Sunday, 27 February 2011

Another Name Change and some goals

I changed my blog name *again*. Tri Eating Plants doesn't really reflect what I'm about here, since I'm definitely a runner and not a triathlete, and unlikely to become one- I don't think I'll ever be a confident enough swimmer, and trying to be better was just a bit too stressful. Also, while my diet is still very much plant based, I don't eat only plants, so it's a bit misleading. I suppose I am a 'pescetarian' but I don't like that name, I do, however, like the abbreviation 'pesky'. So Pesky Runner it is, for now, although I am going to leave the blog at for a while yet, as I am thinking of moving over to Wordpress, so if I do, I'll properly change the blog address then.

I mentioned a few days ago about doing some sort of sugar free challenge. Starting 1st March, I'm going to avoid added sugar with the exception of honey once a week for a treat- if I want it. I will still eat fruit and dried fruit, these will be my everyday treats. It means things like chocolate, biscuits, cake and ice-cream will be off the cards for the month. I am finding that I feel a bit yucky after eating those sorts of things, possibly because I eat them in large servings, which make me feel icky and bloated but as I'm eating them they don't leave me satisfied. However, a banana on an oatcake, maybe some natural nut butter, or a plain yogurt with fruit fills me up and I don't feel icky. I hope if I break the cravings for sugary things I will be able to enjoy them now and again, or maybe this month will lead me to new tastier ways to treat myself. I have bookmarked a few grain free/paleo desserts which sound pretty good.

Herewith 7 random facts about me- Kristy tagged me for this, although I'm supposed to pick another 7 bloggers to pass it on to. I don't think I know that many! If you read my blog, want to do this, go right ahead. Leave a wee comment if you do so I can read yours:)

1. I used to be a goth- black eyeliner, sunglasses, nailpolish, lace, long leather coat, listening to The Cure with a scowl. I still love The Cure, I just don't dress like Robert Smith anymore or do the whole moody thing anymore.

2. Despite loving running etc these days, I got out of P.E. (physical education) pretty much every week in school. I was really body conscious and I sucked at team sports. I used to tell my teachers P.E. was bad for health because breathing more frequently meant more oxygen intake which meant increased oxidation of cells and accelerated aging!! Even if there's some truth in that, I'd rather be a grey haired runner before my time than a lazy old brunette.

3. I'm really fussy about what pen I use to write, it has to feel exactly right in my hand.

4. I spent a year as a member of the ultra-conservative group Opus Dei- during my time 'discovering myself' a few years back.

5. I'm a birdwatcher, have been since I was a little kid.

6. I can't bear to let my nails grow, but I don't bite them, I just cut them really often.

7. I speak German, ja wohl.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, it's gorgeous here!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

A-Z about me quiz craze

Another week has flown in! I can't believe February is almost over. Nothing much new to talk about here, I haven't been trying out any new recipes and I'm still running/aquajogging/strength training away. Tuesday's Bodyrock sess left me hurting for a couple of days! I proper kicked my butt. Since I have nothing beyond the usual to share with you, I'll do the quiz that's been floating around a few blogs I read:

A. Age: 24

B. Bed size: Double. Although I wouldn't mind a bigger bed, so far I haven't managed to justify the expense since I spend so little time in it. When there's spare money it's oooh new running top/fitness gadget/kitchen get the picture.

C. Chore you dislike: Washing up

D. Dogs: Don't have any- my pet rabbit Drizzt lives with my parents in the country. He's lovely, blue-grey, blue eyes, white paws. He's 7 years old.

E. Essential start to your day: Water, coffee, walk, food

F. Favorite color: Green or purple

G. Gold or silver: Probably silver although I do have a lovely antique gold and diamond cluster ring my mum gave me and a gold pendant with a 5th century cross from one of the oldest monastic sites in Ireland with my date of birth on the back- the site is in Kerry where I have gone every summer since I was about 12. I wear it on a fine gold chain along with my great grandmother's huge wedding band.

H. Height: 5’5/165cm. Pretty much exactly average. Yawn.

I. Instruments you play(ed): Piano from 10-14, hated it. Violin in my first year of university (wanted to try something new). I sang in a Georgian chant/Renaissance polyphony choir for a couple of years when I was at university- and I enjoyed that- I am defnitely much fonder of singing than instrumenting.

J. Job title: Laboratory secretary/PA

K. Kids: None, and never will be! I have nothing against other people having kids, it's just not for me.

L. Live: Belfast, Northern Ireland. Which despite having 'Ireland' in the name is in fact part of the UK.

M. Mom’s name: Dympna (Dim-puh-naa). It's the name of an Irish princess/rich cattle raider's daughter who is venerated in Ireland as the patron saint of the mentally ill. She's kind of one of those part mythical part real figures. My mum's not mad btw!

N. Nicknames: Wee Em, Eims (don't like the latter)

O. Overnight hospital stays: Couple of days last September for pancreatitis. My first hospital stay and hopefully my last. I thought I'd never have to go to hospital!

P. Pet peeves: people who talk really loud when there's supposed to be some degree of quiet, queue jumping, sniffing, spitting, double parking- in general people breaking rules that are there to foster consideration of others and fairness. I don't like overuse of apostrophes either.

Q. Quote from a movie: I can never remember any when I'm asked!

R. Righty or lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: 1 sister, a year younger, then 3 brothers- 20, 18, 12 years old.

T. Time you wake up: Usually 6:30 on a weekday unless I decide to workout before the day starts, then I'll get up at 6:00 but that only happens in the spring/summer. Weekends I get up at 8:00-8:30.

U. Underwear: Like you're really interested. Yes I wear it, what it looks like, hopefully that will never find it's way onto my blog!

V. Vegetables you don't like: Asparagus (but then again I've only ever bought it in a shop and not eaten it straight from the field), umm, that's about it. I like vegetables!

W. What makes you run late: Thinking I have enough time to do x,y,z. I'm rarely late though, my mum is late for everything and it meant I hated being late when I grew up so I'm pretty punctual.

X. X-rays you’ve had: When I was three my Dad thought I'd swallowed a door stopper but I'd just hidden it, so was x-rayed and nothing there, couple of teeth x rays pre-wisdom teeth removal then another tooth that never grew down but decided to 5 years later, then after a cycling accident (broke my front teeth), and ankle from running in high heels when I was 15 (eek!)

Y. Yummy food you make: According to Mr TriEatingPlants, my coconut curry and dark chocolate banana bread. My family like my hazelnut tiramisu and I make them meat things they like.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Don't like zoos but I'm an avid birdwatcher- some of my favourites would be gannets, kingfishers and bullfinches

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


I'm back to the grindstone, two days have already gone by in a flash! It's good to be busy but sometimes it's so exhausting. Nevertheless, I dragged myself out for a quick 3.5 miles last night. I don't think I would have gone if I hadn't agreed it early in the day with Eamonn. By the end of the run I was sprinting, it was great to shake the day off. I wasn't particularly hungry though, as I'd had a big pile of sunday dinner leftovers at lunch, so I had a tiny bowl of Quorn (fake 'chicken' made out of microscopic fungi) in tomato sauce, topped with nooch.

Later on I was peckish though, and that resulted in cake. Not the healthiest thing to eat in the evening, but it's sitting there!

Today started with Ready Brek made with soya milk and topped with frozen berries and a scoop of plain yogurt.

I had a really great lunch with a grated carrot and red pepper (I meant to turn the grating plate over to slice, but I was rushing so got grated pepper!), lots of lettuce, some Quorn and a scoop of cottage cheese, oh, and a few sundried olives, mmm.

I snacked on bananas (2) and had a few cups of coffee and lots of water.

I got home and tried some Bodyrock, the epic burpees one- I only got 200 reps done (half the workout) and it took me 35 mins which isn't too bad I guess although I did have to switch to press ups from the knees early on (I suck at press ups which is why I'm trying to do more strength training).

Dinner was baked brown rice, sauteed mushrooms and onions, boiled broccoli and a little blue goat cheese.

There was more was really tasty but I didn't feel so good after. I have been thinking of giving myself a break from desserts/sugar/refined carbs or something in March, but I haven't worked it out yet. I am happy with my main meals but I think my snacking could be 'smarter'. I am definitely going to challenge myself to improved eating habits next month so stay tuned!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Green Ribbons and Cake

After reading about Dainty Pig's ridiculously cool rice cooker cake I decided to bake something this weekend. I have a baking box with plenty of flours, sugar, dried fruit etc but I hadn't dug into it since my Dundee cake. I knew I would have a chocolate fan visiting, so I got some chocolate while doing the shopping today and settled on a sour cherry chocolate cake. Skip to the bottom to hear all about it if you don't want to be bored by yet more aquajogging and fish eating.

