Start Saturday, or in this case, Restart Saturday

At last, the breakthrough I’ve been waiting for. Yesterday was a race day at work, I squeezed myself into my dress and it was snug! I know I looked ‘ok’ and I got a tonne of compliments, which is always good for the self esteem, but I knew, in my heart, that I should have, and could have, looked better – so today I start. Next race day is the 5th of December and I want my dress (same size as yesterday) to be ‘loose’. I just know my mind set has changed – I’m thinking about buying salad ingredients not chips and dip, I’m not already giving myself permission to binge today (as has been happening), I want to get back to seeing the scale go down, I want that goal weight!

I’ve turned the corner. I’m set on weight loss again and not eating my emotions. I want to put that dress on, on the 5th, and know in my heart I do look the best because I worked for it!

The relief of having this frame of mind back is hard to describe. I’ve felt like I had no control over my thoughts (but of course I have) I just slid back in to the old habits when things got stressful and I was out if my routine, but now I know the new habits are back!

Sun is shining, things are looking up, and I feel great.

races 221113

A Taste of Summer

Wow the weather in New Plymouth was gorgeous yesterday. There was a high of 18 degrees but it felt even hotter. I think I even got a little bit of colour!

Sitting outside in the sun, having a couple of beers, and listening to some music it totally felt like Summer! Was wonderful, really restorative and good for the soul.

There are a couple of lemon trees out the back of the house and they are heavy with fruit so I have been making lemon juice ice cubes, I’ve frozen some lemon quarters and will be doing slices this week too. Ever since I made Jamie’s Ricotta Fritters I had a new respect for lemons, they are so versatile and delicious! I think I’m going to do some research about making a lemon juice cocktail for the summer, probably with a gin or vodka base.

In the meantime, I’m holding onto that summer feeling today as it’s definitely not sunny, although fortunately not wet either.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Lemon cocktail

Weigh In Wednesday – Journey

Today was a great weigh in with a new lowest weight. I’m on a mission to get to goal now before I kick back into working out and running. Hopefully my foot will be better by then too! I’m still doing my exercises from the physio but I have not been running for a couple of weeks now to try and let it rest a bit. Will reassess it at the end of July and perhaps start some shorter runs again because I miss them. That being said today’s message fits perfectly Be happy with what you have while working for what you want!

Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.

The Skinny Love Spin On Jamie’s Ricotta Fritters

So last night I chose to make over Jamie Oliver’s Ricotta Fritters with Tomato Sauce and was surprised to find it was pretty clean to start with.

These are the ingredients and those ‘struck through’ are what I left out, primarily because I don’t like them, some I swapped out and the balsamic I simply didn’t have any to hand.

Ingredients

For the sauce
25 g dried porcini mushrooms ( I swapped these for a portobello)
4 anchovy fillets , optional
1 dried red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
700g passata (I used 290gms of Watties tomato puree)
8 black olives (stone in)
½ a bunch of fresh basil

For the fritters
1 large free-range egg
400 g ricotta cheese (I used 250gms of Perfect Italiano Light Ricotta)
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
1 lemon
40 g Parmesan cheese (I used 30gms)
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour (I used wholemeal breadcrumbs)
olive oil (I used Rice Bran cooking spray)
balsamic vinegar (I would have put this in if I had had some)

As I was making this only for myself I halved a few of the ingredients but still got two meals out of it, with three 1/4 cup sized fritters in each meal and plenty of tomato sauce (Jamie’s version there are two fritter per serving). I think I could definitely try it with basil next time and you do not need to add any salt.

To make them beautiful and golden you really do need to use oil to cook them but as I was going for clean and low calories I didn’t mind that they didn’t look really pretty.

Also I used breadcrumbs not flour because I’m still researching which is the best clean flour that is actually available at my local supermarket.

In terms of the calories:

Jamie’s site says it’s 408 per serving but when I worked it out I got 508 per serving (including the salad he made on the show)

If you deduct the salad I worked Jamie’s calories to be 433

Mine worked out to be 331

This will mostly be be down to leaving out ingredients, choosing a light ricotta and not using oil or all in all it’s a pretty clean and low calorie meal by Mr Oliver but I would still make mine the same as I did next time because I enjoyed it as it was.

So what’s with the ‘canned’ tomato puree? Two reasons, firstly price – the cost of getting enough tomatoes to make the same volume of puree is at least triple if not quadruple at the moment and secondly it’s 98% tomatoes (the other 2% are salt, sugar & citric acid) and is well within my clean eating limit of 90%.

jamies ricotta

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image source

Clean Eating in June

So today kicks off the start of my serious clean eating project/lifestyle. I’m not saying I’m never going to eat unclean again (because lets face it – I’m not a robot and I love cupcakes lol) but it’s my intention to be more deliberate about not eating highly processed food rather than the ad hoc way I’ve been going about it so far.

Of course, I also want to lose weight and as I have ‘a thing’ for animal fat – the worst kind of fat there is (in my opinion) – I’m going meat free for the month. This will mean I need to be rather more organised about my dinner than I am now because I can’t just fall back on the go to steak, lamb, or pork.

Part of my cleaning eating project/lifestyle change is to choose recipes from well known chefs and see if I can clean them up and possibly reduce the calories too. My first project is going to be Jamie Oliver’s Ricotta Fritters with Tomato Sauce. That’s for dinner tonight and I’ll blog my results tomorrow.

clean eating humour

Last Sunday in April

As many of you probably know (if you follow me on Twitter) I am currently house sitting for my friend who is in America for the school holidays. She lives in the ‘dress circle’ of town, and I have been enjoying being ‘lady of the manor’.

One of the upsides of staying here is the location, the dairy is a mere 2 minute walk, town is an easy 1.5km stroll, Hartleigh’s school is less than ten minutes walk away, as is the park. On the downside, the neighbours are close! Close enough that you do feel like they can hear your conversations when you’re camped out on the deck, soaking up the incredible sun, and enjoying a beverage or three from the local beer producer! Seriously if you have not tried Mike’s Strawberry Blonde you are missing out. It’s so delicious, and perfect for the weather!

The weather has created this whole blog to be honest. This morning it was a nice day, not rainy, not overcast, just nice – so I thought I would use the last of my Green Meadows Beef mince to make some meatballs. Subsequently the weather has gotten better and better, to the point where it’s ‘almost’ too hot to sit on the deck (actually it is too hot right now but bloody hell I’m not giving up one minute of this sun because I know winter is going to be biting way too soon) so there in lies the dilemma, meatballs for dinner OR be totally Kiwi and have a BBQ!

I actually don’t have a BBQ at my house, the one I did used to own was disposed of when the house was sold. I do covet the Webers, and when I have the $$ I will buy one, so the opportunity to use the BBQ here raised it’s head and I thought I should check it out to make sure I can get it going etc before making a full commitment to a BBQ that might not happen. As it turns out it’s a breeze to get started and I’m sure that even ‘I’ can produce something remotely edible from this ‘gadget’. Which leads me to my Tweet:

The mere whiff of food cooking on the BBQ just conjures up memories of all those things I hold dear. Summer sun, sandy feet, holiday’s at the beach, celebrations, and so many good times spent with friends and family.

I can’t wait to fire up the BBQ again, and cook my dinner – steak marinated in smoked paprika (of course)! Long may this beautiful weather last.

I hope you have all enjoyed your last Sunday in April!

 

Weigh In Wednesday – ‘The Half’

Everything you need2013 has been a watershed year for me so far. I’ve made some quite drastic changes to my life in particular in the areas of health and fitness and work-life balance. I’ve said no to things I would like to be involved with because I needed to stop over committing myself. I’m doing less and giving those things more.

The first week of April saw a 2.5kg loss which is awesome and a big chunk towards my goal for the next six weeks. [Week two not so pretty but that’s another blog]. I’ve been running [well walk/jog/run], and doing the squat challenge. At present working up to being able to easily run 5kms but also doing some hill work.

I’ve achieved some great goals this year and feel like it’s time to step up my efforts. Whilst I have some new short term goals as outlined in this blog, I decided I needed something bigger to work towards, a ‘milestone’ event so I have decided to run the half marathon in October.

Whilst I know this is no small undertaking I do feel confident that I can achieve this goal especially with the support of my friends who have been so positive and encouraging. Can’t wait to make them and me proud!

So there it is, in black and white. I got this!

A Summer of Sun, Fun, oh and Love!

Summer usually means a series of events – my birthday, Christmas, a day at the races, and a concert and then pretty much back to work without really feeling like I’ve had a break or enjoyed the beautiful weather, but this summer was not my usual summer!.

December started as it usually does, with me kicking the Christmas decorating, crafting, and preparations into full swing and I snuck my birthday in fairly low key with a picnic dinner at the beach with my son and my mum. 43 is a fairly blah birthday moving me further away from 40 and closer to gulp 45! One resolution I made this birthday was to let shit go. No use stressing over crap you can’t control. Actually managing this pretty well so far although I know I’m always going to care too much what people think about me.

Christmas was a lovely day spoiling Mr 7, having a Christmas breakfast with lifelong friend Shelley and her son, then Christmas lunch with my niece and her now rather large family, and then on to the traditional dinner at aunty Pam’s. Was a great day.

Usually by the start of December I also have my marquee booked and filled for the races on the 27th but this year I hadn’t organised it, and as it turns out that was meant to be because about a week before Christmas I started a new role at Taranaki Thoroughbred Racing as the Events, Marketing & Sponsorship Co-Ordinator meaning that now I attend the races as my job! I would have been bummed if my friends were all there celebrating and I couldn’t.

The other thing I usually do over the Christmas break is go to a concert, often at Butlers Reef to see The Feelers or Jimmy Barnes, although sometimes at The Bowl if we have great band there like Fleetwood Mac. This year because some things have been a bit mixed up I wasn’t paying attention to who was playing out there and missed going to see Shihad. Really hoping to get to see a band out there at some stage, it’s always a great night out.

One of the biggest changes over the summer has been my hours, my new role is super flexible so I can work when I want, where I want, and this has allowed me plenty of time to enjoy the first of the items in my title – Sun. Taranaki, along with much of the country, has enjoyed some of the best weather we’ve had during a summer for literally years and it’s been fantastic to be able to hang out outside in the beautiful sunshine. I’ve even managed to get a tan! #loveit

Fun is the next thing on my summer summary. A combination of flexible hours, hot hot weather, and probably a bit too much beer has resulted in a summer of fun. I haven’t laughed so much in years, I’ve been on all sorts of adventures, and I’ve just totally done plenty of things that the ‘anal retentive’ Sonya wouldn’t have done. Caring less does open you up to new experiences!

Last but certainly not least is Love. I’ve loved spending hours out on the deck in the sun drinking a new love Export 33 beer, I’ve loved spending time with friends, I’ve loved hanging out with Mr 7 who at this age is just such a cool kid, I’ve fallen back in love with country music helped in part by Tate Stevens winning X Factor. I hope my neighbours love it as much as me as it’s often played loud during those drinks-on-the-deck sessions. I’ve loved having time to work when and how I want to. I’ve loved being back in control of my diet and losing weight. I’ve loved the new experiences this summer has presented. And I’ve fallen in love with this guy…

Well actually probably not so much him as this song, which is kind of my theme song for summer! I hope you have had an amazing summer doing all the things that make you happy like I have!