Monday, 29 September 2014

another weekend... in the gym #27

FOOD

Meals 2 & 3 from Tuesday... yes, there's another 4!!

Just over a week into my new meal plan and I'm loving it! I'm never hungry or feeling deprived -  most of the meals are an absolute treat and some days I can only manage to eat 5 out of 6 meals! The Kung Pao chicken is my favourite so far. It's basically chicken & veg cooked in a spicy peanut sauce and tastes so freaking good! Having something other than porridge for breakfast is still weird. I've been eating it every morning for a couple of years now so consuming a tower of protein pancakes or a turkey omelette first thing in the morning is taking a bit of getting used to! There's been a good deal of time consuming meal prep involved but it should be easier this week as I cooked up big batches and froze them ready to defrost the night before. I won't find out if it's made any difference to my body composition for a few weeks yet but my belly is feeling much better, less bloated/irritated. I'm off to a good start I think... even the protein shakes and instant oats are growing on me!

EXERCISE


Monday - Yoga.
Tuesday - Kettlebells & Metafit.
Wednesday - Rest day.
Thursday - Insanity.
Friday - Weights.
Saturday - The Beast Race!!
Sunday - A well earned rest day.

Took it easier this week in prep for Saturday's Beast Race - a 10km run with 30 obstacles to tackle along the route. It's my first ever obstacle challenge and was probably one of the worst ones, right after tough mudder I reckon, but I loved it! I'll be doing a proper post on the day soon :)

Have you ever done a similar challenge?

Christy xx

Monday, 22 September 2014

another weekend... in the gym #26

FOOD


I've missed a few weeks of my diet and training posts recently as things have been a bit off here! For a long time now I've been struggling with my diet, to the point where my PT used the dreaded "yoyo" word with me. The worst part for me is that I know how to get back where I want to be. I know I can do it. I've done it in the past. Yet for months now my body fat % has been stuck at nearly 5% higher than where I want it to be. And there's nobody to blame but myself!

Clean apple sauce. Made with apples from my garden, to be used in pancakes & protein pudding :)

I'm scrapping my personal goal of "under 20%" body fat in favour of a more definite 18%. That way I can't get to 19.9%, decide I've made it and shove a cheesecake down my throat - I'll have to keep going to get the results I'm so desperate to achieve!

On Saturday I started a new, more structured plan that my long suffering PT has drawn up for me. This means I'll be going back to a less detailed account of my weekly diet on here. Hopefully having everything planned and weighed out, with specific macros will help me stay on track as it's taken away the decision making and portion control issues that I seem to be struggling with. As everybody knows I love to eat, so with a range of 1800-3000 calories of good, nutrient dense foods per day there's surely no chance of me ever feeling unsatisfied. If anything I'm going to struggle to eat everything, especially on the higher carb day! The only thing I'm unsure of is the addition of protein shakes to my diet - something which I have avoided thus far, preferring to get my protein from more natural sources. However, I trust my PT and have therefore decided to fully commit myself and trust the process. Most of the recipes are completely new to me which makes it that bit more exciting and I'm delighted to say that porridge and almond butter are heavily featured!

EXERCISE

Monday - Rest day.
Tuesday - Kettlebells & metafit - started using a 10kg kettlebell! It's a challenge but one that I'm enjoying and I feel I'm getting more benefit from the class again :)
Wednesday - Weights & 1/2 mile swim.
Thursday - Weights & insanity class. 
Friday - Personal training.
Saturday - Kettlebells & metafit.
Sunday - Weights.

Christy xx

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Glasgow

Zara coat // Primark dress // Next shoes // "YSL" earrings from ebay // Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses // Prada Saffiano tote

If you were expecting a referendum based post, I'm sorry to disappoint! Luckily these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago, before the chaos of the results. Personally I'm glad that we're still a part of the UK, but I'm sick to the back teeth of all the violence, verbal abuse and general negativity surrounding the whole thing. Lets just all be friends eh?

Moving on...

As you can see I was feeling some sixties vibes this day. I've only recently managed to get my hair into a beehive again since I got it chopped off all those months ago. Sixties style has always been a favourite of mine so this season's trends are right up my street. Gordon bought me the pink Zara swing coat for my birthday in July so I paired it with a simple shift dress and loafers for a classic look. If I'd had my cats eye sunnies on it would've been the perfect throwback! ;)


On the way home from the wedding celebrations Gordon and I took a detour through Glasgow. First we stopped off at Wholefoods in Giffnock, then headed into town for a look round the shops and a bite to eat. I love the mix of buskers around Buchanan Street but the guys pictured above were my favourite. They looked like they'd walked straight off the set of Braveheart. Their unusual blend of bagpipes and drums sounded amazing and was attracting a bit of a crowd.

We ate at Bread Meats Bread - somewhere I'd been desperate to try for a long time. With the recent opening of the Boozy Cow in Aberdeen (still not been!) burgers have been playing on my mind! Gordon had a "Smokey" burger while I eventually decided on the "Black & Blue"; a Scotch beef burger with blue cheese, bacon, slow onions, pickles & sauce. It was a beast, but one that was easily tamed, i.e it was easily squished together so I could get a good bite! The burger was messy, juicy and full of flavour and the bacon was suitably crispy - thank God, I hate pink chewy bacon! We shared sides of caramelized fries and sweet poutines. I hadn't realised the caramelized fries were made with sweet potato too. This should probably be stated on the menu, but hey they both tasted great so I guess that's all that matters. From all the buzz around BMB I had expected it to be more of an experience than the quick in and out burger stop that it was, but we enjoyed it all the same. It's handy if you're after a pit stop lunch in the city centre, and want an upgrade from TGIs! You can find Bread Meats Bread at 104 St Vincent St, just off Buchanan St :)

Where's your favourite place to eat in Glasgow?

Christy xx

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Multipower Sportsfood Bars


A while ago the guys at Multipower sent me over some of their power bars to sample. It's taken me a while to get round to blogging my thoughts on them as, being perfectly honest, I'm feeling a bit... conflicted? I like them. They taste good, but they don't really fit into my "clean eating" philosophy. I realise that sounds ridiculous when I've been filling my face with cheesecake & chocolate the last few weeks! But to me, if you're eating these kinds of bars, it's because you're trying to be "good" and these particular bars just don't fit into that for me. I guess if you're 99% strict with your diet then you can get away with eating these but I much prefer the likes of Nakd bars which only have a handful of 100% natural ingredients listed.


I was given a selection of their "Nature's Power" and "Fruit Power" bars in various flavours - cranberry & strawberry, honey & seeds, salty cocoa, original & tropical. I'm not a huge fan of tropical flavours and the texture of the fruit power bars was a bit chewier and reminded me of rice crispies, so these were my least favourite. The natures power bars are more natural (the clue is in the name) and have more of a typical cereal bar texture. Multipower recommend eating them pre-workout for a bit of an energy boost. If you're someone who does a lot of cardio then you'll definitely feel the benefit - the Fruit Power bar is even the "official High Performance Bar" of the 2014 Giro d'Italia cycling race!

However, reading the ingredients - Oat Flakes* (31,3%), Glucose Syrup*, Invert Sugar Syrup*, Rice Crispies (Rice Flour*, Wheat Flour*, Sugar*, Wheat Malt*, Salt*, Flavour), Soya Crispies Soya Protein*, Low Fat Cocoa, Tapioca Starch), Cocoa Mass* (5,0 %), Soya Crispies (Soya Protein*, Rice Flour*, Barley Malt Extract*, Salt*), Rice Flour*, Humectant Glycerol*, Honey*, Sunflower Oil*, Sea Salt*. May contain traces of Milk, Lactose, Eggs, Sesame Seeds, Peanuts and other Nuts. *Natural ingredients - all 25 of them(!) is a little off-putting for me. 

I did enjoy the taste and the texture of the Nature's Power bars though. So, although not something I think I'll be eating every day and certainly not something I'd consider "clean", they're handy when you're on the go and need a little extra fuel to get you through your training! The salty cocoa was definitely the winner for me.

How do you feel about these kinds of bars? Have you ever tried any Multipower products?

Christy xx

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wedding Details

French Connection dress // Valentino Rockstuds // Mango clutch // Primark earrings // Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses

How smart does Gordon look in his kilt? I was super excited to be a part of Lewis & Ali's special day... almost as excited as I was to wear my Valentino rockstuds at last! My outfit had been planned for months. I'm not usually so organised but I fell in love with the French Connection dress ages ago & had to have it. My plan was to pair it with plain old black accessories. Until these neon pink babies found their way into my life! They're honestly the most beautiful shoes I've ever owned and I was surprised how comfy they actually are. Somehow I made it through the entire day in them! If only I could afford a pair in every colour...


The ceremony was held on a roof terrace with the sun beating down and was absolutely beautiful. A stunning bride, handsome groom, hilarious speeches, delicious food, men in kilts... Everything down to the tiniest detail was taken care of - I loved the "Perfect Blend" teabag favours & "love is sweet" cake boxes. One of my favourite things about weddings is seeing everyone dressed up. There was some gorgeous outfits on the go! The magician was a particular highlight along with the first dance, which was performed by the best men! We sipped cocktails and danced til the very last song. I do love a good wedding!

What's your favourite thing about weddings?

Christy xx

Monday, 15 September 2014

Visiting Ayrshire

Brunch in Irvine
Warehouse jumper // Mango leather skirt // River Island boots // Alexander McQueen scarf
Sunset over the golf course at The Gailes Hotel
Irvine
Breakfast at the Gailes

Things have been a bit busy for me lately - I haven't had a day off work this past week but in contrast have this whole week off with nothing in particular planned. I'm looking forward to having the time to read, keep on top of my housework, hit the gym, walk the dog, relax with a cup of tea, get this blog up to date... simple things! 

Last weekend Gordon and I headed to Ayrshire for a family wedding. We stayed at the Gailes Hotel just outside Irvine which is set in beautiful surroundings! There's a golf course, gym and spa as well as their own restaurant. In my opinion the food here was fairly average - not bad, but not great either - and there was a distinct lack of vegetables for my liking!

I met some more of Gordon's family for the first time and they were all so friendly and welcoming that I left feeling part of the clan. It was a weekend filled with cocktails, dancing, huge breakfasts, exploring Irvine, watching sunsets, wearing some of my favourite clothes (hello new Mango leather skirt!) and making new friends. One of the best weekends I've had in a while!

Have you ever visited Ayrshire?

Christy xx

Sunday, 14 September 2014

My Map of Aberdeen



Introducing a brand new feature to Dinner Stories - my map of Aberdeen! 

The other day a friend of mine posted on facebook asking for ideas of where to eat in Aberdeen other than "the usual TGIs and sh*t". He was practically bombarded with recommendations from The Tippling House, to Jamie's Italian, to Prime Cuts... but somehow he ended up at Wagamamas! He said he didn't know where to even start with any of the suggestions he'd been given. And so, this map was born! 

A collection of all my favourite bars and restaurants that the Granite City has to offer, all mapped out in one place, with a short description of each - hopefully making it easier to figure out where to find them too. I've included a link to any relevant blog posts for each place so you can read my wee reviews before making any important decisions! The link will be a permanent fixture in my sidebar and I'll be updating the map regularly so keep checking back for my latest foodie discoveries. I hope you find it useful!

Have I missed out any of your favourite Aberdonian haunts?

Christy xx

Monday, 1 September 2014

another weekend... in the gym #25

FOOD


Monday - Breakfast: Peach, Greek yoghurt with berries & granola. Lunch: Pret a Manger crayfish & quinoa protein pot, greek yoghurt with honey. Dinner: Baked eggs with cheese & jalapeno focaccia. Snacks: Homemade quinoa breakfast bar, banana, sh*t loads of granola.

Tuesday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Poached eggs, avocado & grilled tomato on rye. Dinner: Chicken & quinoa curry with asparagus. Snacks: Banana, Greek yoghurt with peaches & berries. 

Wednesday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Chicken & feta salad. Dinner: Chicken & quinoa curry with asparagus. Snacks: Handful of nuts, Greek yoghurt with peaches & honey.

Thursday - Breakfast: Porridge with peaches, chia, flax & bee pollen. Lunch: Chicken & feta salad. Dinner: Chicken & quinoa curry with asparagus. Snacks: Greek yoghurt with berries, Greek yoghurt with honey & dates.

Friday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia & flax. Lunch: Chicken & feta salad. Dinner: Kale & feta omelette. Snacks: Tuna, Greek yoghurt with peaches. Had friends round before a gig at night so had crudites with houmous, strawberries dipped in dark chocolate & a few drinks. 

Saturday - Breakfast: Porridge with berries, chia & flax. Lunch: Chicken & feta salad with baked beans (random I know!) Dinner: Wagamamas chicken katsu curry (asked for brown rice but they'd ran out) & shared a few starters. White chocolate & ginger cheesecake for dessert. Snacks: Greek yoghurt & peach. Tried the lotus spread on a rice cake (yum!) and ended up eating a Toffee Crisp biscuit & Gordon's cinnamon swirl. (Sorry Gordon...)

Sunday - Breakfast: Porridge with peaches, blueberries, chia & flax. Lunch: Greek yoghurt with peaches & flax. (The paintballing place only served burgers so I came prepared!) Dinner: Stopped at a carvery on the way home so opted for turkey & piled my plate with veg. Snacks: Banana, Nakd bar, Greek yoghurt with honey.


After an emotional breakdown at PT (slight over reaction to a 1% increase in body fat but my head was in a crappy place with it all!) I have finally managed to cut the crap. It's not perfect but definitely getting better - my belly isn't so bloated & sore and I'm not having a late night binge every day! Trying not to put so much pressure on myself as it ends up being all I think about & just makes me eat even more. This week I've been obsessed with peaches. They're in season so the shops are full of them - they're all juicy and amazing! Also think I should have shares in Fage Total 0% Greek yoghurt...

EXERCISE


Monday - Rest day. (Travelling for work)
Tuesday - Kettlebells, personal training & metafit.
Wednesday - Weights.
Thursday - Insanity class.
Friday - Rest day.
Saturday - Rest day.
Sunday - Paintballing!

I'm looking forward to getting back to yoga this coming week! What classes will you be heading to?

Christy xx
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