Paleo Christmas dinner

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….mainly in my lunchbox.

xmas dinner

Parsnip chips and sprouts are starting to make up a lot of my meals now the festive season is upon us and it is certainly helping me to get in to the festive spirit.

Christmas is stereotypically a time of gluttony and overindulgence. We always reach for that second mince pie, the cheeseboard after dinner or that extra glass of mulled wine.

I hold my hands up to this too, for Christmas becomes yet another occasion whereby we justify over eating as treating ourselves. I have been known to go Furious Pete on a chocolate orange before the main event then promptly open another one straight afterwards.

Christmas doesn’t have to mean gaining a few extra pounds though. Mince pies and mulled wine are fine in moderation but if you don’t want to overindulge this festive season then why not give this Paleo Christmas dinner a try.

It’s so hard to please everyone when making a Christmas dinner but for someone following a Paleo plan or wanting to watch what they eat this month then this dinner will hit the exact same spots that a “regular” Christmas dinner would. Dane and I were left in an absolute Christmas food coma after eating this and immediately gravitated towards the sofa to lie very still for a good 15 minutes.

The sprouts before...

The sprouts before…

The sprouts after...

The sprouts after…

We were incredibly excited to rustle up this Christmas dinner and in particular the sprouts which were bursting with flavour from the bacon lardons and sweetness of the raisins. The pine nuts complimented the crunch of the roasted sprouts and apple perfectly.

We had cauliflower mash, roasted parsnips and carrots, broccoli and of course turkey which was cooked to perfection, if I do say so myself. We even made our own cranberry sauce which was the only non-Paleo element of the dish and totally optional of course.

xmas dinner 3


You will need:
1 turkey crown/whole turkey
Parsnips, chopped in to chips
Carrots, chopped in to chips
Brussels sprouts
Pine nuts
Bacon lardons/bacon rashers
1 cooking apple
Gravy granules
Orange juice
Brown sugar

To make:
– Start by preheating the oven to about 200 degrees and then pop the turkey in. We bought a medium sized joint which we added a bit of salt, pepper and basil to. It needed about 50 minutes in the oven but timings will differ depending on the size of the meat.
– Put the chopped parsnips and carrots on to a roasting tray and cover with mixed herbs and olive oil before roasting for about 30 minutes.
– For the sprouts:  chop them in half and put on a baking tray before adding roughly chopped garlic, cranberries and apple. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes before frying off your pine nuts and bacon lardons, adding them to the sprouts along with the raisins and roasting for a further five minutes.
– To make the cauliflower mash boil the finely chopped cauliflower until well cooked and then mash after draining and add seasoning to taste.
– When the turkey is almost ready, boil the broccoli and make the gravy and then you’re good to go.

To make the cranberry sauce: (not Paleo)
This sauce is seriously simple and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
You will need:
-100g brown sugar
-100ml orange juice
250g cranberries
Start by adding the sugar and orange juice to a pan and then heat until boiling. Add the cranberries and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until they soften.
Once they have simmered for long enough, turn the heat down and the sauce will begin to thicken as it cools.

IMG_5957 IMG_5958

That’s pretty much it, Paleo Christmas dinner is done.  It really is simple to make and no fancy utensils are needed it’s just about getting your timings right.
Let me know if you make it and how you get on.

Merry Christmas 🙂




An advent calendar with a difference

Photo credit to Advent Running

Photo credit to Advent Running

Since the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon – which was almost two months ago now – I am ashamed to say that I have really struggled to get back in to running. It is partly because of niggling injuries and partly because it’s that time of year when the motivation to jump out of bed on a cold, dark and wet winter morning can start to dwindle.

It was by chance that I spotted the Advent Running Challenge on Twitter which involves running every day for at least 30 minutes for 25 days, ideally starting on December 1.

With the Central Lancashire New Year Half Marathon fast approaching I thought that this would be the perfect time to get back in to the swing of things and make time for running in what usually promises to be a busy month full of Christmas shopping and festive fun. Not to mention that more running equals more mince pies!


I will be starting my challenge tonight and will finish my last run on Boxing Day.
Get involved and check out the challenge online or Tweet Advent Running to share your pictures and running experiences. There will also be a spot prize each day for the best photo, video or written description of the day’s run shared on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

2014 has been a great running year for me and I want to make this final month a good one! Happy December running everyone!


Winter running essentials

It’s that time of year again when you wake up in the dark and get home in the dark. The days of an evening run at dusk as the sun goes down are fast becoming a distant memory now and runners have no choice but to hit the streets in the dark.

If you’re training, running in the dark over the winter months will be second nature but if you’re new to the game I’ve put together some tips for keeping safe whilst running in the winter months, as well as some of the gear you may find useful. It could also help if you’re struggling for Christmas present ideas as well.

Without doubt the first essential you need for running in the dark is a reflective jacket.
Most running trainers have reflective strips on them somewhere but I find, for peace of mind if nothing else, a reflective jacket is much better.

Ladies Nike Vapor Jacket:
– £54.99
– Water repellent properties to keep you dry
– Perforated side panels
– Reflective strips
– Removable hood
– Machine washable 

Nike Vapor Jacket

Nike Vapor Jacket

Karrimor Running Jacket:
– £14.99
– Drawstring for a comfortable fit
– 2 pockets with zips- perfect for you i-pod, energy gels and other running essentials.
– Ventilated mesh panel
– Reflective logo and strips on the arms and back
– Machine washable

Karrimor Running Jacket

Karrimor Running Jacket

And if you’re feeling really fancy….

Nike M Allover Flash Jacket:

– £319.99
– Storm-FIT fabric which blocks out the wind and rain
– Dri-FIT fabric
– Laser-cut perforations for breathability
– Reflective detailing

Warmth is essential too during the winter months, you don’t want to find you’re having to turn home early because you’re so cold you can’t feel your limbs.

Gore MYTHOS SO Gloves – Neon Yellow
– £34.99
– Windproof
– Reflective material
– Fabric insert on index fingers and thumbs- meaning you can still work your touch screen phone or i-pod with them on.
– Fleece lining
– Silicone-coated palm for grip
– Absorbent material on thumb and back of the gloves for wiping away sweat

Gore MYTHOS SO Gloves

Gore MYTHOS SO Gloves

Head wear:

The majority of our body heat is often lost through our head so some runners find it beneficial to wear a hat or a headband of some kind. Personally, I prefer to run without but if you suffer with ear problems or headaches from the cold then a hat is definitely a must have for winter running.

Stick to well-lit routes, especially if you’re running alone. Make sure you tell someone where you’re going and how long you roughly expect to be.

When you return, it’s inevitable that as soon as you enter your house and the warmth hits you you’ll want to strip off. Hold off until you have stretched though or you will find you’ll cool down extremely quickly and then be at risk of a sudden chill.

Got any winter running tips?
Share them here and comment below.