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.

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”!

Post work run

Again it has been so hot! After work I had a bit of a cocoa Nak’d bar (was too hot to eat it all) and loads of water. My new shorts have arrived (got them from wiggle) and I was feeling brave so I tried them out on my run today. When I started running it was baggy tops and old combat trousers all the way, but last year I discovered Ron Hill stuff and realised that not all running gear has to be skin tight or non-existent. I have become more confident and am happy wearing vest tops whereas before I preferred t-shirts. I have some cropped trousers, and recently some Capri pants, but in this heat they are both too hot still. So with water bottle in hand I went outside. My legs would glow in the dark they are so pale, so I think I must have been a sight, especially by the end (bright red face is back, contrasting nicely with see-through legs). I did just under 6 miles around the lakes (very peaceful except the bit where I was bothered by a dog- I say bothered as it was an old dog and wasn’t really chasing me, but rather kept half running into me and changing direction right at the last minute and it was totally ignoring the people calling it) and was home in 57 minutes so for this heat not too shabby. Plus the shorts kept me cooler, and I didn’t feel too exposed wearing them (it’s these ones http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/run/8/Ronhill_Ladies_Aspiration_Flexlite_Short_SS10/5360049910/).

For dinner I had a new bake;

(this made 4 portions which I froze in foil tubs ready for defrosting when I fancy one):

80g Quinoa, Dry

150g Courgette,

80g Onions, Red,

120g Peppers, red

240g Spinach, Raw,

1 Can/220g Beans, Black Eyed, Canned, Drained,

400g Tomatoes, Chopped,

I cooked the onion first, then added the pepper, courgette, and some garlic. I rinsed the quinoa, added the chopped tomatoes and quinoa, then drained the black beans and added them too along with some water. At the end I put the spinach in a bit at a time as it takes a while to wilt down. I think I added some paprika too, next time I might add some basil, or maybe some chilli would be nice to make it a sort of spicy bean thing. It just cooked for maybe 15 minutes until the quinoa had gone all squiggly.

Anyway tonight I had that with some butternut squash, beetroot and beans (green- all the b’s).Delish!

Not sure what I will have later but will surely have some tasty tea later on.

Back in the game

After work yesterday I was very keen to have a run to get back in the game! I waited until about half 5 so it was a little cooler (not much!) and then went for a short 2.8 mile run. It took me about 27 minutes but for a couple of minutes I had to walk because I had such a bad stitch. I haven’t had a stitch in ages; I think I had drunk too much water before I went out. Aside from that it was a pretty normal day. I did have a lovely evening snack; a pot of caramel soya, a sprinkle of treacle granola and a tablespoon of a flaxseed mix. I picked it up on Saturday and it’s made of ground flax seeds (good for those omega 3’s), cocoa powder and dried strawberries and blueberries. I mixed it in a bit and it made the dessert all thick. It would be delicious with some fresh strawberries in it. Yesterday there was one ripe strawberry to pick so I didn’t save it!