Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Fruit Salad

Evening blogland! Thanks for the quinoa ideas! I definitely want to get a bit more adventurous with it, today I used it for a fruity salad and it was beautiful! I knew it was a pretty healthy grain but I hadn't really looked into it in any detail so didn't realise just how good it was - thanks Tam! Thinking about trying it as breakfast over the weekend too, for a bit of a change from yogurt!


Anyway, onto today - I want to watch "Food: What Goes In Your Basket?" on Channel 4 so I'm going to make this quick food run-through!

Oh and before I forget, if you like you sometimes struggle with phases of overeating or binging you might find this post by Bitch Cakes interesting


Today was the horrible, busiest, most stressful day of the month at work so I made sure I got food prepared the night before that would be enough to stop me being tempted by chocolate and sugary things in general - it worked!
Breakfast was a bit later than usual so I was starving by the time I got round to it!


Total Greek yogurt with maple syrup (I'm obsessed!!), ground flax and banana chips - love these! They are so nice mixed into yogurt as they go kind of crisp but gooey at the same time.

For the first time in ages I remembered to have a proper snack mid-morning, blueberries and blackberries, the blueberries were beautiful, the blackberries were far too sour! I do quite like sourness in fruit sometimes but these were just nasty! Still at them though [/fiveaday]




Then came lunch! :D Lunch was Ah-Mazing!



This made me very happy! Quinoa cooked in water with garlic and cumin, with salt and a little pepper. Toasted pine nuts and added chopped dried apricots, raisins, cranberries and some spinach. Mixed it all in with the quinoa and dressed with lemon juice, honey, cumin, ginger and cinnamon. Added some cooked chicken breast and some raw spinach (the raw spinach is much nicer than the cooked when eaten cold)



Recipe came from a Weight Watchers mag (5 points if you're interested). I made two portions so will be repeating this tomorrow.

I think next time I make it I'll add some finely chopped carrot and use less apricot, less lemon in the dressing and some real ginger instead of powdered. Oh and just skip the cooked spinach altogether.
I thought it looked like a pretty small portion but I was stuffed! Pleasantly stuffed though. Everything about it just tasted so good, I don't use cinnamon enough in cooking, I mostly use it in deserts, oats and yogurt.

Afternoon snack was good old hummus with carrot and mange tout




I haven't had this for ages, it was seriously missed!

Dinner tonight was another chorizo fritatta as we have about a million eggs and the chorizo needed used, we also threw in some chicken, courgette, onion and mange tout. And of course cheese!






Yum!

Watching Sunday's X Factor as I type - I'm loving Tobias and Your Song - this guy here I love that song!

Yeah, anyway.....

After dinner I was feeling a bit "munchy" so I made a super thick mousse style protein shake - cookies and cream protein, rice milk, vanilla, cocoa and guar gum and xanthn gum



It was delicious, so creammy! But it was too soon after dinner so I only managed a few spoonfuls :(

And I've just eaten a Trek flapjack, just because I saw it in the cupboard and couldn't get it out my head!



Fruity salads, do you like them? Never really been a fan of fruit in a salad (unless it's a fruit salad obviously!) but I think I am now converted!



  Stella

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Good Start

This week has got off to a good start and I'm feeling really motivated - I'll be honest though, I have been eating too much, but I have kept it healthy. I've just been so hungry so I'm going with it for now. I've logged everything I have eaten and I'm going to make that my main focus this week. I know a lot of people don't agree with counting calories or points but to get this last bit of weight off and keep it off it's what I have to do. Hopefully I eventually wont have to, but for now I do.

I had a cheeky weigh in this morning and have lost the 2lb gain, but I'll wait and see what happens at the official weigh in on Thursday evening.

I have had yogurt with dried fruit and maple syrup for jam for breakfast today and yesterday, snacked on satsuma's and milky coffee in the mornings. Lunch yesterday was an attempt at a home made wrap filled with humus and raw carrot, mange tout and mushroom. It was pretty good but the wrap was a bit thick and rubbery so I'll use less of the mixture next time.


I never knew how good raw mushrooms tasted! Think I prefer them raw to cooked. My mum will probably fall off her chair when she reads that, until a couple of years ago I hated mushrooms, I physically couldn't eat them without retching and feeling as though I was actually being sick, now I'm willingly eating and enjoying them raw!

Dinner yesterday was a carbonara but I didn't photograph it since I messed it up and it didn't look nice and wasn't warm enough for me to hang about! Tonight I made a HEAB inspired dinner - fried some bacon, added some veggies and cooked in the bacon fat then added two eggs and kind of scrambled them in. I added a Pad Thai sauce.



My boyfriend had his with noodles, I just had a larger serving of veggies. It was delicious! I wasn't sure about it while cooking as it did look a bit.... disgusting at one point! But no, I think I have great dinner here! Took a few minutes to cook and using ingredients I'll almost always have in the fridge so will make a good last minute meal.

And since I don't really have anything interesting to say I'm off to make my lunch for tomorrow - fruity quinoa salad! Have you tried quinoa? Did you like it? How do you eat yours? I'm loving quiona!


  Stella

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Before I start rambling on about food I'd just like to quickly say thanks for all your comments around my Weight Watchers weigh in, I figured it's prob a bit late to reply to comments now but I do want to reply to this one from Alison at Running From Running To:

Surely it's weeks like these that it's most important to go? Then you get the accountability and the support from the group.

I was temped to not bother going to the meeting, not because I was worried about the weigh in, but because I knew I definitely hadn't lost anything so felt like there was no point. But what Alison said is absolutely spot on - that is the reason I joined Weight Watchers - I can count calories or points by myself, it's the accountability and support that I'm going to the meeting for. Talking about it with like-minded people helps keep me motivated and knowing that I have that meeting makes me think twice about how much I want a piece of cake or pack of crisps - but I also know no one is going to judge me if I decide I do want to indulge every now and again. We're all there for the same reasons and it's good to be reminded of that!


Now I could pretend that after my meeting I was highly motivated and ate like a saint all weekend, but truth is I did my usual and ate a lot of junk food! I didn't bother photographing the junk but here are the best bits!

This is where it went wrong - a sugar-filled breakfast on Saturday of three mini delicious flapjacks from my Graze box, they didn't keep me full for long so I had the little focaccia bread that was also in the Graze box too.



We went for a walk into town to get a Birthday present for my Dad and on the way home I had a tripple berry vitamin water to hold back the hunger (all those calories in the flapjacks and focaccia seemed like a waste at this point
Lunch was great! Chorizo fritatta with mange tout and pepper with a little bit of leftover quinoa salad, so satisfying! Followed by another milky coffee to keep me warm whilst lying on the sofa for Lost-fest. We bought series 5 as we haven't yet seen the last two series since we didn't have Sky and regular TV don't look as though they're going to show it now. Annoyingly for him him boyfriend already knows how it all ends but I'm still trying to avoid finding out before I see it.


I made dinner around 11am, we had some beef that needed using up so I very loosely followed a beef Goulash recipe, but I was missing most of the ingredients so made a lot of substitutions! I browned the beef in olive oil with some flour, cayenne pepper, tandoori masala and some beef stock then added the slow cooker along with some onion, carrot, sweet potato and a tin of chopped tomtatoes, then left cooking until 6pm. I served with a dollop of full fat Total Greek yogurt. It was amazing!! The beef was so soft and the sauce was so creamy! The sweet potato had almost disintegrated into the sauce, yum! I'll be making this again, might even try paprika and do it properly!



We ate it with a baguette to soak up the liquid, I was stuffed but it was so good I could've eaten it again!

So far so good, not the best breakfast but also not the worst and all my meals fit within my Weight Watchers points allowance. But then we settled down on the sofa for more TV (we had decided to make it a lazy weekend!) I had a bowl of full fat Greek yogurt with peanut butter and jam mixed in, a pack of chocolate buttons, a handful of Haribo and half a measure of Baileys (it was all that was left in the bottle!)

Today I just had lots of coffee's instead of breakfast and for lunch I made a super thick smoothie in a bowl with a Tropical flavoured Spiru-tein shake, rice milk, guar gum and xanthan gum and topped with dried mango and brazil nuts. The smoothie was lovely! Not as tangy as I'd expect for a tropical flavour shake but would definitely make a nice, versatile smoothie base. The colour was a bit scary though, it was quite luminous in real life!



I'm still loving the gums! Takers smoothies to a whole new level! :D

I snacked on a 9 Bar and then had a fry up for dinner - bacon, sausages, egg, beans and fried bread - there was no chance of me hanging around long enough to take a photo of that! I've also just had another one of the Nakd bars which to be honest I don't think I'm that keen on! I know another blogger has tried the same one and really liked it so I'm going to wait until I've tried the second one before I make up my mind, it could just have been the fry up taste still in my mouth, but I think there might just be an ingredient I'm not keen on. The sample bars don't have the proper packaging so I don't know what the ingredients are yet.



