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!




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?


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


  • 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


  • 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.



No-Bake Cheesecake

A super easy dessert you can whip up in a few minutes. My family love this cheesecake and now they can make it themselves with this recipe! This isn’t a SW friendly recipe, you can however work out the syn values yourself by working out the syns for all the ingredients and dividing by the number of servings you get.

You can top the cheesecake with pretty much anything you want. When I am pressed for time, I add chopped chocolate (as pictured), or grate a couple of digestive biscuits over it. Other toppings I love to add to the cheesecake are: fresh strawberries pureed and sweetened with a little icing sugar and crushed meringues (best to do this just before serving), crushed oreos, Ferrero Rocher, mango or passion fruit. What do you like to top your cheesecake with? Comment below with your fave toppings.

You can vary the biscuits you use for the base to include your favourite one – if I am making an Oreo flavoured cheesecake, then I’d use Oreo biscuits for the base and I would also add crushed Oreos to the cream mixture too.

Enjoy and feel free to tag me in your creations x

No-Bake Cheesecake

No-Bake Cheesecake



  • 250g digestive biscuits (crushed)
  • 100g butter (melted)
  • 600ml cream cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 284ml tub Elmlea double cream
  • Vanilla extract


Make the biscuit base first – crush the biscuits in a blender or you can crush them by hand. I usually get my kids to do it as they absolutely love bashing the biscuits with a rolling pin! Place the biscuits in a clean bag and bash it with a rolling pin until it is finally crushed. Add the melted butter and mix well. Place the biscuits in a flan dish and place it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to firm up.

Mix the cream cheese with icing sugar (don’t overmix as the cream cheese will turn runny). Mix until the sugar is evenly mixed. Add the Elmlea cream and vanilla extract and mix till it makes soft peaks.

Add the cream to the biscuit base and chill. Add topping of your choice before serving.