Exciting times #3

Okay, so if you didn’t realise already, I get excited a lot. Over every little thing. I put this constant high down to the sugar intake (DATES, I’m talking to you!), and clearly I get excited very easily- see my other two excitement posts for proof! Smile with tongue out So, seven exciting things for today!!

ghyulgyul

Excitement: I am no longer a crunchy virgin.DSC06431

Before this morning, I had never had crunchy peanut butter before. If you think that’s weird, pre-blogging, I had never even had nut-butter before!

Well I gave away my flower in style. (Friends reference #1001!)

DSC06432

PB+J banana oatmeal

Excitement: COCONUT BUTTER!!

Artisana raw organic coconut butter

 

Amazing reader Angie from the US read my moans about lack of coconut butter in the UK and sent me some! Angie, seriously, we are now BFF’s.

Not only did Angie send me coconut butter, but she also threw in these too:

DSC06441

Clif all-natural high protein+fibre Crunch chocolate chip granola bars

Granola?! Chocolate Chips?! Seriously girl, you know me so well!! Open-mouthed smile

htsydt

Excitement: A ‘gym regular’. I overheard one of the guys at the gym in the weights area (where the good treadmills are!) say “Oh look, it’s crazy runner girl again!”. HA they don’t know the half of it…DSC05971

Excitement: The Best Speed Run Ever! A speed interval run totally kicked my butt today! I was literally dripping sweat, and so red I thought my face might explode. I looked unbelievably attractive still obviously, but I thought I’d save you the sight anyway…

1 min @ 8.6mph
1 min @ 8.7mph
1 min @ 8.8 mph
2 min @ cooldown pace

Repeated for about 40 mins  + a 5 min warm up and cool down. I was totally motivated by Paula!

DSC06448

(Excuse the blurry picture-running does not make for quality photos!)

Paula Radcliffe is actually my heroine. If you are mad and don’t know who she is, she holds the world record for the fastest women’s marathon time, at 2:15:25!! Surprised smile 

Anyway, I’ve just started reading her autobiography, and it’s so good! Every time I needed a bit of inspiration on the ‘mill, I just looked over and saw her face and was inspired. I know, I know, I’m lame!!

I finished up with a few mins on the elliptical reading the book using Janae’s life-saving hairband trick.DSC06449

Excitement: A free Trek bar. DSC06447

Health store people are just too nice. I love them.

Excitement: A delicious dinner.

DSC06374

‘Cheezy’ quinoa stuffed mushrooms with tempeh, more ‘cheezy’ quinoa, and cherry toms.

‘Cheeze’ sauce

  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast flakes
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine
  • Spices for flavouring (optional)
  1. Mix the dry ingredients (except spices) together in a small pan. Add the water and cook over medium heat, whisking, until it thickens and bubbles.
  2. Cook for a minute more, or until desired thickness is reached.
  3. Remove from the heat and add margarine. Stir until the margarine has melted in. Add spices if desired (I added paprika for some spiciness).

This sauce is great! Makes about 2 cups worth, is high in protein, and leftovers keep well in the fridge. I just made a serving of quinoa too, mixed in 1/2 cup of ‘cheeze’ sauce, put into some destalked large mushrooms, and grilled for 5 mins. Delish! Smile

Excitement: More chocolate pudding.DSC06408

The second time in the last three days that I’ve had Katelyn’s amazing mousse. I love me some raw chocolate mousse…holy yummo.

huir

Tomorrow I’m going to be having some fun with my coconut butter, and sharing a healthy, five ingredient cookie recipe! Open-mouthed smile

hira

So, what exciting things happened to you today or this weekend? I gave you seven exciting things from today, so share with me some pretty please!

And do you have a role model/idol you look up to? Paula is totally mine! My dream is to meet her someday…or maybe even run with her! I think I’d be able to keep up for about a minute though before passing out with exhaustion, but I’d appreciate those 60 seconds a lot!!

rgeag

Hope you’re having a great week friends!!

P.S. The treats from Angie have inspired me- does anyone want to do an American-Brit foodie swap? It would be fun! I can offer basically anything you’ve seen on here, like Trek/Nakd/9 bars, etc. If you’re interested email me 🙂

 

Advertisements

Reader request: Contents of a gym bag…

Hey friends!

fhuri

I absolutely loved reading your responses yesterday!! We are all TWINS I tell you!! Apparently most of you are drama queens too, and so we all go into a serious panic when there’s a lack of nut butter or chocolate. But there was no lack of either of those things in today’s AMAZING breakfast…

htshts

Monday’s are Special Breakfast Day. I try to have a super-nice breakfast so Monday mornings are just plain amazing. Take today for example.

