Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy anniversery to me.....

It's amazing to me what a difference a year makes to how I feel!

Happy anniversery to me......Yesterday marked my first year return to Weight Watchers. What an amazing year! I have always loved the before and after pics of everyone else, and find them so motivating so have bitten the bullet and put mine out there. Ouch it hurts to remember I ever looked like this, but its a good motivation never to go back. I have even worse ones in the sidebar to remind me of how far I have come and ensure I'm never back there. I'm back to 69kg yesterday, not quite at goal, but 40kgs closer than I was last year!
I have lost 32 cm off my chest, 23cm from my waist and 36cm from my hips. And gone down five dress sizes. All in 12 months! And no loose skin, I am so motivated to get to goal. I do have wobbly bits though that I am keen to tone. This last month has been challenging for many reasons, however I have my head focussed again and know each day I am making the best choices I can in food, exercise and looking after myself.
I have done so much in the past year I am so proud of. We had a family holiday skiing in September, our first trip to the snow and we all learnt to ski. While I didn't tackle the black runs like my testostrone charged male offspring and husband, I was off and skiing enjoying the nursery slopes. I can run/walk 6km and am improving upon my distances and times each week. I do some form of exercise every day, and have NO excuses. I am eating enough, a big problem for me. I am coping with stress (most of the time) and now have been outrigging. Amazing to me the challenges I have been able to achieve and how great I feel. Come on girls, don't let your weight hold you back, life is too good.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I did it!!!!

I have had a long term desire to join an outrigging club and this morning at 8.00am we had our first session. We couldn't go out from the beach as it was too rough and instead trained looking at technique in the creek that flows into the beach. It was magic. I am so proud of myself as I was so nervous about going and nearly chickened out so many times. BUT I DID IT and loved it. I am so pleased I have lost so much weight as there was no way my hips would have fit into the narrow canoe 12 months ago. It was awesome being out on the water is so relaxing. My upper torso and even glute muscles are sore and tired now with that lovely burn feeling of using different muscles. Can't wait to go back next week, and hopefully weather will be nicer. Sorry had to find a google image of outriggers on Hamielton Island as I left my camera in the car but will get some pics next week. Can't wait until I am fit enough to compete at Hamielton Island, but that is a long term goal. We train two nights a week with hour long paddles at 5.00pm and have social outriggers Saturday morning. It means I will have to change WW meetings though which is sad as I have a great supportive group and leader and am so close to achieving goal. I am looking forward to the new meeting though as I love the new leader and a change is good. My gym membership kicks back in this week too, can't wait as I have been missing it. And lastly another tick off my bucket list this week will be doing a meditiation course. I'm hoping it will help me cope with stress! Fingers crossed. Course goes for 6 weeks so busy busy.  I have had a great week weight wise, will post results tomorrow. Baby I'm back... lol

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Need a brekki shake up?

Yum, I tried a new breakfast this morning I just had to share. Again this recipe comes from Michelle Bridges new cookbook Eat to Lose Weight. I can't wait for Sunday to see the new series of The Biggest Looser. Love the recipes in Michelle's extract in this months Australian Womans Health. Hope the hype surrounding the new series proves true where they concentated on all aspects of weight loss especially on food and cooking as compared to previous series where we saw a lot of the exercise.
This breakfast is very different to what I usually have, and I loved it!
Spiced Pear and Ricotta Toast
Serves 1 @ 353 cals 1478kj. Sorry sat fat not stated.

2 slices wholemeal bread
100g lowfat ricotta
1 tsp honey
1/8 teasp ground ginger (or freshly grated for extra zing)
1/2 pear cored and sliced
ground cinnamon

1. Toast the bread.
2. Combine ricotta, honey and ginger in a bowl. (If its a chilly morning, warm up the ricotta mix for a few secs in the microwave. It will help melt the honey.)
3. Spread ricotta mixture over toast and top with pear slices.
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon to serve.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Light lunch

As we are celebrating Aussie Day tonight at a BBQ I wanted to go light on lunch points and thought I'ld try the dip featured in the handout from this weeks WW meeting. Combined with 1 point for the Sakatas and zero points for veg, the 1 point I allowed for dip made a yummy picky lunch, that would make a great snack for afternoon tea or at a BBQ.

