Social media is a great platform for spreading the plight of those less fortunate than us, and some great charities out there that are trying to make the world a better place.
I recently fell upon a charity on Facebook called ‘SmallsForAll’. It sparked a great interest in me, so I decided tolook intoit further.
I was amazed to read how things that I take for granted such as underwear was an unaffordableitem for others in Africa.
Underwear in certain parts of Africa is seen as a luxury. A sign of wealth andperhapsthat the women or child has a male figure in their lives. Those without, are more at risk of being attacked and even raped.
Reading about this broke my heart. There are many young girls who cannot go to school during their period as they don’t have any underwear or sanitary items. Imagine how they must feel duringthisparticulartime. The humiliation and embarrassment they must feel.This in turn impacts on their education, not forgetting hygiene and health problems.
Thankfully in 2010, a lady called MariaMacnamarahas set up an amazing charity that helps these vulnerable women and children.
The idea isreally simple. We send the charity ourold, unwanted bras. Those that are in good enough condition are sent toorphanages or IDP camps and given to women and girls that can’t afford them. The bras that are not able to be reused are recycled. The money they get from this is then used to buy pants for them.
I think this is an amazing idea, and I wish I had known about it many years ago.
Charities do not take used underwear, so it is likely to be sent to landfill sites. The fact that we can now send them somewhere to be recycled to do such good, is fantastic. Even those bras that have lost their wires in the wash, or been mixed in with the darks, all have a purpose.
I was so inspired by this, I set about going through my own bra drawer at home. See how I got on in myYoutubevideo:
Have you ever had a taste for a specific dish, or seen something on the TV or in a magazine but you don’t have a recipe?
This happens to me all the time. The other one I get from my hubby is ‘my mum used to make ……’. When asked how she made it, of course he never has a clue!
This week when at my Slimming World group, we were given a sneak preview to a new cookery book which feature meals for Extra Easy SP meals.
I’ll be honest, when I heard there would be another recipe book, I’d decided not to buy it without even seeing it. I have so many already which I don’t use all the time. I also couldn’t think what else they could bring out that would be worth me buying another time one!
As I flicked through, there were so many recipes I loved. It’s not on sale yet as it will be part of a 12 week countdown. As I’m so close to target It won’t be worth me buying one. Well I keep telling myself that! I’ve been messing about for 18 months now trying to get into my target range again!
For me, the motivation has slightly gone as everyone especially hubby doesn’t want me to lose that 7lb again, but I do!
Anyway back to the book! I know it will be a couple of months before I’ll be able to buy it.
There was one specific recipe that really caught my eye! Moroccan Lamb! Now if you know me, you will know I don’t eat lamb, but I thought it would be great with chicken!
I tried to memorise it in my head!
The next day I planned to make it! I couldn’t however remember what liquid was required. It certainly wasn’t in the ingredients so maybe it was in the instructions which I hadn’t really read!
I contacted my consultant who kindly sent me a photo.
So last night I set about to make the dish I’d been dreaming of all day!
I got all the ingredients ready from what I had remembered. I grabbed my phone to check them against the pictures my consultant had sent!
As I looked at my phone the colour drained! I’d somehow deleted the message! Can you believe it!
I was not going to be put off! I decided I would make it anyway using my memory of the recipe and my own cooking knowledge.
Here is what I did:
I love experimenting with food! I never let not having the recipe stop me being creative!
If it doesn’t turn out quite right first time, try it again a different way! It might not taste exactly like the one on TV or in that magazine, but who cares! If you like it, then that is all that matters.
So what you waiting for? Get into the kitchen and start being creative! You will be amazed at what you will come up with. It will also bring variety back into you mealtimes.
In my quest to add variety to our meals, this week I have 2 new companies to try!
The first one in fairness, I did order from a few weeks ago! Compared to the other online shops I’ve done, I found this one to be very slow in comparison. Over 2 weeks for my order to arrive compared to a couple of days! The say though that the best things in life are worth waiting for! So what is the product? Skinny sauces from The Skinny Company!
Since starting with Slimming World I’ve almost given up on sauces, opting for using my syns on other things.
After over 2 years, I felt the need to zing up my food so when I saw these on Facebook, I thought why not give them a try!
I decided to go for a big variety. With summer around the corner we will be having more salads and Braai’s, but also with the good old British weather I’ll be having roasts and baked dishes too.
