Wednesday, 15 October 2014

25 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes

Sweet potatoes are so good for your health. Need ideas for cooking them? These recipes should help.

Credit: Getty Imagesprev1 of 27

Sweet, sweet potatoes

It's no surprise that sweet potatoes are at the top of nearly everyone's healthiest foods list. One baked, medium-sized sweet potato contains 438% of your daily value of vitamin A (a white potato contains 1%), 37% of your vitamin C, and some calcium, potassium, and iron too. All this at just 105 calories!

What's more, they also deliver 4 grams of dietary fibre—16% of the daily value—and absolutely zip in terms of fat.

And luckily there are many ways to whip them up. Here are 25 great (even kid-friendly!) sweet potato recipes.

Next: Oven-Roasted Sweet-Potato Wedges 
by Benjamin PlackettNext,,20600272,00.html

Friday, 3 October 2014

HOW TO GET RID OF A DOUBLE CHIN, facial exercises for women, loose skin,...

 I've been in need of this for years! Going to do this every day and let you know how I get on. So pleased!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

10 Minute Workout For Men At Home | Total Body Workout For Men | Cardio ...

 Take 10 minutes out of your day to do this. It looks challenging but do what you can - you can pause it, take a breather then get back to it. You may not compete the whole 10 minutes straight away but day by day you will see improvements, which will make you look and FEEL FANTASTIC!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Thought For The Day!!!

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm"  -  Winston Churchill

Monday, 8 September 2014

Watercress - the latest wonder food!

Eat your way to a facelift: Watercress is the latest wonder food in battle against ageing 

  • Study showed 10 out of 11 females experienced visible improvements to their skin
  • 7 out of 11 saw an improvement in their wrinkles
  • Watercress contains more vitamin C than oranges, four times more beta-carotene and vitamin A than apples, tomatoes and broccoli 

If you want to roll back the years, forget expensive lotions and potions and instead reach for something more natural (and cheap): a bag of watercress.
The old adage of beauty coming from within has been borne out by a new study in which 10 out of 11 female volunteers experienced visible improvements to their skin after just four weeks of adding one bag of watercress a day to their diet.
One woman even managed to reduce her facial wrinkles by an incredible 39 per cent. 

Forget expensive creams, a recent study shows that adding one bag of watercress a day to your diet can improve your skin tone and reduce wrinkles
Forget expensive creams, a recent study shows that adding one bag of watercress a day to your diet can improve your skin tone and reduce wrinkles

The women, who ranged in age from 23 to 58, began the trial by having their faces photographed using a VISIA complexion analysis system which gives a subsurface reading of an individual’s skin and focuses on wrinkles, texture (the balance between oily and dry areas) pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas (any underlying redness, inflammation, sensitivity or thinner skin) and porphyrins (levels of bacteria on the skin).

The Results

•    10 out of 11 volunteers saw a positive improvement in their skin
•    7 out of 11 saw an improvement in their wrinkles
•    8 out of 11 saw an improvement in the texture* of their skin
•    9 out of 11 saw an improvement in their pores
•    5 out of 11 saw an improvement in their red areas
•    8 out of 11 saw an improvement in the levels of porphyrins
•    5 out of 11 saw an improvement in their brown spots
•    3 out of 11 saw an improvement in their UV spots

After four weeks of eating 80g of watercress a day the volunteers had their skin reassessed by the VISIA camera, and the results were extremely positive.
The majority of women also reported increased energy levels.
During the trial the volunteers made no other changes to their usual health and beauty regime. 
They were allowed to eat their daily quota of watercress in any way they chose – in salads, sandwiches, whizzed into smoothies or wilted into pasta, however it was not allowed to be cooked.
One of the success stories of the study was Ruth McKechnie, 54, a theatre training teacher from Cambridge who saw a 39 per cent improvement in her wrinkles, 13 per cent improvement in her skin texture, 5 per cent per cent reduction in brown spots and 18 per cent improvement in her levels of bacteria. 
She said: 'I’m absolutely thrilled with the results of the trial and astounded at how my skin has improved in almost every aspect.
'It feels smoother to touch, looks plumper and best of all my wrinkles have reduced! I had a particularly stressful few weeks at work and thought it would have a negative effect on my skin so to see such an improvement really is impressive.

