Monday, 31 March 2014

Slimming World Hunters Chicken Recipe

I think the below photo is unintentionally one of the best examples of 1/3 superfree that I've ever eaten, all the super free (cucumber and peppers) is arranged nicely on exactly one third of the plate! Anyway, the purpose of todays post is to show you how to do Hunters Chicken or BBQ chicken the Slimming World way. When on restaurant menus it does tend to be quite a high syn option because the fat is still on the bacon, it's swimming in cheese and sugary BBQ sauce... not to mention the chips that come with it but it can be done using only 1 syn!

- 2 chicken steaks/fillets (I tend to buy my chicken from Lidl, I find it's the cheapest and best value by far, when doing hunters chicken or pizza topped chicken I buy the steaks as opposed to the fillets because they're already flat meaning that there's no need to butterfly them)
- 2/3 rashers of bacon with the fat cut off
- 65g Light Mozzarella, or any other cheese which you like, just check how much you can have (HEXA) 
- 2 potatoes, chipped
- Beans (optional, I just like them on my chips)
- Salad (whatever you fancy to fill up that third of your plate)
- 1 tbsp HP Honey BBQ Sauce (1 syn)

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Put each individual chicken steak/fillet onto tin foil and place 2 slices of mozzarella on each 
- Wrap each piece of chicken in bacon and pull up the sides of the tin foil and pinch at the top to cover the chicken and place on a tray in the oven.
- If you have an Actifry then put your chips in there and set the timer to around 35 minutes. If you don't have an Actifry see this method for Slimming World chips
- Chop up whatever salad you fancy and cover 1/3 of your plate with it
-  After 25 mins of cooking, take the chicken out of the oven and remove it from the tin foil (be careful as it will have some chicken juice in there, which will be hot). Place each piece of chicken back onto the tray and cook for a further 5/10 minutes just to firm up the bacon.
- When your chicken and chips are done arrange them on your plate however you'd like, measure out 1 tbsp BBQ sauce and pour it on top of your chicken.
- At this point I warmed my beans up and put them on top of my chips, as I said this is optional I just really like chips and beans! I also used any remaining mozzarella to put on top of my chips... gorgeous!

Another big plate full of food using only 1 syn (as long as you use your mozzarella as your HEXA)! No it's not swimming in cheese or BBQ sauce but there's more than enough of each to make it really tasty!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Diet Coke Chicken Recipe

This is probably one of the 'cult' Slimming World recipes, I have no idea who came up with the idea of pouring a full can of Diet Coke over chicken must have been a nutter but a full on genius at the same time! Lots of people will turn their noses up as soon as they hear that one of the ingredients is Diet Coke, and I will admit that it does sound odd but it makes the most amazing chinese style chicken dish and best of all, this method is completely Syn free on extra easy!

2/3 chicken breasts, diced
2 onions diced or sliced (whatever you prefer)
1 330ml can Diet Coke
200ml Tomato Passata
2 crushed garlic cloves (or equivalent as garlic salt etc.)
1 chicken stock cube
Splash of soy sauce
Splash of Worcester sauce

Use Frylight to fry the chicken and onion in a large pan until the chicken is sealed

Pour in the can of coke, passata, soy and worcester sauce, garlic, any spices you desire and the stock cube. Note: do not make up the stock cube with water as directed on the packet, you just put the full stock cube into the mix

Simmer on a low/medium heat for around 30 minutes, stirring every so often, this is what it will look like when you first add all the ingredients...

I thought I'd show you what it looks like because I think it worries people that it's so liquid; it takes the 30 minutes to reduce down to a more sticky, thick consistency that it's famous for.

While you're waiting for it to reduce, start to prepare your sides, I love plain long grain rice with lots of red and yellow peppers but it's up to you what you have. Just remember if you're following the extra easy Slimming World plan, you need that 1/3 Superfree on your plate!

This is what mine looks like served up on a plate, as you can see the sauce has reduced a lot and it's more of a thick sauce coating the chicken. It's still more than enough to eat with the rice and the peppers just give it a bit of colour and crunch.

If you haven't already tried Diet Coke chicken, regardless of what healthy eating plan you're following, you should definitely give it a try! Lots of the ladies and gents at my group make this for the whole family and it's also been a winner with their children! It's also totally adaptable to your own taste, if you want to add mushrooms or peppers into the mix at the beginning then you can, and if you want to take it off the heat before the 30 minutes up for a more runny sauce then there's nothing stopping you!

Have you tried this weird and wonderful recipe?

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Afternoon Tea the Slimming World Way

Afternoon tea has become quite a craze over the past couple of years and it's something you'd probably want to avoid if you're on a health kick, but for Mothers Day I treat my mum to afternoon tea at my house, the Slimming World way. I got out all my tiered cupcake stands and my nice little cups and saucers and did a bit of baking... just minus the oodles of flour and sugar! Here's how I did it:

The Savouries

- 2 slices from a 400g wholemeal loaf for a HEXB which would get you 4 triangles. The fillings consisted of: salmon and cucumber, roast ham and tomato and egg mayonnaise (with extra light mayo). Not using butter on sandwiches also makes a difference in syn values, a lot of afternoon sea sandwiches will have butter slathered all over them which pushes the syn values higher than you may expect!!

- Short celery sticks with light primula cheese down the middle (80g of Primula for HEXA, that's half the tube!)

- Cherry Tomatoes


The Sweets

A small traditional fruit scone would be 7 syns and if you wanted to go all posh and have a Tesco Finest butter scone, that'd be 13 syns!!! 1 tbsp clotted cream (4 syns) and 1 tsp jam (2 syns) takes it to a very costly affair syns-wise! If you really want a scone I'd suggest just having half of the quantities and you can enjoy a little bit of naughty for a lot less syns!


I did buy a pack of scones, for the benefit of my guests as well as some other naughty bits; the short bread and chocolate tiffin pieces are 7.5 syns each!!!! To stop myself from over indulging on the naughty stuff, I enjoyed treats from two recipes which I found on different blogs and on the Slimming World website...

Lemon Drizzle Fairy Cakes (serves 16) 2.5 syns each

1 Lemon
2 Eggs
50g low fat spread suitable for baking eg. Anchor Spreadable Lighter
6 tbsp artificial sweetener
100g self raising flour
2-3 drops vanilla essence

For the drizzle
8 level teaspoons of icing sugar
Few drops of lemon juice
Couple drops of yellow food colouring
1 tsp icing sugar to dust


Preheat Oven to 180 degrees (gas 4)
Whisk eggs together with low fat spread and sweetener
Sieve in the flour and fold into the mixture with lemon zest and vanilla essence.
Spoon into the 16 cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until firm and golden
Place on a wire rack to cool

To make the lemon drizzle, mix together icing sugar, lemon juice and food colouring to make a spoonable mixture, drizzle it over the top of the cakes and then dust with icing to finish.

Squidgy Chocolate Loaf (13 syns for whole thing)

6 eggs (separated)
150g Splenda sweetener 
50g cocoa powder (not hot chocolate) (9 syns)
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tsps sugar (4 syns, optional)
Fry Light

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (gas 4)
Whisk egg whites to soft peak stage
Put egg yolks, Splenda and vanilla essence in a bowl and mix until smooth (add the sugar now if you wish to)
Add the cocoa powder gradually mixing in the cocoa, if the mixture gets too stiff add a little of the egg white
Fold the egg whites into the mixture with a metal spoon, make sure you fold carefully do not just mix it because you need to keep the mixture light and airy.
Spray a loaf tin with fry light and pour the mixture in.
Bake the cake for around 25 minutes until firm but springy, remove from oven and stand to cool (Leave in the tin)

This should make around 20 pieces, which dramatically reduces the syn value of each slice; I also cut each slice in half.

Adapted from a recipe on Slimming Eats


My willing guinea pigs (my mum, nana and grandad) all preferred the chocolate cake to the lemon drizzle cakes, which surprised me. But it also astounded them how many syns they ended up consuming when they had a bit of everything! I ended up eating 15 syns which is my whole allowance for today but it's far better than what I would have eaten if I hadn't have planned it the Slimming World way. It just shows that you can do afternoon tea within your allowance and I can't say that I enjoyed it any less than the really naughty afternoon teas I've had in the past!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Why I Chose Slimming World

There are so many weight loss plans out there it can be quite daunting when you decide that you want to lose weight. Structure is what lots of us thrive on so having a plan to follow can result in better success than if we were to just 'eat healthy'. I have tried lots of different diets including shakes and 3 day 'chemical reaction' diets... most of them have all had that magic little word in them which makes us go 'ahhhhh I can't do it', that little word is 'diet'. As soon as you mention diet lots of people imagine hours of hunger and treat deprivation, that's where Slimming World is different.

