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Veteran opens Slimming World in Milford Haven

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ARMY Veteran, Rachel, has launched her own Slimming World group in Milford Haven after her own positive experiences. 

“I changed lives in the army and hope to continue changing lives for people in Milford Haven.”

Rachel was born and raised in Milford Haven. As a small child, she was “active and busy” and a real tomboy alongside her brothers. 

In 1998, she joined the Army at 16-years-old as a Combat Medical Technician. Following training, Rachel served in Germany, all over the UK, overseas in Cyprus, and was deployed to Oman, Kosovo, Bosnia and Poland before retiring from service in May 2021.

Her role as a combat medical technician meant she often had to deal with soldiers who had been injured in war zones. Rachel described dealing with the range of injuries as “life-changing”.

Rachel’s job not only consisted of helping soldiers physically recover; she also helped them with their mental well-being. 

She said she: “always pointed out the positives ahead of them for their lives and their families.

“The fulfilment I would get from seeing them recover and their family made whole again is so rewarding, I cannot put it into words.”

She has always been a strong, physically fit person. She enjoyed an active lifestyle and felt as though she “could always eat what she wanted.”

In 2017, she was posted to Harrogate. Rachel was 36 years old and had recently given birth to her third child, a daughter, after already having two sons aged 13 and 5. 

She says she was almost two stone overweight even before her pregnancy. 

Rachel said: “So here I was with four stone to lose. I had lost all confidence and was at a loss.

“I was at a GP surgery when I saw a poster for Slimming World. I was there for my daughter’s first vaccinations and that’s when I decided to join my local Harrogate Slimming World group.”

Rachel said she was welcomed to the group with open arms. She described the members as being lovely, offering to make her a hot drink after being weighed or hold her baby while she got settled into the group. 

It was at this group that Rachel found her love for Food Optimising, which is Slimming World’s unique plan to lose weight and get healthy. 

She swapped takeaway meals for ‘fakeaways’ using recipes she learned from her group. 

After only a week, Rachel had lost 4 lbs and knew this new plan was one she could follow. 

Over the next 10 months, she enjoyed curries, chillis, chips loaded with a variety of toppings and cheese within her daily allowance, and she could still enjoy treats every now and then. 

By June 2018, she had hit her target and lost the whole four stone. She said she “felt amazing!”

Unfortunately, during lockdown, she became a single mum and was at an “all-time low”. She moved back to Pembrokeshire in December 2021 and quickly swapped healthy meals for quick and easy, high-fat processed meals.

Rachel said: “Being stuck in the house with three children during lockdown was hard. 

“As I was working from home with nowhere to go, I found myself mindlessly eating as I was only eating out of boredom. 

“I put almost two stone back on and I was devastated.”

In January 2022, she decided to get into shape again. She joined the local Slimming World group in Johnston. 

Rachel said she had two stone to lose and was determined to return to her target weight. 

She claims she was blown away by the consultant Kelly’s knowledge of the plan and her motivation. 

“She guided me back through the new member talk, reintroduced me to my love of Slimming World and allowed me to fall in love with the plan all over again!” Rachel added. 

“The warm atmosphere and the gentle reminder that the plan can be used for all the family reignited my passion.

“Since January 10, 2022, I have lost one stone and five pounds. I am only two-pounds away from my personal target.”

After talking about Slimming World and the freedom it allows Rachel to have, she joined Slimming World and trained to be a consultant. 

Thanks to her time in the Army, helping those with their physical and mental health, Rachel feels that she would be well suited to helping those achieve their goals. 

She commented: “The training is thorough and covers not only the plan but the psychology of wanting to lose weight. 

“It has totally changed my views on how I shop, cook and eat food, and I hope my drive and motivation will help others to do the same.”

To join Rachel’s Slimming World group, call Rachel on 07391 634033 or visit Milford United Football Club, Marble Hall Road, every Thursday at 5.30pm. 

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‘Top chefs and favourites’ lined up for family-friendly Narberth Food Festival

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AN EXCITING line up of chefs and food writers are among the menu of delights to be found at Narberth Food Festival next month (September).

Among those signed on to participate in the two-day event are festival patron Angela Gray and former Great British Bake Off contestant Michelle Evans-Fecci.

They will be among a roster of top names sharing their knowledge and expertise and talking about their latest projects when the festival returns after a two year break on September 24 and 25.

Angela Gray’s ninth cookery book, Just Bread, is released on September 8.

Her Cookery School at Llanerch Vineyard is known as one of the top 10 Culinary Schools in the UK, welcoming guests from near and far to immerse themselves into a culinary adventure.

A chef, food writer and broadcaster, Angela has spent 40 plus years developing her recipes, based on her extensive travels and work experiences.

Matt Waldron

Her client list has included composer Lord Lloyd-Webber, Ex-First Minister Rhodri Morgan, The Welsh Assembly Government, Count and Countess Du Maigret, Count and Countess de Linburg Stirum to name a few.

Evans-Fecci, who now lives in Tenby, grew up on a farm where she learned the basics of cooking, baking and vegetable growing from her parents.

On the popular TV baking show Great British Bake Off she was known for her flavoursome, colourful bakes and for championing locally sourced seasonal produce.

She had a lifelong dream to write her own recipe book and The Seasonal Baker, her first cookbook, is full of tasty seasonal recipes for the whole family to enjoy.

She will be demonstrating two tasty dessert recipes at the festival.

Other local favourites sharing their passion for good food will be Matt Waldron, of the Stackpole Inn, who has an impressive track record having worked in top kitchens and Michelin starred restaurants, and Carmarthen based Carwyn Graves, author of Welsh Food Stories and the bestselling Apples of Wales, who was instrumental in establishing the national collection of Welsh varieties at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Carmarthen based Carwyn Graves, author of Welsh Food Stories and the bestselling Apples of Wales

More programme details and guest names will be released in the coming weeks.

Narberth Food Festival is organised by a team of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about celebrating the best of Welsh food and drink.

Colin Russell, chairman of Narberth Food Festival committee, said: “We are so pleased to see some familiar faces return to the festival and look forward to introducing some new names and ideas along the way too.

“We have a lot to celebrate with the return of the festival this year with a great mix of demonstrations, workshops and talks on top of everything else the festival has to offer.

“A lot of work goes into organising this event and we are grateful for everyone’s support. We look forward to seeing everyone for two days of food and festivities in September.”

  • Narberth Food Festival takes place over the weekend Saturday September 24th and Sunday September 25th, 2022.
  • To ensure easy access, the festival site on the Town Moor Car park will be served by shuttle buses running from two park and ride car parks on the day.
  • Entry is £5 adults, under 16s free, per day.

For more information see the festival website www.narberthfoodfestival.com

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The Gallery Yr Oriel presents Lyndon Thomas ‘The Promised Land’

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THE GALLERY YR ORIEL Newport Pembs is delighted to host a new exhibition for Lyndon Thomas to celebrate his 80th year. 

Lyndon’s artistic career has spanned five decades that include painting, pottery and wood turning.  

Work by Lyndon Thomas

Lyndon focused on painting from 2008, and evolved a method of working in acrylic on paper, using painting knives, with the bulk of his subject matter being the landscape of North Pembrokeshire and Lleyn Peninsula, the two western extremities of Wales. 

The exhibition is representative of work produced over the past year, and will also include some selected pieces of pottery from his collection, and the title, The Promised Land, sums up his feelings towards the beautiful land and seascapes that are found throughout Wales.

‘The Promised Land’ exhibition starts on June 24

The exhibition launch is on Friday, June 24 from 5 – 7pm, there are paper catalogues available, and an online e-catalogue is also available on our website www.thegallery-yroriel.com/whats-on

We look forward to seeing you all at the launch which is open to everybody, and we will be serving refreshments.

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The Gallery Yr Oriel Newport presents Anne Kerr & Ro Croxford’s ‘COASTAL APPROACH’

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THE GALLERY YR ORIEL would like to welcome everyone to this very special exhibition of two established Pembrokeshire artists, with the theme ‘Coastal Approach’.

Both Anne Kerr, from south Pembs, and Ro Croxford, from north Pembs, studied Art successfully, and together they have created a wonderful selection of stunning pieces. 20 paintings will be exhibited representing their uniquely creative techniques, inspired by the sea, and their coastal experiences living on the western edge of Wales, using texture, form and colour. Observations of the coastal environment have formed the irresistible thread between land and sea, and provide a rich backdrop to their themed art work.

This exhibition is a must see, no pre booking required, we would love to see you at the launch on Friday 13 th May from 5 – 7pm for refreshments, and the show will be running for three weeks. Paper catalogues are available, and the e-catalogue is available on the website www.thegallery-yroriel/whats-on/

We are open Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm, we look forward to seeing you.

Contact 01239 821514 or www.thegallery-yroriel.com

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