27.2.15

Eat Evolve: Optimal Nutrition for the Busy City Lifestyle


Just last month when I quit my third round of whole30, things were a bit hectic. I just couldn't get into the groove of food prep (all explained in my why I quit whole30 post).

For the week following when I was due to finish whole30 I'd arranged for a delivery from Eat Evolve. They specialise in convenient food for those of us who are health conscious. ...sounds just like what I needed, right?!

My delivery arrived on a Tuesday as it was outside the M25 (inside the M25 deliveries arrive on Mondays) in a perfectly sized box that would be easy to carry home if you got it delivered to work. The plan was, I choose 5 sides and 5 mains...


They come packed in plastic pouches meaning you can cook them via sous vide (boil in the bag) or open them up and microwave them. This packaging meant they were easy to carry to work with me even when I was cycling as they took up minimal space and were spill proof! They then only took 3-4 minutes to warm up which is perfect when I only get 30 minutes for a lunch break.

Meal 1 | mango and coconut chicken curry with golden raisin & cauliflower rice 


This was the first time I've ever eaten cauliflower rice; it was an amazing substitute though and I would make it again if it comes out like this! The entire meal was amazing from the time I smelt it heating up in the microwave!

Meal 2 | lemon thyme salmon & roasted turnip carrot and walnut


This was the first time I was trying turnips too! A lot of firsts for me in just two days!

Meal 3 | turkey escalope & sweet potato pesto noodles 


The noodles were one of my favourites mainly because I could hardly believe they were made from sweet potato and not pasta or egg! I felt like they were a guilty pleasure! I googled them and apparently they are Japanese. If I can get my hands on these I would definitely keep a stack in my cupboard!

On the other hand, the turkey was my least favourite of the mains. turkey can be a dry meat as we all know so I'm not a huge fan of it. I would choose it again on my menu but probably only for some variety.

Meal 4 | slow braised beef with chorizo & summer peas with mint

Another yummy meal!

Meal 5 | lamb tagine & ratatouille 

My second time having ratatouille which went pretty well with the lamb tagine.

The Verdict 

Not much else to say really....everything was delicious! This was definitely one of the BEST WEEKS (food wise) in my life! The portion sizes were perfect - I didn't need to snack after or add anything extra and it took the pressure off me. I just had to put together breakfast and another meal (usually dinner).

Their meals are all Paleo, with some even being whole30 compliant. So if you decide to give whole30 a go and think you may struggle you could use this to supplement what you whip up in the kitchen.

They have a variety of packages with meals costing £11 each (based on package of 5 meals).

Go right now and check them out! | www.eatevolve.com 

Have you every used a meal delivery service?! 

Elle :) 

p.s Huge thanks to Eat Evolve for providing me with a 5 meal package - rest assured all opinions are my own (I mean, we're talking about food here!). No write up was requested but I genuinely loved the meals so much I wanted to share :) 

26.2.15

Race Calendar: Back for 2015


My race calendar has been chocoblock from January through to about May so far but I've managed to squeeze a few extras in...mainly because they were ones not to be missed!

I keep an updated list of events I'm taking part in and the write ups on the Train with Elle page!

First up....

Nike Women's 10km, London 


Technically it's back, but with a new name, day and time. What will remain the same is the location, Victoria Park and the experience we expect! The event is billed to be suitable for everyone...from first timers to those looking to PB. What will I be racing for? ...I haven't quite decided but it could be for a PB.

Date: 21st June 2015


You can join my crew! 



2. Select Join Team
3. Search for Team Name: Crew simpElle
4. Enter Team Password: simpelle


Run or Dye, Various UK Locations 


Last year I had a blast at Run or Dye; this wasn't the case across the country though! But, this year they are back and under the wings of Human Race, a brand that we can trust! I'll be involved again this year knowing that things will be even better!

What I love about Run or Dye is that everyone, the entirely family can get involved. The distance is one that can be walked too so it's achievable no matter how much you have or haven't trained! ...Tell your friends and get poised to sign up soon...

Keep an eye out for an exclusive KISE discount code!

...this one is new though...

Red Bull Wings For Life World Run



Don't ask me to explain this one but it sounds epic! Basically, at 12 midday on 3rd May we will start running...and keep running until the finish line catches up with us! At the same time, events all over the world will be taking place.

I'm in and I need a crew! Click and...

Join my crew! 


So...what races have you added to your calendar since the year has started?! 

Will you be joining me for the Nike Women's 10km or the World Run?! 

Elle ;) 

24.2.15

Vitality Brighton Half Marathon #MyMoments


The day finally arrived. The day of my first Half Marathon for 2015. A day I actually trained for.

This is how the event went for me. 

It seems that the key to a PB may be a bacon sandwich, 2 mini apple danishes and a cup of coffee for breakfast. That's what I did on the day I shaved 20 minutes off my Personal Best time from Hackney Half Marathon in June 2014.

In the week before the event I was a little apprehensive. I was excited but at the same time I wasn't sure if the training I did would make a difference. Chatting to Bethan, she asked (very kindly) if I would want her to pace me; I couldn't very well turn that down. We opted for a goal time of approx 2 hours and 10 minutes.

My training started 10 weeks before race day; a plan with just 3 runs per week. I've never trained for a half marathon before so I didn't know if this was enough,. I also couldn't honestly commit to anymore. When I missed a weeks worth in January and got ill, I was pretty sure I'd have to focus my efforts on a potential PB at a later race.

Vitality Brighton Half Marathon - 25th Anniversary 



Start Location: Madeira Drive, Brighton Sea Front

Start Time: 9am

The Start: We were assigned start waves based on predicted times we had given at point of registering. Bibs were colour coded and printed with times to remind us. We (Bethan, Georgina and I) started just ahead of our wave sticking to the left to allow others to take over if necessary. Oh and it rained...confetti :)

The Route: The route in my mind consisted of three sections. The start was a small northbound loop into the town and back to the seafront. We then headed east and back again to the centre point / start before heading west and back again to the finish. The majority of the route was close to or along the seafront. At one point in the final 3 miles where there were less supporters I could actually hear the waves which to me was magical.


I'd convinced myself the route was flat, and as courses go, I guess it wasn't too bad. The few ascents were longer meaning it didn't burn too much! And as Bethan reminded me on route, what goes up...must come down.

Hill Mantra: head down, knees up 

I spotted every single mile marker too which might be a first! They were big, bright and well placed.

The Crowd: The streets were lined with many a supporter. From families, friends, charities to other runners who'd finished (in the later stages of the race). I even spotted a few friendly London faces (Thanks Becca, Nikki, Christine) who seemed to be positioned at the points where I appreciated a wave and a smile most.

The Atmosphere: Everyone seemed friendly enough and I didn't witness or fall victim to anyone doing anything stupid!


The Drinks: There were 3 drink stations on the course, at approx 5km, 10km and then somewhere way after I needed it...past the 15km mark! Both water and Lucozade were on offer; I've only ever trained with water so stuck to that!

The Loo Situation: Plenty were at the start line and some along the course.

The Finish: The crowds were amazing and the MC was encouraging. Once we crossed the finish line, the funnel was wide. Foil wraps were provided along with more drinks. Then there was some congestion for goody bags followed by a little more congestion for medals.


The Medal: The congestion was worth it though...the medal is huge. It is definitely a reflection of the event and the celebrations. It's pink too! ...and states the year...in fact, it has the entire date on it which I love!

The Statistics: They speak for themselves really! I wore my Nike+ GPS watch programmed with current pace and distance on the main screen. I actually didn't check it that much and used Bethan as my guide. Bethan and Georgina both "speak" in miles whereas I speak in KM so I didn't always have a clue of our pace. Bethan informed me we were ahead of pace and I was comfortable so we stuck there.


I've never run such a consistent pace in my life - I couldn't actually believe it when my I saw that my fastest KM was my final one!

My Official Time: 2:01:33

A HUGE THANK YOU to Bethan for even suggesting pacing me today! Thanks also to Georgina for sticking with us!

All in all, this event is definitely up there in my top 5 race days! The organisation was impeccable, the route was just the right amount of flat vs challenging and lucky for us all, the weather man played ball with sunshine, a few clouds and a light cooling breeze!

Have you ever been paced? or considered doing it for someone else?! ...What PB are you currently chasing?!


Elle :) 

p.s And Thanks to Vitality Brighton for my place and for hosting me; it was amazing to be back in Brighton after graduating from the University of Brighton nearly 10 years ago! All opinions are my own :) some photos though are not - credit to Nikki and the BHM FB page 

23.2.15

Behind The Screen: Get to Know Me

In December, I was tagged by Leah of Naturally, Leah for this "get to know me" blog post! So I saved it to share with you for when I'm having some down time! That time is now! ...I'm also using this post to start a new series...Behind The Screen which literally will share what it says on the tin!


Four names that people call me other than my real name: 
Firstly, my real name (or full name) is Danielle. So number one is Elle. Then some people call me Dan (mum, godmother), D (friends) and some colleagues at work work have taken to calling me 'keepitsimpElle' (uh hum, zarabarayoga!)

