Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Baking Mad Monday - Beetroot & Chocolate Cupcakes

Monday, 30 January 2012

Our friends at Baking Mad have set us a low calorie baking challenge, over the next 5 Mondays we are all going to attempt one of their recipes and would like you lot to vote for your favourite at the end. All of the recipes use Half Spoon granulated sugar by Silver Spoon which is sugar with a touch of sweetener. It reduces the calories as you only need to use half the amount of standard sugar but because the texture doesn't change you still get the same results, excellent!

First up is Sarah, being a cupcake addict she has chosen to bake the beetroot and chocolate cupcakes

Baking Mad provided us with some of the products for this challenge:

And we then purchase the rest ourselves:

3 x Eggs
150g Half Spoon Granulated Sugar
250g Beetroot, peeled & grated
0.5tsp Vanilla Extract
180g Plain White Flour
180g Ground Almonds
2tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
0.25tsp Salt
284ml Buttermilk
For the topping:
100g Plain Chocolate
2tsp Quark
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C, gas 4. Line two 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk up the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes until they are light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the grated beetroot and vanilla essence. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt and beat until combined.
  • Add the buttermilk. Beat again to ensure everything is well combined.
  • Divide the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 20 minutes or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently with a finger. Remove from the cake tin immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack.
The cakes come out a lovely reddish pink colour
  • For the icing: Place the chocolate in a small bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate gently. Remove form the heat and stir. Leave to cool. Add the quark and mix. Add enough milk to loosen the consistency to a spreadable icing. Spread the icing over the cup cakes and serve.
Makes 24 cupcakes, they work out at 7 syns each or 7 pro points.

The cakes were lovely and moist which surprised me with the lack of fat in the recipe and the chocolate topping added a lovely chocolate hit, mmmmm!


Word of warning, your kitchen will look like you've massacred a few people whilst grating the beetroot but it's worth the mess. The lovely Sarah gave me a great tip for removing the staining from your hands, just put sugar and fairy liquid on your hands afterwards and wash. The colour sticks to the sugar and your hands are stain free, result!

Sunday Summary #43

Another week, hopefully another weightloss! How did you guys get on?

Gemma - Great news, I lost 2.5lbs this week. Very happy with this loss and I feel like 2012 has started really well for me. Had a night out last night which involved a lot of alcohol and I ate silly amounts of toast with butter and peanut butter when I got home but you only live once so I'm trying not to worry about it too much. Would be happy to maintain this week or lose 0.5lb Life gets in the way of a diet from time to time but what is the point of me going on a diet if I can't have a good night out and go a little wild sometimes?

Sarah V - Even though I didn't eat very well last week due to being ill and just wanting anything to keep my energy levels up, I managed to lose 3.5lbs which was a nice dent in my Christmas weight gain! I suppose coughing must burn calories. I've trying out the Jenny Craig diet for a month which I started this week, and already it's making me address some of the bad eating habits I've fallen into, so I'm hoping it'll give me a good kickstart and get me back into good habits which is something I've really struggled with this year.

Sarah - I went to WI on Thursday even though it was my birthday and found I had lost 1.5lbs. Better than nothing I guess! Since then though I have haven't been at all on plan and have had 4 meals out, beers and cocktails so am hoping I can pull it back during the week and get another lose on Thursday.

Charlene - I've just finished the third week of my diet and I've stuck to it again. I'm getting a little bored of the same meals now, and I'm glad glad to have only 1 week left. I've learned a lot from the Jenny Craig programme, but I'm missing home cooked food! I haven't stepped on the scales lately because I found I was getting a little obsessed with the numbers, but I'm going to weigh and re-measure myself when I finish the diet this week. A few people have commented on how much slimmer I look, and I feel slimmer myself!

Lucy - There's been a few delays with the Maxitone diet that I'm doing and so I haven't actually recieved any product, nor have I had my chat with the nutrionist yet but hopefully it'll all be go at some point this week. I was hoping to be able to have started it before I go to London tomorrow but I'm having the stuff delivered to me there so hopefully it goes ahead soon. It's the same old story for me this week though, I'm still not really thinking about what I'm eating. I think I've got into the frame of mind that I'll be dieting soon so it doesn't really matter - bad thought processes, I know!

Guest post - Jogging by Becca

Saturday, 28 January 2012

I’m Becca from Diary of a Diva and I have been allowed to commandeer the Where Are My Knee’s blog and do a little post on jogging and the benefits it brings to me.

I do have to admit, I am a fair-weather jogger, I go through cycles of being highly motivated to days where I just can not face the cold/wet/foggy weather. When I do go though, there are noticeable advantages. I often suffer from stomach cramps after eating, or I can feel a heavy meal sitting in my stomach for hours after. When I’m in a good jogging routine though these problems seem to disappear! I have my own idea on why, and as a disclaimer I have to tell you that it is based on no scientific knowledge and is just the result of me sitting around thinking about things. I reckon that because I jog in the morning, I get up earlier, I eat breakfast at a regular time and I earn the right to be hungry. This is opposed to me lying in bed until 10 (I’m currently unemployed), stuffing my face with bread and then sitting at the laptop all day. The most important point is that it sets me up in a good routine, for a while I just skipped breakfast and had a brunch. Having a wheetabix after jogging means that I feel ready to eat, I know that I am eating at a sensible time and that I will then eat lunch at a sensible time and not just snack throughout the day.

Being unemployed (woe is me) jogging also means I get up early, mainly through fear of being seen if I try running during the day or evening. When I get home I’m high on endorphins and I get excited for the day. I do half an hour of pilates from Margot Campbell’s ‘Pliates On The Go’ book (which I highly recommend, you really feel it working and it means I can do it whenever I want) and I am ready to face a day of job hunting. I have to admit, I am lucky enough to live within 5 minutes of the beach and it is far easier to drag myself out of bed with the promise of a sunrise and a bracing run along the sand! One problem I have, being a fair-weather jogger is that I always imagine myself running along the sand with ease, the wind in my hair and going at a good pace. The reality is quite different, I’m huffing and puffing away, red as a tomato and slipping on stones… Don’t get put off though! Especially if you experience stomach problems like me, or just want to feel better in yourself. Jogging gives me structure, means I can eat the cookies I love to bake and my skin has never looked better, as for my legs and bottom, I can feel the difference already!

Thank you for reading and I hope I've inspired some people!

Sunday Summary #42

Monday, 23 January 2012

Lucy - I'm still not in a eating well frame of mind, I'm still not really thinking about what I'm eating, I think that's because I know in my mind I'm going to be starting a new diet next week so I'm kind of thinking it doesn't matter right now. I know that's not the right way to go about it, but I'm so, so determined to do well in this Maxitone diet that hopefully it won't matter. I know I won't see results straight away but I'm already excited for the days when I can start noticing them!

Gemma - I lost 1lb at weigh in on Tuesday, very happy with this as last weeks loss was pretty big. I think I may do even better this week as I have been sticking to the plan 100% I started taking acai berry supplements yesterday, I'm rather sceptical but will give them a chance. I've got a few days off this week so I'm going to try a few new recipes from the Weight Watcher cookbooks and try and get some exercise in, not really done any in the new year.

Sarah V - I've been really poorly for most of the week which meant I missed my second Rosemary Conley class of the year. Unfortunately I didn't lose my appetite at ALL - I actually ate worse than usual as I couldn't get out to the shops so just ate what I had around which often meant not the healthiest of things. But I weighed myself this morning and it looks like I'm still down 3 or 4lbs from my post-Christmas weight. I would have liked more considering I gained over half a stone in December, but I know I haven't been trying so just not gaining is a result. I'm back to my usual routine this week and starting a new diet regime so I'm hoping that I'll have some better results to show next week.

Sarah -  I was 100% on plan the whole of last week and I gained 2lb's :( It's so disheartening when this happens.  I am really, really struggling at the moment.  I am not really enjoying what I am eating and am missing all the stuff I can't have and when being good leads to a gain it makes you want to give it all up.  I am writing everything down this week so keep your fingers crossed for me.  I am going for an early weigh in on Thursday as it's my birthday and I think I deserve a nice meal and a little bit of cake :)

How was your week?

