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10 Life Changing Benefits of Eating Avocados

person holding black smartphone
person holding black smartphone
Photo by ready made on

One of my all time favourites is an avocado. I’m always surprised by friends who never actually eat one, and have no idea what it is or what it can be cooked in. That’s slightly depressing for me, as it’s something I’ve eaten for so many years, it’s become a staple ingredient in my home.

As avocados come from evergreen tropical trees, the word avocado refers to both the tree and the fruit we eat. There are literally hundreds of varieties, but what we eat, is the extremely nutritionally laden fruit, which can be referred to as both a fruit and a seed of the avocado tree.

I think the confusion around using avocado is that it’s called a fruit, but it isn’t a sweet fruit. With a creamy texture, they have a high fat content rather than a high water content, and are more buttery flavoured than sugary.

10 Life Changing Benefits of Eating Avocados

1 – Rich Source of Nutrients

100g Avocado

Calories: 160
Fat: 14.7g
Sodium: 7mg
Carbs: 8.5g (7g are from fibre)
Protein: 2g
Vitamin C: 10mg
Vitamin E: 2.1mg
Potassium: 485mg
Magnesium@ 29mg

Looking at the nutrition list, we can see that although carbs are sitting at 8.5, a whopping 7g are from fibre, which makes this a very nutritionally beneficial fruit for diabetics.

2 – Low Glycemic Index – Helps Slow Digestion

As mentioned in point 1, the high fibre content for the carb count, means that this is a very good carbohydrate indeed for those who are trying to keep their blood sugar down. With a Glycemic Index of 0 or no record, this is a fruit that has no impact on blood sugar levels.

In fact, adding avocado to bread or other carbs, with avocado having no GI, with such high fibre and healthy fats, the meal will be digested more slowly and keep you feeling full for longer than other toppings or creamy additions to other carbs.

3 – Fat Content is Healthier Than Many Other Low GI Foods

A whopping 14.7g in 100g are fat, however the majority of the fat in an avocado is actually the healthier version of fat, called monounsaturated, which can help in lowering bad cholesterol levels. There is a link in the reading list below that gives you more information about what monounsaturated fat is and why it is the good fat. The short version is due to monounsatured fat coming mostly from plant sources.

Avocado on Toast
Photo by George Milton on

4 – Fibre Content is Good

With around 7g of fibre in half an avocado, there are all sorts of gut health benefits to eating avocados. Eating an avocado in a day, is a very large 14g of fibre, which is going to help keep constipation at bay, and as a result, would help reduce the risk of IBS and piles.

5 – Vitamin E Matters for Eyes

Nutritionally, we tend to ignore the importance of vitamin E. With that 2.1mg of Vitamin E in half an avocado, it’s a rich source of vitamin E. Alongsice carotenes, it’s thought to help keep eyes in good condition and healthy.

As an antioxidant, vitamin E is important for skin, hair and nails, as well as the eyes. It can also help reduce the speed or onset of macular degeneration, which is serious and progressing, and something my father suffered from. It’s 100% sure that he would never have known how avocado might have been able to help him slow the speed of his sight loss. I can also see how it would have helped my mother, as she had cataracts, another condition that vitamin E can help reduce the progression of.

6 – Linked Health Issues

Metabolic syndrome is a fairly new term, but it is a range of issues which can all be helped by the same management techiques, for example, better diet and exercise. Symptoms include high blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, being overweight, high cholesterol etc.

Eating avocado as part of a management system which looks at keeping the syndrome at bay, or controlling symptoms via eating better and moving more, and avocados can play a big part. With the high fat content, avocado can help reduce hunger pangs and keep us full for longer, while working in tandem with a lifestyle that can help to lower weight as part of a weight management programme, reduce cholesterol levels and keep type 2 diabetes from causing negative effects.

7 – Avocado Eaters are said to be More Healthy

Generally speaking, those who eat avocados, tend to be people who are food and health conscious. While there is also the debate about financial constraints, this isn’t the article to go there. This is simply about benefits of avocados for those who eat or would like to eat them.

Those who eat avocados are usually those who exercise and experiment with their food, but this is not always the case. There’s always room to add healthy food to our weekly shop if we can afford them, and being a little adventurous and trying new things can be good for us.

8 – Easy to Add to Food

It’s easy to add avocados to meals and pop into recipes of all kinds, as well as being ideal to use as hidden veg in kids soups and sandwiches.

  • Smushed avocado for using on toast, in dips like guacamole, and as filler for sandwiches.
  • Add in cubes to salads, soups and stews.
  • Slice in layers, and pop a poached egg on top.
Egg on Bed of Sliced Avocado
Photo by Dana Tentis on

9 – Improve Dental Health

Avocados are said to help with dental health. As that low GI food, it isn’t adding syrupy sugar to your mouth as you eat, and the flavonoids can help keep bacterial and fungal grown in our mouths from becoming a problem and leading to bad breath.

10 – Aids Wound Healing

While avocados aren’t a miracle food, they really one one that is helpful for us all to live well as part of our diet. Looking at the points above, and taking them as a whole, wound healing is helpful and understandable, when we consider the benefits that can help with prevention of bacterial and fungal overgrowth, so in the same way, avocados can help with wound healing through keeping the metabolic system functioning well.


Personally, I wouldn’t eat avocado on toast or smushed in general, but I do use it in soups, puddings and make dips with cream for raw vegetables. Saying that, growing up, it was never an ingredient that my mother would have put into her shopping basket. I think lack of internet in those days also made a difference in what things we choose to try. In my grandmothers day, avocado was probably never, ever an item in any shop she ever visited.

Yes, avocados are high in fat, but it’s the healthier monounsaturated fat, while they also contain loads of beneficial vitamins and minerals, keeping blood sugar levels steady and cholesterol levels low. Lots of good reasons to incorporate avocado to your weekly food shop.

Here are a Couple of Recipes with Avocado

High Protein Strawberry and Avocado Puree
Sugar Free Chocolate Mint Avocado Mousse

Further Reading List

Top 7 Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Avocados – Diet Doctor
What Is Monounsaturated Fat? (

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Brie & Fig Parcels Recipe

Brie and Fig Parcels by James Strawbridge

Celebrity chef James Strawbridge has created the following recipe for the UK’s fairest food delivery service 44 Foods.

Brie and Fig Parcels by James Strawbridge

Brie & Fig Parcels by James Strawbridge

Ethical, sustainable, and selling high quality British produce only, 44 Foods boasts a range of more than 20 cheeses from across the UK – which are delicious either on their own, in recipes, or paired with their stunning new range of British wines.
Course Appetiser


  • 140 g Organic Cotswold Brie cheese, Simon Weaver
  • 400 g Filo Pastry
  • 50 g 50g Butter Melted
  • 4 Melted Figs Quartered
  • 6 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Black Bee Honey
  • 1 Pinch Smoked Sea Salt Flakes


  • Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Cut the filo into 10cm squares and use them to line a greased muffin case. Overlap the square sheets by rotating every 45˚ to form a flower shaped parcel. Brush melted butter between each layer and repeat.
  • Once the filo pastry has all been used, fill the tart cases with a slice of ripe fig and a few pieces of diced brie sprinkled with chopped thyme. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese melts and the filo is golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and whilst still warm drizzle with honey and sprinkle each parcel with a pinch of smoked sea salt.
  • Serve warm with a chilled glass of Sharpham rosé to accompany.


Serving suggestion: Sharpham Pinot Noir Rose
Keyword brie and fig parcels
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Lets Talk About Chocolate

That lucious, lovely, silky, creamy smooth taste……..

chocolate in mug
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on

Chocolate and I would be joined at the hip if I weren’t diabetic. Not just any chocolate though, as I’m not a true chocolate connoiseur. I like milky chocolate, creamy chocolate, the not bitter milk chocolate that takes my breath away and stings my tongue. Dark chocolate makes me thirsty. I can’t find any way around it, but chocolate is versatile enough to be on my shopping list, even with the diabetes. I just eat it in moderation.

A few chocolate facts

  1. People mistakenly associate chocolate with diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure in all quantiites. For sue, eating a couple of hundred grams of chocolate a day equals a recipe for unhealthy living, but that’s not how most of us eat chocolate.
  2. Chocolate, via cocoa, does actually contain some beneficial to health ingredients, which in some studies, have even suggested chocolate in moderate quantities can help reduce cholesterol.
  3. Chocolate is high in calories, no matter which version is eaten. White chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, they’re all very high.
  4. Some studies claim that hot chocolate or low levels of chocolate consumption via drinking hot chocolate, can even help with dementia and cognitive function, but there is much research required to confirm or build on that.
  5. In the UK, researchers found riders used less oxygen cycling in trials after eating dark chocolate, which cycling weekly reported on in 2015, and regains covering in the news now and then.

Light and Dark Chocolate – What’s the Difference?

Dark chocolate is often portrayed as being the more ‘healthy,’ option. To be fair, I don’t think there’s terribly much in it if someone were to binge on chocolate.

As a rule, they are both in the region of around 550 calories per 100g. That’s a significant amount of sugar, fat and energy in such a small amount of food.

love dark bar broken
Photo by Vie Studio on

I’ve picked my favourite chocolate, Cadburys Dairy Milk, to do this comparison, although the internet keeps trying to persuade me that dark chocolate is better for me, I can’t help what I like to eat.

NutrientDairy Milk (100gBourneville (100 g)
Energy534 kcal524 kcal

Summary for Chocolate

As chocolate has such high calories, it’s always going to a food where moderation is the only sensible way to consume it, whether enjoy it or not. Some studies are suggesting chocolate has high levels of antioxidants and is helpful for health, but like all other food, moderation is sensible with a varied diet.

As a diabetic, I’ve heard the term “diabetes on a plate,’ to describe different foods, which is a pretty ignorant way to look at any food. For insulin dependent diabetics, sugar is what can save their lives if they go into a hypo, and for the non insulin dependent diabetic, one square of my favourite chocolate is always going to help alleviate a chocolate craving, whereas any amount of squares of a substitute or so called diabetic friendly chocolate, are still going to leave me disappointed and wanting the real thing.

As with everything, the other junk saying is ‘nobody ever got fat eating apples.’ Seriously, that just shows me someone is ignorant. It’s a load of old cobblers. Calories is he energy out v energy in argument, and yes, there are better calories than others, depending on the food eaten, however, if your body only uses 1300 calories a day to live, and you eat 1400 calories a day of apples, yes, you’ll gain weight eating apples. That might mean 25-30 apples a day, but yes, it’s very possible to get fat eating apples.

In the end, no harm has come to anyone from eating a few squares of chocolate. A few squares, not a few bars, or a few hundred grams a day. There’s a difference. For me, bring on the chocolate. I even cook with my choice of milk chocolate. Cooking chocolate is always disappointing and has no taste for me. I’ll always go for the real thing or do without as a flavouring. I’m always happy as I don’t really like eating cake, so give me a square of chocolate any time. My blood sugar is perfectly fine.

Bring on the smooth milky taste for me…..

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Healthy Heart Food

I’ve written nothing really to do with Covid-19.  I think Coronavirus is in the news enough, without bloggers jumping on the weekly covid update posts, but it’s also not something we tend to be able to ignore either.  For myself and my family, a lazy spell in the first lockdown, has moved towards a more proactive time for us in the Scottish Mum house.

I’d got lazy with cooking, so have gone back to basics this time around, with the sole intention of improving my own heart health.  I had stopped running when I fell and twisted both ankles in the first lockdown, and having to learn to run again wasn’t the easiest of things to do with two weak ankles.  I’m getting there, and I’m up to 30 minutes of uninterrupted slow running, but it’s been tough going.

Eating better again, is helping.  Here’s a short snapshot of ingredients I use frequently for heart health, with their main nutritional content.

Peppers   Each pepper, average
– Calories: 37kcal
– Carbohydrates: 7g
– Fiber: 5g
– Saturated Fat: 0.36g
– Unsaturated Fat: 0.084g
– Protein: 4g
– Sodium: 2.3mg
Avocado 100g
– Calories:  160kcal
– Carbohydrates:  9g
– Fiber: 7g
– Saturated Fat: 2.1g
– Unsaturated Fat: 11.8g
– Protein: 2g
– Sodium: 7mg
Salmon 100g
– Calories:  88kcal
– Carbohydrates:  0g
– Fiber: 0g
– Saturated Fat: 0.4g
– Unsaturated Fat: 0g
– Protein: 17g
– Sodium: 131mg
Broccoli 100g
– Calories:  34kcal
– Carbohydrates:  7g
– Fiber: 2.6g
– Fat: 0.4g
– Protein: 6g
– Sodium: 33mg
Cauliflower 100g (High in Potassium)
– Calories:  25kcal
– Carbohydrates:  5.3g
– Fiber: 2.5g
– Unsaturated Fat: 0.1g
– Protein: g
– Sodium: mg
Nuts 100g (Walnuts)
– Calories:  654kcal
– Carbohydrates:  13.7g
– Fiber: 6.7g
– Saturated Fat: 6.1g
– Unsaturated Fat: 56g
– Protein: 15g
– Sodium: 2mg
Tomatoes 100g
– Calories:  18kcal
– Carbohydrates:  3.9g
– Fiber: 1.2g
– Saturated Fat: 0g
– Unsaturated Fat: 0.1g
– Protein: 0.9g
– Sodium: 5mg
Garlic Clove
– Calories:  4kcal
– Carbohydrates:  0g
– Fiber: 0.1g
– Saturated Fat: 0g
– Unsaturated Fat: 0g
– Protein: 0.2g
– Sodium: 0.5mg
Potatoes 100g
– Calories:  58kcal
– Carbohydrates:  12.4g
– Fiber: 2.5g
– Fat 0.1 g
– Protein: 2.6g
– Sodium: 10mg
Sweet Potatoes 100g
– Calories:  90kcal
– Carbohydrates:  21g
– Fiber: 3.3g
– Fat: 0.2g
– Protein: 2g
– Sodium: 36mg
Butternut Squash 100g
– Calories:  41kcal
– Carbohydrates:  11g
– Fiber: 6.6g
– Fat: 0.2g
– Protein: 1g
– Sodium: 4mg
Celery 100g
– Calories:  16kcal
– Carbohydrates:  3g
– Fiber: 1.6g
– Fat: 0.2g
– Protein: 0.7g
– Sodium: 80mg
Carrots 100g
– Calories:  kcal
– Carbohydrates:  g
– Fiber: g
– Saturated Fat: g
– Unsaturated Fat: g
– Protein: g
– Sodium: mg
Turmeric 1tsp
– Calories:  4kcal
– Carbohydrates:  0.7g
– Fiber: 0.2g
– Fat: 0.1g
– Protein: 0.1g
– Sodium: 0.5mg
Ginger Root 1tsp
– Calories:  2kcal
– Carbohydrates:  0.4g
– Fiber: 0.1g
– Fat: 0g
– Protein: 0.1g
Soy Beans Cooked 100g
(High in Potassium)
– Calories:  112kcal
– Carbohydrates:  13.8g
– Fiber: 10g
– Fat: 2.5g
– Protein: 8.8g
– Sodium: 25mg
Okra 100g
– Calories:  33kcal
– Carbohydrates:  7.4g
– Fiber: 3.2g
– Fat: 0.2g
– Protein: 1.9g
– Sodium: 7mg
Medjool Dates  Each date – pitted
(high in potassium)
– Calories: 66kcal
– Carbohydrates: 18g
– Fiber: 1.6g
– Saturated Fat: 0g
– Unsaturated Fat: 0g
– Protein: 0.4g
– Sodium: 0.2mg

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Benefits of Bell Peppers & Pepper Recipe Suggestions

Some pepper recipes at the end of this post.

When it comes to health, we tend to overlook peppers quite frequently.  I have to admit to always having some in the freezer, waiting for when I need them.  I remove the seeds, chop and then freeze, which works great for us, but isn’t the best option for everyone.  Peppers do add a little splash of colour, and realistically, my choice of peppers would always be sweet ones, but it’s been an acquired taste for me.  I don’t use them often enough to buy and always have some fresh, so freezer options for me are the best choices.

Why Eat Peppers?

Put simply, peppers add lovely tones of colour and are full to bursting with healthy nutrients.  I don’t include chilli’s in my pepper cupboard, as I class those more as spices, and adding extreme heat to food, just isn’t my choice.   Some of you might be surprised to find that peppers are actually a fruit, in the same way that a tomato is, but with a definite slight kick to them.  We tend to eat bell peppers here in the UK, and we’re most used to seeing them in shades of red, yellow, green and orange.  As they aren’t spicy, they do well in most dishes, but the green it a little too spicy for me, although my kids happily eat them.

Nutritional Content of Bell Peppers

Each pepper, average:

  • Calories: 37kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 7g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.36g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.084g
  • Protein: 4g

Peppers on average, also contain vitamins and minerals, such as:

  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Copper
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Vitamin K
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium
  • Sodium

As if that isn’t enough, they also contain Phytonutrients that help alleviate stress.

  • Carotenoids such as lycopene and lutein
  • Polyphenols such as luteolin

The Vitamin C Boosting Ingredient

Bell peppers are high in Vitamin C, which helps the body to regulate its own immune system, to remain healthy.   There is about double the amount of Vitamin C in a red pepper, than there is in a medium sized orange, which I find surprising, and an easy way to get this nutrient into savoury meals.  This is a major boost, given that a lack of Vitamin C can lead to increased risk of colds and infections.

How to cook and eat Bell Peppers

As they’re so versatile, they really can go in almost anything savoury.  I add to burgers, mince, soups, stews / casseroles and stirfries, as well as padding out fishcakes, pasta dishes, pies, bubble n squeak, topping pizzas, roasting them whole with a filling and much more.  Some people even eat them raw in a salad, or use cut them into strips for dipping, but for me, that’s a step too far with a pepper.

Some Pepper Recipes Below

Home Made Burgers with Red and Orange Peppers

Lesley Smith
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Mains / Burgers
Cuisine British
Servings 5 -10


  • 800 g Lean Minced Beef.
  • 60 g Red Pepper chopped.
  • 60 g Orange Pepper chopped.
  • 50 g Onion finely chopped.
  • Half Teaspoon Salt.
  • Half Teaspoon Pepper.


  • Put your mince into a bowl, and then pour in the chopped vegetables.

  • Add in the salt and pepper.

  • I use my hands for best effect with this, as I find that a wooden spoon takes too long, and just doesn't allow the peppers and onion to be fully mixed with the mince. It takes a couple of minutes to thoroughly mix the food together until it is in a loosely bound state.

  • I use a cheap burger press I bought from Lakeland that makes burgers around 180g each, but before that, I used to make mine by hand, simply taking a dollop of the mixture and shaping it into a patty with my hands.

  • For smaller burgers, you could easily get around 10 from this mix, but I made 5 larger burgers.

  • Everyone had different requirements for how they like their burgers cooked, ie red in the middle, fully cooked, or almost burned black. I like mine well done, so gauge your own timings for cooking in a moderate oven for as long as you need to.

Roasted Stuffed Peppers – Onion, Mushroom and Cheddar Cheese, Served with Quails Eggs and Salad

Lesley Smith
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Mains, Starter
Servings 6


  • 6 Whole Peppers Red, Green or Yellow (can be mixed)
  • 500 g Mushrooms Chopped
  • 2 Large Onions Chopped
  • 250 g Cheese Grated
  • 12 Quails Eggs
  • Salad
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil


  • Put your oven on to pre-heat at approximately 180 C.
  • Slice the top of your peppers and put it to one side. I had to take slivers off the bottom of mine to make them stand up, otherwise they just toppled over. If you buy your peppers loose, you can look for the perfect peppers to do this with. Hollow out the peppers and remove the seeds.
  • Fill the peppers with grated cheese, pop the lids back on and place them on a baking tray. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top, and drizzle olive oil over the top of the peppers.

  • Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.
  • Lightly fry the mushrooms and onions in a frying pan and put the Quails eggs on to boil. 4 minutes in boiling water only.
  • When the peppers are cooked, place them on a bed of lettuce or salad leaves. Take off the top and fill with the onions and mushrooms, add sliced quails eggs and serve.

Mixed Pepper Bake

Lesley Smith
4 from 1 vote
Course Mains


  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 2 Yellow Peppers
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 3 Small Onions
  • Handful Green Beans
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • 400 g Turkey Bacon


  • Barbeque Flavouring


  • Stir fry chopped onions and green beans in a frying pan with some rapeseed oil until they soften. If you plan to add some flavouring, this is the time to add it.
  • Use a slotted spoon or spatula to put onions and green beans into a shallow baking tray.
  • With the remains of the oil used for the onions, lightly fry your turkey bacon until is cooked to your taste. With the barbeque flavouring still in the pan, ours took on that flavour.
  • Pop the chopped peppers and turkey bacon into the baking tray and bake at 180C for twenty minutes, or until the peppers are cooked through.

Mashed Potatoes with Chilli Peppers

Lesley S Smith
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sides
Servings 6


  • 3 - 4 Kg Kestrel Potatoes Scotty Brand Potatoes
  • 2 Oz Butter
  • 100 Ml Fresh Milk
  • 2 - 3 Chillies or Peppers Choose brightly coloured options and chop finely


  • Simply boil potatoes in a pan for 15 - 20 minutes until soft.
  • Drain potatoes and begin to mash. After a minute, add the butter and mash a few more times. Then add the milk to finish mashing your potatoes into a thick creamy consistency. I add my milk a tablespoon at a time, just in case. Too much milk will also spoil the consistency of the potatoes.
  • Serve and top with chopped chillies or peppers (or both)

Source Information:

Eating Peppers: Ingredients, Benefits, and Prep Tips (

Bell Peppers: Nutrition Facts, Benefits, and Research | Nutrition Advance


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Soupmaker: Cream of Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet potatoes are amazing, as well as being low Glycemic Index and great for me as a diabetic.  With several sweet potatoes in the fridge, it seemed sensible to use some up.  We need to add a fair bit of flavour to sweet potatoes as using them in this quantity can make for a very sweet soup indeed.  Most of my sweet potato recipes for soup, tend to have some tomatoes in it for some acidic balance, but for once, sweet was the way to go.

This was my third attempt.  The first one was tasteless and the second I overseasoned.

Soupmaker: Cream of Sweet Potato Soup

Lesley Smith
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Soup, Soup Maker
Cuisine Main, Starter
Servings 4 -6


  • 100 g Leeks sliced finely.

  • 50 g Onion sliced finely.

  • 550 g Sweet Potato chopped into small pieces.

  • 10 g Rapeseed Oil.

  • 1 Teaspoon Salt.

  • 1 Teaspoon Finely Ground Pepper.

  • 2 Vegetable Stock Cubes.

  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric.

  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika.

  • 1 Teaspoon Nigella Seeds.

  • 1 Star Anise.

  • Half Lemon.

  • Water to top up to 1600ml Level.

  • 100 ml Cream – Optional


  • Saute the leek and onion with the salt in the rapeseed oil.

  • Add all the other ingredients to the pot, apart from the lemon and the cream.

  • Select the chunky setting. For me, I remove the star anise before blending for a smooth soup.

  • When the soup is finished, squeeze in the lemon juice of half a lemon. I remove the star anise and eat chunky, or as my kids prefer, blended to a smooth puree as in the image.

  • If you are freezing any of this recipe, do so before adding any cream. The soup will be fairly sweet.
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Soupmaker: Cream of Carrot and Turmeric Soup

I haven’t shared too many recipes lately, so that needs remedied, especially as carrots are so easily come by and so versatile in any form of carrot soup.  I have loads of soups on standby, but not always with great images due to the pandemic and timeframes workwise too.

We’ve used turmeric a lot, as my youngest son has taken a shine to it as a favourite ingredient.  I’m always happy to oblige when it comes to soups, so incorporated it within this recipe for using up leftovers or just as a base soup.  It’s a very simple one and perfect for cold winter days.

Soupmaker: Carrot and Turmeric Soup 1.6 litre

Lesley Smith
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Soup, Soupmaker
Cuisine Snack, Soup
Servings 6


  • 400 g Carrots chopped.
  • 150 g Leek chopped.
  • 200 g Potatoes chopped.
  • Tablespoon Rapeseed oil.
  • Teaspoon Salt.
  • Teaspoon Ground Pepper.
  • Tablespoon Turmeric Powder.
  • 1 Chicken Stock Cube.
  • 450 ml Chicken Stock – I used Tesco.
  • Water to maximum fill level for 1600ml soup.
  • 200 ml Heavy Cream Double Cream.


  • Add your rapeseed oil to the pan or the soupmaker and saute with the leek, until the leek is soft.

  • Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. The soup looks fairly unappetising at this point. Don’t let it put you off. See the thumbnail image above.

  • Choose your cooking setting. I chose smooth for my version, as I wanted a creamy, luxurious soup, rather than a meal in a bowl type soup.

  • When fully cooked, pour in the cream slowly then stir before eating. If you plan to freeze, do so before adding dairy, as soup with cream in it does not defrost well.

Video of finished soup is a little pathetic, but hey ho, I seriously need to do better with videos.

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What is Simple Candle Meditation?

Hope you are all well.

I do my own version of simple meditation if there are a few minutes to spare.  With the Coronavirus restrictions around, and so few opportunities to socialise or even work properly, I’ve been doing a little dabbling and learning, to help ease how I cope with the world.  With work being very different due to the restrictions, and life so altered, finding ways to push on through, is top of the priorities for many of us.  We cannot care for others, if we do not care for ourselves first.  Here in Scotland, things like facials are still banned, as we cannot remove face coverings, so my one and only little luxury to myself is not allowed to happen.

With meditation, I used to have a picture in my head of someone sat on a mat, legs in the lotus position, chanting ‘ummm,’ and arms out front, with thumb and middle finger touching and other fingers up in the air.  I find that a bit cringy, though each to their own, however, I’ve found that there’s nothing wrong with meditating by lying on the floor, waiting in the car, lying on the couch or even the bed.  We can do it anywhere we are comfortable and relaxed.

Disclaimer: Always ensure you are safe to meditate.  If you have any doubts, please contact a medical professional before trying meditation of any form.

This gorgeous wee cat could be meditating.  Don’t rule out meditation because we can’t do the lotus.

There are many different techniques to meditation, including guided and encouraging awareness, through to transcendal using our own mantra, sound, syllable or words repetitively to relax the mind.  Zen meditation is a form of Buddhist meditation and focuses on clearing the mind and many others, which also include movement, and/or prayer.  Personally, I like to chill out, relax and listen to soothing voices and focus on my breathing to help reduce stress of modern day life.  Raising challenging adopted children is fairly fraught on a day to day level, and finding a way to feel peaceful for at least a few minutes when I am stressed, helps me to concentrate and make better decisions in life.

Group meditation can be so relaxing, but isn’t the easiest thing to find at the moment with the covid restrictions, so here’s an easy one to do for yourself.

Simple Candle Meditation

Clear the Room of Negative Energy
This can be as simple as lighting your candle, or waving about a sage smudge stick, but not everyone needs to do this.  Clapping your hands before starting is enough.  If you can, reduce the lighting in the room you plan to mediate in.


A little low music can help us relax when new to meditating.  Soothing and calm, with no vocals.  I have a smart speaker and tend to ask it to play a meditation mantra, which usually gives me some lovely options.

Take Your Position

Stretch your arms up high and if you can, then touch the floor.  Choose where you will sit, lie down, or use cushions to prop you in a comfortable seating position with feet on the floor.  If lying down, bend your knees to allow this and perhaps use a rolled up towel or bolster under your knees if needed.  Try and keep your spine straight while you focus on around 10-15 minutes at the beginning, to learn how to get your head into the mindset of relaxing.  I prefer to sit on the floor for this, with cushions at my back and under my knees, with a small table in front of me with my chosen candle.

We can bring in colour therapy with candle choice, for example:

  • Rainbow colours to signify hope, happiness, confidence.
  • Black to whoosh away negative energy and allow contemplation and respect.
  • White to signify new life, new beginnings.
  • Red for passion, action, love and courage.
  • Blue for healing, wisdom and strength.


For simple unguided meditation, begin to focus on your breathing patterns, and how shallow your breaths are.  Concentrate to take slower, deeper breaths, concentrate on your breathing, breathe in and count to three, holding your breath and then slowly exhale, fully releasing that breath, pushing it out until you feel your abdomen contract.

Candle Flames

Try to have your candle at a comfortable level for your eyes to gaze into.  As you do your breathing exercises, begin to look into the flames, trying to keep your eyes on the flame at all times.

Look for:

  • Shapes of the flames as they flicker and move, dancing.
  • Look at the candle flames, think about the different colours you see.
  • Consider the thoughts come to the forefront of your mind, what are the images you see?
  • Try to let go of your problems and concentrate just on the flame.

Ground Yourself

Try to medicate for 10 minutes.  Don’t worry, as it takes a little practice to get right.   Before you are finished, it’s important to bring yourself back to reality and connecting with the physical life once again.

An easy way would be to:

  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a few deep breaths, imagining the breath travelling to the tips of your fingers and toes.
  • Raise your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, imagine them connecting with the earth, like the roots of a tree, solid, steady and secure.
  • Bring your knees towards your chest if you can, keeping your feet on the floor, and wrap your arms around your legs.  If you can’t do this, simply place your hands on your knees, feel the gentle peace surrounding you as you bring yourself slowly back to reality, imagining yourself strong, alive and aware.
  • When you’re ready, count down from 5,4,3,2,1, and open your eyes, and back to the room.
  • Take your time getting up, possibly have a pre planned glass of water for drinking before you stand up.


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7 Things to Consider Before Getting Your Child a Puppy

Collaborative Post

This was my lovely dog, Holly, a gorgeous yellow lab that shared our family for 14 years.  She went blind at the age of 7, and still lived a full life with lots of exercise.  She loved swimming, and lived for her lead coming out of the cupboard.  With the long lazy shut down for so many people, attention has turned to animals, but we need to be realistic.

Most kids have dreamed of opening that gift on their birthday or Christmas morning and finding a cute puppy snuggled inside. But what many don’t consider is the years that will follow. Unfortunately, people tend to search for puppies to get for their kids around the holiday season or when a birthday is coming up, but once they face the reality of dog ownership, the dog ends up in a shelter or re-homed. If your little one has been asking you for a puppy for a while and you want to surprise her with a pet of her own, it’s important that you are clear on what dog ownership for your family will involve. Make sure that your household is the right fit for a dog. Here are some of the main things to consider before you get a dog for your kids. 

Dogs are for Life:

Thirteen years is the average lifespan for a dog, so before you get a dog for your children, it’s important to make sure that you are ready for this long, dedicated commitment. This means that you’ll need to be ready to continue loving and caring for your pet even after the cute and cuddly puppy stage is over, as they get into their energetic and boisterous teen years and then finally, the golden years of their life. When you research dog breeds, don’t just think about what each breed is like as a puppy but consider every stage of their life too. 

Finding the Right Breed of Dog:

Before you go out and choose an adorable puppy to bring home, it’s important to do some breed research and make sure that you are choosing a breed of dog that’s suitable for your family, home, and lifestyle. You don’t have to go and spend a huge ton of money on a pedigree puppy from a breeder; in fact, many crossbreed dogs can make perfect family pets as they have a lot of qualities combined from different breeds that they are mixed with. Consider the size of the dog breed; they might be small and cuddly as a puppy but they might not be ideal for you if they’re going to grow up massive and you live in a small house. And, think about how much energy the breed has and how much time you can dedicate to exercising them every day. 

Do You Have the Time?

Before you decide to bring a puppy home, be ready to sacrifice your time. Having a puppy in your home can be similar to having a small child. You will need to take the responsibility of looking after a living creature and putting their needs first. You will also need to be ready for the fact that you might need to sacrifice more time and energy into looking after your pet than you first thought or are used to, so be ready to make arrangements for them if you’re taking a family holiday, or if you and your kids are out all days at work or school and the dog will be left alone. 

Caring for a Dog:

Many parents get a dog for their children in order to teach them about responsibility, and there’s no denying that having a family dog growing up can teach kids a huge amount of things along with boosting their self-esteem and simply providing them with a friend that they’ll always be able to rely on. However, it’s important to bear in mind that as a parent, you need to be prepared to care for the dog rather than leaving it solely down to your kids. Of course, you can show your children how to feed and walk the dog and make sure that they do it daily, but ultimately it’s down to you as the adult to make sure that this gets done and that when your kids do it, they’re doing it correctly. 

Lifetime Costs:

Are you ready for the lifetime costs of looking after a pet dog? Dogs can be expensive, so make sure that you are going to have the funds available to care for them right through from puppyhood to when they are old. The expenses don’t end after you buy a puppy or pay an adoption fee to a shelter. You will need to factor in the cost of regular vet fees, plenty of food and water, a bed, collar, lead, toys, flea and worm treatments and anything else that your dog needs to make sure that they are happy and safe. On average, dog owners pay around £17,000 to care for their dog over their lifetime but this could vary depending on your dog’s breed, size, and health. 


Making sure that your dog has a healthy and balanced diet is just as important as eating the right foods yourself, and the food that you give your dog can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing. It’s important to research your options to ensure that once your puppy is home, they are getting all the nutrients that they need to be a healthy and happy pooch. 

Raw feeding is an increasingly more popular option amongst dog owners since it is similar to what dogs in the past would have eaten and doesn’t contain all the fillers and junk in kibble and processed dog food. A good raw diet will include protein, vegetables, fruit, vitamins, and minerals to make sure that your dog is getting everything that they need for optimal health and energy. 

If you want to give your puppy the best start with a raw food diet, Bella and Duke have plenty of useful information that you might find helpful. Check out for pre-packaged raw food trays that are tailored to your puppy’s dietary needs based on their breed, size, age, and condition. 

Healthcare and Insurance:

Finally, there’s nothing more important than your dog’s health and happiness. So, be sure to factor in the cost of insurance and veterinary fees when getting a dog for your family. Dog insurance costs can vary depending on factors such as breed, current health condition, and any pre-existing conditions or risk factors. However, it’s important to have because if your dog falls suddenly ill or injures themselves, a good pet insurance policy will help you cover the vet costs involved in getting them back to full health. In addition, make sure that you know a good vet nearby and register your puppy with them as soon as you bring him home. 

If you’re getting a puppy, you’ll need to make an appointment for a health check and to get their initial vaccinations; don’t let your puppy go out for a walk until this is done as the risk of contracting diseases like canine parvovirus is quite high. Vaccinations will usually have already been given if you adopt a dog from a shelter, but it’s still a good idea to take them to your vet to register them, get a health check, and help them get used to the environment. 

Getting a puppy for your kids is a great idea, but before you bring your cuddly new friend home, be sure that you are ready for the commitment and work that being responsible for a dog will bring.

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A Beautiful Birthday Gift During Lockdown From Eternity Rose

I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve rarely been out of joggers for the last three weeks, which isn’t always good for the midsection and doesn’t bode well for getting my clothes fastened when the lockdown is eased.  My birthday passed recently, and since celebrations are all at home for the moment, there was no cake, which is not a bad thing when I think about my favourite jeans.  There was no flour in our shops, which also made making one a little bit on the tricky side, so I didn’t bother.  If truth be told, I was feeling a bit cheerless on the celebration front anyway.

My gift haul stuck firmly to chocolate and flowers.  ‘Hellooo, remember those jeans!!!!!!’

Seriously, every time one of my family goes out for essentials, they come back with chocolate…  For once, I’m almost at the point of never wanting to eat the stuff again.  Anyway, my cut price birthday flowers were beginning to wilt the day after I’d got them and soon ended up on the compost heap.  Disappointing to say the least, and I don’t want to fall out with the kids for the current chocolate bonanza, because at least they’re thinking about me for more than picking up dirty clothes and making endless pots of pasta..

Fast forward a day, and I had the opportunity to be gifted an item from Eternity Rose.   I was delighted, as it involved flowers and shiny things.  I don’t know why I didn’t realise at first, as I thought from the pictures, that I was looking at a flower mould which was dipped in silver, gold or platinum.  When I read further, I realised that it was far far more than I expected.

The lovely items include genuine roses, hand picked and dipped.  There are several options to choose from, including glazed roses with colourful petals, and several jewellery items, which is what I first went to look at.  From looking through the options, I realised I’d appreciate a silver item to match my lounge decor of pale grey walls, beige seats, wood floor and black units.  My lamp and clock are all silver in colour.

I chose the eternity rose silver dipped real rose and silver dipped vase, and happy I did.  Delivery in the UK was swift and wrapped beautifully.

The Eternity Rose Silver Dipped Rose and Vase Set, with Window Box

  • It’s gorgeous.  It really has a high shine finish, due to the rose and vase being dipped in fine silver.  My pictures really don’t do lovely rose the justice it deserves.
  • This is a geniune, real rose, one that the Eternity Rose team has grown in their own nursery, then picked to begin a three month process of preserving, sealing, electroplating and finally the silver plating which consists of dozens of thin layers built up over the space of a few weeks.
  • My rose came in a lovely display box with a glass lid, which gives me the option to store it securely for decades and definitely a lovely gift to pass onto future generations.
  • Comes with a certificate of authenticity.
  • Fabulous option for birthdays and anniversary gifts.

Eternity Rose say

During the history of man, there has been one iconic symbol of passion, beauty and love – the rose. As silver and roses have been lovingly represented in literature and art for generations, The Eternity Rose has now artistically combined these enduring symbols into a stylish and magnificent gift that lasts forever.

The lady in your life will love to receive a stunning Eternity Rose for any occasion. Whether she is celebrating a birthday, wedding anniversary or Valentine’s Day, you can show your loved one how much you care by presenting her with this gorgeous and thoughtful token of appreciation. Mom may even love an Eternity Rose for Mother’s Day. For any lady celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary, a silver-dipped rose & vase set makes a particularly appropriate and impressive present. Any woman is sure to be amazed by such a uniquely artistic gift that is a perfect combination of floral beauty with the lavish majesty of an ornament.

There is no stronger symbol of love than the single rose blossom. The Eternity Rose’s aim is to develop this love symbol into a meaningful art piece that can be displayed in pride of place for a lifetime as an eternal testament to love.

Each rose undergoes a three-month long, 60-step process in order to produce the final product. We use our very own processes and formulae, beginning with several layers of copper to produce a texture-sensitive base layer that provides the best surface to receive the precious metal coating. After being sealed and layered with copper, we then electroplate it with nickel to give the rose’s structure the necessary integrity to withstand plating with certified silver. During each step of the process, every rose is carefully inspected to ensure that it remains flawless, and that its plating quality and form are absolutely perfect. It is only once our rigorous quality control tests have been carried out that the rose finally moves onto the silver-dipping stage, which consists of dozens of very thin layers built up over the course of several weeks. The final result is a flower with a lustrous mirror finish and a brilliant appearance that can never corrode, but will retain its stunning elegance for literally thousands of years.

Amaze the love of your life with the gift of an Eternity Rose, and give them the luxurious token of esteem they deserve.

Find Eternity Rose on Social Media below:









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Babybel Nuggets Recipe

A little lockdown favourite that my son makes.  Cheese is such a versatile ingredient to use in cooking of all kinds, and Babybel adapts well as a replacement for meat in this type of fast food dish.

He loves cheese, and he loves fried food.  He had a go at these, just because he could.  I took some pictures along the way, as it seemed to be a nice simple dish.

He makes them in the same way as for other nuggets, but simply using small Babybel cheese rounds instead of chicken or fish.

‘Best nuggets ever,’ he says.  He would say that, since he made them…….

Babybel Nuggets 


He didn’t measure these, so just use as much as needed, and use 1 egg at a time, giving it a quick whisk in the bowl with a fork.

  • Babybel Cheese
  • Egg
  • Flour
  • Ruskoline
  • Cooking Oil

Method – Pictures Below:

Step 1

Peel the Babybel Cheese.

Step 2

Prepare three small bowls.  One with flour, one with beaten egg and the last one with ruskoline.

Dip the individual Babybel Cheese rounds into the flour first to dry it, then into the beaten egg, rolling it around until fully covered, then into the ruskoline to coat the cheese.  He used gloves as it’s a messy business making nuggets.

Step 3

He used a small egg pan with about half to three quarters of an inch of cooking oil, pre heated, and fried three or four at a time for a few minutes each side, on a medium heat.

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Crepe Style Pancakes

This came about due to the lack of baking powder and plain flour in the Scottish Mum Household.  The boys wanted pancakes, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to make them rise like fluffy pancakes, so I bit the bullet and went for self raising flour ones.  They are more of a consistency like crepe style pancakes than the traditional ones that we are used to up here in Scotland, but they kept the boys bellies full.

Crepe Style Pancakes

Lesley Smith
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Baking
Servings 15 Medium Pancakes


  • 2 Medium Eggs
  • 30 g Butter or Margarine
  • 300 ml Milk
  • 250 g Self Raising Flour
  • 30 g Sugar


  • Fold the ingredients until the flour is incorporated. Then whisk the ingredients briskly until it forms a smooth batter consistency.

  • Heat a thick bottomed pan on the hob. I don't use oil to cook my pancakes, but some do. I keep the temperature low, and cook slowly.

  • When the top of the pancake mix begins to show bubbles, it's time to flip it over and cook the other side. As I don't use oil, the pancakes don't have that smooth single colour, but they do have significantly less calories than an oil cooked pancake.

  • We get around 15 medium sized pancakes from this recipe. It will depend on how large you make yours.