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Thursday, 31 October 2019

Halloween or Hello Wine?

Thursday 31st October 2019
I've found that if you tuck one part of your trouser leg into your sock, people expect less of you 😛

Yesterday once again showed me how many wonderful people I have in my life, I posted that Aldi was discontinuing my favourite wine and that if anyone could get me any from any stores I'd be really grateful, I'd hoped to get out for a quick drive to store myself but mom starting to have a panic about me leaving the house so I couldn't.  Well at least half dozen went on the search for me, not all were successful but it's the thought that counts.   Should you find yourself close to an Aldi, go have a look for me Cambalala pinotage-shiraz it is £3.95 a bottle, get me whatever is on the shelf, I'll reimburse you ;) 

Today I need to get back to tracking properly, I managed a stayed the same on the scales again yesterday, by the skin of my teeth, then last night I finally caved and treated myself to fish and chips from the chippy after work, I have to say the chips were great but the fish well it was a bit dry, I'd rather have had one of the ones in my freezer.  I couldn't eat all the chips, I weighed what was left after mom and I had some each and it was 300g, so the portion was quite the size to start with!  It's out my system now anyway, I've been craving it for a few weeks now and I'm glad it wasn't all that, I could've made a few meals with what it cost too!

I realised yesterday upon some investigation of the progress of moms illness that her symptoms are all there in the information https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/symptoms-and-diagnosis/how-dementia-progresses/progression-alzheimers-disease except the life expectancy bit, she's outliving that lol, fighter for sure, it's been almost 6 years since she had her official diagnosis of vascular dementia and Alzheimers but she'd had it for a year or two prior and I'd just not bothered to have her diagnosed because she didn't want to admit it and I couldn't see the point.  She is getting much worse now though and it's the hardest thing to watch, seeing her get scared / frustrated / angry / emotional and it's not just her actions it's the look on her face and the fear in her eyes, it breaks my heart.  If I didn't have to work for the wages, I'd seriously contemplate staying home all the time until she passes as I appear to be her comfort blanket right now, she still has her turns when I'm there but she's definitely not as bad.  Anything out of the norm just terrifies her, hence me going to the shop, I feel for any old person who's having to do what I'm doing for a loved one, it's hard enough at my age so it must be exhausting as you get older. 

Anyway, let's talk about something else, I watched a couple of videos yesterday, one was Robbie talking to WW about mental health, worth a watch if you have half hour to spare 

🎥 YouTube: https://youtu.be/VLtODLeXhro
🎙 Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/2MfacFi
🎙 Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2M5c7MD
🔗 More info: http://bit.ly/WWUKPodcast

The other was a simple Facebook video why don't we talk anymore, it's good to talk, apparently there's 9 million people in Britain that are lonely.  When Bonnie dropped off my wine yesterday, her lad went in and gave mom some chocolate and crisps, mom talked about him for ages afterwards and he was only in there a couple of minutes.  Can you imagine what it's like to be stuck in your house day in, day out and not see a soul?   Cadbury's are doing a campaign too for Age UK, they tell us there’s a crisis in the UK. 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness. 225,000 often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. Just a simple hello, or checking in on them, https://youtu.be/6C0h4HjkJgA a few little words makes all the difference. 

Ooo it's Halloween today, I'm not a fan if I'm honest, but it's very popular now isn't it, so if you're celebrating enjoy and don't use it as an excuse to forget being healthy for the rest of the week, you know that won't help you in the long term.  As one of my members last night said, remember why you're doing this and he's doing great with his weight loss, he's smiling too!  Yes when we eat well, we feel well, when we feel well, we smile more, simples.  On that note I'm go get ready for work, although it's only 5am still (thanks mom lol).  Catch some of you in my workshops today, otherwise I'll bore you with my blog again tomorrow, mwah

luv ya 

Love me xx

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Food and Mood

Wednesday 30th October 2019
Take one small step every day, they add up - I promise! 

Yesterday I decided November is going to be a month where I raise money for Mind the charity for better mental health https://www.mind.org.uk. I'm still ironing out my plans and ideas but I'll keep you all informed as I do don't worry, there will definitely be a blanket raffle to win something to snuggle under over Christmas or maybe to gift to another.  I'll use this blog to share some ideas for mental health as well I think as I know that will help me as well. I know crocheting helps my mental health massively when I'm sitting for hours on end with mom but lately moms suffering too with anxiety and panic attacks so now more than ever I want to understand these things and find ways to help.  

Obviously with me being a WW coach, the best place for me to start is by looking at what we eat, the relationship between what we eat and how we feel, there's some info on their website food and mood and here it is summed up in a few steps. 

Food and mood 

8 ways to get you thinking about how your food affects your mood. 

1. Eat regularly. 

If your blood sugar drops it can make you feel tired, irritable or depressed. Eating regularly will keep your sugar levels steady.Try food that releases energy slowly, like food high in protein such as nuts and seeds, oats and wholegrains. 

2. Make sure you're getting the right fats.  

Your brain needs fatty oils such as omega 3 and 6 to keep it working well. So rather than avoiding all fats, it's important to eat the right ones.  Try eating food high in the good fats, like oily fish, chicken, nuts like walnuts and almonds, olive and sunflower oils, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, avocados, or milk, yoghurt, cheese and eggs.  (there's lots of WW zero hero's there!) 

3. Increase your protein. 

Protein has amino acids in it. These make up the. chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings. It also helps control your blood sugar levels. So, try eating protein rich foods - lean meat, fish, eggs, cheese, legumes like peas, beans, and lentils, nuts and seeds. (Again zero hero's make this easier)

4. Drink more.  

If you're not hydrated enough you might find it difficult to concentrate or think clearly. You might also start to feel constipated, which puts no one in a good mood.  Water is great, but why not try drinking herbal or green tea, or diluted fruit juice.  

5. Eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables.  

Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins and fibre we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy. Eating a variety of different colours every day means you'll get a good range of nutrients. (This was covered a couple of weeks ago in workshops and they're zero hero's too, makes sense doesn't it this WW lark!) 

6. Cut down on the caffeine. 

Having too much caffeine can make you feel anxious and depressed, disturb your sleep, especially if you're having it last thing at night, or give you withdrawal symptoms when you stop suddenly.  Caffeine is in things like coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and energy drinks. You might feel better if you stop drinking caffeine completely, but just cutting down will help too.  

7. Pay attention to your gut. 

Your gut and your brain use similar chemicals, so keeping your gut healthy can help to keep your brain healthy too. Healthy gut foods include fibre rich foods like fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, and live yoghurts which contain probiotics.  Remember that it might take time for your gut to get used to a new eating pattern, so make changes slowly.  

8. Are you intolerant? 

Sometimes people have food intolerances which can affect both your mental and physical health.  If you're worried you might be intolerant, you could contact a professional dietitian or nutritionist.  Remember that any changes you make might take time for your body and your mind to get used to.  So, if you're changing to a new eating pattern, it might take a while for you to start feeling the benefits. 

Even if you're off track, you can try to do these things, we all feel better when we eat better don't we?  Yeah we do!

Right I'm going to refill my water tumbler, I'm thinking eggs for breakfast, protein on a plate right there, hard-boiled ones make great snacks too, or smashed with a little mayo on your sandwich or in a salad box. nom nom, I think I'll get some fish out the freezer for dinner, more good protein and it'll be my second portion this week so following the healthy eating guidelines.  I may not be great at losing weight right now but I'm trying to take care of me all the same.  Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Do you MIND? I'm going to!

Tuesday 29th October 2019
Keep taking time for yourself until you are you again.

We went to bed before 8 last night, actually I think I was asleep by 8 and she's been pretty well behaved, I've heard her go to the toilet a few times, she does nothing quite, there's a lot of huffing and puffing and cussing but I was left till half 4, so I've managed 8 hours almost even with the wake ups.  I can tell too she seems to get better the more I'm at home so by Tuesday morning I've had a few days at home.  Although when I tried to walk Alfie yesterday morning, I had to rush back because she was having a panic and I could see her trying to open the front door, so I called her.  I'm considering walkie talkies so I can talk to her whilst I'm out walking him lol.

So last night I signed up to do Mind's crafternoon on November 30th to fundraise for better mental health by getting together with your favourite people this Christmas for a bit of crafting.  I believe mental health is just as important as physical health if not more so these days, as I've realised with everything in my life if I can't stay mentally positive, I have no chance of taking care of the physical side.  Now I saw it advertised the other day and thought that's a great idea but I can't do it with mom it's going to be too difficult and cause her more disruption, but then last night when I was sat in the house with her knowing I couldn't go anywhere, I thought how many other people are in similar situations?  I think I'm going to do a virtual crafter noon, as long as we're raising money and getting people to give crafting of some sort a go to make them realise how therapeutic it really is, that's all that matters.  I'll offer to help anyone with their crochet if they bring it to the workshop, I even have some spare hooks I can give out for members to have a go with.  Obviously I need to work all this out but the idea is there, let me know if you want to get involved and if you have any ideas.

My mental health is being helped enormously by my crochet, this was what I did yesterday, I enjoyed it immensely, I got a little frustrated a couple of times but in a good way, because the satisfaction at the end of it is just amazing.  Oh and the smiles on the face of those who end up with my work is always wonderful, maybe I can crochet something to raffle off as well, that always helps raise some money, something snuggly for Christmas cuddling.

I made this simple dish yesterday, it was a piece of trout out of the freezer with leftover cabbage and sprouts, then I roasted courgette and red pepper and had with a vesta rice tub, nom nom.  Only the rice and the knob of butter that was in the trout packet that needed pointing.

