Tag Archives: eat

Smoothie Bowl

www.talktherapies.co.uk

Have you seen the brightest new kid on the block?

Smoothie bowls have arrived!

If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll know I’m a big believer in food as medicine and the new trend of Smoothie Bowls is a fantastic way to take your medicine.

Different colour foods contain different nutrients and the deeper the colour the richer the source.

Not only that, but these delicious, healthy bowls are definitely instagram ready!

Personally I have the artistic flair of a dead slug, but even I can make one of these look reasonably attractive.

Choose brightly coloured fruits, nuts and seeds on a naturally coloured smoothie of your choice – from vibrant beetroot to cool blueberry, the rainbow is yours to play with. And if you want to go pastel, try freezing the fruit. You can even bejewel your creation with pomegranate seeds, redcurrants or citrus segments.

I’ve added a couple of my latest pics, but I’d love to see yours if you give them a go.

www.talktherapies.co.uk

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Eat more to lose weight

Recently I seem to have a lot of people telling me they can’t lose weight because they aren’t eating enough.

I don’t buy it.

There is a very simple equation when it comes to losing weight. If you put more in than you are using, you put on weight. If you put the same amount in as you are using, you stay the same. If you put less in than you are using, you lose weight.

OK, I accept that if you are doing a lot of training and building muscle, then that can go a little awry as muscle weighs more than fat, but in that case you will still be losing fat, even if you are not losing weight.

So what’s going on? Are people just in denial? Are they lying to me? Are they lying to themselves? My guess is the answer is yes to at least one of those if not all.

Let’s start by thinking about them lying to themselves. Did you know that when people are asked to keep a food diary, they normally under report the calories they are eating by about a third – yes 33% less than what they are actually consuming. They don’t do it deliberately, but it happens all the same. This comes from a number of things.

  1. They don’t notice that they’ve eaten a slightly larger portion than they should have had. Or that they’ve had seconds!
  2. They forgot about that sweet, cookie, crisp or snack that they had.
  3. They forget that what they drink also contains calories (unless you are drinking, pure unadulterated water) 140 calories in a can of coke, 210 calories in a pint of cider, 600 calories in a bottle of wine.
  4. They add little extras to their food like a drizzle of olive oil or a splash of dressing (both of which are likely to be over 100 calories)
  5. They read the calories wrong – for instance if you buy a pre-prepared meal it may have a calorie amount printed on the packaging – but look carefully as this often applies to 1/2 or 1/4 or the amount of food in there as this is what they consider to be a serving size.

Then comes the lying to me. As well as the fact that they may think they are telling the truth, but are in fact actually lying (see above!) there is also the fact that a lot of people are ashamed of their eating habits. They are secret eaters and don’t like to think that other people will know about it. Quite often this type of over eater is a binger. That is to say, they maintain a normal looking diet to the world, but secretly they will binge on snacks. I understand this, but lying is a very self destructive path to take when it comes to food. What you are saying to yourself is ‘my true self is not good enough’ ‘I have to hide it or others will not like me’ ‘my true self is not likeable’. This is, of course, not true. Your eating habits may be out of control, but that doesn’t make you unlikable.

The best way to get control of your eating, is to start by being honest. It’s the bedrock that everything else builds from. So this week, my challenge to you, is to really pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth! Notice what you eat. Notice what you drink. Notice when you are secretly eating. That way if you decide you want to change things, you have a good, solid place to start from.


Being overweight put additional strain on your body and leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart attack – 4 major killers in the western world. If you struggle to get control of your weight on your own, think about getting some help. It really doesn’t have to be hard.

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Eat the rainbow, feel over the rainbow.

eat-the-rainbow

How do you feel about Veggies? I’m not talking about vegetarians, I’m talking about what they eat – lovely, crunchy, colourful veggies.

I see lots of people in my hypnotherapy practice who struggle to eat them. I must admit I still find it surprising as I absolutely love them.

Personally I blame the parents, and honestly I think it should be thought of as neglect.

You are literally what you eat. It is the building blocks of your body. Your amazing body takes in food, breaks it down and uses it. Part of it for fuel, part of it for growth and renewal. Your skin is constantly replacing itself, so is your blood, your bones and your organs. About once every 7 years you are practically a different person. How cool is that? But if all the fuel you are giving your body is a bit rubbish, then it struggles to do this. It prematurely ages you, both in appearance and by actually reducing how long you will live.

Whatever you believe about how humans came to walk on the earth, by divine creation or by evolution (maybe both) our bodies work best when given a ‘natural diet’. A natural diet does NOT consist of processed foods. It consists of things that grow in the ground and things that eat things that grow in the ground. Quite simply speaking, if you can’t pick it or kill it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

So let’s think about some of the worst processed foods. Bacon, sausages and ham tend to be high on the danger list. Some scientists say that eating them is as dangerous as smoking. Then there are other things like processed and refined grains. Yes, wheat is natural and grows, but bread does not. White rice is not how it comes – it has to be processed, and don’t get me started on sugar, soda and energy drinks (or even fruit juices for that matter – when did you last eat 9 oranges in a row? That what goes into a normal glass of orange juice!). All of these things put our bodies into a bad place.

Things that put our bodies into a positive place should be enjoyed, not endured, and this is why I tend to blame the parents. I discovered veggies later in life (into my thirties) as when I was growing up I hated them. This may have been because I grew up in the UK in the 70’s and veggies were boiled to a soft mush. Every time. It was sad for all concerned. Consequently I thought I didn’t like veggies. They were tasteless and mushy.

My first real departure from this was when I started cooking for myself. In my twenties I cooked, but there were quite a lot of microwave meals and takeouts. I didn’t have the skills or experience (and more importantly the confidence) to try cooking real food. After I moved in with my partner I started cooking a little more – things like fajitas and roasts started happening. I tried steaming and roasting veggies, and found that I really like them. I tried different varieties and types (fennel and courgettes), I tried different colours (purple carrots and yellow radishes) I tries different ways of cooking them (mixing them with garlic or lemon juice) and I fell in love.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I do eat a mostly plant-based diet. It makes me feel healthy, and I love the tastes. A salad made with rocket and watercress, with red onions pickled in red wine vinegar, baby corn, sweet peppers, radishes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate and avocado is the best thing ever. Seriously – try it! As well as tasting great (and it really does) it has the benefit of being properly colourful. That means that it looks brilliant, but it also means that I’m getting lots of different types of building blocks to play with. Dark green gives me riboflavins and iron, Yellow gives me vitamin C, Orange gives me beta carotene that helps keep my eyes healthy. The red tomatoes re chock full of lycopene that protects against skin cancer and the purple in the onion has anthocyanin which helps reduce blood pressure.

It is a common buddhist practice to make sure that every meal has at least 5 different colour fruits or vegetable in it. Assuming you want to keep your sugar content down (as almost everyone in the western world is eating too much of the stuff) try to keep it to the veggies (and some protein) and you will be giving you body the best building materials you can.

Stop being beige – be brilliant!

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 2

On the second day of the advent calendar we will continue our steps of basic self care.

Having read day 1, you should already be up, clean and dressed. Now we need to make sure you are fed and watered!

I’m a firm believer in food as medicine. Your body is a machine – a beautiful, complex, wonderful machine. In order for it to work well, it needs the right fuel inside of it. It needs enough to work well, but not so much that it becomes overladen. If you give your body the right fuel it has a much better chance of working the way it should.

So start your day right. Have a scrumptious, healthy breakfast.

It’s not for me to tell you what is best for you – maybe it’s bacon and eggs, maybe avocado on toast, maybe it’s a bowl of porridge – what ever it is, make sure it’s something tasty which will give you the fuel you need to have a great day.

If you are overweight, self care involves changing that. I’m not suggesting that you suddenly go on a crash diet, but making healthy choices and reducing your portion size will gently reduce your weight and make you feel better. I’m not talking about feeling bad about being overweight – you should love and appreciate your body whatever size or shape it is – but you will help it to work at it’s best if you are not overweight.

If you are underweight, self care involves changing that. Again. I’m not suggesting you should start pigging out on junk food, but you should make sure that you are increasing the amount that you are eating to give your body all the energy and nutrients it needs in order to be at it’s best.

If your weight is perfect – brilliant, well done you! All you have to do is keep it in that range whilst giving your body all the fruits and vegetables it needs to function at it’s best. Whether your an omnivore, carnivore, vegetarian, fruitarian, vegan or a raw food fan your body needs a range of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. Make sure you are giving it what it needs.

So many health problems can be fixed or improved with diet. Changes can be made to skin conditions, dietary problems, joint pains, fibromyalgia, kidney stones, urinary infections, cramps and even epilepsy. Some things like Type 2 diabetes, IBS and coeliac disease are very treatable with managing food choices. What you fuel your body with is important – choose the things that are going to care for your body.

