Monday, February 29, 2016

First March Meal Plan!

We have the first 2 months of the year done and I have to say I am pretty happy with how they have gone so far! This week I stayed the same on the scales so my total loss for the first 2 months of the year is 8lbs, hitting my 1lb a week target which is great! While usually after having a small unexplainable gain it would be nice to see a loss the following week, but since I am now only 2lbs away from my goal weight I'm not letting it stress me out. There are a couple of things that could have caused it, and looking back at my overall progress I am bang on where I wanted to be. With just 3 weeks to go until  my friends wedding, I am really hoping to be down those 2lbs and be back at goal, but if I don't make it I'll still be happy. There is no point in getting stressed/upset over a couple of pounds as long as I keep working at it.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan & Weigh In

Another week down, and we're nearly at the end of February!! I can't actually believe I have kept up not only my meal planning but also my lunch prep for the past 7 weeks. The new habit is most definitely set in stone at this stage. I'm going to have a busy couple of months ahead of me with a few new projects starting up in work and my friends wedding coming up really soon, but I know I have the tools I need to get through it all and stay on track.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Turkey Chilli Soup!

While my lunches have been a little varied over the past 6 weeks, the base components have been a choice of a couple of different things. Quinoa or Bulgar Wheat with Roast Veg or Raw Veg, Chicken, tuna or prawn and some hot sauce. I fancied something warm and hearty so I decided to get some soup going. 

I know a lot of people are happy with 0 smartpoint vegetable soup and nothing else for lunch, but I really like a substantial meal at lunch time. I tend to use between 5 and 8 smartpoints for my lunch so I wanted a soup that I could eat and feel like it was a full meal. I'm also loving Turkey Mince lately, the packs you can get in Dunnes, Aldi and Tesco work out at 4 smartpoints for the full 400g pack and it goes a long way so a great one to use in a soup like this. 

If you want to save some smartpoints you can leave out the Bulgar Wheat and it knocks off 2 smartpoints per serving, but I'd suggest cutting back the volume of water added as the Bulgar Wheat soaks up a lot of the water. All in it works out at 5 Smartpoints per portion and I topped it with a dollop of 0% fat greek yoghurt and some fresh coriander for an extra Smartpoint. Its easily the best soup I've ever made and I'm pretty sure I'll be having this every few weeks.

Serves: 6
Smartpoints per serving: 5sp
Free on No Count
400g Turkey Mince
150g Bulgar Wheat
1 can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Chopped Tomatoes
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 tbsp Olive Oil
3 Carrots, diced
4 sticks of Celery, diced
2 Green Peppers, diced
1 Red Onion, diced
4 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1.5 tbsp Chilli Powder (I used hot, but adjust for taste)
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
Splash of Tobasco 
Splash of Worcestershire Sauce
1 Knorr Chicken Stock Pot
1.5 litre hot water
Salt & Black Pepper

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large lidded pot and add the onions and carrots. Fry, stirring regularly for 2-3 minutes and then add the celery & peppers. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic. Cover and leave to sweat for about 4 minutes until all the veg is soft. 

Add the turkey mince and fry for 4-5 minutes breaking the mince up with the back of your spoon. Mix through all the spices and cook stirring constantly for 3-4 minutes. Mix in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, kidney beans, tobasco, worcestershire, stock pot and water and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the bulgar wheat and continue to cook without a lid for a further 5-10 minutes, until the bulgar wheat is cooked. 

Season to taste and serve! This should freeze well and will keep in the fridge for around 5/6 days. (I made my batch on Sunday and will be eating the last portion on Friday.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan & Weigh In

I had a great week on plan this week and the results showed in Weigh In on Saturday morning. After my small gain last week, this week I managed to lose 2 lbs! Only 1lb away from my goal weight and I can't remember the last time I was this close. Looking back over my blog posts, I have really been struggling with things since I turned 30. Its been a constant yoyo and I really want to break that pattern this year. I feel as motivated as I was back in 2012 when I rejoined and I am doing everything I can to ensure the motivation stays around.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Baked Oats

I've been seeing baked oats all over social media for the past few months and finally decided to give them a go over the weekend. I have to say I was impressed. It made a great weekend breakfast, but I could also see having them as a lovely low smartpoint sweet treat to get you through the week. I've made them again this evening, tweaking the recipe slightly and they turned out even better than before. I only buy jumbo oats, but from what I can see online these work with all kind of oats. The regular oats are milled a little more so might work even better.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan & Weigh In

Another week, another meal plan. I am actually really proud of myself for keeping this up every single week so far for January. Usually I have great intentions but life gets in the way and I miss a week here or there. Maybe deciding to post them weekly has helped motivate me. I also think the fact that its only 6 weeks until my friends wedding where I am bridesmaid, coupled with the fact I am loving smartpoints so much, means I am not only motivated to stay organised I am excited about it.

I didn't have such a great weigh in this week, I gained half a pound. I'm ok with it. I had a serious off plan night at the Hen last weekend, and while I was 100% on plan for the whole week since then, I am not surprised that it still showed. We had afternoon tea (lots of cake), alcohol from lunch time, a full 3 course dinner and some chocolates, biscuits, jellies as well as the obligatory garlic cheese chips before bed. I also know I was retaining water so wouldn't have been shocked if it were worse. It's a new week so time to focus on working towards next weeks weigh in.

I also took my measurements at the start of January and then again yesterday and i have lost an inch and a half on my waist, an inch on my hips, and half an inch on my arms and legs so its working.

Baked Oats
Chicken & Veg
Scrambled Eggs & Veggies
Quinoa Salad with Chicken
Turkey Burgers with salad and Spiced Wedges
Cheese Omelette
Bulgar Salad with Tuna
Cajun Salmon with Curried Rice
Scrambled Eggs & Veggies
Quinoa Salad with Chicken
Cheese Omelette
Bulgar Salad with Tuna
Chipotle Pork Chops with Corn & Salad
Porridge with Peanut Butter
Quinoa Salad with Chicken
Dinner at Parents
Fruit & Yoghurt
Beefrto 3 Course Meal

I'm actually looking forward to all my meals this week. I'm varying my breakfasts and lunches just enough so they aren't getting boring and haven't repeated too many meals. I'm saving all  my weeklies up for a meal out on Saturday night where I plan on having all 3 courses and wine to go with, but if all goes to plan I should have 60 smartpoints saved for it and if I can shake this flu before then, a few fit points banked too!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Weekend brunch is one of my favourite things in the world! Going out of course would be my preference but in the interest of saving money and smartpoints I love finding ways to do a home cooked brunch as good as any you'd get eating out. This ticked all the boxes and while my other half may have been sceptical at first, by the time he'd tasted it he'd come around. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fish Pie

Fish pie is something I have been wanting to try out for a long time. I've found myself going over different ideas in my head of how to make the best one before finally settling on this one. I really love fish pie, something so indulgent about the rich creamy sauce topped with lashings of mashed potato. Now that fish is such good value in smartpoints, it makes it even easier to make a fish pie that is just as indulgent as any full fat version but that fits right in with the plan. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekly Meal Plan

Another week down means January has come to an end. I had another great loss this week, down 1.5lbs which brings my total January loss to 7.5lbs which I am delighted with. I am down to 2lbs above goal. Smartpoints is working wonders for me and with each week my determination grows. I've spent this morning looking back over some old photos of the year I reached goal and I have realised just how complacent and lazy I have got over the last year, happy but not happy to be sitting 7-10lbs above goal. So I have my mojo back and this year I will once again be back at goal once and for all.