Time to start running…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

As promised, I am kicking of the New Year with my first new recipe. This is has been slightly tweaked from one of my new cookbooks. As you may have noticed from some of my previous posts, I love a good soup! I just find it so much easier to make a big pot up and then have enough to last me the rest of the week so I don’t have to worry about making lunch for work the next day, my evenings can be spent relaxing.

I do normally prefer a chunkier soup, but I have to admit sometimes there is nothing better than a smooth, creamy soup. As I started to read through the first few pages this recipe just called out to me, so I knew it had to be the first one I made. Now it isn’t the recipe given for January 1st (I know, rebel), but it is still a wintery dish.

Soup Cookbook

The only thing I have really changed is I have swapped out normal potatoes for sweet potatoes as I prefer them, but you can go for normal if you’re not a big sweet potato fan.

Ingredients

900g Butternut Squash, halved with the skin still on and seeds removed

350g Sweet Potato, cubed

1.2 Litres of Vegetable Stock (Gluten Free if necessary)

100ml Single Cream

40g butter

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Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 160oc, place the two halves of the butter squash on a lined roasting tin and put half of the butter on and around the squash. Place in the oven to roast for an hour until it’s soft and tender.
    2. After about 45 minutes of the squash being in the oven, take large saucepan and melt the remaining butter. Once the butter is melted add the sweet potato and the stock.
    3. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for around 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.
    4. Take the squash out of the oven and allow it to cool slightly before scooping out the flesh and add to the saucepan with the rest of the soup.
    5. Now you need to blend the soup until smooth. If you have a handheld blender you can do this in the plan, if like me you have a food processer then you can move the soup into the processer and blitz until smooth. As I had to do this in portions I had another saucepan on hand to pour the smooth soup into.
    6. Once all the soup is smooth, added the cream and ensure the soup is still hot before serving, depending on how long it has taken you to blend it may have gone a bit cold so may need a gradual reheat before serving.

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Nutritional Information

Serves 6

209 Calories

2.9g Protein

32.5g Carbohydrates

4.8g Fibre

8.1g Sugar

8.4g Fat ( 5.3g 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?