Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Weekend in Glasgow

This past weekend my boyfriend and I hopped on a train to go and visit some friends in Glasgow. I'm ashamed to say this was the first time I've visited Scotland despite living my whole life in England! And it was so beautiful! We were lucky to have lots of sunshine, and we spent most of the weekend indulging in delicious food and wandering around the lovely streets. 

The first thing we did on Friday was find a place for lunch, and we stumbled across The Butterfly and The Pig. I can't recommend this place enough, especially for coeliacs as I was able to have my first fish and chips since being gluten free :) There's a quirky pub/ restaurant downstairs and lovely tea rooms upstairs, to which I ended up dragging Alex back to on Sunday for red velvet cake. We walked off this ma-hoosive lunch by visiting Glasgow School of Art (the modern building is so interesting) which made me miss art school, and then trekked up to the Necropolis. Visiting a Victorian cemetery sounds a bit morbid but there were such wonderful views from here, I really recommend it. 

Our friends took us to Oktoberfest on Friday night which was hilarious - lots of people in kilts, drinking beer, and dancing on tables. From here we went out for cocktails and then some more bars for dancing. It wasn't easy getting up on Saturday morning! 

One of my favourite things about blogging is the travel tips you get from fellow bloggers! I trawled Kate's blog for advice on the Glasgow brunch scene and sure enough, Cafe Gandolfi was a wonderful trad Scottish brunch. Then we went on a walk around the West End (SO many cute vintage shops and cool bars!). 

We had brunch at Avenue G in the West End on Sunday which we both loved! Helloooo baked eggs and harissa. Brunch is ma new fave thing. And proper brunch can only be followed by ice cream, am'a right (from Nardini's). We nipped into Prince's Square shopping mall which is the prettiest shopping mall I've ever been in! We picked up some lovely candles and had milkshakes... I am now on a detox haha.

I want to organise more UK trips, they are so nice to look forward to and are so refreshing, yet less bank-breaking and easier than going abroad. Anyone have any tips of places to visit for a nice Autumn weekend break (preferably not too far from London?) What's your fave place in the UK? Mine is Cornwall but I wish it wasn't so far to go from London!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Reset Days 9 - 12

Finally Reset (see the rest of the posts HERE) is over! Thanks for your comments and support - blogging whilst doing this healthy diet and exercise regime certainly helped me to stick to it. Here's how it has gone the last 4 days...

The last 4 days were easier, in that the weekend had passed and I was more in the flow of eating healthily. However, at the same time, I wasn't as strict as at the beginning. I had a couple of Nakd Bars, which are actually fine for no dairy/ refined sugar/ gluten, but at the beginning of the two weeks I was only having completely homemade food. I just ran out of energy to prepare endless tasty snacks and I reached a point when shopping for supper in Morrisons after work when I needed some energy NOW, ha.

I also had an evening off on Tuesday... my lovely boyfriend had booked us a surprise 5 course wine tasting dinner at Elliot's a few weeks ago, and so of course I had to take the night off to enjoy it :) It was delicious and I appreciated it so much more after not indulging for a while!

I've continued to do my morning exercises and then attended the One Element training sessions. It might just be a coincidence but I've found the two 1 hour-long sessions this week a bit easier than usual. I just feel a bit stronger, which is great. Oh and I did my 40 seconds of push-ups on my toes instead of my knees this morning!!! Big step for a weakling like me.

I had another little weigh in this week and I'm less than when I started. However it seems to have gone all over the place these past 2 weeks so I think I'll just go back to never standing on scales again! You can't really trust 'em and I've always thought that jeans are a better measure!


So it's all over and as I'm writing this I'm speeding up to Scotland on a train, most likely about to undo any good that I did during this long weekend catching up with friends! But I'm going to try not to overeat, and not to eat ALL of the chocolate.

I've learnt that a bit of preparation can lead to a much healthier and a delicious diet. Some new snacks that I've been taking to work (and will continue to) are homemade hummus (so easy) with veg, seeds, nuts and dried fruit, and green smoothies or juices. I'm going to try and carry on with the 3 mins exercising in the morning as well, partly because it warms me up as the mornings have been getting colder.

Don't you find it harder to stick to healthier eating in the Winter? If it was hot weather right now I so wouldn't be craving hot chocolates and endless bowls of porridge! x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Lunch at Nama

Nama is a place that's been on my London foodie list to try for ages, and during Reset seemed like the perfect time to take a visit to treat ourselves. It's a restaurant which prides itself on serving purely raw food, with no wheat, dairy, refined sugar, or processed foods. Right up my street! I dragged my boy along on Sunday afternoon and we wandered around the pastel coloured houses of Westbourne Grove while we waited for a table. Stepping into Nama is kinda like being whisked off to LA (or how I imagine LA is!). The tables are a washed-out pale beachy wood topped with succulents, fresh cucumber water awaits you on your table, and everyone looks sun-kissed and dressed beautifully. Great for people watching.

After a coffee with coconut milk (less creamy but really delicious) we browsed the food menu. It's so refreshing as a coeliac to open a menu and be able to choose anything you like, rather than have to question exactly what is in every dish. I went for the Lasagne Verdure, with layers of rich, Pomodoro sauce, nut 'cheese', and slices of courgette as the pasta. He had kinda the same thing but in a courghetti pasta format with mushrooms. Both were absolutely divine and surprisingly filling.

I had my eye on the Fermented Mocha Cheesecake from the start but it was a busy weekend and the wait was long. I'll just have to pop back another time ;) I'm super keen to try out their breakfasts too - hello pancakes and banana ice cream!

Do you have any cool breakfast spots or restaurants to recommend in London? I love trying new places! x

Monday, 13 October 2014

RESET Days 5 - 8

I'm now more than halfway into RESET, the healthy eating and exercise programme which I'm currently taking part in, hurrah! For the past 8 days I've cut out all refined sugar, gluten, alcohol, and dairy (read more about it HERE). Here's a little bit about the progress, if you're interested...

I realised when I embarked on the weekend just gone that I can't actually remember the last time I didn't drink over a weekend. How awful is that? Every weekend I will go out with friends on Friday and/or Saturday night and therefore will often be nursing a hangover for half the weekend. It was kind of refreshing not to drink, and I got up early both days and didn't feel so tired. I hung out with friends for dinner and a movie on Friday night and I did miss sweet movie snacks, especially as a friend brought round a giant bar of Dairy Milk chocolate ahhh (not purposely of course). Everyone at work also had pavlova (ma fave) and wine on Friday afternoon while I sat eating carrot sticks, sob.

I'd like to say that I now don't miss sugar but I DO. I've had lots of delicious food though - the beautiful salad selection above was put together by my talented mama and was divine. My boyf and I also treated ourselves to a raw food lunch at Nama on Sunday (more on that in another post).

It's been a little more relaxed on the exercise front around here... I had a hard work out on Saturday at One Element and I'm still aching. But my long Sunday evening run was cancelled when it started monsooning with rain outside. However I'm planning to be back on it today.

I didn't plan on focusing on weight when I started out on this, but I weighed myself at the beginning anyway (for the first time in years, yikes!). A week later, and somehow I've put on a little which is disheartening. I'm not letting it annoy me too much as I know that muscle weighs a lot more, and even so, I'm doing my body good this two weeks anyway.

How was your weekend? x

Friday, 10 October 2014

New Fairy Lights

I first came across Cable & Cotton a couple of years ago whilst wandering through the lanes in Brighton. I love fairy lights when it's cold outside; they add a touch of cosiness like nothing else! I used to have THESE floral lanterns back in my uni room, but I think that these Cable & Cotton ones are a little more sophisticated, like an upgrade.

With Cable & Cotton you can create your own colour scheme which I think is beyond cool, but I went for the GLOW set, made up of beautiful soft neutrals - pale grey, ivory, and oatmeal. I thought they'd fit in wherever I'm living over the years so I don't have to worry about colour palettes. I absolutely love how they echo the colour of my cushions (HERE) and my lampshade. I haven't decided 100% that they will stay here but this weekend I am having a biiiiiig room clearout as I have way too much clutter, so maybe I'll clear up some space somewhere else for them. What do you think?

This post was in collaboration with Cable & Cotton. 

RESET Days 1 - 4

So four days are down, eight to go! In case you missed the first post, you can read about RESET HERE. With my outdoor fitness group One Element, I have basically cut out gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol for 12 days. There is also a 3 minute work out every morning, and 30 - 60 minutes work out everyday, except for today because today is rest day, wahoo! So here is a little update if you're interested...

Above are a few of the meals I've been eating (all recipes HERE). Lots of porridge for breakfast, salads with lots of protein, curries/ stews, and Coconut Yogurt, yo. I spent a ridic amount in Planet Organic but I figured I'm saving money due to having no social life this week, ha. All the meals have been delicious and filling and not once have I felt starving hungry. Usually I have a habit of snacking when I'm bored, but I've been trying to listen to my body more and actually only snack when I'm hungry (on nuts, seeds (THESE), veggies and homemade hummus, and fruit). I've also tried to stop eating when I'm full and this has gone pretty well apart from this amazing lentil dal with grilled aubergine when I may have had seconds thirds.

I thought the sugar cravings would be worse at the beginning and then get better but actually they've been worse the last couple of days, mostly in the evenings. Last night my brother was drinking a hot chocolate next to me and I asked if I could sniff it (and I did). Yep, that's how desperate I was haha.

I've really enjoyed this so far. Every morning I've been waking up and doing:
20 secs press ups
10 secs straight arm plank
20 secs Russian twist
10 secs V sit
20 secs lunge
10 secs holding a low split squat
and repeat!

This isn't very difficult, just a warm up, but I might try and continue after these 12 days to tone up. In the evenings I've been going to the one hour One Element work outs, doing a 6K run, or sprinted up and down hills for half an hour. I under-estimated how time consuming this would be after work and trying to fit everything in has been hard so I've been getting up early too. On Tuesday night I felt exhausted and everything ached slightly. But rest day today so, yah.

It's been great doing the diet stuff with other people as we've been meal planning together. All in all, it's not been as hard as I thought (a hell of a lot easier than a 3 day juice diet I tried in January and failed after 5 hours, collapsed on the floor wailing before going to eat a chicken burger and chips at the pub). Have you ever done/ tried a juice/ diet cleanse?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

I'd Like to Holiday Here

Ok so I've hardly packed away my Summer clothes (actually when do I ever pack away my Summer clothes, I only have one wardrobe), but I'm already dreaming about sunny destinations. I'm not exactly sure of where this dream holiday home is, maybe IBIZA. Because that place gave me the worst post-holiday blues I've ever had. This house would be in the hills, away from the craziness but close enough to hop on a bicycle and cycle down to the beach for the day. A place to relax in the sun with a good book and some fresh fruit.

Natural wood
Woven baskets
Industrial style metal chairs
Stonewashed white linens
Colourful tiles
White walls
Palms. Everywhere
A private pool surrounded by greenery

Put together with spaces from different interiors. Click for sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

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