Cherryactive ice lollies made to help me sleep.

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It’s revision month and I’m already not sleeping well so I’ve invested in some Cherryactive. It is made from 100% montmorency cherries which are full of antioxidants and melatonin to help me sleep. The deep cherry flavour and colour makes Cherryactive ideal for making ice lollies which the rest of the family can enjoy.

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Just dilute Cherryactive to taste, add to favourite lolly holders and freeze. For an extra special treat add halved pitted fresh cherries to the mix.

We should all sleep well tonight zzzzzzzzz.

12 Apps for Foodies that I just love!

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I have been posting on this blog for more than a year. During this time I have found a few apps on my phone to help me with my ideas relating to food and nutrition. I have these in a food group on my phone which I will share as a 1st blog birthday gift. They are listed in no particular order and I use all of them on a regular basis.

1. Pinterest
For me the presentation of food has a huge impact to whether I want to try it or not. Pinterest has so many beautiful images of food that I can spend hours looking through food related
pages for inspiration. I have even started pinning a few images myself.

2. Bloglovin
This app is such a great little tool for keeping up with blogs on your phone. I have many food and nutrition blogs I now like to keep up with. It’s very easy to search and add sites on various topics at Bloglovin.com then keep up-to-date on your phone.

3. Foodnavigator
I like to follow the news and this little app lets me keep up with all the food related news from the site foodnavigator.com

4. How to Cook Everything!
Sometimes you just have an ingredient you would like to cook with. This week I have too much broccoli for example. Using this app I can search for broccoli and find any number of recipes to try.

5. Dirty Dozen
This is the shoppers guide to pesticides in food. It’s a great little app to help you choose your food wisely.

6. Enumbers
This informative app gives details about every Enumber you can find in food. It offers a good way to become educated in Enumbers.

7. Evernote Food
This app allows you to browse recipes, bookmark them and record your own. There are lots of lovely recipes for food inspiration.

8. Green kitchen
You can view a wide range of healthy vegetarian recipes using this award winning app.

9. Good Food Healthy Recipes
This one gives you access to a selection of healthy recipes from BBC Good Food. It allows you to view and search a selection of healthy recipes.

10. Edamam
An app that gives you a daily morsel of food recipes and a search function for many more from over 500 sites also found at Edamam.com. Beautiful images and recipes!

11. Gojee
This app covers not only food but also fashion. There are some amazing food images of recipes to try from blogs at Gojee.com. Only the best at Gojee.com

12. Foodily
Similar to Gojee and Edamam. There is a selection of amazing food blog entries to get inspiration from at Foodily.com.

Valentines Salad

Well it is a long time since I have written a post. I’ve been busy at college learning about vitamins and super foods. It’s not long now until my next exam which I am dreading as usual. Today is my husband’s birthday and I will be at college on Valentine’s night so I made a nice and simple healthy Valentine’s salad for our lunch today. It looks great and tastes yum!

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It’s really simple to make. The bottom of the salad is a layer of rocket. Then on top are strawberries, tomatoes and cucumbers all cut into heart shapes.

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Finish by adding a dressing of light balsamic vinegar. Optionally add white chicken breast. This dish can be served as a side salad or main meal.

Happy Valentines!

Congratulations, Jelly filled Orange Skins and Orange Sorbet

Yesterday was the Flitton and Greenfield Gala and whilst waiting for the parade to arrive we stopped in The White Hart for some refreshment. I was really pleased to find out that they were listed both in The Good Food Guide 2012 and in The Good Pub Guide 2012. I think this is fantastic news and my congratulations go to Phil and Clare and the team there.

When you dine at sophisticated restaurants such as The White Hart Flitton you are often given sorbets to cleanse your pallet between meals. These are super easy to make. Although high in sugar contents, sorbets are an easy way to introduce an extra portion of fruit into your diet. They are often seen as an adult dessert but kids love them. (At least they do if the way they get eaten in this house is anything to go by.)

By increasing your consumption of fruit and veg you are reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. We all need to eat foods rich with vitamins. Sorbets offer us the option of increasing our Vitamin C levels and antioxidants in our diet through the fruit contained within them.

This weekend I made two desserts in my quest to getting my family to eat and enjoy healthier foods and in particular more fruit. Firstly an Orange Sorbet and secondly Jelly filled Orange Skins.

The aroma of sweet oranges is said to reduce anxiety. I can’t say the consumption of these desserts calmed our house but they were consumed fully within a day of making.

Megan and I started by squeezing 5 oranges of their juice. This juice was set to one side and used for the sorbet later. The shells of the halved oranges were then scraped of the pulp and used as the pots to be filled with a standard raspberry jelly mix and raspberries. Be careful when squeezing and scraping the orange shells not to create holes in the skins. Set the pots in a dish before filling.
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For the sorbet place 200g of sugar and 275ml of water in a pan and bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in a freezer proof container and add orange juice squeezed from 5 oranges. Place in freezer and stir every 30 minutes until frozen. Take out of freezer about 20 minutes prior to serving.

 

 

Cucumber Pots – Great for children and adults

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Are you looking for an easy way to get kids to eat veg?

Here’s a little activity that will keep little hands active but also see a couple of cucumbers disappear quite quickly.

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Cut 2 cucumbers into chunks and scoop a small amount of the inside out using a melon scoop so the cucumbers can act as pots. Replace this with a healthy filling of choice such as low fat cheese, hummus, peanut butter, or any low fat dipping spread.

Cucumber itself is reported to have many health benefits. For example it has been suggested its high fibre content aids with digestion so it can help with constipation in both children and adults. Cucumber is also said to contain sterol which helps with the reduction of cholesterol. The large amount of water contained in a cucumber helps in rehydration. Good for those who don’t drink enough fluids. The consumption of fruity vegetables such as cucumber has also been reported to help with Asthma in children (Paediatric Allergy and Immunology. 18, pages 480 to 485. (September 2007))

 

 

Children Obesity and Holiday Activities

I have just read a very good article in the Guardian entitled “Parents can’t end Britain’s child obesity epidemic ”. This linked me though to a BBC article “Should obese children be taken into care” Here it provided the shocking stats that 11% of 15 year olds in England are obese according to a survey from the World Health Organization.

I have recently decided to return to a diet myself as I have been slowly piling on the pounds so admittedly I am a little more aware of my own weight and that of others at the moment.

Today I took my youngest to a local theme park. During my time at the park I did notice a seemingly larger number of overweight children and adults. I had a terrible time finding anything healthy and appetising to eat. This has been a trend over this summer holiday. Hotdogs, ice creams and sugary drinks seem to be the primary offering on stands around children’s theme parks. At farm attractions and activity centres, sausage and chips, sugary drinks and cakes; sweet popcorn and sugary drinks at the cinema.

We take our kids to these places for fun to wear them out and entertain them. We are wearing them out long term with unhealthy food. More calories are consumed than can possibly be burned on these days out. We are linking happiness to unhealthy food choices. We think we are good parents for taking our kids out for a fun day but are we? Should more of us take our own healthy packed lunches and snacks to the venues that allow us to do so?

At home what can we do to get kids interested in nutrition and health?

I am currently tackling this in my house. It’s not easy. There is a gap in the market place for books relating to nutrition for kids. I’m not sure if this is because of our fear of anorexia in teenagers but for kids there isn’t that much to be read. With younger children you can make your own nutrition story books as an activity.

Exercise is the key in helping to burn off those extra calories that we Brits allow our kids to consume through snacking. In our garden we have a trampoline, skipping ropes and space hoppers. During the warmer months these are well used. The odd walk to the local playground burns off a few extra calories. In the winter like many we rely on the Wii fit for extra activity outside school.

Food experiments are good for older children. We did one with food colouring and a selection of milks and creams so they gained an understanding of the fats in certain milks.

Leading by example is the hardest. We try very hard to lead by example. It is too easy to buy processed meals and sweet treats. Home cooking takes time and is not always loved by all but at least you can talk about what went into it. I try hard to find interesting new recipes some of which I blog here.

Refreshing Watermelon Ice Lollies

The combination of this sweet watermelon and lemon and lime sorbet makes a refreshing and healthy treat on a warm summers day.

