New Recipes on Pinterest

Just to say I have added several new recipes onto the AIP (autoimmune protocol) board for you – although anyone grain and dairy free with benefit – and even if you’re not either, they are a healthy choice for you!

Herb & Garlic Paleo AIP Crackers from Flash Fiction KitchenHerb crackers using tiger nut and cassava flours, a granola bar with added collagen peptides to aid leaky gut healing and a ‘teriyaki’ sauce for when you need some flavour.

Enjoy x

Get Some Autumn Plums In!

Image result for plumsNice little tip today from Dr Glenville to remind us to use plums more this Autumn. I am currently having them every day pretty much with an almond flour, grapeseed oil and honey crumble mix on top. All I need now is some coconut yoghurt on top, but you could use soya or whatever you can have. Yummy, very filling and extremely nourishing as Marilyn says:


Plums are abundant at this time of year. They belong to the Rosaceae family and are part of the same Prunus category as nectarines, peaches and apricots.

Plums are full of vitamins including A and K, and minerals such as iron and potassium. Rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre, they help prevent constipation and have a mild laxative effect. They are low on the glycaemic index so they shouldn’t cause spikes in blood sugar. Their deep red/purple colour announce the presence of antioxidant compounds which include anthocyanins. In fact, plums are some of the most antioxidant rich fruit.

Poach plums with a little maple syrup, star anise and cinnamon. Store them in the fridge to enjoy with natural yogurt, porridge or muesli.

There are also two recipes on my Pinterest boards using plums. You can check those out here: a grain free upside down cakes and jelly with plums. Mmmm…

We also had an interesting discussion on the TGF Facebook group the other day about the benefits of prunes and plums to bone health. Did you know, for example, that:

  • Studies show that a single serving or about five dried plums may prevent bone loss in older, osteopenic postmenopausal women

This article might be worth a read – which do you choose?

Prunes or Plums — Which Has More Benefits?

Unusual Salad Recipes

I spied two of Michelle’s masterpiece salad creations in her recent blog post. I have been to many a meeting at FoodsMatter Towers where the food looks as delicious as these.

For the delectation of those attending the FM Garden party (sadly not me this year), Michelle delivered:

Red rice with anchovies, seaweed and smoked oysters

which was popular with the feline members of the household too it seems, and

Fennel, bean, avocado and mint salad

Both looked fabulous and are pretty much TGF too. Click through to get her recipes here. Enjoy.


Nuts: Natural Anti-Inflammatories and Not Fattening!

I am always asked if it is ‘OK’ to eats nuts if you’re trying to lose weight because they are ‘fattening’. Er, yes it is and no they are not. In fact, the opposite is often found in studies, see here, for example:

Nuts Whole Hazelnuts

13 Healthy Reasons to Eat More Walnuts

Eat Almonds For Breakfast

Crumble rhubarb Français : Crumble à la rhubarbe The latter also includes my nutty crumble breakfast recipe, which I have happily started making again now I’ve got nuts back into my diet 🙂

Anyway, nuts generally help keep you fuller for longer, are nutrient-dense and help control blood sugar, so stop the ‘fat-hormone’ insulin from going too mad and sticking fat on your belly! For more on this, see my Belly Fat book.

So, today, I was also pleased to see a report on nuts being linked to lower inflammation levels:

Nuts are natural anti-inflammatories

People who eat nuts five or more times a week have lower markers of inflammation compared to people who never eat nuts—and inflammation levels dropped dramatically among people who substitute three servings a week of red meat, processed meat, eggs or refined grains for nuts.

Ok, so it’s not fabulous science but my clinical experience backs this up. The good fats and nutrients such as magnesium and B vits are probably the reason why – and also because if you substitute rubbish food with good food, of course your inflammation will come down.

I also recalled the other day that you can get a whopping 50mcg of the very important selenium from just one large brazil nut! Make sure any men are having a couple a day for prostate health at least and if your thyroid is not quite firing on all four cylinders, selenium is crucial. I am finding a lot of people are having hidden thyroid hormone conversion problems from simply a lack of the selenium required in that pathway. Similarly with iodine, but I digress. See the Thyroid Problems factsheet for more on that

Anyway, the upshot is: get some nuts! as the advert says – your insulin, cravings, glands and inflammation will thank you!


Sweeteners Make You Fat

Image result for sweeteners  I’ve been saying this for well over a decade now: artificial sweeteners trick the body somehow and lead to weight gain so the irony of people choosing ‘low cal’ and ‘low sugar’ food and drinks which contain artificial sugars as part of their weight loss strategy is not lost on me!

Today, I see WDDTY has done a special feature on the issue which makes fascinating reading. You have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing but here is a taster (pun intended!) here for you:

The discovery that artificial sweeteners (ASs) don’t help you lose weight wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who kept up with the scientific evidence. As long ago as 1988, clinical trials showed that adding saccharin to rats’ water supply made them eat up to 15 per cent more food than rats drinking plain water.4

That same year, a Leeds University study found the same thing in people. Tests comparing ASs with sugar as sweeteners showed that the artificial ones increased people’s appetites, making them eat more food. Why? Probably because of  “the uncoupling of the sensory and energetic components of sweet solutions”, said the researchers.5

In other words, having tasted something sweet, the body expects, yet fails to receive, the promised energy boost, so it resorts to fulfilling the expectation by eating more food.

They go on to add that the sweeteners somehow affect glucose control and affect the bacterial balance in the gut:

So the apparent paradox of zero-calorie sweeteners causing weight gain is solved. They deliver a sinister double whammy: first a rise in glucose, which is then followed by hobbling of the glucose ‘antidote’ mechanism—two huge hits that can only result in weight gain—because, as we now know, the major cause of fat storage is not excess calories, but excess glucose in the blood circulation.  

In effect, the only sweetener recommended in the conclusion – and that’s probably because it is not man-made – is pure water-extracted stevia and not mixed with anything else. However, there are issues even with stevia, see my post here, for example, where I discuss the fructose issue with sweeteners too:

Agave – Healthy Or Not?

Meantime, do read the WDDTY feature if you can.

Sweet not-so-nothings

FreeFrom Food Award Winners

A bit late with this for you as they were announced last week, but here is the much-looked forward to list of the good and the great of new special diet, freefrom foods in the UK. I always love looking at this list so see what new stuff has been created, and it seems to be get better each year.

This year, for example, the overall winner is a free from gluten and dairy free pork pie! How about that?!

Voakes FreeFrom

Of course, I can’t go without mentioning the gluten and dairy free Genius Pain Au Chocolat either – how did they achieve that?!

Genius Pain au chocolat

Anyway, do go and have a look, especially if you need inspiration for your dietary needs; there is always loads there:

freefrom food awards - the UK'sonly awards for freefrom food FreeFrom Food Awards 2015 Winners

Post Menopause: Eat Bananas, Salmon and Sweet Potato To Cut Stroke Risk

Cavendish bananas are the main commercial bana...
Cavendish bananas are the main commercial banana cultivars sold in the world market. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hot on the heels of my salmony lunch recipe today is a good reason to eat more of it, especially if you are post-menopausal:

New research has found that potassium-rich foods such as bananas may cut the risk of having a stroke by as much as a quarter.  This was a large-scale study conducted for around 11 years, involving 90,137 post-menopausal women, aged 50-79.  All women were stroke-free at the start of the study and their average potassium intake was 2,611mg per day.  (The World Health Organisation recommends women consume at least 3,510mg potassium per day, and only 16.6% of the women studied met or exceeded that amount.)

The study, published in the American Heart Association Journal, found that the women who ate the most dietary potassium were 12% less likely to suffer strokes in general and 16% less likely to suffer an ischaemic stroke (where blood to the brain is cut off) than women who ate the least.   In addition, the women who ate the most potassium were 10% less likely to die prematurely than those who ate the least.

In addition to bananas, other potassium-rich foods include white beans, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables and salmon.

Source: Natural Health Practice enews Sep 14

FreeFrom Food Awards Shortlist Is Out!

FFFA  One of my favourite times of year this because we get to see what wonderful new foods have been invented and launched for our delectation! Don’t know about you, but I fancy the new mango and passionfruit coconut yogurt, the mung bean pasta and the chia seed muffin mix. Yum!

Sadly, I couldn’t go and judge this year because my mouth was playing up and I am in the middle of the few foods elimination diet (see here); I usually do the Innovation category at the end as that’s what really excites me. However, I am knee-deep in non-toxic skincare for the 2014 FreeFrom SkinCare Awards, doing my usual moaning, groaning, whooping and scratching of chin!

Here are some highlights for you and you can go here to see the full shortlist in each category.

After two weeks of heavy duty tasting and arguing the merits of sunflower ‘peanut butter’ over coconut yogurts, the FreeFrom Food Awards judges have chosen over 240 products to shortlist this year.

‘Once again we had a very encouraging increase in the number of entries,’ says Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, director of the FreeFrom Awards who chairs the judging sessions, ‘but it was the range of products that was really exciting. Not just the exotic chia bread mixes and asparagus pasta pastes but the down to earth staples: gluten and dairy-free fish cakes, chicken bites, pork pies, Genoa slab cake and even a dairy-free white chocolate which would have been perfect for that dairy-free episode of the GBBO!!’, in no significant order except alphabetical, are a few of the ‘highlights’ – (NB, there are links to each one but for some reason the colour’s not showing up, just hover over each manufacturer name)


 What are the FreeFrom Food Awards?

 The FreeFrom Food Awards, now in their 7th very successful year, are the industry’s only award for ‘freefrom food’ – gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soya-free etc.  FreeFrom Food Awards judges included professional foodies (manufacturers, chefs and cookery writers), medics (dietitians and nutritionists) coeliacs and allergy sufferers, a dozen or so keen freefrom bloggers and a good sprinkling of ‘outsiders’ to benchmark the products against ‘normal’, non-freefrom equivalents. See the awards site for more details.

 The winners of the 2014 FreeFrom Food Awards will be announced and presented with their certificates by Antony Worrall Thompson at an invitation-only party in central London on March 25th.

OK, so get a cuppa, sit down and have an explore: hope you find something yummy that suits your diet needs. Happy munching – well done to all judges and good luck to the companies!