Dead simple but yummy!
- 1 Banana
- Greek yogurt
- Slice banana, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon and pop in the oven for 30 mins on 180 and serve with greek yogurt
Today is Time To Talk Day – where people are being encouraged to take 5 minutes out to talk about mental health issues, which affect 1 in 4 of us. (myself included)
The aim of the day is to try to take some of the stigma away from talking about mental health problems.
So let’s get started.. what has your experience been? Have you experienced it yourself? did you get the support you expected, or have you had to support a loved one?
I’ve suffered postnatal depression, anxiety, full blown depression. And I won’t lie it does rear it’s ugly head now and then. But I learn to recognise it early enough to do something about it, and I’m lucky enough to have a fab family behind me. Although not sure if they really know what to do….
I first got Post Natal Depression back in 2005 when I was 25 after I gave birth to my first child (he’s no 9), I had a really bad birth which wasn’t part of the plan, neither was I prepared for it. These lovely health visitors and midwives have a nice way of fluffing things up. So when things didn’t go how I read in the glossy magazines, then I felt a failure. I didn’t feel like a proper mum, woman and just felt I let myself down.
It ended up in an emergency section and blood transfusions the lot. So when I got PND the first time it took me by surprise. I was the sticky tape, the one who was strong and held everyone together, I wasn’t the one who was meant to fall apart. How could I tell people that on the inside was completely different to what was on display on the outside?
I did… and it was tough, I was prescribed antidepressants and a course of counselling. That ended after the first session when the woman told me it was my fault and to get a grip..
I gave myself a kick up the backside and sorted myself out.. or so I thought.
Fast forward 2 years and I gave birth to another bouncing baby boy, the birth was even more traumatic this time, I was told it wouldn’t be as bad as the last time, but it was of course. 10 times worse in fact. 4 hours under general anaesthetic, hubby not knowing if I’d survive or not..
So yep, PND strikes again! This time is rolled into full blown clinical depression. I sent my kids to private nursery from 8 – 6 every day because I just ‘couldn’t be bothered’
All I wanted to do was hide with the curtains closed every day. I had no interest in anything or anyone. I went on the sick from my high pressured job for over a year, and spend a year and a half on prozac.
I went back to work, started a business to keep my mind occupied. Of course, my weight ballooned, and whilst I was coming out of the grips of depression, my self esteem, self worth, self confidence was just rock bottom. I hated myself for how I let my family down, neglected by kids, my husband, the house. Everything.
So I decided to give myself a good talking to. I started eating healthy the first week of September and by the time Christmas came along I had already lost nearly 2 stone. I felt so much better! My confidence was coming back and I felt so much happier.
So we’re back to today. No more children… I couldn’t risk not being here for my family so was advised not to have children for that reason, besides my hubby wouldn’t let me lol
November 2014 I was diagnosed with depression once more. This time, there was no trigger. There was no reason. My GP said it was just due to a chemical imbalance, so I’m now back on medication.
I have good days, bad days like everyone else. 9 years ago I was ashamed to talk about it. But today, I’m proud. I’m a strong woman, a brilliant mam to my boys. I hold two businesses together.
I recognise when I have bad days, so I don’t put pressure on myself. I take time out for me. I don’t worry if the washing hasn’t been done or the ironing is piling up. Life is too short.
This is the reason I wanted to set up the Yummy Mummy Club. I wanted to provide a safe and secure place for women like me. I know how you feel. I know there are others like me, feeling how I did. I want to help x
Simple curry that’s easy to make and indulgent
- 500g extra lean mince (less than 5% fat)
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons medium curry powder
- 400g potatoes, peeled &cut into 2 .5 inch cubes
- 200mls beef stock
- large tin of chopped tomatoes
- salt & pepper
- 150g frozen peas
- In a large pan brown the mince and onion, drain off any access fat.
- Add the curry powder and pots and fry for 2 mins more
- Pour in the stock and toms, season and cover and simmer for 25 mins. You can add a little more stock if becomes too dry.
- Mix in the peas and cook for a further 5 mins until tender.
- Lovely served with rice and green beans
A good easy hearty meal to warm the cockles on any miserable day. Perfect for the whole family to enjoy together
- 4 good sized skinless chicken legs
- 6 shallots, coarsely sliced
- 250g button mushrooms, halved
- 1 tbsp. tomato puree
- 300ml dry white wine
- 400ml chicken stock
- 3-4 large tomatoes, quartered and deseeded
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and spray a shallow casserole dish with Frylight.
