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Chicken Noddle Tom Yum...


This week was my Birthday week, 29 on Thursday, last year in my 20's! I love Birthdays and usually do something fun but this year plans fell a little short and ended up having a bit of a quiet one at home! So being me and loving cooking I took the opportunity to cook myself a fabulous Birthday meal and try out one of the recipes from the FABULOUS new Slimming World  cookbook that is coming out for  #FreeFoodFeb!

As Free Food Feb only starts, well in Feb I'm not going to share the full book details yet but I am going to give you a bit of a taster of what you can expect with this deliciously zingy noodle dish that is packed with goodness and flavour.



Ingredients

200g dried egg noodles
200g shiitake mushrooms, sliced ( I used normal ones)
200g sugar snap peas, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
6 spring onions, finely sliced, plus some to garnish
3 cooked skinless and boneless chicken breasts, shredded
sliced red chilli to garnish

for the stock
1 litre of boiling stock
4 lemongrass sticks, finely chopped
1-3 birds chillies, finely chopped
6cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1tbsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
large handful of chopped fresh coriander


Method

First make the tom yum stock. Put the chicken stock, lemongrass, chillies, ginger, garlic, fish sauce,  lime juice and coriander in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 - 15 min. Take the pan off the heat and set aside for 15 - 20 minutes so the flavours can develop.
 Meanwhile cook your noodles, drain and set aside.

Strain the stock into  a clean saucepan through a fine sieve, discarding whatever is left in the sieve. Bring the stock to the boil over a high heat and add the mushrooms, sugar snaps, carrot and spring onions. Cook for 4-5 min then stir in the cooked chicken and cook for 2-3 min to warm through.

Divide the noodles between deep bowls and pour over the tom yum stock chicken and vegetables.

Scatter with fresh chilli and spring onion to serve.


 

I love this recipe and my OH did too and is something we will most definitely be cooking again!

Remember to keep your eye on my blog as book details and more about #FreeFoodFeb will be posted over the next few weeks!

recipe - Slimming World Free Food Feats
syns - Free

40 Cloves of Garlic Chicken ...

 
 
As I have lost my camera charger YET AGAIN! I haven't been able to photograph any recipes...sigh* So I'm pulling some pics/recipes from my draft file, as I don't want to sink into old habits of just not posting! Plus its been awhile since I have posted a tasty recipe!
 
This recipe is a one pot wonder and is as easy as chucking everything into one pot (well after you peel 40 cloves of garlic that is!lol).
 


Ingredients

5 chicken thighs
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 potatoes, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
pint or two of chicken stock
40 cloves of garlic, peeled
tsp lemon zest (adds a little zing)


Method

1. Brown your chicken thighs off in a pan with a little frylight/oil.
2. Chuck everything into a baking dish, season, pour over the stock and bake into the oven for 40 min to an hour at 180. You want to make sure the chicken is cooked through.



This is a hearty dish and don't panic, as the garlic is cooked whole it doesn't over power the dish. The garlic becomes deliciously sweet, like when roasting.

recipe - mine
syns - free, if you remove the skin



My Slimming World story...

Slimming World is a big part of my blog and a huge part of me and although I post allot about it I haven't really ever told my whole story.
Last night one of my fabulous members asked me to share it on our closed FB group page and I thought before I do that I need to share it with the people that have been there from the beginning.YOU, my friends, family and readers.

In highschool I never struggled with weight in fact I was probably a little underweight. I have this memory from when I was about 17 and jumping on a scale in my boyfriends mums bathroom and being so proud of the scale saying 54kgs. Goodness if my 17 year old self ever knew that it would one day read nearly  100kgs I probably would have passed out and never ate again!

Towards the end of school and into my early 20s my weight moved a little but I was never overweight. It was only when I entered into what turned out to be a bad relationship and dealt with depression that my weight spiralled out of control! I am a very emotional person and someone that finds HUGE comfort in making and eating food. When I am happy and especially when I am sad!
2 years into my relationship things went a bit sour and I began to eat. As things got worse and the more depressed I got, the more my appetite grew and the more I ate. At one point I could eat a large dominos pizza in one go with sides and wash it down with a litre of coke! And when it came to binging... goodness I could eat a whole loaf of bread made into cheese on toast if I wanted. Of course that sort of thing was done without anyone knowing or when my husband was at work. Id be ashamed to eat like that in front of anyone. As I got bigger, things got harder, people ...so called friends made comments and even my relationship went even more south! A once hugely confident girl began to hate herself and I mean HATE! When my relationship began to reach breaking point I went to Greece for a girls holiday, which holds very special memories for me and finally gave me the courage to break free but it also made me realise how big I had actually got. When I saw myself in some of the photos I cried!...infact I am crying now because I can still remember that pain I felt when I looked at myself. What had I done to myself.

The next year , after my marriage had ended I began to find myself again, I began to lose weight but it was through fad diets, exercise I never stuck to or expensive personal training and it was only a matter of time before something would happen in my life that would send me back down the road of depression and over eating. I was a ticking time bomb with no way of disarming myself. In the summer of 2012 I met my Pan, who I call my knight in a white hoody ( there is a story behind that) . He made me smile, and rescued my heart from feeling unloved. Things were good! I then fell pregnant with my Benji, unexpected but wonderful. However it was that point that the bomb began to tick once more. My depression sprang out of control as my hormones went all over the place. I was so ill, so depressed and so lost. I became a recluse and spent the good part of a year on a sofa only going out with Pan and always hiding my true self when out, making people think I was fine. After Ben was born again I managed to lose some weight, again using silly diets and exercise I never stuck with and of course the weight came back. Then in 2013 my life came to a halt and I was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Something so scary and so hard to deal with I cant even explain. I began to eat and with the added steroids I was on began to eat even more. My weight ballooned and in just 6 short months! I put on 2 stone and nearly reached 16 stone (100kgs)  I actually don't know the exact amount because when I got 97kgs I stopped weighing myself. I would cry every time I looked in the mirror and go into melt down when it came to getting dressed to go out! I was miserable. But then I made a decision that changed my life FOREVER!

In August 2014 I walked into and joined Slimming World, at that point I had no idea what it would do for me , I was just so nervous and so broken. But after group and hearing and seeing I wasn't the only person who felt like I did, something changed in me...I think it was the feeling of hope and the feeling that I had found something that could finally break this habit of over eating and help me gain control of my life. A few weeks in the lbs began to drop, I began to smile, I began to live life again. Slimming World was like a dream, I could eat the food I loved and I could cook the food I loved but instead of my weight going up it went down. I made friends, I became part of a community, I began to trust people and food again. I began to love me again.  By the time my year anniversary to beating cancer came along I had lost what I had gained during my treatment. And have since lost even more!
Slimming World gave me my life back and in 2015 gave me one more gift and that was a new career.

Towards the end of last year I became a consultant and opened my first group in November! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I LOVE it and how fulfilling it is. I am giving to people what I needed and wanted so badly! A solution , an end to their struggle with weight. I'm helping people gain control of their lives and being able to be part of that journey with my special members is just so amazing. I am passing on what Slimming World gave to me.
The reason Slimming World works for me and can work for you is because its not a diet, its a new way of life, its healthy eating. Its maintainable, your whole family can join in and if you want that piece of cake you can eat it and eat it I DO! It's a goal, resolution what ever you want to call it, that if you are struggling with weight should give/make for yourself.

This year I am determined to reach my target, and of course life does get in the way sometimes and lbs go up instead of down but with Slimming World you can draw a line under the bad days and start again witch is just amazing. Being to hard on yourself can send you on a downward spiral and being able to draw a line under a bad days can really help to get you back on track. I am feeling so determined infact that yesterday bought myself my target dress. Its so beautiful, so sparkly and a very small size 12! I tried it on and I am not to far off but with some determination that dress will fit perfectly and will make me look and feel a million bucks! gosh I cant wait!! :) My SW journey will never really come to an end because I will forever be challenged by life but I will NEVER go back to how I was because I was given the tools, the support  and the friendship that I needed to be able to deal with those challenges and fight through them coming out stronger and skinnier at the other end!

So there you have it my story... not finished yet but a story I am no longer embarrassed to share.

Here are a few photo's from my journey.

Before

 Most of these didn't make it on FB or were cropped as I was to ashamed!
 
 

Summer to Summer

 Zante after my last chemo and Spain last year.
 
 

My first Target member as a Consultant

Me and my lovely member Dot! She hit target just before Christmas! She has lost just over 5 stone her last stone being with me! So proud of her!



2016...


Every year we say 'this year is going to be my year' or '20.. is going to be the best year yet' and then set ourselves unachievable goals or resolutions that we never stick to.

This year however I have decided that I am not going to do that but instead take this year how it comes, 1 day at a time! I am going to set myself some goals though, but ones I know I can achieve and ones that will hopefully make this year a good one.

So here they are...

1. Be more creative.
I love craft, colouring, scrap booking etc and in this digital world I have lost that side of me and this year I want to get back to 'putting pen to paper'. I'm thinking along the lines of an art journal, like I use to do at school. And defiantly more colouring! Lots more colouring :)

2. Get back into the kitchen.
I have been so consumed by being a mum, getting back into work and getting the house done that I have totally let my passion for cooking and baking fall to the way side. I cook the same old things week after week and have actually made myself bored with food. I need my spark back and I need to give myself that time in the kitchen that I love so much!

3. Blog more.
Goodness the past few months my blog has been almost non existent and I hate that. Again blogging is something I love, as I love sharing my passions with everyone and again I have let life get in the way.

4. Be more organised.
I know that with a little more organisation my life would be so much easier and those first 3 goals would be so much more achievable.

5. Get Benji into his own bed!!!
This is a big one!!! For nearly 3 years we have shared our bed and bedroom with our baby boy and enough is enough. I love his cuddles and snuggles but sleep is something I need desperately and is something I just don't get anymore. (especially if the dog and the cat join in and have a sleep over in the bed too) It's time to claim some space back and have a room I can relax in and call my own!

6. Build my career.
OMG I can't tell you how much I adore my job of being a Slimming World Consultant! It's just the most fulfilling and wonderful thing I have ever done. This year I am going to work on getting my group numbers up and giving my members the best experience and advice I can. Giving back what SW gave to me!

7. Get myself back on plan and fit. (the cliché one)
This festive season and even the months before I have fallen off plan for a number of reasons but I am so ready to get back on plan and feel my best again. I also want to gain back my fitness and tone up a bit. Since summer those wobbly bits have defiantly come back and with a vengeance! lol

and there you have it... My 7 goals for 2016. (7 being my favourite number) All achievable and all good for my soul :) Of course more will find there way into my plan for 2016 but for now those are the ones I will focus on.

What have you set for yourself this year?