There was a video on WW UK Facebook page yesterday for this recipe, it looks delicious Red lentil and butternut squash dhal, if you're a member I hope you check your emails from WW UK regularly, there was a good one yesterday 😉

I'm looking forward to my workshops this week, I really am, I'm so lucky that my job is such a social occasion because that's keeping me from becoming a complete hermit.  Mom had her feet done yesterday and I was able to walk Alfie whilst the lady was here, I was so grateful and mom enjoyed half hour talking to someone else, I could tell when I got back, although she was asking for a mirror to look at her hair because she'd forgot it was the foot lady and not the hairdresser, that made me smile.  If you need your feet doing, this lady is lovely and reasonably priced too.

Well, I feel really good and refreshed this morning, ready for my day, got a cause to raise some funds for which is always a good thing, a day of lovelies to look forward to seeing and a week ahead to tackle.  Now all I need to do is get back to losing a few pounds - oops!  I've got maintenance sussed lol, it's all good, as long as I'm not gaining, I'm not going to beat myself up.  I can stay away from the shops till the weekend I think, I have some veg left to use and plenty to go at in the cupboards.  Getting good at this staying away from the shops, meanwhile I'm adding to my shopping list for when I do go shopping.   Amazon is really useful you know, mom goes through Rennies like they're sweets and I usually pay around £4.85 for 72, sometimes their on offer, I've got them off amazon for £15 for 4 packs of 96!  I've just looked and they're only £14 this morning.  See it pays to shop around for stuff you have regular.

Anyway that's too much info about the boring stuff lol, let's get on with our day, mwah.

Luv you,

Love me

Monday, 28 October 2019

Autumn colours and roast veg mmm

Monday 28th October 2019
The business of life is the acquisition of memories (Carson, Downton abbey)

Who knew my liking of going to bed so early would one day become a necessity 😉 last nights escapades of mom included waking me up around 1ish to tell me about her clock and that she was scared it was going to electrocute her, so I offered to remove it from the room and she was happy with that, the next waking involved a request for toilet paper and then this morning when I went into her around half four her first line was, 'I have no idea of the time, I don't even have a clock'.  Gotta love her!  

We didn't have too bad a day yesterday, a bit of sundowning around tea time but otherwise not so bad, I'm still amused that we've had the heating in the house on all summer and I've had to walk round in my bra and pants and now it's actually gone colder outside, she's having hot flushes and we're sitting with the window open.  

One of my happy's from yesterday though included the best dinner ever.  Knowing that I get less likely to cook as the day goes on, I prepared my veggies early on.

I went all out, chicken thighs (yes I know they're higher in points but they're also delicious and cheaper plus I only had 1 and if I'd bought a chicken I would've ended up eating all the skin anyway and leaving the breast for the dog like I usually do!) roast parsnips, orange and yellow carrots, onions and spuds, then I did cabbage, mash and sprouts, not forgetting the Yorkshire of course.  How many points?  No clue, I didn't work it out, it was the only meal I had all day and my body needed those veggies. 

Thanks to my sister sitting with mom, I managed a walk with my brother after I walked Alfie, we went without dogs as one of his had a poorly paw, it was a refreshing change to walk at our own pace I have to say.  

It was also wonderful to see the cygnets starting to turn from grey to white, did you know a group of swans is called a bevy, no wonder I like to see them!  Seeing all 3 of the cygnets had survived was a wonderful sight.  It was a glorious crisp morning yesterday, the autumn colours in the trees with the bright sun was incredible, just look at those colours; 

It may have only been an hour and 2.5 miles but it cleared my head and every step counts, activity adds up, we don't have to get all sweaty at the gym, this is free and on my door step, most people in the UK have a canal path local or something similar, heck just a walk round their local streets can bring interesting things to look at, if you only pay attention.   I managed to earn 14 FitPoints yesterday, with that walk and the dog walk, plus the quick walk over the Co-op for those chicken thighs, 2 for £4, 5 in each tray, the other ones gone in the freezer.  I could've had 6 from Aldi for £1.65, they would've been about £1 per KG cheaper, this is why I need to try and plan a little more, it'd definitely help me save even more money.  

That's what we're discussing in workshops this week, truths about moving more, of course as always we'll recap on the week before and cover anything that pops up in the chat, that's why I love the workshops, no two are the same. 

Well I reckon this morning should be all about planning, both my workshop notes and some meals, getting a shopping list in order so that I don't have to run over the local shop next weekend.  I don't have to cook today as I made a spare dinner, which I actually want for my breakfast because it was so good, I wanted it last night but I was still stuffed from the first one, you can't beat good grub and that was most definitely good grub, even if I do say so myself!  I mean parsnips, I can't believe the last time I had parsnips and when I did, I hadn't cooked them myself from scratch.  I love this time of year, stewed, casseroles, dinners, ooo I can make a stew this week again, I bought some whoopsie beef whilst I was over the Co-op so at least that made up for the price of the chicken lol.   Another meal I need to have is cod in butter sauce, I'd said in my workshop Saturday that now the cod in them is so tiny, I would add an extra frozen cod fillet, then yesterday Tina came up with a great idea of using one to make a fish pie for one, what a great idea, add a bit of salmon or prawns if you're not allergic like me, then plonk a bit of mash on top and you have fish pie, genius!

I can't top that so I'll get on with my day, here's to a good one, you in?  It is Monday after all, chance to press reset. 

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me xx

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Nice to get an extra hour

Sunday 27th October 2019
Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.

In bed by 8 I was, oh yes, I'll take the chance of sleep whenever I can, anyone who's heard of or experienced 'sundowning' in a dementia sufferer will know how unpleasant it can be, well after quite a good day, we had a no so good sundowning so when she said she wanted to go to bed I was 'hell yeah, let's do that!'  Initially I'd planned to watch tele on my phone for a bit but instead she asked me to stay with her for a bit, which I did, I listened to her chat, then I went to bed and actually slept.  We were both startled at midnight when for some unknown reason her clock in her room decided to alarm!  Not sure why but she's messed with it over the last few days so could've pressed anything.  The upside of that was we'd be getting an extra hour in bed (yeah in case you haven't yet, the clocks went back in the night).  She did a bit of walking about in the night but nothing too bad, I've managed  probably 7 or 8 hours of broken sleep but sleep all the same and now it's 5 and we've been up an hour, I've been playing on the internet looking for my next crochet project, which I may have finally found.

I made my grey peas but they don't taste so great, I'm not sure why, but I'm thinking would foxes like them?  I did eat a bowl yesterday, had toast for breakfast so once again, didn't fill my meals with veggies.  I do solemnly swear today I will cook cabbage and carrots and eat some proper food!  One cannot live on bites of cheese and ham from the fridge alone, especially now it's all gone lol.

Payday yesterday, I'm still on a spending diet and I'm not doing badly if I'm honest, I've cut down massively on what I spend on food and drink, I haven't bought any none essentials, I lie, I've just spent 80p on a pattern for a baby blanket, we'll call that my payday treat ;) It's surprising me how often I go to buy something without really thinking do I need this or just want it and if I just want it, would I still want it in a months time or do I have something similar, am I been greedy.

I'm loving trying to eat in a more simplistic way too, not overthinking food is probably why I'm not eating as well as I should be so I need to balance that out.  I need to get my kitchen mojo back, cook some good hearty food that will satisfy me both physically and emotionally.   One of my members said her plan for the week was to eat fish twice at least because that's what we're advised to, she has a point, I'll make a conscious effort to do the same.  It's so easy to cook too, either use the Maggi liners or cook in the bags or pan fry or microwaves, even pop it in some foil in the oven, 20 minutes and its cooked, I still have some in my freezer too.

I'm hoping for a walk this morning, think it's finally stopped raining, Alfie's not been out for two days, I was impressed with a busy workshop yesterday though, they weren't scared of the rain, we all supported each others struggles, celebrated the successes and generally enjoyed our morning.

Here's to enjoying my day, Alfie's dogging me, I need to go show him it's still dark.  Catch ya tomo

Mwah, luv ya

Love me xx

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Ooo it might be raining but at least it's Saturday

Saturday 26th October 2014
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are

Not a bad night, mom only woke me once at 1ish, she could get the lights on, Alzheimers/Dementia is fascinating really, for some reason she had unplugged both her side lamp and her clock and put her clock facing down on the window sill.  I stayed with her until she settled, then went back to bed.  I've had bad dreams which has meant I was glad to wake up if I'm honest which I did around half four.   Got all weekend to rest once I've enjoyed my workshop this morning.  

Not gonna lie, my diet didn't exactly have a plan yesterday or go to one, I started with the intention of doing well, made baked beans but used cannellini beans instead of haricot and they were too soft, I also put lentils and curry paste with some frozen onions and water in the slow cooker and that worked but I didn't fancy it, I blended both and combined them to make sauce/soup, which will last a few days or I'll freeze, if I don't add any water, I could use it as a curry sauce and add chicken, or a dip for chips, I can add the water when it's defrosted, take less room up in freezer.  Anyway I ended up having a couple of cobs with tongue on and 3 chocolate biscuits!  Then a bag of crisps, could've been worse I guess, I was just worn out, thankfully we went to bed early. 

Today's another day, let's hope I make it a bit healthier, I fancy a proper dinner with pork chop, veggies and gravy but that could change by lunch time.   But the again I could just eat a whole chicken!  Yeah I'm craving a good hot meal after yesterdays not so wise food choices.  

I bought grey peas yesterday to make some of those too, got them soaking, will be able to add to my freezer stock, £1.50 for a bag of grey peas from the pet shop - bargain, then I just need some bacon bits or gammon bits, depending on how healthy you want to be, but to be honest as the peas are zero points, streaky bacon is 9SP per 100g, lean back bacon is 7SP per 100g, bacon medallions are 2SP per 100g and lean gammon is 3SP per 100g, so they still work out pretty low in points for a meal whichever option you use.  I could just eat them for breakfast now, but I can't obviously as they're not cooked and I don't have the bacon yet. 

Realistic plans and goals, that's what's important right now, on days I don't get much sleep because of mom, or when she's really struggling, I'm not going to add to my stress by having too high expectations of myself, instead I will do the best I can, then on the good days I'll do better.  She really is my priority right now, that doesn't mean I'm going to ignore myself, but I'm not going to put pressure on myself at all. 

My focus is keeping my food bill down and still enjoying my food, home made soups will definitely help that, I just have to be careful I don't have loads of bread with the soup.  Bread is my nemesis, I love the stuff and could easily eat it all the time, need to watch that, because yes it's a cheap, easy option but not the healthiest if it's replacing other things that are needed in my diet. 

Here's to a positive day, I finished my huge baby blanket I was doing yesterday so I need to decide what I'm going to work on next, so many ideas, so little time lol.  I am pleased with how it turned out though, https://www.crochet-world.com/patterns/pdfs/heirloom.pdf. Then pattern was for a very fine yarn but when it arrived and I did a sample piece it was too coarse to use, I returned the other balls, and used double knit instead which is why it turned out so big.  Anyway I'm just waffling now, but then again, this is like my diary I don't actually think people read it, I just like to get stuff out of my head, as there's not much adult conversation in this house these days, I never have been much of a conversationalist to start with, not one for small talk either so this way I just do a brain dump each morning and start a fresh day with a clear mind.  Ooo egg fried rice!  See that's how my brain works, I'll be thinking about something completely different and a meal idea jumps into my head, too many meal ideas, not enough days to fit them all in.  My mate has always said I have too many tabs open, I used to say something to her and she wouldn't have a clue what I was on about, it was because I'd been having the first part of the conversation in my head thinking she could read my mind!  

I'm off now, sorry if I kept you from anything interesting ;) 

Mwah, luv ya dow I!

Love me x

Friday, 25 October 2019

50 shades of dark circles under my eyes

Friday 25th October 2019
Sometimes the things we can't change, end up changing us.

"When are we going home then?" That was the question I was greeted with at 4am, at 3am I was woken to be told she'd found a fiver in her bedroom drawer but she couldn't find her purse, I knew it was going to be a bad night before I even left her room last night around 10ish and I wasn't disappointed.  Thankfully I don't have to go to work today, I just wished there was something that could be done to help, but there doesn't seem to be, even the sleeping tablet doesn't seem to do anything at all, then when she does sleep she's going to another world that she thinks is a reality and brings back to this one with her.  Today's going to be a long one that's for sure.

At least I'll get to finish the blanket I'm working on, maybe I'll cook something up in the kitchen, make use of some of those hours but also I'll try to rest as well so that I have the energy to make it through the day with patience and love for mom.

Let's talk weight loss, after all that's what I'm in the business of!  Another great day yesterday, iI never tire of seeing something someone absolutely buzzing over their first weight loss after joining WW and I wasn't disappointed yesterday either, especially on the night she was almost bouncing at the scales, then I could hear her calling others to tell them how well she'd done, she was so pleased.  It really is a wonderful sound, but even better if it's possible is watching someone continue to succeed week in, week out and knowing that they're not just losing weight, they're embracing the changes they are putting in place and enjoying the journey, one member yesterday is cooking so much more and loving the meals they're eating.  Then there's when a member teaches or shares knowledge with others, we're all learning of the things you can cook in your slow cooker from one of my lovely ladies, she did rice pudding this week, see you can do more than throw a stew in the pot.

Yeah it's a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together, almost 15 years and I'm still enjoying it.  It helps that I have wonderful helpers surrounding me too, I couldn't do any of it without them, even if they have to work late they still do their best to get to me as soon as possible, it truly is appreciated.

It's that time of year where some of us start to struggle, this can be the change in the seasons, the drop in temperature, the fact the holidays are over and Christmas is on the way, there's a number of reasons.  I find changing what we eat at this time of year takes some adjustment, going from salads to stews, stir fries to curries and the like, it gets easier though as the weeks go on.  Take it one meal at a time.

I'm obviously trying to eat what I have in the freezer, so I found a packet of Penn Road butchers Chicken breast sausages in the freezer yesterday, we had those with the butternut squash that's been chopped and sitting in the fridge for days, a tin of peas and gravy, simple food that didn't take long to cook, I just through it in the oven for 25 minutes and warmed the peas in the microwave.

We talked fruit and veggies last week in workshop and it's pumpkin lantern time of year so why not cook the middle, here's a recipe I found on the Aldi website I think.  It's 24SP in total, the only pointed think is the dried fruit.  It serves 6 though and it's gluten free, dairy free and vegan.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin, Spinach and Dried Fruit Curry, serves 6, 4SP per portion.

1 Onion - sliced
500g Peeled Pumpkin - cut into wedges
1 tin Chickpeas
3 Garlic Cloves - crushed
3 Chillis - deseeded and sliced
1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tins Chopped Tomatoes
150ml Vegetable Stock
150g Dried Mixed Fruit (24SP)
2 handfuls of spinach
Salt - to taste

Lightly colour the onion in a little oil over a medium heat.
Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 2 minutes.
Turn the heat to low and add the spices and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the spinach and cook on low for at least an hour.
Once ready to serve, check the seasoning and stir in the spinach just before serving.

Serve with your choice of side.

