Where in the World is Rebecca Today?

Personal Blog

Slimming World: A Week in the Life

1911353_10152275381477160_591973515_o Last night I got my 2 Stone Award!!

A few of my friends have asked me what I eat since I tend to have consistent weight loss, and when I do have a wobble, I usually know what the cause was. I lose on average 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 pounds per week, which for me isn’t bad! So since I decided to start tracking my food again this week, I thought I would post a typical week. I’ll add recipes at the bottom.

For those of you not on Slimming World, Slimming World has 5 categories for food. Free and Super Free (mostly fruit, vegetables, and other food that fill you up – things like pasta, rice, lean meats, etc.), Syns, Healthy Extra As (something with calcium), and Healthy Extra Bs (something with Fiber). Additional As and Bs can be had, but you count them as Syns. The booklet you get when you join has hundreds of Syn values, and you can find the values for everything else online (or with the ap). If the Syns aren’t listed, you can use the Syn calculator. If an item has Syns, the number is indicated in parenthesis. Slimming World has three eating plans, Original, Green, and Extra Easy. I tend to follow Extra Easy. Unless otherwise stated, the coffee I drink is fresh brewed, sweetened with saccharine tablets and my tea is Tetley “best of both” blend. Mayonnaise used is Hellman’s Lightest, Ketchup is always Heinz Reduced Sugar and Salt, Bread is usually from a 400g loaf of Warburton’s, Squash is no added sugar Robinsons.

Day 1
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk measured out and used in tea/coffee
Breakfast – BLTEP(*) wrap in a Weight Watcher’s Tortilla (5 Syns) with Mayonnaise (.5 Syns), banana, coffee with milk.
Morning Snack – grapes, a pear, 500ml squash, and a cup of tea with milk
Lunch – Leftover Stew(**), 60g sliced wholemeal bread (HEB) with Flora spread (.5 Syns), 500ml no added sugar lemon squash, cup of tea with milk
Afternoon Snack – WW mini cake (3 Syns), apple, cup of tea with milk
Dinner/Tea – Vegetarian Chilli(***), 500ml diet iced tea
Evening Snack – RitterSport chocolate (6 Syns), cup of tea with milk
Total Syns: 15

Day 2
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk measured out and used in tea/coffee
Breakfast – 3 egg omelette with 10g Reduced Fat Cheddar cheese (1.5 Syns), tomatoes, mushrooms, and 1 TBS Reduced Sugar and Salt Heinz Ketchup (.5 Syn), banana, coffee with milk, tea with milk
Morning Snack – Grapes and a plum, tea with milk, 500ml squash
Lunch – 3 Chicken Fingers(^) (3 Syns), seasoned potato wedges, cucumber salad(^^), Ranch dressing dip (made with powder and Greek yogurt) (.5 Syn), 1 TBS Reduced Sugar and Salt Heinz Ketchup (.5 Syn), 500ml diet iced tea
Afternoon Snack – apple and a pear with a cup of tea with milk
Dinner/Tea – I tried making mushy pea curry, but I didn’t like it, so I wound up with beans on toast (HEB), salad, and 500ml squash
Evening Snack – WW cake (3 Syns), tea with milk
Total Syns: 9

Day 3
Breakfast – BLTEP sandwich on wholegrain bread (HEB) with 1 TBS Lightest Mayo (.5 Syn), banana, Coffee with milk (.5 Syn)
Morning Snack – 500ml squash, tea with milk (.5 Syn), beans on toast (5 Syn)
Lunch – Pasta with Lightest Philadelphia Cream Cheese (HEA) stirred in and one Chicken finger(^) cut up (1 Syn), Cucumber salad(^^), apple, 500ml squash, tea with milk (.5)
Afternoon Snack – Pink N White (2.5 Syns), pear, tea with milk (.5)
Dinner/Tea – Pork steaks with mustard and agave(^^^) (1 Syn), sauteed potatoes, sprouts, salad, muller light yogurt, 500ml diet iced tea
Evening Snack – Options hot chocolate (2.5 Syns)
Total Syns: 14.5

Day 4
Breakfast – BLTEP* on wholegrain toast (HEB) with mayo (.5 Syn), coffee with milk (.5 syn), tea with milk (.5 syn), plum
Morning Snack – ASDA Vitality cereal bar (3.5 Syns), apple, coffee with milk (.5 Syn)
Lunch – Jacket Potato with reduced fat Cheddar cheese (HEA), Tuna mayo (1 Syn), and ketchup (.5 Syn), salad, pear, green tea, 500ml squash
Afternoon Snack – Pink N White (2.5 Syns), tea with milk (.5 syn), 500ml squash
Dinner/Tea – Fish and Chips(+) (2.5 Syns), mushy peas, salad, ketchup (.5 Syn), 500ml squash
Evening Snack – green tea
Total Syns: 13

Day 5
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk used in coffee and tea
Breakfast – BLETP on toast (HEB) with mayo (.5 Syn), coffee with milk, tea with milk
Morning Snack – 500ml diet iced tea (++) (.5 Syn), plum
Lunch – (I wasn’t feeling well) Scrambled eggs, 10g cheddar (1.5 Syns), wholegrain toast (rest of HEB), green tea
Afternoon Snack – Atkins Endulge Chocolate Coconut bar (6.5 Syns), 500ml diet iced tea (.5 Syn)
Dinner/Tea – Roast chicken, roast potatoes, mushy peas, sprouts, ketchup (.5 Syn), tea with milk
Evening Snack – Options Hot Chocolate (2.5 Syn) made up with water and the rest of my HEA milk
Total Syns: 12.5

Day 6
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk used in coffee and tea
Breakfast – Eggs over easy, Toast (HEB), lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise (.5 Syn), Apple, coffee with milk
Morning Snack – ASDA Vitality cereal bar (3.5 Syn), Pear, coffee with milk, 500ml squash
Lunch – Salad – lettuce, tomato, cucumber, chicken, corn, pasta, and dressing(^^), mullerlight yogurt, banana, 500ml squash
Afternoon Snack – 2 cups of tea with milk, no food as we were going out to dinner….
Dinner/Tea – Dinner out at the Fox and Hounds pub — baked sea bass with parsley, boiled new potatoes, salad, and cole slaw (counting 1 Syn for the mayo in the slaw), and then because I had some Syns left and I looked up on the Slimming World App that a basic Lemon Meringue was 8.5, I had that for desert, and 500ml sparkling water
Evening Snack – cup of green tea
Total Syns: I counted today at 15 since we went out to dinner. If the desert was 8.5, I had 14 Syns, but I am counting it as 15 to be safe, though I might have gone over 15 for the day, depending on how “naughty” the desert was!

Day 7 – Weigh In Day!
HEA: 250ml semi-skimmed milk used in coffee and tea+++
Breakfast – Scrambled eggs, baked beans, grilled tomato, apple, coffee with milk
Morning Snack – pear, mullerlight, coffee with milk
Lunch – We went to Morrison’s Cafe since we had a meeting in town. I had a Jacket potato with beans and a salad (no dressing), a mullerlight, and 2 cups of peppermint tea (all free!)
Afternoon Snack – apple, 500ml squash and a cup of peppermint green tea
Dinner/Tea – Eggs over easy, Toast (HEB), lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise (.5 Syn), RitterSport (5 Syn), tea with milk
Evening Snack – 2 Pink N Whites (5 Syn), tea with milk
Total Syns: 10.5

And this week I lost 2.5lbs to finally get my 2 stone award!

Some days I ate lots of food, some days I didn’t eat as much, but the idea is to eat if you are hungry — ie, don’t starve yourself and always eat until you are full. Some days all I really needed to feel full was some eggs and toast. Some days I needed more. Most days I ate salad at least once, maybe twice. I know it’s not the season for it, but a small pile of leaves and tomato with cucumber on the side is manageable.

1889655_10152267807482160_614012872_o1780589_10152266179582160_467023877_o1794883_10152265816302160_1318356368_ochilli

~~*~~

* – BLTEP wrap or sandwich is a lean bacon, lettuce, tomato, egg, and pickle (gherkin) wrap/sandwich. I usually use 1TBS of Lightest mayonaise for 1/2 Syn, and either my HEB bread choice or I Syn a wrap. This became my go-to breakfast all week!

** – I made this in the crock pot on Wednesday and had the leftovers for lunch the following day. Combine diced chicken breasts, mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, peas, and tinned tomato in your crock pot with 2 Knorr stock pots, mixed herbs, and 3 bay leaves. If you are using frozen chicken and vegetables, you don’t need to add any water. If using fresh, add a mugful of water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. To thicken the stew, take a ladleful of the vegetables and blitz with a stick blender, then stir back in.

*** – See Slimming World Friendly Chilli

^ – I used a bag of 10 frozen chicken fillets from iceland and coated them with a beaten egg and then crumbs made from 2 slices of Hovis bread (10 syns for the bread), so I calculated these at 1 Syn per strip)

^^ – Super easy and free dressing made from 2TBS greek yogurt, 1TBS apple cider vinegar, and 1tsp dill, added to diced cucumbers and tomatoes on a bed of lettuce

^^^ – I coated pork steaks with 1TBS Tesco Whole Grain Mustard (1/2 Syn) and 1TBS Agave syrup (1/2 Syn) in a hot oven for 10 minutes on each side.

+ – I coated the fish with an egg wash and crumbs made from 1 slice of wholegrain bread

++ – Some of the iced tea I was drinking has 0 calories, so it is free, but another brand has 5 calories per serving, so 1L is 20 calories or 1 Syn.

+++ – I always measure out 250ml of milk in the morning and then keep track of my cups of tea/coffee. If I decide to have cheese later in the day, I change the tea/coffee to 1/2 Syn per splash of milk. If I have any milk leftover at the end of the day, I will either drink it straight or have an Options hot chocolate made up with water and topped up with the last bit of milk.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[Recipe] Slimming World Friendly Chilli

chilli I made this for dinner tonight and put this photo on Facebook. My friend Jess asked for the recipe, so I thought I would share it here too.

This makes a mild, sweet vegetarian* chilli and it’s FREE.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You Will Need:

300g Quorn Mince
500g/ml (one carton) Passata
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans
dash of Worcester sauce
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of Splenda or other sweetener

To serve:
fat free Fromage Frais or fat free Greek yoghurt
grated reduced fat cheddar cheese**

Simply combine all ingredients in a heavy pot with a lid (I used my Le Creuset) and heat on high until it boils, then put the lid on and simmer it for 30-45 minutes. OR, you could put all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low. The longer this cooks, the better the flavours get.

Then just dish it up and add a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of fromage frais or Greek yoghurt. Yum.

~~*~~
*You could use Turkey mince or lean beef mince instead of Quorn, just remember it has to have less than 5% fat to be considered free.
**If you do not use the cheese as your HEA, you will need to look up the Syn value for your cheese.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[Recipe] Slimming World Syn Free Barbecue

January 2014 003 Barbecue sauce is a fantastic condiment/sauce that you don’t really think much of when you use it. You just grab a bottle and squirt, or grab a bottle and dump the whole thing in your crock pot with some meat. But bottled barbecue sauce is full of sugar and it can be a detriment to your weight loss. Fortunately, someone has come up with a Syn Free version of barbecue sauce! Below you will find the recipe for the barbecue sauce as well as a few recipe ideas for using it.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You will need:

500g Passata (one carton)
4 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp powdered mustard (Colmans)
3 TBS Splenda
1+ tsp mild chili powder
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

All you need to do is combine the ingredients in a pan over a medium heat and cook until it thickens. You can use as much mild chili powder as you want until you get it as hot as you prefer, and you can even add some dried flakes or use hot powder. If you’re balking at the price of Balsamic Vinegar, I found a large bottle for 99p at Lidl.

When it’s cooked, it’s ready to be stored it in the fridge for about a week.

Alternately, if you are going to use in in a recipe, you can put all the ingredients into a bottle and give it a shake.

Total Syns = 0

It goes fantastic with my family’s Kitchen Barbecue recipe, modified for Slimming World!

You will need:
500g lean turkey mince (or Quorn mince)
2 packs Quorn hot dogs, sliced into small rounds*
2 bags Uncle Ben’s boil in bag rice
200g frozen peas (or mixed veg)
1 Knorr Stock pot or stock cube (either chicken or vegetarian)
250ml hot water
one batch of Slimming World barbecue sauce

1. Cook Uncle Ben’s rice for half the time listed on the package (I think it says boil for 10 minutes, so only boil for 5)
2. Spray a wok or large frying pan with fry light and brown turkey mince.
3. Mix stock pot/cube with 250ml hot water and add to the mince along with the half-cooked rice.
4. Stir in the frozen peas or mixed vegetables. Cover, and let cook 5-10 minutes.
5. Stir in the barbecue sauce
6. Add the hot dog pieces, cover, and cook for 10 minutes or until hot dogs are warmed through, the vegetables are cooked, and sauce is bubbling.

Total Syns = 0

Or, you could use the barbecue sauce to make a SW friendly Hunter’s Chicken with chicken breasts, bacon medalions (with the fat cut off), and your HEA cheese option (or Syn the cheese).

Another idea might be to toss the sauce into a crock pot with a piece of pork for shredded pork.

The possibilities are endless as you can use this sauce exactly like you would barbecue sauce from a bottle!

~~*~~

*If you’re not following Slimming World, you can use regular deli hot dogs (not the tinned ones) or you can Syn the hot dogs.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

Making A Recipe Slimming World Friendly

sausagepie copy

In February 2012, I blogged a Hairy Biker’s recipe for Sausage and Bean Pie. Tim and I both loved it, but the recipe went out of rotation when I started eating low-carb in March 2012, and never made it back into the rotation until today. I was cold and I wanted some good, warm, comfort food. Since beans and potatoes are free with Slimming World, I thought I would try my hand at modifying the recipe.

So, let’s take a look at the original recipe:

You will need:
750g Maris Piper potatoes
3 TBS cooking oil
8 sausages (I used Tesco half-fat)
2 x 415g tins of baked beans

So right away, I see a swap I can make. Instead of cooking oil, I will use Fry Light. And instead of any sausage, I will pick a low-syn or free sausage. Fortunately, there’s this nifty little graphic floating around Pinterest to help:

sausagesyns

I chose to use Quorn sausages, which also makes this recipe vegetarian. The ones I had in our freezer were 1/2 Syn per sausage, so that makes the total Syns for the dish so far 4 Syns.

Beans and potatoes are free, so those can stay.

Now, we’ll look at the instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Quarter the potatoes and put in a pan of boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, fry the sausages in 1 TBS oil until browned. (or grill them)
3. Put the sausage in the bottom of a shallow casserole dish and cover with beans. Set aside.
4. Drain and roughly cut the potatoes into chunks. Don’t worry about the skins. Some of the skins will fall off after boiling, some won’t.
5 – Fry the potato chunks in the remaining oil for 2-3 minutes. Pour potatoes on top of sausage and beans
6 – Bake at 200C 15-20 minutes until potatoes are crisp on top and the beans are hot.

Right away, I spot the word fry. Instead of frying the sausages, I could grill them as that doesn’t add any syns. And the potatoes that need to be fried can be done with Fry Light, which is free. Or, I could Syn the oil, but I want this dish to be as low Syn as possible. I’m also going to take my advice from my previous post and add poached eggs to the meal to help fill us up more. Other than that, it looks pretty straight forward. So my new and improved Sausage and Bean Casserole now looks like this:

You will need:
750g potatoes
8 low or no Syn sausages
2 x 415g tins of baked beans
Fry Light
2 eggs per person

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Quarter the potatoes and put in a pan of boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, grill the sausages as per package instructions,
3. Put the sausage in the bottom of a shallow casserole dish and cover with beans. Set aside.
4. Drain and roughly cut the potatoes into chunks. Don’t worry about the skins. Some of the skins will fall off after boiling, some won’t.
5 – Fry the potato chunks in Fry Light for 2-3 minutes. Pour potatoes on top of sausage and beans.
6 – Bake at 200C 15-20 minutes until potatoes are crisp on top and the beans are hot.
7 – While casserole is cooking, bring a pan of water to the boil. Carefully drop in two eggs per person, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 2-4 minutes, depending on how soft you want your eggs.

The result? This:

1618126_10152225918837160_29270457_o

Total Syns for the whole dish? 4. So take the number of portions and divide to get your Syns. We each ate plenty, plus I have some to save for breakfast in the morning, so dinner tonight was 1 1/2 Syns.

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[Recipe] Slimming World Friendly Weetabix Muffins

1184829_10152221698197160_1021972023_n 1520789_10152221699362160_573881586_n I sometimes struggle to eat my Healthy Extra A and B each day, particularly the B choice, as I got myself out of eating carbs the year I followed a low-carb diet. Fortunately, I found this recipe for Weetabix Muffins on facebook that makes eating my Healthy B easy and spreads it out through the day (or makes a night evening snack). Since I also needed my Healthy A, I frosted the muffins with cream cheese.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You will need:

for the muffins:
-2 crushed Weetabix biscuits
-2 eggs, beaten
-1/2 of a container of any flavour müllerlight yogurt (I used 3 desertspoonfuls of the Cranberry & Raspberry flavour)
-2 tsp Splenda
-1tsp vanilla essence

Silicone muffin cases

for the “frosting”:
-70g Philadelphia Lightest
-1-2 tsp Splenda
-1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C
2) combine Weetabix, eggs, yogurt, Splenda, and vanilla and spoon into muffin cases. you should fill the cups to nearly the top. I made 5 using my heart-shaped cups from Lakeland, but I think it would have made only 4 in regular sized ones. If you don’t have silicone cases, you could use paper liners in a cupcake pan.
3) bake 20-25 minutes, until the edges pull away slightly and they are springy.
4) If making “frosting”, combine cream cheese, vanilla, and 1 tsp Splenda. Give it a quick taste test and if it’s not sweet enough for you, add some more Splenda.
5) Spread on top of slightly cooled muffins for your HEA and HEB in one go!

Since I used a pink coloured yogurt, mine had a slight pink tinge to them and a vague taste of berry. They were slightly on the sweet side, so I might use less Splenda the next time and also try them with just vanilla yogurt.

If you have already had your A and B for the day, you would need to calculate the Syns. Philadelphia Lightest is 1.5 Syns per 25g on all plans, and Weetabix are 6.5 Syns on all plans. I would round up the cream cheese in the frosting to 75g, making the icing 4.5 Syns and the muffins 6.5, or 11 Syns total for all the muffins with frosting. Obviously, you could then divide this into your per muffin Syn value. If you made this into 5 muffins, they would be just over 2 Syns each.

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

24 Hours in Lincoln County Hospital

hospitalinstagram Thursday to Friday last week I was on the Shuttleworth Ward at the Lincoln County Hospital for what amounted to 24 hours. The care I had in hospital was excellent, and the staff there even waived the visiting hours rule for me since I was brought in as an emergency case and my status was unknown for large parts of Thursday evening and Friday afternoon. But before I get to that, let me explain what was going on with me, in a sort of diary form as that’s the easiest way for me to get everything out.

30 December 2013
I woke up with a very large, very painful lump/bump on my neck. A call to my regular GP yielded no available appointments, so a trip to the Monk’s Road Walk-In Centre was made. At the clinic, the nurse diagnosed me with an Abscess and prescribed Flucloxacillin, with instructions to seek medical help if the pain or swelling got worse.

31 December 2013
I was wheeling around Waitrose and started to feel ill in general. I don’t even remember going through the tills, but I did stop in the cafe for my freebie cup of tea (Peppermint, I thought to calm my stomach) and a sandwich. Well, I wasn’t able to eat my sandwich and only could sip at my tea because the pain was getting worse by the minute and the pain was spiking up into my head and across my shoulders to the point where I was holding in tears. After talking to my husband, it was decided that I needed to get to A&E and my options were waiting for the bus, going home and waiting for Tim to get home, or asking someone to take me. Fortunately, Tim works with someone who was coming on to relieve Tim and he happened to live near to where I was, so he gave me a lift to the hospital.

While there, I was sent straight up to the ENT Clinic and the doctor there diagnosed me with Cellulitis and prescribed a higher dose of Flucloxacillin and some Codeine for the pain. He set me an appointment in two weeks, where it should “be the size of a pea” and he would be able to easily cut it out. Oh, if only we had a crystal ball…..

1 January 2014
I woke up completely disoriented and didn’t even know where I was. A text message full of gibberish went to Tim who was at work, and I eventually got it together enough to ring 111. 111 sent me to the After Hours GP at the hospital, where it was determined that I was having a reaction to the codeine and was prescribed Naproxen (Alieve! Hey, I know that drug!) instead. The after hours GP also told me this wasn’t an abscess or cellulitis, but was a sebaceous cyst.

2 – 4 January 2014
The cyst got bigger.

5 January 2014
Just as we were getting ready to welcome friends to a garden railway party, I started to feel amazing. No pain whatsoever, but…what’s that smell? I went all over the house trying to find the source of this smell before I said to Tim “I think it’s me” and he looked at my neck and sure enough, the cyst had exploded. It wasn’t a burst, so much as an explosion. Friends came to the rescue once again and our local friend Sue took me into A&E so Tim could stay with our guests. At A&E they drained it….which was really painful and told me I “wouldn’t need to be seen again” for this issue. Again, where’s that crystal ball?

6 January 2014
Yep, it got bigger again.

7 January 2014
I noticed hives on my arm and back, and just assumed it was from the dust we kicked up cleaning the workshop earlier in the da, so I took some antihistamine and went to bed.

8 January 2014
I had a routine appointment with my dermatologist and showed her my neck. She was alarmed at the size of it and said I needed to see an ENT urgently (good thing I had the appointment already booked) and made noises about plastic surgery on my neck to remove the “capsule”. Yikes. She also refilled my flucloxacillin, but when I told her about the hives, she advised that it could be the flucloxacillin and to keep an eye on things and if the hives got worse to seek medical attention or come in to see her.

Later that night, the hives came back. I wound up ringing 111 and going into after hours to get my prescription changed to Erythromycin, and the GP there advised that I have my GP office add an allergy to Penicillin to my record.

9 January 2014
Despite being off the flucloxacillin, the hives got WORSE. Painfully worse. My fingers were swelling, my wrist were swelling, and my hands were painful. I rang my GP office as it was still during their open hours and I was told to come straight in. I saw Dr Nellist who took one look at me, measured the abscess (which had grown and started to weep), took my vitals, and said “I’m ringing the hospital and sending you there”. eeek!

I got to the hospital around 7PM. We had no idea what was going on, but then Tim saw my name up on their board that shows who is in what bed and we both said “uh-oh”. Tim stayed with me and I was seen by the ENT within an hour who prescribed an IV antibiotic and an IV anti histamine. The plan was to drain the abscess, but at this point they weren’t sure if it would be that night or the following day. They finally decided to wait until morning, and told me I could eat until 3AM. At this point, Tim went home to get me some things for overnight (pyjamas, a blanket, entertainment) and some food. He came back around 11PM and helped me change (hard to do with an IV stuck in your arm!) and I got into bed. The nurse offered to bring me toast and tea around 230 in the morning so I’d have something in my stomach in the morning just in case. They also added an IV drip around 6AM of what they called a “meal in a bag”. You might recall the last time I was in hospital I had to ask for this, so I was happy to not need to ask!

10 January 2014
A very nice trio of doctors came to see me and the consultant wanted it to be drained that morning. However, the junior doctor didn’t feel comfortable doing it since she hadn’t done it before on a neck, so I had to wait for the other doctor to be free. After finding out it wouldn’t happen in the morning, they decided to feed me Lunch, but I was advised to take it easy on the food just in case, so I just had a salad.

The surgeon came past just as I was walking to the loo and told me he was going to do it now, so I hurried back. The whole procedure took maybe 20 minutes under local anesthesia, but it still was really painful. Tim arrived partway through and I told him to stay away because it was really gross! After he was done, the surgeon advised for me to stick around for another hour but he didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to leave as long as I had no complications and to keep it dry for 48 hours.

Of course, there were complications. They came in the form of a lovely ring of hives on my back and across my chest. Crap. So, more anti histamines and IV antibiotics and I needed to see a doctor to determine if they needed me to stay another night. The anti histamine worked, so the doctor decided to release me into the care of my GP if the hives came back and they gave me prescriptions for Clindamycin and an anti histamine.

10 – 11 January 2014
I was okay, but the dressing came off so Tim had to help me apply a new one. It was bleeding a little, but nothing to be concerned about.

12 January 2014
I decided to take a bath, and Tim and I had a date night, a lovely meal out at Ask! Italian followed by the latest Hobbit film. I only had a small plaster over my neck and all was well, so we went to bed.

13 January 2014
This morning, I woke up with my hair covered in blood. At some point overnight my movement caused it to burst again. A phone call into my GP had me going in to see the nurse, who gave me some dressings with stronger adhesives and took a look at it. She discovered that there is still a core inside my neck several inches long and I would need more antibiotics, so I was given some Erythromycin again, and a follow-up appointment for Thursday. Tomorrow I see the ENT (the original appointment given to me by A&E way back on the 30th), so we will see what happens. Like I said, the dermatologist wants me to see a plastic surgeon, so we shall see what happens.

But let’s sum this up…in the past two weeks I have been to:

-a walk-in clinic
-A & E 2x
-seen an ENT doctor 3x
-After hours appointments 2x
-admitted to hospital for 24 hours
-on-call/emergency GP appointments 2x
-seen my dermatologist

and been prescribed:

-Flucloxacillin 3x
-Codeine
-Naproxen
-Erythromycin 2x
-Clindamycin
-Chlorpheniramine
plus 3x antibiotics via IV and 2x antihistamine via IV

as well as had minor surgery.

Because I have a pre-pay prescription certificate the total cost out of pocket to us for all of this care? about £10 in parking fees.

Who exactly thinks national healthcare is a bad thing again?

PS: Yes, I have photos of my neck day-by-day but they really are too gross to post!

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

2 comments

Slimming World: Success with the Countdown to Success

S7 S14 S21 Club10

Wow. I joined Slimming World 12 weeks ago and bought a Countdown to Success….and well, I’d say it’s been a success! Tonight was my week 12 weigh-in, and not only did I achieve my Club 10, but I also got my 1 1/2 stone award. Yep. 10% lighter than I was at the end of October. I can’t tell you how pleased I am.

I also kept track of my measurements in an excel spreadsheet and I’ve managed to lose 28.5 inches overall in 12 weeks AND my BMI has gone down by more than 4. Even more amazing is I’ve lost over 4 inches from my belly, something that as a PCOS sufferer is really hard to do!

I’m getting there.

Slowly, but steadily. I had a few wobbles in the past 12 weeks (gained 1 lb at our wedding anniversary week, gained 1 pound over Christmas), but overall the trend has been down. I might only be dropping a pound or two per week, but it’s all going in the right direction.

And honestly? I don’t miss the junk food. With 5-15 Syns per day, I’ve still been having “junk”, just in moderation. A Lindt truffle is 4 Syns, so when I have one I get to savor the flavour and enjoy it instead of just shovelling it into my mouth. Or biting into a crumpet with a little bit of Flora light spread on it. Even drinking an Options hot chocolate becomes a taste event as the hot chocolate is 2 Syns per 11g (one sachet). Sometimes I save my Healthy Extra A and use it to make a milky Options hot chocolate before bed. Most of the time my HEA is cheese. If you put milk in your tea, you can either take it out of your HEA or you can count it as .5 syn for a splash, so I tend to spend my syns on milk and go for the cheese. Our consultant said she doesn’t like having cheese because of measuring it out, but when you start to shred it, it really becomes quite a lot of cheese! I got a hand crank grater from Wilkos for less than £2 and that makes it super easy to grate. Or I’ll stir Philadelphia Lightest into some pasta for a take on macaroni cheese.

When it comes to my Healthy Extra B, I sometimes struggle. Especially when crackerbread got removed from the options! But 2 Alpen Light bars or 2 Hifi Light bars count as the HEB, and that includes some chocolate variations. A couple of Ryvita topped with cream cheese is both my HEA and HEB at the same time. Lately, I’ve been eating 2 slices of wholegrain bread from a small loaf for toast. The most important part is carefully measuring out your As and Bs. Argos sells a cheap digital scal for a fiver, and most measuring jugs, cups, and spoons can be had for less than £1 for a set at Wilkos.

And the free and superfree food! Some of the things that are free are Amazing! Baked beans, Mullerlight yougurts, rice, pasta…..all unlimited. All free. Fresh/raw fruit….superfree. Veggies? Do whatever you want to them and they’re superfree. And don’t forget your lean meats, bacon with the rind cut off, quorn mince (and some other products, like quorn hot dogs!), mince with less than 5% fat…..All unlimited. I have made so many meals totally free, which saves up my Syns for treats later.

So what has a typical day looked like in the past 12 weeks?

Breakfast – Baked beans and scrambled eggs done with fry light (sometimes on Toast as my HEB), sometimes an omelette with my HEA cheese), mullerlight yogurt, an apple, a banana. On days that we have extra time, I do a Slimming World “grill up” – grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, bacon without the rind, and eggs. I’ve made breakfast sandwiches combining my HEA & HEB with eggs and bacon. And always a cup of coffee with a splash of milk (.5 syns) and a cup of tea with milk (.5 syns). Sometimes I’ll enjoy a glass of Innocent Orange Juice (2 syn per 100ml), though I haven’t had juice in ages. Usually if I want orange juice, I’ll mix up some orange sugar free squash (FREE).

AM snack – a cup of green tea (milkless) and an Alpen bar or Hifi Light bar (3 Syns or half my HEB). Usually another piece of fruit or a handful of cherry tomatoes.

Lunch – Salad, a jacket potato topped with Tuna and lightest mayo (1 syn per TBS), a grilled gammon steak (no rind) with fresh pineapple and a fried egg, If I haven’t had my HEA and HEB yet, sometimes I’ll do Ryvita with lightest Philadelphia topped with some chopped veggies. For a dressing for my salad, I’ll take some fat free fromage frais or Total 100% greek yogurt with some dill and other herbs in it (free) or a 1/2 Tablespoon of some imported Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (.5 Syn). I usually round out the meal with a mullerlight and an apple, banana, some grapes, or strawberries.

Afternoon Snack – A cup of green tea, and some veggie sticks. for a dip, I make one out of greek yogurt or fromage frais and some dill and other herbs.

Dinner – We might use some syn free barbecue sauce (recipe coming soon), a HEA worth of cheese, bacon, and some chicken breast to make hunter’s chicken served with lots of steamed veggies. Or I might put some salmon with lemon pepper and dill in the steamer along with some potatoes and other veggies. If I haven’t used my HEB for the day, I might blitz some wholemeal bread and make breadcrumbs for fish and chips or chicken nuggets. Occasionally we’ll have a pasta based dish, since pasta is free, but I’m still on the low-ish carb thing and I’d rather eat potatoes than pasta for a carb! On Sundays, I do a full roast with potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.

Bedtime snack – Options hot chocolate (2 Syns) with a splash of milk to make it creamy (.5 syns) and a pink and white wafer biscuit (2.5 syns)

At this point, I usually tally up my syns for the day to see if I can have anything else. If I eat everything listed here, that’s 12.5 syns for the day so I usually will end it at that especially if I had any other cups of regular tea with milk, but if I had less than 10 syns, I might break into the chocolate and have an Lindt truffle.

I still sometimes keep a food diary. My cousin suggested a journal to track things, and Slimming World encourages you to track your first four weeks. I very religiously tracked for my first 4 weeks and continued on until around week 8. Then, I only tracked things when I felt like I needed to keep track, like if we ate a meal out. But I find tracking my food a very good tool and while I don’t want to track food for the rest of my life, if it works, it works.

And next week? Another Countdown to Success. 12 more weeks. If I can lose another stone and a half, that will bring me within a few pounds of my first target!

Are you interested in joining Slimming World? Check their website for your local group’s information! Their website also has some great taster menus for you to try out before you join, and several women’s magazines have been running coupons this month to get your first week for free!

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

2 comments

My Slimming World Journal

When you join Slimming World, you are given a booklet with all the information you need and the back of the book has your weight loss log. Your consultant also gives you 4 weeks worth of food diary pages. I decided that I needed to have my own little journal to use as I saw fit, and I thought I would share my journal with all of you so you can work out how to make your own.

First, I needed a really nice notebook. Fortunately, I had a Cath Kidston notebook I received for free back in March, and I decided to use that one.

December 2013 598

As you can see, I added a red ribbon to the inside and back cover to tie it shut, and I made a pen loop from some Union flag ribbon on the back. I also used some post-it tabs to tab off the weeks as they happen so I can easily go back and look at other weeks.

The inside front cover is peppered with things I printed off Pinterest. Some are silly/sarcastic, some are motivational…basically, anything that would keep me going and bring a smile to my face. I also glued in the post-it tabs so they would be handy. I use the smaller purple ones to mark important things I want to be sure to be able to find again.

December 2013 599

This was my very first day on Slimming World. My week goes from Thursday to Wednesday since we have our group meeting on Wednesdays.

December 2013 601

When I got my first 1/2 stone off, I pasted it into my notebook and marked the spot with a purple tab to find later.

December 2013 602

And when I reached personal milestones, I wrote them down in my book, too.

December 2013 603

One stone gone, and an inspirational quote I needed to see that week.

December 2013 604

I also cut things out of other weight loss magazines that offered some encouragement, like this woman who was around the same age, weight, and height as me.

December 2013 605

Lastly, on the back cover, I pasted in some syn value charts I found online and kept a running list of the synned items I had frequently. During the first four weeks of dedicated daily food tracking I found this list invaluable as it meant I didn’t have to keep flipping through books, checking an app, or going online. This is particularly useful if I’ve had to put the nutritional information of something into the calculator on my own, so I don’t have to check it again.

December 2013 606

Today is the start of Week 12 for me, and my notebook is about halfway full. I might get 12 more weeks into the book, I might get as many as 20, it just depends on what I feel I need to put in the book each week. Some weeks have a page for every day (if I was tracking everything daily), some weeks I squeezed a whole week onto 2 pages, some weeks I only needed one page. It all depends on what I want to put in my book to remember. And when I fill up this notebook, I’ll start a new one. For me, this is helping to keep me on track!

Want to print out some of the inspirational phrases for your own book? I saved many of them to my hard drive and will put them below. I’m afraid I can’t give credit to the original creators because I don’t know where they came from, they were just gathered off of Pinterest.

1382337_681958785147730_389482654_n1384265_655311224500964_112175319_nbob_harper0c9fd4af997225b9762f8f4207b5bab1433aae8389c2cc1580cabc0bcd3b6389761e63abe7fed50acb2040542226a802819c192ec9b8f71fc2986ab11b6feaf19919f9bba4df237ff7d6adc54d55c72f1424331_10152051304297236_1904695097_n1474527_10201922812546206_371567321_n1522780_10151866687942895_1152347304_oce7cdf6a3ca49c4d947cef8e4fd672fad555512276aa00f783c01afa3015970be3ff5f7ccc25233ff4aaecb9c60251f6e6b26180cbd95e93075c75b98bd95740disneytumblr_lz2dbaWOta1qiq6v7o1_500synschocolatemullerlightsynslosingweightlosing_is_not_an_option_pcos_poster-rd3a8293488a74b5ea21864b7d4d746fe_wad_8byvr_324e281ace39963e9d10bc0d717ca689c07

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[Recipe] Slimming World Individual Crustless Quiche – NO SYNS

crustlessquicheMy mom and I had a Christmas tradition that we would always make a breakfast casserole in the crock pot since the oven usually had the turkey in it at breakfast time (my family always ate around 1PM). Tim and I don’t have our Christmas dinner until later in the day, so that leaves my oven free. Last year, I made a crustless quiche that was lovely and low-carb….but also full of fat. And it made tons. So this year, I decided to make individual quiches and to make sure I got in my Healthy Extra A for the day, I added 40G of low-fat cheese.

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

This recipe is PER PERSON. If you are making this for more than 3 people, my suggestion would be to just make it in a regular full-size quiche dish.

You will need (PER PERSON)

3 Eggs
4 TBS fat free Fromage Frais
A handful of fresh spinach
2 bacon medallions (or rashers of bacon with all the fat trimmed off), grilled and chopped (optional. or use grilled and chopped Quorn sausages*! Or both!)
3-4 button mushrooms, quartered
5 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or half of a regular tomato diced)
40g reduced fat Cheddar cheese**
Pepper

individual pie/quiche/flan dishes (I got ours at IKEA for £2 each. Or you could use individual casserole dishes)
Fry light

1 – Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
2 – Spray the bottom and sides of your dish with Fry Light. Beat the eggs and Fromage Frais and a sprinkle of pepper. Stir in half the cheese.
3 – Scatter the spinach leaves on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle on the mushrooms, tomatoes, and bacon.
4 – Pour on the egg mixture and top with remaining cheese.
5 – Repeat steps 2-4 for each person.
6 – Bake on a baking tray (in case of spillage) for 20-30 minutes, or until eggs have risen and are cooked through. If you are making this in a full-sized dish, it might take up to 45 minutes.

This is quite tasty on its own, or with some wholegrain toast (as your Healthy Extra B!). A teaspoon of Reduced Sugar and Salt Heinz Ketchup will only add 1/2 Syn and gives it a little extra kick.

The beauty of this recipe is that you also can add whatever vegetables you want. Some chopped up green, red, yellow, or orange pepper would add some flavour, too. Or try experimenting and eliminate the Cheddar Cheese and use fat free cottage cheese instead of the fromage frais! Or add some diced potato and turn it into a Frittata!

~~*~~
*Quorn sausages are 1 Syn each. If you use any other brand, you will need to calculate the syns.
**Assuming you use the cheese as your Healthy Extra A. If you are not, you will need to calculate the syn value of your cheese. You can use any other cheese at the Healthy Extra A amount in this if you don’t have Cheddar.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[Recipe] Slimming World Devilled Eggs – NO SYNS!

devilledeggs A week before Christmas, our Slimming World group had a tasting night where we all got to bring in Slimming World friendly snacks for a party, and I decided to figure out how to make Devilled Eggs completly free. They were such a hit, I made them again for our family’s Boxing Day Buffet!

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

You will Need:
1 Dozen eggs, hard boiled and peeled
4-6 TBS Fat Free Fromage Frais
1 tsp Mustard Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Tumeric* (optional)
Fresh Ground Pepper

Pastry/icing Bag (optional)
Big Cake Decorating Tip (optional)

1 – Carefully slice each egg in half lengthway and scoop out the yolk (a teaspoon works great!).
2 – Combine all yolks with 4 TBS Fromage Frais, Mustard Powder, Tumeric, and Paprika. If your mixture seems a little dry, add some more Fromage Frais. Give it a tiny taste and if it’s not tangy enough for your tastes, add a little more mustard powder. I found that using my stick blender gave a smoother texture.
3 – if you want to be fancy, place the yolk mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large decorating tip and carefully pipe the filling into the empty holes in the whites. If you don’t have a cake decorating set, you can still easily pipe your filling by cutting off the corner of a plastic bag, or just use a teaspoon and spoon it in.
4 – Sprinkle the tops of the eggs with more paprika and a few twists of a pepper grinder.

The beauty of this recipe is it can be scaled up or down based on how many eggs you want. There is no wrong amount, just mix until you are happy with the consistency and flavour of your filling.

~~*~~

*Tumeric is an optional ingredient and is only used to add that bright yellow colour you would usually get from using American mustard.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[Recipe] Slimming World Crock Pot Christmas Pudding (6 Syns per serving!)

2013-12-25 17.56.23 Ah, the Christmas Pudding. Probably one of the most iconic puddings of Christmastime in the UK. Last year, I was brave and tried making my own. It was really good, but the number of Syns in that recipe would have done my head in. Slimming World’s Christmas Made Extra Easy cookbook contains a recipe for “The Pud” coming in at 7 1/2 Syns. I felt that this was a lot of syns just for my pudding (half my daily syns in one go? No thank you), so I sat down with the online Syn calculator and my ingredients and I worked out a pudding that comes in slightly lower at 6 Syns per serving. That meant I could add on a level tablespoon of Brandy sauce (1 Syn!) and still enjoy the rest of Christmas. In fact, my Christmas Day syns only came to 16! So, on to my recipe!

[Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only.]

This pudding takes multiple days to prepare, so start it at least three days before you plan on serving it.

You Will Need:

225g Dried Mixed Fruit (I used a Waitrose mix that had sultanas, raisins, and peel)
1 TBSP Brandy
50g Self-raising wholemeal flour (I used Allinson’s)
85g fresh brown bread crumbs (I used Walburton’s bread. 3-4 slices blitzed in my blender)
25g Splenda Brown Sugar OR Tate and Lyle Light at Heart Brown Sugar
170g Grated Carrots
200g Grated Bramley Apple
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Eggs, beaten
150ml Old Speckled Hen* (adjust your Syns if using another type of Ale. Old Speckled Hen has 11.5 Syns per 500ml)
25ml Brandy

You also will need:
2 Pudding basins
Baking Parchment
Aluminium Foil
String
Small bowl or saucer
Crock Pot
Fry Light

1 – Put your dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy and leave to soak overnight.
2 – The next day, mix together the brandied fruit, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, carrot, apple, and spices.
3 – Add the eggs and Old Speckled Hen. Let your mixture rest for about a half an hour
4 – Trace the top and bottom of your pudding basins onto parchment paper and cut out the circles. Spray the bottom of the basin with fry light, place the bottom sized piece of parchment paper on top, and spray again. Spray the sides of your basin with Fry light, too.
5 – Divide the mixture between the two basins. I filled mine to about an inch or two from the top. Place the top sized piece of parchment paper on the top of your pudding.
6 – Make a Z fold in a piece of parchment paper and place over the pudding, using the string to hold it in place (tie the string around the top of the basin). Trim off the excess paper. Place the parchment covered basin on top of a piece of foil and wrap the bottom and sides. Leave a gap over the top near the Z fold (for steam to escape!)
7 – Find a saucer or bowl that will fit the bottom of your crock pot. Make sure you can balance the pudding on top of the bowl with the lid of your crock on. I found that a cheapie cereal bowl from Asda does the trick in mine. Place the saucer in the crock pot and put one of your puddings on top of the bowl. Fill the crock pot with water (I pre-boil mine in the kettle) until the water comes up within an inch or two of the top of your crock pot OR 2/3 of the way up your pudding basin. Do not cover the top of the pudding with water.
8 – Turn the crock pot on high and steam away. Your steam time may vary. I steamed our puddings on high for about 5 hours, then low overnight, and then back to high in the morning for another 5 hours. Check the water level before you go to bed and add more if you need to, and then check again in the morning. If your bowl starts to “dance”, crack the lid of the crock pot open with a wooden spoon to let some of the steam escape.
9 – Carefully remove your pudding from the crock pot and allow to slightly cool before unwrapping (you don’t want to get burned!)
10 – You will need to repeat steps 7-9 for the second pudding.
11 – On Christmas Day (or whenever you are serving your pudding), put your pudding back in the basin and steam again for about an hour, just to heat it through.
12 – Just before serving, poke a few holes in the top and pour on the 35ml of Brandy and light it on fire!

Syn Value: 6 Syns** per serving if you divide each pudding into 5 pieces. Add a tablespoon of Brandy sauce for another 1 Syn.

~~*~~

*I used Old Speckled Hen because my husband had a mini keg of it already opened and I felt it was silly to open a bottle of a different ale to only use 150ml.
**Technically, it calculated out at 5.7 Syns per serving. My husband thought I should have rounded it down to 5.5, but I chose to round it up to 6 to err on the side of caution.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

No comments

[Recipe] 2 Syn Mince Tartlets

mincetartletsI’ve created this recipe quite by accident today….I first wanted to make my own mince filling and had been looking up the Syn values for the ingredients so I could properly calculate Syn values and I was going to make the mince pies that are in the Slimming World Christmas cookbook….but I had this mini tartlet dish and a hankering to get creative, so Mince Tarlets were born. [Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your tartlets, so use this number as a guide only.]

You Will need:
1 jar mincemeat (I used one from Waitrose suitable for Vegetarians)
225g wholegrain flour (if you use white flour, you will need to adjust your Syns)
50g Stork or other butter substitute (my Syns were calculated using Stork)
60g Quark (you could use 110g Stork instead, but you will need to recalculate your Syn value)
pinch of salt
Frylight (again, if you use any other spray you will need to recalculate the Syns!)

Tartlet pan
Rolling Pin
Biscuit cutter
UK teaspoon

1)Pre-heat oven to 180C
2) add salt to flour, and rub in Quark and Stork until combined. knead your dough and add a little water until you can form a ball with no dough touching the sides of the bowl (about 1-2TBS water). Put dough in fridge for 30 minutes.
3)Spray a tartlet pan with Frylight. (my pan is about an inch across the bottom, if that helps for size!)
4)When dough is chilled, roll out onto a smooth surface and use a small biscuit cutter to make rounds of dough. Press dough circles into the bottom and up sides of tartlet pan. I was able to make 38 rounds with my dough* (If you have more than 38, your Syns per tart will be lower, less than 38 and your Syns will be slightly higher).
5) Fill each tartlet with one teaspoon** mince pie filling (again, if you use more, your Syns will be higher)
6) Bake for 20 minutes, or until shells are golden
7) Carefully remove tartlets to a cooling rack. I made the mistake of tipping my first tray full out and two of them spilled. I found using the bamboo tongs from the toaster seemed to work the best for getting them out.

Makes 36 Tartlets. Well, technically 38, but I didn’t feel like baking two tartlets on their own and my pan makes 12 at a time!

~~*~~

*Based on the online calculator, each shell is approximately 1.5 Syns
**Based on the online calculator, 1 Tablespoon*** of Waitrose mincemeat filling is 2 Syns, 1 teaspoon*** is approximately half a syn
***Using UK Tablespoons and teaspoons. If you are using American teaspoons, your Syn value will vary, as it is 3 US teaspoons in a US Tablespoon, but 4 UK teaspoons in a UK Tablespoon.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[Recipe] Slimming World Friendly Chicken Korma

About a week or so ago, I posted to my Facebook page that MüllerLight Coconut with Chocolate Sprinkles yoghurt tasted like eating a Bounty (US: Mounds) bar and I was in heaven and my friend Paul commented with a recipe for chicken korma involving the yogurt. I was dubious as chocolate sounded like a strange ingredient, but tonight I decided to try it. I ran out of Korma powder, so mine was made with half Korma and half Garam Marsala, but it was still ridiculously creamy and “gooey”, as my husband called it. Definately going into regular rotation!

Slimming World Chicken Korma
You Will Need:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
250g button mushrooms, halved (or bigger mushrooms cut into smaller pieces)
(2 large onions, diced – I omitted this as I am allergic to onion!)
3 TBSP Korma spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 MüllerLight Coconut with Chocolate Sprinkles yoghurt pots
1 container Quark
1/2 tsp tumeric (I had to borrow some from my mother-in-law!)
Fry Light
Rice

-Spray a griddle pan (or frying pan) with FryLight and add the chicken to the pan to brown the chicken (you will need to stir the chicken a few times to get all sides cooked)
-While the chicken is cooking, put a small frying pan over high heat and dry fry the Korma spice, then add the vanilla and almond (though I’m sure both of those are optional!)
-Transfer the spice to a large pot and stir in the yoghurts, Quark, and sweetener. Heat over low heat, making sure you don’t curdle the yogurt.
- Stir in the tumeric.
-Once the chicken is cooked, stir chicken into the sauce and keep on very low heat.
-add the mushrooms (and optional onions) to your griddle (or frying pan) and cook for 5-10 minutes or until soft.
-Add the mushrooms to your chicken and sauce

Divide into two portions and serve over rice. Yum!!

1459814_10152083456917160_1213327548_n

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

Four Weeks in Slimming World

slimmingworld* Today marks the end of my fourth week with Slimming World, and even though I gained a pound in there, I still managed to lose 11 and a half pounds. Not quite to the full stone (which would have been amazing), but 11.5 is nothing to sneeze at.

I have to admit, I was skeptical. I had lost two and a half stone (35lbs) on my own in 2012 by doing a modified Atkins style diet of extremely low carb, and surprisingly, high fat. The downside is that I managed to gain back nearly an entire stone from September 2012 until October 2013 when I stopped eating low carb, but kept some of the higher fat items in my diet. I gained about 1 pound per month…which doesn’t sound TOO bad, but when I worked so hard to get it off in the first place, it wasn’t too good, was it? But I was still skeptical. A friend of mine did Slimming World and she told me about it and it didn’t sound all that different from Weight Watchers, which friends in the US were doing and I kept thinking of joining, but I didn’t want to walk into meetings alone. Plus the whole point system at Weight Watchers confused me. Even though I had a voucher from my GP to do Weight Watchers, I put off joining.

Someone I know (I won’t say who to protect their own weight loss journey) asked me to join Slimming World with them and two others to do it as a small group. It’s been great having that type of encouragement and support so close, though I wonder if it’s hindering making friends at the weekly meetings. It probably doesn’t help that I’m still a newcomer to the village even after nearly 5 years, since a lot of the people the people I attended with knew because they both had children the same age, or both attended the local secondary school, etc. But friendships will come, I’m sure.

My first evening at Slimming World, I met my consultant, Rebecca Stone. Rebecca is amazing. She is VERY energetic and enthusuastic about Slimming World and about helping people. She even rang me during my first week to see how I was doing and it was a great chance to ask her some additional questions that had popped up. The two weeks she was ill and we had a “substitute” I wasn’t impressed with the sub, so I think a lot of Slimming World has to do with your consultant, too. When I joined, Slimming World was running a promotion, so we got 10 weeks for the price of 12, plus a Christmas cookbook. Not bad, plus by pre-paying for 12 weeks in advance it commits you to attending for at least those weeks. Slimming World also offers a money-back guarantee if you haven’t lost anything after your first four weeks but could prove (by keeping food diary pages) that you kept to the plan. To me, this was important. Not because I wanted to set myself up to fail, but because it was an extra incentive to keep track of everything on the food diary pages.

After that first meeting, I came home, told my husband how I thought this was going to be hard, and I read the books in my packet cover to cover. I also picked up the current Slimming World magazine and I loved the magazine. It focused more on recipes and “feel good stories” and there was very little fluff/filler. Every ad in the magazine was geared towards Slimming World and even listed the number of “syns” for the items advertised.

I had a really pretty Cath Kidston blank book that I got when I was up in Edinburgh with my mom in April as a freebie for spending x amount. It’s in the London fabric, and I hadn’t started using it yet as I wanted to put it towards a really good purpose since it was such an attractive book. This book, as my cousin says, became my Bible. I had a Pinterest board of inspiration, and I downloaded and printed off some of the things I had pinned to it to paste into the front cover. I also set a page for “goals” where I listed all the things I hoped to accomplish with my weight loss, even the really silly ones like “stop feeling uncomfortable on amusement park rides”. I’ve left plenty of room to add more goals and inspiration, too. I started searching both Google and Pinterest for Slimming World links and I created my Slimming World board. I found a lot of graphics with syn values listed, so I printed all those out and started pasting them into the back of my book for easy reference, as well as started writing down the syn values for some of the foods I eat a lot. I also grabbed some Post-it tabs and am tabbing off each week as I go, using the pages for the week as a food diary, and a place to make notes, add more inspiration, etc. etc. Writing down what I eat helped a lot with creating the food diaries, and even though I’m past my four weeks I’m going to keep doing it for several more just because I’m finding it a useful tool. Writing down what I eat also helps me to realize how little I might have eaten one day, or to realize partway through the day that I hadn’t eaten any fruit.

The Syn thing has been interesting for me, too. I’m following the Extra Easy plan and without going into too much detail, each day I am allowed a dairy product off the A list, and a grain product off the B list. I can have unlimited fruit and vegetable, unlimited lean meat, and some other foods are marked as “free” – like baked beans, pasta, and potatoes. Everything else you put into your mouth counts as a syn, and you can eat 5-15 of them per day. With all the free food, sometimes it’s hard to eat many syns, but the beauty of the syn is that in the evening if I’m looking over my food diary and saying that I’ve only had a few syns, I can go make myself a hot chocolate (one of the reduced fat versions with water), and add a splash of milk to it for another half syn to make it creamier (and sometimes I make it all with milk if I still have my A choice for the day). Some of the syn values are shockers — I looked up McDonald’s just last night for Tim while he was on night shift we we discovered how many syns were in some of those foods (answer: a lot); while some of the syn values are reasonable, such as 1/2 syn per level Tablespoon of Reduced Salt & Sugar Heinz ketchup, or 1 syn per Tablespoon of single cream (so I can still have my creamy coffee!) Even chocolate, in moderation, isn’t too bad. A Cadbury’s Freddo is 5 syns, and a single Celebration candy from a Celebrations tin is 2.

I’m also learning about portion sizes, and about making food stretch. One day, I planned on grating some dark chocolate to put in my yogurt (BTW – certain yogurts are free!) and I carefully measured out 15g of Green and Black’s (4.5 syns) and started grating it….only to stop after I had only grated 9g because I had enough! And Cheese — while 40g of reduced fat cheddar doesn’t look like much, it sure does once you’ve grated it! I was absolutely surprised when I went to make a recipe that called for Parmesan cheese to discover that a Healthy A choice was 30g of it. 30g of grated parm is quite a bit and was more than enough for my bowl of pasta. My digital and analog scales, measuring jugs, and measuring spoons have become my new favourite kitchen tools. After I measure things out, I put them into regular every day dishes to try to remember for the future how much of something I can have. Your daily healthy A of semi skim milk is 250ml, which just happens to conveniently fit into a crystal creamer from Princess House, so I can fill up the creamer in the morning and use that milk in my tea all day and when it’s gone I just count the rest of my milk as 1/2 syn per splash (or I count it all as Syns and have cheese as my A instead). 100ml of orange juice (2 syns) goes as high as Strawberry Shortcake’s eyes on my juice glass. 35g of porridge oats can be measured to the third line on a small IKEA plastic bowl. 70g of extra light Philadelphia Cream Cheese is just enough to cover 6 Ryvita Crispbreads, having my A and B in one go.

Coming up with new meals and ways of cooking things is fun, too. Tim likes having sauces/gravy with his meals and the other day I combined greek yogurt (free), diced cucumbers (free), mint and dill (both free) to make a version of Tzatziki to serve with Salmon. Last night, I wanted to have a bit of a treat and I still had the syns to spend so I combined sliced banana (free) with a Toffee Muller Light yogurt (free) and topped it with 100g of reduced fat devon custard (4.5 syns) for what Tim dubbed “Banoffee mess”. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Like my homemade taco seasoning mix that is heavy on the cumin tasted pretty bad when I stirred some into my scrambled eggs! But it’s all about experimenting and trying new things. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Slimming World chips, on the other hand, are AMAZING. Slimming World chips can be cut to whatever size you want (so skinny fries, chunky chips, wedges, or even roastie size) and you just boil the potatoes, drain them and shake them (like making regular roast potatoes), but you spray the tray with Frylight instead of oil or meat drippings. Someone in our group suggested Marmite on top. Now, I do not like Marmite and I think it’s gross, but a tablespoon of Marmite warmed up and mixed with a little hot water made a very tasty glaze for the potatoes.

Another thing that’s become really important to me is eating breakfast. I am not a big cereal person, so some mornings I have scrambled eggs with beans (both free) or a yogurt and an apple (also both free). Some mornings if Tim is up and we’re both hungry, I’ll do a “grill up” — the Slimming World equivalent to a fry up with eggs, bacon (with the fat off!), grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and beans. Is this having an impact on my weight loss? Probably! It’s now 1030 and I’ve been up for a few hours and the first thing I did as I sat down at the computer was grab a yogurt out of the fridge. It’s become habit to me in the past 28 days.

Another easy swap for me that I totally credit with this week’s amazing 5.5lb loss is Tetley’s “best of both” blended teabags. It comes in a bright pink bag and it is half regular tea, half green tea. And we all know about the multiple health benefits of green tea, don’t we? And honestly, because it’s half and half, you can hardly taste the difference. And as Rebecca pointed out, it also weans you off more slowly from caffeine instead of going straight to pure green tea. Though, it will be a while before you can pry my coffee away from me, I will admit.

I started measuring myself again, too. In the past 28 days, 16.75 inches are GONE from my body overall. I measure EVERYWHERE — around my belly (can it really be called a waist?), my hips, below and above my boobs, upper and lower thigh, calves, ankles, neck, around the top of my arm, and around my feet. I used to not measure as many places, but I find it’s important to look at all the places I collect extra fat. If I could figure out a way to measure my face, I would. My foot width went down by an inch, and I even noticed that when I went to wear a pair of shoes from a few years ago that are now too big. And a pair of shoes I had bought online that were barely wide enough without socks now fit comfortably with socks. Obviously, the measurements are subject to bloating and other changes — like my upper arm sometimes swells due to the Hidradenitis, but by keeping track I can also monitor that condition. My hips will bloat a little at that time of the month. My knee is currently injured, so my lower thigh has been a bit bigger. But there’s a definite downwards trend.

Can I get another amazing 5.5lbs off this week? Maybe. Who knows? But if I can get off 2.5, I will have the first stone gone. Would it have been amazing to do it within the first four weeks? Yes. But being 2.5lbs away from it is nothing to sneeze at, and I won’t beat myself up for it, either.

keep-calm-come-to-slimming-world-2**

~~*~~

*image from Someecards via Pinterest.
** Unknown via Pinterest. (is this your creation? Let me know so I can credit you!)

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

1 comment

[NaBloPoMo] It’s the Little Things That Brought Me Here

This post is inspired by It All Comes Together in the End AKA How I Met Your Father. The post was a list of the series of events that happened in her life that led towards her meeting her husband. Her events started when she was in college, but looking back, I think the events that led me to meeting Tim actually started all the way back in high school…..

When I was 14, I had a crush on a boy named Harlan. Yes, I can admit it now, and let’s be honest – who didn’t know I had a crush on him back then? He probably knew, too (or at least now he does. Hi Harlan! LOL) The internet was slowly becoming popular, but before there was the internet, there were BBSes. And Harlan just happened to run one. I managed to convince my mom that we needed a modem and somehow roped Harlan into coming over one day to install it and show me how to use it. So, thanks Harlan, for installing my modem!

Through BBSing I met a lot of people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. A lot of these people are some of my closest friends, but that’s a story for another time. The important thing to remember is that I met people and started talking with a kid I used to know when I was younger, named Dave. Years later, Dave decided to go by his first name, Malcolm, and he and I dated for about a year. Through Malcolm, I reconnected with some of the old BBSing crowd I hadn’t seen in ages. Thanks, Malcolm.

Flash forward another few years. I was hanging out with one of my old BBSing friends, Mike, when he started to tell me about a new IRC network he and some friends had started. He asked me if I would be interested in checking it out, and suggested I join #schlock_mercenary, a channel for fans of the web comic of the same name. Through this channel, I made friends with even more people. Thanks, Mike.

One of the people I met was a guy named Brent. Brent and I would privately chat about everything and anything and one day he suggested I check out this other channel, #crfh, because he thought I would fit in with the crowd of people there. #crfh was a channel for fans of the webcomic, College Roommies From Hell!!!. As it turned out, he was right. I fit in quite well there. Thanks, Wulfy.

If you’re a girl in a male-dominated geeky world, you tend to wind up dating quite a few of the guys you’ve met. I’ll be honest. I probably “dated” about a half a dozen boys I met through #crfh. Some of them I actually met in person, some of them were online relationships only as they never reached the meeting each other point. At one point, I wound up talking to a kid named Charlie who happened to live not-so-far away from me and he asked me out. We started dating, and at the same time the channel was planning a big meet (BoardieCon) in Seattle. Because I was dating Charlie and wanted to meet some of the people I knew through these channels, I decided to go. While there, I met one of the men I had been talking to for around a year. His name was Tim, and he was British. We hit it off immediately when we chatted online because of my love for the UK and my hope to someday live there. We spent a little bit of time together at BoardieCon, but I was also there with my boyfriend (the above mentioned Charlie), so it’s not like we could have gone off together if we wanted. I do remember getting mad at him and another man from our group for ditching us all to go ride trains for a day while I was stuck making swords out of foam with my boyfriend, though.

Charlie and I broke up, and through a series of miscommunications (to put it nicely), a lot of the people from the chat channel started disliking me and saying nasty things about me. But not Tim. He remained a steadfast friend. I started seeing another guy from the channel, Alex. Alex lived in Michigan, so it was a long drive to see him, but we got along well and for around two years, Alex and I had some sort of pseudo-relationship. When Alex moved out to Seattle for a job, we “broke up” for lack of a better way to describe it. The break up happened right before I was going down to Florida to visit my cousin, Missy, and to go on Ships and Dip III. This Tim fellow told me that he would be there for me and anytime I needed to talk I only had to call (long distance across an ocean, but still!). My cousin told me she thought he was sweet for offering. Thanks Alex.

After I got back from the cruise, Tim and I got closer and closer. His village finally had high speed internet and we started talking more and more over Skype…having real conversations not just typing to one another. Over the course of six months or so, I fell in love.

To be honest, everything that happened after that moment seems to have passed in a blur. I came out to visit for 6 months, thanks to my friend Linz for being able to organize my flight after my first flight got cancelled. I went home. Tim visited me. My mom and I visited him. We got engaged and got married on Bonfire Night. We filled out visa paperwork and I moved to the UK 10 weeks after we got married. Today we celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary, but we constantly say that it feels like we’ve been together longer than that because we just fit.

So looking back, I have to thank a little girl (me) for having a crush on a boy she met through drama club. Isn’t it funny when you look back on things?

(There are also probably several other previous relationships to thank for where I am now, but if I start listing everyone we could be here for a while…..Greg, Dave H, Dave S, Dave G, Dave McN, Dave who’s last name I forgot, Tom, He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named, That kid who was in jail, That one I don’t want to admit to having been with, that other one who’s name I’ve actually forgotten, the first boy I dated when I was 14…was that Stephen?….John, Jason, James, at least one guy named Mike…Uhm, did I mention this would get to be a long list?)

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[NaBloPoMo] Pre-Pay your Prescriptions on the NHS

ObamaCare has been in the news a lot lately because it’s finally starting to go into effect in January (I think). As an American who resides abroad for more than 335 days per year, I don’t need to sign up for a plan. From what I understand, this isn’t trying to restrict Americans abroad to only visiting the US for 25 days each year, but it is restricting us to calling a visit to the US a visit. As in, we can’t call an address in the US our “home address”. Which sounds a bit odd since they use your last lived at address in the US as your “home address” for voting purposes, but at least I don’t have to sign up for a healthcare plan in the US I’d only be able to use occasionally. Instead, I have traveler’s insurance. But this isn’t the point of my daily post today. It’s just an a way of explaining where my train of thought wandered to today.

The point of my post is to tell you all that I love the NHS and their pre-pay certificates. No, really. I live in England, where we still pay for our prescriptions (Scotland and Wales get freebies), but we have a pre-pay scheme where you can pre-pay for 3 or 12 months in one go if you are on long-term prescriptions but don’t yet qualify for free ones. I recently switched from a 3-month certificate to a 12 month one for a little over £100 (single prescriptions cost £7.85) as I refill my Metformin every 28 days, my Zineryt every 5 weeks, and my Hibiscrub usually every other month. I switched because recently, after visiting a Dermatologist, I was given two new creams and a wash and I also have been on prescription pain relievers for my knee. Those 7 prescriptions would have cost me £54.95, or more than HALF of what my pre-pay certificate cost. I pay for my pre-pay certificate in monthly installments of £10, so it’s slightly more than the cost of one prescription.

Again, this isn’t an option for everyone, in fact it only becomes valid if you know you will be on at least 14 prescriptions in the year. Since no one can predict if they will need 14 in a year, I would say go with if you need 2 or more per month. The three-month pre-pay certificate costs just under £30, so that is a good option if you will be on more than 4 prescriptions in a 3-month period…and here’s the beauty of it. You can BACK DATE your pre-pay by up to 30 days. So let’s say you visit your GP and find out that you have a skin infection. You get handed a prescription for antibiotic pills, a cream, a daily scrub, and some sticky pads to cover it with. You can walk into your chemist and request a “blue” reciept when you pay, go home, apply for a three-month pre-pay certificate, have it valid as of yesterday, and then once it comes in the mail go back to the chemist with your card and blue receipt and get your money back. Brilliant.

It’s just one more reason why I love the NHS….

[Please note I do not get compensated for talking about the NHS. I just honestly love it that much!]

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

[NaBloPoMo] Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Ah, it’s November again and NaBloPoMo is upon us (along with NaNoWriMo). While I won’t promise to write a post every single day, I will do my best to keep up my blog. Or at least, start to keep up my blog, since I’ve gone for months on end without posting anything interesting.

But we’ll see.

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

Recipe: Slimming World Friendly Sweet & Sour Pork

Firstly, I need to apologize for my photo. Once again, I took a really bad photo of the meal, and as the meal has now been eaten, I don’t have anything else to take a replacement photo of. So, crappy photo it is!

Anyway.

If you are familiar at all with dieting and have used any of the “programs”, you probably have come across a recipe for Diet Coke Chicken. If you haven’t, you basically turn the Diet Coke into a marinade and it’s supposed to taste similar to barbecue sauce. I’ve never tried it, but I’m willing to give it a go sometime after today’s recipe turned out so great!

I’m on a few groups online for support in this whole Slimming World thing, and one of the ladies, Stephanie, posted that she made a sweet and sour version using Fanta Zero, so I had to give it a try tonight! I had some diced pork in the freezer, so tonight’s dinner became Sweet and Sour Pork.

You will need:

Fry Light
1 can of Fanta Zero (US friends, Fanta is orange soda, so use a diet orange)
4 TBS passata (Tomato Sauce)
Worcester sauce
Red pepper flakes
2 TBS vinegar (any flavour)
1/2 C diced cherry tomatoes
1 TBS soy sauce
Stir-fry vegetables (use whatever you like!)
500g diced pork (cut off all fat)
2 eggs, whisked (optional)
Rice
Fresh pineapple, diced

-Cook rice according to package directions.
-Combine Fanta Zero, passata, a dash of Worcester, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. As it starts to boil, add your diced tomatoes. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
-Spray a wok or large frying pan with Fry Light and cook the pork until it is no longer pink. Add 1TBS Soy Sauce and your vegetables and stir-fry for 5 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your vegetables.
-(optional) pour the two eggs into the wok and stir until scrambled (I do this because we like egg fried rice. It takes about 5 minutes).
-Check sauce. If it hasn’t reduced, take the lid off and turn up the heat. If it looks thick enough for your liking, pour over the mixture in the wok and stir, cooking an additional 5 minutes.
-Serve with rice (optional) and garnish the top with some fresh pineapple.
-This should serve 3-4 people.

I ate mine without rice because I don’t eat a lot of carbs, but rice is a free food, so this recipe would still be totally free on the Extra Easy Slimming World plan. If you modify any of the ingredients (other than the vegetables used or swapping the meat for chicken), you will need to look up the Syn values for those ingredients.

Like I said, my photo isn’t pretty, but I’ll include it anyway:

20131021_185318

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

2 comments

Recipe: Slimming World Friendly Turkey and Pumpkin Chili

I’m at it again. Changing and modifying other people’s recipes. This time, it’s a recipe for Turkey Pumpkin Chili.

I’ve just started Slimming World with a few other people and this recipe is perfect as it contains all FREE FOOD on the EXTRA EASY plan.

You will need:

Fry Light
200g button mushrooms (finely chopped)
500g lean turkey mince (it has to have less than 5% to be free. I got my pack at Waitrose and it was 3% fat)
2 tins of tomatoes or diced tomatoes
1 pint of pumpkin puree*
3 teaspoons mild chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground pepper
salt
500g corn (fresh, frozen, or tinned)

-Spray the inside of your dutch oven or large pot with fry light and saute the mushrooms for a few minutes until they start to get a little mushy.
-Break up the turkey mince and add it to the pot and let turkey fully cook (about 10-15 minutes)
-Add the tins of tomatoes (and the juice) and use a wooden spoon to break them up if you used whole tomatoes. Give it a stir
-Carefully add the pumpkin. This filled my pot to the brim so I had to sort of fold it in instead of stir.
-Add your spices minus the salt (you’ll salt it later)
-Cook until the it boils, about 15 minutes. Turn down the heat and give it a taste. Adjust your spices if you don’t think it is spicy enough and add salt if necessary.
-Stir in the corn and heat corn thoroughly (maybe another 5-10 minutes)

As I said, according to checking all the Syn information on the Slimming World website, this meal as-is is entirely FREE. If you make any additions yourself, please check your ingredients against the Slimming World website first. This might taste really good with a dollop of cream fraiche on it, but that would add I think 2 Syns.

Want a really bad photo of the dish?
20131018_182830

There’s a much prettier photo on Garnish With Lemon with the original recipe.

~~*~~

*The original recipe calls for 2 15oz tins of pumpkin puree. I don’t have tins of it, I have fresh pumpkin I pureed**, so I took my pint sized glass measuring jug and filled that with puree. a pint falls a little short of 30oz, but I wasn’t going to fiddle with it and the amount I used worked fine as you could definitely taste the pumpkin.

**Every October I buy several pumpkins and roast them to make my own puree since tins of it are hard to find in the UK and it’s not a year-round food here. You never know when you’ll want to make a pumpkin pie in the middle of February!

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

Recipe: Easy Peasy Chocolate and Cherry Cake

20131017_171641miniToday (er, yesterday) was a friend’s birthday. A few weeks ago, she told me she was going to purchase a cake to celebrate with, and I said “no, I’m making you a cake”. And then I went on holiday to the US and promptly forgot until I looked at the calendar over the weekend where I had written “make Helen a cake” on Thursday!

So what to make? Like me, my friend is diabetic, so I sent her a text and asked her if she wanted a “good for us” cake or something gooey and naughty and gooey and naughty won out. She had no flavour preferences, so I started racking my brain for something interesting and I kept coming back to the Black Forest Gateau I made for a different friend’s birthday several years ago. The problem was, I really wasn’t in the mood to make a full on Gateau with layers of biscuit and cream, so I settled on somehow combining chocolate and cherries.

Well, this is a hard combination to find recipes for. Either the recipes called for loads of crazy ingredients (one recipe had both buttermilk and sour cream in it!) or they weren’t for a layer cake. I specifically had the idea in my head that there would be cherries IN the cake, between the layers, and on top. I also thought it would involve cherry pie filling and/or cherry jam as opposed to fresh cherries. I was right.

Scouring Pinterest, I came across a Betty Crocker recipe that I am almost ashamed to say is the recipe I settled on!

You Will Need:
1 box Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake Mix (they sell them now at Waitrose and probably a few other places)
21 oz cherry pie filling (in the US, this is one large can. In the UK, it took me about 1 2/3 tins. My kitchen scale had ounces on it as well as grams, or you can just eyeball it. 21 oz is approximately 600 grams)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 jar cherry jam or conserve
1 container glace or maraschino cherries
Chocolate frosting of your choice (store bought or homemade!)

-Preheat your oven to 175C and line the bottom of two 8″ round cake tins with parchment paper
-Ignore instructions on the back of the box
-Combine dry cake mix, eggs, pie filling, and vanilla. As you stir, the cherries will start to break up. This is fine.
-Divide batter between cake tins
-Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean (unless you stab a cherry!)
-Cool cakes for about 15 minutes in the tin, remove from tins and cool for at least an additional hour. You don’t want the cakes to be warm when you put them together (unless you want runny jam in the middle)

-Place the first cake upside down on your serving plate and spread with cherry jam. I used about a half of the jar, you can use more or less. I also added the extra cherries leftover from the pie filling.
-Put the second cake on top of the jam.
-Scrape out the cherry pie filling tins and spread the leftover “jelly” on the top and sides of the cake.
-Spread your frosting all over the top and sides of the cake
-Decorate with glace cherries however you like.

I was told this cake was amazing, and the taste I had was really good. The cherry and chocolate flavours both really come through nicely.

~~*~~
The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

No comments

Next Page »