Disclaimer!

Disclaimer
Beverley has prepared the content of Bev's World irresponsibly and carelessly. She therefore disclaims all warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, originality or completeness of the drivel presented on this blog or on other linked websites or on any subsequent links. She vehemently denies that the information may be relied upon for any reason. Beverley shall not be liable for inflicting laughter, shame, disgust, torrents of tears and the eventual desiccation or crashing boredom on readers.

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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

31st August 2010 - todays facebook email

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Will Durant (translation of Aristotle)

5.30am and I’ve got lots to do to get ready for work, bank holidays are nice but this ones put me out of sync, hey ho, at least I only have a three-day week.

I had a very quiet and contemplative day yesterday thinking about all sorts of things and come to all sorts of conclusions, I don’t know why but August Bank holiday seems to have that effect on me every year.

I also had a couple of really enjoyable walks with Alfie, one over Kinver Edge but one just round the estate and both I enjoyed equally, I realised that I do enjoy being outside getting some fresh air and it’s making sure I get that exercise that the government recommends!

Looking back over the weekend break at Fairlawns, the foods I remember the most, the ones I enjoyed eating were actually the foods that are healthy so maybe my tastes are changing, I had a few satsumas that were delicious so I plan to get me a bag of those today, there was also some couscous that was very tasty, might have that for my lunch, and cold salmon, so I will defrost some this morning and maybe have that with a salad today or tomorrow. I didn’t really pay any attention to what I was eating yesterday, I didn’t overeat but I didn’t look at the balance of things which I’m back to doing this morning with my smoothie for breakfast.

When I went to the new Cosmo restaurant the other week I really enjoyed the broccoli and I found this recipe yesterday in a Chinese recipe book which I think might taste the same so I plan to cook it this week sometime;

Broccoli with soy sauce

A wonderfully simple dish that you will want to make again and again. The broccoli cooks in next to no time, so don't start cooking until you are almost ready to eat.

Serves 4

450g/1lb broccoli
1tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp light soy sauce
Salt
Fried garlic slices, to garnish

Trim the thick stems of the broccoli; cut the head into large florets

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes until crisp and tender.

Drain the broccoli thoroughly and arrange in a heated serving dish.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Fey the garlic for 2 minutes to release the flavour, then remove it with a slotted spoon. Pour the oil carefully over the broccoli, taking care as it will splatter. Drizzle the soy sauce over the broccoli, scatter over the fried garlic and serve.

Sounds delicious doesn’t it!

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Here’s to a great week, only 115 sleeps to Christmas! I can’t wait I get my holiday then – yay.

Remember life starts now!

Are you living yet?

Monday, 30 August 2010

August 30th - Facebook email

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

What a beautiful morning, got up early and was out the house by 6.30 drove to Kinver Edge and walked for just over an hour with my brother, little Alfie loved it. I thought it would tire him out but he’s here now driving me crazy!

Well I had a lovely overnight stay at the Fairlawns and then got back to reality with a 3-hour ironing stint last night – boo! Supposed to be doing lots of housework and stuff today but I’m not feeling the love for it at the moment – we’ll see how the day progresses.

Diet obviously not been wonderful with the delicious food but back to it from tomorrow, I know it should be today but I’m feeling the love for a KFC later I’m afraid, it hopefully might pass by then but if it doesn’t then I’m going to go for it and get it out of my system because sometimes you just have to don’t you.

I have to say I may constantly struggle with my diet and my weight but I’m greedily grateful for my love of food and life, I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

I’ve read lots of stuff this weekend on health and diet etc and a lot of it is so conflicting, one example says, apparently if you thighs measure more than 60cm you’re less likely to have heart disease – great I’m in the 60+ category there, they don’t mention that instead of heart disease you’ll have major emotional trauma trying to buy a pair of jeans that fit over those thighs without them being massive round the waist ;-) I also have that problem!!!!!

As far as dieting goes, I think a lot of it is common sense, slow and steady wins, variety is key and so is enjoyment, in the words of Cheryl Cole “Too much of anything can make you sick!” yes eat too much of anything and the consequences won’t be good!

I also read an interview with Nigella Lawson and although she doesn’t really advocate dieting, she does make some very valid points, her words were, “I know I eat a lot, but my refusal to bow down to the daily diet and all-round self-denial doesn’t mean I believe in indiscriminate gluttony. For me it’s about savouring food without guilt or shame and not thinking that less flesh (either on your plate or your skeleton) is necessarily better.”

My personal take on it all is to find my happy weight, a weight where I can still enjoy the odd indulgence as well as enjoying everything I eat on a daily basis. What that weight is, mmm seems to vary in my mind from season to season, year-to-year and mood-to-mood! Earlier this year I weighed half a stone heavier than I do now and I felt fine with it, at this moment in time I feel I need to be a few pounds lighter. Whatever my happy weight is, the one thing that has stayed a continuous now for a long time is “healthy and happy”. I try to eat well and opt for foods that don’t just taste delicious but are good for me too, I rarely eat processed foods or ready meals which is a massive difference from when I originally lost my weight on 2 Weight Watcher meals a day and a half bottle of wine! So this is all going towards making me healthy I think, and as for happy, well all I have to do for that is remind myself each morning of how good my life is and how many wonderful things there are in it.

However you spend your bank holiday, spend a couple of minutes thinking about all the wonderful in your life, then spend a few more minutes thinking what you can have delicious for your dinner that doesn’t have to blow your points.

It’s take me half hour to write this and in that time, I’ve changed my mind about the KFC, I don’t want one anymore, I was just hungry driving home and now I’ve had breakfast the craving has gone.

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

August 29th 2010

Your body is not an object for people to look at and judge!

Short message today because I'm at the spa waiting for my breakfast in our room - it's a hard life isn't it.

I've just been reading cosmopolitan and there's a special in there about 'love your body' and perfectly timed it is too as after a shopping trip on Friday mine had taken a knock. It's so frustrating when you can't find clothes that fit or suit you and it did start to get me down.

However after spending yesterday at the spa in a robe and swimming costume and reading the article this morning I'm back to me and being happy with my body whatever it weighs.

I even got words of wisdom from my mate Katie who's the youngest of our group but she was the wisest yesterday. Whilst we were sat in the infra red sauna room trying to burn off the allegedly 500 calories it promises (mmm) she announced that she doesn't care anymore, she's happy to have a body that works and life's too short to worry about it all the time! Yay to Katie, how true - eat well, move more and love what an who you are always!

And when shopping just keep reminding yourself everyone is a different shape so finding an outfit isn't going to be easy. Or Do what I did buy a new hand bag and sunglasses they'll always fit ;-")

Remember life starts now (& keep reminding yourself of that fact!)

Are you living yet?

Saturday, 28 August 2010

August 28, 2010 - Facebook email

Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was. Richard L Evans
Loving that it’s a bank holiday weekend and the sun is actually shining – wonderful! Diet wise mmm, I’m going to do my best as I’m away tonight and it will be including a four-course meal! So how about you, are you gonna stay on track or be prepared for the consequences if you don’t? I would like to lose a couple more pounds before mid September so I don’t want to go too crazy, therefore I’ve had a bit of toast and I may skip lunch or have a bit of soup, then enjoy my meal and go easy with the choices tomorrow. At least I’m walking, me and Alfie did an hour this morning and yesterday, I’ll swim tomorrow, then go walking Monday again, so hopefully it will balance itself out.

Have you thought about your weekend, do you plan or do you just close your eyes and hope for the best? Long term success means that you have to plan to some degree, it’s easy to think you know what you’re doing and find out later that what you thought was a good choice was crazy high in points! We talked about eating out in the meeting this week and compared some menu choices that were a lot higher than expected, Chocolate fudge cake lower in points than fruit skewers for example in one pub! Soup starter as high as 9 points! I’d be devastated to waste that many points on soup wouldn’t you? Yesterday when we went to Bicester outlet shopping village we had fish and chips and peas 2 for £8 and I’ve found Weatherspoons equivalent and its 16 points! Good job we spent 6 hours walking round shops and burning it off!

So next time you get on the scales and it doesn’t read what you expected, honestly have a conversation with yourself about your week and what you’ve consumed and how many points you’ve written down by the side of it, was it really accurate, have you wrote everything down? It’s easy to only track the good stuff!

For example a Weatherspoons chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream will set you back 17 points and yet a Brewers Fayre chocolate fudge cake is only 6 points! Add cream to the Brewers Fayre fudge cake and it doubles to 12 points!

In a few of my meetings we put together a “night out” at the curry house and that was serious ouch! See for yourself

Before getting to the Indian Restaurant you’ve already had a couple of glasses of wine = 5pts

Whilst waiting for your table you nibble of a bit of Bombay mix = 1pt

Meal =

2 Poppodoms & dips = 6pts
(1 teaspoon of Mango Chutney is 1 point!)

Starter
Tandoori chicken = 6pts (most starters were about this)

Main
Chicken Tikka Masala = 23pts
Pilau Rice = 8pts
Keema Nann = 14pts

Sides
Saag Aloo = 6pts
Chips = 6pts
Onion Bhajee = 6pts

Drinks
2 bottles cobra = 5pts

TOTAL = 86 points!!!! OUCH!

Enjoy your bank holiday but please don’t do it in ignorance.

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Friday, 27 August 2010

August 27th 2010 - today's facebook email

"How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar." Trina Paulus

Love makes the world go round, but it all begins with you. If you want others to treat you well, treat yourself well first. If you seek love from another, you have to fall in love with yourself first.

And one way to start loving yourself is to stop measuring your self worth on your bathroom scales!

Remember you pay me to weigh you once a week, so stop jumping on your bathroom scales each morning and allowing them to make or break your day?

The scale doesn’t measure your self-worth. It simply measures the weight of your body! Also your weight can fluctuate dramatically depending on time of day, hormones, when and what you ate, and other factors—none of which has anything to do with who you are as a person – whatever you weight, always remind yourself you are amazing!

Permanent weight loss should be done gradually, and if you’re focusing on a new healthy lifestyle and eating well and less the weight loss will happen. However you will not notice significant changes in your weight day to day, and perhaps even some weeks. Remember also if you’re exercising you may be building muscle whilst you’re losing fat, and although the numbers on the scales may not be changing much, your body shape could be, so why not measure yourself once a month as well as getting weighed weekly by me!

If you are one of my members who decides they deserve a treat when they’ve lost weight, why not change that thought to, “I’ve eaten healthy this week whatever the scales say so tonight I shall have something delicious whatever my weigh-in says!”

If you’ve ever been disappointed on the scales because you know you’ve stuck to your points all week and the results haven’t shown then remember nothing worth having comes easy and your body isn’t a machine, if you’re following the plan the results will follow, they just might take another week to show!

Be honest with yourself, if you’re reading this and saying, “I weigh myself everyday and it never affects my mood, and think about it honestly – are you sure? If it does affect your mood, get rid of your bathrooms scales and leave the job to me.

You may never achieve the weight you were when you left school or on the day you got married but that’s not the end of the world, it’s far more important to be healthy and happy than a size 10! Trust me I’ve been both ;-)

A set of scales is a device that measures your weight not your success at life!

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

25th August 2010 - Tracker

Tired today, partly because of a late night and an even earlier morning I'm hoping because I'm eating really well and haven't had an alcoholic drink for nearly two weeks so should be feeling full of life!

milk in tea - 2

Breakfast
smoothie - 2

lunch
smooth 3
parma ham, chilli philidelipha and asparagus 5

Tea
2 bag of crisps - 4 (not a good option but I was too tired to bother at 9pm)
hot chocolate - 1

Pedometer points = 4pt

26th August 2010 - facebook email

I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.  John Stuart Mill

Isn’t the world obsessed with weight! And yesterday I read an article written by an American friend about having the opposite problem to most of us, she’s naturally thin and still gets stick for it, so rather than discuss her article, I thought I’d let you read it;

The Skinny on Being Thin in America
by Kim Thore on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 14:39

According to the American Sports Data Inc website the number of obese Americans is now over 4 million and the average woman weighs an “unprecedented 163 pounds”.

Subtract anywhere from 40 to 50 pounds and you’ll find me… distinctly very un-average I suppose.

Which was highlighted to me in a very public way at Krankies coffe shop yesterday…. Yes, folks after I was ending a business meeting with a former colleague yesterday Mia, a girl sitting in the corner, tried to stage an intervention on my behalf…but I am getting ahead of myself..let me give you a little back story.

With the increasing desire to be thin in today’s society there is a pendulum swinging out there that makes life very confusing. Starlets are criticized for being too thin (seriously Tori does need a biscuit or two, I’m worried about her) but that doesn’t stop them from landing major ad campaigns and contracts…I just poured over the September issue of Vogue last night and there were a few spreads that had me wondering how the model had the energy to even make it to the shoot. They must have wheeled some of them in on a Gatorade drip…

Then those that go from obese to thin are held up as heroes and everyone wants to know their secrets and those that say they embrace their fuller curves get photo shopped within an inch of their life so as not to mess with the aesthetic of the magazine cover that has a headline talking about their aforementioned curves. It’s like a bad conditioning experiment from one of those Stanley Milgram psychology films they showed you in college …However , there is one group of resident aliens in society that doesn’t fit either one of these prior examples and that are the recipient of some pretty nasty backlash…no we’re not obese and no we didn’t diet to the size of drinking straw, we are naturally thin and it just isn’t acceptable.

I know as I’ve been the diet dart board my whole life. Much to people’s chagrin I was born with a high metabolism and a small frame. So I am one of those people who loses weight too easily if I don’t eat correctly (at least 2000 calories a day) and I can eat anything I want whenever I want…which is why my cholesterol level is through the roof and also apparently why complete strangers feel that it is perfectly ok to stare, ask me if I ever eat or as one coworker told me years ago when I was shoving a Twix bar in my mouth “I hate you”. It’s kinda not fair most people don’t decide they hate me until AFTER they get to know me…

What has always bothered me is that in our sometimes overtly politically correct society if I weighed 200 lbs not many people would question me about my weight. However, because I am thin strangers and even friends think it’s perfectly ok to ask me such inane questions as “so REALLY what do you do to stay thin?” And I think we all know what the underlying meaning truly is in that question. I used to answer, well I have a deep breath of air for breakfast, a Marlboro for lunch and another deep breath of air for dinner. Some would laugh at my obvious joke, others would say “really?”.

Really.

Today, I weigh around 121 pounds and I am adjusting to my new curves. That’s code for I am still pissed that I can no longer fit into my size 2 pink sequin short shorts that I modeled in a Samadahi Fashion Show 4 or so years ago.. So that means I weigh about 10 more pounds than I did in high school and 5 lbs more than I did when I was 25. 10 pounds on my frame is like 30 on most others so I admit it has been a bit tough to squeeze into jeans and give away some of my designer threads that fit perfectly 5 years ago but now look like casing for a sausage.

Still I guess I have to apologize to the world at large. Apparently I am still too thin and that is still too unacceptable. Despite the fact that when I look in the mirror I see a woman with a not so flat stomach I like the new me…after years of struggling to put on weight, asking nutritionists what was wrong with me, and looking at calories on the back of items to make sure they were as high as possible, I have finally reached what I consider an acceptable weight for me.

Unfortunately not for Mia the coffee house intervention specialist.

So flashback..my former colleague is a string bean as well, well over 6 feet tall and rail thin…we have joked about our mutual misfortune of people thinking he was sick and I was pointing my index finger towards my gall bladder. He told me his wife was going back to school to be a nutritionist and I exclaimed. ..”How great!” and told him of how a nutritionist I saw years ago when I got tired of people staring at my Olive Oil arms figured out that I needed at least six meals a day, more calories than most and I needed to exercise….ugh four letter word in my book.

I relayed how I had gained 10 lbs over the past 6 months and my friend joked so what are you 105 now? That kind of ribbing from him was ok…but I proudly stated noooo I am over 120 lbs now ! We joked some more and as we were gathering up our notebooks, checking phones, etc all of a sudden a woman appeared at our table and handed me a note. She smiled and told me she had overheard part of our conversation and hoped I wouldn’t be offended that she was coming forward. I thought she had a line on a Marketing job b/c that was what 90% of our conversation was about and then I read the note:

“Accidently eaves dropped and I apologize in advance for any misinterpretations and or any rudeness you may find in this, but there’s a support group off Hawthorne (2nd Mondays @7pm) for people with eating disorders…so if you consider yourself recovered, they may draw hope from your experience. Even if you struggle, maybe they can offer you strength.”

Wow, did somebody just 12 step me? I got up and commented to her thanks but I don’t have an eating disorder, I…and then I stopped myself…what was the point… ? I thought I looked pretty cranking in my black sweater dress and funky heels…and whatever part of our conversation she had heard, she had also obviously assumed appearances are everything.

Still..I couldn’t resist trying to right a wrong. I called her and left a message. I told her that I knew she probably didn’t mean any harm but that she hadn’t eaves dropped enough to understand what we were talking about , and as I found myself trying to explain to some stranger something that was quite frankly none of their business I decided to stop and I hung up the phone. But not before telling her to text me her email addy, because I wanted to send her a copy of an article I had written about the struggles of being naturally thin in America…it was published in a national mag in 2006 and I guess 5 years and 10 pounds later I am right back where I started from.

In the final analysis I know we have to accept ourselves and try and not worry what anyone else thinks. We are sometimes our own worst critic, judge and jury and in my humble opinion there isn’t any more room in this “courthouse of life” for those who find comfort in bringing others down.

So the next time you see a thin person don’t assume the worst and most importantly, don’t assume it is ok to cross the line between curious and combative. Respect is everyone’s right and at the end of the day that’s what carries the weight.

Now, if you’ll excuse me there’s a pound cake muffin and a cup of coffee waiting for me and I can only hope that the guerilla weight gain troops are not.
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Interesting read eh! Makes you think…

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

24th August 2010 Tracker

Pint skimmed milk in tea 2pts

Breakfast

Smoothie 2pts

Lunch
French Tartiflette Pancake  filled with cheese, smoked bacon and potato from Waitrose 7.5pts
Zero point carrot soup, I added sweet chilli sauce to give it a kick.

1/2 vegetable sushi wrap 2.5pts

Tea
Toast 5pts
bag cheese and onion crisps 2pts

2nd tea!
1/2 vegetable sushi wrap 2.5pts
Pineapple Cottage cheese 2pts

Stopped up later than normal and ate more because of it, I was tired but I wanted to watch the final of Big Brother, sad I know but hey ho ;-)

25th August 2010 - facebook email

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.

Yay, midweek already – loving it. And only one more week of the dwarf demons in my meetings I do believe ;0) Whoop Whoop!

I’m going to the Chinese Supermarket in Birmingham today to purchase a new wok and some special ingredients, check me out, getting all Delilah in the kitchen. Made a delicious carrot soup yesterday, just boiled carrots, added a couple of vegetable stock cubes at the end and a bit of dried ginger and garlic. Blended together then reheated and stirred in some – wait for it! Sweet chilli sauce, spoonful of runny honey and coriander and it was delicious. Apparently I have been told my taste buds are weird – I totally agree and hopefully so is everything else about me, I don’t wanna be normal! I also don’t want to be naturally slim!

What you ask? Why not?

WHY don’t I want to be naturally slim, because naturally slim people usually don’t appreciate and enjoy good food like I do. I love food and if constantly battling with my weight is the price to pay for the enjoyment I get from a delicious 3-course meal in a fancy restaurant – it’s worth it.

One of the great things about being in the zone, eating healthy and losing weight for me is that because I’m not eating so much, what I am eating I really enjoy. Yesterday I nipped into Waitrose and bought a posh pancake stuffed with cheese, bacon and potato, it was 7.5pts and delicious, and because I had it with a bowl of soup, I was souper-satisfied – pardon the pun ;-)

So as I mentioned I’m off to the Chinese Supermarket, I wonder if you can buy fortune cookies there??? What thought would you like to stick inside a fortune cookie?

Here’s a few suggestions;

- Life is only as boring as you are.
- Better to shoot for stars and land on moon than shoot for a mountain and reach it.
- To find yourself: Get lost.
- Like flies to poo, people are drawn to your smile.
- Wear lots of purple.
- Insulting others says little about them. Lots about you!
- The blame game has no winners.
- When you are 80 years old, your job won’t hold your hand, your friends will!
- You will be happy when you stop telling yourself, “I’ll be happy when…”
- None of the secrets of success will work unless you do.
- It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a bad example
- A woman who seeks to be equal with men lacks ambition. Ouch!!!

What thought would you like to stick inside a fortune cookie? Post it on the wall…

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

August 23rd Tracker

Found eating really easy today, hardly thought about food at all which is a novelty and nice!  The rainbow photo was taken on my way home from my meeting, see some things are better than chocolate cake!

Breakfast
Strawberry and Banana smoothie (2)

Lunch
Caramelised onion and mushroom lasagne (4)

orange juice (2)

Tea
Chicken toastie, with sunblushed tomatoes, pepper and spoonful of cottage cheese and pineapple (8)

milk in tea (2)

24th August 2010 - facebook email

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. - Yiddish proverb

Are you struggling at the moment, or are you in the zone? Are you happy with whom you are? Being happy with yourself is one of the best skills you can master to help you get to your goal!

Treat yourself the way you would treat the most important person in your life because believe it or not – YOU ARE! To be happy you need to learn to appreciate, be kind and loving to yourself. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself. See challenges and mistakes as learning experiences and move on. When you experience success, celebrate it.

Have you noticed it is much easier to feel happy when you feel well than when you are feeling ill. It is important to pay attention to your body and treat it with respect. If you are feeling very tired, give yourself some time out. If you are stressed, relax and/or meditate. Aim for balance in your life – equal amounts of everything and not too much of anything, by trying to make sure that you have a good diet and are moving more by doing something that you enjoy you’re more likely to feel well and happy. Spending time outdoors is another great way to relax and revive, go for a good walk – you don’t need an Alfie for that! We’re driving to Snowdon hopefully on Friday for a walk, just the once up this year though ;-)

Another way to get happy is to learn to laugh at yourself and find humour in testing situations. Life is full of challenges and if you take them too seriously it is easy to become frustrated and depressed. It is important to develop a sense of humor and to see the quirkiness of life. Laugh at crazy situations, as it’s hard to be unhappy when you’re laughing!

I’ve found my weight a battle this year, it’s taken me till now to shift my Christmas gain, but instead of treating it as an issue, I’ve just smiled and tried, and guess what suddenly I’m in the zone and losing, getting closer to my goal everyday and enjoying it. I’m enjoying eating good foods and spending time planning my meals and cooking.
So today choose to be Happy no matter what the day throws at you!

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Sunday 22nd August - Tracker

I had no breakfast and no dinner but I did have a three course lunch!




Starter - grilled sardines
Main Course - Pan Fried Bream
Dessert - Lemon Tart

All very delicious and served at The Boat http://www.oddfellowsintheboat.com/find.php

23rd August 2010 - facebook email

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble. Rudyard Kipling

Monday morning again, where did that weekend go! Yesterday was a perfect Sunday for me, chilling out, slow start and a long walk with Alfie, followed by a 3 course lunch at the Boat, at least I choose fish! Ending with a chill out in front of the TV. Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I did. I’m also looking forward to getting weighed this morning because I think I’ve lost weight, even with the meal yesterday that was all I had all day so I should be ok.

I’m actually enjoying losing weight at the moment because losing weight is only the side effect of eating well and getting healthy. I’m enjoying spending time in the kitchen and cooking, looking for recipes and tips online and in books and walking more with Alfie. Something seems to have switched back in my at last and I’m constantly thinking, “what is the healthy choice”, rather than “what can I eat now!” It’s a good place to be for me right now.

