Friday Feeling!

Wow…where has the week gone!  I’ve had my head ‘in the books’ pretty much all week, with 2 deadlines approaching quickly, if I’m honest it’s been a little stressful.

In the past, hours of studying has made me feel quite anxious, mostly about gaining weight because my activity levels tend to be much lower.  Sometimes, despite having come so far those thoughts still niggle away in the back of my mind, but this year I’m determined not to listen and remember what is important in the long run….happiness, health and passing my exams!!

This week has included some really great workouts;

Monday – 7am Bodypump class (yes 7AM!!)

Tuesday – Bodycombat class

Wednesday – Squash…with James and his brothers

Thursday – Rest day

Friday – 7am Spin class

plus 30-45minutes walking the dog each day.

I definitely feel like I’ve got a nice balance at the moment, James and I are still looking after Barney, our favourite little man…

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…and I just can’t resist his face when he wants to go for a walk!!

Having him here is REALLY making us want one of our own.  We’ve (I’ve!!) been looking most evenings for puppies and I think we’ve decided we’d like to get the same breed, a Tibetan Terrier

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they make me melt!!!!  The only 2 obstacles in our way are;

1. technically we shouldn’t have pets in our rental home so we need to ask our Landlord for permission before we get serious about this

2. they are expensive…the cost of a tibetan puppy is £650-850!!! given our current tight budget it might be difficult

BUT we have both said he makes us really happy and we love the ‘family’ atmosphere having him here creates 🙂

We’ve really been trying to stick to a food budget and have allowed ourselves £50/week for food and household goods (i.e. toilet roll/washing up liquid)…initially I thought £50 would be plenty (I’m a serious bargain shopper and know where ALL the offers are!!) but it’s really not going very far, despite our ‘budget dinners’…our favourite one this week had to be a chipotle bean and egg dish I made which we had with brown rice on the side…

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It really was so tasty (recipe to follow!).

I’m off to work at Starbucks now then to the supermarket…with the exception of a few condiments our fridge and cupboards are totally BARE!!

 

Question; whats your favourite budget dinner?

Happy Friday!

L x

Wicked Weekend

Did you have a good weekend?  Our’s was awesome!!

On Saturday we headed to the gym, where I jumped on the treadmill to do a warm up and got a little carried away, managing a PB (since my recovery) of 5.5miles in 45minutes, which left me feeling very satisfied especially as I felt good throughout! We headed home, looking longingly at the pizza van that parks outside our gym at weekends (why!!?!) both with rumbling tummies and quickly tucked into a huge salad of mixed leaves, tomatoes, beetroot, sauerkraut and cucumber with a can of sardines on the top and some rye bread on the side…

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It felt so good eating a big clean salad after a run, although later on I did get pretty hungry and snacked pretty much all afternoon (lesson learned!).

James’s family; Mum, Dad, 2 brothers, sister-in-laws and friends came over for afternoon tea (very civilised!!) his Mum and Dad arrived with much appreciated gifts in hand (thank you guys!!)

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a gorgeous toast rack as a housewarming gift

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and some of THE best eccles cakes from a local bakery, we all agreed none of us had ever had better!

Sunday was a pretty lazy day, involving the most amazing breakfast….

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‘overeasy’ egg, cheese and jam wholemeal muffin…I have no words!!

plus lots of washing and ironing…

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and some studying…

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This morning we opted for an early morning workout.  I am not known for my happiness or energy in the morning, and am often known to grumble no more words than “oh dear” before the hour of 8/9 o clock, so when James suggested heading to the gym for 7am I was understandably weary (!!) but when the alarm went off this morning I was feeling ok so jumped out of bed, pulled on my gym kit (which I’d put by the bed ‘just in case’) and headed out to the 7am Bodypump class.

I was again, a little anxious about working out so early in the morning on an empty stomach as I can sometimes find myself getting shaky half way through a workout, but was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the whole thing….for anyone who does Bodypump though; how much of a killer is that squat track!!!?

We both worked hard this morning so whilst James showered I whipped us up a chocolate, banana, green protein smoothie to encourage muscle recovery and to replenish our glycogen stores, followed by a repeat of yesterdays EPIC egg, cheese and jam (for me)/chipotle tabasco (for James) muffin which we both inhaled pretty quickly, stopping only for nods of appreciation…and to breathe :)!

