Published on the 19th Feb, 2014 by Azmina
I get so many requests from people wanting to eat out whilst on a gluten-free diet that I just had to check out the gluten-free offerings at Pizza Express. There were a few things that you’d expect to be gluten-free – like olives and toasted almonds. But I wanted to be sure that people who need to avoid all gluten could be guaranteed a gluten-free meal and be saved from any embarrassment when out with friends.
My pizza party included people on a gluten-free diet as well as those who were watching their weight and we ordered an array of dishes to see if they tasted as good as they sounded on the menu.
What we ordered
Our starters included huge olives, dough balls (which unfortunately weren’t gluten free) and a creamy gluten-free risotto, which was demolished in seconds by all.
Published on the 30th Jan, 2014 by Azmina
Do you ever worry that your man has become super-obsessed with healthy eating? Label-reading for fat and calories…avoiding going out to dinner…spending a lot of time planning meals? Then start looking for tell-tale signs of orthorexia. You might notice he looks paler, or is always exhausted, yet will still be disciplined with his hundred push-ups.
I’m about to go on BBC Asian Network lunch-time news programme to increase awareness of orthorexia. This condition is masked as eating healthily, but it is taking a healthy diet to extremes, and often means you cut out all processed foods and live on fruit and veg.
Published on the 14th Jan, 2014 by Azmina
January is diet month and this is National Obesity Awareness Week, so a perfect time for the British Nutrition Foundation’s symposium on popular diets. I like to make sure I am convinced by the science before I recommend any weight management system, so I couldn’t wait to hear the latest insights from key researchers on the 5:2 diet, low GI diet, high protein low carb diets, Palaeolithic diets, and more.
We know that you get significant health benefits from losing just 5% of your body weight, and that miracle diets offering speedy and massive weight loss are doomed to failure. But let’s face it, the mantra of eating a sensible varied diet is dull, and one size doesn’t fit all. So the evidence behind popular diets needs to be considered and each one is part of a toolset that dietitians can use to suit the individual; different people will require different strategies that fit with their culture and lifestyle habits.
Published on the 13th Jan, 2014 by Azmina
I’m always keen to test out healthier versions of classic recipes and was recently attracted to Good Food Good Health, the latest book by Fatima Patel. Colour photos of mouth-watering dishes are always a good selling point, but my interest lies in the traffic light coded recipes, as I believe this helps people to make healthier choices at a glance.
Being Indian, I do like my food to be, let’s say, well flavoured, and flicking through the book, I see Chicken Kofte cooked in cumin and coriander, Enchiladas spiked with cayenne pepper, and Chicken Kashmir smothered in aromatic spices like garam masala and cinnamon.
The traffic lights are easy to read and the nutrition analysis relates to 100grams of the recipe, so it’s easy to compare one recipe with another and choose the one with more green or amber lights. I think the book could be improved by adding nutrition data per portion. I believe for the recipes to be of real practical use, we need to know how many calories we’re munching through, how much saturated fat we get in one serving, and so on. Otherwise we could end up eating a dish that we think is one thing according to the nutrient info, yet the amount on your plate tells a different story.
Published on the 8th Jan, 2014 by Azmina
Despite a busy schedule, it’s important to me that I stay up to date with the latest research and the government initiatives that are set to influence people’s eating habits. It’s no wonder obesity is still high on the national agenda – 2010 data from Health and Social Care Information Centre suggests that over a quarter of us are classed as obese. We must take massive action. If we continue with the current health education programmes, we will continue to get the same results. Is the same enough? Although each of us needs to take responsibility for our actions and eating behaviour, we need to make it easier for people to make healthier choices.
Published on the 31st Dec, 2013 by Azmina
My NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) journey spans about 10 years and I commit to giving myself a training top-up every now and then to help me learn new skills. My absolute favourite trainer is Ian Ross. He is an INLPTA Master Trainer, having studied negotiation and conflict resolution at Harvard. He has over 25 years experience of applying NLP in commercial contexts.
He, with Lynne Kerry, is a Director of Vievolve and I was lucky enough to go on one of their NLP Practice Days in December. The course was about Developing Purpose, Congruence and Authenticity in a business or personal context. In English, to me, that means living your life so you are totally aligned, making business or other decisions that are congruent with your values. I was interested in this because I feel we sometimes get caught up in the rat race and don’t give ourselves time to pause and reflect on our actions and how they represent who we are.
There were many special interactions with the rest of the group and here are some of my take-outs from the day:
- Authenticity is about honesty with yourself.
- If you are 100% your authentic self, your dark parts show up too! But those not-so-good bits of you must be fulfilling a need. They must be giving you some sort of benefit, even if it’s not obvious to you. And they make up the whole you. So be aware of these.
- To discover your true purpose, identify your core values – what’s important to you? There are many techniques that help you to discover your values. One way is to write down what’s really important to you, then to put that list in some order of priority. A great exercise we did was to match that list with how you spend your time. I found that family came very high up on my list, and work and money quite low. Yet I spend much more time at work than with my family, so there is a mismatch for me. I now have the knowledge of where I am, so I can do something about it. (more…)
Published on the 29th Oct, 2013 by Azmina
I’ll be speaking at this year’s Nutrition & Health Live conference on 2 November and am busy planning the content so we ensure the session is engaging and informative. Well, of course it will be engaging when it’s about my pet subject, Social Media! The workshop is aimed at nutritionists and dietitians, especially those who haven’t yet caught the social bug, and I’ll also be chairing the Expert Panel. I’m partial to this conference as it’s a great networking opportunity and the lectures are usually very insightful (and I was lucky enough to be short-listed for Nutritionist of the Year Award 2012).
Here’s what me and my colleagues have in store for delegates this year:
I’ll kick off to spread some Twitter basics, get the group to create a tweet or two, and I’ll introduce the successful RDUK Twitter chats, which are supported by the British Dietetic Association. Then Emma Carder takes it up a notch as she discusses multiple social media interaction using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Nichola Whitehead later shares her journey on how she works and how to increase your number of followers.
The Expert Panel Discussion points will include: (more…)
Published on the 25th Aug, 2013 by Azmina
Fancy a healthy brunch or light lunch for two? Try this 5-minute wholemeal tortilla quesadilla:
1. Stir-fry diced courgettes (zucchini) with ground black pepper and spring onions (scallions), 2 minutes.
2. Heat a little olive oil, sunflower seeds and garlic in a non-stick frying pan and lay a wholemeal tortilla on top, 1 minute.
3. Spread it with light soft cheese and throw in the fried courgettes, 1 minute.
4. Place a second tortilla wrap on top, drizzle with oil and grill, 1 minute.
Published on the 9th Aug, 2013 by Azmina
This is a recovery tool for getting over Food Addiction or Binge Eating; it’s probably one of the most important tools.
Dieters tend to plan to lose weight for something in the future….the celebration, the holiday, the job interview, etc. This type of goal focuses on the future and it is this which can cause many people to relapse. The simple concept of taking things One Day At A Time is that the person trying to recover from overeating has to think about what they need to do for that day only. They do not have to project further forward than that. (more…)
Published on the 24th Jul, 2013 by Azmina
I was tempted to learn more about food addiction as I believe many people are somewhere along the spectrum of some sort of distorted relationship with food. So I enrolled on this fab course and summarise my learning here for you. There was something special about Rochelle Craig’s LinkedIn profile that attracted me to her way of thinking…