Monday, 25 September 2017

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

I was recently snapped sashaying around Cardiff City Centre by Style Wall, an independent online destination showcasing street style in South Wales. Wouldn't you agree that they captured such a gorgeous shot? I sure think so. The 22nd of September marked the autumnal equinox, which as you may have guessed officially marks the end of summer. I can't say I'm going to miss it as I'm very fond of autumn and winter. The fashion is so much better, I'm talking a whole new wardrobe; scarves, wooly jumpers, cute berets, structured coats. Also, the true beauty of nature shows during autumn, the colours are magnificent. Of course these two seasons are a great a excuse to indulge in hearty stews, soups, hotpots etc and drinks endless amounts of tea and hot chocolates. The season also brings with it a variety of new vegetables including butternut squash and pumpkins. Of course, pumpkins and Halloween go together; its a night we get to act like children again by dressing up, eating lots of sweets and watching spooky films, should I go on?

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Baked Crispy Chilli Chicken Drumsticks

Hello earthlings, yes, I survived my first week of University *woo*. I met lots of new people from all kinds of backgrounds and made some new friends. From university tours to meeting the team, I think I'm going to love being a Human Nutrition and Dietetics student. After all, this has always been the only career I can see myself having and truly enjoying. Last night I whipped up this batch of Crispy chilli chicken drumsticks which turned out to be quite a treat. All you need is eight minutes for preparation, lots of chilli and an appetite. Flavourful, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, the definition of a perfectly baked batch of drumsticks. Oh, did I mention it's gluten free and paleo.

Monday, 18 September 2017

*Taymount Clinic '50 Foods in 7 days' Challenge

A couple of weeks back I was contacted by the great team at Taymount Clinicthe world’s first faecal microbiota transplant clinic and experts in digestive health. They challenged me to eat 50 different foods in 7 days and this is mainly because The Taymount Clinic recommend that to maintain diversity in your gut, you also need to have diversity in your diet. Of course, I jumped at the chance to learn more about my own gut health, I received a chart to record all the foods consumed during the 7 days. Doesn't sound like much of a challenge right? Wrong. Duplicates were not allowed, so things like buns, pizza, bagels etc did not count as different things; you guessed it, they are all wheat. That for me is what made the challenge tricky but on the bright side, oils, spices, vinegars and spices did count as individuals. I have never appreciated my love for spices and herbs as well as my kitchen cupboard more than I have the past 7 days. I was also sent a basket with different healthy foods to help get me on my way. 
Being an IBS sufferer means planning ahead when it comes to your food, it also means you are already quite limited food wise so this was a really tough challenge to complete. However, I did manage to finish at a surprising 58 different foods in 7 days, if that's not impressive, I don't know what is. This regime worked well for me, my abdominal pain has lessened, bloating has pretty stopped and my stomach is feeling a lot more 'normal' than it has the past 8 years. I have learnt so much about my own gut and how diversity on the plate really does lead to diversity in the gut flora. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Grape, Apple and Mini Marshmallows Oatmeal Bowl

Who knew mini marshmallows would make a brilliant extra topping for my Oats breakfast bowl? When you work so hard, you deserve a treat every now and then; in my case marshmallows suffice. This has made it as one of my all time favourites because of all the colours, it's amazing how we eat with our eyes before our mouths. Surely its a crime for there to also be so much nutritional goodness in one bowl *phew*. Oats have been my go to breakfast for years (sometimes I feel like that's all I eat) mainly because of their high fiber content and of course, they are very convenient. A breakfast that takes just under 5 minutes to prepare in this day and age is a winner in my book. Since this bowl contains lots of apples, let's talk about the apple. Apples are actually my favourite fruit, their crunchiness wins me over every time. They are rich in flavanoids, important antioxidants and dietary fiber. Research conducted by Havard back in 2016 showed that increasing your intake of foods like apples and blueberries can help with weight control. The research was published in the British Medical Journal and you can read it here. Good ol' apples are an easy go-to snack and since they are about 85% water, they help fill you up with little calories. Say goodbye to that chocolate bar, grab an apple instead.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Spinach and Beef Quinoa Stir Fry

It's official, I'm a BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics student *woo* and I'll be starting University in a week. I've wanted to do this for such a long time that sometimes I smile to myself just thinking about it. Who in this world doesn't want to build a career around their passion. Anyway, let's talk about this spinach and beef quinoa stir fry that's been giving me all kinds of feels. Spinach has become a staple in our house; we have it with pretty much everything and that's not only because of it's nutritional benefits. When spinach is cooked right, it makes one tasty side. It's also great to throw into stir fries adding some much needed colour. This is a tasty and simple stir fry that will have you coming back for seconds, a recipe that's purely a result of my cravings.
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