Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Milk and genetics

BBC NEWS Health Early man 'couldn't stomach milk'

Another interesting article which suggests that the suspected link between between evolution and being able to tolerate lactose has been confirmed. Thank goodness I'm okay with goats milk - I wouldn't be able to live without cheese altogether!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Vegetable Tagine

***UPDATE: I had one of the portions of this I froze tonight, and it was really quite good. So, I think I was just not feeling particularly 100% the other day when I first made it, and thus, didn't enjoy it as much as I might. I think I will make it again. :)

I made that Vegetable and Apricot Tagine yesterday. Not bad, but it was one of those things that when you've made it, you really don't fancy eating it. If I make it again I'll cut the apricots up into small pieces to better distribute their sweetness through the mix - not sure I liked them in a savoury dish.

In the end the quantities described in the recipe made up about three large portions - two of which I've frozen, cos I'm not sure I fancy it tonight. I omitted the carrot (my pan was already full to capacity!) and managed to find Candida diet friendly passata at Sainsburys (in their Organic range).

A link between IBS and anxiety?

Interesting...never had IBS, as far as I'm aware, but certainly used to experience regular bouts of severe indigestion that would have me doubled up in pain, unable to move and throwing up! Since I've been on the anti-Candida diet these incidents occur less and less, but last time it happened I was certainly in the middle of a bout of extreme anxiety.

BBC NEWS Health 'Perfectionism' bowel pain link

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Recipe: Brown Lentil Bolognese

Here's a recipe I tried out the other day. I adapted it from a Rose Elliott book on vegetarian cookery (again, I failed to make a note of the title). It wasn't bad. A good 'base' to work from in my opinion. I think in the future I may omit the celery (which I'm not especially keen on) and add chopped tomatoes or passata.

Brown lentil bolognese

225g brown or green lentils
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
salt & pepper

Cook and drain the lentils according to the instructions on the packet. Keep the liquid. Brown the onions in the oil, add the garlic, celery, carrot. Cover and cook gently for fifteen minutes until tender. Add lentils, tomato puree, seasoning and reserved liquid to make a thick, soft consistency.

Serve with wholegrain spaghetti and shavings of hard goats cheese.

Recipe: Haricot Bean Soup

Just made this. Not bad. Kind of satisfied my strange craving for tinned tomato soup (weird - cos I never wanted it before I went on the diet). The recipe is adapted from one of those Australian Women's Weekly recipe books - Greek Cookery, I think.

Haricot bean soup

half a tin of haricot beans (in water)
olive oil
half an onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, sliced or crushed
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (no citric acid)
1 yeast-free, vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp tomato puree
500 ml hot water
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and onions. Cook until soft. Add celery and cook over a low heat for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, the stock cube and tomato puree. Add the beans and simmer with a lid on for about an hour. Stir in the parsley and season.

Suitable for freezing.

One thing this recipe has taught me is that I really need to work on my culinary skills - my 'finely chopped' is more like 'great big chunks'! My nutritional therapist has recommended that I have lots of soups and stews to cut through catarrh (nice :S), so expect some more soup recipes soon...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sea Plasma

My nutritional therapist has put me on Sea Plasma capsules. Apparently it's packed with beta carotene, vitamin B12, linolenic acid and all sorts of other good stuff. It smells like pond weed. I'm not sure how much longer I can tolerate it. Every time I open the bottle I want to throw up. :S

*** UPDATE: I've decided it smells more like gone-off prawns actually. Still pretty disgusting, anyway.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hugs improve women's heart health...

...according to researchers from the University of North Carolina. All I need to do now is find a hug partner. :(

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dried apricots and new recipe

My dried apricot of choice is produced by Crazy Jack Organics. The don't contain any preservatives, and so are very dark in colour, but caramelly and absolutely delicious. On the bag of my most recent packet is a recipe for Vegetable Tagine with Apricots. Now, I know I'm not meant to have more than two to three dried apricots a day (all that concentrated sugar, etc), but the recipe - which is presumably to serve four people (that's the standard, isn't it?) - requires 100 g of dried apricots: that's just less than half the packet. So, providing I didn't have my usual chopped apricots on my porridge that morning, I'm sure I wouldn't exceed my apricot quotient in one serving.

Anyway, the recipe is not on their website yet, so I'm going to reproduce it here:

1 medium onion - finely chopped
1 small red pepper - sliced
1 medium aubergine - roughly chopped
100g Crazy Jack Apricots
1 medium courgette - roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium carrot - thickly sliced
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 jar passata (guess I could substitute this for chopped tomatoes, if I can't find a passata without citric acid or added sugar)
1 clove garlic - crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper

1. In a large saucepan gently fry the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the garlic, pepper, aubergine and courgette and fry for 2 minutes. Add the spices and stir well for 2 mins.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and cook until the apricots and carrots are soft.
3. Season to taste and serve with couscous.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? I'll try it out and let you all know (let you all know? Who am I kidding - no one reads this blog!!).

Snacks that'll blow your head off! Seriously!

I was in Holland & Barrett the other day, and starving hungry. I didn't want to go down the fruit snack route (I'm trying to curb my consumption - I think they may be responsible for my recent flare-up). Eventually, after scouring the shelves, I found Wakama Seasoned Snacks - a kind of Japanese-style potato crisp. And they seem to be anti-Candida diet friendly and they were on sale!


potato starch
tamari (jury's out on this one - I'm allowed soy sauce, so I'm guessing a bit of tamari isn't too bad)
rice bran oil
green pepper
wasabi powder (ouch!)
sea salt
barley malt (ooh, hang on, is that okay?)
job's tear (hatomugi)
wheat germ

They're pretty tasty and moreish too. But watch out for the wasabi, several of the crackers brought tears to my eyes!

