Feature: When the jeans don’t fit, follow Sheryl’s lead

A warm welcome to insideMoray for food writer and diet expert Sheryl Macdonald, a native of Lossiemouth who might live in the south these days but has never forgotten her Moray roots!

Jean's struggle sparked Cheryl's move to healthier living
Jeans struggle sparked Cheryl’s move to healthier living

Welcome to my first Inside Moray News column. January is almost over and we are well on our way on to 2016.

Let me introduce myself, I’m Sheryl, a native Moray girl, I was brought up in Lossiemouth.  After trying everything else I decided to join Weight Watchers. I wish someone had told me about it a long time ago. My first reaction was ‘I’m allowed to eat real food!’ Food that I liked, I didn’t need to cook everything from scratch.

I joined Weight Watchers after trying on the biggest size ‘stretchy’ jeans in Primark and they wouldn’t go past my knees. That was the moment I decided ‘no more’ – I have lost six stone with Weight Watchers and have never looked back.

It’s so easy to stick to, when I joined my kids were thee years old and four months old. I thought I was tired because I had kids, this is partly true – mostly, I was tired because I was overweight! My kids are now 10 years old and seven years old – and are loving having a mum who will go the park and run about with them.  More often than not they tell me to sit down and let them have a shot at the slide.

How many of us are sticking to that resolution to lose weight this year? It’s not surprising that many people fall off the wagon. I was one of those people for years saying that would lose weight, I tried everything, every quick fix!

They don’t work because they are not for real life or for lasting weight loss. They do not teach you anything. When a weight loss plan is restrictive ask yourself ‘would you give this to a child?’ Weight Watchers works because we know real life is not perfect, we have a plan to suit you and your lifestyle. It is about REAL food and not substitutes!

We also know that losing weight is always better when you have support, not just at class but throughout the week – so why not join and bring a friend with you? You will both receive £2 off any product in class.

I look forward to supporting you all, telling you all about our best ever plan SmartPoints sharing advice and member success with this monthly column.
Feel free to email me with any weight loss questions at smacdonald@weight-watchers.co.uk.

For all your local classes in Moray visit www.weightwatcherslocal.co.uk.

Weight Loss is 10% food 90% mental attitude!

Quick Chicken Pasta

250g White pasta, dry, tagliatelle
6 Spring Onions, finely sliced
Courgette, chopped
200g Green Beans, sliced
200g Quark
125ml Skimmed Milk
1 clove Garlic, crushed
10 sprigs Parsley, fresh, chopped
300g Chicken breast, skinless, grilled, sliced

chicken pasta

Put the tagliatelle in the saucepan, cover with plenty of boiling water from the kettle and cook for eight minutes.

Add the spring onions, courgettes and green beans to the tagliatelle after it has cooked for eight minutes. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the pasta is tender.

Stir the quark and milk together, using a whisk or wooden spoon to give a smooth mixture, then snip in about half the parsley using a pair of scissors. Season with black pepper and stir well. Slice the chicken thinly.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid from the pasta, then drain the tagliatelle and vegetables in the colander. Return them to the saucepan with the reserved cooking liquid. Stir in the cheese mixture and sliced chicken. Heat gently for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. then serve each portion on a warmed plate, snipping the rest of the parsley over the top, and season with a little extra black pepper.

Chocolate Cherry Pudding

225g Cherries
2 tablespoons Artificial Sweetener
1 teaspoons Cornflour, blended with 1 tbsp cold water
100 g Quark
2 tablespoons Skimmed Milk
1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
For the chocolate sauce:
25 g Dark Chocolate, dark, broken into pieces
1 teaspoons (heaped) Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
1/2 teaspoons Cornflour, blended with 1/2 tbsp cold water
1 tablespoons Golden Syrup, Golden Syrup

chocolate cherry pud

Reserve 4 cherries for decoration, then halve and pit the rest. Put them into a small saucepan with 50ml water and 1 tbsp sweetener. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Stir in the cornflour and cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Stir occasionally. Beat the Quark, milk, vanilla extract and remaining sweetener together until smooth.

Make the chocolate sauce by putting the chocolate, cocoa powder, blended cornflour and syrup into a small saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly until smooth and blended. Allow to cool for a few minutes, stirring to prevent a skin from forming

Spoon the cherries, chocolate sauce and Quark mixture into small serving glasses. Finish off each one with a cherry, then chill until ready to serve.