'I have also felt more energised and generally healthier which has helped me deal with the stress. Watercress will certainly be top of my shopping list from now onwards.'
Throughout history, eminent philosophers and doctors have revered the health boosting properties of watercress from the pharaohs in Egypt and the ancient Greeks, to the Romans and Anglo-Saxons.
Now, sophisticated science techniques have confirmed folklore beliefs. 

Philosophers and doctors have raved about the benefits of watercress for years

Philosophers and doctors have raved about the benefits of watercress for years

Dr Sarah Schenker, a leading nutritionist and dietician who oversaw the study, said: 'Watercress is a rich source of beta carotene needed to quench free radicals, which can cause damage to skin cells.
'However, in order to work properly a high concentration of Vitamin C is also needed to complete this process and watercress again has this in abundance.
'In addition watercress contains Vitamin E which is also important for skin health.  It is this powerhouse of nutrients and the chain reaction in which they work together which is so important for maintaining good skin.'

'There are plenty of delicious ways that watercress can be incorporated into your diet...'

Sarah added: 'This study confirms that diet is an important aspect of beauty. Eating plenty of plant foods including watercress cannot only help to slow down the ageing of our skin, but may actually reverse some of the effects of damage.'
Watercress Alliance member Dr. Steve Rothwell, who holds a PhD in watercress explained: 'There have been a whole host of scientific studies that have shown that B Carotene can help reduce the ageing of skin, so we were encouraged to carry out our own small pilot study using fresh watercress. 
'We were delighted with the results of the new pilot study which may now be used to secure funding for a larger scale university research programme, as the findings have proved so conclusive.'
Gram for gram, watercress contains more vitamin C than oranges, four times more beta-carotene and vitamin A than apples, tomatoes and broccoli, more vitamin E than broccoli, more calcium than whole milk and more iron than spinach.
It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin (45 times that of tomatoes and more than triple the amount in broccoli). 
It is also the richest dietary source of PEITC (phenylethyl isothiocyanate) which research suggests can fight cancer.
By Bianca London

Friday, 5 September 2014

California Chicken Wrap - easy and scrummy, and anything with avocado gets my vote!

California Chicken Wrap Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise (why not try a mayo with something extra, like garlic or chili to give it a bit of a kick...)
  • 4 (6-in.) fajita size whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens


1. Spread It: with the low fat mayonnaise
2. Stuff It: Layer chicken, avocado, red pepper, red onion and salad greens down center of each tortilla.
3. Wrap It.
4. Enjoy. Simple.

  • Prep Time:

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving:330
Fat per serving:15g
Saturated fat per serving:2g
Protein per serving:23g
Carbohydrates per serving:25g
Fiber per serving:4g
Cholesterol per serving:60mg
Iron per serving:10%
Sodium per serving:330mg,,00420000012574,00.html

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Thought For The Day!!!

If experience was so important, we'd never have had anyone walk on the moon.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

 I just love swordfish. When I tasted this dish it took me right back to my time spent in Bali, Indonesia, where I spent many a balmy evening sampling this gorgeous fish! Aah to be back there once more...!

Grilled Swordfish with Avocado Salsa

I made this dish last week after I found myself overcome with a craving for swordfish and aguacate (avocado). The delicate fish meat was perfect with the avocado salsa, and the tiny diced jalapeño gave the it all just the right amount of heat.
This is a light and nutritious dish and excellent served either on a bed of lettuce leaves or over plain white rice. If you have leftovers just make some swordfish and avocado salsa tacos, like I did!
Swordfish has a firm texture that makes it ideal for cooking on the grill, but this dish is also good with grilled tuna steaks, salmon, tilapia or chicken.
Enjoy it!
Ingredients (4 servings)


  • 4 swordfish steaks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Avocado Salsa

  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Fish with Avocado Salsa


  1. To make the Avocado Salsa: Place the avocado, jalapeño, onion, lime juice, tomato, chopped cilantro and olive oil in a small bowl. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat the grill on high heat and oil the grill rack. Coat the swordfish with olive oil.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle both sides of each swordfish steak generously with the spice rub.
  4. Grill the swordfish directly over high heat, turning once, until grill-marked, firm to the touch and opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  5. Place the swordfish steaks on individual plates and top with the avocado salsa. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs and serve.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Thought For The Day!!!

