Diet, Education on Diabetes

Is ‘diabetic’ chocolate really healthier?

While the concept of ‘diabetic’ chocolate is thoughtful, it can actually do more harm than good.

When I was younger I mainly got given ‘diabetic’ chocolate, particularly at Christmas and Easter time and all I can remember is feeling left out and that it tastes horrible!

So from my own experience and research, lets look into why ‘diabetic’ or sugar free chocolate is not any better for you than normal chocolate.

What is ‘diabetic ‘ chocolate?

what is diabetic chocolate

This is essentially when a product has very little carbohydrate or sugar in it, which makes it ‘appropriate’ for those living with diabetes.

These products were created to help people manage diabetes while allowing some room for chocolate and treats. However, research soon exposed the loop wholes in these products, including inaccurate health promises.

In fact, labelling a product as ‘diabetic’ is now against the law. This is because research has shown absolutely no benefit in consuming diabetic chocolate over normal chocolate, and showing it can actually cause more damage to the body.

Why is it detrimental?

why is diabetic chocolate not great

Diabetic chocolate may be low in sugar, but it is still high in fat, calories and additives. Sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, which can have some nasty effects in the body.

The artificial sweeteners and additives can cause severe stomach upset, including bloating, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Furthermore, additives can still actually cause blood sugar spikes and increase insulin resistance. The theory behind this states that artificial sweeteners closely resemble glucose, which confuses the body into thinking blood glucose is high, when in fact it is not. This process is linked to worsening insulin resistance.

Finally, it just doesn’t taste the same and can cause people living with diabetes to feel left out.

Opt for this instead

My simple advise is to just have normal chocolate and treats when you fancy them. Of course have chocolate on the occasion and use carb counting to keep your levels in range.

All products have the carb and sugar content listed on the packaging, so use it! Also have your treats while staying active. I like to go for a nice post-meal walk with family and friends to keep my levels balanced. It is possible to eat ‘like a normal person’ while living with diabetes, it just takes some extra time and planning.

Never let living with diabetes stop you from having fun, just be mindful and learn about your body. Tell the people around you what you need, whether thats asking them to walk with you, or simply educating them about what diabetics can eat (which is anything with the correct prep!).

Lastly, tell your family members to get you normal chocolate on special occasions. I am sure they would much rather get you something you like! 🙂

person writing on brown printer paper

Thank you for reading Is ‘diabetic chocolate’ really healthier? I hope you found this useful and informative! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out How to handle a hypo mid-workout! and 5 Minute Healthy Chocolate Dessert!

Diet

How to remove gluten from your diet

Last week I talked about what circumstances someone might want to stop eating gluten in Gluten – what is the big deal?

So I thought it would be helpful to provide guidance on what you need to think about if you have decided to see if gluten is causing symptoms you are experiencing.

The process:

Remove all sources of gluten for up to 6 weeks, and then reintroduce different sources of gluten week by week to see if any symptoms reappear. For example, the 7th week you eat only gluten bread and record your symptoms. Week 8, you stop eating bread and start eating gluten pasta. Repeat until necessary.

Sometimes certain foods can cause symptoms while others do not, so it is important to see what foods specifically cause you discomfort.

Learn what contains gluten

remove gluten

Grains that contain gluten include:

  • Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Malt
  • Wheat starch

Foods that contain gluten:

  • Beer and ale
  • Bread
  • Bulgar wheat
  • Cakes
  • Cereal
  • Cookies/biscuits
  • Crackers
  • Flour
  • Gravy
  • Pastry
  • Soy sauce
  • Most packaged snack bars, crisps etc

Make sure you check ingredients lists for sources of gluten. I would recommend checking all sauces, spreads and packaged foods as gluten containing ingredients are often in these products.

Focus on what you can have

gluten free foods - remove gluten

Rather than dwelling on what you can’t have, focus on what you can have. Remember this is temporary to see if symptoms improve. And if your symptoms do improve, you are gaining so much more than you think you are ‘losing’.

Here are grains that are gluten free:

  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Amaranth
  • Corn
  • Lentils
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes

Gluten free flour – here is a little tip of mine, if you are living with diabetes and want to stick to brown flours that digest slower, opt for brown rice flour, amaranth flour, or simply put some oats in a blender to make your own. The gluten free four alternatives from free-from isles will be white flour and could contribute towards sugar spikes. So sticking to brown rice, oats and amaranth may help to keep your sugar levels more stable!

Get organised

Write a shopping list: Write a shopping list or save online shops to make sure there are always meal and snack options. There is nothing worse than being hungry and having nothing available. This also makes it more likely you will give up and consume something that contains gluten!

get organised - removing gluten

Find the free-from isle: In every supermarket there will be an isle that has all of the free-from products. There will be an alternative for pretty much anything here, so make sure you know where it is to make your life easier!

Keep track: I’m going to be completely honest, some gluten free products are horrible! But with that in mind, it is really important to keep a list of the free-from products that are delicious (they do exist I promise!).

Find some awesome recipes: Or swap ingredients from your old recipes! For example, I always use brown rice flour for cakes, pastry and sauces, and red lentil pasta.

I also recommend purchasing the cook book ‘How to make anything gluten free’ by Becky Excell. This will help with both gluten free cooking and baking 🙂

Thank you for reading how to remove gluten from your diet! I hope you found this useful and if you decide to give gluten free a go, good luck! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out My Type 1 diabetes diagnosis story! and Apple and Blackberry Crumble

wheat growing in field in countryside
Diet, Education on Diabetes

Gluten – what is the big deal?

Gluten is a very controversial topic, with ‘experts’ claiming we have to quit gluten in order to be healthy. So here is everything you need to know about gluten, and whether or not you should consider going gluten free!

What is it?

sources of gluten

Gluten is a storage protein found in certain grains.

It is essentially is what makes foods stretchy and expand. Sometimes, gluten can be linked to causing leaky gut syndrome due to its expanding properties.

Leaky gut syndrome is when cells in the gut lining lose tightness, and allow fragments of food to leak into the blood. This is linked to a variety of health conditions, including autoimmune diseases.

Grains that contain gluten include:

  • Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Malt
  • Wheat starch

E.g. Pasta, bread, flour, cakes, biscuits, pastry and ready-made sauces.

Coeliac’s disease

Coeliac’s disease is where the body attacks the lining of the digestive tract in response to gluten consumption.

This creates some severe symptoms, including:

  • Severe or occasional diarrhoea, constipation, bloating or wind
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Recurrent stomach pain or cramping
  • Iron, B12 or B9 (folate) deficiency
  • Anaemia
  • Tiredness
  • Mouth ulcers
gluten free products

If individuals with coeliac’s continue to consume gluten, damage to the digestive tract will become so severe, nutrients will not be absorbed. This can result in multiple nutrient deficiencies which can lead to further discomfort and the onset of other health conditions.

Therefore, it is imperative that coeliac’s sufferers completely avoid gluten to stay healthy.

Gluten intolerance (non-coeliac)

Some people can have what we call intolerance or sensitivity. This is essentially when consuming gluten causes a variety of symptoms, without the presence of antibodies or long-term damage. The reason why is not fully known, but it could be linked to leaky gut syndrome.

Symptoms of sensitivity include: (these are usually less severe than symptoms in coeliac’s)

  • Bloating
  • Excessive flatulence
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Nausea
  • Brain fog/ poor concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Some people also benefit from quitting gluten with health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic skin conditions like eczema. Research suggests that gluten can make inflammation worse in the body, and can increase autoantibodies seen in some autoimmune conditions.

If you do not have any digestive issues or health conditions, there is essentially no point in quitting gluten. Individuals can be perfectly healthy consuming gluten, so please do not go down the route of thinking cutting out certain food groups makes you ‘healthy’.

My general advice, is if you have any digestive issues or unexplained symptoms, go and see your doctor and consider quitting gluten for 6-8 weeks to see if this relieves symptoms. If it does not relieve symptoms, you are fine to continue consuming gluten.

Gluten and type 1 diabetes

type 1 diabetes and gluten

Interestingly, type 1 diabetes and coeliac’s disease seem to be linked. Many people living with type 1 also have coeliac’s.

Research has shown that the autoantibodies (antibodies that cause the onset of autoimmune diseases) seen in type 1 diabetes are very similar to those seen in coeliac’s.

So if you are living with type 1 diabetes, I would absolutely recommend asking your doctor for a coeliac’s blood test.

If this comes back negative, but you suffer from any of the gluten sensitivity symptoms listed above, I would definitely quitting gluten for 6-8 weeks (the longer the better) to see if this helps.

Thank you for reading gluten – what is the big deal? I really hope you learnt something new and have a better understanding of gluten! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out Autoimmune conditions linked with type 1 diabetes and Keeping your feet healthy with diabetes!

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Diet, Recipes

Sausage Casserole Recipe!

roast potatoes with sausage casserole

This week I am sharing an amazing, easy Sausage Casserole recipe. All you have to do is roughly fry everything off, and stick it in the oven! I also love this recipe because it is packed with fibre which is essential for digestion, glucose control and keeping the microflora healthy in the gut.

I have put some of my favourite vegetables in the ingredients list, but feel free to use any vegetables of your choice and preference. I also tend to serve this dish with either roast potatoes or brown rice.

So keep reading for the recipe and macros, make sure you give this Sausage Casserole a try!

Serves 4

Macros:

Calories: 330
Carbohydrates: 32g
of which sugars: 5g
Fibre: 11g
Protein: 17g
Fat: 15g

(Macros are without potatoes)

Ingredients:

x12 chicken sausages
olive oil
1 pint chicken stock
1 tin tomatoes
75g red lentils
120g kidney beans
120g cannellini beans
1 large white onion
3 cloves garlic
1 large leek
2 large carrots
1/2 broccoli
1/2 fennel
2 handfuls of Spinach or kale
1/2 bunch fresh coriander
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp oregano
3 tsp paprika
salt/ black pepper to taste

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 190 degrees

  1. Firstly brown the sausages in a frying pan and place them at the bottom of the casserole dish (they will finish cooking in the oven).
chicken sausages - sausage casserole

3. Next, heat the olive oil in a large frying pot and fry off the onion and garlic. Then add all of the vegetables and seasonings into the pan. Fry everything off for around 5 minutes, add in the stock and tinned tomatoes. Let this simmer for around 10 minutes.

4. After leaving the casserole to simmer, stir in the lentils, kidney beans and Cannellini beans. Transfer the casserole into the casserole dish on top of the sausages.

red lentils - sausage casserole

5. Put the lid on your casserole pot and cook for 60 minutes in the oven.

6. After 60 minutes, take the dish out of the oven and stir in the spinach/kale and fresh coriander.

7. Now serve up with your choice of roast potatoes or rice!

8. Next, enjoy! 🙂

sausage casserole served up

Thank you so much for reading my sausage casserole recipe! Let me know when you give it a go and I hope you love this dish as much as I do! Be sure to subscribe below and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to check out my Banana Loaf Recipe! and How to ace your diabetic review!

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Diet, Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

How to read food labelling effectively!

Knowing how to read food labelling is a great skill to have in order to achieve better health.

I just want to note that this post is not to scare you about consuming certain products, it is a guide to choosing products with less processed ingredients if this is what you are interested in.

Knowing where to start can be confusing and misleading! So keep reading for some basic tips to make sure you are buying products that are better quality and more natural.

1. Traffic light labelling

traffic light food labelling

Most products now use traffic light labelling to give you a quick insight into the general nutritional values it provides.

While this can be extremely useful, I would not recommend assuming that a product is ‘healthy’ just because it has all green sections. Use this as a starting basis, and always turn the packet over and look at the rest of the information provided.

I recommend using the traffic light system for packaged products, such as snack bars or crisps. Products like this tend to be higher in saturated fats and sugar, if this is a concern for you then look no further than traffic light labelling.

I find the traffic light system detrimental when buying natural products such as nuts and seeds. Of course products like this are high in fat and show as ‘red’. This does not mean nuts and seeds are ‘bad’ or ‘unhealthy’, they are high in good fats and are majorly beneficial to the body.

So, to summarise, the traffic light system can be useful, but do not let it cause you to draw a false conclusion about a product too quickly. Read point 2 for the next step!

2. Ingredients list

peanut butter, food labelling

Lets get straight to it, the first 3 ingredients are key when deciding whether or not to buy a product.

If the first 3 ingredients are natural and necessary for the product, it is likely to be good for your health. For example, if peanut butter has 96% peanuts, sustainable palm oil and a pinch of sea salt, this is a product you should go for.

However, if the peanut butter has more than 3 ingredients (which just is not necessary), and some are artificial, there is probably a better option out there! For example peanut butter that has 90% peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated oil and table salt.

A general rule of thumb, if the product has an ingredients list longer than your arm, there is probably a better option out there!

3. E-number look out!

A lot of people simply look for ingredients starting with ‘E’, and assume if there aren’t any, it is additive free!

But unfortunately it is not quite this simple. Manufacturers can use the E-code, actual name of the additive, OR the trade name of an additive. For example, Aspartame could be labelled as Aspartame, E951 or Nutrasweet.

If you would like to limit additives, try to avoid products with really long ingredients lists and always look up ingredients that you do not recognise!

4. Misleading food labels

low sugar, food labelling

A lot of manufacturers use certain colours and phrases on packaging that pull you into a false sense of security.

For example:

  • ‘Low calorie’
  • ‘Sugar-free’
  • ‘Low-fat’
  • ‘Natural’

A product might be ‘sugar-free’, but what has the sugar been replaced with? Most of the time sweeteners are added to decrease the amount of calories. This is a great point to know because you have the choice to consume the version with natural sugar, or the version with sweeteners. I would personally recommend going for products with more natural ingredients.

I also wanted to point out that consuming additives once is a while is not going to cause any damage, so please allow yourself a treat every now and then!

cardboard present box with postcard on table

Thank you so much for reading my tips on how to read food labelling effectively! I really hope you found it useful and please drop me any questions! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this blog, be sure to read 5 ways to improve digestion! and my Simple guide to fitness with diabetes!

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Diet, Top Tips

5 foods packed with hidden sugars!

This week I am drawing your attention to foods with hidden sugars! A lot of products contain much more sugar than we might think. This of course can impact sugar levels and can massively contribute to hyperglycaemia!

Be sure to look out for the following ingredients on packaging as manufacturers can use a variety of names for sugar:

  • Barley Malt
  • Dextrin/Dextrose
  • Galactose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Molasses
  • Sorbitol

These are just a couple of examples, keep reading here for more information!

So with this in mind, keep reading for 5 foods that are packed with hidden sugars!

1. Soup

soup with hidden sugars

Packaged and processed foods are pretty much always high in sugar! This is because sugar adds flavour to products, while increasing shelf-life and being a very cheap ingredient!

This includes tinned soups! One can of Heinz Tomato soup contains nearly 20g of sugar! This coupled with bread on the side can make this meal very high in carbs, while lacking in protein and healthy fats to slow digestion.

Therefore, I always recommend trying to make soups from scratch so you know exactly what is in there. Soups are so quick and easy to make, so give it a go! Here is my Carrot and Coriander recipe to get you started!

2. Cereal/Granola

Granola with hidden sugars

In general, most cereals and granolas are packed with sugars to enhance the taste. I would particularly pay attention to ‘healthy’ granola brands that make health claims and pull you into a sense of security.

Granola brands tend to have around 10g of sugar per serving, however bear in mind that the average person will eat more than one portion. So with the amount of milk and extra toppings added, the sugar consumed at breakfast alone is pretty high!

Always turn over the packet before you buy, to get a sense of how much sugar is hidden away in the product.

Lizi’s Granola is a better brand for some guidance, and I am working on some granola recipes that I will post soon!

3. Yogurt

Yogurts can be a fantastic addition to your diet, however you must pick and choose brands carefully!

Particularly low fat yogurts can have a really high sugar content to improve the taste. Small one portion pots can have to up 10g of sugar!So make sure you are checking the labels before purchasing your products!

Some better brands to consider are Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt (low sugar, high protein), and Alpro no sugar Soya Yogurt are great options!

4. Ready-made Sauces

sauces with hidden sugars

Many people love to use ready made pasta and stir-fry sauces as it is quick and easy. However most are packed with extra sugar, salt and additives to preserve and improve the taste of the product!

For example, tomato sauce can have around 5g of sugar per portion, and stir-fry sauces can have around 10-15g of sugar in one serving!

This is a lot of sugar, especially compared to homemade versions. So learn a couple of quick and easy sauces you can make at home to avoid consuming more sugar than necessary!

To get started, check out my Chicken Satay recipe!

5. Spreads!

food sandwich wood coffee

The main product to talk abut here is peanut butter. Peanut butter is massively trending as a ‘health food’, but many people still buy brands that are packed with sugar and other ingredients that aren’t very healthy!

For example, super-market own brands can have between 1-4g of sugar per serving, compared to whole brands having less than 1g of sugar.

Again, look at the list of ingredients to see what you are consuming, better brands should have peanuts and maybe a little added salt/oil. As soon as the ingredients list goes beyond this, I would reconsider the brands you are buying!

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Thank you for reading 5 foods with hidden sugars! I really hope you found this useful and will help you to buy healthier brands! Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to read 5 foods to limit if you’re living with diabetes! and 5 foods diabetics should be eating!

detox text on round blue plate
Diet, Top Tips

5 easy ways to reduce your toxin load!

Helping the body to eliminate toxins is vital for the body to function optimally and to reach ultimate health!

Reducing your toxin load also helps the body to regulate sugar levels, as it gives the liver less to handle and can help to increase insulin sensitivity!

So keep reading to learn 5 easy ways to reduce your toxin load!

1. Drink up!

This point is fairly obvious, but of course to flush out toxins, we have to be consuming enough water!

herbal tea to reduce toxin load

So drink at least 2 litres of fresh, filtered water and if you are active make sure you are consuming more than 2 litres as it will increase your water demand.

Avoid fizzy drinks and juices from concentrate to decrease additives, and put some fresh fruit in your water to make it tastier! My favourites are cucumber, lemon, lime, orange and strawberries.

Also try to drink some herbal teas, but bear in mind that herbal teas can be quite dehydrating as well as having benefits, so drink some water alongside it.

Try to decrease caffeine and alcohol consumption to allow your liver to have a break and recover. The more toxins the liver is dealing with, the harder detoxification is! And if you are smoking, do your best to quit!

Another point to remember is when plastic water bottles heat up, it can cause chemicals to leak into the water. So if you drink from plastic bottles either swap to non-plastic, or keep the bottle out of the sun and as cool as possible.

2. Pack in your fibre!

Fibre is also vital for eliminating toxins, as well as keeping us feeling satiated and feeding the healthy bacteria in the gut.

Some food sources high in fibre include apples, pears, beans, lentils, broccoli and sweetcorn. Make sure these are part of your daily diet.

Also opt for wholegrain and brown carbohydrate sources to increase your fibre intake.

Try to reduce your intake of refined sugars as a high sugar diet can decrease insulin sensitivity and make glucose control harder and less efficient.

3. Go organic

I know it is expensive, but buying as much organically as possible is a great idea!

This helps to reduce pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals present in non-organic food sources.

If you are on a strict food budget, there are some foods that tend to be much higher in these chemicals, so try to buy the following foods organically where possible:

organic potatoes to reduce toxin load
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale

This list is known as the Dirty Dozen if you would like to do some more research!

4. Go environmentally friendly

environmentally friendly cleaning products to lower toxin load

Reduce and swap your cleaning products to natural products!

This is not only much better for the environment, but also beneficial for your health.

