Spicy chickpea stew

Hello Dear Reader,

We’ve had meat two days in a row so tonight’s supper is a hearty veggie stew with chunky chick peas and it’s vegan as well.

I rummaged around the bottom of the fridge and back of the larder and also added some mixed frozen veggies from out of the freezer. I also added a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika and cumin, a stock pot and some black pepper to give it flavour

I chopped my veggies and fried them in frylight until softened.

I added the stockpot, spice and tinned tomatoes, half a mug of red lentils and a mug of boiling water (helps it cook quickly) and allowed it to simmer for 15 minutes until all the veggies were soft but not mushy.

I served DB’s with basmati rice – half a cup of rice and three cups of water with a sprinkle of salt and I just had extra vegetables. We are not lovers of hot spicy food but you could add plenty of chilli if you like it.

This’ll be great for our lunches and it’ll reheat well and some will be frozen.

Totally free food in terms of slimming world and it’s even vegan and a proper hearty belly full. 

It’s also cheap, used up what we had and was delicious.

I’ll make this again!

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx


There’s no going back!



Hello Dear Reader,

I’ve had a lovely evening at Slimming Club, it was our celebration for Slimmer of the Year, the winner was so well deserved and such an inspiration. Any weightloss journey is difficult and anyone who’s a member of any slimming club will either feel it supports them or gets them down. It’s easy to feel down when some people drop weight easily and some tick away a pound here and half a pound there. I’m one of the latter.

Nonetheless, even on the weeks where I wished I’d lost more, I always stay after being weighed. I don’t do ‘cheat nights’ as I’d only be cheating myself.

I’d reached two stone weightloss by my holiday and managed to keep it off throughout my holiday. Now my aim is to lose anything by next week. If I don’t, I’ll stick a smile on my face and applaud those who do.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx

Lost cost, low carb diet

Hello Dear Reader,
You sent  me an email asking about low carb vegetables. I hope the list I’ve included helps. To get into a weightloss zone and stay there I try to keep my carbs to 50g or thereabouts a day, today my carbs came to 53g. My carbs are high because I ate an apple, had milk in my coffee and had yogurt for breakfast. 
I’m also trying to bulk out my meals with cheaper food and tonight made an omelette with: two eggs, one courgette, one green pepper, four mushrooms and two rashers of back bacon. 
To the reader who asked, the greener your vegetables, the lower the carbs. Fortunately, green veggies are usually the cheapest items we put in our baskets. Cauliflower is a great substitute for rice and celeriac, sprayed with a light oil, make great oven chips. Shredded and steamed cabbage makes a good substitute for pasta to have with bolognaise sauce. Mushrooms are a great bulker to meat such as cubed beef in a casserole or as I have used tonight in my omelette. 
There are also some cheaper proteins such as adding yogurt which is a staple breakfast for us, eggs which are great hard boiled with a green salad. Although slightly higher in carbs, cottage cheese is great with salad too. I’m a great lover of tinned and frozen fish and of course frozen veggies all phelps to keep the cost of a healthy diet to a reasonable amount. 
I hope Dear Reader, that helps you.
Thanks for writing and to everyone else, thanks for reading.
The chart below, the middle column shows calories per 100g and the right column is the grams of carbs in that 100g . 
See you all tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxxx


Aubergine (eggplant), raw, 100g 15  2.2
Alfalfa sprouts, raw, 100g  24  0.4
Artichoke Jerusalem, boiled, 100g  41  10.6
Asparagus, boiled, 100g  22  4
Asparagus, canned, drained, 100g 19  3
Bamboo shoots, canned, 100g  11  0.7
Beansprouts mung, raw, 100g 31  4
Beetroot, raw, 100g  36 4.6 
Beetroot, boiled, 100g 46  9.5
Beetroot, pickled, drained, 100g  28  5.6
Broccoli, green, boiled, 100g 24 1.3
Broccoli, green, raw, 100g 33 1.8
Broccoli, purple, boiled, 100g 19  1.3
Broccoli, purple, raw, 100g 35 2.6
Brussels Sprouts, boiled, 100g 35  3.1
Cabbage spring, boiled, 100g 0.6
Cabbage Chinese, raw, 100g 12  1.4
Cabbage red, raw, 100g 21  3.7
Cabbage Savoy, raw, 100g 27  3.9
Cabbage, white, raw, 100g 27  5
Capsicum Pepper, green, raw 100g 15  2.6
Capsicum Pepper, red, raw 100g 32 6.4
Carrots, old, boiled, 100g 24  4.9
Carrots, young, raw, 100g 30 6
Cassava chips, 100g 354  92
Cassava, steamed, 100g 142  37
Cauliflower, boiled, 100g 28  2.3
Celeriac, raw, 100g 18  2.3
Celery, raw, 100g  0.9
Corn, baby sweetcorn, boiled, 100g  24  2.7
Corn kernels, canned, 100g  123  27
Corn kernels, raw 100g 93  17
Corn-on-cob, boiled, plain, 100g 66  11.6
Courgette (Zucchini), raw, 100g  18  1.8
Curly Kale, raw, 100g  35  1.4
Cucumber, unpeeled, raw 100g 10  1.5
Chicory, raw, 100g 14  1
Eggplant (aubergine), raw, 100g 15  2.2
Endive (Escarole), 100g  11  2.8
Fennel, raw, 100g 12  1.8
Garlic, fresh, raw, 100g 98  16
Leeks, raw, 100g  22 2.9
Lettuce leaf, butterhead, raw, 100 12  1.2
Lettuce, cos, romaine, raw, 100g 16  1.7
Lettuce, Iceberg, raw, 100g 13 1.9
Marrow, boiled, 100g 1.6
Mushrooms, common, raw, 100g 22  3.4
Potatoes, new, boiled, 100g 75  18
Potatoes, old, raw, 100g 86  20
Okra, raw, 100g 31  3
Onions, raw, 100g 64  7.9
Parsnip, raw, 100g 64  12.5
Peas, frozen, raw, 100g 66  9.3
Peas, fresh, raw, 100g 83  11.3
Pumpkin, raw, 100g 13  2.2
Radish, red, raw, 100g 12  2
Spinach, raw, 100g 25  1.6
Squash, butternut, baked, 100g 32  7.4
Squash spaghetti, baked, 100g 75  18
Zucchini (Courgette), raw, 100g 18  1.8
Sweet potato, baked, 100g 115  28
Tomatoes, canned, & liquid, 100g 16  3
Tomatoes cherry, raw, 100g 18  3
Tomatoes, ordinary, raw, 100g 17  3
Water chestnuts, canned, 100g 28  7
Watercress, raw, 100g 22  0.4
Yam, baked, 100g 153  37.5
Zucchini (Courgette), raw, 100g 18

Inspired by a WW2 diet?

Hello Dear Reader,
I had a comment on my Facebook page saying, in so many words, they wouldn’t eat what I’m eating even if it meant weightloss. I wish I’d always eaten this way. If you know anything about the UK diet throughout rationing had during and after WW2, you’ll know that the Brits were never healthier. People didn’t have much meat, fat, eggs or sugar so they filled themselves up with vegetables. That’s exactly what I do now.
My supper tonight was steamed salmon, green beans and courgettes and a sauce made from fat free Greek style yogurt with a squirt of sweet chilli sauce (which has sugar in it, you could use smoked paprika instead) I cooked two courgettes cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler in 10g of butter. 
Now, I know that such simple steamed food is not for everyone but we’ve adjusted our tastes to food with less fat and fewer ingredients. The salmon came from Lidl as did the veggies and natural yogurt so reasonably priced. The bulk of the plate is just vegetables with a small piece of fish. 
Over to you Dear Reader, is this the future, not only for our health but for our budgets? Less meat or fish as it’s so costly? Less sugar as we know it’s so bad for our health? Less fat as most of it, along with sugar is ‘hidden’ in our food? Has anyone else tried to give up sugar or eat less meat? 
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxxx

Size! It’s just an unreliable number!


Hello Dear Reader,

I’m tracking my weightloss progress with a photo diary. I’m now 25lbs lighter than when I started. I’m now back in my size 14 jeans. I’m of the opinion that sizes are a load of tosh as according to size charts I’m a size 18 around my hips but fit two sizes smaller. I think the clothing industry have done their part in Brits having bigger bodies than they used to have. Not only is food (what we all think of as tasty) cheaper than healthy food but the clothing industry doesn’t want to alienate the ‘average’ British woman who at the clothing size of 16, is actually of a bigger body size but they are being kind. I’ve tried buying ‘vintage’ clothes and a 1960’s size 16 measures to today’s size 10/12. People were just smaller just 40 years ago and we’ve all got a bit bigger year after year.


I know I can wear clothes between size 12 and 16, however European clothes in more fashionable brands in S, M and L are all too small. It’s that big British bum of mine that gets in the way of both style and elegance. I’d also like my waist back! I know it’s in there somewhere just waiting 25lbs down the line.


I’m a slim girl who just happens to have too much body fat at the moment. It’s going and I won’t miss it. Size 10, which will still be a curvy size, is in sight and I’m not stopping until I get there. I thought I’d pop in a picture of Marilyn, according to modern day clothing sizes she’s a size zero and still a curvy girl. When they’ve auctioned off some of her famous dresses, they’ve often had a waist size less than 20″. We’ve all got bigger bodies over the years and what was once thought of as curvy is now seen as skinny. I don’t think Marilyn looked skinny, I think she looked fine. 

Over to you Dear Reader, who else thinks clothes sizes are a nonsense and not really an indication of the size we could be for our height? Who thinks a tape measure and body shape is a better guide? It’s a tough old battle this weightloss!

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxx


I am getting there………slowly

Hello Dear Reader,

Somethings take flippin’ ages! Somethings take patience.


I’m not the most patient person but I’m certainly determined. 


If I set a target, then I will get there.


I’m 1.5lbs off my half way target to lose 50lbs in total. That’s 3 stone and 5.5lbs in total in


It’s going to take time. I’m sticking really carefully to 1200 calories a day, 2 litres of water, daily exercise, low carbs, some carb free days and Slimming World’s healthy eating plan. I have good weeks and bad weeks, I have bad days too and I get straight back on it the next meal. That all might sound prissy perfect and in the words of Miss Swift is that the ‘haters gonna hate’ but I know I’ve got to stick at it day after day to get where I need to get.

I have no excuses but a whole load of health reasons why I should reduce my inch- load and feel a lot happier about myself. 

I know it’s going to take time. I know it won’t be easy. I will have weeks when I will fail, lose nothing or even gain but I will pick myself up and get back on with it. I’ll even stick to the healthy eating when I’m on holiday, throughout the summer break and into the autumn. When I reach my target of eleven stone or 150lbs then my next target will be to stay there.

It’s going to be tough but it will be worth it……………eventually! 
Until tomorrow,
Love Froogs xxxxx

Where’s the food Froogs?

Hello Dear Reader,

It’s a busy time of the year for me and it’s easy to let health matters slip. I did, and managed to put on pounds that I didn’t want to so I’m eating nothing more than the steam in the spinach bag at the moment! When  I want to lose weight I reduce my calories to 1200 a day and increase my calorie output to burn it off. It’s simple and successful and I lose 2-5lbs a week. 5 in the first and then it eases off to 2lbs a week. I’ve been inspired by a television programme called “Obese: a year to save my life”. The most inspiring part of the programme is that there are no gimmicks. It’s just exercise and diet! That’s it. Oh, and a life coach who tells them over and over to believe in themselves.

