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.

 

 

1st month of “Project 30”, thoughts about diets and Spicy Carrot Soup.

January is over and very soon February will be over too and I thought I write down few things from the first month of trying to lose some weight for the journey sake.

Overall good start: I was 3.4 kg lighter on 3/02/17, which makes it average loss 0.85kg/week. My plan is to loose 0.5kg a week so I can be pleased with myself. Actually I lost it all during 2 first weeks and next 2 weeks my weight was stationary, which annoyed me bit, but to look on the bright side I didn’t put any weight back on. I’m most pleased about 7cm loss on my waste line – that what really matters. I had few PB-s at CrossFit and couple of brilliant tennis sessions. I’m happy!

I came across following article about diets and science behind them  and I’m so glad that it backs up what conclusion I have come over the years trying out different diets. 

Few years ago I tried Paleo diet and I think it has great ideas and you can find lot’s of wonderful recipes. I lost weight, felt great but after few months I got really bored, not that there is shortage of ideas, but I didn’t really have any reasons do avoid milk and grains. I don’t use lot’s of milk products every day, but I love cheese, quark, cream, even I don’t eat them daily. Mentally I didn’t want to feel guilty, when having them occasionally.

I also found that I ended up eating huge amounts of nuts. Nothing wrong with eating nuts, but if you love baking and everything is replaced with nut flours, it’s bit limiting to your options and … whatever the peanuts done to anyone?? You can’t have peanut butter in Paleo diet, have to opt to more expensive nut butters!

Saying that, my meals are still quite paleo friendly without following any meal plans. I love veg and meats and fish and eggs. Saying that, I also like some rice, seeded bread, buckwheat, quinoa, potatoes and there is no real reason not to eat them times to times.

So, now I don’t really follow any diet or clean eating plan just trying to use knowledge what suits me best and what makes me feel happy.

I love cooking, I love process of the cooking, I love cookbooks (and I have 100s of them) and I always love to try new things.

  • I’m using the MyFitnessPal at the moment to keep my portions under the control as it’s too easy to overeat with snacking and extra helpings on mealtimes. It also helps me keep my macros on track, so I get right amount protein, carbs and fat. I use it on weekdays as I’m glued to the computer anyway. I try to use my common sense 🙂 on weekends. Tracking, what you eating over some periods of time is a good way to get your habits under the control again.
  • I try to stick with 3 meal times and 2 fruit snacks between. Breakfasts are simple usually including 2 eggs, sometimes avocado, with some seeded or rye toast, some salad and coffee with cream.( I only have one big cup of coffee a day)
  • I take lunch with me to work, either I have prepared it specially but more often it’s leftover from last night.
  • I haven’t forbidden anything to myself but if I had slice of bread for breakfast I won’t have it with my lunch or dinner. If I have some pasta at lunch I won’t have any with my dinner. When I have pasta or rice with my meal it’s just a little bit. I just don’t want to cut anything out totally and I found if it’s not off the limit, I quite often choose not to have it, when rest of the family have theirs. I just have meat or fish with veg.
  • I eat until I start to feel full, trying to take slowly and really listen my body. Even if it’s my favorite food I really try  not to stuff myself. 70% of time it is successful.
  • 2 pieces of fruit a day
  • I have a slice of cake if someone makes extra effort to bake it, but say no to bought sweets and biscuits if someone brings them in the office (ok, not always, but most of the time) and I forbid myself to buy any snacks from work vending machines or deli bar. I do bring some chocolate from home if I decide have any.
  • Some weekends I bake and then I have a slice of cake (who I’m kidding – quite few slices, but it doesn’t happen every weekend)
  • I have couple of glass of wine on the weekend but not always, depends how I feel and I won’t, if I train on Saturday morning – most Saturdays I do.
  • I try to get 7 hours a sleep everyday – it makes huge difference and really should be top of the list. I used to be night person and never go to bed before midnight, since starting the CrossFit I have really changed my habits. I try to get bed by 10pm (which is not easy if your children are not ready for bed by 10pm) , it’s especially important when I train at 6am
  • I also have been part of the LJL Coaching Facebook group, which my friend runs. She helps with healthy eating plan, fitness and personal training and it has been great motivator.

This soup is easy to make, seasonal and very tasty

Spicy Carrot Soup with Quinoa and Feta

2tbsp olive oil

1 onion

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1kg carrots, grated coarsely

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 sp hot smoked paprika

1/4 tsp mild chilli powder

1 litre vegetable stock, fresh or made from cube

100 g quinoa

1-2tsp sherry vinegar

fresh mint

100 g crumbled feta cheese

  1. Heat the oil in the saucepan over the medium heat. Fry onion and garlic gently over the medium heat for few minutes. Add the grated carrots and spices and fry stirring occasionally for 5 minutes
  2.  add the stock and 500 ml boiling water, season well and simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Same time cook quinoa on the separate saucepan, drain and set aside.
  4.  Remove he soup from the heat and whizz in a blender with 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar, until smooth. Add a splash  of water if needed.
  5. Ladle into bowl, topping with the quinoa, mint and feta cheese. Drizzle with a splash more sherry vinegar before serving

 (Recipe from Waitrose calendar)

Back to the training

Last week was first week back to my normal training routine. Most of the time I train 5-6 days a week.

