Cup of Tea and Fruit – Wait 30 Mins

teaHot fruit puddings with custard and a cup of tea are one of my favourite treats, so I was pretty disappointed to find out today that drinking tea whilst eating a fruit pudding is a bit of a no, no, nutritionally speaking.

It seems that tannin, something found in both tea and coffee can have a negative affect on our body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Herbal teas on the other hand aid absorption but I’m not a huge fan of herbal tea.

All is not lost though. If can wait 30 mins after eating my fruit pudding before I have a cup of tea I can still receive the nutritional benefit of the fruit. Only problem is I’m not sure I can wait that long!

The same theory applies to eating any kind of fruit by the way, so don’t have fruit with a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast!

Source: Healthy Food

Chilli Chicken

Serves 4
20 mins prep
1 hour cooking


Chicken marinade
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Lemon, juiced
5 cm Ginger, grated
4 tbsp Olive Oil
4 Chicken breast fillets, cubed

Chilli sauce
2 x 400g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Bay Leaf
1 Red Chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
1/2 Lemon, juiced

1. To make the marinade put the garlic in a bowl with a little salt and work in to a paste. Stir in the lemon juice and ginger with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and season generously with pepper. Add the chicken and mix then set aside to marinade.

2. Blitz the tinned tomatoes with a hand blender then force through a sieve into a medium sized saucepan. Add the garlic, bay leaf, chilli and a pinch of salt then bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 40 mins or until the sauce thickens.

3. Force the sauce through the sieve again into a large saucepan (that is big enough to hold the chicken too). Add the ketchup and lemon juice, season then set aside.

4. In a wok, over a high heat add the remaining oil and swirl around the pan. Add the chicken to the wok, discarding any excess marinade juice. Turn the heat down to medium, season and stir fry the chicken for a few minutes until it starts to golden.

5. Transfer the chicken from the wok into the saucepan and combine with the sauce. Simmer for 10-15 mins then serve with rice and rocket.


– Chicken’s vitamin B3 and B6 content will help to maintain a healthy nervous system. A useful source of protein, and low fat if the skin is removed, chicken contributes to the growth and repair of all the body’s cells.

– Garlic helps boost heart health by actively lowering cholesterol levels, and allicin, a volatile oil found in the bulb, may help suppress the formation of tumors. It is also a powerful antioxidant, thanks to its amino acids, helping it to enhance overall immune function.

– Ginger boosts the circulation and helps the body to detoxify.

– Brown rice is dense in B vitamins, while its protein levels help to build muscles, skin and hair. It is also a good source of zinc and trace minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus and copper, which all build resistance to infections.

– Rocket contains high levels of vitamin C, a powerfully antioxidant nutrient that helps to prevent the body against toxins and boosts resistance to viruses and other infections. It’s also rich in beta-carotene, which the body uses to make cancer-fighting vitamin A and contains high concentrations of sulphoraphane, a substance shown to have potent anti-cancer properties.

– Lemon is a powerhouse vitamin C and contains limonene, a chemical which has been shown to slow the rate of cancer growth.

– Tomatoes are also full of vitamin C. They are also packed with lycopene, a type of caroenoid, that helps to prevent cancer. Tomatoes contain high levels of beta-carotene – necessary for the production of vitamin A. This helps to maintain a healthy thymus gland, which plays a vital role in immune response. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin E, which helps to protect the body from toxins.

(Source: The Top 100 Immunity Boosters by Charlotte Haigh)

Life After Cancer Web Chat Transcript

MacmillanMacmillan have just released the transcript of their Life After Cancer Web Chat which took place on the 10th September. Whether you were able to join the chat on the day or not you can now see all the questions and answers online. I was there on the day and was one of the people asking questions about Lymphoedema.

Hilary Weaver, a specialist nurse from the Macmillan Support Line, answered questions on the physical and emotional after-effects of cancer.

In terms of living with the risk of lymphoedema, they say that you know when you have done too much exercise or put too much strain on your arm. The problem with that is that it’s then too late – I’ve done too much and the damage is done. How can I possibly know when enough is enough without doing any harm? What are the warning signs?

Hilary: That’s a good question. The risk of lymphoedema is greater if you suddenly do an unusual amount of activity or lifting. The key is to build up slowly and consistently so that your arm has lots of time to adapt. It is possible to do vigorous exercise and weights without developing any problems but you need to work up to that very gradually and make it your norm! Don’t do too much too fast. You can find more information about coping with lymphoedema on the Macmillan website.

But when you have pain in your arm before you start, how do you know when to stop. It’s been 13 weeks since the surgery and I don’t know what the difference is between healing pain and lymphoedema pain.

Hilary: Your surgery was quite recent and it’s not unusual to still be healing up. Lymphoedema would be uncommon at this stage in your healing. Perhaps sticking to the post op exercises you’ve been given at this stage would be sensible. You could also talk to your specialist for more advice or a physiotherapist referral?

Does manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) help reduce the risk of lymphoedema?

We don’t know for sure that manual lymphatic drainage prevents lymphoedema. The research about this just isn’t very clear at the moment. MLD is more often used with other techniques to manage lymphoedema. You can read more about preventing lymphoedema and treating lymphoedema on our website.

You can read the full article here: Life After Cancer Web Chat