Monday, 20 February 2012

Meal planning Monday: 20/2/12

This week we're all back to normal. The kids are back at school and I'm back on the diet. I need to watch my food and drink intake for a couple of weeks because the past few days have been seen too much snacking and drinking of alcohol because my in-laws came to stay. I dread to think what the scales will say tomorrow. So I'm planning meals for me and meals for the family.

Exercise: Circuit training (AM)
My lunch: Prawn salad sandwich
Family tea: Sausages, eggs, baked beans and chips
My tea: Lentil soup

Greasy dinner for the family to use up leftover breakfast items from the weekend. I'm at a new circuit training class this morning so will want a good lunch but not so much for my tea.

Exercise: Running (PM) 
My lunch: Beans on toast
Family tea: Lamb stew with cauliflower cheese

We had an enormous leg of lamb last Sunday and have lots of meat left over. I'm going to boil the bone in a stock with potatoes and carrots (variation on this recipe), and serve with cauliflower cheese because my kids love that. If we have room for pancakes, we'll have a few of those too! I'll eat a smaller portion of this meal because I'm running tonight.

Exercise: Circuit training (PM)
My lunch: Spicy prawn couscous salad
Family tea: Baked potatoes with corned beef, cheese, and baked beans
My tea: Lentil soup

I can't eat anything too heavy before circuit training so I'll have a good lunch to make up for it.

Exercise: Running (PM) 
My lunch: Tuna pasta salad
Family tea: Chicken wraps

We have these with vegetables (eg, carrots and broccoli), a bit like fajitas but without the spice because the kids don't like that. A bit of chilli sauce for me and hubs (and extra peppers and onions) doesn't go amiss though :) I'm running tonight so will have one wrap when I get back.

My lunch: Vegetable soup
Family tea: Scampi and chips with peas or salad

I'm out tonight so I'll need something quick but filling to keep me going. I'm not planning on drinking too much though...

Exercise: Running (AM) 
Family tea:  Pasta bolognaise and garlic bread

Not had bolognaise for a long time, a family favourite.

Exercise: Running (AM) 
Family lunch:  Roast pork with all the trimmings
Family tea: Sandwiches

My mother-in-law "found" a half price loin of pork last weekend and put it in my freezer. She is a bargain-hunting genius.

Don't forget to check out Mrs M's blog for more meal plans. Have a good foodie week!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Schmalentine's

I'm not especially romantic and I'm uncomfortable with overt affection. I attribute this feeling to embarrassment and disappointment from previous Valentine's days!

I remember when I was 5 and 6 sending my dad a card. Me and my sister would make it ourselves and draw a stamp on and then laugh and tell him the postman had come early. So very lovely and so much fun.

When I was 7 we moved to a new school. I received -- in the middle of class -- a Valentine's card from a boy, which I was so embarrassed about I ripped in half in front of him (he was mortified). Similarly, when I was 8 I received a card from a different boy in similar circumstances. I gave it to my friend to hide my embarrassment. He was also upset. (I'm a heartless bitch.) I started to fear Valentine's day after that!

At age 11, 12, and 15 I sent the same boy at school a Valentine's card, more through peer-pressure because my other friends were sending cards. He teased me so much about the last one I vowed never to send another card.

That never stopped me hoping for one. I remember one year, Valentine's day fell on a Saturday. I didn't get a card so I thought "maybe it'll come on Monday" (deluded). Of course it didn't.

When I was 16 and 17 I worked for Millets in Blackburn and remember receiving roses and cards from various admirers, including one boy who was so infatuated he turned a bit weird and I eventually had to leave work via the delivery bays to avoid him.

All relationships I was in never coincided with Valentine's day (too short-lived LOL), until I met my husband. That first year he sent me red roses and a Love Album CD; I didn't think to buy him anything until the day before, he ended up with a nice dinner and a Red Devil cuddly toy (which he still has). I still have the roses BTW, I dried them and they are in a box in my wardrobe.

Ever since then we've not done Valentine's. I think if you need one day in a year to show you love someone then you need help. I love random displays of affection! My husband (in the early days of our relationship) worked his way through the Interflora catalogue, but spontaneously. I remember coming home from a holiday to find a bouquet from him (and my mum in tears at the gesture!).

So I say, don't wait for one day in a year to come round. Take your partner out randomly. Bring flowers home one day. Cook a nice meal. Buy wine and watch a film together. Don't wait for a cold day in February.

