Sustainable Eating

Sustainable living seems to be a new trend for 2018 and rightly so… we live on a beautiful planet, a planet in which we can help protect, so however we can protect it, is definitely worth considering.

‘Sustainable eating’ does not yet have an official definition however, there are lots of examples of good accreditation schemes, such as those certifying ‘organic’ and ‘Fairtrade’ food that are helping make sustainability more available. Understanding the journey of food from farm to fork and the different environmental impacts it has along the way is worthy knowledge because even a small change can go a long way.

 

Why is sustainable eating important?

The British Dietetic Association state “In the UK, it is estimated that well-planned completely plant-based, or vegan, diets need just one third of the fertile land, fresh water and energy of the typical British ‘meat-and-dairy’ based diet. With meat and dairy being the leading contributor to greenhouse (GHG) emissions, reducing animal-based foods and choosing a wide range of plant foods can be beneficial to the planet and our health.”

However, everybody has a choice in what they eat, and diets are personal to each individual. Not everyone wants to lead a vegan or plant-based diet however, with the most food waste in the UK coming from the household (around 20%) it may be worth considering ways to help reduce this environmental issue.

 

The consequences of the food industry on our planet:

Excessive greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – the worlds current food system accounts for a third of human produced greenhouse gas emissions which is a leading cause of climate change. Livestock production is a big contributor to global warming, whether that be from the animals themselves or the resources that go into raising the animals. There is also deforestation, pollution and over fishing which are huge consequences of an unsustainable food industry.

Destroying marine habitats – fish stocks are in a state of decline with them being over exploited by 90% through fishing and climate change. This is a threat for marine life and it is expected that if nothing is done about this soon, seafood may run out by 2050.

Deforestation – through converting forestlands into farms for livestock production deforestation is now an immerging problem, not only does this affect the environment but it also results in a loss of habitat for thousands of species.

 

These are just a small number of consequences an unsustainable food chain can result in but they can be reduced by this generation.

 

Top tips for sustainable eating:

  • Eat a variety of foods – maybe try some plant-based recipes, choose a vegetarian option in a restaurant or opt for organic ingredients. Try to eat a variety of fish species to save over exploitation of household favourites such as cod and salmon. A balanced diet is not only a great way to get a range of nutrients in to your diet, it can also be a great way help the environment.
  • Meat free Mondays – for meat eaters try and make a small change and see if you can eat a plantbased/vegetarian diet for one day a week, small changes can make a big difference. Ensure when eating fish that you always opt for ‘sustainable certified’ products.
  • Reduce food waste – As previously mentioned 20% of the total food waste comes from households. Try to use up fresh ingredients before your frozen or canned items, be creative in the kitchen and use vegetables about to go out of date in one pot recipes such as curries, stews or soups. Ensure you dispose of food correctly by recycling or making your own compost heap.
  • Eat local produce – support your local farmers and farm shops, have chat with them and understand their sourcing methods, are the sustainable? Is the welfare of the animal something they are proud of? Understanding the journey from farm to fork can help with sustainable eating, if you have the space and time why not try and grow your own vegetables!

 

 

Sustainable eating can also be carried into a lifestyle, there are many ways to help the environment such as natural household cleaning products, car sharing and recycling. With the UK government currently in discussions about single use plastic, here are some top tips to reduce your plastic usage:

  • Buying loose fruit and vegetables and avoiding the unnecessary plastic packaging
  • Use a reusable coffee cup such as a ‘keep cup’ when drinking coffee out of home, some coffee shops will even discount your coffee too!
  • Reusable bags for shopping – cotton bags are great for folding into small bags, having them in handy places such as your car or at the front door for when you are in a rush
  • Reusable water bottles – there are some great bottles on the market, some even keep water hot or cold for over 12 hours, some ranges even offer personalisation too so not only are you helping the environment it can also be a great accessory.
  • opt out of using plastic straws or requesting them in a bar or restaurant and try paper straws or reusable ones when at home, this can save hundreds of straws over the course of a year by just one person making this change.

 

 

References:

https://www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefood/#good_food,

BDA Plantbased foods


The ‘F’ word

Once upon a time in the world of nutrition fats were not just the ‘f’ word because of its spelling, fats were a big no no if you wanted to lose weight (I am talking the 90’s era – we are way past this now… I hope)

Fats are an essential nutrient in the diet, not only do they provide energy for the body but they also contain important vitamins and help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D and E. So, why are people scared to eat foods that are high in fat? Why is there a huge industry purely for low fat foods? Let’s find out.

 

The different types of fat:

There are many different types of fat and yes, if we eat too much fat it can be unhealthy, but some fats are considered ‘healthier’ than others.

  • Saturated Fat – this is the type of fat you may be familiar with as it is predominately on food labels. Saturated fat can be found in foods such as butter, fat on meats/poultry, cakes, biscuits, and full fat dairy products.
  • Trans Fats – also known as hydrogenated vegetable oils have been processed to make them hard and are usually less ‘healthy’ than saturated fats. These are common in foods such as pastries and biscuits. Trans fats, like most saturated fats when consumed too much can raise cholesterol levels, particularly LDL (which is considered the bad cholesterol) and reduce the good cholesterol HDL which could lead to an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Therefore, saturated and trans fats are not considered ‘healthy fats’ unlike unsaturated fat and omega 3 fats.
  • Unsaturated fats – these are usually found in plant foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetables and grains. Unsaturated fats can be found in two forms, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are considered particularly healthy as they encourage the healthier type of cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. Examples of monounsaturated fats in foods are olive and rapeseed oils, avocado, almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts. However, one gram of any type of fat is around 9 calories (37kJ) so portion size is key, aim for a handful of nuts per day and half an avocado rather than a full one.

If you are a regular Nutribloom reader you may have read my blog on Omega 3 but just in case you missed it, here is an overview.

  • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats are polyunsaturated fats and are essential fatty acids, meaning the body can not make sufficient amounts itself. Oily fish is a great source of Omega 3 such as salmon, sardines and mackerel however, for vegetarians and vegans you can get Omega-3 from foods such as rapeseed, flax, walnuts, and linseed oils. (It is worth noting that plant based foods contain smaller amounts of Omega 3 when compared to oily fish and some people consider a supplement, however always speak to a health professional before making changes to your diet.)

Omega 6 is found in vegetable oils such as rapeseed, corn and sunflower oil. In the UK Omega 6 is considered high in most diets and so getting the ratio of Omega 3 to 6 right is important. The government recommend eating two portions of fish each week (one being oily fish) to help boost Omega 3 ratio.

 

How much fat should we be having?

It is recommended that an average woman should be consuming around 70g fat each day however, this is only a guide and intake may vary from one day to the next, person to person. The recommended intake of fat equates to around one third of our daily calories (based on 2,000 calories a day.) However, the government strongly recommends that men should not consume more than 30g of saturated fat a day with women having no more than 20g.

 

Should you switch to low fat foods?

Low fat foods are now on most supermarket shelves and are a very popular choice for those who are trying to limit their fat intake, whether that be for a medical reason or personal. However, it is important to note that just because they are low fat they may not necessarily be the ‘healthier’ option. If the type of food is originally high in fat, the lower fat version may still have a high fat content compared to an alternative option. A common misunderstanding with low fat products is that they are healthy, low calorie options however, when removing the fat, not only can this be stripping the product of essential vitamins and minerals it may also be being replaced with sugar. It is important to always check the nutrition label, the NHS have some great resources available to help understand food labels and make an informed choice.

 

In summary, there is a lot of research showing evidence that monounsaturated fats can have a positive impact on our health however, fats are just one aspect of a healthy diet. Don’t let high fat foods put you off eating them, avocado is considered a high fat, high calorie food but it is packed with potassium and Vitamin E and is low in saturated fat. Enjoy your food and if you are wanting to cut back on fat try to just limit trans and saturated fats in comparison to unsaturated fats.

If you have any questions please get in touch 🙂

 

Photo Cred: Floraproactive.co.uk

References: British Dietietic Association, NHS,


Super Easy Smoothie Bowl

Hi guys,

Thank you for all your messages asking about the smoothie bowl I posted on Insta this morning!

Smoothie bowls are to me literally what it says on the tin, my fave smoothie poured into a bowl so it really is that simple!

 

Ingredients:

1 banana

3 large handfuls of frozen blueberries

3-4 tbsp of oats

1 tsp honey or syrup of choice

1 tsp peanut butter

40ml of milk of choice

 

Toppings:

Frozen raspberries

Chia seeds

Extra oats

(all ingredients for those asking are from Aldi except the wholefood peanut butter, so nothing mega fancy)

 

Method (if you can even call this a method it’s that simple):

  1. Add the banana, blueberries, oats, honey, peanut butter and milk to a blender and blend on low speed until thick.
  2. Pour in to your most insta worthy bowl
  3. Decorate with your fave toppings

 

*if you are not bothered about the bright purple colour, I usually add spinach too for some veggies*

Enjoy and tag me in any snaps!

Sarah x

 

 

 


The truth about sugar…

There is one nutrient that always seems to stand out as the bad guy and is continuously getting a bad reputation in the media, sugar! However, before you start cutting it out of your diet, let’s find out a little bit more about it.

 

What is sugar?

There are around 56 possible names for sugar, ranging from cane sugar to agave nectar to beet sugar. But what are the different types? Are there any that are better for us than others?

The sugar you have probably heard the most of is glucose. Glucose in a monosaccharide and is used by the body for energy. Fructose naturally found in fruits is also a monosaccharide and is converted into glucose in our bodies.

Galactose is a monosaccharide found in milk and when composed with glucose becomes the disaccharide lactose. The sugars naturally found in milk don’t count as free sugars.

The sugar that most households have in their cupboards is white table sugar which is usually added to cooking, baking and hot drinks, this is a ‘free’ or ‘added’ sugar. This type of sugar is a disaccharide called sucrose. Sucrose is composed of monosaccharides glucose and fructose and usually comes from cane and beet plants.

 

Why do we need sugar?

There are three different forms of carbohydrates that are found in food: fibre, starch and sugar. Carbohydrates are a major source of energy in the diet and provide around 4kcal per gram. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose (sugar) and then absorbed into the bloodstream. Insulin then helps the glucose enter the body’s cells and is then used as energy. Any unused glucose is then converted into glycogen which is found in the liver and muscles. It is only when there is excess glucose that cannot be stored as glycogen that it then converts into fat, ensuring there is ‘back up’ energy.

 

What sugars should we be reducing?

SACN (Science Advisory Committee on Nutrition) carried out research and produced a comprehensive report on carbohydrates. From this study the Government identified that the UK population should try to cut down on free sugars, these include any sugars added to food and drinks. Examples of foods containing free sugars are chocolates, biscuits, flavoured yogurts and soft drinks. Whether that be at home, by a chef or a food manufacturer. Sugars in honey, syrups (such as agave, maple) nectars and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies all contain naturally occurring free sugars and should be eaten in moderation.

A big trend for people when it comes to the new year or ‘holiday diets’ is juicing. This can be anything from days to weeks consisting of consuming nothing but juices. The idea behind this may have started with good intentions, you are contributing to your 5 a day and consuming lots of vitamins and minerals after all. However, you are consuming a lot of free sugars when fruit or vegetables are blended/juiced and you may lose some of the fibre which can help keep the gut happy. Public Health England recommend that we limit our fruit juice and smoothie intake to around 150ml per day to limit the free sugars in our diet.

 

Why should we limit our sugar intake?

The SACN report concluded that the public would benefit from consuming less free sugars and here is why:

  • A greater risk of tooth decay
  • Increased risk of type two diabetes when consuming too many sugary drinks
  • High sugar foods can contribute to eating too many calories which can lead to weight gain

 

Sugars that are excluded from ‘free sugars’ are sugars naturally found in fruits and vegetables, grains and cereals as well as lactose present in milk and dairy products.

