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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

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Recently there has been information / news on Omega3 oils- essential fatty acids (Fish oil mainly). It is frustrating and quite amazing how the press are always so keen on taking a negative piece of information that they can sensationalise and scare people with so very littleFish oil caps.jp truth in it. In fact fish oil capsules did not even appear or were even tested in the study that attacked supplements.

I do suggest reading the report that Alliance for Natural health have published

anh-europe.org/news/a-tide-of-evidence-washes-away-flawed-fish-oil-prostate-cancer

Guide to Good Fats

Contrary to what the government would have you believe: Fats are good for you. Much better for you than excess carbohydrates. If you eat the natural fats in good foods this fills you up, satisfies hunger and cravings more readily. I am not advocating that you eat blocks of fat. Choose your fats wisely, eat in moderation and with other appropriate foods.

Adding olive oil to your sandwich/baguette instead of butter (or even worse a processed vegetable spread) is just unheard of and yet it is delicious and healthy. My kids prefer it to butter, they like the olive oil dripping on their plate so they can dip their last bits of crusts in.

  • 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.

The following fats are ALL vital for good health – but lets get this straight:

  • 1. Omega3 is lacking or in too small amounts in most people’s diet – the ratio should be much higher than all other fats. So high quality oily fish, fish oil and flax oil should be increased.
  • 2. Don’t supplement with Omega6 oils, use these oils stated below in your diet and only supplement Omega3 oils as well as have in diet. The recommended ratio is best consumed in a ratio of about 3:1  – three omega 6 for one Omega3 or more.
  • 3. Consuming too much fat – even healthy fats can be aging and puts pressure on digestion – you must consume large amounts of antioxidant foods with these fats as even the good fats will oxidize in the body, taking an antioxidant supplement is a good idea with any fats in the diet.
  • Consuming high levels of oily fish increases your toxic load of heavy metals. You should avoid overeating tuna (eat once a month or less) due to mercury content and other heavy metals, and choose smaller fresh fish like sardines, small mackerel and other types.

To keep fats safe in the body – consume high amounts of antioxidant foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, and even consider taking Vitamin E and Vitamin C Antioxidant supplements. Omega3 oils and Vitamin E thin the blood helping to keep it healthy, however you should consult your doctor if you are taking blood thinning medications before taking these.

Keep Fish oil and flax oil liquid or capsules in the fridge and consume within the advised time.

Inflammation
There are 3 main pathways for inflammation, and all of these use fats. The pathway supported by Omega3 is the only anti-inflammatory pathway, all the others support inflammation. It is vital to get the ratios higher on the side of Omega3. This can have a huge effect in conditions like Eczema, Arthritis and other immune dysfunction conditions.

Healthy Fats

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids:

Olive Oil, sesame oil, avocado, almonds, olives, sesame seeds, tahini paste. Decrease total blood cholesterol but maintain your HDL (healthy)

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids:

Safflower, soybean, walnuts, pumpkin, sunflower seeds. Decreases total blood cholesterol by lowering both LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Highly polyunsaturated, found in high quantities in oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon, herring and sardines. Other sources are from flaxseeds, walnuts, Can help cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune function, brain health and arthritis.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids:
Safflower oil, corn oil, Evening Primrose oil, sunflower oil, Hemp oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, eggs from free-range chickens. almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.

Health benefits of omega 6 (if taken in the right ratio to omega 3):

  • Reduces the aches and pains of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Relieves the discomforts of PMS, endometriosis, and fibrocystic breasts
  • Reduces the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis
  • Clears up acne and rosacea
  • Prevents and improves diabetic neuropathy
  • Aids in cancer treatment

Further reading:

Fats that Heal and Fat that Kill – By Udo Erasamus

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I am glad this has come to light (Not glad that it’s happened) as it makes my job a lot easier in persuading people to take more care about what they eat.

Cooking properly at home is 100 times better than buying convenience foods. The health benefits are so obvious: less salt, no sugar, quality ingredients and NO additives.  It is NOT more expensive than buying ready meals or large amounts of refined foods. You can make 10 burgers from one pack of £2 turky mince (500g) or £4 organic beef mince (500g) – this is much cheaper than buying 4 cheap burgers! They are easy, quick and taste much nicer and you can add healthy ingredients like onions nad herbs to increase the nutrient value. Really it’s the retailer and manufacturers that fool you into thinking that buying ready-made foods are cheaper. There’s a bit of consumer laziness involved too, if we are really honest, as far as having time is concerned – there is no other way, you have to make time if you want to be healthier.
This ‘Scandal’, has not only highlighted the problem with meat and ready-made meals, it shows that you never really know what’s in any foods that are mass-produced. Manufacturers legally don’t have to put all ingredients in, and even if you do read the ingredients list – do you even know what half the ingredients are?

Vegetarians have to be very careful, manufacturers use a lot more flavourings, additives and salt to make bland foods more palatable and some of the derived protein foods contain substances that humans (or any animal) were never meant to eat.

There is huge pressure on manufacturers to sell cheap food by the consumer, especially meat. Perhaps if we treated animal product with the respect it deserves, after all it was a life, we should be supporting farmers that treat animals well, eat less meat but higher quality and eat more plant-based foods, the costs would balance out and the nation would reap the health and environmental benefits.

Flicks bookThere is a great book written by a friend of mine called ‘Not on The Label’ by Felicity Lawrence.  It caused a big stir when first published back in 2004 and is well worth reading if you are interested in the where food comes from.

http://www.penguin.co.uk/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780141015668,00.html

For information and keeping up to date with food news join the Soil Association, it doesn’t cost much, but you will get a great book, and regular magazines and have access to wonderful recipes and food advise, and you will be supporting the environment and organic sustainable farming.

Soil ass

http://www.soilassociation.org

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Isn’t it great to indulge in wonder Christmas treats! Unfortunately most of them are what I would class as super unhealthy, but there is a way to indulge without feeling quite so guilty – plus some of these treats deliver a lot of nutrients that help balance up the ‘bad’ side of indulging.
There is no escape from the fact that even healthier treats contain sugar and fat, or lets face it they just wouldn’t be treats!

The little bit healthier Christmas Cake

Christmas cake 2012In this cake there is less sugar, and no white sugar. Only molasses, Rapa Dura and some dried fruit – all packed with minerals and vitamins. I have use sulphate free and organic dried fruit so less toxins, and spelt and Kamut flower – less gluten and easier to digest grain. I have used the icing for decoration only and not to eat, and no high fat, high sugar marzipan.

Ingredients

Icing

Ready to roll white icing, Silver or pearl balls
Decorations-I bought these in a gift shop but there are so many to choose from

Or you can just make lots of snowballs from the ready-made icing and build a snowman scene on the cake on the cake.

Cake

200grams Spelt whole grain flour
200grams white spelt flour (or you can substitute flour with coconut flour, potato flour and any other gluten free flour – the texture will be slightly different and may be heavier)
320grams soft organic butter, or goat’s butter6 x large eggs whisked
3 x large tablespoons black strap molasses
100grams molasses sugar, raw cane or Rapa Dura sugar
200grams soft (or soaked) de-stoned dates
2 x cups Sultanas
100gram or one pack of glace cherries – optional
Rind of 2 x organic oranges (needs to be organic for the rind)
Juice of the oranges
Rind of 1 x organic lemon
3 x large handfuls of pumpkin seeds, Almonds or Walnuts
Half a standard pack of ground cinnamon
Half a standard pack of mixed spices
2 x teaspoons of baking powder
Optional: Splash of brandy

Directions

Soak the dried fruit in the juice from the lemon and orange. Peel the oranges and lemon right back to the actual fruit inside so you get all the pith – this contains major antioxidants. Put the peel into a blender or food processor and pulse the power carefully until the bits are small but not too small. This can be chopped too.
Take the dates and prunes and blend in a food processor or chop by hand, add two-thirds of the pumpkin seeds semi blend so not too smooth.
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees (this lower heat will still cook all of it, but does less damage to the fats – which is vital as damaged fats are detrimental to health.
Cream the butter, sugar and molasses syrup together. Then add the whisked eggs and mix in, add the flour a third at a time along with baking powder and spices.
Add the blended fruit mixture and mix in, you can add the juice of the oranges to create more moisture. Add the orange and lemon peel, along with the glace cherries sultanas and the rest of the pumpkin seeds.
Lastly add the brandy and mix in.

Place in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven being a fan one or conventional. Dip a skewer in the middle to check if cooked, if not uncooked cake mixture will appear on the skewer (or sharp knife) When cooked take out of the tin and turn upside down onto a grill or something where it can breath

When it is completely dry and cooled, you can use ready rolled or roll out the white icing place on the top and cut with a knife all the way around leaving the sides free or you can cover the whole cake – it’s up to you. Decorate as you wish.

Delicious Mince Pies with  a Healthier Bite

Below is a recipe for you to make healthier minces pies (Meaning less sugar and more minerals). They are so easy to make and really delicious, everyone I have tried them on has loved them.Mince pies 2012

You will need a cooking tin with the correct size wholes for mince pies

Ingredients

Pastry

150 grams Whole grain or white spelt wheat flour
150 grams Kamut flour (creates a slightly crisper pastry- plus very low gluten)
2 x tspns of cinnamon
2 x dessert spoons of Rapa Dura, molasses or raw cane sugar

Filling

2 x large handfuls of soft dates
2 x handfuls of apricots or figs
1 x handful organic sultanas
2 x grated rind of un-waxed preferably organic oranges plus the juice of one of the oranges
(use large-holed grater to get the white pith – this contains health promoting antioxidants)
1 x grated rind of un-waxed preferably organic lemon + juice
2 x teaspoonfuls of ground cinnamon
1 x small teaspoon of coconut butter (optional – it is better than the normal suet that is used)

Other options: Dried Cranberries, Almonds. Walnuts, Blueberries.

A little Rapa Dura or raw can sugar to sprinkle over top before serving

Directions

Mixture

Soak all dried fruit in water for approx an hour. Using a blender or food processor (or chop finely) put all ingredients for the filling together and blend in short bursts – don’t blend for too long or it will have no texture

PastryMince pie

Rub the flour together with the butter in a mixing bowl, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs (or use food processor) add the molasses or Rapa Dura sugar and the cinnamon mix in thoroughly. Add a little water a bit at a time whilst kneading into a dough. When the dough is no longer crumbly spread some flour onto a work surface and place dough in the middle. Kamut flour is good for rolling: Cover a rolling-pin in flour and roll out dough. Roll out until approx 3mm deep. 

Using a larger cutter and a smaller cutter – depending on the size of your cooking tray (or two different sized glasses) cut out the rounds of pastry and place the bigger one in the tray ready for the mixture.

Place these in a preheated oven (160 degrees) to semi cook the base – for 5-8 minutes

Place the mixture is inside each cooked pastry cup and place the smaller one on top and squeeze down at the sides. You can make little festive leaves out of the left over pastry. Moisten the back before sticking on the smaller round as the lid. Place in oven at 160 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with a little Rapa Dura sugar when cooked

These pies contain lots of minerals, fibre and much less processed sugar, carbohydrates and fats than shop bought or some other homemade ones.

But best of all they taste SOOO much nicer!!

Healthier Sausage Rolls – with Christmas flavour Sausage roll turkey

Ingredients for Turkey Sausages

1 x 400gram pack of Turkey thigh mince
2 x red onions or 2 x medium leeks
Freshly chopped sage and / or thyme
Olive oil
Pinch of pink salt and black pepper

Pastry

200 grams of white spelt flour100 grams of kamut flour
Virgin olive oil
1 x tspn of pink salt
2 x dessert spoons of ground or chopped or dried rosemary (option)

Directions

Place flour and oil in a large mixing bowl or food processor, Use fingers or food processor to mix olive oil into flour until it becomes like breadcrumbs (pour a little oil in at a time – you will need approx half a cup, but if it seems dry add more. Add some water ( a small amount at a time) until the mixture becomes a dough. separate the dough into 2 or three sections as it will be easier to roll out.
Sprinkle flour on to a work top and roll out pastry, cut uneven edges off to re-roll later on and cut into strips of pastry according to how big you want you end product to be.

Filling

Place turkey thigh mince into a food processor or blender with the onion, herbs and seasoning, add a little olive oil. (You can add a little flour, ground oats to thicken the mixture – or potato flour -optional) Blend until it becomes quite smooth.Spoon the mixture onto the pastry strips and roll up, you can seal with a little water or egg.

Cook in a preheated oven of 170 degrees

Vegetarian Option – filling

Use Lots of Portobello Mushrooms, blended with onion, egg, sage and seasoning. Thicken with flour.

Turkey and Sage balls

You can easily make these with the same ingredients for the turkey sausage roll filling, take some of the mixture, roll into  medium-sized balls place them on a greased tay and sprinkle with olive oil – cook in oven for 20 – 25 minutes depending on the size. They make delicious finger food at parties.

 

Merry Christmas! & a Happy Healthy New Year

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The other day I overheard someone explaining to a lady who wished to get fit and lose weight that she should eat a diet that is 60% carbohydrates. If these carbohydrates include all root vegetables, fresh fruits and things like honey, dried fruits, preserves and sweetened foods like yoghurt, ready meals, processed meat etc., then maybe for someone working out regularly this could be nearer the truth. However, I know, because I have been talking to people for years about their eating habits, that this simply isn’t how people perceive carbohydrates.

My daughter informs me about what she is told at school:

Carbohydrates are bread, pasta, sugar, rice etc. Proteins and fats are: Meat, fish, eggs, dairy and nuts and seeds. Fruit and vegetables are: All fruits, vegetables, pulses. Fluids are water and other drinks.

Everything that schools teach and doctors tell you has some truth but is very misleading:

  • Nearly all fruits and vegetable contain carbohydrates in the form of starches and sugars.
  • Some fruits and vegetable contain fats
  • Many vegetables contain protein.
  • Some fruits contain protein.
  • Dairy contains sugars, proteins and fats
  • Whole grains have a high content of protein – some even have complete protein, meaning all essential amino acids.
  • White refined products like pasta, rice or bread are basically sugar.
  • Nearly all processed proteins (ready meals and cooked meats) contain sugar.
  • Meats like sausages, burgers, pies etc can contain a lot of carbohydrates and sugars as well as fats.

Today’s Western diet can be complex due to the way it is made and presented, but ironically there is little variety. It is true that the Western diet is made up of around 17 foods (as opposed to the thousands of foods available in the world) and even then we choose just 3 foods to be our staple diet.

In all the years I have been studying, researching, practicing and eating, I am totally convinced that the way carbohydrates are consumed is one of the biggest health issues and even now a time bomb waiting to explode.

Everyone’s carbohydrate needs are different. Two friends or even siblings may have completely different needs: For example friend A has a higher metabolism because she was born that way or she is very active, or she may have less nutrient deficiencies (which can have an impact on metabolism) Friend B is smaller frame, less active, and maybe less muscle mass but more fat tissue. Friend B will have different carbohydrate needs than Friend A. She may also have different protein needs.

  • If weight loss is required – Your carbohydrate intake has to be addressed.
  • If blood sugar balancing is needed – Carbohydrates need to be addressed
  • If your hormones need balancing – Carbohydrates need to be addressed

In fact all health issues need carbohydrate intake to be considered.

The ratio’s of Carbohydrates to other foods for a normal diet. If training you may need to amend this – but in general it is relative.

If you think of your plates/dish as a pie chart this would be a healthy guide to follow:

Breakfast

Carbohydrates 50% (Includes fruits, grains and sugars)

Proteins: 35% (Includes milk, grains, eggs, meats, nuts and seeds)

Fats: 15% (Includes fish oil, flax oil, butter, coconut butter, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, fats from meats)

Lunch

Carbohydrates 25% (Grains, sugars)

Vegetables: 30% (Root veg are high in carbs so can be treated as carbohydrates – greens and other veg apply)

Proteins: 35% (Meat, fish, pulses, nuts, seeds, eggs)

Fats: 10%: Olive oil, oily fish, butter and other fats

Dinner

Carbohydrates 5-10% (Grains, sugars)

Vegetables:40%

Proteins: 45%

Fats: 10%

Importance of slow release carbohydrates: Foods which release glucose slowly into our bloodstream avoids sudden blood sugar highs then lows therefore keeps energy levels, moods, and hunger in balance. There is a lot of information on the internet about low GI foods and plenty of books which can be very helpful. A lot of the time it is common sense, if a grain is refined (white) or a food is sweet (even healthy carrot juice) it will be released into the blood quickly causing a blood sugar spike.

The rate at which carbohydrates affect our blood glucose levels are determined by the following factors:

Refined carbohydrates

These have been processed so that they produce a fine texture. The starch grains are partially broken down, increasing their surface area and the fibrous layer has been removed. This reduces the work of the digestive enzymes and gives them a greater area to act on in order to obtain the simple glucose molecules. Therefore refined carbohydrates release glucose quickly into the blood stream giving a sharp rise in blood glucose.

Wholegrain unrefined carbohydrates have not been processed, therefore their starch grains are still intact. It takes longer for our digestive enzymes to break it down, as there has been no help with the digestive process, therefore glucose is released into the blood stream at a slower rate.

When Can Fast Release Carbohydrates can be consumed?

After Exercise and sometimes during prolonged exercise: After training the glycogen levels in the muscles must be quickly replenished to avoid the break down of protein from the muscles for energy. Foods, which cause a rapid increase of blood glucose levels, should be consumed as soon as training ends. There are healthier fast release carbohydrates compared to energy drinks and sports bars, which are full of refined sugar. Carrot juice, white potatoes, ripe bananas and rice cakes all provide fast release sugar.

Slow Release Carbohydrates: Oats, basmati brown rice, brown rice, wild rice, whole grain spelt and other whole grains, apples (especially eaten with a few nuts or seeds), pears, blueberries, strawberries and other whole fruits, nuts, beans and pulses.

Cooked carbohydrates

Reducing cooking time for vegetables and grains means they will release their sugars more slowly, so rice should be slightly hard and pasta should not be too soft.

Natural Fast Release Carbohydrates: Sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnips, carrots, dried fruit, sugar, honey, watermelon, fruit juices.

Fibre –Whole grains are high in fibre as well as beans and pulses; this slows the rate at which the food is digested slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream. The fibre pectin found in apples slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream, however when this is removed through juicing, the apple juice releases glucose quickly into the blood stream.

Presence of Fats, Protein or Acid

The combination of fat, protein or acid with carbohydrates can slow release of glucose into the bloodstream as it increases the transit time of food in the stomach.

Stimulants: such as coffee, tea, cola drinks and cigarettes affect blood sugar, as they stimulate a ‘fight or flight’ response, causing a sudden surge of glucose to be released from stores into the blood, ready for use by the muscles and brain. When the blood glucose is unused, insulin must be released to stabilise the blood glucose, this causes a blood sugar low.

 

Reduce your carbohydrate intake and look after your blood sugar – you will automatically have more energy and less health risk now and in the future. 

 

 

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