Category: Special Breakfast Mondays

Exciting times #4

HEY friends!!

 

So glad you guys enjoyed “meeting” Tara yesterday!! Isn’t she amazing?! Can’t wait for the other Featured Athlete posts in the coming Monday’s too! Open-mouthed smile

 

There have been many, many ‘exciting’ posts as long-term readers will know! See here or here for proof that I get excited A LOT. So here are some exciting things from today and yesterday…

 

1. Exciting Special Breakfast Monday.

 

I love Special Breakfast Monday!! Especially when it involves my fave ‘normal’ nut butter

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…and Katie’s chocolatified banana bread in a bowl that I made a few Special Mondays ago…DSC07592

…BUT this time, in my empty jar!!DSC07988

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SO darn good!!

 

2. Being awarded this by two of my fave gals, Carrie and Little Bookworm!5540348894_d483605452_m

You guys are the BEST!! I’ll be posting my 7 Facts About Me tomorrow! Open-mouthed smile

 

3. Oat obsession.

 

I had oats today for breakfast (raspberry carob oatmeal)…DSC08006

…for my pre-workout afternoon snack (banana-cinnamon-PB oatmeal)…DSC07994

…and in peanut-butter-topped microwave banana oat cake form as a post-workout munchie…DSC08013

I tell myself that it is perfectly normal to have a bowl of oatmeal as a snack. It was weird making it in the microwave though for once- I can’t believe I used to do that every day!! Stovetop is SO much better!!

 

4. Date obsession.

 

It isn’t enough for me to just go through a whole pack in a few days. My addiction is too great.DSC06029

So when I found it in liquid form, I almost died. I now have date SYRUP.228512-meridian-date-syrup

Somebody save me!!!! Does date rehab exist…?

 

5. Choccie-Chip Date Raw Cookie Dough BallsDSC08019 

Choccie-Chip Date Raw Cookie Dough Balls (adapted from Averie’s recipe)

 

Makes about 8 large balls, depending on how much dough you eat during the process…!

 

2/3 c whole raw cashews

1/3 c dry oats

2.5 tbsp date syrup (or other sweetener if you don’t have any, like agave)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c chopped dates

1/8 c non-dairy chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)

 

  1. Put cashews and oats into a food processor and grind until a fine powder is formed.
  2. Add the date syrup and vanilla extract and blend again.  Add more syrup if dough is too dry.
  3. Chop dates and add to the processor with the chocolate chips. QUICKLY blend, or stir in by hand.
  4. Remove the dough and form into balls.  Put into fridge to firm up if necessary, and ENJOY!!

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These are ADDICTIVE, I’m warning you!! Although that’s probably more me and my non-existent self-control! Smile with tongue out

 

6. Shin news!!

 

After talking to an expert dude about my shin, he suggested I:

 

a) Get my gait analysed again. I’ll be doing that this weekend!
b) Not run until I have no shin pain in ‘normal’ life. Then ease back into it, so no more ‘training’ for the time being.
c) Cross-train my butt off in the mean time! I’ve been warned off the elliptical though, so I glued myself to the bike today with my reading material for a 45 min session…

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And he said I SHOULD be okay to run my big race which is in 2 weeks time! BUT he said I probably won’t be able to do as well as I had hoped what with the training cut-back and the affected performance…but I can heal-up properly, do my best, and anyway there’s always next yearSmile

 

7. Exciting workout!

 

Today’s workout: 45 mins bike, 75 min yoga class.

 

I haven’t done a yoga class in MONTHS!! It felt SO good!!DSC08017My back and glutes are definitely feeling it now! Smile with tongue out AND bonus- the yoga lady gave me a superfoods bar!!DSC08023

Not sure why people always give me free food, but I’m not complaining! Winking smile

 

8. Early morning spin tomorrow!!Spinning

Bring on the early morning sweat-sesh!! I am EXCITED!!DSC07978

And to help myself get up at the ridiculous 5-something-am, I will be sleeping in those clothes. And not brushing my hair or washing beforehand. Sorry fellow spinees.

 

What exciting things have happened to you so far this week? I also washed my hair on Monday. BREAKTHROUGH or what?!

 

What foods do you never go a day without? Oats is one example. Even if I don’t have it for breakfast, I ALWAYS have it in one form or another every day. And obviously, chocolate and dates.

 

What tips do you have for an early start? I’m relatively new to this whole early-morning thing, so I need the advice por favor!!

 

Enjoy the rest of your week lovelies!!

 

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Sun Warrior giveaway if you haven’t yet!! Ends on Thursday!!

 

P.P.S.The wonderful Katie is doing a blog bakesale to raise money for Japan!! PLEASE support her!! You can read all about it here!!

Giveaway winners and addictions…

Hey lovelies!!

Big excitement of the day…I worked out how to put the Random Number Generator into a post, so now I can prove my honesty!! It’s called using the ‘paste’ function. Who knew! Smile with tongue out

Anyway, without further ado…the giveaway winner

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Number 9= Freya @ Brit Chick Runs!!

The (UK-only) runner’s up (again by RNG but I won’t bother pasting all the boxes!): Bronagh, Katie Good, Carrie, Julie Bell, Daisy Chain, Leanne, Emily, Jess, Clemmy and Lucie. CONGRATS you guys!! Email me your addresses and I’ll pass them along.

And thanks to everyone for entering, and for your tip on storing the nut butter upside-down! Open-mouthed smile Even if you didn’t win this time, I’ve got another one coming up soon (hint: think protein…) so big hugs for everybody!!

***

Special Breakfast Monday (I didn’t get to post it yesterday!) was one of Katie’s banana bread in a bowl. I am addicted to this, and to Katie’s recipes in general!!DSC07592

Made with 1 cup Ultra-Bran cereal, 1 cup chocolate milk, 1 large frozen banana, 1 tbsp coconut butter and 2 tsp vanilla topped with part of a crumbled PB chocolate chip granola bar and cacao nibs. SO good. I want this every day! If you haven’t had it yet, you NEED to!!

Before my run today, I had two more PB chocolate chip granola bars. These are definitely one of my fave things I’ve ever made!! I am ADDICTED. I may have had four yesterday…! Smile with tongue outDSC07600

Tempo Tuesday!! 4 mile tempo run was on the cards. It was super-foggy, so I put on the coolest item in my wardrobe, after my granny fleece and penguin onesie…

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…my Hi-Viz running vest!! This is one cool look. They’re all wearing them in Milan, trust me Winking smile

And I had to question my sanity (or lack of) when running my tempo part of the run up a huge hill…WHY would I do that?! Anyway, still managed a 7.01 min/mile pace for the tempo part, which I was pleased with. The shins were a bit achey, so I didn’t push it. Nothing some frozen broccoli, frozen soya mince and two glasses of chocolate soy milk can’t solve…DSC07597

Proteined up more with my meal afterwards to help those muscles repair! Quinoa and lentil tomato stew sprinkled with nooch and served with spinach:DSC07518

And I quite possibly another granola bar found its way into my belly afterwards…our secret, k? Winking smileDSC06912

It’s an addiction I tell you.

What foods have you become addicted to recently? Definitely these bars! But also dried fruit in a BIG way (I go through about 1/2 pack of dates a day and demolished most of a pack of dried figs today…sooo yummy!) as well as sea salt dark chocolate Smile

What is your ‘coolest’ wardrobe item? Fleeces and sweats all the way baby.

What would be your dream thing to win in a giveaway? Mine would be a running holiday in Hawaii. That would be heaven… Or a lifetime supply of dark chocolate!!

Enjoy the rest of your week friends!! Open-mouthed smile

Mondays are amazing

Hey friends!!

Likin’ the new look? I’m still trying to figure out some things, but bear with me, k? I’ll host a big pancake party at my place in return, sound good? Smile

So what made my Monday amazing?

