#Currysintrojuicing

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Last Tuesday evening it felt like the travel gods were against me as I tried to travel from Surrey to King’s Cross for a lesson in juicing and a body conditioning class. As a big fan of juicing I was really looking forward to attending this event and learning more about juicing, and to have a go at body conditioning. Luckily I made it there just on time and was really excited to see all the fruits and veggies lined up ready for us to use!

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The evening started with a talk by Derry Temple. Whilst I’ve done juice fasts previously, I didn’t really know too much about the positives and negatives of juicing, so I found this really interesting. Whilst everyone was tweeting away with all they learnt, I was scribbling notes down like a student, knowing my pathetic phone battery wouldn’t last tweeting and my journey home!

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Positives:  Full of antioxidants to clean up the free radicals floating around your body//increased absorption of micro-nutrients as the juicing ‘pre-digests’ all the food//lets you get your eight a day, the optimal number of fruits and veggies you should be consuming, not five as is commonly thought!

Negatives: Removes the fibre from the fruits and veggies which is needed to control weight, regulate blood sugar levels, and satisfaction levels//it’s not a whole food, lacking in protein and fats//can contain high levels of fructose which overloads the liver and changes into fat

The biggest thing I learnt was to be aware of the amount of fruit you use in your juicing mixes because of the fructose. I had no idea that fructose can change into fat, which almost goes against the idea of juicing or even doing a juice fast, where you want to lose weight! Derry advised using more veggies than fruits in your juices, which I’ll definitely be doing going forward.

I also learnt about the ‘clean 15’ and the ‘dirty 12’ which is the fruits and veggies you should and don’t need to buy organic depending on the amount of pesticides they can absorb. I try to buy organic where I can, but it’s good to know where I can save/splurge my pennies.

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After the talk on juicing we got to put everything into practice using some super duper fancy juicers from Philips. My Mum has a Philip’s juicer, whilst mine is one from gumtree. After using the Philip’s ones, I seriously want one, they made juicing so much easier! With my juicer I have to chop everything up into manageable pieces, but this took carrots, apples, and even limes whole (with skins on)! This would seriously speed up my juicing time and cut down on my prep time, which is always a bonus!

In my juice I had: cabbage//pineapple//strawberries//carrots//ginger//lime//beetroot//cucumber

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and it tasted pretty delicious! I made sure to save some for work the next day and it made a great substitute for my usual morning coffee.

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After creating our juices we were split into two groups to take part in a body conditioning class. As I was in the second group I spent the time before the class chatting to fellow bloggers, and had a really interesting chat on going sugar free and how much fructose really does impact our hunger levels and bodies. It was certainly thought provoking and made me think about how much fruit I eat! Unfortunately I had to leave before our group had a chance to go in the fitness class, knowing how long it would take me to get home from King’s Cross! The photos and reviews I’ve seen on other blogs made it sound good fun so I was gutted to miss out on it.

A big thanks to Curry’s and Joe’s blogs for a fab event, it was definitely very interesting and informative, and got me motivated to dust off my juicer again!

Cook book challenge | magic dough (and a pizza-off)

I was round at P’s recently for a wine tasting (as you do…) and to try and offset all the wine we drank she made homemade pizza which were delicious. Inspired by her effort I had it in the back of my head to have a go at them myself, so last Sunday I prepped the dough and ended up homemade garlic pizza bread to accompany the risotto I had made. I froze the leftover dough and then this week J and I decided to have a pizza-off which was really good fun. Whilst I think he did a much better job of stretching out the dough to get it a bit crispier and go further, I preferred the taste of mine, so we called it a draw!

This is another recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Veg, which is probably becoming my most used cookbook. Hugh claims the dough is ‘magic’ because it can make pizza, flatbreads, pitta breads, breadsticks and just normal bread. Definitely magic then!

Ingredients: plain flour//strong white flour//sea salt//yeast//olive oil

Taste: I made both garlicy bread and pizza using the dough and both were very delicious, even more so for the fact they were all homemade and I knew exactly what went into them!! The dough for the pizza was light, yet chewy and if you stretched it out far enough it was pretty crispy too. Just what you want from a pizza in my eyes.

Good: Super easy to make, the ingredients are all storecupboard basics which means it can be made anytime, plus it freezes and defrosts really well so you can always have some on hand!

Time taken: The dough probably took around 15-20 minutes to mix and knead, and then I left it for two hours to prove and rise, so pretty standard for a bready recipe I think?

Likeness to the book: I used completely different toppings to those suggested by Hugh, so hard to tell and judge!

Improvements: I can’t think of any!

Cost: All store cupboard basics as I said so hard to cost this recipe, but I’d say very very cheap!

Overall score: 5/5. This is easily going to become my go-to fail safe recipe for homemade pizza. Not sure I’ll ever buy another shop pizza again!!

The pizza-off…

I thought I’d share the pizza toppings J and I used for our pizza off.

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My dough was topped with: passata//oregano//black pepper//reduced fat mozarella//portabello mushrooms//parma ham//black olives

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J’s dough was topped with: chorizo//bacon//grilled chicken//passata//green pesto//feta//jalapenos//yellow pepper//black pepper

And in case you wanted to make garlicy pizza bread all I did was add crushed garlic and olive oil to the top, simples!

A really good week

This week has been really good with lots of activities and exercise and friends and wine and laughter.

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At the beginning of the week I headed up to London for #currysintrojuicing which was really interested and great to meet so many bloggers who I have read about!

Tuesday I also had a tough RUNch club training session. 3 x 600m at 75/80/85% effort, then 6 hill reps, followed by 1 x 600m. All in the blazing midday heat! It certainly had me exfoliating my lungs by the end, and I was glad for the juice that evening!!

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Wednesday night J and I had a pizza-off which we decided ended in a draw. I’m already planning our rematch!

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Thursday was probably one of the most perfect days I’ve had in a long time. I consumed a little too much millionaires’ shortbread, had a lovely long lunch with wine and colleagues, and then I went on a yoga hike with Lululemon. Honestly, does life get any better than days like that?

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Friday after work I headed down to the local cricket club with some colleagues and enjoyed an afternoon of prosecco, sunshine and cricket. A great start to the weekend!

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Saturday morning I did a long run which I’d not been looking forward to thanks to the hot weather and the previous two weeks missed runs! Still, I managed 9 miles in 1:44:20 giving me an average of 11:35 min/mile. My average pace from Royal Parks half was 11:40 min/mile so I’m hoping to beat that time based on my training and some motivation from the crowds for my next half in September. Saturday afternoon the housie and I headed out to enjoy the sunshine at the park, and I got to refuel with this delicious raspberry and lime lolly. A perfect post run treat!

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Sunday I woke up after 11 wonderful, much needed hours of sleep and headed out on my bike before it got too hot. I managed to do 10.36 miles in 1hr, averaging 5:48min/mile. My legs felt tired and heavy after 9 miles the day before, so it was a good practice ride for the London Duathlon I have coming up. I attempted a run at the end but it was hot, humid, muggy and I was tired, so I hit the shower after less than a mile of plodding! Next week I’m hoping to do a better brick session, but we’ll see how it goes! Sunday’s lunch was pretty epic with a delicious salad enjoyed whilst doing a spot of blog reading.

I’m hoping next week will be a bit quieter as I felt this week was a busy one, but still a really good one! How was your week?

Recipe | Overnight oats, an update

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I posted last year about my love for overnight oats. I’ve modified my recipe a smidge since then, so here’s the update. I eat it pretty much every week day, and it keeps me full until lunchtime easily!

30g oats//10g chia seeds//150g or 3/4 cup non dairy milk//couple of drops of almond extract

Weigh out your ingredients and put in a tub with a lid. Add the milk and extract, give it a stir, put the lid on, and wait until morning!

I still top mine with pumpkin seeds, flaked almonds, and raisins and it hasn’t got boring yet! This is a very cheap breakfast as oats can cost as little as 75p for a massive bag, chia seeds are £3.50 for me from my local health food shop for a big bag, and milk is about £1.38 for a litre carton where I am.

What do you eat for breakfast? I keep seeing these banana and egg pancakes which  I want to try out, but always on the hunt for more things to try which are easy to take to work!

A dreamy weekend

Last week I took a couple of days off work to start my weekend early, and on Friday lunchtime I headed down to Bristol for a much anticipated and long awaited weekend with two of my muffins.

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For the past couple of years we’ve always joked about going to see the Dreamboys, probably since Magic Mike came out, and last weekend we finally made those jokes into a reality! I won’t go into the show in any detail, but the one thing that made my night more than any of the ‘Dreamboys’ was the four women who were easily in their 70s/80s sat in front of us. They probably had the best time out of everyone there from what I can tell. I hope when I’m that age I’m still in the audience for the Dreamboys.

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After the show we went for cocktails at a really nice bar called the Cosy Club. I’d definitely recommend if you’re ever in Bristol, plus they serve a mean Ritz Spritz, a winner in my books for sure!!

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Saturday afternoon after spending the morning hiding from the awful weather we headed into Bath for food, a potter and a trip to the spa. It just turned into a potter, shop and eat cycle, which I definitely wasn’t complaining about! I scored some bargains in Anthropologie and my favourite Banana Republic, I’ll try and remember to take some snaps for you! Bellies full and happy, we headed back to Hannah’s for a nap (for me), and a little downtime before venturing to Bristol’s Harbour Festival. I must just give a special mention to the most incredible focaccia we bought from Le Bertinet. Oh my god, hands down easily the best focaccia I’ve ever had. Yum and wow.

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Unfortunately once we got to the Harbour Festival we realised we were stood in the wrong place to see the fireworks, so there was a mass exodus to get a better view. Our view still wasn’t great, but I managed to see some of the bigger taller fireworks thanks to someone’s camera phone nearer the front! The remainder of our evening was spent at a pub local to Hannah where they had a bizarre luau theme party going on, I’m still not sure whether or not we gate crashed!

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Sunday morning we were up bright and early for a trip back into Bath for the spa. Saturday afternoon it was packed so we were tipped off Sunday morning was the best time to go, and what a great decision we made! I didn’t take any photos I’m afraid as there was too much water and relaxing going on, but trust me, it was sheer bliss and you must go!

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Lunch was had at a rather nice restaurant outdoors where I felt very Gossip Girl/SATC/MiC esque, I hope it’s a sign of things to come on our upcoming holiday to the South of France! I enjoyed a mackerel fillet with salad and veggies and it was light and summery, just what I fancied!

Recipe | Beetroot, chicken and bulgar wheat salad

 

Beetroot, chicken and bulgar salad

 

At the moment my lunches are consisting of batch cooking some sort of grain and combining with protein and salad. I’ve been really enjoying the different combinations I come up with, and this one last week was definitely too good not to share. Initially I struggled to think of what I would be able to have for lunch that week, having not been shopping, but thanks to some chicken in the freezer and raiding my Nan’s vegetable plot I came up with something delicious for the whole week!

To give you five lunches you’ll need:

large chicken breast (mine was about 230g raw)//150g dry brown bulgar wheat//tin of chick peas//12 cherry tomatoes//red pepper//2 spring onions//1 grated carrot//2 small grated beetroot//vegetable stock cube

Place your chicken under the grill and cook for about 20 mins, checking and turning often.

Meanwhile put the bulgar wheat into a saucepan and cook up according to the instructions with a veggie or chicken stock cube.

Whilst the chicken is grilling and the bulgar wheat is bubbling away, prep your veggies. Quarter your cherry tomatoes, dice up your red pepper, slice your spring onion, and grate your carrot and beetroots. Drain and empty your chick peas and place all in a big mixing bowl.

Once the bulgar wheat is done allow to cool slightly before adding to your big bowl. Slice up your grilled chicken into thin slices, and then dice. I had mine a similar size to the pepper, which meant the chicken felt like it went a lot further.

Mix it all together, and it will turn a fabulous pink colour thanks to the beetroot! I served this up every day on a bed of salad leaves and combined with a yogurt it made a very filling and nutritious lunch.

What do you like for lunches?

Your last meal?

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Not my choice currently, but cheese would have been a few years back!

I was having a discussion with a colleague this week at work about what we would chose for our last meal would be if we got a choice. He chose a 1990′s Big Mac, plus a pint of larger, plus some sort of chicken and lentil curry with Keema naan and rice. Very specific, and not quite a meal in so many words, more a buffet of food!

When having a think about what I would chose myself, I got really stuck. I love food so much, how could I possibly chose just one thing, or just a starter/main/pud. I then decided I was thinking about it too much, and just to go with the first things that came to mind. So, my choice would be…

My Mum’s macaroni cheese. If you’re really nice I might share the recipe for this with you soon, it’s soo good and worth feeling horribly uncomfortable after knowing I shouldn’t eat cheese.

Yorkshire puddings. I’m not sure if it’s due to my Yorkshire heritage or something else, but I can’t get enough of Yorkshire puddings. I think one New Year’s Eve I ate nearly 20. #sorrynotsorry

Fish pie. Again, my Mum makes a cracking fish pie, and I always request she puts boiled eggs in it. So good, and again, worth the uncomfortable feeling from the creaminess. I think I’m going to try and whip up a dairy-free version of this using dairy free milk soon!

Marks & Spencer lemon drizzle cake. Not just any lemon drizzle, it has to come from M&S. I’ve never had a lemon drizzle taste any better, not only does the icing taste citrussy, but it permeates the sponge too, which is so moist, citrussy and just yum.

I’m starting to wonder if I could combine a macaroni cheese or fish pie with a yorkshire pudding element and work out some sort of toad in the hole-esque hybrid. What do you think?

What would be your last meal?

Street eats take two

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Earlier this month I headed to a local street food festival with two fellow bloggers S and P. This was the second street food festival our little town held, and at the first one I had a delicious burrito, so I had high hopes! As we walked through the food sellers we ummed and ahhed over what to have, some with bigger queues than others, our options included pizza, fish, Ethiopian and Hungarian food.

Having done a full lap of the stalls, we all decided to try something different and then meet back up to enjoy our food. I went for the Cilantro Dave from Olly’s Fish Shack. The fish was so fresh and meaty, it tasted so good, and the batter was amazing, I definitely made the right choice!

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S went for the Ethiopian food from Abycina, which she was really impressed by, and P went for the Hungarian food by The Langos Company, where I’m not sure the food quite made up for the long queue and rude people in the queue.

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Unfortunately I’m on holiday for the next street eats, but luckily there will be a few street food vendors at the Lashings at the end of this month, definitely a reason to watch cricket if ever I heard one!