The Unlardy Project – end of week 9

Weight change this week: 2.5 lbs down (total loss 9.5 lbs)

Exercise this week: daily dog-walk; Wednesday, C25K training; Thursday, lots of steps in London (!);  Monday, C25K training (w2 d1 – 1.5min running intervals); Tuesday, HIIT circuits.

What worked well/tip of the week: Planning round meals out

Bits where I had to think: Dinner out in London on Thursday, afternoon tea in London on Friday, dinner out on Saturday – planned it in advance so I had zero-point breakfast and dinner on Friday in particular.

What needs to change next week: nothing – keep up the good work!

Mindset: pleased with the results so am keeping going

Favourite/new recipe this week: cottage pie with caluiflower topping – serves 4



  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 250g 5% fat beef mince (could use poultry mince or Quorn)
  • 1 X 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large stick celery, sliced
  • 1/2 a medium courgette (zucchini), diced
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 40g reduced fat cheese, grated (use the fine side of the grater)


Steam the cauliflower, then mash it.

While the cauli’s steaming, brown the mince in a pan (if it’s non-stick you won’t need oil); then drain the mince, add all the other ingredients except for the cheese, and simmer for 30 mins until the carrot’s soft.

Place the mixture in a large casserole dish, top with the mashed cauli, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake at 180 degrees for 40 mins.

(The sauce also works really well as a pasta sauce, with a jacket potato or rice – and you can mix things up a bit by adding beans/chilli/smoked paprika, or changing the the veg.)


The Unlardy Project – end of week 8

Weight change this week: 1.5 lbs down (total loss 7 lbs)

Exercise this week: daily dog-walk; Thursday, week 1 run 1 of c25k (for 10k Race for Life training – basically warmup walk, run 1 minute/walk 1.5mins x8, cool down walk); Monday, week 1 run 2 c25k (as run 1);

What worked well/tip of the week: Plan, plan, plan

Bits where I had to think: quiet social week – next week, however, is challenging!

What needs to change next week: need to increase my steps on non-gym days

Mindset: pleased with the results – that’s half of the Christmas/NY damage gone. And I need to be a bit kinder to myself. Frozen shoulder continues; my physio is a sweetie but has nixed more weights moves. Just as well I’m concentrating on the running training 🙂 It’s bearable, but at the moment I need to build up my endurance. Speed – well, I’ll do my best once I’ve cracked the length of the runs.

Favourite/new recipe this week: Nothing new this week as I’ve been busy! However my WW coach today suggested zero-point banana mug cake – mash one banana and beat with two eggs, cook for about 2 mins on high in the microwave. I haven’t tried this yet, but she did say use a large mug because it comes up like a soufflé. Let me know if you try it before I do!


The Unlardy Project – end of week 6-7

Weight change this fortnight: 3lbs up (total loss 5.5 lbs) – disappointed in myself, but I guess it could’ve been worse. And I am refocused. Plus at the six-week tape-measure thing I’d lost two inches off my waist, which is a very good thing. Onwards and upwards.

Exercise this fortnight:  daily dog-walk (no time for gym!) and there were a couple of really long beach walks in addition.

What worked well/tip of the fortnight: Planning for meals out first and then fitting in what I’m cooking for lunch/dinner. Banning shortbread from the house completely over the Christmas holidays (I’m the one who likes it and everyone else isn’t fussed, so it wasn’t depriving anyone else!).

Bits where I had to think: Christmas. I navigated lunch perfectly (I was cooking, so I had turkey with all the trimmings and lots of veg, fresh pineapple for pudding, a small portion of cheese and crackers, a glass of wine and a Bailey’s coffee), but I made the mistake of having a glass of wine and a bowl of nibbles in the evening. (Brown food!!) I did have weekly points set aside for it, but I felt horrible the next morning because there was wayyyyy too much salt. And also sitting on the sofa next to someone who is scoffing stuff is the quickest way to derail myself 🙁 So I need to refocus and develop a strategy of having healthy nibbles in the house (home-made hummus and crudités would work – no breadsticks!)

What needs to change next week: need to go back eating food that makes me feel good, and exercising properly (and definitely stretching properly before and after the gym)

Mindset: I’m a perfectionist and I was so cross with myself for being stupid with the nibbles. (I tracked them, and that one bowl was as much as my greedy lunch!) The point here is to draw a line, refocus and carry on with what makes me feel good, rather than repeating past mistakes. The irresistible stuff is out of the house now, so that will make it easier!

Favourite/new recipe this week: Chickpea purée (based on a Moro recipe but I’ve halved the oil – loving the the cookbook my dear friend Michelle Styles sent me for Christmas) – serves 2 – nice as a side with meat or fish (or a big plate of mixed roasted veggies – currently very keen on butternut squash misted with oil, sprinkled with ancho chilli flakes and very thin slices of garlic, roasted for 40 mins; sliced courgettes, diced peppers and quartered mushrooms take 20 mins)


  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 15 threads saffron, steeped in 1tbs boiling water
  • 2 tsp olive oil


Whizz the chickpeas with about 6 tbs cold water in a blender until smooth and roughly the consistency of slightly runny mashed potato.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion, garlic and cumin, and saute for about 4 minutes.

Add the chickpea purée and saffron infusion and simmer for 5 mins.

Season to taste and serve.