Weight Watchers Friendly: Chipotle Chicken Wrap

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 8 - 2013

“Ugh, it’s too hot to cook!” says me.

“Hungry!” says everyone in the flat who doesn’t have to contemplate entering the kitchen.

The thought of even putting the oven on makes me wanna stick my head in it whilst I’m there. I’ve got all the windows open (curtains closed of course) and this has afforded me a little insight into the UK’s problem with inbreeding. The mercury rises above 25 degrees and everyone outside feels the need to raise their voices because sound doesn’t travel well through heated airwaves?

I’ve had: “Does your MUVVER know you’re buying WEED?!” shouted down the road… not once, but four times (just in-case we didn’t all hear this revelation the first time round). Followed up with what sounded like the ice-cream van having a seizure over and over and over. It’s always the same around here when the sun comes out, Mr Marucci circles these lanes like a vulture, he just won’t stop until we’ve all got fucking ice-cream headaches. And that’s without consuming a single 99er. You know the tune? We’ve always told Leila that if they play the music, it means they’ve run out of ice-cream.

I’m grumpy. Can you tell? But I’m also hungry… and I need to go to the gym later (hardcore gym bunny now). Hence, I need to eat. Without much effort… here’s what I’m making tonight.

Weight Watchers Chipotle Chicken Wrap_1

The cast of characters include:

2 Warburtons Squareish Wraps
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
1/2 an onion, sliced
handful of frozen peppers (I always buy frozen, who can afford fresh?)
2 mushrooms, sliced
1tbsp tomato puree
2tsp chipotle paste
1tbsp natural yoghurt
1tsp olive oil
salad-y stuff

Make up your side salad first, this cooks fiercely and quickly – you don’t wanna be mucking about trying to slice tomatoes while the pan behind you is on fire.

Weight Watchers Chipotle Chicken Wrap_2

Heat a tsp of olive oil in a frying pan and add the vegetables, stir-frying quickly over a high heat until well-softened.

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Add the tomato puree and chipotle paste, return to the heat and combine everything evenly before adding the ready-cooked shredded chicken to warm through.

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Remove from the heat and spoon over a tablespoonful of natural yoghurt for a touch of creaminess.

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Divide into two portions and spoon into your wrap. Serve with your side salad and enjoy!

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Weight Watchers Chipotle Chicken Wrap_7

How simple is that? Probably too bloody simple to bother with a blog post about it but it was either this or order something from Dominos, which we know wouldn’t be Weight Watchers friendly! As far as the points go, this came in at a truly wonderful 7 Pro Points. Leaving plenty of points for a refreshing gin and tonic (or seven) later.

If you like Mexican flavours, a jar of chipotle paste should be a permanent staple in your fridge…. you get all that wonderful smokey Mexican flavour without the heat… and let’s face it, who needs anymore of that today?

Let me know if you try this one out! What do you cook on days when you just wanna declare the kitchen a dead-zone?

 


A Weight Watchers Easter Treat: White Chocolate & Lemon Biscotti

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 25 - 2013

I first realised that I could make my own biscotti after reading Meg’s recipe for her Christmas DIY series, it simply hadn’t dawned on me that it would be anything other than horrendously complicated to make.  Moments before making it, I even tweeted again… just to double check that I wasn’t about to embark upon a biscuity (biscotti, gettit?) nightmare.  The responses were positive, biscotti is indeed, easy to make.

Which is why I’m sharing this diet-friendly version as part of this week’s Weight Watcher’s challenge.  The brief was simple: “Eggscellent Easter Treats – Rather than succumb to high ProPoint sweet treats that could derail your weight loss, why not use your knowledge of the Weight Watchers plan to whip up something plan-friendly instead?”

That’s fine.  I’m still going to eat my body weight in hot cross buns… no-one can stop me, I’m sorry.  Hot cross buns are my favouritest things in the whole world.  You can keep your easter eggs, your Cadbury’s Creme Eggs, your roast legs of lamb, and even your simnel cake… I’m not interested.  It’s all about the Hot Cross Buns.  Served at room temperature with cold, cold butter.  Oh god.

QUICK!  BUNS OUT, BISCOTTI IN…

Lemon and White Chocolate Biscotti

the cast of characters

My second favourite thing (after hot cross buns), is lemon cake.  Lemon anything really… the clean flavour really tickles my taste-buds.  Considering I’m going for an Easter-themed treat, my health(ier) alternative needed to pay hommage to the life-giving force otherwise known as chocolate.  So here we are, White Chocolate & Lemon Biscotti courtesy of www.cookinglight.com (but somewhat modified by yours truly).

