Monday, 31 March 2014

another weekend... in the gym #4


FOOD

Feeling a bit uninspired in the kitchen this week. I made a delicious sweet potato & chickpea salad, bacon egg cupcakes and some quesadillas, but other than that I went back to basics like stir fry and omelettes. Boring... any ideas would be greatly appreciated! On Friday I made the mistake of letting Gordon choose dinner & ended up eating bacon cheese burgers, Saturday we ended up out for Indian. It was good at the time but my belly was left sore, bloated and full of guilt. So not worth it. We ate out for Mother's day last night but I managed to pick a bit healthier - soup and chicken & veg - the only bad part was dessert! I need to practise mindful eating more and really think about what my body needs and how certain foods will make me feel before I shove them down my throat. There's no point doing all this exercise if I'm just going to eat rubbish and have a permanent bloated food baby. Hopefully next week will be better!

Nike vest, leggings & trainers // Avon gloves // Polar FT4

EXERCISE

Monday - 6.30 am boxercise, 6pm metafit. I think it was the matrix one which I've decided I hate. Along with half pipe.
Tuesday - 6.30am circuits, 6.30pm kettlebells. My second time using the 8kg!
Wednesday - Rest day! Went to view our engagement photos in the evening :)
Thursday - 7am metafit, 6.30pm EPIC. It was "Endless" this week which is actually one of my faves. I love to hate arm circles.
Friday - Another rest day... I'm starting to realise I eat worse on days I don't train than days I do. Not good!
Saturday - Kickstarted the weekend with kettlebells and metafit!
Sunday - Another gym sesh which apparently got my heart rate up to 216bpm. That can't be right...


Here's to a happy, healthy week! What have you been eating?

Christy xx

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Foodstory Cafe

I first heard about Aberdeen's Foodstory Cafe when they offered up a prize as part of Sarah & Euan's 10 Weeks To Make A Difference challenge and was intrigued by their selection of dairy, wheat, gluten free etc. They were doing a vegan challenge for the whole of March. When they got Laura's seal of approval I knew we were onto a winner and dragged Gordon along yesterday for lunch.


Despite the steamed up windows the cafe is warm and inviting as you enter and are met with the shabby chic interior and a selection of jams, eggs and other goodies in the center. Sandwiches are kept in the fridge to the left so help yourself and then head to the counter where you can choose from a huge range of salads, soups, wraps and cakes. We made our choices and sat on mismatched chairs at the end of a long wooden table laden with pretty floral displays. 


The vegan challenge is clearly making the owners of Foodstory broaden their horizons; there was so much choice! I'm in no way vegan, or even vegetarian, but as someone who's trying to eat as healthy and naturally as possible I really appreciated the selection. Gordon had a toasted gammon sandwich with an amazing looking salad, which I forgot to take a photo of, oops. I got way too over excited when I spotted a rye bread sandwich and grabbed it before I'd even finished reading what was in it!


Turns out it was avocado, sun dried tomatoes, hemp seeds & salad - even better! I also had the chickpea and sweet potato soup which was really filling and full of flavour, with a bit of a spicy kick. Usually I struggle to go for a healthy option when I eat out but Foodstory made it so easy for me. I really hope they keep some aspects of the challenge once it's over.


But of course we couldn't resist the temptation next to the till. We washed down our lunch with green tea and "mad mochas" and finished off with a cake each.. Gordon had the peanut crunch (which I stole half of!) and I treated myself to a vegan chocolate cake. I have no idea what makes it vegan but it tasted amazing and just as good as any other "normal" chocolate cake I've had.


Just look at it! I loved everything about The Foodstory Cafe & will definitely head back in the future to try more of their soups and salads. Who am I kidding? More of the cakes! You'll find the cafe at 15 Thistle Street away up the top end of Union Street. Don't worry it only took us about 5 minutes to walk there from the Trinity, it's not as far as it sounds! Plus you can always take a break in Cruise... ;)


We spent the rest of our afternoon shopping in the city centre and having a mooch around the international and farmers markets. I always make the mistake of going to the markets after I've eaten. Next time I'll need to plan ahead and go with an empty stomach. At least then I won't be missing out on these bad boys...


What did you get up to this weekend?


Christy xx

* To the girl that spoke to me at the market - I'm sorry if I seemed rude! You took me by surprise but made my day :) x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

another weekend... in the gym #3


FOOD

My diet was pretty good most of the week - I made a clean chicken balti with quinoa, Honestly Healthy's stuffed superfood sweet potatoes, chicken fajitas and chia and nut crusted salmon with honey steamed kale, which was epic! I tried figs for the 1st time this week & loved them so they've been in my breakfast quite a lot. By the end of the week I had a bit of a breakdown though and ended up eating half a cheesecake on Friday night. On Saturday our plans changed last minute after Gordon had to fix my Mum's car and we ended up having a Chinese takeaway. It always seems like a good idea until I feel really sick afterwards!


