Following the lifting of restrictions by the Government, we would like to reassure all our patients that the way we interact with you will not be changing. All staff and consultants will continue to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing, and we require our patients and visitors to do the same, so that we are all protected.

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Nichola Ludlam-Raine, Specialist Dietitian at Ramsay Health Care | 28/03/2021

Five Healthy Breakfast Smoothies

The relationship between our mental and physical health is incredibly complex, and can often intertwine with one another without us knowing. Stress is a feeling that we all experience as part of our everyday lives where we may feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with a certain situation - no matter how big or small it seems to us. Although this is commonly associated with having a negative impact on our mental health, it can have implications for our physical health too. 

In the short-term, stress can help with focus and memory, and cortisol secretion can also provide the ‘fight or flight’ response that we require in times of need or danger. However, chronic stress (over a long period of time) can increase the risk of gastrointestinal (gut) disorders, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as suppressing our immune function. Stress can also cause your sleep to be disturbed, which can in turn increase your appetite.⁣

As well as a potential appetite increase, for some people - stress can provoke the opposite effect and even reduce our appetite. This can then lead to a vicious cycle of feeling stressed about over or under-eating, feeling anxious about what to eat or choosing specific foods that comfort us when feeling stressed, worried or down. It can be easy to think that we lack willpower in these situations, however it’s important to remember that it’s a natural human reaction to turn to things that comfort us in times of need - so this isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, it just means we’re human!

However, If you feel like your own coping strategy may not align with your best interests - for example, if you’re trying to lose/maintain weight but you know you regularly have more energy dense foods when you feel stressed, then it may be time to explore some different options, too.⁣

Often, when we’re feeling stressed we need that feeling of instant gratification or satisfaction which can explain why some people opt to have a cigarette if they smoke, or an alcoholic drink after a hard day at work - as it’s quick and easy to do. To reduce this happening with food, we can first look at some strategies to reduce the risk of a build up of stress or anxiety, which may in turn cause us to eat more (or less).⁣

Five Healthy Breakfast Smoothies 

APPLE PIE SMOOTHIE
250ml of unsweetened almond milk
1 cored apple, chopped
¼ cup of porridge oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon

HAZELNUT & BANANA SMOOTHIE
250ml hazelnut mylk (works best with cocoa but any milk will do if you don’t have this!)⁣
100g regular or low-fat Greek style yoghurt⁣
2 tsp cacao or cocoa powder⁣
1 medjool date⁣ (or 2 dried dates)
¼ cup of porridge oats⁣
½ frozen banana (peel & chop before freezing!)
½ tsp cinnamon⁣

NATURAL PROTEIN SHAKE
250ml of almond milk
80g frozen blueberries
150g of natural yoghurt
1 tbsp nut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds (soaked for 20 mins in 3 tbsp water)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

HEALTHY FATS GREEN SMOOTHIE
½ an avocado
1 handful of spinach
80g chopped pineapple
250ml water, or coconut water

CARROT CAKE SMOOTHIE
250ml coconut milk (from a carton)
30g walnuts
1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp oats
1 tbsp natural yogurt
½ frozen banana (peel & chop before freezing)
2 pitted dates

INSTRUCTIONS
Simply add all ingredients to each smoothie into a high speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth! 
Enjoy!
Do let us know if you give any of these smoothie combinations a go!

By Nichola Ludlam-Raine, Specialist Dietitian at Ramsay Health Care

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