Feeling fruity!

Hey guys, hooray for Friday and all. I was up super early this morning to try to get some Olympic tickets (didn’t get any the first time round). I got a confirmation code, so am keeping my fingers crossed. Anyone else tried this time around?

Anyway, first up, last night was the new body pump. I was not that excited by the music- one track was “Sweet child of mine” which I know will get on my nerves as I am not a fan of it. There was a Pink song (I think? Something about raising your glass- is that Pink?), but nothing that I was excited for right away. Anyway, it was good- hard work (the lunges have a load of squats in there too, and you do the hover at the end with feet on the step- crazy I have never done that before), but I am getting more and more stiff today!

Fruity stuff!

I have been using stuff from the freezer (I love to buy bags of frozen blueberries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries, plus I freeze bananas once they go a bit brown, so there is a lot of fruit in there that needs eating), so here are some pics from the last few days:

Frozen raspberries (80g) whizzed up with a pot of chocolate alpro. Yummylicious. Seriously if you have not tried this, the do. Frozen raspberries on their own once whizzed up go like sorbet, but the chocolate and raspberry combo is amazing. But any thing would do – I have done it with yoghurt and stuff too.

Banana mashed with cocoa and tsp peanut butter, topped with a pear (great post body pump snackage).

Porridge with blueberries- I love how purple it goes 🙂

Blueberry porridge in pb jar. It was really pretty-purple and peanut stripes, but it did not come out.

So what would you do with frozen fruit? Smoothies? Add to muffins? (I love frozen blueberries in muffins). Other???

I am also excited as I have received a couple of packages;

Some lovely Righteous salad dressing (the raspberry and sweet basil looks so good, and it is fruity you see, so it fits). I am so excited to try these!

And some lovely coconut water! It is supposed to be hot this weekend so I shall need it 🙂

I am also so excited because for the first time in so long (seriously I cannot remember the last time) I do not have any work to do at the weekend!!!!!!! I am so excited!!!!!! What on earth will I do with my Saturday afternoon? Well, I am hoping to have a run in the morning, and then maybe sit in the garden in the afternoon! And maybe some baking for Sunday of course. Big plans I know! 🙂

So, any plans for tomorrow/ the weekend?

Bloggie big time!

Hey guys.

First, glad you are all (mostly) enjoying Wimbledon.

Second of all, I got an email today from someone called Lee Gant who works on ITV’s The Biggest Loser (so by getting this email I am thinking it is bloggie big time). He wanted me to give a little shout out for potential contestants (I nearly wrote customers there) on my blog, so here is the information:

‘The Biggest Loser is back and we are on a nationwide search for duos of friends and relatives and couples that are desperate to lose weight. The programme aims to take these people through a structured plan of rigorous exercise, training and diets in order to help them attain their dream physique.

Last year’s winner Wil Graham lost a staggering eight and a half stone. As if that wasn’t enough he also went home with £25,000!

If you’re ready to transform your life, and have someone to share the journey with you, then apply to be on the new series of The Biggest Loser.

Go to www.biggestloseruk.com for further details and to fill out an application form.

Or if you prefer, you can e-mail us at biggest.loser@shine.tv, or simply call our voicemail box on 0844 6780 156 and leave your name, address and contact telephone number. We will send you an application form with a SAE.

(Calls cost 5ppm including VAT)’

So, the info is there in case anyone fancies acting on it (or knows someone who would- I always wondered how they got contestants for things like that).

And now normal service resumes.

Breakfast was lovely today- I had some frozen blackberries (still trying to empty the freezer so we can defrost it) and so I put them in my porridge. Yum I just love berries (and cinnamon) in porridge.

After work I had a cereal bar for some energy;

This gave me quite a sugar boost I think! Some nice seeds in there, and dried cranberries, but also the yoghurt coating, although it went quite well with this bar, whereas on some I find the yoghurt coating a bit too sweet. Maybe the seeds and other things kept the actual bar less sweet.

Anyway, then it was time for a run. My calves have been stiff all day (it was a different instructor at aerobics last night, and I do not think I stretched enough after), but I was keen to try the next Audiofuel one. It turned out to be the same, but each section was 5 steps per min faster (so we got up to 180, I say we, I mean me and Martin Yelling of course). The recovery pasts still felt slow (but not quite as bad) but the fast bit was hard- by the end of the final fast interval I was finding it hard to get my breath! But that is a good thing! Then I came home and did the yoga for runners podcast, which I think really helped stretch out my muscles.

Then I had another freezer meal- a lentil, kidney bean and veggie chilli with added spinach and frozen broccoli. Bonus points for me all round today!

I was thinking today- association vs disassociation. When I first started running I would do anything to take my mind off the run (eg listen to music, think about other things) but since listening to marathon talk I have been trying to think about the actual running a bit more. I have read articles before about this, and how people like Paula Radcliffe focus on their running and form and breathing etc as this helps them improve and perform. I was worried that the Audiofuel podcasts would seem too hard as I would not be able to think about something else, but I think it is really good for me to have the little reminders about keeping my shoulders relaxed and so on. During body pump I tend to try and focus on how strong I feel, as I think the positive mindset helps me achieve, and it is hard not to think about it while your muscles are burning!

So which kind of exerciser are you? Do you think about what you are doing, or try to take your mind off it?



Love it or not bothered?

I am not a massive tennis fan, but I do keep an ear out on the sports news during the year for tennis results. But I just love Wimbledon! I love getting home from work and putting on the TV- something therapeutic about the noise from the rally’s and the hush of the crowd. I do, however, get annoyed with all the fever surrounding any British hopefuls, and the people who insist on shouting out during the games. Do they not realise that they are supposed to be quiet?

Today I was not home too late, so I got to watch some tennis before going to aerobics!

But first, last night I had some strawberries and caramel dessert- now the size of these strawberries is ridiculous. Last week I got them and they were tiny and delicious. This week, well, look at the picture to see what I mean:

Yes the biggest one was about the size of the pot. They tasted quite nice, but still, there must have only been about 9 in the box- as it was a 400g box that is nearly 50g per strawberry- craziness. Good for Wimbledon watching anyway.

As the camera was in the kitchen, I also took a pic of my breakfast this morning:

Porridge with fresh raspberries cooked in (from Andy’s parents’ garden). Soooooooo good.

And also my lunch as I got it ready:

A pitta with sunflower seed butter, some roasted peppers and almond and sesame tofu ( I tried that this week but I prefer the basil stuff) and a pear. All in the cute lunch boxes! Love paperchase!

Lastly, a confession of sorts. I posted the other week about my hoarding habits. I was down to my last few Cocoa mint nakd bars, and then I saw that on the website the mix boxes of the cocoa bars were reduced (ÂŁ10.99 for a box of 18 so a pretty good deal, 61p each- plus if you get 2 boxes you get a discount too……) .



Yup, not one, but two boxes of mixed cocoa ones (cocoa delight, cocoa mint and cocoa orange). Excuse the messy hair- I had just got out of bed! And excuse the rubbish photo- holding 2 boxes and trying to take my own picture is not an easy task! I do eat them most days (one for my mid morning snack at work) so I will get through the boxes quickly.

That is my guilty face I think! 🙂

So, any confessions from you guys this fine evening?


Yup, that was me today. I even dreamt about it last night (running and not being able to keep up was my dream).

After work (and a seedstacked bar- love those so much) I headed out. Now I had not actually listened to one before, so I listened to a bit of music to warm up (and to get past the first road crossing) and then started. It was a 43 min interval session, including a warm up (whoops), two lots of 3 min intervals at 165 steps per min, 170 and 175, with slower (150) sections in between. Now I am not sure if it is because I am short and have short hamstrings but I must take very small steps, because the warm up and recovery periods felt very slow to me. I was trying to take bigger steps, but I felt like I was running like an idiot- sort of slow mo (chariots of fire or maybe baywatch style). I managed to keep up with the faster intervals, although the first fast one was up a pretty steep hill. Anyway, I really enjoyed it, but it ended when I was tired and about 2.5 miles from home, and it started raining. My actual time for the whole route was very slow (6.7. miles in 78 mins with not much stopping for traffic) but I suppose that is because the recovery periods are slower. The run back home after doing the faster paced bits was hard, but I really really enjoyed it. I like listening to Martin Yelling on marathon talk anyway, and I found it quite motivating. I need to be told what to do! Plus there were little quotes (that some may find cheesy)- “these are the money miles”/ “own this run” etc that I really liked. They appeal to me when I am actually running anyway!

Last night I did the yoga for runners 25 min podcast (it says 20 mins, but the file name is 25 mins and it is about that long)- I really like doing this, although again the lady says some cheesy lines. Some of the poses are very hard to hold (I have terrible hamstrings) but I am hoping I will start to see some improvement.

I also made some cookies for Andy- he requested some (as all the baking I had done had gone away!). These are peanut agave cookies from the Vegan cookie book- the recipe has agave and brown rice syrup, and I used wholegrain spelt flour which I love in cookies. Anyway, they are lovely- sort of soft, not chewy cookies but not crunchy either. Anyway, another winning recipe from that book.

When I got home from my run I had a funny chat with Andy. At his work someone had got back from their holiday and brought in a load of chocolates, and he was a bit amazed at the number of people eating the chocolates all through the day. That sort of thing happens at my work too, and he was hypothesising (or generalising) about it, basically saying that people had no self control (!). I was saying that I think if I had to look at a coffee table with snacks on it all day, I would be tempted, but if they are not there then I would not think about them. Then I was thinking about it a bit more. I know some people say that they just cannot have sweets etc at home, whereas I am almost the opposite. I like to have some nice chocolate and that sort of thing, but I do not eat it that much- we still have Easter eggs left (and we only got 2 between us)- I just like to have the option. (Except for Nutella which for some reason I can eat by the teaspoonfull so I just do not buy it). So normally I think to myself that if I really want it, I will have it later with a cup of tea, and then by that time I might have changed my mind/ am not hungry/ etc. Whereas at work, if I see something, I can’t think “oh, I’ll have it later”- because probably by the time I fancy it, someone else will have eaten it. So in some ways I am more likely to have something at work, because I know I cannot have it later, whereas at home I know the option is there. Does that make sense? I am glad anyway that most of the time at work I am in my classroom and so do not have the option to graze, but I wonder how people in offices manage that sort of thing?

Also, I realised that I have left off my Sunday review of the exercise and stuff, so whoops. I will be carrying on with that from next Sunday (partly because this is a long post, and mostly because I can’t really remember) as I quite like to see how I am doing, and it keeps me accountable too (must keep up the yoga!).


PS- As well as my giveaway, the lovely Jemma at Celery and Cupcakes is having a giveaway for nakd bars- click here! How exciting! 🙂

A speedier run

Hey guys

Due to the rain forecast Saturday morning (and I know I could have gone out Sunday instead, but I look forward to Saturday mornings) I was super speedy at getting ready. After breakfast I still managed to clean the bathrooms, but was ready nice and quick (normally I will listen to the radio, potter around at home and before I know it, 2 hours has passed). I was going to do the same 8.5 mile route as last weekend, and decided I would go on how I felt. I did wear my Nike+ but did not look at it once. I had a load of work to do Saturday afternoon, so knew I would feel all antsy and cooped up later. So it was lovely to run and really think about how good it felt to be out in the fresh air, filling up my lungs and feeling wide awake. I also saw some teeny baby bunnies- very tempted to put one (or two, or three) in my garden!  I could see the black clouds gathering, and it got much darker as I went on. I also got accosted by someone from “Regiment Fitness”- (I was watching the people do their sit ups and circuits on a patch of grass when I ran past)- the man actually ran up to me and alongside me and asked if I wanted to join in! Must have seen me staring whoops! I declined politely! Anyway, I was about 2 mins from home when the heavens opened. Cue a sprint finish for me (not easy after over 8 miles)- luckily there is a little bit of covered tarmac where I stopped to get out my key before sprinting to the front door! What great timing!

Anyway, the whole run took me 89 mins, which is a whole 4 mins faster than last Saturday. Those black clouds must be some good motivation!

Once home I was thirsty so it was time for some lovely coconut water. Can you see the rain in the background? I do not mind running in the rain (I have a baseball hat or tennis visor as I still wear my glasses) but I do not like the torrential rain as it ruins my shoes etc. It was totally coming down in bucket loads.

Other exciting news- I made some cupcakes!!!!!! (I should have really chosen running cookie as my name, as I much prefer baking and eating cookies, but it did not sound as good in my opinion!) On Friday I was given a fab belated birthday present:

There are so many amazing looking recipes in here, but due to my current tea obsession, it had to be Earl Grey Cupcakes! Perfect for Father’s day too I thought. Although I think I will try it again with different teabags- Chai cupcakes anyone?

Now these puffed up like crazy in the oven, and the icing went very drippy, as you can see (not like in the picture in the recipe book) but we had one at Sunday tea and they were fab. The rest have been given to my family and Andy’s family.

Saturday evening we had burgers for tea (operation use up stuff in the freezer is still going on- I found a lonely bean burger which I made in February according to the bag!)- so I made rolls to go with them.

I was actually amazed at how the rolls turned out 🙂

Gotta love a burger with some gherkins in it! Yum yum. Plus my first fresh sweetcorn cob of this year. I love the summer time 🙂

Fave summer food?

And don’t forget to enter the Bloom Tea giveaway– one week to go 🙂