So today I have leftover cooked chicken breast that I need to find a recipe to use up, any suggestions gratefully received.

Whatever your weekend, start today with positivity and lets all be happy to get on the scales this week and every week from now to Christmas – I know the kids aren’t even back after the holidays yet, but I look forward to Christmas I get a holiday and its only 123 days away ;-) YAY!

Anywho, it’s Monday morning and most of us have work to do, so remember to enjoy it, and make the most of your week, however you feel this morning, smile and say you feel great and soon you’ll find you do.

Here’s one quick easy idea for chicken (cooked or uncooked), serves two – 7pts each

Tbsp Pesto 1.5pts
1tbsp half fat Creme freche 1.5pts
120g Pasta 6pts
Mushrooms
250g Chicken 5.5pts


Enjoy,

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

22nd August 2010 - facebook email

Friends are those rare people who ask how you are and then wait for the answer. Unknown

After an okay start to my day, a trip to Sainsbury’s followed by a tasty stir fry for lunch, I got a little lazy and sat watching tv, then a text message from a friend saying she was cooking got me to pull my finger out and get back in my kitchen. I’m so glad I did, cooking caramelised onion and mushroom lasagne and it was delicious, although I did have a third of the recipe for 8 points. The recipe is on my blog

Cooking can seem a little daunting or maybe too much trouble until you get started, especially if you have a busy life. However the rewards are great, not only are you in control of the ingredients but I’ve found the results to be larger and tastier than prepacked meals.

I think the trick is to get started, find some simple things to make and then build up find a number of recipes that you enjoy and put them together in a folder in your kitchen. I have to admit that I’m not a lasagne fan but I do love this recipe and it’s so easy to cook. I great place to start is in the copy of “Your Week” that you get in the meeting every week, also the Weight Watchers magazines have lots of recipes in them too. If you have a monthly pass then the online database of recipes is huge, and you can search by ingredients.

If you really haven’t got a clue where to start, check out www.youtube.com and search for cooking lessons, http://www.youtube.com/user/waitrose has some good examples. Weight Watchers esource also has some great ‘how to’ videos.

Although the suns shining today, so you may not want to spend it in the kitchen, there’s always tomorrow. I’m off out for lunch today, so whatever you’re doing, enjoy the sunshine.

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

21st August Tracker

Didn't have any breakfast, then had a chicken stir fry for lunch approx 4pts, followed by the lasagne below for 8pts, I also picked at cooked chicken throughout day which would have taken me up to my points allowance.


Caramelised Onion and Mushroom Lasagne

Value: 4pts, serving: 6 or 8pts each serving 3

Preparation Time: 25 min, Cooking Time: 45 min, Level of Difficulty: Easy

· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 2 large onion(s), thinly sliced
· 1 clove garlic, crushed
· 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
· 100 ml water
· 2 teaspoon vinegar, balsamic
· 2 teaspoon muscavado sugar, dark or light
· 1 pinch salt, and black pepper, freshly ground
· 5 spray low-fat cooking spray
· 250 g mushrooms, closed cup, sliced
· 1 tablespoon butter (I used marg)
· 3 level tablespoon flour, plain
· 600 ml skimmed milk
· 135 g lasagne sheet, (9 sheets)
· 40 g parmesan cheese, finely grated
· 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground, optional

· Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute. Stir in water, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Cook until water evaporates – about 1-2 minutes. Tip into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

· Coat same frying pan with low fat cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat and add mushrooms. Cook for about 2 minutes until browned, then add to onions, stirring to mix.

· Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C/ 350°F.

· To make sauce put butter, flour and milk into a non-stick saucepan, all at once. Heat, stirring constantly with a small whisk until the sauce boils and thickens. Add half the cheese. Season and add nutmeg, if using.

· To assemble, spread a thin layer of sauce over the base of a baking dish measuring about 18 x 28cm. Place 3 lasagne sheets on top. Spread with sauce and half the onion mixture. Lay 3 more lasagne sheets on top. Repeat with sauce, onion mixture, final 3 lasagne sheets and remaining sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese evenly over the surface.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

21st August - facebook email

Good habits are as easy to form as bad ones. Tim McCarver


I had a very chilled out day yesterday, I even had an afternoon snooze so I didn’t really prepare much food just had sandwiches so today I’m feeling refreshed and will definitely get in the kitchen!

My brain isn’t working yet, we had a lie in and I’ve had a walk with Alfie and now I’m sat here thinking what shall I write….

I’ve just had an email about emotional eating so let’s look at that!

Do you?

Emotionally Eat I mean!

Of course you do, we all do, it’s part of being a feeling human being, however for some it becomes a problem. Occasionally eating something because you’ve had a bad day, or some bad news arrives so you dive for the biscuit barrel, that isn’t the end of the world, but if it becomes a regular reaction then it needs you to take control of it. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotional eating.

So in a nutshell emotional eating is the practice of consuming food (usually “comfort” or junk foods) in response to emotional feelings rather than hunger. Emotional eaters use eating as a main strategy to manage their emotions, both negative and positive. It’s dangerous and addictive.

But are you an emotional eater? Here are a few signs:

You’re eating and you’re not hungry.

Emotional eaters are filling an emotional void, not an empty stomach.

You’re craving a specific food.

When you’re hungry, any number of options will satisfy that hunger. When you’re an emotional eater, you desire one specific food.

You have an intense urge to satisfy your craving instantly.

You turn to foods like ice cream, chocolate or other unhealthy comfort foods.

You know that you are full and you continue to eat.

After you eat, you have feelings of guilt.

And of course emotional eating is not limited to bad times, good moods and happy events can also lead to overeating for those who eat from emotion. In a study that evaluated overeating in a group of obese women, it was found that larger meals were eaten in response to both good and bad moods when compared to those mealtimes when the women's mood was neutral.

Emotional Eating and Weight Loss Success

Eating in response to emotions can undermine weight loss. However, research has shown that becoming aware of emotional eating and developing strategies to manage it works. In a study conducted at the University of Birmingham here in the UK, researchers found a direct connection between a reduction in eating in response to emotion and weight loss success among adults.

Understanding the connection between emotions and eating reveals how behaviour can impact on weight. Becoming aware of the impact that emotional eating may play in a weight loss attempt is the first step. If emotional eating is an issue, developing ways to cope without food is vital for lasting weight loss.

I personally find a notebook helps enormously – no don’t eat it! Write it, if you realise you’re about to emotionally eat, write down your feelings instead, you don’t have to share those thoughts with anyone and if you’re concerned someone may read it, then burn the paper afterwards!

Replace the food with something else. Instead of reaching for a bag of crisps or biscuits, get out go for a walk. Call a friend for a chat, discuss your problems maybe. Do housework if you must! Or even take a nap - I know I eat when I’m tired and one day I may realise my mattress isn’t in the fridge!

If you find yourself unable to replace eating with another activity, at least replace the food type. Instead of eating pizza or junk food, try consuming sugar free jelly or carrot sticks, or if it has to be treat food find lower pointed ones, like Weight Watchers toffee bars chopped up into small pieces and taste every piece.

Know that you don’t need to eliminate junk food from your diet entirely. Instead, recognize that junk food isn’t a healthy way to cope with emotions. You can occasionally indulge for the right reasons as long as you point those indulgences.

Instead of eating the entire cake, try taking just a few bites. According to an expert -Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Food and Brand Lab at the University of Illinois, states: “Your memory of a food peaks after about four bites, so if you only have those bites, a week later you’ll recall it as just a good experience than if you polished off the whole thing.”

Eating your emotions is a habit that can be broken.

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Friday, 20 August 2010

Thursday 19th Tracker

Breakfast
smoothie 2pts

ham salad sandwich 3pts

lunch
grey peas & bacon bits 5pts

Dinner
OOPS! Yellow Chips - mmm lots of points at least 20 I bet!

