About Me

My photo
I'm a working mum of two lovely children who, like all children, go through 'phases', both good and bad. Trying to juggle parenthood, weight loss and life in general.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Bluestone HOLIDAY!!!

We are enjoying a lovely family holiday at Bluestone in Wales with friends who have two small people the same age as little man and little miss. Little man started the holiday with the tummy bug in full force. But judging by the way he wolfed down a whole bowl of bolognese, some pasta twirls, naan bread (we had curry) and a whole pot of fromage  frais I think we can assume he's feeling better.

My following of the slimming world plan is a bit half hearted this week. We are eating out as well as eating in and it's just not feasible to stick 100% to plan. But I am making conscious choices to at least limit my syn intake. We made a packed lunch yesterday for our trip to the farm/zoo  and I made sure to include fruit and veg, didn't add Mayo to my sandwich (using my healthy extra for the bread,) and just the tiniest smidge of low fat spread.

The biggest syn factor though by far is the prosecco consumption once the kids are in bed (as well as the cheeky glass whilst at the spa today!) in my defence I have been loading the glass with strawberries so my speedy fruit intake is up! 

We cooked a very scrummy curry and rice last night, semi cheating using a bit of pataks  rogan josh paste at 2 Syns per tbsp. Fresh garlic, ginger, onions, peppers, chicken, tomato purée, tinned tomatoes, passatta and spices. I was most impressed that the other 3 year old ate everything put in front of him, and wanted more. He had what was left over again for his tea tonight. 

Meanwhile we also made a basic Bolognese for my fussy little miss and the babies. Which also doubled up as my syn free lunch today. 
Tonight was my friend's turn to cook. She made a very tasty beef casserole loaded with onions, carrots and tinned tomatoes, and served with a jacket potato, broccoli and sugar snap peas. I had several helpings with lashings of the veg. 

Little man had a repeat of yesterday's bolognese and fromage frais fest, but with a slice of toast on the side. He also pinched a bit of the broccoli later. Little miss has 'basgetti' (or tinned spaghetti to the rest of us,) she didn't touch her toast. Whilst it was all very tasty my grand idea of  'one meal to suit us all' (why am I reminded of Lord of the rings at this point?) was blown out of the window. In fairness due to timing and the oven randomly switching off, but still. 

The other baby had been sick a few times today, so not really joined in with the food much, just the odd bit of bread. And just as we finally got little man settled tonight, little miss woke up being sick. I think the bug may be spreading! 

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Post tummy bug weaning

After a shockingly bad night with a poorly little boy, we started the day with our good old favourite, scrambled egg, tinned tomatoes and toast. I've stopped using butter/marge on mine as the juice of the tomatoes makes it moist enough. 

Little man didn't each much, a couple of soldiers at most, it's hard to tell when he mushes it all up and chucks it all over the floor! 
As ever little miss ate all of the egg and had to be coaxed into eating some toast.  

For lunch I roasted some potatoes in fry light, reheated some of the chicken that I roasted the other day, and served with broccoli, green beans and sweetcorn (but not for little miss 'I don't like sweetcorn') and some chicken gravy. 2 Syns for the granules. I didn't manage to get a picture between little man screaming, which I roughly translated as 'I don't want food, how dare you put me down, and NO I am not tired!' And little miss 'mummy I did a wee!' In her rapunzel dress, whilst sitting in the dining chair. I still haven't gotten to the bottom of why she failed to even attempt to make it to the toilet. 

Eventually we got to eat a cold roast dinner, which was quite tasty. Little man isn't over yesterday's tummy bug (tuna fish cakes, jelly and ice cream are far less appealing on the return journey, and are a bugger to get out of a car seat!) So he screwed his face up at all of the food offered and reluctantly accepted a biscotti and some milk. 

Little miss was all about the grapes for the rest of the day, and a biscotti that she pinched from her brother. Once they'd finally gone to sleep I opted for vino. Not strictly slimming world friendly but it was a necessary syn to save my sanity! 12 syns. 

After much umming and aahing over tea, I finally opted to adapt a Bolognese from the freezer to make chilli and rice. It was seriously tasty. The addition of coriander might well be my new thing for chilli. Served with rice and 30g cheddar (healthy extra.) 

Total = 14 syns. 

Back to normality...then again!

The visitors have all gone home. And so it was back to normality this morning. Except I forgot to get a shop in, and the cupboards are largely bare! Well, bare of healthy-slimming-world-friendly foods anyway. If I wanted to live on rusks, biscuits, petit filous, and sweet chilli crisps I'd be sorted. 

Breakfast for the little man was a farley's reduced sugar rusk, most of which was briefly sucked and then unceremoniously thrown on the floor. Little miss had Soooper Hoooops, for a change. And I managed to scavenge 1 end slice of a 400g wholemeal loaf for toast (with a second slice later once I'd been shopping, it counts as my healthy extra.) 

Off to preschool for little miss and to the new shopping centre for me and the little man. 
After a few hours exploring the shops and facilities I decided to stop by the food hall. Hmmm, it was a sea of KFC, Burger King, Costa, Taco Bell, Indian and Chinese food. This caused a long dilemma and much online syn searching. Having ruled out the big chains, and veto'd boots and sainsbury's sandwiches (something like 18 Syns for low fat egg mayo if I remember rightly.)

decided I'd go for the Chinese option. In my head I reasoned that if I was going to use precious Syns, it'd be on something tasty and that I'd not had for ages. Having studied the menu for a disproportionately long time, I dismissed anything deep fried (aka scrummy,) and opted for chicken noodles. I hadn't factored that these would be coated in a sheen that I'm hoping was oyster sauce but suspect was likely to be grease. 

It wasn't until I sat down with my £6 tray of noodles that I spotted a Spudulike! I was gutted. I could have had a syn free lunch. Which would have been cheaper and something I could have shared with the little man. You live and learn eh?! 

When we got home I opened a pot of baby fruit purée which the little dude practically inhaled. He demolished the entire pot and followed it up with a Heinz biscotti. 

For dinner I roasted a chicken. Went shopping for some veg, fruit and bread and promptly ran out of time to do roast spuds! So I served up chicken with mashed potato (using a splash of milk from my healthy extra allowance,) green beans, tender stem broccoli, cabbage and a splash of gravy for me. 1 syn for the teaspoon of gravy granules. 

Hopefully this won't have too big an impact on the scales. My balance between good and naughty last week resulted in me maintaining (neither gaining nor losing anything) so hopefully the worst this will do is to have no impact! 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Visitors, or uh-ohs and ta-dahs!

We've had a number of visitors staying with us over the last few days, so both adhering 100% to plan! and weaning healthily have taken a bit of a back step. Although he hasn't done too badly, a few more rice cakes, breadsticks and soldiers than normal. 

That said where I can I've limited the syns. Breakfasts have largely been either Slimming World friendly omelette or fruit salad and yogurt. Little man has been enjoying toast or his new found favourite...fromage frais!

I fell of the wagon slightly with a scrummy lasagne, whilst it can be made slimming friendly, this one wasn't. When I asked Mr TWM for the quantities used in the béchamel sauce so I could work out syns, he told me he had no clue as it was made by eye. So I decided to just enjoy it and accept that it may have an impact on the scales. I did only have a small piece and served it with loads of salad. - my definite uh-oh of the week! 

Little man also had lasagne (well the bolognese bit) which he absolutely devoured. I think we've discovered a new favourite.

I did make a very low syn oriental soup. Usually it'd be free but I realised once I started I'd run out of chicken stock, so used a flavour packet from a pack of noodles! This was my 'ta -dah' of the week! 

Cooked chicken breast (shredded using 2 forks), pack of stir fry veg, baby sweetcorn, chicken stock, Chinese 5 spice, 2 kaffir lime leaves (optional), ginger, 1 stick of lemongrass crushed (whole,) soy sauce, nam pla (fish sauce,) garlic, and chillies. Put it all in a pot together, bring to the boil and then simmer for up to 30 mins (anything beyond that and it gets a bit bitter.) can be served with noodles or just as it is. Yummy.  - Note the chilli content means it's not really suitable for the children. 

Fingers crossed my good elements will outweigh the naughtiness on the scales tomorrow! 

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Dancing and mayhem

Friday is dancing day. The baby heads of to nursery, where he is spoilt rotten with attention and playmates, whilst me and the preschooler go dancing. She has ballet followed by acrobatics. And  then it's 'mummy's class' where we do a kind of Zumba but without the annoying music,  whilst the kids play together nicely around us. It's great, Kathryn, who runs 'dance factory' is brilliant with the kids and novice exercisers like me! 

Before we left, didn't really have time for breakfast in the car, me and the preschooler had an Alpen light breakfast bar (3 Syns,) and a banana each. Baby had milk and then snack and lunch at nursery. 

Mid dancing snacks for the preschooler were chocolate and 'bear' fruit things!! I refrained, even though one of my fellow exercisers got a chip butty from the cafe next door! 
Once we'd all got home I reheated the stew and had my healthy extra wholemeal bread, baby fell asleep and preschooler refused to eat. 

Spent the rest of the day tidying like a madwoman ahead of a crazy few days of lots of visitors and sleepovers. 

Restocked the stew with more carrots and potatoes, ready for our tea. (I love stew but thank goodness tonight is the last of it!) I decided to treat myself, and join in with the tiger bread (approx 7 Syns) for dinner, and it was yummy. The preschooler, 6 year old visitor and baby also devoured the stew & bread. Washed down with a bottle of Becks blue. 

Total syns 14.5.  Not quite the low syn day I'd planned but it could have been worse! 

Quick note, best magazine (on sale until Monday 15th Feb,) has a voucher for free slimming world membership, so if you're thinking of joining it's worth getting! 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Let it stew for a bit...

Started late this morning, as the little man decided to sleep nicely last night, hoorah! And little miss was a bit under the weather this morning. So I didn't bother with breakfast (oops!), but madam had SOOOPER HOOOPS! 

I decided to cook a stew today, a firm favourite in our house. 

2 onions, 1 bag of carrots, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 pack of shin beef (removing visible fat much to my husband's disgust), 1 piece of oxtail (fat removed), 3/4 pack of knorr thick veg soup powder, and 1 bag of spuds. Chuck it all in a big pan (except the spuds) and cook for ages. Once it's basically all boiled and simmered for hours and you're fed up of waiting, add the potatoes. Boil again and then simmer as long as you can without chewing your arm off (and once the spuds are soft) and serve. Ideally with loads of buttered bread, but in this case with 2 x 400g wholemeal bread (healthy extra) thinly coated with low fat spread. The whole pan is 10 syns, so I count 1 syn per serving. 

The fussy preschooler demanded "no potatoes mummy, just carrots" (and then had 3 extra helpings of carrot, on top of the raw one we shared whilst cooking) and 3 slices of bread. Baby had a potato, 3 bits of carrot and some 'juice' squished together with a fork, and 3 buttered soldiers. He wolfed the lot down. 

We had the same again for dinner. But I added a piece of meat to the baby's bowl and a bit of extra juice to help soften the mulch. He wolfed that too (whilst wrestling to get the spoon and do it himself!)

Daddy brought an Easter egg home tonight. Cadbury buttons, yum! I worked out that 5 buttons is 1.5 syns (30g bag = 8 Syns / 37 buttons in the bag = 0.21 per button.) so that's what I stole from my preschooler, who didn't care as she had THE EGG!!! And was ever so slightly covered in a thin layer of chocolate. 

I also pinched a smidge of the remaining egg once she'd gone to bed! 

Total syns: 6 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

How much?

We were up and out early this morning, as I was using one of my 'keep in touch' days at work. Subsequently both kids had all of their meals at nursery today. The baby did really well today putting away several lots of fruit, a good chunk of ham and cheese potato cake for lunch. and pasta and cheese for his tea! They commented on his 'healthy appetite', little piglet. I think we can safely assume that after an unimpressed start he is embracing this food lark! 

I had a banana for breakfast, and then got so stuck into what I was doing didn't realise it'd gotten to lunch time. 
I'd put together a salad the night before, with romaine lettuce, 'bistro salad', cucumber, tomatoes, pickled onions, red pepper, broken up ryvita multigrain (2 syns each or 3 for a healthy extra), and 30g cheddar (also a healthy extra). Followed by a shape yogurt (free.) 
To be honest it wasn't that nice. The ryvita had gone a bit soggy from being in with the salad and in the fridge overnight. You live and learn eh! 

By mid afternoon I was ravenous, but hadn't taken anything else in with me, and couldn't justify the syns for crisps or chocolates. So I just ignored it. 

I had the mad dash, when I eventually got home, of feeding the baby (partly to relieve the pressure, partly because he was hungry and trying to attach to daddy, and partly to help reduce any excess weight ahead of my weekly weigh in,) and then getting ready to go!

I was shattered, and hungry by this point, so I made the decisïon to go to weigh in, but not stay to my group. We also decided to get a takeaway for tea! I'm slightly disappointed that I decided to go home, as this week I lost a whopping 4.5 lbs, which brings me to a total of 1stone loss in 4 weeks! :) 
Image copyright of Slimming world

I should probably add that after my giddiness at losing my first stone, I tried to limit the damage of the takeaway, whilst still thoroughly enjoying the excess Syns! I only had half of the naan bread rather than all of it. A nibble of poppadom (the preschooler nabbed the rest of the 'crispy' anyway.) half of the chicken tikka, a couple of chicken pakora, all the salad and just a couple of mouthfuls of chicken rogan josh with about an 1/8th of a chapatti. Very yummy and roughly 24 Syns for the lot. I washed it down with half a bottle of Becks blue, a very tasty non alcoholic beer at just 2.5 Syns a bottle. And then pinched one of my daughter's Freddy bars! (Oops, 5 Syns.) 

Total of 32.5 Syns!!! Better be good for a few days to counter balance it! 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Pancake day!

Hoorah for sleep! I think we may have turned a corner today with the little man's poorliness.

So we started the day with a super scrummy omelet. 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 onion, 1 tomato, bacon (all fat removed) and 3 eggs fried in fry light. Both me and the little man enjoyed it along with a slice of toast, ran out of 400g loaf so had a slice of full size bread (still counts as my healthy extra.) 2 syns for the low fat marge.

We had a good day of playing, and sorting washing, and finally got around to having something more than a banana snack late in the afternoon.
2 1/2 Sausages (Morrisons 2 syns chipolatas), mashed potatoes with cauliflower, broccoli, runner beans, cabbage and gravy, for a total of 5.5 syns. And it was good, so good in fact that my threenager ate all of hers plus an extra 2 sausages! Whilst the baby discovered that meat is way way nicer than anything else he's ever eaten, and devoured his sausage like we'd never fed him before. He then decided he'd try to feed himself the last of the mashed potato with his own spoon, and did a surprisingly good, if flukey, job of it.

Just in case you've been living in a cupboard this week, as you know today was pancake day, so we did the typical nip to the local shop to frantically buy up all the ingredients for a pancake. The preschooler loves pancakes, in particular helping daddy make them. I was most impressed that she mostly knew what ingredients were needed, and remembered that she had to 'dig a hole in the flour' for the eggs to go into! (I didn't know that!)

I didn't go for any of the 'slimming world hacks' for syn free pancakes made of cabbage, or whatever random actual pancake substitute is this year. Instead I had 2 regular crepe like pancakes, with lemon juice (fresh not plastic), sweetener, and raspberries and strawberries on the side.

The Preschooler discovered the joy of Nutella (think I may have created a rod for my own back there!) and the baby got his first taste of pancakes (no fillings). He was a bit tired and grumpy by this point, and upon realising that we weren't pandering to his protests at being in his chair, decided to 'show us' by angrily stuffing his face with pancakes! It was quite amusing and we considered ourselves well and truly told.

So all in all a good day. 10.5 syns in total, and no need to make 'individual' meals.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Monday 8th Feb

Last night was not a good night. The baby has a cold, possibly flu, and so was up frequently through the night, again. So today was a PJ day, (apart from for the preschooler who insisted on a 'dress up in every dressing up outfit I own for 5 minutes at a time' day.) 

We started with brunch, which consisted of a slimming world BLT for me (see previous post on breakfasts) 2 syns for the mayo and use of my healthy extra for the bread, bacon sandwich and dippy sauce for the preschooler, and toast for the baby. He ate it surprisingly well considering. 

After a looooong day, I finally got around to cooking dinner. I'd baked some chicken breasts earlier in the day, so sliced some up with salad and mayo in a wrap for the preschooler. She spent about half an hour deconstructing it, refusing resolutely to eat the wrap, and announcing that she doesn't like 'white dippy.' 

Meanwhile I used the rest of the chicken, an onion, red pepper, green pepper, garlic, chillies, paprika, ground cumin and ground black pepper, and fried it in fry light. I wrapped some into a small tortilla (5.5 syns) with fat free fromage frais, and served the rest on the side along with some of the salad I'd made for my preschooler. For something I'd made up on a whim, it was quite tasty, But I think in future I'd either forgo the tortilla wrap or rip it up and mix it in with the chicken fajita. 

I had a 350ml glass of skimmed milk, as my healthy extra calcium fix, and a rich tea biscuit (2 syns) as an evening snack.

Total of 9.5 syns today. 


Ultimately I plan to write daily (more or less) about what we are doing, and the ups and downs of slimming and weaning at the same time. But for today I thought I'd give you a flavour of our favourite slimming/weaning/fussy preschooler breakfasts.

A staple breakfast for me is raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes and half a banana, covered in shape fat free yogurt. 

I then cut the other half of the banana into chip shaped chunks (4 pieces) for the baby to squish into his face, hands, clothes, chair and occasionally his mouth. 

My preschooler will usually have cereal (Morrisons super hoops at the moment, mostly because she loves me asking if she would like SOOOPA HOOOPS!! For breakfast,)  followed by whichever bit of fruit I have left that takes her fancy. 

We also enjoy a BLT slimming world style.

Grill several rashers of bacon, making sure all visible fat is removed. Take two slices of 400g wholemeal bread (not granary or seeded bread for your healthy extra allowance, as they incur syns.) Spread 1 level tablespoon across the two slices (2 syns.) Slice one tomato, and tear some lettuce leaf, I prefer romaine lettuce, and build up your sandwich. 

The preschooler has one or two rashers in one slice of bread with both red and brown 'dippy' sauce. Let's face it, if it's not smothered in dippy sauce of some description she is not eating it! 

Meanwhile for now the baby has a slice of toast to scrunch up and unceremoniously squelch into his mouth, hair, clothes etc, as he gets some teeth he'll tuck into some bacon with the rest of us. 

On a weekend we thoroughly enjoy brunch. My personal favourite is scrambled egg, sausages, and tinned tomatoes on toast. I use Morrisons chipolata sausages at 2 syns each. The rest is free if using no butter on the healthy extra toast (the tomato juice makes it moist enough). 

I prefer my scrambled eggs cooked in the frying pan (with fry light) rather than in the saucepan or microwave. This method makes scrambled egg easy for the baby to eat as I can give him strips of egg, and soldiers, with unsalted butter/marge.

The preschooler is going through a phase of being obsessed with sausages, so she has a sausage sandwich ... with dippy sauce...and takes the bread off! We can but try. 

Sunday, 7 February 2016

In the beginning...

1/2st award
I rejoined my slimming group 4 weeks ago, so far I've lost 10lb. I am really chuffed with this, although slightly disappointed. 10lb in 3 weeks is great, but I lost 8lb in my first week. Yeah I was shocked and surprised too, I've never been one of those people who loses huge amounts each week. 

During my second week it was my birthday, so I celebrated by going out for meals, having people over and the most amazing, but so incredibly naughty, birthday cake made by my 3 year old daughter and her daddy. So to lose 1lb was in itself impressive. Birthday celebrations also crept into the following week, hence the second pride inducing 1lb loss. 

Next week's weigh in will be different, I'm back on it. Well apart from a leaving do night out at a very nice French restaurant with lashings of butter and yummy glazes. Although I lost track of how naughty the food was, I also had in the back of my mind not to fall too far from the wagon, so opted for smoked haddock risotto with green beans and a side salad rather than one of the many meals dripping in fat or creamy sauces. Unfortunately I forgot to ask for the salad with no dressing and it was smothered, so I didn't eat it. Nor did I consume vast quantities of alcohol. One medium white wine (for those following slimming world that's 6 Syns, they didn't do small glasses) and two bottles of Becks blue (non alcoholic, and just 2.5 Syns) 

Initially weaning was not going quite so well. The little man did not respond well to baby porridge or baby rice, and who could blame the poor little mite, they're awful. The only things I could coax him to eat were raspberries, and occasionally banana or potato (but only mash, not jackets or roasties - weird child.)
Yummy raspberries
 I resorted to google, and thought I'd try baby led weaning, or BLW to those in the know. Whilst phenomenally messy it seemed to pique his interest. Once you cut bananas into 'chip shaped pieces' they are slippery little suckers, but they squelch well and are quite tasty. Carrots once cooled are good for sore gums, and spiral pasta is just fun to play with and throw! 

As we've continued with BLW (not really following the rules but giving him finger foods) he has embraced it, actually eating some of the food rather than just squashing and throwing it. And I've found it easier to give him some of whatever I'm cooking. Toast seems to be the favourite so far. Lightly buttered (low fat low salt marge) 400g wholemeal brown bread, with the crusts removed and cut into little soldiers, is tasty, has a great new texture and is also fun to play with. 

So now we are back in the game I'll start sharing what we eat, how to only make one meal to cover us all and, if relevant, my recipes. And hopefully there will be a bigger result on the scales soon.

What am I doing here?

After the birth of my second child, I decided I really needed to lose the weight I'd gained during both of my pregnancies. 6 months later I finally started to do something about it. I joined slimming world. It's worked for me in the past so I figured it could work again. But I also chose slimming world because I knew it was about eating healthy, fresh food, and not just processed or junk foods in moderation. It's a weight loss plan that would coincide perfectly with weaning my 6 month old.

The TinyWeanyMummy blog is essentially going to follow my weight loss journey, and my son's weaning journey. I don't profess to be an expert, I'm merely a mum who is trying out different things to see what works. Sometimes the 'Syns' will be excessive and the halo will slip (OK, often.) I'll have days where baby mush pouches and chocolate biscuits will be all my son eats. And that's ok, whatever gets you through 'those days,' when the preschooler is pushing those threenager boundaries as far as she can, and the baby is absolutely not tired, not even a little bit. But I intend to get us all straight back on the 'healthy eating' wagon the following day...or definitely the day after that!

Before and after children