Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Time for change update: Week 6


It's that time again! I really wasn't confident that I would lose that much weight this time around but I'm happy to say I've lost another 7lbs, which takes my total weight loss to 22lbs in just 6 weeks! I've already passed my target of losing 20lbs and I've still got 4 weeks left to go. Here's what I've been up to.

Me and Mrs Cool had night out recently (read about it here) and I tried a Bloody Mary for the 1st time. This drink is right up my street, I like cocktails but usually find them too sweet, a Bloody Mary is the complete opposite of any cocktail I have had before at at only 83 calories for a 150ml drink it is a healthy way to have a cheeky drink.

Bloody Mary 83 calories
The ingredients to this Bloody Mary are Tomato juice, Vodka, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, Black Pepper and Basil (I don't like celery).

Latino Spiced Chicken with Tomato, Rocket and Avocado 490 calories

This is a simple meal to make, just sprinkle some latino spices on a Chicken breast and mix a salad of tomato, red pepper, rocket, avocado, radishes, spring onion and crushed brazil nuts


Scrambled Egg on a crispbake with Chorizo 172 calories

I've mentioned before that I love eggs for breakfast but I'm starting to run out of ideas for different dishes. This is a scrambled egg on a crispbake with chorizo.

Huevos Rancheros

I was runninng out of ideas when I came across Huevos Rancheros. You can find my recipe for it here. This is really filling and a super healthy breakfast at only 235 calories.


The only exercise I've been doing since I started this new lifestyle has been walking and in the last 2 weeks I've started to do a lot more. Me and the Wife decided to walk along the Whitley Bay coast from the Spanish City to St Mary's Lighthouse (you can read Mrs Cools blog about it here). This was about 4 miles there and back and made me really appreciate how lucky I am to live so close to the seaside. When we got to St Mary's Light house we even managed to see some seals basking in the sun.


After our walk we decided to stop at Elder and Wolf on Whitley Road (see here for more info). They serve amazing wood fired pizzas and flatbreads. I decided to go meat free for a few days so I had the roasted pepper and feta cheese pizza and I have to say it was probably the best pizza I have ever had.

Roasted Pepper and Feta Cheese Pizza

Continuing the meat free theme I decided to try Quorn for the 1st time. If I'm honest I found the Quorn quite flavourless on it's own so I think you can only really have it if your adding a lot of spices to it. Luckily I was making Tacos so there was plenty of spice going in. I recently found a recipe that replaced with taco shells with little gem lettuce leaves. This means you can have loads of tacos (enough to fill you up anyway) and it's hardly any calories, I also made my own guacamole (still can't get enough avocado). I had about 7 or 8 and for all of them it was only 430 calories!

Little Gem Quorn Tacos with homemade Guacamole


So thats the highlights of the last 2 weeks, I'll do another update in a fortnight but you can keep track of my meals on an (almost) daily basis on instagram here or on my facebook page here. You can also follow my progress on MyFitnessPal here.

Well, thats all for now

S

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Huevos Rancheros with homemade Guacamole Recipe

This recipe is for a portion for 1 person, I suggest just using it as a guide. You can add as much or as little of the ingredients as you like.

Ingredients:

1 Medium Egg
Chopped Tomato 200g
1/4 Red Pepper
1/2 Onion
1/2 Avocado
1/2 Red Chilli
The juice of 1/4 a lime
A few sprigs of Coriander
A pinch of Cayenne Pepper
A pinch of Paprika
Salt
Black Pepper
Low calorie cooking spray

Method:

Chop the onion into dices and fry on a medium heat with a spray of the low calorie cooking spray until soft and translucent (usually around 8 minutes). Chop the red pepper into slices and add to the onion with cayenne pepper and paprika and fry for another 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix with the onion and pepper for another few minutes then add salt and black pepper to taste. Now make a well in the middle of the tomato, crack in the egg and cover, leave the egg to poach (which should only take around 4 minutes for a runny yolk).



Whilst the egg is poaching you can make the guacamole. Mash up the avocado, chop the red chilli into thin slices and finely chop half the coriander (including the stalks) and add to the mashed avocado. Squeeze in the lime juice and mix is all together and thats the guacamole done.

Roughly chop the rest of the coriander and sprinkle over the Huevos Rancheros and add a good scoop of guacamole. You can either serve it in the pan or dish it up onto a plate.


This is a delicious and filling breakfast that can really set you up for the day and at only 235 calories it is super healthy too.

Well, that's all for now

S

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A day and night in Newcastle

Me and Mrs Cool recently found ourselves with a whole day and night without our children. So we decided to have a day enjoying each others company. I love my kids and I miss them whenever they are not around but as a married couple you MUST have time every now and when when it's just the two of you.


We started the day by driving to Ouseburn and parking up, there is a free car park there so you can save a fortune on parking charges by choosing to park a little further out of town. We had a little wander around the Ouseburn farm. As we passed The Cluny we decided we needed to go there more often (we've only been a handful of times between us) as it has a reputation of excellent live music. We then went to The Cook House for lunch. Mrs Cool has wanted to go here for quite a while and we've never had the chance, The Cook House is a great little eatery made out of a converted shipping container. The menu is small but I think this is a great idea as all of the dishes are absolutely delicious. I had Pork Rillettes with a Courgette and Rocket salad and toasted soda bread and the wife had Salted Brisket, Dill Pesto and Rocket salad again with toast. Both dishes were amazing and the portions were more than generous, we then shared a Lemon Posset for dessert (I think this was made with lemon thyme as it definitely had a herby taste to it). The whole meal including 2 drinks was less than £20, Bargin!

Salted Brisket, Dill Pesto and Rocket Salad
Pork Rillette, Courgette and Rocket Salad and toasted Soda Bread
After lunch we had a walk along the Ouse and ended up at the Tyne Bar. This is a great bar situated where the Ouse meets the Tyne. The sun was shining so we sat in the beer garden right by the river, it reminded me of our trip to Amsterdam so I decided to have a pint of Amstel and Mrs Cool had a glass of Sauvingnon Blanc and we chatted about our plans for the future. As we enjoyed our drinks a bizarre scene unfolded when a boat carrying 3 seamen (stop laughing) sidled up the canal between the Tyne and the Ouse. This boat didn't look like a fishing boat so I decided they must have been smugglers and it seemed to have no engine as the 3 smugglers were taking turns to use a plank of wood like a gondeler would to push the boat up the river. It took them 20 minutes just to get about 10 meters along the river, how they managed to get up the Tyne I will never know.

Tyne Bar
After we finished off our drinks we walked up a hill and ended up at the Free Trade Inn. This was great bar that seemed to only serve craft beers and ciders which is right up my street. After asking the barman for a recommendation I decided on an IPA, whose name I can't remember right now, and the Mrs had another glass of wine. The beer garden had amazing views of the Tyne and as we sipped our refreshing beverages we overheard a conversation that left us gobsmacked. A woman was talking to her companion telling a story of how one of her clients had booked her for 4 hours but then when the time came the client said he couldn't go through with it as he was married with kids! Who knows what this, ahem, lady's profession was (I assume it was the oldest one). Anyway, after we were over the shock, we walked along the Tyne.

Free Trade Inn
The view from the Free Trade Inn Beer Garden
After a walk along the Tyne we stopped at the Pitcher and Piano for more drinks and we made plans for our holiday to Cuba next year. I can't wait to be riding around Havana in a Cadillac with a Rum in one hand and fat cigar in the other. We had booked a nights stay at MotelOne which is just off Grey's Street so when we finished out drinks we headed to our hotel. There is some amazing architecture in Newcastle and the walk from the Quayside to Grey's Street has some of the best.

Grey's Monument and Theatre Royal

The bar in MotelOne is a hidden treasure of Newcastle the staff are knowledgeable, the ambiance is relaxed and the drinks are phenomenal. The bar is open to non residents too so I would definitely recommend paying a visit if you are ever out for drinks in toon.

Drinks at MotelOne Bar

We went to our room to get changed and headed to Pleased To Meet You to meet up with our friends Chloe and Simon. We ordered some cocktails (which turned out to be quite expensive as we didn't realise happy hour had just ended) Mrs Cool ordered a espresso based cocktail and I ordered a Bloody Mary. I'd never had a Bloody Mary before and when I tried it my 1st thoughts were "where have you been all my life". Most cocktails are quite sweet but a Bloody Mary is the 1st drink I've had that I would call a Savoury Cocktail. They are an acquired taste though as Mrs Cool thought it was vile.

After we had all finished our drinks we headed to Osaka, which is aJapanese restaurant on Grey's Street. Me and Mrs Cool shared a starter of seared Sashimi which was delicious and then for our mains I had the Teriyaki Chicken Bento box and Mrs Cool has the Teriyaki Salmon Bento Box. If you are planning on having a Bento Box then you really shouldn't bother with a starter as the box comes with Miso Soup, a selection of Salmon Sashimi and Salmon Sushi, a Japanese salad as well as the Teriyaki chicken/Salmon and some rice. When we were finished we were all stuffed and decided it was time to head home.

Teriyaki Salmon Bento Box from Osaka

I've lived near Newcastle (Wallsend as a kid and Northumberland now) all my life and it really is my absolute favourite city. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, the people are always friendly, the atmosphere is fun and the night life is world renowned. If you are stuck for something to do on a date with your better half then you can't go wrong with a day and night in Newcastle.

Well, that's all for now.

S

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Time for a change update: Week 4

So it's been 2 weeks since I was last weighed and in the last fortnight I have lost 4lbs, whilst not as good as my 1st weigh in this is what I hoped for and in total I have lost 15lbs in 4 weeks! I have almost hit my target of 20lbs in 10 weeks and I still have 5 and a half weeks left. I've also measured my waist and chest and I've lost 3 inches from my chest and 2 and half inches from my waist. I'm really pleased that I'm still focused on this new lifestyle and I've been encouraged by the fact that I've noticed some of my trousers aren't quite as tight as they used to be and a few people have said they have noticed a difference in my weight. Things like this are really keeping me motivated as well as keeping track of how many calories I've been having and what exercise I've been doing on MyFitnessPal (you can follow me here). Here are a few meals I've had these past 2 weeks.

Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict, I love eggs and Eggs Benedict is my favourite egg dish but I always think of it as an indulgent breakfast. However I recently found these crispbakes from Sainsbury's as an alternative to an English Breakfast Muffin and they really bring the down the calorie count without sacrificing on taste this version only had 225 calories.


Quinoa Sushi
Fenwicks Food Hall in Newcastle has some truly amazing food for sale. One of the counters is from The Naked Deli (you can find out more about them here) and when I spotted this Quinoa Sushi I knew I had to try it. It was delicious and filling and at only 272 calories it was a great lunch.


Poached egg with avocado chilli and coriander
For some reason over the last 2 weeks I've really had a thing for Avocado. I'm a fully fledged member of #teamavocado. Although I've always liked avocado I very rarely had it but this dish is amazing and got me hooked on it and I now have it as often as I can. This was simply mashed avocado with chopped chilli and coriander on another of the Sainsbury's crispbakes with a poached egg on top. It's only 255 calories each so as I was having this for lunch I let myself have 2.


Garlic chicken, Chorizo, Brussel Sprouts and Paprika new potatoes
I was all on my own for Sunday Dinner so I could have what I liked and not have to make a little bit of something everyone would like. I got these garlic chicken legs from our local butchers and had it with boiled new potatoes which I then sprinkled with paprika and then roasted them. As well I boiled some sprouts and then finished them in a frying pan with some chorizo. I think 630 calories for a Sunday dinner is pretty good although to get the calories this low you need to discard the chicken skin (which I always say is my favourite bit).


Scrambled egg with chilli, chives and avocado
Like I said I love eggs and avocado. This is simply a scrambled egg with some chopped chilli on another of the Sainsburys crispbake with a sliced avocado on top, it's only 230 calories!


Grilled chicken thigh in a spice rub with couscous and griddled avocado
It was when I made this that a few people mentioned to me about having a lot of avocado. This is a grilled butterfly chicken thigh in a spice rub with couscous and half an avocado seared on the griddle pan and for a evening meal it comes in at a ridiculously low 400 calories.

Pork Rillettes courgette and rocket salad and soda bread
Me and Mrs Cool had a whole day and night without the kids so for lunch we went to The Cook House in Ouseburn (you can find out about The Cook House here). This was Pork Rillettes with a courgette and rocket salad (which also had some mixed seeds in there too) and some soda bread. I don't know exactly how many calories this had but after some research online I've estimated it to be around 540 calories.

Teryaki Salmon bento Box
In the evening we met some of our friends for a meal at Osaka which is Japanese restaurant in Newcastle (see here). This is their Teryaki Salmon Bento Box which comes with sticky rice, a cucumber slaw type salad and and assortment of salmon sashimi and salmon sushi. Again I don't know how many calories this had and to be honest I don't care as it was friggin lush.

Avocado, coriander and tomato on Ryvita

After a day off the avocado I was craving it again and after having a few beers (and my 1st Bloody Mary) I needed a light lunch. This is a few slices or Ryvita with mashed avocado and chopped coriander with a slice of tomato on top. This is only 104 per slice.


Latino spiced cod with spinach, rocket and avocado
Every other weekend I work Saturday, Sunday and Monday so don't get a chance to spend time preparing good meals but this weekend we have some cod loin which was in a latino dry rub and then baked in the oven. This was served with spinach, rocket and avocado (again) and I made my own mustard vinegarette. It was a delicious summery dish and only 580 calories which I thought was good for an evening meal.


Thai Prawn broth

I'm usually the one who cooks in our house but every now and then Mrs Cool will have my dinner waiting for me coming home from work. One of her best meals is this Thai Prawn Broth (you can find the recipe here). It's very filling and only a mind bogglingly low 330 calories.

I'll be doing another update in a couple of weeks so keep an eye out for it.

Well, that's all for now

S


Saturday, 7 May 2016

Captain America: Civil War. A (not-so) spoiler free review

Oh My God! Oh My God! OMG! OMG! ERMAHGERD! ERMAHGERD! ERMAHGERD! I'm just back from seeing Captain America: Civil War and I'm still catching my breath. Full on Geek overload in this movie. If you like superhero movies even a little bit then you have to see this film, if you're a geek like me then what are you waiting for. Stop reading this, turn off your computer/phone and go and see this film right now! I've been excited about this film for a while and I've been tweeting about this all week so I'm going to share my tweets as I go through this review, also I'm not going to go in depth into what happens throughout the film but I'll cover the main bits without giving everything away.



The film starts with a flashback to the Winter Soldier during his conditioning as an agent of HYDRA in 1991. He is sent on a mission to retrieve some funky looking blue glow-stick type IV drip bags and you get the impression that this will be important later on. Next we are whisked to present day Lagos where Captain America, Falcon, Black Widow and Scarlet Witch are engaged in a covert operation to track down some bad dudes, these bad dudes turn out to be Crossbones and his cronies who are trying to steal some kind of Bio-weapon. A battle erupts across the city causing a lot of collateral damage as the avengers bring down Crossbones and his crew and eventually leads to a building being destroyed with innocent people inside. This act is what sets up the core plot of the movie, who is accountable for the actions of the Avengers?

General Thaddeus 'Thunderbolt' Ross from The Incredible Hulk pops up, now as Secretary of State, and tells the Avengers their actions have consequences and the UN is ratifying plans to bring the Avengers under government control so they can't just do what they want, instead the UN will decide when and where the Avengers intervene. Ironman agrees this is necessary after hearing a story of a young man who died during the events of the final battle of Age of Ultron. Captain America, however, still believes the Avengers should remain independent and with the 2 head honchos on opposing sides this is the Civil War.

Later we find out that the building blown up in the 1st act had a lot of people from a country called Wakanda and it's King T'Chaka was has been calling for the Avengers to come under the control of the UN. As the King addresses the UN a bomb goes off at the UN building and the King is killed. Through news bulletins we hear that the Winter Soldier is the one believed to have set off the bomb. Captain America tries to track down the Winter Soldier but during his pursuit another costumed hero is also on the trail.



Black Panther turns out to be the son of King T'Chaka and new King of Wakanda, T'Challa. He doesn't seem to be to bothered about keeping his identity a secret as he takes his mask off in front of everyone. We are then told that the Black Panther is the protector of Wakanda and passed down the generation from one king to another.

After the Winter Soldier is back in custody Captain America decides to break him out and recruits Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and his bezzie mate Falcon (who also brings Ant-Man) to help. At the same Ironman with help of Black Widow, War Machine and The Vision recruits Black Panther to help and one more hero.



Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the main reason I have been excited about this movie. Spider-Man is one of my favourite superheroes (probably second only the Superman) and he is brilliant here. After the disappointment of the Amazing Spider-Man (1 and 2) I was really hoping the MCU Spider-Man would be better and I can safely say that Spider-Man is in safe hands under MCU. His intro as Peter Parker being recruited by Tony Stark is fantastic and when he joins the battle with the rest of the Avengers he is truly awesome. Every line he has is funny and on point for what Spider-Man is supposed to be.

The battle at the airport between the opposing sides of The Avengers is the highlight of the movie and Spider-man and Ant-Man totally steal show. Spider-Man is amazing fighting Falcon while chatting shit to him the whole time. As for Ant-Man (I thought the Ant-Man film was brilliant by the way) he is hilarious as he is pulling out the wires from inside Ironmans suit but then the coup-de-grace he only turns into freaking Giant-Man. The sight of a 50 foot tall Ant-Man destroying cars, trucks and planes is something the behold.

I won't give any more of the plot away as you really should see it for yourself, the last few Marvel movies have been pretty good and Captain America: Civil War is definitely up there with the best of them and I really can't wait to see where they go from here. With Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man getting their own movies as well as sequels to Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers I'm really excited about the future of Marvel, anywho here's the trailer for Captain America: Civil War.



Well, thats all for now.

S

Monday, 2 May 2016

Project Bond: From Russia With Love

"Red wine with fish. Well that should have told me something"



The 2nd movie in the James Bond franchise is From Russia With Love released in 1963, only a year after Dr No, it is very different from it's predecessor but still bears all the hallmarks of a Bond movie. Again it stars Sean Connery as Bond. 



The movie starts with Bond being stalked through a garden by a blond haired pursuer, when all of sudden, out of nowhere Bond's assailant strangles him with a garrotte wire hidden in his watch. I mean what the heck is going on? Bond is dead in the 1st few minutes of the movie! But wait, not all is as it seems... This is not the real Bond it's just a body double in a Bond mask. This whole thing has been a training exercise for the blond haired assassin.

The titles roll and it's classic James Bond fare with dancing ladies over the credits while a John Barry orchestral score lets you know you are truly in Bond country.

After the titles we head to Venice where there is a chess tournament happening. A dodgy looking chess player gets a secret message and quickly ends the game. He heads to meet an unseen baddie called number 1 who has a white cat on his lap (we all know who that is right?) and woman called number 3, who is really called Rosa Kleb and was a Colonel in the Russian Military but has recently defected to SPECTRE. The trio discuss plans for SPECTRE to steal a Russian decoding device called the Lektor Decoder. They need a Russian communications agent and British agent to get it, unbeknownst to the agents.




Kleb goes to meet the blond haired man who was being trained in the opening scene but 1st we see a true Bond cliche where there are a load of blokes being trained in various weapons, hand to hand combat and even flame-throwers (coz they always come in handy in a fight) and we then learn that blond haired man is called Grant (played by Robert Shaw) and he is being trained by SPECTRE to be their version of Bond and Kleb arranges to meet Grant in Istanbul where his mission will be to take the Lektor from Bond and kill him.

In Istanbul Kleb poses as her former role as a Russian Colonel to recruit Tatiana, the Russian communications agent with access to the Lektor decoder, the plan is for Tatiana to claim she is defecting to the west and bringing the Lektor with her. Kleb's interrogation of Tatiana is firm, as you would expect from a Russian character in a movie made during the height of the cold war, but I was surprised by Kleb's not so subtle undertones of lesbianism from a movie in the mid-1960's.

Finally we meet the real Bond and unsurprisingly he is making out with some woman (I think she is the same woman he picked up playing baccarat at the start of Dr No) when he gets a message from Moneypenny telling him that M wants to see him. Bond head to MI6 HQ where M gives him his mission and we meet Q for the 1st time  who gives Bond a briefcase full of gadgets.


Bond heads to Istanbul and meets his contact called Karim Bey (the whole time being followed by Grant). Bond and Bey agree that the Russian agents defection is probably a trap but go along with it in hopes that they will get the Lektor Decoder.




Soon after Bey's office is bombed and for Bonds safety he takes Bond to stay with some Turkish gypsies he uses as hired muscle however the Russians send their own operatives from Bulgaria and a mass shoot out/battle ensues. Again Grant watches from a distance but doesn't get involved.

Bond and Bey decide to take out the leader of the Bulgarians before continuing with the mission. When the Bulgarian has been dispatched Bond heads back to his hotel where he finds Tatiana in his bed and Bond is in there like swimwear.




Bond heads to the Russian Consulate where he has arranged a bomb to go off as a distraction and when has the Lektor he legs it with Tatiana in tow. Bond now has to smuggle the decoder and the Russian blond back to London unaware he is still being followed by Grant.

On a train bound for London there is more intrigue as there are more deaths and when Karim Bey ends up dead Bond suspects Tatiana is involved and interrogates her again and slaps her around a bit (not very hero like). As the train passed through Zagreb Grant decides to make his move so kills Bonds contact and takes his place and finally Grant and Bond come face to face. Bond is immediately suspicious. Over dinner Grant drugs Tatiana and back at their cabin Bond is also knocked out. Now at this point anyone who has been through any kind of training in this sort of thing surely would kill Bond and Tatiana and take the Lektor Decoder but does Grant do this, of course not. Instead he waits for Bond to wake up and then tells him everything. Bond then bargains for his life in a ploy to get Grant to trigger one of Q's gadgets. The fight that follows is the highlight of the movie and one of the best fights in any Bond movie, Grant seems more than a match for Bond and not just another henchman. With the help of another Q gadget Bond overcomes and kills Grant.

Back in Venice Number 1, still stroking the pussy, is criticising Kleb and the Chess Guy, called Number 5, for the missions failure. He says SPECTRE won't tolerate failure and Kleb kills Number 5. Bond and Tatiana are then pursued by some SPECTRE agents but are able to evade them and arrive in Venice themselves to contact the British Government. Before they do though Rosa Kleb returns posing as maid and tries to take the decoder again but after a short and bizarre fight Tatiana shows she really has defected and shoots Kleb.

From Russia With Love is often cited by critics as one of the best movies in the James Bond series. Personally I've never really been a fan of it and have always thought it is Sean Connery's weakest film as Bond. My recollection of it was always that nothing much happens in it, however I haven't actually watched if for about 15-20 years and having now just watched it again I realise it is actually a good Bond movie, it's still not one of my favourites but it is a lot better than I remembered. I think the reason why I didn't enjoy it as a kid was that while most of the Bond movies are full on action movies From Russia with Love is the most pure spy/espionage movie of the entire Bond series and here's the trailer.



The next film in the series will be Goldfinger, so look out for my review coming soon.

Well, that's all for now

S

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Enough is enough and it's time for a change!

I'll be the 1st to admit that I am a FatAss. More specifically I am a Lazy FatAss, I have no one to blame for this except myself, no one ever forced me to eat unhealthy food and no one forced me to sit on the settee when I could have been out for a walk or a run or riding a bike. It hasn't always been this way, when I was a young kid I was fit, healthy and energetic. I've never really been good sports like football, rugby or cricket but I was quite good at gymnastics, swimming and cycling but in my teenage years I just seemed to lose interest and fell into a life of sedentary and ever since I've piled on the pounds.



