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Coping with visitors

I have my brother, and his wife and 2 kids coming to visit for a week on Saturday, and I'm wondering how I'm going to manage. Either way I think it's going to cost me a fortune to feed us all. If I cook SW meals for us all, that's an AWFUL lot of fresh fruit and veg (there will be 4 adults and 5 kids), plus all the meats and stuff, but if I cook seperate meals, it will still be expensive, and I fear, bad for me because if it's in the house, I may be tempted to eat it.

We also have days out planned, and I'm panicking over how and what I will eat while we're out. Some places have cafe's, but others will be mostly fast food stalls. Packed lunches are an option for some places, but not others. Also my brother wants to get a take away the night they get here, I told him I'd cook a curry instead of getting a chinese, but he joked that home made isn't the same.

While I am super excited at them coming up (I haven't seen them since my wedding in October) I really want to stay on plan as much as I can.

Any tips and ideas for dealing with family visits and days out?
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Hey Helen,
How about having the chinese, and having something like Chow Mein or special fried rice, bulked out with some extra veg for you? There are loads of good offers in Adsa and Lidl / Aldi atm if you have them near you, especially fruit and veg? What about doing a big batch of soup and taking it with you in a flask and batches of chilli or curry packed with grated carrot etc to bulk them up?
If you take loads of lovely SW foods with you, even your brothers kids might be more tempted than the Mcdonalds (although maybe not, lol).
Good luck x


Addicted to Minimins!
Hmmmmm, thats a tough one. They're likely to want what they want but if you're cooking then surely there are some cheaper meal ideas you could use - jacket potatoes are a must - cheap AND filling, they can have more fattening fillings if they want them while you can fill up on the salad. Again pasta dishes tend to be low cost and low syn. I think planning is key hun. You need to decide how and where you're going to use extra syns and where you can save some. Don't go mad on the syns but have a bit more of a relaxed attitude while they're with you? If you have to get takeaway, go for a healthier option instead of going mad.
Hope you make it through ok, and more importantly enjoy your time with them! xxx
To be honest (but this is me and u may be different) i would just have a night off, its a one off :)
I have had a similar problem recently with visitors. Not so bad when cooking at home.

First we had hubbys parents for 3 weeks, then we had my dad for 3 weeks. I love cooking, but you soon get fed up of it cooking for so many people at once, not to mention we were out on trips all day so I was not in the mood to cook every day.

I stuck to plan where possible, cooking SW friendly meals and on meals out I chose the healthier options which were nearest to sw friendly as possible. I did have an occasional blip here and there.

But thankfully only gained 2lbs after hubbys families visit, and then lost a bit inbetween their visit till when my dad arrived, and managed to STS after his visit.

That is the end of our guests for this year, thank goodness. So I am back on track.

Just look at it as just a week, stick to the plan were possible, but don't be too hard on yourself if you have a meal out here and there, you will probably surprise yourself anyway, by subsconsciously picking SW friendly stuff.


I will be a yummy mummy!
I think the key thing (like everyone else has said) is that you enjoy yourself, you don't want to spend the whole week worrying about what you can eat.

It might be a good idea to do a bit of batch cooking on the cheap - make a curry like you suggested, and maybe a chilli or bolognese for one of the other nights. Then if you end up not eating it and going for the takeaway, freeze it in batches so you've got tasty meals to get back on track the week after (nothing wasted then)

Plan as much as you can, then relax over the weekend. You'll be happy knowing you did what you could, and at the end of the day a week isn't going to make a huge affect on your weightloss, especially if you get straight back on it afterwards.

Hope you have a wonderful week xxx
You could have a look at the SW website, I think they have feed your family for a fiver. And if you have a Sainsbury's near you they have the feed your family for a fiver menu's you could adapt those for SW friendly meals.

Take a good look round when shopping, there are lots of things which are cheap, already mentioned potatoes, but what about carrots, onions, frozen peas & corn, frozen meats from farmfoods/Aldi/Lidl. I'm not sure what the kiddies would like but you could make burgers, & get them 'shops own white baps' & have yourself none or wholemeal.

Pasta is reasonably prices, as are eggs. I'd be inclined to make spag bol, chilli type meals as these can be bulked up with tinned toms & plenty of rice/pasta.

Enjoy your time with your family, don't worry, just do your best:D
I would do the same a mixture of SW and treats while out. I wouldn't buy loads of rubbish in but cook big hearty and cheap family meals, SW lasagna, chilli, curries, you can always do lots of sw chips as everyone I have ever served these too loves them as much as real chips. Or add jacket potatoes. Making meals with lots of cheap veggies added makes them go further and means you don't need to buy tons of more expensive salad type things for all those adults.

But cut yourself some slack when you go out and just make the best choices you can. I find it easier to say it is easier and cheaper to make it at home then i am on a diet. As soon as you say your serving diet food people rebel but most SW recipes you can serve to anyone

Real crowd pleasers that my hubby thinks are super tasty

spaghetti carbonara (from this months mag)
rogan josh (use lean beef from aldi, much cheaper than lamb, hunny thought this was as good as take out, from this months mag)
coq au vin from magazine a few months ago just shout if you don't have recipe, this is my posh meal for guests and if you use chicken thighs is cheap . I buy skinless chicken thighs as costco that are so cheap.

Good luck and enjoy,

Why don't you plan the week out, we do it at home with everyday food. We decide that one night we have stir-fri, then pasta one night etc stick it in your diary and away you go! At least that way you won't have the worry of over spending.

With the snacking, why don't you get yourself some fresh fruit and get everyone else whatevers on offer at the supermarket??

Hope it goes ok MH x
Hey - just to add, the rogan josh recipe works just as well with pork or prawns which can be cheaper. We made it for a curry night last Xmas and it was the first one to be eaten by the "non slimming" rabble :) we also eat it at least once a fortnight (usually more) coz it's so gorgeous! x
When she has visitors my sister always cooks her pasta bake, and everyone loves it and mostly have no idea that it is SW-friendly.

It is versatile too - depends what you have in, and you can make it any size you like.

Basically, you roast vegetables in the oven - carrots, mushrooms, squash, aubergine, courgettes, onions, shallots, tomatoes, whatever you like, really.

Then you cook up a batch of pasta - she uses the spirals, but any short pasta will do.

Then, when all of the above has cooled down, mix in Quark, seasoning, perhaps some Boursin Light (you will need to syn this), put into large flattish dishes, sprinkle with grated cheese (your HEXA - she uses a mixture of cheddar and parmesan) and bake in the oven until it is brown and crispy on top.

You can prepare it all in advance and it will happily sit in the fridge for a day until you need to put it in the oven.
I'm going to be using that pasta bake recipe, thanks, Avisk!

On the subject of days out, I'm having to do a lot of these over the hols with the kids. I don't have much experience, but today worked by having a large cooked breakfast and taking a boiled egg, some chicken, a banana and an apple with - easier than a proper packed lunch and after such a big breakfast filled me up nicely. I bought a coffee at the lunch place, just so I didn't feel totally left out, but it was fine. And cheap!
Thanks for the ideas everyone... I've planned as much as I can, I've got some extra lean mince in (I already had 2 in the freezer, but bought 2 more) to make either cottage pie, spag bol or chilli. I bought a big 10Kg bag of potatoes, and have tons of fresh and frozen veg. I think i have been too hard on myself with all the planning, so i'm going to take your advice and hang loose a little. There is a really nice fish and chip shop near the sea side, which has won awards and is to die for... I have told myself I will allow myself to get something, BUT I will order a kids meal so the portion is smaller, and take some salad or fruit with me to have afterwards.

I had a theory, I don't know if it will work or not, but as long as we do one of the meals before WI and one after then they are seperate weeks..lol so it's messing up one time each week rather than messing up twice in one week :p

It's WI tonight so i'm going to have a word with my C and see what she thinks about it, and see if she can recommend any nice places that have healthy-ish meals for if we go out. (They are paying for me and hubby to go for a meal and babysitting for us, as a belated b'day present).

I've come to the realisation that I have lost almost 1.5 st, I got my club 10 last week, so 20lb in less than 2 months is pretty darn good, so if I have a gain next week, then I have a gain, and I'll go back to being 100% after they have gone.
Its a week out of your life, in the bigger scheme of things it wont make a scrap of difference.

I am in a similar position, in that I am dithering about what to do when we go away next week to Scotland. I know there will be lots of fry up opportunities and stuff like Haggis slices, which I LOVE, but I dont want to do TOO much damage to myself as I am only away for five days.

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