Posts Tagged by Green Monster

Typical weekend…or not.

HEY!! Sorry I missed posting yesterday! I’ve had a CRAZY few days, and you’ll see why in a sec Winking smile Hope you’ve all had an AMAZING weekend too!! I’ll try to catch up on all my emails and on all your amazing blogs soon!!

 

In many ways, I had a typical weekend.

 

Usual foods:DSC01172

Cereal yoghurt mess with a (buried) PB spoon.

DSC01430

Quinoa salad, with kidney beans, romaine and spinach.

DSC01177

Banana with almond butter SmileDSC01162

Greeeeeen Monster with PB.

DSC01088

Stuffed dates with PB and choc chips Smile

 

Usual long run cycle.DSC00467

I SHOULD be back to almost normal running this week yaaaaay!!Open-mouthed smile

 

Usual Church Time. The walk to church is SUCH a beautiful one, especially in the sun today, and such peaceful alone-time.DSC01392

AWESOME sermon about finding true happiness. I seriously loved every word of it!!

 

Usual Pancake Sunday obsession.

DSC01385

PB&J pancakes with banana and maple syrup. Such LOVE for Pancake Sunday!! Open-mouthed smile

 

But in many ways, this was NOT my usual weekend. It definitely involved more (veganised!) pizza + brownies + cupcakes + sugar than usual!! Smile with tongue outdsc05989_thumb

 

Four parties. Three Days.

 

Lots of sun and pool time.

39008_1542288558033_1259531450_1484471_1425755_n

 

Lots of dressing up.37874_449276833427_715648427_6170230_2173537_n

Lots of sunbathing.

37543_1540856165480_1357227372_1452684_7178873_n

 

Birthdays.

DSC01369

Cake.

DSC01357

30C weather and bad sunburn. (I’m in the corner looking disapproving! Smile with tongue out)

37623_447769006634_717356634_5865271_2392585_n

Girls just wanna have FUN. And we sure did Smile

 

DSC01400

 

How was your weekend? Got any exciting plans for this week? Catch me up on your lives please!!

 

Do you get sunburnt easily? I’ve never actually been sunburnt. Being half Indian has it’s benefits Winking smile

 

Random Q: What are you reading right now? ALMOST finished New Rules Of Lifting For Women (review to come!) and then I’m going to start The Hunger Games I think!

 

Hope you all have a GREAT week!! <3

What I Ate Wednesday

Howdy friends!! Happy Hump Day! Smile

  

I’m doing it people.

 

 

I’ve been reading about this What I Ate Wednesday for the past few weeks on the amazing Lindsay’s blog, and this week, I’m gonna join the fun! Yesterday I asked your opinion on posting my eats for a whole day, after a number of requests, and y’all said DO IT! So I am! Open-mouthed smile

 

Breakfast:

DSC08688

Choc-PB Banana Bread in a Bowl. 1 cup Ultra-Bran cereal, 1 cup vanilla soy milk, 1 frozen banana, 2 tbsp PB, 1 tbsp cocoa powder and xanthan gum (to thicken), topped with more PB and cacoa nibs.

  

Morning snack:DSC08691

A 9 Bar. Such love for these Smile

 

Lunch:DSC08694

Sweet tater, aduki beans in a tomato ‘cheeze’ sauce (just tomato sauce+nooch) and 2 mushrooms stuffed with spinach and more nooch. Followed by:DSC08698

Soy yogurt topped with morello cherry spread.

 

I then made the first batch of raw vegan cookie dough truffles for Carrie, the (VERY generous!!) highest bidder for them in Katie’s vegan bakesale for Japan. I, of course, had to taste-test two of them. You know, to check they weren’t poisonous or anything… Winking smileDSC08717

The chocolate chips also suffered heavy losses.dsc07295

 

Afternoon snackage:

DSC08633

A green monster, and Marmite on crackers x 10000.

