New Year – New Crazy Diet

As New Year approaches many people think New Year – New crazy diet and rush to start a fad diet.

You don’t need to start a very restrictive diet and you will probably find that it will be very diificult to keep it up.

I strongly believe in everything in moderation.

Think about your portion sizes, look at how big your plate is and do you really need to pile it up full of food.

Think about what foods you choose to have as snacks and do take notice of how much you are snacking in the day. This is where a food diary is good as it can be a real eye opener as long as you are honest and write down everything you eat and drink. If you do cheat, you are only cheatig yourself.

When you reach for something to eat firstly have a think are you really hungry or are you bored? If you are truly hungry you could eat a piece of fruit, rather than a piece of chocolate.

Make sure your food is like the colour of a rainbow to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need.

variety of fruits and vegetables
Photo by Pixabay on

Most importantly if you have recognised you want to be more healthy then make small changes that you will be able to keep going.

A great place to start is to look at how much water you drink in a day. Water can make such a difference to how you feel and look. I can tell in just one day if I haven’t drank enough water.

So as you can see New year doesn’t have to mean starting a crazy diet.

Hope you have a great New Year.

Karen X

Which Fats Does Your Body Need?

Some people remove fat from their diet, by doing this you are depriving yourself from a vital nutrient which is essential for the correct absorption of other foods. It can affect your metabolic rate and you will feel more hungry. It will also have an impact on your complexion it can become dull, lifeless, deeper wrinkles, premature ageing and also impact on your energy levels. Read on to find out which fats your body requires.

The Right Type Of Fat Is Important

Bad Fats – These are the fats you need to be careful of and try to avoid having too much or they will impact on your health.

Saturated Fat

If you have too much saturated fat in your diet it can cause your cholesterol levels to rise, block arteries, raise your blood pressure and may lead to heart disease. You will find saturated fat mainly in meat and dairy products. You don’t have to completly eliminate these foods from your diet. Make sure you are eating a good range of essential fatty acids.

The Fat To Avoid – Trans Fatty Acids Or Hydrogenated Fat

These are the worst fats for your body they have the biggest impact on your health and have ageing effects on your body. They start off as polyunsaturated vegetable oil, but have hydrogen added to improve texture and increase shelf life. You can find small amounts in dairy products and meat, but the chemically occurring trans fats is different from man-made ones in processed foods and natural trans fats do not have the same negative effects on health.

Research Has Shown That Trans Fats:

  • Are bad for your health
  • Increase the risk of breast cancer
  • Block antioxidants from working in the body
  • Hinder the absorption of essential fatty acids

Some researchers have suggested that trans fats are almost impossibe for the body to break down and lead to weight gain whch is hard to lose.

What To Look Out For On Food Labels:

  • Trans fatty acids
  • Trans Fats
  • Hydrogenated fat
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oil

They are all different names for the same thing.

Check the labels on caramel biscuits and chocolate bars as they often contain them and can have high trans fat content.

Healthy Good Fats:

Olive Oil

This is a monounsaturated fat containing omega-9. It assists your body in absorbing antioxidant vitamin A and E, boosts energy, keeps skin glowing and protects against heart disease. Look out for extra virgin cold-pressed varities as these will have the highest nutritional value.

Walnut Oil

This is known to be a good source of antioxidant ellagic acid – tests have shown it inhibits the growth of cancer cells. It also helps to reduce high cholesterol levels and helps to protect against sun damage.

Avocado Oil

This oil contains carotenes and chlorophyll, also rich in vitamin E.

Hemp Seed Oil

This oil is great as it has the omega-3 and omega-6 making it brilliant for lowering cholesterol, boosting the immune system and circulation, improve memory and help depression.

Sesame Seed Oil

A good source of the vitamins B and E, minerals and trace elements such as copper, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Flaxseed Oil

Good source of omega-3 and omega-6, has a slight nutty flavour. This oil helps to lower blood pressure and calms digestive problems.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

This oil is rich in vitamins A and E, zinc and essential fatty acids.

Always Include Nuts And Seeds In Your Diet:

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans
  • Cashew
  • Hazelnuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkinkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

These all contain essential fatty acids as well as protein. If you eat a variety you will supply your body with vitamins, minerals and combination of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9.

Not Forgetting – Oily Fish

This can include salmon, tuna, sardine, mackerel, anchovies, whitebait and herring. These all contain omega-3. Added bonus they are anti-inflammatory, guard against heart disease and are essential for the brain, central nervous system and healthy cell growth. They are a good source of vitamin D and iodine for the throid function.

So as you can see there is so many ways you can have good fats and it is quite easy to incude them in your diet. Don’t forget to look out for the bad fats and try to limit them. Remember do not remove fat from your diet, your body needs it and will thank you for it, just remember which fats your body needs.

Do you Want An Energy Packed Snack?

When you are hungry and looking for a quick snack it is very easy to grab some chocolate or crisps.

It is far better for your health if you make your own snacks.

I use these if I am getting an energy slump in the afternoon or fancy a sweet treat with my lunch.

This is a super quick, easy to make snack, packed full of energy and tastes delicious.

You will know exactly what ingredients are in it.


250g Dried dates

250g of mixed nuts and seeds

2 teaspoons of cocoa powder


Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it has formed a soft dough.

Roll the dough into small balls.

Place in a container in the fridge.

I used almonds, cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds.

The recipe makes more than is shown in the picture.

Lentil Cottage Pie – Great Vegetarian Option

If you are stuck for ideas on what to cook today, this is a great alternative if you don’t eat meat or you fancy a change from meat.

Serves 2


1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1/2 red onion

1 carrot finely chopped into small pieces

1 clove of garlic crushed

1tbsp tomato puree

400g can chopped tomatoes

1tsp dried thyme

75g dried split lentils

350ml vegetable stock

white and sweet potatoes for the mash

25g cheddar cheese grated


Peel the potatoes and place in a pan of water, but do not set off cooking yet.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and thyme.

Set off your pan of potatoes to cook.

Stir in the lentils, vegetable stock, then simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture is reduced and creamy.

Preheat the oven to 200 / Gas 7

Pour the lentil mixture into an ovenproof dish and spread out evenly.

Mash the potatoes and spread evenly over the lentil mixture.

Sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden.

Serve immediately with any other vegetables of your choice.

Hope you enjoy it if you give it a try.

What Does Iron Do For Your Body And Why Do You Need It?

Karen x

How To Get Your 5 A Day Every Day In An Easy Way

Do you struggle to get your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. It can be easier than you think. Firstly have a look at what you are eating each day. Secondly think how you can make small changes.

Key facts

Fruit and vegetables are key to a healthier lifestyle.

They taste great and add variety to any meal.

Your 5 a day should consist of as many different coloured varities as possible.

Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables will give you plenty of vitamins and minerals.

They are also a good source of fibre and antioxidants.

All these nutrients are good for your health.

Fruit and vegetables are generally low fat, low calorie foods.

so eating them instead of foods high in fat and added salt gets you on your way to keeping healthy and losing weight.

Remember – fresh, frozen, canned, chilled pulses, 100% unsweetened juice and dried fruit and vegetables all count towards your five a day.

Buy fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season.

This means that they are not only cheaper, but tastier too.

what counts as a portion?

If you are confused as to what counts as a portion, here are some examples.

A portion counts as 80g which is roughly a handful.

1 medium apple

3 celery sticks

3 heaped tablespoons of canned sweetcorn

7 cherry tomatoes

1 handful of carrot sticks

1 medium banana

3 heaped tablespoons of fresh or frozen peas

1/2 an avocado

3 heaped tablespoons of cooked kidney beans

2 broccoli florets

2 medium plums

8 brussels sprouts

1/2 large courgette

1 medium onion

12 chunks of pineapple

3 whole dried apricots

Ideas on how to increase your 5 a day

Have 100% unsweetened fruit juice 150ml with your breakfast

Snack on fruit, dried fruit or vegetable sticks mid morning or afternoon

Add a side salad to your lunch

Have an extra serving of vegetables with your evening meal

Add tinned tomatoes to a homemade casserole

Make homemade soup

Make your own tomato sauce for pasta

Make your own smoothie – just remember they count as a maximum of 2 of your 5 a day

There is lots of ways to get your 5 a day.

Some don’t involve any cooking and are easy to prepare.

Hope you have a good day.


Easy To Make Energy Balls

These energy balls are really easy to make and they are great if you fancy a healthy sweet treat.

A good little snack if you are getting the afternoon slump.


70g Almonds

200g Dates

2tsp honey

3tsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup desiccated coconut


If your almonds are whole blitz them in a food processor until they are fine breadcrumbs.

Add the dates, honey and cocoa and blitz in the processor.

Tip the mixture into a bowl.

Place the coconut in a separate bowl.

Roll and compress the mixture into balls, then roll each ball in the coconut.

Give them a try, no cooking involved.