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Monday, 17 October 2016

Let's get this Monday started!

17th October 2016
Don't ever feel guilty for doing what's best for you.

I love this image, if you haven't already done so, please read it and follow it's instructions.  That right there is mindfulness, if you can do that - you can meditate, I do every morning for 15-20 minutes, some days more successful than others but I always take that time, even if my mind won't settle, I sit in that quiet place regardless.  I believe it's made a huge difference to myself and those close to me noticed too.

Anyway, it's only Monday!  If you like the idea of meditation and mindfulness, download the headspace app, the first 10 days are free and you can see if it's for you.

I'm starting Day 19, feeling good, had me an hour walk yesterday in the absolute pouring down rain, it was raining when I left the house but as I walked it got heavier and heavier, I wasn't turning back though, did a huge round route and loved it, only downside, I'd lost a tenner when I got back, it must have fell out my pocket and I messed with my phone to check how long I'd been out.  I do hope someone found it and it made their day.

I've got a busy day today, moms got her flu jab this morning, I need to go shopping to get all the ingredients I need this week for my cooking demo, also need to get all the equipment ready to take with me as it's easy to forget something and in the middle of a demo, you can't go looking in your kitchen draws when they're in your house and you're in a church hall!

I asked people on Facebook yesterday what their favourite meals were, I'm hoping to get more of a response today because I'm looking for meal ideas for this 12 week goal challenge of mine, I like to eat different meals.  I've got to say there's been a tad bit too much chicken in our house this weekend, I'll be glad to eat something else, although it'll be chicken again today!  I'm thinking a chicken and mushroom pie with mashed potato on top, mmm nice.  At least the chicken will be flavoured with something else, I'm going to use a can of Cambell's low fat condensed mushroom soup, 1/2 the can is 2sp, the whole can is 5sp, I won't add any water, just have it as a thick sauce, on chunks of chicken and a mash lid.  Actually looking forward to that now.

Other meals suggestions included sweet chilli noodles, roast dinner, cajun turky, spag bol, lasagne and cottage pie, particularly the Hairy Bikers one apparently, so I've found the recipe online and pointed it up for you, it says serves 6-8 but I'm not thinking it'd do 8 portions in my house so I've put the points for 6, however I'm thinking 4 servings at 12 Smart Points is still really good!   Recipes at the bottom of the blog.

So 12 weeks as I've said is too far to focus on which is why I'm taking it one week at a time and each week I'm gonna work on a tweak, which I'll challenge my members to do too, in the meeting last week their tweak was to go for a walk, any length, just get out there and have a bit of fresh air.  I appear to have this nailed at the moment now, I'm managing 30 minutes a day and on the couple of days I've missed I've made up for them the next day with an hour walk.  It's not so easy when it rains if you're in a rush and don't have time to shower and change but I'll work that out I'm sure.

So my tweak for this week is to drink more water, up the fluid intake, as the temperature drops this gets more difficult but I've just realised I have no problem drinking a glass of wine which is cold so I should be able to drink a cold glass of water!  Actually I do enjoy a mug of hot water too instead of tea sometimes so maybe I'll give that a go.  I've already drunk my first pint of water this morning so starting off great, if I have a glass with every meal that'll be plenty, I don't want to drown after all!

Might have leftover omelette for my breakfast, I dropped a box of eggs yesterday and only 2 survived, I made a bit omelette out of the other 6, used up all my leftover roasted veggies and had half of it for my breakfast. 
My lunch can I say was delicious and so simple, I sliced a large onion and diced some butternut squash, dry fried the onion in spray light for five minutes, made some stock using 2 chicken oxo cubes and hot water, then added that to the pan with the squash, left for a couple of minutes then put in an oven proof dish, topped with potato slices and baked for ages on low, it was so tasty.

Right I'm off to be productive, although I could happily sit and read all day if I'm honest, finished my audio book yesterday, a real easy to read feel good book, Jill Mansell, Three amazing things about you.  Here's to a great day folks, focus on the healthy and happy, maybe move a little too! 

"I'm doing this for me!"  What's your mantra?

Here's your recipe;

Hairy Bikers' healthy cottage pie

Total Smart Points = 48
Serves: 6 at 8sp each, Prep time: , Cooking time:
Skill level: Easy peasy, Costs: Cheap as chips

400g 5% extra lean minced beef (10sp)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
2 medium carrots, diced
400g can of chopped tomatoes
2tbsp tomato purée (1sp)
500ml beef stock, made with 1 beef stock cube
1tbsp Worcestershire sauce (1sp)
1tsp dried mixed herbs
4tsp cornflour (3sp)
1tbsp cold water
Flaked sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the leeky potato topping:
750g floury potatoes (18sp)
2tsp sunflower oil (3sp)
2 slender leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
150g half-fat crème fraiche flaked sea salt (12sp)
Freshly ground black pepper

1.    Place a large non-stick saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the mince and cook it with the onions, celery and carrots for 10 minutes until lightly coloured. Use a couple of wooden spoons to break up the meat as it cooks.
2.    Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and mixed herbs. Season with a good pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover loosely and simmer gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mince is tender.
3.    About 20 minutes before the meat is ready, make the potato topping. Peel the potatoes and cut them into rough 4cm chunks. Put them in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat slightly and simmer for 18–20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the leeks for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured, stirring often. Drain the potatoes, then tip them back into the pan, season to taste and mash with the crème fraiche until smooth. Stir in the sautéed leeks and set aside.
4.    Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°C/Gas Mark 7. When the beef has been simmering for 40 minutes, mix the cornflour with the cold water to make a smooth paste. Stir this into the beef and cook for another 1–2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened, stirring often.
5.    Pour the beef mixture into a 2-litre shallow ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, top the beef with the mashed potatoes and leeks. Spoon the mixture all around the edge of the dish before heading into the middle, then fluff up with a fork.
6.    Bake for 30 minutes until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling. If making this ahead of time, let the pie cool, then cover and put in the fridge.

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