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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

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