Month: October 2016

Whole 30: Week two in review

Week two flew by, I literally don’t know where the week went. Not once did I panic about food or what I was planning, nor did I ever feel hungry. I continued to enjoy my smoked salmon, boiled egg and spinach for breakfast each day, as well as a salad from my work cafeteria.

I cooked my first ever roast beef on Monday night and my other half was thrilled – he’s northern, so anything roasted with meat and vege is his absolute favourite. It was even pink in the middle and not chewy at all! We skipped the gravy of course, but it was full and happy bodies all around.

On Thursday I tweaked Daniel Green’s nut crust salmon recipe from his cookbook: instead of adding macadamia nuts, almonds, almond flour and an egg, I wanted something crisper with more BANG flavour. So I through almonds, lemon rind, chilli, cracked pepper and dill into my food processor to whizz up the salmon crust. Amazing.

Salmon with a crust of almond, dill, chilli, cracked pepper and lemon zest all whizzed up in the food processor
Salmon with a crust of almond, dill, chilli, cracked pepper and lemon zest all whizzed up in the food processor

On Saturday I made a Whole 30 approved Thai green curry using a paste I found in the supermarket that was completely compliant – win!

Chicken Thai green curry
Chicken Thai green curry served on cauliflower rice

Sunday was the best breakfast of the week, partly because we had been out for a walk around Greenwich Park first to work up an appetite, but mainly because my other half made it and I didn’t have to move a muscle (except to pour my coffee).

Guilt-free breakfast, while not lifting a finger.
Guilt-free breakfast, while not lifting a finger.

I did weigh myself on day one, Monday 17th, and weighed myself again a week later, on Monday just been. In Whole 30 rules this  a huge no-no. But I love seeing the progress – you can’t see the difference straight away, even though you feel lighter and 100 gazillion times better. I still like to see the weight loss – to me that is fact that I am going in the right direction and to keep me motivated. Plus I’m a rebel. The good news is that in a week I had lost 1.7kgs (3.8lbs). But that’s mostly butter and wine weight, there’s lots more to go. I’m excited to see what the difference is this Monday coming.

 

Pampering and a product review: hair mask

neon-sign-465x345One of my good friends and I went for a bit of pampering this weekend in Clapham. We hit the London Grace nail bar and spoilt ourselves with shellac nails. Well actually, she spoilt me with shellac nails as a thank you for them staying with us. I’m a very lucky girl! The nail bar is beautiful and the staff are so friendly – I definitely recommend if you’re in London. Of course, I had to behave and order a black Americano, not a glass of prosecco. But that didn’t dampen my spirits – I was still thrilled for some R&R time. I haven’t been for a manicure in ages!

Fresh nails and fresh pressed juice (carrot, apple, lemon and ginger)
Fresh nails and fresh pressed juice (carrot, apple, lemon and ginger)

After our pampering and nail tidy up we walked through the markets in Camden and picked up some fresh pressed juices. Markets can be the hardest thing to wander while you’re trying to eat healthy. All the cheese, baked sweets and pastries and fresh baked bread can be very tempting! We managed to stick to the pressed juices before hitting the Common to extend our walk and chat. It was nice to be outside – breathing in the fresh air you often don’t expect in the city but the parks are just beautiful.

On the way back from our park walk we spotted an Oliver Bonas – my most coveted store. EVERY time I go in I purchase something. It’s a drug. I can’t help myself. Even if my boyfriend is with me telling me I don’t need something – less face it, when a man 1077469_oliver-bonas_gift_oh-k-hair-masksays that it only fuels your determine to buy it. I will not be told! On this occasion, being with a girlfriend, you only spur each other on – “oh you totally need that, it’s an investment”. So with her wiping the guilt from my mind I bought Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar – investment. As well as an Oh K! Hair Mask for us each. Now I have used a lot of hair masks in the past – I have blonde hair (not all of it natural, shush) but this means it dries out easily. Not to mention the awful, hard water in London that strips your hair of anything it has left. I followed the instruction on the packet – was hair with shampoo (no need for conditioner), towel dry and then add the conditioning treatment. Once you have rubbed it in from roots to tip you pop on the mask and massage that on your head for a couple of minutes. Then you wait, 10-15mins. You can actually feel the cap warming up on your head. Once baked, take it off and rinse you hair. Holy cow, it’s like silk. I was so impressed – I just can’t stop stroking it. The test of time will be how long it lasts, if it feels dry and crunchy after one wash I will have to re-write this post, but currently I’m over the moon and hoping the silky, smoothness lasts.

Book Review: The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo

Hilarious. Sometimes serious, but a good mix the with funny moments. Some chapters must have been hard for Schumer to write, sharing very personal life moments. But the overall book is heartfelt with great humour running through it. There was the odd bit that I felt were overdone – but for the book as a whole – I’d recommend it for a summer read, if you’re looking for something light and easy to read.

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The wardrobe I desire.

You may be aware that I am currently doing a Whole 30 detox/cleanse. I know what you’re thinking – oh, really Bron? You shove it down our throat in every Instagram snap and every other blog post. I know, I apologise. But I’m just so happy about it and proud of myself that I’m going to keep shoving it down your throat until you run away or join the craze and sip lemon and mint water with me all day long.

Part of my Whole 30 goal is to lose weight, don’t get me wrong, I am loving the other benefits, but for me weight loss is the biggest factor. I currently weigh more than I ever have and I absolutely hate it. I’ve dieted a lot in my life and been up and down, at my lightest I was 30kgs (4 stone, 10lbs) less than my weight now, I was healthy. Just because I’m overweight doesn’t mean I don’t know what a healthy lifestyle is. When people start barking off weight loss advice; “just drink water, lower your sugar and fat intake and add more exercise” I just want to punch them. I know what I should do, it’s just actually bloody doing it. Because at the end of a week, a glass of wine and a cheesy pasta are so damn appealing.

Anywho, as part of my determination and end goal, I want to kit myself out with a whole new wardrobe. But this can’t happen until I am out of my ‘fat sizes’ and back into my healthy range. I have started saving clothing items and outfits as inspiration. This morning on my way to work I walked passed an M&S window display with a mannequin in skinny cut grey jeans, a simple, loose black tee, a collared, burnt orange coat and black ankle boots. That outfit for me was perfection. So much so, I nearly walked into the window.

Below are some of my top favourite fashion wants. You’ll notice that jeans appear quite often, this is because I don’t really wear them now. The struggle that comes with trying to squeeze my porky ass into the tight sausage-like casings just isn’t worth the effort.

Coffee

Yesterday I tweeted about a girl I overheard with a bonkers request whilst ordering my morning crack coffee. Each day I go to the same Eat store on my way to work and order a black Americano (long black), the people there know me now, they’re sweet and always work extra hard to get my coffee to me quick.

So what did this girl request? She asked for a “cappuccino with no foam”. I was thinking, is she serious? She had a serious face and had a take-no-bullshit look about her. I felt bad for my friends behind the counter who were now going to have to make this non-cappuccino cappuccino. She’s lucky I wasn’t working behind the counter as I would have said quite quickly – what the fuck is that? Do you mean a white Americano? But they smiled and nodded and went on their merry way to make this crazy lady’s hot beverage. I nearly turned to her and asked what a foam-free cappuccino was, what was the point?! She’s murdering an Italian classic. But then this is Eat, it’s not exactly a snobby Italian coffee bean spot – so I guess she had every right to amend it to her taste. But who doesn’t like foam?! Befuzzling.

You may be thinking, how can I even be drinking coffee while doing my Whole 30? It’s approved I’ll have you know. Bizarre, because I doubt the cavemen got out their percolators to brew their hot drinks on a daily basis, but the Whole 30 gurus are happy for us to stay caffeinated. Of course I’m having mine milk and foam free, so not breaking any rules. You’re probably better off without the addiction, but one cup a day isn’t hurting me. Well it could be, as without it my boyfriend doesn’t like being around me. Apparently I’m a monster (his words), I think he’s just being sensitive. Coffee is good for everyone – even without that bloody foam that gets in the way.

coffee
Me in the morning.

Portobello Road Markets, London

This weekend, as we have Kiwi buds staying, and because we’ve never been (in the four years we’ve lived here! Shocking!) we hit the Portobello Road Markets near Notting Hill. I love playing tourist in the city I live in. It makes you remember what it was like when you first arrived. Exciting and shiny and new. Not the 9-5 drab, painful commute you go through every single day, but the amazing scenes and experiences that make London such a stunner of a city.

portobello-rd

We took in the beautifully coloured houses, the local buskers banging on their drums and strumming their tennis racquets (!) while breathing in the smells of the musky antiques and the sizzling, hot Bavarian sausages.

cake-sliceI, always sucked in by an antique purchase, bought a beautiful silver cake slice. I love all things old-school for the home and couldn’t resist it. I love the idea that one day, when I’m grown up with a house in New Zealand serving pavlova for friends and family, I will pull out this shiny, silver cake slice and think back to the time I was in London – specifically the day I hit the Portobello Markets.

Being on a Whole 30 diet limited my options in the market – but I spoilt myself with a fresh fruit juice from Joe & The Juice. juiceI had a Sex Me Up – passionfruit, apple and ginger – divine. On the way back through the market we decided to try a Bavarian sausage (no bread, ketchup or mustard was eaten on this trip). The sausage at the time was heavenly. I was starving. However at 2am that night I was in pain. Stabbing, bacteria soaked sausage pains woke me up from my sleep and caused the hypochondriac in me to think I was having a miscarriage. Please note, I am not pregnant, nor are we trying. But the pain was so immense I was having hugely irrational thoughts and the symptoms seemed like those I’ve read in novels or seen in films. Thankfully it was not the miscarriage fear I expected, and it was simply a case of food poisoning. Rancid sausage food poisoning.

queenA top highlight was bumping into Queen Liz, or so she thought she was. Crown, purse and the wave to boot the Queen impersonator made my day. She smiled and waved and even danced with some kids as the buskers played. I don’t know if she really thought she was the Queen, or if she did it as a way of busking/entertaining the crowds, but she sure pulled in the attention.

If you haven’t been, go. All markets in London offer different things, Portobello definitely offers more of the old school market in my mind, antiques and such. Where others can be more based around trendy things and clothing, this market is a brick-a-brack gold mine.