Not much snow

Evening all, hope you are all toasty.

Well, living in the south of the UK, we were not expecting much, so it was nice to wake up to an inch of snow this morning. I dutifully cleared it off my car, including the headlights and roof (so it won’t blow off while I am driving). Once out of my little road (I was the first car out for the first bit), the roads were actually clear so it was fine. Well, until the school car park!

Again it was cold, and once home I was trying to decide whether to go to aerobics this evening. My throat is sore so I don’t want to make it worse with all the shouting, but then tomorrow is a planned rest day anyway. The snow has gone mostly, but the stuff left has started freezing, but that is mostly down side roads and on the pavements, so my route to the gym should be clear. I even rang to check it was on (and I was half hoping it would be cancelled as it would make my decision for me). But in the end, I decided to go, as it might help warm me up! I was glad I went, although there were only 5 of us in the class so I think a lot of people decided that their houses were nice and warm, and they didn’t want to go out in this cold weather!

Now in this weather there is nothing better than porridge to warm you up (in my opinion) and lucky me, after sending an email to Dorset cereals saying how much I love their mueslis, they have sent me some porridge to try;

I am excited about trying the flavours, and also thinking that they might be handy to take with me to stockholm next year, as the little packets will travel well and are measured out. Although the marathon starts at 2pm so might have to start having porridge for lunch and doing long runs in the afternoon!

On a totally different note- does anyone get chillblains, or in fact know how to stop them? Every year for the past 5 years or so, I have got them (once they got infected -gross -sorry too much info!). The advice has been thermal socks (but not 2 layers of socks as that can hinder circulation), thick shoes, don’t put feet on a hot radiator, take gingko supplements (I follow the advice to the letter) but I have got them yet again, and my feet have not been warm all day. So any cures please help!!

Add one more layer

That was my mantra today. After getting cold doing playground duty, when I got home I was so cold already (not a good start) but luckily I remembered I had some capri pants which were a bit baggy. So over the tights went the capris, and then over them went the shorts. Three layers on top and I was ready to go. My legs were better with the extra layer so I will remember this next time.

I did the usual 4 mile route, it took me 39 minutes today which isn’t bad as my legs felt really stiff for some reason. Could have been the cold I suppose.

Warm (well, actually very spicy) chilli for dinner (my last batch from the freezer)- perfect in this weather.  Time to crank up the heating 🙂


Triple layered!

Evening all, hope you all had a good and warm weekend. My weekend started with hot porridge and then 3 layers (for the first time)- long sleeved base layer tucked into running tights, running t-shirt tucked into shorts, long sleeved top over the top, along with gloves and earwarmer headband. I waited until the dusting of snow had melted, and then set off out. I must confess I felt ever so slightly crazy as I left my warm home for the freezing outdoors. Even with my gloves, the hand holding my water bottle had numb fingers, cue frequent swapping. The pavements were fine, but when I got to the lakes they were still frozen solid. It did look beautiful, but lots of the path was still frozen and icy so I had to take it easy. After about half an hour I did warm up, but then towards the end I got very cold (think the wind picked up)- when I looked on Nike+ after, my last 2 miles were about 9.5 min miles, whereas the rest was about 10.5 I think! All in all I did just under 9 miles in 90 minutes. I actually felt really pleased, as I wanted to keep up the level of fitness that I have built up, but I have promised myself that if I am tired then I will do a shorter weekend run. But although I felt tired in the afternoon, it did not make me as shattered as when I first ran that distance, so I kind of felt a good improvement this week. I suppose for a good few weeks I have run the same, so perhaps the consolidating of the distance has done me some good.

After that, it was time for a clif bar- this one was black cherry almond and had massive whole almonds in it. Plus vegan white chocolate chunks, and delish black cherries. T’was good 🙂

I spent the rest of the afternoon baking (made some more stollen- some delivered to Andy’s parents today), visiting friends and shopping. Yes, I am feeling much less stressed about it now! I did a few bits in the shops (and today walked to the local shops and got a few more bits), and also have ordered a ton of things online. On a side note, I have to say how impressed I am with White Stuff customer services. I had an email for free delivery and free returns with code TWICE, and so I ordered a couple of dress tunic things. But when I got the confirmation email, it had charged me. So I emailed them, and about an hour later I got an email saying they had credited my account with the difference. Amazing how quickly they sorted it 🙂

Today I put marzipan on all the christmas cakes (was going to ice them as I am impatient but turned out that I didn’t have any!), made chocolate chip banana loaf from Veganomicon to take to work (it’s low fat so people will appreciate that) and also more spiced pumpkin gingerbread- yummy.

I have pencilled in a gingerbread house for either next weekend or the weekend after that. Here’s the one I made last year (the roof was too small);

You had to cut out the window and door once it came out of the oven, and I was a bit nervous about it in case it cracked. This year I might go for the double window look! It did have windows in the sides too.

I also made a Mickey and Minnie ;

(Can’t work out how to rotate it).

So, I am now feeling that making stollen, a gingerbread house and the christmas cakes are becoming my tradition, however I feel that I would never make a christmas pudding! What traditions do you have at this time of year?

Yummy stew

See, the weather obsession carries on! It is so cold out there! I had planned a run when I got home, so even though it was freezing and all I fancied was a cup of tea, I wrapped up and headed out. At the moment I am wearing a long sleeved base layer, and a long sleeved top over the top, with tights, gloves, earband headwarmer. But it was so cold out there that an extra layer would have been fine. I had 4 miles planned (twice around the big loop near my house) and usually on my runs the first loop takes about 22 minutes, and the second one takes around 20 minutes, only today I managed both loops in 37 minutes! The cold sure made me run fast!

Once home (and after a shower) I had that cup of tea! Was so much nicer after being outside!

Then for dinner I had something new- Chickpea Stew.

I found a recipe in Veganomicon , which I have adapted a fair bit.

The recipe makes 2 big portions, and I will freeze the other half for another cold day, love it!

Chop up 1 red pepper, 1 courgette and half an aubergine. Cook in a pan with a few squirts of olive oil. Then add in a few tbs water, some garlic puree and some dried rosemary. Cook for a bit, coating the veggies in the garlic and herbs. Then add in a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tsp easy chilli and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Simmer for a few minutes, then add in 1 drained tin of chickpeas and a tsb (10g) ground almonds. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes until the chickpeas are soft.

I had it with some quinoa and it was delicious. So warm, (quite spicy) so filling and so tasty. Now I am looking forward to an evening of playing rock band (well, I do the singing anyway!).

So this weekend I am mostly going to be worrying about what needs to be done before Christmas (eg ice the cakes, make a gingerbread house, write and send cards, buy presents)- it’s all coming up fast now. I normally like to get everything ready nice and early but this year no-one is playing ball. So, do you like to prepare early or are you one of those crazy Christmas Eve shoppers?


Gym etiquette

So first of all, a little moan (sorry). At the moment we keep having new people turning up late to body pump. They generally come in after the first 2 or 3 tracks, so then we have to stop and help them get out their equipment while the instructor shows them the set position and everything. It is starting to get annoying as we have to be out on time as there is another class after, and so we end up cutting it fine. So anyway, I would like people, especially if they are new to a class, to get there on time please.

Anyway, body pump was great this evening, I had much more energy and really warmed up- I have been freezing all day. No snow here, (well, a dusting overnight but only on the cars and fences), but it is so cold it would not surprise me if there was.

I also tried some Mulu dark chocolate, with cacao nibs.

It was nice- the cacao nibs added a good crunch.

I hope everyone american is having a good thanksgiving, and that everyone in the UK is looking forward to the weekend 🙂

Laters, dudes.