Sunday 31 March 2024

Sunday evening, 31-03-24

Good evening, everyone.
End of March, a new month starts in a few hours' time and April is going to be a bit of a challenge.  I think that, if I lose just a bit more, I will be happy but a maintain would be great too.  Let's see how it goes.

What I ate today on Slimming World:  I was not on plan so look away if it might trigger you.

A hot cross bun and, yes, butter!!  Bad me.
Sainsbury's was selling them singly and it was delicious.
Roast lamb dinner.  No dessert, I was just too full.
A cheese sarnie for tea - I just fancied it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

It's not been a great weekend for a Slimming World girl but, on the other hand, I have enjoyed it!  

Proper back on it tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B:  boiled eggs, toast dippers
SW:  half a healthy extra B for the toast

L:  fish finger, salad and mayo sarnie, side salad; fruit
I know fish fingers are surprisingly high in syns but I have them to use up, so there!
SW:  six syns for three(yes, three!!!) fish fingers, half a healthy extra B for bread, one syn for super light mayo (might make it lemon mayo)

D:  more roast lamb dinner - leftovers from Sunday.
SW:  might be syn free, I'll see how it goes

Exercise:  no circuits tomorrow, being a Bank Holiday, so I'll do something online or go out for a walk or - well, whatever.

Friday 29 March 2024

Friday evening, 29-03-24

Good evening, everyone.

Friday is weigh in day, of course.  This week I lost one pound.  Could have been better but much nicer than a gain so no grumbles.

I'm really looking forward to a coach trip to Norwich tomorrow.  I have a list of Things to Do while I'm there and have devoted some thought to food.  I don't want to go off plan because I won't be sticking totally plan on Sunday, for reasons I will mention tomorrow or Sunday evening.
So I'll take fruit with me for the coach and, depending on the weather, I will think on my feet when it is lunch time.  I'm sure there will be somewhere I can get a healthy lunch.  I don't want to load myself up with food but that's another option, of course.  However, the forecast isn't great, not the sort of day for finding a park bench and enjoying a picnic.
What would you do?

I didn't take any photos today and lost the plot somewhat.  Ooops.  Back on it as soon as possible.
I might not post tomorrow, it just depends.  Definitely back on Sunday though.  
Tomorrow's meal plans:

B:   fruit

L:  not known yet

D:  pasta bolognaise, salad; fruit
This will be quick and easy after a day out - I have the sauce in the freezer and pasta takes a very short time to cook.
If I'm not that hungry (I might not be after a coach journey), I can have something like an egg salad instead.
SW:  one healthy extra A for cheese

Exercise:  I'll be on my feet for much of the day once we get there, I expect.

Thursday 28 March 2024

Thursday evening, 28-03-24

Good evening, everyone.

Weigh in tomorrow morning and, after last week's irritating pound gain, I may just possibly be feeling a bit - not worried, not anxious - maybe 'edgy' is the word?
However, as I always say, it is what it is, I've had a great week eating pretty healthily, I think, and my clothes fit so let's rock with it.

What I ate today on Slimming World:

I had a banana before SET class and afterwards I wasn't at all hungry.  However, I knew lunch was going to be late so I had an apple and an orange.

Not at all what I planned but when I got back from the garden centre it was so cold and wet and windy that nothing else would do . . . 
One healthy extra B, pretty much, and one syn for brown sauce.

Afters was an apple

Dinner didn't look amazing but it tasted better than it looked.  The curry was fine, the yogurt was nice and cooling but I'm just not convinced by cauliflower rice.
Afters was an apple and that was that for the day.

no healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
one syn

A bit low but I really haven't felt all that hungry today.  Not to worry, I'm sure I will compensate over the weekend.

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B: fruit salad and yogurt
SW:   syn free.  

L:  chicken casserole, bread to dunk, maybe cheese on top; fruit
Actually, I could use a roll, slice it into small slices, sprinkle cheese on top and toast under the grill before popping over the casserole, like you do for French onion soup - except with chicken casserole and cheddar/mozzarella instead.  And I wonder if a bit of chutney on the bread under the cheese might work.
Yes, that's what I'll do!  I'll let you know what it is like!
SW:  one healthy extra A, one B and one and a half syns

D:  cottage pie with cheesy topping, salad or veg; fruit
SW:  one healthy extra A for cheese

Exercise:  shopping!!!  In other words, a rest day

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Wednesday evening, 27-03-24

Good evening, everyone.

What I ate today on Slimming World:

A breakfast pitta and very nice too.  Inside the pitta there's a few leaves, bacon tomatoes and scrambled egg with a bit of brown sauce.

One healthy extra B and one syn for sauce

Later on, I had a banana.
Some chicken casserole that was very close to being soup and I just chucked a few things in a bowl to go with it.  Syn free.
I had a couple of plums for afters
I wasn't expecting much but it was surprisingly delicious.
I had a pot of cooked basmati rice from the freezer that I let thaw.
Then I spray fried some onion, some red pepper, some chopped up bacon, some mushroom and some peas, added garlic granules, the rice and some black pepper.  No salt as the rice had been salted and bacon is salty.
To finish off, I added some mixed seeds and some finely grated cheese.
It tasted pretty close to a risotto without actually being a risotto!
Afters was an orange.

Two healthy extra As (I nibbled some of the cheese) one syn for the rice, one and a half syns for the seeds.

two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
three and a half syns
Tomorrow's meal plans:

B:  bacon and mushroom omelette with tomatoes on the side
SW:  syn free

L:  cheese and chutney toastie, salad; fruit
SW:  two healthy extra As, one healthy extra B, one and a half syns for chutney and one syn for salad cream

D:  chicken and bean balti (freezer), extra veg, cauliflower rice; fruit
SW:  syn free

Exercise:  maybe a SET class, depending on the old ankles!

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Tuesday evening, 26-03-24

Good evening, everyone.

No Groove class for me today.  Yesterday, I tweaked my ankle a bit in Circuits - didn't mention it because I thought it would recover overnight.  However, it didn't and, as I have dodgy ankles anyway for historical reasons, I pulled out of Groove and dug out my support bandage which has helped a lot.  Frustrating but you have to go with your instincts as to whether to push on through or draw back a bit, don't you?

A bit in advance, maybe, but I've started next week's planning and managed to fit in the rest of the freezer meals - yay, all gone (or they will be!)
I feel as if I've saved a ton of money and I'm really looking forward to getting back to more meal prep to fill the gaps in next week's plans.

Finally, I know this is a long shot and a bit random but does anyone make oat pasta?

What I ate today on Slimming World:

I had a banana first thing because I thought I was going to Groove
Pretty in pink!
A nice easy breakfast and I warmed up the fruit (blackberry and apple) and the rice pudding and mixed the juices from the apple and blackberry with the yogurt.  It was lovely that way.
Half a healthy extra A

A nice, veg packed lunch.  I so enjoyed this.
Half a healthy extra A and one healthy extra B (bread and seeds combined)

As usual, I had an orange later on.

Chicken pasta (reheated in the microwave, not baked!) with salad and the very last of the coleslaw from the weekend.
Very filling!

One healthy extra A for cheese and one syn for salad cream.

two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
one syn

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B: breakfast pitta, mushrooms and tomatoes
bacon and egg in a pitta.
SW:  one healthy extra B, one syn for brown sauce

L:  chicken casserole, side salad; fruit
To use up the casserole really!  Not very lunchy but syn free!
SW:  one syn for salad cream

D:  bacon and mushroom risotto
A good way to use up some of the chicken stock from the freezer, this isn't a traditional risotto because no wine is used and, actually, I have rice in the freezer so let's call it a savoury rice instead, OK?
SW:  one healthy extra A for cheese

Exercise:  personal training

Monday 25 March 2024

Monday evening, 25-03-24

Good evening, everyone.

My thanks to Jo Morgan for mentioning this blog on her YouTube vlog on Sunday.  I thought I would just answer a few questions - not that she asked any but to fill her, and anyone else newer to my blog, with a bit of info.

About me.
I'm Joy Clark, nearly 72 years old but feeling about half that age most of the time.  I've lived in Mid Essex for more than half my life now but, before then, I've lived in London, Belfast and, as a child, near Derby.  I was married but no longer and have two children, both in their forties now, bless them, plus one adult grandson.
Apart from the time I took out to have my family, I have been a primary school teacher all my working life and loved it, but I'm also really enjoying retirement with all the freedoms it gives me.
I am a school governor and I go to a number of different fitness classes - which always makes me smile because before SW, I would never have countenanced them for a single second, let alone cope with them physically.

About my SW journey.
I joined SW after having gallbladder problems which meant I had to eat a very restricted diet, firstly because it hurt if I didn't and then also because I was put on a 'liver shrinking diet' prior to surgery.
When that was all done and dusted, I found the weight slowly creeping back on again so, after chatting to a friend, I joined the SW group she went to.  And it all went from there . . .

Am I at target?
Some time and plenty of ups and downs later, I reached my target and stayed around it, within the target range but, after a Christmas/New Year cruise and a delayed 'get-back-to-it', I'm about seven pounds outside my target range.  I'm not fussed, it's still a happy place, but I'd like to get back there, all the same, so I am working towards that.
(In case you're wondering how much I have lost, from my heaviest ever to now, I have lost roughly half my body weight - never, ever want to go back there again!)

Finally, I don't like to do this much, but here's a before/after thing - I am older, greyer, shorter haired and much more wrinkled now than when the 'after' photo was taken around two or three years ago.  😉

What I ate today on Slimming World:

Pancakes rather than waffles today and I made the batter a bit thinner by diluting it with water.  Still tasted great!
20g wholewheat SR flour (which I call half a B)
one medium egg (free/protein)
a splodge of 0% yogurt (free/protein)
pinch baking powder
water to dilute (could use milk but measure and count)
flavourings of choice
Mix it all well together and cook as wanted.
Serve with a selection of fruit and more yogurt.
Half a B

The last portion of nasi goreng.  I realised I had quite a lot of mushrooms so I had them instead of a salad and also added some mixed seeds to the rice.
Two syns for the nasi goreng.  The seeds can be the rest of the healthy B

Dinner was a bit of a cobbled together affair.  I had the very beany chilli, some leftover veg from yesterday and some left over coleslaw from Saturday that had sort of 'pickled' (and was delicious).  I heated the first two, piled the chilli over the mince, sprinkled over grated cheddar and popped the coleslaw on the side.  Amazingly, it was delicious.
One healthy extra A and one syn for salad cream
No pudding - no room for anything else.
And there's a bit of chilli left over.  I'm going to freeze it for now and, next week, mash it and use it to make quesadillas.

one healthy extra A
one healthy extra B
three syns

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B: rice pudding, fruit and yogurt
SW:  half a healthy extra A

L:  cheesy broccoli and cauliflower soup, croutons, seeds; fruit
I think this is the last from the freezer.
SW:  half a healthy extra A for cheese triangles in the soup, one healthy extra B for croutons and mixed seeds

D:  chicken pasta bake, side salad; fruit
SW:  one healthy extra A, one syn for salad cream

Exercise:  roove class and the walk there and back again.

Sunday 24 March 2024

Sunday evening, 24-03-24

Good evening, everyone.
I hope you've all had a healthy and delicious weekend and are ready for a new week.  I know I am.

On her Facebook page, Roe posted this and I think it's important so I'm sharing it with you.

What do you think?
What I ate today on Slimming World:

I enjoyed this.  There's a portion of rice pudding under the fruit and I warmed it up in the microwave.
Half a healthy extra A for milk.

Later on, I had a plum.

Sunday lunch.  The casseroled steak was from the freezer and the potato topping was mashed potato, an egg yolk and 30g cheese, all mixed together.
Lovely grub.
One healthy extra A and two syns.

Dessert was a sweet, juicy orange.

Bacon, mushroom and pea risotto for dinner.  OK, so I think the egg/cheese sauce 'scrambled' just a little bit but it was ever so tasty, all the same.  It looks a bit 'dull' because I use wholewheat pasta.
No need for a side salad and no room for a dessert.
One healthy extra B and two syns for a bit more cheese to sprinkle over - because you can never have too much cheese, can you?
I've so enjoyed today's food.

And many thanks to Roy Greene for the idea for this recipe - here's the YouTube video it was from.

two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
four syns

Tomorrow's meal plans:  

B:   pancakes or waffles, yogurt and fruit
Probably pancakes as I had waffles the other day.
SW:  half a healthy extra B

L:  nasi goreng, side salad, fruit
The last of the portions from the freezer and I might add extra veg rather than making a side salad.  I'll see how I feel.
SW:  two syns

D:  chilli, salad; fruit
I have a fairly spicy red pepper and tomato sauce that I think would be great for a chilli.  Given that I will be using mince, all sorts of veg and beans, probably mixed beans, I won't be having rice with it; it's a carb heavy day anyway
SW:  two syns for the sauce, one healthy extra A for cheese

Tomorrow's exercise:   circuits class

Saturday 23 March 2024

Saturday evening, 23-03-24

Good evening, everyone.

I redid the freezer audit of 'ready meals' and found, to my surprise, that it was very much up to date.  I have more of them planned in this week as well as a few cooked from scratch meals because I have missed cooking.  Re-heating really isn't the same.  😁

What I ate today on Slimming World:

A nice, filling breakfast.  The h m guacamole was avocado (two syns), finely chopped onion, chopped tomato, seasoning, chilli flakes and lime juice, all mashed together.
Half a healthy extra B and two syns

Later on, I had an orange.

Lunch was the second burger, that I made yesterday, with some onion on top, a choppy salad with some mixed seeds and some coleslaw.
The seeds can be part of my B and the cheese in the burger can be part of an A while the salad cream in the coleslaw is one syn.
I put some chopped apple in the coleslaw and are the rest for dessert.  

As for dinner, I had planned an M&S pizza (well, half of a pizza) but when it came to it, I realised it had been in the freezer for ages, didn't look that great and, for eleven syns (plus healthy extra As), I could do a lot better myself.  So I did - for fewer syns.
I used a flatbread - white, so 7 syns - plus a sauce made from tomato puree, ketchup and balsamic vinegar, a healthy A of cheese and sundry veg plus half a syn for salad cream in the coleslaw.  Really nice and healthy and totally hit the pizza fakeaway spot.  OK, so it doesn't look like a 'real' pizza but it was delicious, it really was.
The sauce, by the way, was one tbsp ketchup, one of tomato puree and one of balsamic vinegar.  So good!
So one and a half healthy extra As, seven syns for a flatbread, one and a half syns for a level tbsp ketchup, I will count the seeds scattered over the pizza as the rest of my healthy extra B and half a syn for coleslaw.
Such a shame I couldn't get hold of the wholemeal flatbreads in that range as they count as a B choice - they do disappear from the shelves very quickly and they're even sold out on Amazon.
No room for any dessert.

two healthy extra A
one healthy B
eleven and a half syns (I think) - close to the top of my range but all part of meals, not snacky extras, so I'm not too concerned

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B:  rice pudding, fruit, yogurt
SW:  half a healthy extra A

L:  rich beef stew, mash, steamed veg; fruit
I might turn this into a cheesy potato topped pie.  Not traditional Sunday but nice.
SW:  I think this should be free

D:  Roy's mushroom and pea carbonara, side salad; fruit
I saw this in a Facebook group and followed the link to YouTube.  It's pretty much exactly as I make carbonara so the only thing I will change is that I will add some chopped bacon because - you know - mushroom and bacon is a flavour combi made in heaven, isn't it?
SW:  one healthy extra A

Exercise:  a Lindsey pre-record

Friday 22 March 2024

Friday evening, 22-03-24

Good evening, everyone

At weigh in today, I had a very disappointing one pound gain.  No idea why but that's what it was so I am spending a short time going over the last week's entries to see if I can pinpoint anything - nothing found yet.
I was a bit upset but my usual optimism has reasserted itself now.  After all, I have had some delicious meals, I know that, apart from last Friday, I have eaten very healthily and, apart from that 'Friday treat', there's nothing I need to change.  So all good.
And I have the new magazine to enjoy and get ideas from.  One perk of being on the Social Team is that I don't need to pay for it.  :-)

I'm doing really well on using up batch and leftovers portions from the freezer.  There's definitely spaces in the bag and I have more planned in for this coming week.  I'm really missing the cooking but the feeling of being nice and frugal and making the best of what I already have is great.
I need to get that bag out of the freezer now and update my list.  I've been trying to keep up but just to make sure.  It's irritating to plan something and then find you've already used it.

It was really nice to exchange some messages with Jo Morgan today.  Jo does Slimming World at present and has a YouTube Vlog, Joanne's Slimming World Journey, that I always watch; she's a really lovely person, very realistic and honest about the challenges in her life as well as sharing and celebrating recipes and meals she has enjoyed..
Here's a link, if you're interested.

What I ate today on Slimming World:

A favourite breakfast and very much enjoyed.  The fruit is pineapple, raspberries, cherries and blueberries - so 50% speed.
Three syns as I've planned my B in for dinner.

Then I went food shopping so wasn't tempted with extra fruit.

This was lunch; the last of the cheesy pasta bake portions.  I think there's one more portion without cheese.
A healthy extra A and one syn for the salad cream.

Later on, I had grapes - my much more healthy Friday treat.  They were lovely.

I enjoyed this.  The burger was my usual recipe.
100g under 5% beef mince
one rosemary and red onion sausage
Some finely chopped onion, softened with spray oil for one minute in the microwave
15g finely grated cheddar
salt, pepper, any other seasoning.
Mix it all together thoroughly and then shape.  This amount makes two burgers or one burger and five or six meatballs.  I made two burgers this time and the other is on the menu for tomorrow.
The chips were air fried, of course.
One healthy extra A for cheese in the bun, one healthy extra B, one and a half syns for the grated cheese in the burger, one and a half syns for onion chutney and that's it.  
No dessert.  I was stuffed!

two healthy extra A
one healthy extra B
seven syns

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B: avocado/guacamole toast, egg, mushrooms and tomatoes
SW:  two syns for avocado, half a healthy extra B

L:  burger in a bowl, salad; fruit
Not the recipe, literally a burger in a bowl to use up the second one I made this afternoon.
SW:  one and a half syns for cheese in the burger, one syn for salad cream

D:  half a M&S pizza, side salad; fruit
. . . because I have it to use up.
SW:  eleven syns for the pizza (no counted free food so high syn but it's really only around 220 calories)

Exercise:  a Lindsey pre-record

Thursday 21 March 2024

Thursday evening, 21-03-24 - long waffle alert; just scroll past if not interested.

Good evening, everyone.  Weigh day tomorrow morning.  As almost always, I've resisted standing on my own scales so have absolutely no idea of how it's going to go (although my nice pjs fit comfortably again) but it is what it is . . . (or will be).

Now and again, I do a bit of pondering about this whole Slimming World game.  As you know, because I have said often (boringly often), some of the seeming inconsistencies and quirks can get up my nose somewhat.  

One of those minor irritations is the relatively blunt weapon nature of 'syns' - and don't get me started on the actual name itself.   Basically, one syn = 20 calories and there's a certain amount of rounding up/down involved to work out syns for any product that isn't speed or free.

I know no food is calorie free and that some 'free' foods really do need to be limited sensibly, whatever SW says about 'eating freely'.  White carbs, for instance - it makes a lot of sense to weigh those and to work out for yourself the sort of portion size that's going to work for you, individually.  For me, it is between 40 and 40g dry weight, around half of what SW recommended recipes seem to use per portion. 
That's all fine, it is just part of a mindful, think-it-through approach to make it individualised.  It doesn't bother me.

But syns?  I'm not sure why they irritate me really because, except for the times I knowingly and deliberately go off plan, it is very rare for me to go over ten syns a day, let along fifteen, the top recommended amount for me. 
Oh, and the actual name itself is 😬
On the other hand, the great majority of stuff you need to syn is over/ultra processed stuff that started as something else rather than actual food with notable exceptions, such as avocado, olive oil or mixed seeds.  So, maybe, the older term 'sins' is the more accurate in many cases. - rubbish might be the better term!

And I don't always want to eat a specific amount to work with syns values.  For example, avocado chunks - I weigh them out, then go into Nutracheck to get the calories for that particular weight and convert it to syns.  That's two steps instead of one.  Ditto for salad dressing, etc - I've got to weigh it anyway.

So, I was pondering.  I love the balance of the SW plan - the emphasis on fresh stuff, fruit and veg, limited unhealthy fats, healthy extras for fibre and calcium, etc, and it works really well for someone who pretty much cooks or prepares every meal from scratch with great enjoyment and who doesn't blindly accept but works out her own way. 
I don't want to weigh everything I have, nor should I feel I have to.
But syns, maybe . . . hmmmmm, I'm thinking . . .

This really is just pondering but - once I get back into my target range, I think what I might do is calorie count just the things that are not free/speed foods.  Fifteen syns is three hundred calories and, given I'm weighing them anyway and using Nutracheck to find the calories, why not count the calories and convert at the end - or just forget about syns and just have a maximum of 300 for non-free food?  I'll think about that . . .

And thank you for bearing with me while I ramble.

What I ate today.

A simple breakfast.  I had some berries that were just on the turn so I polished them off and added to them a chopped up plum.
Syn free.

Just a choppy cheg salad and it was lovely.
One healthy extra A, one syn for salad cream, half a syn for some spray dressing and that was that!

Because lunch was later than usual, I didn't want any fruit later on.

Another salad for dinner, with lasagne this time.  I hope I never tire of salad; I love it so much.
No dessert, I was full up.
That was the last portion of home made lasagne from the freezer.  Must make some more sometime.  Not this month though.
One healthy extra A and five syns for the lasagne and one syn for the salad cream.

two healthy extra As
no healthy extra Bs
seven syns

Tomorrow's meal plans:
It's Friday and usually I buy a couple of healthy 'treats - nuts or good chocolate, for example - but I've realised it is becoming something of a habit and I don't want that so I've planned particularly favourite food today instead of 'treats'.
Send me strength.  😇

B:   waffles, fruit and yogurt
SW:  three syns because I'm having my B for dinner

L:  pasta bake, salad; fruit
SW:  one healthy extra A, one syn for salad dressing

D:  bacon and cheese burger, chips, salad, fruit
SW:  one healthy extra A, one B, one and a half syns for chutney

Exercise:  a Lindsey pre-record on YouTube.

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Wednesday evening, 20-03-24

Good evening, everyone.
Now I've got used to posting in the evenings, I quite like it.  It feels much more immediate and logical to do the summary and post the photos straight afterwards than before or the next day.

My thanks to everyone who has continued to read through the time change.

What I ate today on Slimming World:

I do love egg on toast.
Half a healthy extra B
Lunch was a colourful plateful of deliciousness.
One and a half healthy extra As and half a healthy extra B.

Later on I had an orange.

I was out early evening so, to keep me going, I had an apple and a pear before leaving
I made dinner in the afternoon - a very quick stir fry of chicken, onion, pepper, baby corn and mushroom plus the peshawari sauce.
Dessert was an apple.
Six syns for the sauce.

one and a half healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
six syns

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B: fruit and yogurt
SW:  should be syn free

L:  cheg, salad; fruit
SW:  one healthy extra A, one syn for salad cream

D:  lasagne, salad; fruit
SW:  one healthy extra A and five syns for the lasagne, one syn for salad dressing

Exercise:   SET class online.