Biggest loser Australia.. hurry up and finish!

I got am email today saying that my goodies from ethical superstore has been dispatched! Yay! I am looking forward to trying the cacao nibs especially.

Today for breakfast I tried the porridge oats I got last week. They are oats, banana flakes and vanilla bean (no sugar or salt or flavourings added). The instructions said 50g oats to 150ml liquid. I did 30g oats and 100ml liquid but there was nowhere near enough liquid! It totalled in the end 140ml; I like porridge on the runny side. It had a sweet flavour, but not too overpowering. I am not keen on strong flavours for breakfast, so normally if I have porridge I have oats, milk, raisins and cinnamon. I think cinnamon would have tasted nice with this (but was having some on pear at lunch so didn’t want overload, not that cinnamon overload is even remotely possible! Plus I wanted to taste it on its own first of all). The banana flavour was very subtle, in fact I could taste the vanilla bean more, which is good as although I like bananas (as long as they have green on them) and things with real banana in (banana bread anyone?) I have never liked banana “flavour” things and also do not like dried banana. I tried this one as they had other flavours (strawberry and chocolate) but they both had added sugar which I didn’t want. Anyway the oats were nice, a little sweet, I think they would be super tasty in maybe oatmeal raisin cookies.

I have been busy working this evening so had a 30g Nak’d cocoa loco bar to keep me going before dinner. There are the perfect size for a nibble, plus because they have oats in them (I do love oats) they are filling and give you longer lasting energy. They are also super-tasty! I need not go on!

I have been watching the Australian Biggest Loser on TV and I am getting so fed up! I want this series to end! (for anyone who doesn’t know it’s a series where extremely overweight contestants live in a house and are trained for several hours a day, educated about good nutrition, and the people who lose the least each week are up for elimination until the final where someone is crowned “the biggest loser”. The winner often ends up losing 50% of their original body weight and they are educated to exercise and make their own healthy food etc). I really like the American series, but this one is so gimmicky with “the walk” and surprise eliminations and surprise contestants coming back and people going to “the commando” (why does he wear sunglasses at night time???), the crazy Emazon lady and so on. Anyway I had it on in the background while I was working but I am hoping it will end soon!

For dinner I had an adaptation of sausage and bean bake from Rachel Allen’s Bake;

(Serves 2)

Brown one chopped red onion, add 2 chopped peppers, splash of balsamic and mix for a bit. Then add 1 carton chopped tomatoes, some garlic and herbs (I had basil), and a tin of cannelini beans. Put into an oven proof dish (boyfriend had his with 2 sausages which we cooked for 10 minutes beforehand and a sprinkle of chilli powder on top) and bake for 35 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese, and some (home-made) bread. Delicious! You can add whatever veggies you like, courgettes are nice too with the beans. I have made it before with a veggie sausage for me but I cant find the ones I like any more, and the ones I have tried are all like pretend meat which I don’t like, or way too cheesy in taste.

Last night I managed to stay up til 1am watching the election stuff, so tonight I will be having an early night.

Decision time!

Woo do you have election fever today? I had a course this afternoon and it took so long to get there that I ended up trying (unsuccessfully) to eat quietly while the lady started (eating my rye sandwich was ok but carrot sticks are not so quiet!). I also tried something new- I sprinkled some cinnamon on a pear and had it once it had all sunk into the pear. Verdict; Super tasty (gotta love cinnamon)- will be doing this again at lunch tomorrow!

I popped to the shops on the way home, mainly to get some more apples (love pink lady apples) but then I found some yummy Nairn’s chocolate chip oatcakes! I have had the ginger, berries and spices ones but I didn’t even know they did this flavour! Not the healthiest snack but not the worst either! They are in packs of 2 so will be good to have in my bag for when I fancy them. Then I went to vote (it is a secret ballot so I won’t be saying who for!) and then did some work before body pump. I had my fave pre-body pump meal of wholegrain spaghetti with courgettes, peppers and meridian green pesto. Yum.

Body pump was fun today (although it is such hard work). The music makes such a difference- if I am struggling towards the end of one of the tracks the music can “lift” me and make me do those last few reps. I also find it strange that there is some music that I like normally, but it isn’t good to exercise to, and there is other music that really would annoy me if I was out (not really a fan of chart music) but then if it comes on as a track at aerobics then it gives me a boost. The thing is I have no idea as to what the music is normally (although I do know this time that there is some weird Foo Fighters cover, and a weird version of Nirvana for some of the tracks. Oh and the Black Eyed Peas song) so even if I fancy getting one of the body pump tracks for listening to while running, I would have no idea! Perhaps I should google it?

Anyway now I am home and after a shower I tried a Nutty 9bar. It was so tasty; I preferred it to the other 9bar that I tried the other day. It was a lot more chewy- it seemed to be held together better. It also tasted lovely and nutty (duh)- it has cashews, pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts as well as sunflower and hemp seeds. It does have some added sugar and vegetable oil, but generally it seems a better choice than other bars (e.g. Eat Natural Bars that are full of high GI rice and sugar syrups and things). It does have 279 calories, 7.7g protein, 16g carbs and 20g fat (mostly good fats) per bar. It is so filling I think I could probably eat half of it for a snack and it would enough; I was just super hungry after body pump.

Anyhoo I am off now to watch the alternative election coverage and to celebrate that it is Friday tomorrow! Yeah!

Peanut butter cookies

This evening I was looking though my Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook hoping for inspiration. I fancied cookies, and came across the recipe for peanut butter cookies- heaven! The recipes in the book are rather generous; I halved the recipe and still made 20 (fair sized) cookies. The entire recipe was supposed to make 24! I also added some chopped white chocolate as well as dark chocolate, as white chocolate goes so well with peanut butter. I also used wholegrain spelt flour (from Doves Farm) instead of normal flour and that seems to give them a more wholesome flavour. I think wholemeal things go with peanut butter anyway. When they first went in the oven they puffed up massively, but by the time they came out they were lovely and flat, and are really chewy and delicious (even if I do say so myself!). I will definitely be making them again. Am going to see if I can freeze them as I didn’t think I would end up with that many!

Springy new running shoes

Well with my super speedy new shoes I was totally impressed with myself! After work I headed home, had a yummy Nak’d Berry Cheeky bar (which was tasty and not as sweet as the Trek berry bar, I think I prefer this one) and then got my running things together. It was quite warm outside so I was not thinking I would do that well. There were so many flies, one actually landed in my mouth (bleurgh) but I managed to get it out and then swill water about. Flies are not part of a veggie diet! Had to try very hard to run with my mouth closed as there were loads of them, perhaps because it was muggy out? I also had to stop loads of times when crossing the roads (waiting at zebra crossings and things), so I didn’t think I was that quick. But my time was 62 minutes, my fastest ever for that route (just under 6 miles). I have spent more time faffing on the Nike+ website and have added a few goals; so many runs and so many miles in the next 4 weeks.

I think I had a good filling lunch today (rye bread with cucumber and cream cheese, pear and yoghurt) whereas sometimes when I have soup I don’t run so well. Also my new shoes were lovely and springy.

I am looking forward to watching the election unfold tomorrow, after body pump and a shower I can veg out in front of the TV and watch it all start to happen!

I might make some cookies later as my boyfriend is doing the clerking at a polling station and may fancy a nice snack!

Waiting for the post…

I am looking forward to the post this week as I have ordered a few bits from www.ethicalsuperstore.co.uk. I had an email for free postage for any spend over £10, when usually it is higher than that. I do like getting things from there that you can’t normally get in shops. I have ordered some millet and quinoa flakes as I might have a go at making my own muesli (without the yucky dried milk or whey powder that all but Dorset cereals have). I will post the recipe on here once I sort a nice one out. I also ordered some cacao nibs as the cocoa beans from Graze have been super tasty so I might add those to yoghurt to liven it up a bit. Plus some meridian cherry spread (this is so good in 0% yoghurt) and some blueberry spread to try. I often order hazelnut or cashew butter from there too, but have not used all of mine yet and I can’t justify the cupboard space to store things that I don’t need. Fingers crossed it all arrives soon!

For lunch today I tried something new; Rye bread with quinoa and amaranth, spread with cream cheese. I served it with cucumber sticks, pear slices and a yoghurt. It was super tasty! I have had “normal” rye bread before and I am not sure if the flavour is that much different, but it was lovely and dense and filling with that lovely strong rye flavour.

After work I had a Trek Peanut and Oat bar. These are my favourite (although variety is good- I would get bored if I had only these); anything peanut-butter-flavoured is always good. They are made of dates, raisins, oats, peanuts, soya crispies, peanut butter, apple juice, maize starch, ginkgo biloba and ginseng extract. Each bar is 68g, with 239 calories, 11g protein (super filling) and 33g carbs (good for before a workout). Good for a vegetarian (with the protein) and have just read on the pack that they are vegan also. The bar is dense but moist, tasty and filling, and totally delicious!

It is aerobics later on and I am looking forward to it, especially as I missed it last week. If only I could use my new gadget!