apPEAling, no?


I made a pea and mint pesto for a pasta dish. It has pine nuts and garlic in it
which gave it a lovely taste. In its cold state it was thick and was very nice
on sticks of celery and spelt bread.


Once mixed with some of the pasta water it was great.
I served it with a mix of red cabbage, brussel sprouts, mushrooms,
walnuts, sesame seeds, leeks, celery and tomatoes.


The next day I watered it down, heated it up and used it as an
accompaniment to a Quorn curry with brown rice.
The mint and garlic really worked with the curry spices.


Dolmio et al

Whilst I am very happy that Mars Foods are planning to give advice on their website not to eat their sauces more than once a week (or some such wording), it saddens me that this is necessary. I understand they will use “occasional” and “every day”, though no processed food should be consumed every day.

Some years ago I tried a Dolmio pasta sauce and found it to be inedible because it was too sweet and far from authentic.

I do wonder who will checking their website, though. I doubt it will be those who would benefit from the advice.

Also in the press today, news that record numbers of children are losing teeth to decay caused by excess sugar. I heard some mothers on the radio saying their children like sweets and sweet drinks and that a bottle of coke is cheaper than a bottle of water. Yet a bottle of tap water is cheaper still!

That sugar is being consumed in amounts which rot teeth makes me shudder to think how much other damage it is doing to these children. A diet high in sugar leads to a very high risk of obesity, many cancers, kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease, dementia, diabetes type 2, circulatory problems, failing eyesight, loss of limbs. Also, mood swings, depression, confusion, aggression, irritabilty. No wonder  the World Health Organisation consider it on a par with alcohol and smoking.

On the subject of sugar, there’s a list of its many guises here.

Bad Nutritionist?

I found this erroneous quote about the way a nutritionist works:

Nutritionist – “From tomorrow i [sic] want you to switch immediately to 3 healthy balanced meals a day, here’s some meal plans. Come and see me next week, ill [sic] give you exacty [sic] the same advice for the same fee” If it were that easy…

If you experience this approach, I would advise you to find a different nutritionist.

My approach is to help you improve your overall health through exercise, diet, lifestyle and attitude by introducing changes in your everyday life without impacting on anything other than your health…in a good way. I’ll be available to support you, encourage you, advise you throughout.

Catch up time

A quick meal catch up…

IMG_3041           IMG_3042
Whilst I am plant based, I understand this is not everyone’s choice.
For breakfast my stepson often has truly free range eggs poached on wholegrain toast.

IMG_3150           Photo 08-04-2016, 8 14 36 pm
The more colours on your plate, the more minerals and vitamins.
It’s a nice, simple way to make sure you’re getting a good variety.

IMG_3147     Photo 08-04-2016, 8 10 27 pm
Again, my favourite breakfast of muesli, fruit and seeds
and my favourite way to cook those wonder foods.
Broccoli, brussell sprouts and dark green leaves…this time, cavolo nero

Then there’s this, because, well, sometimes, just because…

I’m with Jamie…plate accompli

It saddens me that we have a nation of children who, in this time of plenty, are the most unhealthy since records began. With the tremendous advance in healthcare and medicine lives will be prolonged but they will not be lives full of health and vitality. Live long and prosper? There need to be some big, big changes for that.

I was recently given the food diary of a teenager. In each seven days the child, (and yes, physically still a child with growth and organ development still important) had one piece of fruit and no vegetables. Somewhat short of the five-a-day target. Potatoes don’t count as these are in the starchy carbohyrdates group. Nor do a few scraps of iceberg lettuce and cucumber found in a wrap.

Now, my big issue here is this: how on earth can a young person who has lunch at school five days a week have such a poor diet? Surely, at least five of their weekly meals should consist of all the necessary food groups in the right balance. So I’d be expecting to see protein (there was tuna twice), fibre (there was a small amount in a wrap and some pasta…wholemeal would be a far better option), carbs (there were carbs a-plenty but all bad ones), fruit and vegetables. The apple was eaten at home.

The diary showed a lack of all the important vitamins and minerals, not enough protein for muscle and nerve development and repair, no complex carbs for sustainable energy and not enough fibre to keep every thing healthy. Fibre doesn’t only help you poo, it encourages fermentation of the good bacteria in your gut so should good nutrients happen by, the gut can do its job.

What the diary did show was a dangerous amount of sugar, a large amount of it bought and consumed at school. And it is dangerous. A diet high in sugar leads to a very high risk of obesity, many cancers, kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease, dementia, diabetes type 2, circulatory problems, failing eyesight, loss of limbs. Also, mood swings, depression, confusion, aggression, irritabilty. No wonder  the World Health Organisation consider it on a par with alcohol and smoking.

School is the place our children should be safe and nurtured. Nurtured mentally and physically. We should be able to trust our schools to do this. We should be content in knowing our schools not only provide wholesome fare but do not provide sugar laden food and drink. Why are fizzy drinks and chocolate available in schools?

Our schools should be teaching our children good habits and leading by example. Perhaps it’s time to revert to the old system of school dinners, paid for once a term and presented to the children as a fait accompli…or a plate accompli! Should we go back to the dining hall/refectory style as clearly, the canteen style is not working?


You may have seen quite a few articles in the press recently about the cholesterol lowering qualities of walnuts. Well, it is true. They are very good all round.

  • Cholesterol lowering
  • Good bacteria promoting
  • High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Low on the Glycaemic Index
  • Blooming delicious

But walnuts can be vile. Remember the stale, rubbery thing on top of a Walnut Whip? Yuk! They need to be as fresh as possible and I have found one particular brand which is great and cheap, too…Asda Good & Balanced. The whole range is excellent but do beware…if you pick them up in the fruit and vegetable aisles they are more expensive than those in the baking aisle.


I have four to eight walnut halves a day, usually as a nibble while the kettle boils. I keep them in a jar close by.

Incidentally, checking my food diary for yesterday, I had seven portions of fruit and vegetables with no fretting! You’d be surprised how easily healthy eating becomes the norm.

Beware of Skinny Fat

Yes, this really is a thing, although it is the popular press giving it the name “Skinny Fat”.

Weight and Body Mass Index can be within a healthy range. Clothes still fit comfortably and clothed you look great. But, naked in the mirror you look a little flabby or not as toned as you’d like. This can be down to carrying more fat than muscle thus having a Body Fat percentage which is too high.

There are several ways to calculate the percentage, the most common being with the use of callipers but a simple test you can do using a tape measure will give you a rough calculation. Personally, I like to use both methods!

The calliper method gives me a percentage of 26.5, the tape measure method, which you can try here gives me a percentage of 22. This isn’t all completely definitive as ideal figures depend on more than just your age as activity levels, height and medication can be factor, too.