Weigh in Day: Thursday 21st May 2015

Another pound off this week – slowly chipping away at the flab.  It’s very frustrating that my weight loss has slowed just when I really don’t want it to but I guess I should be proud of my loss so far and just keep going at it.  I’m 14 stone 13 now, so I’ve broken into the next stone.  I haven’t been in this stone bracket since my honeymoon in 2009!

I set myself a few challenges this week to see if it would help boost my losses – as you can see I wasn’t overly successful despite my efforts, lol!

1. To eat at least 7 speed vegetables a day –
Thursday: 10
Friday: 10
Saturday: 10
Sunday: 12
Monday: 13
Tuesday: 12
Wednesday: 9
Challenge successfully undertaken!

2. Scan Bran Challenge
5 scan bran (Scandinavian Bran) a day as your Healthy Extra B choice or 5 syns.  I did this for 5 days, 2 at breakfast, 3 at lunch topped with cottage cheese and either tomato or cucumber.  You need to make sure that you drink plenty of water with them.  I had at least 8 cups of hot water a day.

3. Plenty of soup and salads
I had 4 big salads this week, 3 of them as part of my main meal.  And for two days I had a lovely homemade butternut squash and carrot soup for lunch.

So what else have I enjoyed this week?

Slow Cooked Pasta
This was last Thursdays slow cooked pasta bake, it was delicious and the perfect dish to come home to after pilates.

Pizza Topped Courgette
This is pizza topped courgette with Linda McCartney Rosemary and Red Onion Sausages and salad – my husband said this was a revelation, lol!  I halved a courgette, scooped out the seeds, lined the valleys created with half a teaspoon of tomato puree and a sprinkle of dried oregano per half, topped with pan fried mushrooms and garlic and a sprinkled 30g of cheese on each as our Healthy Extra A choice.  We will definitely be having these again, all the taste of a pizza on a courgette!  Lol!

On Saturday I recoloured my hair.  I’ve been using the same colour for a while now but it had gone brassy and uneven after the last colour so I decided to try a new colour!  I bought John Frieda Precision Foam Colour 9A Light Ash Blonde – on offer in Boots at the moment for £4.99.  I went from this:
John Frieda Precision Foam Colour 9A Light Ash Blonde
To this:
John Frieda Precision Foam Colour 9A Light Ash Blonde
So happy with the results – a lovely soft natural blonde colour!  I shall be purchasing it again!

On Sunday I cooked a whole chicken in my slow cooker and made three meals out of it – we had the breasts with some potato wedges and a gorgeous 10 speed veggie pizza bake. Fry off veg with oregano added, drizzle over some tomato puree and sprinkle with 2 HEA of cheese and bake in oven for 10 minutes to melt the cheese – gorgeous!
10 Speed Veg Pizza Bake

On Tuesday evening I used some of the chicken and some prawns to make an amazing syn free paella!  Sorry the pic is a bit blurry!
Syn Free Paella

And we had the remaining chicken with salad last night.

So it’s been an enjoyable week with lots of nice new meals to add to my repertoire but I would have been happier with a slightly bigger loss!

See you next week folks! x

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Weigh in Day: Thursday 14 th May 2015

1lb off this week – quite happy with that.  I’m a daily weigher (please don’t judge) and most of the time I find it encouraging but this week it’s been a tad soul destroying.  I’ve been 1lb down, 1lb on, on and off all week.  So it was good to see that pound this morning.  In fact 4 more ounces and I would have been in the next stone bracket down.  I always find that my weight loss slows on the cusp of getting into the next stone down.  Because of this too, it doesn’t look as though I will be making it to my mini target in time for my summer holiday.  I’m hoping I’ll be close but I think it’s unlikely that I’ll get there in time.  I shall not be disheartened though and keep ploughing away!

This week I’ve had 6 good EE days and one good old fashioned Green day.  So what have I been eating this week?

I tried cooled couscous with yogurt and fruit for breakfast one day, not too sure about that but it wasn’t dreadful.  We had a very tasty Quorn mince pasta bake when we had a friend round for tea – he didn’t realise it was quorn, lol!

Slimming World Burger in a Bowl

We had Burger in a Bowl out of the Slimming World Fakeaway recipe book – we love this and have it at least once every couple of weeks.  Sometime I have it with swede chips but as I fancied normal chips that evening so made them myself Slimming World style – my hubby always says ‘why would you ever buy frozen chips again when Slimming World ones taste so good?’  I agree with him as they’re soooooo good and best of all free!

Fajita Chicken and Wedges

The following day I made Fajita Chicken and Wedges again because it really is that good!  You can find the recipe here!

Recipe: Syn Free Mexican Lightly Spiced Rice

We had a delicious pork stir fry one evening and the following day my new non stick pan arrived and to test it, I came up with a new recipe

Yesterday, the little one and I met up with my mum, sister and my two beautiful nieces for lunch and shopping.  I love that if I don’t have my Healthy Extra B choice for breakfast I can have things like a wholemeal ham sandwich for lunch and only have to count a few syns for the extra bread and spread!

So this evening I have Fitness Pilates again (it wasn’t on last week as the hall was being used as a polling station) so I’m trying a new slow cooker recipe out today that I can eat when I get in.  Hopefully it’s as lush as I’m hoping it will be and I’ll be sharing it with you soon!  x

Recipe: One Pan Lightly Spiced Mexican Rice

Basically I made this because I had treated myself to a beautiful new non stick pan and fancied trying it out!  I had also planned on making chilli and fancied something similar but made all in one pot.

It was very tasty, the perfect comfort food.  Not hot and not too spicy but juuuuust right!  You can obviously make it hotter and spicier though if you’d prefer it that way.  The cheese on the top is optional, as it would still taste fabby doo without it but it just makes it extra tasty if you have your Healthy Extra A choice or the syns to spare!  I hope you like it!

Recipe: Syn Free Mexican Lightly Spiced Rice

One Pan Lightly Spiced Mexican Rice – Syn free on EE
Serves 2

Ingredients
– 500g 5% fat beef mince
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1 red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
– 1 orange pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
– 150g uncooked basmati rice (you can also use brown as well and adjust the cooking time)
– ½ a carton of pasatta
– 250 ml of hot water
– Chicken stock cube
– Half a tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
– Handful of frozen peas
– ¼ a teaspoon of chili powder
– ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika
– 1 teaspoon of cumin
– Black pepper to taste
– 80g reduced fat cheese – OPTIONAL 2 x Healthy Extra A choice or 6 syns per serving

Instructions

  1. Place a large non-stick pan over a medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic for a minute. Add chopped peppers and cook for another minute. Add mince to pan and cook until browned, about 4-5 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Season with black pepper to taste.
  2. Stir in rice, kidney beans, peas, pasatta, water, crumbled chicken stock cube, cumin, paprika and chili powder.
  3. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low.
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender.  Stir every so often if the rice starts to stick. Season with additional pepper as needed.
  5. OPTIONAL: Sprinkle with cheese, cover again and remove from heat allowing the cheese to melt, about 2-3 minutes.

I think I shall be making more one pot rice dishes!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Weigh in Day: Thursday 7th May 2015

So this week has seen a loss of 2lb!  Taking me to 15 stone 1lb and almost 4 and a half stone down!  I’m more than happy with that given that I had the weekend off plan after last weeks SP debacle!  Now when I say that I had the weekend off plan it doesn’t mean that I went crazy.  It just means that for the weekend I didn’t record everything I ate or count my syns etc.  I never fall of the wagon in spectacular style these days though as I actually find that I physically can’t eat or drink like I used to.  I actually get full, lol!

So basically I’ve lost those 2lb in the last 3 days, which is fab.  So I’ve had two EE days and one red day this week.

Heck Chicken Italia Sausage Pasta Bake
On my first EE day I made my gorgeous sausage pasta bake for tea again, with the delicious Heck Chicken Italia sausages!  2.5 syns a portion if using the cheese as a Healthy Extra A choice, and worth every last one!

Chicken Enchiladas
I saved my Healthy Extra B choices on my red day and made enchiladas with two B-Free wraps.  I was going to post the recipe but in all honesty not even the sauce and cheese could make the B-Free wraps tasty and they were a little disappointing.  My husband enjoyed his though as he had normal wraps!

Courgette Noodle Salad
I’ve also had a couple of interesting salads this week.  Now don’t get me wrong, I like the usual salad ingredients of lettuce, tomato and cucumber but I fancied a change.  I love making noodles for my stir frys with my julienne peeler and decided to make raw noodles with courgettes as the main ingredient in my first salad.  I seasoned it well, added a little white wine vinegar and topped it with a tin of tuna, plum cherry tomatoes and cottage cheese and it was scrummy!

Carrot Noodle and Orange Chicken Salad
My second salad included carrot noodles, seasoned well and sprinkled with white wine vinegar, topped with plum cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, red pepper, chopped chicken pieces, segments of orange and some Asda’s red pepper cottage cheese.

Both salads were delicious, syn free and made a nice change from the norm.

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta
The little one and I have colds at the moment and so yesterday evening I wasn’t in the mood for cooking anything too faffy so I made my glorious cheesy broccoli pasta.  So easy to make and syn free when using the cheese as your Healthy Extra A choice!  I’ll be posting the recipe soon!

I hope you’ve all had a good week fellow slimmers!  See you again soon! x

Slimming World’s EE SP Plan Day 6 – the day I decided SP wasn’t for me

So as you can see from the title of this blog post I have reluctantly decided to call quits on my week on SP.  This is for several reasons…

Last night I developed a really bad headache, very quickly and had to take myself off to bed at 9.30pm.  I used to suffer regularly from really bad headaches but haven’t had many since starting the Slimming World plan so this was quite unusual.  However, I also had a sore throat last night and suffered badly through the night with bunged up sinuses and still feel a bit grotty this morning.  So generally I feel a bit under the weather.  This wouldn’t have deterred me on it’s own but…

I had a cheeky weigh in this morning, only to find that I’m exactly the same weight as I was on Thursday, 1lb down on my starting weight last Monday.  So I doubt that miraculously I’m going to lose 6-9lbs in the next two days!

Also with it being a bank holiday weekend, we have been invited to meet my family out for lunch today.  Now I was planning to take a couple of Alpen Lights and an apple with me and avoid lunch completely, to just sit there very saintly like, watching everyone else eating their lunches and stick to my SP plan.  But after weighing myself this morning, in all honesty  started to wonder why I’m bothering.  My husband will tell you that last night I was determined to see this through to the end of day 7 but I’m just feeling so disappointed that all of my hard work seems to have been for nothing.

For those of you following my blog and to those of you reading my daily posts in the future I’m sure you’ll agree that I stuck to the SP plan rigidly.  At every meal I had at least 50% speed foods.  I only ate S and P foods and never went hungry.  I had 10-15 syns a day and always had my Healthy Extra A choice and my two Healthy Extra B choices but it would appear that for some reason SP is just not for me.

As I said I regularly lose 2-5lbs following the EE plan with a few of the old fashioned Red and Green days thrown in but for some reason the SP plan and I don’t get on.  It’s very sad because I hoped it would get me into the next stone bracket down and give my weight loss a boost to get to my mini goal of 14 stone in time for my holiday in the summer but it just hasn’t worked and I think that I’d probably have lost more sticking to what I usually eat.

Now, please don’t be put off giving SP a try for yourself because as I’ve said I know that lots of people lose a really good amount on it, I’ve seen losses of 7 to 10 pounds which must be amazing.  So I’d recommend you give it a go.  If nothing else I’ve made some lovely meals this week and eaten very healthily and it may well show next week, you never know.

I will obviously continue to share my recipes on this blog and keep you up to date with my journey in my weekly weigh in’s.

So this morning I’m going to have branflakes, chopped, strawberries and raspberries topped with…yogurt!  Lol!

See you all again soon! x

Slimming World’s EE SP Plan Day 5

A  much more relaxed day today thank goodness.  After yesterday it’s been so nice to not have to rush off anywhere!

Breakfast
Breakfast - Slimming World's EE SP plan day 5
So I began my day with my usual segmented grapefruit, followed by 30g of choc mini Weetabix (HEB), chopped strawberries and some raspberries.  Today I topped it with quark but I tried watering it down to a yogurt like consistency (like I did for the overnight oats) and added sweetener and vanilla essence to taste.  It was lovely, again I’m not sure you’d know it wasn’t yogurt!

This morning the little one and I headed out in the sunshine (in our winter coats because it was quite nippy) and had yet another trip to Sainsburys for more quark and some other bits and pieces.  Yes, you read that right more quark!  I wouldn’t have managed this week without it!

Lunch
Lunch - Slimming World's EE SP Plan Day 5
Metabolism boosting speed soup – my variation on a the popular tomato speed soup, see here for the recipe.  And a gluten free wrap (HEB) with a little cottage cheese, chicken, tomato and cucumber.

This afternoon I managed to find the time to wash my hair and have a couple of treats whilst the little one had her nap.  I had a packet of Asda Good and Counted Sweet Chill Flavour Popcorn (3.5 syns) Delish! Savoury popcorn who knew?  And 6 pieces of Green and Black’s 70% Dark Chocolate (6 syns).

Tea
Tea - Slimming World's EE SP Plan Day 5
Turkey Bolognese over cooked broccoli – one of my favourite meals (usually I have it with a small portion of pasta, sob!  But honestly it’s very nice over broccoli too).  I posted the recipe last week, you can find it here.
For pudding I mixed half a tub of quark with a butterscotch Options hot chocolate (2 syns) and topped it with chopped strawberries and some raspberries.

Speed foods consumed today: Grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, tomato, cucumber, pasatta, carrot, onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms and broccoli

Protein foods consumed today: Quark, cottage cheese, baked beans, chicken, turkey mince

Total syns for the day: 11.5

Total cups of water: 10

See you tomorrow evening for day 6!  Almost there!

Recipe: Syn Free Metabolism Boosting Chilli Speed Soup

If you have been on Slimming World for a while, no doubt you have heard all about tomato speed soup, the soup that resembles Heinz tomato soup and if you haven’t been on Slimming World for long, no doubt you will see it soon.  If you want to find out about it now, just search the internet for ‘Slimming World Speed Tomato Soup’ and you’ll find lots of links to take a look at!

This is my variation on the recipe, as although I do find it vaguely resembles Heinz soup, the pickled onion just adds too much of an acidic vinegary taste for my liking.  So a while ago I tried leaving out the pickled onion and adding my chilli spices and herbs to it instead and voila one of my favourite easy lunches was born!

So not only does this version contains the majority of the speed food ingredients in the original recipe but it also contains chilli and spices like chilli are thought to raise metabolism by up to 50 percent for up to three hours after eating, due to increasing your heart rate!  Can’t be bad!

Lunch - Slimming World's EE SP Plan Day 5
Metabolism Boosting Chilli Speed Soup

Syn free EE and EE SP
Makes 2 big bowl fulls!

Ingredients
1 carton of pasatta
1 tin of carrots, drained
1 tin of baked beans
1 chicken stock cube
1 pint of water
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of dried oregano

Method
Place all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan – don’t worry if at this stage it looks pretty disgusting, lol – take a hand blender and blend all the ingredients together until smooth and thick.  Heat as much as is required.

It really is very tasty, even my two year old quite likes it when she’s in the mood, lol!