Weigh in – number 11

Hooray – 2lb this week so I’ve reached my first full stone of weight loss!  I feel really blessed this week – I’d prayed for 2lb of loss as I really needed a boost.  Thank you God.

So this last week I’ve tried more gluten free foods.  Noodles Chicken Pho Rice Noodles (syn free).  These were really tasty and a great option for lunch at work.  I thought they were much tastier than a Pot Noodle and most are syn free or very low syns.

I was also brave and prepared my own quinoa yesterday.  The instructions said to rinse it several times before cooking.  How many times is that?  So I rinsed 40g of it seven times.  15-20 minutes on the hob, cooled it down and added cucumber, peppers, spring onion and sweetcorn.  It was very tasty!

I’m searching for the perfect gluten-free pasta.  I’m working my way through most supermarket’s versions.  So far Marks and Spencers has been the best, closely followed by Tesco’s.

I may not be blogging for a while as I go on holiday soon.  Fingers crossed for a maintain or only very small weight gain.



HELP! I’ve been Glutened!

wbrI feel like I’ve ‘come of age’ with my coeliac disease.  I’ve been glutened!wbr

My biopsy results aren’t back.  Prior to the blood test I hadn’t even considered any form of gluten intolerance.  Yes, I’d been feeling tired all the time and had some stomach issues but not as severe as some people.

So I’d had a great day buying up different gluten-free products to trial.  I finished the day with a ‘normal’ meal of Iceland syn free sausages, burger, tomatoes, potatoes and egg.  It was delicious.  I even counted the syns in the gluten-free ketchup.  About two hours later I started with stomach ache, rushing to the toilet (although not diarrhoea) and feeling sick.  I’m now sitting typing this whilst feeling very queasy.

But how can I have been glutened?  My symptoms never really seemed this bad before?  I’ve been researching and stumbled across http://celiacdisease.about.com .  Take a look yourself, but the gist was that once you’ve cut out gluten you can react badly to small amounts and cross-contamination.  “Unfortunately, it’s common for your reactions to gluten — even to a tiny bit of gluten — to be very bad once you’ve gone gluten-free. You’ll need to guard against gluten cross-contamination at all times, but don’t worry — that soon will become second nature for you.”

So I feel like I’ve ‘come of age’.  It’s highlighted for me that I almost certainly have coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.  Looking back I’ve felt like this in the past and put it down to stomach bugs.  This has always been curious when my husband has eaten the same food and been fine.


The culprit?  The Slimming World burger from Iceland contains barley.  I’d not noticed before.  After the blood test I scoured my cupboards and fridge looking for products containing wheat.  Only in the last few days have I found out that I can’t have wheat, rye or barley as they are derivatives.  And that oats can be cross-contaminated.  I’d checked more of my products but obviously not all.  So I’m now expected to check every packaged for the rest of my life…and what if the ingredients change in a product?  Do I have to recheck the packets every time?  It seems so…

Hotel Riu Yucatan, Mexico

I’m off to Mexico in a bit.  I knew I might be going before getting my diagnosis.  It now seems that I’m going to have to be more careful than I previously thought.  My plan was to just be a bit careful and steer clear of bread and cakes.  I might have to rethink that as I don’t want to feel like this on a regular basis.

Before I go…  The main symptoms suffered by many people seem to be (although you may only suffer one or two of these)

  1. constipation and/or diarrhoea
  2. reflux
  3. brain fog
  4. rash – Dermatitis herpetiformis
  5. nausea
  6. abdominal pain and/or heartburn
  7. joint pain
  8. insomnia
  9. migraine
  10. bloating
  11. depression and/or anxiety

Here are a few gluten-free Slimming World recipes:



Snacks & Lunches:

Sweet treats:

Celeriac Mash – how to prepare


In a quest for interesting foods I had a go at celeriac mash recently.

I cut off the outer layer and diced the celeriac.  I boiled it until soft (about 20 minutes) and then mashed it up.  I served it with grilled aubergine and Slimming World Mediterranean Style Chicken sausages.



Below are some more gluten-free Slimming World recipes



Snacks & Lunches:

Sweet treats:


Weigh in – number 10

Hurray!  Another 1lb.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll realise this is a good week.  On the scenic weight loss journey with a few medical issues at the moment anything other than a gain is good news.diet-joke-image

Gluten-free – Day 3

Still awaiting biopsy results so following gluten-free diet in the meantime.

I’m a bit boring with breakfasts.  It’s almost always been 2 weetabix day-in day-out.  I’ve converted to SW overnight oats which are delicious.  Today I tried 2 slices of Genius white bread (350g loaf) as a healthy b choice.  I had scrambled egg made with a dash of skimmed milk and put a bit of margarine on.  It was very nice indeed.  Not as nice as the speciality breads that I like but better than many cheap brands of bread.

There are a few other products I’ve tried.  Kallo Kids Rice Cake minis are quite nice if you want a little chocolate fix (3.5 syns for a 14g pack).  However I still prefer Milkybar buttons for the same amount of syns.  The strawberry Yo Yo thingies are gluten free and I worked out that they are about 1.5 syns for a pack.  The quinoa snack pot is syn-free.  Make sure you only get the tomato version though as the others contain syns.  It can be eaten hot or cold.  I’ve tried it hot and was very impressed.

Bad news…  So gluten free means no wheat, barley or rye.  Oats might be contaminated by wheat so might be best to get gluten-free version.  Soy sauce contains gluten!  Nooooo!  The verdict on malt vinegar is unclear.  I’ll ask the dietician about that if I’m diagnosed with coeliacs disease.

Last week’s plans – I set a few targets last week.  Here’s an update:

  1. tried celeriac mash (delicious, will post about it tomorrow)
  2. made cauliflower soup (posted already)
  3. try to keep syns for evening (not managed although haven’t gone over points)
  4. tested for ceoliac disease (awaiting results) and knit mittens (success!)

Next week’s plans

  1. Pack for Mexico!
  2. Make a broccoli and butternut squash soup.
  3. Try gluten free lasagne sheets and other pastas.
  4. Tidy up…..ugh!

A couple of useful links below:




Gluten Free – Day two

So this week I went for my gastroscopy.  It wasn’t pleasant but I was very brave and managed with just the throat spray.  It was inconclusive and biopsies have been sent off…so more waiting!  The doctor’s advice at the time was to do whatever I want until the results come in.  I could continue eating the way I was or cut out gluten.  I decided to cut out gluten as the worst thing could only be that I’ve given it up for no reason.  The best that could happen is that I will feel much better.


So my husband was in France this week and called in to a large hypermarket to stock up on some gluten-free supplies.  He also called in at Tescos back in the UK.  My aim is to try lots of different things and most importantly find a tasty gluten-free pasta.  I love pasta.  I can do without bread, cereal and cous cous but pasta has to stay.  I was welcomed today by three bags full of products including: tagliatalle, pasta shells, breakfast cereal (might be a job working out syn value), gluten free sauces, cake mix and yo yo bars.  I called in to Asda to pick up some Kallo gravy and lasagne sheets.  Where do I store all this stuff?  On Slimming World, I’m used to stocking my cupboards to bursting point so that I can make anything from scratch at a moment’s notice.  So at the moment I have a gluten free bucket.  I’ve stuffed it all in a black bucket in the kitchen until I can get around to tidying up and making room.  I should be thankful that we are so blessed to have so much.

Day One

  • Breakfast – overnight oats with raspberries and banana
  • Snacks – Pom bears (3.5 syns), Milkybar buttons 12g (3.5 syns)
  • Lunch – jacket potato, salad, cottage cheese, tuna, watermelon
  • Dinner – rice with sauce made from tomatoes, celery, onion and black-eyed beans
  • Evening – 200ml Chocolate Soya milk

Day Two

  • Breakfast – overnight oats with nectarine and plum
  • Snack – cherry tomatoes, Pom bears original (3.5 syns)
  • Lunch – rice salad with chicken, large fruit salad
  • Dinner – French gluten-free pasta with quark, bacon, basil and tomatoes.
  • Later on I’m going to try the Genius gluten free bread (I’ll let you know…)
  • Evening – 200ml Chocolate Soya milk


I don’t know if I’m feeling better yet or not.  I feel quite positive though so that probably makes me feel somewhat better.  I could just do with a weight loss tomorrow for added motivation.

Gluten-free recipes:



Snacks & Lunches:

Sweet treats:

Beef & Pepper Stir Fry – Slimming World

Another quick meal…

This was so easy and delicious.  It’s something a bit special for days when you don’t have much time to cook.  It’s packed full of free foods so you can enjoy without guilt.  I had mine with egg noodles but you could use something else like rice.

Serves one

Ingredients: 2 very thin beef steaks cut into strips, Frylight, 1 diced onion, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 green pepper, a few baby corn cobs, 8 tbsp soy sauce


  1. Fry in Frylight some onion with a little ginger and mustard seeds.
  2. After 3 minutes add some strips of beef.
  3. When the beef is cooked through add some red pepper, green pepper and baby corn.
  4. Add a good splash of soy sauce.
  5. Stir and cook for about 5 more minutes.
  6. Serve with noodles.
Packed full of free foods

A few more main meals:

Cauliflower & Chive Soup – Slimming World

I can tick off one of my jobs from my to do list.  I’ve made a cauliflower & chive soup.  It’s very easy (as usual) and tasty and syn free.  You can add some low fat yoghurt but I didn’t think it needed it.

Ingredients: cauliflower florets from one cauliflower, 1 large potato diced, 1 onion diced, Frylight, 650ml vegetable stock, chopped chives, salt & pepper


  1. Soften the onion in a frying pan for a few minutes.
  2. Cook the cauliflower and potato for 20 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the onion to the cauliflower mixture.
  4. Add the vegetable stock.
  5. Blitz with the hand blender.
  6. Add chives, salt and pepper to taste.

More soups:

Weigh in – number 9

Ok…I knew it was coming.  I’ve maintained this week.  I always knew that I’d be taking the scenic route to slimming.  I did this a few years ago and after a while I would often take about 1 month to lose 1-2lbs.  I’m more optimistic this time because I think the Food Optimising has improved over the last few years.  For example: we have fewer healthy options and we are encouraged to eat more speed foods.


So my progress so far is: -2, -3, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, -1, 0.  (total -11lb loss)

It’s at times like this where I need to tell myself that if I weren’t doing Slimming World I would have gained weight.  I’ve stuck to Food Optimising but I’ve been off work for a fortnight and living a very sedentary lifestyle.  I’m still waiting for my test for Coeliac Disease and feel exhausted all the time.  My diabetes control isn’t too great either.  So all things considered a maintain this week is….good?


I’ve stuck to under 15 syns per day and measured my healthy options.  However, I’ve not really filled up on Speed Foods.  When you are too tired to prepare a meal and too tired to organised getting fresh fruit and vegetables into the house it can be difficult to focus on Speed Foods.  My survival state is grabbing something with carbs and going back to sleep.

After reading some of the other slimming blogs I follow I’ve decided not to be too hard on myself.  I’ve stuck to the fundamental Food Optimising ideas and it’s paid off by me maintaining.  I’m still not feeling well but I’ve downloaded the Speed Foods list and I’m going to try to base every meal around them.freddo

Aims this week:

  • try celeriac mash (I used some for a recipe and the rest is sitting in the fridge awaiting my culinary skills!)
  • make a soup with cauliflower (if it’s any good I’ll be blogging about it)
  • try to keep my syns until the evening so that it’s more of a treat
  • get tested for Coeliac Disease and hopefully make some changes that will make me feel better (if positive expect lots of posts about gluten!)
  • knit mittens to go in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes – knitting is therapeutic.freddo


Lunchbox frittatas – Slimming World

These little frittatas can be eaten hot or cold.  They can be stored in an airtight box in the fridge for up to two days.  I used silicon muffin cases sprayed with a little Frylight to stop them sticking.  They are also…..syn free!  I had mine with baked beans and fresh tomato.  The rest are going in the fridge for when I get peckish later!

Delicious hot or cold.

Ingredients: Frylight, 160g spinach, 6 eggs, 12 tbsp of low fat cottage cheese, 4 chpped spring onions, dill, nutmeg, salt, pepper


If you don’t have silicon cases use greaseproof paper in a muffin tray.
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Spray a little Frylight into each muffin case.

    Do this over the sink.
  2. Put the spinach in a colander and pour over a kettle full of boiling water.  Leave it to drain.  After cooling squeeze out as much water as you can and chop the spinach.
  3. In a bowl beat the eggs.  Add salt, pepper, dill, nutmeg, spring onions, cottage cheese and spinach to the eggs.  Mix well.Jpeg
  4. Pour the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 18-20 minutes or until set.


This recipe is adapted from one on the BBC Good Food website.

Looking for more ideas?  Click a link.

Broccoli & Horseradish Soup – Slimming World

A very filling and nutritious soup.  The horseradish adds a wonderful kick.  The whole pan is about 3 syns and it provides about 6 servings.

Ingredients: Frylight, 1 large onion diced, 1 large potato diced, 1.5 litres of vegetable stock, 1 lime zest & juice, 500g broccoli florets, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp chives, 2 tbsp horseradish sauce, 4 tbsp low fat yoghurt (or fromage frais)


  1. Cook the onion and potato in Frylight until softened.
  2. Add the lime and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile cook the broccoli in a separate pan for around 10 minutes.
  4. Blend the potato mixture until smooth.
  5. Add the broccoli and blend a little more (I like to leave some visible bits of broccoli)
  6. Add the parsley, chives horseradish sauce and yoghurt.  Stir well.
  7. Serve.

More soups: