Weekend indulgence

It is apparently a universal phenomena that when going on holiday you are overly optimistic about how much time/motivation you will have to work out. On a weekend away with friends, the girls planned to go for an early morning trail run and the boys bought P90X & Insanity DVDs. None of these activities occurred. I was slightly disappointed about missing a run on Sunday morning as the weather was glorious and a run would have been a great way to explore the area,  but as it was, the general overindulgence of food and booze may have got in the way of enjoying this view…

view from cottage

I also surprised myself by making both vegetarian and meat pizzas and preferring the vege version!

I used my tried and tested pizza base recipe by Lorraine Pascale, available online here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/prosciutto_mozzarella_98052

with the following toppings for the vegetarian version:

  • tomato puree
  • roasted red peppers (I used the brand Karyatis as they have a spicy edge which is just delicious)
  • green pesto
  • spinach, cooked in a smidgen of butter
  • mozzarella
  • cheddar

Unfortunately I now have the taste for overindulgence and my hard won pre-mini break loss of 8lbs has diminished to 4lbs and counting. Must must must get back to the gym.

True grit

For my 28th birthday, in an effort to get my running mojo back, my mum bought me entry into the Sheffield half marathon 2013. But after 10 nights in Cuba and general over indulgence for several weeks (OK months) I was not feeling particularly race-ready at one week out. I went for a run on the Wednesday before and did 6.35 miles, figuring that if I could do that arbitrarily chosen distance, I would be able to finish the race. Although I hadn’t done a huge amount of running, I had been consistent in going to the gym and maintained a reasonable baseline of fitness which I hoped would get me through.

I was semi-prepared to crash and burn but as I lined up at the start line I got my head in the zone and told myself that I would take it easy, aiming for the 2hr mark.

When I got to the 7 mile marker I knew I would be ok. My legs, my usual weakness, felt good and I’d settled into a natural rhythm. My breathing was a little laboured and I struggled a bit with a double-sided stitch, but that was hardly surprising with the lack of long distance cardio I’d done in the lead up. I kept trucking on, staying positive, not looking at my Garmin but instead keeping a comfortable pace.

I ended up crossing the line in 1 hr 50 mins 17 sec – my second best half marathon time ever!

Sheffield half marathon 2013

As I summed up on Facebook: I came physically unprepared but mentally strong and got my second best marathon time ever. True grit for the win.

Spag bol success

Threw together this spaghetti bolognese the other night to use up ingredients I already had in the cupboard/freezer. This was surprisingly tasty, I think probably because the mince was such good quality and not too lean.
Ingredients (gives 3 hearty portions) 
  • small packet cubed pancetta
  • 1 chopped onion (frozen ready diced for ease)
  • 3tsp garlic paste
  • 1 diced green pepper  (usually use red, but this worked well)
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 400g Aberdeen Angus mince
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree (I used a fancy version which was a tomato/italian vegetable mix)
  • beef liquid stock cube (undissolved)
  • tinned tomatos
  • few splashes of worcestershire sauce
  • spaghetti to serve


  1. First fry off the pancetta in a big saucepan
  2. Add the onion and garlic, frying in the oil released from the pancetta until soft
  3. Add the pepper and courgette, stirring for 5 minutes
  4. Add the mince and fry until brown
  5. Add the tomato puree, beef stock cube, tinned tomatoes and worcestershire sauce
  6. Turn the heat down and bubble for about 30-40 minutes. Add a bit of water if the sauce starts to thicken too much.
  7. Serve on top of the cooked pasta

Pictures of food is one blogger tradition that I can get down with, it’s basically food porn. Food photography however requires effort and skill, so no pictures this time. But this is worth making, trust me.

Numbers game

After a previously unsuccessful attempt at blogging, I’ve decided to give it another shot.  The problem with the fitness/food blogging world is that it all seems so artificial, with lots of impossibly slim and attractive people bashing on about how great it is to workout and ‘eat clean’. Don’t get me wrong, on a simple voyeuristic reader level I love it, but it’s not something I can legitimately aspire to be myself.

I like food. All food, including (especially) food that’s high in fat and salt and processed because it tastes so good. I love beer, in fact all alcohol. I like the taste, sometimes in moderation and sometimes to excess because it’s fun being pissed. Deny it.

But I do also like eating my greens, enjoying a healthy diet (whatever that is) and I love being active. I actually can’t imagine my life without sport and fitness, it is something I genuinely do love but let’s face it, I also do it to look and feel a certain way.

10 stone 4 lbs 4 oz. Ouch. The number has been creeping up and I suppose somewhere in the back of my mind I was hoping to use blogging as a quick fix, a sort of diet : a way to improve accountability and get! fit! fast!

But then that isn’t life is it? Life is starting a blog with good intentions only to have a really crap day at work, get home and neck a bottle of wine. For instance. So maybe instead of hollow promises to eat less, exercise more and generally be a better person, perhaps I’ll simply use this space to try consistently review my goals, whatever they may be.

And for now the goal is to get that number comfortably below 10 stone…


Reviewing goals

Bloggers are always setting goals, reviewing them and aiming higher. Tina from Carrots ‘N’ Cake recently blogged about her Open WOD 13.4 (lingo aside, this basically means a 7 minute killer workout of big compound movements and even bigger weights) and although she met her goals, reflected afterwards how her mindset possibly affected her capability to achieve. This inspired me to do the same.

The first few days of intuitive eating went pretty well: the focus was on whole foods, eating when hungry and staying firmly off the booze. But then a long Bank Holiday weekend came round and things started to slide… Ordinarily this wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but with the holiday of a lifetime coming up, mediocrity just isn’t good enough. The result I want is going to need consistent and honest tracking,

So, my plan for the week is as follows:

Tuesday – back and biceps (am),  run

Wednesday – Shoulders and abs (am), swimming (pm)

Thursday – Legs (am), run

Friday – Chest and triceps (am), swimming (pm)

Saturday – 30 minute steady run and BodyPump


Nom nom nom

I know some people hate that expression, but I think it has a certain onomatopoeic quality befitting of the meal I’ve just eaten. A ‘chicken, mango & jalapeño salad‘ doesn’t sound much, but the combination of sweet mango with spicy jalapeño  and crunchy tortilla chips is absolutely delicious. Even my long suffering husband who wanted to go to the pub for a burger and a pint enjoyed it, so high praise indeed.

Make this now!

NB I need to hone my food photography before posting any food pictures, shame as it looked as good as it tasted