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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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Thursday, 31 March 2011

31st March 2011

If you only have one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home and then go out in the street and start grinning "Good Morning" at total strangers. ~ Maya Angelou

Last day of March which means it’s April Fools Day tomorrow, don’t get caught out! I’ve had the laziest eating week ever, I haven’t cooked one thing from scratch and I’ve lived on sandwiches or toasties and now I’m bored. This morning on my way to work I’m stopping at the shop to get some fruit, I need to eat something healthy before I turn into a loaf! Ooo not a nice thought, but a very apt one, when I think of loaf I think of a big lazy soft thing ;-) and that’s what I’ll turn into if I keep having chicken, ham and/or cheese toasties every day. They may be quick and easy but that really is where the appeal ends after the first couple of day’s.

My problem is or more my dilemma is I have so many things I need to and want to do, so I have to find a balance and make sure I do the eating/cooking thing correctly first and schedule the other stuff in, my time management needs improving, I’m going to do a meal planner this weekend and make sure I stick to it, I’d have the food delivered but as I said yesterday I actually enjoy shopping.

Are you so busy you can’t or don’t want to use the bit of time you have to shop and cook? If so then you need to decide how best you can deal with that, especially if weight loss is important to you!

The one thing it’s always worth making time for is your meeting, give yourself that time each week so that you can spend it with others who are like-minded and whom you can get more motivation from.

Did you know there’s actually something called Hurried Woman Syndrome (HWS) (sorry chaps!) it was recognised as a new epidemic among British women in 2005 and guess what the symptoms are – overweight, tired, and have a low sex drive!

So if that’s you, go back to basics, stop trying to be the perfect wife, mother and/or employee, and slow down and smell the roses, set priorities and realise you have limits.

Before you roar, “I haven’t got time to smell the sodding roses”, or anything else, put it into perspective, you’re not the only one who is in a hurry. It’s crazy, our mobile phones ensure that we are immediately contactable all the time, instant email is another thing that demands an instant response, you have what they call is “pseudo ADD” if you are one of those people who compulsively check your phones and emails every 30 seconds and so are unable to focus on whatever you’re are supposed to be doing. (I’ve just realised that’s me, I rarely turn off, hence the need for red wine to turn me off!!!!)

So could you read your email just twice each day. Could you turn your phone off occasionally to give yourself a break, I turn mine off at 9pm, but by then I’m almost asleep, I might turn it off at 8.30pm from now on so I have half hours peace before bed.

Would you like to recapture some of your time? If yes start to think about how you can do that. What one thing could you change? I’m going to turn my phone off at 8.30 each night and actually listen to what my mom has to say to me from that time till I go to bed.

What you gonna do?

Have a tremendous Thursday, and as the roses aren’t out yet, why not admire the blossom on the trees today xx

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

30th March 2011

Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday. Dale Carnegie

I caved, I went shopping, I had to, it’s my therapy ;-D, when I was worked up or stressed or rushed I used to eat, now I go and walk round a supermarket, it’s a way of getting out of the house and I just browse the aisles looking at the wonderful things I can eat, I use the time to ProPoints things to share with my members and also to plan meals I can have in the coming weeks. I only spent a little bit and I did indulge in a box of Co-Op chocolate éclairs at 3pp each from the freezer cabinet, but be careful they’re are 6 in the box, so only defrost the one you plan to eat! Otherwise half the box ends up being your tea !


I also found the following two on offer, 2 for £7, both take 10 minutes in the microwave which is great for a midweek meal and the chicken in gravy is 10pp, whilst the beef in gravy is 11pp for the whole pack, plenty for two people.


 I also got talking to a lovely old lady who was following Weight Watchers in another area, but she hadn’t quite got to grips with working the ProPoints out in things, if this is you, please ask me to show you until you understand, also consider buying the calculator because for £9.95, it makes your life so much easier, and of course if you have a monthly pass there’s the online calculator too.

A few of my members have had ‘one of those weeks’ this week, they haven’t stuck to the plan, they’ve got a little off track, and I think it’s important to remember that overeating is a natural part of life, if you only do it occasionally. When faced with the best thing your mother or partner makes or a scrumptious meal in a restaurant, it's normal to eat a little past the point of full simply because you love the taste. But how can you enjoy the pleasure of food, indulge a little here and there, and not have your weight suffer? By always keepin your weight in mind, it's one of the things that people who maintain their weight know how to do. They plan ahead. If you know that you're going out to dinner or to your moms for Sunday roast where you'll want a little more freedom with food, you can cut back throughout the day or save your weekly allowance for it.

It's really not that different from balancing a cheque book. If you spend more money one month on clothes than you normally would, you might not be able to go to the movies as much. Keeping your weight in mind also means not using a planned indulgence as an excuse for eating poorly all day or worse still, all week! For example, a lot of people will say I'm going to blow it tonight at that party, so I might as well give up altogether, until next week. That won't work. To enjoy the occasional overindulging without having your weight suffer, be proactive, delay further gratification for a little while, and then let yourself look forward to a healthy dinner later.

You can still enjoy the good times, you just have to balance them out. Remember tracking really does help keep you focused, and don’t forget that free scales draw if you had your tracker into me between now and Easter.

WRITE IT DOWN TO GET IT RIGHT

IF you bite it, write it
IF you drink it, ink it
IF you imbibe, then scribe
IF it goes down your throat, then make a note!

(WHILE YOU’RE WRITING, YOU’RE NOT BITING, EATING OR CHEATING)

DON’T BE A SLACKER – DO YOUR TRACKER


Have a fabulous day, look in the mirror and give yourself a mental hug xx

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

29th March 2011

If you're not using your smile, you're like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no cheque book. Les Giblin

I have to admit it was nice driving home from my meeting last night in daylight, the sun looked amazing as I watched it go down, although that fog yesterday morning wasn’t welcomed!

This weeks meetings have started well, some great discussions yesterday morning, I didn’t want to finish off the meeting, I could have carried on chatting all day, it was all very interesting to hear what my members think and feel about losing weight.

I’ve started a tracker challenge too from now till Easter, for your chance to win a set of Weight Watchers ProPoint Kitchen Scales start filling in your tracker. Yeah if you fancy getting your hands on a set of scales for FREE, your tracker* is your ticket, for a chance to win hand your tracker in to me each week between now and Good Friday and 1 lucky member will be drawn out at random and get themselves a set of Weight Watcher ProPoints Kitchen Scales. (remember to write your name, meeting & contact telephone number on them – tracker can be printed on the computer if you’re on esourse.) *Tracker must be completed correctly with ProPoints values etc.

I thought it might encourage you all to track for a few weeks and keep you on the right path until the Easter Chocolate frenzy arrives! I know writing down what I’m eating makes me more aware of the choices I’m making as well as the ProPoint values in them.

By having it all written out in front of me there’s no way of lying to myself that I haven’t had it or I didn’t go over my ProPoints allowance. It should probably be called an honesty sheet rather than a tracker ;)
I’m still on a saving money drive in the food department and still haven’t been shopping, so I had a frozen WW ready meal last night, a curry one, it’s the first I’ve had in a very long time, found it at the back of the freezer. Oh my word I can’t believe I used to live on those, I wasn’t impressed at all, I could knock something up far nicer with not much effort! That leftover curry recipe from yesterday for example. I did enjoy the bowl of All Bran I had for my breakfast though, I’d also forgotten how quick and convenient and tasty breakfast cereal is, so I’ve got a few different cereals on top of the fridge that I can start working my way through, I buy them when they’re on offer and leave them there!

The food cupboards my next port of call, noticed yesterday I’ve got lots of microwave rice and tins of things in there I can start on, I can easily manage for a minimum of a week without shopping, if I could stand the food boredom I could probably manage a month, but I love to eat too much and I also love to cook too, although I haven’t been too fussed over that for the last week. I have 2 butternut squash in the kitchen I must do something with before they go off!

Remember you don’t have to buy special ‘diet’ food to lose weight and you are allowed to enjoy what you eat! If you fancy chocolate have it but haven’t it within your allowance, or better still have it instead of your lunch – why not! Now and again that’s just fine.

