Category Archives: Recipes

Purple Purse Campaign

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1 in 4 women will be affected by domestic violence. If this post is a little tl;dr for you, and you want to get straight to the charity part (good on you); please donate to raise awareness and help victims of domestic violence at http://purplepurse.com/celeb-style/.

Thank you

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I so need this weekend. I was sick most of this week, yet have been working 16+ hour days. I am exhausted! I will go to the office tomorrow afternoon, but I have fun planned still for the weekend. Last weekend, despite being ill, I managed to appliqué a Halloween T-shirt for Sam’s birth class buddy:

IMG_6099

And bake a British tea cake classic: Battenburg:

What it tastes like more important than how it looks!

What it tastes like more important than how it looks!

I was fairly pleased with the Battenburg. It was tasty, but a little dry. Next time I will use less batter and so not bake it for so long. I also was annoyed at having to shell out $6 for each packed of marzipan, and so got 1 less than I needed – this was a mistake as the marzipan is really important for holding the whole darn thing together. Still, 5 days later we have very little left, so I can’t complain too much! Here is the recipe I used:

BBC Good Food Battenburg Cake

to which I also added yellow food coloring to the yellow 1/2 of the cake. Remember, be generous with the marzipan!

All this in between feeling so ill my friend Heather had to come and help me on Saturday night while Wes was out camping (in fact, the cake was for her, until I remembered that she can’t eat nuts. #friendfail).

I am hoping this weekend will be equally as productive, I plan to make a Thanksgiving onesie for Sam’s friend Hadley, and bake Oatmeal and cinnamon cupcakes to take into work to celebrate my MS summer student submitting her first paper. Woo-hoo!

So, the weekend has started, I have kicked back with a glass of wine to the strains of Amy Winehouse (I put it on as Sam goes to sleep) and caught up with some blogs I read. My friend B had a post which alerted me to the #purplepurse campaign.

“FACT: domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women in her lifetime. Recognize it, talk about it, stop it. #purplepurse”

 

Purple Purse is a campaign run by All State to raise awareness for, and help victims of, domestic violence. By moving to social media, with the has tag #purplepurse (applied to a picture of you with… wait for it… a purple purse of a purple tassel on your purse) they are hoping to raise even more money and awareness.

I get it – you’re thinking “Another social media campaign? How many will there be?” Well… as many as there need to be to help those in need I guess. I know there are a lot of things people are raising awareness for: cancer, ALS, domestic violence, child abuse. But, isn’t it better that we are aware of people’s suffering, and what is going on in the world around us? I have heard people say “I am sick of this, soon there will be a campaign for me too!”. I find that view offensive; to not look around and realize how many cannot claim to be a healthy, employed, safe parent, with a support network that spans 3 continents would be a tragic dismissal of just how lucky I am. We all draw straws in life: sometime we can rig the pot, sometimes we get what is doled out to us. I always welcome reminders that many people don’t have it as blessed as I do.

And I understand that everyone is asking for money. (Of course, just raising awareness and visiting the website is a big help, and its free!). And I do get the frustration: I have stopped attending our church because so many sermons were a charity drive and I just found it hard to motivate myself to get up for it! I think I get asked to donate to charity 2-3 times a month or so. So as long as I agree with the cause, I give $10. It’s not a lot, but I think about: what if everyone gave $10 when they read about a campaign? How much help could we do? I usually take the money out of our alcohol and Starbucks budget, and I am quite happy to. $20-30 / month is manageable for me, and for that I also very grateful.

B wrote much more passionately about the campaign. I am just helping spread the word. Read B’s post here:

http://chicinacademia.com/2014/09/25/thrifty-thursdays-purple-purse-2014-and-the-celine-luggage-inspired-tote/

And visit the campaign website here:

https://www.crowdrise.com/PurplePurse-FVPS/fundraiser/familyviolencepreven2/1/return/success/success

Or, take a picture of yourself with a purple purse and post it on Facebook / instagram with the hashtag #purplepurse

 

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DAMY weeks 3&4, training week 4 and a new oatmeal. Oh my!

Clearly, it has been too long since I wrote, as there is much to update. As this is fairly self-serving, I am sweetening the deal with a new ‘Oatmeal of Awesomeness‘ at the end. I betcha can’t wait.

DAMY weeks 3&4

So.. DAMY weeks 3 and 4. These have been HARD! Week 3 I could not understand why I was feeling hungrier… why I really needed a late night snack… then along came TOTM. So, that would explain it, then. It made me flake out on one workout. Week 4 was hard for a different reason: I received some extremely sad news early on, which threw me a bit of a curve ball. Then, I got bitten by a fire ant and discovered I am extremely, anaphylatically allergic to such things. Even just one bite. 2 steroid shots (one not being enough, apparently), a Benadryl shot, several steroid tablets and an additional bottle of Benadryl later we can safely say: Ants: 1 Lekki:0. I HATE steroids. Yes, they let me live (which is indeed a benefit), but they also make me grumpy, paranoid and mess with my appetite and sleep (up the former, drop the latter. Boo). They also utterly inhibit my ability to repair from sports (just at a time when I need sports to chill me out).

Then work went crazy with my K99 score coming back ‘on the border of funding’ (the right side of the border for last year – but who knows what this year will be?). It was so anti-climactical, and disappointing, and frustrating and exhausting. So… it has been wonderful to be on DAMY (surprisingly). I have had 2 weeks of healthy, tasty meals planned and prepared that I have got to eat without thinking about them. No stress. I have also (due to a dip in sports – see below) been able to focus on the journey to a healthy body and mind, and look long-term, rather than focus on every day, and every minutiae. Huzzah!

So, those stats. Starting / after 2 weeks / after 4 weeks:
Weight: 143.5 lbs. / 138.5 / 135.5

Chest: 38 / 37 ” / 37 ”

Waist: 30″ / 29″ / 28″

Hips: 38″ / 37″ / 37″

So, I lost 3 lbs in the last two week, for a grant total of 8 lbs in 4 weeks and am very happy. I am much more toned and looking forward to starting on weeks 5-8 (phase 2).

Training for Tough Mudder – week 4.

Hmmmm…. in terms of achieving my goals, this was an utter disaster! With exhaustion, hospital visits, inhibited recovery and all the goal of: “To just do it and not stress about it” – i.e. follow the plan. Yeah. Well, plan and actuality went like this:

Thursday:  DAMY weights A, 45 min kickboxing – DONE!

Friday – DAMY HIIT on the track (yuck) – Changed. Dropped due to TOTM exhaustion

Saturday – Steady state (5K, running for Diabetes) and DAMY weights B – DONE

Sunday – REST (double yuck) – Changed due to dropping Friday. Did a trail run: 1.5 miles uphill, jog back down. Stretch. Repeat. Took me about an hour and half (!)

Monday: Steady state cardio (5K run if knees OK, dreaded elliptical if not) + weights (workout C) – Changed Dropped due to allergy! Too many shots, too much need to recover. Like Friday, I sat on my lazy butt! I actually did this Tuesday.

Tues: DAMY interval training with bodyweight exercises – Changed, as was doing Monday’s workout. I did this Wednesday.

Weds: REST – changed as I was doing Tuesday’s workout.

So, I did not stick to the plan at all! And it has knocked my week 5 training plan out, as I tried to workout on Thursday, but dearly needed a rest. Hmmm. Actually, an accumulation of all the above: I seriously need some rest for body and mind. Tough Mudder is 4 months away: I have some wriggle room. As long as I keep my long runs up, I should not lose too much fitness. That being said, here is my

Week 5 plan:

Thursday:  DAMY weights A, (DONE!)

Friday – REST (yuck) –

Saturday – Steady state 6 mile jog

Sunday – Steady state cross train (30 min trail run; 2 hour hike); weights DAMY B

Monday: 30 min interval run; Weights DAMY D (legs)

Tues: REST

Weds: Steady state (4 miles); DAMY C.

This is not ideal, as it misses out a lot of my HIIT. But, I think I have to sacrifice that for r ‘n’ r and hope it makes me come back stronger. Next week we have my first trail run 🙂

A new Oatmeal.

Mmmmm…. this is so good. Definitely worth listening to that one giant moan for 🙂

Apple crisp Oatmeal:

1/2 sharp green apple (like granny smith)
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 cups Water
1/2 scoop Vanilla protein powder (I use ON casein creamy vanilla)
cinnamon to taste
1/2 tsp all spice
toasted pecans

Bring water to the boil. Stir in oats. Grate in apple and stir. Stir in cinnamon to taste and all spice. Let cook for 4 minutes, stirring all the while. When cooked, stir in protein powder and add water to desired consistency. Top with walnuts. Enjoy the deliciousness. It tastes really like the artificially flavoured versions, but is pretty ‘clean’. The apple adds a nice texture too.

Carrot cake oatmeal

Cake-taste for breakfast

A new oatmeal. This is not so good post-running as it doesn’t have the casein protein that helps keep me full, and I thought could help fat loss if ingested after exercise., but now I find this unsubstantiated in the literature. Anyway, this oatmeal was created when I woke up on Saturday and really wanted to go to iHop for pancakes for breakfast, but am trying to stickk to my ‘only eating out twice a week’ rule. I wanted something decadent, and healthy. It did well.

1/2 cup pre cooked oats oats in water
1/2 cup milk – I used 1%
1 cup grated carrot (10 baby carrots)
1/4 cup egg whites (makes it creamier)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
Sweetenerof your choice – e.g. 1 tbsp sugar / brown sugar OR agave OR 1 tsp splenda

Fill the pan with the oats and carrot, but sort of half and half so the carrot is on one side and the oats on the other (as above)
Pour the milk on the carrots
Simmer over a low heat for 5 mins (don’t worry if the ingredients mix a bit)
Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients
When well mixed return to the heat and cook until the egg white is thoroughly cooked

Optional toppings: pecans; flax seed (my choice); cottage cheese blended with sweetener and cinnamon

More appealing in taste than sight.

Indulge, guilt free 🙂 (Disclaimer: food should not come with guilt blah blah blah).

266 calories – 3.8g fat / 42.3g carbs / 14.75g protein

Chicken Provençal and Zucchini pancakes

Chicken Provencale. So tasty I ate most of it before I took the picture...

OK, 2 recipes for you. One quick and easy, the other… not so much. So, my new stickk.com resolution only allows me to eat out twice a week. Meaning quick and easy dinners are necessary for when I get back from the gym and 7.45 and still have to take Walter for a pee. Thus, I developed:

Chicken Provençal

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 chicken breasts
1 small chopped onion
1 can canellini beans
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 sticks celery
1 can chopped tomatoes
handful torn basil
2 chopped garlic cloves
pinch of savory

Literally just throw it all in the slow cooker and put it on low for 7 hours. Go to work, workout, and come home to the most amazing smell 🙂 This is also great for Meatless Monday without the chicken – very filling.

The next one is not such a quick and easy ‘throw together’

Veggie pancakes

Ingredients

Basic pancake mix:
2 large eggs
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Veggies; I used:
Kernels from 1 ear sweet corn (about 3/4 cup)
1 zucchini, grated (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup chopped onion
Zest of 1 lemon

oil for frying

Put all the basic pancake mix ingredients in a bowl beat with an electric whisk. Stir in the veggies. Heat the oil in a pan. Fry like small pancakes over a medium heat, flipping 1/2 way through. Serve as a side:

Wes' with his steak; I had mine with salmon as I am trying to cut down on red meat.

Not amazing, but a different way to get your veggies in. Tastes great with sour cream / Greek yoghurt on the side, and kept well in the fridge making a tasty snack.

Thank you to Whole Foods for the recipe

Cherry and lentil salad

Another meatless Monday (even though I think it was Tuesday).

Breakfast: Today started with 2 plums and some berries with Greek yoghurt and flax

Favourite breakfast!

Lunch: My Cherry and lentil salad

Serves 2

1 cup green lentils
2 cups water
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 handfuls of cherries – halved and pitted
1 handful of basil – torn

Boil the lentils for 20 mins, and during this time mix the oil and vinegar in a cup. When the lentils are done, drain, and while still warm combine the lentils, cherries and oil-vinegar mix in a bowl. Throw basil on top. Marvel at the pretty colours ans devour 🙂

Too pretty not to eat

Makes a great bagged lunch.

Snack: carrots and hummus, an apple with peanut butter

Dinner:Vegetarian chilli with a little sweet potato (Recipe to follow). Blueberries and sour cream, 72% dark chocolate

Exercise: 2 mile run with Walter in the morning, and an ace 50 minute kickboxing session in the evening. Yeah!

Atkins pancakes

OK, clearly I am going through some kind of pancakes obsession. I do that… lock into certain foods, want to eat them for ages, and then completely go off them and don’t want them near me for weeks. Fickle. Anyway, now I am on Atkins Induction I perfected my Atkins pancake recipe… it is so good. It is very different from the protein pancakes – those are sweet and really like a dessert. These are savoury, much like a slightly less fluffy wholemeal buttermilk pancake.

Ingredients:

1 whole egg (optional: add an extra egg white if you want more protein)

2 tbsp flax meal (I use golden, whether you do this or not is just a personal taste preference)

.3 cup unsweetened almond breeze (optional: use cream instead, this is too heavy for me)

1 tsp baking powder

1 packet splenda (optional: add a tsp vanilla, this will take away the more savory taste)

Blend, and fry. Serve with your usual breakfast fixings, here bacon and a splash of sugar free syrup. For extra brownie points, fry them in leftover bacon grease (thanks Clio for the tip). NB: I cut these out of one large pancake using a glass rim. I found the mixture a little too runny to make individual ones.

I know y’all hate Atkins, but I don’t think these are too unhealthy; the fat is mostly omega 3 and there is lots of fiber (so watch out if you eat them too often – don’t forget to drink water 😉 ).

Nutrition (pancakes only): calories: 159; Fat: 11.32g; protein: 10.6g; carbs: 5.55g; fiber: 4.3g (net carbs: 1.2).

Fat: 64%; Protein: 22%; Carbs: 14%

CHOCOLATE protein pancakes

Due to the emails / comment and likes on my protein pancakes, I thought I would give an update. I have progressed to chocolate protein pancakes – the original recipe but add

1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 packet splenda

This really does need the chocolate chips, as it makes the inside more gooey and a little brownie like. Without them, the dryness of the cocoa would make the pancakes slightly cardboard like.

Mmmmm… these are awesome. Enjoy.