Tuesday 30 April 2024

Tuesday evening, 30-04-24

Good evening, everyone.

What I ate today:

I had an apple before Groove class and this after Groove.  Yes, the egg broke - I did it on purpose.  😀
Very satisfying and filling.

Syn free
I decided to make eggy bread for the bacon sandwich and it worked really well.  One to do again, for sure.
Afters was an apple and, later on in the afternoon, an orange.

One healthy extra B, half a syn for a bit of brown sauce and half a syn for a little bit of salad cream.

Very delicious.  I was going to top it with cheese but I ate it all beforehand so it's yogurt instead.
(there's two portions of the mince to go into the freezer)
The salad was lunch leftovers!

Two healthy extra As and half a syn for some chorizo.

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

Tomorrow's plans

B:  rice pudding, yogurt and fruit

L:  avocado bagel, scrambled egg, side salad; fruit

D:  one pot Spanish Chicken and rice

Exercise:  personal training

Monday 29 April 2024

Monday evening, 29-04-24

Good evening, everyone.  Home again after the loveliest weekend away.
I was at Five Lakes on a Fun and Fitness weekend as part of a group led by Lindsey who has an arrangement with Potters regarding discounts and using some of the facilities for her fitness classes.
Here's the link to the Five Lakes site.

As far as food was concerned, the meals were fantastic.  I didn't really consider 'healthy' although a lot of what was on offer was pretty good.  You could have whatever you wanted on offer and how much you wanted.  So if you really could manage a cooked breakfast followed by a continental one, you could.
Lunch and dinner was three course meals with loads of choice.  For dinner, I tended to go for the carvery - roast beef on Friday, roast gammon on Saturday and roast turkey on Sunday.
And, as an all inclusive breaks, there was alcohol whenever you wanted.

I had a good time!  And I didn't eat loads of rubbish, the food was really good.  I just ate too much.

However, I'm now back home and back on track.  I need to be.  

What I ate today:
Breakfast was at Five Lakes and I had a cooked breakfast:  bacon, sausage, mushrooms, scrambled egg and fried bread, followed by toast.

To slightly counter balance that, I did an energetic aqua class before breakfast and then I did the usual Monday circuits class at twelve.

Lunch:  a cheese and chutney toastie and a very simple salad on the side.
Later on, I had an orange and a pear.

One healthy extra A, one healthy extra B and one and a half syns

I enjoyed dinner.  A sort of hunter's chicken with broccoli and some melon for afters.

One healthy extra A

two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
one and a half syns - plus breakfast!

Tomorrow's plans:

B:  bacon, egg, tomatoes and mushrooms

L:  bacon sandwich, salad; fruit
I have some bacon that needs using up./
SW:  one healthy extra B

D:  pasta bolognaise, side veg; fruit
SW:  up to two healthy extra As

Exercise:   Groove and the walk there and back.

Thursday 25 April 2024

Thursday evening, 25-04-24

Good evening, everyone.  Meals are going to be higgledy piggledy for the next few days so I think I will take a break in this blog and be back on Monday at the latent, once I am home and back on it again.

In the meanwhile, have a lovely weekend, whatever you are planning to do.

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Wednesday evening, 24-04-24

Good evening, everyone.
First of all, I want to say a big thank you to one of my readers who sent me an email earlier in April that I have only just caught up with.
It was such a nice message and gave me great encouragement.  For whatever reason, I don't get many comments and, sometimes, I wonder why but when I get such a nice message like that, it really helps.  Thank you so much, J.  xx

It's been a really nice day today.

When I planned things, I sort of forgot it was my birthday today (well, I am 72 now so I have every excuse).  So the meal plans have gone to the wall and it's been quite a naughty day because, as eny ful kno, calories don't count when it's your birthday.

Tomorrow, I am out for lunch with a friend to celebrate both our birthdays and on Friday I am off to Five Lakes for an all inclusive fitness and fun weekend so things will not be 'normal' for the next several days.

It won't be totally terrible.  Lindsey has put together a whole collection of activities and, while I won't be doing everything - CAN'T do everything - I fully intend to do one morning and one afternoon thing because they really will be fun.
Here's Lindsey's timetable - there will, of course, be a full schedule of Potters activities through the days and evenings too

I will certainly do the Friday welcome SET class because I really enjoy SET

On Saturday/Sunday I really want to do Groove, step, SET and circuits - I just have to work out which and when.
And Aqua on Monday is a definite.  I might have another swim at some point too.

