Sunday, 15 September 2013

Hitting refresh

Hey there. We're halfway through the weekend - there's still everything to play for! I had my friends and their little boy to stay yesterday, so it's been a bit of a whirlwind but good fun. Today Andy and I plan to hit the shops to buy my birthday present - yay! We did want to walk but the weather is not looking promising and it's a pretty long way. We'll see. First I need me some lunch, then I'll be able to think straight!

*Eats lunch, goes shopping, comes back and finishes the post later that afternoon.*
Phew, it's turned in to proper stinker out there. We ended up compromising and driving part way. I'm really glad because I still got my 10k steps for the day and we haven't got soaked and blown about trying to get home! We found some bargain fitness gear in Debenhams sale - I got new trainers, a long sleeve Winter training top, a short sleeve top and a sports bra for under £80. It's my birthday present from Andy - practical and pretty! I'm chuffed!
I also had a very nice soy chilli hot chocolate at Southsea Coffee Co. Chilli chocolate = love.
In other news I'm moving over to my Mum's to dogsit for a couple of weeks on Tuesday. I'm going to use it as an opportunity to take a little break from blogging. Not a long one, but I've got to a stage where I need to decide where I'm going to take it and what I want to to focus on longer term. At the moment it feels like I'm going through the motions a bit and I want to have a fresh start and feel excited and refocused. I hope you don't mind and will wait and see what I have in store! In the meantime if you sign up to follow the blog (see bar on side of page), you'll get an email when I next post so you don't have to keep checking back to see if I've resurfaced. You can also follow me on Twitter @jodeap
So, for the time being, here's the last few snaps of my food for a few weeks...
Wednesday night = Waitrose coriander and coconut salmon. Divine. I had to use hardened creamed coconut which you melt in the sachets so it came out really thick, but it tasted the same. Steamed pak choy and asparagus and a bit of sweet potato kept it company.
The weather was pants so I stayed in and relaxed rather than walk in the rain.
Thursday morning = fried eggs, sunny side up, and roasted vegetables. Those yolks are so creamy.

The only meeting I had all day at work was at 12pm. What the?! I ate this salmon salad lunch just after 1pm and headed to the shops. The sun was shining and I needed some bits and bobs. I started to feel really washed out as I walked around and ended up sitting down for the rest of the afternoon (I usually stand at my desk).

My fatigue carried on in to the evening, so I decided to skip Real Military Fitness. Rachael was over for dinner and I made us homemade burgers with homemade guacamole and sweet potato and green bean fries. Then we watched Educating Yorkshire and I kept dozing off. Sorry, Rach!

Having rediscovered the joy of scrambled eggs at the End of the Road Festival, I made myself some on Friday morning. Delicious.

Lunch was sardines packed in chilli oil with salad and a walk to the shops.

Dinner was grilled pork chops with homemade apple sauce and a ton of steamed tenderstem brocolli and asparagus. So yum. I made the apple sauce by chopping up two sad little apples and putting them over a medium heat, adding a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of brandy and some pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes and lightly mash.

We relaxed and had an early night on Friday, ready to rise early on Saturday. Andy got up for a 9 mile run at 6am. I layed in 'til 7 and had a leisurely fried egg breakfast before heading out...

...into the glorious sunshine for my usual long walk.
I went to the butcher then we hung out and got the house ready for our guests' arrival at 1.30pm. I wolfed down this amazing tuna salad, too.
Lizzie, my friend, presented me with homemade jam and chutney on arrival - this girl knows the way to my heart! They also gave us two gorgeous glass coffee coasters with a heart design inlaid in them. Beautiful.
The boys went off to a local music festival while my friend and I took her little boy to the park and seafront. We chilled at home and the boys came back to line their stomachs with my slow cooked lamb stew with cider before heading back out. We stayed in with Bake Off, X Factor and girl talk.
Another early night for me and up at 6.45am today! All the chores and tidying were done by 12pm. I love a productive weekend! Now time to cosy up and get ready for my decamp to Chichester.
Farewell, friends, speak soon.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Chicken or egg

Anyone who's read the blog before knows I like an egg-based breakfast. This is usually in the form of a roasted vegetable frittata, but I do sometimes branch out and have fried eggs with my veggies instead. Yes, vegetables at breakfast - part of the Whole 30 and surprisingly easy to get used to. Well, today it was, in fact, the chicken that came first. Yep. I ate roast chicken for breakfast. I've not done it in a while but it didn't feel too weird.

Yesterday was more along my usual lines of a frittata,with a ham topping, but it was in a different location to usual:
Ah yes, the 6:08am train to Cardiff. It was a good breakfast and a good journey. Luckily my foot had a chance to rest after I hurt it on Monday and I was able to walk up to our sixth floor office and down again to get some steps in. I also had a little stroll around Cardiff at lunchtime to stretch my legs.
This row of cafes and bars looked very continental and inviting in the sunshine:
But I didn't linger, no. I bought some dental floss and headed back to work!
Having spent 6 hours on a train in total, I was ready for Real Military Fitness to get me moving lastnight. It was pretty chilly - Autumn has definitely landed here - so I was glad to get going. We did the 'bleep test' for the first time. I never did it at school. It was quite fun, but my knees are stiff today. Getting old!
The Boy was in charge of dinner and made us this lovely Thai Massaman curry based on a Nom Nom Paleo recipe. We had lamb in it and it was fabulous, perfect for a crisp, cool evening. I'm starting to get into the idea of hearty stews and hot curries for the new season... Mmm.
Unfortunately I lost the picture of yesterday's lunch - roast chicken salad. I do have today's, though. That old favourite, mackerel salad, eaten deskside before a walk, wearing a jacket for the first time in months. I kind of need another walk now but it's pouring with rain. Hmm. Our work walking challenge to do at least 10,000 steps a day ends tomorrow and I wanted to go out on a high. I've averaged over 13,000 a day over the last four months, which I hope to keep up.
Well, we'll see. It's not really been my lucky day after my alarm going off at 5am because I forgot to reset it from yesterday and then noticing a big scratch on my cheek I gave myself in the night with a nail I broke at RMF. Sigh. It can only get better this evening, right? Coconut and coriander salmon should help ease the pain. Have a good one.
Had a lousy day? Share!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Man down

Evening peeps. Sorry for being quiet over the weekend, I've been busy eatin' and relaxin'. You know me. Oh, and drinkin' and dancin'. However, it seems my dancing days are on hold for now as I've managed to really hurt my foot today! The top and side of my foot started to throb after I went for a walk at lunch today. I think it may have been my shoes - they're not the most comfy to walk in, but they've always been okay before... Anyway, I'm literally hobbling around so no evening walk for me. Boo.

And I need all the exercise I can get because, it's official, I've gained half a stone over the summer. Yep, gotta face facts, I had fun but now the party really must end! It's my birthday a month today and I want to feel fit and ready for 34. That said, I made the most of having a last hurrah this weekend!

Let's rewind to Wednesday night first in the world of Jodea's eats. Who can resist a grilled rib eye with Greek salad to get you over the hump?

Thursday saw the cheeky addition of some spinach to my breakfast veggie frittata. And very welcome it was, too. Gotta get your greens, lovelies.

The weather was scorchio, we're talking proper sunburn territory, so Rach and I took lunch outside and I enjoyed my juicy, fat prawn and avocado salad on one of the last days of summer. Sigh.

In the evening Real Military Fitness handed my ass to me yet again. Our instructor showed us this new regime called Zuu. Google it. It's insane. After standing and laughing at him sweatily demonstrating, it was our turn to be demolished. He's promised more this week. Help! But, that's why we love it. Brand new fitness fads for £4 a go? Yes please.
I made up a little salmon salad for dinner, using Iowa Girl's maple marinade here and adding it to baby spinach leaves, steamed asparagus, mango, walnuts and dried cranberries. Thumbs up from The Boy and I.

FRIDAY! Fried egg day! Good morning sunshine.

The day started off real nasty - pouring with rain - but later in the afternoon it cleared and I enjoyed a walk with a friend after my salmon salad.

After wortk it was straight to my Mum's where she fed us organic meatballs and spaghetti before we all headed to a family shindig. I also ate a yum yum donut and about 500 sweets. Damn my mother's sweet stash. I always find them hard to resist after a long week at work.

I got my rose wine on at the party, and got my dance on not long after. Andy finally dragged me away at 12:30am. I had some canapes for fuel and birthday cake along the way. The pork belly on a stick was divine.
I didn't exactly jump out of bed Saturday morning but I was okay after this repeat of Thursday's nutrient rich breakfast. Despite the threat of rain, I donned my mac and headed out for a long seaside walk in the fresh air.

I was super hungry for lunch, which I had around 11:30, before I tackled my chores. Albacore tuna salad with anchovies. So succulent. Best tinned tuna ever.

