w i d e.

Once again guys I find myself apologising. I’ve not been doing so well, ashamed of my progress (or lack thereof). I guess when you starve yourself for so long, the knock on effect of needing to eat, rapidly and frantically, isn’t a short term thing. The binging cycles continue on but you’re past your purging. Inevitably you gain weight. You notice it. You try and do something, ANYTHING about it. But you end up gaining more weight. I’m trapped.

I continue on with behaviours I don’t notice til they’re pointed out. I make references to my weight in all conversations. I pinch and squeeze fatty areas. I keep my arms guarded round my midsection. Occasionally I slip into daydreams in which I can’t dismiss the thought of how I used to be. I run out of the gym when I notice how wide I am because I don’t deserve to be seen clutching weights after gaining so much fat. Get out of the sauna, you take up too much space. You actually sweat now, remember when that was so hard? I can’t get my shape off my mind. These things shouldn’t matter. There are more important things to worry about but the horrible sense of failure clings to you. You’re failing to be underweight. And that’s the most complicated part of guilt.

119lbs. 96lbs was my lightest and that never felt light enough.

119lbs. 8 and a half stone. 54kg.

No. I was horrified at 8 stone. Why can’t I stop eating?

You shouldn’t feel guilty for being a healthy weight. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve let yourself down. I still need to work on that. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I don’t know how to not.

When did I get fat on my forearms? Why aren’t there gaps between my fingers? Why does it take so long to reach my hip bone when I press my side?

I am repulsive. I am compulsive.

“Be kind to yourself”.

I very often hear I’m too hard on myself. Just about everyone says it. My boyfriend, my work colleagues, my gym friends, my KB masters, my parents, my closest friends.

Why can’t I see my collarbone?

Think of all those events coming up. What will people say? “You’re looking healthy” You’re looking healthy? What does that even mean??? Thanks for trying to compliment me and make me feel good but saying I look healthy is just another way of saying “You’ve gained weight”.

Get it off me.

The good news is, I’m getting back into the gym with a new workout. I am training with a girl with a similar background to me. She has fought her way back and she knows she can help me. Fingers crossed she can. Cause I can’t carry on this way.

All of my clothes are tight. And I the urge to just not eat is strong. But I’m giving this one last go. I didn’t realise how happy I was with my body in March until it was gone. Here goes…

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Secrets.

So. It’s been a while.

I have been exceptionally busy these past two months. I changed jobs, had Kitacon, got a boyfriend and most importantly, moved out of home! I furnished it myself and am exceptionally poor but exceptionally happy with how I know my life can turn around from here.

My house is just incredible, my mum decorated it for me because she’s a legend and my dad has helped me sort out the important things like how the boiler works and getting broadband etc 🙂 I am absolutely ridiculously blessed to have those two in my life ❤

 

I guess I knew it would happen though. Since moving and having increased time alone, the ol’ ED habits have once again reared their ugly head and the effects on my body and wellbeing are ridiculous.

With a new relationship it’s pretty normal to gain some weight, increased meals out and gifts and getting sloppy with gym work. I tried to counter it but I was having too much fun to care so I guess in that respect I don’t care. He constantly says the right things and tells me he thinks I’m beautiful no matter what. Which is great but I already hated my body so now I HAVE gained weight it’s getting pretty hard to take.

When I was at my worst there were things I didn’t realise could happen to me.

I knew I would be cold, I didn’t know I could turn blue or somehow have this downy hair appear on me.
I knew I would be tired, I didn’t know I would be so tired I wanted to kill someone if I didn’t 100% with my heart like what they said.
I knew I would lose my periods. I didn’t know the first one back would be so painful I would be feverish and nauseous. And I definitely didn’t know I would be scared of infertility.
I knew I would slip up at some point in recovery, but I didn’t know how truly awful relapsing feels.

There were a lot of things that shocked me.The intensity of mood swings, the pain and noise of your body trying to digest food again, the heart palpitations of caffeine dependence, the days and days of trying to recover from a workout, the waterweight that fluctuates so badly you can go from a handful of excess on your stomach one day to a pinch the next, the bloating post sugar consumption, the gallbladder pain post fat consumption, the ridiculous stomach gurgles post ANY consumption. I don’t need an ED in my head to know it’s happening because I have constant reminders all day everyday.

