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?

The highs and lows of a runner cycling

Hi guys, I’m ‘afraid’ that I am once again off from work today! Until Tuesday!

This weekend is going to be a busy one. Ben and me are off to London on Saturday to see some friends and then on Sunday I’m running the National Lottery Anniversary Run (5 miles).


I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. Why? Because Paula Radcliffe is running it!!!! I’m not aiming for a super fast run – this is one of those runs that you just enjoy. Take in the atmosphere and the scenery…and chat to Paula. Ha. I wish.

In other random news, my dear hubby found this hilarious comic strip by the incredibly funny (though rather rude Winking smile – I have warned you!) writer from the website It’s called The Terrible & Wonderful Reasons Why I run Long Distances. Since then I’ve actually seen it about on a few blogs. Here’s one segment from it:


It really made me laugh. OK I don’t treat my body like a fast-moving dumpster, but it just struck me as a great satire of a lot of bloggers out there (yes, myself very much included). Yay for spinach smoothies!! Winking smile

[Incidentally there’s also a HILARIOUS comic from the same website called My Dog, the Paradox]

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been dabbling with a bit of cycling. I feel like I’m cheating on my running when I say this…it’s not too bad. Let me be clear though, it’s not running (duh).

So far I’ve cycled twice this week. One almost 13 mile route and one 15 mile route (in just over an hour). I don’t think that’s too shabby (especially considering the mountain bike I’m riding haha). I made the rookie error of comparing my rides with a guy from work who, get this, went to France a couple of weeks ago to cycle some of the routes for the Tour de France. As you do.

I’m tootling along nicely at around 14mph and he’s zooming by around 19mph!! Up mountains! Jeeze. I got slightly giddy when I realised one of his cycles was 18mph. I naively thought, “Ok that’s not too far from mine” until I realised that was an easy recovery ride haha.

But it’s been a great relief for my little legs to not be pounding the pavement so often I must say. And especially after Sunday’s tough race.

Here’s what I’ve discovered about cycling:

  • They sell padded cycling shorts for a reason. Enough said.
  • I hate cars. I just love cycling along gutters…not.
  • Checking my Garmin to see my speed is not safe for me. I have limited balance so this is just an accident waiting to happen.
  • Speaking of accidents, what’s the worst that can happen with running? You trip over? It’s painful but it’s not usually life-threatening. Cycling accidents? Jeeze let’s not even think about it.
  • You have to cycle a lot longer and a lot further to get the equivalent to a run (and that’s still debatable).
  • You can slack of a lot more with cycling than running. You can coast along with cycling. With running you just stop.
  • Two words: helmet hair.

But hey ho, it’s something different! And I’ve got my first Pump class booked for Monday morning. My puny muscles are quivering in fear already.

And recently I’ve been trying these yogurts from Danone called Danio. They’re basically a thick yogurt over a layer of fruit at the bottom. If I’m honest I’m not a big fan of the fruit in yogurt…it makes me feel a bit ill.

Danio yogurts

But these I actually enjoyed! Ben was shocked (and a little disgruntled as he thought he’d be having them all, haha). I really genuinely enjoyed them. The flavours I was able to get were peach, cherry, strawberry and passionfruit (passionfruit hands down was the best – that’s the photo above). But I believe there’s also blueberry and raspberry.


The yogurts are described as “super thick” and they’re not wrong! They also have a good level of protein (11-13g) in them, so you’re kept fuller for longer.

They have no artificial preservatives, flavourings or sweeteners. In fact, the ingredients look pretty good for a fruity flavoured yogurt. And they’re between 120-150kcal per pot and most are 0% fat. Not too shabby. They are quite sweet and they do contain sugar but for a fruit yogurt it’s not too bad at all for a nice afternoon snack to tide you over until dinner.

Funny related story. I bought so many in Tesco (as the company had kindly given me a voucher to purchase them) I looked like I was obsessed.


They’ve take over half my fridge!!

Right, I’m off to indulge in a bit of coffee and cake with my mum and sister. Ciao for now!

Are you running any races this weekend?

What classes do you do at the gym?

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?

Christmas cake (finally!), new trainers and Total Greek Yogurt review

Howdy all! Hope you’ve been having a nice weekend. On a random side-note, I have literally just painted my nails and am typing like a right idiot trying not to smudge them. I hate painting my nails as they never last that long with me as I always chip them. And the waiting around while they dry drives me mad. I’m not a person who can sit still and do nothing…so here I am typing like an idiot.

