WW blog: Laura and Michael share their weight loss journey (and a healthy dessert recipe for Valentine's Day)
Hi everyone, I’m Laura (you can find me on Instagram at @skinnykitchensecrets) and I’m a 30-year-old food lover from Newcastle. I’ve been on WW now for many years, having lost 4 stone between September 2012 and May 2013 and maintaining ever since.
Support has been key to my weight loss journey
For me, one of the keys to losing weight and keeping it off is to have the continuous support of your loved ones, and this is something I am lucky to have always had, particularly in my husband Michael.
Knowing I had to change my mindset if I wanted to achieve my wellness goals, I started my journey in 2012 by taking a serious look at the eating habits of both myself and my other half. As lovers of both cooking and food in general, we had always found great enjoyment in rustling up delicious meals to indulge in with each other.
On joining WW, I quickly discovered however that I’d had my head very much buried in the sand as to how indulgent and excessively large these meals had become.
Following the programme was much easier than we thought
After my first WW meeting, Michael and I sat down and worked out what kind of changes we could make to ensure that, as a couple we could still enjoy our passion for food and cooking, but in a way that would help me on my weight loss journey.
I have to say, we found it much more straightforward than we had thought. Slightly smaller portions, yes (we were having about three times the amount of food a person needs in one dish!), but still filling plates – now packed out with veggies and goodness, rather than the oil, carbs and cheese from before.
Our weight loss was featured in the WW magazine
When I eventually got to goal in May 2013 I was thrilled, but Michael was equally thrilled that through the ‘ripple effect’, over the course of 9 months of eating fabulous and healthy food, he had also shed some serious pounds – so much so that when I appeared on the cover of WW mag in September 2013, he even got a sneaky picture in as a result of his weight loss too!
Since I got to goal, Michael and I have continued to cook colourful, tasty and delicious foods that are low in SmartPoints® and help towards maintenance. I create lots of recipes for my WW blog skinnykitchensecrets.com so when a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day comes around, we love to make something extra special together.
For me, having support on my wellness journey made my goals more achievable, but I can honestly say that I’ve seen the ‘ripple effect’ it’s had on others around me, in both my family, friends and especially in my husband Michael.
We can still indulge on Valentine’s Day
I’ve shared a sample of one of our three course Valentine’s day menus below which, if you have a zero SmartPoints breakfast and lunch (such as an omelette or fruit & fat free yoghurt and vegetable soup or a chicken salad), you can easily keep within your daily Budget – handily saving your weeklies for some wine to go with the meal!
You can see the full recipes for each of the dishes listed below on my blog, but I’ve included the dessert recipe for you here as for me, it really demonstrates how you can still enjoy delicious food on the WW programme. It’s also really quick and easy and can be prepared in advance.
Valentine’s Day Three Course Menu (21 SmartPoints)
Pan Fried Scallops and Chorizo with Minted Pea Puree – 3SP
Goat’s Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Chicken with Baked Sweet Potato in a Lemon, Garlic and White Wine Sauce – 11SP
Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse – 7SP
Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Recipe
Serves 4 = 7sp per serving
85g dark chocolate (50-70% cocoa solids)
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
1 tbsp. golden caster sugar
50g fat free Greek yogurt
12 fresh raspberries
- Break up the chocolate and pop into a bowl over a pan of simmering water. After a minute add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract with 2 tbsp. of cold water. Remove the pan from the heat. Let the chocolate melt from the residual heat of the pan and give a stir to help it along.
- Once the chocolate is melted, stir in 2 tbsp. of boiling water. This will thin down the chocolate and make it nice and silky. Remove the bowl from over the pan and leave it to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs whites into soft peaks then add the sugar until glossy.
- Next beat the yogurt into the cooled chocolate until evenly combined. Add a third of the egg whites, folding in carefully. Fold in the rest of the egg whites carefully so the mixture keeps its volume.
- Pour the mixture into small ramekins or dessert bowls and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight if you are uber organised)!
- Serve with raspberries on top and a few shavings of chocolate.
See the full details for the other recipes on this menu on my blog, skinnykitchensecrets.com and whatever you are doing for your own Valentine’s Day, I hope you have a wonderful time!