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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Costa me loads of ProPoints it did!

31st January 2015
The key to happiness is letting each situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be.

WOW last day of January (that's gone quickly) and my first day of doing a Saturday meeting and we've had snow but on the bright side the traffic on the main road looks like it's moving okay and hopefully the members will still come out, that's why I don't like snow, it keeps people indoors.

Had a good day yesterday, stomachs much improved thankfully, I got all my paperwork done by 9am, met a leader friend at ten and we walked round Bentley Bridge putting our leaflets and business cards here and there before ending up in Costa Coffee, I had a lemon muffin, oh my word, I've been wanting 'cake' for a week now and that was just perfection, just what I had in mind, I prefer muffins to sponge, I think they're more moist and this one had a dollop of lemon curd in the middle which just finished it off perfectly, it was however 13pp - OUCH!  I can make them a lot lower than that and mine are good, so that might be my plan tomorrow to bake muffins, I also need to get my hands on some 'doughnut jam' it isn't the same as ordinary jam, I don't think so anyway!   I think raspberry muffins with a squirt of jam injected into it would be epic!   Nom Nom, watch this space, and I know I can make them for half what my Costa one was!  I do fancy lemon muffins with lemon curd as well though.  

I put my fitbit on my mom yesterday to see how active she really is, she walks Alfie twice a day but we know they don't walk miles and miles, actually sometimes I think they really do because she gets lost and has to ask for directions home.  Anyway by the end of the day she'd done almost 7,000 steps, not bad at all for a 76 year old with arthritis and one leg shorter than the other and walks with a limp!  I'm proud of her because that was our rest day!  Normally on a weekday she'd be doing washing, housework and pottering.  GO MOM!

We had Facebook tracker Friday and I have seen some great trackers in my group, it really made me think before I ate! I did however make one major mistake, I'm not a regular Costa customer so I get confused by all the different coffee choices and looking at the board I saw "flat white" I assumed that was just a normal coffee with a splash of milk - WRONG!  I was so busy trying to convert a dark side member - the slimming club that shall not be named that I messed up my order.  Checked it out when I sat down and 4pp it cost me, I'd forgotten to saw skimmed milk and that mistake cost me an extra 2pp, I was surprised it was 2pp for the skimmed version to be honest.  Wish I'd ask for a black coffee and added a touch of skimmed milk myself - lesson learned.  I'd even stood in the queue looking up the ProPoints in my muffin, just goes to show, never ASSUME you know it all!

Well I never thought I'd say it but in this crazy life I have, where I work millions of hours a week and use wine to chill me out at night, I found a great alternative last night, it may make me sound like an old lady and I don't care because for an hour at tea time I became totally engrossed in moms jigsaw, I forgot about my phone, the tele, it was when mom went out to walk Alfie, I couldn't believe it had been that long when she came back.  Now I can't wait to start the next one, really chilled me out and calmed my mind. 
So the question I've been asking this week is do you choose, eat and track or choose, track and eat?  I've realised I should track before I eat because choosing doesn't mean the choice is necessarily a good one so until I've ProPointed it and counted those ProPoints, I'm maybe not getting the best for my choices, and if I don't track it first, I can easily forget what I've eaten.

Just leave you with that food for thought BeYOUtiful, have a good day.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Smiling this morning as I did a lot of yesterday...

30th January 2015
Be too busy working on your own grass to realise if someone else's is greener!

I had the best surprise in the post yesterday, a parcel that I wasn't expecting and when I opened it, there was a t-shirt with "I'm kind of a big thing on my blog".  What a fantastic gift!  It didn't say who it was off but it did have an Edinburgh post mark on and because of that I had a good idea who it was from.  I just love it when someone does something spontaneous like that, really made my day. I'm funny about gift giving, I don't like to feel I 'have to' buy someone a gift because it's their birthday or Christmas, I like to buy someone a gift when I see something they'd like or when I want to take a moment to say how important they are too me.  So this was my idea of perfect give giving and I'd like to say a big thank you to Deb for taking the time out to buy it and send it all the way to Wolverhampton to make my day, it really did.

Stomachs much improved, so I think it was probably the iron tablets that caused the problems, still not 100% so won't be going crazy on the eating side but I'm going to brave more varied food again.  I will be including more 'healthy' stuff in my diet though, I like the idea of the grains, I had basmati brown rice with quinoa yesterday and I really liked it. 

I found a smoothie recipe I want to try, it'll be good for mom as well as she really struggles and I'd like to keep my stomach a happy stomach so I don't get to a point where I have those problems,

Ingredients: 1 and 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple, 1 banana, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup ice, 1/2 cup pineapple juice or water. Blend to consistency of a smoothie.

I don't mind a smoothie, so will definitely be trying that, it'd maybe set my stomach up for the day if it was breakfast and that's got to be better than taking gaviscon!

So yesterday as well as being my busiest work day of the week was also fun of laughter, my mom is just the most amazing lady, it still makes me happy every time I realise how well she is now compared to how poorly she was this time last year.  I listen to Radio 2 now, it's my age I guess, anyway a song came on and I was instantly transported back to my childhood when mom and I used to cook Sunday dinner and she'd sing and dance round the kitchen, so I went to buy the song Misty but Ray Stevens and when I checked on my itunes I already had it, so when she came up I played it to her and this was the most wonderful reaction I could've asked for;

It'll only take 2 minutes to watch and I promise will make you smile, her last line is just perfect.  My mom really is on incredible lady, she's given birth to 7 children, had 4 under the age of two and spent her life taking care of us kids.  She was over 18 stone at her heaviest and now has maintained her gold weight for over ten years.   Yes it took her years to crack her weight issue, she's attended meetings for as long as I can remember, I used to believe everybody left school and went to Weight Watchers, it's what I did!  We're now both mostly healthy & usually happy, I thank Weight Watchers for teaching us both to eat healthy. I do love her very, very much.  That video is a peak into what my childhood was made of and why I still laugh a lot  because it's what my adult life is about too! 

Anyway enough of the mushy back to food, my lunch yesterday was delicious and took 5 minutes;

It only cost me 8pp too, 5pp for half pack of the Tilda rice/grains and 3pp for the chicken, the whole packet is only 3pp and it's delicious hot or cold.  Save's all that faffing about cooking when you're in a rush.  I cooked the courgette on my George Foreman.

Right mom's just woke up so I'm off to get her a cuppa tea and breakfast and sort her medication out for her, then my paperworks getting done before I meet up with another leader to do some promoting of our meetings around Bentley Bridge, if you see us, come say hello.

Have a wonderful day, hope the snows not spoiling your plans.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

How's your week going?

29th January 2015
Being in a hurry to improve yourself only slows down the process.

Well normally I'd be talking about the wonderful meals I ate or want to eat but the last few days I've been having stomach problems and it's taking the pleasure out of food, so I ate quite plain food yesterday to see if it helps and if it doesn't improve I'll make an appointment to go get it checked out at the doctors.  No tea or wine passed my lips yesterday, ma'an if I have to give up all the good stuff like that to be out of pain, I'll still not be skinny because I'll replace it with other stuff ;-), I've bought me some soya yogurt and almond milk, some of those yakult drinks. Food wise yesterday I had steamed cod, mash and carrots then for tea a bowl of mushroom soup, they were actually still delicious but they didn't ease the symptoms much.  Hey ho, I'm sure it'll calm down, I'm hoping it's just all the overindulgence of my birthday week and maybe the effect the iron tablets have had on my stomach that's caused it all.

Obviously because I've not been feeling great in the stomach department I've been doing a bit of research about what's good to eat and what isn't and I've just stumbled across a website with a recipe for Quinoa, now I've never cooked it but I have eaten it and it's quite nice, so maybe I will invest in some.  Apparently quinoa is a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids, especially lysine.  Quinoa is also high in potassium, iron, calcium, and copper.  Because quinoa is so easily digested it is ideal for optimal absorption of all these nutrients.  It’s a tremendous way to start your day.  So there - I'm educating you this morning too!  Now I've only ever had it as a savoury dish but on this website she's made a breakfast dish almost like porridge, I can't work out the ProPoints by 'cup' measurements but if and when I make it I could, the only high ProPointed things would be the walnuts, seeds and raisins but it's a good healthy breakfast and we could all do with one of those regardless of how our stomach is at this moment in time!

Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast
(recipe from http://www.alkalinesisters.com/cinnamon-quinoa-breakfast-how-i-start-my-alkaline-day/1215/)

Yield: approx 4 cups
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup raisins
1 med apple chopped small (save some for garnish)
stevia or agave to taste
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
4 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1 cup fresh organic blueberries
optional – fresh raspberries, fresh strawberries, chopped pecans or almonds, hemp seeds

Combine quinoa, almond milk, cinnamon, allspice, raisins in medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and then place lid on pan and reduce to low heat.  After 5 mins stir in chopped apple and simmer for approx 5-7 mins longer.  Stir and check for remaining liquid and if most is absorbed then remove from heat, leaving lid on pan and let rest for 5 mins to absorb rest of the milk.  If when you peek, there is still lots of liquid, simmer for 3-5 mins longer but keeping a close eye over the pot as this mixture can easily burn if left to boil dry, then let it rest for 5 mins.  Taste for sweetness and adjust to your liking with 3-5 stevia drops or a dribble of agave syrup.  You may not need any additional sweetener as the raisins and apple do add a nice sweetness that may be just perfect for you.  Be cautious as even these natural sugars will spike your blood sugar levels and you want to minimize this.

