Author: Emma Hetherington-Royle

10 fruit and veg

Find out how to eat 10 fruit and veg a day

Finally my embarrassingly, extra-large veg habit has been vindicated with the latest report from Imperial College London. As a dedicated grabber of life over 50 ( or #GLO50 for short) I’m always up for doing what I can to stave off  the ravages of heart disease and cancer. And having been a fan of Weight Watchers over the years,  I’ve grown to depend on lots of fruit and veg in my daily diet (they’re almost all 0 SmartPoints in their counting system). It can sometimes be almost too embarrassing to eat with others, as I down a whole bag of wilted spinach, a pile or carrots or (often ‘and’) a mountain of Brussel Sprouts with my grilled chicken or tuna.   So here is how I get my 10-a-day. Tell me how you do, or don’t, get yours…… Emma’s easy recipe for 10 fruit and veg a day:  Breakfast summer fruit: Eaten with my perennial favourite Icelandic breakfast = 1  portion of fruit and veg Fruit: A crisp Conference pear and an apple during the morning = 2 portions of …

dog on holiday

Taking your dog to France: 6 things you need to know

A dog-friendly roadtrip to the French Alps With our grown-up kids all working this summer, we decided instead to take our dog Jacob, along on our latest holiday to the French Alps.  And what a joy! With a bit of preparation before we set off,  and given the French are very dog-friendly,  we discovered a great four-legged holiday companion. If you are thinking of taking your dog to France, we hope our experience will inspire you. 1 Preparation and packing for a dog Meeting passport and travel requirements It’s not difficult taking your dog to France. But we did find we needed to be sorting out Jacob’s travel docs a few months before we set off. A dog (cat or ferret…not sure why the third one is listed on government websites?) has to be microchipped, have all its vaccinations up-to-date and have a rabies jab before the vet can sign off on a pet passport.  Our local vet Sarah also flagged that we would need to find a vet in France to administer a worming …

soup for summer

Soup: the healthy new ‘souper’ food

Souping, I’m reliably informed, is the new juicing. I’m really pleased about this because I have never understood the obsession with juicing. Soup is healthy, hearty and adaptable. Juice is often green, grim, full of fruit-calories and in my opinion overhyped. I find it really hard to get excited by people waxing lyrical about slimey, green and brown juice mixtures made of fruit and veg. Served on their own, whole or chopped up, they would be perfectly delicious and filling. But mushed together (spinach, apple, celery, kale…..really?) they not only look disgusting (and often taste disgusting), they’re calorie-laden too. The amount of fruit ‘calories’ that can be crammed into one juice is often more than anyone could possibly eat at one sitting if they were consuming them whole. That’s why I love soup or should I say ‘souping’.  Great for eating satisfaction, great for health and nutrition and great for being low in calories (thanks to all the water in soup). That means they are also great for maintaining my Grab Life Over 50 weight loss (1 stone …

Skyr yogurt and red fruit

Breakfast – Icelandic style

    Icelandic red fruit breakfast This is one of my favourite breakfasts at the moment. It’s great to kick-start the day, especially when I’m watching my weight. Although it is very low in fat and high in nutritious fruit, it feels like a luxury, not a diet meal. Ingredients: 200 g Skyr yogurt  (2 Smart Points) Handful of frozen red fruit – cherries, blueberries (0 Smart Points) 1 teaspoon Splenda  (0 Smart Points) 20 g Lizzie’s low sugar granola (3 Smart Points) To make this breakfast, I bung a handful of the frozen fruit into a bowl in the microwave with a teaspoon of Splenda sprinkled on, to take the edge of the sharpness of the fruit. I really like cherries and blueberries best. Defrost/cook them on High for around 2 minutes so the juices are running and the fruit is nicely warmed up. Scoop 200g Skyr yogurt on to the fruit – or layer it with the fruit in a tall glass if you want to make this breakfast really visually pleasing, like I …

weight loss over 50

How to shed your middle-age spread: six tips for success

Making weight loss work when you’re over 50 Having worked for many years in the weight loss industry, I’ve heard all the myths that older dieters believe cause them not to lose weight. “My metabolism has slowed down”, “I’ve been on so many diets, my body is now immune to them”, “It’s too late to start eating healthily”. But it’s not true! And it’s not too late to lose weight.   In fact there is really very little you need to do differently to lose weight over the age of 50, compared to any other age group. The biggest challenge is that the older we get and the longer we live the more time we have to get comfortable with the bad habits that cause the weight to creep on. I know. I’ve been there more than once. By last Christmas my own weight had snook up to the same ‘tipping’ point of fat frumpiness that made me join Weight Watchers 16 years ago.  If I felt fat and frumpy back then in a 38 year old …

Discover hidden London: a country walk in the capital

If you enjoy exploring off the beaten track, you’ll love this short country walk, part of hidden London. It takes you past two glorious stately homes, across the River Thames by boat and into a quirky rural hide-away where you’re as likely to brush past a dramatic glass chandelier as you are a leafy branch! Dogs are welcome. It’s easy for kids, buggies and bikes. And you can get great coffee at stopping off points along the way. We treat ourselves now and then to this walk with our dog Jacob on sunny Sunday mornings.  Start discovering hidden London at Marble Hill Park, Twickenham Marble Hill House is a picture-perfect 18th century stately home sitting in the centre of 66 acres of parkland. It was built in the 1700’s for the former mistress of George II on the banks of the River Thames. The lady in question, Henrietta Howard, the Countess of Suffolk, allegedly used her payoff from the king, when he moved on to his next mistress, to fund the work on this Palladian mansion. …

Jacob the JRT

Essential tips for a cushy canine life: the dog-friendly way

Jacob’s tale On C-day (Chipping by law day) #GLO50 Jack Russell,  Jacob,  reveals how every self-respecting dog can create a ‘bona-fide’, dog-friendly care team to ensure they live life to the full.  As taken down by his human Emma. Hello. I’m Jacob the miniature Jack Russell. Welcome to my world. Now that we dogs all have to be chipped by law, we need to make sure our humans take our overall care very seriously. Here are my essential,  ‘owner-friendly’ tips to making life over 50 as cushy for a canine as it can be (I’m 9 in human years, which makes me the grand old age of 63 in dog. I still look good, don’t I? Woof, woof…..). Find your local dog-friendly coffee shop Nothing ensures a good walk with your humans than a good coffee shop at the end of it.  Find somewhere that will let them shelter inside when it’s cold or raining. I have it on good authority that there are no laws preventing dogs from going into cafes. It’s down to …

A day out in West Sussex: town, country and beach

If you’re looking for a day out in West Sussex combining the beach with town and country, you can’t go far wrong partnering historic Arundel with bucket and spade Bognor. In 8 hours, or less, you can easily fit in a country walk, a spot of shopping, lunch and some history as well as dipping your toes in the sea and savouring a fish and chip supper. Here’s what my #GLO50 Book Club friends and I got up to on our day out in West Sussex. Mooch around the quaint lanes of Arundel: 1 hour You can spot the historic castle and cathedral of Arundel long before you get there. Our first stops when we arrived in this hill-top town though were the charming streets and lanes that lead up to the castle. The shops are eclectic and quaint and we quickly lost ourselves browsing through the bits and bobs in antique markets, design and houseware stores, bakeries and even an outlet selling dog-themed everything, alongside lovely painted furniture and other pretty household items. Dinky Donkey Delights …

Iceland Mountains

10 hidden gems of Iceland

Although this was our second trip to Iceland – it most certainly won’t be our last. We failed, yet again, to see the Northern Lights, but this country has so many wonderful experiences to offer that it would be churlish to complain. Accompanied by our #GLO50 friends, Rachel and David, we not only took in some of the more well-known sights in the south-west of the island –  to be found in all good guide books – but we also discovered some real, hidden gems along the way. Here are our top 10. Visiting Reykjavik Hidden gem 1: Eric’s walking tour Eric is a local history graduate who’s turned his passion for the city into his job. His ‘Classic’ Tour highlights some of the most famous sights and then takes you beyond them, to reveal  more of the history, the culture and the stories of Iceland’s capital city.   Beginning outside the ‘pocket-sized’ Parliament building, he guided us through the old quarter of the city, through bustling shopping streets, past the  dramatic Hallgrímskirkja (the church below …

100 tiny tips to pro-ageing

Actually the 100 tiny tips are in fact 100 fine needles that are gently inserted into the lines and wrinkles on my face each month to help reduce the ravages of ageing. I call it acupuncture but  it’s often known by practitioners as facial rejuvenation. Sadly it can’t radically change how you look (like an invasive, surgical procedure might) but I do believe in its claim to help slow down the ageing process  and brighten the complexion and skin, especially immediately after each treatment.   Pro-ageing is the buzz word right now for women over 50. Apparently this means we’re not trying to look younger (hmm…..) but instead we are all about looking healthy at our real age. Don’t get me wrong,  I WOULD LOVE TO LOOK YOUNGER. But given I didn’t start with supermodel looks in the first place, nor am I keen on botox, fillers or surgery, using acupuncture needles for facial rejuvenation seems to tick the pro-ageing box and perk up my skin into the bargain. What is a facial rejuvenation session …