From the journal

We’re Serving Up Better Mental Health

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health condition each year it’s essential that we start to approach mental health with a 360˚ view. Whilst drugs can be highly effective, we also now understand the importance of a healthy diet and key nutrients to support overall mental wellbeing, reducing stress and anxiety and improving general mood. 

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With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health condition each year it’s essential that we start to approach mental health with a 360˚ view. Whilst drugs can be highly effective, we also now understand the importance of a healthy diet and key nutrients to support overall mental wellbeing, reducing stress and anxiety and improving general mood. 

Read more


Why We’ve Gone Frozen

If you’re following us on social media you may have already picked up that we’re switching our fresh meals to frozen meals.

Although, due to the history of frozen ready meals they seem to have a pretty bad rep. Yet, we’re very excited and proud to be making big waves within the ready meal industry to show you that convenience meals can be healthy, fresh and just as nutritious. This week we’re here to dispel some common myths associated with frozen meals and show you how we plan on leading the frozen ready meal market. 

You’re probably not surprised to hear that freezing food isn’t a modern-day revolution. Our ancestors have been freezing food for years by using snow and ice to help preserve their catch of the day. With the development of quick freezing, our methods have become a safer way to help to prevent the development of microbes. So let’s take a look at how freezing can help to preserve some of the nutrients in food and why it’s not quite what it used to be.

 

1. Helps to reduce spoilage and development of microbes

When food is fresh microbes can grow through the presence of the water. Although in frozen food the water is frozen meaning that it becomes unavailable for the microbes to grow. In the same way the freezing process prevents food spoilage for the most part. Parasites are the exception which can still grow under frozen conditions. 

 

2. Nutrient profiles 

For the most part nutrients are protected or unaffected during the freezing process. If a food is blanched before being frozen then Vitamin C may be slightly damaged. Yet when food is fresh the vitamin C degrades as a result of being exposed to oxygen. Some research was carried out on frozen blueberries vs fresh blueberries. The researchers concluded that the anthocyanins were unaffected by the freezing process. 

 

3. Protected proteins in meat and fish 

The nutritional profiles of meat and fish are kept in tact during the freezing process due to the proteins and fat-soluble nutrients which are unaffected. 

 

4. Promotes seasonal eating 

Freezing foods help to promote seasonal eating. As food lasts in the freezer for 3-4 months you can purchase meals which are in season and should you not get round to consuming it the nutrients will be of higher quality when foods are in season. Seasonal produce come from local farms which means that they’re picked closer to their ripening time. This means that more of the nutrients have been developed. 

 

5. Reduces food waste 

We live in world where food waste is becoming more and more important. The Courtauld Commitment have set out to reduce food waste by 20% per person between 2015 and 2025! In 2015 as a population we were wasting 156kg of food per person per year! Freezing food allows you to save the dish for another time rather than throwing it away due to microbial spoilage. We have more information coming this month on how to reduce your food waste. 


As you can see there are a number of reasons as to why we have decided to make our meals frozen. Not only is this more convenient for you, it helps to reduce waste and becomes more cost effective should your plans change and you not end up eating the meal. 

If you have any questions on our new frozen meals please do get in touch.



Read more

If you’re following us on social media you may have already picked up that we’re switching our fresh meals to frozen meals.

Although, due to the history of frozen ready meals they seem to have a pretty bad rep. Yet, we’re very excited and proud to be making big waves within the ready meal industry to show you that convenience meals can be healthy, fresh and just as nutritious. This week we’re here to dispel some common myths associated with frozen meals and show you how we plan on leading the frozen ready meal market. 

You’re probably not surprised to hear that freezing food isn’t a modern-day revolution. Our ancestors have been freezing food for years by using snow and ice to help preserve their catch of the day. With the development of quick freezing, our methods have become a safer way to help to prevent the development of microbes. So let’s take a look at how freezing can help to preserve some of the nutrients in food and why it’s not quite what it used to be.

 

1. Helps to reduce spoilage and development of microbes

When food is fresh microbes can grow through the presence of the water. Although in frozen food the water is frozen meaning that it becomes unavailable for the microbes to grow. In the same way the freezing process prevents food spoilage for the most part. Parasites are the exception which can still grow under frozen conditions. 

