Just Charlie G

I’m not too great at taking supplements of any kind but I’ve been taking these new Optibac Probiotics for Every Day MAX for a couple of weeks now.

Optibac Probiotics for every day maxFor Every Day MAX are Optibac’s newest high strength probiotic supplements. With each capsule containing 50 billion high quality live microorganisms  these are sure to kick start your gut  health. Not only is it super strength, but it’s also super quality with the three strains having been comprehensively researched in the laboratory and clinically trialled  on thousands of people who have experienced improved digestion, boosted natural immunity, lower inflammation and moderate reaction to allergies. If you’re interested, the three included strains are L.acidophilus NCFM, B. lactis HN019 and B. lactis BI-04, all of which means nothing to me at all, but I know that people will want to know what they are taking.

We previously tried Optibac for Babies and Children and I was impressed at how easy they were to incorporate in my kid’s daily life, and these have been no different. You just take one capsule with food, daily, preferably breakfast, and for those who can’t swallow tablets you can mix the contents of the capsule with a cold meal or drink. Ideal.

30  capsules is £35.99 and you can find them on OptibacProbiotics.co.uk where you’ll also find a stockist locator if you’d prefer to purchase in a bricks and mortar store.

*product received free of charge for review purposes

24. 02. 2016

Today I’m writing about something a little different. Veg in a Box are a local delivery company delivering the best in local, fruit, veg and meat and lots of other goodies!

Veg in a Box are a family run business covering Exeter and the surrounding area. There are heaps of boxes to choose from, ranging from just fruit, or just veg, mixed boxes, slow cooker boxes, roast dinner boxes to name a few, as well as seasonal boxes such as Christmas Boxes and Mothers Day Boxes. As well as the pre-made boxes, they are more than happy to customise a box for you, or create one. If you want everything but the parsnips, no problem, they’ll put something else in instead. Its a great service.

My first order was a Christmas Box, which at £65 contained everything we needed for Christmas dinner and much much more.

Veg in a BoxTo say I was blown away was an understatement. There was a huge local turkey breast, a gammon joint (which I actually ended up swapping for the nicest beef I’ve ever had in my life), bacon, sausage meat, pigs in blankets, mince pies, clotted cream, stuffing, copious amounts of veg, beautiful biscuits and even gravy granules, with all but the Bisto and stuffing being local. We had the in laws over for Christmas dinner. Everyone agreed it was the best Christmas Dinner EVER. Will definitely do that again next year.

On the strength of the Christmas Box, my next order was the Family Fruit Box, which was £25.

Veg in a BoxNothing prepared me for the scale of this box, there were lemons, two types of pears, strawberries, raspberries, mango, apples, bananas, pineapple, melon, and so much more. The fruit was absolutely fresh delicious. It was in fact a little too much fruit for our family, but it really encouraged me to eat fruit instead of biscuits which is why I ordered it, but it everyone seemed pleased, the pineapple was a big hit!

My most recent order was the Small Fruit and Veg Box, which was £20. However, I didn’t want the veg, so it was made up as entirely fruit for us.

Veg in a BoxAgain, the fruit was fresh and delicious.

I’m keen to order one of the more meaty boxes next, perhaps the Live Lean Box (£55), or the Gourmet Steak Box (£50), or most temptingly the Mixed Grill Box (£40). After the amazing Christmas Box, I’m also keen to order a Beef Roast Dinner box…

I must also mention the Mothering Sunday Box (£68) which just looks incredible, and contains a Roast Box, as well as a handmade, scented candle, cream tea, cupcakes, truffles, fudge, balloon and a card… I’m hoping my family see this blog post and take the hint! 😉

Anyway, if you are in Devon, I can highly recommend you check out Veg in a Box, you won’t be disappointed, and Julie will help you customise your order so you get exactly what you want and need.

If you are not local to Devon, then seek out your local equivalent, I’d highly recommend!


I’ve no idea what’s going on with me, but for the last few months, a good night’s sleep has become a distant memory. I’ve tried everything, milky drinks, warm baths, early nights, regular bedtimes, lavender on the pillow, you name it, I’ve tried it.

The other weird thing is that I’ve gone off tea! I’ve always had a weird relationship with tea, I go through phases where my need for tea is insatiable, but I’ve been in a coffee phase for a while now and haven’t touched a drop for a long time.

And then this little gift arrived and everything changed!

Tick Tock TeaFirst thing to mention, before I talk about the tea, is that mug. You know how most of us have a type of mug we prefer to drink out of? This mug, with my name on it, is my favourite size and shape. A most satisfying mug so thank you for that!

Moving onto the tea. While I’d heard of Tick Tock, I didn’t actually know anything about the brand at all so what I didn’t know is that all Tick Tock teas are made from Rooibos (redbush) and that Tick Tock have actually been around since 1903 and the tea is still harvested and cured in the same way it was 100 years ago, by hand.

Rooibos is naturally caffeine free. It’s also low in tannin while being rich in antioxidants. The lack of caffeine makes it ideal for everyone, especially Chloe, our 8 year old who is absolutely mad about tea. She’s only allowed very occasional cups of tea, but with Tick Tock, I feel comfortable letting her have a cup whenever she fancies. And that goes for me in the evenings. I can drink this stuff up til I go to sleep if I wish!

In the Tick Tock range are six flavours, Original,  Earl Grey, Detox Renew & Restore, Vanilla Chai, Green Tea and Honey Lemon & Ginger. I received a full of Organic Rooibos Green tea with two bags each of the Original and the Earl Grey.

Tick Tock TeaStarting with the Green Tea. I love Green Tea. It is the exception to my not currently drinking tea, and I probably drink a cup or two a day. But green tea is an acquired taste and it can be bitter. This stuff, the Tick Tock Green Tea, has all of the flavour but it’s mellower, it doesn’t have the bitterness I’m used to in a green tea and its delicious. If you’ve tried green teas before but didn’t quite find them to your taste, try this one, it may be just what you are looking for, it’s delicious.

Tick Tock TeaThen I received these two packets, each only had two teabags in which is a real shame because they are both absolutely delicious. The Earl Grey is beautiful, it has that classic Earl Grey taste you expect, the bergamot flavour, while the Original Redbush Tea tastes like a beautiful cup of tea.

When I do drink tea, I’m fussy, if you’ve only got Tetley or PG Tips or Typhoo then I’ll probably give it a miss, I find them completely flavourless, so I tend to only drink Yorkshire Tea, but these TIck Tock teas don’t compromise on flavour at all which is incredible considering their lack of caffeine and tannins, I think many tea drinkers would not be able to tell.

As such not only is my taste for tea reignited, but I think I’ll make the switch to Tick Tock, simply because (unlike decaf coffee for example), you are not compromising on flavour. These teas are far nicer than many well known brands and I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.

For more information and a closer look at the whole range, you can take a look at the Tick Tock website but I’ve spotted the line in my local Tesco so that’s where I’ll be going!

*All items in the post received free of charge for review purposes.

Beefeater Grandstand

This Saturday, the whole family, (that’s Graham, myself, Chloe (age 8) and Lola (age 6)) were delighted to be invited down to the Beefeater Grill restaurant at Newton Abbot, The Grandstand. It’s not actually our local, as we have one in Exeter (currently closed for refurbishment), but the Newton Abbot branch has also undergone a recent refurbishment and we were invited down to see its new look and check out the newly launched Spring/Summer menu.

The kids were excited, I was excited, Graham was excited. We all love our food, but eating out is a real treat. With eating out, there’s always a little anxiety attached too, with Chloe’s inability to keep calm, and the way it rubs off her sister, there’s always the chance that our kids will be “those” kids in the restaurant. Fortunately they didn’t let us down, and aside from a talking too loudly a bit, they did us proud.

Be warned, this is a picture heavy post!

So on arrival, first impressions were great. The decor is fab, it looks modern, but cosy, and I love the new little logo!

Beefeater Grandstand Beefeater Grandstand Beefeater Grandstand Beefeater GrandstandWe were greeted very quickly, by a friendly member of staff who escorted us to our seats (a little booth), and told us our waitress would be with us soon. From where we sat we had a great view of the kitchen as well as a big cow which made the girls laugh on account of the thunder thighs and tasty bottom.

Beefeater Grandstand Beefeater GrandstandWe found our booth was in a great position but Graham wasn’t terribly happy he had to sweep a load of crumbs off his seat before he sat down… its a small gripe, but something that probably should have been looked at and taken care of before we sat down.

Our waitress was great, friendly and had whipped the kids (very sharp) steak knives away before we’d even sat down which I thought was a considerate touch, in fact they both had two new kid size sets of cutlery, along with a copy of a kids menu each.

Beefeater KidsOn request they were both provided with the obligatory kids activity packs, but I must just mention how good they were. The activity books had loads of pages and loads of activities. As most parents will be aware, you are often given a sheet of A4 with a couple of activities on it, along with a pot of pencils or crayons that are all broken and not much use, but Chloe and Lola both got a pack of crayons each as well as their activity books, which I must add, kept them occupied for the duration of the whole meal, before, between courses and after.

Beefeater Activity packsQuick shout out for Lola’s chef version of Mr Happy!



Getting onto ordering and menus, Chloe and I both ordered a coke which is bottomless, meaning you can have it refilled as many times as you like. Starting with the kids menu, one course is £4.49, two courses are £5.49 and three courses are £5.99. Each includes a drink of squash or a glass of milk. The girls opted for three courses and there’s a great range of choices, especially on the main courses, and they are customisable in terms of sides.

Chloe opted for the Cheesy Nachos to start which came with a tomato salsa.

Beefeater Kids StarterShe declared them delicious, and the portion size was generous, it took her ages to eat them and that’s with “help”. Lola opted for the Yummy Garlic Bread.  She wasn’t overly impressed, it was barely toasted at all on the bottom, and very dark around the edges on the top. I’d have happily still eaten it but if you read my post about how Lola’s a picky eater, you’ll know she doesn’t eat brown bits. As it happened, she painstakingly removed all the brown bits and declared all the rest delicious.

The adults menu was what you’d expect from a Beefeater restaurant, but has changed since I last visited. There are considerably more burgers to choose from and although none of us opted for the burgers they looked amazing as I saw them being bought out to other tables.

Anyway, Graham and I both opted for the Crispy Flat Cap Mushrooms (£4.79) to start.

Beefeater Crispy MushroomsThey came with one Ranch Dressing and one Barbecue sauce. I asked for no ranch dressing and got two Barbecue which was nice. They were absolutely boiling hot and really delicious. No complaints about these. If we hadn’t have had the kids with us though, we would have definitely opted for the Baked Camembert, but it comes with a 15 minute wait.

When it comes to main courses there was literally something for everyone.

Lola opted for Mr Perfect’s Popin’ Chicken (chicken nuggets basically!)

Beefeater Chicken PopsIt came with chips and beans, but again you can swap those sides out for anything, but Lola was happy with those. She said it was all delicious and the nuggets were chunks of breast meat in breadcrumbs. Good.

Chloe opted for the Create Your Own Pizza which came with Garlic Bread and Corn on the Cob.

Beefeater Kids pizzaThere are four topping options, Chloe opted for Mushroom and pineapple. We were impressed when it came out, it wasn’t lacking in topping and the base was perfectly doughy. Although she couldn’t finish it all (after her giant starter) she said it was delicious.

Onto the grown up main courses… vegetarians may wish to look away at this point, from this point on, there is MUCH meat 🙂

Graham opted for the Beefeater Mixed Grill (£15.59)

Beefeater Mixed Grill4oz Flat iron steak, chicken breast, gammon steak, two sausages, half a tomato, mushroom, onion rings, fried egg and triple cooked chips. This was a beast of a meal! Graham declared it all delicious, especially the steak and sausages. I personally was impressed by the fried egg, I’m really fussy about fried eggs, I can’t bear any soggy white at all, but this was cooked to perfection. Graham admitted defeat, but he left just a few chips on his plate so he didn’t do too poorly. A note about the chips, you have a choice of fries or chunky chips, as well as plain, spicy or lime, Graham asked for Lime, but got plain. They were delicious anyway so we didn’t bother to complain about it.

I must also mention that when asked if we wanted any condiments Graham asked for “all of the condiments”, meaning he wanted one of everything, they took him somewhat more literally and bought him out this!

Beefeater CondimentsMuch to the waitresses dismay he barely made a dent in it ha, but we were impressed anyway!

Now for the highlight of the whole meal, my main course! I opted for the 10oz Rump Steak (£13.49) with Herby Chimichurri Sauce (99p) and I can never resist a side of Onion Rings (£2.29)

Beefeater Rump (2)The meal came with Triple Cooked Chips, as with Graham’s meal I had the option of fries, chunky, spicy, lime or plain and I opted for the plain, chunky chips, and incredibly the portion of the chips that came with my meal was also bottomless, meaning we could just keep ordering chips to go with your meal at no extra charge. We took advantage of this at the waitresses suggestion so Chloe could have a few, but actually it was a bit wasteful as we were all so stuffed when they arrived! The meal also came with a small salad, half a tomato and a mushroom.

The Herby Chimichurri sauce was a little different to chimichurri I’ve had before in that it was more liquidy, but I’m assuming thats so you can pour it over your steak. It was, however, delicious. Such a nice change from bearnaise or peppercorn.

Beefeater ChimichurriI ordered my steak to be cooked medium. There’s nothing worse than getting an overcooked or undercooked steak, but this came just as I requested. It was perfect. Cut easily, melted in my mouth and tasted perfect.

Beefeater Rump (1)Special mention to the onion rings for being delicious too.

Desserts! The kids had desserts as part of their meal. Chloe opted for Carnival Cookies and Ice Cream.

Beefeater Kids DessertAs you can see, she was very happy with it.

Lola opted for the Ice Cream Sundae, but since she refuses all sauce, its basically just vanilla ice cream.

Beefeater Kids DessertYou can’t go wrong with vanilla ice cream and she was very happy with her generous portion.

I couldn’t manage a dessert, but opted for a Costa Latte, however Graham managed to squeeze in a Chocolate Rum Melt (£4.49), unfortunately no photograph as he got to it too quickly. Vanilla Ice Cream, topped with crispy set chocolate (remember ice magic), and it was supposed to come with a jug of rum sauce, warmed, that you pour over the top so the chocolate and ice cream start to melt but Graham’s came with rum syrup on the top already and it wasn’t terribly generous. That said, Graham was more than happy with it and he really enjoyed it, so who am I to grumble!

All in all, we were absolutely thrilled with the service and the food. The restaurant looked fantastic, the food was amazingly good, the service was also great. The girls were so happy this even happened…

Beefeater Grandstand reviewYes, thats right, Chloe kissed Lola. It’s unheard of. So thanks Beefeater!

We were provided with vouchers to go and have our meal, but we went over this by some way, amazingly though, our bill was considerably less than expected because kids eat free on Saturdays!  What a treat! So not only are the soft drinks refillable, as well as the chips, but on saturdays kids food is free. I find that incredible that the kids eat free on Saturday, usually businesses try to get the most they can out of you at peak times, its really unusual to find a business that gives things away at peak times. There were a few little things that weren’t perfect, but the things were great totally made up for it, more than, so our final impressions were excellent despite the little imperfections.

We can highly recommend the Beefeater Grill at Newton Abbot, The Grandstand, a really family friendly environment, with great decor and who do the food they sell, exceptionally well.

And with that we set off back to Exeter, still with excited kids in tow, along with a couple of helium balloons, planning to go to the Exeter branch when they reopen at some point.

Thanks for having us!

You can find your local branch and have a look at the menus and book a table on the Beefeater Website.

*We were provided with vouchers towards the costs of this meal for review purposes.



As I write this post I am not sure what I’m going to call it, it’s a bit personal, its also a bit of a ramble, but it’s also a bit of a product review. Its sort of like a new years resolution, except I don’t believe in new years resolutions…

So lets start with the facts. I’m overweight, I’ve been overweight on and off for years now. I’ve tried both Slimming World and Weight Watchers with varying degrees of success.

I also happen to have some issues with food. One is not especially uncommon, comfort eating. When I feel sad, or tired, or bored, I eat. I take this a step further by wanting to celebrate things with food. When I feel happy or have something to celebrate, I want to eat nice food.

The other issue I have, is less common I think, or at least its not something I ever hear people talking about, in that I really struggle to eat food that I don’t LOVE. So take spaghetti bolognese, I don’t dislike it, not at all, would I ever eat it, even when cooking the meal for my family? Very rarely.  Sometimes I’d even rather go without food altogether than eat something I don’t actively enjoy. I think I struggle to see food as a necessity, more as something to be enjoyed and its something that I can’t seem to shake. Salad, I don’t dislike basic salad, would I choose to eat it ever? Even when I know I’m overweight? No. Same goes for fruit, yoghurt, anything I define as uninteresting.

Freshly baked rolls, pastries, roast dinners, burgers, chips, curry, those are all foods I actively enjoy.

I don’t really know how to fix this weird attitude I have. I’m a sensible person, I know eating a hot roll slathered in melting butter isn’t good for me (when the rest of my diet is unhealthy), but I can’t quite bring myself to pick up the salad. It’s almost as though I feel there’s no point eating if I don’t enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t skip meals, maybe 4 times in a year or so I do, but otherwise I eat all my meals, but I often supplemented with treats, or I will cook myself something different to what I make the rest of the family or moan about how much I don’t fancy what is on my plate.

I’m a reasonably varied eater, I like food from most cultures, but I’m not a fan of sauces or mayo based things.  So prepacked sandwiches, a lot of prepacked salads and so on are not for me and my choices when making my own food are limited, there’s only so many egg based lunches I can eat. Add into all this the fact that I don’t really enjoy cooking, and dieting starts to become difficult.

So, the time has come to do something about this weight, but what to do about it when I have all these issues?

Well one thing I do love is smoothies. I’m aware that many are sugar laden and actually not that good for you, but surely, making your own, knowing what you put in them, using ingredients you like is better than a couple of rolls slathered in butter and stuffed with salami followed by a Lidl Apple Danish? Well I’ve decided to try.

I opted to buy the Breville Blend Active on the recommendation of a friend. I really wanted the Nutribullet but decided it was too much of an investment for something that might prove to be a whim, and the Breville Blend Active is definitely reasonable. There are three available, but the only difference I can see is the amount of cups you get with it. I opted for the most expensive that comes with four beakers, two 600ml and two 300ml. I bought it from Argos for £31.50 Seemed like a good deal, theres one in Tesco that is £29.50 with just two beakers.



Inside the box you get your beakers, the unit itself, the blades and a leaflet, which not only houses the instructions, but also some recipe suggestions.



I couldn’t be simpler to use, you add your ingredients to your cup, screw the blades onto the top of your bottle, turn it upside down, put it into the unit until it clicks into place and then you hit the Blend button. You have to keep your finger on the button for the duration of  the blending, but seeing as how it only takes 30 seconds or so its not a big deal. Once blended to your liking you remove your bottle, unscrew the blades, replace with a cap and off you go. Cleaning the unit is a breeze, the blades can just be run under a tap, the main unit never needs cleaning as it doesn’t come into contact with the food/drink and the bottles are dishwasher safe.

It is my intention to replace two meals a day (breakfast and lunch)at the moment while having my usual dinners, but I have no idea how realistic this is long term. I also admit to not being fully versed on what’s good to use and what isn’t, but I’m researching and reading so I’m learning as I go I hope!

This mornings, looked like crap but tasted pretty good.


It was pear, apple, cucumber, spinach and blueberries. I hadn’t blended it quite enough and it was a bit too heavy on the cucumber but it was not too bad at all.

Lunchtime I opted for a dash of milk, banana, mixed berries (raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, raspberries and strawberries) and a healthy dose of chia.


I t was absolutely delicious. I must buy some more chia. So I did get hungry at 3pm ish and just had a Weight Watchers cake slice and I’m just cooking dinner, just usual family dinner stuff. A great thing about this blender is that you can do ice and nuts in it, it coped with ice easily.

Its too early for me really tell you about whether I’m losing weight, whether the blender works long term, whether I can stick to it long term, whether I have to go down to one smoothie a day, but I’m fairly optimistic, I might struggle to eat my fruit and veg in a bowl or on a plate, but for me, a smoothie might just be the answer.

I’ll do another post in a few weeks with an update I guess and we shall see!

If you read this and you have any recipe suggestions for me, I’d be delighted to hear them!

You may think Summer has been and gone. You may think Summer never came at all and still won’t or you might be pessimistic and think the best is yet to come! Either that you’re planning travels to hot places for a holiday soon.

Philips have got some fab gadgets to get you Summer ready, but really, the following are all year round as far as I’m concerned!

First up, the Philips Avance Juicer. The Rolls Royce of juicers probably.

