Veggi Wash lets you wash away E coli

In the current scare over E coli it’s good to remind people to wash their fruit and veg.

However, in 2006 scientists reported that washing with water is not always good enough, especially with crinkled vegetables like lettuce or spinach. The best way, they say, is to use radiation on the food.

The next best treatment is to use a liquid disinfectant, but most people don’t like the idea of using chemicals like chlorine on their food.

Veggi Wash offers an alternative.It is made from edible fruit compounds but is powerful enough to wipe E coli off the surface of a cucumber. The formula has been tested by a number of leading laboratories.

Use more than water to wash away E-coli
Use more than water to wash away E-coli

It is not yet fully known if cucumbers are the exact source of the E coli outbreak, or even if the bacteria could be on the surface or inside the vegetable, Organic cucumbers were never the cause of E coli, but it’s helpful to remind readers of the importance of washing any remnant of chemical pesticide, micro organisms, wax, detritus or mould off their fruit and veg.

Basic hygiene won’t deal with contamination if it is inside the produce, but it is good to use common sense precautions to lessen the chances of possible poisoning.

Make sure that you…

  • Handle fresh goods with care so that they don’t bruise (bruises allow bacteria to grow)
  • Wash in cold water – remember it’s far better to soak fruit and veg in a Veggi Wash solution (even if it’s food that you intend to peel)
  • Dry off excess water
  • Keep produce in the fridge  if it is supposed to remain cool
  • Don’t eat fruit and veg that looks as if it is going bad
  • Practice basic hygiene

Win an eye-opening guide to maintaining your diet

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. It’s definitely true with the book ‘Carbs & Cals & Protein & Fat’.

It’s a book with over 1,400 photographs of popular food and drink items, and it clearly shows the amount of carbohydrate, calories, protein and fat in each photo.

If you want to know how much fat is in that much lasagna or the carbs in a quiche lorraine, the book has an immediate answer. It’s an essential aid to healthy eating and weight control, especially if, like most of us, you find calorie counting impossible.

I was deeply impressed by this book. It takes out the guesswork and time spent weighing food by showing you the calorie content in each food photograph, that helps me make choices about whether I should have a smaller portion or choose a healthier snack.

This book which is worth attention.

Carbs & Cals & Protein & Fat was written by diabetes dietitian, Chris Cheyette and photographer Yello Balolia and is on sale for £14.99 from Amazon. For more information visit www.carbsandcals.com

However, you could win a copy by entering our prize draw. Simply send me an email with your name and address (make sure it has CarbsandCals in the subject line). (The competition closes on Thursday 2nd June – UK based entrants only.)

Win a water filter jug

Isn’t it funny how when you move to a new area you can always notice the difference in the taste of the water?

But it’s just water isn’t it? Well, we all know about the difference between hard water (great mineral taste but it furs up your kettle) and soft water (clean look and taste, saves money because the washing machine works better, but it’s difficult to rinse soap suds off)

Brita water filters are definitely on the soft water side – which means it will taste cleaner and produce a higher quality cup of tea or coffee. It’s even said that steaming food with purer water increases the food’s nutritional value.

If you’re interested in the benefits of a water filter I’ve got a Brita Marella water jug to give away. All you need to do is email me and I’ll enter you into a prize draw (make sure it has ‘Brita’ in the subject line). (The competition closes on Thursday 2nd June – UK based entrants only.)

Richly coloured fruits can reduce blood pressure

Who’d object to some more blueberries or strawberries? Now, you may have good reason to eat them.

Richly coloured fruits contain flavanoids which help to prevent high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, of course, is bad and can lead to heart attacks or strokes, and also kidney and eye problems. It tends to be more of a problem as we get older, but is best prevented when we are young.

Diet is the new wonder drug when it comes to high blood pressure. It is worth consulting your doctor about changing your diet if you want to reduce your blood pressure.

But studies which focussed on the eating of bright coloured fruit, particularly with a type of flavanoid called anthocyanins, showed that people under 60 could reduce their risk of high blood pressure by 12%. Other flavanoids: apigenin, catechin, and epicatechin (found in parsley and green tea) also reduced blood pressure for some people.

So, enjoy more blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries, by adding them to your cereal or dessert, and your body will thank you for it. And keep eating lots of colours throughout the day.

Guaranteed fun with organic Kiddies Pizza (by What On Earth)

What better way to introduce organic food to kids than with organic pizza? And what a way to discover healthy eating!

