Ask any European what he thinks of our traditional British cuisine, and the chances you won’t get a flattering response. Food in the UK has a reputation for being greasy and indigestible, an attitude which is decades out of date! Now, of course, the UK has a number of three-starred Michelin restaurants and there’s a wave of artisan food producers, farmers’ markets and speciality shops showcasing the best of all that’s British.

From 20th September to 5th October is British Food Fortnight, which promotes the buying, cooking and eating of our very own grub. Autumn is a fantastic time of year here, and there’s a plentiful array of seasonal food including blackberries, apples, pears, lamb, carrots, chestnuts, leeks, potatoes…is your mouth watering yet?

Many traditional British recipes, such as shepherd’s pie and stew and dumplings, were evolved for a different, more energetic lifestyle – but that doesn’t mean they’re out of bounds. Enjoy them as an occasional treat or make up your own, healthier versions. When making a shepherd’s pie, use lean mince and less of it, blot off any fat from the cooked meat and add lots and lots of lovely chopped fresh vegetables – leeks, carrots, sliced green beans, chunks of beetroot or courgette all work well. For an added twist, make the topping with half potato and half roasted butternut squash – just cut the squash in half, drizzle with oil and bake for 45 minutes. Scoop out the soft inner flesh and mash it with the cooked potatoes and some low fat crème fraiche for a seasonal treat.

The good news is that eating fresh, seasonal food couldn’t be better for you. Chestnuts, for example, are low in fat compared to other nuts, high in fibre and vitamin C and contain lots of other minerals and vitamins as well. They’re also great fun to collect – take the children, the dog and a basket out with you and you’ll not only have a lovely walk but also come back with the makings of a chestnut casserole.

As well as changing your diet to include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, another great way of ensuring regular digestive health is with a series of colonic hydrotherapy treatments. This safe, non-chemical process gently washes out any toxins that have built up over the summer, leaving you feeling energised and ready for all that walking! If you’d like to find out more, come along and like my Facebook page, or give me a call on 0161 207 4034. I’m here to help.

Helen x