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Harness the power of spices for health, Wellbeing and weight-loss

Kalpna Woolf

Text © Kalpna Woolf, 2015
Photography, design and layout © Pavilion Books Company Ltd, 2015
Photographer: Clare Winfield

Spice Yourself Slim Harness the power of spices for health, Wellbeing and weight-loss-Kalpna Woolf
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Book Details
 476 p
 File Size 
 8,426 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 Text, Kalpna Woolf, 2015 

How Does It Work?
Spice Yourself Slim is a healthy, flavourful way of eating based on
centuries-old traditions of combining tasty spices with fresh ingredients
to lose weight and maintain energy. It is a simple way of eating for the
whole of your life. Most diets involve a ‘crash and burn’ timeframe but
this is exactly why most diets tend not to work in the long term. For so
long people have tried everything to lose weight or to maintain a good
weight through short quick-fix diets, and while these diets may help to
lose weight temporarily, statistics show that 95 per cent of dieters will
fail to maintain weight loss. Diets tend to make you change your
normal eating habits, deny yourself eating certain foods, and eat
boring, bland foods you don’t enjoy, or grapple with complicated meal
plans. Often, you have to eat these dishes on your own while everyone
around you is enjoying their meals. Dieting is thought of as a
temporary fix with an end date. It is not seen as lifestyle change, so
mentally most people are counting the days to when their diet is over.
However, research also shows that if you can enjoy your meals, feel
positive about the foods you are eating, because of their taste and
nutrition, and share them with family and friends, you are more likely
to succeed. Spice Yourself Slim is packed with recipes that you can
enjoy and will help you to be successful in your diet.
Each recipe uses simple, natural ingredients and combines them with
one or a combination of healthy spices to create wonderful low-fat
dishes. For example, try rubbing a tablespoon of sumac (a wonderful
Middle Eastern berry-coloured spice) into a few pieces of chicken then
stir-frying them with a little olive oil, and you will have a delicious,
zesty-flavoured chicken dish. The sumac doesn’t add any calories at all.
Alternatively, add cumin seeds to fresh vegetables before cooking and a
sprinkling of roasted ground cumin at the end, and you will have a
plate of food that will sing with aromas and tastes. You will also feel
good as the cumin contains iron and other vitamins.
Spice Yourself Slim will show you which spices you need. I have used
ten spices that are normally found in most kitchen storecupboards as
well as some exciting new spices which I hope you will enjoy trying.

Spices are powerhouses of flavour and health and have the crucial
benefits of being calorie and fat free. Spice Yourself Slim shows you a
simple and healthy way of eating using the power of spices to enjoy
tasty food and to maintain good health. This is not an invented
contemporary fad. It has a strong foundation in centuries’ old
knowledge and traditions. This book seeks to unwrap the secret
mysteries of one of the oldest, most valued and most mystically
powerful food sources known to mankind – spices – and shows how
they can be incorporated into contemporary recipes that can have a
dramatic impact on not just our diets, but also on our health and lifestyle.

