Wednesday, 31 October 2012

100% Food Optimising

I have made a vow that from today I am going to stick to my diet 100% I'm really going to try my best and go back to basics!
Today's meals have been really healthy, having my healthy a and b (milk and cereal) for breakfast topped with banana and then for lunch I used my soup cubes and had a lovely warming bowl of Slimming World mushroom soup, perfect in this autumnal weather, with an apple and plum for dessert. Then finally ending my day with jacket potato and pasta salad for my tea.
So day one has gone really well and I still have about 8 syns left for a treat in front of the tv but before that its back to the gym and back to the body magic with Joanne!
All in all a good positive day and I feel better for it too! Oh and Happy Halloween to everyone

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The dreaded weigh in

Well it's safe to say this week has been a total write off and tonight the scales certainly showed it. So I gained 1lb and to be honest I'm actually ok with it after all I have had a decent excuse!
I do want to say a massive well done to my best friend and fellow blogger Charlotte for losing 6lb this week am so proud of her and chuffed to bits for her.
Onto a new week now and I am determined not to fail I will food optimise 100% and try and get back in the gym and carry on towards my gold body magic award plus a weight loss next! I now need just 4lb hit that magic 4 stone award will I be able to pull that next week? Watch this space!!

Illness Strikes!

Well i can truly say it has not been the best week of my journey so far. Illness has well and truly struck, i have felt lethargic, sick and basically had no energy at all. Plus i have been full of cold which has not helped at all. Then we get to Sunday night where my illness hit its peak (i hope) when all of a sudden i went really dizzy and then passed out on the kitchen floor and began to shake like i was having some kind of fit. Luckily i was with my mum who managed to bring me round and look after me, bless her, however since then i could not sleep all night. Monday morning came round and i still felt horrific so i had to ring in sick at work, not something i ever do, but i felt like i could not drive or manage a day at work. So a day in bed it was trying to get myself better again.Luckily after a day of rest and a decent ish night sleep last night i am feeling slightly better still feel a little lethargic but far better than Sunday night,
 So that brings me to Tuesday and the dreaded weigh in, whilst i have been ill i have fallen off the wagon, not only i have been picking at food but its been the wrong food and when my mum presented me with a scone filled with fresh cream and jam and a nice cup of tea i couldn't say no, after all it was bought to "cheer me up and make me feel better". I can honestly say it was delish but now i have to face the scales and pray the damage is minimal.
 I will keep you informed how it goes!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Maldives: Boring or Blissful?

The Maldives a place where a lot of people say they would like to visit but is it really that good?

The hotels in the Maldives are literally tiny islands in the Indian Ocean, and are very luxurious resorts with some fantastic rooms and even water bungalows, which sit in the ocean on stilts so your views are truly amazing.

The Maldives are served by Male International Airport and can be easily accessed from the larger airports in the UK, and with a flight time of roughly 12-13 hours surely it has to be worth it when you arrive. However once you have flown all that way your still not in your tropical retreat, you are then transferred to most of the islands by speed boat or if you want to splash the cash you can opt to take a sea plane transfer.
 In my opinion the Maldives could be quite boring, i mean how long can you really spend reading in the sun or walking round an island that in total would take probably 30minutes. Mind you saying that with the more popular options of twin centre holidays which can include the Maldives and Dubai this would be more appealing to me, 1 week of activity in Dubai then a relaxing week in the Maldives.
 So Boring or Blissful? well i suppose it depends on the person and what you really want out your much needed holiday abroad.

      Here are a couple of pictures to tickle your taste buds.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Soup Cubes!

Gemma, a very good friend of mine and also fellow blogger, gave me an idea to make u some soup and make them into these handy little soup cubes which are small portions of your soup that allowd you to enjoy it whenever you want to. I decided to make some Slimming World mushroom soup which is Syn Free and one of my favourite soups to have especially with the weather on the change. So how can you try this for yourselves at home, make your favourite, winter warming and healthy soup then once you have made your soup transfer it into some silicone muffin trays, allow to cool and transfer to the freezer. I find these especially good when i do not know what to take to work for lunch, i simple pop one or two portions out the tray and take it work and pop it in our freezer, then when lunchtime comes around i pop my cubes into a bowl and heat through then enjoy. The picture above shows my soup cubes, whilst cooling, before i transfer them into the freezer.
If you would like to try this slimming world mushroom soup here is the recipe.
2 onions peeled and chopped
500g mushrooms any variety
2.5 pints of Vegetabke stock, use slightly less if you want your soup thicker
200g Low fat fromage frais
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
1. Finely chop all your mushrooms and fry them along with the onions in some fry light in a large frying pan.
2. Add the vegetable stock and bring it to the boil, Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Remove this from the heat and transfer your soup into a food processor, blender or use a hand blender to blitz everything togther.
4. Add the fromage frais and blitz again until smooth and well mixed. Serve immediately or allow to cool slightly and transfer into your trays to store in the freezer as soup cubes.
Definately a quick and easy winter warmer, perfect to enjoy whilst at work or simply sitting at home and chilling out on your sofa.

