Cooking in Kilkenny

You can eat real food and still lose weight - Julie’s story

Sian Moloughney

Reporter:

Sian Moloughney

We’ve had an indulgent few weeks of recipes, but this week we are inspired to eat healthier by this amazing story from a lady who has lost more than half her body weight!
Julie Fitzpatrick lost 16 stone due in large part to making good food choices - read on for the story of her incredible journey!

Julie’s Story
Hitting the scales at 30 stone, Julie Fitzpatrick has lost a phenomenal 16 stone and her confidence is at an all time high!
Throughout my life I have always been overweight and have tried every diet under the sun. I would set myself a goal for a wedding or Christmas, but as soon as the event was over the weight would go back on.


In 2009 I lost seven stone, but put 10 stone on the following year, that’s the way I was, up and down over the years.
In 2015 I lost my dad who I was very close to suddenly and within three months I put on a further three stone. I was eating through my grief and pretty soon I realised that I was a heart attack waiting to happen.


My health was deteriorating, and I knew if I didn’t do something about my weight I wouldn’t be around for much longer. It came to a stage that even walking across the room had me out of breath.
In January 2016 I made the decision that it my time to make a change. I walked into my local Unislim class in Portlaoise and got a big shock when I stepped on the scales and saw my weight, but my leader Breda said, “it’s only a number Julie, you can do this”.


Straight away the Unislim plan made sense to me, it was all about eating real food. I started cooking for myself and focussed on eating three meals and two healthy snacks every day.
Now I am never hungry, and I don’t deprive myself of anything. I am in control of food now whereas before the food was controlling me.


Exercise was my stumbling block, but I knew I had to start somewhere so I began walking around a tennis court near my home. At the start, I could only walk for 12 minutes but now just two years later I’m walking for an hour every day and I also love going to dance classes and have started training for a Couch to 5K. I’m fitter than ever!
To keep myself focussed, I set myself mini goals and challenges and worked towards them month by month. I believe I can reach my goal and I am not giving up.
My confidence and energy levels have absolutely soared since joining Unislim. It’s just amazing! I love the clothes I can wear now and my new shape, I used to cover up before – but now I can wear what I like and feel great.
I can even walk across the swimming pool in my swimsuit and not care who’s looking at me – that’s the level of confidence I now have. I’m a lot happier, a lot healthier.


People always said that I was the life and soul of the party, but nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors, my weight was bothering me. I always wished I could do something about it and now I have.
I am so proud of myself and of what I have achieved. It’s only since I reached 16 stone weight loss that I’ve said to myself ‘You know, I am pretty damn awesome’.


My health has gone from rock bottom to top level. I am now off all blood pressure medication and my blood sugar and cholesterol levels are perfect now. I’ve never been so healthy in my life and it’s all thanks to the fantastic Unislim plan – it has really changed my life.
And though I am still on my weight loss adventure, I know my Dad is looking down at me smiling and saying, “I am so proud of you.”

Unislim Taco Fries
Ingredients
400g extra lean mince
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 (minced) garlic cloves
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 chopped onion
chopped red and green pepper
1 can (optional) kidney beans
cup beef stock
100g per person Gorge Us Rustic Cut Chips
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
low cal spray-oil
120g low fat cheese


Method
Pop 400g of Gorge Us chips in the oven and cook for 20 mins at 225°C
Mince
Heat pan with oil and sautée onions and garlic. Add mince and cook until brown. Stir in tinned tomatoes, purée, peppers, kidney beans and beef stock and allow to simmer.
Add the spices and cook off for 5 minutes.
Taco Sauce (Optional)
Mix together 3 tbsp lighter than light mayo, 2 tbsp tomato purée, 1/2 tbsp chilli, 1 tbsp crushed garlic .
Cover the fries with the mince mixture and top with taco sauce or opt for a dollop of low fat yoghurt instead and sprinkle each serving with 30g low fat grated cheese.

Chips? Yes!
‘Gorge-Us’ is a food brand from Unislim. A healthy and tasty option for slimmers and health-conscious foodies.
The first product in the range was Rustic Cut Chips. The range now includes Skinny Sweet Potato Fries along with Organic Skinny Fries and Sweet Potato Wedges. All Gorge Us products are Gluten Free, Vegan-Friendly, Low in Saturated Fats, high in Vitamins A & C and contain no artificial colours, preservatives or flavourings. They are available in SuperValu and Tesco.

Eton Mess

A few weeks ago we shared a recipe for the classic dessert Eton Mess. If you’d prefer a ligher version try this one from Unislim. You can find lots more recipes and info on Unislim.com
This recipe serves two people and couldn’t be easier to make.

Ingredients
2 meringue nests
250g fresh strawberries, halved
2 pots vanilla yogurt (under 60 cal per 100g)


Method
Break up the meringue nests with the back of a spoon.
Then simply layer the ingredients into two glasses: yoghurt, meringue, strawberries and repeat.
To make the dessert look really special, garnish with a few mint leaves (like above).
Serve immediately