What’s the deal with Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds.  You’ve probably seen them all over social media and in the press being touted as one of the big new ‘superfoods’.  First off, I need to tell you that I intensely dislike the term ‘superfood’.  All food has something which makes it super in its own right (the lycopene in tomatoes!  The vitamin A in carrots!)  We shouldn’t be focusing on one nutritional property and promoting that above everything else; but that’s the subject for a whole other post entirely.

I love these curious little seeds.  They aren’t for everyone as their texture can be a little strange if you’re not used to them (think tapioca pudding) but I’m hoping I can change your mind about at least giving them a try and maybe incorporating them in to a well balanced diet because they are a great way of instantly boosting the nutritional value of your meal – whether that’s a smoothie or your morning porridge.

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Food, Nutrition

The value in eating seasonally

Today at work I was preparing my breakfast (decanting overnight oats in to a bowl and topping with berries and peanut butter – no hard labour) and someone commented on my breakfast, as they often do.  I mentioned how frustrating it is that I’d bought some blueberries and after one day they had already started to turn mouldy; but that I didn’t mind as much when berries were in season because they don’t cost as much.  Said colleague then looked at me in surprise and said ‘foods in season don’t cost as much?’ I was a little surprised myself at their reaction but quickly realised there could be a blog post in this.

I started thinking that perhaps people hear the words ‘eat seasonally’ but don’t do it because they either don’t know how or think it’s something for foodie types or those with bags of cash.  It’s not.  In fact, it could save you money and improve your health with minimal effort on your part.  Good, eh?

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Food, Nutrition

Ways to eat organically without breaking the bank

Having already written a previous piece about my thoughts on organic food, I thought I should have provided you with some ideas on how I have managed to fit organic produce in to my diet without spending buckets of cash I don’t have – because it’s all good having a discussion about the why of eating organics but I’m often left asking ‘yeah but how do I do that?!’

I believe that everyone should have access to food that not only tastes good but also does them good, and organic ticks the box for me.  Below are a number of things I have discovered and personally adopted in to my day-to-day life which have helped to make organic eating a more accessible life choice for me:

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Food, Nutrition

Some thoughts on eating organic food

Off the back of a conversation I had with some family members recently (who are decidedly in the ‘non organic’ camp) I thought I’d write a post sharing my thoughts about organic food and why I eat it.  It’s a divisive topic and I’ve come to realise that it can also be seen as an elitist and inaccessible concept to some people – something I would like to change.  Often I hear people say to me ‘I don’t have the money to waste on organic food’ or ‘it’s for rich people only’ or even ‘it’s a big hoax and a marketing ploy; you’re being charged more money for the same product’.  Let me say now, it’s none of these things and hopefully this post can convince you otherwise.

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Food, Nutrition, Product Review, Self development

My I Quit Sugar story

If you follow me on Instagram then you will have spotted that I am pretty on board with the I Quit Sugar message.  This is a recent-ish turn of events and it wasn’t something I ever thought was an issue with my diet.  In fact, the complete opposite.  I was oblivious to how poor my diet was and lacking in a lot of nutritional value.  Let me explain…

Back in 2014 I was browsing a book shop killing time before a meeting (I was working a second job in retail and would often have to hang about after ‘big’ job to attend staff meetings or training sessions in the evenings after the shop closed.)  One of my favourite past times has always been browsing book shops.  I love them. The choices!  The possibilities! I literally spend hours inside.  I treat them like libraries (much to the annoyance, I’m sure, of the staff)

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Food, Nutrition, Self development

My ideas on cultivating a healthy relationship with food

Following on from this post I’ve been thinking about food and the complicated relationship that comes with it.  As well as sharing my thoughts with you I thought it might be helpful to share some practical ideas and steps that I used (and still use on a daily basis) to help me develop a positive and holistic relationship with food.

Let me pre-fix this by saying, as with anything, I can’t guarantee that any of these ideas will work for you.  Every body is different and what works for some won’t work for others but if you are interested in making some positive changes and don’t know where to start, maybe try some of these?

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Food, Nutrition, Self development

My relationship with food

This is a bit of a contemplative post today based on some recent feedback I’ve had on my eating habits.  Buckle up, this might get deep…

Diet, regime, balance, strategy; there are many ways we can talk about food and how we interact with it.  The term I prefer is relationship; because relationships are two way streets, as I believe your diet should be.  But just like being in a relationship with another person, this can take work.  Ultimately in a relationship both sides should be bringing good stuff to the (metaphorical and sometimes literal) table most of the time.

This post came about after two people in the same week independently commented that I have a healthy relationship with food.  A colleague (after watching me devour a brownie) said to me ‘I love your relationship with food, it’s so healthy and positive’ and another made a comment on an Instagram post I had done about eating out and how I find balance.  Up until this week I genuinely hadn’t thought of myself as having a balanced relationship with food.  Generally I try to stick to the 80/20 rule, eat lots of veggies on a good day, limit my meat and sugar intake and eat organically where possible but I don’t always manage this.  I’m human and sometimes I really want cake.  Or wine.  Or both at the same time.

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Food, Nutrition

How I learnt to eat more vegetables

My diet is fairly good.  I avoid sugar, limit my dairy and meat consumption and try to eat a variety of fruits and veggies with some grains and pulses added in.  But here’s the thing; I could do better.  I try to convince myself that I eat a well-balanced, wholesome diet all the time but if I’m being honest, I am kidding myself.  You know, like that time you kept a food diary but accidentally forget you had a brownie and a cake in the same day.  Yeah, that’s sort of been me over the past few months.

I don’t really set New Year’s resolutions (because I’d break them and then have that awful shame spiral going on) but in the New Year I do try to think about what worked well for me in previous years and what didn’t.  What came out in the ‘not so good’ pile this year was my diet.  After falling ill with a virus over the Christmas and New Year period I did some reflecting and my diet running up to the weeks before I was sick (plus a crazy work schedule) probably didn’t help.  So one of the things I committed to changing this year was upping my veggie intake.

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Food, Product Review

Po-ten-cy – product review

Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Zoe from PO-TEN-CY and I got to try her amazing range of snacks.

PO-TEN-CY describe themselves as ‘healthy energy snacks & cold pressed juices delivered in London. Innovative plant based catering for photo shoots, press days, team meetings & corporate events.  Each one of our snacks are designed to give you a potent hit of nutrients and taste. Perfect for refuelling post workout, or beating the mid afternoon slump.’

Founded by Zoe in January their product range comprises of snack pots, raw energy balls, brownies, juices & much more. They even do corporate catering. Oh and did I mention that everything is hand made & hand delivered if you happen to live or work in central London. Pretty impressive, I think you’ll agree.

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Food, Nutrition

JERF – Just Eat Real Food

Chances are if you’re reading this, you like to read a lot of social media relating to food, health or wellbeing; and I’m guessing that at some point you might have seen the acronym JERF floating about.  I use it in pretty much every Instagram post and although I can’t take credit for starting it, it is something that features centrally in every single day of my life.  So today I wanted to go in to a bit of detail about not just the words behind this popular hash tag but the philosophy behind it and why I think it’s so important.

JERF for the uninitiated is an acronym of Just Eat Real Food.  Well, what do I mean by that?  When I talk about JERF, JERF-ing (the act of eating real food) and ‘real food’ I am talking about ingredients.  Nothing ready assembled (like a pre-packed sandwich) or a ready meal that you simply heat up.  I am talking about plants, vegetables, fruit, herbs, dairy and meat.  The things that you need to cook or assemble yourself in to an edible meal.

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