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Category: Food, Health & Nutrition

  1. What’s in our fridge? One year on.

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    A sneak peek inside our family fridge after a weekly food shop

    Just over a year ago I posted a blog post ‘What’s in my fridge?  A typical week’s food in our household'.  It still gets a few comments when I share on Twitter, especially about the broccoli! 

    I always find it fascinating to see what other people are eating.  I love programmes such as Secret Eaters and there’s another one where they see what a typical family eats, then try to save them money and make them cook more from scratch.  The name escapes me.  Years ago I also read a magazine that showed the inside of a famous person’s fridge each month and analysed its healthiness!

    If you’re like me and love having a nosey at what people eat, then read on!

     Whats In My Fridge February 2017

    I thought a one year update would be quite interesting to see how our eating habits have changed.  The fridge this year actually looks pretty identical!  Though my beloved broccoli is still in its wrapper near the bottom and not in glasses of water.  I took this photo around one month ago and I can only assume Ben put this food shop away.  Ahem.

    I always take everything out of wrappers when I put it away and make things accessible and easy to grab.  So if I buy a pack of cans, I’ll remove the packaging and put the cans away so they’re ‘ready to go’.  Ben just puts everything away as it is.  Annoying!  I especially don’t like fruit/veg left in wrappers as it goes off a lot quicker and gets all condensation-ey.  I somehow missed that off my list of 5 Annoying Things My Husband Does, but maybe I’ll add it to another one!

    In my last fridge blog post I said I was thinking of cutting out refined sugar and this year I have!  I was thinking about it a lot towards the end of last year and thought of stopping in 2017, but wasn’t entirely sure I’d commit so kept it as an idea in my head.  After Christmas and New Year I decided I was going to give it a go and I’ve stuck to it all year, as far as I know!  I’d already cut out all sweet food containing added sugar last year and stopped eating any adult crisps/junk food.  Cutting out refined sugar completely seemed the next logical step and it’s been a lot easier than I thought.  Now I’ve done it, I don’t want to go back.  I’ve watched and read a lot about refined sugar and I really believe it is a poison that builds up over time in our bodies causing serious detriment to our health.  It’s also responsible for a lot of illness and disease in later life and I want to avoid this if I can. 

    To find out more about what inspires me to be healthy read my blog post Trying to be healthy?  Read this

    Our eating habits are pretty much the same as one year ago.  I do a weekly shop and the bulk of it is vegetables.  The one change is I now order a lot more online shops.  I started doing this to take advantage of all the cashback and offers at supermarkets on Top Cashback.  I worked my way through the list of supermarkets to get as much cashback as possible.  The new customer offers are really good and you can save a lot on your grocery shopping if you’re new to them online.  I saved loads with Waitrose as they gave me vouchers off my first five shops, up to £20 per shop.  Plus at that time they had a huge half-price sale on so we got more than usual for the same amount of money as our normal Tesco shop.  At the moment I’m shopping with Sainsbury’s.  They’re not on Top Cashback unfortunately, but they’ve sent me four vouchers for £10 off £40+ online food shops which is a great deal.

    We still get Little Yeos yoghurts and I’ve not noticed any other brands jumping on the sugar-free train with yoghurts just yet  That jam you can see in the corner of the picture in the fridge door is only made from fruit and is just as delicious as sugar filled versions, if not more so.  It makes me realise companies must just bulk food up with sugar to make more profit as half the time they don’t need to add it. 

    There’s a pizza in the fridge from Waitrose which has a wholemeal base and no sugar!  Wahoo!  It’s right up my street too as it’s a green vegetable pizza.  Ben doesn’t like this one (it’s not pizza enough for him), but I just love it.  I get seriously excited every time I find something new without added sugar!  There’s a green smoothie in there with parsnip which is quite an unique flavour shall we say.  A couple of pots of fresh soup and a cheese sauce.  Even many cheese sauces have sugar added, but fresh ones don’t.  I literally read the ingredients on everything now

    If you’re wondering why I’m harping on so much about added refined sugar read my blog post Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake

    We’ve started eating loads of eggs.  Perhaps subconsciously because we are getting chickens this weekend so we could be preparing ourselves for an influx of eggs in our diets!  I love eggs though and so do the kids.  Bella’s favourite breakfast is a dippy egg.  She’ll polish off two no problem.  Eggs are so easy to whip up quick nutritious meals and we look forward to having fresh eggs from our garden very soon.  We’ve been ordering 36 eggs per week recently!  Bella can easily have two a day if we let her, so they disappear quickly in our house.

    Our meal planning is pretty much the same.  I loosely think about a week’s food and sometimes plan a menu, but most of the time I look on the day to see which fresh produce needs using up first or is starting to turn and invent a meal on the spot dependant on this.

    One of the things I was most upset about when giving up refined sugar was Heinz baked beans.  My favourite comfort meal has to be beans on toast with grated cheese and ketchup.  Luckily Heinz now has a No Added Sugar variety which is sweetened with stevia instead!  Hurrah!  I also visit Wholefoods to get some Real Good ketchup which is sweetened with xylitol instead.  There are two types of wholemeal bread at our local Tesco which doesn’t contain sugar, so I can still have my lovely beans on toast!

    Ooh next to the Country Life (one of the least ingredient spreads I can find) is Tesco avocado spread – yum!  Great for those cutting down/avoiding dairy and with not too many ingredients either.  It’s really yummy and now my spread of choice.

    I’m not sure if Ben was entirely convinced a year or so ago when I said I was cutting out the crap.  I’m sure he thought it would just be a phase, but I was deadly serious.  For me this is a lifestyle choice, not a fad diet.  I’ve watched too many things and read too much about how bad foods affect your body and health, especially in the long term (even if you feel fine now), so there’s no going back for me.  To be honest I don’t even miss the rubbish food and there are plenty of natural, raw, wholefood alternatives that are far more scrumptious in my opinion.

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  2. Cardiac Arrest: How you can save someone’s life with a defibrillator *

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    How to use a life saving defibrillator

    Have you noticed an increase in defibrillators recently whilst out and about?  I’ve only noticed these popping up in places in recent years and didn’t know anything about them before this.  Bella’s school even fundraised for one and it’s now at the school entrance ready for anyone to use in an emergency.  Read on to discover how you can save a person's life by using a defibrillator.

    Cardiac Arrest How you can save a life with a defibrillator

    What is a defibrillator for?

    If someone has a cardiac arrest and a defibrillator is used along with CPR within 3-5 minutes of the cardiac arrest then survival rates are as high as 50-70%.  Having access to defibrillators and knowing how to use them can save someone’s life.  As a whopping 60,000 people in the UK have a cardiac arrest each year (outside of hospitals) it’s something we should all be taught.

    Teaching first aid in schools

    Wouldn’t it be great if they taught us first aid as part of the curriculum?  I really think they should.  I did a first aid course when Bella was a baby, but I need to brush up on my skills and go for a refresher.  I learnt how to do CPR, but I do wonder if I remember all the details.  The instructor did say ‘you’ll all remember and go into autopilot in an emergency’ but I do worry I’d freeze and forget in a panic.  Let’s hope I’m never faced with such a situation.

    Cardiac Arrest or Heart Attack?

    Do you know the difference between a cardiac arrest and heart attack?  I’ll admit, I just had to Google it as I thought they were the same or at least I knew they were similar and both to do with the heart.  A heart attack is when the blood flow to the heart is blocked.  A cardiac arrest is when the heart suddenly decides to stop beating.

    What to do if someone suffers a cardiac arrest

    This infographic ‘The Shocking Truth Behind Cardiac Arrest’ from Kay’s Medical explains what to do if someone is suffering a cardiac arrest.  The most important thing to note is a defibrillator will NOT hurt someone if they are not having a cardiac arrest.  It will not shock them as it measures the heart’s rhythm.  So do not hesitate to use one if you think they are, but aren’t 100% sure.  Better to be safe than sorry.

    The shocking truth about sudden cardiac arrest and how to use a defribillator

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  3. Do you buy cheap food? You may be feeding poverty!

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    1 IN 10 CHILDREN IN MALAWI TEA GROWING REGIONS DIE BEFORE THEIR 5TH BIRTHDAY

    Just reading this statement makes me want to cry.  The thought of any child dying makes me want to cry, but these children dying could be a result of me wanting to save a few pennies on my weekly shop.  Do you always look for the cheapest food?  Would you look for the cheapest if you knew the farmer couldn’t feed his family, afford clean water or visit a doctor when sick?

     

    fairtrade farmers ripped off cheap food exploitation lylia rose lifestyle b

     

    Guilt

    The choices we make every day, right down to which tea bag or cotton wool we buy weekly, can have a massive (and sometimes fatal) consequence on someone else’s life.

    I’ll admit - I don’t always choose Fairtrade, but after seeing their latest campaign and watching this video it’s time I make better choices.

    Choices

    I now choose organic when it’s available in our local supermarket as I care about what I put in my body and what goes into the environment.  It’s also much better for encouraging wildlife.  I hope when I purchase organic items, which are much more expensive, the farmers and food producers are paid a decent wage.  I’m now going to make a conscious effort to buy Fairtrade whenever I can too.  The choices we make and few extra pennies we spend really can ensure farmers are paid a decent living wage and lead a better quality life.

    Unfair

    Even in our own country we’ve seen dairy farmers not being paid enough for their milk and actually making a loss.  All because the supermarkets are at war with each other to be the cheapest and best.  Why?  Because we want the cheapest food and they want our custom.

