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.

image
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!

image

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!

image

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 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

 

 

Mrssavageangel Slimming World – Week 5

Well howdy and hello!

Another week down (yeees!!!) And what a week. It’s been such a mixed bag of the mundane all the way to the down right emotional. A roller-coaster, if you will.

The week started well, but on Friday I attended a course to learn about the Autism Spectrum Condition PDA (or Pathological Demand Avoidance). It was as draining as it sounds and extremely emotional for me. But then I find all the times I have Oscar’s Autism held up for me to examine face to face draining. More so than actually living with him! Anyway, the course was catered, which I knew, but I assumed as this was a local authority course it would be very healthy eating focussed (or at least have some god damn fruit!) Nope not a bit of it. Sandwiches thick with butter and packets of crisps and whole chocolate bars. It was my first unplanned challenge and considering my state of mind, I think I did pretty well to just have a few sandwiches and bag of crisps. On the way home I stopped off at M&S as I decided I needed chocolate. I took two tiny bites and then stopped myself. This wasn’t making the day any better or easier to deal with, so what the hell was I doing? And I didn’t eat any more! I know, I’m amazed too! And pretty freaking proud.

Because you see I could have ruined the whole week because of that one day. I could have, but I chose not too. It wasn’t easy believe me. There were days I just wanted to eat and eat and days when I seriously wanted chocolate (and crappy weather and period pains don’t help a mood like that). I tried to keep to ‘speed’ foods where I could and where I just couldn’t face them, ‘free’ foods. I know I had more syns every day than I have had in previous weeks and some days I couldn’t count them all (such as Friday). But I’m pretty sure (other than Friday) that I stayed under the 15. The worst day was probably Tuesday. I could have happily snaffled one or even two pancakes while I was at Dylan’s, but I’d made the decision not to bother with pancake day this year (with the support of the wonderful Mr S!). But I did have terrible lady pains and craaaaaaaved cake all day long. Then I went to my first ever Yoga class. And let me tell you, Yoga is nothing like Pilates. Oh my life, the sweat was literally running in my eyes! And I aaaaaccche like a… well a very achey thing today, but do you know, I came home from that class tired, a bit sore and barely hungry at all! It was extraordinary! And I slept like the dead!

So I wasn’t really sure how I’d fair this week and was pleasantly surprised with this:

image

2lb off! Not too shabby at all. That takes me to 10.5lb lost in 5 weeks. Which is nice.

As last night was our group’s Free Food Feb taster session, and as several of you told me you’re enjoying the recipes, I thought I’d share the Crustless Quiche I made. It’s much easier than having to faff about with pastry and was really nice. The recipe is based on one I found on Slimming World’s Lifeline Online. It would be great for a party or a summery dinner with a jacket potato and salad! And no pastry means gluten free, although not sure I could get the boy to eat this just yet. But he did help make it and that’s a start 😉

Roasted Mediterranean Crustless Quiche

  • Low calorie cooking spray
  • 2 onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large courgette, thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, de seeded and cut in half
  • A bunch (min 16) of fine asparagus
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (Optional. I did add this to mine, but in hindsight I’m not sure it was needed)
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 80g reduced fat Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
  2. Spray a large frying pan with FryLight and fry the onions over a medium-low heat for around 15 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer to a wide bowl to cool and set aside.
  3. Stirfry the courgette on medium heat for around 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the heat and add to the onions.
  4. While the courgettes are cooking, spray the red pepper with FryLight and grill with the inside facing up until soft. Turn skin side up and grill until lightly charred. Chop into small chunks and set aside.
  5. Put the asparagus in a shallow dish with a few tbsp of water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Transfer them to the now empty frying pan on a high heat and lightly char on all sides. Set aside separately.
  6. Beat the eggs with the garlic, tomato puree (if using), dried herbs and three quarters of the cheese. Season well.
  7. Lightly spray a flan dish with FryLight.
  8. Put the onions, courgettes and red peppers in the prepared dish and pour over the egg mixture. Arrange the asparagus spears on the top of the egg and gently press down.
  9. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until almost set.
  10. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top and just set.
  11. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.
image

Roasted Mediterranean Crustless Quiche

Serves 8 at 2 syns per slice (unless you’re using the cheese as a HEA). This recipe is easily doubled (although you don’t need to increase the asparagus) to make a more substantial dish. Don’t forget to also double the syns if you double the recipe!

It went down a treat at the taster session (I assume. There was none left by the end which is always a good sign), but like I say I’m not sure it needed the tomato puree. Try it and see what you think!

This coming week is definitely going to be another one of those ‘challenge’ weeks (erm, Lisa, aren’t they all a challenge? Well yes, but shhhh, I’m talking). This Saturday I’m out for a Galentine’s Lunch with the lovely Bethany and then we’re having friends over for dinner. And of course Sunday is Valentine’s Day. I’ve got a very special dinner planned for me and the hubster, so look out for that next week! My plan is (as always, when there’s an event on the horizon) to up the speed and keep the syns down. But to be fair, I’d be amazed happy with a maintain.

Have a wonderful week and tell your loved ones they are loved!

love

 

Lisa

xx

 

Mrssavageangel Slimming World – Week 4

That’s right! Week 4 already. I can’t believe I’ve been back at Slimming World for a proper month already. It’s gone so quickly and yet it feels like no time at all. I thought today, I’d look at the differences I’m seeing in a month of optimised eating, because as I’ve said before, it’s not all about the number on the scales.

1) I feel less ill.

I spent the last few months of 2015 in constant pain. I believe that was in part down to the huge amounts of stress I was accepting into my life (anxiety anyone?) but I know it was also probably down to the large amounts of fat in my diet. I was diagnosed with multiple gallstones about 18 months ago and there is nothing that will inflame them more than constantly eating high fat foods. I knew that then, I just didn’t care enough to stop it. But now I have, I can really feel the difference. The pains in my ribs have all but gone. And you don’t realise how much something was bothering you until it’s gone.

2) As alluded to above I am less stressed.

I made the decision to stop letting my anxiety about Oscar ‘s Autism and how this will affect our lives rule my days and started eating better. But the two really go hand in hand. The better I eat, the better I’m able to cope. The better I cope, the more I can focus on looking after myself and eating better. The ‘vicious circle’ works both ways! Who knew?

3) I’m trying new things.

Not just new foods, but new things for me, things I’ve wanted to do for ages. Next Tuesday I’m starting my first ever Yoga course. I’m super excited and can’t wait to get stretching and breathing. My hope is it will help my fitness, but also support my attempts to keep my stress levels down!

4) Clothes are starting to fit better.

Things aren’t mega tight like they were a month ago, which makes me more comfortable; both physically and emotionally. And this week I tried on my beloved biker jacket that I haven’t been able to wear for months. Four weeks ago I could barely get it on, let alone done up. Now look!

img_1321
5) I’m feeling proud of myself.

Because I know I’ve worked for this. And also not for looking back and comparing and whinging, but cracking on. This is a new journey and it’s led me here (so far)

image
Yes, last night I lost another 2lb, which takes my total in four weeks to 8.5lb lost.

So there you go. Four small weigh ins and what a change. I’m slightly blown away by that actually. But I’m loving everything Slimming World is giving me right now. And I can’t wait to see what the next month brings.

Love

Lisa

Xxx

Ps As you can see I haven’t included any food or recipes here. I have some to share, but I’m not sure if people are enjoying them or not. I’m you’d like me to keep talking about the food, let me know in the comments! Thanks ?

Slimming World Mrssavageangel – Week 2

Second week down the road. Two weeks into my journey already. On that first day it seemed like every step was taking so long and there was just so far to go. And don’t get me wrong, there is, but all of a sudden I’m two weeks down. And before you know it’ll be a month and then two months….. Jeez if I need any reminder of that I should just look at my nearly FOUR year old son! Oscar will be four in just 10 weeks! How is that even possible? Time takes no shit, she doesn’t slow down for anyone.

Well that was deep! Just a little thought that struck me this morning as I sit here writing this and sipping my Americano with skimmed milk (from my HEA) and sugar free caramel syrup. A syn free celebration of last night’s loss of 0.5lb. image

I have to admit when I got on the scales and they flickered back and forth between a 2lb loss and a 0.5lb loss, and settled on the 0.5lb, My initial reaction was disappointment. I think my exact words were “oh no”! And then my brain kicked in and a I realised that I HAD LOST. I was forgetting my own advice, to celebrate every loss no matter how big or small. And by the time I got back to my chair I was feeling better. But it’s interesting how my gut, non thinking reaction was still negative. I think, for me, positivity as a second nature, is always going to be a work in progress.

And do you know what, regardless of what the scales say, I feel like I’ve lost more than 5lb. Physically in my clothes and emotionally in myself. And that’s what this is all about. I’m not saying I’m in any old clothes or anything yet, I just feel more comfortable, less like I’m about to pop! And that’s a great start. I do want to wear my Fat Face Jeggings again, but slowly slowly catchy monkey. And I can catch a monkey ?

This weeks favourite food has been grated courgette. I’ve been having stir fry most lunch times and I love the flavour stir fry gives, what can be a rather bland vegetable. Similarly with sprouts! I know, but seriously, slice raw sprouts finely and stirfry them bad boys. Delicious! My least favourite food this week has to be Jerusalm Artichokes. Not tried them? It’s these

image

They look like nobbly potatoes, but they are actually a tuber and related to sunflowers. Ben has wanted to try them for ages, so we decided to give them a shot this week. I wish I hadn’t bothered. Firstly they were a bugger to peel. And messy. I followed a very simple Jamie Oliver recipe to cook them and I don’t know what I did but I burnt and undercooked them at the same time. Nightmare. I could only eat half of the ones I had done for myself. Which was probably a good thing as they had rather a dramatic and unpleasant effective on my digestion. Reading up about that I found they contain a substance called inulin, a synthesised version of which can be used for constipation! Yeah, if Ben wants to have them again, he’s more than welcome, but I won’t be joining him! Yowser!

I’ve also tried two new flavours of Muller Light Yogurts this week. Key Lime Pie and Peanut Caramel. I was most excited about the Peanut Caramel one, but whilst it did taste a bit nutty it was the slightly bitter flavour of raw peanuts and wasn’t actually that nice. Still, it was syn free, unlike the Key Lime Pie flavour, which whilst nice was 1 syn a pot. I’m sorry but I think there are nicer syn free flavours out there. I always feel aggrieved spending my allowance on something I could get elsewhere for free. If you know what I mean!

My favourite meal this week was a chicken soup I made from scratch. Syn free and so, so filling. It’s a tinkered with version of a Slimming World one I found online.

Syn Free Chicken Soup for Miserable Days

  • 8 chicken thighs and drumsticks, skinned
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots roughly chopped plus another 1 peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 leeks roughly chopped plus 1 finely sliced
  • Small bunch of fresh parsley stalks
  • 1.2 litres boiling chicken stock
  • Couple of handfuls of yellow split peas
  • Salt and pepper

Top Tip: To skin a chicken drumstick, peel away a little skin from the thick end and pull it off over the bony end (use kitchen paper to help you get a good grip).

  1. Put the chicken in a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and skim off any scum from the surface.
  2. Add the celery, onions, roughly chopped carrots and leeks, parsley stalks and stock. Season with pepper, turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the yellow spilt peas according to the packet instructions. I didn’t soak mine, just washed them and cooked in water for about an hour along with the stock. Check they’re soft enough for you and keep warm.
  4. Remove the chicken from the stock. Pick the meat off the bones, roughly shred and keep warm.
  5. Strain the soup through a fine sieve, discarding the veg and bones
  6. Return the soup to the pan, add the finely chopped carrot and sliced leek and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  7. Stir the shredded chicken and split peas into the soup.
  8. Season and serve.

The peas mean no need for bread and make the soup both comforting and filling (due to the protein content). Perfect if you are doing an SP day or if you’ve just had a crappy day and you need a hug (hence the name!)

It supposed to serve 4, and there was a lot of it, but somehow we managed to finish the pan between the two of us. It probably was a bit much to be honest and next time I think I’ll box the remains up for lunch the next day!

So this coming week is posing the biggest challenge so far on this new journey. We’re out for dinner on Saturday, a Burns Night celebration no less. I checked out haggis and at 7 syns for 100g I think I might eschew the meat version and try the veggie option (4 syns for 100g) but it’s not the food I’m thinking about. It’s the wine. Just cos I know once I have a glass my rational head goes on holiday and my cheeky mischievous head comes in to cover. My way of dealing with this is to accept it. It’s the way it is. I don’t go out often, I don’t drink at home often, so my plan is to enjoy myself. And adjust my week accordingly. More speed foods. Limited syns. Minimise the damage as t’were. And this week I’d be happy with a maintain.

Have you got any exciting plans this weekend? Have a super week either way!

love

Lisa

xxx

 

 

Share the Joy linky at TheJoyChaser.com
Marvellous Mondays badge by Hello Archie