Lucy’s November Challenge – Week 2

Happy Monday readers. After my gloating post last night, I think it’s time to move straight on to my Week 2 exercise plan.

Lucy’s November Challenge

WEEK 2

Monday – Bikram Yoga (90 mins) and Abs (10 mins)

Tuesday – Fitness Blender Arms and Cardio Workout (40 mins)

Wednesday – Bikram Yoga (90 mins) and Butt and Thigh (10 mins)

Thursday – Fitness Blender 1000 calorie intense Workout (90 mins)

Friday – Bikram Yoga (90 mins)

Saturday/Sunday – Over the period of the weekend: Jog (30 mins) and Abs (10 mins)

And I also wanted to leave you with a sneak peak of some of the more impressive meals I have had over the last week. Onwards and upwards.

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Above is my all-time favourite breakfast: Carrot cake oatmeal. On this occasion I topped it with gorgeous slightly-sweetened nuts. Read about me discovering Carrot-cake oatmeal for the first time here.

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On Monday night last week, I was on my solely-fruit day. I made this incredible fruit salad bowl, which filled me up beautifully in the evening. It included gala melon, granny smith apple, conference pear, red grapes, mango and kiwi. Delicious, and certainly something I’m going to do again this evening! I know there is a lot written about sugar at the moment, and how even sugar in fruit needs to carefully monitored… However, I think every now and then, a bowl like this is a great idea. The sheer amount of vitamins and  minerals you get from this is incredible  - I feel giddy even just looking at it.

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Now this meal was a large effort but 100% worth it. It is a recipe from one of my favourite bloggers: Deliciously Ella. You can find the recipe for this stuffed butternut squash here, and I made a big pot of ratatouille to go with it. Recipe for that is coming soon.

Lucy’s November Challenge – Week 1 summary

Week 1 of my health-kick challenge is over, and I honestly feel better than ever. It’s time for a few very appropriate and very true Memes.

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My 3-day detox start to the week was a winner – I felt brilliant and it definitely rebooted my brain into a healthier mind-set. Then I managed to get through the weekend, attending birthday buffets and hosting dinner parties, with restraint but also enjoyment. I am enormously proud of myself, and it just proves how we can all overcome habits we feel are impossible burdens. You just need to break the cycle, and break it now.

Also, following an exercise plan worked amazingly for me. Yesterday I was in agony, but it was a great agony! My muscles were aching like crazy, which just proves how much more I was pushing myself this week than ever before.

I cannot wait to see the results if I carry on like this. Follow along with me, and see the change in yourself!

Getting back on – Lucy’s November Challenge

Life is good for me at the moment. I like being busy, and right now I am the busiest I’ve been in 3 years. I’m trying to run a theatre company, fund-raise, continue my tutoring work, keep up my Bikram habit, re-decorate my flat and hold down a social life all at the same time. It’s a lot of fun.

But when you’re busy, often something has to give, and for me it’s been the healthy life-style I’d adopted with such joy over the last couple of years. Since mid-summer, I have certainly let things slip. I am binging out on bad foods and I’m not exercising as much. And guess what? It doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t look good! A few times over the last month I have tried to instil some heavy will power and jump back on the band wagon, but to no avail. Oddly I think I need somebody to answer to, as well as myself. This morning it hit me: I’m going to answer to you guys – my readers! Because how can I sit here at my computer and preach healthy eating and active lifestyle if I’m going to house parties and eating family packs of doritos!? I can’t. So I’ve decided that to help me jump back into the healthy lifestyle I’d grown to love so much, I am challenging myself to the healthiest of all Novembers! And you’re going to keep an eye on me.

Each Sunday I will set myself fitness tasks to complete throughout the week, and I encourage any of my readers to join in! I will also document healthy meals I concoct and be more dedicated in posting online about such things. If I slip and fall off the track, I will tell you. And I hope that will be rare. I would love to hear if you guys try a similar thing, so do message me.

Today I did the first video of a 5 Day Workout Challenge created by Fitness Blender (one of my favourite fitness sites). I will aim to complete the challenge over this week as well as doing yoga and jogging. I am also going to kickstart this wonderful November with a basic detox. On Monday I will be eating purely fruit, on Tuesday purely Veg and on Wednesday a mixture of the two. I have done this in the past to boost my brain into taking things more seriously! But please don’t follow suit if you have never done it before.

Lucy’s November Challenge

WEEK 1

Monday - Bikram Yoga (90 mins) and Weights (10 mins)

Tuesday - Fitness Blender’s 5 Day Workout Challenge Video 2

Wednesday - Fitness Blender’s 5 Day Workout Challenge Video 3

Thursday - Bikram Yoga (90 mins) and Abs (10 mins)

Friday - Fitness Blender’s 5 Day Workout Challenge Video 4 and Bikram Yoga (90 mins)

Saturday/Sunday - Over the period of the weekend: Fitness Blender’s 5 Day Workout Challenge Video 5 and Bikram Yoga (60 mins)

I will report back halfway through the week and at the end of the week. This is one girl taking control of something she has every capacity to take control of!

See you on the other side.

PORRIDGE!!

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This is going to be mainly a food-porn post, in which I indulge myself with all the beautiful pictures I took of porridge whilst I was in America.

Porridge is one of my favourite breakfast foods, and possibly ranks in my top 10 foods of all time. Whilst out in the Hamptons, I was using classic Quaker Oats, with semi-skimmed milk and water, then adding a splash of milk on top after the porridge was cooked. New technique, but I loved it. Toppings included a variety of seeds and fruit and jams.

Enjoy the photos:

Blueberries and flax seeds -

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Peach, roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, drizzled honey -

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Raspberries, flax seeds and strawberry jam -

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Blueberries and apricot jam -

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Strawberries, blueberries, flax seeds and strawberry jam -foodfighttime white bowl foodfighttime side 

For more unusual porridge, please check out my absolutely delightful carrot-cake oatmeal.

Claud’s Cauliflower Couscous

It’s August and I am back in the Hamptons, living with my “second family” – a family whose 3 children I have tutored for the last 2 and a half years. Going away on a tutoring job abroad is always an odd experience. Even when tutoring at home, there is an odd dynamic – you are invited into a family’s home and become a fly on the wall; you are trusted and embraced, and yet you are still an employee and so there is a divide. When you go abroad on such a job, the lines are even more blurred – There are times when life is incredibly stressful, and times when I am insanely bored! Generally though, the trip is a wonderful experience and with a family like this one, who I care about so much, the pros definitely outway the cons.

One of the best things I remember from last summer, and which I anticipated with great relish in the lead-up to my trip this year, was the absolutely delicious food. Two chefs, Claudia and Jack, take over the kitchen for the duration of the summer and prepare all meals for the inhabitants of the house. These guys are seriously talented makers of scrumptious food and the quantities I consume can hit a rather extreme level, even for me.

So for the remainder of the month, my blog entries will be “guest recipes” of Claudia and Jack’s. They cook such a wonderful array of very fresh, healthy meals and I think they deserve to be shared with you. The recipe today reminded me of my Cauliflower Egg-Fried Rice, and is a great summer version of that. It’s a perfect side-dish for a bbq, and is astoundingly filling, despite being comprised of just raw vegetables!

 

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Claudia’s Cauliflower Couscous Salad

1 cauliflower head (grated)

Cherry tomatos

Red onion

Chick peas

Fresh coriander

Fresh mint

Olive Oil

Lemon

Cayenne pepper

Cumin powder

 

I haven’t added amounts to the above ingredients list, just because it’s up to you! Who am I to tell you how many cherry tomatoes are enough, or whether the salad is minty enough. Add or remove ingredients as you wish.

Firstly douse the chickpeas in olive oil, cumin powder and cayenne pepper and roast them until they are a nice brown colour. Then mix the grated cauliflower, chopped cherry toms, chopped red onion, chick-peas and chopped herbs in a big bowl. Dress it with olive oil and lemon (again adding sufficient amounts to please your palate).

Serve and enjoy. And think of us enjoying it over here!20140811_122957 20140811_123021

 

Thai Coleslaw

Apologies for the delay in getting a new recipe up here. I’ve started my own theatre company with 2 friends this year, and it is proving to take up a considerable amount of my life! Acting and food being my two main passions, I am loathe to complain though.

I’ve been getting really into my healthy “slaws” this summer, and wanted to share my favourite with you – it is, of course, spicy. If you have failed to notice my love of chilli over the swathe of recipes I have shared, take another look now. It will be like hearing a clock tick – once you notice it, you’ll never notice anything else.

20140426_171533This particular slaw is a thai coleslaw, which uses lots of lovely asian tastes, like sesame oil and coriander. It is the perfect fresh side dish to a big old BBQ!

Ingredients

1/2 white cabbage
2 large carrots
6 spring onions
sesame oil
1 lime
1 chilli pepper
large bunch of fresh coriander

Use a food processor to grate the cabbage and carrots down. Then add the chopped spring onions and the chilli pepper (of course add more or less, depending on your love of the spice). Finally pour over a generous amount of sesame oil and squeeze the juice of the lime over the top. Garnish heavily with coriander. I usually chop up a whole supermarket pack of the herb and stir it all in with the other ingredients.

Occasionally I add a red pepper, or some chopped cherry tomatoes for a little extra colour – it can’t hurt it!

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The Rainbow Salad

A couple of weeks ago I caught a virus. Let’s have some overshare time now – most viruses cause vomiting and diarrhea, but mine caused my whole body to just seize up. I had an appetite but anytime I ate anything my stomach would go into agonising cramps and swell up to pregnant size. It wasn’t a good look. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I spent 4 days solidly living off overcooked carrot and brocolli. That was all my body could handle. So now I’m out the other side, I’m craving that raw fibrous fruit and veg that I was deprived for that small period of time. 

So I’ve been making a lot of rainbow salads. Here’s how to do it:

In short… Pile as many different raw, brightly coloured vegetables on your plate as possible.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

If the colours don’t make your eyes hurt, you’ve not done it right!Image

In this photo, the salad is made up of a bed of spinach and kale, topped with tomatoes, white onion (I’m brave), grated carrot, chopped beetroot, raisins and fresh basil. I also always tend to garnish anything I make with chilli, because if you can top anything with ginger, garlic or chlili, you’re doing your body and your metabolism a favour.

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Now is the time to make a rainbow salad, while the sun is out and the heat is blazing. In winter, you won’t want this kind of thing, but right now it is easy to fill your body with this kind of goodness. So go raw, even just for a meal. “Thanks”, said your bod.