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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

All souped up!

13th December 2017
Hold on to whatever keeps you warm inside.
I don’t think that quote means my red wine does it?  Anyhow at the moment the thing I’m holding onto is Night Nurse, it’s got me through the last two nights making sure I slept really well and that’s the main thing.

My meetings may have been light on numbers yesterday thanks to the snow but it wasn’t low of laughter and weight loss, handed out a few certificates, celebrated with quite a few who’d had nights out and Christmas parties and still managed to lose weight, awesome. 

I spent my afternoon in the kitchen because we’re having the hall, stairs and landing decorated so I wanted to be out of the way.  I decided to finally have a go at the curry lentil soup, I didn’t want to go and buy loads of ingredients so opened the fridge to find 3 peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange), I diced them and 4 onions, fried the onions in a tablespoon of oil (4sp), I added a few crushed cloves of garlic too, then added 7sp of Pataks balti paste (about 85g) added red lentils (what was left in the packet which I think was about 150g), then I added some brown lentils, sorry I didn’t weigh them but about 80g or so I’d guess.  Next I poured on some boiling water with 3 vegetable stock cubes and simmered it until it was cooked, then I used my hand blender and whizzed it and I have to say it was lush.  I know it used 11sp to make but there’s a big pan full.

Next I decided to make Yellow split pea dhal using the recipe on the packet.  I had most of the ingredients and I decided to double up the recipe and take for my members to try.  The recipe for that was

Yellow Pea Dal 
Serves 2

225g Natco yellow split peas
3 tbsp Natco butter ghee (I used 1 tbsp veg oil 4sp)
1 tsp Natco cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped (I didn’t have fresh so used tinned)
1 tsp salt
700ml water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp Natco turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Natco chilli powder

Method Heat the ghee in a saucepan, add the cumin seeds and fry for 1 min.  Add the onion and fry until lightly browned. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, chilli, tomato and salt and cook for 2 mins. Add the water and split peas, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the split peas are tender. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with Natco Basmati rice.
Whilst this was cooking I made another batch of lentil soup but didn’t have any peppers or red lentils so this time I used

Green lentils
7 onions (diced)
1 tbsp oil
2 carrots (diced)
10sp of balti paste
Hot water
The other half tin of tomatoes

Fried onions in oil, added carrots, then tomatoes and paste, topped up with water and simmered.

When both had cooked, I wasn’t overly impressed by either to be honest (the first one was far superior), I personally could taste the tomato over everything, I’m just not a fan of that flavour being the predominant taste.  I decided to mix the two pans together and whizz them all up and made a huge amount of yellow split pea and lentil curry soup and I have to say it went down very well in my meetings.  They didn’t get to taste the first one as I’ve kept it for myself, I plan to drink it throughout today to try and ward off this proper good dose of lurgy I have, I don’t feel poorly in myself, it’s just attacking me good and taking my voice now, tonight’s meetings will be fun!  It won’t be the first time I’ve managed to get through a meeting with barely any voice.

I need to use up my eggs now, got over a dozen with use by 18th on them, I can’t believe I haven’t had eggs since last week sometime.  That’s so not like me!  Omelette for breakfast I think, could make some scotch eggs like I’ve been seeing on Facebook, or egg fried rice, it won’t be hard to use them up will it.  I’m saving some pennies not shopping that’s for sure.  I’m going to do my next main food shop a week today, until then we’ll live on what we have.  I love the idea of empty food cupboards ready for Christmas week, then buying just enough for the week, then ready for a healthy start to the new year with good healthy food.

Oh I have some leftover mash too, what to do with that today…

I could use a tin of stewed steak and top it with mash or potato cakes, I’ll think of something, but for now I need to get a wriggle on the painter man will be here in 20 minutes, I need to get the living room tidied as he’s gonna be doing in there too, once the clutters cleared he can do where he wants when he wants.  My kitchen needs painting again because cracks have appeared in the paint but I’m going to leave that till end January and then hopefully all the cracks that will appear will have done their thing by then. 

Right here’s to an awesome day, hoping for lots of rain to wash this snow away!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Don't forget what causes your pain

12th December 2017
Whatever you do never go back to what’s causing you pain.
If you think about that quote, it’s relevant from a Weight Watcher point of view too, so many members join because being overweight is causing them physical or emotional pain and yet at this time of the year when all that temptation is about, we start to forget.  Let’s not forget completely.

I have a lovely head cold, one of those that gets worse as it heads towards evening, comes with a free sinus headache, you know the kind, to make it worse, if the rooms are warm the headache hurts even more and my sinuses get even more blocked, so I turned the heating off because I was hot too, then released mom wasn’t warm at all!  DOH!

Oh a positive, I give the kitchen and bathroom a good clean yesterday and watched another two Christmas movies!  Oh and I had my hot bath to try and clear my nose – it failed.  Today’s Self-Care challenge is to “Tuesday 12th – Colour or craft in some way.”  That’s easy as I’m crocheting since learning last Wednesday, I’m just doing a simple granny square pattern but instead of lots of squares, I’m going round and round and making one big one because I don’t really want to think about it, I just want to do it and I’m learning so I want to improve not overthink.  It’ll be my wonky winter warming TV banket when it’s finished.

Well I’m looking out the winter and thinking yak, it’ll take a while for the car to defrost this morning, I’d say it’s pretty cold out there this morning, I’m so thankful for a short journey.  I don’t expect many but those that do turn out can have a hot cuppa.

I’ve not got much of an appetite (I know I must be ill!) but I did enjoy Brain’s faggots, mash, sprouts and peas yesterday. I’m definitely not going shopping until all the frozen stuff has been used up, then I can fill it with food for my Christmas break so I don’t have to venture out.  Might need to buy niceness and I don’t mean naughtiness, I mean really good healthy, tasty food to tempt my tastebuds.  Yeah I’m not 100% cos that’s not even getting me interested, all I want right now is another bottle of Night Nurse from the chemist!

Comfort food, that’s what it’s all about in this weather for sure, I need soup today I think, there’s a couple of tins in the cupboard, I know I should make my own zero stuff but I just don’t have the ingredients or the energy, although curried lentil I may have the stuff for.  I was about to look for a recipe but when I get back from meeting, I’m just gonna throw some onions, lentils and curry paste in a frying pan and see what happens because I’m not going to buy more food to make food when the freezer and cupboards are full.

If I realised on thing (AGAIN) yesterday it was that I need to turn my phone off, not just to silent because I can still bloomin see the messages coming through when it’s turned on, I’m definitely going to do that over Christmas, I want some time out – completely out not just at home.

Anyway I’m waffling because I’m putting off getting ready for work, here’s to staying safe and taking care BeYOUtiful. Xx

Monday, 11 December 2017

Snow gives you an appetite apparently!

11th December 2017
When you can’t find the sunshine – be the sunshine.
Well in case it escaped your notice, we had a little snow yesterday!  I’d say 8in or more fell on my back garden and I only went out 3 times, twice to walk my crazy dog and once to nip to the Co-op for milk, bread and papers.  I walked in the shop and spotted sprouts and thought, ‘mmm, I fancy sprouts’, I’d already taken a couple of chicken breasts out of the freezer so decided to do something with them later. 

This is what I did, I fancied hot pot because of the weather, wasn’t up for cooking a full on chicken dinner, I started with 8sp of bacon medallions and sliced onions, cooked them on top for a little first, then added a diced carrot, sliced sprouts and sliced chicken breast. 
Next I put 10sp of peeled potatoes in the microwave for a few minutes to start them cooking, then sliced them and put them on top of the ingredients and poured some chicken stock over it all.  
Popped the lid on and put it all in the oven with on Gas Mark 4 for about an hour, then removed lid, turned oven up a bit and cooked until the potatoes started to brown.  
Oh it was so good, I’m tempted to have a portion for breakfast and that is why I’ll never be slim!
Speaking of which I lost 1.5lb this morning of what I thought was a 5lb gain last week but was actually only 4lb so not quite so bad.  That 1.5lb off could’ve been 2lb if I hadn’t been attacked by a bottle of Baileys on Saturday!  There won’t be any more of that coming in my house this year even though it was a very lovely gift of a very lovely lady.

My Self-Care challenge yesterday was to have a nice hot bath and I’m not going to lie – I didn’t!  But I’ll have it today, today’s should’ve been catch up on a show you enjoy and I did that yesterday so I’ve just switched the days.  To be honest, I’m really taking care of myself again, prioritising me and time for me and I’m feeling so much better for it, apart from having a really ugly head cold, my nose seems to have a split personality, one minute it’s so blocked up I can barely breathe, the next it’s streaming, that’s never normal but then nothing else about me is so why expect my nose to behave.

It appears a lot of my members struggled with being stuck indoors this weekend and it made them want to eat!  However you did over the weekend, Monday is always a great day to start afresh, if you’re stuck at home because of the snow, use your time wisely, make a bit pot of soup or a nice stew, casserole or curry.  Do a meal planner for the rest of the week, let’s work on a budget and save some money at this expensive time of the year.  Go through your cupboards and use what you already have, get creative.  I think I’m going to make a curried lentil soup, something to warm me through, clear my sinuses and low or zero points.   Let’s spend this week being healthy as much as possible as we know Christmas day ain’t far away and we all want to enjoy that don’t we.

We’re all looking for nibbles that won’t break our Points bank, I stumbled across this pate recipe that sounds good;

Vegan and gluten-free mushroom pâté recipe – 6sp total

20g dried porcini mushrooms
½ tbsp oil (2sp)
1 garlic clove, crushed
175g wild mushrooms, chopped
175g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish
60ml port (4sp)

Easy to make, it’s healthy and completely dairy- and gluten-free, too. Serve up this pâté as a crowd-pleasing starter, nibble or as part of your Christmas celebrations.

1.    Soak the porcini mushrooms in 150ml boiling water for 30 mins to rehydrate them. Drain, reserving the liquid, and finely chop.

2.    Fry the shallots in the oil over a medium heat for 5 mins until softened, then add the garlic and fry for 1 min more. Add the chopped fresh mushrooms and thyme, and simmer for about 10 mins until the liquid has reduced and the mushrooms have started to brown a little.

3.    Add the chopped porcini mushrooms and the port to the pan, then allow to bubble until the port has cooked off. Strain the reserved porcini mushroom liquid, to remove any grit, and add to the pan. Allow the mixture to bubble until almost all of the liquid has cooked off. Season well and leave to cool completely.

4.    Whizz the mixture in a blender or food processor to a rough paste and transfer to a bowl or jar to serve. Garnish with a few sprigs of thyme and serve.  It will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Right I’m off, need a hot drink and the heating on, just realised I’m sat here in the cold! 

Here’s to a snow day in my world, so glad I’ve not got any meetings today, hoping it will magically disappear by tomorrow morning, although I’m very fortunate my meeting tomorrow is only a couple of miles away.

Here’s to a good day, if you’re off work – use your time wisely BeYOUtiful, not as an excuse to no bother. xx