Getting back to routine


I love my routine, I am someone who really likes to know what they are doing and I like the way I do similar things on the same day each week. After 6 weeks of no real routine (due to holidays etc) it has been great getting back into it.

On Monday after work I was really looking forward to my run, and did my 4 mile route and picked up the speed towards the end (9 something per mile 🙂 ). It was the first run where my legs felt normal (before that they had been feeling tight and not really flowing properly) and I am hoping that soon I can re-start with the audiofuel, which I was really enjoying before my routine stopped.

(By the way, we never made it to the allotment on Sunday, as it was such heavy rain, and I found out that I got sunburnt on the saturday-boo. Honestly I am so obsessive about suncream when I am on holiday, but I didn’t realise that my dress had a lower back, so I have a nice red circle on my back).

Today I am really looking forward to aerobics, as I have missed (I think) 5 weeks. Shocking! I know it is going to be hard work though, but I like the fact that I do the same class each week.

When I got home today I was most excited to have a parcel waiting for me;

The lovely Elise at Kallo foods has sent me a parcel of goodies to review for my blog. Smooth and crunchy organic peanut butter, smooth and crunchy peanut butter, dark chocolate spread (how good does that sound?), chocolate and caramel swirl spread, and organic cola and elderflower. So much peanut butter!

I also had a bit of a shock the other day. I was having a couple of squares of ghirardelli chocolate after dinner, and just by chance glanced at the ingredients (they are on the tiny wrappers) and noticed gelatin. Now as soon as I turned vegetarian (I think I was about 15) I stopped gelatin too. I felt horrible having eaten it, but it was too late to spit it out as I had already eaten it. Anyway, I went through the bag (it was a mixed bag) and found that 2 flavours contain gelatin.

Mint (which are just like after eights, I never would have expected it to be in there) and raspberry ones. So I have taken them out now- no danger of unexpectedly eating them.

Onto the weather (we love to talk about the weather here) how windy is it???? This morning when I was trying to get my car out of the garage the wind kept blowing the garage door shut. It was crazy! I am glad I am not out running and instead am working out in a wind free studio!

Finally (and only because I took a photo) I have been getting a little hummus obsessed! I got some more from Ocado (it was listed as another brand, but in the pic it also said Sabra on it, and it is smooth and delicious and garlic free)- so my lunch has been a sandwich thin with hummus and spinach, plus a salad of chopped apple (on the bottom so I have the sweet apple at the end), spinach, beetroot, roasted peppers and hummus. Yum 🙂

So, do you like routine or do you love to change things all the time?

The holiday foodie post

Hey guys.

Often on holiday I have found it difficult to find veggie options, especially healthy veggie options. On past holidays to the USA my typical dinner would be either veggie burger, grilled cheese sandwich or pizza (I would sub a salad or fruit for the fries if possible) but this was hardly ideal. As Andy eats meat he often wants to try certain restaurants too.

Anyway, this holiday we used the wonder that is trip advisor to help us choose places to eat (we use it for hotels all the time), and also asked for recommendations for good local places, and we found some gems!

I could not decide how to do this post – e.g. by meals, by days, by places (or whether to do each place in a new post) but in the end I am going to do them in the order (ish) of where we went to. Apologies in advance as it is a long post! I will link to the places too if they have websites, so enjoy.

Key West

We went for lunch at “The Cafe, A Mostly Vegetarian place” link also here. It did serve fish, but it had marked on the menu which items were vegan. And they did sweet potato fries! I had a veggie and goats cheese wrap, and Andy had the veggie burger (on special with hummus in it)- we shared and his burger was amazing. Now he loves meat but even Andy said the veggie burger was delicious, and also much more filling than a regular one. Plus I had freshly brewed raspberry iced tea.

We were so full that day (we don’t normally have a real lunch on holiday) that we went to a dessert resturant for dinner. “Better than sex” was a little cheesy/ smutty (all the desserts have sort of kinky/suggestive names like peanut butter perversion) but the desserts were amazing! I had a cookie nookie pie (I did not even know you could get cookie pie)

and Andy had the Pb dessert with strawberry conserve (does this show how massive it actually was?)

