Hello! I’m Frances and I'm delighted you’ve found The Blushing Beetroot. This is my first ever attempt at blog writing and I’m so excited to be able to share some of my healthy food creations with you.
I’m a full time mum of two little ones. I find I’m cooking so much now and experimenting a lot with different foods and dishes that I’d like to record and share them with you. Also it gives me something to keep my brain from going totally rusty!!
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Monthly Archives: June 2015
Ive gratefully received a nomination for a blogging award! Aisling from Eat-well-feel-wow has Kindly nominated me for The Liebster Award. Thank you Aisling! Take a look at Aislings blog for some fresh ideas on healthy eating.
I’m new to blogging and started in October 2014 so I’m chuffed to have people reading and enjoying The Blushing Beetroot. This nomination has connected me to other bloggers with a similar mind-set in relation to food. Numbers of people opting to choose vegetarian and vegan foods is growing which is so encouraging.
I have been given 11 questions to answer, I must nominate 11 other new bloggers and finally ask them 11 questions. Part of the rules are to mention the person who nominated you, put up The Liebster Award logo and inform your nominees. So here I go. . . .
1. When did you begin your blogging journey and how did it come about?
I started blogging on 3rd of October 2014. I’ve always been interested in food and nutrition so when I became a stay at home Mum I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring two passions of mine together, nutrition and animal welfare.
2.What was your first CD?
Pearl jam, Ten. I loved rock music as a teenager and still do!
3.Do you have any pets?
I don’t have any pets. We had a cat Marmalade who unfortunately was being terrorised by our over enthusiastic toddler who chased him around the house morning, noon and night. We found marmalade a fantastic new home with a friend but I was very upset to have to re -home him. It took me 8 weeks of advertising and meeting potential new carers before we found the perfect home for him.
4.Have you met anyone famous and who?
Yes loads! I worked as a nurse in a private hospital in London which had a constant flow of A list celebrities. Actors, pop stars, sportsmen, models, TV presenter, singers. The vast majority look much more attractive in person than on TV!
5. If money was no object, what would you do everyday?
I feel very privileged to be able to stay at home with our children. I’m well aware of how fast these precious years past. Challenging though they are. However If money was no object I could easily spend my days travelling, meeting new people and experiencing interesting cultures and foods.
6. Guilty pleasure, song/band/movie/TV show?
Westlife! I love so many of their songs and Mark’s voice is amazingly suductive! I could listen to him sing all day. ;0)
7. How many languages do you speak?
Only one. :0(
8. Favourite kitchen appliance and why?
My juicer. I’ve been juicing for years and my cold press masticating juicer is my ultimate luxury gadget.
9. Favourite store and why?
Fresh and wild. Amazing store. On days off in London I used to drive to Primrose Hill, park up and walk to Camden. This store is a wonder of organic juices, smoothies, hot & cold food, and supplements. Can’t wait for my next visit.
10. Do you enjoy flying?
I don’t know! I fly so infrequently now that I couldn’t say. 😃
11. What is your favourite accent?
Now my nominees . . .
Im afraid I don’t follow many bloggers as I simply don’t have the time with two young children. I’ve nominated 6 blogs below. My IT skills aren’t brilliant so I hope I’ve linked you all correctly!!
6. Chickpea girl
11 questions for my nominees
1. What’s your favourite food/meal?
2. What has been your best holiday?
3. What countries would you like to visit?
4. If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
5. Why did you start blogging?
6. Name a favourite book that you’ve read.
7. How do you like to relax?
8. What are your top health tips ?
9. What’s your favourite restaurant?
10. Anybody famous, alive or passed that yours love to have a one to one with?
11.If you could do one thing to make this world a better place, what would that be?
That’s it! I’ll be looking forward to your responses!
I’ve been fascinated with food, nutrition and how your diet affects how you feel and look since I was a teenager. I’ve studied nutrition in London and Dublin, bought endless health magazines and read numerous books on nutrition. But the huge range of diets on the market today is mind boggling, confusing and ever growing.
We’ve moved far from the basic simplicity of food and nutrition and are becoming lost in a maze of calorie counting and restricting ourselves to follow certain limitating diets. This just isn’t sustainable.
Atkins, Paleo, Cabbage soup, Raw, Juicing, Mediterranean, Sugar free, Fat Free. . . Take a look at the cover of the vast majority of magazines and some diet or other is being promoted. Book shops have shelves devoted to various eating plans. Its no wonder people are confused about what to eat and not. Making healthy food choices has become a wilderness. There are so many rules and restrictions.
Believe it or not I think healthy eating is very simple. If we all ate whole foods cooked from scratch we’re on the right path. It’s when we apply the gold standard rules that eating healthily becomes increasingly complex and more difficult for most.
The benefits of eating natural unprocessed foods include stabilising weight fluctuations, increased energy, improved health, a more efficient immune system.
In this post I’ll give you my top tips to get on the right path. Once you get started you can always strive to keep improving your diet.
Eat whole foods, limit processed.
The most important thing when trying to start eating healthier is to eat whole foods as close to their natural state as possible. In today’s fast paced life, it has become the norm to eat mainly processed foods. In fact we eat so many processed foods that some people don’t realise that the food they are eating is not fresh and whole! Consider foods like cartons of OJ or pre made bottled smoothies. If you were to make these fresh at home they’d spoil quickly but in supermarkets they have a vastly extended shelf life. Commercial breakfast cereals, cartons of ready made soup and certain breads are other common examples. By eating whole foods you naturally limit the amount of added salt, sugars, additives & preservatives and other synthetic chemicals you ingest. Examples of whole foods are
- Fresh fruits and vegetables. Frozen are also a good choice and it maybe more practical to start with a mixture of both fresh and frozen.
- Whole unprocessed grains, eg brown rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat.
- Lentils and a variety of beans are also good choices.
- Good quality unrefined oil eg coconut oil. Olive oil which has been cold pressed and stored in a darkened glass bottle which prevents the oil going rancid.
- Nuts & seeds
Cook from scratch
Cooking from scratch initially means setting time aside to plan and prepare meals in advance. However most people find that soon this becomes part of their daily routine and find cooking a satisfying way to relax and unwind. Eating this way you really get to know what you are putting into your body and promotes using whole foods over unprocessed foods.
Read the labels
When shopping, give yourself some time ( to start with at least) to read the labels of the foods you are purchasing. Not just the protein and fat content, the actual ingredients. Once you do this you’ll be amazed how many of the ingredients you can’t pronounce never mind know what they are or what they do to your body. Basic rule – If you don’t know what an ingredient is, don’t buy it! This was a habit I got into years ago when I lived in London. To start with my food shops took a little longer than other people’s but I soon got familiar with how to quickly scan a label and pick out the nasty ingredients.
Portion size over calorie counting
Bin calorie counting. Calories are not all equal. The amount of calories in a chocolate bar is less than in an avocado or handful of nuts. But look at the extra amazing nutritious nutrients that you get, fibre, EFA, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes. These are so beneficial and nesserary for optimal health. Getting familiar with portion size is a much healthier approach to food and diet.
Start to listen to your body signals
Finally by tuning into your body’s needs you’ll naturally start fueling yourself with nutritious wholesome foods that you need to carry out all the various metabolic processes. Eating when you’re hungry and learning to stop when you’ve had enough. Not over indulging. Choosing the foods that agree with you and not expend your energy.
One afternoon, on the go and very busy with two young children I was hungry and had to eat something that was quick to prepare. I grabbed a couple of slices of bread and made a cheese sandwich. Afterwards I noticed my hunger was gone but I had no energy. This meal choice filled me up with saturated fats and high protein that is found in dairy products but it gave me no energy. The following day I devoured an avocado and salad sandwich, much more satisfying! By listening to your body signals like this you’ll easily choose the best foods for you.
My 12 basic food essentials
- Coconut oil
- Raw cacao
- Chia seeds
Now I’m off to the green grocery!! 😀
Here’s another great speedy lunch. Most of us don’t have much time to prepare delicious & nutritious lunches due to hectic schedules. Whether in the office, at home with children or on the go most people would ideally like something satisfying which also gives us a boost of energy and carries us through the afternoon. This lunch bowl is ideal as a packed lunch for work. It’s easily stored in a tubberware container and convenient to pop into your bag . Once the rice is cooked you simply add the other ingredients and mix together.
- 80-100 g brown rice
- 1 small avocado, flesh scooped out and chopped into cubes
- Small handful of rocket
- 4-6 sundried tomatoes chopped
- 4-6 fresh cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1/8 red onion diced
- 1/4 cucumber cut into bite sized pieces
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 carton or tin of kidney beans, rinsed well.
Cook the brown rice as instructed. This usually takes 20 minutes.
When cooked add all the other ingredients and mix well. DONE!!!
Here’s the juicy bit. . . .
BPA is an industrial chemical that is found in many products including the lining of tins of canned foods. It is linked to many ailments from heart problems, cancer and ADHD.
It is important to rinse tinned foods like beans prior to cooking to help reduce the amount of this chemical that we ingest . BPA from tins can leach into the food so rinsing the beans helps reduce the amount of this chemical.
It’s best to rinse the beans until all the foam is gone. Then soak the beans in water and rinse again before adding to your dish. It might seem like a lot of extra work but it easily becomes a habit.
I buy tesco organic chickpeas and kidney beans from cartons and try to avoid tins. At 99c they are not too expensive.