Healthy Heart Top Tips!

Here at LloydsPharmacy, we are working in partnership with the Irish Heart Foundation to raise awareness of how to prevent cardiovascular heart disease and stroke.

Sadly, every hour, someone in Ireland suffers from a stroke. Every day, hundreds of Irish people are diagnosed with heart disease. And up to 10,000 die each year, which makes heart disease and stroke one of Ireland’s biggest killer diseases.

Here are the top three things we recommend for a Happy Healthy Heart!

Healthy Eating

Fad diets are not effective for long-term weight loss. Losing weight too quickly can leave you tired and hungry, so you give up, regaining the weight as quickly as it came off. Keep your focus on the habits you want to change rather than on an ‘all or nothing’ approach. So rather than thinking about all the foods you feel you must give up or go without, why not see the new year as a time to embrace a whole new way of eating healthily for the good of your heart.

When it comes to maintaining a heart-healthy diet, remember that alcohol is high in sugar and calories and drinking more than the recommended amount can be harmful to your heart. For women, the recommended maximum limit is 11 standard drinks a week and for men it is 17 standard drinks a week. A standard drink is half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.

Exercise

A study published last year in the Lancet Global Health journal found that one in three women and one in four men worldwide did not get enough exercise to stay healthy, meaning that 1.4 billion adults were at greater risk of cardiovascular diseasetype 2 diabetes, dementia, and some cancers due to a lack of physical activity.

We all know that regular exercise is good for your heart while inactivity greatly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. All it takes is 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise five days a week to keep your heart healthy. It can be difficult to find an extra half an hour in our busy days so why not try to work exercise into your day instead. You don’t have to be a top athlete, simply walking for 30 minutes a day is a great way to get active in 2019.

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for heart health. In fact, the World Health Organisation has said that poor sleep should be considered a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease along with smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet.

In 2016 the American Heart Association released a scientific statement on the association between the duration and quality of sleep and cardiovascular disease. The statement found that sleep issues, especially not sleeping enough, obstructive sleep apnoea (five or more pauses in breathing per hour of sleep) and insomnia can influence the risk of obesity, high blood pressureType 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and overall cardiovascular disease.

What the doctor recommends?

Asked for her top tips for a healthy heart in 2019, Dr Angie Brown, Consultant Cardiologist and Medical Director of the Irish Heart Foundation recommended, a healthy diet, drinking less alcohol, exercising more and getting good quality sleep.

You can avail of a free blood pressure check at your local LloydsPharmacy.

Read the full article at The Irish Heart Foundation

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Mini Marathon Top Tips!

Copy of Low Carb Crustless Quiche (3)

Fuel fuel fuel yourself

Nutrition plays a huge part in your training and you need make sure your body is in the best shape possible by eating the right stuff.

  • 65% of your total calories should come from complex carbs, approximately 20% from unsaturated fats, and 10% from protein.
  • Load your diet with carbs the week before the marathon so that your body is prepared for the physical challenge. (Chip butty anyone?)
  • Don’t eat too much the day of the race, since the food might feel heavy in your stomach and slow you down. Porridge is a great slow burning food for the morning of the race.

Stay hydrated in pre-marathon days

In the days leading up to the race make especially sure that you’re well hydrated.

  • As you go on longer runs, practice carrying a water bottle with you, either in your hand or around your waist, so you can stay hydrated as you run.
  • Avoid drinking excessive alcohol and caffeine in the days before the race, since these dehydrate your body.

Rest up the days leading up to the race

The last long run of your training should be several days before the race, so your body has plenty of time to recover. The day before the race, rest or do an easy run, but don’t work out too strenuously. You’ll want to keep yourself primed for race day.

Enjoy the race and have fun!

The Women’s Mini-Marathon is alot of fun and there is great camaraderie on the day. Remember to enjoy yourself! Make sure you pace yourself so you’ll be able to cross the finish line.

  • You know your own body best. Whether you choose to walk, run or do both remember to listen to your body and pace yourself.
  • Ask friends and family to come and cheer you on to provide a little extra motivation as you reach your goal.

Recovery time

Make sure you rehydrate and eat after the race. Your body will recover faster once you refuel it. If you need a little extra check out our huge range of supplements in your local LloydsPharmacy.

Good Luck to all the participants!!

One Pot Chicken Chickpea Tagine

Low Carb Crustless Quiche (1)

One Pot Chicken & Chick Pea Tagine (serves 6)

This is a super tasty and satisfying one pot wonder. A nutritionally balanced meal all in the one pot, what’s not to love? And, if there’s any left over, it tastes even better the following day so don’t be afraid to get two dinners out of the one cooking session! Packed with quality protein, gut loving fibre, anti-oxidant vitamins and anti-inflammatory spices!

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breast, cut into large chunks
  • 1tbsp harissa paste
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into thick half moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 baby potatoes, quartered
  • 80g (large handful) of green beans (cut off top & bottom)
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1ts turmeric
  • 1tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • ½ cup dried apricots, quartered
  • 1 tin chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 2tbsp. of fresh mint/flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

Method

  • Mix the harissa past through the chunks of chicken. If you have time, ideally set the chicken aside for at least 30 mins to allow the flavours to develop while you prep the vegetables and potatoes.
  • Once you’ve prepped all your vegetables, heat the oil in a large pot or casserole dish. Fry the chicken for a few minutes until sealed then remove from the pot and set aside.
  • Fry the onion, pepper and carrot for a few minutes, then stir in the minced garlic and all the spices and fry for another 2 minutes. (take care not to burn the garlic)
  • Add the chicken back to the dish, stir to combine then pour in the tomatoes and stock.
  • Add the apricots and green beans and nestle in the potato chunks so they are submerged under the mixture.
  • Bring to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes until the potato and carrot are tender.
  • Towards the end of cooking time, stir in the chick peas and fresh mint/parsley.
  • Serve piping hot as it is or alongside a small portion of couscous or rice.

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

Banana Pecan Muffins

 

Healthy Banana Muffins (makes 9 muffins)

These are perfect for a nutritious grab & go breakfast or a mid-morning/afternoon treat. Made with only natural, wholesome ingredients these high fibre, gluten free muffins will keep you full and satisfied without spiking your blood sugar levels.

Ingredients

Dry

  • ½ Cup Coconut flour
  • 1 level tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Wet

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 large ripe bananas, well mashed
  • 2 heaped tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1tsp. vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup of pecans (broken up) optional

Method

  • Set oven to 180 degrees Celsius then lightly grease a non-stick muffin tray or line with quality muffin cases.
  • Using a sieve, sift the coconut flour and remainder of the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mash the banana, then beat in the eggs. Stir in the melted coconut oil and vanilla.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk for 30-60 seconds until well combined ( I use a hand held electric whisk/mixer)
  • Stir in the pecans if using.
  • Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray, fill about three quarters of the way. Top each muffin with a pecan if desired.
  • Bake for approx. 20-22 mins until lightly golden.
  • Allow to cool in the tray for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before eating. I use a tablespoon to gently coax the muffins out of the tray.

Storage: Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days. They will last a little longer if you store them in the fridge and warm before eating.

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

One Pot Vegan Chilli

Low Carb Crustless Quiche

One Pot Vegan Chilli (Serves 6)

This one pot wonder is packed with plant based protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre. Quinoa is a great source of magnesium, B vitamins and iron which our bodies need for good energy and to help balance our mood and stress levels. The butternut squash adds a touch of sweetness and provides us with a nice dose of skin loving antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled & cubed (see guide)
  • 2 X 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained.
  • 1tbsp. coriander leaves chopped

Alternative: sweet potato or carrot are good alternatives to butternut squash.

Optional toppings: A small drizzle of sweet chilli sauce, see recipe below. Avocado chunks seasoned with salt & lime juice also makes for a nice topping. Personally I think the extra toppings take this dish to another level.

Method

  • Add the quinoa to a bowl and cover with boiling water from kettle, set aside to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
  • An easy way to prepare butternut squash is to place it on a chopping board, then using a long sturdy knife, cut off the top and bottom, about 1/2 an inch off each end. Peel the skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut in half, then half again, scoop out seeds, slice and cut into cubes.

Note – you can freeze the remaining cubes for another time.

  • Heat the oil in a large pot then add the onion & peppers and fry for a few minutes, add the garlic and spices and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes then add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Drain the quinoa and add it to the pot along with 2 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the squash is tender.
  • Add the kidney beans and allow to warm through before serving with a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

Natural Sweet Chilli Sauce (5 minutes to make!)

Method

  • Add the maple syrup, vinegar and water to a small pot over medium heat.
  • Let the mixture come to a boil then add the garlic and chili flakes. Allow to simmer for a couple minutes.
  • Put the arrowroot powder into a small bowl then add a splash of water and stir to dissolve. Add it to the chili sauce and stir for a minute until thickened.
  • Pour the sauce into a jar with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

Low Carb Crustless Quiche

low carb crustless quiche

Low Carb Crustless Quiche (serves 6)

This low calorie, low carb quiche makes for a delicious lunch or light dinner. Its high protein content will keep you full and satisfied and it’s a tasty way to get some veggies in at lunch time.

This will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days so perfect for advanced meal prep.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, finely chopped (I like sweet pointed peppers)
  • 1 small head of broccoli, quarter each floret
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 free range eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ tsp. salt + ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 level tsp. dried basil
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella
  • ¼ cup (approx. 50g) of feta cheese, cubed

Slice of low fat crustless quich and salad

Method

  • Preheat oven to 175/350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 inch quiche dish.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, fry the onion, peppers and broccoli for a few minutes, then add in the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, crack 6 eggs into a large bowl, whisk together then stir in the milk, basil, seasoning and mozzarella.
  • Spread the vegetables onto the base of the quiche dish. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies, making sure there is even distribution then scatter the feta cubes on top.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for approx. 25 minutes, then allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving with a mixed leaf salad.

Note: This can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and warmed up before serving.

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie

Red Lentil Dahl

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Lentils are a great source of plant based protein and fibre so they’re super filling and satisfying. This tasty dahl is bursting with Indian spices and flavours which help to lower inflammation in the body. Rich in soluble fibre, folate and magnesium, lentils help to lower cholesterol in the body and support heart health. In addition, lentils are also a good source of iron which makes them a great addition to vegetarian dishes. The perfect meal for a ‘Meatless Monday’ …or any day of the week for that matter!

Ingredients (serves 4-6, freezes well)

  • 2tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes + 100ml water

Optional extras: some fresh coriander and a little mango chutney to garnish

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a little basmati rice or sweet potato mash. For a low carb accompaniment, try steamed cauliflower or cauliflower rice

Method

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat then add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Cook for a couple of minutes until the mustard seeds start to ‘pop’.
  • Add the onion and turmeric and fry for a couple of minutes, follow with the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
  • Pour in the lentils, coconut milk, chopped tomatoes and 100mls of water and stir.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season to taste then serve with fresh coriander and optional accompaniments above.

elsa jones logoElsa Jones is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and author of bestselling book ‘Goodbye Sugar’. She works as a nutrition consultant in a Dublin practice and also internationally via her online nutrition programs. She specialise’s in motivational weight management combining effective nutrition & mind-set strategies. www.elsajonesnutrition.ie