Monday 31 August 2020

Monday, 31-08-20

Morning, everyone!

Yesterday's photos:

Not a brilliant photo but you can see what it is - two bacon medallions and rather a lot of tomato.  The tomato was one of the beef tomatoes from the garden, all 300grams-worth, and it was very flavoursome.
There's three or four more huge tomatoes on the plant so I'm looking forward to them ripening and I think, from now on, I'd like to have a beef tomato plant each year.  This one was unplanned and accidental but it was a happy accident!

 Lunch was packed full of flavour.  Definitely one to do again and I think some horseradish would be a delicious addition to the mix too.  A couple of little apples from the allotment finished the meal off very nicely indeed.

Finally, dinner.  The Mexican chicken stew definitely improves with keeping; it was delicious and, to my surprise, the sprouts went with it very well.
I didn't have my babybels snack mid afternoon so I had some grated cheddar on top instead.  Nice!

Obviously, I'm having a lot of tomatoes right now but I'm also having loads of allotment apples, both redloves and coxes.  They need cutting up as very few are totally sound and I'm not taking the risk anyway but they are now developing a lovely. tangy sweetness and I'm so enjoying them.
I can think of worse things to binge on than tomatoes and apples!  :-)
Today's food:
B:  pancakes with fruit and yogurt
The usual recipe plus some skinny syrup and some frozen fruit - thawed, of course.
SW:  one healthy extra B for 40g wholemeal SR flour.  Skinny syrup is free
around 350 calories (288 for the pancakes plus the fruit)

L:  chicken pate, multiseed folded wrap, crudites; apples
 The other half of the chicken pate from yesterday plus some finger food.
SW:  a little bit of a healthy extra A for some laughing cow light cheese in the pate, a healthy extra B (sort of) for the flatbread.
around 360 calories

Snack:  babybels x 3
SW:  one healthy extra A
126 calories

D:  beef curry, protein rice; kvarg or yogurt
The curry itself is frozen leftovers from a Do The Unthinkable meal.  I also have some home made passata that needs using up so I think I will mix the two together, add some veg (broad beans, maybe) and some extra spice and see what happens.  It may not be conventional but it won't be bad!
SW:  one syn for the protein rice and half a syn for the kvarg/yogurt
The curry itself is 200 calories (I wrote it on the container) so, with extra veg and passata, plus the dessert, it will be around 400 calories - maybe less, certainly not more

Body Magic:  a swim

one healthy extra A and two Bs
one and a half syns
1236 calories

I'm being less specific about calories now.  It is actually almost impossible to give totally accurate amounts anyway.  A medium apple might be described as having 55 calories but that will depend on the sweetness, the density, how big the core is and other details one has no control over.
Likewise, a recipe might end with something like 337 calories but items include one chicken thigh without weight detail so how can they say it that precisely?  They can't.

So I am looking up values (good old WLR) and doing the maths but usually rounding up or down, knowing that I'll be close and close is the best it can be.
SW is a lot easier!

As far as exercise calories burnt is concerned, I don't count them but if I have an extra piece of fruit afterwards, I don't count that either as the latter will be more than cancelled out by the former.

Sunday 30 August 2020

Sunday, 30-08-20

Good morning.

A web site I thoroughly recommend both for good recipes and for thriftiness is Thrifty Lesley.  She's been creating frugally delicious recipes, meal plans, weekly plans, etc, for many years now and the site is a treasure chest for anyone looking to make better use of their food budget.

She recently posted a recipe for, and I quote, Lesley's Caramelised Red Onion Chutney Marmalade.  The last two words are because she couldn't decide whether it was a chutney or a marmalade!
Anyway, it's a very easy recipe and I made a half quantity yesterday, caloried it all out and it comes to around 18 calories for a ten gram portion.  I've had a go at synning it too; the red onion is a speed food but pretty much all the rest needs to be worked out so I took out the free items, did the maths again and it comes to half a syn per ten grams.

If you're interested, here's the recipe.

Yesterday's photos:

Just look at this!  I knew I needed a cooked breakfast and I enjoyed it so much.
I did the potatoes and the sausage together in the actifry with a bit of spray oil and some cajun spice.  The rest was done in a pan with a bit more spray oil.
So delicious, so filling and extremely satisfying.

Just as well really because then it all went a bit oopsy daisy.
While shopping, I bought the Sainsbury's Magazine which came with a freebie.  A bar of chocolate, no less, and very nice it was too.  After that, I really didn't fancy any lunch, even though the chicken was cooking, nor did I want the cheese for the afternoon snack.  I reckon it's pretty much evens-stephens as far as calories are concerned.  Nutrition, of course, is another matter entirely but never mind.  These things happen and I enjoyed the chocolate very much indeed.

The pizza slices for dinner were absolutely delicious.  I haven't had proper pizza for a while.  The other three wedges are wrapped, labelled and in the freezer for another time.  I didn't have much salad and no dressing so, despite the chocolate, I am pretty sure the calories have worked out fine for the day.

Today's food plans:

B:  bacon and tomatoes
Just because I love it and have loads of tomatoes to use up
SW:  four syns for some oil to cook the tomatoes
210 calories

L:  cheesy chicken on toast, tomatoes; apples
Because I had cooked but not used the tandoori chicken thigh, it needed using so I have made some chicken pate.  I zizzed up the (very tender) thigh with one Laughing Cow light triangle, some lemon juice, garlic and onion granules, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard and it's made loads, enough for two portions.  Today I will toast some wholemeal bread, spread on half of the pate, sprinkle grated cheese on top and melt it under the grill.  With some garden tomatoes, it should be delicious.
What shall I do with tomorrow's portion, I wonder?
SW:  one healthy extra A and one B
around 500 calories

Snack:  three babybel lights
SW:  one healthy extra A
126 calories

D:  Mexican chicken stew, sprouts; kvarg
The stew is from the freezer and the sprouts are because I saw them in Sainsbury's and I love sprouts so couldn't resist, even though it is rather early in the season.  Goodness knows if they will actually go together but fingers crossed!
SW:  half a syn for the kvarg, the rest is free
roughly 380 calories

Body Magic:  if the weather is anything like today's weather, I'm staying in!

two healthy extra As and one healthy extra B
1216 calories

Saturday 29 August 2020

Saturday, 29-08-20

Hi, everyone.
Recently and after a mention by Jen, our SW consultant, I've become very fond of following some SW based vlogs.  They tend to give 'what I ate today' type clips plus recipes, ideas and food hauls
One such vlogger is Tracey Mouse who updates very regularly.
She posted a recipe for carrot 'cake' the SW way which I really want to try some time soon and I think it would work as a breakfast bun (as below).
I'm also wondering about a gingerbread version.  I feel some experimenting coming on!

Yesterday's photos:

These breakfast toffee apple buns were absolutely delicious.  With no oil, they are more a bread puddingy texture (which I like) than a cake texture and they are so good, I've done the recipe as a separate post

I didn't have lunch (no time/didn't want one anyway) and I have guests for dinner.  The hunter's chicken was delicious, as were the parmentier potatoes.  I shall make them again instead of chips!
All I did was cut the potato into cubes instead of 'fingers'.  The rest was the same - soak in water to remove some starch, dry well, pop in the actifry with a bit of oil (or spray oil) and some Cajun spice on the chip setting and thirty minutes later, lo and behold!  Crunchy, golden parmentier potatoes.
It must have tasted good all round as there was just one piece of chicken left with some sauce.  No potatoes and no peas.
The chicken is now in the freezer, to be planned in next week.

(must find a new one for September)
B:  cooked breakfast
I really fancy a good old English cooked breakfast, modified to suit my SW aspirations, of course.  Bacon, sausage, egg, cubed fried potato, tomatoes and 'fried' bread (sprayed with frylight)
SW:  half a syn for the sausage and half a healthy extra B for one slice of bread
384 calories

L:  tandoori chicken with salad; fruit
The tandoori chicken is a Muscle Foods purchase and I'm hoping it's nice.
SW:  I can't find the relevant product on Lifeline Online but all the other muscle food chicken is free so I'm calling this free as well. One syn for some raspberry vinaigrette and one for mayo to make coleslaw.
350 calories

Snack:  three babybel lights
SW:  one healthy extra A
126 calories

D:  pizza and salad; kvarg
When I was in M&S the other day, I saw their Mixed Pizza Slices and got a pack.  A portion is half, three slices, and it's suitable for freezing.
SW:  I can't find the syns for the pizza slices anywhere, sorry.  One syn for some raspberry dressing
450  calories

Body Magic:  if the weather stays like it is, something inside!

one healthy extra A and half a B
three and a half syns, possibly more
1310 calories

Friday 28 August 2020

Recipe: toffee apple breakfast buns

Ingredients to make four buns
40g wholemeal SR flour*
80g zero fat unsweetened Greek yogurt (or equivalent)
one large egg
one tsp stevia (or similar) or to own taste
half tsp cinnamon
one tbsp skinny syrup of the toffee/caramel kind (there's lots of different ones) - I used caramel fudge waffle cone
small eating apple, peeled, cored and grated or very finely chopped.  I eat the skin!

Pre-heat the oven to 180C fan.
Spray oil four silicon moulds or use bun cases in a muffin tin.

When the oven is up to heat, mix together the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients, including the apple, and mix well.
Spoon into the cases; this amount makes four.  If you're using silicon moulds, they need to go on an oven tray.
Pop into the oven and bake for twenty five minutes.  Check they are cooked with a skewer and give them a few more minutes if you think it necessary.
Allow to cook for a short time before devouring them for breakfast.

These buns have a texture that's a cross between bread pudding and cake but they are delicious.

One healthy extra B for the wholemeal flour*
Around 310 calories for them all

*Why do I count 40g wholemeal flour (plain or SR) as a healthy B?
When I first started Slimming World, I made my own bread.  I knew that 40g of flour ended up as pretty much 60g of bread.  I discussed this with my consultant and she agreed that I could count 60g of my own bread as a healthy extra B.
My reasoning is that it is a healthy extra when it's in bread so it can jolly well be a healthy extra in other things too - including my waffles, pancakes and breakfast buns (which all use much the same recipe).
The calories are the same!

Why don't I syn cooked fruit (like the grated apples)?
Because I think it is plain silly, that's why!
Ditto for synning mashed banana, pureed fruit and so on.  Why make life difficult?

But if you are not happy about either of these, please feel free to syn them. 

Friday; 28-08-20

Good morning!
Well, after last weeks slightly disappointing weigh in which put me two and a half pounds above target and only just in the 'you don't have to pay' bubble, a weekend at Dad's where gin may have played a very small (honestly) part and a rest of week being careful but not too careful and with a good amount of exercise, weigh in yesterday evening gave me a four pound loss.  Woo hoo.
Obviously, I was very pleased, albeit surprised, and it just reinforces what I thought last week - that there were reasons for the apparent gain.

It also rather makes a mockery of my aim to lose around half a pound a week from hereon up to December but I'm not complaining!
The aim still stands.  Another half pound off will get me the three and a half stone certificate and shiny sticker, the last one I can realistically hope to get, and two and a half off will see me where I am aiming to be with a 'fine tuning' of the target weight.  And there's plenty of time and space for that to happen.

Yesterday's photos.
No photo of breakfast as I had it in dribs and drabs.  Two apples (small ones) before swimming, a plum after swimming and the yogurt a bit later on.

Lunch was the bean and veg soup.

And this was dinner.  It was delicious and most satisfying!

(There may have been a mini bottle of alcohol involved too)


Today's food plans:

B:  waffles, pancakes or breakfast buns, yogurt and fruit
I can't decide which to make from the batter but never mind, there's time.  I think I might make the toffee apple flavour batter again; it was so nice and I have so many apples to use up.
SW:  one healthy extra B for 40g wholemeal flour
around 350 calories

L:  scrambled eggs on toast; apples
Self explanatory really.  I want something quick and simple and this fits the bill perfectly.
SW:  half a healthy extra B
around 300 calories (using two eggs and one slice wholemeal)

D:  chicken chasseur, pommes parmentier, petit pois; grapes
It sounds a bit posh, doesn't it?  It's just hunter's chicken, cubed potato, actifried until brown and crispy, and frozen peas - that's all.
I shall use some of my glut of garden tomatoes to make the sauce, which will be nice, and I have a bit of white wine in the freezer which I can toss in for a bit of extra flavour.
Dave and Anna are coming round to share it with me so I will make plenty and any leftovers will provide me with another dinner another time..
SW:  up to two healthy extra As for cheese on top - it's not so easy to tell when it's a shared dish and I'm certainly not making mine separately.  :-) , one syn for the wine, two for some oil to actifry the potato cubes
around 700 calories  it's very hard to say but I think this is a fair approximation.

Body magic:  housework and generally bustling around today.

up to two healthy extra As and one and a half Bs.  That's OK as I can allow up to four healthy extras now instead of three
three syns
1350 calories very approximately - I'll get back to more accurate measuring tomorrow

Thursday 27 August 2020

Thursday, 27-08-20

Good morning.
Well, I've stuck to my resolution all week, seven long days, to not step on those scales.  It was harder than I expected but it's weigh day and SW meeting and I have absolutely no idea whatsoever whether I have lost, gained or maintained.
I will know by five thirty!

Yesterday's photos:

A very simple breakfast of bacon and tomatoes.

A delicious and filling lunch - cheesy tuna toasties with some salad veg.

A dinner of meatballs in a creamy tomato sauce with courgetti.  This was so, so good, even nicer than I expected it would be and jam packed full of speed veg - tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onion and courgette.

Today's meal plans:

B:  yogurt and fruit
The fruit will probably be apple, orange and a plum.  It makes a change from tomatoes at every meal!!
SW:  half a syn for the yogurt unless I have plain yogurt with some skinny syrup or similar.
around 220 calories

L:  spicy bean and veg soup; apple
Another portion from the freezer and the apples are all from the allotment now so greatly chopped about.  It's worth it though - they are delicious.
SW:  one syn for the soup
around 200 calories

D:  cheese and bacon burger, salad, SW style chips; kvarg
OK, so maybe rather OTT and I probably will cut this down when it comes to it but maybe now - I'll see how I feel.
At some point I rather fancy making these:
but in the actifry using a minimum of oil, not deep fried.  I can give it a go anyway.
SW:  one healthy extra A and one B, two syns for some mayo for salad and chips
745 calories - quite a lot but it works in OK

Body Magic:  I have a swim booked today

one healthy extra A and one B
around six syns
1165 calories

Wednesday 26 August 2020

Wednesday, 26-08-20

Good morning!

Yesterday's photos:

Toffee apple pancakes.  These were really rather nice but I think next time the batter needs to be thinner so they spread out a bit more.  They were a bit too thick and therefore only just cooked inside.
Tasty and filling though, with a tbsp agave nectar over the top..

Very satisfying after an aquarobics session.   I made too much salad though.

How to make not very much look like a lot.
The steak was small but I bashed it out.  It cooks faster that way too.
The beef tomato was massive!
The salad was left over from lunch.
No added fat, just the burger sauce.

Today's meals:

B:  bacon medallions and fried tomatoes
A very favourite breakfast.
SW:  two syns for one tsp oil for the tomatoes
152 calories (which doesn't sound much but I've double checked and weighed)

L:  tuna cheese toastie, salad (probably mostly tomatoes); apples
I'll mix the tuna with 30g finely grated cheddar and one tbsp super-light mayo, spread it over the bread, maybe add a bit of sliced tomato and some onion chutney, top with the other slice of bread and spray fry until nice and browned.  Yum.
SW:  one healthy extra A and one B, half a syn for the mayo and one for the onion chutney
560 calories

No snack as I will be doing personal training at snack time.

D:  meatballs in a tomato and veg sauce; kvarg
I will use some of the meatballs I bought with my Muscle Foods meat order, make the sauce from fresh tomatoes, onion, mushroom, red pepper and some flavour additions and have it either with courgetti or protein noodles, probably the former as I have a courgette to use.
SW:  the meatballs are one and a half syns and I may very well add some soft cheese to the sauce to make it 'creamy' so that will be my other healthy extra A.  The noodles would be one syn, if I have them.
It's really hard to work out the calories as I haven't made the sauce yet so this is very much a guesstimate but it's within about 30 calories, I believe.  450 calories

Body Magic:  personal training.

two healthy extra As and one B
six syns
1162 calories - not enough so I might pop in a hi-fi bar at some point or more fruit.

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Tuesday, 25-08-20

Good morning.

No photo of yesterday's breakfast - it was a yogurt and three allotment apples, all chopped up to get the bad bits out!  A bit of a fuss and not very lovely but so delicious.

Lunch was another portion of the soup and, instead of the planned croutons, I took the lazy way out and just spread some bread with laughing cow light wedges soft cheese for fifty calories and two and a half syns.

I changed dinner too.  I still made the creamy chicken, apple and mushroom thing but in the afternoon I went to harvest at the allotment and came back with quite a haul of goodness.  The runner beans and carrots in the dinner photo were part of it.  The carrot is pink because I was steaming a couple of little beetroots as well and one 'bled'.
The chicken was very tasty, much nicer than it looks,

Today's meal plans:

B:  toffee apple pancakes
A posh name for some wholewheat pancakes with some cinnamon, grated apple and caramel skinny-syrup added.  It might be really nice, fingers crossed
SW:  one healthy extra b for 40g of wholemeal flour (my interpretation) and I'm not synning the grated apple.
310 calories

L:  battered fish and a salad
I had this before after swimming and it was very satisfying so I shall have it again.
SW:  eight and a half syns for the battered fish (a bit ouch but there you go) , one syn for some mayo
300 calories (roughly)

Snack:  three babybels; allotment apples
SW:  one healthy extra A
around 200 calories

D:  steak and fried beef tomatoes, burger sauce; kvarg
I have an accidental beef tomato plant - the label must have been wrong in the garden centre because it was supposed to be a gardener's delight or maybe a sungold.  However, with tomatoes larger than my fist, it most certainly isn't!  I'll mix up the burger sauce (mayo, tomato puree and mustard ketchup), slice up one of the enormous tomatoes and fry them in my biggest pan and fry the steak in another pan  Simple, quick and easy and it should be wonderful!
SW:  one syn for the mayo in the sauce and I'm estimating four for the mustard ketchup.  I'll use spray oil.  Half a syn for the kvarg.
430 calories

Body Magic:  aquarobics

one healthy extra A and one B
fifteen syns - I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I have gone right up to my fifteen syns allowance when I've been on plan
1240 calories, more or less.  The amounts are a bit approximate because I don't know exactly the amount of salad, weight of the beef tomato slices, etc.  That's OK, I don't need to know exactly.

Monday 24 August 2020

Monday, 24-08-20

Good morning!

I will be back home for twelve days today so back to calories as well as SW values.  I'll update the plans below as soon as I can.

Today's plans:

B:  fruit and a yogurt or kvarg
I'll hold this off until I get home.  That way I'll get back on restricted eating straight away.
SW:  half a syn

L:  spicy bean and veg soup, home made croutons; apple
I had intended to bring the soup I made a week ago and froze to Dad's with me but I forgot, bother it, so I have three portions to use up this week (I need the freezer space).
I'll make the croutons by cutting a slice of bread into cubes, spraying them with oil and baking them in the oven.  One slice will make loads.  I might flavour them with some onion and garlic granules too, just like the ones you can buy.
SW:  I'm pretty sure the soup is free - yes, I've checked back and it is.  Half a heB for the croutons.  Loads of speed veg in the soup so that's good.

Snack:  a babybel light and a hi-fi bar
SW:  two syns for the babybel (unless I can count it as half a healthy extra A) and half a healthy extra B

D:  creamy apple, chicken and mushroom stir fry with protein noodles and roasted tomatoes; kvarg
I'm bending the rules here and calling the soft cheese I will be using for the sauce a healthy extra A (it used to be).  I'll see how much I can have for six syns and go with that.
It is essentially a very simple recipe.  Soften some onion in butter style fry light, then add some sliced chicken breast, some sliced mushroom and half an eating apple, cored and sliced (I might use a redlove apple and make it all pink!).  Then just melt in some soft cheese (I have philly extra light) and some appropriate seasoning.  Dead easy.  It's nice with a splash of white wine and maybe I could use some white wine vinegar, just a little bit.
SW:  it looks as if I can have 150g philly lightest for six syns (the equivalent of a heA) - I may not need all of that.  Also two syns for a tsp olive oil for the tomatoes and one syn for the noodles.  I'm not synning the cooked apple - silly rule!  The kvarg is half a syn.

Body Magic:  not sure but I must do some after a very un-energetic five days or so.

one and a half healthy extra As (or maybe a bit less), counting the babybel as half; one healthy extra B (the bread and the Hi Fi bar)
four syns

Sunday 23 August 2020

Sunday, 23-08-20

Good morning.

Yesterday went according to plan.  Dinner ended up as roast chicken.  I had a nice big chicken breast which I wrapped in bacon and roasted.  I made some stuffing using softened onion, some boerwurst (I think that's the word) sausage meat, some sage from the garden, a slice of lean ham and some fresh breadcrumbs, all mixed together with some pepper and baked, covered with foil.  It was lovely with new potato, runner beans and roasted tomatoes and leek (all from Dad's garden).  A real feast!
(hardly low syn with the stuffing but who cares?  Not me.  It was delicious)

While shopping in Tescos for Dad, I bought some Nevill's bread that everyone in group seems to be talking about because you can have TWO BIG SLICES (yes, it tends to be said in capitals, just like that!) for one healthy extra B.  I used some for my lunchtime sandwich and I have to say it was quite nice, much better than I expected.  People have been saying how nice to be able to have a 'proper' sized sandwich for your healthy extra B and I do know what they mean - it's mind over matter really, I guess.
I was expecting something olden days Nimble-like, all tasteless foam and air but it wasn't.  It's also pretty good value, being the replacement for their value bread.

Tesco replaces Everyday Value bread with HW Nevill's brand | News ...
(image borrowed from Google Images with thanks)

Today's plans:
B:  yogurt and fruit
SW:  half a syn for the yogurt; the fruit will be speed fruit

L:  cold meat and salad or, maybe, another sarnie or perhaps fried tomatoes on toast; apple
I'll see what Dad wants.  It will be SW friendly, anyway!
SW:  if I have bread, it will be my healthy extra B and any mayo will be one syn; all the salad veg will be speed veg

Snack:   three babybel lights
SW:  one healthy extra A

D:  short rib beef with baby carrots and roasted beetroot (from Dad's garden) and new potatoes (from the allotment)
The beef is from a local butcher and is already cooked so all one has to do is gently reheat it in the oven.  It's really tasty and the meat just falls off the rib.  It's also pretty lean so I'm calling it SW free.
SW:  two syns for some oil for roasting the beetroots and, probably, one for some gravy; the carrots and the beetroot are speed veg

one healthy extra A and one B
four and a half syns
Just for a while I want to focus on having enough speed veg on my plate - it's quite easy to forget that SW encourages you to have a third of your meal as speed fruit or veg whenever appropriate and I do like to have my fruit and veg.
It certainly makes a lot more sense to have unlimited speed food than it does to have unlimited rice, pasta, etc!

Saturday 22 August 2020

Saturday, 22-08-20

Good morning, everyone.  Thank you so much for all your lovely comments yesterday.  I forgot to say one more thing and that is that I will be sticking to the restricted eating routine - breakfast at eleven, lunch at two and dinner finished before seven with a little snack in between lunch and dinner as that's a 'danger' time for me - as much as possible but there will be times, like this weekend, when it isn't going to work all that well.

I took a photo of the haul before tucking them away with the others.  Maybe, sometime, I will get them all out for a photo shoot!  Apologies for the bad light.

Yesterday went fine.  I stuck to the planned food except that we had some wedges rather than new potatoes, that being Dad's choice.

Today's plans are:
B:  fruit and a yogurt
SW:  half a syn for the yogurt

L:  probably a cold meat sandwich and some tomatoes; apple
I have some of 'my' bread in Dad's freezer so I will use that and some mayo instead of butter.  There are tomatoes galore!
SW:  one healthy extra B for the bread and one syn for two tbsp super light mayo

Snack:  three babybel lights
SW:  one healthy extra A

D:  really not sure yet but it will be some sort of lean meat with runner beans, another veg and some new potato; kvarg
I'm off out to the local butcher to get some meat for the freezer and then I'll see what Dad fancies.  There are runner beans in the garden and he still has some of our allotment potatoes left from last time I was here.
SW:  half a syn for the kvarg and I think the rest is likely to be free unless I have gravy (which I can usually take or leave really)

Body Magic:  I'll probably go out for a walk this afternoon, maybe down to the local garden centre and back again.

one healthy extra A and one B
two syns

Friday 21 August 2020

Friday, 21-08-20 (very long ponder alert)

Good morning.   :-)
Apologies in advance for the length of this post.  Please, do feel free to scroll down past it to today's meal plans at the end. 

The SW weigh in yesterday evening was a little bit disappointing in that yes, I was above the target weight.  However, I was 'in the bubble', which is within three pounds of target (this can be above or below) so I'm more than happy with that.

There could be a number of reasons including:
I was wearing clothes (obviously!) and during lockdown I've not when I weighed
It was an evening weigh, not a first thing in the morning weigh and I know from experience that my weight can fluctuate by three or four pounds through the day, whatever I eat or don't eat.  It just does.
I've started swimming again which is a muscle strengthening exercise, being a resistance activity, so am likely to be building muscle as I lose more podge.  Muscle is heavy but good heavy!

So, really, it was a little disappointing but not frustrating or annoying!

I came home with quite a haul of certificates and shiny stickers gained while on lockdown.
Slimmer of the Week x 5 (more than I thought I had achieved)
Slimmer of the Month x 1
Three Stone Award
Target certificate, shiny sticker, little badge and a book entitled 'Slim for Life'

The book is very useful.  It has loads of advice for staying at target, a twelve week planner for consolidating things and bags of encouragement.  It's quite different from the older one that Mel lent me so I have both resources now.

For now, I will be carrying on with the weight loss strategy because I want to lose a bit more.  In a way, it is a whole new adventure now, and a path I need to make my own.  The book says I could consider having one more healthy extra and a few more syns and that is certainly something I would want to consider when needed, although very rarely do I have anywhere near the syns one can have anyway so I doubt that will be an issue.

So, for now, for the next twelve weeks or so - which takes me nicely to the start of the Christmas Season, more or less (oh, my goodness!!) - this is my ongoing strategy.

1.  I will stick with the Slimming World strategy with my own individual applications (cheats? tweaks?) full time, except for a week on holiday (fingers crossed) in October.
This means two healthy extra As and one B, a maximum of fifteen syns but more likely under ten, as much free speed food as I can manage with the balance being towards vegetables rather than fruit when possible.
2.  I will also check calories, aiming for between 1200 and 1400 each day.  This will provide an extra layer of 'security', so to speak.  Knowledge is power!
3.  I will go for lower carb choices as much as possible but won't go very low carb.  I will eat a variety of these including rice, pasta, couscous, quinoa, bulgar wheat, wholegrain whenever possible because they are more filling, they are better for me and, most of all, I like them!  Contrary to SW guidelines, I will not see these as free foods and will weigh and measure them very carefully.
4.  I've tried ready meals over the last few months as a strategy.  They are, generally, not a patch on my own, home made dishes and, at twice the price, not a frugal choice.  As I enjoy cooking, that's the way to go.  We are so lucky nowadays with such a variety of foods available and so many recipes and ideas freely available online, it would feel wrong not to take advantage of it all.
5.  I now have, built into my week, one hour of personal training and three sessions of swimming or aquacise, each of between thirty and forty minutes so that provides the core of my exercise programme.  I now need to consider what else (if anything) I want to add.  I don't need to, what I am doing is fine, but I might like to.

I aim for losing around half a pound a week.  Yes, that's a slow pace but it's going to be a slow pace now, this is a consolidation time really, not a time for dramatic drops.  At half a pound a week on average, I will have lost another half stone by December which is great.  I will be happy with that.  Any more, I will accept with thankfulness but won't expect.
Just thinking about this gives me a sense of 'power'  It's achievable, realistic and I know I can do it.  It's taken me over three years to get to this point and I have learned many things, including patience.

What are the negatives - or the things I will continue NOT doing.

1.  I will continue to be more or less teetotal.  I like alcoholic drinks such as wine, G&T and so on, but they are a trigger and it is just too easy to aim for one and end up having - er - more.  Lots more!  It's not just about the empty calories here, is it? 
If I don't buy it, I can't drink it; it is as simple as that.
2.  I know my trigger foods and it is sensible to avoid them.  Things like crisps, pastry, salted nuts are a bit of a disaster area for me so no.  Cheese used to be one but I now see cheese as a healthy extra so that's helped a lot.  Chocolate, generally, is not a problem, thankfully.
3.  I won't have a lot of fatty stuff.  This is out of necessity as, post gallbladder, too much fat gives me the runs (sorry about tmi).  Very useful as a controlling 'strategy' though!

I think that's about it.  End of ponder.  I've tried to write out the things that have been swirling around in my head all week and get them into some sort of coherent, cohesive form and it has really helped me.  Thank you for staying with me both through this essay and through the journey so far.

None of the above is any different to what has developed over the last three years or so.  It's as if I have been building a road for myself, brick by brick, stone by stone, and now I am ready to walk along it.  Repairs will be necessary from time to time, there may be a few potholes to fall into, a few obstacles to trip over or climb over, but generally it should be a comfortable walk.
So on I go, easing on down that road.

Come on, ease on down, ease on down the road
Come on, ease on down, ease on down the road
Don't you carry nothing
That might be a load
Come on, ease on down, ease on down, down the road
Pick your left foot up
When your right foot's down
Come on legs keep movin'
Don't you lose no ground
You just keep on keepin'
On the road that you choose
Don't you give up walkin'

Today's food plans:
B:  savoury waffles or pancakes (same batter) with some fried tomatoes
Every morning, I wander out into the garden and come back with a handful of tomatoes.  They have to be used - oh, the hardship!
I find that the savoury pancakes can be a bit lacking in flavour without good seasoning so I will add salt and pepper, garlic and onion granules and maybe some cajun spice too
SW:  one heB for the wholewheat flour, half a syn for 30 mls milk and two syns for a tsp sesame oil 
330 calories

L:  ham salad, coleslaw; apple
I have salad, ham and coleslaw left over from yesterday so waste not, want not.  
SW:  one syn for the mayo in the coleslaw
approx 250 calories

Snack:  one Hi Fi bar
Yes, I fell for these at group yesterday.  It wasn't something I intended to do but . . .
SW:  three and a half syns (could be classed as half a heB)
70 calories

D:  salmon, new potatoes, peas; kvarg
I'll be at Dad's s no certain calories as I don't know how big the salmon is or, indeed, whether he actually has new potatoes in.  We will see.  I can be more certain of SW values though.
SW:  half a syn for the kvarg and one syn for mayo (I love mayo on salmon)
An estimated 500 calories

Body Magic:  none today.

one healthy extra B
eight and a half syns

I'll try and keep up the food plans over the weekend and, whether I can or not, I'll be back on Monday.

Thursday 20 August 2020

Thursday, 20-08-20

Good morning!
Today's the first of the back to face to face Slimming World meetings.  I'll be helping out so have to be there a bit earlier which should take my mind off food!!
It will be masks on, shoes on, distance seating, no raffle, Slimmer of the Week basket or refreshments but it will be really nice to be back again.
And, as always, fingers crossed!

Yesterday's photos.
To my shame, I forgot to have breakfast.  I was quite busy and it just didn't register.  So I had a yogurt after my soup for lunch and left the apple for a bit later on.
I didn't take a photo of dinner either.  It tasted fine but looked like brown sludge.  Not a pretty sight!

I did manage to take a photo of the soup for lunch which was very tasty.

It's never a good idea to skip a meal and I made up for it with extra fruit later on in the afternoon so no real harm done, I hope.

Today's plans:

B:  yogurt and fruit
It's quite a busy morning so I will have something easy to prepare.
SW:  ha'f a syn for the fruit
total:  200 calories

L:  ham, coleslaw and salad; yogurt or kvarg
I have a friend coming for lunch so I'll be eating a bit earlier than usual.  I boiled up part of a ham that I bought on special just after Christmas.  It wasn't huge so lunch for two and dinner for one, added to what I put in yesterday's soup, should just about see it off.
SW:  one syn for mayo in the coleslaw and one for some onion chutney
Approx 350 calories

D:  ham, egg and chips
I won't be eating until later due to the SW meeting so this is not only quick and easy (using the actifry), it will also be a bit of a treat.  I haven't had SW chips for several days!
SW:  two syns for one tsp oil, one for some mustard and one and a half for some mayo.
450 calories

No afternoon snack today because of weigh in!

Body Magic:  nothing specific

Again, low on the healthy extras.  I need to make more of an effort with these, don't I?
Six syns
1000 calories exactly although it's all a bit of an approximation today.  I'll be dropping calories for the weekend as it will not be possible to work them out in advance but they will return next week.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Wednesday, 19-08-20

Good morning!

Yesterday's photos:

 Breakfast - mushroom omelette and fried tomatoes
Lunch was baked battered fish and runner bans, lots of lovely runner beans.

Delicious hunter's chicken for dinner.  I made the tomato sauce by spray frying some of my tomatoes and pushing the pulp through a sieve to get rid of the seeds and skins before adding various other bits and bobs.  It's wasn't so far from the PoN recipe really, although I didn't add any heat this time.
I couldn't resist pulling a few baby carrots to go with the runners.

Today's meal plans:
B:  fruit and yogurt
I want a light breakfast this morning as I'll be eating it later and will be off to personal training soon afterwards.
SW:  half a syn for the yogurt
250 cals approx

L:  spicy bean and veg soup, flatbread; apple
Another portion of the bean and veg rubble soup that I made on Sunday and, as I have boiled up a gammon joint (part of one, I mean) for lunch with a friend, I shall add some shreds of that to the soup too
SW:  six syns for the flatbread (it isn't a healthy extra B) and I believe everything in the soup is speed, protein or free foods.

366 calories

I have an avocado that really does need eating up and I will have it with a salsa made from onion, tomato and balsamic vinegar
SW:  14 syns for the avocado - it says on lifeline online, but I don't agree.  WLR tells me that my little avocado is 170 calories (weighed with stone and skin) so I am calling it eight and a half syns, me being a bit of a SW rebel!  And it is just a very little avocado!
200 calories

D:  chickpea curry and protein rice; yogurt or kvarg
From the freezer, one of the meals I had on DTU, I added extra veg, it made absolutely loads and I froze some of it.  I also have a portion of protein rice to use up and I might add some additional veg (runner beans I didn't eat yesterday, for example.  It will be a right conglomeration of bits and bobs!
SW:  one syn for the curry (I wrote it on the container!), one for the protein rice, half for the dessert
approx 400 calories

Body Magic:  personal training

seventeen and a half syns (which is daft!)
1216 calories
This is where SW falls flat a bit.  With that many syns, you'd expect the calories to be sky high.
No, there's no healthy extras but that's OK because I have calcium daily and there's plenty of fibre in the meals I am planning.
One sometimes needs to apply a great big dollop of common sense!

Tuesday 18 August 2020

Tuesday, 18-08-20

Good morning.
Thank you very much for the helpful comments yesterday.  As you can see, I've started just giving the total calories.
As always, if you want moe details about ingredients/methods/etc, please, do ask

Yesterday's photos:

A very simple breakfast of bacon and tomatoes from the garden.

The spiciness of the bean and veg soup was just about right and I shall definitely take the frozen portions to Dad's - it's just the sort of thing he likes.
Here's dinner - chilli and rice (protein 'rice' anyway) with some nice and necessary yogurt and some grated cheese.  I enjoyed this!

Today's plans:

B:  mushroom omelette and tomatoes
Two eggs, one chopped mushroom and some seasonings and the tomatoes fried in half tsp olive oil
SW:  one syn for some olive oil
233 calories

L:  battered fish with runner beans; fruit
Fish from the freezer and I'm looking forward to it.  It should go down well after aquarobics. 
SW:  eight syns for the fish
355 calories

Snack:  babybels and apple
SW:  one healthy extra A
180 calories

D:  hunter's chicken, runner beans (yes, more!); yogurt
I shall have a go at concocting a simple sauce.  Perhaps it won't be as nice as the Pinch of Nom one but it will use some of my glut of tomatoes so it might be nicer!.  I have loads and loads of runner beans at the moment which is why they are featuring so strongly.
It does make me feel good and frugal, using garden produce.
SW:  one heA for cheese
486 calories

Body Magic:  aquarobics

two healthy extra As
nine syns
1254 calories

Monday 17 August 2020

Monday, 17-08-20

Good morning!
I'm thinking of reducing the calorie report down to just the total as it does make for a number high/ more boring read.  Would that be OK?  Can you let me know in comments if you would rather it carried on as at the moment, please?
I'm definitely continuing with the SW values and calorie totals anyway.

Yesterday's photos:

 This worked really well after swimming.  I added a touch of marmite for more flavour.

 To the right is how the fish pie looked mid construction and below is the finished meal.  I added some sliced courgette to the bottom layer and it was most satisfying, the whole meal.

Instead of Mexican chicken with pinto beans and quinoa, it ended up as Mexican chicken with chickpeas and bulgar rice.  I added three baby corn that were picked down the allotment and, as it was pretty spicy, I also added a dollop of yogurt and it was absolutely gorgeous.  Definitely making that again.  Another plus was that I turned it into a one pot and it was dead easy.  The third plus was that one portion made enough for two for me so half of it is now in the freezer, carefully labelled, for another time.  Win-win-win!

Today's plans:
B:  bacon and tomatoes 
When we were little, Mum used to make what we called B&T, using split tomatoes from the tomato  nursery five doors along.  We loved skipping along for 'two pounds of split tomatoes, please' and skipping back with a full paper bag, knowing that it was B&T for our next meal.  It remains a great favourite, partly because of the memories but mostly because it tastes so good!  The B is now medallions so there's some missing flavour from the fat but it remains delicious with garden tomatoes, whether split or not split!
bacon:  79 cals
tomatoes:  47 cals
olive oil (1 tsp):43 cals
orange:  60 cals
total:  229 cals
SW:  two syns for the oil

L:  spicy bean and tomato soup, dipping flatbread; apple
A throw it all in together soup that contains bits of fridge rubble with odds and ends from the freezer and a bit of allotment produce.  Contains red onion, carrot, courgette, sweet potato, chilli, Cajun spice, garlic, new potato, Marigold stock, peas, corn, mushrooms, red pepper, kidney beans, butter beans and chopped tomatoes.
It made five portions, two for this week and three for the freezer although I might take two of them to Dad's at the weekend for one of our lunches.
soup: 120 cals
flatbread:  113 cals
apple: 55 cals
total: 288 cals
SW:  six syns for the flatbread (it isn't a healthy extra B) and I believe everything in the soup is speed, protein or free foods.

Snack: three babybel and some fruit 
I'm finding this mid-afternoon snack great for booting out any munchies that might make their presence felt.  It also gives me my hit of cheese.
total:  under 200 cals
SW:  one healthy extra A

D:  chilli and protein 'rice', yogurt or kvarg
Using extra lean mince. veg, a few beans and some tomatoes from the garden plus, maybe, some bbq sauce because I love it.  The yogurt is because the chillies I am using (last year's crop) have hotted up as they have dried so it will probably be needed - it's incredible how much pow one little chilli can impart!.
chilli and rice:  200 cals
grated cheddar:  125 cals
yogurt (70g):  50 cals
dessert: around 90 cals
total:  465 cals
SW:  one healthy extra A for the cheese, 

Body Magic:  something from Lindsey's FB page, probably.

two healthy extra As
eight syns
1182 calories.  Again, not enough, but it's a full day's food.  I've made the soup, I've made the chilli and I can see that the portions are not small and all in there's more than enough for the day.  Perhaps I will add some bulgar rice or maybe some orzo to the soup.
As I've said before, I don't want to eat stuff just for the sake of eating stuff and also if I have more than just a little fat, it get the runs (sorry, TMI) which is the only after effect of the gallbladder thing.
Oh, well, not to worry.  I am sure things will even out in time and, in the meanwhile, I'm having such a good time making pretty much everything from scratch.

Sunday 16 August 2020

Sunday, 16-08-20


Yesterday's food photos.

Breakfast was fried tomatoes on toast.  So simple and so very flavoursome.

Lunch:  sweet chilli beef with noodles.
This was much more flavoursome that yesterday's noodly meal.  I added a bit too much chilli but a dollop of natural yogurt sorted that out.  One to make again!

I changed the dinner plan as it had been such a wet and miserable day.  Instead of salad, I had some roasted tomatoes, courgette and onion and very nice it was too.

Today's plans:
B:  two boiled eggs and toast dippers
I have an early morning swim and I think this will be just the ticket when I get home afterwards.
eggs:  170 cals
toast:  126 cals
total: 296 cals
SW:  one healthy extra B

L:  haddock and potato pie, runner beans; fruit
There seems precious few haddock recipes around unless it's smoked salmon.  Searching round was quite frustrating so I decided to concoct something.
I will actifry some sliced potato until it's just done and starting to brown.
In a small, oven proof dish I will lay some sliced mushroom, red pepper and onion.  Over that will go the fish and some seasoning and on top I will lay a slice of applewood smoked cheddar.  Finally, over the top will go the potato slices and 15g of finely grated cheddar and it will oven bake at about 200C for around fifteen to twenty minutes until the fish is cooked.
I have some runner beans left over from yesterday so they can heat in the microwave at the last minute.
We will see. . .
the fish pie:  340 cals
runner beans:  15 cals
apple:  55 cals
total: 410 cals
SW:  one syn for some oil and one and a half healthy extra As for cheese

Snack:  apple
total 55 cals

D:  Mexican chicken stew with beans and quinoa; yogurt or kvarg
I am expecting a delivery of Musclefood meat today and intend using one of the chicken breast fillets - or half, if they are as huge as the were in my last order from them.
It sounds really good, this recipe (, with chicken, onion, peppers, chipotle paste, tomatoes, pinto beans and quinoa.   I think I have pinto beans in the freezer but, if not, another bean will do instead.
I've never been keen on quinoa but I think it's about time I gave it another go in some flavoursome recipes.
recipe: 510 cals
dessert: 90 cals approx)
total:  600 cals
SW:  half a syn for the chipotle paste and one for oil

Body Magic:  half hour swim

one and a half healthy extra As and one B
two and a half syns
1361 cals

It's been so miserable over the last few days that I shall set to and make a bot of my spicy bean and veg soup and that will do my lunches for the next few days.  If it suddenly gets hot again, it can go into the freezer - but somehow, I doubt it will need to.

Note to self:  STOP getting on the scales each morning.  They are up and down like a yoyo and it just worries me.  I'm so glad I'm back at group this Thursday and can use the proper scales again.  :-)