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Earl and Esther Smith have lost 118 pounds together at Slimming World

A happy couple from Highland Village says their relationship is stronger than ever after losing a combined weight of 118 pounds and winning a local competition.

Earl and Esther Smith have transformed their lives since joining Slimming World and now they’re delighted to have been named as the organization’s Couple of the Year 2014.  

The pair, who have been married for 25 years and have three grown children, decided to join Slimming World after realizing that their weight was making them unhappy and putting their health at risk.

Earl says: “I think it’s easy for couples to become comfortable with one another, and over time daily family life takes priority over your weight and health. Fast foods are so tempting when you’re busy and we’d regularly treat ourselves to takeout, a bag of chips or bar of chocolate and a bottle of wine when we were having a relaxing night in front of the TV. So like most people, our weight crept up gradually. But in January 2013 we realized we didn’t recognize the people we saw in the mirror anymore, and we knew it would affect our health. We were both to a point that even walking had become a struggle. That was when we decided we had to do something.”

Being overweight increases the risk of developing a long list of health problems including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, or so severely overweight that their health is at serious risk.

Since losing 118 pounds in 14 months, Earl and Esther are no longer part of that statistic. Earl has lost 57.5 pounds and Esther has dropped 60.5 pounds by following Slimming World’s Food Optimising healthy eating plan. The plan encourages members to satisfy their appetite with “Free Foods,” which are foods that are filling but low in calories and fat, such as fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, lean meat, fish and eggs, while still enjoying small amounts of the foods that most diets forbid such as chocolate, chips and alcohol. This makes it possible to lose weight without ever feeling hungry or deprived.

Esther says: “I expected losing weight to be hard work but it hasn’t been at all. We still enjoy all of our favorite meals such as spaghetti, steak and stir fries, but we’ve learned how to make small changes to the way we cook them so they’re much healthier – and they taste better, too! It’s never felt like being ‘on a diet’ – and we’re confident that there’s no going back to the way we were. We both feel great and I definitely feel like I’ve got the old Esther back!”

“At first I was nervous about joining a weight-loss program, but everyone was so friendly and supportive right from day one and now we look forward to seeing everyone each week. I think what really worked for us was losing weight together because it meant we had support from each other as well as from the rest of the group, we ate all the same healthy meals and we spurred each other on with a bit of healthy competition at home too!

“I’d say our relationship is much stronger now. We do so much more together and love walking together.”

Lisa Taylor, who runs the Slimming World group every Saturday at 8:30am at the Slimming World Headquarters – 2404B S. Stemmons Frwy, Lewisville, Texas, says: “Esther and Earl are living proof that people are more successful when they lose weight with a friend or loved one because they can make changes together, which is often easier. Some men think that weight-loss programs and healthy eating are just for women, but that’s just not true. Everyone’s welcome and our Food Optimising plan is great for guys because they don’t have to eat tiny portions or go hungry. It’s been a pleasure to watch Earl and Esther slim down – they’re a real inspiration to the rest of the group, including me.” 

Anyone who’d like to join Slimming World and change their lives like Esther and Earl have are welcome to visit any of the groups at 2404B S. Stemmons Frwy, Lewisville, TX or call Lisa Taylor on 469-323-7849  or e-mail for more information. Group times can be found at

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Lisa is shown with 110 pounds of food - representing her total weight loss.

A group of big-hearted people from the Lewisville area are doing their part for the local community and their own health by organizing an effort to raise money for Christian Community Action.

Members of Slimming World, a weight-loss program with U.S. headquarters in Lewisville, are taking part in a Slim for Good campaign, which is also taking place in the U.K. and Ireland. The goal of the six-week drive, which kicks off on February 24, is to help people to lose weight and improve their health while raising money for a good cause in their local area.

The members voted to support Christian Community Action, or CCA, throughout the campaign. The nonprofit organization focuses on four main areas: medical assistance, a food pantry, educational services and spiritual guidance. Each person who comes to the CCA for assistance is presented with a personalized plan for them to improve their situation.

Lisa Taylor, a Slimming World consultant who has lost 110 pounds herself, says the Slim for Good campaign will give members of the group an added incentive to achieve their weight-loss dreams.

“New Year’s resolutions can often become a bit of a distant memory by late February, and the motivation that you might have had at the start of January can begin to dip,” she says. “If anyone is feeling that way, I’m hoping getting sponsored to lose weight will give them the lift they need. Whether it’s a cause close to your heart, like CCA is for so many of us in the group, it’s even more of a push.

“We know that making healthy lifestyle changes to the way you eat and your activity levels makes a big difference to you, including improving your health and confidence, but it also impacts your family and friends, as they enjoy the ‘new you’ and often get encouraged to become healthier themselves,” she adds. “Now, thanks to Slim for Good, members will also be able to benefit their wider local community by raising funds for CCA. Their weight-loss will literally become CCA’s gain.”

Lisa is also inviting other people in the local community to join Slimming World in their fundraising bid. She says, “If you’ve struggled with your weight for a long time, then making that decision to take control and slim down can be a big one, but hopefully knowing that every pound you lose will go towards helping CCA will be a great incentive to make that step. And I would assure anyone who’s thinking about losing weight that Slimming World is the very best way to get started. You’ll be able to follow a simple, healthy eating plan on which you’ll never have to go hungry and be able to enjoy hundreds of healthy foods like fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice, lean meat, fish and more without weighing, counting and measuring. Not only that, but you’ll also get the best support to develop healthy habits for life and overcome any potential pitfalls in your journey, so you really can lose weight and keep it off for good. So, by the end of the six-week campaign, you could be nearly 15 pounds lighter and on your way to a slimmer, happier, healthier you.”

Anyone who wants to take part in the six-week Slim for Good campaign can do so any time from Feb. 24. Sponsorship forms are available from Slimming World, which is located at 2404B S Stemmons Fwy in Lewisville, and holds meetings at various times throughout the week. And as an added incentive to members joining the campaign, between Feb. 24 and March 15, new members who buy a special six-week Countdown will pay just $50.00 (a savings of $30.00). New members who buy a 12-week Countdown during the same period will get free membership and two free weeks included for $100.00 (a savings of $40.00)


For further information please contact Lisa Taylor at 469-323-7849 or email, or visit


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An Affair To Remember (but won’t remain on your hips)!


Whether you’re loopy in love, celebrating singledom or admiring someone from afar, we want to celebrate the day of love without the heartbreak of added pounds.

To “set the mood”, most of us think of soft music, flowers and candlelight. But what about the most natural mood enhancers – aphrodisiacs?! There are many foods that will raise the heat AND keep your weight down! Slimming World has the low down on the foods of love with a romantic menu you won’t soon forget….

To learn more about Slimming World and how they helped my husband and I lose over 100 pounds between us, visit the website at or give us a call – 972-899-8700.



Lisa Taylor



Oysters are a famous aphrodisiac, in part because they contain a lot of zinc which has been thought to boost the sex drive. Our recipe, Oysters Kilpatrick, teams oysters with bacon and a creamy yet tangy sauce. And if you find a pearl…your Valentine’s Day is complete!

 Serves: 4 (or 2 servings for 2!!)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8-12 minutes


Low calorie cooking spray, eg PAM
3 lean slices of Canadian bacon, finely chopped
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh wholewheat breadcrumbs
12 oysters, opened and top shell discarded
Rock salt (optional)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
4 tbsp fat free cream cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
Lemon wedges
Tabasco sauce


1. Spray a large, non-stick skillet with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the bacon and shallot and stir fry for 5-6 minutes.

2. Add the breadcrumbs and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Arrange the opened oysters on a baking sheet (you can line the sheet with rock salt to keep the half-shells stable). Mix together the Worcestershire sauce, garlic and cream cheese and divide it between the 12 oysters. Season well and top each one with the breadcrumb mixture.

4. Place the oysters under a medium-hot grill and cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and Tabasco sauce, if using.


Tip: To open an oyster, wrap your holding hand in a tea towel and grasp an oyster, flat side up, in your palm. Insert a short, wide-bladed knife under the hinge and push it into the oyster. Jerk the blade upwards and the shells should come apart. Take care not to lose the liquid inside the oyster.



If you though celery was just diet food, think again! Men magically become irresistible thanks to the pheromones in celery and this delicious soup is a winner.



Serves: 4 (or 2 servings for 2!!)


2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, cut into ½ inch dice
3 celery sticks, cut into ½ inch dice
1¾ cups sieved tomatoes with basil
3½ cups vegetable bouillon
¼ cup uncooked short shaped pasta
4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish



1. Place a large nonstick pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, sieved tomatoes and bouillon. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.

2. Add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Stir in the chopped herbs, soy sauce, season to taste and remove from heat.

3. Serve immediately garnished with chopped parsley.



This seductive dish with aphrodisiacs like garlic, onions (yes, really!) and basil will have you whispering ‘that’s amore’!



Serves: 4 (or 2 servings for 2!!)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes


2 medium zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise
4 large, thick skinless cod fillets
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
6-8 tbsp very finely chopped basil
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
11oz/315g ripe tomatoes

For the mash
2lb 4oz/1kg mealy potatoes (eg Russet), peeled and roughly chopped
scant ½ cup/3½fl oz/100ml hot water or vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
6 scallions, finely sliced


1. Heat a large griddle pan and cook the zucchini in batches for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Place the cod fillets in a large shallow dish in a single layer.

3. Place the garlic, basil, lemon zest and juice in a mortar and pestle and mash until fairly smooth. Season well and spread this mixture over the top of the fish. Add the tomatoes to the dish and bake for 12–15 minutes or until cooked through.

4. Meanwhile boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for 12–15 minutes or until tender. Drain thoroughly and mash with the hot water or stock. Stir in the garlic and scallions and season well.

5. Divide the garlic mash between four warmed plates and place a cod fillet and portion of tomatoes on each. Serve immediately with the griddled zucchini.


Tip: You can use Atlantic or Pacific cod, scrod, haddock or any firm-fleshed white fish that you may prefer.



If you’ve got room for dessert, seduce your loved-one with this melt in the mouth Chocolate Mousse!



Serves: 4 (or 2 servings for 2!!)
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus chilling


75g/3oz dark chocolate
3 medium eggs, separated
3-4 tbsp artificial sweetener
1-2 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 level tbsp brandy
1 level tsp cocoa powder, to serve



1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large, heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water to melt the chocolate. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly at room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff, but not too dry.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sweetener, orange zest, and brandy, then spoon into the melted chocolate, mixing well.

4. Using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until well combined. Divide between 4 individual ramekins or sundae glasses and chill for 3–4 hours, or until set. Before serving, lightly dust each mousse with cocoa powder.

Tip: Pregnant woman, toddlers, and the elderly are advised not to eat recipes containing raw eggs.

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Chili Loaded Potato Skins will score big points at your Super Bowl Party!



Whether you’re watching the game or just tuning in for the commercials, everyone loves a great Super Bowl party! For those of us trying to stick to our resolution of losing weight (REALLY – this will be my year!), this party could be our first hurdle.

At Slimming World USA, I’ve learned how to throw a party that, not only will everyone enjoy, but no one will have to buy bigger pants having attended! No – this is not the same old fruit and veggie tray – although they’ll be included in my menu – this is good stuff! Burgers, potato skins, even seven layer dip!  The standard fare without the dreaded weight gain!

To learn more about Slimming World and how they helped me lose 75 pounds, visit the website at or give us a call – 972-899-8700.




Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes



2lb potatoes

 low-calorie cooking spray, such as PAM Olive Oil

 1 medium red onion, peeled

7oz canned borlotti OR kidney beans, drained

 1 level tbsp tomato purée


 freshly ground black pepper

1 pound 95% fat free extra lean ground beef

1 large zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise

9oz large flat mushrooms, thickly sliced



1.  Preheat the oven to 400ºF. 

2.  Cut the potatoes into wedges and cook in lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and return to the pan with the lid on to steam dry for 5 minutes. Place them on a nonstick baking tray and spray with low-calorie cooking spray. Cook in the oven for 25–30 minutes, occasionally shaking the tray.

3.  Meanwhile, halve the red onion and cut one half into thin wedges. Roughly chop the other half. Place the chopped red onion in a food processor with the beans, tomato purée, and seasoning and pulse to combine. Add the ground beef and pulse again. Tip the mixture out onto a clean work surface and then knead the mixture together so that all the flavors are well combined.

4.  Shape the ground beef mixture into 4 burgers and chill in the fridge until ready to cook.

5.  Preheat a large griddle pan or grill. Cook the zucchini, mushrooms, and red onion wedges for 2–3 minutes on each side until cooked. Tip the griddled vegetables into a serving bowl and mix together well.

6.  Cook the burgers for 7–8 minutes on each side on a griddle over a medium-high heat, until thoroughly cooked through.

7.  Serve the burgers with the griddled vegetables and accompany with the potato wedges.

 Tip: Suitable for freezing - quarter pounder only.



Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes, plus baking



4 small baking potatoes, unpeeled

low calorie cooking spray

1 tbsp each finely chopped rosemary and dried red chili flakes

finely sliced scallions, chopped red chili, and sweet smoked paprika, to garnish


For the chili

7oz 95% extra lean ground beef

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

14oz canned chopped tomatoes

1 large red chili, seeded and very finely chopped

1 tsp red wine vinegar

7oz canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick each potato all over and spray with a little low calorie cooking spray. Place them directly onto the oven shelf and bake for 40–45 minutes until they feel slightly soft when squeezed.

2.  Meanwhile make the chili by heating a large nonstick skillet over a high heat. Add the ground beef and stir-fry for 6–8 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, cumin, tomatoes, and red chili and season well. Cook for 20 minutes to reduce the sauce or until it thickens, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat, stir in the vinegar and kidney beans. Set aside and keep warm.

3.  When cooked, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh (keep it for another use such as mashed potatoes!) and leave a layer of potato at least ¼ inch thick on the skin. Spray again with low calorie cooking spray and arrange in a single layer, skin–side down, on a wire rack set in a roasting pan.

4.  Season generously with sea salt and sprinkle over the rosemary and chili flakes. Return to the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes, turning half way through, until crisp and golden brown.

5.  Remove from the oven and place on a platter, cut sides up. Spoon the chili into the potato skins, sprinkle over the sliced scallions, red chili, and sweet smoked paprika and serve immediately with salad leaves.

Tip: Suitable for freezing. 




This is a great party dip because it's best served at room temperature. You can set it out on the table early and finish cooking the rest of your meal. It is great served with veggies!

Serves: 7



2 tbsp of taco seasoning

1 small can fat-free refried beans

16oz fat-free plain Greek yogurt

5oz fat-free cream cheese



1 large tomato, diced

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

1 head of lettuce, shredded

3oz shredded fat-free Cheddar cheese

Salsa (optional)



1.  In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter.

2.  Mix the yogurt and cream cheese together in a medium bowl. Spread over the refried beans.

3.  Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, green onions and lettuce over the salsa, and top with the Cheddar cheese.



Rich and delectable, brownies must be one of our best-ever inventions. Here’s our own version, with nuggets of apricot for extra texture and flavor.

Serves: 24
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 18-20 minutes


3½oz fat free or low fat margarine
½ cup cocoa powder
4 tbsp artificial sweetener
4 tbsp powdered sugar
3 eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
9oz dried apricots, chopped
1 tsp vanilla flavoring


1. Preheat the oven to 360°F.

2. Line a 12 x 8in baking pan with nonstick parchment paper.

3. Melt the margarine in a pan, remove from the heat, and stir in the cocoa powder, sweetener, and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until combined.

4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir well. Mix in the apricots and vanilla flavoring, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 18–20 minutes until just set (it will firm as it cools). While still warm, turn out onto a board and cut into 24 portions.

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Slimming World member Amanda Metcalf after losing 73.5 pounds in 2013

January is a time when lots of people decide to get in shape and anyone thinking about losing weight this New Year will find incredible inspiration in a Lewisville woman who is 73.5 pounds lighter than she was last January.

When Amanda Metcalf decided to lose weight at the beginning of 2013, little did she know how successful she would be by the end of the year.

The 24-year-old had struggled with her weight all of her life. She tried to lose weight before but struggled because the programs didn’t allow for flexibility. In fact, she’d often end up regaining the weight she lost – and more – after she gave up. At her heaviest, Amanda wore a size 24 and she would feel exhausted after every shift at the medical center where she works as a nurse. 

After trying a different well-known weight loss plan last January and having fallen off the wagon by February, because she wasn’t able to live with counting and monitoring everything that she ate and drank, Amanda joined her local Slimming World group, which is run by Shannon Monahan every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at Slimming World’s Weight Loss Center in Lewisville. She heard about the program from a friend who was successfully losing weight there.

Amanda says: “I was really nervous about walking into the group that first time and hoped I’d be able to blend into the background and not have to speak to anyone. Now I find it funny that I was so scared because I got such a warm welcome and I soon realized there was nothing to be worried about because we were all in the same boat – we all just wanted to lose weight. I honestly haven’t looked back since that day. I look forward to going to group every week now, it’s my ‘me’ time and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

She couldn’t believe it when Shannon explained how Slimming World’s Food Optimising healthy eating plan worked and she discovered that she could eat lots of everyday foods without weighing and measuring, as well as still enjoying her favorite treats in moderation. Amanda adds: “I was really doubtful that it would work for me and in my first week I thought “there is no way I’m going to lose weight eating all of this food” as I hadn’t felt hungry or like I’d missed out at all. But I lost 7 pounds that first week and now I’m 73.5 pounds lighter. It’s not a diet, just a healthy way of eating that I know I can keep up for the rest of my life.”

After starting to slim down, Amanda felt confident enough to start being more active, too. Now she walks every day at work and is able to finish her shopping in one day, rather than having to return the next day as she was too tired to walk around the whole store.

Changing her eating habits and becoming more active hasn’t only transformed Amanda on the outside, she feels like a new woman on the inside too. She says: “I might have lost 73.5 pounds but I’ve gained so much more. I feel happier, healthier and have a lot more confidence – confidence to voice my opinions, which I feel will make me a better advocate for my patients. I can’t believe the difference in me in just 12 months – and neither can my family and friends. I would recommend Slimming World to anyone who’s thinking about trying to lose weight this New Year, after all, if I can do it anyone can!”

Shannon, who runs the Thursday morning Slimming World group that Amanda attends, says she’s extremely proud of what Amanda has achieved over the past year. She says: “Amanda is proof that if you make small, manageable changes to the way you cook and eat and get the right support, it is possible to make your New Year’s resolutions a reality. It makes me feel sad to think that so many people will embark on unhealthy, restrictive plans this January because I know that they won’t be able to keep them up for longer than a few days or weeks, so they’ll soon be right back where they started and feeling like a failure when actually it’s the program they’ve chosen that’s failed them. I hope Amanda inspires people in Lewisville to choose Slimming World this New Year, and everyone’s guaranteed a warm welcome at any of the groups.”

To join Slimming World in Lewisville simply visit a group or call a member of the support team at 972-899-8700 for more information.

For further information on this article or to speak to Amanda Metcalf please contact Shannon Monahan Capek at 214-868-7398 or email