Loose weight with Arlene Normand

February 28, 2011

Diet Drinks (Q & A)

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 11:10 pm


I have two questions re diet drinks and artificial sweeteners that are used in them.

1. I would like to know what effects diet drinks (if any) have on metabolic rate.  I have read that there are studies in existence that they can affect insulin production in response to the sweet taste and therefore lead to fat deposition even though they have only one calorie.

2. What problems are linked to consuming artificial sweeteners?


Diet drinks have no dramatic impact on insulin release that would lead to fat deposition. In addition, they do not affect your metabolic rate. The caffeine intake in certain of the diet drinks may result in a slight increase in metabolic rate and disturb your sleeping habits or make you a bit jittery if you are caffeine sensitive. Certain artificial sweeteners were implicated in causing cancer, and were taken off the market. However, the studies were found to be inaccurate and their results unsubstantiated. I do believe in everything in moderation, and the fewer chemicals we can consume the better. Drinking water is healthier than consuming

February 27, 2011

Recipe: Chicken and coriander parcels

Filed under: Chicken,Recipes,Vegetables — Arlene @ 10:18 pm

Ingredients (serves 4) 1 serve = 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate

150g fresh rice vermicelli noodles 4 chicken breast fillets

1 Tblsp basil and mild chilli stir-fry sauce

1/2 bunch choy sum, leaves chopped, stalks shredded

3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin slices

1 carrot, cut into thin sticks 1/3 cup low-salt chicken stock

1 lime, quartered, to serve


Preheat oven to 180°C. Cook noodles in saucepan of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Cut 4 pieces of baking paper large enough to enclose fillets.

Place one-quarter of noodles near one end of each piece of baking paper. Top each noodle stack with a chicken fillet, stir-fry sauce and choy sum leaves.

Combine ginger, carrot and choy sum stalks, then layer on chicken. Drizzle 1 tablespoon stock over each stack. Wrap baking paper over to enclose filling. Place on baking tray and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with a wedge of lime.

Notes & tips

Note: Also known as Chinese flowering cabbage, choy sum can be recognised by its small yellow flowers and fleshy white stems. Both the leaves and stems are edible.

February 24, 2011

Recipes: Roast Vegetable Frittata

Filed under: Recipes,Salad,Vegetables — Arlene @ 10:06 pm

Ingredients (serves 4 1 serve = 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate

4 eggs

1 cup roasted vegetables (such as pumpkin, potato, parsnip, beetroot, capsicum), cut into 2cm chunks

2 tbs grated parmesan 1/4 cup shredded basil leaves

Green salad, to serve


Preheat the grill to high. Place eggs in a bowl and whisk lightly, then season with salt and pepper. Place vegetables into a 20cm non-stick frypan with heatproof handle and warm over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Add the eggs and reduce heat to low, cover and cook until eggs have almost set. Sprinkle over the parmesan and shredded basil, then place the frypan under the grill for 3-4 minutes or until golden and puffed.

Slice into wedges and serve with a green salad.

February 23, 2011

Recipe: Grilled Chicken, Rocket, Pear and Parmesan Salad

Filed under: Chicken,Recipes,Salad,Vegetables — Arlene @ 10:03 pm

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

February 22, 2011

Message Of The Week

Filed under: Messages — Arlene @ 10:17 pm

Real health and happiness is experienced when we live with a true balance of body, mind, hear and soul – be aware of your physical health, food, activity, rest and relaxation. Fresh air and sunshine make you feel more positive about life – so get outside as much as possible.

February 21, 2011

Recipe: Grilled Fish & Lemon with Olive Salad

Filed under: Fish,Recipes,Vegetables — Arlene @ 10:38 pm


100g marinated chargrilled capsicum (not in oil), thinly sliced

1/3 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

1 cup baby rocket leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped

4 firm white fish fillets (approx 120g each), such as gurnard or ling

2 lemons, cut into wedges cooking oil spray

1/3 cup sun-dried tomato pesto 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Combine the capsicum, parsley, olives, rocket and capers in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat a chargrill pan (heavy pan with raised grill lines) over medium-high heat. Spray the fish and lemon with cooking oil spray. Place the fish into the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Turn and brush the top with pesto. Add the lemon wedges to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until fish is brown and cooked through and the lemon wedges are golden.

Drizzle the salad with oil and vinegar and gently toss. Divide the salad among serving plates, top with fish and lemon wedges and serve.

Serves 4 1 serve = 1 protein

February 20, 2011

Recipe: Tomato & Borlotti Bean Soup

Filed under: Recipes,Vegetables — Arlene @ 10:55 pm

Ingredients (serves 4) 1 cup = 1 carbohydrate

1 tbs olive oil 1 brown onion, coarsely chopped

2 celery sticks, ends trimmed, thinly sliced 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed 400g can diced Italian tomatoes

1L (4 cups) vegetable stock 400g can borlotti beans, rinsed, drained

1/3 cup chopped fresh continental parsley


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.

Add the tomato and stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the beans and cook for 2 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup among serving bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

February 17, 2011

How Long Should I Exercise For To Lose Weight? (Q & A)

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 10:13 pm


How long should I exercise for to lose weight. I only enjoy walking. At the moment I am walking four times a week for half an hour. Is this enough?


Losing weight is dependent on energy balance. The amount of food you are consuming versus the energy your body is utilising. When you are burning more energy than you are eating you will lose weight. For years it was recommended that you should do 30 minutes of exercise each day, however the recommendation is now changing to an hour every day of moderately intense activity such as brisk walking. I suggest you do as much as your schedule allows – but make exercise a priority. The amount of exercise you do is also dependent on how sedentary you are the rest of the day. I get my clients to wear a pedometer and to aim at doing 10000 steps each day. Obviously the greater the number of steps they accomplish, the faster the weight loss progress will be. I suggest you aim at doing an hours walk each day, and on the days you cannot manage the full hour try and walk at a faster pace.

February 16, 2011

Recipe: Thai Beef Salad

Filed under: Meat,Recipes,Vegetables — Arlene @ 10:09 pm

Thai Beef Salad

400g beef rump steak ¼ cup lime juice

2 Tblsp shredded fresh mint leaves 150g spinach leaves

2 Lebanese cucumbers, seeded and sliced 1 Tblsp white wine vinegar

2 Tblsp fish sauce 1 Tblsp brown sugar

Combine beef with juice and mint in medium bowl, cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours or until required.

Heat oiled large pan; cook beef until browned both sides and cooked as desired. Cover beef, rest 5 minutes; cut into thin slices. Combine beef with spinach and cucumber in large bowl. Gently toss combined vinegar, sauce and sugar through beef salad.

Serves 4 1 serve = 1 protein

February 15, 2011

Green Tea: Pros & Cons

Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 10:35 pm


We hear a lot on the claimed benefits of drinking green tea. What are the potential benefits – and downsides – of green tea?


It’s difficult not to gush about green tea. More than a decade’s worth of research about green tea’s health benefits — particularly its potential to fight cancer and heart disease — has been more than intriguing, as have limited studies about green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia. Still, real-world evidence is lacking; most of the consistent findings about green tea’s health benefits have come out of the lab. The few large-scale human studies that have focused on green tea’s impact on heart disease and cancer are promising, but many of those were conducted in the East, where green tea is a dietary mainstay. The outcomes are likely influenced by other lifestyle factors such as high consumption of fish and soy protein. Green tea has important antioxidants and compounds that help in maintaining good health. There does not appear to be any harm in drinking grebe team and many experts recommend including several cups a day in your diet.

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