Healthy barbecue recipes

 

Citrus-spiked sea bass

2-3 large oranges

Zest 1 lemon (use juice)

1tbsp olive oil

4 300g whole small sea bass, scaled, gutted and slashed a few times down each side

 

For the salad

2 oranges, segmented

Juice 1 lemon

4tbsp olive oil

2 bags watercress

Handful small capers

Handful pitted green olives, chopped

 

Method

  1. Finely grate the zest of 1 of the oranges and add to the lemon zest. Mix with the olive oil, then drizzle over the fish and season. Cut the rest of the oranges into slices about 5mm thick. When the coals are ashen, arrange the orange slices over the barbecue in groups the length of each fish. Char the orange slices on 1 side, then flip them over and lay the fish on top of them – this stops the fish sticking. Barbecue the fish for 5-8 mins on each side (turning them carefully), or until the flesh flakes away easily when prodded.
  2. While the fish is barbecuing (or beforehand), make the salad. Put the orange segments in a large bowl with the squeezed juice from the rest of the oranges and the lemon juice. Season and stir in the olive oil. When the fish is cooked, toss the watercress in the orange dressing with the capers and olives. Serve the fish with the salad.

Smokey mushroom burgers, roasted garlic mayo

4 large flat mushrooms

1tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying

2 roasted red peppers (jar), finely chopped

Half pack thyme, leaves chopped

50g fresh breadcrumb

1tbsp sundried tomato paste

2tsp smoked paprika

3 red onions, thinly sliced

1 tbsp golden caster sugar

1 tbsp sherry vinegar

For the mayo

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

50g good-quality mayonnaise

 

  1. Heat up the barbecue. To make the garlic mayo, wrap the garlic cloves in a foil parcel, position on a hot spot of the barbecue and cook for 20 mins until really soft. Alternatively, bake in a hot oven for 20-30 mins. Leave to cool, then squeeze the cloves out of their skins and mash with a fork. Mix the garlic purée with the mayonnaise, then chill until ready to serve.
  2. Remove the stalks from the middle of the mushrooms and finely chop them. Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan (on the barbecue or hob), add the stalks and fry for a few mins until golden and soft. Add the peppers, thyme, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, paprika and some seasoning. Cook for 5 mins more, then set aside to cool a little. Rub the mushroom caps with a little oil, season, then top each one with 1⁄4 of the mixture. Can be chilled for up to 1 day.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in another frying pan (on the barbecue or hob), and add the onions. Cook for 15 mins until soft and golden, then add the sugar, vinegar and some seasoning. Cook for 5 mins more until caramelised and sticky. Can be chilled for up to 2 days.
  4. Put the mushrooms on the barbecue (stuffed side up), close the lid or cover with foil, and cook for 20 mins until soft and cooked through. Be sure to keep an eye on the heat and move to the upper shelf if the bottoms of the mushrooms start to burn. Split the rolls and heat these on the barbecue, too. Spread each roll with some garlic mayo, top with salad leaves, a filled mushroom, some sticky onions and a grating of cheese.

 

Symprove

We would like to introduce Symprove – a product supporting balance in the digestive system.

Good health can be directly influenced by the balance of bacteria in the gut. Our busy lifestyles can lead to a poor diet and stress; both factors can alter the ecology or balance of bacteria in the gut.

Published research has shown that taking a multi-strain, live and active bacteria can help support a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

What is Symprove?

A water-based formula containing multi-strain (four unique strains, working in harmony to create balance), live and active bacteria.

How does it work?

Symprove does not trigger digestion, allowing the bacteria to pass through the stomach and reach target areas unharmed.

In 2014, University College London carried out research on 8 products containing bacteria. The products were subjected to three challenge tests to assess if the bacteria arrived in a live state, survived stomach acid transit and thrived in the target area. Symprove was the only product to pass all three tests (www.symprove.com).

Once the bacteria have arrived, they thrive, multiply and replenish gut bacteria, maintaining digestive balance.

The 12 week programme

 Research has shown that the process takes time and commitment, the changes do not happen overnight.

 The Symprove programme is currently offering a special deal whereby patients buy 8 weeks (8 bottles), and the remaining 4 weeks are complimentary.

Sleep

‘‘I know 2am,
I know it backwards, inside out.
I know the tread of tired tip-toes
That against the silence shouts …’’

(Erin Hanson, 2015)

Sound familiar?

If your answer is yes, then you’ll know that a night without sleep can seem like an eternity when you’re tossing and turning; the following day a challenge as you resist the urge to succumb to your drooping eyelids.

We all know that sleep is an essential component of human life, and unless you’re Tom Hanks in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, insomnia won’t bring anything good your way.

Scientific research has demonstrated that sleep deprivation can impair attention, long-term memory and decision making; and that sleep is important for body restitution, such as tissue recovery (Alhola and Polo-Kantola, 2007).

