Monday, 14 May 2012

Meal Planning Monday

Last week was another successful week for my meal planning as I managed to stick to the plan from Monday to Friday... we did succumb to the temptation of a trip to the local chippy on Saturday after a day out, and I was out for a meal last night, but as I'd deliberately left the weekend free of planned meals, that was fine.

This week I have been flicking through my cookery books and have planned a couple of new recipes. I'm also working on getting a greater balance of foods in our meals - so the plan is to have a chicken based meal, a red-meat based meal, a vegetarian meal and a fish/seafood meal each week. I'm also trying to vary the carbs that I serve with them a bit more - some weeks we seem to eat a lot of rice. In addition, I'm trying to do one batch-cooked meal a week (this week it is the lemon chicken stew) and one meal from the freezer (chilli con carne) to save a bit of time and money.

Tonight - Lemon chicken stew, mashed potato and peas
Tuesday - Spaghetti with cod in chilli, garlic and white wine sauce (new recipe)
Wednesday - Stuffed tomato tortillas (new recipe)
Thursday - Chilli con carne with rice
Friday - Cheese fondue (not great for the diet, but some friends visited from Switzerland recently and bought us a cheese fondue kit as a gift and it needs eating up)
Saturday - TBC (probably a take-away in front of the Champions League Final on the telly)
Sunday - Roast chicken with all the trimmings

I am really looking forward to some warmer weather (aren't we all?) as I feel like I am still cooking all our favourite winter meals and I'd love to try out a few lighter options. Rainy days just don't inspire me to eat salad...

Thanks, as always, to Mrs M for the link.

That last 10lbs....

Allegedly, summer is on its way, and I'm back on the diet / healthy eating plan on a mission to lose the 10lbs that all those glossy magazines say that we should lose before donning our bikinis and hitting the beach. Coincidentally, having lost 3 stone over the last 18 months, that 10lbs is 'all' I need to lose to get to my goal weight.

My problem is that I seem to have hit a plateau / mental block / lost my motivation (call it what you want!) and I just don't seem to be able to shift them. I know exactly what the problem is - it is my inability to resist the lure of the biscuit tin, or to stop picking at the kids' leftovers, or having an extra couple of glasses of wine without thinking about the calories - but, however hard I try, I just can't stop myself doing it. And, if I do succumb to the temptation for that 'one biscuit', it seems to trigger a sugar binge which inevitably leads to another biscuit, a bar of chocolate on the way home from work, something sweet for dessert.... and half of the time, I'm not even hungry.

So, this week's plan is to cut out the excess sugar consumption in the hope that it will have a positive effect on my diet. No biscuits, no proper chocolate, no cakes... it is time to go cold turkey. To be honest, working in what a colleague described last week as 'an office full of feeders' I'm not holding out a huge amount of hope that I'll stick to it until even the weekend, but it has got to be worth a try.

Watch this space....

Monday, 7 May 2012

Monday again already?

Last week I stuck to my menu plan which, for me, is a real achievement. My usual approach is to start the week with lots of good intentions and then resort to the prepared meals aisle in Waitrose as the reality of juggling two kids, the long school run, a part-time job, a diet and exercise regime and keeping the house in a state where we don't risk life and limb picking our way though the discarded Lego catches up with me. Last week I actually found that having a plan really helped - I felt more in control and not having to think about what we were eating made my evenings commute feel much more chilled.

So, this week I am doing it all over again. I haven't planned as far as the weekend yet because I'm not sure what our plans are, but five days of planning is a good start.

Monday - Chinese beef with noodles and vegetables (using up the remnants of yesterday's roast)
Tuesday - Pasta Puttanesca (this week's new recipe)
Wednesday - Green chilli with tortilla wraps and salad
Thursday - Fishcakes and caesar salad
Friday - Chickpea and chorizo stew with bulgar wheat

Friday's stew is part of my plans to make Friday night food a bit more of an event in our house. Jedi Boy has a swimming lesson on a Friday evening which The Husband takes him to, which gives me half an hour of peace on my return from work to prepare an evening meal before being thrust into the bedtime routine. Having that time to relax and unwind in the kitchen is something I really enjoy and I plan to make more effort on Fridays from now on.

Thanks to Mrs M for the inspiration!

Friday, 4 May 2012

A Battle of Wills

Ah, the terrible twos.... At two years and two months old, the Little Princess already has a big personality. 90% of the time she is adorable - smiley, cute, funny and always ready for a 'cuggle'. The other 10% of the time, however...

We are in the middle of a real 'Mummy' phase at the moment and The Husband can't get anything right. It's not that he doesn't try - he is a fantastic Dad and when the Little Princess is the right mood, she adores him. But, these days, even the offer of a bedtime story with Daddy is enough to provoke a screaming fit and demands that 'Mummy do my story'. And as for him cutting her fingernails... I came home from work a few weeks ago to find her sobbing inconsolably that 'Daddy hurt her nails'.

It isn't just Daddy that feels the full force of the Little Princess' demands though. This week alone we have had tantrums over the fact that I poured her milk without letting her help, Jedi Boy forgetting to give her a cuddle as he rushed into school with his friends, me not letting her wear a pair of shoes that are two sizes too small, her favourite 'Lola' vest being in the wash and, most extreme of all, a full-on, 'lie down on the floor' tantrum in Waitrose because I wouldn't add a second packet of Babybels to the shopping basket.

On the plus side, we have had a lot of fun too... and her smile never fails to warm my heart.