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Hey there! Most of you probably know me from my Instagram account

FOODNATIC

For those who don’t…

My name is Sarah and I am a BSc Nutrition & Food Consumer Science graduate, who also is a massive Foodie! I am here to share Recipes for Health. This involves a collection of food recipes, nutrition advice and mental wellbeing tips, allowing you to reach your best possible health. Health is not just physical; optimal mental health is also crucial for a successful life. This is why I not only share recipes and nutrition knowledge, but I also share ways on how to take care of your mental health. You will find as well my own personal foodie reviews and travel experiences which will give you ideas of foods to try and places to visit!

Why did I start FOODNATIC?

I created FOODNATIC to share quick and easy meals which are both nutritious and tasty. Even though I absolutely adore cooking and experimenting in the kitchen; eating out and trying out different restaurants, cafés and food markets, is what gets me truly excited. Especially when this involves travelling far, which is one of my biggest passions! And the best part is posting pictures after and sharing my experience with you. I also love helping people with nutrition advice and sharing my views on upcoming health trends and nutrition ‘fads’. I want to help people achieve a positive state of mind, as this has something I have struggled with in the past and carry on fighting towards today. I will always remind my readers that not everything you see on TV or social media is true, so you shouldn’t let society’s standards define you – LOVE YOURSELF! A positive outlook on yourself and life, will get you very far.

I thought a blog would be the perfect way to share more detailed posts and talk about many more topics and experiences which I would love to discuss and share with you all.

Click on the tabs at the top of the page

To find my recipes, nutrition advice, mental wellbeing tips, foodie reviews and travel experiences.



I hope you enjoy my blog!

Sarah – xx

RECIPE – Veggie “Lamb” Kebabs

Here is another vegetarian alternative to one of my all time favourites: lamb kebabs. A really simple recipe. I used Meatless Farm mince and a few spices to make these delicious Veggie “Lamb” Kebabs.

Ingredients

  • 400g Meatless Farm mince
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • Skewers

Recipe

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Once all the mince and spices are combined separate into 6 masses – if they aren’t combining add 1 egg yolk
  3. Roll the masses into sausage-like shapes, making sure they are thick enough to not collapse
  4. Pierce each sausage with a skewer
  5. Brush each sausage with olive oil
  6. Cook on BBQ or grill for around 10 mins
  7. Serve with roasted vegetables, couscous, salad and hummus (optional)

Done!

Check out my previous meat-alternative recipe using Meatless Farm mince where I made Veggie Indian Burgers, served with naan bread, mango chutney, paneer cheese and raita.

Sarah – X

For more recipes and daily Foodieness follow my Instagram page, Foodnatic__

NUTRITION – Probiotics & Prebiotics

I thought I would follow on from the last post on Gut Health and explain more about Probiotics and Prebiotics. As we said, Probiotics and Prebiotics help form a healthy gut with a positive microbiota balance. But what are they? 

Best Probiotics For Skin & A Healthy Gut | Goop
What Are They?

Probiotics are the actual live microorganisms themselves, which lead to this positive health benefit. Prebiotics on the other hand, are a type of fibre or oligosaccharide which are used as a substrate by the probiotics to lead to this positive health benefit. They are “eaten” by the microorganisms and release a series of compounds after digestion which are good for your health. 

Where Are They Found?

Probiotics are in fermented foods and drinks such as kombucha, yogurt and kefir. Some prebiotics are found naturally in foods including wheat, chicory, bananas, onion, leek, artichoke, asparagus & garlic. However, most commonly you will find prebiotics supplemented into foods and drinks. Both probiotics and prebiotics can also be found in capsule or powder form at any health store. 

Buy Probiotic + Prebiotic Capsules from £19 Online – Misfits Health
Why Are They Good?

As we said in the last post these not only help maintain a healthy gut, but also lead to positive health in other parts of the body including bones and the brain!

Summary

Article Links

Here are some articles which I found very useful when doing my research on Probiotics and Prebiotics

Guidelines For The Evaluation of Probiotics in Food – FAO and WHO

The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic

The Role of Functional Foods, Nutraceuticals, and Food Supplements in Intestinal Health

Expert consensus document: The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) consensus statement on the definition and scope of prebiotics

Distant Site Effects of Ingested Prebiotics

Prebiotics in Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Follow me on Instagram for a new Nutrition fact every Friday with my #NutritionFactFriday

RECIPE – Veggie Indian Burgers

I kindly got gifted some Meatless Farm goodies the other week to make up some yummy veggie recipes. I decided to use the Meatless Farm Mince to make my own veggie burgers with an Indian Cuisine inspired twist.

A naan bread, topped with a dollop of mango chutney, spinach leaves, a curry spiced patty, grilled paneer cheese and some homemade raita. And all completely vegetarian!

SERVES 4

Ingredients

For Curry Patty:

  • 400g Meatless Farm mince
  • 1 tbsp curry powder plus extra for frying onions
  • 1 tbsp mint
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 garlic clove

For Raita:

  • 250g Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cucumber, diced
  • 2 tsps mint
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion

Other Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsps rapeseed oil for frying
  • 4 mini naan breads
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 4 tbsps mango chutney
  • 1 block of paneer cheese
  • 1 bag of sweet potato fries (if not homemade)
  • 1 bunch of vine tomatoes

Recipe

  1. Fry 1/2 diced onion and 1 sliced garlic clove in 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil. Coat with 2 tsps of curry powder and fry for 5 mins.
  2. Once the onions and garlic have cooled, add to a bowl and mix gently into 400g Meatless Farm mince. Add 1 tbsp curry powder and 1 tbsp mint and mix into mince mixture.
  3. Slowly mix in 1 egg yolk to bind the mixture.
  4. Line a tray with parchment paper. Form 4 burger like shapes and place onto lined tray. Keep refrigerated for 1 hour to set the burgers.
  5. Preheat the oven for sweet potato fries to be cooked while frying the burgers, following packet instructions.
  6. Once the burgers have set, heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil in a frying pan or grill and fry burgers for 10 – 15 mins, turning occasionally.
  7. In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp rapeseed oil. Slice the paneer cheese and fry in pan for 5 – 10 mins or until browned, turning occasionally.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the sweet potato fries. Mine indicated 20 mins, so I put mine in the oven 5 mins before starting to cook the burgers.
  9. Roast the vine tomatoes for 15 – 20 mins in the oven during this time as well.
  10. Prepare the raita by mixing together all the raita ingredients.
  11. Heat 4 mini naan breads and place on plates, followed by 1 tbsp of mango chutney and some spinach leaves on each.
  12. Then, place the curry patties on top, with a dollop of raita.
  13. Serve with the sweet potato fries and the roasted vine tomatoes.

Summary With Pictures

Done!

I hope you enjoy this vegetarian, modern Indian dish!

Sarah – X

For more recipes and daily Foodieness follow my Instagram page, Foodnatic__

NUTRITION – Why is Gut Health Important?

Are artificial sweeteners bad for your gut bacteria?

The gut is a vital organ so it is no surprise that gut health is very important! The gut is composed of different species of bacteria known as the gut microbiota. Each area of the gut; the small intestine, the stomach and the large intestine, has different numbers and different species of bacteria, some good and some not so good. A healthy gut means having the right balance of these “good bacteria” & “bad bacteria”.

So why is gut health important? The health of the gut is linked to a number of diseases, which aren’t only found in the gut. Gut health is also related to bone health, obesity, autism, mental health and many more. The composition of the gut has a major role to play in these and affects their risk of development.

Can Your Stomach Shrink If You Eat Less? Stomach Shrinking Explained

How can we look after our gut? Probiotics and prebiotics help the gut drive towards a positive balance. I will explain these further in another post.

Summary

Article Links

Here are some links to articles you may find interesting.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-analysis

Diversity analysis of gut microbiota in osteoporosis and osteopenia patients

Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight

Follow me on Instagram for a new Nutrition fact every Friday with my #NutritionFactFriday

NUTRITION – Are Carbs the Enemy?

Simple answer is NO! The rise of low carb diets are making people fear carbs. However, there is in fact no reason to fear carbs and these restrictive diets do not work. Restrictive diets are unhealthy, both physically and mentally.

Carbs should not be excluded from our diet. Carb-rich foods are an important source of many minerals and vitamins. Wholegrain carb-rich foods such as wholegrain bread and pasta are a valuable source of fibre. This fibre has been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, aka “Bad Cholesterol”. This means these foods are good for the heart.

Meals with around 50% carb-rich foods keep you fuller for longer compared to other meals. This will help decrease later hunger and cravings.

So NO, carbs are not the enemy. No foods should be excluded from our diet, including carbs. Make sure to include around 50% carbs in your meals and aim for wholegrain carbs to get that extra fibre.

Summary

Article Links

Here are some article links on whole grain and low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates and their effects on health.

Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies

Whole grain intake and cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis

Long-term effects of low glycemic index/load vs. high glycemic index/load diets on parameters of obesity and obesity-associated risks: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Follow me on Instagram for a new Nutrition fact every Friday with my #NutritionFactFriday

NUTRITION – How to Ensure Balanced “Healthy” Meals

I’ve received a lot of questions about what we should be eating to be healthy. There is no magical diet that will make everyone loose fat or gain muscle and there is no superfood that will make you healthy. It is all about balance.

So, what should we be eating? First of all, there is no such thing as healthy or unhealthy foods so make sure you aren’t cutting out any foods of your diet (other than allergens). All foods are good because they fuel our body. However, some are more or less effective at doing this so we have to find the right balance. 

A lot of people struggle with knowing how to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need into one meal. An effective way of doing this is following this guide: 50% Carbs, 30% Protein, 20% Fat and Vegetables in every meal. This varies per person, depending on their availability of different foods or certain fitness goals.

Other factors we have to take into account is the type of Carbs, Protein and Fat we are eating. Aim for Wholegrain and Lower GI Carbs which are high in fibre and keep you fuller for longer. Limit meat and eat 2 portions of fish per week, including 1 oily. Aim for unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado and nuts instead of saturated fats. And finally the classic 5 a day or more!

A healthy, balanced diet - British Nutrition Foundation

Another big question is how to get portions sizes right? I will cover this another day.

Summary

Article Links

Here are some article links for more information on the Eatwell Guide and on how to get a balanced diet.

The Eatwell Guide

Eat well – NHS

Find your balance – get portion wise! – BNF

Follow me on Instagram for a new Nutrition fact every Friday with my #NutritionFactFriday

NUTRITION – Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Did you know that over 60% of our body is water, with most organs being around 70-80% water!? This means that in order for these organs to work they need water. And where do they get this water from? The water that WE DRINK!

How drinking more water may help you lose weight | WW USA

We recommend 8 big glasses of water a day, which equates to 2 litres of water. This can easily be done by having a glass of water with your breakfast, lunch and dinner and 2-3 glasses in between each meal. If you don’t like water, try tea, squash, or flavoured water! Fruit juices are high in water however they are also very high in sugar, therefore are not recommended.

Even though the weather is a bit more gloomy this week, the past few weeks have been very warm in the UK. Warm days like these mean we need more water, as we sweat more. Exercise also requires more water for the same reason! If this is the case, make sure you are drinking at least 2 litres of water per day, if not more!

Everyone has different requirements so just remember to drink when you are thirsty, even if you have already had 8 glasses today.

Summary

Article Links

Here are some articles for more information on water, drinks and health.

Water, drinks and your health – NHS

Six to eight glasses of water ‘still best’ – NHS

Follow me on Instagram for a new Nutrition fact every Friday with my #NutritionFactFriday

RECIPE – 10 Minute Lamb Tagine

Wondering what to do with that Sunday Roast leftover lamb? Why not try my Lamb Tagine? A warming and feel-good dish, made in 10 minutes.

I like my Tagine drier than your typical Tagine, so I use Passata sauce which has a thicker consistency than tinned chopped tomatoes. However, if you like a wetter dish I recommend tinned chopped tomatoes.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

  • Couscous.
  • Leftover Chopped Lamb.
  • 350g Passata Sauce.
  • 1 Onion.
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic.
  • 1 Can of Chickpeas.
  • 1 Handful of Sultanas.
  • 1 Handful of Almonds.
  • 1 tbsp Ras el Hanout Seasoning.
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cayenne Pepper.
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper.
  • 1/2 tsp Salt.
  • 1 tbsp Coriander.

Recipe

  1. Chop the onion and garlic and fry in pan till softened.
  2. Cook the chickpeas in the microwave and add to pan.
  3. Add Ras el Hanout and cayenne and let the onions absorb the seasoning for a few minutes.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, along with the sultanas, almonds and leftover chopped lamb. 
  5. Add the black pepper, salt and coriander and leave to simmer.
  6. Meanwhile prepare your couscous by mixing it with boiling water in a bowl.
  7. Once ready, plate up the couscous and add the Tagine on top. Finish off with an extra sprinkle of coriander.

I hope you enjoy!

Sarah – x

NUTRITION – Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an increasingly popular fat used for frying, baking and added to drinks. This is mainly because it has been associated with several health benefits. However, is it as healthy as it seems?

Coconut oil is one of the highest sources of saturated fat, aka “unhealthy fat”. Saturated fat has been associated with a number of diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), and we therefore advise saturated fat intake to be less than 10% of our total daily energy intake.

Reducing saturated fat lowers blood cholesterol and risk of CVD ...

“Reducing saturated fat lowers total blood cholesterol and cuts the risk of heart disease. Our advice remains that saturated fats should be reduced to no more than about 10% of dietary energy”.

Professor Paul Haggarty, SACN

Coconut oil is also high in Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which have been linked to weight loss. However, most evidence is from animal studies and there is not strong evidence of MCTs and weight loss in human studies. MCTs come in different forms. One type is Lauric Acid, which causes the highest increase in LDL Cholesterol, aka “Bad Cholesterol”. Lauric Acid is the most abundant form found in coconut oil, therefore the high levels of MCTs found in coconut oil may not be as effective as they seem.

So is coconut oil as healthy as it seems? Coconut oil is high in saturated fat and its health benefits are not conclusive. However, it is a tasty food which works wonders in bakes and for frying! Therefore, coconut oil may be included in your diet but in moderation.

Summary

Article Links

Here are some articles for more information on Coconut Oil and Lauric Acid.

The Properties of Lauric Acid and Their Significance in Coconut Oil

Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Comparison of effects of lauric acid and palmitic acid on plasma lipids and lipoproteins

Follow me on Instagram for a new Nutrition fact every Friday with my #NutritionFactFriday

RECIPE – Vegan Biscoff Brownies

Who doesn’t love brownies? Seeing as brownies are a favourite for most and Biscoff cakes are the latest trend in the baking world, I thought I would make some Biscoff Brownies. I made mine vegan so they are suitable for a larger number of you.

I followed Sweetest Menu’s recipe for vegan brownies and added a Biscoffy twist.

Ingredients

  • 140 g plain flour
  • 20 g cocoa powder
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 80 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g vegan chocolate (>70% cocoa)
  • 250 ml almond milk
  • 75 g dark chocolate chips or 75 g dark chocolate chopped up
  • 2 tbsps Biscoff spread
  • 5 Biscoff biscuits
Brownie Mixture Ready to Bake!

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 180C conventional /160C fan.
  2. Add to a mixing bowl 140 g flour, 20 g cocoa powder, 200 g caster sugar and mix well.
  3. Add 80 ml vegetable oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract. 
  4. Heat 200g dark chocolate pieces in microwave for 2 mins or till melted.
  5. Add melted chocolate to mixture along with 240ml almond milk and mix well.
  6. Add 75g dark chocolate chips OR place dark chocolate pieces into a bag and bash until small chips form and add to chocolate mixture. Mix gently.
  7. In a separate bowl, add 2 tbsps of Biscoff spread and heat in microwave for 1 min or until melted.
  8. Line a 8 inch baking tin with parchment paper and add chocolate mixture.
  9. Add spoonfuls of melted Biscoff on top and swirl in patterns with knife.
  10. Decorate with chopped Biscoff biscuits. 
  11. Bake for 25-30 mins (skewer should come out clean). 
  12. Leave to cool, then cut into even squares and serve!

A step by step video of how to make these amazing treats is available on my Tiktok.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Love,

Sarah – xx