Thursday, 9 October 2014

Slimming World Onion Bhaji Loaf with Yoghurt and Mint Dip

We had a tasting night at our Slimming World group the other week and one of my fellow slimmers, Jane, brought an onion bhaji loaf for us all to try... it was absolutely amazing and surprisingly simple to make so I thought I'd give it a go and share the recipe with you. It's a perfect snack food or great for serving as part of a meal.


Onion Bhaji Loaf (free or 1.5 syns)

Ingredients: 
- 1 tin of Chickpea Dahl (Asda Chosen by you is free, Mazadar from Morrisons is free, Tesco - 1.5 syns for the whole tin, try to avoid Sainsburys as this is 8 syns!!)
- 1 Packet of Bachelors Mild Curry Super Rice
- 2 Onions sliced
- 3 eggs

Method
- Cook the rice as directed on the packet
- In the meantime, fry the onion in fry light until soft & pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
- Beat 3 eggs and add the chickpea dahl, onions and rice and mix together 
- Transfer into a loaf tin and put in the middle of the oven for 40 mins


Yoghurt & Mint Dip (syn free)

Ingredients:
- Fat Free Natural Yoghurt
- Colman's Fresh Garden Mint Sauce

Method: 
- This is all about personal taste really, I just emptied the pot of yoghurt into a ramekin then added the mint to taste.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Thickest, Creamiest Syn Free/Fat Free Yoghurt on the Block

Yoghurts are my go-to snack/dessert when I'm craving for something sweet and up until last week I had always gone for Muller Light even though I've always thought they're a bit on the thin side... I've always craved for a thick, creamy yoghurt. I refuse to spend any syns on yoghurts so my choice is limited down to just a few brands/varieties but I came across Shape 0% yoghurts last week and I can tell you, I haven't looked back.



They come in a few different flavours in packs of 4, my favourites are Cherry & Blackberry and Strawberry & Raspberry... I tried Pineapple and Coconut expecting it to be more coconutty with a hint of pineapple but they're actually the other way around and I ended up chucking 3 of the 4 pots in the bin because I hated them. They are really, really thick and creamy though, like no other fat free/syn free yoghurt I've ever tasted and they're so satisfying. They don't have loads of fruit bits in them which pleases me because I actually prefer smooth yoghurts but these are that nice I'm willing to overlook the bits of fruit in these because they're so nice!

Do you have a favourite syn free yoghurt or do you prefer to spend a few syns?

Monday, 25 August 2014

A Week of Food Diaries: Day 5 & 6

Yet another weird food day, another day of grabbing what I can, when I can so just one meal again with some snacks.

DINNER:

6 x chicken breast dippers (12)

TEA: 


Slimming World Spaghetti Bolognese with Red Pepper

Syns & Snacks:

Chicken breast dipper x 6 (12)

Apple (SF + S)

Healthy Extras:

A: 250ml Semi Skimmed Milk
B: 2 x Weetabix



DAY 6:

Dinner

No photo unfortunately but it was another roast dinner with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, turnip, peas and sweetcorn with Pork, 100ml gravy with meat juices (5), 2 roast potatoes (2) and 1 small yorkshire (2.5)

Tea

2 x Weetabix (HEXB) with 250ml semi skimmed milk (HEXA) and Apple (SF + S)


Tomorrow is weigh day so we'll see what the verdict is...!









Saturday, 23 August 2014

A Week of Food Diaries: Day 4

Yep, another 2am blog post. I've just literally finished work, had a quick bath and sat down to blog about todays food. To be honest it's been so hectic at work that I've had very little time to eat. I literally woke up at 9, got up at half past then forced some breakfast down me because I knew it was going to be a long day and I didn't know when I would have opportunity to eat.

DINNER

errrm...? I didn't have any. Well I lie I had a piece of jam roly poly and custard, one roast potato and half a small yorkshire. Not healthy in the slightest, I know but to be honest I was more concerned about just grabbing something and they were almost within my daily syns so I can deal with that.

TEA


We did a carvery style meal for the wedding we had on so I took advantage of the left overs and did myself a proper dinner with Broccoli (SF + S), Cauliflower (SF + S), Carrots (SF + S), Peas (F + SS), Turkey (F) & gravy (1 syn). I didn't eat everything on my plate because I was so full and it saw me right through the night which I was pleased about.

Syns & Snacks

Apple (SF + S)
Gammon (F)
Jam Roly Poly & Custard (13)
1 Roast Potato (1)
1/2 Small Yorkshire Pudding (1.5)
Gravy (1)

Total Syns: 16.5

Healthy Extras

A: 250ml Semi Skimmed Milk
B: 2 x Weetabix


P.S. Skipping meals is not a good idea. It's just that I literally sometimes don't have time to eat, I'm that busy I just forget about food. I still eat plenty so please don't think I'm depriving myself.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Quick & Easy Chicken Korma Recipe

So many of the Slimming World curry recipes are far too complicated and they require far too many ingredients for my liking. I found a recipe which is both cost effective and doesn't take an absolute age to do (no marinating etc. etc.). I'm gonna be honest with you and say i've yet to find a Korma recipe which tastes like creamy coconutty takeaway korma, this is actually more of a tikka masala.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 2-3)
Diced Chicken Breast (1 or 1.5 packs)
1 Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tbsp Korma Curry Powder (you could use any curry powder really)
200g Passata
400ml Chicken Stock
6 tbsp tomato puree
100g fat free natural fromage frais

METHOD
- Spray a pan with fry light and brown the chicken, onion and garlic cloves
- Add the curry powder, passata, tomato puree, stock and whatever seasoning
- Bring to the boil then cover and turn the heat to low
- Simmer for 20 mins or until chicken is cooked through (I always make sure mine is cooked before adding the saucy bits, I'm a bit weird about chicken)
- Put the savoury rice in the microwave (this takes 15 mins so you know the curry is almost done when the microwave dings)
- Remove from the heat and stir in the 100g of fromage frais
- Serve with whatever salad or veg you'd like, I chose spinach because I have a thing about it at the moment :)

And there you go, easy peasy 'korma'




A Week of Food Diaries: Day 3

Another weird day to be honest... I've had the same meal for both meals today, not that it's a bad thing because I really enjoyed it but still. 

DINNER & TEA


Slimming World Easy Chicken Korma, Savoury Rice & Spinach (SF & S)

Syns & Snacks

Nectarine x 2 (SF & S)
Muller Light Vanilla (FREE)
Morrisons Egg Custard Tart (13)

Total Syns: 13

Healthy Extras 

none.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

A Week of Food Diaries: Day 2

Today's been a bit weird food wise, I didn't sleep properly last night which meant I didn't get up while 11am and then I didn't eat anything until 2pm so it kind of threw my meal times out and I've not snacked but hey ho still on plan...

DINNER

Sunday Dinner on a Thursday
Broccoli (SF)
Cauliflower (SF)
Carrots (SF)
Peas (FREE)
Sweetcorn (FREE)
Gammon (FREE)
Large Yorkshire Pudding (only ended up eating half 2.5 syns)
Mash (2 syns)
Gravy (1.5 syns)


TEA

Yep Salmon again, simple and easy
2 x thin salmon fillets (FREE)
Half pack Bachelors chicken savoury rice (FREE)
Cucumber (SF)
Pepper (SF)
Tesco Light Choices Sweet Chilli Cottage Cheese (FREE)

SYNS & SNACKS
Large Yorkshire Pudding (only ended up eating half 2.5 syns)
Mash (2 syns)
Gravy (1.5 syns)
250ml Glass Red Wine (9 Syns)
Apple (SF)


HEALTHY EXTRAS
A. 250ml Semi Skimmed Milk
B. 2xWeetabix

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Quick & Easy Slimming World Cowboy Pie

The thought of Cowboy Pie repulsed me to begin with; baked beans in a pie?! blergh no thanks but I can honestly say I actually really enjoyed it and it's so easy to make, here's how...

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6 depending on portion size):
5% fat lean mince (Lidl have it on offer at the moment, 2 packs for £3.50)
1 tin baked beans in tomato sauce (SS)
Tomato Puree
300ml Beef Stock
2 Onions
4 Carrots
6 Potatoes (approx, depends how big your dish is, they need to make enough mash to cover it)
1-2 tablespoons of Worcester Sauce (depends how much you like worcester sauce)
Seasoning of your choice

METHOD:
- Peel the potatoes and put them on to boil
- Put the mince in a pan to fry along with the chopped onions and carrots until the mince is browned
- Add the baked beans, beef stock, tomato puree, worcester sauce and seasoning
- Bring to the boil then leave to simmer and reduce for approx 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime mash the potatoes
- Then transfer to an oven proof dish and top with mash
- Pop in a preheated oven (180) for around 15 mins. You can top with cheese if you want to use a few syns or if you've still got your healthy A.

And there we go, serve with whatever veg you want (I had swede mash) and you've got a really easy syn free meal for you and your family!







A Week of Food Diaries - Day 1

So I put on a pound this week after spending weeks just messing about; you know how it is, half off, half on etc. etc. so this week I'm taking action to get 3 pounds off (would love 3.5 for my 5 stone award but we shall see). Obviously the first part in my action plan is to actually be 100% on plan 100% of the time... the second is to increase my intake of speed and super speed foods (to up my weight loss) and the third is to do these food diaries. These will hopefully not only encourage me to be on plan but they might also give you some meal inspiration. 

(You might wonder why I only have two proper meals per day, that's because I very rarely eat breakfast... and I also say dinner and tea not lunch and dinner because I'm common).


DINNER

Leftover Slimming World cowboy pie with swede mash and gravy (1 syn)

TEA

Baked Salmon Fillets with cucumber (S), pepper (S), spinach (S), potatoes and Tesco Healthy Living sweet chilli cottage cheese (FREE). 

SNACKS & SYNS

- Pineapple (S)
- Apple (S)
- Muller Light Vanilla (FREE)

- 50ml Bisto Gravy (1 SYN)
- 2 x Caramel Freddo (10 SYNS)

Todays Syn Total: 11

HEALTHY EXTRAS

A: 250ml Skimmed Milk
B: 2 x Weetabix

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Easy Syn Free Pulled Pork

There are times in our lives when we don't have the time, inclination or energy to stand in front of the stove and cook something from scratch and the general misconception is that quick and easy things which come from the frozen or chilled area of the supermarket are ladened with syns. Well, that's not strictly true because Tesco have a little hidden gem in their freezer department...


I can't actually believe that this whole thing is completely free, but I have checked and double checked on the SW website and it definitely is... BBQ sauce and all!! You just put it in the oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes covered with tin foil, adding the BBQ sauce 10 minute before the end. Then you use a fork and pull the pork apart so all the tasty BBQ sauce goes right through the meat. 

The meat joint itself looks really small; the box says it serves 3 but by my portions I would say more like 1 or 2 people because there's a bit of fat on the top which I always take off but it makes a really tasty meat for either a pork sandwich with salad or a pork salad with new potatoes or chips. It tastes absolutely amazing and you'd think it'd be really high syn but it's not!

This is what my BBQ pork sandwich looked like... it was delicious!!


Tesco also do a few more meat joints in the frozen 'Simply Heat' range; Beef Brisket in ale gravy (free) and also Lamb Shanks in mint gravy (1.5 syns each) they're perfect for a saucy meat without the hassle, I think I'm going to try the beef next!

Have you tried these yet?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Big Mac in a Bowl

There's one reason why we're all following a healthy eating plan - we love food that makes us fat. Burgers, pizzas, creamy pasta etc. etc. it all tastes good but too much of it isn't overly good for the waist line. I've said this time and time again that people assume that because you're losing weight, you don't enjoy your food... well I can tell you that I enjoy every mouthful of food that passes my lips because there are some amazing SW friendly recipes out there which taste far too nice to possibly be on plan! Big Mac in a Bowl is one of those recipes which tastes so naughty but is actually totally on plan and it's so simple to do...