You’ll need (makes approximately 32 biscotti at 2PP-a-piece):

3/4 (150g) cup sugar
3tsp grated lemon rind
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp lemon extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 (200g) cups all-purpose flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (170g) white chocolate, chopped
Cooking spray or a Silpat mat

1.  Preheat oven to 150° celsius and prepare your baking sheet by covering it with a silpat mat / spraying it with non-stick cooking spray (or grease and lightly dust with flour).

2.  Add the first five ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well blended.  Combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and salt and gradually add them to the sugar mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in the chocolate.

3.  Turn the (wet) dough out onto the baking sheet and shape it into two (12-inch-long) rolls; pat to 2-inch width.  You may need to flour your hands, it’s quite messy… just keep working the mixture into shape.  These will spread quite a lot as they cook, so beware that you’ll need to allow space on the sheet for this OR use two baking sheets on different shelves.

4.  Bake at 150° for 30/35 minutes. Remove the rolls from the baking sheet(s) and let them cool for 10-minutes on a wire rack.

5.  Cut the rolls diagonally into 1/2″ slices. Place them, cut sides down, back onto the baking sheet and bake at 150° for 10-minutes.  Turn the biscotti over and bake an additional 10-minutes on the other side.  Remove them from baking sheet and allow them to cool completely on wire rack.  The biscotti will harden as they cool.

Lemon and White Chocolate Biscotti

a hint of lemon with chunks of white chocolate

Lemon-and-White-Chocolate-Biscotti

I don’t like black coffee, this was purely for the photo. Someone needs to fix their nails.

Lemon and White Chocolate Biscotti

about 1/8th of the finished quantity. We’re gonna beeescotti sick of biscotti!

What’s your favourite Easter indulgence? Will you be attempting to side-step the chocolate treats for healthier alternatives this year?

* I am a Weight Watchers blog ambassador and my links to their website are affiliated.  I have received no payment for this post.

Weight Watchers Weekly Challenge: Workplace Weight Loss

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 18 - 2013

See this here…

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…that’s my workplace.   Just on the left there near the printer.  The door in the bottom left?  That’s the kitchen.

You can see my problem.  I only have to lean back and I can be in both places at once.  Sort of.

It’s fine… really.  But it does have impact on how I have to plan for weight loss because I can’t use my “workplace” as any kind of sanctuary from food.

In real terms, what this means for me is that I simply won’t let myself have unhealthy “convenience” food in the house.  Sure, I’m greedy… but I’m also kinda lazy and if it takes any effort to prepare, I’m not incentivised enough to go out to the kitchen and create an unhealthy snack.  Heaven help me if there’s a Pepperami in the fridge though.

Having a 3-year old, and a husband who grew up on treats (skinny git) means that I have to find a balance.  Crisps?  I buy Quavers or Skips (2PP a pack), something that won’t break the bank when I do indulge in a packet.  Chocolate?  Sure… but instead of multipacks of Boost and Twix, I buy Tesco’s or Asda’s own-brand Caramel Wafers (2PP each) or Curly Wurlys (3PP each).  This means that when my husband deems it time for a cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon, I can join him with a side of “naughtiness” without feeling any guilt.

There are of course, some immense benefits to working from home.  I don’t have to run the gauntlet of the office “feeder”.  There’s no-one plying me with cakes and biscuits and I don’t have to navigate a thousand pastries on my way to the kettle for a cup of tea.  This ain’t no Starbucks.

lunches

The above photo is an example of my lunchtime arsenal.  Err, I don’t eat all of it.  I mean, these are the foods I have in my cupboard to ensure that I can create quick lunches that don’t fill me with dread at the thought of eating them.

I’m just going to list some of the lunches that I’ve had over the past week or so to give you a better idea, sorry I don’t have photos – I only bother instagramming my dinners!

~ Tuna/mayo pitta (I use my sandwich press to heat it) with crisps and fruit (we always have bananas, apples, grapes & satsumas in the fruit bowl).

~ Smoked Salmon/Cream Cheese bagel with cherry tomatoes and a Curly Wurly

~ Egg white omelette (with onion, parmesan, cherry tomatoes, and garlic) plus side salad.  I always try and buy those “living salads” that I can snip a few leaves off when I need them.

