Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Body & Fitness Challenge

And a very cold good-day to you all, its just freezing out there today and I'm loving every minute of it to be honest ....... no matter how much I point out that its sub-zero when I head out to boot camp in the mornings ;-)

-3*C Friday and Monday morning

My fuzzy reaction to sub-zero at 06:00

Two layers on the legs ...

... and 3 layers on the upper body, PLUS hat & glub-glubs ;-)

So when Sunday breakfast at Girraffe came round it was a pile of American style pancakes with banana, blueberries and lashings of syrup for me.


For afters it was the park with the kids while hubby did the shop for dinner which was roast lamb shank with veg & mash ..... nom-nom-nom ........ NOM :-)

OK, OK, enough wekeend frivolity and catch up, on to serious business and the start of my ..........

Body & Fitness Challenge

Well I did the first of my fitness challenges this morning.  It was 1 minute of effort with 20 seconds of rest in-between each.

Video for round one of my Body & Fitness Challenge*:
Burpees: 20
Goblet squats: 20
Press-ups: 24
Step-ups: 26

Food changes to kick-start my Body & Fitness challenge:
Well hubby received his program from his gym last week (*picture me with big eyeballs with a WTF look on the rest of my face), along with a nutritional guide and I've thought it a good idea to follow it with him (smaller quantities) but follow the same principle which is basically smaller meals more frequently with measured quantities of protein, carb & veg/salad at each meal ..... bar breakfast where I still need my chochamocha porridge to keep me sane ;-)  I'll still be logging all my food into my diary on Weight Loss Resources to make sure I'm in calories.  I will also still be drinking coffee with soya milk and lots of rooibos tea.

Exercise changes to kick-start my Body & Fitness challenge:
I'm in a bit of a quandary over this one so if anyone has any ideas please let me know.  So far my thoughts have been along these lines:
- continue with bootcamp 3 mornings a week and reintroduce kettlebells &/or boxing, so a week may look like this:

Monday: bootcamp
Tuesday: kettlebells or boxing or short run
Wednesday: bootcamp
Thursday: kettlebells &/or short run
Friday: bootcamp
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Swim/Run/Cycle

I'm hoping this new regime will shake up my metabolism and help me on my merry way to a lean and healthy body :-)

Measurements for round one of my Body & Fitness Challenge:

Start of Body Challenge
Cumulative LOSS
Hips : butt
Hips : upper
Thigh : L
Thigh : R
Calf : L

Calf : R
Arms : L
Arms : R

So far ……
Lost 34cm

Behind the scenes filming Lara on Video Body & Fitness Challenge take ONE one hundred:
1) Had to hunt for the video camera, hubby to the rescue
2) Had to charge the camera and figure out how it actually fitted onto the tripod so that hubby could be relieved of camera duty
3) Had to decide what to wear as this is mostly to do with visually being able to see how my body changes ...... queue wardrobe NIGHTMARE ;-)
4) Had to bite the bullet with how I look on camera, its been a real wake-up call
5) Hunting for the cable to download the video, that was special!!!!
6) Downloading and editing ...... very special ;-)
7) Uploading video was crazy so this post was actually yesterdays post but here you have it only today ;-)

I hope you can be inspired by my personal challenge, if you have your own challenges running or about to start please share and let me know how it's going.


*Note: I wasn't going to post the video with nothing to compare it to but think that it will help motivate me to work towards improving, I'm already commenting that I need to up numbers and improve on form (get my butt lower in squats and body lower in push-ups ...... full push-up at some stage etc)

Thursday, 25 November 2010


Well I DID tell you I was a slow reader!!!!!!! ....... and I didn't even finish my other book first, I only read when I take Mr-7-year-old or Mr-4-year-old to karate so thats about an hour to an hour and a half reading weekly .... MAXIMUM.  Excuses aside, I have finished and here is my view on the book.

Its easy to read, as mentioned I red it while each of the kids were at karate and interrupted reading did not become a problem; the book was comfortable to read (no big words) but I did get annoyed occasionally when he kept referring to professor blah blah and this research and that research.  Now while I understand that this is needed to back up a book on nutrition I found it irritating non-the-less.

They key word in the book is HYPERPALATABLE
So what is "hyperpalatable" food?
Well its food that is loaded with salt-sugar-fat combination so as to be irresistibly appealing and when eaten you just want to eat more.  It also doesn't require much in the way of chewing and  basically melts in your mouth and slides down your throat so you are not having to engage much in the way of consciousness with regards to actually eating it.  Now this is something that manufactures are fully aware of and promote (along with a variety of external and personal emotional stimulants that enhance your reaction).  In my head I equated it to eating a Burger King or McDonalds versus eating a carrot or salad sandwich.  One makes us feel better when we are down, it's a treat or special occasion thing and the other is an everyday, crunchy chewy nutrition thing.
Its also a case of that once you start eating hyperpalatable foods that you want more and think you need more, its all to do with the salt-sugar-fat loading on the food by manufacturers.  These foods are also not very good at filling you up or keeping you full like a low GI food would even though they are calorie dense.

One thing in the book is that Dr. David Kessler does not blame the foods themselves, or the manufacturers for that matter, as we are all human we each have our own reward, treat, emotional systems that contribute to enhancing the wanton need for hyperpalatable foods.  Think about situations where you can associate hyperpalatable foods and an emotion and then the enhancing element the food has on your emotion. For me an example would be Burger King Bacon Double Cheese burger with fries at a BK in London.
We were new to London - it was cheap food - money was tight - it was winter - it was warm inside, the food tasted yummy!!!  This to me equated to comfort and an "everything will be all right" feeling in me.  I craved double bacon cheese burgers ...... or did I???!!!!  I have not had one since I was pregnant with number 2 so have been "clean" for 4.5 years now :-)

A few quotes from the book and from Dr. David Kessler:
"Hyperpalatable foods keep us trapped in a cue-urge-reward-habit cycle, and that's what food manufacturer's are counting on."
"The most dominant source of the power of highly palatable foods comes from just one of the senses: taste.  Although the sight and smell of food, as well as the other sensory stimulants, enhances food's appeal and motivates us to eat, taste has by far the most direct connection to the body's reward system.  Alone among the senses, taste is hardwired to brain cells that respond to pleasure.  It prompts the strongest emotional response."
"Once our behaviour becomes automatic, the emotional component - the desire to feel better - is no longer required"
"...many people cannot stop after a few bites of hyperpalatable food.  We have become conditioned to seek more reward"
"Thats what the industry has engineered, with food built layer upon layer to stimulate our senses."
"If we allow an object to be more powerful, it will always have power over you."

So, would I recommend?
Will it give you the answer to being thin?
Will it make you think about what and why you eat certain foods?

I hope you enjoy this, I feel that knowledge is power and while I have an idea of what manufacturers are up to and what the food is doing to me I retain the upper hand.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Fitness Challenge

But firstly an amazing quote:

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Mother Teresa


So, it's been a while and I've been thinking ...... I'm thinking of setting myself a fitness challenge & videoing myself completing it (no laughing now ;-)).  I want to do this for a few reasons:
1) I want to tangibly/statistically be able to track my progress
2) & not just weight, I want to be able to visually monitor how my body changes as I get fitter
3) I think it will be able to help me change/update/alter/amend/improve my workout schedule as time goes on.

I'm also gonna have to make a concerted effort to find my HR monitor!!!!

NOW, not ever having done anything like this before I've thought up the following from watching a few youtube videos and a few things we do at bootcamp.  I'm going to have to record things to track, here is what I have come up with and was wondering if anyone could add to or make any suggestions.

Must get me one of these!

Things to record:
- number of reps
- heart rate @ end of each challenge
- weight
- measurements (calf/thigh/hips lower & upper/waist @ belly button/bust over boobs/upper arms)
- Frequency .... monthly????

The Actual challenge exercises*:
1 min burpees
1 min press ups
1 min goblet squats
1 min step-ups
Track distance run over 1 minute

OR set of**
10 burpees
10 press ups
10 giblet squats
10 step ups each leg (20 total)
Repeat as many times in XX minutes
Track distance run over 1 minute

*20 seconds break in-between exercises???
**20 seconds break in-between set????

So wach-ja-all-fink???  all ideas greatly appreciated in advance.  And I'm pretty sure hubby will amused at having to play cameraman :-)


Wednesday, 17 November 2010


.... I have it BIG TIME today.  Yesterday was an absolute abomination as far as food was concerned and if I'm not mistaken my calorific summary for the day (conservatively) would look like this:

Calorie Summary:

Daily Cal Quota: 1688
+ Exercise Cals: 91
Total Cal Quota: 1779
Calories Consumed: 3093
Calories Left: -1314
Cals to Maintain Weight: 2188

The math in that equation makes for very sad reading.  But I'm over it today, well no ..... not really, more like fighting the urge to carry on from every angle imaginable.

How did this happen? 
When did I let go or loose sight of being healthy? 
What happened to "treating my body like a temple"?????

So today I have kept myself busy.  It was bootcamp first thing in the morning, school run after that, and then I skipped the office and headed straight upstairs to start building little Mr-4-year-olds new big boy bed, you gotta love flatpack.  Bed is from BedRoomWorld

From This .....

To This, in 2.5 hours :-)

The mattress ...... and YES ........... it was rolled up vacuum pack style and as flat as a pancake!

 What you can't see is a very pleased little boy :-)

So now I've totally deviated from my shame I think I have an answer to my questions above ...... and the short answer is, I honestly do not know but will let you know when I find out.  If anyone has any ideas, please share.

Today I am proud of my bed building achievement.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

OK, so Monday I woke up and gave myself a clean bill of health and completed the full bootcamp secession in the morning, felt OK for the rest of the day and then felt like that cat truck, you know ..... the one pictured below, made a revisit over my body during the night and apparently I looked like it too when I walked into the office.  The office BTW is the annex where hubby & I work but the fact that I hadn't even changed yet and was slippered and robe'd up probably didn't help the look ;-)  Based on this I have just had a walk with hubby & pooches and will not pursue any structured exercise unless I get an energy blast of some sorts this afternoon.

Picture of forest where we went for our dog walk (taken on hubby's iPhone4)

What's on the menu for today?
Breakfast: Rye toast, melted Arla cheese & a poached egg with coffee
Snack: Dark chocolate oatcakes & options hot chocolate
Lunch: prawn & pesto wholemeal wrap - surprisingly YUM :-)
Snack: Wolegrain Thins with Arla cream cheese
Dinner:  Saag with kid goat meat & basmati rice

Exercise: walking poochies
Drinks: rooibos tea & water

More from me:
The "unusual meats" I ordered the other day, from Alternative Meats, are prooving interesting but I will provide a full and proper review of them once we have tried it all.  So far we have kangaroo sausages and wild boar burgers under the belt and will be trialing the Kid Goat meat in a saag tonight ........ can't wait & hope its good.

Sorry its a shorite from me today but I think I need to chill for a bit today :-)  have a great Tuesday everyone and remember to Eat Less & Move More.


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Man Flu ..... well that's what it feels like anyway ;-)

Wow this head cold thing is taking its toll on me big time.  Its been a long while since I've been sick and my body is feeling like its been steam rolled by an industrial mining truck, something like one of the Caterpillar trucks .....

I've done sinutab, I've done Corenza C, I've kept up my viatmins and drunk loads of water and IT'S STILL BALLY WELL HERE!!!!!!!!!!
OK so now I've had to bring in the big guns, I'm talking last resort as far as I'm concerned. I've never really had any benefit from echinacea but have had some response to a degree from Sambucol (Black Elderberry Extract) so am going to blast my bod with it today and tomorrow and see how I go with that.

Needless to say what with all this snottyness, exercise has blown out the window and healthy eating is a side thought ..... although my binge list form yesterday looked something like this:
Thinz crispbreads (x4) with Arla cream cheese & vienna's (x2)
Dark chocolate oatcake double packs x 3
Custard creams x 10 (you can tell the biscuit monster got out!!!!)
and dinner was a Chinese take-out.

OK time for a sad story, not emotionally sad but pathetic sad. When we order Chinese take-out its always the same thing:
Beef Chow Mein
Chicken Foo-Yong
Sweet & Sour Pork
Plain rice
NOW, we normally dish up 50/50 but last night I dished up 1/3rd onto my plate and the rest onto hubby's so was pleased with myself but thanks to the kids ribs I snacked on one of these while cleaning up.
So a bit good and bad:
Good, heading in the right direction with portioning the take-out but not so much with the bad habit of eating left overs in the kitchen while cleaning up :-(

Now I just need to remember to log it all and hopefully I'm not toooo over.

I'm looking forwards to being fit & healthy again SOON and hopefully won't have anymore posting gaps :-)


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Appreciating what you've got.

Well today is certainly one of those classic beautiful British wintery days - the sky is crisp blue and at last check it was 4*C outside, just the kind of day I LOVE and it makes me happy :-)

And because I'm happy here is a picture of me on GuyFawkes/Bonfire night test running the sparklers before the kids got hold of them.

Today I want to talk about workouts, exercise you know ..... "move more".  Well not so much talk about as ask questions about what works for you.
Do you fit a walk in when you can or do you make a time and stick to it?
Do you prefer the gym to going it alone?
Do you prefer exercise classes over machines or weights?
Do you prefer weights to cardio or a combination and if so how do you combine or structure your secessions?

For me, I've tried the gym and just can't seem to get in to it so I keep canceling & then I feel that I miss the opportunity to go swimming but can actually do that without being a member thanks to the local DC leisure centers (but needless to say I have yet to go!!).  So I opt for home workouts, things I can do myself so bootcamp, running/walking, DVD's, kettlebells, cycling etc.  I try to do a combination of things that I can mix up so I don't get bored and above all else it must be something I enjoy doing otherwise I'll give up too quickly.
I would *HEART* a personal trainer but at the moment cannot afford one but live in the eternal hope that someday I'll get me one of them ;-)

What's on the menu for today?

PreWorkOut: Fudgeball & espresso

Breakfast: Rye toast, ham and poached egg

Snack: Crispy Thins with Arla soft cream cheese (I am LOVING it)
Lunch: Wholemeal Pitta Pizza with ham
Snack: Chocolate porridge
Dinner: (as we have guests tonight) Pea soup with homemade soda bread to start and then Scallops with cep compote & chestnuts

Drinks: water and rooibos tea & appletizer / sparkling water

Wholemeal Pitta Pizza
(a spread of green pesto with sliced tomato, ham and grated Arla cheese under the grill after adding each layer)

Exercise Plan Update:
Monday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2 - DONE
Tuesday: Week 6 Day 1 - DONE
Wednesday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2 - DONE level 3 & foam Rolling =  OUCH'ies
Thursday: Week 6 Day 2
Friday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: Week 6 Day 3 .... not at 05:30 though :-P

Foam Rolling:
Hamstrings x 10 rolls
Calf (single legs) x 5 rolls each leg
Calf (double legs) x 10 rolls
Quads x 10 rolls
ITB x 5 rolls each leg
... and then I just lay on the foam roller down my spin to open up my chest - luuuuuurrrrrvly :-)

More from me:
Its not often I eeerrrrmmmmm "admire" myself but this morning I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the window while I was doing my workout and I liked what I saw :-)
So, I'm thinking its probably a good thing to say at least one good thing about yourself each and every day, its not being vain its appreciating what you've got.  Write it down somewhere if you want or just acknowledge it consciously to yourself.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Talking to myself 8-}

Still miz where I am but fortunately not as windy as it was yesterday (the wind brings me down emotionally) so was on the treaddie this morning.  It was was a real blighter to get out of bed this morning and if you had been inside my head this morning, it would have been sad .... I had a conversation of DYNAMIC proportions going on .....
"no, don't do it"
"do it later"
"its so warm and snuggly here"
"you KNOW you will procrastinate ALL day and then not do it and then you will be sorry and then who knows what that will lead to"
"no you CAN'T have a Krispy Kreme for breakfast"
"its gonna be SOOOOOOO cold"
"yeah well at least you're not going on the road for this run"
"yeah that right its just downstairs on the treaddie"
"blah-blah it's still bladdy cold in the annex - probably COLDER than outside you know!!!"
"oh don't be such a crybaby"
"no, don't do it"
"do it later"
"its so warm and snuggly here"
"No please don't do this to yourself, you KNOW you will procrastinate ALL day and then not do it and then you will be sorry and then who knows what that will lead to"
"no you CAN'T have a Krispy Kreme for breakfast"
"oh don't be such a crybaby"

..... and after all that I still somehow managed to move my body out of bed and get dressed to get on the treaddie - all be it a half an hour after having woken up.

SO ..... Week 6 Day 1 repeated, which consisted of:
warm-up 5min walk @ avg 5.5km/hr
5min jog @ 9km/hr
3min walk @ 6.0km/hr
8min jog @ 9km/hr
3min walk @ 6.0km/hr
5min jog @ 9km/hr
cool-down 5min walk @ avg 5.5km/hr

I confess that I had to massage my calf muscles afterwards as they were VERY tight, I fear I feel a foam rolling sesh coming on :'(

What's on the menu for today?

PreWorkOut: fudgeball & espresso

Breakfast: I had porridge with flaxseed & 2tsps of homemade apple puree - need to get me more coconut milk this soya stuff is not so nice anymore!
Lunch: Slice of toasted rye bread topped with a spread of Arla cream cheese, warmed up chicken breast & fresh tomato with a tsp of green pesto stirred through
LUNCH - it was very yummy :-)
Snacks: Chochamocha podge
Dinner: Is going to be Turkish Lamb Pilau

Drinks: water and rooibos tea

Exercise Plan Update:
Monday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2 - DONE
Tuesday: Week 6 Day 1 - DONE
Wednesday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2
Thursday: Week 6 Day 2
Friday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: Week 6 Day 3 .... not at 05:30 though :-P

More from me:
Sometimes it is easier to advise other people on how to live their lives.


Monday, 8 November 2010

Its not about dieting ... its about treating your body with respect

On Sunday I wrote ......
I have had a most hideous week with regards to eating last week, not logging and avoiding a lot of exercise (my run/walk C25K programme is proving a hic-cup of note).

  I conned myself on to the treadmill Sunday otherwise I could feel a speedy decent down that slippery slop of no return which would more than likely be followed with bucket loads of guilt which would spur me on to more bingeing and emotional eating and start that vicious cycle all again.

  SO it had to be taken care of right here, right now!

  I had started to be VERY slack with avoiding wheat, yeast, dairy and sugar and over the past few days I have basically binged on it all from biscuits to toasted white bread sarnies with cheese, wine and then some. I am paying the price and have started with eczema, itching and flaking already, my bowls are producing what can only be described as toxic sludge (sorry for too much info), I'm lethargic, tired and snotty. I have decided that there is no time like the present and now is as good a time as any I'll be starting back with treating my body with respect TODAY (no good waiting for Monday)."

Well I'm pleased to report that today my head is on straight and yesterday went relatively well with regards to food.  Scale was not as unkind as it could have been and I have gone up 1kg over the past 2 weeks.  So my first challenge is to get back down by next weigh in.

What's on the menu for today?
PreWorkOut: fudgeball & espresso

Breakfast: I had porridge with flaxseed & 2tsps of homemade apple puree and twaz YUM

Lunch: 2 Quorn chicken fillets, wholemeal pitta with fresh tom & Mayola ... sadly I've had better :-(
Snacks: Oatcakes with Arla cream cheese & an Options hot chocolate with a dash of soya milk
Dinner: Chicken breast with tomato based sauce, baked potato & steamed veg

Drinks: water

Calorie Summary:
Daily Cal Quota: 1688
Exercise Cals: 282
Total Cal Quota: 1970
Calories Consumed: 1717

Calories Left: 253

Cals to Maintain Weight: 2188

Exercise plan for the week:
This will see me up at 05:30am every weekday morning.
Monday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2 - DONE
Tuesday: Week 6 Day 1
Wednesday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2
Thursday: Week 6 Day 2
Friday: 30 Day Shred Level 1&2
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: Week 6 Day 3 .... not at 05:30 though :-P

I am hoping to get some doggy walks in-between as well but with the weather as it is, I might just throw a ball for them :-)

More from me:
We had Hugh Fernley Whats-his-name on Sky+ and it was on bread baking.  I was DROOLING ..... enough said!  So I have bookmarked the page for soda bread and may even be brave enough to give sourdough bread a whirl, will see if I can get my head around the "starter" business.

PS Arla cream cheese is SCRUMMY and only 78.8 calories for 40gs worth mmmmmmmm
PPS I have the Biscuit Monster in the cupboard under the stairs at the moment waiting for pest control to come round and remove him ;-)


Friday, 5 November 2010


I have been attacked by the biscuit monster and need to muster up all the power I can to fight it off. So in an Arnie kinda voice ......... "I vill be bak"
For a visual representation I will look something like a "hero" in a video game trying to fight off a BOSS!!!!

Me ..... ready to fight off the BISCUIT MONSTER
(aka Alema Rar - a Rutian Twi'lek Jedi Knight)


Wednesday, 3 November 2010


OK so this morning has been a tad mixed up in that as soon as I walked through the door back form bootcamp hubby was heading out for golf.  Problem you ask????  Well no, but the extra chit-chat meant I didn't manage to get upstairs straight away and shower like I usually do - I got stuck straight into getting the kids ready so I could get to the office with my breakfast and set up for the day.  Which in turn meant I did the school run in stinky smelly bootcamp kit and in fact I am STILL sat here with said stinky smelly bootcamp kit on as I have to watch my screen for targets (which is a good thing by the way ;-))

So is this my revelation ..... no silly!!!!  My revelation is Kara Foods Coconut Milk.
Also available on your supermarket shelf (well Tesco to be exact)
I used it just now in my usual chochamocha porridge and OH MY WORD ........ I have never, ever had porridge that tasted SOOOOOOO lush and creamy before, will not be using Soya Milk in my podge any more - EVARRRRRR!!!!  Now to try it in a cuppa cawffeeeee ;-)

What's on the menu today?
Breakfast: corn bread, ham and a poached egg along with a cuppa
Lunch: left over butternut risotto with a bag of steam veggies
Snacks: ChocaMocha porridge with falxseed (done) and dark chocolate oatcakes
Dinner: Japanese Mirin-poached beef with steamed rice - we couldn't find the pickled ginger yeseterday so we had prawn paella last night instead but I'm heading to Waitrose and M&S today to see if the posh shops can deliver the goods so to speak :-)
Drinks: rooibos tea & water

Yesterdays run was great, I started off on 2% incline but had to drop to 1% in first jog secession and it felt good from there.  I am pleased I decided to repeat week 6 if I'm totally honest ;-) as its giving me a chance to consolidate what I have done so far and also ensures I don't push myself to far after not running last week.  Bootcamp this morning was practically tropical, a pleasant and warm morning clocking in at 14*C.  Great workout with a few "challenges" thrown in by the instructor ….. eerrrrmmmm 2 minutes of burpees!!!!!!!!.............I managed 25!  Will see if I can better this next time shall we.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

It's all about the Apple Crumble!

OK, I've had a request for the apple crumble recipe so I will add it in todays blog.

Speaking of which, I had a little "crumble" last night ... eeeerrrrrmmmmm that would be leftover apple crumble with cream :-(  took me WAAAAY over calories yesterday but I faced the music this morning and got on the scales, a total of 1kg up after last weeks debacle, I called it a "maintenance week", but clearly it wasn't!!!!  It was the reality check I need so NO MORE CRUMBLE!!!!

First up though ........ What's on the menu for today?
Breakfast: corn bread, ham and a fried egg along with a cuppa coffee
Lunch: Wholemeal wrap with quorn meatballs & chopped tomato warmed up
Snacks: ChocaMocha porridge with falxseed
Dinner: Japanese Mirin-poached beef with steamed rice - looks yum & can't wait to try it just hope I can get all the ingredients

Exercise: I'm going to repeat week 6 of my running training program as I didn't manage to get out at all last week for a run, so day 1 week 6 C25K for me.
Drinks: rooibos tea & water

Apple Crumble Recipe:
(Based on Nigella Lawson's recipe from her book "How to Eat")
1 Very large or 2 medium cooking apples
25g Raisins
45g Light brown sugar
3tbsp Marsala

Now bear in mind the above makes a small 4 portion serving (Nigella mentions a 2 person serving if eating nothing else).  See below for the quantities I used; also note for the topping quantities that these are for the two large dishes I made (so halving them should do 1 large dish nicely and possibly quartering the quantities would suit Nigella original quantities for fruit filling??))

Apple Crumble Recipe - For the 2 bowls I made:
6 Very large Bramley apples from our tree
sprinkled over Demerera brown sugar (see picture below)
about 270g Raisins
and about 1cm of rum in the medium sized pot (as per picture below)

The Topping:
(Based on a recipe from my sis-in-law Zelda)
360g oats
455g cake flour/plain flour I used
375g brown sugar (I used light brown caster sugar)
5ml bicarb
5ml salt
545g butter
My addition: crushed walnuts about 100g to 120g

Heat the oven to about 190°C.
Warm the rum over a low heat on the stove top.  Once warmed through remove from heat and add raisins to soak for a while.
Raisins soaking in Rum
Peel, core and slice all the apples and place in a heavy based pan over a lowish heat. Sprinkle over the sugar and then pour over the raisin and rum mix.  
Sugar covering apples
Put a lid on top and let is steam/stew for about five minutes.  Give the pan a good shake once or twice to mix it up.  Once soft (but not mush though you understand) put the fruit into a pie dish.  Now, you can either reserve the rum liquid for either pouring over later or glug it down as chefs treat in the kitchen while no one is looking ;-)

In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.  Melt the butter and pour over the dry mixture.  Mix together well and cover the fruit with the crumble mix.

Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes.  Let is stand for a while as the apples get VERY hot and you don't want to burn your mouth and ruin enjoyment.

Smother with cream, clotted cream, vanilla ice cream, custard or all 3 and enjoy :-)


Monday, 1 November 2010

Happy Halloween

Howdy folks :-)

Well we had a fantastic weekend, my bestie & goddaughter came to spend the weekend with us and Sunday we had a halloween party.  So needless to say LOADs of food consumed, no formal exercise executed and quite frankly I outdid myself in the desert department having TWO bowls of apple crumble ;-)  
My bootcamp buddy last week - ready for the chop.
All cut up and glowing :-)
Sunday was great, hubby started with lunch prep early which meant (wait for this..........) everything was ready on time without any stress and we could hang about chatting with guests rather than cooking.  I popped into the kitchen every now and again to unload and repack the dishwasher - the kids disappeared into the garden and were only to be seen for food or ice cream.  Much to our relief there was more than enough food for everyone.

Now, unfortunatly no pictures of hubbys PHENOMENAL wild boar sausage stew, but I do have plenty of the apple crumble.
Apples from our apple tree
Raisins soaking in warm dark rum
All sliced, soaked and ready to simmer for 5 minutes
Crumble mix
The finished product

Sundays menu was:
Breakfast: Hubbys scrambled eggs bacon & rye toast with coffee
Lunch: Hubbys wild boar sausage stew with fresh bread
Dessert: Apple crumble with cream/ice cream/custard or in my case ...... all 3!
HEAVEN in a bowl
Snacks: scattered throughout the day were crisps, nuts and a variety of junk ;-)
Drinks: only 1 glass of wine and then water

What's on the menu for today?
PreWorkOut: Fudge ball & espresso
Breakfast: rye toast with ham & poached egg with a cuppa coffee
Lunch: Wholemeal wrap with quorn meatballs & chopped tomato warmed up
Snacks: ChocaMocha porridge
Dinner: Left over stew & fresh corn bread

Exercise: Bootcamp - was nice and warm for a change and with clock changes on the weekend if was even light half way through the class .... its the small things that get me excited ;-)
Drinks: Coffee, rooibos tea & water

More from me:
Family and friends are important try not take them for granted.