    That’s just in our country and living standards are good here.  Imagine what they must be like in a third world country.  I thought it was disgraceful that the farmers in the UK weren’t being paid enough, but I never stopped to think about what farmers in poorer countries were being paid for the other cheap products I bought.

    fairtrade farmers ripped off cheap food exploitation lylia rose lifestyle b

    Children in poverty

    It’s not just the farmers we are exploiting, but their families and children too.  Many of them are so poor they can’t afford to send their children to school.  Instead their children must work for them.  They are trapped in a vicious poverty cycle.  They can’t afford wells for clean drinking water and so get sick.  They can’t afford to go to the doctor when they are sick.

    Choose Fairtrade

    By choosing Fairtrade you know the farmer is getting a fair deal on his crops.  A stable income is generated ensuring they can feed their children and build wells to supply clean drinking water.  There’s still a long way to go, but choosing Fairtrade will help to improve the health of communities and improve their quality of life.

    fairtrade farmers ripped off cheap food exploitation lylia rose lifestyle b

    Real lives

    Read Esme’s story here.  Esme is 70, the age when we hope to be retire by, if not long before, but Esme is a tea farmer who struggles to make ends meet.  Choosing Fairtrade will help Esme to provide schooling for her grandchildren, clean water, electricity and hopefully allow her some time off to rest (or even retire) soon.

    Read more real lives stories by clicking here

    Will you think twice next time you’re reaching for a cheap option if there’s a Fairtrade option available?

    Don’t feed exploitation.

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  4. teakruthi Loose Tea Review and £8 Discount Code

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    Discover delicious flavoursome loose leaf tea in my teakruthi review

    Over the past couple of years I have become a little tea obsessed.  I was a huge coffee addict, but I always got that weird fake-awake coffee buzz and the dreaded slump afterwards.  I got to the point where I had to have my coffee fix.  I couldn’t start my day at the office without having my morning coffee.  I couldn’t function without it.  But the truth be told, I never felt great drinking it.  I didn’t really feel energised, refreshed or satisfied.  It also left a foul after taste in my mouth and I must have always had that stinky coffee breath. 

    A couple of years ago I decided to stop drinking coffee.  I had tried before, but always got so tired after a couple of days that I caved in and poured myself a cup.  I finally hit the point where enough was enough and I stopped once and for all, turning my hot drink passion to tea instead. 

    Teakruthi Review Scrumptious Plantation Fresh Loose Leaf Tea Lylia Rose UK

    Knowing the benefits of green tea I forced myself to drink it every day and now I love it!  Most people comment they can’t drink it and one friend even remarked it tastes like pee!  My advice to you?  Just keep trying it.  It can take several tries for your taste buds to adapt and once they do, you’ll be drinking something with outstanding health benefits. 

    Once I got the taste for green tea I branched out into other herbal teas and this has recently turned into a new addiction, albeit a better addiction than my earlier coffee obsession!  Tea makes me feel good.  I don’t get that horrible fake-awake feeling, but a slight uplifting feeling with natural energy.  I don’t get the horrible slump afterwards either leaving me gagging for another cup.  I can take tea or leave it.  I can have one cup in the morning and that is it, or I can quite happily sip tea all day purely for the enjoyment, rather than having to get a fix.

    Now I’m no tea connoisseur, just a regular tea drinker who is branching out into the wonderful world of different flavour teas and a beginner at brewing loose tea leaves.  Whilst researching many teas online there are entire blogs devoted to the subject of tea drinking! 

    Who knew?  It is like a hobby in itself which is quite astonishing!  Although I am no expert, I will gladly review teas should the chance come my way, and luckily for me it recently did.  I was contacted by teakruthi to see if I wanted to sample some of their ‘plantation fresh’ loose teas.  Of course I did! 

    Teakruthi Review Scrumptious Plantation Fresh Loose Leaf Tea Lylia Rose UK

    What makes teakruthi different?

    teakruthi are self-confessed #TeaAddicts who deliver the ‘Finest teas Plantation Fresh to your doorstep.’  They handpick their teas and do not add additives.  From picking to arriving on your doorstep, the process takes only 3 months.  Apparently many other companies use a process which can take up to 8 months for the tea to reach you losing many of its benefits and taste along the way.  teakruthi use Ceylon tea which they source ethically from plantations in Sri Lanka.

    The teakruthi website & ordering experience

    The website is full to the brim with lots of delicious sounding teas and no end of useful information to help you brew the perfect cup.  If you’re new to tasting different varieties of teas, like me, you’ll be pleased to see an option for sample sized packs of all of their teas.  These packs give 3-5 servings, but really this is much more as you can steep most of these servings up to 3 times each!  I decided to pick four sample size packs so I could try a wide range.  I chose two flavours I knew I’d like and a couple of new flavours to try.  The order process was quick and easy (from my iPhone) and the teas promptly arrived in a cool black branded box (perfect for a gift).   The teas are loose and although I already have a special diffuser cup thing, it was an added bonus to receive a diffuser in the package.  Now I can brew two teas at once!  Handy info cards for each tea were also in the box, so I can learn exactly where each tea is grown, the plantation to doorstep process and a mouth-watering detailed description of each tea.

    Teakruthi Review Scrumptious Plantation Fresh Loose Leaf Tea Lylia Rose UK

    Teakruthi Review Scrumptious Plantation Fresh Loose Leaf Tea Lylia Rose UK

    Cinnamon Chai

    This was a flavour I knew I’d like.  I’m a big chai tea drinker already and just love cinnamon.  Expecting a rush of spice I decided to add a touch of honey which they suggest as an optional condiment.  This tea was actually a lot milder spiced than I’m used to and so the honey made it too sweet.  It would make a wonderful after meal ‘dessert tea’ however!  The tea was delicious though, with the cinnamon clear to taste.  This is one to drink plain unless you have a very sweet tooth.

    Lemon Kandy

    Lemon and ginger tea is a regular favourite of mine, so I couldn’t resist the sound of Lemon Kandy.  This tea is scrumptious and an ideal wake me up tea.  The lemon is tangy and refreshing.  Although it’s a black tea, I found it easy to drink plain without the addition of milk (which would totally ruin the lemon flavour anyway!)

    Ceylon Ivory

    This tea was recommended to me by one of the owners.  I can see why!  It’s the first white tea I have ever consumed and I’m now a convert.  It costs quite a lot more than the other teas and is more than I’d spend on tea, but it is a pure premium tea of exceptional quality.  I even had to make Ben a cup of this as soon as I’d tried it so he could taste it for himself.  His response?  ‘Oh wow, this is lovely’.  Yep, it really is a special cup of tea, perfect as an indulgent treat or gift for someone special.

    Rainforest Indulgence

    As this is a strong black tea, I decided to add a dash of milk in case I was blown away by the strength!  I now understand what is meant by ‘full bodied’ as it is exactly how I wish to describe this tea.  It is the most delicious cup of tea (with milk) I have ever experienced.  Rainforest Indulgence is full of all sorts of flavours which hit every corner of my mouth.  I’ll brave it without the milk for my next cuppa for a full taste explosion!

    Click here to buy some delicious teakruthi teas for yourself and enter code #TEAADDICT for $10 off your first order (approx £8!)

     

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  5. Cooking with a Four Year Old: Veggie Spaghetti Chilli

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    Easy meals to cook with a four year old

    Four year olds absolutely love helping around the house and as parents we should take advantage of this before they are teenagers who don't want to help with a thing!  Encouraging your child to help with food preparation can instill a love of cooking and healthy eating from a young age.  There are lots of simple recipes a four year old can help with.  For chopping and slicing, buy a Kiddy Kutter child safe knife - these saw the food, but are unable to cut a child.

    We recently cooked a vegetarian chilli together and I'll share the recipe with you here.

    Bella age four makes spaghetti chilli chef cook child lylia rose uk blog pa

    Bella was super keen to help me cook last week.  She’s four, but we’ve not really made anything together yet.  I decided she could help me make a vegetarian chilli as it’s basically just mixing a load of beans and herbs together with cans of chopped tomatoes.  Easy for a four year old!

    After school I asked Bella to change out of her school uniform and she ran back downstairs exclaiming ‘I’m ready to cook Mum!’

    She had put on her dress up chef’s apron and hat.  CUTE!  (It was so cute I made her pose for a million photos before we began)

    I asked Bella whether she wanted rice or jacket potatoes with the chilli and she replied ‘spaghetti’.  OK so that wasn’t an option, but I guess that could work.  Spaghetti it was.

    In a pan we mixed together:

    • butter beans
    • chopped tomatoes
    • kidney beans
    • mild chilli powder
    • mixed herbs

    Bella also broke up all the spaghetti (to make it easier to eat) and popped this into a second pan.

    Bella age four makes spaghetti chilli chef cook child lylia rose uk blog pa

    I cooked both for ten minutes after covering the spaghetti with boiling water from the kettle and stirring the chilli as much as possible!  I didn’t let Bella help with the cooking part as I’m still concerned she’s a bit too young and worry about hot splashes or something being knocked over.  She was just as chuffed being able to prepare the meal and told Ben no less than five times ‘I cooked dinner tonight Daddy!’

    It was super delicious too.  Bella gobbled hers right up, so proud of herself for making dinner.  Spaghetti with chilli isn’t half bad either!  I’ll be letting chef Bella help me in the kitchen lots more from now on.

    You Baby Me Mummy

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