Update – Diet and Supplements

Now that I’m Back on the Wagon, it’s time to start talking about what I’m doing to lose that 8 kg I gained while I was away in San Francisco. I’m starting off with the

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fundamentals – nothing crazy to get myself sorted. Just some Thermal CLA to help with my fat burning and metabolism. These are just some liquid gel tablets that you take twice daily, I’ve used them before when I was at the peak at my running. Using them I never got crazy tired or lethargic even after doing longer runs in the beginning.

So I’d recommend for people who are maybe struggling with the fatigue of running after you’ve done some training to maybe ask for a sample in your local health shop. See how you get on and if they improve anything for you. I started taking them before my runs and I’m definitely able to still have a productive day after it because I’m not wiped from the exercise. So I’d say its’ worth giving a go.

Added to that, I’m using some Whey protein as my post workout drink. This stuff tastes pretty good to me, which is something you can’t really say for a lot of Whey Protein products. (Though, I have heard from some friends of mine that they can recommend better tasting Whey Proteins than this – but I want to get to the end of this before I start trying others. But when I do move to a different brand I’ll let you know!)

Right now, I’m making it with milk and not water. But I’m beginning to slowly adjust the ratio. As I don’t generally drink milk or have a consistent source of calcium so I feel like this is the best way to do that. But I’m trying to dilute it with more water so that I’m able to keep up that intake too.

IMG_20170821_122919.jpgAs for foods, I’m incorporating more leaf greens into my diet along with nuts, seeds and veg. So a combination that I’m liking at the minute is having a “warm” salad for lunch which consists of different types of seeds, greens and mushrooms along with some form of meat. But I’m forgoing the typical dressings. As I cook out the veg and the protein so you don’t need the additional sauce or dressing.

It’s a combination that has been working really well for me, and I’m going to be more experimental in future to see how well I can incorporate different combinations to make my diet more interesting and varied.

When I come up with some decent recipes you can be sure that I’ll be posting them here. So, keep an eye on the blog as normal.

I think that’s it for everything food and supplement wise for now. I will of course keep you guys updated on how everything else is going moving forward and don’t forget to check out my twitter @mslaurafagan & my instagram @myspecious for more daily updates!

An Easter Sunday Run

What I cooked for Easter Sunday and a running update.

Kit:

Shoes: Brooks Adrenaline GET 17.

Fitness Tracker: Fitbit Charge 2 HR

Top: F&F Active (To be replaced)

Bra: Reebok High Impact Z63962

Trousers: New Balance Impact Carpri DAF

Today was more of a walk than a run today, I didn’t manage to break any records or anything today. My pace was overall slower today as I’m taking a break from the couch to 5k and just did a 30 minute brisk walk today keeping a steady 5.6km/h.

When we came home, myself and Splintor cooked up a really nice dinner. We had some thin beef strips, we roasted some carrots, parsnips and potatoes then we sauteed off some mushrooms in some butter and olive oil.

Everything took 40mins to cook in total and I’ll give the instructions down below.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Parsnip
  • 4 small potatoes  (about the same size)
  • 150g of thin beef steaks
  • 50g of button mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Teaspoon of butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary & Thyme

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° while you’re getting everything prepared.
  2. Put a tablespoon of olive oil into a baking tin and pop it in the oven to let the dish & oil warm up while you’re preparing the potatoes
  3. With the skin on take the potatoes & generously coat them in olive oil, salt & pepper.
  4. With oven gloves remove your dish from the oven and place your potatoes in the tray and pop them back in the oven leave them for 40 minutes.
  5. Prep your carrots and parsnips by cutting them into equal sizes and covering them with olive oil popping them onto a oven tray for 20 minutes. (Drissling a little honey over them for the last 5 minutes is a nice touch)
  6. Bring your steaks up to room temperature and then coat them generously with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a preheated skillet for 3 minutes total and let to rest for 3 minutes.
  7. Sauteé some mushrooms by cooking them in a pan with equal parts butter and olive oil for 5 minutes until a desired colour.

