Friday, 3 July 2015

parmesan perfection


A diet that allows you to eat carbonara? My kinda diet!

Ever since starting on Slimming World I've been adapting recipes to make them SW-friendly; either low syns or syn-free. Top of my list? Carbonara. My favourite guilty pleasure just got less guilty. 

You will need (for two people)
Spaghetti
3 egg yolks
Bacon - fat removed, chopped
Mushrooms - chopped
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon crème fraiche 
25g parmesan 

Start by frying your bacon and mushrooms in Fry Light until golden, adding the crushed garlic clove half way through this process. Pop your pasta on to cook. 

In a bowl mix together the egg yolks, crème fraiche and parmesan with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. 

When the pasta is cooked, drain and put back in the pan off the heat. Add the egg mixture and mushrooms and bacon. Stir through and serve - the residual heat of the pan will cook the eggs. Don't put back on the heat or you'll get scrambled eggs!

Slimming World - syn values
Parmesan, 25g - 5 syns
Crème fraiche, half fat, 1 tablespoon - 1 syn
Remember to split the syns between servings!

For those of you who want the real, syn-filled deal you can see my recipe here. It is oh-so-good!

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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Slimming World: hitting the wall




Anyone who has dieted has done it: hit the wall.

I've lost over a stone in weight, and feel great! I've hit a couple of mid-term goals but not quite reached the overall long-term goal. People are noticing my weight loss and the compliments feel amazing! I fit into clothes I hadn't been able to for years and am buying a size down in jeans - a huge achievement. I'm starting to notice a real difference in my fitness and muscle tone due to exercising more and eating better.

And then... complacency sets in.

What's the harm in a cheeky Dominos? A little cake here and a few choccies there. A pudding with dinner and 'forgetting' to keep tabs on how many syns left for that day. A few pounds creep back on and I end up feeling worse than I did at the start of the whole process. I've never had great willpower, right?

Of course, giving yourself a break is no bad thing, but when your goal is still a little way off 'hitting the wall' can be frustrating. For all that effort, I don't want to waste it on a few overindulgences.

Upon reflection, this for me has highlighted the potentially harmful effects of dieting. When do you stop? When is so far, far enough? If gaining a few pounds can cause that much guilt, unease and upset then is it really worth it? Because in reality most people's weight will fluctuate over the course of their life. A friend recently asked me 'when do you stop counting and return to normality?'. A fair question, but one that I can't answer. Because losing weight - when you manage to do it - can become an obsession. Like anything, when you start to see the rewards of your labours the effort becomes justified.

Honestly? I don't know how I feel about it. I want to be happy in my self and feel confident in my body. But obsession? I don't know.

Confession: I've eaten the same thing for breakfast since January 5th 2015. Fat free natural yogurt, a handful of raspberries and 30g of Special K granola. To some, that may seem incredibly boring. For me, it works and I love it! What I'm getting at is that hitting the wall doesn't necessarily mean becoming fed up with eating the same old thing day in, day out. Personally it's been about finding ways that I can maintain Slimming World and have a life - making it work for me, without sacrificing too much or feeling fed up.

So I'm trying to get back on the waggon - not denying myself the odd treat, but eating well and in balance and moderation. Slimming World works for me because I'm greedy, love carbs and struggle with cutting things out. I'm just trying to figure out if it's going to work out in the long-term.
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Monday, 29 June 2015

bookclub #2


Welcome back to my second book feature; an online bookclub I'm sharing with Lorna and Leanne. Remember last time I said my biggest fear was not reading quickly enough? Well, I had no reason to worry! Lorna's choice of our second read was so good I read the majority of this book in just one day. Yeh, I know... whadda geek. I took up residence in Costa with a cappuccino, and three hours later was nearly finished! I felt mildly guilty at only spending £2-something in that time, so made a quick escape. I made it all the way home before I found myself curled up in my reading chair finishing the last few chapters.

#2: The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson.

As you may have been able to tell in my previous bookworm post, I love a bit of a mystery. So when I saw the blurb starting "Annie has a secret..." I was in. The blurb actually gives very little away, which I like. Make me work for it! You can probably guess what I'm going to say - I loved this book. The fact I read it so quickly is testament to that.

I started off, however, not quite so impressed. The story starts with Irish Kate moving to (unwittingly) work on a farm as an assistant to famous horse eventer Mark Waverley. I felt like I'd read that storyline several times before, and wasn't sold. Kate's story was contrasted with Annie's troubled life in London, which I found much more interesting - this story appealed to me more. But as the novel progressed I got more and more engaged and by about a third of the way through I was hooked.

I had an funny feeling about Stephen from the off, and just had to keep reading to find out what he was all about. Like I've said in my bookworm posts before, I love trying to suss out the mystery before characters reveal it, and this book is perfect for that! A saw a couple of revelations coming, but others were a complete surprise to me which I loved. The ending left me feeling satisfied - I've read so many disappointing endings recently it was nice to see one finished off well.

Have you read The Day We Disappeared? What did you think?
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