Wednesday, 28 October 2009


I'm totally in awe of my mother and her cookery skills. Don't get me wrong, I know my way around a kitchen (thanks to my mum and Mrs Grace, my officious Home Ec teacher at school), but she makes it all seem so effortless. Even if she's cooking Sunday lunch for a dozen people, with four of the most complicated, time consuming, desserts known to man (usually a minimum of four to choose from, hence my sweet tooth!).

I prefer dishes that are quick, easy, healthy and straight forward - yet still tasty - to prepare and my blog today is all about SELF PROMOTION. By that I mean ME, self promoting my latest service through BALANCED, and that's COOKERY SESSIONS.

I've always analysed clients food diaries and made recommendations to improve things, and make life easier where food is concerned, so have decided to take it further. I'm now offering to teach people to prepare good healthy meals for themselves, friends and family, in the comfort of their own home.

With today's busy stressful lifestyles most of us are looking for easy options in the food department, and this is where meals can seem really daunting and why we often fall back on those handy ready-meals, convenience foods and take-aways. The majority of food falling into these categories contain way too many chemicals and way too much salt, sugar and bad fats - leaving very little nutritional value for your body to convert to energy.

Eaten regularly these meals are what make us fat, lethargic and ultimately are more than likely to contribute big time to health problems such as arthritis,heart and cholesterol problems, diabetes etc.

Making good healthy,fresh, nutritious meals from scratch does not have to be stressful. Most of it is in the planning - making sure you have the ingredients where and when you need them, and not over complicating things.

I have a couple of clients on board already and last night had a two hour session with the client who requested this service a while ago - a big thank you to you!! He wanted to learn quick and easy breakfast, lunch and dinner options and over the past few months has now built up a repertoire of delicious meals he's able to prepare from scratch with little time and effort.

Amongst others we have made chickpea curry, roast chicken with garlic and lemon,tuna with black eyed bean salsa, stuffed peppers and salmon in a paper bag. Nothing freaky there hey?! Just good wholesome food incorporating all of the food groups and delivering top quality nutrition to the body.

Many of these meals have the added bonus of being able to be frozen. If done in portion size it means they defrost during the day whilst he's at work, and hey presto when he gets home there's a 'ready meal' to pop in the oven the minute he walks through the door.

If you've got children and want them to eat more healthily, this is a great way to get them involved. Why not try a cookery session for the whole family? and sit together and eat it afterwards.

You are what you eat. Really.

Contact me for more information or to book a session.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


OMG, I'm just back from a week in America. I feel very privileged to have taken part in the TRX course over in San Francisco with 17 other highly motivated individuals; awesome. I learnt loads, and am desperate to share it, so anyone who fancies having a go with a TRX (think mobile cable machine) give me a shout. I'm offering 30 minute taster sessions for free for the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, back to to days blog - overeating and portion control. I was under the impression that San Fransisco was full of beautiful, healthy people all taking huge amounts of care over their appearances and body's in general, with sensible eating and exercise etc. Unlike other areas of America! Not so!

I was a hugely taken aback to see clothes sizes in XXXL and the most ridiculously sized food portions in restaurants.

Not only do they give you a half plate size of sauteed potatoes with virtually EVERY meal (yes breakfast pancakes included) but they are visually affronted when you say you'd rather not have them on your plate! In one week I think I ate as much as I would do in a month in England. Partly because I was at someone elses mercy (I normally plan every meal in advance - anal I know) and partly because I was on a bit of a holiday, and thought "what the f***" like most of us do. "I'll deal with it when I get home"- well I'm home now and most definitely dealing with it.

Portion control is a big problem for many of us and once your tummy gets used to receiving large portions it then complains when you try to cut them so down! So how can we limit what we put in our mouths to control weight levels and out overall health in general?. Good time of the year to look at it because with Winter coming up there is a tendency to hide behind big jumpers and eat lots of comfort food to keep warm. Don't do it. When Spring comes (I know it's a long way off!) you WILL regret it.


1. When you make casseroles, bolognaises, soups etc. freeze them in individual portion sizes, so that's all there is.

2. Drink a large glass of water 20 minutes before a meal. It'll take the edge off your hunger and you'll feel satisfied more quickly with less food.

3. Eat a salad on its own before your main meal. Results as above.

4. Try eating 6 small meals a day rather than three big ones. It'll help keep your blood sugar stable and get your stomach used to receiving smaller amounts in one sitting.

5. Plan ahead so you're not caught out, and have to head to the nearest McDonald's/Ainsley's/Gr eggs. Don't lose control over what you put into your mouth.

6. Simple one - use a smaller plate!

7. If you are buying 'snack food' buy it in single serving packs such as nuts or seeds. You won't be tempted to eat more because there won't be more!

8. Resist buying bigger than necessary chocolate bars (if you have to eat chocolate). Is there really any need for a foot long twix????

9.Practice conscious eating - be aware of each mouthful you're putting into your body,and what will happen to it as it goes through your digestive system. Be aware of how you feel; does your stomach bloat, do you get constipation, diarrhoea, gas etc. All these are bad signs that your body is objecting to some of the foods you've eaten.

10. Keep a food diary or journal. record what you eat and drink and regularly review it. Add comments on how you felt straight after a meal, and then again two hours later. Did the food give you energy? Did it make you lethargic? These are useful clues as to how food is working for you. Food to our body's is like diesel to a car, give it the wrong stuff and it'll malfunction, big time.

Hope this has been useful.
Comments other than Lucy's gratefully appreciated.