Food

Moose loves to cook and so do I. Here is where you will find our kitchen adventures

I look pretty happy in this photo, don’t I?

Well, the truth is that I was happy. I had just joined Slimming World and I had decided that I was going to do something positive for myself and try to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Years of ignoring what I had been putting into my mouth had taken their toll and that it was time to make a change.

I didn’t have a weight target in mind. It wasn’t really about weight. I do of course want to look my best. However, I have found that since turning 30 my worries about what others see when they look at me have diminished at a pretty stealthy rate!

For me, my focus was on my health.

I already knew that 2 litres of cola each day and a penchant for drive thru food was costing me an arm and a leg. My habits needed to change. For my health and my purse!

So, the planets aligned and off to Slimming World I went. Determined that I was about to commit properly to something which would improve my life.

Fast forward nearly 6 months. Drum roll please..

..I AM THE SAME WEIGHT I WAS WHEN I STARTED THIS!

To say that I am not where I thought I would be by now is something of an understatement. I cannot pretend I’m not disappointed. I’d imagined I would be at least 3 stone down by now. Admittedly I am amused by it all too. But…

I was supposed to feel more like me

Because that’s it in a nutshell. I don’t really know the person I have become. She is certainly not who I was or who I imagined I would be. Maybe that’s just what nearly 40 feels like? Does 40 feel like giving up?

The fact of the matter is that I was ready to give up. On Slimming World. On myself.

Slimming world works. I know it works. I have seen the numbers in my book going downwards each week when I was making an effort to stick to it. The problem isn’t Slimming World. The problem is me. I have been sabotaging my own lifestyle. I wish I could say why but it’s not going to be that simple, is it?

I got a phone call on Friday night. It was my local chinese takeaway calling ME to let me know that their loyalty discount was ending that weekend and did I want to order food so I could use my discount? I shit you not. My takeaway phones me. That’s a problem.

Did I order food? Obviously I did. I enjoyed it too.

Actually though, I deserve better. So, today I will take a deep breath and walk through those doors into group. I will set aside a couple of hours for me. When I get home I’ll curl up with a cuppa and my Slimming World books and I will read through them again.

I will treat myself like a friend.

Hopefully this time around I will be able to make better choices. In a few months time maybe I will start to see a change. Not just in my body but my health too. Who knows. I will try to give myself a chance though. Wish me luck!

There used to be a pretty good variety of Chinese restaurants in Peterborough but that has long since been the case. These days finding a good eat-in Chinese option is a pretty tough call.

One Saturday, Mum and I found ourselves pulling up outside her local Chinese restaurant.

The Royal China. What it lacks in kerb appeal – and it really does – it makes up for with it’s food and hospitality!

We were quickly seated and were offered a set menu which seemed like good value for money. The set menu is a 3 course option at £15 per head.

There is plenty of choice. We opted for mixed starters which consisted of 9 different dishes to try. The satay chicken was by far my favourite and probably the best I have ever tasted.

The spicy To-Ban Beef was a dish I hadn’t tried before but was lovely – nothing was overly spicy. Other dishes were 2 different styles of spare ribs, crispy seaweed, sesame chicken toast, prawn toast, spring rolls and chicken with chilli and garlic. It was brought out to us within 15 minutes of ordering and we were asked a couple of times if we would like any of the dishes topped up which was nice.

On to the duck!

Plenty of succulent duck meat and fresh chopped spring onion and cucumber with pancakes. I thought that the hoisin sauce was a little too salty but not enough to complain about. Mum didn’t notice it at all and we happily munched our way through all of it.

The main course

I feel like to get a good measure of how good the place is you need to try a Sweet and Sour dish at a chinese restaurant. With that in mind, I opted for the Sweet and Sour Pork. Mum went for the healthier Cantonese Pork. We both decided on noodles for our side dish.

My Sweet and Sour Pork was absolutely lovely. The balance was just right and the pork wasn’t too chewy and nice and crispy. Don’t be put off by the small portions, it was made really clear to us that we only had to ask if we wanted more and they were more than happy to oblige.

Mum’s Cantonese Pork was well received and the bit I tried was delicious. The noodles were lovely too. Nicely flavoured and not too oily which is something I have encountered at other establishments.

We honestly didn’t feel the need to order any more than was brought out to us but we were asked several times if we were sure. In the interests of a thorough investigation of the food on offer, I decided to leave room for dessert.

I was glad I did

The desserts are not included in the set menu but they are really reasonably priced. To add one to your meal, Royal China charge just 90p! I opted for the cheesecake but there was a pretty good choice on offer. Ice cream, toffee apple (when do you see that on a menu?!), profiteroles, banana fritters, or lychees.

As well as my cheesecake I also ordered coffee. The coffee here is really good. I don’t know about you but I hate it when I have had a nice meal and then a bitter coffee ruins it at the final hurdle!

A nice surprise

Along with our coffees we were presented with a little plate of complimentary pick & mix style sweets. I had thought that I was a sensible grown up of 37 years but it turns out that being presented with free sweets has much the same effect that it had on me as a child. It was a lovely touch.

The Set Menu

royal china werrington peterborough set menu

Would we go again?

So I guess that’s the most important question, isn’t it? Before we visited The Royal China I checked out Trip Advisor for reviews. I read that the staff were a bit rude, that the place was freezing cold and it wasn’t an entirely pleasant place to visit.

