Time to start running…

 20160125_075958 20160125_084208

Apologises about the radio silence recently, I’ve been busy with work but most importantly I’ve been on holiday in Rome.

It was amazing, I only went for 4 nights but we did so much, it’s such a beautiful city. As a complete history nerd, particularly when it comes to ancient history, I loved it. Especially because of all the ruins and replicators of Geek statues, I knew they had some but wasn’t expecting so much of it and in such good condition.

20160126_134652-1    20160127_095255-1

It was just wonderful and that’s not to even mention the food. Ah, the food! it was divine. I ate so much, but you know what they say when in Rome…. I had to try real pizza and gelato. It would have been criminal not to. I just fear it’s ruined having ice cream and pizza back home for me now. We did so much walking as well, it’s quite a small city (I was initially thinking it would be as far spread as London, but how wrong I was) so we walked everywhere, most days it was around 8/9 miles, frankly I’m not surprised I ended up starving every day.

20160125_203841 20160125_203844 20160126_203308  20160126_200323

But before we went I had so much happening at work, that things just got a bit behind, however, I’m back now. Things are still hectic at work, but I’m going to ensure I keep on top of everything (fingers crossed!)

Anyway, back home and back to a slight shock realisation. Just before my holiday I signed up for a 10k. I kept thinking, if I’m not careful, it’ll be a resolution i keep putting off and then have to do it in October when it’s starting to get cold and wet and that really isn’t what I want to do. So I’m doing it round Chatsworth in Derbyshire, which is a gorgeous stately home and just beautiful (slightly hilly) gardens.

00008_1

This is on the 1st May, which is less than 90 days away. Eek! I went for a run on Saturday to get back into it following in from my holiday but this is the only workout I’ve done all week. Work has been ramping up a bit slightly and I’m starting to slightly regret the timing of everything, but I do find running in the evening helps to clear my head after a long day at work, I just don’t feel comfortable running in the dark at night so try to go before sunset (well before dark as you normally have about 10/20 minutes from official sunset before it goes dark). I’ve also said that I’d help fundraise for the charity that put the event on as I thought that would help ensure I stick to it and don’t end up thinking ‘Oh I haven’t been able to train for it, so I just won’t go’. I don’t really have a target in mind at the moment, but I thinking anything would be amazing.

The link to my just giving page is here If you wanted to donate that would be wonderful, anything would be greatly appreciated!

Screenshot_2016-02-02-19-42-02

But I just wanted to give an update and didn’t want anything thinking I’ve just given or forgotten, that is not the case at all! I’m also starting to decide on my new recipes to try at the weekend so there will be a new post to follow shortly, promise!

Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Meatballs

Last week was a rather disappointing week. It had started off so well! But by Wednesday, I had gone off track. It all started with a late shift at work, I intended to leave to head to the gym, all the meals for the day were planned and until 4.30pm, it was going well. Realising I wasn’t going to make it out of work on time, I had a protein flapjack (not part of my pre-planned meals for the day), this then lead to another one (each at over 200 calories). When I finally got home, it was another protein flapjack from my graze box, again unplanned, then venison burgers and salad for tea as planned. This then led to a generally over calorie day on Thursday which spilled over into Friday. I’ll admit these over calorie days (which I have a feeling exceeded over 2000 calories each day) are full of of nuts, dark chocolate, fruit, dates and nut butter. So there are worse things I could be eating, but it’s an awful lot of fat and sugar. I then made the mistake of having some wraps and a pastry and I’ll be honest, my body was not happy. My stomach cramps came back on Friday night with a vengeance, not so subtly reminding me that whilst something’s may be tasty, they are simply not worth it.

Not ideal. But these things happen, no point dwelling, time to move on.

So, in order to ensure this week I don’t have a repeat I have been hitting the cookbooks again to find some more tasty meals. And yet again Amelia Freer has come to my rescue. I was looking for something that wouldn’t need too long to heat up at work, fairly versatile as I would want it with either salad, quinoa or rice and easy to batch bake.

