Day 4: Lidl Surprises

When I decided to make the Creamy Chicken Pasta yesterday, I needed to go and get some Quark as it’s not something that we usually have in the house.  We’re luckily right around the corner from our local Lidl so I went in armed with my phone to see what treasures Lidl offers a Slimming World gal.

Unfortunately my phone didn’t work too well in there (I also live in a bit of a backwater when it comes to mobile reception coverage) so couldn’t do as much looking and planning as I had wanted but I still found some items that I brought home and checked immediately to assure my ‘Syn Free’ nose was still working well!

Raspberry Skyr Yogurt – Syn FREE

I haven’t previously had any of the Skyr yogurts so wasn’t expecting the thickness of it but it didn’t deter me! It tastes good and once you ‘get over’ the consistency, it’s all good!  I have since had it on its own and with Bananas for breakfast and it will most definitely become a regular on my shopping list!

Milbona Fat Free Yogurts (Strawberry & Vanilla and Chocolate Sprinkles) – Syn FREE

I happened to see these and bought a couple in the hope they would be as good (and as Syn FREE) as Muller Yogurts, and I wasn’t disappointed!  I have so far had the Strawberry as desert one lunchtime and it was delicious – easily as tasty as Muller and a little cheaper too!  I plan to use the Vanilla with Chocolate Sprinkles one in an ‘Overnight Oats’ creation shortly and will report back later!

Freeway Bitter Lemon (Low Calorie) – Syn FREE

I have always loved a bitter lemon, especially when mixed with Orange Juice to make a St Clements – so refreshing in the summer with a load of ice on a hot day! I was pretty sure that this was going to be Syn FREE as it was low calorie but I checked all the same!  I have actually used it as a way to make my OJ in the morning go further; I have OJ every morning but 100ml is 2.5 Syns, which isn’t terrible, but 100ml is much less than I usually have and I don’t want to use such a huge chunk of Syns so early in the day so now I have 1 portion of OJ and top it up with this Bitter Lemon, YUM!

So that’s it for now, but I plan to do a bit of a search and download for Lidl branded foods and go for a good look at some point soon to find what yummy things they have for me to take advantage of!

Have you found anything at Lidl I should try?!

Day 3: Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

Now, I have to apologise right from the start and say that I can’t remember where I originally found this recipe. I actually had it in an old book of mine from when I did Slimming World previously and thought I would finally give it a go.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

Extra Easy Syn Value: Free
Healthy Extras: A (Cheese)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

    • 500g Diced Chicken Breasts
    • 4 Sliced Rashers of Bacon (all fat removed)
    • 1 Small Tin of Sweetcorn
    • 250g Chopped Mushrooms
    • 1 Diced Onion
    • 100ml of Chicken Stock
    • 200g Quark
    • 6tbs of Fat Free Fromage Frais
    • Salt & Pepper
    • 1tsp Italian Spice Mix
    • 1 Crushed Garlic Clove
    • 80g extra light cheddar cheese

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, bring the stock to the boil and season with salt, pepper and seasoning. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until slightly thickened.
  2. Add the quark and fromage frais (I actually had no fromage frais so added extra Quark and things worked out OK!) to the stock and and mix well. Make sure that it doesn’t boil or overheat. This should soon thicken up.
  3. Meanwhile, add the chicken, mushrooms, bacon, onion, garlic and sweetcorn into a large frying pan and cook through.
  4. Par boil the pasta for 5-10 mins until softened.
  5. Mix the pasta and chicken mix together then add the sauce.
  6. Pour the mix into a large oven proof dish and top with 80g of cheese across the top.
  7. Cook in the oven for 15 mins or until the cheese is bubbling.

Another apology here is that i have no photos to post – I am terrible at getting going and forgetting to take them – blame the chef in me that just gets on with it in her on little world!  I enjoyed this both the night that I made it and the next day reheated – just be careful with the sauce as mine had just started to curdle a bit so made for a ‘lumpier’ sauce than anticipated (still tasted lovely though!).

Day 1: Only When You’re Hungry!

So today was the first day that I was officially ‘on plan’. I often don’t get hungry in the mornings – I suppose it must be due to the mount of food I have eaten in the preceding days, but it doesn’t appear to have any pattern to it! I had one of those mornings today so decided to wait to eat when I was hungry, which happened to be about 10 mins before my mum called me for lunch at 2.45pm!