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Lemon and Lime Sorbet

200g Sugar
275ml Water
Zest and juice of 5 Limes
Zest and juice of 5 Lemons

Put the sugar and water in the pan. Bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Put to one side. Meanwhile zest and squeeze your lemon and limes. Mix together sugared water, lime juice and zest together in plastic container.

Set the mixture to one side and prepare the melon mix.

Watermelon Ice

1 Large Watermelon
4 tbsp Sugar
Dozen Blueberries cut into quarters

Cut the Watermelon into cubed batches of four. Remove all seeds. Add one tablespoon of sugar to each batch and blend with a food blender or hand blender. Sieve into another plastic container in order to remove any excess pulp and remaining seeds. Add blueberry quarters to mix. Stir well.

Put both containers into freezer. Stir approximately every 30 mins until slushy but not firm.

Prepare Ice Lollies

Whilst the mixture is slushy but not firm add to 6 paper coffee cups. First add half a cup of melon mix. Then top with lemon and lime mix until 3/4 full.

Cover cup with cling film. Slice a whole in the middle of cling film and place lolly stick through the middle into the slushy mixture so that it is most of the way into the cup but not quite touching the bottom.

Place filled cups into freezer and leave overnight.

To serve tear away paper cup and enjoy!

The paper cups and ice lolly sticks for this recipe were bought from the Cooks Collection in Ampthill.

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The idea for this ice lolly came from Eat yourself skinny blog using the lemon and lime sorbet from Jamie Oliver.

10 Basic steps to a healthy lifestyle

This week I went to the British Nutrition Foundation conference on Behavioural Change and have also found time to watch a few food/ nutrition related shows including the BBC series “The men who made us fat”. It became clear to me that I had not discussed some of the main principles of a healthy diet and lifestyle on my blog. These are simple principles but for anyone making changes to their lifestyles they are things that should be addressed.

1. Take time to educate yourself about what’s healthy and what’s not. Learn to read food labels and understand what’s in the products you are buying.
2. Eat a healthy varied diet. Avoid in particular sugar, fats and processed foods. Eat more fruit and veg.
3. Eat smaller portions. It’s easy to eat more than we need.
4. Get into the habit of not snacking between meals. Try not to be tempted by supermarket marketing and buy one get one free offers.
5. Increase your activity levels. This is the basic calorific calculation of not eating more than you expend.
6. Maintain a regular sleep cycle. The quality of your sleep effects your emotional wellbeing which can have an impact on your weight.
7. Maintain a good social circle. Having a good social circle helps with motivation support and general well being.
8. Don’t skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast may lead you to be tempted by unhealthy snacks later in the day.
9. Avoid sugary drinks and drink plenty of water.
10. Create mini goals in order to make your overall health goals more attainable.

These 10 points are very simplistic but are core to living healthily.

Nearly at the end of Biomedicine

Easter has been and gone. During which, I tried yet another food experiment with the kiddies which failed. This time I made a rabbit, a chick and a sheep out of food. The kids agreed that they looked good for kids but refused to even try just one single bite. Thankfully Jim was on hand to hoover it all up.

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During Easter, I had my own viral infection which I found amusing as I was studying for my infectious diseases mini test. I missed the exam as I was too sick, and took it yesterday. I think I did well and am confident I passed.

As part of my first year at CNM studying nutrition, I have been studying Biomedicine. The year is almost over with just one more large exam to go which will cover the following; digestive system, endocrine system, skin, lymphatic system, urinary system, nervous system, immune system, infectious diseases, oncology and sense organs.

In previous exams in the year we have covered cytology, muscular system, respiratory system, and the cardiovascular system.

Orly Moyal the lead lecturer for Biomedicine at CNM has so much passion and enthusiasm for Biomedicine that it rolls over to the students. We all enjoy her amazing lectures and insight into the subject.

We also have had two assignments to do the second of which I am currently working on. I am designing my very own leaflet on Osteoporosis. This assignment will remind me of days studying graphics design at Bedford College. I hope to post this leaflet here for all to view.

I have really enjoyed this first year. Studying for the exams hasn’t been easy but with the support of my family and friends I have managed it. Just one more big exam in June and then my second year, the first on actual nutrition, will begin. I am just loving this course so far and looking forward to the next two years.