Crossfit – Recap – I graduated from On-Ramp!

Onramp recap

Hi all,

Well, it’s official, after last night’s Crossfit, David and I have graduated from the On-Ramp training course! YAY!

The past four weeks have gone so fast but I have felt like I have learned so much in that time and really feel ready to take on Crossfit with the knowledge needed.

Last night we revisited miscellaneous exercises, it definitely had not been a favourite first time round so was a mix of keen but nervous to look at it again. We started with practicing double unders and looking at the techniques used to try and perfect it. This, I think, is just going to have to be one of those things that takes time and with practice, should eventually work. I can skip no problem but trying to get the flick of the wrist while also jumping high enough for the rope to pass under twice is so tricky. David purchased a rope and has been practicing for the past couple of weeks and this has really paid off for him, completing 7 double unders in total. I didn’t even manage one… so will be bringing the rope to the gym with me to practice. I am determined!

After this we went on to pull ups, looking at the hang and swing with the eventual kipping pull ups being the aim later down the line. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do too much practice on this, as soon as I held on to the bar I got a horrible pain in my right bicep and had to stop. It felt like something was tearing, not good! Coach mentioned it could be some scar tissue or a knot I have inside and recommended some massage work with the tennis ball. I did get this feeling last time but it was so much worse this time around so will work with the ball and hopefully fix whatever it is that is the problem. David did so well with them though, really getting the swing. Still early days with regards to kipping but off to a great start – well done David!

We revisited thrusters briefly so that we could move on to the WOD – yes remember, the dreaded Fran! I quite like thrusters so enjoyed the recap and was glad that my technique had gotten stronger. The WOD was another team Fran, so David and I partnered up.

WOD

Fran

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Thrusters

Pull Ups (Gym Ring rows for David and I)

Well, what a WOD this was! Last time around I struggled so much with the gym ring rows, even having to get some help on some of them. This time around I was able to do my share of them, needing no help at all! Just shows how the strength in my arms and chest has increased. Fantastic! As for the thrusters, I was so happy as I managed to increase my weight – I lifted 7.5 kg last time and this time around I managed to lift 12.5 kg! Such an improvement! Yes it was tough and it took us a wee bit longer (David increased his weight too) but what an achievement and we were both beaming afterwards! Great to end our on-ramp training on a massive high.

So training over, time to join the big boys and girls now. Excited but nervous too – bring on Monday!

And for those who are considering Crossfit, you really must give it a try. The On-Ramp course is great for showing you what Crossfit entails without you having to commit fully to a box. You learn all the basic techniques and moves to fully prepare you and you won’t ever be thrown in the deep end. Give it a go!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

What I Ate Wednesday!

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Hi all,

Time for another What I Ate Wednesday!

Again thanks to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting the link and helping us share the mid week food love!

My day began with getting bits and bobs sorted in the house and getting David fed and off to work. Breakfast is still of the not so great kind – grains… enough said. But I am thinking I should use WIAW as an excuse to, on a Wednesday at least, try out some new breakfast ideas. Might be easier to transition to a grain free breakfast if I trial out some once a week… watch this space!

After breakfast I got ready and headed out to the gym. Was feeling pretty tired today but this feeling often just spurs me on and gravitates me to the gym, knowing after a session I will feel so much better and energised. And it did! I did a 20 min no break row, followed by a selection of weight machines as strength and then some mat based work – selection of crunches followed by some work on the mat roller – it’s amazing how much ‘gunk’ and tension you can release from your muscles and surrounding area with one of these. It hurts to use but the feeling you have in the area you have worked on afterwards makes it all worth it.

Back home for a post work out snack – my favourite apple and smoked almonds. These almonds taste incredible, as I mentioned last week. Have only found them in a small shop back at my hometown though so might have to ask my mum to take me some down when she visits next as I have now run out! Bummer – but an excuse to buy and try out something new, always good!

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After working on some emails etc it was soon time for lunch. Why does time always fly when you are head down in a computer!?

Lunch consisted of tasty lettuce wraps – chunks of turkey, seasoned and mixed with grated carrot, cottage cheese, salsa and some cucumber, spooned into iceberg lettuce leaves and rolled and tucked round into a neat wee parcel. Very nice and a firm favourite in our house- we love the crunch!

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I spent the afternoon working on some writing and doing the ironing (has to be done and a good excuse for me to take a break away from the laptop).  I love having a few little bits and bobs for my mid afternoon snack and today I went for some cherries, a babybell and my ‘everyday without fail’ prunes. Yummy and a perfect combo to tide me over until dinnertime.

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We were trying something new for dinner tonight and were quite excited about it – veal curry with red onion and mushrooms, served with cauliflower ‘rice’. Oh my goodness was it amazing! I cooked the onions, mushrooms and veal in a little bit of coconut oil (to be honest the smells coming from this, I could have just eaten that on its own!). Then I added some mix spice paste (a blend of Indian spices and some rendered down tomatoes), coconut milk and let it simmer until the sauce thickened. While this was cooking I blitzed the cauliflower in a processor and sautéed it in a pan to make the ‘rice’. The curry was delicious and so flavourful but the real star was the cauliflower rice and how it took on the same characteristics as normal rice – absorbed the sauce and kept a grain like texture. Most importantly however was the fact that the cauliflower tasted fantastic! I honestly can say that I will be making this from now on instead of rice, cous cous or even quinoa. It holds its own just like either of them, you can mix any flavour, vegetable, meat or sauce with it but tastes better, is more nutritious and more easily digested! Winner!

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I wasn’t really very hungry after that but was looking for something a little sweet – the perfect choice of a couple of pieces of watermelon and galia melon did the trick and as always, was very much enjoyed.

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Hope you all had a delicious Wednesday too!

 

Crossfit – On-Ramp – Recap

Onramp recap

Hi all,

Hope your week is going well so far. Just thought I would do a wee recap on Monday’s on-ramp session at Crossfit and let you know how I got on.

So it was a return to pulling. The first session we had on this I really enjoyed and it was my favourite so I was looking forward to revisiting it. We went over 3 techniques, deadlifts, sumo deadlift high pulls and practiced med ball cleans.

This time round it was definitely more focussed and I liked being able to see where my technique had improved in terms of my stance and the way I hold myself when doing the lifts. Knowing I am getting it right gives me such a buzz and drives me to keep seeking perfection. Perfection as I am a known perfectionist (!) but most importantly, and as mentioned before, to avoid injury!

The med ball cleans were more interesting this time around as our coach showed us what this will then lead into – the clean with bar. Daunting but also exciting as even just the thought of being able to do that with a bar sounds incredible. Although when practicing our med ball cleans I did hit myself in the face with it, not good, sore and I know I definitely don’t want to do that with a bar!

We then moved on to the WOD. As it was quite a tricky one to begin with and to make sure we got our technique correct, coach didn’t alter it from previous. If anyone did want to alter it, they could add more weight on to their bar. I stuck with 15 kg.

WOD

7 minutes AMRAP

10 deadlifts

10 sumo deadlift high pulls

10 ab mat sit ups.

Oh boy did I find this hard. It really did feel like I was lifting heavier than last time but I wasn’t. The sumo deadlift high pulls were a killer and many I struggled on and just had to start again. Very frustrating. Overall, I managed 3 rounds and up to 5 deadlift high pulls in the 4th – so 5 deadlifts and 5 deadlift highpulls more than last time.

Am I disappointed that I didn’t increase my reps by many? Yes.

Am I concerned about how difficult I found it to lift the weight this time around? Of course.

However…

Do I feel like I understand the technique of pulling better? Yes.

Do I feel like I am able to use the correct technique now on every rep? Yes.

Did I therefore make progress? Yes.

And that is the main and most important thing. I guess Crossfit, like with everything; you have great days and not so great days! Just keep your head up and get ready for the next round!

Fun, Fantastic Weekend

Hi all,

Happy Monday! And the week begins again…!

So I thought today I would give you a recap of my weekend of fun, mostly in pictures as I know they are fab to set the scene!

Saturday began as all Saturdays do in the Fotheringham household, with a good bowl o’ porridge (oats), the newspaper (from the day before but never mind!) and cartoons! I went for old faithful, plain oats with a dollop of local strawberry jam in the middle as a treat and David went for his favourite, pecan nuts and maple syrup. Both of us enjoying our choice and I partnered mine with a cup of peppermint tea, a great start to the day!

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We were both really looking forward to some visitors who were coming to see us for the day – David’s mum Carmel and his sister Clare. It had been a wee while since we had caught up with them both and they hadn’t been to see us since we have moved to Glasgow, so we really wanted them to come up so we could show them some of the sights! I say some, there are too many to see in one day!

They arrived mid morning and came straight to the apartment for a much needed coffee after the train journey up from England. After a quick tour of the apartment and a coffee pit stop, we headed out into town for lunch, destination – The Mussel Inn.

I’m sure some of you will have seen the picture of my lunch that I posted yesterday but for those who didn’t, please see below. I love posting this picture again, even just to emphasise how tasty and delicious it was. I love it so much when restaurants take local, seasonal ingredients and don’t mess around with them, keeping the food simple and letting the produce shine through. And that’s exactly what they did here – cooked in their natural juices, with some chillies, garlic and spices and served with a plain side salad, I couldn’t have asked for a better prepared meal. The staff and service were also excellent and really made the meal perfect. They were knowledgeable on the produce, friendly and attentive. Everyone loved and raved about their meal and David and I can’t wait to go back!

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From there we headed to Blythswood Square – one of David and I’s favourite places in Glasgow. Please see my anniversary blog post here for more information. And so we spent the rest of the afternoon here, with a lovely cocktail and just catching up and reminiscing about stories past, as you always do with family. It really was lovely.

David with his mum and sister

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My cocktail – The Duchess (yes I had this one before but it is my favourite!)

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David and I

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Clare and I in one of the alcoves at the entrance to the hotel

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We then took them both to the station to catch the train home. A wonderful time had by all with an emphasis that we must do it again soon!

On our way home we picked up some bits and bobs for dinner – tonight’s menu – stir fry veg, sautéed with chillies and garlic and then we added fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Served with individual lettuce cups and sprinkled with sunflower seeds. A fab Thai inspired dish with a real hot and sour flavour. Be making that again soon!

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Sunday was another great day which began the way we like it – with a killer home work out!

Inspired by the work out posted by Heather, guest poster over @fruitandfitness (normally run by the fab Nicole), just with a few alterations. And yes, it included burpees – I am determined to keep doing them until I love them (practice makes perfect!) and yes, I still hate them with a passion!

(Oh David and I use the sweeties as counters to keep track of how many rounds we have done, well we weren’t eating them so they might as well come in handy for something!).

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We then had my favourite breakfast of the week – banana scramble! David has his with peanut butter and mine is the one with the almond butter and the slightly more caramalised eggs (I like to crispen up and brown those banana-ry bits!).  David has his with a side of oats and I have a small bowl of cereal (again not happy with this part so it doesn’t get the satisfaction of a picture!).

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After our delicious and much needed breakfast, we headed out to a farmers and artisan craft market that was happening locally at a Charles Rennie Macintosh designed gallery – House for an Art Lover. We had never been there before and it was stunning! Can’t wait to go back to actually do a tour around the house and extensive gardens which are full of the most amazing sculptures.

The market was small but good – we picked up some locally made blackberry, apple and gin jam along with a cute chilli plant that we can grow on our windowsill. We love chillies so fingers crossed we can keep it alive!

The market

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Me outside House for an Art Lover – holding our new chilli plant!

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The walled garden

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The afternoon was spent chilled out with a nice coffee in Starbucks, I wrote while David phoned his Grandma for a chat. We get to visit her next week and I am so looking forward to it – she is a fantastic person who I could listen to for hours!

Dinner consisted of a quick, easy make, Sunday favourite – a fruit plate, making the most of the last of the summer fruit and 2 slices of Genius Gluten Free bread, one with PB on it, the other local heather honey. Yum! (Yes and as you can see from my toast, I like things crispy (or burnt as David says…!)).

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All tied up and enjoyed with a couple of episodes of Revenge before bed. This series is so good!

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My favourite eats from the week!

Hi all,

Hope you are all having a fab weekend! Just a quick post to let you know about my favourite eats for the week! A few that you will start to recognise as David and Jen staples and some new ones too. Enjoy!

Monday night dinner – Sweet potatoes and Cottage Cheese with salad

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–          A winner for both lunch and dinner, dinner on a larger scale of course! We find that this is the perfect meal after a workout, in this case Crossfit. A protein packed, tasty, filling dinner that, most importantly, is easy to make when you are shattered after training!

Tuesday night dinner – Huevos Rancheros – Jen style!

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–          My take on the classic! I start with an iceberg lettuce bowl, then fill it with the ingredients. Ground beef, browned with garlic, red onions and cumin, fill the bottom of the bowl. Then a layer of salsa, hotter the better in our house. A generous helping of sliced avocado then follows, topped with a sunny side up egg! A quick grind of pepper on top and you have perfection in a meal! The crispness of the lettuce goes so well with the intense flavour of the beef, with the zing of the salsa, cool creaminess of the avocado. And then you break that yolk… heaven!

Thursday post Crossfit smoothie

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–          Ok, so I know this doesn’t look that great or appetising but you have got to trust me, it was divine! 1 frozen banana, blitzed with ¾ cup of almond milk. Simple but delicious and such a good pre workout energy booster that didn’t sit heavy. David had the same with one alteration, the addition of 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. It was really tasty too, might try that next time.

Thursday night dinner – Scramble

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–          Another favourite of ours for both lunch and dinner but it really is perfect for after Crossfit, again a protein and nutrient puncher.  This scramble was with baby corn, mange tout and mushrooms with a green jalapenos salsa, served with a spinach and iceberg lettuce salad. Very good!

Saturday lunch – The Mussel Inn, Glasgow

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–          Now I won’t speak too much about this as my next post will be all about my weekend adventures but I just had to include this meal in this post as it truly was the best meal I had all week! Local mussels freshly caught from the Isle of Mull, steamed in their natural juices with chillies, garlic, ginger, coriander (cilantro) and cumin and served with a side salad. Truly the best mussels I have ever had!

How do you like your Huevos Rancheros? Do you put a spin on it?

Yay it’s Friday + Crossfit – Recap

Onramp recap

Hi all,

Hope you are well and loving the fact that it is Friday! Once again, I don’t know where this week has gone; the weeks just seem to fly by in Glasgow. But that’s no bad thing!

Yesterday we were at Crossfit, doing our On-Ramp recap of session two, pressing. You know when a session is going to be tough (or the coach is going to be tough on you) when it begins with burpees as a warm up! Urgh I hate burpees!

Anyway, we went over the basic techniques again of pressing – shoulder presses, push presses and press jerks. Once again, I was really impressed to see how much I have learned and how much my technique had improved. I definitely felt more comfortable and confident in what I was doing and David felt the same.

We then prepared for the WOD – once again the same WOD as before but upgraded to make it more difficult.  Before each round previously, we had to do a 200m run (or 10 burpees in my case). This was cranked up to a 440m run and a 440m row for myself. The rest of the WOD was the same, I kept with the same weight on the bar (7.5 kg) and did the lunges without a plate.

WOD

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440m row before each set

Push Press

Walking Plate Lunges

And I killed it! The row was definitely a lot harder than the burpees, although I do row at the gym so I was used to the burn from that and keen to go as fast as I could. The push presses were so much better than last time and I could really focus on my technique, not just on ‘doing the reps’. The lunges were always a beast, I kept my arms up, like I was holding a weight, to put a bit more pressure on (and after rowing and presses, my arms were definitely feeling the burn) but I tried to get through them as fast as I could.

My time for the WOD previously – 11 minutes, 20 seconds

My new time for the WOD, with the 440m row addition – 13 minutes! PROGRESS!

Hope you all have a fun, relaxing weekend!

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) and Crossfit Re-cap

Hi all,

Today’s post is going to be twofold and kind of a bit back to front! I will start with my first ever ‘What I ate Wednesday’ (WIAW) post – woop woop, super chuffed to be doing this, building on an amazing creation by fellow blogger Jenn @ Peas and Crayons.  After that I will look at my Crossfit session from Monday.

