Eats of the Week: 1st March 2017

I’m culinary confused! It’s post-Brussels sprouts season but pre-asparagus, so for now, I’m sticking with courgettes!

Anyone else having serious green vegetable conundrums?

Anyway, I’ve been eating a real hodgepodge of meals lately, and I’ve snapped a few photos, so here we go…

strawberries and pb
Strawberries and pb as my mid-morning/post-workout snack at my desk
M&S salad
M&S salad of green salad with apple dressing and coconut chicken
Green veg
A mountain of green vegetables hidden under a lot of spiralized courgettes!
Homemade soup
Home made soup – carrots, Brussels, peppers and edamame with pasta
Breakfast
Breakfast bowl – The Collective passion fruit yoghurt topped with new Shreddies protein granola, dried cranberries and cacao nibs
Filo Parcels
Filo parcels stuffed with vegetables and Boursin
Fountain Inn
A vegetarian sharing platter from The Fountain Inn

What are you eating in-between Winter and Spring?
xoxo

Lent – Will I get food Absolution this year?

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday (read: pancake day) so that means today is the start of Lent. Traditionally a time where Christians seek forgiveness (Shrove means to forgive) and would fast.

In 2015 I gave up chocolate for Lent, and last year I did Dry January. This year I’m back off the chocolate (except cacao nibs as I top my smoothies with them, plus they don’t taste like chocolate anyway) for the next six weeks.*

*Disclaimer – my Birthday falls 3 days before Easter Sunday, so I may have a slice of my favourite cake – vanilla and chocolate marble sponge then.

THE vanilla and chocolate marble sponge cake
THE vanilla and chocolate marble sponge cake

I like having these short-term challenges that aren’t too widespread that they’re restrictive,and yet they do make you think consciously about the eating decisions you make.

It’s too easy to reach for chocolate. It’s EVERYWHERE! I’ve already eaten more Easter chocolate this year than I normally do all Easter! Don’t get me started on the commercialisation of Easter and supermarkets having eggs in stock before you’ve taken your Christmas tree down. Crazy.

So I’m stocking my fruit bowl, taking a trick from Ali @ Inspiralized by snacking on raw nuts and unsweetened dried fruit, and upping the vegetables.

More times than not I’m opting for meat-free meals, I’ve even substituted chicken for Quorn twice in the past couple of weeks, just don’t tell Hubby, he hasn’t noticed;-)

My treat will be fluff with peanut butter and maybe the occasional non-chocolate Krispy Kreme, but no chocolate!

I’ll keep you updated on my chocolate fasting. Are any of you giving up anything for Lent?

xoxo

 

Merry Christmas! 

Goodbye and good riddance 2016! It’s been an *interesting* year and I can’t say I’ll be sorry to see the end of it! 

Brussels sprouts #favourite #vegetable

There’s lots in store for 2017 so keep following, cheers!

Xoxo

Friday Round-Up: #MoreInCommon

Let’s take a break from the whole healthy lifestyle stuff for a few minutes to celebrate how much everyone has in common with one another despite religion, skin colour, sexuality, gender, age …..

This past presidential election campaign has been pretty brutal in the US, and the EU referendum in the UK has stirred up some pretty hateful people as well.

During the EU referendum campaign, Jo Cox was murdered whist serving her constituency. This was a tragedy and her words, spoken during her maiden speech in parliament have never been truer

“…we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”

Keep reading until the end of a post for a thought-provoking video!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, and that’s health, yeah baby!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve fitted in a few workouts, some running and have been making more conscious decisions in regards to what I’m eating.

Homemade turkey burgers with spiralized carrots in a wrap.

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Homemade Turkey Burgers, spiralized carrots, sesame seeds, wrap!
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A very posed picture – but proof that I did fit a strength workout in!

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Wild rice and grains with slow roasted leeks, peas, chicken breast and some roast potatoes.
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Pasta with green vegetables, chili flakes, and Boursin (of course!)

Here’s some Friday thouhgts, courtesy of Jane Elliott, renowned teacher, lecturer and diversity trainer.

 

Week on Wednesday (because I missed my round-up and summary from the weekend)

Blogger fail, I didn’t post a Friday Round-Up this week or a Saturday Summary, womp womp! Why, you ask? Because I was accepting a new job and handing in my notice, yipee!

If you’ve read any of my recent Friday Round-Ups, you’ll know that I have been growing increasingly dissatisfied with my current role. I’ll now be moving to a part time marketing manager role and setting up as a freelance marketing consultant! Exciting stuff!

What does that mean for my health? Well…
1) I’ll no longer be eating my feelings (mainly boredom & anger)
2) My mind will be clearer and I’ll have less stress and anxiety – remember folks, mental health is as important as physical health (if not more so)
3)I’ll be eating at home a lot more, so I’ll need to be really careful not to snack, and make sure I have lot’s of quick healthy lunch options

Since it has been a while since my last post, I’ve got loads to share!

Exercise
I’ve been getting back into my running and did a 9.8km run last Thursday and then did hill sprints on Monday. I also squeezed in a couple of at-home body-weight circuits.

Garmin 10
When your Garmin battery dies 1km from home:-(
Running essentials
Water, Garmin, Head-torch
Hill Sprints
You can’t tell, but this is one hell of a steep hill! And it was only 2 degrees!
Hill Sprints
Motivational music was necessary with the hill sprints!

It is well and truly winter in Yorkshire – we’ve got snow today! I can’t remember snow this early for years!

Snow in November!
Snow in November!

This is going to make outdoor runs a bit trickier, but I’m prepared with a new head torch and I’ve brought the thermals back out of storage!

Running Safety
Safety first! Head torch and reflective vest for night running!
Winter running
Reflective trainers, thermal tights, reflective vest

Eating
Last week was total gluttony as we had two parties at work which involved sweets, junk food and krispy kremes!
I tried to balance it out with healthier main meals, but I’ll chalk it down as a bad week for balanced eating!

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate loaf cake with a slated caramel middle – OMG!
Cheesy Fries
Homemade cheesy fries with whote and sweet potatoes, Boursin and smoked bacon – all baked and no added salt or oil!
Cheesy Fries
Close-Up!

Friday Round-Up: Where’s the week gone?

Phew, that week sped by! In the run up to Christmas I find that the time goes really quickly and the days blur together! To break up the weeks I’ve booked a couple of events/getaways.

Exercise has been non-existent so far this week, but I’ll be at Zumba tonight, whoop whoop! I’m really looking forward to some evening runs in the dark, but I do need a head torch. If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments section! I’ve also brought my thermal running gear out of storage to make sure I’m warm as the nights are getting so chilly!

I’ve been more balanced than usual this week in terms of diet, and I’ve really upped my intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. But I did say balanced, so I’ve also enjoyed several baked goods and the odd alcoholic tipple.

Let’s start healthy…

Courgetti
Spiralized courgettes with leeks, Brussels, cabbage and pancetta. And Boursin of course!

 

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Stir-Fry
Vegetable stir-fry with rice noodles (peppers, carrots, courgette with a satay sauce)

 

Steak Dinner
Fillet steak with sauteed savoy cabbage, roast potatoes and roast sweetcorn

 

Now onto the not so virtuous…

Dinner Party
The aftermath of a mid-week dinner party.

^^ Yes, that is an empty packet of Boursin, but there were 6 of us!

Greggsnut
Greggsnut – Greggs’ take on the cronut with pecans and caramel – omgomgomgomgomg

 

Pancakes
Pancakes from Billy Bob’s in Halton East (Yorkshire) with blueberries and bacon!

^^Billy Bob’s is an American style diner set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. There’s fantastic play facilities for the kids and the food is AMAZING!

Billy Bobs

Have a lovely weekend everyone!
xoxo

 

Friday Round-Up: Winter is coming (and so is my cold)

Happy Friday everyone! With a fresh chill in the air, I’m on the brink of developing a full-on cold, complete with swollen glands, headaches and nausea, yuk! I’m trying my hardest to stave off the illness, with lots of fresh fruit & veg, but I might have to succumb and spend some time on the sofa this weekend!

I think it’s karma paying me back for a lack of fresh produce over the past few weeks! You know what they say #HealthIsWealth!

I’ve stocked up on winter fruit including conference pears and tangerines and am making a conscious effort to get more vegetables in my diet. Tonight I’ll be foregoing the take-away curry in favour of homemade stir-fry with red peppers, carrots, courgette and soy beans!

Here’s some pics of the tea I made last night, sautéed vegetables with eggs sunny-side up! That’s black pepper on the top!

Green vegetables
Asparagus and tenderstem with garlic butter
Eggs and Vegetables
Two eggs over sauteed asparagus and tenderstem broccoli

Last night Zumba was cancelled so I went on a run, my first since signing up for the Xmas Pudding 7 miler in December. I ran 6km in about 35 minutes (I stopped my Garmin too soon so just guessed the time for the last 0.5km). I felt good and am looking forward to getting in more miles!

My part of the world is looking truly splendid at the moment, as the leaves turn all shades of russet. Last weekend we went for a drive to the river, but the toddler fell asleep before we could get out and walk! Can’t think of a more beautiful spot to enjoy reading my kindle whilst the toddler naps though!

Bolton Abbey
Barden Tower in Bolton Abbey

What was I reading you ask? Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s based around the Nigerian Civil War and is a great read.

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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I first heard of Chimamanda through a cultural leadership course, and watched her TED Talk (The Danger of a Single Story). Whilst based on her own experience of growing up in Africa and then moving to the US, it’s extremely pertinent right now based on the sometimes hate-filled and divisive rhetoric of both the EU ‘leave’ referendum campaign in the UK and the Trump presidential campaign in the US. I haven’t watched her second TED Talk (We should all be feminists) but it’s on my to-do list!

Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo