Are you on track for a healthier 2018?

Are you on track for a healthier 2018?

On the first of January did you make your New Years resolutions, and was one of them to lose weight this year, or get fitter, or reduce your cholesterol levels?

time for change

How’s that going?

Making big sweeping changes to your life is hard, that’s why most resolutions last for about 3-6 weeks before you slip back to your old ways.

A current client has said, “I now understand when I eat something different how it affects my calorie intake.”

As a nutrition coach, based in West Bridgford, Nottingham I help clients to set realistic goals by using CBT (Cognitive Behavioural CBTTherapy) techniques to turn negative feelings into positive behaviours and to support them to make small but permanent changes to their lifestyles.  For instance if you always have a biscuit with a cup of tea, I would suggest you change your type of tea to a fruit tea, green tea, or even a black coffee.  You have changed a part of your habit and the association with that habit

A client who has successfully lost weight commented that Susan’s advice is always sensible and motivational and I love her low calorie alternative recipes.”

fast foodIf you eat takeaway meals 3 or 4 times a week I would initially recommend a reduction to only twice a week with some healthy vegetable packed homemade alternative recipes for you to try.  The takeaways can also be made healthier with a few tweaks, for instance swap a creamy based curry for a tomato version like a rogan josh, share a portion of chips, add more vegetables or serve your burger with a homemade salad

Here’s what a client of mine said about some of the techniques I use I love the 80/20 rule as it stops me going on a guilt trip!

Small but permanent changes are more manageable and therefore more likely to succeed, and as a trained chef I am able to adapt your favourite recipes so they remain healthy, tasty and delicious.

If you need some cooking confidence then why not come to my cooking sessions.  For more information click on

I believe the key to successful Weight loss is to concentrate on all the delicious foods you can eat rather than the foods you can’t

To help keep you on track this year why not take up my offer of a FREE 20 minute consultation.  We would discuss your existing issues and where you would like to be and how to get nutrition session

This is followed by a 50 minute session at a cost of £40.  Whatever your unique situation is, I offer individually tailored support to help you develop a healthier lifestyle.

I also have an offer of 3 sessions for £100

Let me help you make those changes.

Call or text me on 07946 301338 or email at

Please visit my website for more information and check out my blog, where you will find lots of delicious healthy eating recipes

How much have you put on over Christmas?!

How much have you put on over Christmas?!  

Christmas Weight gain

So the festivities are almost over, the christmas tree will soon be packed away for another year and you will  be trying to get through all the chocolate, biscuits and treats that were either bought or received as gifts

And then its ‘New Year resolution’ time; get fit, get slimmer, get active, get alcohol free?! Why do we make these kinds of resolutions in January?  Well, maybe my game of festive bingo may provide some clues!

Have a look at the bingo card below see how many items you consumed over the last few weeks, then count up the calories.  Shocked?!




In true bingo style lets see if you got

  • The four corners; 870 calories in total
  • a line across; 950 calories in total
  • a line down ; 1,120 calories in total
  • a diagonal line ; 1,170 calories in total
  • A FULL HOUSE is 4,360 calories in total


You could consume 3,289 calories from your Christmas day dinner alone.  And maybe after completing the festive bingo card you can see where those calories have come from. And that’s before we add in the calories consumed or drunk on New Years Eve and day.

free nutrition session

If you are one of the many who stepped on the scales this week and quickly stepped off again I can help.  I have many clients who want to see me in January so I can help motivate and support them and you to shift the pounds, make healthy eating goals or adopt a healthier lifestyle



vegan cookery classes

You might want to see me for one to one healthy eating advice, how to survive Dry January or join one of my healthy eating cooking classes so you can fully embrace  ‘Veganuary’.


My one to one nutrition sessions last 50 minutes and cost £40, but I have a special offer of 3 sessions for £100.  If you need cooking inspiration my classes cost £25 or 6 sessions for £125 (6 for the price of 5). Click on this link for more details about my classes

A pervious client was kind enough to write these words

ryans-testimonialSo if you want to be lighter, healthier and more motivated in 2018 give me a call

07946 301338

Simply veg

Cooking up a storm!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website

coucousI’m half way through my vegetarian and vegan cookery classes in my converted convent in West Bridgford. So far my guests have cooked quinoa salad, spicy chickpeas with spring cabbage and cauliflower couscous. What’s waiting for them in the coming weeks is chocolate chia pudding with dates, spicy Thai tofu curry and spiralised sweet potato with kale


couscous1It is not all about ‘simply veg'; my aim is to show how easy it is to cook healthy simple yet tasty vegan food, which can be enjoyed by the whole family, eaten by one person or adapted for meat and fish eaters. Interspersed within the cooking is nutritional advice and cooking tips, such as freezing leftover herbs in ice cube trays, how lemon juice can take the place of salt as a flavouring, the importance of fibre and ways to reduce sugar intake.


ingredients2There is growing evidence that a more plant-based diet has positive health benefits, ranging from a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers to weight loss.


If you fancy trying something new, want to cook with others and learn some nutritional tips then contact me and we can get you booked in


Classes generally start at 11am on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On a Tuesday they start at 12.30pm and 5.30pm . Each class lasts an hour and 15 minutes and all the ingredients and equipment are provided. All this for just £25. But if you book 6 sessions in advance you only pay for 5



There is no time limit on when you come for your 6 sessions, so feel free to take a break

phone  Call 07946 301338

Case study #1 – weight loss via a virtual consultation

Case study #1 – weight loss via a virtual consultation


These are the words of my client Karen, she contacted me after seeing my blog on Mumsnet.  Although she is based in Yorkshire we were able to conduct a series of virtual consultations via Skype, so I could help support her to achieve her weight loss goal


I made notes in my journal dated 28/09/15, about my dissatisfaction with my weight, body image and relationship with food. At that point I was totally and utterly fed up with myself.

karen-white-dress-beforeI had been to the graduations of both my sons in the summer, having bought a very expensive Josef Ribkoff “ figure hugging dress for both occasions. I was dispirited when I saw the photos after, as the dress appeared to only accentuate the thickening around my middle section.


The main points were

  • I was worrying constantly about my weight and body shape but could not motivate myself to make changes
  • I hated the way I looked
  • I hated the way I felt out of control around food
  • I felt anxiety being “around food” all the time
  • My home felt dominated by food, food choices, preparation and cooking
  • My social life seemed to revolve around eating and drinking
  • My eating patterns had become very erratic – I wasn’t eating full meals but lots of snacks – I felt overly full very quickly if I ate a “proper” meal
  • My husband and son were at home a lot more than before (one semi-retired, one a student) so there seems to be food and cooking on the go constantly
  • I don’t want to go on a diet – I’m a Slimming World veteran
  • Female friends talk constantly about weight and diet

My Stats

  • My body details then were – height 5’9”, weight 11st 3lbs (would like to be 10st 7lbs)
  • Size 14 top, size 12 bottom – upside down pear – no hips or bottom but a largish bust, long legs
  • Tallness helps disguise “fat bits” and I’m highly skilled at dressing to hide them

On the plus side, I considered myself fairly active, swimming for 30 minutes three mornings a week. My diet includes many healthy options (I’m not a vegetarian but eat very little meat – red or white) I just ate too much of everything, too many snacks, too many coffees and teas and slightly more alcohol than I would like to, in an average week. I was generally very healthy with low blood pressure and plenty of energy.

However, I had got into a downward spiral and felt a strong need to talk to someone about all this, someone who would understand the psychology behind my problems and issues, but who would be able to help me formulate a healthier and more balanced eating plan.

Purely by chance, I found Susan whilst looking on Mumsnet Bloggers. Ideally I would have liked to have spoken to someone face to face but Susan appeared to have the skills and background to meet my needs. I confess, not being a wage earner, I was also drawn in by the offer of 3 sessions for £100!

Once I had hooked up with Susan, I wasn’t anxious in the least, although I had to put off our initial session due to holidays. I had used my “private” email address as I didn’t want my husband to see I was seeking help and using family money – I regarded the issues as a form of “weakness” and felt guilty about them – as though it was a problem an intelligent person should be able to solve on their own!

I felt embarrassed at home at having to secure some privacy to use my husband’s PC to use Skype, but made up my mind to tell him about the “project” and he was very understanding. I didn’t feel it mattered at all that Susan and I didn’t meet face to face – I found Skype absolutely fine.

I found Susan very understanding from the word “go”. She was “on my side”!!   I had not looked for anyone else similar as I sensed she was a lady of possibly a similar age group to me and therefore might have a better understanding of the issues facing a “middle-aged” lady!!

Karen before and after 

I felt we connected very well. I think I really needed some psychological support around my issues, as much as advice and ideas around the practical side of nutrition and diet. I needed to get over to Susan how I felt aspects of my family life and day to day catering needs were affecting me and discuss “emotional eating”. For example, a student son in the house, who seemed to be constantly preparing or cooking food, often at odd times of the day and night, and a husband who eats very little fruit or vegetables, but lots of red meat; also how to cope with my large social circle where meet-ups almost always involve eating and drinking.



It was very helpful to receive a summary of the points we had discussed – the positives and the negatives – to set some small goals to work towards. Writing is my “thing” – so having it all set down in black and white was a huge help to me. I set up a proper folder and notebook to record my progress.

I was able to ask Susan for some menu ideas – including the really helpful one of “basic recipes” that could be adapted to suit all family members – her website was a treasure trove of ideas. I typed up my own sheet each week ready for the next session with Susan to help me remember positives and negatives, and to record success and questions.

It really helped to recap at the start of each new session what had gone before and for me the pace of change was just fine. It helped to not focus solely on losing weight, although I did lose some along the way.

What worked for me


Getting active!

I realised I really liked my swimming sessions and ensured they were almost in “tablets of stone” in my diary, and still do. They keep me energised and set me up for the day.

I had struggled with a rather sedentary husband who didn’t take much exercise, but managed to get him to join me on walks, and not encourage me into cafes and pubs as a “reward”. I learned tactics such as spotting my danger times – coming home late afternoon to an empty house, or one where other family members don’t greet or bother with me – and to find distractions – not head straight to the biscuit tin but to take time out for a little rest, a cup of herbal tea, read a book, take my DAB radio well away from the kitchen, listen to a podcast.

I became better at keeping a sense of perspective – which is hard, being an all or nothing type of person.

I established much better daily and weekly routines and tried to throw out the scattergun approach – I used printable diary sheets – these also helped me with meal planning.

The holistic approach was absolutely perfect for me as I already knew my problems were not just around food but my whole lifestyle as a semi-retired woman who spends a lot of time at home – and has a big living kitchen where a lot of family activity takes place.

Small permanent changes were exactly what I needed. The 80/20 rule was very helpful – especially as regards my tendency to see things as black and white – and I was only too aware I needed to get some balance back into my life. I became more confident and able to say to friends – let’s not go for coffee and cake, why don’t you come over and we’ll go for a walk (I became more appreciative of the rural area I live in!)

The 80-20 rule

Whilst talking to Susan was like talking to a friend, she did challenge me and not let me get away with being “sloppy” or “airy fairy”. I felt answerable to her, which I liked – Slimming World had “worked” for me in the past because I responded to the pressure of the weekly documented weigh-in!

Moving forward

I have felt recently I could use the occasional “top up” session from time to time, just to keep me on track and stop me being complacent – like I do with my physiotherapist. Maybe such top-ups could form part of a slightly broader package than just the three sessions?

Foods to boost your immune system

Foods to boost your immune system

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website



Working at Maggie’s cancer supper centre in Nottingham, I’m often asked about what foods can help build up our immune system.  This is especially important to cancer patients who may have undergone some quite radical surgery, chemo or radiotherapy.  All of which can have a debilitating effect on the body




img_8426A strong immune system is also important to many us as we enter the autumn and winter months.

To strengthen your immune system it is important to

  • Load up on the foods that pack the biggest nutritional punch
  • Whilst avoiding processed foods (often high in fat and salt) and
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet.
  • You can do even more by selecting foods that are loaded with specific immune boosting nutrients.

Top tips for a healthy immune system

  • chopped veggies

    A rainbow of colour

    Eat a ‘rainbow’ of colour to get more antioxidants in your diet.  By that I mean have plenty of variety,  all the following foods help to nourish the thymus gland, which is responsible for much of the immune-system function.  Eat at least two servings a day of these foods rich in vitamins B, C and E, plus beta-carotene (vitamin A) and zinc – red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, oranges, apples, tomatoes, kiwi, carrots, berries, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes.  You get the idea!

  • Cook frequently with garlic because it’s a proven immune booster and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. The allicin helps to prevent and fight colds. So add it to hummus, pasta and curry dishes. Rub on to toasted sour dough for a low cal garlic bread
  •  spinachSpinach is rich in folic acid. It can be made into spinach pasta, added to soups, smoothies or pasta sauces.  It can brighten up a curry or an omelette and bulk out a salad
  • Cinnamon is antiviral, anti fungal and antibacterial; sprinkle it on your porridge or muesli. Add it to low sugar bakes and biscuits or smoothies
  • Mushrooms – contain vitamin D (and will absorb more if placed on a sunny shelf), which is good at combating viruses. Add to omelettes, stir-fries, soups and pasta dishes



  • Stay hydrated  – try and drink at least 6 glasses of water, fruit teas, green and black teas etc a day



  • Tactivity exercise walkingake some regular exercise: If you want to boost your immune system, get active. Just increasing your heart rate for only 20 minutes three times a week is associated with an increased immune function, and a brisk walk five days a week can help reduce your risk of catching a cold.  Also being out and socialising can help boost your immune system


  • Have a giggle! –  Laughing decreases the levels of stress hormones in the body while increasing a type of white blood cells that fights infection.