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Sunday with Brian Cox: ‘I take guests out, my apartment is so untidy’ | Sunday with…

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How does Sunday start? When in London, with an hour watching Andrew Marr on the television. I quickly become depressed because some wazzock he has interviewed will have deeply irritated me, so I’ll probably go back to bed in an attempt to sleep my anger off.

The perfect morning? A walk through Regent’s Park in an effort to hit my 10,000 daily steps, and then breakfast at Greenberry Café. There are photographs on the walls of people who have been part of their community, myself included, which warms me. Then I’d like to go home and do absolutely nothing.

And in the US? I live in Brooklyn, but have a place in Hillsdale on the Massachusetts border in Upstate New York. There, I sit on my deck and take in nature. It’s a tremendous, almost religious experience.

Do you work? I don’t mind working the rest of the week, even Saturdays. Sunday, however, I’m protective of. I find that otherwise I lose all sense of time.

An afternoon activity? Sorting my many pills into their respective boxes. I clear my table, take out my prescriptions, and put them into their correct cubicles like small children. You name it, they say I have it: high blood pressure, diabetes, the list goes on. I personally can’t feel anything is wrong with me.

Do you cook? Barely. I put things together, and occasionally heat them up. I make a Sunday evening salad: rollmop herring, anchovies, cheese, tomatoes and onions. I love to entertain – the older I get, the more important it feels to keep in touch. But I’ll take guests out, my apartment is so bloody untidy.

The last thing you look at? The Word Crush app on my phone. I spend a good half-hour playing. I’m at level 984, which is quite impressive I’m told, particularly as I can’t spell.

The Bay of Silence is on DVD and Digital Platforms on 28 September

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5 beauty secrets of the British Royal family

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When you have the world’s eyes on you, you don’t have a choice about whether you want your skin to look flawless and glowing or not, it’s a part of your job. We’re talking about the royals, who are always seen reflecting their healthy glowing skin whenever they make an appearance. A leading aesthetics practitioner, who previously served the Buckingham Palace made some revelations on all the things that the royal ladies do to achieve a glowing radiance.


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Healthy eating: seven small changes that can make a big difference | Full of Beanz

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 Close up of man holding frying pan with fresh vegetables and wooden spoon






Healthy eating is easy with these simple tips.
Photograph: 10’000 Hours/Getty

Eating healthily can feel like an insurmountable challenge when life moves at increasingly unprecedented speeds. It’s easy to think: “What difference is it really going to make?” But fairly minimal changes can have a big impact on your health, and they are easier to stick to than you might think.

These stealthy, healthy tips will help you navigate the conflicting advice and Instagram diet crazes to find easy health commitments you can live by every day (and still find time for that afternoon cup of tea and a treat):

1 Reduce sugar
Choose reduced sugar versions of family favourites like baked beans, ketchup, spaghetti hoops or tinned sauces. Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz only have naturally occurring sugars from the tomato sauce and no artificial sweeteners, so you can keep your beans on toast and still enjoy all the health benefits. Half a can is one of your five-a-day, and they’re naturally low in fat with just 1% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) per portion. To find more low-sugar varieties to include in your weekly shop, the NHS advises checking the label for the “carbohydrates (of which sugars)“ figure: more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g is high, and should be avoided, and 5g or less per 100g is low and the way to go. So Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz, with 1.9g of sugars per 100g, more than delivers on a lower sugar option without compromising on taste.

2 Eat less meat
Chickpeas, jackfruit and meat-free burgers are everywhere right now with veganism and vegetarianism on the rise, along with “flexitarianism” – for people who’ve made a decision to reduce their intake of animal products. Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, but the Department of Health advises eating just 70g of cooked red and processed meat per day as a healthier choice. Try eating good quality meat just once or twice a week, and use beans, lentils, tofu or mushrooms in your go-to recipes as an alternative, meat-free source of protein.

3 Reduce salt
Seventy-five percent of the salt we eat is found in everyday foods such as bread, snacks, breakfast cereals, tinned food and ready meals. Adults should only consume about one teaspoon of salt per day (6g), but the national UK average is 30% higher (8g), which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Cut down on naturally salty foods such as bacon, cheese, prawns, sausages or ham, and go for reduced salt versions of core ingredients such as stock cubes, sauces, soy sauce or tinned vegetables. Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz have 25% less salt than standard baked beans, for example, so you can feel twice as virtuous.

Photo of a young family preparing breakfast together in their kitchen



Fibre needn’t mean breakfast cereal – fruit and veg can also be fibre-rich. Photograph: AleksandarNakic/Getty

4 Eat more fibre
Fibre is essential for healthy digestion, but we just don’t eat enough. The British Nutrition Foundation recommends adults eat 30g per day, but the average daily intake is currently a rather meagre 17-20g. You don’t have to start the day with a bowl of cardboard-tasting brown cereal to get your quota; try foods that are naturally high in fibre like No Added Sugar Beanz, fibre-rich fruit and veg such as bananas, raspberries, broccoli or carrots, or nuts and seeds. Chia seeds are a small but mighty source of fibre: they’re 40% fibre by weight and perfect for sprinkling on wholegrain cereal, porridge, or in a smoothie.

5 Smaller portion sizes
This might be the trickiest one of all, especially if your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Overeating is a common cause of unhealthy eating habits – restaurants serve larger portions and when we’re cooking at home it’s easy to go for second helpings. Recommended portion sizes are often less than we think; the British Dietetic Association recommends 2-3 tablespoons of cooked rice or pasta, or one medium slice of bread as a portion of carbs, for example, and a portion of cheddar cheese should be no bigger than a small matchbox. Check the label for the recommended serving size, and stick to it. There’s no point opting for healthier food, and then eating twice as much.

6 Focus on your food
This trick requires you to do almost nothing at all. If you focus on what you’re eating, put your knife and fork down between bites, and eat a little more mindfully, then you might find yourself feeling more satisfied and making healthier choices. If we eat without paying attention or while doing something else then we’re missing out on the pleasure of eating. Taking your time also helps your brain know when you feel full sooner, so you avoid overeating, and it aids digestion too.

7 Snack happy
Snacks aren’t “bad” in themselves; it’s natural to have peaks and troughs of energy throughout the day and look for a little late afternoon pick-me-up. It’s only when snacks are packed with sugar, salt or added fats that we should think twice and step away from the biscuit tin. Slow-release energy snacks with under 100 calories are best, as they will fill you up and not give you a sugar high. Try keeping an oat bar in your bag, slip a packet of nuts or dried fruit in your coat pocket, or have a banana close at hand in the office. If you make healthier snacks quick and easy to get hold of, you’re less likely to resort to that bag of crisps or chocolate bar when you’re feeling low.

Find out more about Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz here


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Rachel Roddy’s recipe for Italian chocolate pudding | Food

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Like most children growing up with two languages, my son, Luca, was slow to speak. Then, when he did, slowly, he mixed them. Not so much confused but resourceful; when he couldn’t find the word in one language he just used the other, creating Italian and English word-sandwiches, which, despite knowing better, made me smile – or worse, laugh, and he would scowl at me. But no scowl was greater than the one when I told him he was lucky that he was half-Italian and half-English. He scrunched his face up, but didn’t make any noise – just stared – then walked away. A few minutes later, he came back into the kitchen, reinforced with a toy. “I am half nothing,” he told me. “Sono tutto Italiano, and all English.”

This was a few years ago now, but I flash back often, especially when something I say or do is met with a dark scowl. Aged nine, he not only speaks two languages, but he is now the one laughing: at my imperfect Italian and Vincenzo’s great but accent-soaked English, but also at himself; his intentional mixing, bi-lingual swearing, his choice of two words from both languages.

The choosing is particularly noisy around food and at the table, the setting for so much laughter and silent scowling. Also when he helps me cook, which happens less often as I’d like to say, because I am so often impatient, or working to a deadline. In fact, this is not a column about me encouraging my child to cook, but about Luca asking me to let him spezzare (break) the chocolate for the pudding, il budino. Why use only one good-sounding word when you have two?

The Vocabolario Treccani notes that budino comes from the English “pudding”, under the influence of the French boudin. The origins are uncertain, but it certainly meant a sausage; originally a blood one. In the same way that English black pudding is related to pudding, Italian sanguinaccio – blood sausage – is related to sweet sanguinaccio: a rich, dense budino made with blood and chocolate. While in England pudding signifies a universe of different and wondrous forms, the Italian budino signifies a softly set preparation, which can be made of various things. The Vocabolario Treccani goes on to describe budino as prepared with flour or other ingredients (rice, semolina, potatoes, ricotta, almonds, chocolate, milk, eggs, sugar) and cooked in a mould in the oven, a bagnomaria, or simply over a low heat, which is what I, what we, do.

The magazine La Cucina Italiana promises you can make this budino in a mould and invert it on to a plate. It is my failing, I’m sure, that I have never had success in doing this, unless I double the cornflour, which means I lose the soft, tender wobble, which is part of the pleasure of this untroubled budino. And I like it served in a big bowl in the middle of the table, ready to be dolloped into bowls. It is even better served with thick cream. Just remember there are many words, in both languages, to describe this budino or pudding – many of them funny, all good, all whole.

Budino di cioccolato – chocolate pudding

Prep 5 min
Cook 10 min
Chill 5 hr+
Serves 6

1 litre whole milk
20g butter
200g caster sugar
80g cornflour
200g dark chocolate
, chopped

In a pan, heat the milk until it almost boils. Meanwhile, in another pan, melt the butter and sugar over a low flame until they turn to liquid, remove from the heat and whisk in the cornflour, making sure there are no lumps.

Still off the heat, gradually add the milk to the butter/sugar/cornflour mixture, whisking constantly.

Put the pan back over a low flame and, always stirring, bring it back to an almost-boil, which should take about six minutes. Add the chocolate and whisk strongly for another minute so it melts. Scrape into a bowl or mould, or six individual glasses or cups, and chill for at least five hours.


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