Yoga + Nutrition Workshops

IMG_2678 IMG_2696Yoga + Nutrition Workshops

Once a month Camilla teams up with the talented Helen Bishop, a certified British Wheel of Yoga Instructor, to offer you a morning of Yoga + Nutrition at The Pump House. Helen will guide you through a dynamic 90-minute yoga flow focusing on specific areas of the body, energising, revitalising and reawakening every part of you, with time set aside to re-set, re-balance and redress the stresses of your busy week. This is followed by vibrant and engaging cooking demonstration in the beautiful industrial chic kitchen. Camilla incorporates healthy eating ideas with brilliant hints and tips for planning simple healthy menus for the whole family. She will demystify the latest super-food claims, as well as offering you the chance to sample a delicious healthy lunch. Come and join in; partake, share, eat, laugh and learn as in this informal and informative setting as Camilla cooks up a healthy feast. Scroll down for details of upcoming events.

The right kind of fibre

IMG_0859

These quinoa and sweet potato potato patties were so good. 2 sweet potatoes & 1 onion roasted in the oven, mixed with 2 cups of cooked quinoa, 2 tsp of ground cumin and 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, plus some chopped fresh herbs. Form the mixture into patties, I fried half in coconut oil and baked half in the oven and the baked ones were best, served with a beetroot and avocado salad. Get back in love with quinoa folks, these are super delicious.

The right kind of fibre is vital to our health, supporting digestion, slowing down the glycemic impact of carbohydrate foods, feeding the beneficial bacteria in our large intestine, regulating our bowels and helping to protect against chronic disease as well as helping to control weight.1

There are two types of fibre:

Soluble Fibre

(Fermentable Fibre)

Insoluble fibre
Legumes, such as lentils, beans, oats, fruits and vegetables, including chia seeds, flax seeds, oats, bananas, raspberries and green veg. including asparagus, Brussels sprouts, spring greens  Wheat, Corn, Whole meal bread, ready to eat cereals, brown rice, bran, nuts, seeds and non-starch veg.
Easily fermented by the beneficial bacteria in the gut, making this a PREBIOTIC food. Does not significantly bulk the stool. Absorbs water and acts as a stool bulking agent, passing waste more quickly through the digestive tract.
Helps to reduce risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and even some cancers. May reduce blood cholesterol and help support and maintain healthy weight loss. May help to prevent constipation.
Side effects may include bloating and gas, due to the fermentation in your colon so introduce slowly. May worsen symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Today I want to concentrate on Soluble Fibre, the really Important one. Soluble fibre is recognised for its important role in helping to support weight loss2. Firstly, soluble fibre, especially viscous fibre, (thick and gel-like once absorbed), is known to make us feel full for longer, thereby encouraging us to eat less. Secondly, the prebiotic role of soluble fibre, that is feeding and nourishing the gut microflora helps to control our hunger and satiety hormomes3. A healthy microflora is responsible for supporting our immune system, reducing the markers of chronic inflammation, known to be key indicators of obesity and disease and also manages the release of satiety hormone Leptin, which tells us when we are full3. Defective leptin signaling disrupts the maintenance of energy balance and body weight resulting in excessive calorie consumption and fat storage. That means, that it doesn’t matter how strong our willpower is, the brain will not receive a message that we don’t need to eat!!

It is really important, both for long term health outcomes and for the sustainability of healthy weight loss, to maintain our soluble fibre intake. If you are reducing your intake of carbohydrates including bread, pasta and rice, make sure you are obtaining adequate soluble fibre from legumes, oats, some fruit, woody veg. and nuts and seeds; here are some helpful ideas to keep you on track.

Adults recommended intake is 30g fibre per day:

(most of us manage about 15-20)

Here are a few examples of the fibre content of some common foods:

1 banana – 8g

1 cup of raspberries – 8g

1 Apple (skin on) – 2.5g

1 baked potato with skin – 6.5g

½ avocado – 6g

1 cup of oats – 17g

2 tbsp. of chia seeds = 11g

1 cup of lentils / kidney beans / black beans = 12-15g

1 cup quinoa = 5g

1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta = 6.3g

¼ cup of almonds = 4g

Many people turn to low carbohydrate diets in an attempt to lose weight. The concern with that is that you are not getting sufficient fibre in your diet unless you consciously consume high amounts of vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds and including high fibre ingredients such as oats, chia seeds, fruits and and leafy green veg.

Example of a fibre rich breakfast

1 banana, 1 apple, 1 cup of greens, 2 tbsp. of flaxseeds = ½ your daily fibre intake

1 chia pudding with 2 tbsp. of chia seeds and ½ cup of raspberries = ½ your daily fibre intake

1 cup of overnight oats with mixed fruit, nuts and seeds topping = ½ your daily fibre intake

Example of a fibre rich lunch / supper

Warm quinoa salad with baked sweet potato, avocado and a handful of chopped nuts = ½ your daily fibre intake

Lentil and vegetable soup with soluble fibre rich oatcakes (recipe below) = ½ your daily fibre intake

1McFarlane, S. McFarlane, G.T. and Cummings, J.H. (2006) Review Article: prebiotics in the gastrointestinal tract. Alimentary pharmacology and Therapeutics. 1(24), p.701-714.

