Make something great with the bendy parsnips

Reminder from Portsmouth GP to get prescriptions before bank holiday

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After all that food at Christmas, it’s easy to keep going and not really cut back, meaning that by now you still haven’t quite got round to ‘healthy eating’.

It can be hard to know where to start especially with tempting leftovers still lurking. My advice ...chuck them out!

I know this seems harsh and nobody likes waste but

if the temptation is there, then at some point your willpower will not be strong enough and you will cave in to temptation.

That is exactly what I did, otherwise I knew I would never properly start. The Prosecco went down the sink, the leftover cake was thrown in the bin and I was ready

to start afresh and go shopping.

So I made a shopping list of healthy things and then the backlog of work from my two weeks holiday took over and

I missed out on going shopping that day, plus I was trying to not spend too much money.

By late lunchtime I had started to crave sugar as my body tried to fight against

my willpower and make me give in and eat something sweet.

You see, over the Christmas period and a few weeks before, I had let myself off the hook and was just basically eating whatever I wanted.

Now for those of you who know me, you will know that this really isn’t that unhealthy.

I have a sweet tooth, however, and this is my downfall.

So I was desperately looking in the fridge, hoping that something yummy would magically appear, but guess what? It didn’t!

All I could find were some sad-looking vegetables and not many there worth eating. Well that was what I thought!

Actually there were some very bendy parsnips, carrots and some butternut squash that needed reviving.

So being short on time, I chopped off the worst bits and then threw the whole lot in a saucepan with an onion and poured in some hot water, vegetable stock and a pinch of ginger for good measure.

While this bubbled away, I got back to my e-mails and writing and, hey presto, in about 25 minutes I blitzed the soup, added some lemon juice and tucked into my healthy lunch.

There was no recipe, no fancy meal plan and I didn’t have to spend too much money to end up with a really delicious and healthy lunch.

So that got me thinking about what I would have done in the past with those sad-looking vegetables – well they would have been in the bin probably.

That’s a bit sad really, but I expect that we are all guilty of thinking that cooking from scratch will take too much time or that the ingredients will be too expensive to make a healthy meal.

It also got me thinking of ways I could make life easier for myself when time is short or the purse-strings are tight.

I am going to try freezing anything that looks like it might not last or make it into something to freeze.

Also I’m going to make sure I use up everything in fridge before I go out buying anything else.

That’s within reason obviously, otherwise I will end up with some really strange combinations.

If you would like some help planning healthy, cost-effective meals, or just some recipe ideas, then please e-mail me nikki@challenge-fitness.com.

You never quite know what you will find lurking at the bottom of your fridge, but it’s very satisfying making something out of bits that you would otherwise have thrown away!

· Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps where she trains groups. Known as FAB Body Bootcamps, two are based in Fareham and one is in Portsmouth. Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Visit fabbodybootcamp.co.uk and challenge-fitness.co.uk. Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifitmum1.