20th August 2010 - facebook email

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas. Linus Pauling

Mmm lifestyle changes! That’s what I was thinking about as I was walking Alfie this morning, that’s the only true way to reach your goal and stay there. You can try this out, try that out but only by making things permanent will you find long-term success. So for example walking Alfie every morning is one of mine, by doing a 20-minute walk each morning I’m burning off extra calories on a daily basis, and when possible I’ll walk him more than once, mom takes him out too.

At the same time its ok to try something’s out short term, so if you’re doing Zhumba at the moment and that fad lasts 6 weeks, that’s awesome, because once you’re bored with that you can replace it with the next big thing! As long as you’re keeping active it doesn’t matter what that activity is! Variety is good.

Balance – that’s what it’s all about, I was talking about this word to a friend yesterday, what does it mean to you? Because to us it appeared to mean two very different things! She saw it as being in the middle, potentially being mediocre! And this is what has been stopping her from attaining it, because she doesn’t want to be mediocre – ordinary, average, run of the mill! No, that’s not my friend at all – trust me! I however see balance totally different, to me its having equal amounts of everything in your life and not too much of anything, being able to cope with all the peaks and troughs that arrive, so in diet terms that would mean, if one weekend you had 3 nights out planned due to celebrations, the next weekend you would balance it out by having a quieter time and using less points. Because too much of anything can be toxic, you can even have too much water – it’s called drowning! You can also have not enough of most things too, if you don’t get enough water, you’ll see the effect it has on your body almost immediately, starting with headaches.

So balance is important for long-term success not just with dieting but also in life in general. I know that if I cut out everything that was bad for me from my diet, I wouldn’t stick at it, for example last night when I gave my helper a lift home she asked if I could stop at the yellow chip shop for her, which I did and ended up having a bag, if I hadn’t had a bag, I would’ve felt resentful of my diet and probably pigged out on other stuff later, but because I did I now know I can stay on track all day today and tomorrow no worries.

Once I’ve finished doing my paperwork this morning, I plan to spend some time in the kitchen, then later I’m having a massage to chill me out ready for my weekend, because all work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy.

Here’s one of the recipes I might be doing, haven’t decided yet.

Spinach & Cheese lasagne – serves 2 – 5½pts

Low fat cooking spray
200g frozen spinach (defrosted and drained)
100g low fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
6 sheets dried lasagne (100g)
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
50g low fat grated cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to Gas mark 4 / 180oC. Spray small ovenproof dish with low fat spray.

In a bowl mix together spinach & soft cheese, season with black pepper. Place two sheets of lasagne in the oven dish, spoon over half of the spinach mixture.

Place two more sheets of lasagne on top and spoon remaining spinach mixture on to it. Repeat with the last two sheets, pour over the chopped tomatoes, season and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 20 mins or until golden and bubbling.

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Thought I'd share a bit of my brother's video talent with you

video
It always makes me smile anyway ;-")

video
And this one shows that Staffies aren't so tough ;-")

19th August 2010 - facebook email

Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it. Author Unknown

Do you look at a cheeseburger and fries and think to yourself, 'delicious?' If so, you might want to think again. The way you look at food will affect the choices you make and your level of satisfaction. So this weekend view the foods that sabotage your efforts, not as friends, but as foes.

Redefine Delicious

The simple beauty of a bowl of ripe berries with yogurt can be even more delicious than the most decadent dessert. It's all in how you see at it.

As a nation we’ve done this before, if you’re old enough to remember ;-“) back in the 60s cigarettes used to be sexy and glamorous but now people look at them and say, they’re killer coffin nails, that's not something I want.' We need to make a cognitive shift as a country and change the way we look at food. Instead of viewing that huge plate of nachos and fries as a guilty pleasure, we have to look at it and say, 'That's not going to make me feel good. In fact, that's pretty disgusting if you think about what’s in it!"

What are your favorite foods that are both delicious and healthy?

All week I’ve been trying to make the healthy choice, yesterday I actually included bread in my meals but it was new Kingsmill Oaty bread so there was some goodness there. If I fancy a snack I’m having fruit, I even added Strawberries to my tandoori chicken sandwich last night - it was lush, see blog tracker for details.

I made my tandoori chicken from scratch with a special Schwartz mix, I’m really enjoying cooking tasty meals and I have to admit they are tasting better than the ready meals and quick options I tend to grab!

So come one lets REDEFINE DELICIOUS!

Here’s one of those delicious recipes shared with me by a friend that I plan on trying this week.

Salmon Stir Fry mmm (7pts)

Thinly sliced carrot, tender stem broccoli, pak choi, salad onions, sugar snap peas and baby sweet corn. OR any stir fry veggies.

Put them in the microwave for 1 minute just to soften. then mix up –

2½ tablespoons of Shaohsing Style Cooking wine (Wing Yip is the best and has less calories than usual Shaohsing wine which tends to be sweeter),

2 tablespoons of Light Soy Sauce,

1 tablespoon of honey (2pts) and a sprinkle of Schwartz Stir Fry Special Blend Chinese 5 Spice.

Mixed that all together and left on the side until needed.

Then take 2 small salmon fillets (9pts) and cut them up in half centimetre slices and put to one side.

Then heat a wok (or frying pan) until it was smoking. Pour in 1 tablespoon of Wok Oil (2½pts) and let that heat up.

Quickly add 2 crushed garlic gloves and within a second add the wilted veg from the microwave. Keep the veg moving the whole time. Add the sauce and let that literally coat the veg before adding the salmon. Cook for 1 minute and it should be ready.

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Wednesday 18th August 2010 Tracker

Breakfast
Leftover rice and mango 3.5pts
Lunch
Tandoori chicken with stuffed mushrooms & 2 slices bread! 8pts

Snack
Raspberries 1pt

Dinner
Sandwich = 7pts this tasted delicious, great combination!  Strawberries an odd addition but it worked!
Tandoori chicken
Sun blushed tomatoes
Strawberries
Mayo
Bread
Lettuce
 
milk in tea = 2pts
 
Pedometer = 4pts

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

August 18th 2010 - facebook email

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. Benjamin Disraeli

What a beautiful morning, fabulous sunrise if you were awake at 6am you may have seen it ;-)

Soooooo who watched the Channel 4 programme last night about dieting! What a buffoon that man was (in my opinion of course!) If you didn’t see it, it was about whether a personal trainer could get more weight off someone than an alternative therapist. I really don’t believe bullying, berating and generally shouting at someone is ever going to get good results and even he had to change his tactics halfway through the programme and get gentle to get results if you noticed! If you missed it, catch up on http://www.channel4.com/programmes/who-knows-best/4od

I personally believe that a positive approach, support and motivation is going to get you further than anything. I also believe you have to change your mind before you can change your body. Yeah weight loss is a battle and it’s one that’s worth the fight!

There is no quick fix solution it’s a combination of changes and that starts in the mind, change your attitude change your life!

Alternative therapy can help as long as it’s alongside a healthy eating plan and hopefully moving more where possible.

There I feel better now I’ve had my little rant ;-)

Yesterday was a great healthy eating day for me, I cleared out my kitchen, threw away out of date spices etc and when and stocked up. Had a look through the Irresistable mag that we have in the meeting this month (you can buy it for £3.50 and get this months WW mag with it for free) and found a delicious recipe for mango rice, mmm it was delicious, I was a little lazy and used microwave rice but the end result with mango and coriander and I threw in some sun-blushed tomatoes was delicious with my salmon. Definitely recommend that one.

So do you have a favourite recipe that you regularly cook and is low in points, if so can you either email it me or bring me a copy into the meeting. I’m thinking of putting together a booklet with members’ favourites in – even if its one out of a previous handout I’ve done let me know so I can include the favs for future members.

Midweek already! Soon be the weekend, doesn’t life go by quickly, so remember.

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

17th August 2010 - Tracker

Breakfast
blackberry coulis, oats, yogurt and drizzle of honey.  (4)

lunch
stir fry veg with philidelphia light chilli flavour, served with poached salmon. (6)

Dinner
Chilli rice with mango, sunblushed tomatoes and coriander served with microwaved salmon (8)

Snack
banana (1.5)
milk in tea (2)

points earned on pedometer (4)




Tuesday, 17 August 2010

August 17th 2010 - facebook email

It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help. Epicurus

I’m back in the zone like you wouldn’t believe, this new ‘healthy eating’ rather than losing weight mentality is really working for me. I went shopping yesterday and everything I picked up I asked myself is this good for my body and health. So there was no red meat or processed foods this week, lots of fish and veggies though and a few yogurts for desert! Just got to make sure I make them all taste good.

It's gonna be a souper week! I’ve decided I’m going to be filling up on scrumptious low pointed soups this week. Yesterday I roasted a butternut squash and blitzed it together with vegetable stock for a thickish soup ready for today.

Below is a very vegetable soup recipe which also helps make it easy for you to get your 5 servings of vegetable a day, if you include this stew-like soup as part of your menu.

I’ve got Salmon for lunch today, going to look for ideas of how to cool it and I’ll let you know. I’m tracking on my blog so if you do want any ideas you can always look there.

It’s 6 years today since I got my goal and received my gold pack from my leader, I can’t tell you how good that felt, but do you know what’s an even better feeling, to be still at it 6 years on, not to have given up. Don’t get me wrong I’ve gained weight and gone over my goal but I’ve never given up! As I said to someone last night it’s a lifelong battle but one that’s worth fighting!

So remember, life’s for living

& it starts now....

Are you living yet?


Very Vegetable Soup

Total recipe points = 4

WW oil spray (0.5pt)
1 large onion, chopped
2 green and/or red peppers, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 small green cabbage, sliced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 courgette, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
I large can tomatoes
1.25 litres/2 1/4 pts vegetable juice (3.5pts) or use vegetable stock for zero points!
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4tsp crushed red-pepper flakes

Spray a large saucepan with the Weight Watchers oil spray over a medium heat. Add the onion and chopped peppers, and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cumin, and cook for 1 minute. Add the cabbage, carrots, courgette, squash, tomatoes (with juice), vegetable juice, black pepper, and red-pepper flakes.

Heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

This is a great filling lunch that you take to work in a flask, you can even have a bit of bread with it if you fancy as long as you count the points.

16th August 2010 - tracker

Great day, I did 7 points on my pedometer for starters, that means throughout the day I covered 11 miles!

Breakfast
I made a smoothie that wasn't very nice so only had half of it! (2pts)

milk in tea for day (2)

Lunch
trout fillet with dill, ginger, lemon and garlic cooked in a foil parcel with veggies (courgette, carrot, spring onion, mushroom) and a roast pepper. (4.5)

Tea
Udon noodles with stir fried vegetables (brocoli, carrot, mushroom) and ham, served with a few sun blushed tomatoes.  (7)

Snack
Frankfurter sausage (2)


No cravings, no wanting alcohol, my new healthy eating has finally kicked in.  Hurrah!

Monday, 16 August 2010

16th August 2010 - facebook email

No one grows old by living, only by losing interest in living.  Marie Beynon Ray
video

Well I've had a superb weekend and food nor alcohol came into making it that way I'm happy to say, yesterday we went to a place called Airkix to do indoor flying/skydiving and it was brilliant and my body knows about it too this morning, feel like I've done a workout!

Foodwise I was pretty good too, didn't have breakfast just in case I was sick, not usually good with heights, lunch was a roast chicken Sunday dinner in pub with veggies, yorkshire, stuffing and gravy.  Supper was 2 ww toast and sardines and then we had a delicious slice of Courgette Cake which was mmmm - yes courgette!  From the ingredients I was given it worked out at 8.5pts for a quarter of a huge cake or 4.5pts for an eighth!

So back to work today and feeling full of enthusiasm, did I mention I had a reiki session on Friday night, and I don't know if its coincidence or something to do with that (I don't care either way) but I feel like it's clicked, the diet that is, I just feel even more focused than I did.  I have spent the last week telling myself its about health not weight and that's helped enormously but I just feel very in the zone now, and I've had about 100ml of red wine all weekend that was it, I just haven't wanted a drink which we all know is very rare ;-0

Anyway I hope you're all feeling as positive as I do today, I'm going to pop to the supermarket once I've done my morning meeting and buy lots of fruit and veg so I can cook up some tasty, healthy meals this week.

On that note, I'm going to start my day with a walk with Alfie, and if you got out of bed thinking, boo it's Monday, take a step back and restart your day with a little more positivity!

Remember life starts now....

Are you living yet?

Sunday, 15 August 2010

August 15th 2010 - facebook email

"You are not perfect, and you don't have to be. You are making progress and that's what counts".

Mmm perfection!  Don't even strive for it because it doesn't exist, well I suppose it depends on your definition of the word, my perfect life would be one where I have more good times than bad and when the bad arrives I have the strength to handlt it.  Oh that's my life now so it must be perfect ;-)

I had a productive day yesterday, I even cooked a delicious zero point carrot and ginger soup (recipe on my blog tracker yesterday), it wasn't very gingery so more ginger could be added, but it did the job and I didn't eat anything else until we got to Cosmo restaurant on the evening and even then I was very restrained, the food is excellent and so much choice, but I stayed away from deep fried things, opted for a little sushi, and the a bit of steak and scallop from the Teppanyaki Bar, the one thing I did indulge on was a couple of sticky ribs and a taster of the deserts, although I'm not a massive dessert fan and didn't eat much of them.  I didn't even drink, only had about 100ml of red wine, I just didn't want to, I was too busy enjoying the pint of diet coke I'd ordered!  Think I may be possessed! ;-)

Or maybe my new thought pattern of eating for health is working, and my new affirmation "I love myself enough to take care of my body by eating well and moving more." is also hitting my subconscious. YAY for positive thinking.

For those of you that have never tried it, I really do recommend you give it a try, I started reading a book yesterday called "The Power" by Rhonda Byrne, it's a follow on from her book "The Secret" which was a global success and had a film made about the concept.  The Secret takes of  'The law of attraction", in universal terms, the law of attraction says: like attracts like.  What that means in simple terms for your life is: what you give out, you receive back.  Whatever you give out in life is what you receive back in life.  Whatever you give by the law of attraction, is exactly what you attract back to yourself.

I've found some people react quite extremely to this concept when it's bought up in discussion, so just observe your own reaction right now! 

In the words of Isaac Newton "To every action there is an equal or opposite reaction."

So therefore every action of giving creates an opposite action of receiving and what you recieving and what you recieve is always equal to what you've given. Whatever you give out in life must return to you.  It is the physics and the mathematics of the universe.  Mmm interesting!

So instead of talking about the negative things that have happened in your day (and yes everyone has a degree of bad in their lives, it how you approach that bad that matters) talk about the good things that that occured. 

In the book she says this;

"If you parrot negative things and squawk about the things you don't love, you are literally jailing yourself, like a parrot in a cage.  Every time you talk about what you don't love, you are adding another bar to the cage and you are locking yourself away from all the good.  People who have great lives tend to talk more about what they love.  By doing so, they gain unlimited access to all the good in life, and they are as free as the birds that soar in the sky.  To have a great life, break the bars of the cage that is jailing you; give love, talk only about what you love, and love will set you free!"

Mmm, so back to dieting, focus on the positives, what do you love about eating healthily and moving more?  Rather than why is it so difficult to lose why, why is it NOT?  I had a fabulous night last night, I didn't feel deprived because I didn't stuff my face, I felt great because I didn't come home feeling stuffed and bloated with heartburn, unlike my greedy brother ;-)

So today think of all the positives of everything in not just your diet but your life, the difficult aspects of your life will always be there but you don't have to focus on them, move your attention to the positive and choose to have a fabulous day. 

Well me and Alfie are off for a walk, enjoy your day.

Remember life start now, a really fabulously good one.

Are you living yet?

Saturday, 14 August 2010

August 14th 2010 Tracker

Breakfast
Kiwi Fruit smoothie (4pts) made with natural % fat Greek yogurt, 3 kiwi fruits and honey.  It was a little sharp but drinkable.

Lunch
Homemade Carrot and Ginger soup zero points and delicious, here's the recipe

1 medium onion(s), chopped
1/2in piece fresh ginger grated or 1 tsp ground ginger
1½ pints stock
350 g carrot(s), sliced
Heat the onion and ginger in a covered pan, with about 6 tbsp of the stock. Add the sliced carrots when the onion looks soft. Pour in the remaining stock and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes. Either mash the soup with a potato masher or liquidise it.

I've had a light lunch as I'm off to Cosmo for tea, but I plan to be sensible!  I've also took Alfie out twice for decent walks earning me points.

13th August 2010 tracker

Breakfast
sardines on toast (4pts)

Lunch
Beef stir fry
made with 200g stir fry beef (4pts)
250g mushrooms
spring onion chopped
red pepper diced
served with 1/2 packet of savoury rice (3pts)

Snack
apple (1/2pt)

tea
microwave chips and a medium glass of wine! (5.5pts)

I've earnt 2pts on my pedometer thought, that's the least this week, most days its between 3 and 5.

14th August 2010 - facebook email

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. John Lennon

O my word, I'm drinking a kiwi fruit smoothie I've just made and its a bit sour for 7am!  I'm hoping the vitamin C of the kiwi will do me good, did you know just two kiwi fruits provide twice as much vitamin C as an orange.  And they are fantastic for beating water retention too apparently.  The fiber in them makes them very effective intestinal cleansers, and they improve the digestive system as well as the immune system.  They remove excess soldium from the body which helps stabilize the water levels in the cells and reduce blood pressure.  So my smoothie should do me some good, and I'd have it again too.

As you can see I'm getting serious about this healthy eating thing, I wanna feel full of energy and life, not sluggish and stuffed up!  I

I'm also loving honey in hot water too, did you know honey is another source of vitamin C, it's twice as sweet as sugar and a good choice for sweet-toothed dieters because a little goes a long way!  Here's a lovely recipe for honey and ginger ice cream (8pts in all of it).

Thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp honey (3.5pts)
500ml low fat bio yogurt (4.5pts)

put the ginger and honey in a small pan, add a little water and boil, stirring for 10 minutes.  Leave to cool.  when cold, stir into the yoogurt.  Transfer to a freezer-proof container and freeze for 4 hours; remove, stir and return to the freezer for a further 4 hours.  Serve with tropical fruit.

Sounds nice doesn't it! 

So not much got done in my house yesterday, once I'd finished all my paperwork I chilled out, had a long bubble bath and read my book then watched some tv.  It was great.  Today I'm going to do something, be productive in some way.  Already walked Alfie, we aint afraid of the rain, no he doesn't care at all if I'm getting soaked. 

Enjoy your day, remember life starts now.

Are you living yet?

Friday, 13 August 2010

12th August Tracker

milk in tea 1

Breakfast
crumpet and lemon curd 2pt
apple 0.5pt

Elevenses @ 9am!
Chicken Tikka salad sandwich 3.5pts

Lunch
Fruity Tikka Masala and microchips 7.5pts

Tea
Sushi 6pts

13th August 2010 - facebook email

It’s taken me until now to understand that I don’t need to understand everything!

Late with my email this morning, Alfie insisted on his walk first and we’ve been out an hour because I’m not in a rush to be anywhere, which is great. I did have a busy day planned but it’s been cancelled so I can chill and take my time – result!

So the weekend is almost upon us and I know from experience this is almost everyone’s time for struggling, some of you are off on holiday so will have double whammy of struggling, or you may just decide to enjoy it and start again on your return. Others will have just returned from their holidays feeling a bit yuk, you miss being there and now maybe you weigh more too ;(

Even if you overdid it, it doesn't mean you've blown your entire weight loss effort, accept the setback and get straight back to it. Up your fruit and vegetable intake, ideally, consume at least five fruit and vegetable servings per day. These vitamin-rich foods boost your fibre and antioxidant intake and help you feel full. Why not replace that mid-afternoon can of pop or bar of chocolate with a medium orange as a snack.

In addition arrange some exercise time, schedule it in then you’ll be more likely to stick to it, if you’re going on holiday or just have the weekend free, you can still do this. Try to get in 30 minutes almost every day if possible; this can be a walk round the block twice a day for 15 minutes!

Most importantly remember “Don't Deprive Yourself” focus on what you're going to eat rather than what you're not. Don’t skip meals trying to get quick results - it doesn’t work!

Wherever and whatever your plans are this weekend, why don’t you decide to make every day a holiday!

Everyone deserves a holiday! Why not inject some feel-good factor into your everyday routine.

If everyone else is counting down the days until they jet off to the sunshine, but all you've got in your diary is a doctor's appointment and a reminder to pick up your dry-cleaning, don't despair...

The feel-good factor that comes from skipping work and absorbing the rays can be injected into your normal routine, whether or not you have booked a holiday.

So mix yourself an exotic fruit juice, and learn to relax and enjoy life as if the rat race was a million miles away, every day.

Conjuring Up the Holiday Feeling

Lie down and do nothing: It doesn't matter if your sun lounger is in your living room or if you just find a patch of grass in the park, doing nothing is good for you. Yoga experts recommend lying on your back with your heels together, and your arms 45 degrees from your body, palms-up.

Imagine yourself far away: Stretch out on the patio, in the park, or even in your living room, and put on some world music to create a holiday atmosphere. Anything from Senegalese to Spanish will do. Browse the world music section of your local music shop or library for inspiration. We take holidays to experience the exotic so why not introduce diversity via your Walkman or iPod?

Fake it: Looking like you're relaxed and sun-soaked could help you feel more chilled and relaxed. Slap on some self-tanning lotion, or book a St Tropez session at your local salon, and dig out your floatiest summer frocks and little cardigans to get the holiday buzz every day.

Go out mid-week: Throw caution to the wind and partake in some mid-week decadence. Dress up and go out for dinner to your favourite restaurant - or for drinks and a show. It will break up the week - and give you something to look forward to.

Bare it: For poor sun-deprived Brits, one of the greatest luxuries of being on holiday is feeling the sun on our skin. So be adventurous - do the gardening in your swimming cossie, the shopping in your shorts, and trip to the office without tights. Remember to slap on plenty of high-factor sun cream and wear a hat.

Explore your surroundings: Change your walking/jogging route, or take a Sunday drive to somewhere you've never been before. You won't believe what's just around the corner.

Do the tourist thing: take some photos of the family or friends while you are out and about. Then share!

Cook yourself out of the country: Experiment and exchange your usual recipes for an exotic dish. Use coconut, coriander and cayenne, to spice up your life. Eat outside.

Whilst the days are longer, have some friends over to sample your sundowner cocktails. Combine 100ml champagne and a vanilla pod or fresh strawberry - to create a delicious alternative to the usual sweet and sticky concoctions.

Just remember, if you can't get to the Med you can create your own paradise instead!

Remember life starts NOW.

Are you living yet?!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

August 12th - Facebook email

Even if we can’t change the reality of a situation, we can choose our response. The wise know when to be proactive and when to let things be. When we stop trying to control life – and other people – doors open, miracles unfold, and the world is more hospitable. The path of least resistance leads to happiness.

Thursday already, this week has flown! Another day of healthy eating yesterday, I made a delicious fruity tikka masala, it was scrumptious, the recipes below and you can see a photo on my blog. I also had a delicious breakfast with raspberries, 0% greek yogurt, oats and honey, the even meal was so successful but at least it was healthy!

Serves 4 at 4 points per portion

400g Chicken breast strips (cut into pieces) or use breast (8.5pts)
Tin Chopped Tomatoes
250g mushrooms
Bundle spring onions chopped
75g Tikka Masala Paste (3.5pts)
1 pineapple & 1 mango Weight Watchers Yogurts (1.5pts)

In a frying pan, stir fry spring onions in a bit of water, after a couple of minutes add tikka masala paste, stir for a minute or two then add chicken and after a few more minutes add tinned tomatoes, simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked. Finally stir in yogurts and warm through.

I served it with ½ pack of Vegetable Pilau Microwave Rice. (2.5pts)

Great weight losses in the meetings this week, especially considering the time of year. I’ve even given out a few 50lb certificates and gold packs which is always a good feelings.

Sorry folks, gotta go I’ve got an Alfie barking at me for his walk ;-)

Remember life starts NOW.

Are you living yet?!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

11 August Tracker

Big Breakfast needed for mid week busy day = 5pts and 1 of my five a day

1 crumpet with lemon curd = 2pts
raspberries (1/2pt) 20g oats (1), 0% greek yogurt (1pt) honey (1/2pt) = 3pts

ooo I'm on a roll, I've just invented and cooked a fruity tikka masala!  Here's the recipe, only 4pts a portion.

400g Chicken breast strips (cut into pieces) or use breast (8.5pts)
Tin Chopped Tomatoes
250g mushrooms
bundle spring onions chopped
75g Tikka Masala Paste (3.5pts)
1 pineapple & 1 mango Weight Watchers Yogurts (1.5pts)
In a frying pan, stir fry spring onions in a bit of water, after a couple of minutes add tikka masala paste, stir for a minute or two then add chicken and after a few more minutes add tinned tomatos, simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked.  Finally stir in yogurts and warm through.

I served with 1/2 pack of Vegetable Pilau Microwave Rice. (2.5pts)

My evening meal wasn't such a success, did something with lamb and mushrooms, but turned out not so good so won't share that, but it was about 7 points.  All in all though a healthy day.



11th August - Facebook email

The stupendous fact that we stand in the midst of reality will always be something far more wonderful than anything we do. Erich Gutkind

Did you know Ramadan starts today, one of the most holy periods in the Islamic calendar and a time of fasting for Muslims and it continues for 30 days until 9th September.

That means Britain's 1.7 million Muslims will refrain from eating, drinking and sexual contact during daylight, and spend more time in prayer and religious contemplation. Fasting this year will be particularly difficult for British Muslims, for whom daylight fasting means going 18 hours without food. Living in a non-Islamic country will makes fasting very difficult, as working hours remain the same, so they have to continue with their regular tasks.

Think about that for a moment, we struggle with losing weight, cutting down on food, changing what we eat but imagine having to go 18 hours a day, every day for a month without eating, and even worse drinking, and I don’t mean alcohol, I’m sat here with my morning cuppa and I can’t imagine not having it! Very difficult and something I don’t think I could or would be willing to do!

So I plan to eat healthily instead, yesterday went well, I was busy so I popped into the co-op for odds and ends, and bought a little bit of fruit, however I’ve been told Lidl’s is the place to go for cheap fruit so will be venturing there sometime this week!

I also stuck with my eating healthily theme, got back from meeting and opened a tin of hotdogs, after realising how much boiled ham I could have instead I changed my mind and opted for that, this was the easy 10 minute meal I made which contained 2 portions of my five a day;

Creamy Ham Pasta
5½pts per portion, serves 2

120g dried pasta
frozen mixed vegetables
200g wafer thin ham
80g Philadelphia extra light or 25g Philadelphia light soft cheese
chicken oxo cube

Cooked pasta with veg for 10 minutes, crumble chicken oxo cube in approx 200ml boiling water and mix together with soft cheese in a pan whilst warming up on the hob. Drain pasta and veg and mix into sauce with ham.

For my evening meal I had soya mince and onions cooked in taco powder, topped with some low fat grated cheese (which is on offer in the co-op) stuffed inside a pitta bread with lettuce. Very nice for 7 points.

So I didn’t reach my five unfortunately but I did get closer than I have been doing and there’s always today!

Remember life starts NOW.

Are you living yet?!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

10th August Tracker - time to get healthy!

So after watching last nights Biggest Loser and looking through some awful trackers I've been reminded its not just about the weight loss it's about feeling well, being healthy, having energy to do the things you want to do and getting to live longer!  So today's the start of my new "Healthy Me" plan!  Watch this space ;-)

So the morning started well with -
40g porridge 2pts
Weight Watchers orange + nectarine yogurt ½pt

1 pint skimmed milk for drinks and cereal 2pts

When I got home I decided to do something with pasta, and I did consider hotdogs, so weighed out 4 which came to three points, so weighed out 3 points of ham and realised you get a lot more ham than hotdogs, so Alfie got the dogs!  Cooked 120g dried pasta with frozen mixed vegetables for 10 minutes, at the same time, weighed out 2 points of philedelphia light, crumbled a chicken oxo cube in approx 200ml boiling water and mixed together in a pan whilst warming up on the hob.  Drained pasta and veg and mixed into sauce with ham.  Delicious for 5½pts each portion, served 2.

Mmm both work out at 3 points, I know which I'd opt for everytime.

Five and a half points of tasty - if I do say so myself!

Tea was soya mince and taco seasoning topped with cheese in a pitta bread and lettuce.  Not bad at all for 7pts.

Great day, not quite my five fruit & veg but not far off!

August 10th - Facebook email

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Buddha

Good morning, well apart from the voice a cough I’d say I’m recovered and raring to go. I watched the Biggest Loser on Sky1 last night and have to admit to enjoying it! What did it home was what the chap said who got sent home, he wasn’t talking about image or looks, he was talking about being fit enough to live a healthy long life and be around for his family. How true is that, how many of us are so focused on the “FAT” that we’re forgetting the benefits of getting healthy, eating the right foods and enjoying the feeling they give us!

So I’m going to make a conscious effort this week to eat my five a day because I know I’m guilty of not doing all the time. I see some dreadful trackers (I’m guilty of a few myself) and although these members might be losing weight they’re health really isn’t benefiting from it. A tracker that only has, cups of tea and sandwiches on isn’t brill. A good tracker should look something like this;

Suggested days menu - Total - 18 points

Breakfast – 2pts

Medium Bowl of cereal, not sugar coated 1½pts
¼ pt (142ml) skimmed milk ½pt
Orange ½pt



Lunch – 4½pts

Pitta Bread 2½pts
60g wafer thin chicken 1pt
tbsp of low fat mayonnaise ½pt
5 cashew nuts chopped ½pt
shredded lettuce
Side salad



Lamb chops & Mash – 8pts

2 medium lamb loin chops – grilled 5½pts
2 scoops of potato, mashed 2pts
carrots and broccoli
Gravy made with a teaspoon of granules ½pt


Snacks
Sugar free jelly
WW Yogurt ½pt
Apple ½pt
200g strawberries 1½pt
¼ pt (142ml) skimmed milk for drinks ½pt

See how much you can fit into one day when you try! So what is a portion of fruit or veg that you can use towards making your five a day. All fruit and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned, dried and pure juices, count. The only exception is potatoes, which are a starchy food and so aren’t included in the recommended 5 A DAY. Meanwhile, no matter how much you drink, a glass of pure juice only counts as one portion because it’s not a good source of fibre and the juicing process squeezes out all the natural sugars that are normally found between the cells of the fruit or vegetables, with the result they’re less healthy for teeth. Pulses such as kidney beans, lentils and chickpeas also only count as one portion, regardless of how much you eat. This is because they don’t contain the same vitamins and minerals as other fruit and veg.

It’s important to eat five different fruit and veg each day to get a wide range of vitamins and minerals. For example, you could add dried apricots or sultanas to cereal, have an apple with lunch, serve dinner with two veg such as carrots and broccoli, and snack on a nectarine. It’s as easy as that!

On average, a portion of fruit or veg is equivalent to 80g. Below are some examples of what counts as one portion:


· 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or other similar sized fruit
· 2 plums, satsumas, kiwi fruit or other similar sized fruit
· 1⁄2 a grapefruit or avocado· 1 large slice of melon or fresh pineapple
· 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables, beans or pulses
· 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad or stewed fruit
· 1 heaped tablespoon of raisins or sultanas
· 3 dried apricots
· 1 cupful of grapes, cherries or berries
· 1 dessert bowl of salad
· 1 small glass (150ml) of pure fruit juice

Go on get fruity today ;-)

Remember life starts NOW.

Are you living yet?!