Thursday 31 October 2019

Thursday, 31-10-19

Good morning!

My food plans for today are more than a bit muddled.
I have a friend staying over and we're taking a trip into London today to visit the Natural Science Museum.  There's no way we're going to eat in London so I will be taking (for me) some fruit for lunch.  I should get plenty of body magic in though!

Today's plans:
B:  fruit and a yogurt
Because it is quick and easy!
SW free

L:  apple banana and easy peeler
SW:  free

D:  it's a taster at group this evening and I've made a chicken and mushroom risotto, a Pinch of Nom recipe that said for four but has made enough to take for the taster plus three individual portions for the freezer!!!
I have to work out the syns exactly but it won't be more than two if I count the parmesan as a healthy extra.

Ss:  probably none.

Body Magic:  plenty of walking today.

Weigh in this evening.  I wonder how much I have managed to claw back.  I don;t feel particularly 'thinner' but I've stick to the plan so fingers crossed.

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Wednesday, 30-10-19

Good morning.

Firstly, a feedback on the spiced pumpkin cake for taster evening tomorrow.  Don't bother.  It smelt wonderful while cooking but tasted of very little and the texture was like a stodgy pud without the heaviness.  Some things don't take a compromise and I guess cake is one of them.
If I doubled the flour (which is possible and it would still be syn-reasonable) the texture might be better but there was a lack of depth, probably because of the artificial sweetner.
For once in my life, I wasted food as it went straight in the bin.  Ah, well.
I shall take a chicken, sausage and mushroom risotto instead.  I know that works, it's a thermomix recipe so very easy and better for us as well!

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

L:  soup of some kind and fruit
I'll probably roast some veg - onion, carrot, squash and sweet potato, then add some stock and some butterbeans and zizz it all up to smooth.  I might add some spice like cumin and coriander too.

D:  baked salmon, SW style chips, veg
Nice and simple.
SW:  hopefully, free, unless I treat myself to a few syns for some oil to make the chips - it'll be a maximum of three.

Ss:  fruit, probably

BM:  an hour of PT with Lindsey

I know - a complete absence of healthy extras.  Normally, I would add some milk to the soup but I have a friend staying who can't have dairy and I'm not confident enough about soya milk.
Once in a while won't hurt and, at a pinch, I could afford two syns and milk to make a nice choccy drink before bedtime.  I'll see how I feel then.

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Tuesday, 29-10-19


Yesterday's food:
I had planned breakfast but wasn't hungry so didn't have it then.  I do find the later afternoons a difficult time so I thought I could have it then  and put dinner back a bit.   However, s*d's law, dectated that when it came to it and with a filling dinner in the offing, I really wasn't hungry.  A few calories saved, I guess.

Lunch was absolutely lovely.  Tasty and satisfying with added speed as I found a bag of watercress in Asda - well, bought a bag, I should say!

Dinner was absolutely fab.  It looked such a lot and was very filling but, apart from the noodles, it was all free food.  Daft as it sounds, if I'd had proper (dried) noodles, pasta or rice, it would have been completely free but a fair bit more calories.
I guess they might make the noodles a free food at some point.
And the actifry did the parsnips beautifully in just over twenty minutes with no need to fuss over them.  I took the paddle out and just shook them once.

The walk around part of Chelmer Village was lovely.  As I guessed, it actually took more like forty five minutes and I had a stroll around Asda after that.  And now I've earned my gold body magic award!

We have a taster session at SW on Thursday.  I've been searching for an appropriate recipe (given that it's hallowe'en) that doesn't take too much hassle and found a likely looking recipe on Pinch of Nom for spiced pumpkin cake.  I'll give it a go today and if it doesn't work, I have time to find something else.

Today's meal plans:
B:  boiled eggs and toasty soldiers
The same as yesterday.
SW:  four syns for the toast

L:  tomato soup
(home made, of course)
SW:  half a healthy extra A (or maybe less) for some milk

D:  tuna and mushroom noodles; broccoli, cauliflower
An easy one.  Cook the vegetables.  Saute onion, pepper and mushrooms, melt in some philly super-light with a bit of milk if needed and seasonings - probably a pinch of mustard and some parsley, add some flaked tuna and a dash of lemon juice and maybe wilt some shredded spinach.  I don't particularly like the stuff but I have some and it needs eating up.  Heat the noodles (left over from yesterday) and serve.
SW:  that'll be one syn for the noodles and three syns for 75g philly lightest (or I might cheat and call it some healthy extra A as it used to be until the start of this year.

Ss:  fruit, yogurt

Body Magic:  Salsacise, maybe a walk to Morrisons the long way. I think I'm going to invest in a little pocket diary to record my exercising for next year.  At the moment I do it on the PC but a little diary would be much more immediate, wouldn't it?

Monday 28 October 2019

Recipe: Leftover roast ragu

Dead easy and tasty too.
As always, amounts are variable, depending on how much you want/have.

spray oil
onion, finely chopped
carrot, finely grated
shredded greens (I used a couple of sprouts)
strips of red pepper
mushrooms, sliced
chopped tomato (zizzed into a passata, if you want)
tomato puree
garlic puree
dried mixed herbs
a pinch of cajun spice
red or white wine stock pot
leftover roast meat, cut into chunks
baby spinach, shredded

Make in advance to the flavours develop
Spray some oil into a saucepan, heat, add the onion and carrot with a splack of water, cover, turn dpwn and allow to gently simmer away until the moisture has evaporated and the vegetables are softened.  Then add the shredded greens and the strips or red pepper and continue to cook.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the tomato, the purees, herbs, spices and wine stock pot togethyer.

When the peppers are softening, add the tomato mixture, bring to a gentle boil, add the mushroom, cover and simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes.  Add a splash of water if it gets too thick.
Finally, add the leftover roast meat and the spinach and stir it in.  Taste and add seasoning - I found it needed pepper but not salt.

Set aside, covered, in the fridge as soon as it has cooled.

Reheat to piping hot when needed.

Serve with pasta, rice or noodles and side veg of own choice.

Monday, 28-10-19

Good morning.
Yesterday's food went really well - in fact, the whole week is going well and I'm so hoping for a loss on Thursday so I can start making good the damage I did in the previous three weeks.  I've been very good and not stepped on those scales once.

