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Registered Associate Nutritionist

Registered Associate Nutritionist

Know Your Numbers Week!

As we enter into September, and the late summer evenings draw to a close, it would be a great opportunity to start cooking again, reduce the showcasing of my outdoor meals, at a time where we really need to "tighten our belts" as the saying saying goes. 

So I will be showing a range of cheap, healthy and easy recipes that you can cook at home, as we embark on the financial challenging times ahead in the United Kingdom, with the rising energy prices. 

So the first recipe is a chicken casserole, when I made this, this can feed up to 4 people, provide a great portion per person, plus this is nutritious, and finally costs £4 for the whole meal. The ingredients are the following:

  • Leftover carrots ( I used about 6 to 7, but the more people you will be serving the more carrots you need to add)
  • 200 grams of broccoli
  • tin of sweetcorn (optional)
  • tin of peas (optional) 
  • 200 grams of chicken breast
  • 200 grams of potatoes
  • tin of kidney beans (optional)
  • handful of garlic
  • one onion
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of all purpose seasoning. 
  • Jar of honey and mustard sauce ***

** The brand was called Chicken tonight and this costed £1.65 to purchase. I am sure this will be cheaper to make this, however I bought the tin as I was in a rush that day, but I will try and make the sauce, as this is so much better both for cost and for the price!

First off I chopped the carrots, onion, garlic, chicken, and the potatoes (I kept the skin on) into small pieces. Then I added all of this into a large pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. I added in all the spices, then left this for about 5 minutes, so that the chicken can cook through thoroughly. Afterwards I then added in the jar of the honey and mustard sauce (Chicken Tonight Jar Sauce)  I then  reduced the heat to a minimum, and let this cook for about 20 minutes. I constantly monitored this in case I needed to add more water when needed. After about 20 minutes I tasted the chicken and the potatoes, to make sure all was cooked properly, then it was ready to be served. This would be great with a salad to be served on the side, however I really wanted to keep the costs down, hence the reason I did not include a salad in this post, but I would strongly recommend this to again increase the range of vitamins and minerals within this.   

As mentioned this meal is nutritious below are some examples: 

  • Carrots- Contains Vitamin A, which is great to improve vision (especially important for darkness)  packed full of fibre, and contains Vitamin K which helps to improve bone strength 
  • Broccoli- contains Vitamin C, which is great for improving the immune system within our bodies, contains fibre, and like carrots contains Vitamin A
  • Sweetcorn- Contains Vitamin B, which supports the function of cells in the body, contains Iron, which supports with the production of red blood cells, and finally this contains zinc, which works with Vitamin A to improve vision, and help to improve the immune system. 

All of the examples above all contain a form of fibre, to help with regulating the bowel, and lower cholesterol. 

This is one of many changes we can make to control our lifestyle, improve heart health, lower cholesterol,  but also control and lower our blood pressure. 

This week is Know Your Numbers Week, a campaign run by Blood Pressure UK to encourage everyone over the ages of 18 to check their blood pressure. This is especially important for adults aged 40 and above. The theme for this is Measure, Modify, Manage, which I think is fitting within this blog post.

So why am I promoting "Know Your Numbers Week"? Well the issue with blood pressure is if the numbers are high it can indicate the risk of the following? 

  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Attacks
  • Stroke

All of the above are one of the biggest killers for UK residents. The scary part about this is that this can go undetected until one of the above happens. We can reduce the chances of this happening by having regular blood pressure checks. High blood pressure damages arteries, which is caused by blockages. This can cause difficulty for the blood to travel to important organs in the body, including oxygen. One of the ways to reduce blood pressure are the following:

  • Exercising, 
  • Limiting intake of alcohol, 
  • Changing our diet (I would recommend visiting a Registered Nutritionist for this, see my previous blog post: Benefits of Visiting a Registered Nutritionist
  • Getting regular sleep, 
  • Weight loss (again visiting a Registered Nutritionist would support with this) 

 So why not pop into your local Pharmacy, Chemist or Health Centre to get a FREE blood pressure check? Because the best part is once you "Know your Number" at least you can make changes to improve this !