Happy New Year and a Special Offer

Offer, Sale, Deal, Discount, Promotion

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and enjoyed the holiday season and I wish everyone A Happy New Year.

This is the time when we look forward and often decide to make New Year Resolutions.

I always start the New Year with a Dry January to cleanse my system and to shift any weight I have gained over the Christmas period.

If you have decided that 2018 is the year that you want to tackle your weight then I have some special offers at Weight Away.

If you sign up now for three months on a Weight Away Plan you will qualify for a fourth month free.  You could lose between 2 to 3 stone during that time, eating ordinary food. I am also offering a 20% discount for new mums who want to lose their baby weight.

Get help and advice with specialist coaching, lots of delicious recipes and support and make 2018 the year that you tackle your weight for life.

Check my 7 tips for losing weight and just contact me if you want to know more

Once again Happy and Healthy New Year!

My 7 tips for losing weight

Tip 1- Have a GOAL

When you decide you want to lose weight you may already have a goal in mind.  It could be an actual weight; it could be a dress/waist size; it could be to look good for a particular occasion or it could be to be healthier.  Whatever it is, it will be personal to you and that is important as it gives you something to aim for. Whatever it is there are two things you can do to make it happen.

Firstly picture yourself at your goal- imagine how you will look, think about how you will feel, think about the things people will be saying to you.  This will help you to focus on how great you will feel when you reach your goal.

The second thing is to think about steps along the way, these milestones could be things like every ½ stone, or each dress size just think about what you want to achieve along the way.  They will help you to make the goal achievable. They will reinforce your progress as you go forward.

Tip 2 – Understand Your Eating Habits

One of the things that will help you lose weight is eating regular meals and cutting out snacks.  In this way you can track what you are eating and make conscious decisions about what to eat and what not to eat.

One way to start this process is to write down everything you eat for a week.  When I say everything, this means including the biscuit you have at a meeting; the food you finish off that the children leave on their plates; the chocolate bar you buy at the petrol station and of course the meals you eat.

This will help you see any patterns of eating you have that you might want to change and it will probably shock you when you see what you eat when not actually having a meal

 Tip 3 – Don’t give up the things you love

One of the things that make you feel really miserable when you go on a ‘diet’ is that you often feel you have to totally give up the things you like.  This could be savoury things like cheese or crisps; or it could be sweet things such as chocolate or biscuits, or it could be alcohol such as wine or beer.  You will know the things that you really love.

The real key to losing weight and keeping it off is not to think of your new way of eating as a ‘diet’ but thinking of it more as eating healthily.

In this way you can adjust your eating and portions sizes reducing the amount of calories you eat overall, but can also plan in things you love.  You may find there are things you can do without and others you just can’t and if you recognise this you will be able to adjust your eating and lose weight without feeling miserable.

If you deny yourself something you really can’t live without you are more likely to go back to old habits and not lose weight or even worse put more on.

Tip 4 Getting help from your supporters

Quite often when people decide they want to lose weight they keep it very much to themselves.  This can be a sign that they don’t believe they can do it and don’t want people to think that they have failed, or that they want people to think they are happy as they are.

Being overweight doesn’t have to make you miserable but often people are find life more difficult; this might be moving around; finding clothes they want to wear that fit; suffering with health problems or lacking in confidence.

Actually sharing your goal of wanting to lose weight with friends, family and or work colleagues will make you goal more real. More importantly you can enlist their help with food choices.

 Tip 5 Recognise Your Trigger Points

When you have decided to lose weight and you start to see results you will hopefully stay on track but life happens and this often means that there are things that make you go off the rails

I would term these as trigger points and they can be things such as bad day at work; a crisis at home; an argument with your partner/children/friends; worrying about something you have got to do or should have done and I could go on.  All these things have the potential to send you in direction of comfort food which is more likely to be a bar of chocolate than an apple.

So do you know the things that can send you off the rails and sabotage your weight loss?  When you think about it you will, and the key is to develop strategies to handle these situations without resorting to food or drink.  Working with a coach can really help but there are simple things you can do for yourself.

Tip 6 Exercise

You may have been wondering when exercise would be mentioned.  The simple equation for weight loss is that you need to eat less and move more so increasing the amount exercise you do is very obvious.  However this does not mean running a marathon or even going to a gym the critical thing is to do something.  If you have a pedometer or app on your phone to check your activity the first thing to do is to see how much you are moving each day.  In you are in an office job and drive to work you will probably be shocked at how little you are moving.

Whatever it is, just commit to increase it each week and build up to doing some exercise.  The critical thing is finding something that you enjoy doing, that could be swimming, walking, running, the gym or at home on a Wii fit or Kinnect.  The key is you need to like it or you will not keep it up.

Tip 7 Celebrate Success

My final tip is to make sure that you celebrate success.  Not only when you get to your ideal weight but also on the way. You may have developed a weight problem by rewarding yourself with food, this is something that can develop from childhood if you have been given sweets as a treat when you have done something well.

This is a habit you need to break so reward yourself with something other than food. If you have children you may also want to think about how you reward them so they don’t get into the pattern of food being a reward rather than fuel!

If you have set yourself milestones to get to your ideal weight such as each ½ stone or each dress size then reward yourself with something such as a beauty treatment, a computer game you wanted, a sum of money to go towards your new wardrobe. You decide!

 

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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

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 !

Getting ready for Xmas

I know that as we approach Christmas there is a lot to do particularly if you have family with you and you are preparing the meal and that’s after you have done all your present shopping.

This is the time of year when we regret having not lost the weight we promised we would do at the start of the year.

But that can often mean that we just don’t have the time or the inclination to eat healthily during the run up to Christmas.  This isn’t helped by sweets and chocolates being at your place of work and of course the Christmas parties.

One thing you can do to mitigate all of this is try to have some healthy soups to keep you going so when you do give in to temptation you won’t be overdoing it. There is a tasty recipe below for you try

I will be offering special offers in January to help with new year resolutions so if you want to know more just contact me.

SPICY TOMATO & BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Serves 6                                                       40 calories per serving

Takes about 50 minutes to cook

Ingredients

6 Large tomatoes                           1 butternut squash

2 red onions                                      1 red pepper

1 stick celery                                    1 large carrot

4 cloves of garlic                             1 red chilli

To prepare

Chop the vegetables into chunks and finely diced the garlic and chilli.  Place on a tray and roast for about 45 minutes turning regularly.

Blitz in a food processor with 500 ml of water till smooth then pass through a sieve into a large pan then add another 500ml of water and bring to the boil.

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Can you make sense of healthy eating advice?

I find now that there are so many different articles in the press and on TV about what we should and should not eat that it can become so very confusing.

Certainly the fact that we were told to avoid fat has lead to a large increase in sugar being added to foods and this now is being regarded as a much bigger problem

You can now find so many ‘diets’ that advocate cutting out carbs and this in itself will probably result in weight loss but is it sustainable.

My mantra, which I use when discussing healthy eating with my clients is to try to avoid processed foods and to cook fresh ingredients whenever possible.  Coupling this with a healthy balance of food which includes some carbohydrates, protein, fats and natural sugars.  Using olive oil and natural yoghurt for example when cooking.

The main key is portion sizes, regular meals and avoiding snacking which is so much easier to do when you are eating a balanced diet.

If you would like to discuss healthy eating with me I would love to hear from you!

Salad, Figs, Cheese, Goat Cheese

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.