The Nutrilent Challenge!

The real people at Nutrilent (Hi Seyit!) have given me some samples of their Soylent Alternative.

FULL DISCLOSURE: They gave me some samples of their banana, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate flavours and provided us with two shakers. I only paid for shipping for the items! All together I paid E12

For those who don’t know what Nutrilent is

Nutrilent Super Food contains the perfect amount of every single nutrient your body needs. Every protein, fiber, vitamin, mineral, carbohydrate and fatty acid your body needs on a daily basis, packed into 3 tasty and easy shakes. You can live on Nutrilent for the rest of your life and you would probably be super healthy. We, however, envisioned it as the perfect meal replacement for the moments in life where you don’t have time to cook or eat.

So that’s it! You get 3 meal bags to last you the day. I’m personally a bit wary of doing something like this, mainly cause I like solid food. But, due to me getting married in the next while I feel it might be time to see if I can feel fuller without always picking at unhealthy alternatives to food. (I’m drinking way too much hot chocolate!) Bouncing around from contract to contract means I’m always moving from different places. Particularly when I am atm there aren’t good healthy alternatives for food, nor does the building I’m in mainly cater for people to bring in their own food. So, this may prove to be a good alternative for me to feel fuller, lose a bit of weight and remain healthier.

So Splinter and I decided we’d give it a whirl, you may be able to find his own thoughts about the process there! (I don’t know for certain if he’s gonna blog about the experience) We started by pouring the contents of the meal packages into the shakers that were provided for us along with our preference for milk. Being the more hesitant of the two about the whole process, I decided that starting off with a chocolate milk I liked would be the best way of proceeding.

The process was as painless as you can get. Pour bag into a cup, pour milk into a cup. Shake cup. Put in fridge. They recommend you leave the nutrient overnight, so that’s what we did.

After letting it chill and taking it into work, I can definitely report that it doesn’t taste bad. It’s far more chunky than I anticipated though, and I haven’t quite decided if the texture is for me. But it’s for more palatable than I thought it would be, so I’ll keep you up to date with how I’m progressing throughout the day!

UPDATE 17th of March 2016:

So after my first day of nutrient, I can safely say it didn’t go all that well. I found myself not even making it through the first meal bag. (as its now day 2 and I’m finishing off the first package! )

The main thing I felt about it was that I felt so thirsty while just sipping it throughout the day that I felt a reluctance to keep going with it. So while I felt full and satisfied, I most certainly wasn’t expecting it.

Now in saying that, this may be a personal thing as Splinter drank it in one go and was no different thirst wise throughout the day. So maybe it has something to do with the way my body is absorbing the nutrients . So I’ll see if I can get through what’s left of my meal bag for today and see how I feel for the rest of the day!

Mix & Match: Left overs – Turnabout Pastabake! (Anyone get the reference?)

This is something I’d wanted to try for a while, how to utilise a combination of canned food and left overs to make a new dish for dinner. 

So this is what I came up with. 



I’d previously cooked before a tomatoe sauce with lentils and chickpeas and I wanted to see how I could make it into a pasta bake for the following day. 

I cheated quite a bit with this, I’ll be the first to admit. Relying on only canned produce as its the end of the month so making every euro stretch is important.

Next time I promise to take photos of the cans but to make the sause was the following:

– 1 can of chopped tomatoes 
– 1 can of lentils 
– 1 can of chickpeas
– 1 can of cream of tomatoe soup 
– 4 slices of bacon 

I fried up the bacon first till it was crispy then deglased the frying pan with the chopped tomatoes so it retained all the deliciousness of the cooked bacon. The trick here was to not cut down the chopped tomatoes too finely as you want to give the sause some added texture. After that I threw in the lentils and the chickpeas cooked them down till they became infused with the tomatoe and bacon, it takes only a few minutes. Then I added the tomatoe soup and cooked it down for 10 minutes before turning it off the heat and chopping up the bacon and throwing it in towards the end. 

Canned tomatoe soup may seem odd but it’s packed full of the things you’d want out of a sause. That touch of creaminess, the preseasoned touches you find in soups that give an added taste and texture with little effort. 

For someone who generally hand makes their own sauses (which I do mainly cause I’m a stickler for what’s actually in ingredients) I was reluctant to actually trust canned ingredients but once you look at the labels (Pro Tip: in Ireland you’re looking for all green logos at the bottom.)

With these ingredients 

Basically you want all of the green labels and the ingredients to be exactly what you actually want. So for instance, carrots, you want there to be in a can: Carrots, water. The antioxidants bit I don’t mind as much, it’s a fairly common thing in natural perservatives. Be aware of something that says its just Carrots or peas and has a reem of red labels and more ingredients then just the carrots. It’s why in a lot of cases frozen food is a good way to go. But that can get a little boring! However I digress. 

I poured some pre blanched pasta ( basically some semi cooked pasta) everything into a casserole dish along with some breadcrumbs with mixed cheese (red & white on top) cooked it all for 30-40 minutes at 180o with a fan oven. 

A table spoon of this over the top of the dish and that’s the dinner! 

There are empty plates all round so can’t really complain about how it went. So ultimately we can consider this experiment a success! 

Brown Thomas: Restaurant Treat

Sorry for the lack of posts on this particular section; as I haven’t been eating a lot of food/skipping meals due to my sleep schedule. I find myself super lethargic during the day, and I’m not too sure what’s causing it.

Anyway Splinter and I decided that after a trip to the dentist we should treat ourselves (I also had to resist the urge to buy an ice cream making kit. There would be no such thing as moderation if I brought it home.)
Now while I don’t usually go for salads, and it was an expensive salad at that (€15) I was genuinely surprised how filling it was. Even now, several hours later I’m still full from my salad & don’t think I’ll be making dinner tonight!
It’s completely changed the way I’ve looked at salad & I’m a die hard fan of the phrase “if it’s not meat it’s not a meal.”

 

That’s what I had taken directly from the menu itself. I’ll place a link down below for anyone who wants to check out the menu for themselves.
Upon taking my first bite I had my reservations, it tasted extremely vinegary.
Once you started combining the textures & flavours of the bacon with the lettuce and pine nuts or the exceptionally well-cooked chicken (still remaining moist well after it was cooled) with the croutons and tomatoes. It became a harmonious melody of flavours and combinations that was always refreshing every time you took a bite and was brave with the taste changes.
The one complaint I’d have about it is that my palate may have been a little too confused. When I got to midway through my salad and had run out of a drink. I didn’t know what I should drink to complement the salad. I only didn’t know, which was unusual for me. I think it had to do with the flavour combinations that I was putting together where just one pairing may not have worked 100% of the time. But that’s a small enough gripe for something that was so substantial. Everything about the food was superb. 
 
For those who are interested Splinter had the steak and eggs with soda bread.
 

 

Now eggs are one of the things I cannot eat. I just don’t like the taste or smell of them, which arguably would make me a poor food critic but how and ever. I just think we all have things we don’t like.

I can happily inform you that the soda bread which I tried was incredible. Whoever does the baking in The Restaurant should be incredibly proud of themselves, it’s how proper soda bread should taste. Had all the pop flavour but yet was still rustic but soft. To me the personification of perfection.
Splinter also reports that the steak was “excellent” and the egg was “Epic, beautiful and funny as soon as I cut into it.
And I’m afraid that’s all the food critique you’ll ever get out of Splinter.
For those of you who frequent Dublin City regularly, and want a good meal for two without a massive price tag but doesn’t skip on quality: then we’d highly recommend The Restaurant. The atmosphere is very pleasant, the staff are warm, and the pricing is overall for the quality of the food you’re getting very reasonable. Including drinks, the food (including a side of fries for Splinter) it came to €46.

 

Saturday night chicken

So we found a whole chicken for €4. So we couldn’t really pass it up! Along with a load of frozen veg that will get us through at least 2 months, I’d say it was a good haul. 

Edit: I won’t give any advice for cooking chicken, as you should always follow the instructions on the packet! For this particular chicken (1.5kg) the instructions were to cook it for 1 hour & 10 minutes per 1kg. I left the chicken in for 1 hour and 40 minutes, as our oven is quite hot. I had it started off for the first 45 minutes at 180 Degrees, then lowered it to 160 for the rest of the time. 

So I decided stuffing the chicken was in order: 


Now my stuffing might look very green to you guys but it does have some power greens in it that has added vitamins in it- but doesn’t alter the flavour! You can buy it at any health food shop for about €20. Expensive, I know. However when you’re trying to boost your daily intake of food, you’d be surprised as to what one or two tea spoons of that in what you eat will do for your body!

I made the stuffing in the only way I know how:

– 1 large whole onion
– about 250g of breadcrumbs (I just use whatever breads that’s left over and freezed it)
– lots of Parsley
– lots of thyme 
– some Rosemary 

It’s a slightly unusual combination but I’ve never had any complaints about it!

I’ve also decided to base the chicken with honey every 45 minutes just to give it that crispy sweet outside
I’ll be sure to update you later on with more pictures and how it all tasted!


Updated: 12/7

It was absolutely delicious! The chicken was moist, and slightly sweet, which was a great offset to the ever so slightly bitter taste of the stuffing! (I may have put in too much rosemary, or it might not have been the freshest – I’m not really too sure which.)

I would show a picture of the final product, but I’m afraid it was that tasty that I ate it too quick to take a picture! ^_^ 

At least its the sign of a good meal.

We’ve got a good load of chicken & stuffing left over so we’ll have more for tomorrow. There are a couple of things I wanna do with the left over chicken over the next day or so, maybe some chicken and sweetcorn soup, or some chicken vol eu vans (sp?) 

Hopefully I’ll have some creatives alternatives for leftovers tomorrow! 

10 minute Dinner on a Monday Night

For the unaware, I’m very interested in my food and how its cooked. Its a passion I’ve developed since I’ve moved out into my own home and have had to cook for someone else. These are going to be the exploration into the food I cook daily or nightly. If you’re vegetarian this is not going to be a  post for you. As I like my mean way too much to be doing many vegetarian options. 
I try to keep my dinners as healthy as possible, cutting down on fat and making healthy substitutions as I go. 

Not your average Steak and Chips

This was a serlion steak enough to well fill two people, I oiled the steak with extra virgin olive oil and then put it on a hot pan for 10 minutes total. 5 minutes each side. Myself and splinter prefer out meat Medium Rare, so for a steak that thick that was the minium we cooked it for. 
People give frozen veg such a bad rap but when you’re busy and broke frozen food is often you’re best asset in getting your daily requirement of veg. Today I used pretty good chunks of frozen sweetcorn and baby leaf spinach. Throw them both in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes while the steaks cooking and jobs and gooden! I always like to throw in after the cooking process and the water is drained adding a teaspoon of Flora into the pot and melt it through, gives everything a bit more taste. 
I’ve been really interested in adding supplements to our diet. I’ve been using the Linwoods Mini Variety Healthy Food Packs. Admittedly its a running experiment to see how everything tastes and I’m happy to report that I’m liking it so far, its something subtle that you won’t really notice. Though as its something I always throw in on top of the plates or towards the end of the meal you do have to remember to put it in. But that is what I find the biggest obstacle is. Other then that, the tastes are very palatable and can add a great layer of dept in the texture of your food without making the experience jarring. The one thing myself and mark can report from using them, is that we do feel noticeably fuller after eating a meal. So we’re not binge eating as much or eating out of boredom. 
This is the final product, which I’m happy to report was very tasty. Slight miscommunication with Splinter about the chips, but sure it was still tasty with the addition of chips. 


Chips makes everything taste better.