Lentil Cottage Pie – Great Vegetarian Option

If you are stuck for ideas on what to cook today, this is a great alternative if you don’t eat meat or you fancy a change from meat.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1/2 red onion

1 carrot finely chopped into small pieces

1 clove of garlic crushed

1tbsp tomato puree

400g can chopped tomatoes

1tsp dried thyme

75g dried split lentils

350ml vegetable stock

white and sweet potatoes for the mash

25g cheddar cheese grated

Method

Peel the potatoes and place in a pan of water, but do not set off cooking yet.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and thyme.

Set off your pan of potatoes to cook.

Stir in the lentils, vegetable stock, then simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture is reduced and creamy.

Preheat the oven to 200 / Gas 7

Pour the lentil mixture into an ovenproof dish and spread out evenly.

Mash the potatoes and spread evenly over the lentil mixture.

Sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden.

Serve immediately with any other vegetables of your choice.

Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.

What Does Iron Do For Your Body And Why Do You Need It?

Karen x

How To Get Your 5 A Day Every Day In An Easy Way

Do you struggle to get your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. It can be easier than you think. Firstly have a look at what you are eating each day. Secondly think how you can make small changes.

Key facts

Fruit and vegetables are key to a healthier lifestyle.

They taste great and add variety to any meal.

Your 5 a day should consist of as many different coloured varities as possible.

Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals.

They are also a good source of fibre and antioxidants.

All these nutrients are good for your health.

Fruit and vegetables are generally low fat, low calorie foods.

so eating them instead of foods high in fat and added salt gets you on your way to keeping healthy and losing weight.

Remember – fresh, frozen, canned, chilled pulses, 100% unsweetened juice and dried fruit and vegetables all count towards your five a day.

Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season.

This means that they are not only cheaper, but tastier too.

what counts as a portion?

If you are confused as to what counts as a portion, here are some examples.

A portion counts as 80g which is roughly a handful.

1 medium apple

3 celery sticks

3 heaped tablespoons of canned sweetcorn

7 cherry tomatoes

1 handful of carrot sticks

1 medium banana

3 heaped tablespoons of fresh or frozen peas

1/2 an avocado

3 heaped tablespoons of cooked kidney beans

2 broccoli florets

2 medium plums

8 brussels sprouts

1/2 large courgette

1 medium onion

12 chunks of pineapple

3 whole dried apricots

Ideas on how to increase your 5 a day

Have 100% unsweetened fruit juice 150ml with your breakfast

Snack on fruit, dried fruit or vegetable sticks mid morning or afternoon

Add a side salad to your lunch

Have an extra serving of vegetables with your evening meal

Add tinned tomatoes to a homemade casserole

Make homemade soup

Make your own tomato sauce for pasta

Make your own smoothie – just remember they count as a maximum of 2 of your 5 a day

There is lots of ways to get your 5 a day.

Some don’t involve any cooking and are easy to prepare.

Hope you have a good day.

Karen

https://inspiretonourish.com/2020/06/09/what-can-going-green-do-for-you/

How To Stop Feeling So Tired

Feeling tired can be a common problem for many people, I think even more so at the moment.

What could be making you feel so tired?

There are some diet and lifestyle changes you can make to help, but it is always best to checked out by your GP to rule out any medical conditions.

Start your day well

Start your day with breakfast, I know some people don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning, but it is important to give your body the energy it requires to face the day. You don’t have to make a full English breakfast, it can be a simple bowl of porridge, a smoothie, make your own granola or eggs on toast are just a few ideas.

Are You Giving Your Body Enough Fibre?

If you are not having enough fibre it can cause constipation which can make you feel really sluggish. Fibre helps to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood, keeping your energy levels up and helping your ability to concentrate and learn. Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts, seeds and wholegrains.

Make Sure You Are Eating Enough Iron-Rich Foods

If your body is lacking in iron, your body won’t have enough red cells to carry oxygen round your body and this can make you feel tired and listless. It could eventually lead to anaemia. The best sources of iron include liver, lean red meat, egg yolks, canned fish, fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, pulses and dried fruits such as prunes, apricots and figs.

It Isn’t Just What You Eat What You Drink Is Very Important Too

Water is essential to energize you. Aim to drink 2 litres of water a day. Avoid sugary drinks as they have high GI which will give you a burst of energy followed by a slump. Also think about what you are drinking at night as having caffeine or alcohol can impact your sleep, which will affect how you feel the following day.

Vitamins And Minerals

If you eat a healthy balanced diet then you should be getting enough vitamins and minerals. If you are not sure do a food diary for a week and look at all the foods you are putting into your body. Also think before you eat and ask yourself how will I feel after I have eaten it. Try to ensure your diet includes foods containing Zinc, phosphorus, potassium and some of the B vitamins as these all play an important part in making and releasing energy. Magnesium can help you to sleep better so that is another important one to consider.

Are You Exercising?

This can be hard when you don’t have any energy. Exercising in a morning is a natural energizer and will set you up for the day. This can also help you to sleep better at night. I try to do either yoga or hula hooping in the morning. Going for a walk in the first thing is an excellent way to start your day. If you don’t have time in a morning, just try to ensure that you don’t do it too late in the evening as this again can impact sleep.

Hope this helps to give you more energy and feel less tired.

Karen x

Easy To Make Energy Balls

These energy balls are really easy to make and they are great if you fancy a healthy sweet treat.

A good little snack if you are getting the afternoon slump.

Ingredients

70g Almonds

200g Dates

2tsp honey

3tsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Method

If your almonds are whole blitz them in a food processor until they are fine breadcrumbs.

Add the dates, honey and cocoa and blitz in the processor.

Tip the mixture into a bowl.

Place the coconut in a separate bowl.

Roll and compress the mixture into balls, then roll each ball in the coconut.

Give them a try, no cooking involved.

Kale Could Be Just What Your Body Needs To Give You A Boost

This amazing food will help to keep you healthy, packed with vitamins and phytochemicals. Kale is known to be one of the top vegetable immunity boosters.

It contains multiple antioxidants, including kaempferol and quercetin, which are responsible for anti-inflammatory benefits in diseases.

Kale is rich in carotenoids and B-vitamins and anti-aging and beautifying trace minerals.

It is known to be one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help to prevent eye disease.

The vitamins B6 and B12 in Kale help to boost brain power and prevent memory loss and improve energy.

Kale is also a great source of calcium for the bones and contains silica for skin, hair, nails and teeth.

It contains vitamin C, making it a great defender against colds and viruses.

Also known to contain vitamin K which promotes blood clotting and healing and good amounts of immunity boosting minerals, including iron and zinc.

Kale provides a source of fibre which assists digestion and keeps blood sugar levels steady.

Definitely worth adding to your shopping list!!

Why Should You Exercise?

If you are not a person who really enjoys exercise then it can be hard to motivate yourself to do it.

Exercise has been shown to increase self-esteem. When we feel good about ourselves it encourages us to take care of our health and wellbeing and support us in our efforts to change. Try to make some form of exercise a priority and make time for it, because it is vital for your health and it will improve your mental outlook, mood and self-esteem.

Exercise is a fantastic stress buster and just a moderate increase in your level of exercise can leave you feeling calmer and in control. Whenever you feel stressed or anxious, take a long, brisk walk and see if you feel better afterwards. Exercise discharges the stress hormone such as cortisol, that accumulates due to chronic stress. Exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and stimulates the release of mood-lifting endorphins that relieve pain – a natural opium known as the runners high. These changes in the brain chemistry make us feel euphoric and exhilarated.

It has been shown in several studies that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants or traditional psychotherapy in elevating mood.

The more intensely you exercise, the more of these chemicals you produce, helping you to feel better and better.

If you haven’t exercised for a while then build up slowly, don’t try to do too much at once. If you are recovering from illness build up slowly and don’t over do it. I had Covid in April and im still not back at the fitness level I was before. I have to build it up slowly because if I do too much it will massively impact how I feel the next day and can result in me taking a step backwards.

Below is some of the amazing benefits of exercise:

Maintains weight loss over the long term

Increases resting metabolic rate

Improves strength and stamina

Improves muscle tone

Improves joint flexibility and suppleness

Strengthens back muscles and eases pain

Strengthens heart muscle

Improves lung function

Improves digestion

Helps reduce food cravings and regulates appetite

Slows down the body’s ageing process and helps you look better

Reduces stress and anxiety

Improves mental clarity

Elevates mood

Increases self-esteem and self confidence

Increases energy and reduces fatigue

Increases the production of endorphins, helping you to feel calm

Helps you sleep better

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Lowers blood pressure

Reduces the risk of mature onset diabetes

Improves your insulin/blood glucose mechanism

Reduces cholesterol to healthy levels

It feels good

My main exercises at the moment are yoga and walking.

Yesterday I had a little robin on my walk with me.

Due to the situation we are all in at the moment it is definitely worth trying to do some exercise to improve how you feel.

Go for a walk and enjoy your day.