2Guyenet, S.J. and Schwartz, M.W. (2012) Regulation of Food Intake, Energy Balance, and Body Fat Mass: Implications for the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Obesity. Clinical Review. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. 97(3), p.745-755.

3Sandoval, D. (2014) Old Dog, New Trick: A Direct Role for Leptin in Regulating Microbiota Composition. Endocrinology. 155(3), p.653-655

The F Word

Omega – 3 – An Essential Contribution

IMG_1795

Is it too soon to use the F-Word? Fats, that is? This month, specifically, I would like to talk about the role of Essential Fatty Acids, Omega-6 and Omega-3, which we obtain from the healthy fats included in our diet.

Last month we looked at the importance of the bodys’ immune response and the role of inflammation in health and disease. We focused on foods, which are anti-inflammatory, the polyphenols in turmeric, berries, green tea and cacao, the importance of a diet high in fibre (low in gluten) and the need for increased levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. This month I want to highlight some of the ways we can consciously increase the amount of Omega-3 in our diets and some of the reasons why our health will benefit from doing so.

WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS?

During digestion the body breaks down the fats that we eat into fatty acids, which may then be absorbed into the bloodstream to be used as energy storage as well as for the production of many other compounds in the body. There are 3 types of fatty acid, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) comprise the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which cannot be synthesized by the body itself and must therefore be obtained exclusively from our diets. Hence why we call them Essential.

WHAT ROLE DO ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS PLAY IN OUR BODIES? WHY ARE THEY ESSENTIAL?

There are 2 main EFAs; Linoleic Acid (LA) known as Omega-6 and Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) known as Omega-3. Each are essential for health (in the right proportion) and each are required for key processes in the body; As we eat, we initiate a chain reaction. We digest and degrade the LA and ALA, from which the body synthesises new compounds, called AA, EPA and DHA. It is these compounds, which make the eicosanoids, essential to many functions in the body. Think of eicosanoids as an urban traffic light network, a sat. nav. system and highways maintenance manager all rolled into one, negotiating the ebb and flow of traffic causing the least disruption possible. A well-functioning command centre causes sunshine and happiness, but a malfunctioning one may cause gridlock and pileups.  It is the same in the body, with the need to orchestrate functions optimally via the chemical signaling system known as hormones.

  • EFAs are essential for the production of eicosanoids; these chemical messengers (hormones) that send signals around the body telling it when to mount an immune/inflammation response, signaling pain or managing blood pressure. Eicosanoids are integral to functions as diverse as blood clotting, brain function, the inflammation response, the induction of labour and the production of pain and fever.
  • EFAs maintain the structure and fluidity of cell membranes, gene expression and signaling within and between the cells protecting against the onset of a variety of chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, inflammatory and neurological diseases (Sampath et al. 2004).
  • EFAs help to limit cognitive decline as we age.

.

ARE WE CURRENTLY GETTING ENOUGH ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS IN OUR DIETS?

Omega-6 and Omega-3 intake is especially vital at key stages in the human life cycle; infancy, pregnancy and lactation. The Linus Pauling Institute (2012) states that it is the ratio intake of Omega-6 to Omega-3 that is important and that current ratios of approx. 15:1 are far higher than the 5:1 ratio found in breast milk and the ratio of 1:1 that has been estimated in the diet of early humans. Early human diets comprised mainly wild meat, fish, plenty of vegetables and some nuts and seeds. By comparison, the standard Western diet of today is high in vegetable oils and relatively low in dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and oily fish. This startling ratio difference, from 1:1 to 15:1 is often cited as a contributory factor in the increased risk for cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders including dementia and Alzheimer’s (Kalmijin et al. 1997), (Morris et al. 2003). Key to this ratio increase is the increase in processed vegetable oil consumption and the grain-fed diet of much of the livestock we consume.

If I can use another analogy, “Fish and Chips”, only for the purposes of this exercise let’s call them “Chips (Omega-6) and Fish (Omega-3)” and now visualise a plate with the ratio of Chips to Fish standing at about 15:1. You can start to see where the problem lies.

 Start adding in the cakes and bakes, the ready-meals and chocolate bars, the crisps and the take-aways made with vegetable oils and it is easy to see we are nation of Omega-6 junkies. This increase in Omega-6 consumption to the detriment of Omega-3 gives rise to an increase in inflammatory diseases and is a trend reversible by diet.

 

SO WHAT SHOULD WE BE EATING?

Current WHO recommendations suggest minimum requirements of 2% of daily energy intake for Omega-6 and 0.5% from Omega-3. But what does this actually look like? As a rough guide, 2 – 3 servings of oily fish per week should do it, providing approximately 400-500mg EPA + DHA.* Vegetarians and vegans should be consuming flaxseeds (2 tbsp / day) or walnuts (1/4 cup / day) as well as a plentiful supply of dark green leafy vegetables and some berries to meet their Dietary Reference Intakes. Vegans and some vegetarians are recommended to speak with their healthcare practitioner regarding Omega-3 supplementation.