I know a lot of diet plans insist you have breakfast, but my thought stems from things I learnt at a Paul McKennaI Can Make You Thin” event I went to about 10 years ago (yes, yes .. it didn’t particularly work BUT I learnt a lot about myself and my food choices and excuses). He says that there are 4 golden rules about losing weight:

  1. Eat when you’re hungry
  2. Eat whatever you want
  3. Put your food or cutlery down in between mouthfuls
  4. STOP when you are full

These are pretty good things to remember I think, but they do rely on you listening to yourself and actually following through. I mean, I didn’t get to be this size by not eating when I wasn’t hungry, did I?! But I digress as I was concentrating on the first point. I figure that I need to listen to my body when it comes to food – it’ll tell me when I need more fuel. After all, I didn’t need a whole lot today as I mostly had a lazy Sunday!

One thing I was a little taken aback by was the number of Syns in a small tin of Peaches until I realised it was because we only had the ones in light syrup instead of fruit juice – silly and expensive mistake. You will also see that I totally failed on the Healthy Extra’s – something I will need to work on!

Lunch:

Pork chop (all fat taken off)

Roasted new potatoes (in a couple sprays of FryLight)

Babycorn

1 x Can Coke (7)

Dinner:

Del Monte Peach Slices (4)

Banana

Ambrosia Light Devon Custard (5.5)

In Between:

Juice Burst – Blood Orangs (2)

Freddo (5)

Total Syns: 23.5

Day 0: The Start

I signed up to Slimming World today. Again. I think this is the 5th group I have joined in various places throughout the UK and at different times in my past. I’ve had success with it before in the sense that I have lost weight; not a huge amount (and I have a HUGE amount to lose) but it has been by far the best method I have tried in my time!

I joined this particular group as it is actually run by a friend and ex-colleague, Harriet. She started the group about 11 months ago after losing 6 stone herself – as you can imagine, she look amazing these days and is still losing weight in an effort to get to her dream target.  Seeing her success and then the success of a good friend of mine (to the point that she posted a picture of herself and I totally didn’t realise it was her!) gave me the kick up the bum I needed to FINALLY go back and sign up with Harriet after a year of procrastinating!

It’s a funny thing; when you tell people you’ve signed up and ask for their support and (more importantly!) hints, other success stories seem to come out of the woodwork all over the place!  I posted on Facebook and within minuted I had 3 other friends messaging me and telling me they also did it and that they would be there for me should I need them.  One friend in particular, M, has lost an amazing 8.5 stone in 16 months mostly by mostly food optimising, which is awesome!  Gives me hope!

Another of my friends, R suggested I start some sort of account to get support from fellow SW-ers and as I don’t really want to bare all on Facebook for anyone to see, I thought I would share my thoughts and feelings on this blog and it gives me some accountability as well.  I can’t promise to post every day and I think that I may be a little cautious with actual figures to begin with, but assuming things go well, I also can’t promiseI won’t over-share either!

Me Monday: Dominant Personality Trait

Me Monday is all about those silly quizzes that you find online (mainly through things like Twitter and Facebook) and love to hate; I love doing them but find the results to be questionable at best!

This month, I want to find out my dominant Personality Trait.  The site that runs the test says,

When it comes to the people we love, most of us can wax lyrical about what makes them so amazing. We value compassion and humor, courage and wisdom, friendliness and creativity. But when it comes to ourselves and our own personality traits, sometimes the good things are harder to see. This quick quiz will identify your best characteristic – and value it, too!

My Results

You Are Wise.

wise

When it comes to giving good advice – you’re the cream of the crop! You’re wise beyond your years, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. You love a deep conversation – pondering the meaning of the universe or giving close friends advice on difficult relationships. You have a firm grasp of the way the mind works, and a knack for helping other people understand, too.

I would say that the description is pretty spot on but I wouldn’t necessarily call that being ‘wise’, but that’s just my opinion on definitions!  Why don’t you have a look and see what you come up with?

Me Monday: Mix it up!

Me Monday is all about those silly quizzes that you find online (mainly through things like Twitter and Facebook) and love to hate; I love doing them but find the results to be questionable at best!

In my first post, I found out that I am a Dreamy Idealist and most of the results were, on a basic level, correct.

This month, I thought I would share a few I have done in the past that I haven’t been able to find again but have got the results they spewed out for me.  Whilst you won’t be able to do these particular ones, I would love for you to join me in this little linkup – find a random quiz, take it, post it and analyse the results for us to see how accurate you think it is!

Which Female Harry Potter Character are you most like?

Molly Weasley

You are kind, gentle and warm hearted. You are very warm and protective of your loved ones. The accomplishments of your friends and family bring you enormous pride, but you are not afraid to be stern. You are incredibly generous and always lending out a helping hand to others even if you don’t have much to give. When anyone you care about is threatened, you jump to their rescue. You are loved and appreciated by many.

