Food for thought 

A few ideas for meals,  I will elaborate on later as the candles burnt long enough tonight! 

What is a food allergy or intolerance?

A food allergy is sometimes used to describe all adverse reactions to food, the term is more often used to refer specifically to food reactions that are mediated by the immune system.

To protect us from illness and disease, our immune systems protect us from illnesses and diseases so  are continuously trying to lessen the danger represented by substances called antigens. Antigens are parts of proteins that our bodies recognize as dangerous and take steps to neutralize. Antigens can be found most anywhere there is protein – in foods, of course, but also in microorganisms like bacteria.

When our immune cells identify a dangerous antigen, they act to neutralize it and prevent it from causing harm in the body. When antigens from bacteria or viruses interact with our cells, we can get the flu, or the common cold. We don’t get the flu from food antigens, but we can get a wide range of immune-related symptoms that range from sniffles to hives to anaphylactic shock.

Immediate versus Delayed Hypersensitivity

Allergic reactions to food, also called food hypersensitivities, are further classified as either immediate or delayed. Immediate hypersensitivity reactions occur within hours or even a few minutes after a food is eaten, typically causing very obvious physical symptoms such as a rash, the hives, a running nose, or a headache.

In rare cases, immediate hypersensitivity reactions can cause anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition in which the throat swells and blocks the passage of air. Immediate hypersensitivities affect only a small percentage of the population.

Immediate Reactions to Food

The foods that are most often implicated as the cause of immediate allergic responses include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts), soy, strawberries, wheat, fish and shellfish. Many people with immediate food hypersensitivities must completely eliminate the offending food from their diet to avoid the serious symptoms.

Delayed Reactions to Food

Many of the same foods that are known to cause immediate hypersensitivities in a small number of people, have been implicated as a cause of delayed or “masked” food allergies in much larger numbers of individuals. Delayed food hypersensitivity reactions are believed to affect millions of people; some physicians have suggested that as many as 60% of all Americans suffer from masked food allergies.

These reactions may be responsible for a variety of symptoms including dark circles or puffiness under the eyes, fluid retention, dermatitis, sinus congestion, fatigue, abdominal pain or discomfort, joint inflammation, mood swings, indigestion, headaches, chronic ear infections, asthma, poor memory, anxiety and depression.

As the name suggests, delayed hypersensitivities do not appear immediately after consuming a particular food. In fact, in most cases the immune response is so delayed that it is difficult to determine which food is causing the symptoms, and many people are unaware that they are sensitive to certain foods.

Only through careful dietary manipulation, such as an Elimination Diet or Rotation Diet, is it usually possible to identify these hidden food allergies. The foods most often associated with delayed hypersensitivities include dairy products, eggs, wheat, soy products, peanuts, shellfish, and refined sugar.

Food Intolerance are immune-mediated food allergies represent one type of adverse food reaction. Another type of adverse food reaction is called food intolerance. Food intolerance is an umbrella term that refers to any abnormal physiological response to a food that is not caused by an antibody/antigen reaction. For example, some food intolerances are caused by enzyme deficiencies, while others are caused by poor function of the digestive tract or a sensitivity to a natural or synthetic chemical.

Lactose Intolerance is the most common food intolerance, which affects as many as 30% of adults, additionally it is particularly common in people of African and Asian heritage.

People with lactose intolerance do not produce enough of the digestive enzyme called lactase, which breaks down the milk sugar (lactose) found in dairy products. When too much undigested lactose makes its way into the large intestine, people suffer from gas and/or diarrhoea.

Wheat intolerance,  wheat allergy, and wheat sensitivity are all terms frequently used to described adverse reaction to this food. Wheat is unique when it comes to adverse food reactions, particularly because it has long been classified as the primary “gluten grain” and because its research history has been both complicated and controversial. Understanding allergy-related issues associated with gluten is important for understanding problems connected to wheat.

 

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Love you body inside and out!

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence in rats.
I will share various recipes to encourage and support others with a healthy lifestyle but the basics are to eat/drink a little bit of everything and not too much of anything!
Old adage –

‘everything in moderation’

We all need to cleanse the inside of our bodies just as we cleanse the outside! So my first recipe is a Detox soup!
Detox Potassium broth
Ingredients:
2 large potatoes chopped into large chunks
2 large carrots chopped into large chunks
1 cup of red beetroot chopped into chunks
4 celery sticks, chopped into small chunks
1 cup of parsley roughly chopped
1 cup of turnips chopped into chunks
1 cup of peeled and diced red onion
Pinch of cayenne pepper to taste.

Method:
Using a 1.8L (Litres) or 13 1/2P (pints)
Place all ingredients into the stockpot
Bring to the boil for five minutes.
Simmer for two hours, then strain; reserving the liquid to drink!
Drink hot, may be reheated, as required, bringing to the boil.

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Tea Inventory”
Herbs and spices to aid “Digestion”
To prevent painful cramps and sharp pains after eating food, I have found that drinking peppermint tea aids digestion (thanks to my parents recommendation). Other teas which aid digestion include: Peppermint tea, which is a natural anti-spasmodic which means that it slows the muscles in the bowel which in irritable bowel. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may contract to frequently adding to the pains felt in the intestines also easing flatulence caused by either too much insoluble fibre, drinking fizzy drinks too fast or air taking in whilst eating too quickly.
Camomile tea also helps to ease digestion and has calming soothing properties so easing nerves reducing anxiety – not related to digestion, camomile teabags can be infused cooled and applied to soothe itchy inflamed eyes and is added to creams to soothe rashes and sensitive skin for nursing mothers or their babies.
Nettleleaf tea is used to relieve nettle rash, allergic reactions and hay fever whilst also being high in vitamins and minerals especially iron, which is important for girls and women.
Fennel seed tea is used to aid digestion relieve bloating and nausea whilst also for breastfeeding mothers it is said to increase menstruation, milk flow and reduce colic and wind in the baby (found in many curry spices or seeds).

Traditionally we have added herbs and spices when cooking, each has a role to play and not just for taste but digestive health and comfort. Herbs and spices to aid digestion include; bay, caraway, cardamom, chervil, cumin, cinnamon, dill, ginger, mint, tarragon – so there is a reason why we serve mint sauce with lamb!

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Liquorice Glycyrrhiza glabra

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Licorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a legume, which roots have a sweet flavour. The roots contain compounds, like anethole and glycyrrhizic acid, responsible for the sweetness and other properties of this herb. Licorice was used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians for therapeutic purposes. This herb was used for treating stomach disorders as well as respiratory problems. It was very widely used in Asia and Europe too. Today, licorice is used as flavouring agent, herbal medicine, available as root extract, tablets, root tea, candies, etc. You may also come across tobacco products flavored with licorice. However, use of licorice in high doses, that too for a long term, may result in serious side effects.
Benefits
Licorice roots are otherwise known as sweet wood, sweet root, black sugar, and liquorice. The most common use of licorice root is for treating respiratory problems, like bronchitis and asthma. It is also widely used as an expectorant, and is an active ingredient in cough syrups. It is found to be effective for relieving the symptoms of allergic conditions, like hay fever and allergic rhinitis. Stomach ulcers are also treated with licorice. The herb is said to be beneficial for treating conditions, like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ileitis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Licorice is used to cure sore throat, bloating and acidity, menstrual cramps, and symptoms of menopause. It is said that consumption of licorice boosts the immune system, thereby preventing viral infections; used for treating viral hepatitis and genital herpes. It is also suggested that licorice can lower LDL cholesterol and prevent arteriosclerosis. This herb is also used for treating skin conditions, like eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.
Side Effects
As like many other herbs, excess use of licorice may cause certain side effects associated with factors, like excess consumption, interaction with other drugs, and the physical condition of the user. In case of licorice, studies suggest that the presence of glycyrrhizic acid is the reason behind such side effects.
There are two types of licorice products – one with glycyrrhizic acid and the other without that compound. The most common side effects of licorice roots include headache, breathing difficulty, water retention, stomach ache, and joint stiffness. Long-term use of this herb has been linked to problems, like high blood pressure, edema, liver problems, kidney diseases, and pseudoaldosteronism. Excess use of licorice with glycyrrhizic acid may result in muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, headaches, inflammation, and low testosterone levels in men.
It has been observed that most of the side effects are caused by high doses. Licorice roots should not be taken by people with high blood pressure, diabetes, cirrhosis, kidney problems, heart diseases, low blood potassium levels, estrogen-sensitive disorders, etc. Pregnant and nursing women and small kids should also avoid use of this herb. It is better to avoid licorice, if you are taking diuretics or heart medication. In case, you wish to use this herb for medicinal purposes, consult a qualified herbal practitioner and follow his instructions.
The root of a plant named Glycyrrhiza glabra more commonly known as Liquorice. The sweet extract obtained from this root is also referred to as licorice, a confectionery extracted from the roots of this plant. This confectionery is used for preparing various sweets like chocolates and candies. Following are some recipes:

Licorice Tea

Ingredients •Water, 6 cups
•Licorice Root, 2½ tsp. (dried)
•Cinnamon Stick, 1
•Peppermint, ½ cup (dried)
•Honey, ½ cup
Procedure

Take a large pot and pour water into it. Keep the pot over high heat and bring the water to boil. Then, add licorice and cinnamon to the boiling water, and lower the heat to simmer the liquid. Then cover the pot partially, with a plate, and simmer it for 10 more minutes. Remove the pot from heat, and add peppermint to the liquid. Cover the pot completely and let it steep for 10 minutes. Now, strain the tea and add honey to it. Let the tea cool completely, and then place the container to refrigerate. Serve with ice cubes.

Tru3 J0y
Posted from WordPress

Quinoa recipes

Quinoa seed crackers

3 tablespoons flaxseeds,
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 ounces (1/2 cup packed) cooked quinoa
2 ounces (1/2 cup, minus 1 tablespoons) quinoa flour (or, substitute 2 ounces superfine brown rice flour)
2 ounces (1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon) quinoa flakes
3 ounces (1/2 cup) potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 ounces butter, softened
2 ounces olive oil
2 to 5 tablespoons ice-cold water

Method
Preparing to make the crackers Preheat the oven to 400°. Pull out a sheet tray and line it with a sheet of parchment paper.
Preparing the seeds. Put the flaxseed, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, into the food processor. Pulse it until they have broken down but not butter.
Mixing in the dry ingredients. Add the cooked quinoa, quinoa flour, quinoa flakes, potato starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, guar gum, and salt to the food processor. Let it run for a couple of minutes, so everything has a chance to mix and dance, and the flours to become blended well.
Finishing the dough. Add the softened butter to the mix. Spin the food processor around. Slowly, drizzle in the oil, with the food processor running. At this point, the dough should be clumping together quite well, but not yet one big ball. If the dough feels at all too dry, add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn off the food processor.
Rolling out the dough. Put the clumps of dough onto the baking sheet. Squidge the dough together into a vague lump and carefully, gently, roll it out the approximate length and width of the baking sheet. If you desire, top the crackers with additional sesame seeds.
Baking the crackers. Bake the crackers until they are browned and firm to the touch, but not too brown or firm to the touch, about 20 minutes in our oven. Take them out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet.
Transfer the cracker (which should be one big sheet, or at least several) to a cutting board. When the cracker has completely cooled, cut it into the size of cracker you want. And so the cracker becomes crackers.

Makes about 20 crackers
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Quinoa recipes

Quinoa salad

200g/7oz quinoa, cooked according to the packet instructions
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 cucumber, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
100ml/3½fl oz extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juice only
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
Mix together the quinoa, herbs, vegetables in a bowl; dress with olive oil and lemon juice, season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Vegetarian Spicy Quinoa pepper and bean stew

Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
Pinch salt to taste
Freshly ground peppercorns
2 clove(s) garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
10 fresh diced tomatoes, without skin or a 450g tinned tomatoes
450g tin black beans
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 orange or green pepper, chopped
Sprigs of fresh herbs chopped marjoram, oregano and tthyme or 1/2 tsp of dried herbs
1 Litre of vegetable stock
1 cup of cooked quinoa
Optional extra’s:
1 small tin of sweet corn
6 mushrooms sliced
1 small courgette chopped

Method
In a large deep flat pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, stir until soft. Add, red bell pepper, cook until tender. Add the chili flakes tomatoes, herbs, black beans, and vegetable stock. Simmer, partially covered and stirring, 15 minutes. Add garlic, sweet corn, courgette, mushroom, peppers, or any other ingredients you choose, cook and cover for 3 minutes. Stir in quinoa and season with salt and fresh pepper to taste.

Serve, top with:
• fresh herbs to taste
• fresh grated Cheddar or cheese of choice

Tru3 J0y
Posted from WordPress

Ritual regular detox dieting; ‘Post-Christmas and New Year blues’!

Bowl o' Love

Bowl o’ Love (Photo credit: jazzijava)

In case you are unaware… this is the time to detox all the rich food, lack of sleep, fizzy and alcoholic drinks are sure to cause havoc in one’s internal and external appearance either from pain and discomfort feeling full or added weight gain to reddish inflamed and/or spotty skin!

If you just listen to the media there is a global craze sweeping the world – of ritual regular detoxing as a diet to control weight, moods, lack of energy, memory, concentration, headaches, skin problems, bloatedness around the stomach, flatulence, difficulties passing stools.

The reasons are endless and I could go into far more detail of the various reasons people detox to cleanse their body of impurities. However I do think that maybe if we curtailed the need to eat whatever, whenever and however much we like of food and drink of all kinds we might limit the need to detox so regularly. I am concerned with this obsession to detox is becoming for some a ritual which could lead to negative consequences as our bodies are sensitive. In the same way which yo-yo dieting is not encouraged yo-yo detoxing should also be discouraged. The body is not designed to be detoxed so often as some are doing it monthly. If we go back to the old days of

‘everything in moderation’

or

‘a little of everything will not do you any harm’

we might enjoy our food and bodies more with less negative consequences which will needless to say increase risks of cancer or the health problems causing more expense to the health system which cannot cope as it is!

I have added a detox recipes to cleanse and give basic easy guidance to enable you to do so without having to  buy a book. Please message me or email: sa.collins.uk@gmail.com

Detox – Cleanse inside out!

We all need to cleanse the inside of our bodies just as we cleanse the outside! So my first recipe is a Detox soup!

Detox  – Potassium broth

Ingredients:

2 large potatoes chopped into large chunks

2 large carrots chopped into large chunks

1 cup of red beetroot chopped into chunks

4 celery sticks, chopped into small chunks

1 cup of parsley roughly chopped

1 cup of turnips chopped into chunks

1 cup of peeled and diced red onion

Pinch of cayenne pepper to taste.

Method:

  1. Using a 1.8L (Litres) or 13 1/2P (pints).
  2. Place all ingredients into the stockpot .
  3. Bring to the boil for five minutessimmer for two hours, then strain.
  4. Drink hot reheat as required bringing to the boil.

 

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Recipes

Fennel seed

Fennel seed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I will share various recipes to encourage and support others with a healthy lifestyle

 The basics are to eat and drink a little bit of everything and not too much of anything!

Old adage – ‘everything in moderation’

Tea Inventory

Tea Inventory (Photo credit: euphbass)

We all need to cleanse the inside of our bodies just as we cleanse the outside!

Then there is spiritual cleansing only Jesus can do! John 3:16