Saturday, 30 October 2010

Holiday

Should have posted this yesterday but had battery issues.

I am now officially on holiday! I flew into Belfast with my fried Lori yesterday, on the quickest flight of my life! It was only about 15 minutes! We weren't fully up in the air for long enough for them to even turn off the seatbelt lights. We arrived to glorious rain! And spent the evening chilling at Jill's place. Few glasses of pear cider were drank, plenty of nibbles were eaten and I made us a butternut squash risotto for dinner - I was cooking vegan for Lori but in the end decided to se two pans and throw some chorizo into one, it was just too tempting.

I don't plan to blog much while I'm away but I'll see how it goes. I'm home on Wednesday but will probably spend the day catching up on sleep!
Hope everyone has a nice weekend!






-Stella Does Healthy Eating-

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Yoga Buzz

My yoga buzz is lasting well! I woke up this morning and just felt *good*, despite it being 5.50am! I'm starting to stiffen up a bit now but I definitely have a general feeling of lightness and calm. Which is good considering I'm usually stressed and anxious! Knowing that I only have one more day of work before I go on holiday is probably helping too!

I'm still not back up to speed with food photos but I've got tonights dinner and tomorrow lunch a breakfast which is good start I think! Oh, dinner last night was the most amazing takeaway! It's a Nepalese place nearby, Gurka Kitchen. We tend to order a couple of starters instead of mains as they are just so amazing! Last night was Choila - chicken for me, lamb for my boyfriend. It comes with onion, spring onion and a beautiful mix of spices in a very light sauce, just enough so that it's not dry, all served up in a small plain naan. No picture since no matter how good takeaway food tastes, it just isn't photogenic!

But tonight it was risotto! Just using what we had in the fridge so it was a tender stem broccoli and chorizo risotto!


I wasn't sure about the broccoli and chorizo combination but it turned out beautifully! Can't go wrong with a risotto really - weird that I used to avoid making risotto because I was scared it would go wrong!

After dinner I tossed a munchkin pumpkin in some cinnamon and agave syrup and roasted in the oven for tomorrow's lunch. I just mixed it with some cous cous, raisins and drizzled over some chocolate orange balsamic vinegar. Hope it tastes as good as it smells!

And, doing this backwards, for breakfast I have full fat Greek yogurt thinned down with some semi skimmed milk. I mixed in some frozen raspberries and topped with pumpkin seeds and cocoa, berry and flax mix


Speaking of breakfast, I was lucky enough to be picked as a winner in Jemma's Rude Health Giveaway over on Celery and Cupcakes. I can't wait to try it!



  Stella

Monday, 25 October 2010

Keep Calm and do Yoga

I ended up using yoga at the gym tonight to pose away the work stresses - worked fantastically and I only thought bout work once during class when I thought "oh I haven't thought about work for ages now" and then immediately forgot about it again. It was such a lovely feeling coming out of class all calm and stretched and loose and relaxed. Then I got to the gym exit where there is a little metal button you push to get out, got a shock of it, swore and promptly lost all sense of calm!

This is just a super quick post as my boyfriend is just getting in and has bought something for dinner - I have been instructed to put the oven on but that's all I know - it's going to be pizza isn't it?


Do you do or have you tried yoga? I've done a little bit now and again in the past but never gone to classes before - this was my second one and I hope I can get in quick enough with the booking system to make it regular. It's a really good workout - although it's calm and relaxing it's tough and sweaty and I usually end up with sore muscles afterwards which I never expected from yoga!


  Stella

Lets do this!

Sorry again for the lack of posting! I'm having a totally horrible time at work right now and struggling to keep on top of everything in life. But I have a holiday coming up which I am so looking forward to and definitely need really badly!
This Thursday I'll be getting the train down to Glasgow to see my mum for half the day/evening (wish it was longer though!) And on Friday I'll be meeting my friend Lori to fly to Belfast and spend a nice long weekend with our friend Jill! I haven't seen them since August when we all spent a few nights together in Glasgow - I posted about it here, though it feels like it's been so much longer. It's going to be a mostly relaxing weekend (thank goodness actually!) since Jill is recovering from an operation. Well, with one pretty big exception!


1 week from tomorrow we will be something ridiculous like 6 rows from the front of the Lady Gaga gig in Belfast!! *does happy dance*
It's taking all my strength not to get up and run round my office singing Telephone!

I'm debating whether or not I want to try smuggling in my DSLR camera in to get some good photos. I know I could have got away with it when we went to the Lady Gaga gig last year but I don't know if it's worth the risk.


I don't have any food photos for you today as I have been so lazy/busy I just haven't bothered. Bad of me I know! Anyway I'm off to eat my breakfast for lunch since I had no time this morning, despite having been in work for well over 5 hours! Still, the morning has passed pretty quick, just hope the next two days are the same!


I have decided to drag my lazy arse back to the gym (which is what my post title refers to if you were wondering!) once I get home - pound out some frustration on the treadmill! Hopefully I'll be back later with a gym and dinner post! Have a good day!



  Stella

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Just Dance!

Morning Blogland! Sorry I didn't get round to posting last night, I had a dinner fail so had to cook a second one and I spent too long playing Just Dance 2 on the Wii!

Just Dance is so much fun! I have zero coordination and I definitely can't dance, but it really doesn't matter! The graphics for the songs are pretty cool and absolutely hilarious, I just watched a few without actually playing the game because I was laughing so hard. Menus are really simple and it's easy to find your way around and loading times are reasonably quick. Song list is excellent I think, wide variety and something for everyone. You can also download more tracks from WiiWare which is a great feature - I have Singstar for the PS3 and have downloaded loads of extra tracks for that. Rather than buying a new game I can spend the same amount downloading exactly what I want. I may need to see if there is any Lady Gaga available to download!

Image from here

I only properly looked at the Just Dance mode last night, but there is also a Battle Mode (I think that's what it was called), where you can have up to 8 players, and a Just Sweat mode for using the game as exercise - I think this is going to be the mode I will mostly use. It's great exercise and a lot of the routines are quite aerobics-y and each song has a sweat rating and difficulty rating. If you are hopelessly uncoordinated like me you may find some of the moves quite difficult to get right - but it really doesn't matter.
In Sweat Mode you can set yourself up a plan for how many songs you want to achieve each day or week and there's a sweat meter as well to give you a rough idea of calories burned.
The only kit you need are the Wii (obviously) and a standard controller, no need for any add ons or the Wii Fit board. It picks up movements well, but it is still possible to just wave the controller around and score points - but what would be the point in that?
I have to say, having not tried any dance games other than the old PS2 ones with the roll up dance mat, it's not something I would have bought. When I got the email though and had look at the site and some of the videos I thought it would be a good laugh for girly nights in with some wine and cocktails, but now I have had a go I'm sure I will use it far more often for getting a bit of a sweat on instead of my Pump it Up dance/exercise DVD. I love that it's interactive and keeps track of your progress - but I am a bit of a numbers geek anyway!
My boyfriend is out tonight so I'll be trying out the Just Sweat mode and I have a couple of girls coming round at the beginning of next month so there may well be a drunken Just Dance session coming up!



  Stella

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Straight, straight, straight

My hair that is, I went from this


To this

This this


And then 2 hours later it was completely straight again :( So, I have learned that I can have curl hair for the first two hours of a night out if I wash my hair 3 days in advance and fill it with curling cream and hair spray then spend 20 minutes putting hot rollers in and leave them in for 1-2 hours. I think I have to accept that my hair is straight!


Other than playing with my hair, changing the look of my blog (again) and studying I haven't really been doing a lot. I did meet with a friend last night to discuss gym plans, we're going to start going to a couple of classes together - starting with yoga on Monday and hopefully spinning on Tuesday. I decided I really need get my arse in gear and start lifting weights again. I'm about the same weight as I was last time I took photos/measurements but my hips and legs are much bigger than when I was lifting weights.
I also finally made my meal plan


All are recipes from new book - what better way to get plenty of variety then spend a week eating things I've never cooked before?


Today and yesterday I had my final ( :( ) pot of 0% Total Greek yogurt for breakfast with blueberries, oats and ground cocoa, berries and flax




And for lunch I have been eating cous cous with squash, carrot, red onion and cinnamon



I have been making use of the free fruit at work for snacks (apples, satsumas and bananas) and Nakd bars. Still haven't been drinking more tea and I thought I was down to just 1 cup of coffee a day but have just remembered I've been to Starbucks the last two days for  triple shot grande almond latte's and over the weekend I made several trips to Costa for roasted hazelnut latte's - which by the way are amazing! Much better than the regular hazelnut which I was surprised by.

Dinner tonight was a use up what's left in the fridge meal so bacon, sausages and a fried egg - yum!
Last night I had the beef "goulash" I made in the slow cooker on Sunday, with a big dollop from my last tub of full fat Greek yogurt - I don't know how I'll cope without a supply of this stuff! I'm going to have to start having something different for breakfasts I think!


Now I'm going to study watch some TV with a cup of redbush tea and a couple of squars of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt




Tomorrow I'll be posting about Just Dance 2 for the Wii, I received a copy yesterday but the time has just flown by this evening and I didn't get a chance to try it out. My boyfriend will be home tomorrow so I can get him to have a go as well!








  Stella

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Long Weekend

Evening blogland! Hope everyone has had a good weekend? This one has felt surprisingly long, which is nice! Still wish it were longer though, there's just so much I want to do and so little time, but I did manage to get a good bit of studying done which I feel pretty good about. I'm not convinced I'll pass this exam first time round, it's pretty tough and my worst subject, and all the background knowledge I should have from university...well it was my worst subject back then so I went for the question guessing method of studying and got lucky with my choice of selective revision - if only I'd known back then that it would come in useful after the exams! I do want to be realistic and accept I may need to resit as I think it will help me not to be so afraid of failing. I'm trying to stay positive though, I have only failed one exam before - Forensic Medicine. I fainted in one of the lectures (seeing the crime scene photos and hearing the detail from the police was just so much more real than I was prepared for) and never went back, then I felt too sick to finish the exam - it was so bad I started a whole other course rather than just re-sit the exam! It's funny because before I started my Accountancy degree I had applied to do either Forensic Psychology, Criminology or Forensic Sciences, instead I stayed on for another year of school and ended up wanting to do Accountancy or Law. Probably a good thing I had a change of heart!
(incase you are wondering what Forensic Medicine has to do with Accountancy, we had one course where we could choose anything from any department - it was a fascinating course and I have no idea why I freaked!)

Anyway, that's just a little bit more about me :)

I'm still struggling a bit with eating on this crown and think I may need to go back to the dentist, it just doesn't feel right.

So not much in the way of food to share. Wasn't hungry for breakfast so had a roll with bacon, egg and brown sauce for brunch - that did not last long enough to even consider photographing!
This afternoon I made another beef goulash which should be lovely and tender for dinner tomorrow. Again, I didn't have the correct ingredients - squash instead of potato. Which resulted in a busted up peeler :( I tried microwaving the squash for a minute to soften it up but it was still really tough to peel - as you can see.


Poor guy, he looked so pleased with himself.

For dinner I was in the mood for something warm and comforting, and easy to chew! I had a flick through my Melinda Messenger cookbook and found 'My mum's sausage and bean casserole' sounded perfect! We got some lovely free range sausages (97% pork, the ones with not a lot of pork scare me a little!) and I fried up some onion with sausages, bacon, bakes beans, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, some mixed herbs, salt and pepper, then baked in the over for 20 minutes. To be honest, it's not the sort of meal I would have very often, but it did taste great and satisfied the criteria of warm, comforting and easy to chew! Melinda introduces the recipe with:

Mum had a particular talent for rustling up something tasty and reasonably healthy on a very tight budget... I think this recipe is a great example of making the most of the few things that were often left in the fridge or cupboard"


My version certainly wasn't cheap and I rarely buy sausages or baked beans... and I wouldn't file it next to my healthy recipes... but I enjoyed it and I think the most important part of eating, for me, is that I enjoy what I eat :)



 

I've also been enjoying smoothies in my Halloween cup today! I love it!




I couldn't resist playing with the lighting!

And now I'm off to watch the new Desperate Housewives and hope that this works:




  Stella

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Today's Menu

Well, technically it's yesterdays but my internet was down so I couldn't post!




Lots of coffee with full fat milk, hot chocolate, smoothies, chocolate mousse and soup. This would be an example of not eating healthily I know, but it is an example of someone who had a sore tooth on either side of her mouth :(
I had to have two crowns - on one side the crown was fitted yesterday so my gum was pretty tender and my teeth don't quite line up as the tooth with the crown had to be drilled down to fit the crown, but it takes two weeks to make the crown which means the tooth on top had time to shift position slightly, it should shift back in line soon enough. On the other side I had the tooth drilled down in preparation so I had an achey jaw and very sore gum. But that side is fine today so normal eating can (hopefully!) resume!
I don't know about anyone else but I also get anaesthetic blues and tend to feel quite down and miserable after the dentist so I spent the morning watching Desperate Housewives and reading Company magazine to help cheer me up - then I spent the afternoon studying ethics to balance out the trashy TV and gossipy mag! Speaking of Company magazine, if you haven't' already you can check out my article HERE

I'm heading off for a wander round the shops, a roasted hazelnut latte from Costa and a movie with my boyfriend. The rest of the weekend will be a bit of relaxing and a bit of studying. What have you got planned for the weekend?



  Stella

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Getting better...

Finally! I still feel a bit not right but my appetite and desire for food is back! Yay! I celebrated with prawns! I had a Pad Thai last night and tonight I made prawns à la Sam, which a friend recommended to another friend looking to use up some crème fraiche today and I remembered I had an open tub of full fat Total Greek yogurt in the fridge looking to be used up so thought I would jump in on the prawn action too!

I cooked up some tagliatelle while I fried garlic, spring onion and cayenne pepper in olive oil then added some prawns with lemon, salt, pepper and parsley. Drained the pasta and stirred in a few huge dollops of Greek yogurt and once that was hot stirred in the prawns and spring onions. Oh ans I made a last minute decision to throw in some chorizo too!





Great stand by meal as it's all ingredients I pretty much always have  in the kitchen and tastes amazing!

Other than that, I have been eating lots more Greek yogurt with fruit and granola and lots of porridge with dates and dried apricot. I'm starting to crave vegetables now! 

Last Sunday I posted up some of my aims for the following week, needless to say with the way I was feeling I didn't even think about them! I'm still off the gym for now so will leave that out for the rest of this week. I'm going to do a meal plan tonight for the rest of the week and I have been logging this week so just need to stay on track with that. I haven't started drinking more tea yet, but I have been drinking a lot less coffee.

I'm going to log of now and get meal planning and attempt to curl my hair again - I'm determined to make the curls stay in!

Does anyone else have hair that just refuses to do what you want it to? I curl it and it ends up straight, I straighten it and it goes all wavy... very annoying!


. Stella

Thursday, 7 October 2010

My name is Stella and I’m addicted to coffee

This is my first post using Live Writer so I’m keeping everything crossed that it turns out OK! I’m not quite sure about image sizes and positioning yet!

I had a moment of excitement over the weekend (still catching up!) when I found some Bear Granola Nibbles in Peckham's, they are normally hard to find up here in Aberdeen! I’m particularly looking forward to trying the Cocoa Cherry Pie!
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I also stopped by the international market for some gorgeous flavoured coffee’s. I got Coconut Creme, Chocolate Truffle, Maple Walnut and Christmas Special – have tried them all and they are fantastic! I wish I’d bought more now, there was a 10 bags for £18 deal. The international market comes every 3 months so I’ll be stocking up next time. Though If I can’t wait they do have a website here. Often i find flavoured coffee can be pretty disappointing and not really taste of much, or the coffee the use isn’t very nice but this stuff has neither of those issues.


And I got a couple of packs of vanilla Munchy Seeds pumpkin seeds – love these! Sadly haven’t seen then in the large tubs so I’m savouring these little packs.
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And I got a little treat too – Reece’s Pieces! Fortunately I haven’t seen these in large packs as that would be very dangerous!
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I really shouldn’t be buying any more foody things through as I already have an over-flowing cupboard so ‘stella food’ to work my way through


Hoarder much??
Onto actually eating food then… I don’t have much to post really as my appetite is still a little all over the place so here are the ones that were worthy of photos:
Breakfast sundae!

   



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Total Greek yogurt mixed with lingonberry jam on the bottom and in the middle, plain Greek yogurt on top, layered with strawberries and granola and topped with fresh figs plus vanilla pumpkin seeds.
Butternut squash, red onion and tomato tart
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Fresh figs topped with 0% Greek yogurt, thinned with a little semi skimmed milk, topped with honey and oats – really loving fresh figs right now!



And I’m going to leave it there because Live Writer seems to be making this whole experience unnecessarily stressful! I do hate Microsoft! And I just had to back and edit the whole post as only two of the pics were showing - Live Writer FAIL!

Has anyone else using Blogger found the search function isn’t working so well? Sometimes it’s fine but mostly when I search for thing I know I have posted about it comes up with nothing or several posts where I have mentioned the thing I’m searching for are missing from the search results. Like Naks bars for example, only 4 posts come up in a search but I know I have eaten way more than four bars and therefore the word Nakd should appear in more than 4 posts!

Monday, 4 October 2010

*Insert witty blog post title here*

I was going to try and come up with something to do with the Nakd bars and cook book I received recently, but since it's a 'Family Cookbook' I decided against the Nakd gags!

So I said I would do a catch up post but it turns out I didn't take very many photos, just a few random shots here and there:



Favourite yogurt combination, chopped nectarine with thick Total Greek yogurt, raisins and white chocolate chips.



Even better when served with fresh squeezed orange juice.



I've been trying to consume lots of fruit, veg and just vitamins in general so have enjoyed a few smoothies with rice milk, frozen banana ans fresh strawberries



Friday night's dinner was beef enchilada's with lots o' cheese! I never get tired of Mexican food!


Porridge made with rice milk with peanut butter stirred through and topped with Total Greek yogurt and Ikea Lingonberry jam - this is up there in my top 10 favourite porridge toppings! It was far too much though and my cat Jeff was hassling me so I was naughty and gave him the leftovers.


He scoffed it so fast I barely had time to snap a picture of him enjoying his porridge! 



Cous cous salad, raw chopped carrot, courgette and onion mixed with plain cous cous and a tin of sardines in tomato sauce. This was good but I prefer to have sardines on their own with something on the side rather than mixed in.


Yet more Total Greek yogurt (I have eaten so much but still have for large tubs and 4 small tubs left!) with some granola and a chopped nectarine.



This was a Weight Watchers recipe, can't remember exactly what went in it but there was definitely lamb mince, courgette and halloumi. I used the left over mince and sauce on spaghetti then next day which was fantastic! I actually wasn't too keen on the courgette skin after it had been roasted but loved the filling on spaghetti



And another bowl of Greek yogurt with nectarine and cinnamon.

That's just a few snaps from the last week and a half, there was loads more, good and bad!


before I forget a few people had asked where I got the guar gum from, I did answer in the comments but I know it's easy to miss replies there. I ordered mine from ebay actually. I just looked for an ebay shop that sold lots of similar products and a good track record, I can't remember the seller but I chose with with a lot of feedback and it was 100% positive. The xanthan gum should be easy enough to find in most supermarkets. Both gums are pretty cheap, only a few pounds each and I use 1/4 tsp guar gum and 1/8 tsp xanthan gum per smoothie so it lasts a long time.


Since my last post I received another envelope of Nakd bars (free and totally unexpected) this time it was the new flavours fully clothed.


I do love all three flavours, but Cocoa Orange remains my favourite, followed by Coca Mint, Cashew Cookie and Pecan Pie! Basically I love them all and would be happy with any one of the flavours! The Berry Delight is a nice addition to the gluten free range as it's the only fruity bar, it makes a nice change and will come in handy for avoiding sweetie cravings as it tastes really sweet and juicy! I wasn't sure about Cocoa Delight after my first taste but I tried a second bar and was very impressed, it's a much more grown up sort of taste, like a nice high % bar of dark chocolate, only chewy!


I was also lucky enough to receive a copy of a new cookbook, I love cook books and have a ridiculous amount of them as well as many folders filled with recipe pages torn out of magazines and printed from the web. I was delighted when I received an email asking if I would be interested in trying out a new cookbook - of course I would!!


I was sent a copy of the new Melinda Messenger's Family Cookbook to try out, along with a discount code for 20% off for anyone who is interested - MMCook10 This is for the New Holland Publishers site which I can't actually get to load right now, hopefully it's just my browser.
The book includes the following sections:




I particularly like the Weekend Lunches as that is one of my weak points, having a proper lunch on the weekends, it's so much easier in the week when I have to be organised and pack something the night before.
I haven't made any of the recipes yet but have read through a few of them as well as the introductory text for each section. It's nicely written and seems easy to follow with  nice personal touch too. Even though it says it's a family cookbook I would still get a lot of use out of it when it's just the two of us at home, it's not specifically aimed at people with kids though does have a lot of suitable recipes that kids can help with too and the Trying New Things chapter is an interesting idea.
I'll post a wee bit more over the next few weeks as I start trying out some of the recipes.
The only downside is that there just aren't enough pictures of the food! Obviously I love food pictures! In books where only some recipes are photographed I do find that I tend to end up making only the ones that do come with pictures. I'm not really sure why as it's not like I ever expect mine to look anything like the picture in the book!
I do love Melinda's porridge page where she says "the fun is in the fine-tuning" and goes on to talk about the best part - add-ins and toppings! :D I'm going to try her suggestion of banana, dried apricots and cinnamon, sounds simple and delicious!


I'd better finish up now as I have a free meal at Wagamama tonight! 2 courses and two drinks each as it's a new store opening - I know, in Aberdeen!? I'm so excited! I do still feel pretty rough but I can't bear to turn it down!


  Stella

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