Monday, November 27, 2017

Keep calm and carry on is the new Xmas challenge!

WELL, the 30 day challenge is over and there’s less than four weeks to go until Christmas…the busiest and most stressful time of the year for a lot of us. Mums have enough on their plates throughout the year and then it gets 10 times busier.  So many people have been doing really well with their healthy habits during the past 30 days so don’t let it all go to the wall now!  Sustainable weight loss is about continuity and putting an end to the yo-yo dieting stuff!

However, because we’re heading into this ridiculously busy time of year, your mind and body will need a little extra help to stay on track and today I thought I’d give you some advice on how to deal with the effects that stress can have on your body.

It’s a scientific fact that the more stressed we are, the more sugary things we eat. And the more of them we eat, the more stressed we become. That’s the most vicious circle imaginable.

It’s a bit like the old riddle about the chicken and the egg: what comes first, the sugar or the stress?

Stress changes how you eat and the choices you make. It makes you reach for the comforting sugary foods and a recent study suggests this seems to affect women more than men.

Stress means our bodies are awash with  hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which makes our blood sugar level go up and down like a rollercoaster.

We’re surrounded on all sides by sugar-packed comfort food so it’s easy for us to reach for a quick fix. But the stress which makes us go for the sugar produces more cortisol and we can become resistant to the insulin which controls our blood-sugar levels.

One of the effects of excess cortisol is that far more sugar is then stored as fat than is burnt as energy. And cortisol makes us store the fat around our middles, so that it is closer to the vital organs which might need it.

Constant stress means cortisol levels are high all the time – and you put on more and more weight.

So here’s my tips for keeping calm and carrying on as Christmas approaches.

  1. Avoid sugary breakfast cereals. They make your body react in such a way that the  the old cortisol/insulin battle starts up.
  2. Too much caffeine raises your blood sugar level just like sugar does. So go for decaff tea and coffee. Tastes just the same, does you more good.
  3. Exercise. Go for a walk, go to the gym, go swimming, talk the dog out, go for a jog. Whatever works for you will help reduce the stress hormones whizzing around inside you.
  4. Things you can eat to lower stress include berries, which are full of vitamin C, green vegetables, which contain so many nutrients, and nuts to give you the B vitamins your immune system needs.
  5. Sleep!  Make sure you’re getting enough of it! It’s been scientifically proven that lack of sleep is a huge contributor to weight gain and it’s one of the first things that suffers when we’re stressed. 

If you need a bit of extra help right now, our Chillpod is a fabulous stressbuster.  It calms everything down and people rave about it.  Here’s where to get one and use this code to get 20% off: CHILLSAVE

Let me know below if you notice that stress makes you eat more sugary stuff. How are you going to counteract Xmas stress by using your new healthy habits?

The post Keep calm and carry on is the new Xmas challenge! appeared first on Slimpod.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Healthy and delicious Chicken Verona recipe

OUR hospital superchef Simon Smith brings you a delicious healthy Italian dish this week, Chicken Verona, which is packed with goodness. Simon, head chef at Tameside NHS hospital in Manchester, knows that chicken is the perfect dish for a protein boost. Please let him know how much you enjoyed his Chicken Verona by leaving a comment below. He loves reading your feedback.

Chicken Verona

SERVES: 2

PREPARATION TIME: 10mins

COOKING TIME: 15 – 20mins

 

Ingredients:

2 x 130g Chicken supremes (skinless, boneless & butterflied breasts)

30g Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese

100g Smoked Pancetta

3 Shallot Onions (fine diced)

60g Button Mushrooms (sliced)

1tsp Basil Pesto

2clv Garlic (pureed)

10g Unsalted Butter (melted)

10g Olive Oil

80ml Red Wine

100ml Chicken Stock

150ml Passata

Seasoning

 

Equipment Needed

Medium Sauté Pan

4 small bowls

Small Veg knife

Chopping Board

Deep roasting tray

 

Preparation

Prepare the garlic, mushrooms and onions and set to the side in bowls.

Place the garlic and herb cream cheese into a bowl and soften with a spoon. Lay the butterflied chicken supremes on the chopping board with the skin side down.

Spread a tablespoon of cream cheese along the middle of the chicken supreme.  Fold over the chicken on either side to encase the cream cheese. Wrap strips of pancetta around the supremes until each fillet is encased. Place on to a plate and season with cracked pepper. Place in the fridge for 5mins to rest.

In a small bowl combine the melted butter, oil and garlic. Pre heat the oven to 180C / Gas mark 4.

Pre heat the sauté pan on a medium hob setting, add the garlic infused oil to the pan. Remove the Supremes from the fridge and place in the sauté pan. Allow the chicken to sauté on each side for approx. 3 min each side.  Cover with a lid while cooking so not to burn the chicken. When the pancetta is sealed place the supremes into the roasting tray and place into the oven for an approx. 5mins.

While the supremes are cooking in the oven, to prepare the Verona sauce add the shallots to the sauté pan and cook until onions have slightly soften. Add the mushroom and cook until the mushrooms have softened. Stir the onions and mushrooms often so not to burn them.

Add the pesto and stir into the vegetables then add the red wine. Increase the heat to high and allow the wine to boil and reduce the liquid by half. To this add the chicken stock and cook until this liquid has also reduced by half. Reduce the heat and stir in the passata. Simmer for a further 5 mins.

Remove the chicken from the oven and check it is cooked thoroughly (do this by piercing the thickest part of the fillet to the middle with a sharp knife. If the juices are clear then the chicken is cooked. If not return supremes to the oven for an additional 5 mins.

Place the supreme on to a plate and coat in a layer of the Verona sauce.  Serve with garlic bread. Enjoy !!!!

The post Healthy and delicious Chicken Verona recipe appeared first on Slimpod.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Turning an obstacle into a positive you can learn from

HOW did you get on with my “challenge within a challenge” last week? I asked you to be extra-vigilant about how much hidden sugar you were consuming in everyday food. I’m wondering how many positives happened as a result.

Today I’d like you to reflect back over what you’ve noted in your success log for the past week and reflect on the changes.

Look back at what you’ve achieved and congratulate yourself because your brain’s reward centre will get a buzz from your results and it will make you feel really good.

But what if you had certain expectations of what you wanted to achieve you didn’t quite get there?  What happens then?

Throwing in the towel when faced with a challenge is no good. One of the keys to sustainable weight loss is consistency and you achieve this by training yourself to turn the obstacles into something you learn from – and use the learnings to succeed.

Success truly happens when the negatives have no impact and your brain is trained to automatically think about how you can use the opportunity to succeed.

The best way for me to describe this is to give you an example – and this was recently posted in Slimpod Club.

So you can see how Pat  could quite easily have let herself be all-consumed with disappointment about the fact that she had a mini binge. She could quite easily have decided to give up.

But instead Pat saw the positive – it was only four biscuits – and if you have something going on like this right now then I encourage you to change what that means to you.

Instead of feeling disappointed and annoyed, make it something you take action on and do something positive with rather than letting it defeat you.

This is so important because it builds mental toughness and self worth. If you persevere with something you start believing, you can do it.

That’s all it is – looking at things from a different viewpoint. It’s also about keeping calm and being in control rather than allowing emotion to take over.

The real secret is in making “failure” your friend rather than something you fear and run away from.

This is going to help you get over the obstacles and move on to create and build healthy habits which will take you to your end goal…lasting weight loss.

Let me know below if you’re one of those people who stops if the results aren’t as expected?  Let me also know how you can make a positive out of a negative so you start changing interrupting the pattern.

The post Turning an obstacle into a positive you can learn from appeared first on Slimpod.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Think you’re eating healthily? Read this and think again

TWO weeks ago we started the Drop A Size For Christmas challenge. So – how are you doing so far? Have you been practising your small habits every day? If you have been diligent about your baby steps then go to the top of the class. If life has got in the way and you haven’t quite managed it every day, then look at it as a learning experience rather than giving up.

Think about how you can learn from what’s not gone so well and rather than getting emotional about it and thinking you’re a failure – do it differently.

