amazing Slimming World chicken satay stir-fry

Here for the best ever Slimming World chicken satay you’ll ever put in your mouth? Of course you are. But you know the drill by now. Grin and bear it. Push out, it’ll be easier.

Only a quick word from us tonight – I won’t lie to you, we’ve got a giant Ritter Sport from the local Lidl to get through and an episode of 24: Legacy to watch. I know, we’re so cosmopolitan. If it makes you feel any better Paul will be massaging and ped-egging my feet whilst we watch TV until it looks as though it’s been snowing on our black settee.

But, we couldn’t let you down, so we’ve GOT A MAN ROUND TO SATISFY YOU. And good God, look at his length! Yes, we’re leaving you in the very capable of hands of Big Dave who we will hand over to to provide tonight’s yak. If you want to contribute and get your blurb up here, send it in to us! I loved this entry, not least because I related so hard I almost had a mind-melt with the author. Also, please: we love feedback on our guest writers – I want to encourage those who want to tell a story to have a chance. Our next entry will be the next part of our France shenanigans, by the way….


a life of losing weight – by Dave

I have been on a diet since I was 5!  It was the School Nurse who started it. Her main duty was as Nit Nurse; “Nitty Norah – The Bug Explorer” they were universally named, and their job was to hunt out headlice. We did not have the BMI in those days and I don’t even remember having a weighing machine. She took one look at me, towering above the rest of Primary 1, dug out the three children hiding behind me and issued me with a letter to take home. It was just a folded piece of paper but I would no more have looked at it than I would have complained had Nitty Norah pulled hairs out by the roots. Which she did. I think she wanted more than one outcome for investigating the fat kid. Oh, wait a minute, we did not have “outcomes” in 1950’s health care so she must have been the sadistic old biddy we thought she was.

Letters were scarce in those days too, especially those scrawled in green crayon on a sheet torn from an exercise book (jotter to my Scottish fans) so my mother took it and clipped me round the ear as a note from school must be about bad behaviour, and proceeded to scrub my head with Derbac, and then crippled any surviving lice by tugging the nit comb through what hair remained. Of course I did not have nits but a note from a nurse warranted the full treatment. She then sat down with a fag and a cup of tea to read the note.

Without a word about the epistle, next day she accompanied me to school to find out the meaning of “David is obese”. Another thing about the 50’s was without the internet and with libraries being designed and run to keep the working classes AWAY from books the use of the term “obese” was surrounded in medical mystery. After having the diagnosis explained she was advised to make me drink a large glass of water before each meal and that would reduce my food intake. No advice about “healthy diet” or “calories” as these were only invented in the 60’s when we had “never had it so good”, in the words of our then Prime Minister, Harold McMillan. That was the era we abandoned vegetables that needed to be boiled for hours to have any prospect of successful mastication. Does anyone remember ‘woody carrots’?  Not a music hall performer but carrots had a core like firewood that did not respond to boiling.  We now had “Mother’s Pride, white sliced bread. Processed to rid it of all those Nasty nutrients. Better access to butter and cheese.  Money to be able to indulge in toasted tea cakes and milky coffee at Ibbotson the Baker and ice cream with red sauce at Meschia’s Ice Cream Shop.

The water trick might have worked for that shrivelled old stick Nitty Norah but not for a growing boy. Add to that mix, mother’s history of seven years in hospital with TB. Tuberculosis was seen as a disease of poverty, neglect and general poor parenting. None of those applied to my mum but the shame of TB was akin to that of AIDS in the 1990’s and as doctors always knew best any protestations were meaningless. So mum was determined her boys were not going to be hungry or dirty. Therefore the growing boy just continued to grow.

Another diagnosis of the time was the infliction that was “a phase”, so friends assured us it was just “puppy fat” that I would shed as I aged. “Phase” was applied to my chronic pain, sexuality, religion and move to Scotland, all of which I am still waiting to grow out of, 65 years on.

My next diet I undertook at 16 and 24 stone when I entered the world of work in a dairy laboratory , became friends with a fat girl and found everyone at work was on the magical Yoghurt Diet. Yoghurt was a new part of “having it so good”, it was also very sour to our tastebuds so it needed three spoons of sugar per pot to get it down. So the Yoghurt Diet failed. As did the next great discovery of the 70’s – the Grapefruit Diet. On that you ate what you wanted but provided you had a grapefruit that gobbled up all the fat. Grapefruit was really sour, four teaspoons of sugar.

It was around this time that calories made their way to the north of England in the form of the 1000 calorie diet. So everyone had a wee book in which one could look up the calories and try to assemble three meals and supper out of your 1000 calorie allowance. This time, with deprivation and starvation I shed 6 stone and the tailor-made lab coat that I wore everywhere to cover my bulk. It was WHITE, we still had not discovered how to hide fat with dark colours, vertical stripes and a coat worn open at the front to fool everyone into thinking you were only the width of the gap between the buttons.

