Stressful week!

I had a bad week this week having received a phone call from the police early on Thursday morning to say that my husband had been involved in an accident.

I was fearing the worst when they said he had been hit by a deer as he rides a motorbike and this is not a great combination. He was admitted to hospital and miraculously is only badly bruised and suffered concussion.  Sam can’t be said for the Stag which was killed and the bike which is likely to be written off.  But I am so relieved he survived!

I am late writing my blog this week as you can imagine but it did make think about how we cope with stress.  Some of us don’t eat and others just eat for comfort.  Normally I fall into the later category but on this occasion food was the last thing on my mind.

But if you do turn to food when you are stressed than I can help you

Picture from scene taken by the people who helped him who I am grateful to along with the Police and of course the wonderful West Midlands Ambulance service

 

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Making the most of vegetables

One of the things I often hear people saying is that buying food to lose weight is expensive and that eating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables is hard work.

Well one of the things that can counter this is making soups from vegetables in the winter.

They are great as a snack or can be part of your lunch or main meal.  They can be cheap to make at home from fresh vegetables that are in season, will freeze and can be made in bulk.

Just couldn’t resist posting a picture of my bargain buy this week which was a large fabulous cauliflower which only cost me 69p from my local greengrocers.

This will make soups, a vegetable to add to a meal and of course a cauliflower cheese.

I have a few great soup recipes you might want to try and a great way of making cauliflower cheese which does not overload the calories. So if you want to know more about healthy eating contact me but here are some soups to try

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PUMPKIN SOUP

Serves 4                                                                   30 calories per serving

30 minutes to prepare

Ingredients

120g pumpkin                                                         120g carrot

120g celeriac                                                          1 onion 1 courgette (optional)

450ml vegetable stock                                           Salt and pepper

To prepare

Roughly chop the all of the vegetables and place in a saucepan with the stock and season with salt and black pepper.  Bring to boil and simmer for about 25 minutes

Pour the vegetables and stock into a food processor or liquidiser to make into a smooth soup. Return to the pan and add the optional courgette at this point in small cubes heat through then serve.

BROCCOLI SOUP

Serves 4                                                                   105 calories per serving

30 minutes to prepare

Ingredients

4tsp olive oil spread                                                1 large onion chopped

480g broccoli                                                          Zest of a lemon

300ml vegetable stock                                           240ml skimmed milk

Juice of 1 lemon                                                     salt and pepper

2tbsp of single cream

To Prepare

Melt 2 teaspoons of the olive oil spread in a saucepan and add the onion and cook till soft. Add the remaining spread to the pan then add the broccoli florets and cook for a further 2-3 minutes

Add the lemon zest and stock to the pan and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.  Then pour into a food processor or liquidiser, and process to a puree.

Return to the pan and add the lemon juice and milk and season to taste.

Serve in warm bowls with a drizzle of single cream.

HEARTY WINTER SOUP

Serves 4                                                                   105 calories per serving

30 minutes to prepare

Ingredients

90g swede                                          90g turnip

90g carrot                                           90g celeriac

90g potato                                          120 g parsnip

1 medium onion                                  240g tinned tomatoes

30g split red lentils                               120g Brussel sprouts

½ tsp chilli powder                                        ¼ tsp oregano

450 ml vegetable stock                      1tsp olive oil

To Prepare

Cut all the vegetables into to chunks.  Chop the onion finely.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the onion soft then add all the vegetables, stock herbs and lentils except the Brussel sprouts.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes then cut the Brussel sprouts in halves or quarter and add for a further 8 minutes or so until all the vegetables and cooked.

Then serve in warmed bowls

 

 

Quick and Easy Tasty Chicken

If you want to have a chicken pie and are looking for a quick and easy recipe this Spanish twist is great.

This adds onto last weeks blog when I used pastry that I had cut up and kept in the freezer to top pies.  This was made using the second piece I already had in the freeszer

Having chicken breasts in the freezer, some herbs and spices to hand and some tinned chopped tomatoes means that you can rustle up a very quick meal when you get in from work you just need to remember to get the chicken and the pastry out of the freezer in the morning.

Just planning your evening meals for a week will help you to stay on track if you are trying to lose weight; will help you to eat more healthy; will stop you throwing away unused food and most of all can help you save money.

You can serve this pie with some boiled potatoes or just with veg if you want

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Chicken Pot Pie with Spanish Twist

Paprika Chicken Pie

Serves 4

25 minutes preparation 15-20 minutes cooking

450 calories per serving

½ pack x 320 grams ready rolled puff pastry sheet

Olive oil used as a cooking spray

1 red onion chopped finely

500 grams skinless boned chicken breasts cut into cubes or quorn/tofu if vegetarian

1 teaspoon of paprika

Pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tablespoons of boiling water

2 tablespoons of dry sherry

400g of chopped tomatoes with garlic (use ordinary tomatoes and add a clove of crushed fresh garlic)

1 chicken stock cube

1 egg beaten

Salt and black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6/200ºC/fan180ºC and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Unroll the pastry and lightly roll with a rolling pin until 20cm x 20cm and cut into 4 squares and chill in the fridge.
  • Spray a non-stick deep frying pan with the cooking spray and cook the onion and chicken pieces for 5 minutes until browned all over. Also add the fresh garlic if using. Add the paprika and saffron with its soaking water and cook for 30 seconds
  • Pour in the sherry and bubble for 30 seconds. Then stir in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock cube and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked and sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Meanwhile remove the pastry from the fridge and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of each pastry piece with a little beaten egg and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden and risen.  Serve each portion of chicken with a pastry square.

Serve with 100 grams new potatoes, broccoli and carrots.

 

 

Can I eat pastry?

When you are trying to lose weight you can often think that some things are out of bounds

One of these is pastry and if you are like me you may find yourself really craving a pie particularly as the weather gets colder.

I find that buying packets of ready made puff pastry and cutting it into blocks to put into the freezer means that I can add a pastry topping to meals without overloading on the calories.

One of my favourite meal is salmon wrapped in pastry served with vegetables.  This is a very easy meal that you can have on the table in under 30 minutes so why not give it a go.

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To cook this you just need a salmon fillet and a strip of ready made puff pastry.

I used a smoked salmon fillet (which is why it looks a bit dark) and just put a teaspoon of pesto sauce on top before wrapping it in the pastry strip then baked for 20 mins at 180 degrees.

Just serve with whatever vegetables or salad you like and you will find it very satisfying and filling.

I buy Jus-Rol puff pastry https://www.jusrol.co.uk/products/puff-pastry  and cut into strips for individual serving 50 gram servings to add to pies and keep in the freezer.

Next week I will share a great chicken Spanish pot pie recipe that uses the same idea.

 

 

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

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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

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

BEEF GOULASH

Serves 4

475 calories per portion

20 minutes to prepare cook for 2 hours

Ingredients

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.