Category Archives: cooking

An (overdue) update about my healthy eating…

I am officially rubbish at blogging, sorry. 

I thought I had better provide an update. I’m still plodding along with my healthy eating; I had a couple of weeks where I stayed the same weight since in those weeks I ate too much cake, basically. However, I haven’t gained once since starting so I see that as a success. Even in my worse weeks I have kept up running and run around about 5k (3.2 miles) about 3 times a week. 

This last week ( I weigh myself on Wednesdays) I lost a pound again. I started at somewhere around 11.12 (I didn’t weigh myself when I started so am guesstimating). Last Wed I weighed 10.8. So I have lost, and plan to continue losing weight. I still don’t really see it – I do a bit,  but not much. I guess that’s because it has been so steady and slow. However, that works best for me as I don’t have enough willpower to never eat anything sweet! 

Craig got me a fitbit about 3 weeks ago (I did talk about them for ages and he eventually got the hint!) and I really find it helpful. It’s making me want to hit my 10,000 steps every day – today I hit my personal best of over 20,000 steps. Generally though if I hit 10 I’m happy. And it helps me to think about my sleep pattern, bpmy heart rate and gives me motivation to be more active. So far so good. 

In myself I am feeling pretty confident overall, and I also feel proud of me and my friends for keeping up running and going on a regular basis. I’m enjoying getting out, finding different routes and just having some time for me which is important. 

I am finding the diet side of things harder. On work days it’s fine – I have a healthy breakfast, then a salad for lunch and something easy for tea. On weekends it doesn’t go quite as well and for me I’m a bit all or nothing about it (which is why weight loss has slowed down). However, I’m getting there, it’s just about continuing to find a balance that works for me.

There is no rush about it. I don’t even really have a ‘goal’ weight. I figure I’ll know when I feel that I’m at the point where I feel good about myself and don’t feel the need to lose anymore. That won’t be anytime soon, I figure I have at least another 3 months at the rate I’m going until I get to that point, although that’s a very rough estimate, But that’s okay. I still feel proud of the journey I have been on and am still on. Since April I have lost just over a stone, have started running and increased what I am doing activity wise, I’ve reduced my sugar intake by quite a bit and have made changes that are easy for me. I’ve done 3 5k races. And I have had people at work notice the difference in me and comment on it, so even if I’m not really noticing it yet, some others can. 

And that’s all from me for now! 


Weight loss week one..

It’s the end of the first week of being healthy. It’s gone really well actually. The things that have gone well are:

– drinking less tea. I’ve swapped tea (with sugar) to herbal or fruit tea, or water with lemon apart from one evening cup of normal tea. I’ve cut down from 3/4 cups of tea to 1 this week. I had a huge headache on Wed and I think it is because of this. I’ve felt good the rest of the week though. 

– I’ve meal planned for the whole week for all meals – that’s been especially helpful at breakfast time as if breakfast goes wrong I find the whole day follows.

– I’ve been running. Four times this week. And I joined a beginners running group doing a couch to 5k programme. I really enjoyed the first week, and after it me, Zara, Hannah and Sarah have planned to meet up for extra runs in the week. We did one this morning (at 8.30am!) and although I am now shattered it was worth it.

– I’ve found it easier than I would have thought to turn down chocolate πŸ™‚

– I’m feeling more confident already, and I took some photos of myself and although not huge, there is already a bit of a difference. 

Things I need to focus on:

– this week I just want to stick to the same as last week. My meal planning slipped a bit at the end of the week – not too bad but I swapped a couple of things around. I want to stick to the plan this week. 

– I am going to think about swapping my evening tea to something else with less sugar starting next week. This is a huge thing for me actually but I feel I will be glad if I do it. 

– not slipping into bad habits!

Favourite meal:

I have been enjoying my salads this week, although I’m trying to vary them so I don’t get bored. I have enjoyed everything except for an apple pie porridge that I tried – I need to ‘tweak’ it a bit more to my taste. I still struggle with healthy breakfast as I just done enjoy them, but I’m trying to make things I want to eat. 

My meal plan for this week is:


B – banana porridge.

L – chicken salad (already prepared).

T – fish chargrilled with steamed sweet potato and veggies.



B – fruit, yogurt and muslei

L – butternut soup (half a tub, bought from morissons).

T – chicken, veg and mash.


B – poached egg on toast

L – ham salad sandwich with fruit.

T – spaghetti bolognaise with wholewheat spaghetti.



B – porridge

L – jacket potato with tuna and salad

T – haddock and new potatoes with sweetcorn and peas.


B – fruit, muslei and yogurt

L – Tuna and sweetcorn pasta and salad

T – out after running club (sort this out!)


B – scrambled egg on toast

L fish fingers, new potatoes, veg

T – BLT in wholemeal baguette with salad


B – porridge

L / T – Sunday lunch. 




For the past year i have not done well at being healthy. I’ve tried a bit, but not much really. I have found it hard to resist sugar in tea, or chocolate at night, or just anything bad really. And to be honest, it’s got to a point where I’m really body concious and it is bothering me. I’ve never before really got to a point where I feel concious all the time until now. I’ve always been relatively happy with my body (apart from a bad time a few months after Amelia was born, and the times that anyone has when I have bad days). I’ve been comfortable in my skin overall. But now I’m not. And I’ve realised that it’s time to change, and make changes to work for me and make me more confident and happier. 

To be honest, even writing this post is making me think that I shouldn’t post it because if I fail, I look bad. And because this isn’t something I would usually talk about. But – I have to be honest, and this is where I’m at. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s time to be positive and make the changes I feel ready to make. 

Today I sat down and wrote next weeks meals plans for all of our meals – I’ve tried to make them simple, but interesting, tasty and easy. Things to enjoy and look forward to. Tomorrow’s breakfast is ‘apple pie porridge’ lunch is a chicken salad (already made and in the fridge ready to take to work) and tea will be fish and vegetables. I would share the rest of the week but I’m not sure if that’s a bit boring so I won’t! I may take some photos though and see what has worked toward the end of the week. 

I also need to run – I gave race for life with Lydia in May and I need to practice! So, starting tomorrow I’m going to run every other day in the hope of running 3 miles by race for life, and to make me feel better about myself again. I will start from the beginning again – just a mile. And build up, as I have to start somewhere. 

I’ve taken some photos today of myself – I can’t share them yet (maybe not ever!) but i am hoping that this will remind me of what I want to achieve. 

We will see how things go. I’ve bought the shopping to incorporate all meals for this week, and bought a bottle to full with water rather than drinking tea with sugar. And I will weigh myself each week to keep track. And from there I guess I just have to hope that my willpower holds out and that I don’t give up when I hit a hurdle. 

Wish me luck….

Chicken pitta salad.


Okay, so I’m the first to admit that this is a simple, simple tea to make. But I had a craving for it last week, and bought a chicken *at the bargain price of Β£3.70!) which made this, chicken buns on Sunday and chicken fajitas and salad on Monday night.

This was a yummy lunch. Chicken, salad, pitta bread and it’s done. I love simple, home cooked and yet delicious food. And who says you cant eat salad in winter? πŸ™‚


Meal Planning Monday..

Last week I did it πŸ™‚ I mostly stuck to the plan for the week. The only change is that on Thursday we didn’t have beef stew -I can’t even remember what we had instead now though! The rest of the week went to plan though.

This week this is the plan:


Chilli con carne from the freezer for me and Craig after work.


What Craig makes.


Slow cooked beef stew and dumplings.


Chicken pie (the filling was made and frozen) new potatoes and vegetables


Jacket potatoes, cheese and beans.


Party teaΒ  – my Daughter’s 5th birthday tea party.


Leftover party food / picky day.

I do like to plan – it means I don’t have days where I don’t have a clue what to make! If you would like to join in, link up at

Enjoy your week πŸ™‚

Meal planning Monday..

I am officially rubbish at meal planning. Each Monday comes around too quickly for a start – it ought to slow down a bit! Most weeks I forget, and the weeks I don’t I usually don’t feel like the planned meal and cheat.

This week, I have created a simple meal plan, made up of our regular and favourite meals, In the hope that keeping it simple helps me stick to it πŸ™‚


Frozen pie, frozen steamed veg and new potatoes.


Whatever Craig makes (he’s a good cook, but I never tell him that!)


Chilli con carne with pasta.


Beef stew.


Film night tea – chicken nuggets, chips and beans.


Fireworks at my sisters with yummy food πŸ™‚


Gammon ham and vegetables.

I am going to link up with

– join In, I dare you πŸ™‚ I love to see what others are making, and getting inspired from other peoples yummy cooking.

Meal planning Monday.

Okay, so my plan to blog more hasn’t really happened. Oops – too busy, and still struggling with work, managing and just feeling good.

My meal plan for this week looks something like this:

Monday: chilli con carne (leftovers from the freezer)with brown rice.

Tuesday: whatever Craig makes.

Wednesday: sausage and vegetables (new potatoes, carrots, runner beans, sweetcorn).

Thursday: homemade fish cakes, potato wedges and beans or mushy peas.

Friday: tomato pasta bake and salad.

Saturday: jacket potatoes, tuna and salad.

Sunday: shepherds pie and vegetables.

I’ve just been shopping – I spent Β£47 at Aldi – with that I’ve bought our whole weekly shop for 4, plus a few bits to take to my daughters school for harvest festival next week. There are breakfasts, lunches and meals for the whole of next week.

I also plan on moving more thus week – I need to fit exercise into my life. I’m 30 in 6 months, and it’s my sisters wedding in 10 months, and to be honest I’ve just been floating along for far too long – not terrible but also not brilliant. Now is the right time to continue to tweak my lifestyle. In fairness, our meals are not too bad. I just have a terrible sweet tooth and crave chocolate far too often – that’s the part I want to alter to get a better balance.


Meal planning Monday..

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post. I started a few and then stopped. I’m going to leave it by saying that I’ve been having such a stressful time at work that I’ve struggled to think about anything else. There’s a lot going on, and I’m struggling to manage my time, so when I get home I just want to think about nothing, and snuggle on the sofa with uncomplicated tv, reading blogs or a book on my iPad or browsing the internet. It’s about all I have the energy to manage right now.

I have a meal plan for this week though, so it seemed to make sense to take part in meal planning Monday, with at home with mrs m.

Here’s the plan:

Monday (today) chicken stir fry with sweet chilli and garlic sauce.

Tuesday: whatever Craig makes for when I get home from work.

Wednesday: beef stew and dumplings ( I made it in the slow cooker yesterday and popped it in the freezer). I think it’s good, even if I do say so myself. I like stew when it gets to Autumn.

Thursday: lamb shepherds pie with a sweet potato topping, kale, carrots and sweetcorn.

Friday: chicken curry.

Saturday: burgers in buns with salad or chilli con carne from the freezer (leftovers) with rice and garlic bread. Not sure which yet.

Sunday: Sunday dinner.

I like having a plan πŸ™‚ however, due to non planning my shopping bill has been creeping up recently (I spent about Β£65 this week,at morissons) and so I’m going to have to knock it back down again. I don’t even know what I bought exactly that made it so expensive compared to normal – i thin I just ended up with too much in my trolley by the end. Usually I shop at aldi, but occasionally I need washing powder (or crave their fresh bread!) and end up back at morissons.

I have a couple of book reviews that I want to post, so will get them posted in the next couple of nights.

Great british bake off – biscuits


As part of my effort to make. #GBBO bake each week, today I made biscuits. I made cookies, as I just love making (and eating!) them. I was going to try crackers but I just didn’t feel in the mood to experiment today.

To add a bit of a twist, I added almond essence to the cookies to make them taste a bit like cherry bakewell. However, if I’m honest it was a bit overpowering and would have been better left out. Oh well, live and learn.

The recipe I used was in this link: cookies so I’m not going to repeat the recipe.

The verdict: this is not my favourite cookie recipe – the best cookies I have made is this one: my favourite cookies which always come out lovely and soft and gorgeous. I didn’t use it as I wanted to try a recipe I hadn’t tried before, but from now on I’m going to stick to what I like!

This week on bake off is bread – not something in my comfort zone at all as whenever I try it’s never ‘quite’ right so I won’t be trying anything elaborate, just trying to practice something I don’t make much.

The cookies are all edible and taste fine, but not the best bake I have ever done.


Yummy food.



Last night for tea, I had run out of potatoes and sweet potatoes, the two things that I tend to use alongside all of my meals. It got me a bit stuck! But then, it made me more creative with the things I did have, so in the end it was a positive.

In the end I made fishcake a (frozen ones, too time consuming to make fresh) with roasted butternut squash, a bubble and squeak thing made from leftover mash, broccoli and a bit of cheese, and sweetcorn and peas.

The roasted butternut squash is something I haven’t tried before, and it was gorgeous, as well as being simple. To make it I peeled the butternut squash (that was the hardest bit!) then sliced it down the middle, scooped out the seeds etc, and cut it into cubes.

I then out it onto a tray Lined with greaseproof paper, with oil on top of the paper, added a teaspoon of garlic (I always have the pre chopped garlic in a jar in the fridge as it lasts months), mixed it all together so that the oil covered all of the squash, and roasted it for about 40 minutes at 200 degrees, turning them twice in between cooking to ensure they cooked evenly. That’s it.

The feedback was really good from all of my family – it tastes very similar to sweet potato and is a recipe I will definitely be making again.

For the bubble and squeak thing, I literally just mixed my leftover mash and broccoli together (cold) together with a handful of cheese, rolled into four balls, squashed them down and fried them in oil in a frying pan for about 5 minutes each side, until there was a good colour in the outside and the cheese had melted. They were yummy, Amelia really enjoyed hers especially, and the kids happily ate the broccoli!

I just thought I would share, as we enjoyed both so much that I am sure they will become regulars on our menu, and if it gives someone else something to try it’s all good. I love coming across new ideas for us.