healthy snack

The 10 Commandments of Healthy Eating & Weight Loss

Gain control of your diet and weight by following these 10 wise rules.

Thou shalt…

  1. Fuel up frequently. Eat a little and often, and you’ll give your body a constant supply of energy which will help you to avoid cravings.
  2. Think before you eat. Consider why you want to eat something. Is it because you’re hungry? Or because you’re stressed, bored, lonely, angry or depressed? If it’s not hunger, will that sugary indulgence actually solve the problem, or just make you feel worse?
  3. Avoid food shopping on autopilot. Stop repeating your bad habits week after week. Buy something healthy that you’ve never tried before, or flick through a recipe book for inspiration. A varied and interesting diet will help to satisfy the appetite better and is more nutritious. Aim to try a new healthy food or dish every week.
  4. Never buy “foods you can pick at”, such as crisps, chocolates and peanuts. Once the packet has been opened it’ll be hard to stop, so best not having them in the house at all. It’s a slippery slope!
  5. Take control. Prepare your own foods rather than eating out or buying take-aways and pre-prepared foods.  Put yourself in charge of the ingredients list and portion sizes. Your salad may taste better with a thick dollop of mayonnaise, but do you really need it? Is it more important for you to reach your weight loss goal, or have a salad that tastes marginally better?
  6. Opt for wholegrain foods.  We digest them slowly, so they’ll make you feel fuller for longer. Look for wholegrain bread, pasta, breakfast cereals and brown rice.
  7. Steer clear of foods with a lot of added sugar.  Watch out for words, such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, hydrolysed starch and invert sugar, corn syrup and honey on the ingredients list. If you see one of these near the top (they always start with the biggest ingredient first), you know the food is likely to be high in added sugars.
  8. Give a very wide berth to high fat foods. Again, check the ingredients list. High is more than 20g of fat per 100g, and low is 3g of fat or less per 100g.
  9. Under no circumstances be a plate cleaner! Think about how much food you are consuming in each sitting. Stop eating when you feel satisfied, not stuffed. Eat slowly, your fork is not a shovel. Your brain doesn’t start signalling feelings of fullness until 20 minutes after it actually is, so take your time and give your body the chance to recognise that you’ve had enough to eat.
  10. Limit your alcohol intake. Not only is it highly calorific, but it also reduces your will power and ability to say no to alluring fatty foods. You also maybe a little less angelic with your food choices the morning after!

Good luck and remember that you're allowed to break the rules every now and then. Just put yourself back on track as quickly as you can, and don't make a habit of it!


Posted by Heather Waghorn.

What is the difference between Clementines and Satsumas?

Citrus Celebration - The Ultimate Guilt Free Snacks with Health Benefits

For me, the deliciously tangy aroma of a Clementine or Satsuma being peeled and eaten goes hand-in-hand with the festive season. At this time of year, there are so many pleasurably calorific foods and drinks around, and these sweet fruits, which come in their own convenient and natural packaging, are one of the few Christmassy things that can be enjoyed guilt-free.

Clementines and Satsumas are in season just when we need them. They’re loaded with vitamin C, so can help prevent colds and flu at a time when our bodies have to battle hard to ward off infections. They’re also a bright and sunny addition to the fruit bowl on dull, grey winter days (and you may find a few jumbled up with nuts and chocolate coins at the bottom of your Christmas stocking…but only if you’ve been good!)

But Is There Any Difference Between Them?

Lets first talk about mandarins and tangerines. Mandarin is the collective name for all small orangey-type fruit (but not the bigger oranges). Tangerines are a variety of Mandarin, and usually have seeds in them.

Clementines and Satsumas are similar to tangerines, but are cultivated to be seedless (although you’ll occasionally find seeds in them due to uninvited bees getting in on the breeding process) and are usually sweeter.

Clementines are traditionally from North Africa, whereas Satsumas originate from Japan. It’s not easy to tell the difference between the two, although the Clementines are meant to have a slightly tighter skin.

To make things even more confusing, different countries use different terms for defining the fruit. And shops have been known to mis-label the various varieties, so you may believe you’re eating a Satsuma, when actually it’s a Clementine!

The Weighty Ones are More Juicy!

As with most fruits, choose carefully and go for the ones that look shiny and healthy, without any bruising or discoloured skin. If you can, try and feel how heavy the fruit are. If they feel light, they’re likely to be disappointingly dry and juiceless.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Crunch Your Way Through Some Apples & Pears

Summer berries and salads may no longer be in season, but that’s no reason to cut back on your 5-a-day fruit and veg portions.

British apples and pears are delicious and definitely worth hunting down at the moment. Food that has been grown locally always tastes better, and you can feel virtuous for supporting British growers and reducing your food miles! Choose organic for the best taste-bud experience.

Both apples and pears have a stronger flavour if you eat them at room temperature, although storing them in the fridge will keep them fresh for longer.

Apples and pears are both low calorie and low GI, so make good weight-loss snacks. Nutritionally, they’re much better if you eat them raw with their skins on. 

Nice Pear!

One chin-dribbling, juicy pear will provide you with zinc, vitamins C and E, some B vitamins and lots of dietary fibre.

Pears are great on their own and are also really tasty in salads. Try combining the sweetness of pears with slightly bitter salad leaves such as radicchio, rocket and watercress.

For a special treat (that'll make your diet go a bit pear-shaped!) try poaching them in red wine, or drizzling baked pears with chocolate!

An Apple a Day…

Crunchy apples are full of lots of good stuff. They’re a great source of nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, vitamin C and dietary fibre.

Apples are a great snack when eaten raw, sliced up with yogurt or grated on muesli. They can also be made into a healthy sauce when pureed and served with meats such as pork.

Of course they can always be made into yummy, diet-demolishing crumbles, pies and strudels!

Did you know...

Conference pears are named after an international pear conference, where the variety won first prize in 1885.

All Bramley apples are descended from a tree that is still growing in Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.