Dieting, baby Beckham and Twitter…

I have always been a fan of actress Pauline Quirke and so was delighted to see her new look in the paper the other day.  Losing weight is not easy.  I have tried various diets at different times of my life and, like everyone else who has ever dieted, find that some work, some don’t. I have never been a fan of the cabbage soup diet – very anti social, or the banana diet, very binding.  Likewise shakes and snacks, they don’t do it for me either. Pauline followed the LighterLife plan and lost 6 stone in weight, the results speak for themselves.  I think she looks amazing.


The Dukan Diet has also been in the press lately and it does looks interesting; and although health experts say we should eat from each food group each day in moderation, I don’t think foregoing carbs for a few days can do much harm.  As you get older any excess weight becomes difficult to shift, so while I’m not sure about following the programme long-term, for a kick-start it should be ideal.

 I was intrigued by the names of baby Beckham.  Harper, although very different I can at least understand, but Seven…….  It has been explained in different ways but seemingly the baby was born just after 7 in the 7th month of the year and David played at number 7 …… if this catches on then my eldest son will have to change his name to Four, following the same reasoning as above.

 Lastly Twitter – a while ago I wrote a post about Twitter and whether to tweet or not.  Since then I have to say I have become quite hooked.  I exchange tweets with some great people and have found that if you strip away the celebrity chit-chat, underneath there is a seriously free marketing and PR tool.  I have watched as businesses have attracted more and more followers by selective tweeting about what they, grow, sell, produce, make, let, buy etc.  And it has also become a sort of advice directory, just post a tweet asking for help or advice on almost anything and before you know it, replies come flooding in. Charities seem to have benefited too and there are people on twitter who work tirelessly to retweet appeals for help with raising money or to publicise new campaigns.

Amongst other things it has renewed my faith in human nature. People still want to help people.




Fish oils could be the “Elixir of Life”

During my search to find what’s best to eat while trying to lower my cholesterol, I find that apart from porridge oats, the omega-3 in fish oils can be another “super cholesterol reducer”

Not only that, it appears from recent research that an added bonus could be their anti-ageing properties too.  The report makes interesting reading and I shall certainly be increasing the amount of oily fish in my diet.

Read the report in the today’s ” Mail Online”

So….it’s porridge for me!

Since finding out that my cholesterol level is 8, not a good number to be, I have been reading up on what to do about getting it lower.

I have found out that porridge oats are an excellent thing to eat if you have high cholesterol, as the soluble fibre and beta-glucans helps get rid of the nasty cholesterol stuff in your blood stream.

In the course of trawling the internet, I came across this amazing site that tells you all you ever need to know about oats, how much is grown, how long we have been eating them and why you should add them to your diet.

So, I will now start each day with a bowl of porridge oats and see if they can help me get from a level of 8 to one of 5 which is much more healthy

How do I lower my cholesterol?

I have had a blood test recently to try and find out why I feel so tired all the time and have no engery.  The tests didn’t find anything other than I my cholesterol level is too high.  It is 5 which is not good evidently.  So I have set about trying to find out what I should do to get the level down.  It seems that we make cholesterol in our bodies anyway but it is only when it is high that it becomes a bad thing.

I have read lots of stuff on the internet, some of which is quite confusing, but there is evidence that you can reduce the level by changes in diet and exercise. So out go prawns, eggs, red meat, cakes. biscuits, pastries

 and in come porridge oats, walnuts, olive oil, blueberries, chicken, oily fish, turkey….

     hmm doesn’t seem too bad!      

I will also have to start doing some exercising as I have been quite lax of late.  Do I have to hit the gym or would swimming be OK? Anyone got any other tips, they would be gratefully received

Healthy eating with herbs

Parsley – is very rich in vitamin C, evidently a single serving of 30g provides more than half the recommended daily amount if this vitamin.  It is also a good source of beta-carotene which our bodies convert into vitamin A. Vitamins A & C are also antioxidants, they protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals, which are the bad guys, involved in  a whole range of diseases from cancer to heart disease.

Garlic – this is just brilliant!  Allicin, the main ingredient of garlic, relaxes blood vessels so reducing blood pressure. It has also been clinically proven to help keep your arteries clear of nasty cholesterol.  Garlic also has powerful antibiotic properties and was a lifesaver when  used in traditional medicine, in the days before the discovery of penicillin.

Watercress this one packs a peppery but nutritional punch! Gram for gram it is higher in vitamin C than oranges and has a higher content of iron than spinach.  It too is packed with beta-carotene. 

Watercress omelette

  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 80g watercress chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp grated cheese
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil or spray

Either spray a non-stick pan with olive oil or add 1 tsp to the pan and gently fry the garlic for about 2-3 minutes

In a bowl, beat the eggs and add half of the watercress.  Once beaten, pour into the pan

Cook until the eggs have set

Now, add the remainder of the watercress and the grated cheese to the pan

When the top of the omelette is lightly set, fold it in half and cut into two pieces

Serve the omelette with a chunk of fresh, crusty french bread and a large green salad

Rosemary – the great news about this herb is that is may help slow the brain-ageing process (according to the scientists at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in the US and at Japan’s Iwake University). It too has properties that protect the brain from damage by those pesky free radicals.  Rosemary goes brilliantly with lamb:-

  • Melt some red currant jelly in a bowl in the microwave, usually takes about 10 seconds on high power in my micro
  • Chop up some fresh rosemary, you need about a level tablespoonful
  • Add the rosemary together with a crushed clove of garlic and about a tablespoonful of balsamic vinegar, to the melted jelly
  • Whisk together to form a marinade
  • Take two lamb chops or steaks and place in a dish. Pour the marinade over and leave for at least 30 let the full flavour develop
  • Cook the lamb under a medium grill for 5 – 6 minutes each side, depending on how thick the meat is and how you like your lamb
  • Serve with fresh carrots, broccoli and sliced green beans

Thyme  – this goes great with poultry, especially chicken, but thyme has been used for years in herbal medicine to treat chest compliants.  It has antiseptic and antibacterial qualities and evidently a study on rats found that supplementing their diet with thyme could help slow brain ageing! Thyme also contains antioxidants called flavonoids that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Herbs have been around for hundreds of years and have helped previous generations, long before the advent of modern medicine.  They are so undervalued, but they don’t just taste good they offer us great health benefits too.  So, off you go and stock up your store cupboard



Get off the scales!!

I have just been thinking about all the stuff in the news lately about weightloss and dieting and how funny it is that this subject strikes a such chord with us women!  Millions are continually being spent on trying to lose weight and yet,  I think we all accept. if we take in more calories than we use we will never lose weight. (Medical conditions excluded)

I know this is true, so why is it that I have found myself standing on one leg on the bathroom scales, in the hope that they will register two or three pounds less? What’s that all about?

I read somewhere that first thing in the morning, I will be the lightest that I will weigh all day. Another article told me not to weigh too often as my weight will fluctuate throughout the day, whether I eat or not! 

I try to eat healthily and take some exercise (the dog won’t go out if it’s raining) and of everything that I have tried I can honestly say that the thing that works for me is NO CARBS after 4pm.  I feel less bloated, more energetic and less bad tempered (significant other very happy on this)

So I have decided that instead of hopping on and off the scales like a demented grasshopper, I will now only weigh once a month, trouble is, is that a calendar month or every four weeks?  Help……………

Dieting – what’s that about?

On my return from holiday that I discovered that I had gained a few pounds so I decided that I had better get a grip and do something about taking the weight off.
Now, in my younger days this would not have been a problem; just not eat till dinner time then have chicken and salad and, bingo, the excess pounds would just drop off. But when you are older, this is not an option! If I don’t have something to eat before lunchtime, I become a bad tempered ratbag of a woman who, if you have any sense you avoid like the plague!

So what to do to lose the holiday bulge?

Well like so many others before me, I have a gym membership, taken out in the firm belief that I would go at least three times a week and look like Elizabeth Hurley in three months’ time! Why do we do it? May as well put the money down the drain, the gym owners must be laughing all the way to the bank; is it just women who are lacking in a bit of self discipline on the excercise front, or are there men out there who have done the same thing. Anyway, I have actually been to the gym five times in the last six months, not good is it?

So, accepting that I am not and never will be a “gym bunny” I decided that I would take the healthy eating route to getting my weight under control. I think I have a healthy attitude to food already – I like it – but looked again at where I could possibly make adjustments. Butter – lovely melted on brown toast; the spread stuff just doesn’t do it for me and anyway, I read somewhere that butter is better for you, so I’ll just scrape it on and scrape it off, should do the trick. I have decided that I can live for a while without too many carbs, evidently they can raise blood sugar levels, so no potatoes except for the odd jacket and only wholewheat pasta, lots of veggies, fruit, chicken and fish, sounds like a plan!

If I lived on my own, I know that I could crack this dieting lark, but I have a “significant other” in the form of the RH (retired husband) whose main pleasure in life, apart from cigars, tv, holidays and the dog, is to sit down to a lovely home cooked dinner of all the things I am about to take off the menu. As I do the cooking I think I should choose the food, he is not going to like this one bit………………..