Everything but the kitchen sink

How s-l-o-w-l-y things seem to drag when you’re soon to be going on holiday. Every day seems to crawl by…I know I shouldn’t complain though. I’m very grateful to soon be on a beach in Mexico applying another layer of suntan lotion…

It couldn’t have come at a better time as well. I feel a bit frazzled. And I know Ben is as well with all his travelling and hard working he’s been doing lately. So bring on the cocktails!

But first I have the small tiny little Bristol half marathon to get through first…I’m strangely looking forward to it. It should be great to do such a big race in terms of numbers of people. Cheddar Gorge half was under 200, whereas this one is around 20,000! Even Reading was only around 15,000 I think. So a lot of people!

What’s crazy as well is that when we get back from our holiday the ‘big’ training begins. Marathon Training. Those words just look scary to me. Marathon? Whoa. It’ll be less than two and a half moths until the big date when we get back from Mexico. I already have two races planned to help the training along:

End of October: Great South Run (10 mile road race – very popular, should be brilliant)

Mid-November: A nice and local half marathon (Gosport Half)

December 22nd: Marathon

Annoyingly enough our work Christmas party is the night before. My work always do a really good Christmas do. Last year’s was in Bruges for the weekend. This year it’s at a beautiful stately home in Winchester. Unfortunately Ben and me will opt out as it just wouldn’t be a good idea. Not with a 9.30am start the next day. I’m not too sad… *sobs*

Anyway, like I said I’m feeling a bit frazzled with work. Definitely in need of a holiday. I’ve been using my workouts as a bit of a escape. Seriously, I can’t think of anything important during those tough spin classes. My mind is purely “this hurts” or “I’m tired” or “when’s it over”. And running is like a cool breeze flowing through my mind. It just wipes all that stress away. For the half marathon I plan on just putting on some music and enjoying the scenery. I do enough introspection and worrying in my daily life to allow myself to get bogged down by unnecessary thoughts for 13.1 miles.

I haven’t really posted much about food lately. Mainly because it’s all been a bit samey and not interesting at all.

However, as it’s Wednesday (WIAW: go check out Jenn’s blog!) I did stumble across a quick meal that I just can’t get enough of at the moment. It was after I’d gotten in from spin and my body was like FEED ME. We had a lot of vegetables in the fridge that needed to be used and I just thought “what the hell”. So it was pretty much a meal with everything but the kitchen sink.

Kitchen sink meal

This delightful mess is a three egg scramble with lots of stir fry veg, mushrooms, sun dried tomato and diced trout. With a side salad of course – because you can never have too much veg, am I right? Winking smile

What made this was the trout and the sundried tomatoes. The tomatoes were in oil so this helped increase the flavour as well. I loved this. And good healthy omega oil from the fish as well!

Another meal that I’ve been enjoying is gammon steak.


I grilled the steak and had this with cauliflower mash with goat’s cheese mixed in (heaven) and broad beans…and maybe a sneaky bit of beetroot (it needed eating). Oh how I miss eating gammon! I’m on such a meat kick at the moment.

And at work it seems everyone can’t stop bringing in cakes. Not that I’m complaining!


Hello oat and raisin cookie. How I love thee.

Sadly our cake stash in our freezer is quickly going down. This is not good. My mum came over the other day for a catch-up…and we had the last slices of Victoria sponge. I almost cried. Winking smile Well, that just means getting/baking more I guess!

As my last point, I’ve just started reading Gone Girl after it seemed the blogging world exploding with how amazing it is a while ago (I’m so behind the trend). I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. I’m 17% through (God bless the Kindle) and I’m not massively keen. DON’T HURT ME. It’s just that it reads a bit like a comedy romcom style book but so clearly is not. I don’t know how to take it if I’m honest. It just seems a bit odd. I shall persevere though.

Have a great week guys!

When’s and where is your next holiday?

What’s your latest favourite meal?

Do you use exercise to switch off or switch on? Sometimes a long run is quite cathartic to think about different things, but usually I just like to stop thinking and shut off from the world for a bit.

What are you reading at the moment ? Have you read Gone Girl? Thoughts?

Tasty dirty food

Hey guys, how’s everyone doing? You can really tell the summer is coming to a close and schools have begun again. Hello annoyingly long commute.

Anyway, I wanted to rant talk about this business of ‘clean eating’ today in line with WIAW (check out Jenn’s blog).

I read a great article the other day that really made me think. Honestly, go and read it.

It made me wonder. What is ‘clean eating’? You read so often in so many blogs, magazines, adverts etc. that clean eating is the done thing. The healthy thing. The right way forward.

No processed food. Lots of vegetables. No refined sugar. No white bread. No caffeine. Something like that, right?

Clean eating

The article basically argues that clean eating doesn’t exist. It raises some very interesting points, such as for every diet/way of eating (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low carb, etc.) there is always a type of food or selection of different foods that are deemed unhealthy or toxic (unless you’re a veggie for animal welfare reasons I guess**). Basically, all food can be seen as unhealthy from one perspective or another.

So, by rights, this meal could be described as ‘not healthy’.Stir fry meal

Stir fry with river cobbler fish thrown in, tons of veg, courgette noodles (or coodles as we fondly call them in our house) and a large dollop of cream cheese to create a lovely creamy sauce. [With a corn on the cob because they’re so damn juicy right now.]

Yep. Processed Philadelphia low-fat cream cheese. Not the full fat version…probably produced in a factory god knows where adding god knows what making it taste like pure heaven.

I have also been eating loads of turkey and pork sausages.

Turkey sausages and mash

And they don’t always contain stellar ingredients. Check out the ingredients list on your sausages (pork, chicken or turkey). Doesn’t look great doesn’t it? Do I even know what half of those things are??

But they taste pretty good. I mean, they taste like sausages. If you want to remove all that other stuff out then just buy a damn pork chop or turkey breast. But let’s be honest, you’re not eating sausages for breakfast, lunch and dinner are you? Every day? Then seriously: stop worrying.

I am a strong believer that no food is bad for you. No food is going to cause you nutritional harm. Obviously if not eaten in excess. Let’s be very clear here: any food eaten in excess will cause you issues. Yep, that includes my beloved apples.


Now, you know I like my cake. I eat cake every week. I even ate this bad boy then my husband made and he didn’t even make his own icing.

Jam sponge and icing

He used SHOP-BOUGHT icing. Icing from a tub. OK it didn’t taste as good as normal icing but it was pretty good. He went for the quick and easy. Quick and dirty.

My point is I’m tired of hearing about clean eating all the time. I understand that for some people that’s their life and that’s their prerogative. I don’t mean to offend anyone so I’m sorry if this is how it’s come across! But it really annoys me the tone that some of these blogs or articles etc. can come across. The ‘holier than thou’ tone. I agree that eating a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables and whole foods is a great approach, but it’s not the only approach and it’s not mutually exclusive with eating foods that, let’s be perfectly honest here, taste amazing but have been in some way been processed.

Those tasty dirty foods. Ice cream. Chocolate. Cake. Sweets. BBQ sauce. Steak. White bread!! Stuff that we can turn to when life just sucks a little bit or we just fancy eating.


Let’s not feel bad about not eating clean! Let’s enjoy the balance of life. Don’t banish those cupcakes (*cough* cupcakes with ACTUAL sugar in them and actual WHITE flour). Enjoy your food, whatever it is your eating.

Vanilla cupcake

*Jumps off her soap box* Have a great Wednesday!


**I know that some people can’t eat some types of food for medical reasons as well. My aim is not to offend anyone!

Clean eating: what’s your opinion?

Do you avoid any foods? Why?

What’s your tasty dirty food preference?

Enjoying my food

You know my feelings about cake. It’s my weakness. It’s my kryptonite. My heart’s desire and my biggest nemesis.

This bad boy was brought in to work yesterday (a present from a wife for her husband’s birthday):

Sonic Cake

Sonic the Hedgehog never looked more appealing. The guy is a software developer…so it kinda makes sense. Best wife ever? Seriously, husband, take note.

But I’ll come back to that cake shortly. First off let’s get started with WIAW and the boring other food I ate.

Thanks, Jenn!

I find some days are good days and some days are bad days when it comes to food. I use the word ‘bad’ lightly here because I’m a true believer that no food (or drink) is inherently bad. Oh sure, living on chicken nuggets and milkshake every day isn’t going to do your body any favours and will make you feel pretty rubbish eventually. But once in a while it can’t hurt! Newspapers love to scare us into submission, like pushing the idea that one sniff of a sausage will cause an immediate cancer epidemic. Whatever sells the papers…But in reality, I truly believe no food when eaten in moderation can cause our body’s irreversible damage.

