The Ivy, Tower Bridge – Part 2

After the blogging event, we jumped on the Tube and went to The Ivy, London Bridge. It is near the station and the bridge so easy to find. The restaurant has a large glass window front with a magnificent view of London Bridge. We crossed the bridge to reach the restaurant and was able to take some wonderful night time views.

When we located the place we had trouble finding the entrance as you have to walk around the corner to actually find it. We arrived and was taken to our table. A lovely place which was exceedingly busy with lots of people having animated conversations about life and enjoying the delicious food.  We were asked if we would like still or sparkling water and my daughter firmly said ‘tap please’. I love the way she doesn’t worry about what people think, although nor do I nowadays.

The staff were friendly and told us all about the menu, but we couldn’t hear because it was soooo noisy. Unfortunately, this does seem to be a problem, but I could see that the problem would not last and many people were finishing their meals and had come from work so would probably depart which is, exactly what happened.

I had duck pate to start, lamb for my main course and then this most amazing chocolate bomb. I decided to have a beer because I had to drive home from the station, in a few hours time. Unfortunately, the glass was completely inappropriate for a female as it was large with a handle and the rime was about half an inch thick. I tweeted them about it, but was positive apart from complaining about the glass. The food and service were superb. The chocolate bomb was incredible and the highlight of the meal.  The waiter poured hot caramel sauce over the smooth mound and it all collapsed into a kaleidoscope of beauty and gorgeousness.  Oh, the  decadence of it! Yum! We are still dreaming about it. Quite sublime.

Can recommend the experience and it wasn’t too pricey. Not really. It is what life is all about really, isn’t it?

#Juneathon, update plus a lunch recipe…

Ingredients for the stir fry…

The above means you are supposed to exercise every single day and blog, tweet of FB about it. Nowadays, however, most people just tweet or comment on FB rather than blog. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to blog about my progress, until now, but have been doing the exercise which is my main aim.

Day 1 – 3 Gym
Day 4 – Sunday run – (Did 6 k along local roads and country lanes.)
Day 5 – Short walk
Day 6 – Gym
Day 7 – Gym
Day 8 – A long walk

Sunday run – (Did 6 k along local roads and country lanes.)

Also, I’ve written two posts about sleep and energy as I seem to be lacking on both counts at the moment.  These posts are out this weekend, so I hope you enjoy them.

Last weekend, I decided you use up the oldish veg and do a stir fry for lunch.  Here is the recipe…

Impromptu Veggie Stir Fry

Left over veg – I used cabbage and leeks

Onions

Chopped garlic

Mushrooms

Seasoning, including herbs

Smoked Mackerel

Hoisin sauce (about tablespoon)

Sesame oil

3 Eggs, beaten

Fry in sesame oil, the onions, garlic, mushrooms, seasoning and add the beaten eggs to form an omelette. Remove the omelette from the pan and cook the vegetables and add the sauce. When cooked, serve up with the chopped omelette and add the smoked mackerel. Lovely.

A great lunch, which was exceedingly tasty.

Veggie Stir Fry

Mushroom Risotto

This is a delicious quick lunch which uses up the old mushrooms you may have lying about.

Chop the mushrooms, onions, garlic, bacon (if want to include) and get a litre of chicken/veggie stock ready plus 200g of risotto rice.

Throw the chopped bits into a pan with a splash of oil and cook. After a few minutes throw in the rice and add liquid. You may want to add peas and or spinach or whatever you jolly well like. Leave for a few minutes to simmer. Add Parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Tip: This could be boxed up for tomorrow’s lunch too.

Bacon

Mushrooms

Onion

Garlic

1 litre of Chicken/Veggie stock

200 grams Risotto rice

Peas or spinach, etc.

Seasoning and mixed herbs

Easter prep, gym, cooking and a flat tyre…

Had a good week. Was invited to a family meal 🥘 . It was a lovingly home cooked Spanish tapas and absolutely delicious. We had bruschetta (as photo), meat balls, tortilla, olives, veggies, canary potatoes, prawns and manchego cheese. The pud was homemade brownie with ice cream and was absolutely amazing. The beer was Punk IPA by BrewDog which is my all time favourite beer, at the moment. Must say, tapas is a great way to entertain because you can pick what you like which, in my case, is most of it. Oops.

Been to the gym three times and been on a couple of walks. Tried to go on about 1200 calories and some days have been ok but others, as above, not great. However, feel more in control as not stuffing chocs and biscuits so feel a lot better. With Easter Sunday looming this is my main aim. Upwards and onwards. Really aiming to start properly after Easter.

On Saturday, did the booze and bits top up shopping and discovered a flat tyre when we returned to our car. Luckily, handy husband was with me and put the spare tyre on. This seemed to fascinate the local shopping population. Looked a fairly simple operation but I probably wouldn’t have the strength for the nuts. We then had to rush to the tyre shop and the man insisted I stayed in the car, like lady muck, while he jacked the car up! So I carried on nonchalantly writing this blog post! All part of life’s rich tapestry! Can you change a tyre?

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I’m looking forward to a jolly family day of roast lamb and all the trimmings including homemade Yorkshire puddings, chocolate pudding and cake. Then I’m back on the running, gym and healthy diet routine. I promise.

The obligatory Easter chocolate cake is a simple affair…

8oz marg

8oz caster sugar

8oz self raising flour

4 eggs

Chocolate drops

Splash of treacle and or milk (makes it fudgy and yummy)

2 oz Chocolate powder

Mix together and put into two 8 inch tins.

Icing is 2oz butter with around 3oz icing sugar and 1oz chocolate powder. Mix with a tiny drop of boiling water. To be honest, you don’t have to be too careful about measurements for the icing.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter.

Please don’t forget to press the FOLLOW button. 😉

Health and Fitness Update and Plan

So I have to confess that I’ve put on a few pounds during the last few weeks. Concentrated on exercise but think I’ve become tired of dieting and staying at 1200 calories a day. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

Recently, I’ve started to eat too many sweets, biscuits and so on but pleased to report that I found the experience quite bad, after months of being good. I felt exhausted and listless and to be honest, quite uncomfortable. The gym personal training session, this morning confirmed my fears and I’ve put over half a stone back on. However, recently I have stopped eating sweets and realise I need to eat more healthy stuff which will be easier now spring has finally appeared.

My plan is this:

Weigh daily

Record what I eat and drink daily

More vegetables and fruit

Healthier options

Exercise

Drink more water

I recently listened to a podcast about overeating and found the ideas interesting.

  • Affirmations in the evening (when it gets hard).
  • Tell yourself you WILL NOT OVER EAT, JUST FOR TODAY (worry about tomorrow.. the next day) Love this!
  • Just have one type of bad food, if you have to.  Studies show if you binge eat, you will buy a variety of foods (sweets, chocolate, ice cream). If you stick to one option, you won’t eat so much, which makes sense to me. *

 

* Source: Podcast – Primal Potential, Mastering Fat Loss, Strategies to stop binge eating (on Spotify)

 

 

Three Day Stews

I have always cooked stews with enough meat for two days but recently I accidentally did enough for three days. I found I can adapt a stew by accompanying mash or roast potatoes, rice, cous cous and so on. Also, you can add some spices and various vegetables to make the meal variable and delicious.

Today, I’ve cooked chicken, beef and pork casseroles and left them on a slow, low heat to cook.

Basically, I divided the meat into three separate pots and threw into the oven on a high heat to crisp up the meat.

Whilst they were getting a blast of heat, I proceeded to cut up the vegetables: carrots, onion, pepper, mushrooms with seasoning and herbs.

Then I made a pot of gravy for the stews which consisted of meat stock, veg stock, tomato purée and a cheeky splash of port. Oh yes.

The pork also had an additional sauce of honey, French mustard, herbs and seasoning to make it sweet and succulent.

After an hour I took the three pots of meat out of the oven and added the honey mixture to the pork, gravy an veggies to all three stews. Only a little gravy to the pork though because hoping for a sticky thick sauce for the pork. After about six hours slow cooking, they will go in my freezer and I shall have one stew per week. Each one will last for three days.

You can adapt them, as above, and it means when you come home from a long day at work, you have something yummy to tuck into.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Healthy March Challenge – Becoming Lighter Series

5 Fruit and Veg daily
No processed food
No or Little alcohol
Exercise min. half hour (pref hour)

#HealthyMarch

#BecomingLighter

The aim is to become fitter, leaner and healthier this month by following the above challenge.  Are you in?

Breakfast and lunches can incorporate plenty of fruit with some green veggies such as spinach (breakfast) and lettuce (salad lunch).  Suggest eggs for breakfast because they are filling and salads with protein (fish, chicken or eggs) plus a potato or couscous. A healthy evening meal such as a meat or fish stew is always tasty and can be eaten for the following two or three days, if necessary.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on sugar intake because it is hidden in tomato sauces, fizzy drinks and processed foods.  So obviously it is better to not have processed foods and enjoy cooking your own food.

The odd glass of wine is OK, but not too many.  I find this tricky as it interferes with a social life. However, we must give it a try. Oh, and don’t forget to drink about 6 glasses of water every day.

Oddly enough, for me, exercise is the easier part.  Suggestions for this includes gym, running, walking (city and country), swimming or whatever you enjoy most.

I will update progress and any comments below (with your blog links) are welcomed.

Cheers,

Andy Frances xx

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