Google+ Forget dieting forever: February 2012

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.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Week ahead

Yesterday we enjoyed some home made butternut squash soup for lunch, with a small cheese sandwich.  It was filling and nutritious.  For dinner we shared some steak and egg with onion rings and a side salad (dressed in olive oil).  Oddly enough, we didn't fancy potatoes with it, and that's why we had the onion rings.  We then went for a leisurely walk for an hour - so that boosted our calorie allowance nicely.

Today I've felt really hungry, and particularly fancy some cheese.  Because of this I made the following breakfast:  2 slices of toast spread with butter, ham and emmental cheese, and ate this with a boiled egg.  It really hit the spot and our philosophy is - if we fancy it, then we have it.  I'm sure our bodies 'crave' some food groups when they really need them.

It's a bit cold for a lunch time salad, so we may have soup and a sandwich again. We're going to be out later tonight, so I'll put a jacket potato in the oven.  We'll have that with one of the chilli con carne portions we made last week.

With a couple of days out and about, some of our meals will be dependent on what we can buy, so I'll be looking for some good ideas.

Our weight is looking good for the weigh in tomorrow.  Last week's weight loss didn't really show very much on the scales as we had eaten quite a heavy meal, involving a couple of courses with wine, late at night.  Mind you, our body shape was much slimmer, so we weren't that bothered.  Tomorrow's weigh in will hopefully reveal the conclusion of all our good work.  

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Seabream

Here's our main dish.  Seabream with prawn sauce.  We cooked some prawn shells (from the crevettes we bought) together with a shallot and garlic. This was reduced down, added a small amount of tomato puree and a few small prawns.  The crushed new potatoes were mixed with butter and parsley.  The picture may not do justice to the exceptional flavours!
The fish is slightly stronger in taste than sea bass - which we enjoyed.  The sauce was superb, and the strong flavour complimented the dish.  I think the crushed new potatoes would have worked better with watercress rather than parsley - but all we had was parsley.

Calories - this dish would amount to around 550 calories per person.  We roughly used the following: 100g of sea bream (250 calories), 200g of parsley potatoes (140 calories), 10g butter per person (80 calories),  10g double cream - (50 calories), a few small prawns and and just 50g asparagus would amount to no more than (25 calories).  If we have calculated incorrectly - then lets just say the whole dish was 600 calories.  

Oysters to start the evening...

Oysters.  Don't be afraid to prepare these - just be careful.  At just 120 calories for 3, they were the perfect (decadent) starter.  At just 60p each, we think it's a steal.
All we could taste was the sea.  So fresh and zingy.  We tried some with lemon and some with tabasco - both preferring the lemon, which complimented the oyster perfectly.  This is pure protein on a plate, and so low in calories.  It's a texture/visual thing - you either like it or you don't.  The freshness hit the spot and I can't wait to eat our main dish now.

My partner opened the oysters using a smallish knife (there are videos on the internet showing you how to do it).  There is a hinge on the back of the oyster at the small end of the shell.  He broke the hinge using the knife with a bit of force while holding the oyster in a cloth.  I closed my eyes.  Once the hinge is broken, he slid the knife horizontally to open the shell, then cut the oyster free.  He's getting better at this, so it does take practise.  They make it look so easy in the oyster bars!!!!

Menu for Saturday

Once again - we're having fish.  I think we had so much meat over the last week, that we want something a bit lighter!

We're having oysters - followed by sea bream (dorade) with a prawn sauce, crushed new potatoes with parsley butter and asparagus.  We've already eaten the Cornish blue cheese and biscuits, with some black grapes.  The grapes had a deep rich flavour and were not too sweet.

Lunch today was simply scrambled egg on lots of toast.  Breakfast was porridge with syrup.  Tomorrow's breakfast is going to be strawberries and full fat greek yoghurt.  

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Scallops

Here are the scallops we had as a starter on Tuesday night.  The cauliflower puree was nice and sweet, and this contrasted with the black pudding.  Finally, the scallops were succulent - surprisingly so, as they came from a supermarket rather than the fishmonger!  I think the apple matchsticks were Valentine kisses?  The scallops are around 160 calories per 100g - so I would imagine this starter was around 250-300 cals.  

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Saturday salmon

It's fish tonight.  We tried some fresh squid, but found it a bit rubbery - and didn't bother cooking the rest. Our standby was crevettes - which we ate with some mayo and sweet chilli sauce.  The main meal was fresh salmon with new potatoes and salad.  Not our usual Saturday night fare, but we just fancied it, so that's what we are having.  We will be left with plenty of calories to explore some chocolate - or whatever.  After all, it's Saturday night and we are celebrating as usual.

Colourful Saturday lunch

Our delicious mozzarella, tomato and avocado salad was a welcome treat.  We had some ciabatta in the freezer, so used that up.  Rub the ciabatta with garlic and add a drop of olive oil, then toast.  The tomatoes were chopped up and mixed with salt, pepper, basil and olive oil.  The whole dish was under 500 calories too.



Friday, 10 February 2012

Chicken tonight

Well the snow nearly settled..... but it's still chilly out there.  To warm ourselves up before we walk to the pub, we're having tandoori chicken and salad.  We can then have a beer or two or three - without the need for that naughty take-away.  Some people don't like to eat too much before going out, and the good thing about this dish, is that we can cook it and eat it when we get back if we fancy.  I can set the oven to cook the chicken for when we return.

We use a good quality tandoori paste, one with quite a lot of oil, and I mix in a bit of lemon juice.  This stops the chicken drying out.  We generally remove the skin and rub the paste all over, it's one of the rare occasions we remove the skin.

The trick with eating our way, is always having something prepared.  If you haven't got anything - then at least have that good old emergency tin of beans and some slices of bread (which I have in the freezer).   Then there is always something.  So the takeaway becomes less likely.  OK if you want a takeaway, then have it.  Count it in.  It's great to have the freedom to do that.  

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Lamb rump!


What an easy meal - under 500 cals and quick to prepare!  Lamb rump - ok a bit expensive but we don't always go overboard.  This was fast food at its simplest.  All done within half an hour.

Keeping warm!

We had homemade chicken and leek pie last night - it was delicious.  After making some chicken stock using chicken wings, we decided to use the leftover meat in a pie rather than a soup.  A block of ready made puff pastry was used to make the topping.  We served this with a selection of veg and the whole meal was under 500 calories.

Avoiding pastry is not necessary on our eating plan, as we eat everything.  By eating what we please in a controlled environment (i.e. counting calories) we get to enjoy all the food groups.  A little of what you fancy is good for you after all.


Progress

Our weight is still on the downward spiral.  My partner is down a whole pound in weight from last week and I am down a quarter.  What is amazing is that this way of eating is still bringing results while we eat anything we want to eat.  I'm a bit disappointed that I am not showing a better result, because my physical appearance suggests I have lost more?  Perhaps it will show next time?  It doesn't matter in the end, because we are both going in the right direction and we both know when we have been "good" - so it will all add up in the end.  My partner is chuffed about the pound weight loss.  He had already felt his body change, and I can see the shape developing too.

Today we are going to eat a mushroom omelette and salad for lunch, and dinner is going to be new potatoes, lamb and salad.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Hearty soup that became a stew.

We made the ham hock soup on Sunday, and had this again today.  With the addition of a few more new potatoes and a couple of dumplings floating on the top, it was more of a stew than soup.  The flavours had also had time to develop - and boy were they intense.  I'm definitely going to make this one again, as it is now one of our firm favourites.  It's not only filling and tasty, but so low in calories too - around 300 calories (if that).

Tomorrow is a busy day, but we will be having either the lamb, with new potatoes and salad, or a jacket potato.

I don't know what is happening to our body shapes, but it seems that all of a sudden, I am in the next dress size down!!  I can't quite believe it, as it was the size I aspired to, and thought it would be a dream come true.  In need of a few more warm clothes, I set out on my search, and returned with a couple of items in my target size!  It seems that the scales are not clocking up this achievement as much as I would have thought.  That could be down to muscle increase?  Whatever.  It's not just me either - my partner is experiencing the same shrinkage.  We've experienced this before, with the scales lagging behind the reality.  I guess it all takes time, and we're not in a hurry after all.  We KNOW when we have had some really good days (without sneaking biscuits etc) and in the end we KNOW they all add up.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Meatballs and spaghetti


Our dinner was amazing.  For the tomato sauce we boiled up a large can of chopped tomatoes with garlic, onions, herbs (thyme and rosemary) and some tomato puree.  After slowly simmering this mixture, we ended up with a rich and tasty sauce - without the fat.
The meatballs were made by adding finely chopped onions and garlic, then kneading the meat until it starting sticking together (stretching the proteins) - a little salt and pepper and some breadcrumbs if you wish will make perfect meatballs.
Finish with some grated parmesan!  Under 500 calories and we enjoyed a very tasty dish.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Steak & chips

Our meal was fantastic. We cooked our own oven chips too.  Simply boil the chipped potatoes for a few minutes, drain, then coat in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  The maris piper potato was delicious and although they took a while to cook through, they were worth the wait.



For the mushroom sauce, we soaked a small bowlful of dried mushrooms for a few hours, then used the liquid to make the sauce.  We added some mustard, brandy, salt/pepper and a little beef stock and simmered the mixture and added some sliced fresh mushrooms.

The carrots were cooked in orange juice & zest.  They took on the flavour of the oranges and were sweet and delicious too.

The calories in this meal would probably add up to around 700-800.  We eat more at the weekends in general,  and tend not to be too strict about our calorie intake.  We've been following our "formula" for weight loss for just over a year now, and have found this casual approach is more natural and sustainable.  The weight took a long time to pile on, so if it takes us a couple of years to get rid of the excess - while eating this sort of food - then that's what we'll do.  I have a sneaky feeling that we might get a nice drop in weight at our next weigh in.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Phew!

Almost a week without access to a computer - leaves me feeling a bit strange!  Still, we have had a tremendous week and our weight loss continues.  We were both down 1/2 lb on Wednesday!  We continued the week with a couple of hearty dishes - soups/stews - which were filling and tasty.  In fact, this cold weather is helping us to lose weight, because we really do fill up on these wonderful soups.

We've decided upon our menu for the next week, which includes:  butternut squash soup, ham & lentil soup, peri-peri roast chicken, chilli con carne and some lamb chops.  We hope to include a couple of meat free days too.

Tonight we're having steaks - and are in the process of making a fab mushroom sauce.  We're also making our own oven chips.  We've been experimenting with all the different varieties of potatoes, and tonight we're trying Maris Piper.  I bought some chantenay carrots, which will be cooked with orange, and we'll have a side salad.

We met up with a friend in the pub last night, and he has lost weight doing exactly what we have done.  More importantly, he said he has kept it off.  This is good news.  The number of comments about our weight loss increased too, because we both wore some clothes that actually fitted properly!  Hiding under baggy clothes really distorts what is really happening.  Fitting into smaller sizes is a fantastic feeling.  Losing weight from all over - arms, wrists, neck etc - goes unnoticed until we slip on the smaller clothes. We don't mind eating the way we do for another year.  
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