~ Pitta pizza, which is a split pitta bread spread with tomato puree and dotted with raw onion, wafer ham/salami and grilled for a few minutes

~ When I’ve made a batch of banana bread, I’ll have a generous slice of that and pare back on the savoury side by filling a plate with a few breadsticks (1PP for 2), some low-fat cream cheese, spicy salsa, carrot sticks and hummous.  But I was getting a bit addicted to hummous so didn’t buy any this week!

I love soups but at the moment, I’m not organised enough to be making batches.  I’m not hugely keen on salad as anything other than a “side”… which is why I’m not talking about putting together chicken/tuna salad pots and munching my way through them in front of the computer.  I would die of unhappiness.

There’s an interesting article up on the Weight Watchers website this week from their research department which discusses the correlation between weight-gain and the workplace environment.

How do you deal with food and weight loss in the workplace?  Do you have an office feeder?  Maybe it’s YOU?!

 

* I am a Weight Watchers blog ambassador and my links to their website are affiliated.  I have received no payment for this post.

Weight Watcher’s Weekly Challenge. The Mental Plateau.

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 4 - 2013

This isn’t actually the title of this week’s official challenge.  You see, I read this week’s challenge about taking “me time” to assess your weight loss journey and it didn’t feel like something I could blog about in my own voice, so instead, I’m going to talk about what I like to call “The Mental Plateau”.

We all know about the problems with physical plateaus (wait, is the plural of plateau, plateaux?! *mind blown*) whilst on a weight-loss journey, but what about the mental obstacles that lie across our path?

Now, I’m not currently experiencing any kind of plateau, after 2 weeks of illness and takeaway-fueled recovery, my scales and my attitude are reflecting some healthy losses again but the mental plateau is my biggest problem whenever I get to a certain weight, and I’m expecting to see it raise its ugly head again at some point in the near future.

So what is a plateau?

flatlining

Well, in the simplest terms, it’s a levelling out of progress… to the extent where your weight-loss or motivation flatlines.  If it’s physical, you may feel as though you’re throwing every effort into doing all of the right things without reaping any rewards, and that can be pretty demoralising.  However, a mental plateau, in my experience, can be even more disastrous.  Mine usually hits when I reach what I consider to be an “acceptable weight”.  If I can turn sideways infront of a mirror and my boobs stick out twice as much as my belly, I’m there.  When I can see my feet in the shower without leaning over?  Get in!

It doesn’t help that when we reach that stage, weight-loss can genuinely, physically becomes harder.  They say that the closer you get to your goal weight, the harder it becomes and I’m more than happy to agree with this sentiment.  In my life, contentment has always bred laziness… like a piggy enjoying a mud bath, I’m happy to live in the moment without any thought for the bigger picture.  Inevitably, this leads to over-eating, because I genuinely feel that until something “clicks” (if it ever does), over-eating is what my psyche is programmed to do.  It doesn’t happen immediately, it’s taken over two years to put on half of what I originally lost… but it happens.  And whilst the scales are steadily climbing, my brain is still plateauing… simply not registering.

When it does finally kick into action (usually because my clothes start to feel tight), an initial reaction is anything from self-loathing to abject dismay, not the best emotions for motivation.  After a bit more wallowing (and a few more pounds on the scales), I find myself doing the “enough is enough!” thing whilst desperately trying to leap back into the saddle in blind panic before my buttons start popping.  It would be a lot more productive and easier on the emotions if I didn’t experience that mental plateau in the first place.

Lemon Portion On White

If you’re not familiar with the Weight Watchers plan, they have something called “Filling & Healthy” which is a nifty tool in your weight-loss arsenal and one that I’ve been employing on days when the motivation just isn’t there.  It works like this:

1. Pick only the foods listed as Filling & Healthy
2. Stop when you feel satisfied and not when you’re ready to burst!
3. Include 2 teaspoons of healthy oil (sunflower, olive, flaxseed, safflower or rapeseed oil)
4. Deduct the ProPoints values of any food or drink you have that isn’t Filling & Healthy from your Weekly ProPoints allowance of 49
5. Relax and don’t count!

To put it bluntly, I believe that getting fully-acquainted with the concept of Weight Watcher’s “Filling & Healthy” regime is the key to beating the future mental plateau.  And when I say “acquainted”, I mean… “overly-familiar”.  We all know that the key to losing weight (and keeping it off) is down to employing some good ol’ common-sense and their “Filling & Healthy” list is packed-full of common-sense foods.  Playing with food combinations on that list is a less taxing method of maintaining your weight when you feel that the novelty of counting points and weighing portions is wearing thin.

