Sarah, the bus and health and happiness

So what is this blog about then?

The idea behind Granny Moon’s Salad Jars is not about calorie control and weight loss but about excellent nutrition and health. After Sarah’s accident (more info here WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT – DON’T Follow this link if you are squeamish) I became ever more fascinated with health, nutrition and diet.

So I began searching the internet. (Not clever as you rapidly convince yourself that the ‘symptoms’ match those of every potentially fatal disease and become convinced death is hovering.) Once I decided that our problems weren’t immediately fatal I delved further and found an absolute TON of info. Weeding out the scaremongering from the facts was also an interesting process, it helps that my mum (that’s Granny Moon bless her) was a nutritionist and dietician and my cousin, Barbara Keen OBE, a herbalist, their knowledge helped guide my learning process. I quickly realised that a lot of my problems were caused by shockingly bad diet choices made in the name of weight loss.

So I started studying what I could eat that would make help Sarah (and the rest of the family) feel healthier, more energetic and less prone to nightly fridge raids. (Did you know that sugary based and refined foods can trigger hormones behaviour that make you more susceptible to cravings? In fact you actively crave unhealthy foods because of various additives and bliss factors.)

So I decided to create amazing salads that were full of nutrition, easy to make, not over the top in calories and not preserved, refined or genetically altered. And any bliss factors were there because I chose to put them there.

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Believers and Non believers

So if I eat these salads and or highly nutritious food for every meal of every day I will never suffer a day of ill health?

Hahahahahaha – don’t we wish.

I know lots of people who’ve eaten nutritious balanced healthy meals but have still contracted cancer or heart disease and so on.

  • A body will have a genetic bent to be afflicted by certain diseases. Cancers, blood disorders, heart, nerve etc.
  • Environmental issues will also play a part.
  • Infectious diseases will crawl out the wood work and ordinary downright bad luck accidents will all conspire to make us ill.
  • Lack of exercise will also be a huge contributing factor to health.
  • And finally your mind plays the biggest part of all. If you are stressed, unhappy, burning with anger or subliminal hatred you will get ill. There is no question of that. Your ability to shrug off negative emotions and negative people around you plays a vital role in your state of health.

The key to perfect health and ever lasting life is probably a perfect environment with no pollutants or viruses/parasites etc, perfect nutrition, perfect mind and body balance and perfect love for all around you and above all, perfect love for yourself.

Failing that, let’s focus on some basic nutrition :)

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WARNING!!!! READ THIS!!!

They say there is nothing more dangerous than someone with a little knowledge and that’s me. There’s a saying:

You know what you know and you know there are things you don’t know you know but there are things you don’t know you don’t know.

I know there’s stuff I don’t know. Things like the fact that too much broccoli can be really bad for you if you’re on warfarin are recent knowledge acquisitions.

But the scary bit is what I don’t know that I don’t know.

So if you use this website for recipes and nutrition: PLEASE NOTE!!! I DON’T PRETEND TO KNOW ANYTHING. I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST. I AM NOT A DIETICIAN. I DON’T KNOW ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT MIGHT BE CRITICAL TO YOUR HEALTH OR MY OWN HEALTH. I HAVE FOUND MUCH OF MY INFORMATION THROUGH RESEARCH ON THE INTERNET.

IN THE SPACE OF TWO WEBSITES I READ BROWN RICE WAS BAD FOR YOU AND WOULD KILL YOU AND THE NEXT I READ THAT WHITE RICE WOULD KILL YOU.

I HAVE MADE MY OWN DECISIONS AND CHOICES AND HOPE THAT I MUDDLE THROUGH AND COME OUT BRUSHING OFF COBWEBS BUT VERY HEALTHY AND ALIVE. I MAKE NO PROMISES AND DO NOT PRETEND IN ANYWAY TO BE AN AUTHORITY WITH REGARDS THE CONTENT OF THIS WEBSITE.

IF YOU USE THE INFORMATION FOUND ON ANY OF THESE PAGES YOU DO SO ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

That said, if you stay and play, welcome :)!