Mondays it’s early morning CrossFit from 6-7.30am. It’s hard to be ready for heavy weights and fast WODs so early, but I love the feeling, that I have done my workout in the morning and I can get on with the rest of the day.

Tuesday is a Cardio tennis in the evening. Tennis is the reason I ended up at CrossFit. My knee has been weak point after the ACL reconstruction back in March 2009. It held me back in tennis training and I had to use the heat patches to ease the pain. My competitive side hated to be unable to give 100% in the training and I decided I need to strengthen my muscles to give the support for my poor knee. And it had worked. I’m so much faster in the training and I haven’t used any painkillers since started the CrossFit. I was asked, which one I like more – tennis or CrossFit, I really can’t choose. My heart always belonged to the ball games but the CrossFit had taught me to push myself and test my limits and there are supportive community and such great people. The cardio tennis is fun, it’s for all levels and your technique and skills aren’t most important, you just had to run and try to hit the ball in different exercise routines. We have quite advanced group so the training ends up pretty challenging and competitive. Love it!

Wednesday is my tennis coaching session. I started tennis 2 years ago and I train twice a week but only on term time as our sessions are in school hall. I have come long way since I started. After my knee accident in volleyball match I dint’s think I can get back to the volleyball. When I tried once, I hurt my knee again and I decided it’s not worth it 🙁  I have always wanted to play tennis and as it doesn’t include so much jumping but it’s still ball and net, I thought it will be good substitute. I still miss the team around me thou 🙁

Thursday morning 6.30-7.30am CrossFit again, I usually try to catch up Wednesdays program, because I don’t want to miss out any weight lifting practice.

Friday morning 6-7.30am I’m at CrossFit.

Saturday 9-10.30am CrossFit again. It’s one my favourite sessions, as its team work. We are usually paired up and you have to go through the workout as a team. The WOD is usually more challenging and longer than the weekday workouts and you really end up pushing yourself, because you don’t want to let your partner down.

I also walk our lovely Labrador once or twice every day, depends how we share it with my other half and I try to fit in half an hour stretching sessions 3 times a week. Haven’t been consistent with those past months, so I decided to try make effort from January again as its essential, when you are over 40 and want to improve your results.

School holidays, when the tennis training is on the break, I end up doing extra CrossFit sessions.

For some people it sounds like awfully lot and I get asked quite often, how I find time for this. But exercise is part of my daily routine and it’s like going to work or walking my dog or cooking dinner. I don’t question myself can I be bothered, it’s what I love and it keeps me sane. I LOVE IT!!

And what not to love if you have this kind of support!!! 🙂 

 This is also the photo, which made me realize I need to loose weight and started the “Project 30”

Last week was successful 1.2kg down, 1.8kg total.

Very pleased!

 

 

 

Start of the “Project 30”, pie chart and simplest veggie pizza

The first four days of getting back to track with the nutrition are over and the results weren’t too bad – I’m 600 grams lighter after 4 days. I tracked my food, ate lots of vegetables (can’t waste 6 boxed of fruit and veg I got for the Christmas), I resisted all sweets at the office and stuck to the plan to eat only my prepped meals.

We had new programming at our CrossFit box, so I have been aching all week, but it has been really enjoyable and I can’t wait to get up 5.20m Monday morning to get back to train again. I had few PB-s, which I’m pleased about, considering I had almost 2 weeks off.

The biggest change I done this week is stopping snacking rubbish between the meals. I have my breakfast at 8.15am , I take cup of coffee with cream, yes CREAM, to work in a thermos cup, I have fruit around 10.30am and my lunch at 12.30pm, which has been leftover from the night before. I might get some snack from the Waitrose, usually it’s SKYR yogurt or UPBEAT protein drink as I have been bit sort of my protein macros. Then I have dinner at home and when I feel urge to snack after that I just go to bed to avoid it. So far so good.

Today hasn’t been so good. We have had lazy Saturday and not being busy makes me want to snack all the time. I try to stick with fruit but we still have some Christmas leftover sweets at home so it hasn’t been as easy. But tomorrow is a new day and I’m not going to stress over it.

I have created pie chart for my blog’s sidebar, to visualise my progress. The red colour is the journey ahead and green is what I have already achieved.

My favourite recipe or more like an idea from this week is veggie pizza. It’s easy and quick to prepare, if you feel ravenous, when getting back from work.

cherry tomatoes (you can used canned tomatoes)

broccoli spears

1/2 courgette

3tsp olive oil

frozen peas

1 tortilla wrap

25 g grated mozzarella

basil leaves

garlic cloves

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven, while preparing the pizza, half the cherry tomatoes.

Blanch the broccoli with the courgette slices in a saucepan of the boiling unsalted water for 5 minutes, Drain and cut into bite-size pieces.

Heat half of the olive oil in a small frying pan and stir fry chopped spring onions and peas for five minutes.

Arrange all the veg to the wrap, sprinkle with the mozzarella, basil leaves, garlic, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

You can use any veg for your liking, asparagus would be great, might try it next time 🙂

My pizza macros: 450cal/12g protein/41g carbs / 5g sugar/ 24g fat/ 5g fiber