Tag Archive | Cooking

Feel Good Food For Everyday

Healthy Food, Fresh Foods, Fruits and Vegetables, Grocery, Cooking, Lifestyle, Organic, Raw Foods, Good Food

Food is absolutely fundamental to our lives. We eat every day, cooking different meals, sourcing new foods at grocery stores, trying recipes from around the world. Food brings us together around the table but it can also provide a moment of solitary bliss in the form of a quick one-pot meal alone at lunchtime.

The flavours we go for and the choices we make aren’t just about enjoyment though. What we eat affects every aspect of our lives from our health to our weight and from the money we spend to the times we can save. Food can give us momentary joy, later replaced by frustration standing on the bathroom scales, but it can also help us to get the healthiest body we can.

Understanding foods and the benefits they bring is key to having a healthy, balanced diet that takes in everything from a bit of chocolate here and there to a huge bowl of steamed veg whenever you like. These are the foods that make us feel good every day.

Steamed Vegetables

A completely unsurprising first entry: steamed vegetables are fantastic for your body and will always make you feel good. You can choose from a wide range of flavours so that you can easily eat something completely different every day.

A good rule to go by is to choose from a wide range of colours when you decide which vegetables to eat. Dark leafy greens tend to contain lots of iron, carrots with their vibrant orange contain vitamin A and pulses like peas and bean contain plenty of fibre and protein to keep you fuller for longer.

Steaming vegetables is a good way to cook them as you don’t lose any of the vitamins or minerals to the cooking water. It is also significantly better than frying or roasting because this method doesn’t need any fat.


Another way to enjoy vegetables is to pickle and ferment them, as in the case with sauerkraut. The fermenting agent is a bacteria that is particularly good for your gut, allowing you to take in more vitamins and minerals and making you feel generally more healthy.

As a probiotic, sauerkraut does seem to help people who need IBS relief as it improves the functionality of the gut. Though it’s often unclear what causes IBS in each individual, it does seem that an imbalance in your gut flora is a possible cause of the discomfort you experience. Sauerkraut and other foods like kimchi and miso help to restore the balance by introducing new ‘good bacteria’ which allows your gut to function properly again.

One final reason to eat sauerkraut is simple: it’s delicious.

Dark Chocolate

Though milk and white chocolate are often full of sugar and fat, dark chocolate is a bit more forgiving and a little bit each day can be good for you. Lots of people find that dark chocolate is an acquired taste and if you are used to eating the high fat and sugar stuff, anything about 70% cocoa is going to be a surprise with its depth and bitterness. However, if you do like it, there are lots of reasons to love it.

Dark chocolate can help to lower your blood pressure, improve your eyesight and even help to increase your metabolism. Plus as it is sweet once you get past the bitterness, it can be the perfect alternative to a calorific dessert your main meal. Dark chocolate has also been found to help with symptoms of depression, lower cholesterol and seems to help with cognition too.

So if you are feeling stressed, trying to study for an exam and wanting to lose weight, dark chocolate might just help you on your way.


Though people with diabetes will need to watch out for eating too much high sugar fruit, for most people, eating fruit is a great way to pile in on lots of vitamins and minerals. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes are ideal for gaining vitamin C. This is important because vitamin C is shown to increase the absorption of iron, making citrus fruits the ideal companion for green leafy veggies. If you are feeling fatigued or you are trying to work out harder at the gym, up your citrus fruits to really make a difference.

Fruit, like veg, is also a good way to increase the amount of fibre you eat. This will help your digestive system stay regular as well as keep you fuller for longer. Lots of fruits are also good for helping to increase your liquid intake. Though drinking a glass of water is always a good idea, fruit is a simple way to introduce more liquid into your diet, keeping you well hydrated throughout the day.

Flax Seeds

There is a lot of research into the benefits of flax seeds including whether they might help to prevent cancers, lung disease and cardiovascular disease. While this research has not provided any conclusive evidence just yet, there is a wealth of optimism that the flax seed could be ideal for improving your health.

What it certainly does contain is plenty of fibre (a theme is developing with fibrous foods!) as well as omega 3, an essential fatty acid and lignans, which are what researchers are looking into as they may help to protect against cancer.

The foods we choose to eat are vital for our health and well being and finding the best foods can be difficult. As the science around what we should eat changes all the time, it can be confusing to follow the best advice as it changes so frequently.

One thing you can do is listen to your body. Think about how you feel after eating certain foods. Do you feel good and energised? Do you feel happy? Do you regret what you ate? All of these questions will help to indicate the types of foods that you should be going for. And if you are really committed to your quest, keeping a diary will help to isolate the foods that really bring you joy.


Make Health An Effortless Part Of Your Lifestyle

Blueberries, Apples, Melon, Carrots, Vegetables, Fresh, Food, CookingImage via PXhere

Everyone wants to be healthy and happy, but many people go about it the wrong way. Instead of focusing on making health into a natural and effortless part of their every-day lifestyle, they try to use sheer willpower to force themselves through different, painful practices that they’ll sooner or later be tempted to quit.

But people are driven more by habit than by incredible efforts of will. Here’s a look at how to introduce some good, healthy habits into your life starting today.

Get physically active every day

Setting yourself the goal of spending an hour in the gym every day may work for a while, but there’ll be the inevitable day when you find yourself too busy, too tired, or just too distracted to follow through.

Instead of setting yourself a specific exercise goal, set yourself the goal of being physically active every day. This can mean anything from taking a short walk to jogging on the spot to going to the gym for 3 hours or running a marathon — though if you’re running a lot, you might want to click here for some good anti-blister supplies.

The key is that it’s an easy habit to stick with every day, even when you don’t feel like it. Being physically active in one way will also make you feel motivated to be more physically active in general.

Prepare all your food from scratch

People argue a lot about different diet styles, and which one might be the best. One thing that all experts and scientists agree on, though, is that processed food is by and large terribly unhealthy, filled with potentially harmful additives, and at the heart of many modern health problems.

An excellent health-habit is to cut out all processed foods — anything you buy “ready-made” — and to prepare all your own food from scratch. That way you’ll know whether or not there’s a teaspoon of sugar in your dish, instead of being tricked into eating large amounts of toxic high-fructose corn syrup.

Eat foods that leave you feeling energetic

Energy is one of the most important things for good overall health, because the more energetic we feel, the more active we’re likely to be, physically and mentally, and the happier as well.

If you find that you’re always falling asleep right after each meal, this not only means that you probably struggle to be productive and positive each day, but it also means that your food is too heavy on your body and is taking a lot of energy to digest.

Save the heavy meals for special occasions, and try to eat foods that leave you feeling energetic on a daily basis, instead of ones that seem to drain your energy.

Read something uplifting every day

The mind is just as important as the body when it comes to health, and like the body, the mind is affected by the kind of “fuel” we give it.

While the body is fuelled by food and drink, the mind is fuelled by the things you read, say, watch, and hear.

If you want to promote healthy, positive and happy thoughts, it’s essential that you give your mind something positive to reflect on every day. A great place to start is by reading something uplifting every day. This could be an upbeat fable or a real-life story of someone succeeding against the odds.

Candle Lit – Word Wednesday

I can barely find the words to express how touched and happy I felt when my ten-year-old son offered to take care of me and make me something to eat last night as an effort to ease my stress.

Several packs of tagliatelle, cheese, carrots, tomatoes, ketchup, fish-fingers, all my spices and a messy kitchen, the young man whipped up a candle-lit dinner.

The food tasted better than any that I’d had in ages. It could have done with a little more simmering to soften the tagliatelle, but it was just perfect.

There was oodles of love, a dash of care and sprinkles of appreciation washed down with a cold glass of orange juice 🙂

Candle Lit Dinner, Made With Love, Food, Children, Cooking, Parenting, Family

kitchen quotes


As Fresh As Thyme…

Cooking, Mashed Potatoes, Photography

In auto mode, I quickly tossed ingredients into the bubbling sauce, rehashed a passage for my book in my head while trying to pay attention to the cacophony of my children’s voices milling around me in the kitchen.

They had just returned from school, each voice was relaying some information, each child wanted some form of attention and as usual, my three ears was listening to them, responding to their inquisition, addressing the accusation from my third child that I wasn’t paying him enough attention, stirring the saucepan, figuring out my passage and reminding myself respond to that request that had just popped into my mind as a reminder…and the crazy beat went on.

Why I haven’t gone batty is a question I ponder fleetingly. When will the hecticness stop, if ever?

My bubbly sauce was almost done, all that remained was to toss in the shredded fresh thyme and as I lifted the chopping board to scoop it in, I literally heard a voice whisper in my head, ‘enjoy the time.’

I smiled at the pun, enjoy the time while scooping in the thyme, but my ever roaming mind gripped those three words and allowed it to marinate.

I realized that in the near future these young children craving my attention right now would all fly out of my coop and spread their wings.

They will go in search of their own dreams and set up their own little spaces and they won’t be underfoot in the kitchen all talking at the same time.

The thought certainly gave me pause.

It reminds me that we should appreciate and enjoy each fresh moment of time that we are given.

To catch the time and hold it as close to our heart as possible because it’s delicate and fleeting.

I am reminded to gratefully relish these moments like no other because no two moments are the same.

Shall we eat?

© Jacqueline

If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.

This is my Hood! Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Hot copious cups of cheap Nescafe wakes up my foggy brain cells. Sometimes, I wonder how on Earth this super machine of the brain functions, with a million thoughts and ideas buzzing in and out at the same time and not combusting. socsbadge2016-17

I have never been able to stay on one singular thought for as long as I can remember and I believe that this frenetic energy of buzzing thoughts increased with adulting, motherhood, wifedom, and my writing life.

Hovering over my shoulder while on the kitchen’s hot plate flipping pancakes, my muse whispers the beginning of a plot that keeps running away from the lines once I sit down to write, my trio are all talking at the same time to me, of course my superpowers enable me to hear each person, resolve their questions, whip up impeccable omelet for dear Himself and commune with my buzzing muse all at the same time.

How on Earth have I managed not to run off with the raggle-taggle band of gypsies to Never, Never Land, where we never grow old, never have to deal with an escape artist of a muse, a demanding brood of hungry children whose bellies seem to gobble the pancakes so fast, yet their pleading eyes’ keep asking for more?

For want of an explanation, I believe it’s because this is my hood, and I’m in charge. Join me for a hot cuppa of cheap coffee 🙂

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Linda’s prompt for today’s’ SoCS is a to find a word with the two letter ‘ho,’ and I can’t help but slip in a Ho,Ho,Ho, it will soon be Christmas time 😉

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Homemade Juices and Smoothies – A Click A Day.



One of the decisions I made earlier this year is to reduce as much as possible, my families consumption of fizzy pops, KoolAids, Caprisun, Tang and all such drinks and to replace them with fresh, healthier options.

Initially, it was not an easy sell to the children and Dear Himself.  I heard a lot of moans and groans to start with, but it caught on right  after the first trial run. Now, we bulk purchase a variety of fruits, juice them, mix them, make smoothies out of different blends and bottle to freeze.

The children participate in doing this, from washing the fruits, to peeling, to juicing with the electric juicer….

The process is fun since they get to eat the sweet pulp from the fruits and to label their hard work. Each school morning, a bottle of frozen homemade juice is tossed into their lunch box (it retains its freshness from freezing and would have melted by break time) and they bring back the bottles, rinse it out with warm water and reuse.

The interesting thing is that when we eat out these days, the kids compare the drinks they get outside to the one that we make at home and their verdict is that our’s is better 😉

How do you get your children to assist in the house? I love to learn from others.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

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To Market, To Market – Echoes of my neighbourhood.

On Thursdays, I share pictures about ‘Echos of my Neighbourhood.

I would like to invite you to participate. The challenge is quite simple and you can find out more about it through this link.

My title makes me hum the nursery rhyme: To market, to market to buy a fat pig – in this case a fat fish 🙂 This week has been slow due to the Eid holiday over here, so I took the opportunity to go bulk shopping for certain food stuff.

The drive to the Fish market is about 40 minutes drive from my house, but it’s worth the effort. I buy fresh stuff, clean them and keep in smaller Ziploc packs to use as the need arises.

Don’t buy from the very first stall you step into. Traipse around a bit from one stall to the other and haggle over the prices for the best bargain. You can also pay a little change to the jobbers to clean the shrimps et al for you if time is a constraint.

This saves a whole lot of time for me as a family woman – I don’t have to go dashing to the stores every five seconds to buy one thing or the other. Also, it helps my menu planning.

Lady Lee’s photos and her family Tortoise will put a smile on any face.

Have a great weekend ahead.


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