I like that it doesn’t do battle with what is probably just a temporary “can see my feet, so can’t be bothered to work hard!” attitude.  Instead, it lets you ride that dip in your motivation like a wave until you come back out the other side without (hopefully) having done too much damage to your hard work.

Do you suffer from the Mental Plateau?

p.s. I’ve got a lovely (healthy!) recipe that I want to share later in the week if my Asda home shop turns up today!

* I am a Weight Watchers blog ambassador and my links to their website are affiliated.  I have received no payment for this post.

I would love to say that when it comes to enjoying a special occasion… for me, it’s all about the social experience.  I can’t.  I’m ashamed to admit that I like to involve food and drink in a big way.  Whether I’m planning a night in or a night out in celebration, the thought of what we’ll be eating or drinking is usually near the top of the list when it comes to preparation (and excitement).  Here standeth a foodie.

If you’re following a weight loss plan or trying to achieve a change in lifestyle, we can often view special occasions as the perfect excuse to let our hair down and overindulge.

Is this really such a problem?

I honestly believe that there is NO problem in occasionally taking your eye off the ball, and whilst I should be telling you how you can swap your chips for boiled potatoes, burgers for steamed fish, and your high-sugar cocktails for a gin and slimline tonic… I won’t.  Put it this way, if you’re coming to my dinner party whilst dieting AND you’re on pudding duty.  Don’t even think of bringing a fruit salad in lieu of a tiramisu, I’d mess you up.

The reason I won’t explain how you can be so wonderfully virtuous?  Well… I can’t, because it’s not what I would do and if I did?  I’d spend the evening with a look of pure resentment on my face as I watch my husband shovel steak cut chips into his mouth.

Steak & Chips

Homemade Steak & Chips (steak fried in garlic butter, jumbo mushroom, homemade baked chips dipped in egg white instead of oil, and salad) – 11 Propoints

I love food.  I always will love food, and who doesn’t love the occasional feast on the less-than-healthy stuff?  I love Weight Watchers precisely because it doesn’t stop me eating what I want.  It just reminds me (constantly) to keep myself in check, and that’s what I need more than anything.

I’m the sort of dieter who can sense a downhill spiral at a hundred paces.  I know that if I let myself go a bit silly on a Thursday night (our movie night), the chances are that my willpower will be weakened on a Friday evening too.  This is just the way that my brain likes to play games with my belly and I’m certain that some of you will recognise my words in yourselves.

Does this mean that I don’t feel any guilt about a splurge? (I won’t call it a binge, because it’s not that epic!)  Of course I feel guilty at times but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to pile on the self-sabotage with cherries on top.  This is nothing to do with hunger management, and everything to do with whatever issues give me the potential to live my life at a weight that is double that of what is considered healthy.  There ain’t no weight-loss plan in the world that will fix that overnight.

So, how do I use Weight Watchers in this situation?

1. I’m a planner, which is probably one of the reasons WW works for me… and I like to go into situations with my eyes wide open.  If I’m going out for a meal, I’ll usually have a nosey online at the restaurant’s menu beforehand.  Infact, that’s something I do regardless of whether or not I’m “dieting”.  What can I say?  The anticipation of a great meal is a thrill for me *embarrassed face*.  I use the Propoints Calculator on my iPhone app to work out the points of anything I can’t easily find in the Weight Watchers database and I calculate the Propoints of my chosen meal.

Nandos Weight Watchers Option

Nandos! (1/2 chicken, regular rice, and salad) – 14 Propoints. Swapping out the pitta bread and creamy mash meant that I happily guzzled a Cornetto at the cinema after.  Wasn’t giving up my rice though!

Usually, just by taking that step… I find myself genuinely wanting to swap an unhealthy side for something a little lower in points purely because it doesn’t seem worth it.  But I don’t put myself under any pressure to do this… and I’ll honestly only do this if I love the “healthier” version.  An example of this would be swapping out a meat-based starter for something like mushroom bruschetta.  I LOVE mushrooms and doing this is genuinely, no hardship to me.  Don’t think I’m being angelic… I’ll often justify an on-the-spot “oh go on then” pudding moment because I’ve made a couple of swaps earlier in the meal.

2. Well, you already know that I’m not on the exercise wagon as firmly as I should be… but this week, in pure anticipation of stuffing my face on Valentine’s evening… I’m upping the stakes.  It’s a challenge and for someone like me, let’s face it, the best reward is an extra scoop (ok, 2) of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche on Thursday night.  Because the Propoints system makes the exercise/food ratio so tangible… I know precisely how many Propoints of exercise I want to earn this week and what I need to do to achieve it.

