Category Archives: Pum recommends…

Pum reminiscing…The Peat Inn

Last week I mentioned that I would be dedicating a separate post to my birthday weekend at the Peat Inn, it was such a special weekend and is a place I would really recommend.  After much pestering, Josh finally told me what he was planning for my surprise birthday weekend which was an overnight stay at the Peat Inn, Michelin Star restaurant with rooms…needless to say on hearing this I was very excited!

The weekend started with a nice drive to South Queensferry for an early lunch and a short stretch of legs.  Despite being the start of October the weather was actually lovely, cold but bright.

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We then headed straight up to the Peat Inn (which is just 15 minutes drive from St Andrews).  The buildings and surrounding gardens were lovely and there’s something inviting about the ‘restaurant with rooms’ set-up, where everything felt quite exclusive.

 

 

The room was huge and all the little touches just made it extra special; sherry, coffee, brownies, champagne, Belgian chocolates…I definitely felt spoiled!

 

 

After a few hours of relaxing (and trying not to stuff our faces on all the goodies before dinner) we headed to the restaurant for our tasting menu.

Neither of us are fussy so we happily accepted the menu and welcomed trying some things we might not have ordinarily ordered.

 

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In addition to the menu were a couple of amuse-bouches to begin with (including a very delicious venison sausage roll) and petit fours to end the meal.  The highlights for me were the 2 middle dishes – the confit egg yolk and the partridge.

 

Picture quality is not great, possible due to inhaling my food…

I hope I’m not over-exaggerating but I enjoyed every part of the weekend at the Peat Inn; the staff were friendly but not overbearing, the bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve slept in and the modest continental breakfast served in the room was actually much needed after overindulging the night before!

We rounded off the perfect weekend with a trip to my childhood holiday location, Largo, and a wander round St Andrews.  If any foodies in Scotland are looking for a special weekend away this is somewhere I’d definitely recommend!

Pum x

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Pum recommends…Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday isn’t a new concept to me.  I’ve previously come across it and dismissed it on many a blog.  I just love meat so much!

I mean, I completely understand why some people choose not to eat meat and respect their reasons, but that’s just not for me at this point in time.

However… that being said the more I’ve read about Meatless Monday recently, the more I’m totally on board with it!

Forgoing meat for at least one day a week isn’t actually about trying to turn people vegetarian.  Going meatless could reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. And going meatless once a week can also help reduce carbon footprint and save the world’s resources like fossil fuels and fresh water.

When you put it like that it’s quite hard to argue with!

So tonight I’m embracing Meatless Monday and having scrambled eggs, baked beans on rye bread.  Simple but pretty good!

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I do genuinely tend to have a fairly good mix of vegetarian meals and those with meat, so here’s a few meal ideas that I’ve enjoyed over the past week to help you through Meatless Monday

 

Sweet Potato Chickpea Salad with Pesto from the gorgeous Kirsty.

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Peppers stuffed with sweet potato and halloumi served with quinoa and sauerkraut (courtesy of Josh).

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And super speedy prawns with vegetable rice (straight from freezer for emergency hunger!).

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Pum x

Pum recommends…TRX Training

Before I started regularly going to the gym I’d never heard of, let alone tried, TRX training.  Initially the contraption looked scary and one I’d stay far away from at the gym.  Then after being shown how to use it plus a few simple exercises by one of my lovely gym instructors I have really enjoyed bringing this into my workouts.

TRX basically uses suspension to make normally bodyweight exercises much tougher.  It’s great for strength training but you can also incorporate cardio/plyo moves.

The best thing about TRX is that it can be used most places; in the gym, at home or traveling.  You just need to set it up over something like a door that can be fixed or even a sturdy tree if you like to workout outside.  The website here gives you all the info you need to set up.

Here’s some of the basic moves I like to use.  After a couple of circuits with 10-20 reps each you’ll be feeling the burn for sure!

 

One leg squat

Using the TRX for support, lift one leg and squat low.

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One leg lunge

Secure one leg in the TRX and lunge low (balance is key in this one).

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Standing row

Use the TRX to pull your body upright (the lower the starting point the harder).

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Jump squat

Similar to a normal jump squat, the support of the TRX will help you squat lower and jump higher.

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Standing press

I think of this as a standing push-up (the lower the starting point the harder).

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Plank variations

Securing your feet in the TRX and planking is tough enough but there are so many variations such as; swinging forward and backwards, reaching out and tapping alternate hands and bringing your knees up to your chest and back down.  Definitely keeps it interesting!

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For me it’s important not to get bored in the gym, especially if that’s mainly where you do your exercise.  I did a TRX workout today that my gym buddy Kasia came up with, one of us on the TRX and one using the bench then alternating.  4 different circuits with 2 exercises, 10 reps each, for 3 rounds.  Tough but fun!

 

If you’ve not tried it I definitely recommend checking out if your gym stocks the equipment and having a go!  The full professional kit can be quite expensive to buy but there are much cheaper alternatives out there from the likes of Amazon, Argos and even Aldi if you decide it’s for you.

 

Pum x

Pum recommends…These Beauty Products

I thought I’d do a little variation on the blog today and share with you my favourite beauty products!  I love reading my food blogs but I admit I am a sucker for a good beauty blog and I like nothing more than a good nosey at what beauty products other people recommend.

So here are my all-time favourite products that I don’t plan on changing any time soon…

Nip and Fab Cleanser

This stuff is amazing!  It feels so nice on the skin and removes all traces of make up.  I tend to use this daily just with cold water in the morning and then using hot water and a cloth at night.  I’m slowly converting my friends and family to this one…

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BareMinerals Lash Domination Mascara

My lovely aunt got me this as a gift one year for my birthday and I’ve never looked back.  It’s just a great no fuss mascara that’s easy to use and remove.

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Essie Nail Polish

I’m pretty rubbish with my nails, they’re not something I really bother about but for a special occasion or a holiday my favourite nail polish is Essie.   They have a great range of colours, currently rocking Too Too Hot

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Chanel Lipstick

The ultimate in red lips in my opinion is the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet.  The lovely girls in my old job picked this as my leaving present and it is just perfect.  Really easy to apply, lovely texture and real staying power without it becoming dry.

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Kerastase Heat Protection

Kerastase products can be quite expensive and while I love the shampoo and conditioners I just can’t commit to buying them when there are a lot of more affordable alternatives that are pretty good.  However there’s one product I keep going back to and that’s the Discipline Fluidissime Spray.  This acts as a heat protection spray and I always use it on wet hair before blow drying.  I really feel this makes a difference and leaves my hair feeling amazing.

Kerastase-Discipline-Spray-Fluidissime_largeOrganix Shampoo and Conditioner

As I said if money was no object I’d be using all Kerastase products but since I don’t want to wash all my money down the drain I opt instead for the next best thing in my eyes and that’s Organix.

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I’m always on the lookout for a new products so feel free to let me know your absolute favourites!

 

 

Pum x

Pum recommends…Super Salmon

I’ve spoken about my love of eating fish on pumdiets before and showed you some easy cod dinners that I’ve enjoyed cooking and eating here.   While I do enjoy most varieties of fish, salmon is definitely the most common fish I eat at home.  I cook with it a lot because I find it so easy and quick to prepare and it always seems to turn out great!

Number one for me is taste above all else when it comes to the food I eat and I love the flavour of salmon (although I know it’s not for everyone).

But the added bonus with salmon is the amazing health benefits it provides.  Salmon is lower in saturated fat than beef but still rich in protein.  It’s also packed full of omega-3 fats and it great for heart health.

The way I always cook salmon is wrapping it in foil and oven baking for 15-20 mins.  Into the foil parcel I’ll add salt, pepper, lemon and spices (smoked paprika or oregano are my favourites!).  I’ll then serve it alongside some form of carb and plenty veg for a good balanced meal!

Here’s some of my easy salmon dinners…

Peri-Peri Salmon with Wholewheat Couscous and Salad

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Lemon Salmon with Sweet Potato Mash, Broccoli and Cottage Cheese

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Flaked Salmon with Edemame Quinoa Salad

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Simple Salmon with Peppery Wholewheat Couscous and Fresh Tomatoes

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If you’re scared of cooking fish at home I’d recommend starting with salmon, it’s easy to tell when it’s done (just have a peek at the middle to make sure it’s no longer bright pink and raw) and requires very little preparation (a few additions to amp up the flavour and you’re good to go)!

Pum x

Pum recommends…Yoga with Adriene

It seems like a while since I’ve done a blog post but it’s actually been less than a week!  It’s been quite a busy (but fun) week for me with lots going on, spending a lot of time with friends and this evening I was asked to be, wait for it…

bridesmaid (WOO) for my amazing friend Sarah, so exciting!!!

In the midst of all this excitement though there’s one thing that I really want to rave about and that’s the Yoga with Adriene videos that I’ve been doing and loving!

 

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I discovered Adriene’s videos a while back, before pumdiets and any concept of health in my life.  Because I didn’t prioritise exercise of any kind I quickly forgot about them…

That was until I came across Adriene’s Yoga Camp and thought this would be brilliant to do in the evenings before bed (on my brand new 48inch tv do you like??).

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I’m now halfway through the 30 day video series and am soooo feeling the benefit from it.  I go to bed fully stretched off, more relaxed and have been having such a restful sleep.  I’ve been really good with my Monday-Thursday gym routine and it’s been quite intense, so this I’ve found it such a great way to reset and soothe my aching muscles (but also getting a good core workout at the same time). And it makes me so happy!

The thing I love about Adriene’s videos is how unintimidating and welcoming she is to all levels.  She brings a lot of humour too which surprisingly isn’t distracting from the practice.

She has such a range of videos from weight loss, to core work, to strength and right back to basic beginner level.

I recommended to my friend who’s been having a bit of trouble with her shoulder to give the videos a try and she’s already noticed an improvement in just a couple of days!!

 

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I in no way would call myself a yogi, but if you’ve never tried yoga before you should definitely start with Adriene!

 

Pum x

Pum recommends…Pip & Nut

I made an amazing discovery, for me a nutbutteraholic, in Sainsburys the other day where I found that they are stocking Pip & Nut!  Woohoo!

I’ve been wanting to try these nut butters for so long now.  I came across the brand on instagram (@pipandnut) and have been drooling over the nutty creations for ages.  I kept meaning to buy them but I was put off having to order them online and pay delivery.  Fret no more because now I know exactly where to purchase from now on.

I bought 2 jars of the Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter and 2 jars of the Coconut Almond Butterfor no other reason than I was really excited.

These both taste AMAZING and brilliantly have no palm oil.  I was curious though that the texture is much smoother than the Meridian nutbutters I normally use (and also love) and this is because Pip & Nut has some coconut oil in too…genius!

The morning after the purchase I was so keen to try.  I topped my bowl of almond milk porridge with a spoonful of the good stuff along with a little squirt of Choc Shot (a naughty addition but only 14 kcal per tsp.) and it was magnificent!

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Would you just look at that swirl…

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Now I’ve had a couple of friends say to me recently that nut butters seem interesting but what on earth do you do with them?!  I did a post a while back about my love for nut butters here but here’s a little recap of my favourite ways to use it…

How Pum uses nut butter

  • spread onto hot dark rye toast
  • swirled into porridge
  • stuffed in medjool dates
  • mixed into greek yoghurt
  • as a topping on overnight oats
  • spread onto ryvita/buckwheat cakes with a little cinnamon
  • as a dip for fruit (cut up apple, pear, persimmon and dunk)
  • to add flavour and good fats to smoothies
  • drizzled over protein pancakes

I seriously don’t know how people snack without nut butter…like really what do you eat?

 

Pum x