STOP PRESS - barley malt is used as a sweetener. Oh, bugger!

This is freaky!

You are striving to make favourable impressions all of the time and you are going out of your way to make the impression that you are something special. You are constantly on the watch to see how your friends and neighbours are reacting to your various ploys. But this is so unnecessary because most of the time you are in control of the situation - and you are, in the nicest sense of the word, a 'manipulator' because you use various strategies very cleverly in order to influence and obtain the necessary recognition.Being a somewhat gentle, emotional and sensitive person, you are at this time experiencing a considerable amount of tension. What you really need is someone who can be close to you and to listen to what you have to say.Circumstances are holding you back, forcing you to back off and to forgo all the pleasures, fun and games for the time being. But this is only a temporary situation and before you even know it the situation could change.You are pretending that the situation around you doesn't matter, but the effort of trying to conceal your emotions and anxieties is resulting in untold stress. The existing situation is disagreeable. You feel unwanted and lonely and you would really like to associate with someone whose ideals are as high as your own. You want to be above the standard of mediocrity and this need to be needed and that need to need has almost become an obsession. You are trying to magnify the need into a compelling urge. You would really like to tell the world how great you are but no, you are holding back because you feel that your peers may treat you with contempt. This is a great pity because you have in fact a unique quality of character, but the continual restraint that you impose on yourself makes you suppress this need for others and you pretend you don't really care. You treat those who criticise you with contempt. However, to be honest, beneath this assumption of indifference you really long for the approval and esteem of others.You need to be respected as an exceptional individual. This is the only way that you can hope to achieve the status that you wish to achieve. You set yourself very high standards - and come what may - you abide by them.


Friday, February 16, 2007


I've bought a couple of nice fresh soups from Marks & Spencers recently. The best - a delicious and fresh-tasting smooth soup - was Butternut Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Harissa, which lent a spicy kick, just right for the cold weather we've been having recently. And if you get down there quick, they might still have their 'buy one, get one half price' offer on!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sweeties that the yeasty-beasties won't like (too much!)

I've put that caveat in the title of this post, because I think it's important to remember that sugar is sugar, be it naturally occurring in fruit or refined. And in concentrated forms even fruit sugar should be limited. However, if you're in desperate need of something sweet and chewy, 'La Fruit', made by Lyme Regis foods and available from Waitrose and Holland and Barrett might be just the ticket.

They are available in a range of flavours; I've tried raspberry and blackberry. I think they also make them in apricot flavour. They are based - like a lot of these kind of products - on apple and pear puree and have no added sugar or sweeteners. In appearance, they're more like those blackcurrant glycerine throat sweets you get from the chemists than fruit pastilles, but they're very fruity and just the right texture.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More good stuff from Waitrose

I completely lied when I said in my last post that I'd finished blogging about Waitrose - I've still got a few more things to talk about. Gawd, my brain is like a sieve sometimes.

First up, Activa Sugar Free Coconut Cookies - those Belgians have done it again! Fab cookies with a crumbly texture. Don't hold their own against plain chocolate digestives, but it's all relative I suppose. Having said all that, these cookies fall into a bit of an anti-Candida diet grey area. As well as maltitol, they are sweetened with sucralose, or by another name, Splenda. I've done a quick google search and it looks like the jury's out on sucralose. So, to be on the safe side, I'd avoid it if I wasn't maintaining.

Orgran Gluten-Free Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce - just like I used to have on toast when I was a little girl, kind of. The Spaghetti is gluten-free, so the texture is a little strange and the tomato sauce is sweetened with pear juice. The overall flavour is fairly bland, to be honest, but it filled a hole. Not sure I'd buy another tin though. Perhaps a dollop of Whole Earth Ketchup or tomato puree would have livened it up a bit?

That's all for now...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A quick round up...

...of candida diet friendly products and ready-meals to start the month of February.

As a quick aside, it's been wonderful and Spring-like here for the last couple of days - has done my prevailing mood no end of good. Though the weather man says we're set for frosty weather next week - hope the days stay lovely and crisp and bright. I feel like I can just do and cope with so much more when the sun shines. Got to get me one of those daylight lamps for gloomy days.

To start, my last couple of Waitrose finds:
  • Aloo Gobi Saag ready-meal, chunks of potato, cauliflower florets and spinach in a tomato-y, spicy sauce. Lovely. :) It's a while since I ate this one (the packaging has been sitting on my desk waiting to be 'blogged'), and I can't remember how hot it was, but I do remember it was pretty good. Another great standby to have in the freezer.
  • Another soup by the Really Interesting Food Company - this time, Sri Lankan Lentil and Coconut Soup. Now, this one was pretty powerful spicy-heat wise, as far as I can remember. In fact the rest of the tin is still languishing in the back of the fridge. Not because it wasn't good (it was!), but because I had friends to stay and never got round to eating the rest of it - shame (note to self: clean out fridge!).

And now for some new things from Sainsburys, my usual supermarket of choice:

  • Taste the Difference Butternut Squash and Sunflower Seed Layered Dip - smooth, hummus-y chickpea dip topped with chunks of roasted squash and whole chickpeas. Makes a nice change from 'classic' hummus, and kind of looks home-made which is good. Has to be eaten within two days of opening though, and there's just too much there for little old me to eat on my own.
  • Stamp Collection (as in Terence Stamp) Organic Wheat Free New York Deli Bread - sold in packets of six slices. Like a rye bread, but a little less dense and softer. More like 'normal' bread, though quite crumbly (doesn't make good sandwiches). Needs to be kept in fridge after opening. Advertised as containing no added yeast. Great!