When you want a specific dish but you don’t have the recipe!

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.

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

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A perfect weekend with friends

I’m on my way home now after an amazing weekend with friends!

Our friends live in Bridgend in Wales. After feeling very guilty about how long it’s been since we last visited them, we put a date in our diaries!

So yesterday we drove the 2 1/2 hours to see them. Now if you know me, Wales and I just don’t get on when it comes to the weather! For some reason it always rains on me! This weekend however it was kind! The sun came out. A little bit chilly, but still it was a beautiful spring day.

After arriving our friends took us out to 2 amazing beaches. The first one was in Ogmore-by-sea. So beautiful. The dogs would have loved it.

Next was Dunraven Bay – Southerndown. Again the dogs would have loved this beach, but what was stunning was the rock formations!

Both beaches are absolutely worth a visit. There is something magical about walking along the beach. Listening to the waves. I just love it. Great way to get exercise too.

We headed back to their home and enjoyed a few drinks in the garden in the spring sun. A nice Cedars gin and tonic was perfect ! Followed by a Slim Wine!

As the sun set the braai (BBQ) was lit! Steak, South African sausage were cooked to perfection by our host.

The salads to go with it were amazing. Slimming world friendly pasta dishes and salad. Even a @promise roll for garlic bread. Delicious!

It was a lovely evening catching up.

This morning after a cooked breakfast we headed home via Caerphilly Castle.

Wow, we were totally blown away by it! If you have never been I highly recommend it! I’ll post some pictures on my YouTube channel. In its prime it must have been magnificent! The entrance fee is £8.90 for adults, but well worth it!

Eventually it was time to head home.

We have had such an amazing weekend. Thank you to our hosts Derek and Michelle.

Sometimes just a night away can really recharge your batteries, and getting to visit new places is fantastic.

Here is a fuller insight to my weekend

We will certainly not be leaving it so long next time!

When you take flexible syns too far!

Ok, confession time!

If you follow my vlogs you will know that after 4 weeks of maintaining the same weight, I decided to do a week of Extra Easy SP on Slimming World.

For those who don’t know, EESP is a way to give your weightloss a kick start. You focus on foods that are classed as ‘Speed’ – your body burns the calories quicker, or ‘Protein’ which keeps you fuller for longer!

Basically, you don’t eat potatoes, pasta, rice, bananas, grapes and anything else that isn’t classed as speed or protein.

For me, I only had a few pounds to get within my target range. My motivation to get there isn’t what it used to be as everyone I know, including my hubby, parents and friends didn’t like me at my target range. They said I looked too thin. I don’t agree, so still strive to get there. I’m also not going to drop a dress size if I get back down to my target range!

So I embarked on an EESP week. I had originally planned to just have a normal ‘on plan’ day on the Sunday, as I really enjoy my Sunday roast, which includes the roast potatoes, but the other 6 days, I would be strict!

Every day, you are entitled to have up to 10 syns. As I usually don’t really have my syns, this wasn’t going to be a problem!

I was extremely good all week. I kept to my EESP plan every day. I recorded in on my vlog as an added incentive.

Follow my week here:

Come the weekend, I usually enjoy a glass of wine! I decided I would use my syns for this on Slim Zero wine. At only 3.5 syns for 125 ml, I could have 357 ml of wine each day. To make sure I didn’t go over, I weighed out my wine! Yes you heard me right, I weighed out my wine!

Come Sunday, I was so focused, I decided I didn’t need my roast potatoes. One week without them wouldn’t hurt. The feeling of getting to my target range was more important, so it was roast butternut for me instead!

I went to the gym everyday, and walked the dogs twice a day to make sure I had plenty of body magic!

Come Wednesday for my weigh in, I was soooo excited as I stepped on the scales.

I cannot begin to describe how I felt when I looked at the number in front of me! 1lb off! 1lb off! I couldn’t believe it. All that effort, commitment and focus for 1lb off! I was gutted.

Now, I don’t know why I was so surprised. Historically EESP hasn’t never been great for me. The norm is that the following week I see a greater loss. I’m not sure if it is because I work out so much that my body craves the carbs or what it is, but the following week is always better. What I should have done is kept this in my head and gone home refocused. Instead, I went home extremely deflated and just lost my way!

I decided to have a glass of wine with my dinner. That is ok on SW as you can normally have 15 syns a day! I should have gone for my Slim Zero wine? Or measured it out! But no, instead I poured myself a very large glass of normal white wine. With 10 syns for 250 ml, the second glass definately wasn’t on plan and so neither was the chocolate I ate!

The next day was no better! Don’t get me wrong, all my meals were planned and in plan! It was the biscuit here and there, and the large glass of wine with my meal that weren’t! Come Friday, we decided to go to the Fish and Chip shop for dinner! Normally this isn’t an issue as I would have chicken meat and salad! Not this Friday! Oh no. It was chicken meat, salad and a small portion of chips. Now that in itself would have been ok, if I hadn’t then had a bottle of full sugar wine and some more chocolate!

Saturday I woke up with good intentions again! It was all going so well, until the crisps came out as nibbles! Initially I went for the baked ones – well they are healthier, but as the evening started I hit the full fat ones. On a good note, I was drinking slim wine, just too much of it to be in my syns! Then my hubby got the biscuits out! That was Saturday completely out of my syns!

Sunday was Mothers Day. I had booked to take my parents out for a meal. It was a set meal and normally this wouldn’t be a problem as I would ask the pub to change it for me. Not Sunday, I went full on! Starter was ok as it was scallops. Main was turkey roast with all the trimmings, including pinching a couple of my dads onion rings! The final course was a cheese board which was huge! All enjoyed with a bottle of white wine.

When we got home, a further bottle was enjoyed!

By Monday I decided to draw a line. I had stepped on my scales and seen the damage! I was putting a stop to this!

As usual, I had planned my meals and they were all on plan!

For days now I had been craving Jammie Dodgers. Now I really had to have them! So on the way home, I called into Tesco and grabbed a packet! My hubby and I shared them on the train journey home!

By the time I got home something clicked. If I had actually given in to my craving last week when I wanted the Jammie Dodgers maybe I wouldn’t have gone so far off the rails! Maybe, if I had stayed within my syns, my weight would have come down. Maybe, I needed to remember why I am doing this!

I decided there and then enough was enough! I had to get my syns back under control!

It is a bit late for this weeks weigh in, but you have to start somewhere!

I’m know I am going to get a gain this week and I completely deserve it! I am going to buy a 6 week plan and give myself a strict target each week.

I know I can do this, and I will.

Sometimes, when you don’t have the same motivation and drive it is hard, but with a little bit of commitment you can. I’m going to ignore everyone telling me I don’t need to lose anymore, or I look good as I am. I know I won’t go down another dress size when I’m at my chosen weight, but I know how much better I will feel, and that is the most important thing!

So whatever you goal is, don’t let others sabotage it. They may not mean to, but mentally it can effect you! As does a bad week on the scales!

Take a step back, focus on what you want and put in place everything you can to help you get there!

Next week is another week!

Week 2 with the flu!

So this week has been a really tough week, due to coming down with the worst flu I think I have ever had!

It’s my own fault in some way, because I had been gloating that I had managed to avoid it. My husband had it really bad before Christmas. Both my parents have had it, and colleagues at work. I was convinced that the flu jab had made me resistant to it!

So on Monday when my throat started feeling scratchy, I thought I may just have a sore throat. I had a headache, but nothing a few paracetamol didn’t cure.

On Tuesday, I felt worse. I’m suffer from asthma and could feel my chest tightening. I thought if I could just have a bit more of my inhaler I would be ok.

By Wednesday morning, that was it! I literally had zero energy, my throat felt like I have eaten a bag of razor blades, and my head felt like it was going to explode!

I reached for the one thing I know always helps! Day and Night Nurse!



These are usually miracle cures! On this occasion, although they helped me feel a little better, I was still struggling. Since Wednesday, all I have done is sleep, lay on the sofa feeling sorry for myself or had something to eat. That is literally all I have had the energy to do.

Even today, 4 days in, I feel absolutely awful. Bless my hubby, I had used my last Day and Night Nurse last night. He went out today on the hunt for a chemist still open after 12.00 noon to get me more (I didn’t wake up until late!)

It would have been so easy for me to have just eaten rubbish this week. With zero energy, I really didn’t have the motivation to cook, however there were 2 drivers in my head!

  1. Eating Healthy would help me recover quicker!
  2. I want to lose 14 lb in January!

Thankfully on Tuesday night, I was still planning to be well enough to go to work the rest of the week. I had put into the slow cooker all the ingredients to make a thick healthy soup. I had made enough to get me though the week! Phew! That slow cooker was my saviour for lunch!

Breakfast was also easy. I really needed stodge. Chocolate Orange Oats cooked in the microwave was quick and easy, and very filling. (Check out my website for the recipe).

In the evenings, because I had already planned what I was going to have in the week, all I had to do was put the food into the oven or pan to cook. Nothing I ate took very long, but it was all home made and healthy.

So what saved me? Planning! If I hadn’t had planned my meals for the week, I could easily have fallen off the wagon. I had my 2 drivers above, but if I had had to put a lot of effort into eating, I am not sure I would have been able to stick to it.

This was last nights dinner! Packed with goodness and very quick and easy to make! It helped that hubby chopped all the vegetables for me too!

Chilli packed with speed food

As with last night it helped having hubby chopping some of the vegetables in the evenings, but breakfast and lunch would have been such a challenge, I could just have eaten rubbish.

I got on the scales today. I haven’t done hardly any activity this week. Not sure you can call walking up and down the stairs activity! I am very happy with what I saw! I have lost almost 6lb in 12 days!

If I can do that with how I have felt this week, there is no excuse for the weeks ahead.

I’m still on target for Dry January! I have been tempted to have a hot toddy a few times, but I am not going to give in on that either! I have a bet with hubby that I intend to win!

So if you are on a weight loss journey, don’t let anything stop you achieving what you want. If you want something badly enough you can still achieve it.

Good luck for the week ahead!

Gammon on a bed of roasted root vegetables and kale, topped with mushrooms and cheese.
Salmon on a bed of saute vegetables and broccoli
Lemon Chicken with cabbage and broccoli

First week in!

So, today is the 6th day of my 2019 Slimming world Journey. As weeks go, it has gone really well.

I decided, as well as healthy eating, I would also embark on Dry January. I think my hubby has finally stopped laughing at that one. I know its only the 6th day, but weekends are when I would usually have my Slimline wine. I’ve really missed it, but I’m determined to go the full 31 days without touching a drop.

I know Slimline wine is low calorie, but it isn’t really about the wine. It is about giving myself a good detox and reducing my total syn intake to maximise my weight loss.

During the week, its easier as I never touched it, but come Friday, I was missing the taste. I don’t think it was about the wine itself, but the habit of it. I decided, to make sure I don’t fail, I would buy some alcohol free wine. I called in at my local Sainsbury’s hoping to buy a couple of bottle of Eisberg sparkling, non alcoholic fizz. I’d had it before and it is really nice. Sadly they didn’t have it, so I opted for a bottle of Eisberg flat white and another one, both non alcoholic. I have to say, neither of them did it for me, and at 3 syns for 250 ml, I didn’t think they were worth it.

What I did pick up also though, was a bottle of Winter Spice Ribena. I know from my Slimming World group that it was supposed to taste like mulled wine. I thought I would give it a go. It is actually gorgeous. The first one I made was too strong, but after that, I’m hooked. As it has been so cold recently, it is perfect. And it is syn free!

I have also been so good with my meals and syns. During the week, I struggled to have more than a couple of syns. Even at the weekend, with my non alcoholic wine, I was well within my syn value.

I’m allowed 5-15 syns on Slimming World, but I have set myself a personal target of a maximum of 12 syns. That way, I should hopefully have a better weight loss!

Below is an idea of some of some of my daily meals:

Breakfast

Omelette with Ham, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Cheese
Overnight Oats
Egg Muffins with Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Peppers
Smoked Salmon, Eggs and Wholemeal Toast
A Slimming World Full English. Wholemeal toast with light cheese spread, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans and eggs

Lunch

Dinners

Sirloin Steak, Potato Wedges & Peas
Chicken Breast cooking in chopped tomatoes and Chorizo, served with mushrooms, tomatoes and potato wedges
Chilli with Rice
Cheesy Pasta Bake

In addition, I also had a beautiful pork medallion, topped with Stilton Cheese from my HEA, served with a selection of vegetables.

I know I probably could have had more speed vegetables, but I hadn’t done my shopping for some of the meals, so it was what was in the fridge!

All the meals were completely on plan.

For snacks, I would have fruit, bananas, satsumas, apples and grapes, Baby Bell Light (you can have 3 as part of your HEA), Muller Light (1 Syn each) or a slice of ham.

I haven’t been tempted to have any sweets, even though they would have been in my syn allowance!

Every day, I have managed to get my 10,000 steps in, if not more, and I have also done 30 minutes of sit-ups, while watching the TV!

I don’t have my official SW weigh in until Wednesday, but according to my scales, I have lost 2.5 lbs already since 1 January, so I am very happy with that.

Tonight, I am still going to have my roast beef dinner. I haven’t had any syns today, so I will have Yorkshire Pudding, but I will make mini ones, with frylight which will only be about 2 syns each! I will make everything else, including my gravy syn free!

I’ll let you know what my SW weigh in is on Wednesday!

Have a good week

Here are the links to a couple of the recipes above

Follow me on YouTube https://youtu.be/0_-AScYkZVg