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“Tackling Climate Change with Sustainable food systems”, is the Chatham House report on climate change, that has been created by The Royal Institute of Internal Affairs to persuade politicians to “Put Meat on the Climate Negotiating Table”.

Grass fed organically reared beef cattle - Duchy Farm

Grass fed organically reared beef cattle – Duchy Farm

There has been so much in the press over the years about climate change. Most of it has been warnings about carbon emissions from vehicles, homes and industry. Rarely does any of the coverage mention the importance of food and your diet.

I was invited by the Soil Association to attend the Square Meal debate at Westminster Hall, where farming and food production were discussed in some detail. I am taking some of the main points of the report and looking at it from a nutritional point of view.

Hopefully my approach will give you a clearer understanding of how  by buying into the main message which is to EAT LESS MEAT, you can help to reduce carbon emissions, and actually improve your health and the health of your family. Grass fed cattle are better for you and produce much less carbon emissions due to grazing rather than consuming intensely farmed non-organic GM crops that take enormous amount of resource and water to produce.

Grain fed cows use up more of the world's resources and account for much of the carbon emissions. They have less animal welfare and the meat can contain antibiotics and hormones.

Grain fed cows use up more of the world’s resources and account for much of the carbon emissions. They have less animal welfare and the meat can contain antibiotics and hormones.

We (the British people) have a target to reduce carbon emissions that was set in the Paris agreement in 2015 and agreed by all European Member Countries to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. That is only 14 years. It is a lot to achieve. But it is vital that we all stick to it as the aim is to stop the earth’s temperature rising by 2 degrees, which is the point of no return. There is another target that by 2050 the EU will have reduced carbon emission by 80-95%.
This could well be the main reason we stay in Europe. Forget all the other issues this dwarfs them all.

Why is the way we eat so important?

There are two very compelling interconnected reasons to change your diet:

  1. Your health and wellbeing – Your future
  2. Your planet’s health and wellbeing – Your future, your children’s and their   children’s future.

The debate “Square Meal” was chaired by Professor Tim Benton who is the “Champion” for the UK’s Global Food Security Programme. It was based around the vision of a group of contributors, using their expert knowledge, have come together to make recommendations on what they believe will make the biggest difference, facilitating the carbon reduction that the planet so desperately needs.

Contributors: Centre for Food Policy, Compassion in World Farming, Eating-Better.org, Food Ethics Council, Friends of the Earth, RSPB, Soil Association, Sustain, The Wildlife Trusts.

The speakers were: Laura Wellesley from Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs) Guy Watson (Organic Farmer) from Riverford Organics and Martin Nesbit from IEEP (Institute of European Environmental Policy)

Laura Wellesley from Chatham House laid out the report dealing with the specific area of agriculture and meat consumption. It does not make comfortable reading. I am not a big meat-eater, my diet consists mostly of plant-based foods, but even I will make personal changes to support this campaign.

In a nutshell this quote sums up the enormity of the situation we find ourselves in:

“The production and consumption of meat is a major driver of climate change. Already, the livestock sector contributes 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to exhaust fumes from all the world’s vehicles. By 2050, global meat consumption is expected to rise by 75 per cent: even with ambitious mitigation to lower the emissions intensity of livestock production the world over, the increase in consumption will eat up a huge slice of the remaining carbon budget.

The upshot is that, without a significant reduction in global meat-eating, keeping global warming below two degrees will be nearly impossible. Tackling unsustainable meat consumption is therefore a necessity. It should also be seen as key opportunity for win-win policy-making.”

See more at: https://www.chathamhouse.org/expert/comment/it-s-time-put-meat-climate-negotiating-table#sthash.rFgNUuGB.dpuf

The report’s 5 main recommendations for each country are:

  1. Widen the scope of the current consultation on food and farming.
  2. Adopt a clear and robust set of principles for what constitutes healthy and sustainable diets.
  3. Fundamentally reform the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy)
  4. Effectively implement and enforce existing legislation on food, farming standards, water and environmental protection.
  5. Introduce better measurements of our resource use to recognise the importance of sustainable consumption and production.

Each of us can support this campaign by:

  1. Eating less Meat – buy smaller but better quality.
  2. Choosing sustainable and ethically produced animal products (Organic, Free ranged or grass-fed, non-GMO fed)
  3. Supporting local farmers / producers.

The MPs in the room became decidedly uncomfortable as they realised that this would not be an easy message to take to the British public because they say: 1. It is unfair to expect people, that can’t afford it, to change to a healthier diet, and 2. Farmers will lose out and not want to change.  The truth is:

  • The majority of people can afford to eat meat and I think it is empowering for people to know that they can easily do something to really help immediately by eating less.
  • Governments MUST support the organic farming system more and less support for those that use toxic chemicals.
  • Organic does not need the vast amounts of expensive phosphorus fertilisers – which are running out! (another time bomb) and ultimately it would be cheaper to farm organically if the playing field of government subsidies was level.

Why is eating less meat good for your health?

The meat story is a bit like the salt story. We need protein to survive, as we do salt, we would die without it. But now most people in the western world over consume it and just like excessive salt, it is bad for your health. But unlike salt, over consuming meat is bad for the planet!

We need “adequate” amounts of protein to be healthy, and that protein needs to contain all the essential amino acids. for every tissue and cell in our body. It is so vital for our immune function, our energy and our well-being in so many ways. It is why being a nutritionally educated Vegetarian or Vegan is so important.

What is “enough” protein?

If you work your weight out in kilos, as a general rule 0.8g per kilo is around what you need

to consume a day. Example: 75 kilo person needs between 45g-60g of depending on how physically active they are and what their muscle ratio is. A 3oz serving of meat or seafood is 20-28g this is smaller than you may think – equivalent to a small deck of cards.

Pulses (cooked) contain around 8g protein per cup. Eggs 6-8g depending on size and nuts and seeds around 4g-8g depending on type. Vegetables and whole grains also contain protein, so over the day you can see that eating moderate portions will supply plenty of protein for the average person. Pregnant women and athletes need more protein than the average person.

Animal versus Plant protein – what are the pro and cons?

Animal Protein:

Pros:

  • Contains all essential amino acids (building blocks of all our tissues and cells)
  • Easier for the body to use (more bioavailable)
  • Contains Co Enzyme 10 – Vital for our energy pathways in muscle tissue, protects the heart.
  • Red meat high in iron and other minerals.
  • The main source of B12 – absolutely vital for health.
  • More bioavailable than plant protein so easier for the body to use.

Cons:

  • When over eaten it is acid forming so creates acidic blood – robbing your bones of minerals to alkalise the blood and weakening them.
  • Overeating meat in one meal causes undigested protein into the intestines, as this sits there it releases toxins that are detrimental to all aspects of health. (there is only so much stomach acid, and this is not enough to digest large amounts of animal protein in one go)
  • If the ecology of good bacteria is out of balance (this is true in many people due to Western diet and antibiotics) the meat is poorly digested in the gut, causing sluggish digestion and a toxic environment – especially as we age.

 

Plant Protein

Quinoa & Chickpea salad small

Pros

  • Contains protein in different levels. Some are higher certain amino acids, so these can be used to affect imbalances.
  • Contains “phytonutrients” – such as polyphenols, Indole 3 carbinole, Flavonoids, Carotenoids, Lignans, Isoflavonoids, Curcuminoids, Tanins, Chlorophylls, beta-glucans. These are some of the most health-promoting things you can eat.
  • Contains two types of fibre – cellulose being the one that feeds our “Good” bacteria and helps produces vital nutrients. Soluble fibre that binds to toxins and helps remove them from the body.
  • Contain many minerals and vitamins vital to optimal health and protection against disease and chronic health issues.
  • Contains enzymes to help break food down. 

Cons

  • Less easily digested and utilised by the body
  • In general, does not contain all the essential amino acids in one food and needs to be carefully combined.
  • If not organically grown may lack nutrients and cause deficiencies.
  • High in phytic acid which binds to minerals and can block calcium in large amounts (phytase digestive enzyme neutralises the affect) phytic acid is cancer protective though.

What is “excess” protein?

Many servings of meat can be 7-12oz that would be 60g-120g of protein in one meal! Other protein eaten during the day can be: Eggs on their own and in other foods. Cheese, milk and yoghurt, ice cream and other deserts. Cold meats, pastes and fillings, grains, vegetables and pulses. That could quite easily add up to 100-200g of protein, depending on portion.

58% of people eat out at least once a week, and spend more money eating out than they do on groceries. Eating out normally means a starter that can be a meat portion, then a main meat portion, and then a dairy protein portion as a dessert.

On average the Western diet has from 3 to 5 times more protein than is needed for health, and the developing countries are catching up. Countries that were predominantly vegetarian are eating more and more poor quality meat and dairy.Meat image

What are the physical effects in the body of over consumption of animal protein?

Excess protein converts to sugar then fat.
The process of breaking the protein down creates nitrogen waste which must be removed from the body and excess protein consumption stresses the kidneys. This causes systemic dehydration and can eventually can cause kidney damage and even gout, an arthritic condition caused by excess uric acid in the blood.

Over eating meat and dairy can trigger immune conditions like eczema and asthma, arthritis and other chronic conditions – especially animal products that have been reared on GM grain and soya in cramped conditions and treated with hormones and antibiotics. If you know you eat more than “adequate” and you suffer from any of these conditions, try eating less meat and dairy – you may be surprised at the difference.

The excess phosphorus in the protein triggers the body to have to rebalance minerals therefore leaching calcium from bones, which weakens them.

Consuming excessive protein stimulates a pathway called mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) Decreased mTOR activity in the body promotes health and can increase life span as well as protect against cancer and disease. Consuming more protein than the body needs stimulates mTOR and increases the risk of disease and cancer as well as speeding up the aging process.

Short fasting diets that are devoid of all protein can inhibit mTOR and regularly done can increase health and wellbeing. Choosing to eat much less meat will also promote this.

Eating less but higher quality meat, should not mean spending more. Or if it does you are supporting a system that is good for animals, the planet and your future health.

Eating more healthily (less meat) would actually mean spending less on food.  Even if people do not want to buy organic – you can still eat more healthily by choosing less meat and more vegetables. More Non GM pulses and whole grains – therefore more nutrients, more fibre.

Higher quality meat will is less toxic and more nutritious due to eating grass or more natural foods.

Mass produced animals might not see the light of day and they will be fed grains like Maize and Soya which is not their natural diet. These feeds are intensely farmed and the use of pesticides and fertilizer is having such a profoundly toxic effect on the environment via the soil and the plant. Insects, bees, butterflies and birds are simply dying off due to poisoning by farmers and gardeners! it is not sustainable – the ecosystem is in dire need of rebalancing. There is only one answer whether we like it or not and that is to change the way the land is farmed and to change the way we eat.

So by reducing your meat intake, eating higher quality, grass-fed, organic animal product in smaller affordable amounts – you will be doing something to support your health, animal welfare and support the health of the environment.

And very importantly will send a message that you are no longer willing to support products that damage your health and the environment.

Why is Organic better for the planet?Earth

Organic farming means not buying mountains of chemical fertiliser or toxic seeds from Monsanto. Organic farming fixes nitrate in the soil and allows more CO2 to be absorbed. Organic farming doesn’t use the pesticides that destroy the bees, insects and the bird’s food and habitat.

http://www.soilassociation.org/soilfilm

Why is Organic better for you and your family?

  • More beneficial nutrients – more Vitamins and minerals
  • More plant antioxidants that protect against disease.
  • Much less nitrogen content, and 87% lower nitrite content which is linked to some cancers – caused by using non-organic fertilisers
  • Supports natural farming and the surrounding environment.
  • Less pesticides and harmful heavy metals for consumption
  • More protective of wildlife and the environment.
  • Better animal welfare.
  • Protects the soil.

Find out more: http://www.soilassociation.org/whatisorganic

Why are there not more organic farms?

Organic farming  accounts for just 2% of the market, which means that mass production of grains and animals is 98% – it’s VAST and it has to change.

Farmers are opting out of organic due to:

  • Complicated and expensive organic certification –needs to be simplified and less expensive.
    Organic Animal feed is much more expensive than poorer quality feed – so needs to be passed onto consumer.
  • Very few “champions” in government and industry to lead the way.

Government and consumers can support organic farming by:

  • Government grants for the organic certification process and maintenance.
  • More subsidies for organic farming.
  • Consumers making better choices at the point of purchase

Organic, and/or grass-fed.

  • Public demand for organic or grass-fed animals when dining out.
  • The more demand for organic – the cheaper it will become.

Change will happen for the better or the worse, nothing stands still.

The top two actions to take are:

“Eat Less Meat and Choose Better Quality”

The brilliant thing about it is you can start immediately to make a difference.

Become a member of the Soil association: http://www.soilassociation.org/becomeamember

Starting at £3.50 per month or a Soil Friend member for £10 a month.

Fundraising: http://www.soilassociation.org/supportourwork/fundraiseforus

Find out more:
www.soilassociation.org/whatisorganic
http://www.carbonbrief.org/how-ambitious-is-the-eus-offer-to-the-paris-climate-change-talks
http://www.eating-better.org/
http://www.sustainweb.org/
http://www.foodethicscouncil.org/
http://foodresearch.org.uk/square-meal/
http://www.ciwf.org.uk/
http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/
https://www.foe.co.uk/
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/
http://www.ted.com/talks/mohamed_hijri_a_simple_solution_to_the_coming_phosphorus_crisis
http://www.ted.com/talks/barton_seaver_sustainable_seafood_let_s_get_smart
http://www.ted.com/watch/ted-institute/ted-bcg/michael-silverstein-the-future-of-food

http://www.ted.com/talks/andras_forgacs_leather_and_meat_without_killing_animals

Word count: 2,535

For many years we Nutritional Therapists have banged on about sugar being one of the most detrimental substances, still classed as a food, that you can put into your body.

The discussion about sugar and calls to increase taxes on sugary foods is growing. It has been all over the news today, it was discussed on many chat shows and Jamie Oliver has strongly suggested an age warning be put on high sugar drinks, which is entirely right and he should be commended. Will the goverment act?

The fact that sugar is “BAD,” is now in the public psyche. For the last few years the media have been cranking up the message, but do people believe know just how bad it is? Do you? It’s fairly obvious that nearly everybody does not believe that sugar is that bad for them or there would be an overnight drop in the sale of all things sugary.

So who is it that sugar is BAD for, if it’s not you?

There is no doubt that scientifically, medically and nutritionally, refined sugars and carbohydrates are the root cause of obesity and related diseases.

But did you know that eating sugar or refined carbs regularly can have a detrimental effect on health of your good gut bacteria (flora) and therefore digestion and immune function. Sugar feeds undesirable microbes and as these microbes feed on sugar they release toxins into the blood and affect your immune response causing widespread inflammation and your general wellbeing. The more sugar you eat the more the ‘bad’ gut bacteria, yeast and fungi thrive. Good flora thrives on plant fibre, not sugar. We need the healthy flora as it is vital for the proper breakdown of foods, and the production of many substances that keep us healthy.

Sugar also feeds cancers and tumours, it causes systemic inflammation and creates a dangerous environment in the body. It has a huge effect on our mental wellbeing afterall sugar is a drug, it acts on our opiate receptors making us feel good for a short while, it wears off once our insulin response has kicked in and then we want more sugar or refined carbs. The cycle goes on.

It also has a huge effect on hormone balance: when your doctor says that sugar does not give you spots, ask them to explain the hormonal response to sugar. It can sap our energy even though it is pure energy, our bodies cannot no use the sugar unless we are constantly active –even then there is a price to pay for all the by products of burning too much energy. Sugar cannot stay in the blood it must be stored – sugar creates more fat in the body than eating fat!

Consuming sugar can also cause nutrient deficiencies as the body uses many nutrients in it’s effort to protect itself from a sugar onslaught.

Now here’s a question: Now you know all this, will you still consume sugary foods? Will you still let your kids consume sugary foods and drinks?

The truth is, no matter how much we try to stop our children consuming sugar when we are with them, all their friends have it and they influence each other. They are marketed to and targeted by the sugary foods companies It would take a huge collective effort to reduce the amount of sugar in children’s diet and the government needs to be hard hitting about sugar and the manufacturers because that’s where action is desperately needed.

We get kids addicted using fruit juice and fruit products at an early stage of their lives, giving them a taste for sugar and it’s almost impossible to give up. It is sadly sinister the way parents are lured into buying high sugar products for their very young babies, frustose and highly concentrated fruit products are NOT the answer to the “5 aday”.

Here is a list of the high sugar foods that we consume everyday:

  1. Fruit juice
  2. Cereals – with the exception of unrefined grains like oats, millet, buckwheat and brown rice products (unless they are high refined) Many mueslis claim to be healthy but these can contain more sugar per 100g than a chocolate bar!
  3. Yogurt – even a fruity one has added sugar – choose natural organic full fat.
  4. Smoothies – many smoothies even the freshly made ones contain so much sugar, it could have more than a fizzy drink!
  5. White bread – starts to break down into simple sugars in your mouth.
  6. Ready made pancakes.
  7. Toast & Honey
  8. Toast & Jams
  9. Toast & Marmalade
  10. Sweet spreads
  11. Ready made sweet products like pastries, tarts, croissants etc.
  12. Baked Beans from a can.
  13. Sauces – ketchup, brown sauces, BBQ sauces, Salsa, salad dressing etc.
  14. Ready meals
  15. Bread
  16. Milk – milk sugars
  17. Many restaurant meals – sugar is added to affect taste and texture.
  18. Hot chocolate, sugar in tea or coffee.
  19. Canned soups and other canned foods.
  20. Some meats and deli products like ham, sausages and other.
  21. Alcoholic drinks
  22. All sweet fizzy drinks.
  23. Sushi rice – a lot of sugar and gluten.
  24. Biscuits, cake and many crackers.
  25. Gravy mixes
  26. Sauces in a jar.
  27. Pop corn
  28. Flavoured crisps and snacks.
  29. Energy bars
  30. Health bars
  31. Dark chocolate
  32. Dried fruit
  33. baby foods
  34. Baby and toddler fruit drinks.
  35. Childrens ‘fruit’ products.

And many more. It is quite incredible how much sugar is in our diet. The good news is that if you make the commitment to reduce sugar, it can be done. It will take a while and your tastes will change, you will find that your taste buds may get more sensitive to the natural flavours of healthy foods, like a carrot for example – they are actually quite sweet and can be a great substitute when you fancy something sweet.
There are now many natural sweeteners like Stevia, even using the sweeter sugars like Rapa Dura is better as you use less and it’s full of nutrients and not so ’empty’. The best way to treat sugar is as it always was treated 100s of year ago – as an occasional treat!

carrots pile smaller

 

Please see the link for a blog I wrote 3 years ago on the threat of sugar to health. https://goo.gl/uI7mTp

Please be aware: The information and advice provided in this website is not
a substitute for medical advice. If you are concerned about your health or
have any symptoms you should see your GP/healthcare provider.

 

Connie Carrot, Sammy Spinach, Billy Blueberry, Ava Avocado, Benjamin Broccoli and Penelope Pea are all printed and ready to go out and plant seeds of health in young children. All they need is their imagination (and someone to buy them the books!)

Available from: www.nutrikids.co

6 Books together

Fussy eating or picky eating can be every parent’s nightmare when it comes to meal times. There is even a name for avoiding eating new foods:
‘Food Neo Phobia’, which can be a survival instinct left over from days when humans didn’t know if a food was good or poisonous.

Children in general base their choices of foods on taste and familiarity. Introducing, or reintroducing a food differently in the way Sammy standing cover posethat I have tried in my books can mean they will start eating it through choice, and understand why they should eat it. It’s much more likely they will decide to keep healthy foods in their diet if they understand that a food can have a beneficial affect on them. 

For example: the minerals in spinach can help grow strong healthy bones and muscles, Sammy Spinach brings this to life as he realises that he will get stronger and one day be able to lift the things that he finds too heavy.

There are soOrson reading hands many health benefits to the fresh and natural foods that are available to us and our children, for the sake of their future health it is so important to teach them and encourage them to eat these foods.

The books each take a nutritional health element from the themed food and a very simple but engaging story is told about how Sammy Spinach or Connie Carrot learn about that food in a way that they can really relate to.Spinach small For example Ava Avocado is worried about a spelling test and her mum tells her about avocados and how they can support her brain and help her to learn and remember. All the books contain nutritional facts important for parents to understand, facts about the food, recipes and a grow your own page.

There are many ways to increase your child’s nutritional intake, using fresh vegetables, fruits and natural foods as a tool is one of the best ways to achieve this. I know any parents out there already know this and are bending over backwards to get vegetables into their kid’s foods choices, my books are to make this job a bit easier and hopefully more fun.

The books are available on from my NutriKids online shop: nutrikids.co
You can follow NutriKids on Twitter – @nutrikidsco and on Instagram – nutrikidsco – I would love some new followers.

Oloivia&Orson reading books 3

With reference to today’s headline food News in the British
press and Media on Fat.

Don’t get carried away and think you can eat whatever you want – Oh no that is not what today’s news means, the press of course have sensationalised it. They’ve created drama where there isn’t any. Nothing has changed – it’s just that the medical profession is catching up with the science.

Nutritional therapists on the other hand are well ahead of doctors in this. We have been saying fat is good, sugar and carbs are bad, for years. There are many fats that are NOT good for you – but these are not the normal natural fats that the medical profession and manufacturers have convinced people over the last 3 decades or more to avoid.
Saturated fat is a normal requirement of the human body. It helps give us more energy and makes us more satiated (feel full) than carbohydrates. It is sugar and carbs that get turned into and stored as fat in the body. It is the carbs without fats that cause blood sugar imbalances and create problems. We NEED fat – it is vital for health.

  • Fats are concentrated source of energy.
  • Carries and transports the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Helps the body use protein and carbohydrates more efficiently.
  • A component of every cell wall.
  • Deposits of fat in the body serve to support and cushion vital organs, and to provide insulation.
  • The body’s chief storage form for energy and work.
  • Carries the compounds that give foods their aroma and flavor.
  • Cholesterol is vital for making hormones and Vitamin D (which actually is a hormone named wrongly)
  • Can determine the amount of inflammation there is in the body.

Overeating it, for example fatty fry up is NOT what is being recommended. These are damaged, toxic BAD fats – and should  only be eaten every now and againButter fro Neals Yard

These are the fats to consume:

Butter – in moderation (Goats butter has much less cholesterol)
Olive oil – try not to use old olive oil that’s been sitting around for months
Avocado and avocado oil
Nut oils, Seed Oils, nuts and seeds – but make sure not old – keep in fridge
Flax oil – High content of Omega3 – helps keep blood thin, very good for skin and contains good natural estrogens. Coconut oil/butter – Make sure cold pressed and not heated (the fat in coconut milk should be eaten only in moderation)
Rapeseed
Sesame
WalnutAvocado butter with lemon small
SunFlower
Eggs – contrary to popular belief eggs are good for you- the organic version will have higher content of good fats as the chicken’s feed and life is higher quality.
Oliy fish – in moderation (due to heavy metal content)
Meat – in moderation.
Dairy – in moderation.

If you have been fat free for a while , you may find your digestion take a while to get used to it, reduce intake if any problems. Over eating fat can put a heavy demand on the liver and digestion, and if you have had your gall bladder removed be very careful of your fat intake and consult your doctor.

I wrote this guide for a talk I did with a group of mums, that were just past their first or second pregnancy or thinking of having another baby.

The organiser was Jenny Scott from http://www.mothers-meeting.com –  check out her site it’s full of helpful support and details on various meetings and talks specially designed for mothers.

In my time as a Nutritional Therapist I have met many mothers who do not look after their own nutritional health due to the main focus being the children and family.

Are you looking after your nutritional health pre, during and post pregnancy?Sarah Preg

Pregnancy is highly demanding on the mother and can have a profound effect on nutritional status during and after.
The baby will draw on the mother’s reserves as these nutrients are vital for growth. If the mother does not consume enough nutrients that can balance these needs she may feel more tired during the pregnancy and suffer even more afterwards.
New mothers can feel the effects of depleted nutrients well into the first couple of years. In some cases women with children that are 10 year or older may still be affected by nutrient depletion.  It’s why we Nutritional Therapists like to do a full case history to be able to assess nutrient requirements.

As we get older our digestions get less efficient, so even if the mother is eating a healthy, natural and well-balanced diet she may not be absorbing enough from those foods. Add stress, lack of sleep and  medications like pain killers and antibiotics then it’s easy to see how even after your body gets back into shape, you may not feel as vital and healthy as you did prior to pregnancy.

Iron – Cannot be absorbed without sufficient Vitamin C
It is not unusual to become iron deficient in pregnancy and after. B
e careful about taking cheap or pharmaceutical iron as this can cause constipation and nausea. The more natural liquid form is easier on the stomach. You can also squeeze lemon juice onto greens, red meat or any iron rich food and this will increase your absorption. Minerals can also compete for absorption, so take mineral supplements apart from each other –
I.e.: Calcium in morning and magnesium at night. Iron and zinc should be taken separately too.

Iron rich foods: Molasses, Rapa Dura sugar, red meat, dark meat from chicken and turkey, muscles, sardines, eggs, Mackerel and sea food.
Plant sources are not so easily absorbed but are still important: Beetroot, Spinach and all dark green leaves, Tofu. lentils and beans, tomato puree, figs, dates, Watermelon, raisins, prunes, pumpkin seeds, whole grains.
Prunes smaller

Other minerals are:
Magnesium – important for all aspects of health but vital for: healthy bones, healthy muscles, energy and stress.
Good sources: Green vegetables, nuts and seeds, figs, whole grains, avocados, raisins, basil, mint, parsley, pumpkin
and pumpkin seeds, barley, oats, dairy and fish.
Calcium – Vital for healthy bones but should not be over consumed, so if you are eating dairy and lots of green vegetables you don’t need a supplement.
Trace minerals – a healthy diet and good digestion should supply all you need, however adding a green drink, or kelp and using pink Himalayan salt
should supply your requirements for trace minerals.

Protein – Eating enough protein could be the single most important
thing you do for pregnancy and post pregnancy.

Protein requirement in pregnancy
is weight in kilos x 0.8g then add 25g,
so if you’re 60kg x 0.8g = 48g + 25g = 73g of protein per day.
Protein post pregnancy is weight in kilos x 0.8g then add 10g while breast-feeding and recovering.
Protein for general health weight in kilos x 0.8g. If you do a lot of exercise then you may need to revise this.
Example Foods: organic eggs = 6g protein, 4oz Chicken Breast = 26g protein, 134g Asparagus = 3gegg -  in shell small
For sources of foods and to help work out how much you are eating please send me your email address and I will send you some useful information: sam@foodspa.org.uk
Caution – protein should not be over eaten, it can create a high acidic environment within the body and put strain on the kidneys.
Be aware:
Oily fish is important but should not be over eaten during pregnancy or breast-feeding. The high oil content allows dangerous heavy metals
especially methyl mercury to accumulate in the fish. Salmon, Sardines,
Mackerel and white fish can be eaten in moderation, but tuna, swordfish, king mackerel and other large oily fish should be avoided. During breast-feeding these toxins are passed into the baby.

Vitamins – can be depleted during and after pregnancy and are vital for growth and energy.
B Vitamins, especially folic acid or folate are very important for pre pregnancy to build up reserves and for the baby’s development.
B Vitamin supplement – take in the morning as can be too stimulating at night and cause sleeplessness. B Vitamins are vital for nervous system and energy – a deficiency can have an effect on how mothers feel.

Vitamin C – gets depleted really easily, especially when the body is stressed and tired. Keeping blood levels of Vitamin C up during pregnancy and post pregnancy supports immune function, tissue health and energy. It also supports hormone health. Use the buffered form to take higher doses, as ascorbic acid can cause loose stools.
500mg capsules of buffered Vitamin C can be taken 3-4 times throughout the day in pregnancy and more post pregnancy if you feel you need a boost to your immune system.
Foods high in Vitamin C: Broccoli, cabbage, red peppers, sprouted seeds, berries, organic strawberries, lemons. Many fresh fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C especially the organic varieties.

Vitamin D – Vital for immune health and healthy development of bones.
Many women are low in this substance which actually is a hormone.
You can get tested for Vitamin D deficiency. It is not found in many foods and is only in Dairy if it has been fortified. The best way to get Vitamin D is to be in the sunshine. During the winter you can take a supplement in the form of Vitamin D3, around 2000iu per day. You can sign up to the Vitamin D council’s News letter here: newsletter@vitamindcouncil.org, where you will find more information.

Fats & Oils – It is important to consume enough good fats during pregnancy, breasting and later.
Omega3 is generally missing in our diets, or only in small amounts. As it is not advised to eat a lot of oily fish in pregnancy or breast feeding,  yoCoconut 2u can take a highly purified fish oil supplement and/or use a good Flax oil. Some nuts like walnut, or organic eggs or even hemp seeds can contain Omega3 but in small amounts. Other oils that contain Omega 6 and 9 are Olive oil, Avocado oil, Cold Pressed Coconut oil, Organic sunflower, Organic Rapeseed oil as well as nuts and seeds.
Eat nuts in moderation during pregnancy. walnuts 2 small
These fats are really important for health cell membranes, brain and nerve development and function in growing foetus and children.
Also verFlax oily important for mum’s brain (which we all know falls apart post birth!) Fats and oils are important for helping to balancing blood sugar and give sustained energy – do not cut out fats to lose post pregnancy weight! Omega3 oils make sure that cholesterol is used correctly in the body and helps stop the blood from thickening.

Carbohydrates – Important for energy levels, using a variety of
grains/root vegetables and fruit in moderation should help keep you
energy levels up and support getting back normal weight after having a baby. Cutting right back on gluten containing foods like wheat or eating
bread and pasta very occasionally can also help with weight loss and water retention.
Good carbs: Rice, oats, quinoa, root vegetables, fruit

Foods to avoid 

Pink meats, smoked foods, highly processed foods, high sugar foods, damaged fats (overheated, hydrogenated or old fats) too much animal fat
(Dairy, fatty meats) Too much bread and pasta (Try different grains like Quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, arrow-root, kamut)
Alcohol – once you have stopped breast-feeding, drinking alcohol is very tempting, but do so in moderation and allow your body to recover from the huge trauma that is pregnancy and birth.

If you would like a more accurate idea of what you personal nutritional status is you can arrange to be tested.
The Personal Nutritional Evaluation test is called Nutrition ’One’ Test from Genova Diagnostics Laboratory. It tests urine for metabolic by products that can accurately show nutritional deficiencies.
If you are interested in this test or have any other questions please contact: info@foodspa.org.uk.

Please note that the information above is not intended as medical advice, if you have any health concerns you should contact you doctor, and if you are taking medications always check for any contraindications with your doctor or health care provider.

 

Is it possible to get a flatter tummy
through changing eating habits in just two weeks?

Absolutely Yes!

Loosing weight around your middle is not only aesthetically pleasing but extremely healthy too. The fat that gathers around your middle is actually unhealthy fat and can ndicate other underlying health issues. If water retention, bloating or inflammation is causing you to have extrainches, getting rid of this is also extremely healthy.
But enough of healthy – what about that beach body?

Rule 1

AVOID Foods & Substances that are hard to digest,
detoxify and cause bloating:

Red Meat
Cheese /Milk
Wheat Breads and pastas
Undercooked pulses
Alcohol
Caffeine

Rule 2

Don’t eat raw or cold foods in the evening past 7pm.

Raw vegetables take a lot of energy to digest, and as we have less digestive energy at night these foods can stay in the stomach for a long time. Fruits tend to ferment when eaten at night or on top of other foods, which causes bloating. Eat fruit on empty stomach and best eaten earlier in the day.

Rule 3

Eat foods that aid digestion

Bitter dark green, red, white leaves – Rocket, watercress, endive, chicory – eat before and after, these support liver function and work their way down through the digestive system – the enzymes in the leaves help digestion.

Ginger – (raw and cooked) don’t be sparing

Ginger slices– use a lot to give a kick to your digestive fire.

Fennel – raw and cooked or in a tea. Antispasmolytic –stops spasms

Artichoke – (not the ones in oil) preferably fresh – this stimulates bile production & feeds gut flora.Arthichoke squ small

 

 

Rule 4

Change your combination of foods –

Carbohydrates without protein – Carbohydrates + fats + vegetables

Proteins without carbohydratesProtein+ fats+ non starchy vegetables

Why?

Digestion:

  • An acid environment is needed for protein breakdown in the stomach
  • An alkaline environment is needed for carbohydrate breakdown

Normally it is healthy to do this kind of combining – but can lead to such quick emptying of the stomach that a person may be left feeling hungry. Use healthy snacking to keep blood sugar levels balanced – fruit, seeds, oat cakes, spelt crackers, seeds.

Rule 5

Chew your food 15 – 30 times

Try to chew your foods as much as possible.By chewing your are doing a lot of the hard work that the stomach and intestines need to do if you wolf down your food. Chewing adds salivary amylase to the carbohydrates and starts to break down in the mouth, and grinds protein into small particles enabling the gastric juices to coat much more area of that food. Allowing for quicker breakdown.

Rule 6

Use high doses of pro-biotics and digestive enzymes

Probiotics – high Billion dose capsules x 2-3 per day. Very quickly helps establish a better balance of gut flora, this is vital for getting bowels moving or settled down if moving too much. By increasing good gut flora you reduce inflammation all over the body especially in the gut – which can really help reduce bloating.

Digestive enzymes

Helping out your digestion every now and again with some enzymes can really help with bloating and getting things moving through the system. There are different types – but a good quality broad spectrum one is best for general digestion. It helps if it contains Lactase (Breaks down Milk and Dairy) and Gluten, Protease ( Breaks down Wheat Proteins).

Rule 7

Reduce (cut out) Salt and bread intake

This will help reduce water retention. The body retains water to dilute sodium in the blood and tissues. Wheat can also increase water retention. In most breads the salt content is crazily high – some can have 6 grams in two slices! In some cases – weight around the middle (or on arms and legs) can be 30-50% Water retention!.

Rule 8Blueberries small -5

Take Vitamin C – the buffered non-Acidic kind. Not just important for the health of all tissues – it is vital for proper metabolism of carbohydrates, and can protect against insulin resistance and dibetes. Take a buffered form – I like BioCare Vitamin C with Flavonoids 500mg x 4-5 capsules. Taken 1 at a time spread throughout the day. Eat foods high in Vitamin C

Rule 9

Eat something acidic before a meal (unless you have a serious digestive problem like an ulcer) To increase acidity in a protein meal eat some pickles (preferably that don’t contain sugar – pickled ginger, vegetables, unsweetened gherkins etc. Take apple cider vinegar as a tonic before a meal – or use with dressing or sauce with the food.

Rule 10

Reduce Fluid intake with meal

Drink water around 30 minutes before a meal
Avoid drinking water with a heavy protein meal
Apple Cider Vinegar tonic just before a meal (1 capsule in glass of water).

Drinking too much fluid with foods dilutes enzymes – if the food is mainly carbs then small amounts of fluid is fine. Too much fluid can slow the release of foods from the stomach. No fruit juice or fizzy drinks increase bloating and poor digestion.

Our primitive digestions were not used to drinking as much as we do with our foods.

The 10 Rules for a flatter tummy in summary

1. AVOID Foods that are hard to digest and ones that can cause bloating.

2. Don’t eat raw or cold foods in the evening.

3. Eat foods that aid digestion.

4. Change your combination of proteins and carbohydrates.

5. Chew your food more – aiming for 30 times.

6. Use high doses of pro-biotics.

7. Use Digestive enzymes.

8. Reduce (cut out) Salt and bread intake.

9. Eat something acidic before a meal.

10. Reduce fluids with a meals.

Food supplements that can help:

Psyllium husk fiber/powder – binds to toxins, creates easy to pass stools.

Probiotics – aids digestion

Digestive Enzymes – Aids digestion

HCL – Hydrochloric acid tablets – Aids digestion

Soaked Linseeds / Flax seeds – mucilaginous – aids in bowel movement. (don’t use if have colitis or any other bowel conditions)

Lecithin crystals – helps emulsify fats making them easier for liver to digest.

Magnesium aids constipation or slow moving bowels and is vital for proper metabolism of carbohydrates.

Peppermint tea – anti carminative – gets rid of gas/bloating.

 

 

Please note that if you are experiencing any digestive problems you should get this checked by your doctor. The information in this blog is not meant as a substitute for proper medical care.

 

 

Impress your Friends and Family with these
delicious guilt free Canapés.

Prawn tartlets 3

These recipes are designed especially for those that love Canapés but want to know that what you are eating is healthy and not full of fats, sugars and poor quality ingredients.

Buying high quality ready-made canapés can be very expensive and making your own can be so much more economical and impressive –and I think much  tastier.

You will need a baking tray especially for tiny muffins and tarts. There are various brands, I use one from Chefs Kitchen sold in various stores and websites, there are many on the market – they normally have 24 casings.

Tray with pastry for tartletsIf you plan to make a lot – I would advise you buy a couple of the trays.

You will also need something to cut the pastry circles – it should be 6.5 – 7cm, can use a glass if you don’t have a cutter.

All the following recipes can be made with or with a food processor, but I try to do most by hand as this does the least damage to the ingredients. A hand mixer can be very useful for the muffins. You may want to consider some large plastic containers with some paper towels to absorb moisture, to store the canapés or large plates with foil cover, as the following recipes will produce quite a few. These are really good for those Christmas drinks parties, or to start your Christmas day dinner.

I have used some alternative ingredients to what you might
normally find in recipes.

They are chosen for their health promoting properties and wonderful taste.

Rapa Dura Sugar is raw cane sugar and full of nutrients including iron, calcium and magnesium. As it is super sweet, less is needed to sweeten foods; it is also a mix of different sugars, which is much healthier for the body. Why not make your sugar a natural mineral supplement. You can purchase from health stores or even online.

Coconut Butter is a great alternative to processed vegetable fats and cows butter. Also perfect if you are avoiding dairy. It is a saturated fat so should not be heated to too high a degree, and the actual product should state ‘cold pressed’. Heat and processing can damage the fat structure changing it into an unhealthy fat.

Goat’s butter – delicious tasting with less cholesterol and casein proteins

Olive oil – instead of butter in pastry.

Oat milk – instead of milk.

Arrowroot thickener – instead of flour (can get from health stores or order on line).

Spelt flour – instead of normal wheat flour – easier to digest and much less gluten. If you are avoiding gluten altogether – try alternative flour like millet and use arrowroot to thicken sauces.

Seasoning – Pink Himalayan Salt, contains all necessary minerals and iodine, has a nicer flavor than normal salt and more health benefits. Organic finely ground black pepper. Use in moderation – salt can always be added later

Bite size muffins and tartlets –
create the perfect Christmas Canapés

Chocalte and coconut snawballsChocolate and Coconut Snowballs 

Dairy free (or can use Goat’s butter)

Ingredients – makes 24

70g Coconut Butter (or Goat’s butter)
70g Rapa Dura sugar
100g White Spelt Flour
3 x Eggs

20g Cocoa powder, can use raw cocoa (half the amount for a lighter chocolate taste)

Half teaspoon of baking powder

Half cup of desiccated coconut

Place coconut butter and Rapa Dura sugar in a bowl and mix thoroughly, add the eggs and whisk. Gently mix in flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add half the desiccated coconut and mix in.

Fill the muffin tray level off mixture so flatter surface.

Cook for 15-20 minutes on 160 degrees – test the middle ones with a skewer to check if fully cooked. Remove while still warm, smooth a very small amount of coconut butter on top of each one with a knife and press the rest of the desiccated coconut onto the top. It should stick – place in a fridge or leave to cool.

Store in sealed container.

Goat’s Cheese and Shallot Tartlets

Quiche minis

Crust:
Ingredients
185g flour – half whole grain spelt and half white spelt

Cold pressed olive oil – gives more flavor than light – but needs to be cooked on lower heat to avoid damaging the fat. Approx half a cup

Seasoning – Pink Himalayan Salt or sea salt, ground black pepper

A little filtered water

Heat oven to 160 degrees

Place flour in a bowel with seasoning and add olive oil slowly, stopping and rubbing it into the flour with fingers, add more until like light crumbs, now add a little water at a time until the crumbs seal together to make a dough – this should not be too dry as it will be difficult to roll or too wet, add more flour if needed.

Roll out dough on a small amount of flour to prevent sticking, cut 24 rounds out and gently push down into the tray. See picture.

Place in oven for 15 minutes until partially cooked, remove from oven.

Filling:

Ingredients

3 x eggs

3 x shallots

Half a cup of grated goat’s cheese

Fresh herbs options: Tarragon, parsley or basil

Seasoning

Whisk the eggs and season

Finely slice the shallots – for a stronger flavor, you can leave raw – or cook in small amount of olive oil on a low heat until soft but not brown.

Grate the goat’s cheese

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Fill each pastry cup to brim

Place back into heated oven for 15 minutes until all egg cooked.

Allow to cool slightly and remove from tray.

Prawn and Spinach tartlets – makes 24

Prawn tartlets 2

Pastry- same as mini Quiche – but allow cooking the cups for
5 minutes longer to become crisper.

Filling
Ingredients

1 cup of small cooked prawns (stronger flavour)

Half a finely lemon grass stalk finely chopped

2 x cups of chopped spinach leaves

3 x finely chopped spring onions (or can use finely chopped leek)

Teaspoon of arrowroot powder

A little water

A little olive oil

Seasoning if required

Directions

Place a little olive oil in a heated pan, add lemon grass, spring onions and prawns, heat for 2 – 3 minutes stirring. Lower heat. Sprinkle the arrowroot on top and stir in, pour a little water in until there is a small amount of watery sauce (which will be thickened by the arrowroot), add the chopped spinach leaves stir in for 1 minute until leaves are wilted. Remove from heat. Place a teaspoon full of mixture into each pastry cup. Serve warm or cold.

Chicken and Mushroom tartlets – makes 24

Chicken Tartlets

Pastry – create the same way as Prawn and Spinach tartlets.

Filling:
Ingredients:

Half a chicken breast or whole thigh – finely chopped – can be cooked or raw

3 large Portobello mushrooms – finely chopped

1 whole medium leek – very finely chopped

1 x desert spoon of finely chopped parsley

A little olive oil

1 x Teaspoon of arrowroot powder

Oat milk

Seasoning

Directions:

Place olive oil in pan and add chicken and mushrooms stir until chicken well cooked if raw.

Lower heat and add leeks. When softened sprinkle the arrowroot powder and stir in, then slowly add some oat milk until a creamy consistency sauce develops. Add parsley and seasoning.

Take off heat and cool a little. Add a teaspoonful to each pastry cup. Serve warm or cold.

Vegetarian Version

Instead of chicken, double the amount of mushrooms. You can also add different herbs like tarragon or basil.

Christmas mini Muffins – Makes 24

Christmas muffins 2

120g Softened Goat’s butter

20g Rapa Dura Sugar

2 x large eggs

70g Whole grain Spelt

70g white spelt

(Or can use all whole grain spelt)

Pinch of baking powder

Half cup of chopped prunes (organic)

Half cup of Raisins or Sultanas (organic)

The rind of one finely chopped or ground fresh organic orange

Handful of sunflower seeds.

Mixed spice

Directions

Heat oven to 160 degrees.

Place softened butter in a mixing bowl, add Rapa Dura sugar mix in, and then whisk in eggs. Fold in flour, spice and baking powder. Add all the chopped fruit, sunflower seeds and orange rind. Fill each cup in baking tray to brim and any extra leftover add a little more to each cup.

Place in oven for 20 minutes and check if cooked with skewer – if not leave for a further 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat allow to cool slightly, and remove from tray. Store in airtight container so they don’t dry out if you are storing them for later use.

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