Friday, 30 May 2008

Recommended yoga equipment...

Yoga Equipement:

Back Bender





Yoga Band

These items are not all essential for basic yoga but if you want to feel like a pro then I feel they will certainly aid to a good work out. I use a yoga band daily and think this is probably the most useful piece of equipment a side from the clothing of course.

You need to be able to move easily which is why it is important to have great clothing.

Yoga Tips

Yoga is the most relaxing and benficial form of exercise in my eyes however before you take up your yoga learnings here are a few things to consider!

Talk to your doctor...

You should talk to your doctor to make sure practicing yoga will not worsen any conditions you currently have.

Buy a book with pictures of the yoga poses...

The pictures will give you an idea of the poses you will need to do.

Find a class...

There are many different types of classes. Some classes are more 'gentle' while others are designed especially for seniors.

Find a class that fits your schedule...

Many instructors give several classes a week. You will be more likely to continue to go if the timing of the class fits your schedule.

Listen to your Body...

Do not push your body too far
If you feel pain stop
If you can't do the pose
Don't force your body into it

Try different classes with different instructors...

Each instructor is conducts their class differently

Eat light before the class...

Try to eat at least two hours before class
If you must eat before class, eat light.

Have a Yoga Buddy...

Try to get a friend to do yoga with you
You can encourage each other


To help avoid injuries, stretch before and after poses

Be patient...

Some yoga positions appear simple but they are not. Be patient when attempting to do a pose

Use the right equipment...

Skidless towels, yoga hand and foot gloves are designed to stops hands and feet from slipping when doing certain poses.

Now you have your tips - get a curve in your hips!

My top tips for a less lazy summer!

Summertime is here and we have all heard of the phrase “the lazy days of summer” However this doesn’t apply to those of us trying to “shape up for the summer!” I find summer time extremely busy with work, social events and we all want to be out enjoying the sunshine… so I hear you cry… what do we do?

Here are a few tips…

Schedule in daily exercise into your summer routine, staying in shape does take some forward planning, keep it like you would keep an appointment or meeting, you must have a least half an hour to schedule this in per day. I get up early before work to do so in the morning or just after work in the evening.

Don’t leave the house without bringing healthy foods for snacking, pack your bag with some oatcakes, rice cakes or health bars… apples are great too! This means you don’t stop at the nearest fast food restaurant and if you do eat out… eat fresh and natural low fat foods or sandwiches!

If you feel like your having a bad week then simply cut back on higher calorie foods, you are in control. Eat more fruit and vegetables instead of carbs or up your protein intake as this is low fat and will keep you full for longer. Also step up your exercise a notch! Fewer calories with more being burned should help you becoming balanced again.

Take advantage of the summer season and buy the fruit and vegetables that’s in season. Strawberries are wonderful – they are healthy and eliminate your sweet cravings!

Invent your summer to be a three month luxury trip with indulgent smoothies for breakfast and switch to berries and skimmed milk! Maybe take up swimming what a better way to cool down in the summer or take up a sport such as tennis! I love tennis on a sunny day!

Choose your most upbeat music to play, when the sun is shinning and your favourite tunes playing it can completely change your mood.

Join a fitness class… not only can you get fit but you can make some great friends to socialise with!Make sure you drink the recommended 2 litres of water a day… this will help hunger and prevent dehydration.

Dress sexy… it is summer after all and after this you should have an amazing body to show, it will help your confidence and leave you feeling great! Don’t forget a few important accessories those all important shades and a big smile! Your confidence will encourage your state of mind and now only will you look fit but feel fit too.
If you are planning a summer holiday then make sure there is access to a fitness suite, swimming pool or do what I do and run around the block in the blazing sun three times (the locals will think you are mad mind you!)

Stay positive... remind yourself daily what you are working for in most cases it isn’t about being slim at all but having the confidence to love yourself and feel at your best. So look good and feel great! Follow my tips and let me know how you get on!

Duckeys Quickie Healthy Desserts... Poached Pears

Poached pears with low fat yoghurt

  • In a sauce pan poach one pear (per person) in simmering water
  • Once poached remove the pear and add to a bowl
  • Serve in a pool of low fat yogurt, berry compote or honey!

Duckey’s Healthy Quickie Meal... Turkey meatballs

Turkey meatballs

  • Combine in a bowl 500g turkey mince
  • Add 50g fresh breadcrumbs from wholemeal bread, 50g sultanas or rasins, 1 crushed garlic clove, lemon zest, a pinch of dried chilli flakes, and plenty of seasoning
  • Roll into 20 small meatballs
  • Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning frequently until golden
  • Add 250ml chicken stock and turn up the heat
  • Simmer briskly for 5 minutes until the stock is reduced by half
  • Meanwhile cook 350g spaghetti and add the cooked drained spaghetti
  • Toss together and season.

    For dessert...

    One meringue nest with bananas and 0% fat Greek yogurt

Duckey’s Healthy Quickie Meal

Moroccan lamb

  • Dry fry 500g lamb neck fillet in a non-stick frying pan
  • Tip in 2 tsp of paprika and 3 tsp of ground cinnamon and fry for one minute
  • Pour in 400g can of chopped tomatoes and 1 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer gently with a lid on for 30 minutes or until the lamb is tender
  • Serve with couscous or a jacket potato and steamed green beans.

    For dessert…

    Fresh fruit salad and 1 tbsp 0% fat Greek yoghurt.

Kuk Sool European Championships 2008!

The last week in May in our household is always known as Kuk Sa Nim week. It is the week that the Grandmaster In Hyuk Suh comes over to England for the first time in the year on his tour for the European Championships. This year the event is being held in Kings Lynn and I am so happy to be going. Having moved to Brighton four months ago now I haven’t been able to train on a regular basis as there are no Kuk Sool schools in this area.

I really really miss my training however as I am a little out of practise my role this year is to do my usual job of organising the music for the exhibition which takes place in the evening “the finale” lets call it, plus I am MC-ing! Oh gosh Duckey on the mic I hear you cry! It is a challenge I have to speak lots of Korean to thousands of people (including Koreans) to people from all over Europe!

To me Kuk Sool is not just a hobby it has been a big foundation of my life and I truly believe I would not be where I am today without it! I am looking forward to seeing all my friends and fellow Kuk Sool members again and hopefully I will have more to report after the weekend.

If you would like more information about it then please get in touch!

Duckey x

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Sweet Rice and Raisin Pudding

This delicious dessert provides 150 milligrams of calcium, plus lots of high quality protein, and plenty of B vitamins plus you can use last nights left over rice how cool is that!

RECIPE: Warm smooth and creamy melt in your mouth vanilla rice pudding dotted with plump rasins and drizzled with honey.

You will need:

2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 egg, 1 egg white
2 cups skim milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Combine all ingredients except nutmeg, and pour into a greased baking dish.

2. Sprinkle with fresh grated nutmeg.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until set.

Based on individual serving.
Calories: 230
Total Fat: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 46 g
Protein: 8 g

Duckeys Choccie Cherry Bread Pudding

If you have some left over bread this will make the most delicious dessert and its even not as high on calories as you would think! This dish is rich, moist and very memorable.

RECIPE: Delciously moist and rich dark chocolte bread pudding laced with Cognac cherries.

You will need:

3 1/2 cups of 1/4-inch bread cubes
1/2 cup cherries
1/3 cup Cognac or spirit
8 ounces dark organic chocolate, chopped
1 egg and 2 egg whites, beaten
1 cup fat free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Arrange bread cubes on cookie pan and allow to dry out overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. In small bowl, combine cherries and cognac, allow to soften for 20 minutes.

4. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler with water in bottom pan. Cook and stir until smooth, remove from heat.

5. In large mixing bowl combine beaten eggs, crème fresh, skimmed milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon & ginger until smooth. Whisk in warm chocolate, then cherries. Let stand for 30 minutes.

6. Transfer equal portions to custard dishes. Place custard dishes in large pan, half filled with water and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from baking pan, allow to cool.

You will have a wonderful dessert fresh from the oven! You would never know its left over!

Based on individual serving.
Calories: 150
Total Fat: 8 g
Carbohydrates: 19 g
Protein: 2 g

How to Tan Safely and in Style!

Now a days having a tan is “trendy” and with our summer being a little on the rubbish side people have resorted to tanning safely the “fake” way. Now I don’t mean fake as in visiting your local tan booth this I would not recommend but why not try the “do it yourself” self tanners.

I am guilty of this and have even resorted to a spray tan at one stage this summer as I have booked a late summer holiday and feeling rather pasty! The spray tan I indulged in was at my local beauty parlour, now you have to be a little brave as you get to wear paper knickers and show your boobs to the beauty therapist but the result is worth it and last for 10-12 days.

HOWEVER a few tips:

Don’t shower for 8 hours after this has been done
Careful when you first come out as your still tacky and you can easily smudge yourself (if this happens use nail varnish remover!)
Be careful on hot nights and this could stain your bed or your clothes in fact
When it wears of be prepared for a few streaks!

Alternatively the “do it yourself” products I spoke about earlier are just as good! I am currently using the Johnson light building tanner in dark.

It builds a natural tone and I don’t have that pasty feeling. You can do this one twice or every other day to your desired look.

I don’t promote tanning salons or over excessive outdoor sunning, this causes a lot of sun damage and can lead to skin cancer, everyone is susceptible to skin cancer. No matter how light or dark your skin is, we all have to be protect ourselves by using sunblock and wearing protective clothing.

If you have a holiday coming up of course like me you love to get a tan and relax in the sun but you can do this safely!

A few tips to safe sunning:
  • Use a good daily moisturizer—any moisturizer from Neutrogena with sun protection will do the trick. They're great and very light on the skin.
  • Protect the parts we forget we have – Your scalp, ears, toes!
  • Don't forget to protect your eyes. A great pair of fashionable sunglasses that offer broad spectrum protection are also a must-have.
  • A sun hat – it looks good and protects
  • Protect your lips with sunscreen, too – use an SPF 30 Pocket Sticks for Lips Only.

Your health is important and although sunning yourself may seem harmless if done over excessively this could prove fatal to your health!

Japanese Noodle Soup with Fresh Tuna

I like to cook from other nationalities so here is a great super healthy treat from Japan!

RECIPE: Seared Tuna Steaks, succulant in the middle served with noodles in a Japanese style soup.

You will need:

600 ml (1 pint) fish stock
4 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
4 tbsp of sake of dry sherry
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
250 g cooked noodles
4 tuna steaks
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Fresh coriander to garnish

To make:

1. Put the stock, soy sauce, sake, vinegar, sugar and 1 tbsp of the oil into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or reduce by about one third

2. Brush the tuna steaks with the remaining oil and coat the edge of the tuna with the sesame seeds

3. Cook the noodles in the soup according to packet instructions.
Heat a ridged frying pan until very hot and cook the tuna for 2 to 3 minutes each side

4. Transfer the noodles to serving bowls, pour over the stock, top with the tuna steaks and garnish with coriander. Serve immediately.

This really is an amazing soup with lots of protein and nutritional values!

Duckeys Banana Ice...

Here is a great summer favourite...

Recipe: A great Summer treat with a good source of fibre and vitamin C of iced banana.

You will need:

2 ripe bananas

To Make:

1. Mash the bananas

2. Transfer to a small plastic container. Cover and place in the freezer for several hours

3. Allow to stand at room temerature for 10 minutes before serving

4. Serve in bowls or in ice cream cones.

Simply yummy and refreshing! To be extra adventurous try adding some more fruit to this mixture!

To make more creamy simply add some low fat cream to this mixture!

Toasted Breakfast Wraps

Are you fed up of boring breakfast?

Then have no fear as Duckey is here to guide you to breakfast heaven! Not just yummy but low in fat and high in all the good stuff!

Recipe: Delicious, extremely healthy, and quick brakfast wraps for an alternative to boring breakfast!

You will need:

2 large bananas
2 nectarines, halved and stoned
2 tsp thin honey
4 low fat tortillas

To make:

1. Chop the bananas and nectarines and toss with the honey

2. Spoon the fruit down the centre of the tortillas and roll up, folding in the ends to enclose and form wraps

3. Heat a non-stick griddle pan over a medium heat

4. Place the tortilla wraps, seam-side down, in the pan and cook for 2 minutes each side. Serve warm.

These are amazing and perfect for a special breakfast or if you've had guests stay over. They also make a refreshing dessert!

Duckeys special healthy flapjacks!

In keeping this recipe simple I wanted to strip out the badness! So I have adapted this using apple juice to sweeten along with a drizzle of honey... banishing the sugar, butter and FAT!

RECIPE: Duckeys special morish flapjacks with raisins, oats and honey... the perfect dessert or afternoon treat!

You will need:
Apple juice
Drizzle Honey
150 g (6oz) Organic Oats
50 g (2oz) Sunflower Seeds
25 g (1oz) Sesame Seeds
50 g 2oz) Dried Apricot Pieces, chopped
50 g (2oz) Raisins

To make:

1 Add to a sauce pan the oats gradually adding the apple juice to form a porridge like consistancy

2. Add all of the other ingredients and mix together

3. Once a stoggy mixture has formed transport the contents into a greased baking tray

4. Cook in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes at 180°C until the biscuit is golden brown

5. Mark it into bars while it is still hot then allow to cool slightly, and cut into slices.

Store the bars in an airtight container; they will keep for one week.

You may at first find them bland but they are deliciously morish! As well as adding fruit you can add nuts, cherries, dates and even dunk them in 70% dark chocolate if you want to be a little naughty or try adding some chocolate chips!

Salmon, Wild Rice and Watercress Stew

As you know by now Salmon is one of my favourite fish dishes! I love the flakey pink flesh that is full of Omega 3! Sometimes I get a bit bored of having it on my plate with veg so here is a new take on a fish stew! Fish stew to me sounds disgusting however this sounds mouth watering...

RECIPE: Salmon stew combined of wild rice and fresh watercress in a mouth watering flavourful broth, serve with wholemeal crusty bread!

You will need:

1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
300 g celeriac, cut into 1cm cubes
100 g wildrice
750 ml fish stock, hot
100 g watercress, chopped
600 g salmon fillets cut into large pieces
2 lemons

To Make...

1. Add the onion and leek to pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes

2. Stir in the garlic, celeriac and rice then pour over the stock

3. Boil rapidly for 15 minutes

4. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, adding extra water if necessary

5. Stir in half the watercress

6. Place the salmon on the rice

7. Season and squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon

8. Cover and cook gently for 7 minutes until the salmon is cooked

9. Flake the salmon into the rice and serve with the remaining watercress and wedges of lemon

I cannot tell you how yummy this is it is a great one to have if you have a lot of people round perhaps the family and makes a refreshing change in having salmon just cooked on a plate or in Stir-Frys!

Crustless Courgette Quiche

I love this Crustless Courgette Quiche! It couldn't be easier (since there is no crust to worry about)whic means its actually healthier!

You can make it ahead of time and reheat it or have it cold!

Try experimenting with other vegetables as well as - or instead of - the courgette.

RECIPE: Crustless low fat Courette Quiche perfect for Summer dinning!

You will need:

1 medium courgette, sliced or cubed
2 cups 500 mL low fat cottage cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup 250 mL low fat Cheddar cheese, cubed
3 Tbsp 45 mL melted butter
3 Tbsp 45 mL flour
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp 5 mL dried basil
Salt and Pepper

To make...

1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees

2. Combine everything in a bowl

3. Mix well

4. Pour into a greased pie plate

5. Cook in the oven Bake at least 1 hour, until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

How easy can it be!

Monday, 26 May 2008

The Duckey version of Happy Birthday Carrot Cake...

My birthday is just around the corner and for this occasion I want to treat myself a little and make my ultimate favourite cake!

I have always wanted to make this recipe, however it’s not the most healthiest of cakes despite its name. To overcome this I have adapted this recipe slightly… in my own way and Duckey proofed another dish yet again.

It is always good to have a slight indulgence now and again as I find if you are too strict with yourself when you do let yourself go you just binge on completely the wrong types of food and in theory this is probably worse for you rather than a treat now and then.

This is also known as yo yo dieting which can lead to more weight gain than sticking to a balanced diet.

RECIPE: Moist succulent carrot cake delicately favoured with cinnamon pineapple and raisins, combined with walnuts topped with a low fat cream cheese topping decorated with carrot peel.

You will need:

60g unsalted butter
1 egg 1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large grated carrots
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
135g brown sugar
110g wholemeal flour
50g drained, canned, crushed pineapple
50g raisins
50g walnuts chopped

For the icing:

112g low-fat cream cheese softened
100g icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate:

Thinly stripped carrot peels

To make the cake:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

2. Remove the unsalted butter and eggs from the refrigerator to allow them to warm to the room temperature

3. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy

4. Gradually add the brown sugar and continue to beat until the mixture becomes very fluffy

5. Then add the egg and egg white (which should be beaten in a separate bowl for a bit of volume

6. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg and carrots

7. Sift the wholemeal flour, baking powder and salt in the mixture

8. Fold in half the flour mixture

9. Stir in the pineapple, raisins and walnuts

10. Fold in the rest of the flour mixture … the batter should be smooth, but do not overmix!

11. Coat a 10-inch round cake pan with non-stick spray

12. Pour the batter mixture into the pan

13. Bake until the cake is golden brown and set in the center, about 35 minutes

14. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan

To make the cream cheese icing:

1. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla together until the mixture is smooth

2. Using a spoon or spatula, spread the icing on top of the cooled cake

3. Store the cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

4. Cut the cake into 12 pieces and allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

To add peace of mind to your piece of cake the overall values of this carrots cake is:

Calories: 234
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Protein: 3 g
Total Carbohydrates: 34 g
Cholesterol: 43 mg
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 94 mg

If you compared this with the usual recipe I am sure it would leave you feeling guilt free! Let me know what you think!

I can't wait to try it - I have left the cake in the fridge over night so when I serve it at dinner tomorrow it should be perfectly cool and creamy... plus I can enjoy it more as I know exactly what went in it and that its healthy!

Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Duckeys special tuna feast...

A great summer time snack I think is a light salad served with a type of fish, as I have mentioned before my favourite fish is tuna and my favourite dish is tuna cakes!

I have done one rendition of my tuna cakes on here before however this time I am jazzing it up and serving with an avocado salad and butter beans. I am also adding a few extra ingredients to the tuna cakes.

RECIPE: Healthy fresh tuna cakes with hummus served with a ripe avocado salad

You will need:

For the cakes:

1 can of tuna
2 spring onions
2 celery sticks
2 cloves garlic
1 spoon of light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
3 slices of wholemeal bread
Salt, pepper and chilli
½ can of butterbeans

For the Salad:

1 extra ripe avocado
1 bag of fresh baby leaf lettuce
½ can butter beans cooked
1 beef tomato sliced
Drizzle of salad cream (light)

To make the Tuna cakes…

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees

2. Place all of the Tuna cake ingredients in a blender and whiz until your heart is content

3. Spoon out the mixture and using your fingers form small cakes

4. Line a baking tray with 1 calorie spray

5. Add the cakes to the tray

6. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden in colour

To make the salad…

1. Add the lettuce leaves to a large pasta bowl

2. Cut the beef tomato in sections and half add around the dish

3. Cut the avocado in half and add one half into each bowl

4. Sprinkle on the cooked butter beans

5. Place on top the cooked tuna cakes

6. Add a dollope of hummus

7. In a circlur motion drizzle some light salad cream

This makes a really fancy elegant dish which doesn’t take hours to prepare you could have this as a starter, lunch or main course it has a multi-purpose to it! All time yumminess at its best!

Find out what to do with your left over tuna cakes!... Tuna Cake leftovers!

Get fit watching TV!

Could this be a breakthrough? Can you really get fit while watching TV?

Well quite simply yes you can and here is how… watching TV doesn’t mean you have to kiss your great figure goodbye! First of all you need to think about this sensibly.


Ditch the junk food, come on you didn’t think this was going to be easy did you? Then after you have done so get rid of the coach potato look… its not attractive! Get rid of the remote control getting up to change the channel will in fact burn calories! You know… if you sign up for every Sky channel package you could be getting up 139 times a night, that’s 417 calories and the equivalent to a four-mile run.. Wow!


Laughing is said to be the best medicine so laugh laugh laugh until your heart is content! Even laughing burns off calories! It works the facial muscles and stomach muscles increasing breathing and oxygenating the blood. A belly laugh is internal jogging… by laughing 100 to 200 times per day is the equivalent of rowing for 10 minutes. So whack on your favourite comedy show for fifteen minutes and burn up to 40 calories, so watching one series over a weekend could burn an extra 1536!


Spicy food can help you loose weight? That’s not possible surely! Well its said by eating spicy food (enough to make you sweat) also sheads calories much like a Sauna would. A red chilli boosts are bloods temperature therefore burning more energy! Ginger has the same effect, while black pepper and mixed spice boost metabolism.


Get a six-pack! No silly… not from the fridge! We are talking abs here… you can get so many great ab tonning machines or sit up presses that you can watch TV while you work out! Your mind is stimulated… less chance of getting bored… and you don’t miss your favourite shows!


Drop the booze.. by turning wine into water you cut the calories that alcohol creates as well as hydrating your body! It also helps the metabolism!


Have a good old cuppa tea! Green tea in particular has specific fat-fighting qualities, researchers claim that substances found in green tea such as catechins have similar qualities to the ginger and mixed herbs, helping stimulate the body and burn calories.

So how great is that! Who would have thought you could do all this while watching your favourite episodes!

Summertime = Picnic time...

Summertime just screams picnics and BBQ's! The hot weather encourages each and every one of us to venture outside, raiding our fridges scrubbing down the BBQ's what more could you want to do in the summer sun then eat, drink and be merry!

Now I love a good picnic but not the kind where you fill the hamper with crisps, chocolate and all the other things we know we shouldn't eat!

Here are my top tips for a great picnic!...

3. Supply healthy desserts...

* Duckeys Popsical treats
4. Keep your food fresh in a cool bag
5. Bring a picnic blanket to sit on you don't want to get grass in your food

6. Bring paper napkins, plates and plastic cutlery and cups if needed

7. Don't forget your sun tan lotion or sun glasses!

8. Bring your ipod it always sets the mood with summer tunes... a few of my picnic favourites are...

* You and me - The Wannadies
* Air Traffic - Shooting star
* The Wombats - Kill the director
* The Maccabees - First Love
* The Kooks - Naive

Enjoy your picnic! Stay tuned for more updates...

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Duckeys Posh Fish Finger Sandwich...

When I was younger my diet used to consist of fish fingers, most days of the week, they are full of Omega 3 great for both adults and kids!

I usually buy Birds Eye fish fingers as they are pretty low in fat and high in Omega 3. To jazz up fish fingers I sometimes include them in a posh fish finger sandwich!

RECIPE: A posh fish finger sandwich, consisting of four fish fingers mixed with juicy beef tomato, green leaf salad served with light mayonnaise and hummus seasoned with pepper in a ten seed brown bread loaf.

You will need:

4 slices of ten seed wholemeal bread
4 cooked fish fingers
1 beef tomato
salad leaves
1 tsp hummus
1 tsp light mayonnaise
pinch of pepper

To make:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

2. Cook fish fingers for 15-20 minutes until golden brown

3. Meanwhile layout four pieces of bread and spread one side with hummus and the other with light mayo (you can also use light salad cream)

4. Cut thin slices of the beef tomato and layer onto the bread

5. Add the salad leaves on top of the tomato

6. Then add the cooked fish fingers

7. Sandwich together and serve with a salad garnish or some carrot sticks.

This is a great quick evening snack or for lunch, a really posh healthy version of a sandwich which doesn't follow the conventional rules of sandwich making! This must be my favourite sandwich! It also tastes great cold!

Friday, 23 May 2008

Duckeys Chilli Con Carne Special!

I love spicy food and Chilli Con Carne is a great dish, you can fill jacket potatoes, serve with rice it really is an easy filling! Try my Chilli Con Carne Pie!

RECIPE: Luxury Vegetable Chilli Con Carne smacked with spices and beans served with brown rice.

You will need:

45 g of kidney beans, canned and drained
45g butter beans
100g Med Vegetables
½ clove of garlic
½ onion
1 small tin of chopped tomatoes (200g)
½ veg stock cube
1 tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp of drinking coco
½ tsp of mixed herbs

To make:

1. Heat and cook the onion until slightly softened

2. Add the garlic and diced pepper and cook for another few minutes

3. Add the vegetables

4. Stir in all other ingredients, adding more or less chilli powder to taste!

5. Serve with brown rice, noodles or in wraps!

Chilli just couldnt be easier!

Duckey’s Healthy Quickie Meal... Baked spicy chicken

Baked spicy chicken and brown rice

  • Heat oven to 180 degrees
  • Warm 1 calorie spray in a roasting tin on the hob or over gas
  • Add about 8 chicken thighs and fry on a high heat until golden brown all over
  • Remove fro the heat and set aside to cool
  • Then add a large onion and sweat for 6 minutes
  • Stir into this 3 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tsp of cumin or garam masala, 1 tsp ground ginger, and 1 sliced green chilli
  • Then stir in 300g brown basmati rice and cook for a minute
  • Add in the chicken thighs and pour over 650ml of hot chicken stock
  • Cover with foil and then bake for about 20 minutes until the rice has almost absorbed all of the stock
  • Add hot water if the rice looks dry
  • Lastly uncover and stir in 200g frozen mixed green vegetables
  • Re-cover and bake for a further 10 minutes.

    For dessert...

    Fruit, natural yoghurt and 1 square of dark chocolate, grated

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Duckeys Special Garlic Pitas

These are a great healthy alternative to garlic bread! Almost half the calories and to me even taste better!

RECIPE: Warm Toasted garlic and basil pitas fresh from the oven!

You will need:

2 mini Pita breads
1 tsp of light butter
1 crushed garlic clove
2 basil leaves

To make…

1. Cut open the pita bread to form two halves

2. In a bowl mix some warmed butter (light) and a crushed garlic clove (add more to make extra garlicy)

3. Stir in some basil leaves and spread on the open side of the pita bread

4. Toast under the grill for 1-2 minutes and ta-da… its that easy.

These go great with my Italian Turkey and Mozzarella pasta bake or with any dish that needs a little extra on the carb front!

Duckeys Special Greek salad and wraps!

Lately I have been eating a lot of salads but yes… salads can be boring so I tried to spice mine up with a bit of Greek influence. 
It was really nice actually and very tasty! Sometimes you have creative brain waves and your not sure if you can pull it off but I think I did!

RECIPE: Greek style couscous and mixed bean wraps with Greek tuna salad and hummus.

You will need:

2 Multi-seeded wraps
1 tin of mixed beans1 tin of tuna
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 spring onions
1 bag of lettuce
1 beef tomato
Chili powder
1 pack of pesto couscous

To make…

1. Make a salad in a bowl using lettuce leaves and fresh beef tomato sliced

2. Heat some mixed beans up in the microwave

3. Add a pack of couscous to a bowl and add 140ml of hot water from the kettle, cover with cling film and leave to sit for 5 minutes

4. Open a can of tuna and mix with spring onions, Dijon and wholegrain mustard and a sprinkle of chilli

5. Mix the beans and the couscous together

6. Fill the wraps with a spoonful of hummus, add half the couscous and beans and half the tuna split between each wrap and fold up and cut in half (you should have 4 wraps now)

Then add the remaining couscous and mixed beans on top of the salad and the split the tuna in half again

Add the wraps to the dish and this recipe is complete!

What a Greek feast!

Duckey to be a model again?

I was sitting in the hair dressers (like a right girl) two weeks ago and stumbled across a fitness magazine called WFitness! In it they were running a competition in search for a new fitness model!

I haven't modelled now since late last year and in theory I am winding down... however for some reason this stood out to me! I really like the idea that they promoted HEALTHY and FIT models.

I thought to myself "I probably have no chance as theres 5 days left to vote and everyone else has been on there four weeks" but what the hell! It was a bit of fun!

Anyway today I received an email saying I had made it into the finalists! I was really shocked and so happy that my healthy lifestyle has obviously reached out to the people who voted for me!

The link is here so wish me luck guys i'm off to London for the final!

Duckey x

Classic Bread Stuffing

This is a great left over meal which makes a classic recipe, plus a vegetarian alternative to stuffing traditionally made with sausage meat.

200g butter
3 cups chopped onion
2 1/2 chopped celery including the leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
2 teaspoons celery seeds
pinch grated nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound loaf good quality white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (10 to 12 cups), stale or lightly toasted
1/2 taspoon pepper
1/2 cup stock, milk or white wine

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the half the butter. Add the onion, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, celery seeds, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Cook covered, until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. In a large bowl toss the sauteed vegetables with the bread cubes. Season with pepper.

3. Melt the remaining butter. Pour it over the stuffing, (if you want a less rich stuffing you can substitute more stock for the butter), along with the 1/2 cup of stock, and toss to coat. The stuffing should just hold together when mounded on a spoon.

4. Stuff the bird, being careful not to pack the turkey too much with the stuffing. If baking some or all of the stuffing in a casserole, pour a cup or two of stock over the stuffing to replace the juices the stuffing would have absorbed from the bird.

5. Bake the casserole covered until heated through, 45 minutes to an hour. For a crunchy top, uncover for the last 15 minutes of baking.

The perfect accompaniment or sandwich filler!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Tips on how to make a healthy sandwich!


1. Easy on the Mayo

Some full fat Mayonnaise brands can be heavy on the waistline however when using sauces I use extra light mayo or light salad cream. Even a light spreading of healthy hummus can be tasty!

2. Use brown bread

Brown bread is much healthier than white bread so choose a brand with wholegrain and seeds

3. Cancel the butter

It contains lots of saturated fat, a light spread could replace this or if you cant go without butter use something like Flora light

4. Use lots of salad

Its the best way to get your five a day!

5. Make it protein heavy

Use lots of meat, fish and eggs, protein makes you feel full and satisfied for longer

6. Cut out the extras

If you have the main filling do you really need cheese? This is how many sandwiches become fattening!

7. Serve without crisps

Replace your dirty crisps with some healthy carrot sticks or salad on the side

8. Herb-tastic

Adding some herbs can add wonderful flavours to your sandwich

Plenty of good exercise all around the house…

So we all hate doing our chores but recent studies have suggested that housework can actually be doing you a favour!

Personally you may think I’m crazy but I love doing the housework… it clears my head, gives me a sense of satisfaction and the magic bit… it’s a workout in disguise!

Think of all the stretching, lifting back and forthing with the hoover, you work many muscle groups and burn calories! So you work out and then can spend time relaxing in your freshly cleaned house!

Even gardening is great for you, unfortunately I don’t have a garden as we live in a flat but if you do have one make the most of it, while your digging or planting you are actually working out! You also get the bonus of growing great fruit and veg to continue your health plan!

You can also do these at any time (weather permitting if outside) in the morning, in your lunch break, after work or in the evening! It’s a great stress reliever and takes your mind of a worry or an issue if you have one. I really recommend it!

*** special note – make sure all messy people in your house hold agree to keeping it clean! I mean you don’t want to over exercise either!***

Post workout recovery foods…

Often after you exercise you don’t feel too hungry but that’s not to say that your body doesn’t need food. It needs this to restore itself and build new muscle. Usually I will always do a workout before eating for two reasons…

1. If you eat before you feel sluggish and bloated before exercise
2. For the reason that your body benefits from restocking its energy after exercise.

Experts say you should consume your recovery foods within the first ½ hour of exercise.

You should eat...

Easy, digestible carbohydrates such as:

*Peanut butter sandwich on brown bread
*Bowl of cereal
*Cereal bars

Then after…

*Fruit Smoothies

Apparently adding protein to a starchy base offer quality low fat carbs.

This will not only help improve your restoration but also keeps you healthy and in good spirits!