Right, lecture over, I'm off to bake a cake in the shape of a heart and make my hair look nice...

Monday, 13 February 2012

Meal planning Monday: 13/2/12

Happy Monday! It's half term for us this week so I've included lunches too (for me and the kids). I need to jump back on the healthy-eating-diet bandwagon, and we have visitors from Thursday in the form of my in-laws, so not too much meal planning for the end of the week because we'll be out and about.

Lunch: Homemade spicy lentil and carrot soup
Tea: Lamb hotpot with vegetables (probably sprouts and/or peas)

I found stewing lamb in the freezer so thought this would be nice and easy for today. My diet-friendly version includes more veg, less lamb (which is a hideously fatty piece as I've just discovered).

Lunch: Cheesy pasta and broccoli (soup for me)
Tea: Homemade Nandos!

It's Valentine's day today. We rarely go romantic and gooey, but I do like to cook hubs something he likes. He's expressed a desire for "something spicy, a bit like Nandos", so Nandos it is ;) Will cook chicken legs in Nandos Hot marinade with chips and Greek feta salad. And maybe sweetcorn. And spicy olives *drool* (I'm running tonight -- yes I know, how romantic -- so I'll have a chicken feta salad when I get back).

Lunch: Risotto
Tea: Baked potatoes with slow-cooked barbecue pork for hubs and cheese and bean toasties for the kids

It's swimming lessons today so we still need something easy for tea. The risotto is to fill us up before swimming, and then the kids and I can have something small later while hubs gets a tea full of love :) I'm also out later at circuit training so I don't like to eat anything too heavy, might have a salad or something.

Steak pie, mash, and vegetables

My in-laws love my pies :)

Friday and Saturday
Probably eating out

Roast chicken or beef

Don't forget to check out Mrs M's blog for more meal plans. And please leave a comment if you have anything to ask.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Meal-planning Monday: 6/2/12

Bit late planning this week's meals, mainly because both my children are poorly so I'm dithering a bit about what to cook. Anyway, here's my plan.

Homemade chicken curry and rice

Fish, chips, and peas

Homemade beef and bean chilli with baked potatoes

Meatballs, mash, peas, broccoli, carrots, and gravy

Kids have their friends over for tea. *Must provide vegetables.*

Roasted chicken legs, chips, and salad

Nothing very exciting this week. Don't forget to check out Mrs M's blog for other meal plans and ideas.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


I've been using since April 2011. I was a bit skeptical about using a diet tracker to help with my weight loss, because I'd been doing so well without calorie counting up to that point. But I really rate it for helping to keep me on track and avoiding snacking.

You sign up with personal details such as current weight, age, and sex, and provide information about your weight loss goals and activity level (always best to select sedentary unless you are a PE teacher or professional dog walker). The site gives you a target calorie intake for the day (usually between 1200 and 1640 calories, if you're a woman and trying to lose weight, or above this if you're a man or trying to maintain).

The food database is very extensive, you shouldn't need to add too many items yourself, and there's a barcode scanner for those people who always wanted to work on a checkout. *cough* Anyway, I find it's a really good way to keep track of my diet and I can see if I've splurged somewhere and if I need to drink water for the rest of the day!

If you have friends using the app (the site is accessible via Android and iPhone mobile versions) you can chat in the community section, which is a lovely way to provide encouragement. The website has helped me get back to my lowest weight after I had a few heavy months around Christmas (and I stopped using the site). I can't rate it highly enough.

Let me know in the comments if you have experience of using this site or others similar. And let me know if you'd like to add me as a friend :)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

January run review

January is now over and done with, and what a long, cold, dark month it was. No snowy or icy runs thankfully (I'm still to try out the ice grips my sister bought me for Christmas), but plenty of wet and cold ones.

My aim this year is to run 1000 miles in total, so I've been keeping track of all my miles run on my Garmin Connect page. To achieve 1000 miles I need to run about 83 miles a month.

Week 1: 21 miles
Week 2: 19 miles
Week 3: 20 miles
Week 4: 14 miles (missed my long run due to illness)
Week 5: 14 miles (2 days in this 'week')

Total: 88 miles

Slightly above where I need to be, which I'm really pleased about. Some good long runs in February and no injuries or illnesses will bring me above average next month. Might get a 2-week holiday in the summer if I'm lucky ;)
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