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Potassium in diet

 

Potassium is a mineral that your body needs to work properly. It is a type of electrolyte.

Function

Potassium is a very important mineral for the human body.

Your body needs potassium to:

  • Build proteins
  • Break down and use carbohydrates
  • Build muscle
  • Maintain normal body growth
  • Control the electrical activity of the heart
  • Control the acid-base balance

Food Sources

Many foods contain potassium. All meats (red meat and chicken) and fish such as salmon, cod, flounder, and sardines are good sources of potassium. Soy products and veggie burgers are also good sources of potassium.

Vegetables including broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes (especially their skins), sweet potatoes, and winter squash are all good sources of potassium.

Fruits that contain significant amounts of potassium include citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, prunes, and apricots. Dried apricots contain more potassium than fresh apricots.

Milk, yogurt, and nuts are also excellent sources of potassium.

People with kidney problems, especially those on dialysis, should not eat too many potassium-rich foods. The doctor or nurse will recommend a special diet.

Side Effects

Having too much or too little potassium in the body can cause serious health problems.

A low blood level of potassium is called hypokalemia. It can cause weak muscles, abnormal heart rhythms, and a slight rise in blood pressure. You may have hypokalemia if you:

  • Take diuretics (water pills) to treat high blood pressure or heart failure
  • Take too many laxatives
  • Have severe or prolonged vomiting and diarrhea
  • Have certain kidney or adrenal gland disorders

Too much potassium in the blood is known as hyperkalemia. It may cause abnormal and dangerous heart rhythms. Some common causes include:

  • Poor kidney function
  • Heart medicines called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin 2 receptor blockers (ARBs)
  • Potassium-sparing diuretics (water pills) such as spironolactone or amiloride
  • Severe infection

Recommendations

The Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine recommends these dietary intakes for potassium, based on age:

Infants

  • 0 – 6 months: 0.4 grams a day (g/day)
  • 7 – 12 months: 0.7 g/day

Children and Adolescents

  • 1 – 3 years: 3 g/day
  • 4 – 8 years: 3.8 g/day
  • 9 – 13 years: 4.5 g/day
  • 14 – 18 years: 4.7 g/day

Adults

  • Age 19 and older: 4.7 g/day

Women who are producing breast milk need slightly higher amounts (5.1 g/day). Ask your doctor what amount is best for you.

People who are being treated for hypokalemia need potassium supplements. Your health care provider will develop a supplementation plan based on your specific needs.

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I MEANT TO DO MY WORK TODAY

I meant to do my work today…
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree.
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand…
So what could I do but laugh and go?

~By Richard LeGallienne~

TREES

Trees are the kindest things I know,
They do no harm, they simply grow.
And spread a shade for sleepy cows,
And gather birds among their boughs.

They give us fruit in leaves above,
And wood to make our houses of,
And leaves to burn on Halloween,
And in the Spring new buds of green.

They are first when the day’s begun
To touch the beams of morning sun,
They are the last to hold the light
When evening changes into night.

And when a moon floats on the sky
They hum a drowsy lullaby,
Of sleepy children long ago…
Trees are the kindest things I know.

~By Harry Behn~

FEEDING THE BIRDS…

To me, the garden is a doorway to other worlds;
one of them, of course, is the world of birds.
The garden is their dinner table,
bursting with bugs and worms and succulent berries.
~by Anne Raver~

***

As Autumn aproaches,
it’s time to set up a feeding station
for our feathered friends,
so we can enjoy their company in our garden,
over the winter months.
In the garden, their are plenty of plants,
rich in berries, enticing birds into the garden,
but they will need a little extra,
to see them through the months to come.

***

Here are some festive ideas…

String whole peanuts
and dried fruit together to create a garland.

Scoop out some orange halves,
make three holes around the rim for hanging
and then tie with string/ribbon.
Fill with suet, nuts or birdseed.

Find some pinecones,
and coat with peanut butter or suet,
then roll in birdseed.
Hang on your bird-table,
or tree with string/ribbon.

***

A really good idea,
is too keep a container with a lid
in the kitchen,
to put
bread crumbs/stale bread/crusts/crackers/rolls in,
and biscuits/cookies/cake and cereals,
also apple cores can go in too.

What a feast they will have 🙂

GARDEN PATH

Let’s stroll along a garden path
And just enjoy the day
No thoughts of worries fill our minds
We’ll just wander on our way.

Forget about life’s problems
You’ll see that they will keep
Just walk with me a little ways
Nature’s blessings we will reap.

Let’s find some joy in little things
We’ll talk of nothing much
Just wander down the garden path
Sweet flowers we shall touch.

We’ll find a spot to sit awhile
And watch the clouds float by
We’ll listen to the song of birds
And sigh a pleasant sigh.

When at last the day is over
And home now we must go
Take the memory along with you
For the days you’re feeling low.

~by Charlotte Anselmo~

A LITTLE POEM…

The kiss of the sun for pardon.
The song of the bird for mirth.
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

~Author Unknown~

DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE AND WEEP

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush;
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.

~Author Unknown~

CHINESE PROVERBS…

Keep a green tree in your heart
and perhaps a singing bird will come.
~Chinese Proverb~

That the birds of worry and care
fly over your head,
this you cannot change,
but that they build nests in your hair,
this you can prevent.
~Chinese proverb~

A bird does not sing
because it has an answer;
it sings because it has a song.
~Chinese proverb~

MY MOTHER

One crisp, bright, moisty, morning,
When Spring was on the brink,
My memories started blooming,
I couldn’t help but think.

