In case you missed the first post (#StepIntoSummer Week One) I’m on a bit of a mission with Weight Watchers. Basically motivated by the wedding getting closer and closer I want to shape up my eating habits and be a bit more ‘conscious’ when I eat rather than slipping into old habits and routines. Last week I introduced this and the first challenge – which was to eat fruit or veg with every meal. I really enjoyed this challenge as it was a nice and simple way to add a bit more of a healthy touch to every meal. My one flaw being I always reach for my favourites which are the ‘easy’ fruits – bananas or grapes. Grapes aren’t so bad, but bananas can really add up on the sugar front so I made a real effort to pack out meals with extra veg. So week one was good, I didn’t find it too challenging – although did have a weak moment one weekend when out for lunch with a friend and prosecco was on offer… it’s hard to resist! But on to #StepIntoSummer Week Two…
So following that, around came week two and a new challenge – the new challenge being to try at least three new recipes. Including the ‘hero’ recipe which is the one shown – which you probably wouldn’t guess was a ‘diet’ friendly one. You would be right – it definitely doesn’t taste diet friendly either, because it was delicious. This was Pork Loin Steaks with a Creamy Mushroom Sauce, served with roast potatoes and steamed veg. Whilst pork isn’t my favourite, the rest of the meal ticks basically every box of my ‘yes please’ food wish-list. Just look at those roast potatoes – one, they look delicious and quite prettily presented with the slice technique. Also, the way of cooking them as advised in the recipe makes them cook quicker (and you don’t need to use anywhere near as much oil). They were as tasty as they looked. I’m also a big fan of green veg like broccoli and green beans so this made me very happy. Plus the creamy mushroom sauce (points-friendly thanks to it being made from 0% fat greek yoghurt…). This meal definitely showed me that being on a plan such as Weight Watchers definitely doesn’t mean it’s nothing but salads and feeling deprived.
Beyond that I tried a few other ‘new’ meals. Some from recipes, others inspired by but tweaked a little depending what we had in the cupboard. I made one meal of ‘dirty rice’, replacing the rice with bulgar wheat and packing it out with lots of finely chopped veg including ocre – not to blow my own trumpet or anything, but it was delicious! Plus it actually looked pretty too thanks to the colourful veg in there. We also made some home-made lamb kebabs, with some lean lamb mince, lot’s of herbs and flavourings and the help of a George Foreman Grill… then using the 0% greek yogurt and some mint to create a healthy dip. Another surprisingly indulgent feeling, but actually pretty healthy discovery.
Not all plain sailing!
But whilst it has been great discovering all these new meals, I’ll be honest and say it’s not all been plain sailing. At the end of the day, Weight Watchers makes it as easy as possible – but doesn’t do all the work for you. I think that’s definitely something I take for granted and had a few days where I felt myself slipping from the daily counting thanks to either having social plans that made it that bit harder to calculate (sharing plates at Wahaca don’t lend themselves to me making the healthiest choices unfortunately!). But the one thing I did find a big help was the ‘Simple Start’ app. So rather than going to full Weight Watchers counting app and ending up feeling really guilty for not sticking to it as well as I should. I used the app to give myself a bit of inspiration on making sensible choices but with that little bit more flexibility.
My favourite bit of the app is the ‘What to eat’ list – broken down across dairy/fruit/veg/healthy oils (limit to 2tsp per day)/lean proteins/whole-grains. It might sound basic, but having the really easy list of the ‘Go for it’ and the ‘Skip it’ options makes it so much easier. For example today I had a slice of brown bread with some scrambled egg as my lunch – cooking the scrambled egg with one of those 1 calorie spray oils. Feels tasty and indulgent, but sticks with the simple start recommendations. Basically what I’m trying to say is that it’s easy to forget that you do need to make the healthy choices and effort for Weight Watchers to work – they give you all the tools they possibly can. But at the end of the day, if you can’t resist that chunk of cheese/cake/fried mars bar… then it’s not going to work. And like any normal person, you will have good weeks and you will have bad weeks – and for me, the last week wasn’t as easy going as the first. But, onwards and upwards and on to the next week of healthy choices and challenges!
WIN: Simple Start Hamper
As with last week, as much as I have chatted away about my experiences this week – it’s not all about me! There’s also the chance for you to get involved and win yourself a fab Simple Start hamper packed with good stuff to get you on your way to making yummy, but good for that Summer bod choices. All you need to do is head over to twitter, upload a picture of one of your challenge meals (try those potatoes…you won’t regret it) and make sure you add the #StepIntoSummer. Easy!
You can sign up to Weight Watchers on the Weight Watchers Website or find out more on social media: