Disqus for Where Are My Knees

A Salad for All Seasons with Florette - Roasted Squash with Thyme and Taleggio

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

I don't know about you but I'm bored of beige food. Winter makes me want to make stews, hearty pies and stodgy food. I'm craving something light, colourful and tasty and without the calories that come with pastry and rich sauces. I tend to think of salads as exclusively summer food but let’s eat more salad! It’s fresh, colourful and healthy fast food. In A Salad for All Seasons, Harry Eastwood shakes things up, introducing us to over 100 delicious, original and easy-to-make salads to see you through the year. 

The Autumn and Winter sections of her book offer warm, hearty, nourishing combinations, such as Roasted Squash with Thyme and Taleggio and Spinach, Lamb and Fig with Orange and Honey Dressing. Roasted Squash with Thyme and Taleggio.  

I love books that encourage me to eat seasonally. The variety of dishes included in this book has inspired me to try and make salad more of an everyday item, and not just an accompaniment. Florette love their salads. Just like we love all fresh, tasty, great-quality food. And what they love most of all is when people tell them how they’ve their salads to create delicious meals of their own, in no time at all. I hope they are happy with what this salad newbie created with one of their fresh bags of mixed leaves. 

335 calories per portion 
3 of your 5 a day
Serves 4

600g mixed squashes, seeds removed (use any squash you like)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 red onions, cut into thin moons
2 tbsp thyme leaves, stripped from stalks
200g Taleggio cheese, cubed
a few handfuls or rocket leaves

For the dressing

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6

Cut the squashes into half moons of around 2cm thickness. Toss them in the oil and roast in the top of the oven for 5 minutes. Make sure the squash is spread out so it can roast evenly. 

Turn the oven settings to grill. Remove the tray from the oven and add the onion slices, sprinkle with thyme and place back in the oven. Grill for a further 10 minutes until the squash is blistered and golden. 

Meanwhile make the dressing. Mix the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a pan with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. The syrup will thicken and become glossy. 

When the squash and onions have cooked remove them from the oven and pile onto a serving platter. Season with salt and pepper. Dot the cheese cubes all over and give it  good toss with the rocket. Drizzle the warm glaze on the top. Serve warm. 

You can use Fontina instead of Taleggio and sage instead of thyme. I found it hard to get these cheeses (the shops were full of festive wensledayle and Cranberry) to I used a good Gorgonzola. I also added a squeeze of lemon juice to my salad. You will love this salad, it warming, the dressing is sweet and the cheesy is gooey mmmm.

If you want to create some healthy and tasty salads yourself make sure you check out the Florette website for plenty of salad recipes and tips about flavour combinations and how to use leftovers.

Festive ways to get fit this winter #SimplyhealthHealthyHabits

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Eat, drink and be merry! I've definitely been doing all three of those and with party season in full swing there are some surprising ways you can burn excess calories without compromising on fun. Christmas is both busy and a time of indulgence, so it’s especially difficult to stick to healthy habits. There are plenty of fun seasonal activities that could help you keep up your fitness regime this winter and I'm going to list a few to get you inspired to move more this winter.

I recently tried ice skating for the first time since I was a teenager. Ice skating requires constant movement, which makes it a great way to burn hundreds of calories per hour. It's also a fun way to get outdoors in the winter, but indoor ice skating rinks are another way to enjoy this activity all year round.

I was terrified, thought I was going to fall over for the entire session but I gave it my best shot. I think I probably burned loads of nervous energy calories. I know I'm all too guilty of cooking up huge carb filled meals at this time of year, adding some Baileys to my coffee and neglecting my bike when its cold and wet. I really enjoyed getting out of the house, having fun and getting some fresh air.

If you want to find out more about how many calories winter activities can burn head over to Simplyhealth who have made a guide to festive ways to get fit.

Other fantastic calorie burning winter activities include:

Walking - Why not take a long brisk walk after a heavy Christmas dinner? There are plenty of places to walk and if you add in a hill you’ll see greater benefits. Walking in snowy conditions is also tougher and will therefore provide a greater calorie burn.

