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Posts Tagged ‘Chika’

Freya Say Relax

Yeah she does.

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(source)

You know who needs to relax? Chika baby:

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I adore taking photos of horse eyes πŸ™‚

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Poor thing, she is SO tense at the moment – after the hunt came through ‘our grounds’ (as the posh folk say :p) the other say – horses, hounds, horns – she’s been a tight ball of tension 😦 Soo today, to RELEASE the fury, I just took her in the school loose and let her do her thang πŸ™‚

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Ok, now I got a little carried away :p

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How can you not get carried away, photographing Chika!!?? Good gosh I love this mare.
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I lova ma baba.

—–

BOOOOOyeah. I finished testing all my five year olds for my dissertation project todayio! And let me tell y’all, what a RELIEF to have that job done! It was kinda fun today – the five year olds I worked with were super sweet (and smart as buttons) and so keen to do the task. AND the school was SO lovely – it made me want to be a primary school teacher! Seriously, it was impossible to feel sad in a school like that. Bright and airy and fun feeling. *Sigh*

Before I left, I fitted in (is that a phrase, ‘fitted in’? Hmm) a workout – Jillian Level 3 30 Day Shred, and a few random other circuits and sections, total time – an hour. I ate a monster apple before, and then had some delish oats after πŸ™‚ Today, I cooked them with a scoop of Vega vanilla-almond mix for an added protein hit:

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That would be my own personal crack cereal on top. I’m a cereal addict when it comes to brown crunchy varieties…

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`Twas horrendously yummy.

On the side, I had a lil baby orange – now I simply have to show you this photo, as living proof that I could peel the whole skin off in one piece πŸ˜€

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I still feel so very proud of myself, when I manage that πŸ™‚

Then it was school fun, THEN a baby pear, which I started to eat and then had to chop up cos I still have that nasty mouth ulcer 😦

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The sting was worth it though! That beast was full of juice πŸ˜€

THEN there was a walk/run, THEN I made a real, proper recipe!

Curried cauliflower rice and lentils!

Hmm..I’m not sure whether to do the recipe today, or do it in my next post as this one is already photo heavy…..maybe next post πŸ™‚ Here’s a taster:

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I was actually really quite proud of myself for making something so tasty and different! Maybe I’m clawing my way out of that silly food rut I’ve been in!!?? Herrrre’s hopin’.

Afternoon activities included horsey playtime, flooding the field with water after I forgot to turn the tap off [filling their field water] for the second time today – I like to do my bit for the environment…! -, and baking mocha chip muffins, minus the mocha:

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They turned out pretty well considering I didn’t have any soya yogurt, so subbed with 3tbsp soya milk soured with lemon juice πŸ˜€ genius right!? I got that tip off of the comments bit on the webpage πŸ™‚ Oh, I am so resourceful sometimes.

So I got my green in me today too, in a form other than muffin cases – a banana-kale-chocolateVegaMix-soya milk green monster:

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Doesn’t everyone top their smoothies with bran flakes? No? Just me? Oh ok.
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Which was the carby greeness to balance out a chocolate-ofied meal!

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Cocoa roasted veggies, with tofu marinated in cocoa balsamic vinegar. Bliss.

(by the by – if you’ve never had a green smoothie, I urge you too! You can NOT taste the green! Start with a handful of spinach, 1/2 – 1 c. milk, and a banana (plus cinnamon, nutmeg, peanut butter – whatever you fancy) and go from there. It’s delicious!)

Obvs I continued the chocolate theme with proper good dark chocolate for dessert πŸ˜€

But now, bed time calls me. it’s 11pm on a Friday night, and I literally feel like I’m going to pass out with tiredness. Since when did I become such an old lady!!??

Question: Favourite way to relax?

When do you go to bed? Are you an early bird or a night owl?

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Horse photos coming!

Just call me Bob. Bob the Builder, that is. Is he as famous overseas as he is in England? If not, you had a lucky escape, cos my GOSH is he one annoying character.201101301801.jpg

(source)

However, we do have one major thing in common; building skilllz, innit!!

He builds toy constructions, I build sandwiches. Oh yes.

Just like he mixes cement, I mix my sandwich fillings. In this case – boiled parsnip and butternut (I did drink the water the veggies boiled in, fyi; I love veg water! Think of the vitamins, the VITAMINS!! Gah), mashed with a blob of soya yogurt, a splash of cocoa-balsamic, mixed herbs, agave, salt, pepper and mixed spice (or cinnamon, I cannae remember which):

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Appetising, non?

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That went onto layer one:

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Layer two = good old Tesco value cooked beets!

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Layer three – squishy roast aubergine (or eggplant, if you roll that way)

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Lidded:

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A beastie boy of a sandwich!!! Beats a house any day :p

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A cabbage garlic soy sauce left over butternut stir fry acted a side dish πŸ™‚

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I also built jelly donut CUPCAKES this weekend!! From the wonder that is Veganomicon, no less-

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They may be ugly, but they sure did go down a storm!! Booooo yeah.

What else did I build….oh yeah, OATS with peanut flour/melted banana/cinnamon sauce:

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I had to snap it quick before that lovely peanut banananananary sauce just sunk right in…

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But OH boy it was good! The next day, I gave almond extract a run in the oats:

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Didn’t work as well as vanilla…good, but not good enough, in my expert opinion. Hurrumph. I still repeated it this morning (Sunday) though, for whatever balmy reason:

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Pre-mix above, post-mix below πŸ™‚

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Why do I never learn – don’t fix what ain’t broken! (even if Bob encourages you too…‘Boooob the Builder, CAN WE FIX IT!? Booooob the Builder, YES WE CAN!’ NO. We CAN”T. No idea what I’m on about? lookey here)

Ok, so I’ve done the Bob half of the title…how about the Thrills and Spills part!?

Thrills:

I RAN!!!!!!!

Ohemgee.

I got up, laced up my shoeloos, ate an apple the size of my head, 2tsp of wheatgerm and a finger full of jam, and headed out. My aim was to run about three miles – but I did six!

SIX!

I actually ran/walked seven miles, with LOADS of little breaks to stretch, walk, have a drink etc etc, so all in all it took about 1hr20mins, but I actually RAN a total of about 6miles *happy dance*! The pain that began in my calf muscles (way back when) and moved to my shins (2 weeks ago) is retreating back again, HA! Shins were cool, calf muscles a little achey. But not, ohmygosh-we-want-to-die achey, just-we’ve-worked-hard achey. I’ll take that πŸ™‚

I reckonz another week off of running, and by next weekend I should be raring to go. I cannot contain the joy! FYI: The doc appointment on Friday was pointless; he can’t refer me to a sports physio on the NHS 😦

Another thrill – yet more Veganomicon produce! Chewy chocolate raspberry cookies this time, except made with gran-made bramble and blackberry jam, as opposed to raspberry πŸ˜€

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I don’t know about the cookies (they’re for my mum’s work) but damn did that dough taste good :p

The final thrill of the day? Why, gram flour pancakes for lunch of course! Topped with boiled mashed parsnip (mixed with agave and cinnamon) and a blob of melted banana:

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Parsnip mush:

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Banana mush:

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You’d be amazed at how well parsnip and banana go together – seriously! Plus, I am LOVING gram flour pancakes – packed with protein, and oh-so chewy πŸ™‚

Now, let me tell you about the Spills:

Hannah took Tig (her horse) out for a hack today, which is fair enough. She’d been out for 20mins or so, when – whilst i was upstairs – my mum got a phone call from the sister herself, saying she’d come off and Tig was on the road! ERrrrr cue PANIC from sweet mutti bear! She dashed out of the house, and a few mins later, I came downstairs (unawares) and my step dad said to me ‘Hannah’s fallen off on the road and Tig is loose’!!

Obvs, I shoved my trainers on and ran out of the door and down the road. I couldn’t see my mum ahead (as it turns out, she hitched a lift with a random car – she couldn’t drive her car out cos if Tig was loose, she’d need to catch him) but as I ran further down the road, I could see the tell-tale white marks on the road, from Tig’s metal shoes. I kept going, turned up the path where Hannah had gone, and saw my mum.

As it turns out, Tig and Hannah had been galloping in one of the stubble fields about 1.5miles from home, and were going to cross from one to the other. As they got closer, the bit she thought was a track for crossing, was actually a huge open ditch! It totally took them both by surprise, Tig slammed on the breaks and spun, and Hannah went out the side door. Tig then cantered off (feeling somewhat shaken! Horses don’t like losing their riders) and crossed a MAIN road, back down the track he’d been up, and then was caught by my mum, cantering down the road leading to our house!

And do you know what the crazy thing is? LOADS of cars passed him – loose, on the road, with no rider – and not one car stopped. What the-?

So anyway – my mum caught Tig and led him back up the track to meet Hannah (who was unharmed – the ground was soft and muddy, she’s young and still bounces :p). She got back on, and finished her ride, including going over the ditch. Phew!

Whilst all that was going on, my poor lady Chika was in the field, freaking out! She gets terribly upset when her boyfriend goes anyway, but today, I think she knew something was wrong – she spent the whole time neighing and galloping circles round the field (i took these before The Phonecall):

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Her poor stressed lil face 😦
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Le sigh. She is so silly sometimes! At least she got a half decent workout πŸ˜›

Soo that was Sunday – somewhat eventful! I spent the afternoon baking, mucking out, and watching eBay like a hawk; I was bidding on a (very cheap, we’re talking Β£200) car cos, now Hannah is working full time and I need the car for uni, we’re in a predicament! Alas, I was the highest bidder til the LAST second when i got pipped – by Β£10! – at the post. Bah. I hate eBay sometimes.

How was your weekend? Have you had any thrills (or spills!?)?

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Don’t forget to enter my give away!

Sorry for the wordy post..better wordy than nothing right!!?? At least I hope so…

I swear this week I don’t know if I’m coming or going! The work has piled up already, and I’m having THE hardest time trying to sort out schools and nurseries for going in with my trusty laptop to test the children. All these darn rules and regulations – they all seem to think I’ve come to kidnap the children, or at least cause them serious physical or mental harm :/ (fyi – I won’t be doing either). Gah.

Onwards and upwards right?

Well, actually not really 😦 So, last week was a strange one, running wise. I did a Grande Total of 40miles (equal to the toughest week in my novice training plan for the marathon last year) – 2 x 6milers (one of which was broken down into two, 3miles), 1 x 5miler, 2 x 6.5milers, plus 1 day off and a 10mile run on Sunday. I’ve been building up to this mileage for a while now, keeping the old 10% rule in mind – but my runs on Saturday and Sunday (two three milers on Sat, 10miles Sun) were…..hellish, to say the least.

In fact, I almost had to give up completely on Sunday. Why?

PAIN!

Lots n lots of PAIN!

Down the front of my shins….ie, I think I have shin splints.

Which is crap.

Especially since:

  • I have brand new running shoes (same as the ones I got professionally fitted)
  • I haven’t disobeyed the 10% rule (don’t increase mileage more than 10% week to week)
  • I haven’t suddenly upped my pace
  • I haven’t stopped eating right
  • I’m not dehydrated
  • I have rest/easy days
  • ….get my drift?

I seem to be following the rules, so why is this happening?? On Saturday, I had to stop – literally – every .3 of a mile to relieve my legs. On Sunday, I desperately wanted to do a long run, so I decided to go for it and arranged to meet my kind hearted mumma at the 6mile point, so if I felt awful, she could drive me home. Sadly, I did feel awful. The pain down the front of my legs was intense! But ONLY when running, and after about .1 or .2 of a mile did it kick in. The second I walked, the pain would go. When I met my mum at mile6, I was only 3miles from home, so I arranged to walk for 2miles (I needed the headspace time!) and then meet her again.

I think mentally, knowing I was going to see her helped, cos I ran walked those 2miles, at about a 12min/mile pace, walking as soon as I felt pain. I got to our meeting point early, so I ran/walked another mile or so, at about a 10.30pace, then I met her and she dropped me off 1/2 mile from home, so i could finish bang on 10miles. I have never, ever EVER not done the mileage I set out to do, hence why i sooo badly wanted to finish!

My total time was 1hr40, averaging a 10min/mile pace – but that time doesn’t include all the stopping to stretch, talk to my mum etc. I was actually out of the house for just over 2hrs.

I’m not really sure where to go from here…

My mum suggested I go see a physio, cos maybe my style of running is at fault and is causing stupid pressure points and so on, each time I hit the ground(after all, the trainer foot people, when I went to get gait analysis for my Brooks, told me I had a really weird gait!) – suuuucks, cos they cost a BOMB!

My other option is to start focusing on doing some more core work, to improve my running style; Runner’s World told me core work is very, very important for runners, and DOES lessen the chance of injury, cos you’re more stable and strong as you run- sooo maybe it’s my (sloppy?) style that is putting my legs out of whack? (holy batman I have a gum craving right now, as I type this…)

The other option is, of course, to stop running. Buuutt, i am really not happy about that – I’m entered for a half marathon in a few weeks, I have a marathon planned later in the year, and to be honest- I NEED my running right now! For stress relief, for a sense of freedom and accomplisment,..running has become so much a part of ME that I would really struggle if I had to stop for weeks on end! Naaa wha’ ah meeen?

The other thing which I learnt from Runner’s World (I love that magazine – seriously though RW, why the big bucks in cost!!? Not fun!) was about symptoms of overtraining.

Poor performance during training (apparently so, if Sunday was anything to go by)

Persistent muscle soreness (when running – yes)

Altered sleep patterns (YES – I’ve had many 2am cereal snacks recently…)

Reduced appetite (yes – ironic considering what I just typed above :p)

Elevated pules (no idea, I’d love to start keeping track!)

Mood disturbances (yes)

Am I overtraining?

Gah bajeezahs, am I doing too much??! Am I doing the right amount for me? Is my pain an INJURY or just tiredness? Should I see a physio? Should I take a week off from running (do DVDs instead) and see what happens? Should I crawl into a dark hole, slice off my own legs, and re-grow them, alien style?

HEELLPPP!!

*UPDATE* (the next day – I write some of my posts in advance)

I watched this video (actually, the first two) about running form and heel striking (I have crap form), posted by (the hilarious and fabulous blog lady!) Marie, on Tuesday night, and decided to try out the running tips on Wednesday. I did 1mile, making sure to flick my heels up and have my wheel behind me (it would make sense if you watched the videos!). I THINk there was less pain, but there was still pain…so I’m not really sure what to do. Time for a physio?

—–

To ease my mental pain on Sunday, my late lunch consisted of one of the best dishes on earth – Oats in a jar. It was the ONLY thing that could even slightly lift my ground level mood….

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Spill over on the side :p (it was a mini jar)

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Sadly, it wasn’t as spezzal as I remembered it to be! WHY Why!!???? Boooo.

Maybe it was just my mood? Even Stinky Chika outside couldn’t put a smile on my face:

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She was a naughty pony – full of spooks and freshness. Blasted horses! Normally she can read my mood like a book, and knows when she need to be angelic, and when she can mess around and I’ll just chuckle. Obvs today, we were a bit out of sync! Alas.

There have been two cheery things of late though!

1) A very belated Christmas present from my mum arrived the other day:

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SO many chickpea recipes – riiiight up my street.
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YAY! I’ve been wanting this cookbook for SO long, and really, I am tremendously excited now πŸ˜€ Cooking passion = reignited! (In fact, as I type, I have some tofu marinating in a modified recipe :D)

2) This stuff, which I picked up on my London trip last Friday:

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SO worth the Β£12 (though my poor, sad bank balance doesn’t think so :'()
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Chocolate and balsamic? oh yes.

I used it to marinate some tofu (mixed with extra cocoa powder):

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Which was then fried up:

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Delish! It was nice to eat something other than cereal and yogurt, or oatmeal…..

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(bang on 0.250kg!! And that was just chance! wowzer)

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[my step dad’s car died, hence the car adverts, FYI]

Being extra busy means less time for proper cooking 😦 Oooooh well.

Anywayz, this post has been long enough right!? Please please do help me out with any running advice y’all might have..I really need it at the moment! OH – and if anyone British would like to do a food swap with a lovely American girl (who has PEANUT FLOUR) shoot me an email, and I’ll get you in touch πŸ™‚ * someone found! So don’t worry πŸ™‚

Ps – that darn gum craving is STILL here – why why whhyyyy do I have to run out of gum now!?

PPS – the search term (to get to my blog) ‘brit chick, keep on running!!!’ was too cute ;p as was ‘I desperately want to move to the uk’ – eerr why?

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Not like the others

Hello chaps.

I’ve written the next bit in italics cos it’s all horseh-horseh related, so I figure if you do care, read ORRN! If you don’t – skip the italics πŸ™‚

So lol HA! I flew my kite today. That would be true if my kite had 4 legs, a lorra fluff and called itself Chika….she’s hardly been ridden the past month or so, due to the generous offerings received from the snow gods, so she was feeling…’somewhat frisky’ – to put it mildly! She was still super obedient to my voice, and she spent the first 15mins on the lunge being an annnnngel. Then, the inevitable happened, and she saw a distant lion. Her tail went up, her neck thickened up like a tbsp of flour to water (eh? what? Isn’t that the most awful simile ever?) and she started doing that snort-thing horses do when they see something spooky/scary. You know the one!? It didn’t help that it was extremely foggy and chilly, and she just wanted an excuse :p

So anyway, when she’s in that mood, when I say canter, she goes ‘yes mother’ – and leaps, bucks and kicks into and during canter! I actually had to drop my whip, use both hands and put my full body weight into leaning on the lunge rein so she wouldn’t completely take off :p Hilarious! I was just thankful I was in gloves….though it was nice; she released her inner-warmblood which I just KNOW is dying to get out; knees up round her chest, elevation like she was on pogo sticks…so good to see. After 10mins of that, I let her off the lunge and just did join up/gallop round the school for a bit. it was fun πŸ˜€

——-

Not like the others, I say!? Yez, it’s true. Jenny, of Peanut Butter and Jenny fame, did a post on not being like all the other ‘big’ bloggers (or small bloggers, or healthy living bloggers in general) a while back. It made me thiiiink (never a good thing), and I came up with a few of my own…

1) I have a schmanzy camera like the proper bloggers do. The difference is? I ain’t a clue how to use it right :p (actually one of my New Year’s resolutions IS to learn how to use it to my advantage!). In fact, my ‘arty’ pics are often pretty crap:

Take One:

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Take Two:

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Take Three:

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Take Four:

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See? They also regularly come out dark, for no reason:

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I’m guessing that’s maybe an …. ISO (?) ….. issue. See, I really am quite dim.

The other fancy-camera biggie – I don’t drag it evvvvverywhere I go – partly I can nay be bother (it’s awkward!) but mainly cos it’s so darn precious! I don’t want to break it – something I am hiiiighly likely to do.

2) I like canned pumpkin – but real pumpkin? I can take it or leave it:

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Unfortunately (for that pumpkin), it got left.

3) I love to bake – but I’m no good at baking pretty things! Take my cookies today – they’re not uniform in size, they’re pretty ugly; and even my attempt at Angela-style photography didn’t reaaaaaally work….

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The above was to prove my amazing stacking skills, in case they all fell over (they did) before I took them into the big wide world of outside for the Real Photoshoot!

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The relegated cookies – deemed too poor to be stacked in the tower:

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At least the baking part looked delicious πŸ˜€ (that’s date syrup used instead of maple syrup)

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With added figs and carob chips instead of apricots πŸ™‚
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Chia egg!
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In action….

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(by the way – the cookies were deLICIOUS! I had one with lunch – very much smile-worthy)

4) However much I’d like to, I never have and never will present my food nicely. Or in small portions. Some bloggers do both, and I read their posts and think ‘oh yes, tomorrow I’ll eat a tiny portion of xyz and make it look preddy’ – then tomorrow comes, and I never do:

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Above, was eaten with milky banana steel cut oats, below: *Da BOMB*

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Bah, what can I say – I like volume! πŸ˜€ Especially when it involves seedy toast, and lots of mushy veggies πŸ˜€

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Pear on toast? Why not.

5) I love oatmeal, and I now love cereal and [soya] milk. But the thing that makes me different from the blog world? i really can leave the toppings :O. Yep, I kinda LIKE my oats without all the fuss and stuff on top! In fact, I find they get in the way – my brain gets overloaded with all the flavour combinations – which one will be the best, which little bit shall I save til last… – and I find that if I add peanut butter, it inevitably melts into the oats and I end up losing the strong PB flavour kick. It’s sad and woeful! And in regards to cereal? it’s either banana, or no banana:

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Don’t even try and be fancy and add pineapple or grapes or – worst of the worst – APPLE to my cereal. It will. not. happen. I will. not. like it.

6) I don’t do yoga.

Well, that’s a lie – I DO do yoga, but my yoga ability is limited to the realms of two MTV power/Ashtanga yoga DVDs, that i have done thousands of times, mastered, but have not looked at in about 6months πŸ˜› Really I feel there’s a closet yogini in me trying to get out – but until I live within screaming distance of a yoga studio, she’s gonna have to keep schtum!

7) I don’t have a husband. Hurrumph.

8) i have a horse instead :p (and two boys named Carter and Kovac!)

9) I’m British. Take THAT, American bloggers!!

10) I have a tendency to start posts off strong and whilst the evening is young, do something else, then come back to them late at night when I’m super tired, want to watch The American Office, read my textbook (Ok, My Sister’s Keeper – I’m bored with the textbook now) and just hit publish. Which is why my reasons stop at 10! I wrote number 9 hours ago – but this last one is all my fuzzled out brain can handle.

ALAS.

Question: How are you different from everyone else?

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Hooray hurrah huzzah huzzah! I did my last exam yesterday!! Well, I still have ALL my exams in the summer, the 3 I just had were silly ones instead of coursework for those particular 3 modules…but still! I have no more til May, so I’m happy πŸ˜€ To celebrate, I had a complete day off from aaaall forms of work or reading or revision. And it was good πŸ™‚ I even had time for PlayTime with my Chika – but more on that later. First – The Good:

1) No more exams for 6months. Do I even need to explain why that is good? Yeshyesyeys, I still have a dissertation project to do, 60 children to do an experiment on, a Visa to sort out (yes, a VISA! Keep readin’), 3 more modules to learn, and then all my end of year exams that will – hopefully – give me a degree in psychology….but small steps.

2) I tried a faboosh new Luna bar flavour pre-run t’other day:

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Er, SCRUMMY. That would be chocolate raspberry flavah, for those of you that don’t have x-ray vision and can’t see the writing behind the bar πŸ˜› I don’t know if it was quite my favourite, but it was right up there πŸ™‚ Though, ha, I did have to inspect it somewhat thoroughly after reading posts by this lady – she found a dead bug-worm thing in one of her Luna bars! Or maybe it was a Larabar..I forget now. But either way, I now have to inspect food before I munch it! Talking of animals in food, i read about a lady who found a frozen dead mouse in her oven chip bag…another one who found a dead mouse cooked into her loaf of sliced bread (after she’d eaten half the load)…the list goes on. ANYWAY!

3) Epic Green Monsters:

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Always, always a good thing. And before y’all ask:

1 cup cereal, 1/2 c. milk, 1 banana, spinach and/or kale (I’ve been going for kale recently, 2 big handfuls), approx. 1 small tsp xanthan gum, 1 tsp maca powder. Depending on what I fancy, I might add in vanilla extract or almond extract, a pinch of salt, a tsp of coffee – go mad!

4) Christmas plates!! (note: we still don’t have a tree. I NEED this Christmas cheer!)

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I’m not sure if this should go in the Good section, or the Ugly section – I think my mamma would choose the latter :p

5) Delicious lunches, served on said christmas plate:

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That’s aubergine mash, in case you were curious πŸ™‚
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6) Puff cereal!!

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I’ve always been a firm hater of puffy type cereal – but since I discovered that it’s darn tasty with a splash of soya milk – I’m sold.

7) Chika (and Carter):

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I wanted her to run about the school after I’d worked her, so i could take cute pictures – instead, she thought she’d just stand there and gawk at me (no doubt wondering why I was making silly noises and running about in circles round her :p)

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‘What are you doing Mum?? I want my hay and warm stable!’
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8) Next summer!!! Here’s the thing – I’ve applied to go to a summer camp in the USA, and – provided I don’t become an alcoholic/drug addict/[insert bad thing here] – I’m definitely going!!! Crazy! I’ll be there June-September (hence the need for a Visa), and then after, I might go travelling round the States for a bit (and hopefully meet some of you readers :p). At the moment I don’t know what sort of camp I’ll go on – it could be a fitness camp, a horsey camp, or anything in between. But one thing is for sure, it’ll be active and fun and amazing! πŸ˜€

Now onto The Bad:

1) Tuition fees in England…now you can only go to uni if you pay Β£9000 a year?? No thank you! There’s going to be a big class divide in England now (in my opinion) – the rich will go to uni, the poor won’t. I know I sure wouldn’t have gone to uni if that’s how much I was going to pay. Heck, I’m leaving uni with Β£25,000 of debt – and that’s with tuition fees of Β£3,000. Awful.

2) Chika (I swear she’s smiling in that pic!)

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Yep, this sucks. Every single year since I was 15, when it’s come to my final exams of the year, i stop riding. I normally stop around April time, and pick it up again in June when they’re over. It’s purely cos I get mega stressed, and I don’t want to take it out on Chika, or not do her justice. Plus, she gets a little holiday, so it works well. But – next year, I’ll be stopping in April…then going to the USA. And after camp, i don’t know what will happen. I might travel, I might get a job and leave home, there’s just no telling. On top of that, Chika is not a horse that likes to sit in a field and not do anything. She puts on weight over summer (which is potentially lethal in horses – so many nasty killer diseases happen to fat horses on lush grass) and no-one will be able to work her, and she’ll be bored.

So I’ve made a decision – in March/April time, I’m going to loan her out. It is heartbreaking, like I’ll be losing a part of me. But I just can’t leave her sitting about – she’s only 12yrs old, and she’s a lovely super mare, and will make someone happy. Luckily, I’m not going to SELL her – she means too much to me, she’s priceless, and she’s helped me SO much in my recovery. She IS my family! If she’s loaned, it means if it goes wrong, she can come back (as opposed to being sold on and on and on…like in Black Beauty. I don’t want to see her skinny and sad at a horse sale in 15rs!), and it means I can take her back at any time. But it’s the most sad thing I’ve ever had to decide 😦 every time I think about it, I get a lump in my throat 😦

Annnd The Ugly:

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Roast aubergine – such a gooey, gross veggie!

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At least the taste makes up for it πŸ™‚

Question: Tell me, what have been your Goods, Bads, and Uglys recently!?

(Ps – I do still have my important post to come, but I wanted to say all this first :))

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Hello hello hello!

Is it possible to overdose on oatmeal? Cos I think i have:

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You wouldn’t believe how long I’d been waiting to use that jar!! It was quite possibly, the best meal ever. And enjoyed whilst watching X Factor (Saturday night, breakfast for dinner = perfection).

The very next night, I had oats again – 1/2 c. oats, salt, cinnamon, 1/4c. peanut flour (16g protein, wam bam!), 1 banana. BLISS! In fact, it was so good, I had the exact same mix on Monday night too:

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Yez, that’s a Starbucks coffee holder.

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My aunt asked my mum to let out her dogs whilst she was away on a business trip, but my poor old mama didn’t get back from work til 7. 1/2hr drive to my aunts + dog walk + 1/2hr drive back meant it’d be a very late dins…so I packed it up πŸ˜€ genius right!?

Funnily enough, my mum got home early, and I actually didn’t break into my oats til we got home..so bowl it was:

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Something wasn’t right. It wasn’t til the last mouthful when I realised what was wrong – NO PEANUT BUTTER! Oats without nut butter is a sin, A SIN!! Needless to say, I sorted it out pronto πŸ™‚

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Much better. [Note: I may have had oatmeal the next night too :p]

What else has happened….oooh! After a week of snow and absolutely ZERO running, by Saturday it had thawed enough for me to venture out – 7 blissful miles later, I was cold and had wet feet, but was very happy πŸ™‚ On Sunday, I did NINE miles! My longest run since the marathon a month ago, and let me tell you – it felt GREAT. I wanted to go further, but I ran out of fuel. Originally I hadn’t thought I’d go that far, so all I had before I left was an apple. Needless to say, by the end of 9miles, I was flagging somewhat, which was a shame 😦 I can’t wait to get my mileage up again though – all this talk of marathon training and recaps floating about the blog world is inspiring me πŸ˜›

Talking of…er…talking….anyone noticed the pumpkin trend seems to be on its’ way out? Boooo to that! Especially since I ate the most yummiest pumpkin dish EVEr t’other night!

I used Mama Pea’s pumpkin tofu curry as a base, but made a few alterations and totally altered the technique…and now it’s been about 5 days since I had it and I can’t for the life of me remember what I did different!! D’oh. Anywhoooo, look:

Tofu:

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Millet + durum wheat pumpkin curry mix:

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Added together:

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= pure yum!

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I was very proud of my inspired-and-altered creation. I just wish I could remember what I’d done!!?? Meh.

Just randomly – tofu and pear goes well together πŸ™‚

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You heard it here first!

You also got reminded of peanut butter and nooch covered parsnip fries here first:

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Oh yeaaaah. Best thing ever! Served alongside a roasted veggie sandwich, and toast+yogurt:

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I’ve been maaajjorly craving dry, burnt toast recently. Weird right? Does anyone else like dry toast, or am I alone!!??

Other talks of the town recently (besides oatmeal and pumpkin :p) have been SNOW! England came to a standstill last week with all the crazy ice and minus-temperatures. – so much so, my exam got cancelled! It’s now rescheduled for tomorrow 😦 But anyway – [post] snow pics!

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So creepy and foggy…this was about 3pm!
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Bored yet? I don’t care, there’s more :p
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herro Chika!!
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Spot the dog!
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The end πŸ™‚ Of the photos and of the post – I have a heck of a lot of work to get through 😦

Buuuut I do have a topic I really really want to blog about in my next post! It’s quite..important? to me – a big thing! But until then, I’ll leave you with some proof of my sheer stupidity – About a 1/2hr ago, I smashed an ENTIRE jar of runny honey, all over the floor. I then proceeded to slam my knife down on the counter, which bounced and smashed the sugar jar too. Wahey.

Have you ever done anything like that?

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YO!

My New York based tall blonde American friend Gabriela tagged me in that quiz that’s been going round – so here goes!

1. What is your biggest fear? (It can be silly or real) Dying alone, fire, drowning, my horse/mum/sister getting hurt or injured, spiders, the end of my garden when it’s dark.

2. If you were onstage at a karaoke bar, what would you sing and why? Oh heck…probably that song that Bridget Jones sings [really badly] in the film, so I could re-live the moment :p

3. Do you write in print or cursive? In all honesty, I don’t know what that means :p is it like, do I write in capitals!? If that’s the question, then no.

4. Have you ever been fired from a job? Nope πŸ™‚

5. If you could go to the Olympics for any sport, which would you choose? Dressage, or gymnastics, cos it would AWESOME to be that bendy!

6. How many cell phones have you owned? Hmm…my first one, a tiny Nokia, a pink flip phone, another phone, my current phone. You count.

7. What’s your sign (wink wink)? Gemini πŸ™‚ And if you’re Chinese, I’m also a dragon! Or a horse…I can’t remember which….

I now tag the first seven commenters to answer the same questions πŸ™‚

————

Bah, I have TWO recipes today! TWO! TWO!
But I’ll get to them later.
Firstly, I want to make y’all go to this link, cos it’s funny πŸ™‚ and it reminded me of a) being boyfriend-less (running is better than a bf – read the link and the world’ll make sense :)) and then it made me remember b) why I should be GLAD I am lonely and single – I can cook whatever I like, I can turn the light on in my room when i get up early, as opposed to worrying I’ll wake up Mr Boyfriend with the light, I can choose to travel round the world [if the desire strikes…], I can see chick flicks in the cinema without moaning, I can use my passenger seat in my car to seat my bag (aka junk and rubbish) instead of a lump of human. And above all – I can have a Huskey dog named Princess PuffleBomp*, and no-one will complain πŸ™‚
*it goes well with my alter ego, don’t you think? ‘Princes Freya the Third, PhD’ <- as I’m known by Amazon :D)

How about you? Are you a single lady, or did someone put a ring on it?

Moving on – Recipe time!

Chocolate lentil and chickpea stew:

Chocolatey, nutritious, and ever-so comforting πŸ™‚ (makes one serving, although the more veg you add, the bigger the meal…)

– 100g cooked chickpeas (I got mine from a can)
– 25g uncooked red lentils
– approx. 1tbsp cocoa powder
– 1/3 ish of a stock cube
– 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– approx. 1tbsp tomato puree
– 1 tsp maple syrup (or agave, or whatever)
– 1-2tsps dried thyme or mixed herbs (I can’t actually remember what I used…!!)
– 1-2 tsps molasses (optional)
– veg! As much or as little as you want. I used a mix of butternut squash, carrot, parsnip, leek and broccoli, all cut into small-ish, even sized chunks.
Also, do note that I don’t measure spice/flavouring ingredients, I just wing it, so measurement are approximate πŸ™‚

1) Chop all the veggies:

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Ugly parsnip optional:

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And gather stuff together:

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2) Throw everything into a saucepan:

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3) Put it on a medium-high heat (I used the ‘less hot’ of the 2 Aga hot plates), mix it all around and cook it for a few mins, stirring lots and lots so it doesn’t catch.

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When it’s all fragrant (it should be fragrant – alternatively, just give it a few mins then move on :p), add in enough water to aaaaalmost cover, but not quite:

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4) Put a lid on it (maybe leave a little crack open for steam escape purposes), have it on a medium ish heat (you want it simmering) and let it do its’ thaaaang for about 40mins, or until the lentils are cooked and the veg is very soft, almost mushy! Keep stirring it during that time every now and then, so everything gets cooked evenly, and if it runs out of water, add more. After all, a little too much water is better, because you can always put it onto a high heat and steam the water away.

5) Serve!

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Yes, it is an ugly dish, and probably not something you’d want to cook for a crowd to impress them with your incredible culinary skills – purely cos they’ll think you just sicked up on a plate and called it dinner. BUT, it IS delicious! So much so, I made it the next day too πŸ™‚

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I used aubergine and brussels sprouts instead of leek and carrot and broccoli, which was fine – but I did forget the garlic, and it wasn’t quite as nice without it. Remember those cloves, folks!

Recipe Two time πŸ™‚

Spicy Pumpkin, Red Lentil and Chickpea Smush:

Is it a soup? Is it mush? I’m not sure. It’s yum though! I wanted something lentil-y for lunch, and I also had *40g* of chickpeas from my can left over (from yesterday), so I made this πŸ™‚

– 50g red lentils
– 40g cooked chickpeas (ie the rest of the can, if you made the previous recipe twice :p)
– 1/3 ish crumbled stock cube
– a large 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
– 1/2tsp – 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp ish garam masala
– 1 garlic clove, minced or finely chopped
– 100g canned pumpkin (English people – go to WAITROSE for your pumpkin!)
– approx. 1 tsp molasses

1) gather:

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2) Fry the chickpeas and garlic in spray oil/oil for a few mins on a medium heat:

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3) Then add the lentils and spices, and fry til fragrant. Then, add in the stock cube, dissolved in hot water. I don’t know how much water you add, but it needs to be enough for the lentils to cook in. They should cook for about 20-25mins or so, and the mix will look something like this:

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4) Get yo’ pumpkin and molasses:

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And stir them in:

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Heat it up again, and serve it in a big old mug, a la me πŸ™‚

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I actually can’t believe how delicious that was!! Spicy, comforting, full of flavour – absolutely perfect for the minus–degree day! I was a sad, sad woman when I finished it 😦

———

I’ve been on a cooking kick actually πŸ™‚ Tonight I made a majorly modified version of Mama Pea’s pumpkin tofu curry, which I’ll show y’all next time πŸ™‚ I’ve also been making a ton of frothy cappuccinos, using good ol’ Vincent the Vita Mix! With this fabby coffee:

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Er, yum.

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They are incred πŸ˜€ who needs Starbucks right?
I also made THE most delicious pancakes the other night! i mean, really:

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Heaven!
And to go with lunch today, I had soya yogurt with mushy pear (a baby ripe pear, cooked with vanilla essence, maple syrup and water, til it went soft and caramel like):

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As well as ketchup roasted veg:

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BUT the biggest event the past few days has been the SNOW! And lots of it!!

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Ok, so fair play – if you live in the Arctic, or Canada, this is nothing. But to England it’s a Big Deal πŸ˜› Heck, Chika’s whiskers were frozen the other morning!!

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Hannah – no more complaining! That’s TIG rolling in the snow!
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Snow pony!
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Snow mummy!

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Snow land πŸ™‚

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Below – standing – full weight – ON the water bucket, showing how thick the ice was!

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Horse people – have you ever tried that trick of putting a ball or something floaty in water, to stop it freezing? Does it work?
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Deep!
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And to round off this epically long post – here are the usual cat pics πŸ™‚ Until next time!

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Bless πŸ™‚


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