Disqus for Where Are My Knees

LowLow - Ad Gal

Thursday, 30 May 2013

What is it with food ads aimed at women? Why do they bombard us with clichés? Why do they presume that all women have a negative relationship with food? LowLow have had enough and it's their mission to support and encourage women everywhere to have a healthy relationship with food.

The company have released a seriously funny parody advert which takes aim at the three female stereotypes, Smug Gal, Ditzy Gal and Muffin Gal, usually portrayed in diet food advertising. You know the ones; they’re usually dancing around in a red swimsuit, struggling to zip up their jeans or pretending to enjoy eating a dry rice cake. Take a look:

What do you think? I had certainly had a good chuckle.

LowLow don’t believe that anyone should have to sacrifice feeling good for looking good so all of their products contain at least 33% less fat than regular cheese which fits in naturally with a healthy and balanced lifestyle. I'm already a big fan of their cheese slices (just 1 ProPoint each!) and use them in toasties every week but I wanted to try their cheddar spread in a recipe and see if I could get that cheesy taste but for less points. I headed to their facebook page for inspiration and found some great recpies, I decided to try the following:

Spring Vegetable Risotto with LowLow
Serves 4

What you’ll need:

125g LowLow Mature Cheddar Spread
300g risotto rice
200g spears of asparagus, spears trimmed at an angle
250g small (frozen) peas
2 tbsp olive oil / low cal spray
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1.5l vegetable stock (hot)
3 spring onions, finely chopped
20g fresh chives, finely snipped

I used half the amount of cheese, peas and oil and added peppers and carrots to bulk the meal out and it came in at just 9 ProPoints on the Weight Watchers plan. So tasty and the cheese made it feel very indulgent. I wouldn't scrimp as much on the cheese next time and add an extra 4 ProPoints worth to the whole lot which would take the total per portion up to 10 ProPoints.

What to do:

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy based saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 3-5 mins until they are soft. Remove and set aside. Stir in the rice so it becomes coated with oil.

2. Pour in half of the stock and stir. Cook stirring regularly until the stock is absorbed. Then pour in half the remaining stock. Repeat this process until the stock is used up and the rice is tender all the way through.

3. Stir in the LowLow Mature Cheddar Spread, asparagus, peas and spring onions. Cook for a further 3 or 4 mins until the vegetables are heated through but are not too soft. Serve immediately and sprinkle with chives.

If you want to try making this risotto yourself then leave a comment (with a contact email address) below letting us know what you think about the advert and one winner will be chosen at random (8pm,20.6.13) to recieve some LowLow vouchers. Simple!

P.S. you can also follow us on twitter and bloglovin

What I Ate Wednesday: (A Day In The Life of Weight Watchers by Gemma) #8

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

2 Weetabix - 3 ProPoints
Artificial sweetener - 0 ProPoints
Skimmed milk - 3 ProPoints (some for my tea later on)
Banana and a handful of blueberries - 0 ProPoints


Weight Watchers Bagel - 4 points
ASDA Lighter cream cheese - 1 point
Smoked Salmon  -  2 points
Frazzles  - 3 points
Weight Watcher yogurt - 1 ProPoint

Afternoon snack

Pineapple - O ProPoints
Nature Valley bar - 5 ProPoints


Irish Beef Stew - 6 ProPoints + extra 1 point of potato (recipe here)

Evening treat
Asda crumpet and low sugar jam  - 3 ProPoints

32/32 ProPoints

You can see all my other food diary posts here and head to Peas & Crayons for hundreds of food diary posts as part of #WIAW

P.S. you can also follow us on twitter and bloglovin

What I Ate Wednesday: (A Day In The Life of Weight Watchers by Gemma) #7

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

I'm always really surprised when I do these kinds of posts about the amount I get to eat on the Weight Watchers plan. I'm eating more protein at the moment because I've started to work out most evenings at the gym so I'm trying to fit in more eggs, cheese, chicken, bean and beef. This is what I ate on a typical working day:


Weight Watchers Sausages - 3 ProPoints
Egg - 2 Pro Points
Flora Light - 1 ProPoint
Weight Watchers bread  - 1 ProPoint
Banana - O ProPoints

Break time snack
Skimmed milk for tea (x3 cups) - 1 ProPoint
Bar - 2 ProPoints


Weight Watchers Bagel - 4 points
ASDA Lighter cream cheese - 1 point
Smoked Salmon  -  2 points
  Orange - 0 points
Monster Munch  - 3 points

M&S Steak and Sauce - 6 ProPoints
M&S wedges - 4 ProPoints
Roasted Peppers and onions, tender stem broccoli - O ProPoints
FryLight - 1 ProPoint

Evening snack
Muller Light Greek style lemon yogurt 1ProPoint

Total -32/32 ProPoints

You can see all my other food diary posts here.

P.S. you can also follow us on twitter and bloglovin

Reward a runner

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Recently, M&M Direct got in touch with Where Are My Knees about their 'Reward a Runner' campaign.  The campaign has actually closed now, but they were hosting it on their Facebook page and getting people to nominate marathon runners they knew that deserved some new running gear.  With all the marathons going on around the country, as well as the countless 5ks and 10ks, I think it was a great idea and it was nice to see the people who push themselves to achieve amazing things in their running (and often raising money for charity whilst they're at it) getting some recognition.

In case you're not familiar with M&M Direct, they sell branded menswear and womenswear at bargainous prices and they also have a great Sports Shop section.  Personally I don't like to spend masses of money on sportswear but I do need something to wear whilst running that's going to keep me comfortable and isn't going to fall apart after a few washes, so M&M Direct are perfect for me.

M&M Direct kindly offered to send me a £50 voucher to get myself some new running gear and help celebrate marathon running season.  Personally I'm not running any marathons this year (I only started running last year and am still building my stamina) but I am running the National Lottery Anniversary Run in July - five miles around Olympic Park and into the Olympic Stadium.  I'm currently running about 3-5 times a week to try and keep my fitness up, so new gear was most welcome!

I took these photos pre-runs this weekend so please excuse my make-up-less face!

My first pick was these Brooks Running Tights* (£9.99).  I won't wear shorts until it really warms up so these are perfect for my morning runs.  My top is non-branded and my trainers are Saucony (in case you were wondering!)

For slightly warmer days I picked up these Elle Capri Pants* (£16.99).  On Saturday it was a bit warmer so I went out in my Nike Drifit vest.

The final thing I got was a Shock Absorber Sports Bra* (£14.99) I will spare you the trauma of showing you a photo of me wearing it but what I will say is that it's an amazing bargain - it's one of the newer designs that can sell for in excess of £30 so £14.99 is a great price.  No excuses for not having a good-quality, supportive sports bra when they're that cheap!

Of course the final addition to your running gear wardrobe is a good set of trainers and they have a great footwear range that's also worth checking out.  Where do you buy your gym gear? Do you hunt for bargains or do you tend to buy more expensive sportswear?

Butternut Squash & Feta Lasagne

Friday, 3 May 2013

I had this plan last weekend to make a big lasagne, as I had extra lean mince in the freezer to use up. So I went to Lidl to get ingredients, whereby I remembered that I had forgotten to get said mince out of the freezer. So... vegetarian lasagne it is!

I found various recipes online (there's even an old one on this blog!) and sort of combined them all to create some kind of SUPER LASAGNE. It was pretty hard to mess up, to be honest, because all the ingredients are really tasty by themselves, so together they are AWESOME. This was so tasty, and because butternut squash is the basis and it's crazy filling, it was ridiculously low in points. Unbelievably, if you did all the things I've listed below to reduce points, you could get it down to 5PP a portion. It's a bit impossible, really.

Serves 4 to 6, depending on how hungry you are. It's pretty filling though!

Butternut Squash & Feta Lasagne
8 x Dry Lasagne sheets - 15pp
125g Lidl Light Mozzarella - 5pp
200g Feta Cheese - 15pp
1 x can Campbell's Mushroom Soup - 4pp
15g Parmesan Cheese - 2pp
1 x Butternut squash
200g Spinach
2 x Leeks
1 x Pepper
4 x Portobello Mushrooms
4 x Garlic Cloves

=41PP / 7PP per portion

To reduce points - Use less lasagne, or less cheese. You wouldn't miss 2 of the lasagne sheets (having 6 rather than 8), half the feta, or the parmesan. But it's nicer with them all, obviously.