Speaking of Easter as I was earlier, the shops are full of hot cross buns, so here’s a recipes to make them even more scrumptious;

Hot cross bread and butter pudding

Serves 6, at 7pp each
6 Hot Cross Buns
6 teaspoons Low Fat Spread
50g Chocolate Chips
2 medium Eggs
1/2 pint Skimmed Milk,
1 tablespoons Sugar

Cut the hot cross buns in half, thinly spread with low fat spread and sandwich back together, put in a baking dish and sprinkle with half the chocolate chips. Beat eggs with a milk and sugar and pour over, sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and bake at gas mark 4, 170oC for about 30-35 minutes until just set. mmm

Have a superb day xx

Monday, 28 March 2011

28th March 2011

"Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work. William Arthur Ward

OMG, my alarm clock scared me this morning, I don’t remember the last time I slept through to the alarm actually going off, it must be because of putting the clocks the hour forward this weekend. Poor Alfie jumped out of his skin, don’t think he’s heard that noise before ;D

I was really impressed by a posting on FB yesterday made by Amy, she said, “I’ve realised there’s no point in worrying, things happen sometimes”, this was because she’d been up with the baby and was exhausted so had ordered a takeaway, she also commented on someone else’s post who’d gone off track, “we all need a break sometimes or we will go mad.” True wise words from one so young! If you can all get this mindset, success will be easier, your journey to goal with be a smoother, more enjoyable one.

Yesterday I actually started on my ironing, first time since January! Only did an hour, but it’s a hour done and an extra ProPoint on the pedometer earned and I reckon an other couple of hours and I’ll be up to date.

We had fried egg and chips yesterday because mom fancied it, and I’m not shopping this week, using up the supplies in the kitchen and luckily there was some frozen chips left – phew, they were delicious too.

Here’s a random, Did you know? Almonds are not only high in calcium, magnesium and vitamin E, but ounce for ounce, contains nearly as much protein as lean meat. So a handful a day makes a smart snack. 20g = 3pp or you could throw them into a curry.

Speaking of which following is a recipe for using up your leftover roast chicken not bad for 7pp each, you can serve with rice or chips for additional ProPoints.
Leftover Roast Chicken Curry
Serves 2, 7pp each

300g leftover chicken
One bag spinach de-stalked and washed
400g tin tinned tomatoes
1 onions chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped small
thumb ginger peeled and chopped small
¾ or 1 fresh red chilli chopped small
1 tspn garam marsala
½ tsp crushed black pepper corns
½ tsp fenugreek
handful fresh coriander
300 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tbsp oil

Fry the onions until soft Add the garlic, chilli and ginger, and fry until golden

Add garam marsala, crushed black pepper corns and fenugreek and fry for one minute. Add just-washed leaves of spinach, put lid for a few minutes to wilt leaves

Add left-over chicken, tomatoes and chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes, or more if you want – reduce to consistency you fancy. Add coriander and yogurt, and stir in.

Or instead of the curry why not make burgers with them, you could even feed these the kids just omit the chilli if they’re not keen on the spicy.

Spicy chicken burgers recipe

250g leftover chicken (cooked)
Handful coriander leaves
Small piece of fresh ginger
1 chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
Sweet chilli sauce for dipping and salad to accompany
Ground black peppercorns
Salt
100g breadcrumbs
1 egg
2tbsp Sunflower oil

Takes: 20mins
makes: 8 small burgers at 3pp each

Process the chicken in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, coriander, ginger and the chopped chilli.Process until the mixture is smooth, season well.

Using wet hands, divide the mixture into 8 small balls and lightly flatten, toss in a little plain flour.

Shallow fry in sunflower oil until golden on each side and serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping and a crispy salad.

Here’s to a fabulous week however your weekend went, and I don’t mean your diet, I mean your life, go out and make it amazing, make it the type of life you like xx

Sunday, 27 March 2011

27TH March 2011

If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it. Edgar Watson Howe

Yesterday was all about me and mom time, I turned my phone off and me and mom chilled out and watched tv and laughed, she started to tell me something on the afternoon and then suddenly stopped and said, “Have I told you this already today”, I smiled and said yes, but that it was ok as I often need telling twice so I don’t forget and we both laughed. It’s good to spend time with those you love and also to give yourself time when you spend so much of your life helping or talking care of others.

LasT night was WWF’s Earth Hour when across the globe, people were switching off their lights at 8:30 PM to show they care about climate change and protecting our natural world.
So I’m naming today “I’m gorgeous day”, we’re all gonna love our bodies today whatever their size or shape. Think about it, when in a room with a mirror, do you tend to:

- Frown at your image and quickly turn away
- Smile and give yourself a mental hug
- Obsess about the details of how you look

So today, we’re going to work on getting you to smile and give yourself a mental hug if you’re not already there.

Why? Because like many women, I used to diet until I was dizzy. I looked at my body and hated the parts that stuck out, and the ones that didn’t stick out far enough. And I believed that having the so-called “perfect” body—at any expense—would guarantee success and eternal happiness. Do I need to say it? I was deluded. When I hit the super low weight (which as 2 stone lighter than I am now), the only thing it gave me that I didn’t already have, was the ability to buy size 8 clothes, which isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be and also a very boring social life because when invited out I’d refuse for fear of gaining weight! Mmm not a very healthy life is it being skinny!

Most women’s relationships with their bodies are dysfunctional at best. With multibillion-dollar diet and cosmetics industries barking at our heels, loving our bodies is no walk in the park. It’s especially hard when our friends complain about their bodies, and our moms have been on diets since we were in nappies.

But this is a matter of life. When we don’t feel comfortable in our bodies—our natural bodies—we deny our spirits everything from dancing to delicious food to lustful abandon. We miss out on all the sensuality and joy that life offers. And we deserve to have it all. If you love your body and take care of yourself, you want to eat healthy and nourish yourself with good food and you want to get active to make yourself feel alive.

Here are a suggestion to help you fight the pressure, and practice the new art of loving your body, just the way it is.

Find your inner goddess.  Go grab a full-length mirror, most of us play a love-hate game with mirrors, gazing at the parts we like, and avoiding the ones we don’t. We never look at our bodies as they are. Instead, we pick ourselves apart like chicken dinners, scrutinising our thighs, our breasts,our legs. And what we see in the mirror is often no reflection of what is really there.

Find some private time, even if it’s just a few moments. Then take off your clothes, and look at yourself. Let the hateful thoughts run their course, then pass. It will clear space in your mind for positive ones to replace them. Don’t turn away from your reflection — try to clear your mind of judgment and keep looking.

Now look closely at those parts you struggle with most. Do they remind you of anyone? Perhaps those full hips once belonged to your great-great-grandmother. If not for them, you may not even be here—her size could have helped her to survive pregnancy and childbirth. Our bodies are living family albums. Pay homage to your ancestors by loving the body they gave you and the legacy it represents.

Remember healthy comes in all sizes, don’t just focus on the external think about the internal, when you picture your body, do you think about your heart, your brain, your kidneys? Probably not. More than likely, you think about your thighs, your hair, your stomach. So start eating for health, to feel good not just to get thinner.

Healthy people come in every size. There are plenty of fat people who are active and “in shape,” and plenty of skinny folks who are thin but unhealthy. In this case, it’s what’s inside that truly counts.

SO from today, I want you to walk with your head up, and never, ever apologise for your size. Get into your body, treat yourself to a massage, an hour in a hot tub or a sauna. Dance naked in your room, or go out and shake whatever your mama gave ya. Take a walk for enjoyment’s sake—and leave the running shoes at home.

ALWAYS REMEMBER YOU’RE GORGEOUS!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

26th March 2011

Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength. Sigmund Freud

Good morning, hasn’t the sunshine this week really brightened everyone’s mood and with the clocks going forward tonight, we’ll get an extra hour of daylight at night which will hopefully encourage us not to veg out on the settee.

I realised yesterday, the warmer weather means I need to start drinking more water too, so that’s today’s focus I'm going to make sure I drink at least 2 litres of water and rehydrate my body, especially my skin.
Did you know our bodies are, or should be, made up of at least 75% water.  But obviously we lose water all the time, through going to the toilet, even every time we exhale and a staggering 1litre a day through the skin.  We rarely drink enough to replenish it, so today I'm going to try.  Water is essential for digestive and urinary health, it's crucial to the smooth functioning of the body, and without it all our bodily systems become sluggish and less efficient.    It's crucial for kidney health, flushing away toxins, helping your body to metabolize stored fat.  So today fill a 2l bottle full of water and try and see if you can drink it, I actually like boiled water and am on my second mug, so that's 1/2 litre drunk already.
I had a lovely day yesterday not rushing about, it makes such a change and a welcome one too, I was quite proud of myself too because I resisted the shops realising I didn’t actually need anything and could live without new clothes as my bank balance isn’t healthy enough for indulging! So I’m going to see if I can go a week without spending, I’m going to use up food I have in the kitchen and have a budget week, cheap meals are sometimes the best meals. Me and Alfie have just got back from our walk and shared jam on toast mmm. If you have any cheap delicious recipes you can share, email them to me, that would be great.

I think I’ll make that savoury bread pudding one day as that was delicious, yesterday I made a tasty toastie with some beef slices a member had brought me to try. The whole thing was 12 ProPoints but it was work it, this was it;













and this was what went into it
= the entire packet of bresaola (3pp), 1/4 tub houmous (3pp), 2 sandwich thins (6pp) mmm

+  +


Later I may have a second walk with Alfie like I did yesterday, lovely to walk in this weather it really is, or I’m thinking I really do have to do the ironing! Yes I’m going to be brave, it’s not been done since January and I have some lovely clothes I’m not wearing because they haven’t been ironed. So this week I shall be productive. Spring cleaning maybe, as it’s the start of British Summer time this weekend, it’s a little late, but hey better late than never don’t you agree.

Here's to a superb Saturday xx

Friday, 25 March 2011

Simply beautiful - just like you xx

25th March 2011

Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, bending over backward, lying down on the job, sidestepping responsibility and pushing their luck.
7am and 7,000 steps on my pedometer already, my morning walk really does wake me up and make me feel good.

This week has been all about ‘getting the buzz’ through activity, so this morning I’d like to point out that the suns starting shining again, go outside and enjoy it.

Be active...

Go for a walk or a run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden. Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and one that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Regular physical activity is linked to improved mental and physical wellbeing. Physical activity makes us feel better immediately through the release of uplifting chemicals into our bodies.

There are many different types of physical activities that you can do. The key is finding an activity that you enjoy doing this will make it easier for you to keep doing it.

Exercise and physical activity can:

• Increase self esteem & confidence.
• Get rid of built up stress and frustration.
• Provide a distraction from your worries.
• Give a natural energy boost.
• Improve sleep.
• Give you a sense of achievement.
• Is motivating.
• Help make new friends.
• Improve mood.
• Is fun!
If you’ve never exercised, start slowly and increase your activity level gradually. It is recommended that you should do at least 30 minutes of moderate/intense activity 5 time a week.

Any activity that you do for at least 10 minutes at a time counts towards your 30 minutes a day target, and yes this includes sex! However, any exercise you do needs to last at LEAST 10 minutes and should be making you a little warmer than usual and slightly out of breath to count as moderate intensity. ;D

Did you know that outdoor exercise that exposes you to sunlight affects the pineal gland directly boosting mood.

Having said all that, it’s Friday and I don’t plan to do much of anything, once my paperworks done, today is going to be all about rest – you’ve got to get the balance right ;D


Have a gorgeous day xx

Thursday, 24 March 2011

24th March 2011

It is good to let a little sunshine out as well as in.

It never ceases to amaze me how much we compare ourselves to others, how we can be embarrassed to show our bodies off, for example I have lots of members who won’t go swimming because of their bodies. So today I would like you all to stare at normal women’s (or men’s) bodies (normal does not include models, actresses or elite athletes!)

Not in a pervy way, or for too long at one body of course, cos that’ll get you in trouble ;D but notice what real people look like, real people have saggy boobs, dimpled bums, cellulite on their thighs, stretch marks, flabby stomachs, and drooping underarms. Yes you might see a body without any of these things but there more than like to be under the age of 13! Of course walking down the street you’re not likely to see those parts of people because they’re wearing clothes but you can tell by looking that it’s underneath.

As you observe all these normal people, remind yourself that no one looks like the images you see in magazines, even the models themselves don’t actually look like the pictures you see of them. Most of the time these images are retouched to erase the bits we don’t want, or to remove any cellulite, sags, droops and imperfections that in reality make a body human!

Some of you may remember that last year I treated myself to a makeover and hell I didn’t even recognise the photos, they’d caked so much make up on me and done my hair that I looked totally different, so with a good photographer you can be made to look sensational, I proved that! When I was choosing which photos I was going to buy the lady showed me what they’d look like if she removed my wrinkles and blemishes and I didn’t like it, I don’t want to be ‘smooth’! I want to be me!

I’m going to share a photo with you, when my friend took it on Saturday and text it to me I squirmed and thought, “Yak” is that what I really look like, and I actually said, "don't you put that photo on facebook", but since I've realised that's the me people see everyday!  Yesterday I looked at the makeover shots I had taken and thought that’s not what I look like either, but they are both me and sometimes it depends on your mood when you see a photo of yourself to how you react, and how well the photo was taken of course! I’m still gorgeous whatever those photos say and so are you xx

Same person - different day, different camera, different pose/make up etc!


Normal, real women have wrinkles, sags and cellulite, but since we don’t compare ourselves to normal women, we end up feeling as if our bodies are wrong. As if our imperfect bodies are an indication that we are not working hard enough, don’t care passionately enough, have let ourselves go. When we compare ourselves to these airbrushed images, we start to believe that if we drank enough water, ate the right food, and exercised plenty we could look like that! Mmm, it’s good to do those things to treat our bodies well, but if your only doing it in the hope that you’ll look like those images – it ain’t never gonna happen! And be honest you don’t really want it too.

So take a good, long stare at some real women’s bodies today, look at your friends, so they have wrinkles and sags – so what, you still love having them in your life, they make you smile, laugh and feel good and you more than likely do the same for them!

Once you’ve done the looking, go find yourself a mirror and stand in front of it, notice your stretch marks, sags, wrinkles and say “I love you, this is what living looks like, this is what loving looks like”. And then you’ll be telling the truth.
Have a fabulous day xx

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

23rd March 2011

The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.

Yesterday was all about using up the food in the fridge that was about to go off!

So I made a pizza from a Jus Rol pack I’d bought and it wasn’t until it was cooked I realised I hadn’t put any cheese on it, the whole thing was 36, it filled a baking tray, it was huge! Then I made stuffed mushrooms which I’m having for lunch today. Finally I made a delicious parsnip soup, recipe below which was scrumptious.

I really do need to stop buying too much food, I love to eat, cook and shop, unfortunately I forget that there’s only two people in my house and 7 days to eat the food in, so I really do need to start thinking about the meals I intend to cook before or at least as I shop!

The meeting this week have been great so far, not just fabulous weight loss with lots of 5% and 10% awards, also two members achieving their goals and getting gold membership but also because there’s been a lot of laughter and also a few tears as a few members share their reasons for joining Weight Watchers and wanting to lose weight, it’s always a different reason for us all, some of us might have similar reasons but our motivation to walk through the door is a very personal thing that not everyone is willing to share but those that do usually bring a tear to my eye xx

My members continue to constantly inspire me, you’re all truly amazing and I love that you make my work so enjoyable, and if you are struggling, talk to me, tell me what I can do to help you and I’ll do my best.

I’ve just seen this article online, Jennifer Hudson has lost 80lb with Weight Watchers, WOW check out how good she looks! http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/diet-fitness/jennifer-hudson-looks-slimmer-and-trimmer-than-ever-blog-43-yahoo-lifestyles.html

I think the bit of sunshine we’ve had this week has really lifted peoples spirits and everyone’s being reminded that summer isn’t far away and we’re going to have to take the baggy cardigans off soon! One member proudly stood up yesterday and showed us how loose her new trousers were, which were a size smaller than when she joined! Fabulous, I just love that look of satisfaction you all get when you lose weight, its brilliant.

The subject of ‘guilt’ came up last night, NEVER feel guilty about eating, it’s counterproductive, if you’re going to eat it – ENJOY IT! Most importantly give it your full attention and taste every mouthful.

Taste
Notice
Enjoy every bite

I don’t care how much it cost, or how long it did or didn’t take to make, if you aren’t tasting and enjoying the food 100%, you don’t need to be eating it and it isn’t doing you any good!

Don’t even waste one mouthful of pleasure ;D
If you stop paying attention – stop eating!
If you stop enjoying it – stop eating!
If you become full – stop eating!

If you are still hungry, still enjoying it and still paying attention – ENJOY IT! NO GUILT!

Start to notice what foods you really enjoy eating, they may not be the ones you think. I ate a chocolate cream egg on Saturday night and realise I actually really don’t like chocolate at all and it’s something I consume because apparently everyone likes chocolate – well I don’t!

If you’re all about dessert and go for a meal with friends and really don’t fancy anything on the main menu list, have two desserts, one for your main and one for dessert, just ProPoint them.

