Thursday, 28 August 2014

Some quick, easy and healthy recipes I am going to try!

So like all of us I am always trying to find new things to try that aren't desperately bad for me so that I do not get stuck in a food rut. This happens quite a lot in our household, you try something, find you like it then eat that at least once or twice a week for quite a few weeks. Due to this, I went looking for something else to try that both I and the other half can eat (we seem to like/dislike the opposite of the other), as I refuse to cook two different meals every night, when he wants steak I let him get away with it. ;)

So below are a couple that I have found and will be looking to do relatively soon:

Let's start with a recipe that caught my eye and is not a main meal but we are always looking for healthy treats/ nommy snacks!

Banana and Oat Cookies!
Your ingredients
I am sure I am not alone in that sometimes i overbuy Bananas or just don't get round to eating them before they decide they have had enough and your time is up!

Well here is a recipe that uses overripe bananas (the more bruised the better) and porridge oats... and that's it! I am all for recipes that have very little ingredients but taste great, it means you don't have to spend £30 on a single meal buying all those special ingredients that you don't normally have in your pantry.

So here is the recipe:

Banana & Oat Cookies
Makes approx. 18 cookies after mix-ins
very ripe medium bananas (the bananas I used were completely brown)
1.5 cups  oats
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (this is a must).
  2. Mash the bananas and oats together in a large mixing bowl using a fork. The end result should be about the same consistency of normal cookie dough. If the mix is too dry, add more banana, if it’s too wet, add more oats.
  3. Place tablespoon-sized scoops of the dough about 1-inch apart on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. 
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden-brown.
  5. Leave to cool.

Optional mix-ins:
1 tsp each vanilla, powdered ginger, cinnamon
Chocolate chips 
Raisins & unsweetened cocoa powder

Inside out Chicken Kievs!

I am a Chicken Kiev fiend, I admit it! I love them, however on my diet (and most diets) they are a big no no, mainly down to the sheer amount of calories in a good kiev. You can purchase 'lighter' kievs but they will still normally set you back about 400 calories per kiev, and you are not going to eat them on their own!

So, imagine how happy I was to find a healthier version of them, where I can regulate how much calorific content they have! Again, this recipe only has 3 ingredients so ticks my shopping basket box, and although it calls for garlic butter, you could make this yourself with your own ingredients so that you can swap out the more fattening ingredients for a lighter version.

Prep:5 mins

Cook:20 mins

Skill level: Easy

Serves 4



4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

25g garlic butter, softened
25g crispy breadcrumbs


  1. Place the chicken on a baking tray, rub with a little of the butter, season and cook under the grill for 15 mins, turning once until cooked through.
  2. Mix together the remaining garlic butter and breadcrumbs. 
  3. Remove the chicken from the grill and top each breast with a smear of the breadcrumbed butter. 
  4. Return to the grill and cook 3-5 mins until the breadcrumbs are golden and the butter melted. 
Serve any buttery juices, alongside new potatoes and peas or broad beans.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Facing some fears

Today, I am going to speak about some of my fears when I think of all the weight I have to lose.

On this weight loss journey I have a lot of my personal fears and worries to face, and they are not mine alone. I think at one point (are many, as the case may be) we all have them, and mostly they are all common or similar. 

My first one is something I think everyone suffers from, even those that are not even fat but just out of shape, the dreaded 'Working out in front of people' thought. The thought that whilst we are panting, sweaty, and bright red disgusting messes that all the other 'fit' people in the Gym are staring at us, judging us for being as big as we are, or muttering to their friend 'ooh look at her!' 

So let's get one thing straight: THEY ARE NOT! 

As a whole, humans do have a tendency to judge others, however, we suffer more from being selfish and self-centered, what I mean by this is that the other people there do not care what you are doing, what you look like, or who you are. They are focusing on their workout, their heart rate, or just how knackered they are already after only 10 minutes and deciding how long they have to keep going before they can leave without others noticing. 

We do not need to worry, we just need to get on with what we are doing, focus on yourself and your weight loss, focus on the 10 reps or the next 10 minutes of your run, eventually you will get into your own rhythm of gym time and won't even notice who is there or isn't!

The second big worry is when you read or watch on tv those that have lost lot's of weight but still have all of the 'Excess Skin' although it may happen it is not a definite. 

As the article states, there are many factors that could lead to excess skin, however like I have already said it may not happen. I am definitely a 'what if' person and a lot of the time it stops me from doing or trying things, or even just over thinking a situation and getting into a funk. 

I am hoping that because I am not trying to lose 5lbs + a week and am doing it sensibly (and some would say slowly) that I am lessening the chance of this and it gives my body time to snap back, by doing some exercise as well I hope that will help the skin return to normal. As the last line of the article states; 'The bottom line? Worrying about the likelihood of having loose skin is no reason to put off losing weight. Losing weight will leave you healthier and will most likely lead to a longer and fuller life.' This is something I definitely need to take note of.

My final fear is not really a fear but a very common occurrence, 'Depression when I don't lose or put on weight' I know that I shouldn't beat myself up about it, weight does fluctuate and sometimes it is out of your control, as most women know around the time of your period you put on up to 2lbs because of hormone fluctuations etc. but a lot of the time I DO know why I put on the weight, it's because I wasn't that strict with my diet or didn't exercise that week. I need to STOP that behaviour and I need to stop letting myself by dragged into the realms of diet naughtiness, surely there is a will power class out there you can take??

This week's weigh in, it was a mismatch of strict and not very, so I have managed to maintain this week, next week lets start losing those pounds! 

Current Weight: 19st 1lb

Target weight loss date: 22nd September

Target weight: 18st 0lb

Pounds left until target: 15lbs

Weightloss so far: 1lb

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Lose weight just by looking at food!

These days it seems like every minute of the day we are told we can lose all the weight we like by 'doing this simple plan' and most of the time it is just words for people to hock their book, or 'plan' then the next page we are told 'no no you need to do this one!' Is it any wonder that people keep failing on crash diets? I, for one, am sick of it, I don't overly keep track of articles like this, but I see them all the time.

The most recent one I saw was today on Women's Health online, it was titled 'Drop 30 pounds in 30 days!' Have people not learnt that these do not work? I am struggling with weightloss everyday, however I am losing weight, and it is not by eating 12 and a half strawberries for breakfast, 2/3 of a melon for lunch and a handful of granola for dinner! I am doing it sensibly, by watching what I eat but within reason. That means no takeaways, cutting down on the amount of carbs I am taking in daily (but not cutting them out all together) and eating more veg. Sensible eating. 

Now it may not be groundbreaking, or particularly interesting but it is what works! I have tried a few different diets (more when I was younger) and yes I may have lost some weight, but the second you look at the 'forbidden' food, be it a doughnut, a pizza or even a particularly large grape it all piles back on. So what is the point? Why do we put ourselves through it? 

If you lost 80lbs (approx 5st 7lbs) in 8 days like this suggests, go to a doctor something is terribly wrong! Or you already have and that is called liposuction!
I think that when it comes to diets and health, if someone calls them self an expert, a nutrionist or even just a Diet Specialist, there is something instilled in us that makes us automatically think; 'well they must know what they are talking about they have letters after their name!' Apart from considering becoming Jess Fordham PfG Hons (Pretty Fat Girl, Honest!), I think that these are articles that unless written and approved by a doctor, scientist (or properly qualified Nutritionist) should be banned. Why are they allowed to prey on the vulnerable this way, give them that glimmer of hope and then after the 30 days they are on their own again. The reason its only 30 days, or some are even 5 days, is because they are actually UNHEALTHY as a constant diet! More often than not it's because you are actually driving your body to the point of starvation, but eating those few blueberries that tip you over.

All I am saying is, just eat smart, do exercise and the weight WILL come off! It is ten times harder to lose the weight than put it on, and no it is not easy but it is worth it. You get on those scales and you know that the weight that you have lost is proof of the hard work and that what you are doing is all the more worthwhile. 


