_ Sweet mince pies are one of my favourites over Christmas, and as I cannot eat them due to their high fat contact we have been looking for an alternative. This is a recipe that we have been experimenting with over the Christmas period. Every time we have made it we have slightly changed the mix but I will still share it regardless, as a work in progress and it seems a long time to next Christmas
_ This is part two of my blog on how I have lost over 50 lbs in weight over the last few months. Part one covered incentive, portion size, and meal frequency.
This blog looks at exercise, hydration, and setting realistic targets. Part three will cover the foods consumed themselves.
Even Fishing is Excercise
_ Exercise – In my case due to my illness if I pushed myself with excessive exercise, then I got pains from my liver as it did not like it. Now even after 11 months I can still only do around 3 hours walking in any one go and jogging / jumping / in fact any form of excessive abdominal muscle work is still not possible as my body is not strong enough yet.
So surely one needs to do lots of exercise to loose weight. Well yes and no. It takes around 90 minutes to burn off a 68g mars bar containing 300 calories. A Quarter pounder (Without the fries) is just under double this. Other examples can be seen at these two sites
In essence one needs to do a lot of exercise to burn off a little energy, and what do you feel tempted to do after all that exercise – go for a drink or have a snack bar to give you more energy – replace that energy you think you have just lost. In all probability you will then eat more than you have just burnt off.
In my case I do a reasonable amount of exercise, gradually building up stamina. So three hours of walking is currently about my lot. (Prior to being ill a 12 mile hike was fine) I do try and go for at least 45 minutes walk every day, but don't then come in and immediately eat to replace the energy I have just burnt off. There is lots of advice on how much exercise one should do each day. The key point is to do some, everyday, if it is just housework, (or even fishing) rather than the odd session here and there.
_ Hydration – This is one of the key areas, of the diet. I aim to drink somewhere between 1.5 to 3 litres of liquid a day. Very roughly a 250ml glass full (or it's equivalent) per waking hour. There is lots on this on the web, and if it is cold and sugarless eg chilled water, then it will help you loose a bit of weight as well, as the body has to expend heat in warming up the cold liquid once you have drunk it. What you do not want to be doing is to drink high sugary drinks as they will not help you loose weight. I currently drink black coffee, green tea, juice and squash (though am very careful as to sugar content and type of these and normally no more than 150ml of juice) and chilled water. Drinking the liquid also helps fill up the stomach so you do not feel so hungry between meals.
_ Targets – Setting a realistic target is one of the most important factors of the diet. The target should be achievable, but stretching. For example aim to loose 2lbs a week – Say a target of target 1 and ¼ stones in two months. But the thing to do is to weight oneself every day at the same time of the day (I do it first thing in the morning) and then realistically you know how you are doing. It is very easy to know if you have lost 2lbs a week. If you achieve your target give yourself a treat for example a small bit of high coca – low fat chocolate or something similar. You will then feel encouraged to carry on the process. What you must not do is say my target is to loose 4 stone because you just won't do it. It is too much, and you will probably give in. That can be the ultimate target but the process of getting their needs to be broken down into smaller achievable steps. Probably a weekly target plus a monthly one.
The final point is Food and this will be covered in part three of this blog.
_ A few weeks ago when chatting to a friend they were asking how I was getting on with my diet, as it was evidently working well – my trouser waist size at the time had gone down 4 inches. He suggested that maybe I should share what I have done in my blog to help others in a similar situation. So here it is.
If at the start of the year someone had told me that I would be loosing over 50 lbs in weight in the next few months I would have just laughed at them. I know that over the past few years I have tried to loose weight in various ways. Be it jogging, swimming, cycling, doing various fat busting exercises, but for various reasons I have stopped after a short while. I may have lost a few pounds but then a few months later the weight has come back on. Eventually I go up a trouser size as my jeans will just not fit. (Just have to stop using the hot wash which as everyone knows shrinks clothes so badly!). This process has carried on over the last decade and I got a little bit heaver each year.
At the start of the year (2011) I got a virus infection that attacked my liver, and became seriously ill. Their are various comments in previous blogs about this. Part of the process of getting my liver working properly again was to reduce my body fat level i.e. loose some weight. It seems that the liver is a lazy animal and deposits any fat it can't handle in the neighbourhood. So if the neighbourhood is full it has to pushing it out over the system via the blood, which causes everything else connected via the blood to complain as blood should not be full of fat.
