Flaxseed Bread

MIMG_0498.JPGy middle daughter, Evie (7), has serious issues with gluten (and oats!). She’s tested negative for coeliac disease, but if she has even a small amount food of bread, cake or pasta she will be doubled up in pain a few hours later. As for many people with gut issues, stress and worry are also a major factor in making the problem worse. She desperately misses London since we had to move to N. Ireland 8 months ago: our
house, her school, her friends, and most of all her Dad who still lives there.

It’s lucky that I’m a dietitian, as I’m well used to managing patients with coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, but practically it can be tough to avoid gluten. Birthday parties are notoriously difficult to negotiate (what kid can’t resist a tiny bit of cake!). The availability of gluten free foods is a million times better than 10 years ago, but they can be expensive and often loaded with sugar. I like making as much of my family’s food as possible, and this bread is fab for her……….the flaxseed is brilliant for gut health and constipation, and the eggs and almonds provide terrific sources of protein. And very importantly, it’s so easy.

If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, needing gluten free, or simply want a highly nutritious healthy bread, then I highly recommend this very easy ecipe. For anyone who has tried Irish wheaten bread, this has a very similar texture.IMG_0861.JPG

Flaxseeds for dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and omega-3 healthy fats. Almonds are a source of vitamin E, copper, magnesium, and high quality protein, fiber, and phytosterols. Eggs are a very good source of high quality protein, vitamin B2, selenium, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

There is about 1000 kcal, 54g protein, 5g carbs in the whole loaf. So if you cut 6 slices, that’s about 170kcal per slice.


Ground flaxseed – 1 cup

Ground almonds – 1/2 cup

Eggs – 4

Baking powder – 1 teaspoon


1) Beat together eggs & 3 tablespoons of water

2) Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl: 1 cup ground flaxseedUnknown copy 9, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 cup ground almonds

3) Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix well. Put in a loaf tin, cook for 20 minutes at 200 degrees C.


Seriously Healthy Pancakes (2 ingredients)

It’s Shrove Tuesday, yay for pancakes! But do they seem like a chore to make? Would you like a super speedy, easy AND healthy pancake recipe??

This pancake mix takes about 1 minute to prepare using a banana and 2 eggs. It’s ready to cook immediately! They are awesome with a big dollop of greek yogurt and some warm berries……I use frozen berries that have been blasted in the microwave to defrost 🙂

The pancakes mix is easier to make with a blender – just blast all the ingredients together,  but it can also be done with a fork.

Ripe bananas

1 Ripe banana

2 Eggs

2 Eggs – high protein

  1. Mash the banana very well – the more ripe the banana the easier this is
  2. Crack in two eggs and mix with a fork. (You can also do this in a blender).
  3. Optional: add in a handful of oats to increase the carbohydrate and fibre for sustained energy.
  4. Pour some mixture in to a lightly greased frying pan (ideally a non-stick one), allow to cook on a medium heat for a minute or two. You’ll see little bubbles appearing, take a peak underneath to see if it turning brown. Flip over and cook the other side.

Extras: a simple drizzle of honey/maple syrup, or greek yogurt topped with berries.


Take to work or school (pic courtesy of my sis!)


Tip: if you are watching your weight, studies show eating eggs for breakfast can help. Eggs seem to help you to feel full up for longer and keep your blood sugar levels steady.


Seriously Healthy 1 minute muffin

UnknownHigh 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.

imageModern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. I regularly recommend it to patients especially for constipation.

Flaxseed can be bought in most of the big supermarkets or health food images-3shops (it is the same as ground linseeds – my Mum tells me they used to put linseed oil on horses tails to make them healthy and shiny)

Add a little bit of honey/maple syrup/agave nectar/sweetener/raisins if you like (they can be a little bland without any sweetness!)

Nutrition info: 320 kcal, 1g carbohydrate, 16g protein

  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon light vegetable oil, such as olive oil
  • optional sweetener of choice (1/2 teaspoon sugar/honey etc)
In a coffee mug, stir together 1/4 cup of flax meal, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, sugar/honey/sweetener if using and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Be sure to use a coffee mug, not a cup.
  2. Add 1 egg and 1 tsp. of oil to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Microwave the mug for 45 to 60 seconds.
  4. Pop the muffin out of the mug and enjoy.

Eat on the run, or serve with a high protein yogurt and berries.


Medical News Today article on Benefits of flaxseed

Super Simple Smoothie

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!

Unknown-2IDShot_90x90-2Shop 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 is high in protein

1 banana/handful of oats

Low fat, high protein yogurt

Low fat, high protein yogurt

handful frozen berries

dollop of honey

Whizz the lot up and serve!

Berry Banana Breakfast Bake

My breakfast recipes are constantly evolving. This is an amalgamation of the breakfast omelette and the Seriously Healthy Flapjacks. The eggs make it high protein and filling; oats for sustained energy, cholesterol lowering and fibre; the berries and banana give your fruit fix.

It’s fabulous cold (I’ve had 2 already this morning), straight from the fridge, especially good if you are on the go to work or with kids. Experiment with the fruit and sweetness…..you can add a tablespoon of honey or use cinnamon instead of coconut. My youngest daughter

A hit with the Little Man

A hit with the Little Man

can’t be in the same room as a banana, so I mash them and she doesn’t notice they are in there.

