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Topic: Eating Healthy in the UK  (Read 3402 times)

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Eating Healthy in the UK
« on: May 06, 2007, 04:29:02 PM »
For Stacey... :)

Far from being the healthiest person on this site -- LOLOLOL!  Still, I have lost 60 pounds (about 4 1/4 stone) since moving to the UK, and I have NOT been on a diet.

First, I will say that we walk quite a lot.  We use public transport & walk around greater Leeds to get where need to go (most places), and we do rambling at the weekends.

Now on to the eating...  DH is a healthy eater & he's naturally thin.  We don't stock our cupboard with crisps, sweets, sugared fizzy drinks, frozen or processed meals, cookies, etc.  Not that we don't eat some of these things from time to time (who can go without a bit of chocolate every now & then, for goodness sake!?), but only a bit here & there - we don't keep them onhand.  Don't forget alcohol has a lot of calories usually and that is sometimes my downfall.

We buy what I call 'real' food as close to its natural state as possible & locally raised if possible - meat, poultry, fish, fresh fruit & veg, dairy, etc.  Do you have a green grocer or city market near you?  Buy your fruit & veg there.  Same for a local butcher if you have one.  I find it more exciting to cook the basics if you know & appreciate just how fresh it is & you've met the person (in some cases) that actually grew it & picked it.

We do a lot of grilling, steaming and/or boiling food - very little frying.  We make our own bread using a breadmaker.  Snacks are usually fresh fruit or a 'sort' of vice - cheese & biscuits, but in small portions.  Drink lots of water.

Honest I don't think any of this is any different from in the US -- but if you are having trouble doing something or finding something, I'm sure we can brainstorm together! :)

And I'm sure others will have some good & helpful ideas as well.  Anyway, this is what worked for me.  I actually had more trouble eating healthy in the US -- 'cause I will stuff myself with junk food if given the chance & it seems to be so much more plentiful there!

As to finding 'health' foods, that's not really my thing or area of expertise.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...

- from Anthem, by Leonard Cohen (b 1934)


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2007, 04:57:18 PM »
Avoid eating food that is marked low-fat. It tends to have loads of glucose syrup or sugar added.

It's probably the same in the US, but I've noticed it much more in the UK.


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2007, 05:42:12 PM »
Avoid eating food that is marked low-fat. It tends to have loads of glucose syrup or sugar added.

Yes, I find a lot of 'diet', 'reduced calorie', or 'low-fat' products are just removing one 'bad' (bad being relative) thing & swapping it for another.

Also, we don't get a lot of takeaway food either.  What we make at home is healthier & tastes better.

If you're having trouble finding your nearest places to buy fresh food locally, maybe you can say whereabouts you are living -- and our expert googlers, researchers & sourcing specialists can help out?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2007, 08:29:57 PM by carolyn_b »
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...

- from Anthem, by Leonard Cohen (b 1934)


Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2007, 05:50:12 PM »
Fab topic! 

*off topic comments have been moved here http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=33771.0


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2007, 06:03:17 PM »
If you are interested in "health" foods - N.B. I am not endorsing the belief that these foods are always healthier than other foods:

Holland & Barrett http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/
Out of this World http://www.outofthisworld.coop/


Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2007, 08:13:11 PM »
For Stacey... :)

Thank you darlin'  this is fabulous! :-*


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2007, 08:23:58 PM »
I found the following link that might help people looking for good healthy British foods. It's an index of all the certified farmers' markets in the country. Search by county, and happy hunting!

By the way, great thread, Carolyn!  ;D
My Project 365 photo blog: Snaps!


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 08:43:22 PM »
I found the following link that might help people looking for good healthy British foods. It's an index of all the certified farmers' markets in the country. Search by county, and happy hunting!

Oooh, thanks!  I was just talking to Carolyn earlier about trying to find a good farmer's market closer to our place in Redcar (Leeds is a *bit* out of the way for a weekly shop!) - I'll definitely be checking this out. :D


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2007, 09:17:16 PM »
Thanks for posting the link, chary! :)

Meg, it looks like the farmers market nearest you would be in Guisborough, N Yorks - not sure how far away that is from you?

