‘Don’t chicken out of eating healthily’

EAT WELL ... personal trainer Joe Sexton.
EAT WELL ... personal trainer Joe Sexton.

A FITNESS guru believes there’s no need for South Tynesiders to ditch their traditional dinner tomorrow despite rising VAT costs.

There are fears the Sunday roast will become a thing of the past due the price of rotisserie chicken being hiked by 20 per cent – or roughly 88p – under a new Government law.

It comes as a YouGov survey has revealed that 47 per cent of people have less cash than a year ago while 24 per cent say they don’t have time to prepare a roast.

But Joe Sexton, who runs the Fitness Camp Academy, says hungry households should make time to prepare nutritious meals and it could save them cash.

The 23–year–old, who launched his own fitness workout DVD earlier this year, has a new channel on YouTube – Fatloss MasterChef – where he will uploads videos.

He said: “Money wise, it’s all about making an investment in eating nutritionally-dense food that the whole family can enjoy. Of course it’s going to be a little more expensive than throwing in microwave meals for the whole family but it doesn’t have to break the bank.”

Mr Sexton from Westoe in South Shields, bought chicken, carrots, broccoli, parsnips and a swede, which came to just under £10 – cheaper than many takeaways.

He said: “I roasted the parsnips, steamed the broccoli and made mash out of the swede and carrots. This meal was full of goodness and tasted amazing. Buying ingredients at a fruit and veg shop is a lot cheaper than buying prepared stuff from supermarkets. The meat is always going to be the most expensive part but a decent sized chicken should cost around £5.”

The VAT hike, which came into action on Monday, was designed to hit takeaway foods by charging more for hot baked goods in a bid to raise £110m for the country’s struggling budget.

The Gazette teamed up with South Shields butchers Dicksons to fight the plans, with more than 7,000 signing a petition.

And despite a Government U-turn earlier this year over plans to include pasties and pies, it’s still affecting rotisserie chickens, which, for food safety reasons, cannot be left to cool down for a prolonged period in the same way.

Mr Sexton added: “The first recipe I will be putting on will be how to cook the perfect healthy roast dinner. I’m looking to grow the channel, as food seems to be the thing people struggle with when they want to get healthy or lose weight. A Sunday roast an amazing way to get much needed vegetables and nutrients into the body.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVez