Saturday, 31 December 2011

Retrospective

I began 2011 in style: drunk, full of nice food, and a spectacular failure at darts. I also looked like this.

FAT ME!
Later in the day, possibly drunk again, I wrote a blogpost with my resolutions for the year.

1) Join the local running club

I did that! I liked running so much I ran 820 miles this year. Including three 10K races (Flitwick in April and Standalone and Stanley Park in October) and two half marathons (Fleetwood in August and Stevenage in November). I'm really proud of what I've achieved. And I'm so grateful because I've met some fantastic people this year who I hope will become good friends. They sure do put up with me and my nagging/bossiness :) If you're looking to start running you can't go wrong with Stotfold Runners.

RUNNING ME!

2) Eat healthily and encourage my children to try new tastes

I did this too! I've learnt so much about healthy eating and nutrition this year. I began the year eating smaller portions to lose weight, but as I progressed with my weight loss I began to cut out certain foods and think about the times when I ate. It's not been easy by a long shot. I spent a lot of February and March eating separately from my family, or eating a different meal. I was slightly depressed about it if I'm honest. Anyway, I got through it. With help and advice from friends on Twitter, I learnt about good fats and when to eat protein and carbohydrates, and tried some recommended new foods (eg, mussels, mackerel, and scallops, which are all excellent sources of protein and good fats, and are low calorie too).

My children have benefited too; they tried Thai food, different seafood (including scallops, which they love), and now put in requests for their tea, such as risotto. I'm proud of them both this year.

I've embraced Meal-Planning Monday with a passion, and this is helping me to keep track of what we eat, making sure we include some fish at least once a week, and trying not to eat chips too many times! I started meal planning after I was constantly asked by friends and on Twitter what I ate to lose weight. During the summer it became a source of entertainment as I struggled to plan around the kilos of green beans we produced at the allotment.

3) Spend more time in the garden

We have certainly spent a lot of time outside this year. But sadly the garden has been neglected in favour of our allotment. We became tenants in January but didn't really get going until April. We got a lot of food out of it this year, potatoes, courgettes, green beans... Lots of tomatoes, baby corn, and kale. I can't wait to get started in 2012. I have a separate blog for my allotment, it's a bit sparse of content...

HELPING!

4) Be more thoughtful when making decisions that affect others

I'd like to think I achieved this. I've definitely asked my husband before agreeing to do things or go places. A few times... at least. Three out of four isn't too bad.

2011 has been awesome. I think 2012 could be much better. I sure hope so :) Happy New Year xx

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Festive running

I've been away for a week over the Christmas period, but I didn't want to miss out on my weekly runs, if only to try and minimise any weight gains from the excesses of Christmas.

On the Friday before Christmas I dragged myself out for a 6 mile flat run around Stanley Park. It was raining and windy but I wanted to burn some calories and get a bit of fresh air while I could. The park was very muddy and waterlogged, so I came back to my mother-in-law's house with very dirty trainers (and legs!).


Tuesday after Christmas I had a lovely short run with my sister. I'd bought her some Nike running gear for Christmas so this was a good chance for her to test it out. We ran 3 miles from Great Harwood towards Whalley and back, through the River Calder valley, so there were a couple of lovely hills to run up and down. She doesn't usually run for longer than 30 minutes, so she did well. Hopefully she can train a bit more now so next time I visit we can have a longer run together.


Today (Wednesday), I wanted to run the 6 mile loop around Hyndburn that I ran earlier in the year. This loop goes from Great Harwood, up several steep hills into Clayton-le-Moors, and back down and up several more hills into Rishton, and home. Very tiring, very cold, very worth it. The views of the hills are breathtaking, despite the industrial bleakness dotted around.




Friday, 16 December 2011

The 800 mile challenge results

Earlier in the year I blogged about a challenge my friend Abbie set: to cover 800 miles in a year, whether by walking, running, swimming, cycling, however you fancy.

I wasn't convinced I'd cover the distance, but training for two half marathons and three 10K races sure racks up the miles. I stopped including the half mile walk to school and back I do twice daily around April (I got bored!).

So, I've passed 800 miles! 779 miles running, 17 miles cycling, and (at least) 15 miles walking. I'd quite like to pass the 800 miles mark for just running, and I think I can achieve that before the end of the year.

21 miles to go.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Sog's chicken curry

I promised yesterday I would blog the recipe for this curry. It's adapted from one by Delia Smith.

The idea is that it uses up leftover roast chicken, but for the amount of chicken Delia says you need, you'd have to only eat the wings on a standard chicken! I adapt the recipe to include whatever vegetables I have, and more veg if I don't have much chicken. Or you could actually cook chicken breasts first, that would work :)

Sog's chicken curry (serves 2)

Leftover roast chicken (I aim for one chicken breast and 'a bit')
Various vegetables (I usually use an onion, a pepper, and a handful of mushrooms, but I've used cauliflower and mini corn before)
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp plain flour
2-3 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp chilli (optional)
3/4 pint of chicken stock
salt and pepper
Spray oil

Fry veg in a little oil for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the chicken, garlic, flour, all the spices, and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Gradually add the stock until everything is mixed and there are no lumps. Simmer for about 15 minutes.



