Merry Christmas and a happy new year from Archie and me – and a special thanks to my readers for their support. I appreciate each and every one of you xxx
Weight change this week: 1 lb down (total loss 8.5 lbs)
Exercise this week: daily dog-walk; Thursday, chipper and step circuit (no time for gym because Christmas parties, physio and meetings)
What worked well/tip of the week: Planning ahead for meals out
Bits where I had to think: Christmas dinner (got husband to eat my roast potato so I had enough in my budget for pudding); Christmas party (zero-point breakfast, zero-point soup before the party so I wasn’t super-hungry and would therefore choose sensibly); Birmingham to see Def Leppard (I wanted my pizza and a bottle of Peroni to go with the gig, which meant being mindful and budgeting for it)
What needs to change next week: *really* need to increase my steps on non-gym days (but I have plans for next year that will fix it, as in training for the 10k on non-weights days)
Mindset: pleased with the results so am keeping going
Favourite/new recipe this week: Prawn and mango tartlets – makes 12 (based on a BBC Good Food recipe)
- 2 large seeded tortilla wraps
- 100g cooked prawns, chopped
- 150g mango, chopped into small dice
- 1 lime
- oil spray
- fresh coriander (optional)
Cut out rounds from the tortilla with a 6cm ring cutter (you should get 6 to a tortilla); place them in the microwave for about 5 seconds to soften them, then put them in a non-stick 12-hole tartlet tin and press down. (A mini muffin tin would probably work better because you’d get a deeper cup.)
Spray with oil (1 spray per tartlet – spread it with your fingers) and bake for 5-6 mins at 180C until golden and crisp. Cool on a rack.
Meanwhile, mix the prawns and mango with the lime juice.
Just before you’re ready to serve the tartlets (ie to stop them going soggy), divide the prawns and mango between the cooled cases and top with a coriander leaf.
(I’m thinking about adding a little chopped fresh chili to this mixture. Obviously you could do all sorts of things for fillings; I reckon chicken and pomegranate with a little bit of harissa-spiced yogurt would be nice. As for the trimmings – spray with a little oil and bake for 5 mins and they’re good with dip.)
Weight change this week: 2.5 lbs down (total loss 7.5 lbs)
Exercise this week: daily dog-walk; Thursday, weights and CV circuit; (and I haven’t had time to go to the gym as I’ve been rushing round sorting out stuff including my physio appointment)
What worked well/tip of the week: plan everything!
Bits where I had to think: Tricky Christmas entertaining! I planned in advance for lunch out on Friday but we were shocked to discover there wasn’t a proper Christmas dinner as there usually was – so we ended up having afternoon tea instead, which was a bit harder on my budget. I’d already planned a low-point breakfast and soup for dinner, which kept me on track. For Saturday, I planned Christmas dinner so I could still have two cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon, just one roast potato, and a pudding of raspberries and Skyr (instead of salted caramel ice cream – we don’t do Christmas pudding in this house) so I could have cheese. I also discovered that Tiptree raspberry gin is very nice (and one pub measure equates to half a glass of red wine…)
What needs to change next week: try to fit in more gym days – going to be hard, though, with physio appointments (knee) and a gig. That’s going to be tricky because it means eating in a service station on the way to Birmingham (so I’ll be studying the Starbucks menu) and fast food at the concert hall. So I need to plan it. (And I have Christmas lunch out this week, too…)
Mindset: pleased with the results so am keeping going
Favourite/new recipe this week: Caponata sauce – serves 3-4 (partly based on the recipe from Smyth & Deli-cious; my tweaks are baking the aubergine rather than frying it, and adding some extra veggies and chickpeas because it’s a nice combo and adds protein – could use other pulses; and goes well with chicken or fish or steak for non-veggies)
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 medium aubergine (eggplant), diced
- 1 red (bell) pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 rib cel
- half a small courgette (zucchini), diced
- 1 red onion, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped finely
- Olive oil spray, to mist
- pinch chilli flakes
- 10 pitted black olives in brine
- 1 tbs capers in brine
- 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas in water, drained
Put the aubergine on a baking tray, mist with oil and roast at 180 degrees C for 20 mins.
Mist a pan with oil spray, saute onion and garlic for 3 mins, then add the rest of the ingredients except the chickpeas and pomegranate molasses, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 mins. (Keep an eye on it as you might need to add a little water.)
Add the pomegranate molasses and chickpeas and simmer for another 10 mins. (You can leave them out – I just like to add protein for the house vegan! Pic above is just before I added the chickpeas.)
Serve with pasta (also works with a baked potato, couscous, rice or bread; or as a side dish with grilled tuna/chicken/whatever; and it’s nice cold as part of a platter with artichokes, more olives, etc etc).
Thrilled to say that my 85th M&B, aka the PAT dog Medical, has been accepted. ‘A Nurse and a Pup to Heal Him’ will be out next summer. It’s dedicated to the inspiration and namesake of said PAT dog, who seems rather blasé about his fame…
Weight change this week: 2 lbs down (total loss 5 lbs)
Exercise this week: daily dog-walk; Wednesday, weights and CV circuit; Friday, ‘chipper’ circuit and step circuit; Monday, ‘chipper’ circuit and step circuit
What worked well/tip of the week: planning ahead for last-minute meals out
Bits where I had to think: looking at menus and making sensible choices!
What needs to change next week: definitely need to increase my steps on non-gym days.
Mindset: very pleased with the results so am keeping going
Favourite/new recipe this week: Enchiladas (based on a WW recipe) – serves 4
- 300g chicken fillets (or 400g block of tofu)
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1 red (bell) pepper, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 200g can sweetcorn, drained
- 1 400g can kidney or black beans, drained and slightly mashed
- 300g passata
- 4 wholemeal tortillas
- 100ml reduced fat sour cream
- 40g grated parmesan
- oil spray for misting
Bake the chicken fillets (or cubed tofu) for 20 mins at 180 degrees C. Shred the fillets once cooked
Meanwhile mist a large pan with oil spray, saute the onion, garlic, pepper and cumin.
Add 200g of passata, the beans and the sweetcorn, and simmer for 5 mins.
Divide the veg mixture between the wraps, top with chicken (or tofu), roll them up and put in an ovenproof dish, seam-side down.
Mix the remaining 100g of passata with the sour cream, pour over the top, and sprinkle the cheese over.
Bake at 180 degrees C for 20 mins; serve with salad.