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Friday, 24 December 2010

A Guide to Christmas Drinking

Alcohol has 7 calories per gramm, just under the calorific falue of fat (9calories per gramm).

It is very important to understand how it is consumed by our bodies and how can we reduce it's effects and still enjoy Christmas foods and drinks.

When alcohol is consumed, it is metabolised and absorbed by your body faster than carbs, fat or protein. A small amount of the alcohol consumed is converted into fat. The rest is converted by the liver into a substance called acetate, which is released into the bloodstream and is used as the body’s primary source of fuel and energy.  Therefore drinking any type of alcoholic beverage slows down the fat burning process and encourages the body to store any food calories consumed.

Unlike other food or beverage options, alcoholic beverages provide pure calories with no other nutritional benefits.  They can also reduce your resolve to lose weight and make more likely to snack on fattening, high calorie foods.

Diet Tips to help you enjoy your Christmas Party without any regrets:

Diet Tip No 1: Set your limit: Decide how many drinks you will have before going to the party and stick to your decision, switching to water and soft drinks.

Diet Tip No 2: Dilute it: Order low calorie alcoholic drinks like vodka and club soda, rum and diet coke, jin and diet tonic or go for wine spritzer.

Diet Tip No 3: Alternate: Alternate alcohol with water. This will help you keep your alcohol intake lower and also will keep you hydrated. Alcohol has dehydrating effect so it is very important to drink water.

Diet Tip No 4: Avoid high calorie alcoholic drinks : Port, dark beers, eggnogg, Margarita have up to 500 calories per portion! 

Alcohol Guide
Wine Calories

Calories Carbs
Cabernet Sauvignon (red) 90 2.5
Merlot (red) 95 2.5
Chianti (red) 100 2.5
Chardonnay (white) 90 1.1
Sauvignon Blanc (white) 80 1.1
Port (Ruby) 185 up to 10

Beer Calories:
Size: Calories
Stella Artois 330 145
Heineken 330 135
Crown Larger 330 132
Becks pint 204
Carling pint 187
Carlsberg Export pint 227
Carlsberg Larger pint 182
Fosters pint 193
Heiniken pint 227
Holsten pint 222

Spirits/Cocktails and mixed drinks
Gin & Tonic 200
Vodka Cranberry 220
Bloody Mary 180
Margarita Up to 500

National Slimming & Cosmetic Clinics wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We hope that our food management tips and ideas will help you to have a wonderful time, enjoy your food and drinks with no guilt!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas Vegetables - make them special

Christmas is this time of year when food treats are all around us. It is very easy to slip and start eating unhealthy high-fat foods. Make sure you have plenty of vegetables available for your Christmas dinner.  They could be really exciting and full of taste.

Here is a rainbow of recipes for you to really enjoy your veg:

This receipe is good because you can make initial preparations the day before to take some pressure off the Christmas Day.

Maple Mustard Roots

  • 800g small carrots , peeled and halved or quartered lengthways if large;
  • 800g parsnips , peeled and cut into long wedges;
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup;
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard;
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil or sunflower oil;

  1. Bring a large pan of salted boiling water to the boil. Tip in the roots, bring back to the boil and cook for 3 mins. Drain well, then tip onto a large, lipped roasting tin. Whisk together the syrup, mustard and oil with some seasoning, then gently toss with the veg. Cover with cling film for up to 24 hrs.
  2. Bring to room temp before cooking. After the turkey comes out, roast at 220C/200C fan/gas 7 for 30 mins until golden and sticky. 
    Source: BBC Good Food
St Clements Carrots

  • 800g carrots , peeled and trimmed
  • zest 3 clementines , plus a few slices
  • zest 2 lemons , plus a few slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter

  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cut the carrots lengthways into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Tip the carrots into the pan, wait for the water to simmer again, then cook for 4 mins. Drain well, then tip into a large roasting tin.
  2. While the carrots are still hot, gently toss them with all the zest, oil, butter, seasoning and the lemon and clementine slices. Poke the slices in among the carrots, so they're not left on the edges of the tray. Roast for 40 mins until the carrots are golden and tender.
    Source: BBC Good Food
Sticky Spiced Red Cabbage

This recipe can be made up to two days ahead and reheated with a splash of water, or you can make it up to a month ahead and freeze.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium-size red cabbage , quartered, cored and shredded
  • 1 finger-size piece fresh root ginger , finely chopped
  • 2 onions , sliced
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add cabbage, ginger, onions, allspice and mustard seeds, then cook for 5 mins until just starting to wilt.
  2. Scatter over the sugar and pour in the vinegar. Cover pan, gently cook for 10 mins, then remove lid and turn up the heat to medium. Simmer the liquid in the cabbage for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally, then stir continuously for the last few mins until all the liquid has evaporated and becomes sticky on the bottom of the pan. Tip cabbage into a large bowl and serve.
    Source: BBC Good Food
Brussel Sprouts

Love 'em or hate 'em - you just can't have Christmas dinner without having Brussels sprouts!

Brussels are now at their seasonal best. Make sure you choose bright green, firm sprouts as these will taste freshest.

  • 500g Brussels sprouts , trimmed
  • 75g cubetti di pancetta or bacon lardons
  • 50g butter
  • a handful walnut halves, snapped in two

  1. Steam the sprouts until tender but still bright green. Cook the pancetta in the butter until crisp and golden.
  2. Add the walnuts and cook until golden and toasted. Add the sprouts and toss everything together.
    Source: BBC Good Food
 Roast Potatoes from Jamie Oliver

• 1.5kg King Edward potatoes, peeled and halved
• ½ bulb of garlic, separated into cloves and crushed with the back of a knife
• a small bunch of fresh rosemary, separated into sprigs
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 6 tablespoons good-quality olive oil

Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Parboil your potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and toss around to scruff up the outside of the spuds. Toss with the garlic cloves, half of the rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, and 30g of the butter in a large bowl. Arrange in one layer in a roasting tin and roast for 45 minutes until golden.
Source: Jamie Oliver Recipes: 

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Healthy Eating Christmas Tips.

The festive Season is about to begin. When it comes to Christmas dinner dieting and healthy eating  usually are the last things on people’s mind. However you can still have a healthier dinner and enjoy the foods you eat.

Get our unique healthy eating guide absolutely free here to help you make right choices.

It is difficult to keep eating healthy and to maintain your weight during Christmas with so many treats around. Here you can find some very good tips:

1. Eat Breakfast on Christmas day. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It will fill you up and you will be less likely to have unhealthy snacks.

2. Include Fruit in your snacking. Satsumas, apples, dried fruit and unsalted nuts make brilliant snacks.

3. Don't go to a party hungry. Have some healthy snacks before you leave to avoid overeating.

4. Go for healthier options, limit high fat food items. Stay away from fried food, processed meats, pastries.

5. Serve Christmas Dinner with heaps of vegetables.Vegetables and fruit have lots of nutririon value and no fat. Try to avoid putting too much salt. Use herbs and spices instead.

6. Cut potatoes for roasting into larger chunks – they’ll absorb less fat. Roast in a small amount of unsaturated (e.g. sunflower) oil for a healthier choice.

7. Have smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods without overeating.

8. Try other versions of alcohol: instead of beer, cider, Bailey's and Kahlua, try dry wine, Bloody Marys or spirits with diet mixer which have fewer calories.

9. Drink pleanty of water. Alcohol and coffee may de-hydrate your body.

10. Avoid feeling uncomfortably full by eating more slowly.

11. Get active  - take a brisk walk, play an indoor
game or maybe just turn on the music and dance away those calories!