Red Arrows Falmouth 2016

OK, so this blog is nothing about being sugar free, gluten free or anything remotely similar but just some photos I thought I’d share with you. My husband and I hired a Clovelly Picarooner from Mylor Boat Hire and found ourselves a great spot to moor up and watch the Red Arrows at Falmouth week. The weather was kind to us, there was a great atmosphere and we found ourselves unbelievably close to the Red Arrows!

 

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Courgette Bread

Courgette bread.jpg

One of my favourite recipes is my courgette bread recipe. This is no ordinary loaf. It is paleo friendly, sugar free and gluten free and is packed full of nutrients. It’s so delicious – please give it a try! It may seem like a lot of ingredients but it’s a meal in itself and a little goes a long way. It’s a firm favourite in our house and great for picnics too.

If you want a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals then look no further:

  • Ground almonds – heart healthy nuts that reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol. Good source of vitamin E and magnesium as well as protein and fibre.
  • Pumpkin seeds – rich in iron and fibre, contain protein as well as magnesium, zinc, omega 3 and tryptophan (helps aid restful sleep!).
  • Arrowroot powder – has a high nutrition content, it is an easily digestible starch and is very useful in aiding digestion and alleviating bowel complaints in particular.
  • Courgette – a good source of vitamin K and vitamin C, also contains potassium and fibre.
  • Apple cider vinegar – aids with diabetes and blood sugar control

There are many other health benefits in these foods but the list would have gone on forever!

Ingredients list:

  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 100 g arrowroot powder (you can find this in the supermarket in the baking section)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 125 g grated courgette
  • 25 g grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to about 160 degrees and prepare a greased and lined loaf tin
  • Mix together the ground almonds, arrowroot powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda and mixed herbs
  • In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and apple cider vinegar
  • Add the grated courgette and cheese to the dry mixture and mix well
  • Add the egg mix to the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine
  • Pour the wet dough into the prepared loaf tin
  • Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top
  • Bake the bread for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire tray before slicing

It is delicious eaten while still warm with some butter but it can be eaten cold and also stored in the freezer.

 

 

 

Have you Heard of Bulletproof Coffee?

I wrote a previous blog with a recipe for my bulletproof coffee, have you tried it yet? If not, check out the short video below..it explains briefly the science behind it, as well as showing some clips of taste testing and celebrities who have become fans of their morning Bulletproof Coffee. There is now a Bulletproof Coffee House in the States, wish we had one here!

 

 

Swimming – Primal exercise

Many of us are now reverting to more “primal” ways of eating, turning the clock back and eating as our ancestors used to eat by following primal, paleo and ketogenic diets.

Image result for swimming

Exercise also plays in important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and there are many  conflicting views on the most beneficial way of achieving this. Should we be in the gym every day, lifting weights, running or swimming?

I have been reading various articles regarding a more primal approach to exercise. Our ancestors would be able to sprint when hunting or perhaps being chased by a predator, walk throughout the day and swim, again to hunt for valuable food sources and to keep clean. The thought is that we shouldn’t put too much stress and exertion on our bodies but be conscious to keep moving, be able to sprint on occasion and be able to lift heavy weights.

I have recently started to swim more regularly with this in mind, alongside some bodyweight exercises at home and walking the dog on a regular basis too. Occasionally I may go for a jog and incorporate some sprinting.

Swimming was an essential primal skill. Humans have always settled near rivers, lakes or sea so that they can hunt for one of their best food sources, swimming is therefore “in your blood”.

It places low stress on your body and is easy on the joints but working your entire body at the same time. Any type of exercise done in the water boosts the effect of increased blood flow to the brain. It builds lung capacity and is reported to sometimes be beneficial for asthma sufferers. In addition, cool water will burn more calories as the body tries to maintain its core temperature.

Personally I think it’s much nicer than sweating it out in the gym – it leaves you feeling refreshed and alert. Even if you can’t swim, don’t let that put you off – you could use a float in the swimming pool, go for a paddle in the sea, or maybe take an aquaerobics class.

Raspberry Fat Bombs

Fat Bomb.jpg

Fat Bombs – never heard of them?

