Bite Me!

Hello! Are you all still out there or have you all melted?!

What incredible weather it’s been. Hot, hot, hot. Spending a lot of time outside, especially in the evenings.

However, it would appear that this year I am extra tasty than usual. Or maybe there are just more mozzies around! However, last night after the 8th consecutive bite, I was getting a little annoyed. It was beginning to interrupt my calm, evening wine drinking. And that was a step too far. So off I went to find the insect spray. All gone. Then I remembered that the last one I bought I didn’t like very much. It was a bit stingy on the skin, smelt awful and was laden with chemicals. So I thought quickly about how to make my own.

Deet, which is in most anti-bug sprays is ok in small doses for us humans, but in larger quantities it’s been shown to cause some health issues. As you know, I’m all for finding a more natural alternative if I can. I did a bit of googling about what mozzies don’t like. Turns out, they hate vinegar. Both the taste, and the smell.

I’ve always got vinegar on stock, but I felt like my aged modena balsamic was not the appropriate one for the task! Luckily, I’m a fan of apple cider vinegar for MANY reasons, so I went for that. I used equal parts water and ACV and popped it into a spray bottle. But I didn’t fancy smelling like a bag of chips! So I added some essential oils that I had on stock, which were lavender (mozzies hate that too), tea tree (a super antiseptic), clove oil & eucalyptus. Much nicer!

It worked brilliantly! And not only did it keep the tricky little bitey things away, it also helped stop the itching of my existing bites. Winner! 

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Let me know if you try it out, or if you have any alternative treatments which work. You could add any type of essential oil that you like the smell of, obviously citronella would also be a great one, and lavender would also be relaxing!

Now I can carry on enjoying those lovely warm summer evenings in the knowledge that my wine drinking time is now uninterrupted!

Happy summer eves!

S x

 

 

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Don’t Sweat It!

Happy weekend lovelies!

What a hot few weeks it’s been! That’s sort of what this post is going to be about. As you know, Kitchey is all about eating the best possible foods to make you feel your best and be the healthiest and most nourished version of yourself. But that also counts for what you pot on your body too. Our skin is our largest organ, and anything we put on it is absorbed straight into our blood stream and into our bodies. So I always think to myself, “would I eat it?” If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t be putting it on your body either.

Over the years I’ve found that one of the hardest things to find in a natural version, is deodorant.

It’s really important for our bodies to sweat, to help cool us down, but standard deodorants and anti-perspirants do the opposite and clog our pores. Sweat doesn’t smell. It’s only salt & water. It’s when it comes into contact with bacteria on our skin that it produces an odour. Natural deodorants don’t block our pores, so they enable our bodies to sweat properly and the good bacterias can do their work to keep you smelling fresh.

‘Normal’ deodorants come with their own health risks too. The chemicals can cause hormonal effects and aluminum compounds found in some antiperspirants have been linked to diseases such as breast cancer and alzheimers.

Since every body is different, you should try a few for yourself and see what works for you.

I’ve tried LOADS and I’ve never found one that truly works. Until NOW! So here is my recommendation to keep you smelling lovely and to keep your body safe from chemicals and harmful ingredients.

The one I love is called ‘Lekker in een potje’. There are 3 ‘flavours’, neutral, lavender and peppermint & rosemary. My favourite is the peppermint & rosemary. These deodorants come in beautiful little tins and contain only natural ingredients, are vegan and cruelty free. And most importantly, IT WORKS! I smell good! I tried them through last weeks sweltering weather and that was a tough test! But I was really impressed.

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You can buy them in Albert Heijn supermarkets and online at www.lekkerineenpotje.nl

This blog is not an advertisment and has not been sponsored by the company (although if they would like to then I’d happily accept!). I just wanted to let you know about a great product that really works.

Have you tried them? If so which is your favourite one? Remember to comment below or tag us using #Kitchey into any of your posts on instagram, twitter or Facebook. We can be found on all of them! @kitcheynutrition

Have a great, slightly cooler, sweet smelling week!

S x

This Stuff is One in a Melon!

Hellllooo!

Its been a while! End of term, dissertation, life!

Hope you are all doing well and taking time to enjoy this beautiful weather.

Today’s topic…. watermelons! I LOVE them and have been eating LOADS lately. I love them in salads with fresh mint, cooked on the barbecue with lime and coriander – if you havent tried it, do it now –  and most of all as a juice, first thing in the morning. They are so sweet and refreshing and incredibly good for your body and cells.

Here are the top amazing things that watermelon can do for you:

  • they are one of the easiest foods for our stomachs to digest
  • they contain large amounts of silica, great for joints, teeth, hair, nails and bones
  • although they are around 90% water, the mineral and nutrient content in them is huge. The water in watermelons is almost the same as our blood and contains potassium, glucose and sodium – essential for hydration and detoxifying
  • they thin the blood, which helps to protect against heart, liver and kidney diseases
  • they are anti-inflammatory, protecting against disease
  • high in vitamins A&C – vitamin A, among other things is essential for eye health
  • helps to boost the immune system
  • loaded with antioxidants
  • helps keep our pH levels neutral, and great for relieving indigestion
  • lowers high blood pressure
  • it’s a natural aphrodisiac – BONUS!

It’s a pretty miraculous fruit really, and at the moment they are really cheap and really delicious. If you find that eating watermelon gives you tummy ache, try eating it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, rather than later in the day. It digests so fast that if you eat it after heavy food it will sit and ferment and cause tummy ache and bloating. No one wants that!

If you are finding this hot weather too much, get yourself some watermelon and rehydrate. It can also help to prevent heat stroke. Dogs can eat it too, if you remove the seeds and skin, so give your pup a refreshing treat as well!

If you have any great ways that you love to eat watermelon, let me know below or tag me on instagram  with a picture!

Until next time, enjoy the sunshine and keep hydrated!

S x

Birthday Blog!

Hi Lovelies!

Well, these last few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster! Highs and lows all over the place, not to mention sleepless nights, long hours and LOTS of studying! But, this week I managed to hand in my final project. WHOOP! So, fingers crossed!

It was my birthday this week too! I have to say, I normally love birthdays, any excuse for bubbles and fun, but this one hit me. I think that as an expat, no matter how many years you’ve been away from home, there are times when you feel a bit sad or a bit lonely and miss your family a bit more. Birthdays do that! Especially when you are super tired.
Anyhow, I grabbed a wine and focussed on all the positives. Birthdays are great. I have amazing friends who made it a happy day. The sun was shining and I drank cava with my favourite, and face-timed with my baby girl. #hiyaaa. I had lovely pressies and beautiful, thoughtful cards. I’m very lucky.

It got me thinking and reminiscing to birthdays of my childhood days. We always had friends or family round and mum would make delicious treats and dad would get the wine out and the bbq on.

One thing my mum used to make amongst many other things, which was one of my favourites, was Tuna Tugs! I still have the recipe book they were in! Basically they were white rolls, sliced in half with tuna mayo on top and a flag. I LOVED them! So, in the spirit of treating myself, and because I am a big kid, I decided to make them – veganised of course!

They were so good, totally tasted like the real thing and brought back happy memories.

So, I’m keeping it short today and leaving you with my recipe for tuna tugs.

Thanks Mum x

Tuna Tugs

  • Bread rolls – I used gluten free
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 tbsps juice form a jar of gherkins
  • 2 tsp capers (they weren’t in the original, but I’m a grown up now!)
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayo
  • salt & pepper

Put everything in a blender and blitz, but leave it chunky, like tuna. Add salt and pepper and mix. Spoon generously on to the rolls (I toasted mine as the were gf, but the originals were soft bouncy white rolls) and decorate with a flag. This is compulsory! Enjoy!

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Vegan Tuna Mayo

 

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Tuna Tugs!

If you make these, please send me a photo, tag @kitcheynutrition and use the hashtag #tunatugs!

Thank you to everyone who made my day happy.

Look after each other this week, smile, laugh and dance, and I insist you all have a glass of wine to cheers to my birthday!

Cheers lovelies,

S x

Hay There!

Aaaccchhhhoooo lovelies!

So, if you’re anything like me, you have been spending the last month sneezing, itching and modelling the puffy red eye look?! Loving the summer, but hating the hayfever!

I thought it would be interesting and, perhaps, helpful if I let you know how I’ve been helping to ease the symptoms in a non-medicinal and vegan way.

When you talk to people about managing hayfever, the solution that crops up the most is to eat local honey. Apparently it works, but not if you are vegan.

Hayfever is an allergic reaction, and it triggers an immune response in your body, just like when you have a cold. So, treating it in a similar way is a good start.

Here are my top tips for helping keep the sneezes and itchiness at bay:

  1. A fan in your room at night can be a good alternative to having windows open. 
  2. Change your bedding regularly & hoover regularly. 
  3. Eat more vitamin C rich foods, especially dark leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli and kale. Lemons are also great, add them to your water or tea. 
  4. Reduce your dairy intake, which will help to reduce mucus production. 
  5. Eat less sugar, as sugar can supress the immune system.
  6. Eat more spicy foods to help clear your sinuses.
  7. Drink lots of water.
  8. Eat anti-inflammatory foods. Ginger, mushrooms, turmeric are all amazing. 
  9. Instead of chemical nose sprays, use a saline solution (salt water). You can make this yourself or you can buy them easily. 
  10. Drink nettle tea. Yes, really! Its lovely, especially with a little agave and a slice of ginger or lemon. Nettles help to reduce histamine in the body and they are also full of iron, vitamin C and calcium. If you really don’t like it, then chamomile tea is also a good option. You can also use the cold teabags on your eyes to soothe itchiness. Cold cucumber slices work too. 
  11. A little bit of coconut oil rubbed on the inside of your nostrils stops pollen getting in, so keep a little bit with you if you’re out and about.
  12. Adding essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus to some boiled water then inhaling the steam is also effective. 

I started with tip number 7, and always have a large jug of water with lemons, limes, ginger and sometimes some herbs, like mint, in the fridge. Its delicious, refreshing and an easy way to get those hayfever fighting nutrients in. Good for your health too!

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Lemon & Ginger Water

I hope some of these tips help you to enjoy the fun, outside, summer times! I’m pretty sure a glass of wine helps too! 😉

If you have any top tips, then please leave them in the comment section below, or tag @kitcheynutrition on Instagram.

Have a happy and sneeze-free week.

S x

Prickly & Perfect!

Good evening lovelies.

This week has flown by! It’s been half term here, but instead of sunning myself on a tropical beach, I’ve been writing assignments & studying! On the plus side, I have been able to do that in the garden, in the sunshine, with a glass or 2 of bubbles, so I’m happy!

This week I decided to bring the tropical vibe to myself, since I couldn’t jet away to it! I bought a pineapple. 2 actually. They are SO good at the moment, super sweet and so juicy,  they dribble all down your arm when you bite into them. Or does that only happen to me? Ok. Moving on…

The first one I cut up and ate in the first morning. The second one I decided to savour a little longer – well, one day longer.

Pineapples are an amazing fruit, with a whole load of health benefits, including:

  • Protecting our immune sysetem, due to the compound bromelain which the pineapple contains. It helps fight inflammation and protects against viruses, amongst other clever things.
  • lowers blood pressure
  • helps us to lose weight
  • high in vitamin C and other vitamins and nutrients
  • keeps our teeth healthy
  • helps our gut healthy and boosts digestion
  • helps keep our skin looking beautiful
  • can help with coughs – take a spoonful of fresh pineapple juice instead of cough medicine
  • helps with morning sickness in pregnancy

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These are just a few of the things this amazing fruit can do for us. There are many more.

Tonight I made a delicious sweet and sour vegetable dish, which was delicious, using my left over pineapple. The recipe is going to be on the website soon, so check it out!

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Sweet & Sour Veggies with Pineapple

And for the rest? Hmmm…there’s always Piña Coladas….! (I won’t sing that song again I promise!)

Have a lovely week, and, as the saying goes,

Be like a pineapple.

Stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet. 

S x

Feeling Blue…..berry!

Happy weekend lovelies!

So, I am a bit late with the blog this week. What a week. Busy doesn’t even cover it! But all good.

This week I was lucky enough to get my hands on an abundance of beautiful, sweet, juicy blueberries. One of my absolute favourites.

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Blueberries are amazing for us. They are one of the most nutritious fruits and have loads of health benefits, such as:

  • lowering inflammation
  • helping with digestion – they are full of fibre
  • keeping our heart and circulation system healthy
  • providing a huge amount of antioxidants – helps slow down signs of aging
  • helping with weight loss
  • great for vegans as they are a good source of vitamin B12

Not bad for a tiny berry is it?!

So, as well as eating a ton of them every time I walked past the bowl, I wondered what to make. Then, as if it were a sign, I acquired some rice.

Ok, so what actually happened was, I was cooking rice. For 2 people. I have come to realise over the years, that if there is one thing I am not good at in the kitchen, getting the right quantities of rice and pasta is it. Never. This is what I ended up with.

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That’s a LOT of rice right there.

So I came up with a recipe, and let me tell you, it’s SO good you are going to love it. For me, food has to always be salty, sweet, crunchy, soft and a little bit spicy. And delicious, of course. I love this recipe, it’s best served with a large glass of chilled wine. But then, isn’t everything?

Here’s the recipe:

Blueberry & Walnut Rice Salad (serves 4)

  • enough cooked and cooled brown rice for 4 people (or however many people you are making it for) – you can do the measurements yourself – probably best!
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • a load of blueberries (about 100g)
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar or your vinegar of choice. (I think balsamic goes really well, but sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar or a flavoured vinegar like raspberry would also be delicious).
  • A big handful of walnuts, roughly broken up (about 70g)
  • 2 large spring onions, sliced
  • a bunch of fresh chives, chopped finely
  • A bunch of fresh mint, chopped (from the garden is lovely)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Fry the onions and garlic in a pan until soft and smelling delicious. Lower the heat and add the walnuts. Toast for a few minutes. Add the blueberries and the vinegar and cook for a minute until the blueberries have warmed but not softened too much. Add to the rice, with the spring onions, chives and mint. Mix. Add salt and pepper. Pour a large wine. Sit down and enjoy!

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This is a recipe I am definitely going to be making a lot more. Of course, you can add different nuts, or if you are allergic, add toasted seeds instead. And you can change the herbs around too. Go crazy!

Hope you like it, remember if you make it to tag Kitchey into your photos, or let me know in the comments below.

Have a lovely, sunny week.

S x