1. Special Breakfast Monday! Katie’s Banana Bread Blender Cereal. But chocolatified…DSC07379

I added a tbsp of cocoa powder, and topped it some shredded coconut and a fudge baby. This is the most delicious and filling thing ever. You can’t beat chocolate for breakfast! Open-mouthed smile

2. Package deliveries. I get SO excited about packages, and post in general really, because mentally, I am a 5 year old.DSC07384

  

3. Bubblewrap. ‘Nuff said.DSC07387

Hours of endless amusement right there.Better than any video game I say! A great finger workout too! Smile with tongue out

4. Goodies!!DSC07388

The lovely folks at Meridian Foods offered to send me some of their stuff to try out! They are SO lovely and generous, and clearly know me well: nut butters, jam, and snack bars?!

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Raspberry and Morello Cherry fruit spread

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No salt/sugar/oil almond butter and smooth PB

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Tahini (I think it's hummus time!!) and 3x PB and oat snack bars

I will officially taste test tomorrow. Be prepared. And then…a GIVEAWAY!! Open-mouthed smile

5. Monday Reader Request: What I eat for lunches. Well I have a lot of lunches to-go, because eating vegan makes things a little tricky, not to mention EXPENSIVE!! So I batch make something, and then use that for the rest of the week. This week= wholewheat vegetabley couscous (with mushrooms and tomatoes)…DSC07314

…topped with a mountain of broccoli and nooch!DSC07318

Voila! And THIS is why I don’t post my lunches! Because it’s exactly the same pretty much every weekday! Smile with tongue out

6. Taking advantage of the sun! I couldn’t resist. It’s been so grey and rainy recently in London that when I saw the blue skies, I knew I had to ignore my plan to take a running day off and cross train instead. So I did a easy run in the sun!DSC07162

I needed it for my health. My tan was fading. And that’s saying something for someone who is half Indian! Smile with tongue out

Anyway, it was an amazing run! My legs were tired from the tough 6 mile hill run yesterday, so I took it slow and just chilled and coasted along, enjoying the sun Smile

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Easy run: 3.41 miles, 7.48 min/mile pace.

7. Checking out/drooling over a new gym. A Virgin Active one. It is SO POSH.1999

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It’s so HUGE and it has AMAZING facilities that really put my current gym to shame…virgin-active-gyms

So I just have to decide whether it’s worth the price! Double the amount of my local gym’s membership…hmmm…

7. Discovering the joys of Google Reader! I’m a bit late to the game I know!!google_reader_enlarged

I can now stalk all your blogs 24/7, mwah ha ha….! Winking smile

So what things have made your Monday’s amazing?

 

What are you looking forward to most about the coming months? The weather. End of.

 Do you have Google Reader? Do you like it? I keep seeing everyone talk about it, and now I finally know what they are going on about!! Smile with tongue out

And the Featured Athlete posts begin next Monday, so get excited!! I sure am! Open-mouthed smile

Have a great week friends!!

Reader Request: Sports Nutrition

HEY friends!!
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Phew! After yesterday’s blog craziness I only managed 5.5 hours sleep trying to sort everything out, so right now, I’m running on PB + chocolate.

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Special Breakfast Monday: DOUBLE OIAJ!! Double because it's topped with DCD (and granola). Twas AWESOME :)

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So. Many. Squares...

 

Hey, what’s new! Winking smile

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So Monday’s Reader Request was by popular demand some of the stuff I learned from the Sports Nutrition talk I went to on Wednesday! So here is some of the most important things that I noted down:

  • Eat healthily. This is pretty obvious, but food is not just yummy but it’s our FUEL. The right nutrition maximises your training, by doing things like giving you more efficient muscles, enhanced bloodflow, stronger bones, etc. Healthy eating basics includes eating natural foods, eating a balanced and varied diet and balancing energy in with energy out.
  • Energy sources. The three nutrients that serve as energy sources (carbs, protein and fat) should be consumed in roughly the right percentages for optimum energy. Matt Lovell was hesitant to give figures, stressing that we are all different and these will vary depending on YOUR personal needs but he said ROUGHLY (as a percentage of total calories): Carbs=50-70%, Fat=25-35%, Protein=15-25%.
  • Supplementation. NOT necessary, but supplements can help. In summary, some useful ones:
    -  Creatine: The supplement with the strongest beneficial inpact on athletes. Helps with strength, sprinting and power but has now proven benefits upon distance running performance. However, it does help reduce muscle damage.
    - Glucosamine: Helps the joints in protecting and building joint cartilage, reducing joint pain and improving joint function.
    - Glutamine: A VERY useful substance for runners. It’s an essntial amino acid, but following exercise, the body demands more of it. It limits damage done to the immune system and muscles through exercise.
    - MSM: A natural mineral found in a variety of foods. More research is required, but some studies have show that it reduces joint pain and inflammation and promotes cartilage formation.
  • Carbo-loading. Only really necessary before a marathon or longer distance. For optimun results, start 72 hours before, spreading an extra 500g of carbs over those days (roughly equivalent to a pot of honey).
  • Good pre-race foods. The dinner before and breakfast are especially important. Low fibre+GI foods. He listed white rice, rice pudding, custard, Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, and oatmeal (especially recommended!) all as good choices.
  • Recovery nutrition. Should be done ASAP after exercise. The most important thing is 1) hydration, so salts and water, like in a sports drink, and 2) sugars/carbs+protein. He stressed the importance of replenishing salts (I need to do this more!!) and in recovery foods in helping to repair muscle damage caused. His best tip was chocolate milk. Sugars+protein, easy peasy!chocolate-milk

So that’s just a few of the important things I learned! If you would like to know anything else, feel free to email me and I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can! Smile

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I’ve been trying to take some of these tips on board, especially where recovery is concerned! So after today’s cross-training workout (30 mins elliptical + 30 mins Summit Climber + weights), I made my own recovery drink!

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Chocolate Protein Milkshake (adapted from an Allrecipes tofu mousse recipe)

  • 1/3 block firm-silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu)
  • 1 tbsp chocolate protein powder, or cocoa powder if you don’t have any
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used coconut)
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend away! And enjoy the proteiny  yummy chocolaty goodness! And if like me you leave your washing up to pile up and never have any clean glasses, then a wine glass works just as well. And makes it look classy! Winking smileDSC07207

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Does anyone else think I should rename myself The Chocolate Runner? Smile with tongue outSometimes I really think I should! I remember trying to give up chocolate for a month once… Guess what? I failed.

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So has any of that info been of any use to you? I hope it has, and that it wasn’t too dull to read!!

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Is anyone else looking forward to next Tuesday as much as I am? I guess you’re wondering why…it’s Shrove Tuesday, aka PANCAKE DAY!! Best day of the year (after Xmas and my birthday of course!!). I take it very VERY seriously, and eat nothing but pancakes all day. It’s brilliant.

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What is your favourite chocolate? My usual is Divine chocolate (specially the 85% and raspberry one) which is AMAZING stuff, but that Lindt Sea Salt is definitely a new fave!!

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Hope you’ve had a great start to the week friends!!

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P.S. I’d like to THANK YOU for your support and for the amazing responses to the Featured Athlete thing! Just to remind you following a few questions that you DON’T have to be a runner or something like that! As long as you’re active and you enjoy it I’d love to hear from you! If you haven’t yet, EMAIL me! You know you want to!! Open-mouthed smile

You know life is good when…

Today was actually the BEST DAY EVER!! Other than Christmas. And my birthday… Well anyway, it was SO MUCH FUN! Open-mouthed smile

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You know life is good when you start the day in a chocolaty way.  I love a good ryhyme almost as much as I love breakfast cake:

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Made with cocoa powder, PB and jam, and topped with coconut butter and shredded coconut :)

You’d better believe I ate that whole thing! Winking smile Monday Special Breakfasts are the BOMB!!

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You know life is good when lunch is munched (rhyme time! Smile with tongue out) at the Hummus Bros hummus bar!Hummus is definitely where MY heart is!! My mushroom hummus bowl, served with a side of warm wholemeal pitta.DSC06934

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THE best hummus I have ever tasted, hands down. This is my new home. Henceforth I shall be Crazy Hummus Girl.

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You know life is good when you hit  not just one, but two Whole Foods stores!DSC06930

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I went to my usual WF first (Kensington- the biggest one!) and then on to the hummus bar, which happened to be a street away from another WF!! I ended up buying stuff from both of course…my poor bank balance…!

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You know life is good when you discover they now sell the BIG tubs of Dark Chocolate Dreams!! I couldn’t resist! Smile with tongue outDSC06931

My haul included:

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Unsweetened applesauce and coconut oil for baking and DCD.

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Bar madness! 2 Trek bars, my 2 fave Nakd bars and 3 Clif bar flavours

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Brown rice syrup, chia seed and raspberry+coconut dark choccie!! Had to get some chocolate of course! :P

You know life is good when you have an amazing friend, who takes you to a cafe a few streets away that sells vegan cakes. Hello chocolate raspberry torte.DSC06941

Mrs Marengo’s is my second home now. Fortunately very close to my first home.DSC06943

Took the torte to-go and enjoyed on the train journey home. My fellow passengers were clearly beyond jealous, but slightly weirded out by my excessive ‘MMMmmmm’ing…DSC06946

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Seriously, I am RECREATING this as soon as I figure out how…so delicious…so decadent…

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You know life is good when you have a rockin’ hour of cross-training of speed intervals on the elliptical whilst listening to this:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1_B9FCZJMA&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

On repeat. For pretty much the full hour. Yes, I danced along too. I could tell by the expressions of my fellow gym-ers that they wanted to join me really badly…

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You know life is good when you get your life’s essentials on the way home from the gym:

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4 packs of dates and brocccoli :)

 

I was seriously panicked for a while, but order has now been restored. It’s okay. Smile

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So now it’s your turn: You know life is good when…?

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If you could live in one restaurant/cafe, what would it be? It used to be Starbucks for their gingerbread lattes, but hummus and chocolate torte have trumped it! Open-mouthed smile

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Do you have a bar stash? Seriously, I have a whole cardboard box of snack bars, and the lid won’t shut any more after today’s additions! Smile with tongue out

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OH, and on the whole bar thing, I had two UK-US foodie swaps organised, but they’ve BOTH had to drop out sadly! (I know it’s not your fault guys, chillax, I still love ya!!) So an exciting thing for YOU is that YOU can do a lil’ foodie swap with ME if ya like! Shoot me an email if you’re interested at sweet_tooth_runner@hotmail.co.uk or leave a comment! Cool! Smile

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Alrighty, so have a GREAT week friends!!

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P.S. I have a VERY exciting event I’m going to on Wednesday!! Tell you all tomorrow :)

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Living the Crazy Single Life

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Kay, so did anyone else other than Freya, Lindsay and myself NOT realise it was Valentine’s Day today until late yesterday night? Oh the crazy single life I lead! Smile with tongue out

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People living the Crazy Single Life simply have the best breakfasts in my opinion.DSC06664

We utilise our mostly empty nut butter jars in amazing ways…

The Before:DSC06663

The After:DSC06683

The kind of work done there could only be achieved by finger. Again, I blame the Crazy Single Life  for that lack of etiquette.

During:DSC06675

Took my oats, stuffed them in said jar, and topped them with something vaguely reminicent of V-Day…

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Raspberry is Valentinesy :)

…and then some granola too. Because life just isn’t complete without it. Crazy Single or otherwise.DSC06681

Holy Moly this was AMAZING. DSC06682

Special Monday Breakfast = Success.

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Living the Crazy Single Life means that you can hit the gym in the evening on Valentine’s Day, and get all schweaty and attractive on this beast of a machine:

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The hill climber that made me work HARD!

I loved the fact that the gym was practically deserted for once!! I’d never been on that machine before, cos a) it was/is too scary looking and b) there’s only two, and they are always taken. Apparently though they’re always taken by people in relationships! BodyPump was super quiet too! SCORE for the singleton! Open-mouthed smile

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Crazy Single Life means you can not wear make-up and leave your hair in it’s natural state of insanity, even on Valentine’s Day.

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No-one will ever see me and judge. Well except anyone who reads this…!

And the best thing about living the Crazy Single Life? No compulsory food sharing.DSC06685

I made Katie’s hot cocoa fudge babies, but left them slightly chunkier for a bit of crunch.  They are total bliss. And trust me when I say that they’re the only babies that are gonna be made tonight as far as I’m concerned! Winking smile

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So tell me, are you living the Crazy Single Life too, or are you celebrating V-Day with someone special? Despite all these cool benefits, maybe someday I’ll find someone I love enough to share these delicious babies with…they’d have to be pretty darn special though! :P

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What is your favourite thing about Valentine’s Day, or do you hate it? I love it, because I get another excuse to eat a ton of chocolate and make yummy things! A V-Day dessert coming at ya belatedly tomorrow by the way, thanks to the whole forgetting thing!!

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY LOVELIES!! I love you all!dsc05968

Reader request: Contents of a gym bag…

Hey friends!

fhuri

I absolutely loved reading your responses yesterday!! We are all TWINS I tell you!! Apparently most of you are drama queens too, and so we all go into a serious panic when there’s a lack of nut butter or chocolate. But there was no lack of either of those things in today’s AMAZING breakfast…

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Monday’s are Special Breakfast Day. I try to have a super-nice breakfast so Monday mornings are just plain amazing. Take today for example.

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Choco-Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal with Chocolate Chips

(1/2 cup oats, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 banana, 3 tsp vegan instant hot chocolate powder, PB and chocolate chips).

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Seriously, this was the best bowl of oatmeal I have ever had. I know I say that on a pretty much daily basis but this was so so true! I am probably going to have this awesome combo next Monday too- can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

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Monday Reader Request- Gym bag contents

I thought I’d do a lil’ Monday ‘Reader Request’ series! This was a question where I got asked what my gym essentials were, and I thought it’d be fun one to share!

Firstly, gym bag schmim bag. It’s called using a huge handbagDSC06429

…so you can waste what mula you saved on your magazine addiction:DSC06177

Still drooling over the gym bag though…Nike-Sami-3_0-Large-Club-Bag-BA3174_665_A

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So ma contents include:DSC06361

  • Anti-perspirant and towel to help this Sweaty Betty
  • Body Spray to mask what the anti-perspirant failed to prevent
  • Food (duh). Today I packed an energy bar, a Graze box, dates, and a banana for snacksies.
  • Entertainment (magazines, books, iPod)

Also, my Nike Tempo shorts which I love, but rarely wear, because I can’t always be bothered to shave. I do have my priorities you know, and baking+eating cookies > appearance/hygiene. Grossed out much?

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Hair stuff! 

DSC06428SO important, not just because of my ridiculous amount of hair (see my ‘About’ page for proof!) but for the hairband trick that I leaned from Janae! This allowed me to read this amazing book whilst on the elliptical, and look ultra-cool obviously.DSC06365

And most importantly…DSC06356

WATER! I got through three bottles in today’s workout (50 min elliptical+BodyPump)!! Yes, it does mean thousands of toilet trips, but yo that’s the life of an athlete! Smile with tongue out 

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So hit me: what are your gym essentials? What weird things are lurking in your gym bag? I also may keep a bag of chocolate chips in there for emergencies… Winking smile

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And what did you have for breakfast today? I love hearing about people’s eats!!

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P.S. If you want to send me a request for my Monday request post series, go ahead! I’ve got a few lined up alerady from emails, including my food staples, the vegan question, controversial posts, and posts on running technques like hill sprints, etc. Feel free to add to my list!!

P.P.S. Recipe day coming up tomorrow! I have a ton to share! Open-mouthed smile

Hope you’ve had a great day today friends!! Love you all!