Back from holiday!

So I am back home again after a lovely holiday. We got back on Thursday and so I decided to go to body pump in the evening. Well after 2 weeks’ off it was pretty hard! I managed to keep the same weights as before I went away, but I was very shaky by the end, and yesterday I was so stiff. I had such a busy day (and we had torrential rain here) that I couldn’t fit a run in (a gentle one to stretch the legs) so I went out this morning instead. Before I left I could not find my Nike+ anywhere- (tidied away for holiday) after the third time of looking in the same drawer I found it, although while I was running I forgot to look at it at all.

I only ran for just under 3 miles, and there was some light rain but I don’t mind that. I have been caught before in torrential rain, and once in hail which was awful as I had to stop and cover my eyes as it stung so much. Light rain is fine as I always think it helps to cool me down, plus when I get home I get straight in the shower anyway. I just don’t like getting soggy shoes so I try to avoid the puddles.

For breakfast I had some bircher muesli. Once of the hotels we stayed in had the recipes printed out and rolled up for the guests to take away. So I tried it and it was delicious!

Last night in a bowl I put 20g oats, 10g raisins, 75g vanilla yoghurt, 50g milk and left it overnight. Then right beforeI ate it I finely chopped one apple and spinkled on some cinnamon and mixed it all in. I fancied a bit of crunch too so I added a fine sprinkling of Fru-grains. It made a pretty big bowl-ful and was super tasty. The recipe from the hotel also called for some sugar, but seeing as the yoghurt was sweet I didn’t think it needed any (it also called for half strawberry yoghurt and half apricot yoghurt but I had vanilla). The ratio was just right I think- sometimes oats can be a bit too thick, sometimes too watery but this was just right (I think that’s what Goldilocks said too!).

Now onto the garden!

When I got back there was the most enormous courgette on one of the plants- not quite a marrow yet but getting there. Have already had some. Also the pumpkin plant (which is rapidly taking over the garden) has a little pumpkin growing on it! I hope it doesn’t fall off. Plus there is a little butternut squash on one of those plants. Exciting stuff indeed, although with this rubbish weather I won’t be sitting out there much at the moment.

Although baking is a fab rainy day activity so will have to be getting on with that at some point.


Tips for healthier holidays!

So this morning was my last run before holiday. After porridge (yes it worked yesterday so had it again today) I went out on a 3.7 mile run. It was very overcast and I got really hot, but there was a breeze, I had water with me and I felt pretty good, much better than yesterday. It’s funny how runs can be like that, one day really hard and the next day fine. It took me 36 minutes, so a minute quicker than the last time I did that route.

When I got home I had an apple and a cocoa orange Nak’d bar (sooooooo good) plus loads of water.

For lunch I am having a wholemeal pitta, half with dark chocolate PB and a banana all sliced up, and half with normal PB and banana, plus some cherries, and maybe some pecans. I had forgotten how good the combo and peanut butter and banana actually is! Yum! Trust me to redicover it right before I go away! Ah well something to look forward to on my return!

For dinner I have defrosted a quinoa lentil bake. I cant remember what I put in it when I made it, so it wll be a nice surprise! Will have that with some butternut squash and some beetroot- yum. Plus maybe a courgette side dish if I have more growing in the garden.

While I was running I was thinking about my holiday, and how to keep staying healthy whilst on holiday. So here are some of my tips:

Keep active! I love sightseeing holidays so spend a lot of the time walking around. Sometimes we have hired bikes to ride too. I am not much of a swimmer but if you like that then spend some time swimming.

Keep a note of what you eat! Either write it down, or really think about the meals you have eaten already. Think about what you would usually eat at home, and try to eat similar amounts. Portion sizes can be a lot more so don’t feel obliged to eat everything!

Beware of the buffet! If you have a buffet breakfast, then try to eat what you would normally eat for breakfast. Just because it is there does not mean you need to eat cereal, toast and a croissant. Maybe once every few days have a “treat” breakfast, but have sensible ones most days. I may have a little extra but this is usually because we would then have a banana and cereal bar for “lunch”, and then a normal dinner. The same applies if you eat out at a buffet restaurant in the evening- just because you have paid for it does not mean you have to eat it all!

Share snacks. Often we fancy an ice cream or cookie, but we will now get one and share it between us and this is normally plenty.

Be prepared! I like to take cereal bars with me, so if I feel hungry then I have that to hand instead of having to buy something less healthy from a shop/ café. Also if we stop in a supermarket then I would always buy some bananas to have later on.

Drink water! I used to always get diet coke as I got annoyed having to buy water when it is free out of the tap at home. But although fizzy drinks start off feeling refreshing, the artificial sweeteners can cause more sugar cravings, plus the fizzy drinks are bad for your bones and don’t hydrate you well. So have loads of water whenever you can.

See if you can swap! If your chosen item comes with chips, ask if you can have a salad instead (watch the dressings though!)- most places are happy to accommodate.

Think about where you are eating! Choose a local resturant over a fast food chain, try not to choose anywhere with a deep fat fryer!

Think about the food! When ordering in a resturant think about how active you have been that day, and how much you need to eat. I would not order a starter or dessert, just the main. Try to make sure it has lots of veggies in it, not too much cheese etc.

But most of all;

Have a lovely holiday! After all, we work all year so we can have a lovely few weeks getting away from it all. I am not going to feel guilty if I have a few extra bits here and there. I don’t want to go crazy, but a holiday is a bit of a treat and eating out means that meals will be heavier than usual, but it is only for a couple of weeks. I am going to do lots of walking, and I think a break from running will do me good so I will be raring to go once I return. So enjoy your holidays.


