Scrambled Tofu Yumminess

I don’t like to brag but I did make an awesome breakfast today; scrambled tofu with onions, red peppers, courgette, mushrooms and potato.  It was very tasty and easy to make.  It would make a good supper too.  The recipe I give below is perfect for two people.   5.5 syns per person.

IMG_1499I have seen a few recipes online for scrambled tofu and two things were commonly listed in the ingredients:

Firm tofu (this one was great)IMG_1494and black salt.  This was hard to find but I bought it from an Asian shop on King’s Road, St.Leonards.  It is sulphurous so makes the tofu taste more egg like.IMG_1495I chopped up about 6 chestnut mushrooms, half a courgette, one red pepper and one brown onion.  I had some cooked potatoes ready to add too.  I fried the vegetables in 1 tbsp oil (3 syns as I ate half the amount I made) and then set aside while I scrambled the tofu.IMG_1497I made up a spice mix with:

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (1 tbsp = 2.5 syns)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp black salt (or you could use regular salt)
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

IMG_1496To cook it I heated up a few tbsp water in a deep frying pan and when it was bubbling, I added the spice mix to “fry” it.  When I had created the paste, I added the tofu which I had previously cubed.  I then mashed the tofu in to the spice paste with a large fork and mixed it until it was all yellow and looked like scrambled egg.

When the scrambled tofu was ready, I added the cubed cooked potato and the cooked vegetables and mixed everything together.

IMG_1500The spices and seasoning was perfect for me.  Black salt seems stronger than regular salt and I didn’t need to add any additional salt.  This was an excellent breakfast.IMG_1501I had a walk in the Hastings Country Park with Rebecca and Jacqui this morning.  It was such a glorious day.IMG_1503None of these photos have been edited at all, it really was this colourful.  IMG_1505I am so lucky to live here.IMG_1509It’s Autumn, the time of year when you can see mushrooms and berries.

In the Country Park you can also see Exmoor ponies and Belted Galloway cows.

IMG_1515 (1)

We did see both, albeit the cows were in the distance.

We finished our walk at the quarry and then enjoyed sitting outside at the tea shop, in the surprisingly warm October sunshine.

IMG_1519IMG_1520Lunch was a combination of produce from the garden (mizuna, lettuce and radishes), roasted butternut squash and sweet potato and chickpeas with brussel sprouts, roasted with smoked paprika.  It was a bit dry so I added a dressing I made with oil (1/2 tbsp = 3 syns), balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard (1/2 tsp = 0.5 syns) and also 1 tbsp Vegenaise (4 syns).

In the afternoon I went for a swim and swam 50 lengths (1 km).  I also relaxed in the sauna and both the indoor and outside jacuzzis.  Harvey came too because his school was closed for the afternoon so that was fun to have him there with me.

Since we had eaten such a Zoecentric lunch, Harvey chose supper.  I had no idea something so small could have so many syns!!!  23.5 each.  I was astonished.  It is essentially made with soya and wheat products so it resembles a beef and onion pie.  The pastry was tasty but I didn’t like the filling much.  I still can’t believe it has 23.5 syns each.

I really enjoyed the veggies; steamed cauliflower, broccoli and green beans, dry oven roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and butternut squash and 100 ml vegetable gravy.

IMG_1527I won’t have another one of these pies, because they have far too many syns and I didn’t even like it much but Harvey liked it so I will keep some for him.IMG_1526

Another day where I was good with the exercise ; I walked over 8,000 steps (5.5 km), many of which were up and down hills and swam 50 lengths (1km).

I ate lots of healthy food but way too many calories/syns which is disappointing.

Breakfast (5.5)

  • 1/2 tbsp oil = 3 syns
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes = 2.5 syns

Lunch (7.5)

  • 1/2 tbsp oil = 3 syns
  • 1 tbsp Vegenaise = 4 syns
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard = 0.5 syns

Dinner (26.5)

  • 1 pie = 23.5
  • 1 tbsp gravy powder = 3

Total = 39.5

Humph !







Posted in Diet Struggles, Grow Your Own, Healthy Lifestyle, Recipe, Slimming World, Vegan | 2 Comments

Walking The Weight Away

Today was a splendid effort in terms of exercise.  My friend Laura came to visit which could have been an excuse to be lazy as we would have enjoyed pottering about the shops and sitting in cafes.  Not this time though!

