Common nutritional deficiencies: Vitamin B9 or Folate.

Also known as Folic acid, folate is the name given to it, in it’s natural form. It’s probably best known for it’s importance in the development of a foetus’ neural tube to protect against spina bifida, yet vitamin B9 is also of great importance for all of us, not just pregnant ladies. It’s needed for cardiovascular health, the formation of healthy red blood cells, cell division, which if it’s impaired can affect growth and the normal structure of the nervous system. Vitamin

Common nutritional deficiencies: Vitamin B12

What is it and how does is affect our body? Vitamin B12 sometimes known as the ‘energy vitamin’ is of particular importance to vegetarians and vegans as it’s found in the tissues of animals and seldom in plant based foods and it is hard for the body to absorb it. So vegetarians can struggle to eat adequate amounts in their diet and vegans need to take supplements. The body can store B12 for long periods, even years, mostly in the liver, which means it can take many years be

Common Nutritional Deficiencies : Magnesium

Are you suffering from a nutritional deficiency? Would you know if you were? Most of us are aware of the government's ‘5 a day’ fruit and vegetable guideline and know that we need to incorporate certain food groups in our diet and may even take regular supplements. But are we actually sure if our bodies are getting the nutrients they need to function properly and maintain good health? I've compiled a guide to four of the moIst common nutritional deficiencies, why they are

Common Nutritional Deficiencies and Symptoms. Are you suffering from a nutritional deficiency?

Would you know if you were? Most of us are aware of the government's ‘5 a day’ fruit and vegetable guideline and know that we need to incorporate certain food groups in our diet and may even take regular supplements. But are we actually sure if our bodies are getting the nutrients they need to function properly and maintain good health? I've compiled a list of the most common ones, why they are important and how you can solve them. Todays post is focusing on - Vitamin D Vit

"Mum, I'm going to become vegan".

"Oh - really?" I've never been against veganism and I'm all for eating a mostly plant based diet, but did I want my eleven year old to become vegan? To be honest my initial reaction was no, I didn't. On a selfish basis I knew to eat well (nutritionally well), I'd have to start cooking differently for her and that would mean more work for me to make sure she was eating all the nutrients she required as a growing girl. I was (and still am) concerned that it was a nutritionally

Bread glorious bread

This week marks the end of my three month abstinence of all things dairy and wheat not to mention peas, cannellini beans, kidney beans, yeast, almonds, cashews..... Am I feeling smug having got through a whole three months without some of my favourite foods? Excited that I may now be able to reintroduce them back into my diet? Oh how I have missed freshly baked bread. Many times over the last few months, I've clinged longingly to warm loaves of freshly baked bread, whilst

Kids, do you fancy some avocado on sourdough - no? Chocolate - yes?

If you are lucky enough to have kids that will happily devour avocado, nuts, seeds, homemade energy balls and only drink water, then I take my hat off to you. Whilst many of us, have a long list of foods that we'd like our kids to be eating , getting them to eat it is another matter. I do have some general snack rules in our family, which have varied over the years but two I have always stuck to, I very rarely buy sweets and for many years now, we never have biscuits in the

The French connection

My passion for healthy food hasn't been a life long one. I've never been a massive junk food eater, or had a particularly sweet tooth. But when we moved to France, when the kids were four and six years old, I began to look at food in a fresh light. I realised that I was hitting middle age an it was time to start looking after myself. But it was not just age, being surrounded by markets with amazing seasonal, locally sourced foods and supermarkets stocking only fresh produce

One vegan, one gluten & dairy intolerant, one picky voracious meat eater & one wannabe gastronome...

Welcome to my family and the trials and tribulations of what, why, can, I possibly feed them, keeping them nourished and contented and my sanity in check! Now I must make clear first of all, we all love food in my family, even the fussy one of us, he just loves specific foods and isn't keen on trying new ones! Feeding a family can always get mundane, however much you love cooking, and I do - most of the time. I also know what, ideally, we should all be eating to keep us in

Inflammation (part 2) - how can we reduce inflammation through diet?

Diet plays a major role in affecting inflammation, both positively and negatively. Inflammation is linked to consuming various different foods particularly those containing high levels of glucose and fat. If you eat red meat you are more likely to have high levels of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid which your body naturally produces, which if it is too high, can lead to inflammation. Sugar, white bread and pasta, processed foods, fast food and oils which have been damaged by

Inflammation (part 1): How it affects the body.

Do you or someone you know suffer from arthritis, asthma, eczema, acne, heart disease, bowel disease or cancer? These are just some of the diseases which can be traced back to chronic inflammation and there are many more. In fact most diseases have some kind of underlying inflammatory cause, affecting the gut, brain, joints and skin. So what is inflammation? The body is amazing and will always try to heal itself. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to attempt to protec

Should I be drinking coffee?

Most of us can’t go without a cup of coffee or two on a daily basis, but do we need to be worried about this or can we be drinking it guilt free and how much is too much? Well a few years ago we’d only have heard about the negative impacts of coffee, raising your blood pressure, causing heartburn and impacting a good night’s sleep. Whilst some of us do have sensitivities to caffeine, increasing evidence has led us to believe that it actually has some health benefits. Coffe

Should I go gluten free?

Is it just a trendy food fad, or is there more to it? So of all the confusing messages around food and health, whether you should go gluten free must be up there near the top. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats, if you are have coeliac disease then the, the body’s immune system reacts to gluten by damaging the lining of the small intestine, which will affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. It’s a serious condition which needs to be di

Cranberry & Quinoa Cookies

A healthy snack, that's easy to make, that even my kids love! Ingredients: 1 egg or for vegans: 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons water, stir well and leave to rest in the fridge for ten minutes before using) ½ cup almond butter (or nut butter of your choice) 1 medium banana, mashed 2 tablespoons maple syrup ½ cup rolled oats ½ cup quinoa flakes ⅓ cup cranberries * 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp sea salt 1 tsp vanilla essence 1 tbsp chia se

Ash, Persian bean soup

A perfect winter soup, warming, hearty and nutritious. Ingredients: serves 2-3 50g Red kidney beans (tinned & drained) * 40g Chickpeas (tinned) * 50g Green lentils (tinned)* 50g Barley/Pearl Barley 50g Pinto beans (tinned)* 150-200g of neck or bones of a left over chicken/lamb/beef carcass - this is optional, leave out if you want a vegetarian version. You can buy a piece of lamb neck uncooked but this would lengthen the cooking time. 3-4 balls of frozen spinach chopped or 1