Is anyone else like me with sugary foods? I really struggle to just have one, it sends me off on mad cravings for more! I usually treat myself to something at the end of the week which sends me crazy over the weekend. I don't want to cut out all sweet treats so I really need to learn to control myself a bit better. I'm especially bad if I have a drink, I don't even need to be drunk but after a few drinks I just don't care about food and will eat anything! I think I forgot to post but on Thursday after our night out I had a real craving for Chinese food so stopped in at the takeaway from some crispy salt & pepper chicken on the way home - as I expected it wasn't even that good - complete waste of calories!



. Stella

Friday, 17 September 2010

And the Results Are....

I gained 2lbs!! Ooops! I had lost 2.5lbs so put most of it back on. I'm putting 1lb down to unfortunate time of the month bloat as I usually gain 1-2lbs. So not too bad considering. I want to work hard at cutting the junk this week. Though I must confess I haven't  made much of an effort at cutting the junk tonight! My boyfriend got some good news so we were celebrating that tonight with desert (toffee pecan tart thing) and tortilla chips with a sweet potato and harissa dip and now I'm having an apple vodka with lemonade! The rest of today has been good food-wise, and I've really enjoyed every single thing that I've eaten.

Today was my flex Friday so I was off work. I dragged myself out of bed with a nice double espresso latte with steamed milk and a Berocca Boost.



I just love the whole ritual of making coffee! I've been buying whole beans and grinding them as I use them and have been using the milk steamer on the coffee machine instead of just microwaving it, makes all the difference.


Once I was fully awake I made Heather's Protein Ice Cream for breakfast. I used rice milk, chocolate orange protein powder and half the cocoa powdrr, but otherwise just followed the recipe. I missed a trick by scoffing before adding toppings and just ate it plain :( Still gorgeous though! It was my first time using guar gum and it made such a difference, can't wait to play around with it some more!




I found that when I was using only the xanthan gum the smoothies were coming out very voluminous but also really full of air and a bit of a weird texture, and really shiny, the guar gum combined with the xanthan is great!

Lunch was another portion of quinoa and roast veg salad, with chicken and savoury toasted seeds





Poor Jeff was very jealous, he only got tuna for his lunch :(


With lunch I had a bottle of Firefly green tea with peaches and white grapes from my Holland & Barratt haul:





I decided to spend what I normally spend on Graze boxes in a month on some goodies for making my own to save some cash. I was put off doing this before because I thought it would be too expensive to get a big enough variety but H&B had lots of discounts and offers on so this lot only cost me £20 and most of that was the drinks! The huge bag of banana chips was only about £1.50 for 500g! That will last me ages!

This afternoon I had a Teapigs chocolate tea



Last bag, I really need to re-stock but it'll need to wait until next month :(

Since dinner was going to be a late one I had a late afternoon cup of coffee (regular French press with cold milk this time) and sampled one of the Nakd bars - oh wow! I'm hoping they'll do a mixed box with all the current and new flavours, don't think I'd be able to choose just one!


Dinner was worth waiting for! Pumpkin and Chorizo Risotto! I just followed this recipe but added chorizo shortly after adding the rice. It's pretty much amazing with or without the chorizo! Crappy photo though as I was too hungry to bugger around with the light/camera settings.


Now if you'll excuse me there's an ice cold apple vodka waiting for me!


Have you tried Nakd bars? Are you a fan? Obviously I love them! The gluten free bars are my favourite but I also adore the Trek flapjakcks!



  Stella

Naked Nakd

This morning I received a parcel from Natural Balance Foods, the guys who make the gorgeous Nakd bars, containing 3 of their new flavours! They haven't announced what they are yet so I wont mention the flavours just now but I can say that they sound amazing! I tried one of them this afternoon with my coffee and I think I have a new love! I think I might even prefer it to the Cocoa Orange!




Once I've tried them all I'll post up what they are and let you know what I think! I'm looking forward too reading what all the other bloggers think of them too :D


I'll be back leter for a proper post and update on last nights Weight Watchers.

  Stella

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Think Thin!

It's Weight Watchers weigh in tonight - send positive vibes my way please! :D

I'm not expecting a loss this week given how much I've eaten over the last two weeks and I have a cold so my appetite has been crazy for the last few days. I was tempted not to go as it seemed a little pointless when I know I've gained, but I kind of feel like I should go along and fess up and promise to do better next week.

