Monday, 30 September 2019

Monday, 30-09-19

Good morning.

Today's plans:  going SP for a few days.  Well, pretty much, anyway
B :  waffles with fruit and yogurt
I haven't had my 'normal' waffles for quite some time so it's about time I did!
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  stirfry veg with added strips of ham
I bought a bag of stir fry veg last week without knowing how I was going to use it (very foolish) and if I don't use it soon, I will have to do the unthinkable and chuck it.  So I will use some real olive oil to stir fry as it's nicer than spray oil for that sort of thing, add some strips of ham and some tomatoes and season with soy sauce.
SW:  three syns for half tbsp of olive oil

D:  cheesy broccoli bake, roasted tomatoes; Mullerlight
I used to have a recipe for a fatless cheese sauce - well, not fatless because the cheese has fat, but no added butter, oil, etc.  It's quite frustrating because now I can't find it but I think I can more or less remember it and I want to give it a test run.  Basically, what you do is grate your cheese, add your seasonings (such as herbs, mustard powder, pepper, etc) and (this is the secred) some cornflour and mix it all really well so that the grates of cheese are all coated in the cornflour.  Then you add it to some milk and gently heat, stirring all the time (this is crucial and one of many reasons why I love my Thermomix) until it thickens.  Taste, season and serve.  I remember that it had a bit of a grainy texture but tasted really great.  Does anyone know this who could give me the exact proportions, please?
SW:  two healthy extra As for the cheese, each tbsp of cornflour I use is one syn and semi skimmed is two and a half syns per 100 mils

Ss:  trying for none

Body Magic:  I'm signed up for a Heart and Sole walk this morning, taking the bus in and back out again.  Not a long walk in itself but by the time you count the walk to and from the bus either end, it will amount to about an hour, which is OK,  It is a start anyway and if I get wet, I get wet!

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Sunday, 29-09-19

Good morning!

Yesterday's semi-jog to Morrisons happened but I can't say it was fun.  I really do need some running shous which, I gather, do cushion and sort of 'spring' in a most helpful manner.  I did it though and logged it as 'jogging/brisk walking/easy walking' (that last was round the shop), so got my bit of Body Magic in for the day.

Dad loved the quesadillas.  I don't think he's ever had them before.  I used a home made salsa, some shredded chicken mixed with cajun spice, onion, yellow pepper and a bit of Primula light cheese spread (much nicer than it sounds) and some grated cheddar.  I could only manage one quarter wedge and Dad was keen to take the rest home for the freezer, to make a meal another day for himself. 

I think I can officially say that the actifry does make wonderful chips!

Today's food:
B:  yogurt and fruit
I know I've had this three day's running but it is quite similar to what Dad has - shredded wheat with fruit and nuts - so I'm OK with that.
SW:  half a syn if I have a Mullerlight

L:  Cottage pie, broccoli, runner beans
Not really lunch, is it?  It's because Dad goes home this afternoon and my two 'children' < cough > are coming round to eat with us so I'm doing a dinner.
The cottage pie uses some of the mince I made last week (SW free) and instead of using buttery, cheesy mash on top, I will bake a couple of potatoes, slice them, lay them over and brush them with a bit of oil so they crisp nicely.  It won't take long in the oven as all the individual parts will be cooked.  Beth will have a vegetarian equivalent.
If they want a dessert, I have plenty of apples!
SW:  An individual bit of the oil I will use won't be much but, for safety's sake, I will call it two syns - one tsps-worth.

D:  (tea, really) cheese on toast, tomatoes; chickpea chocolate cake with yogurt and fruit
I have healthy extras to use so I'm spoiling myself with a childhood favourite.  I will spray and bake the bread first so it comes out all nice and crispy and I might add a few garlic granules to the cheese for a bit of extra ooomph.  And I've just remembered, I have a bit of the salsa left from yesterday too so that would do instead of any chutney.
SW:  one healthy extra B, up to two As and one syn for the 'chocolate' cake.

Ss:  guess what!!!  :-)

Body Magic:  I'm not sure - I might do a YouTube something after Dad has gone, or an indoors week one C-5K or I might even be 'bad' and have a rest day.  Actually, that wouldn't be bad at all but I will see how I feel when I get to that point of the day.
I'm still well on track for my gold award.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Saturday, 28-09-19

Good morning.

No photos (and there won't be for a few days) because I have a visitor and in never seems very polite to old-fashioned me to whip out a camera and make people wait while I take photos!

I had a go at making SW friendly crunchy sweet potato fries yesterday.  Usually, when I'm with Dad, on Friday evenings we are out at the Millstream and he does love his sweet potato fries there.  They coat them with something that makes them crunchy and they're jolly nice.
So I did a bit of research, ignoring the loadsa-oil/ten step process type recipes and, out of what I found, did this . . .
First of all I soaked the peeled and chipped sweet potato in water for an hour or so.  After draining them and roughly drying them on a clean tea towel, I popped them in a poly bag, added a tbsp of cornflour (just one syn per tbsp) and shook it all together.
Then I popped them in the actifry (but the oven would have worked too) at 200 for 25 mins, added one tbsp oil and set them off, stopping now and again to give them a quick spray and once to add salt and garlic granules.

They really were nice and definitely on the crunchy side and were all scoffed with pleasure.

However, next time and cooking for one, I will try less flour (maybe one tsp) and when they are floured, I will lay them out on a board and spray them before they go into the actifry, making sure they are completely coated as it was really hard to do this once they were in the actifry bowl.  Adding the salt and seasonings half way through is recommended and does stop things like garlic from over-cooking. 

As sweet potato is a free food, half a tbsp cornflour is half a syn and the spray oil is free, this will make a delicious addition to my regular SW repertoire!  And when I've got it properly sorted, I will write it up as a recipe.

Today's food:
B:  fruit and yogurt
I've just made a batch of yogurt and this batch tastes really good so I shall enjoy this.
SW:  free

L:  bean and veg soup
The usual recipe, packed with lovely veg, both speed and non-speed, with protein from the pulses and some orzo for a bit of carb.  It's a complete meal in a bowl.
SW:  free

D:  chicken quesadillas with chips (SW made, of course) and peas
Not the usual accompaniment to quesadillas, I think, but I don't think Dad has ever had them before and I want to keep some familiar things in place.
SW:  One healthy extra B for the wrap and up to two As for the cheese.  If I have mayo to dunk the chips, that will be no more than one more syn.

Ss:  tomatoes

Body Magic:  A tricky one today.  I shall take the scenic route to Morrison's at eight o'clock to get the paper for Dad (and a few more bits and bobs) and I think I might take my newly aquired stopwatch and try a bit of timed jogging (as long as no-one is around!) as I'm not going to be able to do my next week 1 session of C-5K today.  I might be able to fit one in tomorrow late afternoon.

This stopwatch is a pretty simple (and cheap) affair; even I had no problems with understanding the very minimalistic instructions.  It seems to me that if I'm going to have even half a go at a bit of C-5K without the podcasts, I need more than just a wristwatch really.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Friday, 27-09-10

Morning!

Two and a half pound off at group.  A step in the right direction although it hasn't made up for last week's gain, nor has it meant that I have lost any weight during the month, despite everything.
I'm fighting to remain motivated - I'd have expected that upping the exercise so significantly would have burnt more calories and, honestly, I am not eating more to compensate but there you go - it's now very slow, I need to focus on keeping it steady, not on huge losses and to make sure that I haven't let  - er - 'irregularities' sneak in through the back door.
Having Dad here this weekend will help.  Also, I'm glad the upcoming holiday will be very active and that I will be in charge of what I eat there!  I'm goping to plan my socks off with all the nicest SW friendly recipes I can remember so every meal is a treat - but healthy too.

Yesterday's photo diary:

For breakfast, I was trying a new recipe for 'protein pancakes..  They were easy to make, looked and smelled great but, frankly, they were just boring.  A sense of nutritional high ground in no way compensated for the fact that the best bit by far was the fruit and yogurt.  I have some super pancake recipes and will be sticking to them in future!
Filling, mind you, they were definitely filling!


I somewhat changed lunch too.  Instead of just crumbling feta over the ratatouille, I did this.  I sprayed an ovenproof dish and spooned in the ratatouille, spreading it evenly down.  Then I whisked one egg with some natural yogurt and 30g (one healthy A), of parmesan, very finely grated and poured it over the top, baking it at around 200C for about 20 to 25 mins or so until the top was brown and bubbly.  It wasn't a sauce, it was a set top, and it could have been a bit more cheesy but it was nice and I'll give it another go at some point using cheddar instead.

Today's plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt
SW:  half a syn for a Mullerlight (I fancy that instead of natural yogurt this morning)

L:  crustless quiche, salad
I have two egg yolks left over from yesterday's pancakes so I'll add another couple and make a quiche.  Dad will be here by then so it will do for the both of us.  I'll use onion, pepper, mushroom and some chopped ham - that will be tasty!
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese on top.

D:  Pizza, sweet potato chips, coleslaw, more salad
Originally, Dad was coming here yesterday and I had bought a pizza for him to have while I was at Group.  So that's what we're having tonight instead.
SW:  Shockingly, a quarter of the pizza is eight syns  - a lot for a little but perfectly workable in the SW system.  I'm not having all the healthy extras so that will compensate a little bit.  I will use spray oil for the sweet potato fries.  Oh, and one syn for mayo on the coleslaw.

Ss;  none

Body Magic:  I'm feeling quite weary so I'll change my original plan (which was an early morning swim) and do something from Youtube instead.

 Fingers crossed!


Thursday, 26 September 2019

Thursday, 26-09-19

Good morning.  Long message alert!

No photos from yesterday, sorry.  It turned out to be busier than expected and I just forgot.
The ratatouille with crumbled feta turned out to be delicious and, as I defrosted two portions, that's today's lunch as well.

I made up a large batch of savoury mince with some pork mince and beef mince I bought when shopping yesterday morning.  It's a great way to use up bits and bobs and is such a useful thing to have in the freezer.
This is what I did, using the sauté and slow cooker functions on the Instant Pot.

I heated one tbsp of veg oil (six syns but, per portion, negligible) and fried two onions, one red pepper, one carrot and some baby corn, all chopped/sliced.  Then I added the minces and fried, stirring, until it was all browned (it takes a while).

After that I added, in no particular order, some Moroccan spice mix, some garlic granules, some Marigold bouillon powder, some pepper, some salt, a beef stock pot, one of my wow chillies (chopped) and some mixed herbs (I forgot about a bay leaf or two, annoyingly) and stirred it all well for a few minutes.

Then in went two and a half cans of chopped tomatoes (I had the half can left over), a pot of left over rice, a handful of lentils, a handful of oats, some soy sauce, some Lea and Perrins and a really generous squidge of tomato puree.  I think that was it.

The beauty of a 'recipe' like this is that you can add whatever you have.  I used Moroccan spice mix because I had some but any spices (or none) would be fine - cajun, curry, chilli, whatever.

Then I stitched the IP over to slow cooker, high, six hours, popped on the lid and left it, stirring occasionally when I remembered.

Out of all that I have:
enough mince to take to taster evening
enough for Sunday when I'm feeding five
five single portions and
five pots of beef gravy/sauce that I strained off before portioning out

. . . so you can see that the six syns worth of oil becomes nothing really, not per portion.  Everything else was SW free.

Phew!  Are you still with me after all that?

Today's plans:
B:  protein pancakes with fruit and yogurt.
I came across this pancake recipe while looking for something quite different (Google works in mysterious ways sometimes).  It requires oats zizzed into flour, cottage cheese, egg whites, baking powder and cinnamon (I will use the pumpkin spice mix, seeing as I have it).  I have all of that so - worth a go and see, in the interests of discovery!
SW:  one healthy extra B

L:  ratatouille with crumbled feta, Mullerlight
When shopping, I saw that Muller have brought out two more 'special edition' (that's what they call it) yogurts, an Irish coffee flavour and a blueberry muffin flavour, which sounded nice enough to try.
SW:  On the pot of ratatouille I had written '3 syns per portion' so I guess that's what it is, plus one healthy extra A for the feta.  The yogurt is half a syn.

D:  It's taster evening at SW group so goodness knows but it should all be low or no syn.  I'm taking mince and pasta with grated cheese to sprinkle over.

Ss:  none (I can hope!)

Body Magic.  It's my hour with my personal trainer today.


After getting the email reminding me about Heart and Sole, I looked up where and when the walks are.  Unfortunately, a number of likely looking walks clash with personal training or aqua classes, but I've scheduled one on Monday, half ten, a mile and a half, along the Riverside in town.  I'd like to get into this so it's a start.


Also, yesterday, I did the first session of the Couch to 5K thing but at home, either on the spot or round the house and garden, with a great big stopwatch thingy on the PC screen.  It was good but I can see that I will need proper shoes to do this outside on the hard pavements (if I ever get up enough courage).  Still, it's a start, even if I never get beyond the first few weeks.  The whole programme is nine weeks but I reckon it will take longer than that!
I still have to sort out whether I can manage the podcast on my phone!

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Breakfast the Slimming World way

. . . (and not bank-breaking either)

Breakfast is a bit like marmite.  Some love them and some hate them.  The general concensus among nutritionists is that breakfast is a Very Good Thing but I reckon it's what works for you and breakfast definitely works for me.

When I'm planning, sometimes my mind goes blank so this post is as much for me as for anyone else so here's a list of tried and tested breakfasts that I have enjoyed and which fill me up and start the day off with a tasty bang!

Oat based breakfasts:  40g oats = one healthy extra B
. . . plus any syns you add
I add fruit and natural yogurt when appropriate.  Lovely.

Porridge - add any fruit or any spice you fancy, sweeten with stevia or equivalent, add yogurt if you like.  Sheer comfort food, perfect when there's snow on the ground and you have to go out!

Baked oats.  Some recipe links here and plenty online - Google Slimming Eats (or Pinch of Nom) baked oats for bags of ideas.

Overnight oats - look for recipe links as above.  There are so many.  Basically it's oats, fruit and yogurt/milk plus any flavourings or spices, in a jar, left overnight.  Very refreshing after a hot, summer night (no, not that kind of hot, summer night!).

Oat galettes

Basic waffles

Pumpkin oat waffles

Vanilla toffee waffles

Citrus waffles

Banana oat pancakes - great for when you run out of eggs

Banana oat pancakes - with egg

Fluffy Pumpkin oat pancakes


'Cooked' breakfasts
The bacon is either medallions of back bacon with the fat removed.  Sometimes the latter is on yellow sticker which makes it a much more frugal breakfast - I trim, portion out and freeze so I always have some available.

Beany bacon and sausage breakfast bake

Baked eggs

Rosti egg cups

Boiled eggs and toasty soldiers

Fried, poached or scrambled egg on toast

Beans, mushroom or tomatoes on toast (ar a mix)

Bacon and egg roll/sarnie

A selection from bacon, egg, sausage (low syn), hash brown (home made), potato waffle (toasted, around 2 syns per waffle), tomato, mushroom, baked beans, etc.

Tomato baked eggs


Other breakfasts
Anything fruit/yogurt based.  SW does not encourage smoothies, pure juice, etc, but whole fruits are fine.  Some fruit counts as speed and some doesn't, but it's all good!

With all of the above, check the ingredients.  Some count as healthy extras, some need synning but most are free foods.  Do check though.




Wednesday, 25-09-19

Good morning

Photo diary:
Breakfast: not a great photo as the light was really bad.  Pinch of Nom cinnamon and apple pancakes, to which I added a scant half tsp of baking powder because I like the fluffiness it imparts.  It made three pan sized pancakes two of which I used for breakfast with berries in between them and strawberries and yogurt on top and the third as a dessert - see below.

Lunch was soup - not exciting enough for a photo!

Dinner:  Slow roast beef slices, tomato risotto and some broccoli - very filling and tasty.









And this is what I did with the third pancake - again, not a good photo, the colour isn't right and it was loads nicer than it looks there.  I mashed some strawberries and added some stevia.  Because it was stevia, the sauce didn't thicken.  I strained off the strawberries, spread them on the pancake and rolled it up before heating it in the microwave.  The juice went over and then a little drizzle of yogurt.   It was nice, even if the pancake was a bit overcooked on the side that shows (the other side was fine!).  Actually, it really is a terrible photo - sorry!

Today's plans:
B:  bacon, egg and home made baked beans
The baked beans came about because I took some chickpeas out of the freezer and then discovered they were haricot beans.  I couldn't re-freeze them because they'd started to thaw so I chopped some onion, got out some spices and spice mix, opened a can of chopped tomatoes, finely diced some bacon medallions, used one of my powerful chillies plus some tomato puree and ended up with a sort of baked bean thingy that has half a syn per portion from the oil I used and is SP friendly.  One for today and five for the freezer.

L:  ratatouille with feta sprinkled on top, fruit
The ratatouille is from the freezer, made several weeks ago.
SW:  one healthy extra A and two syns for the ratatouille

D:  air fryer chicken tikka, cucumber raita, cucumber and tomato salad, perhaps a pitta; fruit or yogurt
I found the recipe for this here and there are links to the salad and the raita recipes from that page.  It looks fairly simple to make and another thing to try in the actifry.
SW:  if I follow the recipe, it will be six syns for olive oil, less if I use spray oil for the chicken and if I have some pitta, that will be one healthy extra B

Ss:  none today as the meals seem pretty substantial

Body Magic:  A walk to the shops the long way round; salsacise and, maybe, a week one session from Couch to 5K, but done at home, on the spot or around the living room with a big timer on the screen!  I don't actually want to go out onto hard surfaces until I have some proper shoes after the way my ankle hurt after parkwalk.





Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Recipe: pumpkin spice mix

I didn't even know this was a thing until I fell in love with all things oat/pumpkin related recently and read that you can buy a spice mix specifically for pumpkin (and other stuff too).  I Googled and concocted and here we are

Image result for pumpkin spice mix
Thank you, Google Images, for the photo

Pumpkin spice mix
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tap ground ginger
scant 1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Mix together and store in an airtight container.


Here's some ideas more or less off the top of my head that you can use it for with a few links.

Pumpkin oat waffles
Pumpkin oat pancakes
Pumpkin pie
Porridge
Overnight oats
Baked oats
Apple pancakes (instead of just cinnamon)
Baked apples
Rice pudding
Stewed fruit
Ice cream
As a flavouring in biscuits or cake
Sprinked into natural yogurt with a bit of sweetner/sugar to pour over fruit
Autumn spiced French toast (use pumpkin spice instead of just cinnamon)
A seasoning for roasted root veg
A seasoning in fruit loaf/bread/hot cross buns, etc
Home made granola
Roasted chickpeas




Tuesday, 24-09-19

Good morning.  Time is slipping away, we're now in the last third of September and properly into autumn, the days are getting shorter and comfort food is looming larger on the horizon.  Lovely!

Photo diary:
Breakfast was just wonderful.  Pumpkin oat pancakes from Slimming Eats and I'm doing them again, for sure.  I now have a lovely long list of breakfasts for when my brain is slow to get working!

Lunch was also very tasty.  The few sweet potato fries worked a treat with the quiche and salad.


















Dinner, the vegetable chilli, looks very brown and 'worthy' but it was tasty and filling.













Today's food plans:
B:  apple and cinnamon pancakes, berries and yogurt
Taken from the Pinch of Nom book, p 22, this should be delicious!
SW:  If I was being totally SW strict, I would syn the grated apple part of the recipe because it's cooked - but you know what I think about that!  So it's just a healthy extra B for the oats.

L:  vegetable and butterbean soup, piece of fruit
From the freezer, I made this with some yellow sticker prepped veg so it's really frugal.  It will be just right for a post aqua class lunch.
SW:  free

D:  baked tomato risotto, broccoli; protein yogurt
This is  a SW recipe that folk were raving about on our local  SW facebook group so I thought I'd give it a go.  I'll have some broccoli on the side because a) I want to up my green veg and b) I have some in the fridge.
SW:  should be free but as I have two health extra As to use, I might add some grated cheese.  The protein yogurt will be two syns

Ss:  tomatoes, maybe natural yogurt

Body Magic:  I've booked an aqua class and will do some swimming before and after.  Before as a warm up and after so that the queues for the showers have died down.
I'm now into the fourth week of working for the gold body magic award so almost half way there.


Monday, 23 September 2019

Monday, 23-09-19

Good morning!
Only one photo from yesterday.
I love a cooked breakfast after swimming and this was tasty.  I used the actifry for the potato - a small potato, cubed, sprayed with oil and then about fifteen minutes at 180C 
It was all very tasty and SW free.  Without the potato it would have been SP friendly but I'm glad I had it anyway - it made the meal!

I didn't photo the quiche as Beth was with me and I didn't have the chilli;  I wasn't hungry enough for that so I nibbled some cheese, had a yogurt and some fruit (all allowed) and felt very virtuous indeed.  :-)





Today's food:
Well, it looks an awful lot like yesterday's really.
B:  fluffy pumpkin oatrmeal pancakes with fruit and natural yogurt
Another Slimming Eats recipe and it looks very good indeed.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats

L:  quiche (leftover from yesterday), salad, sweet potato fries. apple
SW:  I used two healthy extra As-worth of cheese in the quiche, of which Beth had half (she loved it)( and I had a quarter, so there's a qusrter left for today at half a heA.  If I have dressing on the salad, that will be a couple of syns

D:  the chilli I made yesterday with wholegrain rice and maybe some fried tomatoes on the side.
SW:  if I have some cheese on the chilli, that will be the rest of my healthy extra As and I used three syns-worth of oil making the chilli

Ss:  tomatoes, fruit

Body Magic:  salsacise and a walking clip from youtube.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Sunday, 22-09-19

Good morning!

Yesterday's photos.
I really do recommend the punpkin waffles I had for lunch yesterday.  I made the recipe without any changes  except that I waffled them for about twelve minutes on high (because I know my waffle maker) but I think next time I will add some ground ginger too.  It'll go so well, a bit like gingerbread.
I can make four more lots with the contents of the tin of pumpkin puree that's now in frozen portions for more delicious breakfasts.
Here's the recipe again.
http://www.slimmingeats.com/blog/pumpkin-waffles

Dinner was really delicious too - isn't it great that there are so many lovely recipes available nowadays!
http://www.slimmingeats.com/blog/air-fryer-pizza-sweet-potato-slices
I changed it a bit.  I used cheddar for a healthy extra A, I softened onion, pepper and mushroom to go on the sweet potato slices and I used a spicy tomato sauce I had in the freezer.
And I finished them off in the oven because, by that time, the actifry was doing the chips.
And I had a mixed salad too so it was a pretty hefty meal but totally SW friendly without any salad dressing.



Today's plans:
B:  bacon, egg, tomato and fried potato
What it says on the label and SW free too.  Just right for after a swim.

L:  crustless quiche with salad; a piece of fruit
Beth is round for lunch so this is perfect for a vegetarian.
SW:  one healthy extra A to top the quiche

D:  vegetarian chilli, rice, side salad; fruit or yogurt
To make the sweet potato pizza slices, I defrosted a portion of spicy tomato sauce and have plenty left so I will add to that with fresh tomatoes and a good oil mix of veg and make a chilli.
SW:  it should be free, I think athough maybe I will sub the rice for a pitta for my healthy extra B; I'll see how I feel.

Ss:  tomatoes

Body Magic:  an early morning swim.
Parkrun update.  Well, I did it, I really did it, all 5K.  Last (really last) but not least, as we say, and it took me fifty five minutes which is now recorded on my gold award record sheet!


Saturday, 21 September 2019

Saturday, 21-09-19

Good morning.

Only one photo from yesterday.
The chicken was done in the air fryer, of course, and it worked well, although I think some more flavouring is needed.  Next time I will dust the chicken in a spice seasoning before battering and cooking. 
Apart from that, I just cut the amounts down to one portion (and didn't make the sauce) and here it is.
http://www.slimmingeats.com/blog/actifry-sweet-and-sour-chicken-bites

Today's meals are:
B:  a protein yogurt and a piece of fruit.
SW:  two syns for the yogurt

L: pumpkin waffles with fruit and vanilla yogurt
This is another Slimming Eats recipe and I liked the sound of it so much I looked for canned pumpkin in Tesco yesterday and found some!  Apart from that, it is much the same as my usual waffle recipe whick makes it one healthy extra B.  I can load it with berries as I bought plenty yesterday!

D:  Pizza sweet potato slices, salad, maybe a few chips, seeing how I feel.
And yet another Slimming Eats recipe (I really do recommend this site to you - advert laden, sure, but there are some really great recipes).  It is also an air fryer recipe so cheers!  The only thing I don;t have is grated (or any) mozzarella so I will use cheddar instead and might
SW:  one (or two) healthy extra A and I might use real oil instead of spray for three syns

Ss:  tomatoes

Body Magic:  I'm giving parkrun a go.  It won't be a run, it will be a brisk walk with maybe a tiny bit of jogging and it probably won't be the full 5K but I will give it a go.
Wish me luck.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Friday, 20-09-19

Morning!
Not good news at weigh in but actually better than I expected, especially since I had eaten a fairly big lunch as well.  Three and a half on!  Could have been a lot worse and I think the extra activity is paying off in terms of minimising the damage by burning calories and upping my metabolism generally.  Hope so, anyway.

Today's food plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt
I'm not planning a light day or anything but it's what I fancy after my swim.
SW:  free

L:  out with a friend
It's been quite a week for going 'out with a friend'.  Friends are good!
SW:  no idea but the place we're going to does nice salads.

D:  chicken bites, salad, coleslaw, sweet chilli dipping sauce
I found this recipe on the Slimming World site while looking for recipes for next week's SW party.  It comes with a sweet and sour sauce that requires apricot or pineapple jam which I don;t have so I will fall back on dipping sauce from a bottle instead.
SW:  five grams plain flour is one syn. half a tsp cornflour is half a syn, two level tbsp dipping sauce is three syns and two tbsp super light mayo is one syn

Ss:  tomatoes

Body magic:  an early morning swim - I'm leaving in about twenty mins!

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Thursday, 19-09-19

Morning!

Yesterday's food diary:
I changed my breakfast planning because I wanted to use my new toy!  So I had sweet potato fries, fried tomatoes and a fried egg and, because I used spray oil, it was all SW free.  And very, very nice indeed.

I've posted it as a separate recipe.


Because I had the tomatoes for breakfast, I just had the quiche for lunch plus some yogurt for afters.  No photos of that!



And then it all crashed.  The rest of the day was an absolute disaster.  I ate and ate and ate and after the governors' meeting in the evening, I carried on.  I've not had a binge like that for such a long time and the only thing that I think might have brought it on was the sweet pitta chips that I made and ate but I don't know - maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.  It was the worst possible day too, with weigh-in this evening and right now I feel yuck - all sugar overdose and fuzzy round the edges and dreading the weigh in - and yes, it will be shocking. 
And I'm thoroughly disgusted with myself, I really am.  I will work on that last because feeling negative is not the best way to get back on track.

Todaya's plans:
B:  an Arla protein fruit yogurt
This new to me, recommended by Lindsey and 200g is 2 syns so that's OK.  Maybe the extra protein will make me feel less yurk!

L:  eating out with a friend.  Not the best timing in the world but it can't be helped and I will try to make a good choice.

D:  I have dinner after group so I will be hungry and probably a bit upset and cross with myself all over again (being realistic here, not asking for any sympathy) so need something 'safe' but comforting and - I know it sounds daft - I think I will go with cheesy chips.  Safe cheesy chips with the chips done the SW way and a measured one healthy extra A's worth of cheese.

Ss:  tomatoes

Body Magic.  Salsacise and Lindsey's exercises

I WILL get back on track . . .

I WILL get back on track . . .

I WILL get back on track . . .

I WILL get back on track . . .

I WILL get back on track . . .

Repeat ad infinitum!  :-)

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Recipe: cinnamon sugar pitta chips

I found this on the amazing 'Slimming Eats' site, here.
http://www.slimmingeats.com/blog/syn-free-cinnamon-sugar-pita-chips

I followed the recipe more or less exactly until the cooking time when I think, for my oven, they need to be cooked cooler and longer so they completely dry out.  I used stevia and there was no hint of catching but I guess you'd have to be more careful with real sugar

What you get is a really satisfying sweet and cinnamony crunch.  I had problems keeping my hands off the last ones until they had cooled (I wanted to check that they stayed crunchy over about an hour or so).



Next time . . .
I will cut each oval half across and then each quarter into four, not three.

So I would say more like 120C for as long as they take and then turn off the oven and leave them in for longer, finishing them off on a cooling rack.

Very, very more-ish and one healthy extra B

Recipe: actifry cajun chicken

It's a sort of cajun chicken thingy anyway.


 I chunked a chicken breast fillet, popped it in a bowl and and mixed in some spray oil and cajun spice. 

I sliced a bit of onion, red and yellow pepper and sweet potato and did the same.

I bunged the lot in the actifryer
 on setting 7 (the wok setting) and set it off. Half an hour later (more or less) out it came.  I think maybe the set time was a bit too long and next time I will reduce it by about five minutes.

Also next time, about ten minutes before the end, I think I will add some tomato, either chopped canned or halved/quartered fresh ones.  Mushrooms and/or sliced courgettes would also work well.  Or use turkey steak instead of chicken for more or less the same effect.

While it was cooking, I prepped the salad.

It was SW free apart from the mayo on the salad (optional) and really tasty.


(or you could easily use the oven and just turn it over every ten minutes)

Recipe: an actifry breakfast

. . . well, almost.

Some of my readers have indicated that they would be interested in how I use my new toy so here we go.


Sweet potato chips, fried tomatoes and egg.

I prepped the chips and sprayed them with Fry Light (I never have any problems with 'residue' from Fry Light - maybe they've changed the recipe a bit to resolve this because people used to complain a lot).
I popped them into the Actifry, set it to setting 1 (chips, 220C) for twenty minutes and set it off.
While they were cooking I popped a plate in the oven to warm, prepped the tomatoes and sprayed my little egg pan.
When the chips were done, I tipped them onto the plate in the oven, sprayed the tomatoes and added them to the pan (no need to clean between times) and set them for ten minutes.
While they were doing I heated the little egg pan and cooked the egg.
And that was it!   Delicious, warming and filling.  Another breakfast to add to the SW list.

I'd never normally think of sweet potato chips for breakfast but why not?  One of my five a day so, with the tomatoes, that's a good two f&v portions.
And, using spray oil, it is SW free.  Win-win-win!


You don't have to watch the Genius XL and you don't have to turn or stir the contents as the paddle does it all for you.
As for washing up, done the usual way I would have three pans - the oven tray, the frying pan for the tomatoes and the little egg pan.  This way I have two (although, to be fair, the paddle needs cleaning separately).
And everything is dishwasher proof anyway.

Wednesday, 18-09-19

Good morning!

Just one photo for the diary today.
Well, I had to christen my new toy, didn't I?
I cut up one chicken breast and poped it in a bowl with spray oil and cajun spice.
I thinly sliced a third of an onion, a bit opf red pepper, a bit of yelloe pepper and some sweet optato - just a bit - and popped them in another bowl with spray oil and cajun spice too.
Half an hour before dinner, I popped the lot in the Actifry on setting 7 (the wok setting) and set it off.  Just under half an hour later, having been cooked and stirred by the paddle, out it came and it was beautiful!
It'd be nice with baby corn, mushrooms, etc, and I will definitely do it again.
Yes, I could do it in the oven, although I'd have to keep opening the oven door to mix and turn it all and I think heating an oven would be more expensive.  Not that this will cover the cost of the machine quickly but never mind, that's what saved 'lump sums' are for!

Also, I have to admit, I made some chips mid afternoon (but I shared them with Beth so just one syn).  I cut up one smallish jacket potato, popped the chips in a bowl with one level tsp of olive oil and some cajun spice (which is what came to hand), popped them in, set it to the chips setting and half an hour later, out they came.  I have to admit, they were lovely and crunchy.

So a good start!

Today's plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt
SW free

L:  crustless quiche (from the freezer), fried tomato
SW:  one healthy extra A for cheese in the quiche and two syns for a bit of olive oil to fry the tomatoes

D:  spiced salmon, salad
I will use that Moroccan spice I made that's still going strong.
SW:  one syn for some mayo.

Ss:  tomatoes, cinnamon sugar pitta chips (a recipe I'm trying out for the taster party next week from the wonderful Slimming Eats site).  One healthy extra B

Body Magic:  an hour session with personal trainer, Lindsey

It's a very odd day today.  I will be out over lunch time (at Lindsey's) and out at dinner time at a governors' meeting.  Meal times will be all over the place but at least I know what I'm having and will have it all prepared.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Runner bean slicer - for Frinnie

Here it is.  Amazon have them and so does eBay.  Very cheap and I wouldn't be without mine.

Portable Durable Bean Slicer?Convenient Bean Cutter with Stainless Steel Blade Kitchen Tool

Tuesday, 17-09-19

Morning!

I only took photos of yesterday's dinner.

I used a couple of turkey burgers I had made and then frozen.  I have to apologise - I have looked back and they weren't too dry, they were rather sloppy, so I really didn't need to try and 'dampen' them.  However, I did, and it was rather nice.  I added some finely grated carrot, one healthy extra's worth of feta and I needed one tbsp flour as well (two syns).
I baked the resulting meatballs, using spray oil and reheated them in the sauce and it was really lovely!  Spicy and flavoursome and filling.
At least now I know what to add to burgers/meatballs!!!

I took the longer route to Morrisons in the afternoon and passed by a couple of apple trees so picked up two apples that were on the ground.  Obviously, they need cutting up and bad bits cut out, but the one I had yesterday was really nice so fingers crossed for today's.

Today's meal plans:
B:  tomatoes and egg
I still have a huge bowlful and they just keep coming - the plants have more than covered any costs by now so I'm loving the frugality almost as much as the flavour!
SW:  one tsp olive oil for two syns

L:  probably just some fruit and natural yogurt
I know it sounds very sparse, but it's a very busy day today and I'm not sure I have all that much time to have much of a lunch. 
SW:  free

D:  Chicken stir fry, side salad
I'm hoping the air fryer I have ordered will have arrived and, instead of starting off with chips, I want to try it on this.  OK, it would be faster on the hob, I guess, but this has a paddle, so I can set it and leave it.  I just want to give it a go really.
I'll use some sort of spice to give it all some flavour.
SW:  should be free if I use spray oil, maybe three syns if I use half a tbsp of olive oil.  Two syns if I have some mayo

Ss:  tomatoes

BM:  salsacise and toning exercises from Lindsey.  I actually managed to do a 15 second plank the other day - And, for me, that's major.  It does help that I can now lift my tum off the ground, of course!  👍

Monday, 16 September 2019

Monday, 16-09-19 - edited


The Spice Tailor Butter Chicken

Good morning, everyone.

First of all, a report on the Spice Tailor butter chicken kit.

Here it is, copied from Google Images.  You get a little bag of spices/herbs, a base sauce and a main sauce.  You can use any appropriate protein really, but I used chicken (two decent sized breast fillets);  I also add to the recipe half an onion, half a red pepper, a tiny bit of one of my chillies that I had left from something the day before and some mushrooms, all chopped.  To incorporate these, I softened them first in a little oil, then strained them off using a slatted spoon before following the instructions (which are clear and simple) and adding the veg back in after adding the main sauce.
The last step is to add a good dollop of butter!  I didn't, obviously, and, while it might have added something to the flavour, it was lovely without and I didn't miss it.
The whole pack is twenty and a half syns and one needs to add another six syns for a tbsp oil and for anything else you might add that has to be synned.
Call it twenty six syns for what made four good portions (the pack said two to three - but then there was the added veg), so six and a half syns per portion.
I think that's a price worth paying for something that was absolutely delicious.  I will be buying another kit and will make it up the same, eat one and freeze three.  I might even remember to take a photo!!

(Just to say, I'm not a Famous Blogger/'Influencer', I don't get asked to do reviews, I don't get paid or given free samples or anything else and my opinions are my own.)


Today's plans:
B:  spple and natural yogurt
SW free

L:  fried tomatoes on toast; orange
I'll use one tsp oil to brush over the bread - it's crispier and nicer that way.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the toast and two syns for the oil.

D:  turkey meatballs in a tomato and veg sauce, runner beans
The meatballs originate from some turkey burgers I made and froze but they were too dry so I am thawing out a couple, adding some finely grated carrot and some finely grated cheese and reforming them as meatballs.  Hopefully they will be less dry.  The sauce will be various veg, softened in fry light and then simmered in chopped tomatoes with various spiced added.  I might pep it up with some chilli too.  Oh, and more grated cheese over the top!
SW:  the burgers were half a syn each, so one syn, the cheese will be both my healthy extra As and I think that will be it!

Ss:  tomatoes, if any

Body Magic.  Just a walk so I will make it a brisk one.  I might do some Salsecise later on too.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Sunday, 15-09-19

Good morning, everyone.

Thanks for the advice/info about parkrun in yesterday's comments.  I googled about it, got some details and have registered.  Not that this commits me to anything but I'm thinking of giving it a go some Saturday (weather permitting) and seeing how I feel.  I can get an early bus into town so it will be easy to get to although I do have to locate the starting point.

I had my swim and now I know where the gym is, I can go whenever I am over at Dad's.  That's good.

The meeting in just under a fortnight is a 'party' - which probably means the usual with party nibbles as we've been asked to bring along SW friendly party food.  So yesterday, I did some googling (I seem to have done a lot of googling yesterday) and found some likely looking ideas/recipes to try out.  I'll have to build them into my food plans over the next week or so.

Today's plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt
SW:  It'll probably be a mullerlight so half a syn

L:  we're going to have lunch with Diana and Tom (Mum's half sister and husband) and Diana has said she's doing poached salmon with a salad so that should be OK.  I don't know about SW values though.

D:  butter chicken curry, dahl and basmati rice.
The curry is a Spice Tailor kit which I've had for ages so it does need using.  I looked it up and the whole thing is twenty and a half syns.  I'm bulking it out with extra veg and it will make three portions at least, so that's one for Dad later on in the week and seven syns per portion.  The dahl is half a syn.  Perfectly doable on SW, whatever the term 'butter' would indicate!

Ss:  none, hopefully.  I'm afraid (confession time) it's been a scoffy old weekend again so I have to get straight back on that wagon and catch up again.  Sigh!

BM:  time's a bit short today but I hope to get a bit of a walk in at some point.

Back to normal tomorrow

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Saturday, 14-09-19

Morning
Just a quick one today,

B:  fruit and yogurt

L:  chunky veg soup
. . . and I will use my healthy extra B on some bread to dunk

D:  slow roasted beef with roasties (done the SW way) and assorted veg
SW:  if I have any horseradish, I will syn it - it won't be much.

Ss:  fruit and tomatoes

BM:  I've located the gym here and am going there to have a swim shortly.  Looking forward to it.

I've been reading up about Parkrun.  I'm not a runner in any way, shape or form but I wondered about it - does anyone do this?  Do you HAVE to run or could you walk?  And do you have to do it all?

Friday, 13 September 2019

Friday, 13-09-19

Oh, see the date?  Just as well I am not superstitious - not like that, anyway!

Half a pound off at weigh in yesterday.  It's in the right direction but it means that I've not got any further in weight terms since the last week of August which is a bit of a downer really.  I am hoping that it's the increased and more structured exercise that's causing muscle gain (it should be) because I do seem a bit more toned and things seem to be fitting a bit more loosely.
The motivation is still strong, which is good, so I will carry on and work through this plateau because I do know I'm doing the right things.


Today's food plans
B:  fruit and yogurt
Nice and simple and very delicious
SW:  free

L:  probably veg and butterbean soup, apple
It's from the freezer so I'm freeing up a bit of space and also it's a very frugal meal as the veg was from a 5p YS pack!
SW:  free

D:  Out to the Millstream with Dad so no idea.  I might go for fish this time . . .
This is why the other two meals are so careful.

Ss:  tomatoes

Body Magic:  salsacise

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Recipe: cheesy steak wrap pasty

Not so much a recipe really, more an idea.


Ingredients for one:
half a can of S&S chunky steak, drained, plus half the drained gravy (the rest freezes well) (SW free)
one wholewheat wrap (one healthy extra B)
40g of grated lower fat cheddar (one healthy extra A)
one beaten egg for sealing and glazing
Veg or salad of choice to serve with it.

Method:
Heat the oven to 180C
Line an oven tray with some parchment.

Spread the drained steak over one half of the wrap, pressing it down slightly and sprinkle over the grated cheese.
Brush some beaten egg all round the outside of the wrap and leave it for a couple on minutes to get 'tacky'.
Fold the other half of the wrap over and press round with the tines of a fork to seal the edges.  Be patient - it does eventually seal enough.
With the fork, prick the top of the pasty a couple of times and then brush over some beaten egg.
Carefully lift it onto the parchment and tray and pop in the oven for between twenty and thirty minutes until golden brown.
While the pasty is baking, prep and cook your vegetables/salad/whatever.

When all is ready, heat the gravy in the microwave and serve.

SW friendly, SP friendly, one healthy extra A and one B
(and half a can of steak and gravy for another day)



Thursday, 12-09-19

Morning.

Yesterday's photos diary - not 100% colourful but matched the weather, I guess.
Rather an unnecessary photo of two boiled eggs and an apple but it was quite a nice breakfast!


Lunch was tasty. Moroccan spiced salmon without all the other bits of the recipe.  Here's a link - the spice mix really is good.
https://www.nzmcd.co.nz/recipes/1906/moroccan-spiced-salmon


For dinner, I made a sort of 'pasty' thing using a wrap, half a can of M&S chunks steak (so tender) well drained, 40g low fat cheddar and a beaten egg.  Pop the steak on one half, sprinkle over the grated cheese and brush some egg all round the edge of the wrap.  Wait for a few minutes for it to get a bit 'tacky' and then fold the wrap over, pressing down round the edge with the tines of a fork.  It takes a while, just be patient.
Then use the fork to make two sets of holes in the top, brush over some beaten egg and pop into a pre-heated oven at around 180C on an oven tray lined with some parchment.  It takes around 20 to 30 minutes.
As you can see, I had it with carrots and runners and heated the drained gravy (I only needed half of the gravy so it is now in the freezer with the other half of the steak for another time).  As the M&S chunky steak is SW free, it makes a tasty, filling and SW friendly dinner.

Today's plans:
A 'careful' day because of weigh in this evening.

B:  tomatoes on toast
SW:  one heB for the bread and two syns for one tsp oil to brush over the break before grilling.

L:  fruit and yogurt
SW:  free

D:  veggie savoury rice with a poached egg on top
Something from the freezer, well labelled but I can't recall what's in it, just that it's vegetarian.
SW:  free

Ss:  tomatoes

Body Magic:  One hour of PT with Lindsey and maybe a walk.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Wednesday, 11-09-19

Good morning.
No photos of yesterday which was a bit of a scrappy day really as far as food was concerned.  I did enjoy the Chinese buffet meal and maybe, just maybe, had a bit more than I had intended but I had already done an hour's swimming and later on I had a half hour walk so that will have compensated, calorie-wise, if not according to SW.
Breakfast was pineapple and melon with yogurt and 'dinner' was a wedge of quiche, an apple and a Mullerlight (half a syn).
Could have been loads worse!

Today's plans:
B:  two boiled eggs and an apple
SW:  free

L:  salmon salad, Mullerlight
I will dust the salmon with that salmon spice mix I made before baking it and the salad will be a mix of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber (loads of tomatoes and cucumber), pepper and some beetroot.
SW:  four syns for two tsps oil in a salad dressing and half a syn for the yogurt

D:  steak and cheese pasty with runner beans and carrots, natural yogurt
I will make the pasty with a wrap and the filling will be a can of M&S chunky steak (some of it, anyway) with 40g grated cheddar sprinkled on top, on one half of a wrap with the other half folded over, sealed and glazed with beaten egg and then baked for about half an hour, I think, although I must look that up.
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese and one B for the wrap.  The chunky steak is SW free, according to their data base.

Ss:  tomatoes, melon

Body Magic:  salsacise and maybe an afternoon walk

Not such a frugal day today.  The salmon wasn't shocking expensive on the market and I doubt I will use all of the steak in the can, although once the gravy has been drained off (nice to have some 'free' gravy), there's a lot less than it looks at first. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Tuesday, 10-09-19

Morning.

Yesterday's photo diary:
My cooked breakfast.  I did the egg in my Systema poacher and, unlike the wee omelette, it didn't do such a great job although it tasted fine..  I'll try a cooler setting for longer next time.




I fgorgot to take a photo of lunch.  It was a nice bowl of soup!

Turkey fajitas.  Yummerooney!

I split each half of the pitta into two. spread on yogurt, then added grated cheese and then the hot turkey and veg and it was jolly tasty!  The salad was just lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes


The dessert (chocolate chickpea cake and yogurt) was also very good.


Today's plans
Today is a bit problemmatic as I am taking daughter and grandson to a Chinese buffet in town.  My new found motivation will definitely be tested!
B:  nothing until just before I leave for town and then it will be an apple
SW: free

L:  goodness only knows but I will employ strategies like chewing many times, putting my knife and fork down between mouthfuls and so on
No idea about syns!!

D:  crustless quiche and some baked beans
I made the quiche last week and froze two slices as will have one of them.  As it's getting jolly cold come the evenings, I thought some baked beans would go down a treat.
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese in the quiche

Ss:  none, if I can manage it

Body Magic:  I'm going for an early morning swim.

Wish me luck, folks!







Monday, 9 September 2019

Recipe: spicy tomato and veg soup

(as you can see, I had mine with two bits of cheesy waffle)

This was put together from bits and bobs and is a two part soup.  The first part is making the tomato base and the other is just what you add to it to make it chunky.
Amounts are deliberately vague because, really, it doesn't matter.  For example, you don't HAVE to wait until you have left over chopped tomato.  Use a whole can and add more of the other stuff to match.

The first part
I used about 2/3 of a can of chopped tomatoes that I had left over and added half a chopped onion, about a quarter of a chopped red pepper and one very-mini-hot-chilli (from the garden and more than enough for me!) with a heaped tsp Marigold vegetable bouillon powder and some water.  I boiled it all up (covered) until softened and then zizzed it well.
It didn't need seasoning because the stock powder is seasoning, but this is the time to taste to check and to add more, if needed.

The second part
Into that I then popped some scraps of frozen butternut squash, a few peas, some cooked and frozen edamame beans and a bit of chopped sweet potato and just boiled it up again (covered) until everything was soft.
You could use anything you fancied really, including left over bits of meat, left over veg (if already cooked, it will be finished quicker) . . . whatever goes.

It's Slimming World free and packed wth lovely speed veg while the beans added some protein.  Very filling.



Monday, 09-09-10

Morning, everyone.

Yesterday's photo diary.
The cheese waffles are definitely delicious.  I used 30g not-parmesan for a heA, more onion granules than before and some dried herbs and it was great.

It doesn't look like much in the photo but after I'd finished I really felt quite full - and that was after a swim too.  How meals look on the plate can be quite deceptive really.



I am so glad soup season is back because this was yummy.
I used about 2/3 of a can of chopped tomatoes that I had left over and added half a chopped onion, about a quarter of a chopped red pepper and one mini-chilli (more than enough) with a heaped tsp Marigold vegetable bouillon powder and some water.  I boiled it all up (covered) until softened and then zizzed it well.  Into that I then popped some scraps of frozen butternut squash, a few peas, some cooked and frozen edamame beans and a bit of chopped sweet potato and just boiled it up again until everything was soft.
It was so, so tasty and extremely filling!

(No other seasonings - the stock powder is seasoned enough really).

And I had the soup, as you can see, with the other two bits of cheesy waffle.  I took the close up photo so you can see how fluffy they are inside.


And then dinner - a sizzle steak with roasted onion, tomato, pepper and sweet potato and some runner beans.  Very nice it was too although I didn't make anything to go with the steak in the end and I decided to roast the sweet potato with the other veg rather than as chips.  It's all the same thing in the end anyway.

Dessert was some fresh pineapple with natural yogurt.








Today's plans
B:  a cooked breakfast of bacon, egg and tomatoes
SW:  one tsp oil for two syns to firstly fry the bacon and then to cook the tomatoes

L:  roasted sweet potato and carrot soup (from the freezer)
Made last week, portions frozen.
SW:  It says on my plans two syns for oil and créme fraiche - so I guess that's right.

D:  turley fajitas, salad; maybe chocolate cake, yogurt and fruit for dessert
Basically, spray frying some veg and turkey strips, adding some fajita seasoning and serving with some grated cheddar on top and a nice salad.  It's about time I had more salad and there's a cucumber just waiting to be picked!
SW:  half a tbsp oil is three syns and the chocolate cake will be one syn while the cheese is one healthy extra A.  If I pile the turkey, etc, into a pitta or a wrap, it will be my healthy extra B.

Ss:  tomatoes, yogurt

Body Magic:  Well, yesterday was pretty energetic, what with an early morning swim and a country walk in the afternoon plus some up and down on my step thingy while watching telly so, with rain forecast for today, I think I will dig out my old Rosemary Conley Salsacise DVD and do that.  It's nice to ring the changes.

Today is the last day of the first week of working towards the gold award.  One is supposed to do eight weeks of  ten lots of fifteen minutes or five lots of thirty minutes per week, over five days, including two muscle strengthening activities.  I'm well on top of that this week.

It'd better translate to a loss on those scales this week, that's all I can say!





Sunday, 8 September 2019

Sunday, 08-09-19

Morning!

Yesterday's photo diary:
I forgot to have breakfast!  I didn't remember until I was back on the bus coming home after shopping so I had an apple which filled the gap.

This is lunch - veg and butterbean (not lentil as I said yesterday) soup with some home made croutons.  It was delicious!
To make the croutons, I cut up some bread, placed them on parchment on aa baking sheet, sprayed them with fry light and baked them at around 160C for about half an hour or so.  They add a lovely,. crunchy element to a smooth soup.




This was dinner.  The base recipe is here.
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/creamy-lentil-veggie-curry
and I adapted it by firstly quartering it to make one portion, then using a Gujarati veg curry spice mix I found on the market (here's their web site ( https://spicequeenuk.co.uk/ ), instead of curry powder and chilli, adding red pepper, mushroom and some bits of butternut squash and subbing runner beans for green beans because that's what I had.  Oh, and the tomatoes were from the garden, not a tin.
I didn't add cucumber or coriander and I served it, as you can see, with more runner beanhs.
And it was absolutely gorgeous.

Today's plans
B:  I'm going to give the savoury waffles another go, this time using yogurt and some grated parmesan type cheese ('type' is cheaper than real!) at 30g for one healthy extra A.  I'll let you know!
I'll spray fry some tomatoes to go with them and will probably have two of the waffle portions, saving the other two to have with my lunchtime soup.
SW:  one healthy extra A and one B

L:  home made soup, savoury waffles
I have some tinned tomato left from the other day so will use that to make some lentil and veg soup or something similar and use the waffles for dunking.
SW:  should be free as I have counted the cheese and oats for breakfast

D:  sizzle steak, sweet potato fries, runner beans and roasted tomatoes; yogurt
. . . and, if I'm feeling energetic, I might make some Pinch of Nom free peppercorn sauce which I really rather like.  Here's a link to the recipe with apologied for all the adverts!  Just scroll down nearly to the bottom and there is a printable version.
https://pinchofnom.com/recipes/creamy-pepper-sauce/
SW:  hopefully, free, apart from half a syn for the yogurt and two for one tsp olive oil

Ss:  yes, you've guessed it.  Tomatoes!

Body Magic:  Seeing as I have upped my exercise, I think I will go for the gold BM award (I've already got silver and bronze)  It's not a doddle and it has to be maintained for eight weeks so wish me luck. 
Anyway, today's is an early morning swim.

What are your plans for today?

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Saturday, 07-09-19

Morning, all.

Yesterday's photo diary
My experiment with savoury waffles was, forgive the boasting, a great success.  I had two bits for breakfast and kept two for lunch.  It's always nice to have something to dunk in soup.

I've done a write up as a separate post and will write it out properly after trying a few variations.


Lunch was spicy chilli bean soup, recipe here.
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/spicy-chilli-bean-soup
I used one mini chilli from the garden instead of chilli powder, a dollop of yogurt instead of tortillas and lime and made just one portion.  It was very warming and filling too perfect for a late lunch after a swim and an aqua class..











And dinner was also nice - bright and colourful too.  I decided not to do runner beans as I knew I'd have a plateful without.

I finished off with a piece of the chickpea chocolate cake with some pineapple and natural yogurt.


All in all, a delicious day's eating.







Today's plans are:
B:  banana pancakes with fruit and yogurt
These are from the freezer and I will just pop them under the grill to warm them up.
SW:  half a healthy extra B for the oats in the pancakes

L:  vegetable and lentil soup; piece of fruit
From the freezer and SW free and I will cut up, spray and bake a small slice of wholemeal bread to make some croutons and sprinkle over some grated cheddar too.
The soup is some that I made with some YS 5p packs of mixed veg so it's really extremely frugal and the bread is also YS bread.
SW:  the other half of my B and one healthy extra A

D:  creamy lentil and veggie curry, runner beans;  chickpea chocolate cake fruit and yogurt
This is another Easy Cook recipe that I'll do more or less straight, I think.
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/creamy-lentil-veggie-curry
SW:  three syns for half a tbsp oil and one syn for the cake

Ss:  tomatoes, of course!  :-)  Looking out of the window, there's more to pick today!

Body Magic:  a walk

It's pretty much a vegetarian day today which I always find more frugal.  I'm almost out of lentils so will pop into a health food shop intown where they do a BOGOF which makes the lentils great value.  I might get some other dried pulses while I'm at it too, for the top shelf!

And finally, given that I have upped my exercise levels, I thought I'd go for the gold Body Magic award so I've started a record sheet!  Eight weeks, it takes!  Phew.


Friday, 6 September 2019

Not quite a recipe - yet

As I mentioned this morning, I had a go at making savoury waffles for breakfast.
Like this.


What I did was . . .
I zizzed 40g oats (healthy extra B) until it's a flour like consistency.

I added an egg, 50g primula light (from a tube and I could have added 75g which would have been a healthy extra A - I never thought!), salt, pepper, 1/4 tsp cajun seasoning (not quite enough - I'll try half next time), a small pinch of garlic granules, a larger pinch of onion granules and about 40 mls semi skimmed milk (one syn or from allowance, if you measure out your milk for a healthy A).

I zizzed that all together and let it stand to thicken for about fifteen minutes (or it could be longer  longer).
After five minutes, I turned on the waffle maker as it takes about ten minutes to heat up properly and stirred a very scant half tsp of baking powder into the mixture

During that time I prepped the tomatoes and started frying them in one tsp olive oil (two syns).  I just kept half an eye on them and turned the heat down/stirred when necessary.

Then I poured the mixture into the waffle maker, closed it up, turned it over and left it for around ten minutes.

And that was it.  Oh, my goodness, not only did it taste really good, it also made the house smell fantastic.

I need to just refine a few amounts and also to experiment with different cheeses and spies or herbs and with different things on the side too. 
But it is definitely a keeper and really all mine as I didn;t follow the recipe I found at all.  It just gave me confidence that it could be done.

I'll write it up properly when I've made it again and tried a few different things.







Friday, 06-09-19

Good morning.
No photos of yesterday - they weren't particularly exciting or unusual meals really.

I started a set of five sessions with a personal trainer yesterday.  She works from home and lives locally.  Now, there are certain 'things' about having taught in the area you live and one of those is that you ternd to know a lot of people, not really well, but enough to say 'hi' to.  So when Lindsey opened the door, I thought 'I think I know you' and she said 'Are you the Mrs Clark who used to teach at . . .'.  It only turned out that I taught her son through year 1 about fifteen years ago!  I didn't recognise the name as she's remarried since then.
Small world.
We did a lot of talking about lifestyle, diet, well being, etc, before running trough some activities and exercises.  I said about wanting to tone up and increase strength and Lindsey has taken that on board.  I'm looking forward to what she is going to throw at me next week now.

At group I got a shock but a very nice one.  Yes, I had gained but - but - only half a pound.   Such a lot less than I anticipated and I was thrilled to bits and remotivated all over again.  I didn't believe it at first and Jennifer weighed me a second time to make sure!

Today's plans:
B:  oat waffles, fruit and natural yogurt or . . .
. . .  I might do what I've wanted to do for a while and have a go at making savoury oat waffles and have them with a poached egg and some fried tomatoes.  I've found a recipe that I can adapt, a sort of cheese and onion flavoured one.  I reckon it's worth a try anyway and will let you know!
If I do, I will have two quarters for breakfast and maybe have the other two quarters with the lunchtime soup.
SW:  one healthy extra B for the oats and up to a healthy extra A for some grated cheese or maybe some dairylea light plus two syns for a tsp of olive oil for the tomatoes.

L: spicy chilli bean soup, fruit
Another from BBC Easy Cook which looks so nice I have to try it.  I won't have the tortilla chips though - I could eat my weight in them so best not to start!  What I do have is loads of home soaked and cooked pulses of various kinds; doing them this way and then freezing them  makes them so very good value.  I might sprinkle over some grated cheddar and perhaps two wedges of waffle (see above) to dunk, depending on how it works out.
SW:  one healthy extra A

D:  spice dusted salmon baked on roasting med veg, chips done the SW way and runner beans;  yogurt
I still have some spice mix I made from the last time I had salmon done this way, I have loads of tomatoes and runner beans from the garden plus a big bag of wonky peppers so, despite the salmon, this meal won't be too costly.  The chips are a Friday treat.
SW:  three syns for half a tbsp of olive oil for roasting.

Ss:  tomatoes

Body Magic:  I've booked an aqua class today