Enjoy Easter without overdoing the chocolate

I love the Easter holiday as hopefully the weather will allow us all to get out and about and enjoy some warm weather. I think it really starts to feel like summer as it is followed by 2 bank holidays so you can enjoy longer weekends.  But what about the chocolate!

Certainly as marketing has become so much more sophisticated the chocolate eggs and bunnies seem to be available earlier and you could end up with house full if you have children as it is estimated that each child receives over 8 eggs.

So how do you avoid overindulging. Personally now I longer have children at home I just don’t have anything chocolate at Easter and prefer to be given a plant or some flowers. But I know it isn’t that easy when you have a young family or traditionally you have always had an egg at Easter.

The one thing I did do when I had eggs in the house was to break them up into pieces and keep them in the freezer just taking some chocolate out when I really wanted it and planned into my eating.  This might also help your children from overdoing it as they will know that the eggs are still there and you are not taking them away.

I have promised you a recipe so here is a lovely meal you could cook at Easter. As Lamb is often cooked at Easter this makes a difference to cooking a roast leg and is really delicious

Lamb with White Wine

Great Tasty Food for under 500 calories

LAMB WITH WHITE WHITE

Ingredients

450 grams lean lamb steak cubed

100 grams button mushrooms

4/5 shallots roughly chopped

2/3 cloves of garlic chopped

Beef Oxo Cube

125 mls white whine

1 tsp cornflour or gravy granules

1tsp olive oil

Serve with Broccoli, Carrots and 150 grams of New Potatoes per person

To Cook

Take the cubed lamb and add to a large pan with the olive oil and cook until the meat is browned about 5 minutes.  Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes unto they are softened. Add the mushrooms and stir then add the white wine cooking for a further few minutes.

Make up the Beef oxo cube with 200 mls of boiling water then add to the pan with a Bouquet Garni and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile cook to new potatoes, broccoli and carrots.

Just before serving remove all the meat and vegetables from the pan and put in a warm serving dish.

Add either cornflour or gravy granules to thicken the remaining cooking liquid and this will make delicious gravy.

All this for just under 500 calories

 

 

Getting ready for Summer

If you promised yourself last year that you would lose weight before your summer holiday and didn’t and here you are again looking forward to this years holiday feeling overweight and unhappy about how you look then why not take action now.

If you are going on holiday in July you still have three months to lose weight and with my weight loss plan could lose up to 2lb per week and be around 2 stone lighter.  This equates to 2 dress/trouser sizes so if you have summer clothes you want to get into why not start now.

I have just taken my summer clothes out of the loft and will be going through them this week to check that I still want them all but I do have the comfort that I know that they fit. It can be so depressing when you have clothes you really want to wear but they are too tight.  I will though either sell or give some charity if I know I won’t wear them or they don’t suit me anymore. This makes space for some new items!

So why not contact me to discuss losing weight eating ordinary foods but getting extraordinary results.  You will not have to buy any supplements or shakes and you will be supported with a personalised plan, recipes, hints and tips and personal coaching if you sign up to my full plan.

What have you got lose other than weight!

Summer Clothes ready for sorting

I sort and pack my summer and winter clothes and store them in vacuum packs on the great advice of my daughter Kate who runs a decluttering business if you want advice and help to organise your wardrobes, kitchens or in fact any space that you feel is too clutter then she will be the answer at http://www.roomtobreathe.org.uk

Want to lose weight eating delicious food?

Then you might want to try this recipe.

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I know that when I started to lose weight I tended to rely on the same meals/recipes all the time until it dawned on me that I could still eat healthily and lose weight while cooking something different.

This recipe is a great family meal and if you haven’t got everything to hand then you can use dried thyme and omit the pomegranate.  Equally if you are vegetarian you can use Quorn and vegetable stock but this will reduce the calories by about 100 a portion.

LEMON BAKED CHICKEN AND SAFFRON RICE

Serves 4                                                         400 calories per serving

20 prep + 10 minutes resting               30 minutes cooking

Ingredients

4 x 150g chicken breasts

I onion chopped

2 cloves garlic sliced

100g mushrooms

75 ml dry white wine

650ml chicken stock

Zest & juice of a lemon

Pinch of saffron

Sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley

Seeds of a pomegranate

Salt and black pepper

240g dried basmati rice

Olive oil to spray pan

To Cook

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180º/160ºfan

Soak the pinch of saffron in 2 tablespoons of boiling water

Heat a large pan and spray with some olive oil and add the chicken breasts to brown I prefer to cut the breasts into pieces. Once brown which should only take a few minutes add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes keep stirring. Add the chopped mushrooms.

Add the wine, stock, lemon zest, juice, saffron and soaking water, thyme and bay leaf and bring to the boil.  Transfer to a casserole dish, cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the rice.  Replace the lid then return to the oven to bake for 10 minutes then take out of the oven and leaving the lid on stand for 10 minutes.

Stir and serve decorated with the parsley and pomegranate seeds (you can omit these but they give a great texture) Add a green salad and enjoy.

Fed up of Yo-Yo Dieting?

If you are concerned about your weight and have tried many times to ‘diet’ only to put your weight back on, then you are probably in the majority so what is the answer.

The key really is not to keep going on a ‘diet’ that asks you to give up things you love or restricts your calorie intake so much that the minute you stop following the diet the weight just piles back on. Sometimes even heavier than you started!

So what is the answer?

I believe that you really need to change your life style and eating habits in a way that you can sustain forever.

This can mean really understanding what you can live without that perhaps has been making you put on weight, but more importantly learning how to add flavour and interest to the things you are eating so that you really enjoy your food.

This is how I base my weight away plans and they are personal to every client.

I know that by understanding my clients likes and dislikes: understanding their life styles and taking into account their personal eating patterns I can devise a healthy eating plan that will help them to lose weight and keep if off.

As someone who knows what it is like to be an emotional eater I am well placed to help others and if you are fed up of yo-yo dieting why not talk to me to see if you think I can help you.

You have nothing to lose but weight!

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Obesity in Staffordshire at a high!

Last week I attended the ‘BigFatChatLive’ Event which was being held by Staffordshire Council to discuss the obesity levels in the county.  They assessed 1 in 4 adults to be obese and frighteningly 1 in 5 children as well.

This makes 190,000 people in the county as obese with the associated health risks that this can lead to. As the NHS is under so much strain in Staffordshire this is all the more worrying.  I want to do anything I can through my business to help to address this and I believe that my Weight Away Plans are helpful in providing support and suggesting healthy eating plans and recipes that can be prepared for the whole family.

The risks to your health of being obese are many. Obesity can result in heart disease, stroke, cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. Losing even a small amount of weight can help to minimise the risks. I know though that this can be less than easy and it can be difficult to do this without support.  This why having got my own weight under control I set up my business, and why I am well placed to understand how hard it can be. I can though provide advice, guidance and support with lots of healthy recipes to help you lose weight.

I would be delighted to talk to anyone who is interested in finding out more or who wants to take the first step to tackle a weight issue. You can contact me for a free initial discussion with no obligation.  Remember you have nothing to lose but weight

If you want a Pancake try this

As Shrove Tuesday is this week thoughts turn to pancakes which can be a bit of a challenge if you are trying to lose weight.  I have found that cooking the fluffy American style pancakes can be great and are lovely to eat as a family so why not try my recipe.

As you will see from the photo when I cook them they are sometimes different sizes but you don’t have to worry as they just taste as delicious and are filling so a serving like this at 190 calories is great as a treat on the day.

You can make them as a savoury alternative omitting the sugar and add peppers or mushrooms and of course either way they can make a great breakfast.

You can also perhaps think about giving up something for Lent maybe alcohol or chocolate, a short amount of time giving these things up can help to keep you on track in the future if you are trying to lose weight. I will be cutting out chocolate this year!

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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.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be boring

One of the things that can make losing weight difficult is eating the same thing everyday.  That is why experimenting with different herbs and spices and cooking something different can be really helpful when you are trying to get into shape.

So if you find yourself eating the same thing every day; maybe weetabix for breakfast, a ham sandwich for lunch and a piece of chicken with veg or salad for your main meal STOP and build some variety into your day.

I try to have eggs at breakfast at least twice a week and mix up my lunches with wraps, soups and sometimes even pasta with something like tuna, but if you can cook yourself an interesting main meal you will feel all the better for it.

I cooked this recipe from my plans this weekend and it is really easy to do and very yummy so why not give it a go

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This is a lovely pork fillet dish which is only 450 calories a serving

PORK FILLET WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

Serves 4                                                                 450 calories per serving

20 minutes to prepare                                       45 minutes to cook

Ingredients

1tbsp fennel seeds

Salt & black pepper

Zest & Juice of 1 lemon

400g pork fillet

1 tsp olive oil

6 shallots

1 tbsp maple syrup

2 parsnips

300g potatoes

300g carrots

400ml vegetable stock

Steamed cabbage

To Cook

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180º/Gas Mark 6.

Crush the fennel seeds with the salt and pepper using a mortar and pestle. Mix in the lemon and maple syrup then rub into the pork.

Heat a large casserole and wipe with olive oil. Add the pork and sear over a medium heat for about 5 minutes turning until golden then set aside.

Cut the shallots, carrots, parsnips and potatoes into small chunks.

Add the shallots to the casserole with a splash of water and stir cooking for about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the parsnips, carrots and potatoes add the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then carefully sit the seared pork on top and roast for about 20 minutes till the meat is cooked and the veg are tender.  Remove the pork to rest for 5-10 minutes while the veg are finishing roasting. Then slice to pork and divide with the roasted veg to serve with some steamed savoy cabbage.

I just used a bit of the cooking juice and added a few gravy granules to make a sauce but you can have without.

If you want to know about eating healthily to help you lose weight I would love to hear from you.