Friday, 2 May 2014

Homemade Quorn paella.

Hello to all my lovely readers. I'm sorry for the lack of posts. Since my last post, I haven't really gotten any better with my health or weight. My weight is still slowly, but surely, going up, no matter how hard I try, which is pretty depressing. :( This is mainly why I haven't posted as much. I don't want to just post about how bad everything is and how bigger I've gotten, but I am mentioning it now as I also don't want to lie to all of you and make everyone think I am some kind superior dieter who breezes through dieting and loses weight without any setbacks. People will go through difficult struggles/stages when dieting, and through life in general, and that's just obviously what is going on with me right now. I just can't seem to get out of this rut. :( But I won't stop trying.

But anyway, on a nicer note: here is a very delicious recipe I tried about a week or so ago. It's a very tasty, very flavourful and a very colourful dish which everyone will enjoy - a Quorn paella. Meat and fish-free too, so also suitable for vegetarians! I tried my first ever paella (a seafood one) when I went to Mallorca in March, with college, and it was sooo good! Since then I had been wanting to make one at home. So I've finally got round to doing it. I am so happy with how it turned out. :)

This recipe serves 4 people and each serving is 450 kcals.

- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 brown onion, sliced thinly
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 200g fine green beans, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp saffron
- 1 tsp mild chilli powder
- 250g long grain rice (uncooked)
- 1 green/vegetable Oxo cube (dissolved into 900ml hot water)
- 100g (1 whole pack) Quorn chorizo style slices
- 200g Quorn chicken style pieces
- 400g fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 200g garden peas
- 3 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)


1. In a large frying pan, heat up 1 tbsp of the oil and cook the onions, both peppers and green beans for about 3 minutes.

2. Add in the garlic, paprika, saffron and chilli powder into the pan, give it all a good stir and cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Stir in the vegetable stock (the dissolved Oxo cube) and all of the uncooked rice and cover up with a lid. If you do not have a lid of the correct size, carefully cover the pan with tin foil. Simmer the contents for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Meanwhile, in a separate frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and fry the Quorn chicken style pieces for about 2-3 minutes until they go golden.

5. After the 20 minutes of simmering, add the Quorn chicken style pieces, the Quorn chorizo style slices, the tomato and peas into the rice mixture and reduce the heat. Cook this for a further 5 minutes.

6. Remove the pan from the heat and share the paella equally between 4 bowls/plates (or between less bowls if you're feeling extra hungry - if you shared it between 3 plates, it would only be 600 kcal per serving, so not too bad considering). Garnish with the fresh parsley and serve.

P.S. Feels so good to do a blog post again. I have missed it. Sorry again for the lack of posts. I'll try not to leave it as long next time. <3

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The reason I haven't been posting much...

Hello all my regular and new readers. It's been a while... I am extremely sorry for the lack of posts since this new year started. I have been through a lot recently. I'm writing today to explain myself a bit, as I do feel very guilty for the lack of posts, as I used to post so often and I did really enjoy writing my posts and creating my recipes. So here is why I haven't been posting much lately:

One small reason is to do with the ridiculous amount of stress college is causing me. I'm falling seriously behind with college work, mainly due to the other reason... Which is something very personal and I don't want to go into it too much online but as a result of it I've been on daily medication since August 2013.

I found since taking them I felt a bit better about myself, BUT any will power and motivation I once had towards food, calorie counting, cooking from scratch and exercise vanished completely. It didn't bother me to begin with, but my weight has been creeping up and up and up over the last few months. Even with aims, goals and new years resolutions which I put in place for myself to try and get myself back on track, they didn't seem to help. I'd eat when I was hungry and even when I wasn't hungry, simply because I just fancied eating or felt a craving for something in particular. It wouldn't matter so much if the food I was eating was fruit or vegetables, but it wasn't. It was ALWAYS things like cake, pastries, chocolate, takeaways, etc. etc. And I rarely felt any guilt for eating it... I would just sit and eat as much as I physically could until I felt like I was going to be sick. I could not turn any food down, which before I could. Since September I have gained about 1 stone. My clothes are getting too tight and even though it was upsetting me I still couldn't stop myself.

So as of last week, I made a BIG personal decision (without the aid of my GP, which I probably shouldn't of done... but oh well) - I stopped taking my medication completely. I probably should have cut down the dose before stopping altogether, but I just couldn't wait for that. It was something I felt I had to do, as I can't deal with the thought of being fat again. You can all say what you want about that comment, but that's how I feel. After losing almost 4 stone in weight, selling/donating all of your old, bigger clothes and spending hundreds on a new, smaller wardrobe, the last thing you want to do is gain weight again. So, since coming off the medication I have found I've lost my appetite a little (which has helped slightly), I have gained a bit more will power again, I feel constantly dizzy and nauseous AND I have lost 2.75 lbs in a week. Although I despise feeling dizzy 24/7 (even when I'm sat or led down), starting to lose weight again makes it worth it. I will be seeing my doctor some time this week, but for now I will be staying off of my medication. I will only go back on medication if my GP offers me an alternative. So yeah, now I feel I can work towards my personal weight loss goals (even though I only have 9 days until my birthday party, so I have kind of buggered up that goal, but as long as I can fit in my outfit, it's okay).

Right now, I weigh 9 stone 7.75 lbs and have kept below my calorie allowance on MyFitnessPal so far today. I've also booked a place on a Pole Fitness class at the gym tonight, so I'm feeling a little more positive and back on track. 

So, if you were wondering why I haven't been posting, that is why and I am really sorry. Soon I hope to get my motivation back to start posting more regularly and to start cooking from scratch again so I can start posting recipes again instead of apologies for the lack of posts... Lots of love to all my readers. <3 I hope this post doesn't make any of you think any less of me - it has been really hard for me to post this publicly.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy 2014 & my new years resolutions.

Happy new year to all of my lovely readers! I hope 2014 brings you all happiness and good health. :)

Like the beginning of every single year I make a couple of new years resolutions. This year is no different, so here's mine for 2014:

1. Get back on track with my dieting and fitness.

2. Start saving up my money (mainly towards moving out).

Towards the end half of 2013 my weight has slipped up. Between joining college in September and now I have gained about 10-14 lbs in weight (I'm not 100% sure on my weight at the moment, as I haven't really weighed myself the last couple of weeks as I'm so embarrassed and ashamed of myself about it). I'm not 100% sure why I've gained the weight. It's probably a big mix of the following: eating due to stress; comfort eating; being lazy; lack of willpower; losing all motivation; other peoples influences; and just feeling low in general. Lots of things really. I'm not happy with myself about the weight gain, but I am only human, and what's done is done. I am now ready to get back on track and shift these extra, flabby pounds! I'll be weighing myself first thing tomorrow morning (dreading it). I want to start going back to the gym sometime this month too! I just have to work out how to fit it around my college course effectively.

I used to be really good at saving up my money, but over the last year or so I have not been able to control my spending habits so well. I buy things for the sake of it and not because I need it, and this has taken its toll on all of my bank accounts. So now I've decided to start saving up my money properly again with the main goal of eventually moving out with my boyfriend. I'll be doing this by clearing out my things and selling it then putting the money away and also by putting a bit of money away into my savings each month. :)

Once again, happy new year and good luck with any resolutions you've set yourselves!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Gift inspiration - the dieters edition.

Christmas is only a few days away now! This dieters edition of gift inspiration is rather late this year (sooo sorry. I've been really busy). If you do want any of these things, you could buy some of these little gems as last minute/late gifts or buy them for yourself with the Christmas money you receive this year. Some of these things are online only, but a few will be available in stores too! There's something to suit all budgets. :)

Gifts £10 or less:
1. Lunch Bunch Strawberry Snack Boxes - £7.00, Paperchase. 2. One Body Multi-functional Pedometer - £6.00, Tesco Direct. 3. Shabby Chic Fleur Measuring Cups - £6.00, House of Fraser. 4. Me To You White Bear Polka Dot Flask - £3.00, New Look. 5. Funny Calories Dictionary Quote Mug - £6.99, Amazon. 6. Blue Magnetic Notepad with Pencil (Shopping List) - £3.85, White Shore.

Gifts £25 or less:
1. The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight (Paperback) - £11.99, Waterstones. 2. Dumbbell Alarm Clock - £16.90, Amazon3. Moleskin Recipe Journal - £16.99, Paperchase. 4. Graze Gift Voucher, 5 Boxes - £17.45, Graze.  5. Woman's Health Magazine Subscription (12 month) - £12.00, iSubscribe. 6. Men's Health Magazine Subscription (12 month) - £23.00, iSubscribe.

Gifts £50 or less:
1. Typhoon Novo Mechanical Scale - Teal - £40.00, Lakeland. 2. Crock Pot SCCPRC507CB-060 Digital Slow Cooker, Black - £39.95, John Lewis. 3. Kenwood HM792 kMix Hand Mixer - Almond Cream - £49.99, Currys. 4. Nike Womens Flex Experience Running Shoes - Club Pink/Blue - £49.99, Tennis Nuts. 5. Joseph Joseph Index Advance Chopping Boards - £45.99, Lakeland. 6. Asics Mens GT-1000 Running Shoes - Blue/White/Neon-Yellow - £49.99, Tennis Nuts.

Gifts £50+:
1. Morphy Richards 48822 1000 Watt 16-Litre Soup Maker - Brushed Stainless Steel - £64.00, Littlewoods. 2. Confidence Fitness Magnetic Manual Treadmill Running Machine - £79.99, Amazon. 3. LA Fitness Gym Membership (12 month) - from £35.00 per month (from £420 per year), LA Fitness. 4. Vibram Fivefingers Seeya Men's Running Shoe - £107.99, Millet Sports.


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Healthy pumpkin spice porridge.

I was inspired to try make a pumpkin porridge after making a very delicious pumpkin pie a couple days ago. I made the pumpkin pie for 'Diversity Week' at college - I was in charge of the USA table and decided to make the pie as it was Thanksgiving the day after the event. Anyways, the porridge didn't taste as sweet as I expected it to, but I think that's because I should have added some brown sugar into the spice mix I created, to give it some sweetness - will definitely do this next time I make it (added it into the recipe, although I didn't do it myself)! I enjoyed my pumpkin spice porridge with a "Nescafé Gingerbread Latte" - yuuuuuum! :)

- 150ml water
- 150ml almond milk
- 30g oats
- 70g tinned pumpkin purée
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- agave syrup, golden syrup, brown sugar or granulated sweetener to taste

1. Pour the water and milk into a saucepan and place on a high heat.

2. Meanwhile, create your spice mix by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger together in a little bowl.

3. Once the water/milk is boiling, add in the oats, pumpkin, spice mix and cook until the oats are cooked (approx. 10 minutes).

4. Pour into a bowl and top with the agave syrup, golden syrup, brown sugar or granulated sweetener to taste (I used agave syrup).

Thursday, 28 November 2013

My dieting secretweapon - MyFitnessPal.

Since January 1st 2012 I have been depending on the aid of MyFitnessPal to help me lose weight, by calorie counting. Some may see this as an unhealthy way to lose weight, but it works for me and I can keep it up. I use the MFP app on my iPhone 4S as that way I can keep track of all my foods/drinks on the go.

You enter in your details, such as height, weight, age, gender, etc. and how active you are in your everyday life and it then calculates approx. how many calories you need to consume each day in order to lose weight. I am calculated to eat 1200 kcal per day and for the first year-ish that really worked for me. But after starting the gym earlier this year (that I am currently not doing, due to health reasons, but I'd like to go back soon), I have had to up my calorie intake to 1400 kcal per day, as 1200 just wasn't enough and it was making me ill.

Although this way of losing weight works, it can become seriously obsessive. Since starting using the app I have only ever missed about 20-30ish days (mainly my holidays abroad). I calorie count everything. My good days, my average days and my seriously bad, binge-eating days. I weigh myself once a week too to keep track of my progress (naked, every Friday morning and I place the scales on the same tile in the same room each time - I get paranoid if it's in any other place in case it's slightly inaccurate).

I'd recommend this to anyone trying to lose weight. But I wouldn't try it if you know you aren't going to commit 110% to counting all f your calories (even that one-off, sneaky chocolate biscuit you have with your cuppa). You must log everything in order for this calorie counting diet to work its magic.

I personally LOVE this app, and even though I sometimes have my off-days and bingey-days, I don't think I'm going to stop counting my calories for a looong while. I actually enjoy it and love seeing results!

If any of you have any views, success stories or experiences using this app, I'd love to hear them! :)

Saturday, 9 November 2013

My home-grown red onions.

This year I decided to do a spot of gardening. I'm not known for being that good at gardening - I struggle to keep ANY plants alive in my house.. And I have also never grown my own vegetables before. But after receiving some free red onion seeds in the post, I thought I'd give it a go.

Firstly, I planted my seeds into little trays and left them in the greenhouse to grow into seedlings. It was strange because I checked daily with no progress, but then suddenly - like over night - all of them popped up! I felt so proud that I actually managed to successfully grow something from scratch!

Then, once all the seedlings had popped up, they were ready for re-potting. I came up with the issue that I had no land that I could dig up to plant my seeds in... If I dug up a patch in my garden, they'd get dug straight back up again by my rascal of a dog. But I found some old plastic storage boxes, so decided to get to work on those. I got a wireless drill and drilled lots of little holes all over the bottoms of the boxes to allow water to drain out the bottom. I then filled them all up with compost. I watered the compost to make it moist. I then started pulling apart and untangling the seedlings. I placed them evenly spread out into the boxes. Then I had to play the waiting game.

Waiting for any onion-like things to start growing felt like forever. But once the first one appeared, again, it felt like they all followed suit, and soon enough I had 3 whole boxes full of little red onions! I was so proud of myself for not killing them all, which is what I expected would eventually happen.

Personally, I think home-grown red onions are much tastier than shop bought ones! Especially the ones I grow. ;) I made everyone try them and the verdict was pretty much the same. The countless amounts of times going up the garden to water them and waiting for them to grow was well worth it! I'd recommend anyone to give growing their own vegetables a go. I found it strangely relaxing and it helps clear your head, and also gives you something to look forward to. I definitely want to grow some more in the future, maybe something different... potatoes maybe? Not sure yet. :)

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Graze Brownie (plus FREE codes).

As most of you may know, I am a lover of the Graze Box. But for anyone who has not heard of it or has, but wants an opinion from a regular Grazer before signing up, have a read of this. :)

I have been receiving Graze boxes for almost 2 years now, and I still love them now as much as I did when I received my first ever box! A lot has changed since I first signed up... They now have popcorn, tea and cake, puddings, brownie and even beef jerky (although I have not and will not be trying this, but I'm sure meat lovers will love it) as well as their usual punnets. They also occasionally throw in some new more regular-looking punnets too (I LOVE the 'Eleanor's Apple Crumble' punnet they've introduced).

One of the newer one's I've tried recently is 'The Graze Brownie'. Although not super moist and squishy like a traditional brownie, it has all the chocolatey and nutty tastes of one. Sooooo delicious! Great when you're craving a chocolate bar, or just something sweet, but you don't want to give into temptation - this really satisfies that craving. ;) Although the portion is a little on the small side, it makes up for it in taste. Great for a snack, or even a little pudding after a meal. I definitely think Graze's best punnets are the cake/pudding based ones, the brownie being one of the top three!

If after reading this you'd like to try your own Graze Box, using the code below you can get your FIRST graze box FREE! :D Just go to and enter the code:


(If this code doesn't work, try: N6JMVCHD)

If you're already a Graze customer, don't worry. I also have a code for you. If you want to try Graze's breakfast porridge punnets, and haven't done so already, you can get your first box free. Just go to and enter the code:


(You must already be a Graze customer for this code to work).

If you do sign up, don't forget to rate your boxes (Love, Like, Try and Bin). Also just because you sign up for a free one, doesn't mea you have to get them forever more. You can cancel any future orders if you no long want to receive them. Graze is a very trustworthy company and cancelling is very simple. :)

P.S. My blog has reached 20,000+ page views! I am a little shocked and amazed. Thank you so much to ALL of my readers - regular and even the one-time readers. I'm so grateful for every view. It helps me keep motivated to keep writing my blog. :) Thank you again. <3

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

My new aim.

I'm very sorry for the lack of posts last month.. I have been up to my ears with coursework. I should really be cracking on with coursework right now! I will always have 3 or more assignments on the go at any one time, according to the tutors.. It's a lot harder than I ever would have imagined. Since joining college, I've been struggling very badly with stress, which has embarrassingly caused me to gain a bit of weight (comfort eating... Mainly junk too). In my opinion it is extremely noticeable, especially around my middle... I'm very disappointed and ashamed of myself about it actually.

I received good news today though. My Mum has booked, and paid for, the venue for my 21st birthday (the beginning of next year)! I haven't had anything, since coming back from Magaluf in June, to focus on losing weight for. When I have something to aim losing weight for, such as an event or holiday, I tend to be more determined and have a little more willpower. So I can now aim to lose weight for my 21st birthday party! I want to be looking my best. My weight goal is to get towards the 8 and a half stone mark, give or take a little. Not sure how realistic that will be with Halloween and Christmas happening in between that time (likely to be lots of food, sweets, chocolate and alcohol around...), but I will give it my best shot.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Don't worry, I'm still here!

I'm so sorry for the lack of posts this past month. I have had a lot on my mind and a lot of changes have been going on..

Firstly, I was put on medication. My Doctor reckons I'll be on for the next 6 months or so.. So it was getting used to those to begin with, waiting for them to kick in. I don't think I'm quite ready yet to write on here what it's for and what I've been through, where people I know can easily read this. I'd rather tell the people I feel I want to know about it in person. I might write about it at a later date.. I'm not sure yet. But anyway, before the medication I didn't do much writing on here either, hence the lack of posts this year, compared to last year. It took up a lot of my time. I'm hoping I'm on the mend for good now and that things will start going back to "normal".

Secondly, I have enrolled at my local college. I have been twice previously, but I felt the courses I chose just weren't the right courses/career paths for me.. But I feel I may have found "the one".. Lets hope so anyway. I am doing 'Level 3 Travel & Tourism'. It was supposed to be a two year course, but I've now been told that I have to do and pay for Year 1 and Year 2 separately , which I'm not too happy about, as it's way more expensive for me that way. College is something that I have been preparing myself for, stressing and worrying about for the last 2-3 weeks. This Monday just gone was my first proper day of college. It was induction week this week, but course related work starts this Monday coming. I am so nervous! I've never been the essay writing type, so I hope I cope okay. I am going to try my hardest to do the best I can. I really want to achieve this, do well and make my family proud of me.

So that is what I have been doing with myself. I have not forgotten about my blog. I check it every single day! I don't intend to stop writing it either. I have just cut down on the posts so I can focus on bigger things at the moment. As my new busy routine, of college and work, settles a bit, I'm hoping to make up for the recent lack of activity! So keep an eye out. I have two or so post ideas waiting to be written up (one involving real meat, for all of you meat lovers out there), I just need to find the time to write and perfect them!