Sunday, 25 January 2015

Work It Out


The Weekend Edition is back! And this time it's all about pre-workout fuel.

It's that time again post-Christmas and New Year, where everyone is getting their bum back in gear and into the gym.

Me? I'm revving up my half marathon training (11 weeks to go until I'll be pounding Sheffield's streets!) and hitting streets and the gym for those all important training runs and fat-burning weights sessions.

One thing I used to struggle with was what to have pre-workout to keep me going.
This is what I've been having recently to make sure I'm having the right stuff to keep me on track and fuelling my workouts properly.

Pre-workout #1 - Bulletproof Coffee
This could not be more simple to make, and tastes an absolute dream. One shot of espresso and one tablespoon of coconut oil (utterly obsessed with MyProtein's Coconpure oil), whizzed in a blender until you have a creamy coconut drink. I usually have one of these about 1.5 hours before a morning workout and it always keeps my going through a weights session or run. You can add organic butter to this too, like traditional BP coffee, but I'm yet yo venture into that field.

Pre-workout #2 - Rice cakes with nut butter
This is basically my excuse to eat more almond butter (as if I needed one), but it really is the ideal pre-workout snack with a good mix of carbs and protein.

Pre-workout #3 - BCAAs
BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are something I started reading a bit more about when I started weights, to help with increase muscle retention and maximise weight loss. Available in capsule form or powdered (I opted for the latter, for a canny fruity drink), these little guys are easily absorbed into the blood stream and can be used pre or post-workout (or both).

Got any tips for pre-workout eats or drinks? 

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Friday, 16 January 2015

NYC | A whistle-stop tour of Brooklyn


We designated our Saturday in NYC solely to Brooklyn. I've visited Brooklyn once before when my big bro and sister-in-law lived out there, but having not been for 7 years, I arrived armed with a new list of places to explore in the borough.

First up? Brooklyn Bridge
I can't recommend walking over BB enough. Travel guides usually say to walk Brooklyn > Manhattan for the mighty fine view, but I loved walking the other way and turning back to soak up the Downtown skyline (and to take the odd selfie of J and me).


Once over the bridge, we found ourselves in the DUMBO area, home to some ace stores and places to eat (hello Grimaldi's Pizza) and well as the view of the Manhattan Bridge.

Sadly for us, it started chucking it down with snow, and although pretty and wintery, it did scupper what we'd planned out, so we taxied it up to Williamsburg to check out the following:

JANE Motorcycles
Something from Joe's list, JANE is a coffee/motorcycle shop in one, with their own branded merch and some stellar motorcycle coffee table publications. Forget leaky exhausts and double leather garb, this is a damn cool place to visit even if you're not into bikes with their merchandising particularly being on point. 
Visit JANE at 161 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211


Catbird
I can't even tell you how long I've waited to visit the Catbird store. Like, literally, so long. Their delicate jewellery has been high on my wish list for a good couple of years, but rather than buy online, I wanted to visit the store itself.  As we'd been caught in the snow, I pretty much hurled myself in the shop soaking wet (not a good look) but left armed with two of their Memory Rings in rose gold to complement my engagement ring, and their Kitten candle - a new staple scent.
Visit Catbird at 219 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211


Wythe Hotel
This old factory converted into a 90 bedroom hotel is like the Ace Hotel of Williamsburg. The rooftop bar, The Ides, looks out onto the East River and the Manhattan skyline. Unfortunately for us, the snow clouds hampered our view so we drowned our sorrows with a couple of dark and stormies to a Fleetwood Mac soundtrack. I can't think of a more ideal way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 
Visit the Wythe Hotel at 80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249

A few other key Brooklyn spots to hit up if you're in the area:

Brooklyn Bowl - an ace bowling alley with a cool food and drinks area. We popped in for a bottle of Brooklyn Beer, but no lanes were free. Booking ahead is recommended.
61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Brooklyn Brewery - right next door to Brooklyn Bowl, visit here for brewery tours, beer (obvs.) and branded merch. Tours are on a first-come, first-served basis, to get in-line early if you're in the area. We didn't fancy waiting in the snow so much so gave it a miss.
79 North 11th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea - the food market and flea market take place outdoors over the summer and move indoors over the colder months. They have more vendors in their two outdoor locations in summer, but it's still definitely worth a visit to the indoor market if you're visiting November to March, even if you're just in the neighbourhood to visit Berg'n (a beer hall founded by Brooklyn Brewery).

- Indoor Market (November to March) | 1000 Dean Street, Crown Heights, NY, 11211
- Outdoor Flea and Smorgasburg (April to October) | various locations in Williamsburg, Fort Green and Brooklyn Heights.

For more information visit www.brooklynflea.com


What are your top Brooklyn picks? 



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Monday, 12 January 2015

NYC | Where to eat


At the top of the list when we visited NYC, was to eat all of the food (if you can't on holiday, when can you?). For me, it was all about starting the day that bit more indulgently and maybe partaking in a Bloody Mary (or 3) along with a big breakfast or brunch (see ya porridge).

We arrived in New York City armed with a packed Evernote list of eateries, some of which we didn't have time to visit - Jack's Wife Freda, we will meet one day - but of those we did visit, we ended up sampling some of the best scran, like, evah.

Here's the lowdown on some of our favourite spots:

Sarabeth's

We walked up to the Central Park branch of Sarabeth's, and after only a 10 minute wait for a table (and with a Bloody Mary and Mimosa in hand), we ordered 2 mighty fine dishes; Eggs Benedict and Eggs with kale and almonds (guess whose was who's?). I'd say this is an NY must.


Hu Kitchen

Having first spotted this dreamy paleo/clean eating mecca on the SBC Instagram page, I knew this would literally my idea of food heaven. Clean pancakes, clean full English breakfasts (!) and lots of treats to take out including raw chocolate, housemade almond butter and kale chips.



The Top of the Standard - The Standard, High Line

Ever since reading The Londoner's post all about it last year, I had been dying to visit the famous top floor bar at The Standard (The Boom Boom Room). It was such a fancy start to our Sunday in NYC, and we feasted on a ton of great things; sliders, eggs with spinach and shoestring fries, pain perdu, pastries and quails eggs on the tiniest English muffins I've ever seen, all topped off with a couple of tasty drinks. Even if you can't get in for brunch, just head there for a drink at the bar and marvel at the cream and gold, slightly 60s/70s futuristic, interior. Insert heart-eyed emoji.


Balthazar


My word of advice when visiting Balthazar on a busy day? If they say they've got seats at the bar, take 'em. We did just that and the service was mighty quick (barman at beck and call) and the food was a treat. Much better than if we'd had table service. We had omelettes and avo on toast. A briliant set-up to a jam-packed day ahead. N.B. there also may have been a Bloody Mary...whoops.

Stumptown Coffee


Conveniently located in our hotel (the Ace Hotel. It's ace! Go stay there), this was our first port of call every morning for the best flat whites and lattes we've had in a long while. We bought some of their houseblend coffee beans to use at home, and my oh my, did the suitcases smell awesome when we got them home. Seriously though, this coffee was the best, and a must visit in Midtown.

I'd love to know your recommendations for our next visit. Where are your favourite spots to eat in NYC?




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Thursday, 8 January 2015

I heart New York City

Ah, NYC, you beautiful, beautiful place.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I've just come back from an unforgettable New Year trip to New York, where J popped the question!

Obviously I couldn't refuse and wow, the ring. What a ring! Joe chose damn well and proposed with the Anna Sheffield Oval Bea - a rose gold band with a rose cut Champagne diamond and two white diamonds. It is an absolute stunner and I just can't stop looking at it.

I'll be posting more about out NYC adventures soon but for now, I have some planning to start.


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