Should you get Chocolate Labrador?

I don’t consider myself as a specialist in “canine science” and following are strictly my personal opinions based on my own life changing experiences. But, when I have been talking to other lucky Choc lab owners I can see lots of similar behaviors and problems they have come across.

First of all, if you choosing your first dog don’t ever  be fooled with most sweetest, teddy bear like puppy! That, what happened to me anyway. I saw this adorable puppy one of our pub lunch’s next table from us and I knew straight away we’ll have one of those.

We were already in process to get a dog. It has been my biggest dream since I was 10 or even younger. I used to go all dog shows, which visited my home town and I even bought red leather lead and red wooden brush for my future dog. I was so desperate – but it took me nearly 30 years, before my dream came true. We weren’t sure what kind of dog we’ll get and we were considering to get rescue, but unfortunately in UK it has been almost impossible to adopt the dog, when you are working full time, even all conditions would’ve been ideal – lots of room for dog, big garden, woodlands just behind the garden giving lots of opportunities to run off lead, enough income to cover all costs and most importantly, very committed owner to be!

So puppy it was meant to be and when I saw advert with those chunky puppies I was sold. I do know the dangers of buying puppy from the advertiser on a website and I will probably wouldn’t go same route if I have to do it again, but I think Lonni’s mum was genuine family dog and local and I’m quite certain no one got harmed in the process.

Little did I know that getting a young puppy is like having a baby! The commitment and time you need to put into can be quite stressful. Of course there are lots of fun and laughter  as well, but for your puppy happiness you need to be committed and put lots of work, time and patience into it. I learnt that chocolate Labradors aren’t just sweet looking teddy bears, they are mad (almost crazy). Unfortunately I learnt it after I got Lonni, that the chocolate colored ones are the maddest of them all. That’s why you don’t see many working chocolate labs! You couldn’t trust blind person led by chocolate lab – as soon she would notice something interesting she would be off with you tangling along middle of traffic or pump into the lamp-post. Don’t get me wrong they are easily trainable! Lonni was one of the best in her puppy class, but take her out into the field and she’s off to meet people and other dogs whatever you shout or do! So embarrassing!

They just think that everyone would be as happy to meet her as she is, when seeing any human being. Most dog owners know that there are plenty of people out there, who don’t find your beloved pup adorable – imagine that! 🙂 and there are lots of grumpy dogs who won’t be impressed by bouncy 25 kg puppy. Doesn’t help that Lonni is alpha female and not scared of anything or anyone! (maybe just bit wary of our black cat Tomi)

She’s also bit of a bully. She doesn’t mind big strong dogs who drag her around by collar and have a play fight and she doesn’t mind curios small brave dogs, who trying to play with her. She doesn’t like weak and nervous ones. She can sense that they are afraid of her and thinks it’s a good opportunity to go after them. I had many of those situations, which ended me in tears and apologizing endlessly to the shocked owners of the terrified dogs. Luckily this behavior has almost disappeared and 99.9% time she’s easy going and playful dog, who doesn’t mind sharing her toys or even food (that’s not really possible anyway. Nobody can eat as fast as Labrador, so when you even trying to take her food you have to be super fast, which I said is almost impossible). Lab on the following video could easily be Lonni 🙂

They are lovely family dogs, but you still need to get ground rules clear. When we first got her, she picked my son, who is youngest in the family and tried to get ahead on pack order. He tried to get my sons favorite place to sit and tried to get between me and him. She soon learned that she’s on the bottom of the pack, she realized that even the cats have more rights 🙂 She was also very bouncy, so when you have small children you have to be mindful that hey can easily knock them over not really thinking about it.

And they are strong – very strong! If she’s seeing something – she would be off if you not stopping her with you arms feet and teeth if needed 🙂 Probably that’s the one reason why I joined CrossFit to be strong enough to control my dog 🙂

All Labradors need plenty of exercise. Firstly because they have lots of energy so it helps them to keep calm(er). Lonni have 2 off lead 30-50 minutes walks a day and we do try to fit some longer walks in on the weekend. She also have access to our garden, when we are at home, but she’s not so interested to exercise herself. Also they need plenty of exercise to keep them slim as they are very greedy and do anything to get some food. It’s very easy to over feed them. I think it’s very common sight seeing Labradors tottering around with no waste line, especially chocolate Labradors.

