Ask the TLC-Chef … How to make Coconut Milk

COCONUT MILK can now be introduced on a very limited ‘Treat” basis on the TLC-Program, ie not daily but as a treat once in a while!


Specific Restrictions:
50 ml of Coconut Milk maximum which must replace half a fruit from your daily allowance

NOTE: When using this recipe – reduce proportionally to eliminate wastage – ratio of 2:1 water:coconut flakes.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1.5 – 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes


  • Heat water until hot (but not boiling).
  • Add shredded coconut and water to a blender.  If all of the water won’t fit, you can add it in two batches.
  • Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy.
  • Pour through a colander to filter out the coconut pulp, then squeeze through a cheese cloth
    or nut bag to filter the smaller pieces of coconut.
  • If you separated the water into two batches, put the strained coconut back into the blender with the second batch of water.
  • Drink immediately or store in the fridge. Fresh coconut milk should be used within 3-4 days of making it for the best flavor and texture.

The TLC-Test Kitchen is always coming up with new ideas to make your experience on the TLC-Program more enjoyable.
Give it a try and if you have any questions you can email the TLC-Chef at :


Are Sugar cravings ruining your diet?


Sugar can be a dieter’s worst nightmare.  Those uncontrollable cravings that often strike mid-afternoon can ruin all the good done throughout the day.

If you’ve found that munching sugary snacks just makes you crave more sugary snacks, you’re not alone. Eating lots of simple carbohydrates — without the backup of proteins or fats — can quickly satisfy hunger and give your body a short-term energy boost, but they almost as quickly leave you famished again and craving more.

Sugar …

  • Often immediately stores in the body as fat, leading to weight gain and obesity
  • Communicates with your brain making you crave sweet foods that leads to overeating and weight gain
  • Causes blood sugar spikes, increasing insulin levels in the blood and could lead to diabetes

So it important to find ways to beat those cravings and control sugar intake so that we can improve our wellbeing, live a healthy life and achieve our goals.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Check food labels. Often low fat foods are full of sugars, remember to check before you buy.
  • Remove temptations. Go through your refrigerator and food pantry. Get rid of the cakes, ice cream, cookies, etc. When you go food shopping, make a conscious effort not to buy sweets.
  • Exercise when you crave sweet things.  The brain will release endorphins resulting in the same “effect” reducing those cravings.  So why not rather take a walk around the block or do something to take your mind off the food you’re craving.
  • Skip artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners may sound like a great idea, but “they don’t lessen cravings for sugar.  Don’t get into the habit of adding sweeteners.  Train the body to do without – just a few days without and the body will no longer crave the extra sugars.
  • Get support. Many people turn to sweet foods when they’re stressed, depressed, or angry. But food doesn’t solve emotional issues. Consider whether emotions are involved in your sugar cravings and whether you need help to find other solutions to those emotional problems.
  • Improve your diet overall.  Contact a professional for assistance.
  • Don’t skip meals.  This could allow blood sugar levels to drop resulting in cravings.
  • Grab some gum. If you want to avoid giving in to a sugar craving completely, try chewing a stick of gum.  Research has shown that chewing gum can reduce food cravings
  • Reach for fruit. Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You’ll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness.

Many people suffer cravings for sweets. The causes of these cravings can vary widely, but chief among them are hormonal imbalances of insulin and serotonin, unhealthy dieting, adrenal fatigue, eating disorders, and even premenstrual syndrome.  To fully combat the root cause of your sugar cravings you will need to consult a professional to help guide you to replace these “bad” habits with new healthy habits.

The best thing you can do is maintain a healthy diet like the TLC-Program.

To find out more about curbing those cravings and eating correctly with a TLC-Program book a Free Assessment at

*These tips and guidelines 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.


Ask the TLC-Chef … How to dry your own Herbs

How often do you throw away spoiled herbs?  We all tend  to get over excited in the supermarket buying too much and then later throwing most away? Now that the chilly months are here and our herb garden at the TLC-Test  Kitchen is looking sparse, we are so glad we dried our herbs when they were in abundance in the summer.

When herbs are dried, they are safe from bacteria, mould and yeast, and will remain potent for at least six to 12 months. To remove moisture, all you need is air circulation. Some warmth can also help.

It’s easy to dry your own, ensuring that you always have the herbs you need in your pantry.

Follow this easy method:

  • Washing herbs usually isn’t necessary if they are grown organically. Harvest herbs in mid-morning before newly developed essential oils have been burned off by the sun, but after the dew has dried. Remove old, dead, diseased or wilted leaves.
  • When you harvest herbs for their seeds, the seed heads should be turning brown and hardening, but not yet ready to shatter. To harvest herbs for their flowers?—?such as chamomile flowers or thyme spikes?—?snip flower buds off the plants close to the first day the buds open.
  • Indoor Air Drying Herbs. Tie stems in bundles and hang the herbs upside down. Use twist-ties so you can easily tighten the bundles when stems shrink as they dry. A warm, dry spot is best; avoid the kitchen. Wrap muslin, a mesh produce bag or a paper bag with several holes around the bundle, and tie it at the neck.
  • A drying screen helps dry leaves or sprigs. Make your own from an old window screen or hardware cloth mesh stapled to scrap wood or a picture frame. Lay cheesecloth over the screen, and place herbs on the cloth. Herbs can take a few hours to several days to dry fully.
  • Solar Drying Herbs. This method is easy if you live in a warm, dry place.
  • Use the sun’s heat to dry herbs, but don’t expose herbs to too much direct sunlight as this could cause them to bleach. Solar drying can be as low-tech as placing drying screens outside until your herbs are brittle (bring them in at night). You can also dry herbs under the windshield or rear window of your car on a hot day.

Your own dried herbs will taste better than store-bought because they’ll be newer and thus more pungent. If you grow your own herbs, you can also choose the tastiest varieties.

Give it a try and if you have any questions you can email the TLC-Chef at :


Ask the TLC-Chef … How important is it to weigh food when dieting?

People blame weight gain on a lot of things; heredity, age, and metabolism, are just a few.

However, for many people, eating too much food is really what’s behind the extra junk in their trunk. It’s important then that we pay particular attention not to just what we eat, but how much.

When you are doing a world-leading TLC-Program you need to more than estimate your portions (and this often applies to many programs and diets).

Did you know that most people underestimate their food intake by 50?  This is mostly due to not being aware of how much we eat as we are ‘eating on the go”. So, while we may dread the thought of weighing our portions it is really important if you want to achieve a healthy goal weight.

Here’s what you’ll need to properly measure foods:

  • A Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring cups especially if you are baking your own TLC-Soy and Linseed Loaf
  • Measuring spoons
  • A Digital Kitchen Scale is best. As you know accuracy is key while doing Phase 2 and 3 of your TLC-Program so you want those quantities to be 100% that way you will achieve results accurately

Everything you do is a choice.
Either you choose to do things correctly and adhere to your TLC-Program or you don’t.  Most Clients achieve their weight loss in record time and at the same time benefit from all the wellbeing aspects of the TLC-Program, by doing things correctly.

So weigh your food, it’s one of those choices that will steer you in the right direction!

If you have any questions about portion control and what the TLC-Program can do for you, ask the TLC-Chef at or go to our website:

Written by the TLC-Test Kitchen for


Happily Losing Weight but feeling ill?

Losing weight is an amazing feeling. In most cases people feel energised and revitalised. So what do you do if you are that one person who is feeling tired and lethargic, even lightheaded?

The natural inclination would be to immediately blame what you are, or are not eating. “I am on a diet, that is why I have no energy.” While that may be true on some diets, especially on fad diets; if you are on a specially formulated lifestyle program (like TLC) the diet is very unlikely to be the cause of extended fatigue and/or lightheadedness. So what else could be the cause?

There are four main possible causes for consistently feeling dizzy, lightheaded or low energy on a diet that is specifically formulated for your body.

Excessive energy use:
On a healthy weightloss program (like TLC) your energy intake is enough to cope with daily demands and trigger healthy weightloss. If you engage in strenuous sport or exercise while on this reduced intake program, it can however tax your body’s energy reserves too much.
The solution:
While weightloss is the aim, reduce physical activity to a level the body can cope with.

Medication no longer suited to changed profile:
When a doctor prescribes medication, it is for the body and profile at the time (usually unwell, obese, unfit).

When you lose weight, your profile changes.
Many key factors such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, water retention, metabolism (including metabolism of medication), thyroid function and body mass changes, in some cases drastically.It stands to reason that medication prescribed for your ‘old’ profile may no longer be suitable.
The solution
: Dosages could be incorrect and may need to be reduced. In some cases medication may even need to be stopped (ie blood pressure or blood sugar normalised). (NB: Any change should only ever be done in consultation with your treating doctor!)

If your profile changed significantly (ie even with a weightloss of 3 to 5kg) and you are on medication such as for blood pressure/ hypertension, diabetes, hyperthyroid, insulin resistance, blood thinners ie warfarin, or any prescribed medication where the dosage could be related to body mass; your dosage may need to be adjusted by your doctor.

So any symptoms appearing with your weightloss, ie tiredness, low energy, lightheadedness, fainting, shivering; could in fact be a result of the incorrect dosage of your medication for your current profile.

Lifestyle factors:
It could be as simple as experiencing a stressful or demanding phase in your work or home life; or burning the candle at both ends. Stressors and demands can be emotional or physical (long hours, traveling, commuting).
The solution
Identify the causes, and learn some coping strategies ie relaxation techniques, saying no to extra demands, reducing your workload etc.

Illness or medical condition:
The fourth cause could be a medical condition, disease, virus or illness that may even be undiagnosed.
The solution
Learn to read your body’s signals. If symptoms such as dizziness and lethargy persist long term (and with any other possible causes accounted for or eliminated) it is wise to have a comprehensive medical check-up with your doctor.

In most cases, low energy and lightheadedness is a passing phase and most people reap the benefits of added energy and vitality from an individualised weightloss program (like TLC).

For more information please go to our website:


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 :)

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