nene local | helen dawson


Category: Eat!!

Vegan Double Chocolate Sundae for Valentine’s Day


200g Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark Chocolateritter

2 scoops of vegan ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or caramel)

200g sugar

50g cacao powder

200g flour

200g apple sauce

100ml coconut oil

200ml plant-based milk

Handful almonds

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a water bath or microwave. Save yourself a few spoons for the Sundae drizzle.
  3. Add the melted chocolate, plant-based milk, apple sauce and oil into the big bowl to the dry ingredients. Mix well until you get a smooth texture.
  4. Lightly oil your muffin pan (20x25cm), sprinkle some cocoa powder all over the pan. Fill pan with brownie dough.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes (time will depend on the height of your brownies).
  6. For the Sundae you’ll need: 2 Brownies, 2 scoops of vegan ice cream (vanilla, chocolate or caramel, use one or two different flavours) and some extra squares of Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark Chocolate.
  7. For toppings you’ll need: toasted almonds and melted Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark Chocolate for drizzle.
  8. Assembly: Serve in a glass or bowl of your choice. Top your brownie with 1-2 scoops of your favourite non-dairy ice cream. Drizzle generously with melted Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark chocolate. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and add 3 squares of Ritter Sport 61% Chocolate on top. Enjoy!ritter

Ritter Sport 61% Fine Dark Chocolate is available for purchase from selected NISA & Spar Stores for £1.79


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Total time: 40 min


21 Day Metabolic Reset Plan – Can I do it?

Nene Local went along to the free weightloss event in Thrapston – outlined here

Then I decided to bite the bullet and try the diet for myself…. Day One eating looks good to me!  (Although its not all like this sadly)

21 day reset diet

Click on the image to read all about the diet and how it targets the right type of fat, resets your metabolism and gets you out of the dangerous yo-yo dieting cycle….

There are different types of fat…

We have three types of fat that our body uses. The first is what we use for energy, which we obtain from our food. (Calories in v Calories out) If we are eating too many and not burning them off, or if we are eating too many carbs which convert to fat, we lay it down as the 2nd type which is visceral fat. This is the dangerous fat which collects around our organs. It can be a contributing factor to heart disease and diabetes. It also makes our body produce extra hormones which can raise the risk of breast cancer.

Visceral fat is a ‘locked in’ fat and extremely hard to lose. It’s the last fat that anyone will lose.

Then we have a 3rd type, which is structural fat. It’s underneath the skin, in our joints, and most importantly, in our lean muscle tissue. The heart is a lean muscle, so it’s definitely a fat that we don’t want to lose!

Unfortunately, it’s the fat that we do lose on a traditional ‘diet’ or weight loss plan.

You’ve slowed down your own metabolism…

When we go on a diet, firstly we burn the energy stores until they are depleted, then because our body needs to get energy from somewhere, it turns to our structural fat.

Each time we lose structural fat, we actually slow the metabolism down, leading to us putting on weight again because we can consume fewer calories. So we diet again, we lose more structural fat, leading to an even slower metabolism… We can then consume even fewer calories before we put on weight….This is how the yo-yo cycle begins…

In the past I have done VLCD’s (very low calorie diets) which consist of meal replacement soups and shakes. Yes, you lose vast amounts of weight, and yes, you do lose visceral fat, but, only once you have depleted all the fat in your structural fat. This is why you see people that have lost weight in this way with baggy skin (what I’d call turkey necks, bingo wings and tummy overhangs) I used to lose, and gain, three stone every year on these types of diets. The reason is because of the loss of lean muscle tissue, which as I said earlier, slows the metabolism.

As we age and reach 35, we naturally lose a percentage of lean muscle tissue every year, so we have every reason to protect what we have.

The Metabolic Reset Plan

The Metabolic Reset specifically targets visceral fat, whilst protecting the structural fat at the same time. It also kickstarts the hypothalamus gland into working effectively again. This is what regulates the metabolism.

We kickstart it by using a homeopathic activator which activates the hypothalamus to release the visceral fat, but, toxins which are held in this fat, release into the body too. Because of this, we do a detox (but still eat real, tasty food) for a minimum 21days. This also enables the body to rest from fighting what it sees as toxins, the things that we put in it on a daily basis i.e. alcohol, processed food.

When we stop taking the activator, the hypothalamus naturally kicks back in to start working by itself. It’s at this point that the metabolism resets to its peak.

We stabilise it for another 21days to enable our bodies to metabolise food more effectively (burn more calories) which makes it really easy to keep the weight off.

My Story

Day One and Two are Loading days…. It is a hugely important part of the diet to unsure you have enough energy reserves -plus you use a homeopathic activator solution to ensure the fats are being stored correctly as energy.  When I get onto phase 2, which takes 21 days I will talk more about a food supplement which supports your body’s natural systems and helps with food cravings.

Today I have eaten my toasted buttery bagel, topped with peanut butter and a little jam.  Then some cheese for lunch followed by strawberries, ice cream and double cream.  Gosh I am feeling guilty – but there is no need to be…

Just as an aside, this ‘high in fat’ phase can be achieved with avocado, nuts, smoked mackerel, olive oil etc – it is just I happen to have chosen unhealthy fats to eat rather then healthy ones – it’s just two days and a personal choice.


Let’s see…. My weight today was 11stone 2lbs (I’d like to lose 2 stone) – I am 5’4″ tall.

Bust   37″  Waist   36″   Hips  45″

21 day reset diet

I’ll grab a bikini in a moment and do some ‘before photos’.  Not sure I will post them live until I’ve got my ‘after photos’ though – I might just be too embarrassed at my figure.

Day Two

Loading again – I thoght eating lots of lovely high fat food would be easy but I cannot wait to stop!

I redid my measurements after loading and they were:  Hips 44″  Waist 39″ Thighs 24.5″ – measuring just these areas as this is mainly where it will target.

Day Three

And so it begins…. my start weight is 11st 5lbs.

I’ve taken my drops, my nutritional supplements (DBB, and OPC’s – antioxidants) and about to have breakfast in about 2o minutes.  I’m choosing a protein shake today but I could have a ‘normal’ breakfast such as scrambled eggs, with cooked onion, pepper and spinach.  I’m choosing the shake as I am due to go out soon and it’s convenient.

My lunch was a chicken salad, 120g of chicken, some rocket and spinach, dressed with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, very nice!  Beforehand I had taken my drops.  chicken saladI’ve drunk around 3 pints of water today so far, the downside is of course, many toilet visits.  I’ll be taking my drops at around 4.30pm and then dinner will actually be another chicken salad, just because that’s what I’ve got in. I wil be adding lettuce, tomato, red pepper, cucumber and red onion so dinner will be a feast for my eyes!

Day Five

I’ve not posted in a few days as we had guests.  Oooh that was tough!  Not enjoying the company of our lovely guests but keeping to the plan.  I’m not going to lie, it was tough BUT I kept thinking ‘This is three weeks of my life for goodness sake!’

World's Most Boring Mojito

My husband called this “World’s Most Boring Mojito” – it was just sparkling water and delish!

Mum in Law brought a home make fruit cake for the weekend and Alison brought some delicious ooking hummus, and a lemon cake too!  However, we had a BBQ and I enjoyed a large peice of steak with a salad, followed by sliced Grany Smith Apple in fresh lime juice.  It was super tasty – honest!!  After I heard everyone groaning later saying how they’d eaten too much and felt bloated, how ‘that last piece of cake tipped me over the edge’ I also felt a little smug, with my non bloated tummy.  I did end up eating more of everything than I should have, but it was all on plan.  Today I was expacting a maintain, as I’d eaten a lot…….

Weigh in today was and unexpacted 1/4 of a pound, which means I am on track with five pounds in five days!

It’s a warm day again today so the little black shorts that were too tight a month ago, well I’m wearing them as I type. Oh and I’m drinking my home made skinny latte (on plan of course!)

Home-made Skinny Latte

Home-made Skinny Latte

Day Eight

I’ve been trying to ring the changes with food this week, so I don’t get bored.  Found I could eat Quark, so mixed with powdered mustard and horseradish for a zingy dip and ate with sliced red and green pepper – oops no photo, just remembered as I’d eaten it all!  I will endeavour to post a picture of my Salad Nicoise this evening… Obviously with a few changes so it fits the plan.

Weghtwise, I’ve slowed down a little, so that got me down. I am now drinking more water and instead of 1/4lb a day (which I’d slipped down to) I did 3/4lb yesterday.  Overall, I’m on day 8 and I’ve lost 6 1/4 lbs.  My measurements however…..

I’ve lost 2 inches on my waist, 1 1/2 inches off my hips and one inch off each thigh – so feeling pretty good!

Day 14

I’ve impressed myself at getting this far!  BBQ weather has certainly helped, as although friends have popped by the alcohol, cake and various desserts, the BBQ is definitely this diets best friend.  A nice piece of steak on the BBQ served with salad and BBQ roased red peppers – yum!

When others have eaten dessert I’ve had a little Quark in a bowl then a hot, black coffee.  I’m seeing the difference and so are others.  I’m sitting typing this in a pair of jeans I was unable to get past my hips three weeks ago!

I’ve been hungry but only really just before mealtimes which I guess is when you’re meant to be anyway?!  I’ve not really craved anything at all – which is the drops, they definitly help with that.  Plus my vitamin/mineral/probiotic/fibre drink ensures that although the diet is quite restricitve (for only 21 days) you still have all the goodness you need in your diet, meaning in now way is it one of these ‘fad’ diets that can be so bad for you.

My measurements are – Waist lost 4 inches, hips lost 2 inches, thighs lost 1.5 inches.  Overall weightloss so far is 10lbs – obviously I’m not satisfiedn and want more off but that’s just me!  If I could do a stone that would be a nice round figure to lose – 7 days to go!!!

weight loss chart

… Going down… will I do a stone??

Day 19

Almost done!  My cooking went through a can’t be bothered stage, so I have having a lot of chicken salads.  However, after a sunny boating weekend I have become a bit more inspiring.

A roast chicken Sunday dinner was enjoyed by all. I refused the roast potatoes and gravy but had the rest – chicken, cabbage, broccoli and roast squash – all very yummy.  Plus I put aside a little bit of chicken and squash, home made a wrap and had that for lunch today.

home made wrap

I’m drinking more water as this helps too and my weight has gone down by 12 lbs in a few weeks.  Wednesday is my last day on the Diet phase, and so I shall update you on what happens next……

Day 21

I’ve made it to my final day!  Looking forward to weighing in tomorrow morning to see what the total has been.  When I have dieted before it’s been a long hard slog for months – my dieting buddies will tell you I’m a ‘1lb off a week girl’. Come rain come shine no more than a tiddly 1lb a week – plus, as I have now learned, that was structural fat too.

My first week on the diet I lost 6lbs! (I put 2lbs on during the Loading phase, so lost 4lbs in reality), then week two I lost a further 3lbs, so far this week I’ve lost 3lbs but hoping to squeeze off another one by tomorrow…

If I have not reached the weight I wanted to reach at Day21 I can continue for up to another 21days to lose more.  Or if I decide later on I wish to lose a little more, I can redo the whole process.

Final Weigh and Measure

My weight this morning was 10st 7lbs – which is a loss of 12lbs in three weeks.  I’ve lost an inch and a half off each thigh, 2 inches off my waist and 4 off my hips. A total loss of nine inches – where it matters!!

It’s all visceral fat, which is held around your organs, I’d love to be able to see inside me… but as its the fat around organs it means it goes around the tummy, waist and hip area, which is exactly what I needed.

kick starting my metabolism

…and I feel great!

If anyone wants to see the bikini Before and After photos I am happy to share privately.  Message me.

What next?

After tonight, I stop taking my activator drops and do 2 more days on the diet phase, this will reset my metabolism back to it’s peak, and my weight then is my new start point.

By Saturday, I can start to introduce dairy, nuts, beans, good quality oils, fruit and some of the vegetables I have missed.  I do need to stay off carbs for a further 18days though, then gradually add them back in.

Going forwards, they recommend a lower, better quality carb in your diet – such as wholegrains. It’s certainly made me drink more water which is a good thing, and changed my taste buds, It’ll be interesting to find out what I like and dislike once my diet gradually returns back to ‘normal’. My portion sizes will be smaller for sure, and I predict a few foods coming out of my diet completely….  Let’s see!


Since doing the 21 Day Reset I have learned more about nutrition, toxins and what I put into and onto my body. As such I have devised my own 21 Day Clean Reset.  I don’t use the drops as I’d read things online I was not happy with.  I cleared out all the toxins (or as many as possible!) from my body – It’s not as hard as it seems.  Take a read HERE and maybe you’ll join me!


Taste of Nepal in Thrapston – a Tasty Delight

Taste of Nepal really is just that – A taste of Nepal right here in Thrapston.

Situated in The Bridge Hotel, the Taste of Nepal has recently reopened.  A kitchen refurbishment was required for chef, Khadak Singh Khatrichetri, to create his authentic Nepalese dishes.

As most Thrapston residents will already be aware, The Bridge Hotel is under new ownership.  We were delighted to meet Mandy Chagger the new owner and to hear that the staff, including the owners all ate in the restaurant – which is always a good assessment of any eatery!

We began our evening with drinks in the bar, again all fully refurbished.  A few jobs still to do but they are well on their way and if you’ve not been to The Bridge in a while we strongly suggest you take a look!  Gone are the threadbare chairs, weird paintings and dark panelling, replaced with cream walls, new carpets and silvery, mink coloured sofas.


Leon then showed us to our table where Mandy is front of house.  We love a business, large or small, where the owner is really hands on, I think it ensures you get a fabulous service.

Taste of Nepal has some classic, recognisable dishes such as Chicken Korma and Chicken Tikka Masala, for those less adventurous.  There is a classic taste of Nepal and we questioned Mandy about each dish we weren’t sure on and got her recommendations.

Also on the menu there is a Clean Eating Option for those that are watching their waistlines!

While we decided what to order we had Poppadoms with Chutneys

bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal

bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal

The dishes we ate, plus our honest opinions are;


Onion Bhaji – Really crispy, not at all oily, really tasty.

Momo’s –  Traditional Nepalese steamed lamb dumplings, really lovely!

Prawn Puree – Very nice indeed.

Shikh Kebab –  Our friends decided that this was their favourite starter, again very tasty, not too spicy and not oily at all.

Overall our starters were truly exceptional.

bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal

bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal


bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal

Gurkha Lamb Curry – Very tasty indeed, certainly no left overs!

Chicken Karai – This was my dish and I really enjoyed it, nicely spiced but you get flavour rather than heat, no oil sitting on the top like in some Indian restaurants.

Chicken Tikka Masala – A classic English/Indian dish but with chef Khadak’s twist

Naan Breads –  I ordered Peshwari Naan and I would say this was nice but not amazing. (Just to add – We went to the Diwali Celebration on Wednesday where I thoroughly enjoyed the plain naan)

Pilau Rice –  A nice rice, with a subtle flavour to go with all the dishes.bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal

Chilli Paneer – Indian paneer cheese with a spicy chilli sauce, this was one of the nicest side dishes I have ever tasted!

Overall, main courses were excellent!

bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal

bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal




Lemon Tart –  The lemon tart was OK but a little disappointing after such an excellent meal.

Indian rice pudding with Gulab Jamun – If someone had suggested I’d be eating cold rice pudding and wanting to go back again for more I’d have thought they were mad…. My dish of rice pudding was flavoured with cardamom, almonds and sultanas and served with Gulab Jamun which is like a syrupy ball of almond cake (for want of a better description).  I would be happy to eat this dessert every day – it was superb!  I’m now thinking about it all over again!!

bridge hotel thrapston taste of nepal


Our desserts were the mini version, whereby you can have coffee and a dessert for £5.95, as we did want to try them but didn’t have much room left!  The mini dessert with coffee is a great idea for those that want a sweet ‘something’ after a meal.

When I said I was going to the Taste of Nepal a few of my friends asked me to tell them how much I enjoyed it and would I recommend it, well yes. Yes! I definitely would both for the food and the service and also for the knowledge.  Our evening was enjoyable – good friends, good food, finding out more about Nepalese cuisine and really lovely surroundings.

It’s great to have such a lovely restaurant within walking distance of our home!

Special Reader Offer

To celebrate the reopening, Nene Local has secured a voucher code so all our readers can try Taste of Nepal’s lovely menu with a 10% discount!

Quote NENE10 at the time of booking to claim your 10% discount off your entire food bill.


Taste of Nepal Thrapston


Facebook Page:

Telephone: 01832 732320 to book.

The Bell Inn, Little Addington Serves a Birthday Surprise!

As some of you may know, it was my birthday yesterday and so The Bell Inn in Little Addington decided to invite us along for the evening.

The Bell Inn is run by husband and wife team, Radu and Nela Constantin, who have had many years’ experience in hospitality (and it shows!)

On entering the Bell Inn, on what only be described as a very chilly April evening, we were shown to the sofas by a roaring log fire and introduced to our waiter, Alex.


He took our drinks order and left us to peruse the menu, and specials board.  We were left cosy by the fire until our food was ready.


The pub has an ‘olde worlde’ charm, it’s cosy and welcoming, with both tables and high backed chairs or low, squidgy sofas for you to choose from.

Soon we went into the restaurant, directed by Alex.  We ate quite early as I’m not great at eating too late into the evening, so we did end up with the restaurant to ourselves.  As you can see, the restaurant seats quite a few and large parties can be catered for.


Our starters were Tempura Prawns, which I loved.  The sauces we decided were a fruity (maybe raspberry?) based one and a teriyaki type, with lots of ginger.  Yum Yum!  There was not much left on either plate, as a compliment to the chef…IMG_1091


Main course was steak, well it was my birthday!  Steak and chips, plus side dishes of onion rings and mushrooms.  The steaks were cooked just as we liked them and Alex popped over just enough times to check everything was OK, but not to make us feel he was over powering.

The sautéed mushrooms had a hint of garlic and the onion rings were hand battered in a tempura style batter.  Both side dishes where lovely and enough for both of us.



Then for dessert it was surprise time!  Radu and Alex came out to our table both singing happy birthday, with a selection of mini dessert tasters on two plates – complete with birthday candle for me to blow out.



The desserts we tasted were meringue, chocolate and sorbet based. The Mango Sorbet is just divine, the Raspberry one was lovely but Mango was definitely a favourite!


The menu at The Bell Inn is quite varied, with lots to choose from, but we could both recommend what we ate last night.


We finished our meal with coffees, and a little homemade biscuit.



Our evening at The Bell Inn could not be faulted, from the wonderful food, excellent service and warm welcome.  Not just because we are Nene Local Magazine either, if you talk to the regulars, this IS the welcome and service you get.


Whether you want to eat in the restaurant, bar, have a Sunday carvery or afternoon tea.  If it’s a meal for two or a large party The Bell Inn can cater for this and more…


Speaking to Radu about his food; “Here at The Bell Inn we are so passionate about our food that we could sing about it from the rooftops. Ahhh, food…we love to eat it but even more so we love to make it! And we want YOU to love eating our freshly prepared, made to order food too. We think you will.

Wherever possible I use locally sourced organic produce and only the freshest and finest of ingredients goes into my culinary creations. All of the items on the menus are freshly prepared in our shiny newly refurbished kitchen by me and my talented team.

We have dishes on offer to suit all tastes from the traditional with a hint of gastronomic twist to the more exotic and range from delicate parfait to a belt-loosening 12oz slab of juicy Rib-eye steak! Whatever your appetite we have you covered so we would love you to join us for a meal.”



High Street

Little Addington

NN14 4BDbell a

To book call – (01933) 651700



Opening Hours

Monday : Closed (Open on Bank Holidays)

Tuesday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:00

Wednesday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:00

Thursday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:00

Friday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:30

Saturday : 12:00 – 15:00 | 18:00 – 21:30

Sunday : 12:00 – 17:00