Since I’ve started giving my food the attention it deserves, my top foods list really has altered, spinach is up there towards the top and eggs, mmm a poached egg on steamed spinach leaves is lush. It’s also excellent value for ProPoints.

It’s not just about how it tastes whilst you’re eating it either, it’s also about how your body feels afterwards, if it makes you feel great and gives you energy – great. If it makes you feel drowsy or full and sick then not so great. Notice which foods taste good in your mouth, but aren’t so good when you’re digesting them, not all foods agree with you. It could just be the time of day you’ve eaten those foods too. It might not cheer you up if your body can’t handle cake but you need to respect your body’s reaction and realise that food isn’t for you. My body doesn’t do sweet food well, it makes me feel yukky afterwards.

Anyway there’s some food for thought, and I’m off for my daily walk with the Alfie soon so I can clock up some steps on the old pedometer and get some fresh air into my lungs, sets me up for the day.

Have a good one xx

Roasted Parsnip Soup
Servings: 4, 4pp per serving

500 g Parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks (10pp)
1 tablespoons Oil, Olive (4pp)
1 teaspoons Cumin seeds (level)
1 large Onion, chopped
1 medium Pepper, Red, deseeded and chopped
1000 ml Stock, Fresh, vegetable
2 tablespoons Chives, fresh or 1tbsp dried
75 g Philadelphia light cheese and chives (3pp)
2 tablespoons skimmed milk
1 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200°C/fan oven 180°C. Put the parsnips into a roasting pan and add the olive oil, cumin seeds and some black pepper. Toss to coat, then roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender, turning once after 10 minutes.

Put them into a large saucepan with the onion, pepper and vegetable stock. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and use a hand-held stick blender or processor blend the soup, add chives. Mix the soft cheese with the milk and stir into soup, serve.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

22nd March 2011

Some days, doing 'the best we can' may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect – on any front – and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else." Mister Rogers



Busy, busy, busy that’s what yesterday was and because of it and the fact I had a fabulous weekend, I didn’t track, so today I’m refocused. On a positive healthy note though I did manage two walks with the dog and earned 9 activity ProPoints on my pedometer, I covered 25,090 steps which is 10.45miles, so I was pleased, plus the walks help slow down an otherwise extremely busy day.

This week’s meeting is all about the activity buzz and I have to say walking may not make me sweat but it really does do me good and I enjoy it immensely.

Even though I didn’t track I still ate healthy, I had one of those new Warburton wraps for my tea with spinach and chicken in and a splash of balsamic vinegar and it was delicious. I often buy a cooked chicken from Sainsbury’s when I’m too busy to spend time in the kitchen and I used to eat the skin but now I manage to resist and only eat the 2 wings with the skin on, the rest Alfie gets, good job it’s only occasional, otherwise he’d have a weight problem too! I plan to use a couple of those Warburton flat wraps to make pizzas today and top with puree, pineapple and mushrooms etc.

I’m absolutely loving spinach at the moment, it’s a delicious leafy green that is a wonderful slow-release energy food, apparently it helps to keep hunger at bay. Also did you know it was a natural laxative, spinach aids liver function (that’ll help with the wine I drank at the weekend!), neutralising the toxins present in our bodies. The B vitamins found in spinach strengthen the immune system, fighting off infections, and boost energy levels to fight long-term fatigue and stress. It’s high potassium content regulates blood-fat levels. The oxalic acid contained in spinach can exacerbate kidney or bladder stones! It’s also extremely easy to cook, steam for a few minutes, or I have been known to microwave for a minute.

I’ve just found a recipe for spinach soup that I might have a go at;

Spinach soup (total 6pp)

1tbsp olive oil (4pp)
1.5kg/3lb 5oz spinach, washed
6 sticks celery, sliced
2 heaped tbsp vegetable bouillon
1 heaped tbsp fresh herbs (tarragon, thyme)
1tsp grated nutmeg
4 tbsp low fat bio yogurt (2pp)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the spinach until just tender. Barely cover with water, add the remaining ingredients, except for the yogurt, and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend in a food processor until smooth and serve with a spoonful of yogurt.

Yeah that sounds like one to try.

Remember whether you’re week started well or not, it can end well, to create a masterpiece takes time and remember you’re working on a masterpiece – YOU!

Have a great day gorgeous xx

Monday, 21 March 2011

21st March 2011

Cherish yesterday, live today, dream tomorrow!


I’ve had a fabulous weekend, and it was centred round food and friends because the two do have a habit of going together, it’s an equations “Food + Friends = Fabulous Fun”. Friday I did afternoon tea with one group of friends where we laughed until we nearly cried and the waiter thought we were having a sugar rush because we were all Weight Watcher leaders and Saturday was my super treat, five of us went to La Becasse in Ludlow which is a Michelin star restaurant and was voted in the Times top 20 restaurants. We planned it last year and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since, we had planned on having the lunch 3 course because it was the cheapest option but we ended up having the 7 course lunch taster menu which turned into 8 or 9 I’m sure by the end of it! Anyway it was fabulous and because you do only get a taster of each course I actually don’t think I’ve gained this week either – result! I did fall of my no alcohol for Lent though, as I couldn’t resist the wine pairing that goes alongside each course, for me that was part of the experience and I got to taste some very fine wine. My friend bought me the book that the restaurant had on display which was by Alan Murchison who owns the restaurant and the maître D’ got it signed for me by the chef Will Holland. So I came home a very happy bunny. We stayed in a Travelodge to balance out the cost ;D and for breakfast Sunday morning went to DeGrey’s which was also scrumptious. Now I’m ready to get back in the zone and enjoy some smaller healthy meals this week to balance it all out. Remember Weight Watchers isn’t about deprivation and I don’t believe enjoying food should ever be about guilt! The quote at the front of the book says,

'food, the one common thing in everyone's life that truly awakens the senses, looking at it, smelling it, touching it, oh and the taste, yes the taste, making the journey worthwhile' Chef Simon Haigh.

So true, so enjoy! If you’d like to see the photos from the weekend, follow the link below, mmm

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=595730861&aid=339516

Even though I was away I still had my morning walk yesterday minus Alfie, I walked for an hour and a half from the hotel down into Ludlow and back before the rest of the girls woke up!

One good thing about trying to give up alcohol for lent is that I managed not to drink since Shrove Tuesday which has helped me shake the habit of having a glass of wine every night, I’m planning on continuing that, and remembering that the kind of wine I enjoy is one that I savour, not one that I gulp! I’ve also realised that even though I occasionally eat chocolate I don’t actually like it so won’t be bothering again. It’s interesting when you realise that some foods you eat just because they’re there or because you think you should like them!

So how was your weekend? Equally fabulous I hope, if not I hope it was good enough ;D

I’m obviously a bit of a busy bee this morning as I have lots to do because I was away the weekend, but that’s ok, it was worth it. I was actually in bed last night at 7pm and have slept for ten hours till 5am, so feel totally refreshed and ready to go.

Here’s to a brilliant week and even more success at the scales, the running total of weight loss for my members this year is 646 stone, which is just sensational, it’s amazing to see every person smile when they stand on my scales and I tell them they’ve lost.

Most importantly, remember your gorgeous and amazing whatever you weigh xx

Saturday, 19 March 2011

19th March 2011

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose. Lyndon B. Johnson

Tonight is going to be the biggest full moon in two decades so make sure you take a look and enjoy the view, I certainly will do.

I’ve got some of my voice back this morning which I’m relieved about as I’m off out for a posh lunch at a Michelin star restaurant with my friends. I had a busy day yesterday training with Weight Watchers which was really good and to finish of the day, five of us treated ourselves to afternoon tea and it was lovely, and the best part about it was all the laughter, we really, really giggled. The next table commented on the fact it was a good job we were only drinking tea and the head waiter told them we were from Weight Watchers and he thought we were all having a sugar rush! ;D


Laughter really is the best medicine and I’m sure that’s partly why I feel better today more so than the lemsip, so hopefully the girls today will totally cure me with another injection of love and laughter.

Did you know that every day we have roughly 200 thoughts about food alone, no wonder we find it so difficult to lose weight, if you think about it, the majority of our social activities revolve around food. From the day we born food and love go hand in hand, your mom feeding you, then when your a toddler food is used as a consoler if you fall over or a treat if you’re good, your loved ones by you chocolates to show they love you. No surprise that we turn to food to cheer us up when we’re down, but you can turn that habit around, with time and practice. I would phone a friend for a good chat now if I felt down, or arrange to meet up for a giggle.

One of the things we touched on in the training yesterday was the importance of weight loss to each individual, and we talked about the different reasons we all joined Weight Watchers. Can you remember yours? What motivated you to walk through the doors? Why did you want to lose weight? Really, really think about the reason or reasons? There will have been a deciding moment, a tipping point, it might have been something someone said, or a photo your saw, a thought you had. And when you recall that reason, hold onto it because that’s your motivation for staying focused and on track.

It’s a beautiful day outside this morning, I’ve walked Alfie for over an hour and its glorious out there, so if you have time, why not venture out and enjoy the sunshine.

Keep your eye on facebook for photos of the Michelin starred food ;D

Friday, 18 March 2011

18th March 2011

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out share, SMILE, hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." Og Mandino

OMG I’m speechless! No really I am, my voice has almost completely gone now ;D and with it my brain I think, I can think of anything to write this morning, I can’t get going at all, I got up at 5.45, got dressed and took Alfie out straight away for his walk, we wandered about till 7.30 and now I’m sat eating toast that has way too many ProPoints (2 small slices with spread 7pp) in it and drinking a cup of tea, feeling a little sorry for myself cos I’ve got loads to do and a training session this afternoon in Burton!

Other than that I’m great, I’m very grateful for my life and I love being me, when you see what’s happening elsewhere it makes you count your blessings. There aren’t many who can see they love their job and enjoy going to work every day, it makes me very grateful.

Just realised it’s Comic Relief day today, I’m listening to Chris Moyles who’s almost broke the record for the longest radio show ever, I am a fan I have to say and they’ve raised £1.3 million already, wow that’s just amazing. The comic relief theme this year is “do something funny for money”, so as I’m absolutely shattered and will be out most of the day, when I get home tonight, I’m going to watch a funny dvd and just make a donation. We have raised almost £300 in my meeting for the Japan appeal so thank you everyone.

So whatever you’ve got planned this weekend enjoy, I’ve noticed the shops are already full of Easter eggs and if you’re a bit like tempted by that Cadbury's cream egg do you know what you'd have to do to burn the 6pp it's worth.
Mountain biking - 22mins
Rock climbing - 23mins
Badminton - 42mins
Yoga - 47mins

OUCH! So please if you’re going to give in to the craving, have one not a pack of six, just because they’re eggs doesn’t mean you need to buy them in half dozen boxes ;D

Back to C everyone’s heard of it Im sure but do we really realise what they do, well I’ve just been on their website and checked, it states

“Comic Relief is a major charity based in the UK which strives to create a just world free from poverty – and we work 365 days a year to help that vision become a reality.”

So if you usually have a drink and/or a takeaway on a Friday night why not decide to donate that money to Comic relief tonight, I’ve just watched a little girl on Radio 1 give her pocket money to them, so I've just donated mine too.
Anyway I’m rambling because I’m not with it and have loads of paperwork to do, so I’m going now. Have a fabulous day xx

Thursday, 17 March 2011

17th March 2011

The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. Chinese proverb

I’m on a roll this week, I wasn't missing the alcohol at all which was really surprising me, until last night, but resisted.   I’m so busy, but still making sure I take two hours each day for myself, one at 6.30am when I walk Alfie and the other at lunchtime when I make sure I cook something delicious for my lunch and usually make my dinner at the same time. Yes it’s difficult when you're busy, but you can still stay on track.  From Monday through Thursday I’m up at 5am, and don’t sit down on the night to relax until after 8pm, I usually finish my paperwork on Friday about lunchtime, so organisation is key. And I’ve found that the more I plan, the easier it get week on week because its becoming a habit. I’m starting to learn what flavours go together so whereas I used to stick rigidly to a recipe now I can look in the fridge and grab a few ingredients and knock something up quickly. Yesterday it was creamy veg pies, they had cauliflower, courgette, red & orange peppers, carrots, mushrooms, I added a tub of Philadelphia light with black pepper and a tbsp of low fat crème fraîche, and I topped them with puff pastry, they were great for a mere 8pp each, using veggies as the main ingredient definitely reduces the ProPoints value of meals. I also made a cauliflower puree/mash thing which was really nice and a celeriac mash too. I was experimenting to see what I could do with these ingredients and can I say I did all that in under an hour!

The good thing about being super busy is I’ve got less time to think about eating or snacking so I’m saving my weekly 49 and activity ProProints for the weekend, so far I’ve earned 23pp on my pedometer, I’ve got a super scrumptious lunch out with the girls planned for Saturday and this means I’m going to be able to really enjoy it, not drinking really has its benefits.

Back to the making veggies tastier, here’s a couple of other things you could do to liven up your veggies;

Sticky orange glazes shallots

Serves 4, 1pp each prep 10m, total time 1hr 50m

12 small shallots, trimmed
1tbsp olive oil (4pp)
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1tsp light brown soft sugar or honey or maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200oC, fan 180oC, gas 6. (1pp)

Place shallots in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle with a tbsp oil oil or use ww oil spray and bake for one hour.

The shallots are ready when their skins start to loosen and they are tender when squeezed. Use two forks to carefully pull the shallots out of their skins.

Return the skinned shallots to the dish, add the remaining ingredients and season, then return to the oven for 30-40 minutes. If you're short on time, you can do this step in a frying pan; it will take about 15 minutes.


Or why not make balsamic cabbage – total 15pp

1 red cabbage
1tbsp olive oil (4pp)
125ml balsamic vinegar
100g caster sugar (11pp)

Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove and discard the core. Shred the cabbage and place in a heavy based pan or casserole over a low heat with the oil, vinegar, sugar and 125ml water. Bring to simmering point, then cover and cook over a low heat for about an hour, stirring now and then until the cabbage is tender. Season to taste.

Have a truly tasty Thursday xx

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

16th March 2011

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.  Buddha

I looked at the weight loss to date for 2011 yesterday lunchtime and so far this year my members have lost a staggering, jaw dropping 600 STONE! That's more than the weight of a beautiful African elephant or it's the same weight as a dozen female polar bears - WOW! I’m just so proud of all of you, sometimes I hear you tell me how you’ve had a bad week and you're ‘ashamed of yourself’ that’s such an awful word to use, and one I’d never use, I believe that shame isn’t an effective, powerful or sustainable motivator of change. So rather than feel ashamed, we should all remember that our desire to change our life is an inspiration to all of us.

Our emotions have different levels of energy. Of them, shame is the absolute lowest (followed by guilt, apathy and then grief). Shame is destructive and causes us to retreat within, and to move away from life. Rather than lift up, it pulls us down. Through shame, we shrink and try to disappear. I say a lot of things and sometimes the things I say can be unenlightened and unintelligent. But of all the things that I ever say, I can promise that none of them will ever be: “Shame on you.” There’s enough shame in the world, so instead, let’s focus our efforts on creating positivity. With more than a million words in the English language, the number of ways we can express ourselves is limitless, so with an infinite combination of words and expressions use them to make you feel good not bad!

Anyway moving on, I made it through the first week without a drink and am surprised at how easy it’s been, the only obstacle I would have foreseen would be this Saturday when we’re going for a meal at a Michelin star restaurant as a treat and I might have been tempted by the posh wine, but as I’m a bit skint, tap water will do just fine, plus I’ve got a rotten head cold so I wouldn’t appreciate the flavours anyway.

I’m focusing on the veggies this week, made my favourite onion gratin yesterday for dinner, and for lunch I had lamb chop (which the dog had most of) and crushed garlic potatoes with kale, one of my favourite easy veggies, takes minutes to steam.

I also made celeriac and apple soup which was excellent.

Today I’m going to make something with cauliflower, the obvious would be cauliflower cheese, but I may try a couple of receipes I’ve found, cauliflower cheese pot pie and cauliflower and sweet potato mash, or cauliflower cheese gratin, I’ll let you know tomorrow.

I’ve been looking at different things that you can use vegetables for, for example grating carrot and apple makes a good salad and of course carrots are always great in soup, Did you know we should be aiming for 400g of vegetables each day, one portion is approximately 80g.


Did you know swede in Scotland is seasoned with nutmeg, it's added when it's mashed. Swede goes well with crispy bacon, parsnip, potato, sage, thyme, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, butter, garlic, cream, black pudding, carrots, apples and parmesan, so next time you pick one up in the supermarket ask yourself how could I cook this and what with. Use it instead of potato - mix with butter or low fat spread, some Dijon mustard and plenty of freshly ground pepper and serve with low fat sausages or gammon. You can always add cubes swede to casseroles, stews and soups to bulk it out for zero extra ProPoints. Or roast with other chunky winter root vegetables and toss them with warm lentils and feta cheese for a meat free meal.
Neeps and tatties (half swede, half potato mashed) or mash carrots into swede to sweeten it, also excellent with butter and White pepper added. Or add chives or some fried onions to the potatoes and swede mash. Ooo I need to buy a swede next!

Yesterday’s roasted garlic mash was delicious, here’s the recipe
Prep 15mins, total time 1hr 30m

4 medium jacket potatoes
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 200oC, fan oven 180oC, gas mark 6. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and place in an ovenproof sig. Sprinkle with sea salt - this draws out the moisture and gives you a full flavoured mash.

Add the whole, unreeled garlic and some rosemary. Bake in oven for about an hour or until tender. Remove the garlic cloves as soon as they're soft enough to squeeze; approximately 45-50 mins. Cut the cooked potatoes in half and scoop out the potato from the skins. Press the potato through potato ricer or mash. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and mash them into the potato. If needed loosen with a little water. Serve either as is or put back into potato skins.

Enjoy your day, try not to veg out too much! ;D xx

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

15th March 2011

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Tim Duncan


Day 7 of giving up the alcohol for Lent and I have to say it’s much easier than I anticipated, I haven’t actually wanted a drink which is great, when I’ve been flicking through magazines and seen the wine reviews that has got my attention but not enough to make me cave, nor when I’ve seen the offers in the supermarket.


I had a delicious lunch yesterday, Savoury Bread Pudding for only 9pp served it with kale and asparagus, the recipe said to put the cheese in the mixture but I misread it and put it on top – still delicious though.

For dinner I made a very quick (120g) Smoked Trout (4pp) (50g) Linguine (5pp) with chargrilled pepper and mushrooms in a (3tbsp) low fat crème fraîche (3pp) and lemon sauce for 12pp. Delicious.

I always find when I include lots of vegetables in my meals that I’m a lot more satisfied physically, by the end of the day I’d only eaten 27pp and that included two chocolate teacakes (3pp). I also earned 10pp on my pedometer from walking Alfie twice and going shopping plus my meetings of course.

So how are you getting on? Did you eat anything nice or different yesterday? I’ve bought a celeriac to make soup with today, there’s some delicious soup recipes in this weeks copy of “Your Week”, I’m going to make bread to have with it too, warm bread and soup mmm.

My focus this week is on my veggies, getting more from them and giving them centre stage on the plate. I’ll give you some ideas tomorrow.

Did you know 6 small beetroots have as much protein in them as one chicken fillet. Beetroot however is zero propoints and rich in antioxidants, including betanin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes efficient liver function. It is a complete protein and so useful to add to other proteins.

Do you know how much protein you need? Nutritional guidelines say we should eat an average of 50g of protein each day (men 56g, women 45g). This is enough to keep you healthy and full of energy, one chicken breast on its own will give you the full amount.

It's unlikely that you don't eat enough protein, in the Western world it's more likely to eat too much which can lead to high blood pressure and kidney problems so that's motivation enough to reduce portion sizes which in turn will help you lose weight.

Mushrooms, asparagus, watercress, cauliflower, broccoli, courgette, butternut squash, sweet potato and aubergines.  Of course baked beans and lentils are also great none meat versions of protein.  All of these are also zero or low in ProPoints.

Mmm I'm feeling a bit of a veggie vibe today, although it will have to be sprinkled with lamb chops as they've been defrosting in the fridge and we wouldn't want to waste them.

I'm also hoping to have time to make hot cross buns from this months Weight Watchers magazine, mmm 5pp of warm loveliness with jam on and maybe a bit of that creme fraiche leftover from last night.

Enjoy your day xx

Monday, 14 March 2011

Savoury bread pudding


Prep 5mins, ready in 30 minutes

Serves 1, 9pp

Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Whisk together 100ml skimmed milk, 1 egg, 2 tsp wholegrain mustard and 1 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as parsley, chives or coriander.

Break a small slice of bread into 1cm chunks and stir it into the milk mixture, along with 35g grated cheese. Spoon into an individual sized ovenproof dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and crunchy on the top.

Nice way to start the day

14th March 2011

If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page Mark Houlahan

I had another lazy day yesterday trying to shake my cold, I was even in bed at 7.30 and have slept till 5am think I could’ve slept longer, not sure if that’s thanks to the Night Nurse though! I was asked yesterday “Would you do Weight Watchers if it wasn't your job?” and the answer is yes, Weight Watchers got me to my goal weight (more times than once!) and it has been my constant for years, I have tried other things but have found that Weight Watcher is best because I can adapt it to suit my lifestyle at any given time for example these days I'm enjoying cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, whereas before I lost weight using only ready meals and convenience food and I think that is the main benefit of the ProPoints plan you can follow it no matter what your eating habits are, I have followed it in the past when I was a vegan, my mom follows it and she’s a sweet food junkie, so it can most definitely work for all. I love the plan as it's an easy way to keep a track of how much you eat without having to change what you eat too much.

The only thing Weight Watchers didn’t teach me, which I’ve learnt from books and various sources along the way, over the last 23 years is the thing that has probably helped me equally as much in staying at goal, as WW did getting there and it’s the one thing I try to get my members to realise and that is that no one’s perfect and more importantly no one needs to be, because flaws are gorgeous xx

Now I’ve shared that with you on a Monday morning, I can confirm that I made it through the weekend alcohol free and am entering day 6 of giving up for Lent.

I did something yesterday that I’ve never done before and some of you will be amused and a few of you might be disgusted! Especially as I’m 41! What is it I hear you ask, well I’m almost embarrassed to tell you – but not quite. Yesterday for the first time in my life I used a washing machine ;D, yep I’ve never had to before as mom does the washing and I do the cooking and ironing, but I thought it was about time I learnt how it works. Can’t say I enjoyed the experience much but something’s have to be done, like drinking plenty of water and eating your five a day, life isn’t about only doing what you want to do, it’s about doing some things because they need to be done or they’re good for you!

The only other thing I did yesterday that took any effort was baked Savoury mini muffins and they were so simple and delicious, the recipe said makes 16 for 1pp each, but I worked out that if you had 2 it would be 3pp, so next time I think I’d make 11 larger ones for 2pp each. They were tasty though and you can’t beat bread like food warm straight out of the oven. Recipe is available here by following this link.

This week’s meeting is all about the food and one thing I’m going to mention is the “Survival dish”, that's the phrase health experts are using for the one fail-safe, super quick healthy meal that you can always make no matter how tired you are. So what's yours?

I think the most obvious one is probably beans on toast, here’s another, that’s super good and super quick.

Take a fillet of white fish and sprinkle with ready mixed Cajun spices and then pan fry on both sides until the fish firms. Serve with a few handfuls of salad or green vegetables and a spoonful of low calorie coleslaw.

I put a recipe for another quick spaghetti supper on my blog yesterday follow this link.

Ooo baby it’s cold outside but at least it isn’t wet, so have a fabulous Monday and don’t let anyone dampen your day. xx

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Savoury mini muffins

Savoury mini muffins

Makes 16 - 1pp each (total 22pp)
Takes 20mins (vegetarian, freezable)

150g (5 1/2oz) self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2tsp chopped fresh thyme
4 x 15g sundried tomatoes, reconstituted according to packet instructions
1 egg
1 egg White
40g (1 1/2oz) low fat spread, melted
Low fat cooking spray if needed
Salt & ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to gas 6/200oC/fan 180. If you don't have a non stick muffin tin lay 16 paper cases on a baking tray.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the thyme and season. Drain the tomatoes, reserving 3 tablespoons of the soaking liquid, and dry them. Cut into small pieces and stir into the flour.

Beat together the egg and egg white. Add the low fat spread and reserved soaking liquid and then add this to the flour mix quickly. Do not beat. If using, spray the muffin tin with the cooking spray. Spoon the mixture into the tin or into the paper cases. Bake for 8-10 minutes until risen and golden. Serve warm or cold.

Sweet & spicy spaghetti


Here's a quick supper with just 5 ingredients.

Serves 1, 11pp each

Cook 60g Dried spaghetti according to packet instructions. Drain & reserve 1tbsp of water, and return to the pan.  

Add 3 sliced hot peppadew pepper (from a jar).  Stir in the reserved cooking water.  

Tip into a bowl, top with some fresh basil and 15g parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.  

