Play a small part in something great
We can all be part of the solution.
Play a small part in something great
We can all be part of the solution.
Climate change is in the news again and saving the planet looks like a challenge the human race is not taking seriously. Surely it’s a good idea to reduce consumption of energy and resources and not be wasteful.
Sir David Attenborough said about saving global eco systems,
“The enemy is waste; when you see what’s thrown away, it’s shameful.”
The most environmentally damaging industry is air and sea travel, next comes fast fashion but food is right up there in importance. The ways we farm, process, eat and waste food are unsustainable. The UN has estimated that we waste 1/3 of the food produced – that’s 1.3 billion tonnes a year. Other estimates are as high as 50%. It’s been shown that the third most effective way to tackle climate change is to reduce food waste. So when I was putting the bin out I started thinking about how we can do our bit for the planet.
Our council collects rubbish once a fortnight. Perhaps your wheelie bin is nearly empty, like mine, but I see overflowing bins all over town. Recycling is also collected once a fortnight. Again, I noticed boxes overflowing with bottles and mountains of cardboard boxes.
What’s going on? Could it be partly down to the type of food we buy and the way it’s packaged?
The more processed a food is, the more of its sale price goes to on advertising – including making the products’ packages look appealing even if the tempting images bear little relation to what’s inside.
A great way to reduce waste (food and packaging) and save lots of money is to do a little planning, buy real food and do your own cooking. Last August I ran a series of costed recipes and these plus others and some tips on healthy eating and weight loss are in my Eat Well and Save recipe booklet, now available £3.95 or £5 with postage.
Cooking your meals from scratch gives you control over portion sizes too which could be good for your waistline. If you make too much, save any leftovers to eat another day rather than bin them. Also see this blog Love Leftovers.
To help you get organised try this useful weekly plan sheets from Wilko – with thanks to Elsa one of the Eat Well Gang who told me about them.
and my shopping list prompt to help you think about the week ahead rather than walking round the shops buying whatever takes your fancy or what they promote the hardest, then ending up with too much or something missing that you need.
As well as reducing waste, we can support regenerative agriculture (small scale, mixed, grass fed animals and arable farming) which has negative carbon emissions (ie reduces global warming), supports rich ecosystems with plants, insects and mammals and enriches the soil. Intensive (factory) agriculture (indoor livestock fed on grains and large scale arable using chemical fertilisers with pesticides and herbicides) causes greater emissions, loss of wildlife and biodiversity plus soil damage.
See Feedback Global.
When you buy meat from a supermarket, you get a plastic box. You can buy meat from a butcher and come away with a small, flimsy plastic bag. Yes it’s still plastic but a tiny fraction of the amount.
Buying local and in season saves food miles. It will be British asparagus season soon. Buy some to eat and some to freeze then you won’t need asparagus all the way from Peru later.
Grow a bit of salad or some soft fruit in the garden.
And even if you don’t have a garden you could grow some herbs in a pot on your kitchen window-sill.
Top tips – Include environmental impact when choosing the food you buy.
– Buy what you need, in minimal packaging and eat all of it.
More ideas at Love Food Hate Waste.
So don’t think vaping is much better; you’d still be taking chemical fumes into your lungs. Read this sobering article from Dr Mercola.
We’ve passed Fail Friday now (3 ½ weeks into the year apparently) so most people will have given up on their New Year Resolutions, abandoned their diets and stopped going to the gym.
Diets are 10-a -penny and there’s always a new one to try, from boring to bizarre. You’ll lose weight on them, then pile it all back on later. That isn’t what most people want so it seems to me that diets don’t work.
Don’t blame yourself – it’s actually the diet that causes the weight regain (happens to 95% of dieters). Your body is a wonderful survival machine and you can’t force it to keep on losing fat long-term through deprivation. Restrict energy intake and your body will slow your metabolism to protect you against your self-imposed food shortage. Much of the weight you’ll lose isn’t fat anyway but lean tissue that you need to hang onto. A better way is to invest in your health and happiness by learning to eat well.
Have you heard that a calorie is a calorie? That’s right from a physics point of view but it isn’t helpful for weight loss because your body reacts in different ways to different types of foods. The result is that some calories put weight on, others help you lose weight. Your body’s responses include fat storage or fat burning, increased hunger or satiety. Obsessing about calories is also bad because it takes the focus off the goodness in food leaving you lacking in important nutrients.
What really causes weight gain? Sugar is number 1, via the production of insulin and increase of appetite. Then there’s processed carbohydrate (called ‘soon to be sugar’), including flour and breakfast cereals. Then there are fructose and alcohol which create fat via the liver. Next come seed oils which your body loves to store. And don’t think sweeteners come free; they confuse your brain and upset your body’s appetite controls so you eat more. All those chemical additives can make your body produce fat to safely store them as a toxin-protection response.
