Meat free Monday – 4 good reasons to try it


It’s becoming increasingly popular to try and include one meat free day each week, with hash tags such as #MeatFreeMondays trending weekly. So why the fuss? Well it’s not a bid to turn us all veggie, but more to promote healthier choices and more variety in our diet.

So what do you think – is it worth going meat free for a day a week? Well here are some of the plus points!

Saves money

Meat-free-blog-2Meat tends to be expensive compared to vegetables, pulses and eggs for example. So making the decision to have one meat free meal a week could save quite a bit of money each month.  For example – if you cook for a family of four and one of your weekly meals needs four chicken breasts – this costs approximately £4.00 a week, that’s £16.00 a month. Alternatively, you could make Spanish omelette for dinner where the main ingredient is eggs – this would cost you approximately £5 a month (based on 8 eggs a week) – saving £11 a month or £132 a year. Enough for a few Christmas pressies!


1 in 3 adults is prediabetic – helpful to know or not?


 Approximately 6% of the UK population have diabetes, but it has been reported that 35.3% of the UK population are estimated to have prediabetes (be borderline diabetic).  That’s a lot of people. But only 5-10% of prediabetics will go on to progress to “full-blown” type 2 diabetes.

So if you were prediabetic, would you want your doctor to tell you? Or would you rather not know?

Despite diabetes being constantly in the news, for many it’s still a misunderstood disease. So I thought I’d take a look into why it’s connected to being overweight and what – if anything – we can do about it.


Foods that can make or break your smile :-)

4 foods that make you smile :-)

Cheese is full of protein and calcium – both of which help to strengthen your teeth. Research has also shown that the act of chewing cheese at the end of a meal may help to increase the rate of sugar removal from the mouth – the saliva produced when chewing cheese dilutes the sugar. Cheese board for dessert it is then! But maybe with low fat cheese?

Even though apples are high in sugar like most fruits, they’ve actually been found to have a positive effect on the health of our teeth. This is because the firmness of an apple and the chewing involved to break it down encourages the production of lots of saliva – which in turn helps to reduce bacteria levels in the mouth.


Still changing for the better!

Walking Boots 2To begin, some maintainer’s statistics…

Weight that I decided to maintain at: 85.0kg (13st 5)

Average weight since getting to my target: 83.1kg (13st 1)

Average weight in the last month: 82.1kg (12st 13)

Away Eating days in the last month: 7

Average daily steps in the last month: 11,513

You might think that after getting to my target weight, and then maintaining at more or less that weight for a year and a half, there would not be any more to say. You could well believe (like I did) that all the body changes that were going to happen would have happened. But more is happening – maybe not the huge changes such as coming off blood pressure tablets – but good news nevertheless!


Nuts – Your Secret Weapon for Weight Loss?


Anyone who’s ever dieted will know that nuts are high in calories – at over 50% fat, should they be a no-go when it comes to losing weight? With an explosion in nut snacking in the UK, the interest in nuts and their health benefits has never been more intense.

We thought it would be good to delve a bit more into the science and find out whether it’s a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ when it comes to nuts and weight loss.

What’s in a nut?

Nuts-2Nuts are actually a highly nutritious food – they provide nutrient storage for the plants and trees that produce them, so inside each nut is a whole plethora of good things! Providing a range of important nutrients including protein, fibre, selenium, zinc, copper, vitamin B6, folate, iron, calcium…the list goes on – nuts can be an important source of nutrition in the diet.

Fat levels are high but it’s mainly unsaturated fat (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) which has been shown to be beneficial when it comes to heart health. Unfortunately fat still comes in at 9 calories per gram, whether it’s unsaturated or saturated, which means that nuts are calorie dense.


Coffee – friend or foe?


I was recently asked by a member if tea had less of a negative effect on our arteries than coffee and was soon after asked by a colleague if they should drink more coffee to improve their health! With the ever changing headlines about coffee, you’d be forgiven for not knowing if you should down 10 espressos a day or stick to herbal tea. So here I’m going to talk about what you need to know – is coffee your friend or foe?


Three Years On

Three CandlesTo begin, some maintainer’s statistics…

Weight that I decided to maintain at: 85.0kg (13st 5)
Average weight since getting to my target: 83.2kg (13st 1)
Average weight in the last month: 82.1kg (12st 13)
Away Eating days in the last month: 7
Average daily steps in the last month: 12,641

The last month included a holiday, and a very special one for me, because it was a walking holiday. We used to have walking holidays when we were a lot younger, but they have been impossible for the last thirty years, because of my increasing weight. So it was a real pleasure to do one again. OK, it was not the Pennine Way, but we walked a total of 80 miles (about a quarter of a million steps), in great weather and in gorgeous scenery.


What a healthy & balanced 7 day food diary looks like


Back in 2014 Dr Janet Aylott was tasked with creating a 7 day food diary based on a 1,400 calorie per day target that was realistic, aspirational and checked the ‘healthily eating’ boxes. You can read her original blog post here.

Our budding mathematician Kate took a break from answering your customer care emails to work out how much everything in the diary would cost.
At just £31.77 for the week – or £4.54 per day - it’s clear that eating well doesn’t have to cost the earth.*

Download 7 day food diary Download the full 7 day guide, recipes and shopping list here.

Remember to check your cupboards before you go out shopping as you’ll probably have some of the items languishing in dark corners.

*Prices based on exact quantities required. Shopping list supplied includes excess to use for future meals.