Healthy Chilli Stew!

Anyone else hating this cold and miserable weather? All’s I want to do is eat utter crap and watch Friends over and over again in my dressing gown. Although this is amazing in terms of my relaxation, it’t not exactly the healthiest diet so I have a few healthy, naughty and filling meals which give my diet a little kick up in the backside it needs. My go to recipe is my chilli stew, its full of flavour and so filling at the same time. Win win!

I got this amazing recipe from Women’s Health Magazine, over the years of making it I’ve adapted it for my own tastes so I’ll link the original recipe above for you guys if you fancy a gander. It’s a vegetarian dish but I promise it can satisfy the fussiest of carnivores.

It takes roughly around 30 mins to cook and around 10 mins to prepare but the ingredients are pretty basic so it doesn’t involve that much prep which is just the ticket after  long day at work and a freezing cold commute home.

Ingredients:
300g Brown Rice
1 litre of Vegetable broth (I use a veggie stock cube)
1 tin of kidney beans (don’t forget to drain them)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 diced red chilli
2 tea spoons of Cumin
2 tea spoons of Chilli Powder or crushed chillies
1 tea spoon of Garlic

Basically, you throw all the ingredients in a pan together and stir well. Cover the pan with a plate or whatever you have in the kitchen to use and leave on a low heat for 30 mins. Don’t forget to stir it occasionally, to stop the rice from sticking to the pan. When the rice is cooked, its ready.

You can, like the original recipe suggests, add a dollop of guacamole on top. However, I’m far too hungry and tired at the end of the day and just fancy digging into the stew!

Let me know if any of you guys have a go at this recipe, I’d love to find out some of your fave healthy winter recipes.

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Post-Holiday Eating and Exercise 

So as you guys are very aware this week has mainly consisted of me trying to get back on track since my holiday that consisted of serious indulging. Unfortunately for me, my ‘get back on track’ week also happened to be a week when we had ‘Shrove Tuesday’ in the UK which basically consists of you stuffing yourself silly with pancakes. 

Monday 

The week started off successfully, since the food on holiday had no flavour I decided to make a homemade Nando’s. Apart from the chips, it was fairly healthy. However, the tub of Nutella I finished off with a spoon wasn’t. We’ll call Monday a trial day….


Tuesday 

Like a true coincidence of fate, the next day also happened to be ‘Shrove Tuesday’ which like I said is a day you just eat pancakes. I had mine with even more Nutella (I think you guys can tell how this week is gonna play out….) 

Wednesday 

Hump of the week day! On Wednesday, it was (as luck would have it) St David’s Day which is a national day of celebration in Wales. As my boyfriend is Welsh, he wished to celebrate it by cooking Welsh food! We made Welsh Rarebit which is basically posh cheese on toast and Glamorgan Sausages. To finish off we had a Welsh cake or two, I was fairly proud of myself as I managed to steer clear of the Nutella having promised myself that I would give up chocolate until Easter! 

For lunch I was also good as I had my favourite healthy treat! Avocado on Toast with Poached Eggs! 

Thursday 

Thursday was my best day of the week! Not only did I do a very painful Tabata Style workout but I also kept my diet clean. As I had university in the evening, I had an early lunch of Avocado on Toast and then a early dinner of Quorn Chicken Pieces with Golden Vegetable with Rice. 


Friday 

And….now you’ll see were it all went wrong! Remember how I said I’d given up chocolate until Easter. Well, it was all going so bloody well until, I accidentally forgot the cereal bar I had on my way to work on Friday had chocolate chips in it! Major doh moment! We also had homemade pizzas and dough balls on Friday which I know isn’t the healthiest thing in the world but it was better than a greasy takeaway. 


Of course, after discovering that I had accidentally eaten chocolate I then went and purposely ate chocolate. Nutella to be precise. Damn Nutella

Saturday 

And last but not least we’re on Saturday! As it was the weekend I did have a cheeky bit of chocolate but dinner was healthy Veggie Fajitas to counteract all the sugar. 


And that was how I’ve eaten since coming back from my holiday. I know I said I’d be healthy and exercise loads but you know what, shit happens and I can always try again! Hopefully next week, I can stay from the Nutella that bloody jar gets me every time!!!!

