The Last Of The Freezer Meals!

We are now on week 3 of Operation Use-What-We-Have-In-The-Freezer and the light is finally at the end of the tunnel. Most of the ‘main meal’ type things such as the endless number of chicken goujons, the beef burgers, the dices meats and bags after bags of potato products have all been consumed resulting a lot of nicely usable (and reorganisable) freezer space. The “sides” drawer is still full and the frozen veg has been topped up but pother than that it seems to be a success. On the cards this week is …

Monday:

Yesterday we had roast lamb joint with new potatoes and fine beans with a mint gravy. Now … it seems lamb and I do not get on and it was an over-cooked stringy monstrosity which meant that, as the meal was one of my husbands favorites and was supposed to be a cheer-up-glum-husband meal, it crashed and burned spectacularly. I think in the future I will stick to lamb shanks that you cook in a bag … Oh well.. onward and upwards

Tuesday:

Today I have Zumba class after work so I know I’m not going to have a massive appetite but will still want something to help recover from the energy drain. It may not be the healthiest of summer meals but tonight is a smoked bacon Quiche Loraine with a side salad and crusty bread. I’m avoiding having chips with it this time to try and keep fat levels down even a little bit.

Wednesday:

Time for the last supplies of an all time favorite – IKEA meatballs and mash with lingonberry sauce and IKEA gravy. It goes down perfectly every time and we have just enough in the freezer to feed the two of us and clear more space without it being too big of a meal.

Thursday:

Sweet chili chicken with jasmine rice. These two things have been sitting in the freezer for weeks now, both purchased from the “still fresh” isle at the supermarket where they have all of the reduced items. that would make this meal an absolute bargain for the both of us, I just hope the flavors compliment each other …

Friday:

Wifey’s day off. This is the day where it’s a take-out or bust! Or at a pinch something like a bung-in-the-oven fresh pizza from the local supermarket, something the husband can cook without too much difficulty.

Weekends are normally a bit of a “wing it” affair as it really does depend on what we have had to do that day as to what we feel like having for tea at the end of the day. All in all this has been a success as we have managed to get a lot of the long term stored food eaten and also saved quite a bit of money while doing so! Success all round I think (except for the lamb).

Advertisements

Being An Adult

When I was younger and I was being bullied by other kids at my school I used to long to be a grown up so that it didn’t happen any more. Now bullying just seems to be more subtle but still just as prevalent. It’s not the name calling or throwing mud at you anymore, it’s so-called friends skulking around behind your back. It’s people turning on you in the blink of an eye over the word of someone else.

It’s a lonely place to be when the group of friends you thought you had, don’t even have your back offer the most basic things.

Facebook and other social media outlets have given us a false sense of security in our friendships. With over 300 friends on my Facebook list you would think I had people talking to me, hanging out and generally being good friends to me ever day. Nope. Most of the people on my friends list are people I have maybe met once or twice, and a majority of them I don’t even really know who they are, just that they are friends with other friends who I do kinda recognize.

We have come to use it as a crutch, but out of those 300 friends, only two ever make an effort to talk to me outside of it. Even then those two friends live 2-3 hours away and can only visit/be visited every so often. Those are the type of friends that it takes effort to stay in touch with but when you do hook up it is like you have never been apart.

but how do you deal with the depression of knowing that you don’t have anyone immediately to hand to talk to. Anyone at all. This is what my husband is facing at the moment and it is heart breaking knowing that I can’t fill that gap he feels in his life.

Human beings are capable of amazing levels of compassion and kindness, but also astonishing levels of cruelty and hatred. Be it on an  inhumanly large scale or down to intentionally hurting one person emotionally.

When I grow up I want to be a bat so I can just fly away into the night.

The Freezer-Food Meal Plan

This last month has proven very expensive for one reason or another. What with council tax, MOT on two cars and insurance due on one, there really isn’t much left over to see us through until next pay day. I tend to have a habit of buying too much when I go food shopping and end up picking up items from the “still fresh” reduced section to go in the freezer for use at a later date. I’m just not very good in actually getting to that “later date” and therefore have ended up with a freezer stuffed to the gills with food.

So, in a bid to save money we have been having “freezer food” meals all this week and it has saved us quite a bit of money!

On Monday we had a random Chinese mix-and-match night with egg fried rice, chicken chow mean, one slice of prawn toast (why did I even bother freezing that?!?) and a couple of chicken goujons to add a bit of crunch. We even had some Chinese dips left over from a couple of weeks ago that had been sealed away and still tasted fine.

Tuesday was a little bit naughty with turkey shapes, chips and peas. Yes, we are both adults and don’t have any kids, that doesn’t mean we can’t have turkey dinosaurs if we want them!

Wednesday saw us having one of our favorites, IKEA meatballs with mash and meatball sauce! With an IKEA being literally 10 minutes away from where we live we quite regularly indulge in the Swedish delight that is their frozen meatballs!

Tonight is going to be a bit of an experiment. I have somehow managed to collect 3 bags of hot dog frankfurters and while I do really love hot-dogs, they just don’t seem to suit as an evening meal. So I am getting creative and making a hot-dog pasta bake! Pasta shapes with a bit of spiralized zucchini thrown in for some semblance of healthiness, pasata as a base mixed with mushrooms and some cherry tomatoes with a bit of smokey cheese thrown into the mix because cheese makes everything better! Fingers crossed it will be edible!

Tomorrow is a bit open ended at the moment as Friday nights are normally take-out night. However we are going on an impromptu trip to Skegness in our motor-home on Saturday/Sunday so we may end up having something random at home and then splurging on a meal out on Saturday night, obviously to celebrate having saved so much money over the week!

Oh well, it’s payday next week anyhow.

Long Time No Type

Well, what can I say, I’ve been away from this blog for so long I can hardly remember when I last posted anything without checking on my feed. It’s been a bumpy few months that’s for sure.

In short a massive opportunity for us has slipped through our fingers thanks to problems with our new motohome and more than a little bit of procrastination. But hey, life goes on and all that jazz, there will be other opportunities which will pop up when they are good and ready!

All in all the last few months have seen me loose motivation for my exercise classes, binge eating junk food, biting my nails and generally not looking after myself very well. I was sat at my desk the other day wearing my floor length slinky skirt and a fitted shirt and looked down to see buttons straining and the stretchy skirt making me look pregnant (I’m not, for the record). It was the proverbial kick up the ass I needed to get back onto another health kick.

I have realised that talking about my efforts on here helps to keep me motivated, which is why I guess I stopped posting as I felt I had let myself down.

So, how am I re-starting my fitness efforts? Zumba! I have finally found a Zumba class at the right time and in a location not too far from my house. It’s on a Tuesday so the work week has not had quite enough time to drain my energy. I just hope I survive it!

I am also re-doubling my efforts to eat healthy too, again by planning out the weeks meals. This week we are on a money saving kick to try and get through some of the mountain of food we have stored in the freezer. Last night it was a random Chinese night with noodles and mix veg. Tonight, as I am at Zumba class 6:30 to 7:30, we are going to have chicken breast steaks with some potato-based product and vegetables prepared for my return by the Hubby.

So … here goes nothing … again.

Small Succsess

Having received my Fitbit on Tuesday last week I have worn it almost constantly (with the only exception being when it made my wrist a bit sore on the first Friday night and then on the Saturday when it was on charge). While wearing ti overnight has taken quite a bit of getting used to, I am finding it amazingly useful!

It is making me so much more aware of exactly how much (or how little) exercise I really am doing! I have an office job in an office which is basically one room with only one other person in it. The door to our office is directly onto the car-park so it’s not even like we are in a larger building that I can roam around on a short break. I take less than 10 steps in any direction and I hit a wall … not very conducive to increasing exercise levels!

However the prompt feature of the fitbit is very useful in that it will tell me how fare off the 250 steps per hour target I am with 10 minutes to go. So if I get a prompt saying that I have below 100 steps to go, up I pop from my chair and pace back and forth like a stressed zoo animal for a couple of minutes. It’s a small step but I feel it is helping.

The ability to use the same program to log my food intake is also extremely useful. I have been using other apps previously but the fact that I am now getting a more accurate estimate on how many calories I am burning during the day, It helps me to control how much I eat. I am also becoming more aware of exactly what I am putting in my body and helps me to steer clear of any naughty snacks during the day!

For example, as I have been able to keep on track with my meal plans this week I have been able to log my breakfast after I have eaten it and then enter what we are going to be having for evening dinner at the same time. This helps me to plan how much I can take in during the day and helps to strengthen my resolve to resist the constant temptation of the Mcdonalds that is less than 5 minute walk from my office door! Especially after I looked up exactly how many calories are in one of their meals … yikes!

So things seem to have been working out with this! Thankfully I am starting to see the physical evidence of this in that since I received my fitbit and logged my starting weight I have lost 5lb!

Now to keep this ball rolling!

Last week I managed to stick with my meal plan as below:

  • Monday: Quiche Loraine with home made curly fries (yay for spiralizer) and salad
  • Tuesday: Smoked gammon steak with whips and vegetables
  • Wednesday: Curry with rice and naan bread (finally getting the hang of sticking to smaller portions of this)
  • Tuesday: chili sausage with roasted vegetables and home made wedges

Friday is as always a take-out night.

Next week will be a bit of a challenge as I have training at work in one of the other offices so for two nights this week I will be getting home late. But hopefully we will be able to stick to this plan:

  • Monday: Cheesy pasta with ham and roast veggies
  • Tuesday: Slow cooker beef and potato gratin (recipe by The Magical Slowcooker)
  • Wednesday: (training day 1) Pizza with garlic focaccia bread
  • Thursday: (training day 2) Fake-Friday takeaway
  • Friday: (bank holiday day off) Roast lamb with mash potato and vegetables

you may be thinking that none of this really looks all that healthy or low fat … well for me it’s not the fat content I am focusing on right now, it is portion size. Traditionally I have piled food high on the plate in order to provide myself and husband with what looks like a sufficient meal, when actually it is twice or three times what we should have. I have always ignored the “serving size” recommendations on the packaging. Now I am finally getting better at limiting what I put on the plate which is already having a great effect on how we feel after we have eaten a meal.

Fingers crossed I can keep this small success going!

(/EndRant)

Yet Another Bandwagon

Over the last few weeks life kind of got the better of us, leaving husband and myself feeling incredibly drained and rather touchy. The Motorhome we purchased needed a lit more work doing to it than we had imagined and now, 4 weeks since we took possession of it, it is still not ready for the road.

As a result of both our moods being low we have also fallen well short of our healthier eating plans. last week we had takeout Chinese on Thursday, pizza on Friday and a chip shop takeaway on Saturday followed by a McDonalds breakfast on Sunday morning! Comfort food it may be but I always find that while I enjoy this sort of food a lot more than I should, it actually makes me feel worse afterwards. I feel heavy and sluggish and just generally bleh.

Thankfully things do seem to be looking up as day by day the motorhome is inching closer to being ready and as it does, the mood improves too. This week I am trying to claw our way back into a better meal plan too. Monday was quiche and chips with salad, yesterday we had lasagna and garlic bread with a side salad and today is sausage and mash. Tomorrow we will be experimenting with Quorn kievs which should be interesting considering neither of us have ever eaten Quorn in our lives.

I have also decided to throw a bit of money at the problem and bought myself a Fitbit to try and help me focus on being active more. I work in an office which makes getting any form of exercise during the day rather difficult. My Fitbit arrived yesterday and it seems like it’s sleep monitoring system will be quite useful and today it has been buzzing away on my wrist to tell me to more my ass a bit more. It does feel strange just walking up and down the office while waiting to be taken off hold, I feel like a tiger pacing round it’s territory! luckily I work in a small office so my coworkers know what I’m doing and that I haven’t just gone round the twist!

Fingers crossed we will be able to stay on this particular bandwagon for a while.

A Successful Week

A few days ago I posted this about how I was going to try my very best to stick to a set meal plan for this week. Well, I am very pleased to say that for the first time since I started planning out the weeks meals, we have actually kept to the menu! This has had the added effect of my not even setting foot in the local supermarket once this week since I did the main food shop which has naturally saved us some money.

Let me tell you, that place is tempting. I my office building is actually directly behind an ASDA Megastore (which regretfully contains a branch of McDonnalds) so I am quite often tempted inside just to see what they have on offer which inevitably ends up in me spending somewhere in the region of an extra £20 or so.

Tonight is my night off from the kitchen so we will be having a takeout of some sort but this gives me the opportunity to formulate a plan for the next weeks meals. for me I find it most useful to start the plan for a Saturday so that I can include Saturday and Sunday’s dinners in my shopping list for the week.

We did have quite a few red meat meals last week so this week is much more poultry based with a couple of healthy options thrown in too.

Saturday: Chicken fajita mix with spiralizes sweet potato.
I’m still trying to get the hand of cooking sweet potato so fingers crossed this one will work out OK.

Sunday: Roast chicken with all the trimmings
I love a good Sunday roast and if we get a whole chicken for the two of us then we will have enough leftovers for a couple of extra meals or lunches out of it too.

Monday: Zucchini & Mushroom pasta with leftover chicken
Another trip out for my spiralizer, I will probably add something a little carby in there too as I find my system doesn’t react very well to zero carb meals.

Tuesday: Sweet chili chicken with jasmine rice
And the chicken week continues!

Wednesday: Individual steak and red wine pie and mash
Nothing beats a bit of comfort food to get you through the middle of the week.

Thursday: Hamwiches with potato wedges and vegetable mountain.
These things are my husbands most favorite food ever! I know they are unhealthy and processed beyond recognition but I do combine it with a load of fresh veg and home made wedges … and seriously, these things are sooooooo good!

Which then brings us up to next weeks take-out night!

Some of the above meals are from recipies I have found on blogs so I will post linkbacks to them when I can track them down again (I keep all of the recipes I like the sound of as print outs in a file in my kitchen).

Also, for some reason I find it quite funny that my spell checker wants to change the word “spiralized” to “liberalize”. America sounds like it needs more spiralizers (it wants to change that to ‘moralizers’) at the moment!