 

2. Nutrient profiles 

For the most part nutrients are protected or unaffected during the freezing process. If a food is blanched before being frozen then Vitamin C may be slightly damaged. Yet when food is fresh the vitamin C degrades as a result of being exposed to oxygen. Some research was carried out on frozen blueberries vs fresh blueberries. The researchers concluded that the anthocyanins were unaffected by the freezing process. 

 

3. Protected proteins in meat and fish 

The nutritional profiles of meat and fish are kept in tact during the freezing process due to the proteins and fat-soluble nutrients which are unaffected. 

 

4. Promotes seasonal eating 

Freezing foods help to promote seasonal eating. As food lasts in the freezer for 3-4 months you can purchase meals which are in season and should you not get round to consuming it the nutrients will be of higher quality when foods are in season. Seasonal produce come from local farms which means that they’re picked closer to their ripening time. This means that more of the nutrients have been developed. 

 

5. Reduces food waste 

We live in world where food waste is becoming more and more important. The Courtauld Commitment have set out to reduce food waste by 20% per person between 2015 and 2025! In 2015 as a population we were wasting 156kg of food per person per year! Freezing food allows you to save the dish for another time rather than throwing it away due to microbial spoilage. We have more information coming this month on how to reduce your food waste. 


As you can see there are a number of reasons as to why we have decided to make our meals frozen. Not only is this more convenient for you, it helps to reduce waste and becomes more cost effective should your plans change and you not end up eating the meal. 

If you have any questions on our new frozen meals please do get in touch.



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Reduce your food waste

Optimising health, limiting food waste and promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle is at the heart of what we do at The Transformation Chef.

We strongly feel that food waste is on the rise and we all need to play a role in helping The Courtauld Commitment achieve their aim of reducing food waste by 20% per person between 2015 to 2025. Below are some facts from the latest WRAP report which really emphasises the importance of working to reduce food waste. 

  • 41 million tonnes of food is purchased each year with nearly a quarter being wasted! 
  • 10 million tonnes of food is wasted each year (7.1million tonnes of this are from household waste!)
  • 70% of food wasted is considered acceptable to eat.
  • £20billion of food is wasted per year.
  • 9% of strawberries and 19% of lettuces grown are wasted each year. 

As you can see food waste is becoming more and more problematic. Not only is this causing a strain on our environment through the production of greenhouse gases (25million tonnes are utilised to remove food waste) it’s also causing a greater strain on our forever growing population. As this week is Recycle Awareness Week we’ve put together our most simple tips which can help you to limit your food waste and upcycle your meals, optimise your recycling schemes and help to contribute towards a healthier planet:

  1. Avoid BOGOFs and over buying when you shop – unfortunately when it comes to bogofs we end up buying more because it’s ‘free’ and the truth of it is that the second one often gets wasted. 
  2. Prep your meals before your shop – prepping your meals can help you streamline your shop and prevent you buying more food than you need. You’ll also save money too. 
  3. Be aware of portion sizes – avoid over serving food to yourself and your guests. Once it’s on the plate you can’t re-use the dish for lunch the following day. It’s always better to underserve and opt for seconds rather than overserving.
  4. Get creative with leftovers – if you’ve got a small amount of veggies left but perhaps not a enough for a whole meal try making it into an omelette, a pasta dish or even a soup for the freezer. 
  5. Be aware of food storage. Storing your food properly can help to limit food spoiling before their time and therefore reduce food waste. 
  6. Get to know your dates. Best before dates are not the same as use by dates. Best before dates mean that the food is still edible after that time. Take initiative if the food appears, smells and tastes normal then it’s more than likely perfectly fine to eat. 

There you have our top tips for helping to limit our food waste. Next time you’re purchasing food think twice about whether you really need everything in your basket. 


Reference: 

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Food%20Surplus%20and%20Waste%20in%20the%20UK%20Key%20Facts%2014%205%2019.pdf



Read more

Optimising health, limiting food waste and promoting a healthy balanced lifestyle is at the heart of what we do at The Transformation Chef.

We strongly feel that food waste is on the rise and we all need to play a role in helping The Courtauld Commitment achieve their aim of reducing food waste by 20% per person between 2015 to 2025. Below are some facts from the latest WRAP report which really emphasises the importance of working to reduce food waste. 

  • 41 million tonnes of food is purchased each year with nearly a quarter being wasted! 
  • 10 million tonnes of food is wasted each year (7.1million tonnes of this are from household waste!)
  • 70% of food wasted is considered acceptable to eat.
  • £20billion of food is wasted per year.
  • 9% of strawberries and 19% of lettuces grown are wasted each year. 

As you can see food waste is becoming more and more problematic. Not only is this causing a strain on our environment through the production of greenhouse gases (25million tonnes are utilised to remove food waste) it’s also causing a greater strain on our forever growing population. As this week is Recycle Awareness Week we’ve put together our most simple tips which can help you to limit your food waste and upcycle your meals, optimise your recycling schemes and help to contribute towards a healthier planet:

  1. Avoid BOGOFs and over buying when you shop – unfortunately when it comes to bogofs we end up buying more because it’s ‘free’ and the truth of it is that the second one often gets wasted. 
  2. Prep your meals before your shop – prepping your meals can help you streamline your shop and prevent you buying more food than you need. You’ll also save money too. 
  3. Be aware of portion sizes – avoid over serving food to yourself and your guests. Once it’s on the plate you can’t re-use the dish for lunch the following day. It’s always better to underserve and opt for seconds rather than overserving.
  4. Get creative with leftovers – if you’ve got a small amount of veggies left but perhaps not a enough for a whole meal try making it into an omelette, a pasta dish or even a soup for the freezer. 
  5. Be aware of food storage. Storing your food properly can help to limit food spoiling before their time and therefore reduce food waste. 
  6. Get to know your dates. Best before dates are not the same as use by dates. Best before dates mean that the food is still edible after that time. Take initiative if the food appears, smells and tastes normal then it’s more than likely perfectly fine to eat. 

There you have our top tips for helping to limit our food waste. Next time you’re purchasing food think twice about whether you really need everything in your basket. 


Reference: 

http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Food%20Surplus%20and%20Waste%20in%20the%20UK%20Key%20Facts%2014%205%2019.pdf



Read more


Taking a Balanced Approach To Food

We hear the word ‘balance’ being thrown around all the time at the moment but what exactly is a ‘healthy balanced diet’ and what does it mean by taking a ‘balanced approach to food’...

To be clear this post isn’t about intuitive eating. There’s an argument that if you’re someone who’s come from food rule to food rule, essentially intuitive eating is just another set of rules for how to eat according to your body. So instead, this is about learning to identify your food habits and adjusting where you seem feasible. Disclaimer: this post is not here to heal a poor relationship with food. Should you feel that your relationship with food needs some work please seek professional personalised advice from a qualified individual or take a look at BEAT website.

So, to start with a healthy balanced diet is ultimately one which works for you, which leaves you feeling satisfied, full, free from gastrointestinal symptoms (although this can be associated with gastrointestinal disorders in which case this should be checked separately) and full of energy. For some that might mean a higher percentage of carbohydrates whereas for other it might mean a higher percentage of proteins or fats. We really are all unique and there is no one size fits all!

Please be aware that everyone’s relationships with food are unique and some much more complex than others. So, whilst this information is here to guide you, it’s not here to fix you!

When you start to realise that we are all unique, we all have different needs and just because something worked for your neighbour isn’t to say it will work for you, you’re much more likely to feel at peace with food. In order to develop a healthier relationship to food you should start to identify any common habits, feelings and emotions in relation to food. Ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.

  1. Do you feel out of control when food is around?
  2. Do you feel extreme emotions in relation to food (high or low)?
  3. Are you distracted from other tasks by thinking about food?

From your answers you’ll be able to asses where you think your relationship with food lies. Should you feel as though you crave a little bit too much or rely on food for comfort a few too many times a week/day then below are a few top tips. Remember though you should always seek advice from a professional should you feel that this is having a greater impact.

Check in with your cravings...

Cravings are completely normal to some degree but if you’re experiencing very strong and regular cravings then ask yourself: Could your blood sugar levels be low? Are you thirsty? Have you had a particularly emotional day? Are you currently stress, anxious or nervous?

Opt for self-care... 

Often feeding your emotions with food can be viewed as a way of looking after yourself. Try taking time out, having a bath with a cuppa, read a book, head for a walk or simply watch a movie and allow some you time.

Don’t deny yourself...

