Tag Archives: lifestyle change

Low Carb Breakfast – Spanish Sprats (Fish) 15/06/14

Today is Fathers Day in England and I am blessed with two children who’s Mummy is very caring. They were got up nice and early to make me a lovely cup of tea in bed and then I got two lovely hand made cards and a small gift to show they care. Ahem! Thanks Mummy.

Anyway, low carb stuff is why I’m here. Now fish is in my humble opinion probably the worst farmed food we have in our eco-system but it is easily the most capable of getting you healthy again. It’s low in fat and carbs and the oil it contains is the right kind of oil. Its just a matter of being confident with it. I honestly believe nothing in the fishy world is easier or more confidence-giving than Sprats cooked Spanish style.

Here’s what they look like “before” with all the eyes and stuff attached.

Counter Sprats from Tesco

Counter Sprats from Tesco







Now all you do is buy however many you fancy for breakfast. I recommend you start with 200g and you can decide from there if that’s too much or too little for you.

Now you have to think low carb and from my point of view normal flour is out so here’s what I do: Get yourself some egg, some soya flour, some vegetable oil for frying, a large pan and some plates and utensils. The most commonly used utensil in Spanish cooking is a fork and it will be invaluable here.

First prepare the fish – Pull off the whisker-fins just by the head. No need to be brutal they come away very easily. Next with a very sharp knife cut the head off just behind the gills. You are going through the spine bone so be firm. If you are practiced at this you may be able to slide the knife and pull out the guts but if not the guts should be removed next. One way is to insert the point of the knife into the hole halfway along the bottom of the fish. This is where the fish excretes waste and leads directly to the gut. Slide your very sharp knife toward the head end and the fish should splay open. Getting the gut out is no more difficult now than running your finger into the gut area.

Rinse the fish. Line up the prep dishes thus: 1st one is a flat bowl – whizz up an egg into this flat bowl with your trusty fork.  small bowl. 2nd one is a plate – dusting flour seasoned with salt an pepper. Add your oil to the large pan and whack it up to 3/5 heat. While the oil is heating up grabbing the fish by the tail dip it repeatedly into the egg then lay it into the flour on both sides. You need the flour to be well spread, not clumpy, on the fish so don’t skimp this stage. Lie them down ready to fry. So with the frying pan as No3 you will need a plate to put the cooked fish on, put some absorbent kitchen paper on it first.

Batch fry until very very very dark golden brown. They might appear almost burned but this is normal. Fry all the fish and when cooked lie them on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. They should crisp up nicely during this stage.

Pile them up then eat! Yummy! Here’s a picture of them “after cooking”.

Fish - Sprats Cooked Spanish Style

Fish – Sprats Cooked Spanish Style









The best way to eat these is with friends but you can dress them up with lemon or dip them in mayo or just eat them like this, which is what I do. All you do is pick up a tail and chomp down. Eat the lot except the tail. You will not notice the bones if you cook them very well. My kids are 10 and 8 and some fussy too. They ate a few each, claiming them to be “Yummy!” So if it’s good enough for my Spanish kids I know you will love this too. Here are the FatSecret type details for all you hard core calorie counters out there.

Tesco Sprats 300g — Fat 33g — Carbs 0g — Sugar 0g — NetC 0g — Prot 54.90g — Cals 525

Soya Flour 25g — Fat 5g — Carbs 4g — Sugar 3g — Net C 1g — Prot  9.75g — Cals 106

Egg 2 large — Fat 14.9g — Carbs 2.68g — Sugar 2.11g — Net C 2.68g — Prot 13.53g — Cals 203

Happy weight loss people.


Low Carb Diet Menu For A Day 08/06/2014

Well here it is. Today’s food intake. My goal is to be a normal person, eating normal food, in a normal way, not processed food that I cannot control and certainly not to be as extreme as the Atkins diet and stay down to 28g of net carbs. To be honest that involves way too much hard work. My own personal low carb regime is simpler, more honest and a lot easier to survive over a long term. I started 31/01/14 at 117.5kg and I am now 106.0kg. If you need a conversion tool try this one: Online Conversion

But even I need changes to my fantastically healthy diet so I thought I would experiment a bit with my food and see what happened when I introduced Blue Dragon Firm Silken Tofu.

Firm Silken Tofu from Healthy Supplies

Firm Silken Tofu from Healthy Supplies

I bought this one off the internet from a health food store but to be honest I could have bought it at any supermarket I reckon. I opened the packet, patted it dry because it is sopping wet, cut it into the mandatory cubes, chucked it into some olive oil to get crusty, (which took ages by the way), and proceeded to add stuff as I came across it in the fridge.


The meal was delicious. I added soy sauce for salty flavour and balanced that with the sweet chilli sauce (which if I had chosen not to would have halved the net carbs eaten). Toasting some sesame seeds while cooking the tofu gave it great depth and a lovely crunchy texture. It was still just like eating cooked blancmange but the way it soaks up the flavours around it means it is a great low carb option I can now admit I have tried it and will definitely be eating it again.

And the best bit is that unlike meat it definitely did not weigh on my stomach immediately after the meal. It is even lighter to eat than fish! The reason I did this meal plan and loaded it up here was to show you that unlike the books, you have a choice. You have the freedom to choose how you live. You do not need the things that are making you fat and unwilling to change. You can buy these ingredients at the market cheaper than the supermarket. Even Aldi is lying to you and lulling you into a false sense of what is cheap. You can put things in your fridge that are going to make you become thin if you follow my low carb regimen of eating fish for half your weekly meals and for the rest of the time you just PAY ATTENTION by recording it all into a food diary, (like FatSecret). You need to know I am nothing more than a “Recovering Fataholic” and I could so easily slip back into those bad eating habits that saw me escalate to 20 stone. The reason I don’t do that anymore is medical but the whole epiphany experience is one I recommend you all try to achieve.

Below I have loaded a pdf of the ingredients eaten along with all other food I ate today. I have to say I wasn’t overly hungry today because the two meals I ate were quite large in volume. I did a lot of physical work today and burned loads of calories which I must remember to add to FatSecret so I can see the “net calories” I used today.

I generally stay under my normal calorie limit because of this regime and it is working well for me because I can often find myself slipping into a shirt I hadn’t worn for 7 years or pull up a pair of jeans that I haven’t been able to pull up for longer than I remember. This is not about losing weight, I am talking about the shape changing that is occurring. And I gotta say that I am really enjoying the whole low carb diet diary experience of returning to my former glory, albeit very very slowly. Because this is exactly how I put it on, very very slowly.

Food Diary 08/06/14


Diary of The Recovering Fataholic. May 2014. No2

This is the home of the random musings from the “Recovering Fataholic”.

I have turned a corner, had an epiphany, been bollocked by the doctor, call it what you want. The news she gave me while I was lying in a bed in A&E recovering from a pulmonary embolism frightened me into action. I was a 20 stone (126kg) mess and dying of liver disease.

I am following a low carb lifestyle because my doctor said that if I don’t, I will lose my liver and by default – my life. I reckon I kind of need that major organ, so I decided to follow her instructions. You can read the story that scared me on the other page above.

May is not a great month for me normally. So many birthdays among my relatives and I am always tempted by birthday cake. Hardly the best low carb food and a definite no-no as far as the doctor is concerned. She banned me from cake, bread, pasta, rice, cheese, alcohol, the list goes on. So I started this month at 106kg. And here we are at the 29th of the month and my weight today was 106.5kg.

So am I bothered? Well no not really. I got myself into this mess and I am getting myself out of this mess, one day at a time. Sure it’s May and my folks want to celebrate their old age, why wouldn’t they ? And who am I to rain on anybody’s parade? So I had a piece of birthday cake or more. But it was always one piece only and it was always the only bad thing I had that day. You see I am following what I call a “Pay Attention” diet. You can too it’s a doddle. And I will lose that last 0.5kg very soon and very easily.

Follow my blog and I will show you how you can do this too – through my postings. It’s not rocket science. You don’t need to be rich. But you do need to want it enough to do it. Not just pay lip service to it. Which is the biggest hurdle by far for you while you read this. I bet just talking about cake got you thinking about sweet things and here you are reading about being good and losing weight and all you can think about is cake. That’s the first hurdle. Stop that and you are on the first rung.

