weekly menu + health update

 

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared a meal plan…mainly because Hubs was working away and as the kids get fed by their grandparents when I’m at work I didn’t really have any motivation to cook just for myself.  I did make a plan last week, which we stuck to for the most part, but I do still feel that I’ve been way off track.

As a rule, I have the same thing for breakfast every day (either porridge or overnight oats made with water and fromage frais, or Grapenuts and almond milk, all with a banana chopped over the top), lunch is always leftovers from dinner the night before (or a salad with couscous and either mackerel or egg), and our dinners are always healthy.  So meals are not my sticking point.

It’s the eating between meals that scuppers me, and I  have struggled to keep myself on a healthy course these past few weeks.  Its been a combination of lack of planning, lack of motivation and just plain greed.  If there’s been food available, I’ve eaten it.  I was thrown a surprise baby shower this weekend too, and the amount of cakes we’ve been left with is crazy.  Sure, I could chuck them out…but I’ve been conditioned never to waste food and basically I want to eat them.

But I’ve seen the impact on the scales, and whilst I can kid myself on that it’s all baby weight I know deep down that I’ve probably gained more than the wee fella has!  This week needs to be one of focusing on moderation and giving my baby the food he really needs, rather than the goodies that mummy wants.  So I’m having a clear out this morning to get rid of any remaining tempting-but-unhelpful treats, and giving myself a stern talking to.  Snack-wise, I’m going back to my fruit and natural yogurt, and I’m going to have these SlimmingWorld oat cookies (recipe by Kate @ WitWitWoo) as my evening snack.  I made them a few weeks ago with some added spices, but I’m going to keep trying to tweak them.  I know they’ll never be the real biscuit deal, but if I can make them interesting enough to enjoy with a cuppa that’s fine by me!

So, what’s on our dinner menu this week?…

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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
Twin Mummy and Daddy
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beef goulash recipe

When I linked up to #MealPlanningMonday last week, there was some interest in the beef goulash I’d picked as one of our dishes. I thought I would share the recipe here, as it was really delicious and very simple.  Maybe it’s because I have a smidgen of Hungarian blood in me, or maybe it’s just because Hubs and I had a great holiday in Budapest many moons ago, but I do love this dish!

The original recipe is a Hairy Bikers one, taken from their Hairy Dieters Eat For Life book.  This is one of my most used cook books, and definitely my favourite of all the Hairy Bikers books I own.  I would recommend you add it to your collection, and it’s equally a good book to start with if you’re new to cooking.

This is great on the day of making, but it also freezes well.  It has a long cooking time though so it’s not ideal if you’re starving and need something now, but it would work well in a slow cooker.

This recipe requires a casserole dish, but if like me you don’t have one you can either use any pan that can be put in the oven, or use a pan on the hob and then transfer to an oven dish when the time comes.  I just use a ceramic pan I can use on the hob and in the oven and cover it with a foil lid.

So, on with the recipe…

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25 weeks pregnant + having an affair

Ok, so I have to throw out a confession to the universe.

I am 25 weeks pregnant and I’m cheating…on my weight loss programme.

And when I say cheating, I don’t mean like scoffing chocolate cake in that blindspot straight after weigh-in, or “forgetting” to write down the gruesome truth of what I actually ate over the weekend.  I don’t even mean hiding behind that old “eating for two” excuse I could so easily fall back on in my knocked-up state.  Because anyone who has ever tried to lose weight will know that the only person you’re cheating on with those sorts of indiscretions is yourself.

When I say cheating, I mean I’ve switched to a major competitor of the programme that I was once loyal to.

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