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.

half-of-a-yellow-sun
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

Recipe: Yellow Courgette and Savoy Pasta

So, this is possibly one of the easiest recipes you’ll find on the site, and it’s really quick too! If you can’t find yellow courgettes (zucchini), green will work just as well, or you can substitute the courgette for any of your favourite spirlalized vegetables (or just use actual spaghetti)!

Yellow courgette

Ingredients (services 1 large meal or two side portions)
2 cups x yellow courgette – spiralized, or use a julienne peeler
1 cup x savoy cabbage – shredded
Pinch of chlli flakes or 1/2 fresh red chili
30g Boursin or roule cheese
10g Applewood smoked cheddar (or your favourite hard cheese)
Tablespoon of stock – just to add flavour to the cabbage

Method

  1. Heat a non-stick frying pan on a high heat and add the cabbage and the stock, cook until just tender
    Savoy cabbage
  2. Once tender, add the courgette spaghetti and the chili flakes, turn the heat down and cook gently until the courgette is JUST tender.spirlaized zucchini
  3. Add the Boursin to the pan in chunks and stir to melt the cheese and create a sauce that coats the vegetables
    Top Tip – if there’s too much stock left in the pan, drain some before adding the Boursin, you don’t want it to be too runny!
  4. Remove the vegetables from the pan into a pasta bowl, and finely grate the hard cheese over the top, enjoy whilst it’s still hot!Yelow courgette and savoy spaghettiYelow courgette and savoy spaghetti

I enjoyed my meal after the Manchester 10k last weekend, with some water and a glass of white wine.

post-run meal

I loved it so much I made it again last night, topped with a fried egg, sunny side up! You could also serve this as a side dish with some grilled chicken, which I think I’ll do next!

Let me know if you make the recipe!
xoxo

Recipe: Tuna salad for Summer

Happy Monday everyone!
My hometown has been bathed in glorious sunshine for the past few days so I made the most of the early evening sunshine with a 5km around town after the toddler went to bed.

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I followed up with a dinner of tuna salad, with some summer updates!

It’s so much easier to eat salad in warmer weather, don’t you agree?

This salad had the classic tuna, sweetcorn and mayonnaise with a mixed salad of spiralized carrots, chopped cucumber, raw red cabbage, sugar snap peas and wait for it…fresh mango!

I chopped up all of the vegetables and tossed them together, with a little raspberry balsamic vinegar – but you can use any dressing you like, or none at all!

Then, I mixed a tin of tuna, a tin of sweetcorn and a teaspoon if mayo together. This covers two portions and I’ll have the rest for lunch tomorrow, with another portion of the vegetables and mango.

image

The mango really added a freshness to the meal that cut through all the other flavours, without being overpowering. The lack if leaves made it feel less like rabbit food and the different textures kept the eating experience exciting!

What’s your favorite summer salad?
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