Hit the dance floor - Christmas parties often end up on the dance floor and if you're out with friends don't lurk around the side, have a great time and dance the night away. You could easily balance out a glass of wine this way.

Gaming - I don't mean be antisocial and play in your Xbox all day boxing day. Get the Wii fit out, Just Dance or any of those games and interact with your family members and have fun whilst being more active.

How do you keep fit during the winter? Got any top tips for staying active over the festive period?

5:2 diet with LighterLife Fast

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

I've always had an issue with my weight and this blog documents my ups and downs regarding weight loss. Getting to grips with it in a way that easily fits in with my busy lifestyle is a constant struggle for me. Now that I'm older a combination living with a partner who likes rich foods, attending fun foodie blogging events and a baking hobby mean that I can pile the pounds on quickly if I have a hectic few weeks without noticing.
I've been following a diet plan on and off for about 6 years with some great results but counting points and weighing food can be very tiresome, I was really pleased to be chose to take part in a three month trial that will do away with any fuss or worry.

I'm sure you have all heard of the 5:2 diet, also known as the Fast diet – but just in case you haven't here is a quick overview. The idea behind the diet is that you eat normally 5 days a week (healthily, not scoffing too much) and then fast the remaining two. On the fast days you quarter your calorie intake, it is advised that you eat 600 calories and get your RDA of key vitamins and minerals along with fibre and protein. The two fast days should not be taken consecutively.
The reason I was drawn to the 5:2 diet was that dieting 2 days a week seems a lot easier to follow and fits in better with my lifestyle than tracking what I eat 7 days a week. It allows me to work out on the days that I am not fasting and to still enjoy eating out or unexpected drinks and not feel guilty about treats. I was a little worries before starting that I wouldn't be able to concentrate at work on 600cals a day and that I would feel tired. Trying to figure out what to eat for just 600 calories a day but feel full would be a headache but luckily there is now a solution – LighterLife Fast, which is now exclusively available at Superdrug.

On a fast day, it’s almost impossible to get all your recommended daily allowances (RDAs) of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs if you were to prepare meals yourself. LighterLife Fastpacks are specially formulated nutritional food options that contain all the protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals required.
The idea behind LighterLife Fast is to make life easier on those fast days providing you with four LighterLife Fastpacks  for those 600 calorie days.

The new range starts at £7.99 for a box of four Fastpacks.  The Fastpack options include:

    • Savoury meals such as Spaghetti Bolognese and pasta carbonara
    • Porridge – the breakfast favourite!
    • Four delicious shakes – vanilla, strawberry, banana and chocolate
    • Four scrumptious meal bars in nut fudge, crispy peanut, cranberry & raspberry and toffee flavours

    I chose porridge for breakfast, pasta cabonara for lunch and spaghetti bolognese for dinner. All options were tasty but smaller portions than I would normally eat. I found a few things really helped me with the plan, one of them was to add the water to the food a little at a time when cooking and stir a few times. They turned out much better using that method. I also added black pepper to the cabonara and a dash of cinnamon to the porridge to add to extra flavour.

    The peanut bars were a great snack, they were large and filling and had a hint of chocolate. Very tasty!

    I've been following the LighterLife Fast plan for two weeks now and I've been very pleased with the weight loss results:

    Week 1: -2lbs
    Weeks 2: -2.5lbs

    I was pleasantly surprised with the results. As you can see from my instagram stream I really don't hold back on my non-fast days. I've gone out for afternoon tea, cooked a bonfire night feast and had cheese fondue and still manged to lose some weight. I've got two weeks until I go to Budapest and really want to lose another 4lbs before going so I'm going to be a little more restrained on my non-fast days to ensure the weight keeps on going down.

    Have you ever tried the 5:2 diet? Would you consider then LighterLife Fast method of 5:2 fasting?

    *LighterLife Fast has sent me a months worth of their Fastpacks to try and document my experience. 

    #RealJuice with Philips and Madeline Shaw - Weekend juice recipes

    Tuesday, 4 November 2014

    Juicing seems to be buzz word this year in the  health community but taking part in a juice detox can actually not be that good for you or your health. Philips are campaign for #RealJuice and want to encourage people to ditch bottled juice in exchange for one fresh juice a day rather than an extreme detox.

    I am currently following the #RealJuice plan created by Madeline Shaw (Millie Mackintosh’s nutritionist) and Phillips. You can read more about the plan and my first 5 days following it here but I've shared the weekend recipes below.

    Here are a couple of tasty recipes from the plan that you can try yourself at home:

    : Hangover helper juice - 3 medium-size tomatoes, 3 stalks of celery, 1 peeled lemon (or less according to taste), 2cm of ginger, 1 jalapeño pepper (seedless), 1/2 a cucumber

    This is a spin on the classic bloody mary and the ginger and pepper gives it a real kick.

    Sunday: Classic cleanse juice - 3 carrots, a beetroot, an apple and two stalks of celery.

    Beetroot contributes to cleansing of your living, helping to reinvigorate your body. It was a little too earthy for my tastes so I simply added another apple. Delicious!

    Which of these juices sounds the most tempting to you?
    Have you tried any of the juices from the first five days of the plan?

    #RealJuice - 7 Day Juice plan with Philips and Madeline Shaw

    Monday, 27 October 2014

    It's a big trend with A-listers to use juice cleanses to try and shed some weight and get glowing skin  but Madeleine Shaw (nutritionist who has worked with Millie Mackintosh and Louis Smith) says that having a juice a day alongside your regular diet can have lots of health benefits. There's no need to replace every meal with juice, you can have one a day and still see some big changes. - 'Juicing for me is a way of life. It's amazing how all of the goodness contained within a freshly made juice can fuel a workout, beat that afternoon slump or to help you sleep,' she said. 
    Freshly made fruit and vegetable juice is packed with nutrients and a easy way to get your 5 a day but be warned 'If you are always on the go then it may seem like an easy option to grab a bottled juice. However, shop bought juices actually lose many of their nutrients over the course of their long shelf life due to the pasteurisation process. Plus they tend to be fruit-based making their sugar content 
    higher,' As explained in my previous post I've been taking part in the #RealJuice Philips plan which encourages people to drink a juice a day. I was really looking forward to upping my fresh fruit and veg intake and juicing for the first time.

    I've been following a 7 day plan created for me by Madeline Shaw and here are the flavour combinations from the first five days:

    Madeline Shaw's 7 juice plan - Days 1-5

    Monday: Glowing greens juice - 3 stalks of celery, 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 pear, 1/2 cucumber, 1 peeled lemon (or less according to taste), 1 handful of parsley

    Tuesday: Pre-Workout juice - 3 carrots, 1 beetroot, 2 handfuls of parsley, 2cm of ginger

    Wednesday: 4pm Pick me up juice - a handful of spinach, 5 romaine lettuce leaves, 1/4 a cucumber, 4 stalks of celery, 1 lemon, 1 apple, 2cm of ginger and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

    Thursday: Stir & purr sleep tonic juice - 1 green apple, 7 strawberries, 15 de-stoned cherries, 1/2 a cucumber

    Friday: Watermelon cooler juice - 1/4 of a watermelon, 1 peeled lime (or less according to taste), 1 handful of fresh mint 

    I was really worried about drinking the glowing green juice, I've never had a juice containing vegetables before and I HATE celery but the lemon and cucumber meant it was really refreshing and I actually enjoyed it. The green juice helps you get glowing skin as cucumber contains silica which maintains skin elasticity and pears contains vitamin C which helps fight free radical damage to your skin. I have to say that after a week of juicing my acne had improved slightly and I felt like my skin was less dull.

    The Watermelon Cooler was definitely my favourite juice of the week, it was so refreshing and just what I needed after a long week in work. The smell of fresh mint filled the house and this is going to be something I make a lot in the summer.

    I'm not sure that I would carry on juicing 7 days a week because some days I'm out 8am- 8pm with the commute, work and yoga but I'm going to make sure I don't waste any fruit and juice it and make a few of the glowing green juices a week because I noticed a big difference in my complexion after drinking those.  If you have any juice flavour combinations you think I should try please leave them below.

    Philips and Madeleine are going to be hosting a Google+ Hangout Monday 27th October at 1pm. (TODAY) Madeleine will be talking about the Philips Campaign for Real Juice, giving her top tips on juicing and offering advice on how to incorporate juicing into your everyday life, rather than using it as a quick fix detox. She will also be able to answer any questions you have on juicing or nutrition in general, provide any advice you might be after so make sure you get involved. 

    Paprika Chicken & Bacon Warmer

    Friday, 24 October 2014

    I was challenged recently by Knorr to incorporate their fabulous Knorr Stock Pots into a recipe - the challenge was that it had to be gluten-free, much like their Stock Pots. They sent me a big box of lovely fresh ingredients, and left it up to me to decide what I wanted to make.

    I decided to adapt this recipe to be gluten free and Weight Watchers friendly, and it worked a treat. This is a super tasty, super hearty, super warming Autumn dish... and it's low fat. Winner!

    Paprika Chicken & Bacon Warmer
    (adapted from here)

    Serves: 4-6

    400g chicken breasts (I used a pack of Sainsbury's mini fillets) - 10PP

    200g bacon medallions - 6PP
    800g baby potatoes, sliced - 15PP
    1 tbsp cornflour - 2PP
    Knorr chicken stock pot - 1PP
    250ml white wine - 6PP
    2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce - 2PP
    Salt & Pepper
    Smoked Paprika
    2 cloves of garlic, crushed
    1 onion, chopped
    6 mushrooms, chopped
    1 pepper, chopped
    2 carrots, chopped
    300ml boiling water, for stock
    2-3 stalks of fresh thyme

    42PP / 11PP - 4 servings, 7PP - 6 servings

    1. Boil a pan of water and par-boil your potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    1. Chop up your chicken and bacon (I always use scissors)
    2. In a plastic sandwich bag, add 2 teaspons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 of pepper. Mix together (I just shook the bag) and throw the chicken into the bag
    3. Massage the bag from the outside until the chicken is well coated. To be honest, I think you could also just throw the chicken, paprika, salt and pepper into a bowl and stir it together too.
    4. In a nonstick frying pan or wok, add the chicken and bacon, and cook until cooked through. You will probably need to add some Frylight and maybe a few splashes of water, to stop it sticking.
    5. Remove the meat from the pan and leave in a bowl for a bit, then add the garlic and the onion into the pan. Stir for about 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes. Again, you may need to add another splash of water to stop it sticking.
    6. Add the carrots and peppers, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
    7. Combine the cornflour with a splash of water to make a paste, then slowly stir into 175ml of the wine (I used a jug for this).

    8. Add the Knorr Stock Pot to a jug of 300ml of boiling water, and stir until it's dissolved.
    9. Add the flour and wine mixture to the pan, and then immediately add the stock. If you wait, it'll stick and your vegetables will burn. I speak from experience...
    10. Pop the potatoes and the meat back into the pan with all the vegetables, stir to combine and increase the heat to medium-high until it starts to bubble. Add another sprinkling of paprika, your sweet chilli, a further 175ml of wine and some more salt and pepper.
    11. Leave to simmer and cook down for about half an hour. If you can, cover the pan, but we didn't have a lid and it was fine - I just checked it regularly and gave it a stir to make sure it wasn't sticking.
    12. Just before stirring, strip the stalks of thyme into the mixture and stir them in. Have a taste, add any extra seasoning you wish and then plate that bad boy up.

    This is my last post here on Where Are My Knees sadly, but you can catch me at my personal blog, Essbeevee, which is full of lots of yummy recipes and chatter.

