Sweet Potato Toast – the perfect bread alternative!

I am very good at food planning and prepping. I see and feel the benefits on every level myself, from the lack of food panic over what’s is/isn’t in the fridge when I am hungry, to my weight and health.  I feel the difference in my energy levels and overall sense of wellbeing very quickly if I have eaten rubbish.  Most of us do, but in our super high-speed world we are sadly not as tuned into our bodies and its needs as we could be. Plus of course, is it my passion to get clients to eat a healthy balanced diet that brings them all the health and weight benefits I know they can enjoy and that they deserve, but still sometimes I do get caught short.

This morning is one such instance.  I have had family staying for the weekend, a lovely, happy time, but also a time of total fridge depletion.  I often find that when I have guests, the foods that I always have prepared are dipped into purely out of interest to see what the “Mad Professor Food Aunt” (I am sure that it is said with love) has been working on.  Only trouble is, they don’t tell me and I don’t realize until I need to eat the “experiment”.

Today my homemade muesli is gone, along with my breakfast burrito filling and all my fruit salad with seeds and nuts.  Hey Ho! they had a good dose of nutrients and I love them so.

Meanwhile, I have no bread, I rarely do, I find it bloats me and make me sluggish, but I sometimes have half a bagel and they are gone too, so I can’t even have toast.  Or can I?  I do have sweet potatoes, I wonder what they will be like toasted? Here goes.

They are wonderful! Low on the GI scale (slower sugar release so no sugar slump),  packed with nutrients, slightly sweet and perfect with a buttery fried egg on avocado smash. Under 250 cals with avocado and fried egg topping, and with 11g of protein to keep you full, the “mad prof” has come through again! Check out this recipe, be bold and brave with your topping and try the latest toast to hit town.  Let me know how it goes.  Happy eating.


1 x Large Sweet Potato


Slice sweet potato lengthwise into 2cm slices.

Insert slices into toaster (as you would bread) and toast on high. Check the sweet potatoes after it pops up from toaster. (It’s ready when you can easily pierce a fork into the flesh, it’s ready.) Continue toasting until tender, if necessary.

Keep a close eye until you have perfected your toast, if it browns too quickly , turn the toaster down.

Top with your avocado smash and buttery fried egg and serve immediately.

Mix Your Toppings Up 

  • tsp Tahini and sesame seeds
  • tsp peanut butter & sliced banana
  • tsp honey and sprinkle of mixed seeds
  • tsp marmite
  • tsp cottage cheese, sliced cucumber & tomato

Banana Ice Cream – No Fat, No Sugar!

We all want to look and feel our best, especially in the summer months.  We can slather on the fake tan and get those little tops and shorts out, yes at 53 I am still (attempting) to rock my 23 year old self, and get our bodies out there soaking up those life giving, feel good rays and vital vitamin D.

There are fabulous healthy summer salads everywhere, and long cool drinks, that if we chose wisely – and I don’t mean that ice cold Rose every day – that help us on our way to looking and feeling amazing (Obviously I think one of the best ways to that end is for you to join my 6 Week Youtrition Group Program on my website.  Just saying…..)

However, healthy eating does not have to mean no sweet treats. Even though we know they really need to be small and occasional, the word “treat” is the clue and treat does not mean every day. Still, most of us would feel that is a little cruel. We want to enjoy our ice creams with the kids, or just by ourselves, but the shop bought ones, even the creamiest ones labelled “healthy” are packed with sugar and fat.

Have no fear though, I have the perfect answer and only one ingredient! Banana ice creams! You don’t even have to like the taste of bananas, with the toppings you don’t even need to taste them.  They are amazingly versatile, packed with nutrients, no saturated fat, loads of fibre to fill you up and I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed my ice creams.  This recipe is taken from my 6 Weeks to Looking & Feeling Amazing Program and is the easiest ever recipe.

Banana Ice Cream

Banana ice cream is a fabulous, fat free alternative and one of my fav desserts. So quick and easy to make and so many variations

2 x chopped bananas, frozen –  that’s it!

Add frozen bananas to food processor/blender and blend for 3 minutes.  Keep stopping to scrape from the sides into the mixture.

Place in bowl and your done! Either eat immediately or return to freezer for a firmer ice cream.

Mix it Up, try

3 x chopped strawberries

1 x tsp honey

1 x tsp honey & 1x tsp pistachio nuts

1 x tbsp. caco powder

1 x tbsp caco & ¼ tsp peppermint essence (mint choc ice cream)

1 x tsp cinnamon

Small chunks of any fruit you like!

Serves 2, Cals 65, Carbs 13.6g, Protein 0.9g, Fat 0.2g

Give it a go, add some of your fav fruit and let me know how it goes!


Easter Treats that Feel Like a Treat!

Easter is just around the corner, and the shops are filled with all sorts of beautiful indulgences with which to celebrate.  Some of these beautiful indulgences  can  make us feel wonderful and happy and loved and those life enhancing feelings will stay with us for probably 10 days. Others we can treasure for life. So much to look forward to.

However, does that sound like your Easter treat?  For most people, probably not.  Why is that?  What is your Easter treat?  Is it a superficial and purely commercial shop bought Easter egg packaged to entice all ages and stamped with an absolute 100% guarantee of  the sugar rushes that will leave you feeling rubbish for at least one day and hug your waistline like the most ardent lover for the next few weeks?  Those sort of  Easter treats can make even the healthiest of us feel sluggish, stuffed and with a horrible sticky taste in our mouths, no matter how many times we clean our teeth? What sort of “treat” is that!

With YOUtrition, it’s all about thinking differently.  I cannot remember the last time I ate or was bought an Easter egg.  I do however remember last Easter, the one before that and even further back because of the wonderful treats bought/made for me by my son.

I still have the beautiful handmade Easter cards, saying on not very straight lines (who cares!), “I love you mummy, Happy Easter”, and the Easter chicks made from cotton wool balls and dyed a frightening yellow.  Later he progressed to shop bought cards, just as precious, with lovely verses he had obviously read in advance because they applied to our lives, often with photos of us and our dog stuck in – how utterly precious these still are.  And then of course the beautiful daffodils.  Always a bunch of sunshiny daffs on Easter Sunday.

Can you imagine how these true treats make me feel?  I know the mummies among you will, and it would also take the most hardened sugar addict to also not be affected.

So, my message is clear.  Ask your family in advance for something different this year.  Guide them gently to the card shops, point out the glorious spring flowers everywhere and let them know that at this second (or maybe third, after Christmas and Mother’s Day), most commercial time of  they year, that the things that would give you most joy are not the ones you put into your mouth and enjoy for 10 minutes then feel despondent about and regret for days later, but the pure joy of a homemade card or non-food gift or, for me my absolute favourite, a beautiful simple bunch of spring flowers.

Happy Easter!



Smoothie, Power Up Your Body With Nutrients And Keep Calories Down

This morning, whilst I am at home getting ready for my busy day I am loving a smoothie for breakfast.  A gorgeous alternative meal (and I do mean alternative, don’t have a meal as well!),  that took less than 5 minutes to blend and, even though I am always prepared in advance with a healthy meal and snack in the fridge, sometimes I just feel like something different, maybe a little more indulgent that I can sip away at on the way to my next client or at home in front of the computer whilst I work.

And this is where smoothies become king.   A healthy smoothie can provide you with essential vitamins, fibre, healthy fats, protein and minerals and are an easy way to nourish your body as well as being a fantastic aid to weight loss.

Quick and unstressful to make, there is no need for the shop bought variety which are expensive and can have very high sugar content. The best way to know the exact ingredients in your smoothie is to make them yourself. All you need is a blender, leafy veg, a small amount of fruit and a base, such as water, milk or yogurt. Smoothies don’t need much planning in advance. These are the basics and from this start point, anything you like goes, literally.

The healthiest smoothies are packed with fibre, protein and healthy fats – think avocado, nuts and seeds.  Delicious to taste they are a godsend on a busy day, or after an indulgent night before or weekend.  They are a great way to re-balance our bodies and pump in the nutrients we may have missed out on and to keep your calories down.

Beware though of the not so healthy smoothies, even homemade ones.  These are the ones packed mainly with fruit and although fruit is fantastic in terms of antioxidants and vitamins, it does need to be eaten in moderation due to the high sugar content.  I want your smoothie to keep you full so that you don’t need to snack between meals, and don’t create a massive sugar spike then slump which will leave you craving more sugar.

The best proportion for any smoothie to keep you full and satisfied is 3/4 veg and the last quarter made up of fruit, healthy fats and water – if I do add avocado or nuts, I use water instead of yogurt to keep the fat and calorie content lower.

So here is my smoothie recipe for this morning, and as I said before, I didn’t plan it, I just had the ingredients to hand,  and literally anything you like goes.  Be brave, mix it up.  Like any new recipe, taste it and then add a little more sweetness in the form of an extra strawberry, a little more banana, or ramp up the intensity by adding a pinch of chilli or small amount of ginger.

Breakfast Boost

1 x handful spinach.

1/4 avocado.

2 x tbsp oats.

¼ x beetroot.

½ x small banana.

1 x strawberry.

½ cup water.

Serves 1, Cals 200.

Blended all together and its done.  If you like a little looser add water to achieve the consistency you like.  Just look at the nutrients involved here, the vitamins, fibre, protein and healthy fats.  This is a total powerhouse of a meal in one delicious drink.


New Year, New Habits – Are they hard to stick to?

Happy New Year, Happy New Food Habits to all my lovely YOUtrition ladies.  I hope your Christmas period was filled with love, laughter and not the obligatory family fight …. or is that just my family???

So, New Year, New You, New food habits.  How’s it going this year?  Off the wagon already and feeling that change is impossible?  Read on and think about my little story.

Last October I lost my little dog, Bandit, at the age of 12.  He was a massive part of mine and my son’s life – we were the Gang of Three and I can say in all honesty, that his loss, the first bereavement I have had since being sober (another sober Christmas.  Yippee to me!), hit me so, so hard especially as my son had just left for college.  Anyway, I waited until I couldn’t wait any longer and last week, got my new, ugly little girl who we have called Gorby.  She is 14 weeks old and the ugliest and most adorable scruff ever.  Now though I have the challenge of house training her.  A monumental task for me, as I have to kindly break her old habits, and lovingly instill new ones.  Bit like changing food choices/habits maybe……..

Every morning, in the freezing cold, I get up, pick her up and sit outside in my pj’s, robe, boots, hat and gloves for half an hour so that she can, in puppy training terms, “eliminate” .  Once she has done that, I praise her, take her inside, feed and water her and then half an hour later repeat the same routine – at this stage still slightly hypothermic and in my pj’s.  I have spent more time in my frosty garden this last week then I did all of last summer – actually, more than the last three summers put together probably.   Then for the rest of the day, I take her out between every 30 minutes to 1 hour to eliminate (love that word) so that she can learn that the house is not a toilet and the garden is.  I will probably have to do this for the next 6 weeks or so.  Please God don’t let it be longer….

Now to my point.  So many of my clients are concentious, loving pet owners.  They know before they bring home their pet exactly what is required of them to instill good habits that keep them and their pets safe and in a clean environment and they persevere until their pet’s new habit is formed.  Yet, when it comes to making changes to my clients eating habits, all the excellent effort they put into a pet or child they love, goes out of the window.  Why is that?  Don’t they feel they deserve the same level of kindness and attention?  Do they think no matter what they do the habits won’t stick?  Every dog owner knows that good training works and the short term “pain” and believe me I am not enjoying my early morning freezes, will pay off for years to come.

So, lovely ladies.  Let me help you create the new food/eating habits that I know will work for you in your life, because they are tailored to you.  Stick with them for just 6 weeks and if you choose, they will become habits for life.

To give you a confidence boost I am giving you my top five tips for creating new habits.

1 Add a new healthier spin to an old unhealthy habit.  Cup of tea and a biscuit in the afternoon?  Try a wholegrain oatcake instead with a teaspoon of peanut butter – loads of protein, no sugar rush so no sugar crash and further craving.

2 Small changes.  Don’t try to change everything you are unhappy with at once. A small change that you can stick with will make you proud of yourself and motivate you to move to bigger changes.

3 Start NOW! Don’t wait or overthink the change.  Just do it.  No waiting until tomorrow, or until the food/sweets are all eaten.  Throw the rubbish out.  Think, “Rubbish food, rubbish mood/body”.

4 Commit yourself to your new habit every day.  Look at yourself in the mirror, praise yourself for how far you have come, even if it is only one day, and say to yourself out loud, your new habit and your commitment to it.  You will achieve what you tell yourself you will achieve.

5 Make your new habit fun! If you want to exercise more, join a social dance class.  If you want to eat healthier foods, scour the internet for recipes and enjoy the experiment.  Involve friends and family.  Make your new habit a blast.

I hope the above helps you or gives you some ideas for what works in your life and let me know if you need any help or support. Here’s to you and your new habits!    I must be off now, its elimination time………







Veggies, The Not So Secret Answer to Great Health & Weight

Veggies can sound like the dullest part of a meal.  However, there is so much we can do to literally spice them up, and in terms of weight loss and great health, they are heaven sent. To kick start your weight loss, try for one week portioning your plate out like this – you won’t regret it.

½ Veggies or Salad – make it colourful and fill this portion of your plate FIRST!

¼ Protein

¼ Healthy carbs!  Healthy carbs are not white or fluffy or overly sweet.  They include WHOLEMEAL (not brown) everything.

  • Choose a wide variety of veggies and steam them lightly to keep as much of the nutrients as possible.
  • Be brave and try new ones. Keep them colourful.  The greater the variety in colour, the wider the variety of nutrients eaten.
  • Low carb veggies include broccoli, cabbage, aubergine, pumpkin, courgette, asparagus, and butternut squash. All veggies are nutrient powerhouses!  Be creative with your veggies.
  • Add chilli flakes or sauté with garlic and onion or cherry tomatoes.
  • Add spices such as fennel or turmeric.
  • Dress with a very small amount of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Toast some pine nuts and toss in.
  • A small sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on any veggies is delicious, but keep this small and occasionally.

See how many options you already have?  Try these two fabulous alternatives to pasta and just look at the calories.



280g Courgettes


Use a spiralizer – I used the finer noodle attachment – or a julienne peeler to create courgette noodles.

Toss in a pan with one teaspoon of olive oil for 30 seconds.  Done!

Serves 4, per 71g serving

Cal 25, Fat 1.3g, Carbs 1.2g, Fibre 1.4g, Protein 1.3g, Salt 0g

Butternut Squash Noodles


600g Butternut Squash

2 teaspoons Olive Oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200. Lightly spray two large baking trays with oil.

Trim the top portion of the butternut.  This is the only part that can be spiralized (reserving the bottom for another recipe).

Trim the top off and peel the skin off. Cut the butternut in 2 pieces so it’s easier to handle, then spiralize using the thickest noodle setting of your spiralizer.

Cut into 6 inch lengths so it’s easy to eat.

Transfer to the prepared baking sheets and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. Roast until soft, 7 to 10 minutes.

Serves 4, per 152g serving

Cal 78, Fat 2.1g, Carbs 11.2g Fibre 3g, Protein 1.7g Salt 0.02g






A Stumble is Not A Fall But A Natural Part of Weight Loss!

A stumble is not a fall – it  is so important to acknowledge that for successful weight loss!

We mostly have a clear view of what we want to look like, even if we don’t have a clear view of how to get there, and once we are motivated, we do our best to keep on track with our nutrition and movement.  However there will always be times when we stumble – a little bit like tripping over the pavement.  We are watching where we are going and focussing on our destination and something changes, someone drops something on the payment for instance and we trip.  What then?  Do we sit and think, “Right, that’s it, I have tripped up, I might as well spend the rest of the day lying on the pavement because I am expecting to trip again?”  No, of course not!  It is the same with our food.

Even with the best laid plans and preparation, something at some point will happen to derail you.  You might find yourself extra hungry and having to grab some product from a motorway station late at night.  You might find yourself at a party where the host has made a birthday cake and it would be horribly rude to refuse a small slice. Or you just feel like something sweet and ‘treaty’ whilst watching the tv at the end of a boring day. You then “give in to temptation” and feel miserable and like a failure later.  Sounding familiar?

I want to reassure you that a stumble is not a fall and definitely not a failure.   I always tell my clients to be kind to themselves.  Know that you are doing the best you can in the circumstances you find yourself in and a temporary set back is simply that, temporary. If you stay on your healthy track  80% of the time, you will reach (and maintain) your weight loss goals, and the more often you make healthier choices, the more often the only choices you will look for and see, will be the ones that keep you on track.

I want you to remember how amazing you are at caring for others and dishing out kindness and support to others whenever it is needed and yet we rarely do the same for ourselves. We beat ourselves up for being human and then give up.  Don’t!   Be the person to yourself that you are to your loved ones.  Acknowledge the stumble, learn from it (if it was an emotional one) and move on being your best, most fabulous and slim YOU! x


Prepping for SUCCESS! A Key Factor in Successful, Sustainable Weight Loss & FUN!

As a Specialist in Weight Loss and Nutrition, I know that food prepping is one of the key factors in successful, sustainable weight loss.

Once you start regularly prepping your food for the next few days/week, you really will never look back.  The days of grabbing totally unsatisfactory “beige food” from a fast food outlet or a pre-packed supermarket  sandwich (with a food label listing suspiciously chemical sounding ingredients), will become a distant, unpleasant memory – along with the uncomfortably tight waistband, lethargy, insulin spike, subsequent frequent hunger and disappointment in your continuing struggle with weight loss.

No matter how busy your life is, if you have time to watch watch TV in the evenings, you have time to prep.  It is all about prepping your life around your health and weight, not the other way around.

Make a list of wholefoods during the week (plus add some spices and other staples).  Choose and stick to a quiet time to spend half an hour in the shop – believe me, when you are mainly buying mainly wholefoods there is no wandering up and down the isles pondering over chemical choices and checking out food labels for the healthiest options.  Then set aside just an hour, experiment with easy recipes, mix up some that need cooking and some that don’t.  Batch up into sealed tupperware containers and pop into the fridge/freezer.  Keep it simple and keep it stress free.

Whilst I accept that in the beginning the idea of prepping and cooking food in advance for the fridge can be quite daunting, you quickly adapt and factor it in to your weekly routine.  As you start to make easy meals that you look forward to and that keep you on your weight loss track, it will become fun.  How fab to come home, grab something you really like from the fridge or freezer, pop in the microwave or oven, and by the time you have taken off your coat and changed your shoes, a delicious meal is done.  Or to wake late knowing that no matter how much of a rush you are in, breakfast, lunch and dinner is sorted and you just have to grab something from the fridge!

I am not a cook, but I really enjoy the (up to) 2 hours in the kitchen, normally at the weekends, “creating”.  I have my standard 5 – 6 meals which I jazz up with different herbs, spices and individual twists and I LOVE IT! I also love the fact that I know exactly what I am eating and feeding to my loved ones.

Always prepared.  Never hungry. Always working towards your health & weight loss (and one last and important point, much cheaper)!

Let’s get prepping.


Journey Planning – 5 Minute Food Tips

Tomorrow my Number One (aka my 18 year old son, Christopher) and I are going on HOLIDAY! I am so excited.  Every year we have one week away together just the two of us hiking in the UK.  This year we are going to be hiking around the glorious Devon coastline.  This truly is my favourite week of the year and I am struggling to calm down!

As a Nutrition and Weight Loss Coach I know that  food planning for every  journey is key to avoiding the pre-packed, sugar drenched, high salt, low fibre, taste free, out of desperation and very expensive motorway fare.

So, as I pack the car I always make sure we have the following with us;

  • Bottles of water
  • Sandwich bags of mixed nuts & seeds
  • Bananas/Apples
  • A homemade salad or sandwich – depending on the expected length of the journey
  • Sugar free gum

This little bit of pre-planning takes 5 minutes, usually the night before but is invaluable.  It is one of the biggest potential weight loss disaster to leave the house unprepared!

Even if I go out for the day, I always have a little healthy, filling something in my bag and I never leave home without a small bottle of water.  I want to feel my best when I am out and about and the one sure fire way of not feeling that way is to find myself with low energy levels and a rumbling tummy and then searching for something/anything that will keep me going without making me feel worse.  I don’t want to have to grab a bar of chocolate for instant energy and then have a horrible sugar slump,  I would rather have a small bag of nuts and seeds which will keep my satisfied and alert for hours.  I don’t want to pay £2 for a bottle of water when I am over thirsty or have to grab a can of drink. I want to have my own little bottle with me ready so I don’t get to that point.

Saying all the above, I often have a coffee when out, just the one, as I also enjoy the social aspect of being out and about and I love to people watch, but it is a treat not a necessity.  So be prepared, enjoy the journey as well as the destination.   Happy Holiday To Us!




Calorie Counting – An Excellent First Step To Understanding Weight Loss

A calorie is simply a measure of the amount of energy in food. It is not an indication of the nutrient quality of food.

I am not a great advocate of calorie counting long term, as I feel it places too much emphasis and time on  “diet” foods rather than everyday, long term, lifestyle foods that best support our weight and health.   As a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Specialist,  my aim is to guide clients away from the stress of counting calories in their food choices and  into the enjoyment of eating. I do this by showing them the best nutrient quality foods for their weight loss and health.

However because there is so much conflicting food advice out there, in the initial stages of weight loss calorie counting is an excellent way of understanding how much we are eating and gives a good basic outline of what works for us and what doesn’t.  It can help us to balance the energy we put into our bodies with the energy we use, which is the key to maintaining healthy weight.

It is important to note though that all calories are not created equal. For instance, a cup cake or ready meal that has 500 calories, is unlikely to sustain you as a much as a jacket potato with tuna and salad which also has 500 calories. It would be easy to eat a “diet” pre-packed meal or sandwich of 400 calories, but tough going to finish a plate of steamed fish fish piled up with colourful veg with herbs or spices, or a hearty homemade soup  with the same calories.   The prepacked meal would be calories dense (empty calories no matter what the packaging said), and the veg would be nutrient dense, packed with all the nutrients, fiber, vitamins, minerals – all of the essentials that a healthy body thrives on and needs for sustainable weight loss.

Then there is the subsequent hunger.  Which do you think you would feel hungrier after eating first?

All foods are not metabolised in our bodies in the same way, and the processed low calorie options often have more fibre free sugar which is broken down quickly in our bodies into glucose.  The glucose causes a spike in your blood sugar that starts the effect of high insulin production which in turn increases belly fat and when the sugar spike is over, you are left feeling hungry again.  Whole foods take longer to break down and digest and in the process use up more calories and keep you fuller longer.

It is also important to keep an eye on our macronutrient intake.

The macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.  For a healthy diet, the percentage of our daily intake should be, 50 – 55% carbs, 10 – 15% protein, 30 – 35% fat, with an upper limit of 11% saturated fats and of no more than 2% being trans fats. The correct percentage of the healthiest options of these macronutrients is absolutely key to maintaining a healthy weight, with low body fat and optimum health.

In summary, whilst you are re-calibrating your body and mindset, please do look at the calorie content of your foods choices to make you more aware. The calorie content may well shock you and stop you from purchasing.  More importantly though, look at the quality of the food and remember, no food that benefits your health and weight loss long term, comes with a label telling you how little fiber there is or  how much sneaky sugar and salt regardless of the fat levels. Remember when fat is removed (which is tasty and filling and vital for so many functions in the body), something else, usually sugar is added (sugar is the ultimate weight loss and health disaster).  Also, look out for any other information which should be unnecessary to list on a “healthy” option food.  This rule sadly actually applies most to “diet” foods.