- Pan-fry the chicken over a medium heat, turning until golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the shallots and mushrooms, stirring occasionally until they are beginning to soften.
- Add the white wine and tomato puree followed by the stock whilst stirring continuously.
- Return the chicken to the pan and bring the ingredients to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for about an hour or until the chicken is cooked through thoroughly.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly so any excess fat that settles on the surface can be skimmed off before adding the tomatoes.
- Return to the heat without the lid while the tomatoes soften and the liquid reduces down to the required consistency.
Lush refreshing dessert, perfect for the summer or any time of the year
- 200g strawberries, halved
- 200g raspberries, halved
- 200g low fat soft cheese
- 150g Fat Free natural yoghurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Sweetener to taste
- Reserve roughly one third of the strawberries and raspberries and blend the rest into a puree.
- Beat together the soft cheese, yoghurt, vanilla extract and sweetener, to taste.
- Combine half the soft cheese mixture with half the pureed berries.
- Reserve a few berries for decoration, then place the remainder in the base of four serving dishes.
- Top with a layer of the plain soft cheese mixture, then with a layer of the plain berry mixture and finally a layer of the pureed berry and soft cheese mixture.
- Decorate with the reserved fruit and chill until ready to serve.
Yummy soup and easy to make, great to freeze or keep in your fridge for few days
- 2 red peppers, quartered and deseeded
- 1 red onion, halved and cut into thin moons
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- Half a lemon, zested
- 400g can plum tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Spray a baking tray, preferably covered with foil to protect it, liberally with Frylight. Place the peppers on the tray, spray these liberally too and roast for 30 minutes or until soft and blackened in parts. Remove from the tray and wrap in foil. Once cool enough to touch, peel off the skins and set aside.
- Spray a pan well with Frylight and add the onion, along with a pinch of salt. Fry over a low/medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, rosemary and lemon zest to the pan. Fry for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes.
- Gently break down the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, bring to the boil and allow to simmer until a rich, thick sauce is created.
- Stir occasionally, adding water if it starts to dry out. Add the roasted peppers, along with 400ml boiling water and a pinch of black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
- With a stick blender, puree to a smooth and thick consistency.
- Could season with smoked paprika if you prefer a spicier soup.
Spice up your taste buds and spice up your pork with this easy peasy recipe
- 500g lean pork loin steaks, all visible fat removed
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (or 2, if you prefer spicier food)
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 400ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 400g can chopped tomatoes + 1 tbsp. tomato puree
- 2 tsp granulated sweetener
- 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 green pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- Cut the pork into small pieces, discarding any excess fat.
- Frylight a deep frying pan, heat, then add the pork and stir-fry over a high heat until golden.
- Add the onion, chilli, garlic and cumin and cook together for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the stock, tomatoes and tomato puree and bring up to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the sweetener, chickpeas and green pepper. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes, until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened
This recipe is yummy! I’ve taken it from the Hairy Bikers Curry book and it’s seriously lush!
- Fry Light
- 4 large onions, sliced
- 10 cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 2 long red chillies, sliced
- 6 large garlic cloves, roughly sliced
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 500g mature spinach leaves (not baby spinach), washed and drained
- 900g lamb leg, cut into chunks of about 4cm, and all visible fat trimmed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 800ml cold water
- 1 tsp flaked sea salt, plus extra for seasoning the lamb
- freshly ground black pepper
- Spray a large non stick frying pan with fry light
- Cook the onions gently for 20 minutes until softened and golden brown, stirring regularly.
- Place the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and pound lightly to split the pods.
- Tip them on to a board and open each pod, scraping the seeds back into the mortar.
- Add the cumin, mustard seeds and the cinnamon stick. Pound to form a fairly fine, dry powder.
- When the onions are ready, transfer about half of them to a plate and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and stir in chillies and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.
- Add the pounded spices, ground coriander and turmeric.
- Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring constantly.
- Break off any tough stalks from 300g of the spinach, drop the leaves into the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes, turning it with the onions until well wilted.
- Remove the pan from the heat, scrape everything into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool.
- Get rid of any tough stalks from the remaining spinach and tear the leaves in half.
- Cover and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and add another tablespoon of oil.
- Season the lamb all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Fry the lamb over a medium-high heat in 2 or 3 batches until browned on all sides, adding more oil if necessary.
- As soon as a batch is browned, transfer it to a medium flameproof casserole dish while you fry the rest.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3 ½.
- Transfer the spiced onions and spinach to a food processor and blitz to a thick green paste.
- Stir this into the casserole dish with the lamb and add the bay leaf, tomato puree and water. Season with the teaspoon of flaked sea salt, stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Remove the casserole dish from the heat and cover the surface of the curry with some crumpled baking parchment.
- Pop a lid on top and cook the curry in the oven for 2.–3 hours or until the meat is very tender and the sauce is thick.
- Stir halfway through cooking if possible.
- Take the curry out of the oven and stir in the reserved onions and the rest of the spinach.
- Cover with the lid alone and return to the oven for a further 15–20 minutes or until the onions are hot and the spinach has wilted.
- Serve with freshly cooked rice or warm naan.
- Recipe from The Hairy Bikers' Great Curries by Si King and Dave Myers published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (£20, hardback).
If like me you don’t tend to use a lot of cheese, and it goes to waste, then don’t let it happen again. Grate it, and pop it into a freezer bag. The texture will change a little, but it’s perfect for cooking or adding on top of chilli or bolognaise
Seriously! All that cake you wolfed in the lead up to your ‘new year, new year diet’ didn’t have to be eaten so quickly. You could have just popped it in the freezer for later. sponge without icing works, so it’s a handy thing to know if you want to bake something in advance and want for later, without running the risk of it going stale. Just pop it in the freezer – immediately after baking but before decorating – double wrap in clingfilm and a layer of foil. Fruitcakes and sponge cakes freeze equally well. You can also freeze individual cupcakes or slices of cake, as long as they are well wrapped.
We’ve all been there, we’ve opened a bottle of wine but have a little left, and you just think, ‘oh I’m not wasting this I’ll drink it’ (I do haha), in all seriousness, if you do you find you have leftover wine you won’t drink in the next couple of days, don’t throw it away of force yourself to drink it (yeah right) freeze it in ice cube trays or sealable freezer bags. (It won’t freeze completely because of the alcohol. It’s perfect for adding to cooking straight from the freezer
If you have bananas that are starting to go brown or on the verge of being over ripe, then chop them up, put in a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. Their perfect for adding to a smoothie for breakfast or a snack.
You can freeze whole plastic bottles of milk (make sure you pour a little out to allow for it to expand) for up to six weeks, as long as it was fresh at the time of freezing. Older milk should be used up after four weeks in the freezer. Don’t freeze glass bottles of milk as they’ll shatter.
Before they start sprouting, you can keep your potatoes in the freezer. But you need to do a bit of basic prep first: peel your spuds and par boil for about five minutes, then pop into cold water before freezing. If you’re planning to make roast potatoes, chop them first before boiling, then they can go straight from freezer to oven. You can freeze mashed potato too.
I always have the best intention with lemons, using half for cooking and then wrapping in cling film for later.. except it gets pushed to the back of the fridge and found dried up a few weeks later…
Pop leftover lemons in the freezer instead, freeze slices and use them cool down hot tea. Or add halved slices to an ice tray with water to jazz up your drinks. Alternatively, squeeze out the juice and freeze in an ice tray for flavoursome ice cubes.
Yep, you can even freeze the baker’s staple: flour. This is especially handy if space is at a premium in your cupboards, plus some seasoned bakers argue that frozen flour makes better pastry (not that I can make pastry mind you!). Either way, freezing your flour extends its life so there’s no reason not to.
When your tomatoes are on the brink of going squishy, chop them up and cook on a low heat on the hob to make a delicious lush pasta sauce. Add chopped garlic, olive oil and some chilli flakes, then cook slowly until the sauce is a loose jam-like texture. Delicious!
- Mashed avocado (for guacamole)
- Homemade dough
- Cake icing
- Grapes –fab little treat instead of sweets
Easy peasy spaghetti Bolognese using basic ingredients. No jars in sight!! Perfect for freezing too
- Low calorie cooking spray
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 350g lean beef mince (5% fat or less)
- 225g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 280ml beef stock
- 1 level tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 275g spaghetti, dried
- Spray a pan with low calorie cooking spray and cook the shallots and garlic for 2–3 minutes until just softened.
- Stir in the mince and cook for 2–3 minutes until browned.
- Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute
- Add the chopped tomatoes, stock and Worcestershire sauce.
- Season lightly and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until reduced and thickened.
- Check the seasoning.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water, as per the packet instructions, until just tender.