Day off work and a new reciepe to try!

After a quick gym session this morning which consisted of me hitting the treadmill to warm up then slowly building myself up to a decent workout, and i managed to increase my running up to a collective 8 minutes which is a massive achievement for me. After i was warmed up i moved onto the bikes for 10 minutes and then ended on the weight machines, not a long workout today but some is better than none i say plus i was restricted with time today.
 So with it being my day off and while i have time i like to experiment with new recipes from Slimming World and cook for the rest of my family. On the menu tonight for tea was Homemade Meatballs with SW Arribiata Sauce on Tagliatelle pasta. It was so easy to make and was really tasty with a little kick from the slightly spicy sauce.
If you want to give it a try yourself this is the ingredients you will require and how you to can create this beautiful meal.
500g extra lean mince either pork or beef
1 small onion either red or white which ever you prefer
2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp dried oregano
Arribiata Sauce
400g Passata
200ml Vegetable Stock
2 red chillies deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
Dried pasta your choice on type and also amount depending how many you are serving.
1. In a large bowl mix together your mince and onions, once it has all combined together add you Worcestershire sauce and oregano. Mix well until all ingredients are well combined. Then roll small amounts of the mix together in your hand to form a small meatball, then place on a baking tray. Repeat this until you have used all your mince mix. This amount of ingredients should make between 15 and 20 meatballs. Then place your tray in the fridge to allow them to bind together and marinade. Leave them for about 15 Min's, then remove them from the fridge and using a frying pan sprayed with fry light gently cook the meatballs until sealed and slightly browning. remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Now begin your sauce, spray a pan with some fry light and fry together the chillies, garlic and onion until softened. Then add in the pan the passata and stock and stir it to mix everything together. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, add you meatballs and allow the dish to simmer for 15-20 minutes until your sauce has reduced slightly and thickened and your meatballs are cooked through.
3. Whilst your sauce is simmering cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
4. Once everything is ready serve immediately whilst warm.
Here is a picture of how mine looked when completed. The best thing about this whole dish is you can enjoy it Syn Free on your Slimming World Diet.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Weigh in!

What a mixed bag it was at group tonight! I lost 1.5lb which I did find a little bit disappointing as I really thought that I had done better. I know I can hear you all saying at least you lost and didn't maintain or even gain, so im trying some positive thinking and my total weight loss is now at 3st 11lb which I am really proud of!
Some members of the group have had fantastic weight losses so well done to those members and they will be my inspiration this week to try and loose 3lb this week to finally hit my 4 stone award!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Last chance workout

Tonight was definitely last chance workout before the weigh in tomorrow night.
So as we do every Monday evening myself and Charlotte hit the pool determined to do our usual 50 lengths and get that last bit of body magic in before tomorrow.
I am very pleased and proud to say not only did we do our usual 50 lengths we pushed each other to do more. We actually managed 60 which you may think wow you did another ten lengths but anyone who knows us both will know that it's such a big achievement for both of us.
I wanna say a massive thank you to Charlotte for pushing me to carry on even though I was starting to tire after 55 lengths and now I feel brilliant.
I will keep you informed on weigh in tomorrow night I really hope all this body magic pays off!!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

SW Coronation Chicken Pasta Salad

Due to popular demand, mainly from my Slimming World group, i have decided to put up the recipe for Coronoation Chicken Pasta Salad. I found this recipe whilst browsing through an old edition of the SW magazine and thought it sounded nice so i gave it a go. I must say it was well worth the try, so tasty and very filling and the best bit about it....the dish is only 1.5syns per serving! So here is the recipe so you can enjoy it too
13oz/396g Dried Pasta shapes
6 Level tbsp extra light mayonnaise
5oz/142g Fat Free Nataural Yoghurt
6 Spring Onions, Finely sliced
2 tbsp passata
1tbsp mild curry powder
1 level tbsp mango chutney
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
11oz/312g Cooked Chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
half a cucumber finely cubed
2 tomatoes, chopped
A small handful of fresh corriander, chopped, reserving some to garnish
1. Cook the pasta shapes according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, sliced spring onions, passata, curry powder and mango chutney and then season to taste.
3. Add the pasta and the chicken to the bowl and then stir in the cucumber, tomatoes and most of the corriander. Toss the ingredients together to mix well and then serve with th reserved corriander as a garnish.
This recipe serves 4 people.
So there you have it guys a gorgeous dish which is quick and easy to make and tastes amazing. Why not give a try yourself?

Friday, 19 October 2012

It's all about Bulgaria in 2012

So as am a travel agent I have found that one of the most popular destinations of 2012 was Bulgaria!
So if it was good enough for most people I surely had to try it out for myself so that's exactly what me and Gemma did! We booked 2 weeks all inclusive to Sunny Beach, located on the Black Sea this resort is one which can suit everyone. It boasts a fantastic stretch of golden beach and a good resort centre with something for everyone from shopping to good restaurants and even some hot night spots to dance the night away. It also boasts fantastic temperatures throughout the summer season and whilst we were there in September we had a nice daily temperature of around 25 degrees.
Whilst on holiday we visited Nessebar which is easily reached either by bus, land train or even boat from Sunny Beach. This quaint little fishing village has beautiful cobbler streets featuring little trinket shops and some gorgeous little restaurants and street cages perfect for passing the day away in the sun. We also managed trips to Sozopol and Bourgas again both beautiful cities with their own identity. My personal favourite had to be Sozopol and when I return to Bulgaria I will surely re-visit this beautiful place.
So why choose Bulgaria? Well for a start its cheap not only to get there but while your on holiday with general costs starting at 0.98lv for a pint if beer which equates roughly to around 48p and three course meals costing no more than £30 for me and Gemma to eat!
The resort if Sunny Beach is served by Bourgas International Airport with flights going there from most UK regional and international airports.
Must visits on your trip have got to include Nessebar, Sozopol, and the fantastic night out at Khans Tent a night you will always remember and such good value for money!
The first picture shows the lovely Sunny Beach and the Second is the quaint and beautiful Nessebar!

The Art of Body Magic

So that was 21 weeks ago now and I'm very proud to say i am still working hard at my Slimming World diet and now boast a total weight loss of 3 stone 9.5 pounds. I am also 5 stone 11.5 pounds lighter than that big night back in January 2010, i do still have a decent way to go however i am a happier, healthier person and working towards my new slimmer life.
 In July this year i introduced myself to Body Magic, Slimming World's name for exercise. Four weeks after this i successfully achieved my Silver Body Magic award which meant i had done 1 and half hours exercise a week for the past 4 weeks, this may not seem a lot but to me this was a massive achievement to hit.
 3 weeks ago me and Charlotte decided we were getting complacent with our exercise routine so it was time to change. We decided to join the gym..... Choose Fitness was our best option to us not only was it a decent monthly cost we also got the added bonus of 9 places to train including the gym, pools, fitness classes and some spa facilities.
 I am now 3 week into my new fitness routine and also 3 week down on my Gold Body Magic Award, which states you must do 2 and half hours of exercise a week maintained for 8 weeks. I will keep you informed on the next 5 weeks of my journey.

Getting up to Speed!

So after a little persuasion i have decided to start writing my own blog. My blog will contain bits and bobs about my life, dieting and my biggest passion in life...Travel.
 I would say i have a relatively happy life, without a care in the world about how i look or what other people think of me. I suppose i finally took a good look at myself and my lifestyle after New Years Eve 09/10, after a fancy dress party with many family and friends, i was looking back over the pictures from the night i thought to myself my weight is becoming a real problem.
 Once the realisation had sunk in, my mood was very low, i was upset and so made a deal that 2010 would be the year for change. My friends began to notice a change in my mood and attitude so one night i sat with them both (Charlotte and Gemma) and explained everything to them and after plucking up the courage to step on the scales i revealed to them the astronomical weight i had reached. Together, whilst watching the TV programme The Biggest Loser, it was time we all changed and would all try to loose weight.
 So bringing the story forward i tried numerous amounts of diets and quick weight loss solutions including The Biggest Loser Diet, Slim Fast, Lipotrim and even Weight Watchers, all them bringing small results or results which would quickly disappear after the diet was finished.
 So now you are up to speed..May 14th 2012 myself and Charlotte got ourselves a cheap last minute deal to Gran Canaria for 7 nights, perfect i thought a week in the sun with my best friend in a new destination i had not yet explored. It was while we were on that trip that we both told each other that our weight was still bringing us down and we were not fully happy with what we weighed or what we looked like. Our good friend Joanne had joined Slimming World in January and we were starting see fantastic results from her. That was it decision made one last blow out on Holiday and when we returned to the UK it was time to bite the bullet and join with Joanne.
 Exactly a week after myself, Charlotte and Joanne walked into our first Slimming World meeting at a group in Goole. We were introduced to Mandy our Slimming World consultant, we had the full diet explained to us and were made to feel very welcome into the "slimming family" of our group.
 The challenge was on.. with so many free foods to eat and super free foods to eat how could i possible get it wrong. So i took the bull by the horns and took the diet into my life in full, changing my eating habits and the way i ate and viewed food. The following Tuesday arrived quicker than i expected...Weigh In Day. I knew i had done OK this week getting my head round the diet and eating what i thought would help me. That week i lost 11.5lb and have never looked back since.