Monthly Round Up – 6th Nov – 6th Dec 2014

Hi guys,

I’ve not really been doing a daily thoughts posts and I realised I’ve just hit the one month mark of when I decided I was going to commit properly to SW after messing around since August. So I figured I should write down how I feel for future reference.

As you saw in my last weigh in post, I have lost 5lbs this month and have been very happy with my progress. Before I restarted my blog I had one gain and three maintains so I was really happy to get back on the wagon. Plus I had bought the 12 week countdown and didn’t want it to end up being a total waste of money!

How are you feeling?

Well, I haven’t noticed much difference in terms of my moods. I think I’m less grouchy when I’m hungry but that may be more down to the fact that I’ve planned my meals more and there’s less chance of me not eating and then eating the entire contents of the fridge. I haven’t been too bored with the meals I’ve planned which is good and apart from this week, I haven’t really fallen off the wagon which is quite incredible. I’m trying to move mentally past the whole “weigh in’s nearly a week away, I can get away with eating this and just eat good Mon-Wed”. I thought I was doing quite well and then this week has been a shambles since Wednesday so now I’m not too sure. It makes me determined to see a loss (however small!) on the scales on Wednesday.

Have you noticed any changes in your body?

I think I’ve lost a few inches this month. My work pants are getting gradually looser and I now fit into my smaller work pants (size 16, rather than the size 18s) quite comfortably which is nice. I haven’t actually looked at my measurements yet but just going off general “does it feel tight?” formula. I may do my measurements in the next monthly post. If I remember. My sleeping pattern is still a bit all over the place with some nights I’m in bed for 9pm (last night) and others I’m still up at nearly 3am (like tonight)! I really would like to get this under control and I think if I start some exercise it’ll really combat that.

Goals for the next month?

I’d really really like to hit 14 stone something. I’m not sure if I will but I would really like to try. I also want to start exercising again but saying that, the weather is forecasting snow this week >.< I may have to see if I can dig up my gym wristband and build up the courage to go back now that my OH has bought me some lovely support trainers. I have 5 meals out planned for the next month with family and friends and 1 meal that I’m cooking for everyone. I’m going to try and choose the better options so that I don’t get a gain especially next week as I’m going out 3 times in the space of 7 days. I think I’ll be happy with a maintain next week. Maybe. I’ll just have to be extra good the other days and stick to plan 100%. I have 5.5lbs until I hit 15 stone exactly so I would like to lose at least 6lbs by my next update on 6th Jan. Fingers crossed.

Until next time.. x

Congee Recipe

Hi guys,

I thought that after my food plan of the week, I would post my recipe on congee. It’s not one that has a lot of ingredients or in any way complicated so you can always give it a go 🙂

As I mentioned in a previous post, this dish is popular throughout the Asian continent and is known by many different names. It is essentially, depending on your personal tastes, a thick rice porridge or quite a thin rice soup. I prefer mine a little wetter and I usually pair this with thin beef slices (no visible fat) or with turkey mince stuffed bitter melon and my homemade black bean sauce (another recipe perhaps?). Another popular variant of this is “Eight Treasure Congee” which is full of different beans and grains and known for cooling the body in hot Summer months.

This dish is perfect if you need a bit of a winter warmer or you’ve had some stomach upset and not feeling up to a heavy meal.

Ingredients:

  • a cup of jasmine rice (you could use brown as a healthier alternative or mixed grains such as quinoa, barley, red/green/black beans)
  • around a litre of chicken or veg stock (or 2 oxo cubes and around  a litre of water)
  • 3 tbsp of preserved cabbage. I used a Chinese Tianjin preserved cabbage which can be found at any Chinese supermarket
  • a couple of slices of peeled ginger
  • some spring onions sliced to garnish
  • salt, to taste
  • sliced beef, pork, lamb (optional)
  • (Optional: vegetables, other grains, beans, pulses, tofu, beancurd sticks/sheets, preserved century egg – if you’re feeling brave!)

Method:

  1. First boil some water and mix with your stock cube/jelly (or if you have chicken stock ready made up, add it later)
  2. Put in the cup of rice in a sauce pan, preferably with a lid.
  3. Add the ginger and stock to the rice and put on a high heat, stirring regularly so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom

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4. In a small bowl, put your preserved cabbage in and use some boiling water to rinse the cabbage so it isn’t too salty

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5. Add the drained preserved cabbage to the mix (and any other optional ingredients that take a long time to cook such as grains and pulses) and simmer on a gentle heat for around 30 minutes with the lid on.

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6. Add more water if necessary and some salt to taste.

7. Add any optional ingredients such as meat slices and tofu and let simmer for a further fifteen minutes (with the lid off if the mix is too liquid for your liking).

8. At this point the rice grains should have broken down and you have a consistency of thick gruel or watery porridge (depending on your preference). If you are using beans/pulses you may need a further 15-30 minutes. Traditionally, this can be cooked on a low heat for a few hours. Stir in the spring onions and allow to warm for a minute or so and your congee is ready.

IMG_1266

This is the preserved cabbage that I picked up from my local Chinese supermarket.

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How it looks inside:

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After rinsing:

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I really do love this dish, especially when I’m ill or I need a dish to warm my soul. If you do try this dish, please leave a comment below and let me know how you found it. I’m pretty sure this is free on Slimming World if you are on the extra easy plan as it doesn’t contain any synned ingredients but I’m not 100% sure. I am not synning this dish on my own food plan.

Until next time.. x

Food Plan – 7th – 13th December

Hi guys,

So this is my food plan for the coming week (though by the time this is posted, I think we’ll be a couple of days in but that’s ok – right?). Here goes..

Sunday
Breakfast: congee with sliced beef and preserved cabbage (s)
Lunch: soy salmon with broccoli (s), green beans (s), peas (ss), sweetcorn
Dinner: chicken (s) stew with sprouts, carrots (s), potatoes, mushrooms (s), broccoli (s), tomatoes (s) and pickled beetroot (s)
Superspeed – 1, speed – 9
Syns: 0

Monday
Breakfast: congee with sliced beef and preserved cabbage (s)
Lunch: chicken (s) stew with sprouts, carrots (s), potatoes, mushrooms (s), broccoli (s), tomatoes (s) and pickled beetroot (s)
Dinner: Pork soup with carrots (s) and green radish (s)
Superspeed – 0, speed – 9
Syns: 0

Tuesday
Breakfast: congee with sliced beef and preserved cabbage (s)
Lunch: Pork soup with carrots (s) and green radish (s)
College: jacket potato with cheese (HEA) and baked beans (ss) and a tomato cup-a-soup (4.5 syns)
Dinner: soy salmon with broccoli (s), green beans (s), peas (ss) and corn on the cob
Superspeed – 2, speed – 5
Syns: 4.5

Wednesday
Breakfast: congee with sliced beef and preserved cabbage (s)
Lunch: tomato speed soup (ss) with a grilled cheese sandwich (HEA & HEB)
Dinner: out with friends to a Thai restaurant
Superspeed – 1, speed – 1
Syns: 30?

Thursday
Breakfast: bacon, egg, beans (ss) and mushrooms (s)
Lunch: bacon hamburger with carrot fries (s)
College: jacket potato with cheese (HEA) and baked beans (ss)
Dinner: chicken (s) stew with sprouts, carrots (s), potatoes, mushrooms (s), broccoli (s), tomatoes (s) and pickled beetroot (s)
Superspeed – 2, speed – 8
Syns: 0

Friday
Breakfast: syn free sausage, eggs, beans (ss) and mushrooms (s)
Lunch: chilli con carne with rice (carrots (s), celery (s), peppers (s), onions (s))
Dinner: Burger in a bowl – cucumber (s), carrots (s), lettuce (s), pickled cucumber (s), tomato (s) (4 syns) with 2 slices light Dairylea (HEA)
Superspeed – 1, speed – 10
Syns: 4

Saturday
Breakfast: mushrooms (s) on toast (6 syns)
Lunch: chilli con carne with rice (carrots (s), celery (s), peppers (s), onions (s))
Dinner: chilli dog using chilli con carne and syn free sausage with a wholemeal bread roll (HEB) and 2 slices light Dairylea (HEA) with carrot fries (s)
Superspeed – 0, speed – 5
Syns: 6

What is congee?
Congee is an Eastern dish which is essentially rice porridge or a rice soup. A cup of rice is boiled over a long period with lots of water or stock which is easy to digest. Different ingredients can be added but I make mine with preserved cabbage and stock with some sliced beef topside. I usually have it whilst I’m ill but I’ve been craving something warm and savoury and think this will do the trick now it’s dipping below 0 degrees.

Until next time guys.. x

Food Shopping – Morrisons

Hi guys,

Hope you’re all well! It’s that time of the week again and I popped to Morrisons as I’m currently taking full advantage of their Match and More card. My shopping today took me to my first £5 voucher which I’ll be collecting on my next shop. I’m really surprised at myself today as I didn’t get much at all. Saying that though, I decided on lugging a basket around and it was full to the brim! One deal that really caught my eye though, was that Morrisons are currently doing 3 packs of veg for £1.50 which includes carrots, onions and sprouts which I thought was a bit of a bargain as they’re around 1kg packs.

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Above – bunch of bananas, 6 wholemeal baps (each are 60g – HEB), 2 packs of strawberries, small box of clementines, celery, mushrooms, 2 packs of carrots, tomatoes, sprouts, red onions and green beans.

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Gherkin slices, fat free fromage frais, white wine vinegar, garlic granules and light Dairylea slices (2 are a HEA).

Total cost – was originally £19.19 with £1.57 in savings = £17.62

I think I’m thinking more about my meal plans and how many meals they can actually last me for. Also my OH has been on a cooking storm of his own and hasn’t been really eating with me (I think I only shared the beef stew with him last week) and I have a couple of meals planned which don’t really have much in the way of ingredients. Anyhow, my meal plan will be up tomorrow guys.

Until next time.. x

 

Thurs – Sat Round Up

Hi guys,

Hope you’re all well. I’ll break it to you now.. I’ve not had the best half week. You know when those F1 cars do the crazy tail spin around in circles? I feel like I’ve been in one of those since Wednesday evening and not managed to get myself out. Still spinning out of control! I’ve done some damage limitation today (Saturday) and look forward to starting afresh tomorrow.

Thursday

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Breakfast: I was doing some Christmas shopping at 9am and ran out of the house without breakfast, which led me to arriving at Wilko’s about an hour in starving! I had a fried egg, bacon (removed the fat after the photo was taken), mushroom (s), baked beans (ss), a hash brown and a slice of toast. I’m guesstimating around 15 syns.

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Lunch: a bit better – tomato speed soup (ss) with pickled beetroot (s) and I forgot about this morning’s toast (which I synned above) and had 2 slices of 400g wholemeal toast (HEB) cut into small crouton size.

Snack: My Mum then took me for a cup of tea. It resulted in said cup of tea and half a portion of nachos with chilli con carne. Massive massive fail. 20 – 30 syns?

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Dinner: soy salmon with roast carrots (s), peas (ss), broccoli (s), green beans (s), sweetcorn.

Superspeed – 3, speed – 5

Total syns: way too many. 45?

Friday

I totally forgot to take any photos on Friday as I was manning a stall at a local school.

Breakfast/Lunch: spiced yoghurt chicken (s) with sweetcorn, peas (ss), broccoli (s) and green beans.

Snack: banana, clementine (s) Pretz sour cream & onion x2 (10 syns)

Dinner: siu mai, siu long bao and 2 chicken and mushroom buns. (syns : left, right and centre, I imagine.)

Superspeed – 1, speed – 3

Total syns: Not sure. Write off?

Saturday

2014-12-06 13.16.07  2014-12-06 13.36.29

Breakfast/Lunch: I ate some of these siu long bao (left) and cha siu bao (right). No idea on the syns.

Snack: I had a Mama tom yum vermicelli cup noodle. Again clueless on syn value.

2014-12-06 19.45.30  2014-12-06 22.29.12

 

Dinner: I had a few chips and I made chicken (s) pizza with peppers (s), onions (s), mushrooms (s), tomatoes (s), green beans (s) and some mozzarella (HEA).

Superspeed – 0, speed – 6

Total syns: I give up.

So, overall I’ve just had a seriously bad few days of eating. It’s not even that I’m binge eating on these things (which makes a change!). I’ve just not eaten strictly on plan at all – just a couple of meals here and there. I did do a cheeky weigh in on my own scales (which I discovered are pretty similar to SW, I think it shows half a lb more than SW scales when I weighed in last Saturday 10 mins apart) and I don’t seem to have gained. Yet. So I am giving myself a rhetorical massive kick up the backside to stick to the SW plan until weigh in. I did my food shop today and my food plan is all set. I have a couple of Chinese dishes on my plan this week which I think still work with SW. I’ll give a more detailed explanation on my next post as my previous post was just ridiculously long and I don’t want you to suffer again! 🙂

Until next time.. x

Sun – Wed Round Up PLUS Weigh In Wednesday!

Hi guys,

Hope you’re all well. It’s been a crazy few days at home and I woke up this morning with the realisation that I have an exam in two weeks – gulp! Sorry my food posts haven’t been as frequent and grouped up. I’m just finding the odd half an hour here and there to update 🙂 This is a really long post as I only have a few minutes to get this together before college so I suggest getting a cup of tea to drink as you read!

Sunday

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Breakfast: 0% fat yoghurt with strawberries (ss), passion fruit (s) and bananas.

2014-11-30 13.51.11  2014-11-30 13.34.04

 

Lunch: roast chicken (s) with roast potatoes, roast carrots (s), broccoli (s), green beans (s) and gravy (3 syns) with honey dew melon (ss)

2014-11-30 16.51.31  2014-11-30 20.40.44

Snack: OH & I went on a rare cinema date to watch The Imitation Game (which is fantastic, btw) so I snacked on half a regular salted popcorn (on another note, popcorn prices are OUTRAGEOUS at the cinema!) – 10 syns? I also spilt quite a lot of it on the floor >.<

Dinner: beef stew with carrots (s), roast potatoes, sprouts, onions (s), mushrooms (s) and pickled beetroot (s)

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Night time snack: 3 clementines (s) and HEA & 1.5 syns of cheese (The small ones were 12g each – 36g altogether)

Superspeed – 2, speed – 10

Total syns: 19

Monday

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Breakfast: Bacon sandwich using 400g wholemeal bread (HEB) with ketchup (2 syns) and an omelet with spinach (s) and 20g light red cheese grated (1/2 HEA)

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Lunch: beef stew with carrots (s), roast potatoes, onions (s), mushrooms (s) and sprouts

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Snack: clementine (s), pina colada Mullerlight and a banana

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Another snack: honey dew melon (ss) and a banana

2014-12-01 15.57.20  2014-12-01 17.40.42

Another snack: Morrisons Saver ravioli and the rest of the breakfast omelet with spinach (s) and 20g light red cheese (1/2 HEA) and baked beans (ss)

2014-12-01 23.03.04  2014-12-01 23.15.01

Dinner: roast chicken (s) with roast potatoes, roast carrots (s), broccoli (s), green beans (s) and gravy (3 syns) with Pepsi Max and 3 clementines (s)

Superspeed – 2, Speed – 11

Total syns: 3

Tuesday

2014-12-02 13.23.13

Breakfast: tomato soup (s) (3 syns – the shop owner puts a little butter in but no oil) with 1/2 a sausage, beans (ss) and cheese (HEA) panini (Thank god for Mums and sisters to take some of the hit!) – about 10 syns

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Dinner: beef stew with carrots (s), sprouts, onions (s), mushrooms (s)

2014-12-02 14.03.27

 

Snacks: 25g wasabi peas (4.5 syns), jacket potato with tuna in light natural yoghurt (4 syns), Pepsi Max, black coffee

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Dinner: soy salmon with carrots (s) and roast potatoes2014-12-02 22.12.13

Snack: 3 clementines (s)

Superspeed – 1, speed – 6

Total syns: 21.5

Wednesday

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Breakfast: Strawberry Mullerlight with strawberries (ss) and banana

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Lunch: Garlic lettuce (s) with a little bit of beef in black bean sauce (4 syns) with 2 clementines (s) – not pictured

2014-12-03 20.03.30  2014-12-03 20.28.54

Dinner: tiny bit of a blow out! 2x Appletiser (12 syns), a lot of extremely fresh sushi (10 syns?) and I managed about a quarter of the bowl of noodles (7 syns – wasn’t a fan of the actual noodle itself!) and my OH ate the rest of the broth, meat and veggies whilst waiting for his dish)

Superspeed – 1, Speed – 2

Total syns: (far too many!) 31?

Weigh In Wednesday & Early Christmas Present off OH

So before the meal with my OH and friends, I popped to weigh in. My consultant was so poorly bless her and she still made it but as she lost her voice, I don’t think I missed much! As it was only 4 days since my previous weigh in, I was a bit nervous that I would just maintain or have a teeny tiny half lb off. I was really happy as I weighed in at 15 stone 5.5lbs and lost a lb which makes 5lbs in 4 weeks, which isn’t too bad for me. I’m just surprised I’m still losing as usually I would have had a small gain by now or maintained. I picked up my half stone award whilst I was at group and I’m hoping for a 1 or 2 lb loss next week. I really want to try and hit 15 stone by Christmas and although I have about 10 meals out with friends planned I really want to hit it. I would like to start the new year in the 14 stone range BUT I am hosting a Christmas meal for friends which I’m letting myself have the day to not worry about food too much, so that might not happen! I’ll have that in the back of my mind though so hopefully it will curb myself not to go crazy. That, or the non stop cooking will make me not hungry!

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As an early Christmas present, my OH took me to Sweatshop on Sunday 🙂 I have really flat feet and walking more than a mile in normal shoes kills my feet and they just can’t cope with insoles. My friend had visited Sweatshop and came back raving about them so when OH was asking what he could get me for Christmas, I really wanted to go. The guy at the shop was super nice. I didn’t run on the treadmill tester as you would usually as the fact I was flat footed and also had wide feet ruled out several brands and types of trainers.

I ended up plumping for these Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 in white/blue/green. They cost a fair bit – £105! – but I have been walking non stop in them since Monday and at the moment I absolutely love them. I’ve not had any foot pain so far which is just amazing. I’m going to walk to work and back on Friday (2.2 miles each way) so that will be the real test. The reason why I wasn’t too fazed about OH spending this on me (which usually I’d object to) was that Sweatshop have a 30 day return policy so you can test your shoes OUTSIDE and still bring them back if they’re not right. You have to have some guidance in buying the shoes (i.e. you can’t pick them up yourself and assume they’ll do and return them) but I think that’s really good. Many trainers I’ve had before have been OK until I stepped outside on normal terrain and then killed my feet 😦

I’ll probably give another little update the more I use them, so look out for that.

Apologies for the ultra long post. I’ll sign off for now 🙂

Until next time.. x

 

Food Plan – Sunday to Saturday

Hi everyone,

I hope you’ve all been enjoying my posts so far. I’ve liked the fact that they’re keeping me accountable with what I eat and although I’ve missed one weigh in, I’ve lost 4lbs since I started the blog and got my half stone award! I’ve been doing SW since August so it’s been a lot of ups and downs and maintaining so this is real progress for me. I hope it continues!

To the food diary-

Sunday
Breakfast: Bacon, spinach (s), mushroom (s) and cheese (HEA) omelet with baked beans (ss) and strawberries (ss)
Lunch: roast chicken leftovers (s) with roast potatoes, carrots (s), broccoli (s), green beans (s), sprouts and gravy (4 syns)
Dinner: Beef stew with carrots (s), sprouts, potatoes, celery (s), onion (s), mushrooms (s)
Superspeed – 2, speed – 9
Total syns: 4

Monday
Breakfast: Bacon sandwich using 400g wholemeal bread with ketchup (2 syns)
Lunch: Leftover beef stew with carrots (s), sprouts, potatoes, celery (s), onion (s), mushrooms (s)
Pre-volunteering snack: Bacon, spinach (s), mushroom (s) and cheese (HEA) omelet with baked beans (ss)
Dinner: roast chicken leftovers (s) with roast potatoes, carrots (s), broccoli (s), green beans (s), sprouts and gravy (4 syns)
Superspeed – 1, speed – 10
Total syns: 6

Tuesday
Breakfast: eggs and beans (ss) with strawberries (ss), honey dew melon (ss) and 0% fat yoghurt
Lunch: soy salmon with roast potatoes, broccoli (s), green beans (s) and carrots (s)
College snack: jacket potato with cheese (HEA) and beans (ss) and a tomato cup-a-soup (4.5 syns)
Dinner: Leftover beef stew with carrots (s), sprouts, potatoes, celery (s), onion (s), mushrooms (s)
Superspeed – 4, speed – 7
Total syns: 4.5

Wednesday
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and beans (ss) with strawberries (ss), honey dew melon (ss) and 0% fat yoghurt
Lunch: tomato speed soup (carrots (s), tomatoes (s), celery (s), onion (s), pickled onion (s) baked beans (ss)) with a grilled cheese sandwich (HEA & HEB)
Dinner: soy salmon and roast potatoes with carrots (s), broccoli (s), garden peas (ss), mini corn on the cob
Superspeed – 5, speed – 7
Total syns: 0

Thursday
Breakfast: 0% fat yoghurt with strawberries (ss), honey dew melon (ss), banana and pear (s)
Lunch: tomato speed soup (carrots (s), tomatoes (s), celery (s), onion (s), pickled onion (s) baked beans (ss)) with a grilled cheese sandwich (HEA & HEB)
College snack: jacket potato with tuna (s) in light creme fraiche (6 syns) and a tomato cup-a-soup (4.5 syns)
Dinner: SW lamb hotpot (1 syn) with carrots (s), garden peas (ss) and broccoli (s)
Superspeed – 4, speed – 9
Total syns: 11.5

Friday
Breakfast: Bacon, egg, mushrooms (s) with honey dew melon (ss)
Lunch: tomato speed soup (carrots (s), tomatoes (s), celery (s), onion (s), pickled onion (s) baked beans (ss)) with a grilled cheese sandwich (HEA & HEB)
Dinner: spiced chicken (s) marinated in 0% fat yoghurt with roast potatoes, lettuce (s), tomatoes (s), cucumber (s)
Superspeed – 2, Speed – 10
Total syns: 0

Saturday
Breakfast: Bacon sandwich with ketchup (2 syns)
Lunch: Leftover spiced chicken (s) marinated in 0% fat yoghurt with roast potatoes, lettuce (s), tomatoes (s), cucumber (s)
Dinner: chicken (s) pizzas with olives (1 syn), peppers (s), cheese (HEA), mushrooms (s), tomatoes (s)
Superspeed – 0, speed – 8
Total syns: 2

So that is the meal plan for the week. There are some days which are syn free but I haven’t figured out my snacks for the week so I expect the syns will come out higher by the time next week rolls round. Plenty of speed and superspeed foods so hopefully I will get that 1lb loss on Wednesday and it’ll keep me in good stead for the next weigh in 🙂

Until next time.. x