EXERCISE

Monday - I went to boxercise at 6.30am and Metafit after work. Billy has us doing this thing at the end to make a sweat print on the floor to see how hard we worked - look how huge my ass is in mine!
Tuesday - Another early morning class - this time circuits - and kettlebells at night. Went up to an 8kg kettlebell which was hard work but not as bad as I'd expected. I didn't have quite as much control as I do with my 6kg but I'm going to keep at it.
Wednesday - Ran 4.6k after work. It was a good run but I could do without the uphill battle against the wind!
Thursday - Went to a 7am Metafit class and did the new "half pipe" workout again. It's a thigh killer! At night I went to EPIC and did "Combination" which is one round of endless, one round of pure sports, a round of immense abs and then a 5 minute finisher!
Friday - I forced myself to do a 5.6k run from hell. My body was aching and my mind wasn't in the right place but I made it.
Saturday - Rest day, thank God!
Sunday - Did the same PT plan as last week. It didn't feel so hard this time so either I didn't put in as much effort, or I'm actually getting stronger.

I feel like I really pushed my body as hard as I could this week so fingers crossed it pays off, despite my food relapse at the end of the week. How have you been keeping fit?

Christy xx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Topshop x Adidas Originals


Today sees the launch of this sporty yet stylish collaboration between Topshop and Adidas! There hasn't been as much hype around this as there usually is with Topshop collabs but I've been pretty excited. As someone who trains just about every day I tend to spend more time in my gym gear than I do in normal clothes, so it's important to me to look and feel good in sportswear. The collection features 20 classic Adidas pieces which Topshop have reworked into more modern shapes and used London inspired graphics to bring them up to date. Some of the designs are a bit OTT for me - I won't be wearing a jumpsuit or matching graphic satin tracksuit to the gym any time soon - but the basics are right up my street. I got my hands on the white vest and grey hoodie at 5.30 this morning! Most of my gym clothes are black and pink but I'm pretty sure I can work these simple pieces into my wardrobe.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

another weekend... in the gym #2


FOOD

Another fairly healthy week in the kitchen for me. Friday night involved a takeaway but other than that I've been pretty good. I discovered poached eggs with avocado on toast and I'm in love. It's become my go to lunch on my days off - my poaching skills aren't very good but I'm getting there! The biggest hit of the week was definitely my roasted cauliflower, tomato & goats cheese casserole. Hell yes! I took the leftovers to work for lunch the next day and got some of the girls hooked - at least 2 of them have made it themselves since. Mine didn't turn out anything like the picture but the flavour of the cheese gets into everything and it tasted amazing. Gordon's only complaint was that there was no meat but I'm thinking I could put some turkey mince through it next time or just serve it as a side dish. I also made a chilli con carne, this sweet potato and chickpea salad with cajun chicken and this lentil soup. If you want to see more of what I eat then follow me on instagram!


EXERCISE

Monday - Had a personal training session which involved a lecture on lifting heavy and the usual ass kicking. To be fair that's the whole reason I go but I did 18 minutes of HIIT followed by weightlifting hell. He had me doing a glute/shoulder combo where I had to hold onto a 6kg weight in each hand, in a high plank position, do 10 glute kicks with 1 leg, then lift the weights 10 times, alternating arms, followed by 10 glute kicks with the other leg. And repeat. My attempt was basically a massive fail but I'm determined to master it!
Tuesday - Went to my kettlebell class and moaned the whole way through. I secretly love it though.
Wednesday - My work mates and I went for another run. This time we did about 4k in 29mins.
Thursday - Turned up for EPIC along with 7 others. Nobody was in the mood for it though so we did metafit instead. I managed to get my heart rate up to 194bpm so I was pretty pleased with that.
Friday - Ran 5k in just under 33 minutes! Feel like I'm doing well with the running so far so fingers crossed I can keep it up, at least until my race in May.
Saturday - Rest day. Just a (very windy!) stroll with the dog.
Sunday - Today I hit the gym and followed the plan from Monday's PT session. I got my heart rate up to 196bpm so I'm chuffed with my HIIT attempt! The glute/shoulder thing was tough again but I managed 4 sets, although it did take me a while. I'll get there. I've noticed so many more women doing weights in my gym lately which is always good to see. (Just sayin'!)


This week I also finished reading "I Quit Sugar" by Sarah Wilson. To be honest I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I think the concept is good and lots of what she writes rings true to my own personal life, but I found it fairly contradictory and hard to follow. It's basically an 8 week plan to ridding yourself of sugar addiction, that advises to cut out fruit for the 1st 8 weeks, yet loads of the recipes incorporate fruit. A lot of the advice was pretty unrealistic too - "go for a walk, make a cup of tea". I can see my boss being pleased when I keep disappearing from work just to avoid a chocolate biscuit. Sarah clearly works from home and has plenty free time on her hands - which she uses to make things like "sprouted legumes". I don't even understand what they are! One thing I did take from it is how sugary bananas actually are. Usually I have one in my breakfast every day but I cut them out for a week, and when I did eventually have one I could actually taste the extra sugar in my porridge! I might give it another read to try and get my head around it all. Has anyone else read it?

