Food friendship

Joy Carter: Firstly Happy New Year!

Here we are in detox January, a time when many embark down the ‘New Year Resolution Road of diet detox’, but our resident nutrition specialist Sophie Murray advices against sudden choices of famine and explores better avenues…

Sophie Murray:

Hi again

Having been on a few nutritional lectures recently my passion has had an even bigger boost. I am being asked quite a lot about one aspect at the moment – how to lose weight for those who are overweight.

Help is at hand

Help is at hand

When I am working with someone I don’t want a bad relationship to be created with food, or for the focus to be on the food not to have. You may be surprised that I also don’t calorie count with anyone. Giving people interesting nutritional information, be they young or old (in fact many of the younger people really take information in brilliantly and crack on with trying new recipes in the kitchen) usually works a treat as well as a list of foods to eat.

My tips for helping weight loss for many individuals are to remember 3 things in each meal – protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals. Fats if they are good fats (the oils mainly) help healthy weight too). Good food fills you up so helps to prevent over eating. Eating at a table and not too fast also helps.

Trying to get protein in at breakfast lunch and dinner. It helps you to feel fuller longer but |I would always eat it as part of a healthy meal and not alone (combined with a carbohydrate – ideally brown as it means it may well have fibre in it)

For breakfast, eggs are a great source of protein and can be cooked in many different ways (boiled, scrambled, poached, fried or even in eggy bread). Served with toast (brown will be a much better option) and you have a great start to the day. A good hearty bowl of porridge made with milk is also a good protein source. Throw in some chopped apple and cinnamon and it is even better.

For lunch, protein in a sandwich or a jacket potato or a homemade soup (an easy 3 ingredient soup that is ready in 20 minutes)

For dinner try to make sure there is protein in dishes such as pasta or even pizza and that is is equivalent to a fistful per person. Prawns, tuna, chicken pieces or baked beans are examples of good protein which you can add in foods. The more natural the protein product, the likelihood is that it will also be better in protein levels. For example a processed chicken nugget made using chicken may also have a few other things in it. Sausages may have as little as 30% meat in them only -the rest is padded out with cheap bulk ingredients and some extra flavouring. Mince that is lean can be up to 95% meat. Cheaper mince will be much higher in fat and lower in meat content.

Make a list of the vegetables that the family will eat and you may be surpirsed that you can get to 10. once you have the list rotate them and if they dont go with a meal, eat them on their own beforehand. Vegetables like sugar snap beans, raw cauliflower or raw brocolli as well as raw carrot, cucumber and peppers dip really well in to some houmous. Courgette if it is grated goes well on pizza and also in pasta and does not taste that much at all, yet it is really healthy.

If vegetables are a big problem, challenge the family to a smoothie made with 2 fruit and one vegetable. My children make beetroot, orange, carrot and ginger juice and I just do the clearing up after them!! They are getting much better than me at flavour combining.


And to tie in with an article I did earlier in the year, drink enough fluid. I have a couple of clients who have converted to fresh ginger (to help soothe the gut), a squeeze of lemon and a if needed a spoonful of honey or agave. It tastes amazing.


In your amazing world of helping support the special children who have been adopted, food really is such an opportunity to bond, either when cooking it or when eating it. And learning together is second to none. My daughter was asked her favourite game recently and she said, playing taste testing!! And I promise it wasn’t prompted!!


Happy New Year to you all.


Author: Features Editor

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