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Day 52 of 100 Days Challenge

Some of you have been following my quest to lose weight on my Instagram page, link attached..

I’m sorry I haven’t posted here in such a long time…

Life has been busy.

Lots going on…

Lots to think of…

Lots to do…

My head is all over the place…

But here I am, so hello.

 I’ve continued on my 100 Days challenge and it’s been the longest in a very long time that I’ve stayed 100% on my diet.

100Days

Today is Day 52  and I’m mega proud of all the ladies that have survived so far on my Challenge. 29 ladies and one man, started the Challenge, 16 ladies remain…

Of the 14 of us, that have submitted Day 50 weights, we lost a whooping 199.5 pounds! That is, 90.7kg!14 stone, 3 lb and 15.3483 oz!

I am also very happy to report that in the last 51 days, I have lost 9.4kg, 20.7lbs, 1 stone, 6 lb and 11.5752 oz. 

Days 1 to 25 were fab on the weight loss front and I lost 6.8kg, 15lbs, 1 stone 1 lb in the first 25 Days, although the majority of my losses naturally happened in the first 10 days.

Days 25 to 50 were mega challenging. Lots of stalling and weight gain for no identifiable reason and in that quarter, I only lost a pathetic 4 pounds.

I am really hoping for better news on Days 50 to 75.

Following a frustrating 2/3 weeks, on Saturday, (Day 48), I decided to suspend the Cambridge diet and place myself on my own low carb diet, starting with a few days to a week of just protein, psyllium husk and milk, to get things moving again.

I am glad this appears to have stopped the frustrating weight gain and since Saturday, in just the last 3 days, I have lost 1.6kg; 3.5lbs.

The quest continues!

Please follow me on Instagram where I try to post every day.

 

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Day 610 – From the mouth of babes…Instagram It.

Please join me on Instagram and please share the link with anyone who might be interested in healthy lunch or dinner ideas.

I only post pictures of meals I cook, which are all healthy, low carb, low calorie meals suitable for most diets including Step 2 Cambridge, Dukan, Atkins, Ketogenic diets, clean eating, low carbing etc.

https://www.instagram.com/belleslowcarbworld/

instagram-join-me

Yesterday, I spent nearly 5 hours in the company of two delightful boys, one is 7 and the other is 5.

We baked shortbread biscuits and a two layered vanilla birthday cake, with buttercup frosting, complete with birthday messages and candles, after which we invited their parents and 5 month old brother to join our little tea party.

I did not even have a teeny weeny piece of cake.

This is a first.

Ever.

There is hope for me yet.

birthday-cake

At one point, the 5 year old declared that I was his best “Belle.” His mum tells me this is the height of his compliments.

At another point, he said:

“Mummy said you’re separated from your husband and you are no longer friends. You have two new friends, X and Y.” He proclaimed, naming his brother and himself.

That comment nearly moved me to tears. I gave both of them a high five, a kiss and a cuddle.

He also declared that I had the nicest kitchen in the whole wide world.

mouth-of-babes

Isn’t it just amazing how kids can make everything seem so easy and uncomplicated?

not-complicated

Since the last time that I wrote, the transfer of equity of my beautiful home into my sole name has completed. I looked at the title deed with my full name on it, with tears of joy, so much pride and immense gratitude that I have come out of my nightmare with a clean break and with my home as mine.

Just over a week ago, I finally deleted my ex ‘s phone numbers and that of his mum and sister from my contact list. The time was right and it felt good to have that firm closure.

But…things are not completely over.

My ex is still continuing with his ridiculous and crazy stance of taking me to court to fight over a previously jointly used mac computer which is over three years old and which I have been using alone since he left in April 2015.

The fact that this man is going ahead with this utterly ridiculous case tells me that his madness has not waned. His ludicrous barrister, with over 20 years experience, had demanded half a day of a busy Central London court, the busiest family court in the country, to talk shit about this computer.

The court has allocated 5 minutes instead of the demanded half a day.

Oh and for this laughable case, we are both required to prepare like a real case, exchange witness statements, evidence and all sorts.

I have been told to be prepared to be totally lambasted by an angry judge for this stupid matter coming to court but so be it. 

I look forward to a fun trip to Central London after which I will meet a friend for dinner and have a laugh.

crazy

In other news, I am still doing well in my diet.

I am also using my gym and in the last couple of weeks, have decided to weigh once a week instead of my previous obsession of weighing two or three times daily.