Guest Post - Cycling by Matt

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Hi All, My name is Matt and I’m addicted to cycling. Immediately you may all be turning off your browsers and looking away and of course I could understand why - cycling isn’t something that at the moment strikes people as “cool” or “trendy” or any of those words people are using. However, bare with me and I will take you through the awesome ways to the cycle across the UK and help you understand the fitness you get from it.

Cycling - From the beginning.
People think that if you are cyclist you have to know bikes in and out, which is so far from the truth, you don’t need to know anything about bikes to enjoy cycling, you don’t need fancy sat-nav systems attached to your handlebars and you don’t need to go out there with the sole aim of losing calories or weight, here’s a little tip from me to you:

Go out and enjoy riding a bike again, forget weight loss and calories.

What if you’re not confident at riding?
Don’t let that worry you. Confident cyclists all started where you are today, worrying about the cars on the road and if they are going to be hit by one or if they are going to go up a curb and ruin their bike. These are two of the things you should worry about the least, cycling is now slowly becoming one of the most supported modes of transport for city and non-city dwellers, with cycle paths shooting up across all of the UK. From Hull to Swansea and Edinburgh to Devon, a majority of those routes are cycle paths designed just for cyclists. So there are now huge curbs to go up and down and there are no cars that will pass you, safe, undisturbed cycling for you all.

I don’t know any routes.
That is a question I hear quite a lot when volunteering for Sustrans (a cycling charity), people are worried that they don’t know where they are going when they get on a cycle route. They think that they’ll get lost and confused at the first turn. I’ll be straight if you here though, all of the UK cycle routes are marked. You can also see maps on the move and before you go at the following websites: www.sustrans.org.ukand opencyclemap.org

And now to the health benefits.
You will lose weight, I’d like to get that out there straight away, cycling is better than the gym because lets face it, nothing beats mother nature, a single cycle ride that is between 1 - 5 miles can help you lose calories, strengthen your leg and stomach muscles and gives you a huge boost in confidence and I know a 1 mile cycle ride can seem a lot but there are plenty of flat cities for you to give it a go in, why not go for a cycle a long a tow path or canal? Try one of the following routes to see how you feel:

Route 47 - Newport - Chepstow
Route 8 - Cardiff - Pontypridd
Bristol - Bath Railway Path

All of these are flat and you can do as much or as little as you think you are capable with, you’ll start to feel the benefits immediately.

Before I sign off this blog post, I want to give you all pre-ride and post-ride tips:
Always take some water, make sure you have a puncture repair kit and always stop to have a look at the view!

After the ride, you may feel your legs are a little weak, depends on how are you’ve worked them, if so, don’t worry about it, just lie down for five and have a cold drink or one of those ice pop things and your legs will feel good as new!

If you have any questions then let me know I can be found on twitter under http://www.twitter.com/mattdsgns and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/matt.dsgns

About Matt.
I’m a 21 year old, blogger and website owner, I run www.visionarygateway.co.uk with my friends @JohnJMurray and @sighnomoree, it’s a creative community for anyone who likes fashion, art, design, photography or music.

Best British Bloggers & Maxitone

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

As I keep mentioning, I've been a bit absent from the blog over recent months. I've said in a previous Sunday Summary that I'd had a bit of a breakdown to the girls about how low I was feeling and how unhappy within myself I was. Since my return from Australia, everything seems to have spiralled out of any sort of control and I've reached an all time low. I'm unhappy within myself so I turn to junk food, which in turn makes me gain even more weight which then leads to me eating more to comfort myself. It's a horrible and vicious cycle. I then decided to ignore everything and just hoped it'd go away, I've always vowed to myself that I'll lose the weight one day, but with no plan or even any motivation to do it though, how was it ever going to happen? I was kidding myself and everyone around me. I'm full of good intentions but nothing ever comes of them.

Just days after my breakdown, Gem recommended me to Best British Bloggers and I can now announce that I'll be part of a massive Happy New You campaign that they're working on with Maxitone. It came at the right time, and I'm aware of how lucky I am to be able to work with them to help me lose weight and to try and help me on the road to happy. I'm one of six bloggers who will be working in unison with them, my progress will be tracked for three months and I'm going to blogging about it, not on this blog, but on the Maxitone blog so you can follow how well I'm doing on there. I'll obviously do updates on here too via Sunday Summaries but the main bulk of it will be done over there.

