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DAY 21 DIARY - Get Ready for Week 4

I’ve had a bit of a lazy start this morning, we had people round for dinner last night and it was a bit of a late one. I busted out Ottolenghi Simple (great cookbook if you don’t already own it) to make a healthy middle-eastern feast, we had falafel with a yogurt dipping sauce (actually this is my own recipe from The Midlife Kitchen), then from Otto we had: lamb, pistachio and sage patties (ugh, that word again!) with a spicy tomato relish, a roasted butternut, lentil and red onion herby salad, a tomato, spinach, feta and white bean salad and a lovely spiced apple cake with Greek yogurt for pud. Sooooo good.

Which actually brings me nicely to the fourth and final week of the StealthHealth programme and the final Key Concept, Food Strategies. These are basically tips, tricks and ideas for navigating special occasions, dinner parties, holidays as well as managing your own particular food weaknesses (I have many!).

But, before we get into that it might be useful to recap the Key Concepts we have covered so far for anyone who is a little late to the party or has a midlife mum brain like me:

1] Breakfast is Best - Make sure to have a nutritious first meal of the day, eggs, oats etc.

2] Eating with Awareness - Make conscious food choices and take time to enjoy what you eat.

3] Nutri Foods - Try and eat predominantly unprocessed, nutrient dense foods.

4] Carb Sense - Eat a moderate amount of healthy carbs: fruit, veg, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, beans, tubers.

5] Calorie Awareness - Think about the relative calorific values of the food (and drink) you are consuming. You only have a set amount of ‘food spend’ so use it wisely.

6] Volume Control - How much are you eating? Don’t overeat through habit. Look at the relative proportions on your plate - stick to mainly plants and protein and a small amount of healthy carbs.

7] Light Days - If you are trying to accelerate weight loss have 2-3 Light Days a week - aim to eat around 1000 calories on those days, not snacking or drinking calories (stick to water) will help.

Right, let's talk Food Strategies!

Food Strategies are tactics to help you stay on the healthy track while still fully engaging in life. We can’t live in a box and control every single thing we eat and honestly who’d want to? We want to celebrate, go on holiday, go to the pub for lunch, have a few drinks with mates, and of course we can, we just need to have a few Food Strategies up our sleeves.

I’ll be elaborating more on this over the course of next week, sharing with you my own Food Strategies and helping you to come up with some of your own. As I often say, there is no ‘one size fits all’, what is challenging for one person may not be an issue for another – you may socialize a lot, or perhaps you are a late night snacker or booze may be your achilles heel. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at my own lifestyle, routines and cravings and I’ve come up with ways to manage most of those potentially 'derailing' situations.

So, thanks for sticking with me so far – once the 28 day programme is finished (next Sunday!) I won’t be blogging with quite as much frequency but hopefully enough to keep you focused on your health and weight goals and I’ll post the odd simple, healthy recipe too. I’d love to hear what you have found particularly helpful so far. I’ve had some really lovely emails this week from followers who are finding my witterings on here useful and helping them refocus on their own health and well-being. That’s great to hear, and in the words of that terrible L’Oreal advert – you’re worth it!

Have a great day.

Sam xx

P.S. If you are enjoying the blog please spread the word. Thanks x

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