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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Food glorious food

19th June 2018
Purpose fuels passion

Let’s talk food, my sister made this for me last week, an oldie but a goodie and I’d forgot how good it was, I’d be curious to try it with chicken breast to save some points.  Although on No Count you wouldn’t have to point the beef either.

Beef Chilli Fry
Serves 1, 14 Smart Points

200g frying steak cut into strips 6 or 7SP depends on the steak
200g tomato puree 6SP
2 tsps curry powder 1SP
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 beef oxo
1 onion sliced

Brown onion in spray oil. Set aside. Cook steak in spray oil. Set aside. Combine tomato puree, curry, chilli, garam masala & oxo in a pan with half a pint of water. Bring to a simmer stirring all the time. Add beef & onions and cook through.

It made me think of other old faithful’s that members enjoy, that includes

Chicken Chow Mein

Serves 4, 8 Smart Points per serving (9pp)

150g (5oz) cooked chicken (cut into thin strips)
1 tbsp oil
¼ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp chopped garlic
240g dried egg noodles
Bean sprouts (1 handful)
½ small onion (sliced)
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

Cook noodles by soaking in boiling water for 5-10 minutes or until soft to touch. Clean wok, heat wok until hot and slightly smoky. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the chicken and onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Turn to low heat and add the garlic and stir-fry for another 15 seconds.

Now add the bean sprouts and noodles. Stir-fry for 4-5 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Add the salt, dark soy sauce and light soy sauce.

Stir-fry for another minute. Finally add the pepper and sesame oil and stir in.

Use wholewheat spaghetti instead of noodles and the chow mein is No Count friendly.   This keema recipe is low and if doing No Count you can use the beef mince for no extra points.

Keema Concoction

Serves 4, 2SP per serving with quorn, 4SP with beef mince
2 sprays of low fat cooking spray
350g pack of quorn mince (0SP) or 5% beef mince (8SP)
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
250g chopped mushrooms
1 yellow pepper, chopped
125 g cooked frozen peas
3 cloves garlic
1 piece ginger, 2cm, fresh and grated
2 tbsp curry powder (2SP)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
300ml vegetable stock using 1 oxo cube
2 tbsp chutney, mango (7SP)

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying-pan and add the mince, add the garlic, ginger and onion and stir, then add mushrooms, and peas stirring well. Continue frying gently for approx 5 mins. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a further minute, then mix in the cinnamon. Add the stock or water & chutney. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 5- 10 minutes until cooked.

Works with any mince, just amend Smart Points accordingly.

I need to get my Weight Watcher head back on this morning, I haven’t even thought about points this weekend, I reckon I’ll get a stayed the same at the scales, I’ll take that. 
Our challenge today is some honest tracking and water drinking, that’s day one and twos challenges rolled together in one, I’ve just done my pint of water but I know I need to get back to the honest tracking, I have a fridge full of food to go out but next week once it’s all gone I plan to have a go at No Count, we’re going to talk about it in meetings this week, I might be able to fit the odd No Count day in before then, we shall see. 
Anyway I better get moving, it’s a busy work day today, looking forward to catching up with everyone.  Ooo just remembered one more recipe that I keep saying I’m going to try, if I put them here, it’ll help me put my meal planner together next week. This one if you switch the rice for brown rice, the you’ll only have to track 2SP per serving for the mango chutney.

Garlic chicken curry
9sp per serving, serves 2
10 minutes prep time, plus marinating. Cook time 20 minutes

Small bunch fresh coriander
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2tsp garam masala
1tbsp mango chutney (4SP)
2 x 125g skinless chicken breast fillets
1 tsp vegetable oil (1SP)
1 onion, thinly sliced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
100g basmati rice (10SP)
2 tbsp 0% fat natural Greek yogurt

  • Cut most of the stalks from the coriander and set the leaves aside. Finely chop the stalks and mix with the garlic, garam masala, chutney and a pinch of salt to form a paste.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut small slashes in each chicken fillet then flatten them slightly. Spread over the paste and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok and fry the onion for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the chicken and marinade and turn to coat in the onions. Fry for 6-8 minutes, turning the chicken and stirring regularly. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Chop the coriander leaves and stir half of them into the sauce.
  • Meanwhile cook the rice to pack instructions, and mix the remaining coriander leaves with the yogurt.
  • Serve the curry with the rice and coriander yogurt.

Right that’s me, let’s get on with our day, let’s make it an epic one!  Catch ya tomorrow BeYOUtiful. Focus on the healthy & happy, I’m with you, together we will do this!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Stop being a hater!

18th June 2018
Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.  If you’re gonna regret it don’t do it!

Is a knife good or bad?  It depends how you use it!

The same goes for food, food doesn’t have a personality, it isn’t good or bad – it’s food, if we start labelling something as a ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ food, we’re likely to want it more, whereas if we give ourselves permission to eat everything in healthy quantity and realistic portion sizes then we can enjoy being in control.

If you go away for the weekend to the seaside isn’t it better than you enjoy an icr cream with everyone else if that’s what you fancy rather than being resentful and saying “I can’t have one, I’m on a diet!” One ice cream does not a fat person make, getting home feeling resentful and deciding to have a binge because this weight loss lark sucks DOES!

When I went for that meal on Friday I gave myself permission to eat anything I wanted and because of that I also gave myself permission to leave half of it on the plate. 

It’s called Weight Watchers not Weight Losers!

Yes food is fuel but you know what food is also enjoyment.  I love delicious food, I refuse to cut it all out of my life to see a certain number on the scales.  I find lots of healthy food delicious as, things like mushrooms and cherry tomatoes are a staple on my shopping list, green cabbage is just delicious, and I recognise these foods more because I’m giving myself permission to eat the odd packet of super noodles or the odd mini magnum.  As long as my weight is maintaining and not going up, I won’t cry or beat myself up if it isn’t going down.

I’m 48 and have spent far too many years beating myself up, over-exercising for the wrong reasons and putting way too much emphasis on a square tool that tells me what my body weighs or a label in an item of clothing.

I often look at other women and think “wow you look fantastic” and they’re not all size 10 (thankfully). 

I focus on a balanced diet, I base my diet around the core food groups, the healthy stuff like eating plenty of fruit and veg, eggs, whole grains, dairy, lean meat, lots of people don’t even do that.

I eat like I love myself!   Because I do love myself and that to me means more than any number on a scale, I love me for me, as I am, whatever I weigh because I’m good enough, no set of scales can do that for you, no amount of weight loss either.

Your challenge today is to appreciate yourself, to enjoy your food, to see it for what it is, delicious and essential to our wellbeing.  Today eat like you love yourself because you are BeYOUtiful even if you don’t realise it.  Stop being at war with your body, learn to trust yourself around food, ask yourself am I eating in a way that demonstrates love for my body.

It’s Monday, be mindful and take care of you.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Do you meal plan?

17th June 2018
You can start over at any moment you choose.

I had a lovely lazy day yesterday, I have to say ‘The Crown’ is a great series to sleep through, I know it’s really popular but it wasn’t doing it for me.  At least I’m caught up on my sleep now. I thought I’d stick with that theme and make today’s challenge to get your beauty sleep. Go to bed earlier, have an early night, better still for the entire coming week go to bed at least 30 minutes earlier than you usually would.  Getting enough rest promotes weight loss, reduces stress levels, improves your memory and decreases inflammation in the body (so I’ve read!)

This week’s meetings have been all about meal planning and budgets, sharing ideas, I think we all went away with some ideas, even the simple one I took which was to put oxo’s in my tinned tomatoes to take away the ‘Tomatoey’ taste and make my pasta sauce more meaty.  I also need to try the fakeaway big mac, using the stand and stuff boats, dry fry 5% beef mince (or chicken I guess) with onions, but in boats with shredded lettuce and slices of gherkin and top with low fat or protein cheese and low fat thousand island dressing.  It’s pretty tasty apparently.  

Mushroom mince was another good idea, apparently you can buy it ready prepared or just through mushrooms in the food processer and blitz, I might give that a go as I have a lot in the fridge to use.  It freezes well also.  The mince can be used for anything you’d use beef mince for and it’s cheaper.

The sauces from the meetings are used a lot too, they’re really low in Smart Points and the lemon one is delicious on fish or for fakeaway Nandos, the BBQ one for hunters chicken.  I still need to try that.

I’d done a shopping list using Asda for prices, everyone has different opinions on which supermarket is the cheapest but Asda’s website was easy to navigate and get the info I needed.  I’ve put that list at the bottom of blog, it all totals up to £80 but you wouldn’t need all of it, it’s just to give ideas of ingredients you could use to make a healthy, meal plan.

Why bother? Well whether trying to lose weight or save money, meal planning will help enormously.   Meal planning-enthusiasts argue most people buy far more than they need because they just grab whatever looks good once they’re at the supermarket and have no overall plan for actual meals to make with what they buy.
Planning means less stress, if you’re busy and / or stressed, get home from work and you haven’t got dinner planned, what’s likely to happen?  It’s unlikely to be a healthy, well thought out meal.  Meal planning stops the “what shall we have for dinner tonight?” question every night. Instead spend half hour once a week deciding for the whole week.

You won’t visit the supermarket as often, no going for a loaf and spending £20 on bits, you shouldn’t be throwing food away either as you’ll only buy what you need.   I also notice if I plan, I snack less because I know exactly what I will eat and when, plus I look forward to those meals.

Meal planning can be made simple, teach yourself how to get organised in the kitchen and solve the neverending problem of what to cook, day in, day out.  Are you stuck in a rut, do you want to feed yourself and your family good healthy yet tasty meals. If you struggle for ideas and end up serving up the same meals or buying the same ready meals constantly but wishing you could be more organised and have interesting, enjoyable meals planned then this is for you. Save yourself time and money with your shopping and cooking. Make use of those cookbooks instead of using them to keep a door open!


Where to start?  Get yourself a pad and write down a list of meals you like or look at that shopping list at the end of my blog and make a list of meals you could make with it.
Start with how many meals do you want to plan, do you tend to eat the same breakfast every day, in which case you don’t need to plan them,

Do you eat out once a week so you won’t need to plan that either, unless you’re planning what to eat when you’re out to make sure you stay within your Weight Watcher SmartPoints.

Start with an A4 sheet of paper and mark out the days and the meals, for example;
You don't have to follow the plan 100%, but at least you always have an idea if you need one and you can change or amend it any time you want to.
So to help you compile your plans some things to consider are

- who you cooking for, how many, who's in when.
- who's doing the cooking - you I guess most of the time, but you can live inhope
- where are the recipes if you're cooking from scratch, i.e. which cook book, what page.
- what ingredients will you need that you don't already have.
- any preparations you need to do, i.e. defrost foods, make marinades.
- what type of meals do you and your family like
Pasta & noodles (pasta with sauce, pasta bakes, stir fries,in soups)
Rice (stir fries, risottos, paellas)
Stews & casseroles (meat, vegetable, pulses)
Pizza / bread
‘Meat & 2 veg’ / roasts
Tarts, quiches & pies
Fast food / takeaway / ready meals
Eggs (omelettes, frittatas, baked)
Puddings & desserts

- do you have favourite meals that all your family like,those regular fail-safe recipes you can do with your eyes closed.
- don't forget the ready meals and prepared things you buy, frozen chips, microwave rice, soup etc.
- go through those cook books and look for inspiration. Don't be afraid to try something new.

So what are you waiting for, have a go at filling in your meal planner, don't be over adventurous otherwise you won't follow it when it’s completed.

Why not start to put together a recipe scrapbook book, print off any you find online, or cut out of magazines. Keep a list of pages numbers and which cook book your favourite recipes are in.

Once you've done your plan you need to do the shopping list, start by making a list of ingredients, if you shop monthly you'll need to maybe do more than one list.

There’s enough to get you thinking there, Alfie is bugging me for his walk.  I’ll try and give you some recipes throughout the week in my blogs, but for now I’m off to take my dog for his walk.

Here’s to an excellent day, staying on, getting that early night, catch ya tomorrow BeYOUtiful. Let’s focus on the healthy & happy, I’m with you, together we will do this!


Wholemeal bread
Porridge oats 1kg
long grain white rice 1kg
egg noodles
pasta  500g
tinned potatoes  550g
potatoes 2.5kg
spaghetti 500g
lasagne sheets 375g box
wraps x 8
wraps x 8
crumpets x 6
warburton thins x 6
Pitta breads x 6
Smash (serves 6)


Reduced fat cheddar 500g
Philidelphia light cheese 280g
Chicken breast fillets 1kg
15 eggs
longlife skimmed milk 1litre
fresh skimmed milk 4pints
tuna x 3 160g cans
chickpeas 400g can
red lentils 500g
chicken (large whole)
kidney beans
black beans
wafer thin ham 400g
beef mince 500g 5%
chicken sausages 6
pressed cod roe 200g
fish fingers (10 brids eye)
frozen white fish fillets
540g (2 for £5)

cook from frozen salmon fillets
360g (2 for £5)

tinned sardines in tomato sauce
(4SP for 120g)

pichards in tomato sauce
(9SP for 400g)

Fruit & veggies

cooking onions 1kg
carrots 500g
mushrooms 400g
tomatoes fresh x 6

iceberg lettuce
tinned soups

sweetcorn 326g can
baked beans 410g can
chopped tomatoes 400g can
peas 300g can

frozen peas  1kg
frozen spinach 1.4kg

These frozen veg are 2 for £1.70)
frozen sweetcorn 1kg
peppers x 3
frozen mixed peppers 600g
frozen mixed vegetables 1kg
frozen sliced carrots

apples  pack of 6
satsumas 600g
bananas 10 pack
pears 500g
peaches in fruit juice
pineapple in fruit juice

Soup pack - fresh

store cupboard

oxos x 12
mixed dried herbs
garlic x 3 bulbs
garlic puree
chilli powder (rajah 100g bag)
curry powder (rajah 100g bag)
tomato puree
passata 500g
flour  1.5kg
low fat spread 1kg
block of butter
large natural yogurt  500g
soy sauce
sweet chilli sauces