Hurricanes Hurt My Feelings. (Training for Warriors: Weeks 2-3)

blog, Breakfast, cooking, excercise, exercise, fitness, food, Health, health,, healthy, Life, lifestyle, nottingham, ramble, salads, weight loss

Weeks 2 & 3 of warrior training are officially complete, 5 to go!

On week 2 perhaps the most notable thing to happen was that we were given a 3 day challenge to photograph everything we ate; and then whatsapp the images to our coach, Toby. Some of my fellow warriors seemed a bit dubious about photographing everything they ate, but the self absorbed, millennial, food blogger in my head was doing back flips in front of a landscape of 4th of July style fireworks. YES. A legitimate reason for taking photos of my food! My entire life (post invention of Instagram) had been leading up to the moment, and by God I intended to make the most out of it. It didn’t take me long to realise though, that when you also have a job, taking photos of literally everything you eat/drink is actually quite frustrating. Try as I might, it’s pretty darn tricky to achieve that quirky, tumblr aesthetic when snapping a green tea served in a slightly cracked mug that says ‘This Is What An Awesome Baker Looks Like’, in front of the keyboard on my work desk. Alas, I made the most of what I had and sent the pictures through. Typically, during the 3 day challenge we had a baby shower at work for my colleague Becky. I baked maple cupcakes with pink and blue swirled buttercream (gender TBC). Whilst I did manage to refrain from dunking my entire head into the tray of cupcakes,a la Bruce Bogtrotter;  I caved at the sight of pork pie and pringles. I’m not even just saying that for alliterative illustration, that genuinely was where I cracked. I’ll be interested to see what Toby makes of THAT nutritious feast.

Whilst we’re talking food, I have still been trying (in between the pork pie and pringles) to stick to a lower carb, higher fat diet. I’ve not cut carbs out completely though, because seriously, what would be the point in life? Instead I’m trying to have carbs with just one of my meals, which is usually dinner. I’ve been making a lot of recipes from that snazzy Lean in 15 fellow whose name escapes me…Joe Wicks, that’s it. I followed his insta account after a girl at training recommended it. I was actually pretty amazed that most of his recipes do only take about 15 minutes. Tonight I made his italian lemon chicken and mate…for real though, it was a party in my mouth. I feel like I’ve said that phrase several times in this blog. Dear god lets hope I don’t ever get a decent following, I’ll be strung up for lack of originality quicker than you can say boo to a goose….that’s not a phrase is it? Anyway.

Here’s photo spunk (sorry mum) of some of the stuff I’ve been eating over the last couple of weeks. Eggs and avocado have been my pretty much standard breakfast – for ease more so than anything. The weird orange concoction in the top right hand corner is something I’m using slight artistic license in naming a deconstructed fish cake. Sweet potato mashed with 10g lighter mature cheddar, garden peas and a tin of tuna, all mixed together. And yes, it might look like something that has already been digested once, but it actually tasted lovely. The bottom right picture is of leftover tandoori chicken with salad and half a packet of microwaveable rice. I knowwww I know that cooking stuff in the microwave will eventually give me intestinal AIDS and turn me into a 2 headed zombie, but sometimes you just have to pick your battles, OK? Time was of the essence and that was that.

Moving into week 3, the workouts turned into real monsters – monsters who, I’m fairly confident were trying to bin me off. On Monday, I was tired, but dragged myself out of the house knowing that I’d feel better eventually. Monday sessions are referred to as Hurricanes. When I search for the word hurricane on dictionary.com, one of the definitions is this: a storm of the most intense severity. And whilst I think that tells you all you need to know about how tough Monday’s work out was, I’d also like to really drive the point home by letting you all know I 100% had to scarper to the loos mid workout so that I could throw up my guts. Delightful, right? We were doing a lot of sprints, followed by kettlebell excercises, followed by sprints, followed by kettlebell exercises, followed by sprints, followed by kettlebell excercises and yeah. Midway through the second lot of sprints I quickly realised I’d way overestimated how fast I could go and for how long. Egrh. Lesson learned. I will say though, one thing I’ve noticed is that there have been times when I know, if I was working out by myself, I would have taken it down 10 notches and had a rest period. Whilst yes, there are rest periods during warrior training, when you’re working, you are bloody well working and that is that. So I guess that’s good.

And, to sign this off I will leave you with this.Today I tried on a pair of trousers I couldn’t do up a few months ago. They now fit.

*Que marching band, fireworks, confetti canons and mickey mouse on a freakin’ float wearing a gym kit*

 

 

 

Jamie’s Superfood: Sweet Potato Breakfast Muffins

baking, Breakfast, cooking

Last Sunday I went back to the humble abode of my parental figures for dinner. As I’ve mentioned before, the best thing about moving out is that when you go back home, you’re parents treat you like you’re a guest. I mean, I offered to help my mum with dinner but she insisted that she’d got everything under control. So with that out of the way, what else was I supposed to do, if not recline on the sofa with a cuppa and watch Jamie Oliver’s Superfood? Exactly. So that’s what I did.

On the show, he made some breakfast muffins, but not your typical English muffins, not even your good old crumbly blueberry treat. This show is all about getting the most health wealth out of your food without compromising on flavour. This recipe has a sweet potato base with chilli, spring onions (scallions if you’re American) and parmesan, to name but a few of the other ‘slap you around the face’ ingredients. My boyfriend’s eyes basically lit up like the Eiffel Tower at night when he heard Jamie say that for 400 calories, you could have not one but two of these bad boys for your brekkers. So I decided to give them a try. Pictured below is everything I used. You can find the link to the exact recipe here (link).


So to start with, can I just point out that grating 600g of sweet potato by hand is a workout and a half? Seriously, brace yourself! Once that horrendous task was out of the way (oh the drama), the recipe was a cinch. It’s just a case of putting everything in a bowl and mixing together, with the exception of a bit of half time slicing of the spring onions and chilli. Although actually, Nigella Lawson once kindly taught me* that kitchen scissors are much less strenuous way of slicing spring onions, so I just used those and snipped them directly into the bowl. Simples. I mean maybe it is actually quicker to use a knife, if you have knives that are actually decent, sharp kitchen knives, and not ones you bought just because they came in a cool little ‘man shaped’ holder so it looks like you’re stabbing him….but anyway, I digress.

The only thing I changed about the recipe is that Jamie asks that you reserve some of the chilli to sprinkle on top of the raw muffin mix once it’s in the cases. I mean, I don’t hate spicy food, but I’d never order anything above a medium heat if I went to an Indian restaurant. As you might imagine, the thought of my breakfast being topped with big old fiery chilli slice waiting to burn my lips into oblivion just wasn’t doing it for me; so I just finely chopped the whole thing and whacked it into the mixture. I know technically it’s the same amount of chilli, but I’d just rather have it evenly dispersed in little flecks, so it’s more of a subtle ‘hummy’ heat, rather than a big intense hit. But each to their own. I actually really wish I had a higher tolerance for spice. One of my friends from university, Simon, once said with my personality it doesn’t seem quite right that I don’t eat raw chillies for dinner every night. I’m not 100% sure that was a compliment, but either way I like it.

The recipe says to cook for between 45-60 minutes. My oven is fan assisted, so things tend to cook on the quicker side of things, so 45 minutes was enough to make sure everything was cooked, firm and smelling bloody incredible. Another thing to note, I used muffin cases for my muffins, rather than squares of baking parchment, and found that the mixture actually made 16 muffins rather than 12, so yay that.


I’ve just realised I’ve written this whole blog post about muffins that I’ve not actually tasted yet….

Ok, I’ve just tried one (all in the name of truthful and accurate blogging). Can confirm that they are indeed very tasty. I think they are something I would rather eat as an afternoon snack – maybe at like 3 o clock as some pre gym fuel, rather than as a breakfast; but that’s just because I love the more traditional breakfast foods so much. I think it will be a long time before I swap out my morning porridge or eggs; but you never know!

*note: Nigella Lawson didn’t just pop round to my house to teach me that kitchen scissors are a handy alternative to a knife – it was on her tv show. Although if this blog ever takes off and Nigella reads this – you’re welcome to pop round any time!

Saturday Morning Smoothies

Breakfast, drinks, food, Health, recipes, smoothies, weight loss

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I feel a bit conflicted about smoothies. About 2 years ago I was in love. I’d merrily load up my blender with mixed berries, watermelon and apples galore, with the reckless abandon of one who had not been jaded by the natural fructose police. I still curse the day I found out that blended fruit doesn’t quite have the same nutritional benefits as its whole counterpart, due to the sugar breakdown happening before it’s been digested.

However, that being said, I recently saw a Jamie Oliver video, explaining that if you add a handful of mixed berries to a blender, some natural yoghurt, a handful of porridge oats, a sprinkle of seeds and a splash of water, the game changes. Instead of drinking a cup of preblended fruity sugar, this balanced breakfast smoothie meas your body isn’t just digesting sugar, it’s got fibre, calcium, carbs and protein to work with too. Jamie explains that it’s about balance, which I guess makes sense. After all, most people probably wouldn’t sit down to eat half a punnet of strawberries, half a punnet of raspberries, a generous serving of blueberries, chunks of watermelon, an apple and a mango for their breakfast. By padding out the breakfast smoothie with other healthy ingredients, you’re not only giving yourself a more nutritious and well balanced breakfast, you’re more likely to feel full and satisfied for longer. Winner winner, chicken dinner.