Crossfit – Energise!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are well and are looking forward to the weekend. For those celebrating yesterday, hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Also hope you are enjoying Black Friday- so very jealous that you have this big day! Hello, shopping, major sales, win win! Black Friday is coming over here in some shape or form, especially through Amazon. Although nothing like what America has, maybe one day! If I hope and pray…!

Anyway, just a wee post to recap Crossfit from yesterday. Not got much time to write as David and I have been preparing for my parents coming this weekend – so excited!

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Yesterday morning’s session was taken by one of my fellow Crossfitters at our box, Elizabeth. Coach is on holiday having a well deserved break but Elizabeth is definitely experienced and qualified enough to run a WOD.

We started with a block run/ row for me and then moved on to some mobility for the glutes. Bring on the burn! Good to get stretched out though (did some more mobility this morning, that was a major killer, I had to use all my willpower to stay in the stretch without having a coach to force me!).

Then it was on to front squats – 80% of our 1RM 8 rounds of 4 reps. I was really pleased as last time I tackled this same task one month ago I did 20kg. My last round yesterday was 25kg – brilliant! An increase of a quarter, bring on the strength!

The main WOD was as follows

5 rounds for time

5 squat cleans

10 press ups

It was a really energising WOD actually. I was super pumped afterwards!

I was only able to lift 10kg for my squat cleans, however, a) I have never done squat cleans in a WOD before and b) I have never been able to properly do squat cleans! So to tackle it on this scale and achieve it was fantastic – happy Jen! And then the press ups, well, were just press ups!

Good WOD! Progress made, strength gained!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Giving Thanks!

Hi all,

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I know we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, but I really do love the meaning and ethos behind the holiday. Getting together with friends and family, having a meal, a celebration, all to embrace ‘Being Thankful’. Whether that be thankful for each other, thankful for what we have achieved, thankful for what we have in our lives, the list is endless. So to celebrate, I thought I would do my own wee list of what I personally am thankful for this year.

I am thankful for… my husband David

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–          David is my rock. My husband and best friend all rolled into one and I thank my lucky stars every day that he is a part of my life. He gives me strength and courage, brings me happiness and joy and lights my way through life. Being a part of our ‘team’ means everything to me.

I am thankful for… my parents

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–          I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have parents like mine. They have guided me through most of my life and their support and faith in me is never-ending. I admire them so much and look to them for guidance. We are such a close family and along with my brother Paul, we tell each other everything, are shoulders to cry on and can make each other laugh without hesitation! David has become a major part of this family unit and I love how much we are all friends as well as family.

I am thankful for… my health

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–          I have had a few health battles over the past few years. However, I am on the road to recovery now, major style! Any battles have now been fought and I love how I feel in myself. I love my lifestyle – food, fitness, work and simply enjoying life. I especially love how much of a positive impact Crossfit has made in my life (and David’s too). Crossfit has given me the ability to get stronger, both physically and mentally and it simply just rocks!

I am thankful for… opportunities

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–          This year has been a crazy year for David and I. We left what we thought would be our forever home in Inverness and relocated to Glasgow, a very brave decision. However we both realised that Inverness simply wasn’t what we wanted anymore and that our priorities and desires in life had changed. David was given such a fantastic job opportunity and loves every minute of it. I was given the opportunity to really assess what I wanted to do in life, never having really done that since leaving university. I decided to grasp the opportunity to write and here I am, 4 months on and loving it more and more each day. Writing has given me the opportunity to meet all of you too! And I am so thankful for the support the online community has given me in enabling me to follow this dream. Having the opportunity to live in Glasgow itself is also wonderful and we love everything about the city, all we have explored and all we are still yet to explore! The main thing I have learned from this year is to not be afraid, go for it! Grasp that opportunity with both hands and if one doesn’t exist yet, find it!

Enjoy your day everyone! It certainly is a day for smiles, laughs, celebrations and togetherness.

I am quite excited as I am heading off to my local Whole Foods tonight after being invited to their ‘Birthday Bash’! Lots of foodie fun to look forward to – will recap on Monday!

New Recipe – Aubergine (Eggplant) and Red Cabbage Casserole!

Hi all,

Happy Hump Day! Although I know for many, it’s actually the beginning of a massive celebration so will reword it to Happy Turkey – Eve!

I thought I would share another recipe with you all, another one that David and I love that we have tweaked and perfected over the past few months – Aubergine (Eggplant) and Red Cabbage Casserole!

Warming, rich, so full of flavour and easy to make too, it makes the perfect winter meal, with a lovely Middle Eastern twist! Brilliant as a main meal for two or as a side dish along with some meat for four.

Aubergine (Eggplant) and Red Cabbage Casserole

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Ingredients (serves 2)

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

125g mushrooms (halved)

1 aubergine (Eggplant) – (chopped into chunks)

1 small red cabbage (halved, quartered and then sliced)

1 tsp paprika

10ml pomegranate molasses

½ tbsp of Dijon mustard

100ml of stock (veg or chicken)

½ tsp tomato puree

15ml cider vinegar

Method

–          Sautee red cabbage for a few minutes, just until the harder stems soften slightly. Set aside.

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–          Slice onions and chop garlic. Sautee until brown and soft.

–          Add mushrooms and aubergine and cook until aubergine is starting to brown.

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–          Stir in paprika, molassed, mustard, stock, puree and cider viegar and mix until veg is fully coated.

–          Bring to a boil (there won’t be much liquid – don’t worry!)

–          Transfer to a casserole dish, with a lid, that has been heated up in the oven

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–          Bake for 45 minutes, stir half way.

–          Enjoy!

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Tips

–          It really is worth trying to hunt down pomegranate molasses, it brings such an amazing flavour to this dish. Also, as a natural sugar, it can be used in so many other ways! Mix with minced garlic, pepper and greek yoghurt for the most incredible dip!

–          As mentioned above, perfect as a main meal on its own or as a side. Would be delish with steak or pork chops. Or you could even add some chicken or pork to the pot before putting it in the oven and letting it cook with the veggies.

–          Try leftovers with eggs for breakfast!

As always, thanks to Jen over at @Peasandcrayons for the WIAW link up!

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Crossfit – Does anyone enjoy a thruster?!

wods and all

Hi all,

Time for a recap of yesterday morning’s Crossfit! Not as cold as last week, thank goodness, but instead masses of fog on the way – very eerie to see the city in darkness, covered in this blanket with just the street lights to guide you. Eerie but kind of cool too!

Anyway we arrived and went straight into our warm up – 5 rounds of 10 ab mat sit ups followed by 20 Russian kettle bells swings. Good fun and great to get the heart pumping – I love those KB swings!

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Then the treat of the day (not!), some shoulder mobility. Both David and I struggle with our shoulders and have massive amounts of knots in them that we are trying to release. This means pain! Coach had some new exercises for us (and has emailed us some more, thanks coach!) to try and work on these specific areas. This, along with my lower back, needs some work, but the more I do it, the better Crossfitter I will be.

We then moved on to working on our push presses, with a formation of 5-5-5-3-3-3-3-1-1-1-1-1, working up to our max weight. Previously I had done 17.5kg for my 5 RM but had yet to work on a 1RM. Push presses are tough! I struggle to find that ‘drive’ in my hips needed to thrust the bar up and to use the power in my hips rather than arms. Right now my ‘drive’ gets me about half way and my arms have to do the rest of the work, not great. More mobility exercises should be the key though and just watching others and there technique too. It’s amazing how much you can learn from watching others at Crossfit. I managed to work up to 22kg as my 1RM and I was very pleased with that.

The main WOD for the day consisted of

7 rounds for time (time cap of 15 minutes)

10 hand release push ups

15 air squats

10 thrusters

Oh the evil thrusters! Everyone was dreading them! I still need a low weight on them so I went with the 7.5kg bar and training wheels. I only just finished at a time of 14 minutes, 23 seconds and I was the only one in the session to finish. Yes my bar was heavily scaled down and therefore the thrusters were more achievable but I was still very pleased and chuffed to finish within the time cap. Previously even just the ‘arm dependant’ combo of push ups and thrusters would have been very difficult for me to get through.

Have made a note to try 10kg next time on the thruster bar though, hopefully it won’t come around too soon…!

Oh and please see below a picture of David during the WOD doing his thrusters. 25kg – GO DAVID!

david WOD

Thanks to coach for the picture! 🙂

http://www.omnipotentcrossfit.com/2013/11/25/wod-261113/

Holiday Recap – Foodie Treats!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and had a fun and fabulous weekend! Although I adore my weekends (David time!), there is just something extra special about the weekends in the run up to Christmas. That ‘festive feeling’ surrounds the air, everyone is cheerful, the weather gets that wee bit colder and as a result we all have that rosy glow on our cheeks and noses as red as Rudolph! Nothing a good ‘red cup’ won’t fix though!

Today I thought I would share with you some of the foodie delights I was able to sample while David and I were away on our mini break last week. The local produce in Dumfries and Galloway is incredible and varied. From fruit and vegetables to meat, seafood and dairy, the variation and availability of this seasons offering was fantastic.  It was so nice to see that these treats were kept in the county itself for its people to purchase. I used to get so sad in the Highlands to see our local produce shipped away with no opportunity to buy. Let’s treasure what is on our doorstep people!

Some of what is below was bought beforehand and brought with us, others while in the area. But our main focus, as always, was good honest local produce, whether that be Glasgow or Dumfries and Galloway. I have a funny feeling writing this post is going to make me feel very hungry!

The day before we left we made a trip to our local Whole Foods and supermarket to pick up supplies. It looks like quite a lot (and there was more in the fridge!), but it was all essential, tasty good foods and, believe it or not, we didn’t end up taking much home!

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When we arrived at the cottage we chilled out and then began making our dinner, roast chicken with ratatouille and salad. Our chicken was from Whole Foods and was simply divine! The trick is to roast the chicken over the ratatouille ingredients in the oven, that way all the juices and flavours from the chicken go into the sauce. It was yummy and provided us with leftovers for later on in the week too, score!

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Monday began with a chilled out breakfast of pumpkin pancakes and lots of coffee! Whole Foods have delicious organic coffee which you can grind fresh in store and it certainly picks you up for the rest of the day! Our pumpkin pancakes were so good, made with local eggs and lots of love!

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While we were out and about on Monday, we made a stop to the Loch Arthur Creamery. The creamery (local dairy) have a beautiful, purpose built farm shop which doubles up as a coffee shop and organic/ fair trade food and other goods store. We spent ages looking around and enjoying viewing all the local fruit and veg, meat, dairy products and other local produce. It was also great to see a lot of items normally only found in ‘health food’ stores or Whole Foods.

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The stars of the show, and rightly so, were its dairy products. The cheeses were all unpasteurised (yay!) and David and I stocked up on some mature cheddar and criffel. I think I am going to have to ration the criffel, it’s so good I don’t want it to run out! We also picked up some natural yogurt which was so fresh and tart. Would be perfect for cooking. In terms of the fruit and veg, I wanted everything! However we restrained ourselves and went for some British apples (still on my quest to try as many varieties as possible!) and found two we hadn’t tried before – the red pippin and limelight. Both so good! Other items purchased was some 100% pear juice and a small bottle of Frobisher’s Bumbleberry– a yummy drink combining strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blackcurrant puree with water and fruit extract. Great British product, fab ingredients, amazing flavour! Can’t wait to try and locate these juices back in Glasgow.

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The day was rounded off with some slow cooking in the kitchen. We made slow braised beef cheeks – following a recipe by Gordon Ramsay. Oh boy was it delicious. I have never had beef so tender before, a combination of the slow cook and the fantastic produce itself – beef cheeks purchased from Whole Foods. We served ours over a bed of sautéed red cabbage and added carrots to the sauce (our only adaptations to the recipe), it was perfect. We savoured every mouthful. It was that good, we are hoping to make it again on Boxing Day for my parents. I know they will love it. Never tried beef cheeks before? Give it a go, I promise you will not be disappointed!

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The following day we made another foodie pit stop at the Galloway Smokehouse.

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I love smoked foods and this particular smokehouse had everything I could possibly imagine and want! In fact I wanted to buy it all! We were very impressed with what we did purchase though. The smoked mackerel made the perfect dinner  that evening, served with roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. We also picked up a smoked chicken leg which had the most incredible flavour to it and combined with the Loch Arthur mature cheddar made an amazing omelette for breakfast. The final item we picked up was a couple of smoked hard boiled eggs, unusual but again tasted great! Would travel miles and miles to shop here! Next time I will bring a cool bag and stock up!

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There were other delights along the way during this trip. Local stores and coffee shops in Kircudbright and Castle Douglas had everything we could have wanted and more in terms of local, fresh, foodie delights. Castle Douglas has even been named the ‘Food Town’ of Dumfries and Galloway and it certainly lived up to its reputation. But then again, the whole county did! Will be back to explore more very soon I am sure!

Crossfit – On a very cold morning…!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are well and everyone is happy that it is Friday again! Woop Woop!

This Friday has come around even sooner with being away for most of the week on holiday, don’t holiday weeks just fly by so fast!

Anyway, back to Crossfit this morning for the 6.30am session, recap time!

First of all everyone at Crossfit this morning deserves a medal for actually getting out of bed and turning up – we have a major cold snap here at the moment and it was -3 degrees Celsius (26 degrees Fahrenheit)  when we got in the car, so very cold! As you can imagine we were very keen to warm up straight away, feeling like a bunch of sleepy ice poles!

The warm up was great actually, really enjoyed it. We did 5 rounds of 10 russian kettle bell swings, 10 swing to cleans and 10 air squats (without the bell). It gave a good stretch to both our legs and arms and got the blood pumping round which really was the main thing!

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Then we moved on to some hip mobility exercises. After a week away from Crossfit I really noticed the burn – even though I did yoga on Sunday and some foam rolling yesterday! Good to get those muscles really warmed up and stretched though, the cold air was trying to tense them up again! The more mobility I do the more I notice a difference in my performance during many aspects of Crossfit and I know David feels the same too. Really glad that our coach places such an emphasis on it, shows that he really places our bodies and their protection as a priority.

After that came 10 rounds of 5 hang squat snatches. We didn’t do them EMOM as on the board but instead did them in pairs. I am still getting to grips with this technique, I’m glad coach says it’s one of the hardest ones to grasp! I ended up doing a power snatch and then going down into an overhead squat from that, simply to break down the move a bit and try to hone on my technique. The last time I did overhead squats I had to do it with a PVC pipe and slide very light weights on to it, I couldn’t get the technique right with a barbell due to the weight. This time, 7.5kg barbell all the way! My technique still needs work but I am getting there which is the main thing. Progress!

Even more impressive was the fact that I managed to use the barbell following through into the WOD.

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Overhead squats

Box Jumps (step ups for me)

It was tough and I felt the weight completely in the squats. Making sure I kept my weight in my heels though really helped and took me through each round. I only had to rest a couple of times during the 15 and 12 set of overhead squats when my arms just needed a break. The step ups were very welcome though, my arms enjoyed their minimal use during it!

I finished in a time of 6 minutes and 43 seconds. Very pleased with that. Also gave me a chance to watch David complete his box jumps, gosh he is getting good at those – jumping the full 30 inches! I just don’t know how he does it, but I love watching him do it!

Happy weekend everyone!

Holiday Snaps!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and your week has been fantastic!

That’s me back from my holidays and David and I had such a wonderful time, everything we could have wanted and more! Relaxing, tranquil, peaceful and so very beautiful!

So, I thought today I would share some pictures from our holidays! Some of our favourite views, places and memories.

Next week I will do a bit more of a holiday recap, but for now I hope you enjoy our sights and snaps!

Our View…!

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Sunday Night Fire

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Flame Boy!

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Our home from home

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Love this picture of the two of us <3

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The stars! It was so clear that night!

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The most incredible dinner… uber yum!

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On a cold and frosty morning…

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Breakfast time!

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The Wickerman!

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One of our favourite places on the trip – Kirkcudbright

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David enjoying a hot chocolate and wee chocolate treat in Kirkcudbright

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The most amazing, smokehouse! Wish we had this near by!

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The view from The Glen of the Bar – wow!

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Marshmallow Fun!

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Coffee time in Castle Douglas – another fab place!

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The view on the way home, breathtaking – the whole area really was! 

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New Recipe – Zucchini Patties!

Hi all,

As promised, here is my recipe for Zucchini (Courgette) Patties!

The best thing about these patties? They can be made in advance and are suitable for breakfast lunch or dinner. Combine that with the fact that they can be either sweet or savoury and the fact that they are easy, quick and cheap to create makes them a winner winner in my book!

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20140429 - What I Ate Wednesday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients (makes 4 patties)

2 large zucchini (courgette)

4 spring onions (scallions)

2 eggs

Pepper

Coconut oil

Method

  • Grate the zucchini in a food processor or by hand (I find a processor makes for a smaller grate and they stick together better)
  • Place the grated zucchini on a couple of sheets of kitchen towel and squeeze to release any water
  • Finely chop the spring onions
  • Add the zucchini and spring onions to the bowl with the eggs and pepper (no salt as it makes the courgettes watery). Mix to combine together.
  • Heat the oil in the pan. When hot use your hands to make the mix into 4 patties, spread out in the pan and press down. Flip when one side is coloured. They will take about 5 minutes each side.
  • Eat and enjoy!
  • Or if making them in advance, place on cooling rack and let them dry out at the side. Eat cold or, if heating them up, place them until a grill or back in the pan to crisp up.

Tips

Your pairing options are endless with these patties. Here are some of your options:

  • With any meat (steak, chicken, sausages, bacon etc) or fish (smoked, poached, tinned)
  • Eggs
  • Apple sauce
  • Leftover’s – chilli, marinara sauce etc
  • Maple syrup, banana and nuts

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You could also put 2 together as a ‘bun’ with a filling as a grab and go breakfast or lunch. They are tasty cold too.

Enjoy!

Breakfast Time!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and have had a fantastic weekend!

I am currently away on a wee holiday with my wonderful husband, so right now I hope I am chilling out, snuggled up in a lovely cottage in front of a log fire! (Daydreaming about this while writing it on Friday afternoon…!).

I thought I would write a post about our breakfasts. As I have mentioned previously, both David and I have been trying to get away from grains but were struggling to end our dependence on cereal in the morning! But we have succeeded and it was so much easier than expected, mostly because our new breakfasts are so tasty – cereal just can’t compete!

The only grain we have once a week is oats. However this is at least gluten and wheat free and we have found that it doesn’t have an impact on our stomachs/digestion like other grains do. Therefore it was a keeper!

I hope you enjoy the pictures below of my new breakfasts. Some of them are simple, others have an easy, quick recipe to them and I will share these with you over the next wee while. Hopefully it will give you some new ideas even just to spruce up your morning fuel choice – after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Good old Banana ScrambleClick for link to recipe

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–          Will always be a favourite of ours. Quick and easy, bulk up or down, eat hot or cold.

Eggs with Sausages/ Bacon – side of apple purée

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–          Classic match made in heaven. Do try the sausage/egg/apple combo, it’s so good!

Zucchini Patties

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–          So versatile and can be matched with anything, sweet or savoury. In the picture we have it will cottage cheese and apple. Recipe and other ideas on what to have with them to be posted later on this week.

Eggs with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

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–          I have had this both with scrambled eggs at the side and scrambled eggs mixed through it. Both were delicious but I think I preferred it mixed through, spreading the flavour.

Oats

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–          As I mentioned above, David and I do have oats once or sometimes twice a week. We cook the oats in the microwave with water, and then make our additions. My favourite at the moment is a ripe, mashed banana mixed through the oats, with some chopped dates at the side.  We also tried overnight oats the other day, what a hit!

Pumpkin Pancakes

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–          Ok, so David and I technically had these for the first time at dinner on his birthday, but we are having them for breakfast next week on holiday. They would be perfect morning fuel and would keep you going until lunch for sure.

Eggs with Red Cabbage and Chicken

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–          Oh boy was this fantastic – the colours of the red cabbage made it look so appetising and the hint of spice throughout it all, fantastic. Recipe to come soon, promise!

Granolaclick for link to recipe

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–          Made with oats and using a microwave, it was easy to whip this up in a morning and serve with Greek yoghurt.

Of course then there are the many many egg options you could go for – especially with omelettes and scrambles. Just use whatever veggies/ meat you have lying around. Add cheese, salsa or just some seasoning/ herbs/ spices to make it your own. The list for them would be endless!

Will keep you all posted on our breakfast journey and if we have any new creations I will let you know!

What are your favourite breakfasts?

Crossfit – Deadlifts and Burpees!

Hi all,

Yay it’s Friday!

I cannot wait for the weekend, firstly because it’s the weekend and secondly because David and I head off on a wee holiday on Sunday! Not going too far away – a nice wee cottage with a real fire, some quiet time, good company, wine and food! So excited!

But do not fear, I have been writing away to get some blog posts ready to rock for when I am away so will still have some content for you all!

wods and all

But now time to recap yesterdays Crossfit – another morning session – loving the early get up and go mornings! Seriously!

We began with a little tabata warm up of double unders and air squats. Good to get the heart pumping, still no luck on the unders!

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Then we moved on to some front rack mobility – I honestly didn’t realise how tense and knotted I was around here! So good to stretch out these areas though as I can now see why I struggle to keep my elbows up during front rack moves, my muscles just aren’t flexible enough. Will get there though, more stretching!

After that was 6 rounds of 6 rep front squats, at 70% of our 1 RM. My 1RM, was 30kg so I went for 20kg. It was tough but good fun! Keeping those elbows up is my main problem but as we went through the reps my technique definitely improved. Often it was only my last rep that I let my elbows slip (getting tired) but I just need to focus so I don’t let them drop. Also I need to remember to get my feet in the correct position. I have been bringing them a bit too close together recently. Glad to have David watching over me while I was doing them so he noticed, really helped me out.

The main WOD was really good but tough for all as coach really wanted us to look at upping our weights. It was a ladder WOD

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Deadlifts

Bar hopping burpees

I began with 30kg on my bar but had to go down to 25kg after 9 reps as my technique was suffering on my deadlifts. I wasn’t able to keep my spinal curvature in the correct position while lifting at that heavier weight and the last thing coach wanted was for me to have an injury. 25kg was a better weight for now.

And just when you thought burpees couldn’t get worse, here comes bar hopping burpees! A killer on the arms after front squats but I did them. Still on the hope that one day I will fall in love with them…!

Then we all finished with some foam rolling on the back – a lot of cracking and popping going on but it felt so good releasing it all!