Archive | March, 2012

stuff i learned this week…

25 Mar

I’ve had a lovely week, i’m always happy when the sun shines, so here is a quick recap of stuff I’ve learnt this week:

1. I can make a great healthy(ish) pizza using tortilla wraps sandwiched together with pasta sauce and then covered in veggies and kidney beans.

Exhibit A:

2. I’m part of a craze!!  See this article about Chia seeds on the BBC news website.  I’d say the Beeb did a slightly better job of talking about these seeds than i did last week.

3. I really want to do the Disney Princess half marathon next February.  I live in Britain though so this may take some planning (and persuading John).  I’ve completed day 2, week 3 of my c25K training so i’m on my way and you gotta aim big.

4. Incorporating running into my exercise regime has whacked my appetite up a few gears.  Not just wanting to nibble but the sort of hunger where you consider eating your own arm if you’ve nothing to hand.  Not sure now whether i’m fueling to train or training to fuel!  Anyone else get this problem?

5. Blog recipes are not always what they seem.

Exhibit B:

Believe it or not these were supposed to be Banana protein muffins.  It may have possibly been my extraordinary cooking skills rather than the recipe but they tasted as bad as they looked i’m afraid.

6. I love BST.  So we lost on hour, i can now cycle and run in the evenings without constant fear of being run over or tripping over large boulders!!

7. It does not hurt to rock out every now and then.  I went to watch my husband play with one of his many bands last night and it was awesome.  Couldn’t hear for a good few hours afterwards but totally worth it.

Enjoy your week – i hope the sun is shining where you are.  Let me know any important lessons you learnt this week x

who’s idea was this to exercise???

19 Mar

I completed day 2, week 2 of C25K this evening.  That was after also completing my 6 mile cycle commute.  I really did not want to go out this evening – the only way i could get my flagging a** out of the door was to fill up on nutella on toast and a cup of tea first.  Is that wrong?  Definitely negated any calorie burn that’s for sure.  I was well rewarded for getting out there though as there was an amazing after sunset glow over everything.  It was beautiful.  As a result I am sooooo tired now and thinking of calling it a night after I publish this post.

One of the reasons i am loving this C25K app is because it forces me to go out 3 times a week (even if i am less than enthusiastic about it sometimes).  I’m already trying to work out when i’m going to factor in run 3 this week.

The reason I had to haul my bottom out this evening was because i was supposed to go out yesterday but then the sun came out and we decided to go for a nice long hike instead.

We walked along country roads like this…

and cliff paths like this…

But best of all i got to spend a couple of uninterrupted hours just me and my hubby which, with our current schedules, is a huge rarity.  It was awesome and definitely worth skipping a workout for.

I hope you all had good weekends too!

the joy of new foods

17 Mar

Lately i’ve been trying to introduce new healthier foods into my life.  This week was the turn of quinoa.  For those of you not familiar it’s apparently pronounced “keen-wah” and those friendly folks over at Wikipedia tell me it’s not a grain at all but rather a seed.  It looks like this before it’s cooked:

It is often touted as a super food and has a slightly higher protein content than other grains.  Wikipedia also says Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.  Can’t be bad huh?  So last night I boiled some up with some Bouillion, pepper and paprika.  Once cooked i stirred in roast veggies (courgette, onion and aubergine) and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  It was yummy and even John liked it and he’s picky.  It’s hard to describe – not quite cous cous or rice – it looks sloppy but it still has a crunch.  I guess the key is to add lots of flavour.  Now I can’t wait to try out this recipe for zesty quinoa cakes.

Lately i’ve also been trying out Chia seeds.  I bought this packet from Holland & Barrett:

They are not cheap though!  I think this packet was about £13!  However, if you read as many fitness blogs as i do you’ll know these are the it thing to eat.  Plus i reckon this pack is going to last ages.  The seeds themselves are pretty much flavourless and can be added to soups, salads, cereal etc.  I add them to my porridge every morning.  Wikipedia to the rescue again… the seeds apparently are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25–30% extractable oil, including α-linolenic acid.  Phew!!  I usually get very dry skin in the winter but so far that’s been kept at bay this year.  It might be the mild winter or it may be the seeds.  Who knows but i think i’ll keep eating them.

Have you tried any new foods recently?

This morning i rocked this Bodyrock workout and this St Paddy’s day love handle workout.  Feeling great now and off to enjoy my St Paddy’s day x

so 420 rep challenge, we meet again

11 Mar

I did the 420 rep challenge again today.  The instructor completes the challenge in 26 mins, last week i did it in about 50 (kinda forgot to set the timer) and today i did it in 42 minutes.  My face went some seriously unattractive shades of red and purple throughout and yet again there was some very unladylike language but i felt amazing afterwards.  Every muscle in my body now aches but its a good ache.

Smug old me followed it up with an everything in salad.  Yum yum.

I’m not perfect though – i followed that up with good old fashioned peanut butter and jam on toast.

Now i have a whole load of boring stuff to do with my Sunday evening – cleaning, ironing, paperwork.  Every week i say i’m going to do this stuff on Friday then lo and behold i’m staring at the upcoming new week from behind an ironing board.  Please tell me i’m not the only one who does this!!

Next week promises to be VERY manic at work so it seems unlikely i’ll get any sewing or knitting done but i will be keeping up with my workouts – it keeps me sane.

See you on the other side of the weekend x

out with the old…

9 Mar

The other day I downloaded a free App for my iPhone.  It’s called C25K and it promises to have me running 5K in 8 weeks.  I’ve run on and off for a couple of years now but lately its been more off than on.  There’s never any real structure to my runs – i tend to go out, run until i’m exhausted, then come home.  As a result i’ve never run more than about 7K and i never get anywhere particularly fast so i decided to start from scratch again.  If this works out then i hope to move up to 10K.

The home page of the app looks like this:

A voice tells you when to warm up, when to walk, when to run and when to cool down.  It works with your music so you can listen to your favourite tracks at the same time.  I’ve only used it once but so far I’m impressed.  Plus its free.  You can’t argue with that right?

In order to protect my knees (and to add a bit of style to my motion) i’ve invested in some new trainers as the old ones were, well, old.  Can you tell which ones i’ve had for 7 years???

I’m pretty sure i won’t get run over in those, they’re pretty damn bright.

Well i’m off to meet my friends for birthday celebrations (not mine!).  Enjoy your Friday night and here’s to an awesome weekend x

ps in terms of running gadgets on the wishlist is the Garmin Forerunner but its such a lot of money.  If i keep up with this running plan then i might allow myself one just so i can start boring you all solid with mile times and distance!!

back from hols

4 Mar

You know you’re in Wales when the train station signs look like this…

and the fields look like this…

John and I just spent a well earned restful week in Anglesey, Wales (with a couple of sneaky shopping days in Liverpool).  It was wonderful and very relaxing.  I’ve come back totally refreshed and raring to go (plus a couple of lbs heavier!) on my creative projects and my fitness regime.

We visited a place called Abakhan – it’s a great little village of craft shops in North Wales.  I’ve got some new patterns for a couple of dresses, lots of material, some knitting books and a lot of wool.  Ok i went a bit nuts in there but hey, i was on holiday and let me tell you, it could have been a whole lot worse.  The staff in there were super friendly and helpful.  I’d recommend a visit.

So far, i’ve started knitting a pair of legwarmers – although by the time they are done it will probably be summer!  This is where i’m at so far…

Now don’t judge … it’s been a while since I’ve knitted more than a baby hat so there are definitely a few wrong stitches there but i figure once they are wrapped around my ankles no-one will know!  I’ll keep you updated on progress of these, if there is any.  I’m sure the lure of making frocks will be very distracting!

Finally, the fitness regime…I’m back to Bodyrocking.  I’ve just completed the 420 rep challenge from 1 Mar and to say it nearly killed me is an understatement!  Sean completed it in 26 minutes – you can at least double that for my time but at least i did (although there was a lot of cussing!).  I’d blog a pic of my face after the workout but i don’t think the internet is ready for that kind of horror!  Hehe!  Just about everyone i know is into the Bootcamp trend.  They are getting some amazing results but i’m just not ready to part with my hard earned cash to get someone to shout at me when guys like the Bodyrock team are dishing it out for free.  I need that money for cashmere wool don’t you know?!

Anyway, i’m off to unpack.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend & hope the sun is shining where you are x