Thanksgiving – The Brits View!

Hi all,

To those celebrating, ‘Happy Thanksgiving’! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, to us Brits, it is an unknown tradition. Our perceptions, or ‘stereotypes’ if you will, of the day are probably to most Americans hilarious!

We don’t get taught about it, it isn’t really spoken about and unless you know an American, you probably only have an imagined view of the day. So what do us Brits really think happens at Thanksgiving and believe it is all about?…

Pilgrims, Indians and Turkeys

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Most of us have an idea that the ‘Thanksgiving story’ involves these three things, but to what extent is unclear. If you do know what it is about, then it’s probably based on the principals viewed at the show they perform at camp on ‘Adams Family Values’ – Pugsley dressed as a turkey singing ‘eat me’ gets me every time!

Everyone eats Turkey

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Is this one true? Well from what I have learned in the blogsphere, yes and no. Most serve turkey but it may not be their preference. But what do you then eat at Christmas one month later? More turkey? Don’t you get tired of it? (I wouldn’t, I love turkey and creating meals with the leftovers is the best bit!)

You all begin your day with watching the parade on TV.

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From what I can recall, is it the Macy’s parade? Us Brits can only look on in wonder at this spectacle, we have nothing like it. I can only imagine how festive it makes you feel and I can remember when I first saw a clip on TV, it was a Bart Simpson balloon the size of a house going down this street… so cool! Does everyone love it?

You watch football then go and play football outside like in Friends.

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Yep most Brits will only have experienced Thanksgiving by the wonder that is Friends. In fact the Thanksgiving episode always ends up being at the top of everyone’s favourite episode list. Is it because the whole day is so alien to Brits? And then there is trying to understand the game? (well I count myself out of this one as I do actually love American Football!). But it just looks like so much fun!  All I know is that every time I cook turkey I find myself saying ’42 to 21, like the turkey Ross is done!’

What on earth are yams and tater tots?

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If yams are sweet potatoes then why are they called yams? And tater tots…???

You eat vegetables for desert and put desert into main dishes.

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Pumpkin pie – now I use pumpkin in my sweet dishes but oh boy do I get funny looks over here! You will not believe how hard it was to get my Dad to try pumpkin pancakes! (But he LOVES them!)

And marshmallows on sweet potatoes… you will never see that over here. Never mind serving it with turkey and vegetables! People here are still trying to grasp the concept of bacon and maple syrup!

You end the celebration with a whole day of crazy discount shopping.

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Black Friday is the one concept that has actually been embraced by the UK. I for one will be checking out a few online stores tomorrow for deals. But unfortunately, most don’t have the day off so a bit of sneaky online shopping may have to be done while at the office! We do however hear stories every year of stampedes in America to get into certain department stores when opening. Is this actually common?

And finally…

You are blessed with a day surrounded by family and friends to be thankful for your life and the people in it.

And for that we will be eternally looking stateside in awe.

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Be thankful today, tomorrow and always wherever you may be in the world.

Love to all – J x

Linking up with Amanda over @RunningwithSpoons for ‘Thinking Out Loud’

Do you celebrate thanksgiving? Americans, please confirm or deny the above!

If you don’t celebrate, what are your depictions of the day?

What are you thankful for?

Topolabamba Review!

Hi all,

Just over a week ago David and I headed to a new Mexican restaurant in Glasgow called ‘Topolabamba’ (isn’t that an awesome name!?).

We had heard some good things about it and were keen to try. Here is my review!

Friendly staff, awesome music and a comfortable funky, laid back surrounding greeted us as we went in. I love getting good vibes like this from a place.

We were left to decide on our drinks (margaritas of course!) along with the food menu – served small dish style – so David and I went for 6 dishes to share.

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What jumped out the most to us both was the amount of gluten free options, well to be honest, Mexican food really is naturally gluten free! Rather than the menu pointing out GF options instead it was the other way around – pointing out the odd few that were not GF (and they didn’t really appeal anyway!).