DSC06419

Choco-Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal with Chocolate Chips

(1/2 cup oats, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 banana, 3 tsp vegan instant hot chocolate powder, PB and chocolate chips).

ukyd

Seriously, this was the best bowl of oatmeal I have ever had. I know I say that on a pretty much daily basis but this was so so true! I am probably going to have this awesome combo next Monday too- can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

ytdjdj

Monday Reader Request- Gym bag contents

I thought I’d do a lil’ Monday ‘Reader Request’ series! This was a question where I got asked what my gym essentials were, and I thought it’d be fun one to share!

Firstly, gym bag schmim bag. It’s called using a huge handbagDSC06429

…so you can waste what mula you saved on your magazine addiction:DSC06177

Still drooling over the gym bag though…Nike-Sami-3_0-Large-Club-Bag-BA3174_665_A

source

So ma contents include:DSC06361

  • Anti-perspirant and towel to help this Sweaty Betty
  • Body Spray to mask what the anti-perspirant failed to prevent
  • Food (duh). Today I packed an energy bar, a Graze box, dates, and a banana for snacksies.
  • Entertainment (magazines, books, iPod)

Also, my Nike Tempo shorts which I love, but rarely wear, because I can’t always be bothered to shave. I do have my priorities you know, and baking+eating cookies > appearance/hygiene. Grossed out much?

DSC06425

Hair stuff! 

DSC06428SO important, not just because of my ridiculous amount of hair (see my ‘About’ page for proof!) but for the hairband trick that I leaned from Janae! This allowed me to read this amazing book whilst on the elliptical, and look ultra-cool obviously.DSC06365

And most importantly…DSC06356

WATER! I got through three bottles in today’s workout (50 min elliptical+BodyPump)!! Yes, it does mean thousands of toilet trips, but yo that’s the life of an athlete! Smile with tongue out 

hgtrash

So hit me: what are your gym essentials? What weird things are lurking in your gym bag? I also may keep a bag of chocolate chips in there for emergencies… Winking smile

grsrg

And what did you have for breakfast today? I love hearing about people’s eats!!

huilhu

P.S. If you want to send me a request for my Monday request post series, go ahead! I’ve got a few lined up alerady from emails, including my food staples, the vegan question, controversial posts, and posts on running technques like hill sprints, etc. Feel free to add to my list!!

P.P.S. Recipe day coming up tomorrow! I have a ton to share! Open-mouthed smile

Hope you’ve had a great day today friends!! Love you all!

Best breakfast and running confessions

Breakfast. I think most of you will agree with me that this is undoubtedly the best meal of the day. I get up extra-early every day so that I can make myself a killer breakfast. Totally worth it. Especially today…DSC06342

That, my friends, is no ordinary baked oatmeal. Just lookie insideDSC06347

…the moment of truth…DSC06349

chocolate peanut butter.

DSC06354

Oh yeaaah!

Banana ‘Surprise’ baked oatmeal (adapted from Katie’s recipe)

Serves 1- makes 2 small ramekins, or one large.

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used coconut)
  • 1/3 cup mashed banana (just over half a large banana)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 2 tbsp nut butter of choice
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the nut butter.
  3. Half fill the ramekins with the oatmeal, add one tbsp of nut butter to each ramekin (if using 2 small ramekins- otherwise add it all) then put the remaining oatmeal on top.
  4. Bake for approx 15-18 mins, depending on your oven until done.

Unbelievably yummy. I’m even thinking of making a double chocolate one by adding cocoa powder, or maybe even a triple chocolate, with some chocolate chips thrown in there as well…mmm…

The layering bit is just the funnest (<—new word, so remember it) thing ever!DSC06338

I can see you Dark Chocolate Dreams!!DSC06343

This was heaven. Make it soon- you won’t regret it I promise! Open-mouthed smileDSC06352

 ***

I have some confessions. Of the running variety.

