Breakfast Date

Another trip to the Cosy Club, Stamford brought another happy start to the day.  As we have mentioned previously, this place is our go to eatery in Stamford.  Fantastic food, staff and atmosphere provide an tranquil place to relax and enjoy your Sunday morning.

There is nothing better than relaxing somewhere with a nice coffee and great food.

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Cosy eggs with salmon and spinach……To die for

Breaking the Fast

I have to admit that I struggle to eat first thing in the morning.  I fully understand the importance of breakfast and since I have started to cycle to work, this has now become a very important meal for me.  But what can you do to train yourself to eat when you really don’t want to?  Here are my tips:

  • Have an amazing wife like mine who understands that I have to consume healthy calories and provides me with delicious alternatives to a mundane breakfast.  But unfortunately, my wife is not available to rent, so you will have to get your own amazing partner 🙂
  • Don’t think of it as breakfast, think of it as eating to power your body for training.
  • Make sure that you have something prepared.  Saves time in the morning and you don’t have to overthink what you are going to eat.
  • Consume a kickstart infusion first thing in the morning.  This works for me and by the time I am ready to go out to work, I am ready to eat.
  • Be mindful of your energy requirements for the day.
  • Experiment with new things.  If you want a soup for breakfast, then have it.  Breakfast does not have to consist of the usual cereal, toast etc………..
  • Have a go to breakfast that you enjoy.  Mine at the moment is Blueberry & Banana Buckwheat Breakfast Muffins.  Extremely delicious and certainly hits the spot.  Provides a sweet hit which I love because I have a sweet tooth.  They are very easy to consume and does not sit heavily on the stomach – perfect for me as that last thing I want to do is cycle on a full/heavy stomach.
  • Drink water – Hydrate before you caffinate!

So, I thought that I would share the Blueberry & Banana Buckwheat Breakfast Muffins recipe with you all.

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Ingredients:

  • 200g buckwheat flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 150g blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
  • Mix the buckwheat flour, ground almonds and baking powder together in a bowl.  Mash the bananas well and combine with the eggs and honey.
  • Melt the coconut oil and add to the egg mixture in a thin stream while continually whisking.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and lightly combine until no flour pockets remain.  Fold in the blueberries, then divide the mixture between the muffin cases (enough mixture for 8 muffins).
  • Bake for 10-20 min until golden.  Leave to cool.

Per Muffin:

  • 240 kcals
  • 6.6g protein
  • 9g fat (3.8g saturates)
  • 35.2g carbs
  • 3.3g fibre
  • 14.8g sugar
  • 0.1g sodium

Eat and enjoy………………..

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Liebster Blog Award

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A huge thank you to the lovely Laura from A traveler’s Kitchen, for nominating us (Head4Fitness) for the Liebster Blog Award.  In the true spirit of the Liebster Blog Award, we would like to nominate the following deserving blogs.  In no particular order, please put your hands together for:

Robinson’s Strength and Endurance Coaching

Alex Curtis – Health & Fitness Specialist

Lazymomcooking

Inside Out Health

Train. Inspire. Change.

How it Works

  1. You are nominated by another blogger, who has also been nominated.
  2. The nominator comes up with 11 questions, which the nominee is expected to answer.
  3. You must then come up with 11 questions of your own and pose them to your nominees. If the nominees choose to accept, they answer your questions, select blogs they would like to nominate, and then give them 11 questions

Here are the 11 questions Laura asked me:

What is your favourite place to travel?

Germany.  Their Frühstück buffets are to die for!  In our opinion, their way of life is perfect; working to live, not living to work.

What are your 3 favourite hobbies?

  • Nordic Walking – Its not just for the older fraternity!
  • Upcycling – Using Annie Sloane paints to turn furniture into something amazing.
  • Cooking – Learning how to turn simple ingredients into tasty, delicious eats.

Why did you decide to start blogging?

We wanted to journal our road to a healthier lifestyle and hopefully influence others to do the same.

What are your biggest goals for 2016?

To accomplish our reasons for blogging.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

  • T – I would like to be a psychologist.
  • R – I would like to be a Director of Sport.

What is something you are afraid of?

  • T – Dogs.  Ironic because we have a Springer Spaniel.
  • R – Not achieving my goals.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Germany.  See question 1.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

Getting in an aeroplane.  Not a great fan of flying!

What is your favourite thing about blogging?

Being proud of what we have achieved and sharing it with others.

What motivates you the most?

Our children.  Educating them to become healthy adults so they can pass it on to their children.

What is your favourite recipe?

Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Leek and Turkey Pie – A post Christmas favourite in our household.

Here are our questions for the bloggers we have nominated:

  1. If you could be anybody for one day, who would it be?
  2. What 5 things would you take with you to a desert island?
  3. Why are you blogging?
  4. What is your favourite song?
  5. If there was a movie to be made about you, which actor would play you?
  6. What is the best piece of blogging advice that you have learnt?
  7. Where in the World are you?
  8. What is your favourite holiday destination?
  9. Cat or dog?
  10. If you won the lottery, what would your first purchase be?
  11. Who is your idol?

 

Scrumptious black bean and quinoa bowl.

So, Sunday evenings are always pretty busy in the kitchen prepping foods for the following weeks packed lunches. My husband has started a new job and cycles the 50mile round trip most days, phewww!! We needed to make sure he had plenty of nutritious snacks plus a good lunch that wasn’t too big or heavy to carry or eat (he’s a fussy eater; it’s like having an extra child in the house at time lol) but would provide him with a great nutritional hit. We love quinoa and used this recipe from Oh She Glows. I’ve never made this one before and can honestly say it is gorgeous, possibly my favourite quinoa recipe so far. This one is definitely a must to make!!! Follow the link for recipe, you won’t be disappointed 😀  Oh She Glows

We used red onion instead of the spring onion as I’d run out and it worked perfectly well 🙂

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Spicy Vegetable and Lentil Stew

Now, I am no Jamie Oliver, but I can follow a recipe.  Today though, I am really chuffed that not only have I formulated my own recipe but its edible too – Yippee! 🙂  On to bigger and better things 😉

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I love nothing more than a big satisfying bowl of vegetables.  My husband and kids love their protein, normally in the form of meat.  Now, I do eat meat, but I prefer vegetables, pulses and beans and happy without it.  This recipe is super easy to make, cheap and as a bonus can be frozen in batches for later use when you need a meal in a hurry.  It is low calorie, low fat.  My idea of a perfect dish, especially if you are looking at dropping a few pounds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 4 carrots (diced)
  • 2 parsnips (diced)
  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 400g tinned chopped tomato
  • 400g tin lentils (drained and rinsed)
  • 300ml veg stock
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt/pepper to taste.
  • handful of coriander (chopped)

Directions:

  • Fry off onion and garlic until soft.  Add all spices.  Cook for a further minute then add carrots, parsnips, cauliflower and coriander.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until all vegetables are covered in spice.
  • Add the tomato and veg stock.  Leave to simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add the lentils with around 10 minutes to go.

To serve, add this deliciousness to short grain brown rice.  Alternatively, it tastes just as good on a bed of spinach.  Serve with a dollop of yoghurt of your choice.  I have used dairy free soya yoghurt.  Coriander to garnish.

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SOS – Help with Cheesyness Required!

So, as with every other day, I sat this morning watching Good Morning Britain. At the moment, they have their usual New Year Slimming and Fitness segment which is fab and the dietary advice is brilliant. The show’s nutritionist brought out a batch of muffins; one sunflower seed and blueberry, the other a savoury courgette, chili and cheese. Well they looked amazing and I was desperate to make my own. I was keen to try and substitute the ingredients to make these vegan. We are not a vegetarian/vegan family, but I am working towards making as many plant based meals as possible and hope to gradually wean us off any animal based products, but still need help in finding good tasty healthy substitutes. I have children in the house so want to make sure their nutritional needs are met.

These muffins turned out great.  I wanted to substitute the eggs and researched that I could use Gram Flour (chickpea flour) mixed with water.  1/4 cup of Gram Flour mixed with 1/4 cup of water was a substitute for 1 egg.  I also substituted milk with Almond milk and the cheese with nutritional yeast.  The only thing is the savoury muffins did not taste cheesy enough!  They tasted lovely, but I missed that cheesy hit.  I wonder if any of you lovely people would be able to provide advice as to what to use to get a cheesier flavour?

Recipe for Savory Muffins:

1 onion, chopped
2 small courgettes, coarsely grated
2 cloves of garlic crushed (optional)
6 tbsp olive oil
2 free-range eggs, beaten – I substituted with 1/2 cup Gram Flour, 1/2 cup water
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
OR 1 heaped tsp of Baharat spice mix – I used Baharat spice mix
1 red chilli, finely chopped (keep seeds if you like hot or discard if you don’t)
100g mature cheese, chopped into small cubes – I used 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
200g wholemeal flour – I used buckwheat flour
1½ tsp baking powder
120 ml milk – I used almond milk

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / fan 160C / gas 4. Line a muffin tray with 10-12 muffin cases.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan then gently cook the onions and courgettes (and garlic if using) for 5 minutes or until just softened. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the eggs (or substitute) with the remaining oil, spices and cheddar cheese (or substitute).
    Fold in the flour and baking powder. Fold in the onion and courgette. Stir in enough milk to slacken mixture to a batter consistency.
  4. Divide between the muffin cases then bake for 20-25 minutes or until well risen, coloured and firm to the touch. Eat eaten warm or freshly baked

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Carrot Cake Cookies

As rubbish as I am with getting breakfast, my Wife decided to make these Carrot Cake Cookies.  They are so delicious, it is hard not to have breakfast after being presented with one of these.  Another recipe from Deliciously Ella, these are easy to make.  My wife cooked the mixture as a whole, cutting into bars once almost cooled.  Baking this way, my wife doubled the cooking time, lowered the oven temp to 160 and turned the bake over for the last 10 minutes.  We also switched dried sultanas for cranberries.

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