Part of what you eat is what you drink – or at least it should be. If you are trying to reduce your weight, make sure that you are not drinking your calories. Whether that comes in the form of fizzy drinks (about 140 calories in a can) sugary tea/ coffee or alcohol (about 600 calories in a bottle of wine), you need to keep those calories in mind. Those calories don’t really fill you up – so you still eat more. Also, the fact that most of them come from sugar means that you are creating a sugar high, which is followed by a sugar low. This is bad news for your body and what’s worse is the sugar low will make you crave more of the evil white stuff – have you ever noticed how hard it is to stop snacking once you’ve started?

December is the month to eat, drink and be merry – so eat well, hydrate and be happy with the choices you are making!


So many people struggle with weight management, but it is so important to your health – both mental and physical. If you need some support to get your head in the right place to manage your weight effectively give a professional a call and get on the right path.

 

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Eat good food

good food

You are what you eat, so avoid cheap food,fast food and junk food – Eat good food.

Now, what you consider good food will vary from person to person.

Some people are Vegan and think food from animals is not good.

Some people are into clean foods and think that sugar and fat are not good.

Some people think that salads are for rabbits (so wrong, salads are for gorillas!) and that anything that’s green is not good.

Some people think that wheat or anything containing gluten is not good.

Some people think that cooked food is not good.

Some people think that organic is the only way and that chemically farmed or GM crops are not good.

I’m not making judgements here – what you eat is for you to decide. As long as you are maintaining a healthy weight and getting all your essential nutrients I would suggest that what you’re eating is OK for you, my point is you should eat good food.

Your version of good may or may not be the same as mine, but I think making food a part of your thought process is useful to you, and taking time to make good food is worth it.

Today I’m starting a recipe that will take 3 days to complete. It’s for Beef short ribs, or Jacobs ladder. It involves a days marination with a dry rub, 6 hours of cooking in a BBQ sauce and an overnight chill before finally heating for 3 hours before serving. I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to a) the process of cooking these and b) eating them.

I had to order this cut of meat from my butchers, then I had to make a trip to the supermarket to get all of the ingredients for the sauce. I have printed out the recipe from the internet and will now follow it step by step. It’s almost a meditative process. By taking time and enjoying the steps it makes the whole so much more than the parts. I’m hoping that it tastes amazing, but even if it doesn’t I will have gained something by being thoughtful about what I’m eating.

I also love eating at restaurants that spend time preparing food. I was luck enough to eat at The Fat Duck a little while ago, and it was genuinely amazing. One of the courses took five days to prepare. We have a reservation at Le Gavroche for next year – I’m pretty sure I’ll be blogging about it soon 🙂

Have you ever noticed that a lot of our really happy events are based around food – not fast food, but food that takes time to put together. Today is Thanksgiving and the traditions of food linked with this celebration are widespread. The same goes for Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, Diwali and many other religious festivals from all denominations. The same goes for weddings and birthdays – anything that involves celebrations.

So today, think about what you are eating, make choices about your food for the coming days weeks and months and what ever you do …

eat good food. 

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Eat your way to Happiness

mackerel

It is often said you are what you eat, and those of you that follow my blog will already know that I am a firm believer in using food as medicine – and that includes using it as an anti-depressant.

Some foods are particularly good at keeping your moods balanced and your thoughts positive.

If you think that sounds a bit odd, just think of it this way. Your brain is, in effect controlling, your hormones and your thoughts. These two things are the main factors in causing depression. By eating foods that support your brain chemistry and give it a regular supply of the nutrients it needs, you are keeping it healthy. This means that it can properly regulate your hormones and ensure that a regular supply of ‘happy hormones’ like serotonin are being produced.

The food I want to highlight today is Mackerel

Mackerel and Sardines are among a type of fish, known as oily fish, which can help prevent depression.

Oily fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which have antidepressant and anti inflammatory properties.

Recent studies have shown that new onset depression can be significantly reduced just by eating mackerel twice a week or by taking a supplement if you really can’t face eating the fish.

It has other benefits as well. Omega-3 is thought to help with joint pain and stiffness as well as being touted as an aid to learning and concentration.

So keep young, healthy, supple, clever and happy with these amazing little fish.

I know what I’m having for dinner tonight.

🙂

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