CrossFit – Squats, Swings and BURPEES!

Hi all,

How is everyone’s day so far? Always a bit of a thought to get back to normal after a holiday weekend but hopefully the memories of fab times will keep you smiling!

David and I celebrated our Glasgowversary (our one year anniversary of living in Glasgow) in style yesterday – lunch at our favourite restaurant and then we had an amazing cocktail at a newly opened bar just around the corner from where we live. Inside is beautiful, renovated back to what it would have looked like in the 1930’s, including the original signage which they discovered during the renovation. We will definitely be back here, in fact I think we may have found ‘our bar’. Relaxing, fun and with the types of drinks we like – the Kelvingrove Cafe, you are a hidden gem!

Me below in the bar with our cocktails… my cocktail was called Kingdom Heart and it consisted of – Tapitao tequila, grapefruit solution, Cocchi Americano, yellow chatreuse – shaken, straight up with a cherry. Incredible!

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David enjoying his drink – and changing his mind on Campari!

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Anyway – on to today’s post – recap of this morning’s CrossFit!

We began with a block run and then some squat stretches. I swear the first block run of the week is always a drainer, even though we were active all weekend. Or maybe it’s because we chat the entire time while doing it which gets us more out of breath…!

From there we did an nasty little tabata which pushed our abs to the max – 16 rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, planks and hollow rocks. Feel the burn!

We then paired off to do the strength WOD – 6 rounds of 6 rep back squats at 70% of our 1RM.

My 1RM is 35kg so I went with a weight of 25kg. Not too keen on back squats but was actually glad to do them today, total progress moment. I felt more in control, more confident, more in tune with my technique and the pressure. It felt good! Coach Matt (Coach TC having a well deserved morning off!) gave David and I some good advice about using our butt and hips about ¾ of the way back up to almost ‘thrust’ the bar upwards. Something we presumed we were doing but when we focussed on using that technique, soon realised we weren’t! What a difference and something I will use from now on.

Then on to the final WOD – I don’t think I need to explain to anyone the feeling I had when I read this, because I all know you will have the same feeling!

For time

10 – 15 – 20 – 25 – 30

Kettle Bell Swings

Burpees

Damn you burpees! Yep, 100 KB swings, 100 burpees in total. There was nothing to do but to go for it and kick burpees butt!

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I went for a 10kg kettle bell and was pleased I picked this weight. I was going to go for an 8kg bell but decided to stick with the higher weight, keeping that all important intensity high. I finished in 14 minutes, 17 seconds and was pleased with my time, I don’t think I could have gone any faster!

Here is the zombie crew afterwards, shattered but we all killed it to the max and felt super pumped!

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Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

Hi all,

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a wonderful time ‘seeing in the bells’ as we say in Scotland!

 

I had the most wonderful time, just David and I. It was relaxing, exciting, romantic and fun – what more could you ask for!

 

So I thought I would share with you all what we got up to – photo style!

 

We began our New Years Eve celebrations with dinner at a local restaurant that we have been wanting to try for a while now – Viva Brazil.

 

All I knew about Brazilian food was that it was heavily meat based – well that was enough to sell it to David and I!

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The concept of Viva Brazil is that you are served a selection of meat on sword like skewers to your table – and are carved meat from the blade. You are encouraged to try all 15 meats that they offer, and we certainly did (with the exception of the sausage as it had Gluten in it).

 

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They are cooked on spits and are slowly turned to release the flavour. It reminded me a lot of how the meat was cooked in the Middle East – and just as divine in flavour. We know our meat and this was good! Kept simple and plain, letting the meat flavour itself and served pink as we like it (can be made more well done if you prefer), we were in heaven.

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You also have unlimited access to a salad bar which was like no other I have been to. Crunchy cabbage dishes, roasted butternut squash, sautéed mushrooms, spring greens – I could go on and on with the amazing variety on offer.

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One thing is for sure, we have found our food nirvana! We were there for over 2 hours and were never rushed – in fact the staff were fantastic, asking what our favourites were etc, a good meal is always made perfect with good service. I cannot wait to go back. And it happens to be the perfect Crossfit fuel too so really no excuse!

After the meat feast we headed off to a local bar, Blue Dog, for some cocktails!

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Here are our first ones; mine the Raspberry Beret and David had the Lemon Bon Bon. Both delicious!

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While we were there we were entertained with some sleight of hand from a magician. His first few card tricks were the usual same old but then they started to get scary! He was so good and I really don’t know how he did some of the tricks, truly took my breath away. Here is a picture of the 3 of us, with the magic cards!

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We got home just as the clock struck 12. It was lovely to watch all the fireworks on the TV and sit and look out over our amazing view we have of Glasgow and just smile. We began 2013 in Glasgow, having a special weekend away at Blythswood Square Hotel. It just seemed perfect that we ended 2013 and began 2014 in the same city. I could have only hoped and dreamed for the outcome we had of 2013 back at the beginning of the year. I feel truly proud of what David and I have achieved together this year.

After a long lie in, David and I woke and enjoyed a breakfast of pumpkin pancakes along with a Red Snapper (the gin version of a Bloody Mary). The cocktail was lovely! The perfect New Years Day starter!

 

 

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We also cracked open a bottle of champagne that we have been saving. It has sat in the cupboard for 4 years now, keeping it for a ‘special occasion’. So we decided to open it, what could be more special than celebrating an amazing year with your husband and looking forward with so much excitement for the year ahead.

We did google the champagne before we drank it though. I knew it was good but I didn’t realise it was one of Bollinger’s finest vintage years, one of the best apparently since 1928! I won’t say how much it was worth but put it this way, it is the most expensive drink I have ever had! Absolutely amazing though and certainly not wasted on David and I who very much enjoy and savour champagnes.

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Next on the cards was a light 8 minute AMRAP of air squats, butterfly sit ups and push ups to get our muscles going, followed by some mobility work. So glad we did this, our muscles definitely needed it!

 

Then came some more fun in terms of cooking in the kitchen! We made Roasted Salmon with Salsa Verde for New Years Day lunch, served with green beans. Oh it was divine! The nicest salmon I have ever had, so full of flavour (and nothing beats a good crispy salmon skin!). For desert was a simple and light banana soft serve with a spoonful of my homemade mincemeat on top. Such a good combination.

 

 

 

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Chill out time! We put on Santa Clause 3 to watch but don’t know how much I actually saw of it, we both fell asleep on the sofa!

To round off the evening we shared a platter while watching Gnomeo and Juliet – it was a really funny movie actually and anything that features the songs of Elton John, in my book, is always a winner!

Below is our platter – it consisted of

–          Frozen grapes, walnuts, chopped apple, dried figs, dark chocolate, dates, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, ham, Criffel cheese and Stilton cheese and some fig chutney. YUM!

 

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My favourite combo was a date stuffed with stilton cheese and half a walnut. Oh my goodness! If you have never tried this you must!

I can’t stop smiling when I think back over the whole festive period. I feel really blessed to have had such a wonderful time and I don’t think I will forget it. To end it all with two special days with my husband though was perfect. Bring on the excitement of 2014!

 

Healthy Holiday Treats!

Hi all,

Hope you are well!

We all love to treat ourselves over Christmas. Have those special wee treats that we don’t usually have (or have in moderation) throughout the year. There is nothing bad about this at all, it is a celebration after all and we all make our own choices.

For me, my Christmas indulgence is alcohol. I normally only have it once a week, a glass or two of wine at the weekend. During the festive season, I will be a bit more relaxed – cocktails, champagne, port etc are all to be enjoyed!

Whether this be the same for you, or if your treats are more of the sweet or savoury kind, I bring you a few hints and tips to still have a treat, but to make some better choices for a healthier outcome!

Still enjoy your favourites but with no guilt whatsoever, sounds good to me!

Drinks

Here are a few options to think about when it comes to festive beverages!

  • Red Cups

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–          Oh how we all love those red cups! Out come the Christmas flavoured coffees that are full of milk, syrup, whipped cream and toppings. Not so good!

What I do though is order a plain Americano (yummy coffee!) and then ask for a shot of my favourite syrup (my favourite ‘treat’ aspect) in a separate small cup. Then I can add as much or as little as I want, depending on my taste. Yummy coffee but without all the other ‘additions’ I’m not so fussed about!

  • Hot Chocolate

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–          A favourite for a lot of people at this time of year. Why not make a lightened but still delicious version!

–          Take a few squares of good quality dark chocolate and melt in a pan. Slowly add some almond or coconut milk, about 300ml. Heat while stirring. Once heated, taste and add a sweetener (some honey or maple syrup) if required. Top with marshmallows! The best hot chocolate without the processed powder!

  • Peppermint Mocha

–          A healthy twist on a ‘red cup’.

–          Take a spoon full of instant coffee and add another spoon and a half of dark cocoa powder. Add a few dashes of peppermint extract (to your liking). Then add a small amount of boiling water to bring it together. Once it has all dissolved, add the rest of the water. Leave room to add as much or as little milk as you like (we use coconut milk for an amazing flavour) and add a sweetener to your liking – we use one spoon of honey. Voila – a festive ‘red cup’ without the price tag. You just need to find an actual red cup…!

  • Cocktails

–          Everyone loves a good cocktail, and at Christmas you may go for something different. I just tend to avoid cocktails with milk, cream or butter in them, simply because I don’t like how sluggish I feel after drinking them. I also don’t tend to go towards ones with lots of different syrups in them – sugar overload! But then again if I know I am only having one I don’t tend to be too restrictive on myself. If making at home, you have control, so it’s easy to make something a bit better for you. Use mixers such as fruit juice or sparkling/ soda water and try using fresh fruit as a flavour, rather than a syrup. Fruit purees are amazing with champagne/ sparkling wine. My favourite cocktail at the moment is a spicy jack – one part Jack Daniels, two parts spiced apple juice and 3 parts sparkling water. A tasty spicy warming drink (you could actually have it warm too, just use hot water instead of sparkling).

Food

Listed below are just a few of my favourite healthy treats at Christmas – I could go on for days listing things, but have just stuck with a few good ones instead!

  • Mincemeat

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–          See yesterdays post for more info. I just love the taste! You forget it’s fruit!

  • Homemade Soup

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–          Yes it takes a bit of preparation, but nothing beats a bowl of homemade soup. Just cook some veggies on the stove with some stock and once the veg is cooked then blitz. Add your favourite herbs or spices for flavour. Want really simple? Cook a bag of carrots in some stock, blitz, add some seasoning and dried coriander to taste and done! A simple soup in next to no time. And after all these heavy Christmas meals, I guarantee that a bowl of homemade soup will go down a treat with friends and family over the festive period.

  • Fresh/ Dried Fruit

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–          Fresh fruit – a winner at any time of year but there are some special ones to savour right now. Satsumas, clementines, tangerines and oranges are all amazing at the moment. My favourite is the Clementine I could honestly sit and eat a whole bag. And there isn’t anything more festive at Christmas. Persimmons are still very tasty and we are still going through so many of them in the Fotheringham household. But if you are looking for a real treat, why not try a 2 minute fruit compote? Chop up an apple or a pear into chunks. Add an addition of choice – I add a spoonful of my mincemeat to the fruit but other ones I have done include honey and walnuts, cinnamon, maple syrup etc. Put in the microwave for 1 minute until heated through. Stir and eat! Or make it into a crumble by toasting some oats or almond flour in a dry pan and add to the top! Easy, quick and tasty!

–          Dried fruit – a tasty treat on its own! Cranberries, figs, apricots, raisins – all so yummy and perfect for when you just want ‘something sweet’. Recently when we went to David’s parents for Christmas number one, we brought with us, as dessert, a dried fruit platter. It consisted of mini skewers each with a date, few raisins and apricot on them, a ring of dried figs in the centre and some additional raisins and dates dotted about in the gaps. It went down a treat, there was nothing left and everyone commented on how nice it was to have something different. For many it was the first time they had actually tried some of the fruits! Oh and it went perfect with the cheese board. Who needs crackers when you can use fruit instead!

  • Dates

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–          Dates require a section on their own, simply because of their versatility! So you can have them on their own, delicious. But you can also stuff/ wrap dates to make the most perfect appetisers/ snacks/ canapés etc. Here are some ideas…

–          Wrap – in bacon and cook in oven until bacon is ready or in parma ham and have them cold.

–          Stuff with – goats cheese, blue cheese, nuts, small pieces of cooked ham, honey cream cheese blend etc.

Trust me, all of the above are a taste sensation!

  • Nuts

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–          Nuts are a perfect energy boost at this time of year. Just try to watch your portion sizes, as with everything, too much is too much whether it be chocolate, nuts or even grapes! Almonds, pistachios, pecans, cashews and walnuts are perfect festive treats and unlike peanuts (which are actually legumes not nuts) don’t need to be heavily salted or flavoured. Sweet potatoes with pecans anyone…?!  Oh and then there are roasted chestnuts, that’s where I need to hold some restrain! But bring out a tray of them to your family and friends on Christmas day and they will beat chocolate and other candies hands down!

  • Pumpkin Pancakes

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–          A perfect Christmas morning breakfast that’s full of goodies and won’t make you feel bloated and yuck for the rest of the day. Or try sweet potato or squash pancakes.

  • Energy Bars

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–          Just a wee one to end on. One of my favourite snacks at the moment is a nakd bar – either the gingerbread one or the pecan pie one – they both taste like Christmas cake! Full of the festive flavours we all love but none of the nasties. The gingerbread one consists of 48% dates, 32% almonds, 18% pecans mixed with some ginger, cloves and cinnamon. And the pecan pie one is simply 52% dates, 28% pecans and 20% almonds. Yummy!

So there you have it, just some of my favourite things to eat and drink this month that I have no reason to feel any guilt over, whatsoever. Just good, honest, real fuel for our bodies! What we always want!

Any favourite you have that you want to share?

Wedding Anniversary at Blythswood Square

Hi all,

Hope you are well and enjoying your week. Thank goodness it’s Friday though! Although we have a busy weekend ahead of us, car shopping! Eek!

However, I wanted to blog today about my wonderful evening last night which I spent with my husband celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary.

On the one hand, 4 years seems like no time at all, then on the other hand, that is the same amount of time you spend at university gaining your degree, and that felt like forever!

I met David after work and we headed to our favourite hotel in Glasgow, Blythswood Square. A stunningly beautiful 5 star hotel in the centre of Glasgow, combining both the traditional and modern but with its own unique twist. We love it here, having been a couple of times before, the last time celebrating New Years just passed, where we were lucky enough to stay for 3 nights. It was absolute bliss!

We headed up to the Salon for some pre-dinner cocktails. Here we are enjoying our choices, it was so easy to sit here, relax and unwind.

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After our cocktails we went downstairs to the restaurant for dinner. So many choices from the menu that jumped out but I spotted one that was just perfect – steamed seabass with ceviche, peas, broad beans and gem lettuce. As you can see from the photo below, it looked beautiful and tasted even better! Oh and in case you are wondering, those ‘tubes’ on my plate were potato but I just popped them to the side, neither David or I like potatoes, they tend to make us feel rather yucky, so he avoided his too. No big deal though, both just being easily put aside.

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David’s choice is below. He went for Highland venison haunch with beetroot textures – and I can testify from trying some, it was amazing!

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Once we were finished we fancied just a wee sweet treat and ordered a scoop of sorbet each. David went for the bramley apple and I went for the melon. We split a scoop each which I was quite pleased about as although my melon was nice, the apple was just incredible and so full of flavour!

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After a wee espresso to finish off the evening, we headed home. It really was a lovely night and it felt very special. Glad to be back in one of our favourite Glasgow places and it really emphasised that we must go back soon, even if it is just for a wee cocktail. A truly fantastic way to spend an evening celebrating 4 years being married to my best friend.

J x

How have you spent anniversaries of the past?

My Birthday!

First of all I must apologise for the fact that my ‘weekend’ post has taken until Thursday to write. I really don’t know where this week has gone! Does anyone else get that, where certain weeks just fly by and other take forever to pass? How/ why does that happen?!

Anyway… on to actually writing about the weekend! Or Sunday in particular as it was my Birthday!

On the 28th of July I reached the ripe old age of 28 and I had a day of wonderful, exciting things that were just ‘perfectly me’.

David and I started the day with a quick indoor tabata workout. What?! A workout on your birthday?! I can hear some of you exclaim now! Yes it is my birthday but I love working out and that feeling of starting the day getting your heart rate going so in my perfect day, a workout appears! Here was our workout

  • Warm up – 1 minute of jogging/ jumping jacks around the apartment
  • 1 minute of crunches
  • 1 minute of squats with weights
  • 1 minute of seated twists with weights
  • 1 minute of lunges
  • 15 second rest
  • Repeat

Then we did our plank workout which consists of

  • 30 second elbow plank
  • 10 leg reps on right side plank
  • 30 second straight arm plank
  • 10 leg reps on left side plank
  • 20 mountain climbers
  • Repeat then warm down.

I was buzzing after that!

I then spoke to my parents on the phone while making breakfast. They always like to wish me a happy birthday first thing which is lovely.

Afterwards it was breakfast in bed watching cartoons with my husband = Sunday special : – ) you are never too old for cartoons!

I then had a card and present opening session (forgot to take photos, whoops!), and then we got ready for our friends coming. Some of our closest friends were able to make it to meet us for lunch which was brilliant as we hadn’t seen most of them since our move to Glasgow.

They arrived at our apartment for some celebratory champagne and nibbles before we headed off for the short walk to one of our favourite bars – the Hillhead Book Club.

The bar is a converted old cinema which makes the most wonderful setting for a vintage theme bar. Here is a picture of the gang all enjoying the cocktails we had just ordered. I can’t remember what mine was called but it had fresh melon, tequila, vanilla vodka, honey and lime in it and was just delicious!

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My lunch was pretty tasty too – I went for the grilled sardines with fennel, orange, olives and rocket. A great combination and very tasty.

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After lunch we headed into town for another wee drink before folk had to get there train home. It was so lovely to see them all and I appreciated all of them travelling to celebrate my birthday with me.

The evening was chilled out, just my David and I, with some of my favourite fruits and a couple of episodes of Mad Men. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

 

How do you like to celebrate your birthday? With a partner, friends or family?

 

PS – Sorry the pictures are a bit blurry, the lighting wasn’t great and we were using camera phones!