However, given that it is all inclusive . . . 
Oh, well, back on it after the weekend, yes?

No photos from today - obviously!
Tomorrow's plans

B:  Sweet omelette with fruit and yogurt

L:  lunch out with a friend

D:  the chicken tortellini planned for today and not had.

Exercise:  rest day - I'm going to need it before the weekend!!!

Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning, in fact), 23-04-24

Good morning, everyone.
Apologies for this being late.  Back to normal this evening.  :-)

What I ate yesterday:

Very delicious beans on toast with added cut up ham.
One healthy extra G
Tuna was nice for a change.

One and a half syns for salad cream.

I wasn't 100% and ended up having fruit and cheese on toast for dinner rather than carbonara.

I didn't weigh or count anything.

Today's plans

B:  fruit

L:  tortellini pasta bake, salad; fruit

D:  rich beef casserole, cheesy mash, assorted veg; fruit

Exercise:  personal training

Monday 22 April 2024

Monday evening, 22-04-24

Good evening, everyone.

Today's Vlog recommendation is At Home with Chelle.
Chelle's vlog is not just about food/weight loss, it's an interesting mix of Slimming World meals, lifestyle, shopping, holidays, family, seasonal stuff, deep cleans - oh, all sorts.
She is on Slimming World, maintaining, I believe, and now and again she vlogs about a week's meals, or a week's breakfasts or similar.  Her meals look really delicious, I think.

Here's a link to her latest (at time of typing) food vlog, a week of healthy dinners.

Go and take a look.

What I ate today:

A tasty, syn free breakfast.  The ham, Sunday roast leftovers, is really delicious.

Later on, I had an apple

Syn free
In the end I decided to have neither egg nor ham on my toasted bagel and guacamole.
The coleslaw ended up all pink and purple with red cabbage, red onion, apple amd carrot with some seeds.
Dessert was an orange.

One healthy extra B, two syns for guacamole, one for seeds and one for salad cream in the coleslaw.

To make this, I spray softened onion, pepper and mushroom, cooked some pasta, added the home made baked beans and some cubes of ham to the vegetables, mixed in the cooked pasta and some grated cheddar with more cheddar on tip.  Really tasty and satisfying and I didn't have anything else.

Two healthy extra As.

two healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
four syns

Tomorrow's plans

B:  home made baked beans on toast
(the last of the three portions - I am definitely making some more!)

L:  Jo's tuna mayo salad cups, side salad; fruit
I saw this on Jo Morgan's Vlog the other day.

D:  ham and mushroom carbonara, perhaps extra veg; fruit

Exercise:    Groove class and the walk there and back, weather permitting.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Sunday evening, 21-04-24

Good evening, everyone!

Today's vlog is 'Nicky in a Vlog'.  

Nicky and her other half have one teenage son, Freddie, and her vlog is a real mix of shopping hauls, days out, holidays, lifestyle, product promotion (not loads, just a bit) and, most of all, her journey to more healthy eating and weight loss.

She does hop from one plan/method/system to another, currently on calorie counting using Nutracheck,  and she shares what she learns and eats and has done some lovely recipes.

It was Nicky who introduced me to Just Spices for which I am very grateful as I now use their mixes and toppings such a lot; they are really very good.

Here's a link to her latest vlog post at time of typing.

What I ate today:
I think that, from now on, I'm going to put any long-winded recipes or explanations, etc, at the bottom of the blog.

Guacamole (bought last week and not eaten, actually really nice) on pumpernickel bread with scrambled eggs and a leafy side.
I used Just Spices scrambled egg seasoning and avocado topping mixes.

One healthy extra B (I've checked and the bread is a B - hooray!) and one and a half syns.

Roast gammon dinner - I treated myself to some Jersey royals and yum!
How I made the sauce and cooked the gammon are both below.

I don't normally photo pudding because it's just fruit but this was delicious.  I thawed and heated some raspberries in the microwave, adding some sweetener.  I warmed up a portion of rice pudding.  One on t'other and Bob's your uncle.  It was most satisfying.

Half a healthy extra A and one syn for the rice, half a syn for the bbq-ish sauce.

By the way, I've posted the rice pudding blog now.  I hope it is useful.  xx

Just a simple ham salad in the evening plus a potato salad made from the rest of the Jersey royals with chives from the garden and mayo.  Very tasty
And that was that.

One syn for super light mayo, one syn for salad cream and one syn for mixed seeds.

half a healthy extra A
one healthy extra B
six syns

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B:  ham, egg, mushrooms and tomatoes
(plus a piece of fruit before circuits class)
SW:  syn free

L: toasted bagel, guacamole, egg, salad; fruit
SW:  one healthy extra B, two syns for two level tbsps guacamole

D:  ham and baked bean pasta bake, side salad; fruit and rice pudding
. . . using the home made baked beans from Saturday
SW:  one healthy extra A for cheese, half a healthy extra A for milk, one syn for sugar and one for salad cream

Exercise:  circuits class and a walk

I made the sauce for the ham using some passata, chopped onion, half a tsp dark muscovado sugar (half a syn and worth it for the deep flavour), white vinegar, Hendowsons, soy sauce, tomato puree and black pepper.  I pot it all in a pan, let it summer for a while and then blended it smooth.
Really nice.
There's a bit left which will go towards a hunter's chicken meal at some point soon.

The ham was my usual Sainsburys Be Good To Yourself gammon joint (I tend to buy one each month).  I wrapped it in foil and gave it about fifty minutes in the Ninja at 170 C on roast and then about fifteen minutes resting time.  Perfect and much cheaper than on the hob or in the oven.
And there's loads and loads left over for meals through the coming week.  

Recipe: different ways to make rice pudding

 A few days ago, I was asked how I make rice pudding and, as there are several possible ways, I thought I'd do a post about it.

I used the same proportions each time.  They were:
120 mls semi skimmed milk (half a healthy extra A)
20g pudding rice
one tsp sugar (one syn)
grated nutmeg

(or multiples of these amounts)

You could use other flavourings, of course - vanilla, mixed spice, cinnamon - whatever you want.  I stuck to nutmeg for consistency. for half a healthy extra A and one syn or for four syns.  I didn't add butter and you could use sweetener instead of sugar which would make it just half an A or three syns.
I believe some people use water instead of milk or half and half - I might try that sometime but I am happy to use half an A per portion.

This is what I did.

In the oven:

It is expensive to heat up an oven for one rice pudding but if you have it on for something else and have space, why not?

Heat the oven to 140 fan, 160 non-fan or gas 3.
Butter an ovenproof dish and add the ingredients - personally, I would do three or four portions at a time.
Stir and bake for between an hour and an hour and a half.

I didn't try this - I'm trying hard to be frugal with my power usage and it's just not economical unless you have to have the oven on anyway.  I know it works because that's how my Mum always made her rice pudding (plus butter!).  😊

On the hob:
Use a pan suitable to the number of portions you want to make and non stick is a really good idea!

Add the ingredients and stir.  Put the pan on a high heat and bring to a boil, stirring all the time.
Reduce the heat to the lowest possible and put a lid on.
Allow to simmer away, stirring every five minutes or so to prevent sticking - it took me about 20 to 25 mins.
Add a little splash of water if it seems to be drying out.
When it's done, it's done!

In the slow cooker:
I made double quantities so two portions.

Just chuck everything in, give it  good stir and turn it on.  I used the Auto setting, turned it on at around 9:30, gave it another little stir at around ten, then went out for a walk and when I came in just before 12:30, it was done perfectly.

Cook it on slow and I guess it would take another hour or so.

In my Thermomix:
If you have a thermomix and access to Cookidoo, you could follow that recipe but don't do the butter thing, just miss it out and go on to that final cooking time.

I had a go with the ingredients as above x 2 portions.  

Insert butterfly whisk.
Place ingredients in bowl.
Measuring cup on.
Cook 55 mins, 90C, reverse speed 1
Check and give a bit longer if needed.

I did try the microwave but all I got was a big old mess all over the turntable - wouldn't recommend it, personally!!

Which method would I choose to use depends on context.
If I wanted just one portion, I would probably do it in a pan on the hob.  However, that would be unlikely as I'm a great believer in cooking once and freezing the extra portions and also you can't just leave it to do its thing!  Lazy cooks rule, OK?

If I was going out, I would use my slow cooker.
If I was staying in, I would use Thermione.  
Both make a really nice basic rice pudding that you could jazz up if you wanted to.
Neither method needs you to stir regularly, both are fuel economical, both are easy.

Up to you.  Which will you do?

Saturday 20 April 2024

Saturday evening, 20-04-24

Good evening, everyone!

Today's Vlog is one I have watched/subscribed to for quite a while.
Leanne has a had quite a journey - she joined Slimming World, was doing rather well and then she was diagnosed as having breast cancer so had to start treatment.  
Her vlogs became, understandably, rather infrequent, and they focused on eating for health rather than following any specific plan.  
However, she is now in complete remission (is that the right term?) and she is now back on the Slimming World plan, plus intermittent fasting when possible, and going great guns.

She does weigh-ins, what she eats in a day, health updates, general life stuff - oh, all sorts of things.

Leanne is lovely.  She comes over as a gentle, courageous lady who thinks deeply and expresses herself really well.  I always enjoy watching her vlogs and I hope you will too.  Go and take a look.

Here's a link to her latest vlog at time of typing.

What I ate today:
Breakfast was some fruit (an apple and an orange), eaten on our morning walk.  No photo.

I goofed over my lunch plans.  How can anyone run out of cans of baked beans?  Well, I did and I don't want to go shopping again so soon so I put baked beans on the shopping list and turned to the faithful Internet for a simple recipe.
Here you go - from the wonderful BBC Good Food site - I love that place.

I had to do a bit of subbing.  I used cannellini beans, one carton, and reduced the other ingredients accordingly although it's really one of those 'chuck it all in and see' type recipes.  
I blended a can of chopped tomatoes and used some of it instead of passata.
I didn't have dates so I finely chopped some mixed dried fruit instead.  And I cooked the chopped onions long and slow so they almost melted in.
It does have synnable ingredients but I made between a third and a half of the recipe and it made three Joy-sized portions, I reckon it is comparable to canned baked beans in calories so I'm just calling it syn free
After taking out two thirds to freeze, I finely chopped a bacon medallion and added that with a squidge of brown sauce to the last third.  On pumpernickel toast with cheese on top it was absolutely gorgeous - and I have two more portions in the freezer as well as a new recipe I will want to make again.
Half a healthy extra A, one healthy extra B and one syn

Later on, I had an orange and a banana.

Dinner was a shop bought fresh chicken and pancetta tortellini to which IO added a tomato, pepper and mushroom sauce.
The SW site said the whole pack was fifteen syns which sounds awful - until you realise that it's officially two portions but I got three portions.
It was lovely - must buy that again sometime and, in the meanwhile, I have two portions in the freezer.
My freezer is taking a battering again, isn't it?
Earlier in the day I made a two portion batch of rice pudding in the slow cooker (for the post I'm doing about rice pudding) so I had one portion for dessert and the other portion is - guess where!!
Half a healthy extra A for cheese, half an A for milk, six syns for the main and one syn for sugar in the rice pudding.

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

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B:  guacamole toast with egg, leaves and tomatoes

L:  roasted gammon, etc; fruit
I have some blended chopped tomato from the baked beans recipe so I will make some sort of sauce to go with the gammon.

D:  ham salad; fruit

Exercise:  a rest day.  I start back at classes again on Monday.

Friday 19 April 2024

Friday evening, 19-04-24

Good evening, everyone!  Home, sweet home.  It's been a lovely five days away but I'm always happy to be home again.  Everything is unpacked and away, the washing is done, I did a small shop for fruit and veg, hopefully to last a week.

This coming week and after next weekend at Five Lakes, going forward . . .
  • Back on SW and back to basics.
  • Back on Intermittent Fasting as much as I can, with the proviso that on days where I have an early morning exercise class (I count 9:15 as early when it is exercise!) I may have an apple beforehand for energy.
  • Back on pretty much 100% home cooking.
  • Back on working through what I have in the freezer
My new block of classes starts on Monday (they started last Monday but, obviously, I couldn't start then) so that will help.  I can catch up on what I missed through this block, if I want to, by attending other classes.

I'll resume my Vlog recommendations tomorrow.  

What I ate today:

I didn't photo breakfast but it was exactly the same as yesterday and the day before and the day before and . . .

Lunch.  Underneath the cheese there's some red onion chutney and some bacon medallions.
One and a half healthy extra As, one healthy extra B, one and a half syns for chutney and one syn for salad dressing.

I was going to have an orange later on but I got busy with the bread making and forgot.  Obviously, I didn't need it, did I?

I was going to egg and breadcrumb some fish but, when I looked, I found a garlic and herb crumbed yellow fin sole for four syns and Had that instead.  It was lovely, as were the home made chips and the bit of salad.  So nice to be back on real food again.  You might say I could make my 'real' food at Center |Parcs but it isn't so easy with such limited kitchen tools and I never really worked out how the oven/microwave combi thingy actually worked.
Four syns for the fish and one and a half for some salad cream for chip-dipping.

And I didn't want any fruit afterwards.

one and a half healthy extra As
one healthy extra B
eight syns
and whatever breakfast was - I have no idea.

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B:  fruit, eaten on our walk
SW:  syn free

L:  cheesy beans on toast; fruit
SW:  one A, one B and half a syn for brown sauce

D:  chicken and pancetta tortellini in a tomato and veg sauce, maybe a side salad; fruit
I bought the tortellini at Center Parcs and didn't use it then.  Fortunately, it has a longish date.  I will prep the whole pack, divide it into three portions and freeze two of them.
SW:  six syns for a third of the finished pasta dish, half a healthy extra A for some parmesan

Exercise:  a walk with SW friends

A get-straight-back-onto-it food haul

I haven't done a food haul for ages, have I?  

This is exactly what I have just come back with from Morrisons.  Very little of it shouts 'full meal' because I have more than adequate supplies of eggs, cheese, meat, canned stuff, etc, already in cupboard, fridge and freezer.  Really, I just needed fresh.

I already had oranges, a few apples and some blueberries, not to mention frozen fruit
The melon is a bit of a treat really.
Salad and veg
I was definitely short on salad stuff but no more . . .
One always leaves something behind when coming home from holiday.  Me?  I left a few slices of my good, home made bread in the little freezer box which I was annoyed about because it will get chucked and it really is nice bread.

I'll put another batch on this afternoon but, in the meanwhile, Morrisons had some really nice looking pumpernickel bread so I got a  loaf.  I don't know if it will could as a B officially, but it will for me.

The bag is a couple of slices of fillet steak.  The way it is cut, I will be able to get three servings from it so, while still expensive, it's not quite as bad as it could have been.  I'm going to treat myself to some on my birthday next week.

I'm rather hoping that this, with what I already have, will see me through until the start of May.
Fingers crossed.

Thursday evening, 18-04-24

Good evening, everyone!
Sorry - I mean good  morning, don't I?
I was so tired again last night, I left this (and the other blog) until this morning.

I am looking forward to getting proper back on track again - starting with today's lunch.  After a week of indulgence, it might be a bit of an uphill struggle for a few days but I have plenty of the good stuff in the freezer so no excuses.  
I think my tummy will thank me.  

I'm now on the no alcohol wagon for a week, then I'm at Five Lakes for a Fun and Fitness weekend with Lindsey and a big group and then it's a long, clear road with no excuses or distractions.
Good old Slimming World helps me to know exactly what I have to do.  Back to basics.

Someone asked me about rice pudding recipes a few days ago.  When I get home, I will put together a post because there are several ways to make a SW friendly rice pudding, depending on what you use - hob, oven, slow cooker . . . and I use Thermione, which isn't all that helpful really.
And I am wondering if one could also use an air fryer - or a microwave?  I must experiment and find out.
What I ate yesterday:

Well, I have to admit that is wasn't a good or healthy day.  It started off OK with this.

Same as I have had all week and, honestly, it has been a great start to each day.  

Then it all went down hill and, eventually, I ended up with what was either my sinuses playing up or a migraine which I blame entirely on all the junk I have eaten.  

However - no more.  The holiday is virtually over, just one more breakfast here at Center Parcs and then I am home and back on it like a back-on-it mad thing.
The one saving grace is that it has been a very active holiday and, while I'm a bit achey, I still feel great and raring to go, despite all the junk food.  

Tomorrow's meal plans:

B:  the last of the yogurt, fruit and granola
I have more granola at home and will have it but not so often.
SW:  I'm calling the granola five syns, to be on the safe side and the oats one syn (the portions are pretty small)

L:  something cheesy and toasty, salad; fruit
I have bread left over which will have defrosted on the way home.
SW:  one and a half healthy extra As and one healthy extra B plus one syn for salad cream and one and a half for chutney

D:  fish and chips, side salad; fruit
Home made, of course, not take away!
SW:  half a healthy extra A and two syns for cheesy breadcrumbs around the fish (so tasty)

Exercise:  walking

Back to normal posting this evening.  xx