Christmas is a time of year when there’s food everywhere you turn and sometimes it’s hard to keep temptation at bay and sustain a healthy weight. We understand that sometimes a little motivation goes a long way and so we have asked dietician Michelle to put together some tips to help you stay on track this Christmas!
- On average people gain between 1-2.5kg (2-5lbs) over the Christmas period. When I say the Christmas period I am talking about the month of December and not just Christmas day.
- Don’t let a day go by without doing some activity – this can be a visit to your local gym (many gyms offer holiday passes) or even just a brisk 30 minute walk. If it’s less than a mile – walk it!!!!
- Try to stick to your core meals – breakfast, lunch and evening – this will help you to stay clear of the little calorie bombs always lying around at Christmas such as chocolate, mini pastries, sausage rolls etc.
- Drink plenty of water – a combination of overheated homes and an increased consumption of alcohol at Christmas can lead to dehydration. Feelings of thirst can be confused with feelings of hunger. So aim to consume min of 2 litres of water per day. Drink more if you are working out.
- Good idea to have olives lying about for some guilt free munching – 12 olives equates to about 60kcal
- Just because it’s Christmas it doesn’t mean that your fridge and cupboards should be stocked with only junks foods and energy dense foods such as cheese, make sure to make some room for healthier options such as cottage cheese, low fat natural yoghurts (high protein ones are good to start the day off), veggie sticks, Good4U seeds for a healthy snack and plain popcorn.
- If you are not a Brussels sprouts lover, don’t worry I’m sure you’ll love Good4U sprouts and they are a great addition to the infamous turkey and ham sandwiches.
- To put things into perspective, let’s think about how much activity you have to do to burn off typical festive foods.
Average mince pie – vigorous swim for 30 minutes
Christmas pudding – run at a fast pace for 30 minutes
4 chocolates – walk briskly for 30 minutes
Pint of beer – cycle at a moderate pace for 30 minutes
Glass of red wine – tennis for 30 minutes
Keep this tips in mind, enjoy being around those you love and let that be the focus. But most of all...HAVE FUN! Merry Christmas!
It’s the second week of the month and it’s Superfood Spotlight again! We want to continue to share with you, some interesting facts about different superfoods that we love. We hope you love them too and are enjoying finding out more about them!
Lentils are what most people would want, or should want in a food. They’re high in nutrition and low in calories. You can eat them in stews, in soups, in curries, as a spread, in salads and as a mash. They are nutty and slightly earthy in flavour which is enjoyable in itself but they are also great flavour carriers, taking on the flavour of any herbs and spices added to them.
We were talking about lentils in the office last week and Ricardo, our Brazilian Graphic Designer, gave us an interesting fun fact! On New Year’s Eve, at the stroke of midnight Brazilians eat lentils. It has to be at the highest point that they can reach so they climb trees, tables, chairs, go to the top floor of their house…and eat lentils. This is in hope that the next year they will have more money. They also run down to the beach if they’re near a beach and jump over 7 waves for good luck. We asked Ricardo, do they not kiss at midnight and he said “no…we’re too busy eating lentils!”
There is a variety of lentils that you can get in any good store; brown, green, red, beluga (black in colour) and puy (dark green in colour).
Brown and green 30-45 minutes
Red 15-25 minutes
Puy 35-45 minutes
Beluga 20-25 Minutes
Soften onion and/garlic in a teaspoon of oil in a pot. Add herbs and spices of your choice and warm through. Stir in half a cup of lentils and make sure they are coated in the oil and the herbs/spices. Cover water and leave to simmer for the cooking time required, depending on the variety of lentil.
Lentils – Nutritional Information
The list of benefits that lentils provide is endless. They are a rich source of protein and fibre and should be a staple in every home, particularly vegetarians. Their soluble fibre helps to slow down digestion rate, stabilising blood sugar level and can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycaemia. Lentils are also rich in B complex vitamins and other minerals such as magnesium and iron important for energy production and heart health. Magnesium helps blood flow meaning that oxygen and nutrients are circulated well throughout the body and keep your ticker happy :)
So if this isn’t convincing enough let’s tell you what happens when you sprout these wonder foods
There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted foods when compared to their dried embryo. In the process of sprouting, the vitamins, minerals and protein increase substantially with corresponding decrease in calories and carbohydrate content. They supply food in pre-digested form, that is, the food which has already been acted upon by the enzymes and made to digest easily.
During sprouting, much of the starch is broken down into simple sugars such as glucose and sucrose by the action of the enzyme 'amylase'. Proteins are converted into amino acids and amides. Fats and oils are converted into more simple fatty acids by the action of the enzyme lipase. The increase in protein availability is of great significance. It is a valuable indicator of the enhanced nutritional value of a food when sprouted.
Lentil Sprout mix – Nutritional Information
Our Lentil Sprout Mix is a mix of crimson lentil sprouts, mung bean sprouts, adzuki sprouts, chickpea sprouts and green pea sprouts. They are a super living food that are washed and ready to each.
Because our Lentil Sprout Mix is a living food, it is extra rich in essential nutrients, phytochemicals and enzymes. It contains an abundance of highly active antioxidants and powerful plant compounds. Because of these essential nutrients and antioxidants, lentil sprout mix helps to protect the body against cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
For anyone who’s wondering, Lentil Sprout Mix is indeed gluten free. The nutrients contained in the sprouts are super easy to digest and absorb due to the high enzyme content and the bioavailability (this means that the cell walls of the sprouts are not fully formed).
Eating Lentil Sprout Mix is excellent for weight loss as it is a low calorie, high fibre food. It helps you feel fuller for longer and you can enjoy the nutrients it provides without taking in too many calories.
AND these little fellas help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and help promote a healthy digestive system.
For those of you who like crunch, this is the sprout mix for you as its extra crunchy and tasty too. They are so versatile that we can’t list all the dishes we put them on, but we love to add them to salads, soups, stir-fries, hotpots, curries, sandwiches and wraps or on top of our pasta dishes…the list goes on!
As you can tell, it's well worth fitting lentils into your weekly diet! Let us know if there's a recipe you love using lentils by using #SupefoodSpotlight on Twitter or Instagram :)
It’s easy to go into hibernation mode at this time of year so we wanted to make a conscious effort to get out and about. We decided to start a lunchtime walking club. We have an hour lunch so we set off and walk as far as we can for 15 minutes and then walk back, having a chat along the way. This leaves us half an hour to eat our lunch! We had a great day for it today as it was dry and there was even a glimpse of winter sun!
We come back feeling invigorated and refreshed for the second half of the day. It’s such an easy thing to do and if we do half an hour every day that’s 2.5 hours of walking every week! #SmallStepsCan
Let us know if you start to walk on your lunch too! :)
We had a great day here yesterday as it was RECIPE DAY in Good4U! With the help of the lovely Andrea from Andrea Lucy Food Photography, we got some great photos of new recipes that will be shared with you on our website over the next few weeks.
We have some really exciting new products in the pipeline and it was great to incorporate them into dishes and see how versitile they are and how well they enhance a dish.
This is our Maple Roast Root Veggies with Multi Seed Mix. A great dish for this time of year!
So keep your eyes peeled for some uber delicious recipes in our recipe section!
We are delighted to announce that Bernie Butler, our managing director, has officially been appointed as President of the European Sprouted Seeds Association (ESSA).
ESSA is a membership-based factual association based in the headquarters of the European fresh fruit and vegetable association, Freshfel, in Brussels, Belgium.
The primary endeavours of ESSA are to provide a forum where any issues effecting the sprouted seed sector in Europe may be discussed and also to provide support the interests of European sprouted seeds growers.
ESSA has strong input in sprouted seeds promotion, food safety and EU regulatory affairs and assists in implementing any new legislation in accordance with the European Union.
To help small producers across Europe and to give a useful tool to competent authorities, ESSA has also started work on general guidelines for hygienic production of seeds for sprouting and sprouts
Bernie is delighted with the appointment, “I am very pleased to be appointed to this position. I look forward to the year ahead and I hope that, with the support of the Board, the Members and the Executive, we can strengthen and develop ESSA as a meaningful interface between growers, producers, suppliers and governing bodies so that we can continue to sustain and develop our industry through the production of safe quality sprouts”.
Bernie has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the production of sprouted seeds and the sprouted seed market and we are very happy for her to be able to share her expertise with likeminded individuals.
We wish Bernie all the best with her new commitment.
A friend dropped off some lovely organic Spinach for me the other day and I looked in the fridge and saw I had some Good4U Super Sprouts, a head of broccoli and some left over pastry so straight away I thought I’d make a nice vegetarian quiche.