Skiing in Andorra

Hello there! As I type this I’m daydreaming of white powder mountains and hot chocolate, yes that’s right it’s my skiing blog! 

As you may have noticed last week I was pretty absent on the ole’ blog and that’s because I was busy sliding down mountains! 

We went to Andorra for a little week of skiing, drinking and rest. I say rest, I feel like I need a holiday to get over it all! 

Andorra is an absolutely beautiful place and probably the best place for beginners such as myself. It’s situated between Spain and France and plays host to the beautiful Pyrenees and some of the best snow in Europe. 

For our Ski Holiday we booked through an independent Andorian company called The Andorra Travel Service and they took care of our accommodation, airport transfers, breakfast, ski hire and passes. The only thing we had to book was our flights which were ridiculously cheap. We flew with British Airways which was a first for me. I found it all very posh, the onboard food service was all Marks And Spencer’s now that’s posh! 

When we got to the Resort, called Soldeu we were pleasantly surprised to discover we had been upgraded to a two bedroom suite which had an absolutely amazing view of the slopes. The only issue was that it meant our walk home from the pub in the evenings was slightly longer! 


On the Monday we were then placed in our groups for ski school. This is one way Andorra is a brilliant place to ski as even intermediate and advanced skiers are allowed to carry on developing. The ski school is run by British instructors and helps make the holiday a lot more sociable for everyone as you meet new people. My boyfriend was in the highest advanced class whereas I was placed in the middle beginners group. It was fantastic though as I got to learn with people just like myself and have a laugh. The ski school ran from Monday to Friday and because we had morning classes I was able to ski with any boyfriend in the afternoon which was just blooming fantastic as he helped me build on what I learnt in class. 


Skiing is fantastic exercise so I would often come down the gondola at the end of the day looking like a right sweaty mess! I was so made up with myself that I was able to push myself to try something completely out of my comfort zone. I’m so grateful to the ski school for giving me the confidence to push myself and my wonderful boyfriend for being patient with me throughout! 


One of the most amazing things was how warm it was on top of the slopes. There was some decent food places and bars to relax and take a break in, so one day I kinda just found a couch and sunbathed for a bit watching people below me skiing it was so bizarre but brilliant! 


Also the outfit you have to wear when skiing. Can I please just take a moment to tell you guys how much I felt like a superhero walking around in salloupetes and my thermal top?! Honestly I reckon I could have given the avengers a run for their money! Hahahahaha!


After a hard days skiing, usually we would head back to the apartment and get ready for the apres ski in the evening. Andorra had a brilliant nightlife with loads of bars and life bands. The only way I could really describe it would be like calling it “snowy Benidorm” to international readers who don’t know what Benidorm is, google it and you’ll get what I mean. The alcohol amounts were non existent meaning you were merry before 7pm! Well, it is a holiday! Here’s a pic of my rum and coke from one place and please bare in mind this is only the rum in the glass!

That’s a single rum too….:

The food was interesting. Although we had breakfast included with our deal we usually went out for dinner in the night. Breakfast was cereal, toast, pastries and I will admit I loved the Pan Au Chocolate but in the night you were basically stuck with carby fast food and anything the colour beige not that you weren’t needing them after skiing all day. By the end of the week though I was craving some flavour and I’m pretty sure I dreamt of Nando’s


All in all though, I do have to highly recommend Andorra to anyone who wants to go on a skiing holiday. This place is perfect for any level skier and makes everyone feel welcome. I have to admit after this week away I would definitely ski again I just don’t know if I’d find a place as good as this! To finish this post in style I’ve decided to post a picture I took from inside the handily coming down the mountain, you can see our ski’s chilling in the little pocket outside and I think perfectly captures the beauty of the mountain. 


Thank you for reading guys! 

Favourite YouTube Workouts 

Since I’ve been doing my home workouts for a couple of weeks now I thought I’d share with you guys the little workouts I’ve doing to help keep me in shape and tone up. 

The one thing I absolutely love about working out at home is how quick and easy it is. It means I don’t have to trek to the gym and take two hours out of my day. All these workouts are under thirty minutes which is perfect and they’re a good mixture of HIIT training, kickboxing (which I love), abs exercises and yoga (which is something I’ve really gotten into recently). 


This workout is just over twenty minutes and is perfect after a weekend of indulgence. It’s HIIT so that means it’s quick, powerful and sweaty. It also helps that the beautiful Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach is doing the exercises along side me. I’m going to lie, it’s not easy but if you only have half an hour to spare it’s a brilliant workout. 

I’ve put these two workouts together as they’re done by the same YouTube channel and are both kickboxing. The only difference is that one is only 11 minutes and one is 25 minutes long. Fitness Blender is a brilliant channel with loads of fantastic workouts but my favourites are the kickboxing ones. I do the 11 minute one when I’m super busy and have hardly any time to workout but it’s just as good as the 25 minute one. I mean seriously I did the 11 minute one a few days ago and my arms are still aching. 

The brilliant thing about the 25 minute workout is that it includes a warm up and cool down. If your feeling stressed it’s also a great reliever! 

To work my abs, I love doing this six pack workout that’s on the XHIT Daily YouTube channel. It’s about 11 minutes long and really works all the muscles in the stomach in a really short space of time. You repeat every move twice so by the end of it your abs are aching! 

Recently, I’ve really gotten into yoga. It’s a lovely way to stretch out my muscles after a long week and really relaxing. The channel I use is Yoga With Adrienne and she was loads and loads of yoga workouts for you to do from the comfort of your own home. She also really explains each move to you so if you’re not feeling a sweaty sesh give this a go! 

So there my favourite home workouts at the moment. However, I’m pretty sure I’ll get a little bored of these in a month or so and I’ll need to switch it up again but what’s brilliant with working out at home is that when I do get a little restless alls I have to do is go on YouTube and find a new workout to do. Brilliant! 

The Friday Blog! 

Prepare yourself for a blog post that consists of me rambling on about building work, making dream career plans and attempting to stay healthy! Don’t say I didn’t warn you….

The House Renovation 


All work happening in the living room has been pushed aside and put on the back burner whilst the kitchen has been ripped out and renovated. Believe me, it’s been quite hard to live with me recently as I’ve fret over the state of the house due to all the building work that’s happened. Dust has invaded every surface of the down stairs and I did all I could to not lose my shit over it! The kitchen work has been a nightmare with issue after issue (cupboards weren’t delivered, fridge freezer’s were completely forgotten and door handles were broken) but eventually it was all finished this Thursday! Phew! All me have to do now it paint it and get new accessories and then it’s back to finishing the living room off! Yay….-.-

Just going for It


As it’s the start of the new year I have decided to kick my career aspirations up a notch. I’ve committed myself to a another stand up comedy course, this time a four week one in Liverpool. Last year I only really dabbled in stand up and this year I’m fully going for it. No time like the present! I’ve also submitted myself for the Northern Writers Awards for my scriptwriting as it’ll be a fantastic opportunity to showcase my work and get  myself out there in the industry!

 Last but not least I have decided in order to control my nerves on stage better I’d give acting on stage another go. This Thursday I had an audition for a theatre company in Liverpool. When I was growing up I absolutely loved acting so this will not only help cure my nerves but it’ll give me the opportunity to do something I love once again. 

Health, Fitness and Food


This week has consisted of a food overhaul after me and the boyfriend get over our week of takeaways due to the kitchen work. We’ve made sure we’ve ate home cooked meals all week and we’ve done really well to stick to it. My favourite thing I made was a Pasta Bake with Brocolli and Sweetcorn in. It was that big it lasted us two days! I also really enjoyed my lunch on Wednesday which was a bagel with avocado and egg, so simple and delicious! 


I didn’t exercise on Monday as I didn’t have enough time but made sure I fit a workout in every other day this week. But as I have been painting and up and down ladders I’ll count that as exercise. On the weekend I’m going to buy an exercise mat so working out at home can be easier. I’ve done quick HIIT workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and I’m doing to attempt some yoga or barre core on Saturday morning. Now I workout at home it’s so much easier to fit in a workout! 

Why I Quit the Gym: A Confession 

I have a confession to make…before Christmas my motivation was at an all time low. I mean a serious low. 


It got to the point where the thought of going to the gym just depressed me and the awful weather didn’t help either. I was paying £17 a week for a weekly bus pass literally just to get the bus to the gym in the rain, hail, frost and wind. So I just stopped going.


You see, it’s not that I hate exercising or even going the gym. When I lived in Cardiff I loved the gym and all the different classes I went to. Since moving back to Liverpool and joining a new one though it’s a whole different story.  

My nearest and best gym in Liverpool is a twenty minute bus ride away and it’s cold, unfriendly and just not worth the hassle in my opinion. I found I felt I wasn’t getting my money’s worth so therefore I quit. Yep! That’s right, I quit the gym! 

If anything it’s more money towards myself and my home renovation so there are upsides! 

The thing is I found I just wasn’t having worthwhile workouts and missed doing circuits and boxing classes. Also, I literally had to set aside an hour and a half out of my day just to do a 40 minute workout…ridiculous! 

So after much deliberation I decided instead of joining a new gym or paying for some faddy diet and exercise plan that I’d literally stick to for all of five minutes. I decided I would start exercising from the comfort of my own home. I found that YouTube have a vast range of workout videos and channels which vary from boxing classes, circuits, Tabata, HIIT, Yoga and Pilates workouts. Basically it’s the exercise I like to do but it’s free and I don’t even have to leave the house! 


It’s brilliant because I can mix it up everyday, get fitter and have a shower straight after. I’ve been working out like this for nearly a month now and I must say I’ve already noticed the difference in my body. The HIIT and Tabbata workouts I do leave me leaving energised and refreshed whereas being stagnant on an exercise bike or cross trainer. Plus, most of the videos are so ridiculously quick that I’m done within half an hour!

I’ll workout about five to six times a week and I just tailor it around what type of day I have planned. At the moment this sort of exercise routine is perfect for me as its adaptable to my lifestyle, way cheaper (it’s actually free!) and easy. 

In the future when the weather gets nicer I might start going for runs in the park but for now I’m once again a home workout convert! 

The Friday Blog! 

Hello!

First I must apologise for the lack of blog posts recently, this week has just been insane! So much has happened in such a short space of time that I genuinely still can’t get my head around. Actually, I don’t even know where to begin! 

First Ever Stand-Up!!


Oh my god! I still can’t believe that I actually did it. I’ve wanted to give Stand-Up a go for years and last weekend I finally had a go. I booked onto an intensive stand up course in Salford, it was run by a chain of comedy clubs called ‘The Laughing Horse’ and it cost around £100. 

The course lasted for two days and on the last day we had a graduation show were we each did a five minute slot. I was so nervous but as soon as we started doing the exercises my nerves disappeared. We were set homework that night which involved us writing a five minute script for the next day. On the second day, we had to go over our script with an established stand up and edit it with them. 

I will say here, I didn’t agree with everything the stand-up said, in fact if anything he left me feeling ridiculously nervous after he told me to cut loads of my script out. At around 5, we were given two hours to go off and have some food before our showcase. I met up with my boyfriend and we had a drink to calm my nerves whilst I went over my script. 

I went first in the showcase as I had a train home to catch and I was so bloom in’ nervous! I got on the stage and just winged it to be honest. I ignored some things the stand up told me not to do and took on board others. I got loads of laughs and think I actually entertained the audience. One thing the course did encourage me to do was carry on with stand up afterwards which is what I’m mostly pleased about! In fact, my next gig is tonight! Waheeeey! 

Food and Fitness


Asides from performing and writing scripts this week has seen me finally getting back into healthy eating and fitness. I’ve actually been the gym three time this week and had really good workouts. I think the purchase of new workout gear helped to be honest…


This week also saw me trying coconut milk for the first time. I must say its not an experience I wish to repeat anytime soon. I put some in my porridge rather than semi skimmed cows milk and in my cup of tea. I think in terms of dairy alternatives this drink just doesn’t do anything for me, I’ll stick to almond milk next time! 


I’ve also recently been enjoying healthy and warming meals to get me through the cold days. My favourite meal at the moment is Red Kidney Bean Stew it’s so tasty and ridiculously easy to make! 

That’s its for this weeks Friday Blog, I’m sorry it’s quite short and sweet but I’m afraid I’ve got to dash! Gig number 2 to do! I’ll be back soon hopefully with more content for you guys, until then!