So what did we eat and how was it?            

Below are our choices (sorry for the dark pics!) and we were not disappointed by any of them, we literally savoured every bite and for foodies like us, this was heaven. They were not afraid of flavour and every dish had its own unique taste and qualities.

Fundido – Cheese fondue with red peppers and chorizo. And AMAZING corn chips!

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Pork Tostada

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Pescado Empapelado – Baked fish with chilli red mole

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Tacos Barbacao

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Squid Morongo – Squid stuffed with pork, black pudding, chorizo and Guajillo chilli sauce (I wanted that sauce on everything!) *This dish was my favourite!*

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Tostada Shrimp

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Topolabamba is definitely high on our list of the best restaurants in Glasgow and I would recommend to anyone, especially those who want some special Paleo/Primal/ gluten free foods. I know we will be back soon, and really want to try their tequila tasting boards, a spirit I am quite new to but love!

Linking up with Jenn over @PeasandCrayons for some WIAW foodie love!

Do you like Mexican food?

Favourite dish?

Are you a straight tequila or margarita person?

CrossFit – You wanna know the truth? I’ll tell you the truth!

Hi all,

First off, if anyone can name the song from my title, I will love you forever!!

Secondly – how are you all? Have a fab weekend? I had the most amazing time Christmas shopping in Glasgow with my Mum, Dad and David – really such great fun – we act like a gang of friends! Good times and good memories!

But today, is CrossFit day – recapping all the joys from last week – feel the burn!

Monday Morning (17th)

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After warming up and mobbin’ out we moved on to snatch balance. We haven’t done too many of these but I was glad to revisit them. Snatches are hard and I find them so tricky to master. I know exactly what I should be doing but that never seems to actually fall through in my technique! So snatch balance is a good way of getting used to the speed of going up with the bar (from behind the neck) whist also getting down into a below parallel squat. After 2 of these the overhead squat seemed like a doddle!

I only reached a weight of 12.5kg with this but it’s new and you know my motto – do it light and do it right!

The push press was from the rack and I got a new 5RM of 25kg! Woop woop! More PR’s!

The final WOD was a doozer – block run (500m) ok in the first round but running after doing 50 air squats – legs like lead! We had a time cap of 12 mins 30 secs and I got a total of 2 rounds plus 17 air squats – so close!

Tuesday Morning (18th)

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First warm up fine – double under practice always good. Second one – urgh! I am getting closer to a handstand with my wall walks (I can actually move my hands now) but not there yet. And the rings, fine for round one and then I just wanted to fall – longest 30 seconds ever!

The front squats were tough but good. We had to follow the sequence of 3 seconds down, 3 seconds hold and then 3 seconds up. Coming back up after 3 seconds hold, phew! But pumped after! Worked up to 32.5kg

The 5 rounder was tough for me. I had proved last week that I could do a 30kg clean so went just under for the WOD going for 27.5kg. High knees and skips were fine but getting back on to those cleans and trying to go ‘touch and go’ was a toughie. Finished in 12 mins 17 seconds.

Thursday Morning (20th)

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The barbell technique consisted of using an empty barbell (15kg) and performing the following 5 times with a 5 second hold at each – deadlift, power clean, hang clean (squat), front squat, push press, push jerk, spilt jerk. It’s a great warm up and a good way to focus on technique without weight on the bar. But believe me, it will tire you out!

I like reverse deadlifts  – you basically lift up the bar as usual but take 3 seconds to bring back down, 0 hold at bottom and then power back up. It helps with the ability to ‘touch and go’ with deadlifts. Although I had to laugh – because my legs are so long it took me about 5 or 6 seconds to get down rather than everyone elses 3! Normally a negative but in this case I think it’s a positive! Got up to 50kg with that one.

The snatch WOD was hard (see above with me and snatches). So I went for 20kg and did a power snatch then front squat rather than full snatch. I used plates to build up my ‘box’ but was delighted when I measured it afterwards and saw it was 20 inches, a first! I finished in 9 minutes 59 seconds. David on the other hand bust up his leg on a box jump #scarsaresexy

Friday Morning (21st)

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The two sets of 4 rounders are not fun. Enough said. Anything that involves 60 burpees at 6.30am is not fun!

2RM back squats… at 90% of 1RM… for 10 rounds…

My 90% 1RM is 45kg. Now up until last week that was my 1RM! It was going to be spicy. And that it was! Spicy, tough, powerful and challenging. And loved every moment!

I was toast after those back squats and my quads were on fire! The jumping pull ups were fine but urgh more burpees! My body decided enough was enough on round 8 – the buzzer went beep just as I stood up on my 8th to burpee overhead. I was happy to admit defeat! Haha!

Awesome way to begin the weekend.

And now my recap has ended I am thinking about the weekend already! Ha!

Have you ever done anything that was so hard to do but felt amazing afterwards?

Tell me, how can anyone love burpees?

Barbells or body weight movements – what’s your favourite?

Thinking Out Loud!

Hi all,

Holla for Thursday!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Back to the good ole traditional ‘Thinking Out Loud’ this week, just literally ‘Thinking Oot’ as we would say in Scotland- linking up with my ‘wish you could come and visit me in Scotland’ buddy Amanda over @RunningwithSpoons!

Christmas Movies

Muppet_christmas_carol

 

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– Yes David and I are back on our yearly Christmas tradition of seeing how many Christmas movies we can watch before Christmas day! Last year I think we got 12?? Or around that. Pretty poor! But this year we are starting early! We have watched 5 so far! And got some good ones to come – hello Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooged and all 3 Santa Clauses!

 Yogi Tea

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– I have waited all year for this Christmas collection to be available in our main health store here in the UK! And here they are at last! The best teas I have ever found! My favourite is the Choco Chili but had the liquorice mint yesterday and whoa there may be a new contender. They really do feel like a calming, relaxing, meditating force in a cup. Bliss!

 Addicted to Greens

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– My name is Jen and I am addicted to greens! In particular kale! I have kale on average 3 times a week but I think that’s only because David would get sick of it if we had it more often! Leafy greens go with any meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner and yes snack time – hello kale chips! I guess it’s not a bad addiction to have, what the body wants the body gets!

 Mexican!

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– David and I went to a new Mexican restaurant in Glasgow on Friday and we had a blast! The most amazing food and I cannot believe how much of the cuisine is naturally gluten free. Tasty and with clean ingredients – hello! Going to do a review on Wednesday but here is a sneak peak pic (above) of some of our delights… could totally drink a margarita right now! (who’s with me?)

 Muscles

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– This is a miracle cream! The Natural Hero Muscle Rub is ideal for tender, sore muscles after CrossFit and it certainly does the job. It instantly provides a ‘heat’ and you can feel it spreading and soothing the muscle. Great to do this in such a natural way. Both David and I are benefitting.

 On the search for more Clementine’s…

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– Ah seasonal produce. In particular, seasonal fruit – apples, pears, persimmons and citrus fruit and some of my favourites, especially clementines. I could literally sit and eat a whole bag of them in one go! I intend to eat my way through December in a Clementine fashion eating so much vitamin C I will probably create a defensive shield against all coughs, colds and flus! Ha or so I tell myself! These sweet morsels of goodness are only perfect at this time of year. I intend to make the most of it! Dang only got one left…

What is your favourite Christmas movie?

Any addictions right now?

Favourite kind of tea?

Battle Oats Bar Review!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and ready to check out another new product here in the UK!

Battle Oats Bars!

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The folk over at Battle Oats sent me over a couple of their bars to sample and review – so let’s get into it!

Disclaimer – Battle Oats sent me 2 bars to sample. I was not compensated for this review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Their aim? To make a protein bar for us athletes that was

  • GLUTEN FREE
  • MADE WITH REAL BUTTER & COCONUT OIL
  • NO PALM OIL
  • HIGH PROTEIN (22% PER BAR)
  • HIGH FIBRE 8-9G PER BAR
  • PROVIDES SUSTAINED RELEASE OF ENERGY 
  • VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY 
  • GMO FREE

And they delivered! Battle Oats bars were born!

Overall they looked good – like a flapjack only thicker. The texture was also good, crumbly but not too much, just right. Exactly what you want in a bar.

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In terms of taste, yeah they tasted great! Really buttery, quite sweet (if you like that kind of thing) and you did want to keep going back for more. Luckily the bars are huge!

The dark choc chip was my favourite as it had the most flavour. The chocolate stood along with the buttery-ness to make a really satisfying snack!

Lots of positives on the taste and texture test!

All of the above is awesome. To find a gluten free oat bar (and yes I do occasionally have GF oats) that uses butter and coconut oil is fantastic! Big cheer for the healthy fats and the fact that they are being embraced finally.

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However…

When I read the ingredients list there were two things that would put me off buying this bar.

  • Soy protein
  • Glucose syrup

Two things I really do try to avoid. If I am going to buy a high protein product I look for quality whey protein being used over soy. And glucose syrup is a form of processed sugar I also avoid  – maybe they could use a natural source like molasses or honey instead?

So a bit of a mix of thought with this one – but a company definitely heading in the right direction. If you are looking for a new bar and want to check them out, head on over to www.battleoats.com to find out more!

Sharing the bar love today with Jenn over @PeasandCrayons for WIAW! Happy 200th! 

Do you like an oat bar?

Would added protein in a bar tempt you?

CrossFit – PR Week!

Hi all,

PR’s, PB’s, New Records, whatever you like to call them – last week at CrossFit was full of them! I really am feeling the strongest I have ever felt. It may not be as high as your strength, her strength or his strength but it’s my strength – I have earned it and I am proud of it! #BringontheMuscles!

PR’s it sure was full of but it was also some of the hardest workouts I have ever done. Each of my four training days was as hard as the next. So let’s get into it – my CrossFit recap from last week!

Monday Morning (10th)

monday wod

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the warm up was over (I used it as double under practice – update – still no DU!) I was eager but nervous to move on to the front squat 1RM.

I have reached 40kg-ish previously. Butt was not below parallel so I have never let it count – and it shouldn’t! I knew my 1RM was off so I knew I had to concentrate and show myself what I could do. And I did it, a new 1RM of 42.5kg! DING DING PR NUMBER ONE!

The WOD looked complicated but I went to get ready. Box for my jumping pull ups and 25kg on the bar. But Coach was not happy. This was to be a heavy WOD and he felt 25kg was too light for me. He wanted me to do 30kg. I have NEVER cleaned 30kg. I have attempted it several times but with no luck –  my elbows just can’t whip around fast enough.

Can’t and won’t are not good words to have in your mind when you start a WOD. I got on to the cleans and focused. It felt heavy. I felt tired. But I tried and kept on trying. On my 8th clean attempt I did it. I cleaned 30kg! DING DING PR NUMBER TWO!

I was so happy… until I realised I now had to jerk it! WTF! But you know what, I did it and I did it again and again. I was slow but I didn’t care I was cleaning and jerking 30kg! DING DING PR NUMBER THREE!

Towards the end of the second set of 6 clean and jerks I had to go down to 25kg as I couldn’t keep the correct technique but it didn’t matter. I had already proved I could do it. I completed in 33 minutes 37 seconds. Phew!

Tuesday Morning (11th)

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The 11th of November in the UK is Remembrance Day – the day we remember all who have fallen in battle. This year it was even more poignant as it marked 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. Because of this, we did a special remembrance WOD which was meant to be tough.

