batch cooking for weight loss
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me and Harry at the wedding

Week 6:
Weight Loss: + 0.8lbs
Total Weight Loss: 2.6lbs

I mentioned in my last post that I deviate away from my diet at weekends a lot and sometimes in the week and I know that this is a large contributing factor in why I haven’t lost more. Of course special occasions happen and you want to treat yourself but it’s when treating yourself becomes too frequent is when it becomes a problem.

I think the number one reason people go out and eat or order takeaway is because they cannot be bothered to cook after work. I’m suffering quite badly with fatigue at the moment, in fact I’m going to the doctors this week to sort it because sometimes I’m so cripplingly exhausted I fall into bed at 5:30pm and sleep for a few hours.

A good way of getting around the can’t be bothered to cook is to keep some quick healthy options in. I’d have fish fingers and potato waffles for such an occasion (ok not that healthy but still better than a takeaway) but Harry hates those kinds of meals so my plan is to cook in batch (things like chilli, bolognese etc) and freeze them and then for the occasions that I really don’t want to cook, they can be bunged in the microwave and insta-meal done! My only issue with this is we have the tiniest freezer ever which is already quite full of food so I’m not sure where they would go.

Last Friday was the day of Harry’s cousin’s wedding. I was actually really happy with how I looked. The dress I ended up wearing (after numerous failed attempts at buying a new dress) fit me much better than it did last year and I was happy about the photographs of me as well. I did rather overindulge -aren’t weddings an excuse to?- mainly because with the timing of the wedding I didn’t actually get to eat anything from after my breakfast until the reception dinner at 7pm so I was starving. We had a delicious hog roast and I ate rather a lot of crackling. In fact both me and Harry did which meant we felt like we were going to pop for the rest of the night. It was uncomfortable-I need-to-wear-something-with-an-elasticated-waist-uncomfortable, I rather felt like Adam Richman after a Man V Food Challenge.

I am sad to report yet another indulgent weekend as well. On Saturday morning a cooked breakfast was in order, and being all you could eat at the hotel I ate everything pretty much. However we resisted going to TGI Friday’s on Saturday night, opting instead to stay in and have tacos- boy was that good! Sunday was a little bit indulgent too, we had some good news and wanted to go out and celebrate, but, as the weather was horrendous we stayed inside and ordered a takeaway.

I definitely hope next week will be a better one. I’ve already been to the gym twice with another workout planned for tomorrow. I’m also going to try to have a better weekend and fingers crossed I have a really good loss next week!

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July Degustabox Food

July Degustabox
July Degustabox items

Degustabox – £12.99

Many people have already received their July Degustabox this month, so this review will probably not come as a surprise to many of you, but there is a story behind it.
I originally received my first box two Thursday’s ago and it was damaged, so I asked the courier to return it. Instead of the courier returning it they turned up the next day with my damaged box again except they had dumped the items into an unlabelled box and removed the leaking items from the original box. I was absolutely furious! I complained to Degustabox and to their credit they were very sorry about the service I’d received (including last month’s damaged box!) so they apologised and sent me 2 boxes!! of exciting stuff which I was very pleased about. It definitely made up for the rubbish experience I’d had so far. I wouldn’t blame Degustabox in all honesty, it was more the courier who are absolutely appalling. I thought Yodel were bad but DPD take the bloody biscuit.

This month I received a lot, as I mentioned, but all these items were in the July edition of the Degustabox:

Portlebay Popcorn
These are probably one of my favourite items from my box. I love popcorn anyway so it was exciting to try new flavours. I received three flavours: sweet & salty, chilli & lime and maple syrup & bacon.
I loved the sweet and salty and the maple and bacon was suprisingly nice, although not that bacon-y really, rather more tangy. I wasn’t that overly keen on the chilli and lime flavoured popcorn but thankfully Harry was so he devoured those. I could definitely be tempted to pick up a few packets if I see them in store when I’m shopping.

Zeo Drinks
I wasn’t sure what these were until I read about them. They are supposedly grown up soft drinks, I think along the lines of Shloer. They were ok, I didn’t feel like you got a lot really in them and the only flavour that I liked was the zest one. One thing I did like about the drinks however was the fact it was a mixture of sugar and stevia that sweetened the drinks. I skip so many soft drinks because they’re full of sugar so it was nice to be able to drink one and not feel guilty. I don’t think in all honesty I’d pick these up but they were nice to try.

Green & Blacks Lemon Bar Chocolate
I was very happy to receive this little item in my box. I love Green & Black’s but it’s so indulgent and luxurious. I’ve tried quite a few flavours before but not the lemon so I was eager to try it and I’m happy to say it’s delicious! It’s also rich enough for me to only have a couple of squares so I don’t feel so guilty. I may pick this up again.

The Berry Company
I received the white tea with peach and lemon. If it’s anything like Lipton’s Peach iced tea I’m sure I will. Note: Just tried it! It is like Lipton’s peach iced tea. LOVE! I really like this, I’d definitely be interested in trying other flavours. It is a little on the expensive side so I’d definitely only pick it up if I wanted a treat or was feeling flash!

Hornsby’s Blueberry Cider
The cider is actually surprisingly lovely. It doesn’t have a particularly nice smell, (especially when it leaks all over your box) but it tastes really quite nice. I quite like flavoured ciders so I think I would definitely pick some of these up for a special occasion.

Frank Bar Blueberry and Chocolate Bar
I love trying new health food bars but they’re always so expensive! This item is probably the only item I really didn’t like. The blueberry flavour is quite strong and it’s a very cloying bar. I definitely won’t be purchasing again.

Dr Oetker Eton Mess Sprinkles
As you all may know I’m an avid baker so I’m quite excited to use these, although I haven’t yet thought of an instance where I might. Perhaps I will use them to create a sophisticated professional finish on my cakes for the next bake sale at work. I do like eton mess so I think I will probably get more use out of these than the violet crystals.

Dr Oetker Violet Crystals
To say I was disappointed to receive the Dr Oetker Violet crystals is a bit of a harsh statement, but I’m not entirely sure when I’ll use these as I have a sneaking suspicion that these will be a little like the parma violet sweets, which I hate! I will possibly have to use these on bakes on other people!

Maggi packet sauce mixes
I received quite a few of the Maggi packet mixes in my box, in fact because I’ve technically got 3 boxes I now have 18 packets of Maggi! I’m not a big packet sauce lover I prefer to cook from scratch, but the Maggi ones have piqued my interest a time or two when I’ve been doing the weekly shop, especially the bake in the bag ones. So far I’ve only tried the Peri Peri chicken one. It was ok, but I don’t think I’d buy it again, it was quite spicy and in all honesty I prefer the taste of Nandos Peri Peri Marinade . I am looking forward to trying the oriental soy and garlic one though it sounds right up my street.

I am going to give Degustabox another month before eventually making up my mind. Although I was absolutely irate this month, they did sort it out and make it up to me and I am pleased with the items I received (eventually). I’m just really concerned about their courier as I hope I don’t get another bad experience.

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Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash
Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Grapefruit Cream Wash – £4.99

After noticing my skin was getting progressively drier I stopped using a face wash aimed at oily skin and switched to much gentler washes. My skin has thanked me for it on the whole, but I’ve noticed that I have these blocked pores that just won’t shift and my Origins Out of Trouble Mask just isn’t able to cope- only being used once a week- therefore I decided I needed a daily wash that contained salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a BHA and is really good at helping to exfoliate skin and unclog those pesky pores.
Being on a budget and wanting something with a decent strength of Salicylic acid, I quickly popped onto Google and decided that The Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit wash was the one for me. I read somewhere it contained 2% Salicylic acid which is pretty strong for an OTC product. It doesn’t say that on the product itself but Salicylic acid is pretty high up on the list of ingredients.

The wash itself is a thick cream which is a pale pink and smells wonderful. It’s very grapefruity and refreshing- which I love- but there’s also a hint of menthol in there so it’s a little tingly too.

After washing my face feels clean but not stripped, which I’m happy about as not only does having tight skin feel uncomfortable but sometimes if I overwash my skin it goes into reverse and goes super oily, so I end up with my makeup sliding right off. I’ve not noticed that any of my current blocked pores have disappeared but I haven’t had any new ones which I am definitely pleased with.

I’m really impressed with the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash. It’s a really good price and it works so well. It smells amazing and the best part is that it’s helping to keep away my blemishes and blocked pores without drying my skin or making it more oily.

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weight loss targets
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Week 5:
Weight Loss:- 0.8lbs
Total Loss: 3.6lbs

I cannot believe I’m now onto my fifth week of the diet. I honestly don’t feel like I’ve been doing it this long. It’s the week of the wedding (not mine!) and I’ve not hit my target of 6lbs loss but I’ve lost nearly 4lbs and I’m really pleased with that. Yes it’s 4lbs but I’ve struggled for so long to lose anything, I’ve not felt in control so to feel like I’m finally on a downward slope, even if it is slow just makes me really happy. I think because I’m behind on my current target I’m not sure I will hit my final target which is -9lbs by my holiday which is only 42 days away. I will be pleased if I can lose another 7lbs though so I will definitely keep pushing forward.

I’ve noticed some inch loss too which is probably the most important. I wouldn’t care if I weighed 12 stone if I was a size 8. Of course the physics of that is next to impossible for a 5″2 individual, but you get my point. I’ve lost 1/2 an inch from each thigh and my bum but most importantly, a whole inch from my waist. Considering that’s my problem area I’m super happy.

I did some extra exercise this week, I managed to go for an extra run as well as visiting the gym this week. I was going to go for another one at the weekend, but I didn’t feel great so I spent a lot of time in bed instead. I’m actually a little surprised on how well I’ve done as I don’t think my diet again was too great. We went to Nando’s last Monday although I barely ate anything that evening and struggled with my single chicken breast. Friday was date night so we went to Zizzi’s. I had my favourite healthy meal from there which is the Ravioli di Capra. It’s so good! We also went to see Guardians of the Galaxy which is really good! I definitely recommend it, and shared a medium popcorn between us, so I think although Friday was naughtier than if we’d have stayed in I was very controlled.

Saturday was a bit of a cheat meal day as well, because my parents were coming over so I made pulled pork. It was so so good and we had cheese and bacon potato skins as well. Delish! Then on Sunday I was feeling generally very bleh and not well so I didn’t feel like cooking or going out, so we ordered a Dominos. It was definitely worth it though.

I’m hoping to reign in my wayward weekend eating habits a little as I’m sure I could definitely lose more if I wasn’t having bad food 3 times a week. I know it is a slow process but I feel I’m doing well so far and I’m definitely spurred on to continue and see more changes to my body.


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Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo

Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo – £5.25
I’ve been faithful to Batiste for years, with countless bottles of tropical dry shampoo gracing my dressing table, helping me out when I just couldn’t be bothered to wash my hair the night before.
However recently I’ve found that it’s been making my head really itchy. Like I’ve-got-nits-itchy except I don’t! I brush it out so I can only assume my scalp must be quite sensitive to it. I’ve also found it doesn’t soak up the oil as well as it used to so I’m finding I’m using more and more just to get the same effect, which doesn’t help the scalp situation either.

Therefore when my last can ran out I decided to pick something new up. I have to admit having used the same product for years, I had no clue where to start with a new dry shampoo. This Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo caught my eye in Boots. I knew nothing about it but it said the words ‘cleansing’ and ‘normal to oily hair’ so I pretty much decided that was the one for me.

I like the scent of the Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo. Sure it’s no coconut scent but it’s pleasant. Having highlighted blonde hair, the first sign of greasy hair is my roots go so so dark. I find when I use this, not only does it soak up the oil, but it refreshes my hair and makes it lighter and brighter. I’m not sure how well this would work on dark hair, I mean it doesn’t leave the tell-tale white/grey roots that Batiste can do if you’re a bit overzealous with it but there’s some definite platinum-type colouring going on in my hair when I’ve used this.

What really sets this apart from the Batiste offerings though -itchy scalp aside- is that once I’ve used it, even if I brush my hair it doesn’t go back to being oily- even the next day- so I can in fact get two extra days out of my hair not one. It also makes my hair feel thicker, gives it some texture and volume. It isn’t hard to brush out either. In spite of it giving that horrid matted feeling where you’re a bit scared of brushing your hair in case you pull a clump out, it definitely doesn’t end up that way. it’s easy to wash and brush out!

I definitely think I’ll be purchasing this again, it smells lovely, definitely makes my hair last much longer and doesn’t make my scalp itch! Yes it is a little more expensive than Batiste but the fact it doesn’t make me itch and makes my hair last longer is a winner in my eyes!

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healthy protein balls recipe

Sometimes we all need a chocolate fix, that’s why I created these protein balls. I wanted something that would satisfy both the sweet chocolate I was craving, but fill me up until my next meal. The chocolate is so rich due to the high cocoa content and because there’s so many seeds, I only usually have the one!

Makes: 21 ProPoints: 2 Prep Time: 5 minutes Chill Time: 15 minutes

ingredients for healthy protein balls

Ingredients

200g plain chocolate. I use 85% cocoa but try not to get under 70%
30g chia seeds
30g linseeds
40g ground almonds
30g pumpkin or mixed seeds
20g sesame seeds
30g goji berries

desiccated coconut to decorate

Method

1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl. I usually pop it in the microwave for about a minute as it’s faster and less hassle than over a pan of water.
melting chocolate
2. Add the chia seeds, goji berries, ground almonds, linseeds, pumpkin seeds and any other seeds you wish to add.
3. Mix well then pop in the fridge for about 15 minutes
4. Take a teaspoon of the mixture, roll between your hands (BEWARE! it’s messy!) and then roll it into some desiccated coconut.
5. I put them in a tupperware box rather than the fridge as I think they would set up too much in the fridge but you could if you wish!


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