My plan for the rest of the day is UNI ASSIGNMENTS…I have 2 big deadlines approaching at an alarming rate and I really need to get my head down and do them :(! and going to friends later this evening for dinner and to watch Broadchuch (a great ‘who did it’ TV series on in the UK at the moment)!!

Question; do you prefer to workout early in the morning or later in the day?

Happy Monday!!

L x

Spinning…Feeling Nervous

This morning I’m planning to go to my first spin class since I left Australia 2.5yrs ago! It was one of my favourite classes, I mostly remember how much it made me sweat.  Usually I would class myself as a ‘non sweater’ and spinning and running (in Australian heat) are the only 2 things that have ever REALLY made me sweat!!

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Les Mills describe spin (RPM) as;

‘a medium to high intensity indoor cycling class, which burns an average of 675 calories, improves heart and lung fitness as well as strength and endurance’

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sounds pretty good to me!!

The prospect of giving my body such a great workout however, is making me feel slightly nervous…not because I don’t like or enjoy intense workouts, but because the last time I did one I was A LOT fitter than I am now.  Since ‘getting back’ into fitness (in a more healthy way) there have been several occasions during which I’ve attempted to lift a weight/run at a speed I used to and have had to stop (usually from exhaustion), and remind myself of the journey both my mind and my body have been through since then, and that I’ve virtually built a new body so I need to be kind to myself and appreciate what I can do not what I can’t.

Instead of thinking every single workout had to somehow be ‘better’ than the last…faster/harder/heavier/longer, my new style of thinking is that I enjoy fitness and the gym, it can always be part of my life if I want it to be and is a long term hobby, so what I don’t manage today I can always try tomorrow or next week or the week after!! 😀

On another positive note, the sun is shining this morning!! My plans for today include a spin class this morning (!), then food shopping followed by a dog walk and then STUDYING…I’m really out of the ‘groove’ with it at the moment, with deadlines approaching quickly I seriously need to get back into it!!  Tonight we’re planning to have a couple of friends round for some drinks and maybe some dinner…it’s great to be living close to friends again :).

Spinning fuel this morning is a big bowl of my super creamy oats, which were blue (!) thanks to some blueberries I added in whilst cooking 😉 topped with peanut butter (it’d be rude not to!!) and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds…hopefully it will power me through!

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I’m definitely feeling full now…fingers crossed it doesn’t weigh me down!

Question; What are your plans for the weekend? Whats your favourite workout fuel?

Happy Friday!!

L x

Perfect Start

I’ve got a busy day planned today…a Boxercise class at the gym this morning and then straight to work…Saturday’s in Starbuck are usually pretty hectic and involve lots of running up and down the stairs, carrying heavy trays and LOTS of cleaning!! so I figured I needed a breakfast that would stick with me and fuel me up for the day ahead!!

What could be more ideal that a bowl of oats….I’m spoilt for choice at the moment thanks to the lovely people at Dorset Cereals (I won’t say too much as I’m planning a review on Monday).  After much deliberating, I opted for raspberry and pumpkin porridge, made with milk and an egg stirred in for some extra protein and fat = super satiating….

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…for anyone thinking ‘urgh’ at the thought of adding en egg to porridge, I can whole heartedly promise you it isn’t noticeable at all 😉 it just gives the oats a slightly thicker texture (can you see in this picture??) that makes me think of ‘rib stickin’ goodness and the flavour isn’t changed at all!  These oats were delicious and really filled me up.  In fact they were so filling, I think if I’d got my ‘intuitive eating’ eating right I probably wouldn’t have finished the whole bowl!

I had these of course, with a perfect cup of coffee :D…it really would be rude not to!!

Last Saturday I went to Boxercise and I mentioned how much of a good workout it was….my upper body was sore until Tuesday! so I’m looking forward to working up a sweat and toning those shoulders and arms today.

I think the rest of my weekend will involve writing up lab reports and packing…we have set a date for moving house which will be the 27th March…not far away at all so I think I need to start packing soon!

