Two days in one (again)

Well yesterday I had a normal day at work, and then I tried a Meridian Peanut Butter and Oat bar (I got it in the health food shop) which was very tasty. If you have had meridian peanut butter then you would recognise the texture- its very chunky with real lumps of peanut in it (their PB is just peanuts ground up, no oil or anything so it’s quite thick). It is made from peanut butter, oats, honey, molasses and maybe something else (wrapper in the bin now!) and was filling and tasty, although you could taste the molasses it wasn’t too overpowering. It was about 200 cals for a 50g bar, over 6g protein and some healthy fats in there too. Yum.

I was going to have a long run, but I was busy at work and had more to do at home, so I whizzed out for a speedy short run (the quick route in my quickest time yet, under 26 minutes) before dinner. I had fresh corn on the cob which was so tasty; I do hope that I get a cob from my garden but at the moment there are just tassles on the plants.

I did my work until half 9, so that was the day gone!

Today it’s been another busy one at work; I got to meet my new class today which was fun. I am off to the gym in a bit so hands up for guessing my post body-pump snack of choice (hello 9 bar).

I might make some more fake frozen yoghurt too- I am thinking of trying frozen raspberries with chocolate (don’t think I have tried this combo yet), should be good.

Hug a Fruit!

Well some of you may have noticed that a while back I posted about healthy fats, as part of chocolate-covered-Katie’s Hug-a-fat month. Well it’s back, this time it is all about hugging fruit.

Well this one is easy for me! We need no reminding as to why fruits are so good for us- fibre, water, vitamins, anti-oxidants and countless other micro-nutrition elements that have yet to be discovered. Plus they are amazing! Such variety, colours, textures, flavours that I defy anyone not to like any fruit.

Even listing my favourites takes ages; I love mangoes, pineapples and papayas for a tropical treat. I love blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and nectarines for a taste of summer. I love dark cherries for a total treat! I love kiwis for a filling addition to lunch. I love crisp crunchy apples for a refreshing change. Or an apple sliced and spread with some peanut butter (more fat lurve) or some other nut butter. I love pears (from a tin even) sprinkled with cinnamon. In the winter I love clementines- that orange smell is delicious. I didn’t even mention bananas- they are my staple on holiday when I am hungry! Plus they are so good in Rachel’s banana bread mmmmm. I love fruit as an addition to a sandwich- PB and apple or PB and banana are so good! Apple and cheese is a fab combo too.

I even like some dried fruit (although only the kind without sulphur in it)- raisins go so well in porridge, dried cranberries go so well in cookies with white chocolate, dried mango is so good. I like the graze boxes because you get a little punnet of dried fruit with nuts too, so it’s not a total sugar high like it can be on its’ own. (Plus if you go to www.graze.com and enter this code KKJX34JF you can get a free box- bonus!)

I love fruit on its’ own. I love fruit with yoghurt. I love to make fruit into a smoothie. I love an apple with muesli and milk. I am getting addicted to fake frozen yoghurt (whiz up frozen fruit with a choice of yoghurt, soya yoghurt or custard- in the photo it is frozen raspberries blended with chocolate soya). I love it in things like muffins, pancakes, sauces (for a treat though not every day!). Fruity cheesecakes are delish.

So there you go- hug some fruit! But be careful especially if it is an over-ripe banana as it might go a little squishy.

I am still deciding what to do with my blackcurrants. I am thinking some kind of cheesecake as something about the tartness of blackcurrants goes well with the creamy mixture. May make some kind of cheesecake mix and cook the currants a bit as a kind of sauce, maybe some granola instead of the base? I had better decide soon before they go funny!

Today this is the fruit I have had (to keep with the theme)- raisins and apple at breakfast (see pic above), raspberries, strawberries and nectarines at lunch and cherries in the evening (I spread the pics out to make it look pretty).

Beside the fruit I have been to aerobics which was nowhere near as hot as last week, been to work, and watched some football. Cool.

Mostly about food!

Not much to report today, it’s been a busy one. So I will report on my food as I haven’t been on a run today.

I had some tasty basil tofu for lunch, in a wholemeal muffin with some tomatoes. I have not had that for a while and it’s making a nice change. I also had a lovely fruit medley for lunch (strawberries and raspberries from boyfriends’ parents garden, plus a nectarine)- so so summery. I also had a mini apple pie Nak’d bar for a snack, and a lovely 50 minute walk before dinner. Dinner was a sort of Mexican bean wrap- onions, chilli and kidney beans cooked and mashed, with red pepper, corn, tomato puree, then baked in a wrap in the oven, sprinkled with cheese and served with a salad (topped with some flax oil- I’m upping those omega 3’s).

I have ordered some pumpkin puree from Americansweets.co.uk (they do grocery items as well as sweets!), as I have a few delicious looking pumpkin recipes (bread, cupcakes…) but you can’t seem to get it anywhere in England. I will be super excited when it arrives, the only problem will be which recipe to make!

I haven’t been out I the garden yet- might pop out in a bit.

Garden excitement

I had my usual pre-run breakfast of cornflakes and raisins, and headed out at about half ten. I wasn’t sure how far I would go, because it has been so warm and it was heading towards midday. But in fact there was a strong breeze which helped keep me cool. I headed up to the lakes, ran around them both, then up in a loop around the park and back around one of the lakes. At one point I have to cross a narrow bridge and when I got to it there was a big white goose there, but I was going too fast so I ran past it with my arms high up (it seems nearly as tall as me- at least it could get my fingers) and luckily it didn’t seem bothered. In the end I did just under 7 miles in 67 minutes and I really enjoyed it. Although I liked training for the half marathon, at the moment I really enjoy 6-8 mile runs, as they feel like I have done some “proper” exercise, but not so far that they wipe me out for the rest of the day.

Once home and stretched I had some Graze Bounty Hunter mix, which is coconut cubes, cranberries and chocolate drops. I had a shower but I was still hungry so I had a delicious lunch; a carrot and apple muffin (made these back in May and froze some) which I warmed in the microwave and spread with smooth peanut butter, a massive bowl of strawberries, raspberries, yoghurt and a sprinkle of treacle granola, some hazelnuts and a glass of coconut water with pineapple. A very fruity lunch indeed!

I also had a walk and was surprised how warm it was even thoiugh the breeze has really picked up and dark clouds were blowing over.

I made some cupcakes for tea later- Black bottom cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery . These are a dark chocolate cupcake marbled with a vanilla cream cheese chocolate chip cheesecake mix, and they were so good! I had one after tea today- delish. The chocolate cupcake is very dark and rich, which is a good contrast to the sweet cheesecake swirl. A fab post-run treat.

I have also been so excited about my garden. I went out there this evening and have collected my first “wave” of blackcurrants. Seriously, last year I got 6 or 7, but this year it has got massive and there are loads of bunches hanging from it. Now I need to decide what to do with them- any ideas?

I have also found some tiny green tomatoes on the tomato plants, some tassles on the sweetcorn, and a few more little courgettes. The pumpkin plant has grown all over the other plants (I did tie it to some canes but it has gone crazy) so I have tied it up some more, and also tied up the butternut squash plants as they are getting tendrils so they seem to be climbers too.
It is looking great out there at the moment; all this sunshine has been doing them the world of good.

More frozen fruit madness!

Today was my schools’ summer fayre so I was up early and out for a run before it got too hot. I had a massive drink of water before I got ready! I went out at about 8.45 am, and the parts of my run in the shade were lovely, The last half mile was right in the sun though so I was boiling by the time I got home. I did 2.7 miles in 26 minutes, a good pace for me in the heat (and before breakfast). After a shower I had an old fave for breakfast; a pink lady apple choppped up, sprinkled with dorset deliciuous museli and some milk, yum. Then it was time to get ready for the fayre- I was helping out in the drinks tent which was doing a roaring trade on pimms and cider. We were so lucky with the weather as earlier in the week showers were predicted. It was really busy and all the children were having a great time so all was well. Although I had to pop to the shops on the way home and didn’t get home til about half 3, by which time I was ravenous as I didn’t have any lunch! I was going to pack a nak’d bar but I forgot- oops. So I had a wholemeal muffin with some peanut butter. I have recently re-discovered smooth peanut butter. I have always been a crunchy girl but for some reason last week on a whim I got some smooth stuff and I must say it is a nice change. I also made some more amazing fake frozen yoghurt- I blended 80g sainsburys frozen dark sweet cherries with a pot of alpro dark chocolate dessert- hey presto! Cherry chocolate fake ice cream. It really was amazing– it might be the best combination yet. If you like black forest gateau/ cherry chocolate combo then try it- the cherry flavour does come through the chocolate and made it really refreshing.

I am going to try and sort of my review seciton too- I have been asked by a few companies (nak’d, trek, 9bar) to review their items, which I have done, but as I have gone along, so watch this space for a more organised approach.

For the family meet up tomorrow I have made some cookies from The Hummingbird Bakery book . I made the chocolate chip ones, and added some ginger and cinnamon to the mix for a warm and spicy flavour.

While I was baking I was pondering my now rather extensive flour collection! I even took some photos. For making bread I have normal strong white flour, wholemeal flour (nice for a pizza base), rye flour (have yet to be totally successful with this) and my fave for bread, malthouse flour. For baking other items I have normalt white flour (for cupcakes and things) and wholegrain spelt flour, which is amazing in cookies; nutty and wholesome but not too heavy like normal wholemeal flour can be. I would recommend the spelt flour for replacing all the normalt flour in cookies, and in things like brownies and cupcakes I have used half and half and it has worked fine. I did used to have some normal wholemeal flour which was delicious in banana bread, but at the moment I have none “in stock”!