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Thursday, 28 February 2019

There's more to you than what you weigh

Thursday 28th February 2019
Be you, do you, for you!

I had my tea made for me last night by a BeYOUtiful young lady who comes to my workshop with her mom, she cooked from the Flex cookbook that she'd treated herself too,

It was so lovely that she'd made it and that she actually cared about my opinion.  I'd rather be involved in giving her a love of good, healthy food and getting her to realise her BeYOUtiful than helping her lose a few pounds.  I'd rather have a future world full of fierce, independent women who are more concerned about what they're doing than how much they way, focusing on how their bodies feel rather than how they look. 

I posted this yesterday on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156661844975862&set=a.10150499950260862&type=3&theater it's asking "If I’ve ever helped you feel better about yourself, reach your goals or lose some weight please comment below...." and I love that the majority of the response have nothing to do with losing weight, my mission in life is to help people love themselves regardless of what they weigh, reading someone has found their 'happy' makes me very happy too. (feel free to follow the link and write a comment) 

I was actually very lucky last night because in addition to that meal, Su and Harj bought me leftovers too, so I don't need to cook today at all, and possibly tomorrow depending on my appetite.  I was going to have a takeaway tonight (Facebook been sending me subliminal signals from Abduls!) but now I don't need to because I have the real deal.  I know they're all delicious too as I had a spoonful of each cold out the pots before putting them in the fridge - I couldn't resist. 

Breakfast was filling yesterday, English muffin with eggs and WW hollandaise sauce, with a bowl of pineapple on the side. 

My appetite didn't subside, no photo but for lunch we had Alphabites with egg and a chicken burger, I honestly could have eaten it again (I didn't) every now and again you can't beat a bit of processed rubbish - as long as it is now and again and not all the time. 

Most of the time, feed your body like you love it! For me that's eating fresh and cooking from scratch, trying to include plenty of fruit and veg.

Anyway, I've got to get ready for work, I've just realised I haven't filled in my 3 good things book for the pst two days so need to catch up with that, let's see, yesterday, that's easy, BeYOUtiful ladies cooking for me,, the lovely walk I had with Alfie in the sunshine and the clear night sky when I got home, all those stars shining.  Tuesday, mmm coming home to a clean, tidy kitchen thanks to my sis, Night Nurse guaranteeing me a decent sleep and I suppose it has to be Paracetamol keeping my temperature down ;) 

It's the little things, if you appreciate them, life is good.

Here's to a tremendous Thursday, my voice may not be 100% but I don't feel dreadful which is good news.

Stay BeYOUtiful!   


Wednesday, 27 February 2019

16 weeks till Summer - yes it is still WINTER!

Wednesday 27th February 2019
Focus on your health, not your weight.

Well I've got the blinking lurgy again, beginning of January was the last time, I've searched my blog cos someone said last night, have you got another cold and it got me thinking am I ill a lot!  The stinking head cold is at full strength now, it's trying to take my voice as it always does, I took Night Nurse last night to help me sleep, I don't feel like I'm dying though so it's all good. 

Yesterday was a buzzing, busy day, quite a few of us realised this early does of sunshine is a reminder summer ain't that far away, but the beauty of having a couple of days this warm is we now have until Friday, June 21, 2019 which is when the Summer Solstice is and Summer starts, that's 16 weeks, oh WOW we could lose some good pounds by then!

1/2lb a week = 8lb

1lb a week = 16lb
1.5lb a week = 24lb
2lb a week = 32lb

Which would you like, I'd take the 1/2lb a week average, at this moment in time I'd take lurgy free, healthy and this weight I'm at to be honest!

So today I will treat myself with kindness, get a bit of fresh air whilst I walk the dog, rest when I can allowing my body to recover and save my energy for my workshops tonight.

I'm going to have eggs on an English muffin with Hollandaise sauce for my breakfast then whatever is in the fridge or freezer for my dinner, I won't be making a fuss in the kitchen today, or maybe I will cos I really fancy that turkey steaks recipe from the WW magazine. 

How will you invest in your health today?  I shall stay hydrated, plenty of water, eat a bowl of my lentil curry as that has garlic and ginger in, I might add turmeric next time I make them because that's supposed to be really good for you and I doubt you'll taste it that much. 

I might have a hot bath to ease my muscles whilst drinking a vitamin C drink, I might actually start the day with a hot lemon and honey drink - yeah I've been googling to get ideas of things that help your immune system and help shift a cold/cough.  We all know it has to run it's course but if we can ease that all the better. 

