Brighton half- spare place

Look at what arrived this morning:

Yup, the race pack. There is no way I am doing this (it is only 30 days away now), and when I came out of hospital and realised that, I had already missed the cut off for cancelling (where you don’t get a refund, but £10 off next years entry). After it came this morning I looked on the FAQ’s and it seems that you can transfer a number. So, if anyone fancies running it (it is Sunday 19th Feb), please let me know and I will happily send out the number to you. Seems a shame to let it go to waste, plus it is sort of annoying to see it there. Have a look on the website for details of the course etc. I have emailed them to get the transfer form so I am ready to go.

Thanks 🙂

Oh, and a few of you asked about those amazing chocolate pecans yesterday. I got them from the Montezuma’s website– I went there, must have registered my email address, but didn’t buy anything. Then a few days later they sent me an email saying they had noticed I visited their website and didn’t buy anything, so here is a 10% discount! Well, it was rude not to use it surely? So, if you are unafraid of Big Brother then might be worth a try! 🙂

WIAW- a frosty day

Monday morning was very frosty indeed.

On Sunday afternoon the pond was still frozen solid, so it was clear it would be a heavy frost- I think everything looks so pretty when it is covered in white- even the cars!

Anyway, welcome to another WIAW and head over to Peas and Crayons if you fancy having a nose at what other people are eating.

So I went for a massive mug of peppermint tea to warm me up.

Breakfast– muesli, apple, soya milk, peppermint tea.

I did brave a little walk outside, and was hungry for my lunch after that- partly from the cold I think.


Toasted sourdough with mixed nut butter and blackcurrant spread, grapes, and satsumas. That sourdough was sooooooo good- we had some at the weekend but I think it was even better toasted. If I lived in San Francisco I would visit Boudins every day.


A few chocolate pecans and a tea-pigs latte.

Can you see the heart shape? I will get better! Love the Aerolatte for the froth!


Not sure what it was! It was from the freezer and it was not labelled (I normally label everything)- it seemed to be giant cous cous, black eye beans, carrots, sweet potato, peppers, tomatoes… It was tasty anyway. With rocket and nutritional yeast.


A provamel caramel pot that tastes just like those little tubs of creme caramel you can get with all the yoghurts. Yum. 🙂

And look what picture got emailed to me today:

Hello? Is It Tea You’re Looking For?

From here. I do find the actual video rather funny (especially when he phones the girl), plus I love silly puns, and I love tea!

I think I had about 5 cups of tea that day- peppermint, vanilla rooibos, raspberry, peach, spiced winter…. I needed it to stay warm.

What is your favourite warm drink?


Getting to know my Garmin

Hello all

I think I have cracked it! Nearly.

Yesterday I set out on a little walk, and decided to wear my Garmin to see how I got on. I actually wrapped up warm, walked around the corner before I remembered and had to go home and get it- whoops!

Using it was pretty easy- when I first turned it on (at home once I had charged it) it prompted me to select things like my age, weight, other stuff I can’t remember- for some reason I thought it was a twisty dial but it is just buttons on the side, so very easy.

Then, I had to press a button to search for satellites, and then press start. It did beep at me after I had walked one mile (one lap it said) but although I pressed OK the first time, the second time I didn’t notice and it carried on recording until I pressed stop. Not sure if I can turn that off because the beep is annoying, but if not it is not the end of the world.

Then it got a bit harder. The instruction manual said just to go to, or, and to download the software and then follow the instructions. I did the first one, but then realised that was for not using the internet or something, so then Andy helped me with the next bit.

Then it is not too hard- it plugs in to the USB port, and when you go to the connect site (and log in) you should in theory be able to click “upload” and it will upload new activities. This took about 3 goes and in the end I had to do it manually (clicking through “my computer” to find the file)- I un-plugged and re-plugged it in a few times as it did not seem to register. Anyway, hopefully it will get easier as I get used to it.

Now, I can’t do a fancy pants screen shot, but the photo came out OK. Anyway, this is what is exciting- there is a map, a line to show my walk and another one to show the elevation. How exciting. 🙂

I must say that using Nike+ is super easy and good for any techno-phobes like me (I only learned to type when I was at uni- before that I hand-wrote everything as I was actually “scared” of computers after something at school which I won’t bore you with), whereas the Garmin seems more complicated and I don’t think the website makes things that obvious. I think once I start running again (one day…..) I will keep with the Nike+ too- I like all the challenges on there and the count of my total miles, that sort of thing.

I actually walk faster than I thought. Also years ago I had a bad knee ( it is still not perfect)- it got really sore and painful of I was still for a long time (eg the cinema) and would feel like something was wrong when I went to straighten it after it was bent for a while. Crouching down then standing up was really hard as it felt like it would give way. The doctor just told me to rest it (which seemed silly when the resting made it worse) and to strengthen the leg muscles to help the knee joint. Since taking up running (and aerobics and body pump) it has been loads better- I had not really thought about it but just this last week I have noticed that going down stairs it has started to bother me again, and it is getting stiff while I am sitting. I need to start running again! I did feel several pangs of jealousy while on my slow walk I was overtaken by many many runners out for a lovely lunchtime run. But I am sure the time will fly by.

I went to the GP today, and am signed off for another 3 weeks, but she said to me (quite frankly) that it may be longer as the cyst is big, and until they take it out it won’t get any better- plus when they take it out I will then be recovering from an op. So, ideas to help me pass the time please!

