Keeping your food interesting

If you are trying to lose weight one of the things that can make life difficult is eating the same things over and over again.

This is why it is good to try different things.

This Beef Goulash, which I adapted to be healthier than the recipe given to me by my Hungarian Uncle-in-Law, is absolutely delicious and so easy to cook so why not try it.

Beef Goulash


Serves 4

475 calories per portion

20 minutes to prepare cook for 2 hours


450 Grams lean stewing beef

1tsp olive oil

I tablespoon of flour

2 tablespoons of paprika

1 red pepper chopped

1 onion chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped

400 gram tin of chopped tomatoes

100 grams of mushrooms chopped

1 beef oxo cube

2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

300 grams of uncooked pasta

To Cook

Cut the meat into cubes then cover in the flour and season.  Add the olive oil to a pan and brown the meat for 5-6 minutes.  Remove from pan and put in a casserole dish.

Sauté the onions and garlic in the pan for 1-2 minutes then add the chopped red pepper and sauté for a further minute.

Then stir in the paprika, tomato puree, beef oxo cube and a splash of water so you can coat all the vegetables. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute then finally add the tin of tomatoes and stir until all mixed together.

Add all this to the casserole dish and place in an oven at 180 degrees or 160 fan and cook for approximately 2 hours.

To serve cook the pasta according to instructions divide between 4 servings plates then top with the goulash and spoon a blob of natural yoghurt to finish.

The goulash dish will freeze so if you are serving one portion each has 75 grams of pasta.

Spice up your life without the calories

If you love spicy food and think you can’t have it because it is high in calories then you might like to try the meal I cooked on Friday.

This is a starter and a main course all for 500 caloriesThe way to do this is to think about how you cook food.  Make the most of vegetables which are great in curries and if you can’t control your portion sizes buy packet rice that you just microwave, where you are not frying it and you will not over do the rice.  For this meal I used Morrison’s Basmati Rice which is usually 2 servings but I divide this by 3 so the rice was just 125 calories per person.

The starter is Tandoori Salmon with Salad

Which you can prepare and cook as follows and both meals are for 2

Take a 75g salmon fillet and marinate it with 1 tablespoon of natural yogurt mixed with a heaped tablespoon of tandoori curry powder and the juice of half a lemon for a least an hour

Then break in to chunks and dry fry in a pan until cooked and slightly charred about 5 minutes in total serve with a green salad and chunks of lemon.

The main is a Keema Curry.

Take 300g of lean steak mince and make into burger shapes and grill until cooked through. Set aside.

Meanwhile finely chop 1 large onion, 1 large carrot, 2 cloves of garlic and add them to a pan with 1tsp of olive oil and a heaped tablespoon of curry powder.

When cooked through add half a tin of chopped tomatoes, 100g of chopped mushrooms and a beef oxo cube mixed in a cup of hot water.

At this point you can add additional flavouring such as ground coriander, cumin, and/or ginger to flavour to your taste.

When this has all cooked through break up the beef mince and add to the pan stirring the meat in so it can absorb the flavours.

Microwave your rice and serve the curry with fresh coriander.  I allow 80 grams of rice per serving for the calories I have shown which is approximately 100 calories for the starter and 400 calories for the main per person. meaning that the whole meal comes in at 500 calories per person.







7 Reasons Why You Should Exercise

I often hear people saying that they feel they should get more exercise but can’t find the time but here are 7 reasons why you should

  • It can reduce your blood pressure. Exercise helps reduce your blood pressure because as you exercise your arteries will widen your blood flow more freely and your blood pressure eventually starts to drop. Also as you build up strength your heart muscle will work better which can also reduce blood pressure.
  • It can lower your Type 2 diabetes risk. If you exercise as part of an overall healthy approach to eating you can improve the way your body processes sugar and reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • It can reduce your body fat. If you are overweight or obese now,  regular exercise can help to bring your BMI down by effectively speeding up your metabolism, but exercise alone is not the answer you need to eat healthily as well.
  • It can keep your bones stronger. If you are worried about your bone density as you get older, doing some sort of lifting resistance exercise can help to maintain your bone strength. This does not mean getting any special equipment just spending some time lifting things from around the house can help.
  • It can boost your energy. Once you build exercise into your daily routine, this will help your body to function more efficiently, and you will have more oxygen to fuel your body’s cells. You will also feel fewer aches and pains and have greater strength.
  • It can lower anxiety and stress.  As you exercise you will release endorphins and this helps to reduce levels of anxiety and stress. You might even find new ways to solve problems or overcome emotional eating.
  • And finally it can improve your mood  Aerobic exercise improves your mood by causing your body’s endorphins to kick in. These are the natural “feel good” neurotransmitters that start to exert their effects after about 20 minutes of training. In you exercise regularly you can improve your overall mental health in the long term.



  • Buy a pedometer/Fitbit or use your smartphone to check how much you move each day and try to increase it by 500 steps a day this week and then keep stepping that up as you get fitter. Ideally you should aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
  • Take the stairs rather than the lift whenever you can, this will increase your activity and you will notice, as you get fitter, you won’t be gasping for breath
  • Do things as and when you need to such as putting things away and not letting them pile up to do all at one time (such as taking things upstairs).
  • Take up an activity you think you would enjoy such as
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Zumba
  • Gym
  • Cycling

The list is endless the main thing is that you need to enjoy it or you won’t keep it up.

And finally  here are a few facts about the calories you might burn so don’t be tempted to have a chocolate bar just because you have been to gym !


EXERCISE                                                          CALORIES USED IN 30 MINS

Low impact Aerobics   ……………………………………………..200

Swimming at pace front crawl ………………………………..200

Walking at 3mph ………………………………………………………125


Cycling 10 mph…………………………………………………………..250

Running 6mph …………………………………………………………..350

If you do a regular activity you can use to put in your weight; the activity and the time you are doing the activity for an accurate figure.