Posts Tagged by Spinach

Lazy Lady

HEYA friends!! Open-mouthed smile

 

First up, just to let ya know that I was requested to put off my review+giveaway post for a bit, so I will be posting it on Friday instead! I’ll just keep you on tenterhooks until then! Winking smile

 

Okay, so one thing you should know about me is that I am seriously lazy. I mean it. I think people assume that all active people aren’t lazy at all. But that’s definitely not true for me…

 

Lazy Lady Example #1: Lazy breakfast. Oatmeal topped (on reader Bronagh’s brill advice) with almond butter and morello cherry jam. Bliss…DSC07439

You might not think stovetop oatmeal is lazy, but literally all I did today was get up, put my oat bran + milk (too lazy to go on a banana hunt…) on top on the stovetop over the lowest heat and left it for 20 mins whilst I went back to bed. Then got up, threw on some clothes, ate breakfast and left.

 

Just so ya know, the words ‘make-up’ and ‘hairbrush’ are not part of my weekday morning vocabulary. I apologise in advance to any future husband of mine.

 

Lazy Lady Example #2:  Not bothering to try to find my iTouch, which has been missing in my house for a few days. Ergo, a very tough treadmill speed workout. On the tread, I need ENTERTAINMENT. So I suffered through my 800m repeats by playing mind-games (I was being chased by spies), singing to myself (Glee soundtrack) and people-watching (the woman on the summit trainer talking to herself).

Track Speed Intervals:
1k warm-up
5 x 800m @ 6.35 min/mile with 400m recovery @ 8.20 min/mile
1k cooldown
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I also did a 30 min step class before that, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea! Tired legs do not make for easier speed intervals!!

 

Lazy Lady Example #3: Living off snack bars…DSC07099
A bad (and expensive!) habit!! They’re just so quick and easy to take around. And darn yummy too!! Smile with tongue out

 

Lazy Lady Example #4: Leftovers + frozen + packaged dinner. DSC07366

Leftover vegetably couscous, a stuffed grilled mushroom (stuffed with…er…couscous…) topped with vegan cheese, smoked tofu and spinach from frozen. Can’t beat a 5 minute meal! Smile

 

Lazy Lady Example #5: Skipping the unnecessary chore that is hair washing.DSC07448

I can’t imagine my life without dry shampoo. It is the best invention on the planet, and thankfully Santa knows me well and brought me a year’s supply at Christmas. Needless to say, my March goal of washing my hair more often still needs work…! Smile with tongue out

 

So are you lazy in any way? Honestly, if I listed every example, this post would never end!!

 

What is your favourite snack bar? Hard question I know!! That Clif PB bar is my current fave I think…

 

Do you have a go-to lazy meal? Leftovers, or a microwaved sweet tater and baked beans Smile

 

Have a great week lovelies!!

Friday Favourites

It’s that time of the week again, and that means only one thing…Janae-inspired FRIDAY FAVOURITES! Open-mouthed smile

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1. Amazing Friday Breakfast!DSC06562

Oat bran topped with one of Katie’s coconut melties, cinnamon, and mixed berries. The meltie melted. It was awesome.

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2. These running shorts that are the bomb.comw_go_girl_run_short_80356pls_jpg_400

Because, lets face it, they look like beach shorts. And rarely do you feel like you’re on the beach when pounding the streets of London. Maybe with these on though I’ll be magically transported to Hawaii

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3. Giving myself a lil’ pedicure. And by this I just mean painting my nails quickly…DSC06572

Attempt #1001 to try to prettify my Ugly Runner’s Feet. At least they look marginally better than they did before…I’ll spare you the ‘Before’ shot though! Smile with tongue out

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4. Carb-loving. Pre-Hill Sprints (which totally rocked by the way!):

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Peanut butter in a WW wrap

Post-Hill Sprints:DSC06526

WW pasta in my ‘cheeze’ sauce with spinach and mashed carrot and swede. I love me some carbs.

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5. Dessert plates.

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Protein Cookie Dough Balls, grapes and dates

 

Dessert is obviously the best part of the meal. Fact.

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6. Rereading every magazine I own.DSC06583

If I’m going to pay £4.50 for a magazine, I refuse to just read it just once!! Totally worth it though, or at least, that’s what I tell myself when forking out my precious mula…!

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7. Cookie Dough Balls

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In my book, Indulgence Friday=5 dough balls. Yummo! Open-mouthed smile

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So what are your Friday Favourites? Give me a few pretty please!!

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And do you spend a lot on magazines? I buy Runner’s World and Women’s Running every month…an expensive habit! Make me feel better by telling me you spend twice as much as I do on mags por favor! Smile

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Have a great weekend friends!!

Protein time!

Hello! Hope you’ve all had a great weekend! Smile

Yesterday updates: I baked some more Apple and Cinnamon bread! I love this stuff!DSC03930

Seriously, after having home-made bread, shop bought never tastes half as good!DSC03932

I ended up having a lot of this! I guess something can be said for shop bought, in that portion control is much easier when it’s pre-sliced! Smile with tongue out One of the other snacks I had in the day was this:

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Upping the fat and protein intake! This was leftover from my last Graze box, and I’d actually never tried a brazil nut before…hmmm…DSC03941

….I have to say, I think this is possibly my favourite nut! Yummy! I could eat a thousand of these!

Last night’s dinner was whole-wheat spaghetti, and I used the spinach trick I mentioned a few posts ago:DSC03935

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Then added chopped tomatoes and kidney beans (random, but they’re my favourite bean, so I have them with everything Smile)DSC03938

In other news, I am trying not to consume much soya milk now. Recently I have been having a really dodgy tummy after breakfast, and I think that may be because of the soya milk I have. And that also explains my tummy troubles during my run on Thursday, as I had soya milk about an hour before I ran! So, I am now trying out different types of milk. This week, it is the turn of:DSC03944

Oat milk! It’s no secret that I love oats, so we’ll see if I love oat milk just as much! Lets hope my stomach does anyway! Smile I’m also planning on trying coconut, almond and rice milk, to see which I like the best!

I’ve also ordered this:41b -QxJ4PL

I can’t wait to try this when it arrives! I’ve wanted to try a vegan protein powder for ages, and this was recommended by a friend, so I thought I’d give it a go! But am annoyed, because I literally just saw that they sell it on Amazon for the same price, but with free delivery! I had to pay over £3 for mine, which is quite a lot seeing as it’s only one small item! Annoyed

Tomorrow, I am planning on doing some baking! I’m thinking of breaking open one of the precious remaining stock of:DSC03288

Can’t wait to get my bake on! Open-mouthed smile 

What’s your favourite type of nut? Mine, as I said, is currently brazil I think, but almonds and pecans are pretty darned good too… And do you use protein powder? If so, what kind?

Tough run :(

Hello all! This morning began with a planned run. I fuelled up with PB on toast for breakfast, which had to be enjoyed without my usual banana, as we had run out again! Sad smile Still good though!DSC03876

And can you believe it, there was actually some sun/blue skies this morning! Surprised smileDSC03879

So headed outside to soak up some Vitamin D on what was supposed to be an easy 4-miler. I don’t know what was wrong today, but I felt bad through most of the run! I’d overdressed again (although this wasn’t a problem- just a little annoying!) Should have followed Jen’s example and worn shorts, rather than running tights! Smile with tongue out Anyway, at about mile 3, my stomach started playing up. I felt really ill! It was a struggle to get home (I had to take a couple of breaks to see if the stomach pain would go; it didn’t) but I made it back, very disheartened, and with no idea why it had gone so badly! Confused smile I have some fartlek/interval training planned for tomorrow, so lets hope the tummy is okay then!

Despite the dodgy tummy, I still managed an average pace of 8.40 min/miles, so which wasn’t bad considering! Smile Post-run, I had soya yoghurt topped with my homemade granola:DSC03886

I think this actually helped my stomach! After having this, my stomach felt fine! Smile

I had a late lunch, as I had had a lot of mid morning snacks! I started by roasting up some butternut squash:DSC03894

I would have squash more often (I love it!) except for the whole peeling/deseeding/chopping thing, which takes me ages! I also sautéed this cute little courgette in EVOO spray:DSC03896 And served it with a nest of wholewheat noodles and some spinach. By the way, I recently got emailed by someone asking how they could up their fruit+veg intake. So here’s a little spinach wilting tip that is great for when you want to add it to pasta or noodles, and is miles quicker than doing it separately. Line your colander with the spinach…DSC03898

…and then drain the pasta/noodles into the colander:DSC03899

This wilts the spinach without any effort! A great no-fuss way to up the veg intake Smile

Altogether, a delicious and colourful lunch:DSC03904DSC03905

Do you have any tips on how to increase your fruit and vegetable intake with minimal effort?

Have a great evening! Open-mouthed smile

Exciting package delivery!

I don’t know about you, but I still get childishly excited when the post arrives. Especially when there’s a package for me! Open-mouthed smileDSC03847

Tearing straight into it…any guesses?DSC03848

It’s this!DSC03850

Michael Pollen’s ‘In Defence of Food’. After hearing many rave reviews of this book, I decided to order it and see what the fuss was about myself! I have a huge interest in this kind of thing, so I can’t wait to dive right in! And of course I’ll give you a lovely book review when I’m done! Smile

Another surprise this morning was some natural light, believe it or not! I feel like I’ve been living in darkness for ages, so when a bit of natural light comes, I hurry with the food so it can be appreciated!DSC03846

Aah, light! It soon went again though, and I returned back to my world of artificial light. Sad smile This bowl of delicious creamy simple oats (1 cup oats+wheatbran, a sprinkle of oatbran, 1 cup soya milk and a handful of raisins) warmed and cheered me up though!

On today’s agenda was making granola! I love granola, but hate how much sugar is added to shop-bought varieties! That’s also what I love about dried apricots- they’re one of the few dried fruits that usually never have any added sugar! Open-mouthed smile

Coconut, Apricot and Almond Granola (adapted from Sound Eats)

  • 2 cups (jumbo) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup toasted flaked almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons tropical (or orange) juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or agave
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil (I used melted vegan spread)
  • Desiccated coconut (optional- I used approximately 3 Tablespoons)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Combine the oats, almonds, apricots and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in all of the liquids until all the oats are evenly coated.
  3. Spread out the granola on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake granola for 15 minutes. Take the granola out and turn it, then bake an additional 10 minutes. (It won’t be very hard- the granola will continue to harden after you remove it from the oven).

I remember it taking me ages to find rolled oats when I first bought these, but you can get them almost anywhere now! They are great for baking, so much better than normal oats!DSC03859

The original recipe called for nutmeg instead of cinnamon, but I didn’t  have any. Regardless, I’m definitely a cinnamon girl anyway, so would have added this King of Spices anyway! Smile with tongue outDSC03860

All mixed together:DSC03854

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Unfortunately, I over baked mine a bit, as I have a fan-assisted oven, so you have to judge by how much to reduce time/temperature. And apparently I didn’t judge very well! But anyway, it still turned out delicious:DSC03862

Filled a whole tub! This’ll last me a while! I had some sprinkled on the remains of my soya yoghurt as an afternoon snack:DSC03874

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Very tasty, and brilliant with yogurt! Smile

Lunch was light, as I had basically been snacking throughout the day-mainly on this moreish granola! Smile with tongue out I had spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms, which make a great light lunch or snack, depending on how hungry you are! Basically, you take a large flat mushroom (or two, in my case), and destalk:

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Take about a handful of fresh spinach, and chop roughly:DSC03864

Stuff the mushroom with the spinach. Grate some cheese, and then sprinkle on top. Then place on a grill pan and grill on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until ready.DSC03868DSC03866

Voila!DSC03869

Before lunch, I tackled the cardio section of Nell McAndrew’s Ultimate Challenge again, which is definitely my favourite workout DVD at the moment:DSC03322

Did about 40 mins, which was still a challenge! I’ve actually yet to do the whole thing from start to finish, mainly because it’s about an hour and a half long! Smile with tongue out

So have you read ‘In Defence of Food’, and if so, what did you think? I’m also thinking of reading ‘The End of Overeating’ by David Kessler, so if you’ve read that, I’d love to hear what you thought of it! And do you use workout DVDs? If so what are your favourites?

Have a great evening! Open-mouthed smile

Chocolaty Green Monster

Remember yesterday’s oatmeal/green monster breakfast dilemma? Well today was the turn of the Green Monster. Oh yes, it’s spinach time:spinach

My sweet tooth was raging this morning, and so I decided to put a chocolaty twist on my Green Monster this morning. Enter the Chocolaty Green Monster.

Chocolaty Green Monster

  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup soya milk
  • 3-6 teaspoons cocoa powder, depending on how chocolaty you like it!
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • toppings of choice (I used Grape Nuts)

Alas though, I had no cocoa powder!! Surprised smile I know, I know! I searched all the cupboards, high and low, and the best replacement I could come up with was this:cadbury-highlights

Instant light hot chocolate powder! My mum loves this stuff, so we have a ton of it in the house. Wasn’t quite as good as cocoa powder, but is lighter and still gave the Green Monster a lovely chocolaty taste! Would still go with normal cocoa powder in the future though Smile with tongue out The finished product:DSC03780

Lovely and thick, just how I like it! And stirring in the Grape Nut topping gives it such a great crunchy texture! Smile

Mid-morning snack continued the chocolaty theme:DSC03785

A Cocoa Loco Nakd bar! My favourite flavour so far I think, but I have so many still to try!

Lunch was at my grandma’s house. She’s still not quite getting the whole vegetarian cooking thing yet…DSC03790

That was my main meal, that I managed to snap a quick picture of before she caught me! Smile with tongue out Yes, it is broccoli covered in masses of melted cheese! But aah well, there are always roasties!DSC03791

So for those of you who, like me, have specific dietary requirements, do people generally deal with that well when cooking for you? What’s the strangest/worst thing someone has made for you? The last time I was round my grandma’s, she served me a ready meal ‘Vegetarian Moussaka’, which would have been fine, except for the fact that she hadn’t cooked/defrosted it properly, so it was literally frozen solid in the middle! Smile with tongue out

Have a great evening everyone! Open-mouthed smile

Oh the breakfast dilemma!

Green monster or oatmeal, green monster or oatmeal??? This was what was going round and round my head this morning when hobbled out of bed this morning. Hobbled because of the serious, serious muscle aches following yesterday’s tough strength training class in the afternoon followed by an even tougher first ever yoga class! Both tough, but great! Open-mouthed smile I don’t think was a single part of my body is not aching- even just sitting down or taking a deep breath is slightly painful! Smile with tongue out So instead of the planned morning run, I decided to give my body a well deserved rest, and turned my full attention back to my breakfast dilemma! I ended up going with…DSC03718

…oatmeal! After a long deliberation, I decided that a big Green Monster would be the perfect post-run breakfast tomorrow, so today was all about the oats! Smile I’m planning to do a 5 miler tomorrow- that’s if the muscles are up to it! Smile with tongue out

One of these kept me going through the ridiculously long and gruelling music rehearsal this morning:DSC03576

Nakd, I love you. Lunch was a bit of a random mix:DSC03722

Spinach, half a torn-up omlette (the non-stick on my frying pan does not exist apparently! Smile with tongue out) and chunks of veggie hot dogs on top of a wholewheat tortilla wrap. And dessert was…DSC03723

The last packet of my chocolaty Bear granola nibbles! Crying face I put my sadness aside and enjoyed the delicious crunchy granola chunks and freeze dried cherry pieces:DSC03726

Ultimate yum! Open-mouthed smile

Should really get down to some work now, as I have a ton to do this weekend, and tomorrow we have a lot of our family coming round for lunch. And I’m preparing myself as always for the ‘you’re too skinny’ lecture from my grandma. No matter how many times I tell her that my BMI is normal, and show her that I eat just as much as anyone else, she still goes on about it! It really frustrates me and makes me uncomfortable! Sad smile Have you, or do you have the same problems (people making comments about your weight, how much you eat, etc) with some people? How do you respond to it/deal with it?

Cold morning running!

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Brr was it chilly this morning or what?! According to the forecast it was about 3C at 8am this morning, when I embarked on a run. I’m not usually a morning run person (more late afternoon/early evening-I’m just too lazy normally!), but I’m going to try to do one regularly on Sunday mornings. Apart from rolling out of bed at 7.30, which I really did not relish, I seriously enjoyed it! Early  morning exercise really sets you up for the day doesn’t it? Pre-workout snack was peanut butter on toast. We were out of bananas, so I could have my usual sliced banana on top Sad smile But it’s all okay now, because we bought a ton more today! Open-mouthed smileDSC03569

I did 4 miles in 35 mins, which I was pleased with, considering my hilly neighbourhood! Must remember to wear gloves next time though- I had some serious numb finger issues during the run! And I mapped my run to go through this lovely private housing estate called Farnborough Park because I love looking at all the gorgeous houses! Not a single one is under a million pounds! Here’s one that I was ogling that’s for sale:Farnborough Park

Just under £3.5 million, if you’re interested! It has an indoor swimming pool that I’d really love to have, so if you feel like being generous, you know who would really appreciate it…! Smile with tongue out

Back to yesterday! I started the day with the current favourite: pumpkin oatmeal, and then hit the shops quickly, as it’s my dad’s birthday tomorrow, and I needed to get him a present. Unfortunately, I was in such a rush I forgot to buy a card!!! Oops! Embarrassed smile I don’t know what to do…possibly make an excuse in the morning then get one in the afternoon and give it to him in the evening…? I’ll figure something out hopefully! Anyway, I also bought a yoga mat, as I have my first ‘proper’ class this Friday (when I practise at home I just use my carpet! Smile with tongue out).DSC03556

I also bought a ‘Women’s Running’ magazine for the first time, and a fluorescent running vest for running in the dark:DSC03549

I can’t wait to read this article in particular:DSC03550

As someone who has never run in winter before, and gets cold very easily, I really need all the tips and advice I can get! So far, I’ve read the first few pages of the magazine, and what little I’ve read is great! Especially since there is a £5 Sweatshop voucher AND  another (separate) offer that gives you 10% off+ free delivery on the Sweatshop online store! Win! Open-mouthed smile

Oooh and talking of online running shopping (sorry, off on another tangent here! Smile with tongue out), I recently got a tip-off about the clearance sale at achillesheel.co.uk. Basically, I’ve been looking to purchase a running jacket, and there are a two on this site that I like that are such a good deal! Reduced from £50 and £40 to £20 and £12 respectively! So advice time please! See what you think:

They are such great value! I’m personally leaning towards the Mizuno Performance Windbreaker at the moment… Anyways if you’re looking for any running gear, I suggest you check out this site! And the Sweatshop clearance stuff is good too Smile 

Yesterday’s dinner was a vegetable bake that I often throw together quickly when I’m in a hurry. Basically sliced carrots, green beans and cauliflower florets in sauce with cubed potatoes on top, which is seasoned with salt+pepper then baked:DSC03560

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And for dessert, I had a pack of Bear Cocoa Cherry Pie granola nibbles:DSC03543

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Mmm…chocolaty granola…DSC03546

And I also picked up these when food shopping today:DSC03578DSC03576

2 packs for £3 in Sainsbury’s! Yay! Open-mouthed smile And I also saw that Sainsbury’s are now selling packs of 9Bars! I’ve never seen those outside of a health foods store before, so I’ll probably buy them another time.

Today’s lunch consisted of cauliflower cheese with a side of steamed spinach. I’ve decided that cauliflower cheese is one of my ultimate winter comfort foods- I love it!

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The (healthier-than-normal) cauliflower cheese recipe:

Adapted from Asda magazine

1 medium cauliflower
500ml skimmed soya milk, warmed
25g butter light margarine (I used Clover Light, as it’s suitable for cooking, baking, etc.)
25g flour
¼ level tsp cayenne
¼ level tsp dry mustard powder
2 level tsp cornflour/cornstarch
150g reduced-fat mature Cheddar cheese
25g Parmesan, grated vegetarian/vegan Parmesan alternative (I bought mine from Sainsbury’s if you’re interested)
50g breadcrumbs made from slightly stale bread (I used wholemeal)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add to a large pan of boiling water. Simmer until just tender. Drain and put in an ovenproof dish.
  2. Melt the butter/marg in a medium-sized pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Stir over a low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk.
  4. Add the cayenne and mustard powder and bring to the boil, whisking all the time. Mix the cornflour with 2tbsp water to form a smooth paste, and stir in. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  5. Set aside 25g of the Cheddar and add the rest to the sauce with the vegetarian/vegan Parmesan alternative. Season to taste. Pour the sauce over the hot cauliflower and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and remaining Cheddar. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, and voila! Perfect winter meal!Smile

Now off to bake a cake for my dad, and I’ll try not to eat too much chocolate buttercream in the process! Smile with tongue out

So thoughts on the jackets, or any other alternative suggestions? And do you have any winter running tips?