Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Slimming World - Scan Bran

Monday, 30 May 2011

Scan Bran is one of Slimming Worlds best weapons, apparently you can guarantee loses of at least 2lbs on weeks you fit lots in.  This didn't work for me the first week but I am assuming my body needed to get used to unrefined fibre before I saw the benefits.

It's like a harder, more cardboard like version of ryvita. Now I know this makes me a bit of a freak but I quite like it plain!  Other than that I usually top it with extra light cheese triangles and nibble on it for breakfast.  It's very filling and it is meant to have all the other benefits associated with lots of fibre ;) Just make sure you drink plenty of water with it or you could have unwanted consequences...

Lots of Slimming World followers have been really inventive with scan bran to make it more palatable and easier to fit into their diet which includes a variety of cakes!  I decided that in the name of research I really should test some of these.  I will post a recipe a week for the next few weeks, first up:

Curly Wurly Scan Bran Cake

4 Scan Bran
2 eggs
3 or 4 tbsp sweetener (to taste)
1 sachet Belgian Choc Options
26g Curly Wurly bar
Soak the Scan Bran in boiling water to soften. Then drain and mash.
Beat the eggs and stir into mix, along with the sweetener and Belgian Choc Options
Chop the Curly Wurly into pieces and add to the mix
Pour the mixture into a microwavable bowl and cook for around 6 minutes
When cooked the cake will be springy to the touch and will have pulled away from the side

You can also cook the cake on 200°C/Gas Mark 6 for approximately 30 minutes

It's just 12 Syns for the whole cake and can be divided into as many slices as you like

I was pleasantly surprised just how nice this cake is, I gave my boyfriend some to try and he wanted more!! I couldn't really taste the curly wurly to be honest so am going to try it without next time which would be just 6 syns for the whole cake :)

Sunday Summary #11

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Hope you're all having a lovely bank holiday weekend and allowing yourself a few treats ;)

Sarah - I've had a really busy/stressful week at work which has meant I haven't eaten as much as I should. I haven't eaten any junk though so I am really proud of myself. I made sure that I took packed lunches with me so I wasn't tempted by the fast food the rest of the project team were enjoying. I am currently on holiday in Wales and am determined to stay on plan this coming week. I am going to team this with lots of long walks and exercise as with the 16 hour days I've been working I just haven't had the time or energy to exercise. I have lost 1lb this week and my total weight loss stands at 11 lbs.

Gemma - I had a much better result at my weigh in this week, 3 lbs off which takes me to a grand total of 30.5 lbs loss. I really stuck to the plan last week but this week has been much more tricky. I went for a day out with friends and had cream tea and went to a house party last night and didn't measure my alcohol intake so I'm hoping to stay the same at my weigh in on Tuesday. I don't go out very often because I'm always in work so I don't mind slipping off the plan occasionally. It's just been one of those weeks, going to have a Sunday roast with all the trimmings to try and cure my hangover and start back on the plan in the morning.

Charlene - For reasons I don't want to go into on here, weightloss and exercise has been the last thing on my mind this week. I've been spending as much time as possible out with friends, which usually involves consuming too much food or alcohol. Not good. I'm feeling a bit more positive this week though so I'm hoping to get back into the 30 day shred and try and be a bit healthier with my food choices.

Sarah V - I felt SO positive when I started this week. I was really healthy all last week and felt really in the zone again, but I got weighed on Tuesday and had stayed the same. I could rationalise as to why - hello, monthly visitor - but it still made me feel a bit gutted and rather than making me determined to be good, my morale slipped a bit. I haven't been DREADFUL, but there's been a biscuit here, a bit of cake there... one of those weeks. I'm off to Italy on Wednesday so I am giving myself a diet break - when in the land of mozzarella and pesto, you kind of have to! But I am determined to get back to it when I return...

Lucy - A GOOD WEEK! YAY! I started interning on Monday (I know, I know, you're all bored of hearing about it) which means my alarm is set for 5:45am and I don't get home until 7pm at the earliest. I've been having at least 5 of my 5 a day and I'm taking salads and other healthy snacks for lunch (except Babybel - I accidentally ordered the full fat ones instead of the light ones, oops) and then for dinner I've been having quick and easy stuff that is also healthy. On top of this, I'm doing probably around an hours (sometimes more) walking per day - 20ish minutes there and back to the train station plus around 10 minutes to and between tube stops. Now, last week I weighed myself before embarking on my first week and I was surprised, I'd gained weight since I last weighed myself and I'm putting it down to all the sweet treats I'd made at home and the fact I'd spent the day before with my family eating a ridiculous amount in celebration of my cousin's birthday, BUT, I weighed myself this morning and I've lost 4lbs, so if I keep going in this direction... hopefully the results before my birthday will be goooood!

That's it from us, how has your week been?

Slimming World - Joe's Sausages

Monday, 23 May 2011

Since starting Slimming World I have practically become a vegetarian.  I am a carb addict so find it much easier to follow green days over red days and don't trust myself not to over indulge on extra easy so cutting out meat has been the easiest solution.  As summer is coming up and BBQ's suck without sausages and burgers I decided to give Joe's Sausages a go and see how I get on following red days.

Joe's sell sausages, marinated meats, grill sticks and burgers all of which are certified free foods on Slimming World red days:

I placed my order and chose my delivery day and then dreamed about sausages!  I ordered several packs of sausages, burgers and various flavoured chicken.  Joe's has a minimum order of 8 packs so you could always order with a friend or another Slimming World member at your local group.

I wanted some meat for a family BBQ but couldn't wait and planned a red day in anticipation of their arrival...I decided to treat myself to a mixed grill along with some gammon and steak and syn free pepper sauce, yum! 

The chicken was gorgeous, exactly as I had expected it to be.  The sausage looked like a normal sausage but had a firmer texture.  I guess that's from removing the fat and packing more lean meat into it.  My boyfriend also tried both and gave them the thumbs up too.  Can't wait to try the burgers at the BBQ now!

Oh and Joe's website says that each sausage is only 1 point on Weight Watchers so you guys can join in on the action too, I definitely recommend them.

Sunday Summary #10

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Another week down, they are really flying now!!

Sarah - I've been really good all week and mixed in a few red days but I am really struggling.  I have only lost 1lb this week and it's really disheartening when you know you have stuck to the plan :(  I heard about the benefits of scanbran on twitter so decided to try that and have eaten two packs this week and still only 1lb :(  Helen has been a little gem and helped me no end this week.  She thinks that I am not eating enough but I am seriously struggling to eat more healthy calories.  I feel like I am eating none stop as it is. Anyone got any advice for me? I know I need to up my exercise but I haven't even been able to fit in the shred this week with how hectic work is, next week is going to be even worse but I have a week off after that so plan to do a few hours each day to make up for it!

Gemma - I was very disappointed when I stayed the same weight this week at weigh in but this is the first time it's happened since I started the Weight Watcher plan in February. I had a weekend of not counting my points properly so this led to me being annoyed with myself but I've been extra good all week and I did a sneaky mid week weigh in and I think I will be pleased at the scales this week. I had a day off on Wednesday and made a few recipes that other people have posted on here and Charlene's Crispy Greek Pie was amazing. Trying a few new things kept me interested and stops the Weight Watchers plan from becoming dull. I can now fit in to some of my old dresses and I can definitely see a difference in the way I look and feel.

Charlene - I didn't gain any weight this week, which is quite good considering I ate out a few times and also indulged in a Dominos pizza on Tuesday. I pulled a muscle in my leg doing the Shred so haven't been exercising this week but I think it's okay now so hopefully I'll be back on the wagon as from tomorrow and will be back on track to losing a few lbs and toning up!

Lucy - Average week for me - I've spent it at home which means I always over indulge in baking and this week was no exception, I made cupcakes, millionaires shortbread, lemon cake and flapjack. But to counteract that I've been doing the 30 day shred and have only missed one day because my legs were in absolute agony. I'm not sure how I'll get on with doing it for the next few weeks though, I'll have to see how tired I am after I get in from work. I've also got lots of healthy meals planned for lunches and dinners, I got a mega healthy Tesco shop and I'm looking forward to actually not turning to food to cure boredom!!

Sarah V - FINALLY I feel like I'm back on track. I lost 1.5lbs which gave my motivation a real boost, and I haven't wavered TOO far from the path all week. I am currently aching all over after a 'bootcamp' I went to yesterday, organised by Aussie haircare. But it's a good ache! Next week, I am hoping to do more of the same!

That's all from us this week, how have you been getting on?

Guest Post - Jessica from slimmingjess91

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Todays guest post was written by Jessica at slimmingjess91

I have always been big, since about 10 years of age I knew I was bigger than other children, not a great deal but it was still noticable. I only really cared about my weight when I was 12, I was at a sleepover and there were 6 of us, 5 average weight girls and me.  We all got weighed (cannot even remember why this happened!) and they all weighed between 7 and 8 stone and I was just short of 10 stone.
That was the first time I'd ever known my weight and even though I was not sure what stone and pounds were I knew I was abnormal. I still did not do anything about it, I did not know about dieting or anything so I just carried on as normal.

Fast forward 5 years, I am 17, I have done several diets - closer diets, slimfast, celebrity slim and Weight Watchers, I'm sure there are probably some more too. The most I lost on any was half a stone, not enough when I am now 14 and a half stone. I was stuck in a rut I did not know what else to do.

In April 2009 I met my current partner Liam, he is big too and seems to love me as I am, so I completely forget about losing weight. We fall in love very quickly, our nights are spent on three course meals out, pizza and wine in and endless take aways. By the time we get engaged in June 2009 I am 15 stone, thats half a stone gained in 6 weeks. We book our first holiday together in July 2009, half board, lots of alcohol and bad food, we come back from Benidorm almost a stone heavier, I weigh in at my heaviest ever, 15 stone 9lb and a size 18, although the 18s are tight I should be in 20s. We get home look at our photos from our engagement party and holiday and I am absolutely devisated.  I look disgusting, how had I been so blind to my weight? I thought the blue dress at our party was slimming, turns out it was not disguising anything!

A few days after we return I head to the doctors for a pill review, she tells me I need to change pills to help my pain and bloating.  She suggests a certain pill but has to weigh me as being too overweight can cause strokes with this pill. I get weighed and she tells me I am obese and need to lose 2 stone to get the pill I need. It breaks my heart that my weight is stopping me having something I medically need. My mum mentioned rejoining Weight watchers but it did not really work for me as I found it too strict so I researched and found Slimming World.  I joined November 2009 weighed 15 stone 5.

I found Slimming World really easy, so much free food, not much restriction I could not believe I was losing weight and eating so much. I lost a stone pretty quickly but after that my weight loss slowed down as I became a 16 and feel more comfortable in my body so not too bothered about my weight. I manage to lose an extra stone in 2010 and come into 2011 just over 2 stone lighter.

I am still with Slimming World and have overcome so many obstacles, it is hard when you have had a good week and maintain or have a small gain but you have to keep going and pushing on and you do get the results eventually. I keep a food diary everyday now so I can see if I have gone wrong (and make sure I am not unconciously eating naughty things) and that really helps me.

I did want to be at target of 10st 5 for my holiday in July but I have relaxed a little and would like another stone and half off before then so I will only be a stone from my first target.

To date I have lost 2 stone 4lb, I have gone from a 18/20 to a 12/14, I feel comfortable and happier than before but still want to lose another 2 stone to be completely satified.  Joining Slimming World was the best thing I have ever done! Oh and I am now on the pill that I needed ;)

Setting your goals

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

I follow the Weight Watchers plan but you can adapt this to whatever your goals are or whatever plan you follow.

Setting goals is important to any weight loss or health plan, goals help to keep you motivated. That can mean setting specific weight goals or goals like running a certain distance in a certain time, inch loss or fitting in to smaller clothes etc

5% goal and 7lbs
The Weight Watcher plan that I follow encourages you to reach small goals so you are not overwhelmed by the bigger goals. You get a little sticker to put on your weight record card each time you lose another 7lbs and when you see lots in a row you feel great.

Your 10% Target
Losing 10% of your weight not only makes you feel more confident but it can give substantial health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of diabetes.

It’s great to have short term goals, as well as a long term goal, so you can enjoy smaller triumphs earlier and feel less daunted.  You can always change your goal as you go along.
These can be anything from completing a 10km charity walk or losing an inch from your measurements. You can track measurements, or set other goals that are meaningful to you.

Lose Weight Safely!
The Weight Watchers plan is designed for a safe rate of weight loss- up to 2lb per week (after the first 3 weeks). Although it’s normal to lose over 2lb in 1 week, if you lose more than an average of 2lb per week over a 4 week period, this could pose health risks so be safe!

My goals are to fit into a size 18/20 dress for a friends hen night at the end of June, then to have lost another 14lbs by my birthday in August and I will set small goals like that until I reach my goal weight.

What are your goals and have you set yourself small challenges?

Lunch box ideas

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Just a quick post from me today but I'm after a bit of help and inspiration. I'm sure most of you are aware that as of next Monday I'm going to be interning in a beauty department of a magazine in London. Now, as exciting as it is, I'm a bit worried about what I'm going to eat - this is my chance to really knuckle down and use these four weeks as a stepping stone for me, I'll have a routine and I'll hopefully not be bored so I won't need to turn to food for entertainment, thus hopefully resulting in a decent weight loss!

I'm going to be commuting from Leicester which will mean 12/13 hour days and this is where you come in, I need ideas for healthy lunch box ideas that'll keep me full, potential snacks I can keep in my bag incase I get mid-morning/afternoon munchies and then ideas for quick and easy dinner solutions. I'm planning on doing a Tesco-delivery shop at some point towards the back end of this week, has anybody got any key ingredients I should get that will keep well? I'm thinking of maybe getting a piece of gammon or chicken and cooking that on Sundays and having it in sandwiches for lunch and maybe with new potatoes and salad for dinner? But that'll get boring after about day one!

So yeah, your go-to recipes when you can't be bothered - throw them my way please along with any other ideas you may have! :)

Sunday Summary #9

Sunday, 15 May 2011

We can't believe it's Sunday already, these weeks are coming round fast. How are you all getting on with your goals?

Sarah - Today marks one month of me following Slimming World and almost two weeks of the 30 day shred and I am so excited to share my inch loss with you all! Over the last 30 days I have lost 3" from under my chest, 2.5" from my waist, 3" from my hips, 2" off my left thigh and 1.5" from my right thigh. That is a whopping TWELVE INCHES in total in just one month. Pleased is an understatement. I have lost 3lbs this week which brings my total to 9lbs. I am sticking to SW 100% but am dubious that certain free foods can really be unlimited and am watching the calories at the same time so I don't go potato crazy and undo all my hard work.

Gemma - I only lost 1lb at my weigh in on Tuesday but I reached a big goal on my Weight Watchers Journey. I have now lost 10% of my total body weight and by losing 10% of your body weight, you can lower your cholesterol and reduce your blood pressure which are two major risk factors for heart disease. Heart disease has meant that a lot of people in my family have passed away at a very young age, hopefully my diet will mean I live a healthier and longer life. I wore my first pair of trousers in about 4 years on Friday and I'm feeling so much more confident. I've had a Eurovision party, conference and night out this week so I hope I'm not disappointed at the scales on Tuesday.

Charlene - As you read from my previous post, I've been exercising daily for the past 12 days, doing the 30 Day Shred. The scales are saying I've put on 2lbs, but I'm feeling a lot more confident about my body and the 2lbs is probably mostly muscle weight so I'm not letting it bother me at all. I do look a lot more toned around the stomach area, it's just a pity I lost my measurements so don't have anything to actually go against to see how many inches I've lost. I'm feeling motivated to keep up the exercise and hopefully see more progress by this time next week!

Sarah V - I almost don't want to update, I'm really quite ashamed of how I've been doing this last few weeks. The bank holiday double bill threw me totally off track and I'm struggling to get my motivation back. I put on another 0.5lb this week - considering last weekend saw me at a hen do where we basically ate and drank constantly, that wasn't too bad, but as I'd gained 3lbs the week before, I'm a bit gutted. I only have a couple of weeks until I'm on holiday so I'm going to try and cut out all those little snacky bits and start exercising a LOT more.

Lucy - I know, I know. I said this week would be the start of something new, but alas, it wasn't. The week started out quite well and I had good intentions, I did Davina McCall's fitness DVD but I didn't really like it - I did it once but that was it. I didn't get on with it mostly because I have NO rhythm whatsoever, no word of a lie, and it's quite... dancy? I don't know. Anyway, then I went to London with my friend and ended up eating KFC and McDonald's plus we had breakfast on the train on the way back, naughty. Since then I've not really done much else, until yesterday when I started to feel guilty so I decided to take it upon myself and begun the dreaded 30 day shred. I did day 2 today and my legs aren't thanking me, I kind of hate it but love it whilst I'm doing it, hate it for an hour or so afterwards but now, about five/six hours after doing it, despite my legs still hurting, I'm sort of looking forward to doing it again tomorrow. Hopefully I'll stick at it, no pain no gain as Jillian keeps telling me!

That's it from us, please update us on how you are doing.

Guest Post - Kate from A Girls Guide to Gluten-Free Baking

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Todays guest post was written by Kate from A Girls Guide to Gluten-Free Baking.

In 2005 after weeks of bellyache, sickness, being so tired I couldn’t have made my bed if you paid me and abnormal toilet habits (that’s putting it as delicately as I can) I finally went to the doctors, who diagnosed Coeliac Disease.

Coeliac Disease for those not in the know is an autoimmune disease, which is triggered by gluten. When a sufferer of Coeliac’s eats gluten their body goes on to have an autoimmune response, which basically means it attacks itself, specifically in the small bowel. The only treatment for Coeliac’s is a diet free from gluten. It’s believed 1 in 100 people in the UK have Coeliac's and a lot of people are going undiagnosed or being misdiagnosed with conditions such as IBS. Six years on from my diagnosis things are going well, unless I eat gluten by accident I live a life free of symptoms, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a total ball ache at times. But the pros far outweigh the cons.

A gluten-free diet has become popular recently with those who aren’t Coeliac due to the health benefits’ cutting out the big G is supposed to have.

• Weight loss. A gluten-free diet is generally lower in saturated fats and carbohydrates.
• Bloating. Cutting down on gluten is thought to aid digestion and help with bloating and dare I say it, reduces trumping! Reducing gluten could also help in some cases of IBS and IBD.
• Cholesterol. Due to a reduction is saturated fats, its believed giving up gluten-free can lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
• It’s been suggested that a gluten-free diet can help with various illnesses including autism and thyroid problems, skin problems such as psoriasis and joint problems such as arthritis.
• Bye bye headaches. Studies into the link between gluten and migraines found that sufferers reported a significant reduction in migraines whilst on a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free and Reduced Fat New York Cheesecake

Its hard to get a LOW fat cheesecake but this one its reduced fat and a bit on the healthier side than a regular cheesecake. Serves 8-10.

• 150g digestives (gluten-free if your Coeliac)
• 70g low fat spread/margarine
• 500g quark
• 250g low fat cream cheese
• 110g caster sugar
• Juice and zest of 1 lemon
• 1 whole egg, and 1 egg white
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

• 20cm spring form cake tin
• Baking parchment

• Pop your oven on cool at gas mark 3. Grease and line your cake tin and leave to one side.
• Melt the spread and pour into a bowl. Work those guns and crush the biscuits to bits and add to the spread and mix together.
• Press the mixture into the base of the tin and pop in the fridge for 15-20minutes.
• Pile the quark, sugar, cream cheese and the lemon juice and zest into a big bowl and whizz it all up with an electric whisk. Beat it all together until smooth and then throw in the whole egg.
• In a super clean bowl whisk the egg white until you can hold the bowl over your head and the egg doesn’t fall out on your face. Spoon the egg into the quark mix.
• Spoon the mixture over the biscuit base and bake in the oven for around 40minutes. Don’t worry if its still got a bit of a wobble (we’ve all been there!) it will firm up as it cools down. It’ll probably have some cracks in it as it cools, don’t panic, all good cheesecakes crack!
• Once it’s cooled down, pop in the fridge for an hour before you serve.
Fancy a low fat topping? Try these…
• Chop up some fresh fruit and sprinkle over the top.
• For a quick coulis pop a few handfuls of raspberries in a pan with a spoonful of sugar. Simmer over a low heat for around 5-10minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has softened.
• Grate some dark choccy over the top of the cheesecake.


We are always looking for new guest bloggers. If you're interested in writing a post for Where Are my Knees? please send us an email with a rough idea of what you'd like to write to wherearemyknees@gmail.com.

The 30 Day Shred: Level 1, Completed!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Ten days ago I started Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred. I had no idea what to expect, but have been massively impressed with my progress so far. Yes, it is an intense work out with no breaks, but I find that because it's split into intervals (3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs) it's not too bad. And it's only 20 minutes a day that you can do from the comfort of your home - what's that compared to spending 1hr+ in the gym? Right.

Days 2 and 3 were the worst for me. I hated them. I almost gave up on day 3 because my calves were too sore. I could barely walk without feeling as if my calf muscle was going to burst out of my leg at any moment. But the pain had passed by Day 4, so stick with it if your muscles are burning! My legs do still burn the most whilst doing the workout, but it's went from complete agony to that reassuring "this is working" type of burn you get whilst exercising. I can live with that.

I can feel a huge improvement in my endurance too, this really started showing at around Day 6. On Day 1 I couldn't do a modified push up, I have no upper body strength at all. By Day 6 I could easily do the full amount of time of modified press ups. I also noticed on Day 6 that I had developed nice little bicep muscles and that my tummy, although it was still podgy, felt firmer and toned.

By Days 9 and 10 I was getting bored of Level 1. I knew the circuits inside out and despite really pushing myself, I wasn't finding them massively challenging. I've skipped through Level 2 so see what it involves, and I'm feeling a bit nervous as it's supposed to be the hardest of all three levels. Most people I've spoken to about the 30 Day Shred say that they haven't made it past Level 2, and gave up half way through it. I'm determined not to do that though - BRING IT ON, LEVEL 2!!

Unfortunately I managed to lose my original measurements, so I'm not able to tell you exactly how much I've lost but I do look a little more toned than I did before and I'm feeling AMAZING. It's surprising how much better just 20 minutes of exercise a day can make you feel about yourself. I'll take some more measurements today and update you all on what I've lost in 10 days time, after I complete level 2!

Have you been doing the 30 Day Shred along with us? Let us know how you're finding it!

A simple stir fry!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

When I'm trying to eat healthily, I find myself extremely reliant on the humble stir-fry. It's a great way to get loads of vegetables into you, and also manages to be full of flavour whilst scrimping on the fat content.

If you've never made a stir-fry before, it's the easiest meal. My method is...

1 - Cook some chicken. I normally toss a little bit of water into the pan to stop it sticking, rather than use oil. You can always drain this if it doesn't all evaporate. I also sometimes add a little Thai Five Spice for flavouring, and Soy Sauce.
2 - Once chicken is cooked, throw in chopped onions and mushrooms.
3 - Throw in any vegetables you want al dente - aka a little bit crunchy - peppers, mange tout, baby corns, beansprouts.
4 - Once everything is cooked to your liking, chuck in a sachet of sauce. The Amoy ones are my favourite, particularly their Chow Mein. Yum.
5 - Add straight-to-wok noodles. I adore udon ones.
6 - Eat! And if, like me, you're incapable of making a single portion, take to work for lunch tomorrow, too!

Hummus Recipe

Monday, 9 May 2011

A good friend of mine, Alison kindly sent me the following recipe after she saw my food tweet.  It's so quick and easy to make and you can adapt it to your own taste so I followed the recipe below and added some chillies and a bit of chilli powder to give it a kick.

1 tin of chick peas
Juice of half a lemon (adjust depending on taste)
1 clove of garlic (miles best if roasted but I generally add raw for convenience)
1 large red pepper (roasted skin side up under the grill until black and then sweat and peeled the skin off)
Smoked paprika
Salt & pepper
Fresh basil (or fresh herbs of your choice!)

Chuck all ingredients in the food processor (except red pepper) blend as much as you want then i add the pepper at the end and pulse a bit so it's still lumpy.

I find the trick is to add flavours to compensate for the lack of fat and I usually do roasted red pepper hummus.

Most of the low fat hummus recipes add fat-free yogurt/fromage frais but I think it ruins it, so I don’t bother. I just add a little bit of water if it’s too thick.

I play around with other flavours such as
Olives (low syn) coriander and ground cumin.
Sometimes I drain all the oil off a couple of sun dried tomatoes (with kitchen towel) like a mentalist and add those!
a SMALL blob of tahini if you fancy (non-essential) BUT what you can also do is add some dry toasted sesame seeds and mash them in a pestle and mortar and add them if you want to make it a little sesamey.

Thank you Alison this definitely makes all those veggies go down much easier and the amount I made using the recipe above makes enough for about 5 days so that's my snacks at work sorted for the week.  Alison has managed to lose a massive 23lbs this year following Slimming World principles, WELL DONE!!

Sunday Summary #8

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Happy Sunday everyone! How has your week been? I can't believe we are on Sunday Summary number eight already, doesn't time fly when you're having fun!

Sarah - I weighed in two days early last week due to my trip to Paris. I was there for four days and was as good as possible, no pastries, no crepes or starters/puddings but I still found I had put 4lbs back on when I returned home :( how is that even possible?! I did have a macaroon or two and a fair bit of alcohol followed by a hangover cure Maccy D's but even so! I didn't drink as much non alcoholic liquids as I should have and didn't touch any fruit at all so this may have contributed. I also ate bread, I haven't eaten any bread since starting Slimming World and I hate the way it makes me feel so it's now off the menu for good. I'm not getting hung up on my little blip as I guess your little sister only has one hen weekend!! I am pleased to say that in the 6 days that I have been back I have managed to lose the 4lbs and and pretty pleased with that. I have now lost 6lbs since starting Slimming World and am on day 7 of the 30 day shred. I can't wait to see what results I get next week when I will weigh in and measure inches lost.

Gemma - I lost another 2lbs this week which I was very happy about because I wasn't that strict the week before. I hope it doesn't catch up with me this week though! I'm going to try and get a lot of exercise in tomorrow to make sure I lose at least 1.5lbs this week because that will mean I have lost 2 stone and hit my 10% goal. I'm really looking forward to having the summer off from work so I have more time to exercise. I'm moving house soon and I will be living opposite the town hall that has zumba and yoga classes so I'm going to attend those and I hope to see a boost in my weight loss.

Charlene - I haven't lost any weight this week, but I've been doing the 30 Day Shred (haven't missed a day yet!) and I'm feeling GREAT. This time last week I couldn't even do a modified push up, and now I can do not just one, but around 10, proper push ups. Which is amazing considering I have no upper body strength at all. It's surprising how much fitter I'm feeling. For me it's not all about the amount of weight lost anyway (I just want to feel fitter and look more toned although I think I did get a bit sucked into caring about the number on the scales in the past few weeks) so I'm hoping that keeping this DVD up will tone my body and help me achieve my goals. So far so good - bring on level 2!

Sarah V - After such a good start, I'm suddenly sliding backwards. I had a good run without much temptation, and suddenly lots of food-related social events have come at once. The bank holiday double bill was TERRIBLE for my diet - weddings, baby showers, parties - and I gained 3lbs. I've just come back from a hen weekend, so I'm not feeling too confident about this week. I've GOT to get back on track though. I have a wedding the first weekend of June and a gorgeous dress that I'd LOVE to get back into. This week, I'm going to walk to work every day, do my Zumba class and try and get the Wii Fit out (for the first time!). I'm also aiming to get through next Saturday's party without being too bad. I want to get to my stone!

Lucy - Even more drama my end this week, it's not been the best week I've ever had in my life (not diet wise, more just generally) but I think everything is sorted now and I plan to get back on this as of tomorrow, I weighed myself this morning for the first time in about 3 weeks and I've put on 1lb, which isn't too bad considering I've not been watching what I've been eating at all. Hopefully I've got no more excuses and now the scales will decrease from this day forward! Fingers crossed...

That's it from us, over to you - how have you guys got on this week?

A day in the life of ... Weight Watchers

Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Weight Watcher plan has recently changed, previously you could have about 20 points a day and save up a few a day for a night out. Now you get a minimum of 29 points a day but also a weekly budget of 49 extra points.

Weight Watcher research has revealed that successful slimming is not just about counting calories, but about how quickly your body processes different nutrients and which healthy foods help us to stay feeling satisfied for longer.

This diet encourages you to eat foods such as lean proteins, wholemeal bread and fruit and vegetables, which help us to feel fuller for longer which means you are more likely to stick to the plan.
The plan has really worked for me and I've lost over 26 lbs now. This is what I eat on a weekday when I've been in work-

Cereal and milk - 5 points
200ml Orange juice- 2 points
Banana - 0 points

Quiche- 9 points
Salad - 0 points + salad dressing 1 point
Quavers - 2 points
Ribena really light - 0 points
Kiwi fruit - 0 points
Total = 12

Shepherds Pie - 6 points (Looks gross, tastes nice)
Extra mash and real gravy (none of that nasty instant stuff) - 7 points
Veg - 0 points
Total = 13

Babybel - 2 points
Curly Wurly -3 points
Tea- I drink a lot so I count 2 points for milk on days when I'm in work
Total = 7

Daily total 39/39 Pro Points

I did not use any of my 49 weekly points on this day, I like to keep them for the weekend or if I eat out. A pizza and a cocktail would be about 28 points which wouldn't leave me with many points for the rest of the day if I didn't have the weekly 'bank' to use. The new WW Pro Points plan is so much better than the old plan I used previously. The extra weekly budget has really helped me to stay on track.

Are any of you doing the Weight Watchers plan? Have you got any low point food ideas you can share with me?

'The 30 Day Shred' explained!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

I seem to have lost my exercise mojo lately. I've got bored of the gym and I find it too difficult to drag myself out running enough times per week to really benefit from it, so I've decided to try the 30 Day Shred this month.

The 30 Day Shred is a work out DVD by Jillian Michaels, who you will probably recognise from the TV show The Biggest Loser. She's known for her really tough, intense work outs, the 30 Day Shred being the most popular. The DVD works by using a 3-2-1 (minute) interval system that combines strength, cardio and abs to maximize the amount of calories you burn. Each level is a 20 minute workout with a warm up followed by 3 intervals each of 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs, finishing with a cool down.

The internet is full of positive reviews for this DVD. If you can stick it out for 30 days the results are amazing. I track my calories over at My Fitness Pal and they're always discussing 30 Day Shred on the forums and some of the before/after photos are amazing.

I've just completed day 2 of level 1 and I'm really enjoying the work out so far. Jillian can get a bit annoying at times, but it's an enjoyable work out and the fact that there are modified moves (one easier variation if you're struggling, and another variation if you're more advanced) means that nothing is too difficult. Throughout the strength training interval you can be expected to do some lunges, some bicep curls (they recommend using 5lb hand weights - I don't have those so I've been using good old tins of beans at the moment!) and a few push ups. For cardio you do some jumping jacks, skipping and some really fun punching exercises. And finally, for abs you do a selection of different crunches. I find that the cardio does get you out of breath, but after doing some strength training you're not as tired and feel ready for some more cardio.

If you're thinking of starting the 30 day shred, make sure you take your measurements before hand. Most people say the DVD helps them lose about 10lbs over the course of 30 days, but you need to remember that the DVD is focusing on building muscle and toning so you're likely to put on a few lbs of muscle weight, meaning that you'll probably see a bigger achievement in inches lost rather than weight lost.

I'm feeling really motivated to keep this up (looking at before/after pictures really helps!) and will definitely keep you updated with how I'm getting on. I've taken my measurements and I'm hoping for a flatter tummy by this time next month!

Do you want to get involved and start doing the 30 Day Shred? Both Sarah and I are doing it and there are already a few girls on Twitter taking part, and we're planning to keep everyone motivated on the Where Are My Knees? twitter account. We could post our inches/weight lost (if you feel comfortable doing that) on our weekly summaries and give each other that push we need to keep it up! What do you think, are you in?!

The 30 Day Shred is only £5.49 on Play.com at the moment.

Sunday Summary #7

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Have you survived the double bank holiday and stayed on track? Its hard work this weight loss malarky isn't it?!

Sarah - As you are reading this I am living it up in Paris on my little sisters hen party, it's a hard life hey! I weighed in first thing Friday before I left rather than my usual Sunday and I am pleased to say that I have lost 2lbs this week :) That's 6lbs in just under two weeks. My aim for this week is to get thru Paris without gaining or letting the 'D' word spoil my fun.

Gemma - This week has been hard, I had time off work so I've just been lazing around the house and not being very active. I'm usually very busy and in work all day so I don't really have time to think about what I eat but being at home means I've been snacking on rubbish. I did lose another 2lbs at my weigh in this week but I'm not holding out too much hope for the next weigh in on Tuesday. I only have 6 weeks of work left before I finish for summer, I'm going to try and get out of the house as much as I can over the summer to avoid a repeat of this week which has been a diet failure. Two bank holidays in a row has been a total nightmare!

Charlene - I didn't lose any weight this week, but I didn't gain either. Pretty good when you consider the amount of chocolate eggs that have been consumed! I'm getting back into Couch to 5k (although running in the heat is much harder!) and enjoying it, and I'm also thinking about trying the 30 Day Shred as I've heard it's amazing for toning. Has anyone had any success with it? Sarah has emailed me the information on Slimming World so I might take a look at that and see if it would suit me since she's having so much success.

Sarah V - Um. Don't ask.

Lucy - Same goes this week as it has the previous two weeks, but the good news is that my dissertation is due in next week so I can really get down to this dieting business. I'm contemplating Slimming World again because Sarah is doing so well and I think I'll need something to guide me in the right direction. We'll see!

So how did you do this week? Please share!