I think I'm going to try cooking a lentil curry in my slow cooker today, cheats style, I'll either use the curry paste (9SP per 100g) that's in the fridge, it's been there a long time but looks ok, or a jar of Pataks saag masala (11SP a jar), frozen onions and lentils, throw it all in and see what happens. 

I've not made a bad start at cutting my spending on food down at all and I intend to continue it throughout November, still got a week left of this month of course which I'll continue to empty the fridge.  Hopefully I can give you some meal ideas through November as you all try to save some pennies ready for Christmas. 

I better go, I can hear her on the move downstairs again!  Wish me luck 😉

Mwah, luv ya 

Love me x  

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Back to basics!

Thursday 24th October 2019
Don't wait for everything to be perfect to enjoy your life. 

Yesterday we talked about how to remotivate yourself so today I thought we'd look at some of the logical things you can do, GO BACK TO BASICS! 

Know your daily and weekly allowance, work out the portion sizes you should be having.  If a packet of food says 'serves 2', there's a clue there, you're supposed to share it or eat it at 2 separate meals.   The portion thing has been instrumental in me saving some money, eat less, eat the correct portions, save money - logical really. 

Also don't assume you know stuff, take baked beans as an example, I opened a can from Aldi and assumed they were all more or less the same points, but they aren't, they vary a lot, I've got to say the taste in the Aldi ones was bang on, I enjoyed them, but looking at a taste test online https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/27/baked-beans-taste-test-heinz-v-supermarket-own-brands the winning taste was Morrisons with 8/10!  Aldi got 5/10 and Heinz 6/10 but I'd happily accept Aldi, just wished they weren't so damn high in Smart Points;

Weight Watchers from Heinz 9SP
Heinz/Morrisons/Asda/Sainsburys 11SP
Corale (Aldi) 13SP

It's 6SP for half the can which is a portion by the way ;) most are 5 or 6 for 1/2 the can so it depends how important that extra Smart Point is to you and how often you eat beans.  I want to try the Morrisons ones out of curiousity now, I'm no bean connoisseur normally I'm not a fan at all but I enjoyed them a lot.  Doh, but of course if I was to take the time I could make my own for zero points, yeah, maybe that's what I need to do, 

If I have some haricot beans in the cupboard that might be what I do, although I don't think I have passata but we'll see.  It can go on my shopping list for when I do go.

There's another basic tip - buy the right food, you can only eat what you buy, get your store cupboard basics right, your shopping list healthy and you've got a head start there. 

Know what you're spending, I mean Smart Points not money here, track it, write it down or use your app, take a marker pen shopping with you and scan the foods whilst you there and write it on the package so it's all done for when you put it in your cupboards.  I've not been able to get an internet connection in our new Aldi, but I was told this week that they have free wifi, so I'll check that out next week when I shop. 

I started using my Alexa to make me a shopping list yesterday, now when I run out of something I can just say, "Alexa, add ...... to my shopping list" this will ensure I don't overspend when I go shopping and I'll only get what I need. 

Finally, use those zero heroes they were chosen because they help form the foundation for a healthy eating pattern, they're tasty too, there's more than chicken and eggs on that list!  

On the app you can find recipes by Smart Points, I know everyone raves over the zero Moroccan-style veggie shepherd’s pie, I might make me a zero omelette for my breakfast, add mushrooms, peppers, spring onions, yeah perfect.  

Don't expect to lose a stone in a day, make changes you're likely to continue and enjoy the journey.  Try new foods, new recipes, get a little adventurous, if you don't make changes, nothing changes.  Attend your workshop each week to keep you on track, to get ideas and to share successes and struggles - you know it makes sense.


Love ya 

Love me xx

Wednesday, 23 October 2019


Wednesday 23rd October 2019
Just because you are struggling doesn't mean you are failing.

I'm not the person I was, even a year ago, I've changed an awful lot over the years, for the better I feel but others may not agree ;) I've done things over the last few years I honestly thought I never would or could.  Someone called me resilient yesterday and yes I liked that description, I am, been awake on and off since 2 with mom, she's not had the best night but I know by soothing her and talking to her, it calms her and she goes back to sleep.  Being so close in the next room she's never alone and scared for long, her dreams are so vivid, I got called 'mom' last night xx So yes I've changed a great deal.

I'd already changed in my attitude to weight loss long before then, I used to be obsessed with my weight, then I decided one day it was more important to love myself for who I was not what I looked like and the game changed.  Don't get me wrong, I still prefer to be lighter, but healthier and happier comes first, I also have a different idea of what my goal weight should be, I'm not guided by the BMI chart but more by how I feel and how liveable that weight is.  So the fact I've lost 1/2lb this week after maintaining for almost a month has made me smile because I know like so many others I'm struggling at the moment to focus and stick to the plan but I know at the same time I haven't gone into full on sod it mode like I have done in the past.

SO when you're STRUGGLING.COM as one of my members posted last night what do you do?

If you've not at the moment, you probably have at some time, we've all been there.  Heck it might be that you've even got to your goal weight, then for some reason you just lose the plot.  It could be that something happens, it could be something as simple as you releasing the reigns a little after being a super strict WWer and you find the WW wagon running away from you and you can't catch it.  Or it might be a life change such as illness or a new job, all these things can cause a wobble.  Maybe you've just got a little too comfortable with the plan and the odd habit is slipping back in you think it's okay, I'll still lose weight, or I'll be okay with a couple of weeks off plan, I'll get back to it and then you can't it's slipping out your control and you feel you've ruined everything.  What to do?

How do we get our mojo back?  Firstly lose the attitude, yeah you know what I'm talking about, the 'What's the point' thinking, the 'I've blown it, I may as well give up', 'Everyone else can do it but me, I'm hopeless'. YEAH lose that, I've been there, self pity isn't pretty and it's not very helpful either.

Okay now you've got rid of grumpy, it's not fair you, let's remind ourselves of how far we've come, even if you've gained all of it like I had back in May, remember you can lose weight, you've done it before.  It's a journey with no final destination!  Life happens, things change, we adapt.  Hell weight loss for me was so much easier when all I had to do was go to work, I used to go to the gym at 6am in the morning or straight from work, I had no responsibilities, my biggest decision was what to blow my wages on when pay day arrived.  Oh for those days, these days it's more like do I have any wages left on pay day, I couldn't go to the gym even if I could afford it.  But I don't mind, that's life and I'm still smiling, all 12st 9.5lb of me, yeah these days I don't care who know what I weigh either, I've been everything from 8st 9lb to almost 14st, they're just numbers, I've been miserable at a size 8 and I'm happy at my size 14/16 now, so yeah I've learned to love what I have.

Stop looking back, you're not going that way, stop regretting decisions you've made, food you've eaten, mistakes you've made, learn from them, look at what you've done and see if you couldn't done something differently, would it have made a difference, did you rush your weight loss, were you too strict, did you cut too many things out.  Give yourself a break!  What's done is done, moving forward make the journey enjoyable, going to WW isn't a punishment!  Losing weight shouldn't make you miserable, you're going to get back to taking care of yourself, because you are the most important person in your life - yes you are.

Let's start by seeing what's going on, get a pad out and write it all down, start tracking again, the app is brilliant, but sometimes it's good to get a good old notebook and use a pen, write down what you eat, when you eat it, why you eat it, what's going on in your life that's influencing your emotions and could you do something to soothe yourself other than eat?  Remember we haven't got to get to goal in a week!  Take your time, visualise your goal, if you choose to make one, maybe like me you'll just decide to eat as healthy as you can and take care of yourself as best as you're able and hopefully weight loss will be a side effect.

Make tweaks not massive changes, it's the little things we do daily that make the difference long term.  Like the tumbler of water I have on my desk that I've been carrying round with me for the last few weeks, I'm drinking 2 or 3 of these a day thanks to the Wellness Wins on the WW app, I don't know why but it's working for me better than a drinks bottle.   Don't forget you get Wins for attending your workshop and that's only one benefit of making sure you go to your workshop every week, if I have to explain the others, I'm in the wrong job!

If rewarding yourself as you lose will help do that too, but not with food, you're not a dog!  Having said that make sure the food you're eating is food you enjoy, you won't still to a weight loss plan for long if you don't enjoy what you're eating.  The temperatures dropped and what we eat will change so give yourself some time to adjust.

Oh and last but not least DON'T COMPARE!  This is your journey, we are all different, at different stages of our life and don't do this for anyone else - DO IT FOR YOU!

WE GOT THIS!  Let's get our pad and pen and start to get back on it, you with me?


Luv ya,

Love me.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Back to work...

Tuesday 22nd October 2019
When someone does something wrong, don't forget all the things they've done right.

Well I unashamedly spent all afternoon yesterday watching Downton Abbey, who knew I could become an addict, before this weekend I'd never seen an episode, not my cup of tea the old period drama but after watching the Churchill film, I wondered if it would be something mom and I could enjoy together, it isn't she's tolerating it but I am 100% involved, with the storylines, the relationships, the whole lot, it has been pure escapism, I'm on series 3 already - oops!  I did do a little housework at least, gave the wet room a good scrub and did the washing ;)

Foodwise, I really am working my way through the freezer,

it was 7SP for the pot of Dahl, the lentils counted as one of my 5 a day too.   I also had the leftover mince and added tomatoes and water chestnuts.  Guilty of eating 3 malted milk and a Bourbon biscuit though, what can I say I was putting the lid back on moms tin as she had fallen asleep, they were calling me.  Speaking of sleep, it's not been a great night for her, one and off the toilet since midnight bless her and she creeps about like a small elephant that can talk and have conversations with the dog, I do have to smile to myself as I try to ignore her saying, 'You can't come with me Alfie, stay there', especially as this morning she's told me how she had a bad night but she was really quiet sneaking to the toilet and whispering to Alfie.  💗

