Google+ Forget dieting forever: July 2011

If you love cooking and experimenting with new recipes - you've come to the right place! Not only do we have delicious recipes - we also share our SUCCESSFUL WEIGHT LOSS story.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Frozen food

We had to freeze a couple of portions of home made chicken curry the other week. When we had this for dinner the other night, we noticed the seasoning needed tinkering with. So we added some more salt. This brought out the flavour and the spicy heat. When we first made the curry, it tasted great with the usual amount of seasoning, but after defrosting, it seemed to taste a bit bland.

This could explain why processed frozen food contains so much salt? Maybe something happens during the freezing process that alters the way salt balances the meal?

I'm quite interested in the salt content of foods, as I found that if I didn't have enough I was craving it - in another form....crisps! Seasoning food is therefore a priority for me now. During the last 7 months, eating the way we do, we've found our body can dictate what it wants us to eat. So the next time you think you might fancy a certain food/meal, think about why that might be.

Well I never!

I am staring at a new low weight! This is lower than last Thursday, before we spent the weekend eating for England. It would appear we have never eaten so much - according to the scales!! But, we have said this same thing over and over again. From Friday to Sunday, we eat our normal energy allowance (and, as in the recent gourmet break, often much more). This is then followed by a return to 1500 calories (in my case) for 4 days. The swing in weight loss can sometimes be dramatic, as it is once again for me today. If this is the “micro” weight loss solution, then we have created it.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

What a difference a day makes!

Last Thursday our weight loss was going very well and we both experienced new lows. After a Friday pizza followed by a gourmet weekend, I had gained a ¼ lb and my partner was annoyingly the same weight as the previous Monday (our official weigh in day). I felt any gain was temporary, and I was right. This morning we are both so much lighter and could once again be challenging that new low we saw last week.
I would imagine all the fluctuations are mainly caused by water retention or release. The glycogen stores, which is where the body goes for its initial energy, stores fat in water, about 1 part fat to 3 parts water, and I think this is where a lot of the fluctuations come from.But the large drop today seems to confirm we may be eating things that accelerate weight loss. As we are experimenting, I am keeping an eager eye on our food intake. Interestingly we didn’t get to go for a long walk after work.
Whatever, we are encouraged by the prospect of seeing our lowest weight once again.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Lunch and menu looking ahead

For lunch we are going to have a sandwich - chicken breast marinated in chilli, sliced with salad (seasoned and coated in olive oil) and full fat coleslaw. The sandwhich will cost about 350-400 calories. We can eat this with some tomatoes and maybe cucumber on the side.


Tonight will be a salad with new potatoes. Not sure whether this will be a corned beef (store cupboard) salad.

We have usually eaten the salad at lunch time, but we are going to eat the bread at lunch today.

So it's back to simplicity really. Freshly made, nothing pre-packed.

Screeching to a halt


After veering off on a weekend gourmet extravaganza, we were back down to our menu plan, and kicked off with this beef burger meal. It was perfect, as it ticked all our boxes. Home made beef burgers with full fat coleslaw and a salad using our own tomatoes and various sticks of tasty cheese.

Without a bread roll in sight, this meal was filling enough and very tasty. The salad was coated in a good olive oil. The beef burger had been made some time ago for a bbq, and had been frozen. We cut each one in half to make sure they were cooked through.

Revealing all.

I forgot to mention in my last post that we even had dessert wine with our last evening meal, although we managed to skip on the coffee and petit fours! Well - the Innkeeper was very persuasive as he is VERY knowledgeable about his food and wine. He specialises in bin ends and his enthusiasm is catching.
We were 'walking' so we could eat and drink, and had we been “fine dining” I’m sure the walks would have sufficed.

So what did the scales say? We were dreading it. But, it appears we have just enjoyed the great escape. My partner stayed the same, and I have put on just ¼ lb. We are a little stunned. We knew the walking was going to mitigate the excesses to some extent, but we weren’t sure how much.

Now this is the perfect time to start our new experiment. We’re going to have 3 “good” days now, and hope to see a swift return to our all time lows. We’ve experienced rapid corrections before, but we are going to monitor the next few days much closer, as we feel there is something else that may be contributing to weight loss. We’ll see if our suspicions are confirmed.

Eating out can be a bit of a nightmare, especially as we are not in control of the food preparation, so the food has to be intuitively calculated. We are so pleased with our weigh in following this last particularly food extravaganza. We both thought we had more or less stayed the same weight. We give ourselves the choice about what we want to eat, and because we make that choice, we feel in control. There is no psychological over eating to feel guilty about, and we enjoy everything we eat. We’ve taught ourselves to eat within our energy allowance, and if we slip outside occasionally, that’s OK. Now it’s back to our plan which we are all the more focussed.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Sunday negotiations

A breakfast of smoked haddock and poached egg with a slice of brown bread was perfect. I’d eaten so much the night before, that I wasn’t that hungry. My partner however, managed a lovely cooked full breakfast. The black pudding and sausage were exceptional, with all ingredients organic and locally sourced. We headed out to the hills with the prospect of some breathtaking walks to shift the fat cells. We are not hikers, just walkers, and the hill we are approaching looks to be out of our comfort zone, but we’re going there anyway. Maybe we are being too ambitious? My Berkenstocks might not cope!
We ended the day walking a total of 8 miles, over 3 walks, which should equate to 800 calories. No hiking boots required, as the paths were clear and easy to walk. Our route took us around some spectacular views, especially as we were so high up.
For lunch I had a huge beef salad sandwich, where the beef actually took up more space than the bread with layer upon layer of soft rare roast beef. After all the walking I really fancied haddock and chips for dinner. The huge pub portion came perfectly cooked in a wonderful light batter, the chips came in a separate pot (they would not have fitted on the plate anyway) and there was a small tub of mushy peas. I had a choice. Eat everything, roll over and go to sleep, or make my way through the very tasty piece of haddock. I chose the latter (of course). My challenge was to eat the whole fish. I nearly got there, and only had a few of the chips and mushy peas. Maybe I could have eaten all the fish had I not chosen fresh crayfish cocktail as a starter! We weren’t going to have a starter, but we were promised freshly cooked crayfish – and we just didn’t want to miss out. Then there was wine... We've no idea what the scales will reveal on Wednesday morning, but we are enjoying pushing the boundaries!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Lunch


A picture of our mozzarella and toasted ciabatta lunch. We loved this as it was so fresh and tasty. The meal was also so low in calories and around 325 calories. We shared one buffalo mozzarella, and that was enough as it was very filling. We use a balsamic syrup, which adds a sweet taste and compliments the other ingredients.

Friday lunch

It’s going to be a bit of a repeat – mozzarella on toasted ciabatta. We have a few of our own tomato plants, and they have some wonderfully juicy tomatoes just waiting to be eaten. I’ve just picked some and the smell is divine. What better way to eat them than with some great cheese. Mozzarella is quite a lot lower in fat than other cheese, so that’s a bonus. I’ll rub a garlic clove over the ciabatta and spray it with olive oil then toast it and top with the cheese.
This evening we’ll use up the leftover chicken pieces. I may marinate them in tandoori paste, which can be bought by the jar, then fry and put into a wrap with some salad. If not, we could have a small chicken stir fry? Not sure what I fancy at the moment, so I’ll see later. We are after a small meal before we go out to the pub. We’ve got a pizza on standby for our return, as we have a feeling we might want something to eat! By eating a little before we go out, we don’t drink as fast, and won’t be tempted by crisps or peanuts at the pub.
The new pot of full fat greek yoghurt we opened this morning was off, so we had cereals instead. Typical when we had the nectarines and peaches ready to go on top! Never mind, we can have this tomorrow for breakfast now I’ve bought some more.
My partner has to have another link taken out of his watch at this rate, which is encouraging.

Keeping track

Today is the first of 3 days of normal eating. That's a full energy allowance for both of us. We think these 3 days helps to consolidate any weight loss, but we are noticing more and more that sometimes when we go back to 4 days of being good, the weight can melt away so easily. I was intrigued with the research that suggested it could be the type of foods eaten that may help weight loss. My question is, is the full fat greek yoghurt the key, is it the mix of protein and carbs, or maybe the amount of fat, or is it the walking? Whatever it is, some weeks there is a noticeable change in the speed of weight loss.

So I'm going to keep a close eye on our food, and make a note of the types of food we eat, to see if there is any real difference from week to week with the choices we make.

When we wrote our script for our way of eating, all we did was include food we loved. We didn't try and come up with a special mix of foods that may accelerate weight loss. So we are surprised, particularly in view of the volume of food we are eating that we are achieving a weightloss similar to many diligent dieters.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Thursday lunch

I realise this is a pretty mundane picture to some and possibly interesting to others? I just wanted to show you what a light lunch looked like on the plate. (Mind you, if you look closely I think I've created what looks to be a picture of a rabbit on a plate with wholemeal ears!!). I simply wanted to show the amount of food we are both now consuming - AND - feeling full and happy with. It was so easy to prepare and very nutritious. We shared a 100g packet of smoked salmon. Some people don't get on with smoked salmon, and I know I can't eat too much of it, so the 50g was enough for me and only cost 90 calories. Obviously if you love it then go for a larger portion as it's not going to break the Calorie Bank is it.


I know this meal will be filling and sustain me for most of the afternoon. The wholemeal roll weighed 40g and with butter cost 125 calories. There were 2 large eggs. The total cost of this meal is around 360 calories. So there is plenty of spare room for a snack if I feel I need one. Yesterday I snacked on some juicy grapefruit pieces which I had prepared and stuck at the front of the fridge. I also had a lollipop and some flying saucers - which left me smiling.

We tend to avoid low fat foods, but that is not to say we actively seek out bad high fat foods. We try to create a balance. I've got some pizza in the fridge, which will go on standby for Friday night. Looking around the pizzas on offer, there was a wide range of calories and fat content. I typically try to pick something in the middle range, as I want to enjoy eating something with a bit of taste. But, I find pre-packaged food can be dauntingly high in calories and fat - which in my book, is unnecessary. So - take a wise view, pick out something you really fancy to eat, but make sure you know what it contains. My pizza will be shared, and we'll both get 427 calories which I'm sure we'll both enjoy very very much.

How are your tastebuds?

One of the things I found when I used to diet, was that I didn't really taste the food. The food was often bland anyway, but because I was eating low fat this and low fat that, without any dressing, gravy or - anything nice, I never savoured my food. I used to eat it like a machine and viewed the food as something to sustain me, not that it ever did!

I clearly remember (and this is true) coming off one diet and deciding to have my longed for Sunday roast with real gravy. I had been yearning for roast beef and yorkshire pud. It looked lovely and the beef was perfectly cooked. It was only AFTER the meal that I realised I had eaten it with tartare sauce! I'd picked up the wrong jar from the fridge. You know, I thought it tasted a bit strange, but I think my taste buds were so battered by then that I didn't notice enough to stop. I cannot believe I did that, and I know for a fact that NOW, this would never happen as my tastebuds are firing on all fours.

At last, tasting food has become one of my pleasures. I make sure we get as much flavour out of the tinest of morsals.

Thursday's menu

I've had some full fat greek yoghurt with wonderful ripe nectarines. A great way to zing up your day.

It's going to be an easy day as preparation is minimal. I've already made the beef lasagne (see earlier post), and the rest of this - 400 calories worth each - is going to be eaten this evening with a small rocket and parmesan salad (tossed in oil and seasoned lightly). You must try this recipe as it was so tasty, and personally I love it the second time round as the juices get to "improve". The flavour and texture is even better.

For lunch we are having smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and a wholemeal roll with butter. As the salmon was on offer, it seemed silly not to go for it. The meal is well balanced and filling. We don't add milk to the scrambled eggs, as you get a much richer texture without.

Plenty of room for a few small snacks during the day, and so far, our 4 days are working out exceptionally well for us, with surprising results on the weighing scales!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Hot salmon with potato salad

Mmm one of our favourites. I bought a pack of ready cooked hot salmon, and flaked this over some salad, accompanied with home made potato salad. It looks like this:

The total cost for this meal is around 350 calories. If you want to add a small bread roll, then go ahead. A small 40g wholemeal roll with a little spread will set me back around 125 calories. You may wish to add some of your favourite creamy dressing? Whatever you add to "bulk" the meal out and fill you up even more, just make sure you look at the number of calories and BE HONEST when measuring out the quantity.

Ingredients:

100g salmon - 178 cals
120g new potatoes - 88 cals
5g real full fat mayo - 32 cals
teaspoon olive oil for salad - 20 cals
half hard boiled egg - 35 cals
mixed salad of your choice

Cook the new potatoes and while still warm, add a couple of chopped spring onions, season with salt and pepper then stir in the mayo. If the potatoes are waxy enough, the small amount of mayo will just coat them. It adds a bit of decadence to the bare spud! The rest of the meal is really just an assembly job. It looks quite spectacular on the plate.

Oh, I did have a small wholemeal bread roll. Must be because of the walk earlier? Still, my total meal is around 475 calories, which is hardly a huge dent is it.

Mid week update and menu

On Monday I recorded my weight, and over the week I was down half a pound. But I knew I had put in some very good days, with a few longer walks including hills.

I am down another half pound already since Monday's weigh in. I've clocked up a brand new low which is exciting. The weekend was spent eating a full calorie allowance, and I am more convinced than ever, that this way of eating tricks the metabolism. After just 2 good days, my body seems happy to "let go" and I weigh less. This never happened so readily when I was following a diet. Whether it's because I eat normal foods with normal fat levels I just don't know? The one thing I do know is the food I am eating is filling me up and satisfying me so much.

Yesterday we enjoyed a really tasty lasagne and although I had a smaller portion at lunch time, I had to have seconds so ended up with what would have been a large portion as it was just so good. Our evening meal was simply beans on toast because we had to dash out and didn't want to go out without eating first. We like to eat before 7pm if we can. When we returned, we had a glass of wine and some cheese and biscuits.

Today I'll be eating cereals for breakfast, salmon salad with potatoes for lunch and a chicken dish (not sure which one yet) this evening.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Gorgeous pasta dish!


FABULOUS BEEF LASAGNE

Ingredients to serve 4 large or 6 smaller portions

6 sheets of pre-cooked lasagna (104g) 360 cals
450g good beef mince (fat poured off) 837 cals
160g onions 67 cals
120g mushrooms 26 cals
Tablespoon tomato puree 14 cals
Tin chopped tomatoes 88 cals
15g cornflour 60 cals
250ml semi skimmed milk 125 cals
20g parmesan/cheddar mix for the top 80 cals
Mixed herbs to taste
Salt & pepper

One oblong baking dish 20 x 30cm - you can use a square dish, or anything that accommodates the length of the pasta sheet (18cm) so you don't have to break it up.

Fry the mince and pour off the fat. Fry the onions in a little oil until soft then add as much garlic as you like and add to the mince. Stir in some dried provencal herbs and pep this up with some of your own herbs if you have any. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. At this stage you could add any odd bits of left over red or white wine to give the dish a bit of oompfhhh (no, I haven't drunk any yet).

Now layer the ingredients. Bottom layer is the mince, then 3 sheets of dry lasagne, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add a layer of UNCOOKED sliced mushrooms. Why bother cooking the mushrooms and soaking up lots of fat? They stay quite chunky if you add them raw, and cook through nicely in the oven. Put another layer of mince on top of the mushrooms. Repeat and finish with a layer of mince.

Put this half done dish into the oven once it has been covered with FOIL. This will steam/bake and soften all the ingredients. The pasta especially. I cooked it for around half an hour on 180 degrees. During this time I made the white sauce.

For the white sauce, mix the cornflour (which I prefer to ordinary plain flour as it is less likely to go lumpy, and has a cleaner taste in my opinion) with a little of the cold milk. Then add a little oil - about 2 teaspoons. Put on cooker and DO NOT LEAVE THIS TO IT'S OWN DEVICES or it will turn into superglue and ruin the day. Keep stirring all the time, and slowly add the rest of the milk. Once you have a quite runny yet thick mixture and it has gently simmered for a few minutes, add some seasoning (and a little bit of grated cheese if you fancy). Pour sauce over the dish and finish with the 20g of grated parmesan/cheddar or whatever strong cheese you want. Then put back in the oven, uncovered until brown - about half an hour to 3/4 hour more. Enjoy. It freezes perfectly if you are cooking more than you need. At around £1 for a large portion, it won't break the bank, and is relatively easy to make.


It smells so inviting I can't wait to eat this lasagne. 

Interestingly this lovely dish will only cost 276 calories if divided into 6 portions (which I have done in the past), but if dividing into 4 portions, that's still only 414 calories! What strikes me about this, is my version of lasagne is so much lower in calories than any pre-packed version (mine works out at about 1 calorie per gram in weight). Why? Well, I think the pre-packed stuff contains so much oil and cheese - just to give it some flavour. So what am I doing to counteract this, and still come up with a tasty tasty meal.

The first thing is - good ingredients. We planned to make this dish at the weekend, so had already bought some good butchers minced beef. I also went to the supermarket and hassled the deli counter girls for EXACTLY what I needed. I think it's quite possible they are beginning to dread when I turn up. But, I'm paying for things, so I get to choose. I picked up some exciting strong aged cheddar that was on offer, and requested 75g. The girl weighed some out and apologisingly offered me 110g. I refused - nicely - and said I had some recipes to make up. So off she went and came back with a smaller portion. I don't get to have bits of cheese hanging around the fridge waiting to be eaten and I save a lot of money.
If you would like to know more about how we have achieved our fabulous weight loss eating all this wonderful food - see OUR IDEA

Copyright © (c)forgetdietingforever 2011, all rights reserved.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Keeping on top

Day 1 of my 4 good days. I've just checked my energy allowance online. Putting in my new weight/height etc I'm about right if I stick to 1450 cals on a good day. But, surprisingly my other days should be around 1900 to 2000 cals and not the 2200 cals I thought. That will explain why things seem to have slowed down a bit. I know everyone is different, so please check your allowances, there are plenty of websites out there.

OK no real problem with that. All I'm trying to do is think about what I'm eating and live within my means. We can't always live on credit. So either it's a bit more exercise, or a bit less food.

My aim remains the same though. Try to clock up 3600 spare calories in any one week - and how I do that is entirely my choice - which should equate to one pound weight loss. Eat my full allowance Friday to Sunday, and ENJOY LIFE. So far so good.

Monday ....

It is now clear why my partner was looking so pleased with himself. He stood on the scales this morning and proclaimed another one pound weight loss. I also achieved a weight loss of half a pound. Incidentally, I have a set of scales which can weigh in kilos or pounds, and I've found using the pounds best, as it measures smaller movements. We went for quite a hilly walk yesterday, and the effort doesn't seem to be reflected in the weigh in - so maybe this will come later. We know we've put in the effort, so we may find some surprises during this week.

What we are finding at the moment is our weight range throughout the week is not swinging as drastically as it had been - which was sometimes up to 3lb. It is very noticeable that the range is much tighter now with no more than a 2lb swing at the most. I'm wondering if I need to recalculate our daily energy allowance? Having lost so much weight, I may need to lower my energy intake so my good days reduce from 1500 to 1400 calories, and my normal days from 2200 to 2000 calories. I'll keep this in mind over the next couple of days, and see what happens.

My legs are looking much more toned, and decidedly thinner. I can even see some good knees appearing! The tops of my arms are slimmer, as I can get into some sleeves with ease now. I know there is some "movement" of fat over my entire body, as all these fatty areas are much much softer, which usually indicates it is on its way OUT.

At the party on Saturday night, someone commented that if my partner lost any more weight he would disappear! I then pointed out that our BMI was still in the unhealthy range, and we would continue losing weight until our BMI was normal. They couldn't argue with that response. The trouble is that people can only go by what they know, and that is how we were for such a long time. Changing body shape in a dramatic way, can result in this sort of comment. To those that see us every day, it's less noticeable. Using the BMI as our goal, we can put these comments into perspective. Over the next 6 months I would like to think my BMI will be in the middle of the healthy range.

This week we've got some beef mince and chicken breasts to use up. We will be doing a pasta dish, something spicy with the chicken and tonight having the lamb with just boiled veg (nothing roasted).

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sunday lunch with lamb

The wonderful aroma filling the kitchen at the moment is the good old Sunday roast. We don't always have a roast, but the weather is so miserable that we decided to have shoulder of lamb. The blade of lamb is best as it should yield more meat. We've slowly roasted this first for 3 hours, under cover in our oval dome roasting tin. The lid was taken off and the oven temperature turned up from 140 to 180 to crisp up the skin and draw out as much fat as possible.

The gravy was made by pouring all the juices and fat from the tin into our fat separator jug, then pouring this into the saucepan. We added some gravy browning to give it a bit of colour and salt and pepper to bring out the taste, then thickened with some cornflour.


