Morning no-brainer

Apparently, I’m not so good in the mornings. I love them and all, but apparently my brain can’t function well…but I did learn three very important lessons today when I did my first ever super-early-pre-church workout!

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1. Breakfast means getting up earlier. Especially if you want Pancake Sunday! Otherwise you’ll just have to go with the cereal+banana combo, cos that’s all you’ll have time for…

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Optimum blueberry and cinnamon flax cereal+coconut milk and banana

Still yummo of course, but nothing beats pancakes on Pancake Sunday.

2. Pack gym bag the night before. That way you won’t be running around in the dark throwing clothes everywhere because you can’t find the capris you live in normally…and then couldn’t find in the end anyway.Nike-Be-Fast-Womens-Nylon-Training-Capris-412628_010_A

(source)

3. Don’t forget to shave your legs. Because you will be forced to wear your Nike Tempos with hairy legs

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You can breathe, I'll spare you the close-up! 😛

Ooops.DSC06648

Despite all that, I had an AMAZING workout, with the my hardest ever treadmill run! I opted for a 30 min pre-set hill session, and it was so hard that after 10 mins I had to reduce my speed to 8 min/mile!DSC06651

The incline climbed up to 7% TWICE, which is way more than I’ve ever done before, and held it there for a few minutes! The second time round I almost died. It was SO awesome, and totally kicked my ass! I was dripping sweat, which combined with the Super Hairy Legs must have made for one helluva attractive sight! And I can’t wait to tackle it again next week! Open-mouthed smileDSC06653

I cooled down on the elliptical for a bit, then sprinted to get changed in time for church. No, I didn’t shower until after the service. So everyone hated me for that, and for *quietly* munching away during the service…

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I’m one of those weird cool people that eat all the time. Even when just walking from place to place, I usually have food in my mouth. But next time I think it might be wise for me to swap the CRUNCH bar for a banana or something next time though…funnily enough eating that bar quietly wasn’t very successful…!Smile with tongue out

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In other news, I USED MY FOOD PROCESSOR FOR THE FIRST TIME!! Wahoo! After about half an hour of serious confusion, I managed to work out out how to turn it on. Actually, that’s a lie. I got help, and it was as simple as screwing on the bowl properly. What can I say, I’m a bright kid.Light bulb

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Chocolate PB banana soft-serve, with chocolate chips on top.DSC06659

One frozen banana, 2 tsp Dark Chocolate Dreams processed for a few mins. Bliss.

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And can you guess what is going to be my Special Monday Breakfast tomorrow? I’ll give ya a hint:DSC06664

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Can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

Dinner was also amazing!!

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Hummus in a WW wrap, roasted bnut squash and Eazy-Cheezy Scrambled Tofu

Eazy-Cheezy Scrambled Tofu

  • 1/3 block firm silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu)
  • A few sprays of EVOO oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1.5-2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika, or spices of your choice
  1. Put the tofu into a small pan, and chop into small pieces. Spray tofu and pan with oil.
  2. Add everything else, stir, turn up onto a medium heat, and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Enjoy!!

This was delicious! I loved adding the paprika to give it a little kick! SmileI also went back for more squash, and ended up eating pretty much the whole thing! And it was a big’un too! Feeling just a little over-fibred now! Disappointed smileNo regrets though…too darn YUMMY!DSC06673

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Are you good in the mornings? I love mornings, because it’s breakfast time (<—best time of the day!!), but my brain doesn’t actually switch on until about mid morning!

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If you’re a runner, do you do hill runs? I’ve only started doing them recently, after reading how beneficial they are for your running! But up until last week I was too chicken! Hills scared me (and still do a bit! Smile with tongue out). I now incorporate a hilly run and hill sprints into my schedule.

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And  what are you looking forward to this week? I’m looking forward to experimenting with my processor! A hummus recipe coming up soon! I’ll also be making my own Dark Chocolate Dreams! Open-mouthed smile

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Have a great week friends!!

frea

P.S. I changed my Twitter username a fortnight ago, and forgot to mention it!! It seems to be causing some confusion still! It’s @SweetToothRunnr now for when you wanna chat 🙂

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Attack of the Snack Monster and FAQ’s!

Hello friends! Smile

I just got back from another BodyPump class! Love them!DSC05472

The results you get are very noticeable too- I’ve only been going once/twice a week for less than a month and I’m already lifting heavier weights and seeing a real difference! Open-mouthed smileCan’t wait to start my Tone Up challenge on Monday too, and it’s not too late to join me if you like! Smile

Breakfast was applesauce oatmeal (a new combo!)…DSC05671

…topped with granola (duh!):DSC05677

I love how oatmeal is so changeable! And I’ve almost finished my huge jar of PB, so I can’t wait for OIAJ! Open-mouthed smile 

The Snack Monster seriously attacked me today.

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Grilled large mushrooms filled with red pepper houmous

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Rice cakes, one topped with red pepper houmous, the other almond butter.

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Delicious Raw apricot and almond snack bar

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Honeydew melon and grapes

Cereal and coconut milk

So I fed him! Winking smile Nothing would satisfy the Snack Monster though…but everything tasted goood! You know, someone said to me today that it was a “good thing I exercised, otherwise I’d be so fat”! Not sure whether that was a compliment or not…!

Of course, I still had room for dinner though! I made a curried lentil and potato dish.DSC05668

Lentils are awesome! High in fibre, iron and protein! Open-mouthed smilePerfect post-workout food! As is this…

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Soya yoghurt and GRANOLA

 

Seriously, somebody stop me! Or at the very least check me into a Granola rehab! They surely must exist for ‘special’ people like me…!

Announcement: One of my ‘reader’s requests’ was a FAQ page. Now I feel a little…self-conscious/vain/egotistical(?) about making one, but it was a request, and I do love reading other’s FAQ pages, so please send me your questions! You can leave a comment below or email me your questions. I’ll answer (almost!) anything!

Coming up tomorrow is some baking, which I haven’t done in a few days, and so am getting withdrawal symptoms from (typical signs include constantly reading cookbooks, stockpiling ingredients, stalking food blogs, etc.)! There are some great recipes I have to try out! What is on your To-Make/Bake list? Mine is literally a mile-long and mostly recipes from other bloggers like Mama Pea and Oh She Glows! Smile with tongue out

TGIF tomorrow! I’m exhausted, don’t know about you! Bring on the weekend! Open-mouthed smile

Goodnight lovely readers, and don’t forget to ask away!

Do most runners need to lose weight?

Hey friends!

Thought I’d spark up a lil’ discussion today about something that has been bothering me for a while, but first, breakfast! Open-mouthed smile

Stovetop oatmeal (I rarely have it any other way now!) topped with a huge dollop of lovely PB.

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WHY is marriage between humans and peanut butter not allowed? Pure MADNESS I say!

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My first time combining nut butter and oatmeal! Won’t be my last either! Winking smile

For lunch, I was craving houmous, as all normal people do on at least a tri-weekly basis! But shock horror, there was none to be found! Surprised smile However, a can of chickpeas and Allrecipes saved me, and I made my own! DSC05162

Sadly, it tasted like blended chickpeas, not houmous. Maybe because there was no tahini in it…? Don’t know but it was blaaaand. Still, chickpeas are chickpeas, and unspoken rule #1 in my book is never let food go to waste! So I fried me up some courgettes (love) and had a houmous and courgette sandwich!DSC05170

Houmous + courgette = match made in heaven. Trust me on this one.

Snackage today was mainly a ton of trail mix. “Warning: highly addictive” should really be on the packet to warn innocent, naive foodies like moi.DSC05175

And possibly a couple thousand spoonfuls of my current favourite thing in the entire universe:

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Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. Complete foodgasm.

In the evening, it was BodyPump time! And man was it busy today! New Years Resolutioners…and my mum was one of them! SmileI’ve never worked out with my momma before, so it was really fun! My muscles will be achey tomorrow, but her’s are gonna kill! Smile with tongue outDSC05472

Triceps push-ups = die. I considered calling an ambulance to take me away on a stretcher at that point! What muscle group do you find hardest to work on? Mine is triceps, then biceps, but my momma said she found the lunges the hardest (my easiest!).

Yesterday’s sweat was a killer lunchtime workout! I did speedwork on the treadmill (1k @ 12mph, 2 min walking break, x 5: so a 5k run with walking breaks every kilometre) and then a 30 min mini circuits class. Circuits are great, because they incorporate weights and cardio! I have to go to a proper full-length one at some point! Open-mouthed smile

That was fuelled by an NRG energy bar that I got free from the London Running Show back in November.DSC05470

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Certainly gave me energy, but wasn’t a huge fan of the taste to be honest! The chocolate and toffee flavour I sampled there was much nicer (obviously! Winking smile)

***

Discussion time! Oh I do love a good discussion! Please feel free (by that, I mean obliged) to comment with your thoughts and opinions! I love hearing from you all! Smile

So, do runners need to lose weight? At least, that’s what magazines seem to be saying! A few days ago, I bought my favourite magazine (Women’s Running), but was once again disappointed to see the main feature on the cover. DSC05411

Can you see it?DSC05414

And the main feature in the January issue?DSC05418

The December issue of Runner’s World:DSC05419

So many of the dietary articles in running magazines are about weight loss! This concerns me as most runners do not need to lose weight! It is a direct contradiction as well to the healthy athletic cover models! In fact, what I would really like to see is an article on how to gain weight in a healthy way, as I think this would benefit many more of us. I do understand that some runners are trying to lose weight, and this targets them, but I believe that many more of us do not want, and do not need to lose weight!

Not only this, but I think it sends out a certain message– that everyone runs to lose weight. Often when people hear I run, they assume this, and I sometimes feel self-conscious and even embarrassed to admit I run in case people think I’m trying to lose weight!

So, thoughts and opinions on this topic? Has this ever struck you, have you not noticed, or does it not really bother you?

Tackling the 2011 goals

Hello lovelies! How’s 2011 treating ya?

I woke up behind schedule today after another late night (bad habit!) and was slightly late for church! Whilst throwing on clothes, I threw a slice of bread in the toaster and the ingredients for a breakfast smoothie in the blender. BLEND.DSC05298

Just had enough time to gulp it down and slather PB on my toast before dashing out the door and running down the road to church. Whilst eating my toast. And wearing this hat:untitled

Okay, I don’t have that ultra-cool hat (yet), or this equally cool shirt…untitled 2

…but my birthday’s only 9 months away…got the subtle hint guys? Winking smileAnd yes, I do look like that person on the shirt when eating PB. Foodgasm alert.

Anyway, moving swiftly on! I had a quick lunch before going shopping (yes, again!).DSC05318

Houmous and sautéed courgette on toast, with more courgette and smoked almond+sesame seed tofu on the side. Followed by…DSC05324

Dark choccie x3. Obviously.

Shopping mission today? To get hand weights to help accomplish 2011 goal #7! Mission accomplished. 2 x 2.5kg hand weights which were half price! Open-mouthed smileDSC05328

DSC05308But it wasn’t easy, I can tell ya that! Getting them home involved 5 plastic bags, which subsequently broke, and so I had to stuff them in my handbag.DSC05302

Poor handbag. It wasn’t designed for carrying >5kg, and neither was my shoulder! Smile with tongue outBut hopefully I’ll do a weight training post this week, so keep your eyes peeled!

I also used up the last of my book shop gift card on this book which totally caught my eye:DSC05311

DSC05310Babycakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-about Bakery

This book is the bomb. Yes, that good. Looking through the recipes, I loved everything!

And with ingredients lists like this…

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Ingredients for raspberry scones

…and with pictures like this…

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Double chocolate crumb cake

can ya blame me? I can’t wait to bake some stuff from here! Open-mouthed smile

So I’m off to spend an hour all night looking through this book.

Do you get excited over recipe books, or is it just me? Seriously, I could happily spend  whole day perusing one! And have any of you started making headway on your New Years Resolutions/Goals? I’ve stuck to doing some yoga everyday so far (well it has only been 2 days to be fair!) and am getting moving on the weight training. Also, I’m planning to go to some new exercise classes over the next few days which is exciting! SmileSo numbers 5, 6 and 7 on their way!

Have a great evening! I know I sure will! Winking 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!

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Starry ice cube tray

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Coconut buttah! LOVE it already!

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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

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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:

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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:

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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

Vegan double gingerbread cookies

So yesterday, I made a ton of delicious gingerbread cookies! And guess what? There isn’t a single one left this evening! Surprised smile That’s 39 cookies eaten in less than 24 hours, for your information! My family and I decimate all baked goods. Fact. I’ll get to the recipe in a moment. The rest of my day first! Smile

Today I didn’t have oatmeal for breakfast! I can hear your incredulous gasps of disbelief, but it is true! I opted for a apple-cinnamon yoghurt parfait  instead!DSC04726

Simply a chopped apple, sprinkled with cinnamon, covered with soya yoghurt which was topped with my yummy Bodymatter granola.DSC04727

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While this was delicious, it wasn’t as filling as my oatmeal, so a mid-morning snack of this followed:DSC04734

A Bounce almond protein ball! The 12g of protein kept me satisfied for ages while I hit the shops for yet more Christmas shopping! I had lunch whilst rushing round the shops, which was a houmous and falafel wrap:DSC04116

All I’ve got left to get now is my brother’s Christmas card, and that’s it! Just have to keep my fingers crossed for that Amazon delivery now! Smile

Before I left for my shopping trip, I remembered that I’d seen a gym attached to the shopping centre last time, so I packed some clothes and took some time out from my shopping to hit the gym for a quick 45 min workout! And I was super excited when I got there to find that this gym was so posh! Well actually it was probably quite average, but my local gym has very ‘vintage’ (circa 19th Century probably!) machines, so these seemed amazing to me! A treadmill with a TV?!DSC04730

Wow. I loved it! Must do this whole shopping+working out thing again! Open-mouthed smile In my post-workout shopping I picked up this Trek bar and munched happily away…DSC04736

So how is your Christmas shopping going? Got everything yet? Oh, and have you regulars noticed the blog theme change? Like it? I do! I think it’s much more ‘me’ than the last one! On that note, there are going to be a more few minor blog changes coming up soon, just so ya know! Smile

Anyway, back to the cookies!

Vegan double gingerbread cookies (adapted from here)

  • 140g vegan spread (or unsalted butter)
  • 100g molasses sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup (or molasses, golden syrup etc.)
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda 
  • 2 tsp ground ginger and 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 balls stem ginger from a jar, chopped finely <—-hence the double gingerness of the cookies, for Maria who asked! Smile
  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment. Melt spread, sugar and syrup in a pan until a smooth liquid forms. Mix the flour, soda and spices together in a bowl. Stir in the liquid and chopped ginger to make a stiff-ish dough.
  2. If necessary, wait until cool enough to handle, then roll out dough to about 5mm thick. Stamp out shapes using cookie cutters, re-rolling and pressing the trimmings back together and rolling again. Lift onto baking sheets. Bake for approx 8-12 mins (depending on the size of your cookies and on your oven) until golden. Cool 10 mins on the sheets, then lift onto cooling racks. Once fully cooled, ice/decorate if desired. Enjoy! Open-mouthed smile

First, assemble your ingredients for melting (spread, sugar and syrup):DSC04689

Melt away!DSC04700

Panic because you realise you didn’t check first to see if you had any ground ginger. Toss everything out of your cupboards until you finally find some, and try not to faint with relief.DSC04690

Or you can just be organised and check beforehand. Up to you really!

Mix together your dry ingredients:DSC04691

I actually just threw in the spices (couldn’t find a teaspoon measurer- can you tell I’m slightly disorganised? Smile with tongue out), so I’m not sure exactly of the amounts I used, but it turned out fine anyway!

Finely chop your ginger (I used two stem ginger balls that were in syrup, drained well).DSC04694

Mix everything together until a dough is formed. Warning: this dough, like most cookie doughs, is highly addictive. Now, if you gorge yourself like I did, you can’t say I didn’t warn you! Winking smileDSC04701

And then comes the fun bit…rolling and cutting! As its Christmas, I used small angel and star cookie cutters…DSC04703

…and a few other random cutters for the scraps:DSC04705

I then added a bit of green icing (green=Xmas!) to some of them. I would have iced them completely, but I had less than 50g of icing sugar in the house, so I made do with what little I had! Smile with tongue out

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That’s for all you wonderful readers, who are all stars to me! Smile

Pumpkin Spelt Pancakes

I am very happy, wonderful readers, because I have a camera again! Borrowed one from my parents, and celebrated this event by having pumpkin pancakes for breakfast! Open-mouthed smile And who doesn’t love a cute little stack of pancakes to brighten up their morning?DSC04460

Pumpkin Spelt Pancakes (adapted from Angela’s recipe)

  • 1/2 cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used coconut)
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or mixed spice)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Spray a pan with EVOO spray (or just use oil) and heat it on medium/low. Mix dry ingredients together. Then stir together the wet separately (pumpkin+milk), and add to dry. Stir until a batter is formed. Then spoon (I used a tablespoon) onto the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until lightly browned, then flip and do the same for the other side. Makes 5 mini pancakes (serves 1). Add toppings and enjoy! Open-mouthed smile

First, assemble the ingredients:DSC04467

Mix together the dry ingredients:DSC04446

Stir together wet ingredients, and admire the colour!DSC04445

Dry+wet:DSC04451

Flipping is the scary bit! I’ve never been an expert pancake flipper, but will be someday! Smile with tongue outDSC04457 

The batter is really quite thick, which results in quite thick, fluffy pancakes. Just how I like ‘em! Winking smile I simply topped mine with agave nectar, but you can get really creative with your toppings. The possibilities are endless! Open-mouthed smile

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Oooh…fluffiness…DSC04464

Cardio today was a five hour crazy shopping trip. Trust me, this was one hell of a workout! Smile with tongue out I succeeded in getting most presents and in severely depleting the savings in my bank account. But it was worth it! Lunch was had at Pret, and was a chunky houmous salad wrap.DSC04468

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During my marathon trip, I stopped often to admire the lights and decorations, which were really quite good this year!DSC04471

This is less than half the bags I ended up with:DSC04473

The rest are still in my car, as I couldn’t carry them all out at once! Smile with tongue out I also got given a Trek flapjack for free (yay!) by the nice lady at the health store, which I’m adding to my stash! SmileDSC04475

I have a question. Is it wrong to read the books you have bought for other people as a present? Its just that I bought this for a friend…DSC04476

…and have been perusing it for quite a while now! I can’t help it- I love recipe books! Open-mouthed smile 

The rest of the afternoon was spent finishing putting up the Christmas decorations in the house. Obviously this had to be done wearing a Santa hat. Like it? Smile with tongue outDSC04482

I am one cool being!DSC04481

Afternoon snackage included a bowl of Ultra Bran cereal+coconut milk:DSC04479

I love Saturday nights! Partly because it is X Factor time, and partly because Saturday nights are Ready-Meal Night. Tonight I chose Innocent’s Indian Daal veg pot.DSC04485 Not only does this have 3 portions of veg in it, but it was suitable for vegetarians+vegans and has a whopping 34.6g of protein in it! Win! Open-mouthed smileDSC04490

How is your Christmas shopping going? I’ve got all the presents I need for my friends (thank goodness!), and am ordering the family’s online! And do you have certain food ‘nights’? As well as Ready-Meal Saturday, I have Quick-From-The-Freezer Friday, so two lazy nights in a row! Smile with tongue out

Hope you’re having a great weekend! Enjoy your Sunday Smile