I wish the campaign had been around when I was at school. I hated PE. Well to be honest I didn’t hate PE itself. I loved playing netball, hockey, rounders and badminton even though I wasn’t very skilled at the games. I loved working as a team and having fun. I hated… getting changed for PE in front of other girls, wearing tight fitting PE clothes that did not suit me, showing off my legs in a PE skirt, running, wheezing at the back during cross country, fitness tests, being weighed at school, having fat measured at school (only happen once – traumatising!) and worst of all showering communally.
As a primary school teacher I now know a lot of this has changed. Changing rooms usually have cubicles and there’s no communal showering for a start. Girls can often wear shorts or tracksuit bottoms now so don’t have to worry about having lots of flesh showing.
I think most teenage girls feel self-conscious exercising in front of others. This Girl Can has tried to normalise this. Why does it seem alright for boys to sweat doing exercise but not girls?
There seem to be more options for exercising these days. We can take Zumba or other dance classes. There are so many walking, running apps around. We can wear pedometers and track out steps and use social media to support and compete with others which can spur us on more.
I told myself I wouldn’t start exercising until I lost my first two stone. It was amazing how quickly the time went! So I closed the living room curtains, moved the sofa and started an exercise DVD. I was really self-conscious and didn’t want anyone to see me. I was aware of the noise of the floorboards creaking and wondered if my neighbours could hear the elephant stomping noises coming from my house! After 20 minutes I was exhausted!
I know people who’ve done the Couch to 5K plan. I know people who love running. It doesn’t make sense to me. So I downloaded the app and had a go. You start by walking for 5 minutes and then alternating 60 seconds running with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes and then a 5 minute cool down walk. I got some running shoes and a running bag and set off. I can’t run. I wiggle a bit and it’s a bit faster than walking. I’m not very good at running uphill. I find it really difficult but I’m having a go. I’m not sure I’ll continue running and following the plan to the letter. I think I’m better walking regularly and alternating with some jogging occasionally when I can manage it. The great news is that the more you weigh the more calories you burn walking or running.
I’ve downloaded some music using Amazon Music on to my phone. I don’t normally listen to music on my phone. I started out by getting some running tracks. These are great as it encourages me to move faster than I normally would. I downloaded Top 100 Running Hits Playlist and Christian Workout.
It’s been a while since my last post. For those of you who haven’t read my Blog before here’s a bit of background.
I’m a female with insulin dependent diabetes and diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2016. I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. I lost a few stone on Slimming World in the past and recently lost two stone with Food Optimising on Slimming World.
I’ve been a bit stuck. I’ll admit it! I know you can lose weight with Slimming World and have always rated it. Eating without measuring (much) and never feeling hungry really worked well for me. Adding in Coeliac Disease to the mix has been a bit more tricky. Slimming World try to be helpful and allow sufferers to adapt the Healthy Extras slightly. Added to this I can’t do the Speed Days as it’s not advised if you’re diabetic. Although I did lose two stone I personally felt I needed something to kick start my weight loss again.
Why calorie counting? My husband has impressed me by calorie counting, exercising and losing three stone in a few months. I’ve never wanted to go down this route before because I already count carbs to help calculate my insulin and didn’t want more numbers rolling around in my head! To be honest it sounded too simple. Calories in need to be lower than calories out for you to lose weight. I wasn’t convinced, until I saw it work for my other half.
Getting started… I downloaded MyFitnessPal app which had been recommended to me. I went for the basic version. I entered my age, gender, activity levels (hmm…low) and current weight. Then I put in that I’d like to about 1lb per week. You can adjust this at any time and can even set it up to maintain weight or put on weight if those are things you want to do. The app advised me to try to stick to about 1690 calories per day. The more you weigh the more calories you’re allowed. If you’re more active you’re allowed more calories too.
Food diary… I’m used to recording everything I eat since starting Slimming World. I quick like micro-managing every detail at the moment until I know what I’m doing. You can quickly add your calories, search for items or scan barcodes to add items. Check how sensible the numbers sound as occasionally there may be a slight error.
Exercise… You can add exercise each day and it gives you more calories in your allowance. That’s the kind of motivation I need!
Detail… The app can go into great detail about fibre, vitamins and other nutrients. I don’t really use this as it isn’t my main motivation at the moment.
Weight… You can enter your weight as often as you want.
So far… I’ve lost 5lb this week. I know when starting a new eating scheme I tend to lose a chunk to start off with and then losses are more steady after that.
I don’t often have a healthy b option spare at the end of the day but when I do this is a great recipe to try. It uses the 35g of oats, a yoghurt and tonnes of fruit, so a great way to add lots of speed foods.
35 g rolled oats (Mine were gluten free)
1 pot of Muller Light (I used vanilla with choc chips)
1 tub of Quark
Beat the eggs.
Stir in the oats and Muller Light
Spray a frying pan with Fylight and pour in some of the mixture. Cook for about 3 mins per side. They are really hard to turn over but they get easier to do as you practise.
Make a topping by adding Quark and fresh fruit.
Optional: 2 syns if you mix 11g Highlights hot chocolate to the quark and mix it up…delicious!
OK, I finally opened the can and made Diet Coke chicken. It was really Pepsi Max chicken but you get the idea.
Once you get over the initial horror of putting a fizzy drink into a meal you’ll realise it’s really great. It actually tastes fantastic! A lovely, slightly sweet and rich sauce. As I was eating it I couldn’t believe it was synfree! This will definitely be one of my regular meals now.
4 chicken breasts cut into pieces
1 onion sliced
2 peppers chopped into chunks
2 tsp garlic powder
2tsp Henderson’s Relish (or Worcestershire sauce if you can have gluten)
1tbsp of Kikkoman gluten free soy sauce (or regular soy sauce if you can have gluten)
4 tsp tomato puree
8 tbsp passata
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 330ml can of Diet Coke
200ml chicken stock (I used Knorr stock cubes)
Fry the chicken, onion and peppers in Frylight for 4-5 minutes.
Add the diet coke, stock, passata, tomato purée, garlic, Henderson’s Relish, Kikkoman gluten free soy sauce and mixed herbs and stir.
Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
After a visit at work from OFSTED this week, I needed to de-stress a little. My husband took me out for a meal after work on Friday. I was really excited because he’d found a place that did gluten-free pasta.
We went to Prezzo at Sheffield Centertainment. The restaurant was clean and the staff were friendly so that was a good start. I asked about gluten-free options and was amazed when they brought a gluten-free menu with lots of options. I was overwhelmed with choice! In the end I went for the chicken and asparagus risotto as I don’t get to have this very often. It’s not very Slimming World friendly (think about 550 cals), but hey, I needed a treat. I didn’t have a dessert or any alcohol so using this as flexible syns.
I felt reassured by the amazing menu. When they took our order they even doubled checked that it was the gluten-free version of the risotto that I wanted.
My husband’s spaghetti carbonara looked lovely and so did my risotto. It was very tasty! Not healthy, but worth the calories. I’d love to go back as a treat sometime and would probably go for something a little less rich.
STARTERS: MARINATED OLIVES and LARGE PANE CON CIPOLLA
PIZZAS: MARGHERITA, VERDE, TRE GUSTI, PROSCIUTTO E FUNGHI, WILD MUSHROOM, VESUVIO, CHICKEN AND N’DUJA SAUSAGE and TROPICANA
PASTA: PENNE ARRABBIATA, PENNE WITH WILD MUSHROOMS, PENNE ALLA RUSTICANA, PENNE WITH KING PRAWNS, PENNE WITH CHICKEN AND N’DUJA, PENNE GORGONZOLA, PENNE BOLOGNESE, PENNE CON SALMONE and PENNE CARBONARA
RISOTTO: KING PRAWNS, WILD MUSHROOMS and CHICKEN AND ASPARAGUS
GRILLS: SEA BASS, CHARGRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, CALABRESE and GORGONZOLA
SIDES: MIXED SALAD, MASHED POTATO and ROCKET SALAD
Curries are one of my absolute favourites. I love experimenting with different ingredients and spices. For me, it is more about the taste, than the heat of the dish. You can always add a bit more curry powder but without the right spices it doesn’t always taste right.
Chicken Jalfrezi is a classic curry dish, originally created to use up leftovers by frying them in peppers and onion. This recipe serves 2 people and is syn-free.
2 chicken breast fillets
1 large onion sliced
1/2 red and 1/2 yellow peppers deseeded and sliced
1 tin of tomatoes – chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
very low fat natural yoghurt and chopped cucumber to serve
cooked white rice
Cut the chicken breasts into strips and fry in Frylight until cooked through.
Spray a separate frying pan with Frylight and add the cumin seeds, onion, peppers, garlic and ginger and fry for about 8 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to the mixture and stir well.
Add the curry powder, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and fry for 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes.
Serve with a side dish of very low fat natural yoghurt and chopped cucumber.
I had a fantastic evening out for a friend’s husband’s 60th birthday do. The company was good, the atmosphere was good and the music was very funky 70s.
I had a large lunch to make sure I wouldn’t be hungry as I didn’t know what I’d be able to eat at the buffet. The last event I ate out at left me glutened and I was a little wary. However, my friend had been dropping hints such as, “What type of bread do you eat?” and “Can you eat custard?”. I assumed she was preparing something nice for me, and as she is good at baking I was quite excited.
She reassured me about the food and put all the wheat-free items on the same platter, clearly labelled. There were sandwiches and THREE desserts! Across the buffet there was also salad, veg and fruit that I could eat freely. All credit to my friend, the food was delicious. The homemade dessert was very tasty and I’ll be asking for the recipe to share with you all soon. I did go back for seconds of everything so I slipped off the Slimming World wagon a bit. I’m back on today and not worrying about it. I don’t do that very often and I’m just focusing on the fact that I’ve enjoyed myself. I know we can get glutened, even in our own kitchens, where lots of care has been taken. I’m so glad I didn’t, partly because my friend went to all that trouble.
Worried about eating out at a buffet?
Let the hosts know well enough in advance. Give them a couple of ideas of things they could do for you.
Eat plenty before you go. There’s nothing worse than sitting hungry, watching everyone else eat.
Focus on the celebration. You are there for an occasion (maybe a birthday) not the food! Have a drink, soak up the atmosphere, socialise and get dancing.
Worried about catering for a coeliac at your buffet?
Make sure your guest knows where the gluten-free foods are at the buffet.
Put the gluten-free foods on separate, labelled plates.
Don’t use the same knife to cut the sandwiches and cakes, and be careful about cross-contamination from using different knives in the butter. Consider making the gluten-free sandwiches first when you’ve opened the butter so that there is less risk.
Make sure other people involved in arranging the food know about cross-contamination so they don’t touch ordinary bread and then gluten-free bread.
Fresh fruit is a lovely dessert but please provide something a bit naughtier. Buy ready made gluten free desserts so you know you won’t be glutening your guest by mistake with your baking. Marks and Spencers and Mrs Crimbles are always good.
Don’t worry too much. Your guest is there for the celebration, not the food. They will be happy about any effort you have gone to, as this is often a rare occurrence.
A speedy mid-week recipe for Chilli Beef. I used chunks of beef but you could use mince or Quorn if you’d like. It’s great for making up in bulk and freezing for future meals. Mine was served on a bed of crushed Charlotte potatoes. You might like it on rice or as a topper for your baked potato.
The meal is free on Slimming World and gluten free.
200g beef pieces
1 Knorr beef stock cube
1 onion diced
2 carrots in slices
1 aubergine diced
1/2 tin of sweetcorn
tin of red kidney beans
tin of baked beans
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp chilli flakes
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried thyme
boiled Charlotte potatoes
Lightly fry the onion in Frylight for a few minutes.
Add the beef pieces and cook thoroughly.
Add the carrots and aubergine and lightly fry for 3 minutes.
Add the sweetcorn, kidney beans, baked beans, tomatoes, chilli flakes, chilli powder and thyme.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile boil the potatoes.
Put the potatoes on a plate first, lightly crush with a potato masher and then top with the chilli beef mix.