Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Diet Diary #1

So the clean and lean regime has been going for 6 days now. No sugar, no dairy, nothing processed, no alcohol, reduced wheat intake, rediced caffeine. Variety is the key, eggs for breakfast and plenty of water are paramount and I try and have protein with every meal/snack. A cheat meal a week to stop me crashing and I've got the gym trainers out ready to start jogging. Having spoken to my doctor I have 2.5 stone (35lbs) to lose to reach a healthy BMI. 

Now at this stage I have taken my weight and stats but I'm not counting calories. Im trying to just improve my diet and cut out all of the crap, and focus on getting insides healthier and working properly. It's hard enough not reaching for the take aways and grabbing snacks on the go let alone having the added pressure of losing the weight. So far I've not suffered any noticeable withdrawal symptoms, I've never really had a sweet tooth so the sugar isn't a problem for me. Bread is the biggest thing I miss, I used to have toast or a bagel with marmite everyday. 

So what can I eat? Lean meat and fish, eggs, organic natural yogurt, nuts, seeds, fruit. Being inventive really helps so that I don't get bored. I jazz up a lots of dishes with herbs and spices and try and prepare food and snacks ahead of time so I don't get caught snacking. 

Once I'm used to the food, portion control will become key and I'll really up the excercise. I want this to work so I'd rather it takes me that little longer to achieve rather than go mad and fall off the wagon early. 

Recipe 1 - Sweet potato with smoked mackerel and avocado salad.

I x medium sized sweet potato washed.
2 x fillets of smoked mackerel.
100ml or organic natural or Greek yogurt.
Half a lemon.
Handful of fresh coriander leaf chopped.
Milled black pepper.
Milled salt (pink Himilayan if you can get it).
Small knob of Organic unsalted butter.

Handful of rocket leaves.
4 x cherry tomatoes.
1 x small avocado.

Salad Dressing
1 x Teaspoon of balsamic vinegar.
1 x Teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan, bake the potato unwrapped for about 40-45 minutes or until soft.

Whilst baking prepare the mackerel filling. Remove the skins from the fillets and flake into a bowl. Add the yogurt, the juice of the lemon, coriander and salt&pepper. Mix together well, cover and chill in the fridge. 

To prepare the salad remove the avocado from the skin and dice, chop the cherry tomatoes in half and  mix in a bowl with the rocket and salad dressing. 

Once the potato is cooked, slice in half and add the butter and the mackerel filling. Serve with the salad and enjoy!! 

Disney Haul

OK so I have to remind people that I am 27 years of age, but I cannot resist a bit of Disney princess merchandise. Whilst waiting for my prescription in my local chemist yesterday I saw these on the £1 sale rail!

 Absolute bargains. I bought 2 x 2in1 shampoo and conditioners(I can pretty much use anything on my hair, I'm not fussy), 1 x supersoft detangler. These are all obviously marketed at children so smell fruity and devine. I then picked up a set of Disney princess colouring pencils, which I will definitely use. 

Lastly some non Disney but still super cute Love Hearts plasters. Im prone to injury so what better than to jazz it up a bit when you have to bandage yourself up! 

And all for the bargain price of £5!! 

Monday, 7 January 2013

Presents haul

Here are my Top 4 favourite gifts.

Nostalgia Monopoly, Wooden Edition

One of my favourite board games, even more now it comes in such a fantastically little designed package. All the cards are vintage looking. Just fab. 

The White Company Dressing Gown

So luxurious and heavy, ankle length. My new fave around the house. 
Plus its currently on sale, 15% off!

Leopard Print Converse High Tops

I'm a massive fan of all stars anyway so was delighted when I got these to add to the collection.
The ones I have are print on canvas the only ones I could find online were faux fur..

Chrome Retro handset for iPhone 

My friend Rachel, making use of it in her onsie!

A novelty gift that I've already had lots of use out of, it plugs in to your iPhone so you have the comfort of using a landline phone! I believe it was from Primark - not sure if they're still available but worth a try..

Valentino rockstud


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sausage rolls recipe

The first thing I did on the night of arrival at the cottage in Lenham was get my bake on. I don't understand why people buy ready made sausage rolls when they are so simple to make and taste one million percent better!

You will need :
1 x Prepacked puff pastry - or you can make your own, but what's the point!
500g sausage meat or your favourite sausages
A few sprigs of thyme
1 x egg
A few grinds of Salt & pepper
Flour to dust

Firstly by hand mix the thyme and sausage meat (if you have sausages just split the skins and empty the contents out) together with the salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and set to one side.

Dust the chopping board lightly with flour and roll out the pastry to approximately 3mm thick.  Cut the pastry in half lengthways. 

Working with one piece of pastry at a time load your mixture lengthways on to the bottom half 15mm up from the bottom edge. 

Once filled, whisk your egg up and brush on to the 15mm gap. Food the top half over and seal gently using a fork. Make small incisions into the top of the pastry and cut to your desired size. 

Repeat using the remaining pastry and filling.

Load on to a baking tray and egg wash the top of each roll.

Bake at 200 or 180(fan) for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool off a little before eating - if you can resist!


So Lenham was the destination of choice for our family Xmas this year. We rented a beautiful 15th century cottage just off of the main square. The village itself is located between Maidstone and Ashford, very friendly and has everything you need.

We drank in both of the pubs The Dog & Bear and The Red Lion, both great. We even had our christmas dinner at The Dog, the staff and food were excellent. Boxing Day they let us sit and play cards for hours(some pubs don't let you). The Lion is the more traditional of the two, we didn't get a chance to eat there but the menu looked delicious. The dog (its a hotel too) was my favourite, plenty to keep you entertained pool table, darts etc.

Christmas Eve we ate at the Chopstick & Bowl Chinese restaurant on the High St. Food here was fabulous and the service (given that we were non-locals) was so warm and friendly they made us feel really welcome. They even gave me some jasmine & green tea leaves (which I luuurve) to take home, on the house, and spent ages talking to me about how to brew the perfect pots of tea. Thoroughly  recommended, we had one of their set menu banquets and the food just kept coming! 

The village itself has everything you need, post office, bank, chemist, church, bakery, chippy, pubs, butchers, lovely shops. You never have to leave! A great little place to venture to or drop by on your way to the Ashford Designer Outlet ;)

I almost forgot to mention the interesting festive display at one of the houses on the road that leads you into the square. Lost for words!

Happy New Year!

So that's it, it's all over, and I had a blast!

I marked the end of the festive season this weekend in the felling of the Xmas tree, a very sad moment for me. my poor living room looks bare.

My family and I went away to a lovely cottage in the cutsie village of Lenham in Kent. Lots of food, gin and laughter. I got spoilt rotten with presents and food and have a waistline to prove it. Posts in the coming months will include my hilarious attempt at getting back into shape, the running shoes are out and ready to go #cleanandlean.

The girls and I also did lots of festive stampeding around town(s) and I'm exhausted... Lots of quiet months to come with my feet up - tucking in to my new cross stitch pack(thanks mum).