17.4.15

A Taste of Scandinavia: Nordic Bar, London


You know I moved to Northern Finland once right?! Well, when the opportunity came up to review a Scandinavian Restaurant / Bar in London for the Transun Guide to Scandinavian Restaurants, I jumped at the chance to experience a little nostalgia.

Location: Nordic Bar


Located on a side street just off Oxford Street. You're out of the hustle and bustle of the shoppers though!

Date / Time: Saturday 4th April 2015, 630pm


I opted for dinner and drinks on a Saturday night after a day at work. It'd be one less thing to think about and a good opportunity to catch up with friends!

I arrived bright and early for my table booking to ensure everything went to plan; I had booked for another evening last month and when I turned up they turned me away saying they knew nothing of my booking. Things went a little smoother this time albeit not exactly perfect!

The place was pretty quiet at this time with sport on the TV and a few lads drinking and cheering. As the evening went on, we were joined by a few couples and one guy on his own. We were pretty hungry so we scanned through the menu while we sipped on a cocktail...

To share: Nachos (£5.95)


Mains: Swedish Meatballs (£8.95), Chips (£3.50), Nordic Beef Burger (£7.95) with bacon and cheese (add £1.50), Crispy Calamari (£4.95), Caesar Salad (£7) add chicken (£2)



The food came pretty quickly and was sizeable portions. I personally ate the meatballs, chips and nachos. The meatballs tasted pretty good, just like when I had them in IKEA in Sweden! The nachos were also good...they came with our main meal though so it meant I kept snacking while eating and then didn't even finish my meatballs!

The other ladies fed back that their food was pretty decent too although they weren't a fan of the calamari.




Dessert: Cake, of which I can't remember nor find the name and price of on the Nordic Bar website!


Overall, for the price (all the food  not including drinks, came to less than £50 for 3 of us), it was great food! A cheap eat for post shopping, a few drinks and a chance to catch up with friends!

What's your favourite style of food?! 

Elle :) 

14.4.15

Sport'n Style: Spring Updates from NEXT

Spring is in the air. Apparently. I've read that phrase so many times but I'm not 100% convinced. I'm gonna do all I can to usher in the good weather though and take some inspiration to update my lycra!

Here are my picks from somewhere you may not have thought to check for your next (no pun intended) workout outfit - NEXT.

(Just to clarify as I've been asked in the comments - this is not a sponsored post nor are the links affiliate links!) 


Start with a tank in a bright colour. This is is from Nike and costs £23. Perfect for running, the gym or your at home sweat session. {shop it here} 

Add a pair of crops. Something with a splash of colour but still versatile enough to wear with the rest of your wardrobe. These one are NEXT own brand and cost £20. {shop them here} 


Last but not least, a fresh pair of kicks always gives me a new sense of motivation! I love the monochrome look of these! They'll stay looking clean for longer, look smart and will be versatile! At £110 you'd better put them to good use! {shop them here} 

How have you / will you update your workout wardrobe for Spring?! 

Elle :) 

13.4.15

Guest Post: 6 Yoga Poses for Runners

Spring is here; the days are longer and The 2015 London Marathon is only weeks away so the runners can be seen at all hours pounding the pavements getting their miles in. Running for some people is a way of clearing their mind and letting off steam in a similar way people turn to yoga. However, running is a high impact sport and if you aren’t stretching enough the body becomes tight which is when we are more likely to get injured. 

Yoga is more dynamic than standard stretching and because it has so many poses you may find it more interested than stretching. It can also help you recover from long runs and races faster!


My Top 6 Yoga Poses for Runners 


Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)



This classic yoga pose is excellent for stretching out the calves and back of the legs. 

Instructions: From tabletop position on hands and knees, open your fingers wide and place the whole of your palm on the mat. 

Tuck your toes under and lift the knees off the floor. Push your hips up and away from your hands. If you have tight hamstrings keep knees bent and focus on lengthening your chest area and keep arms straight. 

Press the hands and feet away from each other and then shift your weight into your legs. Begin to lift the thighs up as you reach your heels back and down, which will straighten your knees. Engage your quads by pulling your kneecaps up. 

Hold for five to 10 breaths. 

Lightly lower both knees back to floor.

Triangle pose (Trikonasana) 



This standing pose is great for stretching the hips and lengthening the inner thighs. It allows you to open and expand the side body where runners move quick vertically.

Instructions: Stand with feet wide apart. Turn left toes in slightly and roll right thigh open to turn your right foot out 90 degrees. 

Align your feet on the mat so that the heel of your right front foot is in line with the arch of your left foot. Press down into feet and pull up on your thighs. 

Stretch your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Stretch the torso forward toward your right foot. Place your right hand on your shin, or yoga block  

Take five breaths. Then press down into your feet and lift up with your thighs to come to standing.  

Repeat on left side.

Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)



Pyramid pose is a lovely stretch for the legs, particularly the hamstrings. It also strengthens the legs. 

Instructions: Step your left foot back about 3 feet. Your left toes will pivot in at a 45 degree angle. Your right foot faces forward. 

Inhale and stand tall and lean out over the front foot. Hold onto your opposite elbows or back namaste hands behind your back. 

Keep the spine straight and long while folding forward over the front straight leg.  

Repeat on the other side for 5 -10 breaths.

Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)



Stretch the spine, hamstrings and reduce pain in your lower back in this lovely stretch.  

Instructions: Sit on your mat, with your legs extended in front of you, heels flexed bringing your toes towards you and spine straight. 

Inhale and raise your arms in the air. 

Exhale reach your arms forwards to the wall infront and really lengthen the front body over the thighs. 

Lean forward and catch your toes or use a belt on the heels. Keep upper body to relax. Engage the quadriceps (by lifting your kneecap). If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend your legs.

Hold for 10 breaths. 

Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana) 



This is a yummy stretch for the inner legs. This pose will open your hamstrings and calves without straining your lower back.

Instructions: Sitting tall on your mat, bring the soles of your feet together. 

Bring your hands to your inner ankles and keep the elbows in towards the body. Sit tall, rolling the shoulders back, and gaze past the end of the nose. 

Lean forward for a deeper stretch and hold for 10 breaths. Fold further forward with a straight back to enhance the stretch if needed. 

Seated Wide Angle Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana)



This pose stretches the hamstrings and calves; the forward fold straightens and lengthens the spine.

Instructions: From Bound Angle pose (above), extend your legs out to either side of you. Sit up on a foam block if you feel you aren't able to sit up straight. 

If you can straighten the legs, flex the feet and draw the thighs up.  Lean forward slightly and place your hands on the mat. If this is too much place the hands behind you on the finger tips. Bend your knees as much as you need to, and bring the legs closer together if needed.

Hold for 10 breaths.


Last but not least, always finish your practice in corpse pose, even if it is just for one minute as it allows the nervous system to relax. 


Kelly Brooks
Website: www.kellybrooksyoga.com
Twitter: @kellybrooksyoga

10.4.15

Time for Whole30 #4


Not sure if you've noticed but I haven't been able to post as regularly as usual. This is because over the past month, I've had to move house twice along with all the regular stuff like work, training etc. I've no internet connection at home yet and my phone internet only goes so far...

I've had a busy few weeks; minimal time to train, cook, eat and enjoy the lifestyle I'm used to which shows. My skin is not looking so great at the moment, I'm feeling tired but when I go to bed I can't just fall off to sleep and I'm not happy about some of the food choices I'm making due to being time poor. 

So, no better time for a nutritional reset than now, right?! Start off in my home, how I mean to go on. Out with the breaded fish, chips and fast food. In with he vegetables and home cooked meals. 


What?

Whole30. For 30 days, no breaks, no slipping, no cheating, no quitting. Check out www.whole30.com to read more or click {here} to read all my previous whole30 posts on the blog! 

Why?

To reset my food choices; undo my reliance on sugar when I need energy. To clear up my skin, increase my energy levels and reduce stress. 


When? 

I'm currently organising my food shopping so my start date is sometime between Monday 13th April and Thursday 16th April. 

Who?

Who will be my inspiration?! Well for week one, I'll be taking my inspiration from the Hemsley & Hemsley Book. I've scoured it and chosen all the recipes I like the sound of that are also compliant (or can be easily adapted). I'm hoping that some fresh recipes will help me to stay focused and complete the 30 days successfully. Each week I will be taking inspiration from a different book. I have Thug Kitchen, Deliciously Ella and Honestly Healthy lined up as well as having the new Whole30 book on preorder!


Also, check out {Planet Organic} to get all your health food staples! 

If you have any questions or fancy joining me, just let me know in the comments below! 

Elle :) 

6.4.15

Ultimate Coffee Date - April

It's April and so much has happened! I was looking for some inspiration and decided to join in with the Ultimate Coffee Date link up for April; when you grab your cuppa, I will tell you why!

The Ultimate Coffee Date

Firstly, if we were having coffee, my drink of choice would be an almond milk latte with a dash of agave syrup. What's yours?! 

If we were having coffee, the first thing I would tell you was that I just moved house last week! I moved into my own flat in Essex. It's been a long time coming and I'm happier than ever but it was stressful and at points didn't always go to plan! A lot of thanks goes to my mum (who I stayed with for a couple weeks while I waited); she was amazing and took care of me so well! Just what I needed to help me keep everything together! Have you moved house before?! how did you keep it together?! 

If we were having coffee...I'd tell you that there are less than 5 weeks until Run Hackney Half Marathon so I need to pull my finger out and get back into some running! My training is all written up in my passion planner, I just need to carry it out! What's your next big event on your calendar?!

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that I've taken on an exciting project in swimming which I can talk about when it goes live in May! Here's a sneak peek from a day I had doing some fitness testing...


If we were having coffee...I'd let you know I haven't forgotten I have a triathlon to train for! I'm slowly getting all my bits and pieces together while tackling my swimming! Now I'm back in Essex and my bike is with me, I'll be out riding whenever I get a chance! Have you taken part in a multi-sport event before?! 

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you how grateful I am for the friends that I have. For those behind the scenes and those who contribute regularly to my blog! Each and every person in my life genuinely inspires me in their own unique way and for that I am grateful! Who or what are you grateful for right now?! 

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you how excited I am for the future! 2015 has started so well and I have big hopes and dreams which I am planning on actioning this year! What are your big goals for 2015?! 

So, if we were having coffee, what would you tell me?!

Elle :) 
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