Back pumping!

And more pimping (of the porridge kind)

I actually typed “pumpkin” for the title- shows what is on my mind haha!

First up- I went to body pump last night! Yay! I am practically all better now. Just drinking something stupid like 3-4 litres of water each day. Anyway, it was the new release- OW to the triceps track! I put a weight on my thighs for the dips- that was a mistake as I barely made it though the over the head bits at the end! I did find the squats track rather boring, but I did like the Living on a prayer song for the biceps (I think?). Good stuff.

I was hungry so I decided to try a Builders bar (20g protein- wow!)- a chocolate mint one. It was quite nice, very filling but not my fave texture.

Pimp my porridge has been going well.

Carrot cake porridge (grated carrot, chopped apple, cinnamon, few raisins, oats and soya milk).

Peach coconut porridge (small tin drained peaches, oats, soya milk, coconut extract and I think some cinnamon as always)

Carob banana porridge (mashed banana, carob powder, few raisins, oats, soya milk)

Autumn fruit porridge (chopped pear, frozen blackberries, oats, soya milk, cinnamon I think)

Stay tuned for more varieties next week! 🙂

I also had a carrot cake inspired sandwich one day this week (actually, I had run out of hummus and didn’t fancy pb!)

Tahini, grated carrot, raisins and cinnamon. This was delicious! 🙂

I went to the doctors again today for a little check, but she said that people go through spates of having these infections, so just to keep drinking lots.

When I got home I had lots of parcels to open, but I will show you those tomorrow.

I did some baking this evening- Andy has been requesting cookies for ages but I was making lots of cakes instead.

I used some Whole Earth Original crunchy and some Beyond Dark chocolate chips to make Hummingbird peanut butter cookies- the best ever recipe.

They turn into the most enormous cookies 🙂 Thin and chewy, yummy.

They do look a lot like the photo in the book too.

In a bit we are going to watch the last ever episode of The Wire . We have been working out way through the series and I cannot believe it is the last one. Anyone else a fan?

Enjoy the fab weather this weekend- it looks like it is going to be brilliant. I am hoping for a slightly longer run tomorrow (still cannot believe I am running a 10K next Sunday!) then doing some baking as I have some friends over on Saturday afternoon- and then planting some stuff in the allotment on Sunday. Any great weekend plans?

WIAW- cook fest

Hey! Doing WIAW does seem to make the week go by so fast- I say it every week but how is Wednesday here already?

Thanks as always to Jenn for organising the party.

This week I chose Monday as my day.


Chopped pear, Rude Health muesli, almond milk.

Lunch and morning snack;

Hummus and red pepper sandwich, nectarine, nakd bar.

Pre-cooking snack;

Half a massive bar of rawr orange chocolate.


Autumn chilli (carrots, butternut, pepper, kidney beans, chickpears etc) topped with nutritional yeast and food doctor seeds.

Post baking snack;

Pumpkin spice cake (adapted from Sweet Vegan) and some Teapigs Spiced winter red tea.

I was still on antibiotics, so no running for me that day- normally I would have a run after work on a Monday. Instead I got on with baking some pumpkin spice cake, and some lovely chilli.

Not sure what my favourite thing was from that day- I might choose the pumpkin cake and tea? That combination was amazing.

Thanks for the suggestions for pimp my porridge too- I have had loads of fab ideas and cannot wait to have a bit of variety for my breakfast.

Do you tend to eat the same things for the same meals, or are you good at getting in some variety over the week?

More running less cupcaking

Is hopefully what will be happening on here over the next few days.

But first, I have been attempting to make my breakfasts a little more interesting. I was getting a little obsessed with an apple, Rude Health muesli and almond milk. It is yummy. But now the mornings are so dark, and a little cooler, I have been going back to porridge. Last year I mainly had porridge with raisins and cinnamon- cheap and easy to make, plus tasty. But I fancy branching out a little with my flavours! Operation pimp my porridge begins!

This morning I had autumn fruit porridge. I chopped up a pear, sprinkled on oats and poured on soya milk, then added some frozen blackberries. I left it in the fridge overnight and then cooked it this morning for 2.20 in the microwave. I added a teeny squirt of agave, but it was quite sweet anyway in the end. Scrumptious.  And purple!

The other day I tried banana cocoa porridge- amazing! I mashed a banana with some cocoa powder, then added oats and almond milk, again left it overnight and cooked it in the morning. This was so good! The banana means it needs no sweetener added, and it was a lovely change from my norm. But very messy looking!

I also had the most enormous sandwich!

A whole apple (I like it cored and into rings like that- looks pretty)

See– it is as high as the jar of peanut butter! It was hard to eat I tell you!

Today was my first day antibiotic free! 🙂 🙂 Less time for making cupcakes haha!

After work I went out on a little experimental run. I did 2 miles, and took it easy. I felt OK, but even thought I went before I left, I needed the toilet when I got home- not sure if this is just psychological? As soon as I got home as well I sort of felt like I had some soreness, but then as soon as I sat down it went. So I think I might be imagining it? Anyway I am back to the doctors Friday so I am going to mention it then and see what they say.

I am so behind with marathon talk- the one I finished up today was from the 7th September! I need to get running again so I can catch up! (Andy did say “er, you do realise you can listen to them when you are not running” but it wouldn’t be the same!). And did you know they now do a parkrun podcast? I am way behind and they announced it on the show I listened to, so it has been going a few weeks by now!

Anyway, help me pimp my porridge- what can I add to make it different? What do you love to add to your porridge?

Brighton buys and baking

And some chilli, but that does not fit with the alliteration you see.

But first a little update- today is the final day of my antibiotics, and I am finally beginning to feel like my normal self (touch wood). On Thursday I was feeling optimistic and hoping that I could go to body pump (new release), but after a day at work I was not feeling great. I decided to have a walk after dinner instead, and that made me feel awful. It was about 3 miles I think but still hardly taxing. I then decided to have a little run after work Friday, but again I was still feeling bad- I am fine when sat down, but when I get up and move about for a while it seems to make things a little sore. So that was cancelled, and I decided to not even bother taking my running things with me to Brighton- I was planning on a run on the Saturday morning but I decided that more rest would do me good. Luckily as it turned out, as after walking around all day I was so tired on Saturday evening. I then thought I might have a run Sunday evening when we got home, but I was still not right. And it goes on! I was not sure if I was feeling a little paranoid, but really after that walk on Thursday I realised that I am still not right. Anyway, today after work I came home and rested, and am hoping that tomorrow I will have a short run instead of the usual aerobics- I think that I can always cut a run short, and it is more gentle than the super high impact stuff we do in the class. So fingers crossed please!

Anyway, on to the buys! First up I was super excited to visit the Montezuma shop! I could have bought so many things in there- they do giant jars of buttons but they were £20! Even I could not justify that. I settled on 2 bags of dark chocolate buttons and some Gourmet Gorilla (not just because of the name)- dark chocolate with almonds and hazelnuts- I have never seen this bar in Waitrose so decided to give it a try.

I also bought a couple of new books in Brighton- I had a WHSmiths voucher for my birthday and finally spent it.

I have wanted Sweet Vegan for ages (I actually found it in a Waterstones on the weekend of my cousins wedding, and nearly tried to buy it with my vouchers until Andy pointed out I was in the wrong shop- that would have been embarassing!), and then they had the National Trust Teatime Baking book (so many good words for me!) for £3.99! Bargain! 🙂

I have already made the Pumpkin spice cake from Sweet Vegan.

And then topped it with cream cheese frosting (although I think I made about 1/4 of the recipe).

Yummy 🙂

Then today I got on with making an autumn chilli for my dinner. Partly because I thought I ordered frozen butternut squash slices, but they were chilled ones, and partly because I fancied using up some tins.

So, follow the steps for some Autumn Chilli (serves 4- me plus 3 for me freezer).

So- get together the ingredients- butternut squash, carrots, pepper, chilli, molasses, tinned tomatoes, kidney beans and chick peas.

Fry the veggies in a pan- I used a tsp coconut oil for this, but any veg oil/ spray would be fine.

Add tomatoes, 1/4 tin water (e.g. refill the tomato tin and pour in) and 2 tsp lazy chilli (this made it quite spicy enough for me, but I am a little bit of a wimp with spice although I am getting better).

Drain and add the chick peas and kidney beans.

Then add a tbsp molasses, and leave to simmer for a while- maybe 25-30 mins.

Dish up (just look at that steam- mmmm)

I had mine with nutritional yeast and some food doctor seeds. It was super tasty and even better because the next 3 times I eat it I don’t even have to cook!

Oh, and the best thing today- Andy thought I was a little weird (understatement alert) for collecting stones on the beach and said I would be crazy to take them home with me. I did leave them there, but this morning at school a little girl in my class gave me some stones that she collected from a beach over the weekend! She must have known haha! 🙂

Random question- what is your favourite chocolate at the moment?

Brilliant Brighton

Hey! I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend. I headed off to Brighton for the weekend, and the weather was just perfect.

A while ago I was emailed and asked if I would like to visit Aloka, a vegetarian, vegan and raw restaurant in Brighton. From the website it looked amazing, so we jumped at the chance and were really looking forward to it.

We travelled down on Friday night, and then spent Saturday morning chilling on the beach.

The weather was just fantastic.

The sun was shining and the beach was busy.

I enjoyed collecting coloured shells and stones while we sat in the sunshine.

Then we headed to Aloka for lunch. The idea of the cafe is brilliant- they have a variety of food on offer, and you help yourself, then weigh your plate so you only pay for the food you take. Their chefs are all vegetarian or vegan, so they are really passionate about the food they are making. The menu changes all the time but they have sample menus on their site. I actually took a notebook with me, and I am so glad I did as there were so many dishes on offer that I would not have remembered them all!

This was my plate; some salad leaves, beetroot and apple salad, fresh hummus, tomato and cucumber salad, pumpkin and rocket salad, black bean salad with corn and peppers, a sprinkle of seeds, and a lentil nut burger topped with apple sauce. This was all soooooo amazing- really fresh tasting and delicious. I think my favourite item was the lentil nut burger- the apple topping was such a great idea. But it was all amazing- the pumpkin was delicious and made me feel excited for autumn, the apple in the beetroot salad was so crunchy and fresh, the black bean salad was really tasty….

This was Andy’s plate- he had a few things the same as me (the lentil nut burger, the beetroot and apple salad/ pumpkin and rocket salad/ black bean salad) plus a few other items- a tomato curry, some basmati rice, potato wedges and a stuffed aubergine (stuffed with carrot and something- you can see it at the back of the plate- I had a bite of this and it was delish). Oh, and some massive croutons! He loves croutons. There were others items on offer that we did not try (other types of hummus/ bean spreads), plus side items like fresh bread, walnuts and nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top. Our plates were both empty as all the food we tried was fantastic!

We decided to try the smoothies from the drinks menu too- I don’t often choose them but the weather was so warm I thought it would be refreshing- mine was berry, apple and mint, and Andy’s was a mango one. Again so fresh and delicious.

The setting of the cafe was lovely too- right in the heart of the laines of Brighton- we sat upstairs right by an open window, so we could do a lot of people watching.  Inside it was so bright and fresh and airy- sometimes specialist veggie restaurants can be a little filled with beaded curtains and incense and things like that (know what I mean?), but Aloka was so fresh and modern. But most importantly the food was delicious. And with such a huge selection it would appeal to most people- you would easily find something that you liked.

Our next trip to Brighton is next year when we run the half marathon, and we have already decided that it would be a great place to go back to.

Thanks Aloka– it was a fantastic and delicious meal, and I am already looking forward to my next trip to Brilliant Brighton!

So, have you ever been to Aloka? Or to another veggie/vegan restaurant?

Which item on the menu do you like the sound of the most?