Monday, 31 December 2012

Weigh In .. Final One of 2012 ..

The after Christmas weigh was upon me and I was prepared for anything. The scales could do their worst, but as it turns out I wasn't quite prepared for what I was looking at when I looked at the screen.
 
For the week over Christmas I had only put on 1 and a half pounds on, I was delighted, I hadn't really done any damage at all. This is manageable, well it's more than manageable, it's amazing.
I am at the moment  13 stone 7 lbs, so I am still maintaining that 3 stone weight loss!
 
I couldn't be more back on it if I tried, ready to battle onto my 3 1/2 stone award! It's salad tonight and tomorrow it's Iceland's Lamb Shanks in mint gravy, served with lots of superfree veg. I get the frozen lamb shanks, 450g each, 3 syns each.
 
So as this year is closing I wanted to say a big thank you to Slimming World because they have made my life drastically change, I can honestly say I would of never got this far without it. Never have a found a diet more easy and more productive than the Slimming World one. I have amazing meals, things I wouldn't even tried, and yet still I get results. I have pushed myself in the gym more than I ever thought possible, I mean I have never run on a treadmill before now and now it's the first thing I do when I enter a gym.
 
More importantly though I would like to say thank you to my consultant Mandy and the rest of the group because they are inspiration, support and friends. Would never have kept this up as good as I have without them. I now look forward to going and can't wait to spend time there, chatting, supporting and learning!
 
I am loving going into a new year a healthier, happier me. So I will see you next year, I hope its a good New Years Eve for everyone!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas Break ..

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and you're going to have a great New Year.

I've just had a Christmas break from the blog and from Slimming World, but now I am back on it. Blog and Slimming World!

I gave myself the break because I knew I had so many things in the house I wanted to eat, from Pringles and chocolate, to my favourite slices of pie. I wanted to completely indulge and enjoy my Christmas so I gave myself a deadline, and the deadline is today. It ends now, I'm back on it!

It's 100% that I have gained, haha, but I am okay with this, I have come to terms with it. It was Christmas, it's going to be hard to lose any weight at Christmas. I think sometimes you just need a break from dieting sometimes, sometimes it can be a bit monotonous. So Christmas is a great opportunity for this.

We are back at group this Sunday evening and whatever the scales say I'll be happy, I have now drawn a line under it and I am starting a fresh. I've set a new goal in sight. At the start of June next year some friends and I are going on a week away to Bulgaria so for then I would like a whole new wardrobe of summer clothes preferably in a size smaller than I am now and also I would like to be 11.5 stone! Right now I have to lose 2 stone to get that but I haven't had my after Christmas weigh in yet.

So to sum up I have had an amazing Christmas and I'm prepared for weigh in, in two days time.

If you're in Slimming World and have had a bad Christmas get back to group and stay for the meeting, you'll get the boost you're needing to get back on it.


Alternatively if you have put on some weight on over Christmas that you are not happy about or you want to start 2012 a new person, why not get down to your local slimming group?
If you don't know where that is you can go on the website www.slimmingworld.com and search by your postcode or even easier use the iphone and Android app!
I guarantee you will get a warm welcome and ton's of support, you will get the help you need and an easy way to do it. I can honestly say that this is the easiest diet I have ever been on and the most successful by far!
So come on and take that first step to the new you! I'll see you there!!

 
 
I also would like to take a second to thank people who read this, you give me inspiration to write more and to help others, knowing someone is reading his keeps me going and keeps me motivated so have a great New Year and all the best for 2013!
 
 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Weigh In .. Expected ..

First off let me mention that I have one more weigh in before Christmas and I need to lose 3 and a half pounds, oh my god I can do this. This week is a complete low syn week of salads and pasta. I have to reach my Christmas target, I'd be so ecstatic!
 
So I told you about my horrendous week of meals out, I was going to try and be good the other days. That didn't really work out for me, from pasties at 2 in the morning (motorway services), hot chocolates and a take away. It has not been good, not to mention I had no exercise like I planned, it seemed everything was in my way last week. On Wednesday I had a poorly child, on Friday I caught his illness and couldn't even get up never mind go to the gym, and on our usual Monday swim night they closed the sport centre.
 
So all in all I had a bad week, and the scales showed that, I was pretty much hoping for less than 5lbs so I was pleased when the scale said I'd put on 2 and a half, I can cope with that.
 
After weigh in it was our Christmas raffle and I was delighted when I won a hand blender and a soup recipe book, I now have new recipes to try in the new year. Also I was really pleased the friends that we sit with all won something, including Gareth winning an actifry!
 
So on it this week for 3 and a half pound loss, wish me luck!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Weigh In .. Meal Out ..

Yesterday was weigh in day, feeling optimistic I was hoping for a 2lb loss. I got onto the weighing scales and came away with a 3lb loss. I'm really pleased with that, that's 6 1/2lbs in two weeks, I can definitely say my head is in it. I now need 1 more pound for my Christmas target of 3.5 stone loss.
 
After the weigh in it was time for our Christmas meal out. What a great night it was, full of laughter, great company and lovely food. Set at The Viking in Goole, I started with the Tomato and Basil soup with a crusty baguette which I savoured since it will be the only piece of bread I'll have this week. Next came the Traditional Turkey with all the trimmings, this including Yorkshire pud, stuffing ball, pigs in blankets and veg. It was absolutely delicious, for desert I had the Raspberry Blondie which was packed full of flavour and I even took a sneaky peek. It was a synful but gorgeous meal.

 
So today is the start of a difficult week, a high in syn meal last night, and now today is an in between day where I'll have salad, and it's gym tonight to really push myself. I really hope I can try and keep a maintain next week at least but we'll see. Also here's a pic of me and Gareth enjoying last night.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Busy and Hard Week ..

So just come back from last minute workout before weigh in. Me and Gareth did 40 lengths in the pool. Feel quite good about it as well today. Before that I had a simple ham and cheese salad getting my Healthy A in there. I am now just munching on an after body workout snack of a Hi-Fi bar, getting my Healthy B in.
 
This week is a busy Christmas week for Gareth and I, we have 3 meals out so it's going to be hard to get a loss in next week. We're going to try really hard all the other days and get lots of body magic in to try and make up for it, we now have something going on every day up to Thursday next week. Not to mention I'm going to see him everyday until Thursday next week, that's a lot of Gareth. Haha.
 
Today was Swimming getting our body magic in.
Tomorrow, I'll be at my son's Christmas play in the morning, then in the evening is weigh in. But tomorrow is a special weigh in, because straight after is our SW Christmas meal. I am very excited to have a great meal with great people. I think there is about 30 of us out of our group going. I've already chosen my meal of Tomato and Basil soup, Traditional Turkey dinner and for desert Raspberry Blondie.
On Wednesday we will be shopping then off to the gym, that day will be a food good day, of pasta or salad!
Thursday is London day, we're going down to London for a spot of shopping, meal out and into Winter Wonderland (if you want to know about Winter Wonderland, it's on Gareths blog here). This will be a hard day of hot chocolates, Harrod's cake's and a Mexican meal at Chiquito's. I'm going to try and choose good in the restaurant and restrain myself from the delicious cakes, but I'm not that strong!
On Friday it's gym day, trying to burn off what I ate in London.
Saturday is another day out. This one in York, where there will be a lot of walking around which I hope will help but will consist of a meal at Lendall Cellars which is a gorgeous restaurant in the centre of York.
Sunday is damage control once again by going to the gym, I'm going to really push myself to try for if anything a maintain!
Monday is back to Swimming, a last chance body magic session, and then we come round to Tuesday once again and weigh in, where we will learn our fate of the week.
Wednesday will be gym, depending on the results of the night before weigh in, it could be just a normal work out or pushing it to lose the gain!
 
So you see a hectic week of up and down food, I am actually optimistic that I can control this and not get that much of  gain. I use the in between days of meals as body magic days and eat syn free or very low syn foods such at pasta, salads or jacket potatoes. Also trying always to get my fruit and veg in (superfree foods). One things for sure is there is no bad snacking and no bread. I am cutting them out this week. I am in the zone!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Paella

Today I made one of my fave's, Paella. Really simple and so tasty.

 
Ingredients:
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1pt chicken stock made with Bovril
227g/8oz tomatoes, skinned and chopped
340g/12oz long grain rice, dried
A few strands of saffron
113g/4oz raw tiger prawns
57g/2oz thin green beans, trimmed and halved
113g/4oz cooked chicken, skinned and diced
170g/6oz live mussels
1 red pepper
seasoning
2 tbsp chopped parsley
 
1. Put the onion, garlic and 1/2 pt of the stock in a heavy, deep frying pan. Cover, bring to the boil and boil for 5 mins. Simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 mins, until the onions are tender and golden. Stir in the tomatoes and rice and cook gently for 2-3 mins.
2. Bring the remaining stock to the boil and add to the pan with the saffron. Simmer gently for about 20 mins, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy and tender. Ten mins before the end of cooking time, add the prawns, cooked chicken and green beans.
3. Meanwhile, scrub the mussels under running water, discarding any that are cracked or open, Pop them into a pan with a little boiling water, cover with a lid and cook over a high heat, shaking occasionally, until the mussels open. Throw away any that fail to open.
4. Grill the red pepper under a pre-heated grill until charred, the remove the skin and seeds. Cut the flesh into thin strips. Season the paella to taste and serve garnished with the mussels and red pepper strips, sprinkled with parsley. 
 
Meal serves 4 and is completely syn free, I don't personally like mussels or pepper so I left them out and it tasted just fine without them.
 
Now after a great meal I am going to go get my body magic in and do a work out in the gym with Gareth.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Chicken Goujons ..

Just come back from an hours workout at the gym, getting ready for another great week. Didn't majorly push myself this evening, it was just a good workout. And I feel great for it.
 
Before that I had an easy meal of chicken goujons, SW chips and peas.

 
Ingredients:
4 portions of mini chicken fillets (about 16 pieces)
1 egg, beaten
25g golden breadcrumbs
A few potatoes, cut into chips
Fry Light
 
1. Preheat oven to 190c.
2. Spray a baking tray with Fry Light, place chips on baking tray and lightly spray again over the top.
3. Dip each mini fillet in the beaten egg and lightly coat with the breadcrumbs, place on another baking tray sprayed with Fry Light and pop both in oven for 30 mins turning once halfway through.
4. Serve with veg or a crisp salad.
 
This recipe serves 4, and is 1.5 syns each serving.
I have worked out that 25g of golden breadcrumbs is 4.5, so this dived by for and rounded up would be 1.5. If you want it syn free you can use wholemeal bread blitz in a food processor to make breadcrumbs and use this as your Healthy B choice.


Weigh In .. On It ..

After having a brilliant week where I really concentrated and tried so hard everyday, except one for Saturday where I was lured out to an Italian meal I am pleased to say that I lost 3 and a half pounds! I'm now down to 13 stone 4 1/2 pounds, and I only need 4 pounds off for my Christmas target. I'm pretty sure I can do this 3 weeks.
 
My head is seriously in it now, after this great loss I feel great and I'm ready for next goal. There will be no meals out this week so there is nothing stopping me. It is next week that will be a problem, 3 meals out. The first one will be our SW Christmas meal out, a 3 course meal after weigh in. Then onto Thursday where I'm going to London for the day and finally Saturday where I'm heading to York. This week has to be amazingly good to make up for next week.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

On It Like A Car Bonnet ..

Just come back from a great work out at the gym with Gareth, broke a personal best! I go on the treadmill for 30 min's at the start and my record has been 8 minutes of collective running, today I did 9, and couldn't be prouder of myself, ha ha. I seriously had to push myself and get motivated but I did it. After that it was bike and cross trainer then onto the weights, we called it a night after that, feeling much better for what we had done!
 
Also food intake has been brilliant today. For lunch I had leftover chicken curry on a jacket potato, fruit for afters and for dinner I had gorgeous cheese salad, getting my Healthy A in. Now I'm just going for an after workout snack of a Hi-fi bar to get my Healthy B in. My head is really in it this week. I have completely changed my attitude and I'm ready for the scales next week.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

No Weigh In ..

I'm not attending weigh in this as I have family matters at home, but in a way I am glad because I've had a horrendous week, from going back to old ways of snacking and too much bread, also drinking when I was out Saturday. It can only mean that I have put on.
 
This has been a quite a depressing start to the week, dieting and other matters at hand. Today I really sat down and had a word to myself, I had to stop this snacking, telling myself I'll be better later on in the week and not doing it. I'm going back to basics and writing everything down, I'm going to try cutting out bread completely this week to see if it helps.
 
I have had a good start today at turning it around, I've had 2 syns all day, by having a salad with mayo, and a fruit salad. I used my Healthy A on a babybel in my salad and I have my Healthy B left for a Hi-fi bar later on. I have quite a a few leftovers in the freezer so I will be using them up this week, and the frozen meals are all free.
 
I've come so far, I have to realise I can't mess it up now.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Weigh In .. A Little Late ..


Just got back from the gym with Gareth, and now I feel great. Always feel better after the gym, feel like I've contributed to my weight loss. Today is a great start to the week, got my superfree in and my Healthy A and B. For lunch I had left over chili with 2 slices of wholemeal bread followed by fruit. For dinner I made a favourite of Spaghetti Bolognese. Completely syn free, I had my Healthy A left so I popped a bit of grated cheese on top! Lovely!


 
 
 
Ingredients:
Fry Light
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
340g extra lean minced beef
230g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
400g can of chopped tomatoes
280ml beef stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
seasoning
280g spaghetti, dried
 
1. Spray a pan with Fry Light and cook the onions and garlic for 2-3 mins until just softened. Stir in the mince and cook until browned.
2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Season lightly and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15-20 mins until reduced and thickened. Check the seasoning.
3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions. Drain and divide between 4 plates. Top with bolognese sauce and sprinkle with cheese if you want.
 
So easy, syn free and filling!
 
Also I haven't informed you of my results of this weeks weigh in. I stepped on the scales thinking of a gain and received a maintain! I'll take it, after the week I had, of alcohol, apple pie and just random snacking I'm pleased with that result. I really thought I'd blown it, I would like to keep losing every week but at this stage anything is better than a gain. So I am set for a new week, still need 7 1/2 pounds for my Christmas target. In 5 weeks, can I do it?


Monday, 19 November 2012

Harumph! ..

Okay so it's time for a quick update to tell you I am not doing well this week. Bread has made its way back into my life, once I started eating it, I just can't stop. So bread has been a downfall this week and snacking, yes I've snacked this week. It's been really hard going. I don't know whats wrong with me either, it's like my will power is just completely shot.
 
On Saturday night I was out drinking as well, vodka and diet cokes, 4 syns a glass. I forget how many I had! Me and the gang went to see someone from the X Factor sing, don't ask me who, I haven't got a clue. I don't feign interest in them kind of shows, but I heard bar and gathering and I was there. Also when I got back in around 3am I sought out apple pie and cream.
 
So there is my confession, you can't have a good week every week. I'm trying to get back on it now and get it in my head! I'm off to have a jacket potato with chili on top. No syns!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

SW Works Without You Knowing It ..

 
I am on it this week, went to the gym yesterday evening to get my body magic in, tread mill, bike, cross trainer and weights. really felt it last night as well, I always feel better when I feel it. I think that I've actually made a difference then.
My son was off school for teacher training day so I got my body magic in today as well. From racing home from the shops with him to dancing to Gangnam Style around the house, now that dance is a workout!
 
To quench my appetite after dancing I made spaghetti cabonara, the easiest one I have ever made. I'm not lying it literally took 15 mins, and tasted amazing, not to mention so filling and syn free.


 
 
Ingredients:
400g dried spaghetti
Fry Light
400g back bacon, all visible fat removed, cut into short strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
120g Parmesan, finely grated
seasoning
A small hand full of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish
 
1. Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions. Drain and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile place a large deep frying pan sprayed with Fry Light over a medium-high heat. Stir-fry the bacon for 2-3 mins, or until lightly golden. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then remove from heat.
3. Add the spaghetti, beaten eggs and half the Parmesan, season and toss well (the heat from the spaghetti will partially cook the egg, but still leave it moist and creamy).
4. Divide the carbonara out, sprinkle with parsley and the remaining Parmesan and serve.
 
This recipe serves 4 and is syn free if using the cheese as your healthy extra. I also put about 200g of thinly sliced mushrooms to mine to bump it up a bit, and it was just as gorgeous.
 
 
Also an inspirational story today, my mother has been dieting as long as I have, but she sticks to the diet of calorie counting since it has been successful for her. She's just recently got to a nice weight she is okay with and decided to take a break a couple of weeks ago, in this time I have been cooking more meals for the household so my mum has hardly had any of her own meals.
She informed this morning that without even trying she has lost 5 pounds, there is nothing different about her lifestyle except for the one fact that shes been dining on Slimming World low syn or syn free meals. If there is any need for proof that Slimming World works, this is definitely it!
If my mother can lose 5 pounds with out even trying or knowing, I can definitely lose the 2 pounds I have put down for next week! Congrats to my mum!


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Weigh In (Insert Sad Face) ..

Weigh in was last night, and it did not go well for me at all. I gained 1 1/2 pounds. Obviously I'm not happy about it. Nothing much has changed over this week food wise. The only thing I can think of is the extra gym training I did Sunday afternoon. I've been feeling aching and my muscle are really hard from the circuit training I did. So I am hoping its that and I've got some water retention, which would mean that it all comes off next week! 
 
Since Gemma had me doing circuit training, I am blaming her. Ha ha. The question is now though do I keep doing some sort of circuit training every week and make my body get used to it, or just scrap it all together. Gemma just put up a great little home exercise as well for toning, be sure to go check that out here. Looks like a great little work out that you don't even need to leave the house for!
 
So today is the start of a new week, I have my meal plan that I will stick to. Tonight on the menu is Tuna Pasta Salad, quick, easy and completely syn free, might even have a Weight Watchers petit pan for my Healthy B as a side. My head is completely in it this week. Nothing is going to stop me and I will get my Christmas target of 3.5 stone weight loss!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Aching & Cheesecake ..

Ow. I am in some pain, on my legs and stomach. Gemma had me and Gareth doing circuit training in the gym yesterday afternoon and I can feel it. I mean it was a great workout, I was panting by the end of it but my god I hurt today. I've just come back from doing a few lengths in the pool to maybe ease my muscles, it helped a little.

Last night I made vanilla & chocolate cheesecake so it would be ready for lunch today. The dish serves 10 and each slice is 6 syns. Not bad for a lovely dessert. Here's how its made.

 
 
Ingredients:
10 digestive biscuits, finely crushed
50g low fat spread (suitable for baking), melted
50g dark chocolate
2 level tbsp powdered gelatine
3 x 165g pots Müllerlight New York Style Cheesecake yoghurts
100g quark
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp sweetener
 
1. Mix the biscuits with the spread in a bowl, then spoon into a 20cm diameter, non-stick, loose-bottom cake tin. Flatten with the back of a fork, cover and chill in the fridge for about 30 mins.
2. Meanwhile melt the chocolate and allow to cool a little.
3. Sprinkle the gelatine into 75ml of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Put the Müllerlight, quark, extract, sweetener and gelatine mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour in the mixture of the biscuit base and swirl in the melted chocolate. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
4. Serve by cutting into 10 slices, try adding some raspberry to add a little fruit.
 
 
 
 
Before I went out swimming I made Grilled Lamb Cutlets with sautéed Rosemary Potatoes. Absolutely delicious and syn free.
 
Ingredients:
1lb 5oz potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
seasoning
Fry Light
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
12 lean lamb cutlets or chops, all visible fat removed
 
1. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and add the potatoes. Boil for 8-10 mins or until just tender. Drain thoroughly.
2. Spray a large, non-stick frying pan with Fry Light. Add the rosemary, garlic and potatoes. Stir-fry over a medium heat, turning the potatoes regularly for 6-8 mins or until golden.
3. Meanwhile mix together the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce and brush over the lamb. Season well on both sides and place under a medium-hot grill. Cook for 5 mins on each side or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the grill and serve with the sautéed potatoes and vegetables.


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Steak & Mushroom Casserole ..

Tonight I had a gorgeous steak and mushroom casserole, at just 2 syns per serving. This one pot serves 4 and really easy to make. 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
600g lean steak, all visible fat removed, cut into large bite-sized pieces
300g mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 level tbsp cornflour
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into large bite-sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
300g passata
100ml red wine
100ml beef stock
seasoning
 
1. Preheat oven at 180c/Gas 4.
2. Toss the steak in the cornflour to coat evenly then place in the casserole dish. Add the mushrooms, onion, carrot and garlic and toss to mix well. Pour in the passata, wine and stock and season well.
3. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil then transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for about 2 hours or until the meat in tender.
4. Serve immediately with potatoes and veg of choice.
 
A truly great low syn meal, and you could also substitute the mushrooms for the same amount of kidneys to make a great casserole take on a popular pie.


Friday, 9 November 2012

Achievement Unlocked ..

So today's meal was a simple but tasty syn free steak and chips. I made the SW syn free chips, grilled the steak and served with dry fried mushrooms and peas. Lovely.
 
Also this evening I went to the gym with fellow slimmer Gareth and Joanne, started off on the treadmill and did 30 mins on there. I ran today a collective number of 7.5 mins, that's 30 seconds more than I have ever done so that is an achievement to me! Then moved onto the bikes and rowing machine and once again ended on the weights.
 
