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!

 

 

 

 

 

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

2016 – what a year!

Another year has gone. It feels like only yesterday I wrote about our 2015. The 2016 has been emotional roller-coaster, not personally, but for the world and I think lots of decision made in 2016, will affect us all years to come.

January

Like always the biggest event on the first month of the year is our dear son birthday. Other than that I can’t remember much going on. Just recovering from the Christmas, getting back to the school/work/Crossfit/tennis/football/scouts routine with all family.

February

I have managed to save photos from my lovely cousin visit to somewhere secret, so only picture I can find is the one in the Facebook 🙂 How did we manage before the Facebook?? It’s weird, how you see the place you live through eyes of your guests, when you showing around. We just don’t notice, how much history and interesting places there are around us. We went to London, visited Tower Bridge – first time in 14 years, I have been living here, only an hour trip from London 🙁 We also went to Cambridge and the weather was unusually warm to February.

Rare occasion of Collins family playing tourists in London!

March

Getting more difficult as I have no idea what’s happened in March??  Oh yes, we had Timo’s birthday party, because it’s really hard to organise anything straight after Christmas, so it’s not so unusual to have his birthday celebration just before Keitis 🙂 The Easter was really early this year and we were stressing over the Timo’s Secondary School options.

April

Ok. For April I can find lots of dog and cats photos in my phone. We really have to get our act together and be more creative with our diaries 🙂 🙂 Keiti was only one, who actually did something exciting and went to skiing to Austria. On 25th of April I had one year from starting the CrossFit, dragging everyone else in the family into as well 🙂

May

May is birthdays month (Keiti and Simon) and our anniversary month as well and we so lucky to have 2 Bank Holidays in May. There were cricket matches in village green, which are so British and I have finally got hang of with the rules of the game now. There were beautiful sunsets and our first meals out in the garden, which almost feels like being on holiday. There is the Eurovision, which everyone hates but still watches 🙂 We had night out in London for Simons birthday, went to see QI recording, which was real treat. Our lovely daughters birthday, just can’t believe I’m a parent of this lovely young lady – how did it happened? We found duckling in our garden, who we tried to get back to his home, running around the village and knocking to the neighbours doors, carrying him in the plastic box. He got finally rescued by Rosina Animal Centre, with the help from my lovely neighbours and duckling was named Terry! 🙂 Terry was released after the month, back to the bond, where he hopefully found family or at least new friends. We went to our annual camping trip to the border of the Devon and Cornwall. We were blessed with the best weather with lots of sunshine.

June

Our camping trip continued in June, only to get back, when the rollercoaster started. We learned, what BREXIT means – maybe not, as we still don’t know, how it will actually happen, but it definitely have shaken up the world politics. I even have BREXIT flowerbed in our garden 🙂 I needed to channel my frustration somewhere, I weeded and dag and it actually looked quite decent in the end. 🙂 I baked cakes for the Antique Roadshow at Ightham Mote and cook huge paella for 150 people at the Ightham music festival.

July

July was all about Timos last month in primary school. We had mums night out at the school summer ball. Our children primary school has been such big part of our lives past 10 years, so it is very different now, not to drive up the little village lane to drop off or pick up our children. There were lots of parties for mums and quite few for children. I have met so many lovely ladies during those years and I was sad, when it draw to the end. We also went to the local farm strawberry picking picnic with live music.  I must say I didn’t pick any strawberries 🙁 but enjoyed the crowd and live bands. We spent day at Whitstable, when children did waters sports with scouts.End of the July, when children finished the school they were off to scout camp to Jersey, so we had 10 days without children – first time since we become parents! We had mini holiday in Poole and met up with my friends from the volleyball days for my friend’s 50-s birthday at Wiltshire. We visited Chilli festival at Dorset. I love summers! We get up for so much more!

August

August is our usual holiday months, but we didn’t go to Estonia this year. Instead we spent some time at Deal, found fantastic sandy beach in Broadstairs and first time ever in UK, I went to swim in the sea! The waves were amazing and we all really loved it!

September

Back to school! Both our children are in the secondary school, which has started new era in our lives. Keiti completed her first ever mud race and she did incredibly well. Very impressed with her. As I said before, Crossfit has changed us all 🙂

October

There was some baking but most importantly there was mini break in Milan, with my bestest friends. We laughed 4 days in a row and I love my friends dearly for that. We had lots of delicious food and wine and we chatted for the years we haven’t seen each other. Also, we are selfie queens 🙂 Thank you girls – I love you!

November

Watching football in freezing cold, trying new recipes, lots of Crossfit and tennis, dog walks. Just the everyday routine. But I didn’t mind it 🙂 and of course the world shocker – Trump became American president – oh dear!

December

Finally, end of the year! lots of rushing around to get ready for the Christmas, shopping, cleaning, organising. Oh! Had great Christmas party with my CrossFit buddies, lovely family Christmas, beautiful walk after festivities. What I like overall – sitting in my dining room, TV entertainments are on, fire roars, candles flickering, I haven’t bothered with make up, I have comfy leggings and top on, chatting with my far friends in Facebook and writing summary of my year. It’s best place to be.

I wish you all Happy New Year! And I really hope that 2017 brings us more clarity and common sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas madness and almost perfect gingerbreads

   The Christmas is probably busiest time to lots. I always end up running around trying to make everything perfect, like there is no opportunities after the 25th of December. I have grand plans how I will be super organised and start to get ready weeks before the big day. The truth is I do everything few days before Christmas Day, hoping that I will get everything done on time.

The gingerbreads were ready on time but got decorated few days after the Christmas, which means I’ve eaten most of them as guests, who they were meant to, were gone and I like them too much. I have lot’s of gingerbread recipes but I think those are the closest as they should be by Estonian standards and would pass Mary Berry test to snap properly, even after the few days they are still crispy.

Old Style Gingerbreads

2 dl sugar

3/4 dl dark syrup ( I used treacle, but you can also use Golden Syrup or make your own by melting the sugar on high heat until it ‘s desired colour)

1sp cardamom

1sp cinnamon

1tsp cloves

1sp mixed spice

150g butter

2 eggs

7dl flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

Measure sugar, syrup and spices to the saucepan. Cut the butter in to the small pieces and add to the saucepan. Heat it up to the boiling point until the house is filled with the divine smell. Mix it well. Take it from the cooker and put the saucepan in the bowl filled with the cold water so it will cool down quickly.

Add slightly beaten eggs

Mix flour and bicarbonate of soda  and mix well. Cover the saucepan or wrap the dough to the cling film. Keep it in the fridge 3-4 hours or even better, overnight.

Next day roll it out thinly on the floured table. Cut out the gingerbreads with cutters and place them on the baking sheet, which is covered with baking paper.

Bake them on Gas mark 4 (175C) about 10  minutes.

Cool them and decorate.

 I have to say, that they have disappeared rather quickly from the plate, while enjoying all the Christmas lights – gone bit mad this year, but I really hate this December darkness and it really cheers our house up.

Year with the CrossFit and Paleo Avocado Ice Cream

Just over a year ago I booked my trial session at CrossFit Cantii and I haven’t looked back since. It’s the best thing I ever have done!  Ok, it’s the best thing I have done since I started to write my age with number 4 (like 34 🙂 )

If you want to know what is the CrossFit, just Google it, there are plenty of blogs, web pages, YouTube videos around, which can put it in the words much better than I could.

Or take a look at this video https://www.facebook.com/crossfit/videos/10153045634867676/

I’m training most of the week at 6.30am , which means getting up 5 or 5.30 am and that is the most difficult thing in CrossFit for me. Once I’m in the box (that’s what you call the gym in CrossFit 🙂 ) its all fun and laughter 🙂 Ok, I struggle through warm-up, which intensity is similar to the workout I used to do before starting CrossFit 🙂 followed by some kind of weightlifting workout or practicing gymnastic skills. I love weights, never thought, you can get hooked to doing weights, but I did and it makes me feel total ace! And we are not talking about weights what “will help you get toned” – total rubbish you read from lifestyle magazines,  it’s serious stuff and after squatting with 60kg and more or deadlifting near 100 kg (my PB is 130kg :)), nothing seems impossible rest of the day. And then  there is WOD (Workout of the Day), it can be 10 minutes long or 20 or 30, but one is sure it challenges you in the best possible way.

CrossFit is so much more personal than going to the gym. It’s like meeting up your friends and have a good chat every morning. We are encouraging each other doing better in the workouts and it really helps, when you feeling just giving up in the middle of grueling workout.

My training buddies :)

My training buddies 🙂

It pushes you out from your comfort zone and makes you want to try things you always said you can’t do or don’t like to do. Like this morning, we could choose any workout, skill or mobility to work on and my classmate managed to talk me into running-rowing workout, which is my least favorite thing. It consisted 4 rounds of: 500m row, 400m run and 30 ab-mat sit ups, followed by 4 times 20 cal row. I was struggling through this workout, but felt over the moon, once we completed it. Now just trying to stay awake at my desk for the rest of the day in the office 🙂

My Nike Metcons and personalized skipping rope

My Nike Metcons and personalized SGF skipping rope 🙂

I can say I’m totally addicted to CrossFit, but it’s kind of a good addiction. The CrossFit rules my life and I’m happy with it. What’s not to like if you live the lifestyle, which concentrates to be healthier, become stronger, consuming almost no alcohol (it really shows if I have cheeky glass of vino evening before morning class) and trying make healthier choices during the day,  not because you want to lose weight, but you want to kick some buts in the training 🙂

My next goal now is complete 1!!! pull-up. It doesn’t sound like much, but thinking about the weight I have to pull up, it’s quite a lot. I have all training equipment ready at home – pull up bar, gymnastic rings so don’t have any excuses not to practice daily. Quickest way to achieve it would be loose around 20 kg 🙂 but I’m too much of a foodie to achieve it any time soon, so I just have to become stronger. 🙂

CrossFitters are well known following Paleo diet. I have had periods in my life, when I followed it and it definitely have the benefits to your health. I like cooking ( and eating 😉 ) too much to stick with it 100 % of the time, but quite often I pick up some Paleo recipes just because they worth to make, when trying to fuel your body right way for better results in  the training. Here is a cheeky dessert, when you are desperate for something sweet.

Avocado Ice Cream

2 ripe avocados

zest and juice of the 4 limes

4sp honey

1tsp vanilla extract

200ml coconut milk

100 g Dark Chocolate Chips

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1. Mix avocado, coconut milk, lime juice and zest, honey in the blender until it’s creamy.

2. Pour mixture into freezable dish and mix in chocolate chips.

3. Place it in the freezer to set.

4. Stir few times to keep the mixture creamy and break any ice crystals.

5. Leave to set for 4 hours

6. Serve with melted dark chocolate or toasted coconut or roasted nuts of your choice (or all named above) 🙂