I had a light breakfast because I knew we would have had a larger lunch than I usually do; a pineapple and a cuppa.IMG_1475The sea was far too rough for me to swim in today so I went to the swimming pool and swam 50 lengths (1 km total), followed by a relax in the sauna and outdoor jacuzzi.IMG_1478I swam even though I knew I was going to be doing a decent length walk today.  Laura and I walked from West St.Leonard’s to Bexhill, which is approximately 3 and a half miles.  Then we walked back again, so a total of 7- 8 miles.

It was lunch time when we set off so we stopped at the cafe which is next to the footpath and cycle path.  I had a green tea and a bag of crisps. 10 syns for this bag !!!!!  I was horrified to see how many syns the one 40g bag contained.IMG_1481We kept walking along to Bexhill.  It was windy but sunny and warm enough to be pleasurable.  Hastings is not the only town with a fishing fleet moored on the beach; Bexhill has them too.IMG_1483We had lunch on the first floor of the De la Warr Pavilion.  It was lovely to sit in the cafe, looking out to sea.IMG_1484I liked the cafe as it was bright and spacious.  The service was good and the food came out quite quickly.IMG_1485My lunch was fabulous.  I had the vegetable mezze with red pepper humous, baba ganoush, marinated olives, grilled vegetables and a selection of breads with dipping oils.  It would add up to many syns despite its small size but was delicious and worth every calorie.  I am not sure how many syns though.IMG_1489After lunch the weather turned and we walked back to Hastings under a heavy sky.IMG_1490We made it back without much rain falling.IMG_1491Laura had a long drive home and I suggested an early supper before she set off.  I have resisted the Imperial successfully for a couple of weeks but I caved today so we had one of their delicious pizzas (with a soda and lime) for supper.  Squillions more syns.IMG_1493I did brilliantly with the exercise today but not so well with the eating.  I have been far worse but I need to be much better or the walking and swimming will not be enough to lose weight.

I walked over 20,000 steps and swam 1km so I am really pleased with that,

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Sacred Sites: Stonehenge and Avebury

I had a very special day, with a delightful group of people, exploring some of the sacred sites in Wiltshire.  We walked in the footsteps of our ancestors, following the paths they trod , thinking about their rituals and knowledge of the earth, the sun and the moon, the seasons and the cycles of them all.  The trip was planned to be close to the Autumn Equinox, a time when day and night are equal in length.  We talked about the concept of setting intentions, of letting go of that which no longer serves us, to make space for new ideas and ways of being.

Equinox Affirmation

Light both a white and a black candle, and repeat:

A balance of night and day, a balance of light and dark

Tonight I seek balance in my life as it is found in the Universe.

A black candle for darkness and pain and things I can let go from my life.

A white candle for the light, and for joy and all the abundance I wish to bring forth.

At the time of the equinox, there is harmony and balance in the Universe, and so there shall be in our lives.

We started at Stonehenge, which is one of the most spiritually powerful places on the earth.  We were very lucky to be granted permission to go in amongst the ancient stones.  Only 30 people were allowed to go so I felt very lucky to be included. We arrived before sunrise and walked around this ancient monument in silence, many of us barefoot, feeling the energy and wisdom of the stone circle.

I opted to walk barefooted, to ground myself and connect to the earth.

IMG_1359I sat quietly and watched the sunrise.

We were not allowed to touch the stones but were able to go very close and walk amongst them.  IMG_1368IMG_1350IMG_1352I can see a face in this one and later in the day, many others too.IMG_1381Clare led us in a Pawnee, a dance of life.  The pawnee is a cleansing dance to help us cast away and release that which weighs us down and holds us back and to reconnect us to the cycles of life to keep energy move healthily through us.

We had time to meditate and contemplate our intentions.IMG_1382Before we left we sang a song called The Earth is our Mother

IMG_1384Sunrise was very special in this spiritual place.IMG_1383Towards the end of our visit, rain started in the distance but it was sunny at Stonehenge which meant we experienced a rainbow which was very special.IMG_1386IMG_1390That was awesome.IMG_1396We headed back to the hostel we had stayed in the previous night for a hearty breakfast.IMG_1397Our next stop was Woodhenge, a Neolithic site close to Stonehenge. It was probably built about 2300 BC and it was originally believed to be the remains of a large burial mound.  The site of each wooden post has been marked by short concrete posts.IMG_1399We walked to the centre of Woodhenge and as we returned to the edge, we scattered seeds, to feed birds, animals, the land and our intentions.IMG_1401We stopped at The Sanctuary where we lit 2 candles, a pilgrimage flame in honour of our ancestors that walked before us from the Sanctuary down West Kennet Avenue towards Avebury.

