Loose weight with Arlene Normand

July 28, 2009

Which is more important?

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 7:59 am


I work extremely long hours. I have lost 6kg on your eating plan in NW but am finding it difficult to fit in the exercise you recommend. Sometimes the only way to squeeze in a workout it to skimp on sleep. Which is more important?


It is okay to sacrifice one for the other occasionally, but it is not something you should do on a regular basis. Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Cheating yourself out of the sleep you need can lead to irritability and fatigue or impaired memory and immune function. Fatigue can also lead to overeating as it lowers your resolve to eat sensibly. You should look at balancing your life – work, exercise and eating. If anything is over emphasised it will throw the others off target. If you find that your exercise is encroaching on your sleep more than once a week try looking over you schedule to find areas where you can save time. Multitasking may help – socialising with a friend on a power walk instead of having dinner or drinks! Exercise is an important stress release, keeps your metabolism revved, and is also an appetite suppressant – consequently it is essential for weight loss and maintenance.

Healthy Eating Schedule

Filed under: Health — Arlene @ 7:56 am

Daily Allowance:

2 cups low fat milk

2 teaspoons fat (butter, oil, margarine, peanut butter, avocado pear)

Exercise requirement: 45 minutes of aerobic exercise per day (walk/swim/gym) Work out a plan to add a little more exercise to your life every day. The exercise should be strenuous enough to make you a little breathless and to work up a sweat. If you have any pain or are gasping for breath, you are overdoing it.

All foods must be tasty – add herbs and spices. Make use of condiments (sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard, chutney, pickles, pepper, Tabasco, curry)

Drinks: Diet cordial, diet soft drinks, unflavoured mineral water, tea, coffee, herbal teas, cocoa, Bonox/Bovril.

Day 1


½ cup high fibre cereal

Morning tea:

1 kiwi fruit


2 cups Potato and Leek Soup

Afternoon tea:

1 orange


Steaks with Port and Pears with Sesame Bok Choy


30 grams chocolate / 2 fresh dates

Day 2


1 slice whole grain toast with tomato and black pepper

Morning tea:

1 small nashi pear


Toasted cheese (30g) and tomato sandwich

Afternoon tea:

1 corn on the cob (in microwave for 4 minutes)


Pork with Orange Ginger Sauce served with 2 cups steamed/stir fry vegetables


Low-joule jelly

Day 3


2 scrambled eggs with grilled tomato and mushrooms

Morning tea:

2 dried figs


Tuna and Green Vegetable Salad

Afternoon tea:

1 slice raisin toast with jam


120g grilled chicken with Asparagus and Rocket Stir Fry


25g nuts and raisins

Day 4


1 slice sour dough toast with chopped banana and drizzle honey

Morning tea:

1 cup strawberries


Roast beef (60g) with salad on 2 slices rye bread flavoured with mustard/pickles/chutney

Afternoon tea:

5 dried apricots


Chicken and Vegetable Stir fry


1 jarrah hot chocolate/swiss miss/Cadbury lite

Day 5


1 poached egg with 1 lean piece of bacon, grilled tomato and mushrooms

Morning tea:

12 cherries


Ham sandwich (2 slices whole grain bread, 60 grams lean ham, mustard, alfalfa sprouts, 2 slices tomato, 2 slices beetroot, grated carrot, shredded lettuce)

Afternoon tea:

1-cup watermelon cubed


150 grams grilled fish and 2 serves of vegetables


1 Baked Bananas with ½ cup low fat custard

Day 6


½ cup cooked porridge

Morning tea:

200g low fat yoghurt


Chicken salad (120g chicken, lettuce, tomato, carrot, beetroot, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, bean shoots, ½ cup tinned corn, low joule dressing)

Afternoon tea:

1 small pear


Veal Marsala with 2 cups salad and low joule salad dressing


1 cup rockmelon cubed

Day 7


1 toasted English muffin and honey

Morning tea:

1 mandarin


Baked potato with 90g cottage cheese and 2 cups salad

Afternoon tea:

1 cup honeydew melon cubed


Honeyed Fish Kebabs with 2cups steamed vegetables


1 jarrah hot chocolate/swiss miss/Cadbury lite

Chicken and Vegetable Stir fry

4 breast fillets, sliced 1/3 cup soy sauce

200g broccoli, chopped 1 Tblsp oil

150g green beans, sliced 1 small red capsicum, sliced

1 medium zucchini sliced 100g snow peas

1 tablespoon cornflour 2 tablespoon water

440g can unsweetened pineapple pieces

Combine chicken and sauce in bowl, mix well. Boil, steam or microwave broccoli until just tender, drain.

Heat oil in large pan or wok, add undrained chicken, stir fry until lightly browned. Add beans, pepper and zucchini, stir-fry 2 minutes. Stir in broccoli, snow peas, undrained pineapple, bended cornflour and water. Stir until mixture boils and thickens slightly

Steaks with Port and Pears

425g pear halves in syrup 1/3 cup port

1 clove garlic 2 tsp chopped fresh chives

1 tsp grated lemon rind 4 beef eye fillet steaks

1 Tblsp oil 1 small beef stock cube, crumbled

1/3 cup water 2 tsp cornflour

2 tsp water, extra 1 tblsp chopped fresh chives extra

Drain pears, reserve a cup syrup. Combine syrup, port, garlic, chives and rind in bowl. Add steaks, cover, refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Remove steaks from marinade, pat steaks dry with absorbent paper, reserve marinade.

Heat oil in pan, add steaks, cook on both sides few minutes until well browned.

Add marinade, stock cube and water, bring to boil, simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until steaks are tender; remove from pan.

Strain pan juices, return to pan, add blended cornflour and extra water. Stir over heat until sauce boils and thickens.

Add 4 pear halves to pan, reserve remaining pear halves for another use.

Stir gently over heat until pear halves are warmed through.

Serve steaks with sauce and pears. Sprinkle with extra chives.

Serves 4

Pork with Orange Ginger Sauce

4 pork butterfly steaks

1 tablepoon oil


1 tsp grated orange rind 1 cup orange juice

2 tblsp soy sauce 2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp grated fresh ginger 1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine pork and marinade in bowl, cover, refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Remove the steaks from marinade, reserve marinade. Heat oil in pan, add pork, cook until browned, add reserved marinade. Bring to boil, simmer, covered, about 5 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Serve pork with sauce.

Serves 4

Veal Marsala

1 Tblsp oil 4 veal steaks

1 onion chopped 250g mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup marsala 2 tsp cornflour

2/3 cup water 1 small chicken stock cube crumbled

1 Tblsp chopped fresh chives

Heat oil in pan, add veal, cook until lightly browned and tender; remove veal from the pan.

Add onion to pan, cook stirring, until soft. Add mushrooms, marsala, blended cornflour and water, and stock cube. Stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens; stir in chives.

Serve sauce over veal.

Serves 4

Honeyed Fish Kebabs

500g white fish fillets 12 cherry tomatoes

12 baby yellow squash 12 baby mushrooms


2 tblsp soy sauce 1 tblsp honey

1 clove garlic crushed 1 tblsp sweet sherry

1 tblsp lemon juice

Cut fish into 2 cm cubes. Combine fish and marinade in bowl, cover, refrigerate several hours or overnight. Drain fish from marinade, reserve marinade.

Boil, steam or microwave squash until just tender; drain. Thread fish, squash, tomatoes and mushrooms onto 12 skewers. Grill or bbq kebabs until lightly browned and cooked through, brushing occasionally with reserved marinade.

Serves 4

Tuna and Green Vegetable Salad

200g broccoli lettuce

100g green beans, chopped 425g tuna, drained, flaked

100g snow peas 1 onion, sliced

2 medium zucchini, sliced


Combine the following ingredients in jar, shake well:-

½ cup light olive oil 2 tsp grated lemon rind

¼ cup lemon juice 1 clove garlic, crushed

2 Tblsp fresh chives chopped

Add broccoli, beans to pan of boiling water, return to boil 1 minute, add peas, drain immediately; rinse under cold water, drain well.

Tear lettuce into large pieces. Combine all ingredients in bowl.

Add dressing, mix gently.

Serves 4

Sesame Bok Choy

2 tsp cornflour 2 Tblsp water

2 Tblsp hoisin sauce 1 Tblsp oyster sauce

2 tsp soy sauce 2 tsp sesame oil

800g bok choy 1 Tblsp toasted sesame seeds

Blend cornflour with water in small jug. Stir in sauces.

Heat oil in wok or large pan. Stir fry bok choy and seed until bok choy is just tender.

Stir in sauce mixture; stir until mixture boils and thickens.

Serves 4

Asparagus and Rocket Stir Fry

750g asparagus 1 Tblsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 red capsicum, seeded, sliced

2 Tblsp balsamic vinegar 2 Tblsp tomato paste

1 Tblsp water 125g rocke

Cut each asparagus spear into 3 pieces.

Heat oil in wok or large pan; Stir fry asparagus, garlic and capsicum until almost tender.

Add combined vinegar, paste and water; stir fry until asparagus is just tender.

Add rocket, stir until just wilted.

Serves 4

Potato and Leek Soup

300g potato, peeled and cubed

1 onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed

1 medium leek, sliced 2 chicken stock cubes

2 cups water 375 ml evaporated skim milk

½ tsp dried thyme pepper to taste

2 Tblsp fresh coriander, chopped

In a large non-stick pan, sauté potato, onion, garlic and leek until the onion is transparent (use a cooking spray or steam with some of the chicken stock if required).

Dissolve the stock cubes in the water and stir into the vegetable mixture. Add the evaporated skim milk, thyme, pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until the potato is tender.

Blend till soup is smooth.

Serve hot and sprinkle with coriander.

Serves 4

Baked Bananas

6 large firm ripe bananas 1 cup sultanas

1/3 cup chopped pecan nuts 1 cup maple syrup

1 Tblsp rum (optional) 1 tsp vanilla essence

½ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Peel bananas and place in the baking dish. Scatter the sultanas and chopped pecan nuts into the dish.

Mix together the maple syrup, rum and vanilla essence, and pour over the bananas. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top and bake for 25 minutes, basting occasionally, until the bananas are golden.

Serves 6



Asparagus (10 stalks) Capsicum (1 medium)

String Beans (3/4 cup) Radishes (10 Medium)

Beetroot (1/2 cup) Sauerkraut (1 Cup)

Cabbage (1 cup) Eggplant (1 Cup)

Spinach (1 cup) Onion (1 medium)

Tomatoes (1 large) Chicory (10 small leaves)

Broccoli (3/4 cup) Brussel Sprout (10)

Zucchini (1/2 cup) Cauliflower (2/3 cup)

Mushrooms (1 cup) Celery (4 stalk)

Pickled Cucumber (1 large) Cucumber (1 cup)

Lettuce (2 cups) Turnips (1/2 cup)

Carrots (1 cup) Bamboo Shoots (1 cup)

Bean Sprouts (1 cup) Chokos (1 cup)

Garlic (free) Pumpkin (1/2 cup)

Corn (1/4 cup) Broad beans (1/4 cup)

Potatoes (1/4 cup) Parsnips (1/4 cup)


1 small Orange 1 small apple 1 small pear

1 small banana 1 mandarin 2 plums

2 dried apricots 3 passionfruit 2 dried figs

1 slice pineapple ½ grapefruit 2 fresh dates rockmelon 1 cup cubed honeydew melon 1 cup cubed

2 prunes Grapes 12 medium

nectarine 1 small papaya ½ medium

strawberries 1 cup watermelon 1 cup cubed

Sultanas 1 tablespoon 10 cherries

Rhubarb 1 cup 1 small mango

Cereal Group

1 slice bread (approximately 30grams) – white, pumpernickel, rye, wholemeal, multigrain

2 vita wheat crackers 2 Sao

2 Rice cakes 4 Corn thins

½ cup cereal 1 slice raisin toast

½ bagel 1 slice cinnamon toast

1 sachet instant porridge

Protein Group

1 egg

100gram meat (mince, steak, hamburger patty, Veal, corned beef, roast beef, 1 lean lamb chop)

120-gram chicken – ideally the breast (no skin)

150 grams fish (fresh) – salmon, tuna, mackerel, John Dory, Barramundi, etc

100g tin salmon/tuna (in brine or spring water)

90 grams low fat cottage cheese

30 grams yellow cheese

60 grams ricotta

200gram low fat yoghurt

100g fruche lite

100 grams tofu

2 Tablespoons hummous/tehina

1 Tablespoon peanut butter

100 grams baked beans

25g nuts


1 shortbread biscuit

2 morning coffee biscuits

2 ginger nut biscuits

2 Marie biscuits

2 wafer kitkat

2 lindor balls

1 tim tam

1 ice block

1 Jarrah/Swiss Miss/Cadbury Lite hot chocolate

½ cup ice cream

30 grams chocolate

120 ml glass wine once a day may replace a snack

1 biscotti


Filed under: Messages — Arlene @ 7:41 am

Why do some people lose weight and maintain their new svelte figure, while others fail and live to regret it? Research has found that maintainers have the following in common:

1. They eat high carbohydate low fat diet. The low carbohydrate craze has not influenced the successful maintainers. On average they get 55-60% of their energy from carbohydrates, 24% from fat, and the rest from protein. They eat mainly “good” carbohydrates – fruit, vegetables, bread, cereal, and other high fibre foods. They keep their portions of high-sugar carbohydrates small and treat them as “occasional” food rather than “every day food”.

2. They are conscious of calories. Successful maintainers are continually aware of the number of calories they are eating no matter what regime they follow. They are aware that a calorie is a calorie no matter whether the source is protein, carbohydrate, fat or alcohol.

3. They eat breakfast. Eight out of ten maintainers eat breakfast every day. This gets their metabolism revved up for the day. On average they consume five small meals or snacks through the day rather than any large meals. Many have reduced their intake at night.

4. They self monitor. Successful maintainers weigh themselves at least once a week, some more frequently. It is ideal to weigh yourself on a Friday before the weekend, and on a Monday after the weekend.

5. They engage in a lot of physical activity , 60 – 90 minutes each day. Successful maintainers look at their diaries and carve out time every day for planned exercise. They also look at ways to make their days more active. Walking is the most popular form of exercise.

6. Successful maintainers live in the “real” world. They are not “good” all the time, but balance their diet and exercise. If they have a bad day they ensure they cut back on their eating the next day. The majority gain a small amount of weight on the weekends and during holidays, but they make certain they lose it straight away before one kilo becomes two kilos, etc. Many maintainers seek a professional to monitor their weight monthly as they have been on the rollercoaster before of gaining and losing weight. Many know that they never got it right the first time, but do not want to give up this time.

7. Successful maintainers realise that they cannot be motivated their whole lives to lose weight, they now have to accept their eating and exercise regime as a normal lifestyle. They feel better- energy, mood, and confidence. The fear of the consequence of returning to their past weight and the penalties both to their health, personality and lifestyle prevent them from over indulgence and giving up their exercise regime.

8. Successful maintainers tend to eat most meals at home. They do eat out nearly three times a week on average, and even visit a fast food outlet at least once a week. Their choices are made more carefully, and they find that high fat food effects how they feel.

9. They balance their lives socially, family and work. They ensure they get enough sleep as they realise that fatigue is a dreadful stimulus for overeating and lack of resolve.

10. Plan ahead. Organise exercise and make sure that the correct food is available. When no food is prepared it is easy to stray!

To be successful with maintaining weight loss, it is obvious from the above that you have to make a commitment for life to continue being more active and eating carefully. Your new lifestyle has to become a habit – which involves you being aware forever, and that can be hard work. Slipping back to old habits will be your downfall. Maintaining your weight is not just for a week or a month – but a lifetime, which means exercise and “normal” eating is for keeps!

Sneaky Little Slim Down Tricks

Filed under: Article — Arlene @ 7:39 am

1. Start Smart Begin lunch and dinner with a veggie-rich salad or broth-based soup. This lets you fill up first on a big volume of low calorie food and ends up displacing some of the foods you will eat next – the choices are usually higher in calories.

2. Try the 3-hour rule The secret to losing weight comes down to keeping your metabolism alive and active. How do you do that? By eating every 3 hours, give or take 10-20 minutes, which translates to 3 moderate meals with 3 snacks between meals. Though other experts say there is nothing magic about 3-hour intervals, eating small, frequent, portion-controlled meals and snacks can keep your blood sugar level steady, your energy up, and keep you from overindulging.

3. Have liquid assets If you are going to drink anything with calories (fruit juice, alcohol, sweetened tea or coffee, cold drinks) you need to consciously adjust your diet to accommodate those extra calories. Research shows that people consciously make adjustments to eat fewer calories over the course of a day after eating a solid food like jelly beans, but not after drinking the same amount of calories in a glass of juice. The best thirst quencher is still plain water.

4. Reduce processed food Skip the munchies made with white flour and sugar like biscuits, cakes, breakfast bars. They have no fibre, very little nutrients, and signal the body to produce more insulin and set the stage for turning calories to fat, fat, and more fat.

5. Choose your pals and what you do with them Studies show that most of us base how much we eat on what others around us eat. So steer clear of big eaters in your social circle, at least when food is around. Don’t hover around the buffet table. Remember to march to your own calorie drummer which requires some independent thought and discipline. Learn to watch other people eat – you talk or listen!

6. Pare portions Everything from beverages to bagels is two to five times bigger today than in the 1970’s. So if you grab a sandwich or eat out, chances are you will be served double what you need. Start leaving food on your plate. Use your hand and fist as a portion size.

7. Be an early bird Eat the most food earlier in the day. Many “dieters” try to trim calories from their breakfast and lunch and then get hungry. Research shows the calories you eat earlier in the day help you eat less at night – a good idea since you probably won’t be active after an evening meal.

8. Step it up Get a pedometer and start walking. To keep the weight off forever, the goal is to take 11000 to 12000 steps (around 90 minutes) a day. You don’t need to do it all at once.

9. Think thin Seeing is believing. You have to picture yourself slim. Start wearing clothes you like and want to wear. Throw out your old clothes.

10. Fill up on fibre Crowd out calorie dense foods (chocolates, cakes, biscuits) by ratcheting up on fruits and veggies. Hitting that mid afternoon slump, reach for carrots or a fruit, the carbohydrate will give you a lift. Not only does munching on natures bounty become a habit, but it will help you tap into dozens of disease fighting phytochemicals and vitamins.

11. Brush your teeth To stop being a compulsive snacker in the evening, brush your teeth. No-one likes messing up freshly brushed teeth.

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Zucchini Salad

Filed under: Chicken,Recipes,Salad — Arlene @ 7:38 am

1 Tblsp finely grated lemon rind 2 tsp cracked black pepper

1/3 cup lemon juice 2 tsp olive oil

4 single chicken breast fillets 4 medium green zucchini

4 medium yellow zucchini 1 clove garlic crushed

4 green onions finely chopped 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon

Combine rind, pepper, 1 Tblsp of the juice and half of the oil in large bowl, add chicken; toss chicken to coat in marinade. Cover until required.

Peel zucchini randomly, slice into thin strips diagonally. Cook zucchini slices, in batches, on heated lightly oiled grill plate (or grill or bbq) until browned lightly and tender.

Cook chicken on same grill plate until cooked through.

Meanwhile whisk remaining juice and remaining oil with garlic in large bowl. Place zucchini, onion and herbs in bowl with dressing; toss gently to combine.

Serve chicken with zucchini salad.

Serves 4 1 serve = 1 protein

Salade Nicoise

Filed under: Recipes,Salad — Arlene @ 7:37 am

200g green beans trimmed, chopped 250g cherry tomatoes halved

½ cup seeded black olives 2 lebanese cucumbers, sliced

1 medium red onion, sliced thinly 150g mesclun

6 hard boiled eggs 425g tin tuna in springwater, drained

Light Vinaigrette: 1 tsp olive oil; ¼ cup lemon juice; 1 clove garlic crushed; 2 tsp Dijon mustard

Veggie Surprise

Filed under: Recipes,Vegetables — Arlene @ 7:36 am

1 brown onion diced 2 Tblsp olive oil

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced 2 carrots, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 cup diced pumpkin

1 cup diced sweet potato 1 zucchini, sliced

1 head of broccoli cut into florets ½ med head of cauliflower roughly cut

2 cups chicken/veg stock 1 bay leaf

2 Tblsp tomato paste 1 tsp oregano

½ cup low fat tasty cheese 2 Tblsp parsley

In a large saucepan cook onion in olive oil for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add remaining ingredients except cheese and parsley. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, or cook covered in moderate oven (180 degrees) for 45 minutes.

Remove bay leaf, spoon into vegetable serving bowls and top with tasty cheese and chopped parsley.

Serves 4 1 serve = 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate


Filed under: Messages — Arlene @ 7:34 am

A sense of “normal” is important when you are altering your lifestyle to eat and exercise properly.

Learning a sense of portion is essential.  If you are working on losing weight you may be familiar with the suggestion that you try serving up your meals on smaller plates or bowls to trick yourself into thinking you are actually eating a more substantial portion.  University of Pennsylvania researchers have confirmed the psychological basis for that tip in a series of experiments including one in which they varied the size of the scoop with which unwitting subjects helped themselves to M&Ms. The bigger the scoop, the more chocolate was taken, an example of what the researchers termed ‘unit bias’, or the tendency for us to eat what is culturally accepted as the right portion size.  Australians eat too much, so be wary of the quantity you put on your plate, or you eat at restaurants.  Too much has become normal.

Exercise to feel good and relax!  Such great weather, make the most of it!

Ricotta and Rocket Cannelloni

Filed under: Meat — Arlene @ 7:24 am

2 spring onions, finely chopped 125g ricotta cheese

50g rocket or spinach leaves, blanched and roughly chopped

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste 2 tsp continental chopped parsley

1 fresh sheet lasagne 1 cup tomato pasta sauce

10g extra rocket for serving 20g shaved parmesan cheese for serving

Combine spring onions, ricotta and rocket or spinach leaves. Season to taste.

Cut lasagne into four. Cook sheets in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes or until tender, then refresh in cold water. Divide ricotta mixture evenly along the longest length of the sheet. Roll up to form a tube. Place I a 30cm x 18cm baking dish.

Pour tomato pasta sauce over cannelloni and bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve cannelloni topped with rocket and shaved Parmesan.

Serves 2 1 serve = 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate

Grilled Chicken, Rocket, Pear and Parmesan Salad

Filed under: Recipes,Salad — Arlene @ 7:21 am

300g skinless chicken breast fillet 120g rocket

1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved 2 medium pears thinly sliced

50g shaved parmesan cheese ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Grill chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Remove, cut into slices and keep warm.

Arrange rocket in four serving bowls. Top with sliced chicken, cherry tomatoes and pear slices.

Top with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Serves 4 1 serve = 1 protein, ½ carbohydrate

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