All posts by Priya

One chicken, 4 meals, no waste.

We’re not the most traditional family and I must admit I like that. So no roast over Christmas for us, and usually no Sunday roast either. However today, being my husbands weekend off we made the most of it and had a roast. Everytime we do this I remember how tasty it is, how much we all like it (cats included) and how it provides so many meals with just a little effort. Plus we have NO WASTE, nothing is thrown out except the packaging. I LOVE this.

We only buy free range chicken, the chicken has a nice life, the meat tastes like actual chicken and it’s value for money when you use the whole bird. We roasted one chicken with potatoes, carrots, swede, parsnip and steamed broccoli as well. Yes lots of veggies, I am a dietitian after all. I always make sure we have too much, not so we can eat seconds, but so we have leftovers to make soup. It’s amazingly simple and so good.

Once we’ve eaten I remove all the meat off the bird and have several bowl – one for some breast meat for Little Miss Tew, one for the rest of the meat for us for stir fries, soup and risotto’s, one for skin and greasy meat for the cats, one for the bones. My top tip is lock any cats out of the kitchen and put on some beautiful gloves 😉

Once I’ve made the soup I reuse the bones to make stock, probably a complete cheat but I still find I get a tasty stock. This all goes into tubs in my freezer ready for risotto’s and soups. It generally makes me feel like a good person 😉

Finally the cats get the leftover bones, which they go mad for.

Chicken Soup:

  1. Place the chicken bones in a large saucepan and cover with milk (I use a mix of semi skimmed and skimmed), add a bayleaf and simmer for 10 mins.
  2. Strain the milk into a new pan and keep the bones for stock.
  3. Add chopped left over veggies (roasted or steamed any will do) plus potatoes, seasoning and grated nutmeg. I love nutmeg but it is of course optional.
  4. Add some chopped chicken, heat and serve. You can thicken with cornflour however the potatoes do this for you too.

Chicken Stock:

  1. Cover bones with water, add bay leaf, peppercorns, 1/2 onion, 1 carrot chopped and 2 sticks celery if you have them.
  2. Simmer 10 mins.
  3. Done!

What I LOVE about this is we buy 1 chicken, get lots of meals and have absolutely NO WASTE. Bones and skin and all are eaten. Give it a go 🙂

What is “Normal” Eating?

The words “normal” eating mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people. In my line of work with eating disorder clients I’m often encouraging them to move towards a more “normal” eating plan and we discuss what that looks like. Today I asked on twitter what “normal” eating means to people and below are some response combined with other responses from my group sessions with patients  and a few from myself 🙂 It generated quite a debate, so I thought I’d share it with you, what do you think?

Normal Eating is:

  • eating something at least three times a day.
  • eating more than you feel you need to eat on some occasions (over-eating) and eating less than you need on other occasions (under-eating).
  • Listen to your body, eat when hungry, stop when full. No food is bad food, everything in moderation.
  • A regular meal pattern that maintains a healthy body weight & provides a correct balance of nutrients.
  • Ensuring a healthy balanced diet for optimal health & wellbeing with enough fluid too.
  • Not eating in response to your emotions, so eating or not eating on occasions because you feel unhappy, “bad”, or tense.
  • eating foods, without feeling guilty.
  • eating in a flexible way so that it does not interfere with your work, study or social  life.
  • eating sufficient food and a variety of foods, all things in moderation.
  • being aware that eating is not the most important thing in life but knowing that it is important for good health.

 

Normal Eating is:

  • not counting calories weighing food, or following a strict diet.
  • not always eating low calorie/diet foods
  • not eating to lose weight but knowing that you can “watch your weight” if you want to.
  • not assuming that you can control the amount and type of food your body needs better than your body can.
  • not having to constantly weigh yourself for reassurance.

 

 

Winner of Theo Paphitis #SBS Award

This week  Dietitian UK won a Small Business Sunday (#SBS) Award from Theo Paphitis from Dragonʼs Den. This is a weekly competition on Twitter. Small Businesses send a tweet saying what they do and Theo chooses 6 businesses which he then re-tweets to all of his followers. This week I decided to join in the fun and was absolutely pleasantly surprised to WIN.

I’m very excited to see where this may lead and hope it not only helps my business but that it boosts the profile of other dietitian’s too.

Dietitian UK is a small, local business, based in Southampton, Hampshire that works with companies, businesses, community groups and individuals with the aim of giving sound, effective nutrition advice to improve health. Work includes private consultations, menu redesign, recipes, product work, leaflets, PR and media work.

Priya is a registered dietitian with a passion for nutrition, she loves to inspire change and creativity in eating. With her experience and a fresh approach Dietitian UK can help you and your business.

 

Hydration – Am I drinking enough?

The human body is 50-70% water, we cannot survive without it. Water carries nutrients around the body and waste products out of the body, it helps regulate body temperature and acts as a lubricant. It can also help with weight loss!