OILY FISHIMG_0639

Our week at home starts with ‘Mackerel Monday’ (weird, I know), a delicious breakfast of tinned mackerel on toast; try it, it’s surprisingly tasty. I buy mackerel fillets in spring water, drain and serve on Gluten Free toast with chopped cherry tomatoes. Salmon once or twice a week is easy for many; I added a recipe for salmon with turmeric and black pepper on the Nutrition Forum last month and will be posting more and please share your ideas there too. My favourite way with salmon is to get a handful of nuts, and handful of herbs and a tsp of spice/citrus and put it all in blender to make a crumb, this keeps the fish from drying out whist baking and also adds texture and flavor. Examples might include;

  • almonds and coriander with a grating of lemon rind ORProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset
  • pistachios and parsley with a pinch of harissa, OR
  • crunched up nori sheets (the seaweed sheets you eat as sushi), crumpled with some sesame seeds & a squeeze of lime…

the options are endless and entirely interchangeable. Smoked mackerel fillets are also easy to buy and store in the fridge and make a great simple mackerel pate forked through with a tbsp. of sour cream and a squeeze of lemon, served on oat cakes for lunch. Tuna is another excellent source of Omega-3.

*Pregnant women should avoid fish that typically have higher levels of methylmercury (shark, swordfish, king mackerel and albercore tuna).FLAXSEEDS

The richest dietary source of Omega-3 comes from flaxseeds however, so for those of you who are vegetarian, or who are simply not fans of oily fish, then these 2 simple flaxseed recipes can easily be incorporated into your weekly diet. Walnuts are also an excellent source of Omega-3s so be sure to have a few walnuts either as a snack on their own or sprinkled over salads.

 

Flaxseed and carrot crackers

(recipe @hemsleyhemsley )

IMG_6755I

Ingredients

1 large carrot; peeled and chopped

100g ground almonds

100g flaxseeds

1tsp raw

1/4tsp chilli flakes

Method

Mix all the ingredients together in your food processor until they form a dough • roll out to cracker depth between 2 sheets of baking paper (so that the sticky dough doesn’t stick to your rolling pin) • remove the top piece of baking paper and bake for 10-12 in a moderately hot oven (190) and then leave to cool •if the middle crackers are still soft, cut them up and put them back in the oven for a further 5 mins) once cool I break off into pieces and store in an airtight tin • delicious with dips, for breakfast and just as a simple anti-inflammatory boost during the day ?

 

IMG_6765

 

 

 

Chia and Flaxseed Porridge

IngredientsProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

1 tbsp of golden flaxseeds

1 tbsp of chia seeds

1 tbsp of coconut flakes

1 cup of almond milk

Method

Options to add on top:

More chopped nuts

Frozen berriesIMG_9178

Cacao nibs

Cinnamon

Grated Apple

 

Soak the flaxseeds and chia overnight in a bowl with the almond milk and coconut flakes. By morning your chia will have swelled in size and you will have a thick creamy porridge, you can warm this or eat it cold, ready to add with your favourite toppings. I love chocolatey cacao nibs and a grated apple, with a few berries. If you like a sweeter breakfast a dash of maple syrup of simply add a tsp of cinnamon.

================================================================================

References

Kalmijin, S., Launer, L.J., Ott, A., Wittemna, J.C., Hofman, A. and Breteler, M.M (1997) Dietary fat intake and the risk of incident dementia in the Rotterdam Study. Annals of Neurology. 42(5), p.776-782.

Linus Pauling Institute (2014) Essential Fatty Acids [Online]. Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids#intake-recommendations [Accessed: 23 November 2016].

Morris, M.C., Evans, D.A., Bienias, J.L., Tangney, C.C., Bennett, D.A>, Wilson R.S., Aggarwal, N. and Schneider, J. (2003) Consumption of Fish and n-3 fatty acids and risk of incident Alzheimer Disease. Archinves of Neurology. 60(7), p.940-946.

Sampath, H and Ntambi, J.M. (2004) Polyunsaturated fatty acid regulation of gene expression. Nutrition Review. 62(9), p.333-339.