Unfortunately, we don’t sell spinning wheels, but the good news is, our practitioners may be able to help …

 

Here’s some general advice from our osteopaths –

 

  • Stick to a regular sleep pattern by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
  • Eliminate caffeine after 2pm and alcohol within 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Stop exercising 4 hours before bedtime.
  • Relax before bed, perhaps with a bath, quiet music, gentle yoga or meditation.
  • Write down any worries before going to bed to remove them from your thoughts.

 

How can osteopathy help?

Our osteopaths like to look at the person as a whole. Looking at all aspects of a patient’s life helps the practitioner pin-point the origin of an issue, and ensures the treatment is tailored to each individual.

During a consultation, we want to know how your sleep is affected. Is it difficult to get to sleep, maintain sleep or do you wake up too early? We can then provide a treatment plan specific to you.

Pain and sleep are integrally connected. Pain can keep you awake at night, and the less sleep you get, the more intense your pain may feel; it’s a vicious cycle. Our osteopaths will try to reduce any inflammation and pain in the affected area. We can then give you advice on the correct sleeping environment, and information about the best sleeping posture.

We’ve found stress is a common cause of sleepless nights. Patients have found that osteopathic treatment not only alleviates pain, but also relaxes the body, which in turn calms the mind down, enhancing sleep.

Babies and Children

Our lead practitioner Ami conducted a Masters Research project on the effect of osteopathic treatment on sleep patterns in children. He found that osteopathy appeared to be effective in those cases where there is an underlying structural cause or associated functional disorder.

Our cranial osteopaths see many babies who had a difficult delivery, which has led to discomfort, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping.

Difficulty in childbirth may lead to tension in the bony and membranous casing inside the baby’s skull. This tension keeps the baby’s nervous system in a constant state of alertness, meaning sleeping is troublesome. Essentially, the osteopath will seek to correct any damage or slight alterations during childbirth, relieving some of this tension.

Acupuncture

“After acupuncture, I usually have a few nights of calm and peaceful sleep” – Patient testimonial.

The British Acupuncture Council state that most trials have found that acupuncture is significantly more effective at helping people sleep than hypnotic drugs such as benzodiazepines.

Acupuncture can help by –

  • Rebalancing energy within the body.
  • Calming the mind, balancing hormones and settling the nervous system.

All of which may help you gain a good nights sleep.

Massage and Reflexology

Research has shown that the deep state of relaxation that is induced during treatments such as massage and reflexology can help to restore sleep patterns. By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, the body goes into a state of rest, encouraging you to naturally drift off into sleep. The power of touch, combined with the release of knots and tension, intensifies the experience. Our patients will often fall asleep during the treatment session.

Reflexology can also naturally encourage the secretion of Melatonin from the pineal gland, assisting in the stabilisation of the sleep cycle.

In 2014, BBC Science stated that 25% of the UK population suffered from a sleep disorder. If you are one of those people, then perhaps osteopathy, acupuncture or massage could help.

If you have any further questions, or you would like some more advice, then please get in touch with us. You can call us on 0113 237 1173 or email [email protected], and we will get back to you promptly.

Muscle and Condition of the Quarter

 

Erector Spinae

What is it?

Often referred to as the ‘long muscles’ of the back, Erector Spinae are a group of muscles that stabilise the spine and also produce motion. They run vertically in a groove on each side of the spine.

What do they do?

They are the chief extensor muscles (leaning back) of the spine, and also allow you to straighten your body from a flexed (bent forward) position.

Why have we chosen Erector Spinae?

At the Good Health Centre, lower back pain is one of the most common conditions we treat; and the culprit most regularly responsible is Erector Spinae in the lumbar region (lower back).

Lower back pain

Erector Spinae can be injured due to chronic spine flexion (stooped posture and bending from the waist), lifting, twisting, carrying heavy objects, or falling.

We see a lot of patients who have lifted something heavy and have ‘felt their back go’. This is often because using the back as a lever when lifting puts an enormous strain on the back muscles, ligaments and vertebral column.

For protection, the back muscles go into a spasm after injury, or in response to inflammation of ligaments. Spasm is a sudden involuntary contraction of one or more muscle groups. You will feel cramps, pain, interference with function, producing involuntary movement and distortion.

When lifting heavy objects, you can minimise injury by crouching, holding the back as straight as possible, and using the buttock muscles and lower limbs to assist with lifting.

How do we treat lower back pain?

Our philosophy has always been to treat all patients and all conditions individually. We may see two patients with what appears to be the same problem, but the journey to recovery will always differ, as no two people are the same. Our treatment is specifically tailored towards the individual.

Let’s take a look at three different cases …

Three patients have lifted a heavy weight, and felt their ‘back go’ as they did so. They have presented to our osteopath with the same right-hand side lower back pain.

1) Josh: A 25 year old male, usually fit, a healthy body weight, never experienced any previous lower back pain.

On examination, our practitioner discovers that there is an obvious joint sprain, causing a lot of muscle spasm, and subsequent aches and pains.

2) Linda: A 40 year old female, with intermittent episodes of back pain.

On examination, our osteopath discovers a fixed forward posture with a reversed lumbar spine. Linda has had two children, both delivered by caesarean section which subsequently weakened the muscles in her abdominal wall.

