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We tasted this year’s supermarket dairy-free eggs, so you don’t have to. Find out which ones are worth cracking open and the ones to avoid.

Easter is fast approaching which means one thing: chocolate! Whilst most people browse the shopping aisle and choose their egg from an array of different options, what choices do you have if you have a dairy intolerance or you’re vegan?

Good news! Over the past few years, the free-from section in supermarkets have expanded, meaning you don’t have to thoroughly hunt around to find a dairy-free egg. Now more than ever, it’s much easier to push aside the average dairy egg and experience new sweet treats and flavours.

Here at YorkTest, we decided to go on our own Easter egg hunt and round up four dairy-free chocolate eggs to review just for you. We scoured the shelves of three major UK supermarkets and selected two dark and two light chocolate products.

Once we selected our eggs, we nominated two volunteers, Charlotte and Jack, at YorkTest HQ to taste test the products for us. Both volunteers had never tried dairy-free chocolate before, which made them perfect taste-testers for our Easter challenge!

We asked them to rate each egg based on its value, texture, presentation and, above all, taste! If you’re intolerant to cow’s milk or you have a loved one who is dairy free, we can tell you the best option on the supermarket shelves. 

Which egg was crowned YorkTest’s best dairy-free Easter egg 2018? Find out below.

M&S Made Without Dairy Dark Chocolate Egg 160g – £7.00

✔ Milk Free
✔ Gluten Free
✔ Wheat Free
✔ Suitable for vegans and vegetarians

At the high end of the market, next up we have the M&S Dark Chocolate Egg. You can find this egg in their ‘Made Without’ section of their store. Expertly packaged in florescent pink foil and a polka-dot base, the egg includes dark chocolate buttons in case you have a little extra room for even more chocolate.

“I liked the presentation of this egg. You don’t see many eggs that aren’t in a cardboard or plastic box, so I was impressed with this design. Not only would this be a fantastic gift, but the texture was spot on and the taste was nice. I wouldn’t have been able to guess this was a free-from Easter egg,” Charlotte explains.
Jack mentions that out of all the eggs they tried, “this had the best texture. You couldn’t tell that it didn’t contain cow’s milk. It tasted creamy”.
Unfortunately, this egg isn’t available on the M&S site, but hopefully you can still snap one up in their stores!

Presentation: 7/10 Taste: 7/10 Texture: 10/10 Value: 4/10 Total: 28/40

Asda Belgium Dark Chocolate Egg 200g – £5.00

✔ Milk Free
✔ Gluten Free
✔ Wheat Free
✔ Suitable for vegans and vegetarians

Asda’s free-from range radiates a touch of luxury this Easter with its purple dusted packaging and transparent box. This is a dairy, wheat and gluten free Belgium dark chocolate egg with luxurious cocoa nibs. It also includes decadent dark chocolate truffles with a vanilla flavoured fondant centre – yum! It’s free from artificial colours, flavours and hydrogenated fat. The mid-range egg is made from soya lecithin and uses rice flour and coconut oil.

We caught up with one our taste testers, Jack Robinson, who says, “The best part of this egg wasn’t even advertised! It had little crunchy bits inside it! Even the camera man loved it. The little truffles that came with it were also rich and tasted amazing”.

Commenting on the overall score of the Easter egg, Charlotte Court says, “The presentation was luxurious and impressive but, however, I have seen many more extravagant eggs on the market, hence why I gave it a 4.

“The egg itself was rich and tasty. I did mark it down slightly due to the texture as I wasn’t too sure about the crunchy addition to the chocolate. Overall, the presentation, taste and texture were ‘egg’cellent. I would definitely recommend and repurchase for myself or a friend”.

Luckily, this Easter egg is still in stock. Check it out here if you’re feeling extra chocolatey!

Presentation: 9/10  Taste: 8/10  Texture: 6/10  Value: 8/10   Total: 31/40

Moo-Free Original Organic Egg with Choccy Drops 125g –  £3.95

✔ Milk Free
✔ Gluten Free
✔ Wheat Free
✔ Soy Free
✔ GM Free
✔ Suitable for vegans and vegetarians

Stores available: Aldi, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Holland & Barrett

At Moo-Free, all dairy-free Easter eggs are made using Hammy’s multi-award winning organic rice milk chocolate. Moo-Free has released three Easter eggs this year: an orange flavoured egg, honeycomb flavoured and their original with choccy drops.

The packaging is fresh and bright, and it was fantastic to see an organic dairy-free egg on the shelves. It’s important to note that this egg is only 125g. The portion would be ideal for a child who is dairy-free. However, adults who are looking for an Easter egg may see this as a bitesize choice.