    #RealJuice - Viva Collection Juicer

    Sunday, 19 October 2014

    I've been taking part in the Philips campaign which promotes #RealJuice for the past week. They want to encourage people to add one juice a day to their diet which is much easier to stick to than one of those juice cleanses. I've had a little help with this challenge in the form of a Philips Viva Collection Juicer to play with and a 7 day juice plan to follow written by celebrity nutritionist Madeleine Shaw. Madeline has created recipes such as pre-workout, energy boosting and a hang over cure so there's a juice to help my body cope with any situation. 

    I don't think I would have the time or be able to afford a juice detox, you need to drink the juice fresh so it doesn't lose any nutrients (I'm not going to take my juicer to work) and buying a large variety of fresh fruit and veg can be rather expensive. A one a day approach is perfect for someone like me who is new to juicing at home and who hasn't tried vegetable juices before. 

    I've used my mini juicer for over a week now and I'm very pleased with it. I've been using a mini Viva design by Philips which is super compact and takes up hardly any room in my kitchen. 

    The Philips juicer has QuickClean technology which means it takes less than a minute to clean, great for someone who is allergic to cleaning like me. With other juicers a lot of pulp fibres usually get stuck in the sieve, which makes it very difficult to clean. Thanks to the innovative QuickClean technology, all surfaces of the sieve of this model are smooth, which helps you wipe away the fibres with are a regular kitchen sponge. The round design and smooth surfaces without nooks and crannies also makes it easier to clean AND all removable parts can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher.
    The juicer was very easy to use and the chute that you put your vegetables and fruit in is pretty big so I barely had to prep anything before juicing. The video below is a very useful to look at before you start juicing. Top tip, do not juice bananas and peel lemons and limes thoroughly before juicing because the white peel gets stuck in the juicer (I found this out the hard way and spent 20 mins fishing it out)

    I couldn't wait to use my juicer but my fruit and veg delivery hadn't arrived yet so my first juice was made using whatever I had in the house. I opted for orange, carrot, lime and grape which was very tasty and just what I needed after a long day in work.

    Keep an eye out for my post next week about the 7 day juice plan I followed, lots of lovely juice recipes and my thoughts on juicing. If you want to take a look at the juices I've been making check out the #RealJuice tag on instagram & twitter.

    Are you a fan of juicing? Can you recommend any good flavour combinations?

    My All Bran 5 Day Challenge Experience

    Monday, 13 October 2014

    You may eat a very healthy diet but it doesn't necessarily mean you are getting enough fibre. A lot of diets promote a high protein intake and reducing portions so fibre can be really lacking from your diet which can lead to all sorts of issues. Many people suffer from symptoms of digestive discomfort such as bloating and feelings of sluggishness from time to time. In fact, research estimates around 40% of the population suffer from bloating regularly.Symptoms can often becomes worse when we are irregular and have a slow digestive transit time, which is where eating enough fibre, especially wheat bran fibre may help.

    The recommended GDA of fiber is 25g per day and most adults consume only 12g per day which is pretty shocking. You can get half of that 25g allowance in just one bowl of All Bran and if you eat plenty of fresh vegetables you will soon hit the daily target. I eat crumpets for breakfast most days but opt for weetabix or cheerios if I'm in a rush so I was keen to try something new and I had five different flavours of All Bran to try so I knew I wouldn't be bored by the challenge I was going to undertake. 

    My 5 Day Challenge experience

    I took part in the 5 Day Challenge and I was shocked at the difference it made after only a couple of days.  I had Kellogg's All-Bran every morning for breakfast, topped with skimmed milk and fruit. I noticed that the increase of fibre in my diet made me feel great and far less bloated. If your normal diet lacks fibre, you will notice a massive difference in just a couple of days.

    I had lots of flavours to try out and really enjoyed eating something different everyday. It can be so dull having the same old breakfast and this challenge definitely helped me to eat more fruit and mix things up. 

    I had to make sure to drink 2L+ of water because for fibre to work effectively, it needs to absorb water. That’s because fluids help to form the soft, bulky mass that is passed through the body and turned into waste. Not enough water can lead to constipation and an uncomfortable, bloated feeling so make sure you drink enough. Water, tea, coffee, fruit juice, squash, soft drinks, vegetables juices and even soups count towards fluid intake.

    Will I continue eating All-Bran?

    As a healthy eater and someone following a diet plan, I usually include enough fibre in my diet, but I will definitely repurchase All Bran Original and Bran Flakes. As much as I loved the ones with added dried fruit they came in at around 9 ProPoints a bowl so adding fresh fruit rather than eating ones with dried fruit fits in better with my Weight Watchers plan.

    If you want to take part in the 5 Day Challenge like me take a look at the All-Bran challenge page.

    All-Bran 5 Day Challenge & competition

    Saturday, 16 August 2014

    Start feeling All-Bran new in just 5 Days! I'm going to be taking part in the All-Bran Challenge which aims to prove that
    it's easy to set tummy niggles aside and increase your fibre intake.

    Why do we need to eat more fibre?  

    Many people suffer from symptoms of digestive discomfort such as bloating and feelings of sluggishness from time to time. In fact, research estimates around 40% of the population suffer from bloating regularly.

    Symptoms can often becomes worse when we are irregular and have a slow digestive transit time, which is where eating enough fibre, especially wheat bran fibre may help.

    Kellogg Report, 2010, Taylor Nelson & Sofres (TNS) Research International; London; UK, 2010.

    You can increase the amount of fibre in your diet by making some simple changes:
    • Start your day with a cereal high in natural wheat bran fibre, such as Kellogg's All-Bran.
    • Go for brown rice or whole wheat pasta instead of the white varieties – or try a 50:50 mix.
    • Opt for a handful of nuts or fruit instead of crisps, snack bars or biscuits.
    • Switch from white bread to wholemeal, seeded or another high-fibre variety.
    • Make sure you’re eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
    • Add peas, beans or lentils to stews and casseroles.
    • Add extra vegetables when making meat sauce for lasagne, curries, chilli etc., or why not go veggie and make a meat free version for a change?
    • Choose wholemeal, oat or rye crackers instead of your usual variety.
    The Kellogg's All-Bran range provides between 2.7g and 10.8g fibre per serving, which is up to 43% of your recommended fibre intake (the Guideline Daily Amount of fibre is 25g per day). In addition to the benefits of natural wheat bran fibre, Kellogg's All-Bran cereals provide an important source of folic acid, 5 B-vitamins and iron.

    If you want to take part in the All-Bran 5 Day challenge like me head to this site and register. It's easy and there are lots of benefits. 

    1 Sign Up for Free - It’s fast, free and you could be feeling great in no time.
    Email Reminders - Get daily tips and delicious recipes tailored to your digestive health.
    Track Your Progress -Use our Tummy Tracker to watch your digestive health improve.
    Feel All-Bran New - In five days you could be feeling energised and revitalise.

    All-Bran are making it easy for you to take part by offering you a chance to win 5 boxes of their cereal, that's enough for the whole family to join in with the challenge! All you need to do is fill in the form below.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Make sure you check back next week to see how I'm getting on with the challenge.

    WIN - Tefal Infiny Press Juicer

    Friday, 8 August 2014

    We've got a great giveaway for you today, Tefal are giving you the chance to win one of their  new juicers worth £199!

    Do you juice or like to have a juice detox? It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a long time and I'm always envious of those morning juice photos on Instagram when I'm munching on my boring Weetabix. It’s super healthy, and it’s a way of sneaking fruit and veg into your diet (great to encourage kids to have more) and it would save me loads of money from buying shop-bought juice.

    The Infiny Press juicer offers a great way of preparing fresh juice at home. The Infinity Press works by slowly rotating a a screw mechanism which presses fruits, vegetables and even herbs very delicately to get the best out of them, to preserve as much flavour and vitamin goodness as possible. This gentle pressing process preserves as much flavour and vitamin goodness as possible by making full use of all the resources the fruit or vegetable has to offer. This helps you to produce fresh juice that is full of nutrients and tastes delicious.

    • 35% more juice 
    • 30% more vitamin C 
    • 75% more antioxidants 

    With a choice of two stainless steel filters you can have your juices smooth or with pulp, and with the compact size of the juicer it makes it easy to store. All of the removable parts are dishwasher safe, meaning less washing up too, bonus!

    Compared with standard juicers, Infiny Press Revolution’s press technology can obtain up to:
     It's not your standard juicer as the Infiny Press features two removable filters which provide two functions – juice and coulis. So whether you want to make a revitalising breakfast juice or add the finishing touches to a dessert, the Infiny Press will help you achieve your juicing needs.
    If you want some inspiration and ideas of what to make with a juicer head to the Tefal page here. The possibilities are endless.
    All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is fill in the widget below. 

    Good Luck!

    Bacon, feta & rocket frittata recipe

    Thursday, 7 August 2014

    I’m back!

    I’ve been very quiet here for the past few months, and the reason is that I completely fell off the wagon. I am cross with myself – it took the best part of last year to lost 2.5 stone, and only 6 months to gain most of it back. If only it worked the other way around! I’m not going to beat myself up though – I gained weight because I was in a new relationship and happier than I’ve been in a long time. And I am back on it now, I've switched to doing Weight Watchers online and my first weigh in is tomorrow! Eeep!

    I’m going to start posting lots of recipes again, as last year, that’s what really helped me lose the weight. I discovered a love of cooking that I didn’t know I had, and rather than feeling sad about no more takeaways and convenience food, I’m excited to start cooking from scratch again and experimenting with tasty recipes.

    With that all said, I might as well come back with a tasty recipe! And before you ask, YES. It does involve cheese. So, I’m definitely guilty of having the same thing for lunch day in, day out – when I find something that works, I stick with it. Throughout school, I was perfectly happy with my peanut butter sandwich and ready salted crisps every day, and now I’m all about my daily soup.

    Pink Lining challenged me to come up with a recipe to liven up a kids’ lunchbox – now even though I don’t have any of my own, I spend a lot of time with my sister’s kids so I felt pretty equipped to come up with something. After a lot of thinking, I went for a frittata. Frittatas are super easy to make - unlike omelettes, they require very little skill (my omelettes always fall apart!). They’re a super easy dinner as they’re basically eggs and whatever else you have – but they’re also really good hot or cold. And they’re light, too! This whole recipe is only 19 points, and for lunch a quarter or half would be plenty.

    I didn’t get a chance to try this out on any children but I put together this as my own lunchbox and very tasty it was too! (Plus, this Pink Lining lunchbox is way too adorable to give to a kid, right?) Along with my frittata portion, I bought a little box of green salad, some cherry tomatoes, a bottle of water and a couple of pieces of fruit. Super tasty!

    Bacon, Feta & Rocket Frittata
    Half a small red onion - 0PP
    2 mushrooms
    A couple of handfuls of fresh rocket - 0PP
    4 large eggs - 8pp
    100g crumbled feta cheese - 7pp
    50g bacon lardons - 4pp
    19PP / 10PP a half

    1. Turn on your grill and let it heat up while you prepare everything else.
    2. In an oven-proof frying pan,* thinly chop your mushrooms and onion, then dry fry (add a little water if it starts to stick)
    3. Throw in your bacon and let everything cook away while you prepare everything else
    4. In a jug or bowl, break your eggs and whisk up with a little salt and pepper until combined
    5. Chop up your feta and add that to the bowl, then add your rocket.
    6. Stir it all together, and then add to the frying pan.
    7. Remove your frying pan from the heat and pop it under the grill for 5-10 minutes until it's cooked through - the egg should be solid, not liquid, all the way through.
    8. Chop into quarters and serve, or leave to cool and have it for lunch tomorrow!

    *If you don't have an oven-proof frying pan, you'll need to decant this into a baking tin, but it may not work as well.

    Post in collaboration with Pink Lining.

    Say hello to a familiar face... guest post by Lauren.

    Wednesday, 6 August 2014

    Hi there – remember me? I can’t believe it’s been 18 months since I was last here!
    For those of you who are new to Where Are My Knees, my name is Lauren and I was a member of the team for a few months back in 2012/2013. Unfortunately due to other commitments I wasn’t able to stick around longer, but I had some great experiences while part of the team and I was thrilled when Gemma got in touch to ask me if I wanted to do a guest post for the girls.

    My story is one most people will have heard in some form or another – I lost 100lbs on Weight Watchers over the course of two and a half years while I was at university. After graduating and starting full time work the weight started to creep back on slowly…a year after I graduated I fell in love with a wonderful man and suddenly the weight wasn’t creeping on so much as piling on – a result of too many meals out and too many nights on the sofa with ice cream and sweets!

    At my heaviest, I weighed 19st 11.5lbs – a number that will be ingrained in my memory for the rest of my life. At my lightest, I weighed 12st 9.5lbs. I was within the healthy weight bracket for my height (5’11) but still around 7-10lbs heavier than I wanted to be. As of this April, when I re-joined Weight Watchers and really re-committed myself to losing the weight again, I weighed 16st 5lbs. At first I was mortified that I had allowed myself to regain so much of the weight that I worked so hard to lose, but I’ve come to accept that this is just one stage in my journey. The truth is I will struggle with my weight for the rest of my life, and that is just something that I’m going to have to accept and learn to live with. What matters is that I re-dedicated myself to losing weight and living healthily, and in the last 14 weeks I’ve lost just over 15lbs. Not a miraculous weight loss by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s been consistent and I’m actually enjoying being back on track.

    So, what changed? Well first of all I’m very lucky to have the support of my wonderful boyfriend. We recently made the decision to move in together, and we’re currently living in his lovely little house in a small town in Lincolnshire. It’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the busy commuter town in Essex I grew up in, but I’m loving being surrounded by gorgeous countryside and will soon be starting a brand new job about two miles from our home. Moving in with my boyfriend and out of the family home has had a huge impact on my weight loss because I have been able to take control of what food is in the house. Living with my mum, stepdad and brother was always problematic for me weight loss wise. Not only were the cupboards full of sweets, crisps and chocolate but my mum is an excellent cook and is not a fan of weighing or measuring – so while I knew that my meals were made from lovely fresh ingredients I never had any idea of how much was on my plate. Since moving in with Pete I have almost completely taken over shopping and cooking (even though he’s a better cook than I am!) and having this control has really helped keep me on track.

    Probably the most important thing that happened was that I was finally honest with myself about how I felt about my body. Because I’m tall I can get away with carrying more weight, and even at just over 16st I was only wearing a size 16. I spent a long time trying to convince myself that my weight didn’t matter and I was happy with how I looked. I have a boyfriend that loves me no matter what size jeans I’m wearing, and it wasn’t like I’d regained all the weight after all…maybe this was just the size I was meant to be. I was wrong though, and I had to realise that and break the cycle of denial before I could really get re-focussed on losing weight. If I hadn’t, I have no doubt that I would have ended up back where I started in 2010.

    As I said previously, mine is a story that most people will be familiar with. Almost everybody knows somebody who lost a significant amount of weight and then re-gained some or all of it. Gemma herself has spoken about her struggles with maintaining her weight loss and there are plenty more people out there in the same boat. If you’ve found yourself in this position, or even if you’re new to the weight loss game, I would advise you to above all else be honest with yourself. I spent two years pre-Weight Watchers telling myself that I didn’t care about being the fat friend, but it was a lie. It sounds shallow, but I was at my happiest in myself when I was at my slimmest. I was brimming with confidence, I smiled more, I laughed freely, I made friends easily. Over the past couple of years as the weight has crept back on I’ve found myself making excuses not to go out, shying away from the colourful and fun fashions I used to love, and generally withdrawing more and more. Being honest with myself about what the weight was doing to my happiness was the best thing I could have done, and I’m now looking forward to shedding even more pounds and re-embracing the slim, happy, confident girl I was a couple of years ago.

    If you’d like to keep up with my weight loss journey and see a little more of what I’m up to now I’m living in the Lincs countryside then please stop by my new blog Life In Lincs, or say hello on Twitter or Instagram. I’d love to hear from you :)