Sunday, 23 March 2014

I HAVE MOVED! New blog website!

First of all, I'm extremely sorry that I haven't posted here in a very long time! I've made a fancy new website but I've neglected this old blog.. woops!

I decided to check this site for some reason and had a lovely surprise when I saw how many views it's still getting. (Over 16,000... crazy!)

So, thank you! I didn't realise how many of you still read this blog and it makes me really happy to think that it's still offering ideas and guidance to anyone who may stumble upon it!

HOWEVER, I regret to inform you that I won't be posting on here anymore as I'm putting most of my time in to the new website (which is - if you're interested!)

A lot of the content from this blog is on there, with additional features; including a painfully accurate food diary, weekly weigh-in posts, motivation, a printable list of healthy extras and more.

It's slightly easier to navigate and has an ever-growing selection of recipes on there among other things!

I'm also quite active on the new Facebook page. Search "My Slimming World Adventure Blog" and click 'like' (if you like)

Thank you, again, for your support! A little update: I've actually reached my second target now (total loss to date is 4st 7lbs) and I've only got 13lbs until my ultimate goal - I couldn't be happier!

I'm also training to become a real life Slimming World consultant which would just be the BEST job in the entire universe! I'll get to actually help and guide people on their own journeys and help them to discover their confidence again with a safe, healthy lifestyle. Does it get much better than that!? I'm very excited! Slimming World has changed my life and I'm so grateful. I hope your adventure is going well too... keep going, you are all absolutely amazing!

Lots of love,

Saturday, 18 January 2014

PHOTOS: My favourite meals!

Hello, lovely blog readers!
I do apologise for my lack of posting lately.
2014 is already proving to be crazy busy!
I have a few things I want to write about but I thought I may as well share some of my favourite syn free and low-syn meals that I make quite regularly!
(A bit of a lazy post, I know.. but the photos are piling up and there's no point keeping them on my laptop if I'm not going to share them!)

Spinach & fat free cottage cheese cannelloni
Recipe on the Slimming World website

'Diet Coke Chicken' and rice
I will post the recipe for this soon!
(However I'm sure you can find it online)

Slimming World style burger & chips
served with a vegetable skewer

Burger made with extra lean mince, seasoning, egg and worcestershire sauce.
Topped with cheese, onions, salad and bacon (fat cut off)
Use your wholemeal roll and cheese as your healthy extras.
Make your own chips - bake them in the oven & spray with frylight!

Homemade potato crisps
Use your leftover potato skin peelings from making chips,
season with paprika and salt & bake in the oven
with Frylight until brown and crispy.

Salad with cottage cheese and chives.

Pasta bows and chicken, red onion & leek
Served in a passata sauce on a bed of fresh spinach.
Topped with baked courgette slices
(My friend Momoko recommended that I sliced courgettes
and baked them in the oven with basil and paprika
because they taste like mini pizzas!)
Thank you for the idea, I loved them!

Curried Lentil Soup
Served with chicken, peppers and a wholemeal roll.

Pan-fried scallops with herby mash
Served with broccoli and drizzled with lemon juice.

Spinach & mushroom rigatoni
Stir in some dairylea light triangles or primula light cheese
Sprinkle with pepper and a pinch of parmesan.

Minted lamb and vegetable stew
Made with beef stock and gravy granules.
Served with a wholemeal roll.

Spinach, chicken and potato curry
Recipe in the Slimming World Extra Easy book.

Butternut squash and bacon risotto
Recipe on the Slimming World (USA) website.
Click here to see it!

Quick lunch: Tomato Mugshot & Salad
Mix in some tomato puree to make the Mugshot thicker!

Yoghurt & mint raita
Make with fat free natural yoghurt,
mint and finely diced cucumber.

Pasta salad with ham & cottage cheese
Drizzled with homemade syn free mint yoghurt raita dressing

Sweet & Sour Chicken and rice
My mum makes this all the time!
It's not on the website but it's in one of the books.
I will post the recipe for you soon as it's DELICIOUS!

Jelly, yoghurt & blueberry chocolate crunch
Make a big batch of jelly to keep in the fridge
using Hartley's sugarfree jelly crystals!
Top with a mullerlight or fat free yoghurt,
break up a double chocolate Alpen Light bar
(syn it or use as your healthy B choice)
and sprinkle with blueberries or other fruit!

Yoghurt & Fruit Medley
Similarly, I like to just pile up various fruits
on top of a fat free yoghurt.
Here, I used a strawberry mullerlight
with chopped strawberries & blueberries,
banana and cherries.

Those are two of my favourite quick & simple dessert ideas!

I hope you like the look of some of these meals, I absolutely love them!
Please don't hesitate to ask for the recipes or request a blog post.
I'll be happy to try out any new ideas you have to recommend too!
Get in touch on Facebook, on Twitter or by leaving a comment on here!

Thanks for all of your support with this blog so far,
I'm so flattered that so many of you are reading and sharing this page!
I really do hope you can find some inspiration and ideas here
to help keep you going on your marvellous journey!

Have an amazing week, good luck at your weigh-in if you have one!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

I love Spinach!

Tonight, I didn't set out to have anything specific
for dinner but I threw some things in a pan.
It started with a mixture of diced chicken,
red onions, mushrooms and asparagaus.
But then, I remembered how much spinach I had in the fridge!


I don't know what possessed me to do this, but I decided to try and make a spinach & egg "cup" type thing and it turned out really REALLY lovely.

Preheat your oven to 180!
To make them, I sprayed a muffin tray with Frylight and lined it with spinach. Use quite a bit and layer the leaves so it forms a cup shape. Crack an egg inside and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I fried up some chicken, mushrooms, red onion and asparagus in a shallow pan with Frylight and also steamed a good handful of extra spinach to have on the side.

Keep an eye on your egg cups as they might not take as long as you think! I took mine out and gave them a little fry in the pan before popping them on my plate.

To serve, I seasoned with salt & pepper and some chives!

DELICIOUS... and completely syn free, PACKED full of superfree foods!


Monday, 6 January 2014

Good ol' fashioned Shepherd's Pie & NEW support network!

As I posted a photo of the Shepherd's pie I made this week to help myself get back on track, I thought I may aswell post a recipe!

It's extremely simple.

You will need:
* 750g Extra Lean Mince (or less, for fewer portions!)
* Potatoes OR Smash
* Peas
* Sliced Carrots
* Diced Onions
* Gravy Granules
* Frylight Spray
* Beef Stock (optional)
* Primula Light (optional)
* Chives
* Salad, to serve

Makes: 8 portions
Approximately 1 syn per portion on Extra Easy.

Step 1: PRE-HEAT YOUR OVEN to 190! Spray Frylight in a large saucepan and brown off all the mince. Stir in your peas, onions and sliced carrots. (I was on a tight budget and didn't have a lot of time so I used frozen peas & onions as well as tinned carrots.. simple!) If you fancy it, add in some different vegetables too!

Step 2: Make up some gravy with 500ml of boiling water. Also stir in some beef stock if you like! Pour in to the saucepan and simmer on a low to moderate heat. Add some more boiling water if needed.

Step 3: Meanwhile, you could make some mashed potato or Smash (the quick, cheat's way! Great for students or people on a budget!) I also like to stir in some Primula Light cheese spread, some laughing cow light triangles or some light philadelphia to make it taste a bit creamier. (Use as your healthy A choice or syn it)

Step 4: Pour the contents of your saucepan in to roasting dishes and top with your Smash/mashed potato. I don't know why I do this (my mother always did the same!) but I always make lines with a fork and even it out. Sprinkle with chives (optional).

Pop them in the oven for 30 minutes or until slightly brown and crispy. Leave on the counter to cool before putting it in the fridge. I love having mine the next day as it's easier to cut up in to portions for some reason!

Serve with a nice big salad on the side to get in even more superfree food.
That's it, done!

PS: I've decided to start a bit of a community for this blog where we can share ideas, recipes and motivate each other as well as ask & answer questions and make the support a bit more interactive and accessible.

'Like' us on Facebook here or search for 'My Slimming World Adventure Blog'.

Follow us on Twitter here. (@Slimming_Blog)

And take a look on our Pinterest page where I'll be posting regular recipe ideas from other blogs and websites.

Get involved & share!


2014: A happier, healthier me.

I know, this blog post is terribly overdue however I'm sure most of you can sympathise with how busy the past month has been. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebrations!
How did you cope with the festive season? I'll admit, I tried to keep to plan for as long as I could before the big day but I did get a little bit too indulgent between Christmas and New Year's Day! Mind you, I was back on it as soon as the first of January hit us (and it hit me like a tonne of bricks).

Before I go on, I would like to take a second to just thank all of you have stumbled across my blog, shared it or simply tried a recipe from it! My stats tell me that this page has been viewed almost 5,000 times since i started posting in August 2013. So, thank you so much! I'm glad you can find some guidance or ideas here and you're the reason I keep going - and that keeps me going too! We're all here to motivate each other. I love how Slimming World has such a big community feel, especially with the support available not only at groups but online too!

I've got my first weigh-in at group tonight since before Christmas and I'm a little bit nervous! I weighed myself on boxing day on the scales in Boots' (but you never know if they're the same as the SW scales, do you?)
At least it gave me a bit of an idea and apparently I'd only put on 2lbs which is great news! However, I'm pretty positive I'd gained an extra 2 or 3lbs alone between then and New Year's Day.
It's just so difficult to resist what I've called "The Three C's" this year... Chocolate, Champagne and Cake!!!

I'm feeling positive, though! I've tried as hard as I can this past week and somehow I've managed to get myself back in to the flow of things pretty quickly.
I had to draw a line under it all and say "enough is enough!"
I went completely back to basics.

So what have I done so far this year that's helped me to get back on track?

* I started keeping a food diary again and I've been VERY honest with myself.
(Remember, if you bite it, you write it!)

* I started making good old fashioned meals from the Slimming World site!
This week I made a gorgeous shepherd's pie (pictured below!) which has lasted my boyfriend and I a good few days worth of meals. Plus, some portions were left over and popped in the freezer!

As you can see, I've also tried getting in to the mindset of having as much superfree on my plate as possible! I am LOVING salads this week... as well as having a strange new addiction to fat free cottage cheese.

I also made some good food to snack on in the fridge like plain pasta, boiled eggs (and a sugarfree jelly!) As well as stocking up on all my fruit, salad and veggies again.

* I made a list of all the wonderful things I achieved in 2013 because of losing weight. For example, I've lost just over 4 stone which means I have gone from a size 18-20 to a comfortable 10-12 and I couldn't be happier! My health has improved, I can now walk longer distances (and hills don't terrify me as much!)
I smile more. I've learned how to cook some amazing meals and I'm a lot more aware of what's in my food and careful about what I spend my money on! I've learned how to budget myself and plan for the week ahead by making meal planners and shopping lists. I've made some great friends, I'm more confident and I don't turn down invitations to social events - and that's just the beginning!

I also thought to myself:
"Do I really want to go back to where I was BEFORE all of this?"
No, of course I don't!
And THIS is what keeps me motivated, driven and determined.

I also think it's quite important to look ahead to the future.
How do you want to feel this time next year?
What do you want to achieve?
Make a goal to aim towards, no matter how big or small!
Whether it's the confidence to apply for a certain job, feeling healthy enough to start doing a new activity regularly or even just to learn how to cook more meals.

One of my main goals (and something i'm determined to do!)
Is to fit in to a Size 8 SLEEVELESS LBD for my 21st birthday in June.
I also want to feel confident enough to go
outside without a cardigan and tights on in the summer.
(I don't want to feel like a sweaty pig anymore!)
What's your goal for this year?
How much do you want this?
Use that as the fuel to keep you going!

How have YOU been coping so far this year? Please do get involved! I'm thinking of starting a Facebook page so everyone here can get a little bit more interactive, what do you think?

Again, apologies for not updating this blog for so long but I've made it one of my new year's resolutions to make sure I keep this blog updated regularly!

FINGERS CROSSED I don't put on too much. Even if I do, I'm prepared and I've already got myself back in the right mindset. That's the biggest step!

Good luck, speak soon!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Homemade Dips: Garlic & Herb, Houmous and Tomato & Basil Mayo

After making the BRILLIANT discovery that average breadsticks are just 1 syn each, I was overjoyed and decided to make some syn free/low syn dips and sauces to keep in the fridge for when I'm feeling a snack-attack coming on! They're so healthy and quick to make.. your friends will love them too! Perfect for having on the table over the festive season. Anyone who reads this blog should know by now that I'm a pretty big fan of the Kilner jar too.. they just make everything look pretty and so much more appealing! (However covering a bowl with clingfilm to keep in the fridge will do the same trick!)

Garlic & Herb:
* 3 crushed garlic cloves
* Chives
* 1/4 teaspoon english mustard
* 100g quark
* 100g fat free fromage frais

Mix or blend them all together in a bowl. The mustard can be a bit overpowering so make sure it's only 1/4 of the LITTLE spoon! Add more fromage frais or quark to make it less tangy. Sprinkle some more chopped chives on top!

Red Pepper Houmous:
* 1 red pepper
* 400g can chickpeas
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 1tbsp lemon juice
* 20ml water
* Salt & pepper
* Frylight

De-seed the pepper (optional) and dice it into small chunks. Roast in the oven for 5 minutes or until softened. Meanwhile, drain chickpeas and rinse. Pop them in a bowl alongside the crushed garlic, lemon juice, water and a sprinkle of salt. Add the peppers and use a food processor or hand blender until you reach your preferred consistency. Pour into a jar (or bowl, etc) and sprinkle with pepper.

Tomato & Basil Mayonnaise:
* 75ml passata with onion & garlic
* 100g virtually/fat free cottage cheese
* 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce
* 2tbsp extra light mayonnaise
* Fresh basil leaves

In a bowl, mix together the passata (if you can't find one with onion & garlic a plain tomato passata will be fine - You could always add onion and garlic granules if you wanted!), fat free cottage cheese, chilli sauce and extra light mayonnaise (Hellmann's Lighter than Light is only 0.5 syns per tbsp) and a large handful of basil leaves. Use a food processor or hand blender, again, until you reach a consistency you're happy with!

Pop 'em in the fridge and that's it, done!
Simple as that.

I hope these quick & easy dip recipes (I found them on the Slimming World website!) help you to tackle your snacking and sauce cravings. I know I'm a sucker for breadsticks, cheese twists etc over Christmas and I'll definitely be taking these jars to my parent's house! It feels great to be prepared and to try new recipes!

TIP: Average breadsticks are 1 syn each (fab!) however,
the Ferro, Mini Low Fat Breadsticks are 0.5 syns per 2.
An average savoury cheese twist amounts to 2 syns each,
but they are a little less at 1.5 syns from Morrison's.

Also, if you don't fancy making your own, make sure you look up syn values for any pre-made dips you might buy!

For example, the syn values for Doritos dips are:
Mild/Hot Salsa, 2 level tbsp = 0.5 syns
Cool Sour Cream & Chive, 1 level tbsp = 2 syns
Nacho Cheese, 1 level tbsp = 1.5 syns

(I'm a very big fan of the Dorito salsa dip, and I was actually pleasantly surprised at the syn value so it'll be a treat but I'll try not to give in to it too much..)
Join me, and try to be as Syn-Savvy as possible this Christmas!
It'll be a challenge but we can do this! Let's stay on track and still find ways to enjoy the festivities!

Enjoy & Share!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Quick & Easy: Microwave Minute Muffin!

Just a quick one!
This is FANTASTIC if you want to use porridge oats as your healthy extra B choice as it's virtually syn free!

* 1 egg
* Fresh Blueberries, raspberries and/or strawberries
* Sweetener
* Cinnamon (optional)
* Fat free fromage frais to serve
* 1/4 cup plain porridge oats (you can have up to 35g for your B Choice)

How to:
Mix oats, egg, a handful of blueberries and 1tsp of sweetener together in a mug.

Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Keep an eye on it because it might pop up and out of the cup! (Larger mugs work best)

Feel the top of the "cake" for firmness. Re-heat for another 30 seconds if you like.

Turn the mug upside down and tip on to a small plate. Pour some fat free fromage frais over it and top with fresh raspberries or any other fruit you fancy. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and you're done!

It looks really nice and it makes me feel like i've had something naughty for dessert. Sure, it doesn't taste like fluffy cake but it's something! I love it!

TIP: This is bloody LOVELY with a banana & custard flavour muller light poured over the top instead. A looovely hot pudding!

This is practically syn free (unless you're not using oats as your B choice) but I would allow 1 or 2 because of the fruit that's heated up in the microwave! I don't know why, but it's best to be on the safer side isn't it? ;)

Enjoy & share!

PS. Apologies for my lack of posting, my laptop charger is currently broken so I can't get online properly until a new one arrives next week. I have loads of really exciting news but I'm going to wait until I have more time! (I'm currently using my boyfriend's dad's iMac while he's at work! Cheeky!
Have a fantastic week! xo