I've definitely been a lot better behaved with food today. Breakfast was 0% Greek yogurt with oats, cocoa, berry & flax mix and a tsp of jam mixed in last night. I had a goat cheese Babybel to snack on along with a half cappuccino/half hot chocolate mid-morning and another this afternoon with some dates. For lunch I made a roast veg and quinoa salad with a tub of Graze savoury toasted seeds poured in - the seeds were great in this for a nice bit of crunch! I was very temped to go downstairs to our Starbucks and get something chocolate and cakey when the chocolate cravings hit earlier but thankfully I was too busy this afternoon to leave my desk!

  Stella

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Weight Watchers Update

Week one went well actually. I didn't manage to stick to my points allowance and was over every day, even with exercise! But I still lost 2.5lbs at the weekly meeting weigh in! At first I thought it was probably down to just eating better for that week but actually I do need to give my self some credit as I wasn't eating particularly bad or unhealthily the previous week.

That was the Thursday (Sept. 2nd so 2 weeks ago) and after the meeting I went out to a pub quiz without any dinner - just some Total Greek yogurt with honey and flax.I had 4 large glasses of wine and woke up on Friday with the worst hangover! Well, actually I woke up still drunk but it quickly developed into and awful hangover! All I wanted to eat was crisps and sandwiches, and since I couldn't face anything else I had crisp sandwiches!

That weekend was spent in Glasgow doing something exciting that I don't want to say too much about in case I jinx it! We spent some time with my little sisters, had a night out with some friends and went to a gig so it kind of felt like a little holiday and I ate like I was on holiday, but also walked for miles and miles and miles, and kicked everyone's butt's in a couple of games of bowling!
Emily was enjoying a fart app on my iphone!

As I said in yesterday's post, most of the food I ate during the week following our weekend away was quick and ugly and not the healthiest. I also skipped the gym and did no exercise!
I missed my 3rd Weight Watchers meeting because I had a long work meeting thing followed by a BBQ and free bar. Even if I hadn't stayed on for the food and drink I would have missed the meeting anyway so definitely don't feel bad about missing it! Fortunately I was hangover free on Friday, I didn't want to drink too much with having to get up before 6am the following morning for work! And as if I hadn't over-indulged enough already, my boss took the six of us out for a 3 course lunch on Friday :D It was very nice! I had pâté with toast and some sort of jam type substance and a really yummy little side salad actually - normally I don't eat the sad little undressed salads that come with meals as they tend to be pretty rubbish. Main course was a salmon burger with sweetcorn relish and for desert I had a toffee cheesecake - which I dissected! There was far too much cheesy filling so I had to chop off a layer with topping, remove the bit in the middle and put the top back on :D (I say I had to but really I could have left it and ate my cheesecake like a normal person)


Gosh now I'm writing it all down I'm struggling to believe the amount of food I managed to pack away lately! I can quite remember what I ate when over the weekend but know there were sweeties and chocolate involved when we went to the cinema - The Expendables - so bloody boring! I fell asleep about 45 mins in and we left after an hour. It really was dire.
I also ate this monstrosity at some point - it looks atrocious (because it was!) but it was so bad I just had to get some photographic evidence.


This is Carbonara but with pasta shells and chicken tikka! The girl who gave me the Carbonara recipe would actually kill me if she saw how I butchered it! We didn't have a lot of food in the house that day so it was the best we could do - it was actually really tasty though!


Sunday I met my friend Fiona and we headed to Giraffe for lunch (2 courses!) For my main I had a duck fajita burito which was really good but came on a bed of coriander laced rice - I HATE coriander! Desert was a disappointing and pretty dry brownie with ice cream and not enough chocolate sauce! But I did finish off my meal with a lovely cup of Teapigs which helped make up for the sad desert.


OK so you've had the blurb, here's some random foody photos!

I've been getting back into the juicing habit with the help of some nice crunchy green apples, old carrots and a box of strawberries








This is what came out the other side of the juicer


I'm always impressed with how dry the waste is, though I really must see if I can find a use for it, I don't know if there's enough left in it for using it in baking or anything.

Obviously I've had a lot of coffee too!





And lastly, I mentioned in a previous post that I had tried the chocolate Spiru-Tein and been rather un-impressed with the flavour and chalkiness. I have since tried a couple more flavours - Strawberry & Banana and Cookies & Cream. Both were lovely!! Strawberry & Banana is a potential winner but I still have more to try. Cookies & Cream really was good but still had a bit too much of a chalky texture to it. I'm definitely glad I didn't go ahead and buy a big tub of one flavour first.

That's quite enough rambling for now anyway, I've got some Footballer Wives waitning for me to watching on my Sky Planner (love a bit of trash TV!)


  Stella

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