3) Lee: A 30 year old male, fit and healthy, with occasional stiffness in his lower back.

On examination, our osteopath discovers Lee has one leg shorter than the other which causes a tilted pelvis when stood.  Due to this, Lee bends to one side (away from the shorter leg) while walking. This has led to back compression on the opposite side to the shorter leg.

As he has lifted the heavy object, he has stretched an already shortened muscle that caused the lower back to strain, evoking the spasm.

How would our osteopaths form a tailored treatment plan?

If our practitioner were to employ the same treatment plan for each patient, it is unlikely to be successful due to the extremely varied factors which must be considered.

Different approaches …

1) Josh: As Josh doesn’t have any additional complications, our osteopath predicts he will need two sessions. He is young, fit and healthy, therefore firm mechanical techniques are applied, including soft tissue mobilisation and manipulation. Immediately after treatment, Josh finds that full range of movement has been restored, and reports he is in much less pain.

2) Linda: If this same firm technique was used on Linda, she would find it too traumatic as her underlying cause for her problems have not been addressed properly. Instead, our osteopath employs a very gentle approach, supporting the tissues allowing them to unravel and relax. Our practitioner then shows Linda breathing techniques and abdominal exercises to strengthen the muscles that were weakened by caesarean section. This coupled approach gives her the quickest benefit with the least trauma.

3) Lee: Our osteopaths approach Lee’s problem in two phases – short-term and long-term. In the short-term the aim is to reduce pain, improve joint mobility and reduce inflammation; to which Lee responds very well. However, the presence of a shorter leg would be regarded as a possible maintaining factor to his complaint. Careful consideration and appropriate treatment to his unique presentation (such as heel lift or pelvic tilt) will hopefully prevent a reoccurrence of his acute back.

Aeroplane advice

Many people visit osteopaths due to the discomfort caused by long-haul flights. As many of you may know, this can quite literally ruin your holiday. If you are lucky enough to be travelling somewhere nice this summer, the following advice may help you stay stretched out so that you are not too uncomfortable when you do get off that plane.

1/ Move as often as possible – aim to move around every 45 minutes to an hour.

2/ Use a pillow to support the base of your lower back.

3/ Know your weaknesses – if you do suffer with pain either consistently or episodically, try visiting your osteopath or manual therapist a few days to a week before you fly to help reduce the chance of a flare up.

4/ Use the following seated exercises to help keep yourself mobile. If you do suffer specific problems, speak to a specialist before you go to ensure that you’re not going to irritate your symptoms by performing them.


 

 

  1.  Place the hand of the opposite side to your pain on your head (i.e. if your right hurts, use your left hand).
  2. Use your hand to gently pull your head forward, and to the opposite side of the pain (i.e. if your right hurts, your head should be bent to the bottom left).
  3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, ensuring you do not go into pain.
  4. Take a deep breath in, and pull your head a little further during the out breath.
  5. Repeat 3 times.
  6. At the end of the third stretch, use the hand on top of your head to push it back to a neutral position, in order to avoid activating the stretched muscles.

 

 

  1. Sit in a chair or stand up.
  2. Place your head in a neutral position so that you are not looking up or down.
  3. Pull your head backwards giving yourself a double chin (again ensuring that your head stays straight and does not arch backwards or bend forwards).
  4. Repeat the exercise 10-12 times.
  5. As long as it does not start to cause pain, this exercise can be completed many times throughout the day.

 

 

  1. Sit upright in a firm chair.
  2. Cross your arms over your chest so you have each hand on the opposite shoulder.
  3. Take a breath in, and slowly twist yourself to one side to where you feel a stretch.
  4. Hold that position and then return to neutral whilst breathing out.
  5. Repeat to the opposite side.
  6. Complete this exercise 5 times on each side.

 

 

  1. Sit up straight in your seat.
  2. Place one hand behind your back.
  3. Push your body backwards into your hand.
  4. Hold the pressure for 15 seconds before slowly releasing.
  5. Repeat this movement 5 times.

 


  1. Sit towards the front of your seat.
  2. Place your hands in front of you and bend forward as if diving into a swimming pool.
  3. This should create a curve in your spine to help separate the joints.
  4. Ensure the stretch is not painful.
  5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat this 3 times, each time stretching a little further.

 

 

  1. Sit towards the edge of your seat.
  2. Straighten one leg out in front of you.
  3. Keep the opposite leg bent.
  4. Lean forward, sliding your hand down the straight leg towards your foot.
  5. You should get a stretch at the back of your leg, hold it for 30 seconds before slowly returning to normal.
  6. Repeat the same on the opposite side.
  7. This can be done 3 times on each leg.

NB: ensure no pain is felt in the back.


 

Watch out for the following signs if sat for long periods of time:

DVT (most likely in the leg whilst flying) – a condition where a blood clot forms and becomes lodged in one of the major deep veins of the leg.

  • Pain, swelling and tenderness in your legs (usually one calf).
  • A heaviness in the area.
  • Palpable heat and redness of the skin in the area.

Ensure that you seek medical help as soon as possible if you notice any of the above symptoms.