Thursday, 30 June 2011


Hello people that might come across this!! I have a proper and shiney new website now! Come check it out:

 It has lots of recipes and will have a 3 week diet plan up in the next couple of days, so come take a look. Come like my facebook page too :)


Monday, 6 June 2011

20 minute meal: Miso salmon noodle soup

Things are insanely busy for me at the moment, which means I have less time to spend on cooking. I refuse to let my health suffer due to lack of time, so I have been concentrating on creating meals that take less than 20 minutes to prepare and cook.

I hear so many people use the excuse of "I don't have enough time to cook healthy meals, that is why I am overweight" and I have to say, it is a poor excuse. You can make a healthy meal in the same amount of time it takes for something to cook in the oven. Yes, you will have to look over it and stir a little more, but your health is worth it, and it is ONLY 20 minutes.

This miso salmon noodle soup is well balanced and full of flavour. You can make it as spicy or unspicy as you like. You could even use chicken breast instead of salmon if you want, although the chicken would take about 5 minutes longer in the oven.

- Salmon fillet
- Single pack of udon noodle
- 1 bunch of pak choi
- Half a lime
- Coriander
- Half an onion, chopped
- Half a courgette, chopped
- Half a pepper, sliced
- A thumb sized piece of root ginger, finely chopped
- Teaspoon of chopped chili
- 400ml water
- Sachet of miso soup

1) Cover the salmon fillet with half the chili and ginger, the juice from the lime and some coriander and wrap in foil. Put in the oven for 20 minutes.

2) Add the chopped onion, pepper, courgette and rest of ginger to a pan with a couple of sprays of fry-lite and cook until softened

3) Add the water

4) Add the noodles and the miso sachet. The miso comes in a box like that and can be found in oriental supermarkets and even Asda.

5) Add the pak choi, rest of chili and some more chopped coriander and cook for 3-4 minutes

6) Serve into a bowl and top with the salmon fillet


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

What is 1 lb of fat?

Many a time have I heard someone say "I have ONLY lost 1 lb" and they feel like their effort has not paid off or someone has been ill and lost 10 lb thinking it will help their overall weight loss. These are all perfect examples of people who really don't know what a lb of fat is. I am guilty of both of these in the beginning on losing weight. At times the weight came off a lot slower than it wanted to, and sometimes, like when I had flu, I did lose 10lb in 4 days and thought that I would be slimmer because of it.

The aim for most people when losing weight is to lose fat, as fat is the reason most of us are overweight. So you need to be aware of what fat is, how you can lose it and most big losses in one go are not fat at all.

At the start of losing weight, say in the first week, you can see results of 7-10lb a week. This is pretty much all water that you are losing. It is pretty impossible to lose 7-10lbs of fat in a week. Yes, you may feel and look 7-10lb smaller, but that is because you are less bloated from the water you were carrying. If you have cut back on salty foods during that week (which cause water retention) and you have drunk more water, you will have a big water loss, which will show a higher weight loss.

Once your body starts to get used to your new eating and exercise regime, your weight loss will level out to a healthy 1-2lb a week. This can be really difficult to deal with after being used to much higher results in the first couple of weeks, but just remind yourself that every lb or even half lb is still in the right direction.
Your body is also going to naturally fluctuate with weight anyway. Different times of the day, or the month, can have a big effect on your weight. My biggest piece of advice I can give to you is don’t focus too much on each individual lb. Look at the big picture and be really proud if you have lost 8lb in a month. Daily lb loses are not a good way to gauge an actual loss. Look at the change over a month and that will give you a better idea of how much fat you have actually lost, rather than just water.

Now, time to be aware of what a lb really is. Every time you “only” lose 1 lb, take a look at this picture to remind yourself of what you have actually achieved if the lb you have lost is fat. This is what a lb of fat looks like.

Apart from the picture being pretty gross, it is pretty cool to see it there, instead of hidden underneath skin. I still can’t get over the fact that I have lost 91 of those chunks of fat. Where were they all hiding? Obviously some of the weight I lost was water, but the majority was definitely fat.

