Sunday, 14 July 2013

Buying my first pair of running trainers.

I have been running for about 3 months now but haven’t managed to progress very far. The reason for that is because every time I run I get a pain in my ankle which takes a week to fully heal, and running once a week won’t get you anywhere fast!
After a bit of internet reasearch I had pretty much come to the conclusion that it was my achilles tendon that was hurting, and after running on a few different terrains decided it was most likely because my running shoes didn't fit me correctly, so this week I decided to visit Asics and treat myself to one of their 3D foot scans and gait analysis in the hope of finally finding a pair of trainers that don’t hurt my ankle.
I visited the flagship Asics store on Argyll Street (by Oxford Circus station) on my lunch break and started with the 3D foot scan. The 3D foot scan is exactly what it sounds like, a full scan of your foot.
A 3D scan of my feet taken at Asics

I found this very interesting, it shows you the the exact size of your feet, heel arch and the direction your ankles lean. As you can see my ankles lean inwards meaning I overpronate, this is most likely the cause of the ankle pain I was experiancing.
This was all explained to me by a sales assistant in about 5 minutes. She was the only one working upstairs in the shop where the scans take place, so I felt a bit rushed as she was having to deal with someone who was working at the computer and any other customers who entered the store. It would’ve been nicer if I felt like I had her full attention or if she seemed to care a bit more as she never asked if I had any questions and skipped over a lot of the measurements so I don’t know what they are for, sure they may not be important or relevant to me, but it would be interesting to know.
After the foot scan I went downstairs to where the actual trainers, clothes and accessories are sold. I was greeted by a lovely sales assistant called Jade, who looked at the scan and asked what size shoe I normally wear (a six) and explained that I would probably be a 6.5 in Asics as they run a bit small and you want a tiny bit of extra space for allowing the swelling your feet do when you run.
She also asked what sort of distances I run and where do I run as well as looking at my current running shoes (Nike Flex) and explaining that the reason I was having trouble with them is because they are very flexible and I need something with more structure to help with the over pronation. Jenny bought over a pair of trainers and showed how the different coloured parts of the soul are made with different materials and some parts are stronger than others.
After putting them on I could definitely feel the difference, they felt a lot more structured then my current trainers, it actually made them feel more like slippers. After checking the fit it was off to the running machine to check my gait.
The treadmill was set to my average jogging pace and after about 30 seconds of jogging we stopped and had a look at the video. 
It was very interesting seeing myself running from behind. Apparently I run on the balls of my feet, which is a good thing and reassured me as running technique is another thing that could’ve been the cause of the pain.
We then went and looked at the trainers that are suitable for me. The pair I tried where the most basic version, there was versions with more cushioning for a comfortable run, but the sales assistant assured me the basic ones are good for up to marathon level, plus there was a pair that where in the sale so that decided it for me. 
The trainers cost £71 in the sale, and I’m not going to lie, they are pretty fugly, but when my face is bright red and dripping with sweat, who’s really going to be looking at my feet?
A picture of my Asics GT-2000 trainers I purchased.

I was recommended to wear them around the house to help break them in, and to start off with slow runs for a couple of weeks until I am fully used to them and they are broken in.
I really enjoyed my time in Asics, it was definitely very informative and I think that if you are going to get serious about running it really helps to get your feet/running style checked out and get a proper fitted pair of trainers, it’s just such a shame that I felt so brushed off by the first sales assistant.
Fingers crossed these trainers stop the ankle pain because I’m after a 10k next!
Tuesday, 9 July 2013

I heart George Foreman

I uhmmed and ahhed for absolutely ages before purchasing my George Foreman, I was worried over whether or not it would just end up another gadget gathering dust on my kitchen side after hearing such mixed reviews from people. Some seemed to love it and would always recommend getting one, others said they are a waste of time and dried food out.

I decided to bite the bullet and just go for one in the end. The main reason I was after one was not for the health benefits (although they have been a welcome bonus too) but because of my complete inability to cook chicken. I am so paranoid about getting food poisining that I have to completely disect my chicken after it has been cooked to check for any pink parts, I often see pink where there isn’t any and end up burning my chicken and ending up with something that was dry and chewy, not too pleasant to eat. I thought the Foreman could help me cook my chicken better, or at least not be so paranoid about it cooking all the way through because the plates heat up on the top and bottom.
After deciding to just go for it and get a grill, I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching which one was the best one to get and prices. In the end I opted for a 4 person grill (my mum mentioned she might like to use it for cooking for the family too) with removable plates, which is definitely the best grill for me.
So is the Foreman collecting dust? No, I think it was a bloody good investment. It cooks chicken in 8 minutes. A whole chicken breast in 8 minutes. I couldn’t be happier! And I don’t have to spend a further 5 minutes picking it apart to check for pink bits.
I have also used it to grill my veggies and cook steak with. It keeps the meat juicy which I was pleasantly surprised by and it seriously cuts down the time of cooking, not to mention the fact that most of the fat is drained away.
To use it, all you do is plug it in and weight for the red light on top to go out, when it does it means it’s ready to use, just lift the lid, put the food in and close the lid again. There is only one heat setting, but I haven’t had any issues with it.
Although I love my grill, I must point out a couple of issues. Mine arrived without a drip tray (the tray used to collect the fat that runs out of the food), this is probably just a random one off thing and I just stick a plate underneath instead, but this is still annoying.  Amazon partially refunded me for this though which was great.
Another issue is one that I have seen in lots of other reviews, the grill says it is for 4 people, but I would say its for 3 people at a squeeze. Fine for me to use on my own, but mum isn’t about to fit 4 pork chops on there.
The removable plates also just clip into place, making it very easy to put them in upside down or the wrong way round (I have done both), and it feels a tiny bit flimsy, although mine hasn’t broken.
If you are looking to get a grill, I would definitely say go for it. I really enjoy mine and I’m getting loads of use out of it. The meat tastes a lot better than it does when I was cooking it using other methods. I would definitely suggest getting one with removable plates though, I can imagine this would be bit of a bitch to clean without them!
Sunday, 7 July 2013

Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower Mash

If you follow me on Instagram you probably would've seen me post photos of my cauliflower mash before, I like to make mine with cheese and garlic, but these are optional, you can use whatever you want to flavour your mash, such as oregano or black pepper.

Cauliflower mash is so easy to make, and definitely feels a lot naughtier to eat than it is!

Here is my recipe:


1 Cauliflower
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1 Garlic Clove, crushed (optional)
1/4 Cup Low Fat Cheddar (optional)

Makes 3 portions.

To Make

1. Chop the stalks off the cauliflower heads.
2. Boil the cauliflower until it is soft, around 5 minutes.
3. Put the cauliflower in the food processor and add the almond milk, cheese and crushed garlic clove.
4. Blitz the ingredients until a smooth mash like consistency.

And that's it, you have cauliflower mash!

Mine looks a tad watery, but thats because I accidentally added too much almond milk.

72 Calories | Carbs: 7g | Fat: 3g | Protein: 6g | Sugar: 2g | 2 Weight Watchers Pro Points

Let me know if you make this recipe, and if you would like to see more recipes.
Friday, 5 July 2013

A BB Cream for hair?

BB Creams are all over the place at the moment, and with companies bringing out hair primers, it was only a matter of time before someone bought out a BB cream for hair, and Pantene have done just that.

I picked this product up when I was in Florida after seeing Zooey Deschnael advertising it on TV, I love Zooey and her hair looks fantastic so clearly the advertising worked for me and I headed to Walmart to pick up this product.
So what is a BB cream for hair? Well, much like the BB creams for face it claims to be a all in one styling product with plenty of benefits, 10 of them in fact according to the packaging:
1.Repair for rough hair
2. Strength against damage
3. Silky Softness
4. Brilliant Shine
5. Smoothing
6. Moisture
7. Frizz Control
8. Heat Protection
9. Manageability
10. Tamed Fly-Aways. 

I have used this quite a few times, and I really like it for when I am using heat products to style my hair because I always forget to use heat protectant on it and the fact that this is an all in one is very handy for me. It does do well at keeping my hair in place all day, and smoothing down the flyaways, it also smells pleasant too, it has the clean scent of shampoo. I haven't notice that it makes my hair that much softer though, and I don't notice any more shine than I do with my other styling products. 

I don’t use this on non heat styling days because I find it leaves bit of a film in my hair if I touch it, I’m sure if you use hair styling products regularly this wouldn’t bother you, but it does bother me.
It’s also very easy to overuse the product, and when you do it dries clumpy and makes your hair look greasy. I have long thick hair and 2 pumps is more than enough for me.

I  am more convinced by BB products for hair than I have been on BB creams for the face!