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Progress in some areas...

Friday, August 06, 2010

Sadly, nothing ground breaking to report where weight-loss is concerned, but the wedding is progressing, slowly but surely...and my dress is here !

I am going slowly crazy with all the organisation (note to self, remember for future event that self is NOT organised) but focussing on the fact that EVENTUALLY it will be over, and that I can claim my life back...hopefully.

So without further ado, the obligatory teaser pictures of the's long but not too long, it is snug but I can still breath and walk (although I was not brave enough to attempt sitting) and I need to find a wonderbra and a few pairs of socks to fill the cleavage as it has turned out a little generously sized (I blame my poor measuring).

I LOVE it, it was VERY affordable ($170 MADE TO MEASURE!) and it only took 3 weeks to arrive from the lovely helpful people (yes, really) at Milanoo.

Now all that money I saved? We are getting a REALLY good photographer (with excellent Photoshop skills) to make sure we LOVE our wedding photos for decades to come :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 9/2/2010 10:24AM

    Oh, how lovely!

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C'est la première fois que j'ouvre SPARKPEOPLE depuis des lustres et qu'est-ce que je vois?? FELICITATIONS!!!

You must fill me in!

Yours, Rebecca

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YINYANGSJM 8/12/2010 9:40PM

    What a beautiful dress! I really like the neckline and the detailing around it. You are going to be a gorgeous bride!

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MAMAGIZI 8/11/2010 3:04AM

    I love the dress and can't wait to seee you in it.
Remember, I will look out for photos where you're sitting down!

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JUNIAATROME 8/11/2010 1:28AM

    Wow! Great and such a bargain! You are a winner. I do hope we get to see the wedding pictures as well. Must see you in that dress.

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RUN2MYDREAMS 8/9/2010 4:40PM

    A beautiful dress for a gorgeous bride! emoticon

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TALEENA 8/6/2010 2:02PM

    Wow that dress is stunning! You will look beautiful in it!

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HEIDISO 8/6/2010 10:51AM


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KARVY09 8/6/2010 10:30AM

    Beautiful dress. Is that your bouquet in the background????

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BROWREN 8/6/2010 9:18AM

    Absolutely beautiful! I'm sure you will look stunning in it. And with the help of a really good bra, you may not need those extra socks. Just don't be afraid to shell out the extra $$$ for it.

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KNITTINGFROG 8/6/2010 8:45AM

    Thank you all for the kind coments...I love it and I am so happy that it turned out work colleagues were all very skeptical that such a bargain would even turn up, let alone be wearable...

Now for for the fun accessories' hunt

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CODEMAULER 8/6/2010 8:24AM

    You will be AMAZING in that dress! You really found a stunning addition to your wonderful wedding!

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FUNFROG79 8/6/2010 8:21AM

    Love it!!

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MSLZZY 8/6/2010 6:48AM

    What a beautiful dress and what a beautiful bride you will be! emoticon

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ABETTERBECKY 8/6/2010 6:46AM

    so so so pretty! and $170 - are you kidding me (i thought i got a good deal, but your's is taking the cake!). it's beautiful and you will be a knock out gorgeous bride! try not to sweat the details and planning - just enjoy every minute of your wedding :) emoticon

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MUSIC66 8/6/2010 4:31AM

    what a lovely and really suites you.

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LADY_JOSIELOT 8/6/2010 4:25AM

    Gorgeous and as lovely as the woman who'll be wearing it. :)

- Josie

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Good food, bad food...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose...even with foods that look diet friendly...

I have a good size collection of recipe books at home, and periodically I will pull out some and sit on the sofa for inspiration.

This recipe stood out at the last session :

From the title of the book I was expecting tasty healthy eating. Tasty, it definitely was...
Healthy, well, I guess it IS full of protein and good fibre and heart healthy oil..................

Fool that I am I decided that the recommended 3-4 portions would make 2 as a main, and it did, not even too generously.

I guess I was naive and not paying attention to the 4 TBSP of oil the recipe calls for :S
That's 2 each......

Add to that a yummy homemade flatbread and the dish came to a whopping 1000 cal per portion, all innocent and plain looking.!

Even with the 4 portions it can still add up to 500/head unless you use small flatbreads or possibly pitas.

Verdict? Ditch the flat bread and add a big side of green salad and other yummy veggies for a lighter dish.

Then again, sometime you find a winner..a real one.

Enter: Baked cauliflower !

I swear it would convert non cauli eaters with its crunchy sweetness. I like mine quite plain (no parmesan) and there are already several recipes on SP, with my favourite barely adding to over 80 cal per generous serving. I prefer chili flakes to pepper on mine, but overall follow the same recipe, with a dash of lemon juice for tang before putting in the oven.

The best part? Takes 5 min to prepare, and with florets cut really small (bite size) I can stick them in the oven whislt doing my evening Wii exercises and MAGIC after 25-30 minutes a tray of crunchy healthy goodness......

Verdict? So good I prefer it genuinely to oven chips!

From the bad to the good to the truly ugly...strawberry foam sweets.

Aparently they have hypnotic powers which make impossible for me to stop....resulting in "serving" size of about 75g or nearly 300 cal.....enough said

Verdict: ..........ahem................. STOP BUYING THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now for a salad lunch in the sun...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 6/9/2010 12:34PM

    What you don't find in a cookbook! This will just keep you on your toes, checking it out before you eat! Have a good day! emoticon

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KARVY09 6/9/2010 9:03AM

    Oh yes! I've had those. Not my favorites. I do like Haribo sweets though!

I just found that Jelly Belly makes sugar free jellybeans now. Only 80 cal for 35. Not bad!

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KNITTINGFROG 6/9/2010 8:59AM

Except the ones I got were from Aldi and contain real strawberry juice and they are even MORE yummy than my childhood ones (real haribo ones)........

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KARVY09 6/9/2010 8:47AM

    You can probably lighten up that recipe a lot and make it under 500 calories for a bigger portion.

Strawberry foam sweets? Don't know what those are, but they sound delish!

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JULABELLE 6/9/2010 7:28AM

    baked cauliflower is one of my faves. Thanks for reminding me about it.

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ICANTODAY 6/9/2010 6:27AM

    Live and learn!

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When Swiss mountains and Bollywood collide!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Thun at the feet of the mountains, complete with super cute castle hosted its first Bollywood festival.

3 days of movies and Indian food and music and shopping.

We went for the day on Saturday, and although the festival was a disappointment (5 stalls and less than average food) the town was postcard-worthy in its glorious quaintness, with a full-on sunshine and many river-side cafes.
We looked at the regular market, drank, ate, drank more, climbed to the castle to take in the glorious views, and finally made our way collapse in bed under the mosquito net!

A day well spent indeed!

Shame the food intake ended up on the slightly erratic side!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABETTERBECKY 7/22/2010 11:26AM

    Ah - gorgeous pic. Switzerland is so beautiful. I was only there in winter, but I've heard summer is absolutely gorgeous and it sure looks like it is from this picture!

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KNITTINGFROG 6/8/2010 4:40PM

    Ha ha no, turns out the Indian population is not overly the point that a certain boyfriend of mine was physically counting the Indian people as the festival was definitely lacking ethnicity (7 ...that's seriously ALL we counted...). But then maybe they were all in the cinema watching the movies rather than soak up the sun whilst drinking fizzy apple drinks :)

The town however is very cosmopolitan with really varied restaurants and shops from all over the world, and the Saturday market is fabulous!

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CHRIGELA 6/8/2010 3:55PM

  hi! very nice photo. which town was this? i have been living in geneva for almost 4 years...

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JUNIAATROME 6/7/2010 2:59PM

    I always knew Switzerland was too gorgeous! Even Max Frisch could not spoil that feeling. As for mosquitos: you should come to this part especially after all this rain and now the heat...

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BROWREN 6/7/2010 12:22PM

    Very beautiful!!!!! When I think of Switzerland this is the image that pops into my mind. Too bad the food wasn't great. emoticon Is there a very large Indian population within that area?

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MSLZZY 6/7/2010 12:11PM

    Awesome photos-wish I could have gone there, too! Food choices were limited so you probably did the best you could. Just get back on track when you can! emoticon

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GOODGETNBETR 6/7/2010 12:02PM

    Awesome day! Thanks for posting, especially with those great pics. Didn't know europe had a mosquito problem, good to know. emoticon

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Turns out, being a foodie, working for a flavour company and having to organise a wedding is very trying for the calorie conscious...

I love british tv and all the cooking programs that it proposes, and I will extend that to the many food blogs/websites with delicious looking pictures, but they weaken my resolve on a daily basis…and like a rabbit caught in headlights, I am usually stunned-like and lose my ability to change channel. I will say though, that I usually find I can adapt the suggestion to make it healthier. Yesterday I was enamoured with the healthy fish dishes shown in the Great British Menu….so maybe I am learning afterall.

Everyday, although I work for the health section of our company, the production site next to our building churns out a new batch of flavours, and recently they have been sweet oriented, from the summer-loaded berry smells to the lemon candy scent that hit me just 30 minutes ago. Luckily they are often fading by the evening when I walk through the carpark to get on my way home, or blended with our healthy plant extract smells (nothing like a strong crushed garlic smell to put you off the raspberry jam fantasies)….but not yesterday. Maybe the air was still, maybe we had no plants to extract, maybe I left earlier than usual…but upon opening the front door a warm wave of sugary sweet flavour hugged me like walking into candyfloss. The smell was that of vanilla fudge and I could feel my mouth watering and my breathing becoming deeper as if it would enable me to taste the delicious air. Sadly there was no substance, only my brain racing through it’s memory bank and bringing to my tongue, to my head the memory of the taste, the feel, the whole experience of vanilla fudge…by that point I was salivating, and my belly started rumbling even though I was not hungry. By a lucky coincidence, by the time I finally reached the car I started smelling the nearby farm, which slapped me right out of my sugary day dreaming. And as it must have been a strong day, I resisted the urge for an after dinner treat of ice cream and munched on a few pieces of fresh pineapple instead.

As for the wedding? Well, luckily we have chosen a restaurant that mostly offers lighter healthy dishes, so I hope that overall we can come up with a menu that is not too bad…but in the meantime we have to look at food options…delicious mouth-watering food choices. And don’t even get me started on the cake!!

So, I guess losing weight would be a lot easier if I did not love food and if all my senses did not get so easily tickled by appetising offerings…but life would be quite boring I think!

So………….. which sense is YOUR worse trigger?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABETTERBECKY 7/22/2010 11:27AM

    Enjoy planning your wedding - when are you getting married? I know exactly the cake place I'm using, now I just have to go lo-cal tasting w/ the sig other and choose the cake!

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RUN2MYDREAMS 6/2/2010 6:38PM

    Oh the pressures for you emoticon emoticon picking some fruit over the ice cream. I need to have that kind of will power! My struggle is sense of taste.

Will you be getting married where you live now or in France?

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MSLZZY 6/2/2010 2:44PM

    Definitely smelling something delicious followed by a little taste-ooops!

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THREADBENDER 6/2/2010 11:50AM

    My nephew's wedding was just two weeks ago. Instead of cake, they had cupcakes! So cute with so many stacked in tiers, each one with a handmade white chocolate H (their surname initial) sticking up from the top.

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KNITTINGFROG 6/2/2010 11:09AM

    Aha LOL I struggle with just looking at cake pictures to pick the style we want. Luckily (I think) my dad is a chef and will make the cake for there will not be tasting to face (just delicious sounding recipe one after the other...)

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KARVY09 6/2/2010 11:03AM

    Oh geez. I dunno what I would do if I had to work around yummy smells all day long. I'm big on sight and smell and the smell of freshly baked bread or pastries is a big trigger to me as well as seeing gooey cookies in a TV ad or something.

Don't worry about eating on the wedding day. That's your day and you should enjoy yourself!

And cake tastings are fun as well. Enjoy!

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AXISLADY 6/2/2010 10:39AM

    The sense of sight! lol I never imagined what it would be like to work in a factory that did this. We learn so much from each other here on Spark. That would indeed be difficult if it were donut flavoring for me!!! I don't like going to the grocery up the street from church for an item and being assailed by the fresh donut smell. I pass them up at the grocery in boxes and bags, but hard to do there.

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FITNFABMAMA 6/2/2010 10:38AM

    WOW!! I could almost smell the vanilla fudge with you!! LOL!! Then the farm!! HAHA!! My worst sense is my sense of taste. I've been using more herbs and what not lately in my new recipes, and I just get a taste and I can't get enough. I then binge. I realized if I eat a certain type of gum I am able to resist this temptation. Its just remembering about the gum and getting it into my mouth quick enough!! Way to go on picking a restaurant with healthy food choices. When you go to pick out the cake do like 25-50 jumping jacks and run in place for a minute, take a protein bar and eat it first before you go in to help offset the sugar, and make you fuller so you won't eat a bunch!! (hunting for cakes is a yummy business!! ) Good luck with that!! I'm sure you will do GREAT!! Oh and as for work, maybe bring a clothes pin to block the smells!! LOL! Ok, maybe not! Hope you can figure out something to help with that!!

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Black bean brownies

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I had come across a black bean brownie on the 101cookbooks website and I was intrigued.

As per usual the photos looked good enough to lick the screen, but after checking the ingredients I realised I did not have agave nectar etc, so I set out to find another recipe. The answer came from (and I would have found a pretty similar one on Spark if I had looked there first) which promissed rich fudgey brownies from ingredients that could all be found in my kitchen...and rich in fibres and protein.

Now a lot of people will go 'ewwwwww, bean and chocolate', and an equal amount will tell me that the recipe has been around for years. Guess what, it's new to me so I can have my happy dance! Also, I don't think mixing a packet of cake mix and a can of bean counts as cooking...sorry!

I did wonder as to whether it would be a big waste of ingredients, but my brain pulled a Joey on me (see Friends episode where Cottage pie and Trifle collide....chocolate...goood....beans....g
ood...what's not to like....??) and I decided to give it a go.

I soaked and cooked some black beans, and used a standard bean tin to measure the equivalent to a tin of commercial beans. I measured everything as per the recipe, kept in mind the tip of adding baking powder and to mix the chocolate chips in the batter after blitzing to a soft mush rather than sprinkled on top.

And then the batter was really runny, so I tweaked...I added about 2 tbsp of flour....why could I not trust the process?

The result? Instead of the expected fudgey gooey-ness, after the recommended 40 min I had a slightly dry chocolate cake (ie fully set in the middle).

Can you taste the beans? Frankly...NOPE!

Will I make it again? Absolutely! And I will use the Spark recipe, complete with walnuts for that true brownie feel and I WILL NOT fiddle with the recipe.

What's the catch? There is can have your cake and eat it, as according to the recipe each portion packs a modest 93 cals. Even with my idea of a 'portion', that's my brownie craving fullfilled for under 200cals...

Don't believe me? Try it yourself:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISBLOOMS 6/2/2010 5:59PM

    That sounds so interesting! I need to try this! Can you use store bought black beans?

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KNITTINGFROG 6/2/2010 4:55PM

    Forgot to highlight that by soaking beans yourself you of course reduce the sodium a winner all round!!

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BARBARASDIET 6/2/2010 4:38PM

    I have been wondering about that recipe for a while--gotta buy some beans!

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CODEMAULER 6/2/2010 11:54AM

    I've been curious about the recipe but haven't had a chance to try it (and I don't need brownies in the house with the school term underway, LOL!) Thanks for bringing the test kitchen experience to all of us!!

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LJCANNON 5/30/2010 11:48PM

    I remember that Friends Episode...LOL...I may try this recipe soon. It does sound Good, and pretty much Guilt Free.

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YINYANGSJM 5/30/2010 9:25AM

    they sound good...especially when you've got that craving where you REALLY need a brownie. I will have to give them a try. Thanks for the info!!!

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    I saw this in my friendfeed (when Run2 commented) and was intrigued! Thanks for sharing - I think I'll make some this weekend :)

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MSLZZY 5/30/2010 7:38AM

    I will try them! They sound delicious! TY! Have a great weekend!

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RUN2MYDREAMS 5/30/2010 7:35AM

    Wow! Thanks for the review on these! I am going to share them with my cooking friend!
WE CAN DO THIS emoticon

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WINDEE52 5/29/2010 5:47PM

    AAAHHH! I LOVE that recipe! Everyone looks at me like I'm crazy, but they ROCK! I use a touch more cocao and instant coffee in it and there is no bean taste at all!

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