WIAW- first run back

So after just getting into this before my holiday, I have missed the last 3.

I was excited to join the party again! Thanks to Jenn as always.

So this is what I ate yesterday (as we can choose any day from the week).


Porridge (oats, Kara coconut milk and raisins) in my Mighty Maple Jar (from the bloggie food swap). Delish.

Then I went on my first run since my holiday (about 5.7 miles I think) and I needed a snack when I got home!


An alpro strawberry soya milk, and a cute clif mini bar! Seriously how cute is that??? I bought one box of them while we were away. I love mini things!

I was off for an afternoon with some of my friends, so I had half my lunch before I went (mainly because I was hungry and we always eat quite late as it is about an hours drive away and we chat!).

Apple, nectarine, 2 rude health multigrain thins (I love these more than the oaty thins I think) with White chocolate Wonderful (from my holiday- I could not wait to try it!!).

Our lunch consisted of a Food doctor pitta, some dips (taziki and hummus), crisps,  and peppers, cucumber and carrots.

(we all provide different bits- so this was what I was taking).

I did not eat any of the crisps, and only had about a tablespoon of the taziki in the end, but I was given a glass of diet pepsi. I have not had fizzy drinks for ages. When I was younger I never liked fizzy drinks, and I think as I got older I trained myself to like them (plus as I don’t drink alchohol it meant I could still have something when out with friends). But I have really gone off them, and I read an article about how something (phosphorus?) in them basically leaches the calcium from your bones which put me off further. I also used to get more headaches, and did wonder if they were to blame. Plus they contain artificial sweeteners, they cause your appetite to go up- so many bad points. I don’t think I have had any in at least a year.  Anyway, I had the glass as I thought that it would not hurt. We had a fab time catching up, playing games and wandering around the town, but by the time I left (which was about 8pm I think) I was getting a headache. I thought I was hungry, so when I got home I made a proper dinner. (I was thinking I would have a bagel or something, as it was gone 9pm, but then I thought that if I was going out for dinner I would eat that late, and I was hungry!)

So dinner;

I baked in the oven a courgette, some tomatoes, pepper, some quinoa that was already cooked and some basil tofu, which I sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. This was delish.

While that was cooking I baked some apples and blackberries (from my parents garden- they have grown loads this year) and had some with an alpro pot. It would have gone better with vanilla, but I only had chocolate ones.

When I woke up this morning I still had the headache- it was only a fuzzy one, not really bad, but I think it actually might have been down to the diet pepsi- next time I will have to make sure I drink water like I normally do.

So my question is- do you drink fizzy drinks (diet ones or regular ones)? And do you feel that they affect you in any way?

First run attempt

So today was my first attempt at a run since my holiday, which worked out at about 3 and a half weeks with no running at all.

I did not want to put any pressure on, as I realise that my legs would find it a shock, so I took my time over breakfast, and headed out much later than planned. I ran up to the lakes and around them, which was really enjoyable. I did have to stop and walk after mile 2 and mile 3, as my legs felt very stiff at that point, so I did some stretching and walked for a few minutes each time. While I was running my Nike+ was reading between 10.20-10.40 per mile, but by the time I got home I had done 5.7 miles in over an hour- can’t remember how many mins, but some of that was walking and a lot was stretching!

I feel this is quite positive really- last summer I did not have much of a break as we went away for less than 2 weeks I think, plus I was not running as far anyway. I remember the first year I started running, after my holiday I had to go down to a walk break every 5 mins or so, and it took me a while to get back up to 10k distance.  I also managed to run up the steep hill (I had decided that I would be allowed to walk it), and clearly it should not take as long to get back up to my normal longer distances (I was doing 10 miles for my long run before I went away).

But when I got home I felt so tired! I think it really shocked my system. It also meant I was running late to meet my friends, but luckily they didn’t mind.

Hope all you UK bloggers had fun at your meet up.

So question- how do you get back into things after a break from your routine?

Coconut brownies = making up for missed baking

Can you believe that I managed three weeks without any baking at all? Three whole weeks? Also I did not even have one brownie while I was on holiday! There were so many tasty looking baked goods on offer all the time, and we did share a few cookies (we made the mistake on one holiday to each have a carrot cake cookie, and neither of us could finish them- they look normal sized in the cabinet but they are so much bigger than normal) and share a few slices of pecan pie for dessert, and share some cups of ice cream (peanut butter ice cream- I will get it while I can, and also toasted coconut ice cream= amazing) but no brownies at all. On our last day we went to a bakery to get a sandwich for lunch, and they had coconut brownies in the cabinet which I thought sounded fab.

So I decided to attempt to make my own. Also I was desperate to use some of my new coconut essence.

So here is the recipe ;

First I toasted 50g coconut by putting it in the oven on a low heat (140C-ish)- altogether took about 10 mins but I checked and stirred regularly.

Then I preheated the oven to 180C.

In a pan I melted 100g pure spread, 100g dark chocolate, 175g xylitol (have not tried baking with this since I bought it), 1tbs brown rice syrup (but golden syrup would work), and 2tsp brown sugar. I kept the heat low and stirred to help it melt, then left it to cool.

In a cup I added 1 tsp coconut essence to 2 beaten eggs (from my Mum’s hens), and in another cup I measured out 100g wholegrain spelt flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2 tbs cocoa powder.

Once the melted mixture had cooled, I stirred in the egg mixture, then added the flour mixture and stirred.

Then (this got messy) I spooned some of the batter into the empty flour cup (this just saves on washing up) and added the toasted coconut to it.

I poured the majority of the batter into a brownie pan.

Then I poured the mixture with the coconut on top, and then sprinkled with chocolate chips. I suppose you could sprinkle coconut on top, but I was worried it would burn in the oven so that is why I made a sort of coconut topping. Plus it is a bit more fancy than mixing it all the way through.

This went in the oven for 25 mins- it should still wobble a little when it comes out if you like a squidgy brownie.

For easy slicing, leave them to cool before you try to cut them.

I have also spent 3 weeks without running. I have never taken workout clothes on holiday (well unless we have gone away for an actual race)- often our hotels have had gyms, or there have been lovely running paths nearby, but for one I don’t want to use up the luggage allowance with all the extra gear (plus it would mean even more washing while on holiday). Also we keep pretty active and walk a lot, and I also think it is good to have a break. I was still getting little niggles from my hamstring every now and then, and also was sometimes starting to lose enthusiasm for a run, so I think a break means I get properly rested, and also feel rejuvenated and raring to go again.

My plan was for some yoga this morning before breakfast, but when I woke up I was feeling so dizzy- I get a sort of delayed motion sickness sometimes- when I travel I never feel bad, but often once we stop moving I feel like I am still tipping (especially when I do things like lean forward when eating, or bending down to pick something up) and it can take a few days to go away. I decided that being upside down was not such a good idea- it can wait one more day.  I was also so thirsty when I woke up, so I went for a delicious smoothie- frozen cherries, frozen banana, cocoa powder and Kara coconut milk, and topped it with a little pistachio and passion-fruit granola. I had managed quite a lot of fruit and veggies while I was away (often my dinner choice was the chicken salad without the chicken!) but I always crave fruits and veggies when I get home, plus this was nice and hydrating too.

We have been unpacking (and having a massive sort out of clothes and shoes and things to take to the charity bin), cleaning, sorting the garden and sorting out things for the tip. I had to find space for all my new purchases you see!

Trousers, jeans, 3 cardis (all the same but different colours- black, pink and turquoise) and a green knitted hoody thing all from Gap, 2 tops (on the left, one black and one blue with printed flowers on it) and the bright green track top from Old Navy, shoes from Skechers and a replacement tennis visor from Lululemon (which I had read about but never been in- I got a very cool bag instead of a carrier bag with all motivational quotes on it!) plus a cool Ron John (a surf shop) bag for life.  Also my Discovery Cove hoody but I realise I am wearing it right now so no photo (I am sure you will all cope 😉  ).You even get a close up of the tennis visor because I was so excited about it!

I had a lovely salad for lunch- spinach, raspberry dressing, tomatoes and apples (both from my parents garden), basil tofu and pistachios. Yum.

Plus some Rude Health multigrain things (which they kindly sent to me to try after I raved about the oaty thins) with the last of my maple pb (hm that did not last too long haha), chocolate coconut spread, and a delicious white nectarine. MMmmmmmmmmm.

We went to Andy’s parents for tea (hence the coconut brownies which were a success phew) and it was lovely to catch up with them.

So no exercise round up this week, but the plan is a run tomorrow in the morning, before I am off to a meet up with my girls in the afternoon. I am expecting that after a 3 week break I will find it hard going so I am not going to decide how far I go, just take it as it comes, and hopefully return to the normal routine during this week.

Hope everyone in the UK enjoyed the bank holiday weekend.

And question- your ideal brownie flavour??

I’m back!


We had an exciting (ish) end to our holiday, what with Irene heading close. In the end the hurricane bypassed Charleston, so our final day was rainy, windy (very very windy) and some roads were flooded, but we were fine. We did see a couple of news teams out and about filming and interviewing people.

Yesterday we had a final wander around town (and cue much excitement when we found a bagel slicer for sale in a shop!!! They always have them in the hotels when they have bagels for breakfast, and Andy’s parents even spent half their holiday last summer looking for one for me! so anyway that got crammed into our suitcase!), watched dolphins and pelicans on the water, bought some lunch to eat later and then a long drive to Atlanta. I think it was over 300 miles, anyway it was a long drive.

In the end we ate lunch super late (3.30pm ish) as we had to find a rest stop, so I didn’t fancy much dinner and ended up with a yoghurt and some fruit salad. Our flight was still going (but we saw yet more news teams interviewing people as flights to Washington and Philli were cancelled) but when we got on the plane the captain announced that there may be some turbulence as we were going to fly over the hurricane. What now? I have never done this before, but we actually took sleeping tablets (well, sleeping aids like the hayfever medication that makes you drowsy) and I think that helped as I dozed on and off for most of the flight. Normally by the time I get home I fall asleep as soon as I sit down, and although I feel really tired, I am going OK. Anyway, at one point in the flight they announced that they were going to suspend the services (drinks and food) and then the captain shouted at all the crew to get to their seats. It was a bumpy flight.

But home now.

And facing the mountain of unpacking to do.


We went to Wholefoods in Orlando and stocked up, (PB and co was on offer so I had to try the White chocolate wonderful)- later on we went to a Walmart to look for something for Andy’s brother, and it was even cheaper in there, so I got another flavour (Bee’s Knees). I also found coconut essence hooray! Which I kept in my hand luggage along with the boxed cereal bars! Can you guess which flavour I like? We did eat clif bars as our snacks most days (shared one as they are huge!) and I also tried the peppermint luna bars which are amazing!!!! But that Disney bag is full of clif bars as we bought more than we needed for our trip, what a shame. Ahem. Also I love Ghirardelli chocolates (and the free samples they always give out) and so bought a mixed bag from the shop- at the till the lady said to me “if you spend $5 more you get loads more chocolate” (can’t remember how much) but I did resist, although partly from fear of the luggage allowance!

I also got some hand made key lime sugar scrub (I much prefer sugar to salt scrubs) from a shop in Key West (it smells so tangy and amazing), a thing that means I can make a cup of tea using leaf tea, and also a key thing to go on my garage key. We collect magnets for our holidays too, but I have not unpacked them yet. They go on our fridge, so maybe I will take a photo of that one day.

I also stocked up in Gap (jeans, cardi’s), Old Navy (a couple of tops and a running jacket) and Skechers (many shoes). Plus a Discovery Cove turquoise hoody which I could not resist! But no pics of them.

Right, well I am in need of a cup of tea now, normal blogging, running etc should resume within the next few days! I am planning on doing a couple of holiday posts (once we sort the photos) and include some of the places we ate, as we managed to stay away from the chains and I think eat pretty healthily for the most part (this meant that our ice cream was justified haha!).

OK I really am going now!

Bye for now.

EDIT- well guess what- Andy just rang his parents for a catch up and told them excitedly that we got a bagel slicer, and guess what they had bought (they were in the rockies) for my Christmas present? Yup, a bagel slicer. Oops!

Southern Style

Hey guys

We have been having a fab few days in the south- we drive up to Savannah which is a really pretty town set out with squares, tree lined streets with spanish moss hanging from huge oak trees, and beautiful houses. Although I think I mentioned that in my last post? I forget. Anyway, we had a lovely couple of days there- we did the proper touristy thing and did a trolley tour, which was excellent- 90 minutes narrated by the driver, no hops ons or anything. Then once we knew where everything was we walked back to it. It was by the river so in the evenings we walked alongside the river and it was fab. It being the south I was expecting to struggle to find veggie food, but there were a few healthy cafes which were open in the evening (I had a lovely tofu burrito one day) and also a burger cafe where you could sub veggie burgers for any burger on the menu, so I had one with guacamole (plus sweet potato fries mmmmm). We also found a relly gorgeous new-ish cafe which did amazing proper fresh smoothies (I find that in a lot of places in the USA a smoothie gets poured out of a clear plastic box with a stirrer, and is basically sugary squash) and also warm pretzels! How have we never tried a soft pretzel before???? We had one with cinnamon and it was amazing.

Then we drove up to Charleston for the last stop on our holiday. We have been away so long but suddenly it seems like it has flown by. The town is bigger here, but still very pretty, in fact crammed with beautiful buildings. Today we went to a couple of plantation houses- one was a bit like a national trust house and gardens, so we paid to just go in the gardens and spent a few hours following the self guided walks. At one point I saw a beautiful red bird, so I walked off the path to get a closer look. Big mistake. I looked up and saw a massive cobweb hanging between the trees with a massive spider there. Andy was impressed that I did not scream, but after that I was very jumpy. We saw so much wildlife including turtles, pretty birds and butterflies (they all get a  🙂  ) and also a snake (I was not expecting snakes), a crab, a massive grasshopper and some kind of newt lizard thing. The second house we went to was preserved in it’s original state (as close to that as they could) and so we did the tour of the house. There was not furniture in it, and it was so interesting. Apparently during the civil war they think the doctor who lived there at the time put out smallpox flags so the building was the only one to survive.

Anyway, after that we went for some dinner (we found a place on the internet that a- Man versus food had been to, and b- did a veggie sandwich, as here it seems to be a lot of seafood which Andy does not like, or BBQ- last night we went to a BBQ place and I had a salad without the chicken or blue cheese, so not with much!!). Anyway, I was excited because all the way on the drive here on the roadside were big signs for “Fresh peaches” (I know what they are), “Candied pecans” (I can work that out) and “Boiled Peanuts” (eh???). While we were waiting for our dinner, we were given some boiled peanuts. They were monkey nuts (you know, peanuts in the shell) boiled, so when Andy tried to split one open it spurted hot water all over him. Anyway, when we tried them, Andy liked them, but I am not sure. They had the texture of cooked kidney beans, and I think I like nuts when they are crunchy! But anyway, it was good to have that mystery solved.

Then we went to a baseball game, and now we are watching the weather channel as hurricane Irene is heading this way. Hopefully it will avoid us, but it seems we might be in for some heavy wind and rain tomorrow.

Right, this was (again) only meant to be quick and I have rambled on for ages!

Night (or morning) 🙂