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:

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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.
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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!

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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)

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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 ?

Our Favourite Five – January 2016

January has been and gone. That’s right 2016 is 1/12th done! And it’s actually been a much better month than I expected. Here’s some things we’ve been enjoying over at Casa Savage this month.

Woody and Florence

Woody and Florence is a mama run Etsy company I found on Instagram (anyone else love looking at independent traders on IG?). She makes various gorgeous things, but her bead bracelets really caught my eye. One of her best selling is one that spells out MAMA, which I loved and planned to get. Then one day I decided this wasn’t enough. I guess I’d spent quite a lot of last year grieving the loss of my chance to experience “typical” motherhood. I’m having no more children. I will only ever be an Autism Mama. I wanted to acknowledge that, whilst I was a mother, my motherhood was different. So I contacted Chloe and asked for a custom bracelet. It didn’t cost much more and I haven’t taken it off since it arrived!

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It’s a way of acknowledging who I am to myself, but also to others. I am an Autism Mama. May others of my tribe find me.

I have also recently bought a copper bead bracelet to go with it. Isn’t it gorgeous? I have a thing for copper at the moment. But truth be told, it’s my AutismMama one I love the most.

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Heck Sausages

I first came across Heck Foods when someone at my Slimming World group told us about their Chicken Italia sausages, which at the time were listed as 1/2 syn per packet! When Slimming World reviewed their syn values last year they changed these delicious delights to 1/2 syn each, but even so! Gorgeous, low fat and gluten free, what more could you ask for in a sausage? Anyway I can’t get their full range locally (and Ocado don’t stock them) so this month I decided to treat myself to a selection direct from the producer. I got 10 packets for £25 inc delivery and bought a real mixture. The 97% ones are for Oscar (although at 3 syns each not outside the realms of possibility for me either), the Chicken Italia ones are 1/2 syn each and the Paprika Chicken and Zesty Chicken 1/2 a syn for 2! And they’re all delicious. I’ve already made a jambalaya and a casserole with the paprika ones. And it’s so nice having some low syn yumminess in the freezer, ready to take out when the mood takes me.

And who doesn’t love receiving a huge box of sausages in the mail ?

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Slimming World

I’ve already written about my reasons for rejoining Slimming World here if you’re interested. But I couldn’t not include it here. I followed Slimming World for 2.5 years until mid way through last year when, for one reason and another, I stopped. Anyway, I went back at the beginning of the month and it has been soooooo good for me. Having something to focus on other than just mummy stuff was just what I needed. I’ve lost 6.5lb in January. Not bad huh? I’m also approaching it a little differently this time, being kinder to myself and never, ever putting any weight loss down. Half a pound is half a pound I no longer have to lug up the hill on the preschool run. Why wouldn’t I celebrate that?

If you’re interested I’d love for you to read my updates for Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.

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The X-Files

I am just the right age to have been a fan of The X-Files the first time around (it started in 1993). While I occasionally watched it and knew what it was all about, I never really got that into it and stopped following after a few series. Ben on the other hand was a huge fan as a teen (which was in no way linked to Gillian Anderson, her red hair and her ability to kick ass, no sir!?)

Anyway Amazon Prime recently added the entire X-Files back catalogue to their collection, and we’ve been reminiscing. Apart from the dreadful hair styles they made poor Scully adopt (which we have come to the conclusion were to make Gillian Anderson look older than she actually was) and the glorious pant suits, it’s aged pretty well. We’ve watched the entire first series and are starting on the second now.

I’d like to watch all the old episodes before starting on the new episodes that are coming out (and that friends are so excited about), so no spoilers please!

x-files

Bedroom furniture

In the summer of 2014, we gutted our bedroom and redid the lot. Rendering and plastering the walls, painting, taking up the carpet and staining the original floor boards. We also removed the ridiculously large radiator, had shutters fitted to the windows and pulled down the badly made and ugly fitted wardrobes, with the plan to have some more built in their place. Only we then realised we couldn’t afford what we wanted. We tried to save, but it took a long time and in the meantime we were living with piles of clothes on the floor. For 18 months! Anywho, this month we finally had enough money and started to think about getting the wardrobes. Then I had a brainwave, to buy ready made. One wardrobe and one chest of drawers instead of two built in wardrobes. And all of a sudden we were kicking ourselves of not thinking of that sooner (that’s what migraines do to me, they send my mind into a really creative space, weird huh?) So anyway, we bought some gorgeous pieces from John Lewis. But, when they arrived they couldn’t get the bloody things up our tiny cottage stairs!!! Suddenly it was obvious why the previous owners had gone for built it! But I was not going to be beaten, no siree! I found some actually really lovely flat pack on the IKEA website and convinced Ben to drive to Southampton to get them (less said about that visit the better I guess, but hey we got what we went for and no one died!). Ben spent all day putting them up and they fitted the alcoves in our room perfectly. Like more than perfectly. Someone even asked me if IKEA now did customised furniture!

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A perfect fit. And I’ve even been able to get my sheepskin rug out. For a touch of fancy!

It’s just amazingly nice to have somewhere to put our clothes. That isn’t the floor. The room finally feels almost finished. And I know it’s definitely taken a weight off Ben’s mind. It’s the peaceful space we’ve needed for so long. Who knew wardrobes and drawers could have such an effect?

What have you and your family loved this month? I’d love to know.

 

xxx

 

I was not paid to endorse any of these brands. I paid all my favourites myself. I just like sharing the things I love.

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!

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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.

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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

love

Lisa

xxxx

*well maybe not ever ever!