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My day began, after seeing David off to work, with breakfast. Urgh, this is where I am still struggling. I currently have a half and half mix of all bran and organic corn flakes and I know the gluten from the wheat in the all bran is doing me no good whatsoever. I still am trying to find quick, grain free, filling, sustaining breakfasts and I know I will get there and David is the same. For now, it is the best I can do and as I am not happy about having it, I refuse to give it the acknowledgement of a picture! Ha! That’s it told! I have however, made the switch from dairy to either having coconut or almond milk and am already feeling the benefits of this. So I am happy with that side of things – i.e. what I put in my cereal!

After the gym, I came home and had a bit of post gym refuelling in terms of a coffee, apple and some nuts/ dried beans. Tasty! Especially the almonds – which were locally smoked in Whisky casks giving them such a unique flavour. Yes it is true, us Scots do love Whisky (no alcohol appears in this product, simply the casks used!).

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After working on some emails etc it was time for lunch. Same as last week but just as tasty – carrot sticks, sugar snap peas, cucumber sticks, salsa and cottage cheese, with Total 0% Greek yoghurt (my favourite!) and some grapes for afters.

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By the time afternoon snack time came around I was pretty beat. And alas as a result forgot to take a photo of my snack! Eek! But it was yummy and consisted of a few pieces of jerky, 6 delicious seasonal English cherries and some dried prunes (the prunes being a part of my snack every day, uber yummy gooeyness!).

David then came home and we did our usual catching up of the day and its goings- on. A Wednesday is also the day that we do our meal planning for the following week. Something we always do and always do it together. I love that we are both involved but it is important to both of us so it makes sense! Dinner then followed – spiced lemon veal with grilled courgettes, a spinach salad with a drizzle of natural yoghurt. It was so tasty and flavourful! And grilled courgettes (or Zucchini to my American friends) is just delicious, I will be sad when their season is over.

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Dinner filled me up but often I just want a little bit of something sweet – the answer, a wee bit of cantaloupe melon and watermelon. Combine David being home, a dinner like that and a few episodes of Revenge = Good Times!

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Although I must have to admit, when it comes to food (and I guess maybe everything really…), I am a bit of a ‘routine’ girl and I wish I could escape it but find it so difficult. However with doing WIAW I will just have to mix it up a bit, as I don’t imagine you all want to read about me having the same breakfast, lunch and snacks every Wednesday! (Dinner at least is always different!).

So now on to Mondays Crossfit session! We are now half way through our On-Ramp Crossfit training, with having the choice between joining regular sessions or going over the past 4 sessions of training again. David and I both chose to do the latter, we really feel that concentrating on the basics and perfecting them is the best thing to do at the moment.

So as you may recall, our first training session focussed on squatting and the variety of squats for different techniques. I really felt like I had made such an improvement here and feel quite confident now in my squat position, only having to be corrected now and again! ‘Jen keep those arms straight!’

When we moved on to the WOD, our coach wanted to see our progress. So instead of 3 rounds for time, we had to do 5. I was not looking forward to this. When I first did this WOD, it really did make me doubt Crossfit as it showed me just how little strength I had, particularly when doing the wall balls. Here is a reminder of the WOD, with the update.

WOD

5 rounds for time

10 wall balls

10 KB swings

10 box jumps (step ups for me and my knee)

Oh boy did I surprise myself! Now that I know the power a squat can give and the ‘thrust’ your core can bring to lifting a weight of any kind, the wall balls were a completely different story! I was able to use my inner strength and fitness to throw that ball up there and I even managed to catch 75% of them! Now, by no means were they perfect or even close to what they should be but compared to last time I certainly kicked booty! (Weight the same as last time 5kg).

The KB swings, which I enjoy were great and I was able to power through them (8kg), along with the step ups.

I think the biggest ‘wow’ of all though was that 5 rounds were actually do-able and I did it! And the times as well were amazing. The first time I did the WOD for 3 rounds my time was 7.58. This time, doing 5 rounds I managed it in a time of… drum roll please… 8.59! BOO-YAH!

My Favourite Eats from the Past Week

Hi all,

I thought I would do a quick post on my favourite eats from last week. Certainly some tasty treats I would like to share with you all!

