Eat yourself fitter

AWARD-WINNING health and wellness coach Jackie Liddle has won acclaim for her innovative weight loss challenges.

But her success is as much about what you DO eat and not just what you DON’T eat.

The novel Hartlepool Arriba! Wellness Club 12-Week Community Challenges are held on various evenings at locations across Hartlepool, including two run by Mrs Liddle at Brierton Community Sports Centre every Tuesday and Thursday evenings. She oversees a network of coaches who run other challenges across the town.

Integral to the classes are the nutritional tips and educational advice she shares with members.

Today she explains to Mail readers the type of meal that can shape your health and wellbeing.

Speaking from the kitchen of her Bishop Cuthbert home in Hartlepool, it is more a case of ‘Eating In’ than ‘Eating Out’ this week, but the benefits of reading on could be immense.

Her tips and advice could revolutionise the way you eat at home.

Jackie said: “As these recipe ideas and meal plans will show, a lot can be achieved by simply understanding nutrition and what is good for the body and what is not so good.

“The whole process of eating healthily can be stimulating. From studying what certain foods contain, to collecting the ingredients, preparing the dishes and then enjoying the meal itself.

“Plan, prepare and portion is the key.

“Take my ‘famous’ curry, which we discussed in a recent Hartlepool Arriba! Wellness Club 12-Week Community Challenge class and also a popular pasta dish.

“Adding chopped onions to a processor and puréeing together with chosen curry spices, fresh chillies, fresh coriander, cloves of garlic and root ginger with a little water will make a very thick curry paste. Unlike bought curry pastes there is no added salt, sugars or fats.

“Cook it with a little more water until the onions are no longer gritty, add a pint of chicken stock slowly then a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer to create a delicious rich sauce.

“Everything in the sauce is what we describe as free and should be eaten in abundance. Then you can choose your healthy protein.

“I always choose chicken, turkey or seafood over a red meat as there is far less saturated fat and people can save a lot of unnecessary calories.

“For my ‘famous’ curry I use diced fresh turkey marinated in fat-free Greek yogurt mixed with Tikka spices, and lemon juice, so no extra fat or sugars...skewered and cooked under the grill then stirred into curry sauce.

“Half a cup of cooked brown rice will provide more fibre and protein than white rice.

“A side dish of ‘Bombay carrot and turnip’ completes this delicious meal. By replacing potatoes it increases the fibre content and reduces calories.

“Pasta can be an excellent meal base but people need to be wary of serving suggestions or guidelines. While a packet says 75g is a serving it is actually 170g when cooked. That is a huge amount of pasta which offers very little protein and fibre while white pasta offers even less protein and fibre than brown so by changing to brown you’ll have a far healthier meal.

“Use less pasta and bulk up the meal with more vegetables. Use the aforementioned sauce but instead of curry spices use Mediterranean herbs instead and add your chicken, turkey or seafood.

“Armed with the right knowledge, eating in can be fun, rewarding and healthy.”

Jackie’s kitchen can be a fascinating place to eat.

Paul Watson