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.

Are you addicted to sugar?

We hear so much about sugar these days and how it is bad for us but giving it up or even reducing your sugar intake can be difficult and you can suffer withdrawal symptoms, but it is worth it if you want to be healthy and lose some weight.

It might not be easy!

But here are some tips on coping with sugar withdrawal.

When you first cut out sugar, you crave it, especially if sweet treats were part of your daily routine. You might initially feel tired, feel moody and have headaches but trust me these will pass.

Dealing with Sugar Withdrawal

Nicole Mowbray at The Daily Mail gave up sugar and talked a bit about the withdrawal period, including the technique that helped her most. We tend to view sweets as a reward, and shifting this way of thinking helped Mowbray a lot. She focused on weight loss, but you can also try thinking about the long-term health benefits of quitting refined sugar.

Headaches are a common sugar withdrawal symptom, and one that Mowbray experienced. If your headaches are severe, you can take an over the counter pain medication occasionally to get you through this initial tough part.

If giving up sugar is making you moody and irritable try going for a short walk;  do some cleaning;or a job you have been putting off. This can help, but also you will be doing something positive rather than reaching for the chocolate bar.

You might want to find some alternatives and substitute  a healthy snack and I have included a few suggestions at the end of this blog.

Dealing with Social Situations

When you’re quitting sugar, you start to realize how big a part it plays in social situations.

I think we have all had people saying to us things like ‘oh just have one it won’t hurt you’. If you can it is helpful to say something about the fact that you are trying to eat more healthily and cutting down on sugar but you can also use other tactics such as

I won’t thank you as I am full’ or

‘That’s very kind but I am eating later and don’t want to spoil my appetite

If you find you are given sweet things as a gift with words such as ‘I know you love cake/chocolate etc. so I bought you these’ there are a few lines you can use

That is really kind of you and I do like them and would love to share them with you/group of friends etc.

Or

‘That is really kind of you but I am eating a lot less cake/chocolate these days so will save them for later (this may make people think about alternatives)

If you can get into the habit of doing this and opting for fresh fruit or having a warm drink instead of the sweet treat you will soon find that the withdrawal symptoms will decrease but also more importantly you will be learning new habits.

 Some ideas for a healthier snack 

Packed of Melba Toasts and Triangle of Dairylea or Laughing Cow cheese triangles

A Natural Yoghurt 125 mls

2 Ryvita slices topped with smoked salmon or low fat Philadelphia cheese

1 crumpet topped with low fat cheese

Small handful of mixed nuts

Olives in brine (10)

Nicole Mowbury as featured in the Daily Mail on line

Binning the sweet stuff: Nicole has turned her life around

Omega 3 rich foods are great for you

Did you know that one key thing in having a healthy diet is OMEGA 3.  It supports your heart health and can also help with rheumatoid arthritis and possibly osteoporosis.

It is found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, but also in flaxseed, walnuts and pistachios and healthy green vegetables such as spinach.

If you eat a healthy well balanced diet you do not need to take supplements and I know that I eat fish at least twice a week and really love to add spinach to salads and to pasta dishes. A very simple salmon dish which I had yesterday but served with broccoli rather than spinach, as I had it to use.

This is just baked salmon and steamed vegetables with light sauce I rustled up with a vegetable stock and natural yoghurt.

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This would be under 450 calories if you want to know more about healthy eating and recipes just contact me

You can eat out and lose weight

One of the things that often takes people off track when they are trying to lose weight is eating out.

This is when you can be tempted to eat things you have perhaps been avoiding, or you can overdo it.

I am trying to shift a few pounds I gained over Christmas so when out shopping yesterday I wanted to have a sensible lunch.

I ended up in Zizzi’s Italian restaurant where it was great to see the healthy choice of a light Pizza.  All of these are under 550 calories so are fine to eat as part of a healthy diet.  They come with salad and are delicious I chose the

Skinny Pizza Pollo Roquito as shown here and it was really yummy !

There are usually things you can have when out so don’t let a trip to shops undo your healthy eating

Boots and M&S do good ranges of healthy snacks and I have been to other restaurants who offer lower calorie options.

If you go in with the mind set that you want to eat healthily you will avoid temptation and feel so much better than if you had gone off track.

My Weight Away Plans are full of helpful hints and tips if you want to know more.

Great low calorie meals for the Chinese New Year

As the last weekend in January  will be the Chinese New Year, many of us will want to celebrate it with having a Chinese Meal. But not over-indulge!

There is nothing to stop us doing this, if we know how to cook healthy meals, and this is the whole basis of my Weight Away Plans. I help people to control portions sizes and cook fresh food to enable them to eat well and with friends and family but still lose weight.

I have attached photos for the two meals below which are both healthy alternatives to rushing to the take away for a Chinese meal.  They are both very easy to cook and absolutely delicious.  If you want to know about eating well and healthily but still be able to lose weight then I would love you to hear from you and I am happy to send you the recipe for the soup but the Chicken Pad Thai one is below

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Thai Prawn soup for around 250 calories

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Chicken Pad Thai for around 375 Calories

CHICKEN PAD THAI

Serves 4                                                                 350 calories per serving

35 -40 minutes to prepare and cook

Ingredients

125g rice noodles

A spray of olive oil

2 garlic cloves crushed

2cm of fresh ginger

1 egg beaten

300g chicken breast

3 spring onions

½ tsp chilli flakes

125g fresh bean sprouts

2 carrots grated

3 tbsp of soy sauce

50g dry roasted peanuts

To Cook

Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover them with boiling water. Leave to stand for 4 minutes then drain rinse in cold water and set aside

Spray a wok or large pan with olive oil and heat. When hot add the garlic, chopped ginger and egg. Move it around to scramble the eggs when cooked set aside

Spray the wok again with olive oil and add the chicken which should be cut into strips.  Stir fry for about 8-10 minutes then add the finely chopped spring onions and chilli flakes.  Stir for another couple of minutes.

Add the noodles, the grated carrots and the beansprouts but keep a few to top the dish.  Cook for another few minutes then add the soy and all but 2 tablespoons of the peanuts.

Stir fry again and incorporate the egg and ginger.  Serve sprinkling the remaining  beansprouts and nuts on the top.