With a selection of roast and steamed veg, our meal was fantastic. I would estimate this meal costing no more than the fish and chips yesterday. A walk will go some way towards offsetting the calories, but even so, with a light meal this evening, we will be within our allowance for today.

Losing weight eating the food we love!
REMEMBER: We all have a calorie allowance - and we like to post our main meals to show you what we are eating. You won’t find us posting every last morsel though – but we hope this gives you an idea of how far calories can go!
Read about OUR UNIQUE METHOD of weight loss and find out how we have lost weight eating the food we love.
Copyright © forgetdietingforever 2011, all rights reserved.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Saturday lunch

We had a lovely meal last night. Just the humble potato and onion bake. It was hearty and rustic, and went perfect with mushy peas. This is how it looked once cooked:
Today is another day when we can eat our full energy allowance. We choose to lose weight this way, as it makes for a great social life. In fact, we're off to a party later, so those additional calories will be useful. We've been for a walk between the showers, and worked off around 300 calories doing just that.

Saturday lunch was simple fish and chips. Usually we don't keep a close tab on our calorie consumption, as it can all get a bit overdone. Curiously though, we found it difficult to work out how many calories were in our fish and chips and what a "normal" portion is supposed to be. So I resorted to weighing the amount of fish and chips we brought back home. We asked for a LARGE cod and a STANDARD chips. The large piece of battered cod was 360g - it was huge. I'm not sure anyone could eat a piece of fish this size!!
We cut the fish into 2 portions. Buying the large fish means there is less batter and more fish generally. The bag of standard chips weighed in at 350g! We stopped buying the large bag, as we just threw too many away. Again, we shared the chips. The meal was plentiful. It was the silence that made me smile. The appreciation of good food - total silence. We devoured it before you could say pass the salt. It was heavenly. Crisp, fresh and delicious. After trawling the internet I believe the calorie content would be: 180g battered cod - 425 cals, 170g chips 425 cals. Total for the meal 850 calories. Yes that's quite a lot, but it is Saturday, and we are here to have fun and enjoy life. Here's what our portion looked like, and remember - we SHARED a single portion! What if you ate the whole lot?
Now that was lunch - and 4 hours later, we are not even hungry. So the food may be quite high in calories, and with its fat content, it is sustaining us for longer.

Friday, 15 July 2011

That's all the prep done!

Later on we will be having our lyonaisse potatoes, which is now prepared and ready to go into a slow oven before we go out (see below). It's nice to come home to the smell of home cooking. The beauty of this dish is its cost - and one of our recession busting meals.


This will give 2 large portions, but will feed a lot more if used as a vegetable dish to accompany other food.

I used 500g sliced potatoes, 250g sliced onions. Use a fluffy potato rather than a waxy potato, as the liquid will be absorbed better. When layering these 2 ingredients in the oven proof dish, I added salt, pepper, garlic and chopped fresh thyme. Once assembled, I poured over around 300ml (use less if using a waxy potato), of a mix of chicken stock and full fat milk. You want to see the liquid about half way up the dish. You could use half milk and half stock, but you may wish to use a different ratio (all cream perhaps). The butter on the top will help crisp the top layer and give it a lovely flavour.

The WHOLE dish is approximately 540 calories. That's 350 calories for the potatoes,80 cals for the onions,60 cals for the milk and 50 cals for the butter.
I think we will have some of this with a home made burger later.

Breakfast cocktail

Just two ingredients in this one!

It was supposed to be full fat greek yoghurt with pineapple, but the cherries looked so tempting. Just 100g yoghurt (130 cals) and 50g cherries (30 cals) gave me the perfect way to start my day! I feel satisfied and full. If I wanted more I would eat it.

Eating yoghurt like this gives it a whole new meaning, especially because of the real fresh fruit. Some manufactured yoghurts are just so runny and tasteless. Eating low fat yoghurts usually means eating the extra sugar that replaces the fat, and these can have an odd sweet taste.

I'm eating what I fancied. If this is not the sort of thing you would like to eat, then don't. It's your food, and you can choose. Just look at the label on the tub/box and see how many calories are in it. If you think you can fit that into your allowance, then eat it if that's what you want.

Yesterday evening, we came home and decided to go for a walk. Fortunately we have some lovely field walks nearby, and one of these ended up next door to a pub. So what better way to spend the 300 calories we had just earned, on a warm sunny evening relaxing. We then walked home and had a huge prawn cocktail (ah, there is a theme going on here), with some brown bread. Very 70s, very retro, very nice. This was followed by some cheese and biscuits.

This morning my partner was half a pound lighter! I stayed the same. But we think that walking seems to take a few days before showing up on the scales. It doesn't matter, we know we've done the exercise. We've included it in our calculations.

Friday meals

This is the start of our 3 days of eating more food, and we put up our energy allowance to normal levels - that's roughly 2200 for me. As we generally go out and see friends later, I try to look ahead for something to eat when we come home.

Breakfast is once again full fat greek yoghurt (100g) with some pineapple today. Lunch will be one of our favourites - tuna/egg salad with new potatoes and butter. These 2 meal will take care of around just 500 calories. I'll have some bread at some point in the morning if I want some. Yesterday I had an ice lolly (random)!

Tonight I'm going to prepare a very simple potato dish. Lyonaisse potatoes done our way.

We take 3 very large potatoes and peel then slice these up quite thinly. Take 2 large onions and thinly slice these. Then simply layer the two ingredients into an oven proof dish, ending with potatoes on the top. Put salt and pepper on each layer. Then take about 100g chicken stock and mix with 50g milk, and pour over the whole thing. Dot the top with butter. This will form our BASIC MIX. It can be cooked in a medium hot oven (180) for an hour or so - until the top starts to go nice and crispy and brown.

You can play with the basic mix, and can add whatever you fancy - ham, cheese etc to the layers. We quite often add some cooked ham or leftover cooked sausage if we have some. You could add cream instead of milk if you want something heavier. The thing is, it's a great way to use leftovers, and potatoes without breaking the bank.

We will put the potato dish into a low oven while we are out at the pub, and turn it up for a blast when we get back. We have an oven that we can programme to turn on and off, so we set the timer to go off just in case we are a bit late back. If you don't have this facility, the dish can be cooked beforehand, and it reheats well in he microwave then crisped up under the grill - with a bit of cheese maybe?

If we haven't added any meat to the dish, we might eat it with a couple of good sausages, or even mushy peas. It's real food, cheap and very tasty, and better than a takeaway (in both calories and cost). I'll take a picture later.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Bacon and brie salad...with avocado

I can't wait to eat this. As the bacon cooks, the aroma in the kitchen is inviting. The brie was taken out of the fridge about an hour beforehand, as it needs to reach room temperature before the full flavour impact can be witnessed.
Sorting through my vegetable drawer I spotted some stray avocados. I don't like to waste anything, and although these were a bit squidgy, I was sure they would taste great. A small avocado weighed 90g, and by the time I had prepared it we are left with just 40g to share at just 32 calories each. This will give the salad a lovely twist. The lettuce was good old cheap and cheerful ENGLISH ROUND LETTUCE. It always seems to me that this little lettuce is a supermarket apology, in favour of other exotic versions. It's got a wonderful subtle flavour and the texture is perfect for this dish. At 60p, bypass those bags of convenient salad leaves, as these round lettuces take just moments to prepare. I'm sure there are local lettuces everywhere that are equally as tasty. Season with salt, pepper and toss in olive oil.

There were 4 rashers of butchers bacon, quite thick - unlike the pre-packed stuff. Trim all the fat off and put to one side. Place the trimmed bacon rashers in the pan to draw out the water, use a low heat and remove after just a couple of minutes. You will see all the white bacon water. Pour this out,then place the fat pieces in the pan and heat. You'll see the fat start to come out, and this rendered fat will be used to cook the bacon rashers in. Put the bacon rashers back in the pan and cook until crisp. They should crisp up nicely now all that water has gone, and the taste will have intensified.
All there is left to do is to assemble! The brie sits on top of the hot bacon and melts into it. If you don't like brie then use some other cheese, just weigh it out. See how our finished product looked.
CALORIES: Approximately 400 calories depending on the amount of bacon and brie. We used 20g avocado, 40g brie and 70g bacon. Interestingly, by removing the rind/fat from the bacon and taking out the water, then cooking out as much more fat as possible, 100g of uncooked bacon reduced to just 37g of cooked bacon!!

Eating whatever we want while losing weight with OUR UNIQUE METHOD.
Copyright © forgetdietingforever 2011, all rights reserved.

Stress

I have a lovely life, and wouldn't swap it for anything. But that doesn't mean I don't get stressed out like everyone else. And I do get stressed. I sometimes feel as is I have more stress than I could cope with.

So has anything changed with our new way of eating? In some ways, yes. Strangely enough, our new way of thinking and eating all actually came about at one of my most stressful times. I found it actually gave me a new focus, something to believe in, and it became a distraction that actually helped my stress levels reduce. When weight started to disappear I was more able to handle stress, because I had something completely different to think about that needed my attention.

Our weight loss philosophy is all about being in control. For us, it's not willpower, it's CONTROL. If we are in control, then we make decisions rather than apply willpower - a very subtle difference, but it is a very powerful one for us. We DECIDE what we want to eat, and make that experience as pleasurable as possible. We eat things like real chip shop fish and chips, pizza and pasty. But we do all this within the confine (and control) of our daily energy (calorie) allowance. If we want to fit our desires into our daily allowance, then we do (and believe me WE DO).

When I am really stressed, I focus on what I'm doing now with my successful weight loss plan which is usually enough to distract me, but if it doesn't I do eat whatever it is that I feel I want. I understand stress does something to the levels of insulin in the body, and for me, this seems to increase my need for sugary foods. I may have a bag of hard boiled sweets to hand which I can munch through and I may decide to alter my menu for the day to compensate for this. But if I end up having a really bad eating day, then so be it. One bad day won't break things will they and we are after all, human beings and not robots.

In fact one of the greatest stress busters I've discovered is WALKING. It can blow away the cobwebs and the great thing is, if I have over-indulged in anything, the walking will help balance things out.

Meals today

My partner's weigh in was good this morning. He has finally dropped half a pound, and touched a NEW low. Slowly but surely his weight is slipping off in a way that he never imagined possible. He now makes wise choices with food, especially at work, instead of mindlessly eating without realising the implications. Yesterday he was travelling again, and stopped off for coffee and a biscotti, rather than coffee and a cake. The only difference here was he saved some 300 calories by not choosing the cake! This is one of his regular "tricks" to losing weight. Knowing what is in our food is the knowledge that will help us take control.

Today I'm going to eat full fat greek yoghurt with toasted flaked almonds and honey. I think I fancy something crunchy, and this fits the bill nicely. For lunch we will both be eating here, so have decided upon a Bacon and Brie salad. This is a lovely combination, with sizzling hot bacon topped with a creamy Cornish brie that half melts over a bed of mixed salad. The salad will be tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper - this not only brings out the flavour, but also adds fat to help us feel fuller. Just a teaspoon of oil is enough for 2 portions.

This classic combination is often found in sandwiches, but I think eating it as a salad gives a much fresher taste. Who needs bread? But, if you do need bread, choose something nice and fresh and add it to your Calorie Bank. It may add 200 calories to the meal, but you can eat it if that is what you want. I'll look at the calories later, but I suspect this salad will not set us back any more than 400 calories.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Rump steak!

Today I have been for an hour's walk (that's 300 calories to credit to my Calorie Bank), so I suspect my body wants to replace the salt lost with exercise. I was going to have a goats cheese salad, but think I now prefer the idea of a steak salad. How to go from frugal to fancy all in one day! Having said that, the total cost of the meals is very low.

I'm going to eat a bit later tonight, as my other half said he would be home around 7.30pm, so his had something to do with changing my mind about what to eat. We've decided on rump steak with (home grown) new salad potatoes (in butter and salt)and a rocket/watercress and parmesan salad. We love this quick recipe. Rump steak is about 1 calorie per gram, so our 160 gram portion will hardly break the calorie bank. Just trim off the fat from the steaks, and cut the fat into small pieces first. Pop the fat into the frying pan, and cook gently to draw out the fat. This can then be used to cook the steaks in.

In fact the whole meal will come to around 320 calories and because it's so low in calories, you could use chips instead of potatoes. Try my home made oven chips and you will never look back; they are so easy to whip up and the flavour is all you could ever ask for (see 'Chips with everything' post). We bought a small amount of Cornish Blue cheese which is a wonderful blue cheese without the overpowering flavour of most blue cheeses, and as I still fancy some cheese, after frying the steak in oil, I am going to sit a few of the thinnest slices on top of my piece of steak, and pop it under the grill. I'll get all the flavour of a blue cheese dressing without the calories that come from the cream, and if I'm honest, a much sharper and fresher taste. I'm drooling at the thought of it already. We think rump steak tastes much better than sirloin or fillet - and, thankfully it is the cheapest! The steak from our butcher is so much more tender than any we have had from a supermarket. The cost of this meal is surprisingly low, considering its title. In fact, it is lower than a ready meal for two. Here it is:


My 3rd "good" day's food intake is as follows:

Breakfast 150 calories
Lunch 400 calories
Snack 200 calories (I just HAD to eat ...chocolate....)
Dinner 320 calories (345 with a bit of cheese)
Tea/coffee 100 calories

Despite the huge snack (which I suspect was because I ate too little for breakfast - again) there are now 330 calories left to eat this evening. A beer or a glass of wine may take care of them, but I will still be under the 1500 calories for my "good" day.

I wonder what my partner will weigh tomorrow? Only the last few times he has "stuck" at a weight, he has found that he drops quite a few pounds all in one go? Looking forward to finding out later.

Today's menu

I fancy something refreshing for breakfast, and the pineapple and melon in the fridge sounds good. I'll have this with yoghurt. That's full fat greek yoghurt, which is just so lovely and creamy.

At the supermarket I picked out some interesting cheeses to taste. There was a very nice Cornish goats cheese, semi hard, and after a sneaky pick, absolutely wonderful flavour. The price was quite high, but nowadays I go for quality rather than quantity, and asked for 100g. I may make a goats cheese salad a lunch after all that bread yesterday.

My partner is currently weighing in at the same weight for the third day. His weight is just above his lowest ever weight, and he is hoping the body is consolidating the weight loss so far. His belt is tighter and if he doesn't get a new pair of work trousers soon he really will look very very silly. I have a feeling he will not be home in time for dinner, due to various meetings, so I'm going to have to think up a meal for myself.

Leftovers


This was my meal last night. We used our own curry mix (see my earlier post Spicing up the Weightloss) which is very refreshing, and mixed this with the left over chicken. I cooked some basmati rice and wild rice, which has an interesting texture. The whole meal would be no more than 400 calories. The curry was not swimming in fat, although there is oil in the mixture.

During the day I ate more bread than ever. Maybe my body wanted this carbohydrate after all the walking over the weekend, but I was really drawn to eating it, so I made sure I had some.

This morning I weigh the same as yesterday, which is pleasing, as I've found bread usually has a negative effect on my weight for some unknown reason. So, I am still looking at my new low and very very happy.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Delayed reaction

Ah, the scales have been kind again today and I've registered another half pound loss since my weigh in only yesterday. On Monday I had recorded a one pound loss over the week, and was a bit surprised that this wasn't more, as I thought the week had been a good one, particularly as it involved a bit more walking. On Sunday we ate our Sunday dinner in the evening rather than at lunch time, so perhaps that had something to do with it? I had calculated roughly a saving in excess of 3600 calories (where 3600 calories is equal to one pound in weight) through eating less for 4 days and walking more.

So today I've revisited the lowest ever weight, which I saw briefly last Thursday. It feels good to be trending downwards and seeing these new lows, which over the next few weeks will become the highest weights.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Lunch today

I've decided I need a few more carbs today. Perhaps it's because of all the walking over the weekend?

I'll be eating a chicken, cheese and coleslaw sandwich made with granary bread.

Cheese (slice jarlsberg) 60 cals
Chicken (50g) 70 cals
Coleslaw (tablespoon) 30 cals
Bread (60g ie 2 small slices from an uncut fresh loaf) 150 cals
Lurpak spread (4g) 30 cals

Total cost of sandwich is 340 cals. As it's packed with chicken, this should really fill me up. I'll eat these with some tomatoes, spring onions, possibly a little radish and cucumber to give it that extra crunch. The additional salad veg will fool the brain, and the volume will leave me feeling satisfied.

Weigh in

We really do wonder how we can keep losing weight without following a specific diet and continue eating food that we love to eat. Just by being aware of our daily energy allowance and being good for 4 days (Mon to Thurs) we are achieving excellent weight loss results. Over the last week, my partner had a series of meetings and leaving do's, which meant he only really had 3 good days. The rest of the time was spent eating normally. Is the weight loss spurred on by this method? Does it give the metabolism a kick into action? We don't know, but it makes for a great lifestyle and social way of losing weight. It may be because we enjoy such a fantastic weekend that we are eager to resume the 4 good days to repeat the weight loss? I don't know.

He has lost another 1 lb today, and I've also lost another 1 lb too. We are both really chuffed. It's becoming more noticeable and I can "feel" a difference all around my body.

Our biggest main change to our eating habits is to be mindful of the snacks. Our eating has always been good, and that continues. If the only thing you do is give up snacks, you may be surprised too.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Succulent roast chicken

There is nothing more enticing than the smell of a Sunday roast. We are having chicken today, and our cooking method keeps this meat wonderfully moist under all the crispy skin.

We use a stainless steel oval deep pan with a dimpled lid and sit the chicken on the rack inside. We add a few shakes of chicken seasoning, but you could use salt and pepper. Put the usual chopped onion, carrot, celery and leek in the bottom of the pan, with just enough water to cover. Begin by putting the pan on top of the cooker, and bring the water/veg to the boil. This ensures the bottom of the chicken gets heated up. The chicken is roasted with the lid on for 1/2 of the recommended cooking time. Then the lid is removed and the oven turned up to ensure a really crispy finish.

We're having some roast potatoes and a selection of veg. The gravy will be made with the chicken juices (fat removed). I am not sure how many calories there are in this, but if we would imagine no more than 700. I know that might sound a lot to anyone who is trying to lose weight, but we are just being realistic and have had a lighter lunch today to accommodate the roast dinner. We've eaten cake too. Some walking and a bit of gardening has off-set the extra food, although we do get to have our full calorie allowance on the weekend, so I'm sure we are still well within that.

The cheats way of doing this, is just to go to the supermarket and pick up a ready roasted chicken. There are even roast potatoes and stuffing these days. Just have your veg at the ready. You can also buy ready made gravy too! What a wonderful way to eat ready prepared food - it's as close as you would get by doing it yourself from scratch.

Tomorrow is weigh in day - and we'll see what happens then. For now, here is a picture of what we ate (and the chicken was just so moist and tasty):


Now we have had some really good dishes, without holding back on anything, we are more than happy to begin our "good days" of eating again starting tomorrow. The left over chicken will go into making salads and a quick curry.

A trip to the lakes

We were wandering around the valley lakes, following a trail here and there yesterday. We were overtaken by a determined walker, more determined than us obviously. I said "we're only doing this so we can have cake". She replied and said that everything she ate ended up on her backside, so she needed to walk too.

Thinking about this when we got back, we now realise we do really think completely differently about eating. Once upon a time we would have said the exact same thing and moaned about not being able to eat anything or we would put on weight. But - the stark reality is, we can all eat, we just have to know HOW MUCH. Like a car, we won't function without fuel, but try to put too much in the tank, and it will spill out all over the forecourt. We now know how much we can eat, and only if we go above that calorie allowance will we put on weight. It's as simple as that. There is no secret.

When we go for walks now, it is AHEAD of eating something that we know would take us outside of our calorie allowance for the day. It puts us in control. We may just want to walk to help lose weight faster. We decide. Either way, we have some beautiful scenery to relax and enjoy - and while we are out there, we are not eating! Walking at a steady pace uses up around 300 calories per hour. The health benefits are a bonus too. Who wouldn't want to walk in places like this. Explore your surrounding countryside if you can.

Sunday lunch with mozzarella

In need of some carbs, after last night's fare. We've chosen a simple dish of buffalo mozzarella on ciabatta. I've picked some fresh tomatoes and they taste superb. We also grew a small pot of basil - now you have to do this, because just one tiny leaf is bursting with so much flavour. Nothing like the supermarket pots!

We will share a pot of good mozzarella, so that's 175 calories. The ciabatta is really only the next calorific item and 100g is about 255 calories. We will probably use about 50g each, and this comes to around 125 calories. Toast this lightly after cutting lengthways and spraying with olive oil. Sprinkle chopped tomatoes on top and add the mozzarella and basil. Season with salt and pepper, and a zig zag of balsamic syrup. Add a small rocket and spinach side salad and the whole thing comes to around 350 calories. Much needed at this present moment in time!!

