What To Do With Quark | Slimming World Ideas

Quark… It sounds strange, you have never heard of it before, let alone used it… BUT it’s Syn free on Slimming World and doesn’t count towards your Healthy Extra A. Which means suddenly it’s your best friend! But what on earth do you actually do with it?

In my experience I have found Tesco’s own branded Quark to be the best to cook with or use as dessert. It seems so much creamier and thicker than some other brands I have experienced in the past.

What is Quark? 
Quark is actually classed as a soft cheese. It has such a mild taste that it is perfect for either sweet or savory dishes.

Below are some ideas for using quark:

  • Stir in a sachet of Options hot chocolate, any variety (2 Syns) and a Tsp of Sweetener for a delicious naughty dessert.
  • Add a Tbsp when mashing potatoes to make a creamier mash.
  • Mix with your Healthy Extra A allowance of grated cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to make a delicious Syn free lasagna sauce. Try making our delicious Syn free Butternut squash lasagna.
  • Try making our delicious Syn free homemade mushy peas.
  • Make Cloud bread.. it’s completely Syn free and a great alternative to bread. It works well as a burger bun too. Try our recipe.
  • Mix with a Tsp of sweetener, chopped strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for a delicious dessert.
  • Mix together with a Caramel Options hot chocolate sachet (2 Syns) and a Tsp of Sweetener. Slice a banana into a bowl, crumble a Banoffee Alpen light bar (half Healthy Extra B or 3 Syns) on top and cover in the Quark mixture for a cheeky Banoffee pie.
  • Blitz some smoked salmon trimmings, 1 Tsp Mustard powder, a dash of lemon juice, salt and pepper and add it to some quark. This makes a wonderful dip plate for carrot and celery sticks.
  • Add a 1/2 Tsp of lazy garlic or garlic powder, a sprinkle of chives and some black pepper. You have a wonderful Syn free sour cream alternative for the top of your baked potato.
  • Add a dollop on top of your Chilli con carne as an alternative to soured cream.
  • Mix together with some lean ham, pasta and your Healthy Extra A allowance of cheddar cheese for a Syn free pasta dish.
  • Mix together with 1 crumbled meringue nest (3 Syns), chopped strawberries and Tsp of sweetener for a cheeky Eton mess.
  • Mix with raspberries, 1 Tsp sweetener and your Healthy Extra B allowance of Muesli for a delicious breakfast treat.

Have fun with Quark 🙂 It’s delicious.

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Slimming World On A Budget | How To Save Money

I often see people saying they have to give up Slimming World because it’s costing them too much or they can’t afford to buy fresh healthy food etc. I do agree to some extent.. a pack of chocolate bars is always more expensive than a punnet of Raspberries. A frozen pizza £1… cooking a whole meal from scratch is always going to be more expensive. But the health benefits of changing your lifestyle will be worth it in the long run. So take a look at my Slimming World money saving tips.

Always Write A Weekly Meal Plan (and stick to it……)

This may seem a fairly obvious one.. and it is! It doesn’t take long to work out what you are going to eat each day, it’s the sticking to it that’s the hard part.
The best thing about meal planning is to stop anything you purchase going to waste or going out of date. You will know exactly what to freeze when your shopping arrives. It will also stop you from buying things you simply do not need. Therefore saving money on wastage.
Take a look at my Top meal ideas and Tesco essential weekly shop for ideas.

Shop Online

If you can always do your weekly/monthly food shop online.
The main benefit from this is to stop you from purchasing things you just don’t need. Supermarkets have a great habit of promoting items and making it sound like a good deal when it really isn’t. Temptation when being on a diet is the worst thing!
Shopping online is great because it allows you to shop around and find out who is doing the best deal. Using a site like My Supermarket is brilliant because you can find out what is on offer and where at your fingertips.
I like to change where I shop depending on who has the best offers. I go between Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda and Iceland.
But don’t forget to claim cashback when shopping online.. my favourite is Topcashback.. it saves me £100s a year.

Oh and don’t forget to check out the voucher code websites.. you just never know what is about.

Never Go Shopping On An Empty Stomach

Hitting the aisles or online shopping with a grumbly tummy is never a good idea. The temptation to fill our trolleys with delicious snacks is overwhelming. I always try to do my shop after dinner when I am full to the brim. Believe me it works. This will help you to save money by not buying things you don’t need (and it will help your calorie intake too).

Shop Alone

If it’s possible try to do the shopping alone.. bored children are constant with their “Can I have this” and “Can I have that” which almost guarantees you to spend more money than needed.
Also a partner who is not on a diet or following the Slimming World plan will result in extra snacks and temptation. Shopping alone and sticking to your shopping list will stop you from spending money on things that are not needed.

Buy Non Branded Products

Supermarket’s own brand products are a great way to save money in general.. not just when you are following Slimming World. It is very rare in our house that we will actually buy any branded products. I think the only branded items we do stick to because we prefer them is Frylight and Dairylea. We purchase Tesco’s own brand cola, cereal and bread. It you can look at making even just a few swaps to non branded food you will find you will save money.

Check The Reduced Section

I love a good reduced section in the supermarket.. (but unfortunately that does mean not shopping online).
The fruit and veg area always have reduced items that are still perfectly edible for days. I am often purchasing raspberries that have a week of life left in them at half the cost.
Also reduced meat is brilliant for saving money and putting in the freezer.

Be Meat Savvy

Supermarkets will always charge more for “diced” meat.. always try to buy larger joints or breasts and dice them yourself. Also usually buying in more bulk will save you money and you can freeze meat to use later on.

Don’t Be Ashamed Of Buying Frozen

If I can buy it frozen I will.. Frozen fruit and veg is the best way to save money. 1. Because they are cheap and 2. because you won’t waste them. The amount of times I have thrown out fruit because it’s gone moldy.. that’s literally just money down the drain.

Also don’t forget you can freeze so many things.. one of the things we love to freeze is sliced peppers. Simply slice or dice and pop them into a freezer bag.

Bulk Meals With Speed Foods

Since joining the Slimming World plan I tend to use less and less meat and more vegetables. So for example a Chilli Con Carne will now have a lot more peppers, onion, sometimes even mushrooms and less mince. This will not only save you money but it will save you on calories too. It’s all about speed!

Always Buy In Bulk

I always try to buy the bigger bags of pasta, lentils, couscous, spices etc.. If you have the space to store bulk purchases you will definitely save money in the long run.

I hope this helps to give you some ideas of Slimming World on a budget. I would love to hear others money saving tips.. please feel free to leave them in the comments bow below.

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Tips And Tricks | Sticking To The Slimming World Plan

I am constantly being asked for tips and weight loss ideas. So I thought I would put together a few tips and ideas 🙂 Obviously I am not a Slimming World Consultant, but I have been following Slimming World for over 2 years. Please don’t take my ideas as gospel because I am sure your consultant might tell you otherwise.

  • Make simple swaps:
    For almost every meal I create/cook I am constantly thinking of swapping ideas to save carbs/calories etc.
    Some examples are.. I now always swap tortilla wraps for large lettuce leafs when we have fajitas. It saves me around 128 calories per wrap (or 5 syns).
    Where I can I will always swap some or all of the pasta or rice I would eat. I have chilli on top of cauliflower and carrots which I find just as filling.
  • Give up butter/spreads:
    I would smother toast, sandwiches, hot cross buns, tea cakes etc in butter. I absolutely LOVE the stuff! I know we can syn butter/spread etc but giving it up really helps boost weight loss. Syns can be used better elsewhere (on filling foods instead).
  • Experiment with your food:
    I see so many people posting photos of awful boring meals.. Eating dry chicken and dry potatoes every night is soon going to get boring.. and let’s face it! That is when we end up going off of plan and giving up.. boring diets=failure. I save all of my Slimming World magazines and I follow loads of blogs. So each week I look for new recipe ideas. I actually quite enjoy suggesting things to my husband and him kind of screwing his nose up at it.. but when it is served up to him he loves it (usually).
    The one thing I enjoy doing is thinking of meals that we usually love to eat and then take my time finding a way of creating it “Slimming World” friendly.
    If you LOVE a chinese takeaway.. find a way of making it without going to the takeaway 😉
    You don’t have to be a 5 star chef to experiment with food. I actually think being on Slimming World has made me a better cook.
  • Start a blog or join Instagram:
    When I first stared with Slimming World I started posting all of my meals on Instagram with the hashtag “slimmingworld”. This gained me more and more followers and support so it really spurred me on to lose more weight 🙂 As I became more confident I decided to start this blog. Being a web designer does make things slightly easier.. but there are plenty of free blogging websites out there. For anyone who enjoys writing in a diary it’s perfect.

