Tub on the Run


Slimming World Friendly Lasagne

When Matt and I used to do Slimming World, one of our favourite meals was Slimming World friendly lasagne. While I am not eating pasta or dairy right now, Matt is, and he asked if I could make a lasagne for him. I had written up the recipe on my old blog, so I thought it would be a good chance to refresh it (and put some pictures with it! The last post had a picture of the cat in it… As you do).

We always used the parmesan as our Healthy Extra A (30g is your HEA), but other than that, I am pretty sure this is a syn free recipe (I only say “pretty sure” as it has been a while since I did Slimming World).

Slimming World Lasagne - Beyond the Sofa


  • 500g extra lean mince beef
  • 1 onion, diced (red or white – doesn’t matter)
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 4 grated carrots (squeeze the extra juice out)
  • 1 carton of passata (390g)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 gloves of garlic, minced
  • Splash of Worcester sauce
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • Lasagne sheets
  • 500g tub of fat free cottage cheese
  • 3 or 4 tbsp fat free natural yogurt
  • 120g parmesan cheese (grated)

Lasagne Ingredients


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°c, then get chopping/grating.
  2. In a large saucepan, fry off the mince beef (you don’t need to add any oil) and add the onions in (I love that smell!).
  3. Once browned, add in the veg. You can add whatever you like to get your superfree in, but I would suggest grating it so you don’t end up munching through whole pieces of carrot. Cook the veggies until they’ve softened a little.
  4. Add the passata and chopped tomatoes.  Mix well, and add any seasonings (paprika, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce). Taste for seasoning, and adjust to suit your tastes.
  5. Depending on how many layers you like, spoon some mixture into the lasagne dish, and layer the lasagne sheets.
  6. Add roughly half the pot of cottage cheese (sounds weird I know, but it works!), then layer up with the lasagne then mince again.
  7. When you’ve added the last layer of lasagne sheet, spread the rest of the cottage cheese over the top. Pad out the cottage cheese on top with a couple of dollops of yogurt, before sprinking the parmesan over.
  8. Pop the lasagne on the middle shelf in the oven, and about half an hour later, hey presto, there’s your lasagne!

This makes 4 very generous portions if you’re super hungry. For this one, I’ve actually cut it in half again so it’s a better sized portion. The leftover portions have now been popped into the freezer – instant ready meals!

Bon appetit!


Butternut Squash and Smoked Garlic Risotto

I don’t often post a recipe, but this one is worth it!  I was kindly sent a smoked garlic bulb as part of my Foodie Penpals package last month, so I went on an internet surf for a recipe.  I came across a butternut squash and smoked garlic risotto.  I included it on the meal plan for the week, and I looked forward to it all day today!

Get ready for Hurricane Tub to hit the kitchen!  Honestly, it looks like a whirlwind passed through when I cook (it’s worse when I bake though).

Without further ado…

Butternut Squash and Roast Garlic Risotto

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of smoked garlic (or 3 teaspoons Very Lazy Smoked Garlic)
½ medium sized butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm cubes (about 375g)
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
325g risotto rice
150ml dry white wine (1 of the small bottles)
100g rounds goats’ cheese (original recipe called for 200g, but we found 100g was enough)
125g baby leaf spinach (we used two balls of frozen chopped spinach)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large saucepan (or a wok), heat the oil, then stir in the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onion has softened.
  2. Stir in the butternut squash and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until starting to brown. Add 4 tablespoons of the stock, cover the pan for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the wine and cook for 2-3 minutes until absorbed. Stir in the stock, a reasonable splash at a time, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed (be prepared for this to get quite heavy!)
  4. Roughly chop the cheese and stir in to the rice.  Season well. If more liquid is required stir in hot water. The risotto is ready, when the butternut squash and rice grains are tender.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach. Serve immediately.  If you opened for the extra cheese, top the risotto with cheese slices and freshly ground black pepper.


et voilà!

Butternut Squash and Roast Garlic Risotto

According to My Fitness Pal, per portion it is 512 kcal, 86g carbs, 10g fat, 14g protein and 11g sugar.  In Slimming World syns, I have calculated it to be 7 syns per portion  (4 syns for 25g soft goat’s cheese, 1.5 syns for the olive oil, 1.5 syns for the white wine – dry).

It makes up 4 generous (and incredibly tasty) portions.  We have it again for lunch tomorrow!

Meanwhile… I have a pretend cassoulet in the oven for tomorrow’s tea.  How organised am I!



Giving up Slimming World (for the time being)

I had a great long post dedicated to this, and having reviewed it, it sounded incredibly negative, which wasn’t really my intention.

In short, I have decided to take a couple of months off Slimming World.  That doesn’t mean that I am going to live on KFC and coke for the next couple of months, but I am struggling to commit to my group sessions.  I like to stay to the group part as I like the social aspect of it (plus, £4.95 for just weighing in?  I can do that at home for free!).  I have an incredibly busy few weeks (maybe months?) at work, and my mileage is cranking up on the half marathon plan, and to be completely honest, I don’t feel like I have enough mental capacity to deal with how I feel after weighing in (it hasn’t been great lately).  Therefore, I have decided to have a breather away from it for a short period of time.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was meant to go out for a run tonight, but I have bowed to Mother Nature on this one.  The wind is probably the worst I have heard it since we moved into our flat 4 years ago, and knowing my luck, I’d be running into a headwind all the way, and I definitely don’t fancy a sea shower again!  Just to give you an idea, here is a video of the weather yesterday (when the winds weren’t as strong as today!):

Yep… I am not aerodynamic enough to face this kind of weather!



Janathon Day 14: Are we nearly there yet?

As I started on the downhill slope to home time, the usual demons started up…

“you don’t want to go out for a run… It’s dark, cold and wet”

I will freely admit that I agreed with my little demon.  It is dark, cold and wet.  I won’t lie – I considered not going out.  Then some synapse fired and reminded me that it is less than 7 weeks to Silverstone Half Marathon, and every little piece of training helps.

I’d considered nipping in to the gym.  It was only meant to be two miles, which is just about bearable on the treadmill.  But no.  I decided to go around the marina, which isn’t a route I usually do.  I thought perhaps the change of scenery would be helpful.

Out of the house I ventured.  Into drizzle, wind and cold I stepped, and of course, my Garmin took a little longer to lock.  Not my best start.  Once the planets had aligned and the Garmin locked on, I started off.  Or rather, I attempted to get the two lumps of concrete attached to my hips moving.  It was unsuccessful.  Ok… Maybe I’ll feel better when I get into it.  After all, I have been harbouring intentions towards trying my hand at lamppost intervals.  I tried a couple of lamppost intervals.  Nope.  Not working.  Ok… Maybe back to familiar territory?  I headed back towards the trainline.  Still nothing.

I never regret going out for a run, despite all my whinging about it beforehand, but I came very close to regretting today’s attempt.

14th Jan Run

I aborted the run as I was becoming progressively more miserable.

Tuesday nights are Slimming World weigh in nights, and I pootled off, convinced that I would have put weight on.  Upon arrival, I took my jacket off, and H (who helps out at Slimming World), pointed out that I had a rather unfortunate wet patch across my chest.  Yep, it looked like I had some pretty spectacular boob sweat going on.  Delightful.  It would appear that my waterproof jacket that I wear for running is not as waterproof as I give it credit for.  Fortunately, I maintained my weight this week, so I didn’t quite put the cherry of a weight gain on what was turning into a rubbish evening.

I got to thinking why my run was so awful today, and I suspect it could be one or a combination of the following:

  • I need to buy a new sports bra.  I had bounce, and bounce is not good.  I need strapping in, and firmly.
  • I haven’t had that much in the way of protein.  I didn’t have much after my long run and I have been sore.  I know that if I eat more protein, I am generally a happier (and less stiff) bunny.
  • I am tired.  A lot of things feel like a chore at the moment, and those things are less physically demanding than running.
  • My legs are physically tired.  Yes, probably they are.  My shins are a bit sore, right ankle isn’t happy and my left knee is joining in the chorus of niggles.
  • Not eating close enough to a run.  I hadn’t eaten anything for nearly 6 hours before I went out (and even then, it was hardly a nutritious meal – a stuffing baguette and Diet Coke).

Four miles are on the card tomorrow.  My plan?  Wear my other bra, bed early tonight, eat something at about 4:30pm and start feeding myself with proper food instead of rubbish.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings!


New Year’s Resolutions

Right now, I don’t actually mind the term “New Year’s Resolutions”.  Ultimately, I see it is something to work on in the longer term, call it a goal, an aim, a resolution.  I haven’t always felt so, but I think some goal setting would be helpful for me.  Having had the last week off work has done wonders for reducing my stress levels and clearing my mind of some of the incessant chatter and clutter.

So what and why?

  • First thing’s first, complete Janathon

I attempted Juneathon (unsurprisingly back in June) and gave up because of a foot problem (excuses, excuses).  Janathon is “the colder brother of Juneathon”.  Want to know more?  Visit the website – http://www.janathon.com/.  This also helps work towards blogging more regularly.  When I first started blogging, I was quite good at posting regularly, but things tailed off a bit.  I’m not entirely sure why, as I enjoy writing and blogging.


  • Improve my Slimming World consistency

I have hardly been consistent this year.  In fact, I have managed to start seeing my weight increase steadily since the wedding – something that I need to nip in the bud quickly.

Weight Chart 2013

Part and parcel of this is managing stress better.  I promised myself that I would be significantly slimmer by the time my birthday came around, and I must work on that now.  I’d also like to break my 10 week weight loss streak.  I’ve tried enlisting the help of others by way of challenges, but this hasn’t really worked, so I need to remember that this is my battle.

  • Get my 5k PB down to 35 minutes, and my 10k time down to 75 minutes

I am pleased with my efforts so far this year, but I would like to get my times down.  I have no idea how achievable any of that is for me, and the numbers are plucked out of thin air.



(Thank you photo-fit.net for letting me use the photo)

  • Complete Silverstone Half Marathon

I don’t think I have yet mentioned this on the blog, and I’ve hardly mentioned it to anyone outside of the blog, but I have signed up for the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon.  I want to see if I can do it.  I don’t know if I can, but I am going to try.  It seemed a good half for me to try, as I know Silverstone very well, so I know what to expect (strong, cold winds, some hills that don’t look that steep, but can be).  I’ve started the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Novice 1 plan, and I need to get better at sticking to the plan.

Half Mara Logo

  • Keep up regular yoga practice

Yoga keeps my mind from whizzing around at a rate of knots, and I always feel better for having spent even just 15 minutes doing some stretching in the quiet.

  • Declutter!

Declutter is for lots of things.  Whether that is the flat, some unhealthy relationships, work, whatever – it needs decluttering.

  • Celebrate progress!

Whatever progress looks like, whether it is a running win, a weight loss success, work-related or just something else.  I spend a lot of time in 2013 feeding the demons and not looking for the silver linings, so in 2014, I will be trying to turn the tables on this.

Well that’s me set for 2014, what are you looking for this year?


Happy New Year’s Eve! Tub’s 2013 Round Up

Good bye 2013!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Tub on the Run is nearly a year old, so first up – thank you for dropping by, whether regularly or as a one off – I didn’t think anyone would read my ramblings!  2013 has been probably one of the most stressful but most rewarding years of my living memory, and thankfully, is one that is filled with many good memories.

January 2013 also saw me start Couch to 5k, which I later completed in the Spring.  Those first few runs were tough, but I enjoyed seeing the progress I made.

My first ever run on Couch to 5k - just an idea of how wet and windy it was!

My first ever run on Couch to 5k – just an idea of how wet and windy it was!

May saw me go for my first parkrun at Killerton – a beautiful setting for a 5k run on a Saturday morning.  While I have done less than I would like, I have enjoyed each run and getting to meet Sharon from Shazruns in real life has been great (though admittedly, 2013 has not seen us actually manage to grab a cuppa together!).  I was slow, and I am still slow, but I enjoy the fresh air in the morning, and I have had the chance to meet some lovely people that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

Out on my first parkrun

Out on my first parkrun

September gave me the opportunity to run in a different country.  M and I joined his mother and stepfather for their wedding in Cyprus.  The weather was beautiful, but it was definitely early morning runs only.  I only managed the one run, but I enjoyed the experience nonetheless.  After all, it isn’t every day that you encounter mountain goats on your run!

Our Cypriot holiday

Our Cypriot holiday

October was marked by my hen do.  I still cannot thank my sister enough for organising such an amazing day.  It was absolutely perfect, and not a penis straw in sight!

Segway - I don't think I was being told off, but it looks like it!

Segway – I don’t think I was being told off, but it looks like it!

November was huge.  Like massive.  I married the love of my life and had the most beautiful day with our nearest and dearest.  We enjoyed a week off after the wedding, and headed to Sheffield and Cardiff to get away for a couple of days.  I returned to a promotion, which has been deeply rewarding and challenging all at the same time.

Walking up the aisle

December has continued to be challenging in terms of work, but I had a great achievement in terms of completing my first ever 10k race.


Weight loss wise, I have not lost as much as I would have liked, but I have lost what I deserved to lose – the amount of effort I have put in has yielded the result I have got.  While I am still at a net loss, and my first 10 weeks of the year showed weekly losses, getting to 15st 11.5lbs, my lack of consistency has seen a gain.

In terms of marshalling (motorsport), it has been a quiet year for us, which has been nice on one hand (we’re not gallivanting off to different counties every other weekend), but I have missed it.

Disclaimer - no dummies were hurt in this scenario exercise From the "spectator's"  point of view

Disclaimer – no dummies were hurt in this scenario exercise
From the “spectator’s” point of view

Overall, 2013 has been a good year, and I am looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings.


So, about Weston Christmas Cracker…

I have been considering not running the Weston Christmas Cracker 10k.  My inner critic reasoned that I wouldn’t be able to run it as only fit people can run it, and besides, what with working my old job and my new job, I haven’t had the mental capacity to add running into the mix (running takes a huge amount of mental effort for me).  All very true.  I haven’t been out, and I failed to follow my Hal Higdon 10k plan.  I’ve managed to get to 4 miles.  Additionally, the inner critic reminded me that I am heavier than I probably should be for my joints, and running is high impact of course.

Then, with some blue sky thinking, I remind myself that regardless of the time I do, it will be a personal best.  It is the only time I’ll be able to do it without failing (unless I fail to finish, but then there will always be another day).  Yeah, I am heavier than recommended, but I have been through my entire “running career”, and the few extra pounds (ok, extra stone), is still one stone less than when I started Couch to 5k in January.  Yes, there is a reasonable chance that I could come last, but someone does have to come last.  If that person is me, then it is me.  I am pretty sure that they don’t shoot the last person back.  Plus, I paid to enter (as is the custom with these kinds of things), and what a waste of money if I don’t do it.  Additionally, I have been severely mince pie deprived so far this year, and this is one of the only acceptable ways that I can have a mince pie (I’m sure it will taste better than all other mince pies by the time I get to the finish line!).  Of course, it’s also “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

Having done battled with my inner voices (though I do promise I am not entirely mad), I have convinced myself to do it.  There are aspects that I am not looking forward to.  Specifically, I am not looking forward to my mother-in-law cheering on father-in-law (who will make it home sub-45 mins) and then hanging around waiting for me to come back and have a lot of faux praise.  All I want to see at the end is a mince pie the face of my husband, who will have really understood what an accomplishment it will have been for me.

Mince pies for Fetcham Park

Mince pies for Fetcham Park (Photo credit: ayca13)

I’m trying to work out what is best to take with me.  I have my usual running kit, but what should I take in addition?  I am thinking some food, warm clothes, clean socks, knickers and a bra, deodorant, hairbrush.  All tips welcome!

In other news, I weighed in today, and maintained over the two weeks.  Hurrah!  That is quite good.  Friday involved a delicious three course Thai meal for my Mum’s work’s Christmas Party.  I also drank quite a lot (for me).  Perhaps the yoga yesterday helped, or the 2 mile run today.  Who knows.


It is easier to keep going

I’ve had a lovely chilled out day today.  I didn’t get out of bed until mid morning, and slept straight through, so I figured I needed it.  When I finally dragged myself out of bed, I started looking at the 10k plan, where I am meant to be on Week 5, and I am meant to have increased my mileage, week on week, at a steady pace.  With the wedding and all, I grossly overestimated how busy (and tired) I would be, and it is safe to say that I am quite a few weeks behind.  Having already completed Week 4 in a previous attempt (before the summer hit), I thought the scheduled 4.5 miles of Week 5 might be doable.

It turned out to be a bittersweet run.  I was really pleased with myself, I managed to keep on the motion of running for approximately 2.8 miles.  That is substantially further than I have run continuously for some time.  That was a win, a real confidence boost.  In addition, when I first started running, I’d lurk on the Runners World forum for beginners, and the more experienced runners would say that you’d feel better after the first 10 minutes, or the first mile.  I never believed it before, but today, after probably 13 minutes (that’s just under a mile for me), I felt myself settle into a rhythm.  The rhythm isn’t exactly mirrored by the Garmin download, but that will come in time I guess.

Week 5 Run

The need to stop didn’t really materialise.  Well, that was until I was forced to stop.  As I got to a set of traffic lights, I wasn’t quite quick enough to catch the green man, so I had to wait my turn.  I’d stopped.  I tried to restart, quite unsuccessfully.  I just couldn’t find my “spot” again.  It had stopped feeling ok.  My foot had started to hurt, and a little further along, I had a really sore chest pain that felt like stitch, but was too high to have been stitch.  That was at 3.2 miles.  I am annoyed that I didn’t make it to at least 4 miles, but with my reasonable head on, I acknowledge that I haven’t run properly for a long time, 4 miles is a long distance for me, I’m also a stone heavier than some of my more recent performances and I have a disgusting cold at the moment.  My sore foot owed to a blister from rubbishy Marks and Spencers sports socks.  I’ll need to find my Nikes again for my next run.

Anyway, the point of this post is that it occurred to me, as I was struggling to get going after the traffic lights, that it is much easier to just keep going.  I’ve spent a period of time this year building a very small platform of basic fitness, which has allowed me to run nearly three miles without stopping, to the point where it was easier to keep going than to stop.  If I hadn’t been forced to stop at the lights, I like to think that I would have achieved 4 miles.

I expanded that thought further – each time I stop running, I find it harder to start again.  I find it hard to write about restarting on here.  With my diet, it is so much easier to keep on the wagon than fall off, dust myself off and sort myself out.  I’m quite sure it can’t be doing my body any good, and it certainly isn’t good for me mentally.

I need to keep going.  The alternative is too hard.

I need to remember this.


So far, so good

After my weigh in on Tuesday night, I made the decision to stop.  Take a breath.  Look at what I was doing.  I did just that, and I made the decision to get back on plan.  I’m two days back to it, and so far, so good.  Actually, it’s a bit more than that.  It’s hard to kick a sugary habit, and sometimes it can be really hard to say “no”.  As I mentioned in my last post, it was my colleague’s last day and even more cake was wheeled in for the occasion.

The depleted cake cupboard

The depleted cake cupboard

On the shelves of the cake cupboard are:

  • Cadbury Flake Cake (14.5 syns per portion)
  • Flapjack bites (3.5 syns per bite for the Tesco ones, 4 syns for the Sainsbury ones – we have both)
  • Ring doughnuts (approximately 11 syns each)
  • Mini brownie bites (2.5 syns for the Tesco ones)

We have also had Viennese Whirls, Cadbury Cake Bars, Mr Kipling Cake Slices and probably some more that I forgot.

Have I touched any of them? Nope.  Not in the last two days.  It was quite hard yesterday, though I made sure I had plenty of fruit to snack on.  Today hasn’t been quite as bad as I haven’t been feeling brilliant.  It started when I was out for the goodbye drinks and meal last night (I chose a ploughmans, ate the salad, pickled onion and cheddar, and donated the stilton and bread to other people).  I went straight to bed when I got home.

When I woke up this morning, I still didn’t feel brilliant, and by 9:30am, I had lost my voice.  I haven’t much felt like eating really as my throat and ears have been very sore.  Thankfully I have now regained my voice following a good coughing fit.

We cracked a couple more of the wedding presents out this evening, and made chicken in a smoky tomato sauce with broccoli and rice.  It filled a hole and I was quite pleased with it, given it was a throw together.  I polished it off with a couple of truffles that we had as a gift from work.


I plan to continue in the same vein, as much as anything, just to get some good vitamins in me to try and fight off this lurgy.


New stone zone

Yes, I achieved a new stone zone.  Unfortunately it was of the wrong kind.  Yep, I’ve gone UP into the next stone bracket.

Am I really too worried?  No.  6.5lbs on last week and 1.5lbs on this week is pretty spectacular as a couple of gains, but it hasn’t exactly been a normal couple of weeks, has it?  As our honeymoon ended, I began to crave clean, non-fatty, non-sugary foods.

Craving clean food

I did quite well on the weekend.  I even cracked out the Le Creuset casserole pot to do a pulled pork with veggies (4 syns for each serving, and so filling).  I was quite pleased.  Then I went back to work, and my resolve quickly did a u-turn and headed out the door.  My colleague is leaving this week, so it’s been a complete cake-fest in the office.  I started off quite well, and then ended up nose diving into the bag of cake, barely emerging for breath.  The worst thing is that it is completely mindless eating.  I’m not hungry and I don’t need the sugar.  A Viennese Whirl (Mr Kipling’s variety) is 7 syns a go, and I polished off three in as many minutes.  Then I had various other cakes in addition.  Not an overwhelming success back into the Slimming World way of life I think it is safe to say.

My downfall at the moment is planning (or not as the case may be) and sticking to the plan.  I didn’t know that there were going to be cakes (as she leaves on Wednesday, I knew we’d have cake on Wednesday, but not Monday and Tuesday too).  I should have known, as she has a sweeter tooth than me.  I know that tomorrow, there will be more cakes, and so I must take fruit as an alternative.  I am also going to keep a food diary to hold myself accountable.

Running wise, I must get out and build my miles up, as the Weston Christmas Cracker is in five weeks.  I’m going to take it even slower than usual, given that I currently weigh quite a bit more (nearly 10lbs more) than I did last time I went out.  I don’t want to stress myself out, and on my long runs, I’m more concerned with being able to cover the distance than the speed in which I cover it.

It is back to business as usual now, and while I am a bit peeved to have put on so much weight in such a short space of time, I can’t waste energy on dwelling, but need to use it to move forward and plan and avoid the distractions.