Spring is upon us, and at last we can start to look forward to baring a bit more of our bodies. For some of you though, this might not be something to look forward to. Over the last few weeks I have had so many of you in the boutique, bemoaning the fact that over the winter months you have put on a few extra unwanted pounds!
Do not get despondent, my friends. Here are a few useful tips to try and help get you back into shape to enjoy wearing your summer wardrobe.
- The first golden rule of course, is to GET MOVING! I’m not suggesting you take up marathon running, but a brisk daily walk that gets your heart rate up will help to kick start the metabolism. Not to mention the benefits of fresh air into our lungs.
- With lighter evenings and milder days, pay the garden some strenuous attention and work off some calories.
- Joining the gym is not for us all, but most gyms nowadays have specific ‘ladies only’ sessions, or maybe hire a personal trainer, who will tailor make an exercise plan for you and help with diet advice. But that age old rule of 20% exercise to 80% of what we eat will be certain to provide results.
- Swimming is a good all-round exercise and an effective way of toning your muscles, but as it’s low-impact, it means there’s less stress on your joints. Why not make it a more sociable event, and go with friends?
We all have busy lives nowadays and therefore our diet tends to suffer. With a bit of planning, committing to a healthy diet will be one of the smartest moves you make. To help you on your way, I’ve added a simple, yet healthy meal idea, that is a favourite of mine:
POTATO CAKES WITH BAKED TOMATOES
preparation time 35 mins plus cooling
cooking time 40 mins
serves 4 (makes 8)
Per Serving: 401 calories; 18 g protein; 16 g total fat; 5 g saturated fat; 69 mg cholesterol; 44 g total carbohydrate; 7 g sugars; 8 g fibre; 314 mg sodium
(Potato cakes are often fried in oil or butter. Here they are oven-baked to produce cakes that are equally tasty but with a lower fat content).
1 kg potatoes, washed
1 large leek, sliced
2 tablespoons low-fat milk
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2⁄3 cup 25% reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, grated
6 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
all-purpose flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
4 large tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons ready-made garlic-flavoured olive oil for brushing (or, to make your own, add 1 crushed garlic clove to 2 tablespoons olive oil)
- Cut the large potatoes into halves or quarters. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Bring back to a boil, turn down the heat and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Add the leek to the pan for the last 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables, then spread them out on a plate and leave them to cool. Preheat the oven to 220ºC / Gas mark 7.
- When the potatoes are cool, peel and place in a bowl with the leek, and mash. Add the milk, mustard, cheese, parsley and thyme, and mix well. Divide the mixture into 8 portions. Shape each into a ball, then press on a floured surface into a flat cake about 10 cm across and 3 cm thick.
- Set the potato cakes on a clean plate. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle over half the breadcrumbs. Turn the cakes and coat the other side with egg and breadcrumbs. Transfer them to a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish, cut- side up. Brush them with the garlic oil and sprinkle over any remaining breadcrumbs.
- Turn the potato cakes over carefully. Place the tomatoes in the oven with the potato cakes and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Serve hot with a mixed salad. Delicious!
I know you’ve all probably heard this advice many times before, but if by reading this, it inspires just a few of you to get motivated and helps you ladies out there, then I’m pleased to have shared this with you, and I thank you for taking the time to read it.
We have some fabulous new Spring/Summer collections in store, to entice you gorgeous ladies. So, what are you waiting for? X