Cranberry & Chocolate Breakfast Bars

Print Recipe
Cranberry & Chocolate Breakfast Bars
Delicious and filling on the go breakfasts - these are really handy, just store in the freezer!
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 20 mins
Servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 20 mins
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add the dates, oats, almonds, cranberries, chocolate and coconut to a large mixing bowl. (note, this picture has banana instead of cranberries, but wasn't as nice)
  2. Gently heat the peanut butter and honey in a small saucepan, until warm
  3. Pour over the oat mixture and mix together until nicely combined (warning, a little strength needed here)
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper, and pop the mixture onto the tray. Spread it evenly and put pressure onto the mixture until it becomes flat and firm.
  5. Cover with a tea towel and pop in the fridge for 20mins.
  6. Take out of the fridge and cut up into 10 pieces. Keep in the fridge ready for the week or pop in the freezer.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional information

Day 17 – a wobbly week

Well, the last week or so hasn’t been that great..

I’m usually very easy going and laid back, but over the last couple of weeks some personal things have been happening and they’ve contributed to me having a very short fuse… not good! That doesn’t excuse eating badly, that’s completely down to me – it’s very easy to get back to old habits I guess.

So, what were the bad choices?

  • My husband got a new work contract, so we went to celebrate and you know. One glass of wine turns to two, which turns to three… which turns to bad dinner choices (pork belly to be precise)
  • Indian lunch over the weekend (at the best Indian restaurant in Wellington, may I add) – they are smaller portions than dinner – but still, it wasn’t needed.
  • Went for lunch yesterday wth some good friends, and the menu had scampi!(which I have never seen in NZ before and haven’t had in over four years) – so yeah, that was a bad choice too.

Ok, so whats been good?

  • I’ve had healthy, home made, slow releasing energy granola bars for breakfasts.
  • Salads for lunches as normal.
  • I still lost weight, not a lot! But something (.4kgs, which makes it 3.2kgs now)
  • I’m walking a little more (still not anywhere near enough)

What now?

I’m going to pretend the last few days didn’t happen. Today, I am feeling confident and focussed so I am sure this was a little blip and not something that is going to set me back.

My not so great week in some pictures:

 

 

Prosciutto Wrapped Baked Fish

Print Recipe
Prosciutto Wrapped Baked Fish
a deliciously tender fish recipe, I serve with roasted veg mix (carrot, parsnip and pumpkin in this case). Calories are 408 for this one (without the extra veg mix).
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mains
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
serves
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mains
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
serves
Ingredients
Instructions
Vegetables first!
  1. Preheat over to 200c
  1. Add the vegetables, garlic and fry light to a baking dish and mix. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes.
Now for the fish!
  1. While the veggies are baking. Lightly season the fish fillets in pepper and give a squeeze of lemon juice. Wrap the fillets in the prosciutto.
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley together.
  3. Take out the veggies and place the fish fillets on top of the veg. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mix over the fish (any left over on the veg)
  4. Quick spray of fry-light and back in the over for approx. 15 minutes (the fish should be just cooked and the breadcrumbs getting crispy)
Serve!
  1. Serve with a nice side salad, or some vegetables, drizzling lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to finish.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional information

Chicken Pesto Pasta

Print Recipe
Chicken Pasta Pesto
Unfortunately, I can't take credit for this one. This is a recipe from one of Jamie Oliver's books. It's really easy and fresh, and has only 595 calories. (I swapped some ingredients around so it's not the exact same as the book - it just made it even easier to make)
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 45 mins
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 45 mins
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
The chicken
  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts and season generously with salt and pepper.Sprinkle the breasts with fennel seeds and lay chunks of rosemary down. Bash the chicken (I used a rolling pin) so the fennel seeds and rosemary is nicely bedded into the chicken.
  2. Add the oil, chilli, garlic and chicken to a frying pan. Cook for approx. 4 minutes on each side, keep the chilli moving over the chicken to ensure it embeds the flavour.
  3. Two minutes before the chicken is cooked, add the tomatoes to the pan - until they soften and the juices have come out. Leave to the side.
The pasta
  1. Boil the green beans in salted water for approx. 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the fresh lasagne sheets into thick ribbons (an inch or so wide), and add to the pan of beans for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the spinach to the pan for 30 seconds or so and then drain the mixture (pasta, beans and spinach), keeping behind half a cup of the water.
  4. Add the mixture back to the pan and add the tub of pesto, stirring until it nicely coats the pasta. Loosen as required with the leftover water to ensure a smooth texture.
  5. Serve the pasta over three plates.
Finishing off
  1. Slice the chicken breasts and dish over the pasta, along with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional information

extracted from myfitnesspal

Source: Jamie's 15 minute meals book

Day 8 – still focussed….

Well, I’m going into my second full week of making better choices and surprisingly (and unusually), I am still 100% motivated…

I’ve eaten <1600 calories everyday (apart from Saturday – we were out but I didn’t drink or eat too much). I’ve exercised a little more than usual by walking up stairs instead of taking the lift or taking the dog on longer walks – Yes, i know, I still need more and I will work on that.

My weight-loss this week: <1.6kgs

I had a bit of a depressing moment yesterday. Usually I lose 2-3kgs in any first week of a diet, and last week I only lost 1.6kgs. So I was a little upset about that. BUT…. my husband made me feel better by:

  • Reminding me that this isn’t a diet – it’s a lifestyle change. I’m not limiting myself to 1200calories a day this time. I’ve cut down on calorie intake but this is more about putting the right food into my body.
  • Making me hold our two Ipads (469g each) and telling me I had lost just under 4 of those in weight. Wow! that really put it into perspective for me – that’s pretty hefty!
Ipad 5 weight specs

My take on my first full week?

  • Thinking differently about the weight I have lost is a must. I need to realise that small amounts are ok and I need to actually understand what that means.
  • Having watched ‘that sugar film’ – I need to alter the types of sugar I eat. I’m not going cold turkey, that would be silly. Little steps include not taking sugar in coffee anymore (not too bad, actually), and making homemade breakfasts (this week is granola bars).
  • I need to exercise more. My iWatch tells me I got my activity goals twice this week – better than a normal week but nowhere near good enough.
  • We’ve deleted Netflix! we only watch it when we’re bored and that is not a positive thing… so it’s gone.

This weeks meals

  • Breakfasts were either a yogurt and a banana, or some shop bought tropical cereal.
  • Lunches consisted of salads with meats (chicken skewers or lamb koftas)
  • Dinners were Chicken filo pie (probably the favourite meal of the week), Pesto Pasta ( a delicious close second), chicken jalfrezi, spaghetti & meatballs and noodles.

That’s all I have for now! I’m going to find a better way to document my week in meals…  and hopefully we will have more good news next week!

 

Day 4 – Settling in

So, it’s 9.30pm on day 4 of my journey to ‘make better choices’ – and I’m feeling good, cup of tea in hand.

Today I’ve had healthy cereal for breakie, last nights leftovers (Mexican filo pie) for lunch, a yogurt to satisfy that sweet craving and satay noodles for dinner. I’m feeling focussed and happy that I came in under my <1600kcal a day goal.

Today hasn’t been difficult for me at all, maybe because:

  1. My work day was mega busy, so I didn’t have time to think about snacks!
  2. We had visitors right away after work, which meant we didn’t eat until 7pm(ish)- keeping me full for the rest of the night
  3. Each of the three meals I ate were tasty and didn’t leave me wanting something more fulfilling (which happens when I have bland food)

Or maybe it’s just because I am so focussed.

I realise though, at some point I have to try doing some exercise………

Day 4 – food diary

Make Good Choices..

Hi there, and welcome to my ‘better choices’ journey.

I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life. At 14, I was a size 14. At 16, I was a size 16. At 18 I was a size 18. At my biggest I was a 24 and now, depending on where I shop I am between 20/22.

I have tried so many diets: weight watchers, slim fast, slimming world, (heck – yesterday I  nearly had hypnotherapy) – they all work, for a while. But if I am really going to do this, and keep it off, I need to change my ways for good. I need to make better choices.

How do I make better choices?

For now, I will have a <1600kcals daily limit and when I crave those bad things, I’m going to ask myself:

*click to enlarge

This blog is here to keep me accountable, to give me something to look back on and feel proud, and to share my favourite recipes with you. Wish me luck!

 

Mexican filo pie

Print Recipe
Mexican filo pie
Serving four people, this is a delicious Mexican delight (and as a bonus, a huge portion for only 572 calories!) * Rated by husband.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30mins
Cook Time 40mins
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30mins
Cook Time 40mins
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
Chicken mixture
  1. First up is to make the chicken mixture! Add all of the ingredients (except for the cooking spray and filo) to a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Spread the mixture evenly into a large casserole dish, cover and pop in the fridge for a few hours (I like a good 6-8 hours)
Adding the topping
  1. After you have let the mixture sit for a few hours, its time to add the filo topping. Add a sheet of pastry to the top of the mixture (mine just fits, do what you need to) and spray the layer with cooking spray.
  2. Repeat until all filo sheets have been used
Bake
  1. Bake in the over on 170c for 40 minutes, or until the pastry is nice and crispy, and serve!
Recipe Notes

Nutritional information

extracted from myfitnesspal