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Hello <<First Name>>  Rosemary Conley CBE

I became a massive fan of Michael Ball ever since my husband, Mike, and I went to see him in the stage show Aspects of Love in London in the early 1990s. A few years later, when I was appearing on ITV's This Morning every week (from 1993-2000), I had the pleasure of meeting Michael on a couple of occasions. I will never forget the day when he was singing the best-selling song from the show, Love Changes Everything, for the programme. I was standing less than five feet away as he was being recorded for the song to go out ‘as live’ later in the show. It is a magical memory and one that I mentioned to him when last year I was invited onto his BBC Radio 2 Sunday morning show to promote The 28-Day Immunity Plan. He is such a delightful man.

Why am I telling this tale? Well, last Sunday – Father’s Day – Michael called his Dad, Tony, live on his show. Tony Ball, who is now in his late 80s and seemed as lively and charming as his son, reminded us of the wonderful phrase: ‘Life is like a toilet roll. The closer you get to the end the faster it goes’.

I’ve heard the saying before but it was years ago – when I was much younger – but now I appreciate its wisdom more than ever and that’s why we should pack as much into our lives as we possibly can.

Learning how to hold back the effect of ageing is so worthwhile. Getting and staying fit and active, eating healthily, and feeding our body ‘5 Star fuel’ will pay dividends. Keeping our mind busy is also critically important. And all of this is our own choice. No-one can do it for us. The very fact that you have subscribed to this Weekly Newsletter is a great sign that you care about your health and fitness and long may that determination continue.


We have received several requests for more recipes for vegans and vegetarians so this week we've added two new "How to cook" videos to the website. The first is for my Vegetable Bake, the recipe for which was included in the Newsletter on 21st May and you can find it again by clicking on the link. The second is Chilli Bean Soup which is super-easy to prepare, highly nutritious and wonderfully delicious. The recipe can also be found in my Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes book which is available in our shop.
Recipe of the Week

A wholesome, hearty soup for lunch, (or can be served as a main course for dinner if served with boiled basmati rice), which is full of flavour and could not be easier to make.

It will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator. Suitable for freezing.

Serves four
Per serving: 163 calories, 2.7g fat (excluding rice)
Prep time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins


1 red onion, finely chopped
Rapeseed oil spray (optional)
1 small red chilli, deseeded and sliced
1 x 200g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x 200g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon if dried
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Pre-heat a non-stick wok or frying pan. Spray with rapeseed oil spray and dry-fry the onion and chilli until soft
  2. Transfer to a saucepan and add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Serve as a soup for lunchtime or with boiled basmati rice for a main meal. (A 55g portion (one blue Portion Pot®) of uncooked basmati rice will add 205 calories per serving)
For more recipes click here to visit the website

Did you know...

As well as adding flavour and being healthy for our gut, garlic also provides many valuable nutrients including manganese, selenium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 as well as small amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and Vitamin B1.
There are few foods that deliver so much in such a small portion!

Mary's Weekly Challenge

This week we are focussing on your stamina - what it means and how to get plenty of it - helping you to live life to the full! 

The true definition of stamina is 'the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort' so if you are the sort of person who tires easily and loses energy as the day progresses, you will possibly benefit from testing where you are on the stamina scale (Step Test) for your age. 

If you find it is too low and needs to be improved, you can make use of these tips below to help you improve it. 

•       Exercise. You will not be surprised to learn that physical stamina is improved enormously with regular and appropriate exercise. Cardiovascular exercise in the form of aerobics, cycling, swimming for example will vastly improve the amount of oxygen getting to your muscles and this helps you to keep going for longer.

•       Moving More. This is about how much you move throughout the day generally.  These are your ADLs (Activities of Daily Living). Any opportunity to get up and move will increase your stamina generally.

•       Music.  Studies have shown that those who listen to their favourite music whilst exercising actually work harder and increase stamina more quickly!

•       Drink Plenty of Water.  Being well hydrated can increase your stamina by fighting muscle fatigue.  Muscle that is under-hydrated will under-perform!

•       Eat Well.  A healthy balanced diet makes a difference to how much energy you will have.  It must include plenty of high-quality carbs, particularly if you are very active.

•       Get plenty of rest.  This includes having a good night’s sleep.  Listen to your body and rest when needed.

If you have ever suffered an extended period of bed-rest you will vividly remember how you felt once you tried to start moving again.  Recently, we have heard how hard it is for some patients to recover from Covid as they can be left with severe fatigue.  In these situations, slowly re-building stamina is vital to recovery.  Just regular walking on a daily basis, starting slowly and building up very gradually, is the key.  It never fails!


1.     Firstly, test your stamina by going to the DIY Fitness Test video on the website and click on the third marker on the video timer to take you straight to Fitness Test 3 – Step Test (p271 of The 28-Day Immunity Plan book). This week you don't have to have a buddy with you as the test can be done just with a stopwatch and counting your own steps (remember to count just the steps of your right leg). However, it is easier if you have a buddy to support you so perhaps it would be nice to carry on with the buddy who has helped you in previous weeks.  A bit of healthy competition always motivates too!

2.     Try to walk 10,000 steps every day this week. It may be that on some days you miss that goal but make this week the one where you achieve it every day!

3.     As you go for your daily walk, choose landmarks where you pick up the pace significantly for a set distance and then lessen the pace again.  Interval training like this seriously improves stamina. 

4.     As soon as you get back from a walk try to do 10 abdominal curls and 10 press-ups. These are both demonstrated in the Immunity Plan Workout - Week 4 video starting at 4 mins 43 seconds. That means you are including and training many of the major muscles not used when walking.

5.     Re-test your stamina by repeating Fitness Test 3 – Step Test at the end of the week.  You may find you have moved from being 'average' to 'above average' – now that's a good result!

Here are the standard norms depending on your age and fitness.

Fitness Test 3 – STEP TEST (No. of times right knee is lifted in 2 minutes)
Age Group 60+ Female 60+
Excellent 105+ 115+ 100+ 110+ 90+ 100+ 70+ 85+
Above Average 95 105 90 100 80 90 65 80
Average 90 100 80 90 70 85 55 65
Below Average 80 90 70 85 65 75 50 55
Needs Practice 75 80 60 70 50 60 35 45

And Finally,

Have a wonderful week and look after yourself. We only have one life so let’s live it and love it!

With love and best wishes,

Rosemary Conley CBE DL


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