Of a woman I called Mother,
And what she’s meant to me,
Of long time that has passed,
Just what and who was she?

Did you ever see a butterfly,
Elusive and so free,
So elegant and beautiful,
A sight for all to see?

Did you ever see a sunset,
Spectacular and bright,
But fading, oh, so quickly,
Like a spurling, whirling kite?

Did you ever see the dewdrops,
Sparkling in the sun,
Just waiting to be gently touched,
But gone before it’s done?

Did you ever see a rainstorm,
Brewing in the sky,
Slowly rumbling and a tumbling,
Before your very eyes?

I know you’ve heard a songbird,
With it’s slow caressing tune,
That comforts and that soothes you,
As a warm beeze blows at noon.

All of these are memories,
Of a timid soul, I’ve known,
Who I can now appreciate,
Since I am up and grown!

~By Phyllis Cole~

 

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bin

6 Ways To Boost Your Child’s Immune System

We don’t just have to accept our child’s current state of health. We can actually take measures to boost their defenses, speed healing, and help them to gain a greater level of wellness.

Here’s how:

1. It starts with a great diet.

Children’s immune systems can take a hit if they’re constantly being bombarded with food intolerances, additives, preservatives, and sugar. When a child has a food allergy, her digestion suffers, inflammation is ramped up, which makes fending off viruses and bacteria much more difficult. It’s a similar story when a child takes in more additives and preservatives than her body can deal with.

Sugar has been shown in many clinical trials to actually suppress immunity. To keep kids well, limit their overall intake of additives, sugar, and find out which foods are allergens. Focus on plenty of fresh veggies, whole fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, and meat.

2. Maintain your child’s microbiota!

Probiotics are the friendly helpful bacteria that naturally occur in our guts. They protect our digestive tracts, help us to digest food, assist in toxin clearance, and shield us from invading bacteria and viruses. When this bacterial balance becomes disrupted in children, we can see changes in a child’s ability to fend off infections.

I recommend starting children on a probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains early on — between 5 and 20 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day depending on age.

3. Help calm their stress and anxiety.

In today’s fast-paced world, parents are overstressed, children are over-scheduled, and everyone suffers. Children’s bodies have the same response to stress that adults’ do — their cortisol and adrenaline rises. When this elevation in stress hormones is sustained, their immune systems’ response is lowered.

It’s important for children to have lots of down time, time for creative play, and simply times of rest. Busy bodies need to take a break every now and then for their immune systems to thrive.

4. Make sure they’re getting enough good sleep.

Most children are not getting the required amount of sleep. Depending on age, children need between ten and 14 hours of sleep per day. And it’s the quality of sleep that matters most. For proper secretion of melatonin (our sleep hormone), children need to sleep in the dark, without a night light. Since electromagnetic frequency has also been shown to affect sleep quality, make sure your child’s room is unplugged. Make sure all electronic devices are unplugged or better yet, just keep them in another room.

5. Remember that fever helps fight infection.

Although many parents panic at the first sign of a rise in temperature on the thermometer, it’s important to recognize that fever is only a sign of and not an illness itself. Fever is your child’s body’s response to an infection and without it, her body isn’t as effective at fighting the illness. The truth is, your child’s immune systems works better at a high temperature too, so she can get better quickly. Please note that while I do encourage fevers, it’s important to see a physician to make sure the fever is not a sign that something else is going on.

6. Supplements and herbs can work wonders.

The best supplements to boost a child’s immune system are vitamin D and zinc. The herbs elderberry and astragalus are my favorites for recurrent respiratory tract infections. For allergies, fish oil, vitamin C, and nettles work wonders. Please make sure to see your physician before starting your child on any new supplement or herb regiment

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cold_flu

cup of teaAs the weather becomes colder and we stay indoors more, people often catch colds or other viruses. The cold and flu season can begin as early as October and usually ends sometime in April. While there is no way to cure the common cold or the flu, healthy eating during cold and flu season can help you avoid getting sick.

Foods that may Boost the Immune System

Researchers are finding positive links between immune function and components in food. If you or your kids seem to get one cold after another, you’ll want to make sure they eat plenty of immune-building foods.

Garlic may boost your immune system, increasing resistance to infection and stress. To get the immune power from garlic, crush the cloves with the flat side of a knife before adding them to your food. This releases the garlic juice, which has great immune properties.

Cheese and other dairy products contain conjugated linoleic acid, a natural component of dairy fat which has boosted immune response in animal studies.

Yogurt and other cultured milk products contain probiotics, beneficial bacterial with immune-boosting benefits. Look for the “live active culture” seal, which indicates that probiotics have been added. Also check milk product labels for vitamin D. Early research suggests low levels of vitamin D may be linked to a seasonal increase in colds and flu and a higher incidence of respiratory infections.

Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and juices, may also help the body’s immune system.

Zinc, found in meat, chicken, peanuts and peanut butter, plays an important role in the proper functioning of the immune system in the body

Foods that Heal

Fresh ginger root can help you when you are sick by inducing sweating and decreasing nausea and diarrhea. Make ginger tea by grating one ounce of fresh ginger in a pint of water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add lemon and honey to taste.

Chicken soup and warm beverages increase the flow of nasal secretions, helping alleviate cold symptoms. Of course, the taste and wonderful aroma of chicken soup may be an important part of the beneficial effects.

Healthy eating during cold and flu season means getting the daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals by eating a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from all food groups.

Keeping the Germs Away

The most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands. A common way to catch a cold is by rubbing your nose or eyes, so to protect against infection wash your hands frequently.

Your hands pick up germs from other people or from contaminated surfaces and hand washing prevents you from infecting yourself with the germs. Use warm water, soap and wash for several minutes for best results.

Other good health practices are not sharing cups, or silverware and cleaning high-contact items, such as doorknobs, faucets and telephones, with soap and water.

 

Boost Your Immune System

Even when your hands are clean, staying healthy means more than simply avoiding germs. Healthy bodies have an easier time fighting off infection. To stay healthy and boost your immune system:

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Decrease stress
  • Cut back on unhealthy habits, such as smoking and over consuming alcohol

Studies have shown that a session of moderate physical activity produces positive effects on the immune system. Over time, this means catching fewer colds and other upper respiratory tract infections.

Feeling Better

For most of us getting sick is a part of life. If you do catch a cold or the flu, the following advice still holds true.

To feel better while you are sick:

  • Drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest
  • Use a humidifier – to moisten mucus membranes
  • Add immune-boosting foods to your shopping list this flu season.

When you are sick, stay home so you don’t infect others. If you do go out and need to sneeze or cough, use a tissue or sneeze or cough into your sleeve or upper arm. Don’t do it into your hand, since you can spread the virus to others by touching people or handling objects that others may use.

This information is not a substitute for a physician’s advice or your own good judgment. If you are feeling truly awful, your symptoms worsen or last a long time it is always wise to contact a physician.

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Turning 50 is a huge milestone. For many people, this signifies a new chapter in their life. Maybe your child is now grown and out of the house. Perhaps you’re noticing some new physical changes to your body. Chances are, you will feel different once you reach this significant birthday. Fortunately, many of those changes can be positive. Turning 50 means that you have a lot of life experience. You know what you like and what you don’t like. Use your wisdom to help you become even more amazing and fit when you’re 50 and older.

Getting Physical

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    1

    Join a gym. When you’re over 50, it becomes more important to ease into new physical activities. Your body simply can’t handle abrupt changes and extreme activities in the way that it used to. Joining a gym is a great way to start a new exercise program because you’ll have access to a network of professionals. Look for a gym that offers a free personal training session and health consultation for new members.[1]

    • Many gyms have group exercise classes that are specially programmed for older patrons. Trying a group class is a great way to get in shape and make some new friends.
     

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    2

    Try a new activity. It’s very common to become stuck in an exercise rut. If you are already in good shape, chances are that you have found a method you like and have stuck with it throughout your adult life. But as your body changes, you should consider changing your routine, too. Trying a new form of exercise is a great way to gently challenge your body and get some amazing health benefits.[2][3]

    • Consider trying yoga. Many older people suffer from stiff joints, reduced flexibility, increased body fat, sore muscles, and many other physical ailments.[4] Yoga is great for easing physical tension, and also has amazing mental benefits, too. Try looking for a yoga studio that offers gentle or introductory classes, or senior classes. Those levels will help you to ease into your practice.[5]
     
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    3

    Head outdoors. The health benefits that you get from physical exercise are increasingly important as you age. It becomes even more important to keep your heart healthy. Finding a workout routine that you will stick to is half the battle. You need regular activity in order to see the benefits. Research shows that women over 50 who exercise outdoors are more likely to exercise regularly.[6]

    • Outdoor exercise can be very enjoyable, which is probably why it is easier to commit to. Try finding a walking trail in a picturesque spot near your home. A hike is a great way to get a workout and to get some fresh air.
    • Swimming is a great exercise for you as you get older. It is effective, but very gentle on aging joints. Look for a nearby park that has a community pool.
     
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    4

    Get a workout buddy. There are many benefits to finding a friend to join you during your workouts. Having a partner can help keep you accountable. For example, if you make a plan to exercise with someone, you are less likely to cancel than if you are only disappointing yourself.[7]

    • A workout buddy can help keep you motivated. If you see that they are getting results, it can challenge you to work harder.
    • Try looking for local workout groups online. For instance, many cities have groups you can join that take hikes, go golfing, play tennis, etc.
     
  5. Take a walk. Walking is one of the best ways to both get in shape and stay in shape. It is affordable and everyone can do it, no matter where you live. Walking is low impact, but keeps your heart healthy and your muscles limber. This is especially important as you get a little older.[8]

    • Walking is also great because it doesn’t require any fancy equipment. Try getting a simple pedometer to keep track of your steps. If you like technology, you can also download an app on your smartphone. Try to get 10,000 steps per day. View it as a challenge!
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      5

Eating Right

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    1

    Keep a food journal. Your diet is increasingly important as you get older. As you age, you are increasingly at risk for health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Watching your diet can help lower those risks. When you’re trying to eat right, it is helpful to keep a record of what you are eating. Many of us don’t realize how many empty calories we consume. Try keeping a food journal for a few weeks to get an accurate sense of your eating habits.[9]

    • Keeping a food diary can help you identify areas where you need to make changes. This can help you visually see where you need to add more nutrients.[10]
    • There are many great diet and food tracking apps available to download onto your smartphone.
     
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    2

    Eat whole foods. As you age, your metabolism slows down. It becomes increasingly important to eat the right foods so that you don’t gain weight and can decrease your risk of having health issues. Try to eat a balanced diet that includes mostly foods that are not processed and do not have a lot of preservatives. Whole foods include more nutrients than packaged foods.[11]

    • Eat plenty of berries and leafy greens. These foods contain essential nutrients and also aid in healthy digestion.
    • Emphasize fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products in your diet.[12]
    • Limit sugar, sodium, red meat, and alcohol.[13]
    • Make sure that your diet includes beans. This inexpensive food is a great source of protein and also helps regulate your blood sugar.
     
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    3

    Stay hydrated. When you’re getting older, it becomes more important to pay attention to your heart health. Older adults are much more likely to suffer heart-related health problems. Drinking plenty of water is very important for your heart health, as it helps your heart effectively pump the blood through your body.[14]

    • The amount of water that you need to drink varies and is based on several factors, such as how much you perspire and how hot your climate is. In general, you should try to drink at least nine 8-oz. servings of water each day — more if you’re active or in a warm climate that causes you to sweat.
    • You may find that you lose some of your sense of thirst as you age — don’t wait until you feel thirsty to have a drink. Make sure you are drinking liquids throughout the day, like water, soup, milk, and juice.[15]
     
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    4

    Use supplements. As you age, your body’s needs change. In order to maintain your health, it becomes increasingly important to make sure that you are getting the required amounts of key nutrients. If you’re not already, consider adding supplements to your daily routine.[16]

    • Before taking any supplements or vitamins, it is essential that you speak with your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications. Vitamins and supplements can react with certain medications, and it is possible to take too much of a vitamin, leading to toxicity and adverse health effects.[17]
    • Try a multivitamin that is specially formulated for people over 50. Ask your doctor for suggestions.
    • B-12 is one of the most important vitamins as you get older. It supports healthy blood cells, and also affects your energy levels. Many older adults suffer from a B-12 deficiency, so make sure you’re getting enough. This nutrient is found in fish, but you can also buy supplements at your drugstore..
    • Some vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, are fat-soluble, meaning you don’t eliminate excess through your urine; they stay in your body, stored in your fat, which can lead to toxicity. Excess levels of vitamin E can increase risk of hemorrhaging, and too much vitamin K can reduce or reverse the effect of blood thinners.[18]
     
  3. Ask your doctor for tips. Your general physician is your best resource for health care tips. Your doctor is familiar with your physical health, and can therefore tailor advice to meet your specific needs. As you get older, it is important that you see your doctor regularly. Even if you feel great, you should get a checkup at least once a year.[19]

    • Ask a lot of questions. Don’t be afraid to use your doctor as a resource for many things. You can ask for a recommended exercise plan and tips on how to eat better.
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Method 3

Getting Your Mind in Shape

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    1

    Do puzzles. Being amazing and fit means keeping your mind sharp, not just your body. As you age, you might notice yourself becoming a little more forgetful. The older you get, the more important it is to actively work your mind. Doing puzzles is a great way to exercise your brain.[20]

    • Brain teasers and word games are also excellent ways to train your brain. Try doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Download games onto your smartphone or tablet.
    • Play chess, bridge, or other challenging board or card games.
     
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    2

    Read more. As you age, your cognitive speed slows down. Research shows that reading more can actually slow the mental aging process. Reading enhances your memory and increases your attention span. So grab a book, newspaper, or magazine and start reading![21]

    • Try joining a book club. Your local bookshop or neighborhood library likely has a variety of groups you can join. Turn reading into a new social experience and meet new people.
     
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    3

    Learn something new. The act of learning is a great way to keep your mind sharp as you age. Continuing your education, learning new skills or pursuing a new hobby may help maintain individual brain cells and fortify your memory.[22]

    • Many people suggest trying to learn a new language, but you don’t have to make it that complicated. Instead, try learning a new vocabulary word each day. To help, get a word of the day calendar or download an app to your phone.[23]
    • You can also try learning a new skill. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to knit. Teaching yourself a new hobby is a great way to keep your mind young.
     
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    4

    Socialize more. There are great benefits that come with socializing. Not only is it enjoyable, but it is good for your health. People who socialize regularly tend to have lower blood pressure and a decreased risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.[24]

    • Try scheduling regular activities with your friends. For example, create a dinner club that meets once a month. You can get together with friends and try new recipes or restaurants.
    • Interact with your friends and family during your regular activities. For example, take your grandchild to the grocery store with you, or invite your neighbor to go on a walk. There are many ways to get more socialization into your day.
    • If you are looking to meet new people, try going to classes at a yoga studio and striking up conversations with other people who are looking to better themselves. Book clubs, religious meetings, and gyms are also great places to meet other people and socialize.

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Worried you have a gluten-intolerance? Already living with coeliac disease? If you’re gluten-free these top tips from Coeliac UK will help make the everyday a little easier…

Top 10 tips for a gluten-free diet

Coeliac disease is a lifelong, serious autoimmune disease caused by the immune system reacting to gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The only treatment for the condition is a strict gluten-free diet for life.

