Saturday, April 26, 2014

Apple, Banana, Quinoa Breakfast Muffins...

This is another recipe that i saw on pinterest and was posted originally on the Pumps and Iron website. As it's an American recipe the measurements are all in cups, this can be tricky but you can now buy measuring spoons in cups from Wholefoods and Tesco.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an excellent source of protein, dietary fibre, magnesium and iron. It is an excellent food for starting the day. These muffins really set you up for the day. 
  • ½ cup applesauce (you can make this by stewing a couple of apples rather than buying in a jar)
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1 banana for slicing
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (about ½ cup dry)
  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin (olive oil works well).
  2. Cook the quinoa. Bring ¾ up water to a boil, pour in ½ cup dry quinoa, reduce to a simmer until fluffy—about 12 minutes.
  3. Mix applesauce, mashed banana, almond milk, honey and vanilla in a bowl.
  4. Mix dry ingredients (quinoa, oats, cinnamon) in a separate bowl. Slowly stir the wet into the dry until fully combined.
  5. Peel core and chop up an apple. Mix the apple chunks into the bowl.
  6. Fill each of the muffin cups to the top with the quinoa mixture. Add a banana slice or two to the top of each.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy one warm!

You can eat these cold like a muffin or in a bowl with a little milk and some fruit like cereal. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Avocado Eggs

This is a really interesting recipe or idea that I saw on Pinterest. It's a great breakfast food, full of omega 3 heart healthy fatty acids and high in protein. Importantly it is low in sugar and packed with fibre. It's also really simple....

Avocado (large and ripe)
Two eggs
Salt/pepper/chives or other garnish


Turn on the oven to 425f/220c
Take a ripe avocado, cut it in half removing the stone
You then, using a spoon, scoop out some of the avocado from around the pit to make the scoop in each side bigger. Big enough to take an egg. Around 2 tablespoons on each side should be enough.
Put the avocados into a baking dish or tray making sure they fit snug and don't roll or fall to the side. A bun/muffin tin make work well.
Crack an egg into each side of the avocado, make sure the yolk is in the pit you have stopped out with the egg white filling the remainder. Some of the white May spill out but this is fine. 
Put into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the whites have set. 
Remove and garnish with salt, pepper or chives.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cheltenham Challenge - 75km

Every year there is an event called the Cheltenham Circular Challenge, it's a marathon distance course that loops around Cheltenham. People could enter the whole thing or segments of it. This year they have changed the event, it's no longer circular and is now called the Cheltenham Challenge. There are a number of events as part of this challenge being run on the same day...
  • 5km - on the, world famous, race course
  • 10km - on the race course and surrounding area
  • half marathon - a single loop over Cleeve Hill
  • marathon - two of the half marathon loops
  • ultimate challenge - a combination of the first 4 events, so three loops over Cleeve Hill then the 10km then the 5km.
I have entered the Ultimate Challenge as it's essentially an ultra on my doorstep. It represents 8 further miles than the furthest i have run (40 miles in the Born to Run Ultra) but more significantly, with three ascents of Cleeve Hill, more climbing than i have undertaken before at this distance. It is all part of the learning though. 

I have devised a training plan and with 70 days to go it's pretty much straight into some larger mileage weeks (for me) before a couple of weeks taper. What i am doing this time though is on my long runs is taking in some local hills. They aren't significant by a long stretch but i need to use them to increase strength in my quads and glutes. I am also going to go back the gym to do some work on these areas. 

I am looking forward to the training and even more to pushing myself to a greater challenge than i have already undertaken. I am also going to be doing some fund raising for Diabetes UK. As a Type 1 diabetic myself i use their resources but also i want to be someone that can show what you can do despite having Diabetes. It is not a barrier for me and shouldn't be for anyone else.