Surviving The Pudding Club

Last weekend HL took me to The Pudding Club. This is held every Friday evening in a delightful small hotel in the Cotswolds. It pretty much does what it says on the tin – gives you lots and lots of puddings. Glorious puddings – 7 of them to be precise.

Now, 7 traditional British puddings all served with lashings of custard isn’t really a recommended way to lose The Last Half Stone. It is a marvellous way to spend a Friday evening however. I thought about how best to approach the situation – it was a lovely gift, and so I didn’t want to be preoccupied worrying about weight. I decided it was a one off experience, and to simply have everything I wanted while there, but be extra good the week before and the week after.

Below you can see just some of the pudding I enjoyed – sticky toffee, lemon sponge and syrup sponge, plus a big jug of custard.

 

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I managed 5 of the 7 puddings on offer during the Pudding Club. HL managed all 7! It was a lovely break from London, and a lovely break from losing the last half stone. It was just a one evening break though.

In the week afterwards, here are a selection of some of the delicious but very healthy meals I’ve been eating.

Sea bass stuffed with olives, served with roasted tomatoes and courgettes
Sea bass stuffed with olives, served with roasted tomatoes and courgettes

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Grilled salmon, pea and watercress salad and two pieces of ravioli
Grilled salmon, pea and watercress salad and two pieces of ravioli

I didn’t weigh the week of the Pudding Club because I woke up on Saturday in the Cotswolds. There was therefore a 2 week break between my last two weigh ins. I was delighted – and a tad surprised – that this Saturday I had lost half a pound! Now, that isn’t a huge amount for two weeks, but considering I spent last weekend eating 5 different heavy puddings I rather think that proves that if you are normally sensible, the odd foodie treat now and then is compatible with weight loss.

A Day Off

Today I am having a day off from my diet. No, scrap that, I don’t like saying it like that. It implies I’m following some faddy diet and depriving myself, which I am not. I am having a day off from reality though – I think I like that better.

It’s been quite a good week, with some yummy food, such as the selection below:

Back quite late from work and too tired and hungry to cook properly - this was rustled up in minutes and much better for me than a takeaway
Back quite late from work and too tired and hungry to cook properly – this was rustled up in minutes and much better for me than a takeaway
Delicious roast chicken and veg which HL's mum made (I left all of the skin)
Delicious roast chicken and veg which HL’s mum made (I left all of the skin)
Mum's homemade soup
Mum’s homemade soup

Yesterday I had to go back into hospital though, and they re-opened up (and made bigger) the wound on my toe. As a treat, HL made fried chicken when he got home from work. Proper southern fried chicken – like really posh KFC. It was amazing. Very, very bad for me, but delicious. I didn’t take a picture – to be honest, it didn’t last on the plate for long and it was gone before I remembered!

Today I’ve been working from home. My mum made a delicious mixed vegetable soup, which I had a big bowl of for lunch.

This evening I have made the decision to have fish and chips. I very rarely have a takeaway – even if I weren’t trying to lose the last half stone this wouldn’t be top of my list. We do have an amazing fish and chip shop nearby though, where all the fish is super fresh and sustainable, you can eat in a nice restaurant there and the standard is excellent. If I have a takeaway, it has to be fish and chips – the crisp batter, the smell of the vinegar – and apart from if you are by the seaside, this place is the best. In part this is a lazy decision – I don’t want to stand about cooking because my toe is sore. I don’t want to make excuses though – I could eat more soup, or ask someone else to make me something.

I think it’s important to recognise when you are deciding to eat something out of the ordinary, decide this is the right time and then leave behind any guilt (if you are going to do it, enjoy it). So I loved my fried chicken, and I am very much looking forward to my fish and chips this evening.

It has been a bad two days weight wise, though good flavour wise, and everyone deserves a big treat sometimes. I am going to have a lovely dinner, then over the next week I am going right back onto the straight and narrow!

Weigh In

I had my weigh in yesterday. I wasn’t able to do the exercise part, as I’m not supposed to exercise for 2 weeks. It was quite tempting to not go at all, since I’d only be there for about 2 minutes while I weighed in. I’m pleased that I did though – I find that the routine and discipline of always weighing every Saturday helps to keep me motivated and gives my weight loss more focus. For anyone else wanting to lose weight, I’d hugely recommend having a set in stone day and time once a week when you will always weigh yourself. Like last week, I’ll come back to the weigh in later.

A Note About Breakfast

One change that I’ve made has been to prioritise breakfast. As I leave the house very early to commute into London, every extra minute in bed is precious for me. I’d gotten into the habit of getting up as late as possible, not eating, getting the train and picking something up on the way in, which I then wolfed down at my desk. That can be a hard habit to break.

I very rarely do that any more – but I struggled to change. I helped myself by doing it gradually – I got up earlier to eat at home two days of the week at first. Then ┬áthree days of the week. Now I get up 10 minutes earlier and eat before I leave the house every day. I almost always eat the same thing, because I love it! A pot of yoghurt – my favourites are Yeo Valley or Rachel’s – with a handful of granola. Most days I also mix some fruit in – my favourites are some raspberries or a chopped up pear. I vary the flavour of yoghurt and the granola to mix it up a bit. One of the big things I learnt was how much granola I used to eat! When I joined my fitness class, I was given different sized pots to use to measure portions of common ingredients. The cereal one was shocking – I was eating about 3 times what I should have! You can see below the amount of granola I now eat – top tip is that I put it in the bowl last, on top of any yoghurt and fruit. It’s more like the treat on top rather than the main body of the breakfast – if you put it in first then it looks like a very small amount.

Breakfast - yoghurt and granola
Breakfast – yoghurt and granola

Making The Most of Everything in The Fridge

I posted the delicious scallops, chorizo, leek and courgette I had for dinner a couple of nights ago. On Saturday I used up all the left over ingredients (which was everything apart from the scallops which I’d eaten all of). I added in a few giant croutons – that was just half a slice of normal bread, cut into 4 pieces which I put in the griddle pan with the courgette.

Making the most of leftovers - courgette, leek and chorizo from yesterday, plus 4 giant croutons
Making the most of leftovers – courgette, leek and chorizo from yesterday, plus 4 giant croutons

Time to return to the weigh in – I lost a pound! I was very happy about that, especially since I haven’t been walking much or exercising at all since Wednesday.

A Treat Before Weigh In

I’m back to the night before weigh in.

I wanted a treat today – by the time I got home from work my toe was sore, and I’ve worked quite hard this week. I didn’t want to go out because I needed to put my foot up. I was therefore after something yummy, light but also very quick so that I didn’t have to stand in the kitchen too long and could flake out on the sofa. I achieved this perfectly with the below, which I very much recommend:

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Scallops and chorizo on leeks and griddled courgette

Cut the leek into rounds and put into a pan with a little oil and butter. While that begins to cook, cut up a courgette and put onto a griddle pan (or a normal frying pan if you don’t have a griddle pan). Leek is best when fried in lots of butter and some cream. I just used a very small amount of butter, and put two splashes of milk in, which are absorbed into the leek and help make it nice and soft without the fat of the extra butter or cream. I was quite pleased with that – just thought it might work, tried it and it did!

Next I fried some scallops and a small amount of chorizo for a couple of minutes. Then plated it all up together.

It was all ready in about 10 minutes and really delicious – a perfect dinner!

Cheesecake Temptation

It’s been quite a challenging week. After all that lovely chocolate that appeared, HL decided to make the world’s most delicious cheesecake to sit in the fridge tempting me:

Homemade vanilla and lime cheesecake calling to me
Homemade vanilla and lime cheesecake calling to me

I have managed to only have one very, very small sliver of this. Which was enough actually, as it is so rich and creamy. Obviously I’d like a bigger bit, but small was still lovely! I knew I was going to have some, so ensured that I had a light main – some lovely sea bream with courgettes, but forgot to take a photo of that bit, I was very hungry and it was gone before I thought of it!

Another day I had steak, with an Asian coleslaw from Waitrose. Quick and tasty. Obviously I left the fat!

Steak and Asian coleslaw
Steak and Asian coleslaw

I had to go to the hospital today, and although I only had a very minor procedure done, I was told I needed to rest, put my feet up and not exercise. This is really not great for my weight loss. Just sitting normally and my toe is throbbing this evening, I need to elevate it on cushions to keep it from hurting too much and help it to heal. I’m really going to miss doing lots of walking, and will need to eat more lightly than usual over the next few days as I won’t be exercising at all.

The Weigh In

Today was my weekly weigh in. Like any teacher worth their salt, I know revealing any kind of grade or result at the very start is a recipe for disaster. If you give your students their practice papers back at the beginning of a lesson, prepare to have an entire hour where they don’t really focus on anything. This might be a different context, but I’ve learnt that lesson the hard way, so I will reveal the results of the weigh in towards the end of the post!

It was a quite a good class today, a nice mix of songs to work out to from Dirty Dancing to The Lion King. There was a good section using weights as well. Last week we attempted Irish dancing – which was pretty tricky – but we didn’t return to that so we can’t have been very good at it! I usually feel very motivated to eat well immediately after my class. I was hungry from working out on just a yoghurt for breakfast, so I had beans, tomatoes, red pepper, a small amount of anchovy, paprika and eggs for lunch – all cooked together in one pan, crack the eggs over the top and cook until they set. Yummy, easy and healthy, I often eat this for dinner. It’s even better still with some chorizo added in, but I opted for without today.

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I had a bit of a shock when I got back from my exercise class. HL’s brother and his girlfriend live in Switzerland and are visiting for the weekend which is great; they very kindly brought a huge selection of Swiss chocolate for the whole family with them, including some the Swiss don’t export to this country, which makes them feel extra special. So I came home from a weigh in to find 10 bars of chocolate in the living room. This is going to be a very difficult week for losing the last half stone! I have had one square of chocolate. I am going to let myself have one more square after dinner. I think by deciding this in advance it will be easier to stick to.

A huge selection of chocolate from Switzerland to attempt to resist
A huge selection of chocolate from Switzerland to attempt to resist

So, back to the weigh in. I lost half a pound this week. I must confess, I did initially feel a bit disappointed as I feel like I’ve had a good week and avoided a lot of temptation. I thought I might lose a pound. However, it’s one more step in the right direction, and if I keep doing that I will get there!

The Night Before

The day before is always a big deal. Christmas Eve is probably the best day of the year. New Year’s Eve is so important to many.

Today is the day before my weekly weigh in. In this case, it’s silly how much importance I place on this. Today is just the same as any other day this week really. The food all counts just the same. Yet for some reason, even though I know deep down that it defies logic, and it’s just one day in a week of seven, today I am extra good.

That means it’s not been a great day in terms of food. Yoghurt, fruit, soup, salad. Nothing exciting, which is a shame. It has been a good day (hopefully) in terms of food goodness and low fat though.