Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Zumba Blogger Ambassador- Month 2 Update

A whole month has passed since I last blogged about my Zumba experience, so I thought I needed to give a bit of an update!

I have been following the DVDs and really feel as though I have got to grips with the basic steps.  I have seen my fitness coming on leaps and bounds  just by doing 2 45 minute sessions a week.  I only really noticed this when walking to work the other day. I have to traverse a long hill through town which previously would be the death of me.  I walked up it at a normal pace, over took 3 people and didn't feel remotely out of breath or tired when I got to the top!  A great personal achievement! Thanks to Zumba I also got my bronze body magic award for completed at least 45 mins of exercise over 3 days a week for at least four weeks!


The lovely people at Zumba also sent me some new kit this month to help with my work outs.


No pictures of me in it I'm afraid because I still look like a fat lump, and nobody needs to see that!

Zumba Flex Classics "For those who like to flex their moves freely. For those who like to spin, slide, turn, and get a little twisted. For full-on fanatics. For those who crave flexibility, support and comfort for the ultimate Zumba® dance experience. 

• Pointe Toe enhances greater balance and comfort while dancing
• Z-Arch provides maximum support with maximum flexibility.
• Z-Slide lets you slide easily on any surface!" They are super comfortable and fit me perfectly.  The only trainers I had before were my gym ones and they really aren't the best for dancing in!  On top of that these are pink!

So Bootyful Capri "The So Bootyful Capri’s perfect fit fabric lifts what needs to be lifted, and smooths what needs to be smoothed (wink, wink!). Plus, the flared, fold-over waistband creates an incredible silhouette that flatters every body — and every booty!"  When I have these on it does feel as though everything is being held in the right place.  While I will probably never look as good as the model in them, they will at least help me on my way.

Zumba bell bracelets"The Bells of the Ball Bracelets are a cool and colorful combo for the party queens (and kings) in class! Make some noise or sweet music while looking fab in your favorite Zumba® wear styles."  Nothing like a bit of a jingle to help you shake and feel great while doing it!

This month I intend to progress to the DVD where there is no instructions, as I feel that I have learn the routines and can finally keep up with the girls on the screen (although I'm sure I don't looks as good at it as they do!)  I will eventually post a before and after picture!

L x

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Week 11 Weigh In

This has been my most difficult week by far!  I have been ill with a nasty cold all week so all I wanted to do was eat junk!  I have managed to hold of those cravings for the most part, but I stopped syn counting part way through the week because I just felt to rough to care!  After last weekend at the festival I was expecting a gain anyway.  Here are some of the things I ate this week:-

Quark Pasta Bake (review soon)

Chicken Noodle Soup


I got on the scales and to my complete surprise..it was another loss!  Not just a loss, but a loss of 1.2kg (2.6lbs!)! This meant I got my 15kg award!


I am back focused again now that I feel slightly human again!  Hope to maintain this week, or hopefully get another loss!

Loss This Week- 1.2kg (2.6 lbs)

Total Loss So Far- 15.2kg (2.4 stone)

L x

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Review: M&S Adventures in Food - Taste Range

The new M&S Taste range lands in store this month and for Autumn,  They have explored different cultures to capture the best flavours and cuisines. They are offering over 40 new meals, sides and accompaniments to choose from with authentic flavours from Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan.

This sounds amazing to me, and I believe that M&S really know what they are doing when it comes to "ready meals". They gave me a dish from each region to try out for myself.


We started of our journey of cuisines with Vietnam and a Chicken Noodle Pho -Vermicelli rice noodles and fragrant chargrilled chicken with beansprouts & spring onions in an aromatic lemongrass, thai basil, mint, red chilli and coriander broth.  Cooking it couldn't have been easier, just a few mins in the microwave and this delicious dish was ready.  This was truly amazing, perfect balance of spice and sweet and the broth really finished the dish off.   It was packed with flavour and even though it only needed a few mins in the microwave, it could give any takeway a run for its money. You really wouldn't believe that it was a microwave meal!


Next up was Thailand with some Chicken satay skewaers with a peanut and chilli dip- 4 chicken skewers marinated in coconut, galangal and lemongrass.  When I have eaten satay previously I often found the peanut flavour too overpowering, but luckily the balance on these was just right.  The chilli and peanut dip really topped the dish off and made a perfect accompaniment or starter.

Next our tastebuds travelled to Japan for a chicken Katsu curry- Katsu breaded chicken with ginger & garlic rice with an aromatic curry sauce.   This was lovely and the perfect portion for 1 person.  Again it was really easy to prepare just by putting it in the oven.  My only criticism would be that I wanted more of the curry sauce!


Finally we had some Mexican, which is probably my favourite cuisine of all!  I picked one of my true favourites (to cook and to eat) chicken enchiladas. This dish contained 2 flour tortillas filled with shredded chicken, roasted peppers & onions in a sour cream, abado & guajillo chilli sauce, topped with a rich, smoky tomato salsa.  I was very impressed! There was a satisfying amount of filling and lots of flavour.  I just wish there was more of the salsa on top- purely because it tasted so good!

I really recommend this new range and this is just 4 out of the 40 amazing dishes on offer!  I must admit we struggled to choose which dishes we wanted as there was so much choice and variety.  I honestly think that if you served this food to friends there would be no way of them guessing that it was already prepared for you by M&S! Find out more about the M&S food adventures online here

L x

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Slimming World: Syn Free Turkey Lasagne

A tasty twist on the traditional Italian Lasagne.  Packed with free and super free this dish is really good for you, and most importantly tastes amazing.  I used low fat mozzarella as my healthy extra to make this syn free.  This serves enough for two for dinner with leftovers for lunch!


You will need:-


500 g lean turkey mince
1 carrot, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
6 mushrooms, chopped
1 tin baked beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1tsp paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
1 box lasagne sheets
2 large tubs fat free cottage cheese
50g grated mozzarella 
Method:-

In a large frying pan, fry off all the veg until cooked.

Add the turkey mince and cook through, break up any bigger chunks

Add the baked beans and chopped tomatoes and mix through.

Sprinkle in the herbs, paprika, salt & pepper.  Allow to simmer for around 10 mins.  In a medium sized dish layer the turkey mixture then the lasagne sheets.  On top of the lasagne sheets spread the cottage cheese and repeat until all the mixture is used.

Spread the grated mozzarella on the top layer and bake in the oven for around 30 mins, or until the top is golden and the lasagne sheets cooked through.

L x

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Week 10 Weigh In

Now this week has been different from any other since starting Slimming World.  On Wednesday evening the opportunity cam round to go to Bestival...on the Friday!!  24hrs of crazy planning later and we were there!  I made an agreement with myself that I would write off the diet and just enjoy myself, as there were so many other things to stress me out (crowds of people, sleeping in a tent and general poor hygiene!)  Over the weekend I had a few chocolate biscuits, a pizza, a hot dog and a bacon sandwich! On the plus side I did a LOT of dancing, rocking out and walking, so much so that my body ached all over by Saturday night!  I only took pictures of the meals I ate on Monday and Tuesday, so forgive me!


Now I know that weight doesn't instantly go on and that it is probably going to be the next weigh in that it catches up with me, but I was still surprised to see a loss of 1.8kg!!  This meant passing my club 10 target, which is 10% of my body weight gone for ever!



Not only that but I completed my bronze body magic award! To achieve the brinze Body Magic award I had to record 45 minutes of activity each week (over at least 3 days) maintained for 4 weeks.  So with a combination of Aquafit, Zumba and generally walking in and out of work I smashed it!



Loss This Week- 1.8kg (3.9 lbs)

Total Loss So Far- 14kg (2.2 stone)


L x

Slimming World Recipe: Double Bacon Cheese Rosti Burger

This recipe tastes so naughty, but if using the cheese as a healthy extra it is actually syn free!


You will need:-

For the burger:-

1 small onion, finely chopped 
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
2 garlic cloves, crushed 
Bacon, all fat removed
Low fat cheddar cheese

For the Rosti:-

800g Desirée potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 spring onions, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
A small handful of fresh dill, chopped
1 large British Lion egg, lightly beaten

Method:-

Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas 5. Place the potatoes in a clean tea towel. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible, repeat with a fresh tea towel, then place in a mixing bowl and season.
Add the spring onions, garlic, dill and egg. Combine all the ingredients using your hands and divide into four portions.

Place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and spray with low calorie cooking spray. Spoon one portion of potato mixture into the pan and press down with a spatula. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, then transfer to a large non-stick baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining three rösti portions, then cook all four in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile place the mince, onion, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and parsley in a food processor, season well and blend until just combined. Transfer to a bowl and combine the mixture using your hands. Divide into 4 portions and shape each into a thin, flat burger.

Cook on a griddle pan or equivalent until cooked through.

Cook the bacon and place on top of the burgers with the cheese (no more that 35g per person if using as a healthy extra) and put in the oven for a few mins so the cheese to melts.

Stack the burgers inbetween each rosti and serve with a salad or syn free ketchup!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Recipe: Slimming World Potato Rösti

A deliciously light and tasty Slimming World breakfast. A potato rosti is a form of potato pancake and goes so perfectly with a runny poached egg.   I also served it with salad and cooked mushrooms to up my superfree!

You will need:-

800g Desirée potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 spring onions, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
A small handful of fresh dill, chopped
1 large British Lion egg, lightly beaten
Low calorie cooking spray
450g vine cherry tomatoes
For the topping:
2 eggs
150g baby spinach leaves
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

Method:-

Preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C Fan/Gas 5. Place the potatoes in a clean tea towel. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible, repeat with a fresh tea towel, then place in a mixing bowl and season.
Add the spring onions, garlic, dill and egg. Combine all the ingredients using your hands and divide into four portions.

Place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and spray with low calorie cooking spray. Spoon one portion of potato mixture into the pan and press down with a spatula. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, then transfer to a large non-stick baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining three rösti portions, then cook all four in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile, place the tomatoes on a baking tray, spray with low calorie cooking spray and roast for 10-12 minutes.

Bring a large pan of water to a simmer and carefully break each egg into it. Poach over a low heat of 4-5 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on some kitchen paper.
Spray a large, non-stick frying pan with low calorie cooking spray. 

Add the spinach and garlic, then stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until the spinach is just wilted. Season well and remove from the heat.

Place each rösti on a serving plate. Top with spinach, an egg and a sprinkling of black pepper, the serve with the vine tomatoes.

Read the original recipe here

L x