I do love a salad. And I don’t mean a hamster’s plate of food. Oh no. You’ll never catch me nibbling on a lettuce leaf the size of a postage stamp and a bit of curly cucumber. Salads for me are about fitting as many different ingredients, colours and nutrients as I can into one bowl, coating them in a zingy dressing and making an infinite number of mini-meals with each forkful.
They key to making a sumptuous salad that can be assembled in minutes (I don’t have time to stand there slicing, chopping and grating!) is to have a good selection of both fresh and store-cupboard ingredients, and leftovers. Here are my super secret mix ‘n match salad-making tips (obviously they are not a secret anymore):
1) With my weekly shop I always, ALWAYS, make sure I buy a bag of mixed leaves – I like to vary my selection, this week it’s rocket, spinach & watercress, last week it was just rocket, – some cherry tomatoes, avocados and limes (for...
In a matter of days the kids will be back at school and for some of us that means getting back into a routine of thinking up and preparing healthy packed lunches for them. Sadly, for many children, ‘healthy’ does not come into the equation because recent figures suggest that only 1.1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards for school meals*. This is highly worrying because, in my opinion, even some school dinners miss the mark.
Crisps, chocolate, sugary drinks, cereal bars (very high in sugar), processed snack foods and white bread all feature heavily in a large proportion of packed lunches these days providing children with very little in the way of the essential nutrients required for energy, concentration, growth and overall health. Not only that, but foods such as these are contributing to the increase in childhood obesity and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Up until fairly recently my son...
When my 6-year old son came home from school a couple of weeks ago with a little certificate saying he had successfully completed the ‘Eatwell Plate’ challenge by choosing a selection of healthy foods to for his plate, my heart did a little jump. So proud was I that he was following in his mother’s footsteps. He’d even been given a laminated sheet to show which foods he had chosen. I was quite impressed: clearly they had been encouraged to select a variety of foods featured on the aforementioned ‘Eatwell Plate’. His selections included broccoli (which he hates!), peppers and pineapple, as well as some tuna, kidney beans, oatmeal and…bison? Thankfully nothing from the ‘junk’ section: well done me. Overall, not bad.
Then I turned the page over and looked at ‘The Eatwell Plate’ as recommended by the Food Standards Agency, and I was distinctly unimpressed by what our children are being taught in school about healthy...
Without a doubt, one of the hardest times for avoiding sugary snacks is between meals. The most common time of day being about 3pm. This is a blood sugar problem. If your meals and snacks up to this time have been heavy on the carb front, your blood sugar levels will have been doing a little rollercoaster dance all day long. Get to the afternoon, and they’re doing more of a horizontal dance (and not in a good way).
Poor blood sugar management is one of the most common underlying causes of many of the symptoms that I see in my nutritional therapy practice. Fatigue, headaches, insomnia, irritability, PMS: correcting your blood sugar levels could go a long way to alleviating the majority of these.
So how can you get through the day without reaching that point where you’d run over a small child to get to a Snickers?
1) Protein for breakfast – this is the key to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Do not, under any...
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed that sugar is getting a bit of a bad rap. And not a minute too soon in my opinion. For years, it’s all been about the fat. Poor old fat has been taking the blame for every major modern health epidemic – obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol – and sugar has been getting away scot free. Hmm, I wonder why… But not anymore. The game is up. Sugar, put down your weapons, you’ve been busted. The Guardian names sugar as ‘enemy number one in the western diet’ and calls are now being made for manufacturers to face regulation.
For years, sugar has slipped under the radar, being added to foods where fat has been taken out, and consequently compounding the state of health in the western world. But FINALLY, studies are now showing that it’s sugar that is contributing to the...
I’m thrilled to have teamed up with fabulous Talented Ladies Club and contributed on their site. As a self-employed working mum who’s office is the dining table, I know how hard it can be to stay focused when the lines between home and office are so blurred. It’s also very easy to keep nipping to the kitchen, opening and closing the fridge, and then returning to your work feeling unsatisfied. This is why I thought I would share some practical tips for increasing your productivity through food and nutrition.
I’m delighted to share this with you as well and you can read my article here.
I hope you enjoy it!
New year, new you. January detox. Dryathlon. Juice cleanses. Everyone’s at it. You cannot open the papers or scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing something related to dieting, cleansing or detoxing. It is January after all and, let’s face it, we all dug a little deeper into the bumper tin of Celebrations than we intended to this festive season.
I do firmly agree that giving your body a break from the constant onslaught of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and refined carbohydrates and replacing these with altogether much more healthful alternatives is highly beneficial for your liver and digestive system. But I also appreciate that not everybody wants to go the whole hog and undergo a full detox for a month. Especially if you’re a busy mum.
So I’m sharing some achievable tips that will help to encourage your body to detox more efficiently, but which won’t leave you feeling starved or deprived in anyway.
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.
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...
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...
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Lauren Gayfer. Don't worry, your information will not be shared.