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.



Slimming World – The Basics

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

One of the questions I get asked often is how does Slimming World (SW) work? So I’m going to give you an overview of the plan. It is a very easy and simple plan to follow. If you’ve ever tried any diets in an effort to lose weight before and maybe were not as successful as you’d hoped or just want to give SW a go, please be open minded! You may be surprised at how generous the eating plan is, but it all works perfectly well together when you follow the simple 3 steps bellows.

Step 1 Free Foods

Most of the food you will be eating from will come from a list of foods called Free Foods. These are called Free Foods because they are unlimited – you can have as much or as little of these foods as you like without weighing or measuring a single thing! Sounds great, right? So what exactly are these Free Foods you may be wondering? These are foods that are naturally lower in calories and high in satiety (that means appetite satisfaction). You can fill up on these foods whenever you like as long as they’ve been cooked without any fat or oil. You will be able to find the full list of the hundreds of Free Foods available to choose from in the Food Optimising book you receive when you join a SW group. The following is just a summary of what is included:

  • Fruit – only when fresh or frozen whole (cooked, canned, dried & pureed fruits are NOT free foods)
  • Vegetables
  • Fish
  • Meat & Poultry (including some vegetable proteins)
  • Dairy products – fat free natural yogurts, low fat plain cottage cheese, quark
  • Eggs
  • Rice, pasta & grains
  • Beans, peas & lentils

Enjoy filling up on these foods any time, day or night, without any limits! Free Foods will keep you feeling fuller longer than other foods – especially protein rich foods such as lentils, eggs, meat and poultry.

To ensure a healthy balance of food, SW recommend you fill at least 1/3 of your plate with Speed Free Foods where you can and make them your first choice between meals. Speed Free Foods are even lower in calories which means it will help you lose even more weight. In your food optimising book, these food will be marked with an S. These will include fresh or frozen fruit and fresh, frozen, canned or pickled vegetables.

One main point to remember with fruit is that fruit is only a Free Food when it is fresh or frozen and whole. That means cooked, canned, dried or pureed fruit will not be a Free Food when consumed in those forms.

On top of all these Free Foods, you will also be able to use some store cupboard staples freely to add flavour and variety to your meals. Things such as herbs and spices, stock pots and cubes, soy sauce, tomato purees, fat free dressings (vinaigrette, Italian or French style dressings, must be 50kcals or less per 100ml to be Free), low calorie cooking spray (must be 1 calorie or less per spray to be Free), Marmite, Tabasco & Worcestershire sauce.

Drinks that are included in the Free Foods list include:

  • Water – still or sparkling!
  • Coffee
  • Tea (including herbal teas)
  • Sugar free/ diet fizzy drinks
  • No added sugar cordial

Swap sugar for sweetener tablets in your drinks! Any milk used in your hot drinks is not a Free Food but comes under Step 2 Healthy Extra s below.

Step 2 Healthy Extras

In addition to all the Free Foods, you can choose 2 options from the Healthy Extra choices to ensure you are getting enough calcium and fibre in your diet. You can make two choices a day from the Healthy Extras A choice and one choice a day from the Healthy Extra B choice. Again, you will find a full list of these choices in your food optimising book or the SW app.

Healthy Extra A choices are dairy foods that are a good source of calcium. These include the following:

  • 350ml skimmed milk
  • 250ml semi skimmed milk
  • 400ml unsweetened calcium-enriched plain soya drink
  • 40g reduced fat Cheddar/Emmental
  • 30g Cheddar/Double Gloucester/Red Leicester/Gouda/Emmental
  • 50g Mozzarella
  • 35g Halloumi
  • 3 Mini Babybel Light cheeses
  • 2 Laughing Cow Original Triangles

Healthy Extra B choices are foods that contain a good source of fibre. These will include many high fibre wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, crispbreads, cereal bars, nuts & seeds, dried, canned & cooked fruit. Below are some options you can chose from:

  • 40g unflavoured porridge oats
  • 45b Bran Flakes
  • 40g Weetabix Crispy Minis (Banana/Chocolate Chip/Fruit & Nut
  • 2 Weetabix (including flavoured varieties)
  • 2 SW Hifi Bars/Alpen Light bars
  • 4 Ryvita Dark Rye/Original
  • 60g any wholemeal bread
  • 16 almonds
  • 35 pistachio nuts
  • 2 level tbsp. sunflower seeds

You must ensure that your healthy extra choices are weighed and measured accurately. Please do not guess or estimate!

Step 3 Syns

On top of all the Free Foods and the Healthy Extra choices, you can choose ‘Syns‘ – these allow you to enjoy the foods that many diets ban! All food that isn’t Free has a Syn Value. You can enjoy between 5-15 Syns a day (your consultant will be able to help you decide the number of Syns to aim for each day). You will find Syn Values at the back of your food optimising book or on the SW app (a fab tool available for all SW members).

So now you’ve got an overview of the SW food optimising plan you can see that it is not that difficult! It is a simple, easy to follow plan that is suitable for everyone. You will get a lot more in depth information when you join a group and receive support from a knowledgeable and supportive consultant and of course great motivation and ideas from fellow slimmer’s. Remember, this additional support occurs during Image Therapy, so always aim to stay in group until the end of the session.

Hope you find this useful, if you have questions or need me to clarify anything, please comment below.



Ramadan Meal Planner v.2018

One of the best ways to be successful at food optimising during Ramadan is to plan, plan and plan. Planning is the key to success.

I already have a 7 day planner I did last year. Please click HERE to see the 2017 version of the planner. That page also has a lot of information on how to food optimise during Ramadan. I will be tweaking the planner slightly so it fits into my routine this Ramadan.

As the days are so long and the time we can eat & drink in is really really short (approx. 9pm to 2.30am), I intend on planning my days from iftar to suhoor.

So, fasting starts this Thursday. For me personally I’m changing my view of the ‘day’ – the time in which you can eat. I’ll try to explain:

The suhoor meal I will have on Thursday I will be counting the syns/healthy extras on Wednesday. That means everything I eat from iftar on Thursday night till suhoor very early on Friday morning will be counted as the same day.

You don’t have to follow my logic if it doesn’t make sense to you. Ramadan Mubarak!!!

Ramadan 2018 Meal Planner

What I eat!

I usually get asked a lot what I eat on Slimming World! So I thought I would share a typical day. Usually most of my meals are Free Foods or very low in Syns, which gives me more options for my favourite treats. My syns vary depending on what I fancy on the day. Some days I want to eat crisps, other days I might want chocolate or something else. It varies!


I do try to vary my breakfast but my absolute favourite breakfast of all time is crushed Weetabix layered with Alpro Plain with Coconut yogurt with raspberries and any other fruit I have in my fridge. I never get bored of this breakfast!

Sometimes I will have overnight oats or boiled eggs or just fruit if I don’t have much time to eat. I always have boiled eggs ready in the morning, I boil 6 eggs at a time and that lasts me 2-3 days. If I don’t have them for breakfast, they make a great protein filled snack during the day!


This normally consists of leftovers from the night before, or soup, or omelettes with a huge salad. Jacket potatoes are also one of my favourite lunches.


I cook the same food for everyone in the house – spaghetti Bolognese, curries, stir fries etc. that way I am not tempted with any high syn foods. Sometimes if the kids want something from out, I will usually prepare something quick and easy for me like Batchelor’s Pasta & Sauce or Low Fat Noodles.


Fruit! Any type of fruit, my favourite are bananas. Whatever is in season, I will eat that. I also use my syns for snacks, or have the Slimming World Hifi bars – they are absolutely delicious! My favourite are the Double Chocolate Crisp.


Chicken Fajitas

This is perfect if you have a fussy family like mine. My girls love this recipe as they get to add whatever they want in their wraps and always have fun trying to stuff it with as many fillings as they can! I use a Weight Watchers wrap for myself which is a healthy extra B choice or 5.5 syns each and use cheese as part of my healthy extra A choice. If you want to save syns, you can use iceberg lettuce leaves instead of wraps. I tend not to use sauces like ketchup or mayo, but if you do use them, remember to syn them accordingly.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 30-45 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Fajitas


  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 1 green, 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Juice of 1 lime


Spray a large wok with a free spray oil and place over a medium heat. Add the chicken and stir fry for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is mostly cooked.

Add the peppers and all the spices to coat the chicken spices and cook until the chicken is fully cooked.

Serve on a wrap with salad and cheese.


Baked Eggs with Spinach & Tomatoes

I initially came across this recipe when one of my members tagged me in one of those short recipe videos, I can’t remember if it was Tasty Food or something similar! I then saw this on Instagram on this lovely lady’s page (@whatsianeats check her page out for the most amazing plates of foods) and thought why not give it a go myself, it is such an easy way of making egg and beans. I served it with Slimming World chips that were seasoned with JD Seasonings Chips & Wedges seasoning. If you haven’t come across them do check out their website for all other spices and seasonings to add flavour to your meals.

My members absolutely them, there is such a huge range of products to choose from. I tend to buy the same ones, I guess I need to be a bit more adventurous with trying out different seasonings! What is fab about their products is that they are all Syn Free, so it is great for us Slimming World foodies and come with the easiest instructions on how to use them. I have been using the code ‘Slim20’ to get 20% off.

I used chilli baked beans in this recipe but you can replace them with regular beans if you prefer.

Serves: 1

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Baked Eggs with Spinach & Tomatoes

Baked Eggs with Spinach & Tomatoes


  • 1/2 tin Heinz chilli baked beans
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • 75g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 eggs


Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.

In a small shallow baking dish layer the spinach leaves at the bottom, followed by the beans and scatter over the cherry tomatoes.

Make 2 indents with the back of a spoon and crack an egg into each.

Scatter the oregano and some black pepper over the whole tray.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until the whites are just set.

Jilabi Review

Selfie Time

Selfie Time

I visited Jilabi on Saturday 4th March 2017 with some friends to celebrate a birthday. As you can imagine the restaurant was packed on a Saturday night, but luckily we made a reservation a couple of weeks before.

We were shown to our table straight away and the waiters were very attentive. They even placed the napkins on our laps! Drinks orders were taken straight away and we were asked if we wanted poppadums whilst looking through the menu. I did find them quite pushy with the poppadums though!

The menu is pretty standard as you’d expect to see in a curry house, all the regular dishes were there as well as a few named after people. There is also a selection of ‘Desi Specials’ which is supposed to be slightly spicier.

I ordered one of my favourite food ever for starters – Paneer! Whenever I go to an Indian Restaurant I have to choose a Paneer dish of some sort. I have no idea on the syns for it but this is one the foods that I never make at home so I really enjoy it when I am out. Paneer is an Indian cheese and it is sooo nice.



For mains I chose a chicken dish from the ‘Desi Specials’ expecting it to be spicy, I even asked them to make sure it was hot but it wasn’t as I expected. It was nice but not spicy. I can’t even remember what the mains was called but it was nice. I had it with boiled rice to save on syns instead of naan bread or chappatis.



Jilabi always bring a chocolate cake and ice cream at the end of your meal which is a really lovely touch from them. They did make my friend’s birthday special by bringing her cake with a candle and they sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. We were also given a complimentary bottle alcohol-free bubbly! Top marks for the service there. You can see from Julie’s face how happy she was to have us all sing to her.

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

I can see why so many of my friends go to Jilabi quite often as their customer service is something you do not expect or receive at any other Indian Restaurant. Absolutely amazing service! You can check out their website and have a look at their menu here.




Pizza-Topped Chicken

This is a delicious alternative to pizza, saving you syns without compromise on taste! I served it with white flesh sweet potato chips and a large speedy salad.

Serves: 1
Syns: FREE when using cheese as part of your Healthy Extra A choice
Time Taken: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


  • Thin chicken breast fillet
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Sprinkle of oregano
  • Pizza toppings of your choice – red onion, jalapenos, mushrooms are my favourite
  • 20g light cheddar cheese
Pizza-topped Chicken

Pizza-topped Chicken


Place the chicken breast in a frying pan with lots of fry light and fry on both sides for around 5-7 minutes on each side.

Remove from the pan and spread the tomato puree over the top of the chicken. Add the oregano and all your toppings before sprinkling it with the cheese.

Cook in a pre-heated oven on gas mark 6 for around 20 minutes till the chicken is cooked.

Epic Sandwich Fillings

Whether you’re a cheese and onion fan or more of a tuna and cucumber devotee, we all love a good old sandwich. The great thing about Food Optimising is that bread isn’t a ‘banned’ food (as it is with many other eating plans). Below are some popular bread choices you can choose from to enjoy your sandwich. You can get a full list of all the latest healthy extra options on the Slimming World website.

Popular Healthy Extra ‘b’ bread choices include:

  • 60g wholemeal roll
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread from a small 400g loaf
  • 3 slices of Kingsmill Wholemeal No Crusts
  • 1 BFree Foods Multigrain Wrap
  • 1 Kingsmill Wholemeal Sandwich Thin

If you use up your healthy extra B choice with other options, you can still get the same great sandwich taste, for Free! Here is how:

  • A ‘wrap’ made of firm lettuce leaves, such as iceberg or romaine
  • A thinly cooked omelette takes the place of a high-Syn tortilla (an average wrap is 9 Syns!). To make the omelette lightly beat 1 egg in a large measuring jug and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the egg mixture into a non-stick pan and tilt it around. Cook for 1½ minutes on each side or until the edges turn golden then loosen with a palette knife and slide on to greaseproof paper.
  • Grilled Portobello mushrooms make delicious, veggie-friendly burger bun replacements. Just grill them on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • A jacket or sweet potato, piled with your favourite sandwich filling.

As for Free fillings, anything goes! Use your imagination! Comment below what your favourite fillings are.

Prawn and rocket – juicy pink prawns, rocket and homemade Marie rose sauce (1tbsp quark, 1 sprig finely chopped dill, 1 tsp tomato puree and seasoning)

Tuna melt – tuna, green peppers, tomatoes and sweetcorn sprinkled with reduced fat cheddar cheese (40g is a Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and grilled.

Mushroom, cherry tomato, mozzarella & basil – slices of mushrooms (cooked in low calorie cooking spray), cherry tomatoes (cut in half),  50g mozzarella (Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and basil leaves.

Smoked salmon, lemon & chives – put 40g of smoked salmon trimmings in a bowl, 4 tbsp quark, a sprinkle of chives and a squeeze of lemon.

Houmous & red pepper – a thick layer of homemade red pepper houmous topped with Peppadew Mild Piquante Peppers (available in most supermarkets).

Sausage buttie – two frozen Linda McCartney’s Red Onion and Rosemary sausages (syn free) and ½ medium onion cooked in low calorie cooking spray. For a mustard mayo, mix 1 tsp mustard powder with 1 tbsp cold water. Add 1 tbsp fat-free fromage frais, and whisk until smooth. Serve with grated carrot and red cabbage. Add 1 tbsp ketchup for 1 Syn.

Tuna Marie-rose & cucumber – tuna canned in water or brine mixed with marie rose sauce (1tbsp quark, 1 sprig finely chopped dill, 1 tsp tomato puree and seasoning) and a few thin slices of cucumber.

Egg & tomato – sliced boiled egg with spinach and sliced tomato.

Pastrami, gherkin & pepper – mix together ½ tsp mustard powder with 3 tbsp fat free fromage frais and spread on the bread. Top with pastrami, chopped gherkins and 1 bottled roasted red pepper in brine, cut into slices.

Cheese & onion – grated red Leicester (30g is a Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) and slices of red onion.

Toasted sandwich – filled with any topping of your choice with 40g Light Cheddar cheese (healthy extra A choice).