It makes me wonder if anyone ever truly recovers as there are things I never even noticed I had before. Stupid things you don’t even think about, like having oil on your skin or being able recognise the feeling of being hungry and full. You don’t know you miss these signs of health until they’re gone.

Self control is all it comes down to, but it’s something I guess I need help with. As perfect as Si has been in getting me to a stone weight gain and starting to function normally again, he advises I see a professional to help with my head. But he’s still there for me, and it’s the greatest comfort.

The charity stopped replying.
The clinic never called.
The doctor didn’t take me seriously.

Yeah it’s embarrassing to admit I go through this. It’s more embarrassing thinking about who will read this and be too polite or awkward to acknowledge they know, or to tell my friends I’m still terrified of something as essential as food and self control. It’s pathetic, and it’s stupid. But hey, it’s me. And it’s what I deal with everyday.

I am not claiming to have it worse than anyone. I don’t think you have it any easier because you don’t have an eating disorder (if you don’t, that is). But this is how I have it. And even a year into recovery and experiencing my first relapse I know it can’t be the end. This will probably always been a part of my life but it’s not the only part.

I’m not reaching for your sympathy, just an explanation that it’s not quite as black and white text book as you think  – as is with everything in life.

And now you know just a little more about Annie’s Secrets.

Smile for me,
Ansi xx

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ChompTimesNom! Raspberry Protein Cupcakes

This recipe sadly didn’t make it into KitaCon Invasion’s conbook, but here it is all the same! 😀

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When cooking with whey, you can never expect them to be EXACTLY like the original. They will have a different texture, they will be slightly different in flavour. I’m the kind of person who likes to eat in volume, quantity definitely comes before quality (within reason) so I’d rather have 3 slightly less perfect cupcakes than one calorie ridden one. It’s just easier for me to fit these in my macros, I’m not saying you have to do the same, but if you’re like me and don’t have the “STOP EATING NOW” function then these might be for you 🙂 Ideally we’d be able to eat sweets all day and never worry about getting chunky, but humans haven’t quite developed that well yet. Until we do, here’s a cupcake recipe that’s low in calories, carbs and fat but loaded with protein and fibre! 

For 9 cupcakes you will need:

55g of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder (I used The Protein Works Naked Vanilla Whey Concentrate)
170g of Quark (Fat Free Greek Yogurt would also work)
30g of Coconut flour
25g of  Plain rolled Oats
3 large egg whites
10g of unsweetened desiccated coconut
40ml of skimmed milk
½ teaspoon of baking powder
100g of frozen raspberries.
Sweetener to taste, I used liquid Vanilla Sweetener Drops (you can use sugar if preferred)

For Icing:
150g Greek yogurt
25g Vanilla Casein Protein Powder. I used My Protein’s Vanilla Calcium Caseinate (Whey will not work!)

 

This recipe gets a little complicated so pay attention…

Except the berries, add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix mix mix! Stir in the berries and pour into 9 silicone cupcake molds and bake at 170C for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. :3

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Leave them to cool for about ten minutes while you mix up the icing. When the icing is thick and stiff (lololol) bully it into a sealable sandwich or freezer bag and the tip of the corner. Use this as a piping bag and squeeze the icing in a circular motion round the top! Top with another raspberry and you’re done!

 

Per cupcake with icing (using the brands I did)
Calories: 94
Protein: 13
Fat: 2
Carbohydrates: 6
Fibre: 2

 

Smile for me,
Ansi xx

 

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ChompTimesNom! Spaghetti con Polpette di Tonno al Pomodoro

This recipe was featured in Kitacon Invasion [2014]’s Conbook 🙂

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Chompy knows I’m very proud of my heritage and as such regularly cook Italian food and keep it as a huge part of my diet. Mediterranean diets are known to be healthy but sometimes you just want to tuck into a big bowl of pasta. I compromise with this mother of all pangs with Barenaked Noodles and for an extra protein kick to recover from the gym I used their Protein Noodles. You can buy them from: www.barenakedfoods.co.uk

Sicilians often make polpette (meatballs) with tuna, which is low in calories and is a healthy source of fat and protein.

For the polpette:
Half a tin of tuna
25g finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic (the smaller you chop the stronger the flavour)
25g grated courgette
25g Philadelphia Extra Light
5g grated parmesan
1 slice stale bread (I use Hovis Nimble)
1 teaspoon of Italian style herbs (oregano, thyme, sage etc try and avoid basil)
Splash of lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the pomodoro sauce:
80g cherry tomatoes (about 4 large cherry tomatoes)
30g tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic
Handful torn basil leaves
Water to desired consistency

1 Pack of Barenaked Protein Noodles

The above is for one person.

If you don’t want to use bread, you can substitute with oats but they might be a bit more dry. Use around 15g for 2 people.

If your bread isn’t stale, pop it on a hot radiator to dry it out while you prepare everything else. Mix all the ingredients for the polpette in a bowl and when your bread is dry, crumble it by rubbing it between your hands and mix again.

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Heat 2 teaspoons (10ml total) in a small saucepan and form the polpette. The smaller and more of them there are, the faster they cook, the less oil needed. Slightly flatten them, they shouldn’t be spherical. Preheat your oven to around 140C. Lightly fry them to seal them, until they start to brown, turning often. They should be crispy on the top and bottom but not the sides, they will still be gooey. Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning over at half time.

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Meanwhile, add about 3 inches of boiling water to a saucepan and add the tomatoes. When the skins start to come free, smoosh them with a spoon and drain the water and seeds. Pull the skins away from them and bin them before returning them to the hob and add more water, and smoosh some more. Keep the heat low and add garlic to slowly cook. You can add more oil if you need but I find the water and tomato does the trick. Add around 30g of tomato puree (a generous squeeze of the tube) and more water until it resembles a sauce. You don’t want it to be runny, it should just cling to the pasta. Tear some basil leaves in there and leave to simmer.

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Drain the liquid from the packed noodles in a colander and rinse until the fishy smell goes away (that’s the smell of the konjac root, they won’t taste fishy). Once they’re smell free add to the sauce. Keep stirring, they will only take 5 minutes to cook.

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If your polpette are ready (no longer gooey round the sides) then you’re finished! Either add them to the whole saucepan, or plate up the pasta and add them on top. Add more parmesan if desired and Buon Appetito! Just like Nonna used to make…but healthier.

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For the whole recipe using the brands and measurements I did:

Calories: 362
Protein: 30
Fat: 14
Carbs: 25
Fibre: 3

Ps Kita…no words needed 🙂 Unless you want a full post, in which case request below ^_^

Smile for me,
Ansi xx

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ChompTimesNom! Pizza Polenta Bowl

 

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Buongiorno!

Happy Sunday, my lovely Chompers, and happy 92nd to my wonderful Grandad! Unbelievable how healthy he is at his age. The genes are certainly in my favour. If I can still be attending to my garden at his age and be well and comfortable I can’t complain!

 

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      92, knows what a ‘Selfie’ is

We went for a meal at a Chef and Brewers chain pub. Food was alright, I actually think I won in terms of food. I had a Mediterranean chicken dish as for the past week I have been Gluten Free and I couldn’t have their gravy on the Sunday Roast options. Now don’t be thinking I have jumped on some ignorant bandwagon and thought gluten free would help me lose weight or something just as ridiculous. Right now Si and I are trying to find out the cause of my stomach bloating which has disturbed me since I was young. He believes I have a food intolerance and the doctors won’t give me any testing until I put in some work myself and try cutting out the obvious. I have tried many vegetables, this time it’s gluten, next is dairy >_< Now, on the first day of my GF endevours I had a huge pizza craving. This was really annoying for me. I thought I could buy a special pizza base or bread or some flour and make my own. But then what’s the fun in that? I had planned to have rice that night but I took it as an opportunity to be creative! Enter polenta!

For those of you who don’t know what polenta is, may know it as cornmeal. I’ve only ever eaten it as a bread in Italy, accompanying some stew but it is frequently served as a creamy mixture which makes a nice alternative to mashed potatoes. Without further ado, here is the recipe!

 

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You will need:

> 75g instant polenta (I used Merchant Gourmet) *See Note 1
> 36g Philadelphia Lightest *See Note 2 
> 5-10g parmesan
> Teaspoon dried mixed Italian herbs
> 2 cloves garlic AND a teaspoon of garlic granules
> Vegetables (they’re GOOD FOR YOU) I used:
-25g frozen mixed peppers
-60g frozen spinach
-60g chopped mushroom. I say chopped, I just broke them apart with my hands to save a knife being washed up. 

>60g cherry tomatoes
>25g tomato puree

>Any toppings you want (treat it like any normal pizza), I used:
-One slice Asda Oven Baked Ham (leftover lunch meat)
-25g grated Catherdral City Lighter Cheese. 

Directions:

Measure out your dried polenta directly in the saucepan and add around 200ml of cold water to start with. Turn the heat on medium and stir constantly to prevent lumping. The longer you cook the polenta the more it’ll thicken so you can make this super volumous! You’ll need to keep adding water as you go but the consistency is up to you. I like mine quite thick. so act as a breadier base. 

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And it was allll yellowwww

Add the “moisturizer” – (the Philadelphia). Keep stirring, this stuff can clump! In goes the seasoning and garlic, and turn the heat off. Meanwhile, pop the peppers and spinach in another saucepan and when they’ve defrosted, put in the mushrooms. Because of the moisture from defrosting the other veg, you can get away with not using oil. When cooked, add the veggies to the polenta, along with your parmesan and stir in on a low heat. Add water if needed. 

Smoosh 6 cherry tomatoes in the saucepan you cooked your other veggies in with some boiling water. Remove the skins when they peel off freely, add your puree and stir on a medium heat – don’t let it dry out too much. If it starts to hiss, turn the heat off. 

Next I took my ham slice and nuked it in the microwave to give it a more smokey bacon flavour and then chopped into pieces (or ripped apart like an uncivilized human being). 

Attend to your polenta again. If the cheese has melted and the thickness is to your liking, it’s time to pour it into your bowl. Smear the tomato sauce on top. While that sits, pop the ham in a pan just to crisp up if desired. While this happens, (it’ll pop like crazy, so watch out!) grate about 15g of the cheese on top of the polenta and tomato. Throw on the hot, crispy ham and then top with another 10g cheese. If you want this to melt, you can throw it in the microwave for about a minute or two. And there you have it. Polenta Pizza :3

Image*NOTE 1 – The packet states 60g a serving. It doesn’t look like much in the pan but it does get very volumous. If, like me, your appetite is that of a hungry hungry Italian, then use 75g. 

*NOTE 2 – OR 20g butter OR a tablespoon olive oil

530 calories 35 protein 10 fat 72 carbs 5 fibre

It’s higher in carbs than I usually go..but damn is it worth it 🙂

 

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Smile for me, 
Ansi xx

 

 

 

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Move.

A few months ago I posted my blog entry about my experience in starvation (http://wp.me/s3uKpY-eat). My recovery was going pretty slow and I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I felt like my support was scattered. My parents were afraid, so were my friends. My insane hormonal imbalance meant nobody knew what to say to me. I could snap at any minute and I regularly did.

The hardest was at work. If I would protest I used to be heavier I’d hear responses such as “You mean you used to be six stone?” and if I ever tried to eat more as a way to prove I was able to people would stare me down in mock horror; “You’re eating biscuits?? That’s not very healthy” They were only teasing me, having a joke as you should around the office but each comment would slap me in the face. I just couldn’t win. The transition from my role in Sales Support to Finance induced stress I never knew, and being surrounded by their snack foods brought out the worst in my fears. How many times in a row can you turn down a cake before you develop a reputation? But I already had one. And I hated it.

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August 2013. Luca with my sister

August and my Italian holiday finished (the thinnest I had ever been) and I found my weight difficult to manage. In the above image I can’t stop staring at my collarbone and arms. Sometimes I can look at this picture and feel repulsed. Others I feel a sense of longing to be thin again. But I wasn’t just thin, I was sick.  10 days off the gym in August lead me to complete obsession with it. I was no longer obsessed with starvation so long as I had the gym.

In October I forced myself to try and eat no matter how uncomfortable I felt. I ate more and let myself feel consumed by guilt. It was hell, but it worked; I started gaining weight. It wasn’t until the end of October when my mother innocently bought biscuits and cookies and because I wasn’t prepared for them to be in the house, I got scared. I protested to her as though she was trying to force feed me or something. And there it was, evidence of my obsessions resurfacing and time for help. I made a doctors appointment and told him everything. He put me on a waiting list for the closest Eating Disorder clinic, where I would be able to get an official diagnosis and then proceed with treatment, which the likelihood would be CBT. All I had to do was wait for a call to arrange an appointment. I never got a call.

October 2013, my cousin's wedding

October 2013, my cousin’s wedding

In November, as I’ve previously mentioned in other blogs, I won a Macro-Nutrient Plan from Simon Roshdy of The Diet Kitchen – http://www.youtube.com/user/thedietkitchen. I leveled with him and explained my situation, and it’s been the best thing for my recovery yet.

November 2011, Pre Simon's Plan

November 2013, Pre Simon’s Plan

Si gave me a steady diet plan to gradually raise my calories and get me to eat carbs again. He looked at menus for me for when I was scared to eat out. He got me through Christmas, something I couldn’t believe how scared I was of. He was a point of contact WHENEVER I needed him, and having previously felt abandoned because everyone was so afraid of me, I appreciated it more than anything. I wasn’t alone anymore.  Honestly, I wonder if I’d be in the same place I was in August without his guidance. In short, Si pretty much saved my sanity.

I don’t always like what he says. Like when my fats or carbs are too low, or when he tells me I just need to relax (“It’s only food, your goal is to be HEALTHY” dammit my goal is to look good…yeah I’m still warped). I’ve been getting scared because my clothes felt tighter. Water weight keeps clinging to me, and I still can’t face the idea of weighing myself.

January hasn’t been a great start to the year. I failed an interview to get my old Sales Support role back, I was wobbly and disgusting and I was having a hard time turning down food for comfort, even sometimes going over my calories. There was no guarantee I could move out of home, my confidence dwindled and I felt as though I was dangling off a cliff and no one would even lend me a bedsheet as a crude parachute.

My stress has built up to an intolerable level and my workouts have been awful. I had no energy for anything and so he has ordered me take a week off the gym. It’s been torture, but with good things now happening this week, I feel a little like my old self. Like, my real old self, when I could fathom eating in restaurants or drinking occasionally and not feel so guilty the next day that I consider flinging myself into traffic.

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January 2014

I still hate this picture regardless of what I’m told about it. I see the love handles and how my belly button now droops downwards with the additional fat. I see in my shoulders you can no longer determine where my collarbone finishes. I can’t see my ribs, my hips, there are no dips or rigid edges and my skin is no longer tight against my bones. I definitely have more muscle, which I adore but this image is still hard to accept and I still live in fear of weighing myself (I haven’t since before Christmas).

I will continue working with Si though. He’s been right so far and I expect to only get healthier.

Just one more try.

Smile for me.
Ansi xx

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ChompTimesNom! Instant Inside-Out Lasagne feat Barenaked Noodles

Ohaider. Fancy seeing you here.

You have probably been directed here from my recent review of Barenaked Noodles, but if not, here’s the post: http://wp.me/p3uKpY-6M

I adore Lasagne Al Forno, it’s such a comfort food of mine, given we would always have it on Christmas Eve, made by my Nonna. Since her death, the lasagne tradition has died a little bit so I don’t often have it. My mother (not Italian) makes a great lasagne too, though very different from my Nonna’s but I can very rarely justify the calories in it. I could easily make a healthier version but I just NEVER have the time to make it. All those sauces, the awkward pasta sheets, the layering and then baking?! DAMMIT I WANT IT NOW. So here’s my compromise: This is a low carb, high protein lasagne using spaghetti. It’s packed full of veggies and can be cooked and ready within 15 minutes.

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Now let’s get cooking!

You will need: 

  • One pack of Barenaked Noodles (Protein or original, depending on your needs)
  • For the meat sauce:

50g Quorn Mince – Frozen Weight (I use Quorn mince because I’m just not a fan of meat mince. You can of course use mince if you like but this will alter the macros)
25g Raw White Onion, chopped
1 Raw Garlic Cloves, diced
Handful of Frozen Carrots
Handful of Frozen Peas
1 Celery stick, diced
50g, about 4 Cherry Tomatoes, SMOOSHED (You could use around 200g tinned chopped tomatoes instead but fresh always makes the best flavour. Vine or Plum tomatoes would also work here)
2 Frozen Spinach Balls
50g of Tomato Puree [I used Asda]
A splash of generic Red Wine
A splash of Balsamic Vinegar [I used Asda]
1 tsp Mixed Herbs (I used Asdas, you’re looking for flavours like Basil, Oregano, Sage, and Thyme)
A Pinch of Chilli Powder [I used Asda]

  • For the white/cheese sauce:

25g Raw Courgette, chopped
45g Raw White Mushrooms, chopped
4 Pitted Green Olives
1 Clove of Garlic, diced
30g Lightest Philadelphia Cream Cheese
5g Reduced Fat Chedder [I used Morrisons Nu Me]

  • 5g more Cheddar
  • 5g Parmigiano Reggiano (NOT THAT CRAP IN A LITTLE SHAKER – use fresh) [I used Asda]
  • 5ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil [I used Napolina]

I know this sounds like a lot, but it’s just because of the veggies, try not to omit them, they’re good for you! 😀

Directions:

Firstly, get a strainer and open and drain your noodles. Because they are made from the Konjac root, they are stored in a liquid. Don’t be too put off by it, it’s just the same principle as some cheeses being stored in liquid or fish in brine. The water will smell fishy, but give them a good rinse under the tap and the smell will go. When the smell is gone you can leave them in the strainer to use later.

Drain and Rinse

Heat up a teaspoon (about 5ml) of olive oil in a little pan and add the onions, courgette and mushrooms. Remove the courgette and mushrooms and add to another pan for later. Add the chopped celery Quorn Mince and stir until the mince has defrosted. Squash the tomatoes in your hands before adding them as well. Smoosh them up a bit in the pan and add a bit of water, keep the heat on medium (or just add tinned tomatoes…but this is just more fun). Add the tomato puree and stir well. You’ll want the tomatoes to break down pretty well. Add some more water (at this point it’s okay that the sauce is watery, you’ll need it that way) then add the spinach, peas and carrots and half the garlic clove and turn the heat down and let it simmer.

Veggies!

Veggies!

In the pan with your courgettes and mushrooms, gently heat and add your garlic and and olives. Careful not to let these burn (add more oil if required but if you keep the heat low enough then you shouldn’t have to add the extra calories) and splash a bit of water in. Spoon in your Philadelphia and stir until melted. If it’s too thick, add more water (or milk if you would like a creamier taste).

Go back to the meat sauce, by this point your spinach should have defrosted, give it a good stir to spread the spinach around and stop it clumping. Add the wine and balsamic vinegar and chuck in the rest of the garlic and the herbs and chilli powder. The chilli powder is optional but I think it adds just a nice little kick to the meal.

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Remember those noodles? There are several ways to cook them. They’re suitable in a microwave for about 3 minutes, you can boil them for an equal amount of time, or simply dry fry them. They shouldn’t stick but add a touch of water or oil if desired and move them around occasionally to ensure they all cook. Dry frying them helps remove the rubbery texture to them and through experience I have found this is the best way to cook them. They won’t take long but you’ll have a hard time burning them – they don’t seem to undercook. When they “pop” and bounce around you know they’re DEFINITELY done but they won’t necessarily do that.

Add 5g grated Chedder Cheese to the white sauce now and season with salt and pepper if desired.

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When everything is cooked, it’s time to assemble everything. Start with a bit of pasta (using salad tongs to grab the strands is the easiest way). Add some meat sauce, then more pasta, then white, then meat, then pasta etc Any order you want is fin 🙂 When all the sauce and noodles are used up, top with 5g chedder cheese and the parmigiano. If you want it a little gloopy, nuke it in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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DONE. Buon appetito.

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NOM

This is a single serving and using all of the above ingredients, your meal will come to:

367 calories 31g Protein 10g Fat 27g Carbohydrate 18g Fibre

You can reduce the carbs by taking out the peas and carrots, but why would you?

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Smile for me
Ansi xx

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