Guisborough is itself a market town:

http://www.guisborough-town.com/market.php

As is Stokesley -- here's a link I found with all sorts of market town info for N Yorks:

http://www.ryedale.gov.uk/pdf/Markets%20in%20and%20around%20Ryedale.pdf

(If it shows all gibberish when you click it, try copying the link & pasting it into a new browser window.)

Steve seemed to think that Great Ayton might be a market town as well, but I've not found anything on that.  Not sure what might be north of you?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2007, 09:19:56 PM by carolyn_b »
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...

- from Anthem, by Leonard Cohen (b 1934)


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2007, 09:26:07 PM »
I was actually looking up the info for the Guisborough market this afternoon - after I dropped Chris off for his nap :) I ran to the Sainsbury's there to pick up a couple of things before the bank holiday, and saw a couple of promising signs on the high street.  It's only about 15-20 minutes away from us - the next biggish town to our southwest - so if the market's any good, we'll definitely be making a habit of it!

I'm also intrigued by the mention of "pet food" at the Saturday market in Guisborough....


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2007, 09:28:45 PM »
And I'd like to know what is Yorkshire Punch? ;D
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...

- from Anthem, by Leonard Cohen (b 1934)


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2007, 09:31:36 PM »
I feel a road trip coming on....  ;D


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Re: Eating Healthy in the UK
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2007, 10:55:44 AM »
Meg, I also found these today...

http://www.information-britain.co.uk/typelist.php?type=Market&town=Middlesbrough&county=95
(There are two links there for markets apparently right in Middlesbrough!)

Also, thinking more about eating healthy...I think it helps to find or discover what one's motivation might be for doing it.  It's a good thing (healthy eating) no matter what your shape or size.  For me it's helped with weight loss, though as I say I have not been on a diet these past 3 years.  I have given up on diets because I don't believe that they work, and neither does DH -- though he's never had any need for one - lol!

Steve has really helped me out so much - encouraging me to improve my diet, sometimes nagging, encouraging me to walk, sometimes nagging...  When I explain this to people sometimes, they sometimes react as if 'he shouldn't be telling you what to do, etc etc'.

But if I don't take care of myself -- well I've a history of PCOS & I'm going to be prone to this (it runs in my family):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabolic_syndrome

When DH & I first met, I was around 20 stone (I'm 5' 8" so on me 20 stone is going to look different than on someone shorter) - was starting to undergo treatment for high blood pressure.  I also had high LDL cholesterol, and my doctor told me it was really a question of not 'if' but 'when' as to the onset of diabetes.  I was 39 years old.  I was just reading IME's thread today on 'Borderline Diabetes' and thinking back on all this, which prompted me to post.  Hoping it might help someone with similar issues.

So the changes I have made to my lifestyle as to healthier eating and the 9-mile walking & all that...have been entirely because of this, and my husband has been indispensable (if sometimes infuriating) in helping me to get better.  Recently, I've been getting into a bad habit again of stuffing myself with junk food when I'm at work.  He got quite emotional when we started to talk about it...I was complaining something like 'why can't I be who I am?!  why do I have to change everything...?'  (I get cranky & awkward sometimes about this stuff!!)  To which he responded - 'Will you still be yourself when you get diabetes?'  He got really emotional & said basically to the effect that he waited so long for me to turn up in his life, he's terrified of losing me to diabetes, heart disease, etc when it's something that we could work on together on preventing.

Gosh - how can you not respond & try to do better in the face of that - when you realise just how much someone loves you?!

So that's my motivation (and my story) - sorry for the long post!  Also I do feel better when I eat better.

What are your motivations? :)

PS - I meant to add that I think it's easier to make changes before you're really sick with something like diabetes.  Unfortunately, my father ignored all of this at his peril, which is why we lost him when I was only 9.  So yeah -- everyone has to do it for themselves ultimately, but never underestimate the impact that your life & your health have on the people who love you and depend on you. :-\\\\
« Last Edit: May 07, 2007, 11:15:24 AM by carolyn_b »
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in...

- from Anthem, by Leonard Cohen (b 1934)


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