This is one suggestion;
Fresh garlic is a renowned antimicrobial and expectorant. When you mixed with honey can be very effective in fighting the bacteria and soothing an itchy throat. Simply place ½ teaspoon chopped garlic in a tablespoon and fill remaining area with raw honey and swallow all at once.     

I'm game to try anything!  Well within reason.  I've got some tinned pineapple which is full of vitamin C and has and antioxidants. But I’m giving it more praise because it contains the anti-inflammatory enzymecalled bromelain.  I can eat that straight from the tin rather than oranges. 

Here's to shifting this large as soon as it landed, at least I don't feel like deaths door, so that's a bonus. 

Have a very, great day, I plan to go to bed the minute I get home to try and help shift this.

Stay BeYOUtiful!   



Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Have you donated your dinner yet?

Tuesday 26th February 2019
Baby steps deserve applause.

However the first 8 weeks of 2019 went for you, here's to the second 8 weeks, it'll take us up to Easter and think about it, 

In 2 weeks you'll feel it.
In 4 weeks you will see it.
In 8 weeks you will hear it.

Keep going, it'll be worth it. 

I asked my members what they wanted to achieve over the next 8 weeks, in time for Easter and I hope they've all thought about it, even if the haven't replied yet, I will be asking them at their check-in this week in their workshops.  

I finally got round to making this; 

Chicken cacciatore from the WW Freestyle cookbook, it was delicious, we had it with mash and peas, even mom ate some.  I do love olives but if you're not a fan, you could just leave them out of the recipe, it's 3SP a portion so removing them would make it 2SP - bargain.

I've got the ingredients for the turkey steaks recipe from the new April magazine, might do that today or maybe tomorrow.  I can live on leftovers easily for the rest of the week.  I haven't had eggs for ages so feel the need for them too. 

I think I'm going to sign up for the National Trust again to get free car parking when we go for our walks, although some of them don't open early enough for us to walk.  I'm going to keep my eye out for an offer, they sometimes do 3 months free.  

Another load of food went to the food bank yesterday thanks to Dave driving it over, everyone is so generous, here are this weeks shortages.




Anyway, I have a mom and dog that have just woken up, we had an early night last night because she wasn't in a great mood, so thankfully I'm rested.  Here's to surviving another day. 

Stay BeYOUtiful!   



Monday, 25 February 2019

32 Fit Points in a day!

25th February 2019
Watch your habits, not your weight.

Well I've had a head cold for a couple of days now but it didn't stop me thoroughly enjoying a two hour walk with my brother on the chase yesterday morning.  It was so foggy driving over, then suddenly I got a glimpse of the most amazing huge red sun coming up or moon going down - I'm not sure but it looked stunning.  The trees looked eerie and spectacular backed by the fog, 

That walk earned me 29 Fit Points according to my app and FitBit, I'll take that!  32 FitPoints in a day in total and on a Sunday, I'm impressed and I enjoyed every minute.  Then I came home and walked Alfie, although he didn't want to go far.  

All this helped me with that little half pound I've lost on the scales this morning, that'll do me, I honestly don't want the big losses anymore because to get them I have to make drastic changes to my diet and I don't want to do that.  Like I said yesterday, I enjoy food and wine and wish to continue to enjoy both, so if I can chip away at it, half a pound here and half a pound there whilst tweaking my diet, then I'm more likely to keep the weight off. I'm down into the next stone bracket which made me smile.

I'm going to have some time cooking today, chicken cacciatore from the Freestyle cookbook, then the rest of the week, I shall live from the freezer, I have plenty of meals I've cooked in previous weeks and have frozen the spare portions.  Payday today but thanks to January bills such as car insurance, tax, credit card bills, well you know how it is, I really could do without going shopping too much this month.

I told one of my members Saturday I'd post the butter chicken recipe, I've found the garlic chicken on with it too, which is worth sharing as the curry alone without the rice works out at 5SP for the entire recipe. 

Garlic chicken curry
8sp 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.

Butter Chicken serves 3 sp per serving, 12sp each 

180g dried rice 18sp - cook according to instruction

550g chicken breast diced
5Tbsp Tandoori spice 3sp
1 ½ tbsp can't believe it's not butter light 3sp
5 green cardamom pods lightly crushed
1” cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 small onions finely chopped I used 3 shallots
1 heaped tbsp grated ginger
1-2 green chillies slit lengthwise
2 tsp paprika
2tsp curry powder (any)
2 tsp garam masala powder
3 tbsp tomato puree 1sp
120ml Elmlea light cream 7sp
5 teaspoons sweet freedom syrup 4sp
1/2 tsp fenugreek leaf powder (Sainsbury's)
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander for garnish

Marinade chopped chicken for few hours in the tandoori spice then oven cook till tender.

Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan and add the butter. Add green cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves. Fry for 20 seconds, add the onions and sauté for 5-7 mins on medium heat until they take on a light brown colour.

Add the grated ginger and slit green chillies. Fry for a further minutes and add the curry powder, paprika, garam masala powder along with the tomato puree. Stir well and cook for a couple of minutes. Now gradually add the cream stirring continuously to mix all the spices with the cream. Simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. At this stage add a splash of water if the curry is too thick. Stir in the syrup and the fenugreek powder. Season to taste. Now add the cooked chicken pieces and simmer the curry on a low heat for 8-10 minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

Here's to starting the week well, 8 weeks to the first bank holiday Monday of the year!  WOW, then that'll be followed by another 3 by the end of August, you could set yourself some mini goals using those dates, or maybe you have other dates or events in mind.  My goals now are around walking and getting fit again, a good Sunday walk each week will do me the world of good, I already hit 10k steps 4 of 7 days, it's 5 now we walk on Sundays, I'm only a few thousand steps out on a Monday and Friday so maybe I'll work up to doing that extra bit.  March in March, get those legs stepping out, tone them up ready for the sunshine.  What's your next goal? 

Happy Monday, 

Stay BeYOUtiful!   


Sunday, 24 February 2019

8 weeks till Chocolate Sunday!

Sunday 24th February
Eat like you give a damn about yourself.

It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change.
It takes 8 weeks for your friends & family to notice.
It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.
It takes ONE DAY to decide that you are enough. 

We're at the end of the 8th week of 2019, how have those weeks gone?  Are your friends and family starting to notice or didn't it go as planned?  Either way, that's okay!

It's 8 weeks today until Easter Sunday, how would you like those weeks to go, what results would you like to see from them. 

I do and always have believed that you can be healthy at any weight, that you are already BeYOUtiful, hence my spelling of the world.  Being 'thin' doesn't make you healthy, pretty or happy come to that, it doesn't give you confidence, the confidence you can have at any weight - it's just a decision.  I know plenty of what people would call 'big girls' who run marathons, exercise daily, eat healthy and rock any outfit they choose to wear.  My BeYOUtiful smile doesn't change according to the number on the scales, it changes depending on the day I'm having or what's happening in my life at the time.  

Yeah, I'm overweight but that's because I have this passion for too much food and wine, not because I eat the wrong foods, I cook most of the food I eat from scratch and most of it is from fresh ingredients.  Of course I eat some of the not so healthy stuff, I finally caved and had giant caramel snack a jacks yesterday, me, mom and Alfie shared the packet, I knew I wouldn't stop once I bought them which is why I waited a few weeks and made sure I didn't open them whilst alone, it did replace my lunch though.

I'm in a really good place at the moment, I'm about to go for a good walk with my brother on the chase, I've already got some onions in the slow cook with ginger and garlic (experimenting with an idea!), I've had a cracking good nights sleep, yeah we went about 7pm, because we can, I was tired, mom was getting agitated, I could feel a bit of a head cold coming on, so it made sense.

Yesterday I said NO, because I put myself first, that's so important and something more people should do, it's not selfish - it's self care.  I no longer get caught up in all the crap going on, I like my calm, quiet little world, I love sitting there with mom watching tv with my crochet and in the summer I'll love sitting in the garden with mom listening to the radio, letting her read the papers to me whilst I crochet.  Who knows I might get my love of gardening back and sort the front garden out but I have a feeling I won't, I keep longingly looking at people having theirs flattened to make way for two cars and no plants, clean and tidy, no that I like the sound of! 

The last few days of sunshine have made me long for summer, but I do love a bit of spring so no hurry.  Would I like to lose a stone by then - HELL YEAH, will I be miserable and unhappy with my life if I don't - HELL NO!    I love every lump and bump I have, for the first time in my life, I have breasts that don't come off when I remove my bra, okay I have a belly to match but you can't have it all and I do like having some boobs at least now you can tell if I'm male or female easily ;) 

Right I'm off to get ready for a good walk, mom's happy in bed, I'm nip and get her papers and I'll be back before she has chance to miss me.

Happy Sunday peeps, make sure you do something you enjoy.  Oh and I just love this; 

Stay BeYOUtiful!   


Saturday, 23 February 2019

Loving the sunshine

Saturday 23rd February 2019
There are so many BeYOUtiful reasons to be happy.
I've just had almost 8 1/2 hours solid sleep - bliss, the alarm woke me up with a startle I can tell you!  Friday night is always my best sleep of the week, I'm sure it's thanks to the massage I have in the morning, we were in bed just after 8.

Yet another glorious day weather wise, Alfie and I had two walks, slow walks but still moving I guess.  Foodwise I had the other Sainsbury's vegan pizza for 13SP forgot the photo but it was tasty, 
Then I made this chicken tonight for 6SP a portion, 

Thought I'd had a carton of butter beans to it for zero points 
 All this for 12SP 
 but I'm not going to lie, the butterbeans weren't a success and most got left on the plate. 

They weren't the best, I can eat them when their mashed up or I've had them in a salad before but these ones weren't great, it's the texture plus there ain't a lot of taste, they need disguising better!  Actually they'd be great in a soup instead of potatoes whizzed up to make it creamy, that would work and they're zero. 

That's mom awake, so I'll be off to sort her out, looking forward to my workshop this morning 
Then it's a weekend of relaxation and a good walk Sunday morning, not sure where yet, so if you have any suggestions let me know.

Keep on track, stay BeYOUtiful!   



Friday, 22 February 2019

Do you want to regret not starting?

Friday 22nd February 2018
Slow progress is better than no progress

30 Days from now you can either be blown away by how much you've improved in how you look, feel and behave or you can regret not having done your best - the choice is yours!  If you're really serious about losing weight you need to be completely honest with yourself about what you're eating! 
And drinking of course!

Make today the day you decide to make it through the weekend, not to use Friday as a sod it day, make this 7 days of February count, then decide to step up in March.  It was such a sunny, lovely day here yesterday, it really was, 15.5 degrees when I got in the car, in February. that's not the norm.  It was a good reminder that I wanna do this, I may have only lost a few pounds this year but I've lost them and I'm ready to lose a few more.  Will it be easy - NO, worth it - MOST DEFINITELY!

I've been looking through the WW mag and Freestyle cookbook for recipes and have chosen a few, I fancy the chicken cacciatore from the cook book, never cooked on of those so just need to order the ingredients.  I fancy the pizza and lemon turkey from the magazine, have already added those recipes to my shopping basket, need to pick a delivery day.  I have enough food in fridge for today so I may have them delivered tomorrow or even Sunday depending on availability.  Ooo check me out, planning meals, see it's not so difficult, you've just got to want to do it and that might involve battling with a few inner demons and having a few internal arguments but it can be done.

I've got me some 0% Greek yogurt, the Total one is more expensive but it is nicer I think, it was on offer in the shop, I'm going to have it for breakfast with fruit to ensure I get some fruit each day. 

There was a bit of a theme to my meals yesterday, I had lentils for breakfast with a Sainsbury's flat bread. 

mild chicken curry for lunch 

Then Harj's chick pea curry for tea 

They were all delicious, they all used Harj's base and they all filled me up and took my mind off food for the in-between hours. 

Add to that a busy day of workshops where members were wonderful as always and the day flew by, I did have to waste an hour trying to sort mom's prescription but I've realised not discussing the not so good stuff at home is helping, why live through it twice, I'd rather focus on other stuff.  I'm loving my time to reflect book that Tina bought me, filling it in every day with 3 things I'm thankful for or enjoyed, memories worth remembers or it says which I like just gentle reminders to yourself.  It really helps to focus on the positives.

Well I better get moving, I know I don't have to go to work today, but I have work to do, a dog to walk and not forgetting a massage to enjoy, that'll go on my 3 things for sure. 

Right I'm off, I'm just having an online chat with my bro, he started his chemo yesterday, another reminder to enjoy every day peeps.

Have a very, great day, 

Stay BeYOUtiful!   



Thursday, 21 February 2019

Best recipes ever!

Thursday 21st February 2019
Not there yet? Have a great day & you'll be closer tomorrow!

Lovely day yesterday spent doing things I love, cooking, walking, working, in that order too!  I also had my annual review with my manager and I think that went pretty well, of course there's always room for improvement but what I did appreciate was the recognition for all the hard work I put in and the results I get especially with the responsibilities that I have.  I felt good after the call, I really did. 

Then I sat and had me ten minutes looking through the new magazine, there are so many good recipes in their, I'm super excited for the new cookbook arriving next month now, it's all about 5 ingredients which is brilliant, I love an easy recipe.  Anyway turns out I need to eat the food in the fridge cos I want to cook some recipes the weekend from the mag, including pizza, there's on recipe just like the pizza I ate yesterday, how fabs that.

I finally got round to try to make Harj's curry and lentils, both dishes took over an hour, if you follow her instructions properly, there's a lot of standing around and patience, I even nipped to the shop at one point whilst the onions were doing their thing. 

 I can't explain how good these two pans of food made me feel, I've always wanted to master an Indian dish so I can just come in and throw it all in the pan.  I know feel like with a bit of practice I'm going to be able too. 

It wasn't bad for a first attempt, I even had the thumbs up off Suman and Harjit themselves, next time more chilli (check me out getting brave).  I had the lentils for my breakfast, they worked out at 1SP per 100g cooked weight because I used 3 tablespoons of oil in the recipe, I guess I could use less but they were lush.  For my lunch I had sister food, chicken and orzo with veg, forgot how good a cold orzo salad was.  

Then for my tea I had friend food, a Harj special, courgette, potato and peas, perfect again of course, she's given me a pot of chick pea yumminess too and I'm guilty already because I plan to have them for my breakfast, foods food in my house, I can eat it any time, there are no rules! 
it might not look like a pretty bowl of food, but this is what proves beauty is only skin deep, this dish was so full of flavours, just divine.

                   This is the recipe and photos I followed to make Harj's curry lentil soup, now you could try using less oil, Harj doesn't measure her oil, she's a bit like Jamie Oliver and does the 'glue' thing (I used 3 tablespoons this time) if you wanted but I have to say, for me it was worth the points, I weighed the pot into portions at the end and had 1.6kg total which works out at 1SP per 100g of soup, lush. Seriously lush!  I could honestly eat that for breakfast every day, I guess normal folk would eat it for lunch.  I did however only use the 1 tablespoon on the chicken curry and that was sound so I'd probably try it with 1 tablespoon next time and save some points.  I forgot to wash my lentils too :) 

Harj's Lentil curry soup 
4SP for the whole pan with these ingredients

1 small cup red lentils, mung yellow lentils & chana dal (pulses). 
2 tsp turmeric 
Boiling water - I used 2 kettle fulls
Base - 2-3 onions 
Garlic - I used 1 frozen block - you get these from Asda or other supermarkets 
Ginger - 1-2 blocks 
3 x green chilli’s add more if you like it spicier
1tbs olive oil - 4SP 
1-2tsp cumin seeds 
Tomatoes - either tinned which need to be purée or passata. 
1tsp garam masala 
Coriander (optional)

Wash all lentils in saucepan with warm water - drain water and add boiling water. 
Add salt & turmeric, bring to the boil be careful not to let it boil over, then turn gas down and simmer, cover saucepan but didn’t cover completely otherwise dhal will boil over - leave to simmer stirring occasionally until it start to thicken and looks like soup consistency. This can take up to 30-45mins to get right consistency. 

chop onions add to separate saucepan and add olive oil.  

Cook for 5 mins and add garlic, ginger and chopped chili, if onions start sticking to saucepan keep adding water. 

You need to cook onions until they are more or less purée, then add tomatoes. 

Cook onions/tomatoes until they look like a paste then add to the lentils which should now have cooked and look like soup. Also add 1tsp of garam masala and coriander if required.

Here's the photos she sent me to work with;

285g / 10oz 

add 2 level teaspoons salt to the lentils

2 teaspoons of turmeric added to lentils

add boiling water (1 x kettle) 

For the base 
chop 3 onions

garlic, ginger and green chillis

 boil the lentils then simmer 

add olive oil to onions, add garlic, then ginger
Then cut chilli and add 
optional you can add cumin seeds - 1 tsp
lentils will thicken when simmering

add water if onions start sticking 
 once onions are cooked and this consistency add tomatoes (I use pasata)

about a quarter on a 500g carton
add garam masala to lentils, half to one teaspoon
onions should start to look like this

Now they are cooked, add to lentils

Finished product
 Total cooking time 50 minutes to cook lentils, by the time the onion (thurka) had cooked it was an hour.  I did add another half kettle of water to lentils as well.  

And that is the magic of Harjit, the 'THURKA' is the onion base, if you can master that to your tastebuds it's the base for any curry you want to make, add any ingredients to it and you have it sussed.  I'll never make one as good as hers but if I can be a good copy, I'll take that. 

I need to get gone, I've a day job to get to ;) Here's to a very great day, let's make ourselves a priority!

Stay BeYOUtiful!