When you hear the word ‘diet’, how do you feel?
Dieting makes me think ultimately of sacrifice. I am a typical Taurus in that I like the comforts of home – open fires, comfy sofas, tasty food and cuddles – and to embark on a diet to me can feel like having to give up a hugely important part of my well-being. It’s silly really as I know it doesn’t have to be like that and that in fact, eating well rather than just eating anything within reach, has got to make you feel better long term.
Still, it’s hard to give up something you love, even if you know it’s good for you long term. I’m a very short term person and wanting to put a biscuit in my mouth right now usually wins out.
Dieting doesn’t have to be all about tasteless, high fibre crackers though; if you do it carefully you can eat delicious treats without the guilt. That was my Weight Watchers challenge this week – to surprise myself at how flexible and tasty a diet can be. If you want to join the challenge this week you could win a Crock-Pot brushed steel slow cooker. Read on to find out how.
One of the flavours and textures I miss most when watching my diet is a good creamy sauce. I was very happy indeed then to discover Weight Watcher’s creamy bacon and asparagus pasta – recipe below. I also love that on the Simple Start plan, where you can eat as much as you want from the ‘healthy and filling’ list, that I can eat lashings of tinned peaches (or slippy peaches as we call them) and 0% fat Greek yogurt. It feels like an actual pudding, and the fact that you don’t have to limit your portion size is brilliant and weirdly means that you do self-moderate. I have yet to find myself guzzling bowl after bowl of slippy peaches just because I can.
In a way it’s odd because you can’t quite believe that you’re on a diet if you’re tummy isn’t rumbling, but it’s actually pretty easy to create surprisingly healthy meals.
Take a look at the list and you will be surprised at what you can eat – what are your favourite foods from the list?
How creative can you be whilst on a diet? Weight Watchers are keen to see what you can come up with and just by sharing a picture you could win this cool Crock-Pot slow cooker.
The competition is running across all the Weight Watchers social channels, so entering is as simple as a Weight Watchers diet plan – all you have to do take a picture of a surprisingly healthy meal and share it on Twitter with the #StepIntoSummer hashtag. You can also share it on Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest, just don’t forget to tag Weight Watchers and mention #StepIntoSummer.
What is your favourite surprisingly healthy meal?
Recipe: Pasta with creamy asparagus sauce
Serves 4 – 1O PRO POINTS PER SERVING
400g wholewheat tagliatelle
300g asparagus, woody ends removed and stems roughly chopped
Calorie controlled cooking spray
4 bacon medallions, sliced into thin lardons
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
200g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pan of unsalted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. Add the asparagus for the last 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain well, reserving around 150ml of the pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick frying pan and spray with the calorie controlled cooking spray. Add the sliced bacon and cook until crisp. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further minute or so, until starting to soften.
Meanwhile, mix together the Quark and Greek Yoghurt with around 100ml of the reserved cooking water. Reduce the heat under the bacon and tomatoes and add the Quark and Yoghurt mixture, plus enough of the remaining reserved cooking water to make a thick, smooth sauce. Heat gently without boiling.
Return the cooked pasta and asparagus to the pan and add the sauce and herbs. Season to taste and serve immediately.
Disclosure: I am being compensated by Weight Watchers as one of their #stepintosummer challenge bloggers but all words and opinions are my own.