Healthy low sugar baked beans – slow cooker – 107 calories

IMG_0626I loved baked beans, but not so happy with all the sugar that is added – the low sugar variety just don’t taste as nice to me!

So here’s a healthy version of baked beans – I make a huge batch in the slow cooker and freeze them in batches of 2 portions.  Easily defrosted overnight and added to breakfast (as I did this morning!)  408 calories for this breakfast!

Despite the mention of Tabasco, paprika and lots of mustard, the beans have a nice “kick” to them, but aren’t hot or spicy.

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 8 hrs

Serves: 10

Calories per serving: 107.1


Red Onions – 280g

Fresh Garlic – 3 Cloves/9g

Olive Oil  – 6ml

Haricot Beans, in Water, Drained – 3 Cans/705g

Chopped Tomatoes, in Rich Tomato Juice – 2 Cans/800g

Worcestershire Sauce – 20g

Brown (HP) Sauce – 20g

Ground Cumin – 1 Tsp/5g

Paprika – 1 Tbsp/7g

Balsamic Vinegar – 20ml

Whole Grain Mustard – 45g

Tomato Puree, Double Concentrate – 100g

Tabasco Sauce – 10ml


Peel and finely chop onion. Peel and finely chop garlic. Place oil into a large frying pan and heat over a medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes before adding garlic. Do not allow to brown.

Add all the other ingredients into the pan and stir well.

Transfer into a slow cooker and cook on the medium setting for 5 hours, or 2-2.5 hours on the high setting.


Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 107.1

Carbohydrate (g) 15.8

Fat (g) 1.8

Fibre (g) 7.1

Sodium (g) 0.159

Fruit & Veg 2.5

Protein (g) 6.7

Versatile Vegetables…

I never have a problem getting my daily quota of vegetables.  I love them!  Roasting and stir-frying take many plain, boring vegetables to a different level!

Tonights dinner was a veritable feast of colour and flavour.

Butternut squash roasted in olive oil with paprika (189 cals)

Stir fried cabbage and leek, fried in butter and olive oil (108 cals)

Topped with 60g of goats cheese (164 cals) and 10g of toasted pine nuts (70 cals).

Total 531 cals

And this is what it looks like!


Amazing flavours and very filling!


400g Butternut, 7ml of olive oil, half a tsp of paprika

50g of leeks, 80g of savoy cabbage, 3ml of olive oil, 5g of butter

60g of Goats cheese

10g of pine nuts (toasted)


Simple exercises with a physical disability

TRX Bands

This is a picture of me using my TRX bands.  I am able to use my body weight to lean forwards and open up my shoulders.  As I spend a lot of my day with my arms extended forwards and my head hunched down, this provides a great stretch to combat pain.

TRX bands are strong nylon straps that can be adjusted.  These are anchored onto a door, but at home I have them attached to a rafter in the garage.

It’s a total-body training system that allows you to do all sorts of exercises using ones body weight. You have to use you core stabilisers to work out with TRX, so you build your core, strength, balance, agility and power.

Exercise doesn’t have to be hard work or done in a gym!

Over the three or four years that I have been trying to improve my mobility / strength / fitness (and lose weight!) I have used small pieces of exercise equipment I have bought on-line as well as trying out mat based Pilates

Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 16.57.30
Mat based Pilates

Because I am unable to stand for any length of time, I do a lot of exercising whilst sat on a gym ball… I find I can manage a much better range of movements.  Here’s a link to a video which may give you some ideas of how you may be able to create your own routine.

What’s more, keeping everything moving really does help with keeping pain at bay.






Cod, Chorizo & Butterbean Stew – 278 calories

IMG_0527Serves 3

Oil, Olive, Average – 5ml

Sausage, Chorizo – 50g

Red Peppers, Raw – 1 Med/160g

Onions -½ Med/90g

400g can of Chopped Tomatoes

Tomato Puree, Average  -35g

Butter Beans, Canned (drained) – 1 Can/250g

Paprika -¼ Tsp/0.5g

Cod, Loins -240g

Fresh Parsley – 1 Tbsp/3.8g


Peel and finely dice the onion. De-seed the pepper and cut into large chunks. Cut the cod loin into 3cm chunks. Cut the chorizo into chunky slices and remove skin (if present).


In a deep pan over a low to medium heat, sweat the chorizo to release the oil. Add the onion, olive oil and red pepper and cook for five minutes, being careful not to brown.

Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, paprika and butterbeans. Simmer and reduce for about ten minutes.

Add the cod, salt and freshly ground black pepper and pop the lid on. Simmer for another 8 – 10 minutes or so, stirring a couple of times (very gently or your fish will fall apart!), until the fish is cooked through.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

I had mine with stir fried leek, savoy cabbage and peas (77 cals) and tenderstem broccoli (14 cals).

Total for meal: 369 calories

Dessert: Half an orange (27 calories)

Aubergine and Chickpea Curry & Celeriac Rice

IMG_0500 (3)Serves 4

Red Peppers -1 Med/119g

Chestnut Mushrooms -140g

Baby leaf Spinach -175g

Tomato Puree, Double Concentrated -35g

1 large Raw Aubergine, cut into 2 cm cubes -370g

Celery, finely diced -25g

Oil, Olive -15ml

2 x Garlic Cloves

Coriander, Leaves, Fresh -½ Bunch/10g

Curry Paste, Tikka Massala -75g

Onions -155g

Chick Peas, Canned -1 Can (drained)/240g


Trim and finely dice the celery. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic cloves. Chop the aubergine into small (1.5cm) cubes, de-seed and chop the pepper into large chunks. Wipe and quarter the mushrooms. Open the chickpeas and drain out the water.


Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add onions and celery and stir until softened, but don’t allow to brown. Add the garlic, red pepper and aubergine and continue to cook. Once everything has softened (around 20 minutes), add 100ml of water and the tomato puree. Stir through, cover and cook on a low heat for about an hour, checking every 20 minutes or so to check nothing is sticking.

Add the mushrooms, curry sauce and chickpeas. Stir through, cover. Bring to a simmer, and cook covered for a further 20 – 30 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and stir through. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.

Sprinkle with the chopped fresh coriander leaves.

I served with celeriac rice – only 25 cals a portion. I stir-fried it in a little olive oil (43 cals) so 68 calories in total…. a lot lower than white rice where I’d have once eaten which at 50g (tiny portion) would have been 168 cals!

For the celeriac rice (80 calories per serving):

Peel and chop 175g (per person) of celeriac into large 3cm chunks. Put into a food processor with a metal blade and “pulse” until the celeriac resembles large grains (larger than rice grains).

Heat 5ml of olive oil per person in a frying pan. Add the celeriac and stir fry stirring constantly for around 5 – 7 minutes until softened.

Chop and add fresh coriander before serving.

I’ve added a large spoonful of Greek yogurt – 30g = 40 calories.

This whole meal was therefore 286 calories…..

Crunchy spiced chickpeas – 57 calories per portion

I’m back to doing the 8-week Blood Sugar Diet for the next 6 weeks – having returned from two week long holidays and before we embark on a 2 week holiday in December which will be closely followed by Christmas.

I did the same last year – starting one week earlier – and managed an impressive 13lb loss in 7 weeks!

You can read more about my experiences following the Blood Sugar Diet here and here:

IMG_0491Makes 4 portions. 57 calories per portion


Chick Peas, Canned (drained) – 240g

Olive Oil -6ml

Ground Cumin -¼ Tsp/1.25g

Paprika -¼ Tsp/0.5g


Heat the oven to 190 degrees.

Drain the chickpeas into a colander and rinse thoroughly. Place into a clean tea towel (or in between sheets of kitchen towel) and dry thoroughly.

Place the chickpeas in roasting tin and toss with the remaining ingredients until evenly coated.

Spread the chickpeas in an even layer and bake until crisp, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Once cooked and cooled store in an air-tight container. If they lose some of their crunch, heat for about 5 minutes in a pre-heated oven or in a dry frying pan.


Up-date on Health Blogger Awards 2017


I’ve won!!!

I nominated my Blog for HealthUnlocked Health Blogger Awards 2017

My Blog has won the category for “Weight loss or Healthy Eating Blogger of the Year”!

A £200 prize, but I am happy enough that my blog is inspiring people who may have additional barriers to losing weight and exercising!

I knew that I was up against a lot of tough opposition and some really great blogs, so as still in shock!

Healthy alternative to coleslaw – quinoa, carrot and hazelnut coleslaw

IMG_0273.jpgMakes 5 generous portions

80g Quinoa (Dry Weight)

150g Carrot (coarsely grated)

Lemon Juice, ½ Juiced Lemon

30g Hazelnuts, Blanched and roughly chopped

Black Pepper Freshly Ground (few grinds)

50g Mascarpone Cheese

80g Soured Cream

Cook the quinoa and drain – leave to cool (I cook mine in a rice steamer in the microwave for 5 + 5 minutes, full power 600)

When cool, mix with the remaining ingredients – mixing the mascarpone and soured cream first.

A yummy crunchy and healthy alternative to regular coleslaw and much more filling. You can make up a batch and it stores well in the fridge (but I leave the mascarpone and soured cream out, adding just before I serve it)

Calories (kcal) 153.4

Carbohydrate (g) 12.0

Fat (g) 10.1

Fibre (g) 1.9

Sodium (g) 0.016

Fruit & Veg 0.3

Protein (g) 3.7

Vegetable and lentil tikka masala – 165 calories

This is my dinner for tonight! Bubbling away on the stove…. Will serve with either mashed swede or stir fried shredded savoy cabbage (or even both!)

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 1 hr

Serves: 4

Calories per serving: 165

Vegetable and lentil tikka masala


15ml Olive Oil

90g Red Onions

Garlic, Raw, Average-1 Clove/3g

1 stick celery

100g Carrots, Raw

1 Can/400g chopped tomatoes

50g Lentils, Red, Dried

80g Tikka Curry Paste

Medium aubergine (285g)

70g Fine Green Beans, Green, Fine, Average-69g

5g Coriander Puree (or fresh coriander, chopped)

Garlic, Raw, Average-1 Clove/3g


Peel, and finely dice carrots, onion and celery. Peel and dice the garlic. Cut the aubergine into 1.5cm cubes.


Pour the oil in a large lidded saucepan. Heat over a medium heat.

Add the onion, carrot, beans and celery and fry gently (don’t allow to brown) for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Add the Aubergine and garlic. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes to prevent sticking.

Add the curry paste, the tinned tomatoes and about 100ml of water. Add the lentils and stir through.

Heat until mixture bubbles, turn down to a simmer and continue to cook on a gentle heat and covered for about an hour, stirring regularly. Add further water if required.

Add the coriander puree / fresh coriander just before serving.

IMG_0275 (1).jpg

Calories (kcal) 165.1

Carbohydrate (g) 19.5

Fat (g) 6.5

Fibre (g) 5.9

Sodium (g) 0.166

Fruit & Veg 3.5

Protein (g) 6.6

Hot smoked salmon with lemon, herbs & courgetti (492 calories)

IMG_0262Came home from a few days away to a couple of monster courgettes.  My mind turned to courgetti!

Hot smoked salmon fillet with lemon and herbs (ready prepared from Aldi), 250g spiralized or julienned courgette cooked in 5mg coconut oil with added 3 x chestnut mushrooms and a handful of peas.

A quick and easy sauce – spoonful (25g) of mascarpone and a spoonful (25g) of creme fraiche.

Total:  492 calories.

Really easy to cook – ready in 20 minutes!

Stir fry the mushrooms and courgette in the oil. Add the peas (40g), creme fraiche and mascarpone.  Removed the skin from the salmon fillet and then flaked into the pan. Finish off with a generous grind or two of black pepper.

What I really enjoyed about this dish was the zesty flavour of the lemon.  Oh, and that it was so easy to make, so quick and kept me feeling full all evening.  Hardly any washing up too!