Beetroot dip
450g baby beetroot, drain can
1/3cup sour cream
2tsp horseradish cream
2tbs fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

1. Place beetroot, sour cream and horseradish cream in food processor.
2. Process until smooth.
3. Stir in coriander. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Rain continues to bucket down so I have been unable to get outside for my walk. Luckily I have a treadmill that has been my lifesaver throughout my weight loss journey. On really hot days, wet days or days when I have to exercise really early or late to fit it in, it works out great. I find it easier to run on the treadmill then outside on the path, however nothing beats getting out in fresh air. I walked/ran  6.35km and burned 400calories in an hour.
I treated myself to a Lorna Jane tshirt yesterday morning to motivate me towards the end.

Beer-but chicken... Happy Australia Day

Happy Australia Day! Its pouring rain here and has for the last couple of days as a result of cyclone Olga and Neville and the rain depression they have left behind for Nth Qld. This will impact upon many of our planned celebrations today. I was going to try out outrigging as I have been keen to join for years, but my weight has held me back. There was to be a two hour session down at the beach. Oh well, hopefully will be on another day... It is definately on my to do list for this year.
Anyway, I read about this recipe in our local paper and thought, what could be more suited to an Aussie BBQ  than

Beer-but Chicken!

A whole chicken is seasoned and slowly cooked on the barbecue. The cooking method is a bit unorthodox, but the end result is moist, flavourful and amazing.

2 tablespoons garlic salt
2 tablespoons paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Olive oil spray
1 can beer
1 whole chicken

1. Preheat barbecue for low heat.

2. In a small frying pan, lightly spray oil. Mix in 1 tablespoon garlic salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, salt and pepper.

3. Discard 1/2 the beer, leaving the remainder in the can. Add remaining  garlic salt, paprika, and desired amount of salt and pepper to beer can. Place can on a disposable baking tray. Spray beer can with oil. Set chicken on beer can, inserting can into the cavity of the chicken. Baste chicken with olive oil spray.
4. Place baking tray with beer and chicken on the prepared barbecue. Cook over low heat for about 3 hours, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 80 C.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


Continuing along the lunch line I thought I'd share our Sunday lunch. I made brushetta from Michelle Bridges new cookbook "Crunchtime". A much healthier alternative to the traditional favourite.


1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup shredded basil
2 slices bread stick
1 garlic clove
freshly ground black pepper
1. Mix tomato, red onion, and basil in a small bowl.
2.Toast or grill breadstick, then rub one side with garlic clove.
3.Top with tomato mix and season with black pepper.

Variations: Try: orange segments(pith removed), and finely sliced fennel, char-grilled eggplant and low-cal ricotta or char-grilled capsicum and fresh thyme.

Lovely lunches

With the return to school and routine I have been thinking of lunches that are suitable for work. They have to be portable, as lunches are often eaten on playground duty, or during the wet weather eating supervision, or sitting at desk marking, healthy to set a good example and to contribute to my good healthy lifestyle choices,easy to prepare ahead of time, and I confess I am not a huge fan of the sandwich. Linda imjustlinda.blogspot has also posted about favourite lunches this week. One of my favourites (I love the fresh flavours and colours of this dish) is
Beetroot, roast pumpkin and rocket salad.
Serves 4 @ 2 points

440 g peeled butternut pumpkin, peeld, seeded and cut into 2cm chunks
120g baby rocket leaves
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
50g reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
440 g canned baby beetroot, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbs white wine vinegar
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbs pine nuts, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place pumkin on a lined baking tray and spray with oil. Bake for 20 mins or until golden and tender. Turn once during baking. Cool for 5 mins.
2. Combine rocket, onion, feta and beetroot in a large bowl.
3. Combine oil, vinegar and chilli sauce in a seperate container and mix well.
4. Add pumpkin and pinenuts to salad. Toss with dressing prior to serving.

I have bought some great salad containers from Howards Storage World that have a dressing lid built into the container so you can keep dressing seperate to salad until eating so it doesn't go soggy.

I also like doing fun stuff with fruit to encourage my class to eat fruit during snack break such as
I made these last night for the boys as we had a bbq. They love the choc-hazelnut sauce from the new WW Easy cookbook. Just heat two tablespoons of nutella with a tablespoon milk. Can be drizzled over fruit kebabs or used as a dunking dip.

I know vegies aren't everyones cup of tea, although I love them. I was interested to read this blog that offers some fabulous tips for cooking with veges I don't like veggies. Lots of new ways I am keen to try as a couple of my teenage boys have gone off veggies.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perfect pork

A number of people on the WW forums have been raving about Sticky Pork Chops from STGTBT Book 4 so I thought I would give it a go tonight and I just have to say they were delicious! The boys claimed they were just like the ribs they love from their favourite restaurant. This is a super easy recipe and is very delicious.

Sticky Pork Chops
Serves 4
4 x 175g lean mid loin pork chops
cooking spray
1/3 cup plum sauce from a jar
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tblesp salt reduced soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic (in jar)
1/2 tsp ginger (in jar)
2 tblesp honey
1/8 tsp chinese fivespice

1. Combine plum, sweet chilli,soy sauce and honey in a small bowl.
2. Coat frypan with spray and fry pork to your liking.
3. Remove chops from heat and transfer to plate to rest.
4. Re-spray frypan and saute garlic, ginger, honey mixture and chinese five-spice.Mix well.
5. Once boiled, simmer for 2 minutes.
6. Return chops to pan to reheat and coat with sauce.
YUM, YUM, YUM.....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Feel like chicken tonight..

Yumbo Big Bucket in the Sky Chicken is on the menu tonight. My family love this as it is as the name suggests a takeoff of KFC,  much healthier, and at only 5 points per serve a much leaner version that is soooo good. Many thanks to Jo who has some wonderful recipes on her site (Pic taken from site also as I haven't cooked it yet, but having done so many times I know it looks exactly like this). Thanks again Jo, from my family also. :)

I'm going to serve home made oven baked chips for the boys and I'm having

Pumpkin and Carrot salad with walnut dressing
Serves 4 with a points value of 2 1/2 per serve
450g pumpkin, peeled
Olive oil spray
12 baby carrots, peeled and trimmed
125g WW bacon, thinly sliced
50g baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup Paul Newmans low fat honey and mustard dressing
10 walnut halves, chopped

1.Preheat oven 180 fanforced or 200 degrees c.
2.Place pumkin chunks on a baking tray and lightly spray with oil.
3.Roast for 15 minutes.
4.Add carrots, bacon, lightly spray with oil and roast for a further 15 minutes or until tender and bacon crisp.
5.Place in a serving bowl with spinach.
6. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I wish I could bring smellavision to your desktop today so you could smell the yummy dinner we are having tonight:

He Tee Min

Serves 4 @ 4.5 points
350g lean beef mince
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 wombok cabbage, finely shredded
2 sticks celery, chopped
1/4 cup raw white rice
1 pkt instant dry chicken noodle soup mix
2 tsp curry powder
500ml water
1 cup fresh green beans, sliced

1. Heat olive oil in pan.
2. Cook onion until soft and brown mince.
3. Add celery, cabbage, rice, chicken noodle mix, curry powder and water.
4.Cook for 20 minutes.
5. Add beans and cook for a further 20 minutes.
Enjoy, the aroma is devine as is the taste.


I'm home...from the Sunshine Coast. We had a lovely couple of days down at the coast catching up with my BF and her family who transfered down there during the year and I have missed desperately.Not a good time weight wise though and will have to really buckle starting tomorrow. I realised so much of our relationship over the last twenty years has focussed upon food and those old habits quickly reestablished and as I was a guest was hard to resist. Partying is over... tough times to to get serious and focused again. We had a beautiful picnic down at the beach last night and it was terrific to pick up this months WW mag and see some fab recipes for picnics I will have to keep for our next picnic. Ok clock set to get up at 5.00am to start walking tomorrow, followed by a planning session to organise our eating plan this week, and grocery shop as the son and my WDH that remained at home ate everything in the fridge and cupboard. Water bottles are filled to remind me of how much I must drink.

I am loving following Lindas blog and seeing the visuals of how much weight she has lost. So to keep a focus and remind me of how far I have come I did a google search for images to show weights of 40kg and realised from this image I have lost a bra size:
'The worlds largest bra' hangs over the Queen Street and Wellesley Street intersection to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The bra was constructed for the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. It weighs 40kg and is approximately 10 metres long.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

lully luscious lamb

Isn't this gorgeous, I captured this bloom as I was walking around Sydney Harbour?  I have no idea what type of plant it comes from.
Tonight we had the most lully luscious dinner from Book 3 Symply Too Good To Be True
(These are well worth the investment if you are looking for delicious low fat meals that will impress):

Mongolian Lamb
6oog lean lamb legg steak
1cup onion sliced
1 cup capsicum sliced
1 cup water
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon hoi sin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon beef stock powder
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons corn flour
cooking spray

1. Cut lamb into strips.
2.In a non-stick pan wok coated with a light spray of oil saute lamb, ginger and garlic until meat is nearly cooked.
3. Add onion and capsicum. Cook a further 2 minutes.
4. Combine cornflour with water and add to pan with all the other remaining ingredients.
5. Bring to boil.