 

How much sugar should we be having?

Since the SACN report the Government suggest that we should be getting no more than 5% of our calories each day from ‘free sugars’ that equates to around 30g per day for an adult. To put a little context behind that, it is approximately 7 cubes of sugar.

Although limiting free sugars is recommended there is nothing wrong with a sweet treat now and again, you should never feel guilty for having a bit of what you fancy. So, if you want the dessert then have the dessert!

 

The sugar verdict:

  • A little bit of sugar will not do you any harm just try to eat the ‘free sugars’ in moderation.
  • Do not be afraid of fructose in fruits when they are in their original form, they are great sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre and are less likely to cause tooth decay than free sugars.
  • Think twice about those expensive ‘healthier alternatives’ to sugar such as agave syrup and nectars they are the same number of calories per gram to table sugar and our body processes it the same way. Generally, to get the health benefits that come with these alternatives you would have to eat them in large quantities.
  • Check the labels and ingredients list when it comes to buying sugary products, the NHS website has some great tips on this.
  • Sugar is not the ‘latest drug’ it has not been scientifically proven to be addictive in humans.
  • Remember no food is toxic. Before you think about cutting all sugars out of your diet have a look at your overall diet, if you consume too many free sugars then maybe take small, steady steps to cut down rather than going cold turkey.

 

If you want to chat through any of the above with me then please get in touch.

Sarah x

 

Photo cred: Greatist.com

 

References: BDA, NHS and SACN Report


Munchin’ my way around Munich

Hey guys!

I have recently got back from a lovely, very cold weekend in Munich and what a wonderful city it is. As always I will be putting my favourite eating spots on here to save you scrolling through TripAdvisor and google for the best part of two hours (don’t ask!)

 

To start the weekend off we actually flew into Nuremberg where we spent one night and morning. Our first dining experience in the city was at Padelle d’Italia – this was a great hidden gem and very reasonably priced. The food was fab we had the Nino Pizza and Salmon tomato which if you are an oily fish fan you must try – the fresh Norwegian salmon was cut in to thick chunks and the portion was very generous!

italian

 

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen that we found the nicest brunch spot just outside the city walls called Kaubach – wow! You need to try this place a) for the almond croissant b) for the eggs Benedict c) the staff were so lovely you didn’t want to leave… Oh and did I mention there was chocolate granola?!

 

For all the flat white fans and strong coffee lovers out there pop into Machhörndl Coffee: Espresso Brew Bar – the best flat white we had the whole trip!

the best fw

 

After a quick stop off in Nuremberg we headed to Munich… famous for Oktoberfest and Christmas markets we wasn’t sure what to expect in the quiet season of January but it was so lovely. My foodie/drink highlights are below.

Beer House – We started the trip being very traditional (or touristy!) with a stein beer, schnitzel and huge pretzel. The atmosphere was just what was expected with a live band, packed benches full of people from all around the world and litres and litres of beer everywhere you looked! We shared our food and it was better than we expected, even though we were in a famous beer hall all the food was a very high standard and I would definitely recommend if you are wanting to really get involved in the German traditions.

beer

 

Yum Thai – the clue is in the name here! Make sure you book this little gem as it gets really busy. We had coconut chicken soup, yellow curry and dumplings with a bottle of wine and although slightly more expensive than other places it is really worth it – the staff could not have done more for us and the surroundings are great for an intimate meal.

*it may look empty on the right photo but we stayed until close due to a late booking!

Jaded Monkey – a very cool spot in a quiet area of the city, it is only lit by candle light (hence why we have no photos – also because not one single person was on their phones in this bar, so we didn’t want to get ours out. The way it should be!) We had a Munich G&T and a smokey old fashioned, very strong, good quality cocktails with attentive staff and free olives!

Hungriges Herz – from tripadvisor and many food bloggers this is the best place to brunch in Munich however, we couldn’t get in so I just wanted to put a note on this place to make sure you book before you turn up (or you may be stuck in the rain trying to find the next best place!)

Tambosi – the perfect, cosy stop off to warm up and grab a snack before walking around the English Gardens, great panini and croissant spot with a lovely latte art coffee.

 

Burger house – not just one for the carnivores out there, I actually went for a veggie burger and there was plenty of vegan options too with the choice of breads such as multi seeded and a sour dough buns. A lovely quick lunch spot!

 

If you ever visit these beautiful cities, tag me in your photos if you manage to go to any of these spots, I’d love to see!

Enjoy,
SJ x

 

 


Savoury Pancakes Recipe (topped with a poached egg of course!)

Hi guys,

Happy Pancake Day!

I am a huge fan of sweet pancakes but I am an even bigger fan of brunch!! So last weekend I decided to swap my usual bread filled brunch with some pancakes and it was delicious.

This is a very basic pancake recipe but great for adding things to. Adding vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach or even sweetcorn to the mix that would work really well and give the pancakes a little more texture.

 

Recipe:

150ml of milk of your choice

50g of plain flour

1 free range egg

A sprinkle of chilli flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

*add veggies of your choice

 

Method:

  • Whisk all ingredients together and set aside for 20 – 30 minutes
  • Warm a wok or frying pan on a medium to high heat and add a little olive oil (use kitchen roll to spread evenly)
  • Pour mixture in hot pan for around 1 minute (depending on size) and when it starts to bubble flip to the other side for 30 seconds, once cooked set aside on a warm plate
  • Continue to do this until the mixture has all gone – there should be around 4-5 pancakes
  • Serve with some chopped tomatoes with dill, sliced avocado (I mashed some and put it between the pancakes too!) some pan fried mushrooms and spinach, topped off with a runny poached egg.

 

 

Enjoy!

SJ x


Turmeric – is it the new miracle spice?

Hi Nutribloomers,

I have been getting asked a lot about the health benefits on turmeric and if it is something we should be adding into our diet. With it being featured on ‘this morning’ earlier this week as well as getting lots of media coverage, I felt it was quite relevant to add a little evidence based blog.

 

I love adding turmeric into curries especially coconut milk based ones and having the odd turmeric latte (recipe below) however, as with most foods it is important to eat in moderation… but I bet you knew I was going to say that?!

Turmeric has lots of rumours going round about how it can cure cancer, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimers as well as aiding weight loss. To keep it short and sweet it is not the miracle spice you may think.

Turmeric contains the antioxidant chemical curcumin which is usually what is found to have anti-inflammatory properties we hear so much about (it also gives tumeric its bright golden colour)  However, its quantities can vary with the turmeric we buy in our local supermarket, with some bottles only containing around 3% and with curcumin being poorly absorbed we would need kilos of it to see any benefits.

Turmeric extract on the other hand can contain as much as 95% curcumin which is usually tested in scientific, test tube studies. There is not enough sufficient evidence to show the benefits of turmeric in humans at the moment and much more research is needed. However, that is not to say stop eating it, if you enjoy it then whack it in those curries and opt for a turmeric latte now and again but if you don’t enjoy it then don’t feel the pressure to add it it your diet, you aren’t missing out.

 

Just a quick note on recent media coverage. It important to note that every body is different and what has worked in one person may not actually work for you. Always speak to a medical professional/Registered Dietitian or Reg. Nutritionist before adding vast amounts of something like this into your diet. Please do not consider IV treatment for ingredients such as turmeric (it has unfortunately led to a death in 2017) 

 

If you do want to try turmeric I would recommend a tablespoon in any type of curry or if you want to see what all the fuss is about try my homemade turmeric latte recipe below:

 

Spicy Turmeric Latte Recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 150ml of your chosen milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Add all ingredients into a pan and whisk.

Stir ingredients over a medium heat until warm

Add to your favourite mug and dust with extra cinnamon and enjoy!