Ask the TLC-Chef … Kitchen Tips

In the TLC-Kitchen we are always pressed for time and always look for easy tips to save time, and prepare and cook more efficiently.

We know that preparing in advance is a great time saver.

We recommend that you plan your menu a week in advance.  Look up recipes in the TLC-Well-Log and ensure you have the ingredients you need, and add what you don’t have to your shopping list.

Here are some easy tips we use all the time:

  • Store cheese wrapped in wax paper instead of in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator. Wax paper helps prevent moulding and keeps the flavour fresh.
  • Keep your pantry stocked with the foods you can eat on your TLC-Program:  tinned tuna, tinned asparagus, assorted crackers, olive oil, mayonnaise, vinegar, nuts, seeds, spices, foil, wax wrap, clingfilm etc.
  • Make sure you have the right equipment. Invest in some small ramekins, a small pot and a small baking dish.  Your portions, while on phase 2 might be smaller than you are used to, and using smaller containers will ensure that food does not dry out.
  • Peel onions under water and they will not irritate the eyes.
  • If parsley is washed with hot water instead of cold it retains its flavor and is easier to chop.
  • To prevent eggs from cracking when they are to be boiled, allow them to stand a few minutes in very warm water before putting in boiling water.
  • Wilted asparagus will come to life if the stems are set for a while into cold water.
  • When baking apples, prick the skin of the apples and they will cook without bursting.
  • Steam instead of boil. Try steaming your vegetables rather than cooking them in boiling water as they will retain more vitamins, nutrients and flavour.
  • Wear gloves when you chop garlic. You can buy latex gloves at the any large drugstore (Dischem) to have handy in the kitchen.
  • Roll limes and lemons back and forth with your hands on the counter before squeezing them to ensure you get the max amount of juice out.
  • Buy more fish. Few things cook faster.
  • Weigh out your chicken, meat and fish into the correct portions when you bring it fresh from the grocery store and then freeze.  That way you can take out a portion and defrost it easily.
  • Prepare your menu items according to the time it takes to cook them. For example, start longer-cooking foods first. While they’re cooking, prepare the rest of the menu.

If you have any questions about any TLC-Recipes you can ask the TLC-Chef at

If you would like further information on the TLC-Program please go to our website:

Written for by the TLC-Test Kitchen for


TLC-Bytes … Obesity a Pain in the Back?

People who are overweight often are at greater risk for back pain, joint pain and muscle strain than those who are not obese. Overweight and obese adults are also at significantly increased risk for lumbar spine disc degeneration, a potential cause of low back pain, researchers say.

Research indicates a higher body-mass index (BMI) increase reports of low back pain. This type of pain can affect physical and mental well-being, limit mobility, reduce quality of life and is associated with substantial financial costs for both the patient and the health care system.

As people gain weight, disc degeneration may begin to occur due to physical loading on the disc, the study authors suggested. In addition, fat cells may play a role by causing chronic low-grade inflammation, they noted.

“Our research confirms that with elevated BMI there is a significant increase in the extent and global severity of disc degeneration. In fact, end-stage disc degeneration with narrowing of the disc space was more pronounced in obese individuals,” Dr. Dino Samartzis, of the University of Hong Kong, said in a journal news release.

Losing weight reduces the risk of disc degeneration and back pain, and improves mobility.

So if you would like to lose weight, improve wellbeing and get rid of those aches and pains then contact TLC for a FREE ASSESSMENT and for more information about the TLC-Program:


Ask the TLC-Chef … How to Cook en Papillote

Cooking foods en papillote—which means the food is sealed up in packages to steam in their own flavourful liquids—is a quick and easy way to cook a delicious meal.

There are a few rules of thumb to follow, but once you wrap everything up, the aromatic moist heat inside the package takes over to gently cook what’s inside and infuse it with flavour.

And it’s an ideal low-fat cooking method. What’s really great about this method is how the pure flavours of the ingredients mingle with one another to create a delicate and aromatic dish.

You can add any ingredient you like into the package (using your allowance of course) and it will be delicious!

Here’s how to “Cook-en-Papillote” – try it, its easy:

Step One: Cut off a square of parchment paper and fold it in half.

Step Two: Cut out a heart shape

Step Three: Position the primary ingredient (this method works really well with fish and chicken)

Step Four: Add any additional ingredients including herbs and spices

Step Five: Make a small fold

Step Six: Make another small fold

Step Seven: Continue making folds

Step Eight: You will end up with a pigtail

Step Nine: Fold the pigtail underneath

Step Ten: Using a sharp knife or scissors cut open the top of the package.

Remember if you need help all you have to do is Ask the TLC-Chef:

Written for by the TLC-Test Kitchen for

With thanks to


Tips for making your New Year weight-loss resolutions a reality!