I opted for honey & mustard, thousand island, bbq, mayonnaise, and a few more! At zero syns it would be rude not to! Check out my video to see the whole haul!
I’ve also bought the chocolate sauce. What amazed me was that for 100g it is equivalent to under 4 cubes of sugar. This compares with other brands like Nutella which are around 57 cubes! That is a staggering saving!
I’m looking forward to getting creative with that product!
Last night I decided to try my first bottle!
At the weekend I also visited a spring fair locally where I bought my second new product! Heck chicken burgers! At 1 syn a burger I had to try them!
Wow the zingy chicken was lovely . With a splash of honey and mustard sauce, it was like going out for a full fat burger.
I’m looking forward to trying the bbq one out tonight now!
It’s amazing how much of a routine we can get into with our food! By just changing a few items in your shopping back, you can reignite your taste buds!
My hubby follows a diet during the week, which he picked up from his native South Africa – The Banting Diet!
The basic principle is that you don’t eat carbs or sugar!
One ingredient they recommend as an alternative is Psyllium Husk. I’ve bought it and used it to make a bread alternative etc for him! It’s expensive!! This put this product cost into perspective for me.
It comes in packs of 2 in the shape of a circle, around 8″ wide. A pack of 6 costs £14, so with 10% off it came in at approx £2.30 a piece!
It was a lot more versatile than just being used as a pizza base alternative. This excited me!
I quickly put my order in. Within an hour I got an email back saying it had been dispatched! Wow, what service!
It arrived very quickly and I couldn’t wait to try it!
It’s extremely light and doesn’t roll out, which can make you a bit nervous to begin with.
I decided for my first try, I would revisit a childhood favourite- egg custard!
See how it turned out on my YouTube channel.
I was surprised at how it tasted.
Next, I thought I should go back to basics and do the pizza!
My hubby was blown away by it. The base really worked. Better still at only 2 syns on SW and fitting in with the Banting diet, it meant it was something both of us could enjoy!
Every month we get a magazine from Tesco. My hubby has started to take a real interest in it. So much so, he actually cooked 2 meals for me recently from them! He never cooks! I have a lot to thank Tesco for, that’s for sure!!
In a recent magazine, he spotted a Mexican Pizza recipe and suggested we use the Lo-Dough to make it! It looks like he now has the Lo-Dough bug too! Possibly something for dinner next week. Who knows !
My next recipe is going to be a chocolate brownie. Instead of using it as it is, you make it into breadcrumbs. I can’t wait to see what it comes out like!
If you want to try it too, use discount code RECIPES10 to get 10% off!
After avoiding it for so long, it’s now definitely a product which I will use regularly. @Lo-Dough is certainly an amazing product.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on!
On my pizza video, I also give you a review of another new product that you MUST try! Misfits is a nutritious, high protein snack. They have a fab offer on at the moment where you can get a taster pack for only £3 instead of £11.99 with the cost Taste3!
As with most things in life, if you do something long enough you can get into a rut!
I have been on Slimming World now for over 2 years, and food is no exception to that. Don’t get me wrong, just joining Slimming World opened up a whole new array of goods. Who knew about quark before Slimming World? I didn’t. And now I have it every day. I absolutely love it! It is fair to say, I think it has transformed my life. I use it for breakfast, sauces, desserts, dips etc. You name it, I’ve probably used it for something. Its also a free food on the plan. Bonus!
Another new food for me was Grapenuts. Great to add into yoghurts and are a HEB. That was 2 years ago, and I have since kept to the same sort of food groups. Don’t get me wrong, I am very good at making different recipes up, and being creative as my Youtube Channel will show, but as my weight has sort of settled down, I wanted to try and see if I could find other food items out there!
The best place to find new things is certainly by staying to group, but also social media is a good place to look.
The last 2 months, I decided to start pushing myself to try something new every few weeks.
The first one was by complete accident. My mum bought a health bar but didn’t want it, so gave it to me. It had been sitting in my bag for a few weeks! With SW you can have up to 15 syns a day, but I always try to avoid syns. The only time I really allow myself to have them is at the weekend for my @slimlinewine. At 3.5 syns for 125 ml, I can enjoy a good quality wine, and still protect my weight!
I had been looking at this bar in my bag but too nervous to eat it! It was going to be so high in syns wasn’t it! I was hungry one day at work, but was avoiding the biscuits and chocolate. I decided to have a look on the SW App to see the syns of this bar. It was 11 syns! I decided I should go for it. It sounded a lot, but it was in my syns so why not! I’m so glad I did, as it was absolutely delicious. Packed full of nuts, it really filled me up for the rest of the day until dinner!