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Thought For The Day!!!

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you are not.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Honey and Cinnamon For Weight Loss - Does it Really Work?

Recommend ArticleAll through the internet and media, there is a huge hype about the magic new weight loss cure, "honey and cinnamon for weight loss". But, does it really work? Or is it just another fad? Being a nutrition and diet consultant for many years now, I decided to get to the bottom of this! What I found may surprise you.
First of all, lets look at what is suggested. The recipe is simple. You have to combine one tea-spoon of honey to one tea spoon of cinnamon and boil it in one cup of water. It is suggested that you consume half of this cup, half an hour before breakfast. And you consume half of this cup, half an hour before going to sleep at night. That's it!
The claims are, that by just doing this much, and not making ANY other changes in your routine and your diet, you can expect to lose 3 to 5 pounds within a week. It is said that the honey and cinnamon, actually prevent your body from storing fat!
Unfortunately, the practitioners of this "honey and cinnamon for weight loss" idea, do not offer any clear scientific explanation for why this should work.
Here is the scientific analysis...
Cinnamon: Actually, cinnamon does have weight loss benefits. It has already been proved in scientific studies that cinnamon helps to reduce bad cholesterol & blood sugar. A reduction in blood sugar helps in increasing insulin levels and which in turn prevents the body from storing fats. So, we know that cinnamon defiantly helps to lose weight.
Honey: There is no doubt that honey is good for health. In fact, people who have tried this "honey and cinnamon" idea, do report that they feel more energetic. This fits in perfectly with the fact that honey is a "simple sugar" that is very easy for the body to process and release energy. But, honey has the opposite effect that cinnamon has. It increases the blood sugar levels.
So, its not very clear from the scientific point of view, how this "honey and cinnamon for weight loss" idea could really work. But, there are still people out there that claim it has helped them. Unless a proper scientific study is done on the subject, making any conclusions would be pointless. So, if you want to try it, go ahead! If it does not help, it surely will not hurt! But, there are better and faster ways to lose weight out there.

By Khoj Kaizar Badami

How To Lose Weight Fast and Easy (NO EXERCISE)

I found this video on You Tube very entertaining and inspiring, although I don't condone the 'no exercise' approach personally! Check it out. The girl done good.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Thought For The Day!!!

Most of us spend our lives as if we had another one in the bank.

Monday, 14 July 2014

 Be Generous - It's Good For You!

The Dalai Lama famously said, "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The same is certainly true for generosity! Generosity -- the quality of being kind and understanding, the willingness to give others things that have value -- is often defined as an act of selflessness; however, studies are now showing that generosity is actually (selfishly) in your best interest. Practicing generosity is a mental health principle, and it could be the very key to a happy and healthy life.
Year after year, more and more studies are highlighting the benefits of generosity on both our physical and mental health. Not only does generosity reduce stress, support one's physical health, enhance one's sense of purpose, and naturally fight depression, it is also shown to increase one's lifespan.
If a longer, less stressful and more meaningful life is not enough to inspire you to rev up your practice of generosity, consider that generosity also promotes a social connection and improves relationships. According to Jason Marsh and Jill Suttie of the Greater Good Science Center, "When we give to others, we don't only make them feel closer to us; we also feel closer to them." This is because being generous and kind encourages us to perceive others in a more positive light and fosters a sense of community, a feeling of interconnectedness.
Being generous also makes us feel better about ourselves. Generosity is both a natural confidence builder and a natural repellant of self-hatred. By focusing on what we are giving rather than on what we are receiving, we create a more outward orientation toward the world, which shifts our focus away from ourselves. While maintaining a healthy level of self-awareness and sensitivity to oneself is important, too often we narrow in on ourselves with a negative lens. We spend too much time listening to the "critical inner voice" in our heads, which scrutinizes our every move and nags at us with negative thoughts towards ourselves and others. These negative thoughts undermine our confidence and can lead to self-sabotage. Being generous distracts us from the critical inner voice's barrage of nasty thoughts and creates a strong argument against it as well. When we see someone else benefiting from our kind actions, for instance, it is hard for the inner voice to argue that we are worthless. 

Four Steps to Fully Practicing Generosity 

Give something that is sensitive to the other person.
Generosity is most effective when the gift you offer is sensitive. Think about what the other person wants or needs. It's not always about material things; it's about being giving of yourself. Sometimes just being present and available to a loved one who is having a hard time is the greatest gift you could possibly give. 

Accept appreciation.
It is important to be open to the people who express appreciation toward you. Generosity is a two-way street, allowing someone to express their gratitude is an important aspect of generosity and part of what makes you feel closer to them. As researchers in the Department of Psychology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered, "The emotion of gratitude uniquely functions to build a high-quality relationship between a grateful person and the target of his or her gratitude, that is, the person who performed a kind action." So it is important to not brush off a "thank you" with comments like "Oh, it was nothing." 

Accept the generosity of others.
Some people have a much easier time being giving than receiving. However, it is important to let others do things for you. I call this the generosity of acceptance. Being pseudo-independent or self-denying robs your loved ones of the opportunity to feel the joy of giving. Accepting the generosity of others may make you uncomfortable if you felt unlovable or unworthy in your early life. Generosity is often an act of love, and, though it may seem counterintuitive, many people respond negatively to being loved.

Show appreciation.
Remember that gratitude is an important part of the equation. Show your appreciation for the generosity that is directed toward you, even if you feel shy or uncomfortable. Resist the temptation to say things like "This is too much," or "You shouldn't have." Instead just say "Thank you!" Or, better yet, let the person know what their generosity meant to you. Generosity is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Each day life presents us with hundreds of opportunities to be generous; by making a lifestyle out of generosity, we can do ourselves and others a world of good. 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Reduce Belly Fat Video - my results!!!

I've done the 10 minute workout once a day for 2 weeks and today is the day that I have remeasured myself and had a good look in the mirror to see if I look any different. My torso is looking more defined and my core does feel much stronger and tighter.
Measurement-wise I have lost half an inch from my waist, half an inch from around the widest part of my thigh, and......drum roll inch and a half from my lower waist (around my belly button area).
I certainly feel more toned and am amazed that just 10 minutes a day has made a difference. I am absolutely going to continue with my mini-workout for combatting belly fat!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Thought For The Day!!!

Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.

Five Superfoods For A Toned Beach Body!

superfoods, beach, body, food, avocado, chicken, spinach, green, tea

Spring is finally here, bringing with it the joy of lighter evenings and warmer weather, along with the fear of getting our bodies out on the beach. If you feel you’ve let yourself go a little thanks to overindulging during the winter months, try feasting on these body toning superfoods instead and you’ll soon feel confident enough to don that swimming costume once again.

A report from the Diabetes Care journal found that dieters who ate monounsaturated fats lost more weight from their stomachs than those eating the same number of calories, but less fat. Spikes in your blood sugar encourage your body to store fat around your tummy, but monounsaturated fats stop the spikes and therefore the fat. Half a medium avocado provides 10 grams of this magic fat, so get eating!

Lean chicken breast
Plenty of protein helps you build bigger and stronger muscles, which help you burn more calories, and helps you burn them quickly, as well as toning you up and anchoring all those wobbly bits. A grilled chicken breast is ideal for this as it’s almost entirely protein and contains very little fat. If you’re vegetarian, try boiled or poached eggs. Avoid frying them, as you’ll be absorbing the fattening oil that they’re cooked in as well as the good stuff.

Those dark green leaves are absolutely packed with iron and vitamin C, which, apart from generally being very good for you, help your bodies to produce collagen. Collagen is a protein that is amazing for your skin and muscles, giving them their toned and elastic properties and making you look youthful. Spinach is also a great source of fibre, which keeps your stomach fuller for longer and stops you from snacking.

Brown rice
You won’t tone up without exercising, and exercise requires that you have plenty of energy, which means eating carbs. White, refined carbohydrates cause spikes in your blood sugar that encourage your body to store fat, whereas complex, wholegrain varieties, such as brown rice, help control blood sugar levels. Brown rice is also a good source of protein, so, like spinach, it will keep you feeling full.

Green tea
Green tea speeds up your metabolism and makes your body to burn fat quicker, as well as inhibiting fat absorption and helping glucose regulation, all thanks to the natural antioxidants it contains called catechin polyphenols. If you drink three to five cups a day you’ll soon notice the sculpted body that you always wanted appearing. 

Friday, 4 July 2014

Thought For The Day!!!

People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Three Little Words That Can Change Your Weight Loss Path

stop continue start
Have you ever heard someone say something that had nothing at all to do with weight loss but you immediately made an association? That happened to me a few weeks ago when I was listening to a talk show on the radio while I was driving in my big 12 passenger van. Although I don’t remember what the overall topic of the program was, I do remember this example that the commentator gave. He said that a technique he used with his clients was to Stop, Continue, and Start.
I immediately thought of a stop light and visualized the colors of red, yellow, and green. Then I thought about how those three words and colors relate to weight loss.

STOP represents those behaviors we need to stop doing because they are detrimental to our health and weight loss.

CONTINUE represents those behaviors we have that are good for our weight loss efforts.

START represents the behaviors we need to start doing to make ourselves healthier and lose weight.

When I was 300+ pounds, there were a lot of unhealthy behaviors I was engaging in that were harmful to my health and were negatively impacting my weight loss efforts. Here’s a small list of behaviors I needed to stop. See if you have any of the same behaviors that are hindering your efforts.

I needed to STOP:

  • Going through the drive thru of fast food restaurants every single day
  • Buying candy for myself under the guise of a holiday or family event
  • Eating chocolate with abandon
  • Sitting on the couch as much as possible
  • Setting a bad example for my children
  • Making food for my family that was loaded with fat, calories, and unhealthy ingredients
  • Blaming other people for my weight problem
  • Eating from emotions

I needed to CONTINUE:

  • Taking care of my husband, household, and kids
  • Keeping up with appointments and obligations
  • Sustain healthy relationships with family and friends
  • Feeding my family
  • Trying to lose weight

And I needed to START:

  • Paying close attention to portion sizes
  • Keeping my calories and fat consumption at a weight loss level
  • Moving my body by getting off the couch and walking
  • Setting a good example for my children
  • Cooking healthier meals
  • Not using the holiday calendar as an excuse to go off my plan
  • Thinking about my future health and wellness
These three phrases really stuck with me and I hope they will with you. I challenge you to make your own list right now and really think about what behaviors you need to stop, what behaviors you need to continue, and what behaviors you need to start including in your weight loss efforts. Being deliberate when it comes to weight loss is important and taking the time to analyze your behavioral patterns can be very beneficial.
This technique can apply to weight loss, to work, to household chores, and weight maintenance. In fact, I really need to sit down and think about how I can improve my efficiency because as you have likely noticed, I’ve been lax on blogging and commenting. I need and want to do better!
Are you up for the challenge? Can you sit down and analyze how you are doing right now? Revisit your list every month and add or subtract behaviors as needed. I see these three words as a check-in opportunity to make certain that the choices that I’m making today are those that will yield a positive impact years from now.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Reduce Belly Fat video - update!

Phew, just finished the work out for the first time and found it quite intense ! She makes it look so easy! No pain, no gain though eh.  I did the routine at a reduced speed, but sure I'll speed up as the days pass.
It's recommended to do it 2 or 3 times a day, so I'll schedule another session in for later today.
I've taken my measurements and a few pics so I can do a 'before' and 'after' experiment!
I am a slim person in general but do carry a few pounds around my middle, so this exercise programme is perfect for me!
I'll let you know in 2 weeks time how I've got on! I'm looking forward to it! 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

'How To Reduce Belly Fat Within 14 Days For Women' This 10 min workout looks great. I'm going to do it every day, and will let you know how I get on after 14 days!!!

Seen this before but it's definitely worth putting out there again!

A Dieter's Prayer

Lord, my soul is ripped with riot
incited by my wicked diet. 
"We Are What We Eat," said a wise old man!
Lord, if that's true, I'm a garbage can.
To rise on Judgment Day, it's plain!
With my present weight, I'll need a crane.

So grant me strength, that I may not fall
into the clutches of cholesterol.
May my flesh with carrot-curls be dated,
that my soul may be poly unsaturated

And show me the light, that I may bear witness
to the President's Council on Physical Fitness.
And at oleo margarine I'll never mutter,
for the road to Hell is spread with butter.

And cream is cursed; and cake is awful;
and Satan is hiding in every waffle.
Mephistopheles lurks in provolone;
the Devil is in each slice of baloney,

Beelzebub is a chocolate drop,
and Lucifer is a lollipop.
Give me this day my daily slice
Cut it thin and toast it twice.

I beg upon my dimpled knees,
deliver me from jujube's.
And when my days of trial are done,
and my war with malted milk is won,
Let me stand with Heavenly throng,
In a shining robe -- size 30 long.
I can do it Lord, if you'll show to me,
the virtues of lettuce and celery.

Teach me the evil of mayonnaise,
And of pasta a la Milanese
and crisp-fried chicken from the South.
Lord, if you love me, shut my mouth. 


Friday, 20 June 2014

Saw this and thought of you! I just love a moussaka and had to share this tasty, nutritious veggie version.

 Red lentil and aubergine/eggplant moussaka

Red lentil and aubergine moussaka
Hearty and delicious, moussaka will warm you up from head to toe. You won't miss the meat in this veggie version.


For the filling
  • 400g/14oz aubergines, sliced into thin rounds
  • 50ml/2oz vegetable oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 50g/2oz tomato purée
  • 400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100g/3½oz red lentils, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
For the topping
  • 125g/4½oz ricotta
  • 125g/4½oz Greek-style yoghurt
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g/2oz freshly grated parmesan

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. For the filling, toss the aubergine slices in the vegetable oil, then drain and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add the aubergine slices in batches and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
  4. Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
  5. Add the tomato purée, stir to coat the vegetables in it, then continue to fry for a further 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add the canned chopped tomatoes and cinnamon stick and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  7. Add the lentils and return the fried aubergines to the mixture. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.
  8. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.
  9. For the topping, in a bowl, beat together the ricotta, Greek-style yoghurt, eggs and grated nutmeg until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Pour the topping mixture into the ovenproof dish on top of the filling. Sprinkle over the grated parmesan.
  11. Transfer the veggie moussaka to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and has set and the filling is bubbling. Serve immediately.



Thursday, 19 June 2014

Research Reveals New Secret Weapon For Le Tour

Tour de Fance
Winning margins in the Tour de France can be tight. In 2010 just 39 seconds separated the top two after more than 90 hours in the saddle.

When every second counts, riders do all they can to gain competitive advantage, from aerodynamic carbon fibre bikes to the latest sports nutrition.
Now there could be a new, completely legal and rather surprising weapon for riders aiming to shave vital seconds off their time – beetroot juice.

Research by the University of Exeter, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, has shown drinking the juice enables competitive-level cyclists to cut down the time it takes to ride a given distance. This is the first study which has shown that beetroot juice can be effective in a simulated competition environment.

For the study, nine club-level competitive male cyclists were asked to compete in time trials over 4km (2.5 mile) and 16.1km (10 mile). All the riders were asked to do each time trial twice. Each time they drank half a litre of beetroot juice beforehand. On one occasion they had normal beetroot juice, on the other occasion – unbeknown to the trialists – the beetroot juice had a key ingredient, nitrate, removed.

The researchers monitored athletes’ VO2 levels (showing the amount of oxygen consumed) during exercise to ensure that the cyclists worked at maximum effort on each occasion.

Results showed that when the cyclists drank ordinary beetroot juice they had a higher power output (measured in watts) for the same level of effort – suggesting their muscles and cardio-vascular system were being more efficient.

On average, riders were 11 seconds (2.8%) quicker over the 4km distance and 45 seconds (2.7%) faster over the 16.1km distance.

Professor Andrew Jones, from the University of Exeter, lead author on the research, said: “This is the first time we’ve studied the effects of beetroot juice, and the high nitrate levels found in it, on simulated competition.

“The findings show an improvement in performance that, at competition level, could make a real difference – particularly in an event like the Tour de France where winning margins can be tight.”

Beetroot juice is a natural source of nitrate, which is thought to be the active ingredient in affecting athlete’s performance.

