Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Chicken and Pasta Soup

I needed a dish that was going to filling, quick and easy to make with enough to do at least 3 lunches for me at work and a dinner or 2 for the boy child.
This Chicken and Pasta soup is ideal for all of the above and it made exactly what I needed.
It's a yummy, syn free and filling meal, perfect for keeping me going until dinner time and for filling up the boy child before bed.

Here goes:

Ingredients:
2x Chicken Breasts
1x Large Potato
Frozen Veg - I was out of fresh veg so threw in a few handfuls of frozen carrots, brocolli and cauliflower
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
2 tsp Onion Powder (Regular readers will know I hate onions and avoid where possible, but you could add an actual onion here instead)
1 litre chicken stock (2 stock cubes)
Salt and pepper
Pasta of your choice - amount depends on how much you want to fill out your soup, I cooked whatever I had left in a packet of farfelle


Method:


  • I started by boiling my 2 chicken breasts on a rolling boil for about 20 mins until cooked through. I find boiling the chicken for things like this rather than frying keeps the meat far more moist and tender
  • Once cooked I shredded the chicken into pieces
  • I diced my potato and added it to a saucepan along with my chicken, frozen veg, garlic, onion, herbs, salt, pepper and stock
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for about an hour
  • I then cooked up the pasta and added it to the soup
So quick and simple and lunch is sorted for the next 3 days. That is my kind of cooking :)


Weigh In Wednesday #2



It's been a rough couple of weeks, hectic and all over the place, meal planning and proper eating hasn't been high on my list of priorities. 
There's been a night out involving lots of Southern Comfort and red lemonade. 
There's been nights recently where the boy child has been a divil to get to sleep, sometimes taking an hour by which time I'm too tired to cook and a take away has been ordered.
There's been a work lunch involving lots of cake for afters.
There was a family dinner involving lot of cake for afters...again.
There's been numerous bags, big bags, of Kettle crisps devoured...they are just so yummy I could eat the cheese and onion ones all day long!

You get the picture, I well and truly fell off the wagon. 
My energy levels were down, my skin broke out a bit and I haven't been sleeping great as a result of the junk food.

This weeks weigh in - Up 1 pound 

To be honest I'm surprised I'm not up a stone! However I can't let this allow me to think I can cheat here and there and not put up much weight. I need to get back on the wagon and stay on it. I need to refocus back to where I was last year when I managed to drop a stone in 6 weeks purely through proper meal planning and keeping track of what I was eating.

I've started the day with my lemon water and last night I cooked up a batch of delicious Slimming World Friendly chicken and pasta soup for my lunch for the rest of the week. (I'll post the recipe later) and I've dinner pre cooked so I only have to warm it up this evening, just in case it's a long night with the boy child again.

It really is a question of being prepared in order to keep me on track.

I have begun doing some light exercises in the evening which I quite enjoy. I do mixture of squats, lunges, push ups, sit ups and a couple of other ones I need to get the names of! It generally takes me about 12 - 15 minutes. I time it to one program of my abs belt while I'm wearing it. I wear that for 36 minute about 4 days a week and I really have noticed a difference in my abdominal area, it's way more tight and it's on its way to being flatter. My problem area is the little pouch type thing I'm left with since having a c-section 2 years ago. If anyone has any suggestions on toning that area up do let me know!

So there we have it for this week. It's head down and focus for me for the next week and I sincerely hope to see a loss on those scales next week.

How have you been getting on with your weight loss journey?


Friday, 24 July 2015

Dipping Toes & Sandcastles

We had a well earned family afternoon out this past weekend, with work taking over during the Summer months, it can be a couple of weeks before myself and the OH have a day off together, even longer having a day off together and nice weather!
This Saturday it was sunny, dry, warm and a bit windy, it was perfect for a trip to the beach.

We took off to our usual spot, Garryvoe in East Cork for a walk along the beach. We actually went there around the same time last year, you can read about it and see our pictures here. There was a huge difference in how Luke took to it compared to last year. This time we brought his bucket and spade and he was all business going about his digging. He couldn't wait to kick off his shoes and get his feet wet...this turned into getting wet up to his thighs so lucky for him I packed a change of clothes!







We headed off over to the play area next to the beach where he was climbing on everything, last year he cautiously held on to my hand while he went down the slide, this year he ran off and flew down it by himself.



Of course an ice cream was in order after that, so we sat on the same rock as we did last year, this time he didn't look so small while sitting on it.






We ended our day by heading out to my parents house with some delicious chips from a local chipper and had our dinner with them.
I couldn't think of any better way to have spent my Saturday.

In a time when our life is so hectic these family days out are so treasured, I'm hoping we get to squeeze in a few more of these kind of days before the Summer is over.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Lean On Me

It's been a rough week, a sad week where I have had to witness a good friend suffer a loss that no mother should ever have to experience.

I've cried tears of sadness for my friend as she had to say goodbye to her little angel.

I've cried tears of heartbreak as I watch my friend attempt to try and come to terms with her loss, somehow, some way, hoping that maybe this isn't real at all. A bad dream she could maybe wake up from.

I've cried tears of frustration because right now I know that no matter what I say, in this moment in time none of it is going to help.

I've cried tears of confusion as to why when things seemed to be looking up and why did they then, all of a sudden, come crashing down?

I've cried tears of anger at the unfairness of this whole situation, questioning everything I believe in.

I've never had to witness someone close to me suffer such a sadness and such immense heartbreak and honestly it's knocked me for six.
I wake up with an ache in my heart for my friend and I am hoping and praying to what I believe in that every day a little bit of her pain can be eased. That she can get some sense of understanding of the situation and allow this to comfort her.
It's very early days and there's a long road ahead before things may begin to look bright again but I will do what I can to help her, whether she needs me physically by her side or just knowing I'm there from a distance.
That's the kind of friendship we have, we don't talk everyday, sometimes it could be a couple of months because life gets in our way but we don't let it get in the way of our bond. Anytime we need each other, we are both there ready and waiting, to lend an ear to listen, a glass of wine to sip and laughs to be given and I will be storing up all my laughs for her, so that when she's ready to smile and laugh again I will be ready too.

For now though I am here with open arms ready to hug her, a strong shoulder for her to cry on and all the reassurance I can muster so that I can  reassure her that in time things will be ok again.





Thursday, 9 July 2015

Daily Vitamins

I was never one for taking vitamins, the mother used to always be on to me about it but y'know sure I was a young one, I didn't need vitamins yet like!
However along with other things after having a child, my view on this also changed and I decided I needed to take better care of myself. So while also getting my diet and weight in order I've also been taking some vitamins.

This is how I start my day:



Omega 3 Fish Oil - This is for heart health and with a history of heart problems on one side of my immediate family I felt it was time I started to a little care of my ticker. Omega 3 can reduce blood pressure, something I need a helping hand in since being pregnant. It also reduces the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

Vitamin B Complex - Supports an energetic lifestyle according to the box, which is what I have working full time and running around after a 2 year old! It is also great for easing stress, aids memory, relieves PMS and reduces heart disease risk.

Ginzeng + Multivitamin - Natures energiser. This is said to boost concentration and performance also and during the week when I have to sit at my desk after a not so great nights sleep I find these really give me a bit of help in getting through the day.

Do you take any vitamins? What ones do you find help with daily life?




Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Weigh In Wednesday #1


So Week 1 down of trying to get myself back on track and into some kind of proper routine where food - meals and snacks are concerned, I'm not going to lie it's always so much harder to get back up on that horse than it is to come off it!
I've been ok this week, not great, I could've been a lot more disciplined with myself but baby steps eh?! 
We've had a a bit of a rough week with the smallest man in the house, bedtimes were a bit of a task. He's usually a dream to go to bed but we've had crying, screaming, banging, it's taken me an hour most night to settle him. One of the nights it took me over an hour and a half, I'd had no dinner and I was exhausted so the what did I do?! Got the OH to bring home a pizza on his way back from football! Yes I stumbled at the first hurdle but by god that pizza was so nice! 
The little guy seems to have settled down again though and I've managed to meal plan a bit better for the coming week so I just need to be firm with myself.

I really need to get more veg into my meals this week, fill up with lots of speed food.

My water intake has upped from 2 litres a day to 3 or 4 litres a day, I think the heat had something to do with this. 

Exercise didn't go as planned but I've been a given a new 3 day a week workout to try to I hope to get started on that tonight. 

So what did the scales tell me this morning when I stepped on them:

Week 1 - Maintain

So no loss, no gain...could be worse but could also be a lot better.

Here's to a more successful week this week.

Have you had a weigh in yet this week? How did you get on? Let me know if a comment below :)




Saturday, 4 July 2015

Slimming World Swaps

Since starting my SW journey last year I've swapped some of my everyday food items for the lighter, lower fat versions and honestly whether I was dieting or not I don't think I would go back to my previous ways where these items are concerned.

Here's a list of my main food swaps:

Low fat milk to Fat free milk. I can now really tell the difference between other milks compared to fat free and find them far too creamy now. 

Now don't get me wrong, yu can';t beat a bit of real butter on fresh bread or melted on toast but these days it's a treat. I find the lighter spread just as nice and have no problem buying that over real butter any day.


Proper sugar now tastes far too sweet in my tea and coffee! I must remember to keep some sweeteners in my handbag too for when I'm out and about.


How did I ever have my fried eggs in anything other than Frylight before?! I was never a fan of the oily residue of friend eggs when using oil but since switching to Frylight I love them, they taste so much nicer. 



I do quite like 7UP, never really botehred with Coke unless I was hungover but I'm now a fan of the diet versions, so when I do feel like a fizzy drink it's a Diet Coke or 7UP Free for me 


Have you made any swaps in your every day essentials?

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Me & Mine June

Phew! June was a very busy month here, I am glad it's over and we can now breathe and relax for the next month. Thankfully it was busy in a good way though.

June saw us celebrating Luke's 2nd birthday, it's so hard to believe he's 2 already! We had a family get together the day of his actual birthday and then his party 2 days later. The weather was lovely, we had a bouncy castle, Fireman Sam everything and loads of cupcakes...it was a great day! He thoroughly enjoyed himself and he hasn't had too may tantrums since turning 2 ;)

The OH and I along with some friends went to see The Coronas in concert in Live at the Marquee in Cork, as usual they were outstanding and we had a great night off parent duty and hanging out with some friends.

We've been doing lots of reorganising in the house, getting rid of some junk. A few walls need to be painted to freshen the place up now. The garden has also come on so much more! we finally have grass, yay! It took ages to grow but now that it has the garden looks lovely. Luke loves to help out by doing some digging and watering the plants with his watering can.

The last weekend of the month I was away in Newcastle for 2 days on a hen party, needless to say I have still not caught up with my sleep. It was a great weekend though and Newcastle seems like a brilliant city, I'll have to go back there and explore it properly. I really missed the 2 boys at home though and was so happy to see my little guy running up to me in the airport upon my return.

We've had some lovely warm weather too and it's just wiped me out of all of my energy! Obviously this kind of weather is great but seeing as we don't get it all that often it takes time to readjust.

I had a quick visit to the Doctor this month as I am suffering from sciatica and muscle spasms from an old car crash injury, not very pleasant. If anyone has an helpful alternative remedies for these problems please do share!

This month also saw Luke figure out how to climb on the window sills...my nerves! We now need to go and buy some window restricters. We really can't take our eyes off him for 2 seconds.


July, I'm hoping is going to be a quiet and relaxed month, I think we need it after the rush that was June.

Here we are in June, the first one on Luke's actual birthday and the other the day of his party:




This month Luke loves:

  • Making a duck face
  • Pretending our dog Murphy is a horse
  • Walking through the fields with Grandad
This month Dad loves:
  • Seeing the grass grow in the garden
  • A boys weekend with Luke
  • Going to a concert
This month Mum loves:
  • A girls weekend away
  • Celebrating Luke turning 2
  • Enjoying the sunshine

Weigh In Wednesdays

Right new start and all that jazz! Well it's a not a new start really, I'm just getting back on the weightloss wagon again.
If you are a regular follower of my blog you will know that last year I joined Slimming World and had a very successful 6 weeks, I lost 1 stone and 1 pound all through following the Extra Easy plan. Then Christmas came and it went, then Valentines day came and it went and then Easter came and it went and I realised I'd spent 4 months going up 1 or 2 pound and then down 1 or 2 pound, still staying at my stone loss but making no real progress. I became disillusioned with my weekly weigh in at SW as all along I weighed at home straight after my SW weigh in and I always matched, always weighed at the same time and in the same place when all of a sudden SW were beginning to weigh me 3 pounds heavier than at home anyway it added to my lack of motivation and I discontinued going to my SW group, Needless to say I still haven't made any progress.

That is about to change now though, today, Wednesday, is my new weigh in day. I can't commit to a weekly weigh in with SW for the next couple of months as my shifts at work are different every day as we go through the Summer season and I want to weigh in at the same time and day every week but I will be following the EE plan as best I can as well as meal planning and getting in a bit of exercise where I can too. I will report back every Wednesday with an update of what I've been eating that week, exercise if any that I've been doing and whether it's been a loss or a gain.

My aim at the moment is to lose 1 stone first. Once I have reached my target I will then treat myself...by booking my next tattoo! I have finally decided on my next design which has taken me 2 years to find so I will book my appointment with the tattoo artist as soon as I've reached that first target as my reward. I am not going to but a time on it put I am thinking in around the 12 week mark but am not going to panic if not. The slower and steadier the weightloss the easier it is to keep off, right?!

I'm really looking forward to sharing my journey and I'm hoping that by having to report back every Wednesday it will also give me that bit more motivation that I need.

Are you on a weightloss journey at the moment? I'd love to hear how you're doing it :)