Monthly Archives: April 2014

Ginger-Carrot soup

Ginger-Carrot soup

Makes 8 portions| Hands-On Time: 25m| Cook Time 30min

Ginger Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 15ml Olive oil
  • 300g Finely chopped onion
  • 1kg Finely chopped carrot
  • 15g Finely chopped Garlic
  • 10ml salt
  • 15g Finely chopped/minced peeled ginger
  • 200g Peeled and chopped potato
  • 1.5 liters chicken or vegetable stock
  • 60g Pine nuts
  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions

1. Place the olive oil into a large saucepan and set over medium heat.

2. Once hot, add the onion and salt and cook for 10 minutes until the onion just starts to caramelize.

3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Stir in the carrots, potato and chicken or vegetable stock.

5. Increase the heat to bring to a simmer and cook until carrots and potato are very tender – 15 to 18 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, over high heat, lightly toast the pine nuts.

7. Puree soup until very smooth and serve with pine nuts and alternatively a dollop of plain natural yoghurt mixed with honey

 

1 Serving soup = 1 Starch + 3 veggies + ½ Fat

Eating For Immunity

Food plays an important role in strengthening our immune systems and there are a few particular nutrients that you cannot go without this winter.

The one we all know is vitamin C…

However, did you know that it is scientifically proven that vitamin C will not cure you from a cold BUT it will shorten the time that you have the cold? You will need a 1000mg of vitamin C to have the desired effect. This can be consumed in the form of a tablet or even better, through your daily fruit and veg intake.

*Foods high in vitamin C include: Guava (188mg), Red sweet peppers (142mg), Kiwi fruit (70mg), Orange (70mg), Green pepper (60mg), Grapefruit juice (60mg) and strawberries (50mg).

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Other foods with vitamin C include Brussel sprouts, papaya, broccoli, sweet potato, tomato juice, pineapple and mango’s.

*in ½ cup portions

More vitamins to boost your immune system are vitamin A and E.

These vitamins are fat soluble which means that your body will be able to store them. If you consume enough of these vitamins throughout the winter, your immune system will have more than enough power to fight infections.

**Food items with a high vitamin A content: Carrot juice, raw carrots, spinach, kale, apricots, papaya, mango, peas, tomato juice, peaches and peppers

**Food items with a high vitamin E content: sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, turnips, tomato paste, pine nuts, peanutbutter, canola oil, avo’s and olive oil.

Minerals that have a great impact on your immune system include Zinc and selenium.

Zinc is not only important for immunity, but also for wound healing, for maintaining the sense of taste and smell and stimulates the activity of nearly 100 enzymes in our body. Most of our breakfast cereals are fortified with zinc but in which food items can we find this mineral?

**Definitely in beef shank, chuck and loin, pork, chicken leg, yoghurt, baked beans, cashews, pecans, chickpeas and cheese.

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and protects your body cells against free radical damage. Some research also suggests the protective effect of selenium against cancers and heart disease. **Selenium is found in: Brazil nuts, tuna, beef, cod, turkey, chicken breast, enriched pasta, eggs, cottage cheese, rice and bread.

**listed from highest to lowest content

Be sure to eat enough vitamin A, C, E, Selenium and Zinc this winter to boost your immune system!

ALCOHOL AND YOUR WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE

ALCOHOL AND YOUR WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE

Are you following a healthy diet but struggle to get your waist circumference down? This article will provide you with some insight on how alcohol can contribute to the problem.

Abdominal obesity is an independent risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, stroke and coronary heart disease.

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Research has shown that the alcohol drinking pattern is directly associated with abdominal obesity which is also associated with coronary heart disease. Steady drinking is much better than binge drinking. Binge drinking is associated with higher blood pressure, an increase in cholesterol and heart disease.

However, alcohol intake has a direct influence on weight gain and an increase in waist circumference. The more alcohol you consume, the higher the waist circumference and body weight.

Men should have a waist circumference below 102cm.

Women should have a waist circumference below 88cm.

Lets look at how alcohol can prevent you from losing weight..

1g of alcohol provide you with 30kJ energy.

To make it more practical:

1 normal beer has 5% alcohol. If you drink 330ml beer 16.5ml will be alcohol, which means you will get around 500kJ just from the alcohol content. The beer will also have about 12g carbohydrates, which provides you with roughly 200kJ. In total you will get 700kJ from 1 beer.

1 glass of red wine (200ml) with an alcoholic percentage of 14% will give you 840kJ. Add the 7g carbohydrates with energy of 120kJ and you get a total energy content of 960kJ.

The energy daily allowance for a healthy man is 10 000kJ and for a women about 7000kJ.

The next problem we have is that alcohol lowers your blood sugar at that specific moment, so you will feel like eating to push your blood sugar back up. Cravings may arise for the unhealthy foods that will cause a sugar spike and make you feel better. But those unhealthy foods are generally much more saturated with energy and contain fewer nutrients.

Be careful not to drink your kilojoules! If you struggle with your waist circumference, try cutting alcohol out for 1 month and always eat foods high in nutrients and low in energy!

Hearty Italian Vegetable soup

Hearty Italian Vegetable soup

Makes 6 portions| Hands-On Time: 20m| Cook Time 25min

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Ingredients

  • 15ml Olive oil
  • 150g Finely chopped onion (0.5veg)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 20g Italian parsley sprigs
  • 6 strips lemon zest (1cm wide)
  • 1 small head fennel.
  • 750g Chicken breast – no skin
  • 2 liters chicken or vegetable stock
  • 200g Carrots sliced
  • 100g celery sliced
  • 10ml salt
  • 80g whole wheat pasta  (uncooked)
  • 60g Baby spinach
  • Lemon juice
  • Parmesan cheese optional

Directions

1. Place the olive oil into a large saucepan and set over medium heat.

2. Once hot, add the onion, red pepper flakes and chicken and cook for 8 minutes until the onion just starts to caramelize.

3. Meanwhile, tie the parsley sprigs, lemon zest and fennel tops together.

4. Add the herb bundle, stock and 2cups of water, bring to a gentle simmer for about 8 minutes

5. Add the carrots and celery and season to taste.

6. Continue to simmer until vegetables are just tender.

7. Stir in the pasta and cook until just al dente – 5 minutes.

8. Stir in the baby spinach and parmesan. Discard the herb bundle.

9. Stir in lemon juice to taste and serve

 

1 Serving soup = 1 Starch + 2 veggies + 120g Protein (4 portions)

 

WHY WE LOVE GRAPEFRUIT

VITAMIN C AND LYCOPENE

Grapefruits are very rich in potent antioxidants. The first one to take note of is vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, reduces the symptoms and severity of colds and also shortens the time that one is sick. Vitamin C reduces free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause inflammation and therefore, vitamin C reduces inflammation in the body. This will reduce the severity of conditions such as osteoarthritis and asthma.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and is found in the pink/red colours of the grapefruit. Lycopene can greatly reduce the risk for developing prostate cancer in males. It has potent effects on free radicals and lowers them significantly in the body.

Lycopene is also classified as a phytonutrient. Phytonutrients helps the body’s detoxification processes. It can help to inhibit tumour formation and prevent breast cancer.

grapefruit

FIBRE

Grapefruits are packed with soluble and insoluble fibre. The soluble fibre in grapefruits (called pectin), slows the process of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a natural process that causes cholesterol build up in our arteries. So indirectly, grapefruits lower the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) in our bodies.

The insoluble fibre in grapefruits creates a feeling of satiety and can help to decrease the appetite. It also keeps the gut healthy and regular.

KIDNEY STONES

Grapefruits increase the excretion of acid through the urine. This prevents the build-up of acid in our bodies and prevents the formation of kidney stones (calcium oxalate stones)

WEIGHT LOSS

Because of the high fibre and micronutrient content in grapefruits, they will help to control your weight. Grapefruits help to control the blood glucose and insulin levels, which in turn help to control weight. The fibre benefit creates satiety and prevents one from over eating.

TIPS ON HOW TO USE GRAPEFRUITS

  • Enjoy them fresh.
  • Squeeze them for a refreshing breakfast juice
  •  Add them to green salads
  • Combine them with avocado, pine nuts and feta cheese for a tropical salad.
  • Make a salsa by using them with rocket and chilli peppers.