I served ours with 1/2 cup rice and veges from our garden: corn, bok choy,capsicum and carrots.
We love this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sooo thankful

I'm home! Although its wonderful to be back with my husband and sons, I have to admit I HAD THE BEST TIME AWAY.... I had a amazing 5 days and have come home very relaxed, motivated and feeling very thankful for:

1. Having the most wonderful husband in the world to give me a gift like the trip as a reward.

2. Being blessed with an amazing extend family that is very varied in personalities, lifestyles, beliefs and yet when we are together it likes we have never been apart and can laugh, chat and share together as though we see each other every day although in some cases in was 10 years. Most importantly we know we can be ourselves and thats ok.

3. Being fit enough to enjoy treks around many varied walks: beaches, city, Harbour, shops, old houses and not be exhausted at the end and still want to do more. I even ran for 30 minutes up and down the Opera House steps at 6.00am. (Those glute muscles were very sore next day but its a great feeling that burn!) The Harbour is so beautiful at day break and it was fabulous seeing so many other people out getting fit.

4. Walk into a shop and be able to pick up heaps of clothes off the rack that not only fit, but that I like. I even bought some BELTS. A year ago belts weren't an accessory I could wear. I bought size 10's from CUE! 12's also :0.

5. Having five days of amazing food, and great company and have lost weight. (All the walking was responsible for that).

6. Having three gorgeous sons waiting at the airport to pick me up very happy to see me. AND they had all done the washing and housework while I was away. I came home to an empty sink, and an empty wash basket with the floors having been done!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Totally Wicked

I am so excited! As a reward for my weight loss my WDH has given me an amazing gift. I am flying to Sydney today for 5 days without children (or WDH:( ) for a reunion with some of my favourite cousins. I am flying from North Qld, one cousin is coming from Darwin and we are converging upon our third amegio who lives in Sydney. I'm staying in the CBD Wednesday and catching up with old friends from Uni days for dinner and plan a long walk around the Harbour on Thursday morning, then a shopping trip with the girls. We are going to see Wicked on Thursday night.

On Friday we are going to do the 3.5km Bondi to Bronti walk along the beautiful coastline. I'll share pics when I return. On the weekend we are going to indulge ourselves in a High Tea taking our amazing 95 year old Grandmother. Check out our high tea High tea at Sir Stamford at Circular Quay. Warning: not WW friendly, however life is about social interaction and celebrations and sometimes this involves food. I intend getting lots of lovely walks in, and of course incidential exercise in my very favourite past time: Shopping! I love to shop! Fat or thinner I love beautiful things: clothes, shoes, jewellery, homewares, books, art, craft, I even love to grocery shop, especially at food markets. Linda has kindly invited me to join the 100 small step challenge so I'll have lots of wonderful things to share when I return.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Vege fix

I have been craving vegies (Is this an oxomoron? Craving and vegies in a single sentence?lol) and my WDH has been cultivating his first vege patch and we are reaping the rewards from his hard work. Look at this yummy corn and capsicum freshly picked from our garden.
Last night we enjoyed this great recipe from the January edition of WW mag

Kumara, corn and bacon quiche
Serves 4 @ 5.5points per serve
1 medium kumara (sweet potato) cut into 2cm pieces
90g WW bacon finely chopped
2 green shallots, thinly sliced
2 x 125g can corn kernels ( I used fresh corn)
4 sheets filo pastry
50g reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees/170 for fan forced.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Arrange sweet potato in a single layer on prepared tray.
Spray with oil, bake for 30 mins or until tender. Cool.
2. Meanwhile, heat a medium oil-sprayed non-stick pan over med heat.
Add bacon, cook for 3 mins. Add shallots, cook for further 2 mins.
If using canned corn place on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
3. Spray a 20cm springform tin with oil and set aside.
Spray a sheet of filo with oil. Place another sheet on top of it at 90 degree angle and spray, then the next sheet at 45 degrees and spray. Layer remaining pastry in the same manner, but in the opposite direction.
4. Carefully ease pastry into prepared tin, folding the overhanging pastry into the side of the pan.
5. Fill the pastry shaell with kumara, bacon, corn and feta. Whisk eggs and milk, eseaon with black pepper and salt. Pour egg miture over filling.
6. Bake for 50 minutes or until set and golden brown.

I served it with my current favourite salad:

Grape tomato and bean salad
Serves 6 @ 1/2 point per serve
300g green beans, halved diagonally
150g yellow grape tomatoes, halved
150g red grape tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1. Cook beans in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, rinse under cold water.
2. Combine beans in a large bowl with tomatoes and onion.
3.Combine vinegar, oil and mustard in a small jug. Add dressing to salad, toss to combine.
This would make a great lunch for a picnic also. This may not be filling enough for everyone and you may want to add a potato cooked in its jacket perhaps. As I am going away tomorrow, I am saving points to counterbalance food I am not preparing myself and to allow myself a few treats. I was very interested to read this article
as it is similar to what I have always done with my WW program and it has worked for me. I can see why WW say to eat all your points each day, this makes sense if you are hungry or not balancing your food nutritionally, however I have found when you are doing the program for life this makes sense for me. Interested to know what you think?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fresh start

I started today with an hour swimming laps in our pool as even at 5.00am it was very sticky temperature wise. I'll do my walk tonight. I love to shake things up every now again, it stops me from getting bored both with food and exercise.
After my swim I had another favourite breakfast, which I enjoyed out on the deck by the pool.

Banana and Peach smoothie, toasted crumpet and honey
4 points Serves 1
1 small banana (100g) *
small peach
1/2 cup skim milk
100g yoplait for me yogurt
1 wholemeal crumpet
drizzle of honey
1. Blend the banana, peach, milk and yougurt until smooth.
2.Toast the crumpet and lightly dirizzle honey.
3.Serve immediately and enjoy!

Note: The peach can be swapped with 1/2 cup raspberries, strawberries or a kiwifruit.
Vary the flavour of yogurt.
*I freeze my peeled bananas so smoothie is nice and icy. This is great as you never waste overripe bananas.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Believe in yourself and magic will happen

After reading Lindas blog: I'm just Linda, I was inspired to think what my word for myself in 2010 would be and came up with:
Since my lightening bulb moment a year ago that I would get to goal, I have never lost sight of my vision and belief in myself that I will get there... that is until Christmas. I had my plan of attack. As we were hosting the family Christmas get-together I knew what I was going to eat, and drink, and had planned my exercise. But old habits slowly crept back in... I started having a taste here and there, a few more snacks between meals, everyone being on holidays has meant meal times are more relaxed as has some of the exercise. I haven't planned our weekly menus as I usually do. I have put my gym membership on hold until February as I am going away in a couple of days and will be backwards and forwards most of January until school goes back. I haven't been to a meeting since school finished either for a number of reasons such as late night before, leader away and meeting closed. The changes in routine have meant I am struggling a bit to stay on track, I have two kg to go to goal. I had two kg to goal when school finished three weeks ago! I have to believe in myself that I can achieve all I set out to do. I know once routine is reestablished I'll feel more in control.

Sunday mornings.....

I love Sunday mornings, my treat to myself is to begin the day walking along the Harbour wall, then Harbour Beach. Boy have I come a long way ....Once upon a time Sunday morning treat was breakfast at a cafe usually ordering my favourite pancakes and cappuccino and my husband and sons usually order big breakfasts with the lot. We still do this, not as regularly and I do save points for this treat. However I digress! I love Sunday mornings as I always feel I am on holidays (Yes as a teacher I technically am) when I walk the beach and always come home feeling relaxed and recharged.

The Harbour offers the best of both worlds a beautiful natural beach, with views to the islands and a marina full of beautiful boats and yachts. The coastline has been spoilt with luxury units being built along the Marina, however this is also the location of some of our best restaurants.

To cap off a perfect walk I found a sand dollar. I love these..

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mmmm Breakfast

I have to confess until I first started Weight Watchers breakfast was not a meal I enjoyed. I think I had the illusion if I didn't eat I wouldn't put on weight. All those wasted years of depriving myself. Sometimes on WW it feels like you don't stop eatting, especially in the early days when I had more points to enjoy.
Anyhow, thought I would share a breakfast recipe I love that I found in the Womans Weekly 21 day Wonder diet cookbook (great recipes in here). This recipe makes enough for 6 servings. Keep in an airtight container.
Bran and Cranberry Muesli
2 points per 1/3 cup serve
1 cup rolled oats
3/4cup All-Bran
1/4cup dried cranberries

1. Combine oats, bran and cranberries in a small bowl to make muesli.
2. Place 1/3 cup serve in bowl and top with 1/2 cup blueberries.
I add 1/2 tub french vanilla Yoplait Forme Yogurt for an extra 1/2 point.

I find this stays with me for hours but doesn't weigh me down like some cereals I have tried. Its also delicious pouring everything in the bowl and leaving overnight and is a bircher type muesli. Yum....