Home Grown Food

Regrow Your Lettuce

For this experiment you will need:
A stump of lettuce
A bowl
A little water.

Pour some water in the bowl then place the lettuce stump in the bowl. Make sure the water does not cover the lettuce, if it does tip some water out.
Change the water each day and watch the leaves grow.

Things to think about with this experiment:

How long do you think it will take to start growing?
Do you think it will grow to the same size as the original lettuce
How many days was there clear growth?

Why not try growing some other vegetables using the some method. These listed below can be started in water, but should be transplanted to dirt for full growth and harvest.

Avocado
Basil
Beets
Ginger
Cilantro
Mint
Mushrooms
Onions
Parsnips
Pineapple
Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes
Turnips
Why not try some others as well!

What’s in season this July?

Firstly what does ‘in season’ really mean? Well, basically it refers to a time in the year when a certain food (fruit or veg in this case) is at its peak in terms of harvest and flavour. 

Now, you may wonder, what’s the point? There are many benefits to the consumer, locality and wider environment if we aim to eat produce which is in season.

1.Quality of flavour is usually much better

2. There are less air miles,  freight or general travel time and storage

3. travel and storage may lead to damage of produce, reduce nutritive value and quicker spoilage which can lead to increased food waste

4. Buying in season means you support local producers

5. You get variety of produce all year round (more potential for delicious recipes!)

This July why not try and buy what is in season and notice a difference in the quality, taste and enjoyment you get from a fruit or vegetable. If you’re really keen try to grow your own and feel the pride of cooking VERY local produce for friends and family.

What is in season this July? Take a look at the LONG list below, I think you’ll be surprised!

 

Strawberries

Raspberries

Blackberries

Asparagus

Beetroot

Aubergine

Tomatoes

Peppers

Cabbage

Mangetout

Mushrooms

Carrots

Peas

Potatoes

Cauliflower

Rhubarb

Turnip 

Courgette

Cucumber

Shallots

Celery

Broccoli

Runner Beans

Spinach

 

Time to check out the Good4U recipe page to rustle up delicious dishes with some fresh seasonal fruit and veg!

 

Tips For Travelling With Kids

Travelling with kids? Avoid the tantrums and become an expert by preparing yourself with these essential tips!

 

1.Give yourself TIME!

Travelling with kids can mean unexpected tantrums and toilet stops, among other things. The single most important piece of advice we can give you is to allow plenty of time to deal with the unexpected and get there stress free!

 

2.Bring Supplies 

Long journeys are no time to be worrying about your kid’s screen time- if you have a tablet/phone with some games or videos that will keep them entertained make sure you bring it. Trust us, you will be glad to have Peppa at your disposal near the end of a long boring journey. A new colouring book or travel game can also be a great distraction for tired children. 

 

3. Don’t bring the kitchen sink.

Although it’s tempting to pack everything you own in an attempt to be prepared for every possible scenario, remember that almost everything can be bought on your holiday. If you are carrying small children you don’t want to be laden down with excessively heavy luggage.

 

4.Have a plan – but don’t over do it.

You want to keep the little ones entertained, but you don’t want your trip to be regimented. Be prepared by making a list of possible activities for all kinds of weather before you go and then when you get there you can go with the flow and decide what you would like to do each day.

 

5. Sustenance is key- bring lots of snacks

Travelling whether by plane, train or car, with young children, snacks are non- negotiable. Stock up on healthy treats that  are low in added sugar to keep them fuller for longer without resulting in any sugar fuelled hyperactivity in the airport. You may also want to bring extra in case the local cuisine isn’t going to fly with your fussy tot.

 

6. Keep calm and enjoy it!

You are on your holidays after all! Prepare for as many situations as you can and don’t worry about the rest. If your child chooses the worst possible time to scream the place down, you will get through that too. Just stay calm, grab an ice cream and appreciate the quality family time while you can.

 

 

Feeding your skin, hair and nails

Let’s face it (excuse the pun!) we all would love flawless skin and hair and beautiful natural nails but we can’t have it all!

People spend a lot of cash dollar bills on lotions and potions to improve their beauty but do we address one of the most fundamental aspects of beauty? Our diets? The power of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can give your hair and skin a more radiant, healthy and youthful glow. Let’s discuss what kind of vitamins and minerals we can include in our diets to boost beauty from within.

 

Key nutrients for skin

Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps to create collagen in skin. Aim to consume plenty of fruit and vegetables to top up on this super skin vitamin.

Selenium helps in keeping skin firm and protects collagen. It can be found in foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and can help fight against skin ageing and wrinkles. Include almonds, sunflower seeds and spinach in your diet to ensure you get adequate amounts of vitamin E.

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, nuts and seeds and these are necessary for skin repair and flexibility.

Vitamin A helps to repair skin and prevent skin dryness and can be found in oily fish, cheese, butter, egg, peppers and carrots.

Zinc in beans, nuts, wholegrains and spinach protects the skin from UV rays.

Of course, one of the key things we can do is protect ourselves from the sun by seeking shade where possible, covering our skin and wearing sunscreen.

 

Key nutrients for hair

Iron and zinc help hair to grow. We have already spoken about zinc but iron is present mainly in red meat and spinach (zinc as above).

Protein is needed for growth and repair of hair cells and for strength. Top up on meat, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts and seeds to get your fill.

Eat oily fish and top up on omega 3 fatty acids help to hydrate hair.

Biotin is a B vitamin which helps hair to grow. Root veg, liver, meat, egg yolk, wholegrains and nuts are all good sources of biotin.

 

Key nutrients for nails:

Save your pennies and do a DIY natural nail manicure.. from within! Eating the correct nutrients will ensure your nails stay strong, shiny and absolutely fabulous!

Calcium and Vitamin A play a role in preventing nails becoming dry, brittle and weak. Stock up on dairy foods and green leafy veg for your calcium and incorporate some of the foods mention above to get enough Vitamin A.

Other important nutrients for nail health include iron and zinc to prevent those white spots that often appear on nails, protein to keep nails strong, biotin for strength and folic acid to prevent reddish-brown spots on nails.

This may seem like a long list of nutrients and you might think you’ll never possibly eat of them but do not fear – a well balanced diet will ensure you get these nutrients!

Apple Cider Vinegar – Does It Live Up To The Hype?

Everywhere we look now it seems that apple cider vinegar is the modern cure for all ailments! You’d nearly believe at this stage that if could sprinkle some on your exam paper you’d come out with 100%- it’s apparently that amazing! Really though, did we all just jump on a band wagon full of apple cider vinegar? How many of these so-called health benefits are true?!

Blood glucose levels: research has shown that ACV can reduce blood glucose initially after you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal BUT it doesn’t stop glucose being absorbed.. it just delays it. Therefore, it may be beneficial for people suffering from diabetes but an overall healthy balanced diet and exercise should do the job!

Weight loss: Everyone is looking for a miracle weight loss cure. Well, I’m afraid that there is little research on the benefits of ACV for promotion of weight loss. Some studies suggest it may promote satiety and led participants to consuming approx 200kcal less during the day. But, this may be just due to a delay in gastric emptying or by the nausea experienced by some people who consume ACV. Hmmm.. ok.

Teeth whitening: It’s a form of acid people?! Research does not support people using it as a teeth whitener and frankly, neither do I. It can cause damage to enamel and overall dental health if used in excess. Just brush twice daily and reduced the amount of sugar you consume and your teeth will benefit friends.

Cardiovascular disease: Many studies which look at the effect of vinegar consumption on cardiovascular disease have been carried out on rats and some show reduced blood pressure, triglycerides and total cholesterol but there is a lack of evidence in relation to humans so proceed with caution on this one.

Digestion: ACV may help to break down food as it is added to the stomach acid. However, it can be harmful to people who suffer with digestive or stomach problems (particularly stomach ulcers).

We must remember that apple cider vinegar is highly acidic so if you are going to use it then ask your GP just to rule out any health issues which may be underlying and try to dilute it down with water. Many of the studies in relation to ACV have been carried out in small sample sizes with varying results. More controlled studies with larger sample sizes are needed before we clear the shelves of ACV. Read the label and find out the facts before use.

Fabulous Fish- Why you should be eating more of it!

Fish is oh so healthy, not to mention DELICIOUS! It’s super versatile and so easy to cook. Fish is an extremely healthy food, particularly oily fish and can be paired with such a huge range of foods to create a beautifully balanced meal. Here’s just some of the health benefits associated with eating some fish.

Fish is a great source of protein. Protein is needed in the body for growth and repair of body cells. White fish also contains little or no fat, so combine this with the protein content and it’s an excellent choice for people who are on a weight – reduction programme. On top of this protein is satiating which means it can help us feel fuller for longer. 

Fish is also a great source of many vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, vitamin D, iodine, potassium, calcium and selenium. Maintaining a wide variety of all of these nutrients ensure we have adequate energy, repair and growth of body cells and creation of hormones for all bodily functions. 

Oily fish contains omega 3 fatty acids which are necessary for brain health and play a role in prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Consumption of omega fatty acids has also been associated with a reduction in triglycerides which can in turn, reduce cardiovascular risk.

Increased consumption of fish has been associated with many health benefits such as a reduction in overweight and obesity, better bone health and can aid in cognitive development.

Fish can be baked, grilled, pan-fried, poached.. the list goes on! It only takes a short time to cook and can be incorporated into dishes for all of the family. Products such as tinned fish and smoked fish make it easy and quick to consume fish on the go and for children.

Check out our recipe page for inspiration!

Should you eat before a workout?

Achieving your fitness goals can be hard and sometimes even knowing if you should eat or WHAT to eat before a workout can be difficult! No one wants a stitch half way through a run but we don’t want to be starving either. Let’s chat a little bit about what to snack on before a workout.

Not eating something before a workout isn’t something I recommend however it may just suit some people particularly if they are early risers and get that gym session in at 6am!  For others it can leave them feeling dizzy, nauseated and tired. It can also affect our performance as our muscles need that energy to work to their best ability.

Carbohydrates provide energy in our bodies and our muscles store carbohydrate in the form of glycogen for times when we need it. Eating carbohydrates before training can allow us to use this energy in the form of glucose to fuel our workout. It also saves the glycogen stored in our muscles for other times we may need it. It’s a good idea to eat a bit of protein before training too as it allows repair and building of muscle cells which are damaged when we workout.

Make sure to drink water!! Water is essential for any type of training. Sip on it before and during your workout for optimal performance.

Examples of carb and protein snacks to have before a workout:

  • some fruit and unsalted mixed nuts or seeds
  • a slice of wholegrain toast and peanut butter
  • low-sugar oatmeal bar/granola bar
  • dried fruit and Greek yoghurt
  • chicken/turkey/pitta on wholegrain crackers
  • scrambled/boiled eggs on wholegrain toast
  • milk
  • apple/pear and nut butter

Ideally we should be eating a pre-workout snack about an hour before a workout but this may not work for some people and that is FINE! Find what works for YOU and GET MOVING!

Don’t forget our Good4U snacks are great sources of pre-workout carbohydrates and have that extra protein boost to keep us going! Grab a snack NOW! 

5 things you didn’t know about one of the healthiest foods on the planet

Good4U Superfood Burger

Sprouted seeds! They are one of the one of the healthiest foods on the planet – seriously, Google it.

 

Here are the 5 top reasons that Good4U Sprouted Seeds (aka Salad Toppers) are simply, naturally amazing! 

1.They are backed to the brim with nutrients such as protein, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, magnesium, folate, powerful antioxidants and enzymes (to name a few!). However, what is really special is that these nutrients are often elevated in sprouted seeds compared with unsprouted foods.

2.Our Super Sprouts have cancer-fighting properties! Yep – that’s right. We have evidence which was carried out by a professor in Ulster University which shows that regularly eating our Super Sprout Salad Toppers can protect against DNA damage and associated cancer risk! STOCK UP QUICK!!

3.Sprouts are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Combine with another plant-protein source like grains and you have a meal which contains all of the necessary amino acids. Plus, they are seriously tasty, affordable AND sustainable!

4.They are a living food which have undergone extremely minimal processing and retain so much value in terms of nutrition so we receive all of these beneficial nutrients in an easily digestible form. 

5.Our sprouts are extremely versatile and ready-to-eat! Try them in a salad, stir-fry, soup, on crackers with hummus or cheese, in a sandwich, wrap or simply on their own!

Let us know how you like to eat your sprouts and check out our recipe page for inspiration! #Don’tForgetTheTopper

Good4U Super Slaw

Understanding Coeliac Disease

If a product is marketing itself as ‘gluten free’ it has been produced to suit people who suffer from coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune disease which is estimated to affect 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 people in various parts of the world. It is not a food allergy or intolerance. If a person with coeliac disease consumes gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, their small intestine becomes inflamed and damaged and is unable to absorb other nutrients from food.  This can cause a person to develop other health issues, such as osteoporosis and poor immunity if undiagnosed. 

Gluten can be found in foods and drinks such as bread, cakes, pizza and beer and in processed foods like gravy, soups and sauces, chocolate and sweets. So yeah, all the stuff that tastes great! Symptoms include bloating, flatulence, IBS, chronic fatigue and diarrhoea. This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms and if you are concerned you should consult your GP and/or a registered Dietitian.

Non coeliac gluten sensitivity (that’s a bit of mouthful) may also occur in some individuals who experience some of the symptoms described above when gluten is consumed but the difference here is that no damage to the lining of the gut occurs.

Some people choose gluten free options when shopping or eating out as they believe it is a healthier option as opposed to regular bread, wraps, cakes etc. If a person is not suffering from coeliac disease or non coeliac gluten sensitivity there is no evidence to suggest that this is a healthier food choice.

If you do suffer from coeliac disease or non coeliac gluten sensitivity check out our wide range of Good4U snacks which are all natural and all gluten free.  Not to mention unbelievably tasty! 

 

 

Top Tips For Workplace Wellness

Energy Balls Work

Why encourage workplace wellness?

 

It might sound too good to be true, but embracing wellbeing initiatives makes for a happier and healthier work life! It will create balance and encouraging people to get up from their desks once in a while helps them to come back refreshed and ready to focus on work.

 

Easy ways to encourage workplace wellness: 

 

Exercise : Research has shown that devoting work time to exercise can lead to higher productivity. 

 

Walk or bike to work – If you live nearby why not leave the car at home a few mornings each week. If your commute is too long try parking around a mile from the office and walking a little each day.

 

Yoga classes – Yoga works wonders for your mind and your body! Give it a try and see if you can get fitter and reduce your stress levels.

 

Walking meetings – Head outside or walk around the building. Doing work while outside can be a very enjoyable experience and can increase creativity.

 

Discounts for the local gym – this is great for employees who might not usually consider the gym. If the discount is for a specific local gym it also encourages people to socialise outside of work, while working out.

 

Healthy Snacks- ditch the biscuits with your morning coffee and take it in turns with your co workers to provide healthy snacks. Nutrition plays a huge role in wellness, having something healthy to eat will help you to say no to snacks with high added sugar or fat content.

 

Photo of Women Walking Down the Street