Whether or not this will actually make a difference on the scales next week, I don’t know.  But you know what?  I don’t actually care.  It helps me retain control and alleviate any guilty pangs, ‘cos those are the things that are really unhealthy to my willpower.

What approach do you take when special occasions threaten your steely-eyed determination to lose weight?

* I am a Weight Watchers blog ambassador and my links to their website are affiliated.  I have received no payment for this post.

Weight Watchers: The Fitness Challenge!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2013

Despite my very best intentions, I haven’t fared too well at this challenge.  I mean, it was simple enough… “Move More, Sit Less” they said…. “Show us how you squeeze more activity into your day” they said.

And so I thought about it.  And I thought about it some more, and I spent so long thinking about it, that I didn’t really do a huge amount about it.  What is it they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions?  Oh yeah, that.

It’s not as if the plan doesn’t give you an incentive to exercise either.  You can earn activity propoints by working up a sweat before swapping them for normal propoints which is ideal if you’re a propoint or two short of that glass of wine you’ve been craving.  So why have I failed?  Well, I promised myself that last week would be the week I’d finally pull my running shoes back on.  The snow has cleared, the temperatures have risen a touch and the sun seems to be hanging on for just a little bit longer in the evenings.  Did I get out there for a run?  Did I naff.  I didn’t even drag myself out for a brisk walk!

So lame-ness aside, what did I do?  Well, I dusted off the Wii Fit in an attempt to alleviate some guilt.  I loaded up The Biggest Loser game (yeah, that’s me – and not in the positive sense of the expression), please excuse the feet, I’m surprised I was able to see them.

Weight Watchers: The Fitness Challenge!

It was fun for about 5 minutes and then it actually started to burn a bit. Why can’t exercise just stay fun? Why does it have to start bloody hurting anyway?! I’ve learned that I can do a pretty mean squat, that my lunges are atrocious (I wobble all over), and that I need to wear my sports bra if they start with that jumping jack stuff again.

In all seriousness though, I banked two activity propoints through my efforts so it wasn’t all bad for a half hour routine.

Weight Watchers: The Fitness Challenge!

My other efforts at increasing my exercise count involved a far more enjoyable play with my hoops!  The one in the photo below is my most recent acquisition, she’s smaller and faster and has white glitter tape, isn’t she pretty?  I still need more practice at keeping her up so I did end up moving back to a slower hoop that gave me more control, I’ll get better though!

I do find hooping far more enjoyable than other forms of exercise and I’ve been doing it (on and off) since last April but I’m not sure that it really gives me enough of a work out.  I’ve tried the weighted varieties (which make you sweat!) but I’ve read too much about the potential damage they can cause to want to go back to them.  I found it pretty difficult to gauge how many activity propoints I could bank with the hooping, but I let myself bank 3 propoints for 40 minutes, based on a rough 70kcal burned = 1 activity point rule.  I’ll have to use my heart rate monitor this week to see if I’m being too generous with myself!

Weight Watchers: The Fitness Challenge!

It’s not always easy to find obvious ways to incorporate exercise into our busy schedules, 40-minutes of hooping is actually quite a large chunk of my free time, it’s just as-well I enjoy it!  If the weather is kind this week, I’ll be swapping the steering wheel for some cosy insoles and walking to pick Leila up from nursery.  I’ve got a pedometer* to ensure I don’t miss a trick and make the most of this additional activity.  If I’m doing it, you can bet I’ll be banking it on the Weight Watchers app!

How are your activity levels?  Are you skirting around some serious workouts like me or are you straight into building up a sweat?

* I am a Weight Watchers blog ambassador and my links to their website are affiliated.  I have received no payment for this post.  The pedometer mentioned is a press sample.

Weight Watchers, a typical Weight Watchery Day!

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 28 - 2013

Of course, every day is a Weight Watchery day (except for those days when I fall headfirst into a takeaway pizza and tell no-one about it but we’ll ignore those), however I was recently challenged to share my typical day and the kind of obstacles I might encounter along the way, tempting me into the path of calorific catastrophe.

I’m quite lucky in so far as, I work from home.  I don’t have to pass a thousand Starbucks on my way in to work.  Krispy Kreme and Cornish Pasty Co. stands are figments of my dreams rather than daily obstacles that need to be dodged.  Thank god, I can only imagine how unhealthy I would be if I had to run the typical commuter gauntlet on a daily basis.  That being said, my life is not devoid of temptation… my mother is a one-woman army of home-cooking that needs “testing” within twenty seconds of stepping foot inside her home.  And my husband?  Well, his name is Paul and he’s addicted to Haribo.