I stumbled across these Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Meatballs. (aside: her full recipe for this also includes an almond sauce with quinoa and leeks but I just made the meatballs themselves.) I’ll admit mine aren’t the prettiest ones you’ll see, but trust me, they are tasty, high in protein and low in saturated fat! They don’t even need that many ingredients, now that’s my kind of dish

 

20160116_132711

Ingredients

1 ½ Leeks (the picture has 3 leeks, as if you’re doing her full recipe you need 3 but I didn’t correctly read the recipe beforehand *Duh*)

1 Egg Yolk

2 Chicken Breasts

250g Button Mushrooms

½ Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Chives

Olive Oil – for frying

Pepper to taste

20160116_113242

Method

  1. Chop the chicken breast into strips, then add to a food processer and blitz into a mince.
  2. Chop the leeks into fine strips and the mushrooms down so they are small.
  3. Add the oil to the frying pan and heat. Once hot, add the leeks and mushrooms and cook on a high/medium heat for roughly 10 minutes. Stirring regularly until all the moisture has gone. Leave to one side to cool.
  4. While the mixture is cooling, pre-heat the oven to 150⁰c.
  5. Once the mixture is cool, add the chicken, egg yolk, chives and leek + mushroom mixture into a mixing bowl. Mix it all together until well combined. Add a bit of pepper then mix again.
  6. Line a baking tray with tin foil. Using a tablespoon, scoop some of the mixture out and roll into a ball, place it on the lined tray. And repeat until all the mixture is used up. It should make 16 meatballs.
  7. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until it’s cooked through but we want to ensure it stays juicy to try to avoid overcooking it.
    20160116_132519
  8. Then serve, I chose to do mine with some frozen vegetables as it was quick to whip up, but you can go with anything really!

 

20160116_133025

Nutritional Information

Makes 16 Meatballs and serving size of 4 per serving

147 Calories

20.6g Protein

7.1g Carbohydrates

1.3g Fiber

2.4g Sugar

3.0g Fat ( 0.4g are Saturated Fats)

New Year = Not So New Me

As it’s New Year’s Eve and everyone’s starting to think about New Year’s resolutions, I’ve been trying to think of a couple to also go with my December Resolution. I am wary of making too many big resolutions as I know statistically most are broken by the 6 month mark (that’s if you even make it past January) so I’m not going for a brand new me in 2016, just a slightly tweaked version. It also helps that the nature of some of my Christmas presents aid my new resolutions.

Christmas Goodies

I’ve tried to think of just a few that will be achievable but also slightly stretching. There’s a fine line between inspiring and daunting in my eyes so I’ve tried to find the balance. This means I only really have 4 including my original resolution.

    1. Get back to a place where I feel confident in myself – through eating the foods that make me feel good and also working out as nothing beats those post workout endorphins.
    2. Run a 10k – I already have my eye on one that I think would be good fun for the middle of the year. I would never have considered even running a 5k two years ago so I’m hoping this won’t be too much of a stretch.
    3. Try at least 1 new recipe a week, whether it be cooking or baking – given I got a whole host of new cookbooks for Christmas and an ice cream maker this should be fairly easy.
    4. Be more mindful and more present – I have found that when I was going to Pilates not only was I more flexible but I was also more aware of things such as my posture so I started to notice when my back would hurt from not sitting straight or how out of alignment my hips are when I’m standing in a queue. Since for one reason or another I haven’t been going more recently, these things seem to be slipping, so I’m going to get back into Pilates but I have also started reading up on Mindfulness and being more present in situations, responding rather than reacting, which should also help me stick with resolution No.1 as well.

Mindfulness Book

I think that all of these go rather nicely together so should help me be able to tick them all of at the end of the year.

What are your resolutions for the New Year?

December Resolution

Untitled

I always seem to be someone to start things at the least appropriate time. For those of you who have read the ‘About Me’ page will know that when I first decided to get healthy it was around 2 weeks before Christmas 2013. Well here I am again.

I’ve spent months not being 100%, with issues from stomach cramps to constant dizziness, it’s really thrown me off my normal gym routine. Alongside this, I seem to have lost all willpower. Before I found it relatively easy to stick with my diet plan, thinking nothing of sticking to set calorie amount, eating certain types of food and having one ‘treat’ meal a week (granted this slowly turned into a general treat day, but I could still stick with it). And I managed to do this for the best part of 18 months, with just the brief occasional wobble (birthdays and Christmas being the main issues). Yet in the last 3 to 4 months it’s changed. I’ve started to binge eat a lot more, there’s a complete disregard for what I know is good for me, I eat things that I know will cause me issues with sleeping, lack of concentration and generally feeling poor within myself. I have a feeling that eating this way is hindering my recovery rather than helping it as well.

Pair this with my lack of exercise due to the light headiness and the results are less than inspiring. But my biggest concern is actually how I feel within and about myself. Although since I originally started my journey, I am down 50lbs (3.6 stone for those of you in the UK), I have gained 16lbs in the last few months and with it has been a massive decline in self-esteem and self-worth. I used to feel really confident going into meetings and presenting in front of people but I find I want to do that less and less at the moment. I have started to notice that the work trousers I was considering buying in a smaller size due to how baggy they were and now a bit uncomfortably tight, the shorts I loved…now not so much, all the party dresses for this festive period I was so excited to wear I don’t really want to put on right now. But for me, the biggest change I’ve noticed in how I feel is in regards to my thighs. I’ve spent years and years having to constantly wear tights no matter how warm it is outside due to my thighs rubbing together and it being really uncomfortable, even painful sometimes if I don’t. It was so liberating this year to be able to go about within having to put tights on all the time and just melt over the course of the day. Well this has started to come back again and it’s not welcome in the slightest.

Aware that we are now 10 days to go until Christmas, yet again I have decided that I need to get a grip, I refuse to keep going into the depths of self-pity and feeling that I don’t deserve to feel good in myself. I know you’re probably thinking I could just wait, enjoy the festive period and with a ‘new year, new me’ motto, but frankly, if I can start to pick myself up over this tricky period, the New Year will be a breeze, surely? I’ve done it once before, I know I’m capable of it, so I can do it again.

Dizziness and Demotivation

Untitled2

 

The last few days haven’t been great. I keep struggling with stomach cramps and light-headiness. This is currently being looked into but at the moment, we have no idea what the issue is I’m just being put on medication to try and manage the symptoms. This isn’t working as well as hoped.

Since August I’ve been having issues with stomach cramps, it gradually got worse but eventually meant I was struggling to work out. After being on various medications, an on-going issue I had been having with light-headiness got A LOT worse. It meant I had around a month off the gym and spent it feeling horrific.

I started to feel better for a few days; I was able to get back in the gym, I was feeling like my old self and I almost forgot I was having these issues. Then on Monday, it all hit me. At work, with my gym bag in my car (ready to go straight there) BAM! Stomach cramps back. Then on Tuesday the light headiness started to come back as well. It’s already been difficult enough to stay motivated after getting back into the gym once I realised how much fitness and strength I’d lost (almost ignoring the stone in weight I’d put on in the meantime).

I’ve been trying to think about this in a new way to stop me feeling quite so demotivated. After spending all of last year working so hard to lose four and a half stone and getting into shape, I feel like I’m going backwards. I’ve been struggled to keep my focus and stay in the mind-set of eating well as the constant feeling crap. I’ve decided to view it as – Last year was the challenge to lose the weight, this year is the challenge to stay positive regardless as to what life throws at me.

Almost of if he knew, my old PT messaged me the other day to check in, see how I’m doing and how my training is going. I gave him a download of everything (he already knew about some of the light-headiness but not to its current extent). He was helping by reiterating the fact that I need to stay positive about the things I can control and just let everything else slide, there’s no point worrying about what I can’t change. If I just focus on what I can control then I know I’m still doing everything to the best of my ability.

Hopefully, the next few days will get better and some of the future posts will be in a more positive light.