Monthly Archives: December 2015

Pum update…Christmas Roundup

Christmas day is over and aren’t we all feeling a bit like Mac?  It all got a bit much for the wee lad…


Just kidding he’s always this lazy!  Onto the post…



Ok so I’ve decided to start with food for this Christmas Roundup post not because it is the main focus of my blog but because it has been the source of serious highs and lows over this festive period.

Food is one of my great loves, that’s no secret.  But over the past year I’ve started learning that it can be a real enemy too…

This holiday I was very sick from the early hours of boxing day for pretty much 36 hours straight (as in could barely keep water down).  What people (i.e. my mum and stepdad) are telling me is that I overindulged and it was just my body’s way of telling me that I overdid it.  That may be so but I didn’t eat any more or any worse than the rest of my family and definitely not more than I did in the years past.

It might be that having changed my eating habits over the past year (for the better) my body can’t handle the same rich foods it could have before.  I’ve been sick more frequently this year than I can ever remember before and I’ve tried to understand the reasons why but there doesn’t seem to be a common denominator.  It’s really frustrating and actually starting to get to me!  I’m going to be giving this some thought and channelling this into my resolutions for 2016 (understanding the triggers better and learning how to say no).

Despite this hiccup the run up to Christmas and Christmas day itself was wonderful.  A lot of this was down to the food I enjoyed with my family and friends…

Amazing dessert at Guys restaurant in Glasgow on Christmas Eve for my uncle’s birthday


Christmas dinner cooked by my mum and stepdad


Christmas desserts of trifle and white chocolate cherry cheesecake made by my stepdad


Since boxing day I’ve really been taking it easy and mainly eating soup, fruit, porridge (made with water) and tonight I had my first real meal which was so yummy, check it out:

I feel so much better now thank goodness!



I was absolutely spoiled on Christmas day and received countless amazing gifts from my family and friends.

Luckily for me (and my tummy) some of these were health focussed to give me the kick I need in the new year to get back on track.

Here’s just some of the wonderful gifts I received…

Adidas Ultraboost (yuss so excited to get these babies)


Soupmaker (thanks gran, definitely will come in handy for the January detox!)


New wristbands for my vivofit2 (love these colours)










Jamie’s Everyday Super Foods book (I’ve already attempted this recipe which was an instant success so excited to try the rest: )


And so many more presents including; Superga trainers, Elemis skincare, Clarins bodycare, Dior perfume, Linea glasses and placemats, black skinny jeans, chopping board, necklace, ring, bracelet, DUMBLEDORE mug, candles, photo frame with my favourite Paris picture of my sisters and oh so much chocolate!




This festive period really was family time for us.  With one sister home from New Zealand and returning there on the 4th of January, and another sister moving to Singapore on the 30th of December I wanted to make sure we were all together this holiday.  Our brilliant trip to Disneyland Paris made sure we spent quality time together but we also spent a lot of time with our wider family mainly for my uncle’s 50th birthday.  I’m really lucky to have the family I have and know that despite not having a perfect life at least I’m more well off than most in this respect.

One gift I omitted from the list above was probably not the most expensive but might just be the most cherished.  My oldest sister got a bracelet made for each of us with our nicknames engraved (Biff, Keeks and of course Pum).  We may fight occasionally but I know I’m going to miss them both loads when they leave (again!).



New Years

So now I’m looking forward to New Years Eve!  I’m having my friends and my sister’s friends all round for a party at my flat and the bar is almost fully stocked, almost…



Hangover cures at the ready…


Pum x




Pum’s favourite recipes…Lovely Lentil Quinoa Bake

Back from a slight blogging hiatus over the Christmas break I thought I’d share one of my favourite recent recipes…

This recipe was intended for my veggie friend Kirsty as part of a Christmas dinner I was making for the girls.  The recipe makes tonnes so I made an individual portion for her, a larger portion as a side for the rest of us and there was even enough for leftovers.

This was such a success that I could have easily missed the turkey and served this up to everyone as the main!!

The sauces in this bake give the dish a sweet and tangy taste but don’t overpower.  It was really delicious and not to mention super good for you with the amazing quinoa, lentils and veggies!



Pum’s Lovely Lentil Quinoa Bake

  1. 1/2 cup green lentils
  2. 1/2 cup quinoa
  3. 2 + 1/2 cups water
  4. 2 tsp. olive oil
  5. 1/2 cup chopped celery
  6. 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  7. 3 cloves garlic chopped
  8. 1 tsp. dried thyme
  9. 1 tsp. dried oregano
  10. 1 tsp. ground fennel seeds
  11. 1/2 cup currants
  12. 2 tbsp. ground flax/chia seed
  13. 2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce (check vegan if required)
  14. 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  15. 3 tbsp. tamarind sauce
  16. 1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  17. 3 tsp. pure maple syrup
  18. Salt and pepper
What Pum did
  1. Combined lentils and water in a pan over a medium heat for 20 mins.  Then added washed quinoa, stirred and cooked for a further 10 mins until water absorbed (careful doesn’t stick to the pan).
  2. Added oil, garlic and onion to a pan over a low heat and sautéed for 10 mins.  Then added carrots, celery, oregano and thyme and cooked for a further 10 mins until soft.  Stir through the currants.
  3. Combined the quinoa/lentil mixture and the cooked veg along with the flax/chia seeds, 2 tbsp. tamarind sauce, 3 tbsp. ketchup, 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce, fennel seeds and salt/pepper to taste.
  4. Mixed the breadcrumbs in well and put mixture in a baking dish.
  5. Mixed together the remaining sauces (1/4 cup ketchup, 1 tbsp. tamarind, 1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce and 3 tsp. maple syrup) and glaze the mixture in the baking dish.
  6. Cover with foil and bake in the oven on a medium heat for 30 mins.



I got the above ground chia and flax seed mix from the supermarket but you can easily make your own or add the same quantity of ground oats for a similar effect.


I’m so glad I had leftovers as this is what I’m tucking into tonight.  Just the thing to get my body back on track after a hectic Christmas!



Pum x

Pum’s tips…Beat the Bloat

Everyone that knows me knows that I have an incredibly sweet sweet-tooth.  I will almost always choose sweet over salty…so I wonder if this is why, when I do eat a lot of salty foods, that I really feel the bloat!!

There is a real distinction for me between overeating and feeling a little heavier than normal and feeling bloated.  For me feeling bloated is a horrible feeling and I want to do nothing more than lie still on my back all day.  However after a bit of research I’ve discovered the best solution for me to recover and feel back to normal quickly; hydration and potassium.

Drinking plenty of water and eating potassium-rich foods helps to combat the excess salt in your body and I’ve found makes me feel so much better.

So to beat the bloat try drinking water with lemon, coconut water and eating a banana.


Or better yet a potassium-packed smoothie like my Perfect Papaya Green Smoothie.



Those are my main tips that I’ve tried and do work for me, but there are some other great ones in posts I’ve found on my favourite blogs that are definitely worth a read too:


As I said I don’t actually eat salty foods all that often but I know over this festive period I will be so I’m hoping that armed with this advice the after-effects won’t be so bad!


Pum x


Pum reminiscing…Disneyland Paris Eats

I’ve just returned from Disneyland Paris on one of the best holidays ever with my family!

The food in Disney was just amazing; ice cream, pretzels, cookies, cakes, roasted chestnuts, waffles, burgers, churros, hot chocolates, vin chaud, crepes and cocktails…all consumed in wonderful excess!




This might seem like a ridiculous amount of unhealthy food (and to be fair it was) but we were averaging 30k steps per day (3 times my normal ‘good’ day) so hopefully some of this was burned off!


It was so magical and festive to spend the run-up to Christmas with my mum and sisters in Disneyland, we acted like big kids the full time.  If you ever have the chance to go I would highly recommend it!

except maybe the Tower of Terror…absolutely terrifying (see facial expressions below)…


Pum x

Pum’s tips…The HIIT Workout

I’ve really gotten into High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts recently.  I’m still loving my gym classes, but on a Monday and Tuesday lunchtimes there aren’t any classes on at my work gym.  Soooo for the last few weeks me and my gym buddy (the lovely Kasia from my work) have been taking turns coming up with workouts and have been pushing each other to work really hard.  It’s brilliant to find someone of a similar fitness level (she’s fitter than I am but I do try to keep up) to train with and motivate you…I’d definitely give up much sooner without her there!

So if you’re not too familiar with HIIT workouts there are many variations but basically it’s doing exercises to the highest intensity you can manage over a set period of time.  The main benefit of HIIT is that you are meant to continue to burn calories over the recovery period as well as when you’re actually training because your heart and metabolic rate will be elevated.

Today was the last gym session of the year for me!  I’m off to Disneyland Paris tomorrow with my mum and sisters (YAYY SO EXCITED) and then completely on the wind-down for Christmas after that.  I’m going to try and remain fairly active over the festive period but I know I’m likely to be a lot lazier than usual so I wanted 1 last great gym session today to round off the year…

Today’s HIIT Session

Each exercise high intensity for 1 minute followed by 30 seconds of rest before onto the next…

  • Fast high knees
  • Lunges with 10kg plate
  • Jump squats
  • 4*mountain climbers + 1*push-up
  • Abs cycle crunches
  • Turbo burpees (squat into burpee into push-up into tuck-jump…ouch!)
  • Squats with 10kg plate
  • Pull-ins with 10kg plate
  • Bear crawls
  • Sit up and press with a 5kg plate
  • Russian twists with a 5kg plate
  • 30 second high knee 30 second fast taps
  • Full push-ups
  • Leg bridge (30 seconds each leg raised with pulse)
  • 8*high knee + 1*air jump
  • Windmill with 12kg kettlebell
  • Frog leg crunches
  • Commandos
  • Fast burpees
  • Plank hold



This got us to 30 minutes and we usually do 40 minutes so we threw in a few extra abs exercises (donkey kicks, flutter kicks etc.) at the end.  This session was really tough and we were both dying at the end but felt so good for having done it.  Kasia and I are quite similar in that we get bored just doing squats so this type of changing workout is ideal for us both.

If anyone has any favourite HIIT exercises to share with me please do, I’m always on the lookout for new ones!!


Pum x



Pum update…Post-LBD ‘Diet’

2 weeks ago I posted about it being time for the little black dress (LBD) and how this was inspiring me to keep my healthy motivation before Christmas (

The Christmas party was on Friday night and here’s how I got on in the run-up and on the night…


The first week was definitely a success!  Gym every day and I stuck to the meal plan set out.  I felt really energised and was enjoying being really focussed with this.

Salmon with M&S quinoa salad


Oats, water and stewed apple


But then came the second week which included a team lunch at amazing Three Sisters Bake (hello pate, macaroni cheese and chocolate Guinness cake) and 2 girls’ nights (with plenty of treats) so this was a little less strict.  Because of these commitments I also let the gym slide a bit which I wish hadn’t happened.

In spite of this at the end of the 2 weeks I was happy with my progress and felt comfortable with myself at the party (with the help of a LBD from H&M).





It was such a fun night and I really enjoyed myself!  Got plenty of dancing in too so hopefully that cancels out the rum!


Now that that’s out of the way I’m happy to relax a bit more and succumb to festive gluttony, there’s just too many exciting things about to happen that make worrying about diet and exercise just unnecessary!  I’ll try my best not to go overboard and make sure I’m still staying active, drinking enough water and getting my fruit/veg in…but if the odd mince pie or 10 slip onto my plate, well that’s just life.


Pum x


Pumspiration…Recent Eats December

Toast with almond butter, banana and black chia seeds


Mango and strawberry nutribullet nicecream


Porridge with seeds and almond butter


Smoky paprika chicken with tomatoes and asparagus


Naughty delicious German Christmas chocolates (1 of each only I swear!)


Random dinner of beetroot dip, buckwheat rice cakes, a pear and dates with peppermint tea


Shredded wheat with almond milk, pecans and seeds


Dark ryvita spread with cashew and almond butter with hot cinnamon almond milk


Messy raspberry chia breakfast pudding


Chocolate Guinness cake at Three Sisters Bake


Mouth-watering fruit salad of papaya, pink grapefruit, blueberries and raspberries


Pum x