Thursday, 31 January 2013

Goodbye to all that...

To January that is, and good riddance! It's been a loooooong, cold, dark month around here. Don't get me wrong, it's had it's highlights, but I'm ready for spring now, people! We made it to the end of January! Woop!

I also reached my goal of at least 10000 steps every day in January! No wonder I feel shattered today, although that could be to do with two extra early starts this week. I'm really pleased I kept my challenge up and I plan to try and keep going as much as I can, although I may modify to trying to hit 70000 steps across the week. We'll see.

Whole 30 ends Saturday as I added a couple of days on at the start after I got a couple of things wrong. First thing I'm reintroducing? WINE!


Tuesday night dinner was this lovely slow cooker beef stew with red cabbage, parsnip, celery, onion, carrot and a bit of curry powder. It was tasty but the beef was a bit dry (I now have The Boy critiquing on a daily basis). Is it the slow cook method? I need to investigate.

Check out my attempt to usher spring in early. I must buy flowers more often (or hint to someone else). They just make me feel happy.


It was back to the office yesterday, so back to the old routine. As a rule I don't read while eating now, but I was waiting for my frittata to cool a bit. The usual roast veggie mixture - sweet potato, carrots, onion, mushrooms, courgette, peppers... and some cheeky blueberries.

It was good to be back in the office after a couple of days out, and catch up with my peeps. I'm helping organise a walking challenge for later in the year, so was busy recruiting. I'm also organising a team meal out. In between all this I find time to do a bit of work. It was one of those satisfying days at work where I got to do the nice stuff that attracted me to the job in the first place.

Lunch was coconut prawns with Luann's kale salad with added beetroot. I left the red onion out because I dread onion breath at work, but it left it a bit bland. Bad breath it is, peeps!


Followed by a nice stroll with my friend.

Dinner was pork chops with steamed red cabbage and green beans and baked sweet potato. I marinated the pork in lime, basil and garlic before but sadly overcooked it a little in my zeal not to get food poisoning. We're getting a meat thermometer to avoid this scenario!


Up with the lark again and off to London for the morning on the 6.50am train. I got myself organised the night before with a frittata and made tea and filled my water bottle for the journey. I hate paying for over-priced bottled water at the station!

The frittata was nice, but not as amazing as my Monday morning one with smoked salmon. Soooo having that again. Tasty little apple, too.

It was a nice journey - bit of work, bit of catching up on blogs, the sun came out to play. After our event a bunch of our team went for lunch at a nearby bar, on the boss. Sweet!

I had gammon and eggs with pineapple salsa and subbed the chips with salad. It was great! Salty gammon, sweet, creamy eggs and spicy/sweet salsa. And good company! The menu choices were very limited for me, but it turned out good.

I headed home after and a wave of exhaustion came over me as I walked from the station. Long week, long month. I did some more work when I got in then logged off at 6pm and cracked on with this little beauty, curried fish soup with kale and carrot, and made lunches for tomorrow. Then I walked to meet The Boy at the station, hit my step target and tucked in.

The Boy is doing his first online grocery shopping order for the weekend... I better go check he hasn't just ordered beer and chips! Look out for my Whole 30 recap on Saturday. Laters, lovelies!

How was January for you?

Long, but very healthy!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Any way the wind blows...

And it's blowing today! I need to get out and do 4500 more steps in a bit, but for now I'll hunker down and converse with you good people. And pray for it to die down a little.

It's been busy, busy here, so without further ado...


Looooong morning walk while chatting to my Mum.

Yummy giant prawns with Luann's Kale Salad for lunch.

Another mammoth walk to the hairdresser for a fringe trim and then to the fishmonger, butcher and supermarket. We were done in after!

To celebrate the boy moving in we went out for dinner to our local Korean barbecue restaurant. We'd been before and knew the score.

Spinach with garlic and spicy kimchee.

Peppery hot beef rib broth.

Sliced pork belly and vegetables on the BBQ.

Cheap and tasty meal out.


I started the day right with smoked salmon, scrambled egg and avocado.

Another sunny walk, this time with my cousin and her hubby to The Garage Lounge, a very chic cafe nearby.

I had elderflower tea and we dreamed of running a cafe together. I also dreamed of cake.

We headed home and I cooked up a roast chicken dinner (sorry, no photo!) before we headed to the cinema with friends to see Django Unchained. I recommend it, but like all Tarantino films, it ain't for the faint-hearted. And it's long, so you'll get butt-ache.
We had a light supper of squid salad when we got in. Squid, charred peppers, basil, coriander, olive oil, rocket... This was good - try it.
I got up at 4.30am to catch the plane to Manchester!
Breakfast frittata prepared the night before with veggies and smoked salmon eaten in the car. OMG this tasted amazing! Like pizza! Definitely doing again.
I took leftover roast dinner with me for lunch. It was grand. I love cold roasted sweet potatoes!

And a sweet plum.

Good job I did take food because my hunch about the buffet was right. Carb. Fest. I did have some very nice watermelon and mango, though.

My flight back was at 8pm, so we grabbed dinner on the way to the airport. Tuna steak and salad with salsa verde. Really good.

I then walked around the airport to hit my step target. I did it!
Home at 9.30. Collapsed.
More roast! The last of the leftovers... The dinner that just keeps giving. Plus plum and blueberries.
Mackerel salad for lunch and a beef stew in the slow cooker for dinner. Time to clean and get out for that walk!
What's the most exotic cuisine you've eaten?
Korean is up there! Peruvian, too - I love ceviche. 

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday survey

After a sluggish week, I was up and raring to go at 6.45 this morning! The sun is out and I'm ready to enjoy a walk without being pelted by rain or blasted by an icy wind! It's the little things... But first I fancied sharing this survey with you, which Tina on Carrots 'n Cake featured the other day. Play along if you like!

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

Leftover tuna fishcakes with roasted vegetables and a pot of Lapsang Souchong tea. Yum!

Oh, and a little plum.

2. How much water do you drink a day?
At work I try to fill my fancy new bottle twice, which is equal to 1.2 litres...
Plus plenty of herbal and Rooibos tea throughout the day. I need to get better at chugging water at the weekend.

3. What is your current favourite workout?
Usually it would be my Jillian Michaels DVDs, and I'm sure I'l go back to them. At the moment it's walking to hit my 10000 steps a day for January. I've also been dabbling in yoga and am going to give an outdoor bootcamp class a try next week!
4. How many calories do you eat a day?
I don't count as a rule, but when I was trying out my Fitbit tracker it was around 1750 I think.
5. What are your favourite healthy snacks?
I'm not snacking while on the Whole 30, but usually it's fruit, Nakd bars or nuts.
6. What do you usually eat for lunch?
Salad with some form of protein, usually fish. I love a big crunchy salad because it takes ages to eat so makes me feel more satisfied than a sandwich!
Leftover tuna fishcakes
7. What's your favourite body part to strength train?
Biceps - I love having toned arms.
8. What's you least favourite part of your body to strength train?
My shoulders - they're so weak!
9. What are your 'bad' food cravings?
Nothing too shocking - red wine, dark chocolate... peanut butter (not bad foods per se, but I have little control around them!). Oh, and red velvet cupcakes. Red velvet anything.
10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
Sometimes vitamin D and calcium, when I remember. I try to get what I need from food.

11. How often do you eat out?

Maybe once a fortnight? Going out with The Boy tonight to celebrate him moving in! I love eating out.

12. Do you eat fast food?

Not unless extremely hungover, or drunk, or hungover and still a bit drunk (hello, KFC...).

13. Who's your biggest supporter?

My Mum.

14. Do you have a gym membership?

No, I don't like gyms and find I can keep fit for far less money!

15. How many hours' sleep do you get a night?

6 to 7, but I think I need 8.

16. Do you have a cheat day?

Certainly not this month! Usually I have small treats every day.

17. Do you drink alcohol?

Again, not this month! I dreamt lastnight I nearly had a drink in a bar that was bought for me, but was strong! I do miss a good bit of red wine, but I really want to cut down after the Whole 30 and save it for special occasions (a Saturday is not a special occasion, as they say on the Whole 30!). Also, rose wine is not my friend. Ever.

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

Nope - part of my exercise for me is having time to zone out alone. The Boy joins me for the odd walk, though.

19. What's the best thing that's changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

Discovering exercise and feeling good about my body, which I've been pretty down on in the past.
And, discovering healthy living blogs.

20. What's the last healthy thing you did?

Go for an hour long walk in the cold and dark lastnight to hit my step target.

How about you? Pick a couple of questions to answer, or let me know what you think about my answers! Happy Saturday!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Sprouts for breakfast?!

This has been exclaimed to me a few times this week! My answer? Who decreed that we need to eat sugary stuff in the morning? Mr Kellog? Anyway, I'm happy, and that's all that matters!


To prove my point, look at this plate of savoury yumminess. Check those yolks! Sunshine on a plate once again, my friends. Look at that little yellow plum, skirting around the plate, all coy.

I had meetings from 12 'til 2.30 (hello, anyone heard of lunch?!) so scarfed this gorgeous mackerel salad just before. There've been questions raised this week about mackerel's sustainability. This is very important, possibly life-altering news. I can't really talk about it right now *sob*.

I finally managed to get out for a walk at 3pm following a particularly stressy episode at work. I am sooooo done with dark days and January in general. And despite being very busy at work, the week still seems to drag! Please can someone switch the light at the end of the tunnel back on?!
Luckily, I'd had the foresight to prepare dinner a day ahead, so I had time for a stroll along the dark, drizzly seafront before I came home to this about to be dished up...

Shepherd's pie with swede and sweet potato topping and some steamed green beans on the side. Ooh, it was good. And there's leftovers in the freezer. I'm starting to become concerned about the number of orange foods I'm consuming, though. Will I look like an Oompa Loompa soon?
Friends came over after dinner for a catch-up and to discuss our holiday plans in May. That cheered me up, as did their gorgeous dog, Kite.
Packed day ahead, it was time for a fortifying frittata. Brocolli as opposed to sprouts this time.

After a super-productive morning I dug into this salmon salad. I usually bake the salmon myself, but tried this ready-poached version. It was good. Finally, a 'convenience' food I can eat!

I followed it with this cheeky little plum. These are from South Africa and really juicy and tart.

I'm feeding a friend tonight so have been busy prepping tuna fishcakes after my stroll. It's getting exhausting keeping my 10000 steps a day up, but I am determined. It's been a hungry afternoon, first time I've felt this hungry for a while. I think I'm tired, so it will be an early one for me. Good evening to you.
Question of the day: Sprouts for breakfast - do or don't?
If loving them is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Cheerful Tuesday

Reasons to be cheerful:

A breakfast frittata that looked like sunshine and tasted divine.

A new bedroom lampshade that makes me feel like I'm in a pretty birdcage!

A feature wall planned for the bedroom. We're going with the bottom one. It has butterflies and bugs on it. Squeeee!

A morning sky that makes you smile.

Mackerel salad. Always a winner.

Going out to see the trees. If winter's here, can spring be far behind?
A dinner ready and waiting for you when you get home.
Question of the day: What are you cheerful about today?

Monday, 21 January 2013

Sleepy Sunday

I am officially a cliche and own up to being bitten by Blue Monday. I had a frustrating day at work, I feel tired and I feel like I need sun. And its only been properly cold for about five minutes here!

Still, enough already.


On Saturday afternoon, I had my first taste of rabbit stew. My verdict? In a word 'blech'. Too gamey for me, but I persevered and rued the fact that I'd made enough for leftovers the next day.

Luckily, we had plans to go out for a cuppa, so I was able to wash the taste away with a pot of Portsmouth tea at Pie and Vinyl, a newish and very cute cafe that also sells records.

I loved the mismatched vintage decor and proper crockery. The Boy loved his sourdough fruitcake. We'll be back.

We walked to the cafe and back, a good half hour each way, and made it to the butcher, too. Nice work for a Saturday afternoon.
The evening brought the biggest test of the Whole 30 so far - a birthday meal out with very good friends. I managed to resist Alabama Slammers, White Russians and wine and stuck to my guns. We went to a local Greek restaurant, Steki, where I ordered lamb chops with a beetroot salad and green salad on the side. I thought there was too much lamb at first, but alot was fat and bone, so I finished it all!

It was a very nice, low-key evening, but a late one. I still suffered tiredness the next day, despite the sober night.
Sunday was designated 'getting house sh*t together' day. I started it with a roast veggie frittata and half a pear.

It was snowing lightly again, but I braved it and drove down to the dump with some old kitchen stuff while the boy got to doin' some screwin'. I also stopped by the shop for two new lampshades. Phew!
As if that wasn't enough, I then went for an hour-long walk. I was dog-tired by the time I got back and snoozed my way through eating the last of the rabbit stew (blech) with a freshly roasted batch of veg and some tabasco to 'enhance' (hide) the rabbity flavour. Bugs, you're safe.

The rest of the afternoon was spent cosied up reading the paper and hibernating and feeling a bit sorry for myself. No reason, it was just a blue day.

We had grilled pork chops and Luann's Kale Salad for dinner, with pear, dates and macadamia nuts, and I moaned about feeling like I'm chained to the kitchen! I know it's my choice to eat this way, everything from scratch, so I shouldn't complain, but sometimes the preparation seems relentless!

I stuck a beef stew in the slow cooker before bed and bid adieu to the weekend. After watching the very disturbing Utopia.
Back on the yoga wagon at 6am. It was nice and I could really feel it stretching my lower back, which I always hold tension in when I feel stressed. Breakfast was an omelette with three yolks and one white as I had yolks left over. I put some berries inside and sprinkled with cinnamon. Roasted veggies on the side.

The less said about work the better. At least I could get there! Lunch was a fun new treat - raw king prawns dipped in egg white then desiccated coconut and fried in coconut oil, hence the leftover yolks. They were lovely with leftover kale salad. A tropical moment in a dull day!

The Boy joined me for a little walk, but the path was quite treacherous! Very pretty, though.

After work came the food shopping and I was ready for stew when I got home. I added some curry powder to the beef when I put it in the slow cooker lastnight and it was the right call. Yum.

A quick walk to hit target and now I'm soooooo ready to recline.
Question of the day: Blue Monday - how was it for you?