Monday, 23 January 2012

*The TLC Plan from Activia: Part Three

Well, the first week of the TLC Plan is over! I still have one week left but the first seven days have flown by. Being completely honest, most of this has been a success, but there has been some instances where I have had to be a bit flexible with the meals...But never mind that, here is how I got on during week one.

Day One

Breakfast: Peanut Butter and Banana on Toast with a Yoghurt - I am not a massive fan of peanut butter (unless it is a small amount smothered in chocolate) but this was quite filling and I am definitely looking forward to having this again.

Snack: Healthy Dippers and Homemade Salsa - You can see how I prepared this here, and I definitely enjoyed the dippers. The salsa, however, not so much. The smell (for me) was too strong; maybe it was because I didn't use lime juice or chilli so the garlic and onion was too pungent? So I decided to give the dip a miss...

Lunch: Chicken Caesar Salad - Love this. The recipe does say to make your own croutons by frying small cubes of baguette, but I left this out. The reduced fat Caesar salad sauce from Asda I used is delicious! I'm more than happy to carry on eating this after the plan has ended.

Snack: Cheesy Tomato Toast - Can't go wrong with this! Soft cheese on toast is most definitely a favourite snack of mine, and tomatoes are just a fresh addition.

Dinner: Veggie Fajitas - I think this is going to be my biggest surprise; I didn't think they would be so good! I used BBQ seasoning for the mushrooms (which I have never tried before) and it tasted great! I didn't have salsa or guacamole in my wraps, but as I said, delicious!

Day Two

Breakfast: Wholegrain cereal biscuits with yoghurt - The recipe suggests, for the biscuit topping, a fig yoghurt and a fig, but I chose to stick with a strawberry yoghurt and some fruit, and again, another great breakfast!

Snack: Snackpot with Walnuts - Unfortunately the supermarket didn't have any snackpots when I went (and still didn't on Friday!) so I opted for a fat-free cherry yoghurt with nuts; just an easy snack for when I'm sat at my desk.

Lunch: Italian Pasta Tricolour Salad - There was something I didn't quite like about this meal; I am not a big fan of rocket and the recipe said to mix lemon juice with the pesto before pouring it over the dish, and I am not a big fan of lemon juice on foods either (unless it is a dessert - I don't know why?!) So when I tried this again on Saturday, I made a little change, but the details of this are further down below...

Snack: Strawberries with Dark Chocolate - YES! What I had been waiting for! Despite a little mishap with the dark chocolate at first (I burnt it in the microwave), the second attempt was much better thanks to @ultimatecoddy. I used Divine's 70% chocolate which is lovely, and with the strawberries, it really was divine!

Dinner: Veggie Pizza - It was fun making this homemade pizza. I didn't include peppers and so just stuck to mushrooms, mozarella and onion, and this has definitely inspired myself and Daniel to make our own pizzas more often.

Day Three

Breakfast: Muesli with Blueberries and Activia Pouring Yoghurt - exactly what it says and is a nice zesty start to the day. This will be lovely in summer.

Snack: Snackpot with Almonds - again!

Lunch: Wholemeal Bagel with Tomato Soup - such a filling lunch, and so satisfying too. The recipe suggests spreading low-fat soft cheese on the bagel, and so do I!

Snack: I was supposed to have a tasty salad bowl, but I had to go to zumba straight after work and then started to make Spaghetti Bolognese when I got home. So I have to admit I did miss this snack...

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese - I do like cooking, so it was nice making this from scratch instead of using sauce from a jar. The only thing I did differently was not include red wine, but it was still fine.

Day Four

Breakfast: Reduced Fat/Sugar Beans on Toast with a Yoghurt - I do like this classic breakfast, but I don't usually have it before work so it was a nice change. I had a yoghurt afterwards too but I found this a bit too sweet, so I think I'd quite like to stick to just the beans on toast.

Snack: Snackpot with almonds - again!

Lunch: Chicken Caesar Salad - I was definitely looking forward to this!

Snack: Lower-fat sponge cake - In some ways this was a success, but at the same time it was a bit of a disaster! The recipe says to use plain flour, but because of this my cake didn't rise! You are supposed to be able to cut it in half so that you can put the homemade cream (yummy!) in between layers, but there was no way I could do that with mine! I also couldn't find Fromage Frais ANYWHERE! So I used a little bit of the Activia Vanilla Pouring Yoghurt, and as a result, my cream was too runny. However, the sponge and the cream tasted amazing!

Doesn't quite look like the image above, does it?

Dinner: This was my biggest slip to date... I went off plan! My mother treated me to a session at Gala Bingo which started at 7pm and so I didn't have time to make the garlic mushroom pasta dish. Instead I had a little hotdog (that's bad, I know!)

Day Five: 

Breakfast: Cream Cheese and Strawberry Wholemeal Bagel with a Yoghurt - another favourite breakfast.

Snack: Lower-fat sponge cake - still delicious despite its appearance!

Lunch: Ham, Cheese and Tomato Melt - again, just a couple of changes due to the lack of foods available in the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon. Instead of ham, I used bacon (with the fat taken off), and instead of a panini, I used a wholemeal sub but I still grilled it.

Snack: Peanuts and Raisins - Just a few from a packet; nice and easy.

Dinner: Creamy Garlic Mushroom Pasta - I made this instead of the Pesto Penne dish as I love creamy mushrooms and was slightly gutted that I missed it on Thursday. This was my first time cooking with Creme Fraiche and I would rate this as a favourite and a complete success.

Day Six

Breakfast: Traditional Cooked Breakfast - The image above shows toast and sausages, but all the recipe includes is bacon, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes and eggs, and then a yoghurt for after. Even so, this is enough to keep you full until lunchtime.

Snack: Lower-fat sponge cake - again!

Lunch: Italian Pasta Tricolour Salad - I made a slight change to the recipe this time; I mixed the pesto with the pasta straight after cooking and served the dish warm. I also left the lemon juice out and it was much more to my taste!

Snack: Healthy Dippers - as above, minus the homemade salsa.

Dinner: Veggie Fajitas - just as good as the first try!

Day Seven

Breakfast: Muesli with Summer Berries and Activia Pouring Yoghurt

Snack: Hummus with carrot sticks - I first tried hummus only recently and I really liked it, so I am pleased that it cropped up in the plan. However, I usually dip bread sticks into mine, not carrot sticks...

Lunch: Chicken and Avocado Sandwich - I was surprised to see this sandwich requires three slices of bread, not two! Although I'm not complaining because I love bread. I did leave the avocado out; again, not a fan!

Snack: Sultana, Hazelnut and Oat Cookies - Absolutely beautiful! These are made with brown sugar and wholemeal self-raising flour and they are fanstastic, especially with a glass of milk; it's a shame I only have three cookies in my plan...

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese - I had this instead of garlic mushrooms because of the menu change earlier on in the week and I definitely felt like this one was much better than the first. My tip - drain some of the water from the chopped tomatoes and don't use as much beef stock so the sauce isn't too watery!

I know I have slightly gone off plan in a couple of instances, but over all I feel like I have already learned a lot about eating habits, healthier alternatives and just cooking in general. I really do feel like my stomach feels better too.

Next week I have a few new dishes to try; I am looking forward to trying gnocchi for the first time and making turkey in black bean sauce, as well as a pancake breakfast on day 14. Let's do this!


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