The yin and yang of meal planning.

This morning I had the luxury of dropping Charlotte off at school and having a day free. This must be what those mums feel like!

Normally I run home, hop in the car and pelt it to work but I have another couple of days off so thought I would use them wisely by meal planning and doing a mindful big shop, rather than a ‘throw it all in, I probably, maybe need another pineapple for my compost heap anyway’ type way. 

Ok, so let’s get this straight, as I’ve said before I don’t start diets at New Years because life is too crazy for that, but, planning my meals may just make my life easier and anything that does that I need to give a go. So off I trotted, with my new ‘Lean in 15‘ cookbook I got for Christmas, a fresh shiny notebook and pen to…wait for it…McDonalds for a coffee and a cheeky breakfast whilst planning. 

My balanced breakfast.

Yes, I looked like the biggest hypocrite ever staring at Joe Wicks‘ beautiful, ripped body and all the lean meat and veg whilst scoffing a deep fried hash brown but I believe life is all about balance and this, was indeed the yin and yang of culinary goodness. 

And d’ya know what, I did it. I planned my main meals, bought most of the food from Aldi for a lot less that my usual food shop was and I even cooked my own healthy chicken tikka masala this evening. Made my own paste and everything and Charlotte bloody ate it! Yes, she picked out two bits of red onion that hadn’t been whizzed properly but my daughter ate a meal I cooked! Pigs are currently flying around my house! 

It didn’t come from the freezer, it had flavour and maybe even some vitamins and nutrients and the recipe was naturally gluten free so I didn’t have to work out what substitutes would work! That is a massive win in my book! 

If you haven’t seen the series of Lean in 15 books yet, I would thoroughly recommend them. Not only is Joe Wicks easy on the eye but the meals are delicious and usually take hardly any time to prep and cook. Perfect for busy parents and not as pretentious as Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. The portions are massive though which is ideal when cooking for one and a half like me. You can choose to ignore the exercise section at the back if you wish, but don’t tell him I told you that! 

Tomorrow night Smoky Joe burgers with sweet potato wedges…can’t go wrong there can I?!

What are your tried and tested recipes for getting good food in your children? Let me know in the comments! 

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Tipping the scales.

What a difference a year makes. The cardigan can only hide so much!

I’ve joined Weight Watchers…again. I know, I know, I said I’d never do it, but the scales had ticked over to my dreaded number and I had to take action. 

It was the number that makes me say “No more”. 

The number that makes me say “Katie, what the hell are you playing at?”. 

The number that makes me run to the nearest Weight Watchers meeting to declare allegiance to the points system and swear never to eat peanut butter again. 

So back I am, handing money over to a not particularly slim woman to tell me how much I weigh on her scales, which seem to be completely different to those I have at home. 

Talk about a way to boost self esteem on a Wednesday lunch time. 

Back I go to trying really hard until about 3pm when my brain says “but chocolate would taste soooo good right now”. 

Back I go, four weeks in wondering whether I should just stay the slightly frumpy size I am because being on a diet is, let’s face it, boring and hard. 

I must admit though I’m having some difficulty with getting into the swing of it this time. 

I have realised since my last stint, thanks to the joy of articles posted on Facebook (that’s how everyone does their research right??) that most fat isn’t actually bad for you and low fat products are probably worse.  

I’ve realised that ‘diet’ drinks generally contain some rubbish sweeteners which, let’s face it, aren’t great for you and don’t taste good. (The research on how bad they actually are for you differs greatly however). 

I’ve realised that I have no time for cooking lovely meals when I get home because if I don’t get Charlotte in bed by 7.15 bedtime is fucked until about 11pm and I’m ready to kill. 

I’ve also realised that trying to loose weight on a diet whilst also trying to get my head around a gluten free diet is pretty impossible. 

I’ve also realised (although I did know this before) that cooking for one is utterly shit and generally ends in loads of food waste, a fairly dull meal and usually a way too late dinner time so I don’t enjoy it anyway. 

So I have to find away to get through the next two months (it was a three month pass) and lose weight without following the plan at all. Easy huh!

The reason for this particular blog post with added awful photos is so I have some accountability, other than lying to the woman who asks me how my weeks been every week. 
I will get back to feeling happy and healthy in my own skin and now is the time to do it…just maybe not how the slimming clubs would want me to do it. 

Still not perfect but way less lumps and bumps than now!

Can it be done? Share your hints and tips in the comments please! You’re all in the circle of trust now  (mines quite a round circle at the mo!), I need your help! 

Back to basics for us.

Another long hiatus from me I’m afraid. I don’t know how other bloggers do daily posts…weekly seems difficult enough for me! But then maybe their not juggling all the other things too. Work is full on, home is full on and I’m now taking on the challenge of being a completely gluten free household too as, after the biopsy, we had confirmation that Charlotte does indeed have Coeliac Disease. Just what we needed!   

  
So I’m now trying to work out what this means and how it will affect our lives…so far I’ve come to the conclusion that it will affect it a lot! 
I have to admit I have become a lazy cook. We go out for food quite often and we eat ‘easy’ foods. I’m not happy with this scenario as I used to love cooking and trying new things but time has not been on our side and I’ve recently been picking the easiest options. After a trip to Bill’s Restaurant and Starbucks I’ve realised this can not be the way forward. The options available for a four year old Coelic are non existent and this in turn means a hungry child and a stressed out mum! So I’m going to have to go back to basics, meal planning and cooking from scratch. Great! When the hell in going to fit all this in I’m not sure yet! 

  
My high pressure project had a very brief quiet moment last week and I had time to take stock and realise that Charlotte has actually been quite poorly and getting worse over the past few months. Cue ‘worst mum in the world feeling’. She’s tired all the time, she’s waking during the night again, she’s grumpy and so am I and she is catching every bug going. I have also slowly been gaining more and more weight because of this unhealthy lifestyle we’ve slipped into so we need the change but I’m petrified. There’s so much to take in and implement and it seems so overwhelming. So rather that deal with it right now we’re running away on holiday in the hope we’ll both be rejuvenated enough so get cracking on the change when we get back. 

  
So now I have to focus on washing and ironing in order to pack and work out what the hell i’m going to wear by a swimming pool so I don’t look and feel like a beached whale. 
Anyone got a tarpaulin I could borrow?? 

Seperating the wheat from…well everything!!

One of the things that has been going on in my world that I am yet to mention on here is that my daughter has recently been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease

This seems to be a more common illness than I thought but I am still really nervous about how this will change both our lives. We are yet to remove gluten from her diet as she has an endoscopy booked in for Friday and we need to keep eating it in order to see the damage it is causing. So essentially, since the first blood test results in early December I have been knowlingly poisoning my daughter with bread, pasta, doughnuts, biscuits etc. This has not helped with my wellbeing over the past months alongside everything else.

 My best friend has Coeliac Disease and has been diagnosed for a while now so when I got told by the consultant that the blood tests showed she had this I felt like I knew more than most about it. But adapting this to a four year olds diet scares the shit (pardon the pun) out of me. I also found out that my ex was diagnosed with borderline Coeliac Disease after we had split but I had no idea that it could be hereditary so didn’t even think about it!

I also had no idea that the symptoms she was showing could have any correlation with Coeliac Disease. I actually took her to the doctors as she seemed to be having persistent, reoccurring pins and needles in her arms and legs. It was one of those times when the mummy bear instinct kicked in and said ‘somethings not quite right here’. Luckily, or unluckily, I was right but it’s still taken a long time to get to this point. 

Doesnt look poorly at all hey?
 So on Friday I have to try and explain why she needs to be put to sleep in a big, new hospital without crying (her and me!) and then I have the even more difficult time of making awkward conversation with my ex and whilst trying to suppress the urge to kill him at any point! 

I’d love to hear from any other parents who’ve been through this process so please leave a message in the comments below. I’ll keep you posted on how we get on. 

Food for thought…

On New Year’s Eve 2013/14 I decided to make a resolution. Something I always half heartedly do because everyone else is, but this time it was going to be the opposite of what most people were probably promising to themselves. Mine was to stop worrying about my weight.

I had finally come to the conclusion that I would have enough to deal with in the coming year and the last thing I needed was more time in my life being taken over by thinking about food and what I could and couldn’t have and all the guilt and stress that goes along with it. I also couldn’t afford to keep paying the monthly Weight Watchers subscription, especially as it only seemed to produce me putting the same pound on and taking it off over and over again and demoralising me on a weekly basis when I stepped on the scales!!

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So since then I have eaten when I want and generally what I want. I have never just eaten junk food and I do love cooking when I have the time but I am also partial to a (big) piece of cake and a glass of wine as often as possible.

Since January I have lost 10lbs.

This may not seem like much or anything worthy of a picture of me with massive trousers on and holding the waistband, showing how much I’ve lost. Hell, I haven’t even gone down a trouser size! But it has brought me back into a weight I feel happy and comfortable in. Rather than bursting at the seams I am comfortably wearing a size 14 pair of jeans, and look pretty good in them, if I do say so!

I have realised that this change is just me getting – naturally – back to me. Not the depressed, sad, comfort eating Katie but the happy (ish), confident, fun Katie. (A bit of stress never hurts either I suppose!) I am starting to look and feel like a person I am happy with and other people are starting to notice it too. I am never going to be skinny, nor would I want to be as I love my curves, but if you are struggling to take control of your weight at a stressful time then sometimes I would suggest that less is more and don’t be hard on yourself!