Denying yourself specific foods is likely to lead you to wanting them even more. If you want a slice of chocolate, have it, enjoy it and move on

#Balance... 

Balance isn’t about overeating one day and then pounding it out in the gym to ‘burn it all off’. It’s about incorporating a wide range of foods into your diet. Focusing on fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, wholegrains, beans, pulses, eggs, nuts, seeds and high-quality dairy for the most part and then topping up with the odd slice of cake, square(s) of chocolate or scoop of ice cream.

Be yourself...

Speak the truth. Masking your emotions can sometimes lead you to consuming food by way of release as you’re not releasing your emotions out in the open. Understanding how you’re feeling is challenging although can be really important when it comes to your relationship with food.

    These are just a few useful insights which can help make a dent into understanding your relationship to food and finding #balance. Remember though if this is something which has additional roots then please do seek advice.

     

    Read more

    We hear the word ‘balance’ being thrown around all the time at the moment but what exactly is a ‘healthy balanced diet’ and what does it mean by taking a ‘balanced approach to food’...

    To be clear this post isn’t about intuitive eating. There’s an argument that if you’re someone who’s come from food rule to food rule, essentially intuitive eating is just another set of rules for how to eat according to your body. So instead, this is about learning to identify your food habits and adjusting where you seem feasible. Disclaimer: this post is not here to heal a poor relationship with food. Should you feel that your relationship with food needs some work please seek professional personalised advice from a qualified individual or take a look at BEAT website.

    So, to start with a healthy balanced diet is ultimately one which works for you, which leaves you feeling satisfied, full, free from gastrointestinal symptoms (although this can be associated with gastrointestinal disorders in which case this should be checked separately) and full of energy. For some that might mean a higher percentage of carbohydrates whereas for other it might mean a higher percentage of proteins or fats. We really are all unique and there is no one size fits all!

    Please be aware that everyone’s relationships with food are unique and some much more complex than others. So, whilst this information is here to guide you, it’s not here to fix you!

    When you start to realise that we are all unique, we all have different needs and just because something worked for your neighbour isn’t to say it will work for you, you’re much more likely to feel at peace with food. In order to develop a healthier relationship to food you should start to identify any common habits, feelings and emotions in relation to food. Ask yourself the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can.

    1. Do you feel out of control when food is around?
    2. Do you feel extreme emotions in relation to food (high or low)?
    3. Are you distracted from other tasks by thinking about food?

    From your answers you’ll be able to asses where you think your relationship with food lies. Should you feel as though you crave a little bit too much or rely on food for comfort a few too many times a week/day then below are a few top tips. Remember though you should always seek advice from a professional should you feel that this is having a greater impact.

    Check in with your cravings...

    Cravings are completely normal to some degree but if you’re experiencing very strong and regular cravings then ask yourself: Could your blood sugar levels be low? Are you thirsty? Have you had a particularly emotional day? Are you currently stress, anxious or nervous?

    Opt for self-care... 

    Often feeding your emotions with food can be viewed as a way of looking after yourself. Try taking time out, having a bath with a cuppa, read a book, head for a walk or simply watch a movie and allow some you time.

    Don’t deny yourself...

    Denying yourself specific foods is likely to lead you to wanting them even more. If you want a slice of chocolate, have it, enjoy it and move on

    #Balance... 

    Balance isn’t about overeating one day and then pounding it out in the gym to ‘burn it all off’. It’s about incorporating a wide range of foods into your diet. Focusing on fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, wholegrains, beans, pulses, eggs, nuts, seeds and high-quality dairy for the most part and then topping up with the odd slice of cake, square(s) of chocolate or scoop of ice cream.

    Be yourself...

    Speak the truth. Masking your emotions can sometimes lead you to consuming food by way of release as you’re not releasing your emotions out in the open. Understanding how you’re feeling is challenging although can be really important when it comes to your relationship with food.

      These are just a few useful insights which can help make a dent into understanding your relationship to food and finding #balance. Remember though if this is something which has additional roots then please do seek advice.

       

      Read more


      Mindful Eating: What is it and how can you do it?

      Mindful Eating is a term which has gained a fair amount of media coverage recently...

      It’s also quickly being thrown around without really being understood. So, in this article we’ve broken down what mindful eating is, why it’s important and how you can start to embrace it a little more. Eating mindfully is allowing an open-minded awareness of how the food we choose to eat affects one’s body, mind and feelings.

