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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.