– we shared, we took the leftovers back in a box but we could not finish them! But they were amazing.

One day we went to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner- my only option is normally a veggie burger, but there was a lovely salad on there, and they had Vita coco coconut water to drink! In that heat that is exactly what I ordered.

We also had lunch at panini panini (we shared a roasted veggie sandwich and a piece of key lime pie). Yum. They also served vegan cookies.

There were loads of other options too, so we could have eaten at other places had we stayed longer.

Miami beach

On our drive on the way up we stopped at the turtle hospital, and then there was an awful thunderstorm and bad traffic, so we got to our hotel later than we had planned (and it was raining). We also stopped off at a supermarket and I loaded up the bags with goodies to eat on our trip.

Because of the rain and traffic we got in late so shared a veggie pizza from Pizza Rustica, (close to our hotel) which had great reviews, and had a proper oven to make proper thin delicious pizzas.

On our main day in Miami we wandered around the beach, and went for lunch in Pauls, which looked like a nice cafe with french baguettes behind the counter. It was OK- I had a goats cheese bruchetta- I nearly went for the half sandwich option but I am glad I had the full sized one as it was not that big. It had way too much cheese on it though.

We had seen an amazing looking ice cream parlour, so we went for one after that. We usually share a small serving (after learning that our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs) but this had buy one, get one free. So Andy had chocolate peanut butter (which tasted like Dark chocolate dreams) and I had toasted coconut after the girl recommended it to me. Heaven in an ice cream! But I could not finish it and felt so bad throwing it away.

That evening we went for dinner at Juice and Java which was delicious (Andy saw it on the net and said to me “they even do quinoa- their menu looked like our kitchen so I thought you would like it”). We had a smoothie each (Andy was craving a smoothie  so this way we could taste two!)- I had a falafel wrap and Andy had some pasta I think. The shop sold all sorts of health food bars and things too, and it was all made fresh while we waited. Plus it was right by Miami Ink (I don’t watch it, but some of my friends do) so of course we had to have a photo! We took our food to the beach to eat- loving the summer weather.

I also got some coconut water and apple chips (which were just dried apple slices with either cinnamon or peach flavour, no oil or anything)

I took some nuun with me too, which I had on a few days as it was just so hot, but the coconut water was a nice change.


My favourite place in Orlando has to be Sweet Tomatoes, which is the most amazing restuarant in my opinion! You get a plate and then walk along a 55foot salad bar, where you load up your plate with whatever you fancy (we went there 4 times, ahem, and mainly I went for- spinach, lettuce, carrots, beetroot, grated butternut squash, courgettes, tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, kidney beans, pickles, raisins, sunflower seeds), then you pay, sit down, and then you help yourself to fresh cooked soups, pizzas, pastas- they even had baked sweet potatoes! Plus they do amazing desserts, and fresh fruit. It is amazing.

We also went to Earl of Sandwich a couple of times. We were staying at Disney and there is one in the Downtown Disney part- they do a lovely sandwich with mozzerella, tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar, but also wraps and salads.

On the days we went to Seaworld I had the least amount of options. The only thing I found in the park was a vegetable wrap, which was literally a wrap with grated carrots, cabbage and courgette inside. No spread, no hummus, nothing. I shared one with Andy for lunch (plus some pineapple) and then we left for dinner. We went back the next day for the evening, and I had to have it again as that was all there was.  Come on Seaworld you can do better than that.

