Easy Low Calorie, V. Low Carb Recipes

Hi all,

I did pretty good with my eating today and wanted to share some of today’s recipes with you. For breakfast I had what I call “Low Calorie Eggs Royale” which is scrambled eggs with some salmon and a few cherry tomatoes for veggies. Here’s what it looks like and it tasted amazing:

All it is is a small piece of smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and cooked cherry tomatoes. Here are the basic macros:

2 eggs 150 calories , 5g fat, 7g protein

Small stick of butter 72 calories, 8g fat

Semi-skimmed milk 100mls 50 calories, 1.8g fat and 3.6g protein

Small piece of smoked salmon 50 calories, 3g fat and 6g protein

6 cherry tomatoes 6 calories, 2g carbs, 0.5g fibre

Sunflower oil cooking spray for the tomatoes (optional) 15 calories, 1.4g fat

Total Macros: Calories 343 calories, 19.8g fat, 9.6g protein, 2g carbs and 0.5g fibre

And for dinner because I am a very good girl, I had Quorn chicken fillets with a whole broccoli. Filling and delicious!

Here are the macros:

3x Quorn chicken fillets: 150 calories, 2.4g fat, carbs 3g, protein 20g, fibre 8.5g

Vegetable stock: 14 calories, fat 0.3g, carbs 1.4, protein 0.3g

Broccoli: 90 calories, carbs 6g, fibre 7g, protein 4.5g

Sunflower oil cooking spray (optional): 15 calories 1.4g fat

I also add some oregano to the stock.

Total macros: 279 calories, 4.1g fat, 10.4g carbs, protein 24.8g, fibre 15.5g

I hope you liked those recipes and maybe give them a try yourself! These are true staples for me now. I’ve been having Quorn chicken fillets for years because I just find them so delicious. I had eggs royale for the first time at a B&B last summer and thought it was amazing. I really enjoy making my own version. And doesn’t that scrambled egg just look divine?

Thanks for reading!

Weekly Weigh-in and Running Update

Hi all,

I had my weekly weigh-in yesterday and…I lost a pound! So it’s still not that big loss I was hoping for but it’s still a loss, so I’m happy about that. Sorry I don’t have a picture, I lost my slip 😦 but I weigh 11 stone 12 lbs now. However, my body fat has crept up to 39.5%, so it’s up 1%. So maybe I only lost muscle mass! I don’t know. But what I do know is that I worked really hard in the gym so I deserved the number on the scale going down!

On Monday, I decided to switch up my running and do HIIT. I did 5 minutes of walking, then jogging at 6.3 for 2 minutes then running level 8 for 1 min, then continued that until I had got to 25 minutes total elapsed. A killer, and I’m going up higher on my next HIIT on Tuesday. I’ll be jogging at 6.4 and running at 8.5!!! Wish me luck please!

I did my usual couch to 5k week 9 on Friday, and hit some new PBs. I hit 2 miles in 29:57, so just under 30 minutes, and by the time I got to the end at 35 minutes, I had run 2.4 miles in total. So I’m getting there! And I’m proud of myself.

I’ve also been pushing myself more with my walking. I walked 37 minutes today with a few steep hills, and I intend to walk tomorrow and Monday as I won’t be going to the gym until Tuesday.

I also intent to work on my eating more this week, to really improve the number on the scale.

Hope you’re all doing well with your nutrition and fitness!

Weigh-in Disappointment, Body Fat and Workout Playlist

Hi all! I went to the gym today, worked out and weighed in. I’m very pleased with my workout. I did planks, deadbugs, sit-ups, step-ups, single-leg raises, dumbells, bosu ball burpees AND press-ups on 40cm platform all on my own, plus 10 minutes on cross trainer and 35 minutes on the treadmill (5 minutes walking then 30 minutes running) and got to 2.39 miles at 35 minutes. So hopefully my arms are pumped full of muscle right now! Well, they’d better be, because…

I weighed in and I’ve stayed the same 😦 I’m trying not to be too disheartened about it because it could be down to a few things; muscle gain, women’s issues or hangover from Christmas indulgence. And I know a maintain is better than a gain. But it’s hard to see the same number on the scales when you’ve been working your a$$ off in the gym and denying yourself food. Don’t get me wrong, I still like what I eat now. Most of it is delicious while being healthy, but there were a few things I could have eaten this week but said no to. Anyway, here is the print-out:

So as you can see, although I am still 11 stone 13 lbs, I have lost body fat. I’m down nearly 3% from last week. So it could very well be muscle gain. It’s not all bad news. It’s important to keep checking that body fat, guys. You could be missing some important NSVs.

I need to remember this because I don’t want to get off-track and think “sod it, I’ll have a binge” as a reaction and then give up. I’ve come too far this time and my goals are too important to me. The reason for my STS (stayed the same) could still be food. Maybe I’m still not eating healthy enough. I have been having a tablespoon of peanut butter every day to ward off the chocolate cravings. I also did kind of binge on those delicious banana chips. But both things although high in fat and carbs respectively, also have protein and fibre respectively. So I don’t know. I did have *some* chocolate too, but nowhere near as much as I would eat if I wasn’t trying to lose weight. Surely you can still have a little of what you like as part of a healthy diet?

Changing the subject, I thought I would share with you guys my Spotify workout playlist. I’ve called it “Motivation” – the first track I added was Normani’s “Motivation”. It’s got a lot of crackers on there! I don’t play it when I’m working out because I prefer to listen to the gym music and be able to hear my breathing, but I listen to it after the gym for my post-workout high on the way home and I listen to it when I do my non-gym-day walks.

I’ll be back with another update soon. Thanks for reading!

Zumba, Money Issues and Weigh-In Goal for Tomorrow!

Hi all! How are you doing?

Yesterday I did Zumba for the first time in months! I love dancing and I love Zumba. It always feels like such a joyful, friendly atmosphere, especially for women, although I know some men like to go to, and respect to them! I feel like at Zumba we get to be silly, a little sensual, let our inner Shakiras out and have fun.

But I hadn’t been to a class in months, so my feet were really aching and I was struggling to keep up! My feet ache a lot when I’m learning new dances. It’s a problem I’ve had since doing line dancing as a teenager. However, I noticed I wasn’t out of breath like I usually am at Zumba! This must be thanks to all the training I’ve been doing at the gym over the last few months. So that’s a NSV – non-scale victory! And I really enjoyed it, so you heard it here first – I am going again soon! If not next week then the week after, brownies’ honour! Also, I managed to do 5 minutes of cross trainer and my 30 minute solid run beforehand. I’m hardcore, baby. LOL.

Changing the subject, I’ve been having money issues lately due to Christmas slow-down of work. I’m a freelancer in the publishing industry. Therefore, I have to cut down my personal training sessions from once a week to once a month 😥 sad times. So I will be flying solo at the gym most weeks. This is also a positive though, as long as I manage to keep myself motivated. It’s an opportunity to grow in my self-discipline and spend more time choosing my own workouts. Wish me luck!

In other workout news, I am running 2.34 miles in 35 minutes, reaching 2 miles in 30 minutes and 40 seconds, and getting up to 7.5! All on a 2% incline. My goal is to climb Glastonbury Tor without having to stop to catch my breath 3 times like I have on the last few occasions! I’ll allow myself one breath break!

Tomorrow is gym and weigh-in day. Last week I weighed 11 stone 13 lbs. My goal this week is to weigh 11 stone 10 lbs, so a 3lb loss. It’s a big ask, but I’ve really been putting in work at the gym this week and trying hard with my food, so I want a good result. I’ll be happy with 1 or 2 pounds though. Stay tuned for the results soon!

Interesting First Weigh-in and Personal Training Session of 2020, Plus Health Food!

Hi all,

How is 2020 going for you so far?

I’ve just had my first personal training session of the year, followed by my first weigh-in of 2020!

The training session went well, probably because I practiced a lot over Christmas. Today I did planks, deadbugs, single leg balancing, TRX, step-ups (which I am really beginning to LOVE), pull-downs on the weight machine, dumbells, oblique cable pulls, goblet squats and ball-wall squats (where you bounce a big heavy ball up against the wall, catch it, squat then repeat – a killer!). I don’t know what it is, but I still don’t like squats very much. But I did a lot of arm work today which is great, I really want to get definition in my arms.

One good or bad thing about Quetiapine, depending on which way you look at it, is that it makes you drowsy. I’m only on 50mg a night, and I take the modified-release (MR) version of it, which basically means its effects are drawn out over 24 hours, rather than giving you all of the effects at once. I am basically always a little tired, and I really felt it today. I felt soooo comfortable on the bus to the gym. When the journey ended I felt like I could have slept forever. I’m sure I would have a lot more energy if I wasn’t taking Quetiapine, but I can’t take the risk to my mental health of stopping it. It’s a quandary I’m sure a lot of people with a history of psychosis deal with.

Yesterday I went to the Grape Tree shop in my town. It’s like a slightly cheaper and friendlier Holland & Barratt, with lots of yummy health food. I ended up buying banana chips which I have been slightly bingeing on because they are delicious and moreish, almond flour for carb-free pancakes for breakfast and pistachio nuts. Over Christmas I was treated to some amazing Turkish baklava made of pistachio and syrup. It probably had a lot of sugar in, so I’ve decided to make myself a healthy version; a baklava yoghurt using Fage 0%, pistachios and a dollop of maple syrup. I can’t wait!

My weigh-in today was interesting.

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So, I am down to 11st 13lb YAAY! 2lb from a week ago. However, my body fat is up by almost 2%. This most likely means that I have lost muscle mass, which I can kind of understand as before today, I haven’t had a personal training session since a week before Christmas. It’s still weird though, right? But I’m very happy to be under 12 stone finally. I’d love to lose at least another 2 pounds next week. It’d be great if I can lose 2lb a week until May. That would mean I’d hit my goal in time for my birthday 🙂

How are you getting on with managing your mental health and fitness so far this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Apology, Xmas Overindulgence and New Year’s Resolution

Hi all! Firstly, I’m sorry I didn’t update again before Christmas when I said I was going to! I really meant to post another update but I got swept up in wrapping presents and preparing for the season!

Happy 2020! I hope you all had a great Christmas and that you’re getting back on track after hopefully enjoying festive food treats! I certainly did. I had A LOT of chocolate, every day for about a week!

However, I did get in another gym session before Christmas on the 23rd, and I went to the gym on the 27th and did a weigh-in:

So basically I gained a pound over Christmas, which isn’t too bad and could have been much worse! Also, I am still under 40% body fat which I’m very happy about as I started at 48%! Unbelievable, right?!

I also went to the gym on New Year’s Eve and today! Some happy news; I am now on week 9 of Couch to 5k! This means that I am walking for 5 minutes and then running for 30 minutes, non-stop! I am very proud of that. I have never run that long before. However, the furthest I have gone so far in that time is 2.3 miles. It needs to be 3.2 to hit the 5k.

Also, I did bosu ball slow burpees, 2 sets of 5, for the first time in months! My trainer started me doing these. You basically do a burpee, one leg out followed by the other, holding on to the ball, and then lift it up when you stand up. I was absolutely terrified of this when I started personal training. I had very little balance. However, I am now more confident with it, I actually love the things, and I’m hoping to do the proper jumping burpees with it soon! This exercise targets your abs as well as your arms. What’s not to like?!

Back personal training again on Saturday which I am looking forward to. I will also do a weigh-in then. I am really hoping I shifted that pound and more. My eating still isn’t great but I’m not scoffing chocolate anymore.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to lose at least 2.5 stone this year, to get down to 9 and a half stone, which would put me just in the healthy range for my weight. Ideally I would like to do this by my birthday in May, but I’m going to try not to put too much pressure on myself. I’m hoping to try lots of new recipes this year and eat lots of healthy food!

Wishing you all a very happy and successful New Year 🙂

A Happy Weight Loss Update and Xmas Neuroses!

Hi all. Sorry it’s been a while since I last updated on my progress. I have made a few little achievements over the last couple of weeks!

I got down to 12 stone nothing! Yay! I was very happy with this result.

On Tuesday I reached a few milestones in the gym. I did a side plank for the first time ever! Both sides, 30 seconds each! I also did 10 press-ups on a 45cm block, my lowest to date! Last Friday, before the above weigh-in, I also ran 28 minutes straight, for the first time ever! My current levels for running are 2.0 incline, 4.8-5 for walking warm-up, 6-7.2 for actual running, averaging at 6.5. So I’ve been doing well. With that being said…

Christmas is only a few days away! Argh, temptation! Food! Drink!

I’ve been naughty with my eating and drinking. I’ve got a chocolate advent calendar I’m getting through. I’ve also been for a few Christmas drinks and had a few sandwiches I wouldn’t normally eat, when I’ve been super-busy out of the house. Tomorrow I would normally weigh in but I’m a little scared with all of the naughty eating and drinking I’ve been doing. I’m sure you can relate to all of the temptation around at Christmas and advent. I’m trying my best to rein it in and staying under my calorie limit for the most part. Sugar is the biggest problem, my biggest weakness and my downfall when it comes to my weight. But I’m going to do this, I’m going to keep going!

I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made so far on this weight loss journey and very proud that I have been able to lose weight despite being on Quetiapine. I was so afraid that I would never be able to lose weight because it was taking so long to start coming off. But thanks to my personal trainer and my willpower of steel (until December hit!) I’ve been doing it!

I will do another update before Christmas. I hope everyone is coping okay with all of the stress and temptation! I think it’s important to allow yourself your extra treats around Christmas. I know I would begin to resent myself if I felt I was really denying myself. But it’s about moderation!

Weight Loss and Fitness Update

Hey, sorry it’s been a while!

I didn’t have much to update on for the last week or so, but now I feel it’s time for an update and to share some progress.

Sorry about the image not being very clear. For some reason, treadmill stats come out strangely on phone cameras. I am now on Week 7 of couch to 5k! Yay! So that means I am now doing 5 minutes of brisk walking followed by 25 minutes of running on the treadmill. Last week I did 2 miles in 33 minutes including my cool down walk. Today I did 2 miles in 32 minutes. My ultimate goal is 3.2 miles (or 5k) in 30 minutes! In 2011 I did a 5k in Hyde Park for Guide Dogs for the Blind in 38 minutes which I was very proud of. I’m nowhere near even that, but that is my first goal, to get back there. Today I really started to struggle at 21 minutes in and seriously considered pressing the “cool down” button but I persisted and I’m so glad I did because I made that breakthrough.

I am also currently on level 10 on the cross trainer and do 12 minutes of this before my run.

I’ve also started incorporating leg and arm raises into my deadbugs, as instructed by my personal trainer. They’re a real killer the first time! But you really feel the burn in your lower abs. I’ve started going over a minute on my planks too. I want to get to one minute 30 seconds which is the standard plank time for an average college age female. Sometimes I manage one minute 20, sometimes one minute 15.

My stomach is my big “problem area”. It is where I have the most fat and people often ask me if I am pregnant, which I have never been so far! I want to be able to do all the planks, side planks and press-ups. I am working up to press-ups with my trainer by progressing through different heights of boxes to lean on. This is generally thought of as more effective progression than press-ups with your knees on the floor.

I also did walking with a 12kg kettlebell in each hand. This was a real killer on my 5th and last lap around the treadmills. But I love it because it’s strength and cardio rolled into one and will help my cardio overall.

My last weigh-in made me very happy! Here are the results:

So I have now lost 1 stone and 2 pounds this year! Or 16 pounds for my American readers!

I still have a long way to go but I am feeling good!

How is your weight loss/fitness journey going?

Healthy Meal Recommended by My PT!

Hi, I thought I would share what I had for dinner tonight! This is a meal I’ve actually never had before. It’s a pretty standard meal that is recommended for most people trying to lose weight but it’s never appealed to me before. It’s very quick and simple. The recipe is:

Boiled rice and peas

Chopped oven cooked chicken and red pepper, sprinkled with oregano and a few spritzes of frylight.

And that’s it! Chicken, rice and veg. I don’t really like chicken, I find it boring because when I was younger I had to have roast chicken every Sunday. However, one of my favourite meals is chicken fried rice from the Chinese takeaway. This is healthier with less fat and more veg. And it actually tastes good. Nearly every time I see my personal trainer, he tells me to cook this dish fit myself. Well, now I finally have! And I’m sure I’ll do it again soon. It’s full of protein but low calorie, the chicken is good and with the rice, it’s a very satisfying meal. Why not give it a go and let me know what you think?

Some More Info About My Weight Loss Journey So Far

Hi! So here’s a little update regarding my weight loss journey, including my workouts, eating and some background info. My current weight is at the end.

I started seeing a personal trainer in early September. At the time I weighed 13 stone 4 :O A figure which horrifies me. I’m 5’2″. But I’d already slooowwwly lost 3 pounds on my own. My body fat was still 49% :O

Before I started with the personal trainer, my workout consisted of stomach crunches, 10 minutes on cross trainer and the NHS Couch to 5K programme, 2 days a week.

My diet was not much improved, except I cut back my puddings from half a tub of Ben & Jerry’s or cake 5 days a week to 2 days a week! Aside from that, a typical day’s eating for me consisted of sometimes cereal, sometimes weightwatchers cake roll in the morning before work, some kind of salad for lunch and whatever meal for dinner, plus pudding and occasional chocolate bar and diet cola. I was still having full-fat milk in my tea and cereal!

I started driving more a few years ago and this meant less walking. Apart from my gym workouts, I wasn’t getting much exercise.

Now, I have cut back on diet cola. Before I would have a 500ml bottle 3 days a week, now it’s about once a week. The rest of the time it’s mostly water. In my tea and cereal, I have semi-skimmed milk. (Skimmed to me is just water with some white colouring in it!) I now fast between 12-16 hours between my last meal of the day and my first meal the next day.

Typical day’s eating for me now is:

Breakfast: If hungry, oats with fruit, protein powder, chia seeds and almond milk or scrambled eggs and cooked cherry tomatoes.

If not hungry, a banana.

Lunch: Vegetable soup or salad.

Dinner: Whatever I want, but less bread, less potatoes, more veg. Eating fish more frequently, from once a fortnight to twice a week. I’ve also started cooking myself a bean and leak stew once a fortnight.

Snack: Sometimes a biscuit with my tea, or if I’m being good, nuts or an apple.

Pudding: Once a week I have a third of a Ben & Jerry’s tub as a treat. The rest of the time, if I’m still craving something nice, I have a lovely chocolate Slim Fast.

I pay attention most to calories and sugar. The ideal for me is 1000-1400 calories while I am trying to lose weight, and I aim for 0 sugar but allow myself the occasional treat.

As for workouts, when I’m not with my trainer, I do stomach crunches, 1 minute plank and 1 minute deadbug x 2. (My stomach is the biggest part of me) Then I do 10 minutes on the cross trainer, then couch to 5k. At the moment I’m on week 6 day 2. I’m struggling with day 3, running continuously for 25 minutes.

When I am with my trainer, we do a wide variety. It is different every time. But every time, I do 10-15 mins on cross-trainer. Then we do 1 minute plank and 1 minute deadbug x 2.

We often do bosun ball slow burpees x 10. We always do squats, sometimes a goblet squat with a heavy dumbell or sometimes deadlifting 40kg (hate it).

We often do step-ups with small kettlebells. Sometimes I do it up and down a flight of stairs.

We do resistance band pulling with squats and air press-ups. Sometimes we do the thing with the ropes on the floor (hate it) and pushing weight along a track (hate it) and sometimes pull ups on knee rest (really hate!)

Sometimes we do arm workouts with dumbells (love!) and sometimes squats with bouncing a weighted ball.

Then to finish, I do 20 minutes on the cross-trainer. I started at level 5 and now I am at level 9 so I am quite proud of myself!

My biggest change exercise-wise is I now try to do 30 minutes of walking outside every day, in addition to my daily activities of living. This has done so much for my mood and motivation. I put some Grateful Dead or a podcast on my Spotify and away I go! It’s getting harder with the shorter days and the darkness and bad weather though.

My current weight as of Sunday is 12 stone 9, which I am chuffed about but obviously I still have a few stone to lose until I am in the healthy range for my height. My body fat is 43% which is better but still lots of room for improvement there!

So, that’s my update for today. I hope you found this interesting and helpful!