Top Tips for Veganuary

Happy New Year!

Another year has gone in the blink of an eye as well as a lovely Christmas break full of extra yoga (utilising that time off work well!) or full of extra food and drink! January for many is a time where people look to make fresh starts and try new things – we have all seen the new years resolution posts haven’t we?!

One of the most popular ‘new things’ to try over the last couple of years has been Veganuary. Veganuary is a charity run campaign to encourage people to try a vegan diet for the month of January hence Vegan-uary. Last year saw an increased number of retailers and restaurants jumping on board the vegan hype, having dedicated menu sections and shopping aisles purely for vegan products.

Many people have opinions on this campaign both positive and negative, but there is no doubt veganism is rapidly growing as a lifestyle choice, with the Vegan society stating there were 542,000 vegans in the UK in 2016, a whopping 360% growth over the last ten years! So, whether you are new to the vegan scene or you just want some extra nutrition advice, here are some top tips to consider if you are opting for the plant baed diet this January.

How to get enough protein:

Protein plays several important roles in this functioning of our body such as growth and repair and the maintenance of good health. There are a variety of plant-based sources of protein on the market such as beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu and soya. In the UK it is advised to aim for approximately 70g of protein each day. When following a vegan diet variety is key as some sources of protein do not contain all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Foods such as soya, quinoa and hemp are thought to be the only ‘complete’ plant-based sources of protein that do not come in supplement form.

Vitamin Deficiencies:

People following a vegan diet can sometimes be more likely to be deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the vitamins to try and include in your diet are listed below.

Vitamin B12 is a very important vitamin to be aware of it you are eliminate all animal products from your diet. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue, anaemia, and potential nerve damage. The British Dietetic Association recommend eating two portions of fortified foods per day to help with your B12 intake such as breakfast cereals, yeast extract, soya yogurts and non-dairy milks. If this isn’t possible, consider taking a daily supplement with approximately 10mg of Vitamin B12. (If you have any concerns about this please see your GP or a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist)

Iron is usually found in meat and eggs with absorption being helped through Vitamin C. Plant based sources of iron are not as easily absorbed however, you can find iron in foods such as dried fruits, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, seeds and pulses. To help absorption consume with foods high in vitamin C such as citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables for example; porridge with seeds and raisins serve with a 150ml glass of fresh orange juice.

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid which means the body cannot make it itself therefore we must obtain this from food. Omegas are important for contributing to growth and development, brain function and inflammation. Omega 3 is commonly found in oily fish, so this can be hard to get from a vegan diet. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) advise those who cannot get their Omega 3 from fish sources to maximise conversion by avoiding high in saturated fat foods and to focus on adding plant foods that contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) as well as considering a supplement from algae derived DHA. Good sources of Omega 3 in plant-based foods include walnuts, flaxseeds, soya beans and chia seeds.

Calcium is mainly found in dairy products so when following a vegan diet then you are best to try and include foods such as; green leafy vegetables, dried figs, nuts, kidney beans and tofu to help towards your recommended intake of 700mg per day – the Vegan Society state that 100g of calcium-set tofu can provide a half of an adult’s recommended intake. Calcium is important for the maintenance of bone health.

Selenium content in plant-based foods can vary depending on the selenium content of the soil the plant is grown in. This is sometimes hard for those following a vegan diet to ensure they are getting enough however, the BDA say that by consuming just two brazil nuts a day can help you reach your recommended intake of 60mcg for females and 75mcg for males.

 

If you are taking part in Veganuary this year, enjoy it, get creative with new foods, exotic recipes, and embrace those indulgent vegan dishes in restaurants, just try not to deprive yourself of any foods your body may need. Do not feel the pressure to eliminate animal products from your diet if you don’t want to, this should not be a new year’s diet. Maybe having one day each week being vegan is enough for you… don’t feel pressured into changing your eating habits if it doesn’t suit you.

If you are unsure on anything then always speak to a medical/nutrition professional. Your body unique, nourish it well. 


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

 

 

 


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!


Setting an Intention this New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

As a new year begins I just want to take a moment to share my gratitude for one of my personal highlights of last year with you all. 2017 was the year I finally completed my Yoga Teacher Training Course. Not only was this a challenging journey but it was one I am very grateful for and it is certainly not over yet. I have learnt so much about connecting mind to body and it is something I feel I really need to focus more on.

I often preach about ditching the detox and never feeling guilty about food choices, but instead making small mindful changes and listening to your body. Just in case you were wondering, I 100% practise what I preach (as much as I love avocado I also love chocolate and as much as I love kombucha I also love prosecco!) #balance right?!

 

For this blog post I thought I would focus more on our mind rather than whats in our fridge. It is a fresh, new year after all and I promise it will only take a minute.

 

Setting an Intention

When I start every yoga class, whether I am teaching or practising I set an intention. At first, I used to listen to examples the teacher was guiding the class through but now before I step on to the mat I know (most of the time!) why I am practising yoga and who or what I want to dedicate my practise to.

Each intention we set is personal so it would be unfair for me to start talking about what we should be grateful for or why we should be happy as we are all unique (another thing I harp on about!) but I do believe that setting an intention is something you should consider doing. If you are in need of some inspiration I once read that setting an intention ‘translates your practice off your mat and into your life.’

However, you do not have to be stepping on to the mat to set an intention, the new year, the start of a new day or even whilst you are making a fresh cup of coffee might suit you best. Anything from one to even ten minutes just focusing on some ‘you’ time can be a great step to self care. Taking some small, calming moments to reflect, may help you recognise what has been challenging you or what really makes you happy, then your intention may be built from there.

I find walking, yoga and baths a great time for me to unwind and get some head space but there are lots of great apps, Youtube videos and playlists that can help too. So, if big New Years resolutions don’t work for you maybe take a few moments now to begin your intention setting journey.

Here are two of my favourite things to help you begin to unwind and reflect:

  • All Bar One – Mindfulness Matters Playlist on Spotify
  • Guided Meditation on the Head Space App

 

I hope this has as much as a positive impact on you than it does for me, good luck!

Sarah x

 

 

 


Ditching the detox this New Year

Merry Christmas guys!

Tis’ the season to be festive, drink lots of Baileys and eat lots of turkey (or nut roasts… no discrimination here!)

After a lovely festive season where food seems to be the centre of all social events (woo) many people begin to look at extreme diets. We have all heard people say “2018 is my year” “The diet starts January 1st” and a personal favourite “New year, new me!” Whether that be through detoxing, juicing, calorie restriction or eliminating food groups from the diet, there will be some kind of product available to ‘help’ you achieve this.

If this sounds like you then you are not alone and as good as people’s intentions are you may be spending time and money on something you don’t need to.

Ditching the detox is something that you may hear many Registered Nutritionists and Dietitians talking about and for most of us detoxing is unnecessary.

A detox may indicate that our body is full of toxins and unless we ‘detox’ they will just begin to build up in the body.  Thanks to our kidneys and liver working all day, every day, this is simply not the case.

A detox can comes in many different fad forms. Here is a little myth busting on the top three I get asked about:

 

Juicing

This can be anything from days to weeks consisting of consuming nothing but juices. The idea of juicing 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 also consuming a lot of free sugars when the fruit is blended or juiced as well as losing some of the fibre, which can help keep our 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.

 

Detox teas

A lot of these products are a marketing dream, claiming to detox you from all the ‘bad’ foods you have eaten and all the alcohol you may have drank. I wont rant on about these too much but I would advise you not to waste your money on them. If you are wanting to check out how valid their claims are, visit the ASA website and see how many of them get pulled up on false advertising.

 

Eliminating food groups

Unless there is a medical reason to why you should cut key food groups out of your diet then this is something you can definitely ditch. Carbohydrates, protein, fats, fruit, vegetables and dairy/dairy alternatives all contribute to a healthy, balanced diet. Removing one of these core food groups from your diet without advice from a Registered Nutritionist or Dietitian could cause you more harm than good. Carbohydrates may seem like the enemy on social media but wholegrain varieties can help towards your fibre intake and should be our main source of energy. Lets give carbs a break in 2018 please!

 

How to ditch the detox…

  • Firstly, think about why you are starting this ‘detox’ journey in January, is it really the best time for you to be spending more time focusing on your diet? The ‘new you’ can start whenever, so don’t feel you have to rush into a quick fix.
  • Don’t start panicking by downloading calorie counting apps and throwing the pasta away just yet. Take a step back and look at your diet and how it makes you feel. If it is overwhelming then speak to a professional.
  • Do not listen to ‘Sally from down the road’ when it comes to nutrition advice, if you are willing to spend over the odds on heavily marketed products you may as well see a Registered professional for real, trustworthy advice.
  • Remember we are all different, ‘Sally’ may have a completely different lifestyle to you. ‘Sally’ may feel better for cutting red meat out of her diet but is she feeling better because of this or is she possibly eating more fish, veggies and overall variety which she may have never had before.
  • Is your health professional actually a professional? Or do they have very good marketing to get them over 10,000 followers on Instagram? If you want nutrition advice that you can trust and can help with your lifestyle check out the Association for Nutrition Register.
  • There are some amazing PTs out there but are they qualified nutritionists? If something doesn’t sound right then question them and ask for evidence. A true professional should be more than happy to provide you with references if they are credible.
  • Try and drop the guilt surrounding food and Christmas. Yes we may eat too much but no doubt you are having a great time when you are, so remember memories will be what you look back on, not how much protein you ate that day.

 

I am more than happy to answer any questions on detoxes. If you hear of a new one that has come out this New Year that you may be unsure on then I am happy to have a look into it for you guys.

Have a great festive season and see you in 2018 🙂

Sarah x

 

*Disclaimers:

I have no personal grudge against anyone called Sally. 

 I have been in two minds about if I should post this blog. Everyone has different relationships with food and if this time of year brings anxiety or any stress to your eating habits then please get in touch.