Ingredients:
Less than 5% fat mince or Quorn Mince
Iceberg lettuce
Gherkins
1 level tablespoon of Kraft Light Thousand Island Dressing (0.5 syns)
3 x Asda Chosen by You light cheese singles (HexA)

Method:
- Cook your mince (I used Quorn and it only tastes 5 minutes to cook half a pack in the microwave)
- In the meantime, line your bowl with chopped iceberg lettuce and gherkin slices (I know some people don't like gherkins, but I think they really make it)
- Once the mince is cooked pour it on top of the lettuce and gherkins
- Then tear the cheese into strips and lay it on top of the mince, you can either leave it to melt or pop it back in the microwave for 30 seconds (I put it in the microwave)
- Drizzle your tablespoon of thousand island dressing over the top and there you go... a Big Mac in a bowl!

McDonalds Big Mac syns: 24.5
Big Mac in a bowl syns: 0.5 (+1 HexA)

If you love Big Macs then you really need to try this, I've been doing SW since September and it's taken me 10 months to finally try it... now I'm asking why I didn't try it before now!!

Do you crave any fast foods??

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Quick & Easy Meal Ideas with Tesco Vegetable Chilli

One of the main reasons why people struggle with the Slimming World plan is that they assume that everything has to be made from scratch. Trust me, my life does not allow me to make a lot from scratch so I rely on quick and easy meals which can be rustled up in minutes. I recently found out that a tin of Tesco Veg Chilli is only 1 syn for the whole thing so if you like veg and you like chilli, what's not to like?!

 Tesco Vegetable Chilli 400g can £1.49

It's packed with carrot, potato, onion, peppers, chopped tomatoes and red kidney beans with a mild to medium chilli sauce. It's really chunky rather than being mainly sauce and I think it's perfect as a jacket potato topping. I also added some extra super free on the side because I like to be on the safe side with my 1/3 super free and it was just nice to have something cool and crunchy to eat with the chilli. 

You could also do it with some rice or even with some potato wedges... chilli cheese wedges sounds amazing actually, I think I might try that next!! A can of this 1 syn chilli is ideal to have in your cupboard or for taking to work if you have access to a microwave!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

So you want to go out & still lose weight?

One of the best things about Slimming World is that you can still carry on with your life as normal without your eating habits having to change what you do in terms of enjoyment. I have been on many a night out and eaten lots of meals in restaurants since I've been following the plan and I've always lost weight that week. One bad meal or even a bad day does not have to mean a gain at the end of the week. This is how I 'limit the damage'...

use 'flexible syns':- This is where you decide a set figure for the day/night and you count down from that to zero, when you get to zero you stop eating syns. If I'm on a night out I generally allow myself 40-50 syns, this sounds like a lot but if you follow SW you'll know alcohol isn't very syn friendly and one of my favourite tipples is white zinfandel which comes in at 9 syns per 250ml so for my syns I can have 4 large glasses of wine and have a few syns left over. Obviously it's upto you what you use your syns on but as long as you don't go over the amount you agreed with yourself, you are still maintaining a degree of control and therefore you should find it easier to stay on plan for the remainder of the week.

plan before you go:- If you're going out for a meal and you can get hold of a menu online then you need to be having a look at the different options available to you. My usual SW friendly choices include steak, jacket potato and salad & tomato based pasta dishes. There are of course lots of different things you could have within your usual daily 15 syns (or you could use flexible syns).

be good the rest of the week:- Might sound obvious but if I'm going out at the weekend I find it's a bit too close to weigh in day for comfort so I'll make sure I keep under 5 syns on all the other days and I also get straight back onto the regular plan afterwards. So many people think that a bad day has ruined their whole week so they'll continue to sabotage themselves for the days leading up till weigh day. There really is no need to do this, trust me I've been really naughty before and still managed a loss or a maintain on weigh day. 

Do you have any ways of coping with days/nights out?

Monday, 2 June 2014

What to buy on your first Slimming World shop

One of my friends from twitter (@what_a_twit) gave me a really good idea for a post on here the other day so I thought I'd get on and do it because I do think it'd be a massive help for anyone just starting SW, or even people who have been doing it a while. I think the first couple of weeks of Slimming World are the hardest because you struggle to know what to eat and it's the worst when you don't have enough in your fridge. Here are a few of my staple products that I ALWAYS have in without fail:


Salad items (lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes & peppers)
Eggs
Lean Meat (whatever takes your fancy)
Extra Lean Mince (less than 5% fat)
Fruit (not in a tin)
Frozen Peas
Veg (fresh or frozen)
Potatoes
Fat Free Yoghurts (my favourites are Muller Light and Weight Watchers... stay away from Yeo Valley)
Mug Shots (the ones with the black 1% triangle in the corner are free)
Bachelors Savoury Rice (these are all free)
Baked Beans
Alpen Light Bars (these count as a Healthy B)
60g Wholemeal Breadcakes (I buy Kingsmill)
Cottage Cheese
Semi Skimmed Milk
Babybel Cheese (great for grabbing as a healthy A)
Philidelphia Light or Lightest (great for spreading or cooking with)
Dried Pasta (white or brown)
Tinned chopped tomatoes (these are included in so many recipes)
Ready meals under 5 syns (for when you're in a rush)
Salt & Pepper
Dried Mixed Herbs (these can be used in lots of recipes)

And not forgetting some stock for your syn cupboard. This will obviously vary from person to person, if you're a savoury kind of person then you'll want low syn crisps which include Quavers and French Fries... I will be doing a full post about low syn savoury snacks so watch this space! If you're into sweet treats then you'll want to pick up things like treat size chocolate bars or a selection of chocolate bars under 10 syns.

As I said, this will vary from person to person, this is just an idea of what I always have in. Your first shop tends to be an expensive one but trust me, once you have got going it gets cheaper. You can buy frozen meat and veg if this is cheaper and easier for you, it doesn't change the fact that it's free/superfree.

What are your staple foods for living a healthy lifestyle?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Weekly Weigh in #35 - Yep you can gain this in one week!

