9 Feb 2015

Index - helpful blog posts

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Index of useful blog posts... 

On this page, we have listed all our most helpful blog posts, containing information that we get asked about often. We have split them into the following categories:

6 Feb 2015

My Success Story - meet our winner!

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We love it when our customers share their weight loss experiences with us, which is why in January 2015 we ran a competition called 'My Success Story'.

Every week in January, we asked customers and past customers to share a photo and a brief outline that they felt reflected their weight loss journey, including the hash tag #MySuccessStory, on one or more of our social media pages.

We got some great entries from you guys and earlier this week, we randomly selected a winner.

Meet Alison, our winner!

Alison Browne from Glenrothes in Fife, Scotland, lost a whopping 8 stone on Diet Chef and through the healthy eating habits that our meal plan taught her, in 2014 - we think she looks fantastic! Alison says:

"This is my before and after picture...the photo to the left is of me just over a year ago, at a friend's wedding. This is the photograph that shocked me into doing something about my weight! 

The photo to the right is me after 9 months of Diet Chef and the healthy eating habits that the plan taught me. I'm down from a size 30 to a size 14, with an 8 stone weight loss so far. I'm determined to get the rest of the weight off and keep it off!" 

Alison has won a £500 John Lewis gift card, which is on its way to her as we publish this.

Congratulations on both your win and your incredible weight loss achievement - you look great, and we hope you enjoy shopping up a storm on us! :)

Thank you, everyone! 

Thank you and well done to everyone who took part in the 'My Success Story' competition - you've all done a fantastic job!


5 Feb 2015

Winter cold? These foods can help!

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At this time of year, it can seem like winter colds are doing the rounds almost on a weekly basis...everywhere you turn colleagues, friends and family members are struggling with runny noses, coughs, sneeze attacks, headaches and sore throats.

Painkillers and Cold & Flu are always good to have handy for when you're feeling really lousy, but if you want to avoid pills as much as possible, there are natural remedies that can easily be incorporated into your everyday diet.

We asked our Nutritionist, Fiona Williamson, what foods (and drinks) she would suggest we stock up on to prevent, or help cure, head colds - and here's what she had to say.

Stay hydrated! 

As at any time of year, keeping hydrated is fundamental. Drinking lots of water will help flush any bugs out your system. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day. Hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice will give you an additional, helpful boost of vitamin C.

Mix up your fruit & veg!

Eat an array of different coloured fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C can't be stored in the body and so it's essential to eat fruits and vegetables every day to keep your body equipped and healthy.

Top up on zinc!

Zinc, which helps maintain your immune function, can be found in foods like beef, oysters, beans, nuts and dairy products.

Try chicken soup!

There may actually be some value (other than taste and comfort) to enjoying this old DIY remedy when ill, as it contains anti-inflammatory agents and may help clear congestion.

What next? 

Hope you found that useful...you may also want to...

Have a look at our top 'winter warmers' foods...
Check out our tips on staying motivated...
View our winter serving suggestions...
Find out how to snack healthily...


3 Feb 2015

Winter serving suggestions...mmm!

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Not many things beat a nice, hot meal during the winter months, when it's cold, wet and dark outside. But you don’t have to go off diet to enjoy delicious comfort food that really hits the spot!

We asked our Development Chef Alan Mathieson to have a look at our menu and come up with a few mouth-watering winter serving suggestions. Here’s what Alan had to say…

Beef & Vegetable Stew 

"We recently replaced our Beef in Ale dinner with a sumptuous Beef and Chunky Vegetable Stew – an absolutely stunning and rich dish, which tastes like something you might get served in a trendy gastro pub!

Why not try it with celeriac, potato & garlic mash, plus boiled or steamed tender stem broccoli?"

Sausages in Onion Gravy 

"To bulk out our delicious Sausages in Onion Gravy, serve with roast celeriac, parsnip, carrot and potato wedges. Lightly coat the potato wedges and vegetables in a little bit of oil, season with garlic and rosemary, then bake in the oven.

The rich onion gravy will go superbly with the garlic and rosemary seasoning, and the meaty sausages will be a perfect match for the roast roots and wedges."

Beet Meatball Wrap

"How about something hot AND cold? That's one of my personal favourites, in terms of food combinations!

But be warned: this dish can get messy, so make sure you have lots of paper towel at hand – it's basically a healthy twist on a meatball sub roll.

Cook some green lentils until they just have a tiny bit of bite left, strain and cool down in cold water, then allow to drain thoroughly. Once drained, mix the lentils with fresh coriander, chopped tomatoes, a bit of feta cheese, grated garlic and seasoning. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and a little bit of oil, then leave to soak.

Take a tortilla wrap and add the soaked lentil mix, fresh chopped iceberg lettuce, our delicious beef meatballs (having heated them up first, as per the instructions) and finish with a low fat yoghurt, cucumber and mint dip.

A truly amazing hot and cold combination!"

Red Thai Curry Laksa

"To create a warming, filling oriental meal, add some water to our Red Thai Curry and heat in a pot, then mix in fresh coriander, blanched bok choi and some pre-soaked rice noodles.

If you're feeling brave, add some Bird's-eye chillies (small chillies) and lime juice to give the dish a bit of extra kick."

Well, we don’t know about you, but that all sounds amazing to us – and perfect for a cosy night in. Big thanks to Alan for sharing his favourite winter serving suggestions and tips with us! 

Have your own serving suggestions? 

We hope you enjoy trying one or more of the above out – if you do, feel free to let us know how you got on and what you thought.

Also, if you have any good 'Diet Chef serving suggestions' of your own, please share with us in the comment section below, or on our social media pages.

You may also want to... 

Have a look at our top 5 winter warmers...
Read our top tips on staying motivated...
Check our blog on snacking healthily...
Go to the Diet Chef online menu...