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!

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
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.

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
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.

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.
1lb 5oz potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
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. 
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
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.
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
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.
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.
2 Onions, peeled and chopped
500g Mushrooms, finely chopped
2.5 pints Vegetable stock ( I used a little less for a thicker consistency)
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.
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
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.