Here is what it looks like:


Later today we are having a full Sunday dinner with roast potatoes, chicken and garden vegetables. Some of the vegetables are from my uncle's garden too. We will eat until we are full!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The final result


After our experimental meal we found the seasoning for the carrot puree wasn't really strong enough. Our taste buds changed throughout the day. For this dish, we both enjoyed the taste of the carrot puree, but by evening the lime and ginger flavour was not strong enough. The dish itself tasted wonderful, and as you can see from the picture, it was very colourful. The total meal was also only around 350 calories, so it hardly broke the Calorie Bank! Plus, it is one of our normal eating days, so overall, this should add to the weight loss.

And tonight's menu is...

We have recently arrived back from the pub where a few pints were in order. The cocktails have arrived and I am sitting here enjoying a martini, with olives. Just like they do in the movies! Hey I'm a rock star - I wish.

My partner is co-ordinating the cooking, and I've laid the table. I feel many of my calories that I have burnt off today with walking and walking.. will disappear in a vat of wine. Well it is Saturday night and quite frankly - we are both having a really good time.

We have just cooked the potatoes, and all the dressed crab is going to be added to this. The scallops are ready to go - in that the orange roe has been removed as I personally do not like the strong flavour. You can keep it of course if you wish (good luck).

All that needs doing for this dish is to heat up the carrot puree made earlier, prepare some rocket by adding salt and good olive oil, and sitting back and enjoying life.

OOPS. After enjoying the dish it proved there were a few problems. The carrot puree prepared this morning turned out to be lacking in flavour, so this tells us that our taste buds have changed during the day. When preparing this, add extra lime and ginger because you will need it and we would recommend about double the amount previously reported.

Saturday experimental recipe

We quite often go out to eat at good restaurants and my partner is a bit of an enthusiastic amateur. With a bit of trial and error he has recreated some fantastic recipes from these restaurants and cook books. Once you learn the basics it's not as frightening as it looks. I get to watch him mostly, sat at my bar stool sipping something tasty and nibbling on olives maybe (he loves it really, and I wash up!).

We looked into how to recreate some of our fav recipes and have enjoyed these so much, that our trips to eat out are dwindling!

Today we were going to have a lobster risotto, but on a trip to the supermarket we spotted some scallops that looked quite fresh. We ususally buy these from the fishmonger, but as these looked so good, it will save the trip. There was a dressed crab too. As it was quite late the scallops were unbelieveably half price. So the cost for all of this was £9. We recalled a wonderful meal we had not long ago and are now in the process of trying to recreate it. The meal is a crushed potato and crab salad topped with scallops and rocket salad, with a ginger and lime puree.

At the moment he is preparing the carrot puree which will form the basis of the ginger and lime puree. Two carrots have been chopped up and placed in a saucepan. A shallot and small clove of garlic was fried gently to soften and added to the carrots. This was then covered with water and boiled until carrots softened. We added a little homemade chicken stock to give a richer taste, but if you don't have this then don't worry. Then just liquidise the whole thing and add salt and pepper to taste.

This is the first part of the meal done already, and can be left in the fridge until later. The ginger and lime can then be added if you don't have time. But we've done that now too. We used about 1/8" of ginger (4 ml) finely grated and half a teaspoon of lime (2ml)plus a bit of the zest. We've just tasted it, and it is so velvety, fresh and sweet with an oriental twist. This should go well with lots of dishes and especially the scallops and crab tonight. Here is a pic of the carrot puree (for an idea on consistency). It was liquidised first and we thought it may needed sieving too, but in fact we didn't need to do that.


By the way, this carrot puree(without the lime and ginger) is the basis for soup. Just add water to thin it down. Obviously the most common carrot soup is carrot and coriander, so just add some chopped coriander and you have a uber fresh soup!

Expected cost of this dish for 2 is around £12 - that's £6 each! However, we have more than enough crab to feed 4 really. We are having 4 scallops each, but if we made that 3 scallops per person we would only have needed to buy a few more to feed 4 people. Then the total cost of this meal for 4 people would be around £14. Cost per head just £3.50. The restaurant cost would be significantly higher. More pictures of the final dish will follow later. It is so colourful you won't believe it.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Weekend

That means three days of eating, drinking and socialising on a full quota of calories. Great feeling.

Having had a think about meals, I have a sneaky feeling it's going to be something exotic tomorrow. Tonight's meal is already planned for later - upon return from the pub. Friday night is the only night we tend to eat after 9pm. Normally we try and eat around 7pm.

I was having a look through the freezer and found a whole lobster. I suppose that's not the usual sort of thing you would expect? But, our local shop had them on offer at £5 each, so we didn't exactly break the bank. We may make a lobster risotto tomorrow, and if so I will put the recipe here. When this is made with lobster stock, the taste is just like you would experience in a fancy restaurant (and is really easy to make). Not too sure what to eat on Sunday yet.

I now have a pile of old clothes sitting sadly on the stairs after sorting through to see what I can't wear any more. I say "sadly" because the clothes are all dark and dreary. It's almost as if without thinking, being "large" takes me to the dark side of the store, you know, where the cobwebs and lonely people are. I didn't realise how depressing my wardrobe was until just now. In fact, it was so alarming, that I've decided I have to go shopping now, just to put myself back into sync with the colourful world out there. Well that's my excuse for shopping! Oh, and even better still, all the clothes will be smaller. If I can drag my partner along (!!!!) perhaps he can get himself some new jeans that FIT.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Weight loss

I think I'm going to break that all time low for good this week. I have seen the scales tipping to this point, but I wanted to see a break through. With a bit of careful meal planning I could be well on the way to another all time low on Monday. Obviously weight fluctuates every day, but I like to see it hovering regularly between two points. What was once my lowest weight then turns into my highest weight.

Since Monday I am down about a pound and a bit now. So a good day today should secure that for next Monday's weigh in. I am more than convinced that eating lots more over the weekend does something to my body. I seem to be achieving that new "easy" weight loss that I used to get every time I started a new diet, each time I go on my 4 day "good" eating plan?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Cider with pork recipe

Pork ready for slow cooking
Cider with pork - that's what I'm cooking today. Or should I say slow cooking. It's quite easy to make.
Take one small shoulder of pork - I had a 2kg joint which was on offer at the supermarket. Remove the rind/fat. Cut pork into about 5 or 6 very large chunks. I prefer these huge chunks, as the meat can be broken up afterwards. Smaller cubes with this pork shoulder cut don't seem to work as well for me. Brown meat in a frying pan and put into the slow cooker. Add the usual casserole veg such as: one each of carrot, leak and onion, a stick of celery and some garlic to taste. Fry these in a little oil then pour on a small bottle of cider (I used a 275ml bottle). Bring to the boil, then add this to the casserole. Incidentally, I ALSO very finely diced half a carrot, celery and onion and add this to the casserole too - as I want these to turn into a mushy texture which will help thicken the casserole. Once all ingredients are in the slow cooker, add a couple of bayleaves if you have them and a few herbs (I used a bit of rosemary and thyme from the garden). Don't forget to season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and very slowly cook until the pork looks all crumbly. I think I will slow cook for about 8 hours.
It is the long slow cooking that makes all the fat come out of the meat, leaving a soft and succulent texture with a slight apple flavour from the cider. Once it is cooked, I remove all the large pieces of stock vegetables, and let the dish cool down. In the morning I will remove the fat that has appeared on the top of the dish. I will reheat in a saucepan and check the seasoning, which is very important, as unless there is enough salt/pepper the flavour of the dish will NOT come through properly. I then add fresh veg, such as carrots and broad beans to the dish.

Mashed potatoes (for me) completes the picture and I have such a welcoming dish to return home to, especially when I am in need of some real comfort food. A jacket potato is equally satisfying, or try some of my (MUST) home made chips.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Want volume - here's how!

Here is one of my favourite "tricks". I love coleslaw. I love certain full fat brands - mentioning no names here. The low cal alternatives lack flavour for me, and I like coleslaw because of its creamy texture. So to remedy this, I take my fav coleslaw and add the same in weight of grated carrot and finely sliced white cabbage! I can keep a large tub of coleslaw going all week on half the calories. This is what it looks like - simply mix together and you have (in my opinion) an even better coleslaw as it's a bit crunchier and more filling:

Monday morning weigh in

My partner complained about putting on weight and feeling lethargic after his work convention. He followed this with a few days of eating real food and enjoying a walk or two, and was back to the weight before he went away.

It seems that weight gained quickly can be lost just as quickly, so there is no need to panic. The weight we are both losing at the moment, is weight that has been around for a long time and we have generated an average weight loss of one pound per week. There is no "dieting" involved as we are still eating our favourite foods, it's just that we are thinking differently.

We have enjoyed eating whatever we fancy, for example, yesterday we went to the seaside and had fish and chips. We did walk around for quite some time, so this exercise amounted to some 300 calories. We are not afraid to eat, and this is the key to feeling happy and not being deprived.

After a bad start to the week for my partner, he has finished the week down half a pound. I on the other hand had a better week, and I have lost another 1.5 lbs. A great result and not a diet in sight.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Light lunch


Boosted by the weigh in today, I am spurred on to eat a light lunch. One of my favourite fast foods is an omelette and in good old popeye fashion, I added spinach to the egg mixture.

After a late trip to the shops, the aroma from a number of fast food outlets began to come to our attention. We were starving. It could have been so easy buying a takeaway, but we decided to stick with our decision and have an omelette when we got back.

You would not believe the speed at which we executed the finest spinach, mushroom and cheese omelette! While I prepped the salad (open bag, dispense contents, add tomatoes and olive oil/salt/pepper)my partner cracked the eggs.
Now, he is beginning to show off a little, and is happy trying out the one handed egg cracking operation. Well the first one didn't go to plan. Still, he managed the rest and whisked 5 eggs together (that's 2.5 eggs each), while the mushrooms were sizzling in another small saucepan. The omelette mixture is simply eggs and seasoning. We never use milk or cream etc. This will give a lovely rich tasting omelette with a real depth of flavour. I put some raw spinach a pan, and cooked this down to draw out all the water. This left about 2 heaped tablespoons of cooked spinach, which was whisked into the egg mixture before pouring into the pan to cook.

The mushrooms and grated cheese were added, omelette flipped and it was done. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE OMELETTE. To this we added my salad and a piece of french stick lightly buttered. Perfect. Fresh. Honest. Tasty.

Our walk today was exactly 4 miles. So our Calorie Bank has been topped up significantly and we will spend it later. Tonight we have decided to have lamb chops with rocket and parmesan salad and our own new potatoes. That's after enjoying a martini and nibbles beforehand and a drop of red wine with the meal.

Copyright © (c)forgetdietingforever 2011, all rights reserved.

Taking the strain

While we were in the pub, we were talking to a friend who was finding it difficult to lose weight. She explained that she had not lost weight one week and explained what she had eaten. She had followed our advice on making a good gravy. When she didn't lose weight, her diet teacher said she shouldn't make gravy like that, as that was where all the fat is! This was the reason given for her not losing weight.

We must explain that to make gravy with the juices gives the gravy a wonderful flavour. BUT we remove the fat from the juices first. We use a fat separator to do this, it is fantastic. It costs a couple of pounds and we would not leave home without it, although we haven't got as far as taking it away on holiday with us yet! The strainer does all the work, and you simply fill it up and pour out the juices from the spout which comes from the base of the jug. The fat layer is visible and remains in the the jug. Here's the pic:

If you don't have one, you can always do what I used to do before coming across this little gadget. I poured all the juices into a jug, popped some ice-cubes on top and put in the fridge. The fat would set at the top of the jug and I would take this off. You will be left with the wonderful stock which may be like a jelly. This can become gravy simply by adding some water (maybe from the cooked vegetables), reducing down and if you like, adding some flour to thicken. You can always save the fat (especially if it's beef or duck) and use to make fab roast potatoes and even cooking yorkshire puds. Yum yum. And we DO eat this sort of food over the weekend at times!

Back to our friend. Having made the mistake of not removing the fat from the juices, her lack of weight loss was blamed on this one incident. I do not believe this was the only reason for not losing weight. She went on to say she had been counting her "points" and must have gone over her allowance. The main problem, we feel is the confusion that dieters seem to have when following a diet telling you to count up your day's intake in another language. Diets take control of your eating. IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE EATING YOU CAN NEVER BE IN CONTROL. Just turn the packets over and read the calorific value. Understand the amounts you can eat in relation to the amount of calories you can consume each day. It's simple - eat more calories than your body is allowed and weight will go on. There is no secret. Take control.

I would like to see our friend succeed on her diet, but too often she seems disappointed and doesn't understand why she is not losing weight. She says she has been good and sometimes says she just gives up, why bother. She is trying to live life around the diet, and we suspect her lifestyle doesn't like the diet that much. Our philosophy is to eat really good food around our lifestyle and not follow any diet. When we have reached our targets, we do not need to come off of a diet, but continue eating the same way, just more of it.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Weight update

Wow, what a week. All prepared and knowing what I'm going to eat is the secret.

So far this week my weight is down 1 1/2 lbs since Monday. That's a good result after 4 good days of effort. It's now my "normal" days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday are relaxing days where I eat more (approx 700 cals more) so I'm happy. If I keep off the 1 1/2 lb loss at my weigh in on Monday then I will be more than happy.

Noticeably this week I've stepped up the walking a bit. Well it's sunny and I've no excuse really. It blows the cobwebs away and helps me ponder over some issues here and there. I can't help thinking that this exercise is the key to achieving a successful weight loss? Even the little extra added bits of walking around must be helping.

Tonight we plan walking to the pub to see friend, so I'm working on the day's menu to allow us to eat before we go AND when we get back!
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