A Little Change – WIAW

Hi guys, hope you’re all well. As usual, it’s What I Ate Wednesday. Check out Jenn’s blog to get involved or peruse other people’s exciting eats. I can’t promise mine will rock your world, but I certainly enjoyed them Smile

 

The theme is to get your veggies in and, to be honest, I never really have a problem with this. I’m a big vegetable fan (not you though, celery, you can stay back). Usually every evening meal is accompanied by a big serving of veg. Ben used to be shocked, but now he just expects it.

Breakfast is where I draw the line with veggies though. I just have my bog standard bowl of oats with almond milk, zapped up in a delightfully stodgy heap of deliciousness.

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Are you surprised? I literally don’t change. I literally haven’t changed this for about 8 years. I think I just like how simple it is to make, how filling it is and how much I love eating it. Why would I  change?

Lunch has been a different affair at work recently. Last week I had my usual monster tuna salad, Babybel and yogurt with fruit at work. It’s easier to throw together and I like it.

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However, I’ve been finding that I hit the afternoon and find myself feeling FAMISHED. I tend to have a banana and apple to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner and that used to be fine, but recently this hasn’t worked. I would drive home feeling not so great and in need of food. LIKE NOW.

I’m thinking it’s because I’m running more. I never used to run 5 times a week and never the mileage I’m doing now. Because I’ve crept the mileage up quite gently I haven’t really thought about increasing my food as well. Typing this now actually makes me feel stupid. It’s another “well duh Anna” moment.

Now you might have noticed, I’m not a huge carb lover. You can take your bread, your pasta, your rice…I’d much rather have protein or fat. Salads piled high with veg, cheese and chicken. Roasted vegetables with melted cheese. Chicken stews with a side portion of veg.

However, this isn’t working for me right now.

It’s annoying because I like what I eat. I don’t want to change, but let’s be sensible here. So for lunch at work I’ve swapped the tuna salad for a turkey bacon and cream cheese sandwich…

Lunch

…With a side portion of salad. I can change some things but not all! I also had fruit with Alpro soya yogurt and frozen fruit salad (that had nicely defrosted by lunch). This has definitely made me feel a bit better. I also adore the combination of bacon with cream cheese.

Then for dinner I tried something crazy (in Ben’s eyes). I attempted…savoury oatmeal. I was dubious going into this if I’m honest. I mean, I eat porridge every single morning and suddenly having it with chicken and vegetables. Well, that’s just weird…or is it?

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Yeah OK it doesn’t look great, does it? It looks pretty much like sludge. But! It tasted so good. It didn’t remind me of breakfast at all. It was just a completely different meal.

I based it on THIS recipe but added a few bits and pieces to make it a bit more filling for my new found hunger.

Chicken Savoury Oatmeal (aka Sludge for Dinner) (serves 1)

  • 1/2 cup (40g) quick-cook oats 
  • Garlic clove, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 small mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 350ml (1 & 2/3 cup) chicken stock
  • 1tbs nutritional yeast

– Fry onions in a little oil for 5 minutes, then add garlic for a minute.

– Add chicken, mushrooms and zucchini and fry until chicken is cooked.

– While this is happening, cook the oats on the hob with the stock. Add more water if it looks too thick.

– Then combine all the ingredients together and add the nutritional yeast. Then serve when at the consistency you want.

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Yep, still sludge. But it tasted so good and was so filling.

Another meal I really enjoyed was Monday night. We had a lentil meal which we both loved (BBC Good Food recipe: Middle Eastern Chicken and Apricot Stew).

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Very simple to make and really flavoursome.

So, more carbs I hope you noticed. OK I didn’t go crazy – I didn’t chomp my way through a full-sized French baguette obviously. But I’ve been adding bits and pieces and adopting this pattern now throughout the week and my energy levels are so much better. I’m not a horrific beast when I get in after work (can you hear that sigh of relief from Ben??) Small changes!

Have you found that you needed to change what you were eating to compensate an increase in exercise?

What’s your favourite carb?

Have a great Wednesday!

Distorted thinking

Hi guys. So the snow is melting but apparently a cold spell is going to hit the UK this week. I’m sorry, isn’t it cold enough as it is?? Hope everyone is coping well and the snow didn’t cause too many issues.

I mentioned in my last post that I was really fed up because not only did our trip to Wales get cancelled due to the weather but I also missed my 5.5 mile run. I know missing this run isn’t a big deal in the great scheme of things. I know it isn’t going to affect the half marathon. I honestly know this. But it still worried me. How ridiculous is that?

Anyway, so I was determined to run on Saturday as I didn’t want to miss another run, and especially the longer run of the week: 7 miles (not hugely long to all you running pros out there but long for me).

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So I put my trail shoes on as they have the best grips and set off to our little local country park: Manor Farm.IMG_3508

I decided to go with a trail run because honestly the pavements were a nightmare. Seriously icy and slippery. So I figured that more fresh snow was needed to help keep me balanced. The scenery was beautiful but it was a hard run. Like running on sand. My pace was forced to slow down to around 9 minutes/mile. But I enjoyed it immensely.

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The beautiful scenery helped clear my mind and let me just run without focus.

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And without so much as one falling over incident (which is good for me considering how clumsy I am) I got my 7 mile run in.

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Though I loved it and felt so good afterwards I still felt angry I’d missed the other run – like I hadn’t done enough for my training. I realise this is absolutely ridiculous thinking. After feeling down about it while I was getting showered and sorted for the day I realised how stupid this thinking was. I should be proud of the run I just did! And in snow no less! I don’t know why I had that ridiculous mind-set about the ‘lost run’. I think I’ve just become so focused on running and hitting certain targets I’ve missed the bigger picture. Why do I run? Not just to hit PBs and feel a sense of achievement. No. I run because first and foremost I love it. And I loved that 7 mile run. I need to focus on the achievements not the failures.

And I need to know that every run doesn’t have to be amazing. I need to slow down on my longer runs. Take it easy or I will injure myself. 9 minutes/mile is the perfect pace for me to run longer miles.

I’m sorry if this post has made you want to shake me – I want to shake myself!! If anyone else gets like this, please tell me! I can’t be the only one out there who sets themselves such high standards and gets angry when they don’t reach them – even when it’s due to logical and rational reasons!

What high standards do you set yourself?

Do you have a routine you always follow and hate it when it gets messed up?

“You’re so lucky”

Hi guys! Hope you’re all having a good week. Hurrah it’s Friday!

Right, I have a bit of a rant. OK, maybe rant is a bit strong. A reflection then.

You might have noticed I enjoy exercising (most of them time when it’s not stupidly early and I’m feeling grumpy). As much as sometimes I’d just rather have more sleep or sit on the sofa watching TV, I ultimately enjoy what exercise brings me. I love the rush of endorphins. I love the satisfaction of completing a challenging run or finally being able to hold a plank for three minutes. I love setting goals for myself and striving to complete them. I’m competitive with myself. And others. If I hear someone I know has run further than me I have a strong urge to race out the door to beat them.

I love feeling healthy and strong. Knowing that I could out-run a lot of people (who don’t exercise regularly) is a good feeling to me. Aesthetics aren’t everything I know, but I like the way I look because of exercising. Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be over-weight if I didn’t exercise. But I wouldn’t feel as confident with myself.

I eat healthily as well. No I’m not on a diet. No I don’t stop myself eating certain food groups. Yes I do have preferences for certain foods and yes they’re highly likely to be on the healthier side of the scale. I have a massive appetite and eat a lot, but generally it’s mammoth salads and monster veg portions. That’s my thing. I think about food a lot. What’s for lunch? What’s for dinner? Do I have enough apples??

                                                      Source: muffintop-less.tumblr.com via Jordan on Pinterest

 

So why do people feel the need to tell me “I’m so lucky”. When I reach for the a biscuit or a slice of cake people say to me, “Oh you’re so lucky. You’re so slim. You can eat anything”.

Hang on. Yes I can eat anything – anyone can pretty much eat anything. I just don’t eat anything all the time. That biscuit isn’t my fifth biscuit, it’s my first. I might go back for a second or third if I particularly enjoyed it, but I don’t do that every day.

Lucky? I like to think that luck has a small part to play in the way I am. Maybe it’s lucky that I have a small frame – genes? Maybe it’s lucky I have a tendency to enjoy fruit and veg. I’ll give you that.

But I put a lot of effort into being healthy. Every day. I love exercising but it’s tough. Mentally and physically. Consistently exercising every week and pushing yourself so you’re not just ‘ticking the box’. Just getting out of a warm bed earlier than you have to is tough!

I make sure I eat well. It’s so easy to eat rubbish. Cheap microwave meals ready in 2 minutes. Fast food restaurants on every corner. Buy one get one free. Now, don’t get me wrong. I eat rubbish too. Mainly sweets (pic ‘n’ mixes are my nemesis) and desserts. But I prepare and cook all my meals. Lunches are pre-packed in the morning or weekend. Dinners are made when I get in from work. I’m not talking crazily exciting meals with a hundred ingredients and hour long cooking times. Omelettes, stir fries, salads…I plan at the weekend the meals we’ll have, buy the food at the supermarket and then make the meals in the week. It does take effort and time to plan ahead but I think it’s important.Healthy foodThis isn’t luck. I’m pretty sure if I ate rubbish and didn’t exercise I wouldn’t look so slim. My hair probably wouldn’t look as shiny. My skin would break out in spots more often. Yes I can eat anything – I just choose not to. I smile and nod and looked flattered when people say I’m lucky. But inside I’m proud. Because I earned that biscuit.

 

 Does anyone else get annoyed at things like this? I just needed to shout about it!