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Friday, 4 November 2011

Eat Healthier: Sweet Potato

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Add nutrition and variety to your weight loss plan

Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury dishes.

Substituting potato with sweet potato will make your meals lighter, healthier and add variety to your menu. Make sure you include this tasty vegetable into your weight loss program or a diet plan.

Most of us know that sweet potato is a much healthier alternative to the usual white potato. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are a major source of beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C; they are healthier and have more nutritional value.

Here you can find some inspiration and some tasty hearty recipes sure to keep you full and satisfied during cold autumn and winter days.

Sweet potato shepherd's pie

Recipe and Photo by BBC Goog Food
This is a lighter version of the classic family supper meal. The great thing about it is that it also is freezable and it will fit perfectly into your diet plan adding lots of nutrition to your dinner.

Serves 4 people


•    250g extra-lean mince
•    2 onions , chopped
•    3 carrots , diced
•    2 celery sticks , diced
•    2 garlic cloves , crushed
•    200ml lamb stock
•    1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
•    1 tsp Marmite
•    1 x 400g tin lentils , drained
•    1kg sweet potatoes , chopped
•    2 tbsp half fat crème fraîche
•    1 bunch chives , snipped

Cooking Instructions:

1.    Heat a non-stick pan and dry fry the mince until browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic and fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, Worcester sauce, Marmite, lentils and some seasoning. Simmer for 10 minutes or until saucy. Meanwhile boil or steam the sweet potato until tender. Drain then mash with the crème fraîche. Add the chives.
2.    Heat the oven to 200C/fan oven 180C/gas 6. Transfer the mince to an ovenproof dish. Add the mash. Cook for 30 minutes until bubbling.
Nutritional Info per serving
414 kcalories, protein 22.6g, carbohydrate 72.7g, fat 5.7 g, saturated fat 2.4g, fibre 12.5g, salt 1.61 g

Sweet potato tortilla with pepper sauce


Photo and recipe by BBC Good Food
This is a tasty filling meal perfect for lunch or dinner. Add some green salad and enjoy!


•    800g sweet potatoes , peeled
•    olive oil
•    290g jar flame-roasted peppers , drained
•    1 tsp red wine vinegar
•    extra-virgin olive oil
•    1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
•    ½ tsp ground cumin
•    1 garlic clove , crushed
•    1 bunch spring onions , sliced
•    6 eggs , beaten and seasoned

Cooking Instructions:

1.    Slice the potatoes into thin rounds about 1/2 cm thick. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium non-stick frying pan (about 25cm across), then add the potatoes and season. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring now and again, until tender.
2.    Meanwhile, put the peppers into a blender, add the vinegar, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, the spices, garlic and some seasoning and whizz to a smooth sauce.
3.    Heat the grill to high. Scatter the onions over the potatoes, then pour the eggs over and shake the pan to distribute them evenly. Leave the tortilla to cook for about 8 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until the eggs are almost set. Flash the pan under the grill for 1-2 minutes to finish cooking then serve in wedges with salad and the sauce.
Nutrition per serving: 409 kcalories, protein 15.3g, carbohydrate 46g, fat 19.5 g, saturated fat 4.2g, fibre 6.9g, salt 1.1 g

Sweet potato wedges

Photo and recipe by BBC Food
Sweet potato chips make a healthy, high-fibre alternative to traditional chips, but taste just as good (if not better!)


•    2 sweet potato, cut into wedges
•    4 tbsp olive oil
•    1 tbsp thyme leaves
•    salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation method
1.    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2.    Toss the wedges with the oil and thyme then season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3.    Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned.
4.    Serve in a warm bowl

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

7 weeks to Christmas

The festive season is about to start. Although it seems like the summer has only just gone and there’s still plenty of time to get ready, it actually is only 7 weeks to Christmas.

Christmas is a major event in most lives and involves a lot of preparation to make it truly remarkable.

It is a time of the year full of parties, family dinners, corporate and social events. It is very important to feel confident as it has a great impact on what this season of happy feelings, celebrations and cheer will be like for you. 

