Monday, 23 May 2016

Brunch at Riding House Cafe

“It's unsettling to meet people who don't eat apples.”
― Aimee Bender, The Color Master: Stories 


This Sunday was a scheduled treat day... I say that as though the rest of the week was super healthy which would be untrue. I did really well until Friday evening when I had cocktails and fish and chips followed by ice cream and biscuits on Saturday... but at least I went to the gym.
I had arranged a well over due catch up with a couple of friends and we thought it would be fun to try Riding House Cafe. It's on Great Titchfield Street (behind Oxford Circus so perfect for a mid shop stop off) and luckily we'd booked ahead as it was packed. 
We were seated at a really lovely corner table with lots of space and we set about scanning the menu.. I went for the racer smoothie - chocolate, banana and soy milk (I'm a sucker for chocolate milkshake) followed by pancakes with berries, cream and maple syrup - sounds healthy right?!

Our food came before the drinks which was weird, but as they were so busy we let them off. The decor is great and the food was really lovely. There's only 2 ladies toilets so I found myself queuing which was frustrating, but the venue was full of 'ladies who brunch' so I guess it was inevitable.
It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area and I might check out the Sunday roast next time

x

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Stax Diner - Soho

“Just because I'm hungry doesn't mean I'm going to fall in love with a hamburger.”
― Ruth Harris


Last week my bestie and I had a date night in Soho. We went for chocolate cocktails at a bar near my office, which are delicious and deserve a post of their own.  After drinks we had planned to eat at Pizza Pilgrim but their queue was ridiculous so we hopped upstairs to Stax Diner for some fried chicken goodness. I've eaten there once before but only dessert, so this time we were ready to explore the savoury menu.


The irony of ordering a diet coke to go with my heart attack burger. I promise we shared the chips. I went for a buttermilk fried chicken burger with cheese, although I left half the bun and the coleslaw.

We managed to restrain ourselves from the excellent milkshake selection but decided to share a do-bro which is a deep fried brownie (shame emoji) with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce- delish.  The brownie didn't last long enough to be pictured I'm afraid.
Kingly Court is such a cute little destination and I do spend a lot of time there these days. Get yourself down there and join in the fun

x

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Guilt free choc-crispy cakes

 “If you love peanut butter pie, you are either Dolly Parton or someone who loves her.”
― Kate Lebo,
A Commonplace Book of Pie

So with a day off work I decided to have a 'me' day. I had a nice lie in, protein zoats for breakfast, took a trip into town, spent way too much money on holiday 'essentials' and a few other extras.
When I got back I had eggs and avocado and then really fancied something sweet. So.... using Deliciously Ella's recipe as a base I came up with something guilt free, full of goodness and totally satisfying to my sweeeeeeeet tooth. 
I used 50g puffed brown rice rather than quinoa as per Ella's recipe but the end result was much the same.  I made 10 cakes and worked it out to 80kcals per portion.  I didn't use as much oil or butter as Ella so hers will be more calorific if you follow it exactly.



They're so easy to make - it literally took less than 10 mins, then stick them in the fridge/freezer until set... and enjoy! After you've licked the bowl, guilt free of course!
 
Don't forget to tag me on Insta if you make them

x
 




Thursday, 14 April 2016

Fitness, dieting and living your life

 “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”
― Jim Davis


There's a fine line between being mindful of healthy eating and becoming obsessed with it.  Whilst I'm so pleased that I've managed to turn a corner to Healthy Eating Street, I do miss Sugar Avenue and know it wouldn't take too long before I got stuck doing a three point turn and ended up staying there again.
So, that means I have to be careful, almost all the time which is pretty tricky.  Then, when I decide, I can allow myself a limited number of treats and really enjoy them.  
Prepping my meals for the day/week or at the least doing a food diary (My Fitness Pal is your friend) is really helping me not give into cravings. I either take a packed lunch or buy in the morning before I'm hungry to ensure I'm having a healthy, low carb option mid day and then make sure I know my dinner choice well before I start the endless stare into the freezer looking for inspo.



Fitness wise, I'm trying to work out three times a week - useful but sustainable. There's no point me doing a crazy 6 times a week thing for 5 minutes and then giving up.  It's better to make a lifestyle change I hope I can sustain.  Although when I'm on holiday the routine goes out of the window as I'm usually knee deep in croissants.
I'm generally doing a mix of HIIT, running, Kayla's BBG and swimming and so far am sticking to it. I have a grand idea that I'd like to look a certain way (good in a bikini) and despite my delightful weight loss, I'm not there yet.  But hopefully with a few months determination I can get there, or here's hoping at least.  The selfies are just proof that I actually worked up a sweat!


Treats in the week are (mainly) limited to sugar free.. but the choices are getting wider and wider which is amazing. Working 5 steps away from Whole Foods is a definite bonus and I've picked up some beauties, although there's even more choice online.
I've also become a fan of The Detox Kitchen who rustle up some sugar free treats daily and I salivate over their beetroot brownies.   Livia's Kitchen raw choc orange bites are the new craze- certainly on Instagram!  I tried them last week and was super impressed. They're £5 for a box of 10 at Selfridges and again are available online too.  They have 140 kcals for 2 bites - BUT - they are guilt free bites as they have no refined sugar, gluten, grains and that makes them an excellent clean treat to me.
Today I rustled up some courgette chocolate brownies (they are topped with mini eggs but otherwise gluten and sugar free). They're only around 100 kcals per slice and I find they really satisfy my sweet tooth.  The recipe is here if you want to try yourself (and you should).  Now the aim is to limit it to one brownie a day!
I have to admit it's hard not to become obsessed and I'm grateful my friends haven't got sick of me talking about it yet, but I fear if I don't think and talk about it, I'll forget and go off the healthy rails!  I'm really chuffed that 2 of my friends have taken up the healthy reins and have started healthy eating inst-blogs. Check out https://www.instagram.com/kris1886/ and https://www.instagram.com/mimi.swfollower/. I think having a way to be accountable really helps to keep you on track.  If you want to give me a follow click on https://www.instagram.com/missginar 
 
I hope this might inspire you to look at your average diet- how much refined sugar are you eating and can you make any simple swaps to clean up your intake?  Whatever you do, don't get obsessed and remember anything's ok in moderation ;)

x

Sunday, 10 April 2016

M'Lord of the Fries - Launch

“Why climb the corporate ladder when you can build an elevator in your own building?”
― Joshua E. Leyenhorst



My very brave friend Michael is launching a revolutionary new fries business, called M'Lord of the Fries (find them here). He decided to hold a very lovely garden party to celebrate the launch, try some fries and to get some feedback from his hungry customers.
Here i am with the main man, I think my end total was six helpings (!!) and I just couldn't get enough.  Flavours below - my favourites were the Tennessee ones, flavoursome, tangy and delicious.  But I gave all the others a fair try too!  The 'dessert' sweet potato ones were also totally yummy.. not quite classing as healthy, but perfect for these cold afternoons.


Now you know by now, I love any excuse for a photo booth style extravaganza so I was in my element with these captions - we came up with a few others too - we need another launch party quick!
The aim is to for M'Lord of the Fries to have a stall at a food market in London and to work at corporate events and private parties etc. There's a lot that has to be taken care of before the actual frying can begin.







I practically rolled home full of happiness and carbs (a perfect Sunday recipe), thankfully I'd already been to the gym.  I'm very proud of Michael and I can't wait to buy my very own portion of fries soon!

For enquiries contact mlordofthefries@gmail.com

x

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Spring in St James' Park

“It's a sad fact of modern life that if you drive long enough, sooner or later you must leave London behind.”
― Ben Aaronovitch,
Moon Over Soho

On a gorgeous Spring like day I took a lovely little walk through St James' Park to meet a friend.  The sun was out, the flowers were blooming, even the ice cream shop was open.  Tourists everywhere, of course, meandering along the lake and marveling at the view.
 Lucky old Queen having this as her garden.  I gave her a wave as I passed...

Almost at Trafalgar Square I spotted a troupe of gorgeous black horses, I'm not sure where they were off too, but everyone stopped to have a look.

 
I saw a dream of a house by St James' Park station, Queen Anne's House. what a cute little place - and I'd have a great commute to work ;)
 x

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The Ivy Market Grill for Brunch

“I had a missed call. It’s probably the all you can eat buffet calling to say, “Come back! We know you can eat just a little bit more.”
― Jarod Kintz,
At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.

Spring finally seems like it has sprung and to celebrate, my best friend and I decided to have brunch at the Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden. The little sister of The Ivy, the IMG is a more relaxed brasserie, serving everything from breakfast to late night eats in a lovely NYC style room. They even have a gorgeous outside courtyard, almost in Covent Garden's piazza which is great for a bit of people watching over fish and chips or a bottle of rose.  I've eaten there once before, with a colleague, but this would be a more relaxed affair over some leisurely eggs.

Luckily we arrived 5 mins earlier than our booking and once seated, managed to get our order in quick enough to be classed as 'Breakfast' which meant I went for the Vegetarian Grill Up rather than having to opt for a more 'lunch-y' meal.  As I'm following a more healthy eating plan these days, I tend to only 'treat' myself on weekends, however my choice wasn't too bad really although the toast was perhaps not quite necessary....


Our waiter brought us water and coffee, swiftly followed by plates of delicious food.  Poached eggs, halloumi, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, beans and watercress.  I have to admit the mushrooms were not to my taste and would you believe I'd never tasted hollandaise sauce before!? Not sure how I felt about it, but I ate it all up nevertheless.


I then decided to treat myself to a skinny hot chocolate - well, it was Saturday and was delighted that it came with a mini jug of extra portion which just about made my day!

 Following a full gossip session we paid the bill and headed back into the sunshine.  I couldn't afford to eat there every week, but a lovely little Spring treat and certainly didn't break the bank - perhaps the perfect place to take your Mum!

x