All posts by Pollyanna Hale


UK Sugar Report & “Sugar Tax” – WatchFit Experts Respond Pt. 2

Following on from Part 1, explore Watchfit Experts thoughts on the role and responsibility of advertising and so-called ‘health’ foods . They also offer practical advice on how to curb the obesity epidemics, and the responsibility we all have to ensure a healthy future for our communities.

sugar 2

The ‘Healthy’ foods that aren’t

Read the second part of the article here.


UK Sugar Report & “Sugar Tax” – WatchFit Experts Respond Pt. 1

PHE Report: sugar & an increase in obesity

Sugar. It is definitely not good for you, but a controversial report released by Public Health England suggests that it may be the cause for the excessive and life-threatening rise in obesity witnessed over the past 30 years.


WatchFit Experts Respond

We’ve reached out to four of our fantastic experts to share their opinions on this PHE report, sugar and obesity from both a local and international viewpoint. Thank you to Carolina Brooks, Polly Hale, Sinead Loughnane and Julie Meek for their invaluable insights in this two part series.

Read the article on Watchfit here.


Beef Jerky as a workout protein supplement: here are the best ones available

Why eat Jerky or Biltong?

Protein is absolutely essential for muscle repair and growth, especially for those who exercise often. Weight training creates micro-tears in the muscles that need to be repaired, while endurance sports like long-distance running cause muscle breakdown from gluconeogenesis because a large amount of calories are burned.

This is common knowledge in the fitness world, but many people don’t realise that protein and the amino acids that form it are essential for so many bodily functions including metabolism regulation, immunity, blood clotting, fatty acid transportation, oxygen storage and collagen formation in joints.

In short, you can’t live without protein!

An incredibly convenient food

Unfortunately, fresh meat, fish, eggs and dairy products can’t be left out of a refrigerator for long before they start to go off, so long-life protein foods can be convenient when out of the house working or away from a fridge all day.

Not everyone enjoys using protein powders and some people may be looking for a change, so dried meats like jerky are a great option.

What’s The Difference between Biltong & Jerky?

Both Jerky and Biltong are dried meats that are preserved to prevent them from going rotten. Biltong is originally from South Africa, whereas Jerky originates from North and South America.

Jerky is simply dried meat, usually for around 2-8 hours, and sometimes has marinades, salt, vinegar, sugar and spices added, but doesn’t always. The drying can be in an oven, dehydrator, smoker, sun dried, or air dried. Jerky is sliced first before drying, and even minced meat can be used. The resulting product is thinner than biltong. Brands of jerky can taste wildly different depending on the methods and additional ingredients used. In fact the name ‘jerky’ can also be applied to other dried foods such as fish, mushroom, soy, poultry and other meats such as bacon.

Biltong has a much more specific method applied; it is air dried for anywhere between 3-7 days, and is doused in vinegar and rubbed with salt, as well as various other spices. Biltong is always dried as a large chunk of meat, and is always whole meat, sliced afterwards, and is usually sold as thicker slices than jerky. Due to the more stringent production methods, it will have more similarities in taste between brands. Biltong is always made from red meat.

Four Popular Jerky and Biltong products compared 

Portion of Beef Jerky (close-up shot) on vintage wooden background


Pumpkin Recipes Packed With Protein

Hands up who had carving faces into pumpkins on the ‘to-do’ list this week? Us too!

My kids have a great time with Daddy (it’s a yearly ritual) designing, drawing, cutting and scraping away while I attempt to control the mess. And I make sure they don’t throw away any of the insides – I have a field day with all the goodness you can get from one large pumpkin!

Here are four fab recipes you can make with pumpkin; check out my article for WatchFit here.



Playground Workout – Get Fit with the Family!

If you’ve got small kids as I have, you’ll know how hard it is to find ‘me time’ for simple things like a bath by yourself let alone making time for exercise.

Even if your children are at school during the day most people work or have other commitments that get in the way of exercise. But here’s an idea you might not have considered:

Do your workout with the kids, in the playground!


Check out how on my article for Watchfit here.


Ask an expert:- How to Lose Weight for your Wedding Day

If there’s one thing a bride wants on her Wedding Day (second of course to becoming legally tied to the one you love!) it’s to feel confident that it’s your day to shine and be the centre of attention, with everyone admiring how beautiful your dress is and how happy you look. You’ll be photographed by everyone not least your own photographer from whom you will purchase photos to be displayed in silver frames around your house, forever reminding you of that magical day when two officially became one.

So of course you want to look your best! As women we are particularly critical of ourselves over our appearance and this only magnifies every time we are at an occasion where scrubbing up well is mandatory, be that a night on the tiles or an important meeting, how we look and present ourselves is important to us.

Now times that by several (possibly hundred) wedding guests, old friends, best friends, family, colleagues, plus of course all of your spouse-to-be’s guests with all eyes on you and the pressure to get everything right really mounts. Will my make-up stay put? Will my hair stay in place? And top of many bride’s appearance concerns, ‘Help, I don’t want to look fat on my big day!’

First things first…

Read the rest of the article over on the Hen Heaven website here.