Last Week’s Food Prep 3rd-9th July 2017

Hi guys,

So I am writing this a little late – mainly because I was mainly eating on my own (as OH didn’t fancy ANY of the food I had planned!) and I got treated to a couple of meals for doing some extra bits and pieces for people. My £25 food budget ended up lasting me two weeks and I topped up during this week (10-16 July) with some impromptu snack foods as I was working super late one night and had run out of food and a trip to McDonalds >.< so I've probably spent around £50 over the two weeks.

I did the majority of my food prep in one day whilst I was doing some paperwork at home. I did have a couple of cravings for certain foods which I made using stuff I already had so I didn't buy any additional ingredients (10/10 for sticking to the budget for me!).

So first off I cooked my gammon joint from Aldi. I used this recipe from Feisty Tapas and then made a delicious gammon and vegetable soup based on Feisty Tapas’ recipe here. I added a few more veggies to clear out what I had left in the fridge and to bulk it out a little more as well as adding a cinnamon stick, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns for extra flavour. I really do recommend this recipe – it’s so delicious and I love using my new Instant Pot.

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I used about a third of the gammon joint to slice back up and put in the soup and I sliced the rest to use for another meal.

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The night before I marinated my chicken drumsticks. I marinated half in a BBQ sauce I had lying around and the other half I did my own marinade of soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, pepper, chilli, garlic powder and some smoked paprika. I then roasted these and took the meat off the bone for meals, sandwiches or salads in the week.

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At the same time I roasted some new potatoes and carrots to go alongside some meals.

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Whilst the oven was still on, I also roasted my lamb leg with some courgette slices. I put garlic pieces in little slits all over the lamb leg and then covered with salt, pepper and mint sauce.

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Midway through the week I had a craving for a creamy pasta bake. I made a cheese sauce from scratch using a bechamel base (flour, butter, milk). I used some water in place of some of the milk to reduce the calories a little bit. I threw in some of the chicken, a slice of gammon as well as broccoli and cauliflower and some pasta we had in the cupboard. Placed it in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until golden brown and served it with homemade garlic bread. I had made a homemade loaf but forgot to take a photo! To make the garlic bread, I toasted it before putting a mix of butter, garlic powder and chopped garlic and placing it in the oven for the last 5 minutes.

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I also had a super craving for congee late one night after work which I also forgot to take a photo of as it was so late and I was a little hangry. I based my recipe on this one from Pressure Cook Recipes. As I used the chicken I cooked earlier, I reduced the cooking time a little to just cook the rice through. I added preserved Tianjin vegetables and some pieces of spam I had sliced in the freezer from the last time we had hotpot. Really delicious.

As of today, I still have some leftover pieces of lamb and gammon and some frozen veggies and potatoes. My next post will be on some of the meals I’ve eaten over the last couple of weeks.

Until next time.. x

Food Shop & Meal Plan 03.07.17

Hi guys,

As promised, here is my food shop and meal plan for the upcoming week. If you read my update post, you’ll know that I’m preparing myself for a sharp drop in income so I will be curbing my spending and eating more at home.

To prepare for my food shop, I went online to both Asda (as my flatmate has 10% discount) and Aldi (where I live, they are around the corner from each other and only a 5 minute drive from me) to see what special offers there were on meat and vegetables. I then decided which meats I wanted to use and compared them to each other to make sure I was getting the best price. My aim for the shop was £25.

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Frozen items: mixed shredded cabbage (£1) and broccoli & cauliflower (£1.25) from Asda

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Meat: a kilo of chicken drumsticks (£1.89), smoked gammon joint (£2.65) and a half leg of lamb (£7.76) from Aldi

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Fresh items: Charlotte potatoes (95p), 4 baking potatoes (85p), a watermelon (£1.99) from Aldi and semi skimmed milk (75p), 1kg carrots (45p), celery (55p), strawberries (£1) and courgettes (95p) from Asda

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Cupboard items: sugar free tropical blast drink (42p), diet lemonade (19p) from Aldi and mint sauce (83p), bread flour (79p) and mini wraps (75p) from Asda.

In total, I spent £16.68 at Aldi and £7.49 (after discount) at Asda, giving me a grand total of £24.17. I had also planned to get some cherries from Aldi but they were sold out. I still have some avocados, a couple of carrots & potatoes, some smoked salmon, cherry tomatoes from last week’s shop so they will be used up in the next couple of days. I could have been even more under target if I didn’t choose lamb but I have a bad roast dinner craving and I can use the leftovers in sandwiches and whatnot in the week. I can pick up some eggs and rice for free so I will probably top up these at some point too.

Meal Plan

I no longer assign meals to days as I’ve found I’m less likely to follow the meal plan if it’s too rigid! Therefore, breakfasts on my list consist of avocado toast with eggs and tomatoes, granola/cereal with milk or beans on toast with a veggie.

Lunches and dinners will be a mix of: gammon and vegetable soup, gammon steak with potatoes & vegetables, roast chicken dinner, roast lamb dinner, lamb/chicken sandwiches, lamb/chicken stir fry with rice.

So, until next time.. x

I’m back! Update

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time. A really long time. I apologise! My life has been quite the rollercoaster with work going a bit insane, moving & just being crazy disorganised.

So what’s new? Well, I’m very nearly discharged from the hospital for my diabetes. With work, I was just grabbing food whenever I could, binge eating as I had no idea when I would have time to eat next and drinking an awful lot of sugary drinks to give me energy, which was then followed by massive sugar crashes. I know I was burning myself out but when you’re working with family, sometimes you don’t know how to say no. So the result of this was at my yearly check up in June 2016, the nurse was really worried about my HBA1C (blood sugar level over the past few months) as it had increased rather than decreased. I was given gliclazide, a blood sugar monitor for the first time and a referral to the diabetes clinic. My blood sugars were ranging from 4.2 to 15 and I was all over the place. Though my blood sugars came down, I was a bit of a mess to be honest!

When I visited the clinic in January 2017, the nurse I was with suggested that maybe I try the newest diabetes drug (SGLT2 inhibitors) Farxiga, which prevents the kidneys from reabsorbing the sugar and instead is passed through urine. I recently posted on my instagram that this medication has suited me so much better. Instead of my blood sugars jumping all over the place, I’m now usually around 5-7mmol/L and my energy levels are so much better.

To give you an indicator of how bad it is, the target for HBA1C is 48. In September last year, my result was 98, which is scarily high and more than double the target figure. The gliclazide lowered me to 78 and in May, I hit 60. I have also lost around 4kg (all my doctors now weigh in kilograms opposed to stones and pounds so I’m trying to make the conversion!) which is around 9lbs. My total weight loss from my original start weight is currently at 1st 5lb which is about 8.5kg. It’s been really slow progress but this scare has given me a huge kick up the backside.

I saw my diabetes nurse at the GP the other week and as my blood pressure is now at around 102/77 (before it could hit 147/112 – 120/80 is ideal I think) so she said we’ll monitor my blood pressure as I lose more weight as my medication will need to be adjusted. I literally can’t wait as at the minute I’m taking around 7 tablets for my diabetes and blood pressure, 1 for my hayfever and 2 supplements for hair and energy (I have had quite a lot of hair loss recently due to stress) so less tablets would be more than welcomed.

Current stats:

CW: 93.4kg or 14st 9lb
BMI: 35
Body Fat: 43.4%

Alongside that, in a couple of weeks I will be down a job. I’m now preparing myself for the drop in income by tightening my belt and so I’m getting full swing into meal prepping and researching my shopping list first – so these will be back! I will be looking at weight loss on a budget and keeping tabs back on here to keep me accountable.

So, until next time.. x