Now, personally, I think children know quality food when they taste it. So do expect these pizzas to be gobbled up in no time. They’re made by the marvelous and ever-popular What On Earthorganic food kitchen and they come in packs of 6 in a useful recyclable box.

Kid's organic pizza - got to be fun
Kid's organic pizza - got to be fun

There’s no preservatives, just fresh tasting organic ingredients and clever names… Try Fun-Guy for a vegetarian cheese and mushroom, or Maggie & Rita for cheese and tomato, the Oinker is a special organic ham and cheese recipe.

And, if you really want to have fun with your kids and organic food then you can pick up What On Earth’s pizza bases and passata and help them make their own!There’s plenty more special organic ingredients at GoodnessDirect.

Remember, research is showing organic food contains higher levels of vitamins minerals and antioxidants, plus you’re not getting additives or pesticides, just peace of mind when it comes to looking after our earth.

IBS symptoms could well be relieved by exercise.

A study found that something as simple as a daily walk can significantly reduce IBS discomfort for some people.

Advice to “exercise more” is not easily received when you’re not feeling well; however, it has been repeatedly observed that practices which reduce stress are beneficial to IBS sufferers.

In this case, daily exercise tests reduced the severity of symptoms and resulted in an improvement in sleep, energy, emotional health and physical/social tasks.

A comparative group who did no exercise over 12 weeks saw their symptoms get worse.

Exercise may reduce IBS symptoms
Exercise may reduce IBS symptoms

So the message is clear: You may believe you can’t exercise because you feel poorly. But tell yourself, “I will exercise, so I don’t feely poorly.”

IBS can be diarrhea dominant, constipation dominant, or a mixture of the two, but exercise was found to be helpful regardless of personal symptoms.

Obviously, it’s best not to exercise too strenuously to begin with; at first it might be best to simply walk 20 minutes each day. Just remember that you’ll be increasing comfort by reducing IBS symptoms. (And make sure you plan to exercise where there’s a public convenience nearby.)

Other tips for IBS are to find the right fibre: high-fibre foods such as linseed, rye, brown rice, porridge, barley, and vegetables, or bulk-forming laxatives like psyllium husk may well help you to balance out your life. You can get ‘essential fibre’ gluten-free pasta and biscuits from Orgran now.

Probiotics and Grapefruit Seed Extract (citricidal) have also been noted to be helpful.

Stir Fry Sauces – with traditional ingredients

When I was a student (back in the 90s) I survived on stir fry. They are really cheap: A cabbage, a carrot and some reduced price bean sprouts would cost just pennies.

It’s really easy to be quick and creative with stir fries too. I usually dashed on a bit of soy sauce, sprinkled a little Chinese 5-spice, added some left overs, maybe a bit of meat, some noodles – and you had yourself a pukka meal (or perhaps I should say ‘gung ho’? ‘Pukka’ being an Indian word).

Now, at GoodnessDirect, we’re stocking over 20 of Blue Dragon’s cooking sauces, pastes, and stir fry spice bags (they call them Stir Fry Shots). That’s in addition to Blue Dragon’s noodles, coconut milk, rice vinegar, lemon grass, garlic, ginger, chilli, bamboo shoots and chestnuts.

This is the wonderful thing about stir fry ingredients, you really are spoilt for choice (take a look at the list below).

Clear Traditional Ingredients
What I really like about Blue Dragon’s sauces is that you can understand all the ingredients. They’re not compromising on Oriental culture (so you’ll still find meat recipes or the occasional “contains gluten” warning on the label), but you won’t find any MSG – just natural, understandable ingredients – that’s a big plus in my book.

Eastern tradition brought, chop chop, (or as the Chinese would say, “k’wai k’wai”) straight to your table…

Look up some Blue Dragon recipes on YouTube or visit www.bluedragon.com

Try:
■ Chinese Curry Sauce or Paste
■ Laksa Curry Paste
■ Chow Mein Sauce
■ Sweet & Sour Sauce
■ Sweet & Sour Shot
■ Thai Green Sauce
■ Thai Green Curry Paste
■ Thai Red Sauce
■ Thai Red Curry Paste
■ Tomato & Sweet Chilli Sauce
■ Char Sui Sticky Sauce
■ Chinese BBQ Sticky Sauce
■ Peking Sticky Sauce
■ Teriyaki Sticky Sauce
■ Chili Coconut Shot
■ Spicy Satay Shot
■ Sweet Chilli Shot
■ Szechaun Pepper Shot
■ Wasabi Plum Shot
■ Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce