New York City

I have been wanting to visit New York for as long as I can remember, as a self confessed shopaholic it doesn't get much better than 5th Avenue?! So, for my 21st Birthday me and my boyfriend decided we would take a trip to the big apple and then head over to Florida to experience the best of the sunshine state!

 The view from our hotel room

The view from our hotel room

After a very long and tiring flight we finally landed in JFK and hopped into a yellow taxi which took us to our hotel, jet lagged but excited we then headed straight out to Times Square!

 Times Square

Times Square

After eating a huge pizza slice and exploring what Time Square has to offer, we headed back to our hotel.

The next morning we had a long list of sites to see including Macy's, The Flat Iron Building, Grand Central and Trump Tower. 

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The next day we had booked bikes so we could cycle around Central Park, this was actually one of my favourite parts of our trip and I'd definitely recommend it but don't be fooled, it's not as flat as it may seem! 

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After cycling we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge to appreciate the sky line from afar and popped into Bloomingdale's to let out my inner Rachel Green.

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Our third day in New York was spent visiting the 9/11 memorial and going to see the Statue of Liberty. 

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Then my favourite part of the trip - the Top of the Rock! We booked our viewing time just before sunset so we could see NY by day and night and the views were incredible! It was a great way to spend our last night before we headed off to Florida.

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New York definitely lived up to my expectations and I cannot wait to go back one day! 

'Does it fart?'

It began with the simple question "do snakes fart?" asked by Dani Rabaiotti's (Zoologist) brother that kick started the Twitter hashtag #DoesItFart. This lead to many science experts to wonder what animals do fart? How often? How do they smell? This curiosity has now been turned into a book called 'Does it fart?' which is now available to buy from Amazon .

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We found this book hilarious, surprisingly interesting and even though you might not want to parade it on your coffee table it could be the source of laughter at many dinner parties! We thought we would share our most surprising finds:

  • Goats fart but it's often their burps that are the worst!

  • Giraffes can fart and due to their height you don't want to be stood next to them when they're doing so!

  • Ball Pythons, Parrots and European Oysters are amongst many animals that cannot fart

  • Rats farts smell worse than dogs, so next time you let one rip you may want to blame your pet rat and give the dog a rest!

If you would like to purchase "Does it fart?" you can do so on Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith.

My Trip To Cardiff & The Best Burger In The U.K.

This weekend I visited South Wales and stayed a couple of miles north of Cardiff in a suburb called Llanishen in a lovely Airbnb hosted by Giles & Philippa.

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My wife had never been to South Wales and had wanted to visit Cardiff & Barry Island, home of the comedy series Gavin & Stacey. We planned to visit several of the filming locations around Barry including Stacey's house and Marco's Cafe. 

  Gavin's House (SPOILER ALERT - It's not really in Billericay, it's just outside Barry).

Gavin's House (SPOILER ALERT - It's not really in Billericay, it's just outside Barry).

  Stacey's House.

Stacey's House.

  Marco's Cafe where Stacey works during the series. 

Marco's Cafe where Stacey works during the series. 

  The seafront at Barry Island.

The seafront at Barry Island.

After a couple of hours of walking around Barry, the seafront and maybe some fish & chips we headed to St. Fagan's National Museum of History. It's an open-air museum chronicling the historical lifestyle, culture, and architecture of the Welsh people. 

With lots of little cottages showing progression through the ages, an old time sweet shop where you could order a quarter of, it's a lovely walk and history lesson at the same time. The museum features lots of gardens and a castle to walk around too. 

We didn't spend too much time in Cardiff as the weather was too nice to spend in a city centre, although we did pop into the city to have a look at the Castle, and for a bite to eat. Before we went we were given a recommendation by a local chef to check out The Grazing Shed

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In the Shreddies office we're all big fans of burgers and have been to many a burger joint across the U.K. But I have no problem in saying that the The Grazing Shed is without doubt the best burger I've ever eaten. Topped with honey glazed goats cheese and chorizo I was in food heaven. 

Lucky for me I'm going back to Cardiff next weekend to watch the boxing so I'll be popping back into The Grazing Shed to try another of their amazing burgers.  

 

Go low FODMAP for the most important meal of the day!

It's common knowledge that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it gives you energy and fills your stomach after a nights sleep. We wanted to share our favourite breakfast ideas for if you're following a low FODMAP diet and are looking for a bit of inspiration! 

Oats:

Gluten free porridge oats are a great way to get your nutrients and they're also super filling! You can enjoy them hot in the form of porridge topped with bananas, nuts or maple syrup, we recommend choosing rolled oats as they have a lower GI so break down more slowly. Our favourite porridge recipe is: https://fodmapchallenge.com/2017/07/porridge-low-fodmap-winter-warmer/

 Image: thefodmapchallenge.com

Image: thefodmapchallenge.com

Alternatively you can enjoy them cold in the form of overnight oats for a very yummy and 'Instagram worthy' meal! Overnight oats are simply oats and milk in a bowl and put in the fridge overnight. Of course oats and milk alone is an unappetising way to start your day, but the beauty of this is the tasty toppings! You can top with seeds, berries, cinammon, maple syrup, nuts or whatever tickles your fancy! https://notfromapacketmix.com/2015/03/06/overnight-chia-oats-low-fodmap-gluten-free-vegan-dairy-free-fructose-friendly/

 Image: www.notfromapacketmix.com

Image: www.notfromapacketmix.com

Pancakes and Waffles:

You can swap your regular flour for a gluten free one and switch up your milk choice with almond milk or coconut milk (or whatever you fancy!) and *voila* low FODMAP pancakes! Find our favourite pancake recipe here: https://www.fodmapformula.com/low-fodmap-pancakes/

 Image: www.fodmapformula.com

Image: www.fodmapformula.com

Waffles are also a super yummy breakfast and by swapping your flour and baking powder for a gluten free alternative you can enjoy them whilst on the low FODMAP diet! Find out favourite waffle recipe here: http://blog.katescarlata.com/2017/10/19/diy-low-fodmap-gluten-free-waffle-mix/

 Image: blog.katescarlata.com

Image: blog.katescarlata.com

Eggs:

Why not try an omelette for breakfast, this super easy meal has endless possibilities and is a great way to use leftovers! You can top with unseasoned meats, left over veg and cheese - delicious! Our favourite breakfast omelette is: http://www.boncalme.com/recipes/breakfast/low-fodmap-tomato-leek-frittata/

 Image: www.bo

Image: www.bo

Disclaimer: please ensure you check all ingredients before making these recipes as everyone is different and tolerances may differ.

5 Most-Common Health Problems that Signal an Unhealthy Gut

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This weeks blog is by Stewart Dunlop, the content and marketing manager at TheGoodGut.org (http://www.thegoodgut.org) - a new project devoted to maintaining gut health. Being a passionate writer, he aims to raise the awareness of the importance of gut health to the overall well-being of any individual.



The modern medicine is continuously advancing, but the more we discover, the more we understand that our knowledge of our own bodies is still limited. The best example stands in the gut – a system that was not considered important for anything else than food processing and elimination.

Recent studies and discoveries show that there’s a whole lot more
going on down there and many of the modern day diseases are nothing but symptoms of an unbalanced microbiome.


Below we’ll discuss some of the most common affections that signal a problem with the gut bacterial
flora.


#1: Colds, Infections, Sinusitis & So On


If you feel like you’re sick all the time and you always have to carry a box of tissues wherever you go, the problem may be buried deep in your gut.


Because about 80% of our immune system’s cells are housed in the gut, the first symptom of an imbalanced microbiome is a weak defense against germs and bacteria. Even more, if it’s cold outside and you’re not well-protected with the regular winter attire your problems may be caused by an imbalance in the nose (the first line of defense).


In any situation, a weak immune system is a strong sign that something is not quite right with the bacterial flora that keeps you healthy. To fix this, try to consume probiotics and avoid antibiotics for as much as possible. They are effective against bad bacteria, but they also wipe out the good ones.


#2: Bloating, Flatulence & General Discomfort


Bloating may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a horrible condition that can totally shift your focus and ruin your day (or days, depending on the seriousness of the situation). The sensation that you’re about to burst is definitely not office-friendly and it’s so much worse when you wear tight clothes and have to sit in a chair all day long!

But the nightmare doesn’t stop here as bloating is most-often- than-not- accompanied by flatulence. While we all know tooting is a natural bodily function (there’s actually special underwear for the average tooter), you definitely don’t want to release a smelly/loud one in a meeting or when participating at a job interview!


Bloating, burping, and tooting are clear signs of small intestinal bacteria overgrowth, meaning that your gut flora is not working as efficiently as it should.

While we know both men and women experience these symptoms, the problem is a lot more mortifying for the ladies, which is why you can find a special line of probiotics for women in most regular stores. These contain other ingredients that help with bowel movements and the general feeling of discomfort.


#3: Mental Problems

Sadly, a microbiome imbalance can get a lot more serious than just bloating and sinusitis (not that these are not serious problems!). Because our lives are always fast-paced and filled with stressful situations, we tend to ignore healthy foods, proper hydration, and exercise, which can easily upset the fragile balance in the gut.


Now, what science just discovered, is that lining the gut, there is a complex neuronal network (also named the second brain) that is in direct connection with our emotions, our general mood, and is in
charge of stress and anxiety related issues. This network releases 30 different neurotransmitters that reach the brain, and dictate how the brain will react in a series of situations. So, diseases such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more may actually start with the enteric nervous system in the gut, and only then affect the brain.


#4: Obesity & Other Weight-Related Problems


There’s a logical connection between the digestive system and weight problems, but the situation is not always clear. Recent studies proved that people who have a more diverse bacterial flora and manage to maintain a good balance in the microbiome are most likely to reach and maintain a healthy weigh.

On the other hand, obese people have an abundance of bacteria that is very efficient in separating and storing fat, which is why it gets easier to gain more and more weight. It’s like the organism is specializing in storing more and more fat. So, the key to a healthy weight is in a diverse and well-balanced microbiome.


#5: Acne, Rashes & Other Skin Problems


When we’re young, we’re told acne is a symptom of hormonal changes happening in our bodies. But when you’re a fully-grown adult and pimples are still your number one problem, you should consider
checking your gut!


Skin rashes, acne, infections, rosacea and other similar problems are not just embarrassing and downright uncomfortable; they’re also a clear sign that something is wrong inside and you need to dig
deeper.


Conclusion

Digestive problems are very common in our stressful world, but with a bit of care and a stricter lifestyle that includes healthy foods and physical exercise, we can help improve our gut’s health. So, if you
observe any of the problems we mentioned above, consider them as symptoms, and have your microbiome checked. A specialist will be able to tell you the type of measures you need to take.

Our Favourite low FODMAP Pancake Recipe!

If you're worried about missing out on pancake day because you're on a low FODMAP diet, worry no more as we have found the most delicious pancake recipe courtesy of Amy Agur (www.instagram.com/fodmapformula/).

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups gluten-free flour

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 1.75 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1.5 cups lactose-free milk

  • 3 tbsp butter (melted)

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Method

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

  • In a separate bowl mix the milk, butter, eggs and vanilla.

  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix quickly. Don't worry about removing every lump just make sure it is well combined.

  • If you're saving your batter for the next day, now is the time to wrap it up and pop it in the fridge! 

  • If you're planning to eat them now then heat up your griddle/frying pan, add a small amount of butter and then pour 1/4 cup of batter and leave to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the edges become firm. Flip and repeat!

Then you can top your pancakes with low FODMAP fruit like blueberries, orange, raspberry and strawberry and 100% pure maple syrup - delicious! 

If you'd like to find more of Amy's delicious low FODMAP recipes then please visit her website: www.fodmapformula.com