Loose weight with Arlene Normand

May 19, 2014

Fish Recipes

Filed under: Messages — arlene @ 2:12 pm

Almond and dill crusted fish

Ingredients (serves 4)                                         1 serve = 1 protein (more…)


Filed under: Messages — arlene @ 2:09 pm


Chicken Soup with Brown Rice
(makes about 4 servings) (more…)

Meat Recipes

Filed under: Messages — arlene @ 2:09 pm

Asian beef stir-fry

Ingredients (serves 4)                       1 serve = 1 protein, 2 carbohydrates (more…)

Vegetable Recipes

Filed under: Messages — arlene @ 2:03 pm

Asian greens and tofu salad

Ingredients (serves 6)                                                1 serve = 1 protein, 2 tsp fat (more…)

Chicken Recipes

Filed under: Chicken — Arlene @ 1:56 pm

Apricot chicken

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

May 6, 2014


Filed under: Questions — Arlene @ 8:26 am


Over the past few years I have noticed I often feel uncomfortably full after I have eaten a big meal. Does our digestion change as we get older?


Yes, it is true. Just as our muscle mass declines with the passing years, our digestive tract loses muscle tone. We digest food through a series of muscle contractions, so as these muscles weaken, this process becomes less effective, slowing digestion. Other common age-related factors that can have an impact on our digestion include being less physically active, drinking less water (as our thirst response decreases with age) and taking more medication. Avoiding rich, fatty foods can also help. We digest these foods at a slower rate, which can leave us feeling overfull and bloated. It is a good idea to have a light dinner, such as salad, soup or a smaller meal than usual, and to eat it slowly making sure to chew each mouthful well. To minimise belly bloat, include a little gentle exercise in your day, especially after main meals. Some older adults suffer from constipation, which often causes abdominal discomfort. To keep your bowels regular, eat plenty of fibre rich whole grains, fruits and vegies. Water is also essential to a healthy bowel, so aim to drink plenty – at least eight glasses a day.

If you are concerned about your digestive health, or have recently experienced a change in your bowel habits, see your doctor.


I can’t eat dairy, but I would like to keep my calcium intake high. Can you recommend any snacks that are high in dairy?


Happily lots of snacks suit your needs. For a portable snack, pack a small zip-lock bag of unsalted nuts or seeds. A 30g handful of almonds (about 20 nuts) contains the most calcium(75mg), followed by brazil nuts (45mg per 30g or 10 nuts). Both pistachios and sunflower seeds contain 33mg per 30g. To boost the calcium content even add 2 or 3 dried figs. Adults need 1000mg of calcium per day, and older adults require up to 1300mg a day, so top up with highly satisfying snacks. In the morning, use calcium-fortified soy milk in coffee, or whiz up a fruit-based soy smoothie. In the afternoon, go for oily fish with edible bones, such as sardines or pink salmon. A small can of fish on a few wholegrain crackers provides up to 500mg of calcium. Forgoing dairy foods because of lactose intolerance? Bear in mind that many sufferers can tolerate a small tub of yoghurt (and its calcium) without suffering from any related symptoms.


I am a regular at cafes and like to have a sweettreat with my coffee. What are the best options – fruit fillings, custard fillings or something like a Florentine with nuts?


A sweet treat doesn’t always have to be a guilty one; just keep in mind a few basics. The downfall of many sweets is the pastry, since it is mostly butter and sugar – so avoiding pastries like croissants and danishes can help limit the energy overload. The best sweet fillings should have unprocessed, single ingredients – so you are on the right track with fruit and nuts. If the filling is made from lots of processed ingredients, like chocolate or cream, you are better off without it. Some good options are wholebran muffins, nut clusters or small fruit tarts. Better yet, try thinking outside the box (or the cake display) by ordering raisin toast with low fat ricotta or poached fruit with muesli.


What is carb loading?


In order to work, your muscles use glycogen (stored carbohydrate) for fuel. Carbohydrate loading is a technique used by endurance athletes that involves changes to diet and exercise to maximise glycogen stores, so they can work out longer at an optimal pace. There is more to it than gorging a huge bowl of pasta the night before a race. When carbohydrate loading, athletes eat a high carbohydrate diet (7-12g per kilo of body weight) for 3-4 days, combined with a reduced training schedule. Not everyone who plays a sport needs to carbohydrate load; it is only for those who regularly exercise at a moderate to high intensity for more than 90 minutes. Common difficulties with carb loading include cutting out fibre-rich foods, choosing compact carbohydrate (like cordial, sports drinks, jam, and tinned fruit) and eating too many high fat foods.


I know sausages are high in fat, but when I prick and precook them, hardly any fat comes out. Does this mean they are lower in fat?


With some reduced fat sausages, you may not see fat coming out when you pre-cook them. Or the sausages may contain an ingredient which emulsifies (binds) the fat to the other ingredients. Some sausages may be mechanically emulsified, which means the ingredients have been blended into small particles in a way which binds the mixture together. Pre-cooking sausages is always a good idea to help ensure they are cooked through without being charred. Sausages were, traditionally, high in fat, but these days, some can have as little as 6g of fat per 100g (i.e. 6% fat). Others are over 20 % fat, and as a rule of thumb, about half of that is saturated fat.



Filed under: Diet Menu — Arlene @ 8:25 am





Day 1

Breakfast:                    1 toast with 2 Tblsp cottage cheese

Morning Tea:               1 small apple

Lunch:                         Toasted cheese and tomato sandwich

Afternoon Tea:            1 small pear

Dinner:                        150g grilled fish with veges (2cups)

Supper:                        100g fruche-lite

Day 2

Breakfast:                    ½ cup cereal

Morning Tea:               1 small mandarin

Lunch:                         Tuna and salad wrap

Afternoon Tea:            4 prunes

Dinner:                        120g Roast chicken breast and salad

Supper:                        Jarrah hot chocolate/ 15 grapes

Day 3

Breakfast:                    Banana with 2 Tblsp Ricotta and drizzle of honey

Morning Tea:               200g low fat yoghurt

Lunch:                         Sandwich on two slices with rare roast beef and salad

Afternoon Tea:            2 plain biscuits/ 2 rice cakes with tomato and black pepper

Dinner:                        100g Grilled steak and salad

Supper:                        Jarrah/Swiss Miss/Cadbury Lite hot/125g tinned fruit

Day 4

Breakfast:                    1 boiled egg with tomato and mushrooms

Morning Tea:               3 fresh dates

Lunch:                         Tuna salad

Afternoon Tea:            small orange

Dinner:                        1 cup pasta cooked with ½ cup bolognaise sauce and 2 salad

Supper:                        1 cup rockmelon/1 scoop ice cream

Day 5

Breakfast:                    2/3 cup cereal

Morning Tea:               1 cup berries

Lunch:                         miso soup, 2 sushi rolls

Afternoon Tea:            15 grapes/30g chocolate

Dinner:                        Salad nicoise

Supper:                        low joule jelly

Day 6

Breakfast:                    1 toast with tsp peanut butter

Morning Tea:               2 sweet biscuits/ 200g low fat yoghurt

Lunch:                         Chicken burger

Afternoon Tea:            5 passionfruit

Dinner:                        120g chicken and veges/salad

Supper:                        small orange


Day 7

Breakfast:                    1 cup cereal

Morning Tea:               2 kiwi fruit

Lunch:                         Tuna salad

Afternoon Tea:            1 cup soup

Dinner:                        Stir fry vegetables with 100g tofu/100g beef

Supper:                        jarrah hot chocolate/swiss miss/ lite ovaltine and low joule jelly


Daily:  2 cups low fat milk; 2 teaspoons fat


Filed under: Messages — Arlene @ 8:21 am

‘Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right’ (Henry Ford)


To make lifestyle changes you have to be positive and organised. One day of your life is inconsequential, but if every day is optimistic and constructive you will achieve your goal!


People Who Lose the Weight have these Core Beliefs

Filed under: Article — Arlene @ 8:19 am

People Who Lose the Weight Have These Core Beliefs

6 Ways your brain can help you lose weight and keep it off

I’m sure you have heard people say, “Losing weight is easy. Keeping it off is the hard part.”Well, I disagree with this statement. I think losing weight is hard, but keeping it off is even harder!Permanent weight loss requires a lot of change.  And for most, change is difficult.  You have to change what and how much you eat. You have to change your activity and exercise habits. You might have to change your sleeping habits, daily schedule and shopping habits. That’s a lot of change!

However, the most important changes you can make aren’t about what you do, but rather how you think.  If you don’t change your mindset, there’s an awfully good chance you won’t change your body—and certainly not for the long term.

People who have reached weight-loss goals and kept off the kilos often experience mindset shifts. They think differently than they did before. Here are some common attitudes and beliefs that show up time and time again when talking with successful “losers.”  If you were to interview them, this is what you would hear.

1.   I believe that I can do it. I am responsible for—and in control of—my destiny, and I am fully committed to getting there. I have a clear vision of how I want to live my life: healthy, vibrant, slim and active. I strongly believe in the possibility and the permanence of that vision, and I am confident that I am capable of achieving it. Exercise and eating healthy aren’t things I do when it’s convenient; they are what I have decided to do no matter what. I recognize my results are dependent on my own actions—not other people’s or outside circumstances.

2.   I am proactive rather than reactive. I think in advance about how I will eat and exercise during for upcoming day. If I know I need to go to the gym straight from work, I make sure my gym bag is packed and in my car. When I’m going to have a hectic day at work, I pack a healthy lunch from home. I look at restaurant menus online before getting there so I know the best choices beforehand, and that’s what I order. I take time at the beginning of each week to plan my meals, figure out when I can get to the grocery store and schedule my exercise.  And I always have a Plan B so I can stay on track in case something unexpected happens.

3.   I am disciplined. Despite not always wanting to do what needs to be done, I do it anyway.  There are plenty of times I don’t feel like working out, or taking the time to prepare my meals.  Whether it is exercise, skipping dessert, or cooking a healthy dinner rather than calling in for take-out, I do it.  My mind is always focused on my vision. It’s not about how I feel right now. It’s about what I want for my future self.

4.   I share my goals and plans.  My friends and family are aware that taking good care of myself and keeping the weight off is a core value of mine. I stand up for myself without apology.  Sometimes I’ll miss happy hour with the gang to go to the gym, or request that we change the restaurant choice because I won’t go to a buffet—I am not embarrassed or sorry for speaking up. I also know I don’t need to go it alone.  When I am feeling vulnerable, I ask for help.  I go to a dietitian for monthly weigh-ins as I still need to be accountable and monitored.

5.   I am resilient. When I stumble or fall down, I pick myself up and creatively figure out how to move on. Life throws curveballs all the time, but they aren’t reasons to throw my healthy habits away.  I know that soothing myself with food or TV won’t solve my problems.  I deal with the reality of the situation and creatively work toward overcoming adversity.

6.   I have self-compassion.  I’m only human and there are times when things don’t go as well as I’d like.  I just do the best I can. When I slip up, I look at it as one individual episode, not a pattern that will lead to disaster. A “lapse” does not mean collapse. I just get right back on track. I do not beat myself up if a few kilos creep back on.  The scale does not define who I am. It doesn’t make me good or bad.  It only tells me whether or not I am on track to reach my goals.  If I am not, I recalculate.

Sustained weight loss requires a new mindset.  In order to be successful, you must resist looking in the mirror and still seeing the old you.  Permanent success requires you to think and act like a slim person even before you reach your goal. If it initially feels awkward, remember the old adage, “Fake it ’til you make it.” The more you behave and think like a successful dieter, the sooner you will be one. Being healthy and thin will become part of your identity.  It’s time to leave the old one behind.

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