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After such a dry April, it was wonderful to welcome the rain even if it was on a Bank Holiday! Just after the scariest storm on Monday, the driving rain and fierce wind suddenly stopped and the sun shone brightly, and immediately there appeared a complete arc of the brightest rainbow I have ever seen.  It was really magical.

The garden looked so grateful for a good downpour and now everything is growing like mad. The leaves are bursting out of their buds, the bluebells are standing tall and the grass is growing like crazy. Once again, there is a sense of equilibrium that made me think about the necessary balance in our own lives.

We need sunshine to give us Vitamin D but also to help our mood and mental health. We need to be well hydrated for our body to function effectively.  We also need good nutrition for energy, growth and repair, and we need exercise to keep us strong.  It truly is all about balance.

From 10th – 16th May it is Mental Health Awareness Week and the charity Kaleidoscope Plus Group are encouraging people to get close to nature by walking a ‘Mile a Day in the Month of May’. On the basis that we already encourage you to walk for 30 minutes every day, this won’t be difficult for you. I am sure you already appreciate the beneficial effect that walking has on your mental wellbeing as well as on your physical health. Why not take a look at our films on Mental Health to remind you why exercise is so good for keeping our mental health in good order.

Weekly Challenge

Last week I asked you to take a good look at yourself. This week I would like you to do the same again but with a different emphasis. You can look in a mirror or at a recent photograph of yourself:

•       Let’s start with what you like about what you see, e.g. ‘I have healthy looking skin’, ‘My waist isn’t bad!’, ‘People tell me I have great legs’. Acknowledging our positive areas boosts our confidence and we should try not to forget our ‘best bits’.

•       Then think about which parts you would like to change about yourself, e.g. ‘I’d love a flatter stomach and tighter underarms’ and then see what you can do about improving them.

Instead of thinking ‘nothing can be done’, taking a good, hard and honest look at ourselves can help stir up the motivation to take action – and what better time than right now!

Honestly, I cannot emphasise too strongly how good and effective Mary’s whole-body strength and toning programme is. Find it in the Immunity Plan Exercise section and choose the level (from Week 1 - 4) that suits you best and progress to the next level as soon as you feel able. Now, here is a key tip for you:  For your ‘problem’ areas that you want to really tone up, (eg tummy, under-arms), as you follow Mary’s workouts, do some extra ‘sets’ of those exercises specifically for the areas you want to focus on – Mary tells you which exercise does what. Alternatively, do more repetitions of those ‘focus’ exercises each time.  Commit to doing the workout 3 - 4 times each week and you will see great results.

Alternatively, follow the Seated Strength Workout which also covers all areas of the body.

Burn some extra calories by going for your 30-minute walk every day and remember, look at changing your route to include some inclines and you will seriously increase the calorie spend! This helps you become fitter and slimmer.


When out walking think about how you are holding yourself. Holding your stomach in as you walk is a great exercise in itself toward a flatter tum.  Time yourself or measure the distance you walk so you challenge yourself to go further or walk quicker.  Both work wonders!

Newly Arrived in the Shop!

Just in today, we now have more stock of my Low Fat Vegetarian Recipes book - 80 pages packed with vegetarian recipes for light meals, pasta and noodles, eggs and cheese, rice, beans and pulses, desserts and cakes, all with calorie and fat counts along with the prep and cooking times. Full colour photographs and easy to follow instructions make this the perfect go-to vegetarian cookbook when you also have one eye on the scales!

New to our shop, we also have  My Kitchen Table: 100 Low-Fat Recipes. The My Kitchen Table series of recipe books featured some of the UK’s best-loved cooks including Mary Berry, Ainsley Harriet, Madhur Jaffrey and Rick Stein. In this edition, I present 100 great low-fat dishes.

If you're after a diet book, rather than more temptation, why not try The 3-2-1 Diet.  This is my take on the 5:2 diet system, but a bit more generous!  The plan combines 'light eating days' with 'normal eating days' when you can eat and drink whatever you like providing it is low-fat. Take the test to work out if you are a Feaster, a Grazer or a Comfort Eater and then just follow the plan built around you.

Recipe of the Week

Another recipe from the archives! This recipe was created by my mother-in-law, Jeanne, and appeared in The Complete Hip & Thigh Diet from 1989! It is so simple to make and tastes delicious! This recipe works with white fish too.

Chicken Curry 

  (serves 2)

2 chicken breasts, with fat and skin removed
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 large eating apple, cored and chopped (with skin)
2 teaspoons Branston pickle
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon medium curry powder

Place the chicken breasts and all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Cover with a lid and cook slowly for about one hour, stirring occasionally, turning the chicken breasts every 15 minutes or so. If the mixture is too thin remove the lid and cook on a slightly higher heat until the sauce reduces and thickens. Remove the bay leaf.

Serve with boiled basmati rice.

For more recipes click here to visit the website

Did You Know?

  • Exercise burns fat through our muscles – so the stronger our muscles, the more of a fat-burner we will become!

  • If you write down everything you eat and drink, you are twice as likely to lose weight!

And finally….

Keep a look-out on the site next week for some new videos being uploaded, including the interviews I recorded last week with Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Maneesh Bhatia and a guest appearance by my PA, Peter Legg. This week I am looking forward to recording ‘Embarrassing Medical Issues’ which will be uploaded in the next few weeks.

Look after yourself and stay fit and healthy – because you’re worth it!

With love and best wishes,
Rosemary Conley CBE DL


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