Thursday, 19 November 2009

Good Habits

Well after a week of being 100% on track, cooking everything from scratch, resisting all temptations and pitfalls, and standing at a party nibbling celery and cucumber, I gained a pound. Ain't dieting great?! But no matter, I will admit to a little despondency after weigh in on Monday, which led my hand to stray too the sweetie jar - a few times. But by Tuesday morning I was totally over that and back in the zone. I'm not going to get knocked off track by a measly 1 pound gain, nope, not me!

I was ranting recently that bad habits seem to form as if by an invisible force, and return in the blink of an eye, but good habits never ever seem to become actual habits and are shaken off just as quickly as the bad sneaks back in. But since I said all that, I've noticed a small but hopefully positive change. Cooking from scratch seems to have become very normal for me, and easy. I've never been a natural cook. I've enjoyed following recipes and trying new things but it has always taken a big effort. But for the last few weeks I've been knocking up pasta sauces, soups,curries, chillies etc without a second thought, substituting and altering ingredients according to availability and taste. In part this is attributable to planning and organisation, and also increased confidence. But also, I think, maybe, possibly, it's become a habit!

In other news, this seems to be the week when I get lots of free stuff! On Tuesday I was in town getting some materials for making Rebecca a fancy dress costume for Children in Need day at school. Part of her "look" was she wanted to wear glasses, and I wasn't happy to pay lots for them. So I went round all the opticians on the high street asking whether they had any old frames they were just going to be throwing out. Most just said no, without bothering to look. But the guy at Vision Express went to look and came back with a pair of Armani frames that they couldn't sell because of some tiny flaw that I can't see. And then he had some plain glass lenses put in for her, and charged me nothing at all, bless him. So big up for Vision Express, and if you see me in new glasses anytime soon I've probably pinched them from the dress up box....! Then, on the way home, we walked past the flower seller as he was packing up for the day and he thrust 2 big gorgeous bunches of flowers in my arms to take home, which really lifted my day I can tell you!

Yesterday I had my groceries delivered and was very disappointed by the short use by dates on the meat so rang to complain. Sainsburys refunded me the cost of the meat and asked me to please tell them if it happens again, so it would be churlish not to be happy with their customer service, and finally (so far!) thanks to Money Saving Expert, I was able to get a free album download (I got Robbie Williams new one, love it!) from Sky Songs.

Quite a haul, and most pleasing the week before pay day I'm sure you'll agree!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Death by Chicken

It would have been astonishingly easy to fall off track yesterday. First of all I was seriously tired after having no sleep for over 24 hours. Plus I had a busy evening, with the "do your homework!" nagging which can go on for a long time, and looking after the 2 dogs and 2 hamsters, and I had to go to a meeting at school, and I had to get Rebecca to Cubs. All in all, the temptation to grab something quick and less than optimal was great.

But what stopped me was the fact that I am overly familiar with that slippery slope. It's not that a cheese sandwich would have exactly been the end of the world on it's own. It's the fact that the voice in my head would have said "ah well, you've had the sandwich, may as well have a glass of cider now. And you'd be wanting a bag of nuts with that. May as well get a bag of chips too. Ah what the hell, you've blown the week, may as well pig out till Monday night now!"

So instead of falling into that oft visited trap, I made plans involving left over chicken and some nice veg. But that nearly killed me. Reheated, the chicken was so dry that it lodged itself firmly in my throat and wouldn't move. For what felt like forever I couldn't breathe! So the chicken was binned and that left me using tonights planned meal instead - spag bol I'd made for the freezer.

I did have to settle my stressful evening with a nice cup of coffee and a fun size Milky Way before bed. Syns duly counted and still totally on plan despite the universe conspiring against me. If I can survive that, hell I can survive anything!

I'm off to make something to replace the spag bol now.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Hello Mojo!

Woot! Another pesky 3lbs shed, and I'm back where I was about 6 weeks ago! Let's ignore the fact that I'm still about a stone heavier than I was last winter, and my winter coat doesn't fit - minor details dear readers, minor details!

I need to share a wonderful winter warming recipe with you. Very healthy and possibly the nicest soup I've ever tasted. It was on the table at SW on Monday so I apologise for not knowing who to credit it to. Also, this is kind of a rough approximation of what it actually said, since I just jotted the outline, but it works!

Tomato and Pepper Soup

1 large onion
2 large red peppers
2 tins of tomatoes
1 teaspoon of chilli powder (I used more, adjust to personal taste!)
1 tablespoon of sweetener
3/4 pint of stock

Chop the onion and peppers (I did them chunky since they get blended anyway!) and gently fry them. Add the chilli powder and a bit of the stock if needed and fry for 3-4 minutes.

Chuck in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 mins.

Blend, serve, go back for seconds!

I expect sales of red peppers and tinned tomatoes to go through the roof once you've tried this, it is perfect.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Just checking in quickly to let you know that I lost 5 fatty pounds (weigh in was Monday - I'm so slack at reporting in here!) and I remain fully fired up and 100% on track. What I'm loving is that I am feeling the excitement of losing weight again - it's felt like a dreary, if not agonising, chore for a long time if I'm honest. But now, nothing is more thrilling than seeing the numbers fall, feeling the clothes get a little looser, and nothing is more satisfying than knowing that I have all my meals planned, and if I go in the kitchen right now for a snack, there's a good choice of fruit, yoghurt, cereal bars or if I fancy something more substantial there's left over turkey chilli to keep me away from the bread bin!

My new discovery and possible saviour is online grocery shopping. I have thought about it before but always lacked the kind of organisation that gets the job done. But at the moment my car is off the road so I'm kind of dependent on Mark for being able to get the weekly shop done (I'm capable of walking to the corner shop for immediate essentials!) Anyway, on Tuesday, having planned my meals for the week and written a shopping list, I was aiming to get my hands on his car at around 5pm, but sadly it didn't happen and I had to rustle up a meal from what was in the cupboards (thank god for pasta!)

It then occured to me to consider having my shopping brought to me instead of me going to it! I logged onto which is a site I highly recommend, and whizzed through my list in no time. The website compares prices between the 4 main online supermarkets (Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys and Ocado), suggests swaps you can make for a cheaper product or a lower calorie product and shows all current discount codes available for each store. Once you have decided which store to use, it then transfers the contents of your trolley to that store's trolley with a nifty little gif showing that happening to keep me happy :) The next day a nice man carried all my shopping including 15kgs of dog food up the hill to my front door, where it took him a few moments to recover enough to speak. I know how he feels, and I'm glad that I have discovered I won't have to do it anymore!

On the writing front, I've written 3 chapters and am seriously behind schedule but haven't had much time to knuckle down to it really. I need to press on instead of rabbiting on here!