Tuesday Eats #5, 2014 …

I’m still focused and training consistently but I’m simply not seeing this reflected on the scales. I have lost a handful of lbs since the beginning of January which is demoralising. I need to stay positive and focused on the drop in body fat and the fact that I am feeling noticeably stronger when I workout.

This coming week I’m going to make some minor dietary adjustments to see if they make a difference.

In the meantime and in the tradition of being open and honest, here’s everything I ate yesterday ..

I started work early (albeit in my pyjamas) at 7.30am. Around 8.30am I had breakfast which consisted of Readybrek made with Skimmed Milk. I drizzled some Agave Nectar over the top for little sweetness.

Porridge

I was really hungry yesterday so mid morning had two hard boiled eggs …

Boiled Eggs

… followed not long afterwards by ten almonds.

Almonds

Lunch was a small wholemeal sandwich with Tuna & Salad and an apple.

Tuna Sandwich

An hour before Circuit Training I grabbed a Nature Valley Cereal Bar.

Chocolate Cereal Bar

Post gym dinner was a really delicious grilled Jerk Chicken Salad.

Jerk Chicken Salad

I had one square of Strawberry Dark Chocolate later in the evening.

Lindt_Strawberry_Intense_Dark_Chocolate

As usual I drank 2 Litres of water and 3 Jasmine Green Teas throughout the day.

Not bad going at all.

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Friend Makin’ Mondays – Random Questions

It was a busy old weekend for me. We are decorating the spare bedroom and turning it into an office come chill out room. It’s moving along nicely. Yesterday morning was spent ordering material samples for a blind, buying a flat screen TV (that I can also use as computer monitor) and buying a new filing cabinet and desk lamp. I managed to fit in two Spin Classes and an evening with family for my Dads Birthday, phew!

So to Monday and a mixed bag of questions in this week’s FMM …

FMM

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: http://www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Random Questions

1. Did you watch the Super Bowl? If so, what was your favorite part? I’m English and don’t grasp American Football at all! It was shown over here in the early hours of Monday morning but I suspect it was only US Expats and insomniacs watching!

2. What is the weather like where you live? Changeable. Today it’s chilly a grey. The weekend was chilly but beautifully sunny and last week it chucked it down with rain. Could be worse, I could be back at work in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. On Thursday it was minus 30 with a windchill of minus 47.

3. When is your birthday? Spring baby, 24th March.

4. Do you prefer sparkling water or flat water? I’ll drink either but to stay hydrated I knock back 2 litres of still water a day.

5. How many hours did you sleep last night? 7.5 hours which I needed as I was shattered last night.

6. What is your favorite day of the week? Any day I’m not working. I’m a work to live kind of girl. I don’t wish away my working days but they are not my favourite!

7. If you had to choose between riding a bike or swimming, which would choose? Cycling. I love Spin classes and want to cycle outdoors more when the weather improves.

8. How often do you eat red meat? Once every couple of weeks, normally in the form of Lean Beef Mince.

9. What time did you wake up this morning? With the alarm at 7am.

10. Do you have any goals for the week? Keep eating healthy, 4 x workouts minimum, order an exercise mat to take back to work with me.

REALISTIC Goals, January 2014 … How Did I Do?

On January 2nd I posted my goals for the month. I spent some time reflecting on the struggles I experienced in 2013 with getting the balance right and realised REALISTIC should feature heavily in 2014.

Below is a summary of how I got on …

1) Workout at the gym at least 3 times a week. A total of 17 visits to the gym this month. Broken down I completed 5 Spin classes, 5 Personal Training sessions, 4 Circuit Training classes and 3 individual resistance and interval training sessions. Last week I only managed the gym twice but I think the 8 mile walk on Saturday should count! What’s really helped with this goal is adding my gym visits into my work calendar as personal appointments. I’ve been able to structure my day better knowing that I am committed to getting some exercise in and I am really enjoying the gym again. Win, win, win, result!

2) Cook 4 new recipes and share them on Fit Foot. I have eaten very mindfully this month but not in an adventurous way. I did cook two new soup recipes but that’s it. My intake has generally been lean protein, lots of veg, brown rice etc …

3) Book flights to Spain for a family holiday in June. Done. My parents own a timeshare week in Calahonda, near Marbella. It’s always such a relaxing week and with 7 of us going this year it’s sure to be fun!

4) Have a weekend by the sea in Hove. Yes! Last weekend me and Michael spent a lovely weekend by the sea in one of our favourite places. It’s a dream to live there and figures in our plans and our hearts.

Stormy Brighton

5) Start meal planning and grocery shopping online. This has been a revelation, what the heck took me so long? Sunday evening is meal planning time. I plan out meal options for the week, checking the cupboards and freezer as I go. Then it’s onto the internet. We are currently using Sainsbury’s home delivery as they sent me 6 x £8 off vouchers. I check the deals, I look at my staples list and shop away from the comfort of my armchair. I like the fact that you have up until approx 12 hours before delivery to add to your list. The drivers have always been on time, helpful and courteous and it takes a whopping ten minutes to check of the delivery and put it away … Fab! I am 100% sure we are saving money. I can’t do an exact comparison as I never have a typical month but simply not picking up things we don’t need is a bonus to both wallet and the waistline.

6) Have my car serviced. Done, passed with flying colours and no cost as it’s still under the service plan, hooray!

Nissan_Juke

7) Try a new class at the gym (not just overload on Spin!) See goal 1. I didn’t think I would be able to keep up in a Circuit Training class. Turns out I can and I’m loving it!

8) Weigh out cereal, rice and pasta into portions. Well I haven’t had any pasta at home in January. I have had rice and the occasional bowl of muesli and as you can see I am weighing and portioning.

40g Muesli

9) Paint the walls and ceiling in the spare bedroom. We are well on the way. There has been a fair bit of prep work to be done first, new skirting boards, filling gaps, rubbing down, etc … The first coat of paint is going on today.

10) Get a new passport and a new visa for Kazakhstan. Passport is sorted and doesn’t run out until 2024! Eek, I’ll be 53 by then! Yesterday I went to the new Embassy of Kazakhstan in Pall Mall, London. Much better than the old one in Knightsbridge where you couldn’t swing a cat and had to queue outside on the steps. My Visa is currently being processed and I pick it up next Friday. First trip out to Kazakhstan for 2014 is likely to be last week in February, first week in March. This will be just in time to enjoy the extremes of the Kazakh winter. On Thursday it was minus 30 (minus 47) with windchill, oh goody.

11) Save £25 each month towards Spain spending money and car hire. Haven’t sorted this yet. A phone call is all that’s required. However I have been money savvy in other area. I changed my Broadband deal saving £6 a month and got rid of Sky Sports, saving £30 a month.

I kept January simple and achieved most of what I set out to do. This month will be a little trickier with travel at the end, but again, REALISTIC is the key.

“Here’s to always moving forwards”.

January Fitness – Week 4

Much like yesterday’s post about food intake, my workouts didn’t quite hit the mark last week. What I did do I thoroughly enjoyed, but there wasn’t enough of it.

Here’s how I did on the exercise front for the 4th week of 2014.

Wednesday 22nd January – An hour’s Personal Training. This session saw me attempting to perfect hooks and upper cuts. I’ve got the feet positioning right but struggle to maintain form with the punches when I start to tire. Again, Lauren added in some sprint intervals into mix and I was seriously knackered by the end. I am LOVING boxing!

Unfortunately I felt under the weather for most of the week and visited the Doctor on Wednesday evening. This combined with a rubbish week on the sleep front meant I cancelled plans to go to the gym on Thursday.

Friday to Sunday I was enjoying being by the seaside in Brighton and Hove with Michael. On Saturday we walked a total of 8 miles. Can this count as a gym session? Please, pretty please?!

Hove Boat

Monday 27th January – Circuit Training. I was pretty apprehensive as my Brother was stuck at work and couldn’t make the class. However I did go and I worked HARD. I love pushing through the different stations and leaving on a high. So much so that I’ve booked Circuits for Sunday and Monday next week! Bring on those Kettle Bells and Ropes, I’m ready for you!

Two really focused sessions in total, three if you count lots of walking by the sea!
Next weeks update will be lots improved!

Brighton Sunset

Tuesday Eats #4, 2014

It’s been an up and down week on the eating front.
First couple of days were on point, the second couple of days I felt a bit out of sorts and didn’t eat enough, and then, there was a long weekend in Brighton and Hove.

Yesterday I had an appointment all morning and errands to run all afternoon, so I didn’t take photos of the day. Therefore in this weeks Tuesday Eats I shamefully share what I had on Sunday. I said I’d be open and honest, so here goes…

Stormy Brighton

After stormy but mostly dry weather on Saturday we woke up to torrential rain on Sunday morning. It was a slow start to the day but it was helped along by a cup of Jasmine Green Tea in bed.

I researched the top ten places to eat breakfast and brunch in Hove and was pleased to see one was in walking distance. The reviewers must have meant in dry weather as we were soaked by the time we arrived at the wonderful Ethel’s Kitchen. This gem of a cafe is tiny but packed full of vintage finds and English quirkiness. We waited ten minutes for a table but the service was swift and excellent and the menu, well, fantastic and very reasonably priced.

I had the vegetarian breakfast. It consisted of; 2 veggie sausages, poached eggs, mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, baked beans, potato and herb rosties, wholemeal toast … It was delicious!

Vegetarian Breakfast

Loose leaf Jasmine tea was served in a tea pot with a dainty china cup, lovely!

On the way in we passed the counter with all the beautiful homemade cakes on display.

Cake

I have to admit that I HAD to have a piece of the Victoria Sponge with Rosewater. This was my lunch, whoops!

During the drive home I had 10 almonds to keep the blood sugar from staging a revolt!

Dinner consisted of 2 small slices of wholemeal toast and baked beans.

Beans on Toast

Lacking in fruit, lacking in veg, lacking in food … but really yummy and I’m back on the wagon now!

The Little Things Helping Fit Foot #2

As part of my focus on shaping up, losing body fat and generally becoming as awesome as possible, I’m trying out new ideas, foods, gadgets, gym kit etc etc …

As usual none of these items are earth shattering but the important thing is, they are making a difference to me and here’s number 2 on my list …

You know those women who go into an exercise class, all bouncy ponytail and fresh faced, then walk out after 45 minutes looking almost identical? Yes? Well that’s the polar opposite of me. I am the one who sweats like a bloke and leaves sporting a shade reminiscent of a lobster.

I’ve been wearing bandanas in the gym for years as a way of ensuring I keep my fringe (bangs) off my face and don’t drip sweat in my eyes (nice!). I’ve never found a headband that will stay put and absorb the kind of sweat generated by me in a Spin Class, until now.

Browsing Lululemon’s website a few weeks ago I stumbled across the bang buster headband.

Lululemon

They come in three colour ways, black, hot pink & white and retail at £18. A little pricy for a headband I know, but I’m a convert.

Headband

Road tested in Circuit Training and Spin Class this headband pulls the sweat away from the head and doesn’t budge an inch. An order for a second one is going in this week.

January Fitness – Week 3

Yay! My fitness mojo has returned, I actually look forward to going again.

Here’s how I did on the exercise front for the third week of 2014.

Wednesday 15th January – An hour’s Personal Training. It was a killer, but great fun. I did boxing again, hooray 🙂 with the addition of sprint and planks at intervals throughout.

Thursday 16th January – A lunchtime hour of cardio in the gym. Consisting of a 5 minute warm up, 30 minutes of walk, run, walk run on the treadmill, 5 minute cool down and stretch.

Hamster

Saturday 18th January – Morning Spin Class. There was no air in the room so this session was hot and unpleasant.

Sunday 19th January – Fail! Was meant to be a Spin Class but I woke up 10 minutes after the start of the class, doh!

Monday 20th January – Circuit Training with my Brother. It was tough but a lot of fun working with him in a pair and watching him attempting to skip like a 5yr old girl.

Four sessions in total, so still on track to meet my January target.

Tuesday Eats #3, 2014 …

Another good week on the healthy eating front even with a trip to Jamie’s Italian on Sunday.I chose a starter sized dish of Truffle Tagliatelle and a Rocket and Parmesan Salad if you were wondering and it was delicious! I may have had some lovely Artisan bread and a handful of Posh Chips as well, but certainly not as many as usual!

So, carrying on my tradition of being open and honest, here’s everything I ate yesterday ..

I started work early so had an apple to keep me going while Michael had a few extra hours sleep. You all know what an apple looks like, so imagine one now!

Breakfast was a poached egg, wilted spinach, sautéed mushrooms and a slice of wholemeal toast.

Breakfast

Lunch was a bit of a grab and fail affair. I worked half a day then set off to do some get round to it tasks. I dropped some books at the charity shop, cashed in my money box change at the bank and went searching for the correct cistern piece to fix the toilet (glamorous I know!) While we were out I grabbed a Soy Latte and a Cheese and Ham Toastie. Against Michaels 644 kcal slice of carrot cake that was positively angelic.

An hour before heading to Circuit Training I grabbed a Chocolate Nature Valley Cereal Bar.

Chocolate Cereal Bar

I prepped dinner before leaving for the gym as I knew I’d be ravenous after an hours high intensity training. Dinner was Moroccan Meatball Tangine with Moroccan Spiced Cous Cous and it was delicious.

Moroccan Meatball Tagine

I drank 2 Litres of water and 3 Jasmine Green Teas throughout the day.

Not perfect, but pretty good.

Friend Makin’ Mondays – Quick and Easy …

Monday is here again and it’s time for a quick FMM.

FMM

Quick and Easy Questions

1. What time did you go to bed last night? About 11pm, but I then had a 30 minute Whatsapp ‘chat’ with my friend in NY, then I couldn’t sleep. Grrrrr!

2. What is the last thing that made you smile? The other half’s singing. He tends to make up random songs. I’m cooking a Moroccan Meatball Tangine. This little ditty was about meatballs, don’t ask!

3. What is the last movie you watched? The Runaway Jury with John Cusack and Rachel Weisz, an oldy, but a goody!

4. What did you have for breakfast today? Sautéed mushrooms, wilted spinach, a poached egg and a slice of wholemeal toast.

Breakfast

5. Would you rather mop all of your floors or do laundry? If laundry means throwing a pile of clothes in my washing machine, then laundry. If laundry includes ironing, then I would choose the floors! Ironing = Hell. If I ever win money I’m hiring someone to do it for me.

6. Do you drink coffee? Yes, no more than one a day though. I like a good Latte, in my humble opinion Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurants do the best.

7. Will you watch the Superbowl? Nope, I live in the UK and don’t understand American ‘Football’ at all. Seems to be lots of stop start, Cheerleaders and a lot of big fellas in protective clothing. I’ll stick to English Football and my beloved Arsenal.

Arsenal

8. How often do you shop for groceries? Once a week and since January I’ve been doing my grocery shopping online and having it delivered. It’s definitely helping to save money and stopping me from buying crisps and chocolate. I highly recommend it and don’t know why I didn’t try it years ago.

9. What kind of workout will you do today? Total Body Workout class at the gym, aka killer circuit training.

10. Do you use a fitness tracker? No, I tried the My Fitness Pal app on my phone but find it much easier to simply write down on paper what I’m eating.

The Little Things Helping Fit Foot #1

As part of my focus on shaping up, losing body fat and generally becoming as awesome as possible, I’m trying out new ideas, foods, gadgets, gym kit etc etc …

As usual none of these items are earth shattering but the important thing is, they are making a difference to me.

So I thought I’d share. Starting with silicone egg poachers!

Poach pods

Now some of you are probably rolling your eyes at this point but I’ve never quite cracked (cracked, geddit?) making the perfect poached egg. I’ve tried the traditional swirly water method, the exploding microwave method and poaching rings to no avail. In addition I am eating so many eggs these days, and getting bored with scrambled that it was time to try something new and it’s silicone poachers all the way from now on!

Really simple, a little wipe of oil in the pod and add the egg.

Eggs

Float the pod in 1.5 inches of simmering water for 4-5 minutes.

Poaching Eggs

Run a spoon gently round the edge, pop out the poached egg and voila!

Poached Egg Breakfast

Takes some beating … OK, sorry enough with the egg puns now.