Friday Round Up: Bring on July

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
Helen Keller, The Open Door

Wise words Helen! Recently it seems that life is not much (I won’t say nothing at all as I do have a lovely little girl and husband) but I feel a bit stuck at the moment, and it’s killed all motivation I had for healthy eating and exercise. I’m not enjoying my job, there’s no adventure to be had and no holidays booked, and everything feels very stagnant. So I’ve decided that I need to kick July’s arse and make it a good month!
I’ll be back in the gym on Monday and I’ve bought a Jillian Michaels’ DVD to do at home, and there’s so much fresh delicious food at the moment so there’s no excuse not to eat healthily!
I’m also going to look for a weekend away somewhere for the family, where we can relax and play and chill out!
Bring on July and bring back my motivation!
xoxo

Friday Round Up – Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.

This week has been all about putting off things that should have been done months ago, heck, writing this post is just another form of delaying the fact that I should be finishing my final diploma unit TODAY!
Some of the things I haven’t done in good time which I’m now regretting:
  •  Finishing the diploma more than a week before deadline (or starting it a week before deadline for that matter)
  • Looking for a new car before my finance deal is about to lapse
  • Potty training my child who now thinks it’s acceptable to wee on the floor (even when there’s a potty right next to her!)
  • Thinking that putting on a few pounds and staying at that weight is OK, because I’m maintaining, even though I’m maintaining a weight I’m not happy with:-(

So what are we going to do about it???
I’m going to TRY to stop procrastinating!
How am I going to stop procrastinating? EXERCISE and CLEAN EATING.

I haven’t been exercising as much as I was due to a hefty workload, no motivation and lack of sleep. But when I was working out on my lunch hour or in the evening, I could concentrate much better during the day and had more energy. I’ve also been eating too much sugar which has put me on a crazy roller-coaster of utter concentration for about 15 minutes followed by laziness and mind wandering for the next hour! Boredom at work isn’t helping, and I feel that it may be time to start looking for a new job that I’m more passionate about.

I feel like every Friday I commit myself to something that’s going to make me healthier and give me more energy, and each week I have less and less energy, with the added pressure of not having done any of the things I committed to in these posts.

So, for anyone else feeling pressure, stress or just general overwhelmed-ness (it should be a word), take a breather, write a list of tasks that are manageable, tackle them one at a time and once you’re done, take a breather, go for a run, do some stretching, take a fuc***ing nap!

And most of all, enjoy your weekend!
xoxo

Recipe: Lemon and Herb Cod with Spring Vegetables

herb and lemon cod

Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain’t happy
They sad ’cause they in their bowl
But fish in the bowl is lucky
They in for a worser fate
One day when the boss get hungry
Guess who’s gon’ be on the plate – The Little Mermaid

OK so I feel a little weird posting a quote from The Little Mermaid sung by a crab talking about fish getting eaten, but I love Disney so we’re going to move on.

I am new to fish. As a child I didn’t really enjoy eating fish, not even the classically British Fish and Chips where the fish is coated in batter and deep fried (I did love the chips though:-)) But, I’m trying to expand my taste buds and try new food, and fish is healthy (low in fat, high in protein) and can take a lot of different flavours.

This dish is very simple and quick to prepare and cook, and you can adapt it to suit your tastes (add some fresh chilli, change the herbs, use different vegetables).

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 x boneless and skinless cod filets (or any firm white fish you like)
Tablespoon of seasoning (fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, pinch of salt and black pepper, teaspoon of olive oil)
1 x lemon
300g new potatoes (I used Tesco Venezia potatoes) – cut into quarters lengthways like small wedges
160g frozen peas
1 x small courgette – grated
50g Boursin (or any soft cheese such as Roulé or Philly)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (170 for fan assisted ovens)
  2. Cut the potatoes into wedges and lay on a baking tray with a little oil and some black pepper, put them in the oven
  3. Lay out a piece of cooking foil and place the cod fillets on top with enough foil to create a loose parcel
  4. Add the rind of half the lemon and the herb seasoning to the fish, spreading it evenly over the two fillets
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  5. Cut the lemon into quarters and place two quarters onto the foil
  6. Create a parcel around the fish and put it in the oven for 25 minutes depending on the size of your fillets
  7. 5 minutes before the fish is fully cooked, add your peas to the microwave for 2 minutes
  8. Stir in the grated courgette and the Boursin into the peas and return to the microwave for a further 1 minute
  9. Remove the fish and potatoes from the oven
  10. Divide the potatoes between 2 plates.
  11. Split the peas and courgettes between the plates
    ?
  12. Use a fish slice to add the fillets onto the plates. Discard the lemon rind and quarters.
  13. Serve with the remaining lemon quarters

    herb and lemon cod

And that’s it, a fresh light meal perfect for a summers evening. You could even cook the fish in their foil parcels on the BBQ and serve with corn on the cob and jacket potatoes.

NB. Fish should be caught responsibly as they are a finite resource and if we catch too many, soon there wont be any left to catch!

Let me know if you try the recipe!
xoxo

Friday Round Up – Cheers to the weekend

 Cheers to the freakin’ weekend, I’ll drink to that, yeah yeah – Rihanna

Monotony at work and a current lack of passion for my job has got me feeling all kinds of happy that it’s the weekend! It was our wedding anniversary on Wednesday so tonight we’re heading to a local restaurant for dinner and drinks whilst my mother-in-law babysits, and then I have two days of NO PLANS! This hasn’t happened in a long time, and I’m looking forward to some quality time with the family.

I’m going to eat good food, drink good wine, play outside (fingers crossed the weather behaves) and just relax…….

I had the leftovers from my turkey recipe earlier this week as a salad by chopping the burger into mouth size pieces and tossing it with the remaining slaw. It was DELICIOUS!

Turkey burger Salad

I’ve also started cooking with fish, something that I haven’t really done before but as my taste buds mature and I’m open to trying new things, fish is something that I’m experimenting with. next week I’ll share my recipe for baked cod with potatoes and peas – it’s a lot tastier than it sounds:-)

I’ve got a couple of runs coming up so I’m back to training, I’ll aim to do 5km 2 x a week in my lunch hour and then a long run once a week with a couple of strength training sessions in between.

Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo

Recipe: Turkey Burgers with Fresh Slaw

Turkey is for life, not just for Christmas

Turkey is an oft’ neglected meat as we associate the full bird with a Christmas meal and then tend to opt for chicken throughout the rest of the year. but turkey is low in fat, high in protein and can be adapted into lots of meals such as stir-fry, pasta, salads and burgers!

20150616_192434

This recipe is an adaptation of one I saw on SkinnyTaste that includes courgette (zucchini for ya’ll Americans) along with the minced meat for added moisture, flavour and vitamins!

The results was a thick patty bursting with flavour and a fresh, filling salad that zinged on the plate.

Ingreditents (makes 4 burgers)
For the burgers

500g minced turkey
1/2 fresh red chilli (or you could use a pinch of dried chilli flakes)2 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 small courgette (cut of the ends)
Sprig of thyme
Sprig of rosemary
NB. I had these herbs in the fridge but you could use any you prefer

For the salad
3 celery stalks
3 medium carrots
1 apple (I used granny smith as I like the tart taste)
1/4 head of white cabbage (approx. 2 cup fulls when shredded)
Salad dressing – I use a mango, lime and chilli dressing from Tesco or M&S but you can sue whatever you want. My husband wanted honey and mustard and said that worked well too.

Method

  1. Put the chilli, garlic, herbs and courgette into a blender and pulse until they are all finely chopped. If you don’t have a blender you should grate the courgette and finely chop the other ingredient.
  2. Once chopped, add the turkey to the blender and pulse again until everything is combined.
  3. Create four equal sized patties and place on a plate or baking tray and put them in the fridge. Ideally you want to do this at least a couple of hours before you plan to cook them to prevent them from falling apart, but I only had an hour and they kept their shape during cooking. Also, you don’t need breadcrumbs or egg to keep them together as the minced turkey is sticky enough.
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  4. When you are ready to cook the burgers, heat a non-stick frying pan on a high heat and lightly oil the burgers, not the pan. This will help to control how much oil you’re using during cooking.
  5. Put the burgers into the frying pan ans tun the heat to medium. They need about 4 minutes each side but check them to make sure they’re not burning.
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  6. Whilst the burgers are cooking, shred all of your vegetables into thin slices. I use a julienne peeler for the carrots and then just finely chop everything else.
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  7. Depending on how fast you chop, you will have flipped your burgers and they’ll be cooking on the other side.
  8. Dress your salad and remove the burgers from the pan and onto your plate.
    NB. I ate one burger for my dinner and then saved the second burger for my lunch the following day, so I cut the burger in half.
    20150616_192434
  9. I served our burgers with new Kingsmill burger thins which provide a good base for the burger without being too white-carb heavy. I put a dash of sweet chilli sauce on one burger and a splash of Nando’s garlic and herb sauce on the other.

My meal came out at approximately 390 calories. If you had both burgers (but one bun still) it would have been about 500 calories, still a good dinner choice. The meal was packed with protein, vitamins, vegetables and flavour and we’ll definitely be adding these into our rotation of regular meals.

What’s your favourite burger?
xoxo

Friday Round Up – Don’t Skip Leg Day

Friends don’t let friends skip leg day…

There are a lot of funny memes on the internet about leg day, Google it! And whilst I’m not a hardcore weight lifter looking for super defined quads and calves, leg day is still super important, especially when training for a run.

leg day

I haven’t trained my legs (or any other area of my body) for quite a while, as in a couple of months. Sure, I’ve done some running, zumba and the odd kettlebell session, but I haven’t focused on strengthening any part of my body. And last night…I felt weak!

Why haven’t I done any strength? I could come up with loads of excuses like a busy lifestyle, but really I’ve just been going through a lazy stage.

It was the first Zumba for 3 weeks as the instructor has been on holiday, and it was such a lovely evening I thought I’d run to the class. After about a minute, I felt my legs become sluggish and tired, after a MINUTE! Then, during the class, I really felt as though I had no core and it was putting pressure on my back.

And that’s why it’s important to strength train as well as cardio, so I’m back to it! Tonight I’m going to focus on legs whilst I make fajitas! Then I would like to aim for 3 strength sessions a week (legs, arms, abs) as well as a couple of runs and zumba.

What’s you favourite way to work out and how can you tell if you’ve been slacking?
xoxo

Friday Round Up – Meh

It’s been one of those weeks where nothing has gone sensationally wrong, but nothing has been sensationally sensational either, it’s just been…meh

But that’s OK, sometime we have those type of weeks, and next week will turn itself around especially because…

1) My little girl turns 2 (how did that even happen!) and we’re hvaing a picnic party in the park

2) Made possible because the weather has FINALLY turned itself around and we’re expected to have a few days of sunshine, yipee!

Health-wise, I’ve been fairly crap this week and today alone I’ve already had a large caramel frappe from McDonalds (lovely) and a kit kat chunky, which I’m now questioning why I even ate. I also haven’t run since my Blackpool 10 mile road race which I’ll update you on next week!

For now, I’ll leave you with this thought…

Eating a sexy beast

Have a good Friday and weekend everyone.
xoxo