4/1/23 ~ Budget friendly food
With prices going up, eating healthily but without spending a fortune is possible. We'd like to share with you this easy (and incredibly tasty) minestrone soup recipe which serves 5 people and works out at just 80p per serving!
2 tsps olive oil
180g white onion, chopped
250g carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
¾ tsp sea salt
2 tbsps tomato purée
1.25 litres vegetable stock (made with one organic stock cube)
2 tsps dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
400g (drained weight) tinned cannellini, haricot or pinto beans, drained
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
a sprig of fresh thyme (optional)
150g dried Rigatoni or elbow pasta (use gluten free if preferred)
30g Parmesan cheese, grated (use dairy free if preferred)
a large handful of spinach leaves or kale, stems and ribs removed, chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium flame. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Fry gently for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with the salt.
Stir in the tomato purée, stock, oregano, black pepper, beans, tinned tomatoes and thyme
Increase heat until simmering gently. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Top up with more stock or water if the soup is too thick.
Stir in most of the Parmesan cheese and spinach. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Remove the thyme sprig and discard.
Serve garnished with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze on same day.
10/12/22 ~ Making a change today!
We’re at the time of year where many of us say to ourselves "we’ll get started on a fitness programme but once Christmas is over and January begins."
However, January comes round and you get started, then it’s time for a birthday - say in February or March and you find yourself eating a bit of cake and say, "I’ll start again after Easter as there’s going to be chocolate."
Then it’s summer and you say, “I’ll start after the holidays”, and so it continues.
So this year, be kind to yourself. Yes, there are going to be holidays and events and parties and temptations but that’s no reason not to start now.
Remember, you haven’t blown it if you have a bit of cake or a few chocolates. Keep focusing on what you want to achieve and make your progress measurable. You can do it!
20/10/22 ~ Keeping motivated with activity in winter
As the days get shorter and the weather changes it’s not surprising a lot of us find our ‘get-up-and-go’ flagging at this time of year.
So how can you keep motivated with keeping fit and active at this time of year? Here are some of our tips:
26/8/22 ~ New ladies' social cycle rides
I'm really pleased to be offering brand new FREE ladies' social cycle rides in the local area. Starting on September 3rd with our first ride around Billinghay and Walcott, and another chance to ride the route on October 1st, these are offered in my position as a volunteer cycle leader with Breeze. Breeze is an initiative by British Cycling to get more women into cycling.
My rides are for people who are fairly new to cycling or who would like to build up their confidence on a bike and ride with others in a non-competitive, social and friendly environment. Or perhaps it has been a while since you have been on your bike and you would like to get back into cycling with other bike lovers.
The majority of our routes will be on quiet roads or cycle lanes where possible and will always include a stop for coffee and a natter!
Our rides will take place on Saturday or Sunday mornings and will be at an easy going, gentle pace.
Make new friends and enjoy being outdoors while exploring the area on two wheels!
Whether you're looking to lose or put on weight an essential tool is to get an idea of the calorie content of different foods. There are a few ways of doing this. One easy way is to look at food packaging and the recommended serving sizes. Other tools that our clients find useful are calorie tracking apps such as Nutracheck or MyFitnessPal.
On average, a woman needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain their weight and a man needs 2,500. This is just a guide, however, and does depend on activity levels and body composition.
So if you're looking to lose weight you'll obviously need to eat less calories and more to gain weight.
While sticking to good nutrition is important you don't have to cut out all the foods you enjoy - just be mindful.
To give you an idea, we've listed a few favourite sweet snacks so you can see how many calories are in each.
10/5/22 ~ Exercise and arthritis
We read with interest the recent news that exercise is expected to be prescribed over painkillers in treating osteoarthritis. Exercise has many benefits and this is great news. However, we have to bear in mind that exercise is not a 'one size fits all' and that the exercise needs to be specific to the individual. We look forward to hearing more about these proposals from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
31/3/22 ~ Walking for health
We know how great walking is, not just for all round physical fitness, but also for mental health. That's why we've put together monthly wellness walks to give people the chance to meet up, walk and talk, in a safe and friendly environment. We're currently running our walks around Tattershall. Our next walk will be on May 26th at 10am, meeting in the Market Place. Find out more here
15/2/22 ~ What is a Hygge lifestyle?
‘Hygee’ is a word I keep coming across lately. But what does it mean?
After a bit of research I’ve found it comes from Denmark, pronounced “hoo-gah” (not “hi-gey” as I wanted to read it).
It translates loosely to ‘cosiness’ and basically means creating a warm atmosphere and “enjoying the good things in life with good people”; to relax, make time for each other and be in the moment.
It is said that the word itself originally came from old Norwegian where it meant something like ‘well-being.’
And with the Danes said to be among the happiest people in the world, it’s no wonder a hygge lifestyle is catching on!
30/12/21 ~ New Year offer
We're currently running a special offer on our 100 Simple Healthy Recipes book at just £9.99 until the end of January. Head over to our shop to find out more!
2/11/21 ~ Why screen time can make us feel stressed
Do you feel your stress levels heighten when staring at a computer screen all day? It could be down to many things – including the blue light from the device, changes in our posture (we often find ourselves hunching over as we get engrossed in a task) and going into foveal vision.
Foveal vision is when you are focused only on what is right in front of you and tend to ‘block out’ other things going on around you. This increases stress levels - whereas peripheral vision, such as taking in all of our surroundings (when going for a walk, for example), leaves us feeling more relaxed and grounded.
To counteract this make sure you take regular breaks from the screen, even if that is just gazing out of the window for a few moments. It will help boost your concentration levels and leave you feeling calmer.
28/9/21 ~ New base for Wellness Lincs!
Things have been quite busy for us here at Wellness Lincs over the last few weeks. We've moved our base! We're now located in the lovely village of Billinghay, near Sleaford. We're still covering the Spalding area but are also now setting up in Sleaford, Tattershall, Coningsby and surrounding areas. Watch this space for more!
12/8/21 ~ Running to boost mental health
I recently met up with Vanessa Browning and Emma Rose (pictured) who run the Community Mind Matters Running Group every Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-7pm at the Castle Sports running track in Spalding.
The group was set up to help support people to get out, meet others and boost mental health.
What a brilliant idea! You can find the running group on Facebook here
6/7/21 ~ Can eating certain foods help us lose weight?
We often read in magazines or online that eating this or that food will help us to lose weight. But can eating a certain food really help us shed pounds?
I am not a fan of cutting out certain food groups, such as proteins, or fats or carbs (as I believe the body needs each group to function correctly). However, it is true that eating certain foods need more energy than others to digest.
It's due to what we call the ‘Thermic effect of food’ or ‘TEF’ – the energy your body needs to digest, absorb and process nutrients. While this in itself is a small amount of total energy expenditure - about 10 to 15 percent - some foods have a higher thermic effect than others.
TEF from protein is said to potentially increase your metabolic rate by 15-30%. That’s from foods such as lean animal proteins, seafood and plant-based proteins (such as lentils, beans, tofu and nuts). The bonus with protein is it also keeps you fuller for longer, reducing the temptation to ‘pick.’ Protein is also, of course, essential for the growth and repair of our bodies – for our hair, nails, bones and muscles.
Eating high fibre foods such as avocados, pears, almonds, pistachios, mangoes, artichokes and plain popcorn have also been found to have a benefit on our metabolism and energy regulation.
A small study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has suggested drinking caffeine, such as coffee, can give the metabolism a lift. But due to the effect of caffeine on our hormones (particularly in triggering stress hormones) you want to go easy on caffeine.
If you like a cup of green tea, it may offer some metabolism-boosting benefits, due to the role of antioxidants called catechin. These are said to help break down fat.
Capsaicin, found in paprika and chili peppers has also been shown to help increase energy expenditure and promote fat burning in a PLoS One study.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that your metabolism needs water to function properly. Aiming to drink around 2 litres of water a day will keep you feeling fuller and help your metabolism.
By Zoe Myall. Zoe is also a Weight Loss Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
2/6/21 ~ Summer goodness
Summer is here! Fruits such as these strawberries and cherries are a great choice if you are looking to lose weight or simply to eat more healthily. Packed with fibre but low in calories they'll help you feel fuller for longer - and with natural sweetness, vitamins and minerals they're a much better choice than processed sweets or chocolate that have limited nutritional value. If you can find organic varieties then even better!
We've got lots of knowledge and tips to help you eat as healthily as possible. Follow our social media for regular updates, hints, and advice.
11/5/21 ~ Mental health and exercise
Our mental health and physical health goes hand in hand. We are huge supporters of helping people with their mental health as well as exercising the body. I was so honoured to be asked to take part in a podcast for #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek with Emma from Inspired to Change in Spalding and Vanessa from Community Mind Matters. Here's the podcast we recorded.
20/4/21 ~ Keeping on track with a weight loss programme
If you've made a start to change your lifestyle then well done - you've made the first step. It's all about making small changes and try not to expect everything to happen overnight. We know it can be hard to avoid temptations in the cupboard so we've compiled a few tips in this infographic to try to help keep you on track. Reward yourself for your hard work but try to think of rewards that you could choose that aren't food. Here are a few ideas and more tips to keep you on track!
4/4/21 ~ Healthy lunch on the go
When you're hungry it's all too easy to grab something quick from the vending machine or office canteen. But if you plan ahead you can make much better and more fulfilling choices.