If you follow a ketogenic diet then you definitely will have come across them. Basically they are a concentrated form of healthy fats that fill you up and help sustain you on a low-carb diet. A healthy dose of fat allows our bodies to absorb vitamins and nutrients from other foods. Usually made from a combination of ingredients such as butter, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, fat bombs were initially designed for those following the ketogenic diet although popularity is rising, especially amongst body builders and other low-carb dieters. Fat bombs are low carb, sugar free, gluten free, wheat free and nut free and yet provide you with a bundle of energy.

They are a great way of getting into ketosis quickly and a great snack pre or post exercise. You will find an abundance of recipes online – this morning I made a batch of raspberry fat bombs to keep handy in the freezer as I wanted to use up some of the berries that I have growing in the garden this summer.

They are very simple and quick to make. You can change the ingredients and use different berries, maybe add some lemon juice, you could add a teaspoon of Stevia if you would prefer something slightly sweeter, or maybe substitute the berries for coffee and cacao nibs for a richer flavour, the choices are endless!

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 60 ml melted coconut oil
  • 50 g fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 4 tablespoons of softened unsalted grass-fed butter
  • 30 ml double cream
  • 4 oz full fat cream cheese

Method:

  • melt the coconut oil (and berries if frozen) and stir in the softened butter
  • add the cream cheese and double cream
  • whisk until all ingredients are combined
  • pour into 6 individual dessert glasses (silicone muffin cases are good for this too)
  • put in the freezer or just leave in the fridge until cool and set

 

Easy Sugar Free Mousse

Sugar Free JellyI thought I would share my recipe for sugar free mousse with you. I adapted it slightly from a recipe that my mum used years ago when she was on a Weight Watchers diet. They used low fat fromage frais but, as this is full of sugar in itself, I swapped this for a much healthier and more satisfying full fat natural Greek yoghurt. I think it gives it a much creamier taste anyway.

It caters for many different diets including sugar free, gluten free, nut free, paleo and keto. As the recipe uses an egg white, it’s probably best that pregnant ladies avoid this though.

It’s so easy to make, you would hardly believe that something sugar free can taste so refreshing and delicious. You can choose the flavour of your choice by using a different jelly but I used strawberry for the ones in the photos. It’s nice to serve it in clear bowls or glasses as the mixture does separately slightly when setting in the fridge and creates layers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sachet sugar free jelly, any flavour
  • 250 g Natural Greek yoghurt – full fat
  • 1 egg white

Method:

  • Empty the jelly sachet into 1/4 pint of boiling water and stir until dissolved
  • Top this up to 1/2 pint with cold water
  • Beat an egg white until stiff
  • Add the Greek yoghurt to the jelly mixture (should make nearly 1 pint), give a good stir and pour into a bowl (don’t worry if there are some lumps at this stage)
  • Add the egg white to the jelly/yoghurt mixture and whisk it all together
  • Pour into individual bowls or one large jelly dish and put into the fridge to set
  • Eat as it is or add some fresh fruit/cream/crème fraiche!

 

 

Three Day Keto Fat Fast

Keto diet benefitsHaving drifted slightly from my routine ketogenic diet during my holiday and then struggling to get back into the swing of things, I decided to do a keto fat fast for 3 days to give my mind and body a kick start back to ketosis. I always feel so much healthier when I’m in ketosis, my IBS settles down and I no longer suffer from fatigue and the dreaded stomach bloating.

I’m not a qualified practitioner so would not encourage anyone to do this unless they had done their own research on the internet and checked with their doctor if necessary before-hand. I thought I’d just let you know a little bit about the keto fat fast and what it involves.

The keto fat fast is usually recommended only for those who are already used to a ketogenic or low carb diet and have perhaps hit a weight loss plateau or have “gone off the rails” slightly and need to reign it back in again. It can be a good way to get quickly into ketosis if you are looking at following a ketogenic or Atkins-style diet. It should not be done for more than 3 to 5 days though as you run the risk of getting into starvation mode, losing muscle and becoming deficient in essential nutrients.

keto pie chart

During a keto fat fast you need to stick to between 1000 and 1200 calories per day. This is achieved by splitting your food into the ratios as shown in the chart on the left. 75% of your calorie intake should be from fat, 20% from protein and the remaining 5% from carbohydrate.

There are, as always, some foods which are better than others for achieving these ratios and helping you to feel fuller for longer. It is not for the faint-hearted though as it is fairly restrictive. It is also not advisable to do any strenuous exercise during this time. It’s up to you how you tackle the meals – you could perhaps miss breakfast, you could have 4-5 small meals during the day or you could save your calories for 1 or 2 larger meals. It really is personal choice as you may need to fit this in around work, family meals etc.

To make life very simple, it’s definitely advisable to use My Fitness Pal to record all your entries. By weighing out and scanning your food you can quickly see how many calories you are consuming and track the ratios so that you can adjust these throughout the day as necessary.

Below is a list of foods recommended for a keto fat fast that I would normally use:

  • Macadamia nuts
  • Full fat cream cheese
  • Full fat mayonnaise
  • Double cream (heavy cream)
  • Sour cream
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Sugar-free jelly (you might need a treat!)

It’s not as bad as it sounds, you can actually come up with some quite inventive meals with the above list. Cream cheese pancakes and omelettes are very good choices. Just remember to be honest and weigh the foods or you may end up eating more than you think.

Most importantly, drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. You can of course drink as much black tea, black coffee or herbal tea as you like. Sugar-free jelly is a great treat for the evening with a little double cream.

I did my keto fat fast for three days on 1200 calories per day and my total weight loss was 2.2 kg. I am now following my ketogenic diet as normal using the ratios as above but have increased my calorie intake and list of foods.

 

Home-grown Summer Berries

Summer berries

The summer in Cornwall so far this year seems to have consisted mostly of wet, warm and humid days which, while it has produced some pretty amazing big and frizzy hair days for me, has also produced an abundance of summer berries in our garden.

I’m not particularly green-fingered so I was delighted to find myself picking a good amount of raspberries and blackcurrants daily. The blueberries aren’t quite ready yet but it looks like there will be a plentiful supply of those too very soon. There have been too many berries to eat fresh each day so I am stocking up the freezer so that we have a supply well into the autumn/winter. Great for those breakfasts with some greek yoghurt, seeds and nuts! They also taste particularly delicious served with a dollop of Cornish clotted cream…

Knowing that they have been grown organically in the garden so are as fresh as they come, these little berries are packed full of nutrition too.

Blackcurrants:

  • Extremely high in vitamin C – 100 g will provide you with 300% of the recommended daily amount! They are packed full with anti-oxidants.
  • They are a good source of B vitamins, containing the essential vitamin B1, B5 and B6.
  • Blackcurrants are packed with flavonoids and multiple minerals.
  • They provide a good amount of iron.

Raspberries:

  • Raspberries are high in fibre and vitamin C.
  • Research suggests that red raspberries could prevent cancer by inhibiting the abnormal division of cells and promoting normal healthy cells.
  • They are a rich source of flavonoids which is beneficial for heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and age-related decline.
  • Raspberry ketones are similar to capsacin (also found in red pepper) which is known to inhibit cancer cell growth.

 

 

 

 

Sugar and Cancer

Oncology Nutrition have published a very interesting document for cancer patients which highlights the detrimental effects of sugar on cancer. As well as perhaps being a potential causative factor, it has been proven that sugar has an effect on active cancer cells, giving them an energy source to survive.

There is mention in the document of research into the effects of a ketogenic diet for active cancer although there is still much research to be done in this field so the verdict  remains out for now, particularly as it can cause weight loss if you begin a ketogenic diet which is considered a negative effect for someone undergoing cancer therapy.

One thing that is very apparent  is that whether you are following a low carb, ketogenic or low fat diet, cutting out sugar and maintaining  a diet which minimises fluctuation in blood sugar levels is essential to avoid “feeding” those cancer cells.

Click on the link below to read the PDF file:

Sugar_and_Cancer-7.17.14

Another very good reason to cut out sugar from your diet?