Shakshuka. Sort of.


shakshuka (sort of) ready to go in to bake

Last week I read a very amusing article on BS slimming fads and how almost all celebrity fronted diet books feature some kind of chilli spiked eggs for breakfast. I was thus reminded about my much mused but never materialised intentions to do some huevos rancheros for Saturday breakfast at some point in my life. It has to be said that eggs, tomatoes and a bit of heat is always going to be a winning combination, and by the very definition of there being protein and veg in there it is going to win points with almost all healthy eating regimes unless you’re a vegan with a nightshade intolerance. So although this might be overdone, it is hardly a surprise that this is such a solid performer for various chefs trying to sell you their recent waist reduction techniques.  The constant content bulker of Mushrooms On Toast (f*£% off!!!) in so many cookery books is far more irritating to my mind.

So faced with lots of veg ends in the fridge and two leftover wraps I thought I would rustle up a sort of brunch yesterday to fuel a perilous shopping trip into the Mordor of these lands also known as Clacton. I did not have the makings of a huevos rancheros, but I did have a hefty casserole dish recently donated by the Mr’s Step mother drying on the side which reminded me of some kind of baked eggs and peppers thing I had half watched The Hairy Bikers make on telly once. I didn’t google it. I just threw it together, and in fairness I think it was a reasonable re-creation though not strictly speaking traditional. But hey, it is a multi cultural world we live in. Melting pots and all that. After some time I turned out a reasonably impressive and herty breakfast that the Mr declared as ‘bloody perfect’. This is high praise indeed as he puts ‘breakfast’ in the top five of his List Of Important Things most days. Possibly top three.

So here it is, great for a lazy Saturday, packed with nutrients, low fat and high flavour and I don’t care what you think about the tortilla bit, it was all I had available. And it was really nice.

Boomboom Sortofshakshuka


sortofshakshuka, served on a toasted seedy tortilla

Serves Two, less than 500 calories per serving
4 free range eggs
1 white onion
4 vine ripened tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 cups curly kale
Chilli flakes to taste (or 1/4 tsp cumin seeds)
1 tbspn Apple cider vinegar
Splash of tomato juice
2x seeded tortilla wraps
Salt and pepper and hot sauce to serve
Rapseed oil or cooking spray
0% fat Greek Yogurt (optional)

Heat the oven to 190 degrees.
Roughly chop the onions and fry in the rapseed oil or spray with the chilli flakes (or cumin seed to go traditionally Tunisian) for a few minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the tomatoes and chopped peppers and cook for another 5 minutes before adding the vinegar then cook for another minute. Finally add the kale and a splash of tomato juice and cook through until the kale is just starting to noticeably wilt. You don’t need a lot of tomato juice- literally just enough to moisten everything but not enough to make it a proper sauce.
Transfer this into an ovenproof dish that you rescued from your In Law’s kitchen clear out- the mix should fill the dish without being spread too thinly. Carefully crack your eggs directly on to the mix, season well with salt and black pepper then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes (check after 15 to avoid over cooking the eggs).

When the whites are opaque and the yolks cooked to your liking (I like them just on the verge of runny) take the dish out of the oven and set aside.

Heat a large, non stick frying pan on the hob and use this to toast your tortilla wrap for a minute on each side- they should be just starting to brown in parts but not stiffening up too much.

Line a plate with your toasted tortilla and spoon the veg and eggs on top, season well and serve with some good quality hot sauce and a dollop of fat free Greek yoghurt on the side just to really confuse things.

Variations- lose the wraps if you’re off the carbs or serve with sour dough toast instead. If you don’t like it spicy use the cumin or some garam masala instead. Green peppers instead of red and yellow will give a bit more bite to the mix and you could swap the kale or chard or even fresh spinach but in this case don’t cook the spinach through literally just stir it through the rest of the veg before the eggs go on. 


The Skinny Thing- Carry On With Christmas

festive fruity salads to keep the Christmas spirit alive- recipe from Seasons Eatings by Gizzi Erskine

Ah, yes, January 2nd. Your gym is ram packed. Your work clothes are suspiciously tight. There’s a special joining rate at Slimming World and Joe Bloody Wicks is EVERYWHERE!!!! It’s the perfect time to embark on a strict low sugar low fat high cardio mindful double whipped nonsense of a total lifestyle change! Isn’t it?

