Chicken & Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 6
35 mins prep & cook

Ingredients:

3 Garlic cloves, crushed
5 tsp Ginger, grated
2 Large onions, finely chopped
250g Chicken breast, diced
2 tsp Chilli flakes
2 Sweet potatoes, diced
900ml Water
400ml Low fat coconut milk
2 Vegetable stock cubes
2 Limes, juiced
Olive oil

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the garlic, onion and ginger. Cook until soft.

2. Add the chicken and cook until it turns white.

3. Add the chilli flakes and sweet potato, cover with the water and coconut milk. Add the stock cubes, stir and bring to the boil.

4. Once boiling, turn down the heat and simmer for 20 mins until the potato is soft.

5. Add the lime juice and serve.

Note:

– 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.

– Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C. The orange variety of sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A – an antioxidant that helps to fight cancer. In addition, sweet potato is rich in vitamin E, which is vital for healthy skin.

– 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.

– Onion has an exceptionally high level of the flavonoid quercetin, a strong antioxidant which can block the formation of cancer cells.

– Limes are also high in vitamin C and are an effective immune stimulant.

– Even in small amounts, chilli are a helpful addition to the diet – one small red chilli contains high levels of the anti-viral, anti cancer and antioxidant carotenoid beta-carotene, some of which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Both these nutrients help to prevent the damage caused by toxins in the body, and can help stave off cancer.

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

Prawn Chilli

Serves 4
10 mins prep
35 mins cooking

Ingredients:
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Green Peppers, chopped
2 tbsp Chipotle Paste
2 x 400g Canned Chopped Tomatoes
400g Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
250-300g Raw King Prawns
2 Limes, zest and juice of 1, 1 cut into wedges
1 Avocado, roughly chopped

Serve with rice

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion and peppers for 5 mins until soft.

2. Stir in the chipotle past and cook for 1 min.

3. Add the tomatoes and black beans. Simmer for 20-25 mins until the sauce starts to thicken.

4. Add the king prawns and cook for 3-4 mins, until they have turned pink and are cooked through.

5. Sir in the lime zest.

6. Serve with rice and lime wedges topped with the avocado and lime juice.

Notes:

– Onion has an exceptionally high level of the flavonoid quercetin, a strong antioxidant which can block the formation of cancer cells.

– Peppers have high levels of beta-arotene, which the body turns into anti-viral, immunity-boosting vitamin A.

– Tomatoes are 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.

– Prawns contain high levels of immune-essential minerals, including zinc, which we need to produce the enzymes that keep cancer at bay, and to help develop other disease-fighting cells.

– Limes are also high in vitamin C and are an effective immune stimulant.

– Avocados are rich in vitamin E and vitamin B

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

Things That Cause Lymphatic Stagnation

This weekend was probably the first weekend since the op where I’ve taken my eye off the ball in terms of my diet, going out for pizza and drinks with the girls, having bacon sandwiches for breakfast and afternoon tea with cake. I did get a couple of healthy meals in but on the whole, I was no where near as good as I have been.

It didn’t take long for my arm to feel the effect. Cramping pains around my elbow and occasionally in my hand and fingers. I know now I should have been more mindful about what I was doing. More than anything else, the link between what I eat and drink and how well my arm is doing is a reflection of how good my lymph flow is, with alcohol and sugar being the biggest culprits.

Im not going to cut these things out completely but I think I will have to plan my weekends a bit better in future, making sure that I still get my 5 a day, drink plenty of water and don’t have too many treats all in one go.

Things That Cause Lymphatic Stagnation

White sugar, white flour, white rice, refined table salt, processed meats, greasy and fatty foods, too much alcohol (apart from the occasional glass of red wine), dairy products, artificial additives, preservatives, colourings and flavourings.

(Source: Wise Geek and Gorgeous Skin)

A Healthy Weight

There is a correlation between obesity and the risk of developing Lymphoedema after breast cancer surgery, making weight loss an important part of the recovery process.

A BMI greater than or equal to 30 poses a risk.

With that in mind I thought I would see what I could find to help anyone with a new year resolution to get fit and stay healthy. Not one to ever want to cut out the good stuff, I found these tips on how to stop overeating really interesting.

  1. Eat food from a smaller plates, it looks like you’re eating more
  2. Eat with your non-dominant hand and you’ll eat about 20% less
  3. Short fat glasses tend to hold more liquid than tall slim ones, so put your drinks in tall glasses to cut down on drinking
  4. Put a mirror in your kitchen or on your fridge and you’ll be more self conscious about what you’re eating
  5. Chew gum when you feel hungry to consume fewer calories
  6. Eat slowly and you’ll eat less
  7. Eat from red plates, it’s the colour associated with the word STOP
  8. Turn off your TV at meal times to eat up to 50% less
  9. Take a photo of all the unhealthy things you eat to cut down on your unhealthy eating by about a third
  10. Cut down on how many varieties of food you serve so you’re not tempted to try them all

Sweet Potato & Spinach Curry

Serves 4
5 mins prep
30 mins cooking

Ingredients:
600g Sweet Potatoes, diced
1 tbsp Olive Oil
100g Rogan Josh Curry Paste
400g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
400g Tinned Lentils, drained
260g Fresh spinach
50ml Water
100g Greek Natural Yoghurt

Serve with rice

1. Boil the sweet potatoes for 10-15 mins until tender, then drain.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or pot and fry the sweet potatoes and curry paste for 2 mins.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, lentils and 50ml water and cook for 5 mins.

4. Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 mins until wilted.

5. Serve with rice and a spoonful of yoghurt.

Notes:

– Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C. The orange variety of sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A – an antioxidant that helps to fight cancer. In addition, sweet potato is rich in vitamin E, which is vital for healthy skin.

– 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.

– Spinach is rich in carotenoids, which the body converts to antioxidant vitamin A to help trigger immune response to fight infections. The vegetable helps to prevent lung, breast and cervical cancers, as well as fight heart disease. Its vitamin C content keeps skin and mucous membranes healthy, while its B vitamins improve energy and nervous system conditions. Spinach is also rich in zinc, required to promote T-cell activity.

– Lentils are rich in B-vitamins, which help to boost the body’s immune system, aiding the fighting of bacteria and other invaders. They contain minerals important for immunity too, including the antioxidant selenium, and iron which is vital for healthy blood. Lentils are also a good source of plant oestrogens and can help boost energy.

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

Vegetable Bake

Serves 4
10 mins prep
1hr 5 mins cooking

Ingredients:

800g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp Fresh Oregano, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Aubergines, sliced
1 Onion, finely sliced
650g Sweet Potatoes, thinly sliced
200g Feta Cheese or Greek Cheese, crumbled

Serve with a mixed green salad, fish or chicken.

1. Preheat oven to 200c or gas mark 6.

2. Combine the tomatoes, oregano, garlic and 2 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan. Season and simmer over a medium heat for 15 mins until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

3. While the sauce is cooking toss the aubergine and onion in the remaining oil with some seasoning then arrange over the base of a roasting tin and cook in the oven for 15 mins.

4. Layer the roasted vegetables with the potatoes, cheese and tomato sauce in a 2 ltr ovenproof dish, seasoning each layer. Finish with a layer of potatoes and finally tomato sauce.

5. Bake in the oven for 45-50 mins until the vegetables are tender and the top is golden. Leave to stand for 5 mins for the flavours to settle before serving with either broccoli or a green salad.

Notes:

– 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.

– 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.

– Onion has an exceptionally high level of the flavonoid quercetin, a strong antioxidant which can block the formation of cancer cells.

– Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C. The orange variety of sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A – an antioxidant that helps to fight cancer. In addition, sweet potato is rich in vitamin E, which is vital for healthy skin.

Source: The 100 Top Immunity Boosters by Charlotte Haigh

What Is A Balanced Diet?

Today, during Breast Cancer Care’s – Moving Forward Workshop class, I was introduced to what a healthy plate of food actually looks like. I thought the illustration used was just brilliant, so simple to understand and such a great tool for determining how much of what I should be eating. I already knew for example that eating lots of fruit and veg was a huge plus, that white meat and fish were good, but had also heard that I should really cut down on dairy, and of course sugar is always seen as a bit of a treat, but really didn’t know how much of anything was enough or too much.

eatwellplate

This diagram illustrates I should ideally aim for:

  • 33% Carbs
    e.g. bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and other starchy foods
  • 33% Fruit & Vegetables
  • 15% Milk & Dairy
  • 12% Protein
    e.g. meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • 7% Sugar
    e.g. foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar