Tag Archives: Susan Hart

Susan Hart weight loss

Susan Hart – How to cut calories through healthy meals

Our resident nutrition coach Susan Hart shares her tips on cutting calories and maintaining a healthy diet for yourself and the whole family.

Do you rely on ready meals?

Ready meals whether fresh or frozen are for many a quick and convenient way to put a meal on the table.  But spend a few moments looking at the food label and it becomes clear that nutritionally they could be improved.  For instance a pizza could have 1500 calories but many of us don’t realise that it should serve 2 people

Food producers have been told to cut calories in ready meals (and other foods including savoury biscuits, cooking sauces, sandwiches and potato products such as crisps and chips) by 20% by 2024.  Public Health England says the target would slash costs to the NHS by £4.5bn and prevent more than 35,000 premature deaths, because more than 60% of adults are too heavy.  And its not just adults: overweight children are consuming between 300-500 calories a day extra, this equates to a potential weight gain of 1lb or ½ kilo per week.


How to cut up to 500 calories from a child’s diet

If you want to help your family to reduce its calorie consumption and possibly reduce their intake of ready meals here are some top tips

  • Parents can be a positive role model by eating more veggies, making family meals and drinking mostly water
  • Get the whole family more active – it burns calories and builds strong bones and muscles
  • Eating more veg – its filling and has fewer calories and makes the plate look full.  If they don’t like veg use a blender to blitz veggies into a sauce, curry chilli, shepherds pie
  • Use skimmed milk and plant based milks
  • Cook in bulk and freeze.  When time is more limited you simply take a home cooked meal out of the freezer
  • Get the children involved in preparing meals; this could be a simple salad or fruit salad or a more complex spicy bean wrap or pizza
  • Have water at meal times
  • Limit the amount of sweet treats and drinks your child eats
  • If you do have ready meals try and serve them with a pile of veggies or a big salad to increase their nutritional content and fibre
  • Don’t necessarily go for low fat products as they can be high in sugar
  • Limit the amount of snacks and fast food a child eats
  • Always have chopped up fruit or veggie sticks in the fridge for children to snack on
  • Apps to help: change for life: sugar smart, food scanner


100 calorie snacks – max 2 a day

Individual packets (25g) of baked crisps

1 slice of malt loaf no butter

1 crumpet with small amount of butter, jam or marmite

Fresh or tinned fruit salad (in juice)

Chopped veg and hummus

Rice cake

Sugar free jelly

An oatmal biscuit

Small pot of fruit yoghurt

1 apple and 1 tbls wholenut peanut butter

If you need some recipe inspiration then consider coming to see someone like me for advice about how to make healthier changes for the whole family


Susan Hart weight loss

Susan Hart – How to lose weight permanently

Our resident nutrition coach Susan Hart shares her tips on weight loss – and how to keep the pounds off.

    • Don’t make drastic changes to your eating habits or food choices, its all about small but permanent changes
    • Be more active – the government recommends 150 minutes a week
    • Only weigh yourself once a month
    • Try and consume 2000 calories a day if you’re male (to maintain weight the average is 2500 calories) or 1500 calories if you’re female (the average is 2000 calories). 500 lost calories per day adds up to 3,500 per week which is one pound of fat loss per week
    • Always eat breakfast, but keep away from high sugar cereals, muffins and pastries
    • Have a balanced meal containing some protein, carbs and fat. Make vegetables cover 50% of your plate
    • Eat wholegrain foods whenever possible e.g. bread, rice, pasta, cereals. A portion of uncooked rice and pasta should weigh 75g
    • Use seasonings to add flavour without calories e.g. pepper, lemon juice, herbs, chilli, ginger, garlic etc
    • Reduce the amount of butter, cream and cheese added to dishes like mashed potato, soups, toast, sandwiches, jacket potatoes
    • Eat a wide variety of foods and in the right amounts – look at the portion guide on packaging
    • If the 3pm munchies strike eat one of the following:-
      • Small handful (25g) of dried fruit, nuts and seeds (125 calories)
      • 2 jaffa cakes (90 calories)
      • 1 fig roll (65 calories)
      • 2 squares of dark chocolate (100 calories)
      • A banana (140 calories)
      • 1 rice cake with crunchy wholenut peanut putter (150 calories)
      • Plain yoghurt (100g) with 15g of dried fruits (120 calories)
      • An Apple (70 calories)
      • Hummus (50g) with carrot sticks (200g) (190 calories)
      • Pretzels (30g) (120 calories)
Veganuary 2019

Susan Hart: Veganuary 2019 – the story so far

Last year was a record breaking year for the number of people who signed up to be vegan for the month of January (and possibly beyond).  This year looks set to smash that figure, already over 250,000 people have signed the pledge to be vegan and the figure is set to rise to 300k by the end of the campaign.

The majority of people cite animal welfare and cruelty as the main reason for shunning meat, fish, dairy, eggs and all of their by-products.  For some it’s also about protecting and preserving our planet, and for a smaller number it’s for health reasons.  Whatever inspires you to go vegan it can only be good news for all creatures that inhabit this precious resource.

And the retailers, restaurants, supermarkets and cafes have been quick to react to this growing trend, with more vegan options on their menus and their shelves making veganism even more assessable to the masses.

So if you are taking part in veganuary (and there’s still time if you haven’t signed up yet https://veganuary.com/blog/veganuary-2019-campaign-launch/ ), let me share with you a few tips, suggestions and easy peasy recipes to get you going or keep you motivated:

    • Lets kick off with our national treasury Sir David Attenborough, who’s urging us to stop eating meat in order to reduce climate change
    • Most mainstream restaurants now have a decent selection of vegan options including Escabeche (and their sister restaurant Baresca), tempting you with such delights as aubergine tumbet, tempura courgettes and for pud apple, almond & raisin empanadillas. Laura Ashley cafes have a vegan afternoon tea boasting scones and double chocolate cake.

Escabeche veganuary

  • Harvester (along with other ‘chain’ pubs) has launched a vegan menu, featuring a Jamaican style katsu curry, Pizza Hut’s jackfruit pizza has smashed all sales targets and will now feature in all its eateries.
  • But lets not forget our smaller independents; Fordes café, near Tudor Square has a decent range of sandwiches, plant based milk options etc. as does the recently refurbished No 8 deli on Gordon Road.  Chocks Away at Nottingham City Airport is gaining a reputation for delicious breakfasts and scrummy cakes.  The Tea cosy at Edwalton has also added some vegan options to its menu and you can now have a vegan cream tea at Tiffin tea house on Abbey Road.  The newly opened Garden café in Cobden Chambers, city centre not only has imaginative and delicious dishes but a zero waste policy.  And I challenge you to eat a better value vegan fry up than the one served at the Avenues café on Sneinton Market.  Its £4.50 and that includes a hot drink.  Bargain of the centaury!
  • And supermarkets are not taking it lying down either; Marks and Spencer’s recently launched vegan range ‘Plant kitchen’ is proving a hit.  Their cauliflower popcorn is very tatsy and it’s hard to find their vegan slaw as it keeps selling out. Iceland not only have a ‘no bull’ range of vegan burgers, sausages etc but they are also committed to ditching palm oil – a major contributor to deforestation which reduces the habitat of orang-utans as well as removing plastic packaging from its own-brand products.
  •  B&M are selling vegan wines for a very reasonable price, as are Aldi along with vegan milk, ready meals, tins of jackfruit, gluten free spaghetti etc.
  • Probably Greggs vegan sausage roll got most people talking, with many shops selling out, and if it winds up Piers Morgan all the better!
  • In Nottingham we are also very lucky to have Sneinton Vegan market; an outdoor event that occurs on the first and third Saturday of every month. There you will find vegan fast food, vegan products, clothing and delicious cakes, cheeses and breads.  All from local independent bakers and makers.
  • And don’t forget your local greengrocer has been selling vegan friendly vegetables and fruits for years.  That’s a point worth remembering because a lot of the new products hitting the shelves are processed, which means they could be higher in salt, sugar and fats. I always advocate to my clients and cooking class guests that making most of their meals from scratch is not only cheaper but more filling and generally more nutritious.
  • If you want to increase your repertoire of vegan dishes there are plenty of recipes out there to whet your appetite. A good place to start is the vegan society website and the Bosh boys cook up some mean dishes. I regularly share my favourite vegan recipes via my blog .
  • If you need to build up your cooking confidence then why not come to one of my vegan cooking classes, where you will be guided through such delights as sweet potato falafels, beany tacos, mac no cheese or a classic nut roast.

Susan Hart Vegan cooking class

Alcohol quiz

Susan Hart: Alcohol – take the calorie quiz!

Local nutrition coach Susan Hart looks at the calories in alcohol in the first of her articles on health and lifestyle.

You may be aware of the alcohol units in a glass of wine or pint of beer but do you ever think about the calories?

What about that bag of nuts or crisps that might also accompany them?

Then read on and you may be surprised

If you had to put these 5 items in order of calories (lowest to highest) what order would they be?

  • Large glass of white wine
  • A chocolate and custard doughnut
  • A slice of chocolate cake
  • Pint of beer
  • Small 50g pack of salted peanuts

How do you think you did?  The answers at the end!

If you got it wrong then you are not alone as 80% of us don’t have a clue about calories in our food and drink. We could make a significant impact on our waistlines and our overall health if we cut back on the alcohol and limit it to a few glasses at the weekend.

Beer bottles

The Department of Health have the following alcohol recommendations

No more than 14 units per week for men and women. That’s around six pints of medium-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.

In calorie terms if a woman consumed her maximum units per week that could add an extra 1500 calories to her diet, which could lead to weight gain and an increased risk of certain conditions.  As we all know obesity is on the rise as is diabetes and the question is, is alcohol part of the problem?

So why not take my challenge

For a week keep an alcohol diary, by recording all the drinks you have consumed (either as photos or as a paper list). Then use the table below to add up the extra calories you have consumed

Pint of beer – 180 calories

Pint of lager (4.8%) –  250 calories

Pint cider – 215 calories

175 ml red wine – 120 calories

175 ml white wine – 165 calories

250 ml red wine – 170 calories

250 ml white wine – 240 calories

single measure of spirit – 60 calories

mixer  – 50 /65 calories

a glass of fizz – 90 calories

If you want a quick way of working out your alcohol units then go to drinkaware where you can input all your data.

Quiz answers

Lowest calories

Doughnut – 143 calories on average

Chocolate cake – 180 calories

Pint of beer- 180 calories

Large glass of wine – up to 240 calories

Highest calories

Small bag (50g) of salted peanuts – 300 calories

Unit guidelines - Drinkaware