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Christmas ...

So.. T'is the season etc etc.. and its all about celebrating... So... are we going to lose the run of ourselves? just leave it and start again in January - sure isn't that what resolutions are all about? feck the scales.. and sure won't that leader just throw her eyes to heaven in dismay with all the drinkies we've been having over the last couple of weeks... its suppose to be a magical time but it can really leave you frazzled! So here's some tips to help you through...

Use a little care and planning so when you hop onto the scales in January you will still be celebrating!

If you're going to a buffet, plan to have a low pro-point day, before you go out have some ZERO PP soup or vegetable curry and when you get there go for the colourful things, salad, prawns, ham, chicken, beetroot - you'll have a massive plateful for very few points...

Realise its only one day.. the shops open again on the 27th... you're not feeding the french foreign legion! Make a list and stick to it! Otherwise you're left with a house full of tempting food!!!

Organise your surroundings... Buy foods like chocolate as close to Christmas as you can! A gal in our class bought the selection boxes in October and has already polished off three that were "hidden" from her children!

Eat plenty of fruit, salad, salmon and of course turkey! Christmas dinner is actually quite healthy, its just all the excess and over indulgence...

For the Nigellas out there... make your white sauces with skimmed milk..

Make some time for you.. its a mini break for everyone.. and having treats doesn't mean food! Relax with some "me" time have a long soak, try out your new make-up, do a mini manicure, you never know who might pop by!

Don't have your trigger foods in the house! If you know you won't sleep because there's a bag of Pringles in the cupboard screaming your name DON'T BUY THEM! If they're not in the house you can't be tempted!

If you're tracking - stick your tracker on the fridge in case you suffer "food amnesia" - it happens at this time of year!

and if you DO indulge, remember you're only human and tomorrow is another day, a longer walk and police your portion control between the parties does the trick..
Don't feel guilty... just get up.. walk out the door and keep going for 10 mins.. you have to turn around to come home again but there's your 20 mins done! Drag you're loved ones along with you and enjoy the fresh air!

And have a very happy Christmas ... Doll x

PPPOTD - Holidays are comin'... holidays are comin' ...

Actually, it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or fourteenth... George Burns

It's coming... there's no stopping it and it's been there since the little people went back to school in September! Yep.. Christmas... There's tinsel in tesco and both the Coke and Guinness ad have aired on the tellybox .. it's here.. like it or lump it! And... that means PARTY time! Which in camp Doll is drinkies... hey its Ireland I'm contractually obliged with the DNA I've got! BUT lets remember how calorie laden those bottles of fun are!

I was recently sent a sample of a yummy new vodka called Gecko.. Now this is one of those flavoured Vodkas so if you're not a vodka kid or indeed are a bit of purist then .. look away... The sweet caramel flavour is YUMMY.. and those who know me as a hardened gin drinker I may have been converted! This bottle was shared at the launch of my new kitchen, yep THAT'S why I've been missing.. my house is FULL of builders and dust.. yes laydeeezzzz... BOB-el-Builder is in possession of my kitchen and living room! *keep the wolf whistles down please!* This does mean however that recipes shall commence shortly in FULL force! stay tuned! I digress..

I tried this vodka neat, and with ice and a pal tried it over ice cream.. you heard me... and its delish... market wise its being positioned as tasty alternative to Tequila/Sambuca, its a definite yes for those with a sweet tooth...

Here's the lowdown on it..

Per 35 ml shot = 3 PP
Calories (kcal)78
Energy (kj) 288
Fats 0 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Protein 0 g

Check it out if you see it for sure!

For the rest of you... the definitive Christmas list is below.. go easy on it.. remember its empty calories.. and age means that the hangovers last ever longer... sigh.. as the ad says.. Drink Sensibly kids... Doll x

On the tiles...
Bacardi Breezer per bottle = 4pp
Baileys per 50ml = 6pp
Bulmers Light per 330ml bottle = 4pp
Champagne 750ml = 20 pp
Coors light per bottle = 4pp
Cider sweet per pint = 8pp
Cider dry per pint = 7pp
Guinness per pint = 6 pp
Heineken per 330ml bottle = 5 pp
Kopperburg cider per bottle = 8 pp
Lager per pint = 6 pp
Lager per bottle (330ml) = 3 pp
Lager Low alcohol per bottle = 1pp
Magners/Bulmers Light Cider 330ml bottle = 4 pp
Magners/Bulmers Light Cider 500ml can = 6 pp
Miller per 330ml bottle = 5pp
Port per 50ml = 3pp
Spirits (Vodka, brandy, gin, rum whiskey) per 35ml (Irish pub measure) = 3pp
Sherry per 50ml = 2pp
Schnappes per 35ml = 4pp
WeightWatchers wine per 125ml = 3 pp
West Coast Cooler 250ml = 5 pp
West Coast Cooler 750ml = 14 pp

WINE - per 750ml
Red wine = 19 pp
White wine dry = 18 pp
Rose = 19 pp
White medium = 20 pp
White sparkling = 19 pp
White sweet = 25 pp

Bloody Mary = 4 pp
Sex on the Beach = 8 pp
Strawberry Daiquiri = 4 pp
Pina Colada = 6 pp
Cosmo = 6 pp
Vodka Tonic = 3 pp
Manhattan = 8 pp
Screwdriver = 5 pp
Frozen Mudslide = 11 pp
G&T = 4 pp
Jack & coke = 4 pp
Mai Tai = 10 pp
Rum & coke = 4 pp
Mojito = 6 pp
Martini = 6 pp
White Russian = 7 pp
Bloody Mary = 4 pp
Margarita = 6 pp
Frozen Daiquiri = 4 pp
Long Island Ice Tea = 7 pp

On the wagon...
Aldi Low Cal Hot Chocolate = 1 pp
Apple juice, 1 glass 100ml = 1 pp
Cadburys Highlights sachet = 1 pp
Capri Sun Orange = 2 pp
Cola regular, 330ml can = 4 pp
Cola diet = 0 pp
Cranberry juice, 1 glass 100ml = 2 pp
Drinking chocolate, 1 tbsp = 2 pp
(brands to vary so please check)
Orange juice, unsweetened, 100ml glass = 1 pp
Red Bull 250ml can = 3 pp
Red Bull Sugar Free 250ml can = 0 pp
Tea, all types = 0 pp
Tomato juice, 100ml glass = 0 pp
Tonic water, 250ml = 2 pp


los amigos son besos que nos mandan los angeles
friends are kisses sent to us by the angels

Now that the Rugby World Cup is over normal services can resume! Yep for those who didn't know "My names Doll and I'm a rugger gal" .. altogether now.. "Hi Doll!" So for the last 6 weeks or so I've made arch enemies of the English, Italians, Scots, Russians and many many more.. for those 80 mins on the field! Still its all over now and we're all friends again.. see where I'm going with this one..

Today, amigos, we're going mexican! I LOVE mexican food.. burritos, tacos, nachos.. I could drool forever but the "cheese factor" and the "sour cream factor" SIGH! and I've found some great recipes for Guacamole which I've added here that have ALL the flavour but are ProPoint friendly!

First up the recipes -

On the WW UK site there is a yummy version of Mexican Soup! just try it!!! its delicious! > HERE

For guacamole I've found two recipes that hit the spot...
One again from the WW UK site > HERE

And the other from a blog I love.. > HERE it's SERIOUSLY full of flavour! NOM! NOM! NOM!

Tips when dining as a Mexican...
Sour Cream is LOADED with ProPoints, go for Creme Fraiche or natural yoghurt to give you that creamy fix... Don't be too heavy handed with the cheese.. there are lighter, low fat cheeses to use so if you're cooking, then you're shopping, so go lighter.. Lots of veggies are great for wraps and tacos so bulk up on the zero ProPoint stuff.. and .. I keep saying it.. SPICES.. adding all kinds of spices will give you your fix!

I've ProPointed the most popular brand in my local supermarket to give you an idea of what the values are.. enjoy amigos.. Doll x

Chunky Salsa 3 Tbsp - 1 ProPoint

Enchilada Sauce, total for jar - 8 ProPoints

Chilli con Carne sauce total for jar - 6 ProPoints

Cheese Enchiladas per portion - 4 ProPoints

Roast Tomato Fajitas per fajita - 4 ProPoints (this includes salsa, mix & tortilla only)

Crispy Chicken Fajitas per fajita - 5 ProPoints (this includes salsa, mix & tortilla only)

BBQ Fajitas per fajita - 4 ProPoints (this includes salsa, mix and tortilla only)

Mild Fajitas per fajita - 4 ProPoints (this includes salsa, mix & tortilla only)

Nachos 1/4 of the pack - 9 ProPoints

Flour Tortillas

Corn Tortillas per wrap small - 4 ProPoints

Salsa Tortillas per wrap large - 6 ProPoints

Flour Tortillas per wrap large - 5 ProPoints

Taco Shells per shell - 2 ProPoints

Let there be soup...

"Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish, game or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two pennyworth of beautiful soup?"
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

OK.. its said at nearly EVERY meeting .. I'm always asked about how I make mine.. yep.. its the infamous Zero ProPoint SOUP! People can tire of it so quickly.. but as the saying goes.. Variety... spice of life... etc! So here are some of the things I add and do to make my soup a little different each time!

One of the best and yummiest things I discovered in the early soup making days was that roasting the veg before I made the soup made a MASSIVE difference to the flavours! It's very easy to just add a few tins of tomatoes, chuck in some veg and boil the bejesus out of it .. but by roasting your veg you can flavour them from the off.. its all about the marinating!

And we all know most vegs can be used... and the combination of these will also alter the taste and texture of your soup... My staples are peppers, onions, garlic, celery, tomato's, courgettes and mushrooms.. all free and filling... occasionally I add carrots or whatever else looks like its not going to make it to the end of the week .. it's all good! And vegs that don't like roasting are added at the stock stage.. mangetout.. peas.. sweetcorn.. whatever floats your boat!

Spray your tin with oil... chop up your veg to be roughly the same size.. you're going to be blending it at the end, there's no extra points for being fancy!

Then the fun stuff .. add your flavours.. everything from teriaki to soy to Worcestershire sauce is fair game..

I regularly add a teaspoon of honey to the mix to make them sweeten up a little.. this works very well when roasting garlic! (a recent pressie of fancy honey with ginger is lush!)...

Worcestershire sauce will "beef up" most dishes.. if you're craving that "oxtail" meaty taste...

Herbs and spices are you best friends.. and don't be afraid to try something new.. Chinese five spice is AMAZING if you've got bell peppers and onions.. smoked paprika is yummy with mushrooms & garlic .. check out the spice rack in your local supermarket..

or if you're lucky enough to have a weekly farmers market .. then fresh herbs are even better... thyme with a chick stock base is like roast dinner in a bowl! There are also some fancy seasonings out there at the moment.. my latest addiction is chilli salt! (for someone who never puts salt on her food I'm lashing this into most of my dishes instead of the regular stuff! delish!)

Once your veg is nicely roasted.. try not to get them too overdone as they can get a little bitter.. into your saucepan..

... add your tinned tomatoes to bulk it out.. .

... then add stock..

again there's LOTS to choose from .. your basic chicken cubes to bullion stock cubes which are gorgeous and very full of flavour!

Home made stock is, of course, a must if you have it.. but there are other little tricks to try here.. adding a cuppa soup .. stick with me.. and then add water can give you the creaminess that you might be looking for especially if you're making a mushroom based soup.. its the cream that makes it so yum! you can also get this from fromage frais or cream cheese (side note - this makes its harder to keep.. and freeze!) but at 2PP for the Lidl cream cheese you can lash in half the tub and it makes all the difference.. another discovery... don't judge me here..

is chicken bovril.. its something I bought when I was poorly and its been looking back at me from the cupboard ever since.. not any more! It adds a great chicken flavour to the stock and its 0 PP so you'll save points if you don't use a stock cube... (gwan.. now you can have a roll!) TIP: its quite a strong flavour so a teaspoon can be more than enough

Once you're got your stock to simmer.. if your veg have been roasted it's a VERY quick process... if you're boiling from the start you're looking at an hour... then its time to blend..

again .. if you're tired of the "SAME OLD SOUP" then take out half, blend and add back the pot.. it'll give you a more stew like substance and you feel like its something new! Portion out into single portions and freeze .. easy peasy! I got 8 dinner (rad BIG!) portions out of this pot!

Zero ProPoint soup is a god send.. to take it out of the freezer in the morning and have it waiting when you get home, can save you from the bread/biscuit/cake tin! And with autumn here, there are some lovely veg in season! Experiment and try things out.. it works! Once you have the base sorted .. you can add all you like.. ham.. parmesan cheese.. the worlds your oyster! Just don't forget to point them!

A final addition which I heard from a member at the meeting.. if she had left over sweet potato or butternut squash mash.. she would put a scoop in the bowl before adding her soup.. she's my new hero!!! Seriously try it!

Now.. no more of this "soup is boring" talk.. I won't have it! Doll x

I'm a celebrity...

Fame will go by and, so long, I've had you, fame. If it goes by, I've always known it was fickle. So at least it's something I experience, but that's not where I live.
Marilyn Monroe

no really.. I am!!! well "celebrity" might be pushing it a bit to be fair but I'm in with the fashion gurus!!! and compared to some of those "celebs" on TV I reckon I'm more famous than they are!

Check me out on Squidgy's fashion blog!

This gal knows a thing or two about what not to wear... our very own gokette! She asked me to do a guest piece for her fashion blog and I jumped at it.. (a blog where I don't have my ProPoint calculator out!!!) ... by writing what I've learned about dressing for your shape.. and having been several shapes on the way to goal, I'm talking from experience! Enjoy and follow this lady, she's a keeper on the blog circuit! AND follow her on twitter... she is fabulous! @SquidgeMundo

Yours fashionably
Doll x

PS: Normal service will now resume!

PPPOTD - to dunk or not to dunk ... ?

But with dogs, we do have “bad dog.” Bad dog exists. “Bad dog! Bad dog! Stole a biscuit, bad dog!” The dog is saying, “Who are you to judge me? You human beings who’ve had genocide, war against people of different creeds, colors, religions, and I stole a biscuit?! Is that a crime? People of the world!”
“Well, if you put it that way, I think you’ve got a point. Have another biscuit, sorry.” ~ Eddie Izzard

They are a huge temptation to many... and the fact that they arrive in a packet means once they're opened you can hear them screaming from the kitchen.. yep.. biscuits! Those harmless little discs of sugar coated in chocolate that visitors always seem to bring! They eat a couple then LEAVE them in your home.. and you don't want to be opening your weight watchers biccys... how inferior would they feel!! (save 'em for the tele later!)

So here are some of the regular dunkers that are out there... this selection is from Aldi.. and there's a list of all-time classics too! oh and I had a request to do a little explanation as to how the "half" points work for certain foods below.. Now... Kettle on.. Doll x

Bourbon Creams are 2 ProPoints each

Aldi fruits biscuits are 2 ProPoints each

Kimberleys are 2 ProPoints each

Giner nuts are 1 ProPoint each

Tesco digestive biscuit - 2 PP
Tesco rich tea biscuit - 1 PP
Mikado biscuits - 1 PP
Cadbury Chocolate Fingers 1 PP
Digestive – 2 PP
Digestive, Chocolate, Milk or Plain – 2 PP
Digestive, Low Fat – 2 PP
Garibaldi – 1 PP
Gingernut – 1 PP
Malted Milk – 1 PP
Rich Tea – 1 PP
Rich Tea, Low Fat – 1 PP
Water Biscuit – 1 PP
Jaffa Cake – 1 PP
Custard Cream – 2 PP
Tesco Light Choices Wheat Biscuits – 3 PP
Coconut Creams – 1 PP
McVite’s Gold Biscuit Bar – 3 PP
Cadbury Crunchie Biscuits – 2 PP
Cadbury Caramel Biscuits – 2 PP
Jacob’s Lincoln – 1 PP
Jacob’s Marietta – 1 PP
Jacob’s Polo – 1 PP
Jacob’s Lemon Puff – 2 PP
Weight Watchers mini cookies 1 bag - 2 PP
Cadbury Animal biscuits and mini party rings per bag - 3 PP
Choc Kimberley - 3 PP
Sainsbury's Rich Tea Fingers - 1 PP

1 digestive biscuit is 2 ProPoints, but 2 biscuits are ProPoints
1 choc digestive biscuit is also 2 ProPoints but 2 biscuits are ProPoints
(it's all to do with rounding and no half points any more!)

Here comes the science bit..

ProPoints values are rounded to the nearest whole number using standard rounding rules (.5000 and above rounds up).
For example, if the nutritional information for the food or drink is fed through our calculation and it comes out as:
1.4 - it is rounded down to 1 ProPoints value1.5 - it is rounded up to 2 ProPoints values
This means that you may find simply doubling the ProPoints value of one small portion, does not equal the ProPoints value of a larger portion. 

Look at these examples:• ¼ pint (142ml) of skimmed milk is 1 ProPoints value, whilst ½ pint (284ml) is 3 ProPoints values • 1 crumpet (60g) is 2 ProPoints values, whilst 2 crumpets (80g) are 5 ProPoints values. • 1 digestive biscuit (13g) is 2 ProPoints values, whilst 2 digestive biscuits (26g) are 3 ProPoints values.
Sometimes, the rounding effect does not make a difference to the total ProPoints values, for example:• 1 medium egg (45g) is 2 ProPoints values, and 2 medium eggs (90g) are 4 ProPoints values. Make any sense... carry on! x

PPPOTD - Push up bras...

As a savoury gal, crisps are my favourite things on the planet! Cheese n' onion! Salt n' vinegar... Balsamic vinegar... buffalo.. I swear I'm salivating as I type... They are my ProPoint downfall... I could live in Cadburys and not be bothered by the rivers of chocolate... but put me in the Walkers factory and you would never see me again! (If I go missing you know where I am!)

I do have tactics to distract me from them.. hummus and crackers, Vegemite and melba toasts.. Laughing cow dunkits... and these tricks do work but there are just times when the crunch and the flavour make me grab a bag...

WW sent me these to try out and report back (note - I didn't share these like the crossiants!) ... Chicken Flavour crisps.. they are very nice! Quite moreish so a six pack might not be the way forward .. but they will be available at meetings too.. so you can grab a bag and not feel so guilty.. considering most of the nice crisps (and you know the ones I mean!) are at lest 5 or 6 ProPoints .. these are quite a saving at 2 ProPoints per bag...

Although as with all good crisps... when you open the bag its half full! Now I know how guys feel about push-up bras!!!

Doll x

PPPOTD - Bonjour!

"Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me." Audrey Hepburn


It's one of the things we only dare to dream about when pointing food.. CAKES and PASTRIES ... sigh.. I could torture myself but its Friday... wine day! WW HQ sent me these little darlings! Now as I'm a savoury gal.. I really didn't think I could do them much justice so I enlisted the boys and gals in the office.. croissants just remind me of butter... SIGH... so for the morning coffee round I heated them up and they LOVED them... Comments included "you'd never know they were WW" and "there's loads of chocolate" so at 5 ProPoints each for those who love em.. they are worth the investment... Considering your average croissant in Starbucks is 13 pp... They come as a pack of 4, the only downside I could see was they weren't individually wrapped.. in Doll-land that means open season! I mean they could go stale before my very eyes... Considering the competition (below!), if you really love 'em.. you can have 'em!

Pain Au Chocolat

Starbucks - 8 PP
Cafe Nero - 7 PP
Co-op - 6 PP
Asda - 5 PP

Croissant - 6 PP
Sainsbury’s Be Good To Yourself All Butter Croissants - 4 PP
Cafe Nero - 10 PP
Pret a manger - 10 PP
Starbucks - 13 PP

PPPOTD - Say Cheese!!!

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. - Clifton Fadiman

Its the one thing we ALL love but its one of the first foods to hit the "I can't eat that anymore" list! Cheese.... mmmmmm.... Being a savoury kinda gal I struggle with cheese... its a great love of mine... goats, brie, cheddar ... SIGH... I do still eat it albeit a little less often now as I'm of the school of thought, that a little of what you love is a good thing.... I'd rather use the Propoints and enjoy my food rather than be a grumpy little sod! Plus its always when you can't have something, you want it even more!

Often though I get caught out at lunch time... and don't want to use my ProPoints on the extravagance of cheese.. and when you're on the go its processed cheese or nothing to be honest.. cheese snobs look away now, but the processed cheeses are actually coming on in leaps and bounds and some are quite tasty! They are a great way to flavour food too, the Laughing Cow lights are particularly nice on pita bread and grilled as mini pizzas with loads of roast veg on top ... For those of you with little people in the house, cheese is one of the best ways of getting calcium in to them and you... plus they're portion sizes are smaller.. so you can have your fix without going overboard... It doesn't have to be all or nothing! Doll x

Cheesestrings - 2 ProPoints per portion

Cheesestrings Minis - 1 ProPoint per 10g portion

Cheesestrings Spaghetti - 2 ProPoints per 21g portion

Dairylea Dunkers - 3 ProPoints per tub

Laughing Cow Cheez Dippers - 3 ProPoints per tub

Laughing Cow - Light - 1 ProPoint per 2 portions

Laughing Cow - regular - 1 ProPoint per portion

Laughing Cow - Xtra Light - 1 ProPoint per 3 portions

Low Low Chunky Triangles - 1 ProPoint per portion

Low Low Chunky Triangles with ham - 1 ProPoint per portion

Charleville Wedges - 1 ProPoint per portion

Charleville Spreadable - 1 ProPoint per 20g portion

Charleville Spreadable with Ham - 1 ProPoint per 20g portion

Low Low Spreadable - 1 ProPoint per 20g serving
(This also comes in a Cracked Black Pepper Flavour for the same ProPoints)

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