5 top tips for weight loss

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

weight loss
I have previously published an article on the Nutritionist Resource website all about how to lose weight and keep it off.

Did you know that in England over 61% of adults are overweight or obese? If you’d like to get healthier and fitter why not try my simple tips to help with your weight-loss efforts.

Tip #1

Keep a food diary, many of us forget about the food we eat in the car, the latte we drink on the way to work or the children’s leftovers.  Why not download and print my example of a food diary so you can keep an accurate record and start to make some changes

Tip #2

tofu-eggAlways eat breakfast – even if it is just yoghurt (dairy or non dairy) with some blueberries or strawberries and a tablespoon of raw oats.  This provides you with protein and vitamins that will fuel you until lunchtime, as well as counting towards one of your 5 a-day

Or delicious scrambled eggs or tofu eggs for those who have more time for a relaxed breakfast.  Protein is a great for making you feel nice and full and both tofu and eggs are packed with protein and a range of 18 vitamins and minerals.

 

Tip #3

Mindful eating

 

Be mindful, research has shown that not paying attention to our food makes us more prone to snacking later. So put down that phone, tablet, laptop and enjoy what you are eating; How does it look, taste, smell?

 

 

Tip #4

IMG_2782Practice portion control.  Did you know crisps use to be sold in 25g bags, now it ranges from 30g to 150g (for the large sharing bags). In Briton we polish off six billion packets of crisps a year or almost 100 packets per person, so over our lifetime that’s lots of extra calories!

A recommended portion size of your favourite breakfast cereal is usually 30g.  Have you ever weighed out how much you eat.  Try this morning, you may be surprised just how much that is

Tip #5

IMG_3011If chocolate is your thing,  before you pop a piece in your mouth imagine what it smells like, think about the rich, deep chocolatey taste, how will it feel as it melts and coats your mouth.  Then pop that piece in.   Doing that simply exercise will make you eat less

 

Do you have a favourite weight loss tip that you could share?

Hangovers – the morning after!

The morning after…..Hangover cures 

alcoholThat double vodka, large glass of wine or a whole bottle or one more for the road seemed like a good idea last night.  But this morning it’s a different story, you feel nauseous, thirsty, have a headache, feel tired; basically you’re hungover

So how can you start to feel like your old self again?

 

  • Hydration – water is the best thing, sip it in case your stomach reacts.  If you prefer and have them available an isotonic drink is a good way to replenish lost fluids and minerals.  But they can be expensive and have a fair amount of sugar.  An answer is to make your own; mix one part orange juice, one part water and a pinch of salt.

IMG_9999This is exactly what I told a Notts Tv reporter when he visited me yesterday

Click on this Youtube link to hear the 30 second snippet

https://youtu.be/XsWPvQ0O-dc

 

 

  • If you have a headache water will help with the dehydration and a painkiller could also ease the discomfort.  Be careful with aspirin based medication as they can upset your stomach
  • Eating some protein can aid recovery, especially eggs as they contain  a protein called taurine that helps the liver to recover
  • If you can’t stomach eggs, a bowl of porridge will restore some energy especially if its served with some fresh fruit like a banana, which will help replace your depleted potassium levels
  • fruitA fruit smoothie made with yoghurt will also give you some much needed protein.
  • failing that some wholemeal toast with either jam or wholenut peanut butter
  • Try and take some gentle exercise, a walk would be a great idea as it releases  ‘feel good’ endorphins
  • Try and resit the temptation to have too many cups of strong coffee.  Caffeine can upset your stomach and it also acts as a diuretic increasing your dehydration
  • Don’t overdo the amount of sugar you consume as it produces an energy spike and then a crash, leaving you feeling more tired and lethargic

To minimise some of the symptoms of over indulgence take painkillers with a pint of water before you go to sleep   That way you may wakeup feeling more human!  

 

 

 

 

Spinach and butter bean gnocchi

Spinach and butter bean gnocchi

Serves 3, 340 calories per serving

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_3874This is a great vegan dish to celebrate veganuary.  It’s also a great way to use up some leftover tinned spinach from making your favourite curry (but fresh or frozen is equally as good).  It is also really adaptable; so you can use your favourite beans like cannellini, borlotti, chick peas etc.  If you like it a bit spicier then add more chilli, pepper and paprika

The beans add some really good quality low fat protein, the spinach is a great source of fibre and vitamins – especially A,E and K,  which makes it great for bone health

1 (75g) onion

½ fresh chilli

IMG_3868200g chopped spinach (fresh, frozen or tinned)

1 garlic clove

1 tsp olive oil

1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes

1 tin butter beans

50g pitted olives

1 tsp capers (optional)

½ tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

1 packet dried gnocchi

Splash of lemon juice

Handful of chopped mint

 

 

Fry the chopped onion gently in a pan with the olive oil for 5 minutes until it softens. Add the chilli and chopped garlic and cook for a few more minutes

IMG_3871Add the drained tinned spinach (or the frozen or washed fresh spinach), tinned tomatoes and drained and rinsed butter beans and stir thoroughly. Cook on a medium heat until it all starts to bubble, reduce to a simmer and add in the chopped olives (I prefer the green ones), capers (if you are using them) and the paprika.

 

IMG_3869Have a taste and add a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly

IMG_3872

In the meantime put a pan of water on to boil as soon at it starts bubbling tip in the gnocchi. It is ready when each one pops up to the surface. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and tip into the spinach sauce and stir to mix

 

IMG_3876

 

Add a splash of lemon juice and a handful of chopped mint and serve in 3 warmed bowls

Asian Parsnip soup

Asian Parsnip soup – serves 6

This is a great way to use those wonderful sweet and seasonal parsnips. Not only are they full of slow releasing fibre to keep you nice and full but they are also jam packed with immune boosting vitamin C.

2 or 150g small onions

2 tsp olive oil

img_93881 tbls garam masala and ginger/garlic paste

1 tsp chili flakes

1 ½ ltr veggie stock, either made with 3 tsp bouillon powder or 1 stock cube and boiling water

6  or 600g parsnips

Handful of fresh coriander or parsley leaves

Soya/oat cream (optional)

1 tin of chickpeas (optional)

 

In a large saucepan add the oil and heat. Peel and chop the onions and fry in the oil until soft but not coloured. Add the spices and paste* and cook until its smells really aromatic (about 5 minutes). Keep moving the onions and spices to stop them sticking or burning

* You can also use a clove of garlic and 1 tsp ground ginger or fresh ginger instead of the ginger/garlic paste

img_2094-768x1024Add the chopped parsnips (it’s not necessary to peel the parsnips, although you can if you want) and the stock. Stir, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the parsnips are soft.

 

Using a hand blender (or food processor, blender or nutribullet), blend until smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.

This little 15 second video shows you how easy it is to blend the soup

Soup

 

The soup can now be served. However to make it more substantial and to increase the fibre and protein content add a tin of chickpeas (and their water). Finish with a swirl of non-dairy cream

Alpro Go On – review

Alpro Go On – review

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

alpro-topWhat better way to celebrate World vegan month than taste and review a new vegan snack.  Alpro Go On is described as “the new plant-based alternative to strained yogurt”.  We all know the importance of calcium within a healthy balanced diet for bone building, blood clotting, nerve signalling and muscle contraction.

 

We also all need protein, the essential building block to help your body repair cells and make new ones

So a product that contains 18% (144mg) of our daily amount of calcium and nearly 8g of protein is not to be sniffed at.

More nutrition facts

I tried the blackcurrant flavour, there is also a mango and a passion fruit version.  The information on the pot is for both 100 and 150g.  Lets concentrate on 150g, which is the size of the container.

alpro-nutrition

You’ll consume 122 calories, 4.2g of fat (just over 1 teaspoon) but only 0.8 is saturated, 11.3g of sugar (nearly 4 teaspoons), 3g of fibre, 7.7g of protein and a collection of added vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, B12, E and calcium.  Powerful probiotic yoghurt cultures (S. thermopiles, L. bulgaricus) have also been added, these are great for aiding digestion.

The protein content in the ‘Go on’ range is certainly higher than any of Alpro’s other yogurts

How does that compare with a non vegan strained yoghurt, lets find out  

Danone Danio Blueberry Yoghurt 150g is also described as a high protein low fat strained yogurt with a fruit layer.  

alpro-danone

alpro-sideAlpro’s Go on has fewer calories, less sugar & saturated fat and more fibre.  Danone’s Danio has less fat, more protein and more calcium

On balance they are fairly similar, so Alpro’s version provides a good vegan alternative if you fancy a protein rich yoghurt.  The high fibre content will also keep you feeling fuller for longer. However, I would like to see a lower sugar content.

 

But does it taste good?!

alpro-spoonThe answer is most definitely …… YES!

The texture is very firm, the fruit base gives a lovely fresh taste and it isn’t overly sweet. The different textures in the layers makes it a nice eating experience.  The 150g serving of high protein makes it the perfect mid-morning or afternoon treat.  It will also make a great post-workout snack.  Add some extra fresh fruit and it makes a great dessert.  All for 85p, at most supermarkets and health food shops

These will become a regular addition to my shopping list

Beetroot risotto

Beetroot risotto with pearl barley and quinoa

Serves 2, 320 calories per serving

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4244This risotto has been inspired by Jack Monroe’s risotto recipe in the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook

 

 

vegan cookery poster jpeg

 

And is the perfect recipe for my Vegan cookery class to make this week!

The use of beetroot not only adds colour and a wonderful earthy taste but bags of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and iron. The pearl barley makes a healthy nutritional change to arborio rice: Its high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. By adding quinoa the protein content really increases, making this a very filling and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dish

 

IMG_4276250g fresh beetroot, peeled and diced (or use the pre-cooked vacuum packs)

500 ml vegetable stock – either leftover stock from cooking some veggies or hot water and 1 teaspoon veg bouillon powder

2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 fat garlic clove – crushed

1 small leek (80g) finely sliced

large pinch dried chilli flakes

IMG_4282

Pearl barley

100g pearl barley and 25g of quinoa

50ml red or white wine (or water)

100g frozen peas (or broad beans)

2 tbls chopped mint and parsley

salt and ground black pepper

 

IMG_4296flavoured drizzle oil (optional)

zest and juice of half a lemon (equivalent to 2 tsp)

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

½ tsp horseradish

If you are not using the oil you can substitute the horseradish for the chilli flakes in the main risotto

 

If you are using fresh beetroot put it in a pan and cover with some of the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until tender.

If you are using the vacuum packed variety, miss out this stage and simply open the packet*

IMG_4294*A word of warning! which ever type of beetroot you use, be aware that it stains everything! So your chopping boards, spoons and hands will all be a lovely pink colour by the end of this. You can minimize the pink by wearing rubber gloves to handle the beetroot, cook with a metal spoon (never wooden for beetroot), or use a plastic chopping board

 

Meantime on a medium flame heat the oil in a large IMG_4281shallow pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.   Add the pearl barley and coat with in the oil. Then tip in the wine and allow it to bubble away for a few minutes.

 

Blitz the beetroot in a blender (a nutribullet does a great IMG_4287job), add the stock and chilli (or horseradish) and add a ladleful at a time to the grains. Keep adding a ladleful as soon as it is absorbed. This should take about 30-40 minutes

 

After 15 minutes add the quinoa (this takes less time to cook) and mix in. once the pearl barley and quinoa are soft and fluffy stir in the peas and 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and lots of pepper

 

Serve into 2 warmed bowls

 

Lemon horseradish oil

Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle over the risotto

IMG_4308

 

 

 

Finally scatter over the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs

 

 

 

 

BCAMThis is a great recipe to support breast cancer awareness month.  So why not make a larger amount (its easy to double or triple the ingredients) and invite your friends over.  They can make a donation to your favourite cancer charity like Maggie’s (the cancer support centre inside the grounds of the Nottingham City hospital)

 

November is world vegan month

world-vegan-monthNovember is World vegan month

Taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment, ethical issues about animal welfare, the use of antibiotics and growth stimulants in animal production or the health advantages of a plant-based diet. These are just some of the reasons why an estimated 1 million UK adults are now vegan

 

For some people it’s none of the above but they have allergies to dairy products or are lactose intolerant, hence the increased popularity and availability of soya-based dairy alternatives

But on the whole being a vegan is more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet.

You can now buy ethical clothing, shoes, toiletries and makeup. But for ‘World vegan month’ I’d like to focus on the food aspect of being vegan.

vegan-cakeOver the last year I have seen a number of changes occurring across the Nottingham hospitality landscape.  As well as an increase in wheat/gluten/dairy free cakes and goodies, I have also noticed more vegan options in shops, supermarkets and eateries.

 

For instance did you know that the Peacock Hotel on Mansfield Road, Nottingham has a 100% vegan kitchen, Zaap, a Thai street food restaurant on Maid Marion Way had a good range of vegan options, Cafe Roya in Beestion front-menu-peacockis a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that does amazing food, Chakh le India on Trent Bridge does great vegan starters.  The Parlour in West Bridfgord has an impressive range of vegan cakes.  And the Alley Cafe, which has been around for years is still turning out great healthy vegan food.  Not to be outdone Sainsbury’s has launched a vegan cheese range and Tesco has launched a selection box suitable for vegans

 

Many vegans have a lower BMI (body Mass Index), lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

For some the transition to being vegan is a staged process; they cut down on red meat, then only eat fish, progress to becoming vegetarian then decide to take the plunge and go  for a 100% plant-based diet

 

vegan-shoppingFor those people the move can be manageable and not too daunting. But if your main protein source as a vegetarian has been eggs and dairy then it can seem more of a challenge. But as I’ve mentioned above supermarkets and other retailers are now producing more products that are suitable.

There are now many non-dairy alternatives.  Soya has the most similar nutritional value to milk and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.  Always buy the unsweetened versions for a better nutritional balance.

 

If you think a vegan diet is worth trying then why not come to my vegan cookery classes more info can be obtained by following this link simply veg . I will also be running a Vegan Christmas cookery workshop every Saturday in November ; you can find out more on my blog page vegan merry Christmas

 

Three simple food tips

tofu-eggTip #1 – If you love eggs then consider making scrambled tofu.  It has a similar texture and is delicious.  Many baking recipes can be made without eggs, or use linseeds soaked in water.

Tip #2 – For vegetarians considering the move to a vegan diet start incorporating more beans, pulses, nuts and seeds in to your meals.  These will become the protein staples on a plant-based diet i.e. bean salads, chilli, curries, and pasta dishes.  Use nut butters in sandwiches and savoury dishes. All these protein sources are high in fibre, low in cholesterol and generally low in saturated fat

miso-non-veggieTip #3 - Learn to love labels. Some foods that appear vegan could contain meat or fish by-products. Look out for bonito (fish) in Miso, cochineal or E120 (a red food colouring) found in some alcoholic drinks, bakery, biscuits, desserts, drinks, icings, pie fillings, sauces and sweets. Worcestershire Sauce (anchovies), Marshmallows and jelly sweets (gelatin) or Beer (Isinglass).

 

Eating a balanced diet is important for all of us, however vegans may have to pay particular attention to their intake of B12 and iron.  Some cereals, breads, non dairy spreads and milks etc are fortified with B12 and as long as you have plenty of green leafy veg, dried fruits, pulses, oats and other wholegrain you should be ok for iron.

For more advice about adopting a vegan diet visit the vegan society website

Shreddies with Max Protein

 

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Shreddies with Max Protein

shreddiesThe other day an advert came on the TV, it was for a new version of Shreddies, the malted wheat cereal.  And it got my attention!

According to Nestles website Shreddies with Max Protein is “Delicious Crunchy Oat Granola with SHREDDIES® pieces. Made with Protein from Whole Grain Wheat & Oats. MAXimise your morning!”

But lets look beyond the marketing and crunch some data.

shreddies-p-servingA recommended 45g serving has 181calories, 11g of sugar and 5.85g protein

Now lets compare that to Original Shreddies: A recommended 40g serving has 146 calories, 6g of sugar and 4g protein

shreddies-serving

A couple of things to mention, the recommended portion size of the protein version is bigger, so the sugar content and calories will both increase.  There is almost 3 teaspoons of sugar compared to only 1½ in the original version.

The price may also be a consideration; the original Shreddies 500g box is *£2.49 (49p/100g) and has 12 servings in a box, making it 20p per portion

Protein Shreddies is sold in a 400g box for *£2.49 (61.5p/100g) and has 8 servings in a box, making it 31p per portion

Is the extra 11p per portion worth the additional 1.85g of protein?!

shreddies-o

 

I don’t think it is.  My advice is to buy the original version and serve it with more milk.  A mere 50ml of semi skimmed milk or 60ml of soya milk has 1.8g of protein.

 

 

And judging by the comments on the Nestles website I’m not alone in my negative views

shreddies-p-review shreddies-p-review2

 

 

fuel-protein-bricksNestles are not the only brand to bring out a ‘Protein’ version; Fuel make protein boosted wheat biscuits.  2 biscuits ( a recommended  portion) contain 7.6 g protein and 23g of sugar ( or nearly 6 teaspoons of sugar).  They cost 22½p a portion

 

 

 

oatsOne of the best and cheapest protein packed cereals is porridge OATS, They contain 5.2g of protein), 0.4g of added sugar and a good hit of Fibre to boot.  A supermarkets own brand can work out as little as 6p per serving

Don’t be fooled by the advertising, you are paying extra for increased amounts of calories and sugar!

 

 

*Some supermarkets have both products on offer

“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Do you think you eat a balanced diet? Read on and see if you still feel the same way at the end!

thai-tofu-curryEating a nutritious, balanced diet will help you improve your overall health. In particular, a balanced diet can help:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Reduce your chances of getting cancer
  • You have more energy
  • Keep you well
  • You to lose weight
  • Improve your bowel health
  • Your skin, nails and hair look healthier

 

The two key elements to a healthy balanced diet are:

  • Eat the right amount of food for how active you are, and
  • Eat a variety of foods – this is where the ‘balance’ comes in

The “Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet should include:

  • fruit-and-veg-225x300Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day. Think ‘A rainbow of colour’
  • Fruit like grapefruit or melon eaten before a meal can help fill you up so you are less likely to overeat on higher calorie foods
  • Small amounts of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • Some milk and dairy foods (or diary alternative like soya).  Aim for 3 servings a day.
  • Sufficient meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein i.e. Quorn, tofu and quinoa.  Aim to eat low fat protein at every main meal.
  • Just a small amount of foods high in fat, sugar and salt
  • Keep within the safe alcohol limits (14 units a week for men and women).  Its also advised to have alcohol free days
  • activity exercise walkingDrink plenty of water, about 6-8 glasses (or other fluids) every day: more if you exercise or if the weather is hot
  • Green tea contains two compounds; caffeine and catechises, that may boost your metabolism for a couple of hours.
  • Stay active – aim for 150 minutes of activity a week.  this can include classes at a gym, running, weight training.  But equally housework, gardening, walking and dancing can all count too

 

Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they are eating healthy food they can eat more of it.  This can lead to weight gain in the same way that eating unhealthy foods can, because all foods have calories!

Follow this portion guide and you won’t go far wrong

  • A healthy 75g serving of protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu) is the same size as the palm of your hand
  • A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
  •   A serving of dairy is:
    • 200ml of milk – regardless of full-fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed.
    • 30g hard cheese including cheddar, brie or stilton (around the same size as a matchbox)
    • 150g of plain or fruit yoghurt.
  • A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
  • pasta-portionA serving of rice is half a teacup or 75g (uncooked)
  • A serving of pasta is 75g uncooked which weighs 170g when cooked al dente
  • A serving of vegetables is about 80g or about 2 tablespoons
  • A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.
  • A unit of alcohol is half a pint of standard strength (3 to 5% ABV) beer, lager or cider, or a single pub measure of spirit. A 175 ml glass of wine is about 2 units and alcopops are about 1.5 units. A bottle of white wine has up to 9 units and 650 calories

1 egg frittata

1 egg frittata – 151 calories (197 calories with salad), serves 1

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Eggs are a great source of complete protein and a power house of vitamins and minerals, so make sure you pack plenty in to your diet.  There is no recommended limit on how many eggs people should eat, so go on enjoy an egg to two!

Don’t forget to store them properly – in the fridge

egg1 large free range egg, splash of milk, salt and pepper, 40g courgette, ¼ garlic clove, ¼ (40g) onion, ½ tsp oil, pinch of dried chilli flakes

Add the oil to a small frying pan suitable for a single omelette.  When hot add the chopped courgette and onion.  Cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes.  Break the egg in to a bowl add a splash of milk and lightly whisk with a fork.  Season with pepper and chilli and tip into the pan.

 

 

IMG_0594

Stir with a spatula, when the egg starts to set stop stirring but tilt the pan to move the uncooked egg into any cracks and breaks so it all sets.  Season with salt.

Tip onto a warmed plate and serve with a large salad of mixed leaves, cucumber and tomato (180g, 46 calories)

 If you have a favourite egg recipe why not share it

Non-fast day additions

Double the recipe – 302 calories in total

Add a 30g grated cheese (125 calories) or feta (90 calories)