Eating Well Monday

On a Monday we will be updating this page with recipes and health eating information. 


Mon 29 Jun 2020

Chris' Spicy Spuds

Hi everyone Chris here and welcome to my kitchen. What's cooking you ask, well see for yourselves!

I have just harvested some early potatoes from my allotment and I can't wait to dig in to my first non shop bought potatoes.

Let's get to it!

What you’ll need…

  • A handful of your favourite potatoes (if you're going low GI sweet potatoes or a good choice)
  • Chilli sauce
  • Paprika garlic
  • Mustard

You can make this dish as hot or mild as you like, but for me going to be a hot one! 

Here's how…

1. Take a handful of those lovely favourite spuds and prepare them how you’d like them. You can slice them in half and then half again, or you can leave this skins on (I like to do this as it adds lots of nice fibre) or or peel them as required!
2. Place place your prepared spuds into a suitable saucepan and cover with water, adding a pinch of salt.
3. When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a good simmer.
4. Next let's get to work on making these humble potatoes spicy and fiery!
5. In a mixing bowl, take your chilli sauce, as much as you need as it needs to cover the potatoes.
6. Adding your spices - you can add some cool spices or some hotter spices. I have used fresh chives and dill and then I have added paprika, garlic and black pepper.
7. Make a nice smooth paste with a pestle and mortar or mix with a fork aiming to get all the ingredients nicely mixed ready to dress your spuds.
8. Once your potatoes are nicely cooked and soft, drain the water and serve straight away to your dish or plate, pouring over the fiery source.   

You can enjoy this dish hot or cold. 


Stay healthy, stay positive, stay safe.

See you soon Chris
Health and Wellbeing Advisor - Queen's Leisure Centre. 

Chris’ Chicken Pasta

Hi everyone Chris here and welcome to my red plate. What's cooking you ask, well see for yourselves! I have my favourite pasta, chicken, red beans and these little cute carrots. Let's get to it.


What you’ll need…

  • 100g of your favourite pasta
  • Half a tin of red kidney beans
  • A handful of little baby carrots you know the type!
  • 200g of chicken breast
  • Chopped herbs fresh as always!
  • Garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • 50-100g couscous just because!

 Here's how…

  1. Take your chicken breasts and slice thinly or in chunks and add to your wok pan or skillet which has been oiled with low fat oil or I like to use coconut solids
  2. Get your frying pan wok or skillet nice and hot and had generous helpings of Pepper and a touch of salt give it a good coating and then you're ready for your ingredients
  3. Meanwhile take a large pan or saucepan and get enough water boiling in order just to cover your pastor don't forget to add in the generous handful of salt once boiling for 5 minutes simmer
  4. Going back to our chicken which is nicely cooking in the in the pan now add the red kidney beans, it's up to you if you drain and wash them first I like to leave all the juices in it really does help the flavour and keeps in all that pepper and herbs too. Now had add your couscous and stir in thoroughly but gently.
  5. Finally add those carrots. Keep stirring all the while for another 10 to 15 minutes until everything is nice and cooked and tender.
  6. Drain the pasta and add to your favourite bowl dish or plate and then start to spoon in all your chicken, carrots beans, etc.
  7. Finally had a touch more pepper garlic as you wish and even a splash of lemon juice too! Enjoy forks at the ready!

Stay healthy stay positive stay safe see you soon Chris

Food Labels - What do they mean?

by Helen Treece, Health and Wellbeing Advisor (Springwood Leisure Centre)

So you’ve joined us at SPRINGWOOD, you are hitting the gym, maybe a class or two and following your gym program. However are also aware of what you are eating and drinking?

This can prove to be the biggest challenge with the large food companies trying to entice us with their ‘healthy claims and smart packaging.

So what should you consume on a daily basis for a balanced diet and how can food labels help or hinder.
The ‘Eatwell Guide’ produced by Public Health England used in conjunction with a simple food pyramid will provide a pictorial guide on portions of each food group that form our essential Macronutrients.

Eatwell Plate.jpg

Food Pyramid.jpg

In conjunction with sensible portion control this guide should help you make the right choices for those essential macronutrients.