I did the deadlifts and power cleans at 27.5kg but had to break it down to 25kg for the hang squat cleans (more like power clean to front squat) and push press, I just couldn’t do the heavier weight at 27.5kg.

The real gut renching, difficult, intense and mind blowing part of this WOD though was the 100 burpees. Add in the jump over the bar and it was brutal. But it was meant to be. I finished in 27 minutes 12 seconds. It was over… or so I thought…

The 11th also happens to be David’s birthday. Thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, our Coach found this out at the end of our WOD. So then we had to do ‘Birthday Burpees’ – one for each of his 29 years. 29.more.burpees… there were no words to describe my feelings! (haha!)

Thursday Morning (13th)

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Could barely move all day Wednesday but back with a bang for Thursday! Thank goodness for rest days…

Back squat time… and I did it again… DING DING PR NUMBER FOUR! Back squat 1RM of 50kg!

The AMRAP after words was a chugger. I went with 25kg as I knew how tender I still felt after Monday and Tuesday.

The pull ups (or jumping for me) were an interesting one here. I went with a lower box (or Coach made me I must add) and I actually found them easier! Going lower meant I had to use my shoulders and arms to get up rather than the ‘jump’ from my legs. I could feel the growing strength in my arms and being able to use and engage them felt awesome. Looking forward to trying out some more soon!

Friday Morning (14th)

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I am not a fan of these 4 round warm ups but hey, just got them done!

The clean and jerk EMOM made us all nervous! It had to be a squat clean then jerk – I was worried about actually being able to get deep enough to be a squat clean vs a power clean – but vowed to try!

Well folks… DING DING PR NUMBER FIVE!! A PROPER squat clean at 25kg!

I could have gone up in weight but I knew it wouldn’t have been a true squat clean and also I wanted to work on opening up my shoulders overhead so stuck with 25kg. I was still buzzing though!

The AMRAP was heavy (60kg deadlift) and my arms were sore for the skips. But it was 5 mins, I gave it my all and then it was over!

Wow – 5 PR’s in a week, not bad at all!

Have you PR’d anything recently?

How do you cope with endurance workouts?

Thinking Out Loud – Survey Style!

Hi all,

Hope you are well this ‘Thinking Out Loud’ Thursday! I certainly missed you guys over the last few days, been super busy! But back with a bang today for a survey style edition of TOL!

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This survey has been doing the rounds in the blogging world but looks like so much fun I just had to try it. Also its title ‘I moustache you a few questions’ seems to applicable seen as David is doing Movember this year and currently growing a ‘tash! (Don’t ask my view on it. My answer is always ‘it’s for charity…December will be here before we know it’!).

So here we go!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name

  • Joe (David and I’s pet name for one and other, I will tell you the story behind it another day!)
  • Jeffers (What my mum, Dad and brother call me!)
  • Jeebs (What some of my Auntie and Uncles call me)
  • Hicks! (My maiden name – haven’t been called this in a while!)

Four jobs I have had

DSCF1160– Box Office Assistant (Edinburgh Military Tattoo)

– Property Assistant (One of the National Trust for Scotland Properties – such a fun job!)

– Quality Assurance Administrator (Quality Assurance aka the star rating scheme for hotels, visitor attractions etc)

– Blogger and Health Coach in training! (Eeeek!)

Four movies I have watched more than once (only 4??!!)

  • The Blues Brothers (fav film of all time)
  • The Birdcage (How ‘bout those Dolphins!)
  • Hercules (One of Disneys finest)
  • Scrooged (Hands down best Christmas movie, closely followed by Muppet Christmas Carol!)

Four books I would recommend

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– All the Harry Potters (no explanation needed)

– Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (learned so much about the world from this book)

– Eat the Yolks – Liz Wolf (Liz says it as it is regarding nutrition, in such a fun conversational way)

– Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam – Best. Cookbook. Ever.

Four places I have lived

– Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (where I grew up)

– Dundee, Scotland (where I went to University)

– Edinburgh, Scotland (where David and I lived for a year whilst he finished his degree)

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– Glasgow, Scotland (where I live now!)

Four places I have been

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–  Tennessee, USA (our honeymoon, so special)

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– Abu Dhabi, UAE (most amazing place, so warm and friendly)

– Florence, Italy (stunning and beautiful)

– Muscat, Oman (felt like home)

Four places I have would rather be right now

  • Somewhere hot with David, California or Oman would do nicely!
  • A continental Christmas market
  • Selfridges, London (shopping!!!!)
  • In a sauna… so relaxing!

Four things I don’t eat

  • Processed food and Gluten
  • Fizzy drinks (I know that’s processed but you know what I mean!)
  • Raw fish (cured is fine but raw is a no go after a sushi/alcohol experience!!)
  • Overcooked meat – rare all the way please!

Four of my favourite foods

IMG_0178– Steak and Pig! 

– Eggs

-Nut butters

– Cocktails! Especially rum/bourbon/whiskey ones!

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Four TV shows I watch

Currently…

  • Melissa and Joey
  • MasterChef the Professionals
  • Dallas
  • Bizarre Foods America

Four things I am looking forward to this year

– Christmas Shopping with my parents next week!

– Christmas night out with the folk from my CrossFit Box

– Christmas with David – just the two of us

football 1 –  My post Christmas trip to a luxury hotel with David for a pamper  session!

Four things I am always saying

  • Holy Guacamole
  • You’ll never guess what
  • I was thinking…
  • Bugger!

Four people I am tagging in this survey

… well seen as it is national kindness day I am tagging you all! Why not do the survey yourself or answer some of the questions below, I would love to know your answers!

Big shout out to Amanda over @RunningwithSpoons for the link up!

CrossFit – Another week closer to Christmas!

Hi all,

Another Monday, another week closer to Christmas!

Ok, ok, I know, but I can’t help it! This year everyone just seems to be getting festive just that little bit earlier – and you know what, I don’t mind one bit! So what if it’s not December, lets crack out the festive cheer, Christmas songs, gingerbread coffees and all the other delights! It’s getting everyone smiling, so it can’t be that bad.

(But I do draw the line at decorating my house, that comes from December 1st onwards!)

Today I bring you my CrossFit recap from last week – some soul searching workouts for sure!

Monday Morning (3rd)

monday wod

Monday began with a warm up that felt like a body weight WOD! 4 rounds of 15 jumping jacks, 15 air squats and 15 burpees. Then 4 rounds of 30 sec plank holds, 30 sec superman holds, then 30 sec side plank left, 30 sec side plank right. Urgh!

Turkish get ups – my nemesis! But you know what you do with them? You conquer them! So we have only done TGU’s maybe once or twice before and I could never seem to perfect it. Our lowest kettle bell is 8kg and I think that was why I found it hard, too focused on pressing out the weight never mind the other moves! But this time, a little stronger, I could focus on the movements – and it worked. By the end I had grasped them! Still don’t like them but at least I can do it! Ha!

The WOD I did at 17.5kg – muscle cleans are harder than you think! And also goes against everything I normally do when cleaning! It’s all in the arms! I finished in 12 mins 45 seconds.

Tuesday Morning (4th)

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Warm up –  5 rounds – 1 min of double unders (or DU practice for me!) and 20 air squats.

The front squats were good but maybe a little light. It was supposed to be at 90% of our 1RM which it was, but my 1RM is a bit off. I went with 32.5kg.

The WOD was good and it was good to revisit OHS again, not having done them since the team series. I went with the same weight as then (17.5kg) and certainly felt a lot more comfortable with them. For me, if I remember ‘butt back’ that seems to do the trick!

Thursday Morning (6th)

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Now it was the turn of the back squat. This time the 1RM was more accurate so 90% at 40kg seemed right – and heavy! I felt confident whilst heavy – the right feeling to have!

The WOD was a good one – power snatches are still a tough one to grasp but the more I do of them the better I get. I did them at 20kg and was glad I went with that weight. As I don’t have double unders I had to do x3 skips. Most of the reps I can rack out in one go – super skipper, just suck at DU’s!

Friday Morning (7th)

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We had the joy of Mondays warm up again… if it just didn’t have the burpees and superman’s…!

Thrusters – never anyone’s favourite. But 3 every 30 seconds for 24 intervals – I did not know how this was going to go. I went with 20kg on the bar and completed every round. This people, is not for the faint hearted.

And then to go from that (where we were all exhausted) on to the WOD, phew! But you know what, it really showed us how to endure aka ‘shut up and just do it’. Everything will end. And it did, in 6 minutes 25 seconds!

I’m just tired from revisiting all these workouts again! (and shattered from the one this morning, phew!)

Back on Thursday this week peeps, off to see my Mum on Wednesday so blogging will just have to wait!

Oh and one last thing, can I just say a big Happy Birthday to my husband and best friend David for tomorrow – bring on birthday fun!

Any crazy/ fun workouts this week?

Do you think the festive spirit has come early this year?

Did you do/ would you do anything special for your last birthday in your twenties?

How to Survive Winter!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…WINTER!

Yes ever since our spookily warm Halloween night it has felt more and more like winter in Scotland, some have even seen snow!

So today I thought I would ‘Think Out Loud’ and put together some tips on how to survive winter – Chase the Red Grape style!

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Tip One – Hydrate!

No matter what time of year it is, we always need to remember to hydrate ourselves. This is even more prominent during the winter season. Not only do our internal bodies need the hydration, so does our skin – with constantly moving from the outdoor cold to the indoor warmth – a combo that promotes dry skin!

So keep up with those fluids (water) and remember to moisturise daily – your skin will thank you for it!

Tip Two – Winter Coat!

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A wardrobe essential for this time of year, especially if you live somewhere like Scotland! Look for one that is well lined, waterproof and I always look out for one with a hood – yes you can wear a hat but there is nothing worse than getting caught out in a snow/ hail storm!

My current coat is a jacket that I bought from Hollister (above) last year – it’s perfect, warm and toasty with good long arm length (essential for us tall girls) with a nice big hood. Unfortunately my body has changed so much in the past year what with CrossFit and eating #realfoodfuel, that my size extra small Hollister is a bit snug (not a real shocker!) especially when I wear a cosy jumper underneath – so I am on the look for a new coat this year. Have spotted this one from Zara that I really like. The perfect dress up or dress down coat! And nice and warm too.

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Tip Three – Accessorise!

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So you have your coat, now its time to accessorise! Just because its winter doesn’t mean that fashion has to go out of the window – this is my favourite part of the year when I can wear scarf’s again! I love this one from Marks and Spencer – yellow with pink deer on it. It’s ideal being long but thin, meaning I can wear it draped around loosely if I want to be just a bit warm or wrap it round several times if I want to be extra cosy!

Gap have some fantastic hat, scarf and glove options this season – I particularly like the look of these ones.

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Tip Four – Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables!

We all need nutrient and mineral packed food – but none so more when our immune systems need more goodies than normal. The best food to eat at this time of year is seasonal fruit and veg – they pack the most punch, and are the most delicious!

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In terms of fruit, think – citrus, apples, chestnuts, pears, pomegranates and persimmons!

And for vegetables, think – sprouts, kale and other leafy greens, sweet potatoes, turnips (swede), beets and leeks!

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Tip Five – Immunity Boosters!

So this links in perfectly to the above! As great a diet and lifestyle you have, there is no way you can completely protect yourself from the inevitable coughs, colds, flu’s and bugs going around at this time of year. But you can make your body a defensive fortress that those bugs will have to fight a battle to penetrate! Haha!

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Make sure to keep your fruit and veg intake high, giving your body the fuel it needs in order to be able to fight off those bad bugs. Don’t deny yourself the holiday treats but try and balance them out with real food fuel. Keep exercising and staying strong throughout the holidays, if you find it cold, do an indoor at home workout – check pinterest out for some great ideas. Also remember to wash your hands, even more frequently than normal, especially when out and about.

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Another good tip is to enjoy a daily hot manuka honey and lemon first thing every morning. Not only will this be good for your digestion but manuka honey also packs an antibacterial punch, is great at  fighting infection and boosts healing in the body.

We do this every morning, and it sure works for us! And if you do catch a cold – hot honey and lemon throughout the day works wonders! #naturalmedicine

Tip Six – Embrace and Enjoy!

This is the most important tip! The snow may come, along with other nasty weather, the holidays may be here with the present buying, massive to do list and bugs may be rife but just remember, this is one of, if not the most joyous times of the year!

Get out in that snow, make a snow angel!

Enjoy buying and making gifts for the ones you love! Embrace that time you have together.

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Release your work and life stresses at your Christmas parties and events. Use those carol concerts to sing your heart out to songs that bring so many memories.

Keep a good balance of health and treats – don’t deny, just balance.

So stay warm and cosy, make a big pot of soup chock of goodies and enjoy a few hot drinks – mines a hot toddy thanks!

Share the joy!

Any tips for winter?

Favourite seasonal fruit or vegetable?

Hat, scarf and gloves?

Love Raw Bar Review!

Hi all,

Happy ‘What I ate’ Wednesday to you all!

Today I am bringing you a review of a relatively new product to me, Love Raw bars!

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Disclaimer – Love Raw sent me 2 bars to sample. I was not compensated for this review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Love Raw are a British company whose philosophy and focus I really stand by, it’s summed up by one word really – HEALTH!

Chock full of organic, clean ingredients, full of vitamins, minerals and super foods – their bars really are something to be proud of.  As a result, they also happen to be gluten free, dairy free, wheat free and soy free! Yay! And I was very excited to try 2 varieties, the Cacao and Maca and the Coconut and Chia Bar.

Cacao and Maca

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First of all, doesn’t their packaging rock!? I know it should be all in the taste, and believe me, it is, but these bars sure do stand out on the shelf, mostly for their simplicity!

Ingredients in the bar – Dates, Almonds, Cashews, Raw Cacao, Raw Cacao nibs, Maca and Chia.

From the ingredients list, I had high hopes – and I wasn’t disappointed. It was dark and rich, the raw cacao really shone (as it should!).  It had the same texture as a typical chocolate brownie, but so much more grown up! It wasn’t too sweet, just the perfect amount from the caramel, fudgyness of the dates matching the other ingredients. The nibs and chia seeds also gave it a crunch which I really liked. A pleasure to eat and the richness made it very satisfying.

Coconut and Chia

c&c bar

Ingredients in the bar – Dates, Coconut, Almonds, Fig, Chia and Cinnamon.

Again, the ingredients made me really excited about the bar! This time around, I wasn’t too impressed. I really didn’t enjoy the cinnamon and coconut flavour together and felt like the two flavours fought against one and other. I also didn’t like the texture and found it quite crumbly. That being said, David and my Paleo Mum also tried the bar…

David quite liked it – he could mostly only taste cinnamon but loved the chia crunch.

My Mum loved it – she really enjoyed every moment of eating it and loved the flavour and texture.

Just goes to show we are all different!

Whilst I probably wouldn’t buy the Coconut and Chia bar again, I would definitely buy the Cacao and Maca one and would recommend highly. I am also looking forward to trying the other two flavours – Rosehip and Lemon and Cacao and Spirulina.

The bars are available online or from all Whole Foods UK stores. Find online at – http://eatloveraw.com/ – check them out! 

Linking up with Jenn over @PeasandCrayons for What I ate Wednesday!

Enjoy your day!

Do you enjoy snack bars?

What ingredients jump out at you in a bar?

Ever loved something that others have disliked?