Beth likes, Evie declined

Beth likes, Evie declined

The recipe makes about 9, each has about 160kcal, 10g protein, 25g carbohydrate. Two would make a good breakfast, or one for a between meal snack.


1 cup oats

2 ripe bananas mashed or chopped

measuring cups

measuring cups – very handy!

1 cup berries (I use frozen, defrosted)

2 eggs

2 cups of milk/protein milkshake

1/4 cup desiccated coconut (optional)


In a casserole dish (mines about 9 inches square), spread the berries, coconut and chopped banana

Sprinkle over the oats.

Beat the eggs and milk/protein shake (if using mashed banana add it to this liquid)

Pour liquid into the casserole dish

Bake for approximately 45 minutes at 180C

Bloated? Tummy pain? – how low FODMAP can help you

Since starting my practice as a private dietitian, the most rewarding thing I have done is advising people with a new dietary treatment for IBS. For many of my patients seriously affected by IBS, it has been life changing. Have you heard of the low FODMAP diet?

What is IBS?


Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder where the bowel looks normal, but it doesn’t function properly. It is incredibly common, affecting about 1 in 5 people in the UK. Symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhoea. The diagnosis of IBS is usually made when other conditions such as coeliac disease, Crohn’s Disease, colitis, have been ruled out.

Causes of IBS:

The causes of IBS are not fully understood, however, it is believed to be due to a number of complex factors:

  • genetic – tummy problems run in the family
  • gastroenteritis – alters the gut bacteria
  • antibiotics – alter the gut bacteria
  • stress
  • a highly sensitive gut that is more sensitive to gas forming foods
  • food intolerances e.g. lactose intolerance

Until recently, dietary advice given by health professionals for IBS has been, at best, vague and unsatisfactory. For many people the NICE guidelines, used in the NHS by GPs for treatment of IBS, aren’t very successful. Current advice from your GP may include: reduce stress, adjust fibre intake, regular meals, restrict caffeine, fruit juice, fruit and sorbitol, exercise and probiotics. Medications such as laxatives, anti-diarrheals, anti-spasmodics and anti-depressants are often prescribed. Unfortunately, IBS patients can be left frustrated because these medications in conjunction with the dietary and lifestyle changes are unsatisfactory solutions.

New low FODMAP diet: 75% success

The low FODMAP diet has been published in international medical journals and is now accepted and recommended as one of the most effective dietary therapies for IBS. The low FODMAP diet significantly reduces symptoms in 75% of people. FODMAPs are indigestible sugars which ferment in the gut causing bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and gut pain. By reducing the amount of FODMAP foods in your diet, IBS symptoms can be dramatically reduced or resolved.shutterstock_52604065

Some common high FODMAP foods include wheat (so in bread, pasta, biscuits etc), apples, pears, garlic, onions, lentils, beans, some vegetables, milk, and some artificial sweeteners. The low FODMAP diet involves many dietary changes that are best described to you in consultation with a dietitian. Additionally, not everyone reacts to the same FODMAPs, which is why it is important to have the advice of an experienced dietitian to help you negotiate the various phases of the diet.

Where do I start?

The low FODMAP diet is carried out in two stages. The aim is to identify the FODMAP foods causing problems that are specific to YOU. Every person reacts differently to each food category, and can tolerate certain amounts.

Phase 1 –  all high FODMAP foods are eliminated for 2-4 weeks. Symptom relief can be experienced with in days.

Phase 2 – a sequential reintroduction of FODMAP food categories over a few weeks. This allows you to identify the foods causing you problems.

A dietitian with experience in the low FODMAP diet can guide you through the phases of the diet, providing practical advice, menu ideas that suit your lifestyle and food preferences, advice on reading food labels etc. Appointment information

Banana Bread Recipe

“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 because then Evie and her little brother, Conor, will struggle to eat their dinner at 5pm. Beth, 7, has a fabulous appetite, and a penchant for pleasing her mum, so will eat most of her dinner without any nonsense. The other two are a different matter! Here’s an article in a local magazine called Families Upon Thames on strategies to get your kids to eat their meals Table wars!

I digress. Snacks for after school: fruit (not popular), homemade flapjacksoaty biscuitscocoa Unknown-1bars. Anything that comes out of a packet is met with glee and great excitement. Yoyo Fruit Bars are popular, or anything remotely sweetie or chocolate.

Today I am trying a something new, here’s the recipe. Make with gluten free self raising mix for a  FODMAP friendly version!

Banana Bread

2oz butter/margarine

5oz caster sugar

2 eggs lightly beaten

Unknown-27oz self raising flour (or I use gluten free Dove’s Farm self raising flour blend)

2 ripe bananas mashed

Optional extras: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, handful of raisins.

Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in the beaten eggs. Add the sifted flour, gently mix in. Add the mashed bananas and mix. Pour into a greased loaf tin. Bake at 170c for about 40 minutes, you can check to see if it ready with a knife – it should come out clean if you stick it in to the middle.

Photo on 17-03-2014 at 12.36