Tag Archives: health

Pumspiration…Monday Motivation

It’s the start of a new week and I’m forgetting the sins of the weekend (cough sticky peacan bourbon pudding!) and starting afresh.

My morning started in work with a cup of coffee and my breakfast of porridge with cashew butter.  I used a sachet of Moma Super Seeds with a tsp. of Pip & Nut’s Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter (looooove this stuff).

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At around 11am I had a satsuma and a plum (from our garden, more plums to follow throughout the day!).  I also had around 1.5l water…I drink a lot!

At 12pm it was time for the gym and today I did a workout from Polish fitness goddess Ewa Chodakowska.  I went with my gym buddy Kasia and we just youtube’d her 40 min Skalpel workout on the big screen in the gym…now this one burned!  The video is in Polish but we just muted the sound, turned up the tunes and followed her moves.  If you’ve not heard about her I seriously recommend you check her out!

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Lunch was a green pepper stuffed with lentils and mixed veg (from our work canteen and pretty tasty) along with a banana, another plum and more water.

Around 3pm I had a cup of tea with milk and a granny smith apple.

En route home I did a big shop for the week.  Josh and I are going to try to be really good for the  next 2 weeks before our holidays (me to New Zealand and Singapore and him to America!) so I loaded up on fruit, veg and lean meats.

I put on a big batch of vegetable lentil soup and made a quick dinner of an easy tuna nicoise.

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I’ll probably have some more fruit before bed but all in all a good Monday.  Here’s hoping I can keep it up!

 

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’s favourite recipes…Amazing Asparagus, Lentil and New Potato Salad

I mentioned in my most recent Recipe Roundup that I was keen to try the ‘Spring Celebration Salad’ from Green Kitchen Stories.  I was having the girls round for dinner this week and it was the perfect opportunity to try!

Soooo easy and tasty I would definitely recommend giving this one a go.

The full recipe is found here but as usual I didn’t follow the recipe exactly…

I couldn’t find fresh chives in the supermarket so used dried instead and found these worked fine!

Instead of using sugar peas as the recipe suggested I used shelled garden peas and blanched them in boiling water for just a minute or 2 to leave some of the crunch.

I also used my preferred method of preparing asparagus, roasting…

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And as there was no instruction on how to cook the lentils I boiled for 40 mins in vegetable stock for added flavour…

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This is a really delicious and filling salad.  One I’ll be making again for sure!

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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’s favourite recipes…Awesome Almond Basil Pesto

I absolutely love basil and whenever I have any left over from my favourite roasted red pepper soup I’ll turn it into a pesto for sure.

In my last ‘update’ post I mentioned my recent obsession with dressings and showed a glimpse of the almond pesto I’d had served with salmon and brown rice.  I’ve since been asked for the super simple recipe so here it is…

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Pum’s Awesome Almond Basil Pesto

Ingredients
  1. 1 handful whole almonds
  2. 2 handfuls fresh basil
  3. 3 cloves garlic
  4. 1 cup olive oil
  5. Salt and black pepper
What Pum did
  1. Added all ingredients to a food processor and whizzed until smooth (a good 5-10 minutes).

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As pictured I served this as a dressing over rice but this would be amazing as a sauce over wholewheat pasta, served with chicken or (using a smaller quantity of oil) spread over rice cakes as a snack.

It could also be made more decadent with a good grating of fresh parmesan cheese if feeling naughty…yum!

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I really believe in the health benefits of almonds (particularly for healthy looking skin) and this sauce gives a brilliant dose of the great nut.

I hope you give this one a try because, in my opinion, it’s so worth it for jazzing up a dish!

 

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’s take on…Valentine’s Day

As a single girl, Valentine’s day shouldn’t be affecting me too much.  But sitting here eating my Sunday oats I am feeling the love!  I wanted to take the opportunity on this day of love to acknowledge all the amazing girls in my life that constantly support and encourage me.

(UPDATE…as chances would happen very soon after writing this post I found myself not so single and paired up with an amazing guy…I should definitely tempt fate more often!)

I’m so lucky to have a wide variety of great friends and family (that feel like friends).  In and out of relationships I’ve always made the effort not to forget my friends, because they’re the ones that are there throughout and I think the reason why, at this age where your friends might start to deplete, I still have a NUMBER of ‘best’ friends.

So many of them have been really encouraging and responsive to my attempt at a healthier lifestyle and for this I’m so grateful.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard comments such as ‘just eat it’ ‘ don’t get obsessed’ ‘urgh that’s boring’…but never from my girls!

So here’s to all my girls…

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So if Valentine’s day isn’t really for you, don’t forget to think about all the other lovers in your life!

Have a great day!

 

Pum x