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About Pip Payne and The Slimming Foodie

Welcome to The Slimming Foodie, a place to find healthy, delicious recipes which you can cook at home for the whole family to enjoy.

Hi, I’m Pip Payne, a 3 times bestselling cookbook author , and the creator of the recipes on this blog. I started The Slimming Foodie in 2015, when I decided I wanted to lose some of the weight I had gained during my 2 pregnancies. I am a passionate foodie, and I did not want to lose my enjoyment of food, but find ways to good healthy, balanced fuss-free meals using real ingredients.

From a young age I have always loved cooking and making food to share with others. I started my own recipe book when I was only 9 years old with recipes cut out from my Nana’s magazines, and little ideas that I had seen out and about (The 1980’s version of Pinterest!). At University my flatmates and I would come home from a night out to a slow-cooked beef and ale stew, rather than the typical student takeaways!

Before I worked full-time on The Slimming Foodie, I worked for a large media agency in London, and when my first daughter was born, I quickly realised the struggle of balancing working life with raising a family and getting dinner on the table every night. We moved back to Devon after my 2nd daughter was born, and that was when The Slimming Foodie started.

I started sharing my recipe ideas on social media and my online community grew very quickly. I decided to share the recipes on a blog which was easy for people to access and search for their daily meal inspiration.

Why choose The Slimming Foodie?

  • There are hundreds of free-to-access recipes on the blog, and 3 cookbooks available with more than 300 more unique recipes.
  • I am a home-cook, not a chef, and therefore my recipes are achievable for even inexperienced home cooks.
  • All of the recipes are personally tried and tested by me and my family.
  • The recipes are budget-conscious, and as a Mum of 2 fussy little eaters many of the recipes are also family friendly or offer tips for how to adjust them to accommodate fussier eaters.
  • I love food, and trying out new recipes, ingredients, and ideas- I do the research and I share the best of what I find!
  • On my social media channels, you can find recipe videos, a great community of people , and I am always reading and responding to comments, and listening to what everyone has to say about my recipes- this really gives me the chance to offer what you are looking for and react to feedback.
  • I am based in the UK, but the recipes will also work if you are based in the US (and many other countries too- there are TSF fans globally!)

A bit about me (Pip)

  • I live on the edge of Dartmoor, Devon, with my husband Darren (a filmmaker), my 2 daughters who are now 13 and 10, and my dog, Lupin, a majestic deerhound lurcher.
  • I grew up in Torbay, travelled the world at age 18 for a year, and then did a degree in English Literature at Cardiff University. I lived in London for 10 years before I returned to my roots in Devon.
  • I have had a whole host of unusual jobs over the years, I have worked as a waterpark lifeguard, an ice-cream van driver, a casino waitress, a cook in Sainsburys staff café, in the Marks and Spencer menswear department and as a wine-seller! I eventually settled into Human Resources and studied part-time for 3 years to become CIPD qualified when my children were very little. The high cost of childcare pushed me out of the workplace and out of my comfort zone and that’s when I set up the Slimming Foodie!
  • I have written 3 cookbooks in 3 years, published by Octopus (Hachette) which have all been instant Sunday Times bestsellers.
  • I have created content for, and worked with, many great brands over the years, clients I have worked with including  Tefal, Primula, AO.com, Sonos, Lakeland, Arla, Benecol, Tesco, Nando’s, Hello Fresh, Peter’s Yard, Ilchester cheese, Welsh Lamb and Beef, Picota cherries, UK shallots, UK asparagus.
  • My recipes have featured in The Times, The Times Magazine, The Telegraph, The Sun, The Sun Fabulous Magazine, Woman’s Own, Bella magazine, Closer magazine, Vegan food and living magazine.
  • I love nothing more than a beach day and a picnic with my family
  • I also love a good chat over a cup of tea (or prosecco!) with my friends, and long walks on Dartmoor.
  • love reading and now my kids are getting bigger I am finding time for it again! Recently I have loved Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, and the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley, but I often go back to my old favourites such as Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, and a real childhood favourite, Anne of Green Gables.

Some of my favourite recipes on the blog:

  • Thai carrot and red cabbage salad- this is probably the blog recipe that I make the most frequently, although I mix up the dressing ingredients to suit the occasion. I’ll often make a big dish of this to take along to friends’ barbecues or dinners.
  • Hummus- I’m also well known amongst my friends for ‘Pip’s dips’ as I always take hummus when I’m going to someone’s house for dinner!

Here are some of my children’s favourite recipes from the blog:

  • Chilli mac and cheese- This is a brilliant, easy, one-pot family favourite. Leave out the chilli powder if the kids don’t like spice.
  • Sausage and lentil casserole-wholesome and simple, I make this in big batches so I can freeze small portions for easy quick dinners for the kids.
  • Pizza sauce- Such a versatile thing to have in the fridge- yes, we use this for homemade pizzas, but we also use it as a pasta sauce and for meals such as pizza topped chicken. If I make a batch I keep a big jar in the fridge and it covers several meals.
  • One-pan lemony chicken rice- Simple but flavoursome- lemon adds a great zesty flavour to this easy one-pan meal. You can add in whichever green vegetables your kids prefer- mine usually go for green beans or broccoli.

My thoughts on ‘slimming’ and losing weight, and how to approach it in a positive way.

Weight-loss is an incredibly personal choice, can be a contentious subject, and the truth is there is no short-term quick fix that is sustainable. If you have decided to embark on your own weight-loss journey then that it a truly empowering decision to make. It makes me cross when there is negativity towards those of us who live with obesity- there is so much more complexity to living with obesity than is covered in the media. Genetics play a part, mental health plays a BIG part, and there are so many other factors at play- time, budget, stress… losing weight is not easy, but it really is achievable if you really want to do it for yourself.

I truly believe that the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to adopt lifestyle changes which you can maintain for the rest of your life. That is why crash diets do not work, because once they are over, old habits creep in and that weight comes back on. Dieting has so many negative connotations- and I do not believe in adopting a diet where you are constantly hungry and overly restrictive- I’s setting you up to fail. But to successfully lose weight you do need to look at calories in vs. calories out, and by making adjustments to the way that you shop, cook and eat, this is easily manageable long-term.

Here are my top tips for successful, long-term weight-loss:

1.    Cook from scratch, don’t rely on convenience foods: this way YOU are in control of exactly what goes into your body. If you aren’t a confident cook then it’s time to learn the basics- a great way to start is to buy a slow cooker and make one of the simple recipes here on the blog. Something like this Mexican casserole is a great recipe to start with, but you’ll find lots of ideas here on the website and in my books!

2.    Don’t dramatically change your diet: this is SO important! Think about the things that you like to eat, and then make adaptations to them to make them more healthy- I still eat the meals I love but I have learnt how to tweak them to make them better for me! If you love pizza, then try making your own pizza sauce and stir it into pasta with some melted cheese on top- just as delicious but much less calorific.

3.    Join a support group or community: I’m still a Slimming World member, and not only does it provide a supportive community with which to share your struggles and successes. If you don’t have the time or money for this, then there are lots of places online where you can find supportive weight-loss communities- a great starting point is The Slimming Foodie Facebook Group.

4.    Get active: start small, just walking when you might normally drive, and consciously making sure you have a good period of activity every day will make a difference. You can work your way up to running, cycling or exercise classes. Diet plays a bigger part than exercise in weight-loss, but exercise will complement your healthy eating habits and it is SUPER important in aiding overall physical and mental health.

5.    Preparation is key: planning out meals and snacks will help you to keep on track and stop those emergency trips to the biscuit barrel! I try to always have quiche, cold meats or small snacks like grapes in the fridge so I am not so tempted by unhealthy snacks.

6.    Sometimes you have to treat yourself: cutting out all the unhealthy foods you love forever won’t work long-term- occasional treats are important too, it’s all about moderation. I eat out so rarely that when I do, I just choose what I really want rather than the healthiest thing on the menu- that’s a real treat for me. If you completely deny yourself everything you love it’s more likely to lead to a binge further down the line!

7.    Drink plenty of water: it’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, and keeping yourself hydrated can help to stave off the urge to snack!

8.    Identify your will-power weaknesses and limit the temptations available to you: I love to bake with my children, but I cannot resist a freshly baked cake or cookie! I don’t like bananas, so if I’m baking with the girls I will often make banana bread so that I am not tempted to tuck-in.

9.    Eat more vegetables: If you aren’t a huge fan it’s so easy to incorporate them into meals, you can mix courgetti in with spaghetti if you are having bolognese, make sauces that contain hidden vegetables. Veggies are full of fibre, and have great filling power, helping you to cut down on the portion sizes of the less healthy parts of a meal.

10.  Beware of ‘low fat’ products: many are low fat but laden with sugar to make them taste better- it’s not always the healthier choice.

11.  BE KIND TO YOURSELF: I think that this is the most important thing- don’t compare yourself to others, everyone’s bodies and metabolisms are different and for some it will be easier than others. Just making these small changes means that you are taking hugely positive steps, and you should be proud of yourself!

Please note that theslimmingfoodie.com is a personal website and I am not a nutritionist, dietician or health professional of any kind.