Friday 31 January 2020

Friday, 31-01-20

Good morning.

Yesterday was interesting.  I had a pretty large breakfast which really filled me up so by lunchtime (which is around two on restricted eating) I really wasn't hungry so just had some fruit.
Dinner had to be a bit earlier because of pottery and I couldn't manage all of it.  I had added onion and peppers to the recipe so, to be fair, it did make rather a lot so I now have a portion of sauce and vegetables to which I can add meat for another meal.  I'll plan it in next week.

They say this can happen on RE and quite a lot of people end up having two meals a day instead of three.  I can't see me doing that but now and again, when the timetable encourages it (or dictates it), and appetite prompts, it won't hurt.

Today's plans
B:  savoury rice, yogurt drink
Have to - I got it out of the freezer yesterday and I'm not wasting it.
SW:  two syns

L:  pizza and salad.
I had a go at a pizza base and, if it works, I'll post the recipe
SW:  one heA, one B

D:  Out at the Millstream with Dad.  I've looked at the menu but will see how I feel when I get there.

S:  easy peelers

BM:  a walk

I shall do my best to stick to plan this weekend but today I won't be able to be totally on it all the time.  Saturday and Sunday should be possible.

Thursday 30 January 2020

Thursday, 30-01-20

Good morning.

Breakfast:  to my shame, I discovered that the bacon bits were - er - shall we say a bit on the geriatric side as soon as I opened the pot so they went straight in the bin.  Luckily, I had some turkey rashers and they are also SW free so I chopped a couple of those and, actually, they were really rather tasty in the omelette.  I will remember that.

I had dinner at lunchtime.  The marinade for the salmon was yogurt, paprika, cumin, coriander and lime juice and it went really well with the salmon (yes, I had two pieces but they were quite small and anyway, I was hungry!).
I had forgotten that the Chubby Cubs dirty rice had some beef n t so it was a fair old mix of protein but the two went surprisingly well together.

To my relief, the day's eating went well and I'm proper back on track after Tuesday's treat.  I managed not to eat after governers' meeting, thankfully.
Onward and downward!
(only one more day to use this divider before I change to a February themed one!)

Here are today's plans.
B:  cooked breakfast - bacon, egg, baked beans, mushroom and potato waffle; mini yogurt drink
A biggie to break a longer than usual fast.
SW:  the potato waffle (which I will toast) is two syns and the yogurt drink is two as well

L:  savoury rice and I will chop in some turkey rashers for extra flavour; piece of fruit
The savoury rice is from the freezer and I was surprised at how much flavour the turkey rashers brought to the omelette yesterday so fingers crossed it does the same today.  There's plenty of speed veg in the rice, so that's OK.
SW:  free

D:  creamy one pot pork pasta, side salad; yogurt
This is another recipe from the wonderful Slimming Eats site which I thoroughly commend to you for ideas, flavours, variety and colour!
SW:  I'm going to use the 35g Philly light the recipe needs as half a heA although it isn't really nowadays.  It could also be 3 syns.

S:  fruit

Body Magic.  maybe a walk, maybe something online plus a pile of ironing and housework.

it's a bit carb high today but never mind!
just half a heA so I must see where I can slide in some other healthy extras - maybe some cheese on the savoury rice?
four syns (or seven!)
I'm using plenty of items from the freezer - bacon, savoury rice, potato waffle, pork for the pasta - so it's reasonably frugal in the sense of using up what I have got
the eating window will be between ten and six as it's pottery this evening, making it 8:16

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Wednesday, 29-01-20

Good morning!
I was so pleased yesterday morning when I was Slimmer of the Month for January.  Woo hoo!  It's good motivation for sticking at it and getting back onto plan after yesterday evening's most enjoyable but definitely not SW friendly meal out with my daughter.

After a cocktail, olives and garlic bread, pizza, dessert, cappuccino and my fair share of a bottle of chilled white, I was too full even to want to take the half pizza I left home with me, although at least half the reason was because I want to get straight back on plan immediately and if I had doggy-bag food to use up, I wouldn't.

My system is so used to not eating after seven now that I've not slept well due to a touch of indigestion, but not to worry - it was worth it once in a while.

So, putting the past behind me and moving on in true SW style, here are today's plans.
It's not a straightforward day as there's a governors' meeting starting at six which really does mess up my eating programme but never mind, I'll work around it.

B:   bacon and mushroom omelette, spray fried tomatoes; mini yogurt drink
I have some bacon bits that should be used up soon.
SW:  two syns

L:  tandoori salmon, dirty rice, roasted peppers; fruit
The marinade for the salmon is from the Pinch of Nom book and, while it is baking, I will use the oven heat to spray roast some red pepper as well.  The rice is from the freezer.
SW:  I think the rice is one syn but I'll know when I get it out of the freezer.  The rest is free.

D:  cheesy beans on toast, yogurt
I'll have to have this earlier than usual because of the meeting so the eating window will be smaller than usual.
SW:  one heA and one B

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  a walk

  • one heA and one B
  • three syns (I think)
  • quite a frugal day with some things out of the freezer - even the salmon isn't too bad as Morrisons had (still have) sides of salmon at a very reasonable price and the one I got cut into nine pieces
  • the eating window will be between ten and five thirty (7.5:16.5) although, if I come back from the governors' meeting really hungry, I will have some fruit.  However, after the results of later eating last night, I'm not really inclined to do so tonight!

