Disqus for Where Are My Knees

harissa falafel

Monday, 30 June 2014

I've been trying to rustle up tasty treats to keep my diet interesting since starting back at Weight Watchers over a week ago. There's a lot of food on the Healthy and Filling/Simple Start list at Weight Watchers that you can eat without weighing or counting and everything in this falafel recipe is on the Simple Start shopping list making it perfect for those just starting the plan like me or anyone looking for a healthy veggie dinner.

Serves: 2-3
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 6 minutes

1 x 400g can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 tsp harissa paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
Salt to season
To serve:
Tomatoes, green salad and pitta bread/wraps

1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and then blend until you have a paste like consistency.

2. Remove from the processor bowl and shape into six to eight patties and transfer to a plate.

3. Warm a non-stick pan to a medium – high heat. Add the patties and cook for three minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

4. Serve in toasted pitta bread with tomato and green salad.

This was my Friday night meal so I served it with Weight Watchers wraps, paprika wedges and chicken to make it more satisfying. These would be great for a packed lunch too and keep well in a tub. I have to admit that even though the falafel was tasty I was very jealous of my boyfriends burgers but no pain no gain, ey?

Day in the life of Weight Watchers Simple Start

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

As I mentioned in my last post I've gone back to Weight Watchers but things have changed a little since I attended a meeting about a year and a half ago. When you join Weight Watchers now you follow the Simple Start plan for two weeks before they introduce the idea of counting points. So what is Weight Watchers Simple Start?

It’s an introduction to the Weight Watchers plan that helps you get to grips with eating the healthy and satisfying foods without the distraction of counting or weighing anything at the start. You follow Simple Start for up to two weeks and can add a couple of treats per day like almonds, avocado, cheese and chocolate    

You chose foods from the Filling & Healthy food list. This includes things like baked beans, tinned tomatoes, potatoes, eggs and ham alongside calorie-controlled brown bread, wholemeal pasta, lean cuts of meat and plenty of fruit and vegetables. I love the fact that I'm never hungry and I can boost flavour with things like dried herbs, curry powder, lemon juice, soy sauce which means all my food is tatsy and my partner will eat it too so I don't need to cook two meals.
I've only been on the plan for a couple of days but I am enjoying it and get to eat very varied foods. My big bowls of tasty fruit are something I look forward to everyday. This is what I eat on a typical day:

Poached egg on wholemeal danish bread and bacon medallions. 
Tea with skimmed milk.
I also has a small bowl of shreddies, this was a Sunday and I woke up late so this was more of a brunch. 

Crumpets with berries and cherries jam (1 of my 2 daily treats)
Fruit salad with 0% fat Greek yogurt.

Fish pie with leek and mustard mash & vegetables

If you want to make the fish pie you can add as much or little of the following ingredients as you like, it's so flexible on the Simply Start plan. I was really hungry so I had lots of mash and added loads of mustard for extra flavour.

Frozen fish mix, you can get these in most supermarkets and they have a variety of fish in them.
1 Bay leaf   
Black pepper
Skimmed Milk
Quark + low fat garlic and herb soft cheese (50g=one of my extra treats)
2 tsp parsley, chopped

For the mash
Wholegrain mustard   


  • Preheat the oven160ºC(fan). Place the fish in a small roasting tin, add the bay leaf, pepper and pour the milk over. Cover tightly with a piece of foil and cook for about 10 minutes. Strain the milk into a jug and bin the bay leaf)
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the  reserved milk with the soft cheese. Add the parsley and season to taste, then pour the sauce over the fish.
  • Cook the leek in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain well. In another pan, cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain, then mash with the mustard and the remaining strained milk. Stir in the leeks and season to taste.
  • Top the pie with the leek mash, spreading the mixture out with a fork. Cook for 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. 

My weight loss journey - We’re All The Boss

Thursday, 19 June 2014

I'm really proud of the weight loss I achieved due to the support of readers of this blog. I managed to loose over 75lbs/nearly 6 stone back in 2011-2012 through following the Weight Watchers. When I think about my weight loss journey I'm glad I took control and changed my life. My confidence soared and my health improved greatly and most importantly I felt in control of my own body. I was the boss and could control the way I ate.

Sadly, I haven't managed to keep all the weight off but after a break from my diet I've decided to start again which was a pretty tough decision. Here are some photos sharing my weight loss ups and downs of the past few years:

This is a photo before and after 6 stone weight loss

I've been 'off plan' since around June 2012 but I made an effort to keep the weight off last year by following the plan loosely at home, going to the gym and cooking healthy and filling meals. Since meeting my partner over a year ago a lot has changed and sadly I've put on over a stone back on.
My clothes don't fit anymore, my face is getting rounder and I'm getting more out of breath than I used to be when doing simple things like walking to the train station in the morning. I'm determined not to let the whole 75+ pounds go back on so I'm heading back to Weight Watchers.

I don't want to make excuses for myself and want to just get back on the band wagon and get back to the weight where I was happy. I know it's going to be harder this time because I don't work on evenings and weekends any more which are key times when I like to snack and pick at high calorie foods and I no longer just cook for myself. Meeting my boyfriend and moving in with him means I've adopted his bad habits and initially I was cooking extravagant food because I was trying to impress him. All sense of controlling what I ate went out the window and I treated him to all his favourite food which tends to be American food which is fried and with loads of cheese.

I'm really looking forward to going back to basics, eating simple, filling and healthy meals and regaining the confidence I lost through putting weight back on. I've spent a lot of time dwelling on my failure to keep the weight off and I really felt worse after putting a stone back on than I did when I was 6 stone heavier.

I'm feeling more than ready to head back to Weight Watchers on Saturday and stepping on the scales. Going back to class will mean I will be blogging here a lot more as I found it the biggest source of support when I lost weight last time. That means loads more recipe posts and more 'Day in the life of' posts. If you write about the Weight Watchers plan please leave your links below so I can read your posts and get some inspiration.

I hope my story can inspire you to change that one thing that really gets you down. It could be going on a solo traveling expedition, setting up your own company or even dying your hair that crazy colour you've always fancied.