You might have already started looking at beautiful dresses and jewellery and makeup, which will help you look your best on the day, or maybe you are still far from the festive feelings, but in any case there are very important steps which could make a huge difference to the way you look and feel when the time comes.

Lose Weight for Christmas

Now is the right time to think of possibly shifting 2 stones of extra weight. You still have time for this, just don’t delay it any more! Find yourself a slimming plan or a weight loss centre or program and get started.

The sooner your start, the more weight you will be able to drop before your party. You might be shopping for a dress several sizes down!

Look 10 years younger for Christmas

To add even more effect to your appearance, you could also drop 10 years off your appearance by visiting a cosmetic clinic. There is a wide range of non-surgical treatments available which will make you look younger, your skin smooth and glowing. Depending on your personal circumstances, a cosmetic professional will advise the course of treatments specific to your needs.

The most popular treatments which should ideally be done 4-6 weeks before your party are injectable anti-wrinkle treatments, which will reduce lines and wrinkles.

The treatment is fast, simple and has no downtime or recovery period.

Christmas is time for looking beautiful and feeling happy. Treat yourself to the most special life-changing Christmas this year and let it be the best Christmas present to yourself.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Dieting and Weight Loss: Autumn Vegetables

Autumn Vegetables: Eat Seasonal

Autumn is a fantastic time to get more nutritional vegetables in your diet when they are in season and full of taste and flavour.

Vegetables and fruits are great for weight loss diets as they are low in fat and calories. Make the best of the large variety of seasonal vegetables. Eating seasonal provides additional benefits in your diet as seasonal fruits and vegetables are full of taste and nutrition.
Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, and high in fibre – three essential ingredients for successful weight loss. Most also contain plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which are important for helping us to look and feel our best.

Here’s a great resource for you to use to find out what fruits and vegetables are in season in the UK.

In Season Now

Right now at there best are artichoke, beetroot, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, celeriac, celery, chillies, fennel, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, marrow, onions, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), pumpkin, swede, turnips, watercress

This is a great selection of fantastic vegetables to add variety and nutrition into your diet without adding extra calories.

This week we’ll talk about leeks. Leeks are praised for their delicacy and can add rich flavours to your dishes. They can be used to enrich soups, stews or make tasty side dishes Leeks are a source of vitamin C, iron and fibre. They also are very good for your blood and heart.

We would like to share some amazingly comforting recipes for you to enjoy.

Broccoli Mushroom Leek Quiche

Home made quiche is one of the easiest things to make. Made with eggs, mushrooms, leeks, broccoli, it is a source of protein and vitamins. Serve it with colourful salad for even more goodness and taste.

To make it easier you can use ready made or even ready rolled shortcrust pastry. We’ve replaced cream in the recipe with skimmed milk to make it suitable for your diet plan.


1 pack of rolled pastry
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek
8 mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 broccoli crown
2 stems of fresh rosemary
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
11 grams grated cheddar


  1. Place a frying pan on medium heat and add the olive oil. While that's heating up, chop the leeks and add them to the pan.
  2. Slice the mushrooms and mix them in with the leeks. Add the garlic and stir often. Don't cover the pan because you want the water to evaporate. Allow to cook for five minutes.
  3. Cut up the broccoli crown in small pieces and add that to the pan. Cook for another five minutes, then add the fresh rosemary. Mix well and cook for one more minute and then remove from the heat.
  4. In a separate bowl, scramble slightly the three eggs. Add the milk, salt, and pepper and stir well.
  5. Pour the vegetable mixture into the pie shell.
  6. Place the pie shell on a foil covered cookie sheet. Then carefully pour in the egg mixture. If you want to, sprinkle some cheese on the top. Since this quiche contains no cream, it takes longer to cook, so bake for 40 minutes. You'll know it's ready when you poke a knife in the quiche and it comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting. It tastes great out of the oven, but even better the next day, just warm it up in the microwave.
Recipe adapted from Fitsugar

Sweet Potato, Leek, and Ham Soup

Add this soup into your great for weight loss recipe collection. It is not only easy to make, tasty and nutritious, but also low fat and low calorie meal to make on a cold autumn or winter day. Add a pinch of nutmeg, curry powder and cayenne for stronger, more aromatic flavour.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced leek (about 1 large)
  • 2 tablespoons water (optional)
  • 3 cups cubed peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup skimmed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Thinly sliced leek (optional)
  • Thinly sliced green onions (optional)


  •  Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in the frying pan oven over medium heat, add chopped ham; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove ham from pan; set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and add leeks. Cook leek, covered, 5 minutes or until very tender, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons water to pan, if needed, to prevent burning.
  • Add sweet potato and next 4 ingredients, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until sweet potato is very tender. Place half of potato mixture in a blender or food processor. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Process until smooth. Pour puree into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in 3/4 cup reserved ham.
  • Ladle soup into bowls; top servings evenly with 1/4 cup reserved ham. Garnish with sliced leek and onions, if desired.
Recipe and photo from My Recipes

    Friday, 7 October 2011

    Lose weight faster and keep it off by changing your habits!

    Thousands of people are looking for solutions to lose weight. They hire private nutritionists, visit slimming clinics and weight loss centres.

    One of the causes of overeating / obesity is our habits. Many people get used to snacking / eating too much. Breaking these habits is crucial if you want to get rid of the unwanted pounds.

    Changing habits should not be a dramatic move as this could mean failure and dropping back into our old habits. Start it slow - one small change at a time. Slightly tweak it every day in the direction you want it changed and you will be amazed how far this gets you.

    How to start changing overeating habits to help with weight loss

    Let’s take sugar in your hot drinks as a example. Let’s say I have two spoons of sugar in each cup of coffee / tea. You may think this is far too much, but you like hot drinks. They could add up to 6 cups a day and that’s 12 spoons of sugar from drinks only.

    Step1: My first step is very easy – realise that I have a bad habit and that I want to get rid of it.
    Step 2: Write a plan. Your plan will set your intention in stone and it will help you to be more focused on your goals. It also helps you to set your target.

    Let’s write a small, but specific plan:

    Week 1: I reduce my sugar to 1.5 spoons and make sure I put not heaped spoons. This is a small change and probably will only make a slight difference to the taste of my drink.

    Week 2: I am enjoying my hot drinks with 1.5 spoons and now I don’t notice any difference. It means this is time for the next change. I reduce my sugar to 1 spoon (flat). If this seems a bit too much, add a little more milk than usual. This will add sweetness. You will reduce the amount of milk once you’ve got used to your new sugar amount.

    Week 3: Now I am perfectly happy with my spoon of sugar, so it’s time for my third step – cut it down to half a spoon. Try to really taste of your drink. Sugar blocks the taste, so when you drink a sweet drink, you mainly taste sugar, not the actual drink.

    Week 4: If you’d like to completely stop having sugar, it’s a good time to do it. Milk could help you here. Increase the amount of milk you have in your drink during the first 2-3 days and then cut back again.

    It takes around 30 days to gain a new habit, which in our example is sugarless drinks. Congratulations to your new healthy habit!

    The example above is a very small change, which gets you far. 2 spoons per drink add up to 12 per day, 84 per week and 336 per month!

    Step 3: Make a start on your plan. Do not make a big thing about it. Try to not to think about it much – just enough to remember to stick to the plan. Also make each step a goal by itself. Don’t jump in your thoughts to the last step. Take it gradually.

    Step 4: Be positive about the changes you make. It doesn’t have to be difficult or hard, it is just training your body to enjoy different things. If your body only enjoys fat and sugar, they you need to train it to enjoy other things. Just slightly tweak and you will be able to turn this round in less time than you think.

    Step 5: When you are implementing your plan think of what you are gaining from it, not what you are losing. It is not really a loss, and extra amounts of sugar or fat are not treats. Change your mind set. If you think this is a treat and how much you are going to miss it, it will make it very hard for you.

    In my case of sugar, when having a hot drink I set my mind to enjoy the drink itself and consider this a treat. After few days you will notice your body does not need extra indulgence and treats your aromatic coffee as a perfect treat.

    Friday, 30 September 2011

    National Slimming and Cosmetic Clinics have been featured with an article on the ‘Lose That Tyre’ Blog by Mark Corner – an inspirational blog about weight loss and healthy living.

    In the article we have covered high protein diets, what to expect, do they help and whether they actually work.

    The final conclusion is that healthy balance wins – no need to limit your diet to eating protein only foods and exclude everything else. A healthy choice of high protein, low-fat diet could lead to a more effective weight loss and improve your eating habits.

    There is evidence that increase in protein intake improves the feeling of fullness. The more satisfied you feel after eating, the less likely you are to overeat or indulge in sweets and snacks in-between meals during the day. It takes more energy to burn protein than carbs or fats, which means you actually lose more calories to digest your food.

    Below you can find easy low carb, low calorie recipes for your perfect tasty Italian Dinner this weekend. 

    Italian Chicken


    1 can of tomatoes, 1/2 tsp basil
    1/2 tsp tarragon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper, freshly ground
    2 tsp olive oil
    1 garlic clove finely chopped
    2 lb chicken pieces, skinned
    2 tbsp parsley chopped or 2 tsp dry parsley
    1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese


    Pour tomatoes into container of a blender or food processor. Add basil, tarragon, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

    Pour oil into a large frying pan, sauté garlic over medium heat for 1 min. Add chicken pieces, brown turning once or twice until golden on both sides. Cover with tomato mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 min until tender.

    Remove chicken and place in a warm oven-proof dish. Stir parsley into sauce and spoon over chicken. Sprinkle with Mozzarella. Place under grill until cheese melts.

    4 servings  5 g carbohydrate, 25 g protein, 15 g fat (255 calories)

    Italian Carrots Serves 8


    1 lb of peeled baby carrots or small size carrots cut in
     1/2 inch lengths
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/2 tsp oregano
    2 large cloves of garlic, minced
    2 tbsp olive oil


    Wash and peel the carrots. Steam carrots for about 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. While carrots are steaming, make your dressing by combining remaining ingredients.

    When the carrots are ready place them in a wide and deep dish and pour dressing over them immediately, tossing to coat all sides.

    Let rest 30 minutes, tossing once or twice, for flavours to mature.

    For deeper flavour can be refrigerated overnight and served either cold or at room temperature.<

    Mock Mashed Potatoes:


    1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
    1 cup of stock (stock cube or fresh)
    2 tbsp butter
    2 ounces cream cheese
    2 tbsp sour cream
    1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


    Place cauliflower florets in a large saucepan. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until very tender, about 12 minutes.

    Drain remaining liquid thoroughly and cook 2 more minutes over the low heat until dry, stirring constantly.

    Use hand blender or food processor to mash cauliflower with cream cheese, sour cream and cheddar.

    Important! Cauliflower should be cooked until VERY tender and should be VERY dry before mixing in the other ingredients.

    Put the mixture in an ovenproof dish or tray. Sprinkle some paprika on top to add nice colour.

    Bake 15 to 20 minutes until hot.

    Tuesday, 20 September 2011

    Weight Loss Specialists - why we are getting fatter

    MSN Life published an article about the overweight and obesity problem in the UK and the rest of the World.
    Several top UK weight loss experts have given their views, opinions and advice on the problem that has great impact on our lives, health general wellbeing.

    One of the experts interviewed is Robert Houtman – the Managing Director of National Slimming and Cosmetic Clinics.

    The Problem raised in the article is the dramatic increase in overweight and obese people in the UK. ‘Recent studies suggest that by 2030, there will be 26 million people in the UK who are obese - a rise of 73% from the current 15 million.’ states MSN Live.

    Top UK experts in fighting overweight and obesity problems have shared their opinions and suggested how to solve the problem. The causes of increased rates of overweight people not only in the UK but around the world are to be blamed on the:

    Lazy lifestyles - lifestyles in general are becoming more and more sedentary; 

    Increase of processed foods in our diets: foods many people believe to be healthy make you fatter and hungrier. Examples mentioned: breakfast cereal, spreads, low-fat diet drinks.

