Veggie Sausage Casserole – perfect mid week warmer

This is an easy meal for a mid week dinner on a great day. I like to cook up a batch of this so it gives a few meals.  You can obviously use any sausages you like, but using veggie sausages really reduces the calories without sacrificing the taste. I usually use quorn sausages but this time I used Cauldron’s lincolnshire sausages and they are delish! If you want to save time use a bag of frozen grilled veg, or use any veg you have in the fridge! Also it’s worth noting that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so if you’re vegetarian then double check – Biona and other companies make one without the use of animal products and it’s widely available.

This serves 6 at about 220 cals per portion.

You will need:

6 vegetarian sausages

800 g passata or chopped tomatoes

Approx 500g mixed vegetables (either a pack or 1 onion, 2 sticks celery, 1 pepper, 1 courgette, 1 small aubergine etc – you don’t need to be exact)

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp chilli powder (adjust for taste)

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 vegetable stock cube

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

1/2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp marmite (optional)

1/2 tsp of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

If using fresh veg then prepare it and chop it up. Heat a little oil in a pan, add onions first and allow to soften. Chop the sausages in to slices and add to the pan and allow to brown (NB I like my sausages a bit browner so I often brown them in a separate pan and add them later – but either way works fine). Then add the pepper, courgette and aubergine or whatever veg you like  (if using a pack then just throw it all in at once once the sausages have browned).


Cook for a couple of mins until the veg start to soften and then add the passata. Stir well and bring to a slow simmer. Add the stock cube, all the spices, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Add the sugar (this brings out a richer tomato flavour). (If you browned the sausages separately then add them now).

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through for about 10-15 mins.

Serve with green veg and grains, with a jacket potato or just on its own!

enjoy 🙂


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a drink….

Just a drink…. 🍷🍫

I think it’s fairly safe to say that for many people during lockdown consumption of alcohol and chocolate (and other snacks etc) has increased. Perhaps in the case of alcohol without even really realising it – certainly that’s what many of my clients have been telling me.

You might easily get through a bottle of white wine during an evening – a glass when you finish work, a glass while you’re preparing dinner, and then a couple during… and before you know it that’s a whole bottle gone. But it’s just a little drink… right?

In contrast if you sat down and ate 4 chocolate bars whilst preparing and eating your dinner you’d probably consider it to be a “bad” thing, and you may even refer to it as a “binge”. You’d almost certainly consider your “diet ruined” if you were trying to watch the calories, but you may not view the wine in the same way,

Liquid calories are much easier to consume, and when they become habitual – like a glass of wine with dinner, it’s even easier to consume them without really registering them. Everyone has their vices and those things they view as “treats” – it may be booze, it may be chocolate or ice cream or crisps etc, but if you are drinking more than you were before lockdown and you are trying to maintain or lose bodyfat then you may just want to think about factoring those booze cals into your daily amount, rather than viewing them as “just a little drink:”



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: More Volume, Fewer Calories

Tuesday Tip: More Volume, Fewer Calories 🍿

Following on from last week’s tip one really good way to help control appetite is to focus on food volume. Recent studies have shown that its the volume of food you’re eating that matters more than the actual calorie content.

In one study participants were given a smoothie, one group had a small one, the other a larger one. Both contained the same number of calories, but the larger one had greater volume as it contained more air. The group that had the larger one ate far fewer calories for the rest of the day – between 12 and 30 percent less! Similar studies have tested it with yoghurt-based meals, soups and normal shakes and all have shown the same results; those who had the meal with greater volume consumed fewer calories and were less prone to overeating for the rest of the day.

In another study they provided participants with soups for lunch over the course of several weeks. When they gave the group a soup that was greater in volume but with the same amount of calories, the participants felt fuller faster and ended up eating fewer calories in that sitting. When they kept the volume the same but increased the calories in the soup the participants ended up eating more calories over all and took longer to feel full.

So basically this shows that food volume can be very important when it comes to controlling appetite and hunger. So what does this mean in practice? There are a few tips you can use to feel fuller quicker – if you have smoothies or protein shakes etc for breakfast allow them to blend for 5 mins longer than usual. This will increase the volume and amount of air in the smoothie. Go for foods that full of air; snacks like rice cakes or low calorie popcorn (high fibre and high volume, but relatively low calories) are brilliant, even zero calorie carbonated fizzy drinks are a great way to help you feel full. Whipping up food also helps; you can whip 0% greek yoghurt and add fruits, or add herbs and spices for a dip. Fruit and vegetables in general are filling as they contain more fibre, water and air so eat those first and include them in your snacks too.

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Recipes, Uncategorized

Lemon veggie ‘chicken’ and ‘bacon’ rice

This is something I used to make many years ago with ‘real’ chicken and bacon. You can obviously use the real deal if you want, but even if you’re not veggie it’s worth considering the vegetarian alternatives as they do save a lot of calories without sacrificing taste or satisfaction.

This works well with either freshly cooked or leftover rice. The lemon gives it a real freshness which is great for a warm spring/summer dinner or lunch.

It serves 4 and is approx 320 cals a portion.

You will need:

200g rice of your choice (uncooked weight)

300g Chicken alternative (I used Quorn chicken pieces)

120g Bacon alternative (I used Quorn)

1 onion, diced

A couple handfuls of frozen peas

Juice and zest of one large lemon (plus extra wedges for serving)

1/2 tsp oregano (or mixed herbs if not)

Black Pepper to taste

Start by getting the rice going – cook as usual (add to boiling water and boil until as soft as you like it). Drain and put to one side.

Use a little 1 cal oil spray in a hot pan and add the diced onion and sauté until brown.

Add the veggie chicken pieces and allow to brown.

Chop the veggie bacon into small pieces and add to the pan, allowing that to brown too.

Then add the peas – you can use as many as you like!

Cook through for a couple of minutes and then add the cooked rice and stir well.

Then add the oregano/ herbs, black pepper and lemon zest and mix.

Finally pour the lemon juice over and stir in well. Then serve, with a wedge of lemon.

Enjoy! 🙂


Fitness and Exercise

Bodyweight workout number 8! Ten mins of fun!

It’s workout time again! or should I say ‘fun’ time! Yippee! lol!

You know exactly what to do now- ten exercises, ten mins in total and no equipment required – just yourself, a watch/iphone to time it, and a mat if you want one for your knees/hands.

If you have more time then you can always do it twice or three times, if you don’t have ten mins then just do half! Get everyone involved! 🙂

If you want to do it “with me” then the video is below.

Or you can use the pics below or download a pdf of the workout here: Bodyweight Circuit 8

Have fun! 🙂


Ps. If you missed the previous workouts they’re here: Bodyweight Circuit 7  Bodyweight Circuit 6 ,   Bodyweight Circuit 5Bodyweight Circuit 4,  Bodyweight Circuit 3, Bodyweight circuit 2 and my first one is here (Bodyweight circuit 1)


Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a walk…

Just a walk… 🚶🏼‍♀️

As lockdown progresses I’ve noticed a lot of my clients are beating themselves up over not doing “enough exercise”. In many cases they’ve been trying to work from home, home school the children, and run the household etc. Some days they’re managing to fit in a workout, others they’re not and they’re feeling guilty about it, and worrying about the loss of those activity calories they “should” be burning.

During this time most people are managing to walk more, making the most of their allowed outdoor exercise time. This is often not viewed as something which contributes to those activity calories, but it’s actually doing more good.

It’s natural to associate cardio workouts with burning loads of calories; you feel sweaty and breathless so you feel like you’re working hard. A 45 min HIIT or that sort of workout is very tough and regardless how hard you’re working you’re going to be feeling it. However, it may be hard to motivate yourself to commit to a 45 min session at home when there are so many other things shouting for your attention (children (literally!), work, house chores etc). In contrast an hour’s walk doesn’t feel particularly strenuous, it may be something you do anyway to walk the dog, get the shopping or get the kids out the house for bit, and it in fact burns more calories than the workouts.

I did this experiment on myself so the numbers will vary according to your age, height, weight and fitness levels but the principal is the same (and has been shown in independent studies too). A one hour walk a day will burn significantly more calories than a 45 min HIIT workout a day. So if you’re not managing a workout every day – don’t stress, especially if you’re managing to go for a walk. In addition 7 days of HIIT workouts is actually NOT a good idea – studies have shown these workouts impact negatively on sleep if you’re doing too many a week. Obviously there are cardiovascular and health benefits to the HIIT workouts which are equally as important as calories burnt so don’t ditch them completely – but my point is that you shouldn’t feel guilty or like you’re not burning anything if all you manage is a walk on some days.



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Tackling Hunger

Tuesday Tip: Tackling Hunger 🍔

With the current lockdown many are finding it hard to manage their diet, and specifically their hunger.

So how can we try to manage this?

First off is it true hunger or emotional hunger? True hunger starts gradually, is satisfied by any food and will end when you’re full. In addition you’re less likely to feel guilty afterwards. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly, in a state of heightened emotion (e.g. stress or anxiety) or boredom. It typically involves craving specific foods, not being satisfied once full, eating mindlessly and feelings of guilt.

If it’s true hunger there are a few things you can do to help manage it. Studies have shown that higher protein meals reduce perceptions of hunger, particularly when combined with fats. Low calorie, high fibre foods are also important (fruit and veg); it increases “bulk”, causing stomach wall expansion, triggering the release of satiating hormones (fullness hormones). Another great option is low/zero calorie carbonated drinks which can help curb sugar cravings, and create that sensation of fullness. Caffeine is also an inhibitor of hunger in small amounts.


Emotional hunger is harder. Many foods give us “good feelings” but these foods are calorie dense and often high in sugar/saturated fat. They can provide temporary escape from boredom, low mood, stress etc but can leave us feeling worse and promote a negative relationship with food. We eat because we feel bad and we feel bad because we eat. Identifying the triggers/situations where you tend to emotionally eat is vital. Once you identify the triggers you can produce a list of replacement activities. Actually write out some alternatives and display them e.g. take 3 deep breaths, drink a big glass of water, play with your dog/cat, do some exercise/stretches. listen to music/podcast, do a 60 sec household chore, call a friend, adult colouring/jigsaw etc.

Be kind to yourself, the lack of stimulation, reduced human interaction and increased anxiety as a result of lockdown is natural. So if you are emotionally eating that’s ok – if you want to reduce it though then try these tips for starters.

Happy Tuesday 🤗