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5 things in my kitchen that I can’t live without

Doing what I do, I spend quite a bit of time in my kitchen. But I want the time to be efficient because, let’s face it, I haven’t got a huge amount of it. Who has? I can’t be dithering about with blunt utensils and useless bits of kit that take more time to clean than they do to use. So I have compiled a little list of the things that make my time in the kitchen more speedy and enjoyable.

  1. A really good knife – I must wash my Global 20cm Cook’s knife about 20 times a day (it takes 3 seconds). It is absolutely essential for chopping and slicing fruit, vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, you name it. And the satisfaction you get from slicing a tomato into perfectly thin rounds is quite astounding. These can be pricey and we got ours in a department store sale about 8 years ago, so look out for a deal, but they are well worth the investment.
  2. A really good knife sharpener – it’s no use having an awesome knife if it’s blunt. A sharp knife is...
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The Kids Are Alright. Now How About You?

health & wellbeing kids Sep 04, 2013

And breathe out! If, like me, you’re sitting in a eerily quiet house wondering what on earth to do with yourself (well, apart from the million things that need to be done) now that you’re not having to fill those days with activities, trips, snacks, picnics and the constant demand for your time and attention from your adorable little people, then how about taking 5 minutes to just breathe and re-group yourself?

The summer holidays have finally come to a close. For some that’s an enormous blessed relief, others might be missing the company of their cherubs already, some of you might have waved goodbye to your little darlings as they trotted off to school for the first time and are quietly sobbing in the corner of the playroom drinking gin out of a Peppa Pig beaker. Well, stop that at once.

However you are feeling about ‘Back to School’ it is the perfect opportunity to focus on yourself for a while after many endless weeks of focusing on others. Perhaps...

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My 5 top tips for looking fabulous in a bikini

Going on holiday soon? Having a little panic about exposing your flesh in a bikini? Don’t worry! There’s still time to lose a few pounds without having to resort to the cabbage soup diet, which frankly, no-one wants you to go on. Just follow these 5 easy steps for two weeks and you’ll feel fit and fabulous whether you’re stepping out on Nikki Beach or Newquay Beach:

1) Drink a mug of fresh lemon in hot water upon rising every morning – this kick-starts your metabolism and gives your liver a detoxifying boost.

2) Start the day with  a protein-rich breakfast such as scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, natural yoghurt (doesn’t need to be low-fat) with 2 tbsp of mixed seeds and a small handful of berries, or a continental-style breakfast of ham/cheese and veggies.

3) Eliminate all sugars and refined carbohydrates – that means all your fizzy drinks, sugar added to foods/drinks, cakes, biscuits, muffins, croissants, sweets, chocolate...

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5 tips for getting your kids to eat more vegetables

Almost every mum I meet has some dilemma or other about getting her children to eat certain foods. I often come across parents who started weaning their babies on the very best home-made purées, introducing a variety of different tastes and textures from very early on as advised by all the popular baby food experts out there. But somewhere along the line – usually around the age the child starts developing a mind of its own – the repertoire of food gets smaller and smaller until eventually the only thing your toddler will eat is a Babybel and packet of Pom-Bears.

So how do we get our kids to eat that most elusive of food groups, The Vegetable? And why are they so important?

– Vegetables do not contain as much sugar as fruit and so are better for their blood sugar levels – behavioural problems are often linked to low blood sugar.

– They are an important source of fibre which keeps their digestive systems moving nice and healthily:...

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Why all the wheat?

Wheat’s been around for a while. As a grain it’s probably a fairly good guy. But sadly the wheat we eat today is about as far removed from the original grain as Venus is from Mars (quite a long way). The spongy white bread that the lines the bakery aisles of our supermarkets today has been processed to within in inch of its life, bleached to create that whitey-whiteness, had all its nutrients removed, pumped full of preservatives to keep it ‘fresh’ for longer (nothing fresh about this dude) and gone through all sorts or heinous baking processes that would have Mr Baker of Bakersville turning in his mill.

And yet a ridiculously large proportion of Western diets today consists predominantly of wheat-based foods. Toast/wheaty cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, crumpet/cake for tea, pasta or pizza for dinner. Bloated, much?

I know it’s probably a bit of a running joke that nutritionists just put everyone on a wheat-free diet and charge for the...

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3 Day Juice Detox – Day 3!

Apologies for the missing post yesterday which would have been entitled ‘3 Day Juice Detox – Day 2. Flailing’. Our broadband has packed up at home. Which is probably a good thing because I was not in a great place yesterday. The hunger was all a bit too much to tolerate and I will admit here and now that I cheated. I didn’t eat any actual food but I did add an avocado to the Dreamy Detox juice and I had to make an extra Super Detox Smoothie before seeing a client. I don’t think it would have looked too professional if the nutritionist passed out in the middle of a consultation. Doesn’t send out the best message. ‘Emaciated, starving nutritionist collapses at work’!

Anyway, that was yesterday and today is today. I had a really early night and today I feel great! I’m not quite as hungry, the headaches have gone, and I’m feeling quite springy, the sun is shining and the world is good! I am back on track and, because I know the...

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3 Day Juice Detox – Day 1

I’ve decided to take my crazy juicing obsession to the next level and do the Juice Master’s 3 Day Detox. I’ve actually been banging on about it for a few weeks, putting it off because I was too busy, or didn’t have any childcare that day or any number of other excuses, but today I have taken the plunge into 3 days of juicing. Apparently on day 4 you wake up a with ‘Juice High’ so frankly I’m in it for that if nothing else. A flat tummy maybe, and slightly less wobbly bum would be a bonus.

The day didn’t get off to the best start when I realised that my food shopping wasn’t due until 10-11am so I had to do the school run on nothing but a mug of lemon in hot water. I’m wondering if the additional volume on the shout-o-meter this morning was as a result of my low blood sugar…

I’ve now drunk 2 of my 4 juices of the day – both of the them the ‘Juice Master’s Detox Special’ which is...

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To Buy Organic or Not To Buy Organic? That Is The Question. Here Is The Answer

I regularly get asked in my practice which foods you should buy organic, and which ones you needn’t. In an ideal world, we’d buy everything organic, from the local farmer’s market, or even better, grow our own. But in our crazy, fast-paced world this might not be realistic for everyone.

However there are certain fruits and vegetables which contain higher pesticide residues than others, and so when you are thinking about which ones to buy organic you can now refer to the ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean 15’ lists to tell you. The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) has put together this Shopper’s Guide to help you decipher all the confusing messages that are out there with regards to organic foods.

Top of the Dirty Dozen, would you believe it, is the humble apple, followed by strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach and red peppers. In order to reduce your exposure to pesticides you should consider buying organic varieties of the...

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It’s ‘Empty the fridge of random vegetables night!’

I’ve mentioned on here before that we get a box of organic vegetables delivered every Friday. It’s fab, I love it and it makes me feel good on many different levels. Well I have this thing about not having any vegetables leftover from the old box when the new box arrives. I just don’t like it, it makes me twitch. Because, invariably last week’s veggies are going to get shoved to the back of drawer by the shiny new gorgeous ones that are fresh out of the box, and then by Tuesday, they’ll end up in the bin. So, on Thursday nights I make something out of every half-eaten, slightly on-the-turn vegetable that is left in the fridge. Tonight, I opened the fridge and stared at the following:

  • 1/2 a fennel
  • 2 beetroots
  • 1/2 a bag of green salady leaves
  • 4 radishes
  • A tiny, quite bendy carrot
  • 1/4 of a broccoli head

So we made an enormous salad and did a couple of funky things with the raw veggies to jazz it up. Here are some ideas for things you can do with slightly...

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Accidentally Awesome One Pot Veggie Curry

We’ve recently signed up to an organic fruit & veg delivery company again, after a little time off. The reason we stopped in the first place is that we were always left with some grizzly looking vegetable at the back of the fridge (usually a celeriac or a kohlrabi) that would end up in the bin. So it was becoming a little wasteful.

But I’ve since embraced a more vegetable-loving life and I just really want my family to consume local organic seasonal produce as opposed to that sprayed stuff that’s been flown half way round the world twice and has been stored in the basement of a supermarket for 6 months before it ever reaches the shelves. (by the way, in case you are wondering, kohlrabi is just heavenly cut into sticks and dipped in houmous. And the kids loved it, too!)

So with all these lovely items gracing my fridge I thought what better way to use them up but in a veggie curry? Obviously you can substitute the root vegetables for others and it would be...

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