Posted in food, nutrition, Uncategorized

Recipe: Quorn mince and green lentil curry.

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It was my turn to cook dinner last week and I decided to be adventurous and try something new.  I have eaten quorn on numerous occasions when I lived away from home as a student but my family hadn’t so I thought there’s no time like the present to serve it to them. I knew my brother would pull a face being the meat-lover that he is and not the most willing to try vegetarian options, but I hoped to change his mind about this sustainable protein source!

I found a recipe for “Quorn Meat Free Mince & Vegetable Curry” on the quorn website and thought it sounded delicious, I just adapted it slightly in terms of veggies used. I liked the fact this recipe had an abundance of herbs and spices to add flavour, because I know quorn can be quite bland and not have much of a taste. This was also a positive when trying to convince a stubborn meat eater that quorn tastes good.

Ingredients (serves 4):

300g Quorn mince

1 tspn olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 tin chopped tomatoe

1 tspn tomato puree

1 red onion

1 red pepper

1 can green lentils drained

Curry Spices:

1 tspn chilli powder

1 tspn ground ginger

½ tspn ground coriander

½ tspn ground cumin

½ tspn ground turmeric

Combine the spices together and set aside in a bowl. Fry the veg and garlic in oil and then add the spice mix. Add tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Add the quorn mince and green lentils. I served with brown rice.

Unfortunately I did not win my brother over completely with the quorn in that he still prefers beef due to the flavour. I mean I prefer the flavour of beef mince but I think of the health and environmental benefits when consuming quorn!

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Posted in fitness, Uncategorized

Workouts in the last week or so…

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I have been the worst blogger the past week or so. I’ve had so many uni deadlines that I just haven’t had the time but the dissertation is just about done and due on Monday so the workload will quieten down a bit, finally!

So last Monday I went for a run, it feels strange saying this now but it was actually snowing! Hasn’t the weather been so bipolar the last couple of weeks? Today it was glorious sunshine and I have the beginning of a tan, yay! I had my head stuck down in uni work all day and badly needed fresh air, so I forced myself out into the half blizzard and managed to run 3.5 km. The weather took its toll on me after a while so I did not manage a full 5 km. I find a run is a great way to de-stress from revising all day, regardless of the weather try and get out if it is safe. Trust me it will help a million!

Then on Wednesday I trained legs. Just my usual workout that you will find in the most recent leg workout post. My squat wasn’t as heavy but I am trying to work on form more just now to prevent lower back pain. A guy in the gym told me I do bend my lower back slightly even though I don’t think I am, so he suggested I try squatting with the Smith machine. Personally I find it difficult to squat on a Smith machine with the bar fixed, so I have opted for lowering the weight instead. I do a max of 45 kg just now.

Friday was upper body day and I slightly changed things up.:

I started with a 15 minute run to try and up the cardio

I then did face pulls 3 x 10 at 13.5 kg

Tricep extensions with cable 3 x 10 at 12. 5 kg

Lat pull downs 3 x 10 at 23 kg

Overhead press 3 x 10 at 15 kg

Upright row 3 x 10 at 20 kg

Body weight press ups 2 x 10

Ab work to finish.

Then the weekend exercise consisted mainly of steps at work and then a night out for May day.

Today I was back at the gym for legs and again this did not differ much from the norm except I used dumb bells for straight legged deadlifts and one 10 kg dumb bell for hip thrusts. This was due to part of the gym being closed to the public. I also did hip abductors instead of pull throughs for this reason.

Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Posted in fitness, Uncategorized

Last week in workouts.

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Last week was a great week of workouts for me! My first week of being 22 wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Firstly on Monday night I went for a run. This is a rare occurrence for me but hopefully it will become a weekly thing. Although this Monday a run hasn’t happened, maybe later in the week. Cardio is something I find difficult to implement into my week because well I’m pretty bad at it. But got to tell myself that practice makes perfect right? The run was just under 5 km but did involve a lot of active rest in the form of speed walking. It averaged at 6 minutes 19 seconds/ km.

My next workout was Wednesday and it was legs. See my last post of a leg workout to see what I did. My leg days often consist of the same exercises and are very glute focused.

On Thursday I was going to try Functional 45 for the first time with my friend but unfortunately the class was cancelled so I did an upper body session. This consisted of:

5 minute treadmill run warm up

Face pulls 3 x 10 at 13.5 kg

Tricep extensions with cable machine 3 x 10 at 10 kg

Overhead press 3 x 10 kg with 15 kg barbell

Upright row 3 x 10 with 20 kg barbell

Overhead tricep extension with 7 kg medicine ball

2 x 10 body weight press ups

Core work to finish.

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Then Easter Sunday was a family day. We went for a lovely walk along the beach and then had lamb for dinner. Most importantly this weekend was the opening of the Easter eggs!

Happy Easter everyone!

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Upper body workout followed by a cardio attempt.

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This weeks upper body workout went a lot better than last week. Although I still have a lot on my plate at the moment regarding my uni workload, I think I used the gym as a way to de-stress and really get those endorphins going. My energy levels have still been pretty poor this week but I’m not letting it get in the way of my gym routine!

I had a poor attempt at a run again after upper body workout but my energy levels were probably to blame for this. I think I will just have to save a day for a workout that is majority cardio to get those fitness levels up.

This week I did the following:

Warm up 5 minute run at 5mph

Upright rows with 20 kg bar (3 x 10)

Overhead press with 15 kg bar (3 x 10)

Overhead tricep extension with 8kg medicine ball (3 x 15)

Face pulls at 15 kg (3 x 12)

Tricep pull downs at 12.5 kg (2 x 10)

Lat pull downs at 25 kg (3 x 10)

Press ups (8 full and 10 on my knees)

8 minute run at 5.5 mph

Stretches to cool down.

I was super happy with how I performed just need to get a little better at running – same old story haha.

 

Posted in food, Uncategorized

Chocolate peanut date energy balls.

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I was busy in the kitchen yesterday experimenting with energy balls. Those of you who have read my previous blog posts will see I have a bit of an obsession with making energy balls.I have tried a few different types composed of different ingredients but yesterday I tried adding chia seeds into the mix.

Having just bought a large 1kg bag of chia seeds and recently bought a pouch of my fav whey protein – Chocolate peanut butter from My protein – I decided to include these! These are the larger ones pictured on the right. I have posted the almond balls on the left in a post before, so these are the same but with an added teaspoon of chia seeds.

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

80g pitted dates chopped

55g oats

1 tspn sunflower oil

1 tspn chia seeds

1 scoop whey protein

Simply blend up the oats, add the rest of the ingredients then form into balls with your hands.

Macros:

117 kcal

2g Fat

19g CHO

6g Protein

 

 

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Leg day always comes around.

Yesterday was my first workout this week, yes I have been slacking a bit due to social events but hey it’s all about life BALANCE.

Anyway I pretty much did my usual routine for leg day yesterday. I increased the weight for pull throughs and managed 16kg as the set up pictured above. My squats max is still just 55kg for 3 reps but I am happy with this.

My workout consisted of:

Squats: 10 reps at 40kg then 50kg then 3 reps at 55kg twice

Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg holding a 10kg plate

Curtsy lunges: 2 sets of 15 reps holding a 10kg plate

Pull throughs: 3 sets of 10 reps at 10kg, 12kg and 16kg

Stiff legged dead lifts: 3 sets of 10 reps with 25kg barbell

Ab work: 2 sets of 15 reps sit ups holding 8kg medicine ball,

20 reps  Russian twists holding 8kg medicine ball

Stretches to finish.

I think I’m going to switch things up a bit next week for legs and have more of a glute focus. I feel my quads are growing a bit more than I would like so I’ll try and drop some quad dominant exercises. Something I also need to increase is cardio, everyone’s favourite! Will let you know what I do for my workout next week and see how I felt about it.

Happy February guys!

Posted in fitness, Uncategorized

Ab exercises.

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Today was my leg workout of the week at the gym. I finished off with some ab work. I love changing up the exercises I do to isolate my abs, as quite frankly people are right they can be boring to work on.

The picture above was taken after I had done one set of sit ups and thrown the plate in front of me desperate for a rest! I usually use a 10 kg plate or the heaviest medicine ball I can find to do any of my ab moves. Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Classic sit ups – this is the move I do most often, holding a 10 kg plate
  2. Russian twists – usually holding a medicine ball. These involve twisting the body so work the obliques. That is where I feel it most anyway!
  3. Planking – I usually go for the classic plank and hold for as long as possible, however there are many variations to the classic plank.
  4. Partial sit up – I do this holding a 10 kg plate. Sit in a sit up position but hold a 10 kg plate up above your head and do a partial sit up holding the plate up.
  5. Knee crunches – I usually do these just body weight
  6. Toe taps – No weight is needed for this one either. Lie on the ground with knees up and feet on the floor. Reach to one side at a time aiming for to touch your toes.

Have fun trying these out!

Posted in fitness, Uncategorized

January fitness motivation.

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I trained at the newly renovated gym just down the road from home this week. It has the slogan pictured above painted on the wall in big letters “#nae excuses” or no excuses for those of you who don’t understand Scottish slang. This got me thinking about different ways you can motivate yourself to go to the gym when you are having one of those down days, or reaching that January slump.

Firstly I have been finding it difficult to constantly find motivation over the past week due to being run down with two colds. January really is the worst time of the year for catching the common cold. You just can’t avoid it when out and about, that’s why it’s even more to important fill yourself with good nutrition! If you are feeling a bit under the weather I would advise you to have a day off training and rest up to help that illness go away. The gym will still be there when you are feeling better and you will perform much better having rested!

Anyway enough on icky colds and more on how I motivate myself to get to the gym in the winter.

  1. If I am going to the gym on a day I’m at uni, I take my gym clothes with me or wear my gym clothes to uni. That way I won’t go home and have to deal with the effort of going out into the cold again.
  2. On days that you are at home, as soon as you get up change into those gym clothes! That way you are already half way there and dressed the part.
  3. Think of how good you will feel after the workout. Even if you don’t have a particularly good workout you will still feel a whole lot more energised and  optimistic than before you worked out!
  4. Take a friend a long so you can motivate each other.
  5. Make a goal for summer. Whether it’s to lose those extra few pounds put on over Christmas or gain muscle mass, working towards that goal will motivate you.
  6. Lastly enjoy it. Exercise is great fun if you find what works for you!

I hope these ideas helped for those that are struggling to find the motivation!

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Liebster Award 2017

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Thank you so much to fitnessgrad who nominated me for a Liebster award. I have to admit I wasn’t entirely sure what this meant when I first got the notification but after reading up on it I feel it’s a really good concept. It’s a great way to promote your blog when you are an upcoming blogger and more importantly help to get blogs you love recognised and receive the attention they deserve! 

fitnessgrad blog is one you must follow for help on your fitness & health journey! Having a degree in exercise science she definitely knows what she is talking about and can give advice from a great evidence base. She states in her bio  “one of my goals entailed reaching out to various people around the world to speak on fitness/health” and she is doing this right now through her blog. I get great workout ideas from her blog as she shares lots of her workouts.Help her reach her goal even more by giving her a follow! 

The questions given to me by fitnessgrad were:

Have you ever lost passion for something you once loved doing, what was it and why?

I lost my passion for sprinting when I was younger. Not entirely, but a bad injury meant I couldn’t train as much and this made me slow down a good bit. Don’t get me wrong I still love running, I just don’t compete or sprint at the same level I did in my younger years.

Was there ever a time you were scared enough that it made you cry? what was it?

I am a person who really dislikes birds and has a fobia of them so once a seagull flew down and almost attacked me. Luckily I ran out of the way, I didn’t cry but I guess that was a close call!

Do you think it is difficult to be an adult? why?

I guess it can be with all the responsibility, but having responsibility for all aspects of your life can be really enjoyable. Just don’t overthink things and for certain things in life – grow up in your own time not when people tell you to.

How do you handle the days that bring you to your knees?(the really, really bad days)

I’m quite lucky or just maybe an optimistic person but I don’t have many really bad days. But when they do happen exercise usually sorts me out, getting myself of to the gym and weight training helps a lot. Or just surrounding myself with friends and family.

How would you spend 10.00 dollars if that was your last 10.00 dollars? 

Probably on food, typical me!

If time machines existed, would you use it?

Yes I would to go back in time, I think the future is best left alone.

What do you think life exist outside the planet earth? – humans, aliens, animals.. etc

I really have no idea about this one.

What is Giant Spiders became reality (the movie 8 legged freaks)? 

That would be terrifying!

Which would be worse, watching someone you love die, or killing someone you love in order to save your own life?

Definitely the latter! I don’t think a justification is needed.

If you had the opportunity to be the next President of the United States, would you do it or not? and why? 

Well this is not likely to happen due to the fact I’m Scottish and live in Scotland but no I wouldn’t.

I am not going to choose a favourite blog because honestly I have more than one, but my nominations are all great blogs to follow!

I nominate:

A Peaceful Diabetic

esl269

Boodiba

Simone McKenna

Even More You

The Wholesome Hiker

Ecstatically Em
What to Do if Nominated for the Liebster Award:
Back in 2011 the rules were a simple case of acknowledgement of the nominator and to nominate 5 more. Now in 2017 it is a little more involved and will continue to evolve as blogging becomes more accessible.
If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you should do the follow:
Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.

Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) go to The Global Aussie for a whole lot of images you can use for your 2017 Liebster Award.

For the 2017 Liebster Award they will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.

Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)

Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)

List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link by to this post.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it.

My questions for my nominees are:

  1. What made you want to start blogging?
  2. If you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
  3. Where is a country you really want to visit?
  4. Cats or dogs?
  5. If you could have one super power what would it be?
  6. If you have a fobia, what is it?
  7. What really motivates you on days that you feel slightly de-motiavted?
  8. Do you prefer Summer or Winter?
  9. Do you love or loathe Harry Potter?
  10. What is one piece of life advice you would give anyone?

To my nominees – Do not feel obliged to answer these questions if you don’t want to. I know how busy life can get and it can be difficult to find the time to write your own blog posts from time to time!

Happy Blogging!

 

Posted in fitness, Uncategorized

Workout 2 of 2017: Upper Body.

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Yesterday was upper body workout day, man my shoulders and arms are hurting today. That’s what happens when you take too long off training  over Christmas! I got to use the exciting new cable machine at my gym for face pulls and tricep push downs. I finished with a bit of ab work and again my best attempt at a run. My legs were still pretty sore from lower body day this week, so running wasn’t the easiest but I lasted 10 minutes at a slightly slower pace than I’m used to.

My routine:

Light jog for 5 minutes on the treadmill as a warm up

3 x 10 reps upright rows with a 20kg barbell

3 x 10 overhead press with a 15kg barbell

3 x 10 curls with 6kg dumbbells (pictured above)

2 x 15 side rasies with 3kg dumbbells

3 x 10 Cable tricep push downs at 11.5kg

3 x 10 Face pulls at 12.5kg

2 x 10, 1 x 6 (My arms were burned out by this point!) Overhead tricep pull down holding a 10kg plate

3 x 10 body weight raised press ups using a step

Some sit ups with a 10kg plate etc to finish

Cardio: 10 minute run at 5-5.5mph