I use FatSecret to record what I eat and thus control the intake. This is the biggest single mistake you are all making when you start dieting for weight loss. Not knowing how much you really weigh and not recording what is being put into your mouth is what got you into the mess in the first place. Time to grow some faith in yourself and time to get started.

I don’t do anything special. I am not a member of a special gym or do much in the way of exercise to lose weight. I just take care of the food I eat now. You can do this too, it is so easy.

Low Carb Kippers

Low Carb Kippers

Try this: my doctor told me to begin by eating fish for half the week. Make that mean whatever you want it to mean. I took it to mean eating steamed/poached white fish with vegetables (I’m not allowed potatoes though) for tea. I have a hob-top steamer (old school) and boil the kettle to kick start it with some pre-heated water. In this I can put all my prepped veg and fish into one container and 20-30 mins later its food time. If I don’t fancy steaming or if it’s lunch at work I am looking for then I often put a can of tuna on top of a half a salad bag from the supermarket (top with a tablespoon of mayo or other low carb sauce) and for breakfast I am now well used to eating kippers or mackerel. I like it grilled to crisp it up but its up to you.


Adding my allowance of only 2 eggs per day to the kippers or chucking in a couple of basic mushrooms really mellows the flavour but open the windows!

Eating fish is easy but the biggest mistake you are about to make is to think fish fingers count. Listen very carefully to this – processed is banned. If it has been messed with so it doesn’t look like fish then it is not a food you should eat because you cannot control what additives are used in it. Fish in it’s natural form is cost effective for your health because it is so easy to digest, low in fat, low in carbs, calories and tastes great and most important of all you are 100% in charge of what goes into your body. This is the first lesson in learning how to “Pay Attention” to what you eat.

Low Carb Diet - Healthy Eating

Low Carb Diet Cod Loins – A personal favourite for healthy eating

Try it – I double dare you. One month. You can do this. Moderate everything else. Avoid the complex carbs like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, porridge, flour and so on. And don’t eat red meat (except bacon). Beyond that it’s your call. Eat as much as you need to but don’t be a glutton. It’s that attitude that got you in this mess in the first place and your head is the first place to begin this low carb way of life.



Only in your head can you begin the process of “Paying Attention”.

Let me know how you get on?

Diary of The Recovering Fataholic. May 2014.

Well today this fatty visited the hospital emotionally fully armed for another round of nagging from the pious.

But today i finally saw a ray of hope glimmer across the horizon of despair that has been my life since October 2012. My doctor smiled at me and was proudly announcing how well I had done with my recent weight loss. She further added how pleased she was to note that the fatty deposits laying around my liver had reduced dramatically, which she put down to the heavy use of fish in my diet and lack of unnecessary carbs. And on top of all that – for the first time in 2 years my blood result was today “within the normal range” which means all of this. Eating this weird diet and following this odd lifestyle continues to be worth doing because I was the one who fixed me. Yay me! 🙂

So what is the bad news doctor? I’m thinking… here it comes… I have to hop on one leg for the next three years and only eat scorpions for breakfast? Or some other extreme punishment?

Liver Cirrhosis

Liver with Cirrhosis

She told me that having cirrhosis of the liver is a lifelong commitment. It will never heal so I continue to run a risk whenever I put bad food in my body from now on. So I must continue with my diet and in addition to all of that – – I now have to “sweat” for a 30 minute period each day. And she left it hanging there. Out there. For anybody to comment on, a bit like I just did.




I can hear all your thoughts crashing in right now. The funny ones, the innocent ones and those who are just downright rude! You can stop that right now. (Laughs out Loud). As if having stinky wee wasn’t enough for this woman, now she wants me to stink of body odour too. Oh well, it is all for a good cause eh?

So I got the debris away from the treadmill this evening. It’s funny how houses have a sort of creeping ivy system in them where if you put something down in an ordinary house after a few days it will have an odd item on it, like an empty mug. Then after a few weeks it has notes, magazines, junk mail and screwdrivers lying on it. Where do they come from? Who goes around with a shopping basket of common household items in it and just lies them on blank surfaces for no good reason. Leave something untouched in  an ordinary house for more than a few weeks and you face having to do battle with triffids to reclaim it from the bowels of damnation!

Where was I? Oh yes treadmill. I got the treadmill out and bent down to put my trainers on and got cramp in my left shin area. Followed swiftly by cramp in the left calf. So it didn’t matter where I stood trying to ease the muscle I was in agony and irony all at the same time.

I sound like a Paul McCartney song don’t I? So I gave up the vain idea of exercise for tonight and decided to celebrate my measured success at having lost over 3 stones so far and not having had alcohol since 2012, (apart from a pint on my birthday and a glass of champers on Christmas Day), nor all those other niceties that make life bearable like toast, by having a couple of lines of Bournville Dark chocolate. I have put it back in the cupboard and it shall stay until June. *pat self on back*

The doctor still wants me to keep going with the weight loss until I am under 12 stone. That’s 4.75 stones I still need to lose. But to be honest I remember saying that in a blog near the beginning of my journey back then and while it spooked me then and if I’m honest still does a bit, I know I have already achieved something worth fighting for and that is my health.

I am not about to stop now. This is probably the easiest way to diet I have ever found, in fact I am not actually dieting. I don’t know how to tell you guys who think I am but I am just paying attention to what I eat and making sure I record everything that goes in my body into Fat Secret so I can track my loss. If you recall from my earlier posts I call this my “Pay Attention” diet. Record what you eat and your failings will emerge. Nothing could be simpler for me. How are you doing with your diet then?

Eat well and lose weight? It’s easy the low carb way.

If you want to ask about the diet I am on please feel free to email or whatever below:




Low Carb Diet Menu for day 01/05/2014

I was feeling quite lazy when it came to eating yesterday. Much like any normal person I can sometimes be a little too busy to mess about with picky food regimes. Today’s menu (below) shows the low carb food I have eaten yesterday. I ate the same things only because I was too busy to bother being different.

Low Carb Cod Loins

Low Carb Cod Loins

The low carb fish was microwaved at 1.5 minute intervals, turned and cooked again. I didn’t count how many minutes it took, I just did this until it was cooked. It’s not rocket science and you don’t need permission to be smart for yourself. The sauce was out of a squeezy bottle and the salad was prepared by a supermarket in England called the Co-Op. How lazy can low carb and low fat dieting be right?

Seriously though – let me remind you all that I am not on a diet because I am fat. My weight loss is merely a by-product of the regime my doctor has put me on. I am forced to eat this way on doctors orders. I have been eating like this for some three months now, (I began this low carb diet on 31st January this year when I weighed 117.5kg). I am due to be reviewed in a couple of weeks but after three months I now weigh 107.5kg. My main worry is the blood tests. What impact on me will there be if the doctor tells me the regime had not affected the unusual blood results I have been producing. What if she tells me I am going to have to go on the liver transplant list? What happens to somebody who has a liver transplant? What happens if none can be found to match my specific type? It’s not about dieting for me. I have a far more powerful motivator. Fear!

This is what I ate yesterday. I enter everything in Fat Secret which is a food diary app that can apply to most common dieting styles like calorie counting or low fat or low GI etc. You will have to spend a moment looking at the numbers for them to pop out at you. I am not gonna treat you like you’re stupid. I just did a copy/paste from my site.

These are the totals for the day:
Fat Carbs Sugar Net C Prot Cals
62.28 25.79 8.25 17.90 164.71 1344

Breakfast 15.36 3.05 2.29 2.96 15.19 218

Tesco Chestnut Mushrooms
92 g
0.46 0.37 0.18 0.28 1.66 15

Scrambled Egg (Whole, Cooked)
2 large
14.90 2.68 2.11 2.68 13.53 203

Lunch 6.14 8.30 2.40 6.30 51.04 307

Co-Op Sweet & Crunchy Salad
1 pack
0.40 7.00 1.40 5.00 1.30 40

Hellmann’s French Dressing
1 portion, 15 g
4.00 1.30 1.00 1.30 0.50 43

Steamed or Poached Cod
220 g
1.74 49.24 224

Dinner 7.56 8.30 2.40 6.30 91.32 491

Steamed or Poached Cod
400 g
3.16 89.52 408

Hellmann’s French Dressing
1 portion, 15 g
4.00 1.30 1.00 1.30 0.50 43

Co-Op Sweet & Crunchy Salad
1 pack
0.40 7.00 1.40 5.00 1.30 40

Snacks/Other 33.22 6.14 1.16 2.34 7.16 328

Brazil Nuts
50 g
33.22 6.14 1.16 2.34 7.16 328

Low Carb Diet Menu For A Day 28/04/14

My weight has been fairly static recently. But having kept it off I am confident the downward trend will recommence any time soon. I’ll keep you posted.

A short note on the subject of those horrible sugar cravings: I manage to get rid of my sugar cravings by giving in to them. Don’t deny that you want sugar. Just eat some chocolate (try a small bar from a corner shop instead of a giant slab from the supermarket). I find that when I’ve done that I can say to myself “right then, no more until next month”. And dumb as it sounds it is actually working. I have given myself permission to admit that I have these cravings and to admit that I called them “treats” when in truth they were just “poisons” for my poorly liver. So after accepting this truth I found it easier to handle and easier to quit for the month, knowing I could give in next month if I had to. Feel free to see my constant weight loss since January if you think I’m kidding. My diet is all in my mind. Bet yours is too.

Anyway here is an example low carb diet menu for a day

My Food Diary: Today, Monday 28 April 2014. The first set of numbers is the totals for the day.

Fat Carbs Sugar Net C Prot Cals
29.49 47.88 25.39 40.43 166.80 1156

Breakfast 15.78 7.85 2.11 7.85 16.72 245

Scrambled Egg (Whole, Cooked)
2 large
14.90 2.68 2.11 2.68 13.53 203

Sainsbury’s Chunky Vegetables
1.1 x 100g
0.88 5.17 5.17 3.19 42

Lunch 9.50 9.60 3.40 7.60 39.01 282

Co-Op Sweet & Crunchy Salad
1 pack
0.40 7.00 1.40 5.00 1.30 40

John West Tuna Chunks in Brine
138 g
1.10 36.71 156

Hellmann’s French Dressing
2 x 1 portion, 30 g
8.00 2.60 2.00 2.60 1.00 86
Add Item

Dinner 4.21 16.43 7.88 10.98 104.07 538

Steamed or Poached Cod
445 g
3.52 99.59 454

Tesco Pak Choi
175 g
0.35 3.85 2.10 2.62 30

130 g
0.13 8.36 4.94 6.06 1.17 36

Sweet Red Peppers
70 g
0.21 4.22 2.94 2.82 0.69 18
Add Item


Nothing complicated. No starving myself. All very easy to cook. Breakfast was cooked in a small frying pan without the need for oil. Lunch came in a can and a bag and a squeezy bottle. Whilst dinner took the most time to prepare I had to chop a pepper, peel and chop half a turnip and chop 2 pak coi pieces. Unwrap the cling film off my cod and place them all in my stove top steamer (cheap and simple). I steamed for about 20-30 minutes.

Some of you have been asking me to say what low carb or low fat foods I eat through a whole day instead of just putting down example meals. Well generally speaking I eat what I want within reason. All I do that’s different to you is that I am bothered enough to record everything in FatSecret. A great little app. Here’s a pdf of that menu above Food Diary 280414

Low Carb Cod Loins

Low Carb Cod Loins

Eat Chocolate And Lose Weight? Admit It You Hate Me Don’tcha? #24 Apr 2014

I lost weight again. I have now gone down to 107.6kg and I have lost an X too. Instead of being an XXXL – I am now an XXL. Woo Hoo! 🙂

If I keep going just a bit further I will drop to less than 17 stone. That is a whopping 3 stone off since this all began. To put that into perspective that’s 3 car tyres removed from my body weight.

I can’t honestly say the restrictions my doctor put me on have in any way hampered my love of fish and vegetables but with Easter comes the temptation of chocolate. So what I did was give in to it. I had a little chocolate.

They say a little of what you fancy does you good. In this case it was obviously meant in a morale boosting kind of way. I am now completely over the chocolate cravings and am back on the low carb band wagon once more.

Eat chocolate and lose weight? Admit it – you hate me don’tcha?