Wednesday, 29 January 2014

New Year Healthy Diet Diary ~ Weeks 2 & 3

Well it's been quite a couple of weeks!
I've had quite alot on personally and it's rather taken over my blogging and twitter chatting, so please accept my apologies for the break in proceedings and being somewhat absent from twitter if you follow and chat to me on there too.
Normal service has been resumed to a degree now and I've still been keeping to my healthy regime!
I've combined weeks 2 and 3 of my updates for you......
 soooo how have I been doing??
I'm really pleased to say I'm still diet coke free and tea free, and to be honest I'm not missing either!
I was intending to go back to tea drinking after the 4th week, as I was already having caffeine free beforehand, but I'm not sure that I will now, certainly not to the extent I was before anyway!
I've been dabbling with a few herbal and fruit teas, and the two pictured below are the only ones I've found almost 'passable' but both have been drunk whilst pulling a few faces!
I'm just not a fan, and to be honest I'd rather not bother and just have a glass of iced water.
I just keep a couple of empty wine bottles, ones with a screw lid, in the fridge full of tap water rather than buying bottles and bottles of mineral water, not only is it costly,  but it's not very 'green' in terms of all that plastic, yes it can be recycled, but it's better not to buy it in the first place I think.
I don't have a problem with tap water and have always drunk it quite happily, it's clean and purified to a high safety standard and that's good enough for me!
I'm not saying I never buy a bottle of mineral water, I do if I want it sparkling,  or if I'm out,  but I'd never buy litres and litres of it a week from the supermarket!
Week 2 passed without a hiccup really and I've been eating pretty much the same thing for my breakfasts and lunch as week 1, with the addition of some extra fruit,  just because it's easy to transport to work.
Week 3 was a little more difficult, I was starting to crave chocolate for some unknown reason, it really was bizarre! and as the house is still full of left over chocolate from Christmas, this really was a challenge.............
But I didn't give into it, oh no! 
Well not the chocolate anyway..............
 My naughty cheat on week three was two toasted tea cakes with a bit of strawberry jam!
 I paid for it the following day though, my tummy felt soooo bloated and big, it didn't really look any different, but boy did it feel uncomfortable!!!!
I am pleased to say overall I do feel a lot better in myself and my skin is clearing up nicely, looking healthier and reverting back to it's normal self.  I do still have a couple of jawline spots lingering but I'm not interfering with them, it's best just to let them subside on their own.
I'm also really pleased with my weight loss,  week 2 saw another 2lb loss and week 3 I lost 1lb, which I'm putting down to the 'teacake' incident!
So a total of 5lbs in 3 weeks is pretty good going I think!
My tummy is definitely much flatter! I haven't done any measurements yet but I have worn a very tight fitting size 8 dress that I've had for 2 years and not worn because I wasn't happy with the way it looked, it now looks great and actually feels a little loose!
I will get the tape measure out next week and see if I've lost any inches!
My two recipes to share this time are Thai Sweet Chilli Chicken Skewers and Chewy Cranberry & Apricot Bites.
Before I do though I just want to share a little observation with you all.  I don't usually drink apple or orange juice, I have an occasional glass but it's not a regular daily occurrence.
The Cranberry & Apricot Bites have apple juice as an ingredient so I bought a 1litre carton.
We all know refined sugar is in many many processed foods, even savoury ones, and I was curious to see just how much was in the recommended 200ml measure of 84 calories of Apple Juice I bought.
As you can see there was 5 teaspoons worth in the 200ml measure,  and as you can see this doesn't even fill the tumbler up!!!
This really shocked me, that is A LOT of sugar for such a small amount of juice!!
Most of us would fill the tumbler up to the top without thinking, and perhaps have a couple of glasses in a morning with our breakfast and maybe more throughout the day.
Out of interest HALF a 400g can of baked beans, well Sainsburys own brand anyway, has 2.5 teaspoons of sugar in it, so half the amount!!
So you can see just how easy it is to consume rather a large quantity of sugar without really realising it over the course of just one day, and this over time can have a significant effect on our waistlines, skin and overall health.
Lets not get too obsessed by this,  but it's always good to be more aware of what you're eating and it's certainly food for thought anyway ladies!
Ok, now onto the recipes.
~ Thai Sweet Chilli Chicken Skewers ~
Makes 4 Chicken Skewers ~ approx 450 calories per 2 skewers
~ Ingredients ~
2 chicken Breasts Cubed
2 Red Onions Cubed into large pieces
1 Red Pepper Cubed
1 Yellow Pepper Cubed
Pineapple Slices in Natural Juice Cubed
1 Jar of Sharwoods Sweet Chilli Sauce 150ml (or similar)
Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees and cover a shallow baking tin with foil.
Put the cubed chicken breast into a bowl and pour over the Chilli sauce and mix until all the chicken is covered, leave to marinade for 45 mins.
Next on each skewer place a piece of red onion first, then fill the skewer alternatively with the chicken, peppers, pineapple and red onion until the full.
Place each finished skewer onto the baking tray.
You should have some chilli sauce left over in the bowl, spoon this over each skewer concentrating on  coating the vegetables in a little of the sauce.
Bake in the oven for approx 30 - 45 mins or until the chicken is cooked.
I found two of these Chicken Skewers to be very filling so have it just with salad,  but Mr RHBD needed a large baked potato as well!!
~ Chewy Cranberry & Apricot Bites ~
Makes 24 ~ approx 85 calories each
~ Ingredients ~
25g Flaked Almonds
40g No Soak Dried Apricots cut into small pieces
40g Dried Cranberries
40g Sultanas
75g Unsweetened Puffed Rice Cereal
40g Dessicated Coconut
150ml Maple Syrup
400ml Apple juice
125g Porridge Oats
Pre heat the oven to 190 degrees and line a 20 x 30 cm brownie tin with greaseproof paper.
Place the almonds onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 5 or so minutes or until they are lightly toasted, then place into a large bowl with the apricots, cranberries, sultanas, dessicated coconut and rice cereal.
Next put the maple syrup and apple juice into a saucepan and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the oats and bring to a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture becomes thick like porridge.
Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients, it will be very sticky!!
Mix everything together until fully combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared brownie tin and spread out, flatten the surface with a spatula and bake in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes, the mixture should be golden brown and have a crisp surface.
Once baked leave to cool completely in the tin and then remove onto a wire rack so you can peel off the greaseproof paper.
Finally cut the mixture in 24 pieces.
This is a great alternative to flapjack, or if you like a Special K bar or similar shop bought cereal bar mid morning with a cup of tea, then this is a better, healthier alternative.
It's not that sweet and certainly not a buttery as a traditional flapjack, but I really liked them.
I hope those of you who have also been on diets and de toxes this month are still going strong and have seen some good improvements to your health too!
Let me know!
Jenny xx



  1. Congratulations on the weight loss and for sticking to your plans :)

  2. Great post Jenny, five lbs is a big loss well done you, the way you illustrated the sugar is very interesting, I often will drink juice without thinking about it and I have to say it's made me think twice now! I started back at the gym this week and am hoping that my eating will improve as a result, as I will need fuel to keep me going and junk isn't going to cut it Xx

  3. Nice to see you back Jen. Life does tend to pull us in two directions at once sometimes. Those chicken skewers look really good! Are you aiming for a big weight loss or just "bien dans sa peau" as the French say?


  4. That's so great that you've kept going Jenny :) Everything looks so yummy too that you've made, I will 100% be making those cranberry and apricot bites! :) x

  5. I'm not a fan of fruit teas either but I find Yogi teas are much tastier. They contain spices such as cinnamon and cardamom. They also have blends to help with specific health issues, etc. Could be worth you giving them a go.