Always feel much better after going to the gym and now its time to write my meal plan for the coming week.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Back To The Gym ..

 
 
It was back to the gym tonight with Gareth, I've missed a whole week of exercise so it was slow going tonight, plus the stitch didn't help. Tonight I only did 2 and a half mins of running, 30 mins on treadmill, 10 mins on cross trainer. Then I went onto the bikes and rowing machine. Lastly we finished up with some weight and ten mins of hilarity of Gareth trying to sit ups with the weight ball. He succeeded in the end but the trying was amusing. I feel better now I've been to the gym, feel like I have actually done something to help with my weight loss and can't wait to get back there on Friday evening.
 
Before I went out I had cooked home made lasagne. Just 1 and a half syns per serving. I put mine with chips and peas.
 
 
 
Ingredients:
397g/14oz extra lean minced beef
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
200g mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
400g can chopped tomatoes
397g/14oz passata with herbs and garlic
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
seasoning
511g/1lb 2oz fat free natural yoghurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
a pinch of nutmeg
Fry Light
12 dried lasagne sheets
4 level tbsp grated Parmesan
 
1. Place a large, non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the mince, onion, mushroom, and garlic and stir-fry for 6-8 mins. Add the tomatoes, passata and dried herbs, season well and cook for 12-15 mins, stirring often.
2. Meanwhile mix together the yoghurt, eggs and nutmeg until smooth. Season well.
3. Preheat oven to 200c/Gas 6. Spray a medium-sized lasagne dish with Fry Light. Spoon half the mince mixture into the base and top with half the lasagne sheets. Spread over half of the yoghurt mixture and top with the remaining mince mixture. Top with the remaining lasagne sheets, spread over the remaining yoghurt mix and sprinkle over the Parmesan.
4. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins or until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
 
You can also build up the superfree by adding courgettes or peppers, or to give it a kick some chili's.
Now the lasagne is beautiful but the yoghurt topping didn't really go with my taste palette, so I have been looking at alternatives. Tesco white lasagne sauce is 11 syns for 200g, this divided by 4 servings is 3 syns, so all in all a serving with jar of white sauce on top will be 4.5 syns. This I am still happy with and I believe it will taste creamier. Also I have to point out that with this recipe I added 500g of mince to bulk up the meat, and I could actually serve 6, so the lasagne was actually 1 syn each serving.
 


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Weigh In .. ??

 
So I told you on the last post how I was completely expecting a gain, or best scenario a maintain. Well tonight was weigh in and the time to face my snacking and no exercise.
I lost 2.5lbs and got my 3 stone award!! I don't know, I really don't know, I can't explain it, I really thought I did really bad and I was so disappointed in myself and then I go and do that. All I can think is that it was all in my head, I mean I did snack but it didn't do as much damage as I thought.
 
Now I have to re-set my Christmas target which was at 3 stone, since I hit that tonight I have now set it to 3 and a half. That's 6lbs in 7 weeks, I can do it!
Also tonight my best friend Gareth lost 4lb and hit his 4 stone award, I am amazed and so proud of him. Always helps to have friends as your inspiration! He also blogs, so you can get your inspiration as well here.
 
When I got home tonight I had a healthy dinner of Jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn, with lots of super free salad. It was absolutely delicious.!
 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Chicken Curry ..

 
 
I have had a really bad week this week. I have no idea what's wrong with me, I've just been snacking so much, I can't stop. I've hardly got any exercise in as well. This week has be a total write off, which is upsetting because I only needed 2lbs for my 3 stone award. I know only have myself to blame but there has been no motivation in me.
 
When I woke up this morning I had to give myself  a stern talking to, I've started a new week from now. I'm not prepared for what the scales are going to say tomorrow but I will just have to deal with it and move on. I'm so disappointed in myself. So today I went for a syn free meal of quick and speedy chicken curry. Absolutely no snacking today.
 

 
 
It's real easy to make, for something quick but also delicious. If you own the SW iPhone app the recipe is on there. If not here it is.
 
Ingredients:
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 chicken stock cube
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp curry powder, whatever strength you like
624g chicken, cut into cubes
400g can chopped tomatoes, drained
 
1. Place the onions in a frying pan with 1/4pt/142ml water and the stock cube, then cook, covered, for 10 mins. Add the garlic and curry powder to the mixture and cook for a further 5 mins.
2. Add the chicken and tomatoes plus another 1/4pt/142ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 mins.
3. Boil some rice and serve.
 
Makes 4 servings, or if like me, makes one and 3 for the freezer.
 
So all in all I am now back on it, and this week needs to be forgotten. Also as an added bonus here's a pic of my son this evening, enjoying a sparkler. Ha ha.
 


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Beetroot Salad ..

Tonight was just a quick beetroot salad, just thrown together. Also did my next week meal plan today.

I unfortunately won't be getting lots of body magic in this week, went to the gym last night and got an hour and half in. I'm hoping this will be enough for the week.



Thursday, 1 November 2012

Frozen Soup Cups & Bolognese ..

 
I made gorgeous SW syn free mushroom soup today, I had plenty left over so had to freeze some. My friend and Slimming Worlder Gemma informed us of this great idea of pouring the soup into flexible silicone muffin trays, then putting these in the freezer, once frozen pop them out. I put mine into freezer bags, and put back into freezer. 2 cups should be enough for a bowl, so just heat up when you want. Such a great idea.
 
 
 
This soup recipe is really easy and tastes delicious.
 
Ingredients:
2 Onions, peeled and chopped
500g Mushrooms, finely chopped
2.5 pints Vegetable stock ( I used a little less for a thicker consistency)
Seasoning
200g Low fat fromage frais
 
1. Fry onions and mushrooms until softened.
2. Add stock and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender or food processor.
5. Add the fromage frais.
6. Blitz again, and serve.
 
 

 
 
Tonight for dinner I tried a new recipe of Bolognese Pasta Bake, and I'm glad I did because it was delicious! Really tasty and filling. This is 2.5 syns on Extra Easy. Unless your using your Healthy A for the cheese. I had mine with a Weight Watchers petit pan (free if using it as your Healthy B) but you could have some greens instead, or it can be a great meal on its own. Here's the recipe.
 
Ingredients:
250g dried pasta shapes
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stick, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
250g mushrooms, roughly chopped
500g extra lean minced beef
400g can chopped tomatoes
250ml beef stock
1tsp dried oregano
seasoning
110g reduced fat mozzarella cheese, diced.
 
1. Preheat oven to 180c/Gas 4.
2. Cook the pasta until al dente (tender but still retaining a bite). Drain well.
3. Place the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, mushrooms and minced beef in a large non-stick frying pan and stir-fry over a high heat for 6-7 mins.
4. Add the tomatoes, stock and oregano and bring to the boil. Season well, cover and cook over a medium heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
5. Remove from heat.
6. Spoon half of the bolognese mixture into the base of a medium-sized baking dish and top with the cooked pasta. Spoon over the remaining mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
7. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins or until bubbling. Remove from oven and serve.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Cupcakes ..

Please don't get excited I have not made SW cupcakes, I made cupcakes for the Halloween trick or treaters that come to the door.




I made 20 novelty ones with a Halloween character and the rest I had bought some Halloween rings for the kids so I stuck them in icing on top. Then I put them in individual boxes and tied them up. Turned out quite well.

It's sometimes hard being an amateur baker, because I do bake a lot of things, I've tried SW recipes too but as a baker I can definitely tell you they are not the same. I've tried out cupcakes, brownies, pies and other but they will never be the same as full fat things, I am sorry to tell you. So when I bake things I have to test and taste, luckily today I had my son off school for the holidays and I had him as resident taster.

 
 
I worked the syns out for one cupcake and without the icing its, 6.5, with the icing, the cupcake is 10.5, which I think isn't that bad for a treat!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Weigh In .. Wooo

 
So the time has come to tell you the result and I can tell you I am delighted, no that's not the right word, I am ecstatic! I got my new 2 and a half stone award and got myself into a new number I lost 6lbs, unbelievable! Of course we have to thank the tonsillitis for the most part, obviously my body didn't go into shock and store up my fat. I am now 13.9 and well on my way to my interim target which I set at 12 stone. I'm also 1 and a half pounds from my 3 stone award and I am going for it. I've set my target at 2lbs this week and nothing is stopping me getting it!
 
I'm so gleeful its unreal. As well as getting my 2 and a half stone award I also succeeded in my body magic silver, since I've been going gym twice a week and swimming once, so I got a nice new shiny sticker and I am now onto building up for my gold. Also because I lost 6lbs I got slimmer of the week, another award and shiny new sticker! I am seriously loving this week, if I needed any inspiration for next week, I have it now!
 

Feeling Better ..

 
So I'm finally getting over tonsillitis, I can just about manage solids and I've got a little more energy, meaning I can actually walk around without leaning on the wall for aide. The anti-biotics they gave are working amazingly, plus they're great for food managing since I can't eat with them, I can't eat hour before or after taking it. I knew I could find a plus for an illness!
 
Weigh in is tonight, which I will drag my body to, to attend. I hoping for a loss since I've been ill. But I also have to factor in that my body will have gone into shock and probably stored some fat, not to mention I haven't moved that much in a week! My lack of exercise is what scares me, but my food intake has been minimal. From low fat ice cream, soup and on Sunday I manged lunch with mash potato, soft veg and chicken cut up into little pieces. I felt I was eating my 5 year old meal but I just about manged it. Yesterday I had some pasta with  a Dolmio express sauce, cabonara. I hardly ever have them these days, but it was something quick and easy since I didn't have the ingredients in to make my own sauce. So I should mention that this pouch was 150g and is 8.5 syns. Very high but really quick and easy when you don't feel good.
 
I will go to weigh and face my fate, hopefully it's a happy result, but if not tomorrow is the start of a new week, and a healthy one at that! I will keep you informed...


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Rubbish Tip For Loosing Weight ..

Develop Tonsilitis!

Yeah I'm kidding, this is not what you want at all but it's what I have. The irony is that my consultant put this picture on our Facebook page on Wednesday.


3 o'clock Thursday morning I awoke with an awful sore throat, I truly thought I'd been jinxed for reading this, but I got some water and thought nothing more about it since I never really get sick. But sleep never came again all night, I tossed and turned but doing this I realised I was getting weaker and all my bones were aching. I finally gave up on the sleep at about 6am and said to myself this has to more than a mere sore throat, I thought it was a really bad cold, something that had attacked my immune system and shut it down. So all day Thursday I was in pain, I could hardly move my head never mind anything else. My mum has had to look after my son for me because there was no way I could do it, shes been brilliant, looking after me and Josh.
 
I didn't get any sleep Thursday night either so my mum made me go to the doctors, which is a place I hate going. It seemed worth while though since she diagnosed me with tonsillitis and gave me antibiotics in a form of something I can't spell or even pronounce. So I took the first dose and was feeling brave, I thought I would dabble in some soup to get something other than water in my stomach. Unfortunately it went down like sharp needles, so that plan was busted. A couple of hours later the antibiotics seem to be doing something, I was able to take some paracetamol and keep it down so I thought soup wasn't the was to go, how about ice-cream? I can tell you right now ice-cream is the way to go, I just had a couple of scoops and it was great!
 
I took my last dosage of the day about 9 o'clock and a couple of paracetamol and had a better nights sleep, still have a really sore throat when I woke and can't eat solid foods but I feel I'm getting better.
 
So sorry for not posting any recipes but I have had an amazing excuse, and of course afterwards I did look up the syns of the ice-cream, for the basic reduced fat, 60g, it's 4 syns, but whose counting when you're ill? ha ha.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Quick Gym Sesh ..

 
Had a quick gym session this afternoon, and even though it was only 50 mins long, I feel better for having it. We usually stay for over an hour but time was restricted today. Started on the treadmill to warm up, I did 30 mins on there, while running collectively for 7 mins, moved over to bikes then finished off with some weight trainer, where I learn every time I have no upper body strength.
 
For dinner tonight I cooked Hunters BBQ Chicken with Paprika Wedges. Syn free meal as I use the cheese as my Healthy A. Also I don't like BBQ sauce so I leave that off.
 

 
 
If you don't know what it entails it's real easy. Cook a chicken fillet off, add a rasher of bacon on top, and cook that, then add cheese and melt. The wedges were sprinkling with paprika or some sort of spice, spraying them with Fry Light and cooking in oven for about 30-35 mins turning a couple of times. Add with some veg or a nice crisp salad.

Weigh In, Pizza! ..

 
So yesterday was weigh in day, no point going around the houses to tell you I maintained. Which is much better than gaining but I was half a pound away from my 2 and a half stone award. It's frustrating but its my own fault, I had too much bread this week, I know this. I have to cut down on it, not to  mention them cheeky snacks. Last week my motivation was shot. Sometimes you just get those weeks, the weeks that are harder than others. I needed a boost, some sort of shot of inspiration. Today is a brand new week, and I have my inspiration. I have made before and after pictures for my friends and a couple of others but never for me, I didn't think there would be any difference, but today, with my inspiration gone I thought why not? So here it is, my inspiration to keep going!
 
 
 
So the weigh in came and went, and it was time for something to eat, Tuesdays I always say is treat night, I like to have a bit of chocolate or something, but with my maintain I by passed that and went straight for my dinner (another treat). Pizza, garlic bread and chips, now I know what you're thinking, 'one slice of take-away pizza is 25 syns!' But don't worry I had a full plate of these things and it was only 7 syns!
 
I had a gorgeous homemade chicken pizza, SW chips and petit pan garlic bread.
 
 
To get this meal to 7 syns I have to use both my Healthy A and B. Also you can't eat the whole pizza, I have a quarter, or if you can have half for 12.5 syns, which still is acceptable. Really easy as well, all takes under 30 mins.
 
Ingredients:
 
150g basic pizza base
tomato puree
any free toppings you wish
reduced fat mozzarella ball
Weight Watchers petit pan
1 tbsp of Flora Extra Light
1 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp mixed herbs
couple of big potatoes, peeled and cut into chips
Fry Light
 
To make the pizza spread the tomato puree on the pizza base, add topping of choice and cover with sliced mozzarella. Put in oven at 170c for 10-15 mins.
For the garlic bread mix the Flora, garlic and mixed herbs in a bowl. With a knife make slits in the petit pan and spread a little of the garlic butter in each one. 1 tbsp is 1.5 syns so make sure you don't go over. Bake this in the oven with the pizza for 10 mins or until browned on top.
To make the chips I spray a small baking tin with Fry Light, add the potatoes and spray Fry Light on top, put in oven at 170c for 20-25 mins, then raise temp to 190c for 10 more mins to brown them a little.
 
Here's how I work it out because I think a few people will be a little dubious.
 
Quarter of the basic pizza base is 5.5 syns.
I use my Healthy A for the cheese.
My Healthy B for the full Petit Pan.
A tbsp of Flora Extra Light is 1.5 syns.
 
All together a healthy option for a take away night and a very satisfied Charlotte!

Monday, 22 October 2012

PB Best Record Broken!

So just got back from doing some exercise in the pool. I have just broken my personal best of 50 laps and done 60, I'm ecstatic, I really am. I have never done this much swimming, I don't even like swimming that much. Ha ha.
I was lagging when it came to 55 but me and Gareth really pushed ourselves and really tried and I am quite proud of us. I am hurting and I'm most likely going to feel it tomorrow but it will be worth it!

Before I went swimming I made Beef and Bean Hot-Pot Bake for dinner. Yes it's the return of the one pot but I love them, I really can't stress enough how easy they are.
 


 
 
Ingredients:
 
750g lean stewing beef, all visible at removed, cuubed
2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
450g carrots, peeled and rougly chopped
1 level tbsp plain flour
salt and pepper
200ml boiling hot beef stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
400g can baked beans
2 bay leaves
600g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
 
1. Preheat oven 180c/Gas 4.
2. Place the beef, onions, carrots and flour in a baking dish, season and toss to mix well.
3. Pour in the boiling hot stock, then add the Worcestershire sauce, baked beans and bay leaves. Stir to mix well and arrange the slices of potato on top of the meat mixture.
4. Cover with foil then place in oven for about 1 and a 1/2 hours or until the potatoes are cooked and tender.
5. Remove foil, then turn the oven up to brown the potatoes, or finish under grill for 5-8 mins until brown.
 
I served mine with some greens and it was gorgeous, serves for and it's 1 syn each serving.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Meal Plan for the Week ..

 
So, normal Sunday protocol today. I had a scrummy Sunday lunch of chicken, veg, small Yorkshire pudding and gravy. I've done well with my snacking today, I chose grapes instead of anything fattening. I unfortunately couldn't get any exercise in today so I'll have to push myself tomorrow at swimming.
 
There is something I have tried different today and that is a meal plan, I have set out meals for the week and worked out the syns for each meal.
 
 

 
 
Sometimes when it comes to dinner I haven't thought of anything and I'm rushing to find something or I throw something easy together that I didn't really enjoy, and then that is when I snack on something that isn't good for me, so hopefully this will help with that, and working out before will give me some knowledge of what I can have for lunch or as a treat/snack. 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Snacking..



Snacking is the worst thing you can do, its actually the worst thing that I do. I think actually its my downfall. Its not the takeaways or all the fatty foods or anything like that, I mean they don't really help, But when it comes to snacking it could reverse everything I've done so far.

I get fruit in, the slimming world high-fibre bars, which are gorgeous by the way. But sometimes that just isn't enough, sometimes I look around the room and think I could just fancy something really good, or something not got. Like today I had a toffee crisp bar, unfortunately I looked afterwards at the syns, And when I looked at the syns it was 11.5, luckily from me I had none that day so far so I fitted it in okay. Still I didn't have to eat it.

Yes snacking is my downfall, sometimes I do it out of sheer boredom. I need to fill the time with something else, something that will take my mind off of snacking on chocolate or other foods that are bad for me.

So there is my confession. I had a cheeky chocolate bar that was 11.5 syns, but I made it so my dinner was no syns, So maybe I made it all okay. Also tomorrow I will try to get some exercise so I can work the extra syns off.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Body Magic? ..

 
 
Today was meant to be a body fitness day, gym and swimming.
Unfortunately things went wrong, 40 mins into the gym session I was feeling sick, maybe I had done too much already or not had enough water. I think mostly though it was because we went early and I hadn't eaten. This is my downfall, no breakfast. Admittedly I have never had breakfast, it is not something that sits well with me, but now I'm being active more and having longer days maybe I should invest in it?
 
So that was the gym cut short but then we went forward onto the swimming pool, unfortunately that did not go as planned either, only half of the pool was open so we couldn't really do lengths or for Gareth's sadness we couldn't go on the flumes. So all in all a pretty poor day for body magic, but I know I'll get 50 lengths in at the pool on Monday so looking forward to that.
 
When I got back it was time for dinner, not really planned anything today so it was pretty much throw something together. I decided on ham pasta salad with a jacket potato, I haven't had Healthy A today so I used that on cheese for JP. Sometimes its just really easy to throw a salad together for dinner, can be really filling and depending on what your vital ingredient is can be really flavourful. And don't forget completely syn free!
 


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Pushing It In The Gym ..

I've just got back from the gym, my arms are quite tied but I'll try and get through typing this!
Me and Gareth did an hour work out tonight, mainly cardio with 10 mins of weights at the end. We both want 2lbs, I want it to get in my new number and to get a new award.
 
I think I pushed harder at the gym tonight. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a runner, but tonight I ran for a collective 6 minutes. I know it doesn't sound like much but it was for me. An achievement almost. Before that it was 10 minutes to warm up, then after 15 cycling. I also like to get some rowing in there as well, I can always feel it on my arms. Then the weights to try and built some muscle since I have no strength at all.
 
I got through it and now I feel much better for it. Before going to do any sort of exercise I have this internal groan and question if I really have to, but as soon as I'm working out the rush of adrenaline gets to me and I feel amazing afterwards!
 
Before I went out I made dinner. This is what I would call a nice stomach warmer; Rich Banger and Bean Casserole. This is the first try for me and I can definitely say I will be having it again and not because there is leftovers in the freezer. ha ha.
No its really nice and just completely warms you up. Easy to make, all in one pot. As you can tell by now I love my one pot recipes, so easy but so flavourful!
 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
Fry Light
8 Quorn Sausages
6 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage leaves
500g pumpkin flesh, cut into large bite-sized pieces
1tbsp white wine vinegar
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can cannellini beans
300ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper
4 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 
1. Preheat oven 180c/Gas 4.
2. Spay a large casserole dish with Fry Light and place over a medium heat. Stir-fry the sausages for 4-5 mins or until golden brown all over.
3. Add the shallots, garlic, sage and pumpkin and fry for 3-4 mins.
4. Increase heat to high and add the white wine vinegar, tomatoes, beans and stock and season to taste.
5. Bring the mixture to the boil then transfer the casserole dish to the oven and cook for 1 hour, or until the sausages are cooked through and the pumpkin is tender.
6. Serve sprinkled with the flat-leaf parsley.
 
Great meal, really easy and only 2 syns per serving (serves 4). I just boiled up some carrots and green beans that I had left over to put some more superfree in there. Also I didn't have pumpkin so I substituted it with potatoes and it worked just as good. You could also have low fat pork sausages instead of quorn, just remember to syn them correctly.