For those of you that have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a big/curvy girl and that I’ve always been OK with that. In fact, I’ve celebrated it. I love food, especially sweet stuff, and can think of nothing better than going out to eat with the people I love. Which probably explains a lot!
However, over Christmas I had time to think about things. Life stuff. And I came to a decision. I’m not happy. I knew I hadn’t been for a while, but couldn’t really put my finger on exactly what the issue was. I’d felt like I’d become a bit of a hermit, only going out to the shops or bank or to check in on Dad and take him to the Dr. It wasn’t really much of a life – work-shops-Dad-Dr-work-shops-Dad-Dr. You get the gist.
And then I had a bit of a lightbulb moment. Even though I’m not a huge eater, I don’t binge, nor do I pick throughout the day, I do eat the wrong things and at the wrong times, and I was just fed up of feeling so damn lethargic all the time. My knees were crunchier than ever, because we’ve moved house I no longer need to cycle anywhere and I just felt … bleurgh.
So over Christmas I decided it was time to get serious about losing weight.
Not because I’m desperate to fit into a size 10 dress, or because I want to conform. But because I’m just fed up of feeling unfit, overweight and frumpy.
I briefly joined Slimming World at the end of last summer but was quickly reminded of why I hate going to clubs – the rules, the miserable women that work there (at least they were rude and miserable at my club), having to wait around for ages just to get weighed and then being made to feel like you have to stay for the talk afterwards when all you really want is to go home and put your pyjamas on.
I lasted 3 weeks. Being ‘fined’ because I couldn’t make one week because I had a meeting got right up my nose so I just didn’t go back.
I liked the Slimming World food plan though and could see how it could work so decided I’d try and do it on my own. I spent a couple of days over Christmas doing research some on recipes, SW Facebook support groups, shopping lists etc, so I was totally prepared from Day 1.
I debated whether to ‘go public’ about being on a ‘diet’ – I always feel that I’m setting myself up for failure when I do that – but I’m really appreciating the support in one of the SW Facebook groups I’m in in particular and so I thought that if one person could benefit from reading posts like this, it’s worth it.
Dexter is nearly 12 and is benefitting from the SW recipes I’m cooking and although I haven’t put him on a ‘diet’ per se, I see these recipes as a healthy way to cook for the whole family.
We’ve now started our second week and here are the results of week one:
I’ve lost one stone and Dexter has lost half a stone.
I understand a lot of this is water but a loss is a loss and I’m thrilled! I’m taking into account that I’m not weighing in on professional scales in a class, but I’m weighing myself at the same time of day, on the same day, in the same place every week so I’m trying to get as accurate results as I can.
So I’m hoping to share my weekly results with you, without boring the bejesus out of you.
I’m trialing out some of the recipes I’ve found online and wanted to start sharing them with you here.
First up is a Weetabix Chocolate Brownie.
It was Sunday, late morning, and I was craving the ultimate – cake AND chocolate. To be honest, after a week on the SW plan, I haven’t really wanted for anything. You can use your syns to curb any cravings you have, but I’m not sure they’d stretch to a fat slice of chocolate cream cake. So I found a recipe that used Weetabix in it (which is within your SW allowance) to make a variation on a muffin recipe and, for a first attempt, it came out quite nice.
- Weetabix x 4 (Hex B option x 2)
- Toffee Mullerlight Yogurt x 1
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 level tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons sweetener
- 2 teaspoons Nutella/chocolate spread (to decorate)
- 1 banana (to decorate)
I will try out different variations on this recipe to see how I can make it even better – perhaps by using a different flavoured yogurt (cappuccino/cherry/banana & custard maybe?), adding quark as a topping, add some mixed spice, ginger or cinnamon or use different fruit as toppings etc. So you can see how many different variations you could make.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, gas mark 4.
Put Weetabix in a food processor and blitz to a fine powder. Add all other ingredients and mix until smooth. I used 3 eggs this time but will try 4 next time to see if it gives the brownie mixture more rise and I’m also wondering whether it would benefit from a small addition of baking powder. I might add that next time to see what happens!
You could put this mixture into cupcake cases but I put it all in a smallish square baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and levelled it off. It was quite a thin layer and didn’t rise that much.
(FEEL FREE TO PIN THIS RECIPE)
Cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your mixture is, and test using a knife – if it comes out clean, it’s ready. Cool on a wire rack and decorate to taste.
I cut the brownie into 4 squares and added ½ teaspoon of chocolate to each quarter, topping off with a couple of slices of banana.
The mixture isn’t aerated and spongey and it’s quite dense, but it did do the trick of curbing my cake and chocolate craving. I had 2 quarters with a cup of coffee and estimate that it came out at 1-1.5 syns per quarter (syns coming from cocoa powder and chocolate spread on top.) I’ve used my Hex B option so haven’t synned the Weetabix but if you’ve already had yours, you’ll need to work out the syns for Weetabix – I make it 3.25 syns per biscuit.
Edit: I didn’t syn the baking powder, because it’s fairly minimal, but if you’re being uber strict, don’t forget to syn that too.
It’s a work in progress and I will continue to refine this recipe but it’s a good basic recipe to work from.
Edit: I made the brownie again today and added an extra egg and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder which has made for a much spongier cake. I’ve amended the recipe above to reflect this.
Edit: I can’t stop making this! Today I added some raspberries and they were delicious! However, I think if you’re being uber strict, because the raspberries are cooked, I think you’d have to syn them.
I hope you enjoy it!