Almost the weekend

Wow I’m so glad it’s Friday. This week has been fairly hard-going. I’ve been trying not to stress about the wedding and I’ve been doing some delegating so things are better. But getting up for working out has been really hard. I’m usually wake up a bit tired but after giving Alfie, our dog, a quick walk I can snap myself into focus mode. But I’ve been like a zombie walking him. Which isn’t so great when he suddenly sees a cat and I’m not prepared and he almost rips my arm out of its socket.

So my runs this week haven’t been great in terms of how I feel when I’m running. I’ve just felt so tired. But I managed to do some yoga (albeit an attempt). After some good tips from Maria and Becks, I’m going to check out some podcasts and see what they’re like as trying to do it all on my own didn’t work out the best. Anyway, here’s what my week looked like:

Monday – 5 miles (42.38mins)

Tuesday – yoga

Wednesday – 5.2 miles (43.37mins)

Thursday – weights (5 sets of 15 squats 5kg weight, 2min plank, 3 sets of 15 triceps kick backs 2.5kg per arm, 3 sets of 12 ‘cleavage creator’ and 3 sets of 30 sit-ups 5kg weight)

Friday – today I ran 3 miles as I want to improve on my speed.

3.08Run

Really chuffed with how it went. I woke up today feeling less sleepy and just went as fast as I could. It was really tough, I’m not gonna lie. I couldn’t have maintained my speed for a longer run. It was good though to push myself in a different way as I usually just try and run further. Mentally it went well because I knew it’d be a lot shorter than my usual runs. It just zoomed by. I was surprised by how much it knackered me though at the end. I was pooped!

I won’t do a short and fast run every week as it’s quite tough and doing 5 work-outs during the week days was hard-going, especially as I’ll still do my longer run at the weekend. But I’ll try to do it every other week as it’ll show me any progress and help push myself that bit more.

I’ve been enjoying some good smoothie puddings in the evening as well. I’m calling them smoothie puddings because they’re too thick to be smoothies but not massively indulgent to be a pudding. I don’t have any photos as I was too busy chomping (whoops). But my favourite is low fat yogurt, 1tbs carob powder, 2 tbsp PB2, frozen strawberries and a pinch of xanthan gum. Delicious! PB2 is something I’d come across in blogs but didn’t really know what it was. However, on researching it I found it was powdered peanut butter and 85% less fat and calories than usual peanut butter! Amazing.

PB2

Now, don’t get be wrong. I adore normal peanut butter. You can’t beat it. However, when you just fancy a slightly ‘lighter’ smoothie but still with a yummy PB taste, this is perfect! In an evening I don’t want anything too heavy as I tend to go to bed quite early (yes, I know, I’m like an old lady) so it’s perfect for fullness factor. And with the carob powder it tastes very indulgent but without a heavy feeling on your tummy afterwards.

So addicted to the Olympics right now. I’m currently sneakily streaming the track events at work. I’m just blown away with how amazing they all are. Jessica Ennis is our big British star and I’m just in awe of her. These women (and men, of course) are so inspiring to me to push myself that little extra. I know this sounds cheese, but I just think they’re amazing!

I’m looking forward to this evening as I’m meeting up with my close friend to talk wedding and eat Indian take-away. She’s kindly agreed to make me cupcakes for my wedding and sing during the ceremony, I’m so grateful to her! She’s an amazing singer and an amazing baker, so it’s a win-win situation Smile

Hope you all have a great Friday night and lovely weekend!

Proud To Be British

Woohoo it’s the weekend! Off to a good start: Friday night TV was great (crazy party animal that I am). Ben and me watched the Olympics opening ceremony. Now, originally I wasn’t fussed about the Olympics. It’s been soo over-hyped and you can’t go a day without hearing something about it. However, I thought we best watch the opening ceremony because, well, let’s face it. The Olympics only happen every four years and it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever see Britain hosting the games again.

So we watched it. Well, not all of it – it went on until midnight! And I have to admit, it was pretty good. Off the wall, yes. But quite a show. Best part? Mr Bean playing the keyboard sketch. That was hilarious. I loved that the Queen got on board with some funniness as well. Danny Boyle did good and made me proud to be British Smile

Source: arthouse.com via Anna on Pinterest

 

Alfie also enjoyed it too, though he did fall asleep after about ten minutes:

28.07 Alfie

Dinner was very late on Friday night as I attempted a cauliflower pizza. Not a pizza covered in cauliflower as my dad thought, but a cauliflower based pizza – i.e. the base is made out of grated cauliflower. I mentioned to Ben that that’s what we were having for tea and he looked at me as if I’d told him we were eating Alfie. He was horrified. But I managed to persuade him by assuring him there would also be mozzarella in the base and it would be very cheesy. He looked slightly less scared. I’m really trying to get Ben to eat more healthily and lose a little bit of weight before the wedding. He’s not fat by any means. But, and he would agree, he has a little excess he’d like to get rid of. So hence the cauliflower pizza.

Has anyone grated an entire head of cauliflower? It takes flipping ages! I vaguely this recipe tweaking some of the quantities and toppings.

Cauliflower

Anyway, so two bowls of cauliflower later and some grated mozzarella and we’re almost good to go.

28

Mix together with egg and herbs.

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Then I separated it into cake tins as that seemed like the perfect utensil. Then cooked in the oven for 15 minutes. Then add some amazing toppings and put back in for about 5 mins until everything is lovely and cooked. Nom nom nom.

pizzas

Mine’s on the left. I had beetroot, red bell pepper and diced quorn chunks and some grated Babel Bell cheese. Ben had the same but without beetroot and a lot more cheese.

These were amazing. OK they didn’t really taste like pizza (or look like pizza really). But they tasted like something else just as tasty. And they were so filling. But a lot of effort! I think we’ll be having these occasionally as they took so damn long. And Ben’s opinion? He really enjoyed them. He said they wouldn’t replace pizza (what can) but he’d have it again. That, my friends, is a top 8/10 on the Benjamin Scale.

I did my weights in the morning. I’m really struggling with finding new moves to do. I like to mix it up every week to work different muscles but I’m finding it hard to find stuff. I only have dumbbells so my equipment is fairly limited. Here’s what I did:

5 sets of 12 lunges on each leg with 5kg

3 sets of 12 bent over rows

3 sets if 12 lateral raises with 2.5kg per arm

3 sets of 12 sit-ups with 2.5kg weight

3 sets of 12 triceps presses

3 sets of 10 press-ups

1min45sec plank

60 sit-ups

I think I just need to hunt through the Internet to find some inspiration. I never really know what to do with my legs other than lunges and squats.

Anywho, hope you’re all having a lovely weekend. I’m off to choose my bouquet for my wedding. Oh and as a side note, I’m glad to inform you that I managed to drink my smoothie at work yesterday without any spillage issues. Happy days.

Wedding-related panic

Good morning! I mentioned in my last post how I really hated people commenting on my food when I’m eating or making derogatory remarks, which often makes me feel embarrassed or insecure to eat in front of people. I had a few comments form readers agreeing with me, which was lovely! I think this is why I love reading and writing blogs. You’re surrounded (albeit virtually) by like-minded people. I love my family and friends obviously but sometimes they really don’t understand my quirky food loves or ‘healthisms’ (like getting up stupidly early to run). It’s definitely a community feeling in the blog world and you never feel embarrassed to post some weird recipe or try some strange food. This just makes me happy Smile

On a similar note…because I’m embarrassed by some of the stuff I eat (and I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m working on it), I bought a flask especially for my smoothie to take into work so people couldn’t see that I was drinking a bright green smoothie. Brilliant idea, I thought, it also keeps it lovely and cold! So I was feeling rather smug with myself as I unscrewed the lid. Unfortunately as I tipped it back to drink, it was less thick than I originally thought and it rushed out and spilt all down my front. Bright. Green. Smoothie. I’m now sat in the office covered in what looks like thick green snot. Brilliant idea, Anna.

But it’s Friday! And it’s 8 weekends until I get married. And honestly, I am stressed. So many things left to do. The most pressing being choosing my sister’s bridesmaid dress. I  know the colour but that’s it. I bought one online but it looked dreadful on her. Now we need to go for a shopping trip – probably better than buying online. I’m only having one bridesmaid for my wedding as it’s quite a small affair. Originally I was going to have my girlfriends from university but they live all over the country (and one in Germany) so it’d be a nightmare to coordinate (not to mention expensive) and in the end it would have been five bridesmaids in total and I think it wouldn’t have looked right as it’s a very small affair. So just my older sister, Rachel. But the point is that every weekend is now critical to some part of the planning of the wedding.

This weekend I hope to make progress in the sweet buffet I hope to have. I want something like this or this basically. I’ve got some jars and glass pieces so I now need to work out what’s going in them, some decorative labels and things like that…Any tips or suggestions are very welcome Smile

And we hope to have Ben’s outfit in the bag as well this weekend. He finally got around to booking his fitting (the one task he had been assigned) – cutting it a bit fine I think! Men! Honestly, I swear there wouldn’t be a wedding if he’d have had to organise it! How do programmes like Don’t Tell The Bride manage?? But anyway, we’re off tomorrow to get him suited and booted.

My run yesterday was OK.

26.07 Run

I’ve decided to mix up my workouts a bit. I usually run three times a week (usually one longer run at the weekend and two 5 miles in the week) and do a strength training session as well. But I’m really enjoying running at the moment and really want to improve my speed. So every other week I’m going to add a 3 mile run and try and run as fast as I can. It’s shorter so mentally it seem possible. But we’ll see. I’ll start that next week. And sometime I want to add yoga. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day! I think it’ll have to be at the weekend as I just can’t get up earlier in the week and I need one day in the week where I have a ‘lie-in’ and don’t do anything exercise-related. I think yoga will be important for me as I run so much and often feel my muscles are a bit tight. It would be good for my body to stretch properly, you know? So I have a few ‘beginner’ positions to try. I hope to try this at the weekend. I’ve never done yoga before so this could all go wrong!

As it’s Friday, I thought I’d leave you with a funny photo that might make you smile:

Source: piccsy.com via Anna on Pinterest

 

Have a lovely weekend everyone and finger’s crossed the sun keeps shining!

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?

Fabulous Friday!

Hurrah, it’s finally Friday! It’s been a tough old week (emotional breakdowns aside). But it’s Friday and almost home-time (yes, I should be working right now…whoops). I think the best part of the weekends are definitely that second you walk through the door at home after getting back from work. The whole weekend is in front of you. More sleep, more time to cook meals, and general relaxation. Oh, and housework. But I’m on of those funny people who enjoys housework (most of the time). I’m a bit OCD like that so it fits in nicely with that side of my personality. Hey, we’re all different!

Yesterday morning Ben and me dodged the rain (a difficult task these days) and went for an early morning run. Ben has just got back into running so he doesn’t quite leap out of bed like I do at 5.30am. It takes a bit of coaxing… It’s so nice to run with someone else. A 6am run can be a lonely place when you’re running. Without being disparaging towards Ben, I am faster than him and find it easier to run as he gave up running for a period of time a couple of months ago. So running at his pace doesn’t quite tax me as much, but I don’t mind because it’s just nice to have the company! We did split off in the end as I wanted go on for a bit longer so I was able to speed up a little more.

photo7

So the run wasn’t my fastest but the enjoyment level of having someone else to run with made up for it. I’m just chuffed he’s running again Smile

This morning I did some weights:

· 3 sets of 12 x lunges per leg (5k)

· 3 sets of 12 x bent-over row (5kg)

· 3 sets of 12 x tricep kickbacks per arm (5kg)

· 40 x sit-ups

· 3 sets of 12 x sit-ups with 2.5kg weight

· 40 x bicycle sit-ups

· 1 plank (1 minute)

photo111

Really getting into my weights again. I stopped for a while but with the wedding coming up I thought I’d best get back into it for some good toning! It’s always tough doing weight training at home though because the distractions are endless. During my 30 second breaks between sets I’m like “ooh there’s a bit of washing I can fold up” or just gaze out of the window instead. When I went to the gym I was always focused because the quicker you were done the quicker you’d get out of there and get home. Not quite the same incentive when you’re already at home!! But I set myself a time and a bunch of exercises I want to get done and try and focus that way.

I’m looking forward to tonight as we’re off out for a meal with Ben’s mum to one of our favourite gastro pubs, The Titchfield Mill. I’ve already perused the menu and know what I’m going to have…

Does anyone else do that – check the menu for a restaurant and decide what you’re having before getting there??