Rather than just use the Good4u Sprouts and Seeds as a topping, I incorporated them into the filling and it worked really well.
Short crust Pastry (9 inch wide dish, 1.5 inch deep)
- 225g plain flour
- Pinch of salt
- 110g butter, cubed
- 3-4 tbsp. cold water
- 1 tbsp. of oil
- 2 shallots (chopped)
- 100 g spinach
- 1/2 head of broccoli
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tub of Good4U Super Sprouts
- 2 tablespoons of Good4U Multi Seed Mix
- 150g of goat’s cheese
- 75g of milk
- 75g of cream
- 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk
- Salt and pepper
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the salt
- Add the butter and rub into the flour until there are no big lumps and the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Make a well I the centre and add the water and knead until you have a firm dough
- Add more water if the mix is to dry
- Wrap in clip and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Fit the round into a 9 inch dish and trim the overhang.
- To bake the pastry blind, line the tart shell with grease proof paper and fill with baking beans or rice.
- Bake until the pastry is firm, about 20 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until just starting to brown. Transfer the shell to a rack to cool.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the chopped shallot and fry for 2 minutes without colouring, add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes until the spinach has just wilted and season, take off the heat and drain.
- Cut the broccoli into small florets and blanch in boiling water for 3 minute's. When cooked run under cold water and leave in a sieve to drain or on a tea towel.
- In a bowl add the eggs and 75g of the goat cheese, whisk until the cheese is mixed in and add the milk, cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper and Worcestershire and mix again
- Place the spinach, broccoli, Super Sprouts and Multi Seed Mix and place in the pre baked tart. Cover with the egg, milk and cream mix but be careful not to overfill the Quiche
- Crumble the remaining 75g over the top. Place in the oven and bake until quiche is puffy and the goat cheese is beginning to brown in spots, about 35 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing and serving.
Garnish with extra Good4U Sprouts and Seeds to really get that healthy kick.
Hi guys! It’s ‘Superfood Spotlight’ again! As you know we are having a Superfood Spotlight during the second week of every month. We can focus that week on the benefits of that food and how we can use it in our day to day cooking. Don’t forget that if there is any superfood that you are curious about and want us to feature, to let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
This week we are finding out more about pomegranate. Not only is this one of the prettiest foods known to man but it’s juicy and tasty too. It can be a little tricky to get the little gems of fruit out of the thick red skin and internal white membrane but it’s definitely worth the effort! If you want to see the best way to do this click here to watch a ‘how to’ video. You can expect to get between 200 and 1400 pomegranate seeds from each fruit!
Pomegranate is not a seasonal plant and so it varies in the months that the fruit is harvested but it is readily available in all good stores at this time of year. It’s a really lovely fruit to use in dishes both sweet and savoury. You can use it in cooking, baking, drink it as a juice, use it in smoothies and garnish your food to add a dash of colour!
Not only is pomegranate beautifying by regenerating cells and helping with dry skin but also it eliminates free radicles, improves bone quality, cures anemia AND inflamation.
Pomegranates are very high in antioxidants like punicalagin, higher amounts than acai berry or gree tea. By consuming 100g of pomegranate, you can get 16% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. Due to its levels of vitamin K, vintamin B5, manganesium, calcium, zinc and iron, it’s for suitable for all ages to boost viality and energy. It also can help in shifting those unwanted pounds as it helps with metabolism.
Studies suggest pomegranate juice is anti-inflammatory, and a substantial body of research now supports the idea that it can help prevent heart disease. It seems to cleanse the circulatory system by helping to unclog the arteries, prevent blood clotting, increase oxygen flow to the heart and lower blood pressure. This action may be down to the ellagitannin compounds (granatin B and punicalagin) that pomegranate juice contains in abundance – these are thought to reduce heart disease risks – but the presence of vitamins C and E may also play a part.
Research also suggests that drinking fresh pomegranate juice can inhibit viral infections, and pomegranate extracts have been shown to have antibacterial effects against dental plaque.
Could we ask for much more from a fruit???
Check out some of the recipes using pomegranate featured in our recipe section and keep an eye out during the week for more recipe ideas! :)
This year we decided to get involved with Team Hope and donate to the Christmas Shoe Box Appeal. It’s such a worthy cause and a great way for people of all ages to do something for someone in real need.
Since starting, the Shoe Box Appeal has delivered almost 2.8 million shoeboxes containing goodies from Ireland to children all across Africa and Eastern Europe. These children are victims of war, disease or poverty in some of the poorest countries in the world and the shoes boxes are a little taste of Christmas, hopefully delivering laughter and smiles. Team hope call it “bringing Christmas to those who haven’t experienced it before”.
It was a real team affair here, everyone contributed by making a donation and bringing in a shoe box. These boxes were covered with lovely colourful Christmas wrapping paper. Zach, our Marketing and Sales Director Laura’s son, came to Head Office to lend a helping hand. He was very helpful making sure everyone had Cellotape and he was in charge of what wrapping paper went on which box. His favourite was one with lots of Santa Clause faces all over it. Ho Ho Hooooo (It’s never too early to be jolly).
We made 10 boxes, 5 for girls and 5 for boys. Some of the staff came down to help pack the boxes and we checked out who had the best wrapping skills. We won’t name names but let’s just say, the girls seem to have a lighter hand around here. We filled the shoe boxes with clothes, toothpaste, tooth brushes, toys, sweets, colouring pencils and crayons.
The boxes fit perfectly into the boot of the Smart Car and were brought on their merry way to one of the drop off points here in Sligo.
Lots of people all around the country have got involved in this initiative so we’d like to say well done to everyone who did! We were delighted to be a part of it and hopefully we put a smile on the faces of some little boys and girls J
Click on to Team Hope if you wold like to know more about it and get involved next year.
This week we'er doing a 3 day juice cleanse, starting from tomorrow. Halloween, as much fun as it is, is often a time of year that we indulge a little more than usual and a juice cleanse is a great way to get back on track.
Our dietitian Michelle tells us her top 3 reasons to give the Juice cleanse a go.
1) Challenge yourself. For how many years have you been filing your body with junk food, processed carbs and trans fats? Maybe it’s time to reverse that, even if it’s only for 3 days, it’s a start and we’re all about small steps can…. When you finish the cleanse you may develop a taste for the juices and incorporate them in your daily routine.
2) Give your digestive system a break. It needs one. A number of lifestyle factors can negatively impact on our digestive tract such as a poor diet, smoking, alcohol, medication and stress. A juice diet consisting primarily of raw vegetables will provide a plethora of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. As these are supplied in liquid form the body will have less work to do and the rate of absorption will be increased, allowing the gut some rest and recuperation.
3) Cut out bad habits. On day 2 and definitely by day 3 you should notice a change in your energy levels and will begin to realise that you do not need that biscuit or chocolate at 3pm as a pick me up.
Warning: A juice cleanse is not appropriate for everyone, especially people who are pregnant, underweight, diabetic, have unstable heart disease or low blood pressure, those taking warfarin, or who have life-threatening health challenges. In any of these cases include a juice as part of a normal balance diet.
This juice cleanse is not used as a method for weight loss, you may notice a change in weight on the scales but generally this will be water loss and is not a long term outcome.
You can find out more about juicing in our 3 Day Detox eBook! If you want to join in make sure you stock up on lovely fruit and veg in preparation.
Happy juicing :)
Happy World Vegan day to all our vegan followers. Being vegan is a real commitment in the world that we live in. However there are so many vegan foods that are super easy to prepare and would satisfy any hungry tum’.
Our Sprouts and Seeds have particular value to our vegan consumers in the nutrition, taste and convenience that they provide.
Our dietician Michelle explains:
All of Good4U products are rich sources of protein, iron and calcium which help to boost a vegan diet.
Our top 4 picks for Vegans
- A small portion of our ready to eat Lentil sprout mix (hyperlink all products to page) contains 5g of fibre and a whopping 7g of protein.
- Boost your breakfast with our Good4U Seed & Fruit mix, which will help to boost fibre, protein, iron and calcium levels in the diet.
- Quinoa sprout mix – provide essential amino acids.
- Our Lemon & Pepper seed mix contains quinoa which contains all of your essential amino acids, a small 25g portion provides only 110kcal and a whopping 6g of protein.
Both Good4U Seeds and Sprouts range can easily be added to a number of meals like porridge, yoghurt, vegan pasta, stir-fries, salads, hotpots, sandwiches….the list is endless! If you are adding our Sprouts and Seeds to your meals let us know by using #Good4UNutrition.
Check out our vegan recipes in our recipe section.
Have a great weekend!