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.

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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.

San Francisco – My healthy recommendations

I am currently in the magnificent US of A again. I can’t get enough of this country!

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Me and Helen at a particularly extravagant buffet in Dubai last year

This time I’m in California visiting a very good friend of mine. Helen and I were at school together, then both went to Cambridge before finally following each other to London post-university. We’ve followed each other around for over a decade. As a result, I found it very sad when she revealed to me last year that she was going to move to San Francisco indefinitely. I promised to visit before the year was out, and so here I am.

I have been to San Francisco many times before with my family, but always as a tourist. As a result I’ve always liked the city but never loved it, because it’s hard to really get to know a place when you’re doing all the things the locals don’t do and none of the things that they do! Within a couple of hours of landing in San Francisco this time, and trundling my suitcase from the BART station to my friend’s house, I had fallen more in love with the city than I could ever have imagined. And I love it even more now that I have a better appreciation of health and fitness, because it has got to be one of the healthiest seeming cities in America. Last time I was here I was still at university, and eating family packs of crisps as a mid-morning snack! Suddenly I’m incredibly aware of all the joggers out with their dogs, all the amazing omelette options at brunch, and all the lovely organic deli shops on every street corner! Of course it’s always easy to be unhealthy, but in this city it seems that it’s also easy to be healthy and love it.

I am now on my way to LA (healthy and unhealthy in very different ways), and then I will be moving on to Vegas on Friday (hideously unhealthy) but my short time in San Francisco over the last week has changed my opinion of the city forever. As my bus pulled out of the city over Bay Bridge, I felt incredibly sad that I would only be returning a day before flying home to England. In my brief time here with Helen, I already have a few recommendations for the healthy foodies out there who are lucky enough to live in/visit San Francisco.

1.  Judy’s on Union Street for brunch. Get one of their omelette’s – it’s basically a pile of delicious food with a lid of omelette on it – like a literal egg pie. And if you have the choice of what bread to get on the side, have their home-made pumpkin loaf. It’s melt in the mouth good.

2. Go and help yourself to a sold-by-weight salad bar at the Wildflower Cafe near the famous TransAmerica building. I met Helen for lunch one day and she took me here. I’d like to publicly apologise online to her for not engaging in any conversation properly because I was constantly making sounds of delicious approval and pointing out that the eggplant salad/chillied broccoli/green bean salad/curried chicken/vietnamese noodles/beetroot wedges were to die for. If you want to fill your plate high though, do prepare yourself for the salad to come to over $10. Absolutely worth it though.

3. If you are a porridge lover, which I am to a dangerous level, and you need some food on the go, head to Blue Fog market and get their Oh! Meal! It’s porridge cooked with honey, ginger, lemon juice and a bit of cream cheese, and it’s honestly got to be the best porridge I’ve ever tasted. Again my enjoyment of the porridge rendered me incapable of conversation with Helen as we walked back to her flat. Sprinkle complimentary granola or blueberries on top to add the final touch.

4. Make sure you check out the farmers’ market at the Ferry Building. It’s open on Sundays and Tuesdays, and you have to hunt down the man selling home-made dips – houmous, babaganoush, pesto, aubergine dip. He will continue to ply you with samples of chunks of gluten-free falafel until you prize yourself away.

That’s all from me for now. Time for a little mid-journey snack – a fresh Californian orange and a packet of addictive lime and chilli flavoured pumpkin seeds. Wherever you are in the world, enjoy the rest of your week.

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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.