My inner geek

Hey friends!! Hope you had a rockin’ Wednesday!! *Edit: This is yesterday’s post! My internet was down last night so I couldn’t publish it!!*

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Breakfast this morning involved something totally new: bulgur. Inspired by Katie’s breakfast bulgur, I thought I’d try something different! I’m really trying to experiment with my brekkies this week, and I’m loving it! Open-mouthed smile

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Topped with black cherry fruit spread and sultanas

Brekkie Bulgur ‘Rice Pudding’ (inspired by Katie’s recipe)

Serves 1. Tastes like pudding.

  • 1/3 cup prepared bulgur wheat (see Katie’s tutorial for a great how-to)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut)
  • 2 tbsp (soy) yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Combine the cooked bulgur with the applesauce and milk in a saucepan and heat on low, stirring occasionally like you would oatmeal.
  2. Once the bulgur has absorbed most/all of the liquid and reached desired texture, remove from heat.
  3. Stir in yoghurt, transfer to a bowl, add spices and toppings/mix-ins and enjoy!!

Nutritional Info (excluding toppings/mix-ins): Calories 241, Fat 2.2g, Fibre 9.9g, Protein 8.7g

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This is amazing!! Tastes like rice pudding and is so filling! All stirred in:

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RICE PUDDING!!

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I exercised my inner geek big time today. Well I am a geek, and usually embrace that. But today was geek-overload…

 

Geek Example #1: Obsessive running research. I am a running geek. I headed to the library and got a ton more books out on running.DSC07031

Knowledge is power people, knowledge is power…

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After breakfast and the library visit, I headed to the gym for my longer easier run of the week (6 miles @ 8 min/mile pace). Gym entertainment:DSC07033

iPod for plugging into the tread and watching Toy Story 3 on, then ‘Performance Nutrition for Runners’ book for the elliptical, using the good ol’ hairband trick:DSC06449

Geek alert. I always get funny looks doing that, but hey, at least I’m not stuck with watching reruns of Bargain Hunters on the gym TVs like everyone else! Smile with tongue out

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In true geek style, I put what I’d learned from the first few chapters of that book (which is AWESOME so far btw!) into practice at lunch with a ‘balanced’ meal:DSC07039

Veggies (broccoli+mushrooms): check. Carbs (spelt flakes): check. Protein (‘Cheezy scrambled tofu’ and more nutritional yeast in the spelt flakes): check.

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Dessert was Averie’s amazing ‘Raw Vegan Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding’. DSC07047

I did a little happy dance at all the goodness there. GEEK.

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Not to mention it tasted SO yummy!!

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I then headed off to central London! Being a geek, I went to spend some quality time in Europe’s largest bookstore (Waterstone’s Piccadilly). I almost fainted when I saw the HUGE section of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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About half of them!

 

EVERYTHING I had ever clicked ‘Add to Wishlist’ on Amazon was right there. Being a geek, I counted the vegan cookbooks. 31. New record.DSC07051

I couldn’t leave that section empty handed. Especially when I saw Lindsay’s book! I’ve been reading her blog forever, and I was reminded of it after seeing that Freya had bought it in her post yesterday. So I got it too!  DSC07066

It was this recipe that had me:

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Single-Serving Brownie?! Hell YES!

I then went to check out the running section. And fainted in awe. Hence no photo of that gloriousness! I did take a stack of books though and sat on the floor and read them, because I’d already spent all my money. WHAT a geek. And said geek WILL be returning on Friday to drool over the books some more!

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The Geek headed next to Whole Foods. Because The Geek can’t manage to not go there after 2 days apart apparently. Only THIS time it wasn’t for food, it was for the Sports Nutrition talk!DSC06952

It. Was. Brilliant.DSC07054

It was a lovely small  group of us (only 13!) in a little room with comfy chairs. Oh, and they provided food.

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A platter of fruit and a platter of veg. Only at a nutrition talk! 😛

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Got given a wrap too! 😀

And gave us some snack bars to take, like this one:DSC07053

Bonus points because they provided ‘doggy bags’ for us to take stuff home at the end. Guess who made it first to the food?DSC07061

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Shameless.

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Because I’m a geek, I took copious notes.DSC07069

Like I would want to miss anything important! I learned SO much (I NEED MORE SALT), and was totally inspired by the speaker! He did make one mistake though: he gave me his email address. Guess who I’m going to be bombarding with questions daily? Winking smile

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Okay, so some recipes coming up tomorrow! Think hummus people, think hummus. The Geek tried 5 batches to get it right, and grew many, many grey hairs. Worth it though Smile

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Are you a geek? Are you proud of your inner geek or do you hide it away? I’m proud to be a geek. I think it’s cool (<—GEEK!)

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What books are on your Wish List? I have SO many! Including Run FasterThe Thrive Diet, and Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar. Says a lot about me really! Smile with tongue out

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And did you notice a change to the recipe I posted? I posted the nutritional stats after an email I got requesting the calorie counts for my recipes. What do you think- stats or no stats? I’m not a calorie counter, but I appreciate that some people might want to know, and I do like knowing the protein and stuff…so I’m mixed!!

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Sorry for the ridiculously long post! The Geek needed to express herself eloquently! Smile with tongue outHave a great week friends!!

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.

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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

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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!

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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!!

A Very Vegan Christmas

This morning was totally mad! And it was all because of this:DSC04750

My ancient alarm clock. I use it because it remains the loudest alarm clock I have ever encountered (I have even slept through our fire alarm going off, which is worrying!). The battery died, so the alarm didn’t go off, so I ended up waking 10 mins before I had to leave for my dentist’s appointment! So not only was I pretty late but I had not brushed my hair, or even, shock horror, eaten breakfast!!! And y’all know how important that is to me! All I had time for was grabbing two of the most under-ripe bananas ever.DSC04754

Seeing as my dentist appointment was pretty brief (“your teeth are fine- NEXT!”) I headed straight to a BodyPump class. I was very suspicious of this super-green banana…. DSC04737

…and it did not taste good. Still, energy is energy, and I needed it for BodyPump! This was pitiful compared to my normal huge breakfasts, but I definitely made up for it throughout the rest of the day! Smile

I finished up my workout with a quick 20 mins of speed intervals on the elliptical/cross-trainer. I also finally got round to trying out the Powerade Zero (a sports rehydration drink) I got given for free when I visited the London Running Show. Y3FSU_1

I was highly suspicious of it’s electric blue colouring…DSC04739

I actually hated it! I choked down about half the bottle, chanting to myself “I need the salts, I need the salts”. I often get muscle cramps because of a lack of salt in my diet, so I’m working on it! I think I might try the other flavour (which is a bright red colour-not much better!) and see if I like that more!

After my morning workout, I headed home for lunch. Obviously, it’s impossible for me to go without oats for a day, so yes, I had breakfast for lunch!

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I brought back pumpkin oatmeal! I stocked up on more Libby’s yesterday, so I’m splurging. Smile To make up for my measly breakfast and massive hunger, I used a full cup of oats! (And a side of unphotographed roasted veggies to make a more balanced lunch!)DSC04744

During the day, I also popped into a bookstore as I have a giftcard to use (one of my early Christmas prezzies!). And so guess what I bought?DSC04746

Vegan with a Vengeance recipe book! This has some awesome looking recipes (especially cookies+muffins ones!) which I can’t wait to try out! Open-mouthed smile

Oh, and I tried out the blueberry dark chocolate that I bought on Sunday! It was v.yummy!! 8 squares later…! Winking smileDSC04747

So, a big Christmas question for you: What are you serving for your Christmas dinner? Of course, we are serving the usual turkey etc, but I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll serve as the veggie/vegan option! Possibly this Festive Squash Jalousie, which I would veganise.untitled

Did you know that a store-bought block of puff-pastry is actually vegan?

This Swede and Parsnip bake is one of my other options:untitled 2

I want to make something that everyone else in my family (ten omnivores!) might want to eat too, and something that’s quite Christmasey. I was originally thinking along the lines of a lentil loaf or something, but I know most of my family wouldn’t like that! Mad people! Smile with tongue out

I’ve got a great day on the cards for tomorrow! Hopefully, it’ll involve a quick morning workout in the ‘posh’ gym that I went to yesterday, another trip to England’s biggest Whole Foods Market, and making some of these bad boys to take to a friend’s party on Thursday:DSC04751

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So tell me, what are you serving for your Christmas dinner? The traditional things, or something a little different? And do you have any suggestions of things to buy at Whole Foods? Definites on my list: coconut butter, Dark Chocolate Dreams, Bodymatter granola (which I finished off today!) and unsweetened applesauce. Anything else you think I should get?

P.S. Did you notice Blog Change #2? My own domain Smile

P.P.S. Please don’t ask about the spelling of sweetoothrunner/sweettoothrunner! I’ll get to that embarrassing story someday! Smile with tongue out

Have a great day tomorrow!

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World!

Cold Cold Cold! When you have a cold, and it is cold, it’s all about oatmeal!DSC04529

My throat was really sore, and I wasn’t at all hungry this morning, but I knew I should eat, and would feel better after doing so. And this pumpkin oatmeal really did help! Smile

Another throat-soothing remedy I had later was my favourite instant soup…DSC03183

…which was enjoyed in my favourite mug:DSC04544

Recognise that dog anyone? Smile with tongue out I was given that mug for my 7th birthday- and I still love it! Open-mouthed smile

Oh, and today was Secret Santa day! Which meant…I got to open more presents! My Secret Santa got me two recipe books (she knows me so well!).

‘Everyday Vegetarian’ cookbook, which has tons of great recipes and pictures for every one (v. important in cookbooks for me!).DSC04535

And….DSC04536

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World’!! Open-mouthed smile 75 recipes for vegan cupcakes! Can’t argue with that! Winking smile First to catch my eye was the gingerbread cupcakes (because it’s Xmas, and I love gingerbread!) and peanut butter cupcakes!!

One of my friends received this homemade gingerbread house as part of her present, because she had said she’d always wanted one. Isn’t it amazing?DSC04532

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Of course, in lieu of my cupcake book, I had to go out and buy some necessary ingredients from the book!DSC04539

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So stay tuned over the next couple of days for a vegan cupcake post! Open-mouthed smile

What are your favourite cold-remedies? And have you ever tried making a vegan cupcake? I haven’t…yet! Winking smile

Have a great week!

A banana-less morning

Why do we run out of bananas so often??? Probably because I eat at least one a day, but still! Smile with tongue out I hate banana-less mornings Sad smile

So this morning I got up, all ready for my quick pre-9am rehearsal early morning workout, but was greeted with this sight:DSC03919

No bananas hanging from the banana hook, no apples, three questionable satsumas, and a pear. So immediately my usual pre-workout snack of banana+peanut butter was out! And what about my planned post-workout Green Monster, with the lack of bananas?

I managed to find an apple and a pear in our other fruit bowl (we actually have three for some reason!) so pre-workout snack was an apple+peanut butter:

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And after Nell McAndrew’s Ultimate Challenge worked me into a sweat after half an hour, I turned my attention to the Green Monster… I decided to try it without the usual banana and with two  of these instead:DSC03921

I had no need to worry-it was delicious! Pear and Cinnamon Green Monster: 2 handfuls fresh spinach, 2 pears, 3/4 cup soya milk, 1 cup cereal (optional) 3 ice cubes, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and about 1 tsp cinnamon. All blended:

DSC03923DSC03922DSC03924And served with more cereal on top:DSC03926

Deliciousness! Green Monsters are so good! Open-mouthed smile It was enjoyed whilst reading some more of this:DSC03929

It’s really good so far, but I’ll give a full review when I’m done Smile

Off to do some baking now hopefully! Another loaf of apple and cinnamon bread is currently baking in my bread machine, and is smelling divine!

What is your morning routine not complete without? I always have a banana, whether it’s in something or on its own- couldn’t live without them! Smile with tongue out

Hope you’re having a good Saturday! Open-mouthed smile

Exciting package delivery!

I don’t know about you, but I still get childishly excited when the post arrives. Especially when there’s a package for me! Open-mouthed smileDSC03847

Tearing straight into it…any guesses?DSC03848

It’s this!DSC03850

Michael Pollen’s ‘In Defence of Food’. After hearing many rave reviews of this book, I decided to order it and see what the fuss was about myself! I have a huge interest in this kind of thing, so I can’t wait to dive right in! And of course I’ll give you a lovely book review when I’m done! Smile

Another surprise this morning was some natural light, believe it or not! I feel like I’ve been living in darkness for ages, so when a bit of natural light comes, I hurry with the food so it can be appreciated!DSC03846

Aah, light! It soon went again though, and I returned back to my world of artificial light. Sad smile This bowl of delicious creamy simple oats (1 cup oats+wheatbran, a sprinkle of oatbran, 1 cup soya milk and a handful of raisins) warmed and cheered me up though!

On today’s agenda was making granola! I love granola, but hate how much sugar is added to shop-bought varieties! That’s also what I love about dried apricots- they’re one of the few dried fruits that usually never have any added sugar! Open-mouthed smile

Coconut, Apricot and Almond Granola (adapted from Sound Eats)

  • 2 cups (jumbo) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup toasted flaked almonds
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons tropical (or orange) juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or agave
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil (I used melted vegan spread)
  • Desiccated coconut (optional- I used approximately 3 Tablespoons)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
  2. Combine the oats, almonds, apricots and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in all of the liquids until all the oats are evenly coated.
  3. Spread out the granola on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake granola for 15 minutes. Take the granola out and turn it, then bake an additional 10 minutes. (It won’t be very hard- the granola will continue to harden after you remove it from the oven).

I remember it taking me ages to find rolled oats when I first bought these, but you can get them almost anywhere now! They are great for baking, so much better than normal oats!DSC03859

The original recipe called for nutmeg instead of cinnamon, but I didn’t  have any. Regardless, I’m definitely a cinnamon girl anyway, so would have added this King of Spices anyway! Smile with tongue outDSC03860

All mixed together:DSC03854

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Unfortunately, I over baked mine a bit, as I have a fan-assisted oven, so you have to judge by how much to reduce time/temperature. And apparently I didn’t judge very well! But anyway, it still turned out delicious:DSC03862

Filled a whole tub! This’ll last me a while! I had some sprinkled on the remains of my soya yoghurt as an afternoon snack:DSC03874

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Very tasty, and brilliant with yogurt! Smile

Lunch was light, as I had basically been snacking throughout the day-mainly on this moreish granola! Smile with tongue out I had spinach and cheese stuffed mushrooms, which make a great light lunch or snack, depending on how hungry you are! Basically, you take a large flat mushroom (or two, in my case), and destalk:

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Take about a handful of fresh spinach, and chop roughly:DSC03864

Stuff the mushroom with the spinach. Grate some cheese, and then sprinkle on top. Then place on a grill pan and grill on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until ready.DSC03868DSC03866

Voila!DSC03869

Before lunch, I tackled the cardio section of Nell McAndrew’s Ultimate Challenge again, which is definitely my favourite workout DVD at the moment:DSC03322

Did about 40 mins, which was still a challenge! I’ve actually yet to do the whole thing from start to finish, mainly because it’s about an hour and a half long! Smile with tongue out

So have you read ‘In Defence of Food’, and if so, what did you think? I’m also thinking of reading ‘The End of Overeating’ by David Kessler, so if you’ve read that, I’d love to hear what you thought of it! And do you use workout DVDs? If so what are your favourites?

Have a great evening! Open-mouthed smile