Top each serving with walnuts, sunflower seeds, blueberries and remaining chopped apple.  If I have raspberries or strawberries on hand I like to toss them on top instead or as well!

The website also says "Alkalizing your body upon rising is an essential part of staying healthy. While sleeping our body rests but also gathers toxins ready for disposal upon waking."  Mmm interesting stuff. 

Reading further on it turns out spelt porridge is as good, spelt porridge is the thick oatmeal like flakes take way longer to cook and are not creamy like these thin, partially powdered flakes.  I can eat that,

Spelt Porridge
Yield: 1 serving
1 cup filtered water
1/3 cup thin flaked spelt ( the thick oatmeal like flakes take way longer to cook and are not creamy like these thin, partially powdered flakes so keep looking til you find them- you won’t regret it)
cinnamon to taste
powdered stevia  or agave syrup to taste
1/4 tsp alcohol free vanilla
2-3  tbsp dried cherries or cranberries
raw nuts, seeds, hemp nuts, fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or strawberries
1/2c unsweetened almond, hazelnut,  hemp or rice milk

Combine the first 6 ingredients and simmer for 3-4 mins over medium heat and then pour into a nice broad shallow bowl. This allows you to sprinkle lots of goodies on the surface and gives it an opportunity to cool easier than in a smaller, deeper bowl.  Pour a non dairy milk on top (my fave is almond or even hazelnut if you can find it and this will further cool it and make it even tastier!  Then dig in!

I promise I'm not turning into a juice drinking, veggie eating hippy, I just want to feel better and if that means eating differently, I will rather than take medication because I've seen what that's done to mom over time and I'd rather not go down that route if I can help it.

Right I'm off, it's Thursday busiest day of the week but not my last as I've not got that meeting on Saturday too! Busy, busy, busy.  Have a well day BeYOUtiful, I intend too.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Quick, tasty, cheap, healthy food - don't get no better!

28th January 2015
The only limits in life are the ones you make.

Well my savoury bread pudding recipe worked a treat, I ended up chopping the veggies before I went to work, then when I got back I throwing it all together, and cooked

In case you missed it, here's the recipe (44pp total, 4 large portions)

6 large eggs (18pp)
250ml milk (2pp)
About 2tsp Herbs and seasonings of your choice
140g leftover bread, approx 4 regular slices (8pp)
200g of cathedral mature lighter cheese (or similar) 16pp
4 cups of diced vegetables of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees / gas mark 4
Line or spray a large rectangular baking dish with cooking spray
In a large bowl add the 6 large eggs (18pp), 250ml milk (2pp) and seasonings of your choice, I used  1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. dried thyme, Salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.

Add in the bread (I'm using 3 cobs = 8pp but roughly 3 cups of cubed bread), about 4 cups of diced vegetables of your choice (peppers, mushrooms, squash, spinach, courgette, onions etc) and 100g of cathedral mature lighter cheese 8pp (regular cheddar is 11pp). Mix well.

Pour into the baking dish and top with another 100g of lighter cheese (8pp) and sprinkle some more of the seasonings on top.  Cook for about an hour or until golden.

It was good and tasty hot or cold.  Use low calorie brown bread and you only need to ProPoint the cheese if you're following F&H.

I never did get round to making that Mexican Beef Pan-Fry recipe from Fridays blog  http://wwbevsworld.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/when-you-love-your-work-its-isnt-work.html so I think I'll make that today, I've still got most of the ingredients except the tomatoes but I'm nipping into Asda this morning so can pick some up.

Very busy with work stuff at the minute but I'm going to make sure I eat one healthy meal a day, then I'm liking the idea of something lighter for tea after my meetings because I don't think my stomach likes eating too much that late at night anymore then going to bed with a full stomach, so lighter bites for tea it is.  Soup maybe or a sandwich, yeah I'll have a think of some ideas, have my main meal lunchtime and less later.
I fancy a curry and one of my lovely members gave me this packet yesterday, in Asda, it's on the veg counter, ASDA Good & Balanced Vegetable Curry Mix £1.50, it's all the veggies diced up and the spices and you just add tomatoes and water - voila readymade curry, 6pp for the bag according to the online information and looking at the ingredients all of them are F&H foods and spices.  It's great if you're busy and in a rush and don't have time or can't be bothered to chop veggies, or if you're in too much pain with arthritis to chop! 
Anyway, I'm starting to ramble and I have lots of paperwork to do!  Time to get my day started, might have egg, beans and mushrooms for breakfast, might not, can't decide!  Might have porridge, oh decisions, decisions!

Whatever you plan to eat today, eat it, track it, enjoy it.  Eating healthy is for life BeYOUtiful, never forget that, it isn't a race it's a forever thing.