I have: Listen to the radio, watch a series of Top Chef on TV, do brain training and suduko on the DS, tidy out some drawers/ cupboards, read some magazines/ books, write out some recipes into my nice recipe binder things, do internet shopping (oh, hang on, that is not such a good idea!)….

Thanks 🙂


Running accessories and getting higher tech!

Hey all, hope everyone is having a lovely weekend. A few of you have asked how I have been (and I don’t want to harp on about it)- I am feeling uncomfortable, but not in awful pain or anything. I have tried going for little walks (as am still off work but want to see how I get on with being a bit more active) but for some reason that makes it much worse, so I am not walking too far. Still a week and a half to my hospital appointment, and although my brain is going mad I know that I can cope with how I feel right now.

First and most exciting news- I bought myself a Garmin . What with the Kindle I am now nearly in the 21st Century according to Andy (still only have a texting phone, no internet for me!). Anyway, I got a postcard from Sweatshop saying that the Garmin 110 would be half price for this week, so I decided to get one. I did read reviews on Amazon and it seemed pretty good. I have run a few times with Andy’s Garmin- no idea of the number but it was a basic and pretty big one (plus he has it set to km so I spend the entire time working out the miles). At the moment I have got it out of the packet, charged it, and read some instructions. Oh, and located the satellites. I am thinking I will try it on a walk at some point, and so the plan is once I can start running again I will know how to use it. I have had my Nike+ for nearly 2 years now, and although I really like it, I do need to callibrate it a lot because it works on foot striking, not GPS. Plus I know that I really do love running, and it is not just a fad, so I know I will get some good use out of it.  This one has no HRM, but I did not think I would use it, and the HRM ones were much more expensive.

I also got a couple of running magazines to read- again not sure if I am just taunting myself because I can’t do any of it yet. Ah well, I will be well prepared. (Sweatshop postcard in the background too).

And guess what- there are bloggers popping up in magazines all the time! Freya was in Women’s Running mag, Rose is in Runners World, and.

Phil is in Running Fitness! How exciting!

OK, so if you have a Garmin (or other brand of GPS watch) which one do you have and what features do you really find great?  Does anyone have the same one (and any pointers would be fab- like how do you turn it off???).

How into the 21st Century technology are you? Internet/ smart-phones etc? I have had my current phone for over 2 years and it does me fine,although when I was in hospital I was thinking that an internet phone would be good as it would have given me something to do. But then I am not sure if I would feel the need to check things at lunch time/ all the time, and feel a bit more stressed, whereas now I can only check emails at home and other times I know it will wait. Makes sense?

Making mexican casserole

Hello everyone.

Cooking counts as one of the “pottering about” activities that I can get on with while being at home. I needed something for Tuesday tea, so I decided to make another lot of the mexican casserole that I made a while back. It is loosely based on this recipe from Oh She Glows. I think my version is easier!

For 3 big servings you will need:

1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 1 red onion, 2 sticks of celery.

1 carton of passata, 75g dry quinoa, 1 small tin sweetcorn, 1 small tin borlotti beans, paprika, easy chilli, assorted herbs.

Cheese (optional but tasty).

Avocado/ salad/ other stuff to serve.

First up, chop the veggies and roast in the oven for about 25 mins (220C). I sprinkled with paprika for fun. While that is going on, cook 75g quinoa in water, again add some paprika if you like.

Some quinoa should be rinsed first- check the packet. All I do is weigh out the dry quinoa, pour over cold water (just enough to cover it) then gently simmer. Stir to stop it sticking, and add more water if you need to as it will soak up a lot of water. Add any flavours you like- stock cubes etc as it will soak up the flavour. When it is done they go from looking like tiny balls to all squiggly. There is no other way to describe it. A bit like rice you need to be careful when cooling and reheating it- make sure it cools quickly if you are not eating it right away.

Once the quinoa is cooked, put it all together. Pour the passatta (and a little water if it looks dry), the drained tin of sweetcorn, the drained tin of beans and a tsp easy chilli over the roasted veggies. Then stir in the quinoa and add any herbs if you like- I think I added oregano.

Before baking, add a little cheese if you like. Or just bake for about 20 mins.

I left 1/3 in the tray (saves on washing up) and the other 2/3 into foil trays. Once cooled they went in the freezer- I did not cook them first.

Then, the best bit! This time I chopped up a small avodado, mashed in some lemon juice and served it, alongside some rocket. Yum.

Plus the best part (well, aside from the fact I have 2 more of these in the freezer) is that you can easily change it to your tastes or to what you have. Last time I used black eyed beans and did not have any sweetcorn (or celery). You could swap in different veggies, different beans, use a different grain…. Endless yummy meals.

This was followed a little later by some grilled pineapple.

I grilled it with some coconut, and had it with an alpro vanilla pot. Delicious.

Now you get some random things that I have photographed over the last few days.

I fancied a smoothie for breakfast, and also fancied using up the last of some lemon marmalade my Mum made. I also realised I had a pouch of protein powder to try, so I had that in a smoothie with half a frozen banana, some frozen cherries and soya milk. It did smell lovely and chocolatey, but it had maybe a chalky texture? I am not sure I really liked it, although it did fill me up for hours and did not give me stomach ache (when I tried whey protein, years ago, it gave me tummy ache). So smoothie, toast and a very ripe nectarine were eaten.

I have also been enjoying more chai lattes- I used some white christmas tea (which has white tea and lovely spices) and frothed like crazy!

I think that is enough for now.

What is your favourite easily adaptable meal?