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Healthy Habits That Work

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

Everyone loves a new year; a fresh start, a new outlook, a fresh page. Me too! But I can't stand all the fad diets that pop up around this time. To be honest, I can't stand diets full stop. I've never dieted and I've only ever weighed myself a handful of times. This isn't because I'm super skinny or that I don't put on weight easily. I do put weight on easily and when I do, it's very obvious as there's only 5ft 2in of me for it to go on!! But I just think diets are a total waste of time. People put far too much pressure on themselves, they are way too strict and inevitably they never last. You feel guilty for not sticking to it and give up!

For My Family, Cooking From Scratch REALLY Works

When I was a child (back in the 70's) our parents HAD to cook from scratch as they didn't have the go to, high fat, high sugar instant meal choices we have today. They were just as busy as we are today, yet they still managed to feed us healthy and nutritious, albeit quite bland (in my case!) meals. And guess what? We didn't have the obesity issues we are faced with today. Mmm...funny that. Maybe there's something in it?

I love tasty food, I love healthy, cooked from scratch food, made from fresh ingredients and I love food that makes you feel great. Personally, I have found over the years that the more I cook from scratch, the less I have had to think about food, putting weight on and all the negatives that go with it. So for me and my family, cooking from scratch REALLY works.

I won't lie, many meals have ended up in the bin, arguments have been had with little fussy eaters after I've spent hours making a healthy meal only for them to turn their nose up at it. And frozen chips have always had a place in my freezer, ready for "I really can't be bothered tonight" scenario's.

It's not always easy when life is busy and I can promise you that it has definitely got easier as the kids have gotten older and they are willing to try new things. Or rather, I got sick to death of cooking three different meals and one day just said, eat it or don't, I don't care anymore! And somehow that seemed to work (over time) and now I can cook a healthy Sunday roast, a super green soup or a nutritious vegetable curry and it gets devoured. And as a mum, there is no better feeling than feeding your kids healthy food and them truly liking it!

Kick Start Your Year By Cutting Out the Sugar and Cooking From Scratch

This Christmas I overindulged, I ate a lot of chocolate, drank more alcohol than I usually do and didn't do much exercise. The result was that on the 1st of Jan 2021, I truly felt like crap! I felt sluggish, bloated and I was extremely moody and grumpy. When you eat healthy most of the year, you really feel the negatives of unhealthy food when you eat it and this Christmas I really, really felt it.

So every Jan I give up alcohol for the month, I cook all meals from scratch, I try and eat more vegetable (homemade soups for lunch everyday are a great way to get loads of veggies into you) and cut out all refined sugars. I do this not necessarily to lose weight (although I tend to) but simply to give my liver a rest, to get my sleep back on track and to reduce the bloat. And it works!

I'm not one of those people who are super strict with themselves as I've found over the years that there is no point, it doesn't work, you just put extra pressure on yourself and give up half way through the month.

However, as soon as I start feeling great again, it pushes me to carry on. And it doesn't take long to start to feel the difference; after a week I always start to feel tonnes better.

I have quite a few recipe books at home, some have been just glanced at, but my go to ones are extremely well thumbed with bits of food all over them - You know those are the best recipe books, don't you?!

If you like real, wholesome food that ALL the family will eat. Cooked from scratch, refined sugar free and without using too many hard to find ingredients, you'll love some of these great cook books.

My Go To Cook Books

The Hairy Dieters

Great for one pot, fill you up, family meals. Quick, easy and tasty. This is my absolute all time favourite, go to cook book. Loads of recipes and loads that you ACTUALLY cook. Everything I've cooked from this book has been a winner in my house!

Davina McCall

Love all these books for sweet treats, easy to make bread, fab soups and great family meals.

- 5 Weeks to Sugar Free

- Sugar Free in a Hurry

- Smart Carbs

- Davina's Kitchen Favourites

Deliciously Ella Everyday

Some of these are a bit fancy, using many ingredients, all with a "perfectionist attitude" to them. But some recipes are great, so definitely worth a look at.

Feeding Fussy Kids - Julia Marie Wood and Antonia Kidman

If you have younger children who are a bit fussy, I'd highly recommend this book and yes, Antonia Kidman is Nicole's sister!

I cooked loads from this book with my little fussy eater (now 16 and still a tad fussy, but will now eat most vegetables, which after many years of super, super fussy eating I can not believe I'm actually able to say that. Well done me!!) She loved (and still does) making the veggie pasties with me from this book!

I'll post some of my favourite recipes on the blog soon!

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