P.s. Personal pet hate - if you lose a ton of weight, don't take pictures of you still wearing those 'massive' trousers and pulling them out to show that a whole other you could fit in there now, why are you even keeping them? As soon as they don't fit me anymore I am chucking them out of my house and life!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Monday, 18 August 2014

This week in my life...

This week I have done a great many things, most of them not interesting to everyone else, but some might be:

1) I have now booked my PRINCE 2 Foundation Exam, so on the 14th September I will be bricking myself trying to pass the exam and prior to that trying to cram in as much revision as possible without wanting to kill myself! 

Remember that time I said 'I miss learning, and school, I really enjoyed learning new stuff'? Well the exam parts are the bits I hate, I get too over stressed and fluff it up 8/10 times. However, I am staying positive, hopefully I will pass with flying colours, and then I can look forward at saving up for the next part if I want to after this. It is about £500 for the course and exam and doesn't include the PRINCE2 Manual that they charge £60 for, so before I pay that amount of money I need to make sure that it is something I can do and want to do otherwise it is a waste. It may also have to wait until after the wedding.

2) I have managed to do a couple of Crafty things this week, mainly decoupaging some photo frames, some JLA (Justice League of America) ones and a Walking Dead frame that was a commission.

JLA Square Frame Test
JLA Rounded Frame Test
The Walking Dead Commision
TWD Commission 2

I did a couple of tests to start off, one was a square frame the other was a rounded edged one, I personally found that the Square one was easier to use with the pictures as the straight edges meant they could be pulled tight around them, with the rounded ones however the paper wanted to fold and crease which made the finish rough, bumpy and just not overly very smooth. The thickness of the rounded frame however made it easier to see more of the pictures/text so I went out and found a thicker square frame as a compromise.

The Walking Dead frame was an interesting one to do as I know that the (soon-to-be) owner of it has a small child, so I didn't want too much gore, or swearwords (of which there are many in the comics). So, although I have added some zombies there is not too much killing on there, I think maybe one made it through.

3)  Weightloss - So it is another weigh in day and another target has been set, however I can admit that this past week I have not been great with my food, I slipped back onto the carb wagon having sandwiches for lunch a lot of the time and a couple of naughty food items got in there as well. This weekend however I started back on the healthy food, but as predicted I became bloated etc from the carbs, but I am definitely back on it today! Got my salad and popcorn (only 46 calories a bag) and had my yoghurt for my breakbits, dinner is going to be a roast I think but will try and do more veg than potatoes and yorkshires, on my plate at least!

This week I am down to 19st 1lb, so even with my naughtiness midweek I have managed to lose a pound, which is still a loss so I am good with that! I am hoping for more next week and intend to start swimming again this week, possibly walking to and from the pool too. Jon maybe be away tonight and I need to get shopping, however I may be able to fit it in, I need to get used to doing it even when he is not there, because that is my downfall. I don't like to exercise alone...or in front of people... I just need to get over it and stop being so lazy! Worse comes to worst I can jump on the Wii Fit and do it at home, its just getting it out. I am also thinking that we should try and do it before work so that we can just chillax when we get home tired from work. Tiredness is our main reason for not going out and exercising so if it's already done before we get home then we might not notice as much, the trouble will be waking up earlier to do it! ;)

Current Weight: 19st 1lb

Target weight loss date: 22nd September

Target weight: 18st 0lb

Pounds left until target: 15lbs

Weightloss so far: 1lb

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Better late than never!

So this weeks is a bit later than my normal post on a Monday, we have been busy looking after my nephew all week but I have stolen some time to write this draft which I will publish later!

So I didn't quite hit my target this time but I am not downhearted I have lost a lb this week and I have lost a lot of weight so far and I am happy that I've lost this much. Since my heaviest I have now lost 17lbs (1 stone 3lbs) which is more than I have lost on any diet so far. 

I definitely need to ramp up the weightloss a bit per week but I think that 2-3lbs a week is a more healthy weightloss target and makes me less likely to chuck it all back on.

With the wedding less than 12 months away it's made me think of my end game , by the time of the wedding I would LOVE to be a size 14 however I would be happy with a size 16. I am trying to be realistic where possible and I know that it will get harder the more weight I lose, but I see these women in their wedding dresses and although they look beautiful I say to myself, 'I do not want to be that size on my wedding day' if they are happy with their size then that is fine I have no judgement of them, but for me I don't want to be this size forever. 

I already have problems with my knees at 25 and although a past injury to one knee doesn't help I think that all of this extra weight is only making them worse. I want to be able to play games with my (future) kids and nieces and nephews and not have to stop after a few minutes because I'm out of breath and bright red and in pain.

So, with that in mind my next target is:

To be 18 stone by 22nd September

That gives me six weeks to lose 16lbs which is about 2.5lbs a week. If it's more than that I will be overjoyed!

So weigh in today:

Current weight: 19st 2lbs

Target weightloss date: 22nd September

Weightloss so far: 0 lb

Weightloss to target: 16 lbs

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

It's getting near that target time...

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy on thursday, and it was truly great, having walked into the cinema not knowing the characters at all I walked out feeling like I knew them very well. It had drama, great SFX and tons of humour. Even if you do not normally like Sci Fi films I urge you to go see it because I think you will be surprised. 

Unfortunately you can't take the little ones to it due to some choice words used in the film, but the tweens will love it. Each character is given their moment in the sun, and all of the individual stories are intertwined beautifully, some backstory I think will be filled in by later movies, but for an introductory film it was enough. No flashbacks except for Peter Quill's character (and technically it isn't a flashback as we start at that point then move into the future), the rest of the story is in dialogue amongst the characters.

I think that Groot and Rocket Raccoon will become firm favourites to the movie fans, they are a great little double act. There is some discussion between myself and Jon about whether Rocket can understand Groot (Jon's view) or he is interpreting the 'I am Groot' 's to fit his own conversational arc (my view) which other characters do at other points of the film too. 

My personal favourite was Drax and that was only because of one scene and his line made me laugh, and then laugh a few times after the  scene had finished when I remembered it. Who knew wrestlers could act better than when they are wrestling!?! ;)

The end credit scene was lost on me as I didn't know who it was and had to ask Jon, but he was also disappointed with it, however it seems we might be in the minority with that opinion, as others loved it. It did not hint at the next film (or I hope not) and just felt like an inside joke that I was not part of.

The music for the film was another source of amusement, from the moment Starlord starts dancing in a cave to the classic 'heroes walking out in their uniforms' scene. It was 80's tastic and Jon for one was loving it, he immediately downloaded the album off of itunes and then tortured me with it for the whole weekend. For this reason it has made me go off the film soundtrack a bit, but originally I thought it was great and different to a lot of current superhero films.

Overall I would give this film:  4.5 * / 5*


Unfortunately I don't think that I will meet my target this time, however I am not downhearted as so far I have lost more weight continuously than I ever have before. My trousers are finally getting a little looser and although sometimes it doesn't feel like it's going quick enough, I know that it IS going.

This weekend we had a family party up in Leeds which meant not overly being able to control my food options (by home cooking), however although I did have a little chocolate bar and a packet of crisps in the car journey on the way up, for dinner we went to Frankie and Benny's. Now our old routine of this would have been starters, mains and dessert, however partly we did not have time but we also chose not to have it. Normally it is a plethera of lovely calorific foods that you can gorge on, however I went for a Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad, and actually it was really nice! I have been eating salads for the past couple of weeks and I have really started to enjoy them. I could not finish all of the salad (there was quite a lot) and I did have a few fries as they were misordered (would be rude not to ;) )

So the weight loss for this week, well I have lost the 2lbs I put on last week plus another pound. I am pretty happy with that, will need to set a new target up next week, as I doubt I will lose 6lbs in a week I am unlikely to hit target.

Current Weight: 19st 3lbs

Target weightloss by 11th August: 14 lbs

Pounds left until target: 6lbs

Weightloss so far: 8lbs