I’m allowed 29 points a day on the Weight Watchers plan.  That’s plenty enough to create a filling meal plan but you do need to be creative.  If you think that genuine hunger (and I mistake thirst for hunger many, many times throughout the day) will be a problem for you, you need to get clever about planning your meals, and this takes both dedication and time.

Pulling some images from my instagram, where you can keep up with 90% of my eats (I’m sorry), here’s what a typical day looks like for me food-wise.

Breakfast.

My biggest struggle is this little meal that you’re supposed to eat upon waking, in order to break the fast of the night.  I hate breakfast.  I’m never hungry in the mornings and if anything, I always feel that eating breakfast makes me desperate for moar food as the morning progresses.  The key to a successful breakfast for me is finding something that is going to sustain me because once that fast is broken, there ain’t no going back.

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Porridge with dried fruit and agave syrup, a banana, and a cup of tea (7 Propoints)

You can forget your miniscule portions of packet cereal, have you seen how much 30g actually is? I could snort that amount quicker than it takes me to pour it out of the packet.  Porridge is where it’s at on a cold morning… the only problem is making it edible.  I always make mine with water, in the microwave… adding a splash of milk at the end.  I bulk it up with some dried or frozen fruit (added before cooking) and a drizzle of agave syrup or a tsp of demerera sugar.  I also allow myself 50g dry weight.  That’s more than most plans allow but if I don’t fill myself up, I start to think about lunchtime far too early!

If I’m not eating porridge for breakfast, then you’ll usually find me chomping on a Weight Watcher’s branded bagel (they’re smaller, hence I eat less) with low-fat cream cheese and smoked salmon, or the same topping… but on an English muffin, or a Warburton’s Thin (as shown below).

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Warburton’s Thin with butter, low fat cream cheese, and smoked salmon (and lots and lots of black pepper! 7 Propoints)

I’m a bit too lazy for cooked breakfasts to be honest.

Lunch.

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Weight Watchers Beef Lasagne (7 Propoints)

I’ve stopped having these (or any calorie-controlled ready meal) for dinner because they don’t fill me up enough without a mountain of bread/salad to go alongside.  Instead, a ready meal (doesn’t have to be WW branded, Tesco do some good ones with the Propoints displayed on them) makes for a perfect lunchtime meal that doesn’t distract me too much from working.  The downside to working from home, as you can imagine, are the numerous distractions and one of my worst habits is leaving the computer to go and fix myself some lunch… before returning three hours later.  Slinging one of these in the microwave removes the temptation to do the washing up or throw a load of washing in the machine, convenience… can be good!

Alternatively, I’m not that great with my lunchtimes yet.  My next mission is to make myself some batches of soup but my freezer is too full at the moment to store them!  Other lunches include this sort of thing, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the most inspiring meal on a plate:

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Random medley of scrounged food (6 Propoints)

Dinner.

Dinner is what it’s all about.  I grew up in a family where both parents worked, dinnertime (never “teatime” in our house) was the only point in the day where we’d all see one another.  We also usually had it quite late in the evening, around 7-7.30pm and nearly always consisted of a one-pot affair.  Chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognese, curry… the sort of food that could feed an indiscriminate number of children, one of us would always bring a “hanger-on” home with us!

Nowadays, I try to have my main meal earlier in the day, sometimes I swap lunch for dinner (and have it at 4pm with a snack in the evening).  If you follow my instagram feed, you may have noticed that one of my favourite meals is…

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…sausages! Sausages (Tesco Light Choice Cumberland), green beans, yorkshire pudding, butternut squash and gravy (10 Propoints)

Or sometimes, I like to save up my points and be a bit naughtier…

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Rump steak (cooked in garlic butter), fried onion, egg-white coated chips, oven-baked mushroom, and salad (11 Propoints)

I usually try and hold off having a pudding for at least an hour after my evening meal.  I eat my food far too quickly… and often don’t feel full until a good twenty minutes after I’ve put my knife and fork down.  Leaving a delay between dinner and pud ensures that I actually enjoy my dessert and that I’m not just eating it for “eatings” sake.  As for what I have… I won’t put pictures in because it’s nothing amazing but I’ll alternate between: Meringue nest with grapes/pineapple and WW greek yogurt (2 Propoints), slow cooker rice pudding with jam (4 Propoints a portion), or a big bowl of sorbet (2 Propoints).  As the Summer nears, I’ll be stocking up on Solero Exotic Explosions (3 Propoints each), and Mini Milks (1 Propoint).

Now… as for obstacles, like I say… I don’t have too many… but we did go to the cinema a couple of weeks ago for Mr. L’s birthday and I couldn’t have done without smuggling in a couple of packets of these from Boots:

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Boots Shapers Maple Popcorn (2 Propoints) – you can see how big the bag is compared to the size of my thumb, it’s very generous!

And as for missing a coffee treat when we’re out shopping… well, I don’t.  I just ask for a tall skinny caramel macchiato w/sugar-free syrup (I always emphasise SF syrup) for 3 Propoints, instead of something like the equivalently sized tall signature hot chocolate which I believe is a whopping 11 Propoints.  Yeah, take a look at the steak picture again, that’s 11 Propoints too!

Alternatively, if you’re at home… you could treat yourself to something like this…

photo-4

I bought my syrup just before Christmas and next time would go for a sugar-free Davinci or Sweetbird coffee syrup.  Either way: kettle, coffee syrup, favourite instant blend and a dash of milk and you can make your own ghetto Starbucks.  Kinda.

Hope this post has given you some ideas about the sort of food I eat on the plan.  Our environment is geared up to feeding us convenience at a high cost in calories.  Waking up to this fact and being vigilant (though not militantly so!) about it is the key to finding a balance that works for you.  There’s no real restrictions other than an initial daily point guide and subsequently what you impose upon yourself with this plan but you do quickly find yourself realising that an 11 point hot chocolate is not the best way to “spend” your daily allowance.

The plan works for me, it’s not actually rocket science… it’s just a simplified method (once you get the hang of it) for calculating your food’s nutritional values, opening up your eyes to the healthy and filling options that will keep you sustained for longer (i.e. low GI), and encouraging ways to help you make the right choices over the wrong ones.

If you have any questions or tips on foods you think I might enjoy discovering, please let me know in the comments!

* I am a Weight Watchers blog ambassador and my links to their website are affiliated.  I have received no payment for this post.

What’s in my fridge? No, really….

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 7 - 2013

When bloggers do a “what’s in my bag”, or a “what’s on my bedside table” post.  We all know that this stuff isn’t really in their bag right?  Their bedside table doesn’t actually look like a Sense and Sensibility set at any other time than when the photo was taken for the blogpost.  I mean, I love candles but I don’t feel the need to sleep with one inches from my face or keep a collection of classic books to rival the British Library’s back catalogue adjacent to my elbow.  “Look how messy it is!” they proclaim.  Hahhahaha.  No.

Where’s the clicker? (remote controls to you normal people) the snotrags, the scrunchies that you wouldn’t be seen dead in outside of 1992?  It’s an illusion.

Which is why I was a little bit nervy when my first Weight Watchers challenge turned out to be photographing the contents of my fridge post-Christmas.  Of course, I did what any normal person would do and took out the two Quarterpounder Feasters (microwaveable burgers), and the Pepperami.  But what you see in the photos below is not an illusion.  It was also quite bare considering the Big Day had not long passed, I guess that accounts for the 6lbs I managed to put on over the festive period.

What's in my fridge?  No, really....

What's in my fridge?  No, really....

What's in my fridge?  No, really....

I swear those yogurts were not planted there by a Weight Watchers crack team

What's in my fridge?  No, really....

So, what have we got here then?  A crap-ton of garlic, coriander, ginger, madras etc. type pastes… because they can turn nothing into everything.  Some tired looking vegetables, many yogurts, leftover coleslaw, a tin of corned beef (it’s easier to slice cold!), mattesons sausage, the chocolate/treat container (shh), butter-esque spreads, and a bottle of mini champagne in-case something nice happens one day.

The thing that surprised me looking back at the photos, is this… considering how little there is in the fridge, there’s an awful lot of cheese in there.  We’ve got: cheddar, parmesan, dairylea, lowlow grated, blue, edam slices, and babybel.  Just how much cheese does one poorly-stocked fridge need?

So why am I showing you the contents of my fridge anyway?  Ladies, the challenge from Weight Watchers HQ was simple

This week we want you to sort your fridge by hiding all your high PPV foods.

Store that Stilton, move that muffin and put all these temptations into containers or drawers that are hidden away.

Turn all the leftovers  you can into tasty low ProPoints values meals and share one recipe you’ve made.

