Tag Archives: Nutritionist Hightown

10 FOODS THAT ELIMINATE CONSTIPATION & GAS

The gut is probably one of the most exciting topics in health right now. We’re seeing so many breakthroughs in our understanding of how the gut works, why it’s important and what it means for our health. It’s fascinating!

The trillions of microbes in your gut are not only essential to how you digest food, they also provide enzymes, vitamins and control the calories you absorb, linking the health of the gut directly to weight issues.

Whether you want to lose weight or not, or whether you’re one of the 1 in 4 people who struggle with a digestive issue, you can benefit from improving your gut health.

Good gut health has a huge impact on your digestion, physical comfort, energy levels, immunity, mental health and your risk of disease.

So, what can you do now to start improving your gut health? Lots! What you eat and how you support your microbiome with certain foods and supplements will have a massive effect.

So to help you get started I thought I’d share 10 gut-friendly foods that will ease bloating, constipation, gas and other embarrassing digestive issues. Next time you’re out shopping be sure to pop these in your shopping basket.

CHAMOMILE & MINT TEA

Sip a cup of these herbal teas before bed, and you should easily drift off to nodland with a happy tummy.

BOK CHOY & FENNEL

Bok choy, unlike certain other cabbages, won’t make you feel uncomfortably full as it’s classified as a low FODMAP food. This stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides-, monosaccharides and polyols” and foods which are low on this shouldn’t make you feel bloated. Fennel is also a low FODMAP food.

STRAWBERRIES & RASPBERRIES

Strawberries and raspberries are also low FODMAP, and will not make your stomach feel like a balloon

GINGER

This root has a reputation for being able to reduce nausea and vomiting. It also appears to calm the digestive tract allowing food to move through with ease without cramping and getting backed up.

YOGURT & FERMENTED FOODS

Yogurt is a well-known source of probiotics, the friendly live bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, and kimchi also help displace bad bacteria.

OATS

Studies have shown that oats have prebiotic properties i.e. they feed the beneficial micro organisms in the digestive tract so increasing the growth of good bacteria.

2 DELICIOUS SUMMER SALADS

The Summer weather in the UK seems to be holding out. So I thought it would be great to share 2 new salad recipes with you. They’re delicious and healthy but also quick so that means more time outdoors in the sun topping up the tan.

Give these a try and let me know how you get on …


WILD SALMON SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 600-700g wild salmon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 sprig dill
  • 1 red pepper deseeded and chopped
  • 1 green chilli deseeded and sliced
  • 3 inches cucumber chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 125ml plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 head radicchio or any lettuce will do

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put salmon into saucepan of cold filtered water
  • Add bay leaves, peppercorns and dill
  • Bring to boil, turn off heat, cool
  • Remove salmon, take off skin, flake the flesh
  • Combine red pepper, chilli, garlic, cucumber and yogurt in bowl
  • Mix in salmon gently
  • Serve salmon mix on top of salad and enjoy

TANGY TIGER PRAWNS

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cucumber peeled and chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 3 teasp sesame oil
  • 1 green pepper cored, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 fresh red chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 6 thin slices fresh ginger peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 12 large tiger prawns in shells (cooked or uncooked)
  • 1 teasp non-MSG soy sauce
  • 6 spring onions thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mix cucumber and tomatoes
  • Add to serving bowl
  • Heat oils in frying pan over high heat
  • Add green peppers, chilli, ginger, garlic and stir
  • Add prawns (if cooked they’ll take 2-3mins, if uncooked 4-5mins)
  • Stir vigorously to ensure all coated in oil/spices
  • Arrange prawns on top of salad
  • Garnish with spring onions

7 TIPS TO BEAT THE BLOAT

Feeling bloated? Jeans a little too snug? Experiencing embarrassing gas?

If this all sounds familiar, do not be disheartened. Read my 7 easy tips that will help give you a happier (and flatter) tummy and does not involve nasty, expensive medication or making drastic dietary changes …

  1. Stop Feeding The Bloat

Remove fibre from your diet for the next two weeks. Whilst this seems counter-intuitive, your high fibre diet may be feeding the pathogenic bacteria that is causing your bloating.

When you do re-introduce fibre do it slowly. The best sources are found in plant-based foods such as vegetables and nuts.

Also, make sure you are properly hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This is key to regular flowing bowel movements.

Lastly, refined sugary foods such as cakes, sweets and all the white stuff  (i.e. pasta, bread and noodles) are a big no-no. They also can feed the less friendly bugs in our gut, causing them to over proliferate. So keep these foods to a minimum.

  1. Start Replacing Digestive Enzymes

We want to promote the growth of good bacteria and natural enzymes. One of the best kept secrets of Asian culture is fermented foods. They regularly consume fermented foods such as Kefir, Sauerkraut, and Kimchee. They’re packed full of good bacteria and digestive enzymes.

However, sourcing these ingredients and knowing how to prepare them isn’t exactly easy is it?! That’s where PROACTAZYME saves the day because it contains all the enzymes you need.

Remember … you are not what you eat but what you digest and absorb. You could have the most perfect diet but if you don’t digest effectively, food will be pushed through the gut undigested, where it will sit and rot, creating gas, toxins and bloating.

  1. Chew Your Food

I know it’s an obvious one, but if most of us were to time how long we take to eat our meals, we’d be shocked. It’s very important to take at least 20–30 minutes to eat any meal and to chew your food thoroughly rather than just knock it back. A simple little tip is to set your knife and fork down between mouthfuls.

If we take in food that is only partially chewed, the stomach and lower intestine have to work that much harder to break it down.

So embrace slowing down, and savouring your food.

  1. Introduce Soothing Foods & Drinks

Food and drinks that have a calming effect on digestion may also help with bloating. For example … lemon in hot water, fresh mint, ginger, turmeric, fennel, and ALOE VERA. Also adding PEPPERMINT OIL to a cold or warm drink does wonders for your tummy.

  1. Reduce Stress

The brain bowel connection is powerful. We’ve all had that feeling of feeling sick in our gut when faced with a stressful situation, consequently causing our appetite to disappear. This is because the digestive system is re routing blood to our muscles in readiness to run away from a perceived danger. This is called the fight or flight response. In today’s stressful, busy lives, the problem is we are activating this response all the time whether a meeting with our boss or someone pushing in front of us in the queue. The issue is, our bodies can’t differentiate between a real life threatening situation and one that is just a little stressful. So the same response is generated and can have a pretty huge effect on our digestive processes.

I know it’s easier said than done but try your best to chill. Eat when you’re not engaged in stressful activities. Get away from your desk for lunch, and turn off your phone and the news while eating!

  1. Sleep More

Lack of sleep is closely linked to stress. It heightens the production of cortisol, the same chemical produced during fight or flight.

Eating just before bed can mean you are sleeping on a full stomach, and your body does very little digestion during the dark hours. So get your last meal in at least 2 hours before bed to allow for proper digestion.

  1. Supplement

Incorporating a greens supplement like LIQUID CHLOROPHYLL will accelerate banishing bloating.

Studies have shown that non-drug supplements like greens have the power to deflate that bloating feeling three times as fast as drugs.

I hope this post helps. Give them a try and let me know how you get on. Got any juicy tips you’d like to share? As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Gaynor x

6 TIPS TO CURB FOOD CRAVINGS

There’s nothing worse than repeatedly having hunger pangs, and craving every sugary, fatty and salty treat available when you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

What causes this is ghrelin – a hormone responsible for increasing appetite, which is released in the stomach and signals hunger to the brain.

The good news is there’s things you can do to stay on track. Keep reading to find out what these are, and most importantly start putting it all into practise:

  1. SLOW DOWN

Stop eating so quickly. It’s logical but all too often overlooked. Rushing meals can actually lead to you eating more since the stomach doesn’t have enough time to signal to the brain that it’s full. So eating your food slowly and more mindfully makes it more likely that you’ll eat a sensibly sized portion.

  1. DO HITT TRAINING

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most efficient way to burn body fat. Not only is HIIT far more enjoyable than steady state cardio, but it helps you better control your hunger hormone ghrelin, making it less likely that you’ll raid the cookie jar.

  1. GET PROPER SLEEP

The importance of sleep can never be underestimated. Studies show that being sleep-deprived tends to make us more likely to snack throughout the day, and also increasing our need for calorific foods. So aim for 7-8 quality hours per night to help keep those cravings at bay.

  1. STAY BUSY

Ever noticed that you snack and nibble more when at a loose end? Boredom is one of the most common triggers for overeating so stay busy!

  1. REDUCE STRESS

Another common time people tend to experience cravings is when stress sets in. On top of this, it often leads to poor food choices. Overcome stress by getting outdoors amongst nature, practicing meditation, doing some yoga and deep breathing work.

  1. CONSUME FOODS THAT CURB CRAVINGS

There’s definitely certain foods that help you feel fuller which in turn minimises cravings. They tend to be foods that are rich in fibre and take longer to digest. Here’s three I’d recommend:

Lean proteins: high-quality lean proteins such as organic chicken, beef, lamb, fish etc are great options for multiple reasons. They provide a fantastic range of lean muscle building amino acids and also the denser texture of proteins means it takes longer to digest so keeping you full for longer. Also, their healthy fats are going to help with satiety.

Sweet potato: this is a great carbohydrate source because it is high in fibre, another staple in improving satiety. They also contain manganese which is known to support appetite control.

Greens: having some greens such as asparagus, kale and broccoli doesn’t just provide you with lots of micronutrients which are essential for health, they also give you a great intake of insoluble fibre which makes you feel fuller for longer. My advice is to consume a good cross-section of green vegetables in order to boost satiety as well as health and digestive function.

So there you have it – 6 tips to curb cravings. Keep me posted on your progress and if you need any advice specific to you don’t be afraid to reach out. Simply email GAYNOR@B-FIT.UK.COM or text/call me on 07748298728.

Love Gaynor x

MANGO & SESAME QUINOA SALAD

Summer is nearly here and that means delicious nutritious salads. I think you’ll find that this recipe is the bomb!

Who doesn’t love mangoes huh? The sweetness is delicious and then pair it with the more savoury flavours of quinoa and tamari and I’m in heaven. The avocado which is rich in good fats adds a creaminess to the salad. The lemon which is rich in vitamin C and B complex vitamins adds that lovely tang and the pomegranates add even more sweetness in addition to the mango.

This recipe serves 2 and is super quick to throw together. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

INGREDIENTS

• 120g quinoa
• 1 mango
• 1 avocado
• 4 tbsp sesame seeds
• 100g pomegranates
• 1 squeezed lemon
• 2 tbsp tamari
• Pinch salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

• Cook quinoa, allow to cool
• Peel mango, chop into chunks
• Peel avocado, chop into chunks
• Mix together mango and avocado
• Add sesame seeds, lemon, pomegranates, tamari, salt, pepper
• Add quinoa
• Serve and enjoy

SICILIAN CHICKEN WITH BLOOD ORANGES

I’m so in love with blood oranges that I set out to find a dish that highlighted their deep citrus flavour and absolutely beautiful colouring.

Blood oranges are in season right now, and I’m a huge advocate of ideally using produce when it’s in season. If for any reason blood oranges are not available then this dish can be made with navel oranges.

This dish is perfect for a dinner party with friends and pairs really well with fresh steamed vegetables, rice and quinoa.

This recipe serves 3-4 people, is gluten and wheat free and only takes 20 mins to prep.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1-2 whole cloves
  • 2 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig dried thyme
  • 40g green olives pitted
  • Pinch Himalayan salt
  • Ground black peppercorns to season
  • 300ml chicken stock for quick cook or 750ml chicken stock if slow cooking

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Start by grating the zest from half an orange and set aside
  • Juice two oranges (one that you’ve taken the zest from) and set aside
  • Slice the remaining orange (skin on) and set aside
  • If slow cooking, preheat the oven to 150C, 300F, gas mark 2
  • Melt the coconut oil in a deep pan, on a high heat
  • Add the cloves and chicken thighs and brown each side
  • Turn down the heat
  • Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 mins until golden
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute
  • Add the cumin, chilli flakes, cardamom, orange (juice, zest and slices), nutmeg, bay leaves, thyme, olives, seasoning and stock
  • For a quick cook, place the lid on and cook for 15 mins on a medium heat then remove the lid and cook for a further 5-8 mins until the chicken is cooked through and the stock has reduced and thickened
  • For a slow cook, bring to the boil, cover and slow cook in a preheated oven for 2 ½ hrs
  • Serve with steamed veggies, brown rice or quinoa

HOW TO AVOID THE MID AFTERNOON SUGAR CRASH

Does this sound familiar? It’s 3 p.m. Lunch seems like forever ago and your stomach starts to rumble and grumble. You start to lose focus and dinner seems so far away.

Well, you’re not alone – this afternoon dilemma happens to me too. It can be caused by a number of factors and can often be solved by simply having a glass of water.

If you try this and you still feel hungry, then yes, you could probably use a little snack. However, when you reach for that snack, you want to make sure you’re making a choice that will sustain your energy. The best options combine nutrient-rich fruits or veggies that give quick energy and hydration combined with a lean protein or fat for staying power. Do your best to avoid sugary or starchy foods that give you a quick boost, but cause a crash quickly after.

To give you a better idea of what I mean, I’ve listed below some of the best and worst things to reach for if you’re craving a snack.

Avoid these …

  • Granola bars
  • Yogurt with added sugars
  • Diet drinks
  • Vending machine options (mostly packed with added sugars)

All of these include ingredients that will actually make you more tired over time. They’re tricky because whilst they give you a boost of energy straight away, they also cause you to crash.

Indulge in these …

  • Nuts and veggies with 1-2 tbsp hummus, plain yoghurt or guacamole
  • Green smoothie (3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit)
  • Dry roasted chickpeas or edamame

These options combine protein and good fats, which give you the energy boost you need. Plus, they keep you sustained for longer periods of time, which prevents you from having an energy crash before dinner.

Keep it clean and simple and always listen to your body.

Love Gaynor x

BLOOD ORANGE MARGARITA

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups freshly squeezed blood orange (approx 8 oranges)
  • ¾ cup freshly squeeze lime juice (approx 6 limes)
  • 1¾ cups tequila
  • ¾ cups cointreau or triple sec
  • Slices of blood orange to garnish
  • Kosher salt for glass rim

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mix orange/lime juice, tequila, cointreau or triple sec in a pitcher
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 mins until chilled
  • Wet the edge of your margarita glasses with a damp paper towel
  • Pour salt over a small plate until it covers the bottom
  • Lightly dip the glass with the wet rim into the salt
  • Rotate glass until you have a salted rim
  • Let salt set for about 5-10 mins
  • Fill glass with ice
  • Pour in margarita mix
  • Enjoy and let the party begin

ROAST VEGETABLE & CHICKPEA STEW

This has to be one of my all-time favourite dinners to make at this time of year. It’s real comfort food and is perfect if you’re looking for a simple, quick nutritious meal. Plus, it makes getting your 5 a day easier as it’s jam packed with courgette, aubergine, tomato, onion and garlic. I think it tastes great with a simple side of quinoa, wholegrain rice or roasted sweet potatoes.

The chickpeas provide a ton of nutritional benefits too. The high fibre content helps us poop regularly and keeps us feeling full. The high iron content gives us energy, and chickpeas are a low GI food so they’re great for stabilising blood sugar levels.

So, pop on your apron, and let’s dive straight into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 courgettes sliced
• 1 aubergine sliced
• 1 red onion sliced
• 3 garlic cloves chopped
• 1 x 400g can chick peas drained
• 2 x 400g can tinned tomatoes
• 2 tablespoon tomato puree
• 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
• Pinch chilli flakes
• Salt & pepper
• Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

• Preheat oven 180c fan
• Prepare all your vegetables
• Place in a baking tray with the chick peas
• Add a good drizzle of olive oil, salt & pepper
• Give everything a really good mix
• Bake 35-40 mins
• Place tomatoes/puree, maple syrup, chilli flakes, salt/pepper in pan
• Heat over a medium heat
• Bring to the boil and reduce temperature
• Simmer 10-15 mins
• Once veggies cooked, stir through the tomato mixture and enjoy

MANGO & SESAME QUINOA

This is a great recipe for any time as it’s clean, delicious and nutritious. I love the way this recipe combines the sweetness of mango with the savoury flavours of the tamarin and sesame seeds. The avocado makes this dish lovely and creamy whilst the lemon adds a tang, and it only takes 15 minutes to make too!

INGREDIENTS

  • 120g quinoa
  • 1 mango
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 100g pomegranates
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • Salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cook the quinoa
  • Allow to cool
  • Peel and chop the mango
  • Peel, de-seed and chop the avocado
  • Half and squeeze the lemon
  • Mix the mango and avocado together
  • Add the sesame, lemon juice, pomegranates, tamari, salt, pepper
  • Add the quinoa and serve