A super easy fudge recipe! Plus you guessed it, more running!

The other day I did make some white chocolate fudge, and I didn’t have time to post about it! Poor fudge, it must feel left out, I hope the cookies aren’t laughing at it.

The recipe was from Home Cooking , and I would normally shy away from a recipe like that because it involves scary sounding things like “the soft ball stage”. But now I have a sugar thermometer the world of sweets is my oyster!

The recipe was super simple; sugar (nice brown sugar), condensed milk and butter. Heat it all up, stir it about, then take it off the heat and beat. Now on the TV show Rachel puts the pan in the sink and beats it by hand. No thank you! I got out my electric hand-held whisk thing, and used that instead. Genius! It worked a treat! Once done I poured half in the tin, sprinkled on some white chocolate chips, poured the rest over and left to cool. It is so yummy! The stuff I took into work has already disappeared, we still have some in our fridge but I am sure it won’t last long! I am not sure that the photo does it justice as I am not much of a photographer. But I really recommend the recipe.

Today was medium run day; I am now close to the next colour level on Nike+. Not sure what will happen when I get up to the next level, but it is quite exciting nonetheless! After an Apple Pie bar (cinnamon=yum) I headed out. I kept my fingers crossed and it stayed dry the whole way! After the hail and rain of this afternoon I was super surprised. I didn’t take any water with me because I keep getting a stiff shoulder and I am sure that even though it is a proper runners holdy-water bottle thingy, it still makes me run a little wonky. So when it is hot or I am doing a very long run I will take it, I have decided to see if I can manage without on shorter runs.

In the end I managed my loop in 61 minutes, my fastest time yet so I am pretty pleased.

I am now one mile away from the next colour level; so close! I have a long one planned for Saturday so am preparing to smash through the barrier!

Just a quick run/one

Hello! Just time for a quick one.
After work I had a scrummy little Apple Pie Nak’d bar for an energy boost, and it must have worked as I managed 3.2 miles in 32 minutes! A super speedy time for me, especially with the wind blowing me back in some places. I had a little bit of time pottering about on the nike+ website and trying to figure out how to map my run; at the moment can only find runs that other people have mapped. I didn’t have long as I was out for dinner, so I am sure when I have more time I can work it out. That’s all for this evening…

What to eat after a run, and the best chocolate cookie recipe ever!

So after yesterday when I was thinking about recovery foods after running, I decided to dig out the article from “Women’s Running” magazine. I don’t normally keep magazines but I do sometimes cut out useful articles to keep. I think putting it on here will mean I can refer to it when I have forgotten. The list includes:

Flavoured milk; apparently it shows better muscle recovery than a specific sports drink (why oh why did I try that SIS banana stuff yesterday when I had Nesquick powder in the cupboard?).

Yoghurt; a 4;1 ratio of carbs and protein which apparently is ideal for recovery.

Cereal bars containing oats (hello Nak’d bars). I would not normally choose a conventional cereal bar as they have more sugar and less protein, but I suppose with milk or yoghurt alongside they would be ok.

Bananas! It recommends having it with milk or yoghurt, but I think they are so good as the carbohydrate is quickly released to boost your energy again. It is normally the only thing I fancy after a race. The thought of a banana was in my head after mile 10 of my half marathon!

Raisins; because of their carbohydrate level. I think that they would be ok after a short run but after a long run I would need a bigger snack than that!

Blackberries; they contain vitamins C and E to help muscles recover (again it is suggested to have them with greek yoghurt as on their own they would nbe providing carbs but little protein).

Nuts; lots of protein, fibre and vitamins E and B to help you recover. Maybe nuts with raisins would be a better combo as then you have carbs and protein together (like a punnet from a graze box).

They also suggest rice cakes with peanut butter (that magic 4;1 ratio again) but I do not like rice cakes- they stick to your tongue! Also pancakes and baked beans are suggested (no not together that would be gross!) but I would not go for any of those options.

So I am going to be good and refer to my list to see which foods work for me. I have often been having a banana along with a cereal bar and sometimes have a graze punnet (usually dried fruits with nuts) so I suppose I am naturally choosing some of those good foods.

Today I made another recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery book ; double chocolate cookies and I think this has to be the best ever recipe for double chocolate cookies! The recipe is mostly chocolate, which you melt with a teeny bit of butter, then you whisk eggs and sugar, mix with the chocolate mixture, stir in flour (I used wholegrain spelt flour again) and more chocolate chips (I included some white chocolate too). The mixture went really runny and spread all over the baking tray but when they came out they looked amazing- just like the picture. I always like it when a recipe turns out how it looks in the book- it shows that the recipe is easy to follow. They are very chocolatey, chewy and delicious. Yum yum yum.

I also had a walk to stretch my legs as they were feeling a little stiff this morning after yesterday. I might make some fudge to take to work, so if I do I will be sure to say how the recipe went.

Now am off to enjoy the rest of Sunday!

Recovery food?

Happy Saturday everyone! After breakfast (but I forgot a banana) I turned on my Nike+ and headed out on my run. It was hard work today. First I could not decide what to wear; normally the summer is easier because it is basically as little as possible. But recently it has been really cold, and windy too so I settled on a t-shirt and my rain jacket. Boy was I glad I wore that! After 7 miles it poured with rain and I got soaked; the wind was blowing really hard too so that didn’t help. The rain did stop, thankfully, but the wind didn’t so the last mile was into a really strong headwind and I felt like I was going at walking speed. When I logged on to the nike website after my speed dropped massively for the last mile!

When I got home I went to have a look in the garden (and to have a stretch)- I find that if I come inside I sit down and promise myself I will stretch in a minute, but I don’t and I get really stiff. So whilst in the garden I had a Sainsbury’s banana and mango fairtrade bar (it tasted waaay too much like dried banana; would not recommend but it was in my water bottle pouch and I was hungry!). Then I planted some more beetroot seeds as the ones I planted last month have not come up yet.

I found a packet of Science in Sport recovery drink in the cupboard (got it free with runners world last month) and so decided to try it. It might help with headaches? I only had 10g of powder to see what it was like, then I would have made more if it was ok. Well, I didn’t like it!! It was banana flavour but I thought it might be nice. So to get rid of the taste I had a pink lady apple and a Nak’d Ginger bread bar. Now that is something that is tasty! Made of dates, almonds, pecans, ginger, cloves and cinnamon it smells so good, like the Disney Christmas shop. It is soft and dense and chewy and delicious……

What does everyone else have for recovery food I wonder? I know there is supposed to be a balance between protein and carbohydrate to replace lost energy and to help muscles repair. I had an article about it in women’s running magazine and there was a list of foods- I need to dig it out and stick it on my fridge. I do remember that chocolate milk was one of them mentioned, and I would definitely prefer that over the banana drink I had today. Hey ho, you live and learn.

I had a lot of work to be doing, so after a shower I had some lunch before getting started. I had some tomato and basil soup with a piece of quinoa rye bread, half with Philadelphia light and sundried tomatoes, and half with Philadelphia and red pesto. Yum. I think the saltiness is good after a run.

Later on after a walk (or hobble) to the post-box I made a yummy brain-booster. In my mini chopped I whizzed up a banana, added 10g peanut butter and 100g Rachel’s organic strawberry pouring yoghurt. It was super delicious! Very runny but really yummy; I could taste the hint of peanut butter. I think it would be lovely with a frozen banana (kind of like peanut butter banana ice cream) so I will definitely try that on a hotter day!

Whilst doing work I watched the final of the biggest loser Australia- phew I am glad that series is over; there must have been nearly 100 episodes!!

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.