Piri Piri Chicken

This piri piri marinade can be used with fish, meat or even cheeses such as haloumi or paneer. We like to serve this with chips and salad but if you prefer rice instead, have a look through my previous recipe here. I usually leave the chicken pieces to marinade for a few hours before cooking, but if you don’t have much time, leave it to marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Piri Piri Chicken Nibblets

Piri Piri Chicken Nibblets

 

Serves: 4

Time Taken: 25-40 minutes, plus marinade

Syns: FREE

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg chicken nibblets, skinless
  • 1tbsp Schwartz piri piri seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • Season to taste

Method

Put all ingredients together in a bowl apart from the chicken, and mix well. Add the chicken to the marinade and ensure all the pieces are well coated. Place them in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

If you have an actifry, place the chicken pieces in the actifry (a few batches at a time) and cook for around 25 minutes. Alternatively, spray your chicken pieces with 1cal spray oil and place them in a pre heated oven, gas mark 6 for around 40 minutes, turning halfway.

Masala Chips

These have got to be the best masala chips I’ve made so far! Really simple to make and very low in syns too. I normally cook my Slimming World chips in the actifry but if you haven’t got one, you can make them in an oven too. Click here for the chips recipe.

Serves: 2

Syns: 1 syn per serving

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 3 baking potatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp water

Method

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients (apart from the potatoes) to make your masala sauce. Keep aside till needed.

Cook your chips. In the last 5 minutes of your chips cooking, take them out of the oven/actifry and mix into the masala. Pop the chips back into the oven/acyifry to finish cooking.

Running Alone

I did it! I went out to run on my own outside today. I received a few messages yesterday from people who suggested starting at a park to build my confidence up and that really helped. It didn’t seem so daunting running in the park. It was a cold morning and I set out later than I had hoped to be out by, but I didn’t back down! I set the timer for 30 minutes on my phone and launched the Strava app to record the length of the run. I must admit, even though I only did 30 minutes it felt a little boring running around the park. I just kept going round and round! I did 4.4km in that time which I was happy with.

First run statsI’ve signed up for Park Run (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/) this Saturday and hope I will get a good time for 5k. This will be my first ever proper timed run. I have done Race for Life (https://raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org/) in the past but I normally just walk, never attempted to run!

I really want to try and do a different route tomorrow even though I am really nervous to go out on the roads. I might have to go super early when there aren’t many people outside! It sounds pretty stupid right? Grown woman like me nervous to go outside to run. I don’t know what’s stopping me. Maybe I feel I will get judged for running because I wear a headscarf? I know it is silly, most people are probably too busy going about their day to notice but I think that is my main fear. Anyhow, I’ve got today to sort myself out and plan a route before I attempt going out tomorrow morning. Wish me luck guys! x

strava map

 

 

 

2019 Resolutions

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I don’t normally do Resolutions but with so much that has happened over the last year or so, I thought I’d make a bigger effort this year to smash the goals I’ve wanted to set out but have been too afraid/lazy/not bothered in the past.

Blog more – I have a few go to recipes that I have shared on here but I would love to include a lot more content on this website that is not all necessarily food related or Slimming World. Let me know what you would like to read more of.

Stop comparing myself to others – that is one main issue that I struggle with. Social media is great to interact with others and see what others are up to but I have on so many occasions felt I was not doing enough after seeing other’s posts, feeling like I’m falling behind. I must stop this as it really affects not only my mental health but it affects the loved ones near me. I have seriously doubted myself in the past because I felt I was not as good a mother as I could be, I felt I didn’t have the right clothes or went out enough when compared to others. It was pretty stupid to be fair thinking about it now. I intend on taking more breaks from social media.

Running – I fell in love with a new passion towards the end of 2018. Running! Who knew I could enjoy it as much as I did. I must admit I am not exactly a marathon runner but the little jogging that I do makes me feel so good at the end of it. This year I am going to work on building the courage to go outside to run on my own. I love to run when I am with the running group but the days I don’t meet up with them I try to fit a run at home on the treadmill and it is just not the same! I almost went outside this morning, I opened the front door and was all set up to leave the house and backed out 🙁 I turned around and used the treadmill instead. Maybe if you are a runner you could give me some tips on how I can build my confidence to go out on my own?

Healthy lifestyle approach – lately old habits started to creep up back up again and my approach to diet is all or nothing! I need to get back to the mind set that this is a healthy lifestyle change and if I have a bad meal or bad day/days it doesn’t mean I’ve given up or lost my way – the long term plan is always to eat healthy and be healthy.

I can think of a few other resolutions but for now these are the ones I am going to concentrate on. I will review this in a few months and update you guys on where I am! Do you keep new year resolutions? If so, what are your resolutions for 2019? x

Hummus

A super easy and syn free hummus recipe without all the oil and tahini paste. You can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste. Enjoy the hummus with some crudités or flatbreads like I did. I had mine with Ryvita flatbreads (1.5 syns each). If you don’t want to use any syns, you can opt for crispbread that can be counted as part of your healthy extra B choice. Have a look here for all the options available from Ryvita.

Hummus

Hummus

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • lemon juice to taste
  • 2 tbsp. 0% Greek yoghurt
  • Cayenne chilli to taste

Method

Blitz all ingredients together till it is smooth. If you find the hummus too thick for you, you can thin it down with a little water or more yogurt.

Ryvita

Hi lovelies, first of all apologies for the delay in writing this! I know many of you have been waiting for the syn values of the Ryvita goodies I was sent last week, so thank you for your patience. I have finally got around to finding them all out for you. I haven’t yet tried the whole range I was sent but I could not resist trying the new Sweet & Salted Rye Cakes – wow, they’re absolutely delicious! I had them plain and also had them topped with fruit and yogurt as well. I reckon these rye cakes would taste amazing with chocolate spread too, just remember to keep track of your syns! They’re currently available from Sainsbury’s and Waitrose only but I am pretty sure they will have them at other major supermarkets at some point too. Each rye cake is only 1 syn or you can enjoy 5 of these as your healthy extra (HE) B choice!

Ryvita

Ryvita

 

Thank you to the lovely Yessi from Ryvita for sending me all these goodies. I was not expecting such a beautiful range to try. I thought I was going to receive the new rye cakes only so when I opened the door for a huge delivery it was such a nice surprise! Thank you once again.

I will list the rest of the syn values below. Have you tried any of the Ryvita range? What’s your favourite? Comment below and feel free to share this with your fellow Slimming World friends.

  • Cheese crackerbread – 1 syn each
  • Cheddar & cracked black pepper thins – 1.5 syns each
  • Currants, seeds & oats crispbread – 2.5 syns each or 2 as HE
  • Multigrain crunchy rye bread – 1.5 syns each or 3 as HE
  • Rosemary & sea salt thins – 1.5 syns each
  • Caramelised onion thins – 1.5 syns each
  • Protein rye bread – Chia seed & buckwheat – 1.5 syns each or 3 as HE
  • Protein rye bread – Red quinoa & sesame – 1.5 syns each or 3 as HE
  • Protein rye bread – Linseed & nigella seed – 1.5 syns or 3 as HE
  • Cracked black pepper rye bread – 1.5 syns each or 4 as HE

Couch to 5K

I finally plucked up the courage to join a local Couch to 5K group. I had been thinking about this for a few months now but could not get myself motivated to register and get started. If you’ve not heard of Couch to 5K, it is basically a running plan for absolute beginners. The plan involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest in between, and a different schedule for each of the 9 weeks.

One of the main reasons I didn’t initially want to get involved was because I felt too conscious of running in public! I had all sorts of thoughts going through my head – the main fear being judged by passers by or drivers in their cars, so I kept putting it off until I saw a post on Facebook recently about a new Couch to 5K group. It was all very positive so I decided to give it a go. I signed up just for one week, I didn’t want to commit to any more than that in case I was totally rubbish! I managed to persuade a good friend to sign up too so it didn’t feel as daunting.

We went along to our first session yesterday. I was sooooo nervous. I had no idea what to expect as we were joining on week 3 and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the group. But I was put at ease straight away by fellow members and the run leader. It was an extremely cold morning and it would have been so easy to give it a miss and stay at home in the warmth but I am glad I had a buddy to go with as we motivated each other to go to it!

Once we got started I absolutely loved it! Yes, you read that right, I loved it. I ran for 3 minutes straight and wanted to carry on for longer. It sounds crazy but once I got started, the cold weather didn’t bother me. I soon warmed up and enjoyed the cold air hitting my face.

Run Together RunFit Shirley

Run Together RunFit Shirley

So what are the benefits?

There are plenty of benefits from getting into running. For starters, it’s an easy way of improving physical health.

Running requires little equipment, a good pair of running trainers and you’re good to go!

Running regularly will improve the health of your heart and lungs. It can also help you lose weight, especially if combined with a healthy diet. Absolutely perfect for those following Slimming World plan alongside it – running can count towards your body magic.

There’s evidence it may help increase bone density in some people, which can help protect against bone diseases like osteoporosis.

There are also mental benefits of running. Taking on the challenge of Couch to 5K can help boost your confidence and self-belief, as you prove to yourself that you can set yourself a target and achieve a goal.

Running regularly can also be a great stress reliever and has even been shown to combat depression.

How to get started?

You can get started on your own by downloading The One You Couch to 5K app. It gives you a choice of coaches and helps you track your progress. You can also check out the Coach to 5K website for a weekly 9 weeks running plan.

Or you could do what I did and find a group you can join near you. Most of these groups are free and I find it more motivating being part of a group rather than running on my own, plus it is safer if you’re thinking of running outside.

There is a new 8 week plan starting on 7th Jan. If you’re local and would like to get involved or for details and how to pre-register visit https://groups.runtogether.co.uk/RunFitShirley

The Chocolate Hub

I was sent some chocolate from the lovely people at The Chocolate Hub a couple of weeks ago to try and review on my Instagram page and thought I might as well do a blog post!

The Chocolate Hub make luxurious handmade chocolate slabs and circles. All of their chocolate slabs are 160 calories or less which make them the perfect treat to indulge in whilst on any weight loss plan. That’s 8 syns or less if you are following Slimming World! They weren’t kidding on their website that they are nearly as good as Hotel Chocolat and Lindt! The chocolates were truly delicious and would make a perfect gift for anyone who isn’t following any weight loss plan too.

I got sent the selection pictured below and put the syn values on there. There are so many different types of chocolate slabs as well as circles to choose from, head over to their website to check out the options, prices, etc. https://chocolatehub.co.uk/

Most of the chocolates are suitable for vegetarians, but you can check for any other allergens and full ingredients list on their website too.

My favourite one was the white chocolate circle with the jammie dodger, I don’t usually opt for white chocolate but this combination was amazing. The little stars were also really nice on their own or you could put them into your breakfast for a little indulgence. I didn’t get a chance to eat the Flower Power Milk Chocolate slab as my hubby nabbed that one and he loved it too! All the choccies were a great hit with all of us at home.

Porridge with white chocolate jammie dodger circle

Porridge with white chocolate jammie dodger circle

If you are thinking of placing an order, The Chocolate Hub have kindly given a discount code for all my followers. Use code ‘Rahema’ for 20% off any purchases. I have seen some really nice combinations on the website that I really want to try so will be placing an order soon.

Let me know what you think of them, hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I am x

The Chocolate Hub chocolate

The Chocolate Hub chocolate

Syn Values

Crushed digestive white chocolate slab – 7.5 syns

White button milk chocolate circles – 2.5 syns each

Jammie dodger white chocolate circle – 3 syns each

Flower power milk chocolate slab – 8 syns

Crushed oreo milk chocolate stars – 1.5 syns each

 

Slimming World Changes

By now you’re probably aware that Slimming World has shared some exciting news that will take place at the end of the year/ new year. I have posted below a copy of what has been shared. Remember you can find out more info about this from your SW consultant. He/she will be able to answer any questions if you feel confused after reading this. To me, it is all good news! How fab is it you can now enjoy both milk and cheese options in the same day without counting one of them as syns? And I am so excited that paneer has finally made it to the healthy extra A choices. What do you think of these changes SW will be introducing? Have you already started to put them in place?

EXCITING NEWS!!

Food Optimising changes from Christmas!

Our Nutrition team here at Slimming World regularly review the latest scientific and nutrition research, food trends and product information to make sure our generous Food Optimising stays bang up-to-date and in line with current guidance, so that you can achieve the very best weight loss results in the very healthiest way.

To help you achieve your dream in 2019, you’ll receive a special limited edition NEW MEMBER PACK FOR FREE when you come along to group during Christmas week or New Year week. And, in it, you might spot a few changes to Food Optimising:

1. Enjoy an additional Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice every Extra Easy day – for even more calcium and even more choice!
2. Due to new nutrition information:

A handful of Free Foods have lost their P symbols – baked beans, broad beans, mung beans and all varieties of peas (except split peas)

A few Healthy Extra ‘a’ choices have changed.

A Healthy Extra portion of whole cow’s milk has increased to 200ml

The Healthy Extra portions of rice and almond milk have both decreased to 400ml

40g Paneer cheese is now a Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice!

Some products are no longer Healthy Extras:

Kelloggs Special K Milk Chocolate Delight Bar

Sweetened dairy-free milk

Reduce fat/light soft cheese (including Philadelphia Light)

Soft goat’s cheese

3. And on an Extra Easy SP day, enjoy at least half a plate of Speed food, and the rest Protein-rich food as usual. Plus two Healthy Extra ‘a’ choices and one Healthy Extra ‘b’ choice and, to boost your weight loss further, a maximum of 10 Syns.

This is in addition to the changes we let you know about earlier in the year, that fat-free flavoured yogurts canned pasta in tomato sauce and instant mashed potato now have a small Syn value, and that some vegan-friendly products including canned jackfruit and plain/smoked seitan are now Free Food.

If you’ve spotted that one of your favourites is no longer a Healthy Extra, you’ll get plenty of ideas in group for Free Food and Healthy Extra alternatives. And if you’d love to adopt some of those changes from today – feel free!

Extra Easy SP

Please note: This post has been edited to reflect the changes Slimming World has announced this week.

Picture this, a weekend spent going over your syns limit, some may be worth the extra syns, others not so much. Then you remember weigh day is looming so you’re in need of a quick fix, hands up who turns to Extra Easy SP for a miracle maintain or even a loss that week?

Well, let me tell you that this isn’t why this plan was designed! Extra Easy SP is not a quick fix to undo damage you have done, you might get lucky and maintain or even lose that week but realistically many of us do not. As a consultant I had a few disappointed members who after an over indulgent weekend or mid week event followed by the Extra Easy SP for a few days didn’t get the results they’d hoped for.

I can assure you that when followed 100% without tweaking the plan and definitely not after going over your maximum syns over a day or more, it will give you the results you want. The plan is designed to re-boot your motivation if you’re struggling a bit, it is perfect for those getting closer to target and are looking to shift those last few pesky lbs or for those that may have a special occasion looming and are in need of a weight loss boost.

If you are thinking of giving Extra Easy SP a go please bear in mind that this isn’t a plan suitable for everyone. It is recommended that if you are mum-to-be, breastfeeding mum, 16-17 year old member, Free2Go young member, or have diabetes or kidney problems, you are expected to continue to follow Extra Easy every day or Free2Go if applicable. Extra Easy SP is not suitable for you to follow.

If you’re a standard member and none of the above applies to you, then it is recommended that you follow Extra Easy SP for a week first. If you love the results you’re achieving, you can either:

  • continue Extra Easy SP days, building in some standard Extra Easy days to ensure you’re getting a well balanced diet

or

  • add another Healthy Extra ‘A’ choice each day to ensure you’re getting plenty of calcium. If you prefer not to add an extra Healthy Extra ‘A’ choice, you can have one regular size pot of yogurt instead

So how does Extra Easy SP work? It’s simple! Before I explain  I just want to point out that as a consultant I would only have recommended this plan for those members that had grasped Extra Easy fully, if you’re not familiar with the basics of the plan then you may find this one a bit too restrictive. You can read more about the basics here. If you are familiar with Extra Easy then this will be easy to understand.

When choosing to follow Extra Easy SP, you will be ensuring that all your food choices contain an S (speed) and P (protein) symbol only. You will need to look into your food optimising book and familiarise yourself with your fave S and P foods. Planning will also be key to ensure you get the results you want.

Omelette filled with cherry tomatoes, beans, spring onions & mushrooms

Omelette filled with cherry tomatoes, beans, spring onions & mushrooms

Step 1 – Free Foods (S and P Foods)

Speed foods are very low in energy density which means they have very few calories for their weight. You will need to fill at least half of your plate with Speed Free Foods. The more Speed foods you choose, the better the weight loss as you’ll be eating less calories! Look out for the Speed Free Foods in your food optimising book with the S symbol next to them on the fruit and veg pages.

Protein rich foods will satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling fuller for longer. The choices for P symbol foods include fish, lean meat and poultry, eggs, pulses and meat replacements. Look carefully over the pages 14-19 for those foods that contain the P symbol and aim to have half of your plate with these foods.

On top of all the S and P foods you can eat, you can also use all the store cupboard staples listed on page 21 of the book freely and enjoy the drinks listed on page 23.

Step 2 – Healthy Extras

You can choose:

  • two Healthy Extra ‘A’ choice

and

  • one Healthy Extra ‘B’ choices

To power up your weight loss even more, look out for Speed Healthy Extra choices with an ‘S’ symbol

Step 3 – Syns

Enjoy 5-10 syns as usual. These should not be used for foods that you’d have on Extra Easy. For example Pasta! We all know that plain, dried pasta is a free food but you can get varieties that contain syns (Pasta & Sauce packets or Mug Shots etc). Please don’t use your syns on those! When following Extra Easy SP 100% your food should contain S and P symbols only and your syns should not contain any other free food element. Hope this makes sense!

And that is all there is to the plan! You can get a food diary designed to help you when following Extra Easy SP from your consultant. I find the food diary is an essential tool as it will help you understand your eating pattern.

You can also get a 7 day Extra Easy SP menu from the Slimming World website to give you some ideas or use the recipe books and magazines available in group to find your own fave recipes that you can enjoy when following this plan.