After the late lunch of pasta and ice-cream yesterday I had a quick trout egg sandwich for tea. I had leftover trout, broke it up into chunks into a beaten egg, stirred in some mustard and heated in a nonstick pan until the egg set. I had it between two slices of toast and a generous shake of hot sauce. Later on I had a Rekordelig while watching The Tudors. Yum! The Tudors was a bit gory this week though. At least the cider was tasty.

Yes, I went aquajogging this morning. I got up and had a quick brekkie of toast with a little PB and a banana. I usually only eat toast at the weekends because I have my breakfast later then, and toast at 7am would NOT keep me going for very long on a workday. I did an hour's aquajogging, then goofed around breaststroking for 15 mins and doing chin ups and dips between laps. I spent a toasty 10 mins in the sauna in between. I always feel like a new pin after a watery workout.

I got back home and got organised to go shopping. Feeding two active people (one of whom could eat cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not move and still not gain weight) when you're fussy about quality is expensive! But it's not too bad, I guess, as we don't buy food at work or eat at restaurants much (except for our little pizza feast on friday night, hehe).

I was ravenous after the shopping as it was after 2pm, and with cake baking and deciding to roast a celeriac for lunch, it was nearly 4pm by the time we ate. I had a baked salmon fillet, leftover pasta, loads of lovely ribbony spring greens and a few pieces of the roast celeriac.

I had a cup of coffee with a splash of chocolate soya milk after dinner.

I read for a while and then later in the evening we tried out the cake. It was very good, but tasted really rich to me- I haven't had cake made with proper butter for such a long time! To be honest, I felt a bit queasy after, it was basically half refined carbs and half saturated fat. I was pretty impressed with the great crumb though.

The weird thing was although I felt a bit sickened for an hour, I was hungry again two and a half hours later so I'm having a teacup of frozen berries and soya milk and a sprinkle of the Quaker granola. Much more to my liking! Frozen strawberries taste as good as ice-cream to me:)

The soya milk has turned a greyish blue!

Hope you all had a good weekend- I'm ready to take on the week! I have more or less exactly what I had for dinner today in a tupperware box for tomorrow's lunch and breakfast will almost certainly involve ice-cream I mean frozen berries! I hope this will give me plenty of energy to try out my first Bodyrock workout tomorrow :)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Joys of (almost) Spring

Hello from a decidedly perkier Eimear! My winter blues seem to be lifting somewhat, and with that has come a renewed appetite for running/working out. I ran and aquajogged a few times last week and continued with that this week, throwing in session of Fitnessista's circuit training. I am so inept at any sort of strength training that I felt that half hour workout for two days! I ran and aquajogged through it, and two days later, even though I was still a little sore, I did some hamstring curls, stability ball press ups, planks and dumbell squats while watching a film and felt great. I was surprised at being able to do the stability ball press ups. I usually can't even do one! I managed 10 and could have done more but I didn't want to push it. I have been bitten by the strength training bug and I hope to incorporate two workouts a week into my schedule, at least to start with. I don't think I can fit in more than that for now. I decided to find out what on earth all the fuss over bodyrock is and I was very impressed with what I saw. I subscribed to the RSS feed and hope to try out a few of Zuzanna's workouts. I also really like the look of the Fitnessista's workouts and scribbled down her HTP Intro to Iron Pumping. At the moment I am running x3/pw and aquajogging x2/pw and if I'm strength training both the other days especially if one of those is core or upper body and therefore not tiring my legs I don't mind having no 'rest day'. At the moment I prefer to do something every day and think I've got a sufficiently good mix to avoid injury.

I haven't really done much forward planning with breakfasts this week as I went to work a bit earlier. I had a smoothie on monday (first in aaages) because I found frozen strawberries in the supermarket (mixed with blueberries). I froze a banana overnight and blended with the fruit, a handful of oats, a few tablespoons of yogurt and water to get the right consistency and carried it into work.

The rest of the week was mostly Ready Brek (kind of fortified creamed oat cereal made of oat flour and very fine oat flakes) made with hot soya milk and berries; although there was the occasional frozen berry/yogurt/sprinkle of crunch mess (this time with Quaker Oats Oat Granola, a bit less sugary-10g per serving and I usually have a half serving- than other granolas out there, although it's different from the US version, as there's no almonds in the UK one).

I have been snacking mostly on plain yogurt, bananas, plain oatcakes and peanut butter this week. I was eating very little bananas towards the end of last year but now I am eating one almost every day.

I had salads mostly for lunch this week with lots of veggies and leftover rice or pasta and cottage cheese or crab for a bit of satiety.

One evening I still had lunch salad left over so I had it in a wrap with a breaded Quorn fillet after an intense aquajogging session (I was soo hungry). I had another of the wraps for lunch one day with the egg salad I posted about last week.

Apart from a crab salad I hadn't had any fish this week, so fried off some trout in oatmeal and ate it with brown rice and loads of lemon juice.

After last night's aquajogging, and just because it was friday, we got pizza and beer (one bottle of Rekordelig cider for me). We eat takeout pizza so rarely (few time a year at most) that it's such a treat. We really enjoyed our lazy friday evening (especially because there were no pots and pans to wash up!).

After our pizza feast, we knew we'd be ready for a longer run today, so after a fruit yogurt breakfast mess and walk into town to do messages, we headed for the towpath. Last night was really wet and stormy, but it was lovely and sunny when we were out. We ran over 6.5 miles and had some veggies, Quorn and pasta for lunch and a generous scoop each of ice-cream a bit later on, then got all the cleaning done.

We are chilling out now before the Tudors and a wee beer/cider.

My tummy got a bit urgh mid-week, I think it might have been just a bit too much protein and not enough fibre, hence the brown rice on thursday evening and friday lunchtime and then carbs galore in pizza and pasta form. While I usually find eggs and fish etc make me less bloated, too little fibre can be a bit grim. I'm fine now though, and will just keep a better eye on my fibre intake. Unfortunately I can't get too much fibre from lots of veggies or beans as it makes me really bloated so it has to be brown rice or whole oats, or even wholemeal pasta. While I have been watching my carb intake I should really just make sure I eat little sugar and not worry too much about a plateful of brown rice once or twice a week.

Happy rest-of weekend!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

An Eggscellent Sunday

I bookmarked (never home) maker's mayoless egg salad recipe as soon as I read it, tahini+ egg sounded amazing! And it didn't disappoint. I halved the recipe as I had one egg to use up, and although I had just bought more eggs, I wanted to keep them for later in the week. While I don't mind mayo, I don't buy it (egg that keeps for weeks once open is a bit too weird for me) and it's a bit of a palaver to make. I actually bought new tahini with this recipe in mind, but I think it would be great mixed with crab or salmon too. I had it for a sunday evening supper on toast with a side of delicious chilli sundried olives but I'm planning to make it again for lunch someday.

The day had began with walnut bread and banana and a yogurt with chopped hazelnut and some coffee. It was an absolutely stunning day, really sunny, quite warm for the time of year, and still. I stuck my little brother's bike in my car and took him along for a 4 mile run (him on the bike). It had rained all night so the track was really muddy! Everything needed washed when we got in. I was hungry and thirsty so downed loads of water and had an oatcake with some cheese. I then had some salmon with brussel sprouts and sweet potato for lunch, mmm.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Prawn 'pizza'

I had a pretty early start this morning leaving friends off to the airport for their flight to New York. I went back to bed but even though I had along sleep all told, I needed properly wakened up. I had a small bowl of oats with half a big banana mashed through and topped with a Valentine's chocolate to go melty in the warm porridge. I caught up on news and blogs and then went to the pool when it opened at midday. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the light came into the pool, which was lovely. I did an hour's aqua jogging, although I warmed down for a few mins with a bit of swimming and spent a blissful 5 minutes in the sauna. I then headed to my new favourite coffee shop in Belfast, Espresso Elements, which is an Australian style coffee shop. I had a great Americano or 'Long Black', a bagel and a cookie. Not a healthy lunch, but it's saturday, so I don't really care. We mulled over the paper, then popped into Arcadia delicatessan next door for our favourite sundried chilli olives.
I then went down to my parent's was pretty hungry around 7 this evening, so I had a raid through the fridge and found some prawns that needed used up although I was in the mood for pizza. I also found some sunblush tomatoes and an end of manchego cheese, plus a bit of salad looking salad leaves. I assembled everything on a huge slice of delicious chewy rye sourdough and grilled it.

It'll soon be time for The Tudors- love that it's back on again, although this is the final series:(

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Will run for ice-cream

Tonight when I got home from work I was just itching to get out running. I had already planned to run three miles with Eamonn, but as he is just getting back into running after a near 6 year break, I needed a faster workout just to clear away the day's stresses. I set off an a speedy just under three and a half miles, then waited for Eamonn to come home and in the end set off for run number 2 about 45 minutes after I got back from the first. This one was about the same distance (different route) but at a much slower pace. In the end I ran almost 7 miles although it really didn't feel like it with the break in between. I was pretty hungry when I got in though as it was 8pm and I had eggs to use up so I decided on some 'scramblers' (as I called it growing up) and there was some fake ham (Quorn) that needed used up so that was torn into pieces and chucked in along with some blanched frozen peas (I just poured boiling water over them straight from the freezer and let them sit a few minutes before draining and putting into the eggs). I also added some hot spice mix and had it with a slice of a bread and a lick of cream cheese. I made Eamonn a big dish of pasta, some peas, Quorn 'chicken' and tomato passata (topped with nooch).

Pretty good, but I decided a treat was in order for the both of us, and when I want a treat, it's got to be ice-cream. I had Snickers flavour (mm peanuts) and dark chocolate and Eamonn had Turkish Delight (blech, tasted like rose soap to me but he loved it) and rum and raisin (all local ice-cream called Mullins).

I am meeting my sister and a mutual friend after work tomorrow for a cuppa then will squeeze in an aquajogging sess before an early night as I'm leaving Eamonn's brother and sister-in-law to the airport very early on saturday morning (they're New York bound, I'm hoping for some PB&Co Dark Chocolate Dreams or such like, any better/other suggestions?).

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A tonic for a busy day

I had a really tough day at work today. I won't go into details but I needed some comfort when I got home and made up a quick fire dessert- peach and raspberry crumble using tinned peaches and frozen raspberries and a handful of flaked almonds left over from making muesli.

First though, dinner. I chopped up and parboiled a turnip (swede/rutabaga) before roasting in the oven, and I put a couple of frozen Quorn fillets in an oven dish, sprinkled with fresh garlic and chilli and some dried oregano, and topped with a packet of passata. After a while in the oven, I sprinkled a tablespoon of strong cheese on top. I had a small bit to save room of dessert, although the turnip shrank so much I had a slice of bread on the side.

I made the crumble with flour, dairy free spread, a little sugar, lots of porridge oats and a few flaked almonds. We ate it with a dollop of creme fraiche, a way better accompaniment to the sweet fruit than ice-cream or custard, although plain/Greek yogurt would be great too I imagine.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Getting the week off to a good start

It was a really wet and wild weekend here, so I didn't go out running as planned. Apart from mess around footie with my brother on sunday, I didn't really sweat this weekend. So on sunday evening, I decided to try and get a pre-work sweat session in, for the first time in ages, and on a monday to boot. I got all my stuff ready on sunday, breakfast, lunch, swim bag packed, and got an early night (10pm). When I got up and started gathering my stuff up, I felt a bit mad, to be honest. I hate getting up in the dark and I thought I'd just be miserable for the rest of the day for missing that extra 40 minutes in bed. When I got to the gym, I had to wait a few minutes for them to open up (along with some other exercise geeks) but once I was in the water, pedalling away for dear life, I sure felt the benefits of the early start. I am really loving aquajogging, such a great workout, and you can do abs crunches and squats and stuff too. I'm going to see about getting a set of aqua dumb bells too. I got into work a bit earlier than normal as well, although by the time I'd dried my hair and eaten my raspberry cocoa overnight oats, it was already 8:30. I didn't feel tired throughout the day, even though I was super busy after being off on friday, and with having my breakfast an hour later than usual, I wasn't as ravenous through the morning until lunchtime.
I snacked on a banana and a raisin bar mid-morning and lunch was tinned salmon mixed with a little cream cheese and half a fresh chilli. I ate it on rye crackers with a salad of three grated carrots with a few seeds and apple cider vinegar.

About 4pm I was a little hungry so I shared a KitKat with my colleague over a cup of coffee and that saw me through until dinner at 7:30pm, which was an old favourite here: coconut curry! We love it with brown rice or quinoa and collards/spring greens.

It was brown rice tonight, and there's enough leftovers for both our lunches! Perfect fuel for our first training run together tomorrow evening.

I rounded up my day with some gooseberry yogurt and frozen raspberries topped with two crushed up raisin digestive biscuits.
Anyone else enjoy working out first thing, or do your prefer to exercise at the end of the day to unwind?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Training partner: found!

If you read this blog, you'll know I have a boyfriend who mostly eats like me (except more bread and less chocolate). But did you know he used to be a runner? Eamonn has ran quite a few marathons in this time, but got injured during the Dublin marathon in 2005 and gave up running. He did most of his running to raise money for charity and always said he hated marathon training. I've tried quite a few times to get him interested in running again, although on a less epic scale than marathon training. Nothing at all has tempted him, and he tends to keep fit by walking around 6 miles most weekdays, and a long workout or two a week on the exercise bike (usually an hour, hour and a half, while listening to all the latest music). However, last night on our way back from the off license with our friday night bouteille du vin, we picked up the free newspaper that gets put through the letterbox. The first thing that caught my eye was an article about a 10k race in April around the area of town where Eamonn's brother works (he actually works for the company that has been regenerating the area, once the shipyard/docks, now a very trendy part of town with riverside apartments, car showrooms, fancy offices etc). I pointed this out to Eamonn, and he was the first to suggest doing it! It's the Titanic Quarter 10k, and it's on April 10th. So we are on! Eamonn got new running gear today and we intend to go out for about 4 miles twice next week and take it from there. We will probably run 2 times a week and crosstrain 2-3 times for the first 3 weeks, then run 3 times until the race. I reckon if we do about 15 miles a week (starting with 8 in the first week) we will be fine. I could go out tomorrow and run a 10k, but my time would be an hour. I have no real goals for this race so far, i.e. a time, I'd be happy to just run with Eamonn, although I think he will be faster than he imagines by the time the race comes around, and I might actually get a decent time. I am so excited about this because I have never had anyone to run with before! I think this will really keep me motivated. I am going to crosstrain with swimming and aquajogging, and Eamonn will crosstrain on the exercise bike. At the moment, we both walk most days to work, which is 2 miles more for Eamonn, at the moment I manage one run a week of 5 or 6 miles and he does his exercise bike. So in general we are not completely out of shape, and we have both ran plenty in the past (more recent for me, but longer distances for Eamonn). Anyway, I will update on our progress through the blog.
I have no foodpics today! I ate a bowl of cinnamony raisiny oatbran for breakfast (after plenty of hot lemon water and grapefruit juice), then had lunch out, soup and cheese + tomato sandwich, a delicious coffee and a piece of chocolate cake. I picked at some couscous and smoked salmon this evening and then some more chocolate and lots of decaff tea while watching The Tudors. I'm looking forward to a long but gentle run tomorrow in my new running tights (my 3 year old Skins were on their last legs, heh)!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Getting into the pool again

Despite having a short break last week, I took today off, mainly to meet up with my aunt for lunch at The Parson's Nose. My mum came along too. We had a pretty good lunch, steamed mussels, haddock and peas and blackberry and apple crumble with ice-cream for me, and an espresso to wrap it up. I took advantage of my day off in other ways, as I was really tired this week, I took the chance to have a real lie in, until 9 am, then I headed to the pool for a long overdue watery workout. I got there about 10 and swam about 12 or 14 lengths (wasn't counting). It was hard! Mostly to get my breathing right. After a while though, a group of school kids arrived so I had to either decide to leave the main section of the pool and go to a sectioned off lane (where even the slowest is too fast for me) or go to the diving pool, which is about 10m squared and 4-5m deep. It's used alternatively for diving and aquajogging. I swam around a few times but got fed up trying to breathe so tried some aquajogging, but I didn't bother with the belt. It was a great workout, and combined with swimming in the diving pool, I ended up spending 55 min in there (I took a 5 min break to stew in the sauna). I really enjoyed it as I was in the water with the great resistance it offers but no impact and yet I had my head out of the water. I think this might be a good way to workout through the rest of the winter and give my dodgy right hip and left foot a rest while maintaining my running fitness. A great workout with none of the cold and wind of winter, and despite the intensity, I found it really relaxing! Next time, though, I will use the belt, as I think it's really essential for maintaining good form. I think it will be an end to my frustration with watery workouts- I love water, but I really do suck at swimming.
After the workout, I was pretty hungry, as with the lie-in, I hadn't had breakfast. So I enjoyed my huge lunch! I had no appetite for dinner later in the day, I had a bit of ginger cake with yogurt and raspberries when I got peckish this evening:

I'm now enjoying some friday night wine while catching up on blogs etc.
Here are a few random eats from earlier in the week that I didn't post about:

Homemade muesli

Rolled oats, flaked almonds, dried blueberries, vostizza raisins and banana chips. Eaten with frozen raspberries and yogurt.

Ginger cake, baked in the oven with tinned peaches and frozen raspberries as a quick fire dessert, served with Green & Black's ice-cream that I battled through rain and gale to buy.

Have a great weekend! I intend to hit up the aqua jogging pool again, and hang in my new favourite coffee shop in Belfast: Espresso Elements. Sorry Starbucks, think my coffee addiction found its true soul mate:)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Boozy chocolate oatbran...or how not to live without chocolate...

Could you do without chocolate? Not me. I don't eat it *everyday*, but I don't have any rules against it. That said, in chocolate rather than cocoa form, it's a bit too rich for frequent consumption by someone who has done all their growing (upward anyways...). That said, I do think a bar of good quality dark chocolate is a better choice for dessert than most of the offerings in cafes and restaurants. When at home, though, I can indulge my chocolate desires even more wisely. Cocoa powder is great because it has all the chocolatey taste with no sugar so you can sweeten as you please, and because you have to prepare it in some way, you can't just tear into it like a bar of chocolate. Tonight I also fancied something warm so took some inspiration from HEAB and went for oatbran. I heated some oat bran and soya milk with cocoa powder and hazelnut liquer to sweeten, and finally topped with a heap of raspberries. I topped splashed on a bit more hazelnut liquer. This was a warm, filling, chocolate dessert with a lovely tart contrast from the raspberries. It would make a great breakfast...just leave out the Frangelico!

For dinner I very roughly followed the recipe for Gena's foolproof tofu burgers, except I used peanut butter rather than tahini and I didn't have any celery, and I added a garlic cloves and some paprika and thyme. I used steel cut oatmeal, I gave it a whizz in the food processor first to break it up a little more. I baked the patties in the oven along with some pre-boiled potatoes.
I had a patty between seedy bread with hot tomato passata and a few of the potatoes. Just the ticket for a cool evening!

Breakfast was cottage cheese and sugar free blackcurrant jam on toast.

Lunch was a small smoked trout fillet, two small chopped carrots, 1/4 of a lettuce and a nub of scottish cheese and a colleague gave me some fresh sliced chillies, which were pretty fiery, but gave my lunch the kick it needed as I had no dressing with me for my salad. I snacked in the afternoon on a heaped tablespoon each of cottage cheese and plain yogurt over raspberrries with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Do you like chocolate or any other treat? Do you create healthier versions so you can enjoy it more often?

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Snack face

So I got into smaller meals more frequently today, to an extent. I didn't fancy too much protein this morning and I wanted something warm so I went for runny oatmeal with a little plain yogurt, honey and cinnamon (no picture of that, I didn't have time and bowls of beige aren't exactly photogenic, especially before sunrise). I snacked on two apples with PB and cinnamon around 11.
For lunch I had an avocado and tomato sandwich with loads of lettuce which was good but I was still a little peckish, so I went for coffee and ended up eating a bit of cake, which wasn't great but I wasn't intending to do things perfectly straight away. It wasn't the indecent calorie count that was the worst- the sugar crash I got while walking home was (about 3 hours after the cake). I felt like I was walking through water and felt like I was going to pass out when I got in the door (my sight went grey and I went all wobbly although I came round after a wee sit down).
I didn't have the afternoon snack I had prepared because of the cake and I was really busy anyway. I had a small dinner of mustardy carrot potato mash baked in the oven topped with tomato slices and an egg.
Later I had my preprepared afternoon snack of cottage cheese, apple sweetened blackcurrant jam and homemade muesli for dessert. It was good but I think the cottage cheese is better with more acidic tasting fruit like raspberries or citrus fruit. My muesli is just rolled oats with tiny currants, dried blueberries, dried banana chips and flaked almonds.