Salmon, Lentils and Celeriac mash

I prepack my lunch on most days and made this last week in no time. I have missed a good green lentil dish and thought it would remind me of the flavours from home, since they form part of  traditional Mauritian cuisine.

Ingredients :

Green Lentils, 2 gloves of garlic, 1 medium onion,fresh thyme, 1 Celeriac, herbes de provence or other herbs of your choice, salmon, olive oil, salt and pepper, cayenne pepper

Method

Rinse your green Lentils and   boil them with just enough water to cover them. Once cooked, remove the excess water. Add coconut oil or olive oil to a pan, 2 cloves of garlic, an onion, and fresh thyme .I usually prefer adding my herbs last as this is how they retain the most nutrients. Season to taste. In Mauritius, they occasionally cook the lentils with bacon, and if that’s your wish to do so, then add a few pieces of good quality bacon with the herbs/onions/garlic combination after stripping off the fat.Keep those additions as a reward for eating well and leading a healthy lifestyle at least 80 % of your time and allowing yourself to have treats 15-20% of the time

While the lentils cook, strip the skin off the celeriac with a sharp knife) and cut into pieces, and steam or boil them until soft.Mash the celeriac and set aside. Cook the garlic for a few seconds in  a teaspoon of olive oil and toss the mashed celeriac with the garlic, herbes de provence and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

The salmon was simply roasted in the oven with salt and pepper.

 

Nutritional INFO

Lentils are wonderful, free from gluten, full of dietary fibre, high in protein (26% of lentils calories are attributed to protein). Being free from gluten they give a break to your digestion especially if you eat them as part of a vegetarian meal, or accompanied with fish instead of animal based protein (since those require longer to be processed by the body). They help keep your blood sugar levels at bay, and therefore are ideal if you are diabetic or suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  (PCOS) for example. The Fibre content helps to relieve constipation of course, but also other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome.

Lentils for lunch are great since they sustain your hunger until the evening, giving your pancreas a rest since you won’t be snacking for a change. Good source of iron, hence help in  transporting oxygen throughout the body and is key to energy production and metabolism.

Low in calories with no fat, they can be used to manage your weight.

Celeriac root is my chosen vegetable as a side dish and gives it body and depth.It is far more nutritious and tasty than the standard potatoes and I have mostly enjoyed it  in  the past at restaurants. Be adventurous and use it in your dishes. It has a nutty, creamy and sweet flavour and is a lovely seasonal vegetable !Eating seasonally allows you to benefit from the nutrients to the maximum !Wonderful alternative to use as a mash for children but you can also opt for sweet potato instead. What else can it bring you ? manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous, vitamin B complex, dietary fibre, calcium, potassium , sodium and magnesium. It high in anti-oxidants and research has shown it may have beneficial effects against colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It is a diuretic ! just like it’s related vegetable, celery, and helps you to get rid of the excess water and can relieve muscle stiffness.Vitamin K,  helps to increase bone mass whereas the copper and phosphorus help in bone metabolism.

We can often be deficient in minerals because of the quality of the soil in which our vegetables grow, the medications that we take, or how we cook or combine our foods. Obtaining these minerals through organic/home grown/ or fresh vegetables definitely helps.. Celeriac has been found to be good for mental health, increasing blood flow to the brain and can be of use in conditions like Alzheimer’s, insomnia or stress.

The dish is complemented with  Salmon giving you a good dose of protein, omega 3, and brain boosting nutrients to keep our mind clear and focussed !

enjoy xxx

 

 

Alternatives to Cow’s milk

Dear Nutri Affairs followers,

It’s Tuesday night and it is nearly the end of January 2015. I am feeling rather happy to end the January blues and start afresh in February, although content with what has been achieved this month. Do you have new goals or aspirations for the year and did not get round to starting them?Go ahead, whether it is to be more organised, spend less time on your phone but with the ones surrounding you, become fitter and work out at least twice a week, sleep more or try out new categories of food !

Alternatives to cow’s milk

We have such a wide range of options of dairy-free milks, especially in the UK. Here is a quick summary of what some of these may bring you, and you may find that overall you feel better or digest them better. They are also ideal for those intolerant to dairy or lactose(sugars found in dairy).

I used to be a huge fan of cow’s milk, from copious amounts in tea to yoghurts, day in and out. Since learning about other types milks and their nutrient content, I have welcomed those with open arms.

Hemp milk:

produced from ‘superfood’ Hemp seeds and is perfectly legal! Dairy free/soya free/lactose free

High in omega 3’s (provides you with 50% of your daily allowance); high in essential amino acids so therefore high in protein, good for hormone imbalances, inflammatory conditions, cholesterol free, low in saturated fat and calories. Keep your heart healthy with hemp milk !

It has a creamy and nutty taste, suitable for vegans, vegetarians and children.

Coconut milk:

Wonderful for the skin, creamy and delicious in taste, High in omega 3’s, provides the same amount of calcium  as 250ml of semi-skimmed milk. It contains, calcium, manganese, selenium, zinc and iron.Anti-microbial, hence a powerful flu-fighter !Anti-inflammatory compared to cow’s milk and low in calories. Add in smoothies, bakes, oats, soups etc. More information about the benefits of coconuts in my article ‘facts I love about coconuts’

Rice milk

Made from rice grains, it is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.If chosen, just be aware it is high in carbohydrates, calories and sugars (not suitable for diabetics).However it is low in protein and in calcium. It is cholesterol free and has no saturated fat .It can be a good alternative to dairy (just like coconut, oat, hemp) especially if you have soy/nut allergies or lactose/casein intolerances It is good for the heart, with its content of niacin, magnesium and  vitamin B6. Opt for the most plain version if you do like it. Texture wise, rice milk can be quite gritty.

Oat milk

Nutritious as they are made from oats. High in complex carbohydrates with soluble and insoluble fibres so kind to the digestive system.High in folic acid, essential for us to produce red blood cells and repair. High in vitamins (B1, B6, E) and minerals (magnesium amongst others) and phytochemicals, compounds naturally present in plants, and provides them with their distinctive flavours, colours,odours and textures. Low in saturated fat, gluten free, lactose free. Oats contain beta-glucans which lower cholesterol and help to promote steady blood glucose levels.

Almond milk:

Besides coconut milk, this is another favourite of mine. Made from ground almonds, low  in calories and protein. It contains potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. It has similar calcium levels to dairy milk,providing us with 30 % of our recommended daily allowance.Almonds are a high source of vitamin A and E, powerful antioxidants thus protecting our body’s cells and tissues from damage.  High in vitamin D, providing you with 25 % of your recommended daily allowance,.Wonderful for  healthy eye sight and skin, it has immune enhancing properties and is also anti-ageing!

Soy milk

Made from soy beans, adequate for vegans and vegetarians, but some may found soy to be an allergen that does not agree with their body

Care should be taken as ‘soy’ contains phytoestrogens (which are a form of plant based hormones). If consuming in small amounts, opt for the wholebean organic ,soy milk and not the highly processed versions as then you would have no benefit of consuming soy milk. High in protein, calcium, low in calories and sugar. Most available option when out and about in the UK.

If you have always believed  Cow’s milk as being your main source of Calcium, then I’d like to point out that  green vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts,chicory, kale, spinach etc)  have a 40 to 65 % absorption capacity of calcium compared to cow’s milk which ranges at about 30 %.Other sources of calcium include, small fish (especially with their bones),nuts and seeds, dried fruits, pulses and wholegrains. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, and you can do so through nutrition or supplements especially during the winter months. Seek advice from a qualified professional when it comes to supplements !

Latest research show that today’s cow’s milk is not the best choice with regards to it’s quality, and effects on certain health conditions. This is another blog to be written on its own !

If choosing alternatives, always try to opt for the unsweetened, plain  and/or an organic version .If the labels contain words that you cannot pronounce, put it back on the shelf ! Some of the thickeners that may be added  to these dairy free milks include tapioca or carrageenan. Stay away from those when you can.

Have a lovely day

xxx isabelle

 

Roasted aubergine dip

Easy recipe and a great alternative to hummus

Roast three to four aubergines with some sea salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil
Combine the flesh with three cloves of crushed garlic, two tablespoons of tahini ,the juice of one lemon. Season to taste.

Serve spinkled with sumac,  as a starter with crudites or  flat bread.

Eggplants have wonderful nutritional benefits.

Low GI, perfect when keep your blood sugar levels at bay
Rich in fibre and incredibly versatile
Lower Blood pressure ( high in potassium and low in sodium)
High in the antioxidant Nasunin, which can help prevent the growth and multiplication of cancer cells
High in the antioxidant Chlorogenic acid, contributes in lowering cholesterol, prevent cancer growth as well and fight off free radicals
Rich in minerals and vitamins

By eating the garlic raw, you obtain a higher nutritional benefit : anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti -cancer properties also listed by Cancer.gov. Garlic contains-sulphur containing compounds which have the ability to stimulate liver enzymes and remove toxins from the body so eat your homemade pestos !

Careful for those who suffer from gout, as eggplants are high in uric acid and high consumptions may not be advisable

Facts about coconut oil that I love!