      We’ve all been guilty on working through lunch and not even noticing that we finished the last bite. Eating mindlessly is when we eat whilst distracted and we’re not aware of the food we’re shovelling down. Mindless eating can impair the body’s ability to digest food properly.

      Digestion starts long before you put the first bite into your mouth. The smells, the thoughts and the food preparation helps to stimulate the production of amylase in the mouth and digestive enzymes to help breakdown the food. This is known as the cephalic phase of feeding and it’s a crucial part to get the brain and the digestive system all on the same page.

      When you eat mindlessly you’re much more likely to over eat as it takes longer for the brain to identify that you’re full. You’re also less likely to feel as satisfied from your food so you end up hunting for more which might not help when it comes to weight management.

      The other issue with eating mindlessly is that there’s an increased risk that you won’t be absorbing nutrients as well if your digestive tract isn’t being as affective as it should be. So how can you start focusing more on what you’re eating? Below we’ve listed our top 3 tips when it comes to eating more mindfully...

      Remove distractions

      TV, social media, phones, magazines, newspapers etc. are all huge distractions when it comes to eating mindlessly.

      Focus 

      Focus on the textures, flavours, aromas, any memories you might have when you think about that food. How it’s affecting the way you feel.

      Stick to one eating place in the home 

      When we tend to eat in every room we’re much more likely to be distracted and eat more mindlessly. Stick to one room of your living space to help you associate that spot with food and avoid eating mindlessly elsewhere. Of course when you’re outside the home it can be a bit more difficult. 

      Bonus tip: STOP! 

      It’s too normal to be working through lunch or on your way to a meeting. Start looking after yourself and putting time in to eat lunch (without any distractions). This can also help you to control stress throughout the day as you can take a step back and some time for yourself. There you have our top tips on mindful eating. We urge you all to eat more mindfully and start to notice how the food you’re eating really makes you feel!

      To help reduce stress and time as a barrier to mindful eating check out ours meals here.

      Read more

      Mindful Eating is a term which has gained a fair amount of media coverage recently...

      It’s also quickly being thrown around without really being understood. So, in this article we’ve broken down what mindful eating is, why it’s important and how you can start to embrace it a little more. Eating mindfully is allowing an open-minded awareness of how the food we choose to eat affects one’s body, mind and feelings.

      We’ve all been guilty on working through lunch and not even noticing that we finished the last bite. Eating mindlessly is when we eat whilst distracted and we’re not aware of the food we’re shovelling down. Mindless eating can impair the body’s ability to digest food properly.

      Digestion starts long before you put the first bite into your mouth. The smells, the thoughts and the food preparation helps to stimulate the production of amylase in the mouth and digestive enzymes to help breakdown the food. This is known as the cephalic phase of feeding and it’s a crucial part to get the brain and the digestive system all on the same page.

      When you eat mindlessly you’re much more likely to over eat as it takes longer for the brain to identify that you’re full. You’re also less likely to feel as satisfied from your food so you end up hunting for more which might not help when it comes to weight management.

      The other issue with eating mindlessly is that there’s an increased risk that you won’t be absorbing nutrients as well if your digestive tract isn’t being as affective as it should be. So how can you start focusing more on what you’re eating? Below we’ve listed our top 3 tips when it comes to eating more mindfully...

      Remove distractions

      TV, social media, phones, magazines, newspapers etc. are all huge distractions when it comes to eating mindlessly.

      Focus 

      Focus on the textures, flavours, aromas, any memories you might have when you think about that food. How it’s affecting the way you feel.

      Stick to one eating place in the home 

      When we tend to eat in every room we’re much more likely to be distracted and eat more mindlessly. Stick to one room of your living space to help you associate that spot with food and avoid eating mindlessly elsewhere. Of course when you’re outside the home it can be a bit more difficult. 

      Bonus tip: STOP! 

      It’s too normal to be working through lunch or on your way to a meeting. Start looking after yourself and putting time in to eat lunch (without any distractions). This can also help you to control stress throughout the day as you can take a step back and some time for yourself. There you have our top tips on mindful eating. We urge you all to eat more mindfully and start to notice how the food you’re eating really makes you feel!

      To help reduce stress and time as a barrier to mindful eating check out ours meals here.

      Read more