What we found was a welcoming, well set up Chinese restaurant that while it looks a little run down outside is a great choice for a meal. All of the members of staff who we encountered were very polite and professional. We were very well looked after during our meal without it feeling intrusive. The menu was incredibly good value and the food was utterly delicious! We will definitely be back for a return visit and I quite liked that there is a separate section which would be good for hosting larger party sizes making it a good option for family get togethers.

Looking for other restaurants to try in Peterborough? Why not check out our review of Turtle Bay

Well. It’s all gone horribly wrong. In the words of a favourite meme of mine; Not only have the wheels fallen off, I have burnt down the cart and used the insurance money to buy cupcakes.

I have been steadily gaining rather than losing lbs. Not due to the meals on my planner but the bloody snacking! Still, at least all of the Easter chocolate is now gone. Finally!

I am having another retinal bleed so blurry eyesight means a lot less chopping and prep and a LOT more grab and go. I am determined that I am going to push through though. In fact I need to.

The plan is to plan- and stick to it. What do you do when you feel your willpower slipping?

This week in food

Friday: My lovely Stepmum is cooking for me so MrG and the kids have pie and veg

Saturday: Nandos style butterfly chicken breast with mediterranean rice (frozen from aldi 1.5syns per portion) and salad.

Sunday: Roast Pork, honey glazed roasted parsnips and carrots with brussel sprouts and mash.

Monday: Lamb koftas with salad and flatbread

Tuesday: Sausages and chips and beans.

Wednesday: Salmon with baby sweetcorn, and green beans* and jersey royal potatoes*

Thursday: Chicken pesto pasta and pea shoot salad

*included in the Aldi super six this week. keeps the costs down

Breakfasts: Trying to keep the expenditure to a minimum because it’s half term and frankly I would rather spend the dosh on having some fun with the children. With that in mind breakfast will be mainly porridge and fruit (I have a stash of frozen sweet cherries so I can add those to my porridge)

Lunches: I am going to try to make lots of hard boiled eggs and salads this week. The weather looks well suited for it and they are easy enough to make a take on days out.

If you are interested in seeing some more Slimming World friendly meal ideas feel free to check out one of my other plans here

 

Katykicker

I feel like I am becoming a Slimming World friendly meal planning ninja to be honest. Not to blow my own trumpet (parp) but I haven’t ordered a takeaway in a good few weeks nor do I miss it. Meal planning is becoming something I actually enjoy and even look forward to!

That said, this week I have eaten my own weight in leftover easter eggs. Can’t win em all!

The week ahead should be a pretty good one. We have no big events planned so it should be fairly easy to stick to the Slimming World plan and stick to budgeting too.

This week in food

Friday: Pasta Bolognese and green salad

Saturday: Lamb curry with broccoli and rice.

Sunday: Ham and vegetable gratin with new potatoes and veg

Monday: Simple pea pesto spaghetti with baby spinach salad and roasted red pepper

Tuesday: Chicken skewers with slimming world chips and salad and my vegan syn free coleslaw

Wednesday: Sausages and roasted veg for me. Side of mashed potato for everyone else. Lets face it, I will probably end up with mash too because it’s mash and who can resist it?

Thursday: Chicken Chilli and rice. Sounds a bit grim but the Stagg veg chilli is actually tasty and syn free on Slimming World. Great for a very quick meal.

Breakfast will be mainly oat pancakes or porridge. I love it at the moment and you can add loads of different things to it to change it up. I love frozen cherries and a little almond essence and teaspoon of raspberry jam so it tastes like cherry bakewell.

Lunches will be whatever we have. I am trying to save my pennies to shamelessly blow on the BlogOn raffle next week so I want to use what we have in the cupboards. Lunches could get ..weird.

 

Katykicker

I think that planning my meals is definitely helping. I got lots of work done last week and even lost 2lbs! It’s going to take a while but I am chiseling away at it and that’s the main thing. Even if I lose 1lb a week, that’s still 42lbs down by Christmas and will mean a massive change to my energy levels and general wellness. That’s what I am trying for. To feel better. 

This week I have nothing big coming to throw me off track. It should be pretty easy to stay on plan I hope. My eyes are sore (need to go back to the opticians) so I have ordered lots of frozen ready to go veg for less time in the kitchen chopping. This should be a great help and will definitely stop me ordering takeaway. Planning is key!

The Week Ahead in Food

Friday: Sweet & sour chicken with noodles 

Saturday: Oven roasted chicken ratatouille 

Sunday:  Pork with roast potatoes and vegetables

Monday: Quorn nugget wrap with chips and salad 

Tuesday: Butterflied Chicken breast, corn on the cob and Aldi mediterranean rice (1.5 syns)

Wednesday: Chow mein with Slimming World friendly spring rolls* and chilli sauce. 

Thursday: Pasta bake with salad. 

Breakfasts will be one from this selection of Slimming World Breakfasts

Lunches will be either leftovers because I hate waste or something saladish. Seriously need to seek out some different salads to include in my planning though, otherwise I will get bored.

*made with lasagne sheets but so easy. Blanche the sheets one at a time, pop the filling in, roll up and spray with oil. Bake for about 20 mins.

Katykicker