You know life is good when…

Today was actually the BEST DAY EVER!! Other than Christmas. And my birthday… Well anyway, it was SO MUCH FUN! Open-mouthed smile

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You know life is good when you start the day in a chocolaty way.  I love a good ryhyme almost as much as I love breakfast cake:

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Made with cocoa powder, PB and jam, and topped with coconut butter and shredded coconut 🙂

You’d better believe I ate that whole thing! Winking smile Monday Special Breakfasts are the BOMB!!

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You know life is good when lunch is munched (rhyme time! Smile with tongue out) at the Hummus Bros hummus bar!Hummus is definitely where MY heart is!! My mushroom hummus bowl, served with a side of warm wholemeal pitta.DSC06934

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THE best hummus I have ever tasted, hands down. This is my new home. Henceforth I shall be Crazy Hummus Girl.

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You know life is good when you hit  not just one, but two Whole Foods stores!DSC06930

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I went to my usual WF first (Kensington- the biggest one!) and then on to the hummus bar, which happened to be a street away from another WF!! I ended up buying stuff from both of course…my poor bank balance…!

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You know life is good when you discover they now sell the BIG tubs of Dark Chocolate Dreams!! I couldn’t resist! Smile with tongue outDSC06931

My haul included:

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Unsweetened applesauce and coconut oil for baking and DCD.

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Bar madness! 2 Trek bars, my 2 fave Nakd bars and 3 Clif bar flavours

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Brown rice syrup, chia seed and raspberry+coconut dark choccie!! Had to get some chocolate of course! 😛

You know life is good when you have an amazing friend, who takes you to a cafe a few streets away that sells vegan cakes. Hello chocolate raspberry torte.DSC06941

Mrs Marengo’s is my second home now. Fortunately very close to my first home.DSC06943

Took the torte to-go and enjoyed on the train journey home. My fellow passengers were clearly beyond jealous, but slightly weirded out by my excessive ‘MMMmmmm’ing…DSC06946

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Seriously, I am RECREATING this as soon as I figure out how…so delicious…so decadent…

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You know life is good when you have a rockin’ hour of cross-training of speed intervals on the elliptical whilst listening to this:

On repeat. For pretty much the full hour. Yes, I danced along too. I could tell by the expressions of my fellow gym-ers that they wanted to join me really badly…

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You know life is good when you get your life’s essentials on the way home from the gym:

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4 packs of dates and brocccoli 🙂

 

I was seriously panicked for a while, but order has now been restored. It’s okay. Smile

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So now it’s your turn: You know life is good when…?

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If you could live in one restaurant/cafe, what would it be? It used to be Starbucks for their gingerbread lattes, but hummus and chocolate torte have trumped it! Open-mouthed smile

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Do you have a bar stash? Seriously, I have a whole cardboard box of snack bars, and the lid won’t shut any more after today’s additions! Smile with tongue out

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OH, and on the whole bar thing, I had two UK-US foodie swaps organised, but they’ve BOTH had to drop out sadly! (I know it’s not your fault guys, chillax, I still love ya!!) So an exciting thing for YOU is that YOU can do a lil’ foodie swap with ME if ya like! Shoot me an email if you’re interested at sweet_tooth_runner@hotmail.co.uk or leave a comment! Cool! Smile

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Alrighty, so have a GREAT week friends!!

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P.S. I have a VERY exciting event I’m going to on Wednesday!! Tell you all tomorrow 🙂

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Bakers love black bananas

This is a fact. Unless of course you don’t like bananas (madness!), in which case you would disagree, but I think practically every other baker on the planet would wholeheartedly agree with this statement. So imagine my joy when I came across this in the reduced aisle at Tesco’s:DSC03748

A bunch of mostly black bananas! Open-mouthed smileDSC03750

And only 32p!!! For  9 bananas! Imagine my joy! My mum’s reaction was one of disbelief/disgust at my delight…she’s not a baker you see Smile with tongue out

So on the car journey home, I carefully examined my feelings. What do I want to make first with these precious bananas? I decided on banana bread. Actually, wholemeal banana-coconut bread to be exact.

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It’s based on the above recipe for wholemeal banana bread that I found in my ‘recipe file’. No  idea of the source, and I’d never made it before (that I could remember anyway!) so thought I’d give it a whirl, with a few changes of course! Smile with tongue out

Wholemeal banana-coconut bread

  • 2 tbsp marg/butter/vegan spread
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used soya milk)
  • 3/4 cup (160g) sugar (I used sweetener, as my mum is diabetic, so I often use this to make my recipes more suitable for her)
  • 1 egg/flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed+3tbsp warm water)
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 cups (240g) wholewheat plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/390F, and grease/line your loaf tin.
  2. Whisk flax egg (if using) and leave for 5 mins. Meanwhile, mash your bananas.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the butter and sugar and beat till well combined.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder and dessicated coconut, and gently fold in to the mixture. Then add the milk, and fold until combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into your pan, then bake for approx. 45 mins, depending on your oven.
  6. Stand in the tin for 5 mins before turning out on a wire rack to cool fully.

The best bit was obvoiusly mashing the bananas! Smile with tongue out Wanna see some disgusting black banana pictures? You know you want to…DSC03751

The four bananas I used. Not too bad, right? Wrong.

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And those weren’t even the worse ones! Smile with tongue out The lovely mashed banana mess:DSC03758

Lovely, right? And actually, adding the coconut was a bit of a last minute idea, so didn’t add it until the end, so it was harder to stir in properly, without over-mixing the batter, but it still turned out great.DSC03759

Oh, and these are possible the best thing ever invented for lazy people like me who HATE lining tins:DSC03761

Aah loaf tin liners, how I love you! Smile So anyway, after a little too long in my oven (sidetracked by Scrubs Smile with tongue out) the cake turned out a little browner on top than I normally like, but I actually ended up preferring it like this:

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Of course, after letting it cool a little, I dove right in:DSC03776

Mmmm! The coconut was definitely a good decision! Wholesome and filling, so this will make a great snack that will satisfy even a monster sweet tooth like mine Open-mouthed smile

Also baked Garlic and Rosemary bread in my beloved bread machine for my elderly neighbour. Check out this HUGE loaf!DSC03770

Maybe went a little overboard on the size here! Note to self: the ‘extra large’ loaf setting is not an exaggeration! Check out the size comparison:DSC03772

Haha! Open-mouthed smile Sweet little Mrs Raggett is going to have fun with this one! Smile with tongue out

In other news, I found out more about the London Mini Marathon (for under 18’s) I mentioned a few posts ago. It’s a lot shorter than I had hoped for- only 3 miles (I prefer slightly longer distances, where you don’t have to sprint!). When I checked previous race timings, most people had run all 3 miles in sub-8 minute mile pace. Don’t know about you guys, but for me, that is FAST!fullcolour_mini_londonmarathon_jpgresize-3

I would have until March to train, which is when the trials are to qualify…. Can I speed up that much though? I did a 4 mile tempo run today, with my fastest mile at 8.14…

What do you think? It would probably be possible to qualify at a 8 min mile pace, or just over, but do you think it would be possible for me to speed up this much over four months, when my current average running pace is about 8.30?

Advice greatly appreciated! Smile

Welcoming the food baby

So today was basically sweet food after sweet food, and I am sitting here feeling extremely bloated and slightly sick, but very happy. Happy, not just because of the sugar rush, but because, for what is the first time I can remember, I know I have eaten a ton of unhealthy food, but I am not feeling guilty and remorseful. I know this is just ‘one of those days’, and I’m not feeling angry at myself for over-indulging. I’m most certainly not planning to restrict my intake of food in the upcoming days to ‘make up for it’, which I definitely would have done just a few months ago! I feel like this is a huge breakthrough with me, as this was the part of my disordered eating that I struggled with the most, and I’m really starting to feel that I’ve broken free of that binge-starve cycle! Open-mouthed smile

Excuse the long speech! Breakfast was Oats In A Leftover Yoghurt Pot, as I so inventively call it! Smile with tongue out

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A cup of oats, the remainders of the soya yoghurt (about 1/4 pot) and a handful of raisins, topped with half a scuffin:

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With an apple on the side. Such a quick, yummy and filling breakfast! Love it! Smile 

Today we celebrated my dad’s birthday. It wasn’t actually today, but his real birthday coincided with the death of my uncle (thanks for your consolations on that by the wat!, so we decided to celebrate it today instead. So I of course stepped up to make the requested chocolate birthday cake. What a chore! Smile with tongue out But I have a shocking confession to make. I was all set to make the cake, had my pans greased and lined, oven preheating etc when I started to assemble my ingredients, and I realised something. I had no flour and no sugar! What kind of baker has no flour or sugar in their house?! Embarrassed smile One who bakes too often, that’s who! Smile with tongue out So I ran down to my local corner shop to get some, but all they had was this:

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So yes, I made a cake from a cake mix. But I did add my own twists to make it a little better! Instead of eggs, I used flax eggs, instead of oil, I used melted Clover Light (margarine) and instead of buying ‘Betty Crocker icing’ for frosting it I made my own. Smile So not all bad! Also, my sandwich tins were far smaller than the ones required to make the layer cake shown in the picture, so I made a traybake-type cake in my 13×9 inch pan and frosted the top. And covered it with pretty sugar stars, which was admittedly a little girly for my dad, but I got a little carried away and he didn’t complain!DSC03675

It was delicious actually- far better than I thought it would be! Very moist! Still I think I would make it properly in the future! Smile with tongue out After we had had a few slices:DSC03676

I also made him his favourite dessert. Guess what this is…DSC03658

If you guessed lemon tart, you’re right! Open-mouthed smile Dad loves it (as do I!), so we all dug in:DSC03659

I served his with double cream (it is his birthday after all!) and blueberries (his favourite fruit). At his little party, there was also more cakes, my scuffins (a favourite of my dad’s!), cupcakes, cookies and brownies. I basically had some of everything Smile with tongue out Hence the food baby!

I had a light lunch, which was a salad, consisting of couscous, a ton of kidney beans ( I love them!), butter beans, lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, sweetcorn, etc:

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And dinner was vegetable chilli with brown rice:DSC03669

With birthday cake for dessert. And so, food baby! Open-mouthed smile

Tomorrow, something really exciting is happening….I am going to be performing (as part of an orchestra and a quartet) at the Royal Albert Hall!!! If you don’t know, it is one of the most famous and prestigious performing arts venues in the world! Open-mouthed smile800px-royal_albert_hall

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I can’t wait! It is going to be a very long day, with a rehearsal at 9am, then travelling there, a rehearsal at the venue and then the evening performance. I won’t be back till very late/very early the next morning, but I can’t wait! And hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in a quick run somewhere too! It’s going to be brilliant! I’m packing a lot of yummy food to last me the whole day, including a tofu salad and butternut squash falafels Smile Will share all afterwards!

Oh, and I ordered the Mizuno Windbreaker Performance Jacket, and that hopefully should be arriving tomorrow (although I won’t be there to get it if it does…) or the day after. So exciting times! Open-mouthed smile

So following on from my little update at the beginning of this post, what breakthroughs have you made recently? And what are you looking forward to in the near future?

Have a great evening! Smile