Red food at night, runningcupcake delight

Evening all!

After work I had a nice run around the lakes- I was trying to keep up my speed as I think I have started to slow down as I am tired after work. I managed around 5.3 miles in 51 minutes, and even managed a negative split- woo hoo! My miles went 8.23, 10.03 (2 stops for crossing roads), 8.52, 8.47, 8.53, which I am super pleased with.

Then I got down to some cooking.

I had this bad boy to use;

I scooped out the middle and baked it, and on the hob I made some tomato quinoa (with some paprika to make it sort of sweet and smokey). Alongside that I made some mini chickpea burgers (sort of from Veganomicon )- I mashed up a tin of chickpeas, added some tahini, garlic, lazy chilli, tomato puree, a few millet flakes and some wheat gluten. Then I mixed it all together, kneaded it and rolled it into little balls.

These were baked for about 25 minutes and had some with my dinner.

I also had some beetroot which looks black but is red. Not all the quinoa would fit into the squash so I had some on the side too. It was all very red-tinged as the chilli and tomato had made the chickpea burgers look red too.

It was super yummy and the chilli made them spicy, but not too spicy.

Last night I baked some cooking apples with spices, and near the end put some blackberries on the top.

This will feature later alongside some soya yoghurt and maybe some bear nibbles. Although it has now gone rather squishy and a very pretty pink colour, so again fitting in with the red theme!

So anyone else aim for a negative split? I hear it is good for training you to push hard in the latter stages of a race, but then are you tempted to go slower at the beginning to make sure you finish faster?

I am fine at listening to how tired I feel, and am not so great at really knowing my own pace; I find out when I get home!

Night all!

Shred level 2

Evening all,

What a lovely day it turned out to be 🙂

After work (and a yummy clif bar, I think I am addicted!) I went on a run; this time only a short one as I wanted to fit in the shred as well. I kept a steady pace and did 2.7 miles in 27 minutes (plus some stoppage for crossing roads, always busy at that time in the evening). Randomly saw some teenagers carrying a massive sofa down a road, they must have carried it a mile, then put it in some bushes (I passed them on my way back) and sat on it. Suppose it’s better than standing on street corners?

Anyway, once home it was time for the shred, and I decided to stop being a chicken and get on with level 2. When I first got the DVD I watched all 3, and I am not sure it was a good idea as in my mind I remember all the impossible looking moves. Boy, this one was harder than level 1! Those walky push-up things- I am glad no-one was watching me! I was super sweaty at the end (sorry TMI!) but I did manage it. I found the cardio bits more enjoyable than in the level 1, maybe because there was more variety, and lots of the moves were ones we do at aerobics so at least I could do those.

I needed a shower after! And dinner (bean wrap yummy). As it was so nice we even had a little walk after dinner- making the most of the dry weather.

Now I am not sure if I prefer running first, then doing the shred, as the running warms me up. It does mean that my legs are tired for the squats and lunges. But if I do the shred first, going for a run in the fresh air after is lovely, but my legs are a bit jellified and the run is much harder work.

So, shred first or run first? What would you do?

My fave running bits

Afternoon all!

Today was my long run day, so after some rude health porridge (yum), cleaning the bathroom, hanging out washing and sorting out the dishwasher, I headed out. This time I put some nuun in my water bottle to take with me, although I had run down the street before I realised I had left the bottle at home! Oops! At least I didn’t have far to go to collect it. The run was the same route as last week (8.5 miles), and in the same time (give or take 30 seconds which must be down to waiting for the traffic lights at various places en route). The sun was out, the breeze kept me cool, I had all the nuun drink, all was good. When I was a couple of miles from home my legs started feeling heavy, but they picked up in the home stretch. I was laughing along to Tony’s trials on the marathon talk podcast- I loved his Robin Hood song!

I was thinking about earphones as I saw on Lauras blog that she was getting annoyed with her earphones falling out. So then I got on to thinking about the running things I have bought and loved over the past few years. When I started I went running in old pink trainers (not running ones at all oops), combats and a cotton jumper. How things have changed- now I have a drawer of running tights, capris, shorts, actual running vests, long sleeved tops……….. the list goes on.

But my fave things are here!

I love my mp3 player. Its a creative stone one (I am not an apple junkie). I am not great with technology, and this is so easy to use- plug in to the USB port and use it like any other memory stick, and charges via the computer or a little plug. Plus it is super tiny so slips into the smallest pocket (or the pocket in my drinks bottle holder).

In the summer I love these earphones :

The earphones fit in your ears well, the band holds them in place but isn’t too tight (and it doesn’t bang on the back of my head like some can)- plus it has a little clip so the wires can be out the way.

I also love my Nike+

I know people love their garmins and stuff, but for me this is perfect- I can track my speed, pace, distance and time (and cals earned), plus on the site you can map your runs, see other people’s runs, join challenges and set yourself goals. It’s pretty motivating and also very easy to use. I used to use a normal digital watch so I could time my runs, but this is easier and smaller.

On a short run I don’t take water with me (unless it is totally baking and then I probably wouldn’t run) but on longer runs I like to take a drink with me. I have my trusty old Nathan water bottle holder;

The bottle comes out of the sleeve and can be washed properly. The sleeve has a zipped pocket which I can cram loads of things into (small nakd bars, raisins, tissues, mp3 player….). I am on the hunt for a waist pack as after about an hour and a half of running my shoulders get sore and I am sure it is not helped by carrying stuff in my hand.

My other essentials (not pictured) are trainers (I like Nike ones as they are nice and wide but whatever is comfy), a sports bra (I like shock absorber ones) and proper sports clothes. Sweat wicking tops are so much better than soggy cotton ones, and lighter trousers are better than cotton trackies.

In the summer I wear an old tennis visor, which is also handy when it is raining to keep the rain out of my eyes. I often run in sunglasses, and I have a lovely earband for the winter which keeps me ears and forehead warm. I can’t run in a hat as there is nowhere for my ponytail to go!

So what are your fave pieces of your running kit?

This afternoon I popped to the shops to collect my order from Natural Health (I was so excited about trying sunflower seed butter) and also do a quick food shop.

For a late lunch I had;

Half rye bread spread with organic sunflower seed butter, and

half with rainforest nut butter. Plus an apple (the bags of apples were buy one get one free so I need to start somewhere!), cherries and a bit of leftover yoghurt.

The sunflower butter was so so so yummy!

We are off out for dinner tonight with people from Andy’s work- I haven’t met them and we are going to a steakhouse so I am hoping they do a veggie meal as I don’t want to come across as being an awkward guest.

Hope everyone is having a super saturday 🙂

More nuun and a speedy run

Hooray Friday is finally here!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you tell I am kind of happy about the weekend?

I started the day with some rude health porridge and I am so glad I did, I have been freezing all day. Even with a warm lunch (the last quinoa veggie thing) I was chilly in the afternoon. I feel all hope of an indian summer has passed.

After work I had a snack (cocoa orange nakd bar), only I managed half of it before dropping the other half on the filthy floor at work- no chance of rescue! But at least I could go home!  I had to collect my other parcel (the one I tried to get the other day but the post office was closed)- it was my mini chopper replacement at long last so I can go back to chopping up things. Might attempt my own peanut chocolate butter as I finished the dark chocolate dreams the other day. After that I headed out on a quick run- I realised that I missed the speedwork session (runs were all out of sync this week) so I warmed up for ten minutes (about a mile) then spent the next 10 minutes alternating between 30 seconds fast (well, fast for me) and 30 seconds jogging (just over a mile) and then around 8 minutes on a loop to cool down.

Once home I tried the last of my nuun (sadly pronounced “noon” so my title for this post does not rhyme!)- the orange with a hint of ginger.

The flavour was pleasant, again similar to the citrus in that it tasted like weak squash, or a bit like those evervescent vitamin c orange tabs that you get in tubes. I could not really taste the ginger, but I had also had a pineapple sweetie;

(special veggie sweeties don’t you know)- so anyhoo that may have made it harder for my taste buds to taste the ginger. Anyway, I liked it, no yucky aftertaste or anything like that, seems refreshing with the flavour. 9/10 cherries.

Then it was on to the shred- I am still being a chicken and only doing part 1, although I have watched the other ones and think pretty soon I should attempt number 2. But I was tired after my busy day, and I want to do a long run tomorrow so I don’t want to go crazy or anything!

Dinner was good- I made some bread and I had some left over roasted peppers so I chopped them up small and put them in the dough. This off-roading turned out alright;

Colourful bread!

I also had some baked apple with blueberries in another attempt at warming up. It is so cold in the evenings now 🙁

Also exciting news- I have ordered some teapigs tea, and I found on their site that they do chocolate flake tea- how good does that sound? Can’t wait to try it!

So I was wondering today as I was running and thinking of my run tomorrow, what do most people do around a long run? Do you have a rest day before the long run so legs are fresh, and then have a gentle recovery run the following day, or do you save the rest day for after, and have a run the day before to stretch the legs and so on?

I find that a run the day before, so long as it is fairly short, does not seem to hinder my long run, but the day after my long run is not a good idea for a run, as when I have tried it my legs (and knees) have been very sore. But I still rest the day or two before a race- not sure why!

Night all 🙂

Bean Burgers!

Hello all!

Well today started off lovely and sunny, and kind of went downhill didn’t it?

After work I had to go to two (yes two) seperate post offices to collect parcels from yesterday. No idea why on the same day they ended up in 2 different places. And one of them was closed (grr)- but one parcel was my order from the natural collection (which I ordered at the start of August!!)- some peanut and cashew butters, tea, cacao nibs (fancied trying them) and spices. So that was a nice surprise! I had half a trek brownie for some fuel.

After that I went out on a run- a steady 4.5 miles- it was soooo windy! While running I listened first to a program on radio 4 about omega 3 oils, and then the food program which was about ice cream! Sort of opposite ends of the spectrum! I took with me some nuun (this time I tried the citrus flavour) to see how I got on drinking it while running.

It was fine to drink while running as it was not fizzy at all. It has a weak lemon squash type of flavour, so not too strong to take on. I prefer the berry flavour, but this one was fine too.

Once home I did the shred (realised that I didn’t do it this monday as I was resting after my run on Sunday-oops), and had the other half of my trek brownie bar.

Then it was time to make some bean burgers! Since getting the Veganomicon cookbook (and seeing a few recipes on the internet) I have been dying to try a few of the recipes. I had to order some vital wheat gluten as it seem a key ingredient in a lot of the recipes.

So I half followed the recipe from the book, and half made it up!

In a bowl I mashed a box of kidney beans, and then added some wheat gluten (40g ish ) and some millet flakes (30g ish- I didn’t have breadcrumbs!), along with tomato puree, a tiny bit of water, garlic paste, chilli powder and paprika. There was supposed to be an onion in there too but I didn’t have that either! Then I mixed them together (it went very doughy and stringy- you could see the gluten at work holding it all together) and shaped them into patties.

Then I baked them in the oven for 30 minutes, turning them once half way through. They were supposed to be fried, but another recipe for beanballs said they could be baked so I gave it a go!

Alongside the burgers I had some tomato quinoa, with balsamic roasted beetroot, pepper, tomato and courgette. Delicious!

And some gherkins! Love it!

The burgers were really tasty- they were much firmer and less squishy than other bean burger recipes I have tried, and I think it must be the wheat gluten. Now I am looking forward to going off road and trying different onces. I have some chickpeas in the cupboard so maybe chickpea burger-ball things next. What fun! Next time I would add a little more spice as I was pretty conservative with it.

Plus I made extra quinoa and roasted veggies so for the next 2 days for lunch I have my own version of an innocent veg pot! I put the left overs in those soup tuppaware things with the screw top lids.

Any dinners that you love to double up and have as lunch?

I was thinking of adding the bean burgers in but I don’t think they would be so nice cold.

After that I watched Jamie’s American Food thingy which was really interesting. And in a minute I am going to catch up with the great bake off, alongside a cup of tea and some conscious chocolate. I was sent some to review.

The chocolate is hand-made and raw, free from gluten, dairy and soya. The one I am trying it “The Nutty One” made with brazils, cashews, hazelnuts and walnuts. The other ingredients are cacao solids, cacao butter, agave nectar, cacao powder, wild carob, cinnamon and himalayan salt.

The bar is in a lovely card sleeve, and wrapped in greaseproof paper. The chocolate is deep and rich; if you like very dark chocolate then I am sure you would love this. It is really rich, but the nuts add some crunch and texture. It does have a soft texture, which maybe is because it is raw. It says on the pack it can be stored in the fridge so I think maybe I would try a bar next time from the fridge. I think that a couple of pieces is my limit as it is so rich though!

Gosh that was a long post! I only meant it to be a quick one!