The Dicksons January Diet Cheat Sheet

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06 January 2015

pease puddingA New Year’s resolution to get healthy and lose that extra festive weight is both the most popular and the hardest promise to keep. After a season of merriment and indulgence it can be hard to switch off that appetite.

But it doesn’t have to be all about miserable diets in January. Here’s our guide to a few items that are better for your health than you might think.

 

Pease pudding

Both low in cost and calories, pease pudding – the classic Geordie hummus – is a treat you don’t need to feel guilty about putting in your shopping basket. Pease pudding consists primarily of split peas, and is virtually fat free.

Over Christmas you may have had it with your Boxing Day ham joint but it’s no less delicious spread on wholemeal sandwich bread or as a dip for vegetable sticks and seeded crackers. Better still, use it in a hearty winter soup to keep you warm and full when it’s miserable outside. Here’s a soup recipe that’s diet-friendly and popular with those following both Weight Watchers and Slimming World programmes.

 

BaconBones800x800pxVegetable and Pease Pudding Soup

Prepare a stock using two stock cubes and 2 pints of water.

Bring to the boil while you chop up an assortment of vegetables

Add the veg to the pan with salt and pepper to season

Cook until soft then remove from the heat

Stir in two tubs of pease pudding to thicken

Season again before eating if necessary

Optional: shred a Dicksons cooked ham shank and add to the pot with the veg for a meaty but less healthy twist.

 

 

Chicken breast fillets

Chicken is high in protein and contains a number of amino acids that not only help your body recover and repair but also improves cardiovascular health. It also contains phosphorus (great for teeth and bones), selenium (helps keep immune system and metabolism working) and beta carotene (good for protecting against cardiovascular disease and cancers).chicken breast fillet

One of the most versatile meats for use in cooking, chicken can be used in everything from Sunday roasts to curries. But if you’re trying to watch the calories over the next few weeks, why not use chicken in a quick and easy stir-fry alongside all your favourite veg and a pack of straight to wok noodles.

Turkey may be leaner but you’ve probably had more than enough of that particular bird by the time January comes round.

 

Seaweed sausages

Seaweed is as close as the natural world comes to a magic ingredient. The most broadly nutritious plant on Earth, seaweed delivers a number of health benefits and also acts as a salt replacement.

By using seaweed in our seaweed sausages we have been able to halve both the salt and the fat content of our traditional pork sausage without sacrificing any of the flavour. Add to that an extensive list of health benefits and you could be making your bangers and mash, sausage casserole or even sausage–pasta dish that bit healthier.

seaweed nutrition

 

Health Benefits of seaweed

Due to the high nutrient value of seaweed, there are a number of health benefits associated with its use. In fact, seaweed is thought to be:

4. Seaweed contributes towards the normal growth of children
5. Seaweed is good for the metabolism
6. Seaweed is good for cognitive function
7. Research shows seaweed can keep you fuller for longer
8. Seaweed is good for the central nervous system
9. Seaweed is rich in iodine (76% of school-aged girls in the UK are iodine deficient)
10. Seaweed is good for the skin

It is also important to enjoy your health-kick – having something to look forward to will inspire you to continue. You can use your success during the week as a reason for rewarding yourself with one indulgent meal at the end of the week. After all, sometimes you need a saveloy dip to give yourself a culinary pat on the back!