Quick and easy Midweek diner - sausage traybake, Sausage traybake recipe, free sausage traybake recipe, healthy recipes, healthy food

Quick And Easy Midweek Diner – Baked Sausages

This is another quick and easy meal from Helen Dalton, a great alternative to the usual sausage tray bake, full of healthy ingredients and flavour.

INGREDIENTS

8 good quality sausages, cut into small chunks (about 4cm)
800 g small waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 large sweet potato cut into chunks
1 red & 1 yellow pepper cut into chunks
1 large red onion cut into chunks
1 large carrot cut into batons
1 courgette cut into chunks
1½ tsp smoked or sweet paprika
2 sprigs rosemary
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ciabatta or panini rolls cut into chunks
good plug of olive oil
Serve with a leafy green salad and balsamic glaze (although my kids love a Nando's hot sauce with this)

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place all of the above into a large roasting tray or casserole dish.

Drizzle over the oil and gently toss to combine. Use your hands and get stuck in!

Place in the oven and cook, stir occasionally for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sausages and bread are golden brown.

You may not like all of the vegetables so feel free to take some out and add others.  Butternut squash is a good alternative to sweet potato.  This also works well with vegetarian sausages.   The ciabatta is delicious, if you try a piece from the bottom of the tray it has soaked up all of the juices and if on top its like giant croutons.

Spicy turkey recipe, lean turkey recipe, healthy food, protein meal

Spicy Turkey Recipe

We are not fans of restrictive eating plans and fad diets, they are hard to stick to and not usually enjoyable.  The best route to a healthier body is through combining exercise with a balanced diet.

Easier said than done!  When you have had a hectic day, it can seem like too much hard work, to shop for, prepare and cook a meal from scratch.  It's tempting to reach for something convenient that can be chucked in the microwave and be ready seconds.  However convenience comes at a price, ready meals often have high sugar and salt content which will eventually take it's toll on our bodies.

We have been fortunate in enlisting the help of another friend Helen Dalton, who is adding to our growing recipe bank, with meals that don't have an endless list of ingredients.   Helen's recipes are simple, quick to make and are healthier than reaching for that ready meal.  Learn more about Helen below:

It’s simple. I love to cook! I don’t know where my love of cooking came from, possibly from my Cypriot Mum & Grandmother.  Food and family go together.  They taught me to cook fresh food that doesn’t need to take hours to prepare.  I’m not your ready made meal girl… I have a full cupboard of pulses and spices and can rustle something up at a moments notice.

Spicy Turkey

This is a simple dish to prepare and cook, in one pan and ready on the table in 30 minutes! Bon appetite.

Ingredients (serves 4)

450g Turkey Mince
1 onion, chopped
750ml chicken stock
175g basmati rice
225g baby potatoes, washed, skin left on and cut into quarters
2 tablespoons curry paste
100g mushrooms, quartered
150g frozen peas

Method

In a large pan or wok, dry fry the mince until it has changed colour.

Add the chopped onion and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Add the stock potato and curry paste and simmer for 10 minutes (with lid or use grease proof paper to cover)

Add the rice and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and peas and cook for approximately 5 minutes until the stock has absorbed.

Serve with poppadums and Indian pickles.

This can be made with quorn mince for vegetarian's. Bon apetite!

 

 

tomato, spinach and courgette pasta, free tomato, spinach and courgette past

Tomato, Spinach and Courgette Pasta with Avocado Pesto

Courgette Pasta, whatever is that?

I have been experimenting with using Courgettes as pasta, some attempts have been more successful than others.  This dish is inspired by a Deliciously Ella recipe, with of course a little bit more added.

There is a lot in the press about reducing the amount of carbs you eat, however my reason for experimenting was due to my husband not being able to eat pasta.  I have tried some of the gluten free options and to be quite honest was not that impressed, there is about a second where it goes from being under cooked to mush!!  You can now buy Courgettes already made into noodles, for about £1.25 for 300g, although it's more fun doing them yourself.  If you do want to have a go at making your own, a spiralizer will cost anywhere from £11.99 to £49.99.  A very dear friend bought me a Rotato Express when I broke my wrist and could not peel vegetables.  You can imagine my excitement to find a machine that peels your vegetables for you!! Anyway I now use this to spiralize my veg!!!

