Tag Archives: vitamin b

London butcher swaps meat slabs for watermelon slices

26 Aug
Master Butcher ditches meat for watermelon

Master Butcher ditches meat for watermelon

Breaking news from Notting Hill Carnival – Portobello Road Master Butcher ‘sees the light’ and swaps slabs of meat for slices of watermelon.

If only this was true, at least for non-carnival days. I fear the only light this butcher has seen is the glimmer of gold coins raining down from the dangly purses of girls desperate to pee. At £2.50 a tinkle, this butcher is carving a fortune from the two days of Europe’s biggest street festival.  Why not? But sadly this line up of watermelon is the only sign of raw fruit/vegetable available to the 1 million visitors. The streets are a smoky haze of carcinogenic HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the result of cooking meat (jerk chicken) at super high temperatures.  Apparently 5 tonnes of jerk chicken are sold each year…That’s a lot of carcinogens…

Watermelon on the other hand is a gift from Mother Universe. Watermelon may have a bad rap as having high GI (glycaemic index) of 72 but because it is constructed of fibre and water, when you look at its GL (glycaemic load) of 4– you need to eat 17 croissants/weetabix to reach the same total GI (McCance and Widdowson’s Composition of Foods).

In fact, watermelon may be the perfect accompaniment to HCA rich BBQ food as it is rammed with Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, capable of mopping up some of the carcinogenic free radicals. It’s high in beta carotene, a great source of Vitamin A, essential for eyesight and preventing glaucoma.  Watermelon is high in Vitamin Bs, particularly B1 (maintains electrolytes) and B6 (converts food to energy, good for red blood cells, immune system).  The gorgeous reddy colour of watermelon means it is full of tomato famous lycopene, yet another antioxidant proven to minimize cancer risks. There is also loads of potassium (water retention, gets rid of kidney stones) and magnesium (the metabolism mineral, sleep, tension, irritability, cramps, heart attacks)

Mmmm jerk chicken vs watermelon? Fingers crossed our master butcher is leading a new trend in carnival food…

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Revolution in Thailand: the green smoothy kind

9 Jun
Jennifer Thompson green smoothy guru

Jennifer Thompson green smoothy guru

On the night before I began my fast here on Koh Samui, Thailand, I was lucky enough to bump into ‘my’ iridologist, and raw foodist, crystal healer and friend Jennifer Thompson. And as luck would have it she invited me to a free green smoothy talk she was giving that evening. Of course I accepted her very kind invitation and me and my fuchsia sunburn trundled along to her lovely beach hut to have my raw life revolutionised.

The first thing you notice about Jennifer is that she glows.  A problem if you come from Chernobyl but in this case it’s a very good thing.  She is gorgeous, vibrant and energetic and lives a raw food life in a way that I don’t think would ever fit with my hectic London schedule and weak willpower.

Six of us sit around a low table groaning with a giant pile of green leaves, exotic fruit and bananas and of course, a blender.  Nothing fancy, it’s just a slightly battered well loved, plastic blender I’ve seen in Sainsbury’s for a tenner.

First off we define what a green smoothy is.  Jennifer tells us; ‘it is not a naughty treat, it’s a healthy meal in itself.  Green as in green leaves are the only thing in nature that the sun turns into edible energy and blending them helps break them down and open up the nutrients to our bodies. ’ She also told us that ‘green leaves are not a carbohydrate like vegetables or fruit and they provide lots of essential minerals and proteins normally associated with meats.   They are a category of their own.’ 

Jennifer continued and rapidly fired off the benefits of green smoothies. Here are the top seven I managed to remember:

1. it’s an EASY way to get your nutrients (iron, calcium, magnesium, Vits K, C, E, B) for the day;
‘A smoothy is a perfect way to eat greens because we need such a big volume of them that we couldn’t get in a salad. You just add the green leaves to a fruit base such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, whatever and blend.’

2. it’s a QUICK way to get all your nutrients for the day;
‘We’re all too busy to chew.’

3.  You’ll have LOTS OF ENERGY;
‘When you start drinking green smoothies you’ll notice you’ll have a lot more energy because it is energy coming directly from the sun.’

4. It’s CHEAP;
‘Instead of coming all the to Thailand you can a three day or two week  (or whatever) green smoothy diet and fast every month.’

5. GREAT FOR BABIES;
‘Green smoothies are a great transitional food for babies because they’re delicious and easy to swallow.’

6. it’s a HEALING food; and
‘Your body can’t heal itself without the tools.  The tools are the nutrients.’

7. STOP CRAVINGS.
‘Underneath every addiction, is your body craving for nutrients.’

The one major yet superficial benefit of green smoothies that Jennifer didn’t really go into, is that you’ll lose weight.  Once you stop succumbing to the cravings, your body has the nutrients it needs to heal itself and because it will feel the love from you, you’ll shift the pounds! She also mentioned that because of the high level of fibre in the smoothy they can last up to three days so you can make them at night and eat them the next day. Oh – and they’re packed with anti-oxidants.  I’m 99% sold at this point and already visualise my new life as a green smoothy disciple.  And so we begin to blend…

For more information about the nutritional value of green leaves I found this easy to understand article on About.com.

Super Raw Disease Busting Pineapple Juices

21 Apr
Pineapple makes a Super juice

Pineapple makes a Super healthy juice

One of my raw food recipe bibles is the book Super Juice by Michael Van Straten.  And since discovering the overwhelming health benefits of pineapples, which is also one of my all time favourite fruits, I had a look at their juicing ideas.  Here are the two juices I loved the most:

PEAK PERFORMER
12 grapes (black or white)
4 x unpeeled pears
2 unpeeled apples
2 slices peeled pineapple

WHY IS THIS GOOD FOR ME?
The Peak Performer is packed with potassium, pectin, vitamin C, vitamin B, calcium, cancer fighting tannins (from the grapes), and amazing bromelain and it tastes yum.

CUCUMBER SOOTHER
3 x carrots
2 sticks celery plus leaves
1 x small pineapple
6 fresh leaves sage
2/3 cucumber

WHY IS THIS JUICE GOOD FOR ME?
It is high in beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid, the amazing bromelain as well as the little heard of thujone, an essential and healing oil found in Sage.

One more thing – according to various sources eating raw and ripe pineapple is also meant to be an excellent natural cure for tonsilitis.

Raw Valentine Smoothy

16 Feb

Make every day Valentine’s day (at least for your own body) with this raw smoothie packed with delicious and natural aphrodisiacs.

Love strawberries and strawberries will love you back

Love strawberries and strawberries will love you back

1 cup of Coconut water
1 Banana
1 cup Strawberries
1 cup of Raspberries
½ cup of grated 100% raw cacao

Blend, pour into a glass, sip and see what happens…

 

Why are these ingredients aphrodisiacs?

Bananas, the good mood food, are very high in potassium, which helps the production of sex hormones and boosts energy.  They’re also high in Vitamin B, essential for nervous system and red blood cell production.

Strawberries and raspberries are very high in vitamin C, which helps with the production of anti-stress hormones, sex hormones and neurotransmitters.    

Raw cacao is the ultimate Valentine’s booster.  It contains anandamide (a euphoric substance), arginine (a natural aphrodisiac), neurotransmitters, anti-ageing antioxidants and lots of magnesium, essential for helping the heart to pump blood efficiently, and lowering blood pressure.

Coconut water is a natural isotonic drink filled with electrolytes.  It helps circulation, keeps your energy levels up and makes sure your body is well and truly hydrated.