1. I went a little running mad. I blame the three days off (stupid ankle). I did hill sprints in the morning, up this lovely hill…st_andrews_road01

…gotta love that incline!! Smile with tongue out

Hill sprints kick serious butt, but they are so much fun! In the afternoon, I hit up the gym, and ended up doing 5k speed intervals (1k @ near race pace, 0.25k recovery, repeat) on the treadmill. Shouldn’t really have done both, but I couldn’t help it! Smile with tongue out

2. I talk to myself out load when running. And/or sing. People hear me and give me strange looks. They think I’m mad (not to mention tone-deaf). They could be right…I don’t think sane people look like this…mad

3. I got super-emotional and almost cried whilst on the treadmill. Not because it’s ‘that time of the month’ or anything, but because I was watching this…DSC06358

DSC06359

If you recognise the movie from that, I applaud you. Australia! The happy reunion bit! Aaaw! I am SUCH a sucker for happy endings…especially with Hugh Jackman thrown in there! Winking smile

4. When not running, I read about running. I went to the library to pay some overdue fines (oops!) and to renew my books, and ended up leaving with more books! All running ones too!

DSC06363

DSC06364

5. I’m an Eager-Beaver Reader. I’ve already almost finished one of the above books, and am halfway through one of the others!DSC06384

I’ve learnt so much already about how to improve my technique, the importance of warming-up and cooling-down properly (which I’ve never really done!) and some stuff on training and racing for my 5k trial! I also took some notesDSC06387 I am officially a geek, and proud of it! Nerd smile

Confession time for you! ‘Fess up people! Running-related or otherwise, I wanna know your confessions so I can feel better about myself! 😛

And is breakfast your favourite meal of the day? What is your all-time favourite breakfast recipe/food? My favourite changes pretty much daily, but other than this, I would have to say chocolate pancakes (coming up tomorrow!) and breakfast cake too of course! Smile

Have a great Sunday friends!

 

P.S. Tomorrow I’m announcing the winner of my international yoga giveaway! So enter now before it’s too late!!

Thirty Day Thursday and looking on the bright side

Hello friends! Open-mouthed smile

You may have seen this 30 Day Challenge on other blogs (I got the idea from the lovely Averie), and I think it’s a fun thing to do! So basically, every Thursday, I’m going to be posting about one of the Thirty Day Challenge topics! Not in order though, because where would be the fun in that? Smile with tongue outimage21

Day 26- What kind of person attracts you

So you may have heard me mention BodyPump boy before. Because clearly I am a little obsessed with him. Well today, straight after class, I ran off outside the hall leaving all my stuff and my set-up to take a call…dsc05785

…and when I got back, he’d put away all my weights and my bench and was holding the door open for me! Awww!! Smile

That is probably the thing I find most attractive in people! Manners, generosity and kindness wins over good looks for me any day!

Shmushy time over now! Smile with tongue out

***

I have also been a little bit obsessed with the whole PB+J combo this week. Read: oatmeal topping Every Single Day.

DSC06212

Peanut Butter and Jam

DSC06260

Dark Chocolate Dreams and Jam

DSC06297

Almond Butter and Jam

Yummy yummy yummy!

I was a bit sad today, because my ankle wasn’t feeling 100% still. I considered going ahead with my planned hill sprint run anyway, but decided in the end it’s better to play it safe. I always like to look on the bright side though!

Bad: Not being able to run today.

Good: This meant I could spend more time in the kitchen cooking up yummy goodies! Open-mouthed smile

Trial #6 of Emma’s Perfect Vegan Chocolate Chip cookie!DSC06276

Bad: Not yet perfect still! Tasters say the texture of this batch is perfect, but they preferred the flavour of Trial #6!
Good: All the trials mean I get to eat a lot of cookie dough, and a lot of cookies! Open-mouthed smile

DSC06274

DSC06278Bad: Not having enough of these…DSC06269

…to make Trial #7 today!

Good: This gave me the perfect excuse to make something else- Katie’s delicious Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Bars! Made a few minor adaptations, but they were amazing!!DSC06303

Seriously, make these now!! They are yum!

Bad: I ate about half the batch! Embarrassed smile
Good: They were so darn tasty, I don’t regret it one bit! Winking smile

Bad: It finished off my jar of peanut butter!DSC06312

Good: This means Oats In A Jar tomorrow for brekkie! With jam on top of course! Smile with tongue out

Amazing: Going back to the cute health store I found on my run on Tuesday, and having a long chat with the lovely woman who owns it. She is my new best friend. She is 65, and ran a sub 3 hour marathon aged 57, and still runs marathons today!! So she is also my new idol. I wanted to take a picture of her and frame it but I don’t think she’d agree that we’re quite at that stage in our relationship…yet.

Even better: She gave me a half price on everything I bought, just because.

DSC06307

One of my goodies- nutritional yeast flakes

The Best: Lovely Amazing Marathon Woman also threw in a bar of dark choccie with raspberries for FREE for me after I told her how much I loved the last one! She says I need it to fuel my running! She knows me so well already! Open-mouthed smileDSC06229

We chatted for ages, and she gave me tons of advice on my running and speedwork!! I LOVE HER!!

So share with me what kind of person attracts you/what qualities in a person you find most attractive. Like I said, I love courtesy, manners, kindness, and I’ll add a good sense of humour to the list! Smile

Do you tend to look on the bright side of things? Glass half-full or half-empty? Please tell me about something Bad —-> Good that happened to you today!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my yoga giveaway! That’s another good thing!! Smile with tongue out

Have a great Friday lovelies!

Banana-coconut balls

Yesterday, I had two PB+J sandwiches.

PB_&J

This is possibly the most genius pairing of food. Ever.DSC04336

So today, I replicated this on my oatmeal.DSC06212

Heavens above, this was bliss. And so so filling! I used: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 coconut milk, 1 cup water, ~1 tbsp PB and ~1 tbsp jam. Plus plenty of PB+J fingers! Smile with tongue out

After that delicious brekkie, I was feeling in a nut butter mood! So I created a new snack ball recipe! Open-mouthed smile

DSC06242

Banana-coconut balls (inspired by Katie’s delicious 3 ingredient peanut butter balls)

Makes 4 balls

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup (26g) oats
  • 2 tbsp nut butter
  • ~2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling
  1. Mash your banana, or do what I did and give it and give it a quick whizz in the blender.
  2. Mix together your mashed banana, oats and nut butter.
  3. Spread out the coconut onto a plate, form the mixture into four balls, and roll each one in the coconut until covered.
  4. Enjoy!!

I made half a batch with smooth peanut butter, and half with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.DSC06239

DSC06240

Both delish, but surprisingly I think I preferred the normal PB ones…I know, who am I and what have I done with Emma?!

The finished products:

DSC06242

I love balls. And find that hilarious. Apparently I have the sense of humour of a 10 year old boy. But these are no laughing matter my friends…

SO yummy! And it is perfect pre-run (or post run) fuel! Carbs, protein and healthy fats. Smile

So fuelled by my snack balls, I headed out on my longer slow run of the week, aiming for 6 miles. Sadly, my ankle started playing up again! It wasn’t as bad as it was before, but being super-cautious I took it slow and cut my run short. I ran just under 4.5 miles in an avg 8.29 min/mile pace, and iced as soon as I got home.

DSC06235

Sweats, a bag of frozen sweecorn, a box of trail mix, and Gilmore Girls is the way to go!

It WILL be fine. I’m going to rest it tomorrow, keep my fingers crossed, pray super-hard and see how it feels

But on the upside, I did make it back alive, and with a few goodies!DSC06221

I took a completely random new route today, and came across an amazing cute little independent health store! It was fantastic! So much better than my usual Holland and Barrett store (which I still love!). It had so much stuff I’ve only seen online before and have never bought/tried, like nutritional yeast flakes and amazing cereals! Unfortunately, I obviously couldn’t fit in all that stuff in my pockets and run home, so I bought what I could!

All new stuff to me!

DSC06224

I had the Spiru-Tein straight after my run, and loved it! Tastes like a banana milkshake, but has 14g of protein! Smile And I’m definitely looking forward to trying the bar of raspberry dark chocolate!DSC06229

Clearly, stopping to shop when running is what all the cool people do.DSC06219

And I love that the people there just smiled and chatted to me about health and running, as though it was perfectly normal to turn up in a shop all sweaty and in running clothes! Gotta love health food stores! Smile And I am SO going back to get some more goodies!!

Tomorrow I will be announcing my big international giveaway, so stay tuned!! Open-mouthed smile

Have you ever stopped during a run to do something different, or discovered a new place on your run? I can’t believe there was such an amazing place just 2 miles from my house and I didn’t know about it!! And apart from my shopping today, I also have once run to and from church. Never again though- too many weird looks! They weren’t quite as understanding as the health store people! Smile with tongue out 

And tell me, what foods do you think are a match made in heaven? Got any fave unusual combos that you love that I can try? I’m up for anything!

Love you all! Have a great day! Open-mouthed smile

The Chocolate-Covered Diet

The Chocolate-Covered Diet is clearly a great diet. And Katie is clearly a Chocolate-Covered genius.

A Breakfast Of Champions– Katie’s Pumpkin BoatmealDSC06105

SO delicious! I have a really great idea now for a variation on this baked oatmeal, which I’ll test out soon… Winking smile

DSC06107

Katie’s mad tofu scramble was part of lunch.

DSC06110

Yummy!! I made with courgette (zucchini) and spinach

And to make Katie proud, I followed it up with…

DSC06004

CHOCOLATE!

You can’t beat this diet! Open-mouthed smile

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a friend’s birthday celebration today. But first, I had to fit in a run. So en route to her house, I stopped off at the gym for a quick tempo run.

DSC06119

3 miles- fast mile in 7.09 min/mile pace! 😀

Emma’s Fashion Faux Pas #1001Pairing orange and red. Especially the fluorescent orange

DSC06121

Clearly a great look. I suggest you try it too! 😛

…but at least I wasn’t wearing the green shorts with it like I was last week…yeah there was a good reason I didn’t photograph that particular outfit!

And really it’s lucky my friends are loving and embrace the mad girl who arrives at a party sweaty and brings her own vegan ‘cheeze’…

167871_1822664368954_1310552062_2065436_5231236_n

My first experience with vegan cheese! Tastes oddly like real cheese...

  The cheese was for pizza making! We had a toppings tableDSC06124

and makeshift rolling pins…DSC06127

Must remember that if using a wine bottle as a rolling pin, to flour it first though….! Smile with tongue out

I made and ate my whole pizza. ‘Twas very yummy! Smile

DSC06129

Topped with tomato sauce, vegan cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers and onions.

 

The vegan chocolate chip cookies I made yesterday were a huge hit too!

DSC06091

In fact, someone said (without too much coercion) that these were better than their normal non-vegan cookies! I had about five (because I am the cookie monster!), and I wholeheartedly agree with said person! Open-mouthed smile

I did eat some healthy food though! Like the odd tomato

165579_1822668409055_1310552062_2065454_2704609_n

(Please ignore the greasy+sweaty bangs!)

Clearly I achieved a good balance here! But I did successfully show that vegans can and do eat ‘normal’ foods like pizza and cookies!!  

So, tell me, have you tried any of Katie’s recipes? I’m also a huge fan of her pizzerts and peanut butter balls! Basically, I want to live with her so she can feed me yummy treats all day long. If you haven’t tried any of her stuff, DO IT NOW, seriously! Winking smile

What was the last Fashion Faux-Pas that you made? Apart from the whole colour-clash episode, I think turning up to a party in a baggy jumper and jeans because you left your ‘nice’ clothes waiting by the door at home, is a pretty good one too…! Smile with tongue out

Hope you had a great Saturday, and enjoy the rest of your weekend friends! Smile

Friday Favourites

“Feel free to do it on your blog” <—– From the hilarious Janae’s amazing Friday Favourites post! SO I have taken her up on this offer! Open-mouthed smile Like she said, it is good to think about the things we are thankful for that make us happy!!

1. A Chocolatey Friday Breakfast. So this is a new invention of mine, but every Friday I will be celebrating the end of the working week with a nice healthy chocolatey breakfast. Like so:

DSC06077

Mmm…fluffy choco-banana oatmeal+ my first ever fudgie!

DSC06081

Sooo good! The fudgie melted and stirred in it was AMAZING!

2. An email from Women’s Running to say that this month’s mag is now out! I’m so addicted to expensive but amazing magazines like this and Runner’s World.home_1099

I know what I’ll be wasting spending my hard earned cash on tomorrow! Perfect gym entertainment. Someday I will master the art of reading+running at the same time…

3. Changing into sweats and fleecy socks as soon as I get home. Ultimate comfort. Height of fashion…DSC06095

And let us not forget the oh-so-cool granny fleece I’m rocking too…

DSC06099

Yo.

I hear the fleece+sweats look is all the rage in Milan.

4. Cookie dough. Need I say more?DSC06088

Really, cookie dough is a health food. Good for the soul.

5. Baking with what is left of the cookie dough after you have consumed vast quantities of that goodness.

DSC06093

Can you tell I lost my cookie dough scoop? Unevenly sized cookies are much more fun anyway! 😛

DSC06091

This is my favourite cookie of my trials to make the perfect vegan chocolate chip cookie! I think I’ll try one more tweak and then post the recipe! Open-mouthed smile

So what are your Friday Favourites? Spill the beans!!

And do you have something fun planned for this weekend? I’m going to a friend’s birthday bash tomorrow, hence the cookie making! I never go to someone else’s place empty-handed! Winking smile

Have a great weekend friends! Smile