Month: August 2011

Guest Post: Morgan from Life After Bagels

Hey guys, I hope you’re all having a fabulous week so far! Today is the first in my series of guest posts, and this one is from Morgan, one of the first blogs I started following. She writes fantastic ispirational posts which you should definitely check out πŸ™‚

Hello! I’m Morgan and I blog at Life After Bagels. On my blog I write about all areas of health and life from fitness to clean eating to vegetarianism to budgeting to stress control and … I’m now a mature student, back in University. Sophie invited me to write over here while she’s away and I hope you’ll come and visit me at Life After Bagels too!

Today I’m going to talk about “owning” your workout. Yeah I know that sounds all Tony Robbins or maybe Oprah-like. Something you should know about me is that I suffer from joint pain and regular flare ups of old injuries from when I was younger. When I first started reading blogs and writing my blog I would dream about one day running a marathon. While I do still have that dream, I now have realized that doing what’s right for my body is a much better plan.

You will rarely find me on the track anymore, instead you’ll find me on my bike. You’ll never hear me grunting at the weight machines, I like the free weight area. I can’t squat, I can’t lung and most importantly my workouts are far far slower than any other member of the gym.

It’s taken me quite some time to realize that my workout is, well – mine! I always have to find that happy medium between pushing my body and feeling good, and hitting my workout so hard that I end up limping the next day. (I should probably take this opportunity to tell you that yes, I do have clearance from my doctor to participate in my fitness programs.)

Whether the consequences for you pushing yourself too hard are as serious as mine, take some time to think about your next workout. What are your goals? More importantly WHY are they your goals? Are you trying to measure up to a friend who’s running the same distance or the blogger who’s signed up for another triathlon or that girl at work with the killer calves?

When I workout for me I know that I need to set a slow pace, that’s what will give me a successful workout. I use music to help me achieve this goal. Instead of the heart pumping music you’d likely hear on most people’s playlist, mine will take you down several notches. It reminds me to go slowly through my reps and it reminds me to focus on form and breath with each move.

This is what’s currently delighting me on my playlist:

  • Muse – The Resistance
  • Soundtrack to Eclipse
  • Soundtrack to Little Miss Sunshine

What do you do during your workouts that make them uniquely for you?

Thanks for reading everyone! If you have any questions you can email me morgan.shuker AT I hope you’ll come visit me at Life After Bagels or join me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Well I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did! By now I should be relaxing in my gorgeous hotel in Ibiza πŸ™‚

Sophie x


Only One Day To Go

This is it fellow bloggers, less than one day to go till I’m off to sunny Ibiza with Tom for our first proper holiday together πŸ™‚

I’m ridiculously excited right now but I will miss you all!

The blogging community has really enriched my life and given me such a positive outlook πŸ™‚

Breakfast felt important this morning as I doubt the hotel buffet will include weetabix!

I savoured every single mushy bite and scraped the bowl till there were absolutely no remains.

Weetabix, I love you.

This morning I spent an hour or so sorting out bloggie stuff for the next week including a couple of my own posts and several guest posts and I can tell you, you’re in for a treat!

So never fear, there will be a post every evening while I’m gone πŸ™‚

Lunch was a nice big portion of roasted veggies and chickpeas. Delicious and healthy.

The afternoon was spent back at the bank. I now, finally, have a student account set up.

I can’t believe how real this is all becoming, I mean, I leave in three weeks! In fact, in 3 weeks I’ll already be there!!

Scary stuff.

Dinner was one of Tom’s favourites: Spaghetti Bolognese.

My mum does make it particularly well.

A nice fresh green salad to add in some extra veggies.

And just because she is that wonderful, my mum also made a lovely dessert for us as a goodbye :-).

Vanilla roasted plums with toasted almonds and greek yogurt.


Well with that I must say goodbye, I have to be up at 3am tomorrow morning…

I will miss you all, I hope you enjoy all of the guest posts and I will *see* you in a week!

Sophie x

A Lack Of Food Photos

Today I didn’t feel like taking pictures of what I ate.

It’s not because I ate badly.

I just had stomach cramps all day so I haven’t really felt like eating much.

And sometimes it’s nice just to be able to eat without having to get the camera out.

But I did have a couple of friends over this evening for a drink, a nibble and a chat.

The nibbles included magic crisps (Walkers chilli sensations), Doritos, salsa and grapes πŸ™‚

We chatted about all sorts; the differences between the mannerisms men and women have, university, why feminism is still relevant today… As you can see we covered a large variety of topics.

When I’m unwell I’m always (pleasantly) surprised at how wonderful Tom is. He really does put up with an awful lot when I’m grumpy from being in pain!

I guess I’m just lucky πŸ™‚

Sorry the post is so short today, I have a lot to get ready because we’ve only got one day left till we leave. Don’t worry though, I’ve got some fabulous guest posts lined up for you over the next week!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a bigger and better post πŸ™‚

Sophie x

Work Those Arms

Hello there I hope you’ve all had a good weekend!

Mine was a mixture as yesterday’s post suggested.

Today has been a mixture too.

I found it difficult waking up this morning but eventually (mostly thanks to Tom :-P) I made it out of bed and off to church.

Finding the time to go to church is important to me as it just makes everything else seem to fall into place. It gives me the perspective on life that I need.

Breakfast was weetabix with blueberries and cinnamon.

I’m really going to miss fresh berries on my weetabix and oat mushes in the morning when they’re no longer in season/I can’t afford them as a poor student.

I shall have to go on a search for (cheaper) alternatives…

Today has been busy with emails and research and budgeting. It’s all starting to feel real and I have to admit I’m a little scared!

It’s exciting at the same time though πŸ™‚

Lunch was a light affair – tomato bruschetta. Fresh and delicious!

Today’s workout was strength training focused on the upper-body

Push-ups – 8 reps, 3 sets
Dumbbell flys – 12 reps, 3 sets
Shoulder press – 10 reps, 3 sets
Upright rows – 12 reps, 3 sets
Lateral raises – 8 reps, 3 sets
Bicep curls – 16 reps, 3 sets
Tricep extensions 12 reps, 3 sets

Nothing exciting but it certainly gets my muscles screaming.

I can’t believe I only started lifting weights this year, I was seriously missing out before, it’s so much better than cardio!

Neither of my parents had seen Harry Potter yet(!) so we made a spontaneous decision to go to the cinema and picked up food on the way back. I got a chicken pita with lots of salad, pretty tasty!

Any suggestions for cheaper breakfast toppings (preferably full of vitamins)?

What really gets your muscles screaming?

For me it’s definitely push-ups, I’m pathetic at them! πŸ˜›

Sophie x



Annoyance & Success

Today has been both an annoyance and a success.


Going round about six different banks to collect information about their various student account options.

Apparently there isn’t really anything good out there.

Then finding out that the best option we could find is at a bank which doesn’t deal with student accounts at the weekend so guess where I’m going on Tuesday?

Anyway, annoyance over.


Going to have coffee at a lovely little cafe in town and the cool coffee art on the lattes πŸ™‚

(Photo on my sister’s iPod camera because I forgot mine)

Roast veggies and teeny tiny pasta tubes topped with parmesan.

My cute new pumps.

What do you think?

My holiday reading.

Simon Schama – Scribble Scribble Scribble, Alan Bennett – Untold Stories and Grace Dent – How To Leave Twitter.

Should all be interesting reads.

I’ll do some reviews once I’m done.

Spending yet another evening with Tom :-). Each time feels like a treat!

And finally, dinner.

Tarragon and mustard chicken, crushed pan-fried potatoes and salad.


Was your day an annoyance or a success?

Sophie x

Fitness Friday + A New Favourite

It’s been a mixed day food wise, I’ve enjoyed some healthy food and some…not so healthy food. It’s all been good though.

Breakfast was the usual favourite:

Do I even need to elaborate?

Today was another trip to town (I suppose I should make the most of having money to spend in cafes before I become a full-time student!) to meet with friends for coffee and then lunch.

We took another trip to the cafe, Costa this time (I know, two in the space of 48 hours) and I got another iced skinny vanilla latte.

Today’s lunch was another departure from the norm this time to McDonalds.

Sometimes you just have to allow your body its cravings.

To be fair, it was only a happy meal.

I’ll admit, it’s not as attractive my usual fare, but it sure was tasty.

Things will probably improve soon health wise, I’m just indulging whilst on holiday but if I’m honest I prefer eating healthily most of time, it just makes me feel better. I do like treats though πŸ˜‰

Anyway, to the topic of the post…

Fitness Friday!

Here’s the plan:

Saturday – 2 Mile Cycle + Ab Workout
Sunday – Upper Body Strength Workout
Monday – 3 Mile Cycle + Lower Body Strength Workout
Tuesday – 30 Day Shred
Wednesday – Ibiza!!!

Sound good?

Dinner tonight was pretty exciting.

I made a new recipe.

From a new book.

Peas and Thank You.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about you need to click that link asap.

Where have you been?

The fabulous Mama Pea makes the best vegan food around and tonight I made her Thai Veggie Burgers.

They were delicious.

Everyone in my family (who are all pretty keen on meat) enjoyed them. I served them with her Butternut Squash Fries and salad.


Thank you Mama Pea πŸ™‚

Sophie x

Just A Case Of Bloggers’ Block

Hey bloggies!

I’ve found myself suffering from a case of “bloggers’ block” today so I’ll keep it short and sweet to avoid writing a boring post πŸ˜›

Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously yummy breakfast. Complete departure from the norm.

Cinnamon and raisin bagel topped with butter and raspberry jam and served with chocolate milk to get my calcium in πŸ˜‰


(Small confession: I woke up reeeeally late this morning, around 10, and then stayed in bed reading blogs till 11 and so this was more of a brunch than a breakfast!)

Then I met Tom in town and we took a leisurely trip to Starbucks. I know, pretty exciting huh?

Seeing how I’d been quite adventurous with breakfast this morning (and by adventurous I mean not weetabix) I thought I’d branch out at Starbucks too.

Word of advice people: stick to what you know.

Sorry about the rubbish photo but it does go with the rubbish content.

I had my usual drink but instead of getting my usual peach and raspberry muffin I thought I’d try an apple fritter.


The dough was kind of hard and there was very little apple to be had.

For obvious reasons I only ate a bit of it (I had paid for it after all) and gave the rest to Tom. He thought it was a bit weird but ok.

Needless to say, I’ll be going back to my muffin next time.

Anyway today was results day for GCSEs (English exams taken at sixteen) and Tom’s little sister did really well so we went for a meal to celebrate :-).

Roast veggies in a tomato sauce served with herby rice. Colourful and tasty just how I like it πŸ™‚

Anyway it’s late here so I’m off to bed.
I hope this post wasn’t too tedious!

Sophie x