Can you believe that we’re almost half way through November already! That means that Black Friday is just around the corner. I know that all of us love a bargain, so here are a few ideas recommended by Slimtone members that you might like to consider. (You don’t need any of these items on the Slimtone Lifestyle Plan, these are simply ideas if you fancy a shopping spree, or are looking for something to put on your Christmas list!)

Top of the list is a really good non-stick pan. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to “fry” your food without having to grab the cooking oil. A quick squirt of low fat cooking spray and you’re off!

My second “go-to” item is a set of kitchen scales to help you manage that portion control. It’s so easy to guess a weight and then wonder why you haven’t lost any weight that week. Having a kitchen scales easily to hand makes it so much easier and you’ll soon find that the pounds start to melt away!

As you know, I love my George Foreman grill. Popping a sandwich on the grill, really gives it that extra zip and served with a crunchy green salad is a satisfying, quick and tasty lunch. Of course, the grill is also a great way to cook meat and see all that excess fat drip away. And grilling fish or vegetables gives you that BBQ vibe, even when the weather outside doesn’t look much like summer.

Another great buy is a slow cooker. Lots of members find this really useful, particularly if they’re out working all day. Simply prepare your recipe first thing in the morning, pop it into the slow cooker and hey presto, it’s all ready for you when you get in later. If you’re looking for ideas, follow us on Facebook – you’ll often see great ideas from Julie for using a slow cooker.

Of course, one of the mainstays of the Slimtone Lifestyle Plan is soup. So quick and easy to make, they help to fill you up without adding loads of calories. Have you got a Slimtone Soup Book? You can order one here and widen the range of soups you make. Making soup is really easy – a stick blender means you can quickly create a silky smooth texture whilst the new Soup Makers that are on the market make it even quicker, whether you want a chunky style soup or something a bit more creamy. 

Why not try this Spicy Parsnip Soup – a firm favourite with Slimtone members and part of our Countdown to Christmas Plan. (If you haven’t got a Countdown to Christmas Plan, come along to class. It’s a full week of menus designed to be mixed and matched with the Lifestyle Plan book – all easy meals which all the family can enjoy.) 

Spicy Parsnip Soup
Serves 4 – approx 110 cals/serving

Low cal cooking spray
2 onions, chopped
1kg/2lb parsnips, peeled and diced into small cubes
1 tbsp curry paste
1½ litres hot good quality veg stock
100g/3½oz Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped leaf parsley to garnish

st a large non-stick saucepan with cooking spray. Add onions and cook over a moderate to high heat for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add parsnips and cook covered over a low heat for 5 minutes with lid on to sweat the veg. Stir in the paste and cook for a minute, then add the hot stock. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until parsnips are soft. Add three quarters of the Philly to the soup and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Serve with remaining Philly stirred into the soup and garnished with fresh parsley. Mmmm, delicious!

If you decide to take advantage of Black Friday deals, be careful not to spoil things when you have lunch or a snack when you’re out shopping.  Remember to look at the menus – most places have taken the guesswork out of it by showing the calories of all the dishes and drinks. Choose wisely. Often salads, sandwiches and soups on a menu can contain more calories than a roast dinner! Try not to be tempted by the Christmas drinks too – they’ll probably use up half of your daily allowance, so change any milk drink to skinny ones if you can.

If you find any great Black Friday deals, share them with us on Facebook – after all, we all love a bargain!

See you soon,
Marie x

P.S. We had another great trip to Champneys this last weekend, the last one for this year. I know all our members and friends really enjoyed it. We have arranged an exclusive Slimtone package for these all-inclusive pampering weekends. If you fancy coming along with us, our first trip in 2022 is on 6 to 8 May; then we have our usual half-term weekend from 4 to 6 November 2022; and the autumn break is on 18 to 20 November. Pop over to the website for more details or have a chat with Marie in class.