First ever yoga class!

Today was the day. The day I would finally go to my first proper yoga class. In the past, I’ve been to a few one-off yoga courses, etc but had never found a good, cheap local class that I could make. However I found a little notice about a class pinned to a noticeboard, and it sounded good! When I called up about it, the instructor described it as a ‘small class’. He wasn’t kidding! I brought a friend along with me, and apart from the guy leading the class, there was just one other person! So practically 1-2-1! Smile This was my favourite pose:

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The Pose of a Warrior! Open-mouthed smile The class, although relaxing, was so tough! There was SO much I couldn’t do! But soon, I’ll be able to do all sorts of amazing moves hopefully! But I can feel certain underused muscles (ahem abs and arms!) complaining already! I’m going to be stiff tomorrow! Smile with tongue out

I was in a smoothie mood today, so breakfast was a good old breakfast smoothie with added oatbran:DSC03710

My lunch that I threw together in about 30 seconds before I ran out of the door  was leftover brown rice from dinner a couple of nights ago with some marinated tofu chunks (in my usual reused butter tub of course!) :DSC03716

During my lunch hour, I had planned to get in 20-30 mins of fartlek on a treadmill. Much as I dislike/hate the treadmill, it is really useful for interval training and that sort of thing! But I heard of a (free) group exercise class happening at the exact same time, so decided on impulse to go to that instead. Man was it hard! It was like a BodyPump class, but with a ton of push-ups and bench presses thrown in!  I was a right sweaty mess by the end, and my arms felt like jelly! Must. Gain. Arm. Muscles!

So tomorrow I have a 3 hour music rehearsal that starts at 9am (oh joy!) but I am hoping that I can get in a short run before that…we’ll see how I feel in the morning! Smile with tongue out But thanks goodness it’s the weekend now! Open-mouthed smile

So questions: Do you do yoga, and if so, do you have a favourite pose? And treadmills: love them or hate them?

Have a great weekend everyone! Smile

Baking mad!

For breakfast today, I was in the mood for a smoothie. One of my lovely breakfast smoothies. Yummy, and so filling Smile  Today’s featured a pear (you could use other fruits if you like- banana, mango, etc), from the beloved farm shop! I chopped off the stem, then sliced it up into smaller pieces and put in a blender. Then added 1/2 cup soya milk, 1/4 cup soya yoghurt and approx 1/3 cup of oats and blended away!DSC03194

Then I added cinnamon (of course) and some xanthan gum to thicken…DSC03196DSC03197

…then finally added about a handful of cereal. DSC03198

Yes, it looks pretty unappetising there, but I think smoothies always do when being made! After a quick blend, I served it.

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It made this large glass and about another half a glass, and really filled me up! The pear made this super sweet and delicious- yay for farm shops! Open-mouthed smile

Lunch was a large salad:

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Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, sweetcorn, grated carrot, couscous, mixed rice with chickpeas etc, beets and a ton of kidney beans.

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The kidney beans were definitely the best bit- I love kidney beans! Open-mouthed smile

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I had a 4 miler planned today, and was all ready for my afternoon run (excuse the seriously blurry photo- was in a hurry!)

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Unfortunately, life got in the way. Was literally on my way out when I got a phone call from my aunt to tell me my uncle had had a heart attack! And whilst running too! Confused smile He’s fine, thankfully, but I had to get hold of my mum and tell her, and then call up the rest of the family and tell them, etc etc. So no run for me today! Sad smile Family comes first! But never fear, I will be doing it tomorrow instead! And, to make up for my disappointment, I baked! What else to do when there is a family crisis! Smile with tongue out The phone ringing kept interrupting me at crucial moments, but I persevered! I have never truly appreciated the wonders of speakerphone until today…

Anyway, I somehow forgot to tell you yesterday about one of my wonderful purchases at the farm shop! Don’t know how this slipped my mind but…DSC03215

Apple and cinnamon bread flour!! Sounds delicious, no? Well I can tell you that this smelled divine, even though it wasn’t even open! If I could’ve eaten that smell…mmm…  Only problem was getting the packet open:

DSC03216They sewed it shut?! A cute touch but not easy to get into!  Once opened though, the smell made me actually want to eat this flour. Seriously.DSC03217So I made it up in my bread machine, and hopefully there will soon be an amazing loaf of apple and cinnamon bread that tastes just as good (or better!) than it smells! Open-mouthed smile

While this was making, I did some quick cooking experiments. I’ve been trying to make my own perfect healthy vegan brownies, from storecupboard ingredients. Today’s batter was beyond-words good. DSC03220

I ate a lot of that. Not my fault- it was for testing purposes obviously! Smile with tongue out And since it was vegan…no egg! And this one was super delicious cos it had Libby’s pumpkin in it! Smile Sadly, it didn’t taste half as good when baked, so my quest continues…

Next up I hear you ask? Well you may remember my lovely bananas I was hoarding specially for baking purposes. This was them today:

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I was going to make some wholemeal banana bread, but couldn’t find my loaf tin in my very disorganised kitchen! So I settled for banana muffins Smile

Simple banana muffins (adapted from a recipe book)

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used soya)
  • 1 flax egg (1T ground flax+3T warm water whisked and left for a few mins) or a normal large egg if you prefer
  • 1/4 cup melted butter/marg/vegan spread or unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour and 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup natural sweetener)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 180C. Grease/line 10-12 muffin cups, depending on how big you want your muffins. I greased 10, which made 10 fairly large muffins Smile
  2. Whisk all your wet ingredients (mashed bananas, milk, egg, butter/applesauce) until blended.DSC03226
  3. Carefully fold in the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) until just combined- crucial never to over-mix muffin batter!
  4. Divide batter evenly into the muffin cups, and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. They should be a golden brown colour on top. Then remove muffins from pan, cool on a wire rack, and enjoy!DSC03228

Or do as I did and dive right into them, nice and warm, and ruin your appetite for dinner! Smile with tongue out

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Okay, so what you’ve all been waiting for…a bread update! I drafted this post hours ago, but waited to publish it until the bread was done! Smile with tongue out A much bigger loaf than I was expecting, but I’m not complaining!DSC03240

Oh yes. Hello bread.DSC03236

I might have to marry you, you smell so darn good.DSC03239

I will dive in tomorrow for breakfast methinks…can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

Have a great evening!