Are you determined to reach your weight loss goals this year?

If you are ready to choose healthy habits and weight loss and wellbeing as your resolutions for 2012 then TLC-For Weight-Loss Wellbeing will support and help you achieve all your goals!

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Write down your goals. Know why you want to lose weight and change your wellbeing.  Write down all the reasons why you want to embark on this journey.  Once you have put serious thought to the list you can start to set your goals.  To do lists are extremely important and will help you with planning and goal setting.  Write them down and put them in a place you will constantly see them … like on the fridge door.  Remember to set realistic goals … get some help – your weight-loss coach will help you with this.
  • Set a start date. Decide when you are going to start and then make arrangements.  Contact the nearest TLC-Centre and book a free assessment.  Once you have done this you will be well prepared to start and achieve your goals.  Don’t procrastinate … you are ready now, so do it!
  • Take a photograph. Take a before photograph and keep it in your TLC-Program Book – this will be a constant reminder of why you need this important change!
  • Write everything down. From today, keep a food diary and record all your intake, yes this includes “cheats”!
  • Remove temptation. Get rid of all the unhealthy food in your pantry and replace it with healthy “legal” foods.
  • Drink your Water. Drink 2 to 3 litres of water a day.  Drinking water will assist with detoxing the body, releasing fat and keeping you hydrated.
  • Enlist your friends and family. You will need your friends and family on your side, so tell them your goals so they can support you or ask them to join you!
  • Exercise. Be realistic, start slow especially if you are unfit.  Start with 15 to 20 minutes a day … start by going for a walk, using the stairs instead of the lift or escalators.
  • Take baby steps. In the beginning it may be tough, take baby steps, one day at a time.  Don’t miss your weigh ins. Stick to the rules … it will be worth it!  Keep in contact with your TLC-Weight-loss Coach.
  • Accept that you may make mistakes. None of us are perfect, so if you have a bad day, move on and try harder the next day!

Ready to take the first step? Go to our website to book a free Assessment.


Happy Christmas to All!

Although we are taking a break you can still fill in our website enquiry form and we will call you when we reopen in January :)


Wishing you all a Happy Festive Season

We’d like to wish you all a happy festive season!

The “Elves” at TLC will be taking a short break from the 15th December 2016 to the 8th January 2017.  Our offices will reopen on the 9th January 2017.

If you would like some information please leave a message for us on the ”Contact Us” page on and we will get back to you as soon as we reopen.

For details on your nearest TLC-Centre please go to our Website and click on TLC-Near You … this will take you to our directory.

To view the TLC-Festive Season Tips go to:

Be safe all, till next year!


Tips to prevent holiday stress

Already stressed out just thinking about the festive season?

Here’s some quick tips to help you cope:

  • Plan ahead. Do not leave everything to the last minute! Make sure you do start planning in the weeks leading up to Christmas – presents, provisions and what to do at New Year.
  • Remember to have some fun along the way. Do things you enjoy doing and include members of your family too.
  • Eat healthily. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.  Make sure you don’t skip meals – stay on your TLC-Program leading up to the New Year.  Or if you have completed your TLC-Program remember to always follow the TLC-Phase 4 Program Lifestyle Guidelines and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Approach Christmas with a positive outlook – don’t let yourself think it will be a nightmare, focus on the best things about the festive period instead. That positivity will communicate itself to others around you.
  • Take a breather. Don’t underestimate the value of ‘me’ time – take a bit of time just to relax, unwind and indulge yourself for a few minutes during the day.  Better yet, get family and friends to help you prepare for the festivities.
  • Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect, just enjoyable.
  • Set aside differences. Accept family members and friends as they are, even if they do not live up to your expectations.
  • Stick to a budget. Before you rush off to do shopping for gifts, food and drinks, sit down and work out a budget.  Know what you want/can spend and stick to this budget.
  • Say no. Saying yes when you want to say no can leave you overwhelmed and stressed, not to mention resentful.  You don’t have to accept every invitation.  Plan what you can cope with.
  • Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad, depressed and anxious.  If you are plagued by physical complaints, are unable to sleep, feel irritable and hopeless, and are unable to face routine chores and these feelings last for a long period of time, then you should talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

*These answers provide general information endorsed by our experts at time of publication. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice.

For further information on achieving a healthy body weight and improving your general wellbeing view this website: or


FOOD AS REWARD OR COMFORT: Unlearn bad habits

‘Go Treat yourself’- did food or a snack immediately come to mind?

Food as reward or comfort is ingrained in many of us from birth. From offering the breast or bottle to soothe and comfort the fussy infant, giving the boisterous toddler a cookie to sit still, candy at school for good grades, chocolate as reward for a teenager;  birthday cakes, lollipops at the doctor’s rooms, and eating out as a treat; food as a reward or comfort is a pervasive part of modern culture. For us, food has lost is meaning as an element of survival and has become a source of pleasure. This results in unhealthy attitudes and habits.

Because this habit is ingrained from young, eating healthy and reducing excessive eating is often seen as a punishment, deprivation, and also a short-term intervention instead of a change in lifestyle.

To achieve long term health goals and maintain a healthy weight, these habits have to change. Improved health and wellbeing , reduced risk of dread disease, improved self-esteem, more energy… these are just some of the long term ‘rewards’ that should be focussed on.

Some guidelines to overcoming the habit of Food as Reward and Comfort:


First understand why: Look at where your idea of Food as reward comes from; habit, family tradition? If you are using food to soothe, or to deal with emotional turmoil; identify what your pattern is and the work on changing it.

Realise when: Identify all the instances where you reward yourself with food or treats; the coffee and muffin when shopping, the chocolate when you are feeling down, the cupcake after gym. Once you know when you are tempted, you can take steps to avoid the situation or find alternative ‘rewards’ for those occasions.


Change these habits:

Exercise Restraint- practise self-control: you really CAN say no to that delicious looking chocolate cake

Avoid situations where food is the centre of celebration; if you cannot avoid the event, reward yourself with interacting with the people around you and enjoying the music instead of the food served

Learn New Habits- if you know a visit to the Supermarket triggers a snack binge, fill up on water before you go

Set new Rewards- do not make food a reward for achievement, or a comfort for a failure. Seek other rewards  that celebrate each step in improved health

Look for rewards that are long lasting. Realise that with rewarding yourself with food, the good feelings will stop as soon as you finish the treat. If you reward yourself with something like a visit to a fun place or event, the reward (and memories) are long term.

Examples of positive rewards:

  • A new pair of jeans (in a smaller size)
  • A new haircut at a professional salon with all the money saved from NOT buying treats
  • A new bathing suit
  • Book a Spa for a back massage or facial
  • Sneak out to a movie matinee
  • Buy yourself a great music CD
  • Play mini golf
  • See a play
  • Take a walk with a friend

Finally, see food as nutrition, not reward. A Lifetime habit may not be broken overnight, but every time you do not succumb to the temptation, is a step in the right direction.

Article written by:
by S E More (BA Comm. Psych Hons); for  TLC-for Weightloss-Wellbeing

For more information or a FREE ASSESSMENT please contact or go to our website:


Eat Avocados … they are good for you!

Avocado fruits are really popular throughout the world.   Now Avocados can be found at your local supermarket during most of the year.  Avocado is sometimes called “avocado pear” or “alligator pear”, and “Aguacate Palta” in Spanish.

If you like eating avocados, then don’t stop. There are tremendous health benefits to eating them, here are just a few:

  • Lowers Cholesterol: Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Avocado is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke.
  • Prevents Stroke: The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don’t.
  • Oral Cancer Defense
    Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.
  • Prostate Cancer Prevention
    Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
  • Heart Health
    One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
  • Vitamin E Powerhouse
    Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
  • Breast Cancer Protection
    Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.

Before eating Avocados ensure you follow the allowances on your TLC-Program.

To find out how to eat healthily and reach a healthy goal weight view our website:

For Avocado Recipes go to the TLC-Well-Log at

*These answers provide general information endorsed by our experts at time of publication. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek advice from a qualified health care professional.


Constantly tired with low energy?

Do you constantly feel tired, listless with very low energy levels?  Is it possible that changing eating habits and patterns could help?

Knowing the difference between just being tired and the possible onset of fatigue can make a big difference.

It’s not just a matter of getting a couple of hours’ extra sleep, it can be something serious.

Causes of fatigue or tiredness can include:

  • Physical ailments including anaemia, diabetes, thyroid imbalance
  • Infections caused by viruses or bacteria such as colds, flu
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Stress
  • Sleep problems
  • Lack of exercise
  • Overtraining
  • Dehydration
  • Eating disorders
  • Bad eating habits or an unhealthy diet

If there is no illness, maybe it is time to consider doing the following:

  • Exercise gradually but steadily
  • Learn stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing or meditation
  • Set priorities and manage your time and energy efficiently
  • Practice good sleep habits
  • Don’t consume too many coffees each day
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet (like the TLC-Program)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don’t fill up on high-fat or sugary foods, which tend to make you feel sluggish

Need help and more information?  Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog and one of the experts at TLC will respond.

View our website:

*These answers provide general information endorsed by our experts at time of publication. They are not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek advice from a qualified health care professional.

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