Some things I’ve been trying lately…

Hi guys, hope you’re enjoying your weekend! I’m just dropping in quickly to give a review of some products I was sent.


I was very pleased with the Alpro cool bag as well! That’ll be great for picnics in the future Smile

Alpro Products

First up are the Soya yogurts. I was sent Alpro Fruity & Creamy Cherry and Alpro Fruity & Creamy Peach.Soya

I’m not a big fan of yogurts with bits in at all so I let Ben have these. He’s never tried soya yogurts before but he does like sweetened yogurts.

I personally love the taste of the plain soya yogurt as it’s different to normal yogurt where normal yogurt has a definite ‘twang’ to it, if you know what I mean. Ben said he really liked these. They were very sweet and he liked the fruit bits in them. The yogurt was nice and thick as well he said. He would have them again!

Looking at the nutritional profile of the yogurts they’re 125 calories per pot, with around 10g sugar, 4g protein and around 2g saturate fat. The ingredients list isn’t the best in the world, but I’d say it’s better than a lot of other yogurts out there!

All in all, a great snack to have when you’re feeling a bit peckish and fancy something sweet!

I was also sent some Unsweetened Almond Milk and Sweetened Almond Milk. Now you guys know I love my almond milk so these went down perfectly in my usual morning oatmeal.


I much prefer the unsweetened almond milk as I’m really not a fan of overly sweet oatmeal. Just the sweetness of the milk itself is enough for me. However, I did try it in other things such as cups of tea (which added a lovely subtle sweetness which I sometimes like with traditional breakfast tea) and smoothies.

Berry smoothie

This was a frozen berry, banana and sweetened almond milk smoothie. Delicious after a walk with Alfie after being in the sun.

Yu Products

Next up we have the Yu! Bar. This was a Wild Berry flavour with yogurt topping. Again I gave this to Ben as he’s always complaining he doesn’t have enough time in the morning for breakfast and then gets hungry.

Yu Bar

His opinion on this: “amazing”. It had like a jammy filling and was very crunchy he said. Very sweet. He loved it.

It’s 133 calories for this bar, with “no artificial nasties” and contains 33% real fruit, 33% yogurt coating and 22% cereal. It’s quite high in sugar (especially the yogurt coating as you might expect) with 20g of carbohydrates. There’s only 1.4g protein and 5g fat. I’m not sure how much this would fill you up and keep you going. However, Ben couldn’t stress the taste factor enough. So a nice treat once in a while rather than a breakfast substitute I think.

Then we had the dried cherry pieces and dried strawberry pieces.Yu review

I took the cherry pieces and Ben had the strawberry ones. We both really enjoyed these. Each pouch is around 90 calories. I quite enjoyed nibbling on these one boring afternoon at work. They’re gluten free and the ingredients look pretty clean – and one of your five a day. But Ben said it was definitely a “healthy” snack more than a fun snack.


Smoothie mix

This was a product I was really intrigued about. I have never tried protein powders before and if I’m honest I am not a protein powder kinda girl. I just don’t see the need for it in my life. I like ‘real’ food. But I know a lot of people love them and find they’re a great addition to their diet and I have no problem with that! Just for me I like to eat something rather than drink something if that makes sense.

I got sent two Superseed Breakfast Smoothie Blends both Pistachio flavoured. I was less reluctant to let Ben try as I greedily wanted both…But in effort to be a better wife I shared Winking smile

Smoothie making

We whizzed it up using half a frozen banana each and I had sweetened Almond milk and Ben had normal milk.


I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this! And it was hugely filling. Like literally kept us going for a fair few hours. We had this today after we got back from our Parkrun (more on that on another post) around 10ish and we didn’t need lunch until 3pm!

It’s gluten free, low carb, low salt, no added sugars, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives or additives and high in protein and fibre.

Per smoothie (without adding the milk or banana) it was 190 calories, with almost 15g protein, less than 4g carbohydrates, and less than 2g saturate fat. Not bad! And a very nice looking ingredient list!

However, it is pricey…almost £19 for 14 servings-worth. I think the only times I’d drink this would be after (or before) a long-run when I need something to properly top me up or between lunch and dinner as a good solid snack.

Dr. Karg Products

And finally! I was also sent Dr Karg crispbreads.

Dr Karg

These babies were tricky to not gobble up quickly I must say. I’ve been enjoying one every so often when I’m peckish at work or at the weekend between meals. I don’t even need to add anything to them as the toppings make them interesting enough for me!

However, I did add a couple to lunch one day when I had a lovely bowl of soup.

Soup collage

They held up really well in terms of dunkability and provided great scoopage for the chunky soup. Really good addition for lunch!

The Olive and Rosemary ones were really tasty but the 3+3 were my favourite (above). Both sets of ingredients list were top notch. Lots of wholegrains, seeds, herbs…just good old fashioned ingredients. I think they’re roughly around 100 calories per crispbread. The seeds help boost the protein (over 4g) and carbohydrates 11g, and less than 1g of saturated fat per crispbread.

Hope you enjoyed my review! I’m off to do some housework, joy of joys.

Which of these products take your fancy? My favourite was the Alrpo Unsweetened Almond milk but only because I have it literally every singly day. Though I did enjoy trying the protein shake!

What do you look for in a good snack: high protein, taste, clean ingredients?

Meat balls, running and WIAW

Hi all. Hope you’re week is zooming by and that life is treating you well Smile

I’m feeling a certain déjà vu today…I’m off to Derbyshire again this afternoon exactly like last week. And again, I won’t be back until Friday. But it’s a good project and I’m really stretching my skill capabilities so I’m a happy bunny (a happy terrified bunny I must add, being outside my comfort level – no gain without pain I guess).

And then Saturday Ben and I fly to Bulgaria to go skiing for a week! I might have mentioned this a few times already so please forgive me, but I am SO excited. I have images of myself gliding effortlessly down huge vertical mountains with the wind in my hair. I’m guessing that reality is going to be a leeeeetle different. More like me looking like Bambi on ice. Hey, a girl can set her expectations high can’t she!?

So it’s What I Ate Wednesday. As always thank you Jenn for hosting the party!

This is what I ate Monday. It’s a fairly typical day of what I eat at work, with a rather adventurous (for me) meal in the evening.

Breakfast: no changes here I’m afraid. Oatmeal cooked with almond milk. It. Never. Gets. Old.


I have about 2/3 cup (60g) mixed with water and almond milk (more almond milk than water). I am comfortably full after this. I always think that I’m a greedy beast with this portion as other bloggers seem to always go for 1/2 cup…but it’s not about comparison!

Though last week at the hotel I did shake things up a bit and enjoyed a bit of a fry-up (bacon, mushrooms, scrambled egg, tomatoes and a black pudding). And I imagine I’ll be eating the same Thursday and Friday this week as it’s the same hotel we’re going to.


Lunch: this is my usual go-to lunch for work. Tuna salad (leaves, beet, tinned tuna, tomatoes, cucumber, steamed random veg).


It’s a monster of a salad and I love eating it at work while reading blogs. It’s like my down-time of chilling. I hate it when people interrupt me during this time. I give them the ANNA STARE. Or at least I mentally give them the STARE while I pleasantly smile at them and hope they’ll hurry up their interruption Winking smile

This is following by a goat’s cheese Babybell – best flavour EVER. Sorry no picture. Imagine a little circular wedge of deliciousness.

And then fruit with plain yogurt.


This time it was two kiwis. And thanks to a post from Jemma from Celery and Cupcakes ages ago I know I can eat the skin! Lovely.

And then mid-afternoon I snacked on these:


A re-used photo, but basically exactly the same; carrots!

Then an apple and a banana about 4 o’clock to tide me over until dinner (apple and banana o’clock I fondly call this time as it’s always the same at this time).

Dinner: I was torn between making meatloaf and making burgers with some beef mince that I had. In the end I based it on THIS recipe and instead of making meatloaf (as frankly I was HUNGRY and didn’t want to wait 45 mins) I batched up little balls of the mince mixture and put them in a muffin baking tin.


Beef Chunky Meat Balls (serves 2)

  • 500g extra lean beef mince
  • Half bell pepper, diced
  • Small zucchini, grated
  • Small white onion, diced
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 tbs. Worcestshire sauce
  • 2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Pepper (don’t need salt due to stock cube)

– Preheat oven to about 180C.

– Then combine it all in a large bowl, and then make individual little balls to pop into a muffin tin.

– Cook for at least 20 minutes, or until browned all over.

Mince never really photos well…but basically you can sort of see the little meatballs. Ben and me are not usually big beef eaters, we prefer chicken or turkey. We never eat steak just because we don’t like how chewy it is. These though were AMAZING, really nice flavour.

I had cauliflower mash (with a bit of Philadelphia mixed in) and steamed veg with this. Really good filling, hearty meal. Ben loved them as well. Though he had his with ketchup. I just had mine on their own and they were a flavour sensation Winking smile

Fitness: So I was really proud of myself last week because I had a great week of running. And, to bore you all to hell and back, with my Garmin on the laptop now I can really analyse my runs. Apologies now if this is too much info!!

Monday: 6 miles tempo run. I kept it slow on the first mile, then tried to keep around 8 mins/mile for the three middle miles but slowed down again at the end.






Tuesday: 4 miles interval running, with my intervals aiming at 6mins/mile.


Wednesday: rest day.

Thursday: 3 miles interval running (no details as I was a total treadmill dunce).

Friday: I had intended to just do an easy run or some rowing but I got into it and did another 3 mile interval run (and figured out how to view the summary of my run!)









Saturday: my first 10 miler. This run was one of those amazing runs when you enjoy the whole damn thing. I started off running with Ben to ensure I kept my pace down at the beginning. Then I naturally found myself speeding up after we parted (2 miles in) and I was comfortably running between 8.30mins and 8mins a mile. I didn’t feel that I was even pushing myself, it was just perfect. So I’m fairly pleased with my overall time:


My legs ached a lot after this. I went to Pilates afterwards which was really nice as it stretched my muscles out soo well. I also recently purchased a foam roller…


This was SO PAINFUL. Like good pain, but PAINFUL pain, you know. Ben thought it was hilarious but I made him have a go and that stopped his laughter. Ha. Definitely going to try and use this more as it really felt like it helped my muscles.

Though I’m enjoying my little business trips and having a change of scenery I just want the next few days to speed up so I can go on holiday!

Have you used a foam roller before? Love or hate?

Which do you prefer, meatloaf or burgers?

Do you over-analyse your work out stats?

Full steam ahead! WIAW

Hi guys. Thanks for your reassuring comments regarding my latest confessions. I don’t feel so alien and crazy now Smile

This week at work has been a ‘thrown in the at the deep end’ kinda week. We’ve got a new project going on so suddenly there are a hundred pages of documentation to get my head around and understand.Docs

Fun, fun! But I do love my job and the people I work with are great. Working with a bunch of software developers is always quite relaxed and jovial.

Enough shop talk. Today is Wednesday so, as always, it’s WIAW. Thank you, Jenn, as always for hosting! This is yesterday’s eats.

As always, nothing exciting for breakfast, just my usual oats and almond milk cooked in the microwave until a beautifully stodgy consistency.


This filled me up perfectly. Nothing added, just pure oats and milk. I am an oatmeal purist and not ashamed!

Lunch time I took my usual salad to work and copious snacks.

Lunch packed

So for actual lunch I had my usual tuna salad with lots of random veg and salad bits (tomatoes, leaves, carrot chunks, peas, beets – just anything really).


Eaten at my desk while reading blogs. I know should go out and have a walk and get some fresh air but I also love this time to enjoy my lunch while reading some good old blogs. I followed that with a Babybel…IMG_3435

…and a big dollop of Soya yogurt over a fruit salad [took this photo in the morning – I use frozen fruit so it’s defrosted by lunch].


I love Soya yogurts, so creamy and vanilla-ry. As you can see, I’m loving my Alpro products at the moment!

Then a bit later I snacked on some carrots that I had peeled and chopped.


A bit of an embarrassing snack considering they crunch so much in the office…oh well!

I had two black coffees, peppermint tea and lots of water with squash in my funky glass during the day.


Then I had an apple and a banana about 4pm when the munchies set in [old picture sorry – it’s embarrassing enough sneakily taking photos of lunch but snacks are quite tricky!].

A and b

And then home-time an hour or so later and dinner – my favourite meal of the day as it’s the one meal Ben and I eat together. It’s lovely because he’s usually in before me and has walked Alfie and then while I cook dinner he sits and chats with me about his day and my day and it’s just a nice catch-up time. I made a salad with chicken fried in balsamic  vinegar, with mozzarella dusted with basil and had roasted vegetables also in balsamic vinegar (addicted to that stuff).


Delicious and very easy! I’ve basically been eating a lot of these style meals. You know I love my salads and adding balsamic roasted veg just rocks my world.


This was Monday’s dinner: grilled halloumi and salad with roasted veg.

Other than that I’ve been snacking on lots of chocolate…

Chocs from Bruges

These are chocolates from Bruges which I’ve kept in the fridge…oh so good!

And I made some banana bread at the weekend.


What’s life without a few treats? Winking smile

This morning I went on a 5 mile tempo run (as part of my training plan). I find 5 miles (dare I say it?) an easy distance.


It’s not too short, and not too long. I have a great route I always do and the time flies by. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still tough (especially the tempo run) and at times during the run I want to give up and go home (usually within the first 5 minutes), but there’s always those good moments throughout where the ‘power of the run’ feels damn good. Especially afterwards when you’re finished running Winking smile

And I’d though I’d share with you my post-run picture and then my post-shower ready-for-work picture. Run and goAs you can see, still dark outside before and after. Oh the joys of winter! And behind is the rowing machine that never gets used… (*whispers* I told you so, Ben!!)

My running is going good – honestly, having such a rigid goal works wonders for motivation. And it’s quite nice to not just run the same all the time in terms of distance and speed. Finger’s crossed it remains as good!

And that’s me! Have a great Wednesday Smile

Are you back fully into the swing of work/education after the break?

What’s your favourite meal of the day and why?

Holiday –part 1 (Orlando)

Hi guys! Well, I’m back to 100% Anna now. Back into the groove of work. It’s quite nice to have nothing to worry about or stress about. No more mad planning and just free weekends! It’s novel. I can get back on track with things that slid to one side this year. Like sprucing up our little home a bit as since we moved in last November we didn’t majorly deck it out with any sort of decorations. I’d like to buy some pictures and things like that to make things a bit more homey. Oh and Alfie is in a definite need of a haircut! He’s a mess.

So, I thought I’d do a recap of our holiday adventures. We spent six days in Orlando and then four days in Colorado Springs. So, here’s how Orlando went:

The taxi picked us up at 4.45am. We were half asleep as you can imagine. But by the time we got to the airport it was breakfast time (5am was breakfast time my tummy was telling me, but I waited). We treated ourselves to a Jamie Oliver breakfast:

24.09 Anna

Check that bad boy out. Not my usual porridge – but it’s Jamie’s so what can I say! I don’t eat sausage though (worst food in any form) so Ben gladly traded it for his black pudding. Yum.

Anyway, after a very very long flight we arrived in Orlando. Groggy and tired we basically just went to bed (in our amazing three bedroom villa!) It worked out nicely because we’d gone to bed so early (Orlando time) we woke up the next day at like 5.30am and so got started straight away. To save money and time, we decided to buy a load of food from the supermarket and eat breakfast at home before dashing to a theme park (also I’m a bit sad and get very excited with foreign supermarkets so it was a win-win situation).

25.09 breakfast

Obviously I had porridge. American style! (Actually not that different from UK…) And Ben had a crazy array of cereals each day:

25.09 BRK Ben

Each day we zoomed off to the parks. We went to Universal Studios and Island of Adventures first.


It was brilliant. It was fairly quiet so we got on rides very quickly. We were like kids running around with big smiles on our faces. Obviously we had to go to Jurassic Park (my all-time favourite movie – despite being terrified of velociraptors for the majority of my childhood).


And Harry Potter world as well…


Where we shared a BUTTERBEER!!! Pretty much heaven in a drink. I dare not to think of how bad it is for you but seriously, I need this in my life on a weekly basis:



Do you know what else was amazing? The sheer amount of sweets. Sweets

Hello candy-coated apples! Of simply every variety. Cue Ben holding Anna back before she spends all their money on teeth-rotting goodies. The chocolate/marshmallow/caramel/peanut butter coated apples are healthy though, right? There’s fruit in there somewhere…

For lunch we decided that it was just too hot to buy something from a vendor and sit outside eating. We went to a great restaurant (twice) on the City Walk: Emeril’s Restaurant.

Universal lunch

[Anticlockwise: Rotisserie chicken and Andouille gumbo, BBQ prawns, Salmon with stewed beans and smashed avocado, & roasted trout with artichokes and rocket]

After two days of Universal, we then went to Disney. In complete juxtaposition to Universal it was so busy! We were surprised as it’s supposed to be the quiet season right? But maybe there is no quiet time for Disney…


We went to Hollywood Studios in the morning and then headed to Magical Kingdom for the afternoon. We got there around lunchtime and it was packed. We decided to try finding a restaurant to eat (=cooler). Epic fail.

Now, withhold your judgement please… Throughout the parks I’d been seeing people eat HUGE turkey legs. Now I’m not a massive meat eater but I had begun craving one of these bad boys to an irrational level. I just had to have one.

I’ll spare you the pictures because, people, it wasn’t pretty (good ol’ husband snapping away while I tried not to look like a savage). Despite lacking a lot of feminine grace while gnawing away on the beast, it tasted AMAZING. Out of idle curiosity I later Googled it. 1,200 CALORIES. I was aghast. Ben laughed. But what can you do? No wonder it tasted so damn good.

Disney wasn’t as good as we thought to be honest. A lot of children. A lot of Disney-obsessed people. We enjoyed it, but it didn’t rock our world like Universal.

The next day was spent in Busch Gardens which was EMPTY. We went on everything and even got on the front of the roller coasters quite a lot. It was good fun. Lots of animals as well!


We grabbed lunch while watching some crazy dancing in one of the indoor canteens. On a similar carnivorous note to before I went for ribs with a side of veggies. Ribs are a bit of my devil food. I LOVE them but I try not to eat them too often as they’re usually always coated in that delicious BBQ sauce which probably has about 5 tbs of sugar in it. But hey, it’s holiday, and they were the speciality. Would be rude not to…

28.09 lunch Anna

[Apologies if I’m offending any vegetarians/vegans – sometimes I just can’t control the beast within]

We did manage some slightly less rich food by eating in the villa (and saving us some money) and trying out some more local restaurants and enjoying their salads.

29.09 lunch Anna main

[Chicken, avocado, lots of fruit and seeds. Yum!]

And between parks and rollercoasters we enjoyed the pool.


Though it was verrrry chilly. But nice and refreshing after all the humidity and heat.

We spent one day away from the main tourist area and looked around Winter Park which is a very beautiful area with nice eating spots and coffee shops. It was nice to take a moment out!

All in all, Orlando was amazing. We went on every ride we wanted to (some twice) and really had a great time. Having the villa was brilliant as we could just come back and have something simple to eat at home or swim in our private pool! It definitely saved us some money as well.

So, part two will be on our adventures in Colorado. Horse riding, bike riding and lots of mountains!

Sweet Sunday and WIAW

So last post I mentioned that I had very busy Saturday with lots of wedding arrangements and having lunch out with my mum and sister. Sunday was equally busy as well. We had our ceremony rehearsal at the church in the morning after the Sunday service, and all the ‘main players’ (ushers, bridesmaids, etc.) met us there and we had a dry run-through.

It was quite surreal and we joked all the way through it. Like my dad and me did a funny walk together up the aisle. People objecting to our marriage. Then when Ben was repeating his vows I kept winking at him or pulling faces so he kept laughing. It was very funny and the vicar joined in as well. It made things a lot less scary!

Then from there we went straight to our reception venue to go through the final details and timings. So I feel a lot more ready now. I know what’s going on and that everything is pretty much sorted.

Then came the fun part of the day; buying our sweets for our candy buffet. We looked in old vintage-style sweet shops but it was all a but too expensive (but I enjoyed looking anyway – anyone else get excited by things like that??)


So then we went to more cheap shops to get better value for our money.


And we bought just a few things…


Hehe. Yum!

And then it was a case of deciding which jars which sweets would go into.

PicMonkey Collage1

This was fairly difficult as I didn’t want to open any sweets yet so they would keep fresh for as long as possible…so it might need tweaking on Friday when I’m sorting out last minute details.


The doilies are great! I love the vintage look. And the paper plates will be for cupcakes that my friend is baking me for the day.


So it’s going to be a plethora of sweet goodies…I’m so pleased with how it’s turning out! I’m absolutely the least creative person, so this is pretty good for me. I got all the jars from charity shops so the costs have been kept down.


And I’m chuffed with the table favours too. I bought the paper bags from Amazon for like next to nothing and got some ribbon from Hobbycraft. Each table has a sweet name (like Jelly Babies or Liquorice Allsorts) and then each person on that table gets a bag full of that sweet. Top table gets a mixture of everything (win!).


So that was Sunday! Now on to WIAW. Thank you Jenn for hosting as always. Check out her blog to view what other bloggers have been eating (all very interesting!!)


As always, I’ll show you a bit of a mix of meals as Wednesday isn’t usually that exciting in terms of meals…

Breakfast is usually the same every day (apart from random pancake days!):

18.09 porridge

I mix about 1/2 cup of oats with 1tsp of wheatgrass and a sprinkle of ground flaxseed (a new addition!) and then unsweetened almond milk. Nuke in the microwave for 3.30 mins (stirring half-way) and it’s good to go!


Fills me up really well until lunch time (which is like a good 4.5 hours later!).

Then lunchtime [at work I usually have a tuna salad or homemade veggie chilli that I batch make at the weekends]. But I’ll show you a lunch I had at the weekend which rocked my world. Home-made hummus:


Chickpeas, lots of herbs (mixed and coriander), lots of minced garlic, lemon juice and a big dollop of tahini paste.


Then whizzed up in a food processor.


I had this with salad, chicken and one of my new favourite chutneys (Cheeky Monkey – banana chutney!)


Lovely. Really sweet and flavoursome, which complimented the hummus perfectly!

Dinner (from Friday night) was hands down the best meal of the week! Cauliflower pizza. The base was made with grated cauliflower, one egg and a big blob of goat’s cheese. I baked this for a few minutes, then added a tomato base…

14.09 pizza

Then I threw on lots of toppings (more goat’s cheese, chicken, mushrooms & courgette) and baked for about 8 mins.

14.09 pizza1

Doesn’t look like pizza, granted (except that it’s round) but it tasted gooood and I was stuffed.

Snacks…well I thought I’d show you my every day dessert after dinner:


Two chopped apples (always chopped, never whole).

With the wedding coming up I’ve not been that adventurous with my cooking (there are quite a lot of repeat offenders) but during my honeymoon I hope to have some very exciting eats!!

Workouts have been fairly standard. I did manage a quick interval run on Sunday (2 miles) despite not thinking I’d get anything in. And then yesterday I ran another 2 miles and did some core workout. I can now hold a plank for 3 mins, woohoo! Abs of steel! *Cough* Well, moderately firm.

And outfit of the day [dress from Warehouse]:

19.09 outfit

Important meeting in London today, so the smart dress is out in full force!

Happy WIAW all! Happy eating [and viewing]!