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.


Serves 4                                                       395 calories per serving

15 minutes to prepare                             2 hours 20 minutes to cook


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.


Snowy garden !


What does your waist measurement mean?

I know that sometimes people are dubious about their BMI and either can’t work it out or think that their BMI is not that important.

So what about your waist measurement?

This can be an easy way to see if you are at risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease because if you waist measure is more than half of your height then you could be carrying  visceral fat that attaches to your organs. This is very damaging to your health

So if you are 5ft 6 inches your waist should not be more than 33 inches

Or if you are 6ft tall not more than 36 inches

If you are more familiar with metric measurement then this would be

167.5cm and 64 cm

or 182.2cm and 91 cm

I know that when I mention this men they often say well I am around 6ft but I only wear 36 inch waist trousers so I should be okay but they forget that often the waist of their trousers is sitting below a much bigger tummy.  So when they know where the waist measurement should be taken they often have a shock. So put the tape measure around your waist just below your belly button and check out yours!

And if you think you are at risk and would like to know more about losing weight without resorting to gimmicks then please get in touch

3d human with measure in waist

Measure Your Waist



Why drinking water is important

I know that often people say that you should drink between 6–8 glasses of water a day and generally I try to do this.  There are lots of things that make it important

  • it helps to keep your body working at its best
  • it can help to reduce cellulite
  • it can help you feel fuller if you drink before a meal
  • it helps your complexion
  • it is low cost
  • has no sugar
  • won’t damage your teeth

and I could go on, but this week I really realised why it is so important. On Tuesday I was very busy and really didn’t drink much at all and certainly not my 6-8 glasses of water.  By Wednesday I felt I might be getting a water infection and by Thursday I was on the phone to the doctors as it had really taken hold

If you haven’t had a water infection be pleased, as they are not that pleasant and the constant feeling of wanting to pee but then not being able to and having a burning sensation is something to be avoided.

Guess what the first advice with the dose of antibiotics was?

Yes to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

I won’t be making the same mistake again if at all possible

So just think how much are you drinking each day and would you want the benefits


Start your new healthy life now!

So as the summer holiday season comes to the end are you looking back thinking that you wish you had lost the weight you promised yourself you would.

Lots of us start the year with great intentions and plan to lose weight but then find that the weeks just fly by and by the end of summer we are still not at the weight we want to be. So

  • if you are looking at the photographs of your summer holidays and are not happy with how you look
  • if you have spent the summer suffering with your thighs rubbing together in the heat
  • if you are getting out of breath when you walk upstairs
  • if your doctor has told you are facing diabetes or other health risks
  • if you have dieted only to put weight back on again
  • if you really want to get yourself healthy and in shape for life then Weight Away has the answer.

If you want a free no obligation chat about how Weight Away can help you I would love to hear from you.

At Weight Away I offer personalised healthy eating plans that will recognise your likes and dislikes; will allow you to eat ordinary food with your family and friends; will work with you tackle your trigger points for over or emotional eating and will enable you to lose weight healthily and keep the weight off.

In September if you join Weight Away and want to take advantage of a special offer you can pay for 3 months and receive December free.

In that time you could lose around 2 stone and just think how wonderful Christmas would be 2 stone lighter than you are now.

healthy life

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.




Why to drink water and not fizzy drinks

One of the things that you can do to keep healthy is to drink plenty of water

So do you drink water rather than fizzy drinks?

I know that often when I recommend to people they should drink more water they think they will find it difficult so I thought a few facts might help.

Did you know that researchers estimate that drinking 2 litres of water a day (about 8 glasses) can increase energy expenditure by about 96 calories per day.

Drinking water about half an hour before meals can also reduce the amount of calories you end up eating. In fact one study showed that dieters who drank 500 ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t drink water

Increasing water intake can help with constipation.

Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stones.

But why else is it better to drink water and not fizzy drinks such as coco cola? You might think it is because of the sugar, but it is far more complicated than that, although the sugar is an issue

If you look at any can of fizzy drinks you will see that most have phosphoric acid this can be as high as 2.8 pH (very acidic) and this will trigger a massive emergency calcium (alkaline) flush to balance the acid in your body.

So much calcium is used that it takes 5-7 days to ‘detox’, or restore this precious mineral. And these reactions use a lot of water, so in fact the fizzy drinks are not hydrating your body as you might think.

The elevated levels of phosphates in soft drinks leach vital minerals from your body. Soft Drinks are made with purified water that also leach vital minerals from your body. A severe lack of minerals can lead to Heart Disease (lack of magnesium), Osteoporosis (lack of calcium) and many other diseases. Most vitamins cannot perform their function in the body without the presence of minerals so basically you are preventing your body doing what it needs to do to keep you healthy.

Did you know that drinks high in phosphoric acid can do a great job of cleaning corroded battery terminals, remove rust from metal or toilet bowels? Soda can eat through the liner of an aluminium can so why would you drink it?

Soft drinks steal water from the body. They work like a diuretic which takes away more water than it provides to the body. To replace the water stolen by soft drinks, you need to drink 8-12 glasses of water for every one glass of soft drinks that you consume!

Your body needs 8 – 10 glass of water per day. If you are drinking soft drinks you need to drink an additional 8 – 12 glass. So this would mean you need to drink 16 to 22 glasses of water per day to hydrate and replenish your body’s water requirement.

Of course there is the sugar and the high amount of sugar in Soft Drinks causes your pancreas to produce an abundance of insulin, which leads to a “sugar crash”. Chronic elevation and depletion of sugar and insulin can lead to diabetes and other imbalance related diseases. This is particularly disruptive to growing children which can lead to life-long health problems.

Soft Drinks severely interfere with digestion. Caffeine and high amounts of sugar virtually shut down the digestive process. That means your body is essentially taking in no nutrients from the food you may have just eaten, even that eaten hours earlier.

Last, but not least, Diet soft drinks contain Aspartame, which has been linked to depression, insomnia, neurological disease and a plethora of other illness. The FDA has received more than 10,000 consumer complaints about Aspartame, that’s 80% of all complaints about food additives.

So my advice is to just drink water;  it is freely available and certainly free of all the problems that soft drinks can cause.

If you want to add some flavour add a slice of lemon and ice cubes and you will find it very refreshing.

Try this for a week and just see how much better you feel!


Have the water not the Coca Cola

Does pain stop you exercising?

One of the things that keeps you healthy and supports your weight loss is exercising and this doesn’t mean joining a gym unless of course you want to.

I have struggled over the last few months having broken my ankle which prevented me from doing my usual exercise.  Whilst I am now out of plaster and getting back to my usual walking I am still finding that my ankle swells up and I have been told that it can be up to  year before this stops

I am trying really hard to get back into exercise though because I have felt really sluggish and I have started taking some ‘Musselflex’  Tablets and using the Gel on my ankle and it is really helping. I read about it on the internet and decided to give it a go and I am sure it is working.  These can be found in health shops or on Amazon and are by Optima.

I was very sceptical but if you have aching knees or feet I would suggest you give it a try


Bit late posting the blog after a very busy weekend but back to recipes next week