Posted in Food labelling, Healthy eating, organic

Why go organic?

There are lots of different reasons as to why more and more people are wanting to Go Organic. Health and animal welfare are probably the two that stand out the most.

For years I have been following a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regime. As I have gotten older, as the years have passed, I learn more and more about what this really entails. I believe there is not enough information given to people/consumers about the truth of what they are really buying. With food, not only are you buying produce that you don’t fully understand but you are also eating it. We read about eating healthily everyday. You are told to eat more fruit and veg and less sugar. This is sound advise, I don’t deny that, but did you know that the fruit and veg you are eating is doused in pesticides and that there is sugar even in the so called ‘healthy’ ready meals you are eating?

If someone put a bowl of fruit in front of you and sprayed it with a pesticide right in front of your eyes, would you eat it? I don’t think you would, but we are, everyday. Unless you Go Organic.

In order for foods to be labelled as Organic by The Soil Association, produce must meet certain standards.

I first started to go organic with meat and dairy produce. Anything from an animal, I buy organic. I have been doing this for over a year now and I am now consciously unable to buy anything other than organic anymore. This makes it difficult sometimes when I am looking for a certain type or cut of meat for a certain recipe. For example I cannot for the life of me seem to find organic diced lamb anywhere near where I live. So there is this really nice Greek dish that I want to make but I haven’t because I need diced lamb. I could cut it up but this is not the point I am making. I just don’t buy any. I make a different recipe. It’s a pain in the ass but one that I see as necessary now. I cannot consciously buy any animal products that are not organic.

Take a look at The Soil Association’s website.

https://www.soilassociation.org/

There is a lot of very useful information on there about food labelling. We, as consumers, put an awful lot of trust (I think) into what we are told. A food label of any kind makes you think that the product has met certain standards that you can trust. There is a page on the website that gives a star rating to the different food labels you may see on meat. The Soil Association Organic symbol gets 5 stars whereas the Red Tractor Assured Food Standards symbol only gets 1. It goes on to explain that the Red Tractor labelled foods ‘comply with UK minimum legal requirements.’ And that ‘it is not a guarantee of good animal welfare.’ Did you know that? Because I didn’t.

It also advises not to buy meats without any welfare label at all, explaining the poor living conditions of the animals and that they have to be ‘routinely dosed with antibiotics just to keep them alive.’

This was actually one of the first reasons I chose to change to organic animal products. You may call me naïve but I had no idea that animals were given antibiotics just to keep them either ‘healthy’ or alive. Where are we given this information? I don’t remember being told that at school. Isn’t this the sort of thing people should be taught? So that we can make informed decisions about our health?

Don’t believe everything you read. So take a look at their website and read it for yourself, don’t just listen to me.

https://www.soilassociation.org/

 

 

 

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Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy eating, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mung bean and spinach soup

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150g Mung beans
1 leek
1 small piece fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
Half teaspoon turmeric
Half teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
Half litre vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
150g spinach
Juice of half a lime

  1. Put small layer of water in a pan and add leek, ginger (chopped small), garlic, turmeric and coriander
  2. Bring to the boil then simmer until leek has softened
  3. Add olive oil, stock and washed mung beans and cook to packet instructions
  4. Once beans are cooked, add spinach and lime juice and stir until spinach has wilted

Serve with chunky bread.

I like this one, the lime and ginger add a bit of bite. I don’t soak the beans as you would with some simply because the pack I use says not to. Of course if yours says otherwise then make sure you do soak them overnight first as soaking them makes them easier to digest. I boil them for ten minutes then let them simmer for another 20, by which time all the flavours of the other ingredients have really come out.

 

 

Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy eating, Vegan, Vegetarian

Lentil, mushroom and spinach curry

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200g red lentils
200g button mushrooms
150g spinach
3 chillies
375ml vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 small piece fresh ginger (grated)
1 onion
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 clove garlic

  1. Heat oil in pan, brown off chopped onion with garlic, cumin, ginger and chillies
  2. Add mushrooms and stir until browned
  3. Add stock and wash lentils and add. Bring to the boil then simmer until lentils are cooked (follow packet instructions)
  4. Once lentils cooked, add washed spinach until it wilts
  5. Add teaspoon garam masala (spice mixture) and stir in

I enjoy this with a side of rice. Add as much or as little heat as you want with the chillies depending on your taste. As I’ve said before, you may need to keep an eye on the water content to make sure it doesn’t dry out and add more if necessary. Also, I will tag this as vegetarian and vegan but, depending on what stock you use, this could also be gluten free. I use a Bouillon powder which is gluten free and obviously if you can get all the ingredients organic then it is an organic meal too!

Again, enjoy!

Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy eating, Organic Strength and Fitness, Vegan, Vegetarian

Lentil, carrot and leek soup

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200g red lentils
2 large carrots
1 leek
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
375ml vegetable stock
3 chillies
tomato puree

  1. Heat oil in pan
  2. Add chopped leek and brown
  3. Add cumin, coriander and chillies
  4. Chop carrots and add to pan
  5. Add vegetable stock and lentils and bring to the boil
  6. Add tomato puree (however much you fancy)
  7. Leave to simmer until lentils are cooked (follow packet instructions)

You may need to keep adding a bit more water to it to make sure it doesn’t dry out. This will serve at least 4 people, or you could freeze it and feed yourself with it 4 times which is what I tend to do. Makes a nice, tasty and easy lunch to re-heat in the microwave at work with some chunky bread.

Enjoy!

 

Posted in Organic Strength and Fitness

1. 01/01

Happy New Year and welcome to Organic Strength and Fitness.

Follow me on my journey to an organic lifestyle. I have been trying to incorporate organic foods into my diet this past year and this year I aim to go one step further. I have no doubt that this will take much longer than just 2017 but you’ve got to start somewhere haven’t you?

I will try and keep you updated on all foods I find that are organic and where I have found them. I want to post recipes and, as I am a keen fitness enthusiast I will also keep you informed of all my trials and tribulations in the gym.

Enjoy!