Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tacos, Body Magic, Kitchen Gadgets



Me again.

So whilst I'm giving my pale untanned white body its yearly outing in the Med, I thought I'd share details of my new video which went live yesterday with you.

In the video I talk to you about my kitchen gadgets which I think are rather handy to have. I also do a little body magic dog walkies with my Mum over our local country park. This is where our four legged friend Chelsea sees horses for the first time.

If you're a fan of Mexican, then you'll be pleased to know I also cook up some healthy homemade 'tacos' from scratch excluding the synful taco shells.  They might not look too appealing but they certainly hit the spot if you're craving something that feels naughty - but it really isn't.

Enjoy!

Angela
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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Travel Snacks


Everyone needs a lovely holiday, whether it be heading to the slopes, the family caravan in Devon or the beaches of hotter climates than England.

Holidays are time to relax, unwind and to have fun with family and friends. However some people take this time as a cue to let go and and relax a little too much, especially when it comes to what they eat. Relaxing the rules or binning the rules completely and eating whatever they feel like.

The thing is, ask yourself this... who says the healthy eating has to stop once you're in holiday mode??  It's all about the choices we make and balance. 

It's all too easy to eat a heavily syned breakfast at Frankies and Bennys whilst waiting in departures for example. Hot chocolates, croissants, bacon butties are just a few meals you can munch on and we know they are not good for us - and that's before we get on the plane!  Yes food is all part of the holiday adventure and it can be costly - not just with the syns but the price tag attached to airport foods. 

On my flight to Portugal on Monday I took snacks with me on the flight.  I was the passenger who flipped down their tray table and spreads out a banquet of food on it. My banquet was all fresh fruit however.   

By taking a mini lunch box of pre-selected foods with me, it basically stops the temptation to buy something.  Wasting my money on cheap fatty foods restaurant chains charge sh*t loads of money for which are not worth it. Taking foods with me means I won't go hungry and I know exactly what I'm eating. Plus I have to eat it all to get rid of the weight in my hand luggage!

On my table I had fresh water melon slices, strawberries and bananas.  I also packed two Jaffa Cake Alpen Light Bars and an apple in my hand luggage (not pictured). I will admit also to packing a further two apples in my plane hold case. I would of thrown a box or two of Alpen bars, but the hubby and I were only limited to 15kgs and to be honest I thought my shampoo and clothes deserved the space more. 

Basically the moral of this story is to be prepared. Your holiday doesn't have to be end of the healthy eating. Yes you can have an ice cream and let your hair down slightly, but don't have the attitude of 'screw it, I'm going to eat everything'. You will feel like crap afterwards if you over indulge too much.  Reward yourself but rememeber the end goal and why you started your journey. 

Enjoy!

Angela

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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Week 10 Results



Happy Sunday everyone.

I cannot believe it has already been 10 weeks of my journey. It only feels like yesterday I started my new healthier life style. Time flies.

This weeks weight loss was a small one at only 1/2 lb.  The scales did flicker in the sixes but it settled on 11st 7lbs.  I would say hopefully it will be in the sixes next week but I'm off on my holidays so it's pretty unlikely.  We will face to see 😀

Enjoy!

Angela x


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Friday, 19 August 2016

Keep To The Plan


I recently made my Slimming World week 9 weigh in video (see it HERE) and I maintained my weight staying at 11st7.5lbs.  It is not big deal to me to be honest as you cannot be loosing all the time, however it got me thinking I need to take another look at all my books to refresh myself.

The best way of keeping to Slimming World is to keep to the plan.  We all know the plan works and it is not restrict like some 'diets'.  We just need to stick to the tried-and-tested-plans rules as it works.  If you come to a point in your journey where you're maintaining or gaining - then it time to go back to start.

There are a few things us Slimming Worlders must remember...

// Eat all your healthy extras and be honest to yourself and weigh them out.  If you add a sneaky extra gram everyday, then by the end of the week that's a whole extra 7 grams which you should of syned.  It all adds up.

// Portion control is important.  You obviously do not have to weigh everything, but just try to have 2/3 free foods and 1/3 super speed foods.  And don't fill your plate to the point it's falling on the fall!

// Keep it lean in the meats department.  It can be easy to slip up and leave your fat on meats, but remember to remove as much of the fat as possible and buy 5% and under at the super market.

// Ketchup, mayo are just a few condiments but these have syns.  Yes you can have these on Slimming World but keep your measuring spoons handy so these are measured and syned correctly.

// Fit in body magic when you can.  Just a little bit of extra movement everyday all adds up and all goes towards the new you!  Steal a dog if you have to!  (Joke obviosuly)


Enjoy!

Angela x

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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Aubergine / Eggplant Tagine Stew Recipe


Nothing makes me more happy than buying a new recipe book.  I love getting new ideas of things to create in the kitchen and I go as far as using little stickers on my favourite pages.  Geek.  My hubby is usually the 'cook', but as he has been away on business with work I've really enjoyed having the freedom to how can I say it... to express myself with my cooking a little more.  My hubby is a kitchen hogger and he knows it, but I know he loves to cook and create too so I cannot get too mad 😄

After watching a fellow YouTuber Anna (ViviannaDoesMakeup) make a meal in one of her recent videos (see the video HERE) I picked up the book where she got the recipe from straight away on Amazon.  I was desperate to make it myself as it looked (a) really quick and easy and (b) OK for a Slimming Worlder to munch on. Plus it did look pretty darn yummy in Anna's video.  

So here it is, this is Madeleine Shaw's aubergine / eggplant tagine stew from her book Ready Steady Glow.  The recipe does call for coconut oil to be used, but I just switched to fry light, so trust me that you can make her recipe very Slimming World friendly indeed.  Happy days. 


I won't go into details on how to make this as its not my own to share... got to be respectful right?  However the recipe only uses a hand full of ingredients and spices. The dish mainly consists of aubergine/eggplant, onion, garlic and chopped tomatoes and that's it. 

It only takes 25 minutes to cook and there is plenty for left overs for the next day or the freezer for a rainy day. I completed my meal with a little cous cous and feta cheese (my HEXA choice) and some pomegranate seeds in the centre.  I also poured some plain fat free yogurt over the stew itself.

I certainly recommend Madeleine's books as they are jam packed with delicious health conscious recipes. 

Enjoy!

Angela x
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Monday, 15 August 2016

Ramen Takeaway



We all love a syn free meal that kind of resembles a cheeky takeaway don't we?  Today I have a new Slimming World friendly meal for you. It is a recipe for those of you who love a good old bowl of ramen. Wagamama style! Unfortunately Wagamama meals can have a high syn value due to fresh noodles and oils being used. However this recipe has got your back covered!

The receipe can be adapted, swapping out the chicken for beef, prawns, Quorn or tofu if you wish. However you just have to remember to account for any necessary syns if you do.  Plus you can make it as hot and spicy as you like or not if you're not a fan of the hot stuff.

Here is what I used to make my bowl of ramen:
A good tasty stock - I used the Heston for Waitrose chicken stock which is syn free
Dried noodles
An egg - I've gone for boiled with a slight runny centre, but you can add a fried version chopped up into pieces if you want.
Skinless chicken breast/strips
A good mix of vegetables; I used spinach, spring onion, pepper, bean sprouts
Seasoning: salt, pepper, chili flakes
Sauce - Soy and Worcester sauce
Optional sprinkle of sesame seeds can be added but these have syns. 


The method you need to use...

1// Grab a big cooking pot and fry your meat with fry light and any of your chosen seasonings. 
2// Once it's cooked, remove it from the pot and put to one side.  DON'T wash up the pot just yet as we still need it next. 
3// In the pot pour in your stock of choice. The stock will get mixed with the left over juices from the cooked meat and this will add to the favour. 
4// Heat your stock through and add your sauces and chillies and let this get nice and hot. 
5// If you want to add an egg, start to cook this (in your desired way) in a separate pot or pan. 
6// If you plan to add noodles, add these to your stock so they start to soften.
7// Next it is time for your vegetables choices.  For me it's spinach, bean sprouts, pepper, some sliced spring onions. 
8// The final leg is re adding your meat to warm through again. Once this is happens your ready to serve. 
9// Grab a big bowl and spoon, add your ramen to the bowl and pop your egg on top. Dust with chilli flakes and sesame seeds and you're done. 

The very cool thing with ramens they become what ever you like. You can throw in any thing you want and every time you make the dish it will be slightly different. It's a new experience every time 😀

With ramen you could add other things like fresh ginger, steamed broccoli, pack choi, cabbage, mange tout, mushrooms, a slice of lime. With a dish like ramen it is very adaptable and versatile.  All you just need the basic foundation ingredients of a good stock, protein and noodles then you can pop in what you like.  You could even swap out the noodles for courgettie if you fancy.  Options options options.

Let me know if you try this dish out.

Enjoy!
Angela x
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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Parsnip Chips Anyone?





You know when you fancy chips, but you just do not want to indulge in the syns and have real chips?  

I feel ya.  

It's been a while since I had the real deal from the chip shop and I have been trying to create a slightly different alternative.  A healthier one.  I do love sweet potato wedges which is the well know healthier alternative to fried chips, but there is only so many times you can eat them until it feels like your going to morph into one. 

When I was in the supermarket the other day and I spied the good old unloved parsnip.  I love parsnips.  At Christmas my mum makes a smashing parsnip dish - coated in Parmesan cheese. De-licious!!  

As it seems parsnips are not used from January to November, I thought I could attempt to give them more love and attention and make parsnip chips.  Obviously it would not be as fantastic as the real deal, nothing is - however these wouldn't be deep fried.

Here is how I made my 'chips' 😀

1// Pre-heat your oven or grill.  I had my oven on about 220 fan.
2// Peel and chop the parsnips into a chip like shapes.
3// Pop them in the microwave for around 4 to 5 minutes with about a tablespoon of water.  This will steam them slightly.  You'll know they are ready when you poke them with a knife or fork and they will feel soft inside.
4// When ready, put them into an oven dish and spray with fry light and season with salt, pepper and cumin seeds.
5// Place in the oven or grill for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Keep and eye on them in case they burn.
6// Once they start to brown - turn them and re-spray with fry light.  And leave them once again for a couple of minutes.

With the 'chips' it all depends on you and how brown you want them to go.  As they are already steam cooked you are merely popping them in the oven to darken the outside and make them slightly crispy.



I hope you like this usual recipe and give it a whirl.

Enjoy!

Angela
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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Iceland Mini Food Haul


I'm not generally a lover of the ready meal.  Years ago in my younger days I would of been happy to chow down on a few. However roll on my various stints with Weight Watchers and Slimming World, I now have the know-how of what brands actually throw into these time saving alternatives.

The time saving aspect has been replaced by too much salt and fat.  Also after the horse meat scandal are we sure we know what we are really eating?  I just steer clear of the ready / microwave meal shopping aisles. Now days I get far more enjoyment from prepping meals myself from scratch, but that is a whole entire post on its own.

Not too long ago when I re-joined Slimming World a couple of months ago I found out they had created their own line of ready meals. It took me a long while to pop to Iceland to pick some up, as I thought they wouldn't be that good to be honest. But I have eaten my words and now tried a few which I really do enjoy.  I don't eat them all the time but they are handy to have as backup meal in case of an emergency. The burgers and sausages are especially good as you can be eating them within 25 minutes.  How's that for speed??

The great thing is Iceland (the only place you can by the meals) also have offers on. I took the opportunity yesterday and picked up three ready news and got a bag of frozen fruit for free. We all need a bag of frozen fruits in our freezers ladies and gents as they are so handy. Especially for over night oats I find.

Nip on down to your local Iceland. You maybe surprised what you can buy from the Slimming World range. Heathy curry anyone??  They sell it. Also everything is SYN FREE!!  Sweet!

Enjoy!

Angela x



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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Body Magic Walkies



My exercise routine normally consists of walking from room to room or a spot of gardening/house work at home.  At work it's generally walking from my desk to the photocopier/toilet/communal kitchen and back.

It is lacking.

Yes I do walk to the train station and back Monday to Friday but it's not enough to build up a sweat and get my heart beating faster by any means.  On my weekends I try to fit in something, but it can be hard - or maybe that is just an excuse I make to myself?

In comes a little dog called Chelsea.  An 8 year, full of life, Jack Russell cross to the rescue.

My cousin and her family have recently been away on holiday for two weeks and my Mum was asked to house/dog sit this little cutie.  I never really considered myself a dog person as I've only ever owned cats - I've never walked a dog in my life!  But the idea of getting out the house and giving her and myself (as well as my mum) a good old walk around the park sounded great.  I jumped on board and have really been loving the out door life.  I love long walks in the country parks near where I live any way but to incorporate walking Chelsea too feels like it's does the world of good for us both.



If you are not lucky enough to have a dog in the family you can 'borrow' for walks, there are plenty of opportunities out there with a little digging around.  There are websites like Borrow My Dog or  Waggy Walks and many many more.  In my local area you can walk retired grey hounds which is nice.

Animal shelters would welcome help also too, just look into it.  You can even try the local paper in your area and see what they advertise.  Obviously be wise and safe whilst researching however.  Go through the proper channels - stay safe!

I hope this gives you some body magic ideas?  What do you do for body magic?

Enjoy!



Angela x
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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Sunday Fry Up!



I used to love going to a dirty cafe on a Sunday morning to have a good old greasy fry up with my hubby.  We usually went after a long early morning bike ride and it was kind of a treat for us both after the hard work of the bike ride. Now however when I think of them I feel a bit sick and horrified about the crap I was eating.  I hate to think how many syns I was putting into my body.  Never again.  

Realistically a fry up does not have to be full of syns.  What you see above is a syn free (Yes SYN FREE) slimming world friend breakfast.  I admit after I took the picture I did pop on a TBSP of ketchup, which was only one syn.  When you think about it, one syn is nothing.

To make this I used:

Slimming World sausages from Iceland
Turkey bacon
An egg fried is fry light
Peppa pig shaped beans (way more fun to eat trust me)
Grilled pepper and tomatoes from speed foods.

This was such a filling breakfast that I had no room for my usual morning snacks which was a bonus.  You might think this might not be as fun as going down to your local cafe, but trust me your body with thank you for not swamping it in nasty syns which you don't need to.  Just some simple adjustments and you're on to a winner!

Enjoy!

Angela

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Saturday, 6 August 2016

Slimming World Food Haul



If you follow me on YouTube you'll know the video for this shopping haul (see it HERE) has been up on the channel for a few weeks.  However I thought I would recycle it and turn it into a short blog post.  You never know you might not follow me on YouTube (click HERE go on - I dare you!) and may have come across this blog post first.  It's good to share!

The video is mainly a Slimming World friendly food haul, but it also has me chatting about different fitness apps I was using whilst walking through the park.  I do also show some of my home grown veggies from my back garden that I had picked.  It feels so good to grow your own vegetables right?  Try it if you never have, it's very satisfying.

The food shop/haul was quite a large one as it was our first weeks shop since my hubby and I had returned from our travels to Cornwall.  I wouldn't normally pick up so much, but it's quite nice to show you a bigger than normal haul of food.

I hope the food haul gives you some ideas when you're off shopping next.  What do you recommend I buy when I shop next??

Enjoy!

Angela



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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Syns - Are They Worth It?


I can promise you before I get into the post, that I have not eaten any of the foods above - scouts honour.  I got the Malteaser bunny back in Easter and I still haven't given in to temptation.  Even though it has been hard to ignore the chocolate sitting in my kitchen cupboard calling my name.

Eat me Angela!

As tempting as syns might be, are they really worth it?  Yes?  No?  Perhaps?  Maybe?  I am one in millions of people on the planet who is an emotional eater.  It can be especially difficult when it is that time of the month or I feel a little low. I also eat when I am bored at work, which is not very good either. 

am a sucker when it comes to hand made baked goods, I can't say no. If people I know offer me home baked goodies I feel compelled to take it.  It feels rude not to (I was brought up too well). I mean they have gone to so much effort right??

My feelings and moods just make me want to reach for food however I do better than I used to as I have broken the cycle.  A short term sugar fix is very much out weighed by the long term goal of wanting to be healthier and fit into a smaller pair of jeans.  

There is a well known saying 'a moment on the lips a life time on the hips'.  These are words or a mantra I like to quote myself when faced with the choice of not to syn or just to dive on in.  It surprises a lot of people at Slimming World when they first join, that there is such an allowance for syn foods.  But thoughtfully the creators of Slimming World have realised us humans cannot realistically maintain a salad only lifestyle forever.  There has got to be wriggle room... so we have syns.  Yay!

To help me in a syn crises I use these motos and rules frequently:

1// Do you really need it? 
It's a simple question to ask yourself before you start to nibble your favourite biscuits. Have you had syns already today? Are you over your daily limit you set yourself? Are you wanting to eat because you're bored?  Do you really want it?  I find if I am craving something, if I go get myself a drink (of water not wine!) it is a distraction. I feel full and I don't feel like the urge to nibble any more.  Or I'll try to do something to occupy myself. 

2// How will it make you feel afterwards?
At the time of eating said treats it might make you feel satisfied, but satisfaction is no doubt followed by guilt.  We build ourselves up with this 'yes I really want it, got a have it' attitude. We eat it, then it's like an adrenaline rush. You come down from the high and literally feel full of guilt. And If you're full of guilt you are more likely to feel the urge to eat more bad things if you're a comfort eater like myself. 

3// Give it a sniff!
Might sound weird to sniff naughty foods, but I find sometimes this is enough for me. When my work colleagues stuffed their faces with McDonald's recently, I merely popped my nose and sniffed their brown greasy bags and I actually felt OK with that.  It was enough for me. Mentally I felt like I'd eaten it myself by smelling it. This can be difficult if your will power is not strong but try it. You might be surprised. 

4// Just have one
When someone is waving freshly baked cookies under your nose and you've had no syns for that day. Say to yourself 'just one' and take one. When they come round later offering more, simply say no thank you I had one earlier.  I have a strong will power most of the time, but on occasion I will just have one and It's OK.  

I hope this help you. 

Enjoy!
Angela x
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Monday, 1 August 2016

Week 6



Someone did not want to be my friend last night.  I tried my hardest to get my poor little old week six results uploaded on to my YouTube channel.  But no either my internet and/or iMovie was not playing ball!  Technology at its finest moment.  Not!  Due to video not being live, I thought I'd write a little post instead.  Fingers crossed the video will be up within the next day or so.

If you watched my week five video you will know I gained. Cracks out the Kleenex tissue box.  No use crying over it, chin up and move on I say - you can't change but learn from it. It was going to happen one day as you cannot lose weight forever (wishful thinking).  Everyone would try to lose weight if it was that easy.  Anyway in that video I said I would that lose the weight I put on and some extra... And I did just that. I lost a whole 1/2 lb extra which I am super happy about. That's 3lbs in total for the week. I kind of feel spurred on by the achievement.  Unstoppable. Fingers next week will be kind to me.

Goals for the week head are:

1// To keep my fruit intake down to at least two to three pieces a day. I will stock up on super speed veggies instead. I won't avoid fruit entirely because to be honest that can't be done. But even though fruit is full of excellent vitamins which our bodies need, too much can also expand your waist line.  Vegetables contain more water and lots of minerals where as fruit contains natural occurring sugar fructose.    Let's see how long I last without five pieces of fruit a day! Lol.

2// Complete more body magic. I really have been enjoying walking my cousins dog. A little gentle exercise with brisk walking and a little chase/run after a furry doggie is just what my body needs.  I might have to ask my cousin if I can steal her dog!  I'm sure she will not mind. 

3// Keep my syn values lower. It worked for me last week, so I will try to keep to that plan in the coming week.  Too many syns are not our friends ladies and gentlemen.  I need to find out my syns before I eat them then I will give me an idea of what values I'm eating.

Hope your week is a good one and you get the results you want!!

Enjoy!

Angela x

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