    Development of technology and it’s increasing integration into our lifestyles: internet, smart phones and social networking stop people from getting off the sofa and going to visit friends or even the post office or a shop.

    Carbohydrates which refers back to the processed food problem – processed foods have a much higher content of carbs as well as trans and saturated fats.

    Abundance and availability of take away and fast foods – ready available, easy to find, these meals contain two or three times as many calories as the home made versions.

    Diet dilemmas: According to Robert Houtman, managing director of National Slimming and Cosmetic Clinics, whilst the majority of overweight people would love to shed a few pounds, the problem is that they simply don't know how to. "Lack of dietary information is a huge problem," says Robert. "Very few diets actually teach you what you should be eating. Instead they focus on the 'fast' weight loss. All these fad diets, counting points or eating only protein or just cabbage soup have no educational value whatsoever. So, as soon as you stop the 'fad' diet you simply go back to your old eating habits."

    Lack of movement – using cars and other transport when walking or cycling could be an option saves money and benefits health as well as the waistline.

    Stress related overeating - many people use food to change the way they feel and to help themselves to feel better.

    The Portion Problem: Portion sizes have increased dramatically. It is very easy to go down this road and get your food portions bigger and bigger making your calorie intake several times over what your body really needs.

    More on these problems and expert advice at MSN Life and Style

    Friday, 14 January 2011

    Overweight Problem

    There are many reasons why overweight people need to do something about their weight problem. If you are overweight, you have to understand that it's not the 'weight' itself that is the problem. It's the health related issues. Over the past decade the size of the average waist has grown at a rapid rate. The research shows that if you are overweight you increase your risk of the following:

    - Heart Disease and Stroke;

    - Diabetes;

    - Cancer;

    - Skeletal disorders (such as arthritis and gall bladder disease)

    - Osteoarthritis

    - Surgical Risks (Overweight is considered to be a severe complication for surgical procedures and as an increased risk for general anaesthesia.)

    The above risks should really be enough for most to start thinking about losing weight and change to a healthier way of living. 

    If these are not convincing enough, there are more issues to consider:


    Overweight people may feel a lack of enthusiasm for socialising and activities. They also may lack desire to be social due to real or perceived prejudice in the community against overweight people. 

    In The Workplace:

    Some employers have to make people with considerable weight problems redundant due to health and safety risks. Others discriminate when employing or considering candidates for promotion

    Physical Discomfort

    Overweight people may experience, fatigue, shortness of breath, joint pain etc.


    Being overweight may prevent you from participating in many forms of exercise due to lack of mobility, flexibility, exercise tolerance and ease of movement.

    Of course it doesn't mean that these problems apply to all overweight people or only to overweight people. However experience shows that these are the most common issues.

    Looking at the type of problems that overweight people may experience, it is obvious that they can occur in nearly every part of the overweight person’s life.

    If you are overweight you need to really ask yourself if you need to change something in your life, because the health problems are a major concern.

    When people hear the word diet they run in fear, but a diet does not have to be bland and boring. Look at the word 'diet' from the point of view of its original definition. It actually is the food and drink that you eat daily. You can download our amazing professional Diet Guide for free.

    To change your life, you need to introduce healthier food options into your day to day routine. If you want to lose weight and keep it off and rid yourself from health and social problems you need to adopt a diet that you can live with.

    From our experience, the hardest part is having the willpower to be able to start and keep going through your diet. Here at National Slimming and Cosmetic Clinics we help our patients by giving them 'willpower in a pot'. We know that it works because we have so many happy people who have kept going with their diets and are successful in their weight loss.

    We have gone even further now. We now offer 100% natural SlimSlim slimming pills. We use only top quality ingredients which suppress your appetite and help you manage your food intake. We love this product and our staff members have been taking it with amazing results. We have had many positive responses and excellent results from many customers too.

    You can find more information about us and the sevices we provide on our website: