Browse Author: Helen Fulton

Healthy Ramadan

Stay Lean During Ramadan 2017

Ramadan is right around the corner! It’s a wonderful time for mental resolve and spiritual benefit. However, many fear that consuming food at such late hours will result in weight gain!

This doesn’t have to be the case! If you follow Mr Mango’s simple rules for staying lean during Ramadan then you’ll have absolutely nothing to worry about. See them below…

Rule 1 – Don’t Overindulge at Iftar

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Iftar is the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan. It’s understandable why many tend to overindulge when the sun goes down, especially during the first week of the holy month when the body is adapting to fasting.

However, overeating will undoubtedly lead to weight gain if you do it throughout the month. If you’re eating more calories than your body needs throughout Ramadan, the result could mean you see a few extra pounds on the scale when you weigh yourself on June 24th (the last day of Ramadan).

 Rule 2 – Eat Right

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It’s not just how much you eat but what you feed your body as well. Eating nutrient dense foods is essential as they will keep you fuller for longer.

Carby foods will be digested and used up relatively quickly compared to foods high in protein or healthy fats. Make sure when you eat, your plate of food is a nice balance of protein, carbs, fats and vegetables of course!

Also! A Mr Mango top tip would be preparing your meals in advance so you’re not tempted to binge on any unhealthy food!

Rule 3 – Sleep

Sleep deprivation is common during the month of Ramadan but it is key that you get as much sleep as you can in, not only for muscular recovery if you’re working out but for many other factors.

Sleep deprivation causes havoc with your body at a cellular and hormonal level. When you’re sleep deprived, the mitochondria in your cells that digest fuel start to shut down and your body boosts the levels of the hormone ghrelin which tells you that you’re hungry i.e. you’ll eat more calories and not be able to digest it properly leading to weight gain.

Rule 4 – Drink plenty of water

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Drink as much water as you can between Ifthar and Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) to reduce the risk of dehydration during fasting.

It’s also key to maintaining your metabolism levels so you will be less likely to store the calories you consume as fat.

Tip – Drinking coconut water in moderation is great to increase the electrolytes in your body, which are essential for heart, nerve and muscle functions.

Rule 5 – Train Smart

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The best time to hit the gym would be 2 hours before you break your fast; this way the food you eat when you break your fast will aid in muscular recovery. It also maximises the time you’ll be able to eat as you won’t be spending Ifthar time training.

Also, seeing as water cannot be drunk before sundown, HIIT or intense cardio workouts will be very difficult. So, stick to the weights and light cardio activities like walking for the month.

That’s Mr Mango’s 5 rules to stay lean during Ramadan. Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Also, if you’d like some nutritious HMC Halal protein sources for your Ifthar meals, be sure to check out Mr Mango’s online aisles for a great selection of Chicken, Lamb, Mutton, Marinated Meat and Spices right here…

Top 10 Tips to Make Indian Food Healthy

Indian food has fast become a staple in the UK, but can been seen only as a takeaway to some. These takeaways can be greasy, un-apologetically stodgy and downright unpleasant! Once you’ve tasted a proper curry though, you can never go back!

However, some parts of traditional Indian cooking can be very unhealthy. Some food require frying, and there’s lots of cream and ghee used. We’ve created our list of the top 10 ways to make your Indian food healthy!

Variety of vegetables and legumes

Curries normally contain a variety of vegetables and legumes to help create a variety of flavours. Try mixing up the ratio of meat to vegetables, or have a solely vegetarian dish! Vegetables and legumes are a great source of antioxidants and fibre.

Bulk dishes with legumes

Legumes include sprouted beans and lentils. Using these to bulk out your dishes isn’t only healthier, but less meat will be needed!

Use minimal red meat

Red meat is high in saturated fats, so when you’re cooking, try to avoid using Lamb, Beef or Pork. Opt for more protein filled meats like Chicken or Turkey, especially if it’s lean.

Use oil sparingly

You don’t need to use Ghee in every recipe! There’s nothing wrong with using standard vegetable oil because you’ll still get the same taste, but your food will be less oily and greasy. If you do choose to use oil though, you don’t need it to be of the same quantity as you would with Ghee. Use the oil sparingly.

Meals that don’t require frying

There are plenty of recipes that don’t require frying. A simple Google search will provide you with recipes for non-frying based dishes, like Broccoli Curry or no fry Pakoras.

Coconut milk/cream replacement

Coconut milk and cream add unnecessary fats into your meals, so look for replacements like skimmed milk, cashew nut paste or poppy seed paste. You’ll get the same great taste, but keep your meal as healthy as possible.

Tandoori grilling

A fantastic way of cooking your meats without frying them in excess oil. Tandoori grilling allows for all the excess fat from the meat to escape before you eat, giving yourself more lean meat!

Wholemeal flour instead of plain flour

When you’re making Chapattis or Parathas, try switching your plain flour to wholemeal flour. This slight change may make your food a little darker, but wholemeal flour is a slower releasing carbohydrate and so it’s better for you!

Brown basmati rice instead of white rice

For the same reasons as the wholemeal flour, swapping your white Basmati rice for the wholemeal alternative means you’ll be eating slow release carbohydrates, as well as them being nutrient dense, meaning there’s more vitamins and minerals in every bite!

Bake Samosas instead of frying them

Arguably still a big debate, but highly recommended for a healthier diet. Baking your Samosas instead of frying them makes them less greasy and fatty. Whether you’re having a vegetable or meat-based Samosa, you’ll be grateful for baking them!

Have we missed anything? Let us know your tips for healthier Indian food in the comments below!

Food Events in Birmingham in 2017!

Throughout the year, it’s always nice to try something new! Experience new cultures and try new and exciting food! It’s a shame that there isn’t a food festival every week – but there is one almost every month!

We’ve compiled a list of the highlights of the food festival calendar, from March to December! Unfortunately not every month can be filled with foody goodness, but there are some months with double servings! Enjoy!


4th March – Solihull’s Fairtrade Cake-Off

Lots of different categories from cupcakes to show stoppers, all of which must contain at two Fairtrade ingredients! Judges include Amari Koryang, winner of CBBC Bake Off 2015

25th March – Holi-Rave

The return of the Holi Rave means it’s getting time to mark the arrival of Spring! You can always count on finding some amazing street food from all over the Midlands here!


15th-18th June – BBC Good Food Show

Michelin-star chef Glynn Purnell will be appearing at the NEC for the BBC Good Food Show 2017. As the face of Saturday Kitchen, you’ll definitely experience some delightful food!

30th June-1st July – Colmore Food Festival

Glynn Purnell is back again is helping to officially launch the Colmore Food Festival. This annual celebration attracts 30,000 visitors to help celebrate food in the heart of Colmore Business District, filled with bars and cafes.


26th-28th August – Lichfield Food Festival

Your Bank Holiday weekend just got very busy! You can expect a massive selection of food and drink stalls, free cookery demonstrations, street food, pop-up coffee and so much more in Lichfield City Centre!


Date TBC – Birmingham Chilli Festival

Visit at your peril! Be prepared to taste some of the hottest sauces, foods and chocolates you could find! See if you can spot Chilli Queen Lou Witterick challenging new contenders for the Chilli eating competition.


3rd-5th November – Cake International

Ideal for cake lovers – eaters or makers! You can find some of the most amazingly detailed cakes in the NEC! Want to know what your favourite celebrity looks like in cake form – you’re bound to find out!


Date TBC – Birmingham German Market

It’s back once again! Enjoy exquisite German food and culture in this month long festive treat! The date is yet to be confirmed, but hopefully it will continue all the way up to Christmas Day again!


Are you attending of these food festivals, or know of anymore? Let us know in the comments!

Best Bollywood Films about Food!

What’s the one thing that’s bigger than Bollywood?…Food!

But what happens when you combine the two? You’ll get an explosion of culture and exquisite taste enough to warm the soul!

Combining the best in Bollywood acting, and sublime cooking skills can only spell out for a great film!

But what are the best Bollywood films about food? Find out below!

The Lunchbox

“Sometimes the wrong train can get you to the right station”

A charming film starring Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur, we see a young woman cooking for someone she’s never known, and awaiting the notes he sends back to her!

Both characters are suffering from personal issues, and through food they’re helping each other cope and build!


Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana

A man on the run from a dangerous UK gangster, lead character Omi Khurana, played by Kunal Kapoor, tries to help uncover the secret family recipe of Chicken Khurana in order to help restore family order!

With lots of family issues uncovered, you can always count on the hunt of a secret recipe to help bring everyone back together!


Cheeni Kum

Described as a “sugar-free” romance, it’s a story of chef Buddhadev Gupta, played by Amitabh Bachchan, and his restaurant Spice 6. He then meets a much younger Nina Verma, played by Tabu, and falls in love.

Their romance and passion certainly helps highlight the skill are art in Amitabh’s cooking!


Paranthe Wali Gali

Take a romantic middle class love story set in the backdrop of the oldest lane of Delhi thronged with delicious paranthas, and voila–a perfect treat!

Starring Mohinder Gujral as Rimjhim Kaur, and Yuvraj Haral as Vivian, it really is a great film to watch for couples.



Bring a handsome Lucknawi cook with a heart of gold and a chirpy Hyderabadi girl with a weakness for kebabs and you have a gastronomical love story!

Starring Aditya Roy Kapoor as Tariq and Parineeti Chopra as Gulrez, it feels like a classic!


What’s your favourite Bollywood film about food? Let us know in the comments below!