It got me thinking about what other snacks were out there that would fill me up, but not break the syns bank. 11 syns is very high for me, but surely there must be other foods out there not so high that I could enjoy.
I was looking through Facebook the other day and came across an advert for Missfits. @Missfitsnutrition they sell protein snacks and shakes, which are also suitable for vegans. I decided to have a look on their site. They were formed in 2016 by a group of ladies who felt there wasn’t much out there for ladies looking for protein items.
They were offering a taster pack for £3 from £11.99. I thought this was too good an opportunity not to explore. I looked on the SW App for their syns, but couldn’t find them. I decided to buy them anyway. I could work out the syns when I get them!
Now I have to say, the service from start to finish has been absolutely excellent! When I put my order in, it wouldn’t allow me to put in my discount code (Taste3), so I was charged the full price. When I contacted them, they immediately refunded me the difference!
Their products have no refined sugar and all natural ingredients. Delivery was free and quick. The pack arrived yesterday and I was so excited to see what was in it.
I received: 2x Chocolate Vegan Protein Multitasker (25g), 2x Vanilla Vegan Protein Multitasker (25g), 2 x Cacao Orange Protein Wonderballs (35g), 2 x Coconut Protein Wonderballs (35g)
I was so excited to try them, but first of all checked out the syn value on the SW Syn Calculator. The shakes were 4 syns whilst the coconut wonderballs 6 and orange 5. I was really impressed.
Obviously it would be rude not to sample both flavours of wonderballs wouldn’t it! Wow, they were both delicious.
The orange flavour is a cross between a truffle and a chocolate orange, while the coconut tastes like one of my favourite childhood sweets, coconut mushrooms! I had to finish the opened bag of coconut ones last night! I was tempted to finish the orange bag too, but decided they are just too good to rush!
I haven’t tried the shakes yet, but I will be very soon. I’m planning to have them after a gym session one day!
They help you overcome your sugar craving without breaking the syn bank. Because they are high in protein, they fill you up longer too!
I was absolutely blown away by this product. If you are in the market for protein or vegan snacks or shakes, you seriously have to visit this website:
I’m not vegan, but these are still high on my list of must haves. I’m going to be ordering more. I’m especially interested in trying the salted caramel and cocoa ones.
I’m looking forward to getting home this evening to enjoy my orange wonderballs! I doubt the other 2 packs will be around by the end of next week. I am certainly hiding them from hubby! They are too nice to share!
So guys, for 5-6 syns you could have a really healthy, delicious, nutritious, high protein snack. Why would you use your syns on chocolate when you can have a bag of Missfits?
Give them a go with their taster pack and don’t forget to use the code to buy them for £3. You won’t regret it, I promise!
Well today, I have officially launched my Ready Steady Lets Cook Slim challenge.
Although I am a keen Slimming World member, and I will be looking to make dishes that fit that programme, I also want to be able to open it out to anyone who is looking to eat more healthily.
I’ve done Weight Watchers in the past, but don’t know how the points are done now. I anyone would like to send me anything to help me give them their points equivalent for Weight Watchers please to do so.
I want this challenge to be inclusive of everyone, whether you are vegetarian, vegan, dairy free etc also.
So what are the rules?
Each week, I will be inviting my followers on YouTube and my Blog to put forward virtual bags. Each virtual bag will have a maximum budget. I will pick at random each week 1 bag.
After I have chosen the virtual bag, I will go shopping for those ingredients. I will then create dishes based on those ingredients and store cupboard staples. So what will those store cupboard staples be?
Store Cupboard Staples
Anything from the Spice Rack
Vinegar – all varieties
Salt & Pepper
Stock cubes, bouillon powder or stock pots
Fat Free Dressings
Low Calorie Cooking Spray such as Frylight
Thai Fish Sauce
All other ingredients will need to be part of the bag.
The Virtual Bags
Budget Bag – Maximum Value £3.50
Classic Bag – Maximum Value £5.00
Bistro Bag – Maximum Value £7.50
Gourmet Bag – Maximum Value £10.00
What can you put into the virtual bags
You can put anything you like in the bags as long as it can be bought at most supermarkets.