Our taste testers further backed this up and they both commented that this was a very “average egg”. Charlotte says, “I wasn’t overly keen on the presentation of this one. It was just average in appearance. Again, the taste and texture were ok, but overall it was a very average Easter egg”.

If you’re looking for a budget egg this year, you can still get your chocolate fix with this Moo-free alternative which won’t break the bank.

Buy it here.

Presentation: 6/10  Taste: 6/10  Texture: 6/10  Value: 5/10    Total: 23/40

Sainsbury’s Free From Choc Eggs & Discs 125g – £3.50

✔ Milk Free
✔ Gluten Free
✔ Wheat Free
✔ Suitable for vegans and vegetarians

Here we have the most affordable option out of our four eggs we tasted. Sainsbury’s has expanded their free-from range over the past few years, including milk-free cheese and their own range of gluten-free bread. These momentous moments were celebrated by everyone who is dairy-free. Here at YorkTest, we were excited to try this dairy-free egg, given how expansive their free-from section can be and their own brand chocolate is simply delicious.

Unfortunately, the taste experts didn’t agree. The packaging is geared towards a younger demographic, with cartoon bunnies and bees scattered around the box. Jack says, “The presentation was a bit overkill. Less is more when it comes to Easter eggs”. Charlotte agrees with Jack’s comment and mentions, “I wasn’t keen on the presentation at all. It just screams ‘cheap’ and it truly looks like a value egg”.

Made with soya lecithin and rice flour, our testers weren’t impressed with the taste either. “The taste and texture of the egg was well below average. It tasted like advent calendar chocolate,” Charlotte says.

Do you want to take a gamble? Add this egg to your bag here.

Even though this egg fell short in our ratings, Sainsbury’s do offer another alternative dairy-free egg in their stores, which you can view here.

Presentation: 4/10  Taste: 2/10  Texture: 4/10   Value: 4/10     Total: 14/40

After taste-testing four products from three major UK supermarkets, the winner of the best dairy-free Easter egg 2018 is…..

Asda Belgium Dark Chocolate Egg!

We’re not alone either. The Huffington Post reviewed 28 eggs and Asda’s Free From Egg came out on top in their dairy-free category! It looks like Asda’s mid-range choice is an all-round winner.

Did you also know that a dairy-free, vegan treat won the best Easter egg of 2018? The Good Housekeeping Institute assessed 142 Easter eggs and the best overall was the Booja-Booja Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate Truffles which scored a whopping 89/100.

It’s a great year to be dairy-free! Check out our video below to get the full lowdown on our taste test.

Happy Easter everyone!

Dairy Free Easter Eggs Review - YouTube

Are you new to choosing dairy-free alternatives? We understand that it can be a challenge to start and stick to new eating habits, especially if celebrations like Easter tempt you back into the foods you want to avoid. Check out our guide to a dairy-free Easter.

Do you find yourself symptomatic after consuming cow’s milk, soybean or perhaps cocoa bean? You may have a food intolerance†. There is an easy way to confirm whether certain ingredients in your diet aren’t working for you. YorkTest’s Food&DrinkScan programme analyses your IgG reactions to 208 food and drink ingredients to pinpoint the foods you need to avoid, including cow’s milk, soybean and cocoa bean.

† YorkTest define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction

The post Dairy-Free Easter Egg Taste Test 2018: Which Milk-Free Easter Egg Should You Buy This Year? appeared first on YorkTest.

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Easter has rolled around again, and so have the eggs! If you’re intolerant to cow’s milk, it’s that time of year when you embark on your own personal Easter egg hunt to find that sweet treat which suits your dietary requirements.

But what about all those Creme Eggs or Mini Eggs that are lining the supermarket shelves, and along the till counters? Here at YorkTest, we understand that it can be a challenge to start and stick to new eating habits, especially if celebrations like Easter tempt you back into the foods you want to avoid. It’s normal to feel self-indulgent, but this tempting time of the year can break your willpower.

Luckily, dairy-free chocolate eggs are becoming more accessible in your local supermarkets, making it easier to push the big dairy egg away and opt for one (or more) eggs that won’t bring on or aggravate any symptoms.

We’re counting down the 5 tips that will help you crack your dairy dilemma this Easter. You can do it!

5. Be prepared

Preparation is key when you want to see through your elimination diet, but this can be tricky when you’re eliminating cow’s milk, along with other food triggers. Don’t miss out this Easter. All major supermarkets should have a selection of alternate Easter eggs, but it’s likely they’re not going to be in bulk compared to the average dairy egg. This means they won’t be around for long!

Though there are more dairy-free options out there this year, make sure you’re not leaving it until the last minute to buy an egg. A last-minute whim might leave you disappointed, so make sure you stock up before Easter Sunday and hatch a plan to make sure those eggs are available!

4. Check out what’s available

It’s easy to push your elimination diet to the side when you are not sure what alternatives are actually out there. Fear not! There’s more chocolate-y goodness in the world without Cadbury’s or Nestlé.

Most confectionary brands and chocolatiers are introducing dairy-free options to their shelves. Hotel Chocolat has a dairy-free category on their site which you can browse here. Are you a lover of Lindt? Good news, their 70%, 85%, 90% and 99% ranges do not contain milk products. There are also some great substitutes in Holland & Barrett.

Knowing where you can buy a dairy-free egg opens up a host of other options available to you. Free-from food is more cost-effective than it has been in the past, so you can rest-assured that you can find some dairy free Easter treats without breaking the bank.

3. Turn to the dark side

Depending on the percentage, did you know that dark chocolate does not often contain dairy? You can still purchase a chocolate egg without a visit to the free-from section. High-quality dark chocolate is one of the best ways to satisfy your chocolate cravings. Green & Blacks have released some great eggs this year, including this one containing 70% cocoa.

Sarah Hughes, one of our BANT* registered Nutritional Therapists, says: “I’d suggest those with a dairy intolerance eat dark chocolate which will contain no milk. The bitter sweet taste can become quite addictive and going back to milk chocolate can taste very sickly”.

If you’re unsure on the bitter taste of dark chocolate, try to look for a dark chocolate egg that contains vanilla extract, as this can often counteract the bitter after taste. It’s also good to know that dark chocolate is full of antioxidants – in fact, one of the best sources on the planet. Dark chocolate is loaded with beneficial minerals, such as zinc and magnesium and it can raise good “cholesterol” which, in turn, lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. You can rest assured that your Easter is a healthy one when you’re tucking into some dark chocolate – in moderation, of course.

2. Everything in moderation

Are you thinking of reintroducing dairy? If you have eliminated cow’s milk for 12-weeks or more, you could try to reintroduce it back into your diet. Easter can be a great opportunity to see how you react after successfully seeing through the elimination process. It gives you a chance to monitor any symptoms you may have after cautiously eating your trigger food. The key is to not go overboard and eat all the milk chocolate you see in sight, even if you feel fine. It’s best to gradually, and moderately, reintroduce small amounts back into your diet.

Eating chocolate which contains cow’s milk after removing it for a significant period of time can make you question how much you can tolerate. Everybody has their own food fingerprint, so it can be difficult to predict how your body will react after reintroducing dairy.

Sarah Hughes advises that “after 3 months of dairy abstinence, the best way of reintroducing it into your diet again is to eat some plain yoghurt in a small bowl. Wait 3 days for symptoms to appear. If you have no symptoms, you can start eating yoghurt again in moderation. In the same way, you could re-introduce butter by using a small amount initially, then you could reintroduce milk and finally cheese, but only starting with a small amount of parmesan first. If you remain symptom free after 3 days, you could reintroduce a small piece of hard cheese like cheddar or gouda. After this, you could then try some soft cheeses such as brie or cambozola.  Finally, if you still aren’t enjoying the taste of dark chocolate you could, at this point, reintroduce milk chocolate but keep it to 2-3 squares at a time”.

1. You have the willpower

A work-colleague, friend or family member may buy you a milk or white chocolate egg, forgetting or unaware that you’ve cut out milk from your diet. We must admit, knowing a sugar-laden, milk chocolate egg is waiting to be devoured and in arms reach is enough to tempt anybody.

Before you reach out and break your new eating habit, just remember why you are on an elimination diet in the first place. Perhaps you suffer digestive distress or experience skin issues when you consume cow’s milk. Also, focus on how long you have been on your diet; it’s worthwhile to realise how far you have come and the willpower it has taken to give up something you enjoy, even if you’ve only started to give up dairy a few weeks ago. If you do receive a dairy egg and you want to avoid reintroducing dairy for the time being, place it at the back of your cupboard to resist temptation, or share it with your family or friends– it’s Easter after all!

It takes motivation, determination and willpower to remove cow’s milk from your diet, so feel proud that you’re already on the journey towards optimal health.

Most food intolerances are not lifelong, so use this time to experiment with other options you may not have considered or known about before. It’s an exciting time to try new products and experience new flavours and textures. There are more options available than ever before, so try out some dark chocolate or opt for some tasty free-from eggs to satisfy your cravings!

Have an egg-cellent Easter!

Do you find yourself symptomatic after consuming cow’s milk, soybean or perhaps cocoa bean? You may have a food intolerance†. Not sure on the symptoms of a food intolerance? Check this guide out.

There is an easy way to confirm whether certain ingredients in your diet aren’t working for you. YorkTest’s Food&DrinkScan programme analyses your IgG reactions to 208 food and drink ingredients to pinpoint the foods you need to avoid, including cow’s milk, soybean and cocoa bean.