Four jobs I have had (not counting current jobs): 
I worked in promotions whilst studying...this mostly entailed of standing in store talking to customers about certain products.
I worked as a Tennis Steward once. I'd just graduated and all my friends were doing it too! It was an extra two weeks of summer!
I workedin a Bar too...I wasn't very good at it. I dunno why.
And then I worked as a checkout chick. I transferred from the chilled aisle and all the boys told me I'd get fat from sitting down all day!

Four movies I have watched more than once:
Well, Elf is a favourite at Christmas time. I've probably seen Dirty Dancing, The Sound of Music a fair few times too!
What else?!

Four books I'd recommend: 
Who moved my cheese?
Animal Farm
It Starts With Food
The Fault in Our Stars

Four places I have lived:
Barbados (home)
London / Essex (currently home)
Finland

...that actually is it :(

Four places I have been:
I could list quite a few!

South Africa
Toronto, Canada
Paris, France
Ibiza, Spain

Four places I wouldn't mind being right now:
Skiing in Whistler (I've heard amazing things about it)
On the beach in Thailand
At home in Barbados
Shopping in New York

Four things I don't eat: 
Dairy (I'm also lactose intolerant)
Calamari / squid
Capers
Marzipan

Four of my favourite foods: 
This is tough :) to just pick four.

Pineapple, almond butter, bacon and popcorn.

Four TV shows I watch: 
All the soaps! Eastenders, Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Emmerdale. Yup.

Four things I am looking forward to this year (next 12 months): 
Becoming a triathlete. Moving back into my own place. Turning 31. Holidaying somewhere.

Four things I'm always saying: 
Calm down mum. Amazing.

...can't think of, or not noticed anything else! I'm sure someone can fill me in!

Now it's my turn to tag a few people! That'll be Chi-Chi, Dani, Georgina and Carly :) 

Feel free to share your answers even if you haven't been tagged! You can leave them in the comments or blog about it and pop the link in the comments! 


Elle :) 

20.2.15

Guest Post: Ujjayi Soup



So, this might seem a bit of a daft name for a soup, but hear me out! Ujjayi is a Sanskrit term that translates as "victorious", and is the type of breath used in most yoga practices. Using Ujjayi fires up the blood flow, centres the mind and calms the nervous system. It grounds you. And, well, I think this soup does too.

Earthy legumes and root veg are comforting without being heavy in the body. Simmering them steadily means they soak up the lovely warming thai flavours here, and become easier to digest. A crunchy red pepper and some kale (ah, kale!) add texture, and your daily doses of vitamins C and K (which are essential in the body's healing processes).




Very victorious. And it's simple, so: easy win!

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes or 1 small-medium butternut squash (or a
combination of the two), peeled and diced
2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 litre vegetable stock (home-made or use a stock cube)
1 x tin chickpeas (in water only), drained and rinsed
1 x tin butterbeans (in water only), drained and rinsed
1 small red pepper, chopped into small pieces
3-4 handfuls of kale, spinach, or other leafy greens

Method 

1. Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and celery and sauté gently until translucent.

2. Add the sweet potatoes/butternut squash and the curry paste, stirring to distribute the paste evenly over the vegetables.


3. Once well mixed, add the vegetable stock chickpeas and butterbeans and bring everything to a rolling simmer for 10-15 minutes.


4. Once the potatoes have softened, add the red pepper and greens and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes.


5. If you're not in a hurry to eat, leave the soup to simmer very gently for a while longer, to allow the flavours to develop. If you're starving, dig right in!

This recipe is vegan (just watch your thai curry paste; some contain anchovy extract or similar), but switching the beans for some cooked chicken or prawns (add them right at the end, with the pepper and greens) turns it into an easy Paleo/ Whole 30 meal instead (again, watch curry pastes and stock cubes for added sugars, flours etc).


Kate :) 



As a singer, yoga teacher and lover of all things tasty, I'm constantly reviewing my connection with my body - and, by extension, the food I eat. I got into cooking in my early teens, when creating the perfect brownie was the biggest life problem I faced. Now, after digestive problems, sugar crashes and migraines have led me to a largely sugar-,grain-, and dairy-free existence, my love of cooking is driven by the search for food that is satisfying and nourishing. And just so you know, I consider eating almond butter from the jar (daily) both satisfying and nourishing..."

Follow Kate on Instagram: @misskatelister or check out her band at www.thefoobirds.co.uk 
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