What are your healthy plans for today?

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Tuesday, 28-01-20


No photos today as the plates weren't all that photo-worthy, but the meals were all very nice.  Especially nice was the chicken for dinner that had been marinated in a mix of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and a few chilli flakes for an hour or so before being baked for half an hour.  Yum.  I did the carrot and parsnip fries in the actifry, of course, and they, also, were tasty.

Today's food plans are:
B:  overnight oats, mini yogurt drink
It's SW group this morning so this will be ready and waiting for me when I get home
SW:  two syns, one heB and half a heA

L:  paprika chicken (from the freezer), fruit
One of the leftover portions from last week's family meal.  It was delicious so I'm looking forward to it
SW:  one syn

D:  Beth's taking me out to . . .
for my Christmas pressy from her.  No way am I sticking to SW for such a treat.  We'll be getting a taxi home again so - yup, dry January will be no more

S:  If I HAVE to, it will be easy peelers but I'm hoping not so I'm good and hungry by dinner time

Body Magic:  a walk

No summary as it's off plan and the eating window will start at eleven after SW group but will end late as the table is booked for seven.

Monday 27 January 2020

Monday, 27-01-20

Yesterday was a great day's eating.  So much for diet food being boring!

I know it doesn't look much , but breakfast (overnight oats) was delicious and creamy tasting.

I was so glad I saved some of the steak from Saturday and, with the dressing, it was delicious.  I was very happy with the dressing and have posted about it separately as I'll be making it again and again.

And this was absolutely great.  The burger itself is two skinny sausages (to be honest, one would have been enough), skins removed, mixed with a bit of grain mustard and some chilli flakes, shaped into a patty.  I wanted a crunchy outer coating; not bread (I'd had my heBs), not polenta (don't have any) so I chose to use couscous which is SW free.  Now, to be fair, the infamous 'tweak' rule says that it should be synned when used like this but I don't have much time for the whole tweak thing so tough.  You should be aware though, if you want to try this and follow the SW rules strictly.
So I egged and couscoused my patty and fried it in spray oil.  Together with a bacon medallion and one cheese of slice, it was super delicious and the dry fried tomatoes and the sweet potato fries (100g for two and a half syns) complimented the burger perfectly and I will definitely be making it again, with or without the bread roll.

Such a tasty day!

Today's food plans are:
B:  bacon, egg, mushrooms and baked beans, mini yogurt drink
Just because it's a wet morning and this cheers me up!
SW:  two syns

L:  bean and veg soup topped with grated cheese, fruit
SW:  one heA

D:  sweet chilli chicken, salad, cajun vegetable chips (parsnip and carrot, done in the actifry); yogurt
The chicken recipe is from one of the SW recipe books.
SW:  the books tells me it is one syn per portion.  If I add 1 tsp oil to the veg chips, that will be a further two syns.

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  a short walk, balance ball exercises

one heA
five syns
reasonably frugal - the 'happy' chicken is from Aldi so less costly that other places
eating window between ten and seven - 9:15

Sunday 26 January 2020

Recipe: creamy horseradish salad dressing

 Ingredients for one large helping or two moderate ones
1 tbsp fat free plain Greek (or other) yogurt, runnier if you want a more pourable thickness
1/2 tbsp low fat mayo (1/2 syn)
1/4 tsp dijon or grain mustard
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp olive oil (one syn)
1/4 tsp horseradish sauce
1/8 tsp sweetener
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp milk to slacken, if wanted

Measure out all ingredients into a small pot or jar and stir well.  Slacken with milk if needed (or use a runnier yogurt).
Store in the fridge until needed.

SW:  the oil is one syn and the mayo is half a syn.  The mustard and the horseradish together come to less than half a syn so you can safely disregard them, especially if it is used for more than one helping.  Ditto for the milk which is half a syn for 20mls, although, if you want to, count all three for one syn which is an over-estimate.
So if you scoff the whole lot, it's only two syns.  I found half of it more than enough

It's quite a punchy dressing, a bit like a caesar dressing and I will be using it like that, perhaps with the addition of a little bit of finely grated parmesan.  It's worth adding a little bit of oil as it does enhance the texture and flavour and I am really, really pleased with the end result.

Sunday, 26-01-20

Good morning!

Breakfast was so lovely - oat waffles with grapes, melon and 0% Greek yogurt.  I could have eaten double!

Not a great photo but this was a big bowl of mixed salad - watercress, lettuce, cucumber, radish, carrot, raw cauliflower and some leftover apple with some leftover tuna and some salmon.  I gave it all a drizzle of bamsamic vinegar which, I have to say, goes so well with apple.
I made up loads of salad and was going to use the rest with my steak . . .
. . . but the steak was massive so I left the salad in the fridge and I also had steak left over so I'm going to thinly slice it and have it with the salad for lunch today.

It was very, very tasty.

I made the sauce by slow frying some thinly sliced onion in spray oil, adding thinly sliced muchroom and continuing to fry until soft.  Then I added some garlic granules, some mustard powder, a bit of black pepper and some Philly light (70g used to be one heA so I'm calling it that).
Really good.

Today's plans:
B:  overnight oats with fruit and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
Same as porridge but cold!
SW:  one heB and half a heA plus two syns for the yogurt drink

L:  sliced cold beef salad, fruit
Mostly leftovers from yesterday.
SW:  I might make a salad dressing with four synsworth of oil although I intend going on to google to search for an oil free (or almost) yogurt based salad dressing of some kind.

D:  pork, bacon and cheeseburger, sweet potato fries, tomatoes
I will use skinny sausages to make the burger patty and the sweet potato fries are frozen bought ones - yes, I've checked the syns!  I will probably spray roast or fry the tomatoes.
SW  One heB (the roll) and half a heA (one cheese slice), 100g fries is two and a half syns and if I have some mayo, it will be another syn.  Oh, nearly forgot, one syn for the sausages I will use to make the patty

S:  fruit

Body Magic.  No idea yet - I'll see what the weather does.

one heA and two Bs
six and a half syns (more if I make salad dressing using oil)
it looks a bit fancy but actually it's not bad, speaking frugally - much better than yesterday anyway!
eating window of ten to seven - 9:15

Saturday 25 January 2020

Saturday, 25-01-20


I had to slightly change breakfast as I thought I had baked beans in the fridge and I didn't.  However, I probably didn't really need them as what I had filled me up for ages.

I did get out for a walk in the afternoon and it ended up as about an hour and a half which I was happy with.

Today's plans.
B:  oat waffles with fruit and yogurt; mini yogurt drink
A weekend treat - waffles.  Yum!
SW:  one heB and two syns

L:  salmon salad, lychees
While out shopping, I saw a side of salmon at a really good price so I got one, of course.  Most of it is in the freezer, cut into portions, but I'm treating myself.
Aldi continues to have lychees as one of their super seven or famous five or whatever they call it.  Obviously, I got some more.  You hardly ever see them in the shops and I do love them so much.  Sadly, not speed but they are 'free' so my conscience is clear!
SW:  two syns for some mayo

D:  steak and chips, mushroom sauce and veg; yogurt
It's the weekend!  Not frugal but a bavette steak is a lot more frugal than a sirloin steak and I haven't had chips for ages!
SW:  two syns for some oil and one heA for 25g Philly light (for the mushroom sauce) - see the summary below

S:  fruit

Body Magic:  a walk, balance ball exercise

one heB and I think I shall be naughty and count the Philly light as a heA rather than syns.  It used to be until they changed it a year ago.  It's still calories, whatever you call it!
six syns (plus the Philly!)
today is NOT a cheap day but . . . the steak is a cheaper cut, the salmon was reduced as above and everything is cooked from scratch so it's not as bad as it looks and could be called frugal in the sense that I'm making the best of what I've got - and I'm having a treat day!
eating window is between ten and seven as usual - 9:15

Friday 24 January 2020

Recipe: cheesy mushroom and chorizo omelette

This is really simple but I thought I'd share it anyway.  It's very flexible and you can add whatever fillings you want.

Ingredients for one:
two deli sized slices of chorizo, chopped (around ten grams - one and a half syns)
one large or two small chestnut (or other) mushrooms, diced or thinly sliced
two eggs
30g strong cheddar, finely grated (one heA)
bit of seasoning, herbs, etc, to taste
spray oil

I also have a molto cheapo omelette maker that I got from Aldi but it's just as simple to make this in the pan.


Place the chorizo in a small pan and heat until the oil starts running.  Then add the mushroom dice and fry for about three minutes, stirring regularly.  Set aside to cool a little.

If using an omelette maker, start to preheat it.

Whisk the two eggs until getting fluffy.  Stir in the chorizo and mushrooms, add the cheese and any seasonings/herbs you fancy.  Be careful with salt because of the chorizo and cheese.  I didn't add any.

Carefully pour the egg mixture into the sprayed omelette maker (or omelette sized pan) and cook.  My machine takes around six minutes.

When done, remove and eat straight away with a side salad.

One and a half syns, one heA and SP friendly

Thursday 23 January 2020

Friday, 24-01-20

Good morning

Thankfully, yesterday worked out really well, it was fine waiting for lunchtime to eat and there were two medium sized portions of casserole and rice left over (now in the freezer so next week will be a pretty easy week, certainly as far as lunches are concerned).

The eating window was pretty small (6 hours) and I'd not usually go as small as that but the occasion demanded it really.  It worked, it was fine, but not something to apply regularly, I think.

Dinner was lovely.  It may have sounded 'light' but it was jolly filling.  I chopped up the chorizo and the mushrooms, dry fried the chorizo until the fat ran, then added the chopped mushroom and cooked it all for a short while.
I whisked two eggs and added the chorizo, mushroom and 30g finely grated cheddar and cooked the omelette in my omelette maker (dead cheap from Aldi)
Looks nice, doesn't it?

Today's plans are:
B:  bacon, egg, beans, tomatoes and toasted potato waffle, mini yogurt drink
The beans are leftovers and need to be used up and the waffle is a Morrisons one (slightly lower in syns than the Birds Eye ones and definitely better value).
SW:  two syns for the waffle and two for the yogurt drink

L:  bean and veg soup (from freezer), roll for dunking; fruit
SW:  one heB

D:  cheeseburger pasta, side salad, fruit and yogurt
Some of what I didn't have on Wednesday and froze
SW:  three syns (oil and mayo), one heA (or maybe more) for the cheese

S:  carrot sticks (I have quite a lot to use up), easy peelers, tuna (half a can that really needs eating up

Body Magic:  My options are a good walk, an inside walk, Lindsey's 15, balance ball and Salsacise.  Decisions, decisions!

one heA and one B, although I may have another heAs-worth of cheese.
seven syns
pretty frugal all round and using up things in the freezer - waffle, soup and dinner
eating window will be betweek ten and seven.  9:15

Thursday, 23-01-20


Lunch yesterday was delicious.  Half a can of tuna in water, drained, and 30g strong cheddar, finely grated.  Mix together with a tiny bit of salad cream and a bit of horseradish.  Spread over lightly toasted bread and grill until browning.  So good!

Sadly, after that, things didn't work out so well.  I don't think I ate too badly but it was way too much and after seven too.  Ah, well, back on track (sort of) today and, most certainly, this evening!

The one pot cheeseburger pasta was a really good recipe, not that I actually ate it yesterday but I did make it.  The quartered amounts actually make loads and loads, enough for two portions really, especially if you apply the principle of half the plate for speed veg.  I've split it into two freezer containers so that's two lunches or dinners sorted for the weekend and/or next week for one syn eack plus whatever cheese I add.
It's also one for family get togethers and SW taster evenings.  Useful.

Today's food plans:
B:  Nothing, because . . .

L:  . . . a family meal to celebrate a visit from a close family member.  Just five of us - not everyone can get here - but I've made a good old chicken paprika casserole which should go down a treat and have some left over for other meals.  I've used three largish chicken breasts, cut into chunks but it also contains so much speed veg and other veg - onion, leek, carrot, celery, sweet potato, mushroom and red pepper plus chopped tomato, bacon and chorizo.  The seasonings are stock, smoked paprika, chilli, onon and garlic granules, mustard, soy sauce and lea and perrins plus the usual salt and pepper.  It's simmering on the hob as I type and it smells fab.  Sides will be rice - I think I will do both white and posh so people can choose - sprouts and peas.  It's totally SW friendly but you'd never know it was 'diet' food (probably because it isn't really!).
Dessert will be fresh fruit and Christmas cake (still trying to use it up and it's just as well it's a good, rich fruit cake so will last for ever).
SW  I won't have the cake so the whole lot should cost about three syns, what with oil and the posh rice.

D:  I didn't have the planned omelette for breakfast yesterday (there simply wasn't time) but I had whisked up the eggs in preparation, so I will have mushroom and chorizo omelette with a good old side salad.  That is, assuming I have room for anything"  I'll add some cheese too for a healthy extra.
SW:  I know chorizo isn't really counted a 'healthy' thing but I buy the thinly sliced stuff and two slices of that is 1.5 syns.  That's more than enough as chorizo goes a long way as far as taste is concerned.  The cheese will be one healthy extra A and any mayo will be a maximum of two syns.

S:  fruit

Body Magic:  it depends if I have time and if I have the energy later on but I might go for a short walk, just to get out, after everyone has gone.

Summary (a bit rough and ready today)
a meat day
just one healthy extra A (ooops)
six syns (plus two for the yogurt drink - I nearly forgot that)
it looks lavish but, actually, isn't shockingly costly really, especially for a family get together and cooking from scratch always reduces the cost
Because I'm skipping breakfast (no time for it before everyone arrives and lunch will need to be at the usual time, not my time!) the window will be 1 (ish) to 7 so 6:18.  Not ideal but I need to firmly apply this one after slipping yesterday!

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Recipe: spicy pasta and meatballs

Ingredients to serve one: 

two Aldi skinny sausages (one syn)
half an apple, grated
one tsp grain mustard (1/2 syn)
a very little plain flour for dusting hands

50g dried weight wholemeal pasta (I used penne)

one tsp oil (two syns)
half a medium onion, sliced thinly
about four inches of leek, thinly sliced
one bacon medallion, thinly sliced
half a red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
one large mushroom, thinly sliced
garlic (I used granules)
chilli to taste, chopped small
passata (I had some left over) made up to appropriate amount with water and tomato puree

30g finely grated cheese - I used gruyere but any would do to own taste.  You need one healthy extra As-worth.

Take the skins off the sausages and place the sausage meat in a bowl.  Add the grated apple and the grain mustard and mix to combine - I found using my hands worked best.  Shape into even sized meatballs using floured hands, place on a small baking sheet lined with parchment, cover and pop in the fridge until needed.
It made six meatballs altogether.

Cook the penne in salted water and set aside when done.

Before you start making the sauce, heat the oven to around 200C, spray the meatballs and bake in the oven, turning them carefully from time to time - they become less fragile as they cook through.  When done (they take about half an hour), turn down the heat and keep them warm.

In a pan or wok, heat the oil (or use spray oil) and gently fry the onion, leek, chilli and bacon until softened.  Add the pepper and mushroom with a splash of water, reduce the heat, cover and allow to gently cook until softened.

Turn up the heat a bit, add the garlic granules and the passata and bring to a gentle simmer.  If it looks too dry, add a splash of water and some tomato puree. 

Add the cooked pasta and mix well.  Then add the cooked meatballs and mix in gently as themixture comes back up to piping hot.

Serve in a bowl with the grated cheese sprinkled over the top.  Some fresh parsley sprinkled over would be nice, if you have some.

SW info:
three and a half syns (one and a half if you use fry light spray oil) and one healthy extra A

Wednesday, 21-01-20

Good morning.

Yesterday's dinner was really tasty.  Spicy meatball pasta.  I'll do a separate post about it when I have time.

Today's plans:
B:  mushroom omelette with tomatoes
SW:  free

L:  tuna cheese on toast; apple
Just some tuna and grated cheddar, spread over toast and grilled until bubbly and melted.  It has to be quick and easy as personal training finishes at one and a friend is coming round at two.
SW:  one heA and one B

D:  one pot cheeseburger pasta, yogurt
This is from the wonderful Slimming Eats site and I guess it's a bit like yesterday's dinner (above) except that it's mince rather than sausage based meatballs and different seasonings.
Here's the link:
SW:  one heA, maybe two syns for 1 tsp oil

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  personal training with Lindsey

a meat day
two heAs and one heB
two syns
eating window is between eleven and seven so 8:16

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Tuesday, 21-01-20

Good morning.  It's SW group this morning so my fingers are crossed.  I've been very faithful in following the plan this week but things don't always work completely logically and over the weekend I felt I was holding a lot of water so we will see.

Breakfast yesterday was delicious, so nice that I've posted it separately as a menu.

Just a reminder that I have a whole load of recipes, mine and those of others via links, listed in a separate folder with links to the actual recipe.  There's a tab at the top to take you there.

Today's plans
B:  The classic - porridge with fruit and natural yogurt, mini yogurt drink which I will have when I come home from SW group.
SW:  one heB, half an A and two syns

L:   ham and lentil soup; apple
I made this before Christmas from some rather tasty ham stock that was flavoursome but not too salty.
SW:  free

D:  pork and apple meatballs in a spicy tomato sauce, pasta; yogurt
I really do like the Aldi skinny sausages and, de-skinned and mixed with grated apple and some grain mustard, it makes a delicious mix which I will shape as meatballs, spray and fry (or bake) and add to a spicy tomato sauce with onion, mushroom and pepper plus passata left over from Sunday which needs using up..  It's an own-recipe and if it works well enough, I'll post it separately.
SW:  one syn for two skinny sausages, up to one syn for some mustard (2 tsps but I probably won't use as much as that) and, perhaps, two syns for a tsp of oil.  I might sprinkle a heAs worth of grated cheese over the dish
I'm afraid I don't faff about synning a little bit of apple just because it's cooked!

S:  probably the usual easy peelers and I have some lychees to finish off as well

Body Magic:  I ought to be able to get out for a walk between SW group and tuition late afternoon.

a meat day
up to one and a half heAs and one B
up to six and syns
medium frugal, not particularly so though
Eating window between eleven and seven; 8:16

What are your plans today?

Monday 20 January 2020

Recipe: breakfast muffin

Ingredients for one

one Aldi skinny sausage, skin removed (half a syn)
a quarter of an eating apple, grated
half a level tsp grain mustard (neg.  one tsp is half a syn)

two bacon medallions
spray oil
one egg
one wholemeal English muffin (one heB)


1.  Tip the sausage meat, grated apple and mustard into a small bowl and mix well,  Using wet hands, shape into a patty the size of the muffin.  Place in a non stick pan with some spray oil and fry gently until cooked (around ten minutes or so, depending on thickness).

2.  When the patty is almost done, add two bacon medallions to the pan and continue cooking.

3.  Split the muffin and toast

4.  In a small pan, spray fry the egg the SW way.  When done, turn over briefly before removing.

5.  Layer on one half of the muffin; bacon, sausage, bacon, egg.  Sprinkle with a little sea salt and top with the other muffin half

Serve with tomatoes (or whatever you fancy really)  Really, really tasty and filling too.

Monday, 20-01-20

Good morning!
I have a very helpful strategy that stops me feeling hungry when I first wake.  It wouldn't work for everyone but it works for me.

I do like to know exactly what my food plans are at the start of each day (this blog helps me do that) and I do like to feel prepared so, third thing (first is coffee, second is blog), I go into the kitchen and prepare as much as I possibly can for the whole day.  That might mean peeling and chopping, it might mean actually cooking the dish, it might mean getting stuff out and ready, including things from the freezer when possible.

For example, yesterday I cooked the fillings for the omelette, whisked up the eggs, seasoned them, added the cooled fillings and covered the bowl ready.
I popped the potato in the oven, mixed the topping and prepped the salad.
I measured out the curry mix, chopped the veg, got out the passata and the tin of dahl.  When I went to the freezer for the grated cheese, I also got out the chicken and popped it into the fridge for later.  Then, a bit later on, I made the curry, let it cool, covered it and popped it in the fridge all ready for reheating.  I had made more than I needed so some of it went straight into two freezer pots and into the freezer without it hanging around.  That's a couple of days' lunch or dinner ready.  I didn't open the dahl, there was enough without it

You might think that all that food prep would make me more hungry but quite the opposite, it takes away any hunger I might feel and it doesn't come back until around ten or eleven - perfect!
Another plus point is that later on, when I am feeling more hungry (around four or five), I don't have to spend tempting times in the kitchen because everything is as prepared as possible.
And thirdly, I can get all the mess cleared away and into the dishwasher early, saving time later on.  It's not a biggie but it all helps.

You might be saying 'well, that wouldn't work for me' and I wouldn't argue with you for a moment.  We all know ourselves best and what is good for one may not work at all for another.  Just find what works for you and then make the most of it!

What are your helpful strategies?

A few photos:
Breakfast . . .

Lunch . . .

. . . and dinner.  Not elegant but very tasty!
Today's plans are:
B:  sausage, bacon and egg muffin, tomatoes, fruit, mini yogurt drink
I will remove the skin from an Aldi skinny sausage and mix the sausagemeat with some grated apple and a bit of mustard before forming into a muffin sized patty and frying in a bit of spray oil.  Then I will split and toast a wholemeal muffin (of the English variety, not the cake kind!) and layer it with sausage, bacon and a SW fried egg.  Speed will be chopped tomatoes on the side.  It should be tasty!
SW:  half a syn for the sausage, two syns for the yogurt drink and one heB for the muffin

L:  cheese and tuna quesadilla, salad
I've had to change my planning (it was going to be soup) because I had some mixed cheese and tuna left over from yesterday's lunch that I want to use up today.
SW:  tricky because most of it was counted yesterday so I'm not going to fuss about the bit of cheese from yesterday although I will add 15g more for better meltability.  One heB for the muffin and one and a half syns for some onion chutney for a bit of ooomph

D:  chicken ratatouille with other assorted veg
I plan to bake the chicken in lemon and mustard.  The ratatouille is from the freezer and I'll probably add whatever stock comes off the chicken to the ratatouille.  The other veg will probably be sprouts and broccoli or maybe cauliflower.
SW:  three syns for the ratatouille

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  today is quite busy so it will probably be a Lesley Sansone thirty minute walk and Lindsey's 15. done first thing

a meat day - quite a lot, in fact, better be careful
half a heA and two heBs
eight syns
not a particularly expensive day and using some stuff from the freezer and leftovers
eating window between eleven and seven - 8:16 which is fine; I don't want to go less than that unless I have to.

What are your plans for today?

Sunday 19 January 2020

Sunday, 19-01-20

Good morning.
Yesterday's food worked out well and there was no out of hours nibbling!  It's encouraging that the restricted hours strategy has helped with this annoying little habit.

The new recipe, the orange chicken from Pinch of Nom 2, was rather nice.  I adapted it a bit, of course.  I added some yellow pepper and some mushroom, I used dried chilli flakes instead of a fresh chilli and I used chicken stock powder rather than cube.  I quartered amounts but, annoyingly, forgot to add the rice wine vinegar which was a shame as I'm sure it would have lifted the flavour.
However, it was still really good, very satisfying and I will make it again, definitely.  The photo doesn't do it justice.

Today's plans
B:  mushroom and bacon omelette with baked beans, mini yogurt drink
I need to use up some baked beans, leftovers from the other day and I really fancy an omelette so there you go!
SW:  two syns for the drink

L:  tuna and cheese loaded jacket potato, salad; fruit
I really fancy jacket potato too.  I seem to be having a do what you fancy day today.  I will mix some primula light with the cooked potato and spoon it back into the potato skins before cooling it for lkater because I hope to be out on a walk before lunch.  Then I can reheat it in the microwave to get to piping hot before topping with tuna mixed with 30 or 40g finely grated cheddar.  I seem to remember Tom Kerridge saying something about a non oil dressing made with rice wine vinegar and soy sauce and I think I'll give that a go on a mixed salad.
SW:  two heAs for the cheeses and, if I have mayo, one syn

D:  chicken and veg curry, chickpea dahl, posh rice; yogurt
I have posh rice left from yesterday so I will use some curry spice mix to make something spicy and tasty with chicken and assorted veg.  The chickpea dahl is out of a tin (cheating but nice and SW free!)
SW:  two syns for the rice, two syns for some oil and that's about it really

S:  easy peelers (I got loads from Tesco yesterday)

Body Magic:  I think I might drive into Writtle, park in the village car park and take a stroll around.  It's a very pleasant village.  Weather permitting!

a meat day
two heAs, no Bs but the rice is wholegrain and I eat the jacket potato skin not to mention the beans and chickpeas so I don't think I will be short of fibre
seven planned syns
reasonably frugal - the chicken will be thighs which are cheaper and the tin of dahl was in the slimmer of the week basket I got on Tuesday
the eating window will be between ten and seven; 9:15

What are your plans for today?  Are you trying something new or having an old favourite?

Saturday 18 January 2020

Saturday, 18-01-20

Good morning:

When I searched the freezer, I did have some smoked basa (see yesterday's plans for context!) so I got that out and defrosted it, only to discover that I'd defrosted two pieces, darn it!  So I used one for the fishcake and the other I cut up and added to my lunchtime soup.  Odd, maybe, but it worked.

The dinner time recipe I tried, using the basa was absolutely delicious but, oh, dear, I mis-read it and ended up with a sort of splodge of fried cheesy fishy potato rather than a potato cake.  The actual results were a lot tastier than the CC fishcake but it wasn't a fishcake!  I think that next time I will use one of my crumpet rings to shape and bake it so it holds shape.  Or I might just combine the two recipes, taking the best of each!

Today's plans:
B:  oat waffles, fruit and natural yogurt, mini yogurt drink
A delicious Saturday treat.  I do love oat waffles!
SW one heB and two syns

L:  chunky bean and vegetable soup, fruit
Made on Thursday and there's two more portions now in the freezer.  Really nice soup.  I think I might add some turkey leftovers to it today.
SW:  free

D:  chicken in orange, posh rice, side salad; fruit and natural yogurt
From PoN2, p66.  I'm slowly working my way through them, aren't I?  This one looks 'interesting' so fingers crossed.
SW:  one syn for the posh rice and I'll use oil in the recipe rather than spray oil so that's another three syns

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  a walk

a meat day
one heB -  I ought to add an A to that somewhere
six syns
it's not particularly frugal today. what with the chicken, but nor is it particularly costly either
I need to have finished breakfast and cleared away by eleven so the window is ten thirty to seven; 8.5:15.5

Friday 17 January 2020

Friday, 17-01-20

Good morning.
We're about half way through January now and things continue to go well.  I've been faithfully colouring in my record sheet and it's proving to be a really good visual representation of how things are going.  It's easy to dwell on the more negative things, the days where I didn't stay on plan, but this shouts to me good and clear that actually - I'm doing OK.

The three blanks are two days at Dads and Wednesday this week!  Now let's see if I can colour in every other one this month.
(and no comments about staying inside the lines, OK?  :-) )

The pizza loaded fries were absolutely delicious.  I was feeling pretty peckish by lunchtime but they'd have been scrummy anyway.

Today's plans are as follows.
B:  hash brown breakfast bake (PoN2p38), fruit, mini yogurt
I've already had this and I know it is tasty.
SW:  the recipe is free and two syns for the yogurt drink

L:  chunky bean and vegetable soup, bread to dunk; fruit
I made this yesterday and there's plenty to have over the next few days and to pop into the freezer.
SW:  one heB

D:  melt-in-the-middle fishcakes,  mixed salad or cooked veg, depending on what I fancy; yogurt and fruit
Having learnt from the Chubby Cubs' recipe earlier in the week, this Pinch of Nom one has a few changes.  I shall have less potato, for a start, use finely chopped spring onion instead of chives (roll on spring when the chives will be up in the herb bed!) and if I can't find any smoked basa in the freezer, I might use some salmon as I know I have some or I might stop off at Aldi and get some smoked basa as it's a handy thing to have in the freezer.
It's sort of the same as the CC version but has soft cheese mixed in the potato and chopped babybel in the centre.  I wonder whose version I will like the best.
SW:  35g light squeezy cheese (Primula) will be half a heA and one Babybel is also half a heA so that's convenient!  I might use one tsp oil for two syns or even be lavish with half a tbsp for three syns and mayo (if I have salad) will be another couple of syns.

S:  easy peelers

Body Magic:  I have a free day today so I might drive across town and have a walk on Gallywood Common, weather permitting.

a fish day
one heA and one B
around seven syns
reasonably frugal - although fish is never cheap, the rest is fine
the eating window will be between ten and seven so 9:15

Thursday 16 January 2020

Thursday, 16-01-20

Good morning.

For lunch out yesterday, J and I went to a place called ASK in Billericay.  It was Italian cuisine, very nice and, to my delight, there were some 'lighter' choices at 550 calorie or under.  OK, you have to take these with a pinch of salt but even so, given that it was breakfast and lunch combined, I was within my calories for the day, definitely.  That made me happy.

So it was a great pity that I lost my hold on things later on, ate way too much rubbish, continued well beyong seven and ended up having a bad night with a most uncomfortable tum.  Serves me right, I guess and maybe I needed to show myself that what I'm doing (generally, not yesterday evening!) not only works, it's also better for me.

Certain  items are now out of the house and others pushed to the back, out of sight.

Today's plans:
B:  nothing
I'm not being noble or self flagellating, honestly, I'm just still feeling uncomfortable and the thought of breakfast is a right turn off!

L:  (dinner/main meal really, because of time restraints later on)  pizza loaded fries, salad; mini yogurt drink
Taken from Pinch of Nom 2, p74
It's what I had planned to have yesterday evening but didn't and, as I'd made/prepared the separate elements needed, I'm not going to waste them!
SW:  one heA, two syns for the yogurt drink and two for some oil

D:  spicy bean and vegetable soup, roll to dunk; fruit
I have some beans in a spicy sauce left over from Tuesday plus plenty of veg so I will make a good potful and it will do me for other meals as well.  It'll have onion, carrot, celery, sweet potato, orzo, pepper, peas, maybe some sweetcorn, mushrooms, the spicy beans and some orzo.  Very nice!
SW:  one heB (the roll)

S:  fruit

Body magic:  Someone on t'other blog reminded me of the online walking thing on youtube so, whatever the weather, I can get my half hour of brisk walking.  Also Lindsey's 15 and balance ball.

Hopefully, during the morning, internal things will return to normal so I can enjoy the rest of the day's food!

a vegetarian day today
one heA and one B
four syns
comfortably frugal and using leftovers
an eating window of between one and seven (because of no breakfast) so 6:18 which is smaller than I would usually have - I can't eat later that seven because I'll be at pottery!

Back to my version of normal tomorrow

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Wednesday, 15-01-20

Good morning: I hope everyone is OK after the strong winds.

Yesterday's post seems to have had a lot of hits/views or whatever the word is.  That's really nice; welcome and please feel free to follow or comment (or both).

I was so pleased at SW group yesterday morning.  Not only had I lost weight, I was Slimmer of the Week.  Yay!!  I'm now really motivated to carry on in the same way.

Before getting on to today's food, just a couple of photos of yesterday's food.

Quesadillas are always nice and this recipe is no exception.  I left out the leaf coriander from the salsa and it was delicious.
(PoN2, p 92)

And the Chubby Cubs' fishcake was also tasty although it was HUGE - and I did weigh everything out carefully.
(C C, p68)

Both these recipes required non-cheddar cheese so I went a bit against my principles and bought some lower fat mozzarella and some gruyere.  However, I reckon cheddar would be nicer so I'll use that next time.

This recipe asked for some chives (if possible).  I took a look at mine and, because of the mild weather, there was a bit showing, but there was little flavour so I may as well have left them alone!  Spring onions would have done instead.

Today's plans are a bit different.  I'm out for lunch with friend Jackie so, rather than squash a late breakfast and an earlier-than-usual lunch into my day, I'm just having my yogurt drink after ten, as usual, and then wait for lunch.
I have no idea where we're going.

So . . .
B:  mini yogurt drink
SW:  two syns

L:  eating out and I will enjoy myself.

D:  pizza loaded fries, side salad, yogurt
This is not nearly as naughty as it sounds as it's from the PoN book 2, p74.  Basically, it's SW cooked chips with tomato and cheese on the top and it should be tasty!  It's also frugal which is just as well because goodness knows how much lunch will cost!
SW:  one heA and two syns for 1 tsp oil (because I think this makes nicer chips than just using spray oil)

S:  if I have any, it will be fruit

Body Magic:  there's not much opportunity for a walk today but I still have the balance ball stuff and Lindsey's 15 (and I've done a separate post about this).

No summary today as I'm off plan apart from the food window.

What are your plans for today?

Lindsey's 15

I was originally going to include this as part of my daily post but it made for such a huge long read, I decided to do it separately.  Two for the price of one today!

People have asked me about Lindsey's 15.  That's what I call it, it's not the actual name as her business is called Shimmy 'n' Groove.  Life's too short to type all that out each time!

Lindsey is my personal trainer and she has a small local business in this area.  She does group classes in all sorts of things (dance, aqua, aerobics, etc) as well as personal training, she's interested in general well being and she's a really lovely person.

She's recently branched out into small, online workouts on a closed group in Facebook.  They're not professionally produced; she records them on her mobile and then shares them on Facebook.  I asked her and she said I could publicise the details if anyone was interested.

You need to have access to Facebook.
The address of the group is and it's called Shimmy Sessions 2020
There is a cost - it's £50 for the year which sounds a lot, I know, but it's only £1 a week and for that she posts daily workouts of various kinds, each lasting between twelve and fifteen minutes.  I find them very doable and accessible.  You don't need special equipment or clothes, although I have found a sports bra essential for the more bouncy ones!!!

Lindsey says it's 'open access' by which she means you don't have to go to any of her groups or be a personal training client.  Nor do you have to be local, of course, as it's online.

I'm finding it better to use the Facebook 'save' function and have them all saved in a folder (still on Facebook) so it's easy to go back and use any one I fancy.

If you're interested, why not take a look?

(just to say, I'm not being paid or in any other way recompensed for the above)

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Tuesday, 14-01-20

Good morning.


What a great way to break ones fast.  SW free too as I didn't use any extra oil

Lunch was less colourful but just as satisfying.
(PoN2, p 26)

As for dinner, I really can't recommend having sprouts with this.  I had my doubts and I was right!  Salad next time.
The salmon itself, with its marinade, was really lovely.
Next time, I will leave out the coriander from the salsa.  Sadly, I'm one of those people for whom leaf coriander tastes like soap.  I try it again from time to time but no luck.  So it will either be herb free or maybe mint would be nicer, once there's mint in the garden again.
It looks loads because I was using a smaller dessert plate, not my usual dinner plate.
(PoN2, p110)

Today's plans:
B:  beans on toast, fruit, mini yogurt drink
Nice and simple.
SW:  one heB and two syns

L:  quesadillas (from Pinch of Nom 2, p92) salad, fruit
It's a refried bean based recipe which I will have to adapt and I'll let you know.  So far I've not been disappointed with this book
SW:  one heA and one B

D:  cheesy chubby fishcakes (Two Chubby Cubs, p68), some veg (maybe peas); yogurt
Again, I'll let you know.  It looks good from both ingredients and photograph.
SW:  one heA, four syns (for breadcrumbs) and one syn for some brown sauce.  I could save syns by not breadcrumbing them and I might also use two syns for a tsp of oil to fry the fish cake in.

Sn:  fruit

Body Magic:  a walk, Lindsey's 15

It's SW group this morning.  I think I mentioned before that now Jennifer has opened a morning group that I can walk to and the time also suits very well so, while pottery classes are on, I will be going Tuesday mornings, not Wednesday evenings any more.  A bit of extra body magic never hurt anyone.

a non meat day
one heA and two Bs
seven (or nine) syns
I treated myself to some cod from the fish stall at the weekend and might use that for the fishcakes which won't be cheap, but on the other hand, I might use tuna or basa instead - the rest is great value
the eating window will be between eleven (after group) and seven   8:16

What are your plans today?