Progress Report – October 2019

I’ve decided to approach my progress reports slightly differently for the time being for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was finding writing weekly reports a bit tricky to keep on top of
  2. It’s probably not that interesting for you to read each week whether or not I’ve lost weight

So I’ve decided to try monthly updates instead. I think it’s important for my obliger nature to have the external accountability of letting you know how I’m doing, but hopefully it’ll be more manageable for me and less boring for you!

So, how’s my month been?

Weight – altogether in October, I’ve lost 5.5lb bringing me to a total of 1st 4.5lbs lost so far.

Inch loss – 12 inches lost in total and I’m delighted to see that my collarbone is beginning to reappear. I haven’t seen that for years!

Exercise – I’ve continued to maintain my exercise schedule, even when I went to visit my mum for the weekend, and I’m definitely seeing my endurance and strength improving:

Exercise Starting Point Current Performance
Plank 3x 1 min 3x 1min 15sec
Side Plank 3x 1min each side
Deadlift 3x 20 reps 16kg 5x 20 reps 24kg
Lunges 3x 10 reps 10kg 5x 12 reps 10kg
Chest Press 3x 20 reps 12.5kg 5x 18 reps 20kg
Bicep Rows 3x 20 reps 15kg 5x 18 reps 20kg
Upright Row 3x 20 reps 10kg 60sec recovery 5x 20 reps 10kg 30sec recovery
Lateral Raise 3x 20 reps 3kg 3x 20 reps 4kg
Lateral Pulldown 3x 20 reps 20kg 5x 18 reps 25kg

I’m really not a fan of having my photograph taken but I was pleasantly surprised to see the difference in a photo taken this time last year to one taken now.

My biggest challenge this month was having a 2 week holiday from work with the temptation to sit around eating biscuits and chocolate all day that that brings. Although I did indulge in a couple of treats, I generally made healthy food choices and rigorously stuck to my training plan and even added in a couple of walks.

Speaking of food choices, although I have generally been making healthy choices, I haven’t been tracking what I eat so that’s something I want to focus on in November as it’s very true that we often eat mindlessly and forget what we have actually consumed.

November is sure to bring with it some challenges as the nights get darker, we get closer to Christmas and it’s also my birthday month, but I’m just going to keep on trying to make healthier choices for the benefit of my future self and with the shorter term aim of looking as good as I can by the time my Christmas holiday comes arounds.

Thanks for reading,

FFF

Creamy Salmon Pasta with Garlic & Herbs- 9 Smart Points

This dish tastes more induglent than the Smart Points value would suggest and is a great wholesome option when you fancy some comfort food.

Servings: 2

Smart Points: 9 per serving

Time: 20-25 minutes

What you need:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 100g pasta – twists or congliche would be my choice
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • lemon
  • mixed herbs
  • small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 150g low fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 4 handfuls of baby spinach

What to do:

  1. Heat the oven to 150C. Put a large sheet of tinfoil onto a bakingctray. Place the salmon skin side down onto the foil. Scatter over the mixed herbs and squeeze over the juice of 1/2 the lemon.
  2. Wrap the foil around the salmon to make a parcel. Put the baking tray into the oven and bake for 20mins.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water for around 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Gently fry the onions until softened – about 5 mins. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the wine and increase the temperature slightly until the strong alcohol smell burns off.
  5. Add the spinach to the onions a handful at a time and stir until wilted.
  6. When the past is cooked, turn off the and drain, reserving some of the water.
  7. Add the soft cheese to the onions and spinach over a low heat, stirring until the cheese has melted. Add some of the pasta water to slacken the sauce to the desired consistency and season to taste.
  8. Stir the drained pasta into the sauce. Divide the pasta between two bowls and top each with a salmon fillet.
  9. Squeeze a bit of lemon over each dish and add some freshly cracked black pepper.

This week I’m loving – Philadelphia Milka

I am not paid for any of the reviews I write and products that I review are paid for with my own money. Read more on my disclaimer page.

As regular readers of the blog will know, I LOVE cheesecake. But why does it have to be so flipping calorific?! Ditto both points for chocolate.

So when I spotted Philadelphia Milka on a recent supermarket trip, I HAD to try it and I’m pleased to report it might just be the best £2 I’ve ever spent!

It tastes just like a good chocolate cheesecake filling and is rich, sweet, tangy and creamy in all the right proportions.

At only 4 Smart Points for a rather generous 30g serving, it’s delicious spread on WW Shortbread Biscuits or a good old digestive for a little cheesecake hit for a fraction of the Smart Points/calorie spend.

If you love a bit of cheesecake too, you might like to make my Breakfast Cheesecake and read my review of Costa’s Baked Vanilla Cheesecake.

Thanks for reading,

FFF

Beef Tacos – 5 Smart Points

Quick and easy to put together for a Friday night dinner, this dish is delicious served with some Cajun Courgettes

Servings: 2

Smart Points: 5 per serving

Time: 15-20 minutes

What you need:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 250g lean beef mince
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin kidney beans
  • Mexican seasoning
  • 2 taco shells

What to do:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan and add the oil. Soften the onions before adding the minced beef stirring until browned all over.
  2. Sprinkle over the Mexican seasoning and stir in the tomatoes and kidney beans. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes until everything is heated through.
  3. Heat the taco shells in the oven according to the instructions on the packet.
  4. Fill the taco shells with the beef filling and try not to make a complete mess whilst eating. (If anyone knows how to do this, please let me know!)

Progress Report 1.10.19

Weigh-in Result: -2lb

What do you do when plans go awry? That’s how my healthy eating plans have felt this week. I’ve been trying to streamline my meal planning and shopping process to save me time but this is in the early stages and this week I ran into a few problems involving missing ingredients. In the past, my reaction would have been to throw any ideas of sticking to my plan out of the window as I headed to the chippy. But this time has been different. I’ve reminded myself of the progress I’ve made and how much better I’m feeling and I honestly haven’t wanted to resort to takeaway food.

I’ve been back in the kitchen baking along with the Great British Bake Off and this time it was the turn of my colleagues to ensure that I didn’t eat the entire cake!

This week was book club week and, as I mentioned last month, this would usually be an excuse for me to indulge in a glass of wine and a slice of cake without tracking either of them. Last time around I chose cake, this time, I opted for wine. It was actually the first glass of wine I’ve had since my summer cruise and it was nice to savour it whilst discussing this month’s read.

The weekend saw me visiting my parents in Wales. Previous visits have always had quite a boozy theme to them – although there are 9 pubs in the small town (population 2013) that she lives in, so it can’t really be helped! But this time around, my mum knows how focused Mr FFF and I are on improving our health and fitness so, rather than just getting us some drink in for our arrival on Friday after work, she asked us about it first and we politely declined.

We went out for dinner on Saturday night (almost all of the pubs serve delicious, home-cooked food) but I again stayed in control of my eating by having a light breakfast and lunch and only having two alcoholic drinks with dinner.

A warming bowl of cawl made a delicious lunch.

I continue to surprise myself with my attitude towards my fitness. Rather than seeing spending the weekend at my mum’s as an excuse not to exercise, I took my walking boots to Wales with me. Unfortunately, we were thwarted by the Welsh weather but we managed 20 minute walk and also walked to and from the pub! What I did notice was that climbing the steep hill on the way back from the pub no longer leaves me breathless.

I’d also booked an appointment with my PT for the Sunday afternoon when I got back and was delighted that I was able to tell him that I’d been gyming-it consistently whilst he’s been on holiday.

After a busy couple of weeks, I’m looking forward to a quieter time over the next couple of weeks.

Here’s hoping…

FFF

Cajun Courgettes – 0 Smart Points

Mr FFF has never been the biggest fan of vegetables. Apparently, he only really likes them when they’ve got “some kind of flavour” – other than the flavour of the actual vegetables – so I’m always looking for ways to pep-up his plate! These came about as I tried to use up some leftover courgettes and find something to accompany the tacos we were eating to use up some leftover taco shells.

Servings: 2

Smart Points: 0 per serving

Time: 20-25 minutes

What you need:

  • a couple of courgettes
  • Cajun seasoning
  • spray oil

What to do:

  1. Trim the courgettes and halve lengthways. Slice thickly and put into a roasting tin.
  2. Spray the courgettes with oil and sprinkle them liberally with the Cajun seasoning. Give the tin a good shake to ensure the courgettes are evenly coated.
  3. Roast in a pre-heated over at 180C for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.

Top Tip: Add more or less Cajun seasoning depending on how much you like the taste of “actual vegetables”!