Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Weight Watchers - The Complete Kitchen Cookbook Review and One Pan Fry-Up Recipe

Saturday, 31 December 2011

I was pretty excited to receive a copy of the new Weight Watchers cookbook to review because I was such a fan of the Simply Enjoy cookbook I received previously and I have bought most of the Weight Watchers cookbooks that feature the new Pro Points recipes. Rather than having a narrow theme like some of their other publications e.g Oriental Express Cookbook and One Pot Meals, this is a one stop guide to all the recipes you would need to follow the Weight Watcher plan and not get bored.

It is great for someone who is a novice in the kitchen because it has a helpful section on how to make basics like bread, stock and white sauce, general cooking tips like browning meat and making breadcrumbs and a glossary of cooking terms.
It has over 145 new recipes, 70 of which are vegetarian and many vegetarian alternatives which makes The Complete Cookbook suitable for all tastes. I really like the Pro Points value index which makes it easy to figure out what to have for dinner when you only have a certain number of points left.

The sections which I found most appealing were the Kitchen Basics and Everyday Value because I will be using these a lot to make meals for the whole family on a budget. This cookbook doesn't feature a lot of expensive or obscure ingredients which suits me but it does feature some gorgeous desserts and impressive mains like Tiger Prawn Tagliatelle and Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes.

I would have liked the book to feature more photos of the finished products and preparation methods as I tend to have some kitchen disasters and love to see what it is supposed to look like. I would also like to  have seen a few more 0 point recipes like soup but those are my only real criticisms.

This book is available to buy on January 1st from Weight Watchers classes all over the UK and from the Weight Watchers website.

I have a great recipe to share with you from the new book. I have been cooking this a lot over the festive period because I haven't had to go to work in the morning. With only one pot to wash this would make a great weekend breakfast to share leaving you plenty of time to relax.

One Pan Fry-Up

11 Pro Points per recipe
20 minutes in total to make
Serves 2

You will need:

Calorie controlled cooking spray
250g potatoes peeled an cut into 2cm dice
3 bacon medallions chopped
150g chestnut or button mushrooms, sliced thickly
2 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Spray a lidded non stick frying pan lightly with cooking spray. Stir-fry the potatoes for 3-4 minutes over a high heat until starting to brown at the edges. Season with pepper, add 3 tablespoons of water and cover the pan. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes over a low heat, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are almost cooked through.

2. Remove the lid, add the bacon and increase the heat under the pan to medium. Cook for 2 minutes , then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

3. Make two spaces in the potato mixture and break an egg into each gap. Cover the pan again and cook gently for 2 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Serve on warmed plates.

Veggie Tip- Replace the bacon with 50g of Quorn Deli Bacon Style Rashers chopped. They need less cooking than bacon so add them to the mixture just before adding the eggs to the pan. The Pro Points value will be the same.

Have you tried any of the Weight Watcher cookbooks? What are your favourite cookbooks to use when you are on a diet?

I will feature another recipe from the book next week but what would you like to see? A veggie option, dessert, or a main?

New year, new resolutions

Friday, 30 December 2011

Start diet today

With the 1st of January fast approaching, the majority of us will be thinking up a new set of New Year Resolutions to stick to throughout the coming year and I don't think I'm wrong when I say that the majority of us will be setting a goal to lose some weight! It might only be the couple of lbs you've gained throughout the festive period, it might be more, or you might just want to be more healthy, exercise more and become fitter. We're all in the same boat.

It takes a lot of hard work and motivation to stick to your goal and lose weight so we'd love to hear what your goals are, and how you plan to stick to them. Here's our own goals to start off...

Charlene - I'll admit that I've been a complete failure when it comes to losing weight this past year and I've definitely put some on. I think I need routine, in the form of planned meals or a set diet, to make this work. Living at home with parents and not being the one doing the weekly food shop is difficult. I also need to rejoin the gym and I'm going to keep a diary of food, exercise and inch/weight loss. The thing I struggle most with is my sweet tooth so I need to think of ideas to keep that satisfied in the healthiest possible way and the other biggie is that I also need to learn to say NO to the free takeaways, cakes and sweets at work every day.

Sarah - I am really pleased with my progress in 2011.  I felt like a million dollars on my wedding day and that was my main aim.  I have since had five weeks off, a week in the run up to the wedding, two weeks on honeymoon, a crazy week of work followed by Christmas and now New Year.  I have gained 7.5lbs of the 25lbs I managed to lose but I am fine with this... you only get married once after all!! My goal for 2012 is to get back on plan and lose about a stone and a half.  I need to stick to Slimming World 100% and wear my hotpants more often!  I think I will be happy when I get to my current goal weight but can always lower it if not.  I am still mostly fitting into a size 10 so it's just a case of feeling as good when not wearing ultra flattering clothes.  I have also done something I swore I would never do again and joined a gym! 2012 will be the year that I not only get to target but also get fit in the progress.

Sarah V - I charted a graph of my weight losses and gains this year and it looks like a heart rate monitor - up and down, up and down! I've fluctuated a lot and am currently the exact same weight now as I was when we started this blog, which is frustrating as I made such a good start in the Spring and lost nearly a stone. I make way too many excuses and allow myself to be swayed by holidays, special occasions, parties and friends and that's why I haven't been able to stick to a diet for more than a few weeks at a time. I have a big birthday in July and my goal is to feel good about my body by the time I get to that landmark age. So overall I resolve to conquer some of my food issues and get to a point where I am eating healthily, but not obsessing and overeating the moment I'm 'off-diet'. So rather than fixating on weight loss, I am going to focus on living healthily instead.

Lucy - so, hello. It's been a while. I think I've been avoiding reality since I returned from Australia, ignoring the fact that I've been eating everything in sight and not wanting to do anything about it. I really need to have a sit down and think about what I'm going to do for 2012, I need to stop saying I'll do things and then just... not follow them through. I'm miserable and I'm fed up, not just with my weight but with my life in general at the minute; I 100% know that if I even just lost a stone I would be so much happier within myself but it's just making myself start. I need to have some willpower, I need to discipline myself and I need to learn to say no. Things have got to change.

Gem -I'm really happy with my 2011 weight loss and want to continue this in 2012. I lost over 4 stone this year but after three weeks of indulgence over the festive period I have put about 5-6lbs back on. My first aim is to shed all the Christmas weight by following the Weight Watcher plan perfectly and keeping an accurate food diary and weighing all my food. I want to lose at least another 20lbs this year to reach my ideal size and then maintain the weight with a mixture of Weight Watchers and exercise. As Christmas shows, I can't maintain weight loss on my own and go off the rails if I don't regularly weigh in. I hope to become a 'Gold Member' of Weight Watchers and successfully keep the weight off, wish me luck!

Let us know what yours are!

Sunday Summary #39

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sorry for missing Sunday Summary last week!

Gemma- Well I lost 0.5 lb last week which was to be expected after all the cocktails and champagne, not too bad at all. I couldn't attend class this week because I went to the Bristol meet up but I weighed at home and I had put about 1lb on. After a few weeks of excess I'm fine with that. I'm going to have a few weeks off the diet. I'm not going to go mad, I will keep a food diary but wont say no to everything at Christmas parties. Christmas only comes once a year and I really miss cheese! How are you planning to cope with Christmas?

Sarah V - Like Gemma, I'm letting myself have a few weeks off. My weight has really fluctuated over the last 6 months but currently I'm about 7lbs less than I was when we started WAMK so at least if I do gain over Christmas, I've got a 'head start', as it were. The hardest thing about being 'off diet' is not eating for the sake of it so I'm trying to stick to my soup for lunch when I can... but next week I have about six meals out so I fear it will all fall by the wayside! I'm just not going to worry too much and then really hit the diet full on in January when there's a lot less temptation around!

Sarah - I'm back after an amazing honeymoon and although I haven't been officially weighed yet I think I have put 7lbs on.  Like the other girls I am not going to worry about it over Christmas and am just going to try and get thru the festive period without any further gains.  It's going to be tough as all I want to eat at the moment is junk food :(

We are going to take a little break from Sunday summaries over the festive period but we will report back on our progress in the new year!

Guest Post - Dressing to Flatter your Shape this Party Season - Simmi from Cafe La Moda

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Contributed by Saisha Potts, who writes for Café La Moda, the social space for fashion tips and beauty advice.

It’s that time of year again when even the most socially-retiring among us put on our glad rags and head out for some festive fun - be it the office party or just a night on the town; and we all want to look… well, if not traffic-stopping then at least reasonably gorgeous. We all know that different colours and styles suit different folks (and we don’t want to get all Trinny and Susannah on you), but we thought we’d put together a brief guide to looking your best for the party season.

1. Be comfortable

There’s nothing worse than being at a party in a dress that’s too tight, which rides up, or rides down, or itches, or otherwise makes life difficult. So rule number one is, buy clothes that don’t fight back: they should be the right size (even if you don’t like the number on the label, better that it fit you than fight you), and be fabrics that you can wear for an evening without wrestling with. If you try it on and it misbehaves, chances are it’s not going to be any easier to control after a couple of glasses of wine, so give it a miss, and go instead for a dress that feels like it belongs on you.

2. Know your body shape

Okay, so maybe it’s sounding a bit Trinny & Susannah again, but there’s a lot to be gained from knowing in advance which styles will look good on you and which will be disastrous – it may just keep you from falling in love with that totally unflattering frock. Observant friends are good for this: one who’s not afraid to say “won’t suit you” the minute you stray towards anything unsuitable. If you don’t already know whether you’re an apple or an hourglass, try one of the websites that will tell you (http://www.channel4.com/4beauty/style-me/bodyshapefinder)

3. Dress according to what suits you

The key here is making the most of the parts of you that you’re happy with, and not letting the other parts make you feel less confident. So if you carry a little weight round the middle, the bandeau dress is not your friend…. but a wraparound or empire-waist dress, on the other hand, will flatter you much more. The pear-shaped among us (slimline top half and curvier bottom half) can make the most of their slim top halves by going for strappy dresses while A-line skirts show off your waist while skimming over curvier hips.

4. Don’t be afraid to be different

Knowing what works with your figure, and what doesn’t, will help you make the right choices for party-wear this season – and if the current high street trends don’t suit you, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere for something that does. Try different high street shops than you would normally go for, or check out vintage clothing stores – or even re-accessorise something you already own but know looks stunning on you – you’ll look and feel more like a million dollars in an unusual vintage-store dress that really suits you than the bang-on-trend high street one that doesn’t.

5. Go forth and enjoy!

Remember, both the party season and fashion should be fun; and looking great should be just a stepping stone to feeling great. So if you find yourself in front of the mirror picking out all your perceived faults, either give yourself a pep talk or find someone else who will. Finding the perfect party dress is a nice quest, but it’s no substitute for being happy with who you are.

Festive Fruit Pavlova

Friday, 16 December 2011

5 pro points per serving
29 pro points per recipe
Serves 6

I made this recipe in the summer and I loved it so much I thought I would make it again but with a festive twist. The only thing festive about my alterations are the colours  because I hate most Christmas food like mince pies and Christmas pudding. Don't want any spices or alcohol in my dessert, yuk!  I think this would make a great light dessert on Christmas day as it is only about 220 calories per serving.

Here is the original recipe but I used kiwi fruit and pomegranate because of the colours.. You could use any fruit you like. Pile the fruit on too, it is all 0 points on the Weight Watchers plan!
I have to admit that I bought the base, way to busy (lazy) to make it myself. Christmas should be stress free and fun right? no need to make it all yourself.


4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
175g fresh pineapple
2 passion fruit
170g 0% fat Greek Yogurt
100g Weight Watchers reduced fat think cream (or elmlea light)
30g pomegranate seeds


1. Preheat the oven to 150C or 130C fan and line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Whisk in the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, beating well between each addition to make a stiff, glossy meringue. Spread the mixture in a 25cm circle on the parchment  lifting the edges slightly to make a rim. Place in the oven and turn it down to 140C/120C fan.
Cook for an hour until firm to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave in there to cool completely.

3. When ready to serve peel the parchment away and place on a serving plate or leave it on the shop bought tray like I did which will save on the washing up. I really am lazy... Mix all the fruit together. Combine the cream and yogurt and then spread on the meringue, then top with fruit.


Will you be trying this and what are your favourite festive desserts?

Weight Watchers Weight Loss Goal -50

Thursday, 8 December 2011

I have now lost 57.5lbs which is 4 stone 1.5 lbs!

My weight loss has been slow and I've had a few slip ups (like my birthday) but I'm really happy with what I have achieved this year. I will enter 2012 a much happier and healthier person.

I wasn't unhappy with my life before but I really love my dresses and became so disheartened that most stores didn't stock my size and people have noticed a big difference in my behaviour. I recently bought a dress from River Island and I've not been able to do that for about four years. It may seem like a small thing but I couldn't stop smiling all day. I'm also a lot less shy now, anyone who has met me knows I don't shut up.

Joining Weight Watchers made me realise that I previously had no discipline in my eating habits. I would often eat on the go which meant grabbing the nearest unhealthy snack – and comfort eat as a way of coping with stress. These had all combined to result in my increasing size. I can't say I've struggled or that it has been hard because it hasn't. I'm surprised at how easy it has been, the Weight Watchers plan means that I can eat what I like as long as I plan ahead. I really think about the value of my food now and fill up on low point options rather than snacking on high point food.

Here are some photos of my progress-

You can follow all my weekly updates, recipes and Weight Watcher tips by clicking on the Gemma or Weight Watcher tag on the right hand side.

I want to lose another 20-30lbs so I hope there will be another post like this in the not too distant future.

Sunday Summary #38

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Gemma- I lost 1lb this week, not amazing but still a loss. I'm hoping for a loss of 1lb or 0.5 this week because I have two events which will include cocktails, canapes, bubbly and a pizza. I plan on having just two cocktails and drinking soft drinks in between and then going for a Leggera at Pizza Express which will be about 15 pro points. I have started to plan ahead for Christmas and buy a few things that I will be able to eat without feeling guilty and banned my mother from buying huge tins of Roses and shortbread. I anticipate a 3lb gain over Christmas but I refuse to put any more on!

Sarah V - I couldn't make it to my weigh in this week but I hopped on the scales this morning and it looks like I'm down 2lbs! It's getting harder and harder to resist temptation now that Christmas is drawing ever closer, and I know that I'll let myself have more treats over the break, I'm just trying to stick with my soups and salads in the meantime so that I minimise the damage!

Charlene - My Zaggora hotpants arrived this week and I'm looking forward to trying them out after Sarah gave them a good review a few months ago. Ate and drank a bit too much this week, I'm such a slacker. :(

How was your week?

Guest Post - Getting Ready for Christmas by Dawn

Saturday, 3 December 2011

f you’re trying to loose weight, Christmas can be a very challenging time. If you don’t want to see a big increase in the January Scales, then it’s worth doing some planning up front – and that means now.

Here are my top 10 tips for surviving Christmas without adding too many pounds.

1. Decide how much leeway you will give yourself now, before the madness starts. Will it be a disaster if you put on a pound? What about 7? What about 10? Decide what you are comfortable with as this will determine how strict you need to be.

2.Look at your commitments for the whole month ahead – how many parties, dinners, family meals etc do you have? If it’s only a few, then you can probably afford to relish all of them – but if it’s lots, then you’ll need to prioritise them in terms of how much you will allow yourself to consume at each.

3. On days that you don’t have festive engagements, try and stick to your normal diet, or be even stricter with yourself – that way you won’t compound any increases

4. Don’t stock up on Christmas treats early – unless you have superhuman willpower, that tin of chocolates or bottle of vodka will be gone by Christmas if you buy it by the end of November. If you want to spread the cost, get someone else to store your food. Mince pies with a best before date of Dec 15 are a definite no-no unless mince pies are included in your diet. If you want to buy early and don’t have someone to store things, buy things for the freezer – brandy cream, turkey crown, chestnut stuffing etc can all be frozen and aren’t as tempting as a bottle of Baileys.

5. Find non-foodie treats to enjoy – festive games, pampering treats, those huge bumper magazines and supplements you get at Christmas.

6.Try and plan in some fun exercise – you probably have extra time off work, so a long walk, sledging or even playing with the kids will all help burn off a few calories – but don’t eat more because you’re exercising – use this to burn off what you “had” to eat or drink at parties etc

7. Offer to drive and stay off the drink – you will be popular with everyone and won’t have added to your waistline by having “empty” calories. Make a deal that if you drive, they buy your drinks all night, and stick to low cal soft drinks.

8. Decide which festive treats you really like, and prioritise those. Which do you just eat because they are there? Can you do without them? I used to eat sausage rolls, but then realised that I didn’t really enjoy all that pastry, and so now I leave them, or just eat the sausage and leave the pastry.

9. Don’t worry about upsetting someone by saying “no” to offers of cake, sweets, food etc – it’s your body and you are the one responsible for its maintenance. You can tell them you’ve just eaten, you’re not hungry, you just don’t fancy it or that you’ve already eaten/drunk too much this Christmas – whatever you need to do. When you get on the scales in January, it will be you, not them, you will have to face up to.

10. Write your own list of goals and rules for the month ahead – things like: I will only drink on the following occasions – X, Y and Z, I will not aim to eat all the Christmas cake by New Year’s eve, I will not beat myself up about having more than 2,000 calories / 15 sins whatever, as long as I have fewer on other days, I will try and keep any weight gain to less than X lbs and I will do at least 3 30 min exercise sessions before New Year

So, everything in moderation – pig out some days, but then restrain yourself on others. But most of all, enjoy the break, find non-foodie treats and get at least a bit of exercise.