Your health is you most important asset

I know that when I was overweight I worried about how I looked; I stressed about what to wear and I was concerned about what people thought of me.

But my biggest worry was my health and reading articles this week in the press about the effects of processed foods has made me really grateful that I changed my eating habits.

So this article is worth a read

Processed breakfast cereals could be partly behind increasing risks of cancer in the developed world

Eating factory-made food including cornflakes, pizza and chocolate bars every day increases the risk of cancer by a quarter, the first study of its kind suggests.

Additives in ready meals, packaged snacks and shop-bought cakes may combine to trigger the disease, researchers warned last night.

Cancer caused by highly processed food would be over and above the harmful effects of the sugar and fat it contains, scientists fear.

The West’s increasing taste for packaged food on the go could fuel a further rise in cancer in the future, they say.

French researchers studied the diets of 105,000 people, of whom 2,228 developed cancer over an eight-year period. The quarter who ate the most “ultra-processed” food were 23 per cent more likely to get any type of cancer than the quarter who ate the least, researchers report in The BMJ.

Now I know that advice about what to eat never stops but if you want to know about  eating healthily my Weight Away Plans can help and you will lose some weight as well as protecting your health .

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Getting ready for pancake day next week

If you are a lover of pancakes this can be a day when you perhaps overdo your sugar fix, however it may be that you are intending to give up chocolate for lent and this as a bit of ‘your last supper’.

I sometimes do give up chocolate for lent and I am intending to this year, as I feel I need to shift a few pounds before the summer. I find having that period of time gives me some focus a bit like ‘dry January’.

If you are looking for a healthy way to eat pancakes though then try the recipe below.  This also makes a great breakfast perhaps at the weekend when you have time to make them

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Fluffy American Pancakes only 190 calories

RECIPE

BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Serves 2 (3 or 4 pancakes each)                190 cals per serving

Preparation 10 minutes cooking 10minutes

Ingredients

1 large egg (separated)

25g self raising flour

25g porridge oats

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

75mls skimmed milk

75g blueberries

To Prepare

In a clean bowl whisk the egg white until it is soft and holds peaks.  In another bowl beat the egg yolk, flour, oats, sugar and milk together.

Gently fold the egg white into the mixture with a metal spoon gently keeping the volume

Heat a non-stick small pan and spray with low fat oil. Place a tablespoon of the mixture into the pan to make a small pancake, depending on the size of the pan you can do a few at a time turning when they have puffed up.

Set aside and wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm while you gently warm the blueberries to serve with pancakes and a sprinkling of cinnamon if you want.

Will make 3-4 pancakes each

You can use other fruit or if you omit the sugar you could make these into savoury pancakes and perhaps add mushrooms or peppers.

75mls skimmed milk

75g blueberries

To Prepare

In a clean bowl whisk the egg white until it is soft and holds peaks.  In another bowl beat the egg yolk, flour, oats, sugar and milk together.

Gently fold the egg white into the mixture with a metal spoon gently keeping the volume

Heat a non-stick small pan and spray with low fat oil. Place a tablespoon of the mixture into the pan to make a small pancake, depending on the size of the pan you can do a few at a time turning when they have puffed up.

Set aside and wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm while you gently warm the blueberries to serve with pancakes and a sprinkling of cinnamon if you want.

Will make 3-4 pancakes each

You can use other fruit or if you omit the sugar you could make these into savoury pancakes and perhaps add mushrooms or peppers.

Being organised helps

When you are trying to lose weight being organised can be very helpful.

This can mean planning your meals for the week and making a shopping list for the things you need, rather than shopping and just picking up things that appeal to you at the time.

In this way you can make sure you have healthy meals and don’t get caught out without anything to have, meaning that you ring for a take away. As if you do this to often it can really hamper your weight loss and might even mean you put weight on

Planning can go further than that though and I work in conjunction with my daughter Kate who runs a de-cluttering business at http://www.roomtobreathe.org.uk.

Here she helps people to organise anything from a wardrobe to a whole house or office.

I truly believe that if you de-clutter your life you are in better place to succeed in anything you want to do.