Question: do you add eggs or anything else to your oats to give them more staying power? have you ever tried boxing classes as a workout?

Hope you’re having a good weekend!!

L x

Boxing for fun!!

Good morning!

Hope your week has got off to a good start??

On Saturday I went to a boxercise class at my gym….boy was it a good workout!! It’s now Tuesday morning and my shoulders are STILL sore!!!

Half of the class was a mixture of circuit type training using kettlebells, jump ropes, mountain climbers and the dreaded burpees and the other half was with a partner using gloves and pads.  I was unfortunate in my choice of partner…he was a nice guy, but at least 30% bigger than me in both size and strength, which meant that by the end of the class my whole body was shaking from holding the pads for him!! I really enjoyed it though, it was invigorating and it felt great to do something a little different for a change!

Usually, I go to bodycombat on  Monday evenings but I decided (in the name of listening to my body!!) to give last night a miss last night and let my body rest and recover properly 🙂

Breakfast this morning was delicious but at the same time an epic fail!!…I HAD to take a picture for you guys!

I woke up wanting porridge…I’m slowly working my way through my gigantic selection from Dorset cereals (stay tuned for a review later this week!!) it’s safe to say I think they are absolutely delicious, but with balance in mind I decided to make some banana, blueberry almond pancakes….sounds delicious right?? They were, the problem was they didn’t look so great….

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They look awful don’t they!! I think I had the heat on too high, making them burn on the outside but not cooked in the middle so when I tried to flip them they all broke apart 😦 they did taste really good though…honestly ;)!!

I had a little but of mixture left over so I decided to try again, this time cooking them at a lower heat for longer and they turned out much better, still not perfect but better :D…I think I’ll have to work on them!!

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In the past I have been known to loose my temper and throw away anything I made that didn’t turn out as expected (as my loved one would tell you)!!…I’m much better these days though at accepting the fact that not everything I make will turn out ‘perfect’ and know that I can always try again another time (unless it is totally inedible of course)!

This morning did however grace me with lovely coffee, made in my moka pot, it was smooth with a deep and nutty flavour, everything I want my coffee to be….delicious.

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I’m planning to go to ‘legs bums and tums’ at lunchtime and then am working at Starbucks this afternoon until 8pm…in the meantime I have lots of uni work that I need to make a start on; I sense some stressful times ahead!!

I hope you have a productive Tuesday!!

Question; if your cooking goes wrong do you eat it anyway or throw it away and start again? 

L x

Workout Playlists

Just lately I have been loving short but frequent interval workouts, I think this maybe due to a new playlist I created on my iPod which gets me really revved up and has some great beats to follow and get that heart pumping!

Music is a really important part of my life, I find it brings emotions and memories both good and bad and I think that can be very powerful.    For me, music has the ability to motivate, to soothe, to cheer up, make me angry and also to bring back memories,  everytime I hear a song called ‘Stars’ by Simply Red I am immediately transported back to my Mum’s home, on a Sunday morning with the smell of a roast dinner and the sound of both the vacuum cleaner and usually some family bickering!!, and each time I hear that song, it fills me with warmth and happy memories 🙂

Equally if I hear ‘Roxanne’ by The Police, I immediately want to get up and do something!

So here is the most recent playlist I created, that gets my little butt moving when I need a little help to ‘get going’…

Eye of the Tiger –  Survivor (good warm up song)

Roxanne – The Police

The Pretender – Foo Fighters (great for intervals)

One more time – Daft Punk

You can’t stop the beat – Hairspray (!)

Town Called Malice – The Jam (just makes me want to move!)

Move your feet – Junior Senior

Pump it up – Danzel

Show me love – Steve Angelo

Run Free – Rebecca Ferguson (I like for a cool down)

To today…Lunch…I was working this afternoon so I packed a salad for lunch and some nibbles for later on…cleaning a 3 floored cafe is hard work (!!) and can often bring on a snack attack!!

In the mix….

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On the bottom was some carrot and celery sticks, a tub of hummus and a couple of oatcakes.

On the top was a tasty salad; I mixed tomatoes, cucumber, beetroot, leaves, avocado and grapefruit for the salad and had quinoa looked with lemon juice and tuna with a mustard and black pepper yogurt ‘mayo’ on the side…fresh, tasty and very colourful!

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Question; Do you find music affects your mood? are there any specific songs you associate with memories/events?

L x

Health vs Fitness

Hi everyone/anyone!! 🙂

I hope you’ve had a good Friday? Mine has been great….

It started off with a mortgage valuation on the house I am currently living in after renovating and recently selling…good news, it all went well!!  I have to admit it was a relief after all the work that went into this house (I’ll save that ‘experience’ for another day!).  It was however, slightly embarrassing when the man turned up earlier than planned and I was still in my PJs and went running around the house ‘hiding’ all those things you don’t want people to see when they are coming to look at your property!!….this included putting the pan I had used to make breakfast in the oven!!

Breakfast this morning was tasty and kept me nice and full for at least 3 hours, this is quite unusual for me and I tend to be hungry sooner so I’m always trying to play with the combination of protein-carbs-fat and figure out what works best for MY body:).  Today featured vanilla, cinnamon french toast (eggy bread for those from the UK!), with peanut butter and fresh coffee!! I’ve just realised this piece looks a little burnt but I can assure you it wasn’t and it was delicious.

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The recipe I used was nice and simple:

  • 2 slices of Vogel ‘Soya and Linseed’ bread (one of my favourites!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp cinammon
  • a good dash of real vanilla extract
  • …and a splash of milk

Method:

  • Put a non stick pan onto a medium heat
  • Mix together the egg, cinnamon and milk in a shallow bowl
  • Dip in a slice of bread for a few seconds then turn in over (I usually use a spatula to push it down and get it nice and soggy!).
  • Place in the heated pan and turn the heat down slightly to low-medium cook for one minute on each side
  • Serve however you like….I love peanut butter on top (there’s not much I WON’T put Peanut Butter on….maybe I should consider buying some shares in the stuff!!)

Some other topping ideas could be;

  • Greek yogurt (for extra protein) + any fruit; berries/banana/grilled apple slices or maybe even a combination of them all!
  • Nut butter (for healthy fats and a protein boost) +banana
  • Maple Syrup + smoked bacon…for a treat!

I went to Uni for the rest of the day and had a really interesting and enjoyable lecture this afternoon, the theme was nutrition for sport which is something I’m really passionate about.

After uni I headed to the gym with plans for a bit of swimming,  when I arrived however my plans were squashed as I was told that the pool is closed on a Friday evening for children’s swimming lessons!  I was a bit gutted but quickly changed my plans and headed to the gym where I hopped on the treadmill, I intended just to walk for a bit of a warm up but, when I got the urge to run I went with it and….my plan changed again!! I ended up running for 40 minutes, doing an interval sprint session…I haven’t managed to run like that for a long time and it felt amazing…another sign that my body is almost ‘mended’ and working properly again…happy days 🙂

My lecture this afternoon mentioned something which got me thinking…

do “health” and “fitness” always go hand in hand?

I’ve never thought about it before and I suppose it depends on how you define the two.  Now I’ve given it some thought I don’t think they do always go together.  I know from my own experience there was a time when I was very ‘fit’ and could run for hours on end, but I certainly wasn’t healthy.  If we look to sports professionals like Steve Redgrave who, I think it is fair to say with 5 consecutive Olympic gold medals, is undoubtably fit yet has recently been diagnosed with diabetes.  It’s also no secret that among professional sports women, who are again very fit, but it is non uncommon for them not to menstruate due to hormonal imbalances and low body fat levels.

which poses the question…

can you be healthy and not fit?

I think this is an interesting topic; a few years ago my definition of health was to be thin and fit….that was it; point blank.  Nowadays, I think try my hardest to think differently.  I’ve realised that there is much more to it than that, including; happiness, a nourishing diet, a lack of illness, having a feeling of ‘life’ and good energy levels.

Whilst it’s undoubtable that exercise and being active is important for mental and physical health, could the levels we push our bodies to be questionable? and could being too physically fit be ‘too much of a good thing’ maybe even leading to health problems instead of gains?

Question:

Have you ever thought of health and fitness in this way? What are your thoughts?

L x