If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you…

  

I’ve always wanted to be one of those super active people who can get up in the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and workout… But that isn’t me and the chances are it never will be! It’s not cause I’m lazy (well maybe sometimes!😂), but being a mummy, I can be kept pretty busy and the times I would get to exercise are usually spent just unwinding and catching up on housework/television/blogging etc. However, I feel that really needs to change! I need to make the time to exercise and I need to push myself!

So when one of my lovely followers and fellow slimmers asked me to do a post on exercising for busy mums, I thought what better way to get myself motivated too! I’ve done some trawling of Google and found some awesome little workouts that I want to share along with some great YouTube channels, including my favourite Willitary Fitness! 

  

   
 
Quick workouts

(I found quite a few, so choose one you like and give it a go!)

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
 
Workout DVDs

  

This has to be one of my favourite DVDs and it’s the one that’s always remained in my DVD rack through all the DVD culls! Jillian Michaels is an absolute machine and she certainly puts you through your paces! This specific DVD has 20 minute workouts at 3 different levels to work through. She has a number of other DVDs too and I believe many of her workouts are accessible on YouTube (failing that, they’re super cheap on Amazon/eBay)


10 minute solution are an awesome little collection of DVDs, there are so many different ones all focussing on different areas of the body or types of workouts! I have the ‘blast off belly fat’ DVD and although it’s sat unloved for a while, it’s a great, quick little workout!

YouTube channels

Here you will find loads of quick workouts to suit every ability!

Willitary Fitness 

The Fit Law
Fitness Blender
Exercise how to’s

  

Hopefully there’s something here for everyone and of course I will add more as I find it! And remember…

  
Onwards and downwards,

Big love 😘

SP friendly recipes

I’ve been asked to do a post that focuses on low carb recipes, which fit perfectly in with slimming worlds SP plan. there are a number of simple swaps that can be made to substitute the carbs you would normally have with your meal.

  • Courgette/carrot spaghetti are a good alternative that are available in most supermarkets now. I’ve yet to try them however, so any feedback would be welcome! Of course, if you are lucky enough to own a spiralizer you can make these at home yourself!
  • Celeriac makes awesome chips or wedges, simply parboil, spray with frylight and season then pop them into a preheated oven until brown.
  • Leeks can be used as an alternative to pasta sheets in lasagne, again I’ve yet to try it though so can’t comment on what its like!
  • Cauliflower rice – simply grate fresh cauliflower (or give it a whizz in the food processor) along with half an onion and a garlic clove, fry it in a pan with some frylight and add your choice of seasoning. I use Shwartz pilau rice seasoning, its super tasty!
  • Butternut squash/Carrot/Swede all make a great alternative for mash and can also be used to make chips/wedges/roasties.
  • Lentils – not only are they cheap and cheerful but they are filling, use them to bulk out your soups and sauces, giving them more filling power!

By using the above swaps, you can still enjoy a number of your normal meals (such as Bolognese, chilli, curry, lasagne, cottage pie, fish pie etc) without the carbs . I have also put together a few SP friendly recipes and meal ideas that I have gathered over the past few months… I will pop these below! Enjoy 🙂

Onwards and downwards,

Big love

X

Slimming world ‘fry up’
Enjoy a filling breakfast of bacon, sausages, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans… Yummy!

Breakfast loaf
2 eggs, cherry tomatoes, onion, mushroom and lean gammon/bacon. pop it all into a loaf tin and into the oven til set. this will last a couple of days in the fridge and can be eaten hot or cold.

Root vegetable and lentil casserole –
1 medium onion
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
220g carrots
220g butternut squash
220g celeriac
220g swede
1 large leek
850ml vegetable stock
113g red lentils
1 tsp paprika, cumin, coriander and crushed mustard seeds
Salt and pepper
Low calorie cooking spray
Heat a large pan sprayed with low calorie cooking spray. Add the onions and fry for 5-6 minutes until lightly browned. Spray your slow cooker with low calorie cooking spray and add the onions and chopped vegetables, stock, spices and lentils. Stir well and cook on ‘medium’ for 5-6 hours

Speed soup –
!Warning! can cause toxic gas release haha!
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Bacon and mushroom crustless quiche –
Low calorie cooking spray
220g bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
110g mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic
3 large eggs
150g fat free cottage cheese
3–4 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
80g reduced fat cheddar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove all visible fat from the bacon and fry for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms garlic, season well and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes then set aside. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas 5. Spoon the bacon mixture into a flan dish. Mix the eggs, cottage cheese, parsley and cheddar cheese in a bowl and spoon over the bacon mixture. Top with the tomato halves and bake at 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas 5 for 15-20 minutes until just set.
This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. (Syn free if using cheese as HEA – otherwise add 12 syns for entire recipe).

Omelettes/Frittatas –
You can whatever filling goodies you like… ham, bacon, prawns, peppers, mushrooms. Pack it full of filling speed foods and enjoy!

Mushy Pea Curry –
It sounds strange I know but don’t be put off… I hate mushy peas but I love mushy pea curry!
IMG_4943

Cauliflower pizza bases – 
 Click here for recipe!


Chicken, Bean and Spinach soup –
 Click here for recipe!

 
Cauliflower curry sauce –

Chicken Supreme –
 Click here for recipe!


Mustard chicken with swede mash –
 
Click here for recipe! 

Easy fajita bake –
This looks gorgeous! Why not dice the chicken and add a little passata, you could also use some little gem lettuce leaves in place of tortilla wraps!


Click here for recipe!

Chicken and lentil soup
 Click here for recipe! 

Slimming world scotch eggs –
 Click here for recipe! 

Breakfast egg muffins –
 Click here for recipe!

Sausage casserole –
 Click here for recipe! 


  
  
  
  
  
  

Slimming world on a budget

  
So I’ve moaned about it time and time again, and I’m sure many will agree, that healthy eating doesn’t always come cheap!! Convenience food is made so affordable and accessible to families, whilst the prices of fruit, vegetables and meat can at times be quite frankly extortionate! However, by using the right products, being a savvy shopper and remaining budget conscious, there are ways to eat healthily whilst maintaining a reasonable budget. Here are my tips…

  • Plan your meals! I cannot stress this enough! By planning out your meals, you will know exactly what you will need food wise for the week ahead, you can utilise the foods you already have in the house and write your shopping list accordingly. It’s so easy to go what I call ‘blind shopping’… We’ve all done it, in fact I did it just last week! I walked around Lidl, I picked up anything that was on offer or anything that I fancied (whilst remaining mindful of the slimming world plan of course) and I left the shop £50 lighter, when I got home and started putting the shopping away, I don’t think I had a single complete meal in those bags! Yet if I had planned my meals and written a list, I would have not only come out with food to cook a weeks worth of meals, I probably would have saved myself a few quid too!! As that very wise saying goes, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’.   
  • Additional to the above, it’s important that you stick to your shopping list, it’s so easy to deviate away and get drawn in by the endless offers that we see in supermarkets. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes these are great offers that we should grab whilst we can, but you need to ask yourself if it’s something you will actually use! I always try to remain mindful of the following week when I am shopping and if I see syn free items on offer (e.g. Prepackaged items such a low fat super noodles, mug shots, flavoured rice etc) that I know I like, I will pick some up as they’re handy to have in the cupboard and I can include them in the following weeks menu plan! But it’s so easy to just buy things for the sake of it just because it seems like a good deal and all too often they will just sit in the cupboard for months and end up in the bin when they go past their date. 
  • If possible, do your shopping online! I don’t often do this, and I should do it more… you buy only what you need, you don’t end up distracted by all the offers you see whilst walking around the supermarket and the best thing is, you can see exactly how much you’re spending! There’s nothing worse than going shopping on a budget and getting to the till to be whacked in the face with a huge expense to pay! In addition, supermarkets generally offer discounts and deals for new customers, as well as offers for ‘valid ‘ customers. I’ve also found that if you don’t shop online with them for a while, they will send you vouchers to try and win your custom back, so why not shop around online and see what deals and offers you can get!
  • Don’t be a food snob!!! Using supermarket own brands can save you a hell of a lot of money and 99% of the time you aren’t compromising on taste one single bit! In fact there are plenty of products that I purchase that I actually prefer the cheaper own branded version! One perfect example is Bran Flakes… A 500g box of Kellogs bran flakes is currently £2.09 in Tesco, compared to the 750g box of Aldi own brand that I purchased last week for under a pound (if I remember rightly it was 79p) what a difference! I love shopping in Lidl and Aldi, you can save so much money! Make sensible swaps and see how much you can save!
  • Always check the reduced section, it’s where I get most of my bargains! You can get some absolute steals in these sections! Supermarkets reduce items that are going out of date several times a day and although each supermarket is different, you can usually get a rough idea of the times when you visit them regularly! It is a bit of a catch 22 situation as the later you go in the day, the lower the prices, but you also risk the majority of items being gone by then too. I always pick up reduced meats and pop them in the freezer, they will keep well for a few months and reduced veg is great for chucking together a syn free soup ready for the freezer! I also pick up cooked meats, salad leaves, fruit bags and even ready meals and sandwiches for the family. Most ready meals can be frozen and are ideal for those days the fussy children don’t want to eat what you’re cooking! The majority of things that you aren’t able to freeze would need to be eaten on the day but often you can pick up items that will still last, you just have to use your common sense! I’ve had punnets of fruit reduced to 25p that have stayed perfectly fresh and lasted the entire week, or just last Sunday I picked up a broccoli for a mere 19p and it’s still perfectly fresh! But again I can’t stress enough, if you can’t freeze it, or won’t use it, don’t buy it just for the sake of a bargain!
  • Shop around! I know not everyone has the time to do so, but if you can visit a few different supermarkets rather than doing your entire shop in just one, you will save yourself a few quid! I use a mix of mainly Lidl and Asda but I also visit Aldi, Iceland, Co-op and Morrisons if I’m nearby and I’ve come to know what items are the best prices where and also what is better quality where! I use Lidl for fruit where I can as it’s so much cheaper and the quality is often better, I find that fruit from the bigger supermarkets doesn’t last half as long! I also love Lidl for their meat as they have some fantastic bargains and I’ve never had an issue with the quality! Lidl do their ‘weekend deals’ in which they have a handful of items at half price over the weekend, it’s always worth checking out as it usually includes a type of meat and some veg! Just last weekend I had 375g packs of diced chicken fillets for just £1.27 each and the weekend before was packs of frying steak for just over £1! Aldi also have their super 6 deals running each week where they reduce 6 different items of fruit and veg to just 59p per pack, as well as weekly meat deals that are worth checking out!
  • Batch cooking is a great way to get organised, stay on plan and save money! Stocking up the freezer with home made syn free ready meals is great for those busy days ahead or when you’ve been out all day and don’t feel like cooking when you get home! If you’re cooking a meal for the whole family, cook some extra and take up a couple of extra portions into freezer safe containers, it’s as simple as that! Or you could even have a whole day of batch cooking, prepreparing and freezing several meals for the week ahead! Sauces are super easy to make and freeze well, plus they will stop you reaching for the syn filled jars after a long day! You can also bulk your meals out to make them go further, lentils are great for this and can be picked up reasonably cheap!  
  • Slow cookers are amazing! If you don’t have one, you should! You can create some amazingly tasty meals (and puddings!) and they’re so easy to use! We’ve all had those days where we’ve been out all day and got home and ordered a take away because we simply cannot be arsed to cook right?! Instead, why not chuck all your ingredients into the slow cooker before you go out, when you get home you will have a perfectly cooked, healthy meal ready and waiting for you! It really is that simple! 
  • Frozen food is so much more cost effective than fresh! I buy the majority of my veg frozen – it tastes great, lasts well and you can use as little or as much as you need without having to worry about wasting leftovers! Of course there are certain things that people will prefer fresh (I personally am very fussy about frozen carrots) but pretty much everything else (except potatoes) I buy frozen! I also buy frozen berries quite often, as they’re perfect for grabbing a few for my overnight oats or adding to my yogurt ready for later on in the day. The majority of fresh berries don’t last all that long, not to mention they can be quite pricey so frozen berries are perfect to keep in the freezer! Frozen meat can also be handy to keep in the freezer, I often buy the kg packs of chicken breasts or cook from frozen mince so I can just grab out what i want, as and when I need it! Furthermore, the frozen ready to eat chicken is perfect for lunches, just grab out what you want and it’s defrosted and ready to eat by lunch time! Most supermarkets now sell it so it’s readily available! 

