Thursday, 25 February 2016

Well, I feel like a total wally

I said it last night at my Slimming World group and I'll say it again now - I feel like an idiot.

All my worrying and beating myself up yesterday about the terrible week I'd had was all unwarranted as I lost 1lb.  I couldn't believe it.  It was so undeserving given the week I'd had and my outlook on the whole thing that week.

It was a stark contrast to my reaction last time I lost 1lb, when I was truly devastated and thought the world was going to end.

I still felt terrible last night, but because I felt for other people.  There were some in my group last night who had stuck to Slimming World all week, been really good and really on plan and either maintained or put on a little bit.  Then there was me who had been all down and expecting a gain, not really given it my all this week, and still lost a pound.  I felt totally undeserving.

I said this in group and my amazing, brilliant consultant reminded me that everyone is different, which I know is true, but I still didn't feel like I deserved it.

My meals had been great, it was just the snacking in between I couldn't control.  But I am over it now.

I am focusing on next week, focusing on my target, and focusing on keeping positive and not beating myself up.

I've come such a long way in a relatively short space of time and I feel fabulous.  In just 15 weeks I've lost over two stone!



I'm happy in myself, much more confident, and super excited about starting shopping for wedding dresses.  Before I started SW I was dreading the wedding dress trying on process because I felt so self-conscious, now I am so excited about it all.

I am surrounded by such motivating, inspiring, incredible people at my group I honestly feel SW is the cheapest, most effective therapy out there.  Sharing something as personal as a weight loss journey with a group of strangers terrified the hell out of me when I joined.

I remember the feeling walking into group on my first night - I was absolutely terrified.  I felt nervous, sick, and really shy - not like me in the slightest!

But the group of people there are amazing.  Everyone is so friendly and supportive of everyone's individual goals.  Even when I've had a week that hasn't been great, or a result on the scale I've not liked seeing, I've felt lifted and happy listening to everyone else's successes.

Last night I felt like a wally because everyone was asking how I'd done, expecting me to be upset with a gain after reading my blog, and I felt so silly saying I'd lost a pound.

I put it down to my intense gym session just before where I blasted the stair master and sweat like a pig.  I also took my bra off before I was weighed (absolute desperate times!) But purely because it was all sweaty which would have created added weight.  I would have stood there naked last night to get a good result, that's how desperate I was haha!

But last week is done now.  It has been put to bed and I'm another pound closer to target.  This week I'm going to be 110% focused.  I have nothing to de-rail me except a night out with my best friend on Saturday for 'a few drinks'.  I usually say 'a few' and then end up battered and doing shots with random people in Kans, but not this time... Famous last words.

If you missed yesterday's (completely unwarranted) worried post, you can have a read of it here and realise why I feel so silly: I wish I was one of them girls who could eat anything and not get chubby

You may also like: Some of this week's recipes

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

I wish I was one of them girls who could just eat anything and never get chubby

This week has been hard.  I've absolutely loved Slimming World since starting - I find the recipes to be fab, the concept is amazing and the results even better.

But this week I've struggled.  Struggled to motivate myself to cook, struggled not to eat crap in between meals, and struggled to eat vegetables (which is not like me).  My first salad of the week was Tuesday.  Tuesday!!  Usually I have salad everyday.

I absolutely love cooking and since starting Slimming World I have really enjoyed cooking all our teas from scratch and learning new recipes and using new ingredients.  But this week, frankly, I just couldn't be arsed.  As I stood cooking tea on Monday night I wished I could just stick a pizza in and it be done with minimal effort required from me.

This was how I felt at the time...


I really do wish I could just be one of them girls that can eat whatever she wants and not get chubby.  But, unfortunately, I'm like the majority and only have to think about fast food and naughty (but nice) food and I'll put on a pound. I've probably put two on just writing this blog post! Dammit.

Tom deserved a Slimming World medal this week for stopping me falling off the wagon on Saturday. I had such a sweet craving and nothing I tried even touched it. I'll give you an insight into our conversation:

Me: I'm in such a snacky mood
Tom: You know where the celery is 
Me: *hands in jar full of chocolates*
Tom: Get off, give me that
Tom: *pulling jar off my hand*
Me: *grabbing as many chocolates as I can*
Tom: Don't touch this *puts my SW books and certificates on top of the jar*

I always joke and say he's trying to sabotage me but he stopped me sabotaging myself at the weekend and limited the damage.

He, unfortunately, wasn't around on Sunday to do the same but I managed to have a bit of self-restraint and stop at just 15 syns of Dairy Milk.  At one point, I was pacing the floor in the kitchen trying to talk myself out of wanting chocolate.  I had a few more sneaky bits of chocolate after and, whilst I didn't count the syns, I know it can't have been too catastrophic as it was out of my 'syn bin' box that I made from Christmas.

Thank God I made that because otherwise I'd have scoffed a whole chocolate orange, a big bar of chocolate, tubes of Munchies and everything else I could get my hands on!  I just stopped at one bag which was a miracle really considering how crazy I felt.

The worst thing was, I still wanted more.  I wasn't hungry, I didn't really feel like I wanted it, but I felt this need for it.  I felt so sick afterwards and instantly regretted my decision but, unfortunately, regret doesn't undo damage that has already been done.

It's been so hard this week.  I've experienced cravings like never before, to the point where I've felt like a woman possessed.

Mother nature is to blame for this, I am sure, as her visit has coincided with the chocolate monster rearing its ugly head.  I am so dreading weigh-in tonight, to the point where I have written this blog before I even know what the scales are going to say.  Last time it was that time of the month was the week I was gutted I only lost 1lb - I'd tried so hard and was so disappointed.  This week, I've tried a medium amount.  Actually, that's a fib, all my meals have been great it's been the inbetween-y bits that I've been bad with.

This week has just been hard.  (Incase you didn't already gather that ha!)

I think because I am so close to my target, and feel so much better in myself already, I've found it that bit harder to push on and motivate myself.  I fit into a pair of jeans that I've not been able to fasten comfortably, and without a muffin top, since 2011 the other day.  I even managed to almost do the splits in them (long story) and they didn't even rip/tear!!  And when I was scoffing the chocolate I just thought 'well, I can fit into them jeans so it's fine'.  But that is the wrong attitude - and I know that.  If I stick with that attitude then they won't fit me for long!

We got some pictures back this week of a mini 'photoshoot' me and Tom had for a magazine (another long story).  We'd had the pictures taken in November, three days after I started Slimming World.  As Tom put it, that was my "peak".

Looking at the pictures I was a bit mortified really - I WISH I'D STARTED SLIMMING WORLD EARIER.  Or had the pictures taken later.

But they were great to see how far I have come.  My face was the first thing I noticed - it's not as round or as chubby.  Then I noticed my arms, legs - everywhere.  Even my fingers have lost weight (I didn't notice that from the pictures!)  I need to go get my engagement ring re-sized because it's two sizes too big now.

That's progress.  And having things like that to compare a 'then and now' to really make me realise how well I have done.

Now I'm just really mad at myself.  If I'd had a good loss this week, all I needed was another good loss next week and I'd be there - at target.  That elusive goal that I never thought I would ever see.  I shouldn't be disheartened because I have done so well to get where I am.  But I'm just mad at myself for pushing it back a week.

I shouldn't be, though, and as soon as I click 'publish' on this I'll stop.  At Christmas I set myself a target of reaching my target weight by Easter.  I could lose a pound a week and still achieve that.  If you'd have told me at Christmas I'd be at target for Easter I'd have been chuffed.  My problem is I'm impatient.  I want to do everything right now and as quickly as possible.

I'm rambling now, I'll stop.  Here's this week's food diary for you, hopefully I'll be more springy and excitable next week!  And hopefully the scales won't be too harsh on me later, although I feel if they are it might spur me on a bit more.  Either that or send me diving into a vat of melted chocolate with a side of creme eggs... Mmmmmmmmmm!!


Week 15 food diary

Day one:

Breakfast: Poached eggs on a bed of spinach
Snack: Apple
Tea: Pizza-topped chicken (40g reduced fat cheddar as my HEA) with salad and homemade chips
Snack: Two hi-fi light bars (HEB) with a vanilla muller light
Syns for the day: 0

Day two:

Breakfast: Melon
Dinner: Pizza-topped chicken with salad
Snack: Apple and pear
Tea: Chicken sofrito with butternut squash spaghetti
Syns for the day: 0

Day three:

Breakfast: Bacon and egg sandwich on wholemeal bread (HEB)
Dinner: Plain scone (12 syns) with 1 tbsp strawberry jam (0.5 syns)
Snack: Two Bourbon biscuits (7 syns)
Snack: 3 Quality Street chocolates (6 syns)
Syns for the day: 25.5

Day four:

Breakfast: Strawberry and raspberry baked oats (1 Syn for cooked fruit) with fresh strawberries
Dinner: Homemade butternut squash soup
Snack: Quavers (4.5 syns)
Snack: Apple and two pears
Tea: Sticky five spice gammon (1 Syn) with pepper stir fry veg and noodles
Snack: 15 syns of Dairy Milk
Syns for the day: 21.5

Day five:

Breakfast: Melon and strawberries
Snack: Pear
Dinner: Homemade butternut squash soup
Snack: Apple and pear
Snack: Caramel shortbread (18 syns)
Tea: SW sweet chilli chicken with cauliflower rice and broccoli (1/2 syn)
Syns for the day: 18.5

Day six:

Breakfast: Bacon and egg sandwich on wholemeal bread (HEB)
Snack: Strawberries
Dinner: Homemade butternut squash soup
Snack: Apple and pear
Tea: Turkey burger with butternut squash spaghetti and salad
Snack: 15 syns of Smarties
Syns for the day: 15

Day seven:

Breakfast: Melon and strawberry
Snack: Blueberry, apple and grapes
Dinner: Butternut squash
**Will have tea after weigh-in**
Syns for the day: 0

You may also like: Some of this week's recipes

Burgers, sweet chilli chicken and a turkey stew the Slimming World way

Despite having what has felt like a rubbish week, I've tried some lovely new recipes which I thought some of you might like to try.

Caribbean turkey and vegetable stew:


This was beaut - I teamed it with one of Tesco's trusty vegetable cous cous pots (carrot, beetroot, onion, broccoli and baby corn).

I put it in the slow cooker, too, so it was even easier.

Here's the SW recipe (which is for four people):

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, peeled halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp jerk seasoning
  • 750g skinless turkey breast steaks, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 250g button mushrooms halved
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 level tbsp gravy granules
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme leaves to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
  2. Put all the ingredients into a large casserole dish, place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Season well.
  3. Cover the dish with a lid and transfer to the oven.
  4. Cook for 1½-2 hours or until the turkey is tender.
  5. Remove from the oven and garnish with the thyme leaves before serving.
There is one syn per serving in this because of the gravy granules.


Sweet chilli chicken:


This is a new favourite, I think.  I love sweet chilli so I couldn't believe I'd not found this recipe sooner.  It was also really easy, which was great because I was having my 'I can't be bothered to cook' week.

The recipe says to use chicken thighs but I really don't like thighs, so went for breasts instead.  And I halved all the quantities because it was only for two of us.

I served it with a pot of Tesco cauliflower rice/cous cous with some fresh garlic crushed into it (because I hate the taste of it on its own) and some broccoli.  It was so, so yummy and I was soooo full after!

Here's the SW recipe (for four people):

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 110ml soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp harissa powder
  • 12 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. Place the garlic, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and harissa powder into a small bowl and mix. Pour over the chicken and toss together to coat evenly.
  2. Place the chicken in a single layer on a non-stick baking tray. Season and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through
  3. Remove the chicken from the oven, scatter over the coriander and serve with the lime juice squeezed over.

I did mine in a little dish (like a lasagne dish) because I wanted it to cook in the sauce and have the sauce to pour over afterwards, rather than it all swishing around a baking tray.

This recipe has 1/2 a syn per serving for the sweet chilli sauce.

Turkey burgers:



I can't remember whether I have shared this recipe before or not...  If I have, you've got it again now! I absolutely love these burgers, they are so packed with taste and flavour and are really easy to make, too (always a bonus).

The recipe is for four people but I like them that much I make it stretch to two, so have two rather than one. #Fatty

I served it with, again, a Tesco pot of butternut squash spaghetti and a salad (the first salad I've had in ages actually!) I also had a bit of passata/chilli/garlic leftover in the fridge from doing pizza-topped chicken so I whacked that on for a bit more flavour.

Here's the SW recipe (again, for four people):

Ingredients

  • 450g lean turkey mince (5% fat or less)
  • 1 small onion, grated 
  • 3 small courgettes, grated
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 level tsp grated fresh root ginger 
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Divide the mixture into four and shape into burgers using your hands. 
  2. Preheat the grill to a medium setting. Line a grill rack with foil and arrange the burgers on top. Cook for 6-7 minutes on each side until cooked through. 

I used a similar recipe to this last week, actually, to make turkey/courgette meatballs.  So if burgers aren't really your thing, it's definitely easy to adapt to other shapes (and it made sooo many meatballs there was some left for lunch - even with a fatty like me!)

Best thing about it is it is syn free (as long as you use mince that is 5% fat or less).

You may also like: More Slimming World recipes

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Half a pound off this week and creeping closer to target

This is the first week I've understood how it's possible to maintain. I've either had big losses, or a gain or a couple of pounds, never maintained or had a little change. I've kept saying 'how the hell do you not lose or gain big?' - I just didn't get it!

This week I lost half a pound and was chuffed.

My weight still starts with a 10, so I could've put on half a pound and still been happy!!

But I did expect a gain this week. Whilst the majority of my meals have been SW friendly, I've had a few high Syn days and a few naughty treats. Sunday, for example, I lost count of the number of Celebrations I had so just stopped at five on my food diary. Bit naughty.

We had a meal out too and the Morrisons Valentine's meal deal so syns from that were all guesses (probably a bit lower than reality but I was trying to make myself feel better!)

Aside from that, I've been very on it. The pots from Tesco of courgette/carrot/butternut squash spaghetti, cauliflower rice and vegetable rice are amazing. I've been stocking up on them each week making sure they are piled high on my plate to get the speeds in. Best thing about them is they are on 3 for 2 and just £1 each - a bargain!!! They're big servings too and definitely stretch to two of you. Perfect for people like me without a spiralizer.

I haven't been too imaginative with meals this week, the only new recipe I tried was the red Thai curry pork which was really nice! I got that recipe out of the new SW magazine and it was really easy.

I've felt I've struggled with breakfasts a bit this week, not wanting to use my HEB on toast or oats but being a bit stuck with what else to have. I've found myself having eggs and spinach which is quite tasty but a bit boring every day, so my mission this next week is to find some good breakfasts! Suggestions are welcome!

I'm now just six pounds away from my target so, theoretically, could be there by the beginning of March if I lose three pounds for the next two weeks. I'm not going to put pressure on myself to do that, though, as I feel if I pressure myself I'll not get there then I'll be disappointed. Besides, there's no rush to get there. I said to myself at Christmas I wanted to be at target for Easter and I can quite easily, I think, achieve that.

Positive mental attitude (and lots of speeds!)

Week 14 food diary

Day one:

Breakfast: Bacon and egg sandwich in two slices of wholemeal bread (HEB)
Dinner: Chicken salad (lettuce, red onion, carrot and tomatoes)
Snack: One packed of Hula Hoops Puft crisps (3.5 syns)
Snack: Strawberries and a pear
Tea: Speed-filled bolognese on a bed of courgetti and butternut squash spaghetti
Syns for the day: 3.5

Day two:

Breakfast: Baked oats with 50g raspberries (1/2 syn for them cooked) and a pile of strawberries on the side
Dinner: Ham salad (lettuce, spinach, red onion and red peppers)
Snack: One packed of Hula Hoops Puft crisps (3.5 syns)
Snack: Apple and pear
Tea: Thai red curry pork (2 syns) with chilli and garlic cauliflower rice
Snack: 22.5g of Dairy Milk 'puddles' hazelnut (5.5 syns)
Syns for the day: 11.5

Day three:

Breakfast: Bacon, poached eggs, baked beans, two slices of wholemeal toast (HEB) and a massive pile of spinach.
Dinner: SW roasted tomato and basil soup
Tea: (Meal out) Antipasti meats (4.5 syns), smoked salmon, steak and chips (est. 6 syns), chocolate tasting plate (est. 15 syns)
Drink: Two glasses of prosecco (9 syns)
Syns for the day: Approx. 34.5

Day four:

Breakfast: Bacon, poached eggs, baked beans, two slices of wholemeal toast (HEB) and a massive pile of spinach.
Dinner: Jacket potato with speed-vegetable cous cous (pot from Tesco) mixed with a tin of tuna
Snack: Five celebrations (15 syns)
Tea: Cheese soufflé (est. 10 syns), steak with mixed green veg medley, and profiteroles with caramel sauce (10 syns)
Drink: Two glasses of prosecco (9 syns)
Syns for the day: 44

Day five:

Breakfast: Poached eggs on a bed of spinach leaves
Snack: Apple
Dinner: Leftover speed-veg cous cous and tuna
Snack: Apple and pear
Tea: Turkey and courgette meatballs with a speed-vegetable sauce served with courgetti
Syns for the day: 0

Day six:

Breakfast: Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, redcurrants, blackberries and blueberries with fat free natural yoghurt.
Snack: Apple
Dinner: SW roasted tomato and basil soup with two leftover meatballs
Tea: Speed-filled and swede-topped cottage pie with broccoli, carrots and green beans
Syns for the day: 0

Day seven:

Breakfast: Melon
Snack: Apple
Dinner: SW roasted tomato and basil soup
Snack: Pear
**Had tea after I'd been weighed**
Syns for the day: 0

You may also like: 2st 1lb lost in just 13 weeks

I don't think 8-year-old girls should be wearing hotpants & crop tops whilst hanging upside down from a pole with their legs spread apart

I love This Morning, when I was at uni I watched it religiously every day - since starting working full-time it's one of the things I miss the most.  But I was quite shocked yesterday when I saw they did a segment about pole fitness classes for children as young as eight-years-old.

Not only did they discuss the controversial topic at length, they had young girls there spinning round a pole wearing hotpants and crop tops.  In the middle of the day.  On primetime television.  For all to watch.

The mums of the girls were there defending their decisions to enrol their daughters into these 'pole fitness classes'.  One explained how her daughter was bullied because she was fat and found this to be the only exercise she enjoyed.  Whilst another said her daughter had done gymnastics for a number of years and this was just the same, just with the pole a different way.

Another also explained how a pole can be found in most playgrounds and kids spin round that when they play.

Their defence was met with a huge backlash, though, from one woman in particular who believed that pole fitness classes for young girls over-sexualised the children and robbed them of their childhood.  And I have to say I agree with her.

Little girls should be doing ballet or gymnastics, or karate or cheerleading, or swimming or football or hockey - there are hundreds of sports available to them that are tailored to children.  Swinging round a pole doing provocative dance moves is not appropriate for children - and the defence that it is good for fitness is just crazy.

Why should girls as young as eight-years-old be taking part in a pole fitness class because it's good exercise?  Who cares about exercise when they're that young?!  A healthy, balanced diet and playing out with their friends is all that kids that age should need.

As if the whole concept of the pole fitness/dancing wasn't bad enough, the girls were dressed in hotpants and crop tops.  There is no need for girls that young to be wearing clothes such as that.  Fair enough at a dance competition girls wear short dresses or skirts and crop tops, but they don't do so whilst hanging upside down from a pole with their legs spread apart.  

I accept that pole dancing is an excellent form of exercise and can be seen as an art form - I've seen some women on YouTube do it at competitions who are incredible.  For grown women to do it, I think it's totally and completely fine.  If I knew somewhere local that did pole fitness classes I would give it a go myself just to see if the fitness benefits are really that great.  But I don't think it is acceptable for children.  

If children want to do gymnastics, there are gymnastics classes.  If children want to do dance, there are dance classes.

There is no need for them to be wearing skimpy clothing whilst wrapping themselves around a pole at the tender age of eight.  EIGHT!!  At eight I was still doing swimming and trying my hand at karate.  I'd play out on a night with my friends - playing 'blocky' and 'kerby' - and I'd go to the park.  

Yeah I might occasionally climb up the fireman's pole at the playground but whilst wearing grubby trainers, jeans and a knitted jumper I was in no way emulating what takes place at these pole fitness classes.

It is unfortunate that pole fitness is immediately linked to pole dancing in clubs.  Maybe if it wasn't then these classes for kids would be just as innocent as a dance or a gym class.  

If parents are genuinely happy to take their little girls to these classes, and have no concerns about their wellbeing and safety as a result, then that's their decision.  I, personally, would want to keep my little girl as a little girl for as long as possible.  I wouldn't want to dress her older or see her doing activities that usually would be carried out by girls ten years older than them.

Little girls should be in tutus or football kits enjoying their childhood and enjoying being a little girl. Children today seem to have lost the same sense of childhood that we had.  They all have iPads and smart phones, with kids as young as ten having an iPhone and Snapchat.  The world is an incredibly dangerous place since the internet and social media became even more dominant and, I personally think, parents should protect their children from this for as long as possible rather than introducing them to activities that propel them into adulthood way before their time.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

2st 1lb lost in just 13 weeks

Thirteen weeks weeks into my Slimming World journey and I am 2st 1lb lighter than when I started and just 6lbs away from my target. 

If you'd have told me on 11th November, when I walked into that room terrified, that I'd be at this point in the middle of February I would've thought you were insane. But I am here and so happy. 

I've been toying with altering my target and maybe not going as far as I initially intended and I'm still not all too sure whether or not to do that. I keep saying 'I'll just see how I feel' but I felt so much better just after week one, when my trousers were already falling down, that this is just amazing. 

My weight now starts with a 10, which it hasn't for almost five years. Last time my weight started with a 10 was after I'd been really poorly in hospital with pneumonia. That's a totally different story altogether, though, so I'll bore you with that one another time. 

But when I was ill, I lost a lot of weight very quick. And everyone kept saying to me 'ooh you've lost too much weight, you look too thin, you don't look well' which, of course people are going to say when you've nearly died, but that has been playing on my mind a bit. I don't want people to look at me and think I look 'too thin' or lanky or anything like that. But right now, I don't think I'd look like that if I did carry on to target. 

It is playing on my mind slightly, though. Because whilst I don't want people to think I look too thin, I also really like it when people notice that I've lost weight. So many people said to me when I started Slimming World that I didn't need to and that I was fine. I maybe looked it to them, but I didn't to me. And I certainly didn't feel good whatsoever. So when people notice now, it makes me feel fab. 

I found a picture last week from September and couldn't believe the difference. My friend said I look more defined now, I think that was the word she used. I remember it being a funny word to describe me anyway! 

I think I'll keep going to my original target because that's what I wanted before I started, and before people started noticing. And if, when I get there, I find it's too far then I'll bump it up. 

For now, I'm just chuffed to have lost this amount of weight in what is quite a short space of time. 

This week has been a funny one - I wasn't as organised with my meals as other weeks and, when I was organised, it all went to pot. 

Monday night was supposed to be chicken for tea. I'd bought a whole chicken and whacked it in the slow cooker so it was ready for us getting in from work and just needed some veg doing. Cracking. Or at least it would have been if the bloody thing was cooked and not still practically raw. Cue Tom running round the supermarkets in Selby at 8pm looking for a cooked chicken. He didn't find one but he did bring me home some turkey steaks which we did on the George and added to a stir fry with the vegetables. All was not lost, as much as I felt like it was as I sat in the middle of the kitchen floor trying not to cry whilst cursing a practically raw chicken and the slow cooker. 

As it turned out, I cooked it overnight - and it worked - and we had it cold with salad the next night. So all was not lost!

I haven't really tried any new recipes this week except a burger and BBQ relish. Huge thumbs up from me!!! The link for it is below in the food diary - amazing!! I'll definitely be doing that one again. 

This week shouldn't be too bad, we're having a meal out on Saturday night for V-Day but I can't imagine it being too extravagant and far away from food optimising and, if it is, it's only one meal out of 21. 

Tonight, though, I'm just happy going to bed looking at this (and hoping I don't do what I've done the last few times I've got an award and gained the next week haha!)




Week 13 food diary


Day 1:

Breakfast: Two rashers of lean bacon, poached eggs and a huge pile of spinach
Dinner: Homemade SW roasted tomato and basil soup
Snack: Apple and pear
Tea: Pizza Express - dough balls to start (17.5 syns) followed by Legerra Pollo Arrabiatta (6.5 syns) with a side of broccolini
Syns for the day: 24

Day 2:

Breakfast: Melon
Snack: Strawberries
Snack: Apple and two pears
Tea: Chilli salmon with peppers, carrots and rice
Snack: Baked oats with raspberries (1/2 syn for 50g cooked raspberries)
Syns for the day: 0.5

Day 3:

Breakfast: Bacon, poached eggs, beans and loads of spinach
Dinner: Onion, pepper and ham omelette with a big stack of spinach and lettuce
Snack: Walkers French fries (4 syns)
Tea: SW bacon burger with BBQ relish (HEB for wholemeal roll) with a big salad and homemade chips
Drink: 175ml rose wine (6 syns)
Syns for the day: 10

Day 4:

Breakfast: Baked oats with 50g raspberries (1/2 syn for these cooked) and a pile of strawberries 
Dinner: Homemade sweet potato, carrot, onion and orange soup with chill flakes
Drink: A glass of prosecco (4.5 syns) 
Tea: SW speed-filled and swede-topped cottage pie with broccoli and carrots.
Syns for the day: 5

Day 5:

Breakfast: Bacon and egg sandwich in a wholemeal roll (HEB)
Snack: Strawberries
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognese pot (3.5 syns)
Snacks: Apple and two pears
Tea: Turkey steaks stir fried with vegetables and chopped tomatoes with noodles.
Syns for the day: 3.5

Day 6:

Breakfast: SW syn free pancake with a strawberry Muller Light and strawberries
Snack: Melon
Dinner: Leftover turkey and vegetables with lettuce and spinach
Snack: A packet of Hula Hoops Puft crisps (3.5 syns)
Snack: Apple, pear and strawberries
Tea: Roast chicken with salad
Syns for the day: 3.5

Day 7:

Breakfast: Melon and strawberries
Dinner: Ham sandwich in a wholemeal roll (HEB) with one packet of Hula Hoops Puft crisps (3.5 syns)
Snack: Apple and two pears
Tea: Chicken curry with rice
Syns for the day: 3.5

You may also like: Last week's update

Monday, 8 February 2016

The best Slimming World burger and BBQ relish recipe I've tried yet

Each week I write and say 'this is my favourite Slimming World recipe so far', and I'm going to say the same now.

On Saturday night I did the SW bacon burger with BBQ relish for tea for me and Tom and oh my word it was sensational.  The burger was just as tasty as the other Slimming World burgers that I have done previously, but the relish was out of this world.  I'm literally starting to salivate now just thinking about it.

I wasn't quite sure how it was going to work as my previous attempts at homemade BBQ sauce haven't replicated the taste I'm used to - but this hit the nail on the head.

Here's a picture of the finished article (I think I needed a bigger plate!)


And this was Tom's (less salad, more chips and cheese)



It was really simple to make and tasted incredible.

Here's the SW recipe (to serve 4):

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 400g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 4 rashers of bacon, lean
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped chives
  • Green salad leaves
  • 4 x 60g wholemeal rolls

To make to relish:

  • Low calorie cooking spray
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 225g passata
  • 3 tbsp sweetener
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Finely slice the spring onions, place in a bowl with the beef, parsley and seasoning. Combine with your hands and shape into 4 burgers about 10cm in diameter. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Place the burgers under a medium/hot grill for 6-7 minutes on each side until cooked through. Add the bacon for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Layer the salad leaves, bacon, burger and relish in the rolls and serve immediately.
  3. To make the relish:

    Spray a pan with the low calorie cooking spray and sauté the onion and chilli powder over a high heat for 5 minutes until softened.

    Stir in the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened. Check the seasoning before serving hot or cold.


I didn't stray at all from the recipe this time, which is unlike me as usually I like to make my own tweaks and changes.

To do my homemade chips I just used the ActiFry and peeled and chopped the potatoes, soaked in cold, salty water for 20 mins then dried thoroughly before spraying with fry light and sprinkling with salt and cooking in the ActiFry for 35 mins - easy peasy.

After I'd eaten this I honestly couldn't believe it could help me lost weight (it might not have done, I don't get weighed until Wednesday!) but it was totally syn free and was full of all the good things that the SW eating plan promotes.  It was just so tasty that it was almost too good to be true!!

If you don't believe me, give it a try yourself!  I'll certainly be making that relish again, even if it's just to eat on its own with a spoon!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

This week has been super duper - I've eaten nice things whilst having a stonking weight loss

After last week's gain of 2.5lbs I was hoping to lose 3lbs this week. But I didn't. I didn't lose 3lbs.

I didn't lose 4lbs. I didn't even lose 5lbs.

I lost 5.5lbs.

CHUFFIN' ELL.

I can't believe it, I really can't. I've had a nice week, a meal out and a few days with some treats, so I can't believe I've lost so much. I'm really, really happy. And now just 2lbs away from getting my 2 stone award AND being in a new number. A number I haven't seen for absolute years.

I can't write a lot this week (I say that now, I'll probably end up rambling) because I haven't done anything special. I haven't done loads of exercise, I haven't eaten leaves and rabbit food for 7 days, and I haven't starved myself of anything. I've enjoyed things in moderation and lived my life.

We went to mum and dad's for tea on Saturday night and she did chicken and chorizo pie. I only had a teeny square of shortcrust pastry and picked at the chorizo but ate all the chicken and piled my plate with speeds. Then, I turned down one of mum's amazing homemade puddings and ate a biiiig fruit salad. Cracking.

I am slightly worried now, though, that I'm a 'yo-yo-er'.


I've been up, then down, then up, now back down. And my last two losses have been big, which worries me a bit. 

But I've just got to keep going with what I'm doing, because it's obviously working. I'm going to have weeks where I 'only' lose 1lb and then I'll do exactly the same the next week and lose 4 or 5. 

I'll have gains, too, because I don't want to live life without cake. Imagine never having cake ever again!! That would be like actual hell. 

This week I want to lose 2lbs and get that 2 stone award and into my new number. I want to do it, so bad. 

This week will be a bit tricky as we're at the darts tomorrow night and have friends here this weekend so will eat a bit more extravagantly than usual. But I'm already prepared and am doing my baked oats for 'pudding' on Friday instead of one of mum's puddings. Even if I do indulge a bit, it's one meal out of 21. 

Hopefully next week I'll be buzzing with my 2 stone award. TWO FRIGGIN STONE!!!

I would never have believed that, 13 weeks ago when I joined, I would be almost 2 stone lighter. 

I'll get them 2lbs shifted this week and (hopefully) revel in the moment next week!

See you then x

Week 12 food diary:

Day One:

Breakfast: Two rashers of lean bacon, half a tin of baked beans and two poached eggs on a bed on spinach.
Snack: Iced fairy cake (5 syns)
Dinner: Homemade carrot and swede soup
Tea: Bruschetta from Frankie & Benny's (18ish syns) followed by Spaghetti pomodoro from Frankie and Benny's (10ish syns)
Syns for the day: 33

Day Two:

Breakfast: Melon
Snack: Pear
Dinner: Homemade carrot and swede soup
Snack: Pear and orange
Tea: Jerk chicken and vegetable skewers with courgetti and new potatoes
Snack: Syn free sweet pancakes with fat free natural yoghurt and berries
Drink: Two glasses of prosecco (4.5 syns each)
Syns for the day: 9

Day Three:

Breakfast: SW American-style pancakes (HEB) with fat free natural yogurt and strawberries 
Dinner: SW double onion and thyme frittata (HEA) with butternut squash spaghetti
Tea: Chicken pie with peas, sweet corn, carrots, broccoli, green beans & new potatoes (only had a teeny square of shortcrust pastry, no idea on the syns)
Snack: Fruit salad - Apple, orange, kiwi, grapes, blueberries and strawberries 
Syns for the day: 0

Day Four:

Breakfast: SW baked oats (HEB) with raspberries (1/2 syn for 50g cooked raspberries) and a pile of fresh strawberries
Dinner: Leftover SW double onion and thyme frittata (HEA) with spinach, lettuce and peppers
Tea: Sticky five spice gammon (1 syn) with stir fry vegetables (carrot, peppers, cabbage and bean sprouts) with some noodles
Snack: 1 rocky road Hi-Fi bar (3 syns)
Syns for the day: 4.5

Day Five:

Breakfast: Bacon and egg sandwich - lean bacon and fried egg fried in fry light between two slices of wholemeal bread (HEB)
Snack: Strawberries and kiwi
Dinner: SW roasted tomato and basil soup
Snack: Walkers French fries (4 syns)
Snack: Apple and a pear
Tea: Baked cod with homemade chips and salad
Snack: Two pears
Syns for the day: 4

Day Six:

Breakfast: Three poached eggs on two slices of wholemeal toast (HEB) with a pile of spinach
Dinner: SW roasted tomato and basil soup
Snack: Two apples and a pear
Tea: SW Caribbean pepperpot stew served with cauliflower rice and broccoli
Snack: 52g tube of Munchies (12.5 syns)
Syns for the day: 12.5

Day Seven:

Breakfast: Apple, pear and orange
Dinner: Leftover Caribbean pepperpot stew
Snack: Walkers French fries (4 syns)
Snack: Apple and pear
Tea: SW roasted tomato and basil soup
Syns for the day: 4

You may also like: Some of this week's Slimming World recipes