About Me

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I am a full time mummy to an amazing but tiring little toddler of 19mths. We live with faithful daddy, and our 2 cats and 1 puppy. I also work part time as a nurse, and predominately work with children with learning disabilities. I am interested in losing weight, dieting and fitness, and have managed to lose 2 stone since May 2011. I also enjoy reviewing products, especially within the children and weight loss areas.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Weekly update 31/08/11

Size 14!

Well this week, Im on my way to hitting my target of that 3rd stone by 5th Oct.

As my usual trousers were getting just a little bit loose, I popped to the shops to get some more, and well amazingly Im now a size 14, when I started out I was in 18/20 in May.  I am beyond excited.

So this week, I have decided another new target, I want to be a size 12 by November 19th, when I meet some old friends for a get together.

This weeks target is a bit more complicated.  Im under a bit of stress at the moment, and usually this would result in comfort eating.  So this week, Im my target is to deal with the stress without comfort eating.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Chicken and Vegetable Korma

Recipe of the week 29th August 2011

Well I found a recipe for beef korma in this months rosemary conley magazine, but prefer my kormas to use chicken.  I also had some leftover vegetables that needed eating and throw those in as well.  We liked it so much we are having it again this week!

2 chicken breasts, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp garam masala
200ml reduced fat coconut milk
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp tomato puree
200ml fat free greek yoghurt
1 marrow, diced
200g mushrooms, sliced

1. Pre heat a non stick wok until hot.  Add the diced onion and cook until lightly browned before adding the chicken, garlic and garam masala.
2. Once the chicken has turned white, add the mushrooms and marrow, and cook for 5 min.
3. Then stir in the coconut milk, stock cube and tomato puree and simmer for 10 minutes, before removing from the heat and stirring in the yoghurt.
4. Serve with 1 blue portion pot (55g dry weight) of basmati rice.

Serves 4.
Calorie content 389 calories.
Fat content 4.6%.
You can use other vegetables in the sauce instead of the marrow and mushrooms, but be aware that this will change the fat and calorie content.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Weekly update 24/08/11

Taking friends along :)

Well I did go to a weigh in on Thursday, and had indeed lost 5lb, but as this was a morning weight not an evening weight it didnt count completely.

This week it was confirmed that I have over the last 2 weeks lost 5lb, and have therefore hit my 2 stone target.  New target has been made.... I want to of lost another stone by a trip with some friends to centre parcs (on 7th Oct) which means 6 weeks till my last weigh day before that on 5th Oct.

I am also really pleased that I have managed to persuade and inspire a lovely friend to come along and lose weight with me.  So this weeks target is all about helping her follow the diet this week.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The healthy BBQ!

Recipe of the week 22nd August 2011
Well this week as next weekend is the August bank holiday weekend (in England anyway) I have decided to do BBQ food.  I made pork and apple burgers, chicken and chorizo sticks and a paprika pasta bake, for this BBQ.  All of these together, its less than 550 calories.

Pork and Apple Burgers
400g minced pork
2 tbsp vegetable stock powder
2 eating apples, grated
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 red onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
Black pepper
1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well, season with black pepper, and combine.  Divide into 4, and mould into burgers.
2. Cook on a hot BBQ, regularly turned, till throughly cooked.  To test the are cooked by, inserting a knife into the centre, if the bade comes out clean, they are cooked.
Serves 4.
Calorie content 180.
Fat content 4.8g.
These can also be grilled under a hot grill, if the weather isnt good enough!
Chicken and Chorizo sticks
1 chicken breast, chopped
1 lime, zest and juice.
2 tbsp light soy sauce
Thin chroizo slices
1. Mix the lime zest, juice and soy sauce together.  Then add the chicken and marinade for at least 10 minutes, but ideally as long as possible.
2. Thread alternate pieces of chicken and chorizo onto the sticks.
3. Place on the BBQ and cook, until chicken cooked through.
Serves 4.
Calorie content 89.
Fat content 3.8g.
If using wooden skewers remember to soak in water for at least 1hr to help prevent the wood burning.
If the weather isnt good enough for a BBQ, Cook in under the grill for 2-4 minutes turning frequently.
Paprika Pasta Salad
350g pasta shapes
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 red peppers, cut into large slices
2 yellow peppers, cut into large slices
150ml virtually fa free fromage frais
1 tbsp paprika
1-2 tbsp of dried herbs
1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, with the 2 stock cubes for added flavour.
2. Place the pepper on the BBQ for 5-6minutes, until the peppers start to change colour.  Allow them to cool, and peel the skins off.
3. Mix the cooked pasta and peppers in a bowl.
4.  In another bowl mix the fromage frais and dried herbs, before adding to the pasta and peppers.  Mix until well combined.
5. Sprinkle the paprika over the top and serve.
Serve 6.
Calorie content 250
Fat content 2.2g
If the weather doesnt allow a BBQ, grill the peppers until the colour changes

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Hand and Footprint Painting, Frog!

Well to start my new section on hand/foot print art, Ive decided to do frogs.  Hand and foot (as well as finger/toes/etc) print art is a really good way to make pictures or cards to give as presents.  They are great to do at any age or stage of development, and for the most part are very easy to do.
What you need:
Green paint (although we used blue and yellow to make green, as this adds more fun to the make.
Green tissue paper
Red and green glitter glue
Googlie eyes
What to do:
First of all we needed to mix the paint (this step is not needed if you are using green paint) we added blue and yellow paint to a plate and allowed her to mix it, to make green.
While she was entertained with mixing the paint, we made a lily pad 
shape with the tissue paper, we then stuck this to the paper (or card if making a card).
Then we painted her foot with a brush (I find this method less messy than just letting her put her foot in the paint!) and added her foot print sideways across the paper (or card if making a card), partly on top of the tissue paper lily pad.  Then we painted her hands and added these upside down on top of the footprint to make the eyes, and allowed the paint to dry.
Once dry we added glitter glue around the lily pad, and a red glitter glue smile, as well as two googlie eyes.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Weekly update 17/08/11

No can do :(

Well this week is a bit of a let down.  Was hoping to post that I was nearing the 2 stone mark, and also mentioning that I have started a friend on the diet having seen how much I have achieved.  However no can do.

This time its not even down to me not pulling my weight on the diet and fitness front during the past week. No, unfortunately my class was cancelled due to illness.  I did with my determined head on, try to go to a different class, but as I was trying to navigate myself round an unfamiliar part of town (with only 5 mins to spare till the start of the class) I ran into roadworks.

So no weigh in today for me.

My new plan of action is to pop along to a class tomorrow am, and hope that having a morning rather than evening weight doesnt cause too much difference.  On the plus side, I started the whole of this process as a size 20, and during the last week I needed to buy new trousers as the old ones were falling down (even with a belt) and... drum roll please... I now can get into a size 16.  Which is slightly loose!!

I have also learnt this week, that cardio exercise every day can  be detrimental to your fitness, so this weeks goal (as well as getting weighed) is to reduce my cardio exercise to 5 times a week.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Tandoori chicken

Recipe of the week: 15th August 2011.

1 skinless chicken breast
1 tsp tandoori powder
1 tbsp 3% fat natural yoghurt
Lemon juice

1. Pre heat the oven at 200c.
2. Mix the tandoori powder and yoghurt with a small amount of lemon juice.
3. Make several cuts across the chicken and spread with the yoghurt mix.
4. Bake in the oven for 20 min until cooked through.
5. Serve.

Serves 1.
Calorie content 200.
Fat content 3g.
We had this with rice and seasonal vegetables.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Reusable Rose Shopping Bags

I won my reusable shopping bag, as part of a competition on Emmys Mummys blog (a brilliant blog by the way, recommend following).  Its from Little Green Footsteps  and if Im honest I wasnt expecting much.
Its strong, I have a habit of breaking shopping bags (even reusable ones) as I put too much in one bag etc, and yet this one seems to be able to handle my shop packing style.
The bag can be stored really easily as it goes into a flower shape when stored which has a clip that can be added to handbags, baby changing bags, pram attachments, you name it! Because it looks a flower decoration, Im happy to have it attached to my buggy or changing bag all the time.  Which makes it very handy for those times you havent prepared to go shopping or have simply forgotten your bags.
Even when it is open and in use the bag has a pretty design, which people have commented on, while we are out and about. So much so when home my mini-faithful insists on having it open and walking round with it on her arm.
It comes in a wide variety of colours, I chose the purple one to match my buggy.  But it also comes in yellow, black, red, pink and dark pink.  I have been debating getting some in other colours to match my handbags/outfits as I think they are so fab.
The introductory price is £1.25, which in my opinion makes this a must buy.  Its a great first step to being that little bit greener, while not having to break the bank.
Its also worth having a look at little green footsteps facebook page, and twitter account, as they have some great deals and sales on at the moment.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Seeing The World, Differently!

This is an idea that Faith completed at one of the playgroups she did, but I have modified it slightly…
What you need:
1 piece of card, we only had orange left, but it works best with black
1 piece of coloured projector paper, coloured sweet wrappers that you can see through (for the eye holes)
Glue stick, or better if you have it PVA
Stickers or things to decorate.
What to do:
First, we measured her head and made the glasses to fit her, ensuring the eye holes are in the right place!
Then we gave her some stickers and jewels or other decoration bits and the glue covered glasses shape for her to decorate.

Once she had finished, we left it to dry.
Once dry we used the celotape to hold the pieces of coloured projector paper in place over the eye holes.
Then the fun began :) we looked at how different the world looks through the glasses and had great fun.
Other ideas
Try using different colours and talk about the differences.
Its great for identifying colours, objects and shapes.  You can also, with older cover with card and discuss how it might feel to not be able to see.

Weekly update 10/08/2011

Weekly weigh in and new task
Well, first of apologies for not being online for a while, there has been lots going on (mainly sickness) in the faithful household this week, but all is better now.  So we are back!!
First of my weight loss over the last 2 weeks has been good (7lb off in 2 weeks) so Im impressed with how things are going.  Also appear to be losing inches as well (last week, 4 inches off various areas).
Now my new challenge, well started doing this last week, but with all that has been going on, didnt get very far, is to look at my hunger levels.  So Im using my fitness pal (its a site and an app for phones) and when typing in the food/calorie content of what Im eating, Im also adding how hungry I am when Im eating, out of 10 (1= not hungry at all, 10=completely starving, would actually eat ANYTHING).  Once I have completed this weeks, Im going to look at them and see if Im eating when Im not hungry or at the wrong times of the day and see if I can tweak my food habits to help me not eat when Im not hungry.
Im also deciding what to have as my losing 1.5 stone present.  Im currently debating between a set of kitchen scales or a new sports bra… Exciting times!!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Cheese burger

Recipe of the week: 8th August 2011

This is a recipe I found on the Rosemary Conley website, which I have then adapted.

400g lean beef mince

1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp of dried mixed herbs
Vegetable stock cube
4 slices of red onion
4 thin slices of low fat cheese
4 burger baps
1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
2 leaves of iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes

1. Pre heat a non stick frying pan.
2. In a food processor, mix the beef, onions, herbs and stock cube.  This can be done by hand, but doesnt work as well.
3. Divide into 4, and mould into burger shapes, cook in the frying pan, turning regularly to cook equally for 16 minutes.
4. Slice the 4 burger buns in half and spread them with the mayonnaise.  Add the cooked burger, then the cheese, onion, lettuce and tomato.  Serve.

Serves 4.
Calorie content 330.
Fat content 4.5g.
We served ours with low fat oven chips, but that will add to the calorie and fat content.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Weekly update 03/08/11

Liquid target

Well this week, I have hit my latest target :) This week I have lost 4lb, and have to date lost over 1 and a half stone, so Im a happy girl.

This weeks challenge is all about water.  Water is key for losing weight, as being dehydrated makes us eat more.  It also, strangely, seems to stop you becoming bloated.  There has been lots in the press recently about how much water we should be drinking in a day, Im in the 2 litres per day camp.  Although recommend drinking even more during the hotter days (if we ever get any) and when exercising.  So this weeks challenge is about making sure Im hitting my 2 litres per day target.  Im recording my results on MyFitnessPal (a brilliant app for smart phones and website, that allows you to work out the calories you are consuming in a day and also has a water section to record how much you are drinking).  My plan is to have two glasses with breakfast, two glasses during the course of the morning, two with lunch and two with dinner.  Fingers crossed it will help me get towards my next goal of 2 stone!!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Spicy Cottage Pie

Recipe of the week: 1st August 2011
This recipe is a combination of our own cottage pie and a rosemary conley recipe, as the together we think they make THE best cottage pie!
600g potatoes, peeled & chopped
1 white onion, cut into quarters
400g extra lean mince beef
1 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
200g mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp balti curry paste
1 beef knorr stock pot
1tsp of gravy granules
2 tbsp skimmed milk
300mls water
salt and black pepper
1. Pre heat the oven to 200C, 400F or gas mark 6.  Pre heat a large non-stick frying pan.
2. Boil the potatoes with the white onion until soft.
3. Meanwhile, dry fry the mince in the non-stick pan until lightly browned.  Then tip the mince into a sieve and drain off the excess fat.
4. Return the mince to the pan, add the red onion, garlic, carrots and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring in the balti paste while they are cooking.
5. Add water and bring to a gentle simmer, then add the gravy granules, stock pot and seasoning.  Simmer the mixture gently for 20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
6.  Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish.
7.  Drain the potatoes, mash well, adding the skimmed milk and seasoning.
8.  Spread the mixture over the top of the meat, and rough it up with a fork.
9.  Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Calorie content 338.
Fat content 6g.
You can add cheese to the top of the mash before placing in the oven, however this will increase the calories and fat content.
We serve ours with seasonal veggies.
It serves 4.