Not such a great run

I was really looking forward to my run this morning. I had my normal breakfast of cornflakes and raisins, but I think I may need to think of something to add to it because I got really hungry. I was also have sort of stitches, but not quite, and at one point I had to stop because even walking didn’t let it go away. At first I wanted to “power through” but then I thought about why I am running. At the moment I am not training for any races, but would like to do some 10K runs in the autumn so want to keep my long run to above that distance. I am running because I love it, not to get quicker, or to beat my time. So I decided that stopping for 2 minutes in order to enjoy the rest of my run was ok. I did enjoy most of it- I saw a load of geese by the lake (cue me running at a sprint past them!), and as the sun was out but with a strong breeze I stayed fairly cool. In the end I did around 7.5 miles in 73 minutes (I took off the 2 minutes I stopped for). Ah well I am sure my next run will be better. Perhaps I should try having a different breakfast. When I first started running I didnt lile porridge before a run, even though I love it at other times. But I think my stomach is stronger now, so perhaps I might give it a go before a run one day. Watch this space!

When I got home I was so hungry so straight away alongside a big glass of water was some cherries and a cocoa orange Nak’d bar (after yesterday remembering how good they are!). MMmmmmmmm it was so good.

I am also excited about my sweetcorn- I have finally worked out how it is going to grow. There are some fluffy bits appearing along the stalks, and the seedy bits from the tassles are the pollen bits which need to drop down onto the tassles. So the actual corn will grow half-way up the stalk. Now I just have to wait 🙂

I have potted on some foxgloves (pretty flowers that seed everywhere) for a friends’ garden, tied up my little bean plants and also put one of the tomato plants in a bigger pot. I have spied another courgette growing- it won’t be long before it gets picked 🙂

I nearly forgot- for lunch today I tried some of the dark chocolate peanut butter- wow that stuff is amazing! Like eating a snickers bar, only the best bits, and with dark chocolate instead of milk, and smooth………. so much yummy stuff today! I had it on a wrap with a sliced apple, although I am thinking next time I will try it with sliced banana instead.

I also made some white chocolate peanut butter cookies (mostly for giving away) and some sundried tomato bread for dinner.

But then disaster- I was going to try my frozen watermelon today, but my mini chopper stpped working. The motor was going but the stick that goes up in the blades is not turning. Hmm. I rang them up but bizzairly their phonelines are open until 4.50pm Mon-Thurs, and til 12.20 Fridays. Phone-call on Monday it will be! So I had some watermelon from the fridge instead (boring) but might try the frozen stuff in my blender tomorrow.

I had a nice walk this evening too, so many birds about at the moment. Now I am waiting for my dinner to finish cooking- bean and veggie bake topped with the leftover mozzerella from yesterday, served with the sundried tomato bread. Yum.

Yellow Courgette excitement!!

So when I got home today I went out on an extremely windy run! I managed 3.7 miles in 37 minutes, ten minute miles seems to be my general pace nowadays which I am pretty pleased with. For a snack before I had a Nak’d cocoa orange bar and seriously these are amazing! Yummy yummy yummy. I think I say this all the time but each time I have one they seem to get tastier!

When I got back I went into the garden and harvested my first yellow courgettes. They were only baby ones, but the baby ones taste so good and I am getting a little impatient- I have a feeling that most of them will be ready while I am on holiday.

I had a super dinner, I sliced a green courgette (yawn), yellow pepper and the baby yellow courgettes (pretty) and roasted them in the oven with some oregano and a squirt of oil. I put some green basil pesto and som mozzerella inside a part-baked ciabatta, then when the roasted veggies were done (25 mins ish) I put as many as would fit in the bread and baked for 8 minutes. Served with the left-over roasted veggies, plus a massive salad (with omega 3 flax oil of course). Super tasty!

Plus BIG news. 🙂  When I logged on to Nike+ to upload my run I am finally onto the green level! Woohoo! The background is all pretty and the runs are now green instead of orange. So that means that since May when I got it I have run over 150 miles which sounds like quite a lot.

Off to a quiz now- Hooray for yellow courgettes (and green levels!)


Going green (nearly)

Well today I was meant to get onto my green level on Nike+ (which is 250km+). I measure my distance in miles and the last time I logged on it told me I had 2 miles to go. After a super efficient day at work J I went out for a 2.6 mile run, and logged on again, only to be told that I now have less than a mile to go. How does that work? I converted it over anyway and it appears that I need 0.2 miles to go. Seriously if I had realised I would have run up the street and back to get it- but by the time I had realised I had already had a shower and dinner so am not going out now. It’s annoying because I am not going for another run until Friday now, as I have aerobics and body pump Tues/ Thurs, and on Wednesday I am at work late. Anyway, my run was good. After work I had a Nak’d cocoa orange bar- those bars are amazing! Each time I have one I think I forget home good they taste, how moist they are and how they seem like such a treat. My run was nice and quick which was good as it is so muggy out there- I very much needed a shower once home!

Dinner was tasty- mexican bean wrap (kidney beans, onions, peppers, corn, tomato and chilli all mashed up in a wholemeal wrap and baked-mmmm) and a nice salad with flaxseed oil (am trying to concentrate on upping those omega 3’s- had some ground flaxseeds in yoghurt yesterday evening).

For a snack today I had half a punnet of a graze snack- this was brazils, dried cherries and dried mango. It said in the packet that 3 brazil nuts contains your rda of selenium. I looked this up and found that it is needed for your immune system and it is found in soils. I am sure before I read something about wheat, which said that when Europe used to import its’ flour from canada it was rich in selenium, but when it started getting it from elsewhere the selenium levels dropped which then impacted health. That may have been in my Felicity Lawrence book; Not On the Label . But I am not sure where I read it. I thought when I learnt about nutrition at school it was mostly found in meats and fish, and when I looked it up today the vast majority of selenium sources are meat or animal dessived (eg eggs, some cheeses). So this seems to me to be a great snack for a veggie! It was also delicious, and a nice balance between crunchy creamy nuts, and sweet and chewy dried fruit.

 That’s all folks!

What is your perfect day?

This morning was supposed to be cooler, and when I woke up there was a bit of drizzle around, and it was overcast, so I thought that a run a bit later would be ok. I had breakfast (cornflakes and raisins) and waited a bit before heading out. I even wore my capri pants instead of the shorts I have been wearing lately as I thought it would be cooler. Boy was I wrong! It is so hot. The clouds blew away to leave the storng sun (luckily I had on sun cream, sunglasses and visor, and had put my bottle of water in the fridge overnight so it was nice and cold). I went up to the lakes and enjoyed spotting some of the wildlife (including a swan with 8 massive cygnets). I did not enjoy people letting their dogs on leads wander all over the path- honestly at places it is very narrow and I passed the same people twice. They had 3 little dogs on long leads wandering all over the path, and even when I said excuse me they just stared back and left me to try and dodge the dogs and nettles.

By the time I got home I was baking, and quite hungry, so I whipped up a smoothie. I really enjoyed the mango and peach flavoured coconut water, so I decided to make my own. To serve 2 I put in the blender one banana, 90g frozen mango chunks and a 330ml carton of coconut water. I whizzed it up, added a few ice cubes for good measure, and drank it up!

(I had already had a few sips when I took the photo!).

I had only a small lunch as we were going to family for an early tea- I had a carrot and apple muffin ( warmed and spread with peanut butter, although after I though that cream cheese would have gone nicely. I also had an apple, nectarine, blob of yoghurt and some almonds.

Tea time and I got to taste the cheesecake- I think it was even better because the blackcurrants were fresh and grown from a little twig. If you haven’t read this already when I first moved I got sent a jiffy bag with a twig in it. Nearly threw it out, then read the piece of paper which said it was a blackcurrant plant from ribena- someone at work had sent off for me. So I planted it, several times nearly pulled it back out thinking it was a weed, last year got 6 or 7 blackcurrants, this year it has got huge (nearly as big as my little apple tree) and has bunches and bunches! 🙂

I was watching something on the tv the other day when someone mentioned her perfect day, so it got me to thinking what my perfect day would be. I have a few (depending on whether it is just me or other people involved). I would have breakfast, go on a run (maybe 6 miles), after a shower I would potter around in the garden before lunch. In the afternoon I would do some baking, then maybe have a walk somewhere nice and maybe stop off at a nice shop on the way home to get something special for dinner. Then in the evning after dinner I would see friends (maybe have them round so they could sample all the baking I had been doing). And maybe play singstar!

Thinking about it made me pleased though, because at the weekend I do make sure that I do things I enjoy, and often I get in most of my perfect day bits in.

I also love holidays so on holiday it would be sightseeing in the morning, and then maybe relaxing somewhere with a great view in the afternoon, and a walk somewhere pretty in the evening. So what would your perfect day involve?

Off to watch the rest of the football now- night night.

Garden excitement!

Well I knew it was going to be a hot one today, and was up early anyway so I went out for a shortish 2.7 mile run. I went a little slower than my last few runs (10 minute miles) and had a bit of energy at the end so I added on a little loop. All in all my run was 3.7 miles, which took me 37 minutes on the dot! I felt like when you are at the petrol station and try to get the money right on the dot! This time I took water with me, as on Wednesday by the time I was nearing home my throat had totally dried up. I had drank a cup of water when I woke up but I think that in the mornings I need to make sure I drink enough. I don’t normally take water with me on shorter runs but it is so hot at the moment that I think its only sensible. When I got home I found a breezy spot outside and did a good 5 minutes of stretching, trying to cool down. I am just glad that I went out at that time (was home by 9.15am) as it has only been getting hotter as that day has gone on.

After a shower I was starving, so had a mega breakfast to refuel. I had 110g of raspberries and strawberries, big dollop of Rachel’s organic rhubarb yoghurt, a sprinkle of fru grains and a scoop of home-made muesli. Yummmy yum yum!

Now for some big news! I have finally decided what to do with the home-grown blackcurrants. After pondering for a while I hve decided that other people may wish to share in the delights of home-grown produce, so I made a cheesecake for Sunday tea tomorrow. I spent ages looking through my books and trawling the interent, but I could only find either baked cheesecake recipes (which I didn’t fancy) or ones which need gelatine (which I don’t eat and don’t have a veggie substitue for). So in the end I adapted my key lime pie recipe (which by the way is also amazing) and made my own.

So here is runningcupcakes’ blackcurrant cheesecake:

Melt 75g butter/ marg and mix with 150g crushed digestives and a tsp ground ginger. Press into a large round flan tin (ideally with a loose bottom) and chill in the fridge.

In a big bowl mix a tin of light condensed milk with 300g light cream cheese and whisk gently until combined. Not too much in case the cheese splits.

(Key lime pie- use 300g 0% greek yoghurt and slowly add zest and juice of 3-4 limes- whisk for several, maybe 10 minutes).

Pour mixture onto base and chill.

To make the sauce I put the blackcurrants in a small pan (maybe 250g? I didn’t weight them but was probably the size of a small punnet at least) with a splash of water and a tsb sugar. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and gently simmer for 5- 10 minutes. Add more sugar to taste if needed.

Let it cool for a bit and then spoon gently on top of the cheesecake- it mixed in a bit and gave a lovely marbled effect. Chill overnight and then slice and enjoy! I am looking forward to trying it tomorrow 🙂.

If you made key lime pie you could grate some lime zest over the top before serving.

I spent a few hours this afternoon reading in the garden- I put my chair in the shade and it was lovely. I also took some photos of all the things growing (the courgette plants have got so big that I am not sure if I will know when they have fruit on them ready for picking!). Also the tassles on the corn are massive and flopping over, but I have no idea what they will look like at thay turn into corn- all I know is that they are wind pollinated, and when the ends go brown I should look and see if they are ripe. I think I still have a while to wait!

Last night after a walk I tried one of the banana peanut butter muffins and they were delicious- very nutty, not too sweet, nice and chunky and very filling. They reminded me of the banana nut muffins you get a lot in the US (except maybe half the size!). With banana things sometimes they can be too squishy but in this recipe the ratio was just right, so they were moist but not soggy.