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All posts for the month September, 2010

Weight Loss Journey – Day 2 of Jenny Craig’s food

Published September 25, 2010 by Mary Jane

Anyways, I have survived my first day of Jenny Craig food and I was really surprised these frozen food actually don’t taste too bad. The other plus thing is they actually make me quite full – I don’t know how cos some of the portion size is quite small. Anyways, onto the 2nd day…I was starting to have some hope of the food.

For brekkie, flakes, fruits & fibre and you can serve it in a non fat milk – I didn’t have any non fat milk so I substituted with rice milk which had the lowest calories compare to other milk I have in my fridge..

For afternoon snack I had some Chocolate Caramel Crisp – that was quite yummy – tasted like chocolate and caramel flavoured rice bubbles..

As for lunch, it was ham, cheese and tomato Jaffle – I’ve never had a jaffle before so I was excited for my lunch meal. When I took it out to microwave it – it reminds me of my failed looking cotton cake hehehe. Looks kinda spongy and cute. It was quite yummy – I love ham and cheese…I served it with some blanched cabbage and cauliflower rather than the garden salad.


As for dinner, it was chicken fettuccine. I microwaved this one – and I think I might have over microwaved it – cos it turned out a little dry – not much sauce, but the flavour was still quite good.

Overall, I was happy with my meal today – it made me full and not hungry and in between I had some fruits and No fat yoghurt for snacks. The No fat yoghurt was yucky as I have imagined, I needed some flavouring in them so I chopped myself some bananas and pop them into my yoghurt which made it edible 🙂

Also, in order to speed up my weight losing process – I’ve decided to head back to the gym and made it for 60 minutes betweeen the treadmill & nautical ride. Very proud of myself.

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Restaurant Review – Hu Tong Dumpling Bar (Melbourne)

Published September 25, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hello bloggy friends, hope this post finds you well. I won’t be able to post every day as I’m back to being an office worker again and this time the job requires me to stare intensely at these huge data on the computer which is starting to give me headaches, so when I get home the last thing I want to do is staring at the computer. Anyways, this particular restaurant was recommended by my cousin – he has dined at this restaurant for a few times and he recommends their dumplings there. Now as most of you would know I love my dumplings and are always trying different restaurant to find some good dumplings.

Now when you walk into the restaurant you can spot some people making dumplings at the glass window near the kitchen, I guess this add a little bit of special touch to the restaurant..

As for drinks I felt like some nice cold soya bean drink, when it arrived I was surprised it came in a bottle and not freshly made soya bean. A little disappointed the best they can do is serve it in a glass that way I probably won’t know it’s bottled.

For mains we decided to share a few dishes, there were 3 of us. So we went for Shanghainese dumplings – they are one of my favourite dumplings. When it came out it looks great, the dumplings were nicely folded and you can see the skin is quite thin not doughy and there’s definitely some soup inside it.

Then we decided to have their wontons in sauce – when it arrived, the presentation was good, but the taste was only ok. It was over powered by the vinegar sauce, I don’t really like the taste of vinegar in my dishes. Actually I don’t like vinegar full stop. So this dish was average.

Then we had some stir fried greens to make things more healthy. The vegies were nicely done, not overcooked just right.

The next dish was some crispy ducks – it was quite flavoursome except I think they might have overcooked it, the duck was slightly dry – so this dish was only ok.

Our last dish was pan fried dumplings, when it arrived the presentation was great, you can see a crispy layer of golden skin around the dumplings and the dumpling dough is not thick. I liked this dish and I think they’ve done well

As for dessert, I decided to order the red bean pancake, you would think after all those dumplings the last thing I want to have for my dessert is something floury. hehehe

The red bean pancake was quite yummy, it’s got a crispy skin on the outside and warm red bean filling on the inside. This dish was a winner.

So overall, we’ve had some good and average dishes – I think the next time I’m there I would definitely try other dishes as a comparison.

Here’s my rating:

Dining experience: 4 star
Food experience: 3.5 star – due to a few average dishes
Would I recommend? Probably – need to try out other dishes to compare.

Weight Loss Journey – My first day of Jenny Craig Food…

Published September 22, 2010 by Mary Jane

Well, today is my first day of Jenny Craig meal. I woke up this morning, excited to try out the food like a curious cat. For brekkie it was nut and chew muesli bar. How weird to have a muesli bar for brekkie and I had it with a cup of herbal tea (no sugar!)

The flavour of the muesli bar is quite nice, except it takes ages for me to chew them into bits…and my jaw was hurting. I guess that’s how they make you eat less, I was getting pretty tired chewing these things. It was quite filling though.

Then I decided to hit the gym and when I got home, I was still pretty full so I had a look it was time for snack – berries with low fat yoghurt. I didnt have them and since I wasn’t hungry I decided to skip snack and then it was lunch time. Broccoli and cheese baked potato. To be honest when I checked it out I was like it’s such a small portion it will never fill me up – should have op for some snack first. Anyways, I heated it up in the microwave and it smelt ok..

Surprisingly the frozen lunch tasted pretty good. Guess what I was starting to feel full – I couldn’t believe it, maybe it’s that secret ingredient they put in to make you feel full. This dish isn’t too bad at all and I didn’t even serve with garden salad, I was pretty full.

Then for snacks I had some nashi pear at a friend’s house and when I got home for my afternoon snack I had a banana. Then it was dinner time…very excited – beef Lasagna – I love meat so was looking forward to it..

I decided to bake my beef lasagna in the oven, I don’t want to microwave my food all the time and when it came out of the oven it smelt so good. I served it with some blanched bok choy and cauliflower. The beef lasagna was a decent portion and I was full after finishing off. Okies, I have one more snack to go which is a pavlova with strawberries – I realised I should have defrost it in the fridge overnight otherwise it takes an hour to defrost or thaw, I couldn’t wait so I ate it straight out of the freezer. To be honest – I’m not a pavlova person it was too sweet for me even though the strawberries were really sour. Overall, I find the dessert to be not so nice – but I finished it off anyways 🙂 So there’s a little cross for the pavlova. Otherwise, I’m happy with the Lunch and dinner meal…

So the verdict for me, I do feel fuller and I haven’t been wanting to snack at all which is great. I went and bought some fresh fruits, vegies and No fat yoghurt which I’ll try out for tomorrow. My Jenny Craig consultant rang me in the arvo to check how I was going and I said ok. She even asked me what I had for my brekkie and lunch – I think she wanted to check whether I did eat my food heheheh cheeky and so I felt at least she cared a little. Thank to Meg for supporting me over facebook chat – I have a saturday eat out coming up and I have a feeling I’m going to be tempted by food!!!

Restaurant Review – Caffe Moretti (Melbourne)

Published September 22, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, well I have survived my first day of Jenny Craig food. Yay 🙂 I’m very proud of myself even though I was tempted by some yummy spanish and chinese food when I met up with my friend. I resisted the temptation and it worked! Yay 🙂

Anyways, this particular restaurant was recommended by my sister in law. They have been there a few times and have had quite good food over there. We decided to try out dinner there one night. I was curious to find out whether the restaurant was owned by Italian or whether the chef was Italian. Then, I took a peek inside the kitchen and to my surprise it was all Asians. I was a little disappointed as I was expecting some Italian chefs. Nevermind, let’s hope their Italian version of food is good…

It was rather packed that night, this restaurant seemed really popular. Anyways, we decided to share a few of yummy mains. There was pizza, gnocchi, calamari, and slow cooked pork belly with vegies.

Pizza

Pizza

The pizza was fantastic, generous in the filling and very tasty – they have certainly done well for the pizza – good on you Italian trained Asians…

gnocchi

gnocchi

The gnocchi was also nicely done, very soft and it melts in your mouth. I really liked the gnocchi and the sauce was really creamy and lovely – yum…

Calamari

Calamari

The Calamari was a little disappointing as you can tell straight away the calamari was a little white and it wasn’t deep fried to golden brown. When I tasted the calamari it didn’t have much flavour into it.

Slow cooked pork belly

Slow cooked pork belly

Slow cooked pork belly was disappointing too, it was tender and soft but it had that strong porky taste which puts me off. The crackling wasn’t crispy – I prefer crispy crackling rather than soft and tender fatty crackling. It had enough gravy but the porky taste was just too strong for my liking.

Then it was dessert time…

Bread & butter pudding

Bread & butter pudding

The bread and butter pudding looked really nice, and as I’ve never had one before I was hoping to try it. I was picturing the bread and butter pudding melts in your mouth but it seemed a little hard in texture, compact and quite dense. I’m not sure whether it’s suppose to taste this way. But the flavour is quite nice.

Panacotta

Panacotta

The panacotta was ok, wasn’t fantastic – it was a little grainy to my liking and it didn’t have that wobbly texture…and it didn’t taste that nice with that raspberry jelly.

then there was coffee with a nice “M” pattern on top…that’s nice…

The other time we decided to take away some desserts – and they were fantastic..a variety of small desserts – lemon tart, profiterole, chocolate eclairs and little meringue tart.

Overall, the mains were quite nice and the dessert wasn’t crash hot but our previous take away desserts were divine 🙂 The Asian chefs have done well, just need to improve on the Calamari and pork belly and it’s all good. Here’s my rating:

Dining Experience: 4 star
Food Experience: 4 star
Would I recommend? Yes!

Weight Loss Journey – Jenny Craig comes to the rescue

Published September 21, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hello Bloggy friends, as I’ve mentioned that I’ve been really slack with my weight loss journey and haven’t been back to the gym for a few weeks 😦 so I thought to myself it was time that I get professional help. I remember my work colleague used to share with me she was on Jenny Craig before – I couldn’t believe it cos she looks so skinny but she used to weigh the same as me, now she has successfully kept the weight off for 3 years. So there’s hope for me. I went online and research between Jenny Craig and Lite and easy but I ended up choosing Jenny Craig – cos it seemed more personal to me and there’s more support. They even have a form for you online to submit details and they’ll ring you back within 24hours. I got my calls straight away that time, I said to them “Wow you guys are quick!”

Anyways, was quite curious as to see whether they could convince me joining – cos I’m quite skeptical when it comes to food & meal plans dieting. But what have I got to lose? I was early as I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning and decided to go there afterwards. When I arrived the reception person greeted me with a smile “you must be Maryann” and I said “yes, sorry I’m abit early”. “That’s ok, your consultant will be with you shortly” so I waited for a little bit and then my consultant took me to the consulting room. She sat down and ask me a range of different questions. I was straight forward to her and said look I am a bit skeptical and didn’t think this is going to work for me. As I have to cook for Pandabear and I’ll be tempted to have my Jenny Craig food as well as Pandabear’s food. Usually when we eat out, I’m the one who finishes his left overs. She had a little laugh, probably thinking that’s why you’re fat hehehe

Anyways, she went through the plan with me. They had a special on $10 for 10kg membership fee for trial and you pay for the food. I was trying to negotiate with her to give me a 5 day meal plan so I can have 2 days of eating out. Very naughty, she said to me – in order to be more effective you should start with 7 day meal plan but if you ever need to eat out just let us know and we’ll cancel either dinner or lunch meal for the day that way you are still eating Jenny craig meal. Then I remembered I had a holiday booked overseas in October, so I was contemplating whether I should join after the holidays – that way I can pig out overseas. She said to me, I think you should join now since you’re planning to pig out overseas for your holidays. hehehehe yeah that’s true, that way I can try to lose some kg and gain some back. She laughed…by now she’s probably thinking this girl is never going to lose weight. Then she asked me are you serious about losing weight. I gave her a serious look – Yes, I am. Maybe she thought I wasn’t taking it serious enough. So she weighed me and I was surprised, I actually lost 3kg – yay 🙂 I couldn’t believe it. All that gym work has paid off some how despite me constantly eating away.

She also took a photo of me – I hate photos! Front profile and side profile. Argh!!! She said it’ll be a motivation for me to look at when I start to lose weight. Then she weighed around my waist, bust, and hip and recorded them down. I’ve decided I’m going to join, it’s now or never. So she packed me my weekly supplies of meals – brekkie, lunch and dinner and some snacks. I’m allowed to have fresh vegies, fruits and supply my own milk. Other than that I have to stick to the meals provided.

frozen meals

frozen meals

I went home carting 2 large bags worth of food. They divided the frozen food in one bag and the snacks and brekkie dry food in another bag. So when I got home I said to Pandabear “surprise! I have signed up with Jenny Craig” he rushed to the table from the bed and said what did you get and how much you paid for? I said to him “around $150 today, includes food and $10 membership fee” for 7 days. He was like that’s expensive!! I’m like not really, if its going to make me lose weight it aint expensive at all. So I carefully unpack my frozen meals. To be honest when I saw those frozen meals I was thinking to myself, the portion size is miserably small – it aint going to fill me up and it’s frozen food – I hate frozen food they taste yucky…but I must try it out first…

Brekkie & snacks

Brekkie & snacks

Then it was the snacks…hehehe they even supplied me with some multivitamins which is pretty considerate at least they cared about my nutrition or maybe the frozen meals and snacks aint enough so that’s why they need to give me multivitamins. Oh well, I’ll just take them as I go.

Meal plan roster & Journal

Meal plan roster & Journal

I was also given a meal plan roster to follow for the 7 days and a copy of the journal for me to record my eating habits and goals. I was really excited as with all new things. So I asked the consultant – do I start today, but I already had my brekkie. She said “no you start tomorrow” and then I meet up with her in a weeks time for a consultation to see how I’m coping. Sounds great, at least I’ll be held accountable for my eating and there’s another person out there supporting my weight loss journey. So since today is my last supper, I decided to indulge and spoil myself – I know I’m bad. For lunch I had left over large piece of cottage pie – Pandabear was like that’s a huge piece and for dinner I was craving for KFC so Pandabear and I went and grabbed an All star box – I know…but the good thing was I substituted my chips for coleslaw. That made me feel a little better at least I’m having some vegies hehehehe…

KFC

KFC

Man, the KFC tasted good but the after effects – I felt a little sick it was way too oily and I was greedy for getting the All star box – it came with everything…oh well, it’ll be my last KFC meal for a while…

So tomorrow is the day and I hope I’ll keep to the food plan!

Jamie’s Cook Book Challenge – Fifteen Chocolate Brownies

Published September 21, 2010 by Mary Jane

Well, I haven’t been doing my Jamie’s Cook Book Challenge lately – been feeling not so motivated..so I thought I’ll start baking random stuff and when I get bored of that I’ll come back to Jamie’s cook book. So I’m back on it again 🙂

This time, its a dessert recipe – chocolate brownies, I’ve baked them once before and my recollection of them is that it’s rock hard!! So I thought to myself, I shall try these chocolate brownies.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Melting the butter & chocolate

Melting the butter & chocolate

I love the bit of melting the butter and chocolate in my big bowl over some simmer water – this sure is a fattening recipe. Just watching the butter and chocolate melting is quite entertaining…

Silky smooth brownie mixture

Silky smooth brownie mixture

then it was time to add in all the dry ingredients, nuts – I substituted it with pistachio nuts as I had some in my pantry. Sugar – loads of it I thought I must have read the recipe wrong a whopping 350g worth of sugar…that’s heaps!!! Then followed by flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and eggs. Jamie said it should look silky after you have mixed it. Mine do look silky and oily and maybe glossy…

It was the most easiest dessert I’ve ever made, it took less than 1/2 hour for me to whip up the brownies. Most of the time was watching it bake in the oven and wait for it to cool down so I can slice them into squares..Jamie told me that make sure I don’t over bake them, they still need to be gooey inside and crispy on the outside.

I poked it with my metal skewer and it was still sticky inside, and pulled it out and rest in the tray until it cools down and gently move it to a chopping board. It was sure springy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

I took a slice of it and it was delicious though it felt as if my teeth are falling off. A little too sweet for my liking – sorry Jamie I just think there’s too much sugar. I’m a savoury girl not a sweet tooth! It was still warm when I had it and the gooeyness of the chocolate is just devine 🙂

cook book challenge success? Yes!

Comfort Food Recipe – Cottage Pie or Shepherds Pie

Published September 21, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, hope this post finds you well. Wow, I had an eventful day. Went to the doctor followed by a visit to Jenny Craig. I know you heard me, Jenny Craig – it’s crazy, I can’t believe it I actually made an appointment to see them today. Anyways, stay tuned for my full post on Jenny Craig. Here’s a real easy simple lazy person’s recipe..Cottage pie or shepherds pie. I had loads of potatoes left and they were starting to go off, so I thought to myself it’s time to make a cottage pie or shepherds pie.

Cottage Pie or Shepherds pie

Ingredients

5-6 potatoes
1 carrot
1 cup of frozen peas
1 tin can of tomatoes
1 packet of Masterfood’s cottage pie recipe base
400g of beef mince
1 tablespoon of milk
1 tablespoon of butter
some slices of cheese

Instructions

1. Dice the potatoes and carrots and pop them in a pot of boiling water until they are tender. Set the carrots aside. Mash the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and add in butter and milk.

2. brown the beef mince in a pan and add in frozen peas, add in the recipe base and a tin of tomatoes. Simmer slowly until it’s all well-combined.

3. Grab a loaf tin or square pan and fill it with the beef mince mixture, top up with the mash potatoes and the carrots and spread some cheddar cheese in my case I didn’t have any so I substitute with plastic cheese – works just as well. Then pop it in the oven for about 25 minutes on 180 degrees or until the cheese melts and mash potatoes looks golden brown and crispy.

Enjoy…

Ingredients

Ingredients