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

Friday Round-Up: Winter Goals

Every mile is two in winter

Now that Autumn has well and truly kicked in, I find myself looking to these last months of 2016 with a renewed sense of excitement about exercise. I’ve been well and truly useless at following any consistent exercise plan during the summer, and I’m feeling sluggish because of it.

I actually really like running outside during the darker evenings and when it’s a bit colder. So long as you have the right gear, it’s a really peaceful time to get your miles in.

Running tights and asics
My Gap thermal running tights with reflective details!
  • I’ve signed up to run in the Longridge xMas Pudding Run – a 7 Mile race in Lancashire that features an incline up to mile 4 and then a downhill the rest of the way. The race is on December 11th so I’ll be putting a training plan together which I’ll share here.

My goal is to run the race in under 66 minutes – a totally arbitrary goal time, but I figured 7 miles is around 11km and I don’t want to run slower than 6 minute kilometres. I’ve got 8 weeks to kick my butt back into running shape!

  • I did clubbercise and zumba this week. #HipsDon’tLie
  • I made the lemon pasta from The Londoner’s recipe but made a rookie mistake by using a waxed lemon – it was a bit bitter, but I could get over it to enjoy the meal!
Lemon Pasta
Lemon Pasta with courgette
Lemon Pasta
Next time – get an un-waxed lemon!
  • Girl’s night with some other mums tonight and we’re heading to Pizza Express for carbs and wine!
  • I’m going to make an effort to not binge Friday, Saturday and Sunday so that I can see better results come Monday! Ali from @Inspiralized has some great advice in one of her recent blog posts about her inspiralized healthy journey.

Happy weekend everyone! TGIF xoxo

Eats of the Week(s)

I’ve been snap happy over the past few weeks and have taken pictures of quite a few of my meals. Here’s another edition of “Eats of the Week” and if you would like the recipe for any of them just let me know in the comments!

Chicken salad
Chicken salad with sesame seeds and potatoes
Chicken salad
Chicken salad with sesame seeds and potatoes

After we came back from Ibiza I was still craving fresh food with Mediterranean flavours so whipped up this chicken salad with lambs lettuce, cucumber, carrots and peppers with sesame seeds, black pepper and a simple olive oil/lemon juice dressing.

Beef casserole
Beef casserole loaded with veg and topped with dumplings
Beef casserole
Beef casserole loaded with veg and topped with dumplings

I had to buy a new casserole pan as the enamel had chipped off the bottom of my old one! This was a warm and comforting meal last Sunday as the first signs of Autumn/Winter started to show in the UK.

The Collective duple
The Collective black cherry duple over some Fuel 10k granola
The Collective Duple
The Collective black cherry duple over some Fuel 10k granola

I added some extra granola to this breakfast to fill me up a bit more.

Boursin Vegetable Pasta
Vegetable pasta with black pepper boursin
Pasta
Perfect for leftovers!

This was soooo good! I’ve started using the black pepper version of Boursin in my vegetable pasta recipes and it adds a really lovely flavour!

rice noodles
Rice noodles, mangetout and tenderstem with a nut-free satay sauce!
rice noodles
Pre-sauce
rice noodles
Rice noodles, mangetout and tenderstem with a nut-free satay sauce!

This was such a quick meal and really tasty! I’d bought some nut-free satay sauce at the Yorkshire Food Festival and finally got around to trying it. I just soaked some rice noodles, dry-fried some green veg, drained the noodles and added them to the pan. Then I topped with sauce, stirred it for a minute and served!

On a decidedly less healthy note, have you tried the Ben & Jerry’s ‘One Sweet World’ ?

Caramel coffee ice cream with marshmallow (16%) & salted caramel (10%) swirls & chocolatey shaped ‘&’ signs (7%)

Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry’s One Sweet World

Oh my goodness, it’s amazing!

There we have it, some of the meals I’ve been enjoying in the past couple of weeks!
Happy Hump Day peeps xoxo

Review: Es Figueral, Ibiza

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

Experiencing new places, new people and new cultures is one of life’s greatest privileges. Anyone who is lucky enough to travel should. Whether it’s to the next village, another city, another country or another continent.

Here’s my review of our family holiday to Ibiza. (Two grown-ups and a 3 year old)

Invisa Es Figueral Invisa Es Figueral

We headed to Es Figueral in Ibiza, a tiny resort towards the North of the Island, near Es Cana and Santa Eulalia. There’s not much to do in the village (it was smaller than I expected based on reviews I’d read) but it was lovely.

Invisa Es Figueral

We stayed at the Invisa Figueral resort, which is made up of two hotels (Calla Blanca and Calla Verde) and we stayed in Calla Blanca. Hotels isn’t really the right word to explain, as the resort was made up of several smaller buildings dotted around the magnificent gardens, with 10-20 apartments in each building. This gave the resort a much less ‘package’ feel and nowhere was ever too busy.

Es Figueral

There are 8 pools spread around the resort, some adults, some kids and a massive pirate ship pool that was great for the older children. There was also an indoor pool which never got busy, perfect for the mornings when the sun had yet to burn away the clouds.

We pretty much spent 80% of our time in the water, and they were toy friendly which was great!

Es Figueral
The view from the children’s playground

The resort is right on the beach, and Playa Es Figueral is one of the nicest beaches in Europe. Perfect for snorkeling, and there was pedalos, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards available to hire.

Es Figueral

The Food!!! Oh my word the food! We stayed all inclusive, which we haven’t done before, and I was super impressed. the main restaurant was open pretty much all day with the main sittings for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner wit snacks in between. There was a kids corner which the toddler loved. For the grown-ups, each day was different and some nights were themed. The food was all fresh, plentiful and the restaurant was really clean. The desert buffet was amazing! There were some really healthy options and some not so healthy, just what holidays are about! I am not ashamed to admit that I had churros with molten chocolate sauce with nearly every breakfast!

I didn’t manage to take many pictures of the food, because I didn’t want to look like one of those wankers who takes pictures of their food:-) Here’s a couple I secretly snapped!

Invisa Es Figueral Invisa Es Figueral

Top Tip: If you’re visiting Es Figueral, or any part of Ibiza, I would recommend hiring a car. There are loads of beautiful beaches and charming villages and towns all within 30 minutes. We didn’t hire one, but we did get the miniature train from Es Figueral to the Es Cana Hippy market which was fun.

We booked with Jet2 Holidays via their website, it was a simple process and I would definitely recommend Jet2 package holidays to anyone looking for a getaway with their family. We paid for the trip ourselves, I don’t have that many followers that I get paid for content, yet;-)

The link to our hotel is here: https://www.jet2holidays.com/balearics/ibiza/playa-es-figueral/invisa-figueral-resort

All in all, a brilliant week in Ibiza!