Slimming World is a way of life, you must be willing to change your attitude towards eating if you are going to succeed with this plan. The thing with Slimming World is that you can eat lots of filling food, you can eat until you feel full and you can still have the treats that you love. I will openly admit that I am a pig where food is concerned, I don't like child size portions, I like a decent plate full of food and Slimming World allows for this. As long as you fill at least 1/3 of your plate with non-starchy veg/fruit you can eat until you are full. All lean meats, seafood, meat replacement pieces, potatoes, eggs, fat free cottage cheese, fat free natural yoghurt and fromage frais, beans and pulses are free which means you can have as much as you like without having to weigh or count anything. You see it's the weighing I cannot stand, when I did Weight Watchers you literally had to weigh and count 95% of what went in your mouth (it might have changed since I went) and I cannot stand this. I love being able to snack on veg and fruit without worrying about weighing or counting.

Then there's arguably the most important bit... treats. Syns are what you use for the little luxuries that you love, I tend to use mine for a splodge of mayonnaise or a bit of chocolate but it's ultimately up to you what you use yours on. Women can have up to 15 syns per day and men are allowed up to 20 (lucky sods); as long as you stay within this every day you won't go far wrong.You also get one choice of Slimming World approved high calcium foods (HEXA) and one choice of high fibre foods (HEXB) to help maintain a balanced diet.

Another thing I love is that because of the nature of the plan, you can still go out for meals. Admittedly some places are more Slimming World friendly than others but a plan friendly meal is possible in most places (I will exclude Pizza Hut from this now, that place is a very Synful place!). 

Ultimately, Slimming World has taught me that losing weight does not have to mean that you no longer have a life, you can do the things you love and find a way to eat the things you want and still lose weight. I love the support that the group brings every week and I won't lie the competitive fairy inside my head forces me to try and lose weight every single week because I HATE feeling like I've failed.

Common questions about the Slimming World plan (I follow the Extra Easy plan so I am answering this assuming you are following the same):

Why do I have to have the 1/3 Superfree on every plate?
The extra easy (EE) plan enables us to put more calorific, filling foods on our plate at the same time, when I say calorific I mean potatoes/rice/starchy veg as well as meats and fish. If we were allowed to fill our plates full of potatoes, meat and rice without adding any veg/salad/fruit we would not get the weight losses we want. The original Slimming world plans (red & green) would not allow meat and potatoes on the same plate without weighing and counting syns for one of them which meant that there was a degree of control over how many calories you were taking in per meal. Extra easy gives us more freedom to have different foods on the same plate but we must have the 1/3 super free to control and reduce the calorie intake.

How many Healthy Extras can I have?
1 healthy A and 1 healthy B.
Healthy A's are for your calcium intake and can range from 250ml semi skimmed milk to 30g cheddar cheese (there are lots of other choices!)
Healthy B's are for your fibre intake and you can choose one from a selection of wholemeal breads, to cereal and cereal bars (again, there are lots of other choices).
You MUST measure/weigh these as these to get good weight losses, do not estimate because 9 times out of 10 you will find that you are having far more than you are actually allowed! A full list of Healthy Extras can be found on the Slimming World members website.

Can I really eat as much as I want?
Yes, you can. Every meal you can have a good plateful of food. You can eat as much as you want until you are full, however once you are eating beyond feeling full you are eating too much. When you feel full it is your body telling you that you do not need to eat any more, if you are eating when you are full just for the sake of it (through boredom or otherwise) is like eating syns. Lots of people snack on oodles of fruit in between meals without thinking about it, just because it's super free BUT if they are not actually hungry they are ploughing more calories into their body than needed which can reflect on the scales. So the key to eating lots on Slimming World is knowing when you are full!

I hope this little post has introduced the Slimming World plan quite nicely and I hope the short Q&A has helped anyone with any questions. If you have anymore questions please don't hesitate to ask me on Twitter, you're probably asking something which someone else is also dying to know!

Fashion | My 'Slimming Into' Dress

I was saying in my post the other day that for me, losing weight isn't all about what the scales say, it's also about how I feel and how my clothes fit. I was lucky enough to win a gorgeous brightly coloured dress from Very Definitions on Laurenella's blog, when asked what size I wanted I purposely asked for a 14 because I knew it wouldn't fit me and I'd have to slim into it. I know lots of people do this but often it's a piece in an unattainable size, I know that this 14 will take around another stone weight loss because it does seem like quite a small size.
I love to have small goals to aim for in between reaching my ultimate goal, I think it helps a lot with motivation and means that I don't ever take my eye off the prize. The sense of achievement I feel when I can fit into this will be immense! It's a really figure hugging piece too which means it's a bit more daring than what I'd normally go for, and I'd very rarely ever wear bright colours like this orange-red. Black is still my best friend at the moment but I'm hoping to gradually introduce brighter colours back into my wardrobe. 

If you like the look of this dress it's still in stock on the Very website for £45.00 and it's available up to a size 18.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Weekly Weigh in #26

To call this weigh in week one would be a bit daft really because I've been slimming since September of last year so this week is in fact weigh in number 26. Every single week I wear the exact same clothes so I know that my weigh in is totally accurate because let's face it wearing jeans one week and leggings another would add at least another pound onto your weight. So this week I've had a good week...

This weeks weightloss: 2lb
Pounds to next award (3.5 stone): 1.5

I love being so close to an award but I also hate it at the same time, I feel like I could have pushed myself more to get that extra 1.5lb but if I get it next week (which I WILL) it'll mean that it's taking me around a month to lose half a stone. I don't think that's bad going and it'd put me in good stead to get my 4 stone award in time for going to Florida. 

This weeks news: The new magazine is out!!! It's £1.95 to Slimming World group members but you can pick it up in shops as a non member for £2.75. I haven't had time to read it just yet but I'm sure it's full of slimspiration and meal ideas

They've brought out some new Peanut luxury hi-fi bars (HEXB or 6 syns each), they're quite significantly smaller than the old luxury bars which is a bit disappointing but they are still really tasty. I often don't have bread or cereal so hi-fi bars are great for getting my healthy B choice in. These are £1.95 for a pack of 4 but they're only available at groups.

We got a sneaky peak at the brand new Fakeaways recipe book!! Consultants aren't allowed to sell them until 7th April but I had a quick look tonight and it looks soooo good. I've not had a takeaway for 6 months so I'm really looking forward to being able to prepare stuff that tastes just like the real thing but for less syns!

On the menu for tea tonight is a double Quorn burger from the frozen section (0.5 syns each) in a small wholemeal roll (HEXB) and some cheese (HEXA) with peppers and cucumber.

Hopefully next week I'll be showing you a photograph of my 3.5 stone award!

Monday, 24 March 2014

The Story So Far

I've actually been slimming since September 2013, but I've just been doing periodic weight loss posts on my beauty blog, but it's become increasingly difficult to incoporate those kinds of posts into my normal stuff so I decided that the way to go would be to do a dedicated weight loss blog. I'm going to address this first post using a Q&A format because that's easiest for me, and easy for you to follow...

Which weight loss plan do you follow?
Slimming World

Have you tried any other weight loss plans?
Yes, lots... Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Herbalife, Military Diet, Alli.

What will be posted on this blog?
Everything to do with losing weight and my weight loss journey. Obviously it will be primarily based on following the Slimming World plan but you could easily incorporate my recipes and ideas into your own plan. 

Starting Weight: 17st 6.5lb
Current Weight: 14st 3lb
Goal Weight: TBC

Starting Clothes Size: 18/20
Current Clothes Size: 14/16
Goal Clothes Size: 12

To be totally honest, I'm more concerned about clothes size than I am about my actual weight. I've always weighed quite heavy; even at my slimmest when I was like 15 and a size 10/12 I was still 11.5st so I personally don't think it's realistic for me to be under 11 stone without pushing myself too far.

Progress photo so far:
Left: June 2013 Right: March 2014

The main difference I notice in these two is how I'm stood, on the left I'm slouched in a 'please don't notice me' stance whereas on the right I'm stood tall and confident; not worried by the fact that I'm having a photo. The more I look at the photo on the left the more I feel like it's not even me, I often wonder why I let myself get to that size... everything was an effort for me: buying clothes that didn't make me feel like a whale, walking around, standing for long periods behind the bar... I just wasn't myself at all.

So if you're ready to read about my weight loss journey, collecting some hints and tips along the way please subscribe via Blog Lovin and follow me on twitter!

Also if you have any questions please leave them in the comments below!