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.

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.

Wet Salad

I’m off to Japan tomorrow morning! My family love travelling and this has been on our list for years, so we are so excited to finally be visiting. I’m quite overwhelmed by it all actually – I just can’t wait. I’m fascinated to see what it’s like, although a little nervous about the food, as I’m not a sushi fan…

I’m sure a post will follow. But for now I wanted to share my recipe for getting rid of all the leftovers in my fridge! A classic pre-holiday activity.

A few years ago an actor friend of mine came to crash with me for a few days. He was a very healthy man, in body and mind. He was very zen, and we had a lot of big deep and meaningful conversations while he was here. Of all my memories though, the residing image in my brain from his brief stay was the “wet salads” he always made, as he called them. These involved grating up very moist vegetables, to create a very soggy pile of raw goodness. Sound grim? It definitely isn’t.

Here is my Avocado and Chilli Wet Salad, as the beautiful and calm Vyelle would have called it. Enjoy your upcoming week, and I’ll see you all on the other side…


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Ingredients

1 large grated carrot

1/2 grated courgette

1 grated cooked beetroot

1 avocado

1/4 red chilli, chopped

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Black pepper

Mix it all together, and what have you got…? Delicious fridge-emptying goodness, that’s what. Happy holidays!

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Gorging on Winter Side-Dishes

I’ve eaten a lot this evening. It’s been a binge day. But thanks to my rule of not buying any bread/potatoes/sweets/crisps for my own flat, the worst I could binge on was buttered rice cakes… and I certainly did that, after my celery dipped in salsa, oatcakes dipped in pesto and corn thins dipped in almond butter. However, the most delicious thing I ate were these wonderful bowls of vegetables, otherwise known as the “winter side-dishes” (even though they played the role of protagonist in my mealtimes today).

Firstly the spinach:

 

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I got the idea for this from my favourite food porn website. Firstly I fried a small handful of pine-nuts and a small handful of raisins in about a teaspoon of coconut oil. Then I steamed a whole 240g bag of spinach, drained it, chopped it up and added it to the pan. All the ingredients were sizzled around a little, salt and pepper was added, and voila. Delicious and nutritious.

 

The second dish was the hot mushroom and carrot dish:

ImageA large carrot was grated, and a box of mushroom were sliced. An onion was fried in a small dash of olive oil, and a chopped chilli pepper was added. Then the mushroom and carrot was added, along with a handful of cranberries (keeping it festive, and adding a bit of tang to the dish). A dash of worcester sauce and a slop of teriaki sauce joined the party, and finally a generous teaspoon of paprika was thrown on top. The bowl was garnished with some chopped coriander, and I was ready to go.

 

Another “healthy cake”

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This one is half beetroot.

Literally half of the mix is shredded beetroot.

After successfully baking my chocolate zucchini cake last weekend, and seeing how beautifully moist vegetables make cake, I was eager to try a different veggie-bake. I read a few blogs and heard beetroot-and-chocolate as a combination crop up a lot, so I settled for making that. What I didn’t really compute until I was halfway through making this particular recipe is that it avoids all the typically “nasty” ingredients. As well as being half vegetable, there is no sugar, no butter and no flour. Hard to believe. Honey is used to sweeten, cocoa powder provides the dry substance and coconut oil (my favourite!) acts as fat. And yet the end product is gorgeously rich, goopy and sinful-seeming. My flatmate and her boyfriend returned home just in time to sample some straight from the oven and on tasting it they emitted sounds I only thought I’d ever hear coming through the bedroom wall…

In short, it was a marvellous success and very easy to make. Click on the above picture to be taken to the original recipe page.  I promise to stop talking about cakes for a few weeks now.

P.S. Forgive me father for I have sinned. I created a “healthy” cake, and then made it part of a very unhealthy cake. A good friend of mine, Eric, moved home to America today and he had a leaving dinner last night. I promised to take something sweet to eat. I wanted to send Eric home in style (and I’ve been watching a lot of The Great British Bake-off) so I was inspired to do something crazy. What I made was a double layered cake – carrot cake on the bottom, chocolate-beet cake on the top, enough buttercream frosting to drown a small village in the middle, and enough rich dark chocolate icing to smother a sumo wrestler above. I put 5 small carrot sticks right on the top though, so that rectifies the situation right…? Here is my creation:

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Delicious Things in Bowls

I have been inspired by my new favourite food-porn website (see last entry)!

 

2 photos in particular excited me beyond belief and inspired me to hunt down the recipes and make my own version, and I would like to share them with you now. Let’s start with breakfast:

 

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

This is basically porridge with vegetables included – double whammy of brilliance. As my nutritionist/personal trainer friend texted when I sent him a picture: “Oh Sh*t!!! Love that!!”

 

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To make this marvel, I used 50g porridge and one medium-sized carrot grated up. I added to this mixture about half a teaspoon of ginger (maybe use a little less, as the ginger taste was a bit too strong) and a sprinkling of cinnamon. For liquid, I used 100ml soy milk and 100ml water, although apparently adding a bit of orange juice works well. Finally when the porridge was just about ready I added about 20g of raisins. When serving, I put a small amount of golden syrup on top (no more than a teaspoon).

It was absolutely delicious and so filling.

Now, moving on to lunch/dinner!

 

Cauliflower Egg-Fried Rice

This is basically egg-fried rice, but instead of rice we use finely grated cauliflower. Both these recipes seem to involve grating a vegetable. And decanting into a bowl. Who knew I was so unimaginative…?

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Yum yum yum. This is amazing! So how to? Well firstly I grated about half a raw cauliflower and put it aside in a bowl. Then I picked some random vegetables and a bit of meat. Anything will do (this is a good way to use leftovers) but I selected: an orange pepper, an onion, some mushrooms and chorizo. I chopped up the aforementioned ingredients and fried them in a bit of olive oil with lots of garlic. I then poured the bowl of grated cauliflower into my wok of ingredients, and added some soy sauce. I stirred all of this around for a few minutes then finally cracked an egg into the middle and continued to stir. When I was sure that all the egg had cooked, I poured the mixture into a bowl and garnished with a couple of basil leaves and a drizzle of some chilli-olive oil that I had leftover from a delicious jar of olives. Perfection. And really just a massive bowl of vegetables with a bit of protein bunged in there from the meat and egg. Absolutely nutritionally divine. And it also looks good on camera!

 

Tomorrow I am off to join my parents in Greece for 4 nights, so you can be sure that a post on Greek food will accompany my return at the weekend. Until then, have a wonderful few days.