Sunday, 31 January 2016

Musical Monday Motivation - Lets Dance

Music is probably one of the biggest motivators in my life. A song can change your mood, cheer you up, make you sad, make you happy or take you back to a time in your past. So I thought I would pick some musical Monday motivation this week and here are a few of the songs that I use to motivate myself.

Christina Aguilera - Fighter
This is my go to song when I need to feel pumped up and a bit kickass. Great lyrics about how the bad stuff that happens to you in your life can actually make you stronger. That's something I definitely can relate to. It reminds me of driving through France on my own for the first time with my kids and feeling really empowered. Good stuff!

Charlie Brown - On My Way
This is not such a well known song but it struck a chord with me the very first time I heard it. It's so appropriate for this point in my life. The lyrics are about not being where you want to be yet but knowing that you are on the way there. Baby steps will get you there. This is always on my playlist and I normally dance around singing it in my kitchen, to the horror of my daughter! 

Andra Day - Rise Up
If I'm feeling tired, fed up or just sad then this is the track that I play at the moment. Listen to the lyrics, they are so inspiring! Andrea Day isn't that well known in the UK at the moment but you may recognise her from the Apple Christmas advert when she sang with Stevie Wonder. She's an amazing singer and it's a truly motivational song. 

Robyn - Dancing on my Own
This is a recent addition to my playlist. I got the boxset of Girls for Christmas and this is played at the end of an episode. I immediately looked it up and have been playing it ever since. It's a song that just makes me want to get up and dance or sing into a hairbrush! The motivational part is it reminds me that we should all keep dancing through life even if I am "dancing on my own".

So these are four of my motivational songs that I know I will be listening to this week. Let me know what you think and what is your musical motivation. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Feeling down in the dumps and craving chocolate

I know I am an emotional overeater! I hold my hands up and totally admit it. The first sign of trouble sends me heading to the biscuit tin or hunting for chocolate. The winter is worse, I'm sure I have SAD as I just feel miserable a lot of the time. I have got strategies to help myself. Distraction is always good, which is partly why I'm writing to you now. Brushing my teeth can help too as you then seem to stop wanting the taste of something sweet.

Not sure what triggered today. I woke up tired and had to take my daughter to cross country training. The cafe had closed down so I didn't get my highly anticipated cup of coffee and had to stand there freezing while she ran. Then after coming home, I helped her shower and made lunch. After that it was time for battles over homework. She is severely dyslexic so her homework is often challenging. I help her as much as I can by explaining and suggesting things but today she wanted me to basically do most of it for her. I refused, took her phone off her until she's done it and yelled. Now I feel crap for losing my patience and am sitting here considering consuming the contents of my kitchen. Sad times indeed.

I'm taking St John's Wort again at the moment as I do find it generally helps me feel better and I won't give in to this mood as I know I will only feel worse if I eat all my biscuits. Instead I'm going to make some coffee and then start making our roast dinner.

If you have any strategies for resisting emotional overeating then I would be really interested to hear about them. Or just send me some virtual mental strength. My resistance is low and st critical levels today, lol. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Saturday, 30 January 2016

Inspiration in the mud

Am just back from Hampstead Heath in North London where my youngest daughter ran this morning in the South of England Cross Country Championships. I just wanted to share with you how inspiring it was.

These were young kids running in very challenging circumstances (it was so muddy that we taped my daughter's spikes on) and the majority of them knew they did not have a chance of winning or even coming close. However they all tried their upmost to succeed whether it was for personal achievement, to win points for their team, for self improvement or simply for the sheer love of running!

It made me think that we should all have this sort of go for it attitude in our daily lives and just constantly give everything that we do all that we possibly can!

This is the start of the girls age 11-13 race.

In case you are interested, my daughter finished 213th and covered in mud but she was thoroughly delighted as she came in third place out of her team and scored points for them.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Friday, 29 January 2016

Giant Banana and Date cookies

I don't know about you but it really annoys me if I have food in my cupboards that I can't work out how to use. Lately it's a big bag of dates that has incurred my wrath. I used to snack on them but now that Weightwatchers say they are a whopping 2 Smartpoints each, I've had to stop that. So today I had a bit of a play around and came up with these cookies which were quite easy to make and very filling.

Banana and Date cookies

2 bananas
1 egg
3 tablespoons of oil
4 tablespoons of golden syrup
150g Wholemeal flour
100g dates
1 tablespoon of baking powder

1. Mash the two bananas thoroughly
2. Add the egg and mix well
3. Add the oil and golden syrup. Mix until completely blended.
4. Add the flour and baking powder. Mix until you have a sticky mixture.
5. Chop the dates into small chunks.

6. Fold the dates into the mixture and stir just enough to distribute the date pieces throughout the mixture.
7. Place a heaped tablespoon of the mixture onto a greased baking tray and then use your fingers to flatten it slightly into a cookie shape. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

8. Cook near the top of the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top at 175 degrees/gas mark 4. Allow the cookies to cool before removing from the tray.

I have calculated each cookie at 6 Smartpoints but you could reduce that by using less dates. I used 100g but 50g would be OK. You could also replace the oil with low fat cooking spread. Another idea would be to make more cookies from the recipe. I made 9 which turned out very large but making 12 smaller ones would reduce the Smartpoints to 5.

Let me know if you try making these! I'm off to sample one now with a cup of coffee. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Cheesy pasta

I had one of those mealtimes last night when I just couldn't decide what to eat. I hadn't actually planned anything so I decided to see what I could throw together and cheesy pasta was the result. It only took a few ingredients.

The result was really tasty so I thought I would share it with you

Cheesy Pasta
I packet of Eat Water's Slim Pasta (I used spaghetti but any type would do)
I large handful of Mangetout (any green beans could be used)
37.5g Boursin Cheese (this is roughly quarter of a packet.

The first thing to do is cook the Mangetout. I cooked mine in boiling water for about five minutes but you can steam it. Once cooked, strain and then cut into small slices.

While the Mangetout is cooking, prepare the slim pasta according to the packet instructions. This will only take a few minutes.

Once the slim pasta is cooked, add the sliced Mangetout, the Boursin and some chopped red pepper. Stir vigorously until the slim pasta is completely coated by the cheese. The hot pasta will make the cheese melt so it won't take long to mix. The result is surprisingly tasty!

The whole recipe is only 7 Weightwatchers Smartpoints. You can easily adapt this recipe to suit your own tastes and maybe add a little chopped ham if you want something more substantial. Remember to calculate the extra Smartpoints though.

Let me know if you try this. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Wednesday Weigh In - week 3. That's better!

I've had a really positive week with a weight loss of one and three quarter pounds. Yay me! 

As you can probably see my scales are different this week. I had to invest in a new set as I found the old ones were giving me complete different readings if I changed their position even slightly. It would have been nice to have lost another quarter of a pound as that would have made it exactly half a stone in three weeks but I'm still really pleased!

Being able to exercise again has made a real difference. I only started again on Mibday but I managed to to fit in two hours of cardio workouts. I also used my activity tracker to make sure I did my 10,000 steps each day. So it's back to marching round the park in the mornings. By the spring, I'm aiming to be running round it instead.

Meals have gone well this week. I'm still trying to mix things up and be adventurous. I tried avocado toast for the first time ever.

I've also found that I am coping with trimming down family meals for me so that they fit into my Smartpoints total and I actually managed not to use all my weekly points this week. I was only four points under but it's a start!

So my plan for next week is more of the same with regular workouts and hopefully a couple of new recipes to share with you.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Monday, 25 January 2016

Monday Motivation - Lets get going!

 The sun is out, the sky is blue, I'm trying to motivate myself, how about you??

Here's some of the things that have motivated me today

As usual the pictures are not mine, they are taken from my tumblr. Hope they have helped to motivate you for the week ahead.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Sunday, 24 January 2016


Surprisingly I've had some spare time this weekend. It doesn't happen often so I have tried to do some planning ahead for the next few weeks and beyond.

I want to try and vary my meals a bit more so I've started to organise all my old Weightwatchers magazines that I have hoarded and sort out recipes that I like or that I want to adapt. I'm going to write them all down in my lovely new recipe journal from Moleskine.

This way I will have all the information at my fingertips. I can even include pictures of each dish.

I've made a good start but this will be an ongoing project for me that will hopefully keep me on track where food is concerned.

The other planning I have started has enabled me to make use of a lovely notebook that I bought in Topshop just before Christmas.

I'm always thinking of things that I would like to write to you about so now I'm going to make a list and jot them down straightaway so I don't forget. 

I also want to use this notebook to set myself some realistic fitness goals. My neck seems to have healed so exercise is going to become a bigger priority this week. The other thing I want to use my notebook for is to keep a track of my measurements. Hopefully that will be motivation if the weight loss slows down. So I'm starting the new week tomorrow actually feeling quite organised. I'll let you know if the planning helps and if I stick to it.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxxx


Saturday, 23 January 2016

My weekend breakfast smoothie

I'm a huge fan of fruit smoothies and frequently have them for breakfast as its a great start to the day and really healthy. I do find though that they don't always fill me up particularly in cold weather. I have tried some breakfast smoothie ideas before but sometimes they can be too filling and hard to get through if you need to have breakfast quickly. This is my recipe for a simple breakfast smoothie that is a little more filling but still easy to drink.

I've used my Nutribullet for this but any similar type of blender would do. If you are considering getting one then I definitely recommend Nutribullet!

I layer my smoothie ingredients. There is a small handful of spinach, one banana,  a handful of mixed berries, 30g of oats and 2 dates in this one.

I then add 150ml of unsweetened almond milk. You can vary this a little depending on how thick you like your smoothie. The best thing is to try it and see what you prefer. 

It only takes about 30 seconds to blend in the Nutribullet 

Now just drink and enjoy.

I've calculated this as 6 Smartpoints. You could reduce that by leaving out the dates which would bring it down to 2 or use almond butter instead which would give a 5 Smartpoint total.

Let me know if you try this or if you have any smoothie ideas that you would like to share with me.

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Breakfast solution

Breakfast has been causing me problems lately. I literally have five minutes to grab something before taking my daughter to school. I have been surviving on a pan au chocolat with a cup of coffee. Unfortunately this is both high in points and doesn't keep me full so I was coming home after the school run and basically having a second breakfast which was definitely not good for my Smartpoints total.

Yesterday I was baking cookies for my daughter, had a bit of an experiment and came up with my version of banana muffins. I'm really excited to share them with you as it's the first time I've ever made up my own recipe.

I tried one for breakfast this morning and it kept me much fuller so I think I may have found my breakfast solution. They were very easy to make so here's the recipe for anyone who wants to try.

Banana Muffins
90g coconut oil
110g honey
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
400g Wholemeal flour
50g oats
2 mashed bananas
200ml unsweetened almond milk

1. Mix together the coconut oil and honey.
2. Add the eggs and mix well.
3. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and bananas.
4. Add the milk, oats, baking powder and flour and stir until mixed but try not to over stir.
5. Place 1 or 2 heaped tablespoons of the mixture in each space of a greased muffin tin.
6. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 25 mins at 175 degrees/gas mark 4 or until the muffins are a golden brown on top.

The recipe makes 12 large muffins.

I have calculated the muffins as 8 Smartpoints each but you could reduce this to 7 by replacing the coconut oil with ordinary oil and leaving out the oats.

I know my muffins are still quite high in points but the big bonus for me is that they are so filling and also full of healthy ingredients.

They would make a great healthy snack for any time of the day. Let me know if you try making them. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Wednesday Weigh in - frustrating week 2

I lost half a pound this week. I'm trying not to be disappointed after the big loss last week and it is still a step in the right direction. 

This has been a difficult week for several reasons. Firstly it was my birthday at the weekend and we ate out. Although I kept within my Smartpoints, I did have to make different food choices several times and I ended up using all my weekly points. 

Secondly, and this was the hardest thing, I couldn't exercise at all. I've slightly pulled a muscle in the side of my neck which makes even turning my neck painful. It is getting better but it's taking time. I also have a stinking cold and my sinuses are giving me problems. I've tried to fit in more walking to compensate but clearly the lack of any intensive exercise has had an impact this week.

I'm not giving up though as every single ounce I lose is a step towards becoming who I want to be. Baby steps, guys, but I will get there! I found this on Tumblr today and it's definitely my mantra for today!

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Monday, 18 January 2016

Blue Monday Motivation

I woke up this morning to the news on the radio saying it was the most miserable Monday of the year and everyone would be depressed today because Christmas is over, the weather is horrid and it's still weeks till payday. It was dark when I got up too so I really just wanted to hide under the duvet all day. I'm also two weeks into the new lifestyle changes so the novelty has worn off and I'm in need of inspiration. I sat and scrolled through tumblr to cheer myself up so I thought I'd share with you some of the things that motivated me this morning.

None of these pictures are mine but you can find them all on my tumblr at

Finally my new coffee mug sums up how I feel about most Mondays.

Hope your Monday is going well. Remember it will soon be over! Speak to you soon.

Love Erica xxx

Friday, 15 January 2016

Slim Lunchbox range from Eat Water

You may have read my previous post Queen of Carbs in which I said how much I like the Eat Water slim pasta and rice range. Well, I'm delighted to say they have a new range of products available. 

The very nice people at Eat Water sent me one of their new Slim Lunchbox range to try.

It's the perfect light lunch or snack and is only 4 Weightwatchers Smartpoints. I was impressed by the nutritional information.

It is gluten free,suitable for vegans and comes in two compact little pots.

Cooking the pasta was easy. I simply had to partly peel the lids back and put both pots in the microwave for 1.5 minutes. Then just add the sauce to the pasta and stir.

I was really impressed with the taste. The sauce is lovely and tangy. There is a generous amount of sauce which costs the pasta perfectly and quite a lot of vegetables too. I just ate it for my lunch and I'm really surprised at how full I now feel.

This range is great for a quick lunch or snack and perfect to take to work if you have a microwave. The slim lunchbox range has six different meals and you can find more information about it on the Eat Water website at www.eatwater.couk. I'm definitely going to try the others, I'm particularly tempted by the Phad Thai.

The Eat Water website also lists stockists in the UK and internationally.

Let me know if you try any of the Eat Water products and, if so, what you think of them. Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx


Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Wednesday weigh in - week 1

I am in such a good mood that I could dance around the room, which wouldn't be a bad thing as it would burn a few more calories! 

Look at this!

I've lost 4.5 pounds in my first week. I know some of that is water weight but it's such a boost! 

Having now done a full week with Smartpoints I've decided I quite like it. Mainly because it is making me rethink my food choices. I've had low fat bacon and sausages this week which I wouldn't normally have considered. I was nervous starting this because I had read that some people have struggled with Smartpoints and found it too restrictive. I can honestly say though that I haven't felt starved or deprived this week and clearly I'm getting the right results.

Hope you are all having as happy a day as me! Speak to you soon

Love Erica xxx

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Feeling Fruity

Today's positive step has been to get my Nutribullet back out of the cupboard and dust off the cobwebs. I used it a lot last year and highly recommend it. As fruit and veg are zero Smartpoints with Weightwatchers, my Nutribullet is going to be invaluable now. 

You can basically use any combination that you want and it is worth following Nutribullet on Instagram as they post a lot of great recipes. 

I tend to keep my smoothies to 50% veg (spinach is great) and 50% fruit. I have also included oats and almond milk to make a great breakfast treat. You can also use frozen fruit.

I kept it simple today with a combination of spinach banana, strawberries, grapes and a Satsuma. Delicious, healthy and really filling!

Speak to you soon

Love Erica xx


Monday, 11 January 2016

Fitting in Fitness

Now that I feel I'm getting to grips with Weightwatchers and Smartpoints, I want to start working on improving my fitness levels. I've been using an activity tracker for the last week and it's spurred me on to be much more active.

I drive my daughter to school every morning and we park next to a park. Today instead of getting straight in the car, I spent 15 minutes walking around the park. I know it's only baby steps but I want to work up to running round it eventually.

Bank home I then dug out my Charlotte Crosby dvd.

I used this a lot last year and lost over a stone so I know it works. I managed to get through 7 of the routines before collapsing in a heap. Belly Blitz incorporates quite a lot of punching so I also used weighted gloves to make me work harder

I got mine in Aldi as part of a set including leg weights but you can get them in most sports shops and they are not too expensive.

I hope by doing a little bit extra each day, my fitness will improve and I can then push myself a bit more. It's baby steps for now but it all helps!

Speak to you soon

Love Erica x

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Queen of Carbs

I have a serious addiction to carbs and cutting down on them is one of the hardest things about trying to lose weight. It's not just bread, I often cook pasta dishes, stir fry and curries. I look at my sad little portion of pasta, rice or noodles and I could cry.

I have thankfully found something to help me with my carb craving. Eat water have produced a fantastic range of rice, noodles and different pasta which are actually made from the Asian Konjac plant. The best thing is they are ZERO smart points.

They do have a different texture and are not as soft as ordinary pasta but they are very filling and for me they are the perfect solution. They may not be to everyone's liking but I would definitely recommend giving them a try. They are available in most health food shops and in Asda.

This is last nights dinner. I ate the Slim Pasta Fettucine with chicken, mushrooms, beansprouts, peppers and onions in a sweet pepper sauce. It was 7 smart points and really delicious.

Speak to you soon,

Love Erica xx


Thursday, 7 January 2016

Getting back my mojo

I'm so excited that this finally arrived!
I'm a big fan of Weightwatchers. I know it works for me, I just need to stick at it. I've used the old pro points,  the points system before that and the very first time I used it was when you were allocated food group amounts.

I'm really excited to get started on the new smart points system. I've read that some people have said it's too restrictive as they are trying to cut down on sugar but I think that will work for me as I have a very sweet tooth.

If you have done Weightwatchers before and you don't want to go back to meetings or join online then The Big Bag of of Mojo is a great way to start as it includes all the guides you need plus a journal and the smart points calculator

At the moment I'm getting used to the new scheme and constantly looking up points but so far so good. I'll keep you posted as to how I'm getting on.

Speak soon

Love Erica xx


Wednesday, 6 January 2016


So  its a cliche I know but today is the first day of the rest of my life and for me its the first day of my journey towards a fitter, thinner and happier me. Hence the title of my blog. I thought I'd start by telling you a little bit about me. I'm a 48 year old single mum living on the borders of London/Essex in the UK. I've had problems with my weight for most of my adult life and I've tried most diets. My weight has been up and down like a yo yo. Over the last few years it has been a steady increase though until I reached today's sad state of 17 stone 3 and a half pounds.

I'm just so cross with myself that I've let it get to this point! I know how to eat healthily, I know exercise is important and above all I know that reaching for the biscuit tin when I'm depressed is NOT a good idea.!!

I'm looking to make a complete overhaul of my diet, my lifestyle and probably most important of all my attitude. I want to try different things and see what works for me. I will let you know how my diet goes, what exercise works for me and what other tools I am using to help me reach my goal of becoming fitter, thinner and happier.

Its day one of a new me and I'm feeling inspired!

Speak to you soon,
love Erica xxx

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