“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz
Keep Calm and Eat Chocolate
The cravings for an endless decadent chocolate binge this week were merciless. Indeed some days I was practically feral in my desire to flounce on to the couch with a few slabs of rich melt-in-the-mouth chocolate, to munch my way through it in comfort while watching a movie and wiggling my toes. I couldn’t seem to shake off the urge to break out and be wholesale dangerous so had to come up with a plan. Every evening I would always have an Options hot chocolate so decided to buy one of those Cadbury Dairy Milk Little Bars to dip into the hot chocolate. It was divine and took the edge off. Despite having one every single evening for the entire week, I still had to fight off the urge to roll up my sleeves and gorge on a vat load of chocolate. It felt like I would have willingly chomped my way through a brick wall to get near some during the day as I was making myself wait until night time when I could have a Little Bar dipped in my hot chocolate. I was a bit contrary too I think with the restraint, trying to keep myself in check and not fall off into the abyss and not be seen for days while busy chomping away to my heart’s delight. Thankfully I resisted to go off radar on a binge and having a nightly taste helped keep me on track and in line.
My enthusiasm for exercise this week left a lot to be desired. I was all fired up on Monday and motored on over to Tinahely to Hannah’s studio for an hour of resistance work and cardio. I was mangled two minutes into the warm up but stayed going like everyone else nevertheless. My mind wandered with distractions, “Ok, you’re right beside the door, you can make a run for it NOW!” or “God I’ve the perfect figure for these Sumo-Squats!” Getting a Monday morning workout in is a magnificent start to the week, both mentally and physically. On Wednesday morning after my shower I got straight back in to my pyjamas by accident, that was how enthusiastic I was about going for a run. I didn’t cop until I was tying up the laces of my runners and only then noticed my furry leg. When I did get out to the pitch I was still feeling mighty reluctant and even parked my car backwards in protest so I wouldn’t have to be looking at where I was supposed to be running. My sister Emma was texting me “GET OUT OF THE CAR!!!”. I was responding “NO!” with a big thick head on me. Eventually, after arguing with myself for an age I went to start my Garmin and discovered I hadn’t even strapped it on. I’d also forgotten my mp3 player and my phone suddenly died. The contrariness was rising, a perfect opportunity to just pack it in right there and then. I decided to just jump out of the car and just get it done. It is moments like these that will see me either retreating to old behaviour and therefore getting the same results or forging ahead with new behaviour which will ensure I consistently make progress and therefore choose to gift to myself incredible results. I didn’t want to go back to where I used to be so I decided to get out of the car and I ran.
For the first time in years I can now again fit into pyjamas!!! I was sorting out clothes recently and came across a pair that I had only worn once as the top was so tight it felt like a straight-jacket. I eyed it up speculatively for a bit, decided to take a chance and tried it on. The top glided on over my head and I could pull it down over my stomach no bother. It fitted and it wasn’t restricting my ability to breathe!!! I couldn’t believe it! And I quite fancied that the bottoms may have been TOO big. This may seem like such a small trivial thing but it was massive progress for me. I’d say for nearly 7 years I have had to wear leggings and big shapeless t-shirts to bed and now here I was swanning around in an actual real pyjamas! I was ecstatic and kept turning around in front of the mirror and eying myself up. I petted myself then on Friday by buying a brand new pair for myself. (If my Kris Kringle for this Christmas is reading this please note that new pyjamas would be a glorious and most appreciated gift!) What I am most thrilled about is that when myself and my boys go shopping for Christmas pyjamas this year that Mammy can get a pair too! This makes me so happy and the chaps are made up. Success!
Clothes have become more fun lately now that I have dropped over 3 stone. I was walking back to the car one morning recently and bizarrely I felt my hips, which I had thought were dead for years, take on a life of their own and they started to strut and swagger!!! LOL! And all because I was wearing JEANS for the first time again in years, my favourite hippy flared ones!! They couldn’t help themselves, my hips were alive and they wanted out! I had to reign them in somewhat as even though they were delighted to be taken out for a prance and glide they were still size 20 hips so I subdued the swagger out in public and did not lose the run of myself altogether! (I did go home and saunter up and down the hallway though.) 🙂
My Weight Loss Update
I have lost a glorious 5lbs this week, bringing my weight loss to 3 stone 2lbs over 17 weeks. I’m delighted that despite having woeful chocolate cravings and allowing myself a planned small bar every evening that I still made progress and dropped the pounds. Only 89lbs to go!!
Please find below a selection of the delicious meals this week that have helped keep me on track and my interest piqued! Enjoy!
I had forgotten how much I love this dish. I’d love to say I made the teriyaki marinade from scratch but no, it’s shop bought, convenience winning the day sometimes! This meal came to 432 calories.
Ingredients (serves 1)
- 1 boneless salmon fillet
- 1 tbsp Teriyaki marinade & sauce
- 140g baby potatoes
- 3 or 4 asparagus spears
- 3 brussels sprouts
- 1 tsp real butter
- Place salmon fillet in a bowl with 1tbsp of teriyaki marinade, turning the fillet flesh side down. Cover and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6/200 C. Place potatoes and vegetables on to boil about 10 minutes before you take the salmon from the fridge.
- Place salmon onto baking tray, skin side down. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the fish starts to char slightly around the edges.
- Serve up on warmed plate with the real butter to enjoy with the spuds!
Cheesy Baked Potatoes
This is the way my Mam used to serve up baked potatoes to us as children and we absolutely loved it! My Mam is one of those who may only have an onion, a potato, some cheese and half a tomato but who can make up something mouthwatering and different every time. The baked potato I used for this meal was massive, 300g, so your calories will vary depending on what size potato you use, how much baked beans you serve etc. This meal came to 538 calories. I was only going to have half the potato but it was a hungry day in our house so the lot was scoffed and because I’d been keeping my food diary updated I could make informed choices and still remain within my calorie allowance. My chaps also loved this which was a bonus as I’m always trying to keep their meals interesting and tasty. They are not mad on the rocket though and not a prayer of them eating a tomato!
- 1 baking potato
- Olive oil spray
- pinch of sea salt
- 8g real butter
- 20g slice of reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated
- 20g half fat creme fraiche
- half tsp onion granules
- 60g baked beans
- 1 Denny gammon steak
- 25g fresh pineapple
- 2 cherry tomatoes
- handful of rocket
- Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6/200 C. Prick the potato all over with a fork. Rub the potato all over with a couple of sprays of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Place directly on rack in oven and bake for 1 hour or until fork can be inserted easily.
- Grill gammon steak, just takes a few minutes, then place on a baking tray with chopped fresh pineapple on top.
- Cut potato in half length ways and carefully scoop out the cooked potato, making sure to leave a little on the sides so that the skin still holds it shape and doesn’t collapse. In a bowl mash together the potato, butter, half the grated cheese, the creme fraiche, and onion granules. Spoon back into the potato skins and top with remaining grated cheese. Place on the baking tray with the gammon steak and pineapple and place back in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the pineapple is heated through.
- Serve with salad of rocket and tomato, pouring heated baked beans over the cheesy baked potatoes. Yum!
Pitta Bread Pizza
This is another favourite in our house and very simple to pull together. If I was preparing this meal just for myself I would add herbs and spices to the potatoes while cooking but seeing as this was a family meal, I just used basic salt and pepper to season as the minute my boyos would see or taste any herbs on their roasties or homemade chips they would just wag their heads silently and push the plate away! This meal came to 378 calories.
- 1 wholemeal pitta bread
- 1tbsp reduced fat green pesto
- 2tbsp passata
- 1 slice red onion, chopped
- 2 button mushrooms, sliced
- 15g fresh pineapple, chopped
- 2 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 20g reduced fat cheddar, grated
- 2 slices cucumber
- 110g potato, cut into roughly same size chunks
- Olive oil spray
- green pitted olives
- handful of salad leaves
- Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5/190 C. Spray potato chunks with olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and mix up with your hands to evenly coat. Spread out on baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes are beginning to golden in colour. During cooking, turn the potatoes about to ensure they cook evenly and spray a little more olive oil if they need it.
- About 10-12 minutes before the potatoes are ready, place the pitta bread under the grill, turning once, for a few minutes just to heat it up and to separate the two sides of it which makes it easier to slice it open. Carefully slice the pitta bread open into two halves. Spoon the passata on one half. Top with mushrooms, pineapple, red onion and half the grated cheese. Spoon the green pesto on the other half and top with the tomato, red onion and remaining cheese. Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are ready.
- Plate up with the salad leaves, olives and cucumber. Enjoy!
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