One of the things you can do over the next few weeks to really move yourself forward both in terms of health and your weight loss is to be aware of your sugar consumption – and I mean the added sugar and hidden sugar that’s in our everyday food.

I know I keep on about this but it’s really really important.  Last Friday at the Sugar Summit in London, it was revealed that people’s concern about the dangers of sugar is very high.

Here’s one of the slides with the statistics, photographed off the screen at the summit.

A lot of the reason we consume so much sugar is that hidden in everything!

Look at the different names sugar goes under in everyday food…

So my challenge to you for the next week is to be vigilant and if you think you eat healthy food, think again.  Look for the sugar content in what you’re buying then limit your consumption to the recommended healthy amount…

Which is 25g a day (6tsp) for a woman and 38g (9tsp) a day for a man. If you’re anything like me, you were conditioned to look for the fat content in food.

Years ago I used to swear by Rosemary Conley’s Hip and Thigh diet and followed it religiously – limiting my fat consumption to only a few grams a day.

But things have moved on and several years ago I discovered a lot of the fat I was excluding from my daily nutrition was in fact important to have IN my body for essential health reasons.

However, refined, added sugar is NOT needed by our bodies at all and we consume too much of it.  So even if you think you’re eating healthy food, please spend a week checking your labels.

I spoke to a lady recently who said she eats healthy food all the time and couldn’t understand why she wasn’t shifting fat. Yet on closer investigation I discovered most of her food is convenience food from a very well-known “healthy” brand and there was huge amounts of sugar in the savoury food.

This is because sugar acts as a preservative to make shelf life longer and helps the freezing process to be more effective, too.  So today I’m issuing you with a challenge within a challenge!

My new challenge for you is about making sure the food you’re eating is healthy and not riddled with sugar – because so much of it is.

If you’re listening to a Slimpod this should be easy peasy to do!

Let me know in the comments below if you’re up for that and I’ll check in with you next week to see how it’s going!

The post Think you’re eating healthily? Read this and think again appeared first on Slimpod.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Honey and Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

Hospital superchef Simon Smith has a really healthy recipe for you – it’s filling, nutritious and very tasty. Make sure you don’t overcook the vegetables so you keep as much of the goodness in them as possible. The chop is delicious with a baked potato. Please leave your comments below because Simon loves your feedback!

Honey and Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

SERVES 4

PREPARATION TIME: 10mins

COOKING TIME 15mins

Ingredients

4 x 200g – 225g Pork Chops

2 Sweet Peppers (de-seeded & sliced)

1 medium Onion (Sliced)

½ Red Onion (sliced)

100ml Sunflower Oil

30ml Olive Oil

20ml Sesame Oil

2clvs Garlic (pureed)

1½ tsp. Dijon Mustard

2tbsp Honey

½ Lemons

20g Fresh Chives (chopped)

10g Fresh Sage (chopped)

250ml Chicken Stock

Seasoning

Equipment required:

Griddle / sauté pan

Deep roasting tray

Large cooking spoons

Mixing bowls

Vegetable Knife

Chopping Board

Preparation

Pre heat the oven to gas mark 6 / 200C, with a deep tray in it pre heating also.

In a bowl combine the oils, garlic, Dijon mustard, honey, chives, sage and a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir or whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Into the bowl add the pork chops, sliced onions and sliced peppers. Stir into the marinate until all the pork chops and the vegetables are coated. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 5 mins

Heat the griddle pan on medium for the last 2min of the chops’ time in the fridge. Remove the chops from the bowl and drain excess oil and place on a clean tray. Season the chops with salt and cracked pepper and then carefully lay the chops into the hot griddle pan.

Allow the chops to cook in the hot oil for approx 2min on each side to seal off the meat. When chops start to colour in the griddle pan, remove to the clean pre-heated deep oven tray. Add a tablespoon of the marinate mix over the chops and place in the hot oven. Allow to bake in the hot oven for approx. 10min occasionally turning the chops.

Drain the sliced onions and peppers from the remaining marinate. Reduce the heat on the griddle pan and add the vegetables to the pan, allow them to quick fry stirring frequently. When the veg starts to colour in the pan remove and place in a clean bowl.

Increase the pan to high and add the stock to the pan.  Deglaze all the flavours cooked into the pan and reduce the stock until half the liquid remains in the pan.

Remove the chops from the oven and pour any juices in the tray into the jus in the griddle pan. Check the core of the chops with a knife to confirm they are cooked; the chops should have a chargrilled look and should be served on a bed of the fried vegetables with the glaze poured over.

 

The post Honey and Mustard Glazed Pork Chops appeared first on Slimpod.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Moira’s inspiring story of 70lbs lost and happiness gained

WE all love an inspiring story and if you’re anything like me, they give you motivation and make you feel really warm inside.  Every week I get stories from people whose lives are being transformed by their Slimpod programmes and Moira Mackenzie is one of them.  Moira was keen to inspire like-minded people to live a life without dieting and I’m  so grateful to her for agreeing to share her story with the media.

Here’s one of the quotes from Moira which appeared on the health pages of the Daily Express last week.

“My mindset around food has changed. I don’t have to restrict myself at all in what I eat, nothing is off limits. I just make healthy choices all the time. If I want chocolate I’ll have it, but only a couple of pieces. And I have smaller portions but I know they’ll fill me up.”

Moira went from a size 24 to a size 16 in her first year of listening to a Slimpod and is now down to a size 12, having lost an amazing 70lbs.

One quote from Moira struck a particular  chord with me, because as I’ve told you all before I was a fat teenager who was too embarrassed to go into dress shops. This is what Moira told the Express: “Before I could barely find anything to fit. Now I can go to any shop – and I do.  I always bought everything in navy blue or black so I didn’t draw attention to my size. But I love bright colours now. One of the greatest things is that my daughter, who’s a size 12 too, keeps borrowing my clothes – that is such a boost to me.”

The Daily Express headline

Something else Moira said brought a big smile to my face: “I’ve got so much more energy and I can keep up with my wonderful grandchildren. I’ve always been a happy person, seeing the good things in life. But I’m even happier now.”

Moira’s wonderful success proves that a Slimpod is not just about losing weight – it’s also about regaining long-lost confidence and becoming happy about life. Very happy!

You can read Moira’s interview with the Express here

Moira is an active member of our Slimpod community on Facebook and we all love her to bits!

The post Moira’s inspiring story of 70lbs lost and happiness gained appeared first on Slimpod.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Starts today! Join my Drop A Size For Christmas challenge

WOW! I can’t believe we’re on the run-up to Christmas – how did that happen? It’s always a great opportunity to have the last push of the year to release some of that excess weight.

So let me help you to drop a size for Christmas! Because it just couldn’t be easier!

In this new video which launches my 30-day challenge, I’m going to let you in on the secret of how to achieve your goal.

It’s the best early Christmas present you could give yourself – and please feel free to share this blog post with your family, friends and colleagues if you think it would help them.

 

 

If you’re a member of the Slimpod Club community on Facebook there’ll be various activities going on there over the next 30 days. If you’re not, then just join the challenge by commenting below.

I’d love to know what steps you’re going to be taking over the next few weeks to drop a size for Christmas – so let me know. Your comments will inspire so many others.

The post Starts today! Join my Drop A Size For Christmas challenge appeared first on Slimpod.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chicken in Tarragon Sauce – another great healthy recipe

WHAT’S the recipe we’re all looking for? Something that’s quick, simple, delicious and healthy! This week as usual our superchef Simon Smith has got just the thing. His Chicken in Tarragon Sauce looks amazing – and I bet it tastes amazing, too.

Simon rates chicken very highly because it’s packed with protein that not only does you good but helps you feel full so you find it easier to go for smaller portion sizes.

Let him know how much you like his recipe by leaving a comment below.

Chicken in Tarragon Sauce

Preparation time: 15mins

Cooking time: 15mins

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2  130g Chicken breasts (skinless, boneless & butterflied)

3 Shallots Onions (fine diced)

60g Button Mushrooms (quartered)

15g Fresh Tarragon (chopped)

2clv Garlic (pureed)

10g Unsalted Butter (melted)

10g Olive Oil

80ml White Wine

100ml Chicken Stock

100ml Whipping Cream

Seasoning

Equipment Needed:

Skillet / griddle pan

4 Mixing Bowls

Small Vegetable Knife

Chopping board

Preparation:

Prepare the vegetables and set aside in separate bowls. Butterfly the chicken breast, place on to a plate and season.

Heat the skillet on a low heat. Add the olive oil, melted butter and the garlic. Sauté the garlic for a couple of seconds. Add the chicken breasts and cover the pan with a tight fitted lid. Allow to sauté on low for 4mins and turn over chicken fillets and replace the lid and cook for an additional 2mins.

Remove the lid and add the shallots and the button mushrooms. Allow to sauté the vegetables until they soften. Next add ½ the tarragon herb and allow to cook for an additional minute.

Add to the white wine and increase the heat to high, allow the wine to boil and reduce till only ½ the liquid is left in the pan. At this stage add the chicken stock and allow the stock to also reduce till only a light jus id left.

Pour in the whipping cream and add the last of the tarragon. Allow the cream to cook and reduce on a high heat until it has reached a consistence that coats the back of a spoon.

Give the sauce a final seasoning and serve….

 

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Be honest: Are the scales your friend or your foe?

ONE of the most common things people in our Slimpod Community on Facebook raise with me is their relationship with the weighing scales. One lady asked if I could help her to understand more about the effect the scales have on her emotions because she thinks they’re partly to blame for her self-sabotage. As this is one of my favourite subjects, I’m more than happy to oblige!

In this video I explain how that piece of metal in the bathroom can actually control your emotions, making you feel happy or sad, and I discuss how a lot of people are obsessed with weighing themselves.

So after you’ve watched the video, here’s your task for this week. Take some time out to think about your relationship with the scales.  Does it have a positive impact on your daily life? When you hop on and off does it always empower you to keep your weight in control?  If so, then that’s absolutely wonderful and continue to do what you’re doing!

However, if as a result of hopping on the scales you eat to make yourself feel better or give up your healthy eating because you think there’s no hope and you’re a failure, then this is no good and it needs to stop because your relationship with the scales is destructive emotionally and it’s helping you to self-sabotage.

Drop me a comment below and tell me about your relationship with the scales. Does it make you feel good or bad?

The post Be honest: Are the scales your friend or your foe? appeared first on Slimpod.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Drop a size in time for the Christmas partying!!

YOU ask, we listen! Following a great discussion in our Facebook Slimpod Club community last week, we’ll be launching on October 30th a 30-day drive to Drop a Size In Time For The Christmas Partying!

In Slimpod Club between now and October 30th I’ll be suggesting several new healthy habits on which you can focus for just 30 days. Easy!

The 30-day challenge is for men and women and will be really simple. All you need to do is choose just two things to focus on and then commit to doing them every day during November. We will run special groups to enable you to hold each other accountable.

Here are some thoughts, but please add your suggestions to the comments below, too, because this is all about your journey and implementing small changes in your life.

With your Slimpod helping you, committing to a couple of the suggestions below will be very easy!

* Reduce the sugar and refined carbs in your daily diet.

Reduce alcohol.

* Do a certain number of steps every day.

* Do squats every day.

* If you suffer from stress, practise mindfulness or meditation every day.

* Do the Pioppi or Blood Sugar diet for 30 days (and before you scream at me – they’re not really diets, they’re recipes based on proper food with no sugar or refined carbs and re really, really good for you!)

* Drink more water each day.

Naturally we will also be asking you to listen to your pods every day. I’ll be pitching in with a video here and there giving you support and advice.

So let’s get this moving and be all set for October 30th! I’m thinking it would be a great idea for you to identify an outfit you’d like to feel comfortable in for Christmas and have that as a goal.  What do you think?!

Weight loss is not a one size fits all – we can all choose our individual path and then work together to achieve it!

The post Drop a size in time for the Christmas partying!! appeared first on Slimpod.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Butternut squash and mushroom risotto – great healthy recipe

AS you know, I’m a passionate believer in the old saying “Eat healthy to live healthy.” So I’m really excited that our superchef Simon Smith has produced a recipe for you this week which features one of Nature’s superfoods – butternut squash. As head chef at Tameside NHS hospital in Manchester, Simon knows the importance of serving meals which are packed with all the good things our bodies need.

Butternut squash is low in fat and high in fibre, so it is an exceptionally heart-friendly vegetable. The fibre content is an aid to weight loss because just like a Slimpod it gives you a feeling of fullness.

It is also a good source of vitamins C, E and B6 plus a whole load of other important nutrients, so it helps protect skin, improves eyesight and boosts the immune system. One last amazing fact: a cup of cubed butternut squash contains more potassium than a large banana. Potassium is essential for bone health.

Let me know how much you like Simon’s recipe by leaving a comment below – he loves reading all your feedback.

Butternut squash and mushroom rissoto

SERVES 4

PREPARATION TIME: 15mins

COOKING TIME: approx. 40mins

Ingredients:

200g Butternut Squash (Diced)

360g Arborio Rice

1 Medium Onion (Diced)

150g Chestnut Mushrooms (sliced)

2clv Garlic (pureed)

1 Spring Onion (chopped)

750ml Vegetable Stock (hot)

100ml White Wine

15g Butter

10g Olive Oil

10g Fresh Basil

10g Fresh Parsley

Equipment Needed:

2inch deep Sauté Pan

Mixing Bowl

Small Vegetable Knife

Chopping board

 

Method:

Place the risotto pan on a low heat on the cooker and add the olive oil, butter and garlic. Stir continuously until all the butter has melted. Add the butternut squash, onion and mushrooms and stir until coated in the garlic butter, allow to sauté for approx. 5 min or till vegetables have slightly softened

Reduce the heat to a low setting and add the rice.  Stir the rice, spring onion and basil into the butter and veg mix and allow to sauté in the pan until the rice becomes semi-transparent. The continuous stirring of this dish is a factor in creating a creamy texture.

Increase the heat and add the wine allow the wine to simmer and absorb into the rice mix while continuing to stir.

Add a cup of veg stock into the pan stir the stock into the mix and allow simmering then continually stirring the rice mixture through the stock until it is all absorbed.

Repeat the last step one cup of stock at a time until all the stock is absorbed. The rice should have a soft texture with a slight crunch in the bite. Season and allow to rest for 5mins.

Then serve with a small helping of fresh parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

The post Butternut squash and mushroom risotto – great healthy recipe appeared first on Slimpod.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Consistent small weight losses are the key to long-term success

DAY IN and day out I come across so many people who get really upset if they’re not consistently losing lots of weight each week. Some people then stop doing whatever they’re doing because they think the weight loss plan has stopped working, or it gets too hard to sustain.

They then blame themselves for “falling off the wagon” which leads to comfort eating to make themselves feel good. This, of course, then becomes a vicious cycle, inevitably leading to regaining any weight they’ve lost.

We live in an “instant” world where people can get most things almost immediately.  However, this just doesn’t happen with weight loss because your body won’t let it.

I’m constantly saying “steady wins the race” and a study has been published in the journal Obesity which proves this is the best way of losing weight long term.

It found that “hares” who crash dieted their way to slimness lost less weight over two years than “tortoises” who shed a consistent number of pounds over time.

The research shows that it seems that developing stable, repeatable behaviours related to food intake and weight loss early on in a weight control programme is really important for maintaining changes over the long term.

Which is precisely what my Slimpod weight loss programmes do, of course!

Professor Michael Lowe, from Drexel University in the US, said his research showed that sticking to weight-loss goals was important even if progress was slow.

He said: “Settle on a weight-loss plan that you can maintain week in and week out, even if that means consistently losing three quarters of a pound each week.”

Such good advice!

Here’s a link to the study:

Consistent Pounds Shed Leads To Weight Loss

 

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Monday, October 2, 2017

More great healthy habit building strategies

LAST week I gave you three strategies for building new habits.   Make sure you let me know below how you’re doing with them! I also said last week that I’d be building on those and giving you  some more – so here goes!

One thing that most people forget about when they’re trying to lose weight is their environment and how that influences and determines what they eat each day and their behaviour towards food.

Our home or work environment is not something that we think about very often but it’s really important for achieving goals because if your environment is stacked against you then it just makes it really really hard to get to where you want to be.

If for example you work in an office and somebody is consistently bringing in cakes or chocolate then it’s very very hard to resist temptation.  Or if you’re in the habit of including treats and snacks in your weekly shop so that these things are constantly in the house then of course it’s going to be so easy to just munching away through them during the day.

People often say “oh it’s for my son” or “it’s for my husband” when actually I think that’s a big excuse and it’s really for themselves!  Hands up – who does this?!

Yes it’s true that we respond to the environment around us but we can turn this round and actually use the environment to help us rather than hinder us.

Things in our environment become visual triggers for us to eat or drink and very quickly develop into a bad habit!

But we can use visual triggers to turn things around and create good habits.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Switch things around a bit at home.  If you want to break a habit then put the thing that’s causing the issue in a place that’s a bit more difficult to get to. Out of sight helps it to be out of mind.
    2.  Make the healthy things far more visible to you. e.g  put the fruit in a place that you can easily see it every day.  Have a bottle of water on your desk and challenge yourself to drink it all in the day.
  2. This next one is a fab strategy and I’d love you to do this as a task for the week ahead.  Put up a calendar in a visible place and every day that you perform your new habit, put a big cross on the calendar.  It will soon make a “success chain” and psychology proves that when you have consistently marked crosses on the calendar you won’t want to break the chain.

This simple strategy has been proven to help with procrastination and motivation.

Most people get demotivated and off–track after a bad day, which could include a bad workout, eating badly or simply a bad day at work, but this encourages you to get right back on track again because your focus is on the process of not breaking the chain and you forget about everything else.  Again, the task needs to be meaningful and simple enough to get it done easily!

If you slip up, then get back on track quickly.  None of us is superhuman.  We all slip up and to ride the blips we need to be kind to ourselves, understand it’s going to happen and be self compassionate. Build it into life!  That’s what the successful people do and you can do it too!

Let me know below which strategy you choose to implement into your life.  I love hearing about your progress.

 

 

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Mushroom and sweet pepper stroganoff recipe

HERE’S a perfect dish for these autumnal evenings – mushroom and sweet pepper stroganoff. It’s packed with goodness and it will warm you through and through. Our hospital superchef Simon Smith says: “This vegetarian take on a traditional Eastern European dish blends the taste of seasonal mushrooms and vegetables with continental herb and spices. Finished with sour cream, this dish is low in carbohydrates and fats. The dish goes well with a light fragranced cous cous.”

Mushroom and sweet pepper stroganoff

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15mins

Cooking time 25mins

Ingredients:

150g Closed Cup Mushrooms (sliced)

100g Wild Mushrooms (whole)

150g Button Mushrooms (whole)

2 Mixed Sweet Peppers (sliced)

1 Medium Carrot (chopped)

1 Medium Leek (chopped)

2 Medium Onions (diced)

20ml Sesame Oil

100ml (half a glass) Cooking Red

Wine

20g tomato purée

2clv Garlic (chopped)

5g Dijon mustard

5g smoked hot paprika

10g Fresh Tarragon (chopped)

450ml Vegetable stock

Seasoning

80g Soured cream

20g flat leaf parsley

Equipment needed:

Medium pan & spoon.

4 Small Mixing bowl

Chopping board

Small Vegetable Knife

Preparation:

  1. Heat the pan on a medium heat and add the sesame oil.
  2. Add the crushed garlic, stir in the oil and sauté for a few seconds then add the closed cup sliced mushrooms, carrot, leek and onions. Stir into the oil and cover the pan and allow the vegetables to sauté for approx. 5 min or until vegetables are al dente (crisp to the bite).
  3. Add the sweet peppers and half the wild and whole mushrooms. Stir into the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes, just to soften the peppers and whole mushrooms. Add the tarragon and paprika, stir into the mix then add the red wine. Increase the heat and allow the red wine to boil until liquid has reduced by half in the pan.
  4. Reduce the heat once more and stir in the tomato puree & Dijon mustard. Then slowly add the veg stock, stirring it into the mixture while on a low heat. When all the stock is in the pan stir in the rest of the whole mushrooms and allows simmering on the cooker for approx. 15 – 20mins to cook out the tomato stirring regularly.
  5. Check the pan frequently when the sauce has reduced to a coating consistency on your spoon. Remove from the heat, season and stir in the sour cream and finally the flat leaf parsley.

 

 

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Monday, September 25, 2017

How to create good health habits that stick

RESEARCH shows that habits account for about 40 per cent  of our behaviour every day, so you can understand why it’s so important to create good health habits that stick, because this is one of the key secrets to lasting weight loss.

My Autumn Success Drive blog last week was all about goal-setting and breaking the big goals down to mini goals because this is what helps provide the momentum to reach the big goals.

The thing that most people find very hard to do when they’re trying to lose weight is to change their behaviour towards food and maintain a consistent healthy lifestyle.  It’s a constant challenge to use willpower to be consciously on top of your eating the whole time.

But it’s only through repeating the same behaviour day in and day out that healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle become automatic.

When this happens you don’t even have to think about it because your subconscious has taken responsibility for your behaviour. And this is how the Slimpod works – by gently nudging you into healthier behaviours without any of the effort!

One of the reasons so many people struggle to lose weight and keep it off is it just becomes too hard.

If you think about your eating habits over the past 10 years, they’ll probably resemble something like a rollercoaster ride rather than a cruise!

Nearly every habit you have today, good or bad, is the result of many small choices and decisions made over time.

And it’s the repeated pattern of small healthy behaviours that will lead to long term weight loss.  So remember those mini goals from last week’s blog – this is the next step after you’ve created those mini goals!

How to create health habits that stick

  1. Make them really small and easy

Start with something that is so easy that you need no motivation to do it.   If you have a fitness goal of 50 squats a day start with five and work your way up.  Do these at a regular time.   Make it easy enough that you can get it done without motivation.

  1. Develop the habit in very small ways

Success is a few simple disciplines, practised every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.—Jim Rohn

One per cent improvements add up surprisingly fast and make you feel great when you know you’re achieving something.

Rather than trying to do something huge from the beginning, start small and gradually improve. Along the way, your motivation will increase, and your habit will gently become automatic – which is what you want!

Gradually increase the number of squats by one or two each day. Consistency is the key and you’ll be amazed how well you do!

Create a cornerstone habit

A cornerstone habit is something you begin your day with and this particular action sets you up for the rest of the day. I always begin my day with some exercise.  It’s either walking the dog, going to the gym or playing tennis (at 7.30 am!).

I have been doing this for five days a week for many years and I simply can’t start the day without it.  Even on holiday I have to swim/walk/jog in the morning before everyone else is up.

What could you set as your cornerstone habit – do tell me below!

Next Monday I’ll have more tips on how to create and develop great habits – watch out for my blog!

 

The post How to create good health habits that stick appeared first on Slimpod.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Chef Simon’s super-healthy salmon en croute recipe

ALL of hospital superchef Simon Smith’s recipes for Slimpodders are created with busy people in mind and this week I’d like to share his Salmon en Croute recipe. Enjoy!

 

SALMON EN CROUTE

Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 – 15 mins

Ingredients

4 * 130g Salmon supreme (skinless)
4 shallots (diced)
1tsp. Fresh dill (chopped)
1tsp Fresh chives (chopped)
1tsp Fresh parsley (chopped)
2clvs Garlic
Lemon juice
10g butter
1 lemon
2 *4ply Filo Pastry

Equipment

Baking tray
Frying pan
Chopping board

Preparation

  1. Place salmon fillets on to a plate and season; place the frying pan on a low heat on the cooker.
  2. Add the 10g of butter and melt, place the salmon supremes in the pan with the skin side down.
  3. Add the garlic, shallots, and herbs and squeeze ½ the lemon into the pan. Cover the pan, cook for approx., 2 mins, the salmon supremes should be light pink on the outside but still uncooked in the middle.
  4. Place the Supremes onto a plate and keep the pan with the juice in it.
  5. On a lightly floured surface cut the sheets of filo in half to make 4 rectangle pieces
  6. Place a portion of salmon into the middle of the pastry and add a teaspoon of the lemon butter juice from the pan on to each fish.
  7. Trim the width of the pastry to a centimetre from the tips of the salmon. Fold along the length of the supreme one layer at a time brushing each layer with melted butter and tuck the pastry under the fish to make a tight parcel. Crimp the ends with a fork. Repeat with the other portions and place on a baking tray.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 190C / Gas 5 for approx. 10min or until pastry is golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and serve with fresh vegetables and new potatoes or couscous . This dish goes great with a helping of garlic and cracked pepper creme fraiche.

The post Chef Simon’s super-healthy salmon en croute recipe appeared first on Slimpod.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Let’s lose some inches now the holidays are over

Lose some inches weight loss success book

THE holiday season is over so let’s get motivated and lose some inches! For many people, holidays really mess up daily routines so now’s the chance to get back in the groove and get motivated to shift some inches!  I’m going to help you with a quick recap on goal-setting and a couple of tasks to kick you off!

If you’re a member of our private Slimpod group on Facebook, then Debbie is running some special motivational threads in there for the next few weeks.  If you’re not on Facebook then watch out for my blogs for the next few Mondays.

So, back to basics!

If you want success with anything in life you really should set goals. Why? Well a goal provides a target on which to concentrate your effort. Goals give you direction and allow your mind to focus on what you want to achieve.

By setting goals you’re also able to measure your progress because you have a start and finish date. They provide mental boundaries so you avoid distractions and remain focused on the goal. They make you accountable.

Now I’m very well aware that some people find goal-setting triggers all sorts of negative reactions.

This is usually because in the past they’ve failed to achieve their weight loss goals and now the very thought of setting a goal to lose some inches creates an instant obstacle and is far to painful to contemplate!

If this is you, I’d urge you to think about the process differently and use it as a feedback mechanism to help you measure progress rather than something that makes you feel a failure.

During the next few weeks I’ll be teaching you how to overcome this feeling so it’s no longer an obstacle stopping you from achieving your goals – it will be very exciting!

So we’ll kick off by thinking about the big goal.

When you’re creating your goal, please make sure it’s meaningful – knowing why you want this goal is essential because that’s what’s going to drive you!

Some ideas on goals to lose some inches

* A size goal. These are the BEST because it’s the clothes you’re wearing that tell the story.  Getting into that next size down would be the perfect goal!

* A weight goal.  Really not ideal because weight fluctuates for many reasons. Scales really have a habit of making you feel bad and should be abandoned and put in a cupboard!  This is about helping you to feel great!

* A health goal.  Some people want to get their diabetes under control…great goal!

The next step is to break the goal down into mini goals and this bit is easy because we’re all going to do it together.

For the next week I would like you to do just two things every day

ONE: Listen to your Slimpods EVERY day

Obviously, listening to your Slimpod (and other pods if you have them) is crucial if you’re to lose some inches and it’s one of the things many people find difficult to do every day.  Let’s make sure you make this a habit in the next 21 days!

It’s only 9 mins and you’ll be asleep in 2 mins so make it your first task to focus on this.  If losing weight is important to you then you’ll do it.  Set an alarm for the same time each day!  It really couldn’t be easier!

TWO: Write down three positive things that have happened in your day.

We ask you to write down three positives for two very good reasons.

  1. Seeing is believing.  For the first few weeks the changes in your lifestyle and eating habits are magical – but if you’re a busy person they can go unnoticed if you don’t take two mins at the end of the day to write them down.

Many people who have struggled with their weight for years have a very negative self image.  A large part of the journey with our programme is to empower you to feel good about your “self” because feeling good IS so important to wellbeing and it’s empowering!

  1. Writing down three good things that have happened in your day primes your mind to think more positively.  After time this actually changes the brain and the changeability of the brain is known as neuroplasticity.  Every thought, regardless of what it’s about, creates chemical reactions in the brain, and when repeated often, structural changes too.  This is also why we ask you to listen to your Slimpod repeatedly.

Get yourself a lovely notebook to write your positives in.  I know there’s a success log on the app, but for me a notebook works far better. I love seeing my progress and it’s safe!  Tech lets me down too often to be relied on!!

So now’s the time to get to it and lose some inches! For the next seven days, feedback every day by using the comments section below or post on Slimpod Club on Facebook. I’ll be looking out for you!

 

The post Let’s lose some inches now the holidays are over appeared first on Slimpod.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Healthy recipe: Chicken tandoori with baby spinach

MOST of us love the delicious herbs and spices that make Indian food so tasty. But if you eat dishes which are rich in sweetened sauces you’re going to make it much harder to lose weight. So this week our hospital super chef Simon Smith has produced a recipe for chicken tandoori which is nutritious, light and filling – but definitely the healthier option. When Simon cooked this dish at Tameside hospital as the special of the day, he sold out – 100 portions gone in just 30 minutes!

Chicken Tandoori with Baby Spinach, Rocket Citrus Salad

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15mins
Cooking time 20 mins

Ingredients:
4 x 110g (approx.) Chicken breast Fillets (skin off)
600g Natural Yoghurt
3tbsp Tandoori Masala Powder
1tsp Fresh Garlic (pureed)
1tsp Fresh Ginger (pureed)
½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 small bunch Fresh Coriander
1 fresh lemon
1 head Spring Onion
2 tbsp. Sesame Oil
Seasoning

Salad:
250g Baby Spinach (pre washed)
250g Rocket Leaf (pre washed)
½ Red Peppers
½ Green Peppers
½ Yellow Peppers
¼ Cucumbers
½ Red Onions
2 Fresh Tomatoes
2tsp fresh Chives
1 Orange
1 Lemon
½ tsp. fresh Chive
½ tsp. Fresh Garlic (pureed)
20ml Wine Vinegar
80ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1tsp Dijon Mustard
Seasoning

Equipment needed:
Medium roasting tray
2 Medium Mixing bowl
2 Small Mixing bowl
Chopping board
Small Vegetable Knife

Method
Pre heat the oven to 190oc / Gas Mk 5

Into a mixing bowl place the yoghurt, tandoori powder, nutmeg, garlic, ginger, spring onions, sesame oil and half the lemon squeezed. Mix all the ingredients together in the bowl until they are all thoroughly combined.

On the chopping board double score the chicken fillets and place in the yoghurt mix.

Coat the chicken completely in the marinade. Cover with cling wrap and place on the lowest shelf in the fridge for 10 mins.

While we wait for the chicken, let’s prepare the salad. Small dice the peppers, onion, tomatoes and cucumber and place into a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl mix the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, chive and garlic. Whisk until combined then add the grated zest of the lemon and orange, then squeeze the juice from both fruit. Mix thoroughly and season.

Pour enough of the dressing into the chopped pepper mixture to give it a light coating. Pour any extra dressing into a jug to serve with the dish.

Take the chicken from the fridge and place the fillets into a roasting tray. Spread a little of the marinade on to the fillets then cover with foil and place into the oven and allow to cook for approx. 10mins.

Pre heat your grill on high.

Remove the chicken from the oven and remove the foil place back in the oven for an additional 10mins to take on a little roasting colour.

Once again remove the chicken from the oven. The chicken should be cooked, but to check cut a small incision into the thickest part of the supreme. If the juices from the meat are clear of blood then it’s cooked.

Place the roasting tray under the hot grill for approx. 60 seconds, to give the supreme a grilled appearance.

Toss the baby spinach and rocket in a bowl and portion onto 4 plates. Spoon the chopped pepper and citrus dressing mixture over the leaf.

Add the tandoori chicken supreme and the dish is complete.

The post Healthy recipe: Chicken tandoori with baby spinach appeared first on Slimpod.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Simon’s super-healthy five egg Continental baked omelette

SUPERCHEF Simon Smith loves eggs because they’re such a healthy food. One of his favourites in his eat-well kitchen at Tameside Hospital, Manchester, is this Continental baked omelette, which is packed with goodness. Simon says: “Eggs have had years of bad publicity when they were wrongly accused of raising blood cholesterol levels when really they are the most convenient and quick way of giving your body a healthy boost.

“Eggs are rich in vitamins, high in protein and contain healthy fatty acids and nutrients – the result is that an egg dish keeps you feeling full longer without raising your blood sugars or cholesterol. Add the fact that they’re vacuum-sealed in their shells for freshness and they’re so quick to cook and you can see why I love making delicious omelettes like this one.”

Continental baked omelette

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

5 Eggs

50ml Fresh Single Cream

50ml Milk

1 med Onion (cut into rings)

1 Mixed Pepper (cut into rings)

75g Fresh Mushrooms (Sliced)

40g small bowl Fresh Baby Spinach

2 Fresh Tomatoes (sliced)

1 courgette (sliced)

25g Watercress

5g Fresh Chive (chopped) optional

5g Fresh Basil optional

½ tsp Dijon Mustard

20g Mild Cheddar (grated)

10g Parmesan (shaved)

5g Butter

5g Olive Oil

Seasoning

METHOD

Peel and prepare all vegetables, according to ingredients list.  Wash prepared vegetables and set aside in a bowl.

In another bowl add the eggs, cream and milk. Whisk until combined, then add chopped herbs and the Dijon mustard and whisk into the mixture.  Stir in the cheddar cheese and set to the side.

We must treat the pan to give it a clean cooking surface. This is known as “proving”.

On a medium to low heat warm our small deep frying pan for approx. 20 seconds. Sprinkle a light blanket of salt on the base of the pan. Reduce the cooker to a low setting. Place the pan back on the heat for another 30 seconds. When this is complete, using a dry tea towel or kitchen roll wipe all the salt from the pan into a bin and you should be left with a smooth cooking surface in the pan.

Return the pan to a low heat on the cooker. Add your butter to the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and layer the prepared vegetables in the pan. The order I used was. Watercress, mushrooms, onions, peppers, spinach, courgettes. Cover the pan with foil or a lid then return to a low heat on the cooker.

Pre heat the grill to 200c

Allow the vegetables to sauté in the pan until vegetables are al dente. Remove the lid from the pan and while on the cooker pour in the omelette mix. Fill the pan to within a centimetre from the top.

Take a small spoon and slowly fold the mix in so it reaches all corners of the pan and the base. Sprinkle the top of the mixture with the parmesan cheese, cover the bake with a lid and allow the omelette to cook very slowly on a low heat. After approx. 5 – 10 min the surface should start to set. At his stage remove from the cooker and place under the medium grill. Allow to colour for an additional 5-10 mins.

Mmm! Fresh from under the grill

Remove from the heat and with a small knife pierce the middle of the omelette and if there is no liquid from the middle of the omelette. The omelette is completed.

Take the pan to the table cut bake into wedges with the salad…all that’s left is to say  is bon appetit.

Please leave a comment below because Simon really values your feedback.

The post Simon’s super-healthy five egg Continental baked omelette appeared first on Slimpod.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Healthy recipe: Mediterranean Pork, Chorizo and Pancetta Pot

 

ANOTHER great dish packed with good flavours and quick to produce. Top hospital chef Simon Smith has produced this recipe from his eat-well kitchen at Tameside hospital, Manchester. Simon says: “The pork pot is a traditional Mediterranean dish combining a number of different meats in one dish.

“The combination of flavours and high nutritional values is why this style of cooking has been used in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years with great health benefits. The dish should have a slight smoked flavour from the pancetta with a hint of paprika from the chorizo.”

Please leave a comment below because Simon loves to read your feedback on his great dishes.

Mediterranean Pork, Chorizo and Pancetta Pot

Serves 6

Preparation time: 10mins

Cooking time 10mins

 

Ingredients:

500g Pork Loin

100g Chorizo

100g Pancetta

½ glass cooking Red Wine.

1 Onion

3 stems Spring Onion

1 lrg Carrot

2 Sweet Peppers

100g Mangetout

100g Baby Sweetcorn

2 tsp chopped Garlic

2 tbsp. Olive oil

10g Butter

500ml Tomato Passata

1 tsp Chives (chopped)

1 tsp Basil (chopped)

100ml chicken stock

Seasoning

 

Equipment needed:

Wok / frying pan & spoon.

4 Small Mixing bowls

Chopping board

Small Vegetable Knife

 

Method:

Cut the pork into strips and place into a bowl; also strip the pancetta and the chorizo and place in another clean bowl.

Chop the onion, peppers and thinly slice the carrots and place in a bowl. Chop the chives, basil, garlic and spring onions and set to the side in separate bowls.

In the bowl with the pork strips, add half the garlic, half the chopped basil and half the chive. Also add 1tbsp olive oil and finally cracked pepper. Stir into the pork, coating every strip.

Heat the wok on a low setting on the hob. Add 5g butter and 1tbsp Olive oil. Add the rest of the garlic to the pan and fry slowly until soft. Continually stir the garlic so it doesn’t burn.

Increase the heat to medium and add the pork strips to the pan.

As the strips begin to cook and take on colour stir occasionally so they don’t burn. Add the onions and carrots. Cook for 1min then add the peppers, chorizo, pancetta and basil. Stir in to the mix cook for approx. 2mins with a lid on the pan. The carrots should be slightly crisp at this stage.

Increase the heat to full and add the ½ glass of red cooking wine and the stock. Boil the mixture in the pan until the wine has reduced to just a small amount of liquid in the pan. Add the Passata and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the mangtout, spring onions and baby sweet corn and cook for a further 5mins stirring occasionally .

Season and serve with accompaniment of your choice. Serve on a bed of rice or with a fresh Greek salad

 

The post Healthy recipe: Mediterranean Pork, Chorizo and Pancetta Pot appeared first on Slimpod.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Swift vegan dahl, another healthy recipe from chef Simon


LENTILS are another of our true superfoods and this week our chef Simon Smith has produced a fabulously tasty recipe for vegan dahl, always a favourite with any Indian meal. Simon, head chef at Tameside hospital in Manchester, says: “Lentils, like other beans, are rich in dietary fibre which helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, soluble fibre helps stabilise blood sugar levels.

“If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, legumes like lentils can really help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. Studies of high fibre diets and blood sugar levels have shown the dramatic benefits provided by these high fibre foods

“This simple dish is easily produced using any combination of vegetables of the chef’s liking. It’s always fun to experiment with different vegetables to give variety to the dish. And at the end of the recipe I tell you how to make your own curry to spice it all up if that’s how you like it. Enjoy!”

Swift vegan dahl

Serves 6 – 8
Preparation time: 10mins
Cooking time 20mins

Ingredients:

100g Red Lentil
2 Aubergines
2 medium Onions
1 Yellow Pepper
2 Red Peppers
1 head leek
½ head Fennel
2 courgettes
200g pumpkin or butternut squash
100g Mangetout
2 Carrots
2 Beef Tomatoes
Small bag Baby Spinach
3 stems Spring Onion
4 cloves Garlic
1tsp fresh chopped Ginger
2 fresh Chillies (optional)
100g Curry powder (optional)
½tsp Mixed Spice
5 sprigs Fresh Thyme
100g Fresh Coriander
3tbsp Sesame Oil
1tsp Honey
100ml Vegetable Stock
Seasoning

Equipment needed:
1 Casserole pan & spoon.
1 sml Sauce pan
4 Small Mixing bowl
Chopping board
Small Vegetable Knife

Method:

• Chop all the vegetables except the beef tomatoes, garlic, baby spinach, mange tout and the spring onions, into large pieces and place into a bowl.

• Into the bowl add, curry powder, mixed spice, garlic (chopped), ginger, chopped chillies, thyme sprigs and ½ the fresh coriander and the whole sprigs of thyme. Stir into the vegetables allowing the mixture to coat every piece. Mix in 2 spoons of sesame oil and allow the mixture to rest.

• In the small saucepan place the red lentils and cloves, cover with 2/3 water and place on to a high heat. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and allow simmering until lentils cook to a puree.

• Heat the casserole pan on a medium setting and when it is hot add the vegetable mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and stir the veg. place a lid on the pan and allow to cook slowly for approx. 10min.

• When you check the pan the vegetables should be simmering in their own juices. Add the chopped beef tomatoes and enough veg stock to just cover the vegetables.

• Simmer with the lid on for 5 more mins then add the mangetout, sliced spring onions, baby spinach and the puree lentil mix.

• Stir into the casserole add the honey and allow to cook for an additional 5min on medium to low heat

• Check the seasoning. Stir in the last of the fresh coriander and serve.

How to make your own curry powder

I’ve indicated in the ingredients list that curry powder is optional. Here’s an important tip: to get the best flavours from a good curry powder you should make it yourself. Here’s one of my favourite recipes. Once you’ve made it, it will keep for a long time in an airtight jar.

4 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground chilli powder
Lightly toast all the seeds for only a couple of minutes on a medium grill, stirring occasionally, grind them in a grinder or a mortar and pedestal and combine with the other powders. Store in an airtight jar to retain the flavours.

The post Swift vegan dahl, another healthy recipe from chef Simon appeared first on Slimpod.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Why the road to happiness should not be rushed

I WAS at Tameside Hospital in Manchester on Monday visiting people who are on our  NHS/Slimpod programme and got very emotional when I heard the changes a lot of people are experiencing.  Yes, there’s weight loss, but it’s much deeper than this for so many.

One person has completely taken control of the chocolate habit that’s been controlling her for years (and she’s dropped a dress size) another is in control of her diabetes and another has described the last seven weeks as “life-changing”.

However, there are also a few people who are not progressing as quickly as others and I was there to offer my help and guidance.  One of the questions was “Why are some people doing better than others?”  This is such a great question so I decided to write a blog to explain.

We all know that Slimpod programmes are nothing like diets – in fact the exact opposite.

Slimpods create change from the inside and even though it’s a generic recording it works on the individual mind.

This is what makes it so special.  You see, no two people or no two minds are the same.  We have all had a different journey in life, different relationship with food, different beliefs and values, and different emotional triggers.

A study in Australia last year revealed a whopping 83 per cent of overweight and obese people are emotional eaters.  Negative emotions surrounding lack of control over food – shame and guilt being just two of them – are magnified and develop into low self-esteem.

Research has shown that a problem with managing your weight is ranked as one of the most shameful experiences you can have in your life.  When you feel shame, invariably you comfort eat.

So for many people, one of the solutions to their weight issues lies in the way they think about themselves because it can be THE root cause of emotional eating.

On Wednesday evening, in my live chat in our Facebook group, I asked people if they know they overeat because they don’t like themselves and the way they look and feel.

Unsurprisingly there was a big discussion with so many people agreeing that their emotional eating is connected to the way they feel about themselves.

If this is you then you’re in the right place because one of the functions of the Slimpod is to empower you to feel happier about yourself and your body image. When you feel happier about yourself it helps you to be in control of the emotional eating.

I find that dealing with the root cause of the emotional eating is the catalyst for major lifestyle changes.

Of course, this is the major difference between Slimpods and anything you’ll have done before, but it’s not instant.  As I’ve already said, no two minds are the same and no two people will have had the same experiences with their body or weight throughout their lives so far.

The Slimpod magic has a lot of unravelling to do in a lot of cases and if this is you, then patience and perseverance are the key words.

Our clinical trials were conducted over six months and it was established that a lot of people lost weight in the first half of the programme, but some lost most of the weight in the second half.

I hope this helps to explain why the process of losing weight varies from person to person.

Borrow my belief in the system – weight loss will happen at the fastest, safest rate for you.

The post Why the road to happiness should not be rushed appeared first on Slimpod.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Healthy recipe: Summer spiced salmon and king prawns

ANOTHER fabulous fish recipe from Head Chef Simon Smith at Tameside Hospital, Manchester. Simon says: “Here we are cooking for the summer weather. This lightly grilled salmon, marinated in a spiced oriental sauce is quick and easy to prepare and cook. Perfect on those summer lunches with a salad or in the evenings with crisp mangetout.

“Salmon is in that league of round fish that is a good source of nutrition. A 115g portion of salmon provides over 20g of protein, omega-3 fatty and a variety of minerals and vitamins and once again zero carbohydrates. Please enjoy the recipe.”

I cooked this over the weekend and it tasted divine.  The sauce was such a refreshing change from others that usually accompany salmon. Enjoy! And please do leave a comment below so Simon can see how much you enjoyed his dish.

Summer Spiced Salmon and King Prawns

Serves 2
Preparation time: 5mins
Cooking time: 10mins

Ingredients:

2 x 115g (approx.) Salmon Fillets (skin off)
150g King Prawns
100g Mixed Fruits of the Forest (frozen)
1tsp chopped Garlic
½tsp Fresh Chopped Chillies (seedless)
½tsp Five Spices
½tsp pureed Ginger
1 stem Spring Onion
10g Butter
2 tbsp. Sesame Oil
Squeeze of Lemon
1tsp Honey
Small bunch of Fresh Parsley
½tsp chopped Dill
Seasoning

Equipment needed:
Frying pan
Small Mixing bowl
Chopping board
Small Vegetable Knife

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160oc / Gas Mk 4
  2. Place the fruits of the forest into the mixing bowl and defrost in the microwave until soft.
  3. With a fork mash the fruit lightly and set to the side.
  4. On the chopping board finely chop the spring onions and add to the bowl. In addition to the spring onions add to the bowl the garlic, chillies, ginger, five spice, squeeze of lemon and honey. Also add a teaspoon of sesame oil to the bowl and stir into the marinade.
  5. Add the salmon and king prawns to the marinade and leave in the fridge for 5 mins.
  6. Heat the frying pan with the butter and 1tsp sesame oil on a medium heat. Place the salmon in the pan with the skin side on the bottom of the pan. Into the same pan add the king prawns.
  7. Allow the two fish to cook in the pan for 4 mins on a medium to low heat, making sure not to burn the pieces, and then place the pan in the oven for an additional 4 mins.
  8. Check the salmon and if the fish is firm to the touch it will be cooked. Remove the pan from the oven and place back onto the cooker top.
  9. Transfer the salmon and the king prawns to a small tray and return to the oven on a low heat to keep warm.
  10. On a medium heat add 100ml water to the pan, and then stir in the teaspoon of fish sauce and any marinade that is left in bowl. Increase the heat to high and allow the jus to boil and reduce to a thickened sauce that coats the spoon.
  11. Place the salmon fillet and a few of the king prawns on to a plate and add a coating of the sauce to top of the salmon. Finish with a pinch of chopped dill and a sprig of parsley; serve with a light crisp salad.

Bon Appetit!

The post Healthy recipe: Summer spiced salmon and king prawns appeared first on Slimpod.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Boot Camp 6 – keep repeating those new good habits

MY Boot Camp over the past six weeks has been helping you stay on track and I know so many of you have been noticing how things have changed and have had significant WOW moments!   There was a lovely post in Slimpod Club yesterday and here it is:

Last night it was our village cycling club’s Summer BBQ and I can’t say I was really looking forward to it to be honest.
When the food was ready I went up and scanned the table expecting a bit of a battle with myself over burgers and sausages – you know that little voice in your head “go on, one won’t hurt, you know you want one really” that sort of thing.

Much to my amazement (and more so on reflection during the morning after the night before) that dialogue didn’t even happen! I didn’t give the burgers/sausages a second glance, just picked up a chicken skewer and some lovely Italian pasta salad.

Without a thought I even spread that round my plate so that there wasn’t room for a piece of quiche! I am bowled over really. Having been in a bit of a wilderness since Christmas I’ve thrown myself into Boot Camp and I feel properly back in control now.

Oh and the two glasses of wine and the gin and tonic were delicious and completely guilt free. Happy days

Sustaining healthy behaviour change long-term is the holy grail of successful weight loss and that’s what the Slimpod helps you do.  Your unconscious mind is responsible for your automatic behaviour and gradually changes your attitude to food.

So now, moving forward you need to continue to build on all the great work you’ve done over the past six weeks because sustainable weight loss can be yours if you want it!

If you think about your eating habits over the past 10 or more years, they’ll probably resemble something more like a rollercoaster ride rather than a cruise!  Yo-yo dieting in itself becomes a bad habit and something that’s really difficult to stop doing.

So what’s the definition of habit?  Habits are the repeated small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. Your life up until now is basically the sum total of your habits because research shows habits account for around 40 per cent of your behaviour on any given day.

Nearly every habit you have today, good or bad, is the result of many small choices and decisions made over time. That might be a bit of a scary thought for some!

So it’s clear that if bad habits can be created it’s the repeated pattern of small healthy behaviours that will lead to long term weight loss.

The best way to start new habits is to start with something small and you can build it into your life without too much effort.   During the past six weeks of Boot Camp you’ll have been listening to your Slimpod every day and hopefully that will now have become a habit because it’s this small, effortless act that’s going to make the biggest difference to your life

Just a little reminder:  It’s the repetition of the language in the Slimpod that makes the changes and then repeated listening continues to reinforce those behaviour changes so they become automatic.  The secret of success is in changing the things you do daily and repeating that new behaviour change over and over again.  This is crucial to habit change mastery.

 

 

Check in with the goals you set yourself in June and if you haven’t quite reached your target, treat it as feedback NOT failure. Life is a journey and obstacles get in the way.  Treat these obstacles as a small hill you can easily climb, rather than an impossible mountain that stops you in your tracks, then reaching your goal becomes inevitable!

Re-set those goals for the next six weeks now to keep the momentum going – and use your groups or the people in Slimpod Club to keep you accountable.  If goals cause you problems and have a negative impact then continue listening and take every day as it comes.

So continue to do what you’ve been doing while having a great summer.

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you’ve found most valuable about Boot Camp, what difference it has made to you and what topics you’d be interested in covering next time.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Healthy recipe: Smoked finney haddock with two-cheese sauce

OUR super chef Simon Smith has done it again! This week’s recipe is more than delicious – it’s absolutely packed with goodness. Simon, head chef at Tameside hospital in Manchester, says: “With this dish I want to show how a popular fish can be made into a tasty meal with little effort and the dish is once again packed with great flavours and aromas that will stimulate any palate.

“Smoked haddock, like most round fish, are nutrition heaven. A 115g fillet of smoked haddock contains a variety of positive nutrients. The fillet contains over 30g of protein which is vital to muscle growth plus omega-3 fatty acids that are used in the body for brain growth and maintaining a healthy heart.

“There’s also a myriad of vitamins, minerals and zero per cent carbohydrate content which make the smoked haddock a favoured fish of mine. Please enjoy the recipe.”

Smoked finney haddock in two cheese sauce

Serves 2

Preparation time: 5 -10 mins

Cooking time: 10 – 13 mins

Ingredients:

2 x 115g (approx.) smoked haddock fillets

half medium onion (diced)

300ml / half pt semi skimmed milk

15g butter

100ml water

5g chives (chopped)

2.5g / half tsp English mustard

20g Cheddar cheese

8g fine grated Parmesan cheese

15g plain flour

10g single cream

Squeeze of lemon

Sprig of parsley

Seasoning

Equipment needed:

Roasting / poaching tray, spoon and whisk

Small saucepan

Chopping board

Small vegetable Knife

Preparation:

Pre heat the oven to 190C / Gas Mk 5

On the chopping board peel and dice the half onion. Place the onion into our poaching / roasting tray.

Take the haddock fillets and fold in half and place into the tray. Pour the milk and water into the tray and squeeze a little lemon over each fish.

Lightly season, cover with foil and place into the oven. Reduce the heat to 180oc / Gas Mk 4 and allow to cook for 10mins.

Remove tray from oven, and if the haddock feels firm then it is cooked. With a fish slice remove the haddock from the tray and carefully pour the milk mixture into the saucepan. Cover the haddock fillets and return to the turned off oven to keep warm.

Add the mustard to the saucepan and whisk into the mixture. Place the sauce pan on the cooker on a low heat and allow to come to a slow simmer.

While waiting for the milk, microwave the 15g butter and melt. Add the 15g plain flour to the bowl and mix to a paste.

When the milk mixture begins to simmer add the flour paste a teaspoon at a time. Whisking the mixture after each spoon.

The sauce should thicken and be smooth. Reduce the heat more and add the cheddar and whisk into the mixture, then add the parmesan, chives and finally the cream. Stir these into the sauce so as not to scrape the bottom of the pan.

Remove the haddock fillets from the oven. Serve on to a plate and nape the haddock with the cheese sauce. Finish with a sprig of parsley and a lemon wedge.

Good Appetite! And please leave a comment below so Simon can see how much you enjoyed his dish.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Boot Camp week 5 – changing your Summer mindset

SO here we are at the last-but-one week of my Boot Camp and I thought it would be useful if this week we focused on the holiday season because I know this time of year  can throw up all sorts of challenges, concerns and anxieties about food and your weight.

This is hardly surprising since most of the people who come to our Slimpod programmes do so after years of unsuccessfully trying to lose weight and have almost been conditioned to what I call “seasonal dieting”.

Here’s how it goes – let me know by leaving a comment below if you recognise it:

In January the media lures you into the latest “amazing” weight loss revelation (diet).  You’re into it for 4-5 weeks, lose some weight and then lose motivation – because willpower doesn’t last, sadly.

Then you’re feeling a bit rubbish for the next few months until May/June comes and yes, you guessed it – the next revolutionary, all singing all dancing, Summer bikini diet is launched!

You’re on that until your summer holiday (around now) and then you just can’t keep it up because it’s summer and dieting is miserable and boring in the summer holidays isn’t it?!

All those nice things you’re depriving yourself of when everyone else is having fun and enjoying themselves. So rather than feeling rubbish you break the diet and blame it again on your own lack of willpower!

Then you limp along and around October time the media starts up again!  Lose two dress sizes in time for those Christmas parties shout the headlines!  You hop on because basically you’re losing it to put it all back on again over Christmas…and so it goes on!  Nightmare!

Well, the GOOD news is – If you’re on my six week Boot Camp and reading this you’re not on that seasonal rollercoaster any more!

What you’re doing with Slimpod is enabling your eating habits to stabilise after years and years of lurching from one diet to the next.  You’re creating a lifestyle change and enabling healthy eating to become an automatic everyday habit.

However!  I absolutely know that for many of you the dieting behaviour is never far away and the summer diet mindset will be lurking in the background, so I thought I would help you get through summer without putting any weight on – and hopefully even lose some!

  1. First thing to remember is that you are NOT ON A DIET and there’s no wagon to fall off!! This is crucially important.
  2. Summer will put a lot of you into what I call a “Summer diet trance state” – in English, this means you’ll be out of routine and be in a very different state of mind as I highlighted above. “l’ll just put my weight loss on hold and enjoy myself for a few weeks” kind of trance state!!  If you feel this is you – and I know I’ll get lots of comments saying I’m reading your minds – PLEASE PLEASE wake up from that trance and shake yourself off!  You’re not on a diet and you don’t need to be taken over like this.  
  3. You can still ENJOY the summer AND lose weight. All you have to do is continue to listen to your Slimpods and let your subconscious (or automatic brain) take the strain.  It really is simple. There are people coming back from holidays and rejoicing in the fact that they’ve enjoyed themselves and put on no weight when they would ordinarily have pigged out and be at least 8lbs heavier. The lovely Lynn from Slimpod Club just came back from three weeks away and LOST 3.5 lbs! Well done Lynn! 
  4. Keep  up your activity because in the summer we tend to be a bit lazier if the weather is hot. Raise your heart rate for just 15 minutes a day! Research has shown that brisk walking four times a week reduces food consumption, cuts down body fat and lowers insulin resistance

So that’s your task for the NEXT six weeks!

Just listen and do some exercise every day. Exercise  should be something that is automatic now any how. This means you won’t have to feel rubbish, you won’t have to ‘start again and you’ll continue the good work you’ve been doing up until now.

Next week is the final week of Boot Camp so make sure you’re there with me at the end! I’ll be doing a roll call!!

 

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