You should also know that 1lb of fat is equal to 3500 calories. I hear some people say that they think a weight loss of 7lb a week, every week is realistic. It really isn’t, as that would mean that you would need to be burning off 3500 calories every day. Yes, although you burn calories just wandering round the house, that is still a serious gym session that would need to be put in every day. I don’t think these people realise what you have to do in the gym just to burn off 500 calories. An hour of press-ups will burn off 500 calories, just to put it into perspective.

Realistically, burning off an extra 500-1000 calories a day will mean a weekly loss of 1-2lbs, which is healthy and manageable. If you try to lose more than the recommended 1-2lb a week, then you will most likely be just losing water or lean muscle mass, rather than fat. This will mean that you have less energy which could lead to gaining the weight back.

Also, when it comes to weight loss and perhaps being disappointed with a small loss, or even a gain, you need to remember that muscle does weigh more than fat. Hopefully you will be exercising alongside your healthy eating and that means you will be building up muscles, which will weigh more than the fat you have lost. So, you may have lost fat, but weigh more than you did before due to building muscle.

The message of this post is, be proud of only the small losses, now you know what they actually look like, and don't get over excited about the very quick big losses, as they are not what you think they are. Any healthy eating and exercise is going to set you in the right direction, so concentrate on that, not what is on the scale.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011



It has been well documented on here that I don’t eat meat, just fish and all kinds of vegetarian stuff. However, meat definitely has its benefits (when cooked the right way and choosing the right kind of meat) and I do cook it often for my husband. I refuse to cook things like chicken nuggets or cheap beef patties. You don’t need to eat meat for every meal, every day (that isn’t healthy), so when I do cook meat, I can justify buying better quality meat to make a healthy and tasty meal. Apart from not wanting to subject my husband’s taste buds to frozen, processed, breaded “chicken”, it is not cook for his health and that is something I am always mindful of. I only cook lamb and beef on occasion, because it is not the healthiest, so the meat I cook the most is turkey. I think it is rally versatile as well as being cheap.

One of the great things about turkey is that it is a good source of protein. As well as being full of vitamin B6 and B12, it is also low in fat, so it can be a good substitute for higher fat meat, like beef. It has been shown to lower cholesterol when replaced for other meats.

Being a low carb food, it can help regulate your blood sugar levels. Served alongside healthy carbs, it is a great meal choice for meat eaters.

Most foods seem to contain something that combats cancer recently, and turkey is no different. It contains an amino acid called tryptophan which is needed by the immune system cells (T cells) that kill cancer cells.
Turkeys are not renowned for their happiness, but eating turkey can be a mood enhancer. Turkey is one of the best protein foods that increase serotonin levels, which can improve your mood.

As always, it goes without saying, the physical health of the turkey before it was slaughtered makes a significant difference in the nutritional content of it. Try to buy organic and free-range.

I have come up with a couple of recipes that use turkey as an alternative to beef and lamb. Turkey does not have as much flavour as these other meats, as it has less fat and the majority of the flavour is in the fat. However, you don’t just have to rely on fat to get flavour. Adding some extra herbs and spices is a great way to add flavour without adding to your weight.

Turkey meatballs – serves 2
You could make these as burgers rather than meatballs if you want, just make them into flat patties rather than balls.

-          - Half a pack of turkey mince
-          - 20g porridge oats (this might seem strange, but it is a replacement for breadcrumbs which is used to bind    the burgers. They are much healthier than breadcrumbs and make no difference to the taste.
-          - 6 slices of jarred jalapeƱos or a teaspoon of chilli flakes
-          - Half an apple, grated
-          - Half an onion, finely chopped
-          - 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
-          - Pepper to season

1)      1) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.

2    2) Make them into meatball shapes and put in the fridge for 30-60 minutes
3)      3) Gently brown them on a griddle or George Foreman for a couple of minutes each side and then put them in the over at 180C for 30 minutes.
4)      4) Serve with whole-wheat spaghetti and a home-made marinara sauce (I will blog this recipe another time)

Turkey moussaka – serves 2
Whilst most Greek people would have a fit at a recipe for a traditional Greek dish that uses turkey instead of lamb, it makes the dish lower in fat and it is just as tasty. If you want to turn it into a bit more of a treat, you can sprinkle for feta cheese on top, but I think it is creamy enough without it.

-          - Half a pack of turkey mince
-          - Half aubergine
-          - Half a potato, peeled
-          - 1 onion, chopped
-          - 6, finely sliced
-          - 1 tin of tomatoes
-          - 1 teaspoon of paprika
-          - 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
-          - 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint
-          - 300g 0% fat traditional, thick Greek yogurt
-          - 2 eggs

1)      Slice the aubergine and potato, spray with oil and cook in the over at 200C for 25-30 minutes
2)      Meanwhile, heat some fry-light oil in a pan and brown the onion and mushrooms. Add the mince and allow to brown, stirring occasionally.
3)      Add the tin tomatoes, paprika, coriander and mint and stir well. Allow to gently simmer for 10 minutes.
4)      In a bowl, whisk the eggs and then stir in the yogurt until a smooth sauce has formed.
5)      The aubergine and potato should be ready now. Take them out of the oven and put a layer of aubergine at the bottom of an oven dish.
6)      Cover the aubergine with the turkey mixture
7)      Top the turkey with the remaining aubergine and then layer the potato on top.
8)      Cover it all with the egg and yogurt mixture
9)      Put the dish in the over at 180C for 30 minutes or until it starts to brown.
10)   Serve with a big salad and some olives.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

How to enjoy a holiday without undoing all your hard work

Hello there!
Well, I haven't updated at all during May, but I have been rather busy. I am now married, finally! And it really was the best day of my life. The wedding was my big incentive to look good, but just because it has past, does not mean I am going to go back to my old, unhealthy, ways.
After a wedding follows the honeymoon. We can't go on our real honeymoon until September, but we still felt it was important to have a few days away to spend time together, so we went to Ibiza for a week.

For most people, an upcoming holiday (or vacation if you are an American reading this) is usually a big incentive for eating better and toning up. We work so hard at the gym for weeks and weeks before our holiday so we can look good on the beach, only to undo all our hard work during the week we are there by eating and drinking too much and not moving enough.
With that being said, this is your holiday. This is your time to relax and enjoy yourself. You don't want to force yourself to be in the hotel gym for 2 hours a day and eat salad for every meal. You can still enjoy yourself and indulge, and so you should, just be mindful of what you are eating and drinking, so you don't come home and have to spend months working off one week of gluttony.

With just a few small changes to your usual holiday schedule (beer, ice cream and not moving from your sunbed unless it is for more ice cream) and following the tips below, you can still enjoy the usual holiday treats and come home feeling and looking just as good as your did before you left. Or at least only 1lb heavier, rather than 10lb.

