Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Diets die as the saying goes, when you decide to eat healthy it is because you want to change your lifestyle and usually this happens when you are worried about your health. Food is the ultimate balance that should be reached for the sake of a healthy spirit.

Spinach and Feta Pie craving

Today I had my first real pregnancy craving, it was so strong that I could probably have chewed my hand off if I didn’t get it.

Apart from needing more sugar in my diet, I have been craving only fruits and veggies and unable to eat much meat. Anyway, this is probably the worst thing I could have eaten for my diet. But.. as they say you only live once and not everyone is perfect 100% of the time. Also, it is kind of my dad’s fault for bringing the idea up this afternoon. By the way, small triangles of this stuff is called spanakopita in greek.

Plus I am feeling rather exposed having posted my first chapter of my book on my blog.

So I will tell you how to make this delicious pie, that my husband also enjoys.

1. you need 6 eggs

2. feta cheese 150 grams

3. filo pastry, one carton

4. oil

5. spinach (one bag)

you will need a brush, a little bowl for the oil, one over tray and a fork. Also, I normally boil the spinach so it’s softer and easier to apply on the pie, but don’t over-boil it because then it will lose all it’s nutrients.

Put your oil in your little bowl and brush it on the inside of your tray. To prepare for the filling, grab a fork and crush the feta cheese into small little pieces, then break the eggs on top of this and beat it up. Don’t add the spinach in here, or it will just make the mixture too wet.

Take one filo pastry leaf and on the one side brush on some oil everywhere. Add along the narrower side the egg and feta, as if you making one thick line near almost the edge of the leaf. Lay a few spinach pieces on-top of your egg and feta line, then begin rolling gently until you get to the end. apply oil on the outer sides of this and begin making a circle on your tray. Repeat until you have done all your leaves the same way.

Put in the over @ 200 C. If you see your pastry is cracking a bit, you can sprinkle some water droplets on-top. When it is nice and golden usually your pie is ready.

Take out and serve semi warm. You can serve it with yoghurt.



Moroccan Food?

Is it really Moroccan food, or some concoction?

Today I briefly saw Nigella putting a Moroccan dish together on tele. She said she thought it wasn’t Moroccan but had inspiration from there. It was a leg of lamb smothered in spices and cooked in the over for an hour and half until crisp on the outside, but tender on the inside, accompanied with cucumber yoghurt mix in pitta bread.  Yumm right?

Well, although I am Mediterranean I don’t really like lamb cooked many different ways and so normally don’t stock up on it unless there is a special occasion.

Normally however, I would have lamb mince in the fridge and I will mix this with pork mince and make my spaghetti Bolognese sauce. Today, I was inspired by Nigella so I decided to come up with a new concoction.

I chopped up 3 celery sticks, 2 carrots, 2 small peppers, a small bunch of parsley, an onion, 2 sprigs of spring onion, a handful of chives.

I normally cook with peanut oil, but if you allergic to peanuts use vegetable or sunflower. I heated that up and put 500 grams of lamb mince, cooked it nicely and added the following spices generously:

– mint

–  ground nutmeg

– basil

a sprinkle of the following as well:

– paprika

– red chilli powder

– black pepper

– ground cinnamon

wow, I am really precise aren’t I? Well if it’s any consolation I cook to taste rather than measurements.

I then added my chives, onion and spring onion. Mixed this together with the mince to transfer the spice. Then added a spoon of red grape & Framboise jelly and a spoon of Cranberry & caramelised red onion chutney, and lastly half a spoon of mint sauce.

Once I mixed this well and the onion were soft I added a sprinkle of almonds, my carrots, celery, parsley and peppers.

Viola! don’t overcook, let it stay crunchy. Yumm.

To accompany this I made bulgur wheat.

Bon apetite… but if that’s too adventurous for you… sorry.

Oh, I forgot what do we call it? Any ideas?

Red meat is bad for you?

Red meat is bad for you? Click not the link for more info.

Do we think this is true? Coming from a red meat eating nation, not eating red meat is like not eating at all.

I have to say lately I am finding it hard to eat red meat at all, it makes me feel ill, so there may be some truth to it.

Give your view and do consider the fact that all red meat that is not organic / or even some organic animals are pumped up on steroids and or antibiotics etc.

I suppose if you can’t eat it you can wear it like Lady Gaga.

Are you at that age now?

The first signs when you begin to notice yourself getting older is when your friends begin getting married. You have been with your bf or gf for a long time, or even no one and then suddenly you start getting invitations to go to weddings and engagement parties etc. It is an exciting time and can be exhilarating when you having to plan your own wedding, but it is an indication and a slight pressure that you are about to embark on a new journey in your life.

I am past that age now and I realise yet again fairly soon after our wedding there is something else happening in the air to couples around us.

All our friends who have studied at university and worked a bit, are now having babies and I am so very happy for them. Big steps! Given that I am a caring friend and damned curious about what they are going to be embarking on, I have done a bit of research and would like to share this with them.

I always talk about how important it is to ensure that you are eating the right foods for your body and how everyone is so very different. When a woman is pregnant the food she eats is not only vital for her, but for her unborn child to help it develop into a healthy, happy baby girl / boy.

There is a misconception that you will need to increase your intake of food, it’s what you eat that matters not how much you eat. You will need to have a good supply of B-vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

The intake of protein in your diet will need to increase, make sure you either get this through vegetables or meat, if you don’t eat meat you can always eat fish. Fish are good because they also have essential fats, but nuts are also an option here. The essential fats are crucial for brain, eye, central-nervous-system development in a growing baby.  This is especially the case in the last trimester of your pregnancy.

Apparently the recommended guidelines say no more than 2 portions of fish, due to the mercury content. However, Merilyn Glenville  recommends you avoid shark, swordfish and marlin, and limit tuna. Apparently organic sardines, salmon, herring, mackerel and anchovies are fine. (personally i don’t like mackerel). You should not use cod-liver or any fish-liver oil supplements during pregnancy: they contain vitamin A, which can be toxic for babies.

To increase iron within your diet, which increases the number of red blood cells. you should eat eggs, leafy dark green vegetables, seaweed, apricots, lentils, millet and whole grain.

Folic acid is extremely important in your diet, it gets destroyed when you cook the vegetable so  instead you can eat 2 -3 servings of strawberries and bananas.

Recommended Supplements

Vitamin B1 - B6 10mg
Vitamin B12 50 microg
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids  150mg
Vitamin E 200 iu
Vitamin D3 5 microg
Beta-carotene 833.3 microg
Folic acid 400 microg
Calcium 40 mg
Chromium 20 microg
Iron 5 mg
Magnesium 2 mg
Selenium 100 microg
Zinc 7.5 mg

Is it really organic?

Eating healthy is for some people almost an obsession. It seems like dieticians are constantly fascinated with new studies and they start throwing out names like antioxidants, fat free foods, non saturated fat foods etc. The list becomes so large and everyone has their own ideas that we begin to think that the only things that we can eat is pretty much only grass.

Then there are those that say you can eat just about anything as long as it’s organic and then we begin to feel this on our pocket. There are also dieticians that recommend that you don’t eat a wide variety of foods at once, as your digestion finds itself struggling to cope. While others say completely the opposite! On top of it all, some suggest you should eat a lot of meat and then there are some that say you should not eat meat at all.

I am a concerned eater due to my allergies. I been frustrated by all of this advice and lost hope at one stage trying to get it right. I tried absolutely everything under the sun, and although I am a healthy weight right now this used to swing like a pendulum that I had no control over.

The truth of the matter is at the end of the day that the studies are right and wrong, as any solution has two sides.

I always listen to my body, I know when it wants me to eat fruit or when I need to eat something meaty, because I really do crave for it. I could be sitting in front of the TV and my mind will say “I wish I was eating a carrot”. It’s an odd thing to think about, it sounds a bit nutty but if you listen to yourself you will find that the ultimate truth is within you. However, one thing that I have to completely agree with all the dieticians is that we really shouldn’t be eating foods containing those all so suspicious E numbers, colorants and preservatives, and definitely not eating sugar! There are substitutes for sugar and I don’t mean the poisonous sweeteners full of antidepressant substances, but honey for example.

If your body is used to consuming sugars and you don’t cut it out for at least 3 months, you won’t really be able to rely on your cravings because your body is craving anything to add energy into your system when you are in that sugary slump. Your pancreas is on overdrive and your heart is beating faster than you know why.

Also, don’t ever think that you will ever be able to achieve eating everything that is recommended in those diet books in a day, you’ll end up eating yourself half to death. There is no way a person can stuff their face with everything that is good for them in a single day. Variety is key, but overdoing anything is a disaster.

Then there is this huge speculation as to whether you should buy organic or non organic foods. So the organic foods are slightly more expensive, but when you think about it, if the vegetables/ fruit have been sitting on the shelves on the supermarket store for more than 3 days then they probably lost just as many nutrients as the non-organic. I stand to be corrected in terms of thinking that organic foods have more nutritional value than non organic. A very detailed study was performed to find out the truth, I have just copied some of the facts onto my blog, please feel free to read the full article. This article describes that they studied the articles that had been submitted as evidence trying to substantiate that organic foods are better. Out of 50 000 articles only 55 are relevant, as the rest have no founding evidence and are not backed up by facts.

This well-conducted comprehensive review, identified over 50,000 articles but found that only 55 were of satisfactory quality. It found only 11 papers with direct relevance to human health, five of which involved testing cell cultures rather than people. Of the six human studies, four included fewer than 20 participants, giving them little statistical power. The taste, surface pesticide content or appearance of the food was also not researched.

When the authors looked at only those studies of a satisfactory quality, conventionally produced crops had a significantly higher nitrogen content, which is a measure of specific fertiliser use. Organic crops had a significantly higher content of phosphorus and higher titratable acidity (a measure of ripeness of the fruit at harvest). They found no evidence of a difference in the remaining eight crop nutrient categories from the 11 analysed.

When the authors analysed the limited database on livestock products available, they found no evidence of a difference in nutrient content between livestock products produced organically and conventionally.

What interpretations did the researchers draw from these results?

The researchers say that there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between foodstuffs produced organically and conventionally.

They go on to explain that the small differences in nutrient content relate to differences in production methods or were biologically plausible, meaning that they relate to differences such as fertiliser use or the timing of harvest.

Read more.

Of course you make your own decisions about what is wrong or right, but there are facts to be considered.

Regarding soya foods, used commonly by our vegetarian and vegan friends. One thing to note is to alway make sure that you soya has not got soya protein isolators, which affects the thyroid function and is linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, as the soya is put into an aluminium tank in order to allow the acid within it to strip the soya bean of its carbohydrates.

I think when you considering what to eat follow the below guidelines:

1. Have I got at least 3 different veggies on my dish …. (don’t over boil and overcook these so that they keep their vitamins), salad does cover a lot of bases as it can be made with a variety of veggies
2. Have I eaten berries or fruit as snacks throughout the day (2 -3 different types)
3.  Have I got something stable on my plate ie. wholegrain rice or pasta (a complex carbohydrate for slow releasing energy and also something that will allow me to feel full for a long time)
4. Additionally have some form of meat, at least 2 times a week I recommend eating fish

I generally don’t like eating dairy and meat together, because this gives me stomach cramps. I really like snacking on nuts and fruit, like a parrot. Oh, and I really really love olives!

I don’t eat chocolates or sweets, if I do its once in a blue moon. I don’t worry if things are organic or not. I don’t measure my food, although I don’t eat more than when my tummy says stop. Generally one plate of food is the maximum. I never dish up seconds as it is overindulging. 3 course meals are ridiculous and I cannot really manage this, so I break it down to 3 separate meals.

In the last 6 years since I have changed my diet, I haven’t had weight fluctuations. I have had the flu only 3 times in the 6 years and this occurred during the very stressful moments of my life, when I have moved house / country / job all at the same time. Stress related illnesses are the worst, because even food won’t save you there.

Listen to your body it knows you well. I can’t tell you what’s wrong or right for you, you need to figure it out. Start eliminating things and build your pyramid up. What works for some people doesn’t work for others. Diets die and lifestyles are forever.

Only for Women

So I went shopping with my mom today and she can be a handful. She loves looking at everything there is in the store, if there is anything quirky then she will definitely buy it. Which is great actually, but it takes time.

Good that it did because I managed to buy myself a very interesting book

The Natural Health Bible for Women

I started reading it today and there are a lot of things inside that I have yet to learn. I thought I had my diet all figured out, because I managed to make my system happy, but I think there is a whole load more to learn.

The book really does go into a lot of details about our hormones, our organs and what we should do to have a balanced lifestyle and diet. That is why this book is good for all women of all ages.

According to the writer women should very seldom, if not at all, eat Red meat, sugar, poultry or white bread. It increases the bad bacteria in our bodies, specifically in the female organs.We should eat a lot of whole grains, fruit, veggies, fish and eggs instead. A healthy diet is a varied diet ladies!

We need to exercise 3 to 4 times a week and drink plenty of water. When you drinking your tap water don’t assume it’s the best thing there is, because it isn’t as it contains lead and arsenic. You therefore need to invest in a water filter and just purify it. If you drink mineral water, best buy it in glass bottles and watch out for the sodium(salt) content. Drinking water from plastic bottles enhances the chances that oestrogen like chemicals in the plastic can contaminate the water and cause imbalances in your body.

Unfortunately for all of us, we need to eliminate coffee from our diet as it is a diuretic and it makes us more dehydrated, causing a loss in good nutrients from our bodies. De-caff option apparently is also no good because it contains 2 other stimulants. I suppose I will have to stick to my herbal teas.

The book also goes into details about abdominal massages, reasons for heavy or no periods, how to spot cancer, menopause, making babies, conception, varicose veins, cysts….etc.

It is really comprehensive and would be a great aid to any woman!!

Why do they call them Buffalo wings?

So before you go and search on google or wikepedia, or whatever else you use to check things out I am going to tell you why they call them buffalo wings, so just keep reading and have some patience.

I sometimes wonder why we call certain things the way we do. We use language as an expressive medium and all of us slightly variate in the way we address people or things.

For example in Australia girls are called generally Sheilas, well do you know why? Because it was a common irish name and there were lots of irish settlers so it became common language.

Do you know what a carhop is? I bet that sounds awfully weird. Well it’s someone serving food at a drive-in, often on roller-skates

At least I am not asking you to decipher what this means : floccinaucinihilipilification.

By the way it means : Estimating that something is valueless.

Getting back tot the buffalo wings, they are called this because they originated from NY, Buffalo. The sauce that they are made from has vinegar, tabasco sometimes, butter and such like ingredients. Can’t say they are not tasty, unfortunately I can’t eat them.

Try and make sure that whatever you are saying is clear and understood by the other party. Sometimes asking them to repeat what they have heard helps you understand if they have understood or not.

Now  in order for you to understand me “I am going to bed”, in addition to make it clearer to you more peculiar folk:

1. I’ve got a date with the Sandman
2. I’m off to la~la land
3. I’m tippin’ the lights
4. Shut~down time
5. I’m about to take my nightly swan~dive
6. I’m about to knock out
7. catch some ZZZZZs
8. hit the hay
9. go nitey nite
10. hop in the sack
11. slip between the sheets
12. get some shut eye
13. retire for the evening
14.looking at the insides of your eyelids
15. saw some logs
16. drift into dreamland
17. get my 8 hours
18.take a siesta
19. count sheep

You catch my drift?