(My aim was to get this post up on Sunday but writing the Liebster post took longer than expected!)

Dinner at the Cinema

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–          When David and I go to the cinema, we always go for a dinnertime showing. Tends to be quieter and you get home at a decent time for heading to bed. Because of this, we always bring our dinner with us = no need for popcorn, instead a tasty box of nutritious yumminess! Our dinner of choice – salmon, savoy cabbage, mushroom, edamame sautéed with some black bean sauce. Delicious hot or cold! Oh and in case you were wondering, we went to see Grown Ups 2 – hilarious!

Lunch on Wednesday

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–          A quick, easy, tasty lunch – carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, sugar snap peas, cottage cheese and my favourite chipotle corn salsa. Yum!

Steamed Fish with Asian stir fry veg

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–          First time using our bamboo steamer and oh my goodness was this an incredible meal! The fish (haddock) steamed in a mix of ginger, garlic and soy sauce and when cooked we served the fish over some simple mix of Asian vegetables. We then drizzled the cooking liquid from the fish over the top as a sauce. The flavours were intense, delicious and I cannot wait to try more flavour combinations with using the steamer – it makes the fish so delicate and moist!

Lunch on Thursday

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–          Simple and tasty – sweet potato with cottage cheese and spinach. Let those flavours speak for themselves!

Lunch on Friday

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–          Salsa Scramble – egg, carrot and sugar snap peas, scrambled with some spicy salsa and served with spinach and cucumber at the side. I know I have posted this lunch before but it is such a favourite of mine!

Saturday Lunch at Ikea

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–          A lovely wonder around Ikea on Saturday, and surprisingly so, they have many tasty healthy options for lunch! David and I chose this delicious chicken and Swedish cheese salad with some fruit at the side (they have quite a selection of fresh fruit to choose from). Ikea – so much more than meatballs and chips (fries).

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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–          One of our favourites and perfect for a Saturday night in with a movie! Literally is what it is – a pizza base made from cauliflower, blitzed and then mixed with herbs, an egg and some cottage cheese to bind. Then baked until crispy, topped with homemade marinara sauce and toppings of choice, back in the oven for 5 – 10 mins and done!

Watermelon

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–          Need I say more!

As before, I am still getting used to the blogger life and remembering to photograph some of the yummy things I am having, there were more I would have liked to have shared with you but they were so yummy/ I was so hungry, that I just tucked into them straight away!

More tasty treats next week!

The Liebster Award!

liebsteraward

Hi all!

I am so pleased and proud to announce that I have been nominated for a Liebster award! I have heard about the award and had read a few blogs who had been nominated but never imagined that I would end up being nominated, especially so early on in my blogging life –big smiles all round!

I was nominated by Maggie @ Sunnyside Up Smile (isn’t that such a wonderful name for a blog!), whose blog I have only just been introduced to but am already loving reading. She has such a kind heart and spirit and this just shines throughout her writing – always with an upbeat and positive mentality. I love her attitude to food and the way she understands how a healthy lifestyle with healthy foods can be exciting and fun.

Here are the ins and outs of how the award works…

The Liebster Award is a fun survey to get to know and acknowledge some of the blogs with few followers. Once you’ve been nominated, you pass this lovely award on to other blogs. Here’s how it works:

After receiving the nomination, the blogger must:

1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger;
2. Share 11 random facts about yourself;
3. Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you;
4. List 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (as best as you can tell based on the info provided!). They should be bloggers that you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominated to answer; and
6. Let all of the bloggers know that they’ve been nominated. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

So here we go!

11 Random Facts about me:

1. I have two middle names – Margaret and Audrey. They were both my Grandma’s first names.

2. I have been both a home owner and home seller by the age of 27. David and I bought our first home in Inverness four and a half years ago, believing that is where we wanted to settle down. Then we realised we wanted so much more from life and really missed the buzz of a big city. The more travelling we did around the world the more we realised we wanted to experience more of the world – hence the big move to Glasgow. And we LOVE it here – the buzz, culture, people, good vibes. Will we be here forever? Who knows, but we love the ‘moment’ and look forward to what the future may bring.

3. My eye colour frequently changes – green to brown to either with blue speckles. Current colour, mainly green.

4. I am petrified of the doctors and dentists. I avoid them at all costs, especially the dentists (fingers crossed I never get tooth ache) – I literally cannot walk in the building. My fear of all things medicinal even stems down to the fact that I am too scared to get my ears pierced.

5. I only support one sports team – the Atlanta Falcons in American Football. David and I did a road trip around the southern states of America for our honeymoon, fantastic trip. We both liked football and were trying to work out who to support. Because our trip began and ended in Atlanta, we went for them. Go Falcons!

6. I have a Master of Arts degree in History and American Studies from the University of Dundee.

7. There is only 1 city in Scotland I have not lived in – Perth. I have lived in the other 5 – Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow. Yes Scotland doesn’t have that many cities!

8. I don’t like chocolate! Love the smell, hate the taste and have done since I was a kid.

9. I have been to the top of (or as high as they will allow!) the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Breathtaking.

10. My maiden name is Hicks.

11. My favourite band in the whole world is Iron Maiden! However I do have a very eclectic taste and like all kinds of music. Most are surprised when they find out I like heavy metal though!

 

11 Questions from Maggie

1. If you worked in a typical school cafeteria, how would you “healthify” the menu?

–          I would take away all ‘processed’, unhealthy, sugar filled products and replace them with local, seasonal, real food. But it cannot stop in the cafeteria, kids must be taught in class as to why real foods are the way to go, why it is good for them, where it came from and be more hands on with food. Maybe get 1 class per week to work with cafeteria workers on prepping and cooking one of the meals for lunchtime.

2. What is your guilty pleasure?

–          I love to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians and Khloe and Lamar! I respect that family so much and think they are great people with great values.

3. If you could pack a suitcase to anywhere right now, what would you pack and where would you go?

–          I am torn by this question! Either the Middle East (Oman or UAE) or the deep south USA – especially Tennessee! Essential packing however – David, my Birkenstocks, sun cream, travel books and research notes (I never travel without doing my research first – don’t want to miss out on anything!).

4. Have you ever lived in another country? Where and for how long?

–          I was born in England and brought up in Scotland, does that count?

5. What’s your least favorite household chore?

–          I don’t mind vacuum cleaning but I hate emptying the vacuum cleaner! Dusty mess!

6. What are your 5 must-have foods?

–          Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I only get to pick 5! Ok, the first one is easy, Greek yoghurt, to be precise, Total 0% Greek yoghurt. Has to be the best and could not imagine this joy not being in my life. Second would be dates. They truly are amazing and I fell in love with them when I went to Oman. I can totally see why the Bedouins could live on these bad boys. Following closely on from that would be prunes (or dried plums depending on where you are from) – I have them every day for my mid afternoon snack. Partly for some extra fiber, mostly because I love them and have never grown tired of them. Fourth would be almond butter – seriously is there anything in the world that couldn’t be made better with a bit of almond butter on top?! Finally, rounding off the top five it would be eggs, you can do so many nutritious meals with them, the list is never ending. I truly wonder food!

7. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

–          The ability to tan. I have my Mums Scottish ‘pasty white’ genes and it sucks!

8. If you could go back to any age and relive it, which age would you choose and why?

–          Nope I would never go back, only forwards. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t experienced both the good and the bad of the past and I wouldn’t risk altering that.

9. Who’s your favorite Disney princess?

–          I think it would have to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I love her desire and thirst for knowledge, how she takes care of her father and how she could see past the Beast’s façade into his soul and thus fall in love. Aww, makes me want to watch the film again! Although Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty would be a close second!

10. If you were forced to survive on a desert island, who would you bring with you and why?

–          My husband David. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere without him. He is my husband, best friend and soul mate all rolled into one.

11. What is one of your biggest regrets?

–          Not learning to drive when I was 17. I didn’t have the money at that age for lessons and even if I did pass I wouldn’t have been able to afford a car so didn’t see the point. Now it is a major bummer not having a license but I am learning and hopefully will pass my test soon. Watch this space!

 

My 11 nominated bloggers…

I must admit, as I am pretty new to blogging, I don’t have 11 people to nominate. I do however, and would rather acknowledge, 6 of my favourite blogs and bloggers who I love following. Some have over 200 followers and if this is you please see this nomination simply as an acknowledgement that I really love to read your blog and want to spread your word!

1. Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food

2. Melissa @ Adventures in Eating Real Food

3. Lauren @ I had a Big Lunch

4. Miranda @ Miranda Runs

5. Nicole @ FruitNFitness

6. Karen @ Runner Girl Eats

 

11 questions for my bloggers to answer

  1. What is your favourite herb or spice?
  2. Do you have any irrational fears?
  3. What is your favourite food and drink to have for breakfast? (My favourite meal of the day!)
  4. Where in the world do you feel your happiest?
  5. What 3 songs would feature on your road trip mix tape? (Mix tape… old school!)
  6. If you were the leader of your country for one hour, what one law would you pass?
  7. What animal best represents you?
  8. What is your favourite holiday?
  9. Which famous person do you most admire?
  10. What gadget could you not live without?

And something completely random to finish off…

11. What is your favourite orange thing? (Orange being my favourite colour!).

 

Enjoy everyone! Readers please feel free to answer some of these questions too; I would love to know some of your answers.

And thanks again to Maggie for the nomination; this has been so much fun to do!

Crossfit – On-Ramp – Blogging News!

misc exercises

Hi all,

Final session of Crossfit for the week and this session focused on Miscellaneous Exercises. And oh boy was it tougher than I imagined.

We began with double unders – basically skipping with the rope passing under your feet twice per jump. Now I can skip, that’s no problem, but this will be a challenge. Again, I don’t think the coach expected anyone to get it right first time or within this session but I just can’t seem to get to grips with it, only making 1 rep the entire time we practiced! More practice on jumping higher me thinks!

We then went on to pull ups. We began by seeing if we could simply hold on to the bar for a minute. Sounds easy? It’s not! The longest minute of my life! I did however; manage to hold on for the entire time, that was the plus point. The negative? My upper arms felt like they were going to explode!

We then had to try doing taps – moving the body to develop a swing on the bar. This then stems into a bigger swing and then a kipping pull up (eventually). Who knows when I will get to this point! Even when trying the pull up with a band (using as a spring) I couldn’t do it. When you have very little upper body strength, the ability to pull yourself up is lost. I think I will need some serious muscle strength before I can even imagine being able to do this. But I will keep trying at it.

(Again please google terms like ‘kipping’ for more info).

Then we moved on to a move that was more familiar, thrusters. This is where you have a barbell and you move from a front squat to a full lockout overhead. As with all bar moves, these can be tailored to what I can realistically lift so I was a lot happier when these came around, after spending most of the session not being able to do things.

I think, from what I have said above, most Crossfitters could take a guess as to what our WOD was. And oh boy did I dread reading those 4 menacing letters – FRAN!

From what I had read in blogs etc about Crossfit, this is the WOD that is feared the most and one of the most challenging. Not a great start to be worrying about it before I even began.

WOD – ‘Fran’

21-15-9 reps

Pull Ups (or pull ups with gym rings in our case as we hadn’t mastered a pull up)

Thrusters

Luckily our coach saw how intimidated we all were by the prospect and allowed us to do a team Fran in pairs. So I matched up with David.

Overall, it was ok. The pull ups were a beast and it definitely showed me currently how weak my arms are. Emphasis on CURRENTLY (!). But I really enjoyed the thrusters and really felt like my technique was good. David even mentioned that they looked fab so I was so pleased with that. So the WOD really was both enjoyable and hellish at the same time!

As our techniques really need improving and David and I feel like we would like to hone in on our skills before we join the ‘real’ Crossfitters, we will be doing another 2 weeks of On-Ramp, something which we are both quite pleased about. Yes 2 more weeks won’t make us perfect, but we will gain more practice in the core and as a result should benefit. It also means we get a bit more solo time with the coach who can see where we need more work and hopefully help us to focus our attention on those areas.

Stepping away from the theme of Crossfit for now… I have some big blogging news!

I will be spending the next few days working on a post on the subject and all will be revealed shortly. So excited, it made my week!