A Blog about food - by Marion Foreman, former cancer nurse and chair of the patient group, 

"We’re not talking about our weight – just about our food – what we consume on a daily basis. We are bombarded with all sorts of adverts for all sorts of treats and delicious sounding foods. Over the years we have become very familiar with consuming lots of ‘goodies’ that, basically, don’t help us to keep fit and well.

If we skip through a typical day – let’s start with breakfast – how many of us actually have a healthy breakfast? So much of what we have are simple carbohydrates that cause a massive rise in our blood sugar and a huge spike of insulin to deal with it (then a big drop in blood sugar – setting the tone for the whole day). What we need is something to ‘sustain us’ – so complex carbs that take time to break down. Think of Weetabix, Shredded Wheat (not the sugar coated ones!) and whole meal, seeded, granary bread. Maybe an egg or two on that toast? These sorts of food take much longer to cause a gentle rise in blood sugar and don’t put a great strain on your pancreas to produce loads of insulin (therefore reducing the risk of getting type 2 diabetes)

Don’t forget to drink plenty (2 litres ) of water a day – our body’s need to keep hydrated.

Are you a snacker? Lockdown has given us constant access to our kitchens and the fridge – all too easy to ‘just have’ – something else. Aim to snack on fruit and veg – no – not easy when what you want is a bag of crisps or a biscuit– but don’t forget – we are doing this to keep healthy.

Lunch can be another challenge in a sort of ‘grab and go’ way. Perhaps a sandwich or a baguette (hopefully not if we have already had bread at breakfast) or some sort of ‘ready meal’? Highly processed foods are not the best things to have – fresh is always best. Try going for a salad with cottage cheese and a ryvita. Or sugar-free peanut butter and an apple. Make a batch of vegetable soup (I do it with that odd assortment of veg that accumulate in the bottom drawer at the end of the week and add some curry powder – nicer than it sounds I can assure you). Finish with plain yoghurt and fruit. Avoid the yoghurts that have fruit added (if you wonder why – check out the sugar content – we are aiming for less than 5gms sugar in every 100gms)

Dinner (I am assuming this is your main meal ) is a great opportunity for a piece of fish or a chicken portion with lots of lovely fresh veg. If you fancy some rice or pasta go for brown (you know why! - yes – it’s a complex carb) and if you want potatoes then sweet potatoes are a great choice.

Healthy eating might take some getting used to – avoiding the takeaways and the chippie – but give it a try – I can almost guarantee that you will feel better for it and it will help you to manage your weight."

Marion