Tag Archives: clean eating

A muddy walk along the River Ouse

12 Jan

The run/walk

This is a post I had intended to publish before the Christmas chaos set in but I didn’t quite manage it! This walk was from the 15th December.

I had planned on doing a walk around the chalk pits today, but after driving past the starting point twice, and finding nowhere easy to park on the busy road, I lost heart and decided to head for Lewes, parking in Tesco car park and taking a walk along the Ouse. It is prone to muddiness, and although not actually raining today, it had rained heavily at the weekend, and so I knew I was in for a muddy one. As such I am glad I wore my wellies as I headed off along the river bank. The beginning part is nice and sociable, along the river, near the town and through the park with dog-walkers and toddlers aplenty to smile at, but once on the more rugged river path, only the hardened dog walkers are in evidence as it is indeed, cold and muddy here today.

IMG_6246

River Ouse

The clean-eating challenge is over now, and I am basking in the glory of having done better than expected, here are my starting, mid-point and finishing stats:

In summary I lost 8.5kg and 8% body fat, my muscles are popping out of my shoulders and I feel good, both health-wise and in the knowledge I have gained. Although I will doubtless go back to drinking alcohol and relax my eating regime I feel that many of the habits I have learned are sustainable long-term and I look forward to putting them into practice. (As I write this, post-Christmas, I have embarked upon the kitchen shed 30-day clean-eating challenge).

I do get stuck in the mud on my walk and struggle to get my foot out without losing my Wellington boot!

River Ouse walk

A quick coffee break is taken on the muddy bench, a peanut butter muffin defrosted from the freezer and a chance to take in the glorious sunny morning.

IMG_6222IMG_6218

The lunch

I had decided to treat myself to lunch out, rather than packing my own, this morning, but found I did not have quite enough time to go to a cafe or restaurant, I could find nothing ‘clean’ in the Costa coffee in Tescos, and desperately perused the lunch section of Tesco for something suitable, finally settling on this salad, which in no way filled me up, I should have bought a piece of cooked salmon to have on the side.

IMG_6249

Still, it got me home where I was able to construct my favourite smoothie: a variation from Bubbles and Booyah of blueberries, raspberries, banana, almond milk, vanilla protein powder, flaxseed and almond butter!

The shopping

IMG_6252

Some new foods to try (Freekeh, Food Doctor crackers) and some old favourites (walnuts, brown soba neeodles)

Newick and Middle Farm Shop

4 Dec

The run

Not a good start to the day, being punched awake by the husband who was attempting to do ‘pinch, punch first of the month’ on my shoulder but got my face instead.

Dear daughter was very slow in getting herself up and ready this morning, how someone can spend 20 minutes staring at their breakfast before eating it is beyond me.

I had found a route on Walk, Jog, Run, a circular route of about 5 miles near Chailey, near to Townings Farm Shop that I needed to go to in order to collect my Christmas cake (un-iced). The route began at Newick and went to Fletchling before circling back. I discovered I could export the file from Walk, Jog, Run as a gpx file and load it into Great Britain Outdoors thus saving myself the work of plotting it all over again. This kind of worked although the loop did appear twice, I am not sure if this was because Dave (user 745381 at Walk, Jog, Run) had done the route twice or because of some other anomaly. Anyway it seemed good enough and off I went.

First impressions of Newick; I parked outside the Post Office and walked down to the fine village green, which had two pubs on it and a row of shops comprising general store, estate agents, butchers and pharmacy with a bakers across the road.

The Bull, Newick IMG_6175

There was also an Indian restaurant and a chiropodist; so bigger than I had imagined and with quite a busy road running through it. Also a beautiful village pump, which according to villagepumps.org.uk was donated by a local plumber in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee – and it still works!

IMG_6173 IMG_6174

Just working with the app today, no written directions like I normally have, and it was surprisingly difficult to get on the right route, although the cycle lane through the housing estates seemed like something a runner would want to utilise.

IMG_6171

It passed by some allotments and up into a modern housing estate.

IMG_6158

From here it was unclear which way to go next and I ended up circling around a bit and ending up where I started! Tried again, with variations, but most alternatives seemed to involve going on private land which I was not keen to do. I must have spent at least 40 minutes in this manner before finding a signed track beside farmland which also followed the route on the app.

IMG_6161

There was a bit of a commotion going on in the field with a flock of birds – squawking and fighting, the occasional one jumping a foot into the air, and the whole flock moving at speed across the field. I couldn’t really see what type of birds they were but assumed they must be some type of fowl.

IMG_6160

I continued on and the route seemed possible, a very cold, grey day, I was glad of the gloves, hat and scarf I had brought. I passed the water treatment plant and headed off across a field on which a clear muddy track was marked. This seemed to be going okay until the track forked off in two different directions, neither of which seemed to tally with my app. It was getting on for 11 o’clock and my blue dot was still hovering around near the starting point so I decided to sit down and have my coffee and pumpkin energy ball while I considered what to do.

IMG_6165

After my refreshments I decided to head back to the car: sometimes things do not work out and it was bitterly cold. I had had a walk and seen a bit of Newark – that would have to do for today. I have decided in future it is best to have written instructions and use the app as back-up.

IMG_6168

The farm

Headed for Townings Farm Shop to collect my Christmas cake and buy a few vegetables.

IMG_6182

Afterwards I drove to Middle Farm which is the largest and (probably) best farm shop in the area.

IMG_6178

They have several shops on site; a gift shop (traditional toys and homewares), a cider and Perry shop, plants and Christmas trees and wreaths, a cafe and an excellent farm shop with a butchers, cheese shop, bakery and large selection of dried goods, vegetables, confectionary and drinks. They also have lots of Christmas goods such as iced and un-iced Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, chutneys and hampers – ready-made or to make yourself. I bought a few things which I can’t post here or Santa’s elves will have a fit!

IMG_6179

The lunch

IMG_6180

Asparagus, beetroot and feta salad with some salmon on the side, eaten in the salubrious comfort of my car!

Forest Row and The Seasons Health Food Shop

27 Nov

Forest Row

The walk

Bright and cold this morning. A welcome break from a day of rain yesterday.

Had decided on a circular walk near Forest Row and utilise the shops there afterwards. A long-ish drive from the college at over 30 minutes but without lunch to factor in, I reckoned I had time. Lovely drive through Chailey Common and Ashdown Forest, a low sun, and autumnal colours on the trees. My Tom Tom took me most of the way there with a slight hiccup at the end when it wanted me to go down a private road: we fell out about that. Found one of the two car parks in Forest Row (23 hours free parking – that’s as rare as hen’s teeth! And a lovely on-site toilet – who could ask for more?)

Forest Row

Started off badly with the instructions – I don’t think it helped to start from the wrong car park! But Great Britain Outdoors soon had me back on track. Set off by walking through the town and heading off down by a stream, from here the instructions were very simple to follow and I didn’t have much trouble finding the route. In contrast to last week it felt very busy and industrious round here (of course, the weather was far better) but I was never without the hum of some farm machinery, or a dog walker, bike rider or pony trekker. A mixture of streams, fields, tracks, bridle ways, disused railway lines and roads, I enjoyed this one more than usual. I don’t know whether it was the variety or the sunshine but everyone I met was in a good mood. I am also enjoying walking rather than running because you can see more and converse more with people you meet.

Coffee break

I stopped for my coffee break on the bridge over a lively stream – everything was wet from yesterday’s rain so there were no convenient sitting places. Passed a farm with chickens wandering freely in the fields and then on past the spectacular ruins of Brambletye House. This was the home of Sir Henry Compton, built in 1631. It fell into ruin by 1683 said to have happened when the family fled to Spain after Sir James Richards (described as being ‘of Brambletye House’) was accused of treason. Novelist, Horace Smith romanticised the ruin in his book ‘Brambletye House or Cavaliers and Roundheads’ which has confused the history somewhat. The full article is here

Brambletye House

The shop

My shopping today was mainly centred around The Seasons a health food shop in two parts, one near the car park on Lower Road selling mainly fruit and vegetables, cosmetics and toiletries. From there I bought avocados, blueberries and some letterpress Christmas cards and tags.

Letterpress Christmas cards and tags

Then, the main shop is across the road and through the back entrance up some stairs or from Hartfield Road. This is well-stocked with all kinds of grains, nuts, dried fruit, teas, honey and spreads, as well as fresh bread, cheese and tofu. From here I bought brown arborio rice (for a chicken and asparagus risotto I intend to make tomorrow), some Greek yoghurt (which I am having tonight with some roast pears, and some nutritional yeast flakes (which is a substitute for Parmesan apparently).

 The Seasons Health Food Shop

The lunch

Had my lunch – haloumi salad with pomegranate seeds in the car, a woman rapped on my window – I thought she was after my space but she just wanted to express her disbelief and incredulity at the free parking!

Haloumi salad

The farm

Was about to head back to the college when a text came through from Dear Daughter’s TA saying they would be late back from the recycling centre (their trip today) so I took the opportunity to visit Townings Farm shop and bought some chicken and enquired about Christmas cakes. She is taking orders for 5 and 6″ iced ones and 8″ un-iced. I ordered an un-iced one, I usually make my own but I am going to be busy with work from now until Christmas. As I left the large rooster and his hens were pecking about the yard.

Townings Farm Shop

A rainy day in Lewes

8 Nov

Awoke to hear the rain lashing against the window – really terrible weather, heavy downpours, then easing, repeat… Still. Travel hopefully, I thought and prepared as usual; put on my running gear and packed my bag with spare clothes, snacks, coffee and water but added in my book as a contingency plan.

IMG_5752

On reaching the college and dropping my daughter off, the weather was as bad as ever, so I decided to abandon my original plan and instead head to Lewes and spend the time investigating independent shops for healthy food for my clean eating plan. I parked in Tesco’s car park for the three hours free parking as I thought it would be useful for toilet stops etc! Then walked into town to see what I could find. The first place that caught my interest was Lansdown Health Store on Cliffe High Street in which I spent a long time browsing, finally buying some tea: pukka chai vanilla (I have had this before and it is delicious),  some chia seeds (I had a recipe in mind for this), protein powder, peanut butter and honey (likewise).

IMG_5758

It seemed a very well stocked shop and I would have loved to have bought more but I was conscious of spending too much money and then not finding a use for the products so stuck to things I immediately had a recipe for.

IMG_5756

It was hard to stick to my ‘independent shops’ theme and I was next drawn into Holland and Barrett in the hope of finding the things on my list I couldn’t get in Landsdown Health Store, certainly the maple syrup was cheaper there! I also bought rice cakes and walnuts, which I know you can get at the supermarket but I wanted to experience as many shops as possible and I don’t normally go into Holland and Barrett so it was interesting to look around. They also have a huge range of teas, nuts and seeds and protein powders, although I could only see the flavoured ones.

IMG_5757

I did end up doing some of my shopping at Tescos when I went back for my coffee and snack and to use the toilets, I bought the wraps, almond milk and Total yoghurt there. I was looking for products with less than five ingredients as this is one of the clean eating principles but both the wraps and the almond milk had more. I looked at all the comparable products but they were all the same.

IMG_5753

On walking around Lewes I had found Anne of Cleves house which I had not visited before, unfortunately it opens late on Mondays (the Monday curse!) so was closed, but as I had some time to kill before collecting my daughter I decided to drive back there and see if I could take in some culture. Alas, it was not to be, there were no parking spots and someone was right behind me so I couldn’t dither about, so I headed out of Lewes and was soon on the road to one of my favourite farm shops; Spring Barn Farm. I decided it would make a good lunch stop and I could peruse the shop and see if they had any new and interesting products in light of my clean eating regime. I also thought it would be a good place to buy a couple of ready meals for the boys as I am out early evening on a Monday teaching my evening class.

The farm

It was looking very festive in the shop as they had cleared away all their Hallowe’en stuff and had the Christmas tree up with decorations for sale and a good range of do-it-yourself hampers with some ideas to get you started. I looked all around and noticed they are no longer selling as much Suki tea as they used to, I chose the Vitality tea so I would have a range of teas to try at home. I also bought some Springs smoked trout and two ready meals for the freezer. The verdict on the chilli was very positive – nice big chunks of meat and plenty of it! I have yet to get an opinion from the vegetarian!

IMG_5755

Afterwards I sat in the car and had my lunch – a tuna wrap with lots of salad.

The recipes

So, now to what I made with all this produce. Well, first off, I had some pumpkin purée to use up so I decided to make pumpkin protein bars using the protein powder, peanut butter and honey that I bought. These were very easy to make a are a substantial portable snack.

Next I used the trout in a Scandinavian winter salad with egg, capers and a yoghurt dressing. This went down well with the husband. I must say the trout was expensive though at £8 for 4 fillets.

IMG_5760

 

Finally, I decided to make the Chia pudding with the Chia seeds, almond milk and maple syrup. You make it the night before and it is ready in the morning for breakfast. Although it tasted nice I found the colour and texture quite off putting so I don’t think I will be making it again. Sorry, all you Chia fans.

IMG_5761

I still intend to make these protein energy balls with the pumpkin purée I have in the freezer along with the maple syrup, walnuts and peanut butter. But more about that later.