24 Dec
Winter Newsletter –
December 2014
Top tips to keep you bug free over the winter and seasonal
Try to eat more seasonal fruit and
vegetables as they taste better, richer in nutrients and contain the nutrients
that we typically need for this time of year.
Winter Fruit: apples, pears
Winter Vegetables: beetroot, cauliflower, kale, Jerusalem
artichokes, fennel, potatoes, parsnips, leeks, red, white, savoy cabbage,
carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, celeriac, mushrooms
Make warm comforting foods like soups and casseroles. Use warm
spices such as turmeric, ginger, coriander and cumin. Ginger can be added to
cold dishes to add heat.
Eat colour of the rainbow foods that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants
like vitamin A, C and E as well as the mineral selenium have immune boosting
properties to help fight of the bugs and viruses floating around at this time
of year. Beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, butternut squash, berries, apples, citrus
fruits and green leafy vegetables are good examples.
Eat foods rich in Vitamin D – cod, halibut,
eggs and sprouted seeds.
The main source of vitamin D is sunlight
and it is absorbed through the skin. As there is very little of that at this
time of year and we tend to be covered up, deficiency is more common in the
winter months. Supplementing is another option. I recommend 1000 IU once a day
as a maintenance dose especially if you use high factor sunscreen and have not
been exposed to the sun much. The doctors can test levels so if you have been
supplementing or had a lot of sun exposure then it wise to get levels tested
before supplementing.
Reduce sugar
consumption – Christmas is a time for treats so don’t deprive however sugar has
been found to reduce immunity and the ability to fight of an infection. Opt for
healthier options to satisfy sweet tooth, dark chocolate, dried fruit and
Avoid or limit alcohol – alcohol can
increase your susceptibility to infections. Enjoy celebrations but try to limit
and have some days off from drinking. Make some mocktails with fresh
cranberries and apple juice. Drink green tea, it contains theanine, an amino
acid that helps relax and calm the mind and body.
Zinc plays a really
important role in immunity. Zinc rich foods include sunflower and pumpkin seeds,
crab, seafood, eggs and ginger.
Eat foods rich in
probiotics and prebiotics.
Probiotics are good
bacteria in the stomach and one of the first lines of defence when the body is
faced with an infection. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria and help keep them
living in the gut.
Plain natural yoghurt
is a good source of probiotics and oats, stewed apples, sweet potatoes and
Jerusalem artichokes are good sources of prebiotics
Reducing stressors and finding ways to relax can help with
immune function. The mind and emotions can have a huge effect on immunity so be
kind to yourself, have warm long baths, meditate, go for long walks, watch your
favourite film and enjoy time with friends and family.
Exercise boosts immunity. Aim to increase activity levels, take
20-minute walks outside or try a new class, or do some gardening. Christmas
shopping can count!
Keep hydrated. Drink 8
glasses of water a day and herbal teas are included.
Immune boosting recipes
Chicken Soup
stick of celery
whole chicken or chicken bones
ingredients in a large pot of water
to boil – skim the froth of the top
for as long as you can at a low heat so I try to do this for at least 4-5
use this for stocks and soups. I freeze in small containers and freeze so I can
add to sauces and larger ones for soups.
be eaten as a clear soup add seasoning to taste

Sweet Potato and Ginger, Turmeric Spiced Soup
Serves 4
4 sweet
1 onion
1 clove
garlic crushed (keep crushed for 6 mins before cooking to benefit from immune
supporting properties)
2cm piece
of ginger
5 ml
chicken stock
Salt and
pepper to taste
Sauté all
3 in 2 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil for a couple of minutes
Peel and
chop sweet potatoes into chunks
Add to
onion mixture
Add turmeric
Add stock
Bring to
with lid on for 30 mins
Salt and
black pepper to taste
potatoes are soft, pour into a blender and blend until smooth.
New Year
New you
is a time for resolutions and hopefully they can be kept more often than not
they are blown by mid February. If your plan is to get healthier, fitter and
eat better my advice is to make changes that you can stick to, make changes
that will be changes for life. If you decide you want to eat healthier, make
small manageable changes. Start with healthy breakfasts, get rid of the
breakfast cereals, they are full of sugar and have very little nutritional
value apart from the fortified vitamins. Replace with oats; make porridge,
granola or muesli, add fruit to and some nuts and seeds. Eggs are great for
breakfast served with some wilted spinach or kale. Concentrate on one meal like
breakfast and then once you have that sorted move to the next meal for example
introduce healthier snacks or cut out fizzy drinks, but small steps every time.
A Word on
Detoxing and Fasting
liver is a complex organ and has an important role in detoxification. The liver
goes through a 3 stage process to detoxify toxins. Phase 1 neutralises the
toxin, Phase 2 further neutralises the toxin and/or makes the toxin more easily
excreted through urine or bile. Phase three involves transporters and aids the
excretion of the toxin. Each phase needs vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and
amino acids to support their functions; if the body does not have these
nutrients then detoxification can be impaired. Fasting is often used as a
detoxification method especially after New Year but must be done with caution
and best-done under supervision, a Registered Nutritional Therapist can advise.
Supporting each phase of the detoxification process is essential. If you push
phase 1 by fasting and you don’t have the right nutrients for phase 2 you are
making toxins hang around more in the body than they should, this is when you
start to feel rubbish, headaches, nausea etc. I recommend preparing the body
first for a detox, then starting the detox, then ending with a healthy eating
regime to continue to the healing process.
For more information
please contact me:
Alonzi Dip (CNM) mBANT
24 Dec

Christmas Eve recipe – Chicken/Turkey Curry

Another recipe from my husband, he makes the best curry. Serve with brown basmati rice. It does take longer to cook but worth the effort, nutty flavour with and much more to it than white rice. This curry is rich in anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger, cumin and turmeric. Coriander is a great liver cleanser so perfect for after Christmas, in fact if you like juicing, coriander is a good addition to your juices as is fresh turmeric. Chicken and turkey are great sources of protein and rich in the amino acid tryptophan, tryptophan helps make the neurotransmitter serotonin which is needed for mood and memory, serotonin is also converted into melatonin, needed for a good night’s sleep. That may be why we tend to feel sleepy after Christmas Day lunch either that or the amount we eat and drink!

Chicken/Turkey Curry

Serves 4 – 6

1 small chicken boiled for stock or leftover roast chicken/turkey shredded
2 tablespoons virgin coconut butter (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 large clove garlic finely chopped
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon of ground ginger)
1 fresh chilli de-seeded and finely chopped (or half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes)
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (more if you like it hot)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
3 bay leaves
1 tin chickpeas drained

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and cumin seeds and cook gently until the onion has softened.  Add the chopped ginger, garlic, chilli and the herbs, spices and seasoning reserving the dried coriander and the bay leaves.  Mix through and cook gently for 5 minutes or so.  Add the chopped tomatoes and mix through.  Sprinkle in the dried coriander and mix through.  Add the coconut milk, bay leaves and chickpeas and mix well.  Cook gently for about 45 minutes. Serve with brown rice.

Works just as well with veg (cauliflower, butternut squash etc) or fish – prawns and other shellfish as well as firm white fish e.g. monkfish.  


23 Dec

Husband’s recipe – Chicken/Turkey Pie with Oat Crumble Topping

Chicken/Turkey Pie with Oat Crumble Topping

Serves 6

Glug of olive oil for cooking
1 small chicken boiled for stock (or leftover roast chicken/Turkey) shredded
2 medium carrots peeled and chopped roughly
1 medium onion chopped roughly
1 clove garlic chopped roughly
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium leek sliced
2 handfuls shitake mushrooms (substitute with other mushrooms if preferred) sliced
1 heaped tablespoon chickpea flour
1 cup oat milk
1 heaped tablespoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:

200g porridge oats
50g chestnut flour
50g chickpea flour
Good pinch of salt and some ground pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and cook gently until the onion has softened.  Add all of the other vegetables and the mushrooms but reserving the peas and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the chickpea flour and stir through.  Add the dried thyme and salt and pepper and stir through.  Add the oat milk and the chicken and stir through.  Add a little more oat milk to loosen if necessary.  Cook for about 20 minutes to allow the carrots to soften.

Meanwhile, make the topping:  mix the oats and flours in a bowl.  Mix through the salt and pepper.  Add the olive oil and mix through to create a breadcrumb-like texture.

Mix the peas into the chicken dish and pour into an oven proof rectangular dish.  Sprinkle over the topping and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes. Enjoy.

Feel free to try mixing in other veg!

22 Dec


Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
3 cups of water or chicken
or vegetable stock
1 cup of fresh or frozen
chopped veggies, raw or
lightly steamed (carrots, beetroot, broccoli, asparagus, green beans)
½ cup of chopped red onion
handful cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup of black olives or
sun dried tomatoes
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar/lemon
1 or 2 cloves of crushed
chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
rinse quinoa well. Bring 3
cups of water to boil
add quinoa and bring back to
Simmer uncovered for about
15 minutes until liquid is well absorbed
transfer to a large bowl with
a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking
mix together remaining oil,
vinegar or lemon juice, parsley, garlic in a small bowl

add veggies to quinoa and
toss well with dressing mixture
Salmon Pate
1 tin of salmon  
1 tbsp of sundried tomato
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
Black pepper
Place all ingredients in a
food processor.
You can use tinned salmon
with bones if using a food processor as the bones will disappear into the
mixing, this enables the dish to be a very good source of calcium. If not using
a food processor use salmon without bones and mix well in a bowl, it will be a
rougher pate as well. Tastes great on oatcakes and a salad. Also great for dipping carrots, peppers and celery sticks into.
20 Dec

Fast-food lunch

I was at Morningside local
market today and there is a fantastic fish van, the market only comes once a
month so we tend to stock up when we go. I bought some fresh crab and decided
to have it for lunch.
Lunch was fast food today,
my kind of fast food. This sauce took me 7 minutes to make.
Crab, lemon and rocket sauce with buckwheat noodles
or linguine or spaghetti
Serves 4 – lunch portion
1 tub of white crab meat and
1 tub of brown crab meat
2 cloves of finely chopped
or crushed garlic
4 tbsp. of olive oil
1 bag of rocket
Rind of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
Sprinkle of chilli flakes
Dash of tamari or soy sauce
Tbsp. of chopped parsley
1 packet 250g Buckwheat
noodles or pasta of choice
Bring a pot of water to the
Add noodles to pot should
take about 5 minutes while they are cooking you can get on with sauce
Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil to
a pan
Add garlic and sauté for 1
minute at a medium heat
Add rocket and sauté for a
Add crab
Add lemon rind  and lemon juice
Add chilli flakes
Add tamari sauce
Add parsley
Drain noodles once cooked if
using noodles refresh with some cold water if using pasta you don’t need to do
Add to the crab sauce and
mix in
Nutrition part
Crabmeat is an excellent
source of protein and is rich in zinc, selenium and copper. These minerals are important for the immune system, so an ideal food for this time of year. Crab is
also a good source of the essential fatty acids omega 3, EPA and DHA. Studies
show that omega 3 can help reduce inflammation in the body for example
inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, ulcerative colitis, heart disease
and skin conditions such as psoriasis. The highest concentration of DHA is
found in the brain and studies have shown an improvement in brain function from
taking a fish oil supplement. It also contains vitamin B12, which can also help
with brain function and cardiovascular system.
19 Dec


Cauliflower mash

1 cauliflower
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and black pepper

Steam or boil cauliflower till tender
Put in a food processor and blitz until the cauliflower is like mash potato consistency
Add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning and blitz again

If you don’t have a good processor you can use a masher

18 Dec

Perfect for Christmas Day

Spiced apple and red cabbage
Perfect for Christmas Day, spiced with cinnamon and a
wonderful colour of red makes this a most fitting Christmas vegetable dish.
1 onion
1 apple
1 red cabbage
20 ml apple cider vinegar
100 ml water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. fennel seeds
Salt and black pepper
1-tablespoon olive oil
Chop onion into quarter
Chop apple into quarter
Sauté in olive oil for 3
Chop red cabbage into shreds
Add red cabbage
Add apple cider vinegar and
Add cinnamon and fennel
Bring to boil
Simmer for 45 minutes
Nutrition part
Red cabbage is filled with
wonderful health properties. The vibrant deep red colour comes from chemicals
called flavonoids and these help protect the body from damage caused by toxins
for example pollution, poor food choices and poor detoxification and digestive
systems. As well as having anti-cancer properties, red cabbage is a good source
of fibre. Other nutrients are Vitamin A and C and again essential for immune
health, Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting and bone mineralisation, so
essential for keeping bones strong. Red cabbage comes from the cruciferous
vegetable family, which also aids liver detoxification.

Fennel seeds are a good
addition as they can help with wind, use in cooking or chew on a few after a
17 Dec

Roasted leek and butternut squash – full of antioxidants!

I have been focusing on
vegetables quite a lot because I believe we can all increase our intake and if
cooked a little differently from the norm, we can even persuade even the most haters
of vegetable to try and enjoy. A lot of the vegetable dishes I have given can
be used on Christmas day, a bit different to the traditional boiled to death
broccoli and Brussels sprouts that can put us off vegetables for life. This
recipe is inspired by one of my friends who has taken a keen interest in my
recipes and has shared a couple of his with me. He really enjoys the Crispy
Kale I posted on the Facebook page way back. I will add that recipe to the
advent catalogue as it is definitely worth repeating.
Roasted leek and butternut squash
1 butternut squash – leave
skin on if you like
1 leek
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. oregano
olive oil
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Chop squash up into cubes
Chop leeks into large chunks
Flatten garlic with knife
but leave skins on
Sprinkle oregano over squash
Drizzle olive oil over the
Roast in oven for 25-25 mins
This can be eaten like this
or liquidised into a soup or used in a sauce for risotto.
Nutrition part
Butternut squash with it’s
bright orange colour is rich in beta carotene a powerful antioxidant that is
converted by the body into Vitamin A, Vitamin A is needed for cellular health
(we are made up of thousand and thousand of cells which are very busy all the
time carrying out various functions around the body), reproductive system and
healthy eyes. It also contains another antioxidant called beta-cryptoxanthin, a
large study of 25,000 people by the University of Manchester found a reduction
in developing arthritis in people that consumed high levels of this
antioxidant. It also contains two other antioxidants called zeaxanthin and lutein,
which can protect your vision. The special thing about these is they can
protect from UV light and blue light radiation, which we are all surrounded by
with the technology of today.
16 Dec

Roasted Spiced Chicken Thighs

This is such an easy dish to cook and can be prepared and cooked in advance and simply reheated in the oven. Any leftovers can be used for lunches next again day.  Spices warm the dish up and they also contain antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. Chicken is a great source of protein and also contains B vitamins vital for energy plus essential amino acids that are important for thyroid health and memory, mood and movement.

Roasted Spiced Chicken Thighs
Serves 4 hungry people
Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees
6 Chicken thighs (skin and
bone on is fine as is without)
½ tsp of cumin powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp olive oil
Place chicken thighs in an
oven dish
Sprinkle over spices
Drizzle over olive oil
Place in oven for 45-50 mins
Check they are well cooked. This
can be done in advance and reheated.
Serve with sweet potato mash
and steam fried kale, carrots and peas
15 Dec

Steam frying

Steam frying
This is a great method of
cooking vegetables, it’s easy as you can cook more than one vegetable at one
time in one pot. You can add quicker to cook vegetables at the end but I usually
find it all cook well even if thrown in at once.
Heat pan at a low to medium
heat with 2Tbsp of olive oil or coconut butter
Add chopped vegetables, (not
chopped into huge chunks) for example broccoli, cavolo nero, cauliflower, carrots,
kale etc.
Add chopped garlic
When you hear the pan sizzle
a bit, add about 30 ml of liquid, this can be water, lemon juice or a mixture
of the two, chicken stock or even soy or tamari sauce
Put the lid on and cook for approx.
10 minutes
Check to see if ready if not
cook a little more
Season to taste after

This method conserves more
of the nutrients and brings out the flavour.