thai salmon with jasmine rice [ recipe ]


Meal Plan

For the first week in forever, I don’t have a meal plan this week.  I don’t cook for the kids when I’m working – it would be too late for them by the time I get dinner on the table, and the grandparents like to feed them – so I usually just cook for Hubs and I during the week.  But Hubs is working away, and when it’s just me I really can’t be bothered making the effort.  I have leftovers in the freezer, eggs in the fridge and a mum who is always desperate to feed me, so I’m not doing much worth mentioning this week.  I also never made the shepherds pie I had planned for this weekend, so that covers Saturday, and my in-laws can’t make it for Sunday dinner so I’ll probably just decide on the day what to make.  Lunches will be salads as I wont have leftovers to take, and I’ve scored some peanut Nakd bars for my evening treats.


When I linked up to #MealPlanningMonday last week, there was some interest in the Thai salmon I’d picked as one of our dishes. I thought I would share the recipe here, as it’s a real favourite with us.  It’s really delicious and sounds quite impressive, but it’s quick and simple and can be done in one pot in less than half an hour!

I’ve been making this one for years, so I don’t even know where it came from and I’ve tweaked it a bit over time.  The flavour really comes from the spice, so you can judge for yourself how much you want to add.  If you can’t find Thai 7 Spice, I would guess Chinese 5 Spice would work well (although it would totally change the dish).

So, on with the recipe…

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managing my pregnancy weight gain with slimmingworld


Balance is key to a healthy lifestyle…and so I feel I want to add some balance after my rant about SlimmingWorld the other week.  Because you may be forgiven for thinking I hate every last thing about SW, and that isn’t true.  After all, it has helped me have my healthiest pregnancy ever, and that is not something to be shrugged off.

I went into my first pregnancy blind.  It was unplanned, unprepared for and I didn’t have the first clue about health.  I was an overweight teenager who drank heavily, lived on junk food and the extent of my cooking skills was to fire up the deep fat fryer in my grotty little council-flat kitchen.  I have no idea what my weight gain was, as I didn’t own scales, but I went from a size 16 to a 22 so it’s safe to say it was probably near or even more than 4 stone.

My second pregnancy came ten years later, and I was a much different person as I’d been through my 6.5 stone weight loss journey.  But although I’d achieved that loss and made big changes to the way I ate and lived, that pregnancy came at a time where things were sliding.  I’d made the shift from an active job with time for fitness to a desk job which left me with little (perceived) time for exercise.  The job also made me miserable and I had turned to food, so I ate my way through my pregnancy and put on nearly 3 stone.

This time around, I’m different again.  My knowledge of health and nutrition has grown beyond diet/light/low-fat and I’ve made big advances in my fitness levels too.  That saw me get down to a size 12 less than a year after our four year old was born, and down to a size 10 for my wedding two years ago.  Unfortunately though, some things have not changed – I still struggle with using food as a coping mechanism, and my control around food is tied to my mood and emotions.  So I came into this pregnancy overweight again after a stressful year at work, culminating with both losing my job and having the stress of starting a new one after dropping the pregnancy bomb.  Oh…and then Christmas.  I put on nearly a stone in the first 18 weeks, and it looked as if I was on track to pile on the pounds yet again.

But something clicked in my head.  I’ve never enjoyed my changing body in pregnancy, and always felt self conscious about my weight gains, but as this is my last pregnancy I didn’t want to spend it hating how I looked.    And then there are the health consequences of a bad diet and big weight gain, both for myself and my baby.  I didn’t have the excuse of ignorance this time – if I wasn’t going to be healthy for me I should at least be healthy for my baby.

So that’s where SlimmingWorld came in, and where it has helped me.  I’ve been critical about some of their “free” foods and approaches, and I stand by that.  But following a plan and going to weekly weigh-ins has been key, and that is what SlimmingWorld has given me.  I’ve written before about how I’m more of a Weight Watchers girl and that too gives a plan and weekly weigh-ins, but SlimmingWorld have gone a bit further and had themselves accredited to accept pregnant members.  Having to be mindful about my food and being held accountable at the scales each week have helped me to make good choices whilst also ensuring I don’t overeat – two things I struggle with when left to my own devices.  Two things that are pretty much all you need to nail to maintain a healthy weight.

If I hadn’t been allowed to join a group, I fully believe I’d have carried on putting on weight the way I had when I started.  But thanks to SlimmingWorld (and my own efforts!), at 32 weeks I’ve only put on 3.5lbs since January.  I know I’ll probably gain weight each week from now on, and that will be something to get my head around, but most of that weight will be my little man filling out and getting ready for his arrival.

I’m hoping that after the birth, my overall weight gain will have been less than a stone.  That just blows my mind, how different this pregnancy has been to my others.  And the impact has reached further than the number on the scales.  I feel happier, I have more energy and I’ve been able to keep active.  I’m sleeping almost as well as I did before pregnancy, I’ve had minimal heartburn and no back issues.  And more importantly, I’m enjoying the pregnancy and don’t feel self conscious or bad about my changing body.  I’m hoping this is all gearing me up to the birth I want, and of course a healthy baby!

Life According to MrsShilts
My Petit Canard
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little loves [ chocolate, jake gyllenhaal + hypnobirthing ]


Friday has caught me off guard a bit this week – the days felt as if they were dragging and then all of a sudden here we are nearly at the weekend.  It’s been a bit of a strange week for me anyway, where I’ve alternated between days where I’ve felt I could conquer the world and others where I felt as if I was trying to run through treacle.  The joys of late pregnancy!

But Friday means time to reflect on what has brightened my days this week, and there has been a lot.



The teenager was in a swim meet over the weekend (smashing his PB’s as usual), which gave me the chance to get stuck in to The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  I wasn’t sure what to expect of this, as the title sounds quite chick-lit-y and I’d rather read the contents of my own bowel than chick-lit.  But it had been passed on to me by a friend, who happens to be the only hipster I know, so I was pretty sure I was safe.

This book had me from the start, I was crying by page 13, and the story blew me away.  Told mainly through the eyes of a 14 year old American girl and a 80 year old Polish Holocaust survivor who don’t know one another, it centres on a book written about a woman the man spent his life loving and whom the girl had been named after.  It’s part coming-of-age, part mystery, part beautifully written gorgeousness and it is now one of my favourite books.



We watched the very dark, very sexy Nocturnal Animals at the weekend.  I’ll watch anything with Jake Gyllenhaal in it (because he’s a brilliant actor.  It’s got nothing to do with his puppy dog baby blues or his dimples or his mouth or those pecs…I’m not that shallow, it’s all about the acting for me), but it helps when the story is gripping and the rest of the cast are on point too.  Loved it!



…lots of lush music, as I’m starting to make up a couple of playlists for the birth.  I love nothing more than making a playlist, its my favourite part of organising an event – our wedding one was a bloody masterpiece and our Christmas one is flawless.  For labour and birth I’ve got a very chilled mix and one with a bit of tempo, and I’ve loved digging up some great tracks.  Elbow, Zero 7 (and lots more Sia), Jose Gonzalez, Jeff Buckley, Coldplay, The Weekend, James Bay, Semisonic, Kygo…I’ve been down memory lane and right back up to date.  I’ll probably do a post on them when they’re done.



…Easter egg hunts!  Considering we don’t really *do* Easter…we really *did* Easter this year.  Because the four year old was having a friend over I kind of felt we should do something, so I bought cheap plastic eggs off Amazon, filled them with sweets and then hid them around the house.  They had a great time just barging around finding them, and then shared their sweets at the end.

I’d forgotten that I’d bought a egg hunt pack from Asda too though, so decided to up my game a little by setting up a hunt with clues that the teenager could help his brother solve.  I loved watching the wee one excitedly solving the clues and hearing his squeals of joy when he found an egg!

And as if that wasn’t enough hunting, we also went to Bannockburn to do the Cadbury and National Trust Scotland Easter hunt.  We’d never been, so it was nice to learn about our history whilst hunting for clues, and the four year old even got to dress up like a knight!

We do one of these every year, as it’s a great way to get out of the house (away from the hot cross buns and chocolate!) and get the kids active whilst having fun.  Because the egg hunts are usually done in the grounds of a NTS site rather than in the castle/house itself you don’t pay the usual admission fee, so it’s a cheap way to see some new places.  The first time we did one back when the teenager was little, we ended up signing up for a family membership to National Trust Scotland.  Now that our youngest is a bit older, we’re tempted to sign up for another.  And the hunts are good because they’re more about solving the clues than chocolate, though there is the prize of an egg (or this year, a wee bunny) if you get them all right.  Look out for them next year!



I’ve had to admit defeat and hang up my glow sticks until I can go back to Clubbercise after this baby is born, so I’ve switched my cardio hit from dancing to swimming.  I blogged about why I love swimming when pregnant, and churned out 50 lengths this morning.  This involves wearing The World’s Most Hideous Swim Suit™ but thankfully the only other people in the pool at that time in the morning are oldies who I’m pretty sure can’t see me through their goggles anyway!


And lastly…

I’ve started a Hypnobirth course, via my gorgeous friend who happens to be a midwife.  It’s already made me feel more relaxed about my pregnancy, let alone the birth, and I’m really enjoying it.  I need to blog about my birth plans, and I’d love it if anyone can suggest some bloggers to follow who had a home birth, a water birth or a Hypnobirth so I can have a nosy at their experiences!


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meal planning monday

I’m pleased to report that after facing up to falling off the wagon last week, I had a really good week.  Apart from missing Clubbercise on Tuesday because I was knackered, I managed to achieve all my other fitness commitments.  And my eating was on point right up until yesterday where Easter did get the better of me.  I still managed to lose all the weight I’d put on during my indulgent previous week, and I now feel like I’m back on an even keel.

Our favourite dish last week was the Thai salmon with jasmine rice, which I’m not surprised about as we’ve loved that one for years.  I got a few comments on the blog about it too so I’ll be sharing the recipe later in the week.  The Jamaican chicken was lush too.  I was disappointed with the Spanish chicken, it must have been a different recipe to one I’ve used in the past and so there wasn’t much sauce to speak of.  It was still nice, but not as I’d hoped.

I’d said I was going to shake up my snacking too, after realising I’d fallen for the SlimmingWorld Muller Light brainwash.  So I cut them out this week and made sweet potato hummus instead…what a game changer!  Check out the recipe over at Slimming Eats.  I’ve also had frozen grapes and used my healthy extras for Grape Nuts with almond milk, which I am now addicted to!

So I’m sticking to my new snacking, keeping my focus now I’m back on track so all that remains to be asked is…what are we eating this week?


Stuffed chicken breasts

For dinner tonight I stuffed chicken breasts with feta and wrapped them with bacon…lush, served with corn on the cob, spinach and broccoli.


Bean chilli

I love pulses! And this is a quick cook, ideal if I’m trying to get out the door for Clubbercise. I’ll serve it with sweet potato wedges and green beans.



I know this is traditionally a breakfast dish, but I don’t think I could eat it at that time of day! Dinnertime though, and I could eat piles of it. I’ll serve it with peas and spinach.


Sticky Chinese pork

Pork is my favourite meat, and I love it with oriental flavours. I’ll serve with pak choi and mangetout.


Lamb tagine

This is one of my favourites. I’ve mentioned before my love of Moroccan flavours, and whilst I’ve never nailed the spices to be as delicious as those we had on our honeymoon I think this tagine does come close. I serve it with roasted vegetable couscous.


Meal at my parents

We’ll be meeting my brother’s girlfriend for the first time, as they are travelling up from London, so my mum is making dinner. No doubt there will be an over the top starter, lamb for main and multiple desserts…blowing my healthy efforts but worth it!


Shepherds Pie

A bit of a lazy Sunday dinner this week, but I know it will go down well. I’ll be using pork mince, for my in-laws – one doesn’t like beef and the other is allergic to lamb! I’ll serve it with tons of veggies.

Chocolate puddings

I can’t remember the last time I made a chocolate dessert, and these are small enough to be indulgent without being over the top. Dark chocolate too, so I can kid myself that it’s almost healthy!


If any of my meals inspire you, let me know and I’ll share the recipe next week!


Hijacked By Twins

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why i love swimming when pregnant


Last weekend Hubs and I look our youngest to the pool.  I was ashamed to realise how long it’s been since we took him…it was only the second time we’ve been this year, lets put it that way!

It’s funny the difference between my two boys.  The teenager is a competitive swimmer and at his brother’s age was already competent and fearless in the water.  But the four year old point blank refuses to do much more than walk around the splash pool.  And it isn’t because he doesn’t go often enough, as my parents take him most weeks and he did a block of lessons with the nursery at the end of last year.  But despite seeing some of his friends swimming, and us pleading with him, he would only hold on to the side and kick his legs just long enough to prove he could do it.  I don’t know if it’s fear or stubbornness, but I’m hoping the next block of lessons he’s about to start will build his confidence. He’s going to look a little silly if he’s still hanging out in the baby pool by the time puberty hits!

I was just happy to be in the water.  Well, I say happy…as happy as I could manage whilst wearing the world’s most unflattering item of clothing.  Me and swimsuits haven’t ever got on, but my maternity swimsuit is beyond disgusting.  It’s a throwback to my first pregnancy, so at over 15 years old it’s the oldest item in my wardrobe.  Quite frankly it makes me look like a bunch of deflating beach balls shoved into a shapeless sack, but I’ve had such a drama with maternity clothes as it is that I didn’t have the energy (or budget) to add swimwear to the shitstorm.  Mind you, I regretted that decision as soon as I was faced with the walk of shame between the changing room and pool, and even more so when I had to make the walk back to the splash pool after swimming lengths to find Hubs had struck up conversation with a skinny mum in a bikini…

Hurt pride aside, it was good to be swimming again.  I’ve always loved swimming – it was the only sport I would bother with as a kid, and I was always pretty good at it.  As an adult I’ve not been able to make regular time to get to the pool, but I always make sure I do a few lengths whenever we do take the kids.  I did the Great Scottish Swim in Loch Lomond a few years ago where I found a love of open water swimming too (and a wetsuit is so much more flattering than most cozzies!).

I’ve always made a point of swimming in my pregnancies, even in my first where I was obese and vastly out of shape.  Especially at the end of pregnancy, when maternity leave kicks in and I’ve had a little bit of time for myself before my new baby arrives, I’ve been known to swim numerous times a week.  No wonder I’m planning a pool birth this time around!


Why I love swimming in pregnancy

  • I find there’s something about the support water gives my pregnant body that makes me feel normal and human again.  Suddenly I don’t feel so heavy, and I get my freedom of movement back.
  • Being in the water also helps to give me a break from any aches and pains – they just melt away.
  • It’s also great for helping to avoid collecting more of those aches and pains, as it’s a low impact form of exercise.
  • I find it quiets my mind – once I get into the rhythm of movement and breath it’s almost like meditating.
  • I always think it prepares me for birth too – building stamina to get me through labour, and reminding me how to control and focus my breathing.
  • I’ve been able to keep swimming right up until my due date before, which isn’t always possible with many other forms of exercise.

Keeping safe whilst swimming

I’m not an expert, and of course you should always check with your midwife if you are unsure whether swimming is for you, but I have picked up a few helpful tips to make sure I’m safe in the pool when pregnant:

  • Bring a bottle of water.  I drink tons when I’m doing any sort of exercise, but it can be easy to forget about dehydration when you’re soaking wet!
  • Be mindful of overheating.  This is something we are warned about when pregnant, but it’s harder to assess when you feel as if the water is keeping you cool.  Don’t over exert yourself.
  • Breaststroke is probably the best stroke to use.  It’s good for your back as you don’t twist as much as you would in front crawl.  It  also avoids you being on your back, which even in the supportive environment of water can still put pressure on vital blood vessels.  Just be mindful if you suffer SPD, as the leg movement may not be the best option.  In my last pregnancy I switched to a more crawl-style of kick, or focused on using mainly my upper body.
  • Use flip flops or at least hold on to hand rails when walking around the pool area.  A slip or fall is never nice, but in pregnancy you need to be extra careful.


I’m getting a bit too tired come the end of the day to make it to my weekly Clubbercise class, so I’m thinking now is the time to add swimming into my fitness plan.  I wish more than anything there were Aquanatal classes near me, as I think they’d be a great thing to get into, but I’m happy enough churning out the lengths.  Even in my nasty swimsuit.

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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#littleloves [ toni morrison, nearly naked feet + a cute food diary ]

I love that Friday has come around again.  Plus, I have a three day weekend ahead of me once I finish up tonight.  Admittedly that weekend does contain a play date, a kid’s birthday party and a swim meet, so neither restful nor my idea of bliss, but at least it doesn’t include work and takes me one step closer to maternity leave.  I’m now past the 30 week mark!

After all the fun of London and Legoland last week, this has been a routine and not very exciting seven days.  But that isn’t to say there haven’t been some highlights, so check out what Little Loves have brightened my days this week…



I got stuck into Beloved as I mentioned last week, and wow…what a harrowing story.  I’ll admit to not having read a lot of stories based around the slave trade or black rights in the American south, particularly not those told from the perspective of a person of colour.  I’ve read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, but Beloved is from an earlier time period and from a non-white perspective and was a real eye opener for me.  The core story about the events leading up to the murder of a child and the subsequent haunting kept me turning the page, and though it was a difficult read I’m glad I made it through.

Blog-wise I’ve read some great posts this week, like this vintage post by Mum Muddling Through about being a non-selfie blogger.  It struck a chord with me as I’ve taken a semi-anonymous stance with this blog.  I’m not trying to conceal myself from anyone reading, but to conceal my blog from people in my real life.  I had a blog before, but found that once I shared it with friends and family I started censoring myself.  There will be the odd image of me and the kids on here, but I suppose I’m hoping my words rather than my photos will give my blog character so that I can keep life and blogging a bit more separate this time around.



We’ve hit a lull in our real-time viewing, so have returned to Homeland (season 5).  I’d forgotten just how good it is – I’m easily distracted by my tablet, but with Homeland I definitely put it down!  I love how Saul just cuts through people’s bullshit and says what needs to be said, I think everyone needs a Saul in their lives.  I know I’d love him to just follow me around and point out where I’m fucking up.  Warning: lots of f-bombs in the following video…

We also watched the Channel 5 documentary about the London Underground, which I’m aware makes me sound painfully hip.  But coming from Glasgow where our tube map is a simple circle, I am always in awe of the London one.  Top moment was the massive vacuum cleaner they put the trains into, and the amount of dirt that gets sucked out *boak*  Now Hubs understands my fear of public transport headrests (one of my many crazy dirt-phobic issues).



The worst line in a song ever, courtesy of All Time Low’s Dirty Laundry – “dirty laundry looks good on you.”  Um, since when did crusty undercrackers become a turn on?   Innuendo fail.



Plans for winding down for maternity leave!  Hells yes.  Five and a half weeks to go, and I’ve managed to sneak in a day of annual leave most of those weeks to cut my knackered, heavy, strained body some slack as I slog through the final stages of growing our latest addition.

Oh, and this amazing roasted sweet potato hummus courtesy of Slimming Eats.



Excuse the blinding white of my feet, but I wore my first flat pumps of the year (which ripped my heels open…thank you Primark), as I’ve had to retire my boots. Not because of the weather – which doesn’t seem to be able to make up its mind if we’re having spring or not this year – but because I literally can’t bend over to do the damn things up any more.


And lastly…

After spectacularly falling off the healthy eating wagon whilst we were away in London, I ordered this adorable food diary from Fox and Moon to get me back on track.  If you’re a dieter and use Instagram, this is probably not news to you – I know my feed is flooded with pictures of their range.  But you can get a diary to suit either SlimmingWorld or Weight Watchers, and I got one specifically for those of us trying not to eat for two.  I love it, and it’s helped me pull myself together this week.



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my pregnancy at 30 weeks


So that’s me through my 30th week of pregnancy, and I’ve been pretty crap at keeping any sort of record.  With my teenager I kept a journal for most of the time, and with my four year old I took a bump pic each week.  This time around, nada.  I had a pregnancy book which I bought last time and never got round to filling in, so I figured I’d use it this time around.  But when I sat down to do it, I wasn’t crazy about a lot of the sections…it felt too forced.  I want to make some sort of effort though, given that this is going to be the last time I manufacture a tiny human.

And would you look at this – now I have a blog to do it in.

I warn you now though, I’m no earth mother who thinks the miracle of pregnancy is a wonder to meditate upon.  I’m basically a cranky bitch, and I’m quite looking forward to getting to the finish line.  But I’ll try to sprinkle in some positives…


Pregnancy so far…

  • No morning sickness, lucky me…but weeks of feeling like a burst sofa.  A nauseated, exhausted burst sofa.
  • Feeling movement from 15 weeks, and getting an extra 20 week scan because this baby appears to be as stubborn as my others.
  • The heartbreak of being told that this baby had a very high risk of having Down’s Syndrome.  We decided to have an amnio to find out for certain, and that is not an experience I would want to go through again.  We spent Christmas in limbo awaiting the results which, given how high the risk factor was, we were certain would confirm the diagnosis.  We dragged ourselves through the festive period trying to be positive for the kids, and breathed a sigh of relief in January to find that the results were “normal.”
  •  We also found out from those results that we were having our 3rd boy.  This was something I had to digest, because as much as I love being a mum of boys it does mean I will never have a daughter.
  • I’ve been given a lot of compliments about my bump this time around, which is a new experience for me.  I’ve struggled with being so visible, but the nice comments have at least helped a lot when faced with dickheads who call pregnant women “huge”


Body at 30 weeks

  • I’ve been feeling very front heavy in the past few weeks.  Bending over is a mission.  I’m struggling to do up my shoes and I have that moment of contemplation every time I drop something – do I really need it back off the floor?
  • My bump has more aches and pains than an old hypochondriac.  I am in a constant state of discomfort tinged with paranoia, not helped by the shortness of breath that kicked in this week.
  • I’m pretty sure that maternity bras have wrecked my boobs, so I’ve reverted back to my underwired ones in a desperate attempt to halt any further southward-bound migration.
  • My nails looks like crap, but my hair can go for days without needing a shampoo.  For the first time in my life I’m not scheduling my week around hair washing!
  • Minimal sciatica, only occasional heartburn and my back seems to be holding out…winwinwin.

Mind at 30 weeks

  • Emotional outburst-wise I’m doing ok…as long as you ignore the fact that I cried in the swimming pool at the weekend because Hubs spoke to a skinny tattooed mum in a bikini while I did some lengths,  looking like a whale in the worlds least flattering maternity swimsuit.
  • I’m feeling guilty at work – they will not be covering my leave, so my manager will have to do two jobs while I’m gone.  I can’t help feeling responsible for any pressure this will put on her.
  • That said, I am so excited about my maternity leave.  What’s not to look forward to – getting the best part of a year with my new baby and to be a proper mum to my boys?  I can’t wait!
  • But then I think…how will I cope with three kids by myself all summer holiday?!

Baby at 30 weeks

  • This boy can move!  I’m pretty sure he’s can-can dancing in there at times, and he particularly likes sticking what feels like a foot into my right side so forcefully I can actually feel the shape.  I’ll be honest, I find it quite creepy!  I’m ok with regular movements (except when he kicks me in the cervix…thanks wee man), but identifiable body parts give me a touch of the heebie-jeebies.
  • Still no name.  After two boys the inspiration well is dry.  All I know is that with two boys whose names start with R, I can’t have another one with that initial or it will start looking like a thing.  We have some names floating about, but I think this will be my first baby who isn’t named until after his birth.  Quite a while after!
  • Teenager is not very interested in the pregnancy itself, but I know he’s looking forward to another baby in the house as he’s such a good big brother to the four year old.  And four year old is still very positive about becoming a big brother, occasionally hugging and kissing my bump.  I’m still certain that reality will hit our spoiled little attention seeker quite hard when the time comes, so I’m building a bomb shelter out the back to hide in.

Fuel, Fitness & Rest

  • Oh my god, all I did last week was eat.  This has been the first week since January where I’ve felt out of control, and I’m scared to step on the scales.  I’m also feeling guilty about the quality of what I’ve eaten – Greggs, MacDonald’s, cake, chocolate and pizza have all featured.  Not exactly the nutritious start I’ve been trying to provide!
  • I hit the wall at about 2pm each day, and could easily mimic the sleeping habits of a teenage boy if I didn’t have to adult all the bloody time.
  • My sleep is generally good though, when the four year old complies.  I invested in a body pillow this time around, who Hubs and I have named Pierre as it is like having a third person in bed with us.  But after our nights in London without him, I know Pierre is helping me get a decent rest.  I still wake for the loo and to change position, but getting back to sleep is a doddle.
  • Apart from a lot of walking in London and 10 lengths of the pool at the weekend, my exercise this week has been non-existent.  I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine next week, and I think I’ll still manage my Clubbercise class for another few weeks…maybe.


I don’t have anything to update about purchases yet, because apart from picking up some cute outfits we haven’t really done much.  The upside with another boy is that he will be cheap to run – we didn’t chuck anything out from the last baby, and I dug out our lovely blue Babystyle Oyster from the garage last weekend to find that it’s in pretty great nick…I just need to find where we put the carrycot!  So no names, no goodies…hitting the big 3-0 is exciting for me, but it doesn’t make for a thrilling update so thanks for reading!

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why does the diet always start on monday?


Honesty is something I need this blog to have at it’s core.  It’s important to be honest with yourself when you’re on a health journey, and it’s important to the ethos of this blog that I don’t pretend to have it all sussed out.  I’m trying to find health on my own terms, and with that comes some wrong turns.  Those slip ups are as much a part of my journey and my blog as the successes.

So I have to ‘fess up – I’ve been off the wagon/plan/radar this past week.  Whether it’s because I don’t deal well with being out of my routine or whether I just used being on holiday as an excuse, I’ve eaten like a crap…and eaten a lot of crap.  I can’t even lie – McDonald’s, Greggs, cakes, chocolate, a big dirty fry-up, pizza, macaroni cheese, doughnuts…all that shit and more has graced my palate in the last seven days.  It was like the healthy switch in my head was flicked to off, and I used that downtime to make bad food choice after bad food choice.

To top it off, I also ignored two of my own mantras – don’t skip weigh-in just because you’ve had a bad week, and don’t wait until Monday, get back on track with your very next meal.  I skipped SlimmingWorld on Thursday, and it’s only now that I’m drawing a line under my gluttony.

I’m trying not to beat myself up about it.  After all, I could have been spending my whole pregnancy eating like that and piled on weight like I have in the past, so one bad week isn’t the end of the world.  But I am angry at myself for undoing some of my good work – I stepped on the scales and it looks as if I’ve gained about 4lbs this week.

Still, I can’t turn back time so I just need to look forward.  And that begins with a meal plan and some exercise commitments.  Exercise-wise I’ve done a body weight and stretch session today. If I’m not too knackered after work tomorrow I’ll do a (gentle!) Clubbercise class, and then try to fit in another body weight session when I’m working at home on Thursday.  Hopefully I’ll fit in a session with weights and a yoga dvd over the weekend too, but we’re going to Stirling on Saturday and our youngest is having a friend round on Sunday so I wont hold my breath.  

And you can read on to see our meal plan…

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#littleloves [ legoland, yellow ponchos + making memories ]


We have been making the most of the spring holidays this week, and spent a few days in London on a sort of family baby-moon.  Legoland was our main destination, but we managed to cram in a fair bit in three days.  So that’s why there’s been some radio silence on the blog this week, and why most of my Little Loves today will have a bit of a theme!

Legoland was really great, and I might do a blog post on that alone.  I had been a bit worried how a 30 week pregnant woman would cope with a theme park, but we had an amazing day.  I coped well with the whole trip actually, even though we clocked up over 8 miles on foot each day, so I’m very proud of myself.

Little Loves focuses on the small touches that have made the past week sparkle, and there have been quite a few so lets get started…


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what i hate about slimmingworld


So, as I’ve mentioned, I’m cheating on Weight Watchers with SlimmingWorld as SW is the only group you can attend when pregnant.  And it’s working for me (or at least my take on it is) – my pregnancy weight gain since starting in January when I was 18 weeks is just 2.5lbs.  But jeezo…there are some things about it that really twist my melons.  SW, how do I hate thee?  Let me count the ways…



It is the terminology that I have an issue with here, rather than the concept that if you want to add foods to your diet that have a higher fat/sugar/calorie content then you should do so in moderation.  When you struggle with your weight it is pretty much always because you have a broken relationship with food.  Part of losing weight and getting healthy should be to heal that relationship…so someone tell me how that is ever going to be possible when you are being brainwashed into considering certain foods as sinful/bad/naughty on a daily basis?


Body Magic

On the topic of terminology…what the actual fuck?  I am not a child, I don’t need something sugar coated for me.  Exercise is not a dirty word, though I totally appreciate that for a lot of people who end up through the doors of SlimmingWorld it isn’t one they are comfortable with.  But disguising it by giving it the My Little Pony treatment is not helpful.  Activity, movement, fitness and  e x e r c i s e  should be part of the new healthy lifestyle people are adopting as part of their weight loss efforts, so please treat people like adults and discuss it openly.


Free Foods

I swithered over including this, as I’m starting to sound like a vocab fanatic.  But no food is without consequence.  Although bloody difficult, you could still gain weight eating just veggies if you consistently ate more calories-worth of them than you actually required.  And that would be even easier to do with many foods SW class as free – pasta, rice and meat are foods which need an element of portion control that SW just doesn’t promote.  And don’t even get me started on sugar-laden Muller Lights making into the “free” category…


Muller Lights

Actually, do let me get started.  How is something which is effectively a sweetie make it way on a list which basically suggests it’s on par with an apple?  Someone got a nice backhander when they wangled that particular product placement…


HExB and the Hi Fi Bar

And on the issue of product placement, can we just stop and smell the bullshit surrounding SlimmingWorld’s own Hi Fi bars?  You can have two of these as a “healthy extra” despite the fact that in doing so you’ll be eating half your maximum recommended daily sugar intake in one sitting.  But apparently that’s equal to having just 40g of porridge oats.  Ok then…


Unrealistic Weight Targets

There is a reason that “up to 2lbs per week” is often quoted as the best rate to lose weight at.  You may lose more than that in the first few weeks of a change to your diet, or if you have a lot to lose, but to shed more than that on a regular basis requires you to reduce your calorie intake more.  And less food takes you into deprivation territory which is not sustainable for long term success.  And yet every. bloody. week I see people being encouraged to set their sights on a 4lb loss, and being commiserated with (by the group leader) for losing “just 1lb.”  This is setting people up to be unhealthy, fail or both.  I could literally write a whole blog post on this alone…and maybe I will.



I think this is my biggest disappointment with SlimmingWorld, and could also be a blog post of its own. For me, it is the weekly coaching and education you get from your class/group/meeting that creates success. Or at least it was with Weight Watchers…the SlimmingWorld sessions are just a drain.  There never seems to be a topic focus, and regardless of whether you’ve lost or gained, everyone gets to hear how you performed at the scales.  Whether you learn anything from other members or waste your evening listening to Betty having a whinge about how she put on weight is just the luck of the draw.  Not really worth £4.95 a week.



So…what do I like?  It’s a short list – stepping on the scales each week to keep me accountable, not having to deal with a lot of numbers as most of what I eat is “free” and um…the woman who runs my class is quite nice?  Oops, not quite the positive note I hoped to end on!


Do you do SlimmingWorld?  I’d love to hear if you agree with me or if you think I’m just being a bitch, so drop me a comment!

Life According to MrsShilts
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