September Cider Home Brew!

Every year we gather up all the apples from our tree in the garden to make cider (and a freezer full of apple pies and crumbles!). This year we were blessed with the warmest September day and our little three year old to help out whilst the twins napped. This is the first year he’s been interested in what we were up to so it was an extra special day.

Cider 2015We sent some apples off to be identified as the tree is very mature and has obviously been there a long time! It came back as Laxton’s Fortune, a Cox hybrid, so I think we’ll call the cider Nurse’s Fortune this time as we’ve been incredibly blessed these last few years! We were even joined by a beautiful butterfly who thoroughly enjoyed the spoils! It’ll soon be ready for bottling so now looking forward to the tasting!

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The Supermarket Sugar Take Over

As you all know I’ve been eliminating refined sugar from my diet for a while now and it seems Jamie Oliver has been inspired too so it was great to see his Sugar Rush programme on Channel 4 last week about the dangers of hidden sugar. I’m at high risk of getting type 2 diabetes and was on the verge of gestational diabetes throughout both my pregnancies which is one of the main reasons I’ve decided to ditch bad sugars for the main part of my diet.

I personally don’t usually do the weekly food shop as the trolleys just aren’t big enough for my brood and the food but this week we only needed a few bits so me and the small ones decided to take it on.

My husband has a normal kind of pack up for lunch at work so I thought I’d see if I could get some healthier cereal bar type snacks and yoghurts which had a bit less sugar and weren’t classed as ‘low fat’. There were hardly any! In the ‘grown up’ yoghurt section all the six packs were low fat and unfortunately I don’t have the biggest budget to splurge on the premium brands so this week he has Munch Bunch (which reports to have 30% less sugar)! I have full fat greek style or whole milk yoghurt generally on my cereal but I don’t think he’d appreciate taking an enormous pot to work every day! (And I’m not sure it’d survive the backpack!)

The same goes for cereal bars – the so called diet ranges are ridiculously high in sugar. It seems you can’t avoid it if you want the ease of pre-made bars. I guess the key is to make your own so at least you know what’s in them. All comes back to time and the lack of it as a busy mum! I’ll let you know if I find a good recipe though.

As promised I said I’d go through some of the books I’ve been reading. Here’s a few things to keep in mind about sugar …

  1. Can make you overweight
  2. Can affect the nutrient absorption of other food and masks the taste
  3. Upsets your hormones, especially insulin
  4. Empty calories – there’s really no point in eating it from a nutritional point of view
  5. Even healthy forms of sugar such as honey and fruit are simply registered as ‘sugar’ by our bodies so it’ll still be processed the same way – any excess is stored around your organs and waist (argh!)
  6. So really low fat options which are high in sugar (to give it flavour) will still cause weight gain

What can you do?

  1. Eat one or two portions of fruit a day, the rest should be veg
  2. Use coconut sugar, honey, dates or stevia if you need an alternative to the refined stuff
  3. Make meals from scratch
  4. Increase your protein intake (will help with the sugar cravings)
  5. Keep an eye out for hidden sugars, such as in breakfast cereals, bread, diet/low fat foods, drinks and of course the obvious biscuits, etc! My kids now have porridge instead of the Weetabix type cereals for this reason.

All this info has been taken from Madeleine Shaw’s book Get The Glow and Amelia Freer’s book Eat. Nourish. Glow. if you feel inspired to read up on it! I don’t get much time to read but I have a little look every morning at breakfast to inspire me for the day! And I’ve managed to lose 5 lb of excess baby weight too – great motivation!