Archives for category: Healthy Tips

This week is National Vegetarian Week apparently. Well in the UK and I know only from twitter and online newspapers I read. Since I mostly eat and have a dear love for vegetarian food here is a tasty paratha version I made for lunch today. Paratha are a type of Indian flatbread and I love endless variations. On a trip to India a few months ago I had the pleasure of cooking with some pretty amazing cooks and was great to see the varieties even the simple Paratha has from different parts of India. The biggest difference is of course either stuffing the paratha or mixing the flour with ingredients but the even using ghee, butter or olive oil can make subtle differences in taste. With a fresh batch of ghee made and some Japanese kabu I thought I would make a twist on the Mooli Paratha. Kabu are a great little vegetable with lots of Vitamin C and dietary fiber and I finely chopped and added some of the shoots which gave a rather lovely colour.

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It’s been 11 days since the big one hit Japan near Sendai and to be honest it feels like a month. Not only the devastating tsunami, but the nuclear reactors in Fukushima have been on everyone’s mind. Things seem to relatively stable with regards to Fukushima, but by no means over. The rescue effort in the north in dealing with the aftereffects of the earthquake and tsunami has begun but again has a long road to go before any ‘normality’ if at all returns.

Everyday we are bombarded with news and information and as as much as we try, the truth is there is just much to digest. Helping where we can and staying aware of concerns is all we can do and one concern now is the trace levels of radiation that have been found in food and water surrounding the plant. We must remember the staff who have voluntarily given themselves to try and control the situation have been exposed to the most radiation and we are assured they undergo the strictest decontamination after working so hope they are safe. For us who live in Tokyo and other surrounding areas the full extent to the damage from radiation is far from clear, but I have every faith in the Japanese people and government that steps will be taken.  The government today announced 4 prefectures to suspend food shipments since levels of radiation have been detected in tap water, leafy vegetables, milk. The levels “do not pose a risk to human health” we are told.

Another point to remember is we are all exposed to radiation in our daily lives, being scanned at the airport and flying, CT scans, talking on mobile devices, laptops on our laps. For anyone wanting to take a few extra precautions there is a few things that are always good to do:

1. Build up your immune system

Exercise, eat garlic, onions, Vitamin C, almonds, turmeric, green tea, fresh vegetables and whole foods.
Avoid white sugars and refined flours.

2. Eat more sea vegetables

Kelp, Konbu, Wakame, Nori that are naturally high in iodine, easy if you live in Japan since readily available.

3. Limit other radiation

So less chatting on the phone, not using your phone as an alarm etc…

More advice and info here.

Little things go a long way and by choosing to eat and act carefully your body will have the right balance to deal with anything, hopefully.

I like Konbu tea anyway but thought now might be a good time to share the recipe

Poaching Chicken is a very healthy way to cook chicken and gives tender moist chicken that is perfect for sandwiches, wraps, salads, pastas.. anything really. I love a good sandwich and poached chicken breast ensures the meat stays succulent and doesn’t dry out. An excellent source of protein and versatile so total winner. You can poach the chicken in boiling water in a pan for 10-15 mins however I like to poach in water in the oven. Just enough to cover the chicken, with a couple of bay leaves, sea salt and pepper for about 30 mins at 350°C. Adding different herbs, lemon slices and poaching in chicken or vegetable stock are some ways you can play around with flavours. Once the chicken has finished cooking, you can tear, slice, and use how you like.

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Although it’s not only tuna and avocado on toast… It’s a much fancier version with red onion, capers, dill and Yuzu. An A-list lunch and simple, yet the simplest are often the most enjoyable. Lemon juice would work too only since I had some Yuzu it was definitely worth adding. This was a lunch I was thinking about all morning and such an easy combination of flavours, all I needed to pick up was some fresh lettuce and an avocado. Capers are great to keep in your fridge, adding great flavour and no need to add extra salt. They also have a bunch of health benefits including being good for your skin, protecting DNA and apparently great for prostate health so good for men to incorporate in their diets. Short and sweet little entry today.. it is Friday after all.

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The famous milk debate of Soy Milk versus the real stuff has often concerned me. I love milk. Nothing can substitute it in a cup of tea or in my porridge in the morning. I have had mixed feelings about how much I should be drinking though and whether to incorporate and start buying Soy milk more thinking it is THE way to be healthy.

Great news however. A documentary (watch from 0.27sec-6.00min) I watched recently confirmed milk is good for you so has ended the battle for me. Apparently the calcium in milk attaches to fat in your system so you poo it out! Milk helps get rid of the fat!

Alex James from Blur, who I used to be in love with, is now a farmer and confirmed this so we can enjoy cheeses, milk, yoghurt, ice-cream!? and other dairy products without worrying now. Low-fat and in moderation of course…

And it’s not that I don’t like Soy milk, I just like proper milk too and now can enjoy both happily!

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