Monday, 12 December 2011

12 days of fitness: a challenge

In the run up to Christmas, my friend Pete (a personal trainer who leads the running club I go to and the circuit class I also attend) is setting his PT clients and Twitter and Facebook followers a 12 days of fitness challenge. I'm going to take part and update this blog daily with the challenges and results.

Day 1
Hold a plank for as long as you can.

My time: 1:44.

Day 2
1 minute of tricep dips.
Hold a plank for as long as you can.

26 dips and 1:50 plank. Ouch!

Day 3
1 minute of bodyweight squats
1 minute of tricep dips.
Hold a plank for as long as you can.

50 squats, 39 dips (found a better place at home to do these), and 1:31 plank. Bit wobbly now.

Day 4
1 minute abdominal crunches
1 minute of bodyweight squats
1 minute of tricep dips.
Hold a plank for as long as you can.

52 crunches, 56 squats, 40 dips, 1:02 plank.
My legs are feeling sore now (I've also run 5 miles today) and my shoulders are starting to feel the dips. But, really enjoying the challenge.

Day 5
1 minute running on the spot
1 minute abdominal crunches
1 minute of bodyweight squats
1 minute of tricep dips.
Hold a plank for as long as you can.

58 crunches, 59 squats, 42 dips, 1:26 plank.
Look at me go beating yesterday's times! Unsure if this is due to the lateness I did the challenge (I usually remember to do it after I've just eaten) or whether I'm especially awesome today. Anyway, my shoulders and triceps are really hurting and my legs shake everytime I stand up. This can only be a good thing. Oh, and a run tomorrow morning. That will be fun.

Day 6
1 minute press ups
1 minute running on the spot
1 minute abdominal crunches
1 minute of bodyweight squats
1 minute of tricep dips.
Hold a plank for as long as you can.

30 press ups (10 full, 20 3/4), 55 crunches, 58 squats, 33 dips, 1:04 plank. I've also run 6 miles today, so I'm a bit achey and sore.

Day 7
Hold a side plank for a long as you can (alternate sides daily)
1 minute press ups
1 minute running on the spot
1 minute abdominal crunches
1 minute of bodyweight squats
1 minute of tricep dips.
Hold a plank for as long as you can.

I missed today because of family commitments.

Day 8
1 minute of back extensions (not to be counted or rushed)
Hold a side plank for a long as you can (alternate sides daily)
1 minute press ups
1 minute running on the spot
1 minute abdominal crunches
1 minute of bodyweight squats
1 minute of tricep dips.
Hold a plank for as long as you can.

Right side plank 1:13, 25 press ups (7 full), 47 crunches, 56 squats, 32 tri dips, plank 1:06.

Meal-planning Monday: 12/12/11





It's a busy week for us: last week of the school term, various parties, and it's my daughter's birthday too. So lots to plan around.

Monday
Fish finger sandwiches

Tuesday
Homemade chicken curry and rice

I'll blog the recipe for this, it's a favourite.

Wednesday
Spaghetti bolognaise

Thursday
Pizza and chips

It's my daughter's birthday today. She loves pizza, so this is especially for her.

Friday
Steak pie

Weekend
Leaving free

Looks horribly unhealthy doesn't it? Don't forget to check out Mrs M's blog for more meal plans and ideas.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Meal planning Monday: 5/12/11





My first meal plan for December! Such a busy time of year; this week we have two evening school play performances to work around, plus a night out for me :)

Monday
Leftover chilli with rice, garlic bread, and salad

The carbohydrate police will be onto us with this meal. Anyway, I've added salad because we have tomatoes and cucumber hanging around, and I like salad with chilli. I'm odd, just live with it.

Tuesday
Leftover roast beef, with mash and veg

I'm out tonight so I've planned a sympathy meal. It's Beavers too, but with leftover beef and only mash to prepare, this tea should be quick and easy.

Wednesday
Beans on toast

We're all out tonight for son's school play, so we need something quick and easy to eat.

Thursday
Bacon, egg, and chips

Son has another school play performance tonight. I'm hoping to be let out to go running so I'm making a nice tea ;)

Friday
Leaving free

Hubs has the day off today so we'll probably do something nice in the evening *hopeful face*

Weekend
We will definitely fit a roast in on Sunday and I fancy cooking a gammon too (it is nearly Christmas), so we might have that on Saturday. Nothing fixed yet though.

No fish this week so I'll try and fit that into our lunches. That will go down well at school! Nothing especially imaginative this week, oh well.

Don't forget to check out Mrs M's blog for more meal plans and ideas.
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