WIAW

What I Ate Wednesday No.44 – Busy Day.

As I am exhausted today, I thought it would be fun to join in with this week’s WIAW with the fabulous Jenn and recap my day so that I don’t have to think too hard 😉

Today was a reasonably early start so that I could bounce into uni for my seminar on the Romantics at 9am. I started off the day with my typical breakfast, snapped quickly on my phone:

Weetabix soaked in milk and then topped with blueberries, lots of cinnamon and a little drizzle of honey. Delicious.

My seminar was pretty interesting, the professor is a lovely guy but a little difficult to judge sometimes – he can be a little difficult when you are trying to give him the answer he wants, he’ll keep trying to coax it out of us even when heaps of people have tried to answer!

I had to leave my seminar 5 minutes early because I had to dash off and cycle across town to my physio appointment. Lottie, my physiotherapist, is absolutely lovely and despite being about 7 months pregnant she still got onto her hands and knees to show me some stretches. We went through some core exercises to help my lower back too and it was very helpful.

Back home for lunch, leftover over time:

Spicy aubergine and tomato with noodles. It was really fiery and a lovely lunch to re-energise me after my busy morning. I ate lunch whilst watching one of my favourites – River Cottage 🙂

After lunch it was time for some work, I’m currently reading Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II and finding it really interesting. I’m also working my way through heaps of essays from the Romantic and Victorian periods, some make for long reading but I’m learning so much, it’s great to be back at uni. Speaking of uni, this afternoon I was off out (again!) to attend the first session of the university’s choir. It was fun but… I’m not sure, it’s not the kind of singing I’m used to! I’m going to try it for a couple of weeks and see how i feel.

The final part to my busy day was an evening trip to the gym. I’m pleased with myself for dragging myself out of the comfort of my bedroom and I just got a 12 month membership so I’m committing myself to going regularly!

Dinner was full of fantastic protein:

Chicken stir-fry sugar snaps and chilli 🙂

Now I’m off to watch the Great British Bake Off so I shall say goodnight, hope you all had a lovely day!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week?
Are you busy at the moment? Do you like being busy?

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What I Ate Wednesday No.43

 

Yup, it’s another Wednesday and this week I though I’d join in with the WIAW happenings thanks to the lovely Jenn!

Often I don’t really join in with the theme set for WIAW but I really like this theme, it fits in especially well with my week off sugar. The comments have been somewhat divided between those of you who either have already done a sugar cleanse or eat very little sugar, and those who say they couldn’t/wouldn’t ever give sugar up! I have to say, just because I am taking the week off doesn’t mean I’m planning on giving up sugar permanently. Firstly, I adore traditional baking (and eating traditional cakes!) so that would suffer, secondly as I said yesterday I believe in balance and honouring your cravings.

 

My breakfast is the meal of the day which holds the sweetest indulgence for me this week! I always top my weetabix with fresh fruit and I think that because I haven’t been eating any extra sugars the fruit tastes extra sweet.

 

It’s funny but while I can’t indulge in one of my favourite food groups I seem to have turned to another: pasta. I’ve eaten pasta almost everyday this week! My favourite dish has to be this one – whole wheat pasta, rocket, cherry tomatoes and pesto. I feel a little like I am clinging on to the taste of summer, not wanting the longer days to disappear. Having said that I’m really excited for the autumn, I love everything it brings, the change of seasons, the cozy jumpers and boots, the comfort foods, the warm fires, the blanket reading sessions…

Because I’m not eating any sweet things I’ve been eating a little more to compensate for the whole in my diet 😛 This means that I eat more at meals but don’t snack so much. All I had as a snack today was a slice of toast with butter and marmite which is actually very pleasant – it’s definitely a comforting autumn snack for me.

This isn’t actually what I had for dinner this evening but it is another of my little autumn hearty meals. It’s also quite similar to the lunches I’ve been eating, only put together in a different fashion 😉 These have a very original name… Pitta Pizzas. The base is a whole wheat pitta bread, it is topped homemade spicy tomato sauce, a sprinkling of gruyère cheese and then fresh rocket leaves. They’re super easy to put together, especially if you have pre-made a big batch of sauce (which can be frozen in tupperwares) and only need about 15 minutes in the oven.

All in all I think I’ve been eating pretty well this week, what does surprise me a little is that whilst mentally I miss my sweet treats, I don’t actually physically crave the sugar as much as I thought. I had thought I might feel really bad for not having it but the only times I really feel like eating something sweet is when my energy really plummets. It’s interesting to be able to analyse my relationship with sugar although I’m not particularly surprised!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
Do you find it interesting to analyse your body’s cravings for certain foods?
What sort of treats do you crave the most?

What I Ate Wednesday No.42

Hello lovely readers,

I can’t believe another Wednesday has come round again! I’m shattered and sincerely ready for the weekend, I need some time off to relax and spend time unwinding. This week is more difficult than last as the people I’m working with are different and aren’t as sociable so there is not much conversation to be had. The children are older on average too and so are more demanding because they want more. I still love it but I’ll be glad when this week is over.

Of course today is time for another round of WIAW thanks to the lovely Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

Today started off feeling like summer, we had sunshine this morning. But as I discovered throughout the day from being sat outside watching children, there was a lot of wind which kept us nippy and later brought rain.

7am. I start my day fairly early compared to normal (at least normal for someone who wakes up with about 50% energy levels anyway!) and go down to the kitchen to prep my lunch and have my breakfast.

Breakfast has always been my favourite meal of the day, and it is always going to be made better by the addition of fresh raspberries. Each morning I eat my bowl of weetabix – variety is clearly not always the spice of life – with either the newspaper, the news supplements (this morning I read the arts review) or a magazine. It’s my little 15 minutes of quiet time to wake myself up each day.

8.40pm. I’m really lucky in that the place I work at is pretty close to my house so it doesn’t take me particularly long to get to work each morning. I’m certainly glad that I don’t have to drive as I’m really not a fan of driving. The morning is always fun, we play games with them as they arrive, and we make lots of nice things, the children always make my smile.

12.30pm. Lunchtime! By this point I am seriously looking forward to the end of the day. With the fatigue I experience daily, early morning is the worst time for me, for about an hour, and then mid-morning to noon is my best time for energy levels. If I don’t do much in the morning then my energy levels can still be fairly good by about 4pm but work really tires me out.

My salad was the usual box of goodness: bulgur wheat, sun-dried tomato chicken breast, cucumber, radishes and rocket. Pretty delicious in my opinion.

12.45pm. After lunch has been eaten with the children it’s off outside for some playtime. I like playtime, although we don’t get a break from the children as we have to watch them, we don’t have to be making things, helping them with their stuff, washing up, cleaning up etc. We only have to supervise them and entertain those that don’t want to play with the others. They are a funny bunch sometimes 😛

1.30pm. Back to work, the afternoon is usually spent making something for a new project, a couple of session of games and a lot of clearing up. By the time the end of the day rolls around I am shattered and definitely ready to drop down onto my bed to take a nap. When the last child has left, whilst they are lovely and bring so much joy throughout the day, I often feel like doing a little victory dance!

3.45pm. Time to go home, I practically stumble home with sore hips and sore back but a happy smile. I might sound like I’m moaning but really I love my job, it’s the best thing I can think of as summer work to get paid for. Usually when I get home, I pour myself a glass of juice (I need my sugar kick to bring back my energy levels!) and lately I’ve been having a slice of wholemeal toast with marmite. I just feel more like savoury than sweet for some rather unusual reason. I’m afraid I don’t have a photo, I was just way too hungry.

6.30pm. I couldn’t make up my mind about whether to go to the gym or not but in the end I decided against it and instead opted for a 20 minute cycle at a quick pace to get my heart rate up. It felt good to be outside and feel the wind in a good way!