So there we have it, eating well on a budget really can be done! There are a number of different websites that have tonnes of money saving ideas, as well as companies that provide highly discounted items:

  • MuscleFood have some amazing offers on their meat packages, perfect for stocking up the freezer for the month ahead! They often have discount codes and freebies available for customers. It’s worth following their Facebook Page to keep an eye out for all their latest offers!
  • Approved Food is an excellent website that sells items close to or just past their best before date. I’ve yet to place an order with them but have had a browse at their stock and they have some great bargains! For those followers local to myself, you may also have seen the Cheap Food Store in Camborne which uses the same approach! It’s always worth a browse! 
  • Feed Your Family For £20 A Week is another great site, I love browsing their Facebook Page for ideas and recipes!
  • The Diary Of A Frugal Family is also a great website to browse for money saving tips and ideas.

There are many budget friendly slimming world recipes floating around the Internet, but here are a few of my favourites:

            
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I’ve (sadly) enjoyed writing it!! 😂

Onwards and downwards,

Big love

😘

Monday motivation

So it’s Monday, again! My motivation has been in hiding for the past few days and I’m so desperately trying to find it again! The weather is crap and quite frankly I’ve woken up in a foul mood that I cannot even comprehend! But it’s time to shake it off and get back into the right mindset! 

I need to remember how far I’ve come and why I’m doing this, and keep that at the forefront of my mind to motivate me! For not only myself but for Taylor too. Not to mention the suitcase under my bed that’s absolutely jam packed with lovely clothes, in which my fat ass no longer fits! So off I trot to Instagram to find me some #MondayMotivation. I love finding quotes that I can relate to, really does help to motivate me! 

  
So the rest of my day shall be spent getting life in order, menu planning and doing some exercise (amongst tower building, puzzle solving and no doubt watching at least 1 toy story movie)! There is a stone award at fat club with my name on and I will get it before November! It is only 5.5lbs away after all ☺️ lets smash this! 

  
Onwards and downwards

Big love 😘

7 day workout challenge

Recently I was asked to set a challenge every day for a week in a motivational fitness group I am a member off. I chose to use workout videos by the amazing Willitary Fitness from his YouTube channel! The videos are ace and I loved the challenge so thought I would pop the challenge into a blog post for others to do too!

Day 1 – Dark Horse

Day 2 – Watch me whip

Day 3 – Kick up the dust

Day 4 – Can’t feel my face

Day 5 – Sugar

Day 6 – Play it again

Day 7 – Dark horse – Extended version

Enjoy!! 😀

The journey so far…

Its been a long time since I sat down and blogged, as for one reason or another life has just got in the way and its been quicker and easier to just pop a quick post on my Facebook page. I am still very much on the wagon and still loving being back at group! I am another 8.5lbs down since joining, taking my total loss so far to 17lbs!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve not always been 100% and I’ve had plenty of days where I just think I can’t be arsed, but then I remember how far I’ve come, how much I’m noticing the inches go and how much I don’t want Taylor to have a fat Mummy, and that’s what keeps me going more than anything! My losses are pretty slow and steady, which is fine, but can also be really disheartening. A couple of weeks ago I tried really bloody hard, I cut out bread, limited my syns, upped my speed foods and fluids, and I lost a pound… ONE POUND!! I cannot begin to tell you how shit I felt after, I wanted to just give up… but I didn’t! Instead I decided to look at what I did and take the positives from it. At the end of the day, a pound lost is better than a pound gained! I do believe that I pulled myself back too tight though and this is why I didn’t get the loss I so felt I deserved!

It has also prompted me to think more about my approach to Slimming World as a whole, and I do think there are things I could change and I’m definitely not as strict and ‘by the book’ as I could be, which I think comes with being somebody who has followed the plan for so long – you fall into bad habits, cutting the odd corner, not keeping check on syns for value changes etc etc. So, I have decided to spend the next few weeks going back to basics. Rereading my books, sitting down and going through recipe books and old magazines and just generally trying to inspire myself! I have set myself a little mini target of losing 6 lbs throughout October , so watch this space!

  
Onwards and Downwards

Big Love

😘