It's been exactly 1 month since I posted on here, purely because May has been a hectic one for me. The pub was really busy at the beginning of the month then I trotted off to Florida on 8th May so I haven't really had too much to say on the weight loss front simply because I haven't lost any weight! After 3 weeks completely off plan I went back to group this week to face the scales (I already weighed at home so I knew roughly what to expect)

I gained 9lb 

Although I'm not bothered as such (well I am, nobody wants to gain weight when they're trying to lose), it does show how easy it can go back on when you're off plan. Over 3 weeks that averages out at 3lb per week which is a pretty big weight gain every week, but when you're eating nothing but *something* and fries every day you can't really expect anything less. I had zero intention of doing Slimming World while I was in Florida (don't get me wrong, it is doable) because I'd always wanted to go and I was just as excited to eat all the food as I was to go to Disney World! 

I'm not going to tell you what I ate because you all know how to put on weight and I don't want to get your mouths watering with all the wrong foods! What I will do though is show you what I had yesterday as it was my first day properly back on plan and believe me it feels so good to be back on it. Don't get me wrong I loved the food in America but behind every mouthful was me feeling just a little bit guilty, knowing it wasn't going to be good news on the scales when I got back. 

 Scrambled eggs (free) (no milk or cheese, just literally eggs) with mushrooms and plum tomatoes (both superfree) and beans on the side (free) - So nice and really filling, a perfect brunch kind of meal.

Spaghetti Bolognese cooked from scratch (usually I would use a jar which costs me 5.5 syns!)
Less than 5% fat mince, 2 tins of plum tomatoes, onion, green pepper, mushrooms, tomato puree, garlic salt, mixed herbs, oregano, salt. I just literally browned the mince off with the onion and mushrooms, then added everything else and let it simmer for about 20/30 minutes. Was the best spag bol I've ever made, packed with superfree and no need to count!

 I always have supper when I've come home from work at the pub, tonight was a side plate full of cucumber sticks, seafood sticks, 2 x Babybel cheese (HEXA) and 1 tbsp seafood sauce (2 syns)

Finished off with a 22g bag of Flamin' Hot Monster Munch (5.5 syns)

I've thoroughly enjoyed my first full day back on plan, I'm feeling full and a sight healthier. I'm so looking forward to having a good week this week, as long as I plan at the weekend with me being so busy I'm hoping for a really good loss on Tuesday!

If you love my blog and you'd like to nominate me for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award for Best Lifestyle Blog you can do so here

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Ready Meals under 5 syns - Part One

Most of us haven't got the time or inclination to cook from the recipe books every single night, we all have lives and sometimes following a million and one instructions on a recipe just doesn't fit in! So I've been doing a bit of research and I've found 10 ready meals which you should be able to find in your local supermarket for under 5 syns. I think everyone thinks that ready meals are bad but there are some which you can easily fit within your daily syn allowance, just don't forget the super free on the side if it needs it!

WW Chilli with wedges 5
WW Chicken curry with rice 4.5
WW Shepherds pie 4
WW Sweet and sour 4
WW Beef hotpot 5
Tesco Healthy Living Moroccan chicken and rice 4.5
Tesco Healthy Living Szechuan chicken noodles  3.5
Tesco Healthy Living chicken and prawn paella 4.5
Tesco Healthy Living chicken with tomato and basil sauce (chilled) 0.5
Innocent Veg Pot Roasted Aubergine Moussaka (chilled) FREE
(Should be in the frozen section unless stated)

The only one of these I've tried is the Weight Watchers Chilli with wedges and I can say that it is very nice, the wedges are a really nice addition. As for the others I can't speak for them as I've not tasted them but I'm sure you lot will tell me what you think if you've tried them!

Weekly Weigh in #31 - Yep you can lose this in 1 week

So another week, another weigh in and it's getting very close to my holiday (next week, in fact), last week I said I wanted to lose 2lb over these next 2 weeks so I could get my 4 stone award for when I go to Florida. Well I kinda blew that completely out of the water because I lost 7lb this week giving my 4 stone award plus 3 more to put my nicely into it.


I've never lost this much in one week at Slimming World, even my first week was a 6lb weight loss so I have no idea how I've managed it this week other than being 100% on plan and also running around like a mad woman at work over the weekend. So I'm well and truly in the 4 stone mark and I'm definitely going to have a bit to play with when I go away.


Also in my 'news' this week is that today I went out, tried on and bought a pair of size 12 jeans from Next; honestly I think it was about 7 years ago the last time I could do that. It felt so nice today to be able to go into any shop of my choice and know that I will be able to pick my size of the hanger is such a good feeling. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the clothes in places like Evans but when you're totally restricted to certain shops, shopping for holiday clothes can be pretty soul destroying especially if you hate looking at yourself in the mirror. What I did realise today though, is that I need to tone up on my stomach and probably on my legs but that will come in time and I'll do that when I feel good and ready!

I'm hoping for another 1 or 2 pounds this week just to keep it going right up until the last minute but I've already exceeded where I wanted to be for my holiday so I'm feeling totally chuffed with myself to be honest!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Weekly Weigh in #30 - The one after Easter weekend

**This is a late post, been so busy and not had a chance to write anything up**

I honestly didn't think that Easter weekend would bother me, usually I work the whole bank holiday so I don't even get chance to be tempted by food or drink but this weekend saw me venture out into my home town for a drink (an occasion which only happens twice a year), I didn't watch what I drank and then came the hangover on Monday. Anyway, the results on the scales weren't as bad as I thought they would be and I got away with a 0.5lb gain

I'm not gutted because I do know where it has come from and I probably deserved more and that 4 stone award is still within reach by the time I go to Florida. If I can lose 2lb each week for the next 2 weeks I'll get my 4 stone award the same week I fly out which will be a great way to start my holiday! This week is going to involve lots of planning and some cooking, I'm at my mums for tea tomorrow but I've already been informed that it's a chicken dinner which is absolutely perfect for Slimming World. Other than that I aren't out for any meals this week, the only thing I might struggle a little with is Saturday; we have a big stressful function on at the pub so fitting in any kind of food is going to be tricky (I'm hoping for left over veg!). So I've got 4 evening meals to plan for and lunches/snacks in between.

Planning is definitely the key to me succeeding and if I know what I want on the scales then I generally find it easier to stick to it. Here's what I'm hoping to have this week:

Chilli beef noodles or a stir fry - I always said I didn't like stir fry but you know what I think I would love to try one now, I think before I started Slimming World I just wanted to avoid potentially healthy foods but now the idea of chicken with veg and noodles really appeals to me.

Mince with Gravy, potatoes and veg - I do love 'no fuss' foods, truth be known I hate having to faff around in the kitchen and I have to be really in the mood to follow a complicated recipe so mince and gravy is perfect for when I can't be bothered.

Salmon - I love salmon, I honestly cannot get enough.

Here's to another week of Slimming World!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Guilt Free Chicken Mayo Baguette on WHITE Bread

Earlier on today all I could think about was eating a massive chicken mayo baguette with chips and salad, and although to most it might not sound like an unhealthy meal, if you had something like that from a pub it'd probably set you back about 3 or 4 days worth of syns. White bread is very high, the chips would be deep fried and you can pretty much guarantee that the mayonnaise would be the full fat 5 syn per tablespoon kind... it might taste very nice but I personally don't think it's worth it when I know I can knock something up which is totally guilt free...


So what you see above is a white crusty roll with chicken and mayonnaise and celery with chips and salad. All this cost me just 4 syns and if you wanted to use lighter than light mayo you could do it for just 1 syn. I have an actifry to do my chips but you can also do SW chips in the oven, so I use 2 medium potatoes, peel and chip them and set them going while I prepare the other stuff. If you don't already know, one Weight Watchers part baked white petit pain roll counts as your healthy B choice (or 5 syns) so I cook this in the oven for about 12 minutes, get some cooked chicken, add 2 tablespoons of light mayo (4 syns), mix that together then cut the baguette in half and stuff the chicken mayo inside it. Then just chop up whatever salad you like (I personally think celery goes really well with chicken mayo), get your chips out when they're ready and there you go... a gorgeously naughty tasting meal for minimal syns!

Do you have a way to turn something naughty into SW friendly?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Weekly Weigh in #29 - How to get a good weight loss

After last weeks 0.5lb gain there was absolutely no way I was doing it again. My little short term goal of 4 stone before Florida wasn't going to happen if I didn't do something pretty drastic this week. So after a 100% week with lots of Super Speed food I have lost 4lb! I'm now sort of comfortably in the 13 stone figures but obviously no time to rest on my laurels because I've got another 3.5lb to come off to get my 4 stone award for Florida. 
 

I think lots of people think that you can't get big losses once you've been doing Slimming World for a while, if you think like that then you'd be wrong. Obviously we all know our limited where weight loss is concerned and I do think that losing weight seems a little easier when you have more to lose but with a few tweaks in your weekly plan you can help yourself lose more than the average 1.5lb. I've seen some bits and bobs online about success express, I personally haven't ever tried it but the basics behind it are that you fill 2/3 of your plate with super free as opposed to 1/3 and you take the highest syn value in the book whenever you enjoy your syns (in the books there are 3 syn values, red, green and extra easy... always take whichever is highest no matter what). I generally have quite a lot of super free on my plate anyway and I will not eat a meal without super free (it DOES make a difference to your weight loss and I am sick of seeing people on Instagram moaning about their losses, but if you look back at their photos they have no or very little super free on their plates).

Anyway, back to what I do... if I want a good loss I look in my Slimming World book and I find all the foods with an SS by the side of them. This means 'Super Speed' which are foods which are 'extra low in energy density... so they have extra slimming power', I try and include these in my plan every single day if not more than once a day. I have Melon as a snack (honeydew is really nice and sweet!) and I'll try and have baked beans on my plate if the meal goes with them. Here's a quick list of just some of the super speed foods:

Strawberries, raspberries, cod, haddock, butter beans, mushy peas, baked beans, garden peas/petits pois...

There are lots more but I find these easiest to include in my plan, I don't do this every week obviously but when I feel I need a kick up the bum this is my usual plan of action and it usually works!!

Next week I'm hoping for at least 1lb, I'm not going to push myself because I don't want to be disappointed but my mini goal is well within my sights thanks to a good loss this week!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Syns Spotlight | Chocolate Bars under 10 Syns

While I savour every little bite of a Crunchie I thought what better time to do a little feature on chocolate bars under 10 syns. Personally I don't often use my syns on chocolate (or crisps) but I know that lots of Slimming Worlders like to treat themselves with a chocolate bar within their syns. 


Crunchie just sneaks in under the 10 syn mark at 9.5, I love them because I can take ages over the honeycomb centre because I can't stand the sensation on my teeth if I crunch it but I love the taste. Fry's Turkish Delight will probably be a bit of a Marmite situation; you'll either love it or hate it, but it's another one that just sneaks under at 9.5. If you love the taste of Galaxy then a Ripple would be the best choice at 8.5 syns (standard Galaxy bars are 12.5) and if you fancy a bit of a Cadbury fix which is bigger and a bit different than a Freddo (5 syns) then a Flake is also 8.5 syns. If sweet white chocolate is what you crave then a 30g bag of Milky Bar Buttons is only 8 syns and finally a cute Malteser Bunny is also just 8 syns (mini bunnies are 3 syns each).

There are obviously other choices under 10 syns but I chose my favourites and also ones which you got the most for your syns. You could have a Curly Wurly for 6 syns but I'm always worried chewing on one of those is going to pull a filling out, ha! And of course you can have treat size bars for around 5 syns but let's be fair... they're barely a mouthful and always leave you wanting more! After my Crunchie my sweet craving has well and truly gone and I have really enjoyed my 10 minutes of chocolate heaven.

What's your favourite chocolate bar?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Weekly Weigh in #28

For the first time since starting Slimming World in September, I'm feeling really demotivated this week; not quite to the point of packing in but enough to make me feel really rubbish. After having a good week food wise (apart from one meal at Fazenda in Leeds which is meat and salad) I've gained. So, so mad.



After feeling so positive last week about getting my 3.5 stone award I've put 0.5lb on this week, taking me back into the 14's again which I did NOT want to see ever again. I know people will say 'it's only half a pound' and my husband says 'well you can't lose every week'... in answer to those it IS only half a pound but half a pound more than I wanted to weigh this week and YES YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT EVERY WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! ....and breathe. I could sit here for hours on end and speculate as to what has caused it but I'm not going to, as our leader always says: 'draw a line under what has happened and move on to a new week'. 

