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Nutritiously Rich Risotto

This delicious risotto is easy to make and takes around 40 minutes from start to finish. It requires no cheese or dairy to enhance it’s flavour. If you use brown rice it will increase protein, fibre and B Vitamin content, but if time is of the essence then Aborio Risotto is fine.  Serve with rocket and cherry tomato salad.

Ingredients/directions for 4 servings (this can keep in the fridge overnight must be heated through before eating)

2 cups of Aborio Risotto rice OR if you want to be healthier
you can use brown short grain rice or wild rice

(takes about 20 minutes longer and needs more liquid)
250g chestnut mushrooms – washed and sliced
200g- mixed exotic mushrooms – washed and sliced
Half cup of dried porcini mushrooms – washed then soaked for 30-60 minutes
1 litre of stock (can be chicken, mushroom or vegetable stock using filtered water) or if reducing salt intake just water
5 cloves of crushed garlic
Extra Virgin olive oil
4-5 handfuls of young spinach leaves
Pinch of pink Himalayan finely ground salt
1 tpn of ground white pepper or a pinch of cayenne

Option: Truffle oil

Directions
Place a large pan on medium-high heat and add some olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic, stirring all the time.
Add the rice and stir thoroughly, don’t allow to catch on bottom, add half the liquid. Drain the porcini mushrooms saving the brown liquid. Chop the now moist mushrooms and add to pan. Also add the brown liquid but making sure the grainy residue remains at the
bottom and is discarded. Watch the mixture in the pan stirring regularly. As it thickens add more liquid until the rice is soft. Once all the liquid has been soaked up, add all the spinach; a little more olive oil or truffle oil and season with the pink salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with the rocket salad.

Delicious!

Nutritional benefits: Mushrooms contain a wide range of polysaccharides (a chain of bonded sugar molecules) called beta-glucans, which have a broad impact on boosting the immune system. Spinach is high in folate, iron, calcium and other minerals as well as protein and fibre.

Carvelo farming.jpgThe following is a manifesto from the Soil Association that seeks to make government recognise the importance of prioritising the way we farm and the huge impact it has on public health, the enironment, animal wealthfare and the health of our soils. Send it to your MP, please repost so that more people are aware of the work of the Soil Association.

You can become a member for under £10 a month or a corporate sponsor click link
You can write (send this mnifesto)
to your MP here

From: Helen Browning Chief Executive  http://www.soilassociation.org

The Soil Association calls on all parties to give food and farming a higher priority than ever in their manifestos. As the UK prepares to leave the EU, the next Government will have an opportunity to produce an agricultural policy for the first time in decades. This must fully recognise the importance of food and farming to public health, our environment, and the economy. 

We urge all political parties to put climate change, public health, soil protection and farm animal welfare at the centre of their food and farming vision – and to adopt the following seven policies in their 2017 manifestos. Stronger working across departments and with devolved administrations, and better resourcing of DEFRA, is also essential.

Our recommendations cover food production (farming and land use) and consumption (public health and diets). We would be very pleased to provide further information on anything contained in this document.  Some of these proposals build on a recent Soil Association report on post-CAP priorities.

  1. Invest in healthy soils – though soil stewardship payments, mandatory soil testing, incentives for more grass and clover, and agroforestry

The fundamental importance of soil health to farm productivity, food security, climate change and public health has been neglected for far too long. Protecting and restoring soil health needs to be at the very heart of agricultural policy. Current global and national soil health commitments provide a starting point but must be urgently accompanied by funding and delivery. Soil stewardship payments would incentivise farmers to increase the organic matter in the soil – including through existing farm assurance schemes such as organic and LEAF. A new well-maintained national soil database should be created with regular soil organic matter monitoring and reporting by farmers. Investment in soil health research, data collection and monitoring should be a priority.

  1. Zero carbon farming by 2050 – a commitment to ensuring the agriculture and food sector plays its part in tackling climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement

The next Government should adopt a bold approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the food and farming sector, seeking to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  It should accept the advice of the Committee on Climate Change for a stronger policy framework for agriculture emissions reductions, both to 2022, as current progress is not on track, and after 2022 – moving beyond the current voluntary approach of providing information and advice. This should include a new agroforestry strategy, alongside more forest and woodland establishment on marginal land.  Livestock emissions must be tackled -including through the encouragement of dietary change. All trade deals must be designed to be fully compatible with the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

  1. Funding for farmer-led research – allocate 10% of the current R&D budget for innovative agriculture projects led by farmers themselves

The success of UK agriculture post-Brexit will depend on innovation by farmers. The UK spends around £450 million a year on agricultural research and innovation yet only a fraction of this goes to practical projects led by farmers. The next Government should announce a dedicated farmer innovation fund with a budget of at least 10% of the UK’s public agricultural research and development budget. This should be accompanied by innovation support services to help farmers apply and make the most of new funds, building on experience from other countries of doing this through the European Innovation Partnership (EIP-Agri), and of home-grown initiatives such as Innovative Farmers. The next Government should reward practical research by incentivising individual researchers and institutions to pay more attention to the impact of their research, for example, through awards schemes for researchers working on farmer-led projects; training; and involvement of farmers and practitioners in reviewing research grant applications.

  1. Stronger support for organic farming – building on the current system to increase the amount of land farmed using organic methods to benefit the environment and improve animal welfare, and to meet growing consumer demand for organic food

The public benefits delivered by organic farming have been well documented by independent research over decades. They include more wildlife and biodiversity, healthier soils and carbon storage, flood protection, clean water, lower pesticide and antibiotic use, more jobs. Whilst only 3% of UK farmland is organic, in some other countries, it accounts for up to a fifth of production – setting new norms for policy, business and the public. The next Government needs to prioritise the expansion of organic farming as a central plank of agricultural policy. This should include maintaining, improving and expanding the organic conversion and maintenance payments, ensuring agricultural colleges offer more courses in organic and agroecological farming practices alongside new organic apprenticeships, and maintaining the legal basis for organic standards – ensuring ongoing alignment with the EU organic regulation.

  1. A ‘good life’ for all farm animals within 10 years – setting a new welfare framework for all farm animals supported by the mandatory method of production labelling, stronger regulation of farm antibiotic use, and public investment to help farmers make the transition.

The next Government should commit to all farm animals leading a ‘good life’ as defined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council – meaning that animals can exercise natural instincts and follow their urges to care, graze, root and play. Incentives and funding for investment in farm infrastructure should be provided to help livestock farmers make the transition and to ensure investment in extensive, low-input systems a more attractive option for investors. Extending mandatory method of production labelling to all meat and dairy, as proposed by Labelling Matters, would provide consumers with the information they deserve, level the playing field for higher welfare products and grow this important market – allowing more farmers to shift from volume to quality production. The next government must put animal welfare at the heart of policies to tackle the antibiotic crisis including a ban on the route preventative use of antibiotics and targets to cut farm antibiotic use as proposed by the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics.  

  1. Invest in child health – commit to creating an environment where it is normal, easy and enjoyable for children and young people to eat well.

Last year the Health Select Committee called for ‘brave and bold’ action to improve the dietary health of UK children. The subsequent Obesity Plan included a set of actions that contribute towards this goal in England. The next Government should commit to fulfilling these actions, and to building on the Plan. It should also commit to ongoing investment in school meals, including free school meals for all infants, a policy proposed by the independent School Food Plan in 2014, which received cross-party support upon its publication. The next Government should make clear that it will not tolerate the younger generation growing up with the normality of regularly consuming unhealthy food, or having no concept of where their food comes from.

  1. Better public procurement – to widen public access to healthier, higher welfare, local and organic food and to build stable markets for farmers and growers.

 Significant programmes to improve the quality of food in the public sector, such as Government Buying Standards, Defra’s Balanced Scorecard and Food for Life Served Here, have demonstrated that public sector food standards can return substantial value to farmers and consumers. Such efforts deserve public support. The next Government should implement an ambitious procurement policy that requires use of Defra’s Balanced Scorecard across the public sector. All public procurement decisions should place a weighting of at least 60% on quality, with price not to exceed a 40% weighting. Caterers’ use of the Balanced Scorecard should be independently verified via schemes such as Food for Life Served Here. This would increase uptake of assurance schemes such as Red Tractor, LEAF, Marine Stewardship Council and organic, thereby delivering more sustainable food and farming and incentivising a ‘race to the top’, with benefits for consumers, as well as British farmers and food businesses.

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Antibody-Antigen Complexes

Antibody-antigen complexes are cleared by a normal immune system, if however immunity is compromised, then macrophage cannot clear the build up of antigen complexes. These accumulate in the tissue causing inflammation in the tissues of organs, skin and joints. They can also accumulate in the nervous tissues. (As explained by Dr Reeve of Cambridge Nutritionals who developed the FoodPrint IgG food intolerance test)

If offending foods are removed from diet and immune function is supported over a period of time, the antigen complexes are then removed from tissues via the immune system’s macrophage cells thereby reducing the symptoms of the food intolerances. If the immune system is supported continually then the patient can re introduce that substance, however if immune function is impaired the inflammatory response will reappear and all the previous symptoms will return.

Busy stressed people are advised to not reintroduce the foods they have eliminated until a complete lifestyle change – even then – if immune function has not recovered and is still impaired then food intolerances will not cease.

The symptoms range from anxiety and fatigue to inflammatory bowel disease. Unfortunately, many people are given pharmaceutical drugs to suppress these, which actually harms the immune system even further. The medical profession needs more understanding and acceptance of the consequences of prescribing to suppress, so that these vicious circles can be avoided.

Paying special attention to health of your digestive system, the gut in particular (small intestines and colon) and to the microbiota (bacteria and microbes) that inhabit the gut is one of the most helpful things you can do to support immune function so reducing inflammation and increasing good health.

The biggest promotor of inflammation is your diet and lifestyle. It doesn’t just happen.

 

 

 

Foodspa's Blog

What can you make for lunch when you have two guests that are expecting something delicious but at the same time ridiculously healthy? Is there indeed such a thing?

If you know what to buy and how to cook it, there are many such lunches. Most of the people I talk to and pretty much ALL of my clients want Easy to Make meals. There just isn’t the desire to slave over a stove anymore unless you are cooking to show off, or perhaps Sunday Roast (Which I find well worth slaving over due to the endless praise I get from my 10 year old gravy monster)

I made this lunch for two friends that are both on a quest to get better health, and it will fit into my beautiful skin recipes simply because it is filled with all the right ingredients to support skin health (and in doing…

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brussel-sprout-christmas-coleslaw

Try this tasty, super simple recipe for a festive touch to your cold meats or vegetarian dishes.
It’s perfect for Boxing Day!

brussell-sprout-slaw-ingredientsAll you need is:

About 15 Brussel sprouts.
1 small red onion.
1 small handful of sultanas.
Rapeseed or Olive oil mayonnaise
– with a touch of mustard, enough to cover everything.
Pinch of finely ground pepper.
Mandolin slicer – with finger guard.

 

Directions

Shred all the Brussels with the mandolin, be careful not to take the tops of your fingers off! Use the second smallest size.
Cut the onion one end and peel off the skin and the tougher outer layer, use the smallest size to slice.
Add all ingredients together mix and serve.

This keeps in the fridge for a day or two in a sealed container.
Delicious with your Christmas ham and turkey, or Quiche and other vegetarian options.

Health benefits:
Brussels are high in compounds that protect the liver and aid detoxification. They are also high in fibre, B Vitamins and minerals. Eaten raw are particularly potent.

Rapeseed oil has the highest content of healthy fats of any oil including olive oil.
Supports lowering cholesterol and healthy cell membranes in all tissues.
High in Vitamin E and important antioxidant to stop dietary fats oxidising and becoming toxic to cells in the body.