The key therefore is to avoid these fat-storage triggers. They’re in most processed foods including: ready meals, takeaways, fizzy drinks, pastry, crisps, chocolate, booze, diet foods. These are the things people snack on all day.
For healthy weight loss, eat home-made meals that satisfy you for 4 or 5 hours to see you through to the next meal without snacking. Each meal should contain plants, proteins and fats. Breakfast in particular should contain enough protein and fat so that you don’t get hungry mid-morning. Here’s a piece I wrote on breakfasts to give you some ideas. Cook your own natural, nutritious food and let your excess weight melt away.
If you want to know more, including your personal metabolic type and the mixture of food that’s right for your body, my next Eat for a Better Life course starts on 20th February at The Foyer, Irish Street, Whitehaven. Or have a one-to-one consultation any time by ‘phone or Skype.
Top tip – Give up diets, Learn to Eat Well!
People have been snapping up my recipes like hot cakes when I’ve had a stand at events. And with a whole week of delicious main meals for £10.50 a head it’s no wonder. Here’s a list of what I’ve posted:
1. Pasta with salmon sauce £1.60
2. One pot chicken £1.84
3. Spag bol £1.46
4. Liver and onion £0.81
5. Pork Stroganoff £1.87
6. Pork in mushroom and cream sauce £1.65
7. Leek and mushroom tagliatelle £1.27
Plus a bit of luxury
8. Pea and Chorizo risotto with Sea Bass £2.37
I was asked to put together a shopping list for the week and here it is!
I’ve used a limited palate of flavours to make your shopping complement more than one meal. Start by checking what you already have in your house. You can use things you’ve got instead of the ingredients listed so nothing is wasted. Add things to your shopping list that you need to buy.
If you’re new to cooking, break yourself in gently rather than stocking your cupboards with staple ingredients all in one go. Many of these ingredients keep for ages and will be enough for lots of meals once you have them.
Things to keep stock in your:
Stock cubes or bouillon powder
Tinned tomatoes (1 tin does recipes 1, 2 and 7, plus 3 for bolognaise if you make the big batch)
Dried herbs – parsley, oregano or whatever you prefer
Vinegar – white wine, balsamic or apple cider
Sadly we tend not to have pantries now but garage or shed works well for long-lasting fresh ingredients.
Onions – why not buy a bag of small wonky ones?
Potatoes – these last for months if kept in paper rather than plastic, in a cool, dark place. We have a farm nearby that sells a big sack for £6 which we eat from October until March. Find out if you have one near you; it’s much cheaper than the supermarket.
Tip – Onions and potatoes last longer if not kept close together.
Shopping list for the week
– for the week’s recipes for 2 people:
Fresh produce – the part of the supermarket to spend most time in
1 x lettuce or a cabbage
(Ready chopped salad leaves are very expensive and have been washed in chemicals and packed in an artificial atmosphere. They start to wilt as soon as you open the bag and a couple of days later, whatever is left is getting mushy and smells bad. Whole lettuces last much better. Keep them in the veg drawer at the bottom of the fridge so they don’t get too cold. Cabbage is very versatile. You can shred it finely for salad or steam it for veg. It lasts longer than lettuce, has more nutrients and is cheaper.)
1 x bag of spinach
(Best to buy this later on for recipe 6 then use it for salad or steam briefly for veg on other days.)
4 x carrots
8 x radishes
12 cherry or baby plum tomatoes
1 x bulb of garlic
(Try growing your own. Plant a clove or two from the bulb you buy, between September and December. Harvest in July.)
New potatoes for 2 people
1 x lemon or a bottle of juice
1 x large or 2 x small leeks
1 x tub double cream
Parmesan (buy it fresh, grate and freeze in containers)
4 x chicken thighs
2 x pork steaks
1 x pork tenderloin
1500g of beef mince to make the whole 16 portion batch or 200g to make just for 2 people.
300 g of liver
1 pack salami milano
Fresh herbs – parsley, dill (buy them fresh and freeze in bags or containers)
Dry / tinned
1 x 213g tin of pink salmon (healthiest with bones – buy in brine, not oil)
To add the luxury recipe of the pea and chorizo risotto with sea bass:
2 x very small sea bass fillets
2 x blobs of chorizo
You don’t need to go down the ready meal aisles at all so you save time as well as money when you shop.
Enjoy your cooking, enjoy your food, enjoy better health when you give up processed food!
What do Brits do in a crisis? – put the kettle on! There is no calamity so great that it cannot be eased by a ‘nice cup of tea’. We’ve even given it a special day of its own.
21st April is National Tea Day.
We started drinking tea in Britain way back in the mid 1600s when it was referred to as ‘China drink. We quickly took it to our hearts even though it was fantastically expensive due to import tax and was often kept in locked chests to prevent pilfering. It’s cheap as chips now and we consume 165 million cups a day!! That’s 60.2 billion cups a year and around double the coffee we drink (UK coffee week was 16-22th April).
You can read about the history of tea and all the different types on the Tea Association website. (One point for caution: they talk about what’s in tea and consider fluoride to be a nutrient which it is not; it’s a neurotoxin.)
There are so many types to sample and enjoy. There’s black tea, green tea, white tea, tea flavoured with flowers and herbs – even without including the herbal teas (called tisanes). When I was a student, there was a tea stall on Bath indoor market. From the array of exotic leaves, I would make my choice, then watch in wonder as the half pound was weighed and poured onto a single sheet of paper that magically became a parcel tied with string. (I don’t know whether they still do this wondrous packaging but you can still buy tea in Bath market and I’m thrilled to see that my other favourite stalls are still there – selling cheese and second-hand books.)
Our favourite brew supports our health with anti-oxidant polyphenols and flavonoids. There are detriments too from caffeine and fluoride so it’s best have water sometimes rather than drinking tea (and coffee) all day long. It’s also diuretic and can play havoc with your bladder. If you take sugar, work on giving it up. I had one client who was surprised to discover she was consuming 24 teaspoons of sugar a day just from drinking tea!
We don’t treat tea drinking with the elaborate rituals of China or Japan, usually using tea bags and brewing in a mug at home and work but we certainly do all like our tea a certain way – and in our favourite cup/mug. Some like a pint pot brewed so strong the spoon very nearly stands up it in. Others dip the bag in for a microsecond and barely colour the water. And I don’t dare comment on the milk first or tea first debate!
Afternoon tea, however, has become a special event with delicate china cups and saucers, one pot for the tea, one for hot water, a little jug of milk and a tiered cake stand bearing dainty sandwiches, scones and cake.
Not healthy of course with all that flour and sugar but an inbuilt memory of a more genteel age. At least that’s how it should be; I was horrified on a cream tea spa day at a posh hotel with a friend to have a chunky Starbucks mug plonked down in front of me which completely jarred against the rest of our classy treat.
Do you always snack with your cuppa? It’s another of those marketing-induced habits. Think of Rich Tea – “a drink’s too wet without one” or “Have a break have a ….” you know the rest; that’s how successful they are at fixing their messages in our psyche.
They’ve normalised snacking at every point through the day so now we graze constantly like we never did before. Tea rooms and coffee shops offer enormous portions of cakes and slices as I wrote about muffins vs buns.
So drink tea in moderation, for the pleasure of it and the good things it contains, rather than as your principle hydrator. Realise that you can have it on its own. If you really want a snack, have a small bun or biscuit you’ve made yourself, or better still a handful of nuts or some fresh coconut. At the bottom of my recipes page are links to lots of websites with great recipes. Let me know of other healthy snacks you like.
Top tip: Enjoy your cuppa and be cheered.
Happy New Year!!!
Before you leap into a frenzy of spring-cleaning, here’s a special treat; a guest blog post from Suzzane Lane of ENJO on chemical-free cleaning. She came to my house the other day to do a demo and I was so impressed with the textiles I just have to buy some of the them (especially the duster – you should see my TV stand!). They work just using cold water – amazing.
I’ll also be asking Suzanne to do a Jackie’s Gee-Up in April. If you want to try ENJO fibres before then, get in touch with her on Facebook: ENJO UK with Suzanne Lane or call her on 07912561651.
Here’s her piece:
How toxic is your cleaning regime?
As we all start the annual vow to be healthier in 2018, I would like to ask you to consider an area of your life that is often overlooked and yet could be having a huge affect on your health. Your cleaning supplies.
What do you use to clean your house? How many different bottles of chemicals are in your bathroom? Your kitchen? Your living areas? How many chemicals do you put in your washing machine? Your dishwasher?
The vast majority of us, make our cleaning choices based on one of two things. We either do what our parents have always done or we are guided to new products by adverts that we see on television or in stores.
We have become conditioned to believe that spraying toxic chemicals around our homes is necessary in order to be clean and healthy.
More and more information is coming to light to suggest that the very products that we are using to try and improve the health of our homes, are actually damaging our health. Carcinogens, Endocrine disruptors and Neurotoxins can commonly be found in the sprays that we inhale as we clean. Research points to the toxic effects of these ingredients that can affect central nervous systems, reproductive systems and other vital bodily functions.
Did you see the documentary in Autumn 2017 that suggested that the air in our homes is much more toxic than the air outside of them? That’s not good news for those of us who work in the home.
This little girl suffered terribly from skin problems from birth. Her mum was desperate to find a solution and tried endless things suggested by doctors and specialists, to no avail. What no-one suggested was looking at what she used to clean her bathroom. Since she stopped using chemicals to clean her bath, her skin is clear.
Sadly, this is one of many very similar stories.
Have you seen the massive increase in the number of diagnosed asthma cases in the UK? I, myself, was diagnosed with adult onset asthma in my early forties. I needed inhalers morning and night and rescue inhalers throughout the day if I engaged in any sport. I stopped spraying chemical cleaners around my home and I haven’t needed an inhaler since.
Am I suggesting that we stop cleaning our homes?
No, of course not. But I am suggesting that you take the time to consider what you use to get the results that you want. Look into alternative option, such as the one outlined below and if you are going to use chemicals, then please read the warning labels and take the time to research all those scientific names that are difficult to interpret as well as the simple “harmful” words that we all ignore.
Is there an easy way to protect my family?
Yes, there absolutely is. The solution is not just better for health, but is also better for the environment, gets better results, is less expensive than chemicals and is much easier to use. It’s called ENJO.
What is ENJO?
Enjo, manufactured in Austria, sets the world standard for cleaning and believes that cleaning does not require toxic chemicals. For over 27 years ENJO have proven this, day after day, all over the world with its innovative ENJOtex fibres, comprehensive product range and just a little cold water. This protects our personal health and our environment.
6 times cleaner
The ENJO method allows you to clean six times more hygienically compared to conventional methods. ENJO fibres products were examined in detail by the hygiene expert at the department of health in Austria. The clear recommendation was “The use of ENJO fibre products in health care facilities is not only recommended but should be demanded in order to achieve optimal cleaning results”.
I mention the above, because if we are going to eliminate chemicals from our homes, in order to improve our health, we need to know that our homes will be healthy, clean and safe.
It’s not just better for your health and the environment – it’s also Easier and cheaper
On average, cleaning homes with ENJO takes less time than cleaning conventionally and costs less than buying toxic cleaning products.
What areas of the home does it cover?
ENJO is divided into 7 zones. Bathroom; Kitchen; Living; Floors, walls and ceilings; Windows; Skin care and Outdoor.
You can switch one zone at a time, go for the main areas that will benefit you first, or switch your whole house in one go.
ENJO products last for between 3 and 5 years and at the end of their life can be returned for recycling – creating zero waste. ENJO is also proud to be 100% carbon neutral.
We also have natural helpers like laundry liquid, dishwasher liquid and real soap, enabling you to get rid of toxic chemicals from your washing machine, dishwasher and sink.
Can I see it for myself?
Of course. ENJO turns cleaning completely on its head – no hot water and no chemicals – so we don’t expect you to believe us without seeing it first.
I’d be delighted to show you ENJO in action. You can try ENJO yourself at a private appointment or a group demonstration and you can borrow some products to have a try in your own home.
We want you to be completely satisfied, so when you decide to switch to ENJO, everything comes with a 30 day money back guarantee on top of the product warranty.
How can I find out more?
Join my facebook page and group with the same name “ENJO UK with Suzanne Lane”, have a look on Youtube at the many hygiene results or how to videos or call me on 07912561651. If you prefer to read information, I have brochures that I’d be happy to share with you.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018,
On 12th April (10am to 4pm), I’m bringing Eat for Better Business to the Mintworks, Kendal for a Cumbria Chamber of Commerce event.
It’s an interactive day focused on busting many currently fashionable food myths to help you feel great and work at the top of your game.
For quality work you need to be at your best without suffering any afternoon slump or fuzzy concentration. That means putting the right things in your body. You wouldn’t try to run your computer on gas or your car on jet fuel, but with confusing messages everywhere it’s hard to know what to eat for the best.
By the end of the workshop, delegates will:
The delegate rate for this full day workshop is £65 +VAT Chamber and Made in Cumbria members / £120 +VAT non-members – to book your place(s) please – BOOK HERE
Should you have any questions regarding the above training event, please do not hesitate to contact me or Catherynn Dunstan from Cumbria Chamber email@example.com.
For great work you need to be at your best without suffering any afternoon slump or fuzzy concentration. That means putting the right things in your body. You wouldn’t try to run your computer on gas or your car on jet fuel, but with confusing messages everywhere it’s hard to know what to eat for the best.
I’m delighted to be presenting an Eat for Better Business workshop for Cumbria Chamber of Commerce on 19th January.
Running at Energus, Workington 10am to 4pm, this interactive day focused on busting many currently fashionable food myths will help you feel great and work at the top of your game.
The delegate rate for this full day workshop is £65 +VAT Chamber and Made in Cumbria members / £120 +VAT non-members.
Contact Catherynn Dunstan if you have any questions about the workshop or Cumbria Chamber.
You can BOOK HERE
As sad as it is for me to say, the current food and farming system is creating catastrophic change as it contributes to climate change, global famine and malnourishment, damaging our planet to the brink of disrepair. Parts of our conventional food system harm nature, people, communities and civilisations in the wild and urban world.