This weekend has been jam-packed and I feel shattered! But I only have a three day week next week (can I get a woohoo!) as I’m off from Thursday. It’s our work Christmas do Friday and Saturday and we’re off to Bruges! And partners are allowed to come as well! So excited. But from what I’ve heard about the Christmas parties (as I wasn’t here last year), they are quite wild. So watch this space…

Today I finally made the Christmas cake. Yes, yes most people have made theirs by now…but this weekend was the only time we could really do it. It’s quite a lengthy process. We used Ben’s mum very old (from 1949!) cook book for the recipe.Xmas cake recipe

It’s become a lovely tradition to make this cake. Before we had moved out, we watched Ben’s mum make it and then one year we helped her make it. And last year we made it on our own for the first time. And everyone will be able to enjoy it at Christmas. Basically we’re carrying on the tradition!

So this morning I got cracking. For once nothing went wrong (though saying that, it is currently still in the oven so…touch wood).

Xmas cake

[Check me out being all Christmassy with PicMonkey]

Christmas Cake

  • 350g (3/4lb.) butter 
  • 350g (3/4lb.) brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 500g (1lb.) flour
  • 500g (1lb.) sultanas
  • 500g (1lb.) currants
  • 100g (1/4lb.) raisins
  • 150g (6 oz.) candied peel
  • 50g (2 oz.) cherries, chopped
  • 100g (1/4lb.) chopped almonds
  • 1/2 tsp. mixed spice
  • 2 tbs. dark treacle
  • 1 small glass of brandy

– Preheat oven to 140C.

– Using a very large bowl, beat sugar and butter together until well combined.

– Beat in eggs one at a time until combined.

– Stir in the sifted flour, fruit, almonds, spice treacle and brandy. Mix well.

– Transfer to a tin well lined with baking paper. Bake for 6 hours and 20 mins.


Mixing all the ingredients together is like an arm workout. Seriously it’s so thick by the end. And our bowl was almost too small to contain it all!

The cake is still in the oven and the smell is deeeelicious. But when it comes out we’ll need to cut the top bit off it as this will be very crispy and might even be burnt. Then we’ll get a lovely square cake which we’ll let cool and then wrap up for at least a week until we then marzipan and ice it.

As there’s always too much mixture for the tin, we tend to do a mini loaf. Though this year I wanted to make something a bit different…


Mini Christmas cakes! Christmas cake muffins if you like. They themselves took an hour to cook! That’s how beasty and dense the cake batter is.

And this weekend I also went for a solo off-road run in my brand, new, amazing off-road trainers. I can’t stress just how much I adore these shoes.


Check out those amazing treads!! Technically they’re a Christmas present from my sister…but I was allowed them early. So I ran a nice and easy (read: I didn’t go fast) 6 mile this morning to test them out.


And my trainers rocked.

Run mud

[Before and after]

Not looking quite as shiny as before now but who really buys trainers to keep clean??

And a while ago now I was sent some Greek yogurts to try out: Total Greek Yogurt split pots (honey, blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry with pomegranate).


I’m not a massive fan of snacking on Greek yogurt, or yogurt in general I must say. I prefer to add them into things to thicken up sauces etc. I’m not too keen on the taste of Greek yogurt on it’s own. That being said…the idea of adding something sweet and fruity to the yogurt appealed to me.

Greek yogs

The yogurt was very thick and creamy and adding in the fruit/honey compote made them much more exciting I found. The sugar content is quite high for each yogurt (around 11g per 100g and they’re 170g pots) but they were very tasty. And very filling (8g protein)!

A lovely afternoon treat I’d say Smile

Right I’m off to make dinner – baked chicken with plums! Nom nom nom.

What have you been up to this weekend?

Are you making/have you made a Christmas cake this year?

Do you like to run on roads or off-roads?

Turn back? Never!

Dear Britain, please stop raining. It messes with everything. The commute is longer and more dangerous…


[Took photo while in stand-still traffic!]

…choosing an outfit (and shoes!) requires more thought [real-world issues here], Alfie has to stay in the kitchen longer after going outside… It makes for a very grumpy Anna. I wouldn’t mind if it’s really cold and dry. Rain is just so miserable. We don’t have it nearly as badly as others around the UK but it still sucks.

It also makes for very wet and muddy runs! I ummed and arr’ed about going for a run at lunchtime on Monday. I had brought in my stuff but I kept looking anxiously out of the window and watching the on-and-off rain. Also I knew the woman who had originally invited me to run with her group wasn’t in the office. So it would mean running with a bunch of guys I didn’t know as well…

In the end I sucked it up and went. The guys were still up for running despite the weather and sheer amount of rain we’d had over the weekend (“Rain? Pah! We are men!”). This time I’d decided to wear my shorts rather than leggings because my leggings just got covered in so much mud that it made more sense that my legs just got covered in mud instead and that I could wash them in the shower.

It began with a lot of slipping and sliding in lots of mud, then sploshing through fields with lots of surface water…and then we got to the path that runs parallel to the local canal. Well, where it should have been. Normal people would have seen the sheer amount of water and flooding and would have turned around. Nope. We continued on – thigh deep in freezing water. Still running!

To be honest, it was good fun. It made for a rather interesting (albeit wet) run. My feet and legs were numb, very pink, wet and muddy by the end.Muddy run

But it was great! And 6 miles, which I was so chuffed with as I haven’t run that distance in a while. My Garmin died of battery though which really annoyed me.


But all the guys had their Garmins on so at least I knew in the end it was about 6 miles (we were all beeping away on the run it was quite funny).

Anyway, it’s Wednesday! So here’s my WIAW (thanks, Jenn. Check out her blog to see what it’s all about).

I’ve got a bit of a mix of meals from different days as I’ve been changing things up a bit lately.

Breakfast: On Saturday I tried my hand at some coconut and oat pancakes. *Sighs* Disaster. My first one was promising…

Coconut pancake

But then it got progressively worse. They just all crumbled. So I just gave up and threw it all into a bowl.Coconut pancake 2

Despite how it looks, it tasted pretty good once I’d jazzed it up with some toppings:

Coconut pancake 4

I added some frozen berries that I’d microwaved with some cinnamon and then a dollop of Greek yogurt. Not too shabby for a disaster! If anyone has tips for coconut flour pancakes, please let me know! I used 1 tbs. oats, 3 tbs. coconut flour, 2 egg whites, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and a splash of almond milk.

I also made some rather delicious coffee that we haven’t been able to try until now. We got it in America but thought it was just instant rather than ‘proper coffee’. And we didn’t have a coffee machine or a cafetiere so we couldn’t try it when we got home! But we got one the other weekend purely to try this coffee.

Coffee 24.11 (2)

French Vanilla…and it tasted fabulous. Not like donuts as I think Ben was secretly hoping Winking smile

Lunch: I loved the sound of Laura’s cauliflower coconut soup so I made a variation for lunch for Saturday and Sunday.


I fried a diced white onion in coconut oil, then added some diced garlic and then several large florets of cauliflower. Once that had cooked for about 5 mins, I added 1.5 cups veg stock, mixed herbs, then 1 cup full-fat coconut milk and 3 tbs. Greek yogurt. I cooked it for 5-6 mins and then whizzed it up using a hand blender. Really yummy!

Alongside this on Saturday I made some cornbread using Kelly’s recipe.


A really quick recipe using the microwave. It was lovely and light and great for dunking. I used a funny mug hence the weird shape.

And then Sunday I had the soup with some butternut squash roasted in coconut oil on the side.


These were great to dunk into the soup. Nom nom nom.

Dinner: I’ve still be clinging to my salads despite the weather, but I’ve been adding in some ‘warmer’ ingredients.

With our usual feta salad, I added more of the roasted butternut squash.

Halloumi and bsquash

And added some roasted sweet potato to our halloumi salad…

Halloumi and sweet potatoe

And then a range of roasted veggies to it another night…

Halloumi and r.veg

One night I also had some smoked mackerel that had been sat in the freezer for too long. So I added some Greek yogurt, some spices, garlic, lemon juice and whizzed it up to make a very yummy pate:

Mackarel pate

Absolutely heavenly! And so easy Smile

Snacks: well, obviously banana bread from the weekend has been picked at…


Very yummy. Definitely need to make more breads I think. Devine.

And more of these very nice yogurts:


Basically, I’ve really had some great days of nice food (perhaps not the best looking food: pancakes, I’m looking at you) but food nonetheless.

Fitness: obviously my off-road runs have been great! And what perfect timing with the weather haha. I hope to do three of those a week with the group but it really depends on how busy work is. And Pilates on Saturday was brilliant. I’ve also switched up my strength training a bit so I’ll do an update on that soon!

Do you enjoy running off-road?

What’s your favourite pancake variation? Have you tried coconut flour?

Have a lovely Wednesday Smile