Friday Favourites

It’s that time of the week again, and that means only one thing…Janae-inspired FRIDAY FAVOURITES! Open-mouthed smile

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1. Amazing Friday Breakfast!DSC06562

Oat bran topped with one of Katie’s coconut melties, cinnamon, and mixed berries. The meltie melted. It was awesome.

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2. These running shorts that are the bomb.comw_go_girl_run_short_80356pls_jpg_400

Because, lets face it, they look like beach shorts. And rarely do you feel like you’re on the beach when pounding the streets of London. Maybe with these on though I’ll be magically transported to Hawaii

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3. Giving myself a lil’ pedicure. And by this I just mean painting my nails quickly…DSC06572

Attempt #1001 to try to prettify my Ugly Runner’s Feet. At least they look marginally better than they did before…I’ll spare you the ‘Before’ shot though! Smile with tongue out

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4. Carb-loving. Pre-Hill Sprints (which totally rocked by the way!):

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Peanut butter in a WW wrap

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WW pasta in my ‘cheeze’ sauce with spinach and mashed carrot and swede. I love me some carbs.

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5. Dessert plates.

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Protein Cookie Dough Balls, grapes and dates

 

Dessert is obviously the best part of the meal. Fact.

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6. Rereading every magazine I own.DSC06583

If I’m going to pay £4.50 for a magazine, I refuse to just read it just once!! Totally worth it though, or at least, that’s what I tell myself when forking out my precious mula…!

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7. Cookie Dough Balls

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In my book, Indulgence Friday=5 dough balls. Yummo! Open-mouthed smile

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So what are your Friday Favourites? Give me a few pretty please!!

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And do you spend a lot on magazines? I buy Runner’s World and Women’s Running every month…an expensive habit! Make me feel better by telling me you spend twice as much as I do on mags por favor! Smile

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Have a great weekend friends!!

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Exciting times!

Hellooo lovelies!! Smile

I am so SO excited right now!! You’ll see why in a mo…that’s if you didn’t see my Tweet and guess! Smile with tongue out

Oh and I loved hearing your thoughts on my running epiphany yesterday, and why you run! And thanks as well for the applesauce tips you guys- never occurred to me that it would be easier (and cheaper!) to make it myself! Smile with tongue out

Breakfast was delicious- whipped cinnamon-banana oatmeal with dried blueberries on top.

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Banana + blueberries = pure blissDSC05881

Today’s lunch to-go-go was leftover’s from yesterday’s dinner: lentil stew with spicy tofu. Doesn’t look appetising, but it was yummy and chocca full of protein and fibre SmileDSC05884

One of the things I get asked a lot is how I handle eating when out as a vegan. Unless I am eating out at a restaurant with other people, I usually just take my own food. Not only easier and hassle-free, but cheaper too! I usually make more than I need for dinner, then refrigerate/freeze and take for lunch the next day.

Also, there’s a serious foodgasm alert! If you haven’’t already done so, make these.DSC05907

Gina’s chocolate chip protein ballz! These are so quick to throw together (literally a few minutes and they’re done!), have just a few ingredients, are full of protein and goodness, and are unbelievably yummy. I may have eaten almost the whole batch…! Smile with tongue outGO, PEOPLE AND MAKE THEM NOW!!

Today was a BodyPump day! I worked hard today, really pushing myself, and managed to make it through the bicep track alive! Score! Open-mouthed smileMade doubly good because a cute guy said hi and chatted to me at the end! Winking smile

So now for my exciting news! Okay, so I’ve overhyped it, but…

AAAH MY FIRE SHOES ARRIVED!!! Open-mouthed smileDSC05898

There are actually angels in my head singing the Hallelujah Chorus right now!! Is it lame that I am this excited by running shoes? I say no, because they are racing shoes, and they look this cool:DSC05906

They are soo light (literally about half the weight of my normal Asics!) and even the soles are amazing!DSC05904

Haha and check this out:DSC05903

I. Love. Them. DSC05900

Seen enough photos of them yet? Smile with tongue out I can’t wait to run in them tomorrow!!! Open-mouthed smile

So I’m off now to eat dinner, and the last of these…DSC05911

…and then to bed, possibly still hugging these…DSC05914

So what ‘little’ things excite you that most people would find strange? Apart from new running shoes+gear, successful kitchen experiments is another thing that really excites me! On that note, there’s hopefully a perfected cookie recipe is coming at ya soon…!

