Although I am not a vegan, I am a fan of eating plenty of fruit and vegetables in my diet and trying new things. I also make a couple of meals per week that are plant-based meals and am always on the lookout for new ideas. Today, I came across this interesting video of food hacks for vegans. I thought it may interest not only vegans but also people who enjoy vegetarian food and those who are trying to reduce the amount of meat they include in their diet.
This easy bean dip is a tasty but low-fat option to serve on a buffet or as a snack. It is surprisingly quick and simple to make and the result is delicious considering the lack of effort required to make this dip. Here is an easy recipe for bean dip.
Ingredients for Bean Dip
- 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
- 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans.
- 4 heaped tablespoons plain yoghurt
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
How to Make Bean Dip
- Put half the beans and chickpeas into a food processor with the yoghurt, lemon juice, cumin, and garlic.
- Blitz into a smooth paste.
- Add the remaining beans and chickpeas along with the lemon zest.
- Blitz only quickly to get a chunky bean dip.
- Serve with crudites, flatbreads, or other dipping ingredients.
I have recently posted a few blogs about how I am trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle and lose some weight. It’s annoying me how many people have asked me how my diet is going or if I am struggling with being on a diet. I hate the term ‘on a diet’ and refuse to use it.
First of all, everybody has a diet, it is just that some people’s are healthier than others. A diet is simply what you eat. Second, if you refer to yourself as being ‘on a diet’, I think it gives the impression that you are depriving yourself in some way and struggling on through life. These are the reasons why I do not refer to myself as being ‘on a diet’.
I prefer to call it changing my eating habits or adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Anyway, I have hardly deprived my self of anything. I have simply made a few changes in an effort to fit back into my jeans. My biggest sacrifice, if you want to call it that, is to reduce my wine intake. Desperate times call for desperate measures! Other than that, I have replaced fizzy drinks with water, put sweeteners in my coffee, stopped eating crisps in bed and walked a bit more. That is the extent of my efforts so far.
It is already working. Making these simple changes to my eating and lifestyle habits have led to a weight loss so far of six pounds in under two weeks. Hopefully, I will have hit the half a stone mark by next week.
Catch up with my previous weight loss posts here:
I wrote a post the other day about how much weight I have put on and realizing that I need to make some drastic changes to my eating habits and my lifestyle to lose weight and improve my health. (You can read it here if you missed it). So far, I have had a fairly mixed start in my efforts to do this.
In terms of my eating, I have done well. It is not the meals that I eat that are particularly unhealthy, nor the portion sizes as I have a relatively small appetite. My problem is the late night snacking that is encouraged by my partner buying me treats. My second problem is drink rather than food. I drink lots of coffee with sugar, fizzy soda drinks, and wine.
I have done well with removing the snacks from my diet and my partner has been good about not buying chocolate and crisps. I have cut down on wine, replaced sodas with water, and started taking sweeteners in my coffee. I even ate some new potatoes with a ham salad the other day without drowning them in butter.
My problem has been my lack of exercise. The main plan was to start walking and swimming again. My first plan was that my mum would come on the school run with a few times a week. We would take the children to school in her car and she would then drive off to conduct her own business for the day, leaving me outside the school. It is a 2.5-mile walk back from school, and this is a pleasant distance to walk. It is particularly nice if the weather is good and I often walk along the coastal path, which has excellent views across the bay and estuary.
I have already been thwarted in my plans to do this as my work deadlines have meant that I have needed to drive straight home from school to complete work for my clients. I am not disheartened, I have planned my workload better for next week to make sure that I get to do the walk home a few times. My best effort at walking so far has been when I went on a spa day with my sister and mum and we walked a few miles around the shops. Does shopping count as exercise?
My swimming plans have also fallen by the wayside. I bought a swimming costume while I was away ready to start doing lengths at the swimming pool. I tried to go swimming with my older son on Saturday. However, by the time I had found out the opening times and he had gone to ask his friend from down the road if he wanted to come along, it wouldn’t have been worth making the drive as the pool was due to close.
I am just making excuses now and I hope to do a lot better this week. I am certainly not planning to give up. We hope to get married this year and that is motivation enough for anyone to lose weight and not become the center of attention for all the wrong reasons on their wedding day.
Last year I was diagnosed as having a severe vitamin D deficiency. This is becoming an increasingly common issue for people in the UK as they are spending longer working indoors and not enough time outside. One of the steps I took to improve my vitamin D levels in addition to taking medication was to start walking. I walked miles each week and this resulted in me losing around 28 pounds and really toning up. Unfortunately, I have since put all this weight back on.
My car was stolen from outside my home last year. While you may assume that this resulted in me walking more, the opposite was true. I needed a car sooner than the insurance was going to pay out, so I worked lots of extra hours to pay for another car. This stopped me from walking back from the school run each day as I did not have the time. I had also intended to start swimming one morning a week once my youngest started at school. Again, I couldn’t do this because I didn’t have a car to get there.
One of the main reasons I have put on so much weight is that my partner moved in with me last year. He likes to treat me and is always bringing home boxes of chocolates and bottles of wine. This has contributed to me now being the largest I have ever been. Writing this food blog isn’t helping as I am making meals that I might not necessarily make so that I can add them to the blog.
I am now taking action to lose the weight. First, I have told my partner to stop buying me treats. Second, I am going to add more healthy meals to the blog rather than ones that have rich and creamy sauces (although I do have a creamy and cheesy stuffed mushroom recipe that I am planning on adding later today!).
The next thing is to get myself physically active again. The warmer months are arriving now, so walking home from the school run will be a pleasant start to my day. Now I have another car, I can also start going swimming once a week. I even bought myself a new swimming costume yesterday while I was visiting Southport for a spa day with my mum and sister. Hopefully, my new cozzie will inspire me to take the plunge and start swimming again.
No doubt I will report in with my weight loss success or failure on The Fruity Tart at some point soon. I might even be brave enough to post some before and after pics!
Scientists have conducted many studies into whether there is a link between the diet you eat and the likelihood of you developing dementia. Some have even found that following specific diets may reduce the risk of suffering from this debilitating condition later in life. According to the Alzheimer’s society, the best diet to follow if you want to reduce the risk of suffering from dementia is a Mediterranean diet and evidence also shows that this diet also helps with reducing the risk of developing memory and thinking problems.
What is a Mediterranean Diet?
Mediterranean diet is now a term used to describe a diet that is influenced by the ingredients traditionally used in the region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It is typically high in fruits and vegetables. Other food groups that are largely used in this type of diet are cereals and legumes. The diet includes a moderate consumption of dairy and oily fish, while it is low in meat content. Other foods that are rarely used are those that are high in sugar and saturated fat.
Studies into Mediterranean Diet and Dementia
There have been many studies into the benefits of a Mediterranean diet. One of the earlier studies was conducted in the 1960s and this showed that there were lower rates of heart attacks amongst men living in Mediterranean regions. Further studies have also shown links between following this diet and reduced rates of type 2 diabetes. In terms of dementia, studies began into links between this diet and a decreased risk of dementia when scientists learned that those who followed this diet experienced fewer problems with memory and thinking. Recently, more research was conducted to pull all the previous findings together to learn more about the potential link between following a Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of dementia development.
How Does a Mediterranean Diet Reduce the Risk of Dementia?
One reason it is believed that this diet can impact on the chances of developing dementia is that many of the foods eaten are high in antioxidants. These can help to protect brain cells against the damage caused by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. The diet can also reduce the signs of inflammation and lower cholesterol levels. Both factors are proven to have an impact on memory and thinking. It is important to note that there have been some inconsistencies amongst the studies and it is possible that the reason people eating a Mediterranean diet have lower rates of dementia is simply as a result of this group of people living a generally healthier life.
Is Diet the Only Factor?
Of course, eating a Mediterranean diet alone will not reduce the risk of developing dementia as there are many other factors that are believed to contribute to the development of this condition. Some people are genetically predisposed to develop dementia and there is some evidence to suggest that you are more likely to develop dementia if someone else in your family has suffered from this condition. Lifestyle factors also play a part, so reducing alcohol intake, not smoking, and exercising regularly are all important steps to take to reduce the risk of developing dementia in the future.
To learn more about working with people with dementia, visit https://www.createcare.co.uk/ and check out the range of courses available.
Anyone who is interested in health and beauty will know the importance of taking good care of their skin. There are plenty of products available on the market, each of which has a different role to play in good skin health. However, diet can play just as an important role in the health and appearance of your skin. A healthy balanced diet can have a significant impact on the health of your skin and whether or not it looks radiant. It is vital to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need in your diet to maintain good skin health. If you want to make your skin healthier and appear more radiant, you should try including the following seven foods in your diet.
Foods such as spinach and Brussel sprouts are high in alpha lipoic acid. This helps to protect against premature aging and keeps the skin tight and wrinkle-free.
Examples of oily fish include anchovies, sardines, and salmon. This fish contains dimethylaminoethanol which protects the skin, reduces the risk of premature aging, and strengthens cell membranes.
Eggs contain choline and lutein. These are both important nutrients in terms of skin health. Choline plays a role in keeping skin smooth and also regulates vitamin B levels. Vitamin is needed to keep skin smooth and firm. Lutein is an antioxidant that prevents skin damage and protects skin elasticity.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants that will protect you against many diseases. An additional bonus is that the antioxidants will also make your skin more radiant.
Eating just one red grapefruit a day will give you your daily recommended dose of vitamin C, which is essential for good skin health.
Your body needs omega-3 fatty acids but can’t produce it itself. Walnuts are a great source of these and it will keep your skin cell membranes strong and help them to retain moisture.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. It can help to protect skin from the damage of UV rays and the effects of premature aging.
Written in response to the Daily Prompt ‘Radiant’ on The Daily Post.