Monday, January 31, 2011

Walnut Hemp Burgers

Yes you read correctly!

To put this blog entry into context; well I purchased "The Thrive Diet" for fellow "349a" gang members Jules and Anita... not that any of us particularly need to go on a "diet" as such - that's not what this book is about. The book is written by the long distance triathlete, Brendan Brazier, who also happens to be a Vegan. Now none of us are Vegans, indeed I am a meat lover. Jules on the otherhand is a vegatarian... Anita and I have long mused and been concerned about the variety of beans he has been including in his diet so when I saw this I thought it would be a good addition to his vegatarian cook book shelf - and particularly apt given he's doing his first Iron Distance race this year.

So the comedy Christmas present was purchased and duly sent to Anita and Jules:

Now on getting this present I explained to Anita the reasoning... to which she replied "You know Jules may not get it.. he could take one look at it and put it to one side".... so I asked him after Christmas... "Jules - what do you make of the book then"....(ha ha ha) ... the reply came.... "well yes I looked at it but I've put it on the side at the moment"... DAMN.. Anita knows Jules well... oh how we laughed!!... So the poor book had been propped up on a shelf in Scotland... Humm not to be outdone I have thus set us all a challenge... We would all take it in turns to do a receipe from the receipe section (Jules this is the section towards the back of the book) and give each other a debrief on it... and so Jules and Anita... this is for you... My debrief on the Walnut Hemp burger.

Sourcing Material;
As you may soon see the "normal" ingredients in the thrive diet book are not the kind of ingredients you would not normally find down your local Tesco (or Waitrose for that matter). I have done some internet scurring around and found a good website in (so Jules has no excuse as they deliver to Scotland...), anyway having done the research I had my "comedy" Christmas present from Anita... the ingredients no less for the Walnut Hemp burger (this is the only reason I'm writing about it now let's be honest!).

Walnuts, Hemp Seed, Cider Vinegar, EFA Oil Blend, Basil, Oregano, Salt and Pepper I set about it

Chuck it all in a blender and blend!

Cooking time
Can be eaten as is (although I found this slightly heavy on the vinegar) or bake for 30mins in a moderate over, I did the later.

I decided to eat this with a little salad (I didn't bother adding any balsamic vinegar but did drizzle in extra virgin olive oil) and cooked some rice (I cooked the rice with a half onion, a cinnemon stick, some stock and  blackeye beans; basically golden the onion, put in the rest of the ingredients boil up, lid on, temp right down and wait for 20mins).

The Walnut Hemp burgers were actually quite deliciously... clearly a little nutty but not overly so. The vinegar had calmed down in the baking process so actually could have gone with Balsamic in the salad. They were quite crunchy but strangely wholesome tasting.

I'd score this dish as follows;
Ease of making: 5/5 (as long as you have a blender)
Ease of baking: 5/5 (you don't need to but if you want to just put on a baking tray and bake!)
Taste: 5/5 (suprisingly)
Appearance: 1/5 (resembles something a cat with bowel trouble may have left in a litter tray)

Here's a picture after the salad was added (looking more edible now rather then cat crap....)

Ummmm Walnut Hemp burgers... I'll be doing that one again (although I think I need another bag of Walnuts as I went through the bag Yones got me...)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week in summary

Well usually I may consider a summary involving time, distances and possible in a fit of stat to madness, heart rate measurements too...

But not last week. Last week was the reawakening of that thing called .... exercise..... And so to be stress free little to no watch reading (unless I felt like I was well and truly past the red zone and about to have a heart attack).

So what did I do... Hum... Let me recall... So Monday I swam (YES) with no watch at all. It was fun to be in the water! Tuesday I ran, easy outside. It was nice to be out there in a little light drizzle for the awakening of the first dawn light.

Wednesday I was hoping to swim or do a body balance class after work, but that being the place of all consuming, time eating, financial year end that it is left me on my bum at my desk at 8pm.... And the class was long since missed and I had lost the will to live, let alone swim. So Wednesday became a rest day... Not that I resented that (what would be the point) and i wanted a little rest anyhow.

Thursday morning then I got up and swam.... And that felt nice too. With little idea before I plunged in about what "session" I'd do I decided to do a 30mins or min 1000m total and just feel the water as it were. Turned out to be a lovely swim, I could have carried on beyond the 30mins but the evil monster of foot cramptons made an appearance.... So it was time for me to leave the water ... And I left feeling pretty good with that too.... Why be stressed at a foot crampton, it was nice to close feeling full of spirit rather then knackered and my arms feeling like they were about to fall off.... After all I'm sure there's plenty of evil sessions to come this year!!

In my spirit of adventure I then decided to get to the gym in the evening just before my 7.30pm 'watershed' (after which time I don't believe in training unless it's stretching!).... Well gym dreadmill intervals was never going to be nice... And I was expecting to feel pretty rotten... But actually they were worse then evil and after I simply felt like going to bed for the rest of the winter..... Never got that post interval work out 'shine' from the effort.... No instead I got a great big migraine. Oh. But fear ye not, this was not the intervals fault but more my body throwing a hormonal imbalance wobbly at me (thanks then).... So good news really.... Intervals don't kill me even when my hormones are off the scale! I think that was only my 3rd migraine type experience of my life... Glad about that too...Let's hope for a nice big gap before the next one!!

So Friday was a right off which we will call a recovery day. I had originally thought saturday would be nice for a 5k time trial (stack up evil workouts in one week why not), but due to the headache Friday i thought better of it and went for a bike ride instead. Did briefly think about turbo session instead because the wind was blowing a bit then figured actually (a) I had probably ridden in much worse wind in Lanzarote and (b) it was mild enough to get out, so should strike whilst I can as one never knows when the winter may return and make me turbo! So I promptly went out and nearly got blown over by a gust of wind! Ha ha ha ha..... A nice easy 1hr 30 ride done I decided to throw in a comedy run straight after... Just 15mins of hilarity whilst my legs screamed "waaaahhh what are you doing" at me.... And I was running "easy" too.... Quite entertaining and in just before the sun went down and the rain came!

Sunday I was taken for a nice gentle "jog" up the Kennet canal... Who'd have thought a canal would have so many hills .... Ok ok... So there weren't any right.... Just felt like it.... But that was probably the red wine being filtered by my liver right? Anyway, I did wear my watch for this one, which was wise because this was supposed to bean easy "jog" which saw my hr peak to 170.... Very funny that then..... Note to self; for first long run since..... Errrrr.... Who knows when.... Do not play poker whilst drinking red wine in a smoked filled room the night before. It is not conducive to performance, although does provide some form on "entertainment". To be honest though the run was great. Running in daylight, on a windy day next to a stretch of water smelling the fresh air was GREAT.

So that was the week. No idea of hours logged. No ideas of distances swam, biked or run (although that could be because have not downloaded my garmin yet... Ha ha ha ha..) but I got some decent time in doing "stuff". More of the same this week may be challenging as I am in holland for a couple of days then excitement of excitement start my Diploma this weekend.... I think this week will be mainly about running.... And stretching... Oh and at the weekend.... Sports Massage!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Getting back to it!

Well well well...yes I'm here again and so soon too!

Having had a nasty bout of the lurgy over the Christmas period, which is doing the rounds, I find myself at the beginning of year with big plans and next to no fitness! But I'm quite cool about it... After all sometimes you need to get unfit to get fit if you see what I mean and the rest has done me good.

Physically I may be a lard arse but mentally I'm excited about the year ahead and the challenges which await!

So with a fresh and frosty day on Sunday I grabbed the moment and headed out on my bike for the first ride in an age! It was a beautiful day although the roads remained on the brink of treachery with the odd patch of ice, slush (from burst pipes) or pot holes to keep me on the edge of my seat (well that and the fact my seat was not quite on at the right angle!!... Ha ha)... still I thought I'd go for 2 hour ride.... Ahem whilst aerobically I felt fine my legs were a little surprised to say the least! .... But it was a lovely day and felt good just getting out there.

I celebrated my bikey feat by putting in my application for entry into the long course european and world championships!! Ha ha ha... Ummmm a lot of training and stashing of fitness required then!!

Having now 'started' back then I thought this week I'll look to re-establish some form of order and routine. So yesterday morning headed to the pool for what would have been during last season, a recovery swim. The pool was pretty empty when I got in, I had no plan and no swim watch. The freedom this afford was about spot on, I consumed my allotted 30mins of no pressure swim with 10mins of warm up mixing up crawl and breaststroke, followed by 10mins of drills (mainly single arm, my left still being pathetic!), some sprints and then a mixed stroke warm down. Back in the pool in week 1 = done!

Today (Tuesday) would have been (last season) a long swim day but (a) as 30mins constitutes a long swim at the moment and (b) I have a half marathon in less then 9 weeks and have done NO running of late I thought a little trot was in order. Hummmm... Not terribly impressed with myself that I got overtaken my a man with a rucksack, ha ha ha ha... Although yes I was fiddling with my iPod at the time... And yes he didn't drop me (also figured out that even with the rucksack he weighed less then me ... Ha ha ha) still... He spurred me on a bit as I tracked him up the road, interesting tat he like me didn't like staying on the undulating path (due to drive ways) but at every opportunity ran in lane. Anyway, was with him for about a mile before I took a left up the hill or nearly doom... Which was challenging but entertaining! Ran back feeling like it was good to be out, can't wait for the mornings to get lighter and appreciate the rising sun as well as the first light of dawn!

The trick now is to get into routine without getting carried away - must remember it's been over 3 months since the ironman and I am in no position to do a 'normal' volume of training in my week!

And yes... I have every intention to make the blogging a little more consistent along with the training helps keep me on the straight and narrow (well kind of)

Happy 2011.... It has begun! Whoop!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!!!

Yes a new year is here already.... Like yikes.... Doesn't time fly!!

And before you ask no I have no resolutions as such.... Last year seem to work fine without any New Year rules so I thought I'd go for it again this year!

On very quick reflection of my 2010 tri year I conclude I had my longest injury period ever ( stopping me from running for months!) but still managed to do my longest race ever!! I swam a lot, biked even further and wished I could have run just a little bit.... I also had the biggest case of road rash I ever had.... And so the biggest scabs.... I also had the most grossly infected big toe ever.... All in the name of going long... In summary I had a FAB year :)

Next year, what am I saying THIS year is going to bring change (I quit my job and have about a month left to go).... Some time to give back (I'm hoping to do some voluntary work), some time to learn (I've enrolled on a sports and remedial massage course) and some excellent tri adventures (both as support crew and fingers crossed a big adventure State side).... It will be a thrill and a year on enlightenment (at least that's what I'm hoping for)

I'll leave it there and wish you sweet cheers for a wonderful, healthy, wealthy and prosperous new year.... And this little bit of comedy which I got forwarded yesterday.. You may have seen this already.... I found this sadly hilarious.... And please note I never ever got up at 4am for a work out last year!!

and yes I am an idiot... and truly insane....