How has your week been?

Christy xx

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

& Other Stories


How gorgeous are these dresses from & Other Stories?! I fell in love with the houndstooth one in store while I was in London and have kept my beady little eyes on the website ever since. They are seriously quick off the mark with their designs - the pleated assymetric style reminds me of Mary Katrantzou's metallic beauties from her AW14 collection. And is it just me or does the last one resemble the oversized drop waist dress from the latest Victoria, Victoria Beckham line?! A steal at £39 compared to the £855 VB version. I'm hoping there's some sort of epic sale coming up but I'm not sure I can wait that long...

Have you ever bought anything from & Other Stories?

Christy xx

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Adelphi Kitchen

When news started to spread that Aberdeen's La Stella restuarant was to close and be re-opened as The Adelphi Kitchen - a charcoal cooked meat and seafood restaurant - it's safe to say I got pretty excited. I followed their progress on facebook and knew I'd be visiting the minute they opened their doors to the public. They've brought something new and exciting to the Aberdeen foodie scene and I couldn't wait. 


We arrived early for our booking last Friday but the staff were happy to accommodate us and seated us straight away in a cosy corner. The decor is all wooden, shabby chic style, with reclaimed scaffolding boards as shelves piled high with cookbooks (mostly of the BBQ persuasion), lights hanging low from the ceiling (yes, I did bash my head) and a huge blackboard covering one wall to feature their daily specials. The friendly waiting staff brought us drinks while we perused the menu. They didn't have a cocktail menu available but quite happily mixed me up a cosmo, no bother.


After much deliberation we were ready to order. Gordon chose the "hog mac n cheese with crispy bacon crumbs" to start. I'm not a huge fan of mac n cheese but I have to admit this looked and tasted amazing. Best mac n cheese I've ever tried! 


I couldn't decide between the Shetland mussels or "Tongue & Cheek" - slow braised beef cheek with crispy beef tongue. As I was having meat for my main course, the waitress persuaded me to go for a seafood dish to start. Good advice but in hindsight I wish I'd chosen one of the specials. Don't get me wrong, the mussels were lovely - although slightly messy, but a finger bowl was provided! Usually when I order mussels they're accompanied by some sort of bread to soak up all the flavours but these weren't. I felt like all that garlicy, creamy cider was going to waste and I didn't really get to eat any of the pancetta either! A great flavourfull dish that I didn't get to enjoy properly.


That's my one and only complaint from our entire experience at Adelphi so I'd say they're doing well! Moving on... For main Gordon picked the Adelphi Kitchen beef burger. An aged beef burger topped with smoked brisket, salad, slaw & house pickles in a brioche bun, alongside triple cooked chips & BBQ mayo. Holy sh*t. Even Gordon struggled to finish this beautiful beast of a burger. And just look at those chips - perfectly crispy on the outside but nice and fluffy inside. 


I'd of chosen the same if it hadn't been for "Cured, slow cooked and slow smoked pork shoulder". They had me at "pulled". If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would definitely be pulled pork, but this pulled pork in particular. It was swimming in smoky BBQ juices and the meat practically melted on my tongue. Heaven on a plate. The dish is served with 2 sides of your choice, so I had chosen the triple cooked chips (obviously) and charcoal greens.


The greens were a mix of leaves, broccoli, courgette and lemongrass cooked "dirty" on Adelphi Kitchen's very own open pit BBQ charcoals. Healthy has never tasted better. They also made me another cocktail to go with my meal. The cosmo was spot on but I fancied something a bit different, and without the help of a menu to choose from I couldn't think what I wanted. In the end I asked for some sort of fruity martini and they whipped up their take on an orange and peach daquiri. I seriously hope this is going to be on the cocktail list when it appears, it was amazing!



Gordon was suitably stuffed after his monster burger but after all that I still couldn't resist dessert. I ordered the PB&J. Two spoons. A tower of warm peanut butter cookies was presented to us with vanilla bean ice cream sandwiched in between and a raspberry fruit pastille on the side. Another perfect dish, and just the right size between us to finish off our meal.


The service and food at Adelphi Kitchen was outstanding - I've told everyone to try it out ASAP! They serve lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday but apparently they're already fully booked for the next 3 weekends, so you'll have to be quick! E-mail hello@theadelphikitchen.co.uk for reservations. 