At Disney I had a lot more choice. We booked a “proper” meal each day (as opposed to the counter service places) and they were very good at accomodating or adapting items on the menu. At Magic Kingdom the Liberty Tree Tavern is fab– they have a veggie item on the menu (this time it was veggie pot pie) but I didn’t fancy it, so I asked for a salad minus the chicken- the salad is amazing with crunchy apples, pecans, cranberries, smoked cheese and salad veg. At Hollywood studios (MGM) we went to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre, which had brilliant theme-ing (check out the link)- again they had a veggie option of mango glazed tofu with veggies and rice. I asked for a salad instead of the rice (I don’t mind rice, but I don’t like it really) but they could not do that, so Andy had my rice! The mango tofu was lovely. At Epcot the San Angel Inn serves proper mexican food (not tex mex)- they used to do a veggie option but this time they didn’t. However the waitress was lovely at speaking to the chef (I had asked if the refried beans were OK as sometimes they can contain animal fat)- she checked (they were fine) and also told me that the vegetable rice was not OK as it was made with chicken stock, so they adapted a chicken tortilla meal by giving it to me with refried beans and cheese. We had2 days there so we also went to Tutto Italia Restaurant, which serves lovely woodfired pizzas. Italian is always a good option anyway. One day we had lunch at Epcot – I can’t find the link but in The Land there is a food court and they do a lovely goats cheese and beetroot salad (red and yellow beetroot) with pecans which I love. We also had breakfast and there was soya yoghurt, soya milk and fruit, so a good option.

We also got to go to Wholefoods in Orlando, where I spent quite a bit of time and money!

Lots of peanut butter! The pouches came in handy when staying in Disney as the breakfast at the hotel was oatmeal made with water, no toppings or anything, so I used a pouch each day 🙂

Plus lots of Clif bars (we had a coupon for a dollar off the kids/crunch ones), but again these made handy snacks to share when out.

St Augustine

First I must give a shout out to where we stayed. It was a B&B called “At Journey’s End” and Tim, the host, was amazing. We had put on the form that I was vegetarian, and when we arrived he checked that eggs were OK, and said he had planned the menu around me. There were 8 guests, and each morning we ate breakfast together at 9am. There was fruit and granola to eat before “the main course”. The first day we had a coconut cake stuffed with oatmeal (amazing) and some mini spinach fritattas, and the second day we had some cornflake crusted french toast (normally I find french toast too rich but this was lovely) and some spicy potato thing. Anyway, Tim recommended to us a few places to eat, and I think we managed them all!

We went to The Floridian for dinner, which was a lovely place which serves local produce whenever possible. I had an amazing sweet potato and black bean burger (which I topped with roasted peppers mmmm), but they had so many delicious sounding things, the waitress even pointed out that the soup was vegan. We shared a slice of pecan pie which had coconut and chocolate in it too- amazing.

Andy was keen to try A1A, as it served locally brewed beers. In the end I had a salad without the chicken (and with a different dressing as it was meant to have bacon dressing) but the salad was lovely- goats cheese, dried cherries, apples and spiced pecans.

We went for lunch at The Bunnery Cafe and Bakery, having seen their cinnamon rolls in the window looking amazing! I had a pb and j sandwich (there were plenty of other veggie options but I fancied one!), and a totally tropical smoothie complete with umbrella!

By that point we had been walking around all morning (well, I think it was about 2.30 or something) so we were grateful to sit in the cool!

Their cookies looked fabulous, but we had no room 🙁

We also went to the Hyppo (another recommendation from Tim) which makes gourmet popsicles. So so delicious and refreshing. I had a strawberry peach, and Andy had pineapple coriander but it took me so long to choose.


While wandering around in the heat of the day we came across Smooth (on Bull Street) and I was so excited to see that they actually made their smoothies fresh! So many places in the USA claim to sell smoothies, but they are those things that look like melted slush puppies full of syrup. While we were sharing our smoothie they cooked a batch of soft pretzels for samples- neither of us had ever had one before- I tried the one with cinnamon sugar, and Andy tried a salted one. They were amazing, so we went back. The owners remembered us the next day, and were lovely. I think I had another pb &j there, and we shared a pretzel! They were talking about expanding their menu to include a veggie plate, so worth a visit.

We had dinner one day at the Kayak Cafe. This looked a little strange as it is in the entrance to a gym, but it was busy and the food was lovely. I had a tofu burrito which was crammed with veggies- delish.

Another day we went to B and D burgers, which had the biggest menu ever! I could sub a veggie burger for any of the burger creations, so in the end I went for one with guacamole (so good) and of course sweet potato fries.

We had also heard good things about Leopolds Ice cream parlour– so we went there for dessert both days. We shared- the first day peanut butter and butter pecan (I had never tried that before but it made me reach my pecan limit) and peanut butter and coconut the other.

We went out for breakfast before we left (the other days it was a clif bar in our room) at Goose Feathers Cafe. I had some fresh cooked oatmeal with cinnamon and apple (took me ages to choose between that and the banana maple one), and I got a bite of Andy’s cinnamon roll which was amazing too! I noticed that they did baked sweet potato with pecans- how good does that sound??? Maybe not for breakfast though! Again, loads of choice.


This was the one place that we found veggie food hard to find. After our days in Savannah (which I also thought would be hard but was fab) I was optimistic that we would find loads of nice healthy cafes, but no, it was meat,meat, BBQ sauce and more meat. Andy really wanted to go to Sticky Fingers and they did a salad that I could vegetarian-ize, so we went there one evening. It was a salad without the chicken and without the blue cheese,and it was OK (apples, flaked almonds, raisins and tinned mandarin segments- random), but not great for the price.

One day we went to Wholefoods and I used the salad bar to make an awesome salad. They had balsamic glazed tofu, chickpeas, some vegan quinoa veggie salad, sunflower seeds, plus loads of veggies. And a fruit salad (plus a top up of clif bars!). Andy was happy as he had a turkey sandwich (it looked small in the cabinet but was huge)- I think if we had been there longer we would have gone back as they did soups and chilli and pizza and things too. (Of course I also topped up the Clif bar supply that we had eaten on our holiday!)

We had seen The Hominy Grill on Man V Food (ahem, normally I love watching it but would not eat anything on that show) and the website showed it did a veggie sandwich, so we went there. We could choose our sides, so I went for sweet potato mash (Andy had some as it was very rich) and we also shared some pecan pie. And (the most exciting part) that was where we were given the boiled peanuts! Having seen lots of signs on the roadsides and not having a clue what they were, it was good to try.

On the last day we were wandering about trying to find something, and was considering a Starbucks when we found Taziki Cafe. The menu outside looked lovely, and it had several veggie options. I had a roasted tomato and basil sandwich which was huge (and came with crisps and fresh fruit salad) but it took me a while to decide as I actually had options!

Well done if you have read this far! I am hoping people might find it useful if they were travelling around any of the places I visited, plus food is a good blogger topic anyway!

So, how do you deal with special diet requests when you are on holiday? Do you have any places that you would love to go back to because of the food?  And most importantly, did I buy enough Clif bars? 😉

Active recovery?

Not sure if that is entirely accurate, but it is what came to mind!

I had my run this morning- while waiting for breakfast to go down I warmed up my new running jacket from Old Navy.

I worked out how to turn off the flash (after 3 attempts) but now not sure how to turn it back on oops! Anyway, the main reason I love it is because of this:

Thumb hole things! I love them! But I realised it does not have a tab over the zipper so I will need to either not do it all the way up or get some kind of neck warmer thing. Ah well, it was too warm to run with a jacket today.

I did my same route up to the lakes and back, which is just under 6 miles. I was getting a weird stomach feeling, which was maybe a stitch, or something, so after 40 mins I walked for a bit, and then finished running on the way home. I was quicker than Tuesday, and I felt better too (and only walked once) so I think my legs and lungs are remembering what to do!

Home to a snack- soya milk with nesquik and a coconut chocolate chip clif bar. Yum.

The other day Andy and I walked up to the allotment after dinner, and all my good work had been overgrown with weeds. So after a shower we headed up there, armed with a massive fork each. Now many hands may make light work, but this all depends on what work there is to begin with. We spent 2 hours digging before deciding to come home for lunch and a rest. So I felt OK after my run, but not so good after all that digging! We have a small patch left (maybe 2 metres square) so we will have to tackle that tomorrow (and get something to put down so the weeds don’t just come back again).

Lunch was thrown together in 2 mins as I was starving! An apple, lettuce, Food Doctor pitta and more lovely hummus 🙂 And we shared the pitta chips which were nice too, kind of reminded me of disco crisps- anyone remember those?

Dinner was another quick meal. Andy was also given some Warburtons flat-bread things, so we used those as a basis for a mexican meal. In a pan I cooked one chopped red onion, added a drained tin of kidney beans, some tomato puree and chilli, and mashed. Then I added a chopped red pepper and small tin of sweetcorn. We warmed the flat-breads in the oven for 5 minutes, and served with salad and guacamole. Delish and so speedy.

Not sure if digging up the garden was the best recovery from a run, but at least tomorrow we don’t have much more to do.

Time for some mint tea now, I am sure that helps me recover, right?

Iced tea time

Evening all

So while I was away I got into having iced tea quite a bit- when eating out it was more refreshing than hot tea! At one place they gave me a bottle of mint and honey tea (normally I was given brewed stuff) which was yummy, so I also bought a few ready made bottles when out and about. I tried a few different brands (I was really excited to find Tazo iced chai, but I didn’t like it, and I didn’t like the other Tazo one I tried- a mint one- they were sweetened with stevia and I think I do not like that taste as they tasted too sweet for me) but I was excited to try my own at home.

My first try was pretty good! I used Whitards black tea with mango- added an inch of hot water (to help release the flavour) and then topped up with cold. I think I left the teabag in a bit long though- next time I would make it weaker. It took ages to chill though! I added a couple of lemon slices to help the sweetness. It was good for a first try anyway. (Like my Stitch straw?). Alongside some Rude Health Multigrain thins it was the perfect after work snack. Yep, that is right, autumn term is here.

Yesterday after popping to work I went to the shops and could not resist this bargainous bag from accessorize. I wanted a bigger bag anyway to fit my diary in, and this one was only £8.40! Wow! Plus a cute gingerbread car air freshener that actually smells like gingerbread 🙂

To help me at work I also had a treat for in between meetings:

A Clif kids bar. These are yummy! More chewy than the normal Clif bars, and of course anything peanut butter flavoured must be good.

On Wednesday I felt bad (I still had a headache from the day before) and actually accidently fell back asleep in the morning, so I only had a little run before lunch (just under 4 miles) which again I had a walk a little. I was quite stiff again after that, so Thursday morning I did some yoga before breakfast.

This was a pear and a nectarine, with some soya yoghurt and rude health crispy muesli. Feeling better! I then popped to work and on my way home (as well as the bag, gosh I am jumping all over the place today) I got a new purchase! Any guesses????

Here is a clue:

Sabre Hummus!!!!! I like hummus sometimes when it is in a sandwich, but whenever I have bought it from a shop I find it a bit gritty and a bit garlicky. After reading that Ffion found it too smooth, I decided to try. I went for the piquant one which was topped with spicy roasted red peppers (but it is really not too spicy). I love it!!! 🙂  I was wanting to give up cheese for a bit after this holiday (mainly because I always feel in the USA I have too much cheese) but I love my red pepper and cream cheese sandwiches at lunch. Well I have found something even better! Andy got the sandwich thins free, and the pitta chips (which we never had in the end), so I had that with hummus and lettuce, and a red pepper to dip in more hummus. Hummus crazy! I had some more today at lunch (and some on top of my lunch salad!).

I also went to body pump last night. I was actually really really nervous about going, silly me. I did go lighter than usual for squats and lunges, as my legs were still stiff from my first runs back (although the yoga did help). At one point in the chest track I did think I was going to drop the bar, and my arms were so so tired today. Oh, and I had to go back to the old dumbells for the shoulders track. Plus I realised that I might miss it next week as I have a parent talk that evening- not sure if it is worth the stress to try and make it. Anyway, post body pump I wanted a snack.

Yep, that is what happens when you leave your cereal bars in that back of a car when it is 94F outside. It is (was?) a chocolate dipped coconut luna bar, and it was yummy- in fact I think the squashiness made it even tastier. And mint tea which does not look nice but was delish.

Right, I think that is quite enough. So, anyone out there a fan of iced tea? And do you like it sweetened or un-sweetened? I am in the unsweetened camp all the way. And if you make it, how do you make it at home? Do I really need the ice ?(you may have noticed although it was called iced tea, it only included tea and no actual ice in my recipe, hmm).   🙂

The Keys and more

I will try to keep these recaps as brief as possible!

