Sheila Foolheea

Sheila Foolheea

By CYT Staff Trudi Maples

28 year old Sheila is a PA in London and is of Mauritian origin. Her diet does tend to be quite carb laden but, Sheila is also a bit of a picker. She has an obsession with cheese and a takeaway queen, having takeaways at least three times a week.

Sheila’s favourite meals are Spaghetti Bolognaise, Pub bought Chunky Cheesy Chips and KFC. Not terribly conducive to losing weight eh? At a tiny 5’2”, Sheila weighs in at 15 stone 4lbs. Sheila said,

‘I absolutely love cheese. Melted cheese especially. I tend to have Cheesy Chips when I go out for drinks with friends, maybe two or three times a week. They put loads and loads and loads of cheese on it. Just sort of a lovely warm gooey feeling as well that makes you feel warm and nice inside.’ Laughing.

With her Spaghetti Bolognaise signature dish, she has loads of meat, adds bacon and, of course, she has it with loads of cheese! She said,

‘I add lots of grated cheese on top. It’s sort of like a mini mountain of cheese. I can probably go through maybe about two blocks of cheese during the week. I just love cheese!’

Sounds like Gunay from last week and his love affair with his deep fat fryer! Sheila’s friend Candy said,

‘I think, actually, every meal she has, has to incorporate carbohydrates otherwise she, sort of, can’t keep going. And she has it at least two times a day.’

Sheila also loves Kentucky Fried Chicken and she shares a bucket at least three times a week with a friend. But, Sheila has decided that she’s at that point in her life where she is thinking of settling down and having children so she wants to get her weight under control and be healthy. She said that as she got older, it was getting harder to lose weight. She also said that it was a lot harder to stay motivated.

Gizzi Meets Sheila

Gizzi arrived at Sheila’s flat in London to help her get to grips with the foods she’s been eating. Gizzi asked Sheila to tell her about how she feels about her figure. Sheila said,

‘I’ve always been a bit of a bigger girl really from when I was, sort of, from my mid teens. Any, sort of, diets that come on the scene really I just tend to just fall off it really easily and I kind of find it really hard to get back on it again. I always tend to end up going shopping after work and I haven’t had a chance to have dinner yet so I end up getting all the sweets and chocolate and the little cup cakes and the cookies.’

Now there’s a good point to make. Shopping when you are full and satisfied will help you avoid buying naughty treats and sweets. Shop when you’re hungry and you’ll make all the wrong decisions!

Gizzi said,

‘So far, I’m hearing a lot of carbohydrates going on!’ Sheila laughed and agreed. She told Gizzi that one of her favourite meals is Cheesy Chips. Gizzi said,

‘Wow! That’s got to be a bit of a calorie-fest!’

‘A couple of tweaks to your diet can make a world of difference and through this we can point out, really, where your downfalls are.’

What’s in Your Fridge?

Then it was time for Gizzi to have a rummage in the cupboards and fridge. She didn’t even need to look inside Sheila’s cupboards to come across a stash of biccies. They were sat right next to the kettle. Gizzi asked her how often she munched them and Sheila said every evening in front of the TV and that they could even go through a whole pack! If Sheila and her flat mate shared a packet, that would be over 1000 calories each for an evening snack! Phew!

Gizzi had a nosey in Sheila’s fridge. The first thing she came across was some cheesecake. Could this be another part of Sheila’s obsession with cheese? Gizzi said that cheesecake was one of her downfalls as well. But Sheila’s cheesecake was chocolate brownie flavour which, Gizzi said, was indulgence on top of indulgence!

The Gizzi found a bowl of Sheila’s fatty Spaghetti Bolognaise. She said,

‘Wow! That looks pretty fatty! If I’m not mistaken, all of that orange stuff is fat!’ pointing at the congealed fat round the edge of the bowl.

‘And there’s cheese congealed in there!’ Gizzi went on to say,

‘Sheila’s a self-confessed carboholic and I know that one of the things I’m going to have to do, in order to get her weight down, is to cut back on some of her carbs and that terrifies me because it’s sort of like taking someone’s comfort blanket away from them!’

The first dish for Gizzi to tackle was Sheila’s beloved Cheesy Chips.

Snack Attack

Gizzi told Sheila that she was going to show her how to make some potato skins with soured cream and chive dipping sauce. These are made from jacket potatoes, cut into quarters with the middle scooped out – really helping to cut down on the amount of carbs because there is less potato – good tip there for any carb kings and queens out there!

Gizzi asked Sheila if she had tried potato skins before. Sheila said she had. She has had them in the pub with, yep you guessed it, cheese all over them!

Gizzi also baked her potato skins rather than deep frying them, saving even more calories. She got out the trusty old oil pump to spritz the potato skins before she put them in the oven. And, even though Gizzi used a full fat soured cream, it has a fraction of the calories of Sheila’s normal cheesy topping for her chips. Gizzi did say that you can get half fat soured cream so, if you want to cut even more calories, that’s the way to go. Another good tip!

Gizzi told Sheila to dig in to the potato skins and dip. She asked Sheila what she thought. Sheila said,

‘That’s really nice. It’s really simple as well.’

Gizzi told Sheila that the new dish was guilt free eating. Sheila said that she wouldn’t have thought you could have full fat sour cream when you’re trying to shift the pounds. She said she loved it.

Gizzi's Potato Skins with Sour Cream Dip and Chives

Sheila’s Cheesy Chips weigh in at a massive 712 calories per portion!

Gizzi’s Potato Skins and Sour Cream Dip with Chives tiptoes in at a wonderfully light 203 calories per portion! A humungous saving of over 500 calories for Sheila when she feels the need for a snack.

Move It . . . Just a Little Bit

In her teens, Sheila and her sister were a similar size. But as the years have gone on, so has the weight. Sheila said that as she went through Uni she just got bigger and bigger and they are no longer the same size. It wasn’t til she left Uni that she was aware of the size she had got to. She said,

‘I don’t really do much exercise, apart from walking to the train station to work and walking around when you’re going shopping as well.’

Candy, Sheila’s friend said,

‘Sometimes walking to the train station she gets a little bit out of breath. Climbing stairs sometimes she has a problem with it.’

But, the good news is, Sheila doesn’t need to fork out for an expensive gym membership to get a little fitter.

All she has to do is plug in the vacuum cleaner and she can get fitter in the comfort of her own home. Yes Guys and Girls, housework does count as a workout – as long as you put a little elbow grease into it!

Vacuuming and dusting are great for toning your arms and, add some lunges in when you are vacuuming and you’ll tone your thighs and butt too! If Sheila does just two hours of housework every week she could burn 600 calories! If she did it for a year, she could lose half a stone and she would have a bright, shiny flat into the bargain!

Sheila said she thought it was a great way of getting some exercise into her life. She said that her flatmate did most of the housework but doing a housework workout was better than going out jogging!

The Fat Buster

Next up for Gizzi to do battle with was Sheila’s addiction to fried chicken from KFC. Sheila has Kentucky Fried Chicken at least three times a week. She said,

‘Oh it’s just pure joy. I love biting into it, I love taking the skin off the KFC and wrapping it round the chips and dipping it in the gravy. It’s the crispiness and the ooziness. It just tastes so good and just makes you feel really happy.’

Gizzi said,

‘I’m really desperate to tackle Sheila’s addiction to fried chicken. I mean, she just wants that grease fixation. She’s not necessarily focussing on the flavour. It’s really important for her to actually understand what chicken tastes like and I’ve got a great dish that’s gonna be able to push her into eating it in a healthier way.’

Gizzi said to Sheila,

‘You love your fried chicken and chips don’t you?’ and Sheila replied that she did indeed! Gizzi went on,

‘Have you ever thought about how much fat is actually in it?’ and Sheila replied that she didn’t think about it. Gizzi told her,

‘I’m going to make you think about it!’ As Sheila pulled a worried face.

Gizzi told her that one portion of fried chicken and chips has the same amount of fat as 20 chocolate mousses! Sheila was totally shocked and said it was crazy. Gizzi told her she was going to show her how to make her own fried chicken but without the chips. Gizzi was going to make a Korean fried chicken with a really delicious salad to go with it and a really nice dipping sauce.