For those newly diagnosed with the condition, the prospect of a strict gluten-free diet may seem daunting at first; but armed with the right knowledge, the gluten-free diet can be relatively easy to adapt to. Here are Coeliac UK’s top 10 tips for everyday eating…

 

check labels

1. Get used to reading food labels when you shop.

All packaged food in the UK and the EU is covered by a law on allergen labelling, meaning you can tell whether or not a product is suitable for a gluten-free diet by reading the ingredients list. If a cereal containing gluten has been used as an ingredient in the product, it must be listed in the ingredients list (no matter how little is used).

The specific grain will be listed, so look out for mentions of wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, Kamut® or any other grain which has been made through breeding these together as these all contain gluten. Often, these ingredients will be highlighted in bold.

 

substitutes

2. Use gluten-free substitutes in place of gluten-containing foods

Pasta, bread and crackers all contain gluten, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy these foods in your diet.  Instead, switch to gluten-free alternatives of your favourite foods, which you will find in most supermarkets and health food stores. Gluten-free substitute foods include pasta, bread, crackers, bread rolls, cereals and more. Those medically diagnosed with coeliac disease can receive some gluten-free staple food on prescription from the NHS.

 

naturally gluten-free

3. Remember lots of foods are naturally gluten-free

Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, cheese and eggs are naturally gluten-free, so use these as the basis to your meals.

 

Quinoa

4. Enjoy naturally gluten-free grains and cereals. 

The gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that all grains and cereals are off the menu. Quinoa, teff, amaranth, polenta, buckwheat, corn, millet and tapioca are just some of the naturally gluten-free grains which can be included in the diet. Just check the labels to make sure you are using uncontaminated versions. Try swapping traditional breadcrumbs for polenta crumbs, opt for gluten-free buckwheat or rice noodles and pasta and try baking with quinoa for gluten-free alternatives.

 

 

5. Know which alcohol to avoidalcohol

Gluten-free alcohol includes cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs, but remember that beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free beers are available in some supermarkets and restaurants, but make sure you only drink those that are labelled in this way.  

 

restaurant

6. Remember you can still enjoy meals out with family and friends

Being on a gluten-free diet doesn’t mean that you can’t eat out – check out Coeliac UK’s online venue guide to see where you can eat out gluten-free.

 

 

7. Be aware of cross contaminationCross contamination

Even a tiny bit of gluten can be enough to cause symptoms for someone with coeliac disease, so make sure you minimise the risk of cross contamination with gluten-containing foods.  Do this by washing down kitchen surfaces before use, using separate butters, spreads and jams to minimise the spread of crumbs and  invest in some toaster bags to keep your gluten-free bread separate.

 

 

Gravy8. Avoid sauces containing gluten

Lots of pasta sauces, gravies, stocks and condiments contain wheat flour, and therefore gluten, so ensure you read the label and exclude anything that isn’t suitable. Instead, try making your own pasta sauces and gravies using cornflour, arrowroot or potato starch to thicken them for a gluten-free option.

 

 

9. Experiment in the kitchenflour

Finding the right gluten-free substitute for your usual gluten-containing ingredients is a matter of personal taste, so spend time in the kitchen getting used to gluten-free flours and baking aids.

 

 

Coeliac10. Remember, gluten-free meals can be just as delicious and healthy too

Once diagnosed with coeliac disease, you can start to make positive changes to your diet to improve your health. Join Coeliac UK for support to help you adjust, which includes a Food and Drink Directory listing products to help you get started in the kitchen.

 

Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, yet only 10 to 15% of those with the condition have received a diagnosis. Coeliac UK is the national charity for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and offers help, advice and support.

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murtha_full1

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own more than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
It’s YOU

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
Don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree
I don’t need to hang my stocking there upon the fireplace
Santa Claus won’t make me happy with a toy on Christmas day

I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is you
Yooou baby

I won’t ask for much this Christmas
I won’t even wish for snow
I’m just gonna keep on waiting underneath the mistletoe
I won’t make a list and sent it to the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won’t even stay awake to hear those magic reindeer’s click

Cause I just want you here tonight

Holding onto me so tight
What more can I do? ?
All I want for Christmas is you
Yooou baby

Oh! All the lights are shining so brightly everywhere (so brightly baby)
And the sound of children’s laughter fills the air
And everyone is singing
I hear those sleigh bells ringing
Santa won’t you bring me the one I really need
Won’t you please bring my baby to me? oooh

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
This is all I’m asking for
I just wanna see my baby standing right outside my door
I just want you for my own more than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
Baby all I want for Christmas is you
Yooou baby

All I want for Christmas is you baby
You’re all I want
You’re all I need
Christmas day baby you and me

You’re all I want
You’re all I need
Christmas Day baby you and me

WHAT DO YOU WONT ?

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We all love eating chocolate and now there’s even more reason for it to put a smile on our face.

Increasing evidence suggests that our once guilty pleasure can actually have health benefits, which is just as well, considering the average Brit scoffs a whopping 196g – the equivalent of six Cadbury’s Flakes – every week.

One theory why we love chocolate so much is that a brain-active chemical called phenylethylamine in cocoa allegedly stimulates the same reaction that we experience when we’re falling in love.

Another is that we crave it in an unconscious bid to top up magnesium – a mineral that helps bolster against stress – but the evidence is thin on the ground.

“There’s actually little evidence that chocolate is truly addictive in any physical sense,” says registered dietician Elphee Medici.

“It’s more likely the uniquely seductive combination of aroma, sweetness and texture, and the fact we associate it with pleasure and reward that makes us love it so much.”

In other words, it tastes great and can do us some good too, as long as you choose the right types and don’t go too mad (most health experts recommend that we stick to about 30g of chocolate a day, or six small squares).

In celebration of National Chocolate Week (8-14 October), here are 10 reasons to tuck in:

1 It may help lower blood pressure

Flavanols found in cocoa beans aid production of nitric oxide, which stimulates blood vessels to dilate.

One analysis of 850 mainly healthy participants found that flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products had a small but statistically significant effect in lowering blood pressure in the short term.

Processing can lower flavonol content, so for best effect try a traditional cocoa drink made with “non-alkalised” beans (£3.50 for 125g from http://www.chocacao.co.uk)

2 It might help to keep you smart

A nice mug of cocoa might also help an ageing brain, a recent study in the journal Hypertension found. Elderly participants who received high flavonol chocolate drinks had improved mental performance after eight weeks.

3 It doesn’t give you spots after all

“This is a myth”, says Elphee.

“No one food that can cause acne, though there is some evidence that an unhealthy diet in general – high in refined carbohydrates, low in fruit and vegetables – may be a factor.”

Interestingly, both dark and milk chocolate have a relatively low glycaemic index, having a more favourable effect on blood sugar and insulin – and, potentially, your skin – than other sweet foods like sugary drinks or marshmallows.

4 It could help protect against heart attacks and strokes

Chocolate is high in saturated fat, but the particular type – stearic acid – predominant in cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol like other saturates.

Research at Cambridge University found that people consuming the most chocolate had a 37% lower risk of heart disease and a 29% lower risk of stroke than those who consumed less chocolate.

However, this “high” intake only amounted to 63g a week, and study author Dr Oscar Franco, urges: “Chocolate may be beneficial, but it should be eaten in a moderate way, not in large quantities and not in binges.”

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scan

  • First credible study of effect of violent gaming on brain
  • Test group of 22 young men showed ‘clear’ differences in MRI scans after one week of gaming
  • Areas effected seem to be those that control cognitive function and emotional control

Games such as Assassin’s Creed feature a huge amount of physical violence – and MRI scans demonstrate that playing such games DOES have an effect on the brain

Violent video games and other computer entertainment have long been criticised for damaging youngsters’ brain.

But activists such as Oxford Professor Baroness Greenfield have often presented little science to back up their allegations.

However, extensive research into the subject has now provided worrying results that support her claims.

‘Screen technologies cause high arousal which in turn activates the brain system’s underlying addiction,’ the neurologist said last month in an attack that accused games of causing ‘dementia’ in children.

‘This results in the attraction of yet more screen-based activity.’

And now the first genuinely scientific attempt to analyse the emotive subject has thrown up astonishing results that suggest she is right.

Differences in brain activity between young men who played violent games and ones who didn’t were visible in a randomly assigned sample in just one week.

A presentation at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America told how fMRI scans were used to analyse the effects of playing violent videogames on brain activity.

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKE A COMMENT TELL US YOUR STORY ?

 

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party

Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve are right round the corner, and you want to lose a bit of weight to make sure you’ll look your best! By following our easy, stress-free diet plan devised especially for you

you can lose 3-4lbs in just 7 days, or if you have more time, 9lbs in three weeks.

What is it?
A straightforward diet based on 1,250 calories a day, using high-fibre foods to make you feel fuller for longer and have plenty of energy. The recipes are easy and most can be made in minutes. If you slip up one day, don’t beat yourself up… just get back on track as soon as you can.

How does it work?
The 1,250 calories a day are enough to lose 3-4lbs in the first week and a steady 2-3lbs a week after that. Because we’ve chosen foods with plenty of bulk or with a reduced Glycaemic Index (GI), which release sugar slowly, you’ll feel full longer and won’t want to snack.

Who is the Shape-Up For Christmas Diet good for?
Anyone who wants a fuss-free way to lose a few pounds in the run-up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It was devised with Christmas parties in mind, but it’s a great way to lose a few pounds sensibly for any special occasion.. or just because you want to.

How to do it

It’s simplicity itself. For each week (one to three weeks, depending on how near your special occasion is) just choose one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner and one snack from those listed per day. Vegetarian options are marked with a V. Vegetarians should choose cheese made with non-animal rennet and yogurts which don’t contain gelatine. They should be marked suitable for vegetarians.
Drink at least 6-8 glasses of fluid a day, ideally water, but tea, coffee, herbal tea, diet drinks and squashes are OK too.
You should also have 275ml (9fl oz) skimmed milk in tea and coffee or to drink (this is on top of any milk in the meal and snack suggestions).
If you are still hungry, ‘free’ foods you can eat at any time are any type of raw, boiled or steamed veg (excluding potatoes and sweet potatoes) a green leaf salad dressed with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, a bowl of fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries) or fresh melon.
Check you’re getting your 5 a day. Most of the meal combinations should ensure this, but if not, add in extra fruit or veg from the free food selection above. A portion is 2-3 tablespoons of veg or a bowl of salad
Try to choose one oily fish meal (salmon or sardines) a week. It’s rich in heart-healthy omega-3s.

Breakfasts
Choose from:
One sachet of Oatso Simple porridge made up with skimmed milk. A small banana. V
1 slice of granary toast with a 200g can baked beans. V
McDonalds Egg McMuffin (not the sausage or bacon options)
Bowl (40g) of All Bran with 125ml (just over 4fl oz) skimmed milk. An apple. V
1 x 125ml low fat natural bio yogurt topped with two tablespoons of muesli and a handful of blueberries. V
Bowl (30g) of Kashi Honey wholegrain cereal with 125ml (just over 4fl
oz) skimmed milk, 1 handful of sultanas or any other dried fruit. V
1 Jordans Apple and Sultana Multigrain Bar & 250ml bottle Innocent
Blackberries & Blueberries (or Mangoes and Passion fruits) smoothie.
V
1 slice of soya and linseed bread (e.g. Vogels or Burgen) toasted,
spread thinly with low fat spread and Marmite. 1 x 175g Shape Solo
yogurt. V
1 slice of wholemeal toast spread with 1tsp low-fat spread. Serve with 1
grilled rasher of lean back bacon, two tbsp baked beans, 1 grilled
tomato and 4 grilled medium-sized mushrooms.
3 tbsp unsweetened fruit and nut muesli with 125ml (just over 4fl oz)
skimmed milk. V

Lunches
Choose from:
Bagel filled with reduced-fat cream cheese. Serve with a salad of
tinned sweetcorn, red kidney beans and cooked green beans. A 100g pot of
virtually fat-free fruit-flavoured fromage frais. V
2 taco shells filled with green leaves, tomato and peppers, 3 tbsp
canned beans and a matchbox-size lump of Cheddar cheese, grated.
Nectarine. V
Half a small can of sardines in tomato sauce on two pieces of wholemeal
toast. Handful of grapes.
1 wholemeal pitta filled with cold skinless chicken, watercress and 2
tsp low-fat mayonnaise.
Half a 600g carton New Covent Garden Carrot & Coriander soup &
1tbsp Kraft Philadelphia Light, spread between 3 cream crackers. Top
with sliced tomato. V
One 250g pack John West Tuna Light Lunch Tomato Salsa and 125g pot
Sveltesse flavoured yogurt.
Sandwich made with two slices of medium-sliced mutigrain bread spread
thinly with low fat spread and filled with lots of salad plus any of the
fillings below (follow with a piece of fruit such as an apple or pear):

Prawns
Reduced-fat cheese. V
Reduced fat hummus. V
Wafer-thin ham
Skinless chicken
Tuna in brine
A medium baked potato with any of the toppings below (follow with a piece of fruit like an apple or pear):
3tbsp baked beans. V
Handful of wafer-thin ham and two tbsp tinned pineapple chunks (in juice)
Half a can of ratatouille. V
Small pot of cottage cheese with chives, mixed with a grated carrot and chopped tomato. V

Dinners
Choose from:
Broccoli and Pine Nut Pasta, Boil 100g pasta and add 125g broccoli 5
mins before the end of the cooking time. Drain and toss in 3tsp toasted
pine nuts and 8 halved cherry tomatoes plus a tsp of olive oil. Toss
well and serve immediately. Bowl of raspberries. V
Small roast chicken breast (no skin), 2 small oil-brushed roast
potatoes (or boiled) , carrots and cauliflower. Gravy made with gravy
granules. Scoop of sorbet.
220g pack Dolmio Express Microwave Fusilli with 170g pack Dolmio Tomato
and Basil Microwave sauce. Serve with salad leaves. V
Half a 270g Pizza Express margarita pizza with salad. Plus a bowl of fresh fruit salad. V
One 100g (4oz) grilled salmon fillet, served with a small jacket potato
and green vegetables. One scoop of sorbet.
Grilled fresh sardines. Crush one clove of garlic, rub into the inner
and outer surfaces of four gutted sardines. Grill until just cooked
through. Serve with one boiled sweet potato, broccoli, and wedges of
lemon. Half a 420g tin of Del Monte Fruit Cocktail in Juice.
150g (raw weight) lean rump steak grilled and served with 100g (4oz)
cooked oven chips; two tbsp each of mushrooms and onions ‘fried’ in
spray oil.
Vegetable Sweet and Sour Stir-fry. Stir-fry two large handfuls of
chopped vegetables such as onions, peppers, baby sweetcorn and mushrooms
in a tbsp of rapeseed oil. Add 3 tbsp drained pineapple chunks in
juice, half a can of canned tomatoes, squirt of tomato purée, plus white
wine vinegar and honey to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer until the
sauce has thickened. V
Prawn Kebab. Thread 150g raw king prawns onto 2 kebabs interspersed
with chopped pepper, mushroom and red onion. Spray with a little spray
oil and sprinkle with black pepper or a little mild chilli powder and
grill until cooked through (grey prawns turn pink). Follow with a Gu 50g
Cheeky Chocolate dessert.

Snacks
Choose from:
7 roasted salted or hickory smoked almonds. V
1 pot of Muller Light Cherry yogurt
2 medium apples. V
3 slices of mango (fresh or tinned and drained) with 2 slices of fat-removed Parma ham
80g pack Boots Shapers Carrot Crunchies, one apple and a handful of grapes. V
3 teaspoons of peanut butter with carrot sticks. V
4 small squares of high quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids. V
50g pack Weight Watchers cheese spread & spring onion dipper
100g prawns with one tbsp low-fat thousand island dressing
Small handful of peanuts and raisins. V

Ready meals aren’t out of bounds. For an evening meal choose one
with less than 400 calories and add lots of undressed vegetables or
salad.
A bought lunch-time sandwich or salad should have no more than 300
calories. Eat with a couple of satsumas.
You can swap your daily snack for 1 x 150ml (1/4 pt) glass of red or
white wine, or two small gin and tonics (each made with 25ml (1fl oz)
gin and diet tonic)

 

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LET’S FEED THE BIRD’S

Attracting-birds
Blue tits and great tits on feeder
There is nothing better than spending a crisp winter morning enjoying birds hopping on and off your bird camera feeder or watching birds attracting their mates to your camera bird box. It can give you hours of pleasure and can become very addictive, especially when you see them playfully flitting around feeding, chirping all in your very own garden.

Problem over recent times.
It is widely stated that many natural habitats have diminished due to the cleaning up of gardens and reducing the main ecological attractors like space, water, food, and shelter. Sadly, also some of our native birds have diminished too. But, don’t despair, there is a lot you can do.

Tips on how to attract birds
Attracting birds can very easy to do and don’t have to take much time, effort of money. By doing so, you will help your local birds as well a give you a lot of pleasure. Here are a few tips on how to help attract and keep birds visiting your garden.Tip 1: Think of space for attracting birds to your garden.
What do we mean by space? Not that dark stuff in the sky, but giving your birds the right habitat to thrive in. The more inviting you make it, the more the birds will come and more enjoyment you will have. Most gardens may be restrictive in size, but you can think horizontally as well as vertically, covering the following:

  • Plant bird attractive native trees for perches and cover and shade for all birds ie: birch, hawhorn, ash etc.
  • Plant bird ornamental native trees that give a valuable food source ie Crab apples, cherries etc.
  • Plant a hedgerow around your garden to allow birds to nest and feed in ie privit, roses, hawthorn.
Plants-attracting-birds
Perfect bird habitat
  • Plant wall and fence creepers to create a good place to hide and feed from.
  • Have a little lawn. This is ideal for encouraging larger birds to feed on worms.
  • Plant native plants of all sizes and diversities to encourage insects to stay which is vital for feeding of wild birds. Think aso of plants that yield berries, seed and fruit.
  • Leave parts of the garden to be wild (Great I know). This will allow cover and shade for insects and feeding birds. Also, try and retain some dead headed plants for feed through autumn/winter months. (I know, any excuse to leave it)

By having cover, you can place your wildlife camera in several hidden locations.

Tip 2: Think of water for attracting birds to your garden.
All birds need to drink regularly. They often have to fly for many meters or miles for a good drink to re-hydrate them and keep their feathers in good condition. Try to:

  • Create a bird bath with varied depth for various sized birds. Throw in some rocks for them to perch on.
  • Place bird bath near cover, so they can hop onto branches easily. But not too close that cats can leave out of the hedgerow.
  • Try to have moving water. Birds seem to be attracted to moving water.
  • Try to keep water clean and ice free. They will reward you by visiting all the time.

Why not try placing your wildlife camera near a bird bath to see how they drink and bathe all year round.

Attracting-great-tit-birdbath
Great tit loving the water
Bird-feeder-for-attracting-birds
Watch birds feed
Tip 3: Think of food for attracting birds to your garden.
Food is very important and can also be a great way to enjoy them too. Most birds eat most types of nuts, seeds, fats and fruit. However, here are a few tips for you to try:

  • Keep your feeder near to cover if you can. Not to close that cats or squirrels get near.
  • Try to keep all feeding stations off the ground. Although, putting a bit of feed on the ground to attract ground feeding birds. But, keep an eye out for any potential predators feeding too.
  • Keep feeding stations clean and free from disease. Pour over some boiling water now and again to clean off.
  • Don’t put feeding stations to near nest boxes as the noise may affect any occupants.
  • Feeders are perfect, try different feeds for different types of birds. Some prefer seeds, fruit and fat.
  • Experiment with various feed to attract different types of birds. Try sunflower hearts, millet seeds, varied seed mixes as well as fat products and live feed too.

Use a bird camera kit to place into your bird table. Alternatively, watch birds enjoy themselves on a camera feeder. It will give you hours of pleasure.

Tip 4: Think of shelter for attracting birds to your garden.

Along with space, shelter is very important to welcome birds to your garden. Bird boxes or nest boxes encourage birds to mate and stay within the garden. Evidence shows that many birds generations stay in the local area year on year. By having a nest box, you are giving a chance to increase numbers and with a camera nest box, you can enjoy them too. Try these tips:

  • If space allows, try placing nest boxes with different sized holes for different birds.
  • Don’t put boxes to close to each other. Some birds are territorial and therefore can affect occupancy if to close.
  • Don’t place your nest box in too exposed areas facing the worse of the weather, or in direct sun.
  • Try to position your boxes near quieter parts of the garden. Too many birds or too much noise can affect their occupancy.
  • Clean your nest box once a year to help occupancy. Autumn is a good time for this. In fact, it you are only legally allowed to empty a box during Oct/Jan (UK Countryside Act 1981)
  • Position box 1.5-5m above the ground safe from predators
  • Make sure box is dry and has ventilation holes. Our nest boxes are larger than average boxes allowing plenty of room for a variety of birds.

Try a bird camera nest box. You will not only be able to give your birds a habitat but you can enjoy them too.

attracting-birds-bird-box
Don’t forget your nest box

Finally
We hope these tips help you get the best out of your garden and attract and help increase our native bird numbers. Please let us know if there are any other good tips to add.

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