After our flight to Miami and the longest immigration queues I have ever seen, we drove through some crazy storms to Key West.

We got to watch the sun set over the water,

while musicians played in the streets.

We visited the home of Ernest Hemingway, and a turtle hospital.

After a few days we drove up to Miami (stopping at the 7 mile bridge)- it was super hot!

We got to spot all the sights from one of my fave TV shows, Burn Notice (which is actually filmed in Miami, unlike Dexter which moved).

So many pretty buildings. I think if they were in the UK they would look tired and dated, but the bright colours and funky architecture works with the blue skies and laid back feel.

We are not ones for sunbathing so we walked up and down the beach. Within 30 mins of this photo it was chucking it down with rain- we were on the edge of a tropical storm.

Then after a few days in Miami (2 nights) we drove up to Orlando. First up we stayed near to Seaworld, and spent some days shopping, going to Seaworld (and Discovery Cove).

The dolphins at Seaworld have an underwater viewing thing which was very relaxing.

It was a super hot day so I was always trying to find the shade!

Good plan to visit the penguins- it is always icy cold in there!

Veggie food options at seaworld are still terrible- the only thing I found was a veggie wrap (literally, a wrap with carrots, lettuce and red cabbage, no spread, no hummus, nowt) which Andy and I shared for lunch, and also some massive chunks of pineapple 🙂

We also watched the Shamu show (Shamu is their name for the killer whales). I have been there before and sometimes the whales would not come out and so the show changed a lot. The trainers used to get in the water with them too, but I think someone was killed, so now they do not go in the water at all. But really seeing these impressive animals leap out of the water is the best bit, and there was a baby that was copying the older whales which was cute to see. It seemed less choreographed than before, which is probably a lot better for the animals.

Then we went to stay in a Disney hotel and had a few days there.

They always do amazing fireworks shows.

We also went to EPCOT (my fave park)- and Hollywood studios which was MGM but got re-named.It was hot (yet again, I was after the shade while Andy took a million photos).

Then it was farewell to Orlando and off to St Augustine.

We stayed in an amazing B&B, called AT Journeys End. The Innkeeper, Tim, cooked the breakfast for us and the other guests each morning, and as I had put I was vegetarian he had planned the meals around me. How amazing.

St Augustine has some beautiful buildings, and a lot of history to it. This was built as a hotel.

It also has a castle/ fort, and so we looked around that and even watched people fire a cannon into the water.

Look how fab it is, right by the water.

It was hot, so yet again I was finding some shade! I bought a bottle of water from the shop there and when the lady gave me my change she said “thank you for staying hydrated”. I love that!

More of the castle.

And some of the pretty old town area- lots of chocolate shops, ice cream shops, t-shirt shops but such pretty buildings.

This is Flagler college, and is another hotel. And I just noticed me in the picture haha! We did a guided tour of that too.

It was time to cool down, cue lunch in a cafe with a smoothie (and an umbrella!). Andy said I wasn’t smiling enough in this picture, so cue a rather “special” one next.

I think it is the lighting haha!

Then we drove to Savannah

Which was just beautiful, full of tree lined streets and squares.

And more

(Mercer House from the famous “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. Which was not how I pictured it at all)

A beautiful fountain

A stunning church which was also totally amazing on the inside- stained glass windows etc

Leopolds Ice cream (because we all need ice cream to go alongside culture)

An impressive town hall

And a massive bridge

After that we went to Charleston, but we have not sorted out the photos from that yet. These pics were on Andy’s old camera, but he also got himself a new one (fancy SLR one- shouldn’t it be me, the blogger, who has one of those?) which has about 1500 photos (yeah, Andy takes a lot of photos) and we have not sorted them yet, surprisingly.  So they might emerge at some point.

So have you been to any of the places I visited? What is your favourite place to go on holiday to? And what photos do you like- people or places? We mainly go for the places (as you can see, out of all the photos I think there are maybe 10 with me in them!) but my parents always take photos of them, and also of random people like their waitress and stuff!

PS next post will hopefully be the foodie post 🙂