Most cleaning products contain chemicals such as ammonia and formaldehyde which can put the liver under stress when they enter the body.

I also recommend wearing a mask and wearing gloves during cleaning, to prevent inhaling and absorbing any cleaning products through the skin.

Ecover is a brand that have a whole variety of environmentally friendly cleaning products, check them out!

Also try to use glass containers rather than plastic to prevent chemicals leaking into your food that can be extremely damaging and toxic. This is also much better for the environment!

5. Eat the rainbow!

Different coloured fruit and vegetables contain different vitamins and minerals which are all vital for getting antioxidants in and detoxifying. So get as many colours as possible into your diet!

Make sure you are eating lots of Vitamin C throughout the day to keep your levels topped up and to help detoxification. Great sources of Vitamin C include red peppers, kiwi’s, berries and citrus fruits.

Thank you for reading 5 easy ways to reduce your toxin load! I hope this helps your journey to better health, be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to checkout 5 ways to improve digestion! and Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe!

Diet, Recipes

Chicken Stew Recipe!

roast potatoes

This week I am sharing my delicious chicken stew recipe! This meal is fantastic for packing in nutrients, and is a lovely warming meal to have in the evening!

I like to serve the chicken stew with roast potatoes, but you can also put potato in the stew, or serve with rice, which ever you like best!

Serves 2

Macros:

Calories: 209
Carbohydrates: 8.5g
of which sugars: 0g
Protein: 20g
Fat: 12g

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts or thighs
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion
2 garlic cloves
Small red chilli
2 carrots
1 leek
120g broccoli
2 tablespoons of peas
1 pint chicken stock or broth
75ml yogurt (I use soya yogurt)
2 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp wholemeal flour
1 tbsp olive oil butter
Sprig of fresh thyme
Oregano
Turmeric
Black pepper
Sea salt

Method:

1.Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the chicken on a tray, season with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes.

2. While the chicken is cooking, prep and cut all of the vegetables, and make a pint of chicken stock.

3. When the chicken has around 5 minutes left, heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry off the onion, chill and crushed garlic.

frying off onion, chilli, garlic - chicken stew

4. Add the rest of the vegetables, seasonings, fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Fry this off for around 2 minutes.

5. Now add the chicken stock and white wine. Place a lid over the pan and leave to simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes.

Simmering chicken stew

6. While the veg is simmering, use two forks to shred the chicken to resemble the picture below. Now put all of the chicken and add the peas into the pan and leave to simmer for a further 15-20 minutes.

7. Next, add the yogurt, flour and butter to thicken the stew. You can leave the stew to simmer again if you wish, but it can also be served up once it is all combined.

8. Next, enjoy!

chicken stew with roast potatoes

Thank you for reading my chicken stew recipe! I really hope you give it a go! Make sure you subscribe below and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to read my Delicious Banana Brownie Recipe! and 5 ways to improve digestion!

Diet, Education on Diabetes, Top Tips

5 ways to improve digestion!

Here are my 5 ways to improve digestion, which are super easy! Supporting and improving digestion is vital for health, whether that’s supporting glucose control, increasing energy levels or aiding weight loss. When digestion is poor a range of problems and illnesses can arise, such as autoimmune conditions, allergies and intolerances.

So, keep reading for 5 ways to improve your digestion and promote your health!

1.Eat prebiotic foods

It is commonly known that we have bacteria in our digestive system, which is called the microbiome.

banana = prebiotic food

There are strains of bacteria which are beneficial for us, and others that are detrimental. The beneficial strains promote health because they aid digestion, absorption and can even help to make vital nutrients, for example folate.

The following foods are fantastic prebiotic foods to include in your diet, yogurt, kimchi, bananas, miso, and pretty much any fermented foods.

If you would like to take an extra step, taking a probiotic supplement with your main meal will help to repopulate the good strains of bacteria in the gut.

2. Avoid refined sugar

Refined sugar can be extremely detrimental to health. Not only does refined sugar contribute to glucose spikes, it also feeds the bad bacteria in the gut. This can lead to digestive complications, such as bloating, SIBO, leaky gut syndrome and many more!

avoid refined sugar for digestive health

So I would definitely recommend cutting down on refined sugar, especially if you are struggling with digestive issues such as bloating. It is alright to have an occasional treat, but just be aware that refined sugars are not your friend and may worsen digestive symptoms.

Try and stick to natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables and natural sweeteners (like honey), rather than white sugar or artificial sweeteners.

3. Don’t drink with meals!

This may come as a surprise to you but drinking a lot of liquid with food is not great for digestion.

I don’t just mean alcohol, I am also referring to hot drinks, soft drinks and even water.

When we drink a lot of liquid with food, it can dilute digestive enzymes, making digestion slower and sluggish. This can also be a big factor that contributes towards bloating for many people.

beer - don't drink with meals

Furthermore, fizzy drinks and alcohol can outcompete food, meaning that they will be absorbed ahead of beneficial nutrients.

Remember that water is vital for digestion, but water needs to be consumed throughout the day to replenish digestive juices, rather than mostly being consumed at meal times.

So, if you need a drink with meals, sip fresh, room temperature water while eating and wait around 20-30 minutes after eating to drink lots of water. Prioritise drinking the bulk of your water between meals!

4. Pack in fibre!

Fibre aids the flow of digestion and passing stools. This is vital because this is a major way we eliminate toxins. When digestion is poor, we do not absorb nutrients effectively and we do not eliminate toxins effectively.

brown carbs - fibre

So eating enough fibre is vital for regulating bowel habits, and keeping the whole body healthy.

Furthermore, fibre feeds healthy strains of bacteria in the gut, which helps to prevent the over-growth of bad bacteria.

Add more fibre to your diet by swapping to wholegrain and brown carbs, eating fruit, leafy vegetables and legumes.

5. Eat Mindfully

Eating mindfully means knowing exactly what you are eating and paying full attention while you are eating. For example, thinking about the texture, taste and smell of the food that you are eating.

When people are not concentrating properly while eating, they tend to eat too quickly, chew food inadequately and will potentially overeat. This will impair digestion and may mean the person is not getting the full benefits from the foods they are eating.

So try to eat without distractions, chew your food as much as possible to make digestion and absorption more efficient, and sip water while eating.

Thank you for reading my 5 ways to improve digestion, I hope you found these tips useful! Make sure you subscribe and follow me on Instagram!

If you liked this post, be sure to read my Delicious Banana Brownie Recipe! and Simple guide to fitness with diabetes!

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Christmas Turkey Curry
Diet, Recipes

Christmas Turkey Curry Recipe!

This week I am sharing a fantastic Christmas Turkey curry recipe. This curry is perfect to make on Boxing Day with left-overs, because it is super delicious and quick to make. I recommend serving with rice, but of course you can serve this with sides of your choice.

The macros for the Turkey Christmas curry recipe are listed below for your convenience. This recipe is very high in protein and low in sugar, which is fantastic for maintaining balanced sugar levels post meal.

Serves 2

Macros:

Carbohydrates: 10g
of which sugars: 3g
Protein: 40g
Fat: 7g

Ingredients:

Left over turkey (or your chosen meet)
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 red chilli
1 red pepper
Broccoli
Cauliflower
100ml yogurt
50ml coconut milk
Squeeze lemon juice
Handful of fresh coriander
250ml chicken stock

Seasonings:

1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder

Method:

1.Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli until soft, and then add all seasonings to the pan.

fry onions, garlic, ginger and chilli

2. Next, add the broccoli, red pepper, cauliflower and chicken stock. Leave the vegetables to simmer for around 10 minutes.

add stock, leave to simmer

3. Add the yogurt, coconut milk, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Fold in the left over turkey, and leave to heat through for a couple of minutes.

add meat, heat through

5. Serve up the curry and finally top with fresh lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves.

6. Now, enjoy!

turkey christmas curry recipe

I really hope you love this Christmas Turkey Curry recipe, and give it a go this Christmas! Make sure you are subscribed for more content down below! And I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

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greeting card with candy cane