I thought it worth to mention the wonderful benefits of coconut oil. Over the last few weeks, especially with the cold weather and harsh stripping nature of water in London,  I saw patients struggling with dry skin or a worsening of dermatological conditions, just like I did prior to attending my course at the CNM college in  London.
Like a lot of us, I have eczema, which is chronic and preventative care is better than curing it constantly with steroidal creams. Although I have changed a few other things (products, diet, lifestyle) , my skin is in a much better place and I would always recommend coconut oil.
Facts I love about coconut oil which I use for cooking, baking, adding to smoothies and topical applications
  • It has Anti-inflammatory properties, therefore topically it is a wonderful natural remedy for dermatitis/eczema/psoriasis. Soothes dry, irritated, cracked skin. Taken orally, it  is great when  used along other dietary and lifestyle measures for inflammatory conditions (arthritis, ulcerative colitis )
  • Anti-microbial, perfect when there are signs of a bacterial infection.
  • It mostly contains lauric acid also present in breastmilk and is 100% lactose free. Coconut oil is classified as ‘good fats’. It is made of  medium chain fatty acid (unlike most foods in  common diets, have long chain fatty acids). Itlowers Cholesterol by increasing HDL  (high density lipoprotein) in the blood
  • Anti-fungal– it can  also help prevent dandruff by topical application on the scalp.
  • Anti-oxidant- Helps our bodies fight off free radical damage ( from UV light, pollution, stress, air- pollution.) Due to this property, it is Anti-ageing, so  ladies apply it to the max !
  • Use it for cooking as it is heat resistant (unlike oils like sunflower, soya, peanut, vegetable which are converted to harmful free radicals).If a recipe states other types of fat, you may swap it for coconut oil.
  • Lovely Natural Moisturiser as an alternative to our daily skin care products which often contain chemicals.
  • Weight management– fantastic as part of a weight management programme or simply when  following a healthy routine, it contributes to a reduction in appetite and helps to boost your metabolism. Coconut oil is directly absorbed by the liver and almost immediately metabolised and converted to energy. Because of their medium chain fatty acids, coconut oil (unlike other fats which have long chain fatty acids) are not packaged into molecules called lipoproteins and do not circulate in the blood stream to stay! As a reference, it is also lower in calories than any other oil
  • Enhances the Thyroid function, and therefore the production of hormones involved with mood, energy, metabolism, body temperature, heart rate and other body functions.
  • Nutritional Scientific research has also found benefits of coconut oil in degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s
  • Other uses: Cradle cap, Canker sores, Acne, Hair conditioning treatment, Make up remover,
Brands I like include TIANA-organic extra virgin coconut oil; Nutivaorganic extra virgin coconut oil.

JUICING : trendy, healthy, green ?

I say all of the above

It has become trendier to consume juices in the last few years and juicers and their related products are selling fast. But why ?

Cold pressed juices would be the best choice !Crushing the juices out of the vegetables to then squeeze out the juice with the highest nutritional value. High in digestive enzymes, bacteria, thickness, and they are about 3 to 5 times higher in nutrients than juices you’d buy from a carton of orange juice.

Why go green ?
  • Allows you to have a high intake of nutrients in one go, especially if you are finding it hard to compensate elsewhere.
  • By favouring more greens than fruits in your juice, you opt for a lower sugar content. (always check the label if purchasing juices.)

-Great for the digestive tract !

  • Reduce the level of acidity in the stomach which may be caused several factors including high or continuous intakes of coffee, processed food, spicy/greasy food, alcohol, irregular eating habits, stress, refined sugars .
  • Just remember to try and have the pulp of you juice if your juicer separates them. This is packed with dietary fibre, and is responsible for lowering your blood sugar levels and blood pressure, regulating your bowels, making you feel fuller for longer.
  • Oxygenates the body, due to the natural content of ‘chlorophyll’ in the greens. Chlorophyll works by neutralising the pollution (environmentally,or through our diet/lifestyle) and allows the removal of toxins. Since it improves the amount of red blood cell count (haemoglobin) , our blood flow improves and the result is higher energy levels !
  • Green juice is healing as it cleanses our inner cell walls and improves the health of our intestines and lungs amongst others.

Do we need to survive on juicing to do a cleanse ?

No, I don’t think so. The body naturally detoxifies itself through the GI tract , Liver and Kidneys

top tips :

Use fresh vegetables, organic if you can. Use more greens than fruits. Use a juice maker that does not heat and pulverise in a way as to destroy the nutrients. Brands I like : Nutri Bullet, Vitamix, Phillips juice maker

Make sure to keep the good stuff ! aka the pulp. You may convert this into a smoothie with almond milk for example and have a protein intake.

Today I made a kale/ ginger/granny smith apples/ carrot juice

 

Kale and Walnut Pesto recipe

80g of toasted walnuts, juice of 1 lemon, 75ml of olive oil,2-3 cloves of crushed garlic, 85 g of kale, sea salt and pepper to taste. if you want to add more flavour, add some parmesan to the recipe (40 g or more). Blend it all and it’s done !

Kale has so many wonderful properties ! it is a powerful antioxidant -with about 45 different flavonoids. High in omega 3’s, manganese, copper, folate, calcium, vitamins A and C. Powerful anti-inflammatory and is amazing at reducing chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in several health conditions, for instance psoriasis. It has anti-cancer properties due to its glucosinolates content (a type of flavonoid)

(oxidative stress occurs when you have poor absorption and not just an insufficient intake of antioxidants. The way oxygen is metabolised in the body is then compromised. The body is unable to fight and repair its cells and therefore leading to ill health)

The omega 3’s in kale and walnuts feed our brains with the right fats (polyunsaturated) allowing prevention and protection against disease.
(For example : Lower blood pressure, reduce and prevent cholesterol, protect brain cells and is involved in reducing risk of depression for instance)

Its nutritional values are best kept when served steamed or raw.

I will try and keep it short and simple for now and tell you more about FATS another day

isabelle

Nourishing breakfast

Feeling under the weather ?

how about a deliciously nourishing breakfast,

This morning it was a blend of chia seeds, sliced banana, kiwi, almond flakes, and a handful of organic oats, with a dash of almond milk. Since I needed a kick, I added a teaspoon of maca powder.

To top this up, I had a cup of licorice tea. It has a lovely sweet flavour, and is the perfect choice for a sore throat and chesty cough. By acting as a demulcent, it coats the throat with a thin layer of mucous thus protecting delicate tissues . It can also act as an expectorant, by clearing the congestion from the lungs and bronchial tubes.

I would advise you to be cautious if you have high blood pressure or are taking any medications for that matter.

xxx
HAVE A GOOD DAY

Get your MOJO back !

Dear Nutri Affairs followers,

Christmas and the festivities of the new year are now over and you may want to provide your body with the tools it needs to flourish again !

images

Here are my TOP TIPS for energising you and get your MOJO back !

  • SLEEP and get the BALANCE right. Fuel your body at the right times, eat 3 balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable and therefore energy constant !if you feel the urge include a form of protein i.e a fruit and a handful of nuts.
  • Why Essential Fatty Acids ?- EFA’s support your cells membranes in maintaining their flexibility and fluidity, they allow messages to move between cells to the mitochondria; our powerhouse of energy cells . Found in Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Oily Fish, Coconut oil..
  • PROTEIN : it does not only ‘make you fuller for longer’, it regenerates your cells. protein is broken down to amino acids, to then form new proteins, replacing cellular components that have been worn out. In addition- Amino acids are involved in making hormones, which allows your cells to communicate and the body to function as it should !

avocado run
Choose good quality protein, (wild caught) fish,legumes, nuts, organic eggs, grass fed meat if you can. Spirulina is also a powerful vegetarian protein source.

  • Replenish your body with you ANTIOXIDANTS, these good guys will fight off free radicals from causing cell damage. Free radicals build up with toxins found in foods, medication, pollution and even radiation. If these accumulate, free radical damage causes our little cells to function poorly therefore you can easily feel drained and lethargic

So make sure that you blast your diet with foods high in vitamin A, C and E. Want to speed up the process of toxin elimination? Add chlorella to your diet. It is so wonderful at binding to toxin molecules like spiders and pushing them out of the body

  • GO GREEN , My nutritional heroes : kale/spirulina/spinach/ parsley/basil. They are rich in chlorophyll, which resembles a haemoglobin cell, and transports oxygen around the body ! Greens are mighty and full of B vitamins , Magnesium and Alpha lipoic acid , all crucial for energy production
  • Try MACA ! Used back in the days by warriors for their endurance and energising properties It also helps to balance our hormones which can easily go haywire. Made into a superfood powder that I love, you can add a scoop to your porridge, bakes, smoothies giving you a boost in energy.
  • Top up with B5 : stimulate your adrenal glands and supports your stamina and ability to deal with stress. anxiety and feeling low. Avocadoes that we all love are high in B5 ! so have it on toast to start your day or as a snack ! Sprinkle with pumpkin or sunflower seeds and some cayenne pepper. Sounds delicious !
  • DITCH the caffeine fuelled drinks and processed sugars which only give you a rise in cortisol and sharp drop in energy once their effects wear off. They also affect good quality sleep !Again if Maca is within reach have some if you can. if not green tea, powerful in antioxidants
  • DO something that makes you LAUGH…the best natural energy booster found on earth ! 🙂

Hello and Welcome to Nutri Affairs

This blog along with the launch of my practice in the forthcoming weeks, has been a wonderful experience for me.

I hope that you will enjoy browsing through my health articles, recipes and things that I keep close to my heart. My goal is to share my passion for health and nutrition and do my best to empower you with heaps of information.

You will hopefully be amazed of how easy it can be to embrace new foods and make simple changes to a more ‘wholistic ‘way of life.

If you have any questions, do send me an email. My website is still undergoing some work, but keep an eye in the new year

Happy reading and have a wonderful day

Isabelle xxx