Pancake Day!

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday, the start of Lent. In the UK we mark the date as Pancake Day, as traditionally it was a way to use up the basic ingredients.

I love me some pancakes, and whilst tomorrow evening we’ll probably just enjoy a pancake shake mix (due to working late/toddler bed time) today I’m sharing my healthy pancake recipe that we made on Sunday.

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These beauties are made with just three ingredients:
– 2 eggs and an extra egg white
– 2 ripe bananas, mashed
– 2 tablespoons of spelt flour (or any flour you have)

Method
1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl or jug
2. Add the mashed bananas and stir
3. Add the flour and stir until combined

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4. Heat a non – stick frying pan or pancake griddle on a medium heat
5. Create small round pancakes and cook until the top starts to firm and bubble

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6. Flip ‘Em and cook on the other side
Top Tip: you want to cook them gently so that they don’t burn whilst the middle is cooking!

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7. When ready, top with your favourite flavours!
We chose peanut butter (Meriden crunchy), maple syrup and blueberries.

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These pancakes are light, fluffy and naturally sweet because of the bananas. A great way to get fruit into fussy eaters as well!

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Tomorrow night we’ll probably have an assortment of toppings including fruit, bacon,  fluff and sauces, but no chocolate for me as I’m still on my chocolate ban,  which will now last for the remainder of Lent.

Do you celebrate Pancake Day on Shrove Tuesday and what are your favourite recipes?
Xoxo

Friday Round-Up – Feeling Grateful, and Cauliflower Rice.

Happy Friday Everyone!

I’m feeling very grateful at the moment, grateful for my family and friends, for being in steady employment (and the recent raise, whoop!), for owning my own home and for my hubby and toddler especially! I’m also grateful for everyone who had liked a post on this blog or started following my posts. I’m definitely not the best example of a healthy lifestyle blog, as I fall off the wagon more times than not, but I hope that I represent a realistic account of what so many people go through when trying to get and stay fit/healthy/lose excess weight…

grateful2 Grateful

Anyway, enough of all that emotional stuff, here’s what I’ve been up to this week…
I had a very rare girls night out on Saturday with a meal at pizza Express (yum) and some prosecco/gin. I was very sensible and mixed my alcohol with water every other glass, and I think I danced off a lot of the booze! Apart from the dancing, I wasn’t all that active, so I squeezed in a 1 mile run on Monday, between putting the toddler to bed and then doing the ‘big’ food shop. Not much but a mile is a mile!

Zumba was my other workout so far this week, and I’ll try to squeeze in some Davin HIIT and another short run this weekend hopefully.

I’ve tried to stick to healthy eating for the most part this week, so I’ve been having balanced meals and lots of fruit for snacks. As the title of the post alludes to, I’m really digging cauliflower rice at the moment! This week I had cauliflower rice with garlic chili, baby spinach, smoked bacon and topped with an egg – so tasty!

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It seems to be paying off as I’m down another 1lb this week to 161lb, wahoo!

What are your favourite weekend workouts, and have you tried cauliflower rice yet?
xoxo

Progress Photos: February

Last month I started a new series of monthly progress photos. It’s never easy to post photos of yourself in semi-dress and opening yourself up to the judgement (positive or negative) of your friends, followers and general internet users, but it is a beneficial way to see the changes in your body rather than relying on the scale (although I use both).

Even though I’m a couple of pounds lighter than I was this time last month, there hasn’t been a great change in my body. Some items of clothing are still a bit snugger than I would like, but I’m getting there!

So without further ado, here’s my February progress pics!

Progress_Feb2016_Side Progress_Feb2016_Front

If you have any negative thoughts about these images, please don’t share them, we don’t need that kind of negativity here!

Does anyone else share their progress pics to help motivate them?
xoxo

Friday round up: hello weekend

Ah Friday, hello old friend! I’m ready for this weekend, with a girls night out and nothing else planned! I’m even hoping for a lie-in on on Sunday

Tonight we’ve had a nice bottle of wine (Picpoul de Pinet) and some pulled pork with veg.

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This morning I weighed in at 161lb whoop  whoop! All the e exercise and healthy eating is showing results, who would have thought?!?

Have a good at weekend everyone!
Xoxo

Workout this week

Finally, I’m feeling back into a bit of a routine when it comes to regular exercise after the last few weeks of being plagued by a bad back, so I thought I’d share some of my latest workouts with you…

  1. Saturday afternoon – 3km run – I had to fit this in whilst the toddler was napping and before the hubby went to watch football, so I only had 20 minutes. Having not run in what seems like forever, I did a slow 3.1km (18 mins) around town. It felt good to just pop my headphones in, put on some country music and go!
  2. Monday evening HIIT and stretch – I did the 15 minute HIIT cardio section of Davina McCall’s 15 Minute Fit dvd which went really quickly but definitely got my heart rate up. Then i did the stretch section which went DEEP!
  3. Wednesday evening HIIT, arms and stretch – The same as Monday, but this time I added the Arms section which was killer! I used 2kg dumbbells and my arms were screaming by the end, in a really good way!
  4. Tonight I’ll be at Zumba – there aren’t enough words to describe my love of Zumba!

So there we go, nothing too extreme whilst I ease myself back into regular exercise. What’s been your favourite workout this week?
xoxo

Review: Sportswear – favourite pieces of sports clothing

I’m a bit of a floozy (don’t you just love that word) when it comes to sportswear, I’ll try pretty much any brand and love it when I can recommend a brand based on experience.

My ‘sports draw’ has all sorts of brands in from Asics (my favourite trainer) to Nike, Adidas, and some non-traditional fitness brands like Gap, H&M, and Mango.

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The fact that ‘Athleisure-wear’ is no trendy means that many high street retailers are expanding their lines into sportswear, with mixed degrees of success.

Here’s some of my favourite items, and why I love them!

Asics Gel-Nimbus 16 – this is a pretty pricey trainer but when you’re running 10+ miles a week you want to make sure that your trainers are right for you. I tried on soooo many pairs of trainers before choosing the Nimbus, including Adidas (too narrow) and Nike (just felt weird). The Asics offer really good support and although they may not be the prettiest trainers, they come in loads of bright colours!

Asics gel Nimbus

GapFit gFast reflective fleece leggings – I scored this pair of leggings during the Black Friday sales (thank you for the import of this great sale America!) and they have to be the softest trousers I’ve ever owned. The fleece inside is soft without being too over-heating, and the high waist features a draw cord which is a must if you don’t like having to adjust whilst you’re exercising. The trousers feature a line of small reflective squares down the outside of both legs, ideal for running in the darker months.

Gap Fit Leggings

Mountain Warehouse running trousers – another for the cold weather, I never thought of Mountain warehouse as a sports brand, and truth be told, their range isn’t the biggest, but these trousers are so good I have two pairs! Warm, comfortable, draw cord, practical, they won’t be winning any style awards but for practicality you can’t beat them!

Mountain Warehouse Running Trousers

H&M long sleeve top – Another great find, H&M are really stepping up their game when it comes to sportswear, mixing function with fashion really well. I bought this long sleeve top ages ago, and wear it at least once a week for outside runs or some gentle stretching.

HM long sleeve top

Garmin 10 Running Watch – OK so it isn’t really clothing, but I love my Garmin! I used to use map My Run on my phone but it was just too buggy and I couldn’t find any other running apps that worked well. This watch is really easy to use and comes in loads of colours (I’ve got the purple one). I use it to keep pace, time and distance and then connect it with My Fitness Pal. The only issue is that it can be slow to find my location initially, but I use hat time to sort out my music/headphones/keys etc.

Garmin Forerunner 10

These are some of my favourite sportswear brands, I also have a drawer full of t-shirts from Nike, SweatShop, Next etc. that I use for my workouts but don’t really have a favourite. Next on my list to buy is a long vest with narrow arm holes (I don’t want my bra on show) that I can wear to Zumba, so that when I’m grooving and shaking it doesn’t ride up, anyone know where I can get one?

What are your favourite brands for working out in?
xoxo

Recipe: Spicy Sweet Sticky Chicken with Cauliflower Rice

This is a recipe I’ve used and changed fairly regularly as an alternative to Chinese takeaway as it’s low in fat and starchy carbs.

Spicy Sweet Sticky Chicken

This was the first time that I’d used cauliflower rice rather than standard long grain or wholewheat rice, and I loved it!

Cauliflower Rice

I didn’t use a recipe book for this, it was pretty much just using the spices and sauces I had in my cupboard, so you might want to put your own take on it! If you do, make sure you let me know!

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 large head of cauliflower (I grate the cauliflower to make rice but you could use a processor, just google ‘cauliflower rice’ for a method)
300g chicken breast, cut into small mouth-size chunks
150g frozen peas
1 large carrot – grated
handful of cashew nuts – optional extra – I would dry roast these, chop them finely and sprinkle on top at the end.
1 x tbsp. soy sauce (any type)
1 x tbsp. sweet chilli sauce (I use the hot version)
pinch of dry chilli flakes
1 x tbsp. runny honey
1 x tbsp. vegetable oil

Method:

  • You want to marinate your chicken first to get all the yummy flavours combined. In a bowl, add the chopped chicken, the oil, soy sauce, chilli sauce, honey and chilli flakes (if you don’t like too much spice, leave out the flakes and just use the sauce)
    Marinating
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but longer if possible
  • Cook the cauliflower rice in frying pan, use a little oil if it isn’t non-stick. You’ll want to use a low-medium heat and stir every so often to prevent it from burning.
  • Put the rice aside in 2 bowls that can be kept warm or microwaved.
  • Turn the heat on the pan up to high until its smoking. Add the chicken and marinade and cook, stirring regularly.
  • When the chicken is almost cooked through and the marinade has reduced, add the frozen peas and grated carrot to the pan.
  • The vegetables will expel some water but that’s OK as it will combine with the marinade to make the sauce.
    sss chicken
  • Cook for 2 minutes, make sure the chicken is cooked through and divide between two bowls.
  • If the rice had been sitting, you might want to warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds before adding the meat.
  • Add your chopped nuts if you want at this point and serve!

This meal is super easy to make and you can do a lot of prep work ahead of time. For example, you can grate the cauliflower and freeze it, then all you have to do is give it a couple of minutes extra on a low heat during step 3.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and if you make it let me know!
xoxo