I was always a bit skeptical about protein shakes and supplements but I'm a lot more open minded after reading more and finding out about it and I'm excited to get started and to share my progress with all you loyal readers. Thank you for sticking with me and I promise I won't let you down again.

Sunday Summary #41

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Hello! Lots of you will have had your first weigh in since the New Year, be sure to let us know how you got on...

Gemma - I went to my first official weigh in of the year on Tuesday and I lost about 6.5lbs (not 100% sure of Christmas weight because I weighed at home) This means I only need to lose another 1lb and I will be back to my pre Christmas weight. I am really happy with this and feel like I am back on track. I have made all my meals this week, not eaten any ready meals and made an extra effort to move more and walk everywhere. I'm thinking of signing up to do a charity walk or run so I have a goal to focus on a work towards.

Sarah - I still can't find my dieting mojo. I am really struggling with both motivation and cravings. Great intentions usually lead to filling my face with junk whilst all the healthy food slowly decomposes in the fridge :( I am battling to change this and haven't had any junk since my weigh in on Thursday, new week and all that! I am baffled how I managed to lose 2lbs this week after eating some form of junk every day and not following plan at all. BUT I will take that and run with it and hopefully can build on it this week. I have also decided to try living as a veggie for a few weeks to see if it helps my weight loss. I find green days easier to follow on Slimming World and it's usually when I try to follow red or extra easy that I buckle and reach for the KFC so I will be mainly eating pasta, cous cous, Slimming World chips and lots of veggies. Any tasty meal suggestions will be much appreciated.

Charlene - I wasn't at home to weigh myself this morning, so I'm not 100% sure how accurate the scales I used are but they weighed in at 4lbs lower than what I weighed last Sunday, the day before I started the Jenny Craig diet. I'll probably edit this post after weighing myself with my normal scales tomorrow morning as I'm a little sceptical whether it's right or not! If it is though, I'll be super happy! I was hoping for 1-2lbs loss!
EDIT - 1lb off! I knew it was too good to br true! But still, a loss! And it's my time of the month so I'm quite pleased!

Lucy - I had a bit of a breakdown this week, I've been very absent from the blog for a while and haven't had much input behind the scenes either. I've been more than in denial since my return from Australia, I've been eating like the world is going to end and not really caring which in turn makes me unhappy and then as a result of that I just eat myself into obvlivion. It's a vicious cycle but I've finally admitted to myself that something does have to change. An exciting email popped into our inbox earlier in the week and hopefully something to help me get started will be happening soon, I can't say too much but watch this space.

Sarah V - I'm back on it this week! Back to my Rosemary Conley class and I had a BIG gain over Christmas which I'm actually ashamed to admit here! But I spent the rest of the week trying to eat well and when I weighed myself on Saturday morning, I was down 4lbs! A wedding this weekend has thrown me off track rather but I'm determined to be back on track by Monday morning - I want a big loss recorded on Tuesday! 4lbs in 3 days though - quite proud of that!

Guest Post - Student Eating by Emily

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Hi everyone. I’m Emily and I blog at What Emily Did Next. Many thanks to the ladies of Where Are My Knees for letting me do this guest post!

There are a lot of excuses for not eating a healthy diet when you’re a student. You’re poor, you don’t have the time, you don’t have the facilities, and you’re being offered cheap junk food each and every day. Who wants to go home to lentils and yoghurt when there’s someone outside the library offering you a flyer for a £1.99 pizza?

In my first year of uni, I lived on a diet of takeout, canteen dinners, prepackaged wraps, bacon sandwiches, and vodka. Sometimes I would cook the bacon on a George Foreman grill instead of frying it in a pan, and this was considered the epitome of healthy eating. Canteen dinners were all stodge, cheese and chips. There was a salad bar, complete with some sad, lifeless lettuce, and a bowl of grated cheese to sprinkle on top. Unsurprisingly, I gained weight. My weight was never a huge issue, and I don’t have an inspirational weight loss story to share with you today, but I felt awful. I was spotty and my jeans were too tight. By the time I was in my second year, I had moved out of halls and was ready to start eating properly. It wasn’t always easy, and I won’t pretend that I haven’t touched a pizza and chips since, but now I make a conscious effort to eat things that are good for me. The most surprising thing I discovered was that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I tracked down the nearest greengrocer and butcher, so I was able to stock up on super cheap lean meat and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Here are some recipes that I found were easy, cheap and healthy – the holy trinity for student food. As a bonus, they’re all delicious as well.

Sweetcorn fritters. I know they don’t sound like the most delicious thing in the world, but bear with me. How much does a tin of sweetcorn cost in the supermarket? About 50p? You probably have one hanging around in the back of the cupboard. Mix it with a few other staple ingredients, fry it with a little bit of oil, and there you have it: an unusual, elegant and easy dinner. If your budget doesn’t stretch to an avocado, go without.

Red lentil dahl. I know that lentils might sound like scary, flavourless hippy food, but I absolutely love this recipe. If you can find a continental store near you, you can probably buy a wheelbarrow full of lentils for pennies, but even buying a bag from the supermarket is sure to be well within your budget. The addition of Indian spices adds a huge amount of flavour. This is perfect on its own, or as an accompaniment to a meal.

Thai style turkey burgers. These burgers are delicious, fresh tasting and just a little bit spicy. Ask about minced turkey at the butcher, or look out for offers in the supermarket. A great idea would be to make the burgers and then freeze them, so that you can take it out of the freezer in the morning and have a tasty meal to come home to in the evening.

Finally, here are a few tips I was given that came in very handy:

  • Never underestimate the power of batch cooking. When you have a spare afternoon, make a huge pan of chilli, curry, soup or a stew, freeze it into individual portions (use the Tupperware your Chinese takeout came in, or freezer bags), and you’re never more than five minutes in the microwave away from a decent meal.

  • If you’ve got a long day in uni, take a packed lunch. It will be cheaper and healthier than a sandwich from the union shop, and probably taste better too. You might get a few funny looks when you get out a hummus wrap and a banana in the library, but who cares!

  • If your uni gym has subsidised membership, join! You may never find a gym as cheap ever again.
  • A Day in the Life of Jenny Craig - Vegetarian #1

    Friday, 13 January 2012

    A lot of people have been saying that the thing they'd like to know most about the Jenny Craig diet is whether or not the food tastes nice, so I thought I'd do a couple of posts sharing what I'd eat on a typical day and let you know what I think of some of the dishes.

    Here's my food for today. I've got Jenny Craig packaged food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I then have 3 other snacks throughout the day which I've chosen as a pear, a yoghurt and one of the Jenny Craig cereal bars. It doesn't look like much on it's own, but lunch is bulked up with at least 1 cup of salad, and dinner is bulked up with at least 1 cup of veg. Lunch and dinner both have additional nutrients that I need to add (eg 1 protein, 1 starch or 1 fat).


    Chocolate coated wheat flakes
    1/2 cup of milk, 1 banana.

    Snack: 1 low fat yoghurt

    Noodles in sweet & sour sauce
    Salad, min 1 cup
    Add 2 protein (I chose 1 slice of quorn bacon & 1/4 cup cheese for my salad)
    * Also used 1 "limited" portion which was 1tsp of chilli sauce in my salad

    Snack: 1/2 cup milk, 1 pear

    Thai vegetable curry with rice
    Add 1 protein (I chose my 1 left over slice of quorn bacon)
    Cooked veg, min 1 cup (random mix of my favourites!)

    Snack - Jenny Craig cereal bar.

    So far the food has mostly been good. I'd say that I don't get that excited over the dinner meals to be honest. None of those have really wow-ed me. I had pearl barley and asparagus risotto for dinner last night and couldn't eat it because it tasted quite meaty, even though there was no meat in it. I know that's a bit of an odd description but it just didn't taste right and was a bit mushy and bland. Apart from that (and a mushroom stroganoff - but I don't like stroganoff anyway), I've enjoyed everything I've ate so far. I enjoy having my veg as a 'starter' and then having my dinner separately as a 'main' course!

    I really love the lunches in particular - the soups are brilliant (and filling!) and there's a little pot of mashed potato with croutons and rosemary that is so stodgy and satisfying and feels like such a treat! The pasta pots do taste a bit pre-packed but are still nice. The sweet and sour noodles I had today had an amazing chilli kick to them and were packed full of flavour!

    I feel like I'm eating constantly, and I'm definitely eating more often than before however I've noticed that I do get hungry at meal times whereas before the diet I was snacking, on unhealthy foods, so often that I wasn't hungry at mealtime. I definitely think this is something to do with correct portion sizes. I've been getting really bad chocolate/sugar cravings at night because that's when I'd usually sit down and snack, so I've decided to swap my after lunch snack (chocolate biscuit, cereal bar or potato bites/crisps) with my after dinner snack (fruit or a yoghurt) which has really helped.

    I've stuck to the diet religiously and I haven't eaten anything from the "limited" foods (I can eat up to 3 portions of these a day if I want) apart from 1tsp of chilli sauce in my salads so I'm crossing my fingers for a loss when I weigh myself on Sunday!

    If you have any questions, or anything you'd like me to cover in a post let me know!

    New Hotpants!

    Thursday, 12 January 2012

    Following much hype on their facebook page Zaggora have launched several new products today.  I was hoping for something to sort out my arms but the new products are just as exciting!

    The biggest thing I would change on the original hotpants is their length, I would prefer them to come below my knees and now they do!  They are now available in two more lengths and they have also launched a thinner pair especially for wearing under clothes, lets hope they make less of a swooshing noise too!  I am being sent a sample so expect another review once I have had chance to trial them.

    Who else has tried hotpants? How did you find them? Click here to read my original review.

    A Day in the Life of Weight Watchers #4

    Wednesday, 11 January 2012

    I've had a fresh start this week as far as my diet is concerned. I have been trying lots of new foods and recipes and making an effort to to write everything I eat down in my tracker. I really want to shed all the Christmas gain and push for another 20lbs loss this year to take me to -80lbs which is my next goal.

    I have written food diary posts before which you can view here:
    1, 2, 3
    I thought I would write another one for all of you that have just started Weight Watchers or were thinking of joining so you can see what a typical day is for me. I get a 35 pro points allowance per day and this is how I use it:

    Porridge - 3
    Skimmed Milk - 3 (used in porridge and tea during the day)
    Melon, grapes, blueberries - 0

    (eaten throughout the day)
    Melba Toast - 1
    WW Cream Cheese - 1
    WW Rich Toffee bar - 2
    Dairylea Dunker - 3
    Apple & orange  - 0

    WW pitta bread - 3
    Roasted peppers, tomato & onion  - 0

    Low fat piri piri hummus - 2
    Quorn fillet fried in garlic and lemon - 1

    Starter - Roasted butternut squash, pepper and onion soup - 0
    Bread roll - 3
    Toad in the Hole with onion gravy -11

    Late Night Treat
    Cup of tea and WW cookie - 2

    Total 35/35

    So, who is following the Weight Watchers plan? Any new joiners? How are you getting along?

    The Jenny Craig programme explained

    Monday, 9 January 2012

    I think one of the things I struggle with the most when sticking to a diet is the fact that it's not me who decides what we eat at home and it's not me who does the food shopping either, so I don't have complete control over what I eat and how healthy (or not) it is. Being on a diet plan is something I've thought about for a while. I think it would make me feel more in control of what I was eating, which would be a big help.

    When Jenny Craig contacted me asking if I would like to try their programme for a month I said yes! Jenny Craig was founded in 1983 and upon doing my research I've found a lot of positive weightloss stories. They don't just send you the food required for the diet but they guide, support and motivate you throughout the programme in the form of weekly phone call consultations with your own personal consultant.

    Sounds good so far, right? Not only that but their food looks tasty (see some of their dishes for yourself here) and they even have menus to cater for vegetarian, vegan and kosher diets. I must admit, I'm a bit sceptical about how such 'normal' dishes (pasta, cheese, and there's even chocolate) opposed to 'rabbit food' will help me lose weight but a chat with the Jenny Craig team has taught me about portion sizes and the amount of faith they have in the programme has almost reassured me that it will work for me!

    I received my delivery of food for the month this morning and my first thought was that everything looked quite clinical and ready meal like but on closer inspection I do actually like the sound of the meals. Each morning I start off with a cereal or porridge, followed by a snack (eg. fruit or yoghurt), lunch is a selection of yummy sounding soups or noodle dishes. I then get yet another snack which I can pick from potato bites (crisps!), chocolate biscuit bars or a cereal bar. Dinner comes next and there are 7 different meals available including pastas, thai curry and risotto and I get another snack (again, fruit or yoghurt are recommended) before bed. All of the food can either be microwaved or cooked on the hob and is really quick to make.

    It seems like such a lot of food but the portions look smaller than what I'm used to so I'm feeling positive so far. I've just ate lunch (pot of noodles [which turned out to be pasta!] in a cream sauce with salad) and has filled me right up! The good news is that non-starchy vegetables (brocolli, courgette, salad and my favourite.. mushrooms!) are all free foods which I can add to my meals to bulk them up.

    I didn't get a clear photo of my whole menu, but here's a snippet of what this weeks menu looks like. As you can see there are extra foods to add on to lunch and dinner which are simply labelled as '1 protein, 1 fat' which gives you some freedom to pick and choose. The shopping list of things I need to buy is minimal, only including items like salad, fresh fruit and veg, yoghurts, cheese (yes, really!) and bread.

    So... here goes! Wish me luck! I'm hoping to lose a healthy 1-2lbs per week and kickstart my weightloss for 2012! I plan on doing a few more posts on my progress throughout the month - please let me know if there's anything in particular you want to know!

    * Jenny Craig has provided me with a free 1 month trial however all opinions about my experience with the programme are my own and are completely honest.

    Sunday Summary #40

    Sunday, 8 January 2012

    Hello! How are your new years resolutions going?

    Sarah - 0.5lb gain this week which considering this included NYE celebrations I am okay with.  I went for an amazing 4 course meal followed by a party with even more nibbles topped off with lots of alcohol.  I have already broken two resolutions this year though :( I vowed not to eat at either KFC or Maccy D's til I got to target and guess what, I've managed to eat both in the first week... ooops!  I am really struggling to adjust back to plan, I am craving junk so bad - any tips you can share will be much appreciated.

    Gemma - Not managed to attend a class this week but I have weighed at home and I think I have lost about 3lbs of the 7-8 I put on over the festive period. My new working hours mean that I need to change class again, I'm going to return to the one I used to attend before I moved house. I'm looking forward to seeing my old leader and dicussing my wieght loss plans for the year. Going to try and do the 30 Day Shred a little this week and walk the dog on my days off. I'm feeling positive and I will lose at least another 20lbs in 2012!!
    I was interviewed for a feature in the Wales on Sunday this week about using the internet and social media to lose weight, you can read it here.

    Sarah V - I've had a really bad week in several ways and, as I haven't gone back to my diet class yet, I haven't been focusing on the diet. I really ate terribly over Christmas and am now really cross with myself for being so bad! I think I put on 7-9lbs over Christmas and haven't lost any of it yet. But I'm back to Rosemary Conley on Tuesday and feeling cross with myself for making so many excuses - so as of this week I am resolving to be fully committed to the diet again and really see a lasting result this time!

    Charlene - I've a terrible week, everything that could possibly go wrong has, and I've definitely used food as a way to comfort myself! Far too many cake and chocolates consumed and barely any exercise done. I'll be trying out the Jenny Craig diet for a month, starting from tomorrow, and will be sharing my experiences with you all so I'm hoping for a good loss to kick off 2012!

    Aldi Fitness Products

    6 minute work out books: £1.49 each | healthy cook books: £1.99 each | gym bag: £4.99
    fitness top/shorts: £4.99 each | ab gym belt: £11.99 | mp3 player: £8.99 | fitness trainers: £9.99

    If we told you that these ridiculously well priced fitness products can all be purchased from Aldi, would you believe us? A few days ago we would have been shocked too, but as part of their Specials promotion Aldi will be selling all these products and more.

    We compared the prices to those from fitness shops and we're shocked at the difference, particularly with the ab gym belt which can usually be bought from £30 upwards. Their 6 piece ankle and wrist weight set (not pictured) is also fantastic value at £9.99 when compared with a well known retailer who offers just 2 weights for the same price. Not only that, but they're great quality for the price too. Aldi have kindly sent us some samples and we are impressed!

    Gemma - I really do like these shorts but I'm not brave enough to wear them in public. I always wear trousers and a long sleeve top to the gym. I have worn them in the house for the 30 Day Shred and on my cross trainer and found them very comfortable and a lot less heavy than my heavy jersey material trousers that I normally wear. I liked the high waist on them which meant that I didn't need to pull them up and my stomach didn't show when I was reaching up and stretching. The back pocket is handy for your gym pass and locker key and I like the hint of pink running down the side of the shorts. I am a size 16-18 and they fit perfectly, a lot of work out clothing only really goes up to a Large or size 14.

    Charlene - I received the skipping ropes which I was surprised to find are digital. You can input your weight, set a work out time and alarm and it will track how many skips you do and even how many calories you've burned. Skipping is a great form of exercise and sources say that ten minutes of jumping rope is roughly the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile and 15-20 minutes is apparently enough to burn off a chocolate bar! I think these are great value at £3.99 and being able to see how many calories you've burned is really motivational!

    Sarah & Sarah - We both received the pink tshirt. It's a great colour, but more importantly it's breathable and the hydrophylic finish is designed to take moisture away from the skin - minimising that sweaty, gross feeling you get after exercising! It's great value at £4.99 and has definitely made its way into our gym bags.

    What do you think of the range? These products have been on-sale in Aldi since Thursday 5th January and are only available whilst stocks last so we recommend you get yourself down to your nearest Aldi store asap!

    Saturday Night Lamb Pittas

    Friday, 6 January 2012

    I've got another delicious recipe from the The Complete Kitchen cookbook by Weight Watchers to share with you. This time it is a great weekend treat, lamb pittas.

    11 ProPoints per serving
    25 minutes to prepare
    Serves 4

    You will need:
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    A pinch of hot chilli powder
    4x100g lean lamb leg steaks
    1 onion

    For the spicy slaw:
    3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
    3 tablespoons 0% Greek yogurt
    2 tablespoons Thai sweet chilli sauce
    200g red cabbage shredded
    2 carrots peeled, coarsely grated

    To serve:
    4 pittas

    1 Mix the lemon juice, garlic and spices together in a shallow dish, add the lamb and onion and turn to coat in the mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes while you make the slaw.

    2 In a mixing bowl, blend the mayonnaise, yogurt and chilli sauce together then add the cabbage and carrot , mixing together well.

    3 Heat a non stick frying pan on a high heat, add the lamb steaks reserving the marinade and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking. Remove to a plate and leave, covered loosely with foil.

    4 Add the onions and any remaining marinade to the frying pan and stir-fry for five minutes until browned, adding a splash of water if the onions start to stick.

    5 Slice the lamb thinly and toast the pittas. Slice the pittas open and tuck the lamb and onions inside each pitta. Serve the slaw in the pitta or on the side.

    I really enjoyed making and eating this, not really something I would normally make but it is good to mix things up so your diet doesn't become boring and stale. 

    As a Weight Watchers member I'm pretty excited by all the new things going on at the moment. They have a new advert on TV at the moment featuring Alesha Dixon to highlight real members' weight loss sucess. If you haven't seen the video yet you can view on http://www.youtube.com/playweightwatchers If you have seen it what do you think?

    I will also be trying out their supper club app over on facebook. The idea is great, you creat an event, invite your friends and cook some Weight Watcher recipes together. You can share your photos of your culinary creations with the app and be in with a chance to win a prize. I'm liking the idea of making food fun, it would also be a good way to let freinds and family know that your diet doesn't have to be boring.

    We would love to see your photos of any recipes you make that have been featured on this blog, you can send a photo to us (or ask us anything) over on twitter - @wherearemyknees