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Week Two, Day 558: Let Them Eat…Salad

It’s been a frustrating week on the weight front.

I have done my bit by staying on my diet 100% and my body has simply refused to play ball. I was 89.8 kg on Saturday, and since then, it’s been ups and downs, mostly ups and today, I am 90.6 kg. 

The weather in London has been very hot all week, and my consultant Mandy thinks it could be water retention which would of course make sense even though I’m very good with water, drinking around 3600ml or more of water daily.

It could also be hormonal. For the first time in years, my period is over 10 days later.

And no, there is zero per cent chance of me being pregnant.

On the Cambridge diet, I am allowed 80g in total of specific vegetables daily. This week, I have been craving big bowls of salad, the sort of salad I used to have when I was low carbing. A big bowl full of goodness. A bowl of mixed green salads (allowed on Cambridge diet as part of 80g daily allowance), black olives (not allowed), cucumber (allowed), salad onions (allowed), sweetcorn (not allowed), carrots (not allowed), assorted peppers (only green pepper allowed), chick peas (allowed as part of daily protein allowance)

A voice in my head is constantly asking what sort of stupid diet means that I cannot have a big bowl of salad if I fancy one?

C’mon, no one has ever gained weight by eating just salad.

I tell that voice that this is the smallest I’ve been in years.

chopped salad

OK, screw all that. 

If I still don’t lose any weight tomorrow, I’m having roast lamb, sweet potatoes and a big bowl of salad this weekend.

There are worst crimes against dieting.

It’s not like I’m planning to eat pizzas and cakes…

And who knows, a departure from the norm might shock my body and kickstart weight loss once again.

Week Two, Day 558’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.6 kg, week’s weight loss 0.1 kg gain (0.22 pounds); total weight loss;  33.2 kg; 73.04 pounds; 5 stones 3 pounds

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Day 507 – Variety is the Spice of Life

Today is Day 15 of my 21 day challenge to stay 100% on my diet and I am thrilled to report that I have managed to stay on track every single day of the challenge.

Daily weight fluctuations meant a slight weight increase (o.3kg) today but I’m not overly concerned as I was 100% yesterday and the increase might have been spiked by unexpected hard exercising yesterday – I was late for an appointment and so I basically sprinted My body doesn’t like hard intensity.

Anyways, as of yesterday, I ha”d lost 5.9 kg in 13 days.

I have been experimenting with different foods. I tried to create a recipe for cauliflower cake, looked great, horrible texture and straight into the bin…

More successful is my black eyed beans savoury cake which I have made steamed or baked. This feels like a treat and not a diet.

Ingredients

80g black eyed beans – dried weight – soak for at least three hours

16 g of onions

Salt

Black pepper

Ground dried crayfish or prawns (optional)

1 boiled egg (optional)

Ground nutmeg

Spray light coconut oil spray

Cayenne pepper (a little)

Scotch bonnet pepper (a little) 

Seasoning cube of your choice. I use 1 teaspoon of Cambridge golden vegetable seasoning

 

Method

  1. Soak the black eyed beans for at least 3 hours or overnight if you can.
  2. Hard boil one egg. *Note for Step 2 Cambridge, the egg means excess of the protein allowance. Fine for Step 3.
  3. Cover the beans with water to cover the beans and add the beans and water to a blender and blend for about 3 minutes.
  4. To the beans mixture in the blender, add the onions, crayfish (optional), black pepper, cayenne pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, nutmeg, seasoning cube, and sprays of coconut oil.
  5. Blend all for another 3 minutes.
  6. Taste for salt. If you can taste salt, you’ve used too much. Add a little salt, if necessary. Remember you already have stock seasoning.
  7. Blend for another 1 minute and transfer to container.
  8. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into containers, adding sliced eggs on top.
  9. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes depending on consistency of the mixture and depth of baking container.
  10. Use a toothpick to check if cooked. It should be dry when you get the toothpick out.
  11. Alternatively, place covered foil container in a steamer for 30 minutes. If steaming, ensure the water is boiling before you place the container to the steaming pot.\\\
  12. Enjoy\
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Day 484 -My Dinners Rock: Lentil & Chicken Curry with Cauliflower Mash

Day 8 of staying 100% on my diet. Last week, I worked out 3 days, aiming for the same this week.

My workout today was basically 10 minutes easy ride on a recliner bike, 10 mins easy cycle on TechnoGym’s Top XT which is basically like cycling with your arms, and using 2.5lbs dumbbell and yoga band, I did three exercises that work the biceps and triceps, doing 30 repetitions of each exercise.

At the end of my work out, I had an egg. Given that I am on a low calorie diet, I am not going mad in the gym.

Another magnificent low carb, low fat and low calorie dinner suitable for Step 2 of the Cambridge Diet or any diet or just healthy eating.

This time lentil and chicken curry with cauliflower mash. This tasted like restaurant quality food and I couldn’t believe I can eat food this amazing on a diet.

Yep, I made chicken and lentil curry without typical ingredients like yogurt, tomatoes and oil and it still tasted amazingly fabulous.

Curry 3 June 2016

The cauliflower mash came about from a disastrous blending of cauliflower – I couldn’t be bothered to grate into rice size and used the wrong blender which required water. I got a milky consistency which I added a little garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and decided to experiment – the result was sumptuous.

Not the best picture of the cauliflower but it hopefully shows the milky consistency I started with…

Note to self: check photos on your crappy phone!

Cauliflower June 2016

For the Cauliflower mash

Blend 80g of cauliflower with water to get a milky consistency.

Season with a little garlic salt, black pepper and cayenne chilli or whatever you like

Spray pan with coconut one calorie spray and simmer for about 10 minutes

Transfer the pan to oven pre-heated to 220C and cook for another 10 minutes or until slightly brown.

Serve with fresh basil

Curry 1 June 2016

For the lentil and chicken curry.

Ingredients

40g red lentil – dried weight

125g of chicken

Tumeric

Cumin

Ground corriander

Paprika

Curry powder

Garam masala

Garlic salt

Fresh garlic

Fresh ginger

A little low salt vegetable stock

Two teaspoons of milk

Coconut light spray

Method

  1. Boil red lentil briskly for 10 minutes and then simmer for another 10 minutes. Set aside
  2. Combine the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, paprika, garlic salt, curry powder, garam masala with tea spoons of milk to make a curry paste. Set aside.
  3. Cube the chicken, chop garlic, ginger and using a little bit of the curry paste, marinate the chicken with garlic, ginger and a little paste. Leave in the fridge for an hour or until you want to cook.
  4. Pan fry the chicken with the garlic, ginger, and remaining paste turning once browned.I made sure my chicken is cooked before starting the next step. You can’t be too careful with chicken.
  5. Dissolve a little low salt stock in warm water and add the stock to the chicken, simmer for 10 minutes, checking and adding more water if required.

 

Curry 2 June 2016

6. Add the cooked lentil to the chicken mix. Combine properly and simmer for another 10 minutes adding water if required.

7. Serve with fresh basil.

Verdict: I cannot begin to explain how super yummy this was. Smacks lips.

Curry 4 June 2016

 

 

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Day 480 – Carb Free Prawns and Egg Fried with Cauliflower Rice

I am trying to keep my diet fresh and exciting by trying something new daily.

Cambridge weight plan step 2 means that I basically have one cooked food once a day, with 80g of vegetables from an allowed list. The other meals, consist of milk from a weighed allowance and three Cambridge weight plan products, in my case usually the porridge, yogurt bar and peanut bar.

Experimenting with my evening meal instead of basically eating the same thing every single plan has allowed me to experience some previously untried flavours.

Last night’s dinner was this seriously yummy prawns and egg fried rice with no rice. Yes, instead of rice, I grated cauliflower and used that in place of rice.

Guilt free, low carb and off the scale yummy.

prawns june 2016

I weighed out 125 g of frozen prawns (half of my protein allowance, the other half being 1 egg) and because I like to marinate food, I added some fresh basil leaves and Thai chilli and left the prawns in the fridge to defrost.

prawns 2

I grated 80g of cauliflower so it looks like rice. You can use a blender if you prefer. I also chopped a little ginger, garlic and one spring onions.

prawns 3

Using one calorie spray oil, I used garlic oil as I like garlic but you can use any oil, I pan fried the prawns, chilli, garlic and ginger, for 1 to 2 minutes until pink.

I then added one beaten egg, allowing the egg to fry a little before scrambling, for about 1 minute.

prawns 4

Lastly, I added the cauliflower rice and a teaspoon of light soy sauce, tossed everything around to mix properly, before adding the spring onions last and stir frying.

prawns 5

Viola. Yummy goodness, served with some basil leaves. You can serve with coriander if you prefer.

Verdict: Off the scale yummyness.

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Day 355: Week 51 Weigh-In – Moving On for Dummies

Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons.

Sometimes the lessons are subtle, blink and you miss it, other times, it is an all singing, all dancing, hip swaying, rainbow coloured flag waving, finger pointing, in your face life lesson.

I have had one of those in your face lessons: why it’s best to keep moving on.

I have always been the sort of person that if someone important to me does something that annoys me, instead of carrying a grudge, I would rather tell them my mind and then very quickly get over it.

But I guess usual rules do not apply to marriage break-ups from hell, especially when the other person has continued to behave badly and there is no relationship or any association whatsoever to salvage.

So this week’s life’s lesson is to keep moving on…

While you’re crying over the end of a relationship or carrying a grudge, the other guy is out dancing.

In my case, quite literally.

grudge

So about that life lesson in moving on….

At the end of May 2015, I was in a seriously scary, dark place. It had only been a couple of weeks since my  husband sent an email from a business trip in Singapore, ending our 11 years marriage and 14.5 years relationship, telling me he would not be coming home. It was not about the woman he had an affair with, he wants to “forge ahead alone.”

My mental health had crumbled at the devastation caused by the unexpected end of my marriage, my ex’s betrayal and his despicable behaviour. I had been so blissfully happy in my life with an ex, who had pretended to feel the same, while using online dating websites and seeking a way out, throughout our relationship.

I didn’t see the end of my marriage coming in a billion years.

Documenting my year, with this blog, my paper diary, photographs and videos I take of myself, May is littered with lots of extremely dark thoughts, pictures and videos of me crying my eyes out.

(Self portraits and self videos? WTF. I know, I know!)

I remember writing this blog post after I had literally spent the whole of the May bank holiday, crying.

That weekend, my ex had moved to Weybridge, 5 minutes away from Mylien, his 49 year old married mother of two, Vietnamese mistress, who he had met on a singles dating website.

At one point that long May weekend, I thought that if not for the fact that it would literally kill my mother and my sisters if anything happened to me, there was nothing to live for.

I couldn’t see any light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

I had lost the love of my life. The ying to my yang. My true soulmate. My only soulmate. My other half. My missing link. The only man I had ever wanted to father my future children (I recoil at that last one as my future children do not deserve a psychopath for a father.) The only man that had ever completed me. The only man that I had ever truly, completely and unconditionally loved, without reservation.

Blah blah blah.

Cry me a river.

That weekend, my ex’s sister had called me, telling me how she had asked her brother 3 times whether his affair had ended and he had sworn it had ended. She told me her brother regretted the email he sent from Singapore saying he wasn’t coming back home. She said he had never told either her or his mother that our marriage had ended. She wanted me to be strong as she thought her brother had gone crazy because she knew how much he loved me and how much he was devoted to me, echoing the same comments my mother-in-law had made that same weekend. She believed him when he said the affair had ended. She would understand that I might not take him back but he didn’t want to end our marriage.

She was messing with my head.

So my life lesson is this…

In my darkness, all that sadness, crying, heartbreak, devastation, thinking my world had ended, soon to be ex mother-in-law and sister-in-law telling me my ex had sworn that the affair had ended, guess what my soon to be ex husband was doing?

That half term that started with May bank holiday, he was on a holiday in Butlins Minehead, Somerset, with Mylien, his married mistress, her two children and her friends. He had driven over 3 hours from Weybridge to holiday in Somerset.

While I was crying and wondering whether my life was worth living, my ex was busy playing happy families with someone else’s wife and someone else’s children, eating ice cream, enjoying playground rides, continuing to lie to his mother and only sibling that the affair had ended and having a jolly good time.

Isn’t it funny how life teaches you a lesson?

grudge 2

Oh and to quote one of his “best friends”:

“I don’t mean to be personal, but you are a gorgeous woman. I could never understand the two of you together but it seemed to work and I had never met two people so much in love. You will be fine. Why would anyone want an affair with him? The only thing going for him is that he’s occasionally funny, in a weird way, and he earns a lot of money. Seriously, why on earth would anyone want to have an affair with him?”

Yes, I’m moving the fuck on, as difficult as it is in an extremely stressful week where I have literally spent every single day and countless hours dealing with divorce crap.

But this too will pass and I just can’t wait until the finances and divorce are settled and I never have to waste any energy whatsoever on this SOB.

Week Fifty one’s Verdict: today’s weight 87.9 kg, week’s weight loss 0 kg (0 pounds); total weight loss;  36.5 kg; 80.3 pounds; 5 stones 10 pounds