Monday again??

I can’t believe it’s Monday again. Even though I had three days off it seems to have zoomed by. The weather was gorgeous though. Now I know us Britains are going on a bit about the weather (some may say whining…) but seriously, it’s been pretty bad. Yes our summers aren’t amazing, but we usually get some sunshine and warmth. Anyway, rant over. The sun is out…for now.

We had a pretty good weekend. Ben and I drove up to Cardiff to spend the afternoon with our friends. It’s a 2 and a half hour journey so we topped up on some amazing smoothies after breakfast:


Mixed summer berried, cow’s milk and banana on the left for Ben. And another spinach, banana, wheatgrass and almond milk one for me. Nom nom nom.


There’s me, chugging down my green monster as fast as I can. We are always late. It’s always a mad dash around at the last minute (OK taking photos probably didn’t help either…).

We took loads of burgers, sausages and buns. It was perfect weather for a BBQ. However, when I got there my friends looked at my raw food selection quizzically. It wasn’t a BBQ, it was a picnic. I’m not sure how I came round to think we were having a BBQ, especially when it was confirmed several times of it’s picnic status. Hmmm. Well Ben and I bought a little throw-away BBQ and had ourselves a small BBQ while they munched cold selections of finger food (I’m sure they were jealous of our sizzling delights…well I’ll tell myself they were). Note to self: read invitations properly. It was quite funny though…Ben obviously blamed me as well *sighs*.

Regardless of our poor choice of food, it was a great day. Over the weekend I also had a bit of an attack of the Hunger Monster. The Hunger Monster is when you JUST NEED SOMETHING NAUGHTY TO EAT, NOW! We had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the freezer. I hate an entire litre of frozen yogurt chocolate brownie. I’m not proud of myself. It wasn’t my finest hour. But it was damn tasty. Ben managed 3/4 of his Oh My Apple Pie. I feel a sense of achievement to have finished a litre. In retrospect I was starting to feel a bit sick towards the end, but I’m no quitter. Stomach of steel.

So this fuelled me nicely for a very warm run on Sunday morning:

22.047 run

I’m really loving running at the moment. I feel myself improving as well which is a great feeling. And I’ve jazzed up my playlist a bit more (which I hadn’t done in ages) and I find this always helps. Ben is coming running with me more which is nice.

Then to finish off the weekend nicely, we had a really tasty meal:

22.07 dinner

It was a chicken stir-fry with sliced courgette, bell peppers, red onion, cashews and kelp noodles with Chinese Five Spice and soy sauce. Delicious! It took me a while to convince Ben to eat the kelp noodles and also to keep him away from the kitchen while I prepared them as though they looked fine to me, I reckon it might have put Ben off. He’s not big into trying new and ‘strange’ food, especially if it’s healthy food. However, after trying it he proclaimed “Yeah it’s not bad actually”. Success!! Hurrah!

Hope you all had lovely weekends! Was anyone else attacked by the Hunger Monster? Winking smile

Some new experiences

So nice to wake up late Friday morning. I had that lovely experience of naturally waking up when my alarm would have gone off and rolling back over to sleep for a few more hours. Then waking up and feeling like I’d slept forever. I don’t lay in for that long (until 9am really) but it’s so much longer than when I usually get up.

Lo and behold! The sun was shining and it looked like summer. Only downside of that is that it meant my run this morning was a bit tough due to the temperature. But it was nice to get out there anyway.

Running 20.07

I went a bit further than my normal weekday runs and chose a different route which mixed things up a bit. I really ached from yesterday’s weights though. I worked on my arms and every time I bounced along the pavement I really felt it.

Here’s my routine for yesterday:

  • 5 sets 12 squats (5kg)
  • 3 sets of 12 bent-over row (5kg)
  • 3 sets of 12 triceps push
  • 3 sets of 12 ‘cleavage creator’ [Not my naming I hasten to add!! It was from a magazine…*mumbles quietly* not blessed in that department…]
  • 1x 1min30sec plank
  • 1x 1min side plank on each side
  • 50 sit-ups
  • 50 cycling sit-ups

I’m really trying to focus on my arms a bit more. But I’m not very good at varying it up. I used to go to Body Pump and I loved it. But I don’t go to a gym anymore so have to make do at home, which is never the same. So I plough the internet for ideas of different exercises. I have some weights but that’s it so I’m limited with equipment. I really miss the gym and the different classes there. Don’t get me wrong, I love running but I miss the choice of doing other things, like the rower or the elliptical machine. I wonder if I should have a look at DVDs…?

On another note, on Friday my package had arrived, which I was quite excited about:

Package 19.07

OK, not a massive package but enough to make me happy. I want to get back into making more smoothies so I’d made a couple of purchases from Holland and Barrett’s website to jazz them up a bit. After my run I decided to have a smoothie as it was too late to eat breakfast and too early for lunch. I don’t usually eat anything before runs as it makes me feel quite unwell. So I made my first ever green monster smoothie. I used Angela’s recipe here. I didn’t have any ice which was a bit annoying but I had some frozen banana chunks. And instead of using flax I used a couple of teaspoons of wheatgrass. I used non-sweetened almond milk as my choice of milk:

Smoothie 20.07

I was really dubious about what it was going to taste like. But, honestly, it was so yummy! I could have drunk it all day. I got Ben to try a mouthful as I thought he might like it. Nope. Ah well, can’t win ‘em all! He had a banana and fruit smoothie with cow’s milk and seemed quite happy with that.

I can’t wait to make different variations of the smoothie. I want to take it to work but (and I’m ashamed to admit) I’m worried people will look at me strangely. See, I work with a bunch of men who’s vision of ‘healthy’ is choosing a jam donut over a cream cake because the donut has fruit in it. Well, I’ll see. The point is, I need this in my life!!

Also wanted to share my first ever peanut butter-based meal:

19.07 dinner

Sweet potato and a dollop of crunchy no-added sugar PB and a load of veg. It was so good. Thank you blogging world for opening my eyes to this possibility!

Has anyone else had any new experiences lately?

That love-hate thing

Hello! Almost Friday which means my long weekend is almost here, woohoo! I’m in such a good mood. It’s going to be a hectic Friday and weekend but I love being busy and ticking things off my to-do list and, of course, a nice long sleep and the chance for an extended run. During the week I can only really run for about 50 minutes as I need to get ready and drive the million miles to work (OK, it’s not that far, but sometimes it feels like it). And as much as I love running, getting up earlier than 5.30am is just not going to happen. I love sleeping much more.

I don’t really run in the evenings because I find that after finishing work I’m shattered and just want to cook dinner and then flop onto the sofa (in a very attractive and graceful way…*cough*). Then a short-time after that, I go to bed (yep, I’m that cool, people). Plus running for me is one of the best ways to get my energised and ready for the day. I’m in such a better mood after running and have so much energy. Not so good before bedtime!

So I can only run just over 5 miles in a morning in the week. Though saying that, I usually don’t want to do more than that anyway as I don’t have as much energy for it as I do at the weekend. The week runs are always a bit of a slog and generate a lot of self-hatred of “whhhhy am I out here when everyone else in the world is in bed??”. Whereas I see my weekend run as an unconstrained run where I can run as long or as little as I want and that sort of mentality really helps with the run. And getting up at 9am is a bit more of a friendly time!

Wednesday’s run went OK but, like I said, it’s always tough. The first mile is just me thinking of how I could just go home and then the other miles are me continuously pushing myself. I’ve never quit a run but psychologically it’s tough to keep the momentum going. The last mile is always the best and it’s that sense of achievement of finishing is always worth the pain (at least that’s what I’ve brainwashed myself into thinking!).

18.07 Run

Do other people have this constant battle and happiness associated with working out? You love doing it but not necessarily while you’re doing it??

On another note, I wanted to share my MAMMONTH meal last night:


That’s chicken with a ‘sprinkle’ on it (a spicey mix of herbs and, er, spice), half an avocado, some cannellini beans stir-fried with some bell pepper and onions and a whole load of veg on the side. In retrospect, it probably was too much. Maybe I didn’t quite need the side of veg. I massively overestimated my hunger levels and stomach capacity. However, I did finish it. I did go to bed massively full and bloated though. It was damn good though.

And here’s what I wore yesterday:


The belt definitely came off post-meal…

Anyone else have the problem when they can’t stop eating something even when they’re full just because it tastes way to go to leave?

Another attempt at Victoria Sponge

Is it Monday already? How did that happen?? Where did the weekend go?

I did not want to get up this morning at 5.30am for my run. Too dark, too tired, too cold – well not that cold, but not as warm as my lovely bed! But I forced myself out of bed and got Alfie up as well for his walk. Not that Alfie needs much encouragement to be honest. As soon as I stumble out of bed he is bang awake and ready to go. I suppose you would do if you slept 16 hours a day like he does…

I was still aching from my long run on Saturday so I took it easy and it was quite a pleasant easy-going run. I just let my mind wander and didn’t put much thought into it to be honest.


Yesterday I ached so much from my run. I might have pushed myself a bit too hard as I really felt it in my hip, which I guess is never good!

I got busy baking on Saturday evening as both mothers were coming over the next day after church to talk all things wedding. So I made some mini-Victoria sponges using a variation of this recipe. Honestly, I’m not that good at baking. Now this fully depresses me as I love cooking. I can cook up some really tasty meals (if I do say so myself!) But when it comes to baking…well, I always manage to do something wrong. Look what happened to my normal Victoria Sponge I made a few weeks ago:Victoriasponge

In theory it was going to be perfect – homemade jam and everything *sighs*.

Anyway, so I made some mini-Victoria sponges in the hope that because they were smaller there would be less room for error:


They looked pretty good…but then I realised my error:


They were all the same size and would be far too big to make up the two sandwiches for the mini-cakes. *Sighs* So I improvised…not nearly as beautiful and wonderful as the recipe picture, but yummy none-the-less. The mothers were happy and that’s all that matters!!


Well, I hope to improve with time on the baking front. There is definitely enough inspiration out there to help me along. I’m always looking at other blogger’s websites with my mouth open going “how do they make them so perfect and delicious looking?” So please bear with me (if anyone is there at all, hehe).

Fuelled by go-go juice

I do love Saturdays where you have nothing planned. It’s nice to take a day just to ‘reset’ yourself, you know? Do all those bits and bobs you couldn’t do in the week because you were too busy earning a living. Not to mention a cheeky little lie-in!

The meal out last night was good. Though I was a tad disappointed with the starter I’d chosen. Goat’s cheese crostini:


Apologies for the blurry picture: I was trying to take a photo quickly before I looked odd in front of Ben’s mum. Also, it’s one third of the way through as I’d forgotten to photograph it. I was hoping for a larger goat’s cheese to bread ratio. And they were a bit heavy-handed on the chutney. That’s not to say I didn’t clean the plate!

I went for something I wouldn’t usually go for for the main course:


Duck with butternut squash and pomegranate and mango salsa. I never go for duck but I just loved the sound of the salsa. It was very good, but I do prefer chicken or turkey. There is a sneaky chip that found it’s way from Ben’s plate on to my plate as well…no idea how it got there…

Anywho, this morning I was planning to go for a 6 mile run. But I extended it to 9.4miles as I really got in the swing of it.


Really chuffed with how it went. However, literally as my Garmin beeped to tell me I’d hit the 6mile point the heavens opened up on me and I got absolutely drenched. Not just mildly damp. Full-on soaked through to my undies (sorry, too much information?). It got to the point where I just didn’t bother jumping the puddles. I squelched all the way home. Was I being punished for doing more than 6miles?? Well, there’s nothing like a bit of downpour to get you moving. It really spurred me on to get home.

This is me post-run. Literally, I am soaked. My leggings are usually grey!! Now my best look I have to say…no judgement please.


I also tried out a new sports drink. Now, I’m more of a purist to be honest. Plain water is just fine. However, I got these water tablets free with a magazine and I thought I’d give them a go.


Though the taste wasn’t amazing (a bit like watered down squash with a weird after-taste) I really think it helped my run. Whether this is all psychological, I’m not sure. But I’m going to give them a go when I go for my 6mile-plus runs. I don’t take water with me for anything less than that but when I go out longer I always need water (made the mistake of forgetting water on a long run once and had to stop at a pub and beg for water…not my finest hour!).

Right, I thought I might leave you with a photo of our little dog Alfie. After peeling off my sodden socks after the run, the cheeky beggar made a grab for it. He looked so cute I had to take a couple of photos.