Discover How To Get Enough Protein When you Don’t Eat Meat

If you don’t eat meat one of the first questions you probably get asked is: where do you get your protein from?

So here is some answers:

Legumes

Legumes are a great source of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates and include beans, peas, lentils and nuts.

Lentils are widely available and can be added to salads, wraps, curries, soups or stews. Black beans are also a rich source of antioxidants and one of the healthiest legumes you can eat. Legumes contain more protein than any other plant food. They are also high complex carbohydrates and low in fat, so they are a great food.

Quinoa

Loaded with magnesium and antioxidants and fibre. Quinoa is becoming more and more popular with households.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is great for a quick easy snack and brilliant to have after a workout. Due to its high fat and protein content it should help you to feel full and help to get rid of those sugar cravings. Just having one tablespoon equates to 4g of protein. You could also try other nut butters such as almond, cashew, or macadamia. I like to use peanut butter in my own cereal bars. When you make your own you know exactly what has gone into them.

Meat Alternatives

There is a lot of meat alternatives around today and I do think that they taste great. They are packed with plant based protein. For a quick easy meal you could use a meat alternative chicken burger in a bun with a side salad sprinkled with seeds for extra protein. Give it a try before you say “I only eat proper meat”.

Hemp and Chia Seeds

These tiny little seeds are packed with protein and can be added to smoothies, homemade bread or homemade cereal bars.

So as you can see you can get plenty of protein from plant sources if you choose not to eat meat.

Have a good day

Why Should You Eat Blueberries??

It is a simple question, but there are so many reasons why!!

Especially at the moment it is vitally important to look after your health as much as you can.

Blueberries are an amazing fruit for helping to protect cells from free radical damage and ageing, containing great youth-preserving antioxidants which boost immunity and help avert many conditions.

Consume blueberries three or four times a week for all immunity – boosting benefits.

They are great eaten as a snack or add to your breakfast cereal or simply do what I do which is add them to a plain bio yogurt. I also buy the frozen blueberries so they last longer.

The berries lovely blue colour comes from anthocyanins – potent antioxidants that fight cell damage, improve circulation and help protect against heart problems, stroke, cancer and gum disease.

Anthocyanins can also help improve eye health by protecting against retinal degeneration.

Blueberries are rich in tannins which have anti-inflammatory effect on the body’s tissues and are known to kill microbes and fight the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.

They are also known to combat the bacteria that cause diarrhoea.

Blueberries can help improve brain function and have been known to help protect against dementia and preserve memory.

You can get so many health benefits from blueberries, boosting immunity is a fantastic one to have at the moment.

Enjoy your day and eat some blueberries.

What Can Turmeric Do For You?

Turmeric is extremely beneficial for your health.

It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and used to help treat arthritis, cardiovascular health, diabetes and neurological conditions.

The curcumin in turmeric has proven strong anti-inflammatory properties that block the action of inflammatory molecules in the body.

Curcumin gives it its vibrant colour and is a potent antioxidant that is very effective at fighting free radicals and helps protect the skin, eyes and hair. It assists in keeping them youthful which is what we all want.

It also has anti-bacterial and cholesterol lowering properties.

Curcumin can help reduce the build up of the protein amyloid-b in the brain. Amyloid-b causes oxidative (free radical) damage and inflammation in the brain and is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants in turmeric help to fight this free radical damage.

I take turmeric as a supplement and every morning I have grated ginger and 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric in boiled water using an infuser teapot.

The bright vibrant turmeric can have many health benefits.

Enjoy your day.

What Can Going Green Do For You?

The green group of foods are great at detoxifying and antioxidant.

They help in the fight against wrinkles, which is what we all want.

They contain high levels of sulphur which is known to be good for your hair and skin.

They are also high in minerals like selenium, which boost your immune system and support your metabolism.

Selenium also assists in helping the body to absorb vitamin E.

Green foods can help regulate blood sugar levels and stop you craving sugary fatty foods so can assist with weight loss.

Green foods include:

Asparagus

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Chives

Cabbabge

kale

Kiwi Fruit

Onions

Leeks

Spinach

As you can see it is worth giving them a try when there is so many health benefits.

Karen x

Which Foods Can Help With Anxiety?

Anxiety levels can be especially high with the current situation. There is things you can do to help ease these feelings. One quick way that you can start straight away is to look at what you are eating and think about the effects the food can have on your body. When you are feeling worked up or stressed it can be easy to grab something sweet like a chocolate bar. We have all been there including myself. It might help initially, but not in the long run it will only leave you feeling worse. I am not saying never have a chocolate bar if you are feeling worked up as this would be unrealistic, just try not to do it on a regular basis.

There are some foods that can help in supporting the overall health of your nervous system.

Eggs

Eggs are fantastic and a great protein source. They are a low GI food so they can help to keep your blood sugar stable. They are also a good source of choline which is important for memory and learning.

Berries

Blueberries and blackberries are a very rich source of a group of compounds called flavonoids. These have been shown to have great effect on the cardiovascular system and, as such, may have a positive impact upon the brain. Berries cause blood vessels to relax, by stimulating the production of a chemical called nitric oxide by the vital inner skin that lines all of our blood vessels. The nitric oxide then causes the muscular walls of the blood vessels to relax, which makes the vessel wider.

