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Running, Shopping, Eating

Today was a busy busy day! I began the morning with a tempo run, with my fastest mile at 7.50 min/mile. I’m slowly getting faster! Open-mouthed smile But this little *something* screwed up my run a bit!DSC05113

The heart-rate monitor that comes with the Garmin. It was too big, even on the smallest adjustment, so I tried tucking it in to the band of my sports bra, but that failed too! So a lot of my run was spend hitching it back up until I gave up, stopped, took it off, and ran holding it! Smile with tongue out I’ve tied a knot in it now, so hopefully it’ll be okay next time!DSC05114

I also did 30mins on the elliptical/cross-trainer at the gym, and wore my new top that I bought yesterday in the sales:


I bought the white version a while back, and I love it, so when I saw this blue one on sale I snapped it up! Smile 

Pre-exercise brekkie was my usual PB on toast, and post-workout breakfast was choco-banana oatmeal:DSC05100

And then my family hit Bluewater shopping centre…again! Although thankfully we got in and out easily, unlike yesterday! And I got some awesome purchases today! Open-mouthed smile

These boots were reduced to £20:DSC05123

Nike tempo shorts were half price! They came in tons of different colours (I have a black/green/white pair already) but I ended up going with simple black+white, because it’ll go with anything on top!DSC05137

And the most exciting purchase? Of the year/decade?DSC05127




Asics Gel Cumulus 2 reduced to £30! Open-mouthed smile After trying on thousands of pairs of running shoes, I fell in love with these! Although I don’t need a new pair quite yet, I’m buying them in advance to save some money. But I don’t know if I’ll be able to resist the temptation of wearing them! They’re much better than my current Asics, and are cheaper than they were too!DSC05130

After all that bargain-hunting, dinner was consumed at Nando’s restaurant. I had a ‘portobello mushroom and grilled halloumi cheese burger’ without the halloumi and with a mixed leaf salad on the side.DSC05125


The side salad was huge! It was perfect- I was really craving greens after eating so much junk recently!

So tell me, have you bought any sale bargains? And do you crave certain foods after eating a lot of junk?

Tomorrow I’m going to an early BodyPump class (I haven’t been in a couple of weeks, so it’s going to hurt!), and my post will be a recap of my 2010, which has certainly been a very eventful year!

Hope you’ve had a great day too! Smile


Buffet Monster

It’s Christmas Eve!! And that means…SANTA’S COMING! Can you tell I’m excited? Winking smile

I also had huge excitement over my purchases from yesterday! So as soon as I woke up,  I set to work ON Katie’s melties!


Starry ice cube tray


Coconut buttah! LOVE it already!


One coconut meltie, one Dark Chocolate Dreams meltie!

They’re in the freezer now, and will be consumed soon! Open-mouthed smile

Breakfast was another one of my purchases:DSC04810DSC04817

Oh…cinnamonyness…mmm…. Loved this cereal! It couldn’t not be great though, since it had cinnamon in it! Smile with tongue out And it’s good for you!DSC04821

I didn’t have a humungous breakfast, as I was heading off to a friend’s party. I had planned to make chocolate vegan cupcakes to take along, but I ransacked the kitchen and couldn’t find any cocoa powder! Surprised smile All I could find was ‘light’ instant hot chocolate powder!DSC04874Thought about using this instead, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work very well! Smile with tongue out 

There was a huge buffet for lunch at the party, and bless her she provided vegan food (HOUMOUS!) and even told me at the start exactly what foods were and weren’t vegan! Smile  I am a Buffet Monster. All food is decimated by me.DSC04830

Looks alright doesn’t it? Well that was my innocent first plate. Numerous other helpings followed, then the plate was thrown aside, and I dived right in there! Smile with tongue out

As soon as I got back from that party, I went out for a dinner with old friends! We’ve known each other since we were kids, but don’t see each other as much any more sadly, so it was great to catch up today!36184_1671704756287_1347423739_31724938_6393186_n

It gave me an excuse to get a bit dressed up too! Smile


We ate at Pizza Express, which is a lovely Italian restaurant if you’ve never heard of it.pizza_express_peter_street_manchester

We ordered doughballs to share for our appetizer, and since there weren’t any vegan mains on the menu,  I just ordered the huge ‘Bosco’ salad without the mozzarella:



Warm garlic mushrooms, baby mozzarella, avocado, roasted tomatoes, baby spinach, rocket, balsalmic syrup and dressing

It was so big, I couldn’t finish! Trust me, that’s a rare occurrence! Smile with tongue out

There weren’t any vegan desserts either, but they did have an almost vegan ‘dolcetti’ (small dessert), which I ordered without the mascarpone. However, the waitress forgot that part, so I just ate around it:


Baby figs with cinnamon & white wine spiced syrup with mascarpone


The baby figs were lovely! I’ve never had a whole fig before, but they were delicious! The whole meal was great, and I successfully proved to my sceptical friends that vegans can eat out at ‘normal’ restaurants! Smile

This morning, I’m off to the gym to get in a quick workout before starting the busy Christmas preparations! There’s my dish (Festive Squash Jalousie) to veganise+bake ahead and freeze:untitled

And of course, tons of presents to wrap and cards to write! Since this is technically Thursday’s (late) post, I might do another one later tonight for you lovelies…

So what are you hoping Santa will bring you tomorrow? I know one of the things he’s bringing me (he left his receipt lying around! Smile with tongue out) and can’t wait to show you tomorrow!! And how are you spending your Christmas tomorrow? With family, friends, or both? We’re having our usual of all the family round! And our family from New York our flying in today to spend Christmas with us, so I can’t wait to see them again!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Open-mouthed smile

Repetitions, and advice needed!

Today started with a solemn (but awesome!) workout at my local gym, as it was my penultimate day as a member! Boo hoo!  Crying face Last month I decided it was getting too expensive for me (the price had just gone up- AGAIN!) so I quit, but I had already paid for the month, so I could still go for the whole of October. Instead I will have more time to focus on my running, which is good, but’ I’ll definitely miss the discounted classes and strength training equipment Sad smile Have any of you quit your gyms for this reason?

On the positive side, I made today’s workout worth it! I did:

  • 30-40 mins strength training
  • 1 hour elliptical
  • 15 mins exercise bike
  • 15 mins Stairmaster

And I’ll see if there are any BodyPump classes on tomorrow that I can possibly squeeze in, although tomorrow’s a busy day for me, so I doubt I’ll be able to do one even if there is! But I had a great workout today, so that’s good! Open-mouthed smile

Breakfast/Pre-workout fuel:


2x Peanut butter on toast with banana. I’d never tried this combo before, but having seen it on other blogs, thought I’d give it a go! Surprisingly nice, and definitely gave me a ton of energy, which I really needed! Interesting fact for ya: I had never tried peanut butter before I started reading blogs. Can you believe it?! They inspired me to give it a go, and now I’m a right addict! Open-mouthed smile

Post workout fuel:


Yum! Possibly my favourite flavour so far, but I haven’t tried quite a few of the others yet…I really want to try the Gingerbread and Banana Bread ones!

For lunch I had an (unphotographed-too hungry! Smile with tongue out) omelette with pieces of tofu in it…hello protein! Open-mouthed smile It was very yummy! And for dessert, my current favourite fruit bar:


So good! My favourite flavour that I’ve tried-I’m a sucker for apricot! Smile And check out the stellar ingredients list:


Just fruit! No added rubbish! Love it! I grabbed one of these (plus some other snacky foods) to take with me to the party I went to yesterday. I had planned on making a sandwich or salad or something more substantial to take, but didn’t have time in the end, so grabbed what I could to go:DSC02923

A random mix, I know! Is it just me that packs some healthy food to take with them wherever they go, just in case? Well it definitely came in useful last night! There was a ton of pizza, but it had chicken on it, and there was lots of marshmallows and sweets too (gelatine alert!), so not the most veggie-friendly party ever! I know you’re dying to see my outfit from last night…DSC02924


I was attempting a ‘fierce soldier glare’ in the second photo…not sure that came across too well! Smile with tongue out

Back to today: I took my lovely little doggie for a walk in the park this afternoon, and got some lovely pictures of the beautiful foliage:



While I prefer the summer months weather wise, you can’t argue that this is definitely the most beautiful season Smile

And you’ll never guess what I did this evening? If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll note a consistent theme…yes, I ate out. Again. Embarrassed smile And I went to Bluewater again. And I had frozen yoghurt again. So yes, a little repetitive, sorry! Smile with tongue out I ate with my family at a Portuguese restaurant called Nando’s, which although is famous for its chicken, does cater well for vegetarians. I chose a mushroom and halloumi cheese burger with ratatouille as a side dish.DSC03121

Very yum! For dessert, I headed across to YooMoo, my favourite frozen yogurt place, and tried their limited edition pumpkin-pie flavoured yoghurt (topped with chocolate buttons! Smile with tongue out) that I mentioned before I really wanted to try.


DSC03132Sadly, I was not a fan at all of the yoghurt! It didn’t taste at all like pumpkin pie, and my mum and brother both tried a bit also and hated it too! I ended up just eating the buttons and throwing the rest away Sad smile At least I’ll know for future reference to stick to the normal flavours, or at least to ask for a tester first! But the buttons were delish of course, and I also had some dark chocolate when I got home to console myself!  It worked- I feel much better now! Open-mouthed smile 

Oh and I need some advice from you all: do you use protein powders? I was considering buying some to put in my smoothies and that sort of thing to boost my protein intake, but browsing in the health foods store I had no idea what to get! There are SO many different kinds (soya, whey, hemp, etc.)  and flavours, and they’re certainly not cheap, so I’d like to get the ‘right’ one! Looking at the ingredients list on the cheapest one (strawberry flavoured ‘soya isolate’- no clue what that means!) didn’t help in any way- an endless list of ingredients I had never heard of! Is this normal? What should I get?

To finish up what is now admittedly a ridiculously long post, I’ll leave you returning readers with what I know you’ve all been longing to know more about since one of my posts a few days ago…DSC03134

A banana update! I think these are just about brown enough, don’t you? Smile with tongue out So expect some baking involving these in the next few days!

Have a great evening! Smile

Eating out issues…

Yes, I ate out again today! This is becoming an expensive habit…! Ironic that the issue I raised yesterday about the problems I often have eating out as a vegetarian! Anyway, I’ll start at the beginning…

I finally got in my run! Be proud! I looked out the window, and although the weather wasn’t brilliant, it wasn’t raining at least.


An easy run today: 3.27 miles in 30 mins. My usual short run fuel:


Not the whole jar of peanut butter though! Smile with tongue out The banana reminded me of a dirty secret of mine, that I feel I should share. Fellow (crazy) bakers may understand…


Yes, I hide ripe bananas so they won’t be eaten! Embarrassed smile Then they can go nice and black; perfect for baking!  I know, it’s shameful, but sometimes these things just need to be done in order to be able to bake the perfect banana bread/muffins/baked good!


They’re getting there…just a little longer…

Anyway, I had a lot of work to catch up on this morning, and wanted something quick to much on whilst slaving away. Enter my proper breakfast, a bowl of cereal:


This was a yummy cereal, with dried fruit, oats and nuts. A perfect combo Smile So I (of course) went back for seconds… 

Today’s plan involved shopping, one of my favourite hobbies! I live within a half-hour drive of the second biggest shopping centre in England Open-mouthed smile It’s called Bluewater, and if you haven’t been there and love shopping, you should go!


(I didn’t take that picture!) Yeah it doesn’t look all that attractive, but it’s really great. I was meeting up with my best friend, who I’ve known since I was 5!


(I’m on the far right, and she’s next to me). We don’t see each other all that much any more, so this was a big deal! The plan: have lunch and then shop till we drop! As she had suggested the trip, I let her decide where to eat. MISTAKE. First rule of eating out as a veggie: always check the menu first! I learnt that today- an important lesson! We ate at a restaurant where there were literally two things on the entire menu that were vegetarian friendly, and neither of them appealed! So I ended up ordering a pasta dish, which was vegetarian apart from the parmesan cheese on top, which I requested without.


A bit disappointing. I’m not a huge pasta fan generally to begin with, and often find that it is usually one of the only vegetarian dishes offered at restaurants! At least the veggies in the dish were nice- roasted courgette, peppers and onions Smile And the meat-eater was happy with her meal-a chicken wrap with fries-  which was good!


For dessert, I suggested we head towards YooMoo, a new frozen yoghurt bar that had recently opened up. I had eaten there once before, and it was DELICIOUS! As you may know, I LOVE frozen yoghurt, with a passion! I ordered the natural flavour with a topping of granola.DSC02865


Yumyumyum! A good sized portion- and that was the smallest size! Not particularly cheap though, at £3.40, but totally worth it. Especially for that cool green spoon! This also caught my eye while I was there:


Limited edition Halloween PUMPKIN PIE FLAVOURED FROZEN YOGURT!! I didn’t have enough cash on me then for it (I was a bit more expensive than my order) but I will definitely get it next time I’m there! Open-mouthed smile

Whilst shopping (I bought some great stuff by the way, which I will share tomorrow if I remember!) I kept seeing this kind of thing up in stores:


A whole floor of this shop (Boots, if you’re English!) was dedicated to Christmas stuff, and the same for many other stores I went to! Is it just me, or is a little early? It isn’t even Halloween yet! Much as I love Christmas (and I really really do!) this is a bit early in my opinion!

Question: When do you think ‘the Christmas period’ officially starts?