7.30pm. One of the best bits of today – dinner. My mum has been away in France for the past few days visiting her grandparents and it’s always a difficult visit, equally my dad and I have been working today so we were all tired and seeking comfort. Dinner was an obvious choice:

Spaghetti bolognaise. This has been one of my favourite meals since I was a little girl and it still warms my belly and feels like a hug at the end of a difficult day. The lettuce bed might be far from the traditional Italian dish and lots of people would find it a bit off-putting but I like it as a way to squeeze in some more veg.

Anyway I’m off to bed as it’s late and I wish I could have managed to be in bed by 10pm tonight!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten lately?
What food comforts you best after a long day?

What I Ate Wednesday No.41

Hey lovely readers!

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday in the second week of August, this summer is just flying by. I find that the older I get, the quicker time seems to pass. It’s a little scary sometimes but in many ways I’m excited about the near future so I don’t mind too much. September brings many changes and I want to embrace them all!

As we are in the middle of the week it is, of course, time for another round of WIAW thanks to the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. This is going to be a fairly short post as I really need to go to bed!

This morning I had my typical breakfast as nothing satisfies me and energizes me more:

Enjoyed a rather lovely bowl of weetabix soaked in milk then topped with fresh blueberries.

Because I’m working this week I have to prep my lunches the night before so that I can just pop them in my bag in the morning and be on my way. I’ve been putting together various versions of a summery salad, using couscous, bulgur wheat or pasta as a base and then adding chopped vegetables, chicken pieces and a lemony dressing.

Today was whole wheat pasta with rocket, tomato and cucumber. Filling and fresh tasting so perfect for a midday boost to help me through the afternoon. The children are full of seemingly endless energy and somehow this seems to sap my energy away. It’s hard work keeping up a bouncy and smiley countenance but I enjoy my job and working with children makes me happy!

After work today I met one of my lovely friends from my old Sixth Form, the gorgeous Ellie. Although we used to get on really well back at college I feel like we’ve bonded even more since leaving for uni and I always have so much fun when we meet up. We both have a slightly guilty love of shopping (or window shopping seeing as neither of us has much money!) and we both adore going for coffee and cake.

When I got home after several hours of chatting away and wandering around town my mum had already cooked a gnocchi dish for dinner, one of my favourites.

It’s a dish containing several of my ingredients: courgette, chorizo and Parmesan 🙂 It’s quite indulgent feeling and so delicious.

Anyway I’m off to bed now, two more full days of work before I can rest properly. I hope you are all having a great week!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
Do you enjoy working with children?

What I Ate Wednesday No.40

First off I think I owe you all a bit of an explanation. I promised that during my holidays, when I was no longer abroad, I would be posting more and would be more present in the blogworld, commenting on all of your posts and replying to everything.

I don’t really have any proper reason for my disappearance. For the last couple of days I haven’t been feeling that well and today after waking up more exhausted than when I went to bed I decided to cocoon myself in my room. I have been reading, watching Location Location Location and Gok Cooks Chinese, knitting my scarf (now finished!), decorating the front of my scrapbook and eating toast. I feel mostly better now and I can already tell the end of the week will be more positive.

My mood has also been affected by the fact that Tom left on holiday with his family for two weeks with the last time I saw him being Sunday. When he gets back I’ll be working and he’ll be house hunting in London so it’s going to be a difficult time for us. Both of us are moving forward in our lives and whilst it’s a little nerve-wracking it’s also an exciting time for us…

Anyway, enough of my rambling!

It’s time for a bit of food nosiness with WIAW.

 

Thank you to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting this weekly blog link-up which allows those of us who love food just a little too much to stare at other people’s…!

One of my main summer staples is definitely fresh berries. Now I eat weetabix all year round but when most fruit is out of season I tend to have it with frozen raspberries but in the summer I love being able to eat delicious fruit with my absolute favourites being raspberries and blueberries.

This morning was mostly spent in bed reading the end of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and starting a new book on my kindle, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. I didn’t read much whilst I was away which is unusual for me, mostly because we did so much and I wanted to spend the time with Tom. However since being back and having the week off I’ve been diving into several books, next on my list are The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton and The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

As today was quite pleasant outside (not that I left the house) I went for another summer staple for lunch:

 

A lovely summery salad of rocket, cucumber, radishes, cherry tomatoes and chick breast with a lemon dressing. Delish!

This afternoon I finished off a scarf that I started knitting about two years ago and hadn’t picked up in almost as long, oops. I have to say I find knitting really therapeutic and restful. I’m really pleased with myself for finishing it and I have to say the scarf doesn’t look too bad!

I love wearing scarfs in the winter when it gets really cold and this one is so snuggly. Plus I’m not going to lie, the fact that I made it myself will make wearing it feel even better.

This evening’s dinner was actually pretty summery too, right down to the title – Summer Vegetable Stir-Fry.

This beautiful dish is a creation from my favourite cookbook, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Every! It’s made up of egg-fried rice and a melange of green summer vegetables along with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and it’s wonderful.

All in all despite the day being a slight write-off in terms of energy levels but I’ve eaten some lovely food and still managed to do some nice things. Tomorrow I have exciting baking plans and I am determined to get in a bit of a workout to re-energise myself so fingers crossed I feel much better!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten today? And the best thing you’ve eaten this week?
Any exciting creative plans? 
I’ve been feeling quite inspired lately!

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday No.39

I can’t believe I’m already halfway through the week, working really does make the time pass so quickly. I love my job but it is so exhausting! Having said that working with children really is fascinating, we can learn so much from the way children interact with the world.

As you may have realised, today is Wednesday which in my book means WIAW! I know some people are a little bored of this pattern each week but I still really enjoy joining in with the other WIAW participants each week. As I’m slightly moving away from merely blogging my food, Wednesday gives me the opportunity to blog  all of my food and have a nose around other people’s eats for the day. I have to admit, I do enjoy taking photos of what I eat…

As always, thank you so much to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for hosting WIAW, you must check out her blog if you’re a fan of photos of tasty looking food!

Breakfast today was pretty typical. I bet you are all incredibly bored of seeing my breakfast in its many, ever-so-slightly different incarnations, but here you go anyway.

Weetabix with fresh blueberries and raspberries – so delicious. It is definitely the perfect way to perk myself up in the morning, especially as sleeping in the heat we have at the moment is somewhat difficult so I’m a little more tired than usual.

I have to pack my lunch to eat whilst supervising the children outside so I like to take myself meals that are easy to eat, stuffed pitas, salads, etc.

I had what was left of the picnic’s pasta salad and added in more rocket, some tomato and cucumber which made the perfect light lunch to eat whilst working.

As I said, working with children is both a fun and a learning experience. Each child is so unique and has their own way of interpreting things, something that is especially clear when doing art work. Sometimes they misunderstand the instruction or else they decide they fancy doing something entirely different, either way there are always pieces which make us giggle as we round up their art at the end of the day.

Today we spent the day designing sombreros, creating them out of cardboard and paper mache, and then painting them in bright colours. It’s fair to say that only about half of the hats actually resemble sombreros. We like the children to do as much of their work without any assistance so there are many brims which are less than circular and there are a fair few incredibly lopsided hats. It’s all part of the fun though and that way they can say that they made them all by themselves. Another interesting thing is watching them choose the colours for their hats, I wonder what gives some of them a good understanding of which colours go together aged 6, whilst some of the older 9 and 10 year-olds pick the most random (and clashing) colour combinations!

I finished work at 4.30pm today and was pretty tired so dropped onto the sofa to watch TV for the first time in a while and to have a nap. Sleep feels so wonderful at the moment but I do really miss reading, I’m quite behind my target of books to read so I need to find the time. Luckily I always seem to inhale books when abroad so I’ll be taking a fully stocked Kindle to France next week.

Dinner was again eaten outside in the garden. I am in love with this weather, seriously.

Chicken Caesar salad. So so good. I’m really quite into my salads at the moment, hot weather always makes me just crave smoothies, salads and ice cream.

For dessert I didn’t have any of the latter so I went for the next best thing…

 

A strawberry cupcake. I’ve made these before and I am pretty sure they are the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. There is fresh strawberry in the actual batter, a little well of strawberry jam in the centre and the icing (or frosting to those from the US) is amazing. I may have had two. Maybe.

A rather excellent day of food in my opinion.

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
What kind of food do you like to eat when the weather is hot?
Have you ever worked with children?

What I Ate Wednesday No.38 + a Fitness Update.

Okay so I said you would be getting lots of posts from me and then I disappeared for two days so apologies. In my defense I’ve been having a really lovely couple of days, I was too busy enjoying life to blog!

I can’t stay away from here for too long though. In the year that I’ve been blogging now I’ve come to absolutely love the blogworld, it’s such a great part of my life – so fulfilling and enjoyable. I love writing my posts, reading other people’s blogs and getting to connect with others all over the world 🙂

I owe some of this connection to the fantastic WIAW!

Go check out the lovely Jenn’s blog to find out what this is all about and to discover heaps of other foodie bloggers…

Breakfast this morning was my typical sort of start to the day:

Weetabix soaked in milk and topped with blueberries and cinnamon. As is fitting with this month’s WIAW theme of food and fitness I enjoyed breakfast with a side of this month’s Women’s Fitness. I’m not that much of a magazine person, I tend to prefer home decoration magazines to fashion but I do rather like receiving my monthly dose of glossy fitness info. It’s a little treat as I never really expect it.

Today was centred around a great trip into town to meet my friends from my old sixth form for lunch and then to see Ice Age 4 (don’t mock our film choice, it was a nice bit of light-hearted fun!). I love meeting up with my lovely girls (plus a couple of boyfriends) and I was having so much fun that I completely forgot to take any photos of my food! It was such a fab lunch, we chatted away for about two hours and I had a brilliant dessert – a cinnamon waffle with vanilla ice cream. I wish I could show you a photo but I was clearly a useless blogger today…

This month’s WIAW is all about the fitness as well as the food so I thought I’d update you a little on my exercise at the moment.

You may have noticed an absence of ‘Weekly Workout’ posts over the past couple of weeks and this is because at the moment the physical aspect of my life has had to change a little. Last week I had an appointment with my physiotherapist and we discussed how I have been over the past few months, looking especially at my energy, activity and pain levels. Now first of all let me tell you something, it is really really difficult to give your energy levels as a percentage or to express your level of pain as a number out of 10! We established that at the moment the thing I am struggling with the most is my energy levels on a day-to-day basis so this is what we want to target.

However, this is easier said than done. I won’t bore you with all of the details (if  you’re particularly interested drop me a message and I can explain in full!) but basically we’ve brought things right back to the basics and I am on a fairly strict regime of 15 minutes of medium cardio, 5 times a week. Those of you who know me reasonably well will know that although I often struggle to workout lots, I actually really enjoy exercising! So you can imagine it’s pretty frustrating to only be able to do a tiny 15 minute workout, especially on days when I’m raring to go. But this being said, I am willing to give almost anything a go if it will help me to have an easier life!

Anyway that is what I am currently doing and I am also keeping an hourly activity log (time-consuming and pretty dull) which should hopefully help me to be able to gradually build up my activity levels and therefore my energy levels!

Now, back to the food 😛

This evening’s meal was almost as enjoyable as the lunch with my friends.

This beautiful bowl is full of potato gnocchi, slices of delicious chorizo and shredded courgette. It is such a fantastic dish – I love the mixture of flavours and it just tastes like summer.

I’ve ended up posting this really late so I am going to say goodnight and tuck myself in to get a good night’s sleep!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten today?
Have you seen any films recently?
Do you have an exercise routine? If yes, what’s it like at the moment?