Thursday, February 23, 2012

Goat's Cheese, Leek & Tapenade Sandwich

It's the season for leeks here in England so there is no reason why you shouldn't eat lots of locally grown while you can. Leeks are very forgiving and a bit sweet in taste and works very well to bring strong flavours, like the black olive tapenade used in this recipe, in balance with the rest of the ingredients. The tapenade is quite "salty" so for my liking a modest spread is more than enough here. 

Goat's Cheese, Leek & Tapenade Sandwich
1 slice rye or sourdough bread
1 small leek, trimmed and sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
1-2tsp black olive tapenade
2 thin slices goat's cheese
fresh parsley (optional)

Pop the bread in the toaster on medium. Gently fry leek and garlic in some rapeseed oil until soft and lightly browned. 

Spread the slice of bread with the tapenade. Cover with the leeks and top with the goat's cheese and parsley. 

The heat from the leeks will soften and bring out the great flavours of the cheese. Serves 1

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Are You Gaining Weight?

As a Holistic Nutrition Therapist, and compassionate health advocate, I daily spend many minutes, or should I say hours, going through piles of articles and books about health. These includes everything from new science on food, the most efficient way to exercise, what meat really does to our health etcetera. And even though my main focus and interest lye in the area of nutrition and what impact it has on they way we look and feel I sometimes come over interesting articles that does specifically touch the subject of food. The suggestions below on why you might gain weight came from one such article.  

LACK OF SLEEP: When you don't get enough sleep hormone levels in your body changes in a way that increases hunger and appetite. 

STRESS: The perfect way to gain weight. When you are stressed your body releases more of the hormone cortisol, which causes a greater appetite. The risk that you grab for anything in reach when you are stressed is also a factor as why people under great stress often gain weight. 

HYPOTHYROIDISM: If your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone, the metabolism slows down and causes weight gain along with tiredness and weakness. 

MEDICINE: Certain medicines can cause weight gain due to fluid retention and change in hormone levels. Speak with your GP if you take medication that you believe might cause weight gain. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cleansing Lemon Shot

A lot of exciting things are going on at the moment and time to come up with new recipes is nowhere near to be found. Baby Lily is having a bad cold that won't budge, which made me come to think about a health shot my mother in law taught me how to make some eight years ago.

Cleansing Lemon Shot
4 lemons, washed and thinly sliced
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
5cm/2inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced

There is no need to peel any of the ingredients. Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized pan with enough water to cover it. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and allow to simmer under lid on a very low heat for about 20min. Turn off the heat and allow to cool, lid still on. Save only the liquid in a glass bottle. It will last in the fridge for up to a week. Have a shot every morning before breakfast to get the body going.

HEALTH BENEFITS of Garlic: Garlic is a great source of sulfur, which plays a vital part in detoxifying the body from toxins. Garlic works as a great antioxidant and antibacterial and has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Get Your Metabolism Going

This week I am giving you tips on how to rev up your metabolism i.e. burn those calories a little bit faster:

1. Little & Often: Eating many smaller meals throughout the day keeps your metabolism active and alert. Eating larger meals three times a day programs your metabolism to work more slowly to make sure you are not starving.

2. More Protein: The body uses 25% more calories to breakdown protein compared to the breakdown of fat and carbs. You still need good fats and carbs, but make sure to get good quality protein with every meal. 

3. Black Coffee: Drinking black coffee gives your metabolism an instant boost. If you are not a coffee drinker 2-4 cups of green tea will have the same effect.  

4. Water: Dehydration slows down the metabolism so make sure not to walk around thirsty. 

5. Cold: Take advantage of the cold weather and go out for a walk. When your body is cold it uses more energy (calories) to warm up. If the cold is not for you then try drinking water on the rocks. 

6. Muscles: Make sure to use your muscles and make them stronger. Muscles burn much more calories then fat even when you are resting and remember that stronger muscles does not necessarily means bigger muscles so don't be afraid that you will bulk up.  

7. Safflower Oli: The fat composition of safflower oil enhance the bodies ability to metabolise fat. You can get them in capsules sometimes referred to as CLA.