I suppose, by writing this blog, that’s what I do to myself. In ‘therapy’ terms, it’s called ‘positive self talk’. For those of us, and I’m one of them, who need to look after their sense of well being, then it’s essential that I remind myself that I can do it. I’ve been at our local gym every night this week and so far have lost a pound a day. I’ve also not spent any money this week and managed to look after myself well. 

Any way, enough of the gym talk and back to ‘where’s the food Froogs?’

Lots of Aldi natural low fat yoghurt with frozen fruit, that I leave to defrost – cheap and simple. Plenty of salad and steamed vegetables, lots of lean meat and fish and before you ask, I’ve no chance of keeping this to a pound a meal and have upped my food costs to £3 a day. I’m snacking on cheap carrots and I’m steering clear of bread, pasta and potatoes and just eating clean and healthy food. 

I’m on holiday for two week so I will have plenty of cooking, quilting, craft, dressmaking, bag making and walks to share with you. 

Excuse me if I’m quieter than usual but I’m extremely mellowed out from all the exercise! Excuse the lack of food writing and photos but just another photo of salad and a tin of tuna is not very exciting!

Over to you Dear Reader, how do you keep yourself going when times are tough? What message do you give to yourself when you could just give in an either eat, spend, veg out or just sigh?

As always, I’d love to hear from you,

Love Froogs xxx

Sniffing out a bargain.

Hello Dear Reader,

All of the leisure centres in Cornwall are now run by a company called Tempus Leisure. Currently, they are offering a trial of ten consecutive days for £9.99. You can immediately sign up for another ten days if you want to extend the trial. After that, their cheapest membership for the gym, swim and all classes are £38.50. I won’t be signing up for this! I am on Easter holiday from this Friday onwards and would usually drive to Plymouth and back for my daily gym session. I worked it out that it would be cheaper to pay to the use the local facility for the two week duration than it would be to pay for the fuel for a forty mile round trip. I also didn’t want to waste an hour a day in the car.

The offer runs for entire of April so, you would think I would have been able to sign up today in readiness for tomorrow’s offer to get the full benefit. I phoned and told that I could do the ‘fast track gym induction’ there and then if it wasn’t busy. I managed to get there for just after 4pm and the gym was at 10% capacity with gym instructors eating bananas when I got there. No, I couldn’t sign up today, no I couldn’t do the induction today and have booked in for Wednesday. Here’s a brief flavour of the conversation with ‘Mr Gym’. 

“Hi, I would like to book an induction, and then book for the following spin class”
Chap looked me up and down……….drew breath, then said whilst smirking.
“You won’t be able to do the spin class after the induction”
“Oh, is that centre policy?”
“No, the spin class is really intense and you will have just have done the hour’s induction”
“And you point is……………?”
“Well, I’m just saying you won’t be able to do it”

In the interest of my job and that I would not be able to continue with it if I had ‘form’ for ripping his knackers off, I left and made my induction appointments downstairs. Not before asking for the manager and complaining about his ageism. I asked, did he assume a woman of my age does no exercise? Does he assume that he could wear me out with his ‘induction’? Take a look at 87 year old Johanna in her video below…..I would like her to go to the gym and show him how it’s done!

There are draw backs to a ‘local facility’. To start, it’s seen better days and the changing facilities are circa 70’s comprehensive school with communal changing and showers! Also, it could do with a clean………..a good deep clean. If it was optional, gym instructors who judged folk on their levels of fitness after the induction session and not before.

I’m doing you a real favour Dear Reader, if it’s totally rubbish, I will have saved you £9.99 and you won’t have to waste your hard earned money. If it’s great and they do manage to raise my pulse rate then I will also let you know and you can get your trainers on and have a go. Even better, how about coming with me. I’m going to wring that membership for all it’s worth. There are classes every day and I will be going to them………..all of them during my two week break. Kettlebells, body combat, aerobiking, circuit training but I draw the line at Zumba (two left feet). There are loads of classes for parents and children to do together and I shall have a snoop and let you know. 

Tonight, I’m off to try one of their spin classes.(individual payment of £5.20 for this)

Over to you Dear Reader, is fitness affordable? My gym in Plymouth costs £10.99 a month,it’s open 24 a day and it’s huge, spotless and really welcoming. The local facility has classes, a pool steam room ect and would be good value if you used it daily and of course, if you have £38.50 a month. I also looked at the price of swimming lessons for children were £45 for ten half hour sessions that had to be paid for in advance. Is sport and fitness becoming elitist? I’m sure you can share stories of how expensive it is in your area. I know plenty of local people would have no chance of using the centre as it offers no concessions. What do you think? 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Roasted Squash with feta and chilli

Hello Dear Reader,

Who else is tired of the grey skies and lack of daylight. I’m beginning to crave a crisp winter’s day where I can wrap up and walk on the beach before heading off for a coffee from the flask! In this weather, we need to inject as much healthy food and colour into ourselves as possible. We owe it to ourselves to take care of our own health and eating well is essential. I’m not in the position to not be able to choose what I eat so I continue to eat thriftily and frugally for our own budget.

To make this for supper, you will need. (serves 2) – All ingredients are from Aldi.

1 butternut squash, cut length ways and seeds removed – 75p 135 calories each
100g (half a pack) of feta cheese – DB will have the rest for lunch tomorrow and Friday – 65p – 132 calories each. (I had 30g of feta so my calories were 79 – I don’t like it, but men are allowed more calories than women!) 
2 red onions – 20p – 29 calories
1 chilli – seeds and pith removed and finely chopped – 10p
4 cloves of garlic – finely chopped – 4p
6 sprays of olive oil – 3 calories each
1 little gem lettuce – 20p -8 calories each
1/2 punnet of cherry tomatoes – 45p – 25 calories each

Total price £2.47 and £1.24 each – 332 calories each – way better than yesterday!!!!! (279 calories for me)

Here is how I made it:

1. Set the oven to 200
2. Chop and prepare ingredients.
3. Halve and prepare the butternut squash
4. Spray squash with ‘frylight’ and bake for 20 minutes.
5. When squash is soft enough, spoon out flesh and leave to one side
6. ‘fry’ the onions, garlic and chilli – take care not to burn

7. Spoon ingredients back into the butternut squash skin and arrange cubes of feta onto the veggies.
8. Place in the oven.
9. Place the cherry tomatoes on the same baking tray and spray with oil and sprinkle with salt.
10. Bake everything for 10 – 15 minutes.

Serve with lettuce or green beans or any veg. If you wanted to stretch this to hungry people then add spicy rice or chunks of homemade bread. We’re watching the calories so we’ve made this as ‘light’ as possible.

I hope I’m not letting down the frugal faithful. This came to £1.24 per person but everything is fresh. You could save this recipe until you’ve grown some squash, salad and onions or if you see feta on offer. You can buy ‘Greek style’ cheese but I like the genuine Greek cheese which is about 30p a pack more. 

I try to eat significantly fewer calories on two days a week, I don’t consider this to be fasting as I’m still eating. I had a 200g fat free Greek yogurt for breakfast – 110 calories, this for supper and an apple and banana for lunch. It feels like enough food for the day. I’m glad that’s only 2 days a week though. I’m eating healthily on every day but halving my calories on two days a week.

Over to you Dear Reader, who else is cutting their food back for two days a week? Who is watching the calories and trying to eat healthily? Who else is finding it hard to balance eating thriftily and healthily? I find it a juggling act and I wonder who else is finding it difficult?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxxxxxxx

My favourite frugal hobby.

Hello Dear Reader,

I’ll warn you now, I look disgusting in some of the photos. I mouth breath when I run and I could barely breath when I took the photos. I’ve not posed, sucked anything in and I look boss eyed in some of the photos as I could barely hold the camera. In fact, I look bonkers to the point of restraints in some of them. I ran 5K around Siblyback lake. Yes, I did. The woman who was a size 18 in January and could only walk on a treadmill when I started going to the gym can run 5K. 

If any women out there have any concerns about getting out there and running on their own, just remember, most women are harmed or killed by men they know and rarely by strangers. 

Now, I am going to blather on so if you don’t want to hear about my feeling of ‘oh so worthy elation’ stop reading now. If you think that you need to be glamorous or slim, or long legged to go running then run with Froogs and watch me sweat, stumble, run through sheep poop and bullocks and see what I did this morning.

I’ll start with telling you how a beginner approaches a run. I break into chunks. When I run around Plymouth Hoe, I give myself visual targets. Run to the bench, walk to the dustbin, then run to the stop sign and before long. I’ve gone all the way round the route I’ve set myself. I run really slow, I run a mile in ten minutes and I certainly don’t run all the way. In fact, I should say I cover a mile in ten minutes. 

I also don’t like to run with an audience. Infact, I don’t like an audience when I do anything at all! Which is ironic as I’m writing that here but that OK because it’s only me and you! Siblyback lake is on a high point of Bodmin Moor and relatively flat all the way round with just a few inclines. It’s an easy route and a great place for beginners like me. I’ve already discovered that the running and sporty fraternity and a good natured bunch and they will give you a wave, or thumbs up or a cheery ‘keep going, you’ll get there’ as they lapped me! It doesn’t matter to me, I got there…….I ran 5K!

Here’s my first photo and already, I look shocking! No posing, just me taking a quick snap as I went along. It was eight thirty in the morning and with a lot of cloud cover so not too cold. Believe me, I look a lot worse as I went round.

A bit further.

Here’s a visual target I set myself. Run to the trees. When I got there, I realised there was a downward slope and felt really good that I could keep going. It always feels wonderful to beat my own targets. 

 I ran past the geese just bobbing around in the lake.

More of me looking puffed.

 I set myself the target of running all the way through the pines and I did it.

 Almost half way.

Oh Fuck! Who the hell? or What the hell is this – I really can’t breath by now and I’m just panting! I thought of not including this photo or a weird looking Froogs but that’s as bad as it got. I then ran until I met this little guy. As promised, no posing, no sucking anything in……………just me hanging out of my arse!

 Bullocks are like dogs, if you run, they want to run with you. If there are lots, walk calmly through them but you are usually OK if there is just the single stray one. It was quite frightened of me and ran away although I was concerned that it would leap into the water. I just kept running.

 I turned the corners and knew I was nearly there! It’s a great feeling to get all the way round.

Now I’m smiling. I love getting outside. I love the wilder bits of Cornwall that are muddy and real. I love the fact that I can get out and run and it doesn’t cost me anything. I run listening to music and feel elated that I’ve done it. At one stage, I wouldn’t run on my own and now I can I feel I can conquer the world!

Froogs 14 stone and 7lbs May last year!

 This is me when I got home doing the ‘Rocky at the top of the library steps 
dance!” As a point of comparison – the photo above is of me 14.7 stone and size 18 in may last year! I do look different now!

There is nothing like a run on a cold November morning to leave me jumping with joy!

It really is such a wonderful feeling to know that doing something that costs me absolutely nothing makes me so really really happy. It’s one of the many reasons that I’m downsizing so I’ll have more time to get out and about and enjoy doing what I love so much.

I’m going to pack some more boxes today and keep getting ready for my move. My ‘head’ has already moved out of this house and is dreaming of all the freedom and time that a small cottage will bring. 

Ok, over to you Dear Reader. Who’s a runner? Who a slow runner like me but is getting better? Who else is getting fit and loving it? Who else, like me, was bigger earlier this year but has lost it and want to keep it off? Who needs to motivate themselves to get out there and do something about it? If old fat ass thunder thighs Froogs can do it, puffing and panting and going boss eyed, then anyone can!

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxxxx