Diane Corriette

Two healthy oils for frying

I do try not to fry food now. If  I can I sautee it in water I will do just that, but there are times when I am in need of healthy oils for frying and there are two main ones I use.

Coconut Oil

Years ago I found out about the power of coconut oil. I was at a health fair back in the Spring of 2011 and came across organic cold pressed coconut oil made by coconoil.co.uk.

At the time they were selling for £5 each and I bought two. I really wish I had bought six! I loved them so much I have been buying them from the same place every since. I have tried others but they are not as good IMHO.

I keep one container in the kitchen cupboard and one in my bedroom.
The one in the kitchen is obviously one of my healthy oils for frying. Coconut oil is a great oil for frying and baking. It does leave the food with a hint of coconut sometimes. I hate frying eggs in coconut oil for that reason.

Almond Oil

The other oil that I use is Almond Oil. I came across this in my local shop one day and tried it. The one I buy is not organic but online you can buy organic almond oil.

Almond oil is a great source of vitamin E (when used cold as a salad dressing) and is very low in saturated fats. Just make sure you choose a refined almond oil for frying, read the label because there are different ones available.

I love almond oil because it leaves no flavour and I noticed I really only need to use a tiny bit of it.

I am sure there are other oils out there that are great for frying. Sometimes I read that it is recommended we don’t use olive oil for frying but I think that is only if you are buying a cheap brand. You will have to do your own research on that one but I believe a good grade, high quality olive oil (which is usually quite dark) is okay to use for frying.

A green food week

I have decided that I have been eating too many starchy vegetables over the last two weeks and so this week I am having a green food week.

The whole week is dedicated to eating and juicing anything green.

To see what I ate you can read my blog post – 7 day plant eating week

So this morning’s juice contained

  • Half a broccoli floret
  • Half a parsley (pot)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 celery
  • Half a bag of Spinach
  • 1 granny smith apple – I am using them now that I know more about the benefits of Granny Smith apples

It was very green and very delicious. That lot made 1 litre of juice.

Lunch was a wholewheat tortila with watercress and spinach in it and some tahini. That was really delicious.

Other foods I will allow during my green food week are:

  • Asparagus
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Courgettesgreen food week
  • Spring onions
  • Parsley
  • Watercress
  • Avocado

Non green foods allowed

  • Onion
  • Peppers
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Whole wheat tortila

The only things not allowed are starchy vegetables. I will see if this will make a difference to what is going on in my body right now.

My exercise routine is going well at least. Following the Beach Body DVDs and having a plan to follow really helps. I think one of the most frustrating things about exercise for me is knowing which exercise to perform each day.

The Beach Body exercise plan takes the guess work out of it plus it has some great food advice and recipes.


Great Healthy Gut Foods

So new lesson for this week is keeping my gut healthy and I have been looking into healthy gut foods I can eat to help me stay healthy (with the proviso that I might also lose weight of course).

So why focus on my gut?

Well it is the friendly bacteria in our gut that plays an important role in our health. It keeps our intestinal function regulated and protects us from infections.

Our modern lifestyle including things like stress and medication like antibiotics have been found to kill the bacteria in our gut that exists to keep us healthy.

There is a saying that medical professionals believe disease starts in the colon. I am not sure if it is a saying or an old wives tale but maybe there is some truth to it.

Inflammation is caused when our gut becomes unhealthy and inflammation of the gut is the cause of all kinds of illness and disease that I won’t get into because I am not medically trained.

You can read Dr Mercola’s article called Inflammation Affects Every Aspect of your Health

After finding out about the important of keeping a healthy gut I naturally looked out for healthy gut foods that I can eat to help myself.

The best ones are:

Jerusalem artichoke
White onion

A fuller list of different foods I read about on different sites included:

pickled vegetables
fermented vegetables
granny smith apples
healthy gut foodscinnamon
cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
sweet potato – fermentable fibres
Jerusalem artichoke
White onion

So there you have it, a list of foods that you can use in cooking and maybe even make up a few vegetable juices using them.

I will definitely be making sure that my apples used in my juices are granny smith apples from now on because they seemed to play an important part in helping keep our intestines healthy.

“The tart green Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates. Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.”

Source: An apple a day could keep obesity away

How I made giving up unhealthy food easier on myself

I decided to make a video that outlines how I made giving up unhealthy food easier on myself.

I realized just how important being happy while vegetable juicing and/or while losing weight is to help me succeed. I discovered how much easier everything became when I focused in on what I could eat and drink rather than what I couldn’t.

I always had my happy ever after in the future. As if everything will be better in the future rather than now. All that did was make my weight loss journey miserable and difficult to bare.

I complained about how little I could eat, how hungry I was, how difficult it all was and all that did was make my life really miserable.

So, instead of the constant misery I decided to be happy now, enjoy the process and journey of working towards losing weight because it makes the whole thing so much easier.

I decided to see the blessings I had in being able to buy the vegetables so I could juice and I focused my attention on all the wonderful healthy stuff I could have that would make my body healthy.

Even now, while I cook a bacon and egg sandwich in a bagel (one of my favorite breakfast meals with 2 bagels!) for my youngest and then turn towards my vegetables I keep the thoughts in my head positive. I used a lot of positive self talk to remind myself that not eating a bacon and egg sandwich is a choice and I choose something healthier for me.

How I made giving up unhealthy food easier on myselfOne day I hope he will stop eating them too but I am not going to push my new eating regime on to him in any big way. He will learn by watching me as his example and I hope many of my new plant based recipes will rub off on him.

So, if you are struggling with your weight loss goals because you are missing your favorite food or treat I hope this goes some way towards helping you realize that you are doing a wonderful job at being healthy. That many people try and give up and many still don’t bother to try at all. By actively doing something about your unhealthy body you are in a small percentage of people who get things done.

Well done you and well done me too. 🙂



Before a fall

I had never ridden a bicycle before but he dared me and I wasn’t about to admit my failings to anyone, especially him. So what if I was a girl, I was older and taller than he was with a desperate need to prove I was equal.

It wasn’t as if I hadn’t sat on a bike before. I had. I just couldn’t get past three or four pushes of the pedal before I wobbled or fell off. Still, today I was feeling confident.

I jumped on and pedalled but I should never have told myself to avoid that tree. Common sense dictated that it was big enough to avoid anyway but I became obsessed with it. I imagined its brown bark tearing at my 10 year old flesh.

Before I hit it the world decelerated into slow motion. The pain though lived on for years.

Homemade Hummus Recipe

About two weeks ago I remembered something important. That my Oscar Vitalmax Juicer not only makes delicious vegetable juicers but it also has a mincer, and I used it today to make houmous or hummus. I thought today I would share my homemade hummus recipe.

There is a mincer attachment that is different from the juicer one. I can actually make nut butters and pasta with this juicer, which is great.

So, today I put through a tin of chick peas. Its all I had in the cupboard. I also put 3 cloves of garlic through the juicer/mincer too.

homemade houmous recipe

What one tin of minced chickpeas looks like

homemade houmous recipe

After putting that through I added tahini, olive oil, and the juice of one lemon. Then I added cayenne pepper. It was delicious.

homemade houmous recipe

Anyone who knows me well knows that when it comes to cooking my philosophy is (or used to be) if you can buy it ready made why waste life making it. Although I had fun following this homeade hummus recipe.

Adding additional ingredients

Once I had the houmous made I could then experiment with other flavours.

The first day I ate it I added yellow sweet pepper and enjoyed it with some roasted vegetables.

homemade hummus

homemade hummus recipe

It was delicious mixed with a raw sweet yellow pepper


The next day I put a beetroot (beets) through the mincer and mixed that in with the houmous. I ate it with roasted veg again.

homemade hummus recipe

homemade humus with beets


I have also added minced ginger, roasted peppers, spinach and other ingredients, both raw and cooked (usually roasted) to change the flavour of this homemade hummus recipe.

So experiment if you make your own. If you don’t have a juicer that does what mine does simply use a blender instead. You get the same result.


Plant based diet weight increase

heart love

There were many things I knew would happen when I started a plant based diet. I knew I would feel great, I knew my skin would look better and I even knew my hair and nails would become stronger. What I wasn’t expecting was a plant based diet weight increase.

Yes. I did say increase. I was a little surprised myself.

I couldn’t figure it out. How could I spend an entire week eating nothing but plants and a few grains and GAIN weight. Or at least stay the same and not lose weight.

Well, once again, thanks to the magic of the search engines I managed to find an answer.

It seems when I increase my intake of plant based whole foods I also increase the amount of fiber I am eating. That  fiber binds with water to increase the weight of my stools and that results in a plant based diet weight increase.

It only happens because my body isn’t used to the sudden increase of plants in my system and as long as I continue to increase my plant intake it will eventually get used to it, and settle down.

I already know that when I weigh myself first thing in the morning if I haven’t used the bathroom for a wee I can weigh up to 3 lbs more. Once I have a wee and step on the scales again they go down, so it doesn’t surprise me about the fiber/water/weight gain bind.

Eating Whole Foods

It is really important that I stick to eating whole foods and grains on my plant based eating regime because it is easy to pick the wrong food. I could eat pasta instead of whole wheat pasta, or eat bread (because it is made from a plant) which is really manufactured food.

As long as I know I have stayed away from processed foods and that I am not eating things like ice cream then my weight gain is probably due to the increase in fibre. I know myself so its all good. I have been 100% healthy and authentic this week.

Watch the oil and fatsPlant based diet weight increase
The other thing I have to be mindful of to ensure I resist a plant based diet weight increase is to watch the oil and fat that I eat.

Good fats like avocado, cooking with fats like coconut and spreading fats like hemp seed oil over my salads or using them in dressings is all great. Anything else can be suspect and I need to watch how much of it I take in.

Almond butter is great. Regular organic butter isn’t perfect but is certainly better than regular margarine.

Nuts are great, cashew, almonds, brazils, walnuts and seeds too – the fats and oils available from nuts is all good in limitation.


Sprouted grains to eat on a plant based diet

A sprouted grain is a seed that has been left to grow but harvested for food before it becomes a fully grown plant. They contain high levels of proteins, enzymes, minerals and vitamins, which is why I wanted to make a list of sprouted grains to eat on a plant based diet, I thought it would be useful to know!

Alfala sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are the shoots of the alfalfa plant harvested before it becomes the fully grown plant version. They are one of the only plants to supply us with Vitamin B12 (and other B vitamins and they contain a concentrate of minersals and vitamins.

It is important you wash them well and pat them dry before eating. I like to add them to salads and soups. I don’t tend to use them in my juicing yet as I am not mad on the taste.

Bean sprouts

Usually made from the mung bean, bean sprouts are typically used in stir frys and is a common ingredient in Asian cooking. They can be grown in one week and, like all sprouts, it is important they are soaked before eating.

Lentil sprouts

As with all these sprouts, and what makes them so good for us, when you sprout lentils the composition of the lentil changes. There is an increase in the amount of minerals and vitamins it contains. Lentils are really easy to sprout at home too and taste great in a salad.

Sprouted grains are whole grains, making them healther than things like pasta and bread. It is the fact that they are made ready to eat before they are fully grown that makes them so good for us. It is just a shame they are so damn expensive to buy.

You can buy the equipment to sprout your own grains. I haven’t tried that yet but it seems easy enough to do. The key is knowing when to harvest them for eating.

Vegetables and Fruit you MUST buy organic

Everytime conventional vegetables and fruits are eaten they contain pesticides. Over time a lot of these pesticdies are just not good for us, so it is worth knowing about the vegetables and fruit you MUST buy organic if you want to limit your pesticide consumption.

Research has shown that there are 30% less pesticides in organic produce than in the conventional type. If you are wondering which ones must be organic here they are:

Vegetables and Fruit you MUST buy organic

The Environmental Working Group publishes an annual list of conventional produce that tests higher in pesticides. Here are the top 10.

  • Apples. Top of the list. Buy organic apples
  • slowing-anti-aging-biological-clock-r100Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Nectarines
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes

You can see the whole list called Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

I pay extra in my shopping for organic cabbage, onions and avocado but they were way down at the end of the list so I will buy the conventionally grown type.

What I use all the time in juicing and that I do buy organic versions of are celery, cucumber, apples, spinach, carrots (22) and broccoli (28).

The ones I didn’t know about and are high up on the list (top 10) are Strawberries (2), Grapes (3), sweet bell peppers (7) and cherry tomatoes (10)

This list has been developed for America but it is the only guide I can find right now so will use it to help me decide.

Pesticides are chemicals sprayed of our food in an effort to kill bacteria, insects, parasites and fungi. When they are sprayed, just like us, these plants absorb some of these pesticides through their skin. That means we eat pesticides containing ingredients that pose a serious risk to our health.

That isn’t a reason NOT to eat them of course. There are toxins all over our environment. Even in our food packaging. The key is to limit how much we are exposed to them as best we can.

Buying organic is one way to limit pesticide consumption. Even organic produce is sprayed but not anywhere near to the extent that conventional ones are and so we limit our exposure.

One way to remove toxins from the skin of fruit and vegetables is to soak it in Apple Cider Vinegar for at least 15 minutes before consuming it. I found that out months ago and that is what I tend to do now.

I am learning about toxins and chemicals as part of my detox specialist course and it really is scary just how many toxins our body has to deal with on a daily basis.

11 healthy foods I eat

I got back from the health food store today and as I looked into my bag I thought about the new healthy foods I eat now, that I wasn’t eating 11 months ago.

They are all healthy and help me to stick to my healthy eating goals. Things like

Rye Bread

I never liked Rye bread. In fact I eat it mainly because I know it is better than ordinary bread and can be great as part of a healthy diet. I have to eat it toasted because on its own I am not a fan. I spread Almond butter or peanut butter on it.

rye bread

Definitely needs to be toasted!

Almond butter and healthy peanut butter

Peanut butter, jam (jelly) and a cup of tea was my favourite snack to eat at 10.30pm while I was watching the 9pm movie. That is my past, of course. Now I use these two healthy butters on my raw vegetables and on my toasted Rye bread.


Crushed sesame seeds – they can be an acquired taste. I love it spread on anything. Really good to use when I make something with the leftover vegetable juicing pulp that I have.

almond butter

Chia Seeds

Haven’t actually used this yet but I do know it is great to add to smoothies, porridge and other foods. They are full of antioxidants and most of the carbs you get from them is fiber. Chia seeds are a high quality protein (rather than meat).

chia seeds

Rooibos Tea and herbal teas

I have already written about Rooibos Tea HERE so you can read that. I love both of these teas.

healthy foods I eat rooibos tea

Coconut Palm Sugar and Coconut Palm Syrup (instead of maple syrup)

This coconut palm sugar is unusual in that it looks more like a grain that sugar when you pour it out. It isn’t too sweet either so I love it. The syrup is a great alternative to maple syrup. Whenever I see an American recipe that includes Maple Syrup (which is not easily available here in the UK), I use my coconut palm syrup instead.

coconut palm sugar healthy foods I eat

Tamari Sauce

This is meant to include less salt that soya sauce. I bought it to use in the recipes I find over at the Deliciously Ella blog.

tamari soy sauce

Millet Grain

This is the newest of the new healthy foods I eat and while I continue to search for the Teff grain I am hoping this will do. It is high in protein, gluten free and full of vitamins. A great alternative to rice and potatoes, my intention is to make a stir fry using it and my Tamari soya sauce.

new foods that I eat


Nuts and Seeds

Great on porridge, as a snack, with fruit and sometimes sprinked on my dinner.

new foods that I eat

These are all foods that I would never have eaten in the past. Of course I am eating a larger range of vegetables and other foods but these represent foods I would never buy and add to my list of essential ingredients. Now of course they are.

Tony Robbins says have standards and rituals to succeed

I was on YouTube today (as I am most days) and found this great  video by Tony Robbins who explains that we need to have standards and rituals to succeed.

Here are my notes based on what he said:

What is it going to take to make things happen. You need to feel like your life is making progress. It doesn’t matter what you get, possessions may excite you for the moment but if you don’t keep growing life doesn’t stay exciting.

Progress is what helps us feel alive.

Progress has an aliveness to it.

Don’t work on change. Change is automatic. Things change but progress is not automatic. You have to take control of the progress and make things happen.

Your resolutions for the year is a wish list that you hope all comes together.

When you resolve something and you cut off any possibility of it not happening you make things work.

Most people say what they hope will come together but are not vested in their success.

Everlasting change starts with a vision for what it is you really truly want. Not what you think you want or you should have but what you really want.

A vision is about what you are here to create. It has to be compelling so it has the power to pull you rather than something you need to push yourself to do.

You need something that you desire so much that you have a hard time going to sleep at night.

Our follow through comes through from our emotional intensity. How intense is your focus and intensity to pull you. A compelling vision that you want to make happen.

You need to also have compelling reasons to keep going so you can push yourself through what you need to do when life isn’t working or when you are challenged.

[I found when I was hungry and vegetable juicing I definitely need a compelling reason to stop me from eating KitKats!]

Review your vision and feel it every day. Anything in your life that you ever wanted so badly that you couldn’t stop thinking about it and visioning/imagining it that stuff happened. Situations and people came into your life because it was so a part of your focus that it started to happen even when you weren’t sure how to make things happen.

When you set a goal, you have a clear vision and you review it often enough it becomes a part of you.

Remember to review it and feel it every day and your brain will become acute at showing you things to help you to keep going.

If you are going to have lasting change in anything you need to RAISE YOUR STANDARDS 9:52

Lasting change is different from a goal. You don’t always get your goals but you get your standards.

When you decide something is an absolute must for you, you find a way and it doesn’t take willpower anymore. When you make something a must rather than a should it attaches itself to us.

We all act consistent with who we believe we are. If you define yourself as someone who is conservative you are not going to go crazy and be outrageous. When you define yourself and what you can / can’t do in your life you limit who you are.

Take a look at where you have a limitation and ask yourself ‘when did I decide to take on that limitation?’

Sometimes we adapt ourselves so we don’t fail or people will like us but it is not who we truly are.

Do things spontaneously without thinking because that is where the true you lies.

When I talk about standards and shoulds vs must think about your own life. When have you ever raised your standards and your life changed.


Your physical body is a reflection of your standards. If your standard is that you are an athlete you do whatever is necessary to maintain that identity.

16:35 If you have excuses for being overweight like you are ‘big boned’ then you will always be overweight because that is your standard for yourself.

You do not get results without some form of ritual (actions you take consistently)

Whhave standards and rituals to succeedatever you really want, wants don’t get met consistently, standards do. Expand your identity. Decide that instead of your goal to lose 10 lbs that is not compelling what if your vision is to get back to your fighting weight.

I want to feel younger and more vibrant than ever before (18:00)

Say / do whatever makes you laugh, smile and make things happen.

Money is the same way. People who make money find a way to make money. Most people’s standards is to pay their bills and that is what they do. Some people have a standard to take care of their family and friends.

People raise their standards. The inner game. Changing your life is a change in your inner game. Learn the dynamics of what shapes you. Shift your standards and everything else will shift too.

Have a standard of what you are going to do to make happen.

20:30 : Have you told yourself you are going to make something happen and then it didn’t happen? That’s because you didn’t follow through. You didn’t have rituals that made it happen. Little things you can do each day so that as you do these little things they build up so you condition your body and emotions to make things happen.

Rituals define us. All the results in our life are coming from our rituals.

If you are overweight you have a different ritual to something who is physically fit. If you are fit you jump out of bed and you start working out. If you are overweight you wake up and eat bad food!

What are the standards you hold yourself too and how do those little rituals stand up?

You don’t suddenly become successful. You become successful from all the little things that you do.

Failures are the same. All the little failures come together to cause you to fail.

Success is having a vision and making it compelling. Seeing and feeling it.

Have a ritual of something playful and funny or a surprise ritual that will help your relationship.

All the little stuff – that is where success comes from. This is true in any area of your life.

People are rewarded in public for the little things they do in private.

Who you spend time with is who you become. Get around people with low standards and you end up with low standards.

The only thing that is going to make you happen is to STEP UP and raise your standards. Discover what you are capable of and get to the other side of more of your true self.

What is your vision? If you have a vision and you don’t have rituals you are lying to yourself.

Don’t let this year be like the last. Raise the standard. Its not what we get that makes us happy it is who we become.


31:00 What is the area of your life that you really want to improve? Follow his steps.

There are two pains in life. Pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Regret is REAL HEAVY!


How this video helped me

Watching this video has really started me looking into my own standards and rituals. It is SO  VERY TRUE that this time my weight loss is different because I raised my standards. I decided to become the right weight for my height, rather than focus on losing a few pounds. I have different stages and each stage takes me towards my end goal.

I also have rituals. Blogging on here. Making videos. Writing in my journal about my health. Talking with friends about healthy food. All of this is helping to remind me that I have a goal to remain healthy.

I am one of those people that Tony talks about. As long as I can pay my bills has been my motto for YEARS. Well, that definitely needs to change right now! I am clear on the fact that I need to have standards and rituals to succeed

I hope you can set aside the 30 minutes it will take to watch this video because it really is worth it.

How I motivate myself to stick to vegetable juicing

I have tried many times to stick to vegetable juicing and failed, or at least gave up in that moment. Drinking nothing but vegetable juice all day when I was so used to stuffing my face full of food was difficult.

It’s probably why for the first two years of having a juicer it spent more time in the cupboard than it did plugged in and juicing. So, what made a difference this time? I thought about that today.

I thought about how I motivate myself to stick to vegetable juicing, and I recognise that there were three things I did this time that I didn’t the other times.

1. I spent time watching videos of other juicers

I spent a lot of time on YouTube watching other successful juicers. What they were doing, how they did it, how they were feeling.

I soon recognised that quite a few people started, stopped and started again. Others made some great videos and then a few months later disappeared.

Not only did watching the successful juicers motivate me, but watching the people who stopped and started like I had done made me realise that if I was going to make videos, I should make them but not put them up for a few months.

I wanted to make sure that if I started videos I was going to continue.

2. Reading news/articles about juicing and about health

I think the negative helped me here a little. It helped me stick to vegetable juicing when in the past I didn’t. Reading about the effects of too much fat inside our body that grabs hold of our major organs and slowly suffocates them.

Stuff like that motivated me to get healthy. Reading about what goes into our food. The chemicals and other horrible toxins that also posion our body. That kind of stuff scared me too.

There is news on obesity, the effects of being obese and the long term possibilities of major illness if being unhealthy isn’t addressed. That kind of thing motivated me to keep going.

Most of all though it was the articles that taught me if I addressed my health that I could prevent and or reverse some of these major illnesses.

I have discovered that heart disease and diabetes are now considered lifestyle diseases and therefore preventable. I am the thing that stands in the way of me being healthy or not healthy.

I had complete control over that and that was empowering to me.

stick to vegetable juicing

3. Keeping a journal / photos / videos and reading my journal of past success

I can look at my videos and photos and I can see the change. If you read Food, My Favourite F Word blog post you will see two photos of me from February 2014 and January 2015.

What a difference 11 months have made. That spurs me on. When I catch myself in the mirror or I put my hands on my waist and there is very little extra fat to feel now, that keeps me going.

Being able to read my journal, not just the great stuff but also the struggles, spurs me on and encourages me to keep going because I realise I can do this now.

I still have another 50 lbs to go before I hit my target weight and I have never, ever thought about getting that far down. I always knew I wanted to be lighter but actually being slim just seemed impossible. That too excites me.

The fact that I can actually think about it being a real possibility.

So, that’s how I motivate myself to stick to vegetable juicing. It is worth finding ways to help yourself stick to your goal, whether its vegetable juicing or anything else.

Low Energy Density Foods List

I mentioned in my other post that filling my plate with low energy density foods is a great way to help me with my weight management, so today I thought a low energy density foods list might come in handy.

As you can imagine, low energy density foods are usually whole, non-processed foods that are low in calories, so we are talking here about vegetables, fruit, organic whole yoghurt (like Yeo), lean meats and fish.

The idea is to eat more but because the foods are low in density, you can continue to lose weight. As hunger is usually included in weight loss, it is great to know eating more is encouraged.

Low / Medium Energy Density Foods List

Vegetables are the most obvious choice for anyone looking to enjoy health and lose weight. I am talking here about steamed, roasted, raw vegetables with nothing (or very little) added to them.

Non-starchy vegetables like kale, cauliflower and broccoli are my first choice. When I make soup its usually with cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, celery and cabbage. Vegetables that are non-starchy and full of water are the first choice, however even the starchy sweet potatoes, peas and corn are still great to include because they are still better than eating pizza!

I refuse to not eat any vegetable or fruit simply because it is starchy and from what I am learning about the Starch Solution people enjoy eating both varieties in abundance.

Fruits too are great low energy density foods. With all the talk about fruits being full of sugar and warning that they should be limited I don’t intend to take much notice of that myself. I will always fall back on the same argument. 11 months ago I would have been stuffing down a doughnut and a Snickers bar so why would I worry about sugar from fruit.

low energy density foods listI do tend to eat my fruit alone, I don’t mix it with anything – sometimes not even with other fruit. I have read eating watermelon on its own is best so I do that, however I’m not obsessed about it all.

Starchy foods like brown rice are medium in calorific density and I am beginning to wonder if this is why the Starch Solution program is so successful. People get to eat loads and loads of great food and lose weight plus feel great. I have the cookbook and a lot of what is included to eat comes under the banner of very low, low and medium in calorific density.

You can eat foods like whole grain rice, quinoa, teff, porridge/oatmeal and other whole grains.

Sources of lean protein for me right now includes mainly beans and legumes as I have given up eating meat about 80% of the time. Once or twice a week I have eaten meat over the last month and I intend that to continue. I don’t think I will give it up forever; I just want my body to enjoy its protein from other sources.

Eating fish, lean chicken without the skin, organic dairy products (love Yeo bio yoghurt) plus my newly favourite foods like black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans etc. are all great sources of lean protein.

cabbage broccoli black bean soupAnother reason I love soups is because they are a healthy low density food. Eating soup before my main meals helps me to feel satisfied for longer and ensures I don’t over eat, especially if I am super hungry.

You can help to reduce the density of your food by adding low density foods. For example only use half of the minced beef you would use in a chilli or Bolognese and replace it with red chickpeas. Trust me; even teenagers won’t notice the swap.

I am still researching and doing my due diligence around the Starch Solution but basically everything it recommends falls under my low energy density foods list, which is a great start.

The protein you get comes from beans and legumes because meat and dairy are not allowed, however I am growing tired of following a specific way of eating. I find that making up my own way of eating based on low and medium density foods is a much better way for me to go. It means no food group is restricted and I can focus my attention on eating great food that is wholesome and healthy.



What are low energy density foods

I feel like I have found a miracle to help me with my weight management in the form of something called low energy density foods.

What are low energy density foods? Well first a bit about energy density.

The food we eat provides us with energy and energy density is the measurement given per gram of food. Low energy density foods provide less energy per gram so it means I can eat more of them without consuming loads of calories. Opposite to that are high energy density foods, which of course have the opposite effect, I eat a little and per gram it provides a lot of calories.

Of course vegetables come under the low energy and things like doughnuts under the high energy.

I mentioned in my post on giving up portion control that I can do that by focusing my attention on low energy density foods.

Vegetable juicing is an example of a low energy density food that I consume.

Research has shown that when it comes to the amount we eat (weight) we pretty much stick to the same amount every day.

The difference is if the weight I eat is in low energy density foods it means I can consume much more without having to worry about extra calories and without feeling hungry too.

With low energy caloric density foods you get to EAT MORE rather than less.

So, for example the energy caloric density in two slices of bread and a 1kg bag of spinach is around the same. In fact the spinach is less and I get a hell of a lot more. Mix that spinach in with some seasme seeds, tomatoes, cucumber and drizzle on some tahini and it becomes a simple, filling and satisfying meal. I can eat all of that rather than just two slices of bread.

Density Levels

By sticking to very low and low caloric density foods (0-1.5 calories per 100 grams) and medium caloric energy density (1.5-4 calories) I can eat a healthy vaired diet. Anything over 4 is considered high.

And how do you find out the energy density of food?

That is easy. You divide the number of kcals of a food by its weight.
As an example I did the following search “kcalories in 100g of brown rice” and the Google results told me there are 111 calories

So if I ate 100 grams of rice that would be

111 kcals / 100g = 1.11 which is in the low density foods range

low energy density foodsA large banana was next

121 kcals / 136g = 0.89 which again is in the low density

Now compare that to a doughnut

452 kcals / 100g = 4.52 food density which is in the high range

Getting to  grips with my food

I know I am eating more plants and rice/quinoa so I am healthy.

I don’t have to go crazy by measuring everything. I wouldn’t even bother measuring the density levels in my vegetables, but this is really helpful if I am tempted to eat something that isn’t healthy. I can measure it out and decide whether I want to eat it or not.

Also, because there are so many variations of diets. eg. ketogenic diet that says eat large pieces of meat and plenty of fats but hardly any carbs vs Starch based diet that says no fat and plenty of carbs it can be difficult to know what to focus on.

This way I can eat everything and make sure that the majority of my foods focus on being low-density but also let myself have some high stuff too. For example, there are 624 calories in 200 grams of french fries, so 624 / 200 = 3.12 – which is a medium density food.

Although there may seem like some inital sums to do to decide I don’t mind that and am going to see where this takes me in terms of stopping me from eating junk that is bad for me! I am hoping when I work it out it will be enough to put me off.

Other sources of information

There is a great image HERE – click on the image and look at the amount you can eat of low-density foods. The two plates represent the same calories.

There is a great blog post written by Laura Geraty HERE on caloric energy and nutritent energy density. Check out what are low and medium in terms of caloric energy. This could be one reason why the Starch solution way of eating works, because most of what you can eat falls in to the low and medium brackets.

And one over at Opportunity Fitness that is also great.

I discovered the term low energy density foods as part of my nutrition course I have taken and I am so happy I have because I can use it to create my own way of eating.

Leftover Juice Pulp Recipes

I never knew what to do with my leftover juice pulp. I don’t have a compost heap to throw it on so usually it went in the bin, which is a real shame.

Then I started reading about different ways the leftovers could be used and I decided to give it a go.

Different ways I have used leftover juice pulp include:

– Added it to pasta sauce
– Added some to my healthy soup recipes to help thicken them up
– Turned it into body scrubs and/or face masks
– Use it in a smoothie – I don’t make smoothies often but I did this once
– I added some kale and spinach pulp to my scrambled eggs
– I am experimenting with pancakes made from Teff flour and have added juice pulp into it. Its a work in progress.

The video below was one of the first times I used my leftover juice pulp.

Its for Juice Pulp Croquettes. Once I realised I could do more than just bin my pulp it put me on the hunt for a few more juice pulp recipes:

I made this using my own ingredients. I pretty much used everything in the video except I added cayenne pepper and Djoin mustard, which helped to give them a kick.

My vegetables were celery, pak choi, carrot, beetroot (beets), and watercress. I juiced all of that first and set it aside. I didn’t include the juice from the lemon and pineapple or ginger – although next time I will include the ginger.

They were really tasty and filing. So, I juiced today and ate these with salad, making today a great plant day. I included some extra Tahini on top.


You can make ice lollies (popsicles) with them. I found one using green juice pulp

Spaghetti and vegan meatballs using leftover juice pulp – this is a great recipe and, like it says, if you find your juice pulp meatballs fall apart it makes for a great not bolognese sauce!

Veggie burgers

Here’s a lovely quiche recipe using juice pulp

If you have a food dehydrator you can also use your juice pulp to make crackers and other things.

So, that is all of the leftover juice pulp recipes I have found so far. I know there are many out there. Its all about experimenting and seeing what works I guess. Mainly I prefer to use them on my face and skin than to eat them to be honest.

Vegetable Juicing – Block the biological clock

green vegetable juicing

I am using vegetable juicing for many things. Not just weight loss but also to help me block the biological clock.

That clock that ticks, ticks, ticks and lets me know I am getting older.

Yes, the truth is there is more than one biological clock for a woman. Once the worry of children and having them are over and they are grown, the other one takes over, the one that reminds us that time is a ticking.

So, how do I intend to get in its way? Well, I hope what all these experts say about eating / digesting / and in my case drinking antioxidant rich foods is true. That it helps from the inside out by protecting me from diseases and slowing the aging process.

You may have heard the term ‘free radicals’ before, those are the nasty things that cause our body a whole load of trouble and antioxidants are like the superhero that saves us – but only if we digest them through vegetables and fruit.

While taking a supplement might seem like a pain free way to go it really isn’t. I soon discovered the best and most effective way to keep myself healthy is to simply eat great foods.

“There’s no substitute for getting nutrients through food. The body absorbs and assimilates them far better than in supplement form.” – Susan M. Kleiner, R.D., Ph.D

Since jumping on this plant-based diet idea I have done a lot to increase my vegetable servings from one or two small heaps on a large dinner plate into making 60% of my plate plant based. Over the last week I have had days when 100% of what is on my plate are plants.

I am aiming for at least 5-7 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit every single day and I will increase that as time goes by.

Biological clock block to improve my skin

One of the reasons I make my vegetable juicing weight loss update videos without makeup is so I can see the changes in my skin as the months and years go by. Right now its winter and I tend to look pale anyway (got me many days of work in my younger days!) but in the summer I definitely become darker. My skin automatically looks better when its darker I think!

In the meantime, to block the biological clock I will make sure I get enough beta-carotene and vitamin C and E. I have no problem getting my vitamin E from coconut oil, cashew nuts or seeds.

These three are the most common sources of antioxidants and of course through vegetable juicing (when I am juicing) drinking down those vitamins means I take them in often.

Beta-carotene can be found in yellow and orange vegetables as well as leafy green vegetables like cabbage. So, when I juice using cabbage, broccoli and carrots I am drinking down my beta-carotene antioxidants.

Vitamin C. We all know citrus fruits are the best for vitamin c, like oranges and tomatoes are also a great source.

Vitamin E. These are obtained from oily foods like mackerel, salmon, trout, nuts, seeds etc

I feed these antioxidants to my body on a regular basis. Not just through my vegetable juices but also through my healthy soups and plant-based diet.

I am really excited about what the next 12 months will bring as I learn more about plants and their effects on our body. The last 11 months have really been educational.

As I head towards my first year of juicing and plants I am excited to see the final weight loss number I achieve. I would love to go hard now and juice during February but I am still a little limited by that voice that keeps telling me its just too damn cold!

Still, I managed it through December and January so let’s see what happens.

By increasing my water intake (I aim to drink 3-4 liters a day now) and eating all this wonderful food I have no doubt that I will block a biological clock that is already ticking slowly for me anyway.

I have always been told I look younger than my 48 years and now thanks to a healthy diet, loads of sleep, and plenty of good food I am enjoying a fitter body, increase in vitality and a better quality of life. When exercise becomes a regular part of that combination I know for sure my life will be amazing.

Teff – Ethiopian Super Grain

Teff is a grain that has been named a super food (or at least a super grain) because it contains a large number of nutrients that we need. High in fibre, protein, iron, vitamin C and calcium, plus its gluten-free.

Grown in Ethopia originally it is made into flour and is a staple of their diet. It is fermented and turned into a pancake-like food called Injera.

On a plant-based diet teff is a great choice and although Quiona is a firm favourite Teff could definitely give it a run for its money.

As it is a staple in Ethopia the government are not keen on the Western world driving up the price so they don’t allow export of it, however it is grown in other countries and exported around the world.

I found out about it after watching a program on tv called the 50 Best Diets in the World. England was in the early 30s, America in the 40s and some of the healthier countries like Ethopia were close to the top. Their diet consists of very little meat (meat is a treat) and diary. They eat manly plants and carbs/starch. It was a way of eating I could see myself adopting as I have been researching a high starch diet over the last few weeks.

Teff in the News

Teff has been making headlines because it is such a health food.

In the Guardian they state that

“…growing appetite for traditional crops and booming health-food and gluten-free markets are breathing new life into the grain…” Source: Teff – next big super grain

Because Teff is gluten free a number of celebrities eat it and once that happens it usually ends up in expensive health food shops and supermarkets, just like quinoa did. An article on the Huffington Post explains what teff is and mentions the celebrities who love to eat it.

You can listen to an interview on BBC4 about the grain HERE

The best place to try Teff will be in an Ethiopian restaurant.

I have never tasted fermented bread, which is what Injera is, and I am a little cautious to try it made by a professional before attempting anything myself. If you are interested there is a recipe for Teff HERE – the flour is mixed with water and then left for three days to ferment – so not a quick cook!

Teff super grain

There are two types of Teff – one makes dark injera bread and the other light.


Injera bread made from Teff

Light Injera bread


Teff is made into injera and eaten with stews - vegetarian and meat.

What is Rooibos tea?

I bought myself some Rooibos tea. I had no idea what it was but I was on a tea website and it mentioned it was from South Africa, so I thought I would try it.

Rooibos tea is meant to be a healthier alternative to black tea.

Rooibos (pronounced roy-bose) means red bush in Afrikaan, it is a healing tea full of nutrients that are good for the skin. Some of the nutrients it contains including potassium, vitamin C, copper, calcium, zinc and magnesium.

It makes a great anti-inflammatory/carcinogenic tea because it contains plant antioxidants, which are important for our health.

There are loads of claims about the many illnesses/diseases the rooibos plant helps if you want to look them up.

Three very important health benefits of Rooibos tea for me include:

1. Improves glucose uptake and insulin secretion
I have learned through my weight loss consultant course that when foods hits my stomach the pancreas creates insulin to deal with it. If my meals are heavy and my poor pancreas has to continually create a lot of insulin it can cause health problems, the most common one being type-2 diabetes.
As Rooibos tea helps to improve this process that’s good news.

2. Is an aid in liver tissue regeneration.
Our whole body regenerates every few years. I want my plant-eating diet to help regenerate all my major what is rooibos teaorgans into healthier ones. The more food I can consume to help with that process the better. If Rooibos tea aids in the process of liver tissue regeneration then I will drink it daily to help regenerate a healthy liver – even if it does take 7 years!

3. Helps to inhibit lipid per-oxidation.
Lipds live in our cell membranes. Free radicals from crap food and a crap environment can “steal” them. When they are taken away from our body it causes horrible things like premature aging and illness. This is why so many people focus on eating fruits and vegetables which provide antioxidants, because these are the things that will make our cells stronger. So, if Rooibos tea also helps to stop the process of me losing essential cell membranes then its worth drinking.

It is a caffeine free drink, so no worries about becoming addicted.

I have read it is a tea that needs to be drunk with care if you are already unwell, and again you should carry out your own due diligence. Rooibos tea is not a cure for illness but it can support a healthy diet as a preventative measure.

Cabbage Broccoli Black Bean Broth

Today I made cabbage broccoli black bean broth, which also included garlic.

I heated one litre of water, added vegetable bouillon, curry powder, Celtic salt and cayenne pepper to it.

Once boiling I added the broccoli and cabbage to it. Let it boil and then simmered for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes I added the black beans to it. The whole carton and left to simmer for another 20 minutes.

Once ready you can season to taste in case you want more salt or other seasoning.

I made this after my 20 minute rebounding session today. I found exercising enjoyable and once finished I even felt as if I could do a bit more. That is a real break through for me.

In my juicing group people are reporting their 15 days results. Many people are on a 28 day juice fast and one member reported losing over 60 lbs in 15 days. That is really impressive. Even inspired me to consider juicing so I could lose a large amount of weight quickly.

I really would like to be fit and toned for the summer.

My promise was slowly and surely. Only because I wanted to give myself time to work through my issues with food and focusing on learning about what causes me to eat when I am feeling emotional. I have done that now so there is an opportunity now to knock out a few stones quickly.

I might save it for around March though when the weather is warmer and I will cope with it better!

For now soups and broths, exercise and plenty of plants is the order of the day.

Here are some cabbage broccoli black bean broth photos for you:

cabbage broccoli black bean soup

Delicious – I do blend it sometimes but with broth I prefer to chew

cabbage broccoli black bean broth

I buy my black beans in a carton not a tin

Broth Ingredients

1 cabbage
Large broccoli
pinch of salt
teaspoon of curry powder,
mixed herbs
tablespoon of vegetable bouillon
1 carton of black beans
3-4 cloves of garlic

Add spices/herb to boiling water. Put all veg into saucepan and once boiling turn it down and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes add black beans to the saucepan and leave for another 20 minutes.
Add more spices/salt if you want to or serve as it is with rye bread for lunch.

Plant eating day – roasted aubergine

This weekend my youngest is visiting his dad so it seemed like the ideal time to have a plant eating day. I do my best to have two plant eating days a week (minimum) and on those days I eat nothing but plant food.

No wheat, no meat, and no dairy – although I would allow organic yoghurt with blueberries.

For my plant eating day today I had yesterday’s orange soup that was left over (with sweet potato, squash, red lentil and orange pepper soup) and half a roasted aubergine with roasted carrots, yellow pepper and tahini for lunch.

In the evening I had the other half of my aubergine with wholegrain rice, roasted carrots and yellow pepper, drizzled with tahini.

As I fast from 7pm – 11am (usually until mid-day nowadays) I don’t start eating until around lunch time anyway.

In the mornings I spend my time drinking water. Either juice from half a lemon squeezed into hot water or fresh mint in hot water. I love them both.

Health Benefits of Tahini

In case you don’t know what tahini is, it is a paste made from ground sesame seeds.
Tahini is a great source of calcium (in case you are thinking about giving up dairy) and has been called one the BEST sources of calcium available. It is also a great source of protein too.

It contains a number of B viatmins included B15, B2, B3, B1 and B5 plus a great source of minerals (potassium, lecithin, iron and magnesium)

I first tasted tahini several years ago after attending a workshop called Women’s Healing Ways. It including a night out in the woods (not my favourite time) and a lesson on healthy foods. I also found about about miso soup at that time too.

Although I have used Tahini off and on for years now that I am focused heavily on eating a plant based diet it is making a comeback.

I am really loving this way of eating and could see myself eating this kind of food every day. It is actually surprisingly filing, especially when a grain like rice is added to it. I will also use Quinoa and am looking into something called Teff, which is an Ethiopian grain.

What I do need are more seasoning options. I have some Moroccan spices now and am going in search of an Ethiopian spices too. I think it will make a plant-based diet far more interesting!

Sweet potato, squash and lentil soup

I call this my orange soup – its sweet potato, squash and lentil soup. It also has onion, garlic, orange pepper, carrots and seasoning.

I start by chopping all my ingredients.

I fry (using coconut oil) the onion and garlic (sometimes I add mushrooms)

I make up some stock using one litre of hot water. I add Marigold Swiss Bouillon powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, curry powder cinnamon powder and mixed herbs to it.

Add the stock to the fried ingredients, add the lentils, all my chopped ingredients into the stock and then bring to the boil. Once boiling I turn it down and leave everything to cook for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes I take everything out of the saucepan and put it into my blender. I only use enough water to blend with and leave the rest behind in the saucepan.

I taste a little of the liquid that has been left behind in the saucepan to see if I want to add any more seasoning.

Usually I might add a bit more cayenne pepper or curry powder.

Once I have blended everything I then add that back into the left over liquid in the pan and leave for another 5 minutes.

That is it.

Additional options

1. Add mushrooms

2. Roast the sweet potato, pepper, carrots and squash for 15 minutes before adding them into the saucepan

Sweet potato, squash and lentil soup ingredients

1 sweet potato

1 squash (peeled and chopped into pieces)

4 carrots chopped

1 Orange pepper (or yellow or red if you have it instead)

Half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic

50 g Lentils (sometimes I add more – I just pour it in to be honest)

1 teaspoon of curry powder, bouillon powder, paprika, cinnamon powder

Mixed herbs and Cayenne pepper (add as much or as little as you like)


I walk slowly but never backwards

The one thing I can honestly say about my journey towards health and wellness is that I walk slowly but never backwards.

It was Abraham Lincoln who said the words ‘I walk slowly but I never walk backwards.’ and I thought it made a great reminder while I am on this journey towards health and wellness.

With so much information available on the web it can be difficult to know where to turn and what to focus on.

  • Eat a low-carb diet with high protein.
  • Don’t eat a low-carb diet with protein.
  • Eat a high starch diet with loads of rice, potatoes and fruit.
  • Don’t eat rice, potatoes and too much fruit because of the sugar content

Arrrggghh!!! It can be a nightmare and through it all I do my best to walk towards what is right for me based on my limited knowledge of what works.

The great advice I read today came from Dr Michael Greger who said that it is never too late to start eating healthier, so that’s good news for me.

I often wonder about the damage I might have done from over eating and a lack of exercise, eating fatty foods and just generally stuffing my stomach to full capacity most days.

The good news is even those who started eating a healthy plant-based diet (e.g. vegetarian) late in life still managed to increase their chances of living longing and avoiding lifestyle diseases like cancer.

Awalk slowly but never backwards it takes a tumour many years to grow it is possible that healthy eating, a switch from junk food, bad fats, smoking and drinking too much alcohol, could make a significant difference even if it happens ‘later in life.’

What it did make me think about is my desire to be lifted from the restrictions of “diet” and eating one thing over the other or having to work out what to avoid and what to eat.

Instead it might be worth just increasing my consumption of plants, legumes (beans) and fruits. Changing my health could be as simple as that. I have already reduced the bad stuff significantly over the last 10 months. Now, it is time to replace it with more of the healthy stuff. More of the plant based stuff.

That way I will continue to walk forwards in terms of improving my health. This whole thing is a slow walk because I am having to learn as I go and learn from experience but that’s okay because I walk slowly but never backwards.

Organic meat in the EU might not be worth the money

Organic meat isn’t cheap. Sometimes I buy it and sometimes I don’t. Alex Ruani, Research Director at The Health Sciences Academy has written a report asking is organic meat worth its price?

It is free for 7 days and is worth a read.

I thought I would summarise it below.

One thing I noticed are the words ‘organic meat’ there was no mention of grass-fed organic meat. I don’t know if that observation is relevant or not, just thought I would mention it.

This report outlines the fact that in the EU hormones are not allowed to be used in our meat.

This is not true of American meat where it is still used and why American meat imports into the European Union have been banned since 1989.

That is an important thing to consider if you are buying organic meat because you are afraid of the hormones, especially the ones used to help animals grow bigger, faster. All growth hormones (e.g. progesterone, testosterone, oestradiol-17b and others) are banned from all meats.

Also banned are hormones used to get more milk out of mammals.

So in the EU any farmer injecting hormones into their live stock that is due to become food for us, is basically breaking the law because it is illegal.

After assessing the potential risks to human health the EU Scientific Committee decided to ban hormones that might have any affect on an animals body or immune system.

Antibiotics are banned too

Any antibiotics fed to animals to encourage them to grow has also been banned. They have been banned since 2006.

Antibiotics can be used to treat all animals (e.g. including bees, poultry and fish) that are unwell (and that happens with organic meat too although it has to be less than 3 times in 12 months) but any antibiotic used to extend the production cycle in any way is banned.

organic meat worth buyingOrganic meat is fed non-organic feed

There is no law that says an organic animal MUST eat organic food. The EU encourages farmers to only use organic feed but it isn’t necessary. They could mix organic feed with non-organic feed.

If you want to know what non-organic feed farmers are allowed to use search for EC Regulation 889/2008, Annex V. Most of it is good stuff anyway, things like legumes, seeds and grains

Like I said at the beginning, this report wasn’t about grass-fed animals which of course is something different. The question remains – is the grass organic? Does it have to be organic? If an animal is grass fed out of soil that is full of chemicals and toxins won’t it still take in those chemicals and toxins?

What about the water it is given to drink? Is it ordinary tap water or filtered? Won’t that have its own chemicals/toxins? I have no idea of the answer. Just asking the questions.

The truth is organic meat, at least in the EU, isn’t that much better than ordinary meat. If you are in America there are significant differences between the two as your meat is still being injected with growth promoting hormones and antibiotics.

For us in the EU buying organic meat now becomes more of an ethical issue focusing on animal welfare. In that respect at least organic meat is treated much better and well looked after.

Chickens get to roam around and their meat/eggs are sold as being better than those from battery farms. They get space and fresh air. All organic animals do.

If stress affects the human body isn’t it possible that chickens and cows that are all shoved into a confined space, and end up stressed, will have some impact on the meat they become?

Another reason to give up meat?

As I focus more on my plant-based diet all of this information just becomes another reason why sticking to plants is a better option for me. Not that farmed plants don’t have their own issues but at least I know I can grow them myself.

I have no idea how long it will take me to become 100% plant-based eating or if I ever will. Maybe I will always enjoy the odd sausage and steak pie. For now though at least I can feel safer about eating meat, eggs and dairy produced in the European Union.

I don’t have to worry that it is full of chemicals and hormones when I eat it.

I certainly won’t bother with over priced organic supermarket meat as I prefer the meat I buy from my local halal butcher anyway. It actually tastes like meat!

Dr Mercola’s Peak 8 fitness

I came across Dr Mercola’s Peak 8 Fitness regime today and decided to include some information here because it is something I can see myself following.

Despite losing over 30 lbs I have yet to get myself into a regular exercise routine. I just can’t seem to focus on one thing I like.

I do have my rebounder and enjoy that but all I do is jump or power walk on it. I think what I need is a routine to keep myself interested.

Dr Mercola’s Peak 8 fitness routine encourages us to workout of 90 seconds (after a 3 minute warm up) then go hard for 30 seconds, before working out for 90 seconds again and then going hard for 30 seconds.

The aim is to go hard eight times in total

Carrying out interval training like this can help me lower my body fat and improve muscle tone, which is what I am focusing on now so I continue with my weight loss.

Here is an introduction with Phil Campbell (personal trainer) and Dr Mercola

You can get a free interval training chart over at Dr Mercola’s site here

The whole thing takes around 20 minutes and the benefits of this type of intensity training is explained by Dr Mercola and the man who taught him the routine.


You can use the peak 8 fitness routine on an exercise bike or treadmill and I think it works for most pieces of equipment. I am not sure how this will work if I use a rebounder but its worth me timing myself going slow and then faster.

In the second video I think they left the microphone on the wrong person!


It looks really hardcore and I have to work out my resting heart rate and knowing how fast I have to go to make this effect.


Experience cannot be taught

I wish I could help you feel how I feel right now but experience cannot be taught. I can show you what I am doing to get healthy using images and blog posts and even video.

I can inspire you (hopefully) into believing that maybe you could start using vegetable juicing to improve your health and lose weight.

I might even spur you into action and looking at juicers because of something I have written or said.

There is much I can do to help encourage you to start your own vegetable juicing / plant-based eating journey towards enjoying optimum health, but experience cannot be taught and so the only way to really understand this journey is to take it yourself.

There are skills that are crucial to success. That is true in all aspects of life.

experience cannot be taughtThere are people who have succeeded that we can model (to use an NLP term) or copy (to use plain English) and because a lot of what is required is grounded more in art than science the only way for you to enjoy it is to embark upon it.

My experience of finally giving up late night eating when I am not hungry, for example, I can tell you what I did and how I felt. But the only way you will give up late night eating (if that is a nightmare for you) is to embark upon your own self-reflective journey into why you eat when you are not hungry.

Getting Started Is The Hardest Part

The truth is what you need more than ever is to feel what I feel, knowing how different I feel now compared to when I started might help.

Being able to tap into my emotional state right now might help too. Unfortunately, that just isn’t possible and so all I can do is encourage you to get started and experience it for yourself.

Getting started really is the hardest part. Being motivated to continue takes some effort too. Opening yourself up to looking into the different insights that arise from the things that you do will help you learn more about yourself. That’s why I keep a journal.

Find Tools That Help

Case studies, books, memoirs, other juicing bloggers, videos on youtube – all these things have helped me take a look into the experience of another person.

They have shown me how people have struggled but kept going. How they lost one hundred pounds in six months or one hundred pounds in six years – both stories an inspiration.

I have discovered the types of foods that will hurt my body. How processed foods fill my body with toxins and how carb addiction is a real thing experienced by thousands of people.

Thanks to food and juicing bloggers I went from looking at a vegan lifestyle, to thinking about a veganish lifestyle before settling on the simpler plant-based eating lifestyle.

I flirted with the idea that being a banana girl might be for me but quickly discovered it really was not. There are of course thousands of banana/fruit/high carb people out there but right now I just couldn’t see myself joining them.

I used the tools available to me, most of them free, to tap into the experience of other people and then I decided what to try and what to avoid based on that.

Because I did that I am now sharing my own experience. Not to teach anyone. Just to show them what’s possible.


My First Juicing Mistake

I am usually good at mixing vegetables and fruit together, but today was definitely my first vegetable juicing mistake.

In the past I have made tiny mistakes like adding too much ginger, or adding lemon with skin on to something light like celery/cucumber. You really do taste the extra in the juice.

The worst of it is I made so much vegetable juice that it will probably last for a couple of days.

Imagine that – drinking a juice that tastes awful for two days straight. Still, not much else I can do because there is absolutely no way I will throw it away.

If you look at the image above and below, maybe you can see what my vegetable juicing mistake is?

vegetable juicing mistake

The ingredients are spinach, broccoli, carrots, two apples, ginger…

A whole Lemon AND grapefruit. Too much citrus fruit.

Even though I peeled them both (leaving the pith on of course) they were both, but particularly the grapefruit, really over powering.

Once I had juiced them all I went in search of other things to add to it.

I added another apple, some more ginger and then I made ANOTHER mistake.

I had some watercress, rocket and spinach salad left and I juiced that too.

Have you ever tasted rocket juiced. WOW! Powerful stuff. Even though it really was less than a quarter of the bag that was left the rocket taste came through WITH the grapefruit.

Everything else was completely overpowered.

vegetable juicing mistake

Before adding water this is how much juice was made

In total all of that veg made 1.5 liters of juice and I added another litre of water because it was so strong.

Still, it was overpowering and so I added more water.

In the end I drank two glasses of it while trying to sort out the taste, filled up my bottle with it and put the rest in my blender jug because it was the only thing big enough to hold it all.

There is enough there to drink all day and then some for tomorrow. Possibly another two glasses for tomorrow. If I add more water it might even stretch longer.

I guess it had to happen eventually. At some point on my juicing journey I would have to make a mistake. Now that I have my intention is not to make it again!

I should have remembered how strong just lemon is on its own. I think I just wanted to use up everything I had before the shopping came on Tuesday.

I am not sure if I will continue juicing now, despite my wonderful 7 lbs weight loss over the last three days I did promise myself to stick to doing short bursts of juicing. I don’t want to over do it then end up stuffing my face.

I have never put weight back on after a juice cleanse and I would like to keep it that way.

Plus budget wise it costs about £60 a week just to buy the organic vegetables I use in juicing and that shopping is just what I use before buying any other shopping for the house. So monthly vegetable juicing is more within my budget right now!

3-day juice cleanse plan January 2015

I have just taken myself through a 3-day juice cleanse plan for this month. I complete one on a monthly basis and used the beginning of the month to complete the January one.

I thought it might be useful to include a list of everything I ate over the 3 days so you can get an idea of what I drink / eat.

3-day juice cleanse plan

Day One

7am: Hot water and lemon with half teaspoon of coconut oil

I add coconut oil to my first drink of the day and sometimes my last. I don’t always end with lemon. I prefer to end the day using fresh mint.

I have my 500ml cups and I drink two hot drinks before starting on my juicing. That usually passes at least 90 minutes if not two hours.

9am First juice on this 3-day juice cleanse plan is usually a green juice. This week I used the Parsley and Kale Green Juice.

In between my juices I drink water – either hot or cold. Because its winter I prefer the hot ones. Some people might prefer to have some flavour and I found green tea or some herbal teas help but I am okay with just plain water.

My aim is to drink 2 litres of water by mid-day, which is easy to do when you are juicing. It does help to kill hunger pangs too should I get them, which is not that often anymore.

11.30am Second green juice. I usually make 1 litre which is enough for two juices so I drink the second one now.

1pm Hot drink or water

2pm and 4.30pm – Another two juices. This time I had the red-devil juice with broccoli as I had used up all my kale yesterday.

I will have finished another litre of water by now. I have a Brita jug so I don’t have to buy bottled water.

My weight requires me to drink 4 litres. You need to check out how much water you need to drink a day for your weight. Use the HYDRATION calculator.

6.30pm Time to eat. Today I had a watercress, rocket and spinach salad. Sprinkled super sprouts over it and roasted sweet potato, mushrooms, beetroot (beet) and one carrot. Put that on top and ate it all. I love roasted carrot and sweet potato so it was yummy.

8.30 onwards. I drink another liter of water using hot water.

Today was a full plant day – both drinking and eating.

Day Two

Same routine as yesterday. I started day two of my 3-day juice cleanse with water and lemon

9am and 11.30am  Started the day with celery and cucumber juice with broccoli, ginger and pineapple. Drank two glasses of that.

Continued using water in between the juices in the same way as yesterday.

2pm and 4.30pm I used my beets and carrots to make my Red Devil Juice. Drank two glasses of that.

6.30pm I had some bolognese sitting in the fridge to eat. It is not something I would eat or recommend but I refuse to throw good food away so I ate it without pasta. Had roasted veg with it. When my son didn’t eat all of his I did eat some of his with pasta. Eating his leftovers is a habit that needs to go for 2015.

8.30 onwards made myself my mint tea made with fresh mint and drank warm water until bed.

During the day I drank 4 litres of water.

Not so much of a perfect day today but I had to eat it! Felt bloated and my stomach hurt a while after eating pasta. More evidence that I need to remove it from my healthy eating diet for now.

Day Three

Same routine as day one with the lemon and coconut oil in the morning.

9am and 11.30am Had another green juice to use up the final green vegetables in my fridge.

1 bag of celery, a cucumber, broccoli, lemon, ginger and pineapple. Drank that all morning.

In the afternoon I started using my carrots, beets (beetroot) and orange to drink at 2pm and 4.30pm

6.30pm  I used up more of my spinach and sweet potato to make a delicious recipe I found on the Deliciously Ella blog called Warm Sweet Potato, Mushroom, Spinach salad.

I didn’t have jalepeno peppers so I used a red onion and some cayenne pepper. I love garlic so I added some.

This is the sweet potato covered in cinnamon, salt, rapeseed oil (prefer it to olive) and paprika before going into the oven.

I am getting into the habit of having something “live” with my food so I added cilantro (coriander) and Super Sprouts.

I picked the Good4U Super Sprouts up at Tescos. It contains sprouted alfalfa, clover, radish and broccoli.

3-day juice cleanse plan weight loss result

I find whenever I lose weight on a juice cleanse that I carry out in this way it stays off. Or at least it has so far. Bare in mind my intention is to carry out this type of cleanse monthly – for LIFE.

Weight at start on 1st January 2015 was 19 stones 1 lb (267 lbs – 121 kilos)

Weight after three days (weighed on the morning of 4th Jan 2015) – 18 stones 8lbs (260 lbs – 117.93 kilos)

Total weight loss : 7 lbs in 3 days (while eating)

Very happy with that result.

I meant to go for a walk but didn’t end up doing that. I did walk a little but not  for 30 minutes. I did use my rebounder for around 5 minutes on day two – not brilliant exercise wise but I am tackling food first! I will improve the amount of exercise I do – I know it.

What will I do now during January?

I will continue to use intermittent fasting. I stop eating at 7pm and start at 11am, although increasingly I have pushed that more towards mid-day. So, a minimum 16 hour fast.

For the remaining three weeks I will eat a plant-based diet twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday. No meat, dairy, or wheat on those two days. The rest of the week I eat whatever I like. Whatever I happen to be cooking and whatever is in the house.

Thankfully, it is usually healthy and my choices are getting better.

Eventually I will take my part-time planted based diet and increase it to 3 days, then 4, until I eat this way every day.

Another juice cleanse coming up

I had this 3-day juice cleanse plan ready to go before signing up for the world’s biggest juice detox which takes place on the 5th January 2015, so I may end up completing another 3-days worth of vegetable juicing next week. Whether I follow his recipes or use my own remains to be seen.

I have NEVER juiced during the winter so doing this now has helped me break the pattern in which I believe it is just too cold to drink juice. I am so happy I have given myself that gift.

It truly feels like the sky is the limit right now.

I choose my choice

When I am confronted with an either or food situation or I am standing in front of the cooker making sausages, eggs and bacon for my youngest on a juicing day (like I was today), I have to remind myself of my choice.

My choice for health. For adding life affirming plant foods into my body. I remind myself I choose my choice.

When I am visiting family and they bring out the wine, order pizza and spend the evening eating snacks. While I might enjoy one or two bits at some point I must remind myself I choose my choice.

As I watch the 9pm film and halfway through my inner voice reminds me that the last time I ate was 5pm. That I love to have a snack as my favorite night time routine when a film is on. At those moments I have to remind myself I choose my choice.

I say it over and over again in my head or, sometimes because it is more effective, out loud.

I choose my choice

I choose my choice

My choice to look after my body without excuses.

My choice to reward myself with health rather than food.

It can all sound very boring. After all what good is life if we can’t enjoy eating the foods we want?

That was always the excuse that kept me fat.

It was the reason my choice at the time was to eat the unhealthy food full of saturated fat and enough of my daily calories contained in just half of it.

Food was my reward and as my health began to fail me I had to make another choice.

It had to be my choice, not for the short term, but forever.

No more diets I told myself. No more starting and then stopping.

No more focusing on a way of eating for a few months until I got sick of it, or if it wasn’t producing the results I wanted and I gave up.

The only thing I could do now was to choose a different way so that I could enjoy health.

It is not an easy path because there are temptations everywhere and memories associated with food that keep me wanting to return to my old ways.

i choose my choiceThere are many days that I do.

Add to that my carb addiction (yes that really is a thing…) which is much better now than it was 10 months ago, and it is easy to get tripped up.

Some days I give up trying to be healthy or fighting that inner carb addicted voice of mine and I give into my old temptations.

I let them happen and I learn from them and then I move on. It is the only way to be IMHO. No beating myself up. No guilt trips. Just eat it and move on. It is what it is.

I have promised myself that life will change and that my results will not be measured only by the scales; that my new way of eating will be a lifestyle change.

I have done my best to give up milk, cheese, yoghurt and pasta. Next I will give up bread and then start on meat, increasing the amount of fish and plant-foods I eat instead.

That is my choice and as often as I can, until it becomes my natural way to be, I choose my choice.

Parsley and Kale Vegetable Juice

I thought I would start the New Year with a juice cleanse. My first juice of 2015 is this parsley and kale vegetable juice containing:

1 bag of organic kale

1 large pot of parsley

3 celery sticks

1/4 pineapple

1 apple, a chunk of ginger and half an organic lemon

Usually my first juice on one of my juice cleanses contains the vegetables I am not that fond of like kale and parsley.

In the afternoon I have my favorite beetroot (beets) and carrot

You could if you wanted to make this juice then add it into a blender with avocado but I prefer the juice to a smoothie.

parsley and kale juice

I chop everything up first before adding it to my juicer

parsley and kale vegetable juicing cleanse

Once it is all juiced I strain out the juice into a jug. As it didn’t make one liter I added water to top it up.

kale and parsley juice cleanse

Then I pour out two drinks and enjoy one now and put one in the fridge for later.

parsley and kale vegetable juice cleanse

Really enjoyed this parsley and kale vegetable juice today. I will drink two for the morning and make sure I drink at least 1 liter of water in the morning too.

In the afternoon I will drink a carrot/beetroot juice and then in the evening around 6pm I will eat something clean like wild salmon and vegetables.

That will be one juice cleanse day complete. I do this for three days and then see how it helps weight loss wise. Eventually I will ditch the evening meal and just use the vegetable juicing all day for three days. Not there yet though!

There are more vegetable juicing recipes available here.

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