3 minute microwave sponge pudding

For a easy, quick comforting pudding………images-1

Ingredients:

50g butter (room temperature)

50g sugar

1 egg

50g self raising flour

2 tablespoons milk

mixed berries (I defrost some frozen ones in the microwave and add a sprinkle of sugar)

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar
  2. Add the egg and mix in
  3. Fold in the flour
  4. Mix in the milk
  5. In the bottom of a microwavable bowl, put the berries.
  6. Pour on the sponge mixture
  7. Microwave for 3 minutes

Chickpea and Avocado Salad — The Flexi Foodie

This salad is so incredibly simple to make that even with the busiest of schedules you could still whip it up for lunch for yourself every day! Gathering and preparing the ingredients will take less than five minutes and then you will be enjoying it in no time! This salad contains a delicious range of […]

via Chickpea and Avocado Salad — The Flexi Foodie

Are you at risk of Sarcopenia?

images-3This post is for the more mature/senior generation, so a big shout out to my parents and all the aunties (especially the very youthful Auntie Ann who has just become a granny for the 6th and 7th time with twin girls) 🙂

In recent years, scientists are becoming much more aware of the importance of protein intake for stalling the ageing process and muscle wasting.

Foods high in protein such as fish, chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, milk, nuts and seeds, should be included in an anti ageing diet to help to prevent muscle loss and a condition called sarcopenia.

What is sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is a disease associated with loss of muscles as we get older. Loss of muscle often leads to less strength and decreased activity levels. This can contribute to mobility issues, osteoporosis, falls and fractures, images-4.jpegfrailty, and loss of physical function and independence.

Scientists have long believed muscle loss and others signs associated with aging are an inevitable process. However, researchers are looking for ways in which we can slow the aging process, specifically in relation to loss of muscle mass and strength.

Do I need to worry about Sarcopenia? It’s estimated that sarcopenia affects 30% of people over the age of 60 and more than 50% of those over the age of 80. After the age of 70, muscle loss accelerates to 15% per decade.

How do I keep my muscles? Several studies illustrate the importance of eating protein for keeping muscle mass and preventing sarcopenia. One images-5.jpegprotein in particular, called leucine, seems to be the most beneficial. Leucine is found in most high protein foods including chicken, beef, pork, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.

Studies also indicate that older people need to eat more protein than the younger generations to get the same positive effect on muscles. This new research prompted an expert panel to recommend a total protein intake of 1 to 1.5 g/kg/day with equal amounts of protein eaten at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is almost double previous recommendations.

How much protein should I eat? For someone weighing 75kg (12 stone)  this equates to needing about 75-110g protein per day. For a lighter 8 stone (50kg) the amount of protein recommended is 50-75g.  As well as helping to maintain muscles, protein is also excellent for keeping you feeling full up for longer which is great if you are watching your weight.

Here are some examples of high protein meals and snacks:

Breakfast: 1 wholegrain toast with 2 eggs (15g protein); Lunch: salad made with half tin tuna or small tub of cottage cheese with 1/2 a tub of lentil soup (25g protein); Dinner: 1 salmon fillet in a stir fry with rice (35g protein); Snacks: handful of nuts (5g protein); a yogurt (5g protein); latte coffee (8g protein)

 

And finally: Exercise that puts ‘stress’ on your muscles is also important. Nearly all older adults can benefit from resistance and strength training to increase muscle strength, improve functional ability, or prevent further decline. Strength Exercises

Packed Lunch: how to build your box

It’s 7am and you have minutes to put together your lunch for work. You look in the cupboard and fridge……….no time to cut up some veg, open a tin of tuna or cook some rice. Ham sandwich it is then.
ad276d4936a977f71240e28b808992ee b423515bb46da8de0f1db5d919a3595e fe0b2420125add7efdf9a7002a5b7261Set a side a few minutes the night before (or on a Sunday if you a super efficient) 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 stuff, leaving the tedious sandwiches in their plastic wrappers. There are infinite combinations and variations to play with.

Step by step guide:

  1. Box: Get yourself a large one with a lid. That’s right a BIG one. About the size of a brick (not a Lego brick).
  2. Real Food: on Sunday, take 1 hour to prepare the following, then put in the fridge.
    • LOTS of colourful veg – chopped peppers, grated carrots, wash spinach, shred lettuce….make a batch of Superfood Salad and Happy Carrots. Fill at least half of the box with these, the more colourful, the better.
    • protein: boiled eggs, chicken, tuna, mackerel, cottage cheese, salmon, chopped up pork/beef
    • healthy fats: olive/flaxseed/avocado oil, avocado, nuts, seeds
    • optional wholegrain carbs: boil rice, quinoa, pasta etc. You just need a couple of tablespoons of these if you are sitting down all day. If you are very active or working out, then add some more!

Build your box of deliciousness each night before work. If you’re not going to work you will have a sumptuous supply in the fridge to fill a bowl throughout the day.

Here’s what I’ve just thrown together in less than 5 minutes for work tomorrow: stir fried kale, red cabbage, grated carrots, chopped peppers, a tin of tuna and some toasted pumpkin seeds. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzled on. I’ll add in some frozen peas in the morning which will keep the box cool as they will have defrost towards lunch time. Lovely!

Photo on 08-06-2015 at 22.17 #2

Looking back, looking forward……crikey!

images

Since embarking on my career as an independent dietitian 16 months ago, it has been a slow and frustrating journey. Seeing my clients, 5am starts, 11pm finishes, with looking after the three children and a household in between. A logistical ‘challenge/nightmare’!

“How hard can it be to fill a one morning clinic each week”? Coming from the NHS, I thought this would be a cinch, where waiting lists to see the team of hospital dietitians are months long. Out in the real world of freelancing, it is a very different story.

It takes a long time to build a dietetic business. It isn’t like physiotherapy, for example, where clients return for numerous appointments. I gauge how well I am doing by clients not having to return to see me. I know I won’t make my millions this way, but when you love what you do and see the results of your work, life is pretty good.

It is a wonderful thing to see the difference in people’s lives. In the last week, a lovely lady who I saw a month ago, for digestive issues that her GP was unable to help her with (sadly, most doctors have zero training in nutrition but plenty of training in issuing prescriptions) stopped me while shopping in Kingston to give me a kiss and a hug. I’m not comfortable with blowing my own trumpet, but I want to let people know that it’s not all doom and gloom when the medics say “sorry, we can only treat you with drugs, and if the drugs don’t work, there is nothing more we can do”. Also this week, an email from a mum of an 8 year old boy with worrying behavioural issues and not a solid poo in his life. Again, unfortunately for years his GP was unable to help:

“I can’t believe what a difference I have seen in a such a short space of time! His appetite has improved greatly and he does seem to be much calmer! I have also noticed a change in his poo………….. I know we have a long way to go but I just wanted to say thank you as I have seen an improvement already! He is having school meals so that is a bit out of my control but whereas he never used to touch it he is definately trying foods now.”

So slowly, slowly, I have gone from one client a month, to 4-5 a week. There have been times when I was on the verge of Unknowngiving up and getting a ‘proper’ job, but it is my patients/clients that inspire me to persist, work hard and change things for them for the better.

It’s a wonderful thing to love what you do, and now I’m able to pass on this passion to the next generation. Two weeks ago I started a new part time lecturing post at St Mary’s University, teaching Clinical and Sports Nutrition to undergraduates and Masters students. Crikey! A massive thank you to my parents who have eased the childcare logistics while I settle in. My first lecture is next Friday. Yikes! But I’m not ditching my clinic clients. No way. That work is too important to let it go.