Monthly Archives: November 2015

Pumspiration…Time For The Little Black Dress

In less than 2 weeks I’ll be (hopefully) dancing the night away at my work’s Christmas party and getting pretty merry, I’m excited.  However this also means it’s time to squeeze into the party dress!

Despite staying fairly balanced on my recent trips away (and by that I mean eating what I want but at least still doing exercise every day) I do feel I could use a plan of action for the next 2 weeks to really look my best.

I normally do a quick meal plan at the start of the week based on what ingredients I have both to make sure I stay healthy but also to make sure I don’t waste food.

This week I’ve got back to the meal planning after being away and I’m hoping that sticking to this will help me to shift a couple lbs so I can feel confident in my party dress.  I’ve also made a few tweaks such as adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) with warm water to start the day and sticking to black coffee to see if that helps a little too.

Pum’s Weekly Meal Plan…


  • Breakfast – ACV, smoothie (raspberries, spinach, frozen banana, oats, cinnamon and natural yoghurt) and green tea
  • Morning snack – brazil nuts and black coffee
  • Lunch – vegetable soup, 1 apple and peppermint tea
  • Afternoon snack – 1 pear and green tea
  • Dinner – 1 chicken breast with M&S nut salad


This was tonight’s dinner, I picked up a couple of Marks and Spencer salads as a little treat (not cheap but these ones are healthy, low calorie but nutrient dense and so tasty).



  • Breakfast – ACV, porridge made with water and grated apple and green tea
  • Morning snack – 1 boiled egg and black coffee
  • Lunch – vegetable soup, 1 apple and peppermint tea
  • Afternoon snack – 1 pear and green tea
  • Dinner – 1 salmon fillet with M&S quinoa salad


  • Breakfast – ACV, natural yoghurt with nuts and raspberries and green tea
  • Morning snack – 1 buckwheat rice cake with almond butter and black coffee
  • Lunch – 1 chicken breast with broccoli and peppermint tea
  • Afternoon snack – 1 pear and green tea
  • Dinner – tuna grain bowl


  • Breakfast – ACV, porridge with water and walnuts and green tea
  • Morning snack – cashew nuts and black coffee
  • Lunch – smoothie (protein powder, frozen fruits) and peppermint tea
  • Afternoon snack – 1 banana and green tea
  • Dinner -1 salmon fillet with buckwheat noodles


I’ve also mapped out in my head what I want to do this week in terms of fitness.  It doesn’t deviate too much from what I usually do but it’s nice to know I’ll be back in a routine in terms of classes.  It’s going to be a busy week work-wise so I probably won’t make my after-work gym classes but I’m definitely going to make time for the lunchtime ones.

Pum’s Weekly Fitness Plan…


  • Lunchtime gym session
    • Today I went across to the gym with my friend and she completely gave me a kick up the bum…in a good way! We did a circuit of exercises each 1 minute HIIT with 30 seconds rest in between.  We did 2 rounds of; jumping jacks, 12kg squats, burpees, 12kg curtsey lunges, high knees, press ups and 12kg squat pull-ups.  We then did 2 rounds; of twist jumps, 2 different kinds of crunches, 8kg Russian twists (she did 10kg but I struggled!), fast taps, commandos and more jumping jacks.  It’s good to have someone to push you along because this was more than I would have done on my own.


  • Lunchtime gym session
    • If I’m with my friend again we might do something similar to today and if not I’ll aim to do 20 min treadmill run, 10 min rower and some abs work.
  • If I’m really lucky and finished sharp (unlikely) I’ll go along to the GRIT class after work too.


  • Lunchtime GRIT/Circuits


  • Lunchtime Kettlebells


  • Now Friday is normally my day off but desperate times means I’m definitely planning a cardio session at lunch!


So now that my plan is written down for all to see I have to stick to it!  I’ve been enjoying myself far too much recently, time to get back down to pumdiets business…

Pum x




Pum’s favourite recipes…Nutty But Nice, No Grain ‘Cereal’

For certain health reasons it may be that you cannot or choose not to eat grains, but this doesn’t mean that you have to forgo a bowl of ‘cereal’ and milk for breakfast.

Simply mixing nuts, seeds, dried fruit and frozen fruit and serving with milk gives a healthy, delicious bowl of breakfast crunch that will keep you happy and satisfied.

I also love with this combination that the frozen berries turn the milk a pretty purple colour!  I’m just a big kid really…


Pum’s Nutty But Nice, No Grain ‘Cereal’

  1. Small handful each of 3 types of nuts (I use brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, almonds and pistachios)
  2. 2 tbsp. seeds (I use sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds)
  3. 2 tbsp. dried fruit (I use dried cranberries and raisins)
  4. Small handful frozen berries (I use mixed forest fruits)
  5. 1/2 cup of your favourite milk (I use almond milk)
What Pum did
  1. Combined the nuts, seeds and dried fruits and mixed well.
  2. Poured desired quantity into a bowl and save the rest in an airtight container.
  3. Topped the nuts and seeds with frozen fruit and poured over the milk.
  4. Left for 1 minute to thaw slightly and tucked in.



Nutty, berry goodness!

Pum x


Pum’s favourite recipes…Crunchy Coconut Cashew Oats

I love cashew butter (as with all nutbutters) but the best thing about this recipe has to be the crunchy coconut topping of nuts and seeds.

This is such a delicious way to vary up your morning oats bowls and takes the same length of time to prepare.  We all know nuts are excellent for heart-health so if you don’t normally snack on nuts give this a go, it’s good for you!

Pum’s Crunchy Coconut Cashew Oats

  1. 1/2 cup oats
  2. 1/2 cup of your favourite milk
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. Small handful cashews
  5. 1 tsp. coconut oil
  6. 1 tsp. desiccated coconut
  7. 1 tbsp. oats
  8. 1 tsp. pumpkin seeds
  9. 1 tsp. sunflower seeds
  10. 1 tbsp. cashew butter
What Pum did
  1. Combined the oats, water and milk in a pan over  medium heat and stirred for 5 minutes until thick and porridge-like.
  2. Meanwhile in a small pan added the coconut oil, desiccated coconut, nuts and seeds and tossed regularly over a medium heat to toast (careful not to burn).
  3. When the oats were ready topped with cashew butter and crunchy topping.



I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Pum x

Pum update…How The Portuguese Do It

So this is a continuation of my last post ‘Pum update…How The Catalans Do it’ and should really be entitled ‘Pum update…How the Portuguese Do It aka My Love Affair with Pasteis De Nata’!


After leaving Barcelona on Wednesday we flew to Lisbon and checked into Lagoas Park Hotel in Porto Salvo Lisbon which was a really nice hotel. We got in fairly late and hadn’t eaten so just decided to do room service. As I mentioned in my Barcelona post, Wednesday’s eats were quite healthy in my books and I continued this by ordering Pumpkin Soup and Tuna Salad and boycotting all dessert options (don’t you worry this was to be remedied on Thursday and Friday).


My manager and I made an agreement to continue with the good exercise routine we had going and wake each other up to go to the gym across from the hotel. I’m so glad we did because it was a fab gym – huge and so well equipped. I managed treadmill, rower and an intense kettlebells session so felt knackered when I was done.

I was too self-conscious to take any snaps in the gym but did managed to take a picture outside the gym building, how beautiful…aren’t you impressed gym done before sunrise?!

Highly doubtful that I’ll continue this routine at home.


I was absolutely starving after this so had a doubler for breakfast; eggs and tomatoes, then muesli and yoghurt with fruit (the South-Central Europeans do love their muesli options at breakfast!).


Our office for the day was just round the corner from the hotel and was in such a stunning setting…why can’t I work here always?!


We were treated to a restaurant lunch again (lucky girls) where I had the Cod and plenty of fresh salad. The lunch options on this trip were so fresh compared to what I’m used to at home. I hate how the UK culture is to have pre-packaged sandwiches for lunch as opposed to sitting down to enjoy fresh seafood (which we have an abundance of!).

As we wanted to make the most of the last night of our trip we moved hotels AGAIN, this time into the centre of Lisbon. We checked into the Epic Sana Hotel Lisboa…this was pure 5 star luxury! Fancy coffee machine on the bedside table, chocolate truffles on the bed, shower in the middle of the room, spa toiletries in the bathroom, TV the size of the full wall…I was in hotel heaven!


Thursday night was my favourite night of the trip; Lisbon is such an amazing city and I’m 100% going to go back. The sites were beautiful, lots of great shops and so affordable in comparison to other popular European cities.


We had dinner in quite a fancy restaurant at Terreiro do Paço called Aura. The food was the best of the entire trip! We shared an Artisan Cheese Platter to start, then I had Tuna Steak with Tagliatelle and of course I had to have dessert on the last night of my trip! I don’t even remember what the dessert was called but it was extremely tasty…


On Friday morning I got up super early to enjoy the spa facilities in the hotel. As I said pure luxury! I had the pool to myself and managed 20 lengths and a good sauna/steam before breakfast.


Now breakfast…before I get onto this, do not judge me. This is an outrageous breakfast.   Are you ready?

I was desperate to try Pasteis De Nata (the famous Portuguese Custard Tarts) and was so excited when I saw these at the breakfast buffet.

Here goes…

My first plate consisted of; 2 freshly made waffles with hot Nutella, 1 Pastel De Nata, 1 yoghurt dish and mixed fruit.


This was sooooo ohmygoodnessamazingly delicious that I had to go back up and fill my plate again.

My second plate was filled with; 1 almond croissant with more hot Nutella, ANOTHER Pastel De Nata, grapes (because health obvs) and a little cake I’m not sure the name of (which to be honest I only got because it was in a martini glass).



After this wonderful breakfast it was back to the airport to return to sunny Scotland.  As you can see I’ve had an absolutely brilliant week and can’t believe that this was actually all with work! I’m a very lucky girl.

I did try to have balance and did probably the same amount of exercise as I would on a normal week, but I definitely consumed far more sugar than I should have…I admit I’m now a little scared to get on the scales again but I don’t regret one bite.

Pum x



Pum update…How The Catalans Do It

I’ve been travelling a little with work recently and so running on from my previous post ‘Pum update…How The Italians Do it’ about my last work trip to Milan I thought I’d do another post about my short time in Barcelona (look out for my next post on Lisbon too, it’s been a busy week!).


So this week I was in Barcelona from Monday to Wednesday for work which was my first time to Barcelona and I just loved it.

My colleagues and I arrived on Monday evening and checked in to the Hotel Barcelona Catedral and quickly headed out to explore. We were, as the name suggests, right next to the Cathedral which was breath-taking. We took a wander down La Rambla and visited the food market, it was great to just soak up the atmosphere and work up an appetite.


There was a lot of walking that evening which I was pleased about after a long day of travelling. I still love tracking my steps with my vivofit2 and it was good for me to see how much walking we’d actually done.


We headed down to a restaurant called 7 Portes (this was recommended by a Spanish colleague so we knew this would be worth the trip). This restaurant is particularly famous for its Paella dishes so it would be rude not to have tried…we weren’t disappointed as the meal was just lovely.

I also indulged in an absolutely amazing dessert Crema Catalana, because when in Barcelona


On Tuesday morning I had quite a light breakfast after the guilt of the Crema Catalana and picked muesli with yoghurt and fruit from the buffet. We then worked for the day in Sant Cugat del Vallés and were taken out for lunch where I tried to be healthy and had Seabass with asparagus (so difficult when given a free lunch to be good).

After work we checked into Plaza Xavier Cugat Hotel and I managed to get in a quick gym session before dinner. I planned to do a 25 minute run at a steady pace however the Spanish treadmill had different plans for me and set me off on a crazy interval training workout!


We then headed into Sant Cugat del Vallés and took a recommendation from Tripadvisor and dined in El Vi de Du. This tiny little place was soooo good. We got mixed tapas of Cod, roasted vegetables, Anchovies, mini cannelloni, Salmon and some very tasty bread.

I then was persuaded by the amazing desserts again (I’m weak) and had one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long time, a hazelnut melt in the middle chocolate pudding with hazelnut ice-cream served with dessert wine…DELICIOUS!


On Wednesday morning I got up and headed to the gym again before breakfast…I’m quite glad that I’ve started to have a bit of internal dessert guilt as it’s making me do a lot more exercise! The treadmill was busy so I went on the exercise bike (which I never normally do) for 15 minutes then the treadmill for 10 minutes where my legs were absolute jelly, not going to do that order again anytime soon!

Wednesday eats were pretty good; more fruit and muesli for breakfast, Salmon and salad for lunch and then onto Lisbon…

So that was Barcelona! When can I go back?!

Check out my post ‘Pum update…How the Portuguese Do It’ for the rest of my week!

Pum x




Pumspiration…This Week’s Favourites

I really enjoyed my last ‘Pumspiration’ post going through my favourite links of the week so thought I’d do a similar favourites post while eating my avo-rye toast this morning…



  • No secret that I love my teas and this week’s favourite is the unusual but intriguing Twinings Comforting Liquorice tea, yum!


  • This week I bought sunflower rye bread for the first time which is so much tastier than my usual whole-wheat loaf, loving this stuff especially with eggs or avocado!
  • For some healthy reading I love looking through Popsugar’s Fitsugar.  Their blog feed is always packed full with health, food and fitness tips, if you’re not a regular visitor to the page you should definitely check it out:

2. Recipes


3. TV

  • Homeland (after giving up on this midway through season 3 I was convinced to give this drama another chance and season 4 came back with a bang, now I’m completely caught up and enjoying season 5).

4. Clothing



Hope everyone enjoys a lazy Sunday!

Pum x

Pum recommends…Strawberries

Before I was into healthy eating and understanding what foods are better than others for you I probably would have said that strawberries were one of the ‘worst’ fruits for me.  My rationale for this was that I really liked them so they probably weren’t great for me (clever rationale Pum, very scientific) and that the humble apple or blueberries would be much better (I liked them less).  But I was pleasantly surprised to learn how amazing strawberries are for us and how they can support weight loss.

Strawberries are brilliant sources of vitamins C and K and give us lots of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. Did you also know that the reason strawberries are red is because of high  amounts of anthocyanidin which means they contain beneficial antioxidants (said to protect against inflammation, cancer and heart disease)?

These berries also reportedly promote the production of the hormone adiponectin and leptin which are fat burning hormones that results in us having a higher metabolic rate, which can only be a good thing when trying to lose weight!

The best thing about strawberries, in my opinion, is how delicious they are.  These aren’t a faddy ingredient we should try to eat more of just because they are good for us…they are soooo tasty and we want to eat them, yay!

So go on…add them to your smoothies, granola, salads and most importantly top your porridge with them!


Pum x