Tub on the Run


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Easter weekend

Hurrah for long bank holiday weekends (and the two four day weeks!). Despite having a week off earlier in March, this long weekend has landed at the right time.

We didn’t have much in the way of plans for this weekend, though I had a list that I wanted to work through (half completed, so that’s something!). It has just been nice to have a little bit of downtime, though unfortunately work impeded on it a little bit – never mind!

Friday

Matt and I needed to head in to Exeter do run some errands and pick up a couple of things. It was an absolutely gorgeous day – the first real spring-like weather that I think we’ve had this year. Normally, when the weather is nice, rather than eat in a restaurant, we like to get something to eat outside and sit on Cathedral’s green. Lots of people had the same idea, and it was tough to find somewhere to park for a bit!

Exeter Cathedral

After we’d finished, it seemed a shame to head straight home and retreat indoors. Instead, we headed to Killerton for a wander around. We’ve been meaning to stop by and have a wander around since we renewed our National Trust membership in February, but hadn’t quite got to it.

Rather than head into the house, we walked around the gardens with our cameras. The flowers in the walled garden aren’t quite out yet, but there are a lot of other pretty things to look at. I was trying to get a picture of some pretty blue flowers (I’m not at all green fingered, and literally know about 5 different types of plants – the rest are referred to by colour), and then fell into a mole hole and rolled my ankle. Well done me. Not to be deterred, we took it a little slower but kept going and eventually came across the chapel, which isn’t too far from the parkrun start line.

Killerton Gardens

We used to visit Killerton a lot as a family when my sister and I were little, but I don’t remember ever going in to the chapel. It was wonderfully quiet (outside was reasonably noisy, owing to the egg hunt), and the sunlight shone through the stained glass window, making a beautiful pattern on the wall near the altar. It really was stunning.

Killerton Chapel

After admiring the light show for a bit, we wandered back to the car and headed home. I don’t know what it is about the fresh air, but when we got home, we crashed on the sofa. We’ve resolved to go back soon to go for a proper walk in one of the forests, around the old parkrun route, or one of the many other walks (and probably should do the house too!).

Saturday

True to the forecast, the weather turned really grim and grey (and wet!), so we’d tried to make sure that Saturday was a more of an indoor day. It started with a trip to our local butchers and greengrocers. The butcher very kindly de-boned and skinned the chicken thighs for me (I am complete pants at doing this myself) while Matt got the veggies sorted. This is probably a silly thing to say, but I am constantly surprised by how nice people are where we live now. We returned home and I set to work in the kitchen.

Easter batch cook

Many hours later, we have 14 dinners of:

I’ve not tried the pork meatloaf (looks strange, but smells amazing), Spanish chicken or the mustard lamb before (and obviously a Jamie Oliver “15 minutes” is a normal human’s “30 minutes”). I am pleased though – it was a long time on my feet, but totally worth it. Plus, we were treated to a pretty gorgeous sunset as I came to the end of my cooking.

Sunset

Sunday

My sister has come home for the Easter break, so I headed down to Mum and Dad’s for the day. My sister cooked an amazing curry (a Slimming World one I think), and we had a really relaxed afternoon, just catching up and putting the world to rights and making a fuss to this little loon.

Little Loon

Dad went out as he plays in a band and they were playing down a pub, and Matt stayed home to do some tidying up.

It was definitely a case of donning the flippers to get home. The amount of standing water on the roads was absolutely crazy, but I made it home safe and sound.

Monday

I headed back to my parents’ house today, while Matt sat in the queue on the M5, attempting to get to his parents’ house (the traffic was pretty awful from what I gather). Mum, Dad, my sister, gran and I had lunch at the local garden centre, before Mum and I toddled off so I could try and show her the type of flower that I would like in our garden (it’s a small, blue flower, and lives in a rockery type environment). We couldn’t find it. Pudding was courtesy of Orange Elephant. I am sure I said this on my old blog, but if you are ever in the area, head over to Orange Elephant at Lower Brenton near Kenn for the best ice cream you will ever have. The lambs have not long arrived too – what’s not to love – lambs and good ice cream!

