Pancake day

Pancake day

If you’ve never flipped before then flip today!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

Basic pancake recipe

Makes about 8IMG_0706

110g plain wholemeal  flour or ground oats (ground in a coffee grinder or nutribullet)

1 large egg

330ml milk, or half milk half water (you can also use coconut/ almond/ soya/oat milk)

Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Whisk the egg and milk together in a jug or bowl. Pour about a quarter of the milk/egg mixture into the well, plus a pinch of salt.

Whisk together, drawing in the flour gradually, until it is all incorporated as a smooth paste. Add the rest of the milk/egg and whisk until smooth.

If you have time, leave to rest for an hour or overnight in the fridge: this really does make for a lighter pancake. But it’s not compulsory.

imagesLightly oil a small frying pan and heat on a medium flame.  Pour in a ladle spoonful of the batter and tip the pan so that the batter coats the bottom. Cook for a few minutes then flip the pancake over and cook for another minute.  Tip onto a plate and make another one.  The first pancake may stick and not be perfect but persevere they will get better

Now its time to pimp up your pancake!

  • imagesSpread a large teaspoon of wholenut peanut butter onto your pancake and add a sliced banana. if the peanut butter is too thick water it down with a splash of milk
  • Scramble two eggs (with a pinch of dried chilli flakes) and wilt a handful of spinach. or a couple of blocks of frozen spinach cooked  Spread the spinach over the pancake.  Sprinkle with ground black pepper and top with IMG_5114scrambled egg
  • Warm two handfuls of blueberries in a dry frying pan, until a few burst. Pour onto the pancake drizzle a small amount of runny honey and scatter over a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds serve with a dollop of Skry yoghurt for a great protein boost
  • IMG_3612Spread a table spoon of natural or dairy free yoghurt over the pancake, add a few chunks of fresh pineapple and sprinkle over a few dried chilli flakes
  • imagesFry some mushrooms and garlic in a small amount of oil.  Add a few leaves of fresh thyme or a pinch of dried.  Add a tablespoon of natural or non dairy yoghurt and a large pinch of black pepper.  Warm through and spoon on to the pancake

Why not share how you pimped your pancakes this year?

Healthy veggie Singapore noodles

Healthy veggie Singapore noodles – serves 4, 350 calories per portion 

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website


  • IMG_52913 x 150g packets of straight to wok wholemeal noodles or some spiralised courgette or sweet potato ‘noodles’
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • 100g broccoli, including the stalks cut into florets
  • 85g of frozen peas
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 “ piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 150g of defrosted Quorn pieces or tofu
  • 50g unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1 heaped tbsp curry pasteIMG_1381
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 15g coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • lime wedges, for squeezing or a splash of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick wok and stir-fry the broccoli and peppers with the garlic, chilli and ginger for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Quorn or tofu and cook for a further 5 minutes,  add some hot water if its sticking or too dry . Tip on to a plate and keep warm.  Add the curry paste to the pan, stir-fry for a few seconds then add 150ml water and the soy sauce. Allow to bubble then add the noodles and beansprouts, and toss together to coat. Cook for 3-4 minutes
  • IMG_1464Return the vegetables and Quorn/tofu to the wok with the chopped coriander, spring onions and cashew nuts. Stir well and serve with lime wedges or add a splash of lemon juice.  Sprinkle over the sesame seeds

If you’d like to know more about healthy takeaways have a look at a previous blog

Chinese New Year 2016

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

year of MonkeyMonday is the start of the Chinese New Year, which marks the beginning of the Year of the Monkey.

To celebrate why not cook a healthy Chinese meal.  If you need inspiration why not try my ‘Meat Free Monday’ dish –  Veggie Singapore noodle dish.  It may be much healthier than many of the dishes you can order from your local takeaway.

IMG_1464Many of the foods from takeaways contain a lot of fat, salt and in many cases sugar.  For instance a Chinese sweet and sour chicken, egg fried rice and vegetable spring rolls could contain a massive 1,436 calories and 60g of fat!  That’s almost ¾ of the calories and 87% of the fat an average woman should have in a whole day.  Some Chinese takeaways can also contain high amounts of sugar up to 19 teaspoons, that’s over 3 times the daily recommended guidelines

But why should you worry about the amounts of fat, salt and sugar in your takeaways?

imagesSalt has been linked to high blood pressure, which can result in heart disease and strokes.

Eating sugar causes your blood sugar levels to spike quickly, leading to increased insulin production. Higher insulin levels can inhibit the production of growth hormones and weaken your immune system. High insulin levels also contribute to weight gain, and, over time, the stress on your body can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

Eating a diet high in saturated fat can cause the level of cholesterol in your blood to build up over time. Raised cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease.

If you decide to have a takeaway rather than a healthy home cooked meal then consider making just one simple change

imagesChoose boiled rather than egg fried rice – a standard carton of egg fried rice contains 625 calories and 32g of fat while boiled has just 370 calories and 1g of fat.  Even better would be to have wholegran rice.  But I don’t know any takeaway that serves that – do you?



So instead why now prepare a bag of microwavable wholegrain rice – 2 minutes later you’ll have a delicious heap of steaming high fibre goodness

Spicy carrot and mint soup

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

Carrot and mint soup – serves 3, 105 calories

IMG_1918This is a really quick and easy soup to make.  If you like a bit more spice then add the maximum amounts, but if you like it a bit more mellow just cut the amounts down. If you haven’t got a hand blender you can use a potato masher and a bit of elbow grease, or leave it chunky.

It is a great soup to have on your 5:2 eating regime.  Eat as it is on your fasting day for 105 calories per serving, or add ½ can of drained cannellini beans (105 calories) or serve with some crusty sourdough bread (180 calories per slice)


 1 ½ tsp vegetable oil

½ – 1 teaspoon curry powder

¼ – ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

IMG_19114 medium  (400g) carrots, peeled and thinly sliced or grated

2 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced

½  medium  (75g) onion or leek, coarsely chopped

550ml reduced-sodium vegetable broth, made with 1 tsp vegetable bouillon and hot water, or left over water from cooking vegetables

1 tsp lemon juice

6g (large handful) mint leaves, chopped

Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste


In a saucepan, over low heat warm the oil then add the curry powder and chilli, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in carrots, celery and onion and coat in the oil. Cook with the lid on (stirring frequently) for 10 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.


imagesRemove from the heat and blend using a stick blender. Add most of the chopped mint. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve in bowls and sprinkle over the remaining mint

Sugar – why is it always in the news?!

Sugar – why is it always in the news?!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

There is now a war on sugar and probably for good reason.  But the type I mean is the white IMG_4915stuff, either in its pure form or added in large quantities to cakes, biscuits, sweets, chocolates, tomato sauce, soups, cereals in fact in many, many mass produced foods.  The manufacturers euphemistically call it ‘free sugar’.  A high sugar diet  could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer

Many of you have already decided to say ‘No’ to sugar and are looking at ways to reduce it.  As a nutrition coach some of my clients are coming to me and asking the same question and fruit and veglooking for quick ways to cut back on sugar.  They often decide that cutting out fruit is the answer. I don’t think so; fructose is the natural sugar present in fruits and vegetables.  These are also sugars but come with vitamins, minerals and fibre and therefore should form part of a healthy balanced diet



Sugar WWThis article has featured in the West Bridgford Wire



So what’s out there to help us make sure our families don’t consume too much sugar? Change4Life, part of Public Health England haimagesve recently launched a  ‘Sugar Smart’ App.  A new campaign that highlights the high levels of sugar found in children’s everyday foods and drinks,  that hopes to encourage parents to get “Sugar Smart” and take control of their children’s sugar intake


Have you downloaded the App yet;  If so what do you think?

A local journalist, Jenny Thomas contacted me to get my views on the App, here’s an extract of the interview; it’s just over a minute long


_75844736_2010623_daily_added_sugar_v3One of the reasons why sugar has been in the news is that tooth decay is the single biggest reason for hospital admissions for children under 3.




Try these simple tips and swaps for helping to reduce the sugar intake of the whole family

  •  Instead of sugary fizzy drinks or sugary squash, go for water, lower fat milks and no added sugar drinks.
  • Remember that even unsweetened fruit juice is sugary, so limit the amount you have to no more than 150ml a day, and if possible add water.
  • If you prefer fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water.
  • Swap cakes or biscuits for malt loaf with mashed banana or rice cake with peanut butter.
  • If you take sugar in hot drinks or add sugar to your breakfast cereal, gradually reduce the amount until you can cut it out altogether.
  • Rather than spreading jam, marmalade, syrup, treacle or honey on your toast, try a sliced banana or lower-fat cream cheese instead.
  • sugar-in-sweetsCheck nutrition labels to help you pick the foods with less added sugar, or go for the low-sugar version.
  • To convert grams to teaspoons divide by 4 i.e. 20g = 5 tsp
  • Try halving the sugar you use in your recipes – it works for most things except jam, meringues and ice cream.
  • Choose tins of fruit in juice rather than syrup.
  • Choose wholegrain breakfast cereals, but not those coated with sugar or honey.

Another tip is to be mindful, by that I mean be aware of what you are doing.  Before you automatically reach for a biscuit to go with your tea ask yourself do you really need it or is it just a habit.  Have you always added sugar to your porridge or would a mashed banana be just as good.  Do think consciously and you may find you don’t need all that sugary stuff

I explain more about mindfulness in this little clip when Jenny Thomas interviewed me

(Its 2 ½ minutes long)


A sugar tax

This campaign is gathering momentum and will probably reach a decision after the much awaited obesity strategy is published next month.  If products that we buy have a high sugar content should a tax be paid by the individual, shops and supermarkets or manufactures?

What do you think; would a sugar tax work, and who pays?

IMG_4811The NHS is already proposing a 20% tax on all sugary drinks and foods in NHS cafes to be introduced by 2020.

Is a tax necessary? Personally I think something needs to be done to tackle the obesity epidemic

One in five children is obese by the time they finish primary school. Include those classed as overweight and the figure jumps to one in three.

Children consume three times as much sugar as they should – with a third of that coming from fizzy drinks. Sugar taxes have been applied in other countries and there is evidence it will work here.

Veg out, restaurant review – Zaap, Nottingham

Veg out – Zaap – did they Thai hard to please!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

IMG_4784As a vegetarian, eating out can be a bit of a nightmare for me, but generally I do really well when I try Asian cuisine. So I have high or should that be ‘Thai‘ hopes when I visited Zapp, which promised Thai street food in the heart of Nottingham


IMG_5195My review of the veggie options at Zaap is in today’s Nottingham Post (27/1/16) and on their website Nottingham Post Zaap review

They have certainly gone to town on trying to recreate a typical street scene, and you will either love it for its kitchness or hate it for its tackiness. I actually loved IMG_4858it. I managed to book a table on a busy Saturday night for 8 people. We were seated very quickly and then left to look at the extensive menu. But really all we did was look around at all the artwork, the open kitchen and play about on the tuk tuk bike. But eventually we concentrated on the menu and made our choices


I’d previously phoned ahead and asked about veggie options and they said most recipes could be adapted, just ask the server. So I did!

I ordered edamame (Soya) beans – they look a bit like mange tout and are full of protein and are delicious. A good start. For my main course I decided on Pad Pak Kanar – and for those that don’t know its Stir fried Spring Greens with oyster sauce, garlic and chilli, served with jasmine rice. I spoke to the server and explained that I was veggie and that for me that meant no fish or meat so the oyster sauce was out. She said it would be made with veggie sauce and added tofu. Happy days!

My fellow guests were amazed at the choice so took their time to order. But eventually settled on corn cakes, tiger prawns in batter, Thai fish cakes, spring rolls and chicken skewers with satay sauce. The beauty of this type of food (unless you are veggie) is that you can share and mix and match.

For main course they ordered various meat and fish noodle dishes a few fish curries all washed down with copious amount of beer! They also have a good selection of non IMG_4785alcohol drinks., like the An Chan Soda – 
Butterfly pea juice with soda water and lemon juice. Very tasty and not too sweet


The service is exceptionally quick and many of the mains arrived within a few minutes of the starters so the table was groaning under the weight of all that tasty food

From a nutrition point of view many of the dishes are either fried or deep fried making them quite calorific and a bit oily. But they nearly all came with salad of some description. The rice was white jasmine or stirfied but I would have loved to have seen and eaten some wholegrain rice, for extra fibre and a lower GI

All of us really enjoyed our food, it was very hot and spicy – even the mild ones had a decent kick so be aware when ordering the dishes with a spicy symbol – they may blow your head off!

Zaap is a place best experienced in a group. It has lots to keep your attention and interest, the service is quick and efficient, the prices are reasonable. And there is sufficient vegetarian choices, if you explain exactly what you can and can’t eat. I shall definitely return

Shrek the smoothie!

Shrek the smoothie!

smoothieIn celebration of the fact that this week is ‘National Breakfast’ week and Veganuary, I thought I’d share with you my verdant green smoothie;  ‘Shrek the smoothie’ has an intense mineral hit thanks to the greens.  Smoothies are a good choice if you don’t fancy whoegrain cereal like porridge or weetabix, and you haven’t got time to prepare beans on toast.  This is a quick, tasty and nutritious drink that you can have on the go if time is short

  • IMG_2210240ml of unsweetened almond/soya/coconut or skimmed milk
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh washed spinach or kale (frozen is also fine and it means you can dispense with the ice cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed/linseed or sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 banana or a handful of fresh pineapple cut in to chunks



Place all the ingredients in a blender or nutribullet, starting with milk first

Pulse on high until completely blended.

If you want it colder add a few more ice cubes.

Do you have favourite smoothie recipe, I’d love to hear about it

Should the day start with breakfast?

Should the day start with breakfast?

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

From the 24th January you have seven days in which to celebrate national breakfast week; It is an ideal opportunity to promote the wealth of wonderful breakfast produce on offer around the UK.

Breakfast comes from the word ‘break fast.’- the first meal you have after a long period of abstinence. So yes it is important but it doesn’t have to be eaten immediately after waking up. Some people’s digestion is a bit sluggish and like me they might like to start the day with a glass of hot water and lemon; there are lots of claims about the health benefits of IMG_3797consuming this drink from weight loss, to detox, to liver cleanse. I drink it because I like the taste and it is gentle on the stomach.  An hour or so later I then have my breakfast; usually homemade muesli, porridge, or scrambled eggs on toast. Protein is great for keeping you full until lunch and eggs are particularly good and could help you to eat fewer calories for the rest of the day

Eggs are a great way to start the day.  Being a ‘complete’ source of protein, they contain all eight essential amino acids; the ones you can’t make in your body and must obtain from the foods you eat.  As well as protein they are also high in essential fatty acids, both of which have a satiety value that helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.

A 2008 study (International Journal of Obesity August 5, 2008) supports previous research which showed that people who ate eggs for breakfast felt more satisfied and ate fewer calories at the following meal.


If I had a choice between a sugary cereal or nothing at all, I’d probably take nothing at all and IMG_2182about 10ish I’d have a handful of nuts and seeds or a rice cake and peanut butter (not always with pomegranate seeds but they are delicious!) or wholemeal toast; all would give me slow releasing energy and good protein. But if that weren’t possible I’d have a small bowl of the sugary cereal with some fresh fruit and some protein and calcium rich milk (or non dairy alternative). Doing so would however potentially give me up to 3 teaspoons of sugar



Extracts of this blog have appeared in todays (23/1/16) Nottingham Post, its also available online at Nottingham Post national Breakfast Week

Some people who like a sweet start to the day and will often have a coffee with a muffin on the way to work. What they may not appreciate is the muffin could have up toIMG_4811 10 teaspoons of sugar and 500 calories. That’s on top of a 250 calorie and 5 teaspoon ladened latte

To put that in contact, it is recommended that our daily sugar consumption should be no more than 25g or 6 teaspoons


I prefer a savoury start to the day and as a treat love having a IMG_4458lazy brunch at a café. My favourite place so far has been Bills restaurant In Nottingham; its rather pricey so it wouldn’t be my regular haunt. A more affordable and equally tasty place is The Kiosk in Sherwood. Their Middle Eastern Fried Egg sandwich is delicious and very reasonably priced


Do you go out for breakfast, if so where’s your favourite place, or are you a breakfast skipper and prefer to have just a cuppa?





The truth about detox!


For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

For many January is all about change and regrouping and trying to banish those Christmas excesses, so we join a gym, we make new years resolutions and we may try some form of detox.

imagesThis is a busy time for me because new clients want to make a fresh start and come to me hoping for a quick fix, a magic pill or a diet that will have then dropping the pounds in no time.  My friend and fellow therapist Misia Smith of Soothe Therapies also felt that at this time of year her clients wanted some unctuous lotions and potions that would rejuvenate, moisturise and rehydrate skin and cells that had been mistreated over the festive period

Detox February-March16


So we decided the best course of action was to help our clients and potential clients by dispelling some of the detox myths.  Our full article, which appeared in Nottingham Local News can be read at


I believe there is no quick fix when it comes to permanent weight loss; we can all starve ourselves for a few days to fit in to that ever so slightly tight dress; we can also eat watermelon, grapefruit, cabbage, or whatever is the latest fad at every meal for about a week in order to drop half a stone.  But the weight will inevitably creep back on (and then some!)

imagesSo I always advocate small but permanent changes, starting with adding more veg and fruit to your diet.  Why, because we need to help the body to do what it does properly and antioxidants are the key

Your body (via the skin, gut, liver and kidney) constantly filters out, breaks down and excretes toxins and waste products like alcohol, medications, dead cells, chemicals from pollution and bacteria.

IMG_3011In a nutshell, If you want to maintain peak health then the best approach is a balanced diet, with at least five portions (80g) of vegetables and fruit a day; small portions of wholegrain carbs, regular amounts of protein like lean meat, fish, beans and pulses, eggs, tofu and dairy products. Drink plenty of water (2 litres) and moderate your consumption of alcohol and caffeine.  And have the occasional treat like dark chocolate

And importantly quit smoking

To help your body do what it does naturally try and incorporate the following into your meals




  • Fibre from vegetables and fruit and wholegrains, like pasta, rice and oats
  • A rainbow of colours’ – a wide variety of vegetables and fruit will provide your body with plenty of antioxidants (vitamin C, beta carotene and vitamin E), B vitamins, calcium, and trace minerals to protect your organs from damage and help them do their job effectively.


chopped veggies

chopped veggies

  • Orange and red vegetables and fruits are especially high in antioxidants i.e. berries, sweat potatoes, red peppers, tomatoes, oranges, butternut squash, chilli, carrots, apricots
  • Some green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are also rich in beta-carotene.
  • Almonds, safflower, corn and soybean oils, mangos and nuts are all high in vitamin E
  • Keep hydrated – it helps the kidneys to work effectively. Urine should be a pale straw colour
  • Limit the amount of processed foods you eat (these are often high in salt) to promote water loss. Cranberries, celery, asparagus and herbal teas can also help with water loss
  • Green tea is full of antioxidants and could help with a natural detox
  • If you are looking to lose weight then consider reducing portion sizes, and don’t forget to be active every day.


The one supplement that keeps cropping up when you mention detox is Milk-thistle or Salymarin. However if you regularly include the above foods into your meals and snacks it is generally unnecessary to take additional supplements

I’d love to hear your stories – Have you tried detoxing, if so what did you do and did it work?

Tomato and butter bean bruschetta

Tomato and butter bean bruschetta, serves 4 as a starter – 200 calories per portion

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website


Today is Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing IMG_1709
day of the year, so help fight off the winter blues by making this simple yet tasty bruschetta dish.  It contains lots of minerals, antioxidants and wholemeal carbs to lift your spirits.  And for good measure you could sprinkle some chopped Brazil nuts on top for their mood enhancing selenium content

This is one of my favourite starters,  It is really simple to make and any left overs can be used to make a great salad when mixed with some left over quinoa, wholemeal pasta, giant couscous.  The beans you add can vary according to whats in your cupboard, so feel free to add cannellini beans, chickpeas, borlotti, red kidney beans etc.  And of course you can also vary the bread you use, as long as it is a rustic style like a sourdough, unsliced wholemeal or multigrain etc


1 tin of butter beans

20 chopped fresh cherry tomatoes

2 tbls chopped sundried tomatoes

1 tbls oil from the sundried tomatoes

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper

2 tbls green olives, pitted and chopped

1 plump garlic clove, crushed

½ tbls olive oil

Ground black pepper

8 fresh basil – torn

4 slices of sourdough


  • IMG_1702Drain and rinse the butter beans and place in a bowl add the chopped fresh and sundried tomatoes.  Pour in the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary
  • Make the tapenade by blending the olives and garlic clove with a stick blender or nutribullet , add pepper to taste
  • In the meantime heat a hot griddle pan and rub the sliced sourdough bread with the oil and place on to the hot griddle pan.  Grill on both sides until crispy and marked with the hot pan lines.


Now assemble the dish by placing a slice of the toasted bread on to a plate, spread some of the tapenade over and top with the butter bean and tomato mixture.  Finally , sprinkle over a few torn basil leaves.  Repeat with the other 3 slices and serve

If you have your own version of this recipe I’d love to hear about it