Any other tips for staying healthy while away?

Addicted to courgettes!

I think I need to confess something! I am addicted to courgettes! Not the ones from the shop, no way, but the ones from my garden. There is something so exciting and satisfying about picking something from the garden and eating it an hour later. I have had this with strawberries before (from the garden) but have never had that many- enough for some at lunch, or some to add to a smoothie.
Yesterday evening I picked one green and one yellow courgette, to add to my dinner. I sliced them thinly and put them on a baking tray with a squirt of oil and a sprinkle of oregano. I roasted them along with a bean burger and some sweet potato. I piled the courgette strips on top of the burger, and had it with a salad, gherkin and some beetroot. Yum.
I can see more growing too, how exciting!

I have been looking in my recipe books for recipes to use, and have found one for chocolate courgette muffins. I have a nice looking recipe in the Rachel Allen Bake book too- so many recipes, so little time! Something to look forward to after my holiday 🙂
I also made some pecan blondies from the Hummingbird Bakery book (for sunday tea) which made the house smell amazing!

Today I tried porridge before my long run. I left it the same amount of time after eating before heading out, and in fact I was fine, so I may try it again. I did 7 miles, but it was so hot and I was feeling very sluggish. I had to stop and walk because I was feeling so hot, and at one point had to find some shade to stand in for a bit. It did occur to me that as I have been so busy and rushed in the mornings I have forgotten to take a multivitamin for a while now. Being veggie although I do try to include iron-rich foods in my diet (especially oats, lentils, nuts) but I also normally have a vitamin with iron every other day. So I wondered if that is why I have been struggling more than usual. So I made sure I had one today. My whole run took me 69 mins, which included 3 mins of walking/ stopping, so to do 7 miles in that time isnt bad for me.

Once home I had a weird cereal bar (a fairtrade apricot and kernel bar)- it was ok, chewy and sweet and what I fancied, but not sure if I would get it again. After my shower I made a coconut water smoothie (coconut water with banana and frozen mango- served both of us).

Then on to lunch! I had a wholemeal pitta bread with dark chocolate PB in it-mmmmmmmmm amazing! Plus apple, cherries, and some almonds.

Off out for tea now, I am hoping to fit in another run tomorrow (last one before holiday) so might try the porridge again to see how it goes.


Early run number 2

Well this is becoming a bit of a habit isn’t it? This morning I was up and running at 6.10am. It was the same run as monday and took me the same time, not much else to report really!
I have enjoyed them though, it is nice to get the run done before I do anything else, plus again today traffic was bad coming home and I was so hot in the car that a run was the last thing I fancied when I got home.
After my shower I had a new breakfast. After my porridge the other day it got me thinking about bircher muesli, so with my home-made muesli I made some up. 40g in a bowl with 100ml milk, soaked overnight. Then this morning I gave it a stir (it had got quite thick), added 80g blueberries (including a couple from the garden) and some pouring yoghurt. It was super tasty and super filling- yum

Yesterday after work we were having a leaving tea at a local hotel (tea and a scone very nice) but I didn’t get home in time for aerobics- boo!

Tonight I am off out (with work again!)- this time to celebrate a team achievement that was put off when ofsted came, so busy again.

I had lunch in my little new pots today- they are the envy of all the staff! Lunch times are fun! I am using up all the bits in the cupboard so ended up with a random lunch of oatcakes, peanut butter, apple, watermelon and a yoghurt. Made all the better by the tub!

Very early run

I set the alarm early today because I knew that after work I would be busy (more shopping for leaving presents). Once I had woken up and changed (I put my running gear at the end of my bed so no excuses!) and had a big drink of water I headed out. I only wanted to do a quick run, and at first it felt anything but, probably because I was still waking up! I am a morning person and do get up as soon as the alarm goes off; I can’t have lie-ins or anything like that. But normally I would be pottering around at home not running. Anyhow when I got to the traffic lights I had made it in 5 minutes which is my normal time. Altogether my speedy route took me 26 mins, so not bad in fact. I saw quite a few people out (no smilers today though- perhaps people out running at 6.30 am take running too seriously to smile??), including some people coming back from the supermarket with full bags- I suppose the checkouts will be quiet at that time! After my shower I enjoyed my first bowl of porridge for months and months!

I had a little experiment- last night I put in a bowl 15g flaked quinoa, 15g oats (usually have 30g oats that’s it), 15g raisins, 150ml milk and left it to soak overnight. Then this morning I cooked it for 2min 20. When it was cooked I added some cinnamon and also a sprinkle of blueberries and blackcurrants (from the garden of course!)- super yum!

The raisins soak up the milk and swell and go all juicy. The quinoa did add a different flavour, not sure how to describe it really but it was tasty.

As it turns out I was so relieved to have gone out first thing. It got so hot this afternoon that a run was the last thing I fancied when I got home. Maybe a gentle walk later!

I am super pleased with the presents though- my friend yesterday mentioned that she wanted a blueberry bush, and I wasn’t sure what time of year they would be sold, but I found a massive one covered in green berries. Hope they don’t fall off in my car on the way to work tomorrow!

I have also a lot of eggs to use up (my Mum’s chickens are busy laying and they brought some around at the weekend)- so only one way to use them up of course- brownies!

I have not tried the brownie recipe from Hummingbird Bakery yet, so I tried that this evening. I have not had one yet, they are still cooling, but they smell amazing, very chocolatey-mmmm.

I was going to go and see Toy Story tonight but think we will save it for the weekend as it is on very late and am a little tired. Anyone else looking forward to seeing it? Pixar always make classics.