1 - Peel and chop up the butternut squash.
2 - This is harder than it sounds! If you can get a pre-cut butternut squash, do. Chopping butternut squash is the worst. It's easier to cut if it's cooked first, which is what I did, but it was also kind of a bugger to peel that way. In short, butternut squash is difficult. But so tasty!
3 - Put the chopped butternut squash in a roasting tin and spray liberally with FryLight. Sprinkle with dried rosemary, salt and pepper and chuck some crushed garlic on, too. Roast in a 200c oven for about 25mins.
4 - Whilst the butternut squash is cooking, prepare everything else.
5 - Wash your leeks, mushrooms and pepper and chop them up into nice chunky chunks. Dry-fry in a frying pan or wok with the rest of the crushed garlic cloves until softened - 10 mins or so should do it.
6 - Remove the vegetables from the pan and put in your spinach. Cook with the lid on for about 5 minutes until it wilts.
7 - When your squash is done, you're ready to assemble. Make sure to leave the oven on as you'll need it to cook the lasagne! You can assemble your lasagne any way you want, but this is how I did it:
8 - Put about half of it into the bottom of your lasagne dish and over that, put about half of the leek/mushroom/pepper mixture.
9 - Lay 3 or 4 lasagne sheets over that and then put all the spinach over them, making sure they are evenly spread and more or less cover the surface of the lasagne sheets.
10 - Over the spinach spoon the remainder of the vegetable mix, then the remainder of the squash.

11 - Chop up your feta and sprinkle the lot over the top of your squash.
12 - Cover with 3 or 4 lasagne sheets.
13 - Over them spoon the can of mushroom soup and make sure the lasagne sheets are all covered.
NB: You can use any white sauce here. Mushroom soup is really easy and low fat, and I love the flavour. If you use something different just account for it in your points.
14 - Tear up your mozzarella and sprinkle over the lasagne sheets, then sprinkle the parmesan over that.
15 - Pop your pan in the oven - heavy, ain't it - and cook for 20-30 mins at 200c.
16 - Get it out, serve it quickly, eat it all up. I've eaten it four days running this week and I'm not even remotely sick of it because it's AWESOME.
17 - NB: This freezes really well.

EDIT: I made this again for the second time and I changed a few things:
1 - Used 6 lasagne sheets instead of 8. This cut it to 6PP a portion and it was just as filling. And I didn't have to compromise on cheese! Also it made it easier to cut into 6 as I had dividers!
2 - I found a great tip online to cut butternut squash easily. Pop it on a microwavable plate, pierce it a few times all over and microwave for 3 minutes. It will be much easier to peel and cut after this - genius! It meant I could chop it all up before roasting it.
3 - I roasted the squash in the lasagne pan rather than an oven tray. Saves washing up!
4 - I added a little water to the bottom of the lasagne pan after adding the first layer of veg. Just enough to give a thin covering - half a glass, maybe quarter of a glass? This was just to ensure it wasn't dry and it really wasn't.
5 - I shared it! I gave a portion to Sha and she (and her other half) loved it. Hooray!

If you want to make this or any of my recipes and have any questions, the quickest way to get a response is to tweet me @essbeevee :)  

P.S. you can also follow us on twitter and bloglovin

Gym For The Win?

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Hi there everyone,

First off, apologies for my silence recently; I've been in the shed, practicing my fighting.

I kid, of course - I've actually been eating Pic 'n' Mix and playing video games, because apparently I'm 12 years old. I don't even have a shed - although I have started going to Boxercise.

Anyway. I've been working on something super-secret with my pals at MoneySupermarket.com over the last few weeks, and today I want to present to you my secret project - click the great big banner below and read all about it!

Exciting, huh?

If you couldn't be bothered clicking on the picture of the nice lady doing the side raises above, then I'll explain what we're doing below:

Basically, we're offering bloggers the opportunity to try out their local gym for a whole month for free, in order to see whether or not they'd be interested in keeping it up after the thirty days are over - and to write about their experiences!

I feel pretty strongly about this - as some of you may know, I spend more time at the gym than I do at home now, but less than a year ago I didn't see the point in spending £30 or more every month - so far as I was concerned, I could do all my keep fit on my bike - but if I were to have a change in circumstance my gym membership would be the last thing to go, even after things like sweets.

And I LOVE sweets.

If you want to get involved, then click the image above or simply email competitions@moneysupermarket.com - it's dead easy, and the window to sign up lasts all the way through May.

Feel free to share this with any other blogger pals you might have - from experience the gym is a lot more fun if you have someone you know to keep you motivated and to call you names if you try and give up - just ask my friend Owain. The first 200 people are guaranteed to get their month's membership paid for - so don't delay!