Lambs

Anyway, the delayed Sunday blues have kicked in quite hard, and I’m aiming for an early(ish) night as I have a very long day ahead of me tomorrow.

What did you get up to this weekend?


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Whole 30 Days 10 to 14: Going strong

I’m through the first third! It’s going well, I’m not hungry or feel like I am missing out (too much – just cups of tea still!), and at the moment, I think it’s going to be a relatively smooth ride to Day 30. That said, I’m conscious that I still seem to be running a few days behind “the timeline“. Here’s how I’ve got on over the last few days:

Day 10

Breakfast: Hard boiled egg, chicken, cucumber and tomato with some balsamic vinegar

Lunch: Left over chicken stir fry with veggie couscous

Tea: Cincinnati chilli with butternut squash noodles

How I’m feeling: Productive! As I’ve mentioned before, when I come in after work, I quite often literally flop down on the sofa and call it a day. Not tonight, no! I cracked on with making Pina Colada chicken for later in the week, and also did the marinade for the green chicken, which smells absolutely amazing when you’re whizzing together all the ingredients. The chicken needs to marinate for at least an hour, but longer is better, so that’s tea for tomorrow sorted.

Day 11

Breakfast: Banana and apple with almond butter

Lunch: Left over Cincinnati chilli

Tea: Fiona’s Green Chicken (from Nom Nom Paleo)

How I’m feeling: Apparently most people feel the strongest urge to quit their Whole 30 at day 10 or 11. I can’t say this is something that I have felt over the last couple of days. Actually, it has been really nice to come home of an evening, eat proper food (not a ping meal in sight!) and get ready for the next day. I love the green chicken recipe, and would definitely recommend it. I used chicken breast instead of thighs as we don’t have thighs in the freezer. I feel good though – energy is improving day by day, I don’t have any all consuming cravings and don’t seem to be feeling any ill effects right now.

Day 12

Breakfast: Banana and apple with cashew butter

Lunch: Left over green chicken with veggie couscous and roasted med veg

Tea: Bacon braised cabbage (from Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food) with sweet potato chips

How I’m feeling: I am very glad it is Friday and this week is over. It’s been a bit mad at work. I’ve weathered it well though – my energy and concentration levels have been good, though I have been more irritated than normal with silly things (trying to get through to a human being at one of the government agencies is the devil’s own job and saw me shouting at the stupid automated woman on the other end of the phone!).

Day 13

Breakfast: Banana and apple with cashew butter

Lunch: Left over green chicken with sweet potato

Tea: Steak with root veg chips and stir fry veg

How I’m feeling: I went to bed too late last night and didn’t sleep brilliantly. I think I spent too much time looking at a screen before bed, watching some of the gubbins on my Netflix. It was a relatively slow start to the day, and I ummed and ahhed about going in to work today or tomorrow. I needed to go in when no one else was there as I just needed some quiet time to concentrate on the fiddly stuff. I decided to go today, and turns out that it was time well spent, which was a load off my mind and will allow me to enjoy the rest of the weekend. I cooked up the chicken and sweet potato before I went. I absolutely love this recipe – it’s pretty easy to do too which is always good! After popping to work for a few hours, I stopped at Tesco and picked up some steak for tea. It wasn’t on the plan, but I really fancied it. Matt cooks steak better than me, so he was the chef of tea.

Whole 30 Days 10 to 14

I feel pretty good still. No super energy (though my energy is better than pre-Whole 30) and no vivid dreams about food as the Whole 30 timeline suggests. I do feel a bit more positive generally though.

Day 14

Brunch: Two fried eggs, followed by cashew nut butter on apple and banana

Tea: Pina Colada chicken from Well Fed 2 with butternut squash noodles and stir fry veg

How I’m feeling: I didn’t get up early enough to consider breakfast and lunch two separate events. Instead, I settled for waiting a little longer and having lunch. After lunch, Matt and I decided to go on an explore around town. We googled some walking routes, and came up with two that we combined. It’s been a really murky day, light drizzle and grey. Cold too – the wind has a real bite. There has been snow up on Dartmoor, but we haven’t had any that has settled (yet).

January Walk around Cullompton

We walked a reasonable distance before my stomach started to get a bit sore. It is getting close to that time of the month, but it wasn’t a period pain soreness. Nope, this was one of the delayed side effects of the Whole 30 – the bad tummy time. Delightful! I will be backing off the nut butters, just in case they’re anything to do with it though, as almond and cashew butter have become a near daily thing. Anyway, that aside, I slept really well last night, and the vivid dreams appeared. They weren’t about food, but they were vivid all the same. My energy levels are pretty good, no obvious crashes, and it isn’t taking me so long to get round to doing things (I remember on my last Whole 30, my procrasination levels reduced quite a bit).

All in all though, I am pleased with how it’s going. The only thing I regret not doing before this was a proper “before” picture, as I feel like I have lost some weight, but I’m not 100% sure. Matt definitely has though – his t-shirts are fitting better, and his face looks a little thinner which is really great. He had a great non-scale victory today too – a coat that he hasn’t fitted into for ages, he did up. I’m so pleased for him!

Want to read my previous days? Check out:

 


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Cullompton Food and Drink Festival

I have been meaning to sit down and write this post for most of the week, but haven’t had the chance. It has been a bit of a mad week at work, and I’ve left a bit late most days and brought work home. Never mind!

We’ve lived here for just over a month and a half, and hadn’t had the chance to get to the award winning Cullompton farmers’ market. The market is held on the second Saturday of the month. In September, we were so busy unpacking and caught up with general house moving gubbins that we didn’t make it. October’s market coincided with the first food and drink festival. With nothing else to do (well, nothing more appealing to do!) Matt and I thought we’d escape the house for a bit and have a wander around the festival. We haven’t taken the cameras out for a photo walk either, so thought it would be good to look at autumn through a lens.

First stop was the Walronds. We were greeted by a man who was pressing apples. He’d drawn quite the crowd, so it was a bit difficult to get a good photo.

Apple pressing at Cullompton Food and Drink Festival

It was quite crowded in the Walronds so we made a break for the community centre. We had hoped to stop by the White Hart where there were some more things going on, but they started after 1pm, and we were a bit early. The community centre was much more family oriented, with face painting for children, local children and parent groups, and a cake judging competition. It was nice to have a walk around the centre, as much as anything, to look at the notice boards to see what is coming up over the next couple of months. A couple of events have spiked mine and Matt’s interests, so we’ll be trying to get out and about more than we did in our previous town.

Instead of walking back straight up the high street, we walked along the leat walk. The last time we walked up there was when my parents came with us when we were house hunting in the spring. Now the colours are beginning to turn, it is a really pleasant little walk.

Leat walk in Cullompton

On rejoining the high street a bit further up, we decided to get some sausages and bread. The farmers’ market is made up of local independent farms and retailers. I know from my adventures in Whole 30 that trying to find a high meat content sausage can be a real pig (pardon the pun), so we’re often on the lookout for good quality sausages. Mission accomplished! Moonbeams Farm were the ones I picked for their Spanish inspired pork sausage. Moonbeams Farm raise Gloucester Old Spot pigs. The sausages were really tasty, so we’ll be looking to try some of their chops next time we see them. Of course, you can’t have a good sausage sandwich without a good bread. Matt was very taken with Bread of Devon (especially given the play on words with Bread of Heaven – yes, Matt is my resident die-hard Welsh rugby supporter).

All the om nom nom noises!

We’ll be stopping by the farmers’ market again, without doubt! I hope the food and drink festival went well – it certainly seemed to be received very well.

Do you have a local farmers’ market?  Any unusual finds? The most unusual find I found was alpaca meat!