Time to shape up this Easter!

Slimming World Barbara Farrell Clondalkin

Easter might be just around the corner, yet that’s no excuse to put off your new healthy-eating regime, according to a Clondalkin healthy eating expert. Sharon Fitzpatrick, who runs two Slimming World groups in Clondalkin, says celebrating Easter and even enjoying the occasional chocolate fix doesn’t have to mean waving goodbye to achieving your weight-loss goals. She says: “A lot of people might think that there’s little point starting a new healthy eating regime right before Easter, with that way of thinking though, there will always be some reason or other to put it off! The beauty of Slimming World lies in the fact that it’s a lifestyle change rather than a diet, so there’s nothing to stop you losing weight at any time of the year.”

Starting those weight-loss resolutions before Easter is certainly advisable given that Irish adults are eating up to three times more than the recommended intake of sugar. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) concludes that sugar should account for no more than 5% of total energy intake, however on average people are getting 12-15% of their energy from sugar, increasing the risk of weight gain and other health problems. Sharon continues: “The key to long term weight loss is balance, so allowing yourself a little tempting treat is really important because it keeps that balance in check. And of course, filling up on lots of tasty, healthy and filling food will make it easier to enjoy that treat – whatever it may be – without over-indulging. With Slimming World, no food is off limits, which means you can still celebrate Easter with hearty lamb roast dinners, delicious fish dishes and, of course, a little chocolate!”

Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan allows slimmers to satisfy their appetite on filling foods that are low in energy density like pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit and vegetables, lean meat, poultry, fish and more – meaning they need never go hungry and are free to enjoy a treat every now and then without feeling guilty. In fact, one members of the Clondalkin group has already achieved a cracking weight loss – all while eating delicious meals like Pasta, curries, roast dinners and chips and her favourite treats. Barbara Farrell, who has lost 4stone 1.5LBS so far said: “I never thought I’d be able to lose all this weight while still enjoying my favourite foods every day. Before I joined Slimming World I thought I’d have to say goodbye to all of them! With a few simple swaps and a little bit of forward planning though, it’s easy to enjoy loads of different meals and never feel like you’re missing out. “Even when family celebrations like Easter come around it’s no big deal because Slimming World fits in with the whole family and we can all eat the same foods. This tasty lamb dish is one of my favourites and perfect for Easter! And I’ll definitely have room for a little bit of chocolate, too!”

Try this quick and easy lamb dish this Easter: Zesty spring lamb with cannellini beans
Serves 4
Ready in 30 minutes, plus marinating
8 lean lamb leg steaks, all visible fat removed
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs to garnish
2 tsp ground paprika
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Low calorie cooking spray
1 onion, finely chopped
250ml boiling chicken stock
2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained
200g orange and red baby plum tomatoes, halved
100g baby spinach leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the lamb steaks in a large bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, rosemary, half the paprika and half the garlic. Toss to combine and set aside for at least 15 minutes to marinate (or up to 12 hours if time permits). Spray a large non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side for medium (or to your liking). Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and set aside to rest. Meanwhile, spray another non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and the remaining paprika and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the stock and beans and cook for 3-4 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach until just wilted. Season to taste. Divide the bean mixture between plates, top with the lamb and garnish with rosemary sprigs. Serve hot with salad or your favourite vegetables.

If this recipe leaves you wanting more, everyone’s welcome at the Bawnogue Slimming World group, held every Thursday at 9.30am & Tuesday at 6.30pm at St Ronans community Centre, Deansrath, Bawnogue. As well as an abundance of delicious recipes, you’re also sure to fall in love with the Slimming World way of life – which means lots of group support, advice and friendship.”

For more information including more delicious recipes visit slimmingworld.co.uk or call Sharon on 0831514777

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.


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