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The Frugal diet | calorie free water

SOUP 027

There are few calories in fibre and so high fibre foods are healthy and will help in a weight loss diet. Water has no calories and will help give you a feeling of being full. Fruit and vegetables have a lot of fibre and a high water content. I cooked the chicken and celery soup in the picture yesterday and it was both high fibre, packed full of vitamins and contained a lot of water. It also tasted yummy!

We have to be frugal too and so I used 2 chicken legs to make a base stock. If you’re on a diet to lose weight, remove all the excess fat and the skin, cut them in half and cook in about a litre of water, until the meat is coming off the bones. Then take them out, remove the bones and put the meat back in to the stock. Then I chopped the celery, as small as I could and added that. The onion was chopped and added too. I used one large onion for this soup. I also added a little white cabbage and then the seasoning (salt and pepper), then the herbs. You can just use herbs d’Provence, but I used those and a little basil and sage too. All the ingredients have a quite pungent flavour and so makes a soup that is really tasty. I had about 10 stalks of celery for 59p from Aldi and I used half of it. The chicken was 99p and the onion 25p. So my soup cost about 1.60, for 1.5 litres. I think if I had a larger saucepan I could have made 2 litres. For a family, add more vegetables. The members of the family that aren’t trying to lose weight can have boiled potatoes added to their soup to make it more filling.

There are other foods that are high in water, but still have flavour. The celery in the soup was high in water and is good on a salad or as a snack. You can also make jelly that can be a low-calorie dessert. I know beer has a high water content, but unfortunately it isn’t low calorie!

If you’re not managing a 1,000 calories a day, don’t worry, that’s just a target  for meals and assumes you are still having milk in your tea and snacks in between meals. If you are really good and avoid snacks and drinks with calories in them; then you can have more calories at meal times. The number of calories depends on whether you have a large frame or a slight frame and on your height too. I am over 6 feet tall and so even 1,800 kcal in a day would allow me to lose weight slowly.

Healthy eating is a life style choice. When I did my shopping this week, I bought very little processed food. I bought chicken, eggs, cabbage, broccoli, celery, grapes, potatoes and nectarines. I don’t need to lose weight, so today I will have oven chips, but I’ll also have artificial sweeteners for my numerous cups of tea! I don’t have things like pizza, I don’t have any dairy products and rarely use sugar. I tend to eat smaller portions than most people, but do enjoy my food. I will cook fish and chips today. The fish will be cooked without batter and low-fat and the chips will be a small portion of oven chips. Even with the garden peas, the cost will be a fraction of what it would be in a fish and chip shop and the calorie count will be a quarter of what fish and chips from a shop would be.

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