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 🙂

 

New year plans – Project 30

Plans for new year – nothing crazy, because it doesn’t work. I done mad diets in my life, promising things I can’t keep up. So, I will keep things simple. My biggest aim is to loose this extra weight I have been carrying around over 15 years now. I know it sounds like any other new year resolution, but I’m hoping that my reasons to loose the weight are different than they used to be.

I have no problems with the number on the scale, because I don’t weigh myself 🙂 I’m fittest I have been very long time. I train 6 times a week and not because I want to loose weight or look certain way, I do it because it’s fun and it keeps me sane. ..but… there is certain things I can’t do because I’m bit too heavy. I want to do at least one strict pull up by end of this year, but there is difference do you have to pull up 95 or 65 kilos. Same with dips and other more gymnastic exercises, which I didn’t think I need to do few years ago, but CrossFit changed it all 🙂

So my plan is stop snacking sweets, especially when I stressed or bored. Prep my food for lunches to work. I’m not going to cut out any food groups as I know if I deny anything to myself I cant resist it. I will go to back to basics and count my macros/ calories at least 4-5 days a week, so I get feeling, how much I should eat and get to value my food accurately again. It’s easy to get in a habit to over eat, especially when you train a lot, you get thinking that you have freedom to indulge whenever you like.

MyFitnessPal will be my tool to help me keep track and those amazing people are there to inspire me.

Bring it on – Project 30 begins now 🙂

Healthy meatballs your children will like too.

One of the challenges, when you try to change your eating habits is to get dinner ready for your children. Some reason my deep love to vegetables haven’t transferred to my children. They still struggle to eat the 5 – a – day. They like tomato sauces with pasta and some salad stuff in wraps, but other than that, I’m the only one in a family, who really appreciates vegetables.

Those meatballs are good way to hide some vegetables from your children.

1 grated carrot

1 grated courgette

about 400 g minced beef

meatballs-paleo

Mix all ingredients together and season with sea salt and pepper. For fussier eaters mix everything in the food mixer, so the vegetables would be hardly noticeable. Form the meatballs and fry them in olive oil until nicely browned.

I served mine with cauliflower mash (and some beetroot/potato patties)- just boil cauliflower florets and 1 garlic clove in slightly salted water. Then mash with potato masher, add tiny bit of butter. Honestly, I didn’t miss mashed potato at all and it will be my favourite side dish instead of rice or pasta or potatoes.

meatballs2-paleo

“Healthy me” challenge will continue…

33 day of Paleo and being good, I mean getting healthier again.

Today I started my 33 days of Paleo aka “being healthy and getting back on the track!” I did it last year. Main reason being, getting my scalp psoriasis under the control, but what happened was, my psoriasis got worse but my weight dropped and my knees felt like new. I have been struggling with my knees past month, not that I stop myself doing sport and moving around, but getting downstairs at the work is real pain and companied with lots of swearing. I hate it and I really have to do something about it and I definitely don’t want to stop my tennis trainings.

I have already stopped all sugary stuff and alcohol since 19th of March, when lent started, with few exception as we Estonians celebrate our independence day on 24th and this year it included 3 celebrations with free booze and food so I decided to not put too much pressure on myself. 🙂

So from today:

– no sugars (honey is aloud)

– no alcohol

– no bread, pasta, rice, or any other grains

– no milk based products (maybe occasional cream on my 1 cup of coffee / a day)

– no ready meals or anything what includes ingredients I don’t know or are not natural

– no potatoes, beans

– no vegetable oils or groundnut oil ( will have olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil or any nuts oil)

I will eat lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, meat, fish and seafood, nut and olive oils, herbs and spices.

My healthy month started with this chicken roast and homemade mayonnaise.

Chicken-Paleo

For this dish you can use any vegetables you have left over at home or any your favourite ones. I had celeriac, parsnip, carrots, courgette, red onions, swede and lots of garlic. I brushed the roasting pan with olive oil and then placed all the veg on to the pan and mixed them, so they would be covered with bit of a oil. I cut one orange to slices and put it also on to the pan. I placed the medium roasting chicken stuffed with one whole lime, some garlic gloves and herbs ( I have rosemary and sage in my garden), top of the vegetables. All goes to the oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes (depends of the size of the chicken) Gas mark 5. For rest of the family, I made some roast potatoes on the separate tray. The smell was divine, mixture of lime, garlic, rosemary and sage. Children were worried that it will taste lemony and they won’t like it, but they plates were cleared no time. Roast chicken is one meal, which gets finished to the last piece in our house. Children have legs, S has breast, I have wings and breast, cats get all leftover meat, dog gets skin and any soft bones and rest of it goes to making chicken stock. Everyone is happy.

For the mayonnaise I placed 1 fresh egg and salt and pepper and one garlic clove to the jug and whizzed it with blender. Then added slowly 200ml of oil. I used hazelnut oil. Olive oil gives bit too strong taste. I have tried also walnut oil, which was lovely. After 1 minute the mixture should thicken, and you have lovely homemade, no e-s or anything weird mayonnaise. Season with sea salt, pepper and lemon juice. I must say sometimes it bit of a mystery how you get the mayo thickened. Like today – I started as usual but after 3 minutes of vigorous whizzing the mixture was still runny. So I started new egg and beat it with salt and pepper for 1 minute and started to add avocado oil and it thickened almost immediately. I didn’t want to waste my first mixture so I poured it slowly in to the new mayonnaise and it all thickened nicely to the lovely creamy mayonnaise. So I have no idea what was going on. If anyone knows, what might have gone wrong, let me know, It has happened couple of times before, but most of the times I have no problem making beautiful mayonnaise at all.

Mayonnaise - paleo