Fruity Flapjacks

Fruity Flapjacks

What makes these flapjacks more nutritious and healthy than the shop bought varieties is they contain less sugar, more fruit and no saturated fat.  The texture is less dense and you can really taste al the ingredients rather than an homogonised golden syrup compacted bar. I hope you enjoy them and remember it is a very adaptable recipe, so if you prefer sultanas, nuts, fresh fruits that are in season then add them!

Makes 12 pieces – 190 calories each

IMG_1548150g Banana (small- medium)

50g Soft & Juciy Apricots (if the apricots are a bit dry, soak in some cold green tea to re-hydrate for 20 – 30 minutes.  Discard the tea)

25g Light Brown Muscovado Cane Sugar

150g Porridge Oats

3tbsp Rapeseed Oil

large pinch cinnamon and nutmeg

grated rind of half an orange or one satsuma (optional)

Preheat the oven to 1800c (3500f or gas mark 4) and get a prepare a 17cm square baking tin – grease if necessary

Place the banana in a mixing bowl and mash up. Chop up the apricots into small piece and add to the banana

Add the sugar and oil and stir well. Add in the porridge oats, spices and orange rind (if using) and mix well.

Place the mixture in the tin ensuring it is evenly spread. Place in the oven for approx 15 – 20 mins until nice and golden

maqoKI0VEBEKAleLEcy1uO0yP0Evz5ph-IaMNCXCbIo,Qydqot4Vv9U9lps61PirthmZs9LSJt6tMtA-9t_O4b0,UnjPkv76rpN7m9_Yoejsrrwympd1gUiHhHkpAmdGUCc,-P_PM5wDbKTVnOkGtHXTwbJ4WA0YlRHnGUSKzik7bio,Nz8KvZX1VfSy34jx4E-mDTTq-CFXEHCQJPbczeE7nmEOnce cooked, cool in the tin slightly for approx 5-10 mins and then cut into squares and place on a cooling rack

Leave to cool and enjoy or if you can’t wait enjoy whilst warm with some greek/soy yoghurt :0)



Flapjack photograph courtesy of

Do you need sports nutritional advice?

Food for fitness 

As well as being a nutrition coach and chef, I recently qualified as an advanced sports THSA-Badge-Sports-and-Exercise-Nutrition_HDand exercise nutritional advisor through The Health Sciences Academy, and can now devise healthy eating programmes for those who want to get the most out of their exercise and sport programmes.

“If just one of up to 50 essential nutrients is missing, vitality, energy and peak athletic performance are just not possible!”

Do you know what your daily calorie needs are?  The average is 2000 for women and 2500 for men.  But which one of us is average!?  I can calculate your daily calorie needs and factor in calories used in exercise or sport, therefore giving you the best information to make an informed choice and get the most out of your training

When you have a consultation with me I will carry out a detailed ‘client diet assessment’ to determine any areas for concern or improvement. But I work on the premise that there is no single diet that suits everyone, because we all have different nutritional needs.

From that information I can start to build up your personalised nutritional strategy, which gym and foodcan help support any training programme, whether you are training for fitness or for competition.  It can promote efficient recovery between workouts, reduce the risk of illness or overtraining, or help achieve peak performance.

Your personalised nutritional strategy will include the amount of macronutrients you need to consume (proteins, carbohydrates and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and an hydration plan.  All aimed at making you the best you can be


These are some of the questions I have been asked by new clients

“ What do I need to eat after exercise?”

“When I go out running is water the best thing to drink?”

“I want to train for a half marathon, where do I start?!”

“I can eat what I like if I exercise regularly, cant I?!”


go for itSo if you are new to exercise or taking it to the next level and need support and guidance contact me to set up a free 30 minute consultation.  We can then schedule in an hours paid for consultation and really get you focused and fit


Susan Hart
, Nutrition coach

Mobile:  07946 301338



Twitter: @SH_nutrition


Fiery quark

Fiery quark on Ryvita (or sour dough) with cucumber and mint – serves 2, 166 calories per portion

If like me you are awash with fresh cucumbers, then try this recipe that I’ve come up with; it is a light, refreshing and summery dish that makes the most of this great ingredient.  The IMG_1508Quark is a great way to add some low fat protein; it is also a great source of calcium.  The horseradish, mustard and chilli adds some nice heat.  Adjust the amounts if you like it more or less fiery.  If you want to be a bit more indulgent then use ricotta (340 calories for 250g) or creme fraiche (650 calories for 250g) instead of Quark (135 calories for 250g)


  •  ½ cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced on a spiralizer, mandolin or using a vegetable peeler
  •  salt
  •  2 tbsp horseradish (not creamed horseradish)
  •  250g Quark cheese
  •  1 tsp grainy mustard
  •  few flakes of dried chilli or ½ fresh chilli
  •  salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  4 Ryvitta (or 2 slices of toasted sour dough)
  •  small handful of fresh mint
  •   ½ small lemon

IMG_1510Place the cucumber ribbons in a colander and sprinkle with plenty of salt. Mix well and leave the contents to drain over the sink for half an hour.

Rinse the salt off the cucumber with cold water, then leave to drain. Gently wring out any excess moisture from the cucumber with your hands then set aside.

IMG_1511In a clean bowl, mix the horseradish, mustard and chilli with the Quark, making sure they are well combined.

To serve, spread the fiery Quark onto the Ryvita’s (or toasted sour dough) top with a small handful of the IMG_1514cucumber and scatter over the chopped fresh mint. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.

Add 70 calories per portion if you substitute a slice of toasted sour dough bread instead of 2 Ryvitas per person


One secret to continued weight loss

One secret to continued weight loss

Do you find yourself promising not to cheat on your diet, or starting the diet tomorrow, or imagesthis time it’s going to be different?

Every time you make these promises to yourself and you don’t keep them it can add to your stress and stress is the one thing that will derail all your good intentions.  Being stressed can trigger the release of a stress hormone called cortisol, which can often result in an increased appetite.


So my one secret to continued weight loss is to de-stress by deep breathing!

imagesPracticed daily this simple and quick breathing technique can change your life for the better.  It will increase your energy levels and help you to achieve more.  By being in a relaxed state of mind you will be able to focus more easily, free yourself from stress, negative emotion and feelings of anxiousness.

In other words ‘see the wood for the trees’

Lets get started!

  • Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes
  • Place one hand on your upper chest and one on your abdomen just below your navel
  • Slowly breath in through your nose as you count to 5
  • Hold for a count of 2
  • Slowly breathe out through your mouth as you count to 10
  • As you take your first breath in silently say to yourself ‘relax’.
  • As you breath out silently say to yourself ‘calm’
  • Repeat 4 times

Try to make sure the hand on your tummy is the only hand moving

When you are stressed or anxious you take shallow breaths using the top of your chest only.  Learning to breath more slowly and deeply can help keep you calm


After 4 deep breaths, shrug your shoulders up to your ears then quickly release them.  Repeat this 4 times.  Again this helps to release tension


Slowly open your eyes and notice how relaxed you are

Couscous, goat’s cheese and courgette salad

Couscous, goat’s cheese and courgette salad –  210 calories

If like me you always cook to much couscous, well this is a great way to use any left overs.  courgetteAnd a small amount of ingredients go a long way.  By using a vegetable peeler (or spiralizer) you can make a small amount of courgette  and pear look like a mountain.  This helps to fool your brain in to thinking you are eating a lot more.  If you also eat this delicious salad more slowly you will feel fuller for longer whilst still only consuming a waist slimming 210 calories; Perfect for the 5:2ers amongst you or anyone wishing to follow a healthy eating regime

What’s not to love?!

70g cooked couscous, 1 small (130g) courgette, 30g goats cheese, ½ sliced ripe pear (50g), small handful of chopped mint and chives, few chilli flakes, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper

IMG_1369Warm up 70g of left over couscous in the microwave for 1 minute add all chopped chives and half the chopped mint then season with salt & pepper.  Use a vegetable peeler to produce courgette ribbons.  Place in a bowl and mix with the balsamic vinegar, chilli flakes and the remaining chopped mint

Use the vegetable peeler (or spiralizer) to thinly slice the pear.



Place the courgette ribbons on top of the couscous, crumble the goats cheese and add the slices of pear.  Season with salt & pepper


Non-fast day additions

Large mixed salad – 46 calories

Extra 70g couscous – 80 calories

3 walnut halves – 70 calories

Healthy eating on holiday

Healthy eating on holiday

You’ve worked so hard over the last 3 moths to get that beach ready body; you’ve sacrificed takeaways and sweets, you’ve even been a regular at the gym

bulging suitcaseSo why undo all that good work when you go on your two week summer holiday?!

If you follow these 6 tips, you can enjoy your food and drink and you won’t be charged for excess baggage on the return journey!


Tip #1 – Protein for breakfast

If you are on an all-inclusive holiday it can be hard resisting all the free ‘all you can eat’ scrambled_eggs_250food.  But try and have some good quality protein for breakfast like poached or scrambled eggs or a mushroom omelette.  Protein makes you feel full as it takes the body longer to process and is therefore very satisfying.  If you don’t fancy eggs then some fresh fruit and a nice thick Greek yoghurt is another good option

Try and avoid the croissants and pasties, they are high in fat and sugar and therefore high in calories – one croissants could equal 400 calories, but 2 poached eggs on toast is about 230 calories.


Tip #2 – Say no to fries!

saladAt lunch time enjoy all the great local salad ingredients like a Greek salad or Salade Niçoise, but don’t ask for a portion of fries on the side, instead if you do need anything else have a slice of local crusty wholemeal bread.  The fries (rather than our fatter chips) can come in at a whopping 800 calories and if you smother them in mayonnaise add a further 200 calories.


Tip #3 – Don’t go ‘large’

imagesAdopt a ‘tapas’ approach to your evening meal, so small plates of tasty food.  Instead of eating a whole pizza, which can add up to a waist busting 1000+ calories share it with your family.  A slice is about 250 calories, served with a large salad will leave plenty of room for another sharing dish like pasta with roasted veg and grilled chicken, with some more fresh and interesting salad.  But try and steer clear of the creamy and very caloric carbonara pasta

The same tapas principle also works for dessert so share your calorific double chocolate brownie and have it with a portion of colourful and delicious fresh fruit


Tip #4 – fill up on veggies

imagesIf your plate looks a little bit sparse add lots of vitamin packed veggies.  No only will they fill you up with all that fibre but the vitamins and antioxidants will help your skin look firmer and younger. Try for a ‘rainbow’ of colours so lots of peppers, avocados, olives, tomatoes, green beans, beetroot, carrots, red onions, courgettes, artichokes, asparagus, spinach – the list goes on!


Tip #5 – stay hydrated

All that lounging around in the heat has a dehydrating effect on the body as does all the salty snacks like crisps, nuts, anchovies and olives.  So remember to drink plenty of water, and at zero calories it will not add any bulk to your bikini; unlike the 5 pm gin and tonic, the 7 pm cocktails, the 10pm wine and the 1 am Jäger Bombs!!  - one of each could equal over 800 calories

imagesA sensible approach is to go alternate alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.  Not only will you be halving the calories but you will also be keeping hydrated

Dehydration can be a real problem on holiday and can lead to

▪   A lack of concentration

▪   Dizziness

▪   Fatigue and a general weakness of the body

▪   Aching joints

▪   Headaches

▪   Muscle cramps


Tip #6 – keep moving

It only takes an extra 3500 calories to produce a 1lb weight gain – so the croissant, the crisps, the fizzy drinks, the ice creams, the alcohol and the desserts could easily take you up to and over that.

activityOne simple way to combat the food intake is be more active; hire a bike and go exploring, snorkel with the kids, dance the night away, spend a day at the water park, find some coastal walks and enjoy the breeze and the views or take a daily early morning dip and burn of the previous nights excesses


imagesIf you follow these 6 tips you will come back refreshed and energised without having your healthy eating regime completely sabotaged


Do you have your own tips for a healthy holiday? then please let me know

Easy peasy banana ice-cream

Easy banana ice-cream – serves 1, 130 calories

Bananas are a great food choice for anyone wanting to maintain their cardio vascular health; due of its high levels of potassium, which is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function They are also great for keeping you fuller for longer because of their high fibre content

This recipe is so easy I can’t believe I’ve never tried it before!

IMG_1466Peel a ripe banana – the ones that you usually throw away because they are so soft!, cut into 4 thick slices and wrap in cling film or place in a bag and put it in the freezer.  Once frozen (about 2 hours or longer) take out place in a beaker, measuring cup etc add a few drops of vanilla extract and blend with a hand blender until smooth. You may need to wait a few minutes for the banana to soften just a bit

IMG_1460Scrape out into a bowl and eat with some fresh berries  (handful of fresh berries is about 60 calories) and a small grating of dark chocolate (½ a square of dark chocolate is about 25 calories)

This ice cream is so creamy your friends will never believe it is just frozen whizzed up banana – Delish!


For a bit of something extra, serve with a broken up meringue nest (50 calories) and a few raspberries (80g 25 calories)

5 foods for the best beach body

5 foods for the best beach body

imagesAs we think about sunscreen, sandals and siestas we much also spare a thought for our bodies.  There’s still time to get that beach beautiful body you’ve always wanted

Just make sure you eat plenty of the 5 foods listed below.  It would also help if you did some exercise, watched your portion size and for the time being cut down on the alcohol


Lower fat dairy products

One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A, and one of the best places imagesto get it is lower-fat dairy products. If you are vegan oat milk contains this useful vitamin. Have a vitamin packed milk/yoghurt shake using skimmed milk or low fat yoghurt with your favourite fruit

Another chief source of Vitamin A (beta carotene) are carrots, which can be juiced and blended into a smoothie, as well as numerous other culinary ways.



Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and plums are not only bursting with fibre to keep you fuller for longer but they are also packed with healthy antioxidants.  They imagesmop up free radicals – produced for example when you have sun exposure.  They also contain good amounts of viatamin C, which will help with collagen production so your skin will look firmer.  Add these fruits to your cereals, eat with low fat yoghurts or bake into a crumble made with a healthy selenium packed oaty topping



imagesWater has a vital role in skin hydration; keeping it looking healthy and even younger. The recommendation is to drink about eight glasses (2 litres) every day.  In addition to keeping cells hydrated, water helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out, which will automatically leave skin looking better.

When you are properly hydrated, you also sweat more efficiently. Doing this helps keep skin clean and clear as well.


Avocado’s are a great food for the body they contain monosaturated fat which means they imagesalso contain Vitamin E (along with Vitamins B and K), which is great for skin tone it also is known to slow the aging process.  The fat in avocados can also lessen your LDL cholesterol (the bad sort!).  Half an avocado contains 180 calories and is great with prawns in a salad or blitz into a dip with chillies, lime juice and coriander.

Beauty Tip:

Don’t throw away the avocado skin; turn it inside out and rub it on your face and hands.  Don’t worry you will look like Shrek but it will be worth it.  Leave to do its magic for 5 minutes then rinse off with warm water.  The vitamin E that is at its most concentrated just under the skin of the avocado will make your skin looks hydrated, plump and soft



This humble herb is great for any beach preparation.  It has a cooling effect on the body, so ideal for this lovely hot spell we are having!  It is also packed with vitamin A, which is imagesgreat for firming the skin.  Its anti-bloating effect will also make your flatter stomach the envy of others on the beach

Add a handful of washed leaves to a pot of hot water and you have a delicious, refreshing cuppa, or sprinkle chopped mint on salads for a fresh minty zing or add to fruit salads to bring out the natural flavours of strawberries, raspberries, pineapple and mangos

imagesSo don’t delay, start today and you will be the owner of a beautiful beach body!

Your diet could affect your sleeping pattern

Your diet could affect your sleeping pattern

imagesWith our increasingly stressful day to day lives, problems such as sleep apnoea and insomnia are becoming more common. New technology and deeper research has afforded us many solutions to cure or prevent these sleeping problems, but the newest discovery in sleep research is that our diet can have an effect on our sleeping pattern.


imagesThe health benefits of sleep are endless – from better concentration to improved memory, we all feel a little better after having had a good rest. Sleep isn’t just beneficial to your mental health either – it’s also been scientifically proven to lower stress levels by reducing inflammation, which is one of the lead causes of fatal conditions such as heart disease. To make sure you get the best quality of sleep, consider investing in a bed from Bedstar and make sure your bedroom is free of distractions such as smartphones, tablets or televisions.


imagesNext up, take a look at what you’re eating – studies have shown that there are a number of foods that can naturally aid our sleep. Consider adding a few more bananas to your diet. They contain high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you sleepy, so they can be a great help in combating insomnia.


Your fridge may be the best place to look if you’re having trouble sleeping. It’s not just an old wives’ tale – a glass of warm milk really can help you to relax and unwind in order to imagesget that essential shut eye. Many dairy products, such as yoghurt, cheese and eggs are all rich in the aforementioned tryptophan, so make sure you can implement these into your diet as much as possible. The famous ‘cheese before bed’ tale has also been disproven too, so you can sleep easy without fear of nightmares!


Another thing to consider when changing your diet to improve your sleep is to look at your eating patterns. It’s best advised not to eat a heavy meal just before going to bed as this disrupts the sleep-hormone melatonin-production cycle. If your blood flow is too focused on digesting a heavy meal, it will speed up your metabolic rate, which needs to be slowed in order to sleep well. Try to avoid eating three hours before bed in order to maintain an efficient process.


imagesFinally, don’t forget to stay away from the cardinal sins of sleep, such as drinking alcohol before bed. Alcohol is a depressant which may make you want to pass out quickly, but once its depressant effects have worn off, it triggers an alertness function in your brain that makes you wake up earlier than natural. Drink water before bed if you must have a few drinks, and keep all sugary snacks to a minimum.

Where is the best veggie food in Nottingham?

Veg out!

imagesThere are some exciting things on the horizon for Nutrition Coach my nutrition and healthy eating business. The past few weeks have been both busy and rewarding!



imagesIn addition to coaching my clients about adopting healthy eating approaches and running my successful 5:2 fast diet class, one project that has been keeping me busy is working with Nottingham’s local paper the ‘Nottingham Post’.


I have been a vegetarian for many years and as a chef and nutritionist I am often frustrated IMG_1411by the veggie options on offer when I eat out.  So I contacted the Post and pitched the idea of ‘Veg Out’; each month I will be dining out at a local establishment and writing about my experience.  I will be looking at the vegetarian options on offer, their nutritional balance and how adaptable the restaurant is to my vegetarian needs


IMG_1211I plan to visit a good mix of restaurants from small independents to larger chains, as well as vegetarian specialists. My hope is to highlight all the good veggie food that is out there and to recognise the restaurants that are flying the veggie flag


The paper is doing a feature about me to launch the idea this Saturday 19th July with my first review appearing in the paper on Wednesday 23rd July.  I will then publish a review on the last Wednesday of each month

IMG_1455My first veggie review is of the Kiosk in Sherwood, and its now in todays Nottingham Post (23rd July) I will review another eatery on the last Wednesday of every month.  For more info about the Kiosk, why not visit their FaceBook page The Kiosk



If you know of any restaurants in Nottingham (and surrounding areas) that offer a good choice of vegetarian food, and you think I would enjoy reviewing them. please post your comments


Nottm post feature photo


The Nottingham Post feature has now been published

Bon Appétit!