That being sad, I like eating healthy, fresh food. Lots of vegetables, lots of fruit, meat, slow-releasing carbs…for me it’s not something I have to consciously work on because it’s second-nature to me.

Smoked mackerel salad

This was dinner the other evening: smoked mackerel on a bed of lots of veggies, salad, slices of nectarine and sundried tomatoes

That’s not to say I’m the golden girl of nutrition. Far from it. I love me some sugar. Chocolate, sweets, ice cream… and of course cake.

Sonid Hedgehog cake

My best intentions to try and have a day where I eat really well (i.e. avoid the copious amounts of biscuits and cookies at work and don’t consume too much chocolate in the evening) fell very short yesterday. I mean how could they not when you see such a beauty!

Delicious cake

I ate a caramel flavoured slice from the top tier and a chocolate fudge slice from the bottom tier. And promptly felt quite sick.

Afterwards I needed to lie down in the foetal position for a while to recover.

But these things happen. Life happens. I’m not going to turn down an offering of a slice of Sonic the Hedgehog cake! I’d regret not trying it more than feeling a bit sick and a bit guilty after.

Cake ecard

Like I said, cake is my nemesis…and it was damn good.

I’d also like to point out I wasn’t the only one who had two slices. There was a minority that I was joyfully part of… Winking smile

Back to ‘proper’ food (i..e not just based entirely on sugar and food colouring haha)…one of my new favourite meals that I could literally eat every single day is this:

Turkey sausages and mash

Three turkey sausages, broad beans (or other vegetable, I’m not fussy) and cauliflower mash with goat’s cheese. Hold the boat. This was delicious. I’ve had turkey sausages in the freezer for a while now but was inspired to do this meal by the lovely Laura.

The trick to this is to add a good amount of goat’s cheese to the cauliflower to really get the flavour zinging. Yes I said zinging.

Other than these meals, I’ve still been eating my usual stuff; loving the stir-fries and salads!

So basically my motto is, eat healthily but enjoy the good stuff too. Usually I try and ‘be good’ in the week so that I can relax at the weekend with a nice slice of cake in the evening, or a meal out with all the trimmings. But as you can see, this doesn’t always work out that way! But I won’t beat myself up about it because life is too short.

I will say though that I don’t think two slices of cake helped with running club in the evening. I felt very sluggish and a bit sick!! Ho hum.

Now I’m going to have a rant. A while ago I mentioned how annoyed I was getting with people using my mug. My lovely large mug, perfect for a good cup of coffee in the morning and a present from my mum. Yes I did leave it in the communal kitchen and no it did not have my name on it so my complaining was hardly that justified. I secretly glared at anyone I caught using it though.

It’s gone. It’s completely missing. I haven’t seen it in ages. I’m despairing. So I did what any sane, non-obsessed, normal person would do in a time like this. I created a poster and put it in the kitchen for all to see.

Missing Mug

That picture is genuinely a photo of my mug. Ironic, I know.

Well, I’m in a state of mourning now as it’s been a week and all I’ve got are some sympathetic comments and strange looks. RIP mug.

I have lost a mug and possibly gained the title of “Weird Mug Girl”.

Happy Wednesday!

Have you lost something recently? I wouldn’t mind but, damn, that was a good sized mug.

What are you hopeless at resisting? It doesn’t have to be food. I’m also very and when it comes to anything running-related…what’s that? A new electrolyte drink that people are raving about? Let’s get five.

What’s your view on healthy eating and treats?

Call me goldilocks

Zoom zoom how the days are flying! Thanks for your lovely comments on my baking fail in my last post. It’s the equivalent of an ugly kid I think – you tell them it’s what’s on the inside that matters (i.e. the taste), not the appearance Winking smile And the cake tasted amazing so that’s all that mattered.

I’m currently feeling a bit achy and tired from my interval session with the running club last night. Ack, it was painful. I literally hate those sessions. I much prefer a lovely nice run. Not this “run to that lamppost at top speed” nonsense. But it must be done. And you do feel great afterwards (after the nausea and pain has disappeared…).


This is a snapshot of the training (a graphical representation if you will…oooh er). I’m amazed that one of my last intervals was my fastest! The intervals increased in distance (as we went to the next lamppost along and back) but none really went on longer than a minute I guess. No way I could sustain this for a long time!

So it’s What I Ate Wednesday today (check out Jenn’s blog for more information).

I thought I’d show you my eats recently. Because I’m running around 30 miles a week (and two of those sessions focused on speed – Tuesday night’s session and Saturday’s Parkrun) and doing two spinning classes a week (and 30 minutes of pump at the weekend) I’m finding myself quite hungry quite frequently (surprise surprise eh). Sometimes ‘hangry’ (angry with hunger – or food rage as Ben describes it).

To combat this I’ve been trying to ramp up my between meal snacking to more filling options. Also I’m a voluminous eater (i.e. I like a big plate of food and regular snacks otherwise I feel cheated with life) so this works out nicely for me.

Breakfast: same old same old but with a slight change.


Oatmeal (a good half a cup) and a tablespoon of chia seeds with enough almond milk to give it a good thick consistency. Zapped in the microwave (I’m sorry, cold over-night oats don’t float my boat. It’s gotta be steamy and stodgy for my liking – call me goldilocks). I haven’t really caught on to the chia seed bandwagon that always seems so hot in the blogging world. However, I’ve recently been reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and he mentions chia seeds (briefly really) in one of the things that seem to help the amazing tribe runners run. Well I am sold. Jeeze I am such a sucker for books and what they tell me. Honestly I believe anything if it’s written in a book by a supposed credible source.

Lunch: I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t snack between breakfast and lunch. I never need to I find. I’m an afternoon and evening snacker.


This might just look like vegetables and salad but I assure you within this vast Tupperware box there is also a whole load of tuna. Like I said, I’m a voluminous eater. I love eating a monster salad that takes me a year to get through.

After this I have a box of popcorn. I’ve been added salt to my popcorn as I don’t think I eat enough salt and with all that running and sweating it can’t be a bad thing to add!IMG_4223

I probably have a couple of cups worth of popcorn. I’ve actually started a wave of popcorn eaters in the office. Everyone’s gone popcorn mad now! I’m proud.

Then I have low-fat (but not 0%) Greek yogurt. I like it a bit creamy but not overly so.


In the morning before work I pop in a load of frozen fruit and by the time lunch comes round it’s all defrosted and the yogurt is still lovely and chilled with lovely added flavour from the fruit.

First snack: usually this is something from my Graze box:


My favourites being the dip ones… ahh I love those sweet jammy dips.

Healthy snacks

Or other bits and pieces, like dried fruit and nuts.

Then later I’ll have an apple and a banana and lots of peppermint tea. If I’m still feeling peckish I’ll probably dive back into the graze box again (I love them!)

When it comes to dinner the only problem I’m having is that when I’m at running club I find it hard to have a large meal straight away. But this the other night was perfect. I had prepared the tomato sauce and got everything ready to go in the oven before I left for running club and then it was just a case of leaving it to cook while I showered, which allowed my stomach to chill out a bit before chucking food into it straight away.


This was chicken, stuffed with goat’s cheese and wrapped in two pieces of lean bacon. I’m not a fan of stringy bacon but I like the lean stuff. Then I coated it with a herby tomato sauce and served it with broccoli. Perfect.

Post-dinner snacks: In the evening I always need snacks.Healthy snacks 2

After my post-dinner apples (never changes) a bit later on I’ll snack on a cheese string and a yogurt. Lately I’ve been loving the Activia yogurts especially the thick and creamy ones. Lots of protein so nice and filling before bed!

And that’s me. After running club and my stomach has settled a bit it’s a case of trying to eat as much food as I can within a shortened period of time. I’m not necessarily hungry in the evening but I hate waking up famished and if I’ve got spinning the next day (like I do Fridays after running club Thursday evening) I want to know I’ve got fuel in the tank so I’m good to go.

What do you snack on between meals? I used to only go for fruit (love it) but it wasn’t very sustaining. So now it’s all about nuts and protein-based things like yogurt and cheese (the strings and Babybels).

How do you make sure you’re eating enough for the exercise you’re doing? I don’t want to lose any weight. I want to be strong and healthy and damn fast at running so this is really important for me.