Later in the afternoon we had some errands to run. I was flagging and demanded cake. Andy obliged and took me to the lovely Pie and Vinyl where I enjoyed bread pudding and Lucy Rose tea (two parts breakfast blend, one part Earl Grey). Delish! We also spotted Comedian Phil Jupitus in there from Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Later we grabbed a few bottles and some Portsmouth tea and headed to our friends' house for an epic barbecue. It was like a tasting menu - from veggie and prawn skewers to grilled whole mackerel to rack of lamb to grilled halloumi to sausages plus dips and salads and breadsticks and potatoes... Oh my. I could barely walk home! It was fabulous.
Hello little mackerels...

We will destroy you! Looked distressed, tasted great!

We hung out in the garden drinking (cider for me) and chatting until I got too chilly and then, too tired. Andy rolled me home and it was off to bed.
Another late night, we woke up to thunder rumbling on Sunday. Despite vowing never to eat again, you can guess what happened next...

We were off out for lunch with my Mum and Paul so I snapped this sad looking plant in the garden to get his diagnosis (he's a Landscape Gardener). He reckons it will come good. Phew! All the others are thriving.

We drove off to a beauty spot for a late lunch. These beauties sure hit the spot - red hot wings. Managed them all.

I didn't partake in the nacho platter, but it deserves a special mention. Gimme cheeeeeese.

I plumped for the rather lovely and tender salmon with stir fried veggies and salad. It was great.

As we were celebrating my mum's birthday, we order the special Bellybuster, which Andy and Paul set upon. Brownie, marshmallows, M&Ms, ice cream, cream... I did have a teeny taste and a bit of my mum's very nutty brownie.

I opted for a virgin Pina Colada, which was lush.

For once I wasn't the most stuffed on leaving! We got home quite late and went for an evening walk. The clouds and sunset were stunning after a brooding day of sunshine and showers. I felt peckish later on and ate a Yorkshire Provender Chicken, Vegetable and Coconut soup Mum gave me. It was really nice and very filling.

And thus, the weekend was done.
I woke today vowing to get back on track, which means eating W30 as much as possible. Usual breakfast, then.

After a fun writing skills training session I ran in the morning at work, I had this lovely ham and avocado salad before I ruined my foot on my walk with Rach.

And that is that. I'm up super early tomorrow to catch a train so will bid you adieu for now, comrades. Monday is done.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Keep cool

It's been another hot and sunny day here, but the nights are really starting to draw in and I know Autumn is on the way. The kids are all heading back to school, too. I like this time of year - it always feels like the opportunity for a fresh start after the summer haze, and we still have four months left to make the most of the year.

I just got back from a long walk along the seafront where I was hoping to get some inspiration for some mini resolutions for the next few months. Instead I mainly thought about work and random stuff... Oh well, I'm sure thimgs will come to me. I do sometimes think I may try to over-plan and organise things. Sometimes I should just left stuff happen (the control freak in me flinches!).

So, what has been happening since we returned from festival land? I got back to some clean eatin' and hardcore exercisin', that's what.

Tuesday's breakfast was the unrivalled plain roasted vegetable frittata. Yep, I'm home.

As you can see from this photo, the mornings are getting darker.
But, the sun did get his hat on and I was lucky enough to enjoy an al fresco lunch at Prezzo with some lovely ladies. I can't believe I was so boring and had salmon and avocado salad - something I make weekly - but it was what I fancied and I'm all about that right now. I did skip the bread and croutons, though. It was nice to get out and have a gossip. Luckily being back at work wasn't too painful.

I walked up to Real Military Fitness after work and was greeted by everyone standing around the van and no equipment out. This means one thing - running. Urgh. My heart sank, but I sucked it up. We jogged along the seafront then did sprints interspersed with exercises. Then we ran up and down the beach on the huge-ass pebbles. My legs ache today and I was sweating buckets but there's nothing like that feeling when you're done. On the way home I called my mum, who was busy Googling how close Cyprus is to Syria, as my little brother is off to Ayia Napa today!
Having caught up with the family and showered, I grilled some pork chops, steamed some cabbage and broccoli and microwaved a sweet potato. Simple but delicious.

We watched The Men Who Made Us Fat on catch up - fascinating stuff - and crawled into bed.

Chinese orchid update: three new blooms now.
This morning I fancied fried eggs, so I went for it.

It was all go first thing at work, running a web conference, but it all went okay thankfully. Technology scares me every time!
At lunch I dined on sardines packed in chilli oil. Very nice, but it wasn't quite filling enough and I was really hungry when I got home so I grabbed an apple and some walnuts before my hour-long walk.

Dinner should sort me out - steak night! We're over halfway through the week, Loves. Hang in there!
Have you got any September resolutions?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Wild wood

Greetings to you all on this sunny September evening. I love Autumn, but am also loving the fact that Summer clearly isn't done with us yet after a gorgeous hot day today. And all the better as I had the day off of work! Yep, we got back from the End of the Road festival in Dorset today. It was such a nice weekend, a world away from reality and full of good food and drink and general R&R.

I took my first homegrown Chinese orchid blooming as a sign of a good weekend ahead. My baby!

Thursday breakfast was leftover roast chicken with roast veggies.

After the stresses of earlier in the week, I had a nice, quiet day in the office finishing off some bits and pieces and getting organised for the following week. More chicken for lunch and a walk to the shops broke up the afternoon.

And then it was straight to Andy's Mum and Dad's to pick up our home for the weekend. Ready for the tour? Here's the bar/dining/sitting room...

...the kitchen...

...the bedroom...

...and the sun terrace. Ah-mazing. I loved our little mobile home! Not only did Andy's parents lend us their pride and joy for the weekend, they also fed us some gorgeous barbecue salmon with lots of tasty salads plus a cherry and almond pie for pudding. So spoiled.

And thus began a weekend of indulgence! Thursday night we had a couple of ciders and watched a band when we arrived. Friday morning it was time to test out the kitchen and make sausage and scrambled egg for breakfast. Sausages from a butcher close to Andy's parent's place.

The sun was shining and we headed off to explore the festival site in the daylight. I was drawn in by a falafel and hummus pitta for lunch - a festival classic. It was very tasty actually.

The drink of the weekend was definitely Stowford Press cider, closely followed by rum and ginger. Mmm... Check out this sign. Like.

I obviously got carried away and forgot to snap Friday night's dinner - I had plaice goujons with mushy minted peas and chips. A very traditional Friday night dinner! It started to drizzle while we watched the main act, so I headed to the wagon early to retire. It's so cosy I was more than happy to do so. Saturday morning called for scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Glamping, my friends, glamping.

We'd spotted a Slovakian food stall I was eager to try for lunch. I enjoyed this red cabbage and ricotta pie.

We decided to explore the site a little more and headed for the woods. The trees were strewn with fairy lights and it was really pretty. We came across this piano which lights up the big letters pictured below.

We also came across this phone box and found the postcard we'd sent from Sweden, as instructed by the festival organisers when we got our tickets.

Of course, all this exploring makes a girl hungry and I had my eye on one thing and one thing only. Sticky apricot cake. Andy had had it the day before and I'd had a little taste. I needed my own. Gooey, chewy but light and full of juicy apricots with a layer of dark chocolate on top. I savoured it.

After chilling back at the van we went out for dinner later on. Andy is modelling a burrito identical to the pulled pork one I had. They were okay but I've had better.

Breakfast made up for the burrito disappointment on Sunday morning. More sausages and fried eggs and lots of tea.

I spent a good few hours in the morning hanging by the van and reading while Andy went for a run. It was so relaxing - no phone, no email, no schedule.
Later we headed to the site and I grabbed some chicken soup, which was really good and brothy.

We also shared an order of potatoes that had cooked in the rotisserie chicken juices. Yum.

And drank more cider of course. I also had a divine peanut butter and choc chip ice cream made with sheeps milk in the afternoon. Oh, and a vegan flapjack. You have to keep your strength up in the great outdoors!
When we went back to change for the evening we shared a mini bottle of Prosecco to toast our last evening.

I'd been eyeing up this paella for dinner all weekend. It was worth the wait.

This morning we finished up the supplies for breakfast, packed up and hit the road in the sunshine.

And it was back to normal for lunch at home with a mackerel salad. I did some chores and finished my book sitting in the garden. I wanted to make the most of the day off and the sunshine.

Back to clean eats for dinner with Iowa Girl's chicken, mango and avocado salad.

A walk in the beautiful balmy evening and a hello to you lovely people.
The festival was more Andy's thing in terms of the bands. We saw Sigur Ros and Belle and Sebastian and a new band I hadn't heard called Public Service Broadcasting who we all really liked, plus loads more. I could take or leave most of the music but it was a really nice, chilled event. And the toilets didn't make me want to run out screaming. Win. I also attended a creative writing workshop on the Friday which was fun. A dreamy weekend in the woods...
Been to any festivals this year?