I learned that only a dedicated masochist or catwalk model could keep to this diet. I think that must have been when the “Kleenex and Capstan Full Strength” diet was born so the weight went back on.

Over the ensuing years I followed “The Cabbage Soup diet”, “Canadian Air Force diet”, “Raw Egg and Milk diet”, “Atkins”, “Paleo”, “Caveman”, “GQ”, “Vogue” “Autotrader” etc., etc. ad nauseum. I have applied creams to cellulite, suffered hypnosis and acupuncture, worn electric pads, tight cords, rubber suits (no, hang on, that was fetish, not weight loss) but as it all comes under the heading of sadomasochism I am still counting it. It has all WORKED, I have lost the combined weight of everyone with the KY4 post code. And put it back on again!

Fast forward, or for fellow fatties – proceed at your best pace. Mine is on a pair of exercise pedals so I don’t get far, it is now 2016 and my latest cruise left me feeling hot and uncomfortable when squeezed into my penguin suit. As I am fairly immobile these days it is all to easy to have biscuits and coffee to alleviate boredom which, added to an activity log spanning Holly and Phil, through Judge Rinder, ending in a vigorous watching of the late night Holly City is not a recognised diet. I am well prepared for fluctuations because as a regular cruiser I have penguin suits in various sizes. In fact, my wardrobe goes from French flares to a Mumu. The various sizes allows me to glare with righteous indignation at other men in their DJs who claim they are still wearing the suit they bought for their wedding. They do not appear bothered by the fact that the trousers now fasten at the pubes and the bow tie is draped round an open neck shirt in the belief that they will resemble Hugh Grant while they perspire their way through the late night buffet.

So, time to shed the pounds and try to gain control of my blood sugar as my medication has crept up to 9 tablets a day yet without the required control. My brother had just lost four stone with Slimming World and his daughter also lost three. I was surprised when we enjoyed a cruise together at just how simple it seemed and how much he could eat. I had never been much for groups, particularly slimming clubs as I knew I was a fat frump and did not need to be shamed by the fact. That would DEmotivate me. But in the course of my work I met so many people who enthused about Slimming World. So in desperation, and in secret, I crept into the Kelty group. Having taken the step I did not want anyone to know in case they tried to undermine me, either by running down the idea of a group or of trying to feed me up. I am sure you have all experienced “on a diet? you don’t need to diet!” or “go on, I am sure you can allow yourself a treat!”, “you are on holiday, diet when you get home!”

I was immediately impressed that newbies met in a small group while the “losers” were getting weighed. Alun, our consultant, was a gift. So unassuming, engaging, encouraging (I won’t say much more as he blushes easily). There were four of us joined that night so we had a bond and at least knew a couple of names. I work with “group theory” so was very aware of how difficult it can be for new people to join an established group. No worries, everyone was friendly and encouraging and we had a laugh. Some nights we were almost sick with laughter. One particular group, one of ladies, late 70’s was dismayed the week she did not lose. “But I have been so good, I kept to the plan, I even had my legs waxed!”  Well it went from bad to worse, ribbing about how hairy her legs must have been if she was hoping it would  add to her weight loss, jokes about Brazilians, etc.  That became the pattern for groups, lots of fun, great support and regular activities to keep us connected. Inventive “quizzes ” about speed foods, super foods and syns, food tastings, awards and what SlimmingWorld group would be complete without “stickers”.

Alun has a wee army of half a dozen volunteers, each one just as cheerful, friendly and willing to share experience and give encouragement. They run the shop, do the memberships, records, weigh in and sell tickets for the weekly raffle. The raffle income provides for free tea and coffee and the raffle prize, always a selection of foods and equipment related to a SW recipe for the week. The pop up shop sells SW books, magazines and SW snack bars.

Alun is a frustrated showman. Every group is a performance as group members egg him on and always manage to find new ways embarrass him. It is all in good sport and no one is ever personal or cruel. This week he was trying to convey the message that when a woman is at a certain part of her menstrual cycle she may appear to retain or put on weight but will still lose over time.  This to a group of worldly wise women but with Alun trying to avoid saying period, menstruation, time of the month or cycle. We are all very fond of him and would like to adopt him 😉

So I started my journey ten weeks before Christmas at something over 20 stone. I managed to lose 22lbs in that time and have never eaten so well and so varied. I began to feel great, move better and get my blood sugar under control with only TWO tablets per day. So by the cruise leaving New Year’s Day my clothes were fitting comfortably. Now, cruise officianadoes will tel you that you can expect to put on one pound in weight for each night of the cruise.  So this was a seventeen night cruise – 17lbs on. When I got back I went to Group with a bit of foreboding as I had eaten so well on the cruise but as far as possible had kept to the SlimmingWorld plan. I lost a further 2lbs!  I tried my best to convince Alun that I should be credited with 19lbs the 2 I lost plus the 17 I did not put on. He might be charming but he is tough so I did not get more stickers.

So I have signed on for another 12 weeks. I am not far of my 2 stone and hope to pass 3 by April. So to anyone who is swithering I would totally endorse SW and say when you join, please, if you can, stay to Group. Many people just come to weigh in but Group helps keep you on track and in between meetings we have this Facebook group.


Thanks to Dave for that, even if he did give me a run for my money on the old word-count-a-meter – we don’t often get the male side of things mentioned when it comes to Slimming World. The magazine entries are always the same, full of charming young men who have lost 15 stone and are pictured holding their Farah slacks out in front of them with a ‘I SHIT YOU NOT’ expression on their face. Then invariably we’ll get the paragraph about it being daunting stepping in front of loads of women. Pfft. I walk into every class singing like Cilla at the start of Surprise Surprise. Articles for men usually involve some po-faced guide on checking your balls or sticking a finger up your arse to tickle your prostate and frankly, it’s hard enough to eat a Rocky Road Hifi bar without that streaky image in my mind.

Right, let’s do the recipe, shall we? I’ve seen chicken satay before done with sweetener and powdered peanut butter and I just think, why bother? Use proper ingredients, a few syns, and have a dish that is worth writing home about. You’re on a diet, not doing time for manslaughter. Enjoy your food!

Slimming World chicken satay

to make amazing Slimming World chicken satay stir fry you will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (optional)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • handful of sliced spring onions

Time for a bit of promo: you can get so many big, plump, juicy chicken breasts in our various Musclefood deals! Take a look at our summer box – it’s got 24 ruddy breasts, bacon, sausages, mince, beef…all sorts, lovely and cheap!

for the seasoning

  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½tsp turmeric
  • ½tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (any will do – used Tikka)
  • ½tsp salt
  • ½tsp pepper

for the satay sauce

  • 2 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter (8 syns)
  • 2 tsp honey (2 syns)
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp rice vinegar (cider vinegar will do)
  • 1½ tbsp sriracha
  • 150ml light coconut milk (7.5 syns)

to make amazing Slimming World chicken satay stir fry you should:

  • tip the sliced chicken in a bowl and sprinkle over the bicarbonate of soda (it helps to tenderise it – it’s what the takeaways do!) and leave it to do it’s thang for 20 minutes
  • meanwhile, mix together in a bowl all of the ingredients for the seasoning and set aside
  • do the same in a separate bowl for the satay sauce and set aside
  • sprinkle over 2tsp of the seasoning mix over the chicken and mix it all in so the chicken is well coated
  • pour the rest of the seasoning mix in with the satay sauce, add 125ml of water and stir well
  • heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and add the onion and garlic, cook for a few minutes
  • add the chicken and stir fry until cooked
  • reduce the heat to medium and pour in the satay sauce and cook for another few minutes until it thickens
  • serve (rice is nice with it) and sprinkle on the spring onions

Enjoy. I mean, come on now, how easy was that? Want more things to do with your breasts? I understand. Click the buttons below!

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Mwah!

James, Paul and Dave

sizzling rainbow salad, roasted garlic chickpeas and weigh in

Yes yes, the sizzling rainbow salad will follow.

Long title for what will be a very quick post because damnit, my tea is ready, I have two recipes to post and a weigh-in to report. So let’s wheel out the old knob and see how we’ve done this week…

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Oh how cosmopolitan! Classy Paul sent me a text to say ‘Only lost half a pound, but got three pounds of last night’s tea pulling out of the depot as we speak’. It’s always a joy living in this house. We weighed in separately tonight as Paul had to dash home (as much as someone the approximate shape of Saturn can dash) and let the electrician in to fit an outside light in our back garden. See (barely), our local council has taken it upon themselves to tear down the old orange streetlights in our street and replace them with these AWFUL little white LED lamps, which, given how faint and pointless they are, must all be running off the same watch battery. It’s so dark I can look out of the window and see when next door’s TV goes off standby. Actually, that’s a fib, we don’t have immediate neighbours…

…which is lucky, because fuck me is the new light bright. He flicked it on and I half expected Paul to be standing at the fence shaking and bursting into flame like Sarah Connor in Terminator 2. Even the cat put a layer of Piz-Buin on before nipping out to shit in the flowerbed – that wasn’t steam coming off her turd, it was smoke. He advised me that we could adjust it if we wanted to but nah, I like to know that if I stumbled home in the dark and lost a contact lens amongst my tomatoes, I could find it in quite literally the blink of an eye. We’ve also had a couple of outdoor sockets fitted, which will just the thing for us to look at occasionally and think about pressure washing the paving stones. 

Anyway, the recipes. Let’s start with sizzling rainbow salad, which is really just a colourful salad but with all the goodness and virtue of eating greens taken out and replaced with juicy, delicious cow. If you want to keep it vegetarian that’s fine, but please ask someone to chop for you least your cockle-esque muscles give out. I’m kidding I’m kidding. Please don’t write to me, I won’t read it. I’ll be too busy wiping the cow juice off my chin and cackling wildly. Until I get CJD and Paul has to take me around the back of the house, my legs disco-dancing independently of each other, and push me into a burning pit with a tractor.

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to make sizzling rainbow salad, you’ll need:

  • any steak you like – fillet steak, frying steak, rib-eye steak, miss-steak, Mis-Teeq or Stakeford, I don’t care, as long as it mooed and had children (ouch)
  • any syn-free noodles
  • a cucumber, one that if it was a penis, you’d perhaps reach for a dab more Durex Play than you’re used to
  • a carrot, see above
  • a few radishes
  • if you can get them, a candy beetroot and a golden beetroot, if not, regular beetroot
  • two red chilli peppers
  • a lime
  • spring onions
  • crunchy lettuce of any sort you like
  • chickpeas from the below recipe

to make sizzling rainbow salad, you should:

  • cook your noodles
  • peel and slice the cucumber and carrots into thin ribbons using a potato peeler
  • very thinly slice the beetroot – I eat it raw, I like the crunch – and I use one of these mandolins for perfect uniform slices (plus it protects your fingers, you don’t want your piano career ruined by circumcised fingers)
  • do the same with the radishes
  • chop the spring onion and chillis
  • cook your steak however you like and slice it into thin strips – we just used bog-standard steak like this – remember you can add stuff like this on if you buy our freezer-filler-wonder-offer from Musclefood, just add whatever you want as extras into the basket – we cook our steak by getting a pan roaring hot, using worcestershire sauce and pepper instead of oil, quickly cooking it off and serving
  • assemble in a bowl – noodles, crunchy lettuce, sliced veg, steak, squirt a bit of lime juice over for taste
  • if you’re making the chickpeas below, scatter them on too for extra crunch
  • very healthy, I’m sure you will agree

OK, onwards. BEFORE WE START.

TWEAK

We explain what tweaking is right here. Our policy is that it’s better to eat something like this than it is to eat a tube of Pringles. Well no, it’s not better, but it’ll keep the scales happy. Hopefully. Up to you to decide what you want to do. To me, chickpeas are syn free, garlic is syn free, you don’t use enough sprays of the oil to be worth synning it, so I’ll be damned if I’m going to be told off for it. GO.

to make roasted garlic chickpeas, you’ll need:

  • a bulb of garlic
  • two big tins of chickpeas
  • a few squirts of olive oil (which might add up to a syn if you’re lucky, plus I’d hope you’re not going to eat them all)

 chickpeas 

to make roasted garlic chickpeas, you’ll need:

  • cut the garlic bulb right through the middle (horizontally left to right rather than straight down the middle) – don’t worry about peeling
  • sprinkle with a touch of salt
  • put in a low temperature oven for around half an hour, just to soften the garlic flesh, then scoop out (I just scrunch up the bulb with my hand)
  • rinse your chickpeas
  • put them into a bowl with a few squirts of oil, salt, pepper and the softened sticky flesh of the garlic
  • roll those chickpeas around each other – gently, you’re not panning for bloody gold – but enough to get them coated in some garlic, seasoning and oil
  • tip out onto a baking tray and bake in a medium oven for around 30-45 minutes, but do keep checking, they can catch quite quickly
  • eat as a snack or tumbled into salad. Tumbled?! Oh behave James.

Enjoy!

J

butternut squash spaghetti sauce, plus weigh-in time!

Super quick post tonight because well, you’ve had plenty this week! I’M JUST ONE MAN 🙁 and Paul! Oops. First, let me get my cock out:

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Ah, that’s better. We’ve lost 6.5lb of the 9lb we put on in New York, and the rest will be off next week. Our ankles thank us.

I also have a favour – a lot of you have bought our book, bless you. Could I trouble you for a moment more to leave a review for us? It’ll only help us and we ask for so little! You can find a link to the book right here – and for those who haven’t bought it yet, look at my sad face.

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Pfft, I wish I had hair like that. I’ve currently got a haircut that looks like Myra Hindley fucked Donald Trump on the deck of a runaway hovercraft.

Anyway, tonight’s recipe, yeah? Dead simple. Makes enough for four greedy chunkers!

butternut squash spaghetti sauce

to make butternut squash spaghetti sauce you will need:

  • 600g of butternut squash, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 6 bacon medallions, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1½ tsp dried sage
  • 1½ tsp dried thyme
  • 200ml skimmed milk (use some of your HEA allowance, but remember this makes enough for four)
  • 500g spaghetti

to make butternut squash spaghetti sauce you should:

  • heat a little bit of oil in large saucepan over a medium-high heat
  • add the onion and cook for about 1-2 minutes
  • add the garlic and stir for about thirty seconds, then add the butternut squash, stock, sage and them
  • stir well and cover, and leave to cook for about 15 minutes 
  • meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti 
  • when the squash is softened (you should be able to poke a fork into it – oh you flirt – with a little resistance), pour the lot into a food processor, add the milk and 50ml of water and add a bit of salt or pepper and pulse until smooth
  • heat a small saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the chopped bacon – stir frequently until crispy
  • drain the pasta and pop it back into the large saucepan, add the butternut squash sauce and mix together
  • serve and top with the crispy bacon pieces

It’s plain and simple but bloody tasty and easy to customise – add in mushrooms, peppers or deep-fried Creme Eggs. You could leave out the bacon if you’re feeling all wan and disappointed with life.

J

weigh in week three – the results are in!

Super quick post tonight because we are having a sofa night. Only two new recipes posted this week, yes, BUT look at the length of the entries! Speaking of a lengthy entry…

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Not disappointed – I’ve lost a decent amount and got my stone award (hooray, though boo for having to stand up and get it, think of my fat knees) and Paul had a feeling he’d put on, because he’s had a few big lunches at work. Still, we’re on target for where we want to be – and we have four new recipes for you this week coming.

Hoping you’re all well!

J

weigh in week twelve!

VERY quick post tonight (genuinely!) because we’re running late with everything having just arrived home from class (we took the long way home because it was a lovely sunset, how fantastically homosexual is that). Weigh in this week:

After a week (well six days) of SP:

Paul – lost 3.5lb

James – lost 5.5lb

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 48lb.

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Happy with that mind! The last two days of our SP week will be online on Wednesday and Thursday – no post tomorrow as I’m off gallivanting! Behave yourselves!

J

weigh in time – bugger the WI – and SP week

Well blow me. Hasn’t it been a while? That’s the thing with us fickle gays, we’re here one minute and then ooh, something shiny. Well no not quite – last Friday was the day we put dear old Nana into the oven on gas mark infinity and sent her back to her husband, like some hard-of-hearing Emmett Brown. It was a lovely service, and I didn’t laugh once – which amazed me, as I have a nervous laugh. A teacher once told me her husband had hung himself over the summer and I had to excuse myself into the corridor to slap my knees and laugh into my blazer like she’d told me the filthiest knock knock joke ever. I have backwards emotions – it’s not that I’m not sympathetic, I’m just emotionally incapable. Isn’t that awful? 

Of course, the service wasn’t without humour – there I was at the front of the church, with the coffin in front of me like the world’s most macabre coffee table – and I swear when everyone shut their eyes to pray I could STILL hear her hearing aid whistling away like a 56k modem. Plus doesn’t All Things Bright and Beautiful have a lot of verses? Good heavens – even the charming lady playing the organ took a swig of Lucozade (think of the syns, woman!). Thank Christ she didn’t pull a Paula Radcliffe and piddle on the floor. Oh and I like to think my nana chose All Things Bright and Beautiful simply for the line ‘The purple headed mountain’, which I’m sure made everyone under seventy bite the inside of their cheek. It was a happy, cheerful affair and the vicar did her a great send-off, which is exactly what we (and she) wanted. The cremation was oddly impersonal though – I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had been asked to collect a ticket and await our turn, ala Cashier Number 7, please. Ashes Number 7, more like.

The wake was in the village where she grew up and grew old, and the lovely ladies of the WI catered the event, which meant cakes, biscuits, scones you could prop a barn door open with, clotted cream, sandwiches, meringue, tea and fine china. It was delicious and a wonderful gesture which again, my nana would have loved. Of course I was all gung-ho and ‘bugger the syns’ so that leads me to the inevitable weigh-in results…

james – 3lb on

paul – 0.5lb off

Now in my defence, I haven’t really been on the plan at all. Takeaway and sweets and wake buffets. Plus, I’m wearing jeans today. How on Earth Paul managed half off I don’t know, but he charmingly leaned over in the car and informed me that ‘he hasn’t had a solid poo for a good few days’. Charming. My bowels are like one of those car crushing machines that you see in gritty crime dramas – you can throw anything you like at it, but come 8.30am you’ll get a smart little parcel and that’s your lot. 

Anyway, time to buck up. We’ve been coasting a little and thanks to Nana finally singing with the choir invisible, we haven’t been 100% focused. This week, that changes. It’s our 7777 week. Now I know 777 week is a thing but frankly, we’re just that little bit more special, so it’s our first attempt at an SP week PLUS, this week only, you’ll be getting at least fourteen new recipes! Gosh. It’s taken us a while to get our heads round but thanks to Mags just being a phone-call away, we’ve got it sorted. So let’s break down our 7777.

7 EE:SP days

EE:SP still looks and sounds like someone has sneezed into a bag of scrabble tiles, but it’s really SW’s way of boosting your weight loss. My understanding of it is to ram the speed and protein foods home. So that’s what we’ll be doing. I’ll discuss more what you can and can’t have during the week.

7 Body Magic Bursts

Exactly what you’d expect. You don’t need to exercise to lose weight with SW and we’re very much a recipe blog, but we’re going to try and incorporate some exercise into our week that extends beyond shuffling to the kitchen for condiments and honey-I’m-too-tired sex. Remember this is OPTIONAL. Optional! So stop clutching your chest and getting a sweat on if the only time you move is if you drop your chips.

7 Detox Waters

Look, detoxing is a load of piss, it really is. Your body detoxes all the damn time. But we’re chucking in seven detox recipes for water for good measure, partly because we’ve got a fancy chilled water dispenser and partly because it seems to get a lot of gussets moist.

7 Speed Foods a Day

And that’s a bloody minimum, too. Again, I’ll post a list (hopefully tomorrow) of what you can have and can’t have. Each recipe will point out where the speed foods come from.

At the end of the seven days I’ll post a big full spreadsheet with links and photos (well, when I can be arsed) and you can take it from there, or, if you like, stay a day behind and follow us! 

Either way, we hope you enjoy!

J

chicken, orzo and tomato risnotto

Not a typo. The dish is a bit like a risotto but tastes a bit more substantial – tasty though and only uses one pot. Hooray.

But weigh-in tonight, and it’s VERY good news. You may remember that in between getting caught noshing in the hot-tub by a farmer and running caravans off the road, we managed to put on a total of 13lb between us last week? Well, we knuckled down a bit but as you can see from the recipes, still ate like pigs…and we’ve lost:

james – 7.5lb

paul – 5.5lb

Haha! A total weight of 13lb – or, for those who might be a bit touched in the head, we’ve managed to lose exactly what we put on (Paul losing .5lb more than what he put on and me losing .5lb less)! Brilliant, not least because I can’t be bothered to change the ‘total’ image on the right of the blog.

Hey I tell you what though – and this is in no way a disparaging comment against other classes I’ve visited, but what a difference a consultant makes. We’ve worked our way back to our very first consultant and she’s a genuine laugh – we were in that church hall digging those bloody awful church chairs out of our back-fat for a good two hours but it flew by. Reason? It wasn’t just ‘weight loss – well done – weight loss – well done – weight loss – well done’ which holds no allure for us. It felt like a proper class! If you get the right class, you stay, and if you stay, you learn. SIMPLE AS.

Now listen, weigh-in nights are normally a chance for us not to post a recipe but instead spend the evening ped-egging each others feet and tormenting the cat.

Well, we’ve been doing that, see?

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But lo, in the spirit of giving, here’s a recipe! Gosh!

chicken orzo moonblush tomatoes risotto

Firstly, the recipe uses sundried tomatoes normally, and feel free to substitute them for the moonblush tomatoes I’ve used in the recipe (sundried tomatoes are around 2 syns for 25g), but moonblush tomatoes are very easy to make and syn free. Perhaps half a syn at most per serving, anyway. I nicked the idea from Nigella Lawson and what that woman doesn’t know about cooking you could write on the side of a rolled-up twenty quid note. To make moonblush tomatoes, first whack your oven up to its highest possible temperature. You want it glowing like an Englishman’s shoulders in Benidorm. Next, cut a load of cherry tomatoes in half and chuck them in a bowl. Add a tiny drop or two of olive oil, a good glug of balsamic vinegar, salt, dried oregano, bit of thyme, pepper. Mix gently so the tomatoes are covered but try not to squash the tomatoes. Next, tip them onto a baking tray with the cut side facing up – pack them in tightly. Once the oven is at the highest temperature and you could light a fag off the vapours, turn it off, open the door, quickly throw the tray in and leave it overnight. The hot air will dry your tomatoes out – not completely, but that’s fine – you want them a bit squishy. Syn-free and full of taste! Make it even more interesting by using a range of tomatoes of all shapes and colours. If you DO insist on using sundried tomatoes in oil like a filthy slattern, hoy them in a sieve and pour boiling water on them – gets rid of the oil, see.

OK, so you’ve got tomatoes – either moonblush (overnight) or sundried (jarred – philistine). So…

to make chicken, orzo and tomato risnotto, you’ll need:

two chicken breasts cut into chunks, 200g tomatoes, tiny drop of oil, 1 large onion sliced finely, three garlic gloves, 400g of orzo pasta, 3 dollops of tomato puree, 900ml of chicken stock, 1/2tsp of oregano, 1/4tsp of thyme, 1/4tsp of lemon zest and 1/2tsp of balsamic vinegar. Basil leaves, black pepper and parmesan to serve.

to make chicken, orzo and tomato risnotto, you should:

  • fry the chicken off in a tiny bit of oil or a squirt of frylight (bleurgh!) – chuck in a bit of salt and pepper to swoosh it along – once cooked through, set aside
  • chuck the onions into the pan now and saute gently until they go transparent and sticky – add the garlic for a moment or two
  • add the rice and fry along with the onion for a minute or two
  • add the tomato puree, tomatoes (chopped if particularly big, otherwise just tip in), all the herbs and the balsamic vinegar, plus the chicken
  • now cook gently, on a medium heat, adding stock one ladle at a time and stirring – don’t leave it to stick, and eventually, it’ll go nice and gloopy and thick – tasty!
  • serve in a big bowl with a smashing cheesy grin on your face.

Just a note – buying a whole lemon just for the zest is a bit silly. So use whatever you need to, then pop the lemon in the freezer – you can use it next time you need zest! Failing that, cut it in half, put it in a tiny bowl of water and microwave for thirty seconds or so, then use it like a sponge to clean your microwave. Gosh we really ARE the gift that keeps on giving tonight.

Cheers all!

J

weigh in, we’re back, and it’s time for classics week!

So, we’re back, having had a lovely ten days away filling our bodies full of Irish stout, rich food and service station Ginsters pasties. I’m going to be prattling on about Ireland for a couple of entries starting tomorrow (I’ve got handwritten notes – old school, me) but before that, let me introduce classics week, starting tomorrow.

The idea behind classics week is simple – we’re going to make seven recipes that are synonymous with Slimming World – the recipes you always hear new people asking for, or posted all over Instagram like some other nonsense. Tomorrow’s recipe, for instance, is mushy pea curry, or as I like to call it, the colon-cleanser. We’re also going to have a bash at making that bloody half-syn cake that I keep seeing bandied about all over Facebook like the second coming of Jesus.

Now, before we start all of that, let me say this – we’ve been for our weigh in! We were originally going to wait until Saturday to get weighed but frankly, we had to nip all of the over-eating and snacks in the bud before the axles on the car snapped. If we had left it until Saturday, we’d be at serious risk of derailing completely. How did we do…?

james – 8lb on

paul – 5lb on

Now I feel I should add caveats to this. So, put succinctly:

  • the last time we were weighed was a Saturday morning;
  • we’re both wearing jeans and a hoodie as opposed to the normal work trousers and light shirt;
  • normally we don’t eat on a weigh-day – today we’ve both had an all-you-can-eat breakfast and a pub lunch (my bad);
  • our cottage was a ten minute drive from an ice-cream factory;
  • oh, and a chocolate factory;
  • we’ve been on holiday;
  • neither of us had been for a poo and I had a pot of tea sloshing around;
  • this arrived when we were away and was waiting for our return:11108953_10153535552626509_4636721915659285734_n
  • like I said, we’ve been on holiday – we’ve eaten out every other night, plus driving 600 miles means that the car is knee-deep in travel sweets, opal fruit wrappers, coke bottles and sour pastilles; and
  • it was Ireland! How could we not drink? Honestly.

A little explanation on those sweets – Paul and I are part of the Reddit Gift Swap movement, where you select a ‘category’ (in our case this month it was sweets – it can be other things, like pens, buttons, gadgets…) and you’re randomly assigned both someone that you send a ‘package’ to and someone else who sends a parcel to you. It’s like a giant secret santa, only every month, and you invariably get something amazing – our package this month came with a wonderful handwritten note and loads of thought put into it – we were both chuffed to bits, not least because we had to eat everything quickly before class! Haha. Brilliant though!

So, now we are back, we’re back on it, and I want to lose seven pounds by next week. I reckon most of my ‘gain’ is poo, water and food from today so we’ll be OK. Off to sleep now, but tomorrow, a post about driving, service stations and our ferry trip, plus that mushy pea curry I’ve been threatening you with. I bet you can’t wait…

J

spicy pork in a citrus sauce

First, a question – does anyone else make the car dance around when they’re driving along and a particularly good song comes on. I almost crashed before coming back from Tesco making the back of the car boogie along to Funkytown. Honestly imagine that on my death certificate – cause of death ‘Lipps Inc’s infectious grasp of beats’. Mortifying.

Hey, we’ve been gardening today. Outside of our kitchen is a square of soil that nothing other than the rosemary beast seems to grow in – it’s exceptionally thick clay and well, I can’t be arsed to treat it. So, we dug everything out, buried these nice coloured plant pots, filled them with compost and have replanted the rosemary, bay, thyme and chives and added garlic, mint, parsley, oregano and sage. We’ve then covered the soil around the buckets with bark. It needs levelling out and the bricks pressure washed and the fence painted (that’s for the gardener to do) but it got dark and we got lazy, but it doesn’t look too bad!

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Anyway, I forgot to mention yesterday that we actually went back for our weigh-in to our NEW group – Saturday morning. We did try a couple of others during the week but they’ve either been too big or don’t quite marry up with our availability. Problem is…it’s 8.30am in the morning! The plan is that it’ll encourage us to use up the remainder of the Saturday instead of languishing in bed until 1pm and then sitting naked until one of us ventures to the shop for breakfast.

So how did we do? Well, badly!

james – 2lb on; and

paul – 1lb on.

Fuck. Well actually no. It’s not suprising – I’ve been eating all sorts of crap at work given I’ve been working crazy hours (almost 90 hours overtime in two weeks) – I’m actually pretty chuffed it’s only 2lb! I’ve had Wagamamas, a Chinese, Dominos pizza, more chocolate than I know what to do with (and wait until you see tomorrow’s post). I’ve been eating healthy at home, and I can only presume that Paul has been comfort eating through the lack of my wobbly arse blowing around the house. Plus, without wanting to be crass, both of us had brown dogs scratching to be let out but hadn’t had time to free them, so there’s probably a good 1lb for the each of us right there. I do think the damage could have been so much worse if we’d been eating crap at home too.

However, we’re not going to be able to weigh in next week because…we’re going on holiday! Here’s the twist – we have absolutely no plans. We both finish work on Friday at 5pm and then we have ten days off. We could end up absolutely anywhere – the only thing that we’ve done is set a budget. We might turn up at the airport and jet off, we might hire a campervan, we might get a train into Europe, who knows? Given our maximum level of adventure is normally eating an after-eight mint at half seven, this is new grounds for us. OH and before anyone thinks of burgling our sweet little home, my cousin is staying here for the week to look after the cats. SO THERE.

So our next weigh in will be Saturday 5th – but with a week of holiday AND my birthday, it might be catastrophic. But after that, we’re doing our Nuclear Week (see the 7777 banner above) and we will still be posting recipes until we go away – and if you’re really good, I might even queue up some recipes to come on when we’re away!

Speaking of recipes, this was a beauty – pork carnitas made in the slow cooker. It’s pork cooked slowly in orange and lime juice, with a blend of spices and a little bit of stock. Tasty and although GASP you’ll need to count syns, you’re only using…1.5 SYNS. Call the motherfucking police!

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to make spicy pork in a citrus sauce, you’ll need:

four pork chops with all fat removed and cut into little strips, two medium onions (diced), 4 garlic cloves (minced – how many times have I told you about these? Get one!), 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tbsp of chilli powder, 1tbsp of chipotle mix (we found ours in Tesco), 1tbsp of finely chopped oregano from your herb garden or dried from the cupboard like a pleb, 1 tsp of salt and one of pepper, 100ml of chicken stock, 4 tablespoons of lime juice (microwave your lime for 5 seconds and then squeeze, you’ll get shitloads more juice) and 250ml of Tropicana 50/50 orange juice (1 syn for 100ml – so 2.5 syns for this, which serves two).

NOTE: Batchelors Super Rice is now 2 syns a packet. Boo. But haway.

to make spicy pork in a citrus sauce, you should:

chuck everything into the slow cooker, stir, and whack on high for six hours or low for eight. Then, scoop the pork and onions out and shred the pork with a fork. Set the juice aside. Put the shredded pork back in the slow cooker on high for fifteen minutes just to dry out a smidge and put the juice into a pan and heat on a medium to high heat for that fifteen minutes to thicken the sauce. Combine the lot and serve with rice! We were lazy and used Batchelors Super Rice which is syn free.

TASTY.

J

weigh in week eight – the results are in!

woohoo! week eight and we’ve lost:

james: 3.5lb off

paul: 3.5lb off

bringing our total weight loss to 39lb! We’re both pretty chuffed with that – remember, we’re both aiming to lose slowly – no rush to look like a melted candle! So we’re on target and doing well. You certainly can’t argue that we’re eating the same old shite – at least five new recipes every week? If that’s not a reason to spread the word and put the twochubbycubs.com everywhere I don’t know what is! And look what I got…

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Too sugary for you? Why not post this instead, as a counter to all of those god-awful inspiration quotes you see dotted around on various facebook pages – I made it myself!

skinny

Haha. Sorry but I caught a page on another weight-loss blog that was absolutely littered with nonsense like the below, and I reckon it’s where most of my weight loss came from – the inability to eat thanks to my teeth rotted away because of the patronising, fake sentiment. At least you don’t get any of that bollocks with us!

We tried a new class tonight – felt like I was cheating on my old one. I almost bought a second mobile just for the consultant’s number. I’ve never seen a class so big – if there wasn’t 150 people there, I’d be amazed. We didn’t stop because I was hungry but we’re going to stay next week, and I’ll report back. I reckon it’ll be quite unusual! I know the consultant well though and she’s brilliant and funny enough to keep the class going. That said, if it gets to 10pm and I’m still hearing clapping, I’m topping myself.

Off to celebrate our weight loss with a good bit of beef. Recipe tomorrow!

We love you all. Aw.

J