All Posts By

Kate Taylor

SCRAMBLED TOFU

By Breakfast, Cooking, Recipes No Comments

I know so many people want to cook tofu but don’t know how. So here’s a really simple and quick way to use it which works for breakfast on toast with baked beans or lunch with a salad or in a wrap. This will also keep in the fridge for 3 days.

INGREDIENTS
1 x 280g pack of firm tofu (plain of smoked)
1 x tomato
Spinach or greens of some sort
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
1 x teaspoon rapeseed oil
Mixed herbs
2 x tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt & black pepper

METHOD
Roughly chop the tomato and shred the spinach or greens. Thickly slice the tofu.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat with 1 teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Lightly fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomato and mix, cook gently for 1 minute.
Turn the heat to low.
Crumble the tofu into the pan and stir.
Season with mixed herbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over a low heat.
Stir through the spinach or greens.

#39 A1 & A2 MILK

By Sunday Shutdown Series No Comments

SUNDAY SHUTDOWN #39 A1 & A2 MILK

What is it?

A1 and A2 refers to the type of casein found in milk. Casein is one of the main groups of proteins.

A1 casein is typically found in breeds of cows from Northern Europe – think Holstein Fresian (which is also most common in Australia and America)
A2 casein is typically found in breeds of cows from the Channel Islands, France and in Asia.

The milk we regularly consume contains both types of casein as the domestication of cows caused them to mix. However there are still cattle with only the A2 casein which produce pure A2 milk.

What are the claimed health benefits?

It has been claimed that regular milk (with both A1 and A2) has less health benefits than pure A2 milk. The main claims state that the consumption dairy with both A1 and A2 casein is linked to the development of type 1 diabetes, digestive discomfort, cardiovascular disease and many others too. The primary point being that A1 casein is the problem.

To date there have been no clinical studies in humans testing the effect of A1 casein on type 1 diabetes.

The evidence supporting the statements that consuming A2 milk will be preventative in developing non-communicable diseases (like cardiovascular disease) is unfounded. And when you dig a little deeper it seems these claims are mostly made by the companies selling A2 milk. Funny that isn’t it.

What do we know?

Firstly there may be a benefit for those who experience digestive discomfort after consuming standard dairy milk to switch to A2 milk. There is moderate evidence to suggest that A2 milk may be beneficial for these individuals.
However not all individuals.
And not all the time.
This means it will be a bit of trial and error.

If you don’t have any digestive issues then there is no reason for you to change your chosen milk.

In the UK A2 milk has recently been removed from many supermarkets shopping aisles due to it not being purchased. It is still available but may just require a bit more looking.

So we aren’t solely shutting A2 milk down, just partly.

WHOLE BAKED CAULIFLOWER

By Cooking, Recipes, Vegan No Comments

A few weeks ago we had a cauliflower to use. The BBQ was on so I took a chance and it worked.

INGREDIENTS
1 x cauliflower
Chilli oil
Garlic
Salt & pepper

METHOD
Place the cauliflower in a large roasting tray.
Marinade with some chilli oil and pre chopped garlic, then season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 200C for around 45 minutes. (Also works in an oven).

Either break up and serve warm or chop, keep in the fridge and use in salads/wraps throughout the week. When I baked this one in the oven I had some bulbs of garlic in the fridge so threw them in too.

CHUCK IT ALL IN CHICKEN TRAYBAKE

By Recipes No Comments

I make this at least once a week, purely because it takes no time at all and uses up loads of leftover veggies. Plus it’s a pretty balanced meal too.
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
4 chicken thighs
1 medium potato
½ large sweet potato
½ courgette
1 red pepper
½ onion
Chopped garlic
Paprika
Turmeric
Rapeseed oil
Salt & black pepper

METHOD
Marinade the chicken in the garlic, paprika and turmeric for 2 hours or overnight if you can.
Preheat the oven to 180C
Slice the courgette into fairly thick slices
Chop the potato and sweet potato
Roughly chop the pepper and onion
Place all the veg into an oven tray, season with herbs, salt & pepper and a dash of rapeseed oil.
Make four spaces for the chicken thighs and place them in the tray too
Bake for 20 minutes.
Stir the veg to ensure it is brown on all sides.
Increase the oven temperature to 200C and bake for another 20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.

MUMS CREAMY CHICKEN RISOTTO

By Cooking, Recipes No Comments

Mum is a lover of really easy meals. And being a mum myself I now know why. This isn’t like the traditional risotto you have to continuously stir, it’s adapted so you can out the lid on and come back when it’s pretty much done.

INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 medium chicken breasts (roughly 500g)
1 onion
350g arborio rice
1 packet of chicken flavoured cup of soup
1/2 a chicken stock cube
4 cups of boiling water (1L)
1/2 cup of frozen peas (100g)
1/2 cup of single cream
Black pepper
Dried mixed herbs
Parmesan cheese

METHOD
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
Brown the chicken and onion with some black pepper and dried mixed herbs.
Add the rice and stir for 1 minute.
Add the cup of soup mix, stock cube and water. Stir.
Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
Add the peas and cream and cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes. If the risotto is starting to stick, loosen with a dash of extra water.
Serve with a sprinkle of black pepper and grated parmesan cheese.

Nutrition as we age

By Food for thought, Guidelines, Hydration, Tips No Comments

A topic I don’t spend enough time talking about, however it’s only after recent discussions with my parents, in laws and my husband’s 92 year old nan that I’ve realised it’s a particularly niche area that not many people know much about. I actually spoke at a retirement home on this topic in late 2019 and shared some easy tips the residents could implement themselves or with the help of their own families.

This is especially important at a time when loneliness and being isolated can impact your nutrition status too.

Nutritional requirements change as we hit our late 30’s, into our 40’s and onwards from there. It’s never too late to start but by building these habits early it means you’ll be setting yourself up for when you are just that little bit older. Without trying to over complicate things, and in no particular order, here are just a few science backed tips that can help.

Protein.

As we age, we actually need more protein, yet we tend to consume much less. Think about your grandparents, would they consume a good source of protein at every meal. Probably not. If we could get every care and retirement home to provide a protein-based drink per day imagine the difference that could make to the elderly population. An increase in protein consumption can assist with the reduction of muscle wastage and even improve rates of new muscle being built. Less muscle to support our frame means we are more likely to fall. Less people falling means less pressure on the NHS and more people living with a better quality of life. Obviously, encouraging protein consumption through consuming protein rich foods would be far more beneficial from a nutritional standpoint but for convenience a drink may be more suitable. Perhaps framing it like a milkshake might get more individuals onboard?

Hydration.

Of all the topics we covered at the retirement home, hydration definitely had the most interest and questions, which in all honesty is great because it means a lot of these residents weren’t hydrated enough. I sent a post workshop follow up with the urine colour chart for them to use. Last year I bought dad a water bottle, he was never drinking enough (water that is). Now every time we Facetime he has it with him, like he’s proving a point. Being dehydrated can lead you to feel less energised, tired and generally flat. It’s a big easy win. Make sure you use a reusable bottle if you can too.

Vitamin D supplementation.

In the UK everyone over the age of one is currently required to take a supplement of 10ug (micrograms) of vitamin D3 per day. This has now been extended to cover not only winter months but also the summer months too due to us being in lock down because of Covid-19. Those with darker skin should also take a vitamin D supplement all year round as they aren’t able to absorb as much vitamin D3 from sunlight due to their skin pigmentation. This also applies to the older population group too, coupled with the fact this group of people spend a fairly large amount of time indoors. Vitamin D is involved in many things, namely, the maintenance of strong bones and teeth, supporting our immune system and has positive associations with mood. It comes in tablets or sprays which may be suitable for those who have trouble swallowing.

Fish oil supplementation, AKA Omega 3.

The research on fish oil intake and supplementation is only growing. Fish oil is comprised of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Studies show it positively effects the bodies reduced ability to build muscle in the elderly (anabolic resistance). As well as helping to facilitate weight loss and assist in improvements with depression. Yet the majority of the adult population fail to consume the recommendation of one portion of oily fish per week which is our main source of omega 3. One average portion is thought to contain around 450mg (milligrams) of EPA & DHA combined. Recommendation wise if you consume no oily fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, sardines, pilchards) you are looking at anywhere between 300-1800 milligrams per day.

If you are taking any blood thinning medication (such as Warfarin) then you should consult your GP before taking a fish oil supplement due to it having similar effects on the blood. You can obtain omega 3 from other food sources however the dose is very low. These include linseeds, rapeseed oil, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. For those with allergies to fish or on a vegetarian/vegan diet there are algae sourced supplements available.

Resistance training.

This was another really good tip for the retirement home in particular as the warden mentioned that they offer chair workouts but don’t usually get a lot of uptake. Your body weight is enough, no expensive equipment is needed. So many people still just focus on cardiovascular exercise in a bid to burn more calories, however by doing resistance/strength training once or twice a week you are in fact strengthening your muscles so when you do go for that run, walk or cycle you’ll perform better and recover faster. As we age, continuing to strength train helps reduce muscle wastage and maintains our bone strength.

In summary….

As always my motto is if every attendee takes just one thing away from every workshop, blog post or social media caption that helps them, then my job is done. And quote of the day goes to one gentleman who was walking outside when I left. In his words “when I heard a nutritionist was coming in, I thought it was going to be really boring, but I actually learnt so much, thankyou!” And that’s what this job is all about.

I’m also pleased to say, mum and dad are now delving into the world of protein shakes and taking regular fish oil supplements, if they can, you can.

ICED COFFEE SHAKE

By Recipes No Comments

Due to popular demand. And endless sunshine. It’s an easy one

INGREDIENTS

1 scoop vanilla protein (whey or vegan)
Ice
150ml milk of your choice
Water
Coffee

METHOD
Boil the kettle
Melt 1 teaspoon of coffee with a dash of water
Put all ingredients into a blender
Blend

SUMMER SHAKE

By Recipes No Comments

I’m always asked about protein shakes. Yes they are a healthy part of our diet and can be a convenient way to get protein in. Here’s a quick recipe. This one works best with a fruit flavoured powder.

INGREDIENTS

Ice
Water
1 scoop banana whey
Handful of spinach
2 pineapple rings
Semi skimmed milk

METHOD
Blend

#38 THE VEGAN DIET

By Sunday Shutdown Series No Comments

SUNDAY SHUTDOWN #38 THE VEGAN DIET

I was asked by one of my high school friends to cover this. And with good reason too. I have previously discussed it in my post on The Gamechangers movie on Netflix if you’d like some further reading.

The vegan diet gets hailed as the be all and end all of healthy eating sometimes. And whilst there are elements of it we can all take into our current lifestyle I wanted to set the record straight.

The main things to think about

  • Excluding all animal products from the human diet isn’t suitable for most people, it can leave the diet lacking vital nutrients and also be a form of controlled obsessive eating masking other problems like eating disorders.
  • Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient which only comes from animals. We cannot make it in our own body. Therefore if we don’t consume animal products we must take a supplement. This is fine in principal, we do it for other nutrients too. However it’s worth noting that when we obtain nutrients from food we get other nutrients too. So in this instance, we get B12 from animal sources but we can also get protein, dietary fats, iron and zinc to name a few.
  • Dairy is the main source of iodine for the human population. It can also be obtained from things such as seaweed however not in the same quantities. To date we have no data on how iodine deficiency may or may not affect those adopting a vegan diet. Iodine is important for brain development, particularly for pregnant women and their babies.
  • From an environmental perspective, yes consuming less meat is advisable. But if we all just stopped consuming animal products, we’d be in a bit of a pickle too. Take the current state of affairs in the UK.
  • Dairies are having to throw away excess milk because it’s not in demand as much as it was. This is because the hospitality sector has near on closed down. Imagine if everyone stopped consuming milk. That’s just one example.
  • What about for losing weight. There is no superior diet for losing weight. It comes down to consistently being a in a calorie deficit.
  • You can safely consume a vegan diet, I’d just ensure you get some advice to ensure you aren’t lacking any macro or micro nutrients. .

So my advice….

Consume less meat. Consume less dairy. Don’t exclude them completely unless its for a medical or ethical reason.

CHICKEN BROWN RICE

By Recipes No Comments

This recipe has been shared with us from a friend @supasparks It’s the perfect one pot meal and you can up the spice if you like it extra hot. Or drop it right down if you if you’re kids aren’t a fan. It makes enough for 4 generous portions.

INGREDIENTS

6 chicken thighs, skinless & boneless, diced
1 mug of white basmati rice
2 mugs of tap water
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander

METHOD

In a large pot (preferably oven proof with a lid) fry the onion in a teaspoon of oil until it’s gone black. It will also leave a residue on the pan. It’s not burnt just blackened.
Add the tomato, ginger and garlic and cook for around 8 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Add the chicken, salt and chilli powder and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the water and bring to the boil.
Then add the spices.
Rinse the rice under warm running water until it runs clear.
Add the rice to the pot. Stir.
Cover the pot with the lid or tin foil.
Place in the oven for around 20 minutes. Remove and check, if it’s a little dry add a dash of water to loosen.
Serve with mango chutney and mint yoghurt.