A beautifully produced cookbook and lifestyle guide offering 100 tasty recipes, which are designed to help reduce weight, cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure has just been published by the West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation, Croí.
The Healthy Ways Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide, compiled and edited by Croí’s Specialist Cardiac Dietician, Claire Kerins, also contains a myriad of information on what to do to avoid heart and other health problems.
Healthy Ways evolved from the Croí My Action programme, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease in people who are classified as high risk, explains Claire for whom this two-year project has been a labour of love.
“People on the course were asking ‘do you have a cookbook?’ or ‘can you recommend a cookbook?’,” she says. But while there were some cookbooks designed to help people lose weight, very few focused on heart health, and until now, there was nothing at all from Ireland.
This book has filled that gap. Its tasty recipes – 30 of them from leading restaurants – are for people who are trying to manage cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and weight. All have been adapted by Claire to ensure that they fit the criteria for a healthy heart diet.
But there’s more to this book than cooking.
“All the talk about nutrition will not help unless you talk about lifestyle,” says Claire. So she has used the book as an opportunity to provide practical advice, encouraging people to make changes in a supportive way.
“Whatever goals people are setting, it’s about maintaining those changes,” she says. Healthy Ways begins by recommending that people list the reasons why they want their lives to change, as an incentive to keep going. And it advises people, when adopting a healthy lifestyle, not to try to change everything at once.
“Changing the eating habits of a lifetime takes time and a little effort. If you try to do too much at once you will struggle and probably give up. . . just set your goals and when you have achieved them, set some more and work on those. . .”
The first chapter outlines the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, explaining how up to 80 per cent of the incidence of heart disease can be prevented by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. That’s why diet and exercise matter, as does reducing stress. And for those who smoke, quitting cigarettes is crucial.
Healthy Ways gives advice on all these areas. It also explains that much of what we eat isn’t necessarily unhealthy – the problem is that our portions are too big, resulting in weight gain. So it outlines what constitutes a healthy serving of different types of food such as protein, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, and it takes people through the different types of fats that fill our supermarket shelves.
Importantly, it also has advice on how to read and decipher food labels, so you know exactly what you are buying and eating.
The attractively presented recipes follow, and constitute the major part of the book. These start with breakfast – most important meal of the day, says Claire, adding that if you are eating cereal, the most important thing to do is eat high fibre, because that slows down the release of sugar into the bloodstream and prevents energy slumps.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Helping shoppers move on from plastic
In the three weeks since The Filling Station Eco Store opened its door on Abbeygate Street in Galway City, this shop’s mission to rid our cupboards of single-use plastics has caught the imagination of people far and wide.
Opened by John Tedders, a farmer from Shrule, and his children Keeva, Jonathan and Jess, The Filling Station is no ordinary shop. The outside of this small unit that once housed an XL convenience store has been transformed with bright colours and, through the window, you see an image of a grocer’s store that might look at home in 1960s Ireland.
But the thought process behind this shop is very much of today’s world, where the wasteful use of plastic is dominating our collective consciousness – and images of floating islands of the stuff in our oceans etch on our minds the impact it’s having.
While it’s nigh on impossible to avoid plastic in supermarket aisles, John has made it easy. He buys everything in bulk – from organic and local suppliers where possible – and customers bring in their own reusable containers to fill up.
Your container is weighed while empty, before you fill it to your heart’s content. Then it’s weighed again and you only pay for its contents – with everything priced per kilo or per millilitre. Unsurprisingly, that means savings for customers, something we’ll come back to later.
Setting up a shop like this had been a long-term ambition for John and one he finally realised this year when the unit, on the corner of Abbeygate Street and Market Street, came up for lease.
For full story see this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Savouring food success at the Halla Bia
The city enjoyed the sweet taste of success over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend as the Galway Food Festival attracted an estimated 80,000 visitors – a record for the annual event in this its sixth year.
Visitors enjoyed the many in-house tasting events, food tours and talks, the open-air market at Fishmarket Square, and Breaking Bread on Easter Monday.
Halla Bia at the former Connacht Tribune Print Works was Galway’s first temporary indoor food hall, where almost 30 indigenous food producers from along the Wild Atlantic Way showcased their produce.
It was a huge hit with foodies and, according to organisers, has reignited the debate around the need for a permanent indoor market in the city.
Festival organiser and owner of Builín Blasta Café and Bakery in Spiddal, Heather Flaherty, said: “Halla Bia opened a dialogue among traders, the public and the City Council about the importance of a permanent indoor market for Galway.
“The support from all parties indicates that the drive and desire is there for a permanent space to showcase and highlight the fabulous products and producers in Galway City and County. A permanent indoor market would give small businesses a great place to start and grow their business and would contribute hugely to Galway’s already thriving food industry.”
Breda Fox, Head of Local Enterprise Office Galway, sponsors of the indoor market, said: “The Food Hall was an essential element of the festival for small producers. It allows small producers to showcase their range and quality of food and meet with customers including locals and visitors on a busy bank holiday weekend.”
Businesses around the city also confirmed a bumper weekend of sales resulting from the thousands of visitors who flocked into Galway to avail of the 100 food-based events celebrating food and the community during the five-day festival.
Another festival hit that attracted huge crowds was Breaking Bread on Easter Monday. Several community groups living in Galway prepared and shared their traditional and modern dishes with up to 9,000 visitors who got to taste dishes from around the world.
The ethnic groups showcasing their delicacies included the Indian, Malaysian, Lithuanian, Traveller, Mexican, Nigerian, Polish, Ghanaian, Japanese and French communities.
It also included members from One World Tapestry Group, as well as asylum seekers who are residents of the city’s two Direct Provision centres, the Great Western at Eyre Square and Eglinton House in Salthill.
Ms Flaherty said: “Breaking Bread brought over 14 different cultural communities together in one place to share their food and their stories, and the variety and diversity at the event was staggering. Galway is a melting pot of different communities and it is time to embrace them, welcome them and learn about their culture and their food.
“It was an event that opened doors and hearts, inspired new projects and collaborations and highlighted the importance that food has in bringing people together.”
Gary McMahon from Galway City Council, the main sponsor, said: “Now a five-day event, we have a spectacular and sustainable festival celebrating our gastronomy, our hospitality and our sense of fun and congeniality that engages both residents and visitors to the city.
“Galway City Council looks forward to next year when, as part of our designation as European Region of Gastronomy 2018, we will build on this year’s great success and visibility for everything foodie in the city of Galway in partnership with Galway Food Festival.”
Galway Food Festival 2017 was the first official outing and major public awareness campaign since Galway, West of Ireland was designated a European Regions of Gastronomy for 2018.
Alan Farrell, Senior Executive Officer with Galway County Council and one of the drivers of the ERG said: “The weekend was a phenomenal success and an excellent example of how a strong partnership and cooperative working can have a huge impact. ERG is about all of us, it needs buy-in from all members of the community in order for it to reach its potential and if last weekend is anything to go by, that is there in abundance.”
Win tickets to exclusive Jameson craft event at the Connacht Tribune
For your chance to win tickets to #JamesonCraftSeries event in Galway on March 4th and one of the bespoke Molloy and Sons tweed blankets created especially for the event and inspired by the colour, beauty and quality of Jameson Black Barrel. Celebrating those who believe in craft, tradition and making something that lasts. Answer the below question:
The unmistakably smooth taste of Jameson Black Barrel would not be achieved without the hand-crafted flamed charred black barrels that it is matured in.
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5.00 pm on Monday 2nd March 2015
Follow the journey of Molly and Sons on apps.facebook.com/JamesonBlackBarrel/ All entrants must be over 18. (Enjoy Jameson sensibly, visit DrinkAware.ie)