Tag Archives: diet

Healthy Chocolate Brownies

Did you know that today is Food Revolution Day?

The only reason I know is because in 2013 I volunteered to be an ambassador for this initiative started by Jamie Oliver that has spread worldwide in the endeavour to educate and inspire children and adults to learn where their food comes from and how to cook healthy food .

So it may seem strange that the word healthy and chocolate both feature next to each other! However this is the perfect way to get children involved in cooking something they will enjoy.


Here’s how with these gluten free, dairy and sugar free chocolate brownies that everyone seems to love, especially those with with food allergies or intolerances who would like a sweet treat.

The secret ingredient in these is….sweet potato that is packed with nutrition and taste great.


  • 2 medium/large sweet potatoes
  • 14 medjool dates- pitted
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 100g buckwheat or brown rice flour
  • 4 tbsp raw cacoa powder
  • pinch salt

Pre heat oven to 180C (fan 160)

1.Peel sweet potatoes, cut in chunks and steam for about 20 mins until really soft

2.Remove and allow to cool slightly

3.Add to food processor with dates, blend until smooth and creamy

4.Put all other ingredients in a bowl, then add date/potato mixture

5.Stir well – (This may be quite difficult and you may think its really dry but dont panic)

6. Place in baking dish/tray and cook for 20/30 mins until skewer comes out clean

7.Remove from oven and leave to cool in tray for 10 mins (REALLY IMPORTANT STEP)

After this time they can be turned out to finish cooling and cut into squares – enjoy!

So if you believe in helping spread the word about how easy and important healthy eating is for a future generation of happy, healthy children and adults then feel free to share this recipe.

If you’d like more ideas that the whole family will love then check out my cookbook with 90 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas that are tasty, quick and of course good for your mind and body. There are smoothies, soups, hot meals and many ideas you may never had thought of but will be favourites for a long time. Click here to find out more 

Enjoy the brownies

Zita 🙂

ps If you eat too many brownies and want to work them off then join our next trial week at Zest Bootcamp in Bath – click here 



Ditch the diet

So now it feels like Christmas is well and truly over it seems the adverts are all about booking a holiday and infact they are right – we should be thinking about our beach bodies now not in June.

Rather than starting a drastic diet (that cuts out everything you love) in January or a few weeks before you head off for your holiday why not start to swap your bad habits for healthier ones now and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Good food

A sustainable plan should allow for treats whilst supporting your body so that you have:

  • Loads of energy
  • Glowing Skin
  • Able to wear anything you want
  • Feel good wearing clothes that show off your body
  • Good sleep
  • Toned body
  • Free from illness and disease
  • Feeling happy and healthy

It’s not that difficult to achieve all of these but you have to start doing something such as:

  • Drinking a herb or fruit tea instead of a cappuccino or latte
  • Going out for a walk during your lunch hour
  • Taking a big bottle of water to work with you and making sure you have drunk it all by the time you leave
  • Adding some more vegetables into your dinner
  • Having nuts and fruit for a snack instead of a biscuit or cake
  • Only having alcohol one night a week instead of several
  • Starting the day with a green smoothie (check out some recipes in my cookbook)
  • Swapping your lunchtime sandwich for a vegetable soup or a salad
  • Joining an exercise class

It’s great to see how already after just 2 weeks at bootcamp our new members are noticing they can do more (that’s why we make the 4 weeks a progressive programme that gets harder). No matter what level you are starting at you can always make improvements – even if you feel other people are much fitter than you. Everyone has to start somewhere and that’s why our longer term members are very supportive of new people as they know how it feel when you start out and even just the warm up gets you hot and sweaty.

Our next trial week starts on Monday 2nd February so if you are still struggling to get back into your clothes after Christmas or are feeling bloated and lethargic and just not as healthy as you’d like to be, then why not join us?

Maya Tweeted this a few days ago “Feeling amazing – thought I’d hate exercising outdoors but I love it” and Fiona loved being back at bootcamp doing boxing after several months off.

For any of you ladies who aren’t able to get to Bath for bootcamp but want to do something for your health why not join our f.ree webinar on Thursday 29th January at 8pm

“Ditch the diet forever –  7 Simple strategies that get results and you wish you’d known years ago”  – REGISTER HERE

Look forward to seeing you soon at bootcamp or on the live online webinar


Sweat fat crying

Broken heart

So Valentine’s Day is over – hope it brought you whatever you wished for….. a mountain of cards from secret admirers, flowers, chocolates, dinner or just an unexpected cup of tea in bed ( it’s the little things) or maybe you are single and suffering from a broken heart 🙁

Well this post is actually about your health – and most importantly your heart. See whilst we talk about the emotional broken heart, the truth is that many people don’t look after their physical heart and hell, without it your heart pumping blood and oxygen around your body, the fact that someone dumped you and you might feel like Bridget Jones will be the least of your problems.


February is National Heart Month and organizations and charities like the British Heart Foundation are asking everybody to pay attention to their hearts and start living healthier lifestyles.

Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer causing around 82,000 deaths a year and around one in five men and one in eight women die from the disease.

In the UK, there are an estimated 2.7m people living with the condition and 2m people affected by angina, the most common symptom of coronary heart disease.

Most people know someone or have themselves been directly affected by heart disease and the saddest part is a lot of times it is avoidable by changing lifestyle habits. Simple changes in diet by reducing your salt intake and eliminating processed foods from your diet and trying to get a several hours of exercise a week can make a huge difference.

A healthy diet reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and prevents weight gain which puts pressure on your heart, the introduction of a healthy diet also helps to prevent further worsening of existing heart disease and it’s NEVER too late to start eating healthily. Just eat foods that are close to nature and you can’t go wrong – the mediterranean diet is a very heart healthy diet so would be a good one for us to follow. If foods is packaged with loads of additives to make it last months then it isn’t very close to it’s original state. Most people know that fast food isn’t good for us but some of the foods sold in supermarkets as healthy aren’t good to consume all the time either.

To help prevent heart disease here are a few obvious, but often overlooked tips that anyone can do.


  1. Quit smoking – this is one of the most important things you can do today to help your heart and there is so much support available to find the best way for you.
  2. Cardio workouts that work the heart and lungs are a great way to keep your heart healthy with the added benefit of increasing your energy, making your skin glow, improving your sleep and toning up your body. You don’t have to go for long runs to get the heart pumping, even just dancing to a few of your favourite songs can get your heart and lungs pumping ( if you are not sweating after 10 minutes you need to work a bit harder). At Zest bootcamp we do fitness boxing in many of the sessions which everyone loves as it works a sweat.
  3. Lose weight by joining a fitness class – training with like minded people gives your the support and encouragement to keep going when you don’t want to. It’s also a great way to make friends with people who are also interested in a healthier lifestyle.
  4. Drink less alcohol and switch to red instead of white wine as it contains a compounds called resveratrol that is heart healthy – just one glass a day though not a bottle!
  5. Walk instead of driving when possible such as on short trips – can yousometimes walk the children home from school instead of using the car? (plus helps be a good role model for the next generation). In the supermarket park as far away, not close to the doors. In car parks, shopping malls or at work you can use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.

If you live in Bath our next 4 week bootcamp starts on Monday 3rd March and we are offering a TRIAL WEEK for you to try out our group exercise classes – Click here today as spaces are limited.

Can’t get to our classes but want to cook tasty, easy to prepare, heart healthy meals that the family will love – then check out our 90 recipe cookbook here 

Happy hearts and minds 🙂

Is eating fat healthy?

I was a diet food junkie….

Muller light yoghurts
Big bowls of cereals with skimmed milk
Diet coke
Melba toasts (they are low fat and low calorie so ok right?)
Sugar free sweets
Weight watchers soups with a white roll (no butter) and the list goes on.

Food antidepressant

But whilst I was trying to lose weight by reducing my calorie intake through eating less fat,I had no idea that I was giving my body sugar and chemicals.

The lack of fat (and protein) in the foods I was eating just didn’t fill me up, made me feel tiredand was very much to blame for skin conditions I suffered.

Did I lose weight?

Yes some, but I wasn’t healthy and I was just miserable and hungry.

Those were the days before I changed careers and learnt how to be full of energy, vitality and fight disease. I now understand that we should be eating REAL FOOD for better bodies.

All the work I do with 1-1 clients or bootcampers includes getting people to eat foods such as eggs, avocados, nuts, coconut oil and many other “banned” foods of many diet programmes.

What happens is that people look and feel great as a result.

This week there has been a refreshing article in the British Medical Journal highlighting that we should not be afraid of fat.

Here is an extract and I’d encourage you to read the whole article which isn’t long so you can

be clued up as to why not everything you hear in the media, from food manufacturers or even from your doctor may not be true.

Here is a link to the report, some of which I have shared below >> FULL ARTICLE<<<

“It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated fat in heart disease, argues a cardiologist on bmj.com today.
Aseem Malhotra, interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital in London, says scientific evidence shows that advice to reduce saturated fat intake “has paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks.”

And he says the government’s obsession with levels of total cholesterol “has led to the over-medication of millions of people with statins” (an unfavourable ratio of blood fats).

Saturated fat has been demonised since the 1970s when a landmark study concluded that there was a correlation between incidence of coronary heart disease and total cholesterol, which then correlated with the percentage of calories provided by saturated fat, explains Malhotra. “But correlation is not causation,” he says.

Nevertheless, we were advised to “reduce fat intake to 30% of total energy and a fall in saturated fat intake to 10%.”
He points out that recent studies “have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of CVD.” Instead, saturated fat has been found to be protective.

One of the earliest obesity experiments, published in the Lancet in 1956, compared groups consuming diets of 90% fat versus 90% protein versus 90% carbohydrate and revealed that the greatest weight loss was in the fat consuming group.

And more recently, a JAMA study revealed that a “low fat” diet showed the greatest decrease in energy expenditure, an unhealthy lipid pattern, and increased insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) compared with a low carbohydrate and low glycaemic index (GI) diet.

Malhotra also points to the United States, where percentage calorie consumption from fat has declined from 40% to 30% in the past 30 years (although absolute fat consumption has remained the same), yet obesity has rocketed. One reason, he says, is that the food industry “compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar.”
And despite the fact that in the UK, 8 million people take statins regularly, he asks why has there been no demonstrable effect on heart disease trends during this period?

For anyone who like to learn how to look and feel better the Ziat and Zest Bootcamp way …

Click here to join our Trial Week