Philips Avance Juicer
Philips Avance Juicer

Not only did I receive the juicer but also a big bag of fruit and veg with which to make my first three smoothies.

Philips Avance Juicer

The first one I tried was Summer Lovin’, parsnip, pear, pink lady apples…

Philips Avance Juicer

Chloe wasn’t sure, I thought it was utterly lovely, very refreshing and it felt very virtuous!

Philips Avance Juicer

Next was Summer Slimmer, cucumber, apple, celery, ginger, truly it was revolting.

Philips Avance Juicer

I didn’t even attempt to make the third since it involved beetroot…. but we’re not here to talk about the recipes, the machine was an absolute breeze to use and of course, not only did it come with a a full recipe book but of course you could just use combinations you think you’d actually like. Which is what I’ve been doing since.

It juices things so fast and efficiently, all you’re left with is container of residue, almost like little balls of playdough. Literally all the goodness has been removed.

It looks stylish on your counter and its very very easy to clean and put back together. The only thing I’d say is that it is very big. It has a huge feeding tube making it easy to just put in whole fruits with out chopping, but it adds some height to an already massive thing…. if you’re not going to juice often and take it seriously, i.e. leave it out on the counter on the counter at all times, you may find it a bit of a chore to get in and out of cupboard. Otherwise, I think this is fab bit of kit. But…. it’s an investment at £200. Currently though, it’s £149 on www.juicemaster.com. I’ve been using mine for breakfast every day. Love it!

Next, the Philips SatinSoft  Epilator.

Philips SatinSoft Epilator

Philips SatinSoft Epilator
I’ve been toying with epilating for a long time but two things put me, the first thing being extreme pain and secondly, I’ve heard tales of ingrown hairs being a problem with epilating. So I’ll tell you about how the SatinSoft epilator works first. It’s a wet and dry epilator, meaning you can use it in the shower (recommended), but it also comes with a shave head, so you can use it as a shaver. There are also a few extras, the recharging cable, an attachment that sort of massages your skin to make it less painful as you go along, one that is a trimmer, to just shorten hair and a third that narrows the area that is epilated, making it more suitable for bikini lines and  armpits. And then there’s also a brush, it’s recommended that you brush your epilated skin, or legs in particular, every other day to help prevent ingrown hairs.

Okay, so I won’t beat about the bush, the first time I used this I found it absolutely agonising. Seriously, it really really hurt. I was in the shower, with the massagey attachment and I nearly couldn’t finish my second leg, I swear to god I was nearly in tears. BUT, the next time I used it, the time after, better again, and I won’t lie, it always hurts a little bit, but it’s absolutely bearable. My legs are super smooth and hair free and I just run over them every two or three days, meaning I never have to start out like that first time, with fully hairy legs! It’s much less painful to remove a few short hairs than it is all of the hair!

As for those ingrown hairs, yes, I have had a few…I have to admit though, whilst I’m vigilant about removing the hair every few days I’ve not been quite so good about the brushing in between, moving forward I’m going to try much harder.

Overall, I love epilating, I much prefer a quick one minute run over with the epilator every couple of days to shaving my legs fully every two days. Its quick easy, and convenient and I can’t see me ever shaving my legs again. This Epilator is available from www.Boots.com and is priced at £99.99 but if you have a good look around there are a variety of cheaper Philips epilators on the site.  Well worth it, no pain no gain!

 The final bit of kit is the Bikini Perfect kit.
Philips Bikini Perfect kit

Philips Bikini Perfect kit
Okay, then this is another product you can use wet and dry and it’s also an epilator and razor. Now I’m going to say straight off that it comes with templates with which you can design your lady garden… I have not done this, novelty body hair is not my thing! Nor have I tried the epilator on my bikini line. I’m just not brave enough to go there. What I have done is used the various attachments. You can use the trimmer first of all with a guard on to shorten the length, then, remove the guard and remove the hair, and then finally use the foil attachment to get smooth. Now I have to say this was super smooth. The smoothest shave I’ve ever had with any electrical shaver on any part of my body. Very impressive. Unfortunately, a couple of days later I got a terrible shaving rash. So I’m wondering if there’s a way around this for me, I am extremely sensitive in that area at the best of times. And I’ve been reading excellent reviews of this, so I don’t know if there’s a way round the rash for me, or if I’m never ever going to be able to shave my bikini line. 🙁 If anyone has any tips I’d love to hear them because otherwise this is great and I think the problem is with me not the trimmer!

Of course you could use this anywhere too and it’s a very reasonably priced £30.63 from Amazon.

So well done Philips, aside from the rash, I’m very impressed with all these gadgets. Very impressed.

*Disclosure – all items provided as PR Samples*

If you don’t know me personally or follow me on Twitter then you may not be aware that I am currently doing Weight Watchers online. I was asked yesterday if I would do a blog post about how I found it.

It’s not the first time I’ve done Weight Watchers, I did it years ago in the lead up to my wedding and had roaring success, but since then I’ve had two babies, and lets just say I put on four stone in my first pregnancy and only lost half of it after and I’ve not been eating healthily since. I’ve been meaning to diet for a long time but my sister’s forthcoming wedding prompted me to get on and do it. Never mind looking completely repellent in photographs like this one:

For someone who was a size 8 for years this is not a good look. Now I will probably never be a size 8 again and truthfully I don’t want to be but I do seriously fancy being a size 12 or 10. I’d settle happily for a size 12. Essentially this meant that I had just over two stone to lose.

I started in August with a starting weight of 11 stone 4 lbs and now 10 weeks later I am down to 10 stone and half a pound. So thats a total loss of 1 stone 3.5 lbs. Not bad? Average weekly loss is 1.4 lbs and I could easily do better than that. And this is the crux of why I like Weight Watchers and why it suits me. I can choose how strict I am. Last week I thought had been a bad week, I expected no loss at all, lets just say I’d had deep fried onion rings twice, and two ring doughnuts, but I still managed to lose a pound because I was good the rest of the time. Not great, but good. Now ideally, if you’re dieting, those are things that you should never have, but last week was my time of the month and comfort food was an intense craving. So I allowed myself to give in.

I chose to do WW online as I’m not a meetings kind of a girl. Its easy, you simply look up the item you’re eating, it tells you the points, you use an online chart to track them making sure you keep within your points allowance each day. You can also save up to four points a day (no more) so that should you choose to, you can have more points one day. That makes sense in my head, does it make sense?

I eat well, really well. Tuscan Bean Soup for lunch or maybe grilled mushrooms, tomatoes an egg and toast? And as for dinners, Veggie curry and rice? Moroccan lamb with green beans & cous cous? Pizza Express Gustosa? Lemon Pork Fillet with Lemon risotto? Mushroom risotto? Teriyaki Beef Udon? All delicious, all allowable and providing you follow the receipe’s then they are low fat. When I can’t be bothered to cook there are tonnes of ready meals around, I particularly recommend Tesco’s Healthy Living Chilli Prawn Tagliatelle. And if we’re feeling really really lazy and craving something naughty then you can’t go wrong with a chicken kebab delivered to the door. Grilled chicken marinated in lemon, served with salad and a pitta bread.  Low fat but because its from the take away it feels really naughty.

Another tip is filling the cupboard with the official Weight Watchers snacks. Although you can get plenty of snacks that are equally low fat, I like reading on the packet exactly how many points I am eating. It helps me keep track.  The Mini Chocolate Cupcakes are utterly delicious.

To reach my goal I still have another stone to lose but I’m absolutely delighted with progress so far. Yes. Thats my skinny jeans I’m wearing over there —————>

My skinny jeans I’ve not worn for over four years.

So that’s me and Weight Watchers. For me its a fantastic diet. I eat healthy cooked dinners at least 6 out of 7 nights, containing heaps more veggies than I’d normally eat. And when I can’t resist any longer it allows me to fall off the wagon briefly so I can indulge in my craving and I can still go on to lose that week so long as the fall off the wagon wasn’t too bad. I firmly believe that it’s being able to treat myself that makes this work so well for me. Without treats I’d fall off the wagon permanently I’m sure in one big craving attack that’d see me putting away pizza, full fat coke, pudding and then biscuits and coffee. But because I can get away with the odd coke, or biscuit… the craving is taken care of.

Have you ever done Weight Watchers? Do you have a tips or recommendations of yummy things to eat for me? How did you find it?

Also, I know there’s a lot of bloggers dieting at the moment so good luck to you all!