And what was the last exciting purchase you made? Well after these of course, I’m gonna have to say the Lindt 85% dark choccie which I bought today! Smile with tongue out

Friday tomorrow! Have a great one friends! Open-mouthed smile

Fire shoes

Hey friends! Smile

I am SO excited! Yesterday night, after reading your opinions on my running shoes (majority orange > green, and I agree!), I decided to go ahead and order the orange. BUT the orange shoes in my size had gone out of stock! Surprised smileThe green wasn’t though…was it a sign? I kept looking though, and found some similar but even better shoes!

Fire shoes!

 

 Saucony Lady Grid Type A3 racing flats! They’re a better model (lighter etc.) than the other ones, and actually worked out cheaper too on Wiggle, even though they are normally much more expensive! Seeing that there was only one pair left in my size, it was a mad rush to find my credit card and order in time before some other evil person snatched them up, but I got them! And can’t wait till they arrive!!! My feet will look like they’re on fire! Open-mouthed smile

I had an ‘easy’ run today to stretch out my legs after all the speedwork, and I really loved it! I took a different route spur-of-the-moment, got a little lost when dreaming about the Fire Shoes, but eventually found my way back in the rain!

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Runner's high!

< 5 miles in 38 mins. I wanted to go further, but had to quickly change and get ready for BodyPump!

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Ma setup

Biceps are the hardest. Hands down. Squats are the most fun! Smile

I found my new favourite pre-workout snack by the way!

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What. A. Dork.

It’s called Dippy Banana. Instead of spreading nut butter on your banana, you just go ahead and dip it right in there! Dip, munch, dip, munch. Awesome. You need drippy nut butter (like my almond butter) by the way, and trust me, you’ll never want to go back to the traditional/boring spreading. Double dipping is much more fun! Smile with tongue outbanana_peanutbutter

This totally made me dream of banana-nut butter muffins/cookies. I don’t know if they exist, but I must make some! Smile

Snackage also included baked beans on some delicious toasted pumpkin seed rye bread from The Haul. The pumpkin seeds made this bread- such a great texture and flavour!DSC05779

‘Baked beans?!’ I hear you scoff. Well, just half a can provides 1/4 of your RDA of protein! So take that baked bean prudes! Smile with tongue out I, of course, had the whole can. Never do things by halves.DSC05781 “Baked beans are good for the heart…” I’ll pretend I’ve forgotten the rest of the words! Winking smile

So my Monday was pretty awesome! Made all the more so by seeing Jemma’s amazing Nakd bar giveaway! I recently won her last giveaway, and am still loving the 30 Mule Bars I won as a result! Fingers crossed for a second win! Smile with tongue out

So I’m interested to hear what you think about when you’re running/working out. I usually think about things happening in my life (Fire Shoes!), or play imaginary games with myself, like pretend there are dragons chasing me or something. Because in my head I am still an 8 year old. So what do you think about?

Also, what is your favourite pre-workout snack? If it’s a long run, my standard is peanut butter+banana sandwich before, but a normal run is a Dippy Banana now! Open-mouthed smile

Hope you had a great Monday too! Smile

P.S. My Tone-Up strength training challenge starts today! Good luck to those who’re joining me with it! I have taken my embarrassing ‘Before’ photo and measurements, so can’t wait for the results!!

Straight in, Straight out

Hey friends!!

Haha I’ve just reread the post title, and I realise it may sound a little gross, but trust me, I don’t mean it like that! Smile with tongue out It’ll all be explained!!

And thanks lovelies for your kind comments and your FAQ requests! I’m writing them up over the weekend, so feel free to keep your questions coming! Smile

Breakfast was some lovely choco-banana oatmeal:

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And some unpictured granola for post-brekkie munchies! Smile with tongue out

My good deed for the day was writing an Operation Beautiful note in the gym! For some unknown reason there is a whiteboard in there, so when no-one was looking, I left a little love for everyone.

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YOU are beautiful: weight does NOT measure worth

It feels so good to do that! Smile

So the post title? Well today I was handed this ominous looking envelope…DSC05708…but it was a cheque! I finally got paid for a quartet job (I’m a musician) I did at the Foreign Office back in September! A little late I know, but I got paid extra because of it! Open-mouthed smileI am not a saver. Well, I do try, but fail quite spectacularly.

So with this money I am probably purchasing these bad boys:

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Saucony Fastwitch 4 Performance/Race shoes!! They’re supposed to be awesome! Open-mouthed smile

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I think the idea behind these ultra-vivid colours is to blind your race competitors, thereby allowing you to overtake and win. Smart thinking Saucony, but ya can’t fool me! Smile with tongue out

Honest opinion on the shoes? Do you prefer the orange or green, or do you think they’re both equally vile? I personally quite like the brightness, and am leaning towards the orange… To runners, do you have race/other shoes, or do you just use your normal ones?  I know some runners have a thousand different pairs of shoes for different things, but at the mo I just have my beloved Asics that I use for everything!

And are you a saver or a spender? Have you got any saving tips for spendaholics like me? I try and save at least 10% of my earnings, but that usually ends up being spent at Whole Foods on food in general…!

Off now to bake some chocolate chip cookies from this amazing cookbook:

Vegan with a Vengeance

 It’s certainly gonna be a wild Friday night for me! Winking smile

 Have a great weekend y’all! And stay tuned for my abs post coming up soon! Open-mouthed smile

Finally…Harry Potter 7 Part 1!

The morning began with another bowl of stovetop oatmeal, but this time, the apple and cinnamon version I wanted to try following yesterday’s whipped banana. I diced an apple:DSC04104

I only added about half of this to the oatmeal, and ate the rest whilst waiting Smile with tongue outDSC04106

I added a TON of cinnamon (seriously, not kidding here- I love my cinnamon!) and some oatbran, and ended up with a delicious and warming bowlful:DSC04113

Enjoyed whilst reading the Women’s Running mag I got half price at yesterday’s Running Show:DSC04114

Today, I finally got to see Harry Potter 7!!! Open-mouthed smileHP7_Banner

It didn’t disappoint! Only complain was that it was a bit long for me, at 2.5 hours. But I seriously can’t wait for the next instalment! Smile 

Bought lunch quickly at the shops before the movie began:DSC04115

A houmous and falafel wrap and Bear apple crumble granola nibbles. Both were very yummy, and I’ll definitely be having that wrap again soon! Open-mouthed smile

In the 10 minute window I had for shopping before HP began, as well as picking up my lunch, I also used the £5 Sweatshop voucher I got in last month’s issue of Women’s Running to buy a headband for cold runs:DSC04119

So I only paid £2 for it because of my voucher! Open-mouthed smile I also bought a few more fruity snacks to add to my collection, including:DSC04118

I had to wait a long time before I could eat dinner, so I snacked on the fruit snack bar above and the Body Matter granola I bought on yesterday’s awesome Whole Foods trip:DSC04123

I love this granola- so yummy with big crunchy clusters, just how I like it! And no added refined sugars! Open-mouthed smile I see this making a great oatmeal topping…!

Dinner was a simple tofu stir-fry, and dessert included the dark chocolate with cocoa nibs bar I bought yesterday:

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And half of yesterday’s free Eat Natural bar (with cranberries, apricots and a yoghurt coating):DSC04127

DSC04128I then remembered that I’m a person who doesn’t do things by halves. So I had the other half Smile with tongue out 

Tomorrow, I am either going to go on a run, or go to a BodyPump class. I’m leaning towards the class at the moment, especially since it’s going to be around –7C and sleet where I live tomorrow! Confused smile

And today, we got a bit of snow! So I’m intrigued: what’s the weather like where you live at the moment?

Hope you’ve had a great weekend! Smile

Cold morning running!

Brr was it chilly this morning or what?! According to the forecast it was about 3C at 8am this morning, when I embarked on a run. I’m not usually a morning run person (more late afternoon/early evening-I’m just too lazy normally!), but I’m going to try to do one regularly on Sunday mornings. Apart from rolling out of bed at 7.30, which I really did not relish, I seriously enjoyed it! Early  morning exercise really sets you up for the day doesn’t it? Pre-workout snack was peanut butter on toast. We were out of bananas, so I could have my usual sliced banana on top Sad smile But it’s all okay now, because we bought a ton more today! Open-mouthed smileDSC03569

I did 4 miles in 35 mins, which I was pleased with, considering my hilly neighbourhood! Must remember to wear gloves next time though- I had some serious numb finger issues during the run! And I mapped my run to go through this lovely private housing estate called Farnborough Park because I love looking at all the gorgeous houses! Not a single one is under a million pounds! Here’s one that I was ogling that’s for sale:Farnborough Park

Just under £3.5 million, if you’re interested! It has an indoor swimming pool that I’d really love to have, so if you feel like being generous, you know who would really appreciate it…! Smile with tongue out

Back to yesterday! I started the day with the current favourite: pumpkin oatmeal, and then hit the shops quickly, as it’s my dad’s birthday tomorrow, and I needed to get him a present. Unfortunately, I was in such a rush I forgot to buy a card!!! Oops! Embarrassed smile I don’t know what to do…possibly make an excuse in the morning then get one in the afternoon and give it to him in the evening…? I’ll figure something out hopefully! Anyway, I also bought a yoga mat, as I have my first ‘proper’ class this Friday (when I practise at home I just use my carpet! Smile with tongue out).DSC03556

I also bought a ‘Women’s Running’ magazine for the first time, and a fluorescent running vest for running in the dark:DSC03549

I can’t wait to read this article in particular:DSC03550

As someone who has never run in winter before, and gets cold very easily, I really need all the tips and advice I can get! So far, I’ve read the first few pages of the magazine, and what little I’ve read is great! Especially since there is a £5 Sweatshop voucher AND  another (separate) offer that gives you 10% off+ free delivery on the Sweatshop online store! Win! Open-mouthed smile

Oooh and talking of online running shopping (sorry, off on another tangent here! Smile with tongue out), I recently got a tip-off about the clearance sale at achillesheel.co.uk. Basically, I’ve been looking to purchase a running jacket, and there are a two on this site that I like that are such a good deal! Reduced from £50 and £40 to £20 and £12 respectively! So advice time please! See what you think:

They are such great value! I’m personally leaning towards the Mizuno Performance Windbreaker at the moment… Anyways if you’re looking for any running gear, I suggest you check out this site! And the Sweatshop clearance stuff is good too Smile 

Yesterday’s dinner was a vegetable bake that I often throw together quickly when I’m in a hurry. Basically sliced carrots, green beans and cauliflower florets in sauce with cubed potatoes on top, which is seasoned with salt+pepper then baked:DSC03560

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And for dessert, I had a pack of Bear Cocoa Cherry Pie granola nibbles:DSC03543

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Mmm…chocolaty granola…DSC03546

And I also picked up these when food shopping today:DSC03578DSC03576

2 packs for £3 in Sainsbury’s! Yay! Open-mouthed smile And I also saw that Sainsbury’s are now selling packs of 9Bars! I’ve never seen those outside of a health foods store before, so I’ll probably buy them another time.

Today’s lunch consisted of cauliflower cheese with a side of steamed spinach. I’ve decided that cauliflower cheese is one of my ultimate winter comfort foods- I love it!

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The (healthier-than-normal) cauliflower cheese recipe:

Adapted from Asda magazine

1 medium cauliflower
500ml skimmed soya milk, warmed
25g butter light margarine (I used Clover Light, as it’s suitable for cooking, baking, etc.)
25g flour
¼ level tsp cayenne
¼ level tsp dry mustard powder
2 level tsp cornflour/cornstarch
150g reduced-fat mature Cheddar cheese
25g Parmesan, grated vegetarian/vegan Parmesan alternative (I bought mine from Sainsbury’s if you’re interested)
50g breadcrumbs made from slightly stale bread (I used wholemeal)

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add to a large pan of boiling water. Simmer until just tender. Drain and put in an ovenproof dish.
  2. Melt the butter/marg in a medium-sized pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Stir over a low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk.
  4. Add the cayenne and mustard powder and bring to the boil, whisking all the time. Mix the cornflour with 2tbsp water to form a smooth paste, and stir in. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  5. Set aside 25g of the Cheddar and add the rest to the sauce with the vegetarian/vegan Parmesan alternative. Season to taste. Pour the sauce over the hot cauliflower and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and remaining Cheddar. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, and voila! Perfect winter meal!Smile

Now off to bake a cake for my dad, and I’ll try not to eat too much chocolate buttercream in the process! Smile with tongue out

So thoughts on the jackets, or any other alternative suggestions? And do you have any winter running tips?