  • Get yourself a portion plate:
    These portion plates are fantastic.. see listing here. It tells you exactly what portion sizes you would be eating and it really does work.
  • Trim all of the fat:
    When preparing meat always remove all visible fat.. especially from fatty meats like bacon, pork, beef etc.
  • Lose the guilt:
    Life is life and we are only human! Sometimes we have a special celebration or a bad day. Don’t punish yourself for going off of plan. So many times I would go on holiday, go off of plan, come home and just give up! Don’t make yourself feel guilty for having a treat and you will succeed.
  • Always eat breakfast:
    The main idea of Slimming World is to never be hungry.. if your tummy is grumbling all morning how on earth are you going to concentrate? Keeping yourself full will stop you snacking on bad things.
  • Always keep a diary:
    It is so easy to forget a syn you have had in the day time.. at one point I gave up keeping a diary thinking “oh I don’t need it anymore” how wrong i was! I put weight on not realising and sneakily having more and more syns! Always keep track of everything you eat and drink.
  • Keep your fridge full of healthy snacking food:
    If you are anything like me, when I am bored I tend to just stand staring into the fridge! If there is always something healthy and syn free to snack on you won’t end up cheating. I like to keep carrot sticks, raspberries, strawberries and packets of wafer thin chicken for snacking.
  • Exercise:
    Yes I know it sucks! I hate exercising.. but it really does help. Hubby and I joined the gym and most days had to force ourselves to go. But when you see the results it really does spur you on 🙂 Everyone can find something they can enjoy (tolerate) even if it’s just walk to the shop.
  • You can go it alone…
    I don’t attend a group and never have done. I follow Slimming World online. I find that the support I get from my blog and Instagram are enough to support me. I weigh in at home and always log my weight. Anything I need advice on or info on I can find on Google 😉
    If you can’t afford to attend group it doesn’t mean you cannot follow Slimming World.
  • Treat yourself:
    For every stone I lose I treat myself to a Hello Kitty plushie. We all deserve a treat or reward and it really does feel great when you know how hard you work for it.
  • Learn to take a compliment:
    The more weight you lose the more compliments you will receive.. learn to say thank you because it’s the attention that makes you carry on because you know how amazing you look 🙂

  • Measure yourself once a month:
    Weight loss can sometimes be slow with Slimming World, often I will only lose 1lb per week. So measure your bust and waist once a month. You will notice the difference.
  • Drink loads!
    Drink water like there is going to be a drought.. it really does help to fill you up and boost weight loss. Oh and makes your skin look amazing too 🙂
  • Always weight your healthy extras:
    Sometimes we get lazy and think we know what 40g of cereal etc looks like.. always weigh it.. because you might be slowly adding extra everyday and not even realising.
  • Batch cook/prep:
    I don’t often batch cook because myself and hubby usually eat the same things so I don’t mind cooking each night.. but now and then I do cook up huge batches of Spag bol etc. I always find it tastes better when you reheat as well. But I know plenty of people who work long hours and they cannot be bothered to cook a big meal after work so having batch cooked stuff in the freezer to re heat works great for them and stops them being naughty or ordering a takeaway.Just remember this is a marathon.. not a sprint! It may take you a months or years to get to your goal weight. But if you stick with it you will get there. I am still a long long way off reaching mine but I want to enjoy life along the way and not starve myself and be miserable. Stick with it and most importantly be happy!

I would love to hear other people’s tips 🙂 Feel free to leave a comment.

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