Posts Tagged by Cereal

Morning no-brainer

Apparently, I’m not so good in the mornings. I love them and all, but apparently my brain can’t function well…but I did learn three very important lessons today when I did my first ever super-early-pre-church workout!

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1. Breakfast means getting up earlier. Especially if you want Pancake Sunday! Otherwise you’ll just have to go with the cereal+banana combo, cos that’s all you’ll have time for…

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Optimum blueberry and cinnamon flax cereal+coconut milk and banana

Still yummo of course, but nothing beats pancakes on Pancake Sunday.

2. Pack gym bag the night before. That way you won’t be running around in the dark throwing clothes everywhere because you can’t find the capris you live in normally…and then couldn’t find in the end anyway.Nike-Be-Fast-Womens-Nylon-Training-Capris-412628_010_A

(source)

3. Don’t forget to shave your legs. Because you will be forced to wear your Nike Tempos with hairy legs

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You can breathe, I'll spare you the close-up! :P

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Despite all that, I had an AMAZING workout, with the my hardest ever treadmill run! I opted for a 30 min pre-set hill session, and it was so hard that after 10 mins I had to reduce my speed to 8 min/mile!DSC06651

The incline climbed up to 7% TWICE, which is way more than I’ve ever done before, and held it there for a few minutes! The second time round I almost died. It was SO awesome, and totally kicked my ass! I was dripping sweat, which combined with the Super Hairy Legs must have made for one helluva attractive sight! And I can’t wait to tackle it again next week! Open-mouthed smileDSC06653

I cooled down on the elliptical for a bit, then sprinted to get changed in time for church. No, I didn’t shower until after the service. So everyone hated me for that, and for *quietly* munching away during the service…

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I’m one of those weird cool people that eat all the time. Even when just walking from place to place, I usually have food in my mouth. But next time I think it might be wise for me to swap the CRUNCH bar for a banana or something next time though…funnily enough eating that bar quietly wasn’t very successful…!Smile with tongue out

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In other news, I USED MY FOOD PROCESSOR FOR THE FIRST TIME!! Wahoo! After about half an hour of serious confusion, I managed to work out out how to turn it on. Actually, that’s a lie. I got help, and it was as simple as screwing on the bowl properly. What can I say, I’m a bright kid.Light bulb

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Chocolate PB banana soft-serve, with chocolate chips on top.DSC06659

One frozen banana, 2 tsp Dark Chocolate Dreams processed for a few mins. Bliss.

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And can you guess what is going to be my Special Monday Breakfast tomorrow? I’ll give ya a hint:DSC06664

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Can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

Dinner was also amazing!!

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Hummus in a WW wrap, roasted bnut squash and Eazy-Cheezy Scrambled Tofu

Eazy-Cheezy Scrambled Tofu

  • 1/3 block firm silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu)
  • A few sprays of EVOO oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1.5-2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika, or spices of your choice
  1. Put the tofu into a small pan, and chop into small pieces. Spray tofu and pan with oil.
  2. Add everything else, stir, turn up onto a medium heat, and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Enjoy!!

This was delicious! I loved adding the paprika to give it a little kick! SmileI also went back for more squash, and ended up eating pretty much the whole thing! And it was a big’un too! Feeling just a little over-fibred now! Disappointed smileNo regrets though…too darn YUMMY!DSC06673

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Are you good in the mornings? I love mornings, because it’s breakfast time (<—best time of the day!!), but my brain doesn’t actually switch on until about mid morning!

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If you’re a runner, do you do hill runs? I’ve only started doing them recently, after reading how beneficial they are for your running! But up until last week I was too chicken! Hills scared me (and still do a bit! Smile with tongue out). I now incorporate a hilly run and hill sprints into my schedule.

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And  what are you looking forward to this week? I’m looking forward to experimenting with my processor! A hummus recipe coming up soon! I’ll also be making my own Dark Chocolate Dreams! Open-mouthed smile

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Have a great week friends!!

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P.S. I changed my Twitter username a fortnight ago, and forgot to mention it!! It seems to be causing some confusion still! It’s @SweetToothRunnr now for when you wanna chat :)

Giveaway winner and melodrama

Hey friends!! Hope you’ve had a great weekend! Smile

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First up today is the winner of my yoga giveaway! Thank y’all for entering by the way!

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True Random Number Generator: Result: 4 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

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That is…the amazing and lovely Keri over at Blue Eyed Runner!!

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Keri, on February 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm said: Edit Comment

Oooh love this giveaway! I love yoga, but should definitely be doing it more, so this would be great! Plus, it would be a fantastic bday present :)You are already on my blogroll. And I follow you on twitter!

jytsddj

Not only did she win the giveaway, but it is also her birthday, and she got engaged too this weekend!!  Congrats Keri and Happy Birthday! Open-mouthed smile I’ll shoot the Yoga Download guys your email address and they’ll contact you, k?

***

I am a pretty melodramatic person. Everything is either “AMAZING!!” or “THE END OF THE WORLD!!” Today, as with every day, there were a few panic situations

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Panic #1: Unplanned lie-in. This morning I ignored my alarm. I slept in until 8.30, which is super late for me!! So usually I have Pancake Sundays….

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Cocoa oatmeal pancakes

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Pumpkin Spelt Pancakes

…but I woke up just half an hour before I had to leave for church!! So I instead had a lovely cereal bowl.

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Optimum cinnamon+blueberry flax cereal with strawbs and coconut milk

Panic #1 resolved: I had pancakes for dinner instead!DSC06407

Okay, those aren’t exactly pancakes buried beneath the tempeh, spinach and nooch. They’re socca (kinda like chickpea-flour pancakes), which I leaned about from Heather’s post. Darned tasty!

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Panic #2: Getting in a run. I had so much to do today, and fretted about not being able to fit in my tempo run. END OF THE WORLD.

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Panic #2 resolved: Thankfully, after church, I managed to get to the gym for a quick tempo run before lunch. (Fast mile in 7 min/mile pace, and warm-up and cool down miles in 8.20ish min/mile). And 20 mins on the elliptical too. Such a runner’s high! I LOVE ENDORPHINS!DSC06399

Panic #3: Lack of food essentials. I finished off my normal peanut butter on Friday OIAJ style, and had run out of all my other favourite foods! DSC06325

Serious panic ensued.

Panic #3 resolved: Running straight to the supermarket from the gym to stock up, looking like a schweaty tomato.

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It's ok, I did actually take the towel OFF my head before leaving the gym! :P

Got ma essentials! We can all breathe easily now Smile

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Broccoli, crunchy PB, smooth PB and chocolate chips

Panic #4: The chocolate monster hit. I needed a yummy+ filling chocolate fix immediately. A few squares of chocolate just wasn’t going to cut it. Not even delicious raspberry dark chocolate…DSC06228DSC06288

Panic #4 resolved: Raw Chocolate Mousse. The gorgeous genius that is Chef Katelyn saved my life (are you getting the whole melodramatic thing yet? Smile with tongue out). I topped it with chocolate chips (duh!) and ate the whole thing.DSC06412

Katelyn, your recipe is amazing. Seriously. Girl, will you marry me? We can feast on this and vegan chocolate chip cookies every day. Sound good? Winking smile

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So are you melodramatic minnie, or a chilled chica? If you didn’t get the message already, I’m a tad melodramatic! Smile with tongue out

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And what ‘little’ things cause you to panic? What foods can’t you do without? Peanut butter, dark chocolate, fruit+veggies and oats. I think if I have all these things I could just about make it through life!

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Have a great week lovelies! Some savoury recipes for once coming at ya tomorrow!

GIVEAWAY WINNER and a failed challenge

Hey friends! Open-mouthed smile

You know I love you all. But you also know that only one person can win the giveaway, much as I would love for you all to get 10 boxes of this amazing stuff!

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Okay, so the giveaway winner!!

(I’m afraid I have absolutely no idea how to insert the Random Number Generator I used into this post, despite many attempts, so you’ll just have to trust me!)

It was…NUMBER 22!! Which is…………………..Cosmic!!!

Cosmic
Submitted on 2011/01/24 at 7:33 pm

“You’re giveaway and lovely bloggy infectious presence excites me(thanks lovely Emma:) Ignore any negativity(it’s not real or true:). I’m subscribed to your blog. ”

Aww what a lovely comment Cosmic! YOU are lovely! 10 boxes of Alara Goji Berries and Pineapple muesli will be on their way to you soon! Smile

***

I have to admit to another food obsession. This one is slightly more normal.

Oats.Rolled-Oats

I have it every day for breakfast in some form or another. Every. Single. Day. Don’t believe me?

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Yesterday's breakfast: banana oatmeal with dates

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Yesterday's afternoon snack: banana oatmeal with blueberries

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Monday's breakfast: choco-banana oatmeal

Even my weekend ‘shakin things up’ breakfasts had oats in them!

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Sunday's breakfast: chocolate oatmeal pancakes

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Saturday's breakfast: Oaty breakfast cake

But this morning, I threw caution to the wind.

A personal challenge: A day without oats.

“To hell with oats!” I cried, and instead, threw cereal into my bowl.

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Optimum cinnamon and blueberry cereal with coconut milk and strawberries

Now don’t get me wrong, I love cereal, and this was delicious, but usually have it as a snack. Or at least have oatmeal later in the day. But I was determined. Determined to go just one day without oats, just to see if I could.

I failed. All I could think about all day was oats. So I caved. As soon as I got back home, I made a recipe I’ve had bookmarked since The Dawn Of Time.DSC06036

Averie’s Microwave Banana Oat Cakes. That woman is an absolute genius. I literally have bookmarked almost all of her amazing recipes. And this did not disappoint.

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#2 Topped with peanut butter

I’m so glad I gave in to myself. I think it was beneficial to my mental health. And never again will I ever utter or even think the blasphemous words “to hell with oats!”.

Oats, I love you.DSC06050

So tell me, what is one food you don’t think you could go a day without having? For me, that’s obviously oats. And Dates. And dark choccie. So that’s three really, but I’m allowed to cheat! Smile with tongue out

And please share with me a recipe or something that you are dying to make! I had wanted to make those oat cakes for ages, and Averie’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls are totally calling out to me too! I also came up with a great idea for how to make a killer vegan chocolate torte, so I’ll have to test that out soon, and hopefully it’ll work! Open-mouthed smile

Have a great rest of the week lovelies!

Attack of the Snack Monster and FAQ's!

Hello friends! Smile

I just got back from another BodyPump class! Love them!DSC05472

The results you get are very noticeable too- I’ve only been going once/twice a week for less than a month and I’m already lifting heavier weights and seeing a real difference! Open-mouthed smileCan’t wait to start my Tone Up challenge on Monday too, and it’s not too late to join me if you like! Smile

Breakfast was applesauce oatmeal (a new combo!)…DSC05671

…topped with granola (duh!):DSC05677

I love how oatmeal is so changeable! And I’ve almost finished my huge jar of PB, so I can’t wait for OIAJ! Open-mouthed smile 

The Snack Monster seriously attacked me today.

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Grilled large mushrooms filled with red pepper houmous

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Rice cakes, one topped with red pepper houmous, the other almond butter.

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Delicious Raw apricot and almond snack bar

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Honeydew melon and grapes

Cereal and coconut milk

So I fed him! Winking smile Nothing would satisfy the Snack Monster though…but everything tasted goood! You know, someone said to me today that it was a “good thing I exercised, otherwise I’d be so fat”! Not sure whether that was a compliment or not…!

Of course, I still had room for dinner though! I made a curried lentil and potato dish.DSC05668

Lentils are awesome! High in fibre, iron and protein! Open-mouthed smilePerfect post-workout food! As is this…

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Soya yoghurt and GRANOLA

 

Seriously, somebody stop me! Or at the very least check me into a Granola rehab! They surely must exist for ‘special’ people like me…!

Announcement: One of my ‘reader’s requests’ was a FAQ page. Now I feel a little…self-conscious/vain/egotistical(?) about making one, but it was a request, and I do love reading other’s FAQ pages, so please send me your questions! You can leave a comment below or email me your questions. I’ll answer (almost!) anything!

Coming up tomorrow is some baking, which I haven’t done in a few days, and so am getting withdrawal symptoms from (typical signs include constantly reading cookbooks, stockpiling ingredients, stalking food blogs, etc.)! There are some great recipes I have to try out! What is on your To-Make/Bake list? Mine is literally a mile-long and mostly recipes from other bloggers like Mama Pea and Oh She Glows! Smile with tongue out

TGIF tomorrow! I’m exhausted, don’t know about you! Bring on the weekend! Open-mouthed smile

Goodnight lovely readers, and don’t forget to ask away!

It’s all about the exercise variety!

Hello friends! Smile

Today was all about the exercise variety! This is really important to me when it comes to exercise motivation. Yes, I have a routine that I like, but now and again it’s good to keep things fresh, y’know? Gabriela wrote a great post about this today- check it out!

So, I tried out a new group exercise class today! Livin’ up to my 2011 goals so far! Any guesses as to what class?

BODYCOMBAT!body-combat-poster

As you may know, I am a huge fan of BodyPump (as are many other bloggers!), and both these are two if the Les Mills exercise classes.

So what is BodyCombat? Taken from their website:

“BODYCOMBAT™ is the empowering cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic program is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. Supported by driving music and powerful role model instructors, you strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness.” source

A typical class (45 minutes) includes a short warm-up, followed by the main cardio section (lots of kicks, punches and jumping around!), and finally the cooldown which is strength training.

My thoughts

Positives

  • Very high energy! Great cardio- really worked up a sweat!
  • Enjoyable! The cardio section especially is a lot of fun, like dance crossed with martial arts!
  • As with the other Les Mills class I have taken (BodyPump), the instructors (there were two) are great. Really passionate and enthusiastic.

Negatives

  • Didn’t like the music very much! Okay, personal taste and a minor thing, but this was the new release, and a lot of the tracks was not new stuff and was a bit cheesy really!
  • The strength training section was only legs. It would have been great to get in some arms/abs etc.
  • Not long enough? Again, personal preference, but BodyPump is an hour, and I think that’s a better time for this class, as it would allow for more cooldown+strength training.

I did really enjoy the class! Not quite as good as BodyPump in my opinion, but a really great cardio option! I was red, sweaty, and highly unattractive looking when I left the class! But like with all things, you get out as much as you put in. There were people there who were half-heartedly doing the moves, and it didn’t look like they were having fun or getting much out of it! Unlike me of course! ;)

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Be afraid, be very afraid...

Don’t I look kick-ass! Smile with tongue out Tried (and failed) a few kick shots too!

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Fail #1

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Fail #2

Why did I post these again? Smile with tongue out

***

I fuelled my class with Ultra Bran cereal+coconut milk+sliced banana:DSC04323

Did you know that Ultra Bran cereal has 15g of fibre per 45g serving!! And I usually have way more than that! That’s a lot of fibre! Surprised smile

After BodyCombat, I finished up the hour’s workout with 15mins on the elliptical doing speed intervals, then headed off to Starbucks to meet a friend for lunch. And did you know that Starbucks have a vegan offering now!

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Yummy falafel panini

You won’t believe this, but I was told by one of the baristas to put my camera away! Cheek! Baring teeth smile I didn’t argue though, but silently cursed him…

Later in the evening, I did some yoga and strength training.DSC05343

Instead of the usual flow I do that I learned from my class, I did a strength flow from yogadownload.com. After all, today has been all about the exercise variety! Smile

Tomorrow, I’m getting my bake on! I read through this recipe book that I bought yesterday (see previous post for details)…DSC05309

…and so far, it is my all-time favourite recipe book! Yes, it may well have overtaken the Vegan Cupcakes recipe book and Veganomicon! Surprised smile But I obviously have to test out some of the recipes to see if it lives up to its title! Winking smile

I’m also going to BodyPump tomorrow morning, as well as another new exercise class for me- spinning! Can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

What are your favourite exercise classes? Have you ever been to any of the ones I’ve mentioned? My favourite has to be BodyPump so far! And what is your all-time favourite recipe book?

m4s0n501

Buffet Monster

It’s Christmas Eve!! And that means…SANTA’S COMING! Can you tell I’m excited? Winking smile

I also had huge excitement over my purchases from yesterday! So as soon as I woke up,  I set to work ON Katie’s melties!

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Starry ice cube tray

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Coconut buttah! LOVE it already!

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One coconut meltie, one Dark Chocolate Dreams meltie!

They’re in the freezer now, and will be consumed soon! Open-mouthed smile

Breakfast was another one of my purchases:DSC04810DSC04817

Oh…cinnamonyness…mmm…. Loved this cereal! It couldn’t not be great though, since it had cinnamon in it! Smile with tongue out And it’s good for you!DSC04821

I didn’t have a humungous breakfast, as I was heading off to a friend’s party. I had planned to make chocolate vegan cupcakes to take along, but I ransacked the kitchen and couldn’t find any cocoa powder! Surprised smile All I could find was ‘light’ instant hot chocolate powder!DSC04874Thought about using this instead, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work very well! Smile with tongue out 

There was a huge buffet for lunch at the party, and bless her she provided vegan food (HOUMOUS!) and even told me at the start exactly what foods were and weren’t vegan! Smile  I am a Buffet Monster. All food is decimated by me.DSC04830

Looks alright doesn’t it? Well that was my innocent first plate. Numerous other helpings followed, then the plate was thrown aside, and I dived right in there! Smile with tongue out

As soon as I got back from that party, I went out for a dinner with old friends! We’ve known each other since we were kids, but don’t see each other as much any more sadly, so it was great to catch up today!36184_1671704756287_1347423739_31724938_6393186_n

It gave me an excuse to get a bit dressed up too! Smile

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We ate at Pizza Express, which is a lovely Italian restaurant if you’ve never heard of it.pizza_express_peter_street_manchester

We ordered doughballs to share for our appetizer, and since there weren’t any vegan mains on the menu,  I just ordered the huge ‘Bosco’ salad without the mozzarella:

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Warm garlic mushrooms, baby mozzarella, avocado, roasted tomatoes, baby spinach, rocket, balsalmic syrup and dressing

It was so big, I couldn’t finish! Trust me, that’s a rare occurrence! Smile with tongue out

There weren’t any vegan desserts either, but they did have an almost vegan ‘dolcetti’ (small dessert), which I ordered without the mascarpone. However, the waitress forgot that part, so I just ate around it:

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Baby figs with cinnamon & white wine spiced syrup with mascarpone

 

The baby figs were lovely! I’ve never had a whole fig before, but they were delicious! The whole meal was great, and I successfully proved to my sceptical friends that vegans can eat out at ‘normal’ restaurants! Smile

This morning, I’m off to the gym to get in a quick workout before starting the busy Christmas preparations! There’s my dish (Festive Squash Jalousie) to veganise+bake ahead and freeze:untitled

And of course, tons of presents to wrap and cards to write! Since this is technically Thursday’s (late) post, I might do another one later tonight for you lovelies…

So what are you hoping Santa will bring you tomorrow? I know one of the things he’s bringing me (he left his receipt lying around! Smile with tongue out) and can’t wait to show you tomorrow!! And how are you spending your Christmas tomorrow? With family, friends, or both? We’re having our usual of all the family round! And our family from New York our flying in today to spend Christmas with us, so I can’t wait to see them again!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Open-mouthed smile

Whole Foods missions!

Hello lovelies! Smile

Today was the big Whole Foods trip! Before I set out on my quest, I managed to squeeze in a quick 45 min gym workout: 5 min elliptical warm-up, 20 min speed intervals (1 min 8mph-1 min 12mph repeated) on the treadmill and 20 mins speed intervals on the elliptical. The gym was practically empty today, which was weird because it has been teeming with people recently! So let’s play Where’s Wally! But with Emma instead…

DSC04786Did you spot me? I’m in the middle in red. It was just me and that guy you can kinda see on the treadmill in the right corner. It was nice having some quality alone time with him! Winking smile

My breakfast to fuel my workout was Ultra Bran cereal+coconut milk+ a banana:DSC04756

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So after my workout, it was Whole Foods time! Open-mouthed smileDSC04785

I knew exactly where to head first. Mission 1: Get Dark Chocolate Dreams nut butter! But alas, it was not to be seen!DSC04760

The shelf label was there, but there was just loads of crunchy and smooth nut butter! PANIC! So of course, I did what all sane people do in this situation. I sat down in the aisle and took out the jars one by one to see if there was one behind them. Anything to find my Dark Chocolate Dreams!DSC04762

There was one! Just one! Success! Although the people around me clearly thought I was insane, not only for wreaking havoc with the nut butter but for then squealing (yes, I squealed with joy about finding nut butter!) and proceeding to photograph it!

Mission 2: Hit all the taster tables. The best thing about Whole Foods is definitely all the unmanned taster tables! Winking smile

Panettone

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Tyrell's natural chips

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Dark chocolate!

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'Corn chips' with salsa and guacamole for dipping :)

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A variety of different types of melon

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Tyrell's dried vegetable chips

I’m sure Whole Foods will have learnt their lesson about not leaving free food lying around when I visit for next time! Smile with tongue out

I ended up buying the following:DSC04795

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Optimum cereal instead of Bodymatter granola. A cereal with cinnamon? I couldn't resist!

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Raw coconut butter and my well-earned DCD!

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New Nakd flavours for me! Ginger bread and Cocoa delight.

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Unsweetened applesauce for baking :)

Mission 3: Try not to go into overdraft. So I considered buying these, but put them back cos they were too darn expensive!
 
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Montezuma's banana and pecan chocolate block

Mission 4: Have an amazing lunch at WF. I thought about going down the salad bar route…DSC04776

…but wanted to try something different! Much as I love the salad bar (and I really do!), I wanted to check out the vegan and raw foods restaurant upstairs.index_saf-recipebox-1_1_2_140244218

I was in a hurry sadly, so I didn’t have time to enjoy their sit-down menu, which looked awesome, but instead looked at the take-out options:DSC04778

DSC04779I opted forDSC04781

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I can honestly say this was the best wrap/sandwich I have ever had! So filling and flavoursome!DSC04784

And check out this stellar ingredients list:DSC04783

I have never seen nutritional yeast listed in sandwich ingredients before! Or quinoa and flax seed oil for that matter!

The busy day continued after the WF trip with the annual Christmas food shop with my mum, where the bill came to over £160! Surprised smile So since I got back late from that (3 days before Christmas=supermarket madness!), I threw together a quick meal: wholewheat noodles in soy sauce with basil tofu and a side of baby carrots:DSC04804

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I’m so excited about my WF purchases! I especially can’t wait to make Katie’s Coconut Butter Melties and Chocolate Peanut Butter Melties! Open-mouthed smile 

Tomorrow morning I’m going to be making the vegan chocolate cupcakes I mentioned yesterday to take to a friend’s party! Can’t wait to get my bake on again! So stay tuned to see those!

And my Amazon package finally arrived! So happy! Now I have all my presents and cards, and just need to wrap! Whoop! Open-mouthed smile

So what about you? How ready are you for Christmas Day? Only 2 and a bit days to go now!!! And what is the best sandwich filler combo you’ve ever had? Obviously sundried tomato+nut cheese is the winner in my book!

Merry Christmas to you! Smile

Pumpkin Spelt Pancakes

I am very happy, wonderful readers, because I have a camera again! Borrowed one from my parents, and celebrated this event by having pumpkin pancakes for breakfast! Open-mouthed smile And who doesn’t love a cute little stack of pancakes to brighten up their morning?DSC04460

Pumpkin Spelt Pancakes (adapted from Angela’s recipe)

  • 1/2 cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used coconut)
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or mixed spice)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Spray a pan with EVOO spray (or just use oil) and heat it on medium/low. Mix dry ingredients together. Then stir together the wet separately (pumpkin+milk), and add to dry. Stir until a batter is formed. Then spoon (I used a tablespoon) onto the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until lightly browned, then flip and do the same for the other side. Makes 5 mini pancakes (serves 1). Add toppings and enjoy! Open-mouthed smile

First, assemble the ingredients:DSC04467

Mix together the dry ingredients:DSC04446

Stir together wet ingredients, and admire the colour!DSC04445

Dry+wet:DSC04451

Flipping is the scary bit! I’ve never been an expert pancake flipper, but will be someday! Smile with tongue outDSC04457 

The batter is really quite thick, which results in quite thick, fluffy pancakes. Just how I like ‘em! Winking smile I simply topped mine with agave nectar, but you can get really creative with your toppings. The possibilities are endless! Open-mouthed smile

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Oooh…fluffiness…DSC04464

Cardio today was a five hour crazy shopping trip. Trust me, this was one hell of a workout! Smile with tongue out I succeeded in getting most presents and in severely depleting the savings in my bank account. But it was worth it! Lunch was had at Pret, and was a chunky houmous salad wrap.DSC04468

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During my marathon trip, I stopped often to admire the lights and decorations, which were really quite good this year!DSC04471

This is less than half the bags I ended up with:DSC04473 height="184">

The rest are still in my car, as I couldn’t carry them all out at once! Smile with tongue out I also got given a Trek flapjack for free (yay!) by the nice lady at the health store, which I’m adding to my stash! SmileDSC04475

I have a question. Is it wrong to read the books you have bought for other people as a present? Its just that I bought this for a friend…DSC04476

…and have been perusing it for quite a while now! I can’t help it- I love recipe books! Open-mouthed smile 

The rest of the afternoon was spent finishing putting up the Christmas decorations in the house. Obviously this had to be done wearing a Santa hat. Like it? Smile with tongue outDSC04482

I am one cool being!DSC04481

Afternoon snackage included a bowl of Ultra Bran cereal+coconut milk:DSC04479

I love Saturday nights! Partly because it is X Factor time, and partly because Saturday nights are Ready-Meal Night. Tonight I chose Innocent’s Indian Daal veg pot.DSC04485 Not only does this have 3 portions of veg in it, but it was suitable for vegetarians+vegans and has a whopping 34.6g of protein in it! Win! Open-mouthed smileDSC04490

How is your Christmas shopping going? I’ve got all the presents I need for my friends (thank goodness!), and am ordering the family’s online! And do you have certain food ‘nights’? As well as Ready-Meal Saturday, I have Quick-From-The-Freezer Friday, so two lazy nights in a row! Smile with tongue out

Hope you’re having a great weekend! Enjoy your Sunday Smile

Cinnamon cake with spiced buttercream

Hello lovelies! Smile

After mentioning yesterday my ankle pain, I was all ready to try and do a light run today. I fuelled up this morning with cereal+coconut milk+a banana:DSC04323

I hadn’t had cereal+milk in ages! Missed it! Anyway, during walking around the house this morning, the ankle wasn’t feeling 100%, or even 70% sadly, so I decided it would be better to be safe than sorry, and try again tomorrow. Let’s hope it’s fully recovered by then! Smile

So instead, I helped with prepping the Christmas presents!DSC04329

Today we are having a big family get-together with my mum’s side of the family, who we only really see a couple of times a year. So today is the big present swapping time! Open-mouthed smile I put myself in charge of Christmas music at our intense wrapping session:DSC04327

DSC04328Singing loudly (and out-of-tunely!) to ‘12 Days of Christmas’ whilst present wrapping really gets you in the Christmas spirit! Don’t forget people, the words of my hero:Elf-Quotes

Oh yes. Not sure if my family would agree though! Smile with tongue out If I didn’t convey it clearly enough yesterday, I love Elf! Open-mouthed smile 

All wrapped up:DSC04330

And put into a giant Christmas bag:DSC04332

Yay! I can’t wait to see the look of excitement on my little cousins’ faces! They get so excited about presents! Well so do I, but I don’t run around screaming “prezzie time” as they did last year! Smile with tongue out

Back to Thursday quickly! I was really in a baking mood, and in a cinnamony mood. What a surprise! So I decided to bake a cinnamon cake! Smile (Cake based on this recipe and the buttercream based on Angela’s recipe.)

Cinnamon Cake with Spiced Buttercream

  • 250g flour (I used half wholemeal spelt and half plain/all-purpose)
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon (I would recommend using more, but then I am a cinnamon addict! Smile with tongue out)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 225ml buttermilk*
  • 4 tablespoons oil (I used melted vegan spread)
  • 2 normal or flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax+6 tbsp warm water,  whisked and left for 5 mins)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Spiced buttercream:

  • 105g icing sugar
  • 110g butter/vegan spread, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 0.5 tbsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tbsp mixed spice

*I made my own (vegan) buttermilk. I took 1 tablespoon vinegar (or lemon juice) and poured into a cup. I added in (soy) milk to equal 1 cup. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes, then measured out 225ml and used that.

Method:

  1. Make the buttermilk and flax eggs if you need. . Preheat oven to 180C / 350F. Grease/line a 9x5in loaf tin.
  2. Place all ingredients (except the buttercream ingredients) into large mixing bowl. Beat 3 minutes with an electric mixer. Pour into prepared loaf tin and smooth the top.
  3. Bake for approx 50 mins, then once ready remove cake from tin and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
  4. To make the buttercream, whip the butter with a mixer until smooth. Add about half of the icing sugar mix again until smooth. Then add in the vanilla, spices, and milk (if needed). Mix well. Add in the remaining icing sugar and blend for several minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Once the cake has fully cooled (and make sure it is, or the buttercream will melt!), spread on the icing using a wet spatula.<
    /b>
  5. Enjoy! Open-mouthed smile

DSC04275

In my opinion, a perfectly frosted cake is highly overrated! Smile with tongue out The cake was delicious, and the frosting was soo good! Licking the frosting bowl was possibly the best bit of my Thursday! Winking smile If anything, I would add more cinnamon next time to the cake, but my official tasters (my family) thought it was fine as it was. Guess it’s down to personal taste, but in my opinion, you can never have enough cinnamon! Smile with tongue out

Anyway, off now to the family Christmas get-together in London, and when I get back, I’ll hopefully have my first Christmas presents to put under my currently non-existent Christmas tree! It’s okay, we’re putting ours up tomorrow! Have you already got your tree up? If, like me, you haven’t, when is yours going up? Do you have a specific date when you put your tree up? We always put ours up on the first weekend in December, and I can’t wait! Smile

Have a great weekend! And don’t forget the best way to spread Christmas cheer…! Open-mouthed smile

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