Photo of a bowl of green lentils

Photograph by Emily Barney

The title of this post is sort of tongue-in-cheek.

Seven months after baby number two I’ve found myself left with a generous covering of padding. I knew this would be the case as I gained significantly more weight during this pregnancy as I had with baby number one. With my first, people barely noticed my bump until the last few weeks of the pregnancy and I bounced back in to shape in record time. This time I gained steadily throughout the pregnancy – I put it down to being significantly less active and a raging grapefruit juice addiction (high levels of fructose in juice, after all..). It is important to me that I do not keep it on, largely because typically a pregnancy or numerous pregnancies over a short period of time can  trigger weight gain that can end up difficult to shift in the future. So I resolved to ignore my creeping weight until I had stopped breastfeeding my baby.  Now I’ve stopped breastfeeding I am ready-  reluctant – but ready to face this head on.

My strategy is two fold: exercise and diet. Pre-Christmas I joined a gym so will be supplementing regular yoga practice with some regular cardio exercise including cycling to and from the tube station (which I’d started before the New Year and have started to enjoy). Though my diet is generally quite healthy my Achilles heel is sugar and sweet stuff in general – so I’m resolving to reduce my calorific intake and, at the same time go easy on the sugar.

So for day one I’m sharing a tasty veg stew I made last night and packed in my flask for lunch today. It was quick (it had to be) and easy (again, it had to be) and I’m hoping it will be filling and nourishing.

 Vegetable and lentil stew

1 large white onion diced

2 sticks of celery diced

1 sweet potato cut into chunks

two handfuls of green lentils (pick through them to check for stones and wash)

vegetable stock

spinach (I used 4 cubes of frozen spinach – I LOVE frozen spinach so much – it regularly makes an appearance in baby food preparations, soups, stews etc).

a 1/4 of a head of cauliflower

extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the onion and celery to a splash of extra virgin olive oil and sautee until soft.
  2. Add the diced sweet potato and coat in oil
  3. Add the lentils and cover with cold water and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on the pan.
  4. When the lentils are soft add the cauliflower florets, spinach and veg stock.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.