I have degree in Nutrition, I'm a chin-up novice and 4 years since breast cancer diagnosis. I am passionate about eating well, keeping fit and encouraging others to do the same. It's all about making a difference and leaving a positive impact upon the world.
This is one of our weekly favourites and great for a chilly evening.
My last post was about the nutritional benefits of orange fruits and vegetables and this is a delicious way to include pumpkin and carrots in the one meal.
This recipe will feed around 6 people or 3 with left-overs for lunch or dinner the next day as well.
500 gm beef mince (try and get low fat)
2 large carrots – peeled and diced
2 sticks celery – diced
1 large brown onion – diced
1 tin of diced tomatoes (400 gm)
250 ml of chicken stock
1 cup of frozen green peas
1 pumpkin (around 2 kg) – I use Kent but butternut would be fine
2 tabs of olive oil
1 tab of chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
baking paper and baking tray
baking dish approximately 9in by 13in
optional – 1 cup grated cheddar cheese for topping
Heat oven to 375F/200C
Peel pumpkin and cut into pieces – 3-4cm size and place onto baking tray lined with baking paper, place in oven – bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven when cooked.
While the pumpkin is cooking – place the celery, carrots and onion in a large saucepan with 2 tabs of olive oil. Cook over medium heat until onion is lightly browned.
Add beef to celery, carrots and onion and combine. Cook over medium heat until beef is lightly browned.
Add chicken stock and tinned tomatoes – stir and cover. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and cover. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add frozen peas and parsley.
Bring back to boil and simmer uncovered stirring frequently until liquid has reduced by at least half. The liquid left will form a sauce.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Using a fork roughly mash the pumpkin on the baking tray.
Pour the meat mixture into the baking dish
Cover the top of meat mixture with mashed pumpkin. I use a spoon and start with a spoonful of pumpkin at each corner and then gradually cover the top. You may need to used a fork to smooth over any gaps.
Add grated cheese if required
Bake in 375F/200C for approximately 30 minutes or until top is lightly golden.
The colour orange – blending the happiness of yellow and heat/energy of red.
Orange radiates warmth and sunshine. Our sunrises and sunsets glow with orange tones representing the start and ends of our daylight – the photographs below are great examples with sunrise at Lake Mungo and sunset in Tasmania.
During their time in the sun, orange fruit/vegetable producing plants use orange pigments (carotenoids) to convert sunlight energy to chlorophyl (via photosynthesis).
It’s a great way to think of orange as concentrated sunshine!
Let’s have a look at why orange fruits and vegetable are so special and why they are beneficial to our health and should be included in our diet.
I bought a new T-shirt today – half price, which is always good.
I didn’t think too much about the logo on front at the time – other than it not being too bright or tacky.
While on the bus home, I thought about the 3 words on the T-shirt.
Can before can’t
What powerful words.
So often do we put road blocks in the way before we even start something new in our lives, our self talk can be destructive and stop us from trying new things. I’ve been guilty of this in the past with my inner self telling me:
I’m too old
No point starting because I’ll never finish
What’s the point, anyway?
I can’t do this – I’m a woman
And lots more – too many to list.
We all need to have goals in our lives. Whether it be planning the next holiday, family or religious events, weight-loss, fitness etc. From a personal perspective, I feel a little adrift when I’m not working towards something.
If we decide we can’t do something before we even give it try then how do we know what we might have achieved?Achieving a goal leads to confidence in your abilities and it feels great!
I’m a much more optimistic person these days, even after a cancer diagnosis 4 years ago. I believe that if we think we can achieve a goal that’s a great starting point. Take one step at a time and deal with obstacles as they arise.
Don’t stress about what can go wrong – focus on what can go right.
I’m excited about new opportunities that await, I set myself challenging goals (like doing a chin-up at the gym) and we are planning our next holiday into the outback of Australia.
So when thinking about a new project don’t let the first thing that pops into your head is I can’t do it.
Let those thoughts be I CAN do it – its amazing what you achieve if you put your mind to it.
Popcorn is a pretty healthy snack and when cooked correctly it provides a load of vitamins and minerals, is low fat(excluding butter) and is really high in fibre.
From a health perspective one thing to be aware of is what’s in the packaging used in pre-packaged microwave popcorn bags.
When thinking about processed food, I tend to think about the food that’s inside the package and not the packaging itself. I’m pretty conscious of BPA used in plastic containers but not really done much research into some of the other types of packaging.
How often do we spend our time outside as if with blinkers on, I’m guilty of this too. Such a hurry to get from A to B, we forget to slow down and take in what’s around us. I often pass others walking to work or the shops, headphones on, head down in their own little world.
No wonder pedestrians with headphones on are at risk when crossing roads. So focussed on whats inside their head, they forget that there’s a world outside. No interaction or acknowledgement of their surroundings or others they pass.
When was the last time you took a walk in the park and took time to stand or sit and do nothing but take in the sights around you?
With no distractions.
Our ancestors were closely connected to their environments, they had to be. They needed to know where to find food, water, shelter and also how to avoid predators.
Many of us seem to have lost our connection with nature.