Losing weight for the summer is important to me this year as I turn 40 in July and it feels like a big milestone. I want to start my fourth decade feeling healthy and in good shape – I want to be around for the boys for another 40 years if I can!
So I’ve joined a special Weight Watchers challenge called Step Into Summer to get myself into a healthier eating mentality.
I hope you don’t mind me sharing this with you guys, but I figured lots of you might be feeling the same as me as the summer flesh-baring months of dresses and short sleeves approaches with alarming speed. Healthy eating inspiration has got to be good, right?! Well it has to be tasty if it’s going to be work for me.
I’ve not done Weight Watchers for a good few years, but it was incredibly effective when I slimmed down for my wedding a decade ago, and again after I had Sam to shift the bulk of my baby weight. So here I am again, but this time it’s a bit different and encourages you to get into the swing of things using the Simple Start plan.
Instead of jumping straight into the points system you have a list of foods that are healthy and filling that you can construct your meals from. There’s no weighing or measuring, just stick to the list. You then get an allowance of two treats a day – a small glass of wine for example! I’ve downloaded the app on my iPhone to keep me on track which is enormously helpful.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be set regular challenges by the folks at Weight Watchers in line with their eating plan, and I’ll rustle up some inspiring and healthy grub to share with you. There will also be a chance for you to win some fantastic prizes if you fancy joining in with the challenges and coming up with your own meal ideas.
Challenge One: Eat at least one portion of fruit or veg with every meal.
I have been provided with a food delivery containing enough fresh fruit and vegetables to create the recipe of the week as well as some additional creations.
I was delighted that the first recipe was a curry, as bold flavours really work for me when i’m trying to eat healthily. Chillies and ginger are incredibly good for you and your metabolism, plus there’s a decent amount of vegetables going on.
Prawn & Courgette Curry (Recipe by Weight Watchers)
8 Pro Points per serving
Calorie controlled cooking spray
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, grated
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 small courgettes, cut into batons
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
Pinch cayenne (optional)
200g can chopped tomatoes
400g raw peeled prawns
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1/2 lemon, juice only
Steamed brown basmati rice, to serve (60g dried per serving)
1. Heat a non-stick frying pan or wok over a high heat and spray with calorie controlled cooking spray. Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli and cook briefly before adding the courgettes. Stir fry for a minute before adding the turmeric, cumin and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes before adding the prawns.
2. Increase the heat to reduce the sauce and cook the prawns. When the sauce has thickened and the prawns have turned pink, add the coriander and lemon juice. Season to taste and serve immediately with brown basmati rice.
Note: you can use cooked prawns in this recipe, if you prefer. Add them once the sauce has thickened, and cook for a further minute or two until heated through before adding the coriander and lemon juice.
Tip: My boys and veggie husband won’t eat this, so I’ve kept the leftovers to eat another day. I love batch cooking when i’m on a diet as it helps me stay on track knowing I can just pull a portion out of the fridge or freezer and not think about it. To get an extra portion in on top of the already healthy array in this recipe, you could serve it with a green salad on the side.
Feeding Boys Tips for getting extra portions of fruit or veg into mealtimes
I’ve been trying to do this anyway since that news story about how we should actually be eating closer to 7 portions of fruit and veg per day. It’s amazing how much if fills you up so it really helps avoid unhealthy munchies. Obviously you can snack on fruit in between meals but you can also use meal times to pile up those portions of fruit and veg too. Here are some of the ways I’ve been doing it this week and i’ve lost 4 pounds already so it must be working!
Fruit on cereal or porridge like sliced banana or frozen berries
Grated apple on 0% Greek Yoghurt with wholegrain cereal
Strawberries sliced and put on wholemeal toast spread with low fat cream cheese
Carrot, cucumber and pepper sticks on the side of whatever you’re having
Extra handful of salad in a wholemeal pitta with hummus
Grated Carrot and shredded red cabbage in a wrap with grilled chicken
Light and juicy satsuma for desert
Get those side dishes in…
Plenty of steamed vegetables
Wash it all down with a home made juice – carrot, celery and apple is super refreshing.
I chopped up a huge honeydew melon and kept a container of it in the fridge and just tucked in whenever I got the munchies
Join in with the challenge and you could win this cool prize
For the first #stepintosummer challenge Weight Watchers are giving away a fruit power juicer to help members kick-start their journey… If you like the look of this prize then simply:
Upload a picture of a meal you’ve created that contains a portion of fruit or veg onto twitter using hashtag #stepintosummer
Let us know how you’re getting on with this week’s challenge on Facebook by tagging @WeightWatchersUK and using hashtag #stepintosummer
Inspired to get back on the Weight Watchers Wagon? Check out Weight Watchers latest sign-up offers
Disclosure: I have been paid for the time spent creating this series of blog posts for Weight Watchers, as well as receiving deliveries of ingredients to make the recipes and a six month membership to Weight Watchers. All views are my own and it is a product I genuinely endorse having used it several times successfully in the past.