Homemade protein ballz

28 Jul

I know protein ball recipes are ten a penny here on the internets and I’ve tried many a ball recipe on Pinterest with varying degrees of success. However, at the weekend I bought some balls from a local store which were A-Maze-Ing and I really wanted to replicate that taste at home without spending £1 a ball <—-eek! They tasted like heaven chocolate marzipan. Mmmmm chocolate marzipan…..


Ok so you can’t really call these balls, more like lumps, and foodie photog i am not!

The basis for any protein ball is usually dried stuff like protein powder, nuts, shredded coconut etc mixed with liquids like coconut oil and nut butters to bind them <—– you’re welcome for this explicit and knowledgable explanation of protein balls. For these balls I decided to use dates as a sweet base, I knew I needed almonds for that marzipan taste and I also added chocolate protein powder.  They turned out pretty flipping yummy if I do say so myself.


The final recipe (this makes a small amount – I’m fickle with flavours and can’t keep eating the same balls day after day)

Half a cup of dates

Half a cup of ground almonds

Big scoop of protein powder

Generous spoonful of smooth almond butter (or enough to bind)

Blitz away and once the mixture looks like bread crumbs form into balls with your hands.


enjoy x

Returning from the wilderness

26 Jul

Well it’s only been two years since i last updated this blog? If i do a post every two years that’s regular in my books ok?

So a HUGE amount has happened in the last two years which may account for my absence. In a short summary…think trashy 80’s film dream sequence….I…

* got pregnant

* had my beautiful little (2.1lbs) boy at 28 weeks

* spent a long, long 14 weeks on two different neonatal units

* started walking

* joined a running club

* ran a lot

* took part in my first half marathon

* enjoyed the good life with my little family

And that basically takes me up until now. I have an amazing family now and the most wonderful 20 month old little boy who makes me laugh, cry and all that’s in-between. But when i can (read:nap time) I run. I run because I now know the importance of my health. I run because I want to be a good (stress free) role model and I run because I love it. I’ve met some wonderful people through my running group and despite the fact that i’m a good 2 minute/mile behind them all they are so encouraging. Oh yeah and I lost a bit of weight! Nice bonus.

So i’m going to give this blogging thing another go. I’ll be writing about running (well dur…), a bit on motherhood, having a premature baby and anything else i can think of. Just don’t expect me to be blogging all the time.

Come along for the ride x


endurance training (or how not to…)

3 Jul

So you want to be an awesome cyclist like me?  (No?  Don’t you know i’ve met Victoria Pendleton?) Then follow my recipe for the endurance ride of your life.  This ride took place on a lovely sunny Monday evening…

First i selected an approximately two mile route (I wouldn’t go more than 3 miles for this one).  A route that just so happened to have a local fayre at the end of it.  If you’re a stats person i’d say it had one short hill, approx 7%, but was mostly flat.  I can’t tell you true stats as this really wasn’t deserving of a Garmin or Strava outing.  Next, cycle at a leisurely pace for the first two miles.  It’s important not to exert yourself too much at this point – the real test is yet to come.  At one point hubby was shouting at me from about a mile away that he couldn’t ride slowly enough to stay with me.  What he didn’t realise was that the dress and leggings i had chosen to wear, instead of that boring lycra, was adding extra resistance and giving me a great workout.

Stop at aforementioned fayre.  Wander round for a bit (ah yes cross training with a walk no less) then, and here’s the crucial bit and where the endurance part kicks in, eat a large pot of locally made stew.  You know the type that’s probably been stewing since the fayre the year before, full of root vegetables and beans, and so claggy you can feel it sticking to your insides as it goes down?  Wander round some more.  Admire long forgotten craft forms and spend time looking at and choosing some gorgeous artwork before remembering you cycled there and you’ve no way of getting anything home!  Finally, attempt to cycle home on your very full belly!!  This works best if you think you know a shortcut to your house which you persuade your husband to take only for it to pretty much take you back from whence you came before taking you under and over a few rolling hills before eventually delivering you home.

I can truly say if you can survive that you can sew that endurance badge on your cycling shorts.  I was a whinging moaning mess by the time i got home.  Although to be fair it’s not that different from my more serious training rides.  I’m pretty sure if Lance Armstrong had read my training book there would have been no need for all that doping!

I’m still in recovery now but i’m pretty sure by this time next year i’ll be ready to do it all again.

On a more serious note, if certain people’s passports turn up in the post in the next few days i’m hoping to whizz off to France for a day or two to catch a snippet of the Tour de France.  Exciting stuff.

Anyone else got some training gems to share?

random phone pics of cycling, beer and birthdays

4 May

despite the fact that i have two pretty awesome cameras i take more pics on my phone than on any camera.  It’s just always there, it takes some pretty fab pics and then i can mess around on snapseed if the mood takes me.  So here’s a few pics from the last few days.  David Bailey eat your heart out…

ImageSome of my birthday cards.

ImageWaiting for hubby so we can ride home to the pub together after work (we had much to put right with the world don’t you know and that can only be done over a pint).  And yes this is the view two minutes away from my office.  How do i get any work done???  I love that there’s one solitary tiny little grey cloud in this picture – like it’s trying to be menacing but it’s just so small and cute!

ImageSwift half birthday pint after a 20k ride (with a 221m climb no less). Thanks to Strava for the stats.  I LOVE Strava and i’m not exactly sure how I managed to live this long without it – I don’t even have premium yet and i’m totally its biggest fan!

Looking back i notice a theme of beer, cycling and birthdays.  I guess that’s the kind of week it’s been. 

Love to you all X

beating the winter weather aka turbo training!

10 Apr

Lately the weather here has been pretty Jekyll and Hyde.  When the weather doesn’t look as beautiful as this…



(both taken on a recent walk just a week ago) we are suffering high winds and sideways rain/sleet.  So the only way to train in a civilised manner is to set my road bike up on the turbo trainer.  I’m loving my foldable Turbo trainer.  Super easy to set up for a total novice like me and folds away when you’re not using it.  Or if you’re like me you just leave your bike set up in front of the telly for days on end!


One thing i was surprised about using a turbo trainer is just how much harder it is than road cycling – not only is the resistance harder but you don’t get the joys of stopping occasionally to free wheel down hills for a bit.  I can still only cycle on the first few settings.  I’m sure i can already feel the benefit though.  I’ve looked up some free videos on YouTube which have been great and I’ve also tried some tough interval sessions.

Having said all that i can’t wait for the sunshine to come back as there really is no substitute for getting out there in the fresh air (and stopping for cake and tea along the way!).  So tonight i’m setting out the cycle kit and i’m going to sleep with my fingers crossed.  I promise i’m not always a fair weather cyclist but when the winds get over 30mph the warmth and dryness of the car do look awfully tempting.


mmmmm…chocolate oats

6 Jan



My new healthy breakfast that tastes like a treat!!  I add a teaspoonful of hot chocolate powder and a shake each of cinnamon and nutmeg while the oats are cooking in a pan on the hob and it is scrummy!  I’m not mad keen on sweet breakfasts – never understood the whole frosties or coco pops thing but the chocolate powder i use is not too sweet and just gives it a lovely flavour and creamy texture.  I use this powder from M&S but you could use any you have hanging round the house.



I’ve also added blueberries and sultanas to the bowl so i can legitimately say i’ve had at least one of my five a day before the day has really started.  For a protein boost (for all you New Year’s resolutioners) you can add a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder or whip an egg white in while the oats are still cold.  If you are trying to keep it heathy make sure you get whole oats not rolled or processed in any way.  There’s no need to buy the microwaveable packets either because you can microwave any porridge oats.

Enjoy!  Let me know if you try this or you have any other amazing oaty flavours to share.  I also love almond and desiccated coconut.

(almost) wordless New Year’s Eve recap

1 Jan

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I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve.  Wishing you a healthy and happy 2013!

Dawn X