A tried and tested diet, Spice Yourself Slim guarantees weight loss
while allowing you to enjoy flavourful food at every meal. At a time
when Western tastes are ever more receptive to spices, not just Indian
(chilli, garam masala, turmeric, coriander), Chinese (Szechuan, fivespice,
star anise), Mexican (smoked chipotle chillies), and traditional
spices (cloves, cinnamon, fennel), but also the Middle Eastern spices
which are exciting metropolitan foodies (sumac, za’atar, ras el hanout),
we still know very little about them. This book unlocks their magic,
fusing traditional spice secrets with simple modern recipes for today.
We live in an age in which we can enjoy the best cuisines from around
the world. We all love eating food, and at the same time, we also want
to be slim and healthy, and be careful about what we eat. It has always
seemed that we can’t have it both ways, but this book is about how we
can have it all – eat delicious, tasty food and lose weight healthily.
My Personal Journey
Spices are in my DNA and this book is very much the story of my
personal food journey, learning about the remarkable health and
nutritional benefits of spices.
I was brought up eating Indian spices and good, wholesome homecooked
food. However, when I moved away from home, I moved away
from my ‘food roots’ too and was tempted by the growing proliferation
of fast food. Instant (no-cook, no-mess) food availability and the
addictive effect of high fat, high salt, sugars and colours. Result – I
soon began to feel and look tired and, horrifyingly, for someone who
had always been thin, began to put on weight. Even though I cut down
on calories and felt I was eating less… I was always hungry and still not
managing my weight well or feeling good.
Over the years I began to learn more about food and the effects of it on
our health, energy levels and, of course, our weight. I began to look
into the foods I was eating and wrote a diary of what triggered my
response to eating certain meals. I realised that I wanted to eat
healthily and feel full, to enjoy my food and to have a good relationship
with it, but I didn’t want to eat bland, flavourless and often insipidlooking
food or ‘diet’ foods. I wanted to eat food with lots of flavour, to
enjoy dishes from around the world, and I wanted to share foods with
my family. I discovered that when I balanced spices with healthy foods
my weight reduced and then stayed down.
So, Spice Yourself Slim is the story of the food journey I have travelled.
I have been fortunate to meet people from around the world through
my TV career, to go to fantastic places and explore foods from around
the world. Time and again I found that the food I loved in most
countries included scrumptious spices that were used to introduce
flavour but also gave the food health, well-being and nutritional benefits.

My journey takes me from my Indian roots to traditional British
cooking, to university where I was studying Russian and went to Soviet
Russia, and then travelling myself to experience cuisines first hand in
Iran, Vietnam and Italy, and to enjoying foods from Thailand, Morocco,
Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Far East and West Africa.
I use spices every day – I love the tastes, flavours and the good feeling
I get from just cooking a meal with them. A sprinkle of freshly roasted
and ground cumin makes a dull plate of vegetables sing. When I add
turmeric to a dish, I love the rich colour and I am instantly transported
to the bustling markets of Marrakesh where turmeric powder is piled
high in large sacks. Spices are sumptuous in colour, taste and history.
Their history evokes wonderful journeys across deserts, land and sea
from faraway exotic lands and worth so high a price as to have been
used as a legal tender in many countries.
Spice are eaten and enjoyed all over the world, and relished not only
because of their taste but because they also carry the stories of their
health powers from one generation to another. My mother, other
members of my family and many Indian people I know, still use
remedies made from spices for many ailments and for strength. For
instance, if anyone has a bad tummy, everyone rushes for the carom
seeds which are mixed with a sprinkling of salt and swallowed down
with a little warm water: an age-old remedy going as far back as my
great, great, grandmother.
Recently, I was in Vietnam and I was talking to some young people in a
restaurant. Their stories about using spices for ailments and for their
general health benefits were so similar to mine. Even in that country,
mothers use oil made from cloves for toothache – an ancient remedy
that has been used for centuries.
These are all family anecdotes, but now scientific research findings are
revealing the health properties of spices. For example, turmeric has
been used for years by Asian families and in Ayurvedic medicine as an
anti-inflammatory, but now research is showing that an active
compound in turmeric, curcumin, could potentially help in reducing
This project has been a secret passion of mine for years. I love the
alchemy of spices, which are often misunderstood by people, who are
overwhelmed by the number of spices required to make a meal.
Through my experience, I hope to demystify spices and show how they
can be easily incorporated into our daily eating habits, as well as to
explain their health benefits at a time when changing national tastes
mean that there has never been a greater public appetite to understand
and learn how to cook with them and to master their magic allure.

Table of Contents


How Does It Work?
The Power of Spices
Key Spices
Spice Rubs
Start the Day: Breakfasts
Simple Spicetastic Lunches
Effortless Dinners
Meals to Share and to Impress
Spicetacular Sides
Tantalising Sweet Treats
14-Day Meal Plan


Spice Yourself Slim Harness the power of spices for health, Wellbeing and weight-loss-Kalpna Woolf
First published as Hardback and eBook in the United Kingdom in 2016 by
1 Gower Street

The moral rights of the author have been asserted.
This book can be ordered direct from the publisher at
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