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Winter Mason’s jars

 

IMG_0494Ended up sailing for three weeks in the summer and it completely knocked me off my stride – Now that it’s winter and we’re back in the routine this is how you can use your masons jars to help you eat healthy and nutritious meals in a budget friendly way.

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Butternut soup/stew.

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This chunky soup was so scrummy! It made six 500ml portions and cost around £5.00 / $8.00 – £0.80p each meal. It’s also quick to make and freezes easily.

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Chopped up the onion and garlic and fried them in vegetable oil

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I roasted some coriander seeds, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and crunched them all up with the pestle and mortar.

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Peeled the butternut (a big one) and cut it into dice sized pieces

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Friend them in a separate pan with some more vegetable oil until they were almost cooked through and starting to glaze/brown a little.

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In the pan with the onions I added the carrots and the chopped tomatoes and cooked them throughIMG_0395

Then I added them all together and added some vegetable stock and about 250ml of cream

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Once the soup was cooked I finely sliced some spring greens

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Fried them in vegetable oil

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They’re crispy and crunchy and give a bit of interest to what could be an ordinary soupIMG_0402 The jar on the left is the plain butternut soup, the one on the right is mixed with red lentils. More fibre and more protein but a fair amount of carbs.

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Very tasty

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Winter – Thai Green Curry Prawn and seafood with mushroom and vegetables on courgette pasta!

IMG_0479It was absolutely scrummy. It took about an hour to make but much of that was because I was farting around with the camera ;).

This cost around £9.00 ($15.00) and I made six Mason’s jars. One for dinner. Five for the freezer. Roughly a £1.50/$2.40 a meal. Not the cheapest but then not every meal has prawns in it!

I started with garlic, fish sauce and Thai Green Curry paste

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Then got these ingredients (apart from the fish fillets which I forgot to put in the photo -.-)

You can leave out or add whatever you want. I ended up adding a lot more mushrooms and used a little less broccoli. Mushrooms and vegetables are very low in calories but high in nutrition so I bulk up on those.

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Chopped up the onions, spring onions and added the chopped garlic

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Melted coconut butter in the pan (A healthy fat)

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Fried the onions etc until they were glassy in colour

IMG_0446Added the mushrooms

IMG_0452Sizzle, sizzle!

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Chopped the mange tout and the beans into slices because you need to be able to
eat your soup/stew with a spoon if you want.

Long beans and whole mange tout can be awkward. Splat.

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The same applies to the broccoli. Break (best not to cut) the florets
into small pieces that would comfortably sit on a teaspoon

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Now this bit it important :)
Part cook all the veg, one at a time but keep using the same salted water.
This is because the nutrients that aren’t destroyed by the heat and a lot
of the flavour go into the water. We’ll use this fluid as stock at the end. Don’t throw it away.

We also cook the veg this way because throwing everything in the pan all at once means some things overcook and some undercook. Ideally the veg should still have a nice crunch to it when you need to reheat.

IMG_0460As the veg cooks (DON’T OVERCOOK IT!!) cut up the prawns into smaller sizes.
Two reasons. One they go further and two, I like finding them in my soup. Three big ones and they’re gone in flash. Chopped into several pieces gives me little treasures to find as I eat – lolol.

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Chop up your fish fillets into small bite size pieces

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Add them to the vegetable stock and your spoon of fish sauce and cook.
Don’t over cook or else when you add everything together it turns to mush.

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The result – Vegetables are about 3/4 of the meal. The greens are in a big fat heap

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Thicken the stock that you cooked the vegetables and fish in and add more fish sauce if you fancy then pour it over.

IMG_0473Stir gently until mixed.

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Use a julienne peeler to cut up your courgette to make your carb free pasta.
Once peeled dunk for about 30 seconds into boiling salted water and then drain

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Put on the plate, add your Prawns and vegetables… Enjoy!

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Five jars for the Freezer, one a week. A healthy, low carb meal I don’t have to think about buying for/prepping for the next five weeks. :)

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Defrost when needed, heat and serve :)

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All the salads to date in a boring list

  1. Potato and butter beans with turmeric and ginger, mushroom and celery with spinach and cashews
  2. Chargrilled courgette, bringal with mushrooms and pickled beetroot with spring greens and sesame seeds
  3. Home made butter beans with broccoli, cucumber and red pepper with spinach and chopped pumpkin seeds and walnuts
  4. Pickled beetroot with tomatoes, carrots and broccoli with chargrilled chicken and iceberg lettuce
  5. Cucumber, celery, tomato with chargrilled courgette and bringal with spinach and roast mixed nuts
  6. Spinach with roast chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, peas and cucumber with pumpkin seeds and garlic dressing. (Cold berry Tea smoothie)
  7. French dressing, potato, green beans, tomato, sweet potato, carrots and Kale with flaked almonds
  8. French dressing, tomatoes, cucumber, rainbow of peppers, radish and gem lettuce with chopped Brazil nuts
  9. Thai Green Curry dressing with red kidney beans, sweet potato, potato and chicken with spinach and poppy seeds
  10. Ginger ponzu sauce with mushroom, tomato, peppers and salmon with spinach and sesame seeds.
  11. Granny moons salad dressing with carrots, potato, broccoli, cauliflower and radish with salmon and Kale
  12. Ginger Ponzu with cauliflower, peppers, corn and roast salmon with spinach and kale with roast pine nuts
  13. Pear with fig and white stilton with a honey and apple dressing with pecan nuts and spinach
  14. Butter bean with roast sweet potato, free range chicken and home sprouted mung beans with kale and a thai green curry dressing
  15. Rare prime beef with mint peas, red cabbage, plum tomatoes, green pepper and chopped mushroom with spinach and granny moons vinaigrette.
  16. Beta Carotene salad with garlic dressing, carrots, roast sweet potato, free range chicken,
    haricot beans and sesame seeds
  17. Sunshine salad with boiled egg, carrots, green beans, corn, roast tomato,
    new potatoes, red cabbage and vinaigrette
  18. Olive oil and lemon dressing with haricot beans, roast tomato, cucumber, mushrooms, green beans, spinach and smoked salmon with mixed nuts.
  19. Above plate – Baby spinach with roast red pepper with celery, feta cheese and black olives with lemon and olive oil dressing.
  20. Rosemary and garlic mushrooms and potatoes with sprouting beans, roast pepper and celery
  21. Courgette and carrot with Smoked mackerel and Chana Dal with lemon vinaigrette.
  22. Brown rice with leeks, peas and garlic with smoked haddock and boiled egg with baby spinach!
  23. Courgette, carrots with roast tomato, sweet red pepper, feta and black olives
  24. Sundried tomatoes with radishes, black olives and peas with a celery cream dressing
  25. Rosemary potatoes with garlic mushrooms and petit pois (peas)
  26. Rare roast beef with fresh green beans and new potatoes with garlic and honey dressing
  27. Carrots, red and green peppers, marinaded black mushrooms with garlic dressing and quinoa
  28. Broccoli fleurets with tomatoes, green olives, baby potatoes and sweet red pepper with an asian chilli dressing
  29. Sweet potato with chilli tomato with turmeric and green beans and black olives with romaine lettuce
  30. Carrots, tomato with chilli, olive oil and turmeric, sweetcorn, red lentils and pan-fried turkey strips with rocket and sesame seeds
  31. Home made avocado and cashew nut guacamole with pan fried tuna , cucumber, green pepper and celery with green olives served with spinach
  32. Carrots, sweet potato with tomato chilli with cucumber, green peppers with pistachio nuts and romaine lettuce
  33. Prawns with red lentils, sweet potatoes and avocado and cashew nut hollandaise sauce with rocket lettuce.
  34. Granny Moon’s French Dressing, carrot, celery, tomato, potato, minted peas, beetroot and cabbage.
  35. Asian chilli dressing with tomato, carrot, celery, olives, red onion, avocado with spring greens and sesame seeds.
  36. Olive oil and lemon with peas, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and Salmon with chopped Brazil nuts.
  37. Ginger and honey ponzu sauce with carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, red pepper and steamed turmeric chicken with sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  38. Granny Moon’s French Dressing, cauliflower, olives, tomato, steamed turmeric chicken, tomatoes and sesame seeds.
  39. Mayonnaise with spring green cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Salmon
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This week’s salads

I don’t know whether last 2013-06-30 11.37.50weeks insomnia salads were a success but I do know that by Saturday night I was sleeping much better. Of course I should have updated this yesterday but I forgot which means I can mention I barely slept last night but that’s because I had a good book ;)

This weeks salads are just salads with no agenda :) We have visitors to stay and I don’t think they’ll appreciate being handed jars for lunch.

2013-06-30 12.10.44Potato and butter beans with turmeric and ginger,
mushroom and celery with spinach and cashews

2013-06-30 12.11.52Chargrilled courgette, bringal with mushrooms and pickled beetroot
with spring greens and sesame seeds

2013-06-30 12.12.17Home made butter beans with broccoli, cucumber and red pepper
with spinach and chopped pumpkin seeds and walnuts

2013-06-30 12.13.11Pickled beetroot with tomatoes, carrots and broccoli with
chargrilled chicken and iceberg lettuce

2013-06-30 12.13.49Cucumber, celery, tomato with chargrilled courgette and bringal with
spinach and roast mixed nuts

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This week’s salads

2013-06-23 12.49.13This weeks focus is tackling insomnia. I’ve had so much on my mind I’ve had a real battle sleeping (purely my own fault). Sarah has got into a bad cycle with sleeping very late into the morning some mornings and then not sleeping at all the following night, then reeling with exhaustion and sleeping 14 hours straight the next night. Joe is having hassles at work and wakes up around 2.30am and flicks on the TV…

The below ingredients are some of the foods that have been said to fight insomnia because they contain tryptophan and magnesium and calcium. So I’m off to do the grocery shop shortly and these are some of the things I’ll be getting…

I’ll also include breakfasts and dinners as the week passes and show what we ate and see if it helped us sleep!

Foods to fight insomnia

  • Avocados, artichokes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Milk, hard and soft cheeses, yoghurt
  • Bananas, apricots, raisins and cantaloupe
  • Butternut squash
  • Cherries (tart), Dates
  • Chick peas – Chana Dal, Lentils
  • Salmon, tuna, oysters, clams and shellfish
  • Nutmeg
  • Spinach and leafy greens, Celery
  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Pumpkin Seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts, Hazelnuts, peanuts, soy bean nuts, cashews and pistachios

Drinks to fight insomnia

  • Warm glass of milk and honey before bed
  • Chamomile tea
  • Mint tea
  • Passionflower tea
  • Valerian tea
  • kava kava – can’t find any in UK

Will add a tiny pinch of Epsom salts to these and see what they taste like because magnesium can be very helpful with sleep problems apparently

This weeks salads

Lunch

2013-06-23 13.01.35Sweet potato with chilli tomato with turmeric and green beans
and black olives with romaine lettuce

2013-06-23 12.54.33Carrots, tomato with chilli, olive oil and turmeric, sweetcorn,
red lentils and pan-fried turkey strips with rocket and sesame seeds

2013-06-23 12.57.53Home made avocado and cashew nut guacamole with pan fried tuna , cucumber,
green pepper and celery with green olives served with spinach

2013-06-23 13.05.19Carrots, sweet potato with tomato chilli with cucumber,
green peppers with pistachio nuts and romaine lettuce

2013-06-23 13.17.52Prawns with red lentils, sweet potatoes and avocado and
cashew nut hollandaise sauce with rocket lettuce.

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This week’s salads

2013-06-16 13.45.53This weeks salads are focussing on energy boosting, anti-cholesterol, anti-ageing brain health.

Lesson learned from last weeks salads? Eat the cabbage/Kale salads first!! While these are still fine to eat they smell decidedly cabbagy.

Decided on a new style of photo this week so all these are without the greens which are still to be added!

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Sundried tomatoes with radishes, black olives
and peas with a celery cream dressing

2013-06-16 13.45.34Rosemary potatoes with garlic mushrooms and petit pois (peas)

2013-06-16 13.45.53Rare roast beef with fresh green beans and new potatoes
with garlic and honey dressing

2013-06-16 13.46.09
Carrots, red and green peppers, marinaded black mushrooms
with garlic dressing and quinoa

2013-06-16 13.50.23Broccoli fleurets with tomatoes, green olives, baby potatoes and
sweet red pepper with an asian chilli dressing

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365 day challenge for living naturally

I am planning on doing a 365 day no processed food, living naturally challenge and will start (I think) on 1st of August.

The concept is a little hazy at the moment but this is what I am looking at:

  • No manufactured foods or drinks
  • No processed foods or drinks
  • No preserved foods or drinks
  • Natural soaps, conditioners, toothpastes, deodorants and cleaning products

There are five wild cards – five products that are simply too much work to create myself so I will buy them ready made – I think these will be:

  1. Whole wheat Pasta
  2. Bread (I don’t eat bread but the family does)
  3. Dairy products (milk, butter and some cheeses {feta, parmesan, cheddar and blue} – I barely use these anyway)
  4. Coffee (A girl needs her vices)
  5. Wine! (See above :D )

There are five Get Out Of Jail cards  – these are for days where it is impossible to eat unprocessed food. Social gatherings etc. I can use one of these cards for each occasion where it’s not possible to avoid processed food altogether.

 

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This week’s salads

2013-06-09 13.41.12This week has been crazy busy and I’ve been chasing my tail, Sarah has exams, the house is a mess and all sorts of other stuff is happening so this coming weeks salads I’ve concentrated on B vitamins for Sarah’s Anti Stress and lots of protein and carbs for energy and brain power.

(Sorry for the poor photo quality :( Less haste more speed Jennifer!!)

 

Above plate – Baby spinach with roast red pepper with celery, feta cheese and
black olives with lemon and olive oil dressing.

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Rosemary and garlic mushrooms and potatoes with
sprouting beans, roast pepper and celery

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Courgette and carrot with Smoked mackerel and
Chana Dal with lemon vinaigrette.

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Really looking forward to this one – Brown rice with leeks, peas and garlic
with smoked haddock and boiled egg with baby spinach! Yummmmm

2013-06-09 18.54.23Not that you can see from this shocking photo but this is courgette, carrots with roast tomato, sweet red pepper, feta and black olives and no, there’s not as much dressing as it looks to be.

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This week’s salads

-----2013-06-02 16.33.14This week our salad ingredients are in honour of my eyes.

Up to about three weeks ago my glasses were useful but not essential. Suddenly I can’t read without them. How did that happen so quick? Anyway loads of vitamin A for eye health this week.

They’re are also a bit posh because it’s Alan’s birthday this week so he’s being spoiled with smoked salmon and roast prime beef (very rare treat for him – and he loves his meat!).

Also dosing up on selenium and dopamine through what we eat :)

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This salad is Pear with fig and white stilton with a
honey and apple dressing with pecan nuts and spinach

2013-06-02 15.30.29 2013-06-02 15.29.00

Butter bean with roast sweet potato, free range chicken and
home sprouted mung beans with kale and a thai green curry dressing

2013-06-02 14.52.00

2013-06-02 14.50.30

Rare prime beef with mint peas, red cabbage, plum tomatoes, green pepper and chopped mushroom
with spinach and granny moons vinaigrette.

2013-06-02 14.30.59 2013-06-02 14.29.07

Beta Carotene salad with garlic dressing, carrots, roast sweet potato, free range chicken,
haricot beans and sesame seeds2013-06-02 14.05.25

2013-06-02 14.01.39

Sunshine salad with boiled egg, carrots, green beans, corn, roast tomato,
new potatoes, red cabbage and vinaigrette

2013-06-02 13.36.55

2013-06-02 13.43.04

Olive oil and lemon dressing with haricot beans, roast tomato, cucumber, mushrooms, green beans, spinach and smoked salmon with mixed nuts.

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