No. I don’t think it is. Because despite these inspiring factors above, it’s cold, it’s dark, you’re skint from Christmas and just settling into the pain of a pretty epic cheese and vodka hangover. The world is quite literally pitched against your mere survival, let alone the prospect of meaningful self improvement. For me, this is the absolutely worst time of year to go extreme with anything other than sale shopping or wardrobe clear outs. A load of forced ‘healthy’ changes can be both physically and emotionally shocking after the (usual) chill and snooze options of the festive season,  yet still we all announce and encourage each other in our lofty plans of deprivation in the name of the New Year. It is as though a flip of a calendar page has erased the previous three weeks/months/years of being mere mortals with day jobs and a taste for cocoa solids.
It’s hard to drop eight pounds in a month when the fridge is still full of stilton and your favourite jogging route is too icy to negotiate without a pack of huskies. It’s hard to swap stuffing balls for quinoa salads. It’s hard to get up at 5 for that pre work yoga class when you’ve been flat out cooking for your family, sorting out the recycling and playing with your kids for ten days straight. It’s hard to refuse a cut price mince pie when your commute is suddenly busy again and it took you an hour to get home only to go to a spin class instead of curling up to a netflix splurge and the last of the Quality Street. And the harder it is, the bigger the fail potential, and the deeper the pit than runs along side your waggon for you to tumble into. Because if you have a diet fail day in March, chances are that there isn’t 3/4 of a Christmas cake still on the sideboard for you to console yourself with.
We are such extreme beings, taking an effortless slide from ten days of late nights and strong drinks into an additive free high fibre dry vegan meltdown of purity that we so often fail to look for the successful middle ground where we can have what we want and not ruin ourselves at the same time. But if you must rush headlong into January with plans of mass calorie cutting, quitting smoking, running a sub half hour marathon and writing that children’s novel about the talking fireplace you’ve been thinking of for years, I have one piece of advice: Carry On With Christmas instead.

Sex Up Your Salads.
I spent a full four hours in my kitchen on new years day for the sum total of four salads and a collapsing and sad looking ginger cake for the official End Of Festivities dinner. But those salads, by Jovi they were amazing! Because they are special salads, seasonal salads with posh dressing and pomegranate and all that stuff which is a crapton more appetising than a stack of shredded iceberg and three tomatoes smeared with weight watchers vinaigrette. I have a leftovers lunch for work today, and even with over estimation on my portion sizes I’m pretty sure I haven’t gone over 500 calories on a stonking first desk-lunch of 2018. Research your salads, and make good ones for your diet, put some time and love into them, like you do at Christmas!
Get a bowl and mix shredded red cabbage and grated carrot, dress it with 2 parts light mayo, 1 part fat free greek yoghurt and 1 part white wine vinegar plus lots of pepper. Quick and delicious.
Shred up some brussels sprouts for a nutrient packed salad base that is much more satisfying than more bloody lettuce (Seasons Eatings by Gizzi Erskine has some great variations of these).
Take that leftover cheddar and toss it with celery, tomatoes, cucumber and carrots for a crunchy lunch treat rather than just melting it over a ton of toast and get more fibre and less refined carbs for your efforts while you’re at it.

Turkey Sandwiches!
img_6472Turkey breast is one of the leanest meat options available and high in energy boosting B vitamins, you don’t have to give it up after boxing day! If you can’t be doing with roasting a whole bird every week look for it minced in the shops and turn into meatballs or burgers with fewer calories and negligible fat content vs pork or red meat. Turkey is also a great canvas for taking on other flavours so get experimental with some anti oxidant rich chillis and garlic or fresh squeezed lemon juice and green herbs rather than sugary ketchup or mayo.

Go Nuts.
There’s always a bowl of nuts about over the yuletide, but come January we all seem to be back to shunning these little kernels of goodness because of the potential calorie count. Whilst I won’t advocate a year round diet of chocolate Brazils, there is plenty of room in any diet for some nutty goodness and they may even help your weightloss and fitness goals. Yes, nuts tend to be fatty but these are those famous ‘good fats’ that are satiating and nutritious and contain all manner of mood and immunity boosting components. Chuck some pistachios in that sexed up salad to enjoy extra magnesium, zinc and vitamin E. Grab a handful of almonds in the morning to make porridge less suicidal. Soak some hazelnuts overnight in apple juice and add them to that early morning green smoothie if you must. Nuts are good for you, and nuts are tasty, just watch your portions. Go nuts, but don’t go nuts if you know what I mean.

Pop Your Cork

A glass of champagne has about 95 calories (that’s less than an average banana). A pint of beer more like 180. A medium latte about 130. I’m not saying swap all other fluids for champers, but by all means keep the fizz in your life past New Year! A little treat does you good, it makes you feel special and is actually nowhere near as bad for you as you think, in moderation of course.

Spice It Up!
I must confess I don’t love traditional Christmas spices, but cinnamon is delicious and wonderfully good for you. It is a source of manganese and calcium and has been linked with improvements in blood sugar stability (to stop you craving the Cadbury’s). Its natural sweet flavour makes it a virtually calorie free sweetener for porridge or hot milk and mixed with chilli peppers and cocoa it makes a wonderful base for a rich bean chilli if you are joining the Veganuary hoards. If your newyearnewyou punishment of choice is to cut down on caffeine then cinnamon based teas make a great, warming substitute- I really like the Pukka teas Vanilla Chai which is weirdly more cinnamony than vanilla………

vanilla chai tea from Pukka teas

Get Social!
Less daylight, lower temperatures and the associated stress of the festive season can leave you open to all manners of seasonal affective mood issues and emotional burn out through the winter months. Being sad saps your motivation to be good and whilst a quiet night alone on your sofa is probably very appealing a little bit of company for a meal or two can be quite the mood booster too. We all get sick of our family or our inlaws or Karen from accounts sometimes but maybe if we weren’t so antisocial through the year then the Christmas extroversion might not be as painful by comparison.
Host a leftovers party. Take that box of Celebrations into the office so you don’t eat them all yourself (take all the Malteeser ones out first and keep for yourself, obviously).  Make some biscuits with all those walnuts that didn’t get eaten and take them round to Mick’s to catch up on the Eastenders special together. Pop in and see your Nan for tea, she might not have any more presents for you but odds on she’d love to see someone and she’s still got a bit of brandy somewhere…..

Get to bed!
Who had a couple of lie ins over the festive period? Ah, that snoozy heaven. And who sneaked off blissfully early to bed one night after a mince pie too far? Wonderful.
Being well rested isn’t just good for your eyebags- sleepy time allows your body to heal and your brain to chill out and process exactly what it was that Auntie Shirl meant about you being ‘the real Christmas cracker’ this year. Getting a full 8 hours a night has also been observed to yield greater fat loss results than those seen in dieters eating the same food but only catching 5-6 hours of zeds. Who doesn’t want to sleep for ages and wake up skinnier?

Sometimes the laziness and the excess are the best bits of Christmas but they really aren’t the aspects you should keep up all year, regardless of you weight loss goals. It doesn’t all have to be a shameful bump back to earth though and you can drag out that Yuletide spirit without buggering your skinny jeans goal completely until the days  start to get a little bit longer and that aerobics class and green smoothie bowl make you want to cry a little bit less.

The Skinny Thing- Flex Off!


*sweary rant warning*

So, after banging on about how I had the hang of smartpoints finally and Weight Watchers was no longer making me want to periodically hang myself, the buggers went and changed it all.

All legit plan followers- so those using the official app or attending group sessions- will have been introduced to Flex by now, the allegedly upgraded, easier plan with more wiggle room and a general steer towards ‘healthier’ choices. Allegedly.

I’m not a fan.

In the broadest of terms, the plan has made more food free but dropped how many points you can have a day. New freebies mostly make sense as they are low/no fat and either high protein or highish-fibrey-protein. Some potentially sugary veg like peas and sweetcorn are also now free to eat as much as you like but parsnips are still pointed (geddit?). From the various forums and buddies I have gained in Weight Watchers World, the most well received changes seem to be that eggs and chicken breast are now free. The re-grading of most legumes to no-points has also sparked a huge chickpea curiosity movement which can only be a good thing.

As before, I’m not a fan, for a number of reasons and I’ve found that I’m not alone in this from anecdotal social media rants to an organised petition to reinstate smartpoints immediately. A lot of bread and butter plan members are really pissed off, because they were getting on quite well before and now those bastards have taken all their points away, and I’m with them.  I’m used to having 30 points a day. Now, when my app goes on in the morning, I have 23. Just twenty three. Yes, yes I do have more weeklies to spread out but in psychological terms weekly points are damage control. My goal is 23 points a day, and I was hungry before on 30. Boo.
Many affiliated WW types and enthusiastic rich people scoff at this dip in points and suggest that we all just chow down on a couple of dozen chicken stirfrys a day and get over it. Well they can fuck off, because I’m not budgeted to put away fresh meat for two meals a day and if you say ‘eat more eggs’ I am going to punch you in your stupid face, as may many other IBS sufferers. Oooh plain white fish that’s free, and obviously handy to pack in a lunchbox to take to an office devoid of both safe fridges and Rick Stein. Do you know where this leaves me, friends? Beans. Bean salads to be precise. Bean salads devoid of dressing because I don’t have the points to spare on a splash of ranch any more. Five days a week. Guess how long it takes for that to get boring, not to mention gaseous? Yup, you’re there.

So I think surely they thought I could lose weight on the old smartpoints plan, so I can stick to that and it will work out, right? Meeeeeeeeh, not quite right. You see where some foods have also dropped in points to fit with the new total (utterly pointless marketing scam anyone?!?!?!), nothing really good has. So where I’m still eating roughly as before, I have totally lost my treat budget which actually went on life essentials like a dribble of cooking oil to fry with or a gin and slimline after a particularly stressful Wednesday at the day job. Oh, and the new handy rule that lets you pay forward up to 4 unused points per day into your weeklies is great, isn’t it?  Just in time for Christmas, so we can purposefully starve ourselves every day to stock up enough points for an extra sausage roll at the work’s party.  That always ends well.

Dieting is so much about psychology and thinking yourself into the options that will make you thinner, and when it is dark and cold and there is pumpkin-spiced everything around you it is hard to make good choices 100% of the time. OK so the weekly stash of extra points becomes a buffer bank for when you accidentally get smashed on Peroni watching the match on Saturday or grossly underestimate how much coconut oil goes into that curry take out, which is good. But what it doesn’t do is help on a hungry day when you are down to 3 points left for dinner and inevitably say to hell with it all and just eat what you want without pointing it because it’s just all too bloody depressing to see how far over goal you have gone.

So what’s good about Flex? There must be some stuff, right? Well ok all the free making of lentils and tofu and whatnot has made the plan much more friendly towards vegetarians and it is unarguably sensible that there should not be any kind of limit on how much lean chicken breast one tries to incorporate into a weight loss plan. But the change, people, THE CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!! Change is horrible, especially when you only use the WW app and not the old books and now have absolutely no access to what was working for you before and have no choice but to go on with this new egg-heavy lentil regime of doom. Then why have they done it?

Ask Madonna.

Reinvention is the key to remaining current, and this over complicated shake up has everyone talking about Weight Watchers and pulling their noses out of the Slimming World pages to check out all the new free omelette recipes. It is psychology again, focusing on the abundance of ‘free’ foods rather than the reduction in points allowance to make you think you can fulfill every fatty’s dream of eating loads and getting thinner. You can’t.

Maybe I like to moan, maybe I am too focused on the pitfalls of Flex and the frankly cynical marketing ploy of a Christmas party frock season release but in the short term I am calling BS on this particular WW rebirth. I’ve never believed that anyone at WW HQ gives more of a shit about my health than they do about my money, this is a multi million dollar business after all, but I really feel like this is a big set up for people to fail just in time to pile on some festive pounds then run screaming back to the program in January only to sing it’s praises again once they drop the five festive pounds that would have come off when the Quality Street ran out anyway.

I think this might be it for me and the double dubleyas. Myfitnesspal is still free and the faff of logging everything on there is not going to wind me up as much as being told to eat a sodding chicken breast for breakfast every day.


The ACV Challenge- The Write Up.

vinegar read the first part here

I have to start with both a disclaimer and an apology on this challenge report, which is some weeks late now. In my defense, I extended the period to two weeks as basically I wasn’t sure that anything had had the chance to change in just seven days. In further explanation to my tardiness, basically: NaNoWriMo. My free keyboard time has been otherwise engaged recently.

But here we are and here I am and what was I doing again? A tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water, first thing every day with the hope of some relief of IBS symptoms and potential other health boons as per acres of Broscience and circumstantial bumf on that there internet.

What happened? The diary notes started painlessly enough:

Day One: My shot of vinegary water at 0620 hours this morning was, perhaps shockingly, not something that I would call a pleasant experience. One tablespoon of ACV in a tumbler of cold water, blasted back all in one go. I thought this wouldn’t be so bad what with my usual affinity for food and drink on the winkier end of the flavour scale. Not so, my friends, not so. It’s minging. The general unpleasantness clears quickly, however.
Some hours later at the day job I am receiving a little bit of noise from the stomach area and a borderline unpleasant and mildly stripped sensation in the mouth not unlike when one eats too much grapefruit. My coffee tastes like crap, but that might be a user error (I’m looking at you, kettle colleagues).
As starting reference points, I had a craptastic nights sleep last night so it is hard to imagine that my start of week selfie wont be vastly improved upon later in the week. I am clad in my little red Next frock which was very snug in the tummy first thing. All is normal.

I am going to add at this point that I’m not sharing those selfies with anyone, I look like crap at half six on a Monday morning and no end of vinegar drinks is going to fix that. You don’t need to know.

Day Three: After another astringent start to the day yesterday I was not looking forwards to my shot this morning and I thought I might lessen the pain by diluting my ACV in a bigger glass of water. This was a mistake, as it just resulted in more stinky harsh vinegar water to get through before I could hit the crumpets, and I must admit to discarding about a fifth of it into the sink when my gag reflexes threatened to kick in. This must be why some people advocate making some weird kind of tea with warm water and honey to mask the taste but I will not be taking this step because A) Adding sugar to the mix defeats the object of the taking the vinegar as a a tonic to an empty stomach and B) I don’t have time for that shit, I already get up early enough thanks.

I can’t say as the day by day account goes that there is much more to add to this. Drinking vinegar water is not palatable and hangs around for long enough to spoil your first coffee of this day. This should may be enough to put most people off the regime entirely. The one thing I do note is that on almost every day I took the acid test, my morning appetite seriously reduced. A quick scan back over my food diary shows that pre-lunch snacks just stopped. I ate breakfast before I left the house at 7ish every day and then didn’t think of anything else until my main day job break, some time between noon and 1-30.  Did I lose a ton of weight over these two weeks then? Er, no. From the looks of it my calorie intake stayed about the same but I don’t remember being particularly hungry on those afternoons. More likely, as a smartpoints counter, I just used up those snack points with my dinner instead so all in all, no real net effect there.

My bloat has buggered off though, in fact typing this now almost three weeks on, my day to day humdrum symptoms (nausea, pain, massive hard belly that plays like a snare drum etc) are completely gone. Before you reach for the bottle, I had a single and severe, erm, let’s call it ‘attack’ five days ago so I am certainly not touting it as a cure either.

Today, my little red Next dress fits just fine and my sexy jeans don’t hurt to sit in for more than half an hour BUT I am over a kilo up on the scales from my first day on this experiment. Huh. My summary on the whole thing? A solid Meh out of ten. All this observations could have happened on their own or because of something else and having given up the morning shots of sour glory I have not reverted to my previous discomforts. I’m not about to fix the Vinegar Drinkers banner to my battle steed just yet.

Apart from being an unpleasant start to the culinary day, chucking back constant lugs of acid can have proper undesired effects on one’s teeth, gullet and stomach over the long term though I am not against investing in some of the capsule form ACV products the next time I find myself in gastro-trouble and see if there is any helpful effect from that.

I’m sorry not to have a more conclusive, um, conclusion but basically I think that the way ahead is to keep the vinegar in the salad dressings, lay off the sliced white and remember to keep more gut friendly grub like kimchi, saurkraut and natural yoghurt on the menu even on the good days.

Well that was boring wasn’t it? As you were.



A Month of Mondays- Pass the lettuce!


garfUnsurprisingly, living without a kitchen for just over a week whilst having one set of parental units staying and the other set on standby for a blow out birthday lunch has not resulted in me having a good loss to report.

If you aren’t cooking for yourself, accurately calculating weight watchers points is nigh on impossible. I would also hazard to say that when faced with nothing more than a kettle and a plug in blender in terms of cooking equipment it is pretty much impossible to stick to the plan anyway. I had two workmen and my mother to account for from a fridge and bread basket which I can promise you is not an easy fix with one vegetarian and two fussy sods prone to hangry fits. It was 8 days in total. There were takeaways and pub visits amounting to, I think, four hot meals provided by others. The rest was accounted for from ruthless attacks on the cheese, cold meat and quiche section of my local co op.

I put on this week.


Yip, my weigh in after a good ten days off target, eating cheese and drinking too much has resulted in a gain of roughly one fifth of a kilo. I don’t know how this isn’t 10 times this much, but I’m going to take it gladly and crack on. Oddly enough by the fourth or fifth day living on Camembert sandwiches and hummus pots both the Mr and myself reported feeling generally pretty crap. He was full of flu-like symptoms and I was visibly bloaty, pale and gross. More so than usual. Come Saturday morning, when the cooker was back in and the sink had a drain we trundled off to fill our German discount trolley of choice with a massive amount of vegetables. Peas and green cabbage never tasted so necessary. Other than the obvious win of my spanking new floor tiles and worktops, I am not proud of nor happy about any of this. I feel like I should go back to my scales and ask for some appropriate punishment because this is not right. Ok so it was stressful so there were some adrenaline calories burned and I moved a couple of things about and de-weeded my entire garden but that can’t account for this much straying. For every hour I ran I spent three on the sofa introducing the Mothership to House Of Cards. I sense a full week on the rails only to go up a couple of kilos next week, and I will have to take that one on the rapidly developing double-chins.

Mantra for this week is mass hydration and excessive greenery. I’m actually looking forwards to it. Now where did I leave that grapefruit……..

A Month Of Mondays- Death By Hangover


I have less than zero motivation to get this post written, which is why it is probably more important than the ones I actually want to do.

My week on the Weight Watchers wagon went really well, for as long as it was actually The Week and not The Week’s sexy older sister The Weekend, who always gets you into trouble one way or another. It usually goes to shit around Friday lunch time but I made it past dinner this time, enjoying a fat curry and even a mass cookie within my weekly limits, left with two days of standard eating and 1 extra weekly point to get through until Monday. It all could have been fine. But for the fact that I was desperately overdue a long haul sofa-bitching session with my bestie.

It all could have been fine, but for Gin.

Urch. Skip to an early Saturday morning start where someone developed the most intensely temple-throbbing dehydration head of the last five years and someone else couldn’t manage to brush their teeth without retching on the reminders of a Tanqueray too far. Skip to the kind of bone shaking, soul sucking hangover than necessitates crawling into a dark space with three packets of biscuits and listening to The Sound Of Silence on loop until you fade out of consciousness.


seafood sticks, soft white rolls and too much mayo. Hangover Heaven.

It isn’t the empty calories in booze that should stop dieters from drinking- it is the day after. Because I could have made amends for as much gin and slimline as you can fit into a six hour session, but I can’t catch up with the constant carbohydrate stream that was required to allow me to function through the subsequent Saturday. It started with a frankly life saving bacon sarnie, which needn’t have broken the day but along with that was a large latte too, leaving me roughly 10 points at a hazardous guess to stay within limits. This was at 10am. By the time my lunch date came around, after resisting the urge to cry and/or vomit in the hairdressers more than once, my willpower was oddly high and I opted for a simple veggie pasta plate for lunch, no cheese. Yeah, and some icecream. So that was that. Buggered. After some more retail therapy I found myself limping through M&S on the long walk back to my car just as the next sugar low hit me and after some saintly browsing and a good self-talking-to as I passed the cookie aisle, I scored myself two supergreen salads, a skinny tzatsiki, some celery hearts and a box of cherry tomatoes.  Plus, my ultimate hangover want of those gross fabricated pink seafood stick things that have had no actual seafood anywhere near them, ever. I love those things, and they are pretty low in points. The additional submarine rolls and ready mixed prawn cocktail were not. Shit.

I told myself some of it was for The Mr. I told myself that there was lots of hydration in all that celery. I told myself I would be asleep before I had the chance to eat that much of it.


It’s hard to maintain the will to stick to veg and live off your own bodyfat when your body is a toxic waste ground of gin and artificial sweeteners and you are home alone for the evening with no witnesses other than Dr Foster on catch up, and frankly she’s not one to take a moral highground as far as I’m concerned.

In a roundabout way, this is what leads me to pimp out Weight Watchers. Because today, despite eating (at a rough guess) about double what I should have eaten for the week (mostly over the last two days of the week), I have stayed exactly the same weight. No loss, no less of me or my arse but hey, no more either. In net terms, it’s like I never had any of it! So it’s fine. Sort of.

I will do better. I have to, because I am now at the age where a hangover lasts an hour for every year you have been alive and cannot be fixed with a can of redbull and liberal application of hobnobs.

BMI Today: 30.5, still half a point past the official obesity point.

How do I feel today? Like an old lady who should know better but would/will do it again.

Did I stay on points last week? Until Friday, yes. I racked up quite a few fit points too with a reasonable physio run, three shopping miles walked on Saturday and a long slow Sunday walk. Yes, I know that doesn’t make it OK.

How bad was the weekend? See entire above post. I had fish and chips for Sunday lunch too as I was still recovering and too weak to order the sad salad. I have saved this information until now in the hope that the judgier people stopped reading at the summary.

Insights: I did actually select a lot of veg and dips from a direct craving, and they did make me feel much better and I wonder if when your day to day habits are better, you actually crave healthier crap when you’re ill, even if it is self inflicted. The mere concept of my old hangover favourite of a spicy pizza and endless toblerone would have actually killed me before I made it home. In fact it is making me feel a bit queasy now.

Best Thing I Ate All Week:  A supergreen salad and frekeh tahini grain salad thing from Marks & Spencer, in the late afternoon throws of my suffering. Bloody nice, and not too evil on the grand scale of diet things. Positively angelic vs the rest of the day.

See you next week, when I will be building a new kitchen. What could go wrong?!?!?!


The Skinny Thing: A Month Of Mondays.



I’ve done OK since we last checked in on my weight loss thing. By OK, I mean I haven’t put any weight on. In fact I don’t think my weight has moved more than about half a kilo either way since June. This is surprising, as I have had some seriously bingey DGAF periods in this time and my exercise patterns have been all over to the place due to training for a long run then quite abruptly stopping all movement for fear of re-upsetting my idiot calf muscles (who hate me). I have been horrible at using my Weight Watchers app consistently for no good reason other than that I can’t be arsed, but I have fallen into some good habits from when I was using it all the time and it’s these habits that I think have steered me away from piling on the pounds again over a long summer of too many G&Ts. Still, on looking at my lack of progress of late I found myself considering dumping Weight Watchers and trying a Slimming World regime again. In fact, I was going to start this very day, which is a Monday.

Like my childhood hero Garfield, I hate Mondays, and like most cycling dieters I can happily kid myself into believing that I can reset my self discipline against all the odds on the most soul testing day of the week. Apparently Monday is the most common day that people start a diet. No surprise there really. It’s a new day, the start of the week, and a convenient excuse to cram in 48 hours of beer and pizza over the weekend before embarking on your New Lifestyle. I have voted Monday for a few reasons. First off, see the above weekend-of-beer-and-pizza explanation. Second off, the only Slimming World meeting I could conceivably attend is on a Monday night. Third off, my Weight Watchers week is set to reset for points and a weigh in on a Monday, so it seemed the right day to switch.

I am not going to switch to Slimming World this Monday, however.

There are multiple reasons for this turnaround, and not just that I enjoy living as a total hypocrite. First- Slimming Word is (comparatively) very expensive compared to my WW app. Second- I hate Mondays and am never going to attend a weigh and shame session on a Monday night because I will be PJed up and on my sofa well before 1900hrs. Lastly, and most relevantly- I don’t bloody need to.

I. Don’t. Bloody. Need. To.

I know what to do. I know how to do it. Switching over to limitless pasta and potatoes with a different set of books to calculate the same equation is only going to offer a temporary relief by changing up the rules and tricking myself into thinking I don’t miss eating cake all the time. So I am sticking with the double-dubyas but I am also going to give myself a new Monday accountability tool, which is basically you people*. Because I know I can’t stand to join a class and be conventionally social about this and no one but me knows what goes into my app, so I will fit my chosen virtual lifestyle and have a check-in session here, on a Monday. Maybe it will force me to reflect more and own up to my downfalls. Maybe I will learn something or say something funny about buttercream icing or the size of my arse. Maybe I will start to hate Tuesdays instead.

*Yes, i did just call you a tool.

BMI Today: 30.5 which puts me a half a point into the obese category. Shit.

How do I feel today? Generally amused by and mildly ashamed of myself.

Did I stay on points last week? hahahaha, no. Not even a bit.

How bad was the weekend? In practical terms I achieved a lot over the weekend, including a ton of lugging crap in and out of the garden and two very long walks with the Mr. My cruddy calf is getting better. As usual I over carbed but didn’t have any crazy desserts or sweet stuffs. I did put away 2/3 of a bottle of white wine and a couple of full tilt G&Ts since finishing work on Friday.

Insights: Er……..not really. Other than that I really like gin.

Best Thing I Ate All Week: Roast beef and yorkshires for Sunday roast. I don’t want to know how that should have pointed.

So I guess I’ll see you next week.