I can't say that the diet I have followed is the responsibility of any one person because it is not. Lots of helpful medical advice has been given and research done on the internet. This has eventually led to a diet that seems to work. Not only enabling me to loose weight but also not too boring or difficult to follow. (This is not a plug for a high expense diet, just a simple process that seems to work)
So looking at the first three key points of the diet
Incentive to stick to the diet. - Well I was given two of these, the first was from my body and the sharp stabbing pain that I get from my liver, when I eat or do the wrong thing. Not so bad now but for the first three months so bad that I did not get a single nights sleep without being woken up by the pain. Secondly I was told that I would probably not live the year if I did not get my liver functioning again properly. I know most people don't have this form of incentive, but you must have something even if it is only the fact that if you are overweight and loose weight working towards your ideal weight, research indicates that you will live longer. Lots of references on the web but here is one The essence is that if you are overweight (on the BMI scale) then you have a greater than 10% more chance of death over a 10 year period, if you are moderately obese then a 40% more chance of death and if you are severely obese then more than that. So that alone should be an incentive to loose weight.
Lots of Food
_ Portion Size – When we are given a plate of food and we assume that this is the right amount of food for us to eat. I was told that this is probably not correct. Most plates of food have more on then than we need. The first thing was to find a smaller plate as a dinner plate and use that for a while to eat my meals on. This would get me used to eating a smaller amount at a meal. The second thing to do was to look at the nutritional info on the side of a packet or tin, (if the food came in such a container). This nutritional info often specifies what a portion size is, either in weight of grams or in millilitres if a liquid. Then get a scale or measuring jug out and just see what a portion looks like. It is probably much smaller than you imagined. I certainly found this to start with. The final way of doing it is by rough sight. If it is dry matter food stuff, then a clenched fist full can be used as a rough portion measure. If it is wet matter food stuff then a single serving spoon can be used. For drinks then 150 ml (often the portion size ) is just under half a normal size pull ring drink can full.
Once you have a rough idea on what a good meal size is then there is no need to go to the effort of using the scales etc., or the smaller plate. If you are offered more then say no thank you.
Meal Frequency – The next thing I was told, was that it is much better to eat three small meals a day rather than just two, or even one and breakfast was one of the most important meals of the day. If you are going to miss one out then lunch is the candidate that should be considered, but even then you should eat something even if it is just a bit of fruit or a raw carrot or celery stick. Ones body gets hungry and small amounts of “good” food (e.g. fruit) are much better than no food some food lots of food, as the stomach gets used to the lots of food session and thinks that this should be the norm.
This is continued in part two which looks at the foods themselves hydration and setting realistic targets.
This is a fantastic alternative to batter and really healthy at the same time. Essentially the mackerel is rolled in oats providing fibre and extra texture at the same time. As it is so healthy it can be served with hand made oven wedges (make sure you keep the skin on) which can be cooked at the same time in the oven, along with another (fresh) vegetable – peas or carrots. The ingredients given are enough for two
4 Mackerel fillets
1 cup of oats
1 orange, (or grapefruit, or lemon)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard e.g. Dijon
1 egg – the white
salt and pepper to taste
How to cook -
Set oven at 210 (and put wedges in if having them, as they take around 30 mins and the fish takes around 15 mins)
Put the egg white in a shallow dish
Take the zest off the citrus fruit, and mix with the oats in a bowl
If the mustard is in powder form add to the oats and citrus zest if not then lightly smear on the top of each fish fillet
Place the oats in a similar shallow dish to that of the egg white
Oil a metal baking tray that is large enough to hold the fish fillets
Holding the fish fillet by the tail dip in the egg white making sure both sides are covered, then place in the bowl of oats mixture. Covering first one side then the other
Place the fish now completely covered in oat mixture in the tray skin side down – You have to remember which was the skin side
Repeat the process for the remaining fillets
Cut the citrus fruit into segments and place on the fish fillets
Put in the oven for around 15 minutes, Test with a fork to see if cooked
The other vegetable can be steaming while this is cooking
I had a large number of ripe bananas, and was wondering what to do with them. It seemed a shame to put them in the compost, then I had the thought of experimenting with a tea bread recipe I have. Well the result is delicious, so I will share the experiment with one and all.
This is a very simple recipe, the only downside is that it is very moreish, so does not last very long, though I am sure it would keep for a few days in an air tight container.
his is an everyday bread recipe, that is a mixture of wholemeal and white flours. It was given to me by an American friend about 15 years ago. It has been tweaked slightly since then but is simple and easy to make, and produces very tasty bread
This is a bread machine recipe. The ingredients need to be added in this order. Then the machine should be set to ordinary bake, large size medium crust. It makes an 860 gms size loaf. Each large bread machine slice is roughly 60 gms in weight which works out roughly around 2.7 gms of fat per slice.
It makes a nice airy mixture which keeps fairly well, and is delicious both as fresh bread or as toast.
The other day whilst watching the Great British Bake off baking bread, got me thinking about how much fat is in a slice of bread. Whilst we normally make our bread, occasionally it is necessary to buy some, and I have noticed that the amount of fat per slice varies a huge amount. It can be less than 1 gram per slice to more than 4 grams, when it then gets highlighted as high in fat or even in some supermarkets marked in red.
The recipe given below makes an interesting beetroot bread. The bread comes out with an interesting red tinge to it, whilst tasting delicious at the same time. The ingredients given below are for a medium sized loaf
This can be made easily made in a bread machine putting the yeast in first, followed by the flower, then rest of ingredients and finally the water. Using the basic normal setting for a medium loaf medium crust. If the spring onions are added at the start of the process then they will be absorbed into the general mixture of the bread, adding to the depth of taste. If they are added at the end of the dough cycle then they keep their structure and have a more distinctive flavour. Of course it can also be made without a bread machine, allowing to rise for a couple of hours after basic kneading of the dough with the spring onions being added when it is knocked back. Then put in a greased tin and cook in a hot oven as per any normal medium sized white loaf. The resulting bread has around 1 gram of fat in it per slice assuming that you get 14 slices or more from the loaf.
Chicken is one of the meats that I am encouraged to eat as it it low fat, hopefully helping my liver on the road to recovery, but I am not meant to eat the skin as that is fatty. So often a recipe ends up putting all the flavours onto the skin, which is no good to me. Not to be undone I have come across this method of cutting the meat and getting the spices down into the bird. It works really well in the taste department, though does slightly spoil the look of the roast bird when it comes out, as the breast is not a beautiful smooth golden spherical shape but rather a series of parallel slits
1 large (or medium) sized chicken
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
1 to 3 teaspoons of Spice mix depending on how spicy you want it. I made a Turkish spice mix for a
change, details given below, but any spice mix can be used
Turkish Spice mix -
To make this I used the following (It is given as a ratio so you can add as much spice mixture to the chicken as you want – I used the ratio 2 parts equals half a teaspoon and if dried/powdered spices are used any remaining can be stored for another time)
2 parts tarragon
2 parts oregano
2 parts chopped fresh chilli (or powder)
1 part coriander
1 part cumin
1 part cinnamon
Mix these together thoroughly in a bowl with a teaspoon
It tastes good both hot or cold. (if not on a low fat diet you can use the juices that come from it to fry some vegetables along with the onion rings that come from the backing tray as they hold a lot of spicy flavours)
Not being allowed to have any form of spread or butter on my toast to help reduce the Gamma GT levels, tasty jam is a must, especially if it can be made from home grown ingredients. We have had two goes at this jam as it is so good it seems to fly away.
The basic ingredients are
Take a nice freshly baked loaf of spread. Cut a slice and spread - then eat and enjoy.
I wanted something different to up my Omega 3 and of course sardines are very good at that. Looking at what needed to be eaten from the fridge I made the following even remembering to take a photo or two. This makes enough for two people.
1 120g cans of
sardines sunflower oil
1 50g can of anchovy fillets in oil
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 table spoons capers
1 (or less) table spoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 red chilli
1 green chilli
1 pepper lightly chopped
1 generous handful of basil leaves, (or 2 heaped teaspoons of dried basil)
1 onion chopped finely
1 cup of chopped green veg (I used stick beans) or
frozen veg e.g. peas
Pasta of your choice (not lasagne)
Parmesan cheese, grated if required.
Heat olive oil in frying pan and lightly fry onions, add chilli & basil and chopped pepper. Continue for a few minutes. Then add chopped green veg, can of chopped tomatoes and stir. Once come to the boil add the sardines and anchovy fillets siring as required.
At the same time cook the pasta according to the instructions. Make up a simple
salad if required. When pasta is cooked add drain and add sardine and anchovy sauce and server in
Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking time 10-15 minutes
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.