Nutritional Information

Courgettes are one of the lowest calorie vegetables, with only 17 calories per 100g, it is technically known as a fruit not a vegetable.  Zucchini, as it is also known, has a high fiber content which helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Did you know that the simple Avocado (or Alligator pear) originated from South Central Mexico, they produce around 1.47 million tonnes a year.  Advocados are a great source of vitamins C & E, which provide antioxidants to fight those free radicals post workout.  They have twice the potassium as Bananas which helps regulate body fluids.

In previous blogs we have talked about the importance of Magnesium, this dish has a good source due to the spinach, avocado and pine nuts and will give you around 155mg of Magnesium.

Ingredients

  • 2 Courgettes, Spiralized
  • 10 Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 Large Handfuls of Spinach
  • 8 Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Red Chili, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 10 leaves of fresh Mint
  • 5 leaves Coriander
  • Handful of pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of Sesame Seed Oil

Method

  • Heat a large pan and add the Sesame Seed oil, when hot add the mushrooms and chili, simmer for about 7 mins. Add the spinach and simmer until the spinach has reduced down.
  • Add the spiralized courgettes, and simmer gently for about 5 mins.
  • Peel and stone the avocado and chop, add to a large jug, add the mint, coriander, lime juice and olive oil.  Using a little hand blender, blitz the mixture until it is as smooth as desired.  Season to taste.
  • Add the avocado mixture to the pan and heat through.
  • Serve with chopped tomatoes and pine nuts sprinkled on the top.
Magneficent Magnesium, marvel mineral Magnesium, Magnesium deficiency, benefits of magnesium

Marvellous Magnesium – The Wonder Mineral

Magnificent Magnesium

Roll Up, Roll Up - Are you suffering from: stress/insomnia/anxiety/legcramps/irritability/migraines/pms/menopausal symptoms?

Maybe you need a dose of the marvellous mineral - MAGNESIUM.

Magnesium is one of the essential minerals for life.  It's responsible for over 300 chemical reactions within the body and plays a vital role in:

Cardio health.
Brain function.
Bone formation and health.
Adrenal response.
Cellular energy.
Manufacture of hormones
Thyroid function.
Regulation of blood sugar levels.
Sleep patterns.
Activation and absorption of Vit D and calcium.

Wow - for something that has so much control over our bodies, it's surprising that we don't hear more about this wonder mineral.

Don't worry I'm not going to bore you and write pages and pages of sciencey stuff, I have just picked a few of the above to cover in more detail.

Bone Health

It's often assumed that calcium and Vitamin D are the main players when it comes to bone health.  However without the presence of magnesium, these two can't do their jobs efficiently.

Adequate levels of magnesium are essential in enabling the absorption and metabolism of calcium and Vit D.  Recent research at Bristol and East Finland Universities has found that low magnesium levels are associated with an increased risk of bone fractures.

Magnesium stimulates the hormone calcitonin which draws calcium out of the blood and soft tissue back into the bones.  This preserves bone structure and works to prevent osteoporosis.

It's not just our bones that are affected by magnesium deficiency.  If we are low in this mineral it can lead to a calcium build up in the blood.  Calcium may then be deposited in different areas of the body where it can harden (calcify).  This is dangerous as calcification has the potential to cause kidney stones, arthritis and clogged arteries.

Magnesium also converts vitamin D (which is actually a hormone not a vitamin) into calcitriol.  This is important because calcitriol helps bond calcium to bone and tooth enamel.

Our bodies don't produce magnesium so we need to consume it, good sources are:

Nuts - almonds/peanuts/cashews
Seeds
Spinach and other dark leafy greens
Beans
Fish
Whole grains
Avocados
Dried fruit
Potatoes
Bananas
The Best news of all - Dark Chocolate - no this is not an excuse to eat a whole bar - just a small square will suffice!

Some elements of our diets such as refined sugars, alcohol, medication, carbonated and caffeinated drinks can interfere with magnesium absorption, leaving our bodies depleted of this essential mineral.

STRESS

Magnesium is often referred to as the anti-stress mineral.  It can help balance the nervous system, relax muscles and reduce cortisol presence within the cells.  A lack of magnesium causes stress symptoms and stress causes depletion of magnesium - which as you can imagine will lead to a vicscous circle of feeling constantly edgy.

Have you ever been in a tense situation and even after the event has passed you still find that your nerves are jangling?  It could be that your magnesium levels are too low and are not able to administer the 'chill pill' effect it normally has on the body.

Here's the science bit:

When stressed magnesium opens the cell to allow calcium to enter.  This triggers the fight or flight response, creating a rise in blood pressure, muscle contraction and adrenaline release into the blood  - in short everything we need to respond to a stressful situation weather its physical or physcological.

Staying in a heightened condition is not good for us, to control this state of affairs magnesium monitors the levels of calcium and when it's done it's job pushes the calcium back out of our cells, acting as a calming agent on our muscles and stress responses.

If we are deficient in magnesium it can leave calcium hanging around, the cell won't then be able to relax, leaving us in a perpetual state of feeling stressed.

Menopause/PMS

At some time or another you have probably experienced pre-menstrual related symptoms, such as headaches, cramps or irritability.  If you have finished dealing with those you might now be faced with peri/pre/menopausal issues, which could include anxiety, insomnia, palpitations, fatigue, panic attacks or mental fog (the list goes on!).  As well as being linked with pms/menopause these problems are also included on the magnesium deficiency list.

I'm not suggesting for one minute if you have dealt with any of the above complaints, that you have a magnesium deficiency, but they could be excaberated if our bodies are lacking in this mineral.

Remember magnesium is used by the body to create a calming effect which we definatley need when our period hits. During different times of our cycle oestrogen levels are elevated, this places a greater demand on the requirement for magnesium - if we are deficient it can contribute to the symptoms we suffer with every month.

This balance between magnesium and oestrogen might be responsible for my monthly chocolate craving.  Dark chocolate is high in magnesium and this craving is my bodies way of alerting me to low magnesium levels.  Yes I know there are lots of other magnesium rich foods - but I really like chocolate.

Oestrogeon can enhance the utilisation and absorption of magnesium by soft tissues and bone, this is thought to be why younger women are protected from cardiovascular disease and poor bone health,

Hormonal changes as we age such as a decline in oestrogen can lead to unutilised magnesium being excreted through the kidneys.  This excretion may lead to a depletion in magnesium and therefore a greater risk of developing osteoporosis and heart disease as well as aggravating menopausal symptoms.

Am I Getting Enough Magnesium?

If you are eating a varied and balanced diet there should be no need for supplements.

NHS guidelines for the recommended daily intake of magnesium:

300mg a day for men aged 19-64
270mg a day for women aged 19-64

So for example -

  • a hand full of Pumpkin seeds will give you approx 92mg
  • a large portion of spinach will give you 157mg
  • 1 square of my favorite Dark chocolate is 95mg
  • 1 oz of almonds is 80mg
  • 1 normal size avocado is 58mg

If you feel you would benefit from a magnesium supplement NHS guidelines suggests that 400mg or less a day is unlikely to cause any harm.  However we would point out that the body is extremely efficient and only absorps the actual amount of magnesium it requires, extra will be excreted!  So beware, if you take too much, you may find yourself running for the loo!

As with any supplement you should gain prior consent and advice from your medical practioner.

My advice to top up those magnesium levels: eat a varied and balanced diet with plenty of magnesium rich foods, take a bath with Epsom salts - (magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, read more about Epsom salts at positive health wellness) and indulge in a bit of dark chocolate now and again.

Sources
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7669504
http://www.aminoacid-studies.com/areas-of-use/menopause.html
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Other-vitamins-minerals.magnesium
http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org
https://www.healthcentral.com/article/magnesium-linked-to-bone-health
http://www.ancient-minerals.com/magnesium-sources/dietary
http://www.mgwater.com/estrogen.shtml
http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/report_on_absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf

Benefits of rooibos tea, rooibos tea fact or myth, health benefits of rooibos tea, caffeine free tea

Redbush Tea (Rooibos Tea) myth or fact?

Rooibos tea is made from the Aspalathus Linearis plant, native to the western cape of  South Africa.  The British name for Rooibos tea comes from the Afrikaans pronunciation meaning Red Bush.  It's more like a herbal tea as opposed to your normal cuppa, however unlike other teas, it has the benefit of being naturally caffeine free.  If you are trying to kick a caffeine habit, this may be the way forward for you.

It is made in just the same way as your normal brew, with a dash of milk, sugar or even honey.  For a virtually calorie free option - drink it on it's own.   On a hot day use it to make an iced tea with a slice of lemon as a great alternative to a fizzy drink.  My personal favourite option is with a slice of lemon and ½ teaspoon of honey.  Click here for hints and tips on how to make the perfect Rooibos Tea.

Caffeine

- So what is the big deal about this tea being Caffeine free and why should I read on?  Do you have issues concentrating during the day and find yourself reaching for a coffee to keep yourself going? then have trouble sleeping at night.  Caffeine addiction is one of the most common throughout the world, most people are not aware of the impact it can have.  Have a look at our caffeineometer below to see how much caffeine is in each item -

As with most things Caffeine in small doses can have health benefits, such as protection against  Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease.  However large intense doses can have a negative effect on the body, leading to insomnia, headaches, nausea, nervousness, restlessness, stomach irritation, vomiting and increased heart rate.  Don't forget that caffeine can also prevent iron absorption into the body, so if you are anemic or suffer from any kind of iron deficiency and drink large amounts of caffeine - this could be the culprit.  If you feel you would benefit from drinking less caffeine try replacing some drinks with water or a naturally caffeine free drink like Rooibos Tea.

Antioxidants

- There are so many other benefits to be gained by drinking this tea, firstly it has 50 times more antioxidants than green tea.  We need these antioxidants to help reduce the free radical damage that happens naturally in the body everyday.  Smoking, alcohol, fatty fried foods, pesticides and air pollution all contribute to free radical damage within us.  Think that free radical damage isn't relevant to you - think again, it has been linked to various diseases and has an impact on how we visually age.  The body naturally produces antioxidants, however due to lifestyle choices and the environment, having food and drink high in these has a big impact on reducing cell damage.

Stress

- Studies have  been conducted that prove the aspalathin in the tea can help to reduce the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal gland and controls the stress hormone.  Aspalathion is believed to reduce stress and nervous tension, which can help prevent heart disease.  It also helps regulate your blood sugar, improves glucose tolerance, increases glucose absorption into the muscles and reduces excessive fat production.

Allergies

- Also known for its anti-inflammatory properties it can also help reduce the effects of asthma, eczema and hay-fever.

Sounds to good to be true, well for some it may be.  If you are receiving any medication or treatment it is worth discussing with your doctor first as this little tea may interfere with some treatments.  For others, try switching a couple of your cups of high caffeinated drinks and see if you notice any changes in sleep patterns, concentration or energy levels.

 

Homemade veggie lasagna recipe, vegetable lasagne, free lasagne recipe

Katie’s Homemade Veggie Lasagna

I have been making this dish is an old favourite of mine, it was my go to recipe for when we had visitors as everyone could eat the same dish.  I haven't made it for sometime, due to my husband's allergies, so it was really lovely to re visit it, as I had forgotten how delicious it is.  I always make a double batch, so that I can cut into portion sizes when cold and freeze - handy for those days when you need a quick healthy dish.

This recipe does take a little more time than some of our others, but certainly well worth it.  As with most of my dishes it is packed with nutrients, however I still like to serve it with other veg, just to ensure we get our 5 a day.  My favorite has to be a couple of florets of broccoli and some carrots.  This does serve a good 6 people depending upon how large your portions are.

In this dish I have used walnuts as they are a good source of protein and omega 3 for vegetarians, there is also research to say that out of all nuts they have the highest levels of antioxidants.

Veggie Lasagna Ingredients

Tomato Sauce layer

  • 1 Red Onion - diced
  • 1 Yellow, Red and Green Pepper - diced
  • 1 Carrot -  diced
  • 1 400g tin of chopped Tomatos
  • 1 500g Passata
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp Dried Mixed herbs (you can use fresh to add more nutrients, try a combination of basil, rosemary and thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 12 sheets of Lasagna Pasta, (try the wholewheat variety to add some more fibre to your dish)

Spinach Layer

  • 500g of bag of Frozen Spinach
  • 600g Cottage Cheese
  • 100g Chopped Walnuts (you can use any chopped nuts, which every is your favorite)

Sauce Layer

  • 75g of Butter
  • 75g of Plain Flour
  • 2pts of milk
  • 140g of Grated Cheese to top it off

Veggie Lasagna Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil and gently fry the onions until soft.
  2. Add the peppers, tin of Tomato, Passata, Courgette, and Carrot and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, add mixed herbs, Ketchup and Puree, simmer for 30 mins.
  3. While the tomato layer is cooking add the sheets of pasta to boiling water with a little oil to stop the sheets sticking together.  Gently boil for 5 mins or until pasta has softened.  Rinse under cold water and lay sheets individually around either the saucepan or cullender to cool.
  4. Defrost the spinach in a large bowl and mix in cottage cheese and nuts.
  5. To make the classic white sauce, heat the butter until it starts to bubble, remove from the heat and add the flour and mix thoroughly.  Return back to heat for approx 2 mins, then remove from the heat. Whilst stirring gradually add the milk to the mixture, a little top tip, heat the milk before adding to the mixture as it will blend better. Return to the heat continuously stirring until the sauce thickens.
  6. Start by adding the tomato layer to the bottom of the dish, then a layer of pasta, layer of spinach, layer of pasta and finish with the white sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven on 180C for 50-60 mins until golden brown on top.
Homemade chicken fajitas, homemade fajitas, homemade fajita seasoning, healthy fajita recipe, free healthy recipes

Homemade Chicken Fajitas

Instead of using the usual fajita packet mix, try Helen's homemade version which is full of flavour.  This is a great mid week meal as it's simple, quick to prepare and takes hardly any cooking time.

HELEN'S HOME COOKING

Not being fans of fad diets, especially ones that cut out food groups or are so restrictive that they make life miserable, we wanted to provide you with an effective route to a more balanced lifestyle.

One of the key areas in which you can improve your health, is to cook as many meals as possible with fresh ingredients. We understand it can be difficult to find time to shop and prepare meals when you have a busy life. To make things a little easier, we have enlisted Helen's help, giving you her fuss free, family favourite recipes. Read more about Helen here.

Ingredients

1 tbsp oil (vegetable/olive or coconut)

4 x skinless chicken breasts (cut into thin strips)

2 x onions (cut into eighths)

2 x cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 x red, green, yellow peppers (cut into chunky strips)

1 x green chilli

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsps Lemon juice

8 x wheat tortillas

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok.

Fry chicken strips for approx 7 mins until sealed.

Add the onions and garlic - fry for a further 5 mins.

Add mixed peppers, chilli, spices and lemon juice - cook for a further 7 mins, making sure everything is coated with spices and cooked thoroughly.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave and serve with: sour cream or fat free fromage frais and salsa.

Alternative Option

If you fancy something different to chicken fajitas, you could use prawns, steak or go completley veggie and use baby corn, courgettes and mushrooms, the choices are endless.

Energy bar, homemade energy bar, free recipe for homemade energy bar,

Energy bars, steady they are very moreish.

These energy bars are a perfect snack to help you refuel after a heavy workout, hitting the spot when you are low on energy.  They are very moreish so don't overindulge, otherwise you might be in danger of exceeding the daily recommended intake of sugar.

I have been using this recipe for ages, it's suitable for celiac and lactose intolerant sufferers, just replace the oats and spread for the brand you would normally use.  I like to play around with the ingredients to get different tastes and consistencies.  These little bars of energy include chopped nuts, but most nuts are suitable, just ensure they are broken into very small pieces to assist digestion.  One of my favourite ingredients is Goji berries, for their taste and colour, you could try dates as an alternative.

Oats are a good source of  slow release carbohydrates, which will help curb hunger and keep you feeling full for longer.

Nuts are high in Iron, Zinc, magnesium and protein, great at encouraging recovery after a workout.

Sunflower and sesame seeds are high in Iron, calcium and magnesium.  Packed with Vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant in the fight against free radicals.

Chia seeds (chia means strength) originate from Mexico and are sometimes referred to as 'runners food'.  It was believed these seeds could keep warriors going all day.  Not sure how many warriors there are out there, but the high fibre content will help regulate blood sugar and energy levels.  Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, which scoop up those pesky free radicals that are created during exercise and can damage body tissue.

Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant contents of most herbs/spices.

Ingredients for the energy bars

  • 8 oz Gluten free Porridge Oats
  • 4 oz Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 oz Chia Seeds
  • 2 oz Sesame seeds
  • 2 oz Chopped Nuts
  • 4 oz of Goji berries soaked in boiling water for 20 mins
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 oz of lactose free spread
  • 4 oz Brown Sugar
  • 4 1/2 tbsp of Honey

Method

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, drain the  goji berries and mix in.
  • Add the honey, spread and sugar to a saucepan on a low heat until it forms a liquid.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the pan and mix.
  • Line a 10cm x 30cm baking tray with non stick baking paper and spoon in ingredients.
  • Using a potato masher, compact the ingredients into the tray and bake on 140c for about 20 mins.
  • leave to cool in the tray then cut into 5cm squares. (you wont need any more than that)

 

Turkey Meatball Recipe, Joe Wicks Turkey Meatball recipe, healthy meatball recipe, healthy food, balanced diet,

Turkey Meatball Recipe


This turkey meatball recipe was one that Helen decided to try as a healthy alternative to using sauce from a jar. She found this recipe in a Joe Wicks Lean in 15 cook book, so its's good for you, tasty, quick and easy.  It takes hardly any prep or cooking time due to the use of ready made meatballs.  You can of course make you're own with turkey mince and seasoning.  Helen doubled up the original recipe to feed four and although there are not many ingredients, the feta cheese really added to the overall flavour of this dish.

Ingredients

1/2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil

1 x red or yellow pepper - de-seeded, thinly sliced

1 x courgette - diced

1 x red onion - diced

2 x trays small ready made turkey meatballs.

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

40g feta cheese - crumbled

parsley leaves roughly chopped - optional

 

Method

Cook pasta of choice following packet instructions.

Heat the oil in a frying pan.

Fry the courgette, onions and peppers until they begin to soften.

Turn up the heat, add the meatballs and fry for approx 2-3 mins, keep turning meatballs to ensure they brown all over.

Add the tomatoes, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer for 5 mins or until meatballs cooked thoroughly ensuring that meat has changed from pink to white.

Remove the pan from heat and add the feta, to finish sprinkle with parsley and serve with cooked pasta.  For an even healthier option you cpu;d swap the pasta for courgettie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eat well plate, porion control, how large should food portions be, control your weight with portion control, eat well, eat the right foods to control weight

Could your portion size be the key to your downfall?

Portion sizes, what are yours like?

Too much or too little of any type of food can have an affect on your health.  Having a balance of all food types is the success to any healthy eating plan.  Guidelines change regularly to keep up with new research, compare the old Public Health England plate below to the new guidelines introduced in March 2016 -

eatwell guide, portion control, how much food to eat to maintain weight, how to loose weight

Eatwell Plate                                                                                                 Eatwell Guide

As you can see there has been a increase in fruit, veg, and carbohydrates, the exact split is below -

  1. Fruit and vegetables - 40 %
  2. Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates - 38%
  3. Meat, fish, eggs, beans, pules and other proteins - 13%
  4. Dairy and alternatives - 8%
  5. Oils and spreads - 1%

Ok, so we can see how our plate should look, but what exactly is a portion of each item?

Fruit and Veg -

The guidelines state at least 5 portions a day, which doesn't mean 5 peas!  I have listed below what 1 portion should look like.

1 apple/banana/pear/orange

1 handful (10-12) grapes/berries

2 plums/kiwis/satsumas/apricots

1 small handful/1 tablespoon of dried fruit (raisins/sultanas)

3 heaped tablespoons of peas/carrots/cabbage/broccoli/kale

1/2 pepper

1 medium tomato/parsnip

Carbohydrates -

A number of fad diets cut these out, however they are an important part of a healthy eating plan and whole grain versions will take longer to digest, so will keep us fuller for longer.  I have listed below a guide to what is considered a normal portion -

1 medium slice of toast

3 tablespoons of Porridge oats/breakfast cereal

1 medium jacket potato

2 egg size new potatoes (boiled)

1 fist size of pasta/rice

Protein -

NHS guidelines state we should be eating less red meat, 1 portions of sustainably sourced oily fish twice a week and increase the amount of beans and pulses we consume.  Again below is a guide to what is considered a normal portion, try thinking of these as either the size of your palm or a deck of cards -

A deck of cards - fresh/frozen cooked meat/oily fish

Palm of your hand - white fish or tinned fish

2 eggs

4 tablespoons beans (kidney/butter/black eyed/baked)

4 tablespoons pulses (lentils/chickpeas)

1 tablespoon/handful of nuts

Dairy -

Try and stick to the lower fat varieties such as skimmed milk and reduced fat cheese, or just have a smaller portion.

1 glass/200ml of milk/or dairy alternative

1 standard pot of yogurt

1 matchbox size/30g of cheese

Oils and Spreads -

1 teaspoon or square cm of butter/spread/oil

Try keeping the eatwell guide in your mind when you are planning your meals each week, small changes daily will help create a long term healthy lifestyle and not a fad diet.