Summer is great for salads

The summer is great for having salads but often people tell me that they find them boring.

If you have lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and perhaps some spring onions you will soon begin to find them uninteresting but it is so easy to add things to a salad to liven them up.

Easy things are

  • sliced raw mushrooms
  • celery
  • radishes
  • basil leaves
  • nuts
  • feta cheese
  • olives
  • edible flowers (e.g. nasturtiums)
  • chives and their flowers
  • hard boiled egg
  • tuna
  • spinach
  • raisins or sultanas
  • and of course fruit.

These are just a few of the things that I add to salads to keep them interesting either as a meal or as side for a piece of chicken or salmon for example, so try adding different things and you will soon find them interesting

All Bruton’s recipes were tested to prove that they work

Why to drink water and not fizzy drinks

One of the things that you can do to keep healthy is to drink plenty of water

So do you drink water rather than fizzy drinks?

I know that often when I recommend to people they should drink more water they think they will find it difficult so I thought a few facts might help.

Did you know that researchers estimate that drinking 2 litres of water a day (about 8 glasses) can increase energy expenditure by about 96 calories per day.

Drinking water about half an hour before meals can also reduce the amount of calories you end up eating. In fact one study showed that dieters who drank 500 ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t drink water

Increasing water intake can help with constipation.

Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stones.

But why else is it better to drink water and not fizzy drinks such as coco cola? You might think it is because of the sugar, but it is far more complicated than that, although the sugar is an issue

If you look at any can of fizzy drinks you will see that most have phosphoric acid this can be as high as 2.8 pH (very acidic) and this will trigger a massive emergency calcium (alkaline) flush to balance the acid in your body.

So much calcium is used that it takes 5-7 days to ‘detox’, or restore this precious mineral. And these reactions use a lot of water, so in fact the fizzy drinks are not hydrating your body as you might think.

The elevated levels of phosphates in soft drinks leach vital minerals from your body. Soft Drinks are made with purified water that also leach vital minerals from your body. A severe lack of minerals can lead to Heart Disease (lack of magnesium), Osteoporosis (lack of calcium) and many other diseases. Most vitamins cannot perform their function in the body without the presence of minerals so basically you are preventing your body doing what it needs to do to keep you healthy.

Did you know that drinks high in phosphoric acid can do a great job of cleaning corroded battery terminals, remove rust from metal or toilet bowels? Soda can eat through the liner of an aluminium can so why would you drink it?

Soft drinks steal water from the body. They work like a diuretic which takes away more water than it provides to the body. To replace the water stolen by soft drinks, you need to drink 8-12 glasses of water for every one glass of soft drinks that you consume!

Your body needs 8 – 10 glass of water per day. If you are drinking soft drinks you need to drink an additional 8 – 12 glass. So this would mean you need to drink 16 to 22 glasses of water per day to hydrate and replenish your body’s water requirement.

Of course there is the sugar and the high amount of sugar in Soft Drinks causes your pancreas to produce an abundance of insulin, which leads to a “sugar crash”. Chronic elevation and depletion of sugar and insulin can lead to diabetes and other imbalance related diseases. This is particularly disruptive to growing children which can lead to life-long health problems.

Soft Drinks severely interfere with digestion. Caffeine and high amounts of sugar virtually shut down the digestive process. That means your body is essentially taking in no nutrients from the food you may have just eaten, even that eaten hours earlier.

Last, but not least, Diet soft drinks contain Aspartame, which has been linked to depression, insomnia, neurological disease and a plethora of other illness. The FDA has received more than 10,000 consumer complaints about Aspartame, that’s 80% of all complaints about food additives.

So my advice is to just drink water;  it is freely available and certainly free of all the problems that soft drinks can cause.

If you want to add some flavour add a slice of lemon and ice cubes and you will find it very refreshing.

Try this for a week and just see how much better you feel!

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Have the water not the Coca Cola

Having food in the freezer can help you lose weight

One of the biggest problems when you are trying to lose weight is having things that are ready to eat when you get in and are wanting to eat your evening meal.

I find that when I cook a meal I can often cook more portions and freeze the spare ones, so that when I have less time I have things that I can take out the freezer in the morning and they will be ready to pop into the microwave when I need them in the evening.

One the recipes that is really good for this is fish pie, as it freezes well and reheats to be as good.

You can then just add a salad or some extra vegetables and you can have a meal on the table in just 15 minutes.

I have included my recipe for a great fish pie if you want to try this

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This is 2 servings as taken from the freezer then defrosted during the day and microwaved to be served with more vegetables as pictured above.

Fish Pie             Serves 4              Cooking Time 45 minutes          450 calories per serving 

5 sprays olive oil

500g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

225g fresh salmon

225g haddock or cod fillets

425ml skimmed milk

3 tbsp 1 portion spring onions (bunch)

200g low fat soft cheese with herbs

100g broccoli lightly cooked florets

50g petites pois frozen, thawed

100g peeled prawns cooked

1 tablespoon parsley or dill chopped 1 pinch

Salt and black pepper freshly ground

Put the potatoes on to cook in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water

Put the fish fillets into a large frying pan with 425ml of the milk. Heat, then cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the fish is cooked.

Cool for 10 minutes, strain off and reserve the liquid.

Spray a large saucepan with olive oil and gently cook the spring onions for 2 minutes, until softened, but not browned.

Add the soft cheese and stir to combine. Philadelphia with garlic and herbs works well.

Gradually add the liquid from cooking the fish, stirring well to mix it in.

Add the broccoli, peas, prawns and parsley or dill, mixing together well and season to taste.

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 7 220c / 425f

Lightly spray a 1.2 litre (2 pint) pie dish with olive oil.

Break up the fish into large chunks, removing skin and bones and put them into the pie dish. Pour the sauce on top.

Drain and mash the potatoes, season, then beat in the remaining 3 tbsp of milk.

Pile on top of the fish mixture and then bake for 25- 30 minutes until piping hot and golden brown.

If you are cooking for two you can freeze the extra portions or if you are cooking for family of 4 then just cook two and freeze one.

Just contact me if you wan to know about how I can help you eat healthily

 

 

Does pain stop you exercising?

One of the things that keeps you healthy and supports your weight loss is exercising and this doesn’t mean joining a gym unless of course you want to.

I have struggled over the last few months having broken my ankle which prevented me from doing my usual exercise.  Whilst I am now out of plaster and getting back to my usual walking I am still finding that my ankle swells up and I have been told that it can be up to  year before this stops

I am trying really hard to get back into exercise though because I have felt really sluggish and I have started taking some ‘Musselflex’  Tablets and using the Gel on my ankle and it is really helping. I read about it on the internet and decided to give it a go and I am sure it is working.  These can be found in health shops or on Amazon and are by Optima.

I was very sceptical but if you have aching knees or feet I would suggest you give it a try

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Bit late posting the blog after a very busy weekend but back to recipes next week

 

The way you cook food can make a difference

When you are trying to eat healthily and lose weight you might think that you need to cut out family favourites because they have too many calories but that isn’t always the case.

Just by the way you cook your meals you can make them lower in fat and calories but equally tasty and a great example of this is a cottage pie.

By grilling your mince before adding it and making the dish with tinned tomatoes mushrooms and onions; mixed with a beef stock cube, herbs and some Worcestershire sauce and topped with potato mixed with swede you will be full and satisfied so check out this recipe

 

Cottage Pie with Herby Mash

450 calories per portion

Prep and cooking time: I hour

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

I small red onion chopped

2 carrots chopped

1 stick celery chopped

100 grams mushrooms sliced

200 grams of lean minced beef

200 mls of beef or vegetable stock

1 tbsp of tomato puree

1 tsp mixed dry herbs

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

450g of baking type potatoes

2 tbsps skimmed link

2 tbsps snipped fresh chives

2 tbsps of chopped parsley

To cook

Heat oil in a heavy- based lidded saucepan. Add red onion, carrots and celery and sauté over a medium heat for 6-8 minutes until soft. Stir in the mushrooms and cover for a further minute.

Stir in the stock, tomato puree, dried herbs and Worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile make the mince into burger shapes and grill under a medium heat till cooked

Add the minced beef stirring to break up and cook for a further  5 minutes

Meanwhile, peel and cook the potatoes. Drain well and return to the pan adding the milk and the fresh herbs season with black pepper and keep warm.

Heat your oven to 200º/180º fan or gas mark 6.

Transfer the meat to an oven proof dish, top with the mash to cover the meat. Place on a baking a sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until topping is browned serve with green vegetables.

You can try mixing swede, turnips or parsnips with boiled potatoes for the topping.

You can also use the meat mixture as a jacket potato topping or with spaghetti or lasagne.

If you want to know more about cooking and eating healthily then just get in touch