† YorkTest define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction

*British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapists

The post Are you avoiding cow’s milk? Your guide to a dairy-free Easter appeared first on YorkTest.

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Our first TV advert is here!

YorkTest Food Intolerance Test - YouTube

We’re absolutely delighted that we are on a screen near you. Our 60-second advert is all about spreading the word about what we do here at YorkTest.

Every day we hear stories from our customers about how much YorkTest’s food intolerance† programmes have changed their quality of life. We showcase these inspiring stories on our testimonials page. For those reading their stories who are currently suffering from the same or similar symptoms, we want you to feel that you are not alone in this, and we are here to help. Customers are at the heart of what we do, which is one of the reasons why we selected six of our customers whose lives were changed following a YorkTest programme to feature in our TV advert.

The stars of our advert struggled with a variety of symptoms before they came to YorkTest. David Brown, 39, suffered from brain fog and depression; Simon Heafield, Operations Director, experienced regular stomach cramping, and Ellie Meek was diagnosed with Intolerance-related Autism as a baby. Vivien Dagnall, meanwhile, was experiencing painful bloating and Lesley Robinson had severe food cravings.

These people are the faces behind what we do at YorkTest. Their previous symptoms were troublesome and affected their quality of life but, through changing their diet with support and guidance from us, they all experienced dramatic improvement in their symptoms.

We filmed this advert in December 2017 in London and we could not have been any more pleased with the result. We’d like to say a special thanks to the stars of our TV advert, who were willing to give up their day to come down to London and film with us.

It’s always inspiring to see our customers pushing to spread the word about YorkTest and help make a difference to people who could be suffering from the same or similar symptoms as they once suffered.

If you haven’t seen our advert already, please check it out below. Do you want to wait until you see it on your TV? Catch a glimpse of the action on selected channels, including More4, E!, Really, Food Network, Sky Living, and Good Food, just to name a few.

Are we new to you? Let us introduce ourselves

Have you seen our advert on TV and not sure who we are or what we do?

We’re YorkTest and we’re here to help you live your best life.

45% of the population are currently suffering from a food intolerance†. Symptoms of a food specific IgG reaction or ‘intolerance’ to a certain food(s) or drink(s) can present itself in a variety of ways; this could be through IBS symptoms, fatigue, migraines, anxiety, depression, skin problems, muscular pain and respiratory issues.

We are Europe’s leading provider in food and drink specific IgG antibody testing programmes, placing us at the forefront of scientific innovation. We have over 35 years’ experience with a driving passion of providing personalised information to optimise your diet and wellbeing.

We offer a variety of full food intolerance programmes which include your results of your own food fingerprint, relevant content material and nutritional consultation(s) from our dedicated team of BANT* registered nutritional therapists. This extra support gives you all the information you need to understand what foods and drinks work for and against your body and help you regain control of your quality of life. The lady in the red top on our food intolerance advert is Ali, one of our nutritional therapists. Read all about her here and check back again soon for personal profiles of our friendly nutritional therapists who support you through your journey.

Our Customer Survey 2017 revealed that four out of five customers saw improvements in their health and wellbeing following a YorkTest programme. Out of those who saw positive benefits, 89% did so within a month and 69% within just two weeks.

What are the next steps?

Have a browse around our website to get a real feel for the work we do.

Check out our testimonials, including the stars of our advert and their stories here.

Explore our continuous research, including access to white papers by our Scientific Director, Dr Gill Hart, and don’t forget to check out our products.

Do you need an extra hand on the most suitable test for your symptoms? Call our friendly Customer Care team on 0800 074 6185.

† YorkTest define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction

*British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapists

The post Are we new to you? Let us introduce ourselves appeared first on YorkTest.

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Meet Ali Orr

I’m Ali Orr. I am a registered nutritional therapist. In addition to my current qualifications, I most recently completed the Institute of Functional Medicine practitioner training. I have always been interested in health and exercise, from growing up as a gymnast to currently training CrossFit.

Most of my clients initially suffered from digestive complaints and weight loss which is where most of my experience lies, but I also have experience with hormone balancing, autoimmunity and overall general health improvement. I have a real interest in mindset and motivating clients by helping them realise that they are capable of anything they put their mind to. I find that fixing a client’s mindset is the fundamental step in making dietary changes.

Accreditation / Education and Registrations:

BA hons, PGDip NT, BANT, CNHC, IFMCP UK.

Why YorkTest?

YorkTest is at the forefront of IgG testing which is great to be a part of. I have the opportunity to work with many clients from a range of backgrounds who are looking for support in different areas of their health and to provide information that is individually tailored to them.

What, for you, are the highlights of your role?

I love that I can provide people with information that can really impact their lives. It is great job satisfaction when clients follow my advice, and this results in a significant change in symptoms.

The post Meet Our Nutritional Therapist, Ali Orr appeared first on YorkTest.

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We’re delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the small business category of the TheBusinessDesk.com’s prestigious Yorkshire Business Masters Awards.

The annual Masters Awards black-tie dinner is one of the top events in the region’s business calendar and attracts key influencers, decision makers, business owners and senior managers from a wide range of high-profile companies and business sectors.

Our customers are at the heart of what we do, and everyone at YorkTest drives us forward and works hard to ensure our clients get the best, high-quality service possible.

We may be a small business in terms of headcount, however we trade in 45 countries across the globe with dozens of international partners and are the UK and Europe’s leading provider of food intolerance testing.

We are continually growing and bringing our food intolerance tests to more people worldwide, and as a result are pleased to say we’re investing in our people.

We’re proud to be a Yorkshire born company, with a more than 35-year history, who are now going from strength to strength and growing into international markets. We’re excited to reveal that we plan to expand further with several new country launches scheduled for this year.

The winners of the Yorkshire Business Masters awards will be announced and presented with a trophy at the Business Masters Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 26, at the Queens Hotel in Leeds.

We’re really looking forward to the awards ceremony and meeting with all the other finalists. It will be a great night to celebrate the amazing businesses that Yorkshire holds.

It is great to see that we are being recognised for the continued work that we do in helping improve people’s health and wellbeing.

We’re pleased to tell you that the results of our 2017 customer survey revealed four out of five customers saw improvements in their health following a YorkTest programme.

Out of those who saw positive benefits, 89% did so within a month and 69% did so within just two weeks.

The post YorkTest honoured to be shortlisted for Business Masters Awards appeared first on YorkTest.

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February is always an exciting time. The comedown feeling from Christmas has abated and January, which often feels like 2 years’ long, is finally over. During this month, there are some exciting calendar dates, including Shrove Tuesday (AKA: Pancake Day) and Ash Wednesday the following day. Are you participating in Lent this year which starts on the 14th February and ends on the 29th March? February is an exciting month to get more adventurous in the kitchen.

So, what’s in season during February?

This month features several foods which are in their last month of season and a few that are only just starting out. We’ve rounded up the most nutritious foods that are in season and asked Sarah Hughes, one of our BANT* registered Nutritional Therapists, to tell you why you need to incorporate these foods into your dishes and add them to your shopping trolley!

Beetroot


Roast it, steam it, blend it, drink it, beetroot is jam-packed with antioxidants to keep your immune system in check for the last few months of winter. “Beetroot is still in season – full of B vitamins to improve nerve health and iron to strengthen the blood and improve its oxygen uptake. Beetroot juice has been proven to lower blood pressure. Don’t forget to use the leaves as well, lightly steam and eat as a vegetable – full of vitamin K so they are good for strong bones too,” says Sarah.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

“This cruciferous vegetable is high in many nutrients including vitamin C and fibre, so benefits both immunity and digestion. It has the highest levels of carotenoids of all the cabbage family, particularly lutein which benefits eyesight. The purple sprouting variety has more antioxidants than the green varieties but is more prone to nutrient loss when cooked, so only lightly steam for best results,” Sarah advises. Perfect with your Sunday roast, sprinkle some cooked garlic, sesame oil and season with pepper and it’s ready to serve.

Spring Lamb

Sarah advises that spring lamb is “largely still grass-fed which means it’s lower in cholesterol than many other meats and high in the essential fats omega 3 and 6. Lamb is high in B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12 which aids the prevention of heart disease and are necessary for a strong nervous system”. A great way to incorporate spring lamb into your diet is to make some healthy kebabs. Simply dice the lamb in 2cm chunks, peel the garlic and slowly grate over the lamb with some lemon. Sprinkle some basil and oregano over the lamb and cook until golden brown. Serve with steamed vegetables and grilled halloumi as a side option.

Apples

February is the last month you will see apples in season. “Apples contain many minerals and vitamins including vitamin C and iron for immunity and digestion. Eat with the skins on to get maximum nutrients but always wash first. Apples contain pectin which can not only help reduce cholesterol but keep the bowels regular,” Sarah says. So, when they say ‘one apple a day keeps the doctor away’, there is truth to this!

Bell Peppers

You might catch apples in their last month of season, but peppers are only just starting out. Peppers ‘are a colourful addition to our plate and come in red, yellow, orange and green varieties. Did you know that red bell peppers are actually green peppers that have been left on the vine to ripen? That is why ‘the green has a more bitter taste. High in vitamin A and C, bell peppers are a useful addition to any diet and often a great way of getting children to eat veg when used as crudités’ Sarah says. Bell peppers are perfect for snacking at work or just before dinner. Cut into 2cm slices and add a dollop of hummus or other dipping sauce for further flavour.

Swede


Swede is a typical autumn and winter food – similar to parsnips and turnips. February is the last month you can catch swede in season. “The swede or neep is a root vegetable that has been part of our diet for centuries. High in vitamin C it is delicious mashed with carrots,” Sarah mentions. It is a mild and sweet flavoured vegetable full of fibre, calcium and potassium.

Whiting

“Whiting are fish that come from our North Atlantic seas. Delicious lightly fried with a bit of butter, these small fish are part of the cod family but much more sustainable, so tuck in,” Sarah announces. You can even season the fish with dill, lemon and herbs to add even more depth to the flavour.

Cauliflower

Similar to purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower is “another member of the cruciferous family, important for supporting the liver. Cauliflower is a great low carb alternative to mashed potato when steamed and mashed with some grainy mustard,” Sarah recommends. Filled with vitamin C, anti-inflammatory nutrients and choline to boost your brain health, cauliflower needs to make an introduction to your dinner recipes this month.

Venison

“Venison is deer meat that is very low in saturated fat. Like other red meats, it’s high in iron, protein and B vitamins, all needed for growth and repair of bone and tissue health as well as nerve function” Sarah says. Not tried venison before? The taste can be confused with beef and it has more protein than any other red meat out there. Venison can work well with Thai dishes; think: chilli, garlic and ginger flavourings.

Blood Oranges

Not to be confused with clementines, blood oranges only make a relatively short appearance in late winter. They have the sweetest taste in January and February, so now is the time to stock up. Teeming with vitamin C to help you fight through all the winter bugs, they are sweet enough to tuck into as a snack or use as a dressing over your salads.

From new food trends to ingredients you need to add to your basket during February, this year may well see you getting more adventurous in the kitchen, especially if you’re giving up a few food ingredients over Lent. But if you find your stomach is less excited about the changes, there is an easy way to confirm whether new additions to your diet aren’t working for you.

Most of the ingredients mentioned in this article, including deer, lamb and bell peppers, are tested under YorkTest’s Premium Food&DrinkScan programme, which analyses your IgG reactions to 208 foods and drink to pinpoint the foods you need to avoid.

Make 2018 the year you discover your food fingerprint.

*British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapists

The post What Foods Are In Season During February? appeared first on YorkTest.

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New research has found that women in the UK are more likely to consider changing their diet than visiting their GP when confronted with bloating, which is a major symptom of ovarian cancer.

A survey by Target Ovarian Cancer has shown that, when faced with the prospect of persistent bloating, women are more likely to eat more probiotic yoghurts or eliminate gluten, rather than visit their GP.

Half (50 per cent) of UK women questioned by YouGov said they would do something with their diet, whereas one in three (34 per cent) said they would see a doctor if they were concerned about bloating.

While bloating can be a symptom of a food intolerance, here at YorkTest we always advise that anyone with any medical concerns, including bloating, should visit a GP first to rule out any underlying conditions before undertaking one of our programmes.

The reluctance to go to the GP is further demonstrated in our YorkTest 2017 Customer Survey, which also found that many people do not seek advice from their doctors regarding their symptoms. Although 62% of customers sought advice from their GP, 38% however did not.

Again, even though YorkTest is delighted that customers see us a prime point of contact for the food intolerance symptoms they are experiencing, people should always visit their GP in the first instance.

The post Supporting the call for women to go to see their GP if they are experiencing bloating appeared first on YorkTest.

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YorkTest by Lauren Preston - 5M ago

If you have a food intolerance, it can often feel like you’re starting Lent a day early. Whilst everyone else is frying and flipping to their heart’s content, if you have an intolerance to gluten, dairy, or egg, then the majority of classic pancakes are firmly off the menu.

Well, here at YorkTest we’ve decided that enough is enough. At our alternative pancake day, everyone is welcome, with something flat and round on the menu to suit everyone. We’ve got dairy-free pancake recipes, gluten-free pancake recipes, and egg-free pancake recipes, so whatever your trigger, there’s no excuse not to get in on the fun. Take a look at the recipes below:

Gluten Free Banana and Chocolate Pancakes

Simple to put together and full of flavour, these are an ideal option if you’re looking for a pancake that kids can get involved in making. By swapping out wheat for rice flour, and replacing the dairy content with rice milk, you can create an easy to put together pancake that’s both gluten and dairy free.

Ingredients (serves 2)

150g rice flour

150ml rice milk

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

1 banana, finely diced

1 tbsp. honey

120g dark chocolate (optional dairy free)

Method

1)Beat together the eggs and rice milk with a whisk.

2)Using a sieve, sift the rice flour and baking powder into the egg mixture, continually beating to make sure no lumps are formed.

3)Add the honey and diced banana into the mixture, along with a small handful of the chocolate. Whisk and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

4)While resting, place the rest of the chocolate in a bowl to melt on a low heat in the microwave.

5)Add a small drop of oil to a non-stick frying pan, and pour in a ladleful of the batter, cooking for a minute or so on each side. Once cooked, place on a warmed plate covered with a tea towel whilst you make the rest of the pancakes.

6)When cooked, top each pancake with the melted chocolate and a little extra banana.

Dairy Free Sweet Potato Drop Scones

Drop scones, or scotch pancakes, are smaller, rounder, and fluffier than your average Shrove Tuesday effort. With brown rice flour, no eggs, and no milk, these pancakes are a perfect alternative if you’re intolerant to wheat, gluten, dairy or eggs. What’s more, the addition of sweet potato makes these pancakes pack a real antioxidant punch.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces

1 tsp baking powder

200g brown rice flour

200ml oat milk

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp desiccated coconut

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Coconut oil, for frying

Method

1)Boil or steam the sweet potato pieces for about 10 minutes, until really soft – they almost need to be falling apart.

2)When cooked, put the potato in a blender with everything but the coconut oil, and blend for around 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth and thick.

3)Place a non-stick frying pan on the stove and, when hot, place in a small amount of coconut oil.

4)When melted, pour in around 2 tbsp. of the batter, and smooth into a rough circle. Leave to cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes, until the top no longer looks completely runny. Then, flip over and cook for another 2 minutes.

5)Repeat until all the batter is used up, keeping the scones warm on a heated plate. Serve with jam.

Buckwheat and Berry Gluten Free Pancakes

Swapping out the wheat in pancakes isn’t just a great way to make them gluten-free as, depending on what substitutes you use, you could end up giving yourself a health boost too. Buckwheat is a great substitute for wheat flour; as well as being completely gluten-free, buckwheat can help promote healthy digestion and keep blood vessels supple. Coupled with antioxidant rich berries, these pancakes will give you all you need to power on through lent.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

225g buckwheat flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 large egg

275ml rice milk

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter

175g fresh berries of your choice (we like raspberries and blackberries)

3 tbsp. honey, to serve (optional)

Method

1)Put the berries in a blender or food processor, then blitz until fairly smooth.

2)Strain the berry mixture through a sieve. If you don’t mind pips, you can leave this step out. Set the mixture aside.

3)Place the buckwheat flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl, and mix together.

4)Whisk the rice milk and egg together in a separate bowl. Then, slowly pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients bit by bit, whisking to make sure everything is well incorporated and you end up with a smooth batter.

5)Heat a non-stick frying pan and melt in a small amount of butter. Then, ladle in a small amount of the pancake batter to make a thin crepe-style pancake. Fry for around 2 minutes then flip over to cook the other side.

6)Serve with maple syrup alongside the berry sauce.

Egg-free Classic Lemon and Sugar Pancakes

If you’re intolerant to egg, you might think you’re automatically ruled out from Pancake Day. No egg? No problem. There’s an alternative Pancake Day for you.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

4oz Plain Flour

1tsp Sugar

2 tsb baking powder

2 tbsp. water

2 tbsp oil

9floz whole milk

Method

1) Gently sift the flour into the bowl and add the sugar and baking powder

2) Add the water and oil with the milk

3) Once these ingredients are added to the bowl, mix with a whisk until a batter texture forms

4) Add 2tbsp of oil to your frying pan (make sure you use a non-stick pan!) and maintain a medium heat throughout

5) Add a scoop of the pancake mixture into the frying pan. Note: you must be quick and make sure you get your flipping skills in action!

6) When your pancake has turned slightly brown, serve and add your favourite toppings: lemon, sugar and that good ole’ maple syrup!

Is there something about Pancake Day that just doesn’t agree with you? It could be that you have food intolerance. With our Food&DrinkScan food intolerance test, you can find out exactly what foods might be making you ill, and receive up to two nutritional consultation to help you tailor your diet in a way that works for you. That way, there might be something to give up this Lent that you don’t mind losing.

The post The Alternative Pancake Day appeared first on YorkTest.

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It’s January – home to kickstarting new diets, trying out new hobbies, and staying on track with the New Year’s resolutions you’ve set yourself. The “New Year, New You” motto may seem easy to achieve but, let’s face it, with dark nights starting at 4pm, feeling overly sluggish after devouring all the food over the Christmas period, waiting for payday to finally roll around, and Blue Monday, also known as the most depressing day of the year, it might be difficult to throw yourself into the new year with 100% motivation.

Fear not. If you’ve started your elimination diet to remove your troublesome food reactions, or you generally want to be more food conscious but not too sure where to start, we’ve rounded up 5 small ways you can eat a little healthier this month without breaking the bank. January blues can step aside!

1. Eat Out Less

This is at number one, because not everyone will rejoice at the prospect of eating out less, but we promise you it has its perks in the long run! Dining at restaurants or popping into the pub for a quick meal may be an enjoyable mid-week or weekend treat but you’ll be surprised how this can quickly add on the pounds– both in weight and money.

Though dining at restaurants is significantly healthier than grabbing a fast food takeaway, a study published by The Independent showed that “while you may be taking in more nutrients – like vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids depending on what you order – you’re also likely to consume more sodium and cholesterol”. You also take on board 200 more calories on average than if you eat at home.

Eating at home gives you more control over ingredients and preparation methods, so if you’re a few weeks into your elimination diet, you have full confidence what ingredients you’re putting into your food. You’ll also save money – ideal for those whose bank accounts are still suffering from Christmas. It’s a win-win situation.

2. Keep those sugar cravings at bay

If you indulged a little too much over Christmas, you’ve just joined practically everybody else in the country who have done the exact same. The feeling of guilt and regret for devouring all your Christmas chocolates, sweets and wine in a short period of time is enough for anybody to kickstart a diet or detox regime. However, setting ambitious New Year’s dietary resolutions is setting yourself up for failure. After all, they are called crash diets for a reason.

Choosing small, but effective, healthier alternatives can make a big difference. An extreme diet or fasting can leave your body in limbo, especially when your body is already suffering from sugar withdrawals caused by your intake over the Christmas period. An extreme diet strips your body from nutrients and only leads to temporary weight loss and the feeling of zero energy, exacerbating your sugar cravings. Instead, swap out sweets, chocolate or cans of pop for your favourite fruit to combat your sweet tooth. Not only is fruit packed with lots of lovely nutrients and vitamins, but your sugar cravings will be satisfied too.

3. Say no to added salt

The recommended sodium intake is 6g a day (2.4g sodium), according to the NHS (link). Salt can often be a hidden ingredient in many foods which may make it difficult to fully determine your salt intake. A diet high in salt can contribute to high blood pressure, which puts you at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Herbs and spices can be a great replacement if you often reach for the salt to add flavour to your lunch or dinner. Add basil and oregano to your pasta or Chinese five spice to your stir-fry. You don’t need to rely on salt to get your flavour fix.

4. Sneak vegetables into your favourite dishes

It sounds simple, but we’ve all been guilty of tucking into our favourite dishes and becoming too full towards the end of the meal to start on the side dish of vegetables you steamed earlier. Incorporating vegetables into your favourite dishes is a reliable way to avoid alienating the green stuff. Cooking up a stir fry? Add bell peppers, spring onions and spinach rather than overloading on noodles and chicken. Ready for a Sunday roast? Steam some carrots, broccoli and cabbage and add them onto your plate whilst cutting down on your portions of turkey, Yorkshire puddings and, yes you guessed it, gravy.

Another small but effective tip is to eat the vegetables on your plate before anything else; consider it food prioritisation. This means if you physically can’t eat any more, you’ve already devoured the healthiest foods on your plate.

5. Keep your options open

If you’re starting an elimination diet or simply just trying to eat a little healthier in 2018, it’s easy to slip into a routine of the same foods day-in, day-out. You are more likely to binge eat or break your healthy eating habits when you are restricting the variety of foods you
consume. After all, the eggs you’re cooking up for breakfast 7 days a week is easily going to tempt you into a full English breakfast after a few weeks if you’re not careful. It is true that your body likes routine, but with cravings flying around during the first few weeks of your
diet, it’s important to keep it varied whilst also nutritional.

On a Friday or Sunday, there’s no harm in treating yourself after a successful week. Eliminating dairy? Try a dairy-free chocolate bar or hot chocolate drink that is substituted with soya instead of milk. Cutting out wheat and gluten? Baking your favourite cakes with gluten-free flour is also another way to congratulate yourself on eating healthily throughout the week.

At the end of the day, food is fuel – try not to be harsh on your body. Seeing through your New Year’s resolutions doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’ve introduced some new foods recently that your stomach is less excited about, or you have no direction on how to start your elimination diet, there’s an easy way to confirm what your body is trying to tell you.

YorkTest’s Premium Food&DrinkScan programme analyses IgG reactions to 208 food and drink ingredients to pinpoint the foods you need to avoid.

Struggling to commit to your New Year’s Resolutions? Read our guide on 12 small changes to make in 2018 to improve your health. Setting New Year’s resolutions isn’t too late, either! Good luck from all of us at YorkTest. Here’s to 2018 – a healthier, happier you.

The post 5 ways to eat a little healthier in January appeared first on YorkTest.

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