Saturday, 26 January 2013

York Clandestine Cake Club January event

Our January event was held at Lucky Days in York, owned by one of our lovely group members Alice.  The theme was simply "January", we had cakes inspired by new years resolutions, using christmas presents and frugal baking after overspending at xmas.

You can read about our event, and events from the other Clandestine Cake Clubs at and if one of your New Years resolutions is to bake more cake, or join a group to make some new friends then why not join your local Clandestine Cake Club - check Clubs by Region for your nearest one. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Slimming World Friendly Cottage Pie

What could be better on a cold, snowy Monday than a lovely big cottage pie?  This is my Slimming World friendly version.  One with cheese on top would be much nicer, but I wanted it to be syn free!

600g lean minced beef
1 pint of beef stock - I used oxo
garlic (as much as you like in a cottage pie)
2 large carrots
1 large onion
frozen peas
4 medium potatoes
2 small swedes
tbsp fat free fromage frais

Put your oven on to warm at 200.  Peel and chop the potatoes and swede, add them to a large pan of salted boiling water, bring the pan back to the boil and then simmer for 20-25 mins.

Whilst those are simmering chop your onion, as finely/coarsely as you like, and peel and chop your carrot.

Spray a large casserole pan with frylite, then add the onions and garlic to soften for 5 minutes.  Add the mince to the pan, allow that to brown, and then add the carrots and the stock.  Bring the pan to the boil and then simmer gently until the stock has reduced to a thicker consistency.  Drop the frozen peas into the pan and cook through for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add some mixed herbs if you feel like adding something extra to it.

When the potatoes and swede are tender drain them, add a tablespoon of fromage frais and mash them until all the lumps have dissolved.

Pour the meat mixture into a casserole dish and top with the potato and swede mash.  Pop the dish into the oven and leave to brown.  I finished mine with a couple of minutes under the grill to get it extra browned.

I served my pie with roasted beetroot.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Slimming World Week 2

I allowed myself a few more syns in week 2, once I'd got my head round the diet a bit more.  Having a couple of glasses of wine was nice, but I was conscious not to have any more than that and use up an entire week of syns on booze, especially when I had cake club on Tuesday.

I survived cake club by just having a tiny bit of each cake, and taking mine in a smaller box - thus meaning I couldn't bring as much cake home with me!  For my cake I tried to make a quark cake - what a massive disaster, won't be trying that one again!

I couldn't stop for group this week so just got weighed.  I lost another 3Ib, total weightloss of 7.5Ib!  I got my 1/2 stone sticker.

Not bad going considering I'd had some cake the night before!

 I have marmite on toast most mornings, either on it's own or with poached or boiled eggs.

I can't get enough of toffee mullerlight yoghurts, this is my take on a slimming world toffee apple! 

Turkey rashers, mushrooms, beans, scrambled eggs and toast - delicious!

Slow cooker beef stew with slimming world "dumplings" - smash, onion and chive cottage cheese and 2 beaten eggs.

Tilda British Curry Rice

I was sent a packet of Tilda British Curry Rice to review.

I have a confession.  I hate cooking rice.  So I absolutely love the microwave packets.  Sinful I know, but they're so much easier to work with - and quick!  I usually have an egg fried rice one with some soy sauce for a quick lunch.

This rice is exactly what it says on the tin (packet, sorry).  It's curry flavoured. It cooks in two minutes.

I had mine with a chorizo stew.  The curry flavour isn't intense, so it didn't take away from the curry.

I enjoyed it, and if I saw it on offer I'd pick it up again.  

Saturday, 12 January 2013

First week of Slimming World

My first week of Slimming World went much better than I expected it to, once I got my head around it.  I went back on Wednesday for my weigh in, and even talked to people this time!

I've been using my Healthy B (HEB) for 2 slices of wholemeal bread, and having that for breakfast - I made the mistake on day 1 of having boiled eggs and having completely dry soldiers.  I soon rectified that by having them with marmite on another day! (I am missing butter, and it's particularly hard making Phil's lunches and using it when I know I can't have any on toast or anything).

My Healthy A (HEA) has always been milk so far, but I will try to drink black coffee and save HEA for cheese at some point.  I've mostly had eggs and toast for breakfast, or mullerlight and fruit, and a few days some bacon (fat cut off of course).

For lunches I've been having leftovers, soup, or ready cooked chicken and vegetables with some cottage cheese.

Evening meals have been jacket potato and beans, beef & mushroom with boiled rice (4.5 syns), chicken curry and rice with an aubergine side dish, sweet potato soup, Mediterranean chicken and shepherds pie.  I've even made blueberry panna cottas (although not very successfully - the gelatine all glooped together!).

I'd been weighing myself at home so I had an idea of how much weight I'd lost, and was pleased that their scales concurred.  For week 1 I lost 4.5Ibs.  I was hoping for around 6Ibs, but 4.5 isn't too bad. 

I'm now on day 3 of week 2 and I feel really into the plan, I've allowed myself to be a bit freer with syns.  I had a glass and half of wine on Thursday, and today I've had 2 glasses of wine.  The old me (prior to being pregnant of course) would have had a bottle of wine to myself, and then various treats to go with it.

I'm not sure if I'll find the group sessions at all useful.  This week all that happened was a round robin of how much weight people had lost, then a brief bit with some tips from the (smug) target members for the new members.  None of this recipe sharing and food counselling that I've heard about.  Staying for that is meaning I miss Daisy going to bed, so far it isn't worth missing that for.  But I'll stick with it and see if the group session improves.

I have found the facebook group very useful, and speaking to people on twitter for advice also useful though.

Is anyone else still on with their new year health and slimming kicks?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Slimming World

After years of saying I would never, ever pay someone to weigh me and years of yoyo dieting, and with the inevitable regain then getting bigger and bigger I finally realised that I just can't do it by myself.  So I've joined my local Slimming World group.  I've lost 2 stone of my pregnancy weight, but I needed to lose weight as it was before getting pregnant, so I have a long slog to get the weight off.

After weighing last night I've set a target of losing 3st12Ib.  That doesn't bring me to what the NHS say I should weigh, but anything over 4st just doesn't seem achievable right now.

I was scared to death when I walked in, especially as everyone seemed to know each other - but then everyone does know each other in Tad - it's just me that doesn't know anyone!  There were only 3 of us new last night but our consultant reckoned the group size would double over January - there's still quite a bit of naughty food left after Christmas in our fridge - perhaps I should have done what everyone else is doing and joined on 9th Jan!

I sat through the group session but the majority of people seemed to come, get weighed and then leave - I think I'll find the group session very annoying, so I'll stick it for a while.  During the session a raffle was drawn, which I bought a ticket for even though I had no idea what the raffle was for - I just felt obliged to purchase it when approached.  The raffle was to win either a basket of fruit or one of veg.  There was much excitement over some Pak Choi - with all but 2 people (and me) having never seen one before, or even heard of it.  There was a lot of wonderment about what to do with it, which having used it I did know - but I didn't want to come across like a little know it all, so I kept quiet with it being my first session.

A large portion of the group seem to be Pensioners, hence the lack of Pak Choi knowledge (although my Gran knows what Pak Choi is - how they've never heard of it I don't know).  I was a bit disappointed with that because I thought it might be another way of meeting some new people and getting some pals round here.

So today I've experienced my first day.

Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, 2 slices wholemeal toasted bread (no butter) 0 syns
Dinner: pasta, tomatoes, peppers, feta cheese and homemade honey & mustard dressing 5.5 syns
Tea: jacket potato, beans, bacon (all fat removed - so scraps of bacon really)
Snacks: 2 bananas, clementine
Healthy a: semi skimmed milk used in tea & coffee
Healthy b: the 2 slices of bread at breakfast

I think I've gone wrong because I'm still hungry.

Right now I want to go and have some cereal, but I don't have digital scales and don't really know how much 35g would be.  Plus I don't really fancy All Bran, I fancy Crunchy Nut Cornflakes - those are 5.5 syns for 25g!

I don't think I've eaten enough fruit and veg, but I just don't fancy carrot sticks and celery right now.

Does anyone have any Slimming World tips for me??