Sunday, 27 April 2014

another weekend... in the gym #8


FOOD


This week has been fairly average in the kitchen. I've made my turkey mince and cauliflower casserole, salmon with asparagus, baked eggs and bucket loads of sweet potato fries. Mum & Dad brought me back a box of Rude Health 5 grain 5 seed porridge from their travels which I'm loving for breakfast at the moment! I'm still snacking on chocolate etc but nowhere near as bad as last weeks binges. Over the past year my main goal has been to get under 20% body fat but I realise this cycle of being good and then ruining it with a binge week could go on forever. So I've decided it's time to get serious and have set myself the challenge of getting there by the time I run the Baker Hughes 10k in Aberdeen. Which is 3 weeks today. Last time I checked (2 weeks ago) I was sitting at 22% so with a bit of willpower and dedication it's definitely possible! I just need to eat as clean as possible and snack on veg, fruit and nuts rather than refined sugar! Wish me luck.


EXERCISE

Monday - Insanity class.
Tuesday - Kettlebells, followed by metafit.
Wednesday - Hit the weights with Lynne at the gym
Thursday - Insanity class.
Friday - Rest day.
Saturday - Rest day.
Sunday - Another weight sesh.

I missed all my morning classes this week. Every day I struggled to get up so I'm planning earlier nights to make sure I get back into them! There's nothing better to kickstart your day than a bunch of endorphins from exercise! 

Christy xx

Almond Butter Cups

My name is Christy and I'm addicted to peanut butter. And almond butter. And cashew butter. Basically any type of nut butter. Yesterday I saw someone tweet about pistachio butter and am now considering making my own because that sounds like heaven! I'd eat a whole jar with a spoon if it was socially acceptable, but seeing as it isn't I've been finding different ways to get my nutty fix. Banana and peanut butter wraps (thank me later), apple dipped straight in the jar... but my favourite so far is these almond butter cups. I fell in love with the peanut cups at The Good Life Eatery and was determined to make my own. A dairy, gluten and refined sugar free take on a classic Reese's cup.


  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder (ground nibs if you can't find the powder!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • almond butter (or any other nut butter)
  • dessicated coconut


They're pretty easy to make. First grab some paper cases and pop them in a muffin tray. For the chocolate just mix together your coconut oil, agave, cacao powder and vanilla extract. If the oil is solid just mix the ingredients over a low heat. Once they're combined simply spoon a little mixture into each of your paper cases and pop them in the fridge for 10 minutes to set.


Then add a tablespoon of your nut butter to each. I used smooth almond butter but I actually reckon crunchy would work better for the texture. In hindsight I also would of used mini paper cases so that the layers were thicker rather than thinly spread out. Anyway, back to business. Pop them in the fridge for another 5-10mins before adding another dollop of the chocolate mixture to each. Sprinkle with a little dessicated coconut and allow them to set in the fridge again.


Job done! Grab one of these for a quick hit of protein and healthy fats post work-out... or at the top of a mountain. Whatever floats your boat.


What are your favourite ways to eat nut butters?

Christy xx

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

another weekend... in the gym #7

FOOD
This has probably been my worst week in a long time. As usual most of my meals were good (I made an epic chicken and quinoa curry) but there's loads of easter chocolate on the go, so I've been snacking on crap in between. And demolished a whole pack of chocolate digestives at my Mum's (not in one go.... this time). On Thursday my train got back into Aberdeen at 7.15pm and I was starving so we ate at Wagamamas - have you tried the white chocolate and ginger cheesecake? Heaven on a plate! I went out for a friends birthday on Saturday night and ended up with my first/worst hangover in years! Which meant I couldn't eat all day and then pigged out on a Chinese takeaway at night. I'm thinking of going teetotal. I feel sluggish and crappy and need to get back on it this week.

EXERCISE
Monday - Insanity
Tuesday - Circuits in the morning & kettlebells in the evening.
Wednesday - Rest day.
Thursday - (Forced) Rest day. Had a meeting in Glasgow for work so spent most of the day on a train and missed both my classes.
Friday - I can't really keep calling it a rest day can I? Lazy day.
Saturday - Kettlebells & metafit to start the weekend,
Sunday - Death by hangover.

I missed 3 of my usual classes and my usual Sunday gym sesh, so a bad week all round! I'm mad at myself and need to get back on it ASAP before all my motivation and hard work is lost. How's your week been?

Christy xx

Sunday, 13 April 2014

another weekend... in the gym #6


FOOD

I've been a busy bee in the kitchen again this week. I've made almond butter cups (recipe coming soon!), chia seed banana bread, goodness bowls a la The Good Life Eatery, baked eggs and my fave roasted cauliflower casserole with turkey mince. This morning's baked banana, blueberry and walnut oatmeal was pretty epic! Again I've been eating well 80% off the time, snacking on nuts and cucumber or rice cakes with houmous, but I did slip up towards the end of the week with a cookie feast and my first buttery since Christmas time! I'm learning not to beat myself up about it though. If I let the guilty feelings take over then I'm left feeling depressed and craving even more crap!

Just Do It Nike Climbing Bennachie

EXERCISE

Monday - 6.30am Boxercise, followed by climbing Bennachie with Gordon and Harley and then a 6pm metafit class. We did the "olympian 2012" track which is luckily one of my faves!
Tuesday - Circuits in the morning and kettlebells in the evening! Bought my own 8kg kettlebell now so there's no excuses!
Wednesday - Rest day. Still finding that I eat more crap on days off. And am also moodier.
Thursday - Early morning metafit! My trainer is now a certified Insanity instructor so Epic has now been changed to an Insanity class, which I loved! I didn't love the pain in my glutes the next day.
Friday - Had a personal training sesh in the morning. Super chuffed to find out I've lost 2% body fat, gained 2.5lbs of muscle & got my metabolism back to that of a 13 year old! I just need to carry on and get under that elusive 20%.
Saturday - Rest day.
Sunday - Dragged Gordon along to the gym and burned just under 500 calories doing my new training plan. I love having someone else to work with - this is the 1st time we've been to the gym together in years but hopefully it'll become more regular :)

baked banana blueberry walnut oatmeal

How's your week been? If you have any healthy recipes to share I'd love to see links in comments! :)

Christy xx

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Honey Steamed Greens


This sweet potato, chickpea and honey steamed green salad is fast becoming one of my favourite go to meals. The first part of the dish is actually an Oh She Glows recipe which is complimented by the sweet honey flavours from the spinach and kale.

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 smal onion
  • 1tsp coconut oil
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp honey
  • Splash of water
  • As much spinach/kale as you want


Start by chopping your sweet potato into cubes, slice your onions and then mix both with the chickpeas (rinsed), coconut oil, cinnamon and salt. Pop them in the oven at 200c for approximately half an hour. 5 minutes before they're done, you can prepare your greens. Melt the honey in a pan with just a splash of water, squash in your kale and spinach, pop the lid on and shake the pan about a bit...


Techincal I know. It only takes a couple of minutes for the steam from the honey/water mix to cook the veg. They'll look like this when they're done...

Remove your sweet potato, onions and chickpeas from the oven. They should be perfectly roasted! And that's it, job done!


I'm loving this recipe as a quick meal to cook in the evening and divide into portions for the next few days lunch, sprinkled with chopped nuts and goats cheese. You can serve it as an evening meal too if you like. The chickpeas are a great source of protein but if you fancy adding more I find a poached egg is ideal!


What are your favourite lunch recipes?

Christy xx

Monday, 7 April 2014

another weekend... in the gym #5


FOOD

This week we treated Mum to dinner at Fennel for mothering Sunday. The food was perfect and I managed to choose fairly healthy options (apart from the dessert and cocktails). I tried to cook in big batches that would last a couple of days so did most of my meal prep on my day off. Tuesday and Wednesday we had spaghetti bolognaise made with turkey mince and spelt pasta, Thursday was my fave poached eggs and avocado on rye toast, then on Friday I cooked a Kashmiri chicken and yoghurt curry (from James Duigan's Clean and Lean Diet Cookbook) served with quinoa. It lasted us til Saturday night too which meant a relaxing/lazy evening to end the week! You may have already seen my sweet potato brownie recipe that I made earlier in the week too. What have you been cooking?


EXERCISE

Monday - Slept in for boxercise! Made it to metafit at night but got mad at myself cause my back was hurting and I didn't put in as much effort as I should of.
Tuesday - My day off work! Went to circuits in the morning, spent the whole day cooking and then went to kettlebells in the evening.
Wednesday - Debated between running and the gym, ended up doing a 25min run along the beach after work.
Thursday - Did the hardest metafit class ever at 7am. After Monday's crap attempt I pushed myself as hard as possible and have never dripped so much sweat in my life. Also did "Pure sports" at EPIC in the evening.
Friday - Didn't have much time as we had a meeting after work but I squeezed in half an hour of upper body weight training in the gym. My back's still feeling it now!
Saturday - Rest day. Got massively jealous of everyone out running or heading to kettlebells in the morning, while I was heading to work!
Sunday - Rest day.



On Sunday I met up with the gorgeous Anastasia from Natbee's Fashion for a bit of lunch and a good yap at Aberdeen's Contour Cafe. It's the first time I've been and we ended up staying for a couple of hours. I loved the decor, friendly service and tasty sandwiches! I'd recommend a visit :)

Christy xx

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Fennel

This time last week was Mothering Sunday. I don't see Mother's Day as a reason to spend fortunes on lavish gifts, but just a day to set aside for some quality time with loved ones and to show how grateful you are for all the love and support your Mum offers you on a daily basis. As a thank you this year my sister, Gordon and I treated my Mum to dinner at Fennel restaurant in Inverurie. My brother did his bit too by slaving away in the kitchen ;)


Call me biased, but I reckon Fennel is one of the best restaurants around Aberdeenshire and I only wish we had something similar closer to home. Peterhead is seriously lacking a modern, stylish, cocktail serving restaurant! It's probably a blessing in disguise as I'd have a serious drinking problem with these around...


We started with a round of drinks - an epic strawberry daquiri for me! - while we made our choices from the Mother's Day menu. I was slightly jealous of the Black pudding bon bons that both my Mum and Gordon went for and the ola chilli jam that was served with Laura's breaded "coos'r'oot" brie was immense. My red lentil & sage soup was just as good though! I could go a bowl now...


The mains caused even more food envy, particularly Gordon's homecut chips which he wouldn't let me steal! Laura had the "beetroot and goat curd tart" (not goat turd as my Mother misread!!) which came with an impressive looking walnut salad and celeriac and apple slaw. Mum and I both enjoyed the oven roasted rosemary chicken. I'd love to say I chose it for the healthiness of spring greens but it was the roast baby potatoes that caught my attention! The chicken was cooked perfectly and the roast potatoes lived up to my expectations! Always my favourite.


A few more of these...


And it was all downhill from there!


She doesn't get out much.

That's a lie, it wasn't all downhill - dessert was still to come! I'd predicted all 3 of Gordon's menu choices correctly before we'd even got to Inverurie. His was sticky toffee pudding; a gigantic sponge smothered in butterscotch sauce with a big dollop of Mackie's ice cream. He didn't save me a taster but assures me it tasted amazing. The rest of us couldn't decide so easily.


I was torn between the passionfruit posset or dark chocolate tart and eventually decided to share both with Mum. The tart was rich and beautiful as expected - I particularly enjoyed the the crunchy pistachio praline. My favourite was probably the passionfruit posset though. It was super sweet and light, the perfect end to a delicious 3 course dinner. 


If you're ever in the area you should definitely head to Fennel - even if it's just for a coffee and their famous white chocolate fudge, it's always a treat! The service is outstanding yet relaxed and friendly, and the food is impeccable from presentation to taste. You'll find the Fennel team at 10 Burn Lane, Inverurie. :)

How did you treat the ladies in your life this Mother's Day?

Christy xx

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sweet Potato Brownie Bites


It seems to becoming a tradition for somebody to take homebakes into work for our Wednesday training sessions. So far we've had peanut butter oreo sandwiches and mint chocolate cookies - both of which were amazing but not too great for the waistline! I thought about making slutty brownies when it was my turn before deciding I'd make healthier, sweet potato brownies instead - the complete opposite! I suppose we could call them virgin brownies? Despite the apprehension (a few faces screwing up at the idea of a "tattie brownie") they were a big hit and the plate was practically empty by lunch time.


  • 4 small-medium sweet potatoes
  • 20 pitted dates
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 5 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp pure maple syrup


Start by baking your sweet potatoes in the oven - 180c for approximately 30 mins. Allow them to cool before scooping out the flesh and using your blender to mix it together with the dates. Chuck all the other ingredients into a large mixing bowl and once the sweet potato takes on a creamy texture you can slowly stir it in with the dry ingredients. The measurements of flour etc are just a rough idea - you can add an extra scoop of cacoa powder or maple syrup if you really want to! 

I actually couldn't find raw cacao powder so I improvised by grinding cacao nibs in my blender. Yes, I could of just picked up a regular cocoa powder from Asda but that would fill my "healthy" brownies with processed sugars. See here for more info on the difference between raw cacao and cocoa!


Anyway, you should end up with quite a thick, stiff mixture which you can then press into a greased baking tin. I used coconut oil for greasing to keep it "clean" - it's one of the healthiest oils out there and remains that way when heated, unlike most others. Pop the tray in the oven (preheated at 180c) for about 20mins... et voila! Allow the brownies to cool before you chop them into bite size pieces, pop them in the fridge for a bit so they set even more and then there's nothing left to do but enjoy! :)


What are your favourite recipes for a healthy treat?

Christy xx

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Sports Luxe

Topshop x Adidas Originals vest // Zara suit // Primark shoes

Sports luxe is one trend I never thought I'd be "sporting" - high tops and bomber jackets are not for me - but when this Topshop x Adidas Originals vest arrived I knew it didn't just belong in the gym. I wanted to style it up for a night out sipping cocktails at a stylish bar! I've been looking for the perfect top to wear with this cobalt Zara suit (my favourite piece of clothing ever!) and at last I seem to have found it! I tried blouses and dressier tees but they didn't quite cut it. The juxtaposition of the casual, athletic vest to the sharp tailoring of the suit works perfectly in my eyes. What do you think? How would you style a sports luxe look?

Christy xx

P.S - I swear I ironed that top right before I went out! ;)
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