DSC08631

Freya was right- those CRACKers are like crack! Smile with tongue out

 

Pre-workout:

DSC08675

Another microwave banana oat cake topped with PB (I have these pretty much daily!), and PB+apple on toast:

DSC08703

Oh, and you may have seen on my Dailymile  but I did a 5 MINUTE RUN on grass with NO SHIN PAIN!! I went a bit faster than was advised because I got so excited (avg 6.24 min/mile) but it felt fine! Although it was on grass, and I know that on pavement it will be different, but still! Baby steps! Smile My full workout today was an hour of Power Yoga + weights.

 

Post workout: The usual recovery stuff (chocolate milk+broccoli)DSC07475

And I bonded a lot with my dried fruit and trail mix throughout the day…

DSC08067

It’s okay- washing my hair more regularly was last month’s goal…! Smile with tongue out

 

Dinner:

DSC08707

A BIG plate of WW pasta with tofu-cheeze-spinach sauce (a whole block of silken tofu blended, then combined with 4 tbsp nooch+spinach+spices in a saucepan over a low heat). So filling, and SO full of protein! The sauce alone has about 40g! BAM! Open-mouthed smile

 

Dessert:DSC08709

A PB+J stuffed Medjool date…AND my new faveDSC08683

Oh yes! Dark chocolate stuffed Medjool date!! Just melt some dark chocolate, put it in your date, and stick it in the fridge for a bit, and ENJOY!! Bliss Smile

 

So I think I solved a number of ‘mysteries’ for you:

  • How I managed to get through a whole bucket of PB in 2 weeks.
  • Why I am constantly on a sugar high.
  • Why my blog tagline is ‘Fuelled by chocolate’.

 

Hope y’all enjoyed seeing my eats today! Please note that I do NOT think my diet is perfect in any way (ahem…sugar intake! Smile with tongue out), and I’m not suggesting you should eat the same way! What I DO think is that it is SO important for us to eat ENOUGH to fuel our bodies!! I have seen HUGE changes in myself performance-wise, physically and mentally since I started eating the right amount for me, and I really FEEL the difference! Personally, I have stopped reading food blogs that I know have a negative effect on me, as I don’t want to be influenced adversely, y’know? I am totally comfortable with how I eat now, and although sometimes I feel a bit weird for eating so much more than my friends, both volume and calorie wise, I just remind myself that I NEED it, and just roll with it! Smile Phew, that topic is tough and so taboo!!

 

And I am SO SO excited about tomorrow!! It’s a surprise, which you can (hopefully!) read about in tomorrow’s post! Open-mouthed smile

 

Share one thing you ate today! Make me jealous!!

 

What are your thoughts on this calorie intake/food blogger thing? I think that although it is obvious that some bloggers AREN’T eating enough, most food bloggers don’t post EVERYTHING, so I guess you don’t really see the whole picture. And everyone is different, so what is enough for one person will be too much/little for another…

 

What are you excited about for this week? I’m excited about my ‘surprise’ thing tomorrow and about this weekend…it’s gonna be a good’un! Open-mouthed smile

 

Don’t forget, if you have any questions or anything, you can always leave it in the comment section, email me or ask me anonymously on Formspring.

 

Have a great week friends! Smile

 

P.S.  I REALLY recommend you read Jenny’s amazing post on self-love. LOVE YOURSELF friends! I love you too!!

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece

Missing things.

HEY friends!! Open-mouthed smile

 

First up, you may notice things look a LITTLE different. That is because I accidentally changed my theme (clicked ‘activate’ instead of ‘preview’!) and no matter how many times I clicked the ‘back’ button, I couldn’t undo it! So I’ve decided to roll with it for now!

 

Okay, so while I was only away for four days, I feel like it was FOREVER and I missed SO MANY THINGS. Basically, I am a drama queen! Smile with tongue out

 

I missed bananas. I didn’t have a SINGLE one in Germany! I normally have at least 2 a day in some form, and when I came home to this sight, I was ECSTATIC:DSC08613

Ripe bananas!! Yaaaay!! They needed some Emma lovin’ of course.DSC08616

They’d missed me too obviously! Winking smile

 

I missed my big bowls of oatmeal. One of my faves: Banana oatbran ‘pudding’ topped with granola, dried fruit and nuts:DSC08625

Combine a small ripe sliced banana with 1/2 cup oatbran and 1 3/4 cups milk/water on the stovetop over a low heat, stirring occasionally until you get the thick, pudding-like texture (may take up to 15 mins, so you can go watch Friends for a bit, it’s okay). This is SO FILLING and full of protein and good stuff Smile

 

I missed Britain generally. Especially those good ol’ British trees…DSC08648

Apparently I like hugging inanimate objects…perfectly normal.

 

I missed peanut butter. I had planned to take a small jar with me, but forgot it!! Made up for it as soon as I got back though…DSC08652

A NEW BUCKET!! I’m shooting for a sub 2-week finish this time…BRING IT ON!! Open-mouthed smile

 

I missed my sweat sessions. The hotel workout was preeetty good, but nothing beats an intense cross-training sesh! I broke out my new shortsDSC08656

LOVE these bad boys (and all my twinnies who have the same ones, like you Jess!!) You can read about my workout on the Dailymile widget on the right. Yes, I gave in to peer pressure and finally got a Dailymile account. I am ADDICTED already! Smile with tongue out

 

Refuellage was a strawberry milk straight after (although I’m gonna stick with the choc milk normally- better carb:protein ratio)…DSC08672

…and a microwave banana oat cake topped with PB:DSC08677

x2. I made a sandwich of them. It was AMAAZING! Open-mouthed smile

 

I missed Green Monsters:DSC08634

Part 3 of workout refuel! So much good stuff in one bowl!!

 

I missed proper meals:DSC08679

Lentil stew and brown rice. Now THAT is a meal, not 1000 vegan chocolate cookies, tasty as they are! Smile with tongue out

 

One thing I have been missing, and big time, is RUNNING (I’ll do a post on this soon). But today, I got to run for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES!! Open-mouthed smileDSC08667

Shin pain only 1/10. I loved every second.

 

BUT I also realised something yesterday on my 3 minute grass run.

 

RUNNING ISN’T EVERYTHING.

 

I can’t believe I just wrote that, but it’s true! I LOVE running, and I it’s definitely a part of me, but times like this really make you thankful for everything else, and realise how much MORE there is to life.

 

What I’m saying is just ENJOY life people! Don’t get too caught up on one thing, but look at the bigger picture. There is SO MUCH in life to be enjoyed, from goofing around with friends…207223_10150214046748428_715648427_8561105_5022036_n

…to just having some ‘me-time’ in the sun wind.DSC08651

The beautiful Dorry did a GREAT post about being ‘present’ today, and after reading that, I headed out on my walk. I loved every second, and spent the time praying, thinking, and just chilling in the sun.

DSC08258

Ecclesiastes 3:12 “I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.”

 

What are some things you are missing/have missed? I definitely miss running big-time, but am slowly making a comeback, and WILL be loving every moment of both running and not running.

 

What do you do to in your ‘me-time’? Anything I love, from baking to volunteering to doing some yoga, I just have to ENJOY it! Smile

 

Random question: Would you be interested in a post of EVERYTHING I eat in a day?  I’ve had a LOT of requests for this, but I’m unsure…would it cause too much comparison? Would it be helpful/interesting/boring, what do you think? Personally, I find it depends on the post. Some people’s eats ALWAYS have a positive effect on me (like Katie’s!), and inspire me to eat better, and some have a negative effect. But I DON’T want to post anything that will have a negative effect on anyone…so thoughts?

 

Now go and have some ‘me-time’ and ENJOY it!! Love you friends and have a great day!! Open-mouthed smile

 

P.S. What are your thoughts on the new blog look and Intense Debate commenting system I use? I’m on the fence about the new blog look- I need a new header for sure!! And the commenting system seems to be giving some people problems…so honest thoughts would be welcome!! You can always Formspring me with questions or comments if you want to be anonymous. Thanks friends!!

Socca Pizza and getting out of The Dark Ages

Howdy friends! Open-mouthed smile

I am SO happy!! I just bought something super exciting…you’ll see later in the post!!

ujydf

I started my morning in the best way- a run! Fuelled by my usual pre-run brekkie:

DSC06586

PB on toast topped with a sliced nanna

 

‘Easy’ run: 4 miles avg pace 7.59 min/mile + 5 hill sprints. So the hill sprints weren’t actually part of the plan, but I saw My Hill…st_andrews_road01 …and couldn’t resist! Smile with tongue out

Post-run, I had an amazing GM to refuel…DSC06588

…topped with coconut butter and this cereal that a lovely friend gave me:DSC06548

So delicious! Adding coconut butter to the mix and topping it with it was AMAZING!!DSC06589

Oh, by the way, reader request for a Green Monster 101 post coming up soon! Smile

htrs

So I have an awesome recipe for you lucky people today!! It was time to try out socca pizza for ma dinner! Ever since I made socca for the first time last week, I wanted to try this. And the results were DELISH!DSC06629

Socca Pizza

(serves 1 hungry person)

  • 1 cup gram (garbanzo bean) flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water, or 1/2 cup milk+3/4 cup water 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Basil and rosemary for seasoning (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/390F. Grease WELL a pizza pan (I used a pie plate)
  2. Mix together all ingredients and pour into pan.
  3. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown.
  4. Get friendly with your toppings and ENJOY!!

gtst

Pre-toppings:

DSC06623Okay, so I made the rookie mistake of not greasing my pie plate, so I couldn’t get out my pizza! Ooops! Embarrassed smile I ate it straight outta the pie plate instead! Smile with tongue out

Topped with tomato paste, vegan cheese, peppers and sliced cherry toms:

DSC06627

SO yummy, and tasted just like pizza, only better! Much healthier too- full of protein! Pizza cravings=satisfied Smile

hflr

Okay, so my big excitement of the day week month year so far?

DSC06616

Yeah, this is what happens when my momma gets behind the camera...she's not quite so good with technology! :P

A FOOD PROCESSOR+LIQUIDISER!!DSC06619

Okay, so previously had been living in The Dark Ages, with a 100 year old blender that barely worked…and being on a student budget meant I couldn’t afford it before. BUT pay from a gig I did a while back came through today and I splurged! Open-mouthed smile

Only thing is…DSC06621

WHAT on earth does all THAT mean?! I hate instruction manuals…but I LOVE my new processor!! So preeeety…DSC06630

So if I ever figure out how to turn it on, you’ll see some awesome stuff on here soon! I have billions of recipes and ideas lined up already!! Open-mouthed smile

htrs

Tomorrow, I have such a busy day!! I’m hoping I’ll be able to get to the gym before church too…but I’ve never been good at getting up at 6am…we’ll see how that works out tomorrow! Smile with tongue out

gtrfd

Have you tried socca yet? If you haven’t, you MUST rectify it SOON because it’s not only DELICIOUS but super GOOD for ya! Socca pizza is possibly one of my favourite meals EVER!!

rfge

What was the last exciting purchase you made? TOTALLY this food processor for me!! Also the packet of chocolate chips I bought today was a source of great excitement too :)

jkuyf

And do you find it easy to get up really early for workouts? The problem for me is that I get to bed so late, so getting up before 7am means too little sleep!! But I love morning workouts when I can get them in- nothing better than a sweaty morning sesh! Winking smile

tgs

Enjoy the rest of your weekend lovelies!!

I’m not ashamed to admit…

Hello friends! Open-mouthed smile

Firstly, a huge congratulations to one of my blogging inspirations Tina @ Faith, Fitness, Fun who gave birth to baby Braedon last night, AND blogged about it! Love this girl, and her baby is beautiful! I want him!!

This morning’s sweat fest was truly awesome. Seriously. I had a great spin class, (although the music wasn’t as good today) with an amazing instructor, who had already taught BodyPump and Aerobics by that point! And still fresh as a daisy…sickening really! Smile with tongue out I followed this up with 35 mins on the elliptical whilst reading Runner’s World to pass the time.

Sadly, a big feature (see here for the discussion on this topic) in Runner’s World today…

DSC05639

49 greatest weight-loss tips.

Other than that though, it has some very useful stuff, including the Ultimate Race Guide 2011!DSC05643                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

It featured quite a few of the races I’m looking at doing this year. However, I’ve decided to limit the number that I would otherwise do, because entry fees aren’t cheap! This is my definite race though (other than the trial in March):royalparkslogo

The Royal Parks half! It’s supposed to be a good one, is close to me, and is a mostly flat course so a speedy time potential! Open-mouthed smile It’s very popular though, so I’ll have to sign up fast when it opens!!

Today at lunchtime my head+stomach were telling me “Green Monster, Green Monster, GREEN MONSTER!!”. So of course, I gladly obliged.DSC05623

It had been way too long. Today’s GM: 3 handfuls spinach, 1 big banana, 1 cup milk, cereal, ice, protein powder, xanthan gum and soya yoghurt, topped with some Wild Berry granola that made up yesterday’s haul. DSC05618

This stuff is so so good! Granola is my love…

I am not ashamed to admit that later I dove straight back into that packet and munched away happily until I was satisfied.DSC05624

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a cookie dough monster, and that this is my refuel food of choice.DSC05630

I am not ashamed to admit that I do have baking failures, especially with my tendency for blindness that lead to adding a ton more agave nectar than the recipe called for, and ending up with chocolate chip scuffins rather than cookies.

DSC05633

Tasted darn good anyway!

I am not ashamed to admit that I now keep a spoon by this jar for emergencies:DSC05572

Make me feel better by telling me one thing you’re not ashamed of. And are you signing up for any races this year? If so, do you have any specific ones/distances in mind? I’m definitely doing that half, as well as the 5k trial in March, and there are tons of other possibles on my list! Exciting times! Open-mouthed smile

Hope you are having great week! Smile

Many, many…

So Boxing Day recap! After over-indulging (big-time!) on Christmas Day, I was really craving a big Green Monster detox the next morning!DSC04973

Much better! Smile

Then it was time to test out the Garmin! Open-mouthed smileDSC04975

Was also super-psyched because this was my first attempted outdoor run in ages! The snow has basically gone, but in its place…875996

Ice! Our pavements are just one long skating rink! So I ended up just doing two miles, and averaging a 8.24 min/mile pace. But the great news…I got a new mile PB! By a long way! (Previous: 8.15min/mile according to Nike+ iPod app). First mile (mostly ice free) was 7.45 min/mile! And I wasn’t even trying to go fast! I think my Nike+ iPod app that I used before may have been inaccurate!DSC05052

And check out the max speed! 6.22 min/mile! When did that happen?! Anyway, the second mile was a lot slower because of the ice, and I decided then to cut my run short and play it safe (was going to do 5 miles). I’ve looked around and I think I’ve found a less icy route, so I’m going to try that out ASAP! Smile with tongue out 

And I can’t wait to see what speed I can do when it isn’t icy!! Open-mouthed smile

Over the last few days, many meals have been had at family’s houses, buffet style (and y’all know how I’m the Buffet Monster!)… DSC05004

DSC05041…many games have been played…DSC05011

DSC05045

…many times I have been told off for taking unflattering photos of people…DSC05018

…and many, many snacks have been consumed…DSC05017

DSC05019

DSC05042

Thankfully, I managed to get in a quick 50 minute elliptical/cross-trainer workout at the gym this morning (which was so so busy!) before hitting the buffets! In the interests of full disclosure, I may have had four slices of Polish cake…polish-cake

…as well as many of the Christmas biscuits above! Winking smile

But right now, I am pooped, like my doggy here!DSC05009Tomorrow, I’m hitting the sales! Especially hoping to get some cheap running shoes, for when I need them in a few months time! Smile 

So have you hit the sales yet? And how do you view Christmas (over)indulgence? To be honest, I’m not bothered really! I stay active over the Christmas period anyway, and regardless a bit of weight gain doesn’t bother me. I think that as long as you stay healthy most of the time, it doesn’t matter. It actually annoys me when I see tons of articles about how to avoid it, because on average, people only gain one pound, and most lose that in the following weeks/months. But what do you think?

“Colds are bums”

What can I say, I have regressed to my childish self! This was a common phrase I used when I was younger- everything bad was “a bum”. Well this cold really is! So I decided to give myself a head start in my recovery with my breakfast- a Recovery Green Monster:DSC03780

Well, this was actually just a regular GM topped with Grape Nuts, but GM’s are chock full of vitamins, iron and all sorts of other good stuff, so bring on the quick recovery! Smile

And what is the second best way to cure colds after Green Monsters? Retail therapy of course! Smile with tongue outarticle-0-01AEDF4800000578-22_468x315_popup

This is the Bluewater shopping centre- the second largest in the UK! I love it Smile

I decided to look around the book store first, as one of the Christmas presents I opened last week was a gift card for Waterstones. I came across ‘The Kind Diet’…DSC04499

…and basically spent half an hour reading it in store! I’m pretty sure this isn’t allowed, but it seemed quite good! I also seriously contemplated buying this book:DSC04500

It seemed really good- tons of good recipes and every one had pictures! I love recipe books with pictures! Smile

Other buys included some running gloves (I had a £5 Sweatshop voucher I had to use by today, and so they came to £3!) and two lots of dark chocolate:DSC04509

DSC04510DSC04504

I also saw the movie ‘Unstoppable’, which was really good! So exciting the whole way through! I may have consumed a fair amount of dark chocolate whilst watching…! Winking smile

unstoppable1

I bought lunch from a cafe- I had organic tomato and basil soup, with brown bread.DSC04502

I had this light lunch at about 4pm, because I have spent the whole day snacking! Eats included about a thousand servings of my (addictive!) favourite granola:DSC04497

A Trek bar:DSC04498

Rice cakes topped with Marmite and PB:DSC04399

Almonds:DSC04518

And a ton of other unpictured things! It’s just one of those days…

Because of all the snacking, dinner was light too, and was good old beans on toast (my homemade bread!):DSC04513

Followed by soya yoghurt and a huge blob strawberry jam:DSC04516

I then proceeded to finish off the jam by eating it straight from the jar! I do love jam! Smile with tongue outDSC04517

As soon as I got back, some serious present wrapping ensued!DSC04519

DSC04520

My group of close friends and I do a ‘Secret Santa’ every year, which is great because it saves you money, is more fun, and you get a better present that you actually want! This is for my Secret Santa:DSC04526

It’s a CD and a book that she requested, so I know she’ll love it! I can’t wait to see what I get! Open-mouthed smile

So tell me, what are the best movies you’ve seen recently? Unstoppable makes my list, as does HP7 obviously! And what are your favourite snacks?

Hope you’ve had a great weekend! Smile

Christmas traditions

p5rn7vb

Absolute madness. Last night we had more snow than we’ve had the last two days put together. There was 20 inches of it outside my front door! And it kept snowing throughout most of the day! We tried to take my dog (a Miniature Schnauzer) out for a walk, and he almost drowned on numerous occasions! We had to give up in the end and carry him home! Smile with tongue outDSC04221

CRAZY! So it was another stay-at-home day, which I’m not complaining about! Winking smile

I used a lot of this this morning:DSC04219

Deep Heat rub. It numbs muscle aches and pains, and I really needed it today, as I was very achey! I’d never used this before, but it’s really weird! Your muscles feel uncomfortably warm, but did stop me feeling the aches.

To give my aching body a booster for recovery, I had a breakfast Green Monster, with these two:DSC04212

I love this granola. I know I rave about it every day, but it is great! In the mix: 3/4 cup coconut milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1 banana, 1 scoop protein powder, 3 ice cubes, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, a couple of handfuls of granola and some cinnamon. Topped with….more granola of course! Open-mouthed smileDSC04216

My favourite GM to date I think! Smile

Lunch was my current favourite: peanut butter sandwich!2962723767_9646d4584a

And I also had PB on toast as part of my afternoon snackage! Smile with tongue out I’ve actually almost finished my jar of peanut butter, and that’s only been open just over a week!

After my boring lunch, I did some baking, but I didn’t get a chance to photograph the finished product before the light went, so I’ll post about it tomorrow once I’ve snapped some shots of it (and tasted it! Winking smile). I’ll give you a hint as to what is was though: it involved LOTS of my favourite spice! Smile

Dinner was slightly more interesting! I made a vegan potato pie with soya mince. And it had this in it:DSC04237

That, my friends, is a purple potato. I’d never heard of these before, but is that just me being naive…? As soon as I saw them yesterday, I had to buy them! Open-mouthed smileDSC04239

I boiled a mix of purple and white potatoes, fried the mince with some chopped red onion and garlic, and then layered in a dish like so:DSC04246

Kept layering (mince on the bottom, more potatoes and more chopped onion on top)DSC04249Then poured some vegan-friendly gravy (made from Bisto Onion Gravy Granules) over the dish, and baked for 50 minutes. Lovely, and so warming! Perfect for this weather!

Dessert was some dark chocolate with cocoa nibs from Whole Foods:DSC04251

Then our family started on the games. We have a tradition of playing lots of games (especially board games) at Christmas. Our American family come over from New York on Christmas Eve every year and stay with us for a week, and we play endless games! We are a very competitive family! Smile with tongue out Today led us gradually into our game-playing season, with a few card games:DSC04263

We played Cheat, Go Fish, and Chase the Ace, and I even won a game! Open-mouthed smile

Do you have any Christmas family traditions? Or just any personal Xmas traditions? Every year I make gingerbread cookies, cut them into Christmasy shapes and then decorate and hang on the tree. And somehow they all magically disappear before Christmas Day arrives! Winking smile 

Hope you’ve had a great day!

Pressures from the blog world…?

DSC03143

That is a beautiful sight, no? A breakfast Green Monster with plenty of cereal blended in and topped with Grape Nuts. Lovely, but I missed the warmth of oatmeal a bit actually, seeing as it was actually snowing (very lightly) where I live this morning! Do warm Green Monsters exist by any chance? Smile with tongue outDSC03145

Mid-morning snack was soya yoghurt with granola:DSC04131

I seriously can’t get enough of this Bodymatter granola! Open-mouthed smile

In the evening, I went to my first ever BodyPump class!bodypump

Man alive this definitely works your muscles! My arms especially are seriously aching right now! It was tough, but I really enjoyed it, and will be back for more next week! Smile

As I used up the last of my oat milk in this morning’s GM, I popped into Tesco’s to buy more, and continue my quest to find my favourite non-dairy/soya milk. Today was the turn of:89cdb2251563f447cc23e436fc56d75885d78113

Coconut milk! I’m going to try this tomorrow morning Smile Still left to try: almond, rice, and any others I come across! It’ll be difficult to beat oat milk, as I love that! Open-mouthed smile

On that non-dairy note, I just thought I’d talk about pressures from the (healthy living) blog community. Yesterday I got an email from a reader saying that she thought the blog world was starting to feel pressurised, and wanted to know what were my thoughts on that. She mentioned the pressures of vegetarianism/veganism, comparisons and running.

As far as vegetarianism/veganism is concerned, I do see her point about pressure. It seems as though most healthy living bloggers are either vegetarian or vegan, for whatever reason (myself included!). Although I’m not a vegan, I do try to eat a mainly vegan diet, but have done so since pre-blogging days because of animal welfare reasons. I have to admit though, I have even felt ashamed once of posting a meal that contained cheese, because I felt that vegan bloggers would look down on me because my meal contained a dairy product. Was this an irrational and silly thought? Probably! And none of the blogs I’ve read have been disparaging to omnivorous diets, but what do you think? Do you feel pressured to become vegetarian/vegan if you aren’t already? Have blogs caused you to change your diet?

Comparisons are something we all do, even just unconsciously when reading other people’s blogs. I’ve noticed I especially do that as far as running is concerned. For example, reading that someone has just done a 20 mile run, or run 7.00 min/miles on an ‘easy’ run can make you feel less ‘worthy’, after running a slower 4 miler, and I know I’ve often felt this way. I just try to remember that we are all different, and that what is within one person’s capabilities isn’t necessarily within mine, but my achievements are just as great. I also have felt guilty over the fact I don’t work out every day, when some people do, but again, I have to remind myself that this doesn’t work for me-  my body needs rest days, whereas other people might be fine with it.

So thoughts on this topic? How would you respond to this reader’s question?

A Bittersweet Thanksgiving

Hey everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving for those of you who are celebrating it today! Smile Sorry I didn’t post yesterday- I got back late from a concert, so I took a packed dinner:DSC04024

Wholewheat noodles in soy sauce, with tofu and courgette (zucchini), which made a great, filling dinner  that took less than 10 minutes to throw together!

And when I got back later, I snacked on an apple and cinnamon yoghurt mess:DSC04027

Apple and cinnamon complemented this season perfectly! Thanks for all your comments on Tuesday’s post by the way- it seems as though the majority agree with me in thinking that autumn/fall is the best food season! Smile

Breakfast today was pumpkin oatmeal with the last remainders of my open can of pumpkin. I have many more cans,  but am trying not to go through them too fast as I am very miserly (they aren’t cheap!), so sadly it may be a while before it returns! Sad smile Well actually, it probably won’t be that long- self control was never one of my strong points! Smile with tongue outDSC04029

That miniscule  blob was all that was left in the tin! Still made it lovely and pumpkiny though! Open-mouthed smile All stirred in and topped with a crumbled pumpkin cookie:DSC04001

Today sadly was my uncle Raj’s funeral. If you didn’t know, my fit+healthy uncle Raj died suddenly of a heart attack two weeks ago aged just 48. The funeral was very sad, but it was great talking to everyone at the reception and hearing all their funny stories about him! He was such a joker! Open-mouthed smile The funeral programme:DSC04045

He shared my love of running, and was actually running when he had his first heart attack a few days before the second one that killed him. He also shared my love of food, so they made sure that the funeral reception had lots of his favourite foods. The buffet included these cute mini quiches:DSC04033

And these cupcakes:DSC04032

DSC04034

I had a ton of savoury food (quiches galore!), so by the time they brought out the cupcakes, I was too stuffed to eat them! But my brother made up for me by eaing three, and I did enjoy quite a bit of my delicious pumpkin gingerbread a few hours later when I got back home! Smile with tongue out

Also, this was waiting for me when I got home:DSC04035

A package! And y’all know how much I love packages! Open-mouthed smileDSC04036

I knew it would  be my protein powder that I <
a href="http://sweetoothrunner.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/protein-time/">ordered a few days ago before I opened it, but I was in for a bit of a surprise!DSC04037

Soya protein? I thought I ordered pea protein?

DSC04038

Nope, looks as though I accidently ordered soya protein instead! As  I had had some stomach issues with soya milk, I had decided to go for the pea protein, but as I can’t really be bothered to send it back and get the right one, I think I’ll just try this and see how I feel! So it called for a quick Protein Green Monster:DSC04039

Oat milk, pear, spinach, xanthan gum, cinnamon and protein powder, all blended:DSC04041

Wasn’t quite sweet enough for me- had to add some agave. The stomach’s feeling fine at the moment, but we’ll see later! Hopefully there’ll  be no problem Smile

So what are you thankful for today? I’m thankful that Raj’s life was one filled with happiness and joy, and that his wife and children know how very much he loved them. Better to live a short but happy life than a long and unfulfilling one, right?

“Every man dies.  Not every man really lives.”  <—— So make sure you do! Smile

Next Page »