Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /home/keepingw/public_html/wp-content/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/aioseop_class.php on line 3868

Tag Archives: Low GI

Love mince pies? Then make your own!

mince pie muffins cookedOne of the many lovely things about Christmas is mince pies. They are scrummy. And very plentiful. From now on there may well be mince pies at meetings, at gatherings, when you go for a cup of tea or coffee at a friends. But sadly, many will be very fattening and will turn to fat on you! It really is the case that one mince pie could hurt. Indeed, you may need to walk about 4 miles to walk off just one mince pie! So if you are watching your weight then you need to think carefully about how many you can eat this festive season.

Many mince pies will be shop bought, and most shop bought goods come with more calories which turn more quickly to fat than home-made or unprocessed food. But as we know Christmas is not a time to deny yourself everything. So here is my solution. If you love mince pies, make your own, and take them to places where you know there will be.

This is just one suggestion from my new 5 Golden Rules of Christmas which I’ll be sending out in coming days. In the meantime, here is a lovely, quick, easy and lower fat/sugar free mince pie recipe.

So enjoy!

Low fat and sugar mince pies

For the mincemeat:
500g apples (use cooking apples if you can)
900g mixed dried fruit
3 tsp mixed spice
600ml cider
2 tbsp brandy, whisky or rum.

For the pastry:
1 packets of filo pastry sheets

 

To make the mincemeat:

mincemeat1. Grate the apple and put into a pan with the mixed dried fruit. Add the mixed spice and cider and stir well.

2. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid has almost gone and the mixture is soft and pulpy.

3. Stir in the brandy, whisky or rum and leave to cool.

 

To make into mince pies:
You can either use a small muffin tray to make open pies or you can make parcels.

Using a muffin tray:

mince pie muffin with filo pastry1. Spray with some fry light.

2. Cut the filo pastry into squares. Then use 2 or 3 squares depending on the size of your muffin cases. Place the first square over a cup and mould. Then take the second and put at an angle to the first and again mould. Do the same with any third sheet.

3. Bake at gas mark 4 or 180c for 10 mins.

4. Spoon in the mincemeat.

5. Bake for a further 12 to 15 minutes. Keep checking to see when they are ready. If your muffin tin is large you may need to bake for a further 5 minutes.

 

To make parcels:

mincepie parcel uncooked1. Spray a non stick baking sheet with fry-light

2. Use 2 or 3 squares of file depending on how thick you would like your pastry.

3. Place a couple of spoonfuls of mincemeat in the centre of the square.

4. Bundle up into a nice parcel.

5. Bake at gas mark 3½ or 150c until the tops are brown but the bottoms of the parcels are also cooked. I baked them for around 20 minutes; larger parcels may need more time to bake the bottoms.

Staying motivated when dieting or keeping weight off no 2 – Don’t give up even if you put on weight!

 

In a previous blog I talked about how to stay motivated when you keep weight off or when you are trying to lose weight. Thanks for the comments you sent about this being helpful. In that blog I talked about how you have to concentrate on any positives, even if your weight loss isn’t going to plan. But what do you do if worse than not losing weight, you end up putting it on? Well, that’s what’s happened to me in the last few weeks – I’ve put on weight despite being on a diet – so time for another blog post!

It is hard to stay motivated  …..
There’s no doubt its hard if you are denying yourself and keeping to a diet and then you don’t lose weight or worse put some on. A couple of weeks ago I got on the scales and, horror of horrors, I’d put on about a pound. And I have to be honest and say it’s sent me off-course. Seeing a higher number on the scales bought back the crooked thinking I have about me and weight and I started to catastrophize. I decided that as the diet I was doing ‘obviously wasn’t working’ I may as well give up. Of course, it wasn’t the truth that it wasn’t working as I was losing size, just not weight. But I didn’t see that. I wasn’t concentrating on the positives as I should have been. Old habits returned quickly – I’d been missing porridge for breakfast (not allowed on my diet) so I went straight back to that. Other food came back into my diet pretty quickly. I also went for an impromptu curry one evening, had a couple of cakes at an event one afternoon, and then had puddings every night whilst staying with my in-laws.

We all know it’s just too easy to go back to our normal habits. And what do you think has happened? Well I’ve put on a fair bit of weight in the last couple of weeks; my clothes are telling me this. But I haven’t weighed myself as there is no point in just adding to my misery.

But all is not lost; I’ve not given up…….
So, and I think this is the main point, that sometimes we all fall off the wagon. The point is how do we respond when we do?
I think a lot of the time we think if we have given in once or twice, or even for a couple of weeks, that that is that. It’s all over so we may as well give up on the diet and just go back to old ways. Well ….. WRONG!! Research shows that successful dieters and people who keep weight off don’t do this. When we go off track we accept it, don’t give ourselves a hard time about it. We pick ourselves up quite quickly, dust ourselves down and we just start searching for ways to get back on track.

That’s what I’m doing, and today I am going to try something new to help me eat less! (More of that to come in the future.)

Part of my getting on track involved one last blow out…..
One thing I did decide to do though whilst off the wagon was to allow myself a bit of a blow out and the chance to have some flavours, tastes and foods I don’t normally have. As a calculated decision I decided that having some of these foods on one occasion would help me get my motivation back for the longer term. So last Sunday me and my husband went to the ‘all you can eat international buffet’! Of course I eat loads and came back far too full if the truth be told. But I enjoyed every mouthful and it has helped me prepare for the new method I’ll be trying later today.

I didn’t totally let go though. Here’s some tips I used to still control even at the all you can eat buffet…

1. Quite a lot of the buffet was fried food. Try and avoid food like fried rice, deep fried starters etc. I did have a few prawn crackers and poppadums but kept them to a minimum.

2. Only put a small amount on your plate at a time. You can always go back for more. Use the smallest plate you can find. The puddings section may have smaller ones.

3. Have a break between plates. You may find you don’t want to have as many visits as you first thought you would!

4. Fill up with salads and fruit; most buffets have them. But watch the dressings as they can be really calorific and if you have fruit salad watch for sugar syrup.

5. If you know that puddings will be your weakness plan for this. Don’t have too much first course. Do some extra exercise and think about what else you eat that day. Top up puddings with fruit.

6. Beware of any sauces as they can be very fatty and full of sugar.

7. Drink plenty of water. I also ordered a green tea.

8. Prepare for the sugar rush and carb effect the next day. Have lots of fruit to hand so you can manage it.

9. If you know you are the kind of person who will keep going back for more even if you aren’t hungry, do some deals with yourself about how many times you will do this and stopping before you end up feeling sick!

So if you’ve fallen off the wagon don’t panic. Just get back on, no self re-criminations. And good luck!

Control your own food – even when away from home

Being away from home doesn’t mean you cannot still make good decisions with food, that you cannot watch your weight, keep weight off, or even diet and lose weight! This weekend I was away from home (again) at a conference. I’ve recently become an associate member of the Professional Speakers Association as I’m building up my speaking profile talking about weight, diets and obesity, food, body image and staying positive when life is, bluntly, challenging.

The conference was in a hotel but despite being away for 2 nights and 3 days I didn’t leave any of my food to chance. That’s not to say I didn’t partake of some of the food on offer; just that I was very deliberate about it and it was on my terms.

Of course, never leaving food to chance takes some planning. I’d been really busy this week I didn’t have much time. If you are organised it doesn’t have to be a massive job and I still managed to make a fat burning, low GI, sugar/fat free meal.  On Thursday night I quickly roasted some veg in balsamic vinegar and fry light, soaked some oil free sundried tomatoes and put on a pan of whole-wheat pasta at the same as cooking my evening meal. Before I went to bed I mixed it all together, added some cherry toms, fat free cottage cheese and some fresh black pepper. This meal will easily last for 48 hours even outside a fridge. I put it in an old tub I’d saved and left in the fridge ready to pick up the next morning.

A good cool bag and some planning and you can eat low fat low GI food on the move

Early the next morning all I had to do was pick up the some muesli and get the pasta and some tubs of fat free yogurt from the fridge, put in some cool bags and I was ready to go. On the way down to the conference I stopped at a motorway services M&S and bought my lunch for both days and a bottle of skimmed milk. With very little trouble I now had 3 of my meals.

Keeping cool….
I was staying in a budget hotel so I didn’t have a fridge in my room. For once I went by car. It’s autumn so my car boot doubled up as a fridge! If the weather had been warmer I would have asked the hotel to let me use one of their main fridges. I’ve never been turned down.

This was the buffet lunch. High fat, high sugar and all refined. Destined to make you put on weight

I just took the food out of my ‘fridge’ as needed. Good job I’d been organised. On the first night there was a buffet and all the food was pretty calorific. The buffet lunch on Saturday had not one single item of food which was fat burning, wholefood or good to eat if you are watching your weight. Even the salads were covered in mayo or loads of oil. I didn’t mind; I was too busy enjoying the salads I’d bought at M&S. My resolve was strong – until the pudding on Friday night when some Pecan and toffee cheesecakes were bought out! I have to say I just could not say no – it went down pretty nicely I can tell you. But I was the one making that choice.

Choosing which meal I would eat ….
All that was left was my evening meal on Saturday, a gala dinner. I knew this was going to be the big occasion of the weekend so I had decided in advance I would eat the meal. I did my usual rouse – I told them I am vegan (I am not, but that way I avoid food which is rich is cream and cheese). I was given a really lovely sweet potato and chickpea curry. Bit too much fat for me but it was really tasty. The only downside of the vegan ‘lie’ is when the pudding comes and you are given fruit salad. Luckily they got confused and I got given a lovely apple frangipani tart. Mmmmmm. You see – it was all on my terms. And I didn’t feel bad, I just enjoyed every mouthful.

When you eat high calorie food you need to be the one who choses

I hadn’t eaten high calorie food I didn’t want to eat because it was all that was there. I had mainly chosen food I wanted to eat and which was fat burning and low fat/sugar. But I enjoyed puddings and other food I had chosen to eat.

When keeping weight off its so so important to remember that you can still be in control of your food and make good food choices even when you are away from home. Be determined that when you do eat high calorie food it will be your decision, not someone else’s, and the food will be food you REALLY WANT TO EAT!

And when you do, enjoy every mouth full.

 

In a future blog I’ll be sharing a new lovely autumn pudding that I’ve been working on. A fat free, sugar free and flour free cakey pudding……….

Like eating a lot but keeping weight off? Just go for fat burning foods

 

There were reasons why I used to be a size 22 and according to the doctors ‘morbidly obese’. The main one was that I like eating. And I like to eat big large portion sizes. That will never change. After losing weight I had to find a way I could still eat a lot and maintain my new size 10 weight. Aiming for maximum volume for minimum calories I started looking at what happens when you eat different kinds of foods. That’s when I discovered fat burning and calorie neutral foods.

Fat burning foods are foods that:

  • make the body work very hard and use up calories in the food when processing it, and/or
  • start a reaction or process which speeds up your metabolism and manages your blood sugar, and/or
  • fill you up more so you eat less, and/or
  • are not digested at all and just pass through the body.

Calorie neutral foods are those that use up more calories than there are in the foods in processing them so you actually lose weight by eating them.

Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that but you get the idea.

Calorie counting assumes all calories are equal; they are not.

One of my ’21 Keys to Keeping Weight Off’ is to remember that not all calories are equal.  This is why I do not believe that simple calorie counting is the best way to manage your weight when you are keeping weight off .


If you rely on calorie counting then, in theory, you could eat chocolate and crisps all day and so long as you don’t go over the recommended calories for your height, current weight and activity levels then you would keep weight off. But you wouldn’t be healthy and in the long term that will make keeping weight off neigh-on impossible for someone who has struggled with weight gain. (If you want to find out how many calories you need you can click here to check your BMR).

Brownies made with added fat burning ingredients

Keeping weight off requires you to have a healthy, balanced diet and to keep your metabolism as fast as possible. One easy way to do this is to eat lots of fat burning foods. There is a real variety of fat burning foods, something for everyone, and they are foods you can easily just make the staple of your day to day diet. Or, you can adapt recipes to include fat burning foods to make your favourite dishes more fat burning. It’s amazing how easy and routine ‘easy swaps’ can become with a bit of thought. And then, like me, you can eat loads and still keep weight off.

So, want to know what these wonder foods are? For a list of fat burning and calorie neutral foods click here.

Good luck, enjoy the foods. And let us know on here or on facebook about any fab recipes you have using fat burning foods.

A brilliant summer salad – Oriental Rice Salad

Its time for some recipes on here I think. Here’s one of my favourite summer dishes; Oriental Rice Salad.

Oriental Rice SaladThis dish is not only really tasty, but its easy to make, 100% fat free and keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. Plus, with the exception of a handful of raisins and a spoon of sherry, it only contains foods which are brilliant for keeping weight off. All the other ingredients are fat burning, and almost all are low GI (pineapple, though is medium GI). The ginger adds a bit of heat which also helps boost metabolism.

So tuck in and enjoy, eating as much as you want! As you know I like eating LOADS so I reckon the recipe below will serve 3 decent portions or 4 smaller portions.

Ingredients:

8oz / 225g brown rice

For the sauce:

4 tbsp fresh orange juice

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic minced

½ tsp grated ginger

1 dsp sherry

For the salad:

6 radishes, sliced

2oz / 60g bean sprouts

2oz / 60g raisins

1 orange

2oz / 60g toasted or dry fried cashew nuts

2 sticks celery

4oz / 120g pineapple

Instructions:

1.  Cook the rice following the instructions  on the packet. Make sure you rinse well in cold water first to remove dried starch. Make sure your water is boiling when you put the rice in the pan. This helps stop the rice getting sticky.

2. Mix together the dressing of fresh orange juice, soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger and sherry. Add some salt and pepper.

3. When the rice is cooked, drain and season with salt and pepper. Then pour over the dressing whilst still warm so it will soak up some of the dressing into the rice. Leave to cool.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the salad. To toast the cashew nuts I recommend dry frying in a non-stick pan for a few minutes.

5. When the rice is cool mix together and enjoy!