Goodness it doesn’t seem that long ago since I sat late one night in a conversation with a friend and decided that I would like to try to blog again, that was over two years ago and today my little piece of the blogging world turns two.
I blog mainly for me, I’m not here trying to please people, have the perfect blog or keep up with the blogging elite. I’m just here in my little corner sharing little bits of my life and hoping that people find it interesting and it’s working for me. I love my blog, it makes me feel quite proud, happy that I’m sharing aspects of my life and I’m particularly proud of being brave enough to share my infertility story on here.
Through the blog I have got in contact with so many people, others who have or are experiencing similar things in their lives and I love the fact blogging has given me the ability to reach out. I’ve also been able to share some great Slimming World recipes which still prove to be a hit time and time again.
Thank you all for sticking around, for continuing to read my little piece of the blogging world and for supporting me along the way.
Here’s to another year!
I was passed this recipe by a friend who had found it online here after I commented to her that it smelt amazing and just like Heinz!
I’m always after new soups so was hoping this one would be a new favourite and it’s certainly up there.
Free on Extra Easy
2 tins tomatoes
1 tin baked beans
1 tin carrots
2 tbsp sweetener
2 small pickled onions
1 pint vegetable stock
Put all ingredients into large pan, blend together and Simmer to heat.
See, easy peasy and lovely!
I decided back in January to set myself the challenge of walking 1000 miles over the course of the year. I thought it would be a good motivator for me to get up and move more. The #walk1000miles challenge was set up by Country Walking. At first I thought ‘that would be tough’ but actually it is only walking around 2.7 miles per day, 20 miles per week or 83 miles per month.
I already measure how much I walk a day with my trusty Fitbit. So I thought it would be easy to link in with this challenge. The only thing that I’m struggling with is an app to keep up with how much I am doing on a monthly basis. Fitbit emails me weekly so I am currently keeping those emails and adding them together for the monthly summary.
I am over the moon with the results from month one and am over my target! It really is making me move more as I want to try and achieve that 2.7 miles per day. Some days it’s easier than others!
I started back to Slimming World at home on the 3rd January. It’s been a 5 weekly weigh ins month but I’m over the moon to be reporting.
I’ve been getting back into it fine and have even managed to be adding in some protein smoothies to prepare for IVF by using syns.
I do still find that in order for me to lose weight I do need to be eating most of my allocated daily syns a day which is something I struggled to get my head around until I also started adding everything to MyFitnessPal and seen how many calories, fat, carbs and protein I was eating a day. It really helped me see that on some days I was eating well below my allowance if not using my syns.
Hopefully the next few weeks will be seeing me start on a new round of IVF. I need to adjust my diet accordingly to add in some things that are really helpful for egg quality etc. This cycle though will be all about balancing slimming world and MyFitnessPal to ensure I don’t put on the 10 odd pounds I did the last time through treatment and comfort eating!
I first heard about the ‘endo scratch’ from my parents, who had sent me an article from their local newspaper back in 2013. A local couple had finally achieved their dreams on the IVF cycle that followed them having a endometrial scratch and my parents thought I would be interested. I read it, it sounded good but I put it back in the drawer, it wasn’t something I really thought I would need, you know back in those naive days…..they seem so long ago now. It was something that was spoken about on twitter by my IVF twitter friends but again I didn’t really look into it as it wasn’t mentioned at my clinic as something that I needed to be doing. But now we are staring into the eyes of cycle number 2, the last of our funded IVF cycles it is something that I want to try.
It’s not cheap and it’s not overly easy to actually get a clinic to do within central Scotland. My actual clinic don’t offer them, even to private patients. They don’t feel that there is enough evidence to support them in helping with an IVF cycle but some other clinics do and I made an appointment at the Glasgow Centre Reproductive Medicine. for this morning. I felt that although there may be evidence for and against, that I needed to know that I have tried everything that I could that may possibly help this cycle be a success.
What is endometrial “scratch”?
Endometrial scratch is a simple outpatient procedure where a doctor/nurse uses a fine catheter to remove/scratch the lining of the womb. This instrument is already in common use within gynaecology for a biopsy from the endometrial lining. The procedure is usually planned in the second half of the cycle immediately preceding the IVF attempt.
How is it performed?
It involves vaginal examination with a speculum (like you have while having a cervical smear) and passing a very thin plastic tube called “endometrial pipelle” through the cervix to reach the endometrium. The pipelle is then moved up and down on the walls of the womb
A clinical review, published back in 2012 suggested that having the procedure prior to IVF can increase the rate of pregnancy, and suggests that women who underwent the process of gentle endometrial scraping one month before a cycle are twice as likely to see embryo implantation in that cycle, that’s a figure that I like!
The procedure itself was okay, I wasn’t too sure what to expect to be honest, but I am thankful to be able to say that it was uncomfortable but bearable. The consultant did a quick internal scan then did the actual scratch. I could feel some movement like something twisting around then the cramping started, very much like bad period cramping. I’m sure I scrunched my face up quite a bit but the consultant did praise me on tolerating it very well. It was over within a few minutes. The cramping however wasn’t, she did say that it could last a few hours and on the drive home I did have quite a few that did cause me to wince a little, but again nothing worse than bad period ones. They have eased off a lot and now when writing this 6 hours after the procedure I am only getting mild ones which are passing quite quickly.
Here’s hoping the pain and money are worth it! All I know is I had to try.
Some of the small things that have made January.
Celebrating Hogmanay with family.
Looking at nutrition for IVF
Feeling blessed for having this walk on my doorstep.
Loving my new ‘Fluffy Towels’ candle.
Enjoying a long soak in the bath complete with candles.
Going a bit overboard with herbal teas.
Joining my maiden name clan with good old Irn Bru.
Getting the first snow for January.
Getting motivated with marbles.
Getting the second snow for January.
Finally buying this and bringing hope into our home.
Getting the third snow of January. (There’s a theme developing here!)
Feeling very cold.
IVF paperwork arriving!
Purchasing protein powder for smoothies for IVF.
Making said protein shakes.
And finishing the month with……you guessed it…..more snow!
I adapted this recipe from one I found in a Slimming World magazine. This needs some marinating time so bare that in mind if you are going to make it.
Free on Extra Easy
For the marinade
4 tbsp tikka spice blend
Juice of 1 lime
200g fat free natural yoghurt
4 skinless chicken breasts sliced
! red, green and yellow pepper sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
8 tbsp tomato puree
200g passata with onions and garlic
1/4 tsp sweetner
300ml chicken stock
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp quark
Handful of coriander
Lime wedges to serve
Marinade – In a bowl, add the tikka spice, lime juice, chicken and yoghurt, mix together cover and place in the fridge overnight (I had forgotten to do this part and only marinated for 3 hours and it still tasted lovely)
In a pan sprayed with Frylight, add your marinaded chicken mix along with the onions and cook for around 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, peppers and remaining tikka and stir fry for a few minutes. Stir in the tomato puree, pasatta, sweetener, stock and cinnamon stick. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the heat and mix in the Quark, remove the cinnamon stick. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice and a slice of lime.
I have been searching high and low for the ultimate Bolognese recipe and I think I may just have found it.
It is an adapation of the ‘Ultimate spaghetti Bolognese’ recipe in the Jan/Feb 15 Slimming World magazine which I decided to do in the slow cooker.
Serves 4 – Free on Extra Easy Plan
500g lean mince beef
1 onion, very finely chopped *
2 carrots, very finely chopped *
200g button mushrooms. very finely chopped *
8 rashers of bacon (all fat removed), very finely chopped *
4 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tbsp tomato puree
400g chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
300ml Beef stock
* I blitzed all of these ingredients in the food processor which worked really well.
1 Brown the mince with the onion, bacon, carrots and garlic. Dry fry until the meat is brown.
2 Add the mushrooms and stir fry for a few minutes. Remove pan from heat, add the stock, tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano and bay leaf. Stir well and transfer to slow cooker.
3 Cook for 2 hours on high heat and one hour on low heat.
4 Cook 75g portion of Spaghetti per person. Top with the bolognese (remove bay leaf) and serve.
The small things that have made up the month of December.
There was loading up of Christmas Spotify playlists.
The first hard frost of the year. Pretty.
There was a Schnauzer Christmas party. 40 odd Schnauzers dressed for Santa 🙂
It was time for the Christmas tree and decorations to go up.
And new cars to be delivered!
There was Christmas cups and mince pies.
Christmas jumper day at work.
There was an early Christmas celebration with the family, involving cocktails in Teapots.
And French martinis in front of twinkling Christmas trees.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a wee Baileys.
There was Christmas jumpers just because it was Christmas Eve.
There was Schnauzers opening presents on Christmas morning.
And Scotland showing its beauty at sunset.
The last post I did about my long running battle with trying to lose weight was back on the 22nd October not long after our failed IVF cycle. I had gained 11.5lbs from just before we started to 3 weeks after our failure.
I tried to restart Slimming World but to be honest I really struggled, I’m an emotional eater and I use food as a crutch and if there has ever been a time I needed a crutch it was the last 4 months of 2014. You can tell where this is going can’t you?
Yeah you guessed it! When I finally made myself get back on the scales on 4th January I had of course gained more, what with a week abroad, Christmas, New Year and comfort eating I was now 1 stone & 2lbs heavier than when we started IVF back in August.
I knew it would be bad but that’s ridiculous and really not necessary. I know I have no one to blame but myself and I hate to admit it but it is a cycle that I have been in most of my adult life.
I need to stop this cycle and I do believe that if I fully stick to Slimming World that I would be able to, I just need to blooming stick to it!
So with a New Year and not to mention our next IVF cycle looming on the horizon I restarted Slimming World although I am making a few tweaks for myself to make it more fertility friendly. I’m not going to bore you with weekly weight loss posts this time, I’m thinking that posting monthly updates will be enough. I’ve also signed myself up to the #walk1000miles challenge which I had seen on Twitter in a bid to get me walking more.
I’m planning on posting some more Slimming World recipes on here too, to keep me motivated and I’ll be tracking my weight loss using marbles. Yeah you did read that right!
I had seen this idea a few months ago and thought it was good visual motivation.
There are 20 marbles in the ‘To Lose’ pot, how quickly can they jump to ‘Lost’?
Bring it on!