Fruit and Vegetables
It is a well-known fact that we should all aim for our ‘Five a day’ of a variety of fruit and vegetables. They provide essential micronutrients, fibre and natural carbohydrates and sugars. Our diet should contain approximately 33% of fruit and vegetables per day. Vegetables are often a better option than fruit as they typically contain less natural sugars then fruit. These also include pulses such as lentils and beans.

Believe it or not these are your friend as long as you choose the right type of carbohydrates. Starchy carbs are a fantastic form of energy and will help fuel those exercise sessions. Our diet should contain approximately 33% of carbohydrates on a daily basis.

Starchy carbohydrates such as Rice, Pasta, Potatoes and Bread are a good source of energy. Choose the wholemeal versions to increase your micronutrients contained within. But WATCH your portion control as this is the biggest fail for most people.

Dairy Foods
These are a great source of our essential protein and fat requirements and also calcium and include Milk, Yoghurt and Cheese. They should be approximately 12 to 15% of our daily intake.For those opting for a non-dairy diet there are Soya Milk and many nut milks but be aware of sweetened versions that contain high sugar content.

All gym goers love Protein, and there are so many commercial products on the market that claim to contain high protein. Are they good for us? Not necessarily as they are often flavoured artificially, contain sugar and also covered in chocolate.

The best source of protein is the most natural – meat (leaner meats such as Turkey and Chicken), fish (including oily fish-salmon, mackeral, tuna, sardines 2-3 portions a week), eggs, pulses and beans, Quorn, Soya products
Beware those that a normal standard diet should only contain 12 to 15% protein per day. If you do not use the protein you consume like any other food product the excess is converted into fatty acid and stored as adipose tissue or FAT.

Saturated Fat (bad fat)
Found in animal products (beef, pork, butter, and other full-fat dairy products). This does not mean that you cannot eat these food groups just opt for a leaner cut of the meat, limit the amount of butter on your toast, and opt for leaner milk products.

Artificial trans fats, found in partially hydrogenated oils. (Palm, soy and vegetable oils), often added to biscuits, cakes, pastries and commercial products.

Good Fat
Monounsaturated fats (like canola and olive oils) are those that have been found to lower the LDL "bad cholesterol" in the bloodstream and raise the amount of HDL "good cholesterol." HDL appears to actually clear the "bad" types of cholesterol from the blood.

Polyunsaturated fats found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon help lower LDL cholesterol.

High Fat and Sugary Food
These are the NO group that sadly are the ones that most love partially due to the clever and constant marketing by the food industry.

Cakes, Pastries, Biscuits, Crisps, Margarines, Sauces, Sweets, Fizzy Drinks, Sports Drinks, Alcohol – all contain either high levels of sugars and fats or both and should be at an absolute maximum 10% of our daily intake. These are known as the Empty calorie foods that do most harm to our bodies and whilst we may get a ‘wellbeing’ feeling from their consumption they are just junk food in our bodies.

The food labelling Jungle and how to interpret
So now you know what our typical daily intake should look like in terms of % in each food group. This of course can be modified in terms of the % in each food group. It will be dependant on a day to day basis in sync with our exercise levels.

Our body requirements will change dependant on, as you learn from the article from Sammie our wellbeing advisor whether you are having a sedentary day or a high exercise level day.

So how do you determine from food labelling what is a good food or a ‘stay away’ from food.
Rule 1- Stick to the original source of the food as much as possible so fresh meat, vegetables and fruit. Less processed the better, as processed foods contain more hidden ingredients added to provide flavour in order to create a consumer demand and craving.

Rule 2 -Any foods higher than 125Kcal per 100g are considered energy dense foods; try to limit the number of food higher than this in your diet and you can’t go wrong!

Many products now contain a ‘traffic light’ label for the main problem areas of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt. High content(red), Medium (amber) and Low (green). Aim for the products with mostly green and some ambers where you can if you are purchasing processed foods. Remember though not all foods suppliers have signed up to use the green amber and red warning systems to the nutritional label so always check to see if macronutrients are high or low .

Low Fat – what does this really mean.
For a food product to be advertised as ‘low fat’ in the UK it requires less than 3 grams of fat per 100 grams of solid food product, or 1.5 grams of fat per 100ml for liquids. Beware that this may be based on weight rather than calorific value.

-Then there’s FAT FREE 0.5 grams per serving. The trouble with fat free is that is that food can be advertised as this yet there can be added sugars salt and food thickening products, not necessary lowering the calorie content of the food.

-REDUCED FAT at 25% less fat than regular versions of the products. 
Any high fat foods that have been reduced in fat have been heavily processed in order to do so. So instead of thinking ‘reduced fat’ think chemical war fare!

Again stick as much as possible to the natural provider of fat such as oily fish, lean meats, dairy products to provide the daily fat requirements in your diet.

No added sugar or sweeteners
The label claim of ‘no added sugar or sweeteners’ does not mean that a food has a low number of sugars or artificial sweeteners, but it tricks the consumer into thinking it is a healthy option. All it simply means is that nothing extra has been added. Always check the nutritional label to see how much sugar a food contains. For example a Ribena drink can say ‘no added sugar’ yet still contain 26 grams per serving.

As a simple rule try to stay away from foods that contain more than 22.5grams of sugar per 100gram

Finally Water
We have an unlimited supply of water from our taps. It is without question the most essential nutrient of all.
Why? It makes up 2/3 of our body weight and it is essential for every bodily function.

It transports all nutrients, waste in and out of every cell, it regulates our body temperature, protects our joints and helps to suppress our appetite.

So get drinking those glasses of water, at least 2 to 3 litres a day will keep you smart and focused in play.

Stay well and safe, 


Mon 1 June 

Say 'Hi' to low GI!

Hi everyone Chris here, and welcome to my red plate - apart from today... it's blue!

Today's offering includes all the hardy store cupboard favourites so you can shop less often, and stay safe. It's also packed with protein and fibre.

What you’ll need…

  • Half tin of chopped or peeled tomatoes
  • Half tin of chickpeas
  • Half tin of peas not mushy!
  • Sliced or diced chili x 1 one!
  • Chopped herbs fresh as always!

Here's how…

  1. Take a decent sized frying pan, wok or skillet and add some scrapings of coconut solid, coconut oil or your favourite cooking oil, mine has to be coconut oil solids :)
  2. Get your frying pan wok or skillet nice and hot, add a generous helping of pepper and a touch of salt to give it a good coating, then you're ready for your ingredients
  3. First add your beans and your peas while stirring thoroughly for about 5 minutes, making sure you coat the ingredients with the oil and pepper
  4. After this time reduce the heat and now add the peeled or chopped tomatoes and your sliced or diced chilli
  5. Reduce the heat a little more until simmering nicely, then throw your chopped herbs and a sprinkle of lemon juice if you have it, if not any type of citrus juice will do, could be orange!
  6. Keep stirring slowly for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the ingredients soften but are not to the point of mushy :)
  7. Turn off the heat and transfer to a big serving bowl
  8. Add some fresh chopped herbs of your choice, and you're ready to enjoy

Stay healthy stay positive stay safe.

Until next time...Chris's red plate (but Blue today)


Mon 18 May 

Chris’ seasoned lamb recipe

Hello everyone! Hopefully you’re all keeping safe and well. Here’s another offering from my red plate, my Monday afternoon seasoned lamb recipe.

Aprons on and let's start cooking!

What you’ll need…

  • 500g of lean lamb (chunks if possible)
  • Soy sauce
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 tin of peeled tomato's
  •  ½ tin of red kidney beans.
  • 1 pack of couscous
  • Seasoning of choice

First start with the lamb. Take approximately 500g of fresh lean lamb, cut into chunks, and then transfer to a wok or suitable frying pan.

Add a little soy sauce, and cook on a high heat until browned off. When brown, add a couple of sticks of chopped celery and a tin of peeled tomatoes. Mix together and then add half a tin of red kidney beans while continuing to mix. You can also add couscous at this stage if you wish.

Gently stir the ingredients and reduce heat until simmering nicely.

Now is the time to season. So add your favourite seasoning, mine has to be fresh ground pepper and salt and a sprinkling of tyme and ginger too.

Reduce the heat a little more, and soon you’re ready to serve.

Carefully transfer all these lovely cooked ingredients to your favourite dish bowl or plate.

There you go, you’ve made it!

Now its time to enjoy.

Stay safe out there. See you soon.


Mon 4 May 

4 Tips to manage food stress

by Technogym 

Being confined home for a long time has its good sides. We have more time to devote to ourselves, more time to do all those things that for too many commitments we had always postponed. We rediscovered work from home, redefined our spaces, listened to music, and read books. We were asked to stay at home for our health, but the desire to go out never left us. On the other hand, some latent anxiety about possible contagion or the fear of no longer recognizing the world ahead of us, the uncertainty of managing work or family in tight spaces. All these thoughts may have triggered a stressful mood, which can lead us to approach the fridge not only for healthy meals.

Promoting a Wellness lifestyle at home and managing fitness while in lockdown is therefore important.

In this article we will tell you some simple and practical tips to better manage your physical and mental well-being with food (and not only) and keep you balanced, especially in this delicate moment.

1. Let's move regularly
How to stay dynamic when you are forced to spend all your time at home, sometimes forced into small apartments? Our tip is to keep on moving during smart working hours: stand up for 3 minutes every 30 minutes spent in a sedentary position. This simple strategy, whose benefits on blood pressure have been scientifically tested, keeps our metabolism active.

Highly beneficial is also working out with a naturally loaded bodyweight circuit at the end of the working day, or if you prefer before the start of the working day. The Technogym tutorials by qualified Master Trainers will support you by providing effective workouts developed with studies and experience in the field of kinesiology.

If you have not joined Technogym free fitness app, join here:

1. Register at here

2. Download the My Wellness App via the Apple Store or Google Play store.

3. Log in and you’re ready to go

Within the App you can communicate with a coach if you need help and support when exercising at home.

Choose your training loads to best manage your daily energy, pay attention to recovery both between exercises and between days and help you achieve optimal fitness. Compatible with the spaces you live in, try to take no fewer than 5000 steps every day. These are simple strategies that bring important and tangible benefits.

2. Nutrition: regularity and balance

Many people are wondering if it is worth reducing calories during this period of less daily movement. Surely it could be beneficial if your activity index decreases, on one condition: calories intake in each meal and snack within your day is balanced. Limiting to a simple reduction of number of calories without considering the quality of the food we put on our plate, can primary increase the feeling of hunger, in particular with a spasmodic search for sugar based foods, followed by a loss of muscle tone and strength and, at the same time, an increase in the hormone cortisol, more commonly known as the "stress hormone". The latter event could have a negative impact on our immune system. In short, not what we would like in this delicate period.

Snacks allow us to get to the next meal not too hungry and also help to maintain a certain glycaemic stability with many benefits like mental efficiency, satiety and maintenance of physical fitness. Start each meal by eating a plate of vegetables or vegetable puree (no legumes, potatoes or cereals); then, for lunch, divide your plate into three equal parts by completing a first third with a lean protein source food, a second third of your plate with additional vegetables with good fat as a tablespoon of raw extra virgin olive oil and complete with a last third of whole grains such as brown basmati rice, red rice, spelt, barley, quinoa for example or their mix.


So how do you keep your strength during lockdown, avoid accumulation of fat mass and promote satiety? The answer is soon said. What is also necessary is maintaining a certain balance between meals and snacks. Every day it is therefore essential to eat three main meals: breakfast, possibly within one hour after waking up, lunch and dinner. If more than five hours are spent between these meals, snacks are a valuable support. One in the middle of the morning and one more in the afternoon about two to three hours before dinner.


For dinner, if you are very hungry, have a third of your plate with a source of protein, alternating the food you have chosen for lunch. Continue with two thirds with vegetables, accompanied by a slice of wholemeal bread and some small fruit. If you eliminate the slice of bread you have two choices: either double the portion of fruit with a seasonal fruit salad or choose a cube of dark chocolate. Rich in polyphenols, substances friendly to the intestine and therefore to our immune system which, when balanced in the meal as in this case, can have a positive impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.

3. Don’t stress, just relax

Mind specialists like psychologists and psychiatrists call it "radio mind". They want to indicate a state of mind where thoughts are so fast and awkward that they are always in the background like a radio with music on. As with daily diet and workout, it is also necessary to restore a balance called by the expert Life Balance. There are many strategies they propose to reach it.

Thinking Positive, meditation, self-talk techniques are all scientifically recognised methods to achieve a balance that translates into physical and mental wellbeing, thus helping in reducing negative stress. Another advice is to disconnect from the virtual world by switching off devices like smartphones, PCs, tablets, etc that emit blue lights at least one hour before going to bed in order to promote optimal sleep and quality of sleep at night. The latter, in fact, together with daily nutrition and physical activity, is a valuable tool that has a positive impact on our well-being. Reducing the hours of sleep at night or their quality can lead to a depression of the immune system.

4. Take the opportunity

This extraordinary and delicate moment is teaching us many things. Among them, taking the time to love ourselves. Let's start by doing a daily workout weighted to our level of training and paying attention to the food we put on our plate every day. These two instruments are the first allies of your well-being. Lastly, let’s fill our everyday with healthy habits that can become part of our well-being even once this emergency will be over.

Chris’ 'no worries' lockdown Omelette.

Get out, get in and plate up before the wheels have stopped turning on your bicycle!

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. Here's another offering from Chris' red plate! As sure as eggs is eggs, this sure is gonna be high in protein.

Chris - Health and Wellbeing Advisor, Queen's Leisure Centre

What you’ll need…

  • ½ dozen eggs
  • Mixed herbs (chopped)
  • Salt & pepper (just a pinch of each)
  • 2 teaspoons of low fat yoghurt or single cream
  • Mustard (if you like mustard that is)

Here's how...

1. Firstly crack your eggs into a suitable jug and add some chopped herbs of your choice, a pinch of salt and pepper, two tea spoons of either low fat yoghurt or single cream, and as much mustard as you can handle.

2. Once mixed, start prepping your pan.

3. Take a decent sized frying pan, wok or skillet and add a thin layer of cooking oil to ensure the omelette doesn't stick.

4. Get the pan hot so you are able to spread the oil easily around the surface of the pan.

5. Now slowly add your mixture to the hot pan and allow cooking until piping hot.

6. Use a spatula to gauge how the underside is cooking, and flip if necessary.

7.  Once cooked, transfer to you plate, and I say it arguably looks better if it refuses to transfer in one piece. 

Enjoy! Smile and stay safe everyone!

Mon 27 Apr

Chris’ easy-peasy meatballs!

Health and Welbeing Instructor - Queen's Leisure Centre

Hello everyone, how are you all doing? Still looking for a feel good easy meal, then give this a try. From New York to Rome to... IKEA, meatballs are a firm favourite. Here's how to make em' 

What you’ll need…

  • 800g's of lean beef mince
  • Salt & pepper (just a pinch)
  • 400g's Tinned peeled tomatoes
  • Mint leaves (to be finely chopped)
  • Low fat single cream (enough to lightly coat the meatballs)
  • Flavoured or plain couscous

Here's how…

  1. Simply season the mince with a pinch of salt and pepper, and the finely chopped mint leaves.
  2. Form the mince in to balls
  3. Add a touch of olive oil to a hot frying pan or skillet ensuring that the surface is covered (as we don't want the meatball sticking!)
  4. Add the meatballs to the hot frying pan and cook until piping hot!
  5. Now reduce the heat, add the cream, tomatoes (and juice) and couscous
  6. Coat the meatballs and work in the cream, gently stirring for another 10 – 15 minutes
  7. Then serve and smile... you've made it :)

Show us your meal on Queen's Facebook Social Media page  #Derbyactive 

Mon 30 Mar  

Balancing your diet while at home 

It is important that we follow a balanced diet to ensure that we consume the right nutrients in the correct balance, one of the easiest ways to ensure that you meet your nutritional needs is by following The eatwell guide.


Eatwell Guide


This is a visual reputation of the proportion of each food that we should be consumed in a well-balanced and healthy diet.

It is based on the following food groups:


  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Bread, rice, potatoes and pasta
  • Meat, fish, eggs pulses and beans
  • Dairy foods and alternatives
  • Oils and spreads

You need to try and achieve this over a course of a day or even a week as it is sometimes difficult to do this in one meal.