Monday, 31 May 2010

time to get back on track

so after being sick at the end of last wknd i spent the whole wknd feeling pretty washed out and just generally tired!

i still dont feel 100% back on form today, so tired and pretty down in the dumps, think its just post sickness blues, cant think of anything else to lay my finger on that should/could be getting me down, i was in bed for 9.30pm last nyt, think another sleep marathon tonyt should see me back on form, and i think i need to get back into my routine! i'm taking it easy today, just work thats all. tomo i'll walk to and from work and wed i'll get back out for my run, i think thats a sensible ease back into it.

I also need to get back on the cal counting wagon, i feel a bit at a loose end, i've been watching what i ate all wknd, a few too many carbs, i was really craving them so i guess i needed something in them to aid recovery, and lots of fruit, my diet has been ok i just havent been weighing and counting, i neither had the energy nor the mojo for it! but we're back firmly on the counting and weighing wagon today! i have to get my head together, and my energy sorted out as its my sisters hen night on Friday night and we have my cousin and her boyf descending on us for the wknd - so i'll need my energy for that!
so heres some eats from over the wknd - it was a pretty amazing wknd for food!

saturday night i made a pizza with a wrap as the base, as suggested by Laura from Super Veggie - i'd never tried one before and well.....i'll be making them more regularly thats for sure! i loved it!! first up the wrap - with some tomatoe puree, and a little grated double gloucseter

topped with green peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, green olives and fresh basil

a little grated gruyer cheese and a drizzle of olive oil - popped it in the oven for 10 mins or so, i was going to make a monster salad to go with this, but i had a feeling that although i was ravenous my eyes were playing bigger than my tum, so i settled for the pizza wrap.
hmmmmmmm sooo tasty, like pizza, but like a wrap - funnily enough! amazing - pizza wrap, where have you been all my life!!

Then i could resist no long and cracked open one of those water melons..................
.................and ate a whole quarter to myself! - its my first water melon of the year - man i miss these when thier not in season!

for dinner last nyt i got frisky with the grill and grilled some corn cobs and some apple slices

and served with a monster pork chop - from the butchers from a local farm - twas the best pork we've ever had, with a HUGe strawberry and avocado salad made with romaine and some other tasty salad bits in there, topped iwth sunflower and pumpkin seeds and my Glorious Goddess Dressing, this was even better than saturdays pizza wrap, the pork was amzing - just baked on its own nothing else, the apple was so tasty grilled, i love avocado and strawb salad and the grilled corn.....well words fail me! this was beeetoooful! possibly the best dinner we've ever had! i think i'll always grill corn from now on, tis a completely different beast to boiled! i think i could even grill it more, coz the blackened bits were bestest!!

this morning i had rasps and podge with pecans and date, a great start to my hop back on the wagon day!

hope everyone had a good wknd!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Glorious Goddess Dressing

sorry for blogging AGAIN this afternoon but i just whipped up some Glorious Goddess Dressing! "The Barefoot Contessa" made an adaptation of the traditional Goddess Dressing on some show i was watching the other day and i in turn made my own variation on her variation this afternoon! its YUMMY!

heres here variation:

for my variation:

1 mini food processor (although of course any food processor small, mini or regular will do!)

60g Mayo Light
60g reduced fat Creme Fraiche
12g Spring Onions (approx 2 or 3)
20ml lemon juice (approx juice of 1 lemon)
salt and pepper

10g Fresh Basil

pop it all in the food processor.................

and BLITZ that baby up!................

taste...check your happy with it.............tub it up and pop it in the fridge ready to have with dinner!!......................yummy

she used anchovy paste - i dont like anchovies, and hate the thought of them too, so i subbed that for dijon mustard............that batch went in the bin!! ewwwww!
then i made it as above but only using the juice of half a lemon, tasted it and it needed the extra zing, so i squeezed the other half lemon in and hey presto........Glorious Goddess Dressing!
i worked it out at 297 cals for the whole recipe and i reckon this tub will be about 10tbsp of dressing, and working on me having 1tbsp per serving its 30cals per serving.

i'm back!

Hey there bloggy friends - i'm back, i've been poorly this last few days, i've had AWFUL sickness and D, it hit me like a train on thursday morning and didnt let up much till last nyt! i feel really tired, weak and dehydrated now, but otherwise i'm well! it seems like quite a few of my "online friends" have been struck down this week with illness, but as sickness bugs arent catching through the screen and i dont know anyone who's sick, or been sick, and me n MrNeen ate all the same things on wednesday i cant understand where it came from - i have a sneaky suspiscion (i might be clutching at straws here) that perhaps i made a booboo in the kitchen on wednesday nyt, i made chicken and maybe i touched it raw and then touched something i nibbled on, i'm bad for having a little pick here or there of raw veg as i'm prepping it, i'm usually pretty good at the washing hands after being near raw meat, and i usually wear disposable gloves to touch/cut raw meat (CANT STAND the feeling of raw meat haha), but maybe i touched it by mistakes and didnt notice. it certainly felt like food poisoning - anywhoo's i'm on the mend now thats all that matters, heres a recap of the last few days - nasty bits edited out!

wednesday nyts dinner (the prime suspect for the sickness!) - lemon and red wine vinegar and garlic marinated chicken thighs BP, and veg. the Bp wasnt nice, was soft and slightly brownish inside - only ate half. the chicken also not that nice! so maybe it was the meal after all and MrNeen just has yorkshire born and bred guts of steel! who knows!!

heres some goodies i bought at the health food shop last week (well actually needed a mortgage to buy would be a better description!)

some kallo rice cakes - i had these for lunch every day last week - they were deelish - i'm converted!

and a large selection of dried fruit, nuts and seeds all the ingredients in fact to make home made Goddess Granola from and home made Nut Butter from i'm going to make both for my dad for fathers day and well i'll keep some of each for me too!! heh heh! nice thinking eh! i'm pretty excited about trying both out! but as Fathers day isnt till 20th June, i'll hold off just yet on making it, i'll be sure to report back once i've made them!

after having nothing to eat on thursday - yup thats right, nothing, nada not a bean! i've never done that before but my poor wee tummy said no to just water so i figured it didnt want to be thinking about food!

yesterday was a bit of a touch and go day, i had podge for breakfast, didnt agree with me, i had bread and butter for lunch, didnt agree with me, but by tea time i was feeling a little better so my mammie cut me up some chicken and threaded it onto skewers for me and prepped some veg so all i had to do was cook it later.

so i steamed my carrots and broccoli for just a few mins they were almost still raw, just the way i like them with no salt or butter, and grilled my chicken just plain with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, i pinched a spoonful of MrNeens mash too. It was perfect plain, and natural tasting, fresh and easy on my little tummy!

i love my steamer - do you steam your veg? i cant remember what life was like before i got my steamer! my mum gave it to me, it was the last thing my granny ever bought my mum before she passed away, i didnt know this and i was talking about wanting a steamer a couple of years ago and my mum gave me this! so generous of her to give me something that meant alot to her, my mums kinda like that though, she'd walk on hot coals round the earth and back for me, so now it means alot to me and it cooks me lots of healthy fresh steamed veg nearly every nyt! yay for my wee granny!

and my grill! i LOVE my grill - another present from my mammie (she's good to me isnt she!) i'd like a HUGE hob top grill maybe a le-cruset one, that i could grill meats and veggies on at the same time, but as i've jsut got a lil kitchen this does the job just grand just now! i love how things taste cooked in this, so different from being cooked any other way - i recently saw on the fitnessista's blog she had ordered grilled veggies from a restaurant and it was grilled bok choy and peppers etc, i've not tried that so i think i'll give it a go this month.

i lost my grill like a year ago down the back of my pan cupboard - dont even ask!! - and MrNeen kept promising to fish it out, its a big job, as he would have to take the cupboard apart and the one next to it and the kickboards and all sorts, he kept putting it off and putting it off - i begged, pleaded, used my flirtatious ways but he kept putting it off, well i came home from my run on wednesday nyt and there was MrNeen all hot and bothered (hmmm hmmmm) surrounded by tools and pots and pans and all sorts from my kitchen cupboards taking them apart and rescuing my poor little grill! we're so happy to be reunited! so he got a little airing last nyt for my chicken!....happy days! it'll be grill central round here for a while!

we had a little excursion this morning to tesco - its in a town about 35 miles away so i usually use the small co-op in my village, the bigger co-op in the town i work in and the health food shop for my weekly shopping, grabbing every opportunity to go to a big supermarket - we were off to Campbeltown this morning anyway so i dragged MrN to tesco's, and got some goodies! these two lovely big water melons, i cant wait to crack these babies open! i think watermelon is my favourite fruit in the world!

a ton of fruit! including the most perfect looking grapes!

i got 3 nakd bars to try, berry cheeky, cocoa loco, and the apple pie one (cant remember the name)

it tasted JUST like my cherry bakewell babies i made last wknd after finding a recipe on "keeping slim and getting stylish" blog. so i was pleased i'd bought the nakd bar to try but i wont be getting the berry one again as i know i can make that one at home no probs!

what are your kitchen essentials - what could you not live with out? or what do you treasure above all other kitchen equipment/gadgets?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

week 5

OMG i cant believe i've got to week 5 of c25k already! thats mental! i'm feeling very positive about it! its a lovely day today perfect running conditions, the sun is shining but the wind is blowing gently, enough to cool me down but not too much to make it difficult to run!

i've also been walking to and from work this week which adds in an extra hour of walking every day! i'm pretty pleased about that. we work in the next town to where live, so we drive to work, then i'm going to MrNeens work and walking from there to my work, its a nice route, a woodland walk but its tarmac-ed for walking and cycling etc, very pretty! i feel better already for adding in the extra exercise. theres a small village about 3 miles away from where we work that we need to pass through on the way to work, so i might get MrN to drop me there one day next week and walk to work along the canal to work taking approx an hour then walk back to MrN's work taking half an hour that would be an even better improvement! i tell you i'm starting to really look forward to starting my weights programme i've got new rules of lifting as my bed time reading jsut now so once i've finished reading it i "think" i'll kick off with the weights programme! i'm a bit worried about all these lunges and stuff, with a barbel coz we really dont have much space in the living room, you cant move about too much with MrN's barbel or you touch the walls and theres no space for that in the bedroom, i also cant get a ball or a bench till we move in January, so hopefull i'll be able to make do till then!

heres some eatsies:

i bought some cauldron moroccan pate the other day to try i had it today on rice cakes with veg, ummm it was ok i wouldnt rave about it, dunno if i'd buy it again, i liked it but i didnt love it!

last nyt for dinner i went ahead and had olive pasta again hmmmm twas deeelicious! i had it topped with shaved parmesan (doesnt look as pretty in the pic but i can assure it was even better than grated!), served with a salad (like my funky plate? - i've had it for ages and only really use it to put nibbles out on if we have guests thought it was nice as a salad plate), and a slice of my mammie home made 5seeded bread she made specially for me! coz she knows how much i love seeds! its multigrain bread made with linseeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds through it! bless her! its soooo good i'll have to really ration myself though, i could easily eat the whole thing in one go!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

yummy eats

so since making the leap to calorie counting from slimming world, i'm really starting to feel like i can live again, most of what i'm eating fits just fine around slimming world but there are things that i'm eating that wouldnt have fit around the plan but are within my sights on cc, its glorious and just a little bit liberating - to be able to eat the things i want when i want and just making sure that i count it into my day, i need to have a bit more self control in some ares, like i could quite easily eat crisps every day if i so desired but i'm having self control and i'm not, but in other areas i've got so much more freedom like being able to eat healthy treats like dried fruit and nuts and seeds and peanut butter and avocados! all things that are good for you in moderation but are high in syns on slimming world - it feels amazing to release myself from these binds!

so heres some yummy eats from yesterday, since changing over to cal counting my food every day has been tasty and more adventurous, i love cooking and always have done but have felt restricted over the last year, its so great to get back in the kitchen and cook up a storm!

lunch was 2 rice cakes, raw veg, 2 baby bels and 100g of chicken fajita filler, this is gorgeous! and for 140cals for the 100g its well worth it, the ingredients list looked good. think i'll try and replicate it at home though to have with lunches through the week! i didnt eat the tangerine though coz it was a wrinkly and dry when i peeled it! boooo

Dinner was even better: olive pasta this was the first time i've tried olives, having been sent them by graze by mistake i thought i should give them a go so i cooked some pasta then put it in a pan with a little olive oil, some green pesto, fresh cherry tomatoes, 1 sun dried tomato chopped small, loads of fresh basil, some green olives chopped up, and some ground dry garlic, all heated through till the cherry toms are wrinkling and the basil has wilted, served topped with a little grate gruyer cheese and some fresh basil, with a large salad on the side.

hmmmm this was amazing - olives will definately be making a regular appearance in casa del neen from now on! (although Mr neen wouldnt even entertain the idea of trying it!) it was so good i'm having it again tonyt! the flavours were just so fresh and went together perfectly the ideal summer evening meal!

hope everyones having a nice day, the sun is shining again today! i love this so much!

Monday, 24 May 2010

cyclists/walkers and strange names places!

Morning peeps - hows everyones monday going? i had such a good wknd i feel totally refreshed today and ready for whatever this week throws at me!!

thought i'd share the last of our wknd shenanigans with you - yesterday morning after my run and breakfast we headed out the golf course to walk along the lane there to the little village, i've no idea how far it is actually! but we were going at a steady pace and it took us 2 hours with a little 20 min detour off along a foresrty track to let Red off the lead so she could jump in the river, it was so hot and she really struggled with the heat bless her!

so heres the pics from yesterday........