What workouts do you do that you just hate but know you should do them?

Let’s Get Random

Hello, lovely people! It has been stormy and rainy here in Southern England. I couldn’t help but take this photo while lying in bed the other night.


I do love a good storm!

Anyway, it’s Wednesday. Last week I missed out on all the fun, but today I’m back in the game for What I Ate Wednesday and show you some of my latest dinners.

Thanks, Jenn!

Now I’m going to throw out something a bit crazy here. The following eats will win no awards. The will not appear in any great book of recipes. They don’t look pretty. They are simply random, working-week dinners that were thrown together in the midst of hunger.

People, let’s get real here: I am not a fancy blogger. Don’t get me wrong, I admire greatly all those beautiful blogs with beautiful photos and the effort and time that’s been spent on them. I truly admire that.

But this week, I’m bucking the trend. Throwing in the towel. So please, be kind in your judgements…these are just some random meals from a busy working week.

Mystery Fish Meal


I wish I could take credit for this taste sensation, but I have to thank good old Sainsbury’s supermarket. We’ve been ordering our food online recently because life has been hectic at work and the weekends and it’s just easier. Anyway, I ordered fish (just plain old river cobbler) and they gave me this instead. It’s still river cobbler but it’s got some crazy delicious bread-crumb coating. I don’t even want to think of what’s involved to make it taste so good. It can’t be good Winking smile

Anyway, I had this with broad beans and roasted butternut squash. Heavenly simple.

Random Beef and Egg Meal


I think I saw a recipe months ago that was something similar to the above and then I randomly decided to give it a go. However, I’ve later found it actually involved sweet potato and not mince at all (sweet potato hash maybe?). HOWEVER this was exceptionally tasty for all it’s randomness. For kicks here’s the recipe (it may not be the prettiest meal in the world, or the best titled but it tasted goood!).

Random Beef and Egg Meal (serves 2)

  • White onion, diced 
  • Clove of garlic, diced
  • 400g minced/ground lean beef
  • Grated zucchini
  • 2 medium grated mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Crumbled beef stock cube
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree
  • Mixed herbs (oregano, rosemary, basil)
  • 2 eggs

– Pre-heat oven to 190C. Fry onion and garlic for 5 minutes, add beef, zucchini and mushrooms (the grated mushrooms was an idea I got from the lovely Jessie – GENIUS. Ben didn’t even realise and he hates mushrooms. Haha those vitamins snuck right in and he didn’t notice). Fry until beef has browned.

– Add Worcestershire sauce, stock cube, tomato puree and herbs.

– Transfer to an over-proof dish (e..g casserole dish) and then make two small holes at either end and crack an egg in each.

– Put in oven for around 15 minutes (until the eggs have cooked).

Egg and Beef Mess


I had some mince left over, I had a lot of eggs, and I had some veg. I threw it all together. New favourite scrambled egg meal right there. And seriously filling. Three eggs, 100g minced/ground beef, veg. You know it makes sense.

Chicken and Cream Cheese


This meal is such a staple meal for me. Chicken is one of my favourite meats and I adore cream cheese. Basically there’s a lot of veg (this time onion, zucchini and mushrooms), chicken and cream cheese with a tablespoon of tomato puree and lots of spices. Easy and quick thrown together in a pan and cooked through.

You could argue that the majority of my meals are never that ‘pretty’ or creative. You’d have a good point Winking smile But as you can see, this week was even more so. I love cooking, don’t get me wrong. I love opening the fridge and cupboards and wondering what to make for dinner. But it’s not always going to be a culinary break-through. Sometimes it’s just a boring, run-of-the-mill meal. Three eggs and some tuna…some chicken with sweet potato…turkey sausages…


I do tend to put a lot of (highly unnecessary) pressure on myself to create elaborate, ground-breaking meals and post them on my blog in beautifully edited photos with a well-written recipe below. But sometimes, I’m just tired. Sometimes I honestly can’t be bothered. That’s not to say I don’t care. I just don’t always have the time.

So please forgive me this week, I will endeavour to do better Open-mouthed smile

What’s your random, easy meal this week?

Do you cook every single day? Unless we go out or order in, I will always cook a meal – the degree of cooking involved varies though (see above Winking smile).

As a blogger, do you feel pressurised to upload great recipes and meals all the time?