  • Eat at home before you get on the plane - Most people start their bad holiday eating habits before they even arrive at their destination. Airports are full of bad choices like fast food and fat filled sandwiches. Either take your own food to the airport, or for shorting flights, you can eat at home before you leave and you won't need to eat again until you arrive. Also pack some healthy snacks like nuts, seeds and fruit in case you get hungry on the flight, so you are not tempted by the overprices and tasteless sandwich or a pot of pringles.Also avoid ordering an in flight meal - they are unhealthy and don't even taste nice.  
  • Drink lots of water - Chances are, you are going to be having your holiday in a hot country. This means your body will require more water than it would at home in the cold. Your body often confuses hunger for dehydration, so when you start craving yet more food, have a bottle of water and wait 20 minutes to see if the hunger pangs go away. Keeping hydrated will also keep your skin looking great, which will go well with that tan you will be coming home with. 
  •  Avoid fizzy drinks as much as possible - Fizzy drinks are full of sugar and are just wasted calories. You will be drinking because you are thirsty, so during the day, stick to water to keep you hydrated and save the fizzy drinks for the mixers to your vodka later that night. Diet drinks are no better either.
  • Sightseeing is a workout too - Grab a guide book, get off that sunbed and go explore the area you have traveled on holiday to. If there is a castle on top of a hill, go hike to the top of it. The view alone will be worth it, and your legs will thank you for it too. Whilst on holiday, try to walk everywhere. You will get to see lots of new places, get some fantastic photo opportunities and you will burn off lots of calories so you can treat yourself a little bit more.
  • Make use of the hotel pool and the sea - Swimming is a fantastic workout and with most hotels abroad having a great pool, you should make the most of it. As well as being a great way to cool down after sitting out in the sun, doing 20 minutes in the pool each day will compensate for that 10th cocktail you had the night before. As well as swimming, buy some inflatables for the pool and have fun. Jumping on and off of an inflatable crocodile and having an inflatable lilo battle with your friends has to burn off some calories!
  • Try new sports - Chances are, there will be lots of opportunities to try new activities whilst on holiday that will definitely help burn off a few calories. Are there water sports available at the beach, like surfing, windsurfing or canoeing? Has the hotel organised volleyball or tennis matches? Get involved!
  • Don't overdo it on the ice creams - The first thing I think of when the weather turns warm (apart from applying lots of sun lotion, of course) is ice cream. Magnums, feasts, basically anything on a stick and covered in chocolate. Whilst you should satisfy that craving on holiday and enjoy a treat, be careful not to overdo it. It is easy for eat 4 or 5 of those a day on holiday, especially if you are all-inclusive. It's hot and you are thirsty and you think an ice cream is the perfect thing to help that. At around 300 calories each, it can soon add up. Water will cool you down much more, but if you really want something cold and sweet, go for a fruit juice based ice lolly instead. You will save so much fat and calories that you won't have to burn off when you get home.
  • Be careful of the buffet - If you have meals included at your hotel, there will most likely be a buffet. Follow the tips from my previous post ( on how to eat healthy at a buffet. Chances are, the food will be a little different to what you are used to eating at home, so the desire to want to try all the new things can be tempting and lead you to eating 7 plates piled with food each meal. There is also the need to "get your moneys worth". This is a false economy for you, as you will just spend more money going to the gym when you get back.
  • Try to maintain your usual routine - If at home you usually have 5 small meals rather than 3 bigger meals each day, try to stick to this. Changing that routine will confuse your body and could lead to it storing fat. You body will also be used to functioning on this eating schedule. Also, if you do 20 minutes of yoga when you wake up, try to fit that is still. It isn't going to majorly cut into your holiday time, and your body will thank you for it when you get home.
  • Be realistic - You will most likely have been really strict in the weeks leading up to your holiday to ensure you will look your best in that bikini and you may think that you will be able to be that strict whilst on holiday, and not indulge in any treats. Loosen up and allow yourself to enjoy a few extra treats, just in moderation. If you convince yourself you can eat exactly the same foods as you do at home whilst you are holiday, you will not be prepared and when faced with all the holiday delights, you could end up eating more than you would have done. Be realistic - it is your holiday and you deserve to eat some of the foods you have been craving.
  • Make the most of all that fresh food - Being in a coastal resort means lots of fresh fish. Make the most of it and enjoy it with a big salad. Also take the opportunity to sample local fruits and vegetables you might not have at home.
  • Hide the mini-bar key - That handy little fridge in your room is not your friend. Apart from being insanely over priced, it is full of tempting chocolate and alcohol you could end up eating, just for the sake of it.
  • Choose your indulgences carefully - You are going to splurge, that is a given, so choose wisely. Make sure what ever you are treating yourself too, is something you really want. There is no point going over your calorie allowance for something you didn't overly enjoy, just because it was there.
  • Limit alcohol intake  - This is the one most people find difficult. You are on holiday and that most likely means getting pretty drunk most nights. Again, if you are all-inclusive, you can end up drinking for 12 hours each day. You don't need to do this. Even just have 3 or 4 drinks a day will ensure you get your moneys worth and won't do too much damage to your health. If you are going to drink, as always, try and make healthier choices. Avoid beer or sugary cocktails and go with vodka and fresh fruit juice, or soda water. Enjoy them in moderation.
The most important thing is to relax and enjoy yourself. Chances are, unless you get ill, you won't lose weight whilst on holiday. But, it is possible to maintain or only put on a couple of lbs. Just make a few healthy changes, don't eat for the sake of it, and stay active with fun activities. Don't beat yourself up if you get home and have gained weight. Just look back at your holiday photos and remind yourself what a good time you had, and then get yourself back into a healthy routine and start preparing for the next holiday.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Some people love the sour taste of them, and some people hate them. I love them. Not just for their great taste, but because of all the amazing benefits they have.

They are a great way to start your day, so have one before breakfast. Just don't cover it in sugar like some people do. They are also good in salads with some nuts or you can make sorbet or marmalade from them.

They are full of vitamin C which is great for keeping colds at bay. I am currently drinking a pint of vitamin C suppliment every morning to keep me healthy for the wedding.
A surpring, but really healthy, part of the grapefruit (and oranges too) is the albedo. That is the white skin between the peel and the actual fruit you eat. Most people will try and take as much of that off as possible because it is bitter but it is so good for you as it is full of anti-cancer agents.

One of the famous benefits of grapefruit is its cholesterol reducing benefits. This is because of the levels of pectin it contains. Basically, your arteries will be better off if you eat grapefruit once a day. Red grapefruit is most effective for this.

Other benefits are sleep promotion, helps digestive disorders, relieves sore throats and they can perk you up at the end of a long day.

The reason I first starting eating grapefruit is because of their fat-burning enzymes. They also reduce and absorb the sugar and starch in the body. There are fad diets out there that tell you to eat pretty much nothing but grapefruits for a week. This is just stupid as too much of anything is bad for you. Too much grapefruit can make you calcium deficient and cause tooth decay because of all the citrus. There is another, much healthy way to benefit from these fat-burning enzymes. Cut up a grapefruit in the morning into 6 segments and have 2 before each of your meals in the day. They will help burn the fat you are eating.

The one thing I will say though is that grapefruits high levels of flavoured naringin which will reject pharmaceutical drugs. So, if you are on medication, avoid grapefruit. But your doctor should have told you that already.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

How to treat yourself on a nice sunny day

When England gets one of those rare sunny days, ice cream is one of the first things that comes to mind. If you are trying to be healthy, or lose weight, then ice cream is one of the worst things you can have. It is made from cream (full of fat), sugar (pretty much the devil) and egg yolks (the unhealthy part of egg) and that is without it being on a stick and covered in chocolate (more sugar). So, here is a way you can enjoy a cold treat on a hot day, without chasing the ice cream van down the road. It will also ensure you will look better in those shorts you have been dreading wearing this summer.

Whilst I was backpacking round the U.S. I fell in love with frozen yogurt. In the beginning I am not sure what I loved about it, the taste or the fact I felt more American eating it - I'm a Americanophile! I was also drawn to the fact that it is a low fat alternative to ice cream. Whilst this is true, as they use low fat yogurt instead of cream, they still mix it with piles of sugar which doesn't make it low in calorie. But since coming home and experimenting with recipes, I have fallen in love with the taste.

So, I have created my own frozen yogurt recipe. Whilst it takes a few hours to make, it is really really simple and can be adapted in so many ways, so have an experiment and have a guilt free treat when the sun is out.

- 1 tub of fat free natural yogurt
- Strawberries
- Blueberries
- Agave or honey

1) Pour the yogurt into a Tupperware pot and put in the freezer for 2 hours.

2) Take the pot out of the freezer and squeeze the sides to loosen in. Then mix it to prevent it from crystallising and until it goes soft again. Put it back in the freezer for 40 minutes
3) Take the yogurt out of the freezer and leave to stand for 10-20 minutes until it softens a bit.

4) Scoop the frozen yogurt out and put in a bowl, drizzle a little agave or honey on it and top with strawberries and blueberries.

You can top it with loads of different things. Just don't top it with chocolate or golden syrup otherwise it will defeat the point of it. You can also blend fruit with the yogurt before you start the freezing process, then it is all mixed in.

I'm not going to tell you it tastes exactly like ice cream and you will never crave ice cream again, because it doesn't and you will. But, it is creamy and cold like ice cream and can be sweetened naturally to satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. Therefore, if you care about your health, then it is a great choice this summer.

I shall be blogging more cold sweet treats over the summer too :)