Well I had my hair trimmed for the first time since Dec 2017 yesterday lol, mom was due for her regular trim and I asked if she could just take the dead ends off mine, I tie it up all the time anyway so it doesn't need anything else.  Bless her heart, she offered to blow dry it and then put some curls in as a treat, bit of a pamper for me, she said I deserved it which was so kind, especially as it was her day off too, I took a couple of pics to prove it could be done, as it's back in a ponytail this morning, it did make me smile though, especially as the rest of the day was a difficult one with mom, she's having hot flushes / panic attack things.  Again I'm having to smile as we spent the summer with the heating up full blast and now its colder, she's suddenly hot and we've got the windows open lol!  Anyway, look at me with my curly hair, 50 in January, omg where did that time go, been a coach 15 years on December 5th, I didn't have a grey hair when I started, look what you've all done to me 😂

now I've made ya jump with those images, let's find something to eat today, I'm really into this being frugal thing, I know it's probably a novelty and won't last but if I can do even one month and get my spending under control, it'll all help.  I was going to nip to Aldi today and buy a few bits but other than a loaf, I could get away without doing so and survive with what I have I reckon.  Okay I don't have loads of veggies but I do have a few tins and a bit of frozen, yeah I'll just get the loaf and resist a little longer, payday Friday.

I know money is important to us all but friendship more so, I'm blessed in that regard, and remember none of us are perfect, we all make mistakes sometimes, we're human and as they say to err is human, to arr is pirate 😉, made me smile anyway!

On that silly note, I'm going to go get ready for work, can't have toast for breakfast, haven't got any bread lol, I'm sure I won't start, I have lots of quinoa, rice and couscous that I need to do something
 with, need to get my cook on, cos that stuff works out cheap.

Here's to a good day, let's make it so, mwah,

luv ya

Love me x

Monday, 21 October 2019

Monday's are just mini New Years!

Monday 21st October 2019
And like the moon we must go through phases of emptiness to feel whole again.

Yay, just realised it's pay day on Friday, phew, not gonna lie, I'm glad, I'm trying not to use my credit card this month for anything but essentials, that's food and moms rennies so far, although that's got to go till the 10th November when my card month changes, I'm 11 days in though, it's damned hard, I'm not gonna lie.  It isn't until you start to become accountable and notice how you waste money (or WW Smart Points) that you realise how easy it is to spend money on stuff you probably don't even need.  For me this week it's included buying some Avon, was going to buy some shampoo and perfume but then realised a) I'm not spending this month and b) I have both of those things at the moment so don't need anymore!   Yesterday I couldn't find my walking socks so ended up wearing my trainers, just thought to myself, I'll buy a couple of pairs, then remembers the Amazon ban and instead decided maybe I just put the socks in the walking boots after they are washed, rather than have more just know where the ones I've got are!   Yes it's easy to keep buying more and more, the one that I'm struggling with is the 3 for 2 yarn in Hobbycraft, that's killing me not to buy lots, but I keep reminding myself, I have plenty of yarn to make lots of things over the coming months and the offer will come round again.  What are you spending money on you could live without?  After all the easiest way to have a tidy house is to have less stuff, which reminds me that's what I'm doing this morning, tidying up - boo.

I did manage to have a walk with my brother yesterday, we walked over Bushbury Hill, I remember it was a cross country route when I was at school, then I got to thinking surely I left that school before I started cross country, not sure what age they start running at school but then I remembered later on I was in the team and ran for the school so I think it was one of those runs, anyway, I don't think I could've run it yesterday lol.  We enjoyed the views and the chat whilst walking though, and I saw a perfect toadstool, of course we didn't pick it, they are poisonous after all.

Oh and this is NOT a tree!  It's on the top of the hill, it's a fake tree mast, how cool is that!

I didn't add any different veggies to my food list yesterday but when I go shopping I will buy some different ones to try, I was a lazy cook / eater yesterday, I had tacos shells stuffed with beef mince and onions seasoned with oxo, it worked for me, I really enjoyed it.  I'd had a bit of toast for breakfast and yes I really need to get back on track, I've lost my mojo a little, the emotions got in the way at the start of the weekend, hormones too, I thought I was done with all that but apparently my body is not yet ready to let me grow my beard and turn into a man!

We talked about pumpkin last week, here's a recipe I've just stumbled across on Pinterest that you might want to try;

Back to it this morning, gonna start by tidying and having a clean up downstairs, then I'm going to see what I can cook using what I already have, thinking maybe simple food today, beans on toast, I also have leftover mince I can have that again.  If I had some peppers and courgette, I could pimp it up a bit, maybe I will go get those things, they are essentials after all, healthy food is worth spending on!   This is where Aldi isn't so great, it doesn't deliver, going out isn't just a case of going, I have to get my sister to come sit with mom as she really doesn't want to be alone at the moment, it makes me sad to see her lose her confidence.

But positive head on, I will have a healthy day, I have frozen peas and sweetcorn, that'll do in the mince, it doesn't have to be fresh veggies, I'll have it with squash chips, I have some of that left.   Yes, we got this, let's have a great week, Monday is always the line drawn day!  Mwah,

Luv ya

Love me xx