Monthly Archives: June 2009

Random eats

Happy Friday everyone! Boy am I glad the working week is done – Β this weekend couldn’t come soon enough for me πŸ™‚

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind and I found myself reverting to old habits as my eating became increasingly disordered. Its funny, but as much as I can understand what is happening in those frantic moments when I raid the cupboards or head to the vending machine at work, I feel powerless to stop myself. As I write that I realise that it sounds silly – of course I have control and responsibility for my own actions. One thing I have reminded myself of this week is that eating like that doesn’t make me feel any better and it certainly doesn’t help me to deal with the stress any better 😦 I have started reading Intuitive Eating and I guess I have to treat these phases as a learning experience and move on. Tomorrow is another day!

Here are a few selected eats from the last couple of days:

Thursday lunch – ham salad sandwich, carrots and smoked paprika hummus.

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Thursday tea: Curry leftovers

Out of the fridge…..
DSC00718And on the plate!

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This tasted even better second time around πŸ™‚

Friday Dinner @ Pizza Express

I ordered the Vitabella, one of their new range of Leggera pizzas.

PizzaExpress has created an entirely new kind of pizza. It’s called Leggera, pronounced Lay-jer-ah, which means ‘light’ in Italian. It has a hole in the middle, and a salad in the hole.

Each one is designed to be about 500 calories, meaning that you can enjoy a tasty pizza without even the slightest pang of guilt.

My pizza with a hole(!) was topped with mozzerella, peppers, roasted veg and asparagus spears!

PE3Thats mine at the front. Can you see the hole in it with a green salad in the middle? At the back you can see h2b’s giant chicken pizza (I had a taste of course πŸ™‚ ). I really enjoyed the pizza and the toppings were yummy and light.

I decided to have a pudding too. The Caffe Reale,

Baby figs in a cinnamon and white wine spiced syrup with a dollop of mascarpone and served with a standard coffee of your choice.

PE1I’ve never seen such tiny figs! This was a nice sweet ending to the meal served with an Americano coffee. The baby figs were delicious and the syrup complemented them perfectly. I also had a taste of h2b’s chocolate fudge cake!

PE2Doesn’t that look amazing!

Now settled down in front of the tv watching highlights from Glastonbury! Have a good evening πŸ™‚

Banana Bread and Curry

Ever since I readΒ Leahs post last week where she made some delicious looking banana bread I knew I had to make some! I had the bananas sat in the fruit bowl for days waiting for them to become perfectly over-ripe. Am I the only person who buys bananas and deliberately leaves them until they are going black? All my favourite uses for bananas (cakes, muffins, smoothies) benefit from over-ripe bananas! πŸ™‚

Like Leah, I followed this recipe with a couple of adjustments. I used 3 bananas as that was all I had. After I had started the recipe I realised I was missing a couple of ingredients so I improvised. Instead of low fat yogurt I used 1/2 cup Total 0% mixed with skimmed milk and at the last minute I discovered I had no eggs so I left them out. The recipe seemed to work alright without. I made a loaf and with the leftover I filled some cute heart shaped tins

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So breakfast this morning had to include a slice! I had the rest of the Tropicana smoothie from Sunday with a thick slice of banana bread

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The cake was really yummy, moist and full of banana flavour!

When I posted my menu plan for the week I really thought it was accurate but I guess its just typical that it ended up changing as soon as I posted it! Sunday became a meal out with a friend, and Mondays curry ended up being todays dinner.

I made a Chicken Curry with rice and naan bread

DSC00707I fried some diced chicken in spray oil until cooked and added chopped onion, pepper, mange tout and sugarsnap peas. Once the veggies had started to soften I added a shop bought Tikka Massala sauce and simmered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile I cooked the rice and heated the naan bread. Right at the end before serving I stirred through a large handful of baby spinach until wilted and then served. I ate the plate above and a couple of extra pieces of bread! This was a really tasty meal and we really enjoyed it. And the best part is that we have leftovers for tomorrow (so another day we won’t follow the menu plan!!).

After dinner we decided to make the most of the beautiful sunshine and headed out for a walk. We have found a great circular walk that we can do from home, its about 2 miles so just a nice walk after dinner. We really enjoyed the chance to walk and talk and catch up on each others day.

Off to catch up on blog reading and see some tv. Β See you tomorrow!

Please support a great cause…

Just a quick post tonight to let you know about a great fundraising event being held by Jenna over at Eat Live Run. She has put together a great e-cookbook full of about 100 easy weeknight dinner ideas and it can be yours in return for a donation of $10 to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS). This is a great cause and I am happy to support it. I have just received my copy and am off to read through the recipe ideas πŸ™‚

Please support this cause if you can!

Walk along the river

Happy Sunday everyone!

H2B had a friend stay over last night and they had a bit of a late night. I played the dutiful wife and picked them up slightly the worse for wear at 1am! So this morning when I woke up (late!) I was feeling a little rough! My stomach was doing back flips for some reason so I decided to keep breakfast really light.
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I tried this Tropicana Strawberry and Banana smoothie. Each carton is made from 30 strawberries, 3 bananas, 1.5 oranges, 3/4 apple and 60 grapes! I had half of the carton for a light start to the day and I felt much better as soon as I had finished it. I knew that we would be going out for lunch not long after this breakfast so was happy to keep it light.

We parked up near to town and walked along the river to Double Locks, about a 30 minute walk along the river.
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When we got there we grabbed a table by the water and a drink!

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The view and my drink! 1/2 pint of Kronenburg lager. I had a chilli con carne which came with rice, sour cream and tortilla chips. Sorry no photo. I don’t feel comfortable taking pics of my food in front of other people at the moment 😦

After the meal and a lot of chatting we walked back and dropped our friend at the train station, then headed home to do some chores! Afterwards I worked on one of my wedding projects for a couple of hours and it went really well. I love doing crafty projects but rarely find the time – I should make more time for things I enjoy!

By 8pm I was feeling peckish but I didn’t know what I felt like so I rummaged in the fridge for some nibbles.

DSC00692Not the most attractive plate ever I know! Carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, smoked paprika hummus and leftover garlic bread from the weekend. It was just enough to fill me up.

Urghh why do Sundays go so fast? I can’t believe I am sitting here already thinking about work tomorrow 😦 Off to read some blogs in front of the TV now, see you tomorrow!

Saturday shopping

Hey guys,

First off I promised I would show you my menu plan for this week following my menu planning tips post. I followed step 1 and sat down with a cup of tea to plan my meals for this week.

DSC00663We have loads of food in the cupboards and freezer so I wanted to plan meals to eat up what I have already got. I can’t promise I will stick to this exactly and I have a habit of swapping meals between days to suit what I fancy! Maybe I will recap next weekend to see how much I stuck to it! My shopping list for tomorrow is very short as I already have most of this πŸ™‚

I found a couple of pictures on my camera from the last couple of days so here are some random eats:

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Work Breakfast: Total 0%, mixed cereals, blueberries and honey.

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Quorn fillet with caesar salad

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Smoked turkey and salad wholemeal bagel with a Snapple!

Today I went shopping with my sister in law to look for bridesmaid shoes among other things! We found some gorgeous Rainbow Club shoes which we will be able to get dyed to match the dresses! We also got some fabric and ribbon for a wedding project I am working on and a photo album for another wedding project. I am going to be busy!!

We had lunch in Yo Sushi. I love the whole theatre of eating there and picking dishes off the conveyer belt! It was such a shame that I left my camera at home as it would have made a great photo post. Next time I will make sure I get some pictures.

Hope you have had a great Saturday!

Menu Planning Top Tips

One of the most successful tools that I discovered when I was losing weight was menu planning. When h2b and I first lived together we had no idea how to shop for a week of food. We would wander around the supermarket aimlessly grabbing what we felt like eating and the trolley would soon be filled. However when I would go to make dinner I would open the fridge or cupboard door and would find I couldn’t make many meals from what we had bought. Our supermarket bills were also really high but we would end up popping out to the shops several times per week just to get something to create a meal from (and while we were there a little more junk would make its way into the basket). Evening snacking was a regular occurrence as were slices of cheesecake or tubs of icecream to eat in front of the telly!

When I first joined Weightwatchers in 2003 I would come home from University to our flat and start rummaging in the freezer for something to eat. We would often be at the campus all day and not be back home until after 6.30 yet I would walk through the door with no idea of what we would eat. In those situations it is very easy to convince yourself to grab a takeaway or head to the local pub for a bargain burger!! I knew deep down that I would not succeed at WW while I continued that way. However it was another 4 years before I really learned how to plan and shop for health and budget!

Understanding how to shop and plan my meals was the single biggest change I made which allowed me to lose weight successfully. I usually do my weekly shopping on a Sunday morning so I began sitting down on a Saturday and thinking what to cook for the week. I would take into account any special events that week (friends round for dinner, working late etc) and would plan appropriate meals for that day. I would then add in other favourites for the remaining days thinking about how I would feel on those days (Friday tea is always a quick one for me but on Saturday I like to spend more time cooking a meal). Once that was complete I could create a shopping list. For each meal I would go through everything I need to cook and serve it and add anything I need to the list. I would also think about breakfasts, lunches and snacks and add them to the list.

I have been doing this ever since! I walk into the supermarket on a Sunday morning and know exactly what I need to buy and that I will have ingredients to make healthy tasty meals for a whole week. Sometimes plans change, or you don’t feel like cooking so I always make sure I have a mixture of quick and easy, and more involved recipes which I can swap around during the week.

Top tips for meal planning:

  1. Find a quiet 30 minutes in your day and sit down with a cup of tea!
  2. Write the days you are shopping for down the left hand side of the page
  3. Add in any nights you know you have special requirements (e.g guests for dinner, OH is out, needs to be out by 7etc)
  4. Look through your cupboards and plan meals based on what needs using up. Assign each one to a day on your plan (although these can be interchangeable)
  5. Add in one or two new recipes or ideas per week to break things up and stop any boredom.
  6. Create your shopping list based on what you plan to cook.

Doing this means I can come straight in from work and know what I need to prepare for dinner. 9 times out of 10 I have dinner on the go before H2B gets in from work so we have no opportunities to convince ourselves to get a takeaway. We do still eat out and get takeaways from time to time but usually this is planned and looked forward to so that we get the most enjoyment from it.

I will post my next menu plan and shopping list for you at the weekend so you can see that I practice what I preach! πŸ™‚

Does anyone else menu plan? If so why not share some of your tips too?

Whats next for Seeking Healthy Balance?

Well done again to Renee on winning my contest – I will get your prize of a selection of UK bars in the post in the next few days! I really enjoyed holding the contest and all the comments I received so watch this space for another contest sometime soon! πŸ™‚

I have been thinking recently about some extra content to include on the blog so hopefully you will see some fun new items over the next couple of weeks including food reviews, shopping tips, some of my weight loss lessons (I have learned lots of them!) and other articles on food and health related topics.

In the meantime, as always please let me know if there are any topics you want me to cover! Hope you are having a great day!