Healthy pancakes with blueberries

Pancakes make the perfect Sunday brunch or weekend breakfast…

pancakes

They also make the perfect post-work out snack if you add some protein powder to them, making them the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates. If you top them with some honey or golden syrup you’re making the most of that recovery window where it’ll go straight into your muscles to refuel rather than to be stored as fat!

You will need: 
– 1/2 cup of coconut flour
– 1 tbsp oats
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 cup of milk
– any fruit you want in there
– 1 tbsp of natural honey or golden syrup if you want to sweeten them

To make:
– Mix all of the ingredients together in a blender or by using a hand blender.
– Put a dollop of your chosen oil ( I use coconut oil) into a pan on a low heat and when the oil has melted add a spoonful of the mixture to the pan.
– Flip the pancakes when you see the surface begin to ‘set’/bubble. Stack them up and then add whatever toppings you fancied.
– I like to top mine with honey, blueberries and peanut butter!

Tag me in your creations using #hannahshappypace and let me know what you top yours with.

🙂

 

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Race review: York 10K and some extra miles…

There’s nothing like running on home turf is there!

York 10k 1

 

York is such a beautiful city and even though I’ve lived here for a couple of years now I don’t think running past York Minster or along the river will ever fail to make me smile.

The Asda foundation York 10K started at the racecourse which is about a 1.5 mile walk from my house which is handy as there is no designated race parking. I walked to the start with my friend and house-mate Carley who was running her first 10K race.

We arrived in plenty of time and there was a small race village set up on the racecourse with some food and drink stands, charity stands, bag drop and of course, toilets.

We were crammed into our start pens by 9.15am and were off on time at 9.30am. Although Carley and I stood in the same start pen we split up once we crossed the line and agreed to meet at the finish as I was planning to use the race as part of a longer 16 mile run for Berlin Marathon training.

The course was great. It took in some of the city’s best landmarks and nicest streets and there were crowds cheering at every part of the course which was fantastic to see. The only downside was that I found myself weaving in and out of the other runners and having to slow down at parts to find a space to dash through but I guess this is to be expected in such a popular race.

At two parts of the race you come back on yourself which I always find mentally tough but before I knew it the finish line was in sight and I was grabbing a bottle of water and a raspberry flavoured sports drink, provided by Asda.

Runners moved through the finish line quickly which was good and after grabbing a drink you could collect your finisher’s goody bag.

In the bag there was a finishers medal, a tech t-shirt which I was really impressed with and a highly welcomed Mars bar.

Carley's victory snapchat!

Carley’s victory snapchat!

After collecting my bag I went back to meet Carley who absolutely smashed it, finishing her first 10K in 61 minutes. We had a super quick race debrief before I set off for another 10 miles agreeing to meet her back at home and head out for a well deserved lunch.

Those 10 miles were hard. In fact I actually didn’t run 10 miles at all but nine instead which took me to 15 miles in total. I’d finished the 10K in just under 47 minutes at a comfortable pace but I think had I not stopped after the race I would’ve found it easier. Basically my lungs felt fine but my legs were tired and I was paying for neglecting my long runs. Luckily though I’ve recovered well and I went on a 30 minute easy pace recovery run yesterday.

It’s now less than seven weeks until the marathon and yes, I’m trying not to panic when I think about how little time that leaves including the taper, but I’ve got another long run planned for this weekend.

On Saturday morning I’ll be doing this… 2 miles easy pace, 2 x 10 min at threshold pace with 2 minutes rest in-between, 10 miles at an easy pace, 15 minutes at threshold pace and then 2 miles easy pace. PHEW I’m tired just reading that but it’s ok because straight after that I’m heading to London with Dane to watch two of his athletes compete in the London Triathlon on Sunday.

Happy running all 🙂

#hannahshappypace

Easy homemade guacamole

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If there’s one food that’s extremely versatile it’s avocado. This homemade guacamole is super easy and quick to make and can be used as a dip, added to your lunch, spread on wraps or as a garnish on certain dishes.

You will need:
– 1 red chilli
– 1 red onion
– 1 whole lime
– 1 ripe avocado
– Black pepper for seasoning
– tomatoes (optional)

To make:
– Start by finely chopping the chilli and red onion and put into a bowl.
– Peel and dice the avocado and add to the bowl along with the black pepper for seasoning.
– Next add the juice of one lime and mash together with a fork.
– If you want to add tomatoes I’d recommend a variety of red and orange ones. Simply chop finely and add to the mixture as well.
– Voilà – homemade guacamole ready in a flash!

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Instagram and Twitter using #hannahshappypace

Balancing marathon training with strength training

 

So the countdown for the Berlin Marathon is officially ON!

Berlin marathon

The race is now just under three months away and I’m already halfway through my running programme and it’s really starting to ramp up.

Last week was a big week volume wise and after my final long run on Saturday my legs definitely knew it. As part of my programme I’m supposed to run every day but I’ve also started a new strength training programme to help keep me injury free and to make improvements to aid my running.

Up until recently I had been going to CrossFit as often as I could but after starting the new programme I soon realised that I wouldn’t be able to perform well during my runs after some of the WODs. So it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve had to say goodbye to CrossFit until the marathon is over and I’ve since joined a regular gym to try and get three strength sessions a week in.

I’m now on my fourth week of trying to combine my running programme with strength sessions alongside and although it has been difficult at times I’m really enjoying what has been programmed and doing something a bit different. I’m also slowly getting used to balancing the two.

I should probably say that I only do strength sessions on the days where I have recovery runs programmed or if I’m missing a recovery run to do strength instead. I also try to avoid the gym completely before any speed sessions and long runs.

Here’s a little snippet of what one session of my current programme looks like:

strength sesh 1

I’m lucky enough that my boyfriend Dane is a fantastic strength and conditioning coach who knows exactly what I need to be doing in order to get the most out of my running and hopefully stay injury free (touch wood). He has written me a brilliant programme which lasts for four weeks before it’s on to the next one.  He’s also prescribed the sets and reps for each week and my favourite thing by far is a good dumbbell circuit with some weighted burpees thrown in.

At the moment there’s a lot of focus on getting strong glutes and a strong core but Dane will be able to talk a lot more knowledgeably on the benefits of strength training for athletes than I can so head over to his blog for more information.

Strength training for runners is important for a variety of reasons though. Here’s a couple of them:

  • It helps you to stay injury free! Pretty self explanatory really, what runner doesn’t want this!? Strength training helps to keep you strong and correct imbalances that naturally occur in your body/running form. You’re going to need strong glutes and a strong core to keep good form when you’re racing. Running with good form also makes you a more efficient runner which translates in to faster min/mile speeds.
  • You can get faster by building strength in your legs and as mentioned above good form will prevent you from falling apart in the last stages of a race which can often be the difference between achieving a PB or not.
  • Strengthening your body will help to make running feel easier as your body will be able to deal with the stresses of running more easily as your muscles will be able to perform for longer before you start to tire.

So that’s where I’m up to at the minute. I go on holiday for two weeks on Saturday (YAY!) but here’s what my running programme looks like this week. Although this isn’t the original as I’ve had to adapt it and change things round due to work commitments and important appointments (hair, nails and waxing) haha! After this week I’m on to phase 3 of my programme, eek, where is the time going!?

Happy running everyone!

Monday: 30 min spin class + 20 mins steady state cardio (uphill walking)
Tuesday: 30 mins easy pace with 8 x 20-30 sec strides
Wednesday: Q1: 2 miles easy pace + 6 x 5-6min threshold pace w/1min rest + 2 miles easy pace
Thursday: 30 mins easy pace
Friday: Q2: 0.6 miles at interval pace with 3-5min recovery jogs until reached 10K
Saturday: HOLIDAY!! 30min easy pace with 7 x 20-30 sec strides.

 

 

Egg muffins – a healthy high-protein breakfast or snack

Muffins? Love. Eggs? Love. Egg muffins? GO ON THEN!

egg muffins

Many of us don’t have the time/would prefer not to make eggs in the morning so these are the perfect portable breakfast to have on the go or as a snack or lunch accompaniment.

Boasting the density of a muffin and all the protein benefits of eggs, this is a super easy and tasty recipe to rustle up when you’re doing your food prep.

Not only that but it’s another way of getting your greens in first thing in a morning. If you’re someone who can’t stomach the thought of broccoli for breakfast (personally I love it morning, noon and night!) then this is a great way to get those vitamins and nutrients in your system in a creation which actually tastes amazing too.

You can keep these egg muffins in the fridge, heat them up or simply eat them cold.

My recipe below used the ingredients I had in the fridge at the time but you can add chorizo, salmon, sweet potato… basically anything you like – give it a go and let me know what you use.

You will need: (makes 6 big muffins)
– 6 eggs
– Handful of chopped spinach
–  Pepper/spices to season
– 4 spring onions, chopped
– ¾ bacon rashers, grilled & chopped up

To make:
– Crack the eggs in to a jug or a large bowl and whisk with a fork as though you’re going to make scrambled eggs.
– Add the pepper and other spices as well as the rest of the chopped ingredients and stir well.
– Pour the mixture into muffin cases or a Yorkshire pudding tray, basically anything that’s deep enough to hold the mixture and put it into a pre-heated oven at about 180° for 20-25 minutes until cooked.

Have you made these and added your own fillings? Let me know. Tweet me at @hannahbryan91 or tag me in your creations using #hannahshappypace

Quinoa three bean chilli topped with lime & baked avocado

Feeling like a culinary goddess after making this! 

chili

I could go on and on about the health benefits of this chilli but instead I’ll keep it brief and let you crack on and make it for yourself to discover how tasty it really is!

Quinoa is protein rich and will also help you feel fuller for longer due to the amount of fibre it packs.  It is also rich in iron and magnesium which help keep red blood cells in good health and keep bones and teeth strong and healthy.

The kidney beans are packed full of cholesterol lowering fibre which gives you energy whilst stabilising blood sugar levels which is good for slow burning energy and again, helping you to feel fuller for longer. The black beans are high in fibre as well as protein and we all know how good protein is for muscle growth and repair.

Not to mention, this is a seriously tasty dish with a kick from the chilli and the lime and one you can rustle up in less than 40 minutes and save for lunch and dinner for several days.

It’ll also please any vegetarian friends and if you’re a fan of Meat Free Monday then this dish is perfect.

You will need:
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
– 1 green chilli, chopped
– 2 packs of quinoa – I used a mix of red & white
– 1 can black beans, drained
– 1 can sweetcorn
– 1 can kidney beans in chilli
– 1 can of chopped tomatoes
– Handful of sundried tomatoes
– 1 tbsp ketchup
– 1 vegetable stock cube
– 1 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
– 2 limes
– 1 avocado
– Handful of chopped coriander

To make:
– Start by heating the coconut oil in a large pan before adding the garlic and green chilli and cook until the garlic starts to brown.
– Add the chopped tomatoes, sweet corn, black beans, kidney beans, quinoa, ketchup, sundried tomatoes and seasoning and stir well.
– Add hot water to a cup and add the stock cube, stirring well before adding to the pan. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot before leaving to simmer and reduce for about 20-25 minutes on a low heat.
– Put the avocado into the oven 10 minutes before the chilli is ready and chop some coriander. After 10 minutes take the avocado out of the oven, peel and chop in to slices. Serve the chilli in bowls decorated with a lime wedge, sliced avocado and a sprinkling of coriander.

I served mine on a bed of crispy kale although it’s more than substantial on its own.

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram using #hannahshappypace

 

Chia seed overnight oats with peanut butter & banana

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Not to blow my own trumpet but I still can’t get over how incredible this was!

I have been wanting to try overnight oats for ages after lusting over various pictures on Instagram.

If you’re on Instagram or read various health/fitness magazines and websites you might have also seen that chia seeds are incredibly popular in oats and smoothies for example. I decided to combine the two and satisfy my interest in them in this breakfast creation!

This is a seriously nutritious breakfast packed full of protein, healthy fats and vitamins. Here’s a breakdown of why these ingredients are such a great way to start the day.

– Chia seeds are high in fibre, rich in calcium and iron as well as antioxidants which help to absorb the toxins in your digestive system.
– Bananas are rich in potassium, fibre, magnesium and add a natural sweetener to this breakfast. They are also a good source of carbs.
–  Blueberries are rich in antioxidants which help to boost your immune system to protect against illness. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.
– Peanut butter (although it has to be healthy peanut butter!)  has plenty of protein which helps to build and repair muscle fibres and will help you to feel fuller for longer. It is also packed full of good fats which will also fill you up and stop mid morning snacking!

This powered a long run for me and it had everything I needed to fuel a good training session. Not to mention it’s a fab way to jazz up regular porridge! Basically, eating this will fill you up, keep you full of energy and give you that warm satisfied feeling of deliciousness!

You will need: 
– 1 large ripe banana
– 250g oats
– 1 tbsp chia seeds
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 240ml of unsweetened almond milk (or sweet if you have a super sweet tooth!)
– 1/3 jar of Meridian’s smooth peanut butter (or a 1/4 if you want less of a peanut butter taste & add 1 tsp of agave nectar honey- I like the Groovy Food Company’s)
– For the topping you can add anything you want – I topped mine with some more banana, blueberries and a little bit of crunchy granola because I am addicted to granola.

To make:

– Mash the banana in a bowl and in a separate bowl add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the toppings of course.)

– Add the banana to the main mixture and stir thoroughly. Make sure that peanut butter is mixed in well as it has a tendency to clump together.

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– Pour the mixture into individual airtight containers (I like the clip glass jars) and pop in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have jars then put in to bowls and cover tightly with cling film. Enjoy in the morning with your favourite topping!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram with #hannahshappypace