It’s well known that it’s not a good idea to get dehydrated. This can lead to fatigue, headaches, thirst, weakness, your speech and mental alertness can be affected. However this doesn’t mean you should drink as much as possible. Too much fluid (overhydration) will dilute the sodium and potassium balance in your blood, possibly leading to brain seizures and behavioural changes.

 

How do you know you are getting enough fluid?

It’s not pretty but the best way to tell is to look at your urine. If you are properly hydrated your urine should be a light yellow colour (1-3), if it is 4-5 you should have a drink and the 6-8 range is dehydration.

 

Hydration chart
Hydration chart

 

 

How much do we need to drink?

Specific guidelines have not been set for adults in the UK as there is so much variability between individuals. As a dietitian I use the figure 35ml of water per kg of body weight. This means a 70kg person would need about 2.5 litres of water a day. Surveys carried out on the UK population show men take in average of 3.4 litres a day and women 2.7 litres fluid a day.

Sounds like a lot? This isn’t all through drinking fluid. We take in water from our food as well, around 1 litre a day.

The best thing to do is to drink little and often, according to thirst. Have drinks with meals and if you are out and about a lot, take a drink with you.

What to drink?

Water is always the best drink to have, but not always what you want to drink. You can safely drink up to 4 cups of tea and coffee a day. Other good choices include 1 glass of fruit juice a day, milk, no added sugar squash, fruit and herbal teas.

This post was written for Slimsticks.

Buckwheat Butternut Squash Ravioli and Noodles

One of my prized kitchen gadgets is my pasta maker. I’d wanted one for ages, then when I finally was bought one for Christmas I was of course super excited and quickly started making pasta. It was all going so well until I had to go wheat free. I had been meaning for absolutely ages to try out making wheat free/gluten free pasta, however a combination of much work and a small baby put things on hold 😉

Whilst having a rare baby free moment I slipped into one of my favourite places on the way home after a clinic… a food shop! I always end up looking round the special dietary foods sections and the baking section. This time I ended up buying some buckwheat flour. I use a large range of wheat free flours in my cooking – rice, tapioca, potato, rye, cornmeal… but buckwheat in one I hadn’t tried, and I was super excited to see it mentioned being good for pasta making. Woohoo!

So this week I’ve had a play with pasta, with buckwheat flour and fresh eggs from our chickens. I’ve found making the dough so quick and easy, getting use to the pasta machine has been the slower, trickier side but it’s getting there!

 

Our first buckwheat pasta meal was a Courgette Carbonara, a variation on the theme of Carbonara as I don’t use cream, so it’s healthier, lighter version and packed with veggies. I used thin strips of courgette, along with some mushrooms, some half fat creme fraiche and fresh herbs.

 

Yesterday I decided to make Butternut squash Ravioli using fresh buckwheat pasta. Now I won’t lie, this was time consuming. However I did it in stages around the baby. So whilst she snacked I had the butternut filling on the go, we made the dough together and then as she did some felt tip extravaganza I rolled out the dough and made the Ravioli. The thing I liked about this was I was able to leave the Ravioli covered in the fridge until we needed to eat and it was so quick to cook. We ate it with a little bit of pesto, partially as I hadn’t got round to making a sauce to go with it!

A brief recap of my recipe was: 1 butternut squash peeled, chopped then cooked with a little olive oil, white wine  and water along with onion and garlic. I added fresh herbs (parsley and sage), nutmeg, seasoned and pureed it. The buckwheat pasta was 200g buckwheat flour with 2 eggs. And here are the Ravioli themselves…not perfect but ok for a first attempt I hope you’ll agree!

 

Wheat Free Christmas

This year has been an odd Christmas for sure…. my husband has been working, pretty much all of the festive period. True some of that has been from home, but it’s been a very bitty and odd time. However having a 1 year old and having a great love of Christmas myself I’ve tried to make the most of it. Money is tight at present, so we’ve gone low key on presents and high key on a few quality foods that we all love (including the little one). One of those being cheese:

 

Being wheat free, we’ve not got into the whole mince pie, yule log and sweet treats, but what I did do was make a wheat free Christmas cake. I used plenty of dried fruit, rice flour and a little alcohol of course 😉  covered the cake with marzipan and icing. It turned out pretty well and is mighty tasty!

 

Most of our meals have been planned to work around the event of my husbands on-call phone going as we sit to eat (it always happens that way!), so easy to keep warm or not needing to stay warm. We had a paella for Christmas dinner and have had some lovely chilled meals of cold meats, cheese, salads and crackers/oatcakes.

What things make Christmas special for you?

 

Christmas Paella

Christmas Dinner – what does it look like in your home? Turkey with all the trimmings? Not in our home I’m afraid. We’re a bit untraditional in our house when it come to Christmas Day food. In fact I’ve only actually had Turkey on Christmas Day twice in just over 30 years. We’ve had duck, beef, salmon en croute, prawn linguine, Sri-Lankan curry, a Chinese banquet and more. For us it’s a chance to have whatever we really fancy having, buy quality ingredients and make it a special meal.

This year my husband has worked over most of the Christmas period, he was home on Christmas Day but working from home. Due to the nature of his work it could mean you just plate up a meal and then the phone rings….that’s that….cold dinner. So we wanted to keep things simple this year. Having spent Christmas in Spain before my husband requested Paella. His wish = my command!

Having looked through a few recipes I took bits from all of them and as always followed none of them but created my own version. We used saffron plus a special Spainish paella mix (brought over from Spain), chorizo, chicken, prawns and mussels along with the essential rice plus peas, peppers and mushrooms. Easy to cook, keep warm in case of phone calls and lots of left overs for baby dinners and Boxing Day. Here’s a photo of it cooking. It was so tasty that we only managed paella…no dessert, no chocolates, nothing till cheese and wine in the evening 🙂

Baking Flapjacks with the Little One.

My healthier take on flapjacks are well known by my friends, I’ve almost always got a tub of them on the go. They got me through the long early days of breastfeeding and are now enjoyed by 1 year old too. In fact she absolutely loves them. So today, when she was struggling to sleep and I was unable to bake during her naptime I decided she may as well help me. This turned into a really fun learning experience for us both.

I weighed out the oats and sultanas and Kezia enjoyed playing with the dried ingredients, especially as she was able to sneak a few sultanas! She also liked watching me measure out the sugar, honey and margarine.

Playing with the dry ingredients.

 

Then came the bananas, amazingly none of these went into Kezia’s mouth, she spent some time transferring the bananas from one bowl to another and watched as I mashed them. I left her a little in the bowl to play with being an interesting texture and tasty too 🙂

Banana time

Stirring all the ingredients together was a lot of fun, although the spoon was probably a bit too large! It was a pleasure watching Kezia have a good go at mixing and seeing the look of satisfaction on her face.

Stirring with the biggest spoon!

I was allowed to place it all in the baking tray and of course Kezia then was left with the empty bowl and spoon, which she instantly started to scrape with her fingers….finding the leftovers showing it’s a natural reaction to lick the cake mixture off the spoon 😉

Scraping out the bowl and spoon

Finally we had time for more mixing practice at super fast speed!

Look at me Mummy! Mixing in action.

What are your favourite recipes for cooking with children? Any tips to pass onto me?

 

Slim Down, Sense Up for 2012

Slim Down, Sense Up for 2012.

Do you need to lose some weight to improve your long term health? Made a New Years Resolution to get into shape? Have you cycled through numerous diets and not had much success, or put back on all the weight you lost a few months later? Do you struggle with comfort eating? Priya can help.

Dietitian UK has a special offer on in 2012, specifically designed to help you Slim Down and Sense Up – slimming down those bodies and building up your nutrition sense. This offer can carried out by Skype or in person.

 This package includes:

3 x 45 minute one to one weight management sessions with Priya – registered dietitian and fitness instructor

Email support between sessions with tips, recipe advice and meal planning help as well as   motivation and positivity to boost you on your way.

Each session will include invaluable advice on eating, cooking, recipes, meal planning and exercise. Some behavioural therapy techniques will be used to help you change your habits. There will the opportunity for a weigh-in, for body fat analysis and waist measures.

Let Priya help you become healthier and happier in 2012.

Baby Party Time

We’ve recently hit baby party season. A whole heap of our baby friends are turning one, and it’s the Christmas season too. Usually for me parties are rather a non-event in terms of eating, being wheat free the majority of buffet food is a no-no and you’ll tend to find me propping up the carrot sticks and hummous table.

This season parties have taken on a whole new feel. How do I feel about my little bundle tucking into party food? We are a bunch of pretty healthy eaters in our house, in my book that means we also include some treats like cake, biscuits and chocolate on an occasional basis. So I’ve taken the same view of party food, it’s a treat, a new experience and exposure to foods that we wouldn’t normally have at home, it’s also a lovely social way of eating. I’ve loved watching the babies engaging with each other and watching each other munch. At one party they were all feeding each other, lovely to watch.

Interestingly Kezia herself hasn’t been that into all the party food. Chips are a definite thumbs down as was ice-cream (so mummy enjoyed the ice-cream instead!). She is more of a fruit monster and quite partial to a nice piece of cake 🙂

At Kezia’s 1st birthday party we tried to keep food along the healthier lines – raw veggies with dips, banana flapjack, fresh fruit, chunks of cheese and small crackers plus of course….CAKE.

Top tips for baby parties:

  • Let them enjoy some different foods, even if they are not the healthiest. Keep to sensible portions though.
  • Encourage the social side of eating, it’s a fun time and mess is ok.
  • Keep meals the rest of the day healthy, make sure those fruit and veggies are eaten.
  • See party day as a treat day and try to balance it out over the week.
  • Take a small selection of party foods onto a plate for your baby to choose from rather than staying near the buffet table.
  • Keep a bib handy and some wipes.
  • Take a selection of foods your baby likes in case they are not keen on the party food but want to eat.