Need to give your digestion a helping hand? – recipe

Digestive Aid Juice

“This light, sweet juice is packed with super nutrients to cleanse, heal and support the digestive process. The enzymes in pineapple help break down proteins in food while the cleansing apple promotes elimination. Adding a spoonful of probiotic powder is an easy way of boosting levels of beneficial bacteria needed to process food and support optimal health.”
— Christine Bailey, nutritionist, food and health consultant and cookery teacher

Serves 1

225g / 8oz pineapple, peeled
1 apple 1 celery stalk
1tsp spirulina or wheatgrass powder
optional handful of mint leaves
1tsp probiotic powder (optional)
Ice cubes to serve

1. Juice all the ingredients then blend in the powders.
2. Serve over ice cubes.

You can find this recipe, and menu plans, in Christine Bailey’s new book The Juice Diet Book (Duncan Baird 2011). Voted one of the Top Diet Books for the New Year by Good Housekeeping.

Keep you eye out for news of Christine’s latest nutrtion workshops in our GoodnessDirect newsletter.

24 hours to win The Juice Diet book by Christine Bailey

Our friend, Christine Bailey, has been hard at work on a new book and to highlight it we’ve got a copy to give away as a prize. But you’ve got less than a day to enter…

Change your life with 'The Juice Diet'
Change your life with 'The Juice Diet'

If you’re looking to change your diet to boost your immune system or energy levels, and to help you feel great, then this book is for you (and, yes, you could lose weight too).

The Juice Diet has more than 100 juices and smoothie recipes divided into chapters for just a weekend blitz or a week-long plan, or even juicing for life. Make drinks to help attend to your beauty, energy or immunity, by delivering the right nutrients to your body in these mouthwatering recipes.

The Juice Diet offers an easy and delicious way to achieve your body’s true potential. And a free copy could be yours!

If you’d like the chance to win a copy simply email me your name and address and I’ll enter you into the prize draw. BUT, you’ve only got 24 hours to enter starting NOW, as the competition closes at 11am on Friday 28th January (UK addresses only).

Good luck! (And don’t worry, even if you don’t win, we’ve got a special offer lined up for everyone who enters.)

The author, Christine Bailey, is a qualified nutritionist, food and health consultant, chef and cookery teacher. You can find out details of her courses and workshops at

The Juice Diet by Christine Bailey is new this January, published by Duncan Baird at £10.99

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Long Life Soup

The Chinese New Year is starting next week. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are said to be the luckiest among “the twelve animals.”

The Chinese New Year is about the coming of Spring. Families gather together, houses are cleaned, new clothes are bought (I could see some people getting into that part in a big way!)

Longevity noodles are sometimes served (this gives me a great opportunity to mention Gluten-Free Noodles from Eskal) recipe below. It’s a beautiful time full of tradition and honour, ending 15 days later with the stunning Lantern Festival.

There’s lots of ways to celebrate the new year. And I’ve found a stack of recipes on the BBC site but here’s one I think they missed.

Long Life / Longevity Noodles.
Serves 5 to 6

2 litres water
1 teaspoon salt
200g dried thin noodles or spaghetti
1 litre chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce, to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water
White or black pepper, to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 spring onions, finely chopped
200g chopped cooked ham

1. Bring the salted water to a boil and parboil the noodles, using chopsticks to separate them. Rinse the noodles repeatedly in cold water and drain thoroughly. Divide the noodles equally among soup bowls.
2. Bring the broth or stock to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper. Give the cornstarch and water a quick re-stir and stir it in.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the beaten egg, pouring it slowly through the tines of a fork and stirring rapidly in one direction for about 1 minute.
4. Pour the hot broth over the noodles. Garnish with the chopped ham and spring onion.

Win a recipe book from your online shop for allergies

It’s Food Allergy & Intolerance Week (24th – 28th January)

The list of allergies is long BUT it doesn’t mean life is over!

In fact it’s just a little more adventurous: GoodnessDirect have a Special Diets section which helps you find the foods and products you need without the ingredients you need to avoid. Or if you have want to live free from chemicals then the eco-friendly/organic range of bodycare and household goods can help you.

Win this cookbook by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson
Win this cookbook by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson

AND it doesn’t stop there.  GoodnessDirect regularly put on competitions in their fortnightly newsletter, full of information about the latest Free-From foods and more.

For example, how would you like to win The Everyday Wheat-Free & Gluten-Free Cookbook? Michelle Berriedale-Johnson’s collection of 200 clear recipes could be yours. Simply send us an email with your name and address and we’ll put you in the prize draw. (Competition closes Thursday 10th February 2011, UK addresses only)

Working Towards a More Sustainable Olympics

We’re all for businesses supporting Green Action. Here’s some good news on the upcoming Olympics…

Sport and competitions have been used as a goodwill aid and alternative to bloodshed for years. Lacrosse, for example, was created by the Native Americans as an effort to cease the incessant in-fighting between the various tribes. This afforded a non-violent solution to conflicts by employing healthy competition.

Older still, are the Olympic Games. The earliest organized competitive games were seen in Greece in the 5th and 6th centuries, BC. While the ancient Greek were no strangers to battle, the spirit of the Olympics evolved into what we see today.

The Olympics also have a distinct economic, political, and environmental aspect to them that has more of an effect on the country that’s holding the games than just their final medal count. These effects can be for better or sometimes for worse.

Photo by Sarah Bourne photography

Looking back at the 2008 summer Olympics, it’s clear to see the impact the games can have on a city and on a country. At the time, Beijing was arguably considered to have the most polluted air of any capital city in the world. Obviously, this was a problem for China, being that many athletes and sponsors found the air to be unsafe for competition. This caused Beijing to take the necessary requirements to clean up their city so that the games could be held safely. Many scientists refuted claims that Beijing had in fact cleaned its air at all, but the message was made: the Olympics have the power to get cities to address their environmental concerns.

This is why its important news that companies like GE & Dow Chemical have become official sponsors of the Olympic Games through 2020. General Electric has committed their innovative solar panels and wind turbines to help provide renewable energy to the event. Dow Chemical will now be the official chemical company of the Olympics, which should help diminish the games’ environmental impacts for the next decade by reducing waste, and conserving resources.

“With our long-standing commitment to global sustainability, innovation, scientific excellence and addressing world challenges, we believe Dow is perfectly matched to the vision of the Olympic Movement.”

Andrew Liveris, CEO and chairman of Dow Chemical

This sponsorship, along with many others, shows that the influence of the Olympics is greater than just sports; it can have an effect on the environments that they take place in as well. Despite this, the environment isn’t the only thing that the Olympic Games have an impact on.

Andrew Liveris has championed recent developments scheduled to be implemented over the next decade. Such sustainable innovations include waste water reclamation, advanced solar collectors, and environmentally friendly safety equipment (check out more information on some of their technologies slated to be used in 2012)

The economy of a host city can also be affected by these types of implementations. Initiatives like the Olympic Sponsors’ Summit are hoping that the games will provide a much needed jumpstart to the struggling economy of the greater London area. Benefits the host cities enjoy range from a boost in employment and economic activity in the area, to a possible £250m in sponsorships and contracts.

The Olympic Games are a time in which the world comes together to celebrate competition at its finest. The Olympics offer a chance to showcase the host city’s environmental and economic innovations, and can significantly reduce the impact on other future events.

Daniel Fielding is a guest author from Shades of Green, a Green Technology blog. He writes on issues related to conservation, waste reduction, and cool gadgets designed to help save the planet.

Not a fad, organic milk is better for you.

It has been thought over the past couple of years that organic milk gives us richer omega 3 content, and this week it was confirmed by research results from Newcastle University.

This new  research was published by Newcastle University this week and demonstrates that organic milk contains 40%less of the unhealthy saturated fats, & contains important healthy nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help prevent heart attacks. Why should this difference exist between organic milk and the regular pinta? Well cows reared and cared for according to organic methods eat mainly grass & organic feeds, as a result it seems, their milk contains extra vitamins not present in regular milk. Over and above nutritious reasons it is hailed that organic husbandry is better for the environment and not but not least, the  cows’ welfare. Organic cows live much longer than factory farmed ones. About 5% of UK cows (non organic ones that is) never see a meadow.

Organic milk and us

Research in Holland shows that children fed organic milk are 36% less likely to develop eczema.  So if you or your children do drink milk, it may be best to reach for organic milk, available as for regular in skimmed, semi-skimmed and full fat varieties.

How to eat more than 12 portions of fruit and veg a day

Forget five, now it’s eight portions of fruit and veg a day…

reports the tabloid.

Really? I’d heard it was more like 11 portions…. It actually depends on your age, sex and exercise (this US website gives an idea), but now that everyone has realised that ‘five-a-day’ was a marketing ploy, the truth is that people often need somewhere between eight to eleven portions of fruit and veg a day.

You can see why advertisers picked ‘five’ – it’s far less scary.

How can I include 11 or more portions of fruit or veg in a daily diet?

Fruit boxes delivered by GoodnessDirect
Fruit boxes delivered by GoodnessDirect

Before I pass on some tips I’m still working out myself, bear in mind that eight portions of fresh fruit or organic veg each day can decrease chances of disease by over 20%. That’s massive!

They say that even if everyone in the UK ate just five-a-day, it would mean 15,000 less deaths from heart disease each year.

So what do I do? Below is my ideal workday diet – try writing yours out and sharing it with someone. It helps you think through what you need to do to get more fruit or veg. I know it’s not perfect (cakes and chocolate have been edited out) but it’s a step in the right direction…

08:30 I grab an apple for a small breakfast… (a daily no-added-sugar fruit juice would help here.)
10:00 Then I have a banana for a mid morning snack.
12:30 By lunchtime I’m craving carbs so I begin on my sandwiches (I prefer them with salad in them), but I like to extend my lunch with tomatoes or another soft fruit.
15:00 Ideally in the afternoon, I like dried fruit, fruit snacks or apple crisps to calm my blood sugar but I don’t always have these available.
17:00 If I’m sensible I’ve saved a favourite fruit for the journey home, a kiwi or plum. By now, if I don’t have fruits I love nearby then I’m stealing left-overs from the fridge when I get home – prunes are a winner. (It’s normally an hour till dinner so it has to be something nice – maybe I should introduce smoothies or vegetable juices?)
18:30 For dinner I actually like lots of vegetables, as long as they’re tasty. I’m quite happy to go with a little or no meat at all. Ideally I’d have a couple of types of greens, another more colourful vegetable, and beans or pulses.
18:50 Confession time – we eat a lot of puddings in my house, I try to avoid them, but regularly fail with fruit crumble – thankfully it still counts here! Sometimes I will eat fruit for dessert but I prefer a yoghurt. (I was under the illusion that a fruit yoghurt counted – unfortunately it depends on the amount of fruit in it, but I can always top them up with a sliced apple.)
22:00 By supper I’m hungry again. And yet again, if there isn’t lots of good fruit around I start nosing in the fridge, but personally I like a nice sweet pear.

So on a good day, that would make twelve or more portions of fruit or veg! But I usually fail, either because someone else is cooking or because a flatmate has done the shopping that week (we share out a lot of the tasks) it means I’ve got to ensure I buy what works for me, and shows how important it is to think it through.

It really helps to have fruit you enjoy nearby. Getting a regular fruit and veg box helps a lot, and with GoodnessDirect boxes you can specify if there’s something you don’t like (such as oranges – yuck). Or, if you live near a grocers, like my friend does, then you can always get lots of end of day bargains.

The important thing to remember is that you have to pay attention to other things that you are eating as well. Too much junk food will undo the good work you achieve – so perhaps it’s got to be one pudding a week for me?

Thank you Emma…

Just read this fabulous post from our friend Emma ‘Malificent’ May Lombaerts at Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

Big box of goodies from @goodnessdirect arrived this morning. Yay! They make being a vegan with some food intolerances a whole lot easier.

At GoodnessDirect, we like making people happy, particularly malificent ones…

World’s first organic and ambient Tofu

The good news about fresh tofu is that it tastes better than the processed, packaged, soya alternative – it is delicious, white and smooth and firm. The bad news is that it quickly goes off.

Clearspring however, have innovated the world’s first ambient organic tofu.

Organic Tofu made with Nigari
Organic Tofu made with Nigari

Although you can keep this tofu in your kitchen cupboard until you really need it, it has the ‘just made taste’ of fresh tofu. This is not due to any chemical additives or preservatives but the result of knowledge, processes and experience of its Japanese master producer.

Cut it, fry it, mash it, marinate it, boil it, tofu is a very versatile ingredient. From soups to smoothies, it can be used in savoury as well as in sweet dishes.

If you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet (or simply want to reduce your meat intake) tofu is an easy and popular source of protein. It is also low fat, lactose and gluten free.

Clearspring Organic Tofu is made with just three ingredients:
* Whole soya beans (EU certified and fully traceable)
* Spring water from Mount Fuji
* Nigari, a naturally occurring mineral rich coagulant

Made without using any soy protein isolates, artificial water-retaining coagulants, GM soy or preservatives, this unique protein rich food has the potential to change the way we view tofu in the UK.

Address to a haggis

Great chieftain o’ the puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place

There are some things we Brits do better than anyone else. We have better chocolate than anywhere else. We like marmalade spread thickly on our toast. We put vinegar on our chips and we love it!

But if there is one great staple of British society, that is envied the world over, it is our great range of puddings. They are our culinary heritage; savoury or sweet, we are famous for them. And haggis, as Rabbie Burns expounds, is a true great of the pudding class.

What you may not realise is that on Burns Night (25th January) there are countless ways to serve haggis. It really is truly versatile.

Haggis - how will you serve yours?
Haggis - how will you serve yours?

Most people know about the traditional serving of ‘neaps and tatties’, and their knowledge might extend to the Flying Scotsman recipe (simply stuff a breast of chicken with haggis, bake it wrapped in smoked bacon and serve it with a creamy alcoholic sauce).

Yet there is more… How about Haggis Balls in a Whisky and Mustard Sauce? Or Haggis Tartlets with Red Onion Marmalade?

You could go continental with a Haggis Lasange or explore your exotic side by preparing Haggis Pakora.

Then there’s also a true piece of mean cuisine: the Haggis Torta Salgada -a kind of Haggis soufflé-style pie.

So if you’re ever bored with Burns night then it’s possible you’re not being creative enough, which of course, is what Burns night is all about. Begin the evening by serving kipper pâté with oatcakes, surprise everyone in the main course with your own haggis with a difference, and build to a grand finale with a luscious cranachan dessert. Recipes can be found at Macsween’s Recipes.

The real great secret about haggis is that it’s so easy to cook. If you buy a Macsween’s haggis it’s possible for you to steam it in just 6 minutes in the microwave (their vegetarian version takes 60 seconds!) So you still get to look good in the kitchen without all the bother.

All the eloquence of Rabbie Burns and all the speed of GoodnessDirect?

owe it all… he wrote, to their gratis grace and goodness

Enjoy your Burns Night.