Enjoy Christmas without overdoing it!

I hope that all your shopping and planning for Christmas is going well with just a week to go.

I know that however organised I try to be there is always something that I am rushing round to do in the final few days.

That is why I am attaching my Weight Away Christmas special which has some hints and tips to help you over the Christmas period and some recipe and drink suggestions that will help you not to go over the top

weight away xmas special 2017

christmas-tree

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Comfort food for the Christmas Snow

I think it has been lovely to actually see some proper snow this year but hopefully it will disappear again for the working week.

The one thing that cold weather does though is make you want comfort food so why not get into the habit of making some nice stews and casseroles that are great for these cold nights and also freeze well if you make enough for another meal.

You can throw in all sorts of veg and only a little meat so it will be cheap, healthy and nutritious.  With the added bonus of keeping you warm. Here is great recipe which you also add dumplings to.

BEEF STEW AND DUMPLINGS

Serves 4                                                       395 calories per serving

15 minutes to prepare                             2 hours 20 minutes to cook

Ingredients

420g lean stewing beef                          420mls stock

2 tsp cornflour                                         2 sticks celery

120g leeks                                                 240g parsnips

420g mixture of (kohlrabi, swede, carrot, turnip and artichoke)

2 tsps vinegar                                             1 bay leaf

Salt and black pepper                            105g self-raising flour

¼ tsp baking powder                               ½ tsp mixed herbs

2 tbsp Olive Oil spread.

To Prepare

Season and coat the beef cubes with cornflour and quickly brown to seal in a saucepan or flameproof casserole.

Add the stock and stir well then add the sliced leeks, celery, Cube all the other vegetables and add along with the vinegar, bay leaf and salt and pepper.

Cook at 160º 140ºFan Gas Mark 3 for 2 hours or cook in slow cooker according to the cookers instructions.  If you are cooking the stew in a saucepan, stir occasionally.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl, add the herbs and rub in the olive oil spread.  Mix cold water into the flour to form soft dough.  Divide into 8 pieces and shape into balls.  Add the dumplings to the stew when cooked and cook for a further 20 minutes.  Serve with green vegetables if you wish.

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Snowy garden !

Eating out in December

One of the things that can trip you up if you are trying to lose weight is eating out particularly on the run up to Christmas.

It doesn’t need to if you just give it a bit of thought and try to balance the days  that you do eat out by filling up on vegetable soup for lunch or your evening meal if you have eaten out for the other meal.

One thing that can be really helpful though, is when you eat at a place where you know what the calories are in each meal, as it can help you to make more informed choices.  A good example of this is at Wetherspoons who have added the calories to their seasonal menu.

Personally as I love risottos the creamy mushroom risotto looks a good choice or the Chicken, stuffing and cranberry panini. The choice is yours but at least you can enjoy it if you are balancing the rest of the day

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