A Southport woman has taken a starring role in this month’s Slimming World magazine after being inspired by her Nan’s favourite wartime recipes.
Dee Wright, 49, is a Slimming World Consultant who runs five sessions in Southport every week.
Over the past six years she has supported hundreds of people to lose weight and enjoy healthier lifestyles.
Dee is now delighted to take her turn to be the focus of attention, after taking three of her beloved Nan’s top dishes from the 1940s and recreating them as healthier versions that are still delicious and packed full of flavour.
The three meals are: Potato and Bacon Bake; Sausage Quiche; and Savoury Mince.
Dee, who lives in Southport with her 10-year-old daughter, Autumn, said: “When I joined Slimming World, I never thought I would go on to become a Consultant and support other people.
“Now my recipes are in the Slimming World magazine! They are all inspired by my Nan. I am so proud.
“I have had lots of really lovely comments from my Slimming World members and from other Slimming World consultants since the magazine was published, saying it is really nice to see some real comfort food meals in there.
“It is fantastic to see some of my Nan’s favourite dishes being featured!
“My Nan’s recipes were from the Second World War, at a time when people were trying to save money.
“In these current times, with the cost-of-living crisis we have today, it is also good to provide recipes that save people cash.”
Dee has very happy memories of visiting her grandmother’s house.
She said: “Bursting through the back door into Nan’s tiny kitchen, the first thing that hit me was the delicious smell of our tea in the oven. She knew what I liked to eat, and I could tell the moment I walked in that it was my favourite: sausage quiche!
“My Nan, Dylys, was gorgeous – a really special person and an important part of my life growing up, especially after my Grandad died when I was eight. Every Saturday evening, Mum would walk me across the road to stay overnight at Nan’s – it was the highlight of my week. We’d bake fairy and butterfly cakes, then curl up together in front of the television, eating jelly and ice cream and watching Cilla Black’s Blind Date and Ted Rogers on 3-2-1.
“Nan talked a lot about her life as a newlywed just after the Second World War. She’d show me the ration books and explain how she and Grandad had to be frugal, especially after my Mum, Shelagh, and her brother, Ian, were born.
“Her thing was topping everything with sliced potatoes, and she adored cheese, particularly Red Leicester.
“Now when I use it as my Healthy Extra and see that lovely orangeness, I always think of her.
“Nan’s house was my ‘sanctuary’, especially in my teenage years, when I first started to gain weight and was bullied at school. I’d take refuge there and comfort myself with her home-cooked food.
“It’s a great sadness to me that Nan never got to meet my daughter, Autumn, or to see my slimming success.”
Dee was working overseas for a well-known holiday company when her Nan was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. She immediately flew home to help her Mum with her care.
When she tragically died, Dee’s eating went out of control and her weight rose to 17 stone.
Her diets saw her lose a stone or two before she then put the weight back on. It was a frustrating circle.
Shortly after giving birth to Autumn, Dee split from her partner.
After putting her daughter to bed, her evenings were spent on the sofa tucking into family-sized bags of crisps or tubs of ice cream.
Her doctor became concerned about her weight and offered Dee Slimming World on referral.
She thrived on the experience so much she later became a Slimming World Consultant, so she could use her experiences and her new-found skills to help others.
Dee said: “As well as new, healthier ways to cook and eat, I learnt to untangle my emotional eating habits.
“I realised eating was my way of taking myself back to happier times – eating jelly and ice cream with my Nan – and that, actually, I didn’t need to eat sweet treats to feel close to her, not when I had these lovely recipes…
“I went on to lose 6 stone, and although I had a blip in lockdown, I plan to be back at target for my 50th birthday.
“I know Nan would be proud of us – I always tell Autumn ‘Your Great Nan would have loved you so much’.
“Many times when we’ve been chatting as I’m cooking in the kitchen I’ll say: ‘Your Great Nan taught me to make this!’”
Dee has used her Slimming World knowledge to adapt her Nan’s recipes. Dylys loved using lots of butter in them which has now gone!
Dee has also food optimised by trimming any fat off the bacon in her potato bake, swapping butter for low-calorie spray in the savoury mince and using fat-free natural cottage cheese in her crustless version of her famous quiche.
Dee said: “Nan once sent me one of her quiches with my Mum, who then had to fly the baking dish home again!
“That quiche dish is still one of my most treasured possessions, and never fails to remind me of my very special Nan.”
- Slimming World Southport with Dee group meets at St Simon and St Jude’s Church Hall in High Park in Southport every Thursday (9.30am, 5.30pm and 7pm) and Friday (9.30am and 11am). For more details call Dee Wright on: 07711566153.
- The November / December Slimming World magazine is available now, priced £3.45.