Choccies are very excitable. It does get better, when they get older, but I remember how our visitors were met by this 28 kg bundle of bouncy happiness and it took for 5-10 minutes to calm her down. We found that the best thing to help her control emotions was giving something to her carry around in her mouth. She actually discovered it herself – she crabs nearest shoe or sock or anything she can find and carries it around, while showing her happiness with her waggy tale. This does mean that most days we all desperately trying to find pair of shoes, when we are in a hurry but the pair is never together.

Above is just a snippet of what it’s like to live with chocolate Labrador, if it didn’t put you off, maybe it’s the dog for you. We love our Lonni and wouldn’t have it any other way! 

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Bye 2017!

Just few hours left until the 2017 closes its door. Time to look and remind myself the goods and make a plans for the 2018.

January

January proved that it’s actually winter month and we had a snow for once! Not for long, but enough for kids to have a play and take a few quick photos to  remember. I did started with Project 30 what slowed straight down in summer holidays and then moved backwards. I will write more about it very soon. On positive side – I’m nearly stone lighter (it feels much better to say stone than 7 kg 🙂 ) . Not so positive – I’m no where near , where I was planning to be by end of the year, but hey – s..t happens and here we go again in new year.

February

I really focused on good nutrition and tried lots of healthy recipes. There was also my birthday, which I don’t really like to be reminded now days 🙂 

March

I took part of first CrossFit Open and absolutely loved  it. I’ m so glad that I found CrossFit 2 and half years ago. It’s really reminded me, that exercise is not for loosing weight or get certain kind of body. It’s fun, it’s the lifestyle choice and it’s good for your mental health. I never have problem to get down to the classes, it’s part of my life and I rather not have glass of wine on Friday night than miss Saturday morning class. (I still love “social drinking” there and then, and good night out with my friends). I train minimum 4 times a week, sometimes up to 6 times and I can’t imagine any other way.

April

April brought us unexpectedly hot summer weather. We had lovely walks and traditional Easter weekend down in Kent coast. I had injury in my knee, which messed up my training and therefore my diet was crap. I do find that you don’t loose weight only with exercise, you need good diet as well, but the exercise helps to follow healthy diet. One of the things I learned this year, that I always have some kind of niggle in my knees and I just have to live with it. Don’t rush back on the training with the injury and train smart, which means concentrate on the movements, which help my knees to get the best state they can be.

May

May brings this summery feeling (not always) lots of lovely walks around, where we live. Beautiful blossoms everywhere and we had family trip to London over very- very long time. We always promise to ourselves to do it more often as it’s only 45 minutes away and there is so much to do and see. It was treat for K for her birthday and we went to see the play, which was really good fun.

June

We had family gathering in our house with lots of lovely food and great sunshine. We did some wild cooking with T in our garden and apparently it was the best meal ever 🙂 I made a paella for 120 people in local music festival to rise money for scouts. I started running, because I really hate it and I don’t like to hate things. Unfortunately my knees didn’t agree with it, so gave it up for now and just do occasional running at the CrossFit.

July

It’s the month for our now traditional Stonepit farm family picnic with live music. I went to see proper cricket match – now, when I can understand most of the rules, its’actually very exciting and doesn’t feel like teams just standing around and then sometimes run a bit and hit the ball with the bat:) I said goodbye to lovely family, who moved back to Estonia 🙁 and we went to Cambridge Folk festival, which we can now cross of the list “Things we should do one day”

August

… and my favourite month of 2017. Road trip to Estonia. I annoyed most of my Facebook friends with photos of everything I saw and did on this trip. Sorry, but I truly enjoyed it and I just wanted to share it with everyone. Lovely places, delicious food, great friends, breath taking sunsets, night swims, discolf with best friends in the night, my best friends wedding in a tiny island, good laughs, dear family – just to name a few things, what made me happy.

September

After the busy august, which also brought us sad news about S dad, the September was quiet with some family time and settling back to routines.

October

Good month, because lovely people came to visit us. We love people coming to stay with us, especially when they coming from far away and I can chat in Estonian all night 🙂 Lots of food and drink and laughter. I also introduced my guests to CrossFit so they can see what I’m  always talking about 🙂

November

My love to Estonian films was restored. Went to see 3 short films in Estonian House in London and had good laugh in good company.

December

It’s Christmas months and everything leading up to it. Christmas parties, frosty walks, visits from very dear friends, family get together and to end this year – one very long walk in lovely Kent countryside.

