Friday, 25 November 2011

Recipe of the Week - 5 minute lasagne

Ok, so it takes a bit more than 5 minutes to cook it, but only 5 minutes to prepare, which is a good thing in my book. It means I can get the kids to bed, throw it together and get it in the oven, and have time to exercise before it's ready. It's vegetarian, very low fat and tasty!

Serves 4. 7 ProPoints per serving

300 grams Quorn mince (tvp mince)
6 lasagne sheets
500g carton of passata
250g virtually fat free soft cheese (I used Quark)
80g half fat cheddar

In a lasagne dish layer a quarter of the passata, a third of the mince and two lasagne sheets. Repeat 2 more times and finish with the remaining passata.

Mix the cream cheese with a little water and spread on top of the final layer.

Top with the grated cheese and bake at 200/400 gas 6 for 30-45 mins or until the pasta is tender and it looks like this.

So easy, and really tasty. Mr F-G-S hates Quorn mince but he didn't even realise it wasn't beef (and I'm not telling him either ;) )! Sneaky Helly! If you have more than 5 minutes a chopped onion, mushrooms or peppers added to the mince would be a welcome addition, and you could chuck some dried herbs (basil or oregano would be the ones I'd use) in the passata, but actually it was pretty tasty without it. Serve with a big salad, and you'd never tell it wasn't the real thing!

If you don't want the extra cheese on top, leave it off. The PP value would then be 6 per serving. You don't have to remember any weights and measurements because (here in the UK at least) most of the ingredients come in packages of the size you need. Just a simple, healthy, tasty meal! Yum.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Measuring the flab...

I took my measurements on 27th September and saved them in the tracker section of the Weight Watchers website, but when I looked the other day I didn't think it'd saved and got really annoyed. Turns out I was just being retarded and not working it properly, so I just took my measurements again and can compare! The biggest difference, apparently, is in my upper arm (the much hated bingo wings) when I've lost 7.5cm, or 3 inches! That's a huge difference!

I was told that if you've felt like you have had a good week, but it hasn't shown on the scales it will be showing in your measurements instead, so now I'm glad I have these as a reference point. I'll check once a month and post any changes with my monthly picture...if I'm brave enough!

Measurements 22 Nov 2011 (Previous 27th Sept 2011)

Waist 104cm (Previous 110cm)
Hips 122cm (Previous 126cm)
Thighs 63cm (Previous 67cm)
Arms 36.5cm (Previous 44cm)
Bust 116cm (Previous 116cm HAHA!)
Dress size 16-18 (USA 12-14)

So yeah, the tatas haven't changed at all! Bahah! I've always been pretty well endowed in that area so it doesn't really surprise me. Of course, it could just be that I'm wearing a different bra today, or hormones etc, as I definitely feel that my breasticles aren't as big as they used to be!

The place I've noticed it most is in my legs. Boots that wouldn't do up all the way are now loose around the calves, and I was considering buying a short skirt the other day (soon came to my senses, don't worry). My stomach is still my main annoyance though, go away jelly belly!

And, the picture...the top I'm wearing is too big now, and I'm wearing heels which makes my legs look slimmer so bear that in mind...

My tiny 5'2" (Bad phone camera is bad, sorry!)

Yeah, so that's me now. Check here for how I was back in April...can you see the difference?


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tuesday treat - Yours Clothing Wishlist

All my adult life I have worn plus-size clothes, so it's not fair that I only discovered Yours Clothing about a year ago, and soon I wont need them at all! But seriously, I always struggled finding affordable clothes that fitted, were fashionable and looked good. I would buy anything that fitted if I could afford it, which often meant I would wear things too big, too long or plain frumpy and awful. A google search for "cheap plus size clothes" about this time last year put me on Your's doorstep and I have to spread the word! Sick of paying over the odds for plus size clothes that you don't even like? Give them a look. My first order from them was just for a t-shirt and a pair of leggings, but since then I've had jeans, a coat, cropped trousers, accessories, swimwear and even shapewear (my Briget Jones pants, we all have them!) from them, and never returned a thing. They also have stores and the little Milton Keynes store is the first shop I head for when I need something. Their jeans come in different leg lengths (a must when you're 5 foot nothing like me) and are so comfortable, and they often have great sales and promotions. As I said, I'm now just about a size 16, so I can get clothes in regular shops (yay!), but I'll always still check out Yours for their value and comfort. They start at a UK 14 and go right to a 32 (US 10/12-28/30 I think), and they ship internationally, so give them a try!

I put together a quick peek at some things I'm lusting over from their website. If I don't find the boots under the Christmas tree, Mr F-G-S,  there will be trouble!

Anything catch your eye? Where's your favourite place to buy clothes?


Weekly Weigh In

It's Tuesday and you know what that means! I put on the lightest clothes I own and pay £5.99 to go and queue up to stand on a scale! Haha, cynical, moi? Anyway this week I lost 1 1/2 lbs :) I always say "I'm happy with that", and this week, well I am! I was really unsure how I would do as although I've been eating really very well and stuck rigidly to my points allowance, hormones have been in play and I've had very little energy, so the exercise has been a bit lack lustre. Since I had my son (and a Depoprovera injection 6 weeks later, which I suspect is more the culprit) my cycle has been messed up, and this was the first time since I was a teenager that I've ever felt in the slightest bit pre-menstrual. As soon as AF did arrive it was like a weight had been llifted, and hopefully now I've sent her packing again I can get back into the swing of things.

I only managed two c25k runs this week, on Monday and Wednesday, and though I should now move onto week 4 I think when I get out tomorrow I am going to repeat one more day of week 3. I'm still not 100% comfortable with 3 minutes of running - although if I'm honest I do think if I had a flat circuit I'd manage it easily. But I can't come up with a circuit in my local area without any incline so I'll stick to waht I have a repeat a day, especially as I've had such a long gap between runs. I have been doing Zumba and Wii fit in between runs though, so I'm not just sitting on my sizeable bum!

In other news, I'm thinking of taking some pics to post - maybe once a month? Hopefully then I'll be able to see the changes in my body shape for myself, and it'll spur me on even more. I have been getting lots of lovely compliments lately, which always makes me smile :)

Hope you've had a good week too!


Monday, 21 November 2011

Christmas Challenge Time!

I've decided I need a boost to keep me motivated in the run up to Christmas, so I set myself a little challenge last week. Between Wednesday 9th November and Tuesday 20th December (My last WW weigh in before Christmas) I want to lose 7lbs/half a stone. I think 7lbs in just under 6 weeks is achieveable, and I'm already a pound and a half down ;) So, 5 1/2lbs in 5 weeks.....join in and we can keep each other motivated! Go on, be a Christmas Cracker!

Another blogger, the lovely Maren of From Cow to Wow! has come up with The Sweet Tooth Challenge and I decided to join in. Hopefully, my Christmas wont be too indulgent as we're spending it with my sister in law, so wont have too many treats hanging around the house. But, I know there will be a little over indulgence on the day. I've written about my love for biscuits before, and I read Maren's post with a biscuit in hand. So, from now until Christmas I am challenging myself to avoid the biscuit tin, and not eat any biscuits or cookies. Can I do it? I hope so!

Are you setting yourself a pre-Christmas challenge?


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Feeling the cold

The weather has turned, and although here in the UK we've had a very mild November so far, it's really rather chilly! I've never been one to be bothered by cold weather, I grew up in a very drafty flat with very little heating apart from two gas fires, but this winter I'm really feeling it. Not just a little, but bl**dy freezing! Chilled right to the bone cold, and I can't warm up. I'm trying to have the central heating on as little as possible, especially during the day, so you'll quite often find me huddled up under a blanket, wearing warm socks, fluffy slippers, and two jumpers, and once I've put my scarf on to take my eldest to school in the morning, it doesn't come off for the day! I wont leave the house without my gloves on and my coat buttoned all the way up, and I'm going to need some gloves for running very soon too. I've even been wearing socks to bed, which I never ever usually do. Sexy, right?!

So, is this constant coldness to do with my weight loss? I have over 30lbs less fat to keep me warm I guess! Often, weight loss surgery patients who lose weight very quickly find that they suddenly get very cold. I haven't got my layer of fat to keep me warm anymore! Seeing as I've only lost a third of what I want to lose altogether, it seems like next winter is going to be even colder...

After a quick bit of research it seems that this is a common problem. If course, fat is insulating (when I was pregnant at the height of summer 2010 I remember feeling like I was literally cooking), and also having a full stomach makes you warmer too. But feeling cold can also be a sign of low metabolism, anaemia and lack of zinc. So, if, like me, you're feeling the cold, make sure you are eating enough and exercising to stabilise your metabolism, and eat a balanced diet, with supplements if necessary. Exercise will warm you up, and burn calories at the same time, bonus!

Now, where did I put those long johns....


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tuesday Treat!

I don't have a specific Tuesday treat for you today, but I found this on Pinterest and thought I'd share it. It made me laugh out loud! Thanks Cyn!

If you use Pinterest, you can follow me here (and leave your links for me to follow you too!) or just ask if you want an invite - my contact details are in the right side bar.

Have you got a collection of inspirational images or quotes? Pinterest is fast becoming my new obsession!


Weekly Weigh In - 15% less Helly!


Another 1 1/2lbs down this morning, taking me to a grand total of 32 1/2lbs lost since I started Weight Watchers at the end of June. This also means I have lost 15% of my starting weight :) I was hoping for a little bit more (3lbs would have meant another half stone gone, but there's always next week). I have been exercising lots, and I am feeling leaner, even if the scales aren't going down as much as I'd like. But, muscle is heavier than fat after all. A loss is a loss, I'll happily take it :)

It also means that for the first time (that I can remember anyway, certainly since I was a teenager) I weigh less than 14 stone (a stone is 14lbs for my international friends!). Ok, so it's only by 1/2 a pound, but I am not going back over that 14 stone mark EVER AGAIN. I will not allow it. Even if I get pregnant with triplets and they discover that obesity is good for you, I will never weigh more than I do now. Exciting!

Another positive, this morning I found my collarbones! Seems they've been hiding right where they should be under a load of disgusting fat! Who'da thunk it?

How have you all done?


Friday, 11 November 2011

Live. Laugh. Love.

This weeks Operation Fit and Fabulous mission was to laugh a lot. Laughter is the best medicine, after all! This got me thinking about how much I laugh. Not just a little titter, or a giggle, but a full on laugh-until-your-sides-hurt laugh. I realised I definitely don't laugh enough. With money worries, counting points and exercise minutes, pressure to keep the house clean and tidy and be a good Mum, the time I actually spend enjoying any of it is few and far between!

So what actually makes me laugh? I'd say the number one thing is my gorgeous, beautiful, precious boys. Ollie is four now, and the things he comes out with are priceless. Even his tempers and sulks are absolutely hilarious (although I try not to laugh out loud to those!) And Jake, who is 16 months old is the the most precious, innocent soul. Whether he's pretending to talk on the phone, blowing kisses or grunting like a pig it never fails to make me smile.

This evening, after they'd had their dinner, I left the washing up sitting in the sink, lay a duvet down and spent half an hour rolling around on the floor with them, and being very silly! We did headstands, roly polys, horseback rides, tickled, pretended to be cats and blew raspberries on each others tummies. It was bliss, utter childish innocent horseplay and I forgot everything and just enjoyed them. I laughed, they laughed, and when we'd (Ok, when I'd) had enough, we snuggled on the sofa reading stories and watching IgglePiggle. More than a few chuckles were had, and it made me realise how lucky I am.

So, from now on I am going to put down the dishcloth more often, build more dens, play more games, make more mess (like I need any more of that!) It's not that I don't do all of those things, but there's always something niggling at me while I do. Those niggles go when I laugh.

I live for my boys, laugh with them and love them with all my being. Those three things are more important than a blog post, a pile of ironing or a dirty floor.


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tuesday Treat - simple pleasures

Today's treat is a simple one, but something I don't often do. Buy yourself a magazine...and read it! I quite often buy mags for the freebies, recipes or interesting articles, but I rarely get the chance to read it. So, when my other half is at his second job on Friday evening and the kids are in bed I am going to turn off the telly, my phone and my laptop and sit down and read. If the magazine has a freebie with it, all the better! This month's Glamour has a free Nails Inc polish worth £11 if you're in the UK. As you can imagine I was all over that like a dieter on cake... ;)

What's your treat of the week?


Weekly Weigh In - 2lb off and back on track


Just been to my weigh in and have lost 2lb this week, so lost what I put on last week and half a pound more. I'm happy with that! I have tried really hard, exercised 5 nights out of 7 and stuck within my points limit every day (for the most part!). This brings my total weight loss to 31lbs, and losing 1lb more will mean I have shed 15% of my starting weight. So that'smymini goal for this week - to lose at least 1lb (more would be great though!) and be 15% slimmer, fitter and healthier!

How have you done this week? Have you set a mini goal?


Saturday, 5 November 2011

C25K Week 2

Today I did the week 2 day 1 run from the Couch to 5k plan, and it felt good! I took slightly longer doing week one due to my ear infection, so was wondering whether I should repeat week 1 for another day but I'm glad I went onto week two. Last week I ran on Wednesday, Saturday and then Wednesday again (it should have been Monday) and on Wednesday's run I felt like I could run for longer than the 60 seconds if I wanted to. So today instead of 60 second runs and then 90 second walks I did 90 second runs and 2 minute walks with no problem! Yay me :) There were 6 intervals over the 20 minute running time, and the first 3 were fine. The fourth was the hardest as by the time I got to that part in my circuit it's slightly uphill and but by the 5th and 6th I'd recovered again.

I was worried about going out tonight, since it's Guy Fawkes night and I thought there would be lots of people going to bonfire parties out and about (since I nearly knocked a child over in week one I'm nervous of other people on the pavement!) but it was actually quieter than usual. There weren't even any leery boys smoking outside the pub. I got to run through the cold smoky air and watch firework displays as I did. Maybe I'll learn to love this running malarky, who'da thunk it?

Feeling positive in general this week, I've worked hard and eaten will so hoping for a good loss on Tuesday - we shall see! Thank you for your lovely comments :)

Feeling snacky now, so as soon as I hit 'publish' I'm going to bed to avoid temptation!


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Tuesday Treat - Say it with...

Flowers! A simple way to perk yourself up if you've had a bad week, are feeling down or to celebrate a good week. You can spend as much or as little as you like and every time you look at them you'll be reminded of your success overall and spurred on to keep going! I haven't treated myself yet today, but I'm hoping Mr F-G-S has got the (numerous and heavy handed) hints I've been dropping!

Interflora £29.99

iFlorist £69.90 (we can dream, right girls?)

Of course, your £5 bunch from your local supermarket will do too :) Mr F-G-S has just walked in flowerless, so I'll have to dream on...

What will you be treating yourself to this week?


Weekly Weigh In - illness = a bad week

Hi loves, a short and sweet post since I have an ear infection and can't see straight! I've had a cold for what seems like weeks and this weekend it came to a head. I felt rough on Saturday but pushed on, did my second C25k run fine and got ready to go and visit my Dad on Sunday. Sunday morning I woke up with raging earache, took some paracetamol, had no breakfast and then went to my Dads, where I had a huge dinner of toad in the hole and roast potatoes, then cheese on toast and lots of nibbles all day. Yesterday, I tried to be good, just having fruit for breakfast and soup for lunch, but I couldn't face a trip to the shops to stock up on fruit so I ended up eating the wrong things and the result of all that was that I gained a pound and a half this week :( This morning I feel 100 times worse than I did yesterday but I forced myself to go to weigh in and face up to it! I'm glad I did as in the past one bad week has deterred me from going back, and I don't want that to happen.

So, hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling better as I have some medicine to help the dizzyness. I'm going to find some new recipes to try and write a full meal plan for the week this evening, and finish my first C25k week tomorrow morning (running in daylight, eek!). I haven't managed to do any of my ab exercises last week, so in between C25k runs I'm going to do a wii fit tummy routine and the post natal abdominal separation pilates, and really get back on track. I will lose this 1 1/2 lb this week and get back on track. Earache will not beat me!

How have you done this week? Have you had this awful cold that wont go away? I can see some vitamin c tablets in my future...