How Rude - Mrneen should NOT be taking phone calls on our lovely little outing!

awww look at the deeries! theres a deer farm along this road...

this is the forestry track we took red up to let her off - prizes for those who can pronounce it!! heh heh! - even i struggled to pronounce this one!!

on our way home we met my sister and her familio, they were cycling to Torniturk (the little village we had just walked to - great minds eh!)
this is my youngest neice insistent on wearing Auntie neens glasses!

this is the Neenie sister familio! say hi to the cyclists!

and the walkers (no kids in our camp yet! - just furry friends)

so thats it our lovely holidayish wknd, i could live with this! i hope we have a nice summer and can get out and about lots, its good for the mind, body and soul!!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

My run

Hey there bloggers, as i was in snap happy mode this wknd i thought i'd take my camera out with me and share something a little bit special with run route! i'm pretty proud of my run route, i'm so lucky to have it, and i'll treasure it for as long as we live here, since i started running i appreciate Tarbert so much more, because of the amazing run route it provides me!

so alarm went off at 7am this morning, and after much grumbles from Mr Neen about obscene hours for an alarm, i got up and hit the road for 7.30am - such a great time for a run, specially on a sunday when i'm a feeling a little bit heroic coz i know all my friends are either still in slumberland or have mega hangovers! and heres little me pounding the streets!

so with no further ado, heres my run route for y'all!

as you walk out my front door, you walk about 50yards then your met with this:

and this:

a little bit further along and heres the start of the fishing boats.

we're going through the main street of the village now.

see, the water on my left, and the shops are over the road on my right - rewind a year and the only time i saw this sight at this time on a sunday was on the way home from parties! not no more, no sireee!

now i've made it through the main street, and am coming out the other side, this is one long road with water on my left and HUGE houses all the way down to the end on my right.

this is the harbour mouth, leading out the gulf stream

and a quick look across the harbour mouth at the other side of the village. the whole village is in a valley and built round a horse shoe shaped harbour.

again the harbour mouth, so pretty in this light

a little slip where they do kids kayaking and sailing lessons from. behind it is another slip where one of the many ferries comes in, lots of ferries come in to different slips all around here, its a bit of a gateway to the islands.

now we're past the ferry port and another quick look over the water.

the first big building on my right, is a big old hotel, its a really beautiful building, its out the way of the village centre, it looks at the view pictured above. the food here was amazing, it would take about 15mins slow stroll to toddle along here on an evening to have a barmeal, then a another 25min slow stroll home heh heh, we used to love it.

then the owner refurbished it, but he stripped the walls inside back to the bear stone and took it too far, he struggled on for the best part of the year, with the hotel closed, and trying to patch it back together, then he found a burn (for those that dont know - its a small trickle off a river) running under the foundations of the hotel so it was pretty much game over for him as there was no way he could afford to fix the damage he'd caused along with the problems of the burn running under the hotel. that was about 4 years ago! and its been in this situation ever since, its ruined inside and still so pretty outside! very sad!

now we're nearing the end of the line

the tip of the land that you see here is the end of the road, they call it "the concrete" no idea why, its just called that, but if your going down this way you would say i'm going for a run down the concrete! funny huh!

once you get to the end theres a little tiny walkway out into the water and that it it just ends!

you can climb over the rocks to the shell beach, which is tightly packed with clam shells, because hundreds of years ago its where the fishing boats used to land thier clam catches and the wifes would sit on this beach shelling the clams, so its very very deep and tightly packed with clam shells - i dont have a pic, but i took the two below from a local website to show you, its pretty amazing, some of them are still whole but most are broken into pieces, we dont go over very often these days as its no good for the furry friends, the shells are a bit too sharp for thier tootsies!

and this is me reached the end now! lets go home!

i took some piccies on the way home too - i hope i'm not boring you, the light was completely different facing the other way it looked so good i couldnt resist.

one of the piers, there are 3, it smells a bit fishy at this bit, thats the down side, the up side is you can go to the fish wholesaler (he has a factory/warehouse on one of the back streets and buy almost any type of fish from him fresh its been landed that morning, so thats a pretty good plus side! its not a shop he supplies all the restaurants and shops and ships to spain and france alot and when your in a resaurant and see "loch fyne oysters" or "loch fyne lobster" etc its come from here and come from him! heh heh!

look at the huge houses on the left hand side, i cant imagine what one of these this size with this view is worth now! scary money i would think!

further along into the village now, this is the main pier where the big trawling fishing boats land.

this the view of whats left of the castle i showed you in my earlier post, from the road.

some pretty ones of the harbour.

and we're home, thats casa del neen there on the bottom right , the two windows there are our living room. not a big ole house like the ones down "the conrete" but its our "home" nonetheless, we own it and its just 50yards from the harbour, cant complain really!

so there you have it peeps, i hope you enjoyed your tour of Tarbert, i like it and i'm glad i could share it with you!!