I have never been to Avebury before and now I have been, I will go back.  I absolutely loved it. Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Britain – originally of about 100 stones – which in turn encloses two smaller stone circles.  Avebury was built between 2850 BC and 2200 BC.  Avebury is part of an extraordinary set of Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial sites that formed a vast sacred landscape.

You are not allowed to touch the stones at Stonehenge but you can at Avebury.  So can the sheep!

We walked to the wishing tree, where we sat among the roots to root our intentions and tie our hopes and dreams to its branches with ribbon offerings.

Then we waked along to the portal.  Clare and Debbie lit sage and smudged us as we walked through the portal,  to release any final tethers and obstacles.  I had an intense experience here and was very aware of the energy of this incredible place.

IMG_1435IMG_1432I see a huge face in this stone and felt compelled to stand very close, touch and lean against this stone.IMG_1436

After all that it was time for lunch in Avebury and a much needed sit down and rest.

Plus a little bit of shopping.  IMG_1440I bought a book about Avebury as I want to learn more about it.  I also bought two stones; aren’t they beautiful?

After a sit down in the Autumn sunshine, we walked 2 miles to West Kennet Long Barrow, a neolithic burial mound.IMG_1451From West Kennet we had a good view of Silbury Hill, which was man-made, thousands of years ago.IMG_1458As well as being a place to bury the dead, Long barrows also embodied meanings for the living.  The barrow-form is thought to represent the human body.  Placing the dead in the different chambers in the barrow might have been seen as a symbolic way of returning people to the womb, thereby completing the cycle of life.  The long barrows may also have been territorial markers to identify communities and link the dead to the living.  It is also thought that the barrows were opened at auspicious times of the year, when the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead were understood to be at their most permeable – to work with and honour the energy of the ancestors.IMG_1453IMG_1456IMG_1455You are able to walk in to the barrow.IMG_1457IMG_1459IMG_1460Once we were all seated in the centre, Mike led us all on a shamanic journey to invoke Dragon Heart energy, to focus on our intentions and plant our dream seeds.  We ended by extinguishing the flame we carried all this way (thank you Ross and others who carried the heavy lantern), chanting/singing together and responding to the immense energy within the barrow.

We walked back to Avebury and it was time to end our wonderful experience together.  I had an amazing experience with a wonderful and interesting group of people.  Huge thanks to Clare, Debbie and Mike for teaching and guiding us through the sacred sites.  Thank you to everyone for making it such a special event and for all your interesting conversations.  In addition, thank you to Jo for joining me on the driving parts of the journey, thank you to Jilly for the insights in to gluten and the thyroid connection and thank you to Mary-Jane for tapping me through the field of bulls.  I hope to meet you all again at another experience in the future.

The day was organised by Clare and Debbie and you can find out about their next events at:

















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Gosh! And a Chickpea Pancake

I somehow missed breakfast today so I had an early lunch.  I had a salad with some leftover purple vegetables and one of theses Gosh! Chickpea, Courgette and Moroccan Spiced Bakes.  There were no ingredients I hadn’t heard of (i.e. they were made with real food) and they were on the SW mobile app.  Each bake has 2.5 syns.  They tasted really good and it was very filling.

I went to get some greens from the garden to make a salad to have with the Moroccan bake.  The mizuna and lettuce is doing really well so I picked a lot of both of them.

I also picked a couple of radishes as they needed thinning out.  I like them when they are small as they can dry out and become too peppery when they get bigger.

I added 30 g (2 tbsp) Vegenaise to my salad which has 8 syns.IMG_1278Look at the colour of those potatoes!  No filter added or colour enhancing used.  I warmed the potato and left over stir fry on the baking tray with the Moroccan bake and did not need to add any fat for any of it.  I had already included syns for the oil used in the vegetable stir fry yesterday so did not add them again today.IMG_1268This was all very delicious.IMG_1279And very colourful!IMG_1282After a misty and slightly chilly morning the afternoon was warm and sunny so after school Harvey and I went for a swim.

I asked Harvey to take a selfie of the pair of us with Milton.

It took a while but we got there in the end.   Well, it’s not bad.IMG_1300I made dinner early because Harvey was hungry.  I had seen a recipe for a vegan omelette and I made it for dinner but I would describe it as more of a pancake than an omelette.  It’s a good source of protein as the pancake is made with chick pea flour and instead of an egg, I used a ‘flax egg’ which I actually made with linseeds.  This was made easily by grinding 1 tbsp linseeds, and adding them to 3 tbsp hot water, stirring to mix well and then using instead of an egg.  It worked very well.

I found the recipe on a vegan blog and you can find the recipe here: It was easy to make and very tasty.  We both really enjoyed it.

You make a pancake filling by sautéing chopped onion and mushrooms in soy sauce then adding a tomato.  I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes so I used 1/3 of a can of chopped tomatoes.  I didn’t have any vegan sausages to add either so I used the other Moroccan bake.  I just chopped it up and added it near the end of cooking and it all tasted really good mixed together.IMG_1303I bought a new vegan cheese to try – thumbs down for this one as it has an unpleasant after taste.  Most of them do unfortunately.IMG_1302You make the omelette/pancake mix in a pan, when it is nearly cooked you add the cheese and then the filling then you fold the top half of the pancake over to continue cooking.IMG_1304I added coriander and I also added a red chilli to my batter mix as I like things like this quite spicy.   It was a quick and easy dinner to make and we both really enjoyed it so this will be made again.IMG_1306

I am not sure how to syn it but here goes.  I made 3 pancakes and only ate 1 (Harvey had the other 2) so I am calculating syns by calculating them for each ingredient as used for the entire meal and then dividing by 3 for my portion:

  • For the Omelette
  • ¾ cup (70g) Chickpea Flour [12/3 =4]
  • ¾ cup (180ml) Soy Milk (or other plant milk) [HE A]
  • 1 Flax Egg  [HE B]
  • 2 Tbsp (16g) Nutritional Yeast [3 = 1]
  • Garlic and Chili Spice (or any spice of your choice)
  • For the Filling:
  • 5 oz (140g) Mushrooms
  • ½ Onion (100g)
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Soy Sauce
  • 1 Vegan Sausage [2.5 = 0.8]
  • 1 Tomato
  • 2 oz (60g) Vegan Cheese (grated) [92 cals per 30 g serving.  If 20 cals = 1 syn, 182 cals = 9 syns = 3]

After dinner it was only 6pm so I went for a walk along the seafront to make sure I got up to 10,000 steps.  It was lovely out.  The sun looked as if it was setting in an envelope in the clouds.  My pictures do not do it justice as the sun looks blurry when actually it wasn’t.  I enjoyed the walk and was happy to get the steps in.  I wore my new boots and they were very comfortable.

Daily Slimming World Totals

HE A – 500 ml soya milk

HE B – 1/3 tbsp linseeds

Syns = 19.3

  • 1 and 1/3 Gosh! Naturally Free-From chickpea, courgette and Moroccan spiced bake – 2.5 + 0.8
  • 2 tbsp Vegenaise – 8
  • 25 g chickpea flour – 4
  • 5 g nutritional yeast – 1
  • 20 g vegan cheese – 3


Walking – 10,000 steps

Sea swimming – 20 minutes gentle swimming

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These Boots Are Made For Walking

My mission today was to go and buy a new pair of walking boots.  When I moved to Hastings I threw away my old walking boots (Brashers) because after 12-15 years faithful service, they had become cracked and so were no longer waterproof.   I had some money to spend and decided to spend it on new boots, to aid walking during the winter months as part of the quest to lose weight.  I have a generous group of girlfriends I have known for most of my life; we always buy each other a lovely birthday present and they were happy to buy me the boots.  I just needed to go and get them.

I started the day with a cup of tea and a green smoothie: 1 frozen banana, about 10 cherries, 3 leaves of cavolo nero, 1 tbsp sunflower seeds (1/2 HE B), 200 ml Vita Coco coconut milk (1/2 HE A), dulse seaweed and 1 tbsp super greens powder (2 syns).IMG_1222Before shopping I swam 50 lengths, had a sauna and a relax in the outside jacuzzi at Bannatyne’s gym.  It was good to be back in the water.

I went to Tunbridge Wells to buy my shoes and as it was Midday by the time I got there I had a coffee first.  I had a coconut milk (1/2 HE A) latte in a cafe.IMG_1223I had been recommended Cotswold Outdoor because they have well trained salespeople who spend a lot of time assessing your foot shape and size, what you need the boots for etc.  I was really impressed and left with a well fitting pair of shoes and new socks (thank you Gini, Lucy, Sally and Michelle xxx) and also some walking poles.  One happy customer.

I was close to Hastings when I remembered a fabby farm shop on the A21.  I needed some fresh vegetables for supper and also a snack as it was 2pm and I was hungry.  Eggs to Apples is on the A21 at Hurst Green and is great.  They sell loads of local produce and an extensive range of fruits and veggies (for a small shop) with no plastic in sight.  Yippee to no plastic on the fresh produce.

I ate a pear on the way home and then had another 2 when I got there as it was too late to make lunch and I was hungry.  Pears are in season now and they are delicious when freshly picked as they haven’t gone dry and floury as they can do when they have been in storage for a long time.

When I was choosing my groceries I noticed I had bought a lot of purple veggies and so planned to make a purple dinner.IMG_1231Purple cauliflower, purple kale, red cabbage, purple potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli.IMG_1232Before dinner I wanted to try out my new boots.  I picked Harvey up from school and we went for a walk at Bulverhythe.IMG_1240It was so beautiful there this afternoon.IMG_1242Mild weather, plenty to look atIMG_1249and photograph.IMG_1251Peaceful.IMG_1252It was going to be an amazing sunset but I forgot to go outside and watch it.IMG_1253I really enjoyed the beginning of it though.IMG_1259It was such a pleasant afternoon and my new boots are so comfortable I could have walked for ages but we had things to do so we headed home.

Back at home I cooked supper.  I boiled the purple potatoes, steamed the cauliflower and purple sprouting broccoli and stir fried red onion, garlic, red cabbage and kale then added red kidney and aduki beans.

I used 1 tbsp oil (6 syns in total meal, which was shared between 2) to fry the garlic and onion, then added the cabbage, then the kale.  When it began to stick in the pan, I added a few splashes of boiling water, so the vegetables steamed rather than adding more oil.  I added a star anise, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp smoked salt and pepper.  When the vegetables were nearly cooked I added half a can each of red kidney beans and aduki beans.  It was really tasty and we will both eat that again.IMG_1263We also had some “squaffles” which needed eating up.  Squaffles are slices of butternut squash cut in to a waffle pattern.  I bought them in Sainsbury’s last week and it was beyond sell by so had to be used.  I added 1 tsp oil (2 syns shared between 2) for cooking, which is brushed on the squaffles before roasting them in the oven.IMG_1260So here it is, a nearly purple dinner.  We also had some gravy made with Knorr gravy powder.  I can’t find the exact type I had but I estimate 3 syns for 1 tbsp powder.IMG_1261

HE A – 450 ml coconut milk

HE B – 1 tbsp sunflower seeds and 1 tsp fennel seeds


  • 1 tbsp super greens powder = 2
  • oil used in cooking = 4
  • 1 tbsp gravy powder = 3


Swimming – 1 km in an indoor pool

Walking – 9,000 steps

I am happy with that.





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A Weekend Away In Durham

I spent the weekend in Durham with Keven, Viv and Ian.  It’s a long way to go for a weekend but it was worth it and I had a lovely time.

On Friday morning, I had fruit for breakfast, a quick weigh in at Slimming World (I have lost another 2.5 pounds which makes an 11 pound loss in three weeks which I am delighted about) and off I went.IMG_1143I left London from Kings Cross which is a stunning building.IMG_1146Keven met me at the station and we walked up to our weekend rental.IMG_1149Viv cooked dinner for us all and she likes to cook veggies which is great.  I don’t think I have ever had so many different veggies in one meal before.  The others had fish and I had chick peas.  I enjoyed my meal very much.IMG_1147Saturday was sunny which was unexpected.  Viv made me a large bowl of fruit for breakfast which I had with some coconut yogurt (we shared a small pot).IMG_1152We all walked in to the centre of Durham together.  The town centre is within a large bend in the River Wear.  These are some views of the cathedral (which seems to have a bandage on its head) and the castle from the bridge leading in to the heart of the city.

IMG_1153Its a very hilly city so good exercise as you walk around.IMG_1154We walked along and came up by Elvet Bridge.

After an early lunch (I had jacket potato and baked beans with a large salad), Viv and Ian went shopping and Keven and I set off for a walk around Durham.

This beautiful 3D display is of the St Cuthbert’s Cross which appears on the city’s coat of arms and the County of Durham flag. IMG_1169They are made of succulents and I thought they were beautiful.IMG_1170My favourite part of the day was the long walk we did along the river bank.

The reflections of the trees in the river created some stunning scenery.





IMG_1188We had a fun evening back at the property we rented.  I have only very recently discovered the joy of a good stout and Keven and Ian really enjoy it so we shared three different types.  I liked them all and the Durham Brewery ‘Temptation’ was my favourite.

Viv prefers gin so we bought her a local brand which we all enjoyed sampling.

Viv cooked another vegetastic dinner for us but I seem to have forgotten to take a photo.

My visit was only brief and after another lovely fruit salad which Viv added fresh ginger to, it was time to head home.IMG_1205I do confess I enjoyed being cooked for and having drinks served to me.  It made a pleasant change.IMG_1207It was sad to say good bye and I really hope these three make the long journey from Australia and come again next year.IMG_1209

IMG_1211A long journey ahead of me.IMG_1213It was good to get home.IMG_1216I did a lot of walking on Saturday (nearly 16,000 steps) and ate a lot of healthy food but I also ate some crackers, humous, cakes and bread things which are not diet food.  Neither is stout or gin.  I need to walk and swim a lot tomorrow and eat very strictly for the rest of the week to keep adding to me weight loss.










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Walking The Weight Away

I had such a gorgeous walk on the beach this morning.IMG_1117Just how I like it; sunny but with some clouds as it makes the view more interesting, a bit of wind, low tide so I can walk on the sand and hardly anyone else there.IMG_1118I had the biggest smile because it was so perfect.IMG_1119I got a sudden urge to run over the pebbles down to the sand, so I did.  Go me !IMG_1120I beat Milton down – come on slow coach.IMG_1121Down at the seashore you appreciate the roar of the incoming tide.  IMG_1122It is immense and powerful and charges up the beach and you feel tiny and insignificant in front of it.IMG_1127Or you take no notice of it at all and hunt for and eat mussels.  Each to their own.IMG_1125We walked back to the car beside the railway.IMG_1129At home I had a sweet and juicy mango with 3 ripe figs and a strong black coffee with cashew milk.  The walk and breakfast set me up well for a morning getting through chores.IMG_1130I really wanted to swim in the sea but it was too rough.  I want to keep my swimming up over the winter and have looked around for somewhere with a decent pool and decided to join Bannatyne’s.  I had some money for my birthday so that buys me 6 months membership which should take me through to Spring.  I would always prefer to swim in the sea but if I can’t, at least I know I can go here.  So I swam 1 km and then relaxed in the sunshine in an outdoor jacuzzi which was lovely.IMG_1134I had a bottle of water and an apple in the car on the way home.IMG_1135Then a late lunch of a small bowl of the last of the bean curry with fresh sprouts.IMG_1136Plus a bowl of brown rice with stir fried vegetables (brown onions, spring onions,  mushrooms, courgettes, broccoli, green chilli and coriander), flavoured with soy sauce.  Simple and delicious.  6 syns for the oil as I wanted the taste of the coconut oil. IMG_1137For supper I chose something I am not keen on but Harvey likes.IMG_1141Unlike some vegans, I have no interest in finding meat alternatives that look like meat or taste like meat.  I don’t miss meat at all and find the idea of eating it revolting.  But Harvey wants it and he does so well at eating what I like that sometimes we eat a meal he chooses – plus some salad on the side.  These taste fine; I just don’t want to eat meat-like food.IMG_1142So we had sausages, oven baked potato wedges (no oil, just rubbed with smoked paprika and salt) and baked beans.

The sausages are 0.5 syns each.  Everything else was free.IMG_1140This was a very enjoyable day and successful in terms of exercise in particular and also food.  I had 7 syns, nut milk for HE A but no HE B.


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Living beside the sea has made me more aware of the beauty of the clouds.  I think it’s because you san see so much sky because your view is not obstructed by any buildings.   As I drove along the seafront this morning the cloudscape (is that a real word?) was stunning.  The sky was filled with a towering black could but it was fringed by a bright white cloud layer.  I had to pull over and take some photos as it was so beautiful.IMG_1086My iPhone has not managed to capture the contrast between dark and light accurately.  The lower layer was bright white rather than gold.IMG_1087The colours are more accurate in this photo.IMG_1088Very dramatic.IMG_1089I didn’t eat anything very exciting today.  Cherries and melon for breakfast.IMG_1094Heated up leftovers for lunch: I mixed the leftover pasta in a cavelo nero pesto with last night’s left over lentil and mixed bean curry.  They did not taste good mixed together but this bowlful kept me going for hours.IMG_1100HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN A PIZZA ????  I am so shocked.  I knew they were bad but had no idea it would be that bad.  This pizza has hardly any cheese and obviously no meat.  But it has nearly 700 calories – it weighs 320 g.  That converts to between 30 -35 syns so more than 2 days worth.  I didn’t have any yesterday so I have evened out but even so, that is shocking.

This was not a patch on the amazing pizzas from our local pub but it was ok.  However, now I know how many calories/syns are in it, I am not having another one.  I will save pizza calories for the Imperial pizzas.

IMG_1115I ate it with some lettuce, tomatoes and sprouts.IMG_1114I didn’t do very well with exercise today but I did get some chores done so I am ok with that but I must eat better and exercise more tomorrow.






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Hastings Country Park

I had a brilliant day today because Lucy and I walked for about 3 hours in the beautiful Hastings Country Park on a warm and sunny day.  It was challenging for me but I managed and feel great this evening.

I had half a melon and a huge cup of tea for breakfast.IMG_1049I made syn free potato wedges but chopping up potatoes, rubbing them with smoked paprika and salt and baking them in the oven at 200 ° for 30 minutes.  They were for a picnic on the beach.IMG_1052Lucy picked me up and we drove over to the Country Park and parked up near the Visitor Centre (near Fairlight Church).  The Visitor Centre was open today and we got a really informative leaflet with a much needed map.

The leaflet describes the Country Park as:

“A picturesque nature reserve of national importance with stunning coastal views sited within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The nature reserve has 345 hectares (853 acres) of ancient gill woodland, heathland, grassland and farmland together with 5 kilometres of dramatic sandstone cliffs and coastline.  Much of the area has been designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the unique wildlife & fossil rich soft rock cliff and slope.”

We then proceeded to have a really delightful walk; one of my favourites of the year.  The scenery was so beautiful and so varied.  Come and have a look.

IMG_1057This is the view from the Coast Guard Cottages, looking towards Hastings.IMG_1058This is the view looking back the way we had walked, towards the Fire Hills and Fairlight.IMG_1060Our destination was the little beach in the cove near Fairlight Glen.IMG_1061The scenery was so varied, it made for a very interesting walk.  I was only in trainers but it was muddy and slippery in patches so proper walking shoes next time and walking poles as it was very hilly and in places, very steep.IMG_1064A little waterfall.  I loved the variety of woodland areas and open clifftop areas with sweeping sea views. IMG_1065The descent down to the cove.  This was very difficult and I was glad of a rope someone had provided.IMG_1067IMG_1068We made it.IMG_1069What a perfect spot.  We nearly had the beach to ourselves and we sat and relaxed for a while as it was so warm and peaceful.IMG_1071I ate my lunch; potato wedges and celery sticks.  Not very exciting but I didn’t have time to make anything else and it was sufficient to keep me going for the day.  It was a long and steep walk back up to the top of the cliffs.IMG_1073We were blessed with perfect weather.  Look at the colour of the sea!IMG_1075It was a hilly walk and I had to stop to catch my breath several times – thank you Lucy for being patient.IMG_1076Near the end of our walk was a disused quarry so another scenery change.IMG_1078Near the car park is a cafe and having walked up and down all these hills and down to the beach and up again, we enjoyed a good cuppa.  I will be back here, that’s for sure as it was such a beautiful walk.IMG_1081Supper was a made up lentil and mixed bean curry.  I “fried” some onions in vegetable stock with fresh ginger and garlic, added ground cumin, turmeric and coriander and then added carrots, cavolo nero, and a tin each of lentils and mixed beans.  I added a smudge of maple syrup and the zest and juice of a lime to balance the flavours.IMG_1082I also added a large jar of passata and served it on a bed of rice with fresh coriander.  Nothing very exciting but nourishing and good enough.IMG_1084I haven’t had any syns today and no HEB and I walked for about 3 hours.  And had loads of fun.  So a brilliant day.



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A Green Day

I didn’t sleep well last night and woke up feeling tired.  It was sunny so I took the dogs to Bulverhythe to see if a walk beside the sea would rejuvenate me.IMG_1022It did, as it always does, but I still felt a bit tired.IMG_1023I reviewed the weekend’s meals while I walked and they were not good enough; either in terms of being on the diet plan or being nutrient dense enough.  So I resolved to head home and have a large green smoothie.  Green vegetables are so nutritious and I have not eaten enough lately and an easy way to consume a lot of raw green leaves is in a smoothie or a salad.  So I had a smoothie for breakfast and a salad for lunch.

I added some seaweed which I dislike but if I let it soak for a while in whatever liquid I am using, it becomes soft and can be blitzed so small in my Vitamix (blender) that I don’t notice it.  I think this has zero syns.  Some seaweeds do but this is 100 % natural seaweed.IMG_1024I used 500 ml almond milk (half my HE A) and packed the blender with green vegetables:  cavolo nero, and, from the garden, Japanese spinach and mizuna. I feel better just looking at those green leaves.IMG_1026Plus a scoop each from the 2 green powders I regularly add to my food.  I usually only add one at a time but today I had both.  IMG_1027I also added 2 bananas.  You are meant to add syn values when you blend them, even though bananas are free usually.  This is because you would eat more in a smoothie than as a whole fruit.  However, I would eat 2 bananas if that was all I was eating so I did not add any syns for this glass of greenness.

It was certainly green and tasted very virtuous! It’s not for the faint hearted but tastes ok and I was glad of the nutrients.IMG_1028The veggie patch is doing well.  These are the Japanese spinach plants.IMG_1030This is the mizuna, which I usually add to salad but it was fine in a smoothie too.  It’s a bit peppery, similar to rocket.IMG_1031 (1)I am thrilled with how quickly it has grown as I only planted the seeds, directly outside on the 26th August – less than a month and they are ready to eat.IMG_1032I planted radish (and lettuce and borage) on the same day and they radishes are now growing well too.  The lettuce and borage are progressing but far more slowly.IMG_1033For lunch I was aiming for a large green salad and topped it with a carrot and corn salad which I have not made before.  This recipe comes from one of my favourite cook books – ‘My New Roots’.IMG_1034It was really easy and tasted lovely.  Although I must say I don’t like carrots cut in to rounds.  Is that weird?  The recipe said to cut in to rounds but I much prefer sticks and I cut both ways to check.  Yup, sticks beat rounds hands down.IMG_1035

My New Roots’ Sundown Carrot and Grilled Corn Salad


  • 2 large corn cobs
  • knob of coconut oil (I didn’t use any oil when cooking the corn)
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 a fresh chilli, chopped in to tiny pieces
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots (recipe says purple but I used orange), sliced thinly
  • 4 spring onions, sliced in to thin rounds
  • 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
  • smoked sea salt


  1. Brush the corn with oil (optional) and grill for 10-15 minutes until the corn is tender.  Set aside to cool, then scrape the kernels in to a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl which together the lime zest and juice, chilli, maple syrup, sea salt, cumin and olive oil
  3. Add the carrots, spring onion and coriander to the large bowl containing the corn.  Pour the dressing over, toss to combine and set aside for at least 10 minutes to let the flavours soak in.
  4. Season with smoked sea salt and enjoy.

This was a simple lunch and very tasty.  I ate the carrot and corn salad on a bed of round lettuce and mizuna.

I calculated the salad had 6.5 syns in total.  I ate half for lunch and a quarter for supper.

For supper I made pasta in a cavolo nero and garlic sauce.  I based it on a Jamie Oliver recipe you can find here .  I used 2 tbsp oil (instead of 100g Jamie uses !!!!) and made the sauce blend smoothly by adding some of the cooking water.  I didn’t have a leek so my green sauce was made with cavolo nero and garlic plus some fresh basil and also 1 tbsp sesame seeds and 1 tbsp linseeds (HE B).IMG_1041I blitzed the cooked garlic and cavolo nero with fresh basil and the seeds.IMG_1044Then stirred that in to the cooked pasta.

I also roasted some cherry tomatoes (from the garden) and 2 standard sized tomatoes.  I didn’t add any oil, just a little salt and pepper.IMG_1040Harvey and I both had the same supper and both declared it perfectly pleasant and very adequate.IMG_1045I liked the combination of colours, flavours and textures.IMG_1046So my day’s eating was very nutritious and I feel much better.  I end the day on 12.5 syns and having walked 9,000 steps.  I will try to get that up to 10,000 before bed tonight.

Posted in Grow Your Own, Recipe, Slimming World, Vegan | 2 Comments