I’m not storing my Stilton!  Stilton is a bleedin’ lifesaver when you’re trying to create tasty-but-virtuous meals thanks to its potency.  The reality is, you only need to use a little bit to really lift the flavour of something… and that’s what I’m going to show you in my “leftovers” recipe below.  In-case you were wondering, the mattesons sausage totally got stored.  I also went through my freezer and gave my stash of beef mince to my Mum who picked me up a few packets of turkey mince on her next food shop.

Anyway, the recipe…

Cauliflower, Turkey, and Blue Cheese Bake – 10 ProPoints Values

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Now, I know it looks a bit like baby vom and at the very least needed a sprig of parsley artistically placed somewhere but believe me when I tell you that it tasted better than it looked.  I’m no Smitten Kitchen when it comes to cooking but this was pretty yum for a weight loss friendly, fridge-rescue mission.  I do have one confession to make though… I stole the turkey to make it from my Mum’s fridge, hers was (and still is) heaving!

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
15g butter
15g plain flour
140ml semi-skimmed milk
50g blue cheese
200g roast turkey meat, pulled into pieces
black pepper to taste

1.  Steam the cauliflower until tender and transfer into a baking dish.

2.  Make the roux by melting the butter in a saucepan on medium/low heat.  Once melted, quickly stir in the flour before adding the milk – a little at a time until you have a creamy sauce.

3.  Crumble and add the blue cheese to the sauce, keep stirring until it melts and then remove from the heat.  Grind a little black pepper into the sauce if you wish.

4.  Add the turkey pieces to the baking dish and pour over the blue cheese sauce.

5.  Pop under a hot grill until the top begins to darken.

The rich flavour of the blue cheese and the unadulterated creaminess of the sauce makes this meal seem far naughtier than it is and I felt no guilt when I logged on to the Weight Watchers website later in the evening to track my day’s progress.

How’s your fridge looking in the gloom of January’s dull presence?  My first food shop since Chrimbo came on Friday and I must say, it’s looking a lot healthier this week!

* I am a Weight Watchers blog ambassador and my links to their website are affiliated.  I have received no payment for this post.

Weight Watchers and Me. New year, new belly (a smaller one please!)

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 2 - 2013

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that since I started blogging about beauty 4 years ago, I’ve lost weight.  Quite a lot of weight.  You’ll also know that I’ve lapsed over the past year, 2012 was all about some big life changes and although I sustained my loss for the first quarter… I slid like an eel on a bobsled for the remaining months, losing motivation and dwelling on thoughts of failure.

Whilst I couldn’t start the year with a bigger cliche than this, there’s something about a new year that makes it easier to hike up the optimism and truly believe in your own abilities to achieve something.  January 1st 2013 is my rock bottom with regards to weight loss… and the only way is up.  Or should I say down?!

before-after

The photo on the left, not one I’m hugely proud of.  The photo on the right is me close to the lowest weight I’ve been since I was about 10 years old… I want that shape back, I want a wiggle in my walk again!

So, where does Weight Watchers come into this?  Well… when I finished the Cambridge Diet, I used it to maintain and begin losing again but cancelled my subscription over the Summer when I didn’t have an internet connection.  I signed back up again in November but didn’t actually follow the plan.  Turns out that you don’t lose weight just by being a member…

My subscription from November is still active, so I’m hitting it hard.   I weighed myself this morning, I’m 13st 10lbs – that’s 6st away from my heaviest and 2st away from my lightest.  I’m still in a good position to regain control – and that’s all I want, not to let food control me as it did for so many years.

For complete disclosure, you should know that I’ve become a Weight Watchers Blog Ambassador which means that I’ll have a shiny badge in my sidebar and if I refer more people to the program than anyone else, they’ll make me a crown out of chocolate digestives (or something).  They’ve also given me three months free online access (which I’m not using because I can’t work out how to “append” it to my current membership rather than sign up again), they’ll also be sending me some of their own-brand goodies to try and setting me weekly blog challenges.  I’m not being paid for any posts or mentions about Weight Watchers.

I’ll be instagramming my dinners and any related photos with the #wwfooddiary tag which I’ll also share on Twitter.  I’ll probably post some recipes that I’ve enjoyed and any treats that I’ve discovered that allow me guilt-free scoffing.  My first challenge is this week, so I’ll be blogging that very shortly.  If you want to join in (not necessarily with the WW program), I’m part of a merry band of rubbish (and not so rubbish) dieters on Twitter, we’re awesome and you can find us here.

To anyone else being a MASSIVE cliche this week, I salute you. xxx

RANDOM

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