Wednesday, 20 April 2016

TWTWTW: Catch up, Cat, Carriages


Oooh, all went a bit quiet there, didn't it?  Not to worry, chaps, I didn't decide to run off to the Good Food Show like Nellie the Elephant packing her bags for the circus.  But I have been busy working towards an exam.  And by working towards, of course I mean panicking a lot and shuffling all my bits of paper into piles rather than doing any proper revision.

If anyone out there has some good revision tips then PLEASE share.  I seem to lack the ability to do it properly and just floof about.  Meanwhile, the cat delights in positioning herself in the most awkward place possible.


The Good Food show itself was great fun.  It was so heartening to see the number of fantastic local suppliers who turned out and plied us with goodies.  Among my take-home haul were several bottles of gin by exciting new distillers and a Yorkshire halloumi cheese which stares at me every time I open the fridge and begs to be fried up until both crispy and squeaky.  I'd like to write up a more detailed post at some point...but time's winged chariot and all that...

More Joy

April 14th was the 12th anniversary of the date on which D and I first met so we went for a belated celebratory dinner at an old favourite: Carriages in Knaresborough.  It's a cute little wine bar-cum-bistro which serves well cooked, decent food and boasts a far better wine list than you'd expect in such a modest establishment.  It's never going to blow your mind but it's the kind of food that most people like to eat, done very well.  I must admit, I ordered scallops and goats' cheese out of curiosity, assuming that it would not quite work, but a delicate touch with the soft, salty cheese mousse actually enhanced the sweetness of the scallops, and showed a real ability to balance ingredients.  They don't have a website but they do have a Facebook page that you can view here for further info.

More Woe

D is continuing to follow the Dukan diet, albeit with a weekend break, and his results continue to be impressive.  My Weight Watching has fallen apart a little bit this week, but I should squeak an STS, having lost a further 0.6 lbs last week.  3.6 lbs in three weeks may not be incredible going, but it's not bad considering that my heart has not really been in it.

Home cooking is a little joyless at the moment; most nights D tucks in to his pile of protein and I add a side of vegetables and whingeing.  We are already looking to recover our cooking mojo in the month of May, and hopefully, I'll get some recipes posted up to the blog - they've been sadly lacking recently.

The next couple of weeks will probably continue to be quiet on the WWF front but I will, at least, try and have another good crack at the Smart Points in the coming week and report back on any progress.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Good Food Spring Show - final reminder!

Forget my grumps, forget the fact that the weather is horrible and that Spring appears to have Sprung off - this weekend the Good Food Spring Show hits Harrogate! 

See how excited the Minx is!

I'll be there, sniffing around like an overfed truffle pig, but, more importantly, a plethora of fantastic local Yorkshire producers will also be there selling their wares.  AND there will be sleb chefs to amaze with their cooking prowess. 

If you do decide to indulge in some tickets, be sure to use the code BL20 for a cheeky discount (20% off Adult / Over 65s ticket only.  Not valid on VIP or with any other offer.)

For further details check out the website, and I hope to see you there.  Well, you won't know that it is me and I won't know that it is you, but I shall smile inanely at anyone who catches my eye - and that's a promise.

Expect pictures of the spoils next week...

Smart points review: one week in

One week of smart pointing and the scales rewarded me with...(drum roll please)...a 3lb loss.

Which is good.  It's fine.  It's actually probably a little bit better than good.  But I would be lying if I said that I was pleased this morning.  If anything, I was a little deflated.  This past week has felt like really hard going, and for hard going I wanted better than good.  Even if it was just an inflated first week loss to bolster me up for the coming weeks.

I ended the week having had all my dailies and most of my weekly points - so pretty much where I was supposed to be.  But, as I have already said in my previous posts, I felt like I was on a diet ALL WEEK.

I'm going to persevere, because at the moment, I don't know what the alternative is.  And, there was a lot of positive feedback from members of the WW message boards who have been following the plan for a while, so I may just need a bit longer to get my head firmly out of Pro Points and into the Smart Points game.  I'll do a further update after the first month and see where I am then (for sake of comparison - the last time I started Pro Points, this blog records that I lost a stone in the first four weeks - it will be interesting to see how the results compare).

A note on Dukan

As I mentioned in an earlier post, D has been doing the Dukan Attack phase this week - which has basically meant eating nothing but lean meat, fish, low fat dairy and a couple of eggs a day.  He reports that he has not been hungry, just intensely bored.  He was well rewarded, though, having lost a whopping 9lbs in 7 days - a big boost was exactly what he needed to keep him going.  It will be interesting to see what happens as he comes out of Attack and on to Cruise phase (where he can introduce vegetables).  I have everything crossed that he continues to see those good results.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Meal planning Monday - and a blog giveaway!

After yesterday's grumpy post, today I will try to be slightly more cheerful.  After all, it's a brand new week.  And, excitingly, on Friday I will be paying a visit to the Spring Good Food Show over in Harrogate.

If anyone out there is in the vague vicinity of Harrogate this weekend and wants to come along then I have the power to make that happen!  The very kind people at the show have offered readers of this blog a pair of complimentary tickets for either Friday 8th or Sunday 10th April.

I thought about doing one of those Rafflecopter thingies that makes everyone follow me on Twitter and post a comment and generally be nice to me.  Which would be pleasant, but I suspect my technological skills are simply not up to it.  So if you fancy coming along just drop me an email at and let me know your name and the day on which you would like to go by noon on Thursday.  If I get more than one email I shall be incredibly excited and shall draw a name from a hat.  Or get Minx to decide.

On to the more mundane business of meal planning, and D is still Dukan-ing so protein features pretty heavily in the early part of the week.  Then on Friday, we're off to the show followed by a curry with my in-laws to celebrate Pa-in-law's 70th birthday.  Saturday I'm keeping free as hopefully I will have oodles of show produce to scoff.  In very small, WW friendly, amounts of course.

Monday - Dukan friendly meatloaf (with salad and cheese for me)
Tuesday - Gammon and fried eggs (him) / roast potatoes (me)
Wednesday - Dukan friendly meatloaf (part deux) (with mash and creamy mushrooms for me)
Thursday - Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs
Friday - out
Saturday - post show spoils
Sunday - Sort of Sunday roast: chicken, carrot and swede mash, creamy leeks, garlic roasted broccoli

Have a good week, folks!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Smart points review - the first weekend

Previously, on WW Foodie:

The review of my first day on Smart Points can be found here.

And now, the first weekend...

I am writing this on Sunday afternoon.  I am currently at my desk, in between bouts of studying international tax issues.  Plus, it is my special lady time and I have the crampiest stomach known to mankind.  I am not in the best of moods as you can imagine, so be sure and take all this with a pinch of salt.

No doubt that, come Thursday, if I have a really good first week's weight loss I shall be full of the joys of Smart Points but, for now, I have to say I am still very firmly on the fence.

Perhaps a lot of it comes down to whether or not you feel a "diet" (ugh, I hate that word) should be punitive.  If you read Peridot's blog, for example, she puts herself through the wringer on a weekly basis, interspersing fast days with restricted calorie days - the woman has willpower of IRON.  And Lesley is currently back on meal replacement packs and, by all accounts, rocking it.  Me bitching about the fact that I ate a bag of Minstrels after my tea and it took a rather large chunk out of my weekly points seems petty in the extreme.

But ProPoints always felt to me like it could be a viable lifestyle choice if you took a bit of care over planning your meals.  Smart Points, much less so.  Steph - as per your comment, joyless is often the word that springs to mind.

I think that the Minstrels are an interesting example.  The Smart Points calculation starts from the calories in an item.  A high percentage of saturated fat and sugar will then send the points up and a high percentage of protein will bring it back down.  So as you can imagine, an item that is basically all saturated fat and sugar (e.g. Minstrels) is going to end up pretty high.

Minstrels are 212 calories a bag.  If you're a woman on a fairly restricted daily calorie intake - say, 1200, which is pretty low - that represents one sixth of your daily calories.  Minstrels are 11 SP a bag.  If you're a woman on the lower end of the SP allowance - say, 31 (which is 29 dailies plus 2 out of your 14 weeklies) - then the Minstrels now represent a third of your intake.  It's obviously not quite as straightforward as that, what with fruit and vegetables being 0 SP, but it is a marked difference.

There will be many people out there who will say yes, but you shouldn't be eating a bag of Minstrels every day - I even said a similar thing myself a few posts ago.  To which I answer yes, I shouldn't.  But it shows a marked lack of understanding of the mentality of many dieters to tell them this.  Say to them - you could eat a bag of Minstrels every day, or you could use your points on slightly bigger portions at dinner and a good proportion of the time they'll go for the latter option.  Say to them - you shouldn't eat a bag of Minstrels everyday and we're going to make it bloody hard for you to do so and heels get dug in.

Or my heels do at least.

Anyway, I'm on day 4 of the first week and I'm still on track with, for all my griping, points to spare.  I just am feeling a bit Gollumesque over that weekly bank...

Image result for Gollum gif

Still, onwards and (hopefully!) downwards chaps.