Archive for January, 2009

Bolognaise for the freezer

January 29, 2009

I bought some minced beef steak at Costco last week. I used 1kg to make a batch of mince & carrots and 1kg for the bolognaise pictured here (there’s another 600g raw in the freezer, to be cooked at a later date).

My bolognaise is a meaty dish, not a tomato sauce with a hint of meat in it. I always use a tin of plum tomatoes, some mushrooms, some onion, and usually some red pepper. However, I had no red pepper in the house.

Here’s what I used:
1000g lean steak mince
200g onions
2 cans chopped tomatoes
3 beef stock cubes (Oxo)
3-4 cloves of garlic
90g mushrooms
a large squeeze of Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs

Using a tip I read in a Rosemary Conley diet book, I dry-cooked the mince in a saucepan (ie, I put the meat in but no fat, no liquid) and then drained the fat off by putting the meat into a sieve and making sure all the fat had gone, I then washed the saucepan with soapy water, ensuring there was no fat left in it before rinsing, drying and putting the meat back in to continue the cooking.

I did put the chopped onion into the meat during the first part of the cooking as I wanted it to cook in the fat.

With the meat back in the pan I tipped in the tinned tomatoes (always a good thing to have in the cupboard and better in this kind of recipe than fresh), sprinkled in three Oxo beef stock cubes and some crushed garlic then let it come to a simmer before adding some chopped mushrooms and some herbs.

I let it simmer away happily on its own for about 40 minutes. It probably doesn’t need that long but I feel that it improves, tht the flavours mingle more, if it is cooked long and slow. I left it to mature overnight before batching it up for the freezer but it can be frozen as soon as it is cool.

I fed the data into weight loss resourceswhich told me that a 175g portion (that’s how much is shown here) is 177 calories. I served it with 100g (cooked weight) of spaghetti for another 119 calories and added some broccoli just because I like to see a vegetable on my plate.

The food on the plate comes to 315 calories and it was plenty.

There are five more 2-people portions in the freezer.


DIY Splashy

January 27, 2009

After a healthy breakfast of Quaker Oats and grapes (because I like to have fruit with my breakfast and I’d forgotten to defrost any blueberries) we set off to the pool for an aqua aerobics class (known as splashy in my house).

As I walked into the changing rooms I recognised the black and silver zipped back swimming costume of a woman I had seen here before. I remembered that it was the last (and first) time I had come to the Monday morning aqua class. I remembered that this class seems to be full of ladies who like to get into the water and gossip rather than being there for the exercise. I remember being annoyed by them and wondered whether my enjoyment of the class would be spoiled again.

The pool was very full – about 25 ‘women of a certain age’ (and older). Very quickly word went round that Estella – my favourite aqua instructor an the reason for us choosing this classs – had phoned in sick and there was nobody available to replace her at such short notice.

Silver swimsuit woman said that she would take the class. Having been to the class a zillion times before she knew what the moves were (as did most of us there, although there were a number of first timers there today). She did brilliantly. Given that she had to try to remember what exercises there were, shout loud enough for us to hear – she was in the pool doing the class herself – and try to make sure that we didn’t all run into the walls of the pool before she told us to turn. At the end of the class we gave her three cheers. Then I swam ten lengths before going home.

Back home, lunch was yesterday’s leftovers – not very healthy – and I forgot to eat any more fruit.

After spending the afternoon cooking up two large batches of mince (one as a bolognaise sauce and one with onions and carrots) for freezing in calorie controlled portions I cooked a prawn stir-fry.

The figures
Breakfast: Quaker Oats and grapes
Lunch: roast pork, roast potatoes and kumara
Dinner: 100g cooked weight Jasmine rice with 50g king prawns stir-fried with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, baby corn, sugar snaps, broccoli and spinach
Dessert: 158g tinned peaches with 90g elmlea single light

The figures:
Calories (kcal) 1208
Protein (g) 56.8
Carbohydrate (g) 176.2
Fat (g) 30.2
Fibre (g) 13.2
Fruit & Veg 8.7

I spent the a

I’d had breakfast before I realised that it is Monday and I had not weighed myself. Hey-ho, I’ll do it tomorrow.

Sunday, 25th January

January 25, 2009

today’s numbers:
Calories 1507
Protein 95.8
Carbs 150.7
Fat 40.1g
Fibre 18.9g
Fruit & Veg 4.6
I need to blog my food, exercise and mood if I am to do this properly.
So this is today’s food.

Breakfast was brought to my by my SO. I didn’t fancy ‘dippy negg’ (soft boiled eggs) and his attempts at porridge shows that he needs more practice and I wasn’t in the mood for ‘pratice porridge’. So I had a think about what was int he fridge and remembered there was some cheese in the fridge that I wanted to try. A hardish, browny-yellow cheese that looked rather like a ‘breakfast cheese’ I had eaten on one of my holidays recently. There was also an unopened packet of digestive biscuits.
‘Cheese and digestive biscuits and some grapes’ was my request.
Instead of the cheese I ws thinking of he brought me the forgotten roule with herbs, Yum! He also brought me SIX digestives. Now I know that I didn’t have to eat them all, and I did initially spread cheese on just four. But I wasn’t full and it was delicious. So I ate the rest.

There was some of the chicken and mushroom curry that I made the other day left in the fridge so that was lunch.

I had planned to go to aqua aerobics this afternoon but my arm was rather painful The doctor thinks it may be carpal tunnel syndrome, which is worrying me rather. The wrist joint seemed to be clicking. Ibuprofen helped with the pain but I really wasn’t in the mood for the pool. I have just realised that I have not been out of the house since Friday evening.

I had a banana in the afternoon while I was clearing out the airing cupboard and then the SO cooked the roast pork for me. He actually made quite a good job of it.

I’ve been looking at photos in my 2009 Photo Diet Project pool on flickr. The newest member has been telling me that she has a file with recipes and menu plans for the week(s) ahead. I must stop telling myself that this is too time consuming and get on with doing it.

Getting my five-a-day

January 21, 2009

Well I’m back from my week in the sun and have got decidedly podgier. I got on the scales on Monday morning expecting to find I’d put on about half a stone – that’s what it felt like I had gained. To my surprise the scales reported a one pound loss. That could be due to the slightly dodgy tummy I’d had for two days.

I deserved to be heavier as I had made full use of the ‘all inclusive’. The food was rather good and I had a couple of beers each day as well. Apart from a little walking, I did no exercise. The unheated pool was very cold (well I may have been in Egypt but it is still mid-winter). The sea was too rough for me to risk (I am not a strong swimmer) and the gym was a no-go area due to the pestering to try the beauty treatments and massage (at UK prices!).

So I’m home and back on the straight and narrow. We arrived home in the early hours of Monday morning and, obviously, there was no fresh fruit or veg in the house. Although I was very good with Monday’s calories (961) the fruit and veg count was very low (2.9). Here’s what I had – the broccoli and the mandarin were from the Co-op round the corner.

Monday, 19th January

For reasons I don’t want to go into, in fact I want to forget, Tuesday was a very bad day nutritionally. I did go to pilates in the morning, though.

So I stocked up on fresh veggies at Lidl yesterday and made a delicious high veg content lunch today.

I put some Thai rice on to cook with a pinch of saffron (I need to use it up before I emigrate) while I chopped the following:
41g red pepper
57g mushrooms – a mix of common and chestnut
36g carrot (chopped into thin sticks)
47g broccoli

Of course, I didn’t specifically measure out those amounts – but I put the food on the scales so I could count the calories and F&V portions. It was one carrot and two thirds of a pepper, several mushrooms, what was left of the broccoli in the fridge. The quantities given above are half of that as I made enough for two of us.

I sprayed a pan with fry light and cooked the veggies, adding some Gourmet Garden ginger, lemongrass and coriander (I keep the tubes in the freezer) and a splash of water when the food started to stick. I added some freshly ground pepper.

When it was cooked I emptied the pan into a pasta bowl and covered it to keep it warm.
A quick wash of the pan (easy when it is still hot), a wipe and another spray with the oil, then I threw in five raw, frozen, king prawns and 10g of coconut cream (again, something that needs using up before I go). A splash of water meant that the coconut mixed in well. When the prawns were nicely turning pink I tipped 50g washed baby spinach over the top (the extra water helped the moisture content) and let it wilt, stirring it in with the prawns.

I tipped the stir-fried veg back in the pan and stirred it all together to warm through. I served it with the rice and a couple of halved cherry tomatoes. Together with the defrosted blueberries I had with my porridge this morning, this means I’ve had 4.1 portions of fruit and veg and I’ve not had dinner yet.

A Full Week of Photo-Dieting

January 9, 2009

Well I’ve restarted the photo-dieting for 2009. I didn’t bother over Christmas because I gave myself permission to snack and nibble.

The photo above shows my best day this week. All healthy, all weighed and counted. But recording what I eat on the bad and the not-so-good days is important too. The rest of the week looked like this:

Friday 2nd Jan:
Friday 2 Jan 09
Saturday 3rd Jan:
Saturday, 3rd Jan
Sunday 4th Jan
Sunday, 4th Jan
Tuesday 6th Jan
Tuesday, 6th January
Wednesday 7th Jan
Wednesday, 7th January
Thursday 8th Jan
Thursday, 8th January
Clicking on any of the photos will take you to the original on my flickr stream which tells you a bit more about them.

Tomorrow should be okay-ish. On Saturday we are going out for lunch and on Sunday we are off to Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt for a week so the food should be interesting!

I’ve exercised quite a bit this week.
On Monday I swam 25 lengths.
On Tuesday I did my first ever pilates class.
On Thursday I did my first relaxercise class. I had hoped to do my second pilates class as well but the instructor was delayed.
On Friday I will be back at ‘splashy’ (aqua aerobics) and hope to swim before the class.

Next week I’ll be swimming – in the sea and a pool, I hope – and will use the hotel gym.

2009 Photo-Diet Project

January 2, 2009

Well it’s just a few weeks till my birthday. I’m not going to be anywhere near my target weight for my 50th, but I am fitter and a bit slimmer (about two dress sizes).

I have a couple of new members of my Photo-Diet Project Group (now renamed 2009 Photo-Diet Project – feel free to come and join us) on flickr so I really had to get back to photo-dieting. There is still holiday food in the house to be eaten. I have drinks that need to be used before I emigrate. But, there is no reason not to get back on track.

Well, there is one reason. In a week’s time I’m off to Sharm-el-Sheikh for a week so I won’t be in charge of what’s on offer at mealtimes. I will be incharge of what I put on my plate and in my mouth though. I will be exercising – will be snorkelling and have a new (UK size 14) swimming costume bought today.

Today’s food:
Breakfast: muesli (berries & cherries) and semi-skimmed milk

Lunch: (at the shops) wholemeal sandwich: duck in hoisin sauce, cucumber, celery, tomato (I had 3/4 of this)

Afternoon snack: 2 satsumas, 3 maltesers, a bit of Galaxy, a choc liqueur

Dinner: fish in butter sauce, boiled potatoes, petit pois

Evening drink: Limoncello

I also had about five cups of tea with sweetener and ss milk.