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Cellulite formation has many aspects which could be connected to sluggish circilation and the leaking of blood and lymph vessels due to the weakening of connective tissue. This can cause fat to bulge out more and give the dimpled effect. Women have different tissue structures to men – female septae tissue is mesh like and holds onto fat cells (important in reproduction) men’s are smooth and don’t hold onto as much fat.

The factors involved are:

  1. The contraceptive pill – can cause excess oestrogen, which is designed by nature to cause weakening of connective tissue to facilitate birth.
  2. Excess oestrogen, can also cause the body to build fat up in certain areas around thighs, breasts and buttocks- due to preparation for reproduction and breast feeding. The reason why men don’t  normally get cellulite.
  3. Damaged blood and lymph tissue can cause a build up of free radicals (toxins), which then cause more damage to connective tissue. This can also cause water retention so exacerbating the dimpled effect.
  4. Damage to fibroblast cells which produce the connective tissue can cause the fat cells to be coated with an impenetrable protein layer, this can prevent circulation and removal of the fat cells.
  5. Toxins are stored by the body in the fat cells so they do not do further damage, during detoxification process – it is important to support getting the toxins out of the body quickly to prevent cell damage.
  6. Both lack of exercise and over exertion can cause cellulite – the former due to sluggish circulation and the latter due to damage and tightening of muscle tissue that does not allow the fat to escape.

Reducing cellulite

It appears that it is not possible to completely eradicate cellulite – even liposuction won’t stop it from forming again. However making dietary changes, increasing nutrients and using food supplements to target circulation can help reduce it and prevent further cellulite forming. Foods containing Indoles (I3C) like cabbage can help reduce the toxic affect of excess oestrogen. Raw or very lighlty cooked.savoy cabbage smaller

Anti oxidants, Bioflavonoids and Vitamin C (at least 200omg of the buffered form ) are vital for healthy connective tissue. Gentle detoxification is also needed – this you can do through dietary changes, more fluid intake, and exercise – especially Yoga. Hot baths, saunas and steam rooms are all recommended.

Some literature suggests that getting too hot on the inside from over exertion in exercise can force some fat out of cells making it unable to be burnt up in metabolism, and stopping it from being removed – especially if you have poor circulation of lymph. Exercise like Yoga stretches out every muscle and joint creating better circulation.

Some products also claim to get rid of cellulite – most of them if they are good will just smooth the skin.
Yoga orange image banner

 

Butter bean with turmeric tomato sauce

Ingredients:
1 Carton or Tin of Organic Butter (Lima) beans
2 x tbsp of organic tomato puree
2 heaped tsp of turmeric spice
Splash of olive oil
A little water
Pinch of pink salt and ground black pepper
Handful of Fresh organic watercress.

Strain butter beans add to pan on low heat. Add tomato puree, splash of olive oil,stir in, add a little water and then add the turmeric and seasoning. Stir until heated through but not over cooked.

Serve with watercress. You can add a dressing if you like but the flavours are so clean and strong you don’t really need to. If you want to make a more substantial lunch, toast some home-made brown Rice and Gram Flour flaxseed bread (recipe to follow this)

Health benefits / supports:

Liver, digestion, colon, blood sugar, reduces inflammation, joint health, cardiovascular.

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years to support all round health and studies have shown that the extract from turmeric called curcumin is the part that plays a huge role in reducing inflammation.

I try to use turmeric everyday, and find ways to get it into my cooking and food prep.There are many ways to do this. You can also Take a supplement of the extract curcumin, which does help avoid the yellow fingers!

I made a bone broth and vegetable soup laced with turmeric for a friend who had an injury that required good nutrition for bone and joint healing. She loved the soup but wasn’t so sure about the yellow tongue. To me this just assured me that the curcumin was really getting into her tissues.

You can buy organic Turmeric from “BuyWholeFoodsOnline” https://goo.gl/jNPzWz, which may be a little cheaper as you can buy in larger amounts.
You can also buy the extract curcumin in food supplement form from health stores.

 

 

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