What I’ve been up to lately

I feel like I haven’t had a proper catch-up post in ages!

I’m still not running but that’s a post for another day as I have a fair amount of uncertainty – which could be cleared up soon (potentially). But anyway, I’ve been busy eating lots of good food and doing fun things so let’s talk about that, eh?

A few weeks ago I went to visit my lovely friend, Charlotte, in Liverpool. Amazingly my plane took off from Southampton and landed in Manchester – which is one step more than I managed the last time I tried to get there!

Weird banana thing in the train station – there were loads of these all over the city in different styles

I got the train from Manchester to Liverpool and arrived safe and sound at her house. Charlotte used to live in Brighton which, from Portsmouth, is a whole lot easier (and cheaper) to get to but it’s nice to go somewhere new and spend time with her, so it was worth it.

I sadly was not able to do the local parkrun but instead enjoyed a rather wonderful lie-in instead (well, after 8am which for me is long). We then headed into town to mosey about.

We went into the largest LUSH in the world (actually the world). It was four stories!

It had its own spa it was that fancy. Charlotte and I actually had a guided tour round the spa and honestly if the lady had said she had availability there and then we would have signed up I think. It sounded divine!

We even had some vegan cakes on the top floor from the pop-up bakery, Nakery. Very tasty, but most definitely more healthy than indulgent. Lovely bit of cashew frosting on the top.

We shared this selection

What I also loved is there efforts for zero packaging at the Nakery.

For lunch we had an incredible meal in Almost Famous Burger. It was literally on the recommendation from a friend off of Instagram and the fact that it was chucking it down that we made the snap choice to head there. And what a good choice it was!

For lunch we had an incredible meal in Almost Famous Burger. It was literally on the recommendation from a friend off of Instagram and the fact that it was chucking it down that we made the snap choice to head there. And what a good choice it was!

I had the Halloween special which was a double bacon cheeseburger with a fried chicken burger on top and on top of that a corndog dipped in candied bacon. I mean, what even is life?

I’ve never had a corndog and it really was very tasty! It’s a shame it’s not really a British thing. The burger itself was very good. Charlotte and I also shared waffle fries with bacon dust and nacho cheese. Why have I also never tried waffle fries?! These were incredible.

Charlotte had a vegan burger and it looked equally impressive. She said it was good. What a win!

On the subject of vegan food, I also recently saw my friend Michelle for a vegan brunch at the absolutely wonderful Off Beet restaurant in the New Forest. I’ve been to Off Beet a few times and it’s never disappointed. Entirely plant-based and with such inventive menu, it’s such a treat to go there. They change the menu regularly according to the season and the food always looks so beautiful. The chefs are so good!

I had the No Eggy Omelette. It was filled with a cashew cream (there it is again!) and a fake smoked salmon made from marinated carrot. Honestly I wondered how they’d get away with that but it was SO fricking tasty. I really enjoyed this!

We also walked around the farm shop next door. Love that they sell ecofriendly detergents in a way that you don’t have to keep buying plastic bottles.

As always it was lovely to catch up with Michelle – someone who also struggles a lot with injuries. We had a good old moan 🙂

And then recently Kyle and I went up to Bristol to see more friends and enjoy a rather epic roast dinner. Having been on the carvery train for a bit, I was ready to have something a bit more posh. Quality over quantity I guess (though there is DEFINITELY a place for quantity when it comes to food in my eyes as you well know!). We went to a steakhouse called Pasture and it was INCREDIBLE.

Topped with parnsip crisp curls

I had pork and beef and it was delicious.

Served with it was creamed leeks and the most fluffy, crispy potatoes. I’m not usually a potato fan (very boring and bland in my opinion) but these were something special.

We were stuffed! But of course you do always have a separate stomach for pudding…

Chocolate brownie with a molten chocolate sauce, honeycomb ice cream and honeycomb pieces. I mean, anything served with molten chocolate sauce is a winner in my book. This was incredible.

So despite the lack of running, I’ve still been enjoying all the good food and fun times as I would normally. I’m of course desperate to get back to running but I’m being patient for now.

Have you been to Liverpool before?

What’s your favourite roast dinner?

What’s your favourite kind of burger?

Being more eco friendly

To my friends and family I’ve become a little bit insufferable in my quest to be more eco-friendly.

I’m trying hard not to be *that* person who always makes a comment about plastic or judges anyone when they throw something perfectly recyclable into the regular bin rather than the non-recycle bin, but sometimes I can’t help it. I genuinely feel very concerned for our planet – or at least how we live on the planet. Because let’s be clear, we won’t destroy the planet in that it won’t exist anymore. We’ll just destroy our own species and way of life that we’ve become so accustomed to.

I try to make better choices when I go shopping. Loose vegetables and fruit rather than wrapped in plastic. Taking my metal straw to the cinema. Always having my bag of life with me. Choosing cans over bottles. Re-using and recycling like a pro.

But realistically it feels so hard. Like not just “this is a lot of effort” hard to constantly be thinking and making good choices, but like Current Life makes it very difficult to choose the right choices when the choices aren’t available. Races using plastic bottles. Shops only selling certain things in plastic. Restaurants, bars, workplaces… Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed by it all and like no one cares.

Obviously I can only do so much, short of giving everything up and living in a hut in the wilderness or devoting my life to protesting for Big Changes. That’s not quite me. What I can do is little stuff and trying to educate those around me who aren’t as clued up (without sounding like a pretentious annoying knob that no one wants to talk to anymore).

[Yes of course being vegan would be the way forward but honestly, after trying it, that lifestyle is not for me. I have reduced my meat and dairy consumption during the week though].

One thing that has really been a gamechanger for me is the concept of eco bricks. I found THIS article. In a nutshell, you have a clean plastic bottle and you fill it with non-recyclable plastic. You literally fill it to the brim. I use a a sturdy stick (used to be a chopstick) and then you just push it all down.

It’s a great concept! You then take it to your nearest eco brick drop-off point (which you can find online) and they can then use it for sustainable projects. I’ve made about four already. It is timeconsuming and hard plastic is really tough as you have to cut it all up but I try and do a little every day (we have a basket where we put our clean plastic now).

It’s incredible how much plastic we use in a week though. It is a never ending task. And I’m not perfect, if the plastic is really contaminated from food I don’t use it because the length of time washing and then drying the plastic makes the process so much harder.

My parents are really getting on board with it all now too. They used to be terrible. But after excessively nagging them they try a lot better. They even went so far as to buy eco friendly washing up liquid, cleaning products and detergant for washing. I’m so proud!

It’s easy to feel helpless and get consumed with the idea that one person can’t make a change, but you really can. If everyone did something than that would be huge. Just educating yourself about what you can recycle and what you can reuse or avoid buying.

Little changes like not buying plastic covered fruit and veg. Aim for the loose variety, or shop locally in a fruit and veg shop. Buy cans instead of bottles. Use a composter for food waste. Meatless days (I currently have a lot of those days during the week). Avoid fast fashion companies. Give unwanted items to charity. Recycle your trainers (some running shops take them or use clothing banks). You can even think about carbon offsetting (here’s a good overview of sites that do this).

Basically just try and do something. Anything is better than nothing.

Are you eco friendly?

What are your top tips?

Eco-Friendly Choices

Hello! Today I have a really interesting post written by freelance writer Emma Holm on being more energy-efficient and environmental-friendly, something I’m quite passionate about.

Technology is slowly becoming more energy-efficient in the home, however the differing amount of technology that we all possess is actually maintaining and increasing the energy we use. Energy companies have tried to facilitate the process of switching to more environment-friendly options, for example by providing customers with free smart meters as the switch from analogue to digital equipment gathers pace. Smart meters in British homes have been commonplace, and I have also noticed apps such as Nest mobile that allow you to manage your energy use away from the home become more popular. Attractive, mobile and easy to use interfaces have made saving energy more interesting and accessible. There are also more unusual inventions that help you monitor your ways, such as bags you drop in your toilet that reduce the amount of water you use. It goes in the watery section of the toilet where that big orange ball bobs up and down.

I am also looking to be economical with energy at home and thinking of the high usage technology that I use. This can range from energy saving kettles and choosing to pay a monthly fee for boiler maintenance and upkeep. Every time I brew up it costs something like 5p – I might put an honesty jar next to the kettle for friends and family!

I am currently pondering my energy choices at home as I try to live a simple life so any financial savings I can make will be beneficial. Heating takes up a lot of energy in the house, and switching to environment-friendly heating is one of the best things you can do, even on a low budget. Electric radiators like ones from Verismart Heating are easy to install and allow you to only use the amount of energy that you really need, saving you money in addition to being environment-friendly. Lighting is another key factor in monthly energy usage and the slow removal of traditional lightbulbs by the European Union has slowly me into using LED and other energy efficient lighting options. A clever mix of education and regulation is making us all more energy conscious and I do try and do my bit to help the environment.

One of the biggest changes you can make in terms of becoming environment-friendly is buying eco-friendly food products. From packaging to production, food damages the environment in a number of ways. Organic food is still popular in 2015 and one look at the Tesco website will demonstrate the continuing importance of organic and eco-friendly food in the marketplace. There has also been a movement to buy local as this reduces the amount of air miles that is involved with keeping unseasonal food on the shelves all year round. Bananas are one of the highest selling foods in volume due to their versatility but the average banana travels around 4,500 miles from countries such as Costa Rica, Ecuador and Brazil but often retails at a minimal cost. A mango would have once been a seasonal fruit but it takes around 4,600 miles to travel from India to the UK! Buying local and organic ensure the consumer makes an ethical choice and ploughs money back into local economies.

Eco-friendly living is getting easier and cheaper, and it’s a step everyone should take – that’s the only way we can have a lasting positive impact on the environment and still be able to enjoy our four seasons and beautiful nature and wildlife. Besides, it makes you feel better about yourself too, knowing that you are doing your part.

Does environmental factors influence the choices you make when it comes to your home?

Does where a product come from in a supermarket affect whether you’ll buy it or not?

What steps have you taken to be more environmentally friendly? For my current house I request a compost bin so I could get rid of food waste in a better way than it just ending up on a landfill site. I also recycle everything I can.