I’ve been on a permanent diet roller coaster in my head my whole life. Every Monday I would start and tell myself this was the week I would change my life around, I was going to stick to it for sure, I was going to get the body I wanted, I wasn’t going to be bloated anymore, I was going to buy the clothes I wanted to buy, I was going to stop feeling like a failure etc etc. Now I never actually followed a diet as such as I knew what I had to do, I accepted where I was going wrong and didn’t make excuses so every Monday I planned to be good, stop eating all the food and shit and become fabilis. Of course by Monday night I had failed and fallen off the wagon and gave up until the following week because there was no point anyway. I would then spend the rest of the week kind of “trying to be good” but failing miserably and then I would feel so guilty and get really annoyed with myself because once again I had failed so I might aswell eat ALL the food.

I used to get so pissed off with myself, I had brought 2 kids into the world, ran a really successfully business, had beaten breast cancer and recovered really fast from serious surgery but yet I couldn’t control my relationship with food. I wasn’t massively over weight because I was always trying to be good so I kept it in check but always felt deprived, I wasn’t the type to sit down and eat 5 bars of chocolate not that I didn’t want to, I would have demolished them if I let myself but I was always being strict but getting nowhere. It constantly felt like I was in a vicious circle and it was a constant battle of wills in my head. Looking back now it was no way to live. I knew myself what I had to do, I didn’t blame anybody or anything else, yes I had an under active thyroid which made it harder for sure but I knew if I really made changes & tried I could change.

I felt bloated, tired, sluggish, old, past my sell by date, I had reluctantly accepted this was what a nearly 40 year old mom looked and felt like and it felt like shit. That bloated roll of fat around my tummy was constantly on my mind, my clothes never felt comfortable, I had to buy baggy tops all the time to cover my belly which made me look older and frumpy. This wasn’t me, I didn’t even feel comfortable going for a power walk or run as all those sports tops stick to belly fat like fxxkin glue, WTF is with that?? Maybe they make them so you feel so fxxking disgusting in them you run faster? Anyway to make a long story short I got sick of feeling like shit and if I felt like this at 40 what the hell was I going to feel like at 5o, 60 etc. I thought life was supposed to start at 40? All I had was a feeling of impending doom and it was all going downhill, I couldn’t spend the next half of my life feeling like this. When I was lying in my hospital bed after surgery I swore I was going to live life to the max, I had been given a 2nd chance and here I was feeling like a frumpy auld one and something just clicked.

I’ve never been so determined in my life to change “ME”! Do you know what, I wanted to see what it felt like to be my “best” for once in my life rather than always wishing. I’ve always yo-yo-ed with weight and always carried that extra bit and was always a bit fluffy. I remember one time in my 20’s being very slim and I still remember to this day how it felt, it felt fxxking amazing and I always questioned why I didn’t keep that feeling and stay that way, why did I let food win all the time when it didn’t really make me happy. I needed to accept why I was always fluffy and struggling and just change. It was really that simple for me, I’m lucky in that I work in food so I understand it, I know how to cook, I have access to really good quality ingredients, I can cook healthy dishes just aswell as creamy rich dishes. The bottom line was I really had no excuse and I gave myself a good talking to and kick up the arse and decided there and then that was it. I had 9 months to my 40th birthday, food was no longer going to hold me to ransom and it was now or never…

I got rid of the mindset life is too short not to have such & such a thing and changed it to life is too short not to feel fxxking amazing everyday. I want to be a good example for my 2 girls and no Mars bar or slice of cake is going to stop from me getting to this far off land that only special skinny genetically lucky people make it to. To be honest I had no clue what was ahead of me as I had never ventured this road before but by god was I determined. I wish I could tell you once I made this decision that it was really easy, it was so tough those first few weeks. I can genuinely tell you I felt depressed a lot of it, I had given up all the things I loved and the funny thing is I still allowed myself have them at the weekends but it was just the fact I couldn’t have them when I wanted, I was so used to turning to food and a glass of wine for comfort I felt a bit……LOST!

I kept questioning myself why was I doing this when I felt so bloody miserable, I went through a pretty shit time (you can read about it here)a few weeks in and normally I would have turned to wine and chocolate for comfort and when I didn’t I knew that was it, I was in for the long haul and I was so bloody proud of myself. I turned a corner after that, the main change for me was not giving up. Before I would start, fall off and give up but this time even if I didn’t have a perfect day I would start again “tomorrow” so everyday I started tomorrow. Everyday didn’t go to plan but I would start again the following day and as time went on I didn’t have to keep re-starting, I started to be in control of what I ate and not the other way round for the first time in my life.

Changing habits of a lifetime doesn’t happen overnight but if you stick with it and stay consistent, slowly but surely you will start to see results. You have to understand this is a change for life and not some quick fix diet like you have tried before. You will fall off and hit the floor but this time you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off & keep starting. As time goes on healthy choices begin to feel normal and right and you don’t feel like you are punishing or depriving yourself. It has taken me well over a year to get to the holy grail of relationships with food and I’m sporting a VIP pass to that far off land where the genetically lucky people hang out but I just worked fxxking damn hard to get here as did they I have since realised, nobody is born lucky no matter how much we try to convince ourselves…

L x


p.s there’s 4 years between the 2 pics above x




Courgetti with Turkey Meatballs…


what you need for 2:

400g courgetti

400g turkey mince

1 small egg white or I use O’Egg in the bottle because 1 egg white is nearly too much

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 red chilli chopped

bunch of coriander

150g cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove sliced

50ml chicken stock (I’m guessing here as I never measured)

2 tsp olive oil or spray oil

what to do:

combine your mince, egg white, crushed garlic, coriander & chilli in a bowl and season. Shape into meatballs, heat your oil in a pan and brown your meatballs all over. Finish in the oven on parchment paper on a baking tray for 8-10 mins at 190 degrees until cooked through.

heat your oil in  another pan and cook your garlic over a low heat for a couple of mins until softened, add your cherry tomatoes and cook for a couple of mins.

add your courgette and stock, season and cook for 5 mins

serve your courgette with your meatballs.


L x

Salmon Burger, Cucumber Sauce, Avocado Salad


what you need for burgers:

450g salmon fillets skin removed and cut into chunks

1 egg white

zest of 1 lemon

half red onion chopped

pinch cayenne pepper

sea salt & black pepper

flat leaf parsley

chives or dill

what to do: 

place all of your ingredients in a nutri- bullet or  food processor and just pulse a couple of times until roughly mixed. I used the wrong blade on my nutri bullet so they were mush:)

Shape into burger patties

cook in 1 tbsp olive oil or spray oil until brown on both sides and then finish in the oven for 8-10 mins on parchment paper at 190 degrees.



what you need for cucumber yogurt sauce:

200 ml greek yogurt

half cucumber grated & drained on kitchen paper

1 crushed garlic

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and season.


what you need for avocado salad:

2 avocado chopped into cubes

juice of 1 lime

1 green chilli chopped

1 crushed garlic clove

handful of coriander

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and season


serve your burgers in a bap of choice with your avo salad and yogurt dressing with some little gem lettuce.

L x



Lemon Drizzle Squares…


what you need:

200g ground almonds

2 eggs

3 tbsp honey

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp baking powder

65ml coconut oil melted in microwave

juice & zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 squares white chocolate (optional)

what to do:

pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and line a square baking tin or loaf tin with parchment paper

in a bowl mix your almonds and baking powder

in another bowl mix your melted coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, honey & lemon with a fork or hand whisk

combine your wet & dry ingredients & pour into your baking tin

cook for 20-25 mins until golden and cooked through

melt your white chocolate in the microwave & drizzle over the top while still warm. Cut into 12 pieces.


Macros – 191 cals, 14.8g fat, 9.3g carbs, 5.3g protein

L x

p.s I’m on Snapchat now, you can find me here. or search HealthyFitBella.

Peanut Butter Blondies…


what you need:

190g Meridian Peanut Butter

80ml softened coconut oil

200g ground almonds

2 eggs

80g dark chocolate, I used Green & Black’s

3 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp honey

1 tsp baking powder

handful salted peanuts(28g)



what to do:

pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees

melt your coconut oil in the microwave and mix together with your peanut butter in a bowl

add your eggs, maple syrup & honey and mix together with a fork or hand whisk

add your ground almonds and baking powder & combine with a wooden spoon

chop up 70g of your dark choc and add

spread the mixture out into a square baking tin lined with parchment

sprinkle peanuts on top

bake for 20-25 mins

melt 10g(1 square) of dark choc & drizzle over with a teaspoon

leave to cool for 10-15 mins and DEVOUR!!!


Macros(cut into 16 pieces)

260 cals, 21g fat, 10.5g carbs, 8g protein.

Recipe adapted from The Little Green Spoon.





what you need:

300g brown long grain rice, I’ve never seen brown paella rice anywhere?

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic thinly sliced

200g frozen peas

1 red pepper sliced

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

3 x 100g chicken fillets chopped

200g prawns

35g chorizo chopped really small, this is a very small piece so make it work, you can also use as much as you want too;)

1 tsp olive oil, use more if you are not watching the weight, you can also use spray oil

1 ltr boiling water or chicken stock(I used homemade)

flat leaf parsley chopped


what to do:

place your peas in a bowl and cover with boiling water

heat your oil in a large pan and cook your garlic & onion over a low heat for 10 mins until softened

add your chorizo and cook for 3-5 mins

add your spices and tomato puree & mix together

add your rice and mix through

add your boiling water or heated stock, season, cover with a lid & simmer over a low heat. Long grain Brown rice takes ages to cook, at least 45- 60 mins, so you could use an alternative one for faster cooking like basmati. If it dries out at any stage just add some more boiling water. Because of this I cook the chicken in a different pan as it would be like rubber if you left it in for that long. Chicken thighs are better for this recipe but not for the cals or macros:)

after 30 mins add your peppers

cook your diced chicken pieces and set aside

about 10 mins towards the end of cooking add your peas, & prawns and cook for 5 mins, then add your chicken.

Mix altogether and add your flat leaf parsley and serve.

p.s. alternatively you could just cook everything in one pan if this takes too long and boil your rice separately and then add together. You wouldn’t need 1tr of liquid for that.


L x

Piri Piri Chicken & Spicy Rice…


what you need:

Piri Piri Chicken

mix of chicken legs/thighs/breasts

2 tsp paprika

3 cloves garlic

3 red chilli

3-4 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

fresh thyme

sea salt & black pepper

Spicy Rice 

1/2 white onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp chilli

1/2 tsp cumin

1 cup peas defrosted

1 mug brown long grain rice

fresh coriander

2 mugs chicken stock\water


what to do: (chicken)

in a blender or nutri-bullet blitz all of your marinade ingredients

remove the skin from your chicken and cover in marinade and leave in the fridge overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.

heat your oven to 190 degrees and cook your chicken for 45 -50 mins until chicken is cooked and golden


what to do: (rice)

heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot and cook your onion and garlic over a low heat until softened

add your spices and cook for 1-2 mins

add your rice & 2 mugs of stock/water and bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 mins(brown rice takes a while to cook) Add more hot water if needed towards the end.

add your defrosted peas 10 mins towards the end

when all the water has evaporated your rice is done, add your fresh coriander.

serve with your chicken and enjoy the praise


L x

Chilli & Lime Turkey Burgers & Clean Slaw


What you need for Turkey Burgers: (makes 6 burgers & 2 small kiddies burgers) 

800g Turkey Mince

1 egg

1 chilli diced

2 cloves garlic crushed

zest of 1 lime

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne

2 tbsp coriander chopped

sea salt & black pepper

olive oil

What you need for Slaw 

savoy cabbage(I used about 1/4)

red cabbage(1\4 too)

1 carrot

1/2 red onion thinly sliced

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

200g natural yogurt

2 tsp white wine vinegar

juice of half a lemon

flat leaf parsley

spring onion to serve



What to do(Slaw):

remove outer leaves of cabbage and slice as finely as you can

shred carrot in food processor

place all your veg in a bowl, season and add your yogurt, honey, mustard, white wine vinegar, lemon juice & flat leaf parsley

mix together and serve with parsley & spring onion sprinkled on top

What to do(Burgers):

Mix all of your ingredients in a bowl and season well.

shape your turkey mix into patties

heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and cook for 8-10 mins on both sides until golden brown & cooked through. Don’t overcook as they will dry out, these were really moist and delicious and you don’t want to lose that.

serve in a wholemeal roll or little gem/iceberg lettuce with sweet potato wedges and slaw.


p.s I made 2 burgers for the kids with just turkey mince, a little egg white & grated parmesan. They loved them.

L x

Thai Red Curry

FullSizeRenderThis was phenomenal if I do say so myself, better than any takeaway. If you can get your hands on the Thai Gold brand do. It’s stocked in Supervalu & Dunnes.

what you need: 

1 white onion sliced

3 garlic cloves sliced

1 red chilli with seeds chopped

thumb size piece of ginger chopped

2 tbsp Thai Gold red curry paste

2 tbsp fish sauce

4 lime leaves(Tesco, fine without too but they give it a great flavour)

1 tbsp tomato puree

400ml Thai Gold coconut milk

250ml chicken stock

4 chicken breast chopped

1 pack sugarsnap peas or green beans or both.

Wholemeal Jasmine rice(Thai Gold) or brown basmati.

groundnut oil or olive oil

sea salt and black pepper



what to do:

put your rice onto boil, I do 1 mug to 2 mugs of boiling water, cover and simmer for about 30 mins.

heat 3 tbsp oil in a pot and add your chilli, garlic & ginger. Cook over a low heat for about 5-7 mins and add your onions. I cook these over a low heat for 10-15 mins until softened.

add your, lime leaves, curry paste and tomato puree, season and mix well, add your fish sauce.

add your stock & milk and leave to simmer for 15-20 mins

cook your chicken pieces( I do them separate for the 3 yr old)

add your sugar snap peas 10 mins towards the end.

add your chicken & coriander and serve with your rice.

Enjoy the praise x




Chicken Noodle Miso Soup


what you need: 

thumb size piece of ginger chopped

250g chestnut mushrooms sliced

1 white onion sliced

1 pack baby sweetcorn

1 pack sugar snap peas

3 cloves garlic sliced

1 chilli chopped with seeds

1 lt chicken stock

4 spring onion


rice noodles, I use Thai Gold but any noodles will do.

4 tbsp soy sauce

chicken (I used leftover roast chicken but you can use chicken breasts too)

3 tbsp miso

1 lime

groundnut or olive oil

sea salt & black pepper

what to do: 

cook your noodles and rinse with cold water, set aside

heat 3 tbsp of oil in a pot and cook your chilli, garlic & ginger for a couple of mins over a low heat

add your onions and cook slowly for about 10 mins until softened.

add your stock & miso bring to the boil

add your mushrooms, season and simmer for 10 mins

add your sweetcorn and sugar snap peas, cook for 5- 10 mins

add your leftover chicken & soy sauce

place your noodles in a bowl and pour your soup on top, sprinkle with coriander, spring onions, lime wedge and soy sauce.


L x