Thursday, 24 January 2013



It's perfect for a quick lunch on a cold day, and equally welcome on a dark winter's night. Possibly with a wedge of crusty bread, eaten whilst sat in front of a roaring log fire. Well I can dream!

I love soup. Making it is simple and satisfying, and more often than not it's a quick, simple and cheap option. Food never need be wasted - there's always a soup you can concoct with whatever you've got sitting in the fridge.

There are some fantastic recipes on the BBC Good Food website, or why not be creative? Some veg, herbs/spices, perhaps a bit of meat/fish and some of stock is all that's really needed for a DIY soup. That and a decent blender.

Or if you don't have the time or inclination to make your own, there are plenty of delicious soups available from the supermarket shelves. Be warned though - it's essential to be a bit savvy and read the food labels if you want to avoid soups laden with cream and butter, and loaded down with added salt.

My current favourites are Glorious! Skinny soups. Containing less than 160 per portion (half a pot), and less than 3% fat, the range is a great choice for people watching their weight, or just for general healthy eating.

Did you know that eating soup can actually assist in weight loss?

Research has demonstrated that eating a blended/liquid meal such as soup actually affects our level of satiety - how full we feel after eating - and can help us to feel fuller for longer.

Imagine a plate of meat and vegetables (or veggies and beans/lentils for any vegetarians) and a glass of water. You could sit and eat the food, and drink the water, and feel satisfied - you're comfortably full and no longer have an appetite to eat. But after a while (perhaps a couple/three hours) that full feeling has gone and you may start to feel peckish again. However, if you blend the solid food with the water, the length of time you feel full is extended.

This is how it works.

When we eat food it enters the stomach. The transit of the food from the stomach to the intestines is controlled by the pyloric sphincter, and the length of time this takes is linked to the length of time we feel sated.

When we drink water it passes quickly through the pyloric sphincter, so doesn't contribute to how full we feel. This leaves the volume of the food alone to provide a feeling of fullness.

However, when we blend solid foods with water the total volume of the two combined gives a greater sensation of fullness, for a longer period of time.

When full, receptors in the stomach send signals to the brain that reduce the production of the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is responsible for our appetite, and when the level is reduced, so too is our desire for food.


So by eating soup we can control our hunger, and by controlling our hunger we can control how much we eat.

So there it is. Eating soup can help to control weight. And when you consider how quick, simple, cheap and delicious soups can be, what's not to like?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Introducing The Food Whisperer...

It’s difficult to go anywhere without finding yourself surrounded by food options, cleverly marketed and often making all manner of health claims. And with information about diet and nutrition frequently in the news, it’s not surprising that it can be difficult to make sense of contradictory headlines, to pick through the advertising and to know what the truly healthy options are.

Everyone knows that diet and health are connected, with weight being the most obvious factor affected by what we eat. But did you know that your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, stroke and osteoporosis are strongly influence by your diet? And that diet has a role to play in eye function, blood formation, mental health, healthy ageing, conception and achieving a healthy pregnancy?

It will probably come as no surprise that diet-related health problems are on the rise. More than a quarter of adults (26%) are classified as obese (having a body mass index (BMI) of 30kg/m2) in the UK, and rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke are increasing too.

The good news is that in most cases all it takes to reduce your risk and protect yourself against these conditions it to make a few lifestyle changes, and The Food Whisperer is there to help you take those steps towards a long and healthy life.

The Food Whisperer takes a personalised approach, working with you, your likes and dislikes, and your lifestyle to find a way of helping you to achieve your goals. All advice given will be based on the highest standard of scientific evidence, whether you want a pro-active approach to dealing with a current concern or hints and tips to avoid future health problems.

In addition to general health and treating medical complaints, The Food Whisperer can also advise on all aspects of sports nutrition. Whatever your challenge, whether you’re aiming to complete your first half marathon, sculpt muscle or tackle an endurance challenge such as a marathon or an Ironman distance triathlon, knowing how to apply the science of nutrition to your training plan can enhance your performance, aid recovery and help you to achieve your best.
The Food Whisperer doesn’t advocate restrictive diets, promote the latest celebrity fad or ban foods. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional piece of cake or drink with friends! Instead the focus is on a balanced approach to eating and enjoying food.

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