Christmas pick’n’mix

img_0686Blueberry muffins • recipe from Gail’s bakery • blimey, the last few days have been such a blur that I am revisiting a special day last week before it disappears from my mind under feuilletines of wrapping paper • [also needing to move along from that rather toxic post-Christmas analysis whereby I morbidly dissect all the less than perfect elements of a day built up to so impossibly perfect that these little flavourings of spice and spike ought rather to be considered enlivening to an otherwise overwhelmingly saccharine festival] • but back to the real joy • we celebrate Garrys birthday on the 22nd December, perfect for falling always after the children have finished school and with every excuse to blow out and do something extravagant as a family, a show, a restaurant, a night away, reflecting now as I write I think it’s one of our best days of the year • I was a bit worried I might not be up for it all this year having only had my operation the week before but it was exactly the motivation I needed to get me up and out • we booked a barge through airb’n’b, which for one nights stay and a family of 5 was so utterly cool [well 4 of us thought so, one left his sea legs at home but we’ll be laughing about that in years to come], we went and saw Stomp, which was fun, noisy, not too long, and then took the kids to Benihamas for a bit of knife wielding, flame throwing artistry [although the food was nothing’s like as good as I remember … getting old] • just one of those really fab kind of days • seeing all the Christmas lights and generally soaking up the exuberance and effervescence • we slept on our barge waking up to the unfamiliar rocking and creaking of the boat [one still desperate to have his feet back on dry land] so we set off for brunch and a sleepy morning start to our day • first stop Gails bakery in Battersea square • sublime cinnamon buns, take home mince pies, sourdough and cranberry twists, steaming hot coffees and I came away with the beautiful cookbook inspired to recreate at home • these were my blueberry muffins (didn’t quite have the right muffin tins so the shape is more cupcake but the flavour was sublime] • now that we had had our shot of post-sleep ‘sweet and caffeinated’ we headed back across London to Garry’s favourite brunch haunt at La Lantana, a tiny café tucked behind Charlotte Street serving the freshest, tastiest artisan brunch, duck hash, detox smoothie, the kids had mouthwatering hot chocolates and freshly squeezed orange juice but best of all we got to share, with Garry, a secret haunt, to share, with the kids the thrill of perfect ingredients, freshly cooked, I go home reinspired by how good food can make you feel: flavour, flair, community, love • 20 years ago it was the feeling you got when you walked into a great bar with all your mates and you knew it was going to be an epic night • with even more excitement today it is sharing little foodie pockets of heaven with the family, being relaxed to have the time to be present in that moment, anticipating the days ahead and feeling the spirit of togetherness around a table of incredible food • so this is my reflection after Christmas, the very best bits aren’t always the obvious moments and the very worst bits don’t have to overshadow the whole • it is the balance of all these flavours that makes for a happy holidays

Pomegranate, Pepper and Quinoa Tabbouleh

img_0147Quinoa, Red Pepper and Pomegranate Tabbouleh
Here is a fantastic quinoa salad to have on hand over Christmas, beautiful rich twinkling colours, full of antioxidant-dense nutrients (read on for more on that…) from the pomegranates and of course the protein packed quinoa, which helps balance blood sugar levels keeping you feeling full but not lethargic… sounds just about the perfect salad doesn’t it?

 

Ingredients
———–
250g quinoa (I used the mixed reds, blacks and white)
2 red peppers
1 yellow pepper
(1 garlic clove and a sprig of thyme to roast with the peppers)
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 fresh pomegranates (or 2 tubs of pomegranate seeds)
Coriander
Pre heat your oven (and roasting tray) to about 200^ for roasting the peppers.
Method
——–
Bring the quinoa to the boil in a pan of cold water and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked but still retains some bite.
Drain and set aside to cool.
While the quinoa is cooking, place your peppers in your preheated roasting tray with a couple of tbsp. of olive oil, an unpeeled clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme. Roast until the peppers are softened but still retains some bite, 10 minutes or so.
Discard the garlic and thyme but keep the lovely scented oil.
Add the peppers and the garlic/thyme scented oil to the drained cooled quinoa.
Add the pomegranate seeds
Add a handful of fresh chopped coriander
Toss everything together with your hands, the olive oil from the peppers and the fresh pop-tang-kapow from the pomegranates serves as a dressing by itself, you can of course season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
This would be perfect served with cooked ham or leftover turkey on boxing day and I’m just going to put it out there now that I will be serving this on Christmas day itself, so pretty will it look on the table! So road test this now guys and let me know what you think!
Potent Health Benefits of Pomegranates
—————————————-
Pomegranates are in season at this time of year although you can of course also buy the little packs of seeds. To get the seeds out of a fresh pomegranate, cut it in half, lightly pull the bowl shaped halves apart a little, cracking them softly to release the seeds from the claws of the pith and then turn the pomegranate-half upside-down over a large bowl and tap, hard, with a wooden spoon, watching the seeds come tumbling out!
Pomegranates have got to be up there as one of the original Superfoods. And don’t just take my word for it, research Reviews espouse the potent antioxidant benefits of pomegranates for the prevention of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, reduction of oxidative stress, hyperglycaemia and inflammation markers and for the prevention and treatment of several cancers (Zarfeshaney et al. 2010). Greater in anti-oxidant activity than either Green Tea or Red wine,(both of which I’m certain will also feature over the Christmas period)! pomegranates are rich in anthocyanins and will make for a really beneficial addition to your diet at this time of year. Clink on the link below for more information on the cited article.
*As always with the potent superfoods, be aware of contra-indications with certain medications includingWarfarin and ACE inhibitors where it may have additive effects.
Zarfeshaney et al. (2014) Potent health effects of pomegranate. [Online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/ [Accessed: 25 Nov 2016].

Protein Brunches

img_1375 I wanted to share a few pretty plates of brunch. I’ve been going to the gym a bit more of late, probably because  I am thrilled and delighted to have been asked to help develop the Nutrition programme at my Crossfit box. For those of you unfamiliar with Crossfit, it is a crazy mix of cardio, strength and agility training, every day a surprise to keep your mind and body on its toes, but best of all, it treats each and every participant as an INDIVIDUAL, every movement can be scaled, our greatest competition is ourselves and this crosses over into every aspect of a healthy lifestyle; Healthy nutrition and a positive mindset being as important as the hours spent exercising. This level of challenge and achievement encourages me to aspire higher, in just about every aspect of img_1397my life! I have pushed myself this year in ways I never imagined possible. but back to the food xx these plates represent exactly what I want to eat for brunch when I get back from a work out; protein from eggs, goats cheese or salmon, be that baked or smoked (and folks, this is always taken straight from the fridge’ i.e. I will have pre prepped my salmon the night before saving leftovers for breakfast), always married with some healthy fats from avocado, nuts and seeds and a delicious smattering of fresh leaves and herbs. It probably sounds extraordinary to anyone enjoying a sweet palate of toast or cereals for breakfast but after such a short while, this is the food my body craves the most ?

 

img_1423

Smoked Salmon with avocado, goats cheese and a carrot, coraiander and sesame side salad

Raw Rainbow Salad

Raw Rainbow Slaw: Quite a few of you have been chatting to me about planning ahead and needing to be prepared in order to make good food choices; rather than opening the fridge… starving hungry… no idea what to eat or make & then having (pack of) biscuits or a sandwich instead…. ring a bell?img_2356
So we are going to be addressing this a lot more in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, but for now, one fantastic recipe to ensure that you have a Kick-Ass supply of super healthy veg to hand is to put 15 minutes aside to prepare this raw rainbow slaw. I use a Julienne grater, which makes fine matchstick slivers, (see pic) but you could just use an ordinary potato peeler or some super knife skills… you want to slice up any preferred combination of the following… just do add the apple and DONT add the Helmans!
img_0504
raw beetroot,
raw parsnip,
raw carrot, img_0669
raw fennel,
raw apple,
raw cabbage,
raw celeriac,
raw radish… and mix it all together in a large bowl.
Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon (stops the apple going brown),
a slug of olive oil,
lots of fresh chopped coriander
and a sprinkle of toasted seeds to serve….
Make sure you make a massive bowl, as this will keep really well in the fridge for 2 or 3 days. Its great for breakfast with an omelette, on its own for lunch, maybe sprinkle over some grumbled goats cheese, as a hearty side salad with roast chicken or salmon… Just make it.. then next time you are starving and open the fridge…ta-dah… something healthy delicious to ensure you make a great meal choice x Let me know what you think?

img_0433

TIP: if you have youngish children, recruit them to help you peel the veg, selecting their favourites… start with just the raw carrot at first… and sprinkle over your seeds… if you can get children confident to recognise and try new dishes you can then introduce something new, like raw parsnip.. even sweeter than carrots, or some peppers, until before long this is a dish they recognise, are familiar and confident with and you can serve up for all the family. Maybe try it this weekend as an alternative to baking cakes with children ( I was definitely guilty this for a long time)… Emboldened, my 6 year old twin boys, let loose with a sharp knife and a peeler (perhaps a potato peeler not the julienne slicer!!!!) just love it for the sheer danger factor!

img_0478

I use this Julienne Slicer, with the little sharp teeth. Its made by OXO Grips and costs less than £10:00 on Amazon (not sponsored by the way… I just know you can get bigger, swankier ones, but this lives in my cutlery drawer and is the simplest thing to use… just watch your fingers!

Asian inspired vegetable soup

img_0718

Small bowls big flavours

This was a nourishing bowl of restorative warmth this weekend. Two of the three children came down with a sickness bug from school and had mini appetites and no colour in their cheeks, the weather was cold and wet and I needed something quick and tasty. Coconut milk is such a great base for autumn soups, sweet and filling it pairs well with root vegetables for a delicious instant pick-me-up.

 

Ingredients

2 leeks

3 carrots

1/2 head Chinese cabbage leaf

1 tsp celery salt

1 400ml can fill fat coconut milk

1 tbsp nam pla fish saice

1 tbsp of tamari GF soy sauce

Kefir lime leaves (optional)

 

Method

 

take a large stainless steel pan & simmer the leeks, carrots and cabbage in a tablespoon of coconut oil with 1tsp of celery salt added until the veg are sweet and translucent (approx 10 mins)

add the tin of coconut milk plus then half full the emptied tin with tap water and add also to the pan, add the nam pla fish sauce and soy sauce and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes until the carrots are tender

blitz in a blender until smooth and creamy and serve with fresh coriander

 

you can substitute many autumn veg, butternut squash or sweet potato would be equally delicious

 

we served this is tiny  bowls as it was all my patients fancied but I love that they were nourished ?

 

 

 

Raspberry Chia Preserve

IMG_0104.JPG Raspberry Chia Preserve

As summer heat lingers at the cusp of autumn my cooking becomes more of a hybrid of two things merging together and todays post is exactly that. A farewell to summer as we welcome in the fall. Did you know that fall was originally an English term for autumn, short for the ‘fall of the leaf’, which was adopted by the Americans and has now pretty much taken up home over there. As I write and ponder its original meaning, it is rather whimsical. The last of the late summer raspberries, which we picked locally at Ladysden Farm over the school holidays have been frozen and stored in small handy bags in the freezer. For much of the past few weeks, they have been blitzed into smoothies and ice lollies but now is the time for something more gentle and autumnal and this nutritious preserve is just the thing. Stirred through warm porridge for breakfast, it provides plenty of punchy energy with the addition of Omega-3 dense chia seeds and a little hint of sweetness for the subtle warding off of early autumn sniffles with a soft hint of honey. Added to a warm creamy bowl of porridge, this tastes like a friendly bear hug on these colder crisp mornings. The method is simple and the preserve can be made in precisely the time that the porridge takes to cook. Now that’s my kind of cooking.

Method:

1 cupful of raspberries (straight from frozen is fine)

1/2 cupful of water

1 tablespoonful of chia seeds

1 tablespoonful of honey (raw is nice)

Add all your ingredients to a small pan and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes. The chia seeds have an incredible mucilage capacity, swelling up to 20 times their dry weight, forming a gel like texture, which ‘sets’ your preserve as it cools.

Mix and match any berries you have to hand, blueberries, blackberries all would be good.

As there is no sugar in your preserve, it will not keep for long, perhaps about 5 days in an airtight jar in the fridge. Stir through natural yogurt for a quick snack or pudding, spread generously over pancakes for a weekend brunch or make an Indian Summer Victoria Sponge with Raspberry Chia Preserve. A sweet and thankful reminder of the harvest.

Antioxidant Cacao

IMG_0771.JPGThis was just a lovely spontaneous bit of fun this morning, when Isabel announced to me over the breakfast table, that as part of her rainforest project, she should like to take some raw cacao into school…. Well, you can only imagine the speed at which I leapt off my bar stool and whizzed into action; cacao nibs, raw cacao, cocoa powder… and a little print out on the PC for her to share with the class. So I thought I would share it here (she is 8, so it is targeted at Year 3). Her lovely teacher has also said I can go in to school at the end of the term and make the kids some raw cacao brownies to try… so here is the 5 minute homework project attached – I really would LOVE to go back to school:

Above is my breakfast bowl of overnight soaked oats in unsweetened Alpo Almond Milk with ground almonds, cacao nibs, blueberries and some mixed seeds.

Cacao is the name of the tree and cocoa is the product, which is made from it.

The cacao pod and the beans inside can be made into several products, cocoa powder, cocoa butter or chocolate and it goes through several PROCESSES to get there.

These (shown to the class in a little pot) are raw cacao nibs, the UNPROCESSED part of the bean, that have simply been chopped up into small pieces – the taste is quite bitter and they are tasty sprinkled over breakfast cereals or put into brownies – but they are not sweet like chocolate chips!

Cacao is very healthy for you. It is full of ANTIOXIDANTS which help the body to fend off toxins which can make us sick. Toxins are things like car fumes, plastics, pollution and pesticides on our food, which all enter the body in day to day life.

Raw cacao contains many more ANTIOXIDANTS than dark chocolate and 20 times the amount of ANTIOXIDANTS found in blueberries.

So this means we can eat load of chocolate, Right????

Wrong!

Most chocolate that you buy from the supermarket has been mixed together with lots of sugar and oils to make it sweet. In fact the addition of all these fats and sugars actually block any of the remaining ANTIOXIDANTS that are left in the chocolate.

Raw cacao is a health food product and as well as being bitter it is also quite expensive to buy. But did you know that you can also buy unsweetened COCOA powder?

Although cocoa powder has been processed (it has been heated up and ground to a powder), it still contains a surprisingly high amount of ANTIOXIDANTS.

So next time you want a hot chocolate milk drink, look for one like Bourneville Cocoa Powder or Green & Blacks Unsweetened cocoa and add it to a cup of warm milk with NO added sugar and you might be surprised how delicious it is.

Fighting Inflammation with nutrition

I am just back from the most amazing week away over half term and I am dying to fill you in with some of the foods I ate (and cooked) while I was away, but I am having to sit patiently, waiting for the shop to arrive so that I have the right ingredients to hand… x

IMG_8915

So in the meantime, a thought-provoker for you is the topic of Inflammation and an explanation of the role of Polyphenols • Inflammation is the body’s means of self protection. Inflammation can be acute and sudden, caused by an injury for example, or it may be chronic, that is to say long term and grievous, acting as a precursor to many disease states.IMG_8816

Inflammation in health and disease

Inflammatory foods
——————–

• Foods high in animal fat (think red meats, cheese, processed meats of any kind including ham, bacon, sausages)
• A high intake of salt and sugar,
• Fried foods,
• Diets generally low fibre

These foods all activate the transcription factors involved in inflammation, these are the genes that switch a cells’ activity potential either on or off •these foods also induce an imbalance of your gut microflora causing DYSBIOSIS (an over-accumulation of bad bacteria) and prevent the breakdown of food molecules to release energy •

Anti-inflammatory Foods
————————–

To improve the mechanisms by which the body converts food into energy and to reduce inflammation you need a diet containing:
• foods rich in Polyphenols (including flavanoids and non-flavanoids) (namely Reservatrol, Quercetin and Curcumin),
• foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids,
• foods high in fibre and
• a commitment to regular physical excercise

foods in this group include

• Reservatrol: pistachios, grapes, red & white wine, blueberries, cranberries and dark chocolate and cocoa
• Quercetin: citrus fruits, apples, onions, parsley, sage, tea, olive oil and dark berries
• Curcumin: Turmeric, you can now buy this fresh from supermarkets looks like ginger, so get adding this magic spice to your curries
• omega-3: your oily fish, mackerel, sardines, salmon and also flax seeds, walnuts and soybeans
• High in fibre: trying to avoid wheat as much as possible, alternatives include oats, dried fruits and almost all fresh fruits especially apples and pears; black beans, chickpeas, avocado (around 10g in a whole avocado ?) brown rice. Raspberries are fibre rich and also full of Polyphenols (these are great bought frozen and added to a flaxseed or oatmeal porridge for brekkie). Think also peas, broccoli and almonds •

So start thinking of your meals as an opportunity to support your athleticism, to reduce inflammation and speed up recovery after excercise.

Thinking about what you eat in this way
changes the perception of “treat” foods from something that harms to something that heals ?

Wishing you all a lovely sunny day
Camilla xx

Thank you to Annie Faith for inspiring this post • as a personal trainer she has been an invaluable encouragement both to getting me exercising more and also to making me think about food and exercise as a complement to one another, work and recovery, risk and reward ? treats and endeavours, inflammation and health .

===================================================================

Fresh Turmeric, carrot & sweet potato soup •

Anti-Inflammatory, Antioxidant-rich

Fresh Turmeric • finally this beautiful root spice is readily available in UK supermarkets • OK, so it has been in London for a while, but not out here in the sticks ? • fresh turmeric has a more subtle and earthy note than its dried cousin and it packs a serious nutritional punch • you can see from the pic that it is a member of the ginger family, and the vibrant yellow pigment, curcumin, has significant anti-inflammatory properties • today I have grated some into a soup with garlic, ginger, sweet potato, carrots and a slow cooked chicken broth for a healing, Vitamin C rich nectar for my little patients • some studies have shown the anti inflammatory effects of curcumin to be comparable with drugs such as Nurofen • based on how many bottles of Calpol I have ploughed through in the last week, this feels like welcome progress • equally delicious added to curries or grated into smoothies with nut milks and dates •
• soup recipe •

1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh turmeric root – a good thumb sized piece
1 good thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
4 carrots
2 sweet potatoes
500 ml home made chicken stock/bone broth
1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses
1 large pinch of sumach
Peel and chop the onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Add to a large saucepan with a good tablespoon of coconut oil and sweat over a low heat (3) for approx 10 minutes with the lid on • this will make the onion and spices translucent, sweet and richly aromatic • the kitchen will smell amazing already • add the peeled chopped carrots and sweet potatoes, the bone broth and a tbsp of pomegranate molasses for a hit of sweet smoky ahhhhh • add a pinch of sumach if you have some for a Middle Eastern depth of flavour • simmer for 40 mins until the veggies are soft and then blend in a powerful blender until creamy smooth • serve with a sprinkling of chopped coriander and feel your body oozing gratitude

=====================================================================

Asian-infused Bone Broth •

IMG_8530(this could also be called How to make Bone Broth deliciously palatable when your body most needs it and least feels like cooking) • this post had a definite ulterior motive as I was struggling with a stinking head cold and feeling generally useless • You know how amazingly nourishing bone broth is for you don’t you? It is the ultimate super food, the one my mama always called chicken stock, that she simmered up after Sunday Lunch • so good for us it’s known as Grandmas Penecillin • but have you ever tried drinking a mug of neat chicken stock, even when it’s been lovingly simmered with a dash of apple cider vinegar for maximum nutrients, an onion, a carrot, a celery stalk and some bay leaves (CLUE ?) • on its own it’s pretty bad, BUT funnily enough when I have a head full of cold nor could I bear to start making a soup from it; frying onions, chopping veg, blending, seasoning etc • so here is my go to recipe for instant no-cook Asian-infused bone broth for assisting the body fight colds, flus and general inflammation •
I am assuming there is stock in the freezer • if you don’t make stock, please give it a go after your next roast chicken and every other roast chicken after that, you will never look back ? • you can buy fresh stock but that implies you have a capable other who can do that for you right now, while you slouch around in your pyjamas •
1 litre fresh chicken stock (hopefully from the fridge or freezer)
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp nam pla fish sauce
Chopped coriander
First heat your chicken stock through in a pan, it is the unctuous gelatin leached from the chicken bones during slow simmering, which contains the mineral rich immune supporting benefits of stock • add the grated ginger, tamari, sesame oil and nam pla and simmer just for 3 or 4 minutes to infuse flavour • add fresh chopped coriander and serve • this Asian infused broth is the most delicious nectar, deep and flavoursome, rich and pungent and just exactly what you fancy when your head feels ready to explode • it serves just as well as a simple lunch, a weekday supper and when you have the inclination you can jazz it up with julienne carrots, shiitake mushrooms, soba noodles etc •
Ginger is also excellent to drink sliced fresh into boiling water with fresh lemon slice when you have a cold • the ginger is diaphoretic, meaning that it warms you from the inside, further assisting the body to eliminate the virus through sweating •
Unlike over-the-counter remedies for colds, which suppress symptoms, natural remedies such as bone broth, ginger, garlic, Vitamin C and echinacea support the bodies natural immunity, speeding up the recovery time, though not necessarily alleviating the “symptoms” • so if you can, rest, don’t fight it, sleep as much as you can and Get Well Soon xx

=======================================================================

Gentle Ginger and Turmeric Curry

IMG_8255

Everyday Delicious • I love thinking about the ingredients that sustain and nourish us and combining superstar ingredients into a family one pot meal • this is a healing, immune boosting anti inflammatory curry that follows no particular recipe but is a favourite of adults and children alike • it appears at least once a week on our menu and the vegetables are interchangeable at leisure by season • as pictured it goes like this •

 

Gentle Ginger and Turmeric Curry

An onion
A garlic clove
A thumb of ginger
A thumb of fresh turmeric
A tsp of black mustard seeds
A tsp ground coriander
A tsp of ground cumin

This is my absolute starter kit for a home cooked curry • there is no real heat otherwise the children don’t like it • the flavour is the depth of garlic, sweet onion and dried spices • the anti inflammatory healing comes from ginger, turmeric, garlic • ginger and garlic both support Immune function • this is a serious treasure trove of goodness • IMG_8244
You can chop/grate and simmer all those ingredients but for speed I often chuck them all in the blender, pulse and then add to the pan and simmer slowly for 15 minutes till soft and sweet, not browned • •Veg including your choice of sweet potatoes, butternut squash, aubergine, courgette, potatoes, fennel, tomatoes
•Cooking Liquor such as coconut milk or tinned tomatoes /passata
•Fresh green veg such as kale, cabbage, spinach, broccoli (these stems lightly at the end)
•Fresh chopped herbs (basil, coriander, mint, parsley)

Method • I add chopped veg, here butternut squash and sweet potato • my liquor, here a tin of coconut milk, but can be a tin of tomatoes / jar of passata • and simmer til veg are soft ((20 mins) • in the last 3 mins I add huge handfuls of kale / spinach / peas and just let them wilt in the steam on top of the curry with the kid on the pan • take off the heat, stir, add chopped fresh herbs and serve • we don’t add rice as there is carbohydrate from the roasted veg but simply serve in bowls •

=======================================================================

Kale & Mango Curry

 

HEAL • Inflammation busting kale & mango curry • Family Favourite •

This is my weekly food hero family curry with yet another seasonal twist • the addition of the sweet mango against the darker bitter Kale is irresistible •

Those of you who have followed along for a while will know I cook a lot of anti-inflammatory foods • for one my husband has a flaring inflammatory condition so it’s great for him generally, and secondly we all do a lot of sport, one thing we try to help prevent against is injury, those little niggles, the aches and pains, and I’m a totally believer that increasing the ginger,’turmeric, garlic in your diet goes a long way to helping the body perform optimally for longer ? Spectacles off ••• it’s also damn delicious! So here’s the recipe •

Spring kale, courgette & mango Curry

An onion
A garlic clove
A thumb of ginger
A thumb of fresh turmeric
A tsp of black mustard seeds
A tsp ground coriander
A tsp of ground cumin

This is my foolproof starter kit for a home cooked curry • there is no real heat otherwise the children don’t like it • (and trust me they would NEVER normally eat courgettes except like this ?) the flavour comes from the depth of garlic, sweet onion and dried spices • the anti inflammatory healing comes from ginger, turmeric, garlic • ginger and garlic both support Immune function • this is a serious treasure trove of goodness •
You can chop/grate and simmer all those ingredients but for speed I often chuck them all in the blender, pulse and then add to the pan and simmer slowly for 15 minutes till soft and sweet, not browned •
Next • Add 3 large handfuls of fresh chopped kale and 2 chopped courgettes to the pan with a tin of full fat coconut milk and simmer for approx 3 to 5 minutes • take off the heat, stir, add chopped fresh coriander and chopped dried mango to serve • today this is served with rices cauliflower gently steamed with some desiccated unsweetened coconut • the sun is shining and this is the perfect tropical welcome to a week of warmth ☀️

 

Banana Ice Cream Pudding

The sun is shining, I only want the kids outside, this is the best quick summer pudding I know. Just before I went to collect them from school I prepped the bananas and this pudding was ready in 5 minutes by 6pm.

Peel 4 or 5 bananas and put them in a tub into the freezer – for as little as 2 hours (for a milk shake) or anywhere up to a couple of weeks.

IMG_0164

When you re ready to make your ice cream, take your frozen bananas out of the freezer and place them in a powerful blender with a dash of almond milk (or whatever milk you enjoy to drink at home) and a few nuts; here I have added pecans. The nuts add some protein, which helps dampen the glycemic impact of all that sweet banana.

IMG_0165

Blitz and serve in either bowls or a glass; I added a sprig of rosemary to make it look pretty, because it looked a little pale without, but I can tell you that banana and rosemary is rather nice! I didn’t blend the rosemary into the banana, it just sat daintily in the glass 🙂

You can see that my bananas weren’t too frozen, so this became more of a glorious milk shake than a true ice cream – but oh my, its seriously just as delicious!