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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.