Category Archives: Food facts

Everybody’s Talking About Juicing. What are the benefits?

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Hi guys!

Want to know everything there is to know about juicing?? I have the right person for you:

@nge the beauty builder

Since I don’t know any more than anyone about the new trend, I asked a friend of mine to tell us all about it. Ange is a health coach who gives nutrition and lifestyle advice. She created GOSH food. Here is what she says about juicing:

 

Ange, can you tell me what is juicing?

“Juicing is a process by which your juicer will extract the juice from vegetables and fruits (yes, you can juice vegetables).The water and nutrients are extracted and the fibres discarded, hence it is supposed to accelerate the absorption and get those nutrients quicker to your bloodstream.

That is why juicing fruits only is not that beneficial as you end up getting pure fructose i.e. sugar only.”

 

What are the benefits of juicing as opposed to blending (smoothie)?

“I mainly juice raw vegetables. So if you find difficult to digest raw vegetables, juicing will help you to get them down smoothly as all the tough fibres will be removed from the juicing process – For instance if my tummy doesn’t feel right and I have difficulties to digest I will drink vegetable juice till I feel better (I find celery good for tummy aches) – Hence having a smoothie will make you feel fuller for longer (versus a juice) because it will keep everything in your drink.

In any case, do what suits you and what meets your preferences. I personally alternate between both.

Obviously there are things I do not really juice like fruits (to avoid a sugar rush) at the exception of apples and lemon. Avocado and banana are also difficult to juice.

There are vegetables that are hard to blend such as carrots, beetroots, fennel, and broccoli. In that case it is preferable to juice them or to blend them cooked (steamed).

Ideally you would juice your veggies and then blend fruits in the vegetable juice.

 There are many options, I juice carrots and celery to cook them in my soups; I use my blender to bake GOSH food cakes or make GOSH food ice treats.

 Whether you juice or blend if your intake is mainly made of vegetables it should give you this healthy boost as well as a detox effect for those who are using juices & smoothies as detoxifiers.

 Important note:

·       When buying take-away, go for freshly made juices or smoothies or check the ingredients list. Most of them are fruits only and will have high sugar content. If you fancy some fruits, have them whole.

·       There is no single formula that fits us all and juicing in certain instances cannot be appropriate. You should always try, experiment and observe when it comes to food; then you can adjust your diet according to you and how you react to it. My Daughter has got a cold stomach and does not stand raw vegetables juices very well (especially in winter) she needs warming foods. It happens that something wonderfully works for you and you want others to do the same but what works for you can happen not to work for others. And this is what GOSH food is all about: finding what works for you and your family.

·       Juice only diet: I am not a big fan of single formula diets so I won’t drink juices only to feed myself or my family. You will notice that many lost weight adopting this trend though. So before going down that route you need to consider whether their weight loss lasted, whether they were not missing any nutrients and were in good health. You need also to be aware that such diets involve more vegetable juices than fruits juices. If the consequence is an increase in cravings and irritability it might not be a good choice for you.”

 

Have you tried different juicers and which one is best?

I tried different juicers and as a GOSH fooder I finally switch to the cold press ones. I bought this year the Omega VRT juicer.

My advice is to buy what you can afford. Of course I juice every day (more in summer though) so it was natural for me to invest in a cold press juicer.”

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What is your favourite juice?

 “You will notice that once you start juicing your tastes will evolve. You will need a lot of fruits to begin with and then you will appreciate the vegetable juice more and more.

I like to start the day with a green juice and I would like to share with you my mega-booster that is made of Fennel, Ginger and Apple. Simple and efficient. Most of the time I will juice what I have in the fridge and I won’t be fussy about getting this green instead of another one.

I also like the following mix: Kale, broccolis, Pak Choi, lemon, ginger and 1 apple (juiced or blended).

I blend it with a banana or strawberries for my son.

 

Hope this help. You can always drop me an email if you wish to learn more about Healthy Living.”

 

Thanks @nge!

Now I know all about juicing, I feel like getting a juicer so I can eat more raw vegetables and get loads of vitamins!

Gourmet Organic Simple Healthy food

This is not perfection, this is HAPPINESS. 
 
                

@nge offers different formula to suit busy active parents lives so they will make their families happy, healthy and beautiful through their own happiness, health and beauty.

GOSH food website will be live soon: http://www.gosh-food.com

Check @nge’s GOSH food page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GOSHfood?fref=ts

Or you can contact @nge at: goshfood@gosh-food.com

4-up on 2013-08-24 at 15.56 #5

 

Pumkin Soup or My Autumnal Comfort Food

pumpkin soup

In my journey to a healthier me, I have learnt to find alternatives to transform old habits into better ones.

I thought about comfort food last week as I was walking to uni in the rain and wind. When I arrived there I bought a hot chocolate. And I actually found it too sweet. Don’t get me wrong, it went down quite well, but had I made it myself, I wouldn’t have put that much sugar. It’s funny how you can get used to eating certain types of food and how your palate adjusts with changes. Some changes that we force ourselves to make, like swapping white bread for wholegrain, or giving up sugar in tea, for example, can seem hard at first but our taste buds really do readjust. Especially to sweetness I find. I’m sure it’s true for salt too.

Anyway, today I’m making a pumpkin soup, all because of that walk in the rain that made me want comfort food. Something with a nice colour, thick texture and good taste.

pumpkin soup ingredients

I thought about what veggies would go well together and decided for: pumpkin, parsnip, carrot, leek and onion. Very seasonal, and for a bit of a kick, I will add turmeric and chili pepper. And of course a bit of black pepper and salt. I will serve it either on its own, or with a bit of creme fraiche and grated cheddar / gruyère, or chorizo slices. For the exact recipe, scroll down to the bottom of the page :-)

Now for those interested, here is the nutritional content of each ingredient (per 100g):

(source: wikipedia, sorry haven’t got time for deeper research today)

Pumpkin: 26 kcal, pretty much 0g fat, 0g protein, carbohydrate 6g (2.8g sugar), sodium 1mg, potassium 340mg and 170% of your daily needs in vitamin A (remember to eat your vitamin A with fat as it is a fat soluble vitamin).

Parsnip: 75 kcal, pretty much 0g fat, 1.2g protein, potassium 375mg, sodium 10mg, carbohydrate 18g (4.8g sugar), calcium 3% of your daily needs, vitamin C 28%, however that will be lost in cooking because vitamin C is very sensitive to heat.

Carrot: 42 kcal, 0g fat, 0g protein, potassium 320mg, sodium 69mg, carbohydrate 10g (4.7g sugar), vitamin A 334% of your daily needs (great news!) and no need to mention vit C now we know it’s going to be lost in cooking.

Leek: 61 kcal, 0g fat, protein 1.5g,  potassium 180mg, sodium 20mg, carbohydrate 14g (3.9g sugar), vitamin A 33% of your daily needs, vitamin B6 10% of your daily needs, iron 11% of your daily needs, magnesium 7% of your daily needs.

Onion: Antioxidant (so is vit A by the way), 40 kcal, 0g fat, 1.1g protein, potassium 146mg, sodium 4mg, carbohydrate 9g (4,2g sugar)

Turmeric: said to have anti cancer properties and improve the mood :-)

Chili pepper: well, you’ll find over the internet all sorts of health related reasons to eat chili peppers but I haven’t got time to do all the research so I’ll let you do it yourself if you’re dying to know.

Note that potassium contributes to lowering the risks of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure. And this recipe is full of it! Yey! Chemically speaking, it’s very similar to sodium (the salt we most commonly use) so this soup might not need much added salt, especially if you add cheese to it too, taste before adding any! (source: World Health Organisation)

pumpkin soup ingredients chopped

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 small to medium size pumpkins
  • 3 large parsnips
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder (or more)
  • 1 tsp chil powder (or more)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

You know me, I don’t like to complicate things. Just peel and de seed the pumpkin (that’s hard work but worth it). Peel the onions. Wash and chop all vegetables and throw in large pan with a pint of water or 2. Cook until soft. If you would like a thick texture, remove some of the cooking water (you can drink it, it’s yummy!). Finally, blend all, taste and then add the spices and salt and pepper.

Bon appetit!

Feel-good breakfast

Organic plain yoghurt with apple, brazil nuts, and mixed seeds

Good morning you all!

I hope you had a good weekend. I sure did. Well… I studied a lot in prevision of next term. I can’t exactly call that a party weekend but I’m always happy to learn new things, especially when it’s related to nutrition!

Anyway, this morning I just wanted to post a photo of my breakfast which, if I gave it a simple name could be called: “Yoghurt and fruit”, but it sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it? In all honesty it was yoghurt and fruit. But I made it a bit more interesting by adding some crushed brazil nuts and the seeds that I use on salads: pumpkin and sunflower seeds. A few slices of apple and it makes a colourful, crunchy, nutritious and delicious breakfast yoghurt recipe.

How often do you eat nuts? Walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, pecan… Each have a particular health benefit. For example, did you know that walnuts and brazil nuts both contain the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron? The vitamins C, and B6? That they are a good source of protein as well as containing polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat, which can help reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood and therefore reduce the risks of heart disease? All the minerals and vitamins listed, our body needs them. And there they are, all in one little tiny nut. Isn’t life beautiful? :-)

Look it up but most nuts and seeds are loaded in nutrients that our body needs to give us energy, protect us against free radicals, make us healthy, beautiful, and happy.

Have a nice week everyone! (and eat some nuts!) x

Why not have salad for breakfast?

I’ve been watching documentaries about the health benefits of raw vegetables and fruits lately, and all I can say is, do it! Invite vegetables to your plate and you’ll do yourself a big favour. It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables need to be part of everyone’s diet. We have all heard for years now, about the 5-a-day. I don’t want to scare you but 5-a-day? It isn’t that much. Really, if you make a little effort you could make this 10-a-day and feed yourself with vitamins, minerals and fibre, so many things that our body needs for optimum functioning.

I found that, in this season particularly, it is easy to add more veg to my plate by having a salad for breakfast instead of toast. The other day I made a big salad with mixed green leaves, spinach, avocado, tomato, cucumber, walnuts and a mix of seeds (pumpkin, etc). Not only the salad was delicious, but I felt full and great after having it. It was 8am, and I had already had about 2 to 3 portions of fresh and raw vegetables! Of course, there were calories in this salad, especially coming from the avocado, nuts and olive oil, but you need calories to use as fuel for the day ahead. It’s just a matter of selecting the good ones. Since then, I have had salad for breakfast again, or just slices of organic juicy tomato and cucumber. It’s sweet, refreshing, hydrating and nourishing. Honestly, I don’t know anything else you could wish for… :-)

Have a lovely weekend fellow bloggers and friends xx

Federica’s Mediterranean Pasta Salad

MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD

The one on the right

The one on the right

INGREDIENTS:

Fresh cherry tomatoes, Wholegrain penne, Extra virgin olive oil, Sea salt, Garlic, Dried chilies, Basil leaves, Parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS:

1 – Finely chop the tomatoes and basil and leave them to marinate together with garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, dried chilli and sea salt.

2 – Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, and toss it in a serving bowl with the raw sauce and add the grated Parmesan. Finally stir until the cheese is melted completely.

  • Equally delicious raw or cooked, tomatoes are low in calories and a useful source of vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, folate and potassium. They also contain the powerful antioxidant Lycopene that exerts anticancer properties.
  • Whole-grain pasta is significantly higher in fiber and nutrients than its refined counterparts. Whole-grain pasta is an excellent source of B vitamins and iron, and provides significantly higher levels of the essential trace mineral selenium a nutrient with antioxidant properties. Whole-wheat pasta also contains appreciable levels of alpha-linolenic acid, a compound that converts to beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in the body.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is the primary source of fat in the healthy Mediterranean diet. It is rich in unique disease fighting phytochemicals, vitamin E and monounsaturated fat, which all help to prevent cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries.
  • The classical accompaniment to all tomato dishes, and important in Italian cooking, basil is a natural tranquillizer and is said to calm the nervous system. It can also aid digestion and ease stomach cramps.
  • Parmesan is a very nutritious cheese due to its high protein content. It is also rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamins. One kilogram of Parmesan contains the nutritional equivalent of 17 litres of high-quality milk. It is recommended for youths, athletes and seniors who require an additional boost of energy. In addition, unlike other cheeses Parmesan has low cholesterol content.

FRD2013 Pasta saladFood tasting, pasta saladPasta salad recipe

Summer Quinoa Salad for Two

The one on the left

The one on the left

INGREDIENTS

160g quinoa

1 medium tomato, finely diced

1/2 avocado

1/3 cucumber, diced

½ small red pepper (use romano pepper for a sweeter taste), finely chopped

1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice

1 ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

½ tablespoon of red wine vinegar

Sea salt and pepper

a few coriander leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil the quinoa for 20 minutes or as instructed on packet.

Meanwhile, chop the tomato in small cubes, peel and slice the avocado, dice the cucumber and chop the red pepper.

Drain and rinse the quinoa and leave to rest for a few minutes then add all the previously prepared ingredients. Add olive oil, lime juice and vinegar. Finish with salt, pepper and coriander.

The one on the left

 A SALAD FULL OF GOODNESS !!

QUINOA provides a vegetarian source of protein. It is also a good source of wholesome carbohydrate and fibre.

TOMATOES contain vitamins A and E and the antioxidant Lycopene that is known for its anti-cancer properties.

OLIVE OIL is a monounsaturated fat. It means it is heart-friendly.

AVOCADO is amazing for heart health, weight management, and for good health overall. It contains B-vitamins, vitamin E, folate, potassium and many more.

LIME is a fantastic source of vitamin C!

CORIANDER must be good for something too, I’ll let you guess!

The confusion between being healthy and being on a diet

I used to find there was a thin line between being healthy and being on a diet, and I think there still is for a lot of people. So I have thought deeply about it and here are the differences to me:

               BEING ON A DIET BEING HEALTHY

So it appears there are more things to think about when trying to be healthy, but in my opinion it is worth it. You may have noticed these two lists I made don’t mention every food groups. I wanted to focus on the differences between dieting and being healthy. I haven’t directly mentioned protein, but it goes without saying that any meat eaten should be organic and grass fed for best quality. This way it shouldn’t have received hormones and other crap. Fish should be organic too or wild, but I know there are some wild fish that we shouldn’t be fishing for ecological reasons, however I don’t know much on that subject. I usually buy organic fish. Same goes for eggs and pretty much everything.

Nuts and seeds (brazilnuts, pecan, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.) should be an important part of a healthy diet too as they provide nutrients that other foods don’t. It’s easy to introduce them to your diet by adding them to porridge, yoghurt, and salads.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that it is important to eat a wide variety of foods, it’s the best way to get all the nutrients we need for optimum health. I will never diet again because I’m worth better than that, and eating healthily won’t make me put on weight!

One last thing, I know buying fresh and organic is expensive. I spend a lot of money on food and I understand some people can’t afford it. But I need to say it, I don’t earn much money, but I made my health a priority and decided to be ok with spending more money on food than the average consumer. It’s my choice. I spend less on shopping.

P.s: If you’re wondering why I am focusing on eating healthy and natural food so much, it’s because diet related diseases are the new epidemic of this century. They are caused by eating too much sugar, the wrong fats and processed and unhealthy foods. I will write something about that later, probably this month, because it is really important that we try to improve our diets. Eating well can make a difference to our lifespan, and help avoiding diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and even some cancers. Food can be our fuel for long and healthy life, why not make the most of it?