28.7.15

Elle: What I Eat In A Week

I'm not really sure where I got the inspiration for this post; I think it was a number of different posts elsewhere talking about how athletes eat, tips for meal prepping and then writing my blogiversary post where I talked about how much my eating habits have changed spurred me on to share what I actually eat on a day to day basis.

I'm currently contemplating doing another Whole30 but then a part of me just can't be bothered, if I'm honest. Then I thought, how about a Whole15; and to be honest, I still can't be bothered. Right now, anyway. I'm sure when the time is right, I will do another.

So here's a little overview of what's really been going on my plate...


Breakfast

Breakfast for me depends on how much time I have to prepare it. Over the last few weeks, typically I've had...

Rude Health Granola topped with fruit (usually blueberries), almond milk
Paleo Mint Chip Smoothie
- Cuckoo Bircher Muesli...


...which I got to try out for a whole week*! I tried the Apricot & Madagascan Vanilla, Choco Sour Cherry and Apple & Cinnamon Spice. They're made with jumbo oats and creamy West Country yoghurt which my stomach could tolerate! The ingredients are fresh which means they need to be kept chilled; hence why I didn't get to try all 5 flavours after a couple of them didn't survive the journey home on the Central Line! 



I loved how versatile they were though; I had one for breakfast, one as dessert and one as a snack! They retail for £1.99 which I think is pretty reasonable for such a fresh, tasty and satisfying product! If you wanna pick yourself up a pot, head over to Waitrose, Whole Foods or AMT Coffee!

On the weekends I'll go for the whole sha-bang;

- Eggs, bacon, tomato, avocado and whatever else is in the fridge that I can stuff on my plate
- Croissants, orange juice and granola with blended fruit
Smoothie Bowl with a whole variety of toppings!


Snacks

Here's a list of all the snack options I've grazed my way through in the past couple of weeks! I normally get hungry after breakfast, around 10 - 11am and on Friday's evenings when I don't get to eat until 8.15pm after work and teaching.

- Cashews
- 9bars*

- Graze box*
- Nakd bar
- Fruit (mostly plums in the last couple of weeks)
- Sushi from Itsu
- Rice cakes covered in dark chocolate from Pret a Manger
- Almond milk latte from Pure

I try really, really hard to always carry a healthy snack in my bag with me and sometimes, I just fancy something a bit sweet (hence the rice cakes with chocolate). There were two days in a row where I got breakfast from Pret (a granola pot) but also had a chocolate croissant. Then I thought it was getting out of hand so forbade myself any more chocolate croissants!

Lunch and Dinner 



Typically, I have the same meals for lunch as I do dinner; I usually cook enough of a meal for 2-3 portions which takes the pressure off me cooking the next day and means I have a healthy option to pack in my bag for lunch.

- Bolognese with gluten free pasta
- Vegan sausages with new potatoes and broccoli
- Salmon fillet with new potatoes and broccoli
- Sushi from Itsu
- Whole roast chicken (5 servings)
- Moroccan fish stew (Abel & Cole)
- Pork chops (pictured above - Abel & Cole)
- Chicken & noodle dish (Abel & Cole)

A few weeks ago, I ordered a recipe box from Abel and Cole. It contained the ingredients for 3 recipes (2 servings each) so lasted me for 5 meals (and the time my mum came for dinner!). I loved the recipes; I did think they were a little laborious (maybe just me being lazy after work?!) and thought the protein to carb ratio was way out (i.e the pork chop dish above, there was way too much rice and not enough meat on the one pork chop). I loved that every meal was organic and contained good servings of fruit and vegetables; something I don't find so easy to keep up with.

I'm a huge fan of the slow cooker too! I just throw the food in there overnight and wake up to a home cooked meal ready for lunch / dinner!

I feel like we've become a little judgmental of what others eat, and what philosophy they choose to follow. In my opinion, what works for others won't necessarily work for me so my main aim is to work out, meal by meal, what my body likes and doesn't. I do think that food is behind some of my issues (such as problem skin) and I'm determined to find out what exactly it is that's causing the issues!

So what's really been on your plate the last few weeks?! 

I'll be following up this post with my top tips for eating well! 


Elle :) 

p.s I got sent / given the items with a * to try and review; but all opinions are my own! Hell, I was even honest (and gutted) that I didn't get to try all 5 of the Cuckoo Bircher Muesli's! 

27.7.15

3 Trends For Summer Commuting

Technically it's summer here in London. Even on the days it's not too hot in the city, the underground seems to be sweltering. I even heard a rumour that temperatures can hit 50 degrees celsius which wouldn't surprise me at all!

With the risk of another tube strike coming our way too I thought I'd share ways to enjoy the beautiful days, avoid the stress of public transport and travel around the city (assuming you can get into the city first, right?!)!

1. Run / Walk


Number one on my list is to turn your commute into a run, run / walk or walk commute. Whether you choose to run or walk may also depend on facilities available at work once you arrive if you like to take a shower and freshen up. At one point I live just a 5km run from my workplace; running to work was so much more reliable than waiting for the bus and getting stuck in traffic. It also killed two birds with one stone and meant I got a workout in!


2. Scooter / Longboard


This seems to be a trend that is growing in the City of London  (envisage man in suit pushing himself along to meeting on scooter) and I'm on the verge of joining in! It seems that scooters and longboards are no longer just kids toys! I feel like it'll be a leg workout as well as some low intensity cardio built into your commute!


3. Cycle


Last but not least, either dust your own bike off or use a few quid to hire one in the City. There are pro's and cons to both options. If you take your own bike, you have to take a lock, find somewhere to lock it up and then you kinda have no choice but to cycle home too. If you hire a bike, you have to get to the pick up point, find a drop off point and hope there's a bike there when you want one but all you have to worry about is carrying a helmet (because we wear helmets).

Tell me, how do you beat public transport?! 


Elle :) 

24.7.15

#GetSpeedoFit Challenge 2015: The Halfway Point

Somewhere, I heard a statistic that it takes the average adult 20 hours of lessons to learn how to swim. I've probably just about hit that milestone in lessons so I guess that might technically mean I can swim? If I'm an average adult?!

We've just passed the halfway point of the 6 week #getspeedofit challenge - the point where it's basically do or die. Sink or swim. Literally.

Photo Credit: David Shepard

I have 3 short weeks to pull it out of the bag. Swim 3-4 times each week. Plus a little triathlon thrown in for good measure.

In the last 3 weeks, I've felt my confidence grow. There was a point though where I had a little crisis of confidence - I got into my head and started to panic about my capability in front crawl and was a little devastated that I would have no choice but to swim breaststroke in a triathlon I completed in May. On the day, it turned out that front crawl felt more comfortable for me - something that even surprised me a little!

It may sound stupid, but I felt a little self conscious before taking my training aids into the pool with me but now me and my fins (aka flippers) take charge of the lane!


In my most recent lesson with Speedo Coach Dan Bullock, we worked on drills to help my overall technique. This included ensuring I keep my front arm straight (and not push it down) when breathing, practising the position of my face when breathing and working on improving my kick through less bend in the knee.

You can download my 6 week training plan from the hub and give it a go!


...You'll know by know that I completed the challenge in addition to Windsor Triathlon. I wrote this post in real time but for some reason just didn't know how to finish it or how much to share. The full results of the 6 week challenge aren't out yet; we headed back to University of Bath to repeat the fitness testing. 

I haven't been in the pool as much since the challenge ended; I just needed some time out after dedicating more than 6 months to learning to swim and taking part in the triathlons. I miss it though and I'll be back. I still have one more triathlon to train for at the end of the season and I want to finish strong. 

It's been such an amazing journey; it's opened up the conversation with so many people I know, and those I don't know. I've learnt that many of us are not strong swimmers and even if I've inspired just one person to learn to swim or take up improver lessons I would class that as a success. 

What's your swimming like?! Would you take on a triathlon?! 

Elle :) 

23.7.15

Elle About Town, July 2015

It's been a few months since I've shared an Elle About Town post; there were lots of products I loved and shared in Elle Love's but I hadn't been to that many events or new classes! Now my main triathlon and swimming training is out of the way, I have time to mix up what I do! 

Here's what I've been up to or plan on getting up to in and about London Town! 

Events: #LJInspired Event with SportStylist 

Lorna Jane just launched their new book; Inspired! SportStylist hosted an awesome celebration at the Laboratories Spa in North London. Unfortunately, I missed the class with Carly (LJ Ambassador) but I made it in time to catch up with some of the lovely ladies in attendance and chat to some of the brand representatives.


Keep an eye out on FB and the blog for my thoughts on the book! My coffee table won't be the same!


Events: Graze Pop Up Snack Bar 

Last week, Graze launched their #goodtogo range. If you know the brand, you'll know them for supplying their yummy snack boxes via mail order subscription; but now, you will be able to pick them up in selected stores like Boots, Sainsburys and WHSmiths!


Of the 12 varieties that will be available my favourites are Juicy Peach & Raspberry (the uber healthy, one of my 5 a day choice) and Chocolate Pretzel Dippers (as my indulgent yet only 141 calories option). I've had the pleasure of trying all 12, and quite honestly can say there is not one I wouldn't eat again! It's great to see some good 'ol favourites in there (I used to subscribe when they launched 7 years ago and I was based in an office) as well as some new recipes!

Classes: Groove Cycle Dance 


I finally made it to a class! SJ invited me to one of her GrooveCycle classes and I jumped at the chance! I signed up for the dance version due to my schedule and it turned out to be just what it said on the tin! We learnt a choreographed routine on the bike and it took me right back to being at theatre school every Saturday busting some moves!

I wasn't sure I was even gonna survive past the warm up; don't go thinking this isn't a workout! But I made it to the end and literally needed food and my bed by the time we were done 60 minutes later! I urgently recommend you check out the website and have a gander at the awesome videos!

Next time (because there will be a next time!) I would love to video the routine so you can see what the heck I looked like! I'm sure how I feel in my head doesn't quite translate to reality...

Events: London Bloggers Picnic in the Park 

The London Bloggers crew got together again for some summer sun in the park one Saturday afternoon! We chatted all things London and all things blogging whilst supping on prosecco and nibbling on all sorts of snacks.

Photo: Jessie_JCarlson on IG
I also caught up with some of the gang at the Olympus PEN Party; it was an evening with a talk from an Olympus sponsored blogger, the chance for us to get our photo taken by a top fashion photographer and a few drinks and nibbles!


Coming Up....

Photography - The 101 Workshop  
As if you don't already know that I've organised a workshop for bloggers and enthusiatists! Taking place on Sunday 16th August in London - check out the full details and book here at www.keepitsimpelle.com/workshops ...hope to see you there! #ThePhoto101 



I'll also be....

Running with Dame Kelly Holmes 

Attending the So Much More Industry Insider Event 

...and attending the Brooks Thank You Running Hour Event :) 

What's fun stuff is coming up for you in the next month?! 


Elle :) x

21.7.15

Things I Wanna Learn From #ThePhoto101


I created the group London Bloggers last year when I realised that locally there was no resource for us to come together, share ideas and learn. We have lots of interesting conversations in the group and one regarding photography led to me organising this workshop. There's a personal interest in it for me as well as giving other bloggers and enthusiasts the opportunity to learn and be inspired.

Here's what I wanna get out of the workshop in August:


I remember being in conversation with a brand and they mentioned they liked the images I used on my blog. This was a major factor for them in choosing to work with me and providing me with their product to share. As the quote above says; images transcend words.

I've always been into photography. I had my first camera with film and everything so many years ago. Since digital cameras came about I have probably updated mine every 2 - 4 years before iPhones came along! I bought my last digital camera at the airport as I jetted off to Miami some 5 or 6 years ago and recently upgraded to the Olympus PEN E - PL7.


I've had the PEN a few weeks now and take it everywhere with me; I read somewhere that you should take pictures everyday so I try.


I want to...

...Be able to make the most out of my camera and move away from auto mode. When I speak to photography friends and tell them I use auto mode, I feel like a little part of their soul dies. But it's only easy when you know how, right?!

...have time to get my head around things! The last workshop I attended gave out notebooks at the end so it meant I couldn't remember a thing to write down (I like to write; that's my learning style!) and it lasted just 30 minutes. At #ThePhoto101 we have 3 hours with Eulanda and our peers! I'm hoping to get notebooks so no one need worry about not having anything to write on!

...have the opportunity to ask questions and also hear questions from others that I didn't even know I needed the answer to!

...share what I know, get new ideas from others and meet people who have a shared interest!

...maybe arrange meet ups after the workshop for "mini shoots" where we can take those outfit / outdoor pictures of each other that we've been meaning to take for months and get to put our new found knowledge and skills to work!

Are you looking to improve your photography skills?! If you're in London on Sunday 16th August, please book your ticket {here} and join us for #ThePhoto101

What's your top photography tip?! 

Elle :) 
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