Mrssavageangel Slimming World Week 14

I know, I know. I haven’t written one of these for the past two weeks. That’s due in part to the boy being off on his preschool Easter holidays. I find it so hard to concentrate when he’s around, particularly to write these posts, where I have to think hard about what I want to say. And if I’m honest it’s also in part because I’ve not had much to say. I gained 3lb over the Easter break. I stopped trying so hard when we went away and then it was so difficult to refocus when we came back. Why is that? Why is it so hard to fall back into negative habits, but so hard to stick to new positive ones?

Anyway, I’m disappointed with my results over Easter, but actually when I think about it (and look back at last year’s blog post) it’s almost exactly the same as what happened last Easter. And I pulled it back then. That’s good to know.

So this week, I actually started, albeit very slowly, to turn the tide, with 0.5lb off.

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So I’m back to having lost 13.5lb, dipping just back under the stone. And as that makes me sad, and I don’t like feeling sad, I need to change that asap!

And I plan to do that with the aid of a slow cooker.

My friends have been going on about their slow cookers forever, and this week I finally capitulated and got myself one. And I swear I may never use the hob again 😉. First day I had it I made bolognese and then on Saturday I got hold of the most enormous piece of brisket Waitrose were selling off cheap. Oscar loves watching the Buzzfeed Tasty videos at the moment (over and over!) and they occasionally have slow cooker recipes. One that really caught my eye was one with a huge piece of chuck steak. So when I got this brisket I had to try it. I halved a load of new potatoes, some carrots, placed half the brisket on top of the veg, seasoned and added Worcestershire Sauce, a splash of water and, 5 hours in, a couple of springs of rosemary and thyme. 6 hours on high and BOOM! We had the most amazing dinner. So amazing I didn’t get any pictures 😞. Anyway, the plan was to freeze the other half of the brisket and make pepperpot stew later in the week. Didn’t happen. We just had exactly the same meal on Sunday! Basically we ate half a cow this weekend! Half a delicious cow, mind. And this week I’ve already made Pork Vindaloo from the Slimming World Curry Heaven Book. I made double the amount and one half has already gone in the freezer and the rest is for dinner tonight. I’ll report back next week!

Syn free Slimming World pork vindaloo in the slow cooker!

Syn free Slimming World pork vindaloo in the slow cooker!

So other than slow cooked deliciousness, my other discovery over the past few weeks has been chicken burgers! When I wrote about how much I loved Heck sausages (they’re a freezer staple in this house and we buy them in bulk online!), the very lovely people at Heck Food sent me some of their Chicken Italia Burgers to try. Each burger is only one syn each and blow me if they aren’t blooming gorgeous! And so flipping versatile! I’ve had them as just delicious burgers with jacket potatoes and veg, but they’re fab chopped up and added to things too.

Heck Chicken Italia Burgers. In all their glory!

Heck Chicken Italia Burgers. In all their glory!

One lunch time I was planning to have burger, beans and mushrooms, you know, separately, then I decided to just mix them all together and accidentally invented a lunch time ‘Quick Casserole’. It was amazing and so filling!

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My own invention the ‘Quick Casserole’! Beans, one Heck Chicken Italia Burger and chestnut mushrooms. 1 syn for the lot!

And then another day, inspired by a picture on the IG account of @Shanonnagain58, I had a crack a Mexican style breakfast burrito. Chopped burger, with spicy scrambled egg in a BFree Wrap (1 x HEB) with a side order of mushrooms (I love mushrooms can you tell!). It made so much burrito ‘filling’ that I had trouble picking it up! Amazeballs!

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My attempt at a Heck Burger Breakfast Burrito! 1 Syn + 1 HEB for the wrap.

Who knew a burger could be so much more than just a delicious patty on a bun? I’m just off to place another massive order of sausages (seriously I think I have a bit of a problem with these sausages 😉 ) and I’m totally going to order burgers this time too!

So this week I’m feeling much more positive at my own capabilities than I have been. At least I am today (don’t you find it changes from day to day?). So lets take this a day at a time 🙂

love

Lisa

xxx

 

I honestly love these burgers. They are so delicious and at one syn each so easy to fit into the Slimming World plan. I’d like to thank Heck for gifting them to me. I was not paid to write about them and as always my opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

Mrssavageangel Slimming World – Week 10

Hi howdy hey!

Where has the week gone? Seriously, I feel like I’ve done loads but I can’t remember a bit of it! This week’s sunshine has been much appreciated though. Soft sunlight, cold breezes, sweet smell of cut grass. Spring has definitely finally arrived in Haslemere. It’s been so… refreshing is the only word I can think of.

The health has been slowly recovering. Every day I’ve felt a little bit better and I’m coughing just a little bit less. However, I’ve been exhausted for much of the week. That’s what getting better does to you I guess. Especially when you can’t rest. Motherhood does that to you! You get no days off, you can’t call in sick. You push on. Because you have no choice.

Anyway, enough of that nonsense. You’ll start to think I’m about to make an excuse for a gain or something. But I’m not! Ha! That shocked you didn’t it?! No some how, despite another week of inconsistent eating and not counting syns properly and a morning weigh in last week I managed to do this:

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So while I wouldn’t recommend illness as a long term weight loss solution, the lurgy clearly suits me ?.

As I had to weigh and run last week, I didn’t get my one stone award certificate. Got it this week though! Total lost now 1 stone 2.5lb (16.5lb)

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Due to said illness I’ve been sticking to tried and tested foods again this week, so no new recipes, sorry! We have had the Mexican Chicken Stew I wrote about a few weeks ago twice this week though and if you haven’t tried it I urge you to, particularly if you have a cold. A bit of heat is just what you need when you’re bunged up!

So with the health on the mend, I really have no excuse not to get back into the swing of the things. After all next week is Easter and our sojourn down to Devon and Oscar’s birthday shindig. I’m out tonight with my lovely NCT ladies, but other than that, well let’s just say I would like to lose 1 lb this week. For all sorts of personal reasons, but also because I’ve just ordered some new clothes and I’d really like them to fit! Eeek! ?

Have a lovely week and fingers crossed the sun hangs around!

Love

Lisa

xxx

Mixing it up….

In just a few short weeks time, my bouncing little ball of energy, also known as Oscar, will be turning four. FOUR! Man alive, how on earth did that ever happen? A year. Over. Done. Never to be repeated. When you look at the passage of time through the ageing of a child it makes everything feel so much more transient, so here today gone tomorrow. Literally. Ahh my sweet sweet boy. Every day you change, every day you grow.

So aside from getting maudlin, and feeling all kinds of old ? we’ve been thinking about how to mark our little guy’s fourth birthday. Last year, you may recall, we threw him a wonderful party with the help of our friends at The Hen House, Haslemere. It’s was awesome! So awesome in fact that we weren’t sure what we could do to top it this year (not that it’s a year on year competition, but you know what I mean!) We ummed and ahhed and looked around locally, but couldn’t find anything suitable. Then we started talking about how much fun we had over Christmas and how it would be lovely if Oscar could share his birthday with his extended family.

So that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re going down to Plymouth for Easter. We’re staying in the same apartment as at Christmas, and we plan to celebrate his birthday, with his extended family, a week early, on Easter Sunday. I’ve been pinteresting like mad already for some Easter themed party food and while I won’t be going mad, a centrepiece always goes down well I find. My favourite at the moment is this one. Isn’t it too cute?

A dip filled bunny, surrounded by veggies? What's not to love?

A dip filled bunny, surrounded by veggies? What’s not to love?

Any other Easter themed party food ideas gratefully received. Seriously, if you’ve got any ideas, or blog posts to share, I’d love to see them!

So that’s the party sorted, but then there’s what to get him for a gift. For the last few years we’ve concentrated on large garden toys for his April birthday, setting him up for the coming summer. And that’s been great, but this year we haven’t really got anything in mind. Maybe a bigger slide? But where would it go? Hmmm. It’s a conundrum that’s for sure. And in terms of play toys, there’s nothing he desperately wants and nothing much he needs, to be honest. He’s got more Thomas toys than you can shake a stick at and Duplo coming out of his ears! He has no interest in any of the movie tie ins and flits between favourite cartoons most days (last week it was 1940s Tom and Jerry, this week it’s been 1990s Rugrats – all hail TV streaming services!) He has just started to pick up things (straws, sticks, the Hoover!) and use them as guns, but this upsets me no end and I have no wish to encourage it. So we’re back to the question; what do we get him? What is he in to?

There is one idea I had. It may sound crazy and you may think this is more for me than him, but hear me out. The boy loves to bake. This has been a thing now for over a year. But recently he’s decided he doesn’t like using my Kitchen Aid and instead wants to ‘mix’ everything himself in a ‘giant bowl’ (his words). For this you need a good sturdy bowl, and I just don’t have one. We tend to use my mixer bowl, which is light and topples off its tiny base regularly. He needs something better. I’ve always loved Mason Cash bowls. My mum had one, my Nanna had one. I used to think owning one was almost a prerequisite for being a mum. I always wanted a beige one, just like my mums, but recently Mason Cash released their Varsity range, in cream and Navy Blue. So I started thinking, actually, of all the things we could get him, how about his own ‘giant mixing bowl’? And if we’re going to do that, why not get him the grande dame of bowls?

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The Mason Cash Varsity Mixing Bowl in blue. The perfect gift?

Surely that’s what every four year old would want for their birthday. Right?

Come back in a few weeks, I’ll let you know what we decide!

Mrssavageangel Slimming World – Week 7

It’s difficult to start these posts on the weeks when things have been hard. What do you want to hear? The excuses? And they do feel like excuses. But then these are the little things that have constituted my life this week:

  1. We went out for dinner at our neighbours on Saturday. We had a brilliant time. And wine, so much wine.
  2. Sunday’s resultant hang over required medicating with bacon sandwiches. In white bread from the Farmers Market
  3. I made a bucket load of granola, ostensibly for Ben, but there were days my will power failed me
  4. I’ve had this bloody horrible cough for a week now. Proper chesty and ‘productive’ ? It’s either made me not hungry at all or starving
  5. Monday’s meeting with Oscar’s ‘team’ was unexpectedly negative. And left me in a right state. I don’t want to hold on to anger but how do you let it go? Sadness, anger, all those negative emotions convinced me half a tub of chocolate ice cream was a good idea. It wasn’t.

I won’t lie to you, this week has been hard, in so, so many ways. But….

BUT!

I did exactly what I hoped I’d do.


I didn’t lose, but neither did I gain. What a relief! Me and my SW buddy James did a high five across the room when I got off the scales. It was that much of a celebration! So I’ve still lost 12.5lb. Phew!

This week’s food relevalation has been Oyster Sauce. I’ve been doing Slimming World for more than two years and for some reason I had it in my head Oyster Sauce was high synned so had avoided it. Then at last week’s group I found out it syn free! What? So this week we bought some and it’s been a really welcome addition to the many and varied stir frys I tend to have for lunch. See, always learning!

My favourite meal this week has been an old favourite we haven’t had for blooming ages. I’m still going to Yoga on a Tuesday night and don’t like to eat beforehand (all that folding over I’m afraid I’ll throw up all over my mat!) so we eat when I get in. But starting to cook at 9pm is pretty late and not much fun. So I decided to make something in the day that could just be heated up and remembered an old Nigella recipe Pollo alla Cacciatore. With a few tweaks here and there I can make it syn free. It’s a one pot dish of loveliness that is quick to make, can be made in advance and needs no accompaniment. So I thought I’d share it with you here.

Syn Free Pollo alla Cacciatore

Serves 2

  • Frylight
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 Bacon Medalions (or rashers of bacon with the fat removed), diced
  • 6 Spring Onions, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 6 chicken thigh fillets, all fat removed, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 150ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  1. Spray a large pan with Frylight. Put the garlic into a pan with the, bacon, spring onions and rosemary and fry for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the bite-sized chicken pieces, stirring well, and sprinkle in the salt.
  3. Pour in the stock and let it come to a bubble before adding the tomatoes and bay leaves. Put the lid on and let the pan simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Drain and add a tin of cannellini beans and warm through.

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Delicious, nutritious and so simple! Give it a whirl!

So this week I want to get my one stone award. I have 1.5lb to lose and I’m damn well going to get there. After the week I’ve had I owe it to myself to get some happy! And getting that would make me super happy!

As did this outfit. Looking pretty good huh?

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Have a good one

love

Lisa

xx

Mrssavageangel Slimming World – Week 6

Hello!

Sorry this is a bit late going out, but (as you may know) it’s half term this week, meaning I don’t get my 2 hours in Dylan’s or Costa or wherever just to switch off and write. How other bloggers do it, writing solely in the evenings, I really don’t know. I’m usually so pooped by the time he’s in bed, all I want to do is eat dinner and veg out in front of the telly. Anyway, blogging gripes aside, half term has actually been pretty good. We’ve gone out every day and had play dates and made new friends and his language is having a mini explosion. Which, you know, I love. 🙂 This week he has told me he emphatically loves both pizza and carrots. And that he equally emphatically doesn’t like my ‘pumpkins’ (or orange peppers, but who’s counting). Yeah it’s been a good week!

It’s also been a good week for my social life (how come the kids have such better social calenders than us !) Social occasions can often come with their own issues. Do you plan and moderate or do you throw caution to the wind and limit damage around the event It’s a choice and both can work equally well in my experience and usually depends how much you drink ( you can plan all you like but after a couple of glasses of vino Good luck with that!) So this weekend I had Galentine’s Day lunch with the bestie and it was as awesome as I’d hoped. But I did plan ahead. Firstly I knew I wanted onion rings (have you tried the Onion Rings at the White Horse Amazing!) But for my main I checked the menu the night before, made my choice before I even got to the pub, all the things we talk about doing in group. I chose, what looked like the lowest synned option on the menu, a Bulgar Wheat and Quinoa Salad with beetroot, chicken, spinach and seeds. It was delicious, however it was covered, and I mean covered, in dressing. I couldn’t tell you what the dressing was and as it wasn’t mentioned on the menu I didn’t even think to ask them to leave it out, which was a bit of a shame. However it was so amazingly filling I could only manage half the dish! I had one drink, then moved back to diet coke as I knew I needed to keep my wits about me, if only because we had friends coming to dinner that night!

OOTD for our Galentine's Lunch

OOTD for our Galentine’s Lunch.

I like having people to dinner. It gives you so much more control over what you’re eating, without making a fuss. And I’ve yet to meet anyone who is served up a SW friendly dish and rejects it on account of the lack of lard! Saturday’s dinner was a tried and tested Savage household favourite, Pepperpot Stew. A warming spicy take on a winter classic, this Slimming World friendly syn free dish is served with rice and our guests loved it. So much I thought I’d detail it here.

Pepperpot Stew

Serves 4

  • Frylight
  • 800g lean stewing beef, all visible fat removed, cut into chunks
  • 3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 300g green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp jerk seasoning (I use Bart’s spice mix – it’s got a great kick to it!)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 400g passata with onions and garlic
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Spray a large flame and ovenproof casserole (I use my Le Creuset) with Frylight and place over a high heat. Add the beef and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the peppers, sweet potato, beans, garlic, jerk seasoning, wine vinegar, passata, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Season and stir well.
  3. Cover and place in the oven on 180/gas mark 4 for 2 hours, or until the beef is meltingly tender.image

Serve with rice. I cook my rice in vegetable stock and when it’s done I stir through fresh chopped coriander.

Syn Free and delicious! And so handy! I made this the day before and it heats up really well. It meant I could spend more time actually being with my guests and having a good old laugh!

So that was syn free and fine, but then there was wine. And a small amount of lemon tart (although it was served with berries so….). And we had a super night.

Sunday was Valentine’s Day and my lovely hubby eschewed the traditional chocolates and went with beautiful yellow lilies instead. I cooked us a lovely Valentine’s dinner, which included heart shaped Heck sausages. Sausages have always featured heavily in our relationship. Ben doesn’t have an emotional attachment to comfort food in the way I do, but when he’s had a bad day, a sausage sandwich can cheer him no end. In fact in our wedding vows I promised to make him sausage sandwiches, whenever he was “blue”. So to me, sausages always mean love and what better way to express that love than with heart shaped sausages. Heck very kindly sent us some of their limited edition Peck heart shape sausages to try and boy oh boy did they go down a treat! Ben had his in sandwiches, me with jacket potato and vegetables. At 5 syns a pop I used most of my days syns on them. But they were totally worth it! Delicious and juicy and just so cute!

Heart Shaped sausages from Heck. 5 syns each and worth every one!

Heart Shaped sausages from Heck. 5 syns each and worth every one!

Anyway, my point is that although the weekend was large, it was all about trying to find some balance. Finding the place that lets you be you and do the things you love, with the people you love and yet stay in some semblance of control. And do you know what I think I just about managed it.

Slimming World

Nope, I wasn’t expecting that AT ALL! Mega happy dances all round. That puts me at 12.5lb lost in 6 weeks. I’ll take that!

So obviously I am very keen to replicate this loss again this week, if only to reach my one stone. We are out for dinner this weekend (OK, look I don’t usually have this much of a life!) but my darling friend Jane has sourced some Thai themed Slimming World recipes for us all and I can’t wait. But I’m also realistic. Just because it worked last week, doesn’t mean it will work this week. So I’d just be happy not to gain. Anything else is a bonus!

Have a super week

love

Lisa

xx