Gizzi made the salad and dip first. She used sesame seeds for extra crunch and because they are really good for you. She also used a Korean chilli paste to add some more flavour and bite. While Gizzi was preparing the salad, she asked Sheila if she thought she would be ok without her chips. Sheila said she thought she would but that it would be hard at first.

Then Gizzi made the batter for the chicken. She used matzo meal which, she said, was like crushed water biscuits but would add a really nice crispness to the finished chicken.

Gizzi used skinless chicken breasts instead of Sheila’s normal chicken thighs because all the calories are in the skin. Good tip there for you guys.

Korean Fried Chicken with Cucumber Dip

Sheila’s three-times-a-week KFC comes in at a massive 47grams of fat per portion.

Gizzi’s lighter Korean Fried Chicken and Salad comes in at a more reasonable 14.5grams of fat, even though it’s still fried! That’s 70% less fat!

When Sheila tried Gizzi’s dish, she said,

‘That’s really nice. It’s got a nice kick as well. It’s lovely! I never would’ve thought you could cook something in oil and that it would save you that many grams of fat as well. That’s really good!’

Calorie Swap

Two down and one to go! Next up was Sheila’s fatty, cheesy, spaghetti bolognaise. Sheila said,

‘When I’m making Spaghetti Bolognaise I have loads of meat, add bacon and then when I’m eating it I add lots of grated cheese.’

Sheila’s Spaghetti Bolognaise combines carb heavy pasta and fatty meat and bacon not to mention the layer of full fat cheese. Sheila also has a bowl of top up cheese on hand while she’s eating it! Gizzi said,

‘It is possibly the most indulgent looking bolognaise I’ve ever seen. It was covered in fat and then bounds of pasta! So, for me to be able to compete with that and give her that same satisfying feeling makes me a bit nervous.’

Gizzi had decided to show Sheila how to make Spaghetti Meatballs to replace Sheila’s fatty Bolognaise. She told Sheila that she had a trick to make a little bit of meat go a long way. Ooooh, sounds intriguing!

Gizzi made the tomato sauce from fresh and asked Sheila if she had ever done that. Sheila said she wasn’t sure if she would even know what to do. Be honest, a fair few of us probably wouldn’t eh?

Gizzi’s magic ingredient for making the meat go further was, dun dun dah! An apple!!?? She said,

‘You’re gonna have to trust me because, I promise you, you will not taste a thing! All it will do is just add sweetness and depth to the whole thing.’

Good calorie saving tip AND it will add to your five-a-day!

Before Gizzi cooked the pasta, she used a spaghetti measurer to make sure she was cooking the right amount of pasta for one person. If you don’t have one of these, you can weigh the pasta, you need about 75grams of uncooked pasta per person. Most of us just grab what we think is the right amount and chuck it in the pan – invariably, it is too much!

Meatballs with Spaghetti

Sheila’s home-made cheesefest Spaghetti Bolognaise clocks up 1027 calories per portion.

Gizzi’s mouth-watering Meatballs with Spaghetti in a Rich Tomato Sauce has just 423 calories per portion! Less than half the calories!

Gizzi’s dish was another triumph! Sheila said it was really lovely. She said the sauce was just so nice that it made a great alternative to her normal spaghetti dish. She even said that she didn’t feel that she would have to add cheese! Wow!

Gizzi said,

‘Sheila, I’ve had such a great day with you. Just tell me how you’re feeling now?’

Sheila said,

‘It’s been great really. It’s been a revelation. I couldn’t believe that I would ever taste anything that was so good and less than half the fat of what I was eating originally. I think I thought in the first place that you would, sort of, completely just give me veg and really, really boring things. It’s been amazing to know that I can still eat carbs like the crispy potato skins and it tastes better and it’s got less calories  and it’s good for you!’

Gizzi told Sheila she had a gift for her. She presented Sheila with a pasta measurer so she can keep an eye on her pasta portions.

If Sheila does nothing more than swap her three downfall dishes for Gizzi’s deLITEful ones and continues with her weekly housework workout, she could save over 4,000 calories a week! That means she could lose four stone in a year. Now that’s how you cook yourself thin!


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Cook Yourself Thin Episode Six Sheila Foolheea

Last Updated Wednesday 16 June at 1:25 PM

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