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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Half term hell or heaven?

17th February 2016
Enthusiasm moves the world!

So its half-term and you've got to entertain the little darlings, not easy, not cheap, not weight loss friendly at times I believe, I've only ever played the aunty role which is completely different, I only have them for a few hours, I've had money to entertain them and I got to give them back later, that's easy.  Being a parent day in, day out, not quite so easy.  It's not just the entertaining of them, it's that bit when they go to bed and you take that deep breath and think, what shall I have for a treat, a sneaky glass of wine or crisps or chocolate or if it's been a really bad day, hell all three!   Can I just say there are lots of situations other than kids that make you feel like that at the end of the day!  So how do you survive half-term and not go completely off track?  Simple, if weight loss is important to you, you'll find a way, or you'll decide to put it on hold for the week and get back to it the following week.  You can still eat out and stay on track, daytime with kids eating out is different isn't it to evening nights out, price is usually a concern, feeding a tribe can cost, so where to go?

McDonalds is an obvious, kids fav, they can have the happy meal, you could opt for 6 pieces of chicken nuggets for 7sp with small fries for another 7sp, or a grilled chicken salad wrap for 8sp, a grilled chicken salad with no dressing is only 2sp. You could have the chicken nuggets or wrap and that, 10sp max and a meal!  Then there's carvery, fill you all up, opt for lots of lean meat and veggies, steer away from the roasters, stuffing and cauli cheese, good healthy meal and you won't have to cook later.

Personally I wouldn't be going anywhere near the likes of Frankie and Benny's because of cost in both Smart Points and cash, Nando's is good for Smart Points but not the cheapest of places, then there's KFC, I'm a fan and sometimes I think it's worth it, I love corn and that's 3sp, 2 pieces of chicken are gonna set you back 12sp though, then there's the fries 10sp in a regular!

Take em in a cheap two for one pub possibly, that way they'll have a kids menu too, and you can order something sensible like salmon, or chicken with a side salad, you won't die if you don't have carbs on the plate like chips! If you can't live without, opt for the jacket. 

Maybe you're off out for the day and you can take your own stuff, you can make the sandwiches and stuff, or buy it, you can buy low Smart Point sandwiches, that way, they see it as a picnic treat and you get a break from making lunch, you even nip in the Tesco garage on your way out, buy a few packs of sandwiches, a bunch of bananas, some cans of pop, and a box of cakes for the kids!  Tesco Just Chicken Sandwich is 8sp, Mr Kipling French Fancies are 5sp each, a bag of wotsits or quavers for 3sp, you could even but a bag of salad leaves to make you feel 'healthy', there's your lazy picnic lunch and can I say if you're a busy parent you're allowed to make lazy picnics, you already do plenty!

Then you get them to bed, and you take that deep breath of relief and find yourself standing in the kitchen, now what!  Firstly, I'd say, acknowledge that's likely to happen, don't pretend it won't, it happens to me every Thursday night, I've finished 3 very long days at work, I haven't got to get up at stupid o'clock the next morning, I don't want to go to bed because then the day will be over and it'll be nearer to going back to work, so I too sometimes end up stood in the kitchen.  I plan for it, I keep me some Points so I can have that glass of wine I fancy, or that treat.  Plan it, be prepared, don't pretend ignorance is bliss, it may be at the time, it won't be when you get on my scales and see a gain, then you'll be gutted and think it wasn't worth it.

So yeah, it's a choice, you can choose to stay on track this half term or not, you can choose whether to fit in your meeting, just get weighed, or not bother and return next week, just remind yourself it doesn't take much time to nip to the meeting, just on the scales and keep your head in the game!  It's a good job leaders don't think, "Oh I'm not gonna go to the meeting this week, it's half term, half of them won't turn up so there ain't much point, I'll go next week instead and hope they're still there!"

On that thought, I am going to get ready for my meetings because every one of my members are important to me! 

Here's to being in charge of your own destiny BeYOUtiful, it's all about the choices.

And on what feels like another cold day, here's a warming hot pot Smart Point recipe.

Winter Vegetable Hot Pot
Serves 4, 30sp total, 8sp per serving

2 Medium Onions, sliced
4 Medium Carrots, sliced
1 Small Swede, sliced
2 Medium Parsnips, sliced (5sp)
3 Small Turnips, sliced
1/2 Medium Celeriac, cut into matchsticks
2 Medium Leeks, thinly sliced
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
1 Bay leaf, crumbled
2 Tablespoon Fresh mixed herbs, chopped (parsley, thyme)
300 ml Vegetable stock (use 2 oxo cubes) (½pint) (1sp)
1 Tablespoon Plain flour (2sp)
675g potatoes, thinly sliced (1½lb) (16sp)
50g low fat spread (2 oz) (7sp)
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 190 °C / 375 °F Gas 5. Arrange all the vegetables, except the potatoes, in layers in a large casserole dish with a tight fitting lid. Season the vegetable layers lightly with salt and pepper and sprinkle them with garlic, crumbled bay leaf and chopped herbs as you go. Blend the stock into the flour and pour over the vegetables. Arrange the potatoes in overlapping layers on top. Dot with butter and cover tightly. Cook in the oven for 1 ¼hours, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the lid from the casserole and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the top layer of potatoes is golden and crisp at the edges. Serve hot.

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