’t loaded with butter, sugar or syrup. If you would rather not load up on these ingredients, here is an alternative recipe to try. I whip up a batch of these most days. It’s an easy way to get fibre, fruit and healthy fats. Here’s why they are so great: Very quick to prepare the mixture No … Continue reading Seriously Healthy Flapjacks – no butter or sugar
So you’ve started eating better, walking more, going to the gym, or you’re training for a 5km race. Brilliant! You expected the weight to drop off, so why aren’t you seeing RESULTS? Here are 6 top reasons: You are ‘good’ all day with your eating and are distracted enough to avoid eating too much. But by the evening you are hungry and attack the bread, … Continue reading 6 reasons you’re exercising more and not losing weight
High in healthy fats and protein, low carbs. The main ingredient in these healthy muffins is ground flaxseed. Flaxseed is a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, as well as manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid omega-3. Modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and … Continue reading Seriously Healthy 1 minute muffin
It’s the New Year, and the radio in my kitchen is full of presenters chatting about resolutions……..people embarking on health kicks, or the opposite end of the spectrum: rejection of the whole ‘new you’ philosophy. Whether you thrive with having the starting line of January the First, hate the hype, or fall somewhere in the middle, most of us have something we want to improve about our health. Some … Continue reading Eat, Drink and be Merry
A perfectly ripe avocado can be difficult to find, and in my experience they can be either rock hard (the one’s from the supermarket) or too mushy (the ones from my local vegetable market). Many people aren’t keen on the messiness that can be involved to prepare them. Here is a fab new idea from Tesco: frozen avo’s that have been destoned and peeled. They are … Continue reading Avocado Fans – new from Tesco
Sainsbury’s sell about 400 different yogurts, with two aisles at my local one devoted to a technicolor of the tubs, pots and bottles. So what’s the difference between them all. How do you choose a good one? What is the difference between plain and natural, Bio and live cultured, Greek and Greek Style, are low fat yogurts always loaded with sweeteners and thickeners, why does natural … Continue reading How to choose a healthy yogurt
A quick, easy, healthy and tasty recipe for chicken curry. When time and energy are in short supply, but you want a super healthy dinner, this is perfect. I usually knock this up in about 20 minutes (in-between refereeing bickering children and negotiating their homework) 4 ingredients: onion, tinned tomatoes, chicken breasts or roast a chicken and shred, Patak’s Korma Spice Paste very quick and very … Continue reading Chicken Curry in a Hurry
I know, I know, cottage cheese……… it’s not very cool and seems to have been relegated to the 80’s as a diet food, aerobics workouts, lycra leotards and Ryvita. For most of us it just doesn’t feature on the shopping list. We could be missing out…..cottage cheese is, in fact, the perfect healthy protein source. Not only highly nutritious, it’s also relatively cheap (65p for a 300g pot in … Continue reading The Surprising Protein Source we’ve forgotten about!
Athletes who are serious about achieving their full potential, need to provide their bodies with the best fuel. When I first meet with clients, for many, their aim is “just to get bigger, faster and stronger”. Telling an athlete to “eat more” or “have an extra protein shake” is not good enough. The nutritional quality of the food (the ‘micronutrients’: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants etc.), as well … Continue reading Bigger, Faster and Stronger – with 5 no nonsense tips
You would think that a wisdom tooth extraction on Thursday, followed by a painful knee injury during a 9 mile run on Sunday, would have left me reaching for the ibuprofen and paracetamol. But there was no pain from the tooth after the anaesthetic wore off (I promise you, none!), and the knee was completely better with in days. Can what you eat reduce inflammation and pain, allowing … Continue reading Anti-inflammatory Shopping List
Most of my sports clients struggle to put the theory of macronutrients, calories, protein and carb grams in to practical day to day meals and snacks. Unless they have a special interest in nutrition, the last thing any player or athlete in training wants to do is to analyse food labels for carbs/protein/fat, or search for the hottest ‘superfood’ ingredient. Passing out on the sofa is mostly … Continue reading 4 no effort meals
Do you love pancakes but just have them once a year on Shrove Tuesday? Do they seem like a chore to make? Are you struggling to find a more exciting but healthy breakfast for yourself or your kids? This pancake recipe takes about 1 minute to prepare using a banana and 2 eggs. It’s ready to cook immediately! Mash the banana, crack in two eggs … Continue reading Seriously Healthy Pancakes (2 ingredients)
If you can get yourself organised and prepared on a Sunday for the week ahead, you are on the road to fabulous lunchtime food. Set a side an hour to prepare a few basic ingredients, and you will reduce time and stress for the week ahead. You can definitely increase feelings of afternoon oomph as you delve in to a technicolour dream box of the healthy … Continue reading Superfood Sunday: how to build your box
Whether you are trying to lose weight, increase energy, reduce cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, improve fertility or just ‘feel better’, here are five foods that you may have been avoiding unnecessarily: Peanut Butter – Frowned upon as a guilty indulgence, peanut butter can bring you many health benefits. Keep portions sensible at about two tablespoons a day i.e. don’t attack the jar with a spoon! … Continue reading 5 ‘unhealthy’ foods you should eat
Here is a recipe for a very quick and healthy dessert. Plain yogurt has Lactobacillus bacteria which is important for a healthy digestive system, calcium for bones, and no added sugar. Frozen berries add the vitamins, fibre and phytochemicals; a powerful combination that simply can’t be bottled in a multi vitamin pill. For sweetness I add a ripe frozen banana and honey if it … Continue reading 2 minute Healthy Ice cream
For professional and serious amateur athletes, heaving training schedules can mean massive amounts of calories need to be eaten each day. 4500kcal for a rugby player is normal while for a tour cyclist this could be 7000kcal. That’s a lot of food to eat! So what are the things that regularly appear on the pro’s daily shopping list? For rugby, the aim of a player’s diet … Continue reading The Pro Athlete’s shopping list
For the professional sports person or amateur athlete, feeling unwell can reduce the ability to perform during training and competition, and can lead to poor recovery and poor performance. Ultimately, feeling chronically below par can affect the long term career. There are numerous reasons for lowered immunity during training: repeated cycles of heavy exertion exposure to germs and bugs mental stress lack of sleep poor nutrition weight … Continue reading Athletes – how to stop getting sick
Here’s a super healthy smoothie using REAL food……a complete breakfast containing protein, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin C and soluble fibre. Nutritionally, this is an incredible combination of ingredients. It’s also an easy way to get fruit in to kids! Shop bought smoothies tend to be very high in fruit juice, and therefore high sugar. 150ml milk (normal cow’s/Lactofree/almond/rice milk etc.) 1 tablespoons natural yogurt e.g. Total … Continue reading Super Simple Smoothie
A good dressing can transform a plate of salad or vegetables in to something quite spectacular. We all know that we should eat more veg as they have been shown beyond doubt that they are very, very good for us. Why vegetables are fab: Add amazing colours and textures to your plate Prevention of chronic health conditions (heart, diabetes, strokes, obesity, cancer) Low in calories, you … Continue reading Dressing Up – 5 ways to add oomph to veg
In the past week, I’ve had at least 5 conversations with other mums about their weight, and how to lose it. It’s one of those things that just seems to happen…….after each child you don’t quite manage to get to your pre pregnancy weight, then over the years the weight creeps up even more. You feel that you’re not over eating, in fact sometimes you … Continue reading 5 reasons Mums can’t lose the weight
Are you trying to eat healthily, but sometimes feel deprived and hungry? Bored with your food? Struggling to think of healthy meals and snacks? If you want to lose weight, aid recovery from exercise, sleep better, have more energy, look fabulous, and most importantly FEEL FABULOUS eat these 10 foods in abundance, and then have some more! They are amazing power houses of nutrition with … Continue reading 10 ‘all you can eat’ foods
When a lady gets to a certain age, we start to sit up and take notice of tubs of expensive face creams. The word anti-ageing is banded about the beauty industry with aplomb, and the pseudo science convinces us of the latest miracle product will make us look ten years younger. Don’t get me wrong, there is some good stuff out there. According to London … Continue reading Best Anti Ageing Foods
Just when we thought we knew everything about our digestive system, the complex universe of gut bacteria is slowly being unveiled by scientific research. Experts agree that what we currently know is just the tip of the iceberg. Here is the story so far! Gut bacteria fast facts: there are 100 trillion bacteria in your gut made up of at least 500 different types during the natural … Continue reading 4 Foods to Boost Gut Bacteria
Here’s a humdinger of a veggie dish which will pack in the nutrients and can give measurable health benefits. Beetroot is one of the latest trendy foods to hit the headlines….research shows that it contains nitrate (a good thing!) which reduces blood pressure and may increase athletic endurance. Carrots provide beta carotene, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are optional, but add a fabulous texture to the recipe, … Continue reading Beetroot & Carrot Super Bowl
The use of supplements by athletes is almost universal, and used correctly and appropriately, can help to achieve optimum performance. However, clever marketing by supplement companies often exaggerates or invents nutrition claims. The use of pseudo science is common, using seemingly impressive words and phrases. Unfortunately, many professional and recreational athletes rely on information from unreliable websites, or are advised by unqualified and inexperienced nutritionists … Continue reading Supplements in Sport – which ones work?
If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, or simply want a highly nutritious healthy bread, then I highly recommend this recipe. For anyone who has tried Irish wheaten bread, this has a very similar texture, without the wheat/gluten and carbs. Flaxseeds for dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. Almonds are a source of … Continue reading Low Carb bread….yes really!
Do you struggle to eat more vegetables? Need fresh and inspiring ideas? Are you watching your weight, or need to lose a few pounds? I very rarely recommend a gadget, but yesterday I was inspired by an article and recipe in this month’s Red Magazine, which used a gadget called a ‘spiraliser’ (£30 from Amazon). It allows you to transform a healthy, low-calorie, low-carb vegetable into … Continue reading Veggie Spaghetti – with £3.29 gadget!
It’s the first day back to school after the half term holidays, so I can breathe a sigh of relief that the teachers can entertain my children for a few hours each day! Over the holidays we spent 4 days camping on the Isle of Wight (not ‘real’ camping, we were Glamping/posh camping). Four. Long. Rainy. Muddy. Days. I grew up spending summer holidays camping in … Continue reading After School Snacks for Kids
“What have you got for me to eat, Mum?” or “I’m starrrrrrrrving!” That is how I am greeted by Evie, 4, when she comes out of school. The wee girl is always ravenous (no matter how much I provide in the packed lunch). I sometimes struggle to come up with healthy things for after school. It needs to be something filling, but not too filling … Continue reading Banana Bread Recipe
I’ve been making this everyday for about 6 months now, and it is still a massive hit with me, my husband, and our two year old boy (the girls, 4 and 7, are stuck on Rice Krispies). I’ve passed the recipe on to countless friends and relatives who are equally smitten. It’s so easy to make……..5 minutes to mix the ingredients together, and 30 minutes in the oven. … Continue reading Awesome Granola
Oats are a staple in this house with 4 out of five of us having them for breakfast, and daily batches of Seriously Healthy Flapjacks and Oaty Biscuits. What’s so good about oats? Oats are very filling, high in soluble fibre, provide slow release energy, keep the blood sugar levels steady for concentration at school/work, calcium and protein from the milk, and fibre and antioxidants from the … Continue reading Oats: 10 ways to add oomph!
I have written a lot about the types of foods to include for improving health and well being, but if you are watching your weight, how much you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Even if you have eat the healthiest foods ever, over do portion sizes, and you may see this in an inability to lose weight, and even weight … Continue reading 6 tips for portion control
Something I see occasionally in my clinic is clients with spots. And it’s not usually teenagers, it’s more likely to be women in their 30s and 40s. I’ve even had one lady in her 60s who suffered from cystic acne on her chin, not bad enough for a dermatology referral, but none the less, unpleasant to put up with. My clients have usually been suffering … Continue reading Spotty? Is there a food connection?
The risks from high cholesterol aren’t immediate. The damage accumulates over years — even decades. High cholesterol in your 20s and 30s can take its toll in your 50s and 60s. Because the effects take time, you may not feel the urgency to treat it. You may think you can deal with it later – but you may wait too long before heart disease has … Continue reading Top 5 foods for lowering cholesterol
Reasons to eat breakfast: It doesn’t have to be a soon as you get up, but try to have something within an hour or two of waking. Here’s why…… breakfast eaters tend to be a healthier weight breakfasts tend to be nutritionally dense with, fruit, dairy, whole grains, setting you up with a healthy start to the day breakfast will stabilise blood sugar levels resulting … Continue reading 5 Feel Fabulous Breakfast Foods
Being a dietitian, I can’t help myself but to study food labels. The popular Nakd bars are pleasantly short on the list of ingredients. Cocoa Delight is made from 48% dates, 29% cashew nuts, 17% raisins and 6% cocoa powder. On the face of it an ideal healthy snack, especially for hungry kids after school, with no added sugar, oils, butter, additives, preservatives etc. (more … Continue reading Cocoa Bar recipe
Recent statistics show that 40% of women under the age of 34 have seriously low intakes of iron and are at risk of anaemia as a result. Up to 15% of children don’t get enough iron, and 1 in 8 children between 1 1/2 and 2 years are anaemic. Anaemia can cause: tiredness and weakness decreased work and school performance slow cognitive and … Continue reading Iron: are you getting enough?
You may have noticed that over the last few years coconut oil has made an appearance on supermarket shelves, in health food shops and is sold by sports nutrition companies. It first arrived in our house 2 years ago, when my husband returned from rugby training with a tub of this magical stuff, with the instructions that we should use it to cook with. At … Continue reading Coconut Oil – is it really that AMAZING!?
Fourteen years ago as a basic grade dietitian working with cardiac and overweight patients at St George’s Hospital in south London, the message was loud and clear. Low fat was the healthy way to eat and fat in the diet should be reduced. Since then, studies have shown that certain fats actually have a multitude of health benefits. It’s perhaps frustrating that nutrition advice seems … Continue reading Healthy Fat guide
Wow!……..50% of women, and 25% of men over 50 will experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis! Until recently, doctors and dietitians have recommended calcium supplements for those not getting enough from their diet. Recent research is emerging to show that calcium from supplements may not be effective at improving bone health, and may even increase risk of heart disease. The research is suggesting that dietary sources … Continue reading Frightening Calcium Facts
This recipe comes from my Mum’s very battered and very used ‘Belfast Cookery Book’. She’s been making these biscuits for as long as I can remember. I make them for my kids now. I’ve got the recipe written in the back of a Delia cookery book. If I’m feeling a bit woo, I might add some cinnamon or desiccated coconut. 4oz butter/margarine 2oz caster sugar … Continue reading Oaty Biscuits – my Mum’s recipe
Beetroot juice has been one of the biggest stories in sports science in recent years, after researchers at the University of Exeter found it enables people to exercise for up to 16% longer. The startling results have led to a host of athletes – from Premiership footballers to professional cyclists – looking into its potential uses. When consumed, nitrate found in beetroot juice has two … Continue reading Beetroot Juice – worth the hype?
Since the introduction of coconut water to the UK market, sales have sky rocketed, helped by its rapid take-up among celebrities and high-profile investments from beverage companies. The UK coconut water industry was be worth £100m in 2014. Vita Coco accounts for 94% of UK coconut water sales in the UK, and is available everywhere from Selfridges to Tesco’s. So what do Vivia Coco say about … Continue reading Coconut Water – worth the hype?
A nice chap on Twitter challenged my thoughts and opinions on the Paleo Diet. Am I a lover or a hater? It could be considered standard practice for a health professional to dismiss the Paleo Diet as nothing but a fad, a diet that is BAD, and just a bit mad. However, I am of the opinion that most ‘diets’ have their pros and cons, … Continue reading Paleo Diet – a bad fad?
This recipe is adapted from Jaime Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals book. As you can see from the photo, this particular page is well used! This part of the recipe only takes about 10 minutes if you use the ready cooked noodles. I use rice noodles instead of egg noodles (for a gluten free option), and leave out the faff of carmellising cashew nuts. If a … Continue reading Fiery Noodles
Whether you want to be the best at your gym, or reach for national selection, getting the foundations of a good diet is paramount to maximising your potential. If you want to become outstanding, you have no option but to give attention to every aspect of factors that affect your body, training, recovery and competition. What you eat, everyday, affects all of these. To be the best, … Continue reading Nutrition Basics
Hands up all those who feel guilty about drinking coffee! I have to confess, I love my coffee, and have usually had two cups by 6am. With 3 children to look after, 5-7am and 8-11pm are the only times I can get peace to work. Coffee wakens me up and sharpens my mind, so that I’m not sitting staring blankly at the laptop screen, and … Continue reading Coffee is good for you, hurray!
Constipation is something that most people suffer from time to time, or for the unlucky, everyday. It’s also something that most people don’t like to talk about, even to their doctor. It can make you feel horrible, lethargic and bloated. Not everyone has a bowel movement daily, but you may have constipation if you pass fewer than three stools a week, if you pass hard stools, … Continue reading 8 Cures for Constipation
It’s the frantic run up to Christmas and stress levels can be running high. I’m a great believer in keeping things as simple as possible. Back to basics. When we are bombarded by the 1000s of supermarket products to feed ourselves and our children, it easy to get caught up in the idea that food … Continue reading Just Juicy