Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Weekend Edition | Post-workout green smoothie action

I ran ten miles this morning. Yep, ten miles. Crazy I know.  It's the furthest I've run since last year's Great North Run, and having been a bit injured recently, I was a little bit cautious setting off to cover such a long distance. The last two weeks, I've wanted to fit in some super long runs as part of my prep for this year's GNR (it's four weeks today, bloody hell), but I've been having real problems with my calves and ankles - the woes of being an overpronator.

The last couple of weeks, I've been taking it easy, only doing short runs and keeping the pace right down just to try and get some miles in. To my absolute shock and surprise, ten miles this morning, was an absolute breeze. Nearly up to normal race pace all the way round, and no mid-run stretching out required. It felt amazing to be back on track and hopefully this stands me in good stead to do another sub-2 hour half marathon.

As with all long training runs, all I could think about was what delicious foodie treat I was going to have when I came back in. Along with a Quest bar (the only bar for getting a high-protein hit post-workout), I whipped up this super easy green smoothie. Smoothies are literally one of the easiest/quickest things to make and it took actual seconds in my new love, the Blend Active. Obviously, you can switch up these ingredients depending on what you prefer, but this is a pretty damn good combination.

Super quick post-workout green smoothie (serves 1)

What you'll need:

  • 2 x handfuls spinach
  • 1 x kiwi fruit, sliced
  • 1 x handful of fresh/frozen blueberries
  • 1 x scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Myprotein's Impact Whey Isolate in Natural Vanilla)
  • 250ml coconut water (I used Go Coco)
  • 3-4 ice cubes
I feel a bit of fraud putting a step-by-step guide here as it's literally just a chuck-it-all-in-a-blender kinda recipe. So go ahead, whizz away.

What's your favourite post-workout protein hit?

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Weekend Edition | Toon Eats

Something short and sweet this week's Weekend Edition, still with a foodie focus but sans recipe. Never fear though, I'll be back with something great to try out next Sunday.

As for this week, there's an abundance of food-related events happening in Toon, so what better time to big them up?

Firstly, NE1's Restaurant Week kicks off tomorrow. NE1 have teamed up with even more restaurants this time around to offer some damn good deals from 4th-10th August. I'll be hitting up one of my favourite restaurants, Caffe Vivo - £10 for 2 courses is always a winner.

Secondly, something I am hugely excited about. The Grazer a.k.a Anna Hedworth, North East food blogger and supperclub supremo, is opening up her hotly anticipated Cook House in the Ouseburn. Opening on Wednesday 6th August, CH will be open on weekdays from 8:30am-3:30pm serving breakfast and lunches. Anna will still be hosting her popular supperclubs here, along with a food school programme - first up is a demo from Charlotte Harbottle of Charlotte's Butchery on 1st September.

Where are you off to this Restaurant Week?

Sunday Sounds #1

Obsessed don't even begin to cover my feelings for SBTRKT's new track New Dorp, New York.
SBTRKT and Ezra Koenig is a match made in experimental heaven. Who'da thought it? 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The New Essentials | Beauty

Ah payday, that wonderful day every month where everything is great with the world. Then you go to shopping. And then you have no money because you've splurged on hair and beauty products. But, you look great for the rest of the month. A weird all round win-win situation.

I purchased a few much-needed staples this payday - some different iterations of favourite products and some brand spanking new things to try.

Here's the lowdown.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Weekend Edition | Super-Clean Brownies

So it's time for another Weekend Edition, and this weekend, I've mostly been getting my bake on.

Something I've wanted to try and make 'clean' without compromising on taste and chocolately satisfaction has been the king of the traybakes; the Chocolate Brownie. Rich and oh-so indulgent, how can you not love the sweet and moorish goodness of this treat. This version is low sugar, grain free and filled with vitamin E supremos, almonds.

Yard Life | Home Style

Our back yard is one of the areas of our flat that we've just never got round to doing much with. Sure we have a (man) shed, a few potted plants and a functional little table and chairs, but it's definitely a work in progress.

This summer, we finally decided to get the yard looking spick and span but we've been struggling in the inspiration department. Enter your old friend and mine, Pinterest.

I've cobbled together a few shots of what we're trying to achieve - hugely looking forward to arranging and building our own suspended lighting canopy (thankfully J is very skilled in the woodwork side of things, how handy?)

Also, I love me some neon accenting, so adoring the idea of the painted breeze block planters below - such a simple and effective idea.

For some other things I'm finding inspiring, head on over to pinning heaven to take a peek at my other boards.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Stuff I've Learned | Running

Hitting the pavements can be a daunting thing when you haven't had much experience. When I first started out, pro runners used to speed past me like lightning and I thought I'd never be able to run like the them.

I've been properly running for over three years now and am constantly learning new things, whether it's how to improve my technique or getting that playlist bang on so the BPM helps me up my game in the pace stakes.

I don't consider myself a running pro or expert by any stretch of the imagination but I've pulled together a few hints and tips I've picked up along the way to guide you through your time on legs. And in turn, if you have any for me, just comment below.

Get some snazzy gear
Why look boring when you run? There is some seriously colouful kit out there and it makes you feel (and look) the part when running. I'm guilty of investing in boring black vests and shorts when I started out (goth at heart) but I've recently added some brighter things to shake things up. TK Maxx and H&M, particularly, have good quality, interesting and affordable running gear.

Buddy up
Running with a pal is one of the best ways to help you on your way. When I'm on long training runs, I buddy up with my Mum - we have a chat on the way round and it makes those long, hard slogs that bit easier to cope with, knowing you're both in it together. If you want to run in a group, there are loads of brilliant running clubs all over the North East, which you can join whatever your level.

Stop worrying about everybody else
Even now, after running for a few years, I get a bit of running angst - Why can't I run as quickly as that girl in front of me? Go at your own pace and set goals to work towards. Want to get faster? Try some interval training. Working on distance? Sign up for a 5K or 10K. Remember, even the expert was once a beginner so take your time, and do what suits you.

Make an epic playlist
One thing I can't cope without when running is a damn good playlist. I use Spotify and make my lists available offline, so I'm not relying on the (usually) patchy 3G signal down at the seafront. I always have a range of genres in the mix but mostly it's really upbeat tracks to help me with my pace (and obvs some guilty pleasures in there for lols).

Enjoy it
If you don't enjoy it, don't do it. Yes, running takes some getting into when you first start out and if you stick at it, it can feel unreal. At the end of the day though, we're all different. There are loads of other cardio-based exercises you can try instead if you're just not feeling it, whether it's cycling, something like netball, HIITs or Tabata. Personally, I think mixing up your exercise routine does a world of good, and introducing different form of exercise that complement other is a damn fine thing.

What are your running tips?

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