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Rosemary Conley CBE

Happy New Year!
With the decorations put away and life getting back to normal (at least to some degree), I always feel a sense of relief that the stress of the festivities is over. I love the excitement of a new year - a time to make a fresh start to make the most of whatever 2022 might bring.

Thankfully the days are getting longer and Spring is around the corner and even with COVID determined to stay with us, we can still become fitter and healthier. Let’s make 2022 the year we stop making excuses and make a difference to our sense of wellness.

Whilst these are not resolutions, I suggest we consider the following ideas as ‘good habits’ to try to develop this year. If we do, we will lose a few unwanted lbs, increase our fitness, look and feel younger and just feel better.

  1. Make going for a 30-minute walk part of your daily routine. It is more valuable to your health than you realise.
  2. Avoid snacking between meals. Snacking just makes us fat!
  3. Go easy on the alcohol and try to give yourself at least two or three ‘dry’ days each week.
  4. Drink more water.
  5. Eat natural wholesome food. Ask yourself ‘is this food good for me?’. When we eat healthy food (less fat, more veg, wholegrain bread, home-made meals made with natural ingredients,) we will feel SO much better, mentally and physically.
  6. Think twice before ordering a take-away. They are anything but ‘natural’!
  7. Ring someone who’s on their own. It’s good for the soul - yours and theirs.
  8. Plan your meals for the week and shop accordingly.
  9. Exercise with purpose and increase the benefit to your body.
  10. Enjoy sleeping better when you do all of the above!

Recipe of the Week

This wholesome soup is simple to make and tastes delicious as it combines a gentle touch of curry with fresh parsnips to deliver a wonderfully warming winter soup. Ideal as a lunch or served as a starter for guests when you may like to add a little brandy to give it an extra kick. Suitable for freezing.

Low-Fat Christmas Cake
Serves 4
Per serving 130 kcal/0.3g fat
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

400g fresh parsnips, peeled and chopped quite small
600ml chicken (or vegetable) stock plus a vegetable stock pot.
3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 tsp medium curry powder
Rapeseed oil spray
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat a non-stick frying pan and spray with rapeseed oil. When hot, add the chopped onions.
  2. When the onion is cooked through, sprinkle over the teaspoon of medium curry powder and cook-out for about two minutes.
  3. Add the chopped parsnips, stock, and stockpot to your soup maker or add to the pan of onions once they are cooked. Add freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Boil until the parsnips are cooked through then liquidise until smooth, adding more stock if too thick.
  5. Serve in heated dishes with either a drop of yoghurt or garnish with a sprig of fresh coriander.
Cook’s tip: For the best flavour use young fresh parsnips if possible.
For more recipes click here to visit the website

Fun, Facts & Fitness from Mary Morris MSc.

With hope in our hearts we move into the New Year and if you are someone with a positive approach to life then, like me, you will be optimistic about the year ahead.  My last message to you focussed on a fresh start for 2022 where you put yourself first and centre your thoughts and efforts around your physical health.  It really is the best way forward for all of us in these uncertain times when our health can be significantly compromised.

Rosemary's 10 Good Habits list is a perfect place to start and I want to add to that by re-visiting the hugely important area of science that guarantees good health... and that is our immune system. The 28-Day Immunity Plan was born out of this new and exciting area of research that is making us re-think the most important elements of our health upon which we need to take action.  Much of it is not new in terms of what we eat and what type of exercise we do, but to focus on linking it to our immune system makes it all the more important. We need to boost our immunity so we really should take notice and actually do it!

Bear in mind:

  • Getting moving is one of the best things we can do for our immune system.  Exercise reduces the level of infection and improves recovery time.  Exactly what you need in a pandemic!
  • Moderate aerobic exercise of around 30-40 minutes of walking or cycling can halve your risk of catching a cold or flu.
  • Both aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (strength training) exercise has a significant positive effect on the cells of the immune system.
  • Muscle loss is a natural consequence of ageing.  If we do our strength workout regularly we double up the benefit to our body as we tackle muscle loss and strengthen our immunity in one go!
  • So, movement improves immunity as we age, but don't forget all the other benefits such as reduced blood pressure, higher bone density and our ability to balance, reducing the risk of falling.
  • And finally - and of great importance - having a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) is the cornerstone of a strong immune system.  If you need to lose some weight this is a good time to start!

This Week's Fitness Challenge

  1. Measure yourself using your Magic Measure (definitely use it to keep track of your waist if nothing else!) and write down your Exercise Plan for this week.
  2. Choose the video (Weeks 1 - 4) that is most appropriate to you from the Immunity Plan Workout OR the Standing Weights Workout and do it 3 times this week.
  3. Walk every day but try to do 3 early morning walks this week if weight loss is a goal.  Exercising before eating attacks those fat cells!
  4. Take one long walk this week for a distance you can manage but pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Did you know…

In a 2014 report, 35% of participants who failed their New Year's Resolutions admitted they had unrealistic goals, 33% of participants did not keep track of their progress, and 23% forgot about them; about one in 10 respondents claimed they made too many resolutions.

So, if you have decided 2022 is the year for you to get fitter, healthier, slimmer etc let's:
  • Keep it realistic and achievable
  • Make it something specific and measurable
  • Write it down and stick it somewhere obvious to remind you
  • Focus on one thing at a time.

And Finally...

Now is the time to put those new habits into place so try your absolute best to give it your best shot. You will be so glad you did! Enjoy your week and let’s hope we all stay safe and well.

With love and best wishes,

Rosemary Conley CBE DL


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