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Christmas Day Food

Nutrition experts reckon that the average food and drink intake on Christmas day could add up to a staggering 6,000 calories!  And whilst it’s true that much of this comes in the form of sugary desserts and snacks (mince pies, Christmas pudding…) and calorie-laden alcoholic drinks, there are also some seriously nutritious aspects too.

Most people eat excess over Christmas, we’ve all got our favourite must haves, if it’s only for a day or two, don’t worry.  I see so many people worrying how they are going to manage their diets. What can they eat to keep their calories down? Stress is just as bad on the body as poor food choices, if you want to have one or two days of less heathy food choices try not to worry, a walk after a meal will help to regulate the blood sugar, alternate your alcoholic drinks with a soft drink – preferably not high sugar fruit juice, water / fruit teas are the best alternative if you are drinking more alcohol/ coffee than usual since both these drinks are dehydrating. On your plate pile it high with veg, or use a smaller plate so you are having smaller amounts but not depriving yourself of any of the tasty treats.

Christmas day in Susan’s house is normally a late breakfast and then the main meal of the day sometime between 2 and 3, with sandwiches on offer at supper for the teenagers who are never full. Traditions play a big part in the Christmas food, but the meat of choice is chosen each year by a different person, so turkey is not a regular option, this year its a game roulade.

The breakfast which we have at every major celebration is eggs benedict – with salmon,  this is a good source of protein to start the day which helps keep you fuller for longer and stops you dipping into that box of chocolates. On Christmas day it is normally served with  a glass of orange juice (with perhaps some added fizz), the vitamin C in the orange juice helps the body absorb the iron.

Staying with tradition, the teenagers like the same starter every Christmas, so it’s prawn cocktail in Susan’s house.  Prawns are even lower in calories and fat than chicken yet with much more protein. As well as being high in protein, prawns contain magnesium, which plays a role in bone development and nerve and muscle function; Zinc, which is good for growing bodies, and selenium, an important antioxidant, add in some shredded lettuce for some extra goodness and wholemeal bread for fibre and B vitamins, quite a balanced starter.

On to the main event, by having roasted parsnips and potatoes, the fat content lowers the GI level and slows down the rate at which they raise blood sugar so while higher in calories, it can be beneficial to eat them roasted and limit your portion of starchy sugary veg.

Parsnips – Parsnips are rich in potassium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron, folate and phosphorous. It is also an excellent source of fibre, as well as vitamins B, C, E and K,

Sprouts are a superfood and have many nutritional benefits so pile them on to your plate – This food is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate, Copper and Manganese. They also contain powerful glucosinolate phytonutrients, which support the body’s detoxification enzymes, helping to clear potentially carcinogenic substances from the body more quickly.

Broccoli – It is a very good source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium and copper. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin and selenium.

Cauliflower –  Is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin.

Turkey Breast – 

The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat. It is also a good source of Riboflavin and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein and Selenium.

The bad: This food is high in Cholesterol, and very high in Sodium.

The dark meat normally has more calories and fat per 100g.

Nut roast – While normally higher in calories than a meat alternative, the calories are beneficial fats and they are packed full of vitamins and minerals. Since nut roasts vary considerably depending on ingredients, there will be good quality roasts with higher % of nuts and some that are more breadcrumb/ loaf than nuts.  A slice of a good quality nut roast will provide protein, good source of Vitamin A, C, E, copper, folate, iron, manganese, phosphorus, riboflavin, selenium and thiamine.

Christmas pudding  – Topped with a dollop of brandy cream, these are not seen as healthy, but if you can find a pudding that is packed with fruit and nuts and less carbohydrate, limit the cream you can gets some benefit from the fruit and fibre in the pudding- lots of dried fruit is not recommended for those with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes due to the effect on blood sugar so  small portion of pudding only.

Raisins

These can help head off high blood pressure, provide energy-boosting iron and are rich in protective antioxidants.

Sultanas

Like raisins, sultanas are dried grapes and share many of their health benefits including potassium and iron. Sultanas are a source of calcium, magnesium and manganese which strengthen bones and help head off osteoporosis

Currants

With four times the immune-boosting vitamin C of oranges, several studies suggest currants can help combat winter sniffles by inhibiting the flu virus, reducing inflammation in the airways and boosting levels of friendly gut bacteria that strengthen the immune system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flavonoids

Flavonoids are one of my recommendations for many of my female clients to help with PMS symptoms, and while a deficiency in flavonoids does not cause any disease it does offer protection against inflammation and some degenerative diseases.
Recent research has shown some correlation between flavonoid intake and low incidence of dementia. Flavonoids were found to be involved in the reduction of oxidative stress through mechanisms regulated by the glyoxalase pathway, proving beneficial for many degenerative conditions and neurological conditions.
 
The flavonoid nutrient family is one of the largest nutrient families known to scientists. Over 6,000 unique flavonoids have been identified in research studies, and many of these flavonoids are found in plants that are routinely enjoyed in delicious cuisines throughout the world. In terms of nutrient richness, we get far more flavonoids from plant foods than from animal foods, and in particular, vegetables and fruits can be especially nutrient-rich in this type of phytonutrient.
 
Flavoinids may be broken down into 5 groups.
flavonols flavan-3-ols* flavones flavonones anthocyanidins
onions apples parsley oranges blueberries
apples bananas bell peppers grapefruit bananas
romaine lettuce blueberries celery lemons strawberries
tomatoes peaches apples tomatoes cherries
garbanzo beans pears oranges pears
almonds strawberries watermelon cabbage
turnip greens chili peppers cranberries
sweet potatoes cantaloupe plums
quinoa lettuce raspberries
garbanzo beans

Flavonoids  content in foods however are significantly reduced by storage and cooking. Onions can lose up to a quarter in the first two weeks of storage, and many are water soluble with 80% lost into the cooking water.

One of the best sources after purple fruit and berries is the pith in oranges, by drinking concentrated orange juice when the fruit is processed rather than squeezed you can obtain a  higher concentration of flavonoids than freshly squeezed juice.

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Some one has to be last!

This week I had my 10th rejection to the London Marathon, at the same time the first Newport Marathon was announced, so I pressed enter! Over the course of the next 6 months I will be fine tuning my sports nutrition, I have a very chunky book that was part of my training course so now to apply the principles to myself on an individual basis.

I will be logging my training antics over the course of the next 6 months if anyone fancies a read and If I can run a Marathon anyone can!

 

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TEENAGE CALORIE REQUIREMENTS

I quite often hear people say my teen is always hungry, I have a teen myself who constantly raids the fridge and is still like a bean pole, what people forget is that during their growth spurts especially boys need around 2800 calories per day, if they are very active even more, so they need to eat more than their parents. Unfortunately as you get older you need less calories.

Further information on teenage diet requirements can be found here

 

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Consultations

Poor nutrition has been linked to an increased risk of many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The human diet requires both macro-nutrients, which are the main source of calories, and micro-nutrients (≈40 essential minerals, vitamins, and other biochemicals), which are required for virtually all metabolic and developmental processes. The leading dietary sources of energy in the Western world are abundant in carbohydrates and fats but deficient in fibre and micro-nutrients (i.e., they are energy-dense and nutrient-poor) A one off consultation at £55 will look at your overall diet and any health issues that you may have to see if these may have a nutritional cause. A detailed report is provided and food plan if required. Consultations may be carried out face to face, via Skype and by e-mail/ post.

 

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Fertility and flame retardant chemicals

Couples undergoing IVF have been advised to choose furniture without flame retardant chemicals, after a study suggested they could prevent pregnancy. Harvard University researchers looked at urine samples from 211 women having fertility treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. 8 in 10 had traces of flame retardants (known as PFRs) in their samples. Those with the highest levels were 40% less likely to become pregnant or have a live birth. The levels of organophosphate flame retardants measured in British cars are thought to be among the highest in the world. Senior study author Dr Russ Hauser said “Couples undergoing IVF and trying to improve their chances of success by reducing exposure to chemicals, may want to opt for products that are flame retardant-free.” The lead author was Dr Courtney Carignan. Published in “Environmental Health Perspectives” journal. Reported in the Daily Telegraph, 25/8/17

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The benefits of strength training and exercise for health, losing weight and blood sugar levels

Exercise both aerobic and strength training  is important to overall health both now and in the future .

Having strong muscles is important, firstly the mitochondria ,the power houses of cells which convert glucose into heat and energy are found in our muscles.  Strength building exercises together with interval training will increase the number of mitochondria and in turn increase resting metabolism. Fit people tend to have a raised metabolism for two reasons, a higher level of lean mass and a greater number of mitochondria within the cells.   Interval training  has been shown to provide the greatest increase in mitochondria in the muscle cells, however do not undertake an  intensive exercise program unless you are currently exercising, you will need to increase your activity slowly.

The uptake of glucose from our blood stream is faster from trained muscles, this is important for those with insulin resistance or type II diabetes to remove the glucose from the blood stream as fast as possible.  When you exercise your body uses the glycogen stored in the muscles, the hour after exercise is the prime time for these depleted stores to be refilled and for those with blood sugar problems such as insulin resistance and type II diabetes, this is the time to consume your daily carbohydrates, since the blood sugars will be moved into the muscles to be stored as glycogen.

 

 

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3248697/

2. http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/286/3/R505.figures-only

3. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4613-4609-8_8

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Sun protection

Current price for  sun protection (this includes my practitioner discount of 10% off products- supplied via natural dispensary), p&p additional- free on all orders over £25.

 

Green people – Edelweiss Sun Lotion Natural Tan Accelerator SPF15

200ml – £18.00

100ml – £11.70

ORGANIC ALOE VERA, EDELWEISS, INOSITOL, GREEN TEA & AVOCADO

Voted ‘Best Sun Protection’ by Natural Health & Beauty magazine

3 layers of sun protection in one – UV protection, antioxidants & sun tan accelerator!

Offers 93% protection from UVB rays. Re-apply – no need for high factors.

Suitable for people who may be prone to eczema and psoriasis

Green People Sun Lotion SPF15 is made without Parabens, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), Lanolin, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals and colourants to bring you the purest sunscreen that nature can offer.

Green people – Organic Children Sun Lotion SPF30 Scent Free Sensitive 150ml – £15.75

Goodness Garden Organics- Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion SPF30 177ml- low stock – £11.69

Powerful broad spectrum protection from a combination of zinc and titanium. No environmentally harmful chemical sunscreens are ever used.Water resistant to 80 minutes.

 

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Vitamins and supplements

 Choose your product careful, Vitamins and supplements are not medicines, they only work if you have a deficiency (though some can have toxic effects if you take to much), for many if your body does not require them you just have expensive wee, this is why I don’t recommend multi vitamins for the general adult population, its a bit like spreading a variety of grass seed on a patch of bare grass and hoping you need one of them. Its far better to find out which vitamins and supplements you need if any and take that specific one at a dose you require, multi vitamins very rarely have sufficient dose to correct a deficiency.
There are ‘organic’ and ‘inorganic’ minerals, minerals found in supplements that are described as sulphates, oxides, carbonates or artificial chelates are ‘inorganic’ which means they rarely occur in the plant or animal kingdom. Minerals in the form of gluconates, phosphates, citrates, lactates, aspartetes are called ‘organic’ minerals because they do occur naturally in the plant or animal kingdom, and therefore in food.
The organic mineral form is thought to be more easily recognized by the body as food, and therefore to be more easily taken up by the body as food, and therefore more easily taken up into the blood stream and into cellular systems.
Contact Susan for a  postal diet review which can quickly see if you have any noticeable deficiencies that may be contributing to your symptoms or a full review which can be carried out be post/ e-mail/ skye or in person can look at any deficiencies and ways to change your diet to increase foods containing the vital vitamins and minerals your body needs.
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Artificial Sweeteners

There is more and more evidence that artificial sweeteners are not good for us, but I completely disagree with their statement that they may be useful for those with diabetes or those wanting to lose weight. Studies have shown that consuming fizzy drinks having artificial sweeteners compared to sugar do not have a positive correlation on weight, obesity occurred in both groups consuming fizzy drinks both with sugar and artificial sweeteners have shown a higher risk of hypertension. Type 2 Diabetes is also on the increase with studies showing high consumption of artificial sweeteners in study groups. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/diet-fizzy-drinks-linked-deme…/