Christmas Break Exercise Challenge

I LOVE Christmas! I love the time off work, the twinkling lights, time spent with friends and family, but most of all, I love the indulgence of this time of year.

Unfortunately, each Christmas for the past few years has seen me gain weight like no other time. I go wild with sweet treats, cheese boards and turkey, and am normally fairly inactive.

So this year, I have set myself a little exercise challenge that will run between Tuesday 16th December (as that’s when I thought of it) and Sunday 4th January. Monday 5th I will be back at work full time and back to my lunchtime gym dates.

Each day I have to complete 4-5 exercises, and the number of reps will increase as the challenge goes on.

On Tuesday 16th I started with:

  • 15 x Jumping Jacks
  • 10 x standard squats
  • 5 x press ups (not modified)
  • 20 seconds of plank (on hands not forearms)

By the 4th January I will be doing:

  • 15 x Jumping Jacks
  • 20 x standard squats
  • 10 x press ups (not modified)
  • 60 seconds of plank (on hands not forearms)
  • 10 single leg kettelbell dead-lifts on each leg

I have done the challenge each day so far, keep checking back to see how I do over Christmas!

Have you set yourself any health/fitness goals over the holidays?


Food Diary – 16 December 2014

Normally I track my food intake on My Fitness Pal but I am too busy at work in the run up to Christmas to take the time to track this way, don’t want to turn on the computer when I get home, and find the app a little tedious.

So instead of getting off track, I thought I would update here, it’s so much quicker (but doesn’t have the calorie information).

2 x medium eggs, fried without oil on 1 slice of white bread, plus a mini tangerine.

M&S Sweet Chilli Chicken Salad and a yum yum – so naughty but so nice, ho ho ho!

Pepper stuffed with quinoa, leeks, carrots, roule cheese and sprinkled with crispy pancetta, mmmmmmm!

I will try to take a photo of my tea and share it with you tomorrow, but I will probably forget!

Recipe: Winter Courgette Spaghetti

This is a seriously amazing recipe that is packed full of green vegetables, makes great leftovers and feels really hearty and comforting on a cold winters night!

A bowl of this courgette spaghetti will make you feel comfortably full, is packed with fibre, has loads of green vegetables and can easily be modified to suit anyone’s tastes.

Ingredients (Makes 2 bowls)

  • 3 courgettes – use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make thin ribbons
  • 150g Brussels Sprouts – halved
  • 1 leek – ends removed and cut into 1/2 inch circles
  • 100g tender-stem broccoli cut into small pieces
  • 80g frozen peas
  • Large pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • chicken stock concentrate (I use Knorr)
  • Large pinch of crushed black pepper
  • 50g roule cheese
  • OPTIONAL – 4 rashers of smoked pancetta or 3 rashers of smoked streaky bacon cut into small pieces


  1. In a non-stick frying pan, cook the pancetta until crispy, remove and drain of fat
  2. Boil water in a pan and add the stock concentrate, the Brussels and the leeks – cook until just tender (3-5 minutes)
  3. Meanwhile, on a medium heat, in the non-stick frying pan, add the courgette ribbons and broccoli and stir for 1 minute. Add the chilli flakes and continue to stir for another 2 minutes
  4. Drain the Brussels and the leek and add to the courgette mixture – if some of the stock gets into the pan that’s good, it will make the sauce a bit more tasty!
  5. Add the roule cheese and black pepper to the vegetables and reduce the heat, stirring gently until the cheese is 80% melted
  6. Divide the mixture into two bowls and sprinkle the pancetta over the top
  7. Enjoy your quick, easy, healthy meal!

Top Tips for this recipe
If you are a vegetarian, swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock and the pancetta for toasted pine nuts – the crunch is a great contrast to the creamy softness of the rest of the dish!

Sorry that I don’t have any pictures, I will start taking my phone into the kitchen so I can snap away as I cook! If you make this recipe send me a picture!



When you are looking to lose weight and enjoy a healthier diet, do you have cheat meals or cheat days?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately as sometimes having a ‘treat’, as in your favourite chocolate bar, Krispy Kreme or carb-heavy, cheese-heavy pasta dish can take the edge off feeling like all you eat is super grains, salad and fruit. But what happens when a small treat turns into a weekend of heavy indulgence, it becomes so much harder to get back into healthy eating.

Take a couple of weeks ago compared to this weekend as an example. Two weekends ago I had enjoyed a week of good healthy food and consistent exercise, and when it came to the weekend, I knew I didn’t want to see all that good work go to waste. So I had a nice meal out with the hubby on Friday, but when Saturday and Sunday rolled round, I was back to healthy eating and going for walks with the little one. I noticed it on the scale and I felt good as Monday came back around.

This weekend however, Friday started with a cheesy pasta dish (I will share the recipe as it is divine!) and then wine, toasted sandwiches, chips and chicken kievs and lots of chocolate all happened. Oh yeah. Once I had had that first ‘treat’ I felt like I could keep going and this morning, all that’s left is feelings of mild guilt and disappointment.

I think what it comes down to is moderation. And it helps to stock your cupboard with moderation in mind. For example, instead of full-size bottles of wine, you can get some nifty 150cl bottles and just have one on an evening. Buy funsize chocolate bars and only take one from the kitchen into the living room. Shopping smart and not putting treats in front of you will help to combat cravings and gluttony.

Coming up with meals and recipes that make you feel like you have indulged whilst being made with healthy whole foods can also help. For example swapping spaghetti with courgette spirals or make dark chocolate discs with dried fruit and nuts instead of eating a whole chocolate bar.

Do you have any healthy recipes that don’t really feel all that healthy?

Maybe you eat really well during the week and then at the weekend you relax a little bit? Or maybe you prefer to stick rigidly to healthy eating because cheat meals can set you back?


Black Friday Buys

Now I’m not American or living in the US, but I am grateful that Black Friday discounts have made their way across the Atlantic to the UK, because I have scored some great purchases today…

The Adidas Response Icon Hoodie – was £36 but 30% promo code got this for £25.20!

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Nike Dri Fit headband and gloves – only £9.34

Nike Lady Dri-Fit Glove and Headband Running Set picture 1

Head Over Heels Slip On Sneakers – from £35 to £17.99

Lexie Skater Style Trainer

Red Zara Dress – £17.99

Image 2 of FLARED DRESS from Zara

I can’t wait for all my goodies to be delivered!

What have been you Black Friday buys?


Official Weigh-In

So yesterday I went to the Doctors for a check-up and had my weight taken. I clocked-in at 72.9kg, or 160lb. I was a little disappointed as three months earlier I had been 72.4kg, so 1lb less, but do you know something? I’m still proud of what I have achieved in the past three months.

Sure, I may not have dropped the pounds, but I ran my 10km personal best, went on holiday and suffered through a couple of weeks with a nasty cold, and didn’t put on weight.

What’s .5kg when I was wearing heavier clothes and was weighed later in the day before I hit the gym?

Happy Tuesday everyone! xoxo

Recipe: Squishy, fruity, nutty chocolate discs

So the title of this recipe may not sound very healthy, but trust me, two or three of these instead of a processed chocolate bar will satisfy your cravings and be much better for your waistline!

These are fairly flat discs made from dark chocolate topped with dried cranberries, macadamia nuts and mini marshmallows. I just made them this morning, they took 5 minutes and I will definitely be making them again soon!

You could choose any toppings that take your fancy, such as hazelnut and raisins or freeze dried berries!

I haven’t put any quantities in the ingredients as I have only made a small batch so far, but I put 3 dried cranberries, 2 nuts and 2 mini marshmallows on each disc, and each disc was roughly 5cm across. chocolate discs2

(Photo credit: – I ate mine on my lunch hour and didn’t get any pictures!)



Ingredients (Makes 6 squares/2 servings):

  • Good dark chocolate (I used Tesco finest 70% Peruvian dark chocolate)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Mini marshmallows


  1. Heat your chocolate in a pan over a low heat until it is melted – make sure it doesn’t burn as it will turn incredibly bitter and grainy, and that’s just wasted chocolate which I never like to see!
  2. Once the chocolate has melted, spoon a teaspoon of chocolate onto some greaseproof paper and with the back of your spoon gently spread the mixture into a disc roughly 5cm in diameter.
  3. Now sprinkle your toppings on, evenly distributing the different toppings on each disc.
  4. Place the discs in the fridge until cool and hard, and enjoy! chocolate discs

(Photo credit: – I ate mine on my lunch hour and didn’t get any pictures!)



That’s just 4 steps to a very satisfying and healthy ‘treat’.

I don’t know for sure, but they would probably last a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Send me pictures if you make chocolate discs!