13th March 2011

Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. F. Scott Fitzgerald
Well I had an early night because of my head cold and managed to lie in till 6ish when Alfie insisted on being walked, I managed about 40 minutes before giving in and making him come home, I’m going to rest up all day and try and shake it so I feel better for work tomorrow.

Most people spend January trying to stick to a healthy new diet regime and It usually only lasts a few weeks. We tend to think a new year is the ideal time to make changes but the perfect time to start thinking differently about what you eat and how you exercise is right now. Spring is almost here and it's the season of re-growth, it’s when the natural world begins to come alive again. The days are getting longer and warmer, we can start going outside and moving about and we tend to enjoy light food after eating stews all winter. I know looking out of the window this morning you probably don’t think that way, but trust me it’s coming soon ;)

This week I’ve eaten lamb, pork and chicken and today my sisters making me a beef dinner, and they’ve all been served with some delicious vegetables and it made me realise that sometimes meat can be given the centre stage on a plate but it’s not always the best part of the meal, so this coming week I’m going to try and make some tasty vegetarian dishes. I was a vegan for about 8 years but went back to meat eating about ten years ago, the beauty vegetarian recipes is they can be really low in ProPoints.

Because I wasn’t feeling great yesterday I watched tv and read magazines and used the time to find some delicious recipes, below is one of those veggie dishes I found that I fancy trying.

I did manage to summon up the energy to make soda bread and it was nice, I will be making it again but next time I’m going to add mixed fruit and make fruit buns rather than a loaf. Soda bread is very easy to make because you don’t have to knead it or leave it to rise. This was the recipe I used was on this site and the whole loaf worked out at 50pp http://www.rachelallen.co.uk/recipes_april09.html#r1


So however you feel today and whatever you have planned, enjoy your soggy Sunday x

Indian-spiced potatoes and peas



Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4
ProPoints: 5

500g waxy potatoes, such as charlotte
2½cm fresh root ginger, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric
4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
150g frozen peas
10g fresh coriander, chopped


1. Cook the unpeeled potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and, once cool enough to handle, cut into chunks.

2. Work the ginger and garlic to a paste in a mortar and pestle or a small food processor. Add 3 tbsp water and stir.

3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a deep frying pan add the potatoes and onion. Cook over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes until golden, then add the turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and the chopped tomatoes; cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes are soft, stirring from time to time. Stir in the garlic and ginger paste, then add the cumin and cayenne pepper; season.

4. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the peas and 150ml water. Simmer for 4–5 minutes until thickened. Stir in the coriander and serve with plain rice and low-fat plain yogurt on the side.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

12th March 2011



Life is the movie you see through your own eyes. It makes little difference what's happening out there. It's how you take it that counts. Denis Waitley

DAY 4

Still not had a drink and to be honest freakishly surprised at the fact I haven’t wanted one, just shows how powerful the mind can be. Diet wise, I did go out for a three course meal yesterday which was delicious and looked like this;

Welsh cockles & bacon in cream.


















Trio of pork














Lemon Posset sith shortbread biscuits





I left half of the starter and half of the dessert and had lots of vegetables with the main, guilty of a couple of pieces of bread and butter though!






I’m not feeling great today my throats swollen and sore, I get it every year sooner or later and I’m pleased because it’s been a good while (last year some time) since I’ve had a cold, and especially as I work with the public.

At the beginning of the week I told you I’d read the book “In search of happiness” by Francois LeLord and I was going to give you his happy lessons one at a time but as I’m not feeling 100% and my brains not engaged this morning, I’ll give you them all and you can mull them over this weekend. Then decide whether you’re happy or you need to work on it ;-D


HAPPY LESSONS

LESSON No1

Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.

LESSON No2

Happiness often comes when least expected.

LESSON No3

Many people see happiness in the future.

LESSON No4

Many people think that happiness comes from having more power or more money.

LESSON No5

Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.

LESSON No6

Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.

LESSON No7

It’s a mistake to think that happiness is the goal.

LESSON No8

Happiness is being with the people you love.

LESSON No 8b

Unhappiness is being separated from the people you love.

LESSON No 9

Happiness is knowing your family lacks for nothing.

LESSON No 10

Happiness is doing a job you love.

LESSON No11

Happiness is having a home and a garden of your own.

LESSON No12

It’s harder to be happy in a country run by bad people.

LESSON No13

Happiness is feeling useful to others.

LESSON No14

Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are.

Observation: People are kinder to a child who smiles (very important)

LESSON No15

Happiness comes when you feel truly alive.

LESSON No16

Happiness is knowing how to celebrate.

LESSON No17

Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love.

LESSON No18 deleted

You need to read the book to know why – read the book to explain it all – it’s easy to read & fabulous!

LESSON No19

The sun and the sea make everybody happy.

LESSON No20

Happiness is a certain way of seeing things.

LESSON No21

Rivalry poisons happiness

LESSON No22

Women care more than men about making others happy.

LESSON No23

Happiness means making sure that those around you are happy?


The Final LESSON!

Opening a new bottle of red wine and realising it’s an amazing one – NOPE that wasn’t in the book but that’s one of mine ;-) or it may be when Lent is over!


Most importantly we need to realise happiness for everyone is different and you may only need a few of the lessons above to give you happiness, you may not want to be happy, some people get something from being unhappy, each to their own xx

Friday, 11 March 2011

11th March 2011

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. Carl Bard
Day 3

And I’m finding it easier than expected, normally I pour a glass of red wine as soon as I get home because I’m tired and I think it will help me relax, the last two nights I’ve realised I’m so tired I don’t need to relax, if I sit down I’m immediately relaxed and if I lie down I just go straight to sleep – no wine needed!

Food intake again wasn’t as planned as I was so busy, had peanut butter and banana toastie for breakfast which was 8pp, wasn’t impressed that the bread I’d brought was 3pp a slice and not worth it!

Met Jenny (shop lady) for late lunch/early dinner at 3 in Sainsbury’s for food before evening meeting, had fish, chips & peas, didn’t eat the batter on the fish but did have tartar sauce, so put that down as 25pp. Was so tired when I got back didn’t have any tea just went straight to bed. I earned 7pp on my pedometer.

Today’s going to be another challenge as I’m meeting a friend for lunch and we’re going for the three courses! Let’s see if I can make wise choices, (I’ll post photos on fb and you can guess the PP) I’m going to have a banana for my breakfast and maybe I’ll not need tea again or could make some zero pp soup for tea, or something quite low in ProPoints.

This week in the meeting we’ve looked at Snacking,

Which snack foods can help you stay on the weight loss straight and narrow? It's 3pm and lunch is a distant memory. Here comes the stomach rumbling... and when you could run the risk of losing your steadfast willpower. Get those visions of vending machines out of your head!

To cure what ails you, you need a delicious, filling snack that won't sabotage all your hard work for the week. But what?

Even though your friend swears by a late afternoon snack of Ryvitas and jam, that doesn't mean that they'll do it for you. So before you reach for a snack, look over our snacking personalities below. Pinpoint the type of food you really want and you won't end up tasting everything in your kitchen cabinets.

What's Your Snacking Personality?

I want A LOT

If you're a volume eater, think small and low in fat: Try cheese-flavoured Snack-a-Jacks, popcorn, baby carrots and salsa, or cherry tomatoes.

I need some quick energy!

Complex carbohydrates are your best bet. They will give you an energy boost and keep you going for longer than just a high sugar food. Try some wholewheat crackers or a small tub of wholewheat pasta, a banana, or one slice of wholemeal toast with marmite.

I need a longer lasting snack

You can gobble down a chocolate in seconds, but ice lollies, hard sweets or frozen grapes take longer to eat. As an alternative, a piping hot cappuccino or steaming mug of tea can also do the trick.

What will tide me over for hours?

A lollipop may take a while to eat but its high sugar dose can be used up in a flash. High-fibre snacks, on the other hand, that contain some protein can stave off hunger for the long haul. Great options include Ryvitas and light soft cheese, peanut butter and apple slices, or a small handful of nuts and dried fruit.

Just keep my hands busy

When emotional eating kicks in and a non-food activity like a walk just won't cut it, (try it, first!) opt for snacks that take some time to prepare: pistachios in the shell, fruit you have to peel (try a whole mango) or a sundae made with yogurt, chopped fruit and cereal. By the time you're finished preparing and eating them, your emotions may well be on the upswing.

Need More Ideas?

Here's what some WeightWatchers.co.uk users say best nips their snack attacks in the bud.

Salty Snacks

• Weight Watchers Savoury Snacks: "Great alternative to normal crisps."
• Laughing Cow Cheese and Ryvitas: "Creamy and crunchy."
• Butternut Squash Chips: "Put tiny bit of oil over the top, lots of salt and pepper, chilli powder - and pop in oven for about 40 mins - like real chips."
• Popcorn: "The smell alone gives you that excited feeling of going to the movies!"
• Carrot batons and salsa: "Carrots are crunchy so it feels like you're eating crisps."

Sweet Snacks

• Low fat hot chocolate: "A sweet freebie."
• Sugar-free jelly: "Can't tell the difference."
• Grapes cold from the fridge: "My boyfriend now buys me grapes when he gets his chocolate!"
• Low fat yogurt frozen in the freezer: "Feels like you're eating ice cream!"


Snacking for Success

Whatever your snacking style happens to be, you don't have to change it. Just make sure that the munching is mindful, measure the portion sizes of all your snacks and track the ProPoints values, whatever they were.

If you can plan your snacking, so much the better. For example, if you need to know you are going to need an energy boost after work, then pack a snack in your bag, making sure to add the ProPoints values to your ProPoints Tracker. If your a monthly pass holder log in to access your online tools. If you’re not treat yourself next week in the meeting, only £12.95 for the first month.

Thank goodness it’s Friday. xx

Thursday, 10 March 2011

10th March 2011

The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests. Epictetus
Day 2

Well I woke up this morning feeling refreshed after my first day of my alcohol-free zone and I did sleep better I have to admit! A few of you have joined me for lent, giving up alcohol, chocolate, fizzy drinks, coffee, biscuits and cappuccinos. One of my helpers sons is giving up fish sandwiches, to which she replied “you don’t eat fish”, mmm smart boy!

I got my members to witness my official start of Lent weight, and I have 11.5lb to get back to goal, so let’s see if I can do that by Easter or at least get pretty close.

Instead of my typical 6pp glass of red wine I ate this for breakfast;

Poached egg, crumpet, buttered mushrooms & spinach (6pp) obviously I don’t normally have the wine for breakfast ;D that would normally be confused in the evening and I’d eat fruit for breakfast!

Lunch was different to what I’d planned because my sister cooked me a delicious lamb dinner (16pp) which cost me a few more ProPoints than planned but hey I had spare as I didn’t need any for wine. And for my dinner I had a bit of a rushed meal of smoked salmon and microwave noodles with a few peas which wasn’t very appetising at all but I was tired and hungry so it did the job. Unfortunately because it didn’t do the trick I also had a slice of toast!

So my ProPoints total intake for the day was 43, I earn’t 9pp with my pedometer so 5pp came out of my weekly allowance. I’ve realised that I need to write down on paper my tracker and not just use the online one because that’s what works for me, seeing it in black and white in front of me. Tracking is different for everyone, so it’s important to find what works for you.

I made a good soup yesterday, its Cheat’s Spicy Butternut Soup, it was from a member who found it on Weight Watchers esource and it was surprising good.

Cheat's Spicy BNS Soup


This is a recipe for those people who have no time, hate peeling & chopping and think they can't make soup!


Ingredients
1 whole BNS
1 whole onion, peeled (I used 2)
2 garlic cloves, peeled (I used 4)
1 tbsp curry powder - this is to your personal taste - it would work with cumin/chilli/coriander (I used cumin, coriander and seasoned with garlic salt – think it would be good with the curry powder though)


Method


Wash the BNS - chop off the small nobbly bit at the top.


Place the whole thing (yes - the whole thing, skin, seeds etc etc) into a pot - a pot big enough to fit the BNS into and still have enough room for water to totally submerge the BNS


Add the whole onion and the whole garlic cloves to the pan


Fill with water so that all the veg is covered and about another 2 inches more.


Bubble for 40mins - add the curry powder and cook for a further 5 mins


Blend well. Eat. Enjoy a hassle free, 0ppts soup!


[SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO WORK - BUT GIVE IT A SHOT! IT'S GREAT! THE BNS NEEDS A STRONG FLAVOUR, SO USE WHATEVER YOU LIKE! THE SKIN/SEEDS ARE WHERE ALL THE GOODNESS IS INSIDE THE BNS - SO WHY WASTE IT??]

The jury’s out on the seeds, I did chew a few but tbh I think I’d rather spit them out,

It’s almost the weekend, enjoy your day. xx

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Red sky in the morning

9th March 2011

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing and then marry him. Cher
DAY 1

Did you have pancakes? If so I hope you enjoyed them and tracked them, no excuse of I didn’t know how many ProPoints they were – work it out ;-)

So apparently Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday which is today, I’m not religious in the slightest by the way but I probably spend more time in churches than most people because of my job and therefore it interests me to a certain degree. Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities. So there’s your religious education for today. And I thought it was all about pancakes and chocolate eggs! These day’s a lot of people aren’t quite as rigid and just choose one thing to give up for lent and for some crazy reason yesterday I decided to make that WINE or more precise alcohol of any kind! OMG what have I agreed to, I’ve just looked and Lent lasts for 46 days until Saturday, the 23rd of April.

Can I do it? Of course I can, why am I so positive that I can succeed – because if you start off not believing you can – YOU WON’T, so I always start with a belief I’ll succeed and then usually I do. Think of the weight loss and the money I’ll save whilst also proving that I can survive without a glass of the red stuff ;-D

So for the next 46 days I will track on my blog to show you I’m not cheating, I’m always honest when I blog my meals, I will weigh in this morning at the meeting and then again on Good Friday and let you know how much difference cutting out alcohol can make. So fancy joining me? It doesn’t have to be alcohol, it could be chocolate or whatever your ‘thing’ is, prove to yourself that you can choose not to eat or drink something because in the words of Christopher Robin whilst talking to my favourite bear Pooh, “You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than u think!”

Or as Weight Watchers isn’t about deprivation if you don’t fancy giving something up, why not take something up, tracking maybe, or walking every day, or eating 5 portions of fruit and veg, or drinking 2 litres of water. So whether your giving up or taking up choose something that will help you feel better, write it on our facebook wall for everyone to read, maybe you’ll motivate them to join in.

I’m actually looking forward to having all those extra ProPoints to spend on delicious food! I will actually be able to make that Nigella spaghetti recipe that’s 29 ProPoints per portion! WOW, can’t wait. I’ll also save at least £50! I have an idea what I might spend that on but we’ll see. I’m looking forward to getting back on track, the weekend I obviously went a little off the rails and if I’m honest Monday wasn’t great I had a tray of chips and a roe, then yesterday because I’d decided I was gonna do the Lent thing – well you can imagine ;D

So 29 ProPoints is a lot when spent wisely, plus I’ll have my activity ProPoints and my weekly allowance to play with, so today I’m thinking

Breakfast

3 egg omelette with spring onions & mushrooms = 5pp
Or
Fruit depending on how much time I have

Lunch

Smoked salmon & lemon risotto served with steamed fresh spinach

Serves 4– 14pp per serving (13pp with Philadelphia light), Prep 5 mins, Cook 20 mins

Ingredients
1 onion , finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil (8pp)
350g risotto rice, such as Arborio (32pp)
1 garlic clove , finely chopped
1½ l boiling vegetable stock
170g pack smoked salmon, three-quarters chopped (6pp)
85g mascarpone (10pp) (I’m going to use Philadelphia Light for 4pp)
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
grated lemon zest , plus squeeze of juice
handful rocket

Fry the onion in the oil for 5 mins. Add the rice and garlic, then cook for 2 mins, stirring continuously. Pour in a third of the stock and set the timer to 20 mins. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed, then add half the rest of the stock and carry on cooking, stirring a bit more frequently, until that has been absorbed.

Pour in the last of the stock, stir, then simmer until cooked and creamy. Take from the heat and add the chopped salmon, mascarpone, parsley and lemon zest. Grind in some black pepper, but don't add salt as the salmon will be salty enough. Leave for 5 mins to settle, then taste and add a little lemon juice if you like. Serve topped with reserved salmon (roughly torn) and some rocket.

Per serving 500 kcalories, protein 21g, carbohydrate 75g, fat 15 g, saturated fat 5g, fibre 4g, sugar 5g, salt 2.58 g

Dinner

Sainsbury’s taste difference, Spinach and ricotta cannelloni with sunbaked cherry tomatoes, 14pp for 1/3 packet, vegetables 0pp

Total for day = 31pp with omelette for breakfast, 27pp with fruit – WOW can’t wait.

What you eating today?