  • Just think of the time you save for example when you know where everything is.
  • Just think of the time and  money you save when you know that what is in your wardrobe fits you and suits you
  • Just think how much more productive you are at work when everything is filed in order
  • Just think of the things that you wouldn’t have to throw away from your fridge or cupboards because they are out of date

So if you want to know more just get in touch

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As it is national pie day try this

As it is National pie day you might want to try this low calorie pie which is delicious.

It is one of the recipes on my healthy eating plans so if you want to know more just get in touch

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Chicken Pot Pies Spanish Style

400 calories per serving                 Serves 4

Ingredients

½ of a 320g pack of ready rolled puff pastry

1 red onion finely chopped

Spray of olive oil

500g of skinless chicken breasts cut up into bite sized pieces

A good pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tablespoons of boiling water

2 tablespoons of dry sherry

400g can of chopped tomatoes with garlic

1 chicken stock cube

1 teaspoon of paprika

3 tablespoons of finely chopped flat leaf parsley

1 egg beaten

Salt and black pepper

To Cook

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/ 200°C/180°fan and line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

Roll the pastry until it is 22x 24cm then cut it into to 4 equal pieces and chill in the fridge

Spray a non-stick pan with the olive oil and cook the onion and chicken pieces for about 5 minutes until browned. Add the paprika and the saffron with its cooking water and cook for a further 30 seconds

Pour in the sherry and bubble for 30 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes and the chicken stock cube and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

Stir in the parsley at the end

Meanwhile remove the pastry from the fridge and transfer to the baking sheet. Brush the top of each pastry piece with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden

Serve each portion of the chicken with a pastry top and serve with vegetables of your choice.

#NationalPieDay

How to keep your food interesting

I know that often people get bored with what they are eating at home and can’t think of anything to cook.

This can mean turning to ‘take-aways’ or perhaps just snacking, all of which can damage your attempts to lose weight

One thing you can do to make sure that you can keep your food interesting is to make sure that you have some things in your store cupboard to add flavour.

I have a list below that I recommend as a basic list to my clients and you don’t have to buy them all at once but just build up the things you have to hand and it will help you to add flavour and interest to your food.

STORE CUPBOARD ITEMS

 When looking to add flavour and variety to your food without adding calories the following items are useful to have to hand

Balsamic Vinegar

Chilli dried or flakes

Chinese Five Spice

Curry powder

Fish sauce

Garlic granules

Harissa Paste

Herbs

Lemon Juice

Mustard

Soy Sauce

Stock Cubes

Tomato Puree

Vanilla Extract

Vinegar including wine vinegar

Worcestershire Sauce

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Just a few from my own stock

Don’t let blue Monday get you down

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It is widely thought that last Friday (12 January) is the day when most people would give up on their New Year resolutions.  Only to be followed by ‘Blue Monday’ tomorrow which is thought to have the same effect.

January can seem to be a very long month particularly if you were paid early before Christmas and pay day now seems to be so far away.

Equally if you decided to lose weight and adopted a very strict regime involving pills, potions or food supplements you are now probably thinking I just can’t carry on with this.

This why on my Weight Away plans no food is barred and I help people to eat healthy normal meals along side their family and friends, as I truly believe that the only way to lose weight for life is to change the way you approach food.

Changing anything in your life for good needs you to stick at it for at least a month so if you are faltering now it will be difficult to get back on track without help.

My clients tell me they eat well and don’t feel as though they are on a diet when following my plans, so if you think this could help you I would love to hear from you.

So if you want to know more and would like a free consultation then just contact me by email at enquiries@weight-away.org and I would be happy to tell you more and there is no obligation to join.

So nothing to lose only weight!

Are you keeping your resolutions

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If you set yourself a New Year Resolutions but have broken it already it may be that it was to ambitious.

One of mine was to give up alcohol for January and I admit it has been a bit hard this week but knowing that it only for a month has made me stick to it.

It is a well know fact that if you can stick to something for 30 days then you can keep it up. I don’t think strict diets are suitable for this.

So if you have gone a very strict diet and are not eating normally with your family and know that you want to lose a lot of weight you could be setting yourself up to fail

So if you want to know how to eat normal food and cook healthy meals for the family at http://www.weight-away.org I can help you with hints and tips and lots of recipes. Give it try you have nothing to lose but weight.

Lose weight for life eating ordinary food with extraordinary results