Is Saffron the New Wonder Spice?

Raw Organic Red Saffron Spice

I am currently reading Rosanna Ley's The Saffron Trail (and racing through it!) I have read a number of Rosanna's books and not only are they all brilliantly clever and highly entertaining, but also, she clearly does a great deal of research before putting finger to keyboard and right now I am learning a lot about the incredible, amazing, expensive but oh-so-worth-the-spend-spice, saffron!

Then... what should appear in my inbox but an article from Nutri Advanced about the impressive health benefits of saffron as an effective natural remedy for a range of health concerns - particularly mental health issues - with a range of referenced studies to back up just why this may be the new wonder spice! I urge you to have a look and share the article with others...

it's all about the plant chemical compounds...

"Saffron stigmas contain four major bioactive compounds (crocins, picrocrocin, crocetin and safranal) and many powerful carotenoids, including zeaxanthin, lycopene, beta-carotene and polysaccharides.  Collectively, these compounds are responsible for the health-enhancing properties of saffron." Nutri Advanced

Most studies involve saffron extract at a dose of around 30mg per day which equates to around 10-15 strands of dried saffron or around 1 teaspoon of ground saffron which, unless you fancy a pinch of saffron added to your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on a daily basis, could be a bit much so you may wish to consider a supplement on saffron-free days!

But, as you might expect, I have a couple of soup recipes (Carrot and Saffron Soup and Cream of Mussel Soup with Saffron) plus there's my Aromatic Lamb Casserole which makes a great make-ahead dinner and my rather special Fennel, Orange and Quinoa Salad for a great packed lunch - all of which use this wonderfully-aromatic and health-enhancing spice. NB: get your saffron threads and powder from Halal and middle eastern shops - it's a great deal less expensive than in major supermarkets!  

This Book Is A Must-Read!

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I read Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think by the brilliant Brian Wansink a few years ago and was blown away by some of the creatively-clever and often mischievous experiments he and his colleagues in the Food and Brand Laboratory at Cornell University played on often-unsuspecting 'victims' to prove how mindless we can be when choosing what and how much we eat! Being a soup aficionado the Bottomless Soup Bowl Study was my all-time favourite!

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And now he is back with Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life which reveals a great deal more and is a fascinating read... here are a couple of his observations from the book...

"For 90 percent of us, the solution to mindless eating is not mindful eating - our lives are just too crazy and our willpower’s to wimpy. Instead, the solution is to tweak small things in our homes, favorite restaurants, supermarkets, workplaces and schools so we mindlessly eat less and better instead of more. It’s easier to use a small plate, face away from the buffet and Frisbee-spin the bread basket across the table than to be a martyr on a hunger strike. Willpower is hard and has to last a lifetime. Rearranging your life to be slim by design is easy.... 

This book is about solutions - concrete, actionable solutions that my Lab has developed, tested, analyzed and tweaked in dozens of towns across the United States and abroad. This book shows how you can help your kids eat better, control your eating at restaurants, shop like a slim person and eat less at home without having to think twice. In other words, it specifically shows how you can help yourself and your family become slim by design. But equally important, this book will show you how to get all of these places and people around you to help."

At Last, I Hear You Say!

The new, updated 2 Weeks in the Fast Lane Diet is out today!

There's a brand new 14 day eating plan...

Lots of new (and delicious as always, may I say modestly!) recipes...

Loads of tips on how to keep you on the right track as you shed the pounds...

And some excellent exercise advice from the highly-respected Ben Camara of No1 Fitness

Click here or on the book cover or on the 'announcement bar' at the top of the page to find out more about the book and if you are tempted, where to order your copy...