Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Ready Meals under 5 syns - Part One

Most of us haven't got the time or inclination to cook from the recipe books every single night, we all have lives and sometimes following a million and one instructions on a recipe just doesn't fit in! So I've been doing a bit of research and I've found 10 ready meals which you should be able to find in your local supermarket for under 5 syns. I think everyone thinks that ready meals are bad but there are some which you can easily fit within your daily syn allowance, just don't forget the super free on the side if it needs it!

WW Chilli with wedges 5
WW Chicken curry with rice 4.5
WW Shepherds pie 4
WW Sweet and sour 4
WW Beef hotpot 5
Tesco Healthy Living Moroccan chicken and rice 4.5
Tesco Healthy Living Szechuan chicken noodles  3.5
Tesco Healthy Living chicken and prawn paella 4.5
Tesco Healthy Living chicken with tomato and basil sauce (chilled) 0.5
Innocent Veg Pot Roasted Aubergine Moussaka (chilled) FREE
(Should be in the frozen section unless stated)

The only one of these I've tried is the Weight Watchers Chilli with wedges and I can say that it is very nice, the wedges are a really nice addition. As for the others I can't speak for them as I've not tasted them but I'm sure you lot will tell me what you think if you've tried them!

Weekly Weigh in #31 - Yep you can lose this in 1 week

So another week, another weigh in and it's getting very close to my holiday (next week, in fact), last week I said I wanted to lose 2lb over these next 2 weeks so I could get my 4 stone award for when I go to Florida. Well I kinda blew that completely out of the water because I lost 7lb this week giving my 4 stone award plus 3 more to put my nicely into it.

I've never lost this much in one week at Slimming World, even my first week was a 6lb weight loss so I have no idea how I've managed it this week other than being 100% on plan and also running around like a mad woman at work over the weekend. So I'm well and truly in the 4 stone mark and I'm definitely going to have a bit to play with when I go away.

Also in my 'news' this week is that today I went out, tried on and bought a pair of size 12 jeans from Next; honestly I think it was about 7 years ago the last time I could do that. It felt so nice today to be able to go into any shop of my choice and know that I will be able to pick my size of the hanger is such a good feeling. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the clothes in places like Evans but when you're totally restricted to certain shops, shopping for holiday clothes can be pretty soul destroying especially if you hate looking at yourself in the mirror. What I did realise today though, is that I need to tone up on my stomach and probably on my legs but that will come in time and I'll do that when I feel good and ready!

I'm hoping for another 1 or 2 pounds this week just to keep it going right up until the last minute but I've already exceeded where I wanted to be for my holiday so I'm feeling totally chuffed with myself to be honest!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Weekly Weigh in #30 - The one after Easter weekend

**This is a late post, been so busy and not had a chance to write anything up**

I honestly didn't think that Easter weekend would bother me, usually I work the whole bank holiday so I don't even get chance to be tempted by food or drink but this weekend saw me venture out into my home town for a drink (an occasion which only happens twice a year), I didn't watch what I drank and then came the hangover on Monday. Anyway, the results on the scales weren't as bad as I thought they would be and I got away with a 0.5lb gain

I'm not gutted because I do know where it has come from and I probably deserved more and that 4 stone award is still within reach by the time I go to Florida. If I can lose 2lb each week for the next 2 weeks I'll get my 4 stone award the same week I fly out which will be a great way to start my holiday! This week is going to involve lots of planning and some cooking, I'm at my mums for tea tomorrow but I've already been informed that it's a chicken dinner which is absolutely perfect for Slimming World. Other than that I aren't out for any meals this week, the only thing I might struggle a little with is Saturday; we have a big stressful function on at the pub so fitting in any kind of food is going to be tricky (I'm hoping for left over veg!). So I've got 4 evening meals to plan for and lunches/snacks in between.

Planning is definitely the key to me succeeding and if I know what I want on the scales then I generally find it easier to stick to it. Here's what I'm hoping to have this week:

Chilli beef noodles or a stir fry - I always said I didn't like stir fry but you know what I think I would love to try one now, I think before I started Slimming World I just wanted to avoid potentially healthy foods but now the idea of chicken with veg and noodles really appeals to me.

Mince with Gravy, potatoes and veg - I do love 'no fuss' foods, truth be known I hate having to faff around in the kitchen and I have to be really in the mood to follow a complicated recipe so mince and gravy is perfect for when I can't be bothered.

Salmon - I love salmon, I honestly cannot get enough.

Here's to another week of Slimming World!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Guilt Free Chicken Mayo Baguette on WHITE Bread

Earlier on today all I could think about was eating a massive chicken mayo baguette with chips and salad, and although to most it might not sound like an unhealthy meal, if you had something like that from a pub it'd probably set you back about 3 or 4 days worth of syns. White bread is very high, the chips would be deep fried and you can pretty much guarantee that the mayonnaise would be the full fat 5 syn per tablespoon kind... it might taste very nice but I personally don't think it's worth it when I know I can knock something up which is totally guilt free...

So what you see above is a white crusty roll with chicken and mayonnaise and celery with chips and salad. All this cost me just 4 syns and if you wanted to use lighter than light mayo you could do it for just 1 syn. I have an actifry to do my chips but you can also do SW chips in the oven, so I use 2 medium potatoes, peel and chip them and set them going while I prepare the other stuff. If you don't already know, one Weight Watchers part baked white petit pain roll counts as your healthy B choice (or 5 syns) so I cook this in the oven for about 12 minutes, get some cooked chicken, add 2 tablespoons of light mayo (4 syns), mix that together then cut the baguette in half and stuff the chicken mayo inside it. Then just chop up whatever salad you like (I personally think celery goes really well with chicken mayo), get your chips out when they're ready and there you go... a gorgeously naughty tasting meal for minimal syns!

Do you have a way to turn something naughty into SW friendly?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Weekly Weigh in #29 - How to get a good weight loss

After last weeks 0.5lb gain there was absolutely no way I was doing it again. My little short term goal of 4 stone before Florida wasn't going to happen if I didn't do something pretty drastic this week. So after a 100% week with lots of Super Speed food I have lost 4lb! I'm now sort of comfortably in the 13 stone figures but obviously no time to rest on my laurels because I've got another 3.5lb to come off to get my 4 stone award for Florida. 

I think lots of people think that you can't get big losses once you've been doing Slimming World for a while, if you think like that then you'd be wrong. Obviously we all know our limited where weight loss is concerned and I do think that losing weight seems a little easier when you have more to lose but with a few tweaks in your weekly plan you can help yourself lose more than the average 1.5lb. I've seen some bits and bobs online about success express, I personally haven't ever tried it but the basics behind it are that you fill 2/3 of your plate with super free as opposed to 1/3 and you take the highest syn value in the book whenever you enjoy your syns (in the books there are 3 syn values, red, green and extra easy... always take whichever is highest no matter what). I generally have quite a lot of super free on my plate anyway and I will not eat a meal without super free (it DOES make a difference to your weight loss and I am sick of seeing people on Instagram moaning about their losses, but if you look back at their photos they have no or very little super free on their plates).

Anyway, back to what I do... if I want a good loss I look in my Slimming World book and I find all the foods with an SS by the side of them. This means 'Super Speed' which are foods which are 'extra low in energy density... so they have extra slimming power', I try and include these in my plan every single day if not more than once a day. I have Melon as a snack (honeydew is really nice and sweet!) and I'll try and have baked beans on my plate if the meal goes with them. Here's a quick list of just some of the super speed foods:

Strawberries, raspberries, cod, haddock, butter beans, mushy peas, baked beans, garden peas/petits pois...

There are lots more but I find these easiest to include in my plan, I don't do this every week obviously but when I feel I need a kick up the bum this is my usual plan of action and it usually works!!

Next week I'm hoping for at least 1lb, I'm not going to push myself because I don't want to be disappointed but my mini goal is well within my sights thanks to a good loss this week!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Syns Spotlight | Chocolate Bars under 10 Syns

While I savour every little bite of a Crunchie I thought what better time to do a little feature on chocolate bars under 10 syns. Personally I don't often use my syns on chocolate (or crisps) but I know that lots of Slimming Worlders like to treat themselves with a chocolate bar within their syns. 

Crunchie just sneaks in under the 10 syn mark at 9.5, I love them because I can take ages over the honeycomb centre because I can't stand the sensation on my teeth if I crunch it but I love the taste. Fry's Turkish Delight will probably be a bit of a Marmite situation; you'll either love it or hate it, but it's another one that just sneaks under at 9.5. If you love the taste of Galaxy then a Ripple would be the best choice at 8.5 syns (standard Galaxy bars are 12.5) and if you fancy a bit of a Cadbury fix which is bigger and a bit different than a Freddo (5 syns) then a Flake is also 8.5 syns. If sweet white chocolate is what you crave then a 30g bag of Milky Bar Buttons is only 8 syns and finally a cute Malteser Bunny is also just 8 syns (mini bunnies are 3 syns each).

There are obviously other choices under 10 syns but I chose my favourites and also ones which you got the most for your syns. You could have a Curly Wurly for 6 syns but I'm always worried chewing on one of those is going to pull a filling out, ha! And of course you can have treat size bars for around 5 syns but let's be fair... they're barely a mouthful and always leave you wanting more! After my Crunchie my sweet craving has well and truly gone and I have really enjoyed my 10 minutes of chocolate heaven.

What's your favourite chocolate bar?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Weekly Weigh in #28

For the first time since starting Slimming World in September, I'm feeling really demotivated this week; not quite to the point of packing in but enough to make me feel really rubbish. After having a good week food wise (apart from one meal at Fazenda in Leeds which is meat and salad) I've gained. So, so mad.

After feeling so positive last week about getting my 3.5 stone award I've put 0.5lb on this week, taking me back into the 14's again which I did NOT want to see ever again. I know people will say 'it's only half a pound' and my husband says 'well you can't lose every week'... in answer to those it IS only half a pound but half a pound more than I wanted to weigh this week and YES YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT EVERY WEEK!!!!!!!!!!! ....and breathe. I could sit here for hours on end and speculate as to what has caused it but I'm not going to, as our leader always says: 'draw a line under what has happened and move on to a new week'. 

Plan of Action
Probably TMI but I've not been for 5 days, that can't be good and although I'm not blaming that it sure won't be helping my weight loss so this weeks plan of action is going to be to add more foods which are high in fibre into my diet (the ones with F and FF next to them in the SW books) and lots of water to go with it. 

I also know I need to vary what I eat, it's all getting a little bit too samey for my liking so I'm going to do a proper shop tonight at Tesco and tomorrow at Lidl and Farmfoods (because I refuse to pay Tesco prices for everything) and plan exactly what I'm going to eat and I'll do a food diary every day. Even considering putting a daily food diary on here just to force me to do it.

So new week, new mind set... I'll let myself be mad tonight but I'll get that 0.5lb off next week and then some!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Slimming World Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

I used to eat a LOT of junk food before I started Slimming World but just because I am eating healthily, it doesn't mean that I no longer enjoy that kind of food; I just choose not to waste use my syns on it. Instead I try and do things the Slimming World way, and although it doesn't taste quite as good as KFC, this Slimming World version of southern fried chicken is blooming nice!


- Chicken (cut however you want, I like strips)
- Smash or other syn free instant mash powder (I used Mr Mash)
- American Chip Spice (found in takeaways, chip shops and Morrisons)
- 2 eggs, beaten


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Mix the mash powder and chip spice together in a tub, I tend to use 2/3 mash powder to 1/3 chip spice but it's very much about trial and error; seeing what you like.

Cut your chicken however you want it, I like strips but you could also use skinless drumsticks or thighs if you like that kind of thing. 

Spray a baking tray with fry light (to stop the chicken sticking)

Take a piece of chicken and dip it in the egg, then roll it around the mash powder mix. I like to double dip, so just repeat that to double coat the chicken, some people only do it the once though... again it's personal preference. Then place the chicken on the baking tray and repeat for all your pieces

Put in the oven for 25 minutes, turning half way through cooking

I served mine with a big crispy salad and a tablespoon of light mayo so the whole meal only cost me 2 syns; a fraction of what it would have been at KFC. This would also work if you were looking to make a chicken burger type meal with fake bread crumbs. This is another recipe that sounds odd because of the smash but you've really got to try it before you knock it! The next recipe I want to try is Big Mac in a bowl...

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Syns Spotlight | Muller Light Inspired by Cheesecake

If like me, you enjoy a sweet treat now and again without the guilt then the new Muller Light cheesecake yoghurts might be for you. At 1 syn per pot they fit in easily with your syn allowance of 15 per day and they taste naughtier than they really are (which is always a bonus). To be totally honest I would rather not use syns on yoghurts but these are a little different; they're really sweet and a bit more substantial than normal Muller Light yoghurts.

They contain little fruit pieces along with pieces of crushed biscuity cake in Muller Light yoghurt. The only downfall to these is that I've yet to see them in individual pots, you have to buy them in multipacks of 6 but they're currently only £1.94 for a pack of 6 in Morrisons at the moment which works out at under 50p per pot which I didn't think was bad. I do prefer the lemon to the strawberry flavour; I think it's a great palette cleansing pudding after a meal.

I've also heard rumours of a New York Cheesecake one of these too which is also only 1 syn! I can't wait to try that one!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Weekly Weigh in #27

If you read last weeks Weekly Weigh in post you'll know that I needed 1.5lb off to get my 3.5 stone award, well I only went and did it didn't I!!!

I got on the scales this morning and I saw '13' as the first number, this is the first time I've seen this since around 2009 which is a lonnnng time, so you can imagine how happy that made me! It's little things like seeing the next number on the scales or getting an award that make all the difference in your levels of motivation. For me, keeping to smaller more achievable goals is what keeps me focused, if I only had my eye on the ultimate goal I daresay I might have lost motivation by now. 

Next week I want 3lb off so I know I'm going to have to do some good planning and I need to stick to the plan 100%, here's some of what I'm going to be enjoying this week:

- Toby Carvery (one of the best places to eat out while healthy eating)
- Salmon
- Chilli
- Burgers
- Bachelors Pasta n' Sauce 

I've definitely got my eye on the prize now, I bought another 6 week count down tonight which takes me to the week I go to Florida and I want my 4 stone award that week (if not before) so if I have a couple of good weight losses in the coming weeks it puts me in good stead for what I want!