I’d have to agree with this one and actually Mrs Weasley is one of my Top 5 favourite characters in the series, especially when she delivers my all time favourite line in the films .. “Not my daughter, you bitch.”!

How LadyLike Are You?

50%

“Your right there in the middle. Some days you put manners first other days you just don’t care. You like to wear comfy yet presentable clothing. Your not afraid to be the man when needed to be. Embrace yourself!”

I would say this is spot on. Having gone to Private school, I can ‘turn on the posh, girly, well-educated’ girl any time .. just as easily as I can be a tomboy!

What Does Your Chinese Zodiac Sign Say About You?

Year of the Ram

“Mysterious and alluring individuals, most Rams are extremely talented, but even though they are gifted in many ways, they manage to spend most of their lives battling ‘confusing’ conditions. They fantasise about situations, people and particularly romance, and that’s why they spend so much time in their dreams. They see life instead as they want it to see, colouring their view of the world in hues and tones far removed from its true reflection.”

I’d have to agree with most of this.  Not sure sure about mysterious and talented .. not particularly but I do spend a lot of time in my own head!

My Alcohoroscope

“Taurus prefers to drink at a leisurely pace, aiming for a mellow glow rather than a full on zonk. Since a truly intoxicated Taurus is a one-person stampede, the kind of bull-in-a-china-shop inebriate who spills red wine on white carpets and tells fart jokes to employers, the preference for wining and dining (or Bud and buddies) to body shots and barfing is quite fortunate for the rest of us.  This is not to say that the Bull is by any means a teetotaler – god, no. A squiffy Taurus will get, er, gregarious (full of loudmouth soup, some would say) and is extremely amusing to drag to a karaoke bar when intoxicated.”

I agree with the first sentence but not a lot else really!  I don’t actually drink a lot if I’m honest .. I don’t like the waste of a day the next day!

Which Roald Dahl character are you?

Matilda Wormwood

matildawormwood

“Wonderful! A reader of books and an out-smarter of adults, Matilda is extremely clever, pretty mischievous and a little bit magical – you must be too. We’re in awe.”

I love to read and have always admired Matilda for her story so am pretty chuffed with this!

What type of Intelligence do you have?

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence

3c87c7ca-5c86-4c6e-8720-2f13a106e510

“Your dominant intelligence is the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. This means that you have the ability to control your body movements and handle objects skilfully. You are graceful and smooth in your actions and know how to work your body correctly. You are well-coordinated and have good motor skills. You enjoy hands-on projects and learn by doing.”

This is an interesting one!  I am hyper-mobile and so can move more than someone of my size and age ‘should’ do BUT coupled with Arthritis and another yet undiagnosed complaint, it’s not as easy as it could be! Graceful and smooth are not 2 words I would associate with myself normally but do consider myself to be well-coordinated! Hands-on projects and learning by doing us SPOT ON!

#throwbackthursday – No Carbonated Drinks

** This is an item from my list that I completed before I started this blog **

s-coke-large

One of the things I am terrible for, is drinking carbonated drinks .. and far too many of them too.  Because of this, I aded an item to my list (Go 28 days without Coke or any Carbonated Drinks) in the hope that it may help me kick the habit one and for all.

In January 2010, I started doing Slimming World (again!) and decided to go cold turkey with not only carbonated drinks, but also with chocolate, sweets, crisps, takeaways and generally anything that is considered ‘bad’ for you.

It was really tough the first week – I had really REALLY bad sugar withdrawal; I had terrible headaches and really bad sweats but I got though it and decided that if that’s what my body did when I cut it out altogether, then I was better off without it.  I managed the 28 days and even extended it to make it through to 40 days and was really proud of myself.  When I had one in the end, I made a conscious effort to have smaller glasses and less of them (trying to only have them every other day at most) and things went OK.

That was until things at work started to get stressful and my immediate reaction was to give up on everything and go back to my old ways.

For the moment, the challenge of giving up Coke and other similar drinks is not on my radar; that is to say,  I realise that in order to lose weight and get fitter, it is one ‘easy’ thing to do considering I don’t really drink alcohol, but at the moment I am enjoying my daily Coke too much.  To some that very phrase (Daily Coke) must sound awful but think on this – at one point in my life (not long before January 2010 when I did this 28 day challenge), I was drinking probably 4 or 5 times that amount – I know – shocking!

I recently came across this post and loved it – I nodded along with pretty much all of it and totally admire the writer for celebrating their 10 year anniversary!