Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Sunday

Delicious breakfast this morning of "Flu fighting Buck Rarebit", a recipe I saw and liked the look of in Women's Health magazine. We had this as a breakfast, but the both of us agreed that next time we would add a couple of tomatoes and a bit of rocket to make a yummy lunch.

Can you see my Christmas mug?

 Flu-fighting Buck Rarebit (Serves 2)

 1. Warm a couple of slugs of milk in a pan. Add a slug of pale ale if you wish. (We didn't - Chris is not a fan of pale ale)

2. In a pan, melt 25g of butter and add 25g of plain flour. Mix thoroughly and heat for 2 minutes.

3. Add 100g of mature cheese, an egg yolk, 1 dsp mustard, 2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce and mix thoroughly.

4. Toast 2 slices of wholemeal bread and spread the mixture on the bread. Toast under a grill until the cheese browns slightly

5. Meanwhile poach 2 eggs and serve on top of the grilled rarebit.


Chrisfit is here !

This morning, I found a sign on my door.

And so begins 90 days of a fitness plan designed by lovely Chris, which we have lovingly called "Chrisfit". Day 1 was supposed to be the 5k Parkrun, but sadly because of the snow and ice it wasn't safe to run and the event was cancelled. There was no let up for me though! Oh no, if we can't run a 5k in the park, we'll do it at the gym instead. We drove Elsie, my new car, to the gym and I did a treadmill 5k. It was a mess! I haven't done any steady exercise for about a month and it was not pretty. But I did it and clocked a 5k start time (treadmill) of 42.12.

On return home, we did measurements. Ouch that hurt seeing the evidence in black and white! But onwards and upwards (but hopefully not outwards eh?).

Tried another yummy recipe of grilled chicken and avocado melt. God bless Zest magazine they are keeping my in good recipes at the mo.

After giving the house a thorough clean, Chris sat down to tweak Chrisfit and with instructions not to look at my phone, I was given the orientation! Chris had prepared a welcome document detailing the aims and goals of Chrisfit. It was very powerful seeing it in black and white.

And then I was shown the first 30 days plan! It looks ace. (And I will need to keep reminding myself of that when I am doing squats and press ups). I feel very excited about this as Chris really does know his stuff.

I made tea (with lots of help from Chris!) I made veg chilli and sweet potato wedges. I do actually believe that we are currently cornering the market in sweet potato at the moment and then we settled down to watch the first in a new series of Doctor Who. Heaven!

Elsie is settling in nicely. We do tend to give our cars characters. I see Elsie as one of the nannas from the Shreddies advert. Chris sees her more as Helen Mirren's character in RED. Graceful and cool, whilst knowing how to use an Uzi. Hmmm not sure how I feel about that!
Elsie (Caroline Style)

Elsie (Chris style)
   I am very lucky to have such amazing support from Chris. Chris knows that I have been unhappy with my weight for a long time. When I think I want to be slim, he genuinely believes that I can do it. At times, I can barely believe it myself, so having that reassurance is terrific. I am one lucky girl! I do hope, if you are on a weight loss journey that you receive some great support, whether from a partner, a family member or even a slimming group. It is important.

Where do you receive your support from? Are you helping someone yourself? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday was a Good Friday

Today was a good day.

Chris, having started his new job, is now entitled to Bank holidays off woo-hoo!! And so, before us stretches a 4 day weekend. Bliss.

To be honest, it felt more like Christmas than Easter as we still have so much snow left on the ground.

I got up and got my cook on, making Zest magazine's banana pancakes. I adapted the recipe and added blueberries and a spoonful of bio yogurt. These are a really yummy start to the day.

Next, we spoke to Chris' parents and as always had a good giggle. I also spoke to my sis and have begun to get very excited as we are going to be seeing her soon. Yay!

Then it was off to Barnsley to sell our car, Victor, and to pick up our new car Elsie. Whilst it was sad to see Victor go, he had started to become a little temperamental to say the least. We have bought Elsie from our friend Cath's lovely mum, Monica, who has sold her to us for a very, very generous price. We had a super drive over the top of the hills in Elsie.

 I had finally got my menu planning head and had seen a recipe in Zest's new book for a venison dinner. It was Chris' turn to get his cook on and he made us a cracking tea of Venison, sweet potatoes, green beans and roasted tomatoes. I have never tried venison before, it was really strongly flavoured and reminded me of liver (which I love). Tea was awesome.

We decided to follow it with up with Nigel Slater's recipe for hot and cold pears and berries. We adapted this slightly as the pears weren't overly ripe. Delicious!

One small glass of wine later, and we are both feeling relaxed and are truly enjoying our bank holiday weekend. Tomorrow is Park Run and the start of "Chrisfit". (Nope I've no idea either). Chris is putting together a training plan for me to improve my fitness and get my 5k time down. I have no idea what this will entail, but I swear if Chris had a moustache he would be twirling it right now. We have also been watching the Crossfit games, which we are loving! It is really inspiring seeing these awesome athletes performing superhuman feats, however this seems to be giving Chris ideas. (last night he made me see if I could do something called a "clean and jerk") God help my soon to be poor broken body.

All joking aside, I am really looking forward to Chrisfit. Chris knows his stuff when it comes to training, I know I will be pushed, but I also know it makes me feel amazing. I'll let you know what he has cooked up for me!

How is your bank holiday going? Do you name your cars like me? Are you following the Crossfit games?

Thursday, 7 March 2013

To post or not to post ?

I did wonder about whether to post today or not. My hope for this blog is that it is supposed to inspire, but if I am honest, it's all been a bit tough this week. But then, my other hope for my blog is a true, honest and frank account of my weight loss journey. So, deep breath, here goes. This week has been hard. On Saturday,Chris and I did the Park Run and as usual had a fantastic time. I always come back from Park Run brimming with energy and raring to go! We went shopping and bought loads of lovely healthy food, and planned lots of recipes that we hadn't done before, along with visits to the gym.

I have always wanted a life where each morning I have time to incorporate exercise into my morning routine (usually followed by a good cup of coffee and a fruit plate!) but at the moment, I seem to be very bad at prioritising. As I have mentioned, my work is insanely busy at the moment and all of my energy is going into this. And so I am struggling. My stress levels are beyond insane and I am eating rubbish - chocolate and cakes a go-go. I feel out of control and that I don't have the energy or inclination to change. I am seriously not looking after myself.  My fruit plate has gone off!

And so, I will be racking my brains how to change this attitude. (All advice gratefully received!). I need to work out how to cope with the stress best, and exercise and good nutrition will definitely help with that. And so this is me. I hope I've not brought anyone down with this post and that your weight loss journeys are all going much better than mine at the moment, but everyone hits a bump in the road, and as soon as I find the answer or even something that helps slightly, you'll be the first to know!

Have a great week.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Healthy Cranberry Muffins

How was your weekend? I hope it was a good one. I spent a lot of my Sunday baking and preparing food and snacks for the following week. I saw a great tip in Jillian Michael's new book Slim for Life Jillian suggested hard-boiling eggs and leaving them in their shells. Store them in the fridge and you'll have a quick snack if you feel a bit peckish.

I also finally got round to making Zest's healthy muffins. I saw this in Zest magazine as an example of a great afternoon snack. It really hits the sweet spot. You will need:

175g of wholemeal self-raising flour
2tsp baking pwder
5tbsp wheatbran
75g soft brown sugar
3tbsp pumpkin seeds
2tbsp linseeds
Zest of 1 orange
75g dried cranberries
250ml Natural Yogurt
2 eggs
3 tbsp sunflower oil

1. Mix all dried ingredients together
2. Add yogurt, eggs and oil and mix
3. Spoon into10 muffin cases
4. Bake at 190C for 20 minutes.

Yum - the reward at the end of a good bake!
What do you enjoy baking? Have you got any good recipes for healthy afternoon snacks?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The story so far.....

At the start of every new series of Friends, there was always a quick piece to camera catching you up with events from the previous series. The piece was usually done by my favourite character, Phoebe, and caught you up with the latest twist in the Ross/Rachel saga, Joey's latest career turn and Monica and Chandler's efforts to be together/get married/have a baby. At the end of this quick catch up, Phoebe would turn to camera and asks"So how've you been?" And you were into the next series. I am going to take a leaf out of the Friends book and do the same.

Last year I decided to do a weight loss blog as part of my 12in2012 challenge. With the help of my friend Kate, I managed to lose 34 lbs and then things began to stall. My job became more stressful and I couldn't seem to prioritise efficiently. Weight loss became hard and then Christmas happened.. And along with Christmas came a whole new host of festive eating! 2013 started and I couldn't get focused. But then came a lovely holiday, visiting my sister who lives in Switzerland. It was a time to breathe and refocus. I missed my life! I missed eating healthily, exercising and blogging. It was time to get back in the game. My job is now twice as stressful, unfortunately. But rather than looking at just weight loss, I'm looking at the bigger picture.

My sister gave me a great piece of advice and it goes along the lines of "when you know where you are going, and what the end game looks like, everything else just falls into place". It's a great piece of advice and a journey I will be sharing on here. There will still be lots of weight loss bits and pieces, but also some other wider bits. I have had a spring clean of my blog, and lots of my older posts have gone. It's time to start anew.

So how've you been ?