The nitrate has two physiological effects. Firstly, it widens blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and allowing more blood flow. Secondly, it affects muscle tissue, reducing the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during activity. The combined effects have a significant impact on performing physical tasks, whether it involves low-intensity or high-intensity effort.

Previous studies by the University of Exeter uncovered the impacts of beetroot juice and have begun to look in detail at its effects on different kinds of physical activity.

Unlocking the power of beetroot

What do root vegetables have to do with athletic endurance and why is the sporting world getting so excited about findings by the University of Exeter? Trials by Sport & Health Sciences at the University of Exeter have shown that beetroot may not only help improve sports performance but also help cardiovascular conditions. The breakthrough has prompted keen interest from not just global sporting institutes but also the medical world and health and nutrition-based industries.

The beetroot juice used in this research was provided by James White Drinks.

Look After Your Heart With Healthy Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice is very potent, and it's recommended that when you drink the raw juice dilute it at least 4 times with other milder juices such as carrot, cucumber, or celery. Plus it tastes better this way too! It's a beautiful rich ruby red colour and is known to help purify the blood.

Beet Juice Recipe with Carrot and Celery

Vegetable juice recipeIngredients
  • 1 small beetroot (the small ones are sweeter!)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 stalk of celery

  1. Wash the vegetables using water and a stiff vegetable brush.
  2. Remove the carrot and beetroot tops, and peel the beetroot if its skin is tough. If it has a nice thin skin then just cut off the top.
  3. Slice up the vegetables to fit your juicer.
  4. Juice and serve.

For a sweeter drink I often add an apple, or use 2 apples instead of the carrots.

The green beetroot tops are edible, rich in beta-carotene, and can also be juiced. They have a strong flavour and are rich in oxalic acid which if taken in excess may form kidney stones. I find a little goes a long way.

Beetroot Juice with Cucumber and Pineapple

This makes a fabulous drink which is best consumed on an empty stomach as it's very cleansing!
vegetable juice recipe Ingredients
  • 1 small beetroot
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 cup of pineapple chunks

  1. Remove the top from the beetroot and scrub using water and a stiff vegetable brush to remove any dirt.
  2. Peel or wash the cucumber. If the cucumber is waxed then remove the wax by peeling it.
  3. Slice the pineapple and remove its tough skin.
  4. Cut the fruit and vegetables to fit your juicer.
  5. Juice and serve.

More Beet Juice Recipes

For an unusual but delicious vegetable juice recipe that uses apples, beetroot, broccoli, nettles and lemon juice visit raw food recipes with nettles.
Like more recipes? "5-day Detox " might be just what you need!

Health Benefits of Beetroot Juice

Beets have many benefits to the body. It is claimed they have the ability to:
  • clean and build the blood
  • lower blood pressure
  • improve circulation
  • calm the nerves
  • improve the health of the liver, kidneys, and bladder
  • clean the intestines
  • fight cancer
  • improve menstrual problems
  • cure anemia
A recent small scale study at Exeter University in England, U.K. found that drinking beetroot juice improved the endurance of athletes.
Caution: Beet greens and to a lesser extent beet roots are high in oxalate, and are generally considered unsuitable for people following a low-oxalate diet. Anyone with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid over-consuming beetroot and beet greens.

Beets Nutrition

Not only are raw beets a beautiful colour, but they are also packed with nutrients.


Beetroots are a good source of folic acid and vitamin C, plus they contain small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, and vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene.


Rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. Plus smaller amounts of iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.

Amino Acids

While raw beets are mostly water and carbohydrate they also contains small amounts of all the amino acids (protein).


One 2" (5cm) beetroot contains 35 calories.
If you'd like more raw beetroot nutrition facts go to the British Nutrition Foundation. and enter "raw beets" into the search box.

Best Juicer for Beetroot

Beetroots are hard vegetables, and will juice easily in all types of juicer.
Masticating juicers like my current Samson or Matstone Juicer are more efficient than centrifugal juicers - i.e. they produce more juice and less heat, plus they are much easier to clean. On the down side you need to chop the beetroot up nice and small, plus they cost a bit more.
If you don't like chopping then I recommend a good quality centrifugal juicer such as the wide mouth Breville Juicer JE27.
And if your on a low budget then a budget centrifugal model should work just fine.
Like more information? Visit my Best Juicer page to learn more