If the value of your items doesn’t reach the maximum value and you want some additional ideas, you can give me the remaining balance as a wild card. This wild card will allow me to spend the remaining budget on any other ingredients I feel may enhance the dish.
You may tell me if you have any special dietary requirements for the dishes. You can also say if you are looking for specific meal time ideas such as dinner, lunch or breakfast or a mixture!
I will cook the dishes and publish them each week on my YouTube channel. I will let you know how they were made, how many they serve and anything else you might need to know to help you replicate it yourself at home!
To ensure I provide you with the best food options possible and have the chance to go shopping, I will be looking for the virtual bags by 5.00 pm on the Tuesday each week.
I’m really looking forward to this challenge and I hope you are too.
So start thinking about your virtual bags and leave a comment on my YouTube video here.
Does anyone else remember the TV cooking programme ‘Ready Steady Cook’? I was absolutely obsessed with it. In fact, it would be true to say that this programme turned me into the cook I am today!
The programme was hosted initially by Fern Britton, and then later on by the chef Ainsley Harriott.
The first episode hit our screens in October 1994 and went on for many more years, with the last episode in February 2010. In total, there was a staggering 1859 episodes.
So what was the programme all about? As the name points to, it was about cooking! Two contestants would be paired up with a celebrity chef. One team called ‘Green Pepper, the other ‘Red Tomato’.
The contestants would have brought with them a bag of ingredients to the value of £5. This was called ‘The Classic Bag’. The chef for their team would then have 20 minutes to create a few dishes from the ingredients. They did have store cupboard staples to help them, but it certainly tested the chefs knowledge and skill.
At the end of the 20 minutes, their finished dishes were explained and tasted. The audience then got to vote for the best dishes. Was it green peppers or red tomatoes?
The winner received £100 with a runner up prize of a hamper, which contained many cooking items and ingredients.
In 2000 when Ainsely took over the show, the programme was extended to 40 minutes from 30, and a new section was introduced. At the end of the show, there was a final section called ‘Quickie Bag’. Here the chefs would get another bag of ingredients. They would have a little time to consider them before saying what they would make with them. Ainsley would then say which dish he preferred. The winning chef would have 10 minutes to produce that dish!
Each episode had different chefs. My favourites were obviously Ainsley (before he became the presenter), Gino D’Acampo, Brian Turner, Phil Vickery, Lesley Waters and not forgetting Anthony Worrall Thompson.
Other variations to the bags included:
Budget Bag – This was the same as the first bag above, except the budget was only £3.50! Bistro Bag – The budget was increased to £7.50. Gourmet Bag – The budget was a staggering £10! The chefs loved this one! Doubling Up Bag – Both contestants would bring in identical ingredients. Fern or Ainsley would use a coin or dice with the green pepper or red tomato on it. The winning side got to say what they would do with the ingredients first. The other side which have to quickly change their ideas to do something different if they were thinking on the same lines! Forfeit Bag – The chefs chose a card at random. The card contained an item from the store cupboard that they were not allowed to use! Gamble Bag – The chefs were given 3 mystery ingredients. They can swap one of them for another mystery item. They don’t have to swap, but once they have seen the alternative ingredient, they have to swap it! Lucky Dip – The chef is given a bag containing 10 items. They close their eyes and pick 5 items out. After 10 minutes of cooking, they get to pick another item which they have to incorporate into their dishes.
There was a lot of hype around the show. Everyone wanted an apron with either a red tomato or green pepper on it. Ok, maybe not everyone, but I did! When they launched their magazine, I was there!! I have volumes of the recipes from the show. You would buy the magazine every week or month (I can’t remember how often it was). Within that would be different types of recipes, that you divide and place in the lever arch folders that came with the magazines!
As I said above, this show really did make me into the cook I am today. I used to go to my fridge and pick out a variety of ingredients. I would then create dinner for that day. I continue to do this almost every day now!
Thinking about this programme today, gave me an idea! I know that a lot of people worry that being on Slimming World can be expensive. They also may run out of ideas to make different foods each week that are on plan. So how about I do a slot each week on my YouTube channel – Slimminginspirations4u where subscribers can send me virtual bags each week. Once a week, I will pick at random a virtual bag and create a dish or dishes from it!
To make it more interesting, even though we are potentially 25 years later, I won’t increase the budgets for the bags!
This Sunday, I am going to launch this idea. If you are interested in taking part, or seeing what I create, subscribe to my channel and hit notifications. You will then get to know the bag I have picked and the dish I produce.