Dark chocolate dreaming

I got an email the other day from a website that sells american sweets etc, and I was very tempted by a jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams. Today I decided to buy one (browsing websites was one way of distracting myself from my work!) only to find that it was out of stock! Oh no! I hunted about on google for a bit- it was on amazon for £15 per jar, with £4 postage! Daylight robbery! I found it on another site, but then I ummed and ahhed a bit because the postage was still more.

Anyway, in the end, I made some. This, I think, is the best batch of fake dark chocolate dreams so far. I started with melting some chocolate (a few dark chocolate chips) but then I thought the reason why last time it needed improving,was because it was too thick. DCD is quite runny, which I love. So, into the mini chopper went some meridian smooth pb, the melted chocolate chips, a tsp cocoa powder and some agave nectar (hoping that the agave would thin it out and help it stay more runny at room temp).

The result? Amazing. I think it is the closest yet. On the website it lists the ingredients- peanuts, cane juice, cocoa, cocoa butter, palm fruit oil, vanilla, lecithin, salt. I think cane juice is a sweetener (?), and I suppose the palm fruit oil makes it more runny. Anyway, although my list of ingredients is not the same, it is more similar. And it was delicious.

I also made my final green smoothie of the week (no more spinach)- this one was lovely- I am glad I went for it.

1 banana, 40g spinach, 200ml Kara coconut milk, 1tbs cocoa powder. Simple, yet delicious. Although a rather unapetising colour, the chocolate flavour came through- I think the coconut milk is the perfect addition to it as well.

I also took a picture of my breakfast. I have not had porridge this week (shock!)- instead I have been having muesli with apple. That Rude Health stuff is amazing.

With regard to the sports massage, today when I woke up I felt like new! If I squeeze my ITB band (I had an anatomy lesson too you know) then they feel a bit tender, but when walking about it is all fine. I am a little obsessed about that now! Now I need to decide when to have the other 2.

I also updated my blogroll- I don’t think I have added to it for about 6 months and I read a lot of blogs now! So have a look. Oh, and if you know I read your blog and you are not on there, let me know.

Lastly, I made some mini peanut butter cups. This was a bad idea because they are very easy to eat (I call it brain fuel to help my work?? Which I did actually finish today, despite spending ages on facebook, reading blogs etc!)-

See the pb leaking out- they were scrumptious! So as you can see, a very dark chocolate-themed day!

Body pump later, which I am looking forward to, although I just remembered how hard the abs track is- my eyeballs will be sweating later (probably sweating out chocolate haha!).

Enjoy the long weekend folks 🙂

The aftermath

Today I had to hang around at home all morning, as I was waiting for a parcel for me, a parcel for Andy, and a person to come and fix my windscreen. Did I get on with some work? No, of course not. I did some cooking instead. (P.S. I did do some work before dinner!).

I made some bean dip to have for my lunch first of all. This was from the meridian website- basically it was a tin of cannelini beans, 2tbs tahini and a roasted red pepper, all whizzed up. This went very well in a warm food doctor pitta for my lunch.

Next up was the lasagne, although I actually forgot that part of it. I made two separate layers- layer one is a box of tofu whizzed up with some sundried tomato and garlic paste.

Carefully layer on some of the blended tofu.

Layer two was some roasted pepper, courgette, a tin of artichokes, lentils, tinned tomatoes, spinach, garlic. I cooked this mixture, and then layered it into trays (two layers of each) -I topped it with a tsp of basil pesto, which I swirled into the top tofu layer.

Then I had one for my dinner;

It was delicious! The basil pesto swirled in really made it. The tofu layer was really creamy, and all the veggies and lentils were delish as usual. A success, even if I forgot the lasagne sheets!

I also made some peanut butter cups- basically melted some dark chocolate, put some in the bottom of a cake case, put in the fridge for a bit to harden up, then put on a little bit of pb, spoon on the rest of the chocolate (re-melt if needed!) and then leave in the fridge again. I was worried it would stick to the case, but no fear, it came away just fine. So amazing.

Ok it is hard to see in the picture, but it is delicious. I have some mini cake cases so next time I might do bite-sized ones…..

Anyway, back to the running (and the massage aftermath); Today I was feeling tender in places, but yesterday I was recommended to try a gentle run today. So I did. After lunch (I hate running after lunch) I headed out- it was so hot out there! My shoulders were feeling much better, but my legs felt weird, like there were loose bits of muscle flapping about and pulling on my bones or something. Anyway, I kept it steady, pretty slow, went up to the lakes (which was packed), back around and straight home. I purposefully didn’t take water with me, as I knew I would be tempted to stay out for longer. Anyway, in all I did 5.7 miles in 62 mins. But then what was weird was that in the shower I shaved my legs, and that felt quite sore (as did putting on lotion after).

After that it was green smoothie time. Can you believe I forgot to freeze a pear for it? So I rummaged through the freezer and found another frozen banana (I hoard these as I do not like eating them when they get brown bits, and hate throwing them away, so our freezer is full of frozen bananas!), and a nearly empty pack of frozen mango chunks.

So today it was 40g spinach, 60g frozen mango, 1 small frozen banana, 15g flax seeds, 200ml Kara coconut milk, plus xanthan gum. I sprinkled some coconut on it, then tried to drink it- it was so thick I had to go and get a spoon! I suppose most of it was frozen. Tomorrow I might go for a cocoa one as I could not really taste the mango in it.

I had a nice walk before dinner, and my legs are working just fine.

So now I am being nosey (and curious as to who managed to get to the end of this post!)- any nice plans for the long weekend? We are having a pretty standard weekend- Andy has to run 18 miles on Friday, we have the wedding reception on Saturday, and will be catching up with Andy’s family on Sunday. Hopefully some garden time thrown in there at some point too.

Night 🙂

Green Smoothie!

Somewhat inspired by a few bloggers- Jessica, Laura and especially Lucy who was very convincing in her arguement that you cannot taste the spinach- I had my first green smoothie today! I got a link from Laura’s site to the actual green monster website (who knew there was such a thing!!) and made it pretty simple. (I also had a yummy food doctor pitta and pear)

It looked like a lot of spinach to me, but it was only 40g, with a frozen banana, a tsp ground flax seeds, and topped up with about 250ml Kara coconut milk, and some xanthan gum to thicken.

I tasted a bit with a spoon from the blender, in case I needed to add anything else, but it seemed pretty tasty.

Super green!

It would not even fit in the glass- I had to drink some and then top it up!

Verdict? I could taste the banana and coconut milk, but I really could not taste the spinach. I normally make smoothies with juice (I don’t make them often as I find they give me a bit of a sugar rush) but actually it was much nicer with the coconut milk.

I might even have another one tomorrow! I had spinach in my fridge to add to a lasagne which I am planning on making tomorrow, so I must save some for that! The only problem will be what to add!

As the day has gone on, my back (I think it was actually the bit of the glutes which was massaged this morning) has felt more and more tender, and when I was walking to the post office my calves felt sore. Other parts feel a bit sore, but I feel like I have a good amount of energy. I got outside and washed my car (my goodness it was filthy!) and then went in the garden for a bit.

Look at my pretty tulips;

Dinner was some delicious chilli (really easy- roasted pepper and aubergine, cooked with kidney beans, tomatoes and lazy chilli) served with some Food Doctor easy cook quinoa + nutritional yeast.

This quinoa was so easy! It is pre cooked, so you just tear open the pouch and either serve cold, or cook in the microwave for 2 mins. The perfect intro to quinoa if you are unsure how to cook it.

So, what should I put in my smoothie tomorrow?– votes on a postcard please. Or perhaps leaving a comment would be quicker 🙂

First sports massage


And I signed up for an offer, 3 for 2, so I have to go back!

Actually it was not as bad as I feared. Thanks to the advice I had a little idea of what to expect. I wore shorts and a vest, and walked up as it is about 20 mins away. When I got there I had a little chat with her about why I was having one done, she asked me about any sore or tight spots, and then told me what she would do (glutes, hamstrings, calves, quads, ITB, neck and shoulders).

I was panicking this morning about having to take my clothes off (silly me- I know she has seen it all before) but she said to keep my shorts on (and she had towels all over the place). I was rather surprised when she rolled down the waistband of my shorts to get to the glutes.

We chatted all the way through (as she is a runner too) which did help to relax me, although at some points it was hard to hold a conversation. It began with discomfort, but some spots were pretty sore and were quite painful. I am a bit of a wimp with pain, but she was really pushing her fingers into the muscle.

When she was working on my shoulders and neck at the end, I could feel things almost popping. They were stiff this morning after the run yesterday, so I suppose they really needed it.

I have to decide when to have my next one, so I am going to see how I feel tomorrow. Walking home I could already feel sore spots in different places (but I was told that I could feel bruised in places), and my legs feel a bit weird, almost like when you get the feeling back after having pins and needles.

All in all, I am glad I went for it, as a lot of my muscles were very tight, and I can already feel that I can move my shoulders better now. Plus at least when I go back, I will know what to expect.

For the rest of the day, I am pottering around. I was most excited to see that the seeds I planted the other week have popped up!

So I am going to pot them on this afternoon. It is such lovely weather so I am looking forward to getting outside. I might have another walk later too.

Onto other things- I finished watching the London Marathon highlights. Seeing how fast the elite runners go is just crazy- I am in awe of their speed! I just find it so inspiring- especially all these people running for charities. I was starting to feel a bit guilty as I am not raising money for charity for my marathon, and due to the timing I am not doing a Race for Life either (I normally raise money for that each year) but I am signed up for the Great South Run, and I am going to do that for charity, so I will still be doing something this year. I decided that I wanted to run it for myself, and if I was collecting sponsorship it would be extra pressure and I would feel like I was letting people down if I didn’t manage it. Although it is a great opportunity to raise money, I want to do it for me, and me alone.

Anyway, if you have not already, look here to see the race recap of Rose. I have loved reading her marathon training journey, and you can read her London Marathon report if you pop along to her blog. Well done Rose 🙂

Rob has some interesting lessons from his recent Paris marathon (in very hot weather too) which is also worth a look. I should be taking notes I think!

One thing that did occur to me was the pointlessness of the texting in- BBC had a scrolling bar with messages of good luck texted in- but surely if you are running it you cannot see the messages? Anyway, marathon fever is starting to get to me now!!! The Stockholm marathon website is going to become one of my “favourites” soon I think! Although I was glad to see they have pace runners (for 5.00, 5.15 and 5.30- well and faster but these are the ones that I will be near). Thanks Alison for talking some sense into me (I am a bit panicked as the course shuts after 6 hours which does not give me much breathing space)- having the pacer runners has made me feel better, as I am sure there will be others running at that pace.

Right I am beginning to ramble way too much now, so I am going to go now!

Laters! 🙂

Ice, ice baby


Hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I had a fab time in Italy (no pictures allowed though as the dress is being worn again at the reception next weekend)- the weather was lovely, the scenery was fab, and Venice was interesting. We must have walked for miles while we were there, especially on Saturday as we had to check out of our hotel in the morning, but our flight was not till 11pm, so we had all day to walk (bar a 20 min sit down on a bench). Our holidays are hard core- we don’t have a sit down in a cafe or anything like that! We take cereal bars and bananas and have that as lunch while we walk! Sunday we spent most of the day walking too- around Whipsenade with my parents.

Then to today.

I had an 18 mile run, which was supposed to be done on Saturday, so that was the plan for today. I nearly did not go, as when I was about to leave I had to spend about 10 mins searching for my water bottle, which I knew I had already filled up this morning. Eventually found it in the fridge.

I set off, and just reminded myself to go slow. Mostly when I checked my watch, it was telling me 11.30ish per mile, which I think I will be able to maintain for the entire distance.

So, some numbers (mostly because I can’t remember it that well!).

Layers – 3 (body glide, sun-cream, vest)

Water (with nuun) drank- 500ml

CLif shots eaten- 3

Nakd bars eaten- 1 (cocoa orange yum)

Nakd raisins-um, I didn’t count them. Half a pack.

Podcasts listened to- 3 (marathon talk, Christian O’Connell and The Food Prog)

Times I cried- 1 (when they said on MT that there will be times in the race that is really hard- this was at about 16 miles for me I think so it was getting hard).

Runners I passed who smiled at me- 3 (hooray)

Runners I passed who did not smile- 3 (boo)

Total time- 3 hours 28 minutes.

Once home I braved an ice bath! First I had some chocolate milk and a nice hot shower to wash my hair etc. Then I put on a warm jumper, filled the bath with an inch of cold water, tipped in a tray of ice cubes and sat in (my poor toes!)- then topped up with more cold water. I had the radio on (and my bean burgers cooking in the oven for lunch) so was only in there 10 mins (until the pinger on the oven went)- although getting back out was a bit of a challenge- I was having visions of Andy getting home later with me stuck in the bath and the oven on fire.

It was rather weird drying my legs when I could not actually feel my skin- totally numb. I also shivered a lot- is that normal?

Anyway, now it is time for compression socks, and watching some of the London Marathon (I taped it because I love to watch it and knew I would miss most of it yesterday).

Now I am getting super nervous about my sports massage tomorrow- I have told them it is my first one, but I don’t really know what to expect- can anyone enlighten me a little?

Cheerio 🙂