Plan of Action
Probably TMI but I've not been for 5 days, that can't be good and although I'm not blaming that it sure won't be helping my weight loss so this weeks plan of action is going to be to add more foods which are high in fibre into my diet (the ones with F and FF next to them in the SW books) and lots of water to go with it. 

I also know I need to vary what I eat, it's all getting a little bit too samey for my liking so I'm going to do a proper shop tonight at Tesco and tomorrow at Lidl and Farmfoods (because I refuse to pay Tesco prices for everything) and plan exactly what I'm going to eat and I'll do a food diary every day. Even considering putting a daily food diary on here just to force me to do it.

So new week, new mind set... I'll let myself be mad tonight but I'll get that 0.5lb off next week and then some!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Slimming World Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

I used to eat a LOT of junk food before I started Slimming World but just because I am eating healthily, it doesn't mean that I no longer enjoy that kind of food; I just choose not to waste use my syns on it. Instead I try and do things the Slimming World way, and although it doesn't taste quite as good as KFC, this Slimming World version of southern fried chicken is blooming nice!



Ingredients: 

- Chicken (cut however you want, I like strips)
- Smash or other syn free instant mash powder (I used Mr Mash)
- American Chip Spice (found in takeaways, chip shops and Morrisons)
- 2 eggs, beaten

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Mix the mash powder and chip spice together in a tub, I tend to use 2/3 mash powder to 1/3 chip spice but it's very much about trial and error; seeing what you like.

Cut your chicken however you want it, I like strips but you could also use skinless drumsticks or thighs if you like that kind of thing. 

Spray a baking tray with fry light (to stop the chicken sticking)

Take a piece of chicken and dip it in the egg, then roll it around the mash powder mix. I like to double dip, so just repeat that to double coat the chicken, some people only do it the once though... again it's personal preference. Then place the chicken on the baking tray and repeat for all your pieces

Put in the oven for 25 minutes, turning half way through cooking


I served mine with a big crispy salad and a tablespoon of light mayo so the whole meal only cost me 2 syns; a fraction of what it would have been at KFC. This would also work if you were looking to make a chicken burger type meal with fake bread crumbs. This is another recipe that sounds odd because of the smash but you've really got to try it before you knock it! The next recipe I want to try is Big Mac in a bowl...

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Syns Spotlight | Muller Light Inspired by Cheesecake

If like me, you enjoy a sweet treat now and again without the guilt then the new Muller Light cheesecake yoghurts might be for you. At 1 syn per pot they fit in easily with your syn allowance of 15 per day and they taste naughtier than they really are (which is always a bonus). To be totally honest I would rather not use syns on yoghurts but these are a little different; they're really sweet and a bit more substantial than normal Muller Light yoghurts.


They contain little fruit pieces along with pieces of crushed biscuity cake in Muller Light yoghurt. The only downfall to these is that I've yet to see them in individual pots, you have to buy them in multipacks of 6 but they're currently only £1.94 for a pack of 6 in Morrisons at the moment which works out at under 50p per pot which I didn't think was bad. I do prefer the lemon to the strawberry flavour; I think it's a great palette cleansing pudding after a meal.

I've also heard rumours of a New York Cheesecake one of these too which is also only 1 syn! I can't wait to try that one!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Weekly Weigh in #27

If you read last weeks Weekly Weigh in post you'll know that I needed 1.5lb off to get my 3.5 stone award, well I only went and did it didn't I!!!


I got on the scales this morning and I saw '13' as the first number, this is the first time I've seen this since around 2009 which is a lonnnng time, so you can imagine how happy that made me! It's little things like seeing the next number on the scales or getting an award that make all the difference in your levels of motivation. For me, keeping to smaller more achievable goals is what keeps me focused, if I only had my eye on the ultimate goal I daresay I might have lost motivation by now. 

Next week I want 3lb off so I know I'm going to have to do some good planning and I need to stick to the plan 100%, here's some of what I'm going to be enjoying this week:

- Toby Carvery (one of the best places to eat out while healthy eating)
- Salmon
- Chilli
- Burgers
- Bachelors Pasta n' Sauce 

I've definitely got my eye on the prize now, I bought another 6 week count down tonight which takes me to the week I go to Florida and I want my 4 stone award that week (if not before) so if I have a couple of good weight losses in the coming weeks it puts me in good stead for what I want!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Slimming World Hunters Chicken Recipe

I think the below photo is unintentionally one of the best examples of 1/3 superfree that I've ever eaten, all the super free (cucumber and peppers) is arranged nicely on exactly one third of the plate! Anyway, the purpose of todays post is to show you how to do Hunters Chicken or BBQ chicken the Slimming World way. When on restaurant menus it does tend to be quite a high syn option because the fat is still on the bacon, it's swimming in cheese and sugary BBQ sauce... not to mention the chips that come with it but it can be done using only 1 syn!



Ingredients:
- 2 chicken steaks/fillets (I tend to buy my chicken from Lidl, I find it's the cheapest and best value by far, when doing hunters chicken or pizza topped chicken I buy the steaks as opposed to the fillets because they're already flat meaning that there's no need to butterfly them)
- 2/3 rashers of bacon with the fat cut off
- 65g Light Mozzarella, or any other cheese which you like, just check how much you can have (HEXA) 
- 2 potatoes, chipped
- Beans (optional, I just like them on my chips)
- Salad (whatever you fancy to fill up that third of your plate)
- 1 tbsp HP Honey BBQ Sauce (1 syn)

Method:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Put each individual chicken steak/fillet onto tin foil and place 2 slices of mozzarella on each 
- Wrap each piece of chicken in bacon and pull up the sides of the tin foil and pinch at the top to cover the chicken and place on a tray in the oven.
- If you have an Actifry then put your chips in there and set the timer to around 35 minutes. If you don't have an Actifry see this method for Slimming World chips
- Chop up whatever salad you fancy and cover 1/3 of your plate with it
-  After 25 mins of cooking, take the chicken out of the oven and remove it from the tin foil (be careful as it will have some chicken juice in there, which will be hot). Place each piece of chicken back onto the tray and cook for a further 5/10 minutes just to firm up the bacon.
- When your chicken and chips are done arrange them on your plate however you'd like, measure out 1 tbsp BBQ sauce and pour it on top of your chicken.
- At this point I warmed my beans up and put them on top of my chips, as I said this is optional I just really like chips and beans! I also used any remaining mozzarella to put on top of my chips... gorgeous!

Another big plate full of food using only 1 syn (as long as you use your mozzarella as your HEXA)! No it's not swimming in cheese or BBQ sauce but there's more than enough of each to make it really tasty!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Diet Coke Chicken Recipe

This is probably one of the 'cult' Slimming World recipes, I have no idea who came up with the idea of pouring a full can of Diet Coke over chicken must have been a nutter but a full on genius at the same time! Lots of people will turn their noses up as soon as they hear that one of the ingredients is Diet Coke, and I will admit that it does sound odd but it makes the most amazing chinese style chicken dish and best of all, this method is completely Syn free on extra easy!

Ingredients:
2/3 chicken breasts, diced
2 onions diced or sliced (whatever you prefer)
1 330ml can Diet Coke
200ml Tomato Passata
2 crushed garlic cloves (or equivalent as garlic salt etc.)
1 chicken stock cube
Splash of soy sauce
Splash of Worcester sauce

Method: 
Use Frylight to fry the chicken and onion in a large pan until the chicken is sealed

Pour in the can of coke, passata, soy and worcester sauce, garlic, any spices you desire and the stock cube. Note: do not make up the stock cube with water as directed on the packet, you just put the full stock cube into the mix

Simmer on a low/medium heat for around 30 minutes, stirring every so often, this is what it will look like when you first add all the ingredients...


I thought I'd show you what it looks like because I think it worries people that it's so liquid; it takes the 30 minutes to reduce down to a more sticky, thick consistency that it's famous for.

While you're waiting for it to reduce, start to prepare your sides, I love plain long grain rice with lots of red and yellow peppers but it's up to you what you have. Just remember if you're following the extra easy Slimming World plan, you need that 1/3 Superfree on your plate!

This is what mine looks like served up on a plate, as you can see the sauce has reduced a lot and it's more of a thick sauce coating the chicken. It's still more than enough to eat with the rice and the peppers just give it a bit of colour and crunch.


If you haven't already tried Diet Coke chicken, regardless of what healthy eating plan you're following, you should definitely give it a try! Lots of the ladies and gents at my group make this for the whole family and it's also been a winner with their children! It's also totally adaptable to your own taste, if you want to add mushrooms or peppers into the mix at the beginning then you can, and if you want to take it off the heat before the 30 minutes up for a more runny sauce then there's nothing stopping you!

Have you tried this weird and wonderful recipe?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Afternoon Tea the Slimming World Way

Afternoon tea has become quite a craze over the past couple of years and it's something you'd probably want to avoid if you're on a health kick, but for Mothers Day I treat my mum to afternoon tea at my house, the Slimming World way. I got out all my tiered cupcake stands and my nice little cups and saucers and did a bit of baking... just minus the oodles of flour and sugar! Here's how I did it:

The Savouries

- 2 slices from a 400g wholemeal loaf for a HEXB which would get you 4 triangles. The fillings consisted of: salmon and cucumber, roast ham and tomato and egg mayonnaise (with extra light mayo). Not using butter on sandwiches also makes a difference in syn values, a lot of afternoon sea sandwiches will have butter slathered all over them which pushes the syn values higher than you may expect!!

- Short celery sticks with light primula cheese down the middle (80g of Primula for HEXA, that's half the tube!)

- Cherry Tomatoes

slimming-world-afternoon-tea

The Sweets

A small traditional fruit scone would be 7 syns and if you wanted to go all posh and have a Tesco Finest butter scone, that'd be 13 syns!!! 1 tbsp clotted cream (4 syns) and 1 tsp jam (2 syns) takes it to a very costly affair syns-wise! If you really want a scone I'd suggest just having half of the quantities and you can enjoy a little bit of naughty for a lot less syns!

afternoon-tea

I did buy a pack of scones, for the benefit of my guests as well as some other naughty bits; the short bread and chocolate tiffin pieces are 7.5 syns each!!!! To stop myself from over indulging on the naughty stuff, I enjoyed treats from two recipes which I found on different blogs and on the Slimming World website...

Lemon Drizzle Fairy Cakes (serves 16) 2.5 syns each

Ingredients
1 Lemon
2 Eggs
50g low fat spread suitable for baking eg. Anchor Spreadable Lighter
6 tbsp artificial sweetener
100g self raising flour
2-3 drops vanilla essence

For the drizzle
8 level teaspoons of icing sugar
Few drops of lemon juice
Couple drops of yellow food colouring
1 tsp icing sugar to dust


Method

Preheat Oven to 180 degrees (gas 4)
Whisk eggs together with low fat spread and sweetener
Sieve in the flour and fold into the mixture with lemon zest and vanilla essence.
Spoon into the 16 cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until firm and golden
Place on a wire rack to cool

To make the lemon drizzle, mix together icing sugar, lemon juice and food colouring to make a spoonable mixture, drizzle it over the top of the cakes and then dust with icing to finish.


Squidgy Chocolate Loaf (13 syns for whole thing)

Ingredients
6 eggs (separated)
150g Splenda sweetener 
50g cocoa powder (not hot chocolate) (9 syns)
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tsps sugar (4 syns, optional)
Fry Light

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas 4)
Whisk egg whites to soft peak stage
Put egg yolks, Splenda and vanilla essence in a bowl and mix until smooth (add the sugar now if you wish to)
Add the cocoa powder gradually mixing in the cocoa, if the mixture gets too stiff add a little of the egg white
Fold the egg whites into the mixture with a metal spoon, make sure you fold carefully do not just mix it because you need to keep the mixture light and airy.
Spray a loaf tin with fry light and pour the mixture in.
Bake the cake for around 25 minutes until firm but springy, remove from oven and stand to cool (Leave in the tin)

This should make around 20 pieces, which dramatically reduces the syn value of each slice; I also cut each slice in half.

Adapted from a recipe on Slimming Eats

slimming-world-afternoon-tea

My willing guinea pigs (my mum, nana and grandad) all preferred the chocolate cake to the lemon drizzle cakes, which surprised me. But it also astounded them how many syns they ended up consuming when they had a bit of everything! I ended up eating 15 syns which is my whole allowance for today but it's far better than what I would have eaten if I hadn't have planned it the Slimming World way. It just shows that you can do afternoon tea within your allowance and I can't say that I enjoyed it any less than the really naughty afternoon teas I've had in the past!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Why I Chose Slimming World

There are so many weight loss plans out there it can be quite daunting when you decide that you want to lose weight. Structure is what lots of us thrive on so having a plan to follow can result in better success than if we were to just 'eat healthy'. I have tried lots of different diets including shakes and 3 day 'chemical reaction' diets... most of them have all had that magic little word in them which makes us go 'ahhhhh I can't do it', that little word is 'diet'. As soon as you mention diet lots of people imagine hours of hunger and treat deprivation, that's where Slimming World is different.


Slimming World is a way of life, you must be willing to change your attitude towards eating if you are going to succeed with this plan. The thing with Slimming World is that you can eat lots of filling food, you can eat until you feel full and you can still have the treats that you love. I will openly admit that I am a pig where food is concerned, I don't like child size portions, I like a decent plate full of food and Slimming World allows for this. As long as you fill at least 1/3 of your plate with non-starchy veg/fruit you can eat until you are full. All lean meats, seafood, meat replacement pieces, potatoes, eggs, fat free cottage cheese, fat free natural yoghurt and fromage frais, beans and pulses are free which means you can have as much as you like without having to weigh or count anything. You see it's the weighing I cannot stand, when I did Weight Watchers you literally had to weigh and count 95% of what went in your mouth (it might have changed since I went) and I cannot stand this. I love being able to snack on veg and fruit without worrying about weighing or counting.

Then there's arguably the most important bit... treats. Syns are what you use for the little luxuries that you love, I tend to use mine for a splodge of mayonnaise or a bit of chocolate but it's ultimately up to you what you use yours on. Women can have up to 15 syns per day and men are allowed up to 20 (lucky sods); as long as you stay within this every day you won't go far wrong.You also get one choice of Slimming World approved high calcium foods (HEXA) and one choice of high fibre foods (HEXB) to help maintain a balanced diet.

Another thing I love is that because of the nature of the plan, you can still go out for meals. Admittedly some places are more Slimming World friendly than others but a plan friendly meal is possible in most places (I will exclude Pizza Hut from this now, that place is a very Synful place!). 

Ultimately, Slimming World has taught me that losing weight does not have to mean that you no longer have a life, you can do the things you love and find a way to eat the things you want and still lose weight. I love the support that the group brings every week and I won't lie the competitive fairy inside my head forces me to try and lose weight every single week because I HATE feeling like I've failed.



Common questions about the Slimming World plan (I follow the Extra Easy plan so I am answering this assuming you are following the same):

Why do I have to have the 1/3 Superfree on every plate?
The extra easy (EE) plan enables us to put more calorific, filling foods on our plate at the same time, when I say calorific I mean potatoes/rice/starchy veg as well as meats and fish. If we were allowed to fill our plates full of potatoes, meat and rice without adding any veg/salad/fruit we would not get the weight losses we want. The original Slimming world plans (red & green) would not allow meat and potatoes on the same plate without weighing and counting syns for one of them which meant that there was a degree of control over how many calories you were taking in per meal. Extra easy gives us more freedom to have different foods on the same plate but we must have the 1/3 super free to control and reduce the calorie intake.

How many Healthy Extras can I have?
1 healthy A and 1 healthy B.
Healthy A's are for your calcium intake and can range from 250ml semi skimmed milk to 30g cheddar cheese (there are lots of other choices!)
Healthy B's are for your fibre intake and you can choose one from a selection of wholemeal breads, to cereal and cereal bars (again, there are lots of other choices).
You MUST measure/weigh these as these to get good weight losses, do not estimate because 9 times out of 10 you will find that you are having far more than you are actually allowed! A full list of Healthy Extras can be found on the Slimming World members website.

Can I really eat as much as I want?
Yes, you can. Every meal you can have a good plateful of food. You can eat as much as you want until you are full, however once you are eating beyond feeling full you are eating too much. When you feel full it is your body telling you that you do not need to eat any more, if you are eating when you are full just for the sake of it (through boredom or otherwise) is like eating syns. Lots of people snack on oodles of fruit in between meals without thinking about it, just because it's super free BUT if they are not actually hungry they are ploughing more calories into their body than needed which can reflect on the scales. So the key to eating lots on Slimming World is knowing when you are full!

I hope this little post has introduced the Slimming World plan quite nicely and I hope the short Q&A has helped anyone with any questions. If you have anymore questions please don't hesitate to ask me on Twitter, you're probably asking something which someone else is also dying to know!

Fashion | My 'Slimming Into' Dress

I was saying in my post the other day that for me, losing weight isn't all about what the scales say, it's also about how I feel and how my clothes fit. I was lucky enough to win a gorgeous brightly coloured dress from Very Definitions on Laurenella's blog, when asked what size I wanted I purposely asked for a 14 because I knew it wouldn't fit me and I'd have to slim into it. I know lots of people do this but often it's a piece in an unattainable size, I know that this 14 will take around another stone weight loss because it does seem like quite a small size.
I love to have small goals to aim for in between reaching my ultimate goal, I think it helps a lot with motivation and means that I don't ever take my eye off the prize. The sense of achievement I feel when I can fit into this will be immense! It's a really figure hugging piece too which means it's a bit more daring than what I'd normally go for, and I'd very rarely ever wear bright colours like this orange-red. Black is still my best friend at the moment but I'm hoping to gradually introduce brighter colours back into my wardrobe. 

If you like the look of this dress it's still in stock on the Very website for £45.00 and it's available up to a size 18.