I wish you all very happy new year and love this beautiful life! 

XXX

 

One Estonian thoughts about Estonia (and Estonians)

I’m going through photos from this year holiday to Estonia. Here are just some random thoughts with some photos:

  • Until I moved to UK I never lived further than 500 meter from the sea. I always feel home, when I can see and feel seaside. Being of 2 fisherman’s granddaughter I love fish and seafood. In Estonia you don’t have to break a bank to eat fish daily and we estonians are not picky what kind of fish we eating (always have black rye bread with it! ….with everything really 🙂 )

  • You can easily find affordable meals in pubs and it doesn’t mean everything deep-fried. This big plate cost around £5 and you get 1/3 plate of different veg and pickles and 90% of cases you get sour cream-mayo sauce with your food – very Estonian!

  • My hometown Pärnu has lovely sandy beach – my favorite place, with seawater temperatures reaching more than 20 degrees and it’s shallow, which is brilliant with small kids but takes you ages to get far enough for swim.

  • Porridge in Estonia is not just your everyday oats. You get all aisle in the shop with lots of different grains. My favorite this summer was  four grain porridge (contains rye, oats, wheat and barley)

  • The market at my hometown means seasonal affordable food from local farms, gardens and forests. We are lucky to live just 5 minutes walk away from the market,  so I was regular shopper every morning. The meat counter is just amazing – you can buy every bit of animal, nothing is wasted and you can even get free fresh bones for dogs. Lonni was very happy about it!

  • I just love my home in Pärnu, it’s often full of my friends and family and there is no need to call before, just pop in, when we are home our door is always open and there is always reason to open bottle of wine.

  • Freshly smoked bacon and chanterelle from local forest – my favorite and so affordable!

  • Estonians love fresh herbal teas – they are always foraging and preparing for the long cold winter.

  • In Estonia you can buy watermelons size of a beach ball 🙂 and they are so sweet and juicy!

  • My favorite place to enjoy sunset – Pärnu Yacht club – open to everyone for food, wine or live music. And great place to see the sunset.

  • Cake for breakfast is considered acceptable in Estonia – one of my favourite kind of breakfasts!

  • Estonians are very proud of their food and you can dine in countless fancy food places in Estonia, which might not be so affordable else where. Although it’s about to change and prices seem to be catching up with UK.

  • My home town have 2 km long mole and you can walk on it- no health and safety to stop you slip on the slippery stone. You do have to use your common sense.

  • Most Estonians know places to have a wild swim, meaning it’s not publicly open swimming area. 

  • Those black rye garlic breads are must and those are only kind of rye bread my children love. Always accompanied with sour cream-mayo-garlic dip.

  • Estonians love house and flat parties. They are quite low-key but so much fun and always include lovely food and lots of drinks.

  • In Estonia you never know where you end up sending your day away. Your friends usually know fantastic secluded places to watch most amazing sunsets. You definitely wont find those places in guidebooks.

  • Estonians are very keen foragers and there are variety of mushrooms and berries you can find everywhere.

  • Estonians love music and singing and learning an instrument or singing is easily accessible and taught at very high standards from very early age. This is my best friend super talented son, only 15 (16 now) years old. 

  • Those ring donuts have been around since I went to school and the café near my school has been run by same ladies who did it 35 year ago in Soviet time (whoops, did I say 35? I’m not so old)

  • Estonians love their salads dressed richly with sour cream and mayonnaise sauce and I love it!!

  • Estonians are very proud gardeners and most of the gardens are immaculate and quite big compared to standard UK gardens.

  • Estonians love making cakes and they are very creative. This tart has been made from biscuits! It’s very original and I haven’t come across anywhere else. And it’s contains quark (lots of it!) so high in protein. Healthy pudding or what!

  • Summers in Estonia are unpredictable you can get +25 heat and then it drop to 15 degrees. So be prepared for anything!

  • Estonians might come across as serious and not very open at first, but once, when you make a friend with them, they always ready to help you.

Miss you my friends and fam! xxx

10K: Running because I’m rubbish at it and Chicken and Chorizo Paella as I’m quite good at it.

I thought that tennis and Crossfit isn’t enough an I need to start running as well  🙂 Actually, I do need some kind of a plan for summer holidays, as we going to Estonia for 3 weeks and I need something to keep me motivated nad moving. Also my tennis sessions stop for nearly 10 weeks as well. So I decided to sign up for the 10K race in September. (UPDATE! they have just cancelled the race I picked, so need to find anothere one for September)

I can’t remember, when I last run as long distance, maybe never. I done 5K few times, so I needed new challenge. I picked beginners 12 week  training plan from the Running Bug  webpage. I run 3 times a week and still do 3 -4 Crossfit sessions a week (not at the moment though as I spend lot’s of time driving my too active children around, which puts my needs ont o the hold) When I’m on holiday I will do only running.

The two first runs have been relatively easy for me –  4 x 5 min run with 2 min walk between. The first run I took Lonni with me. She was bit confused about it all. Usually she runs around woods and disappears to the bushes and I don’t see her for a while. Seeing me running, she didn’t trust to let me out of her sight, maybe she thought I just gallop away – as if 🙂 So she run straight behind me and tried really hard to drip me over. Unfortunately this didn’t work to slow me down so she thought it would be good idea to choke herself to death with a stick. This did make me stop and I got actually really worried about her. Luckily she managed to make herself sick and got rid of whatever was making her choke and running could continue. Next time, when she won’t come, when called I just might try running, seems that this resolves all the recall issues 🙂

   

Mu next run was supposed to be on Sunday -3 x min, 2 min walk between the runs but I got dragged into the “car washing project”, which took over our day and also I have a huge project of decluttering our house going on. So I decided start with the plan again this week as there is still time to fit my 12 week training in.

I think I did right, picking beginners plan – I’m rubbish at running and usually I try to get out of it or moan beforehand, when I know there is running in Crossfit workout. At the moment I actually have been enjoining those runs and I think I had reasonable speed (comparing to the slow-mo speed I use to run) 🙂

No idea how fast I actually run, or what my heart rate was. Not planning to waste money on any expensive devices at the moment, so will run as fast as I feel comfortable and try to challenge myself a bit as well.

I also dragged my daughter into it , who said she’ll come to the race with me. She has become quite athletic young lady after starting Crossfit over 2 years ago.

I think it’s the good place to jot down one paella recipe so I don’t have to look for piece of paper with the recipe, every time I need it. I have been cooking this for crowds (100 people)  past 2 years. Not many people will need recipe for 100 people so this one here is for 8.

CHICKEN AND CHORIZO PAELLA

800g chicken meat – I love chicken thighs and wings with skin on. It’s so much tastier and juicer, but any parts of chicken is ok for this paella.

800g Paella rice – you should be ok t find it for 8 people, but for 100 people I usually have to go 3 different supermarkets to get the required quantity! I should be more organised and order it online beforehand!

200 g diced cooking chorizo, I used a mixture of regular one and spicy one

250g chopped green beans

1 tin (400g) of chopped tomatoes

1.8 l boiling chicken stock (I have been using Knorr stock pots, here you would need 3-4 pots)

pinch of saffron

1tsp of Sweet Paprika ( I found it from Waitrose)

1 Red pepper sliced and preferably roasted, it will give such delicious taste to your paella, I have roasted it in the oven

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Salt

Fresh Rosemary  Sprigs

1 lemon (cut into wedges) for decoration

for extra lush finish use fresh asparagus, sautéed in the olive oil or you can steam it –  but you don’t have to use it  🙂

  1. Usually I prepare everything before hand and store ingredients resealable bags or boxes, so I’m ready to go – it’s necessary if cooking for crowds.
  2. Cut the chicken to suitable size pieces or if using drumsticks and wings, I just leave them as they are. I don’t cut the breast pieces too small or they lose their juicienes.
  3. Remove the “skin” from chorizo and dice it to small pieces.
  4. Chop the beans, I usually cut them to 3
  5. Make  the stock ready – mix the stockpot with boiling water add pinch of saffron and let it infuse.
  6. Wash the pepper and de-seed. Slice it and lay evenly on to the oven tray. Roast it for about 15-20 minutes around 220C. check occasionally and tak it out from the oven just before it starts to turn black
  7. Peel and chop the onion.
  8. NOW THE COOKING BEGINS! Heat some olive oil in your paella pan and cook the chicken pieces sprinkled with some salt, until they browned all around. Half way through, add chorizo and mix it all well so the chorizo flavour gets into the chicken pieces. When done, push the chicken and chorizo outside of the pan
  9. Now you need to make “Sofrito”, it’s what gives your paella “right” taste. First “sweat” onions on slow temprature on middle of the paella pan until soft. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook on the medium heat. Keep stirring. When the mixture reduces down and thickens and turns dark red colour – you have your perfect “sofrito”
  10. Bring the chicken and chorizo back to the middle and mix it woth sofrito. Add sweet paprika and half of the roasted peppers. Mix everything and keep fryinf for the few minutes.
  11. Add the hot stock and deglaze the pan until everything mixed well. Taste for seasoning.
  12. Now add the chopped beans, mix well and keep boiling around 5 minutes.
  13. Add the rice and mix it gently. Try to get the rice to even layer to the pan so all of it will be covered with the stock. Don’t mix it after that and keep the heat low. After about 10 minutes the rice should be appear through the liquid, turn the heat really low and keep cooking another 10 minutes. If the rice drys out unevenly you can move the rice around carefully.
  14. When the rice is dried out, taste a bit from the top layer, it should be “al dente”. Cover the pan with foil and turn up the heat. You might hear popping sound as the paella “caramellaising”. Covering pan also helps finishing off the cooking of the top layer of the rice.
  15. Turn off the heat. Decorate with lemon wedges, rest of the roasted peppers and prepared asparagus. I also pop some rosmary sprigs on the pan and recover it with the foil. Leave it at least for 15 minutes or more.
  16. Remove the foil and serve, not forgetting to scrape the caramellise bits from the pan
  17. When cooking larger quantities, the timings will be longer, sometimes MUCH longer! I learned it from my first time, when cooking for 100.                                                             ENJOY!!!

Note to myself – I need to find better version of veggie paella as omitting the meat from this, doesn’t relly measure up – at least I don’t think so.

About a weight and really yummy Quinoa Salad

I haven’t mentioned anything about weighing myself recently, I have been avoiding subject matter. Nothing to beat myself up about but also nothing to celebrate. I have been standing still or moving up and down about 1K past few months.

Lots going on and haven’t been focusing properly. I still eating mostly good stuff, healthy nutritional meals, but then over weekends I bake a cake and treat myself with not one piece but maybe 3 or 4. Oh dear!

So beginning of this week I reset my plan and try to make progress again. My friend introduced me fantastic APP “Happy Scale” – very simple, but can be quite motivational. Only thing you need to do is record your weight daily , enter your goal and how much you are committing to lose every week and it gives you reports and analyses your weight loss. It divides your weight loss journey to milestones so if you have lots to loose it feels bit more manageable.

It also gives your weight trends and predicts, when will you get to the next goal. You can run weekly, monthly or yearly reports.

If I take a look my monthly reports I have been loosing some weight every month. I’m pleased with this. The small loss is a win and better than a gain.  

My next goal is achieve my second milestone before end of the June. It should be achievable and get me back to the track.

I know that the weight is not everything. I don’t weigh myself everyday, (sometimes I just can’t face it), but I’m bit of a nerd and love tables, numbers, reports, comparison, so with right mind set it works for me. It’s easy to lose the focus and seeing actual numbers, help me get motivated again.

Here is one my favorite salads I have tried recently. It goes nicely as a side dish for grilled meat 

I had no time for grilling so had it as a light supper.

Quinoa Salad

You will need:

cooked Quinoa (cook according to instruction on the packet)

finely chopped red onion

chopped red pepper

coarsely grated carrot

handful of dried cranberries

generous amount of curry powder

freshly squeezed lime juice

toasted flaked  almonds

bunch of chopped coriander

You don’t really need exact quantities here, just add everything according to your taste.

The combination of those ingredients tasted just lovely!

 

 

 

 

 

Is there such thing like healthy cake???

 You just can’t beat cake, which includes butter, sugar, cream and nice quality plain flour. Like this!

vastlakukkel

It’s “semla” in Swedish or “vastlakukkel” in Estonian and we eat it at Shrove Tuesday, but as I was busy as hell in February I made them on lovely Sunday afternoon and they tasted as nice 🙂

I just had recipe, I needed to try as the secret for the best “vastlakukkel” is the nice soft bun. So I have planned to try Olgas recipe for a while now, but there was always reason to postpone it – no time or missing ingredients like kefir (fermented milk from Caucasus mountains) Estonians have been grown up with it but as it all the graze in healthy food industry lots of shops ask ridiculous price for it. Sainsbury had 0.3ml bottle for 1.65!! For this money you can find 1 liter bottle at Polish food sections at Tescos and other supermarkets and in London there are probably even more choices of Eastern European food supermarkets. 

My first try was unsuccessful, the jar of the dried yeast has been open for a while and the dough just didn’t rise. So last weekend I went forward with the new batch and the dough worked well. I still need to learn how long it takes to knead the dough with my superstar Kenwood and how to check, that I have done enough kneading. I also try to shorten the baking time as I think I kept them in oven few minutes too long.  So I think I will do few more test batches. Idea is to make lots of them next year and maybe sell them as they are as popular amongst Estonians and Scandinavians  and those are always hunted in Facebook on Shrove Tuesday. 

Why I’m writing this, while my aim to loose weight? Because I haven’t come across with the “healthy” cake, which I truly enjoy and would like to bake again and again. I have had OK low calorie cakes, which doesn’t include sugar and flour, but they are not ones I would mark with the “post-it” note and the star in my cookbooks (that, what I do  to keep track on brilliant recipes I have tried and enjoyed 😉 )I always test so called guilt free cake recipes I come a cross in the blogs. There are some OK ones, but mostly I feel disappointed with the end result. So I think, if I will  have a cake, I have something I really enjoy.

It does only apply to cakes. I love healthy meals – all the veggies, porridges, smoothies, seeds, grains, fish, lean meat, eggs, nuts, healthy oils – you name it! I can find lots of pictures taken delicious healthy meals in my phone:

…but I can’t find and healthy cakes 🙁 Only lovely creamy, buttery mouth melting ones 🙂

 I have no trouble to swap ice cream to creamed frozen banana – I enjoy it as much! Or have a Greek yogurt with berries and drizzle of honey. 

IT’S JUST CAKES!!

Oeh! No wonder it’s bloody complicated to loose weight here!

But I’m still doing it, just in a hard way 🙂

 

Easter Holiday – No CrossFit for few weeks :(

The Easter Holiday is over and I’m back in reality of the everyday life 🙁

I managed to extend my holiday to the week and I can’t remember, when I last could take time off to just be at home and spend time with my children, without the need to rush somewhere or actually going to the holiday. It was lovely! I slept 9 hours and more! We went to the local swimming pool, went to the cinema to see “Power Rangers”, which I actually enjoyed and almost cried!!?? We went shopping for some necessities, like school shoes and more socks – boring stuff and had lunch in Nandos. So I did nothing special but it was so enjoyable. I even had haircut! I haven’t been at hairdressers over a year now and my hair looked really sad.

New haircut

Haven’t had so many compliments very long time.

We did go away on Good Friday to have a mini holiday at the Kent coast.

cousins at seaside

We had walks at seaside, met up with family and had a good laugh, visited Margate, which was big surprise. I haven’t been there since children were small and I kind of remember it being quite run down place with the nice beach. For my surprise it was lovely, great seaside atmosphere, nice antique and retro shops, lots cafes and pubs, it was especially nice on the pier. We even found one Scandinavian café and had compulsory Cinnamon bun.

Margate

Only negative side of the holiday was – I haven’t been able to do CrossFit for almost 2 weeks. I have done something to my “good” leg/knee few weeks ago and I can’t train properly. I did try carry on and even managed to PB my back squat, but decided not to do CrossFit for few weeks in order to get back to it quicker. It seems I got tendonitis after doing workout, which included over parallete burpees and I was actually quite proud myself doing so well. But following day I felt pain in my knee/around the knee and actually my another”bad” knee become suddenly the “good” one. “Oeh!” old people problems 🙂

I felt quite down because of it. CrossFit is my therapy and it keeps me happy or exhausted so I don’t care about s**t and not many things can annoy me then 🙂  But looking to the bright side, I had week off from work and spent lots of time with my children and I was quite active other ways. My leg feels much better now and I have planned to go back to the training tonight. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very good with doing some mobility at home so my knee feels still bit stiff. I just find really hard to take 20 minutes at home to do it, I usually have to choose either doing exercise or getting full 7 hours sleep.

I wasn’t pleased with the “Project 30” development beginning of the months, so after complaining over it in the last post lovely Lindsay from LJL Coaching urged me back to join her FB group and record all activities/food/moods over the next 2 weeks and this really have helped me so the weight goes in right direction again. Thank you, I really needed that! Only the few days away from home and indulging with some ice cream and chocolate eggs hasn’t been kind to me and I got a bit of a shock on the scale this morning, but I’m back on tracking my food today and feeling determined again so hopefully I will see more pleasing result from now on 🙂

 

Thoughts about CrossFit Open 2017. Summertime – first crappy week.

The CrossFit Open 2017 is finished and I loved this new experience. I have done CrossFit almost 2 years now and it’s interesting to measure yourself against others and see how you perform. Mostly I’m looking forwards next Open so I can compare, what I can achieve within a year.

I came on 313th place in UK 40-44 Masters Class from 633 athletes. So bang on the middle.

17.1 was tough one, but the one I could RX. I probably could’ve gone faster but was so worried about collapsing mid workout, so really paced myself – too much.

17.2 consisted lunges and  toes to bar, what I don’t have yet, so I scaled for knee raises from 3rd round you needed muscle ups and I’m nowhere near them, so had to stop there.

17.3 had snatches and pull ups. I haven’t practiced snatches recently and I still to achieve my first pull up. I scaled this one for lighter weight and did jumping pull ups, which were surprisingly hard in the end.

17.4 was my favorite workout, minus HSPU. I decided to go RX as I knew I’m not able to get to handstand push ups in 13 minutes anyway. This one I placed highest, 134th place, well chuffed with this, as deadlifts are my favorites!

17.5 was thrusters (not my favorites) and double unders. As DU are still mystery to me, I went for scaled version and the 20kg thrusters weren’t too bad.

Looking back and planning for the next Open I need to work hard on my upper body strength for the pull ups, T2B – lot’s of hanging and core work and double unders. So better get using our pull up bar, which have been lonely all winter and get skipping.

I have been delaying this post quite long time as I haven’t wanted to admit that on the “Project 30” side- it has been one of the crappiest week since beginning of the year. I thought not to mention my failure here and wait until next week when I’m hopefully back on the track, but I think I need to keep in mind that the journey is not going to be smooth one and there will be few set backs long the way. Important is, how will I deal with it and what I learn. So here it is – “I have put on 1.5kg this week!”

Can you believe it!  How this happened? I do know – it’s this bloody clock! Why can’t we stop playing around with time, It really screw me up. I have been feeling like jet lagged for days and just stuffed my face and lost track how much I have been eating. (UPDATE: next few days I was 700 grams down, but still!)

I was still hoping for miracle before stepping on the scale Friday morning but unfortunately I was as heavy as I felt .

At the moment I’m still struggling with motivation and getting in the right mood with good nutrition. I’m lacking willpower and it doesn’t help that my knee/leg, the one which hasn’t been injured before, feels crap at the moment and I have know idea why? I took few days rest from CrossFit, but it hasn’t improved much. Despite bad knee, somehow I have managed to get PB on 3 rep back squat.  So I’m not really sure should I hold myself back or keep training. The knee feels much better once I warmed up. Old people problems! 🙂

So at the moment my main aim is get back to good habits with good food – like this!

And less like that 🙂

 

“I have decided to like running”

I have never been a runner. I had periods in my life, when I took up running to loose weight or get fitter because it was most convenient activity to do without spending money or going too far from home. Usually my running period lasted for a month and then I couldn’t be asked. I just didn’t enjoy it. I can play ball games for hours, which contain running and very vigorous movement throughout, but go running and I got bored very quickly.

In CrossFit lots of workouts include running, mostly 200m or 400m for 5 or 6 rounds but sometimes it can be more. When I check workout night before and see running included, my mental torment starts. I already prepare myself to awful running and think how bad I’m at it. I do really well with weights and come running part of the WOD, I fall behind everyone. My legs feel heavy like stones and I’m so worried that if I increase the speed I’m not able to finish the workout. My thoughts are 100% negative.

I had enough of being miserable about it, so few weeks ago I decided “I will like running”. I’m not sure, was my decision made because I have been involved CrossFit Open and watched lot’s of workouts and tactics, maybe it’s because I have lost now nearly 6 kg and I feel lighter and more energized, but it worked. Before training I visualized, how I will run and how will it feel. Come to the workout – I actually enjoyed running bits of WOD. I made my long legs stretch out and pushed myself and funnily enough going faster actually didn’t make me puffed out. I felt great. I only have had try it on short distances, my next steps would be longer stretch and see can I transfer “I like running” attitude.

So sometimes it might be only in your head. Start training with “I can” attitude and it might just make wonders.

The “Project 30” weight loss has been bit slow in March, but I’m still on the target as you can see on the chart. Just! I have to get my act together and concentrate more on this.

  • I will try to track my calories/macros on the weekend as well and see will it make difference. At the moment I don’t track on Saturdays and Sundays and I have too many treats. I will try to limit it or at least keep track of it so I know how much I actually go off the plan.
  • I have been weaning myself off double cream in my coffee. Yes, double cream!!!! Best thing ever, but it’s about 200 extra calories a day  I could use having something more nutritious instead every day. I only have few cups of coffee in the morning but it adds up over 1000 calories a week I could do without.

Looking forwards tomorrow’s 17.5 workout!

My first CrossFit Open and “I love Rice Pudding”

This month I signed up for CrossFit Open and I have been really excited about it. I had first workout last Saturday and I was really pleased that I actually managed to RX it. Even I didn’t finished it on the time cap. I thought I need to scale everything as I still need to master quite a few main CF WOD movements like pull ups, double unders, tows to bar name a few. The atmosphere in our box was fantastic and really supportive and my result 161 reps was in UK top 44% in my age class, what is not bad for “old broken bird”. I expect I drop somewhere bottom of the leader board soon as already in the next WOD there are muscleups/chin ups – neither of them I can do. So there is something to aim for the next year. Hopefully keeping up with “Project 30” will help me achieve those movements one day .

Today was my weighing/measuring day and pat on the back – it has been another good month – 1.9kg gone, (5.2kg altogether) and 5cm gone from hips. It has been much tougher months, lots of stress because of work and just generally speedy life. I had few days, when I couldn’t just stick to the food I planned to eat and ended up stuff my face with sweets, which didn’t really fit to my daily allowance. Luckily I didn’t drop it all, but picked my regime up next day and it seemed that not too big damage have been done.

I need to refresh some of my tactics, so from next week:

  • I will try increase my protein intake. Quite often my calorie count is almost spot on, but my macros are all over the place and I end up eating half the amount of protein, what I actually should eat. Last couple of days I’ve done protein smoothie after my 6am CrossFit class and it has filled me up so I’m not ending up ravenous by 12am at work and can quite comfortably carry on until 1pm before having my lunch. My favorite SMOOTHIE was following:

1 carrot – cut in chunks

1 orange – peel and break to sectors

2 stalks of celery – cut to chunky pieces

1/4 of the mango flesh

200ml unsweetened almond milk

1 frozen banana – cut in chunks

unflavored protein powder – 1 or 2 scoops, depends how much you want or omit altogether if you not bothered about your protein intake

Put all in blender, mix and VOILA – you have most glorious colored smoothie, full of all goodness from veg and fruit

  • I will keep prepping my lunch and always have some food with me at work so I won’t be tempted to have unplanned snacks.
  • Get better in listening my body and stop when full!
  • Trying harder to get my 7 hours sleep!
  • Additionally to my daily exercise, try to do 10000 steps a day.
  • I haven’t done much mobility exercises recently, I really need include daily stretching into my day

Saying all that, I still plan to have my occasional treat, like this Rice Pudding. Honestly I never thought I will like rice pudding and I had such bad memories of it from my nursery days. I really hated it and never chose to eat it voluntarily. But my passion for the new recipies won and I gave a try to this Scandinavian style rice pudding and it tasted divine, I couldn’t stop, when I felt full!!

300 g pudding rice (can be replaced with Arborio rice)

2 tbsp. butter

salt

1 litre whole milk

1tsp vanilla extract

1tbsp sugar

  1. Rinse the rice under the cold water in a sieve and drain. Bring 600ml of water to the boil and then add the rice, butter and salt. Cook on a medium heat until all the water is gone, stir occasionally.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla and sugar and bring to the boil, keep stirring all the time. Boil few minutes and then turn the heat down and leave to simmer gently for about 30  minutes until it’s thickened. Stir occacionaly.
  3. It’s ready to serve, when it’s nice and thick to the point where it takes few seconds to drop from the spoon
  4. Serve from the cereal bowl with your choice of topping. I had it with plums stewed with brown sugar, cinnamon and extra sprinkle of brown sugar and some full fat crème fraiche.
  5. Other toppings to try is golden syrup, treacle, honey or fresh berries.
  6. I love it best when it’s really hot, but it’s can be eaten cold if you prefer.