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!!

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

Dear Santa

Happy December 1st!! To me, this is when the Christmas period really begins! To top off the happiness, I had a great stay-at-home day today because of the snow! Open-mouthed smileDSC04176

It had snowed constantly yesterday and throughout the night, so it was very thick today! I can’t remember every having such thick snow! Check out how much has fallen on our sundial:DSC04177

And this sight really gave me a fright when I opened my curtains this morning:DSC04178

Icicles are scary!

Pre-breakfast workout was clearing the drive and the front of the house of snow. This was a good muscle workout! It didn’t help though that my muscles are still killing from Monday’s first ever BodyPump class! Confused smile I wrapped up appropriately (it was still snowing at the time):DSC04183

In my defence, this photo was taken very, very early in the morning for me! Smile with tongue out

My well-earned breakfast was, you guessed it, a huge bowl of oatmeal! Made with this stuff…DSC04169

…which is delicious! This coconut milk provides more than a third of your recommended daily amount of calcium! Smile I may even like this more than oat milk…hmm…

I topped my oatmeal with a handful of Bodymatter granola:DSC04172

I considered adding more granola, but I’m really trying to make this stuff last, and at the rate I’m munching it, it won’t last another week! Too. Darn. Addictive. Winking smile

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Lunch was delicious too! Wholewheat noodles in soy sauce, with the remainders of yesterday’s smoked tofu and some fried courgette:DSC04188 

The bad thing about all this snow is that I can’t run in it! A little bit of snow might be fine, but with the heavy amount we have at the moment, it would be hard and quite dangerous. So I decided today to go to my local gym (which took me 45 mins to walk to, instead of the usual 20 mins!), and hit the treadmill, much as I hate it!

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Fuelled by my peanut butter sandwich, packed half for a pre-workout snack and half for afterwards:DSC04197I only managed 30 mins on the dreadmill before giving in and hopping on the cross-trainer/elliptical for half an hour, then headed on the slow snowy walk home. I had thankfully wrapped up well:DSC04207 On the way home, I enjoyed looking at our town’s Christmas lights and decorations, which are really quite nice this year!DSC04209

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And on that note, here’s what tops my Christmas list this year:GarminForerunner305GPSReceiver

The Garmin Forerunner 305!!! Open-mouthed smile I think I’ve been a pretty good girl this year, and hopefully Santa will agree! Smile Other Xmas list items include…

A running non-slip headband from Sweaty Betty suitable all year round to keep my fringe+hair out of my face:

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This Nike Thalia Two-in-One Women’s Sport top, that will be great for yoga, gym, etc:Nike-Thalia-Two-In-One-Womens-Sports-Top-381005_010_A

And the Born to Run book by Christopher McDougall:born_to_run

What’s on your Christmas list this year?

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