Kale

Kale is one of the greatest leafy vegetables. It is very dense in magnesium, which can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system and the muscles so can really assist in relaxation during a time of high anxiety. Kale also contains iron and vitamin C so there’s an added bonus.

Cocoa

Yes you can eat chocolate!!!!! Well its the cocoa that is good for you especially for the health of your nervous system and for making you feel good. Cocoa is another good source of magnesium that can help you feel relaxed.

Lentils

Lentils are an excellent source of most of the B vitamins, so provide a multitude of benefits for the brain and nervous systems, regulating many of their important functions.

Salmon

Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids that support the health and functioning of the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is involved in the immune system.

Mackerel

Like salmon, mackerel is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and also contains selenium.

Quinoa

Quinoa has a very low impact on your blood sugar and contains a substantial amount of protein. Protein further slows down the release of sugars from its own carbs.

Spinach

Spinach is a good source of magnesium and non-haem iron, both of these minerals are essential for the healthy functioning of the nervous system.

As you can see there are some foods which can have great benefits and can really help your body and how you feel. They are not difficult foods to incorporate in your daily diet. You don’t have to change it all at once, try adding one food each week. Small changes are easier to manage and don’t make you feel overwhelmed.

Karen x

Flatbread Pizzas With Chickpea and Basil Pesto

These Pizzas are easy to make and taste so good!!!

Ingredients

1 clove garlic crushed

Large handful of basil leaves

20g Cashews, roasted for 5 minutes until golden

50g tinned chickpeas

2 tbsp passata

5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 flatbreads

Cherry tomatoes halved

2 tsp dried basil

Feta cheese cubed

Salad to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 / gas 8

Place the garlic, basil, cashews, chickpeas, passata and olive oil into a food processor and blitz to form a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the flatbreads on a baking tray.

Divide the pesto between the flatbreads and spread evenly.

Arrange tomatoes and feta cheese on the flatbreads.

Sprinkle with dried basil (optional)

Bake in the oven for 7-9 minutes until the base is crispy and the tomatoes have softened.

Serve with salad of your choice.

If you are short on time you can make the pesto the day before and store in a container in the fridge.

Hope you enjoy.

Karen x

Potato And Chicken Bake

This is a lovely warming meal, perfect to have in the evening as the colder nights are drawing in.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts

1 red onion

50g butter

1 carrot chopped into small pieces

225g button mushrooms sliced

900g potatoes finely sliced

16floz milk

1tbsp olive oil

25g plain flour

1tsp wholegrain mustard

Salt and pepper to season

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180 / Gas 4.

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chicken for 5 minutes until browned.

Add the onion and fry for a further 5 minutes.

Add half the butter to the pan and allow it to melt.

Sprinkle the flour in the pan and stir in the milk.

Cover over a low heat until thickened, then stir in the mustard.

Add the carrot and mushrooms and season to taste.

Line the base of a 3 pint ovenproof dish with a layer of potatoes.

Spoon over one third of the chicken mixture on top of the potatoes.

Followed by another layer of potatoes, repeat with chicken mixture.

Cover with another layer of potatoes carry on with layers and finish with a final layer of potatoes.

Top with the remaining butter in knobs.

Cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. \cover the dish with a lid or foil after 30 minutes of cooking.

Serve and enjoy.

Karen x

Cherry Tomato tarts

These taste great and even better if you are a pastry fan.

Makes 6

Ingredients

1 x 320g block all-butter puff pastry I used the just roll.

Dijon mustard

10-12 cherry tomatoes

1 medium egg

6 slices of parma ham

Salt and pepper

30g Parmesan cheese

Extra virgin olive oil

Dried basil or fresh basil leaves if you have some in.

Sundried tomato pesto

Ready To Go In The Oven

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 / gas 7

Remove the pastry from the fridge 10 minutes before you start.

Carefully unroll the pastry and cut into 6 squares

Arrange these onto two baking trays I did line mine with greaseproof paper.

Spread a thin layer of the mustard of each one, leave a border of 2cm around the edge.

Slice tomatoes and spread out between the 6 pastry bases.

Beat the egg and brush around the edges of each pastry base.

Season with salt and pepper.

Dollop approximately 1tsp of pesto on each pastry base.

place 1 slice of parma ham over each tart.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Drizzle each one with a little olive oil.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and risen.

Finish with dried basil or fresh basil leaves

Serve and enjoy

They could be served with a salad.

Karen x

Are You Struggling to Get Your 5 A Day?

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 varieties as possible.

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals. Fruit and vegetables are also a good source of fibre and antioxidants. All these nutrients are important for your health.

Fruit and vegetables are generally low fat, low calories food, so eating them instead of foods high in fat and added sugars 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 5 a day.

Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season, this means that they are not only cheaper, but tastier too.

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

A few examples of what counts as a portion.

1 medium apple

3 celery sticks

3 heaped tbsp of canned sweetcorn

7 cherry tomatoes

1 handful of carrot sticks

1 medium banana

3 heaped tbsp of fresh or frozen peas

1/2 and avocado

3 heaped tbsp of cooked kidney beans

2 broccoli florets

2 medium plums

8 brussels sprouts

1/2 a large courgette

1 medium onion

12 chunks of pineapple

3 whole dried apricots

Here are some 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 mid afternoon.

Add a side salad to your lunch.

Add 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 dishes, you can hide plenty of vegetables in it if you blend it.

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

Karen x