Here's a quick, easy and very delicious lunch recipe which can be prepared in under ten minutes, thanks to our friends at Fitpro Recipes.
It’s also high in protein to help keep your appetite satisfied.
Asian Inspired Fish Salad
120g white fish, eg coley
half a red pepper, diced
half a yellow pepper diced
half a green pepper, diced
few handfuls of lettuce (optional), torn up into small pieces
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper to season
Per serving: 198 calories, 12 carbs, 6g fat, 24g protein
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil (just a few inches deep or enough to cover the fish).
Reduce to a gentle simmer and place the fish in the water. Cook for 2-3 minutes, turning halfway. When cooked through, remove from heat, drain and set aside.
In a salad bowl, mix together the peppers, lettuce (if using) rice vinegar and sesame oil.
Break the fish into small pieces, and mix into the salad.
Season well with salt and pepper.
10/3/21 ~ Getting a better night's sleep during the pandemic
Reports say that many of us have been having trouble with our sleep during the COVID pandemic and lockdown.
Sleep Awareness Week, run by the National Sleep Foundation, is from March 14-20 and aims to promote better ways of sleeping.
The Federation of Holistic Therapists also has lots of useful information to help you get a better night's sleep here.
It covers the importance of sticking to a routine, exercise, keeping a journal to help sort your thoughts and many other tips.
3/2/21 ~ Children's Mental Health Week
Mental health is so important to all of us and we have been reminded of that during Children’s Mental Health Week from February 1-7.
Children’s Mental Health Charity Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week back in 2015 to ‘shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.’
This year’s theme has been all about ‘expressing yourself’ - encouraging children and young people to find ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas through creativity – perhaps through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make them feel good.
There is more information about the charity here and information on how to support a child or young person who may be struggling with their mental health.
4/1/21 ~ Our top weight management tips
If you've decided you want to become healthier this year and perhaps are looking to lose some weight, well done on making that first step. Here are some of our top tips to help you stay on track:
Try not to weigh yourself every day
Your weight can fluctuate throughout the day for a number of reasons and for women it’s normal to put on a few pounds when it’s the time of the month! Stick to weighing yourself once a week and remember that how you feel in your clothes is one of the best ways of measuring your progress.
Watch your portions
It’s easy to overload your plate without realising it! A smaller plate is a good trick to make sure you don’t overdo it.
There’s no ‘magic potion’ to vanish away the pounds
It’s all about balancing your calorie intake with your physical activity and not eating or drinking more calories than your body needs in order to lose weight.
Track your progress
There are some great apps out there with calorie trackers which are a brilliant way to get an idea of how many calories are in different types of food and portion sizes. MyFitnessPal or the NHS calorie checker are among these.
When preparing your evening meal, freeze any leftovers in ready-to-go portions that’ll make a quick meal for another day.
It’ll help keep your metabolism in tip-top condition as well as boosting your mental and physical health.
Don't give up!
If you have a ‘bad day’ it’s not the end of the world. Start again tomorrow, and remember why you are working to make a change.
16/12/20 ~ How to control the Christmas calories
Did you know that, according to research*, we could potentially eat our way through around 6,000 calories on Christmas Day? That works out to nearly three times more than an average person needs!
Add to that the extra calories in the run-up to Christmas and the days afterwards and it’s easy to put weight on over the festive season.
Try these tips to keep your weight on track over the holiday:
Have a little of what you fancy – but keep it balanced!
You can help to work off those calories with a bit of dancing in the living room or going out for a brisk walk or cycle.
* The research study can be found here via the British Medical Journal.
4/12/20 ~ Workout with us!
Now we’re out of lockdown and we can look ahead to the Christmas season (although things will be slightly different this year). To keep you motivated and looking after your fitness, Zoe has put together 12 days of ab and core workouts called ’12 Days of Abs.’ These workouts are no more than 4 minutes each and are completely free of charge. Join in via our You Tube page or at our Instagram or Facebook page.
1/11/20 ~ Keeping positive through lockdown
So from Thursday, November 5, we will be entering a second lockdown in England. This is very sad news, but vital to help save lives and reduce pressure on the NHS.
It is a time to try to keep positive, however. Keep doing your exercise as much as possible. Go out for a walk if you can and enjoy the fresh air and changing scenery. Nothing beats the sound of autumn leaves crunching under your feet on a crisp day! Pick up the phone and chat to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, or simply curl up with a good book - or perhaps try a new hobby if you have time.
Doing these sorts of activities are just as important for our mental health as looking after our physical health. We will be continuing to offer fitness and wellness classes online for those of you who are able to join us. Most importantly, everyone, please stay safe.