Mrssavageangel Slimming World – Week 3

Oh haaai! How’s it been? Good, good. Me? I’m fine; you? Lovely. On with the show, yes?

Saturday was my biggest challenge since restarting Slimming World and as I discussed last week, there was nothing for it but to go with the flow. Friends of ours were holding a Burns Night meal and I knew there was no way to do that in any kind of ‘food optimised’ way. There just wasn’t, and quite frankly there will always be times in life like that. Times when you have to take a different approach. And so that’s what I did. I drank wine (although I managed not to get involved with the Beer Pong. Sweet jeez, I have THE worst aim and I’d end up drinking the whole table. Last summer I even set a record for being the only player ever* to score an own goal!) and ate the delicious sausage, mash, mashed swede (not syn free but a revelation!) and creamed leeks. I did try a tiny bit of haggis, but found it wasn’t my fave so gave the rest to Ben, who loved it. I even had dessert, although afterwards I did think I probably could have passed on that. But it was sticky toffee pudding with whisky and caramel sauce! What’s a girl to do? We had such a fab time and can I just take a minute to high five Natalie for cooking a sit down meal for 15 people ??. Shamazing!


Burns Night. It was just so much fun sitting round a huge table to all eat together.

So what do you do when you know you’ve got a meal like that in a week? Well, you can avoid it entirely. Seriously, you can. I have done in the past. Or you can look at in isolation. Say, OK, it’s one meal. What can I do either side to get some balance? And because I had the luxury of knowing it was coming up (planning, planning, planning ?) I kept my syns to a minimum both before and after, and increased the amount of speed foods I was eating through the week. And do you know what? It worked.

I was super proud of myself this week, because yeah I had a big Saturday, but I worked really hard either side to minimise it’s effects. I was a little bit surprised with how much I lost, seriously I would have been happy with a maintain. But a loss it was, meaning in January I have lost 6.5lb. Not a bad start, by anyone’s standards ?

Other than mashed swede, what new foods have I been eating this week? Mmm, ooo I know, Cavolo Nero. I’ve tried to like Kale in the past and yeah it’s OK, but the bags you can get from the supermarkets tend to already be chopped and I find the stems just a bit too tough for my liking. However, this week I’ve found Cavolo Nero, Kale’s darker, sexier cousin, in whole leaf form. And while it’s stems are more tender, I still prefer to cut them out, which its much easier to do from a whole leaf. So this week I put a whole bag of Cavolo Nero in my Cottage Pie and man alive was it good!

Sexy Cottage Pie with Cavolo Nero and Garlic Mash

  • 4 or 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut up
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 100ml skimmed milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Frylight
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
  • 200g Cavolo Nero, (stems removed and leaves chopped)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200g passata
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Salt and Pepper

1. Put the potatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves in a large saucepan of lightly salted water for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

2. Drain, mash. Now, if you have a potato ricer you will get ridiculously smooth mash with little effort. If you don’t have one, you should get one! You can put the garlic cloves in a ricer without taking the skins off (the ricer will remove the smooth soft flesh for you). If you prefer a masher, then remove the garlic skins by squeezing the cloves and the flesh should pop out. Either way mash the potatoes and the garlic together. Add the skimmed milk and mix hard with a wooden spoon. Season to taste. Set aside.


Look how creamy that mash is – and not a drop of butter used!

3. Spray another pan with Frylight, add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the minced beef and cook for a few minutes until the beef is brown.

4. Stir in the Cavolo Nero, chopped tomatoes, passata, Worcestershire Sauce and herbs. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season.

5. Spoon the beef mixture into an oven proof dish and spread the mash over the top. This can be done in advance and left until you’re ready to bake.

6. If you have the syns to spend, dot a couple of tsps of butter on the mash (2 syns per tsp). If you don’t, spray with Frylight.

7. Place into a hot oven (200c or Gas Mark 6) for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve with lots of vegetables of your choice.

Sexy Cottage Pie with Cavalo Nero and Garlic Mash. Bloody lovely!

Sexy Cottage Pie with Cavolo Nero and Garlic Mash. Bloody lovely!

So my goal for next week is to get my first half stone award, by losing 0.5lb. It sounds like such a small amount but just under half a stone down and I can already get back into clothes that were too tight a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, I haven’t been able to wear my moto jacket for weeks now and this weekend I could even get it done up. I mean I couldn’t breathe, but woop woop to me! It’s amazing how a relatively small loss is making such a huge difference and I’m definitely on the right path 🙂

Have a super week




*well maybe not ever ever!

Slimming World Update – Week 82

Hi chaps

How has this week gone for you? If you’re anything like a large proportion of my group last night, its been a tricky one! I don’t know what it is, maybe its the cold weather or the feeling of deep winter, with no view of summer in sight? Either way I know a lot of people have been struggling with life, let alone a weight loss journey. And I can count myself among them.

The last week has been such a week of contradictions. My meals have often been wonderful. Smack on plan and completely food optimised. I’ve tried new recipes and used ingredients I’ve never cooked before. We had Cottage Pie one night, a recipe from the Slimming World Lifeline Online. It had kale mixed through it, which I’ve only ever eaten as crisps before. It was delicious, although next time I wont be mixing fromage frais through the mashed potato. It just didn’t work for me. I also made my interpretation of a friend’s Quinoa, Bean and Tuna Salad recipe. I used dried quinoa, rather than the ready cooked packets. As with a lot of things, cooking it from scratch makes it a free food (the packets often have syns, some as many as 6.5, which is fine if you have the syns to spare and want something lightening quick) and it was so easy to cook, I have no idea why I’ve never tried it before. I’ll definitely be making it again but possibly with less beans and tuna. The quinoa has such a nice flavour it would have been nice to be able to taste it a little more!

My first attempt at non packet Cottage Pie with carrots and broccoli. Delicious!

My first attempt at non packet Cottage Pie with carrots and broccoli. Delicious!

But then there’s been the cookies. We discovered last week that Oscar loves (and I mean loves) baking. It’s such a fabulous past time and helps with his attention and speech. However it does also result in delicious cookies. And I have been tempted more than once (or twice or three times 😉 ). I meant to send them off to work with Ben, but somehow they ended up staying in the house! School boy error I suppose. Then there were other lapses, when eating with friends or trying to recover from the mother of all crappy mornings. But for the most part these were choices I made, knowingly and with full understanding of what I was doing and why. And I did chose reduced fat cheese on my pizza! 😉

Cookies. So many cookies!

Cookies. So many cookies!

So last night’s maintain was thoroughly OK with me. I was astonished I didn’t gain if truth be told. So I remain at 6 stone 6lb lost.

Anyway I came home from group last night to the news that I’ve got an important family occasion to attend in three weeks time. Ben’s grandparents are celebrating their 60th (60! I know! Amazing!) Wedding Anniversary and have invited us to join them for a meal and an overnight stay at Buckland Tout Saints in Devon. Its such a lovely idea and I cant wait to see the family again. It does of course mean I’ll need a nice new frock to wear. And that’s got my mind firmly back in the game! Shopping always does! Hahaha only joking, it’s the thought of being able to walk in, proud and confident, at least a stone lighter than the last time I saw them. And I’m going to use that visualisation to help me this week. I do have a night out with the girls on Friday, but I’ve already decided on various strategies to minimize any impact that could have, including eating an early dinner at home before going out and sticking to long drinks such as Spritzers.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Have a great week, wearing your very best positive pants (eh Sara? 😉 )