I’ve been sharing my top tips for making positive change easy. We started off looking at looking into why you might want to make change, and how it’s important to go at your own pace. Then it was time for action – eat more (fruit and vegetables), go brown, make easy swaps, eat real food and now finally – variety. Continue reading “Easy Steps No. 7 – mix it up!”
The next step (No. 6) in my 7 Easy Steps series is all getting the most out of the food you eat – the most nutrients and benefits that is. And you can do that by eating real (ie: whole), not processed, food. Continue reading “Easy Steps No. 6 – Eat Real!”
I’m a big fan of carrots. And of rainbow eating. So you can imagine how excited I get when I find rainbow carrots! I’m like a kid in a sweet shop, much to the embarrassment of whoever I’m with. Sometimes hard to find in mainstream supermarkets (although I have noticed them appearing more, along with a premium price), they seem to be easier to find at farmers markets and farm shops. Or even better, try and grow your own – they’ll taste so good! Continue reading “Rainbow roasted carrot and thyme salad”
Wimbledon starts today. Apart from amazing tennis, I always associate this time of year with the start of summer (that box can be checked!) and the beginning of the British strawberry season, as what can be more British than grass-court tennis matched with strawberries and cream? Continue reading “Strawberry delight”
Here’s the final video for this Global Sharing Week – and it’s a good’un! If you like pastry, but cannot or do not eat refined fats (so can’t make it the traditional way or pop to the supermarket for a ready-roll version), you’ll love this super-easy and tasty pastry that is surprisingly easy to make and very forgiving in clumsy hands! Continue reading “Magic pastry”
I love aubergine. Unfortunately my husband can’t stand them. He’s very tolerant of my plant-based experiments, but sadly aubergine is his red line that can’t be crossed! Which is not too much of a problem as there are so many other delicious plant-based foods to play with. Plus he’s often away, so aubergine becomes my indulgence when he’s on his travels. Continue reading “Sticky ginger-garlic aubergine”
Have you ever thought about how the food you eat directly affects your brain? As its Brain Awareness Week, it’s worth sparing a minute or two to do just that. Do you give your brain what it needs?
The brain is the hungriest organ in the body. Mind you that’s not surprising really as it’s always on the go, managing and controlling everything else in the body, even (and particularly) when we’re asleep. 25% of the body’s energy supply (in the form of glucose, its fuel of choice), is used in the brain Continue reading “Brain food”
Drum roll please………my new book is out! If you follow me on Facebook hopefully you’ve seen the posts and know it’s a thing. But do you know what it’s all about? And not everyone has been sucked in to the time-wasting chasm that is social media, so here is the run down.
Eat Well Live Well with the Sensitive Foodie – may not be the catchiest of titles but it sums it up rather nicely! Based on the idea that the food we eat really is key to health, it’s part information, part cookbook interwoven with the story of my own health challenges and the desire to eat great food. Basically everything The Sensitive Foodie is all about! Continue reading “Read all about it!”
The last few weeks have been so busy, getting the last bits of my new book finalised. It’s very exciting – I have 250 copies of Eat Well Live Well with The Sensitive Foodie currently being printed and hopefully being delivered tomorrow. Continue reading “Healthy oat and flaxseed cookies”
Have you noticed how fibre has suddenly appeared in the news again? That’s food-related fibre, not the high-speed broad band type! A large meta-analysis of research studies published in The Lancet last week concluded that a diet high in complex fibre and whole-foods could prevent the development of many chronic health problems. It concluded their study provided a ‘causal link’ between a low fibre diet and poor health (read more here).
The world of food and health is complex and fickle. The fact that fibre is good for health has been known for a long time, but gets conveniently forgotten when more popular diets come along, like low-carb/high fat, or ketogenic programmes. There’s a lot of confusion about the carbohydrate element of foods with many people automatically associating ‘carbs’ with sugar. And it’s true, refined sugar isn’t good for us, but complex, unadulterated carbohydrates are.
As anyone who has participated in my Eat Well Live Well course will know, I’m a big fan of fibre. And one of the benefits of eating a whole-food plant-based diet is that it is packed full of lovely complex fibres that the body just loves. And rather than worrying about how much you should consume, it’s just part and parcel of every meal – as long as you eat a wide range of whole plant foods that is.
So why might you not get enough fibre in your diet?
- Only food from plants contain fibre, so if you eat mainly meat, dairy and eggs you’ll be missing out on fibre.
- Refined cereals and grains loose their healthy complex fibre, so if you eat white bread, pasta or rice, processed breakfast cereals or ready meals, you’ll be losing all the lovely complex fibre.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables contain fibre too, so if you don’t hit your 5 portions a day (like 70% of the UK population), you’ll be missing out on fibre.
So what does fibre do for us? Lots, as it turns out. I go into more details in my new book Eat Well Live Well with The Sensitive Foodie (out next month!), but in a nutshell it:
- Improves gut motility – ie: make you poo!
- Removes excess bile, fats and toxic waste
- Fills you up
- Releases nutrients slowly
- Looks after the friendly bacteria living in your gut.
As more is learnt about the importance of gut health, this last one is really key. Bacteria living deep down in the large intestine dine out on the insoluble fibre found in complex carbohydrates that we can’t digest ourselves, and then puts it to good use, carrying out functions we have outsourced and can no longer do ourselves. Gut health is connected to many health challenges, including food sensitivities and autoimmune conditions, hence my personal love of all things fibre!
So how do you get more fibre in your diet? It’s easy – eat more plants! And a wide variety of them too. Add beans to soups and stews, more veggies to dishes. Ditch the processed breakfast cereals and opt for wholegrain or oats. Swap to wholegrain pasta, rice and bread. Or just focus on eating amazing plant foods throughout the day and then you don’t have to worry where your fibre is coming from.
A word of warning though, if you’re not used to eating lots of lovely fibre, or have IBS or something similar, take care! Fibre makes you fart. And if your gut is not happy, a sudden overload of high fibre foods could find you trumpeting at inappropriate moments or doubled up in pain. So think about gradually increasing the amount of whole foods over a few days rather than all at once – you, and anyone around you, will appreciate it!
If you’re not sure how to start eating more fibre, check out the recipes on my blog. Made with whole plant foods, they’re all packed with fibre in various forms. And if you’re interested in finding out more, my book is a good place to start. Look out for more information about publication date, or sign up to my book mailing list. You’ll get the lowdown before anyone else, plus special launch information and offers. Just click here.