FWT? Week 13 and A Birthday Bonus

FWT? and A BIRTHDAY BONUS? – See details below of extra prizes in the Draw!

Here we are again at the round-up of another week of Fat Woman Thinning? At last I’m beginning to think it might be safe to drop the question mark at the end of FWT. At the start I really wasn’t sure this was going to work at all .. but now, and especially today, I am feeling more positive.

If you are new to FWT? Then a quick up-date. You see, I had to do something, menopause seemed to have changed the way my body dealt with things – my usual way of maintaining my weight no longer worked and the weight crept on… and on until by Jan the first this year I weighed in at 12 stone!  So, now I am using resistance weights as well as some aerobic and stretching, and watching what I eat (writing everything down as well) – but Not Dieting!

Also, I don’t go to a gym.  I don’t have time to spend getting there, nor the inclination to flaunt my lumpy body in front of others, so I have worked out what I can do at home and it doesn’t take long – the weights; never more than 15 mins and the aerobics and stretching is worked to follow a half hour of music.

So where am I now? After the previous week, where over indulging led to no weight loss, I kept a strict eye on the carbs, made sure I didn’t over eat and did all the exercises!

The results are in folks: Weight loss this week 2 lbs!! hurray, and I am now at 10st 7 lbs for my birthday! (my second secret goal!) Waist measurements, for both relaxed and pulled in tight went down half an inch too, so I am happy.

To celebrate this and as a Birthday Bonus I am adding to the prizes available when anyone signs-up to this blog in my Win a Kindle draw.

As you will know, if you have entered, this draw has to be only open to people living in the UK as the Kindle in question is already purchased and ready to send and the draw will be held as soon as a thousand people sign up, so you are all encouraged to share!

So here is the New Prize Line-Up!!

The first number drawn will Win the Kindle.  

The second number drawn will Win a Nero Slate Cheese boardfrom annmade.co.uk

The third number drawn will Win an copy of Divining the Line (in pdf form so you can read it on your computer or use calibre to convert it  if you have an e-reader).

The fourth number drawn will Win a pdf copy of Nothing Ever Happens Here and

The fifth number drawn will Win a pdf copy of Some Kind of Synchrony

 

 

So, here’s wishing everyone good-luck in the draw, please read the (full details HERE)

So what do you think, folks? Is this a good way to celebrate  – with no calories 😉

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A Sweet Treat – Pavlova

Sweet, dessert, pudding, whatever you like to call it, is the topping-off of a good meal. Carefully chosen to balance the type of meal preceding it, it can be a delight … and so very, very tempting, because one thing they nearly all have in common is a high carbohydrate content.  Still, don’t you find that  no matter how filling the main meal was, there still seems to be room for the sweet treat? (in our pudding stomach 🙂 ) And my favourite – the Pavlova – is no exception.

It is believed that the dessert we know as the Pavlova was created in honour of the Russian ballet dancer Ann Pavlova when on a tour of New Zealand in the 1920s (though Australia hotly contests this, claiming to be the nation that hosted this culinary naming)

It is one of my favourite desserts and a long time ago I found a virtually fool-proof method of making them which has become much appreciated in the family as when I make them I usually make 3 bases at a time (well, if you have the oven on you may as well fill it up, and they do keep quite well in a sealed cake tub) and this means more than one meal-time gets this treat.  These Pavlovas are also brilliant for when you have a horde of people round – each one cutting into 8 generous servings. Best when the fruit is in season – so choose in-season brightly coloured soft or softish fruit when you can (hard fruit, like sliced apple, just doesn’t sit as well with this dessert)

9 inch pavlova on 30 cm dia annmade octagonal slate cake plate

Ann’s Pavlova ( or Vacherin  – not the cheese!)  

This  looks like meringue but it is really an adaptation I have made of a Vacherin – which is a type of meringue made with icing sugar (usually whisked once, but over hot water – my method seems to work just as well and be less of a bother)

Makes a 9 inch Pavlova base or 40 half mini meringues

2 egg whites

4 oz of sieved icing sugar.

Method

Whisk the egg whites until in stiff peaks.

Sieve the icing sugar and add to the whipped whites.

Whisk again until the mixture returns to stiff peaks

Either scoop into a piping bag and pipe small meringues onto a  greased baking sheet  (makes about 40 halves)

Or line the base of a 9” sandwich tin and grease the sides (or line a baking tray , draw a 9” diameter  circle, grease the sheet, spread or pipe the mixture over the area of the circle – adding a little more towards the rim.

Bake at 160 C or 140 C fan oven or Gas mk 3 (until palest fawn)

15- 20 mins for the small

1 ½  – 2 hours for Pavlova

Allow to cool gradually – I usually turn the oven off and allow it to cool before removing the pavlova bases.

To decorate use either 4 – 8 oz Cornish Clotted Cream or whip at least a quarter pint of Double Cream (taking care not to make too thick – nor runny) and spread evenly and thickly over the top.  Decorate with slices of soft / softish, fruits.

For mini-meringues. Whisk 1/4 pint double cream, place in piping tube with rosette nozzle. Pipe on one half – squeeze lightly as you stick the other half on.

Hope you find this recipe works well for you too!

Food is such an important part of our lives, it brings back memories, it can brighten our day or it can be a drudge and a scourge. How people eat and what they eat can help set scenes in novels too, can tell y0u a lot about the character without spelling it out. Take this excerpt from my novel Some Kind of Synchrony

The unexpected aroma of pizza, unmistakable in its amalgam of cooked cheese and oregano, stopped her for a moment, standing in her own hall, a rabbit poised for flight.  Then Andy appeared, filling the kitchen doorway.           

       ‘Thought I heard the door,’ he said and turned back into the kitchen.  Faith grabbed up the shopping bag and her handbag, pushed the door shut with the vigour it required, and followed him.  Two large size Pizzas stood on the table, one with the lid flopped back and a ragged wedge missing.  Andy held the remains of this piece in his fingers as he lounged against the worktop.  ‘Thought we’d have a pizza tonight – got the kids a video out too,’ he smiled, shoved the thick crust into his mouth and chewed contentedly, wiping his fingers on his jeans then folding his arms. 

I hope it’s painted a picture of Andy for you – to read the first three chapters of this book, and my others, free in PDF  just click here

And back to sweet treats. I hope you’ve all entered my Win a KINDLE draw if eligible – and let all your friends know so they can enter too! As for the Pavlova –  like I said, it is my favourite (and probably my downfall last week in FWT?),   so what is your favourite sweet treat – do let me know!

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Have you got Resistance Weights in your fridge?

Inspired by the Kitchen Resistance training video I posted a few weeks ago  I have been thinking about how you could get started on resistance weight training if you didn’t happen to have a son who was, 1, into weight training and 2, had left a load of his weights in the barn where you could ‘borrow’ them. MizFit used soup cans – but at the most these weigh-in at only 500g – and as I started with 2 kg* dumbbells, 500g wouldn’t offer much ‘resistance’.  I could go on ‘forever’ with such light weights and the idea is to achieve over 15 repetitions but ‘fail’ (find it too difficult to go on)  at a number that is not so high that it takes much time to reach. (*True, my work that I do with slate means I have quite strong arm muscles to start with, and many would start with a bit lighter.)

 

I had just come back from the supermarket where I had bought, amongst other things, milk.  Now it is only in the last eighteen months that we have had to actually buy milk. Up until then we kept milking goats – British Saanen. However, home circumstances meant that having to milk every morning was not a viable option anymore so we traded in our milkers and went for Boer Goats instead (more of which elsewhere and later)

 

 

Well, having a ready supply of milk encourages you to drink lots of milk and to use lots of milk in culinary ways. So, now I find myself buying what seem to be vast quantities of milk each week. There I was heaving this bag out of the boot of the car. It contained one 6 pint and three four pint plastic bottles. Wow, I thought, these are heavy! And that was when the little light bulb went on.

I went right in and weighed a 4 pint bottle. 2.430 kg. It has a comfortable handle to hold it with and with one in each hand I performed bicep curls, front raises, lateral raises and triceps extensions.  And, I thought to myself, AND  you could start with them half full of water if you weren’t feeling very strong, and as your strength increased you could add more water to suit.

I next weighed the 6 pint bottle, as good mathematicians will have worked out instantly, this weighed in at 3.6 kg and was still comfortable enough to handle. It might be used for the snatch in the early stages, I thought.

Later I took an empty set (one of each) out to the farmyard and filled them each with sand my other half has waiting to do some building work. Now the 4 pint bottle weighed 3.5 kg and the 6 pt over 5.3 (my scales weren’t man enough to give me the correct weight). Certainly a decent weight to start the snatch with !!

So here it is – use the recommended exercises as on Week 3 page, with the video links on Week 5 page to guide you, and use milk bottles filled with water or sand to create your weights! The only tricky one is the wrist-curl – it still works but the weight is unevenly distributed.

If you don’t consume the quantities of milk we do then I am sure there’ll be someone who you can ask to save you some empty* milk bottles to use. *(WELL washed out!!)

If you try this let me (and everyone else) know – I’d love to see how well it works out!

Have you ever had a ‘light-bulb’ moment – the simple answer to something that has been eluding you? Do share – I love to her from you all! And while you are sharing – don’t forget to enter and share the fantastic draw I am running for one lucky person to Win a Kindle

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Does this LOOK like a ‘diet’ to you? FWT? WEEK 10

If you are new to the FWT? blog-posts, welcome to Fat Woman Thinning? – a 52 week blog, which I started as pages to keep myself on-track and so my ‘primary cheerleaders’ (my sons) could keep up with my progress. Then, after three weeks, I felt brave enough to post it as a blog!  If you are one of my cheerleaders ! Yay! Great to see you again! If you are new to this blog – welcome!

Losing weight after menopause turned out to be a whole different game to losing weight before. What worked then, didn’t work now. A new strategy had to be found and as a very busy woman I didn’t have time to spend on long gym sessions or runs or cycles. This had to be manageable! I started out on Jan1st weighing 12 stone, now each Sunday morning first thing each week I weigh myself and measure my waist (level with the belly button) nude.  To lose weight I am using resistance weights as well as some aerobic and stretching, and watching what I eat, mostly watching the carbs (writing everything down as well) – but NOT DIETING !

Last week I set myself the challenge of photographing all my meals and snacks, as I could write down  ‘carrots, parsnip, beetroot’  for instance and I could be fooling you and having just one tiny piece of each, but the photos speak for themselves and I do eat everything on my plate. It turned out to be a bit of a food-prep lazy week as events meant I was short on extra cooking time and some short-cuts were made (Shortcuts usually result in ready-prepared or quick to cook vegetables (like peas and beans) which also tend not to be the best for you). If you took the time (why would you) to compare the lists of veg from this week and last you would notice the difference) Anyway – just remembering to photograph food was tricky enough! But here- goes … SUNDAY  MORNING THROUGH TO SATURDAY NIGHT IN PHOTOGRAPHS (All fine details can be found on the Week 10 drop down from the FWT? button on the bar)

and this photographic meal line-up is missing the glass of Vouvray (sparkling wine) and half a bottle of raspberry presse (sparkling fruit drink) both quite calorific, and my usual one-third milk topped with boiling water – two or three (or four)  times a day and water – of which I drink a glass 10 mins before meals and with exercise. And, yes, you did see a great chunk of plain chocolate there on Friday – terrible day – sorting out everything (and I mean everything) in my kitchen! I needed support, but only one chunk at a time 😉

I don’t know about you – but I don’t think this looks like a ‘diet’ – I eat plenty – and not too fussily – but the weight is moving off steadily. Due, I am sure, to the exercises that I have taken up since the start of January, and to not worrying about the fats and proteins but keeping a watch to make sure I do not Over Do the carbohydrates.

Oh, and the results for this week – another 1 pound off and another half inch off both relaxed waist measurement and pulled-in waist measurement. What is there not to like?

Recording this photographically was an interesting project – have you ever set about recording something simple like this and found it harder and more interesting than you expected?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Lastly – if you have not entered, or shared, this fantastic draw I am running for one lucky person in just one thousand to WIN a KINDLE get over to the blog-post about it and enter and share! Thanks! And if you already have a kindle -why not  enter for a chance to win one for a friend. By the way, did you know that Ann Foweraker novels are all available as e-books ?

 

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