Back in business

After a few months of finalising my masters and other things in my life, I’ve decided to give a quick update on some very exciting news.

A new challenge awaits. I will be a bridesmaid next August for my closest cousin, Fran. I was delighted of course to accept the honour and even more ecstatic when I saw the dress:

You can imagine the excitement and how determined I am to look exactly like this!

At the moment I am looking for any suggestions, hints or tips to get in shape. I have until August 2012 so I am doing the “no-nonsense approach to healthy eating plus lots of exercise plan.”

I have even become a big fan of spinning. I rejoined the gym after a long stint of inactivity and its amazing to see the change already in my shape and soul.

I have also been reading Janet Jackson’s new book True You – a deep insight into Janet’s very personal battle with body size and depression. I might post a further review on here when I’m finished as I’m hooked.

For now I will say goodbye as I’m off to Zumba to shake my way to slip into THAT dress. Pippa eat your heart out.

Why I’m fed up with slimming clubs

Last week I decided that I’d had enough of  paying for:

  • Standing in the queue of guilt
  • To then torture myself yet again by getting on the scales and…
  • the face behind them that marked down that dreaded number most females between the ages of 13 – 80 fear.

While I am a solid advocate of healthy eating and exercise I could no longer bear another soul destroying weigh in and “lets talk about it” session in front of nosey people who I don’t know all at the cost of £4.50 a week. Pocket change right?

I’ve been going to a slimming club for nearly 4 years. Thats a whopping £936 spent on watching a number go up and down… down… down (woohoo) then up again.

An epiphany has struck me. Why am I wasting money on an organisation that makes money through other people’s misery and insecurities? And all  those shiny stickers and certificates really do go to your head.

Fairplay to slimming clubs who have success with people who do lose weight, I’ve been one of them. You quickly turn into a marketing champion who group leaders and managers can promote, while those that struggle get left behind.

Maybe I just need to try something new but I know I’ll be going it alone for now, instead of obsessing over a number and saving up for a lovely dress or a rewarding manicure every month instead.

Easter Survival

Happy Easter everyone!

As most of you will know trying to stick to a healthy eating plan over Easter is as hard as trying to stick to one over, well, Christmas. Both holidays only last around four days, yet we seem to become more vulnerable to the temptations around us and ‘blow it’ once we’ve had that first taste of chocolate.

In the past I have seen the Easter bank holiday as a time where I become defenceless against the bombardment of Easter eggs being thrown my way and the rich smell of cocoa being piped through the supermarkets.

Not this year.

Now don’t get me wrong if you are enjoying eating the last of your eggs right now then thats good for you, but when your desperate to get in shape for summer like me, there has to be a different strategy. Continue reading

Smoked salmon with scrambled eggs on toast

This is the ultimate kick- back, bank holiday breakfast. You can buy inexpensive smoked salmon in small packets from your local supermarket, without compromising on the taste.

Ingredients:

2-3 eggs, scrambled to your liking

Smoked salmon

2 small slices of wholemeal bread, toasted

low fat spread

mushrooms (optional)

1) Fry the mushrooms in Fry Light in a pan.

2) Whisk the eggs up and microwave or fry them to your liking.

3) Toast the bread.

4) Serve everything together and enjoy with a good black coffee!

Smoky one tray pork and roast vegetables

This dish was literally made all in ‘one tray’. Pork is a lean meat and is underrated in my opinion. I had this on Easter Sunday instead of the usual bland roast dinner! Continue reading

Chicken tikka skewers with pilau rice

Sticking chicken on kebab sticks really reminds me of summers in a caravan when I was a kid. This was a lovely meal to have as the nights get brighter and the sun has started to shine.

Think ahead and marinate the chicken over night to make it really flavoursome.

Serves 2

Ready in about 35 minutes + marinating time.

Don’t forget the skewers!

Ingredients:

170g Fat free fromage frais

1 tsp garam masala, mint sauce and ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

2 Chicken breasts, cut  into chunks

150g low fat greek yoghurt

1 tbsp parsley

zest of  1/2 lemon and juice of 1 lemon

300g rice

450ml of chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 tsp tumeric

vegetables of your choice: i used halved mushrooms, pepper and red onion. (Cherry tomatoes, pineapple and courgette would also work well)

1) Mix the chicken in a bowl with the fromage frais, garam masala, mint sauce, cumin and salt to marinate to your likening.

2) Make the dip by mixing the Greek yoghurt, parsley, lemon zest and juice.

3) Boil the rice and add to stock and tumeric. Remove from the heat and allow the rice to absorb the stock.

4) Thread the chicken and vegetables onto 8 skewers. Grill under a medium heat for about 15 minutes. * I pre-grilled the chicken beforehand to make sure it was cooked.

5) Serve the chicken with the rice and dip.

Let me know what you think. I think I’ll label this as my signature summer dish!

Prawn and mango salad

This takes about 15 minutes to make. I used small cocktail prawns which did shrink a little when cooked. Next time I will use raw king prawns for extra freshness and taste.

Nevertheless the combination of shellfish and fruit is fantastic and I’m not a big shellfish eater!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

Fry Light

400g pack of prawns

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tomatoes, roughly chopped

Juice of 2 small limes

Mixed salad of your choice

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and roughly chopped

1 cucumber, deseeded and chopped

1) Heat a frying pan and spray with Fry Light. Add the prawns, garlic and tomatoes and cook for about 4 minutes.

2) Take the pan off the heat and add the lime juice.

3) Arrange the salad and mango in bowls and add the prawns with any remaining juices from the pan.

Enjoy!