I have some leftover roast lamb - three cheers - so I've been googling recipes.  There's quite a lot out there but I know what I will do with it now.

More cheers for Morrisons.  I took a trip there yesterday a.m. because I was out of mint sauce and they had several veggies on special at 30p a bag or unit.  So I got carrots (needed), parsnips, broccoli (needed) and sweetheart cabbage so no excuses for not having enough F&V this week

Today's plans:
B:  boiled eggs and toasty soldiers, piece of fruit
A nice, easy, classic breakfast.
SW:  four syns for the toast (because I'm having my healthy B at lunchtime).

L:  ham and cheese toasted wrap, coleslaw;  piece of fruit
Like a skinny quesadilla really or a toastie without bread.  There's a bit of onion, pepper and refried beans left over from Saturday so I will layer with that, then a slice of ham, topped with grated cheddar before folding the top of the wrap over (I've already sprayed the outside) and crisping up in a pan.  I do five or six sprays and then use my pastry brush.  It doesn't save much but, as they say, every little helps
SW:  one healthy extra B and half an A plus one syn for the coleslaw mayo

D:  leftover lamb ragu, protein noodles, roasted parsnips; yogurt
Adapted to work with SW, it's basically a rich tomato and veg sauce with the leftover lamb including onion, carrot, other veg as I fancy and I will use a red wine stock pot with chopped tomato.  I'll use protein noodles instead of pasta.  I will have a side of parsnips because I have them in, I haven't had parsnips for ages and they're tasty!  Another to try in the actifry (which, by the way, made perfect roasties in around 35 minutes yesterday).  Free and not speed but there will be plenty of speed in  the ragu sauce.
SW:  half a syn for some Mullerlight and one syn for the protein noodles

S:  30g cheese for one healthy extra A, fruit

Body Magic:  I've booked a Heart and Sole walk - it says half an hour so it'll probably be more like forty five minutes.  Also some PT exercises.

I'm using lots of leftovers today which makes it pretty frugal or, at least, making the best of what I have.  Yesterday's lamb was lavish because leg of lamb is, but it was so delicious, there's not a bit of meat wasted and there wasn't a lot of fat to chuck either.  I don't do a traditional roast all that often because it's just me, so it's nice to have had a reason for one.

Sunday 27 October 2019

Sunday, 27-10-19

Good morning.  Welcome to British Winter Time.  Yes, I remembered!

The food plans worked really well yesterday.  No photos as for two out of the three I had a guest (or two) and the other was just beans on toast!
The chunky bean and veg soup was just gorgeous and there's enough leftovers for me to have it again for tea today.  It's so nice to be in the soup season again.
As for the quesadillas for dinner, they wend down a treat.  Both kinds has onion and pepper at the bottom and grated cheese at the top, Beth's had spicy refried beans, mashed, and Dad's and mine had spiced up savoury mince.  I have to say the beans worked really well in holding the whole thing together in the wrap while it crisped up in the pan.
Quesadillas is becoming a favourite SW friendly meal for me.

Today's plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt
Nice and simple . . .
SW:  . . . and free

L:  dinner really.  Roast lamb, roasties, broccoli, sweet potato
I do the lamb long and slow so it just falls apart - we all love it like that.  I'm going to try the roasties in the actifry.  It does chips so well, it has to work for roasties too, surely.  Worth a try, anyhow.
SW:  a few syns for some mint sauce.  Not from the garden any more, sadly; that's all died back now.

D:  (tea)  chunky bean and veg soup, croutons, grated cheese
I make the croutons by cutting up a slice or two of bread, spraying all over with oil and then popping in a cool to medium oven to crisp up (or maybe the actifry?).  Sometimes I add some garlic granules or some Cajun spice for a bit of ooomph.
SW:  I'm calling it one healthy extra B for the bread, even though I am using two crustless slices, and I will save the other slice for a snack later on, if needed.  Ditto for the cheese which will be two healthy extra As.

S:  little cheese sandwich (see dinner) or maybe melted cheese on toast, fruit

BM:  I will have a go with the balance ball thingy, once the house is my own again.  Also PT exercises and maybe some salsacise too.  Can't refuse at the very last hurdle, can I, and Monday will be the last day of the eight weeks needed to get the gold award.
Then I shall start the platinum award which is basically the same again, by which time you are said to have proved that exercise is a normal and accepted part of your everyday life.

Saturday 26 October 2019

Saturday, 16-10-19

Good morning, everyone.
Yesterday went fine until the evening when I managed to wolf down more cheese than I should have.
Task no 1 today is to grate the remaining cheese and get it into the freezer.

Breakfast was tasty - leftover beanburger, egg and half a can of baked beans.  I did the egg in a larger pan so it spread and it's covered the burger and beans so you have to use your imagination.  Anyway, it was a great start to the day
Lunch was absolutely lush, as they say.  I'm definitely making that again.  It was roasted butternut squash (I used the actifry so it was quick and more frugal), roasted peppers, tmatoes and onion (leftovers from yesterday) and to them I added a veg stock pot, garlic granules, seasoning and water, boiled it all up for five minutes or so, zizzed it down, pushed it through a sieve, added milk and ricotta and reheated, stirring well. 
Oh, my!!!

It actually made two good portions but, apart from the milk, it was all SW free, so I had the lot!

By the time dinner came along (and this is probably TMI), I was - er - very windy!  I had the jacket potato with the tuna and cheese but decided it would be wise to give the beans a miss.  I didn't take a photo but it was very tasty. 

Today's plans:
B:  beans on toast, easy peeler
One slice of toast and the leftover beans.
SW:  two syns for the bread because I'm using my healthy extra Bs at dinner time.  It's the crustless Kingsmill wholemeal that's three slices for one B so pretty much two syns per slice.

L:  chunky bean and veg soup, apple
More beans - I know, I'm taking a risk!
The soup will have squash, sweet potato, onion, carrot, red pepper, mushroom, peas and a handful of orzo.
SW:  free

D:  quesadillas, tomato and pepper, SW style chips
I'm feeding my dad and my daughter.  Dad and I will have a spicy mince mix and cheese in our quesadillas while Beth will have mashed beans and cheese.
SW:  up to two healthy extra As and one B plus three syns for some oil.

S:  fruit, if I have any

Body Magic:  a walk and some PT exercises. 

I've indulged in one of those exercise balance ball thingies so I have to learn how to use it.  I think I'll leave that until after Dad goes though!

Friday 25 October 2019

Spice mixes

I just thought I'd share this link with you, from the Fat Girl Skinny site.  One of the most useful things I have seen lately and I love the idea of mixing them up as gifts.
Do go and take a look.

Quoting from it:
"We have all the seen the latest hype over companies selling Syn free spice blends. Yes they are a great way to encourage you to try new meals, but they are a very expensive way to create a meal for all of the family. Creating your own spice blends can cost just a few pennies, they can be stored in small jars, labelled and even given away as gifts to fellow Slimming World buddies.

© Quick And Easy Homemade Spice Blends | | Slimming World Recipes & More

It provides instructions for the following mixes.
  • Cajun Spice Blend
  • Italian Spice Blend
  • Chili Spice Blend
  • Fajita Spice Blend
  • Chips And Wedges Spice Blend
  • Gourmet Burger Rub
  • Piri Piri Spice Blend
  • Greek Spice Blend
  • Jerk Spice Blend


    Friday, 25-10-19

    Morning, everyone.

    I'm taking it one day at a time right now and yesterday went well.  I've posted the recipe for the beanburger separately and mentioned how I made the soup in yesterday's post.  Both were really delicious.

    I'd planned today's food but there are leftovers from yesterday so guess what - the plans have changed.  Hope it doesn't sound too odd.

    B:  beanburger, poached or fried egg and baked beans
    SW:  free as I did all the counting for the beanburger yesterday evening and it wasn't much anyway

    L:  red pepper and butternut squash soup
    I have some of the red pepper mixture left over so I shall roast some squash in the actifry, add the peppers, with some stock and zizz it down to a very tasty soup.  Lovely.
    (I have some protein noodles to use up so I might add them when reheating it for lunch for extra filling power
    SW:  free or one syn if I have the noodles

    D:  cheesy tuna jacket potato, the rest of the baked beans; yogurt
    This is what I'd planned for lunch and I'd rather have it than what I had planned for dinner so I am.
    SW:  I think I will be a little piggy and have both my healthy extra As.  The rest is free.

    S:  none

    Body Magic:  a good walk, PT exercises.  I'm now on the last week of the Gold Award so should get it next week.  At least that hasn't crashed and burnt!

    Thursday 24 October 2019

    Recipe: ad hoc bean burgers

    Of course, as soon as one immortalises a recipe in the written word, it no longer remains ad hoc but you know what I mean.  Nothing is too set in stone!

    Start with about 10 cms of leek, 6 cms of carrot, a little bit of a chilli (to own preference) and 60g bread (crust is fine).  Chop it all up roughly and then zizz it down to crumbs.  Pop into a large enough bowl.

    Take around two cups of pulses.  I used kidney beans and pinto beans but whatever you fancy really.  Mush them down and add them to the vegetables.

    Grate 60g strong cheddar and add that too.

    Pop in seasonings.  I used dried parsley, garlic granules, cajun spice, salt and pepper.

    Then just go in with your clean hands (as dear Delia used to say) and squidge it all together.

    I checked the seasonings by frying a bit in a small pan and tasting.  That's when I would have adjusted the seasonings but I didn't need to.

    I was quite prepared to add some beaten egg, flour, whatever to get it to stick together but they weren't needed.

    Shape the burgers, place them on something non stick and chill them in the fridge, covered, until needed.  I used a third cup measure and it made exactly five.  If I had been sensible, I would have used scaled to weigh the mixture and divided by six but there you go.  No common sernse at all!

    At meal time, spray them with a bit of oil, place them in a pan and fry them until the outside is nicely browned and the inside is cooked.

    The above is what I did this time.  Use whatever you fancy in the veg line and also in the spice line.  I think it would be nice with Thai type seasonings and some lime juice or you could go all Indian with curry spices or Italian with Med flavours.

    The slimming world values are:
    each burger is a tiny bit of a healthy extra B (maybe call it half a syn?) for the bread and a under half (call it half) a healthy extra A for the cheddar.

    As you can see, I had it (well, two, in fact, but I forgot to take a photo at first) with chips done the SW way and a pepper, onion and tomato mixture.  Luvverley!
    (apologies for the out of focus-ness)


    I don't think I can be the only person to find accepting a face to face compliment hard, particularly when I know feel it's not deserved.

    Yesterday, I was at personal training when I commented on my age and Lindsey said I looked twenty years younger than that.  Now, I know some of that was exaggeration and I almost scoffed (in a friendly way, obviously) when something stopped me so I just laughed about not feeling like that after the session on the exercise bike (NOT my favourite) and said thank you.

    Later on, I had to go to Morrisons and met one of the ladies who works there who I've known for quite a while through school.  She looked at me and said 'If you lose any more weight, you'll fade away.  You look amazing!'.  Again, I almost said something denying it but stopped myself and said 'thanks' before asking how it was going for her (she does SW too, at a different time).  If I'd pushed it away, she might  not have felt she could tell me she's lost two stones and is so pleased about it.  We'd both have been the poorer.

    This isn't about what they said, it's about my reaction to it.  Both times, I nearly put myself down, nearly said something negative.
    That would have been so rude, so ungrateful and it really set me thinking.  If people are kind enough to say something nice, who am I to hurt them by reacting in such a way.  It's not only rude, it's ungrateful and like a slap and, goodness knows, we need all the kindness we can get in this world of ours.

    So I feel encouraged.  Encouraged because people made lovely comments and encouraged because I'm learning, slowly, to be kind to myself as well as appreciating and being kind to others.  You shouldn't build yourself up by pushing others down but neither should you do the reverse - put yourself down but build others up.

    Love others as you love yourself.
    Worth working on, isn't it?

    Thursday, 24-10-19

    Good morning, everyone.
    Yesterday was SW group (because pottery has started again so I can't go Thursdays) and, yes, it was a disaster.  For the first time, I'm not saying but it was not good, not good at all.  The line has been drawn though, as you know, so it's all downhill from now on!

    I changed my plans yesterday.  When I went to the freezer, I say a pasta bake thing that I had frozen (home made/leftovers) so I had that for lunch and then made a SW recipe for chicken, bacon anbd mushroom risotto which was really nice with some broccoli.

    I then used the broccoli stem to make some soup that I will be having today.  Nice.

    Here's today's plans:
    B:  'fried' tomatoes on toast, apple
    I put fried in inverted commas because it's not really.  I spray the bread with oil and then pop it under the grill to crisp up.  It's nicer than just toast.  I still have tomatoes ripening in the bowl inside so this is a very frugal breakfast.
    SW:  half a healthy extra B for one slice of bread.

    L:  broccoli soup, orange
    To make this I boiled up half an onion, a bit of carrot, the broccoli stem and some veg stock and then zizzed it down.  It came out very thick so I will slacken it with some milk and a bit of ricotta for a slightly cheesy flavour.  Very frugal and it'll taste great.
    SW:  half a healthy extra A for the milk

    D:  beanburger, veg (probably red peppers) and SW chips
    I'm not sure if Beth is having dinner with me or not this evening (because of going on to pottery together) but, assuming she is, I may as well make this a vegetarian day.
    I'll make the beanburgers by zizzing together onion, carrot, pulses (from the freezer), breadcrumbs, egg, grated cheese and seasonings before shaping and chilling.  I have loads of red peppers* and will make the SW style chips in the actifry.
    SW:  a bit vague until I actually make them but I will use the other half of my healthy B on the breadcrumbs and some of the remaining one and a half As on the cheese.  It'll probably need some flour so that will be a few syns.

    S:  none

    BM:  salsacise and PT 'homework'

    * I have loads of peppers because the other day in Morrisons they had bozes of 'too good to waste' peppers at £1 for seven peppers - six red and one yellow.  They also had a box of seven oranges for the same price.
    I don't know about 'too good to waste' bit these were too good to leave.

    Wednesday 23 October 2019

    Wednesday, 23-10-19

    Good morning.

    Just a quick one as I have Matt the Plumber here doing 'plumby' things.

    B:  yogurt and fruit

    L:  veg soup

    D:  salmon, veg and actifry chips

    S:  fruit

    BM:  it's personal training day today!

    Tuesday 22 October 2019

    Tuesday, 22-10-19

    Ooops - really sorry.  I posted the entry for the other blog in here by mistakes.  I've sorted it now so all is straight again.

    Today's plans
    B:  marmite on toast
    . . . just because I fancied it.
    SW:  one healthy extra B

    L:  some sort of soup
    . . . which will be SW free

    D:  I made a right hash of the cheese sauce yesterday, getting the amounts all wrong so I shall make the same thing again because I was really looking forward to it.
    So that's two healthy extra ASs and one syn for cornflour

    S:  fruit

    Body Magic:  Swimming and aqua.

    Monday 21 October 2019

    Monday, 21-10-19

    Good morning!
    Well, since the end of my holiday it's all been pretty much a SW disaster with way too much food and drink (of the wrong kind).  So much for Stoptober!  It's going to be No-vember instead, I guess.
    It just goes to show that planning is not the only thing it takes and when you're feeling down, sometimes it all just falls apart.
    I was wondering why and think it might have been because yesterday would have been Mum's birthday.  Sorry if I go on a bit about mum but I guess I'm still working through it all.

    If I hadn't been pretty active over these times, I'd be seriously worried (instead of just a bit) but I've woken with renewed motivation so on we go!

    I've been through the fridge and, although it's not very frugal, all the naughty things have now gone.

    So, again, another month getting nowhere but I'm not giving up.

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

    L:  chunky bean and veg soup, bread to dunk
    Home made, filling and packed with veg
    SW:  one healthy extra B

    D:  cauliflower cheese, savoury mince
    I will use my home made sauce that has no oil/butter in the making
    SW:  both healthy extra As for the cheese sauce and one syn for the cornflour

    Body Magic:  a walk and some PT exercises

    Later edit.  I might use some protein noodles and make a sort of noodle lasagne with cauliflower on the side instead.

    Saturday 19 October 2019

    Saturday, 19-10-19


    Yesterday's breakfast was lovely.  It's amazing, the difference a bit of fried potato makes; carbs are very satisfactory, aren't they?  I had a couple of quite little maris pipers so I gave then four minutes in the microwave, then sliced them, sprayed them and they crunched up in the actifry while I cooked the rest of the breakfast.  It kept me going until lunchtime, for sure.

    Today's plans:
    B:  I have chicken left over from yesterday so I will have that!  Not conventional but it should fill me.
    SW:  free

    L:  I'm off to Hyde Hall with a friend and will eat there.  They do wonderful soups!
    SW:  no idea, sorry

    D:  it rather depends on what I had for lunch and how filling it was.  I'll grab something from the freezer, if necessary, just making sure it is healthy, etc!

    Ss:  Fruit

    Body Magic:  Lots of walking today.  Lovely!

    Friday 18 October 2019

    Friday, 18-10-19

    Good morning.

    Yesterday's food worked out well.  The soup sort of evolved as I was making it and ended up containing onion, sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin puree, one of my mini chillies, some stock, some light coconut milk, garlic granules and a few dribs and drabs of tikka curry paste (goodness knows how the jar got put back in the fridge, there was so little there I had to swish the inside with water to get it all out) plus water and seasonings.  Oh, and some Philadelphia light - I almost forgot that.
    I liked it so much that I have frozen most for the bonfire lunch and have reserved just one more portion for today.
    It's quite 'strong' and a small helping is enough - perfect for a lunch.
    The coconut milk was four and a half syns, the korma paste was one syn max, the Philly four syns and the rest was free food so, once shared out, each portion is about one and a half syns, if that.  Fine by me!

    I really didn't want to make a bigger crustless quiche so I rootled in my cupboard and found a couple of small, square shaped dishes that proclaimed that they were suitable for the oven on the base.
    For each one (one for me and one for Beth), the custard took one egg, a dollop or ricotta, some garlic granules, a pinch of mustard powder and some seasoning plus each one used 45g finely grated cheddar, shared between the custard and over the top.  Plus the filling, of course.
    I'm really glad to have sorted out amounts for one portion and, given the filling is syn free, all it takes is one and a half healthy extra As.  And it was just the right amount!

    Today's plans:
    B:  bacon, egg, tomato and mushroom
    SW:  free and filling

    L: spicy bonfire soup, apple
    As described above.
    SW: one and a half syns for the soup.

    D:  Curried chicken and cauliflower bake
    I found this recipe on the SW Lifeline Online site.  If you can get onto the site, here's the link.
    If you can't, sorry,
    I plan to have it with the rest of the protein noodles (which were fine, a reasonable sub for the real thing and I will continue to use them on occasion) and I feel very virtuous because I will add the spinach that the recipe requires, even though it really isn't my favourite veg.
    <gives halo a polish>
    SW:  one syn for the noodles

    Ss:  fruit

    Body Magic:  An hour of personal training with Lindsey.

    Thursday 17 October 2019

    Thursday, 17-10-19

    Good morning.  I'm back, day planned and raring to go although I have been sensible and cancelled the aqua class I intended to go to.

    B:  scrambled eggs
    I just want to take it a little bit easy and I love scrambled eggs anyway.
    SW:  free

    L:  Pumpkin soup (trying out a recipe), apple
    This will be a cheat as I'm using canned pumpkin, but it should be free.  I might add some philly light at the end because I have some to use up and that will need to be synned.
    SW:  25g of philly light is two syns

    D:  crustless quiche, roasted tomatoes, mini roasties
    I have Beth to dinner this evening and, maybe, for lunch too so it's all vegetarian unless I add a bit of ham to my quiche.
    SW:  both healthy extras for cheese  and the roasting will be much more innocent than it sounds as I shall use spray oil.

    Ss:  fruit

    BM:  a walk

    Wednesday 16 October 2019

    Wednesday, 16-10-19

    Good morning.  No plans today as the old tum is playing up.  I'll be back tomorrow, fit and well again, I am sure.

    Tuesday 15 October 2019

    Tuesday, 15-10-19

    Good morning!

    A few days ago, in out local SW Facebook group the question was asked:
    "What are your top tips for getting active for free"
    Here's my answer.

    Walk more instead of taking the car. Aim for a brisker pace.
    Run up and down stairs.
    Don't 'pool' things at the foot of the stairs until there's enough to make a journey - take things up singly, as and when (and run).

    March or jog on the spot for a time while watching telly in the evening.
    Press ups against the kitchen work surface while waiting for the kettle or pan to boil.
    Ditto with squats/plies/that sort of thing, using the sink or work surface for balance..
    Jog from room to room or do 'ministry of silly walks' - but not when there's anyone looking!!
    Sweep the leaves up in the garden energetically.
    Consider doing Parkrun or Heart and Sole. Both are free and very sociable. Google for more info.
    Think about starting C25K. You don't have to do it all, just the first few weeks are great exercise - and it's free! I haven't the courage to jog around the area so I just do it at home.
    Look for exercise clips on YouTube. There's loads there and - guess what - free! Or borrow a friend's exercise DVD.

    As I typed away, I realised that I do all these things now, it's no longer just head stuff..  I've gone from a sit on my bum, inactive person to one who just does move a lot more.  It's a bit unbelievable as I've never, ever been a sporty type and one tends to equate 'active' with 'sporty'/'team game' stuff which holds no attraction for me whatsoever.
    I'm glad it's happened though!

    Yesterday's food went well apart from some accidental feta (who am I kidding?) but, because I didn't have the planned breakfast, I think it all evened out more or less OK.  Dinner was good.  I used a small lasagne dish and put in  first of all a layer of softened leek rings.  On top of that went some very thinly sliced ham, then the cooked broccoli and cauliflower and finally the cheese sauce.  It went in the oven for about fifteen minutes.  What with some carrots and sprouts on the side, it was very filling and I only had half of it (although I'd counted the whole) so I have half for breakfast this morning maybe with a bit more ham and a fried egg.

    Today's plans:
    B:  a cooked breakfast.  
    As described above, half of the ham and veg cheesy bake with added ham and a fried egg on top.
    SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese and half a syn for the cornflour used to make the sauce.

    L:  roasted carrot, tomato and lentil soup; piece of fruit
    I have some soup left over from yesterday too.  The amount I made was enough for three so Beth and I shared lunch together and it sorted out today as well.

    D:  bolognaise with protein noodles.
    I saw these protein noodles in Tesco and was intrigued enough to buy a couple of packs.  Warning, they are NOT cheap.  Also I have no idea what they're like (although reviews seem favourable) but you have to give them a go, don't you?  It might be useful if you want to go SP for a few days.  Anyway, I'll let you know!
    I will use one of my frozen portions of cooked savoury mince and some veg on the side.
    SW:  one heA for grated cheese on the mince and one syn for the noodles

    Ss:  fruit

    Body Magic:  I have an aqua class booked today.  Nice!

    Monday 14 October 2019

    Monday, 14-10-19

    Good morning.
    Back again after a short blogging break.  Last week's holiday was lovely.  I swam lots, walked for miles and miles and, unfortunately, ate and drank way too much.  Ditto for this last weekend at Dad's.   Stoptober didn't happen!  Ooops.  So it will be pounds and pounds on again but there you go!

    Still, I'm back onto it now.
    I have a nice lean gammon joint thingy that I bought before going away.  It's pressure cooking as I type this and I intend to use the slices over the next week.  It's something that keeps well (in the fridge) for a fair bit longer than most cold meats and it will be good to have some nibbling protein for those hungry times.

    Today's plans:
    B:  porridge with fruit and yogurt
    It's cold enough now to go for porridge, proper porridge rather than overnight oats, waffles or anything else oaty!  Back to basics with something frugal, filling and comforting!
    SW:  one healthy extra B

    L:  roasted tomato, carrot and lentil soup
    The roasting is a bit of a luxury but it does add so much to the flavour.  I put  carrots cut into bits and some onion in a roasting dish or the actifry (which I will use as it uses less power than turning on t'oven), spray it all with oil and roast it until the edges are just starting to char a bit.  Then I boil it all up with some lentils, a can of chopped tomatoes, some stock and some seasonings and zizz it smooth.  It should make enough for two so I can share it with Beth and if I want a bit more oomph, I can add some shreds of ham to mine.
    SW:  should be free and also reasonably frugal - even the ham wasn't too costly and it's considerably cheaper than buy packs of pre-cooked stuff.  Tastes better too.

    D:  ham/cauliflower/broccoli cheese bake, carrots.
    I'll make some cheese sauce using milk and cheese for my healthy extras with up to two level tbsps of cornflour.  I described how I make cheese sauce here.
    There's some lovely autumnal veg in the shops at the moment and I indulged a bit.  None of them are shockingly expensive though, so I feel virtuous, not guilty!
    SW:  the cheese and the milk should be my two healthy extras while the cornflour will be two syns or less.

    Ss:  fruit, ham

    Body Magic:  a walk the long way round to Morrisons, salsacise, maybe a week one thingy from C25K (but at home, not out in the streets).
    What with all the exercise last week on holiday, I'm well up on getting my Gold Award and don't want to let it slip now!  I've booked three aqua classes this week which should help as well as keeping up the swimming and, if last weeks over-eating causes a gain this week (if???  I mean when), at least I know the exercise is being kept up!
    I've also asked about what one has to do for the last fitness award, the Platinum level, as the requirements seem more than a bit vague.  It seems that generally it's another stretch of Gold level by which time it is assumed that exercising in various ways is a part of ones life and will continue to be a part.

    Dad's going to come to me in a fortnight rather than me going up to him so that means I have four weeks at home now to undo all the damage and move on.  Plenty of time!

    Thursday 10 October 2019

    Thursday, 10-10-19

    I'm taking a few days away from blogging but  I'll be back soon.

    Wednesday 9 October 2019

    Wednesday, 09-10-19

    Good morning!

    Well, there's two more days of holiday, including today, so it's time to look at what I have left in fridge and cupboard and plan accordingly.  No SW values for the next few days!

    Today's food:
    B:  pumpkin oat waffles with berries and natural yogurt, apple and easy peeler (may have those last two as snacks later on.

    L: cheese and bacon toastie with a side salad; apple

    D:  chunky steak (from a can), chips, broccoli; yogurt

    Ss:  fruit

    Body Magic:  swim and a nice long walk

    Tuesday 8 October 2019

    Recipe: tuna cheese melt

    Ingredients to make enough for one large portion or two smaller ones:
    canned tuna - I used one of the 60g no drain cans of tuna and it was the perfect amount
    40g finely grated lighter cheddar (or 30g of the usual) - one healthy extra A
    1 level tbsp lighter than light mayo - half a syn
    pinch mustard powder
    a few onion and garlic granules
    salt (not much) and black pepper
    two slices from a small wholemeal loaf - one healthy extra B (
    spray oil

    Preheat the grill.
    Mix together the tuna, cheese, mayo and seasonings until it forms a thick paste.
    Toast one side of the bread - this will be the underneath.
    Spray the other side and lightly toast until it feels 'hard'.
    Spread over the tuna mixture, making sure it covers all the corners.  Pop under the grill (on foil, if you like, to prevent any possible drippage) and toast until hot and browned.
    Eat immediately.

    SW values:
    For two:  half a healthy extra A and half a B plus a little bit for the mayo but not enough to make half a syn so forget it!
    For one:  one A, one B and half a syn

    A few ideas for variations - but remember to syn accordingly.
    Add some horseradish instead of some of the mayo
    Mix with tomato puree, add some chopped pepper/mushroom and season with Italian herbs
    Use paprika instead of mustard
    Use to top a jacket potato (pop under the grill to melt the mixture)
    Use with a wrap to make a sort of quesadilla
    Use as a toastie filling (with some added bacon) - like this . . .

    Tuesday, 8-10-19

    Good morning!

    I really loved the tuna cheese melts I made for lunch and will post the recipe separately.  There's some left over so I think I will have that for breakfast, with bacon, on (or maybe in, like a toastie) a slice of wholemeal.
    One thing I miss on SW is the occasional slice of white bread.  Things like toasties and nbacon sarnies are actually nicer in white but until the day you can buy single slices of whitre bread, like single apples and oranges, it has to be wholemeal!!
    Anyway, it was jolly tasty!

    Today I might have to go off SW a bit.
    B:  a bacon, tuns and cheese toastie (sort of)
    I'm using what's left from yesterday which has already been counted so it's a healthy extra B for the bread.

    L:  No idea.  I'm off the Brandon Country Park and will be having lunch at the tearoom there.

    D:  smoked salmon and broccoli pasta.
    I brought with me a pack of smoked salmon trimmings.  Smoked salmon is never frugal but the trimmings are a lot better value and if you're going to chop it up anyway, you may as well get them as the other.
    This is what I shall do.
    I will set the pasta to boil with some broccoli.  It'll likely colour the pasta but, as it's wholewheat pasta anyway, it won't matter at all.
    Then I will spray fry some onion, pepper, baby corn and mushroom until soft.  When the pasta and broccoli is cooked and drained (reserving a bit of the cooking water), I will add the salmon bits to the onion mix and stir it round, then add some philly light to melt and finally stir in the broccoli and pasta with a bit of the cooking liquid.  I'll add some garlic granules at some point and maybe some lemon juice too. 
    SW:  a year ago, Philly light used to be counted as a healthy extra A before, annoyingly, they took it off the list.  I'm synning it but also counting it as a sub for my As today.  It's two syns for 25g and I'll probably have between four and six syns-worth

    Ss:  fruit

    BM:  a three and a half mile walk around one of the trails in the park

    Monday 7 October 2019

    Monday, 07-10-19

    Good morning.

    Photo diary (yes, I remembered to take photos):
    I loved breakfast - pumpkin oat waffles.  The mixture actually made a whole round plus one more quarter so I had three quarters for breakfast and kept the other two for a 'free' snack later on.  It worked a treat to keep me going after my swim and before I had lunch.

    They come out very cakey so I had an idea and that is to use the recipe and bake it in a small over dish as a sort of tray bake cake.  If not used as a healthy extra B, oats are seven syns for the 40g that it takes so, cut into four, each bit would be two syns  (just under, in fact) or, cut into six, each would be one syn (just over)
    I might try that today.

    Baked beans on toast don't look all that amazing, I agree, but, oh my, they really hit the spot.  Warming, comforting and filling.  Perfect!

    And finally, dinner.  The steak was enormous far bigger than I thought.  You know how package labelling can conceal the contents.  Well that!  It was very, very tender though, really delicious and I managed to force it down!  Well, apart from the fat, of course.  That ended up in the bin because one is not encouraged to feed the wildlife except with 'authorised' stuff.

    Being on holiday, I haven't planned each day specifically but I do have a list of possibles and, from that list, today's plans are:
    B:  bacon and egg open sandwich thingy with mushrooms and tomatoes on the side
    SW:  I will use just one slice of  bread (hence it being 'open') so that's half a healthy extra B

    L:  Tuna cheese on toast; fruit or yogurt
    I shall just mix cheese with drained tuna, toast one half of the bread, spread the tuna over the other half and melt it under the toaster.  I might mix a tiny bit of mayo in with it to make it into a spread.
    SW:  The other half B and one healthy extra A for the cheese

    D:  chicken nuggets, sweet potato chips and salad
    I know, I'm having a lot of chips but that's allowed on holiday (and any other time too but I wouldn't usually! ).  Anyway, these are sweet potato chips.
    SW:  panko breadcrumbs are four and a half syns per 25g but I have no idea how much I will need so I'll work it out as I go. 

    Ss:  fruit and lean protein because it worked so well yesterday in terms of preventing the hunger.

    Body Magic:  I was going to go off site to visit Brandon Country Park this afternoon to walk one of their trails but I think I'll see how the weather works out first.  There's always tomorrow. 
    Swimming also, of course.

    Sunday 6 October 2019

    Sunday, 06-10-19

    Good morning.

    Today was a very active day, very active indeed, and I hit a problem!
    After a lovely long swim, I went home (back to the apartment, I mean) and I was so, so very hungry!  I had my planned lunch plus an extra orange, thoroughly enjoyed my longer walk around the village outskirts in the sunshine but was even more hungry way before dinner time.  I sort of contained it with some olives (rather a lot! - they were lovely) and a big bag of my favourite salted popcorn (I was so tempted to have crisps and chocolate) and then had my healthy extras in the form of a cheese sandwich.  I was way too tired to cook any dinner and was in bed and asleep before eight as it had been an early start to the day.  I never sleep too well frst night in a different bed.
    It was all very haphazard although, with all the exercise, I don't believe I went too badly over in calories.

    I think I need to up the carbs a bit more while I'm being so active  as it was carbs I was 'craving' so I will spend more of my syns than I usually do and the next few days certainly won't be anywhere near SP days.  Also, I have various SW free protein things in cans like tuna, M&S chunky steak, etc, and will use them, if needed.  Go with the flow and make it work for me!

    The only meal I took a photo of was breakfast; It was lovely!
    (yes, I did cut the fat off the bacon!)

    Here's today's plans.

    B:  pumpkin oat waffles with berries and a good dollop of yogurt; maybe an easy peeler too
    SW:  one healthy extra B

    L:  cheesy baked beans on toast, apple, orange
    SW:  one healthy extra A and six syns for the bread

    D:  steak and cheesy chips are on the menu; then a Mullerlight
    I had prepped the chips in the afternoon and put them in water so I must have them today or chuck them and I'm not doing that!  After such a long soak, they should come out all nice and crunchy!
    SW:  four syns for 2 tsps of oil and one for two tsps Dijon mustard.  Maybe two syns for some super low mayo to dunk the chips.  Also one healthy extra A for the cheese.

    Ss:  fruit or as described above, protein-y things.

    Body Magic:  The weather is forecast to be dreadful today, mostly torrential rain, so I guess I won't be walking the distance I did yesterday but I will get out - after all, what's an umbrella for, eh?  Plus, of course, the swim. 

    Fingers crossed today is more organised!  :-)

    Friday 4 October 2019

    Saturday, 05-10-19

    Good morning.
    Here I am, comfortably settled at Center Parcs in my very pleasant apartment, sitting up in bed, coffee to hand and with absolutely no commitments whatsoever for a whole week.  Oh, what a hard life, eh?

    The food worked out more or less as planned yesterday except that I bought a wholemeal mini baguette which I counted as my healthy extra B plus six syns (I had it neat and it was lovely and fresh) and the bits and bobs roasted dinner was really tasty.  There was so much chicken that I took a bit out to go into the soup today.

    Today's plans:
    B:  a cooked breakfast of bacon, egg and tomatoes - and I will get the bacon on my early morning walk to also get the paper.
    SW:  three syns for half a tbsp oil

    L:  roasted squash and lentil soup (with that bit of added chicken), piece of fruit
    I made this earlier on in the week too and it's really is very delicious!
    SW:  free

    D:  steak, SW friendly chips and a simple salad, yogurt
    No actifry, of course, so I'll have to make the chips the old fashioned way.
    SW:  I might spend a syn or two on some dijon mustard - I tried to look the syns up yesterday evening but kept getting an error message so maybe there was a problem with the site.  The yogurt will be two syns

    Ss:  fruit.  I also have two healthy extra As and one B but might just skip them today.

    Body Magic:  well, loads of walking and loads of swimming.  I'll probably take the stairs rather than the lift too.

    And finally - what does a Slimming World girl take on holiday with her?
    These, of course!  Excuse me while I polish my halo!

    Friday, 4-10-19

    Good morning!

    Today's good news is that at Slimming World yesterday I weighed in at two pounds lighter with nine pounds to go!  I'm now in new territory again and the challenge is to maintain that on holiday.
    Fortunately, it's self catering and a solo holiday so it's all down to me and no-one else.  That doesn't ensure success, of course, but it makes it a bit more likely.  I've gone for a sober October - I think it's called Stoptober - which should make a big difference and have decided to spend a bit on nice fruit, veg and very lean protein. 
    And, of course, there's all that swimming and walking!  Lovely!

    Today's plans:
    B:  I have soft fruit to use up as I don't want to risk them squidging on the journey so I will have them with some yogurt.
    SW:  free

    L:  This is a problem as I will be on the road so I think I will just skip it and when I'm there and in to my apartment I'll have some fruit and some milk
    SW:  one healthy extra A

    D:  chicken baked on roasted Med veg, yogurt
    This is very frugal.  Last night I got lucky.  I popped into Morrisons for a few last minute things and a lady was yellow stickering some thing.  Most were ready meals but there was one pack of chicken breast fillets.  I asked how much that would be, she checked and - 53p.  Well, you can't say no to that, can you?  When I get there, I'll wrap one and freeze it for later on in the week.
    The veg will be onion, squash, red pepper, baby corn, mushroom and tomatoes.
    SW:  four syns for two tsps of olive oil and half a syn for the yogurt

    Ss:  none, I hope.

    BM:  Well, there will be a lot of to-ing and fro-ing getting the car loaded and then unloading the other end.  I might have a swim but I will definitely have a walk around - I'll need one after being stuck in the car!

    Wednesday 2 October 2019

    Thursday, 03-10-19


    Yesterday's food went well.  The soup at lunchtime was delicious and the squash was so easy to roast in the actifry. 
    In the end I just had chicken and tomatoes with a cheesy topping for dinner and that filled me up.

    Today's plans:
    B:  boiled eggs and toast
    SW:  one heal;thy extgra B for the toast

    L:  fruit and yogurt
    My usual weigh day lunch

    D:  Not sure - something from the freezer, I think, as most of the fresh stuff will be sorted out ready to pack tomorrow.  I have that pizza quarter from last weekend for four syns so maybe that will do.

    Ss:  fruit

    Body Magic:  I cancelled aqua because I have an appointment with a replacement window company and won't have time for aqua too.  It's a busy day today!

    I may not post tomorrow as I'll be on my way but I will be keeping to SW over the holiday and posting in here will really help me stay on track.

    Wednesday, 02-10-19

    Good morning.

    Well, the girls' lunch was brilliant.  The lower fat version of macaroni cheese went down a storm, everyone had seconds (apart from me - can you see my halo shining?) and one of us even had thirds.  Beth took the little bit that was left home with her.  There were no chips left (I love my actifry) and no salad!  Although I say it myself, it really was a success.
    So I actually had less than I had allowed for and 'costed' out, which is great and meant that I could afford the little bit of cheese spread I had on my roll for tea without synning it.

    And I thoroughly enjoyed the ham salad roll too.

    Today's plans:
    B:  Waffle omelette with fried tomatoes on the side.
    This is another amazing Slimming Eats recipe that you can find here.  I think I only have red peppers and I might add a few bits of chopped mushroom to the mix.  The tomatoes will be cooked in spray oil.
    SW:  free and SP friendly

    L:  roasted butternut squash and red lentil soup, apple
    I have my personal training over lunch time so I will make this beforehand and eat it afterwards.  I have some fresh butternut squash and will roast it in the actifry.  I might add a bit of ricotta cheese to the soup before serving.
    SW:  free and SP friendly.  I'm not counting the splash of milk as it is such a little bit

    D:  cheesy chicken and tomato, broccoli, runner beans
    I will defrost a chicken fillet, season it with salt, pepper, onion and garlic granules, top it with sliced tomatoes and let it bake until cooked (first covered and then uncovered to allow the tomato juice to evaporate away.  Then cover it with some grated cheese and melt that in the oven or under the grill.  Should be tasty - a bit like a simplified hunters' chicken.
    SW:  the cheese will be up to two healthy extra As

    Ss:  tomatoes, maybe a Mullerlight for half a syn

    Body Magic:  an hour with Lindsey

    Tuesday 1 October 2019

    Tuesday, 01-10-19

    Good morning.

    Yesterday, I had a good go at a butter free cheese sauce that works with SW and still tastes good and cheesy.
    What I ended up with was quite nice, definitely more of a cheese sauce than the SW one with its egg, cottage cheese, quark, whatever (I think) but it does 'cost' more.  You pays your money and takes your choice, as the saying goes.
    Apologies for no photos - you'd think I would remember by now!

    I used cornflour rather than plain flour at half the syns.  I used skimmed milk that I synned because I used both my healthy extras on strong cheese, 50g for the sauce and 10g finely grated for sprinkling over the top of the dish I was making.
    This is what I did (using my Thermomix).
    Into the bowl I put 50g strong cheddar, cubed and one and a half level tbsp cornflour for one and a half syns.  I used the pulse for 2 x 1 second to finely chop the cheese and mix the flour well with the cheesy bits.  Then I added 125mls semi skimmed milk for three syns, a good pinch of mustard powder and some black pepper (use white if you don't want the black specks).  No salt as the cheese is salty.   I forgot about nutmeg and next time I will add some of that too
    I set the thermomix for eight minutes at 90C speed 2 and off we went.  You can hear when the sauce thickens; the sound changes.
    Then I tasted to see if any salt was needed (it wasn't) and added a dollop of ricotta (SW free) and gave it another minute at the same temp.

    It's a bit more onerous without a Thermione!
    Grate all the cheese and take off 10g's worth if you are using it in a dish and need some cheese over the top.  If not, use the lot for the sauce.
    Mix the cornflour with the grated cheese until all the 'grates' are coated and the flour is well distributed.
    Pop it into a saucepan (non stick would be great if you have one), add the other ingredients apart from the salt and ricotta, and heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.  Try not to let it actually boil.  Then taste and season if needed, pop in the ricotta and stir/whisk until is it well distributed and back up to just under boiling.

    What I did with it was I pre-cooked some broccoli and some sprouts (not enough broccoli and sprouts to use up, you see), popped them in an ovenproof dish, poured over the sauce, added the grated cheese and baked it at 180C until the top started browning.

    I'm sure it would be lovely made with some cream and some butter too, but this worked for me really well.  It's not SW free, one portion is two healthy extra As and four and a half syns, but for the occasional cheesy sauce, well worth it.  I think so, anyway!
    I'll post it separately as a proper written out recipe at some point.

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

    L:  A girls' lunch but at mine so I have the power (mwah, ha, ha)
    We're having macaroni cheese sauce (which is why I was trying that cheese sauce), actifry chips and a salad, followed by a fruit platter.
    A bit high on the carbs, I know, but it is an inclusive menu, working for everyone including a SWer and a vegetarian.  I'll have salad dressing on the table but will give it a miss myself.
    SW:  both my healthy As and four and a half syns.  Worth every penny!

    D:  well, who knows?  If there are leftovers of chips and salad, I might have them with the one lonely slice of ham I have in the fridge (I'll give Beth any leftover macaroni cheese) and, if no,t I do have my healthy extra B lefty so I might make a ham salad wrap, pitta or roll with a finger salad.
    SW:  depends on what I have really but I'm hoping it won't be more than the B

    Ss:  I might have a Mullerlight for supper

    Body Magic:  that's a bit trickier to fit in but I hope to do an inside session of C-5K later on today, trying out the new running shoes I bought yesterday and with the bone conduction earphones I also bought (a bit ouch but the bank manager will get over it)

    Fingers crossed that it all works out!