Right now I'm not the heaviest I've ever been but I'm pretty close, so me and Mrs Cool (you can see how she has been getting on here) have decided that it's time for a change. For me I'm not really bothered about being 'ripped' I just want to be fitter and healthier. I also want to set an example for my children, childhood obesity is a massive problem and although none of my children are overweight my fear is that when they see me being lazy and eating unhealthy food that they will follow suit and before too long they will be in the same boat as me. My biggest fear though is that if I continue the lifestyle I have had for the past 15-20 years that I may end up having a heart attack or some other weight related illness and I might not be around to see my children grow up.

So what am I going to do about it, well obviously I'm going to eat healthier food and exercise more. Monday to Friday I'm going to have a breakfast of fruit with fat free yoghurt and a little bit of granola, for lunch I'll be having a jacket potato with either baked beans or low fat Philadelphia and chives and for dinner I'll be having grilled fish or lean meat with some vegetables or a salad or maybe some pulses. At the weekend I'll not be quite so strict but I'm not going to going crazy. A big thing for me to give up is going to be sugary drinks. I am a massive pop drinker, Pepsi is top of the list. I always drink the regular full fat kind as I just don't like diet Pepsi or Pepsi max so i'm just going to give it up and instead I'll be drinking water or tea.

I'm also going to get weighed every two weeks and I'll post my progress as well as what exercise I've been doing and what I've been eating. I'm quite a good cook so although I'll be eating healthy my meals won't be boring.

So since I was first weighed 2 weeks ago I have been using My Fitness Pal to log my meals and count calories and using Map My Walk to track my walking and so far I have lost... 11lbs. I am over the moon with this, I was hoping to lose around 4lbs so to lose nearly three times that much I am really, really happy. Here are some of the highlights of what I've done and ate in the past fortnight.


Northumberlandia


We had a walk around Northumberlandia (you can find out more about Northumberlandia here). The walk took us about 18 mins and was around 3/4 of a mile and most of it was up hill (well I suppose technically half of it was up hill). For dinner we had Garlic Chicken with Rocket Salad and Curried Chickpeas which was only 500 calories.

Garlic chicken with rocket salad and curried chickpeas


The weather was pretty shitty the next day so we weren't able to get out for a walk so instead I dusted off my weights and did about half on an hour of various reps. I had the yoghurt/fruit/granola brekkie and for lunch a jacket tattie with cream cheese and chives. I forgot how friggin lush a freshly baked potato was. For dinner I had Chicken breast with a lemon crust with rocket salad and Moroccan lemon and apricot bulgar wheat which was only 464 calories.

Lemon crust chicken, rocket salad and Moroccan lemon and apricot bulgar wheat

Crunchy Thai Salad with King Prawns which was delicious, tasted so fresh and was only 295 calories.

Crunchy Thai Salad with King Prawns


Tonight it was Lemon Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas and Spinach. This may not be the prettiest looking dish but Oh, My God! this is one of the tastiest dishes I've ever made the flavours were just unreal and it was only 449 calories.

Lemon Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas and Spinach


We went to Beamish which involves a lot of walking, we managed 2 1/4 miles and for tea as it was the weekend we decided to treat ourselves and me and Mrs Cool shared a Chicken Madras and Chips from our favourite Indian Takeaway.

We walked over 2 miles around Beamish

For weekend breakfasts I've decided to have something different so I made Avocado, Chilli and Coriander on a crispbread wth a poached egg. It was only 250 calories and totally delicious.

Avocado, Chilli and Coriander with a Poached Egg


We had Indian Spiced Cod with Spiced New Potatoes (which were roasted in the oven using a 1kcal cooking spray) and Grilled Asparagus Tips which was under 500 calories.



I'm really pleased with how the first 2 weeks of this new lifestyle (its not a diet) have gone and I'm still feeling motivated to keep it up. We're all going on holiday in 8 weeks and I want to lose another 16lbs before then which i think is definitely achievable. I'll post my next update in another 2 weeks and hopefully I'll still be on course to hit my goals. Wish me luck.

Well, that's all for now

S