The name Adelphi comes from the Greek word adelphoi, meaning "brothers". *Wikipedia

Actually I think the restaurant is just named after the street it's located on (Adelphi Lane) but just a little "food" for thought ;)

Christy xx

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Sweet Potato, Kale & Coconut Curry

Lately I've been experimenting with new recipes to try and get me out of a rut of eating the same old things all the time. It's easy just to chuck some chicken in the oven & veg in the steamer, but eating clean doesn't have to be boring. One of my favourite dishes at the moment is my sweet potato, kale and coconut curry. Even Gordon likes it! It seems to be fairly popular when I mention it on twitter or instagram too so I thought I'd share the recipe with you.


It was inspired by this BBC Good Food one but I've adapted it to make it more natural and much healthier. Kale is a bit of a buzz world in the health and fitness world at the moment - it's considered a superfood as it's a good source of calcium, iron, vitamin K, vitamin C and beta carotene, which apparently reduces the risk of cancer and age-related macular degeneration. Sweet potato is a complex carb meaning it fuels the body with slow releasing energy, plus they're packed with nutrients. Obviously the chicken adds muscle building protein to the mix, but if you're vegetablarian just skip the poultry and increase the amount of lentils for your protein fix. Everything is cooked together in one pot so it's really simple to make as well. 



  • 3 x medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 x large onion
  • 4tbsp red split lentils
  • 400g chicken
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g kale
  • 1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x tin of coconut milk
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • 1tbsp ground ginger
  • 1tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1tsp whole cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Being totally honest, I never measure ingredients so this is just a rough guide. You can increase or decrease the amount of any ingredient to suit your own tastes. Garam masala is always a good addition too!


Heat the spices with a teaspoon of coconut oil before adding the chicken, lentils, onion and sweet potato to the pan, then stir to coat in the spices and allow it to fry for a couple of minutes. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk and mix together, bring it to the boil and leave it to simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the peas, kale, coriander and seasoning then bring to the boil, simmer for another 5-10 minutes and that's it! Told you it was easy.

You can serve the curry with brown rice or quinoa but it's just as good on it's own, especially if you mash up the sweet potato to thicken it up a bit!


I'm also loving Deliciously Ella for food inspiration at the moment - if you like this recipe, you'll love hers. What are your favourite healthy meals?

Christy xx

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Welcome to The Good Life

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm forever trying failing to stick to a healthy, clean eating lifestyle so when The Good Life Eatery popped up on my instagram feed I added it to my list of places to visit in London straight away. On our first morning in the city we jumped on the tube to South Kensington and took the short walk to Sloane Avenue ready to fuel up for a busy day playing tourist.


The first thing you notice about the Good Life Eatery is the size. You could quite easily miss it if you weren't looking, but then you'd be drawn back by the glimpse of organic low gluten, wheat free, vegan treats staring at you from the window. Who said healthy eating had to be boring? You order at the counter before taking a seat and the waitresses will bring the food to your table. I'd expected the cafe to be buzzing with Saturday morning brunchers but we were bright and early and among the first to arrive. 


So we ordered the whole menu. (Not really.) Laura enjoyed a spelt and quinoa scone with jam, while I chose the homemade granola bowl and green tea to kick start my day. The granola is served with fresh berries, coconut, honey and your choice of greek or dairy free coconut yoghurt. I struggled to finish the whole bowl - it doesn't look much but is surprisingly filling and unsurprisingly tasty!

Above photo taken by Laura

And I didn't stop there. I'm a sucker for a hyped up product so, despite being ricidulously overpriced, I couldn't resist trying one of the cold pressed juices on offer. This time I opted for "Dr Green Love" - if you're going to try a healthy juice you might as well go the whole hog and find the greenest one you can! It smells disgusting but thankfully the coconut and green apple overpowers the taste of spinach and kale so it was actually sweet and easy to drink. Cold pressing fruit and veg apparently means that more of the natural vitamins and minerals are maintained than in a normal blending action, so they're even healthier than your usual juices/smoothies.


Last, but definitely not least, I picked up some peanut cups. Oh.My.God. Basically a Reese's peanut butter cup without all that extra unhealthy sugary shit. I can't live without peanut butter so these are right up my street. I even went back on our last day in London so I could get some to take home! They actually didn't have any left out on display that day but quickly made some up for me along with their "sport bites". I'm desperate to try the chia seed pudding as well as it looks amazing, but I somehow don't think that would of survived in my suitcase very well.


Everything in The Good Life is as natural as possible, including the LA-inspired decor; apparently the tables are even made from reclaimed scaffolding. We desperately need something like this in Aberdeenshire. It would make my life 100 times easier if I could just nip into a local cafe and grab a "Clean + Lean Bowl" for lunch! Hopefully the trend will catch on and a similar concept will appear nearby, otherwise I'll have no choice but to up sticks and move to London.


You can find the Good Life Eatery at 59 Sloane Avenue, London. Have you tried anything similar?

Christy xx
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