Wednesday and a favourite breakfast!

This morning was somewhat magical, woke up fully rested and I love how the sunlight bounce against the white snow making it even brighter! Since I am a light fanatic, that is one of the best attributes of winter in my opinion. Anyway, started my morning with a favourite breakfast containing a lovely avocado (big health booster as we all know by now!) and lime, 80 g salmon (additional healthy fat!) and two eggs (protein source galore!) – an energy boosting breakfast for sure! And I will be needing it as I am heading off to the gym in a few minutes for an arms and back session. Looking forward to that immensely, in particular since the rest of the day will be spent sat in front of the computer writing up yet another essay. Student life at it’s best!

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When I have time during this week I am going to tell you about my latest obsession, or well, it is more of a motivational product which I have fallen head over heels in love with! Definitely not first on the ball, but better late than never eh! Wishing you all a lovely Wednesday, and I challenge you all to get some exercise done today. It doesn’t matter if its a walk or a heavy gym session – just do something that makes your pulse increase a tad and makes you feel truly alive.

Breakfast for cold mornings, and training routine is back on!

Shortly after my previous post I caught a cold virus which after a week turned into a horrendous cough. Today is actually one of the first days when I feel back to normal again and I am so very happy about that. I really don’t do being ill, as I am not a very good patient due to my lack of patience. This cold and affiliated side effects came as a big surprise since it must have been well over two years since I caught a cold virus. It has been so long that I somehow also had managed to forget how utterly boring it is to be in ‘house arrest’ and too weak to do just about anything. But I’m not going to bore you with all the details of my past two weeks, because it is all over now and today I have (of course!) been to the gym for an ‘ease back into it’ session. It was lovely! However the gym was a lot easier on the body than the cardio session, but it’s okay as I am not fully back yet. Soon enough I will be able to push it a bit again, cannot wait to hit the roads…or wait, what am I saying? It is 💫trail running💫 time now – woo – no more pollen, perfect autumn air and a forest that is a lot less crowded by people than during the summers.

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I do love outdoors running above all else, but honestly guys, this year (at least here in Germany) the weather truly decided to skip out on autumn and instead jump straight into winter temperatures, brr! It is bloody cold outdoors, so very cold that I have decided that it is time to head off to the shops tomorrow and invest in yet another pair of warm running pants. Along with cold mornings my ‘winter breakfast’ has also re-entered my life, warm oatmeal porridge and whichever fruit or berries I may have in the kitchen at the time.

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Today I decided to use up some American blueberries that were in desperate need of being eaten so it was a perfect match this morning. When it comes to fruit and berries I don’t tend to keep exact measurements as I believe that the immense health benefits outnumbers the potential extra calories. I suppose if you are on a low sugar diet (including fructose) it may be a different story, but I need a little something in my oatmeal to spice it up a bit.

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I have to be honest here and tell you that I actually do not love oatmeal porridge like many people do. As a matter of fact I tolerate it and at times I am even able to enjoy it a bit. This may seem a tad strange, why eat something that I don’t love? Well, because I still know that it is healthy for my body and because I know that I have a tendency to eat the same thing every morning far too often. Contrary to what I sometimes try to convince myself; my body does not only appreciate variation it actually depends on it. I wish that I could love oatmeal porridge because it is such an easy and quick breakfast, with numerous health benefits. But its something about the texture of the porridge that sometimes makes me less keen, however it is the ultimate student breakfast as it is rather cheap and you don’t need much to feel perfectly sated. Additionally, in these cold October mornings this breakfast is warm and lovely and I can almost feel how very gentle it is while traveling through my body.

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I usually add about three table spoons of cold milk as well, I know that it is not recommended to consume any milk products in the morning if you suffer from Hashimotos. Keeping my milk intake at minimum is therefore important to me personally, but I simply cannot eat oatmeal porridge without milk. I guess it is because it is how I have always ate it since I was a child and my father used to serve it during winter mornings. Perhaps that is yet another reason to why I so stubbornly continue to eat this breakfast, because it is affiliated with a person that is no longer here and as such it is almost like a tribute to him in itself. Who knows, what I do know is that oatmeal is perfect for those days when I need something a bit ‘heavier’ that will keep my body busy and happy for a bit longer. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning can easily keep me going past lunch time if I need to.

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Anyway, oatmeal porridge may not be my everyday breakfast routine but every now and then it is nice to be able to cook something that is warm, quick and easy. The fact that you can add fruit and berries is a bonus as well, my favourite is actually grated fresh apples and then cinnamon sprinkled on top. Yum! Pretty much like eating an apple pie, or well more or less anyway.

Breakfast and Beetroot Juice.

Sunday, and I started my morning with a lovely breakfast and some beetroot juice. Must say that I had a rather lazy morning actually, much deserved after yesterdays kickboxing and static strength exercises. I love that kind of exhaustion that happens after a tough workout. I don’t think I ever feel so alive as I do during the full on, give it all I have circuits when my breathing is ‘heavy’ and theres a constant river of sweat dripping off my forearms, chin and forehead. I love it. Though I currently train to beat Hashimoto’s I would never and have never trained for the sole reason to get or be fit. I train because I love it, because its a part of me as much as I wish to be a part of it. The energy boost I am granted during and after training is fantastic. And the satisfaction of going to bed later on in the evening and have the best sleep ever due to my body being at peace is gold. Simply gold.

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Anyway, this morning I felt like giving my body a bit of a nutrition boost, not that I feel ill or anything I just like to keep my immune-system on its toes. Much needed when you suffer from an under-active thyroid as well, since it is an autoimmune disease and anything and everything you can do to help your body out in these situations is a good thing. Though I don’t use juicing as a mean of ‘weight control’ I still swear by the many benefits it has for your body (not to mention the enhancement of your bowel movements if you have problems in that area) as you get to consume large amount of vegetables, fruit, berries in the many different juices.

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Love the gorgeous color of the beetroot, fresh and vivid. I prefer to buy them ‘raw’ like this and peel them myself instead of buying them ‘prepared’. This way I know exactly whats been done to them, i.e absolutely nothing. Just the way I like it. I also believe that the whole point with juicing is to use fresh products, which is something I cannot get my head around when it comes to the current ‘smoothie’-trend. So many people seem to use frozen (packaged) products, something I would not really want to do if I could avoid it. However, I am not big into smoothies so perhaps there is something to it that I simply don’t get. As of now, I much prefer juicing as it is an excellent way to boost my body with plenty of nutritious benefits from raw vegetables and fruit.

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If you find it difficult to stomach the ‘earthy‘ taste of the beetroot (I did to begin with) then you can add a lemon in the mix. My experience is that it neutralise the overly earthy taste quite well. And I suppose most people know how fantastic lemon juice is for the body – yum – unfortunately not so awesome for our teeth so should be consumed with some caution for sure.

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So this is just about what I put into my beetroot juice, sometimes I add celery as well or any other green veggie, but as I didn’t have any at home today this had to do. I will also eat a very green lunch today so will most definitely get enough green vegetables in my body.

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Some of the finished product, don’t you just love the popping color? Not only the color is beautiful, the taste was as well and I am sure my body thanks me for the many health benefits. To borrow a slogan from Marks & Spencer, this juice is certainly… one that wows!

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Accompanying my juice I also had a lovely breakfast, scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes and some avocado – would have loved a bit more that, but it was a tad too ripe unfortunately. August can be a bit tricky when it comes to keeping vegetables and fruit. I always seem to forget and keep on purchasing the same amount and then have to make the most odd food combinations because I really don’t want to have to throw anything out. Anyway, I hope you all are having a lovely Sunday – I am heading out for a run later on tonight, fingers crossed it will be a fabulous one!

If you cannot eat the rainbow, at least eat your veggies.

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Simply cannot get enough of this dish at the moment. So ridiculously simple, so tremendously good. You have seen it all before, cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper, leek, courgette, aubergine, sun-dried tomatoes and once finished topped with some low-fat feta cheese. Heavenly good.

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I have spent a good amount of time at the gym today, focusing on legs mainly. It was very busy, which is rather unusual during the summer but it was a ‘nice kind of busy’ if you know what I mean. People were focusing on their training and simply channeling that kind of ‘good’ workout energy. Normally I prefer to train alone, unless its with a Personal Trainer, but I love the company of other gym members. I love to learn from watching the super-fit people, the talented lifters and the splendid runners. They all serve as fabulous inspiration and motivation in my own fitness journey. But I also adore the beginners, the sometimes careful and insecure ones that seem to want to disappear into the walls when the machines make odd noises or when they cannot figure something out. And I love the many seniors, sometimes strong as oxes and more often than not they outrun me on the treadmill without breaking a sweat. I love the gym-family, when it is a good one. And I happen to be a member of a gym that has a lovely down to earth attitude, professional staff that also take the time to get to know you as well as carefully looked after machines and training areas. After all, the gym does serve as my second home, and it is important to me that it is a place where I as well as everyone else who spend time there, feel equally welcome.

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Anyway, post gym, I always want to eat something quick and healthy. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I tend to eat lighter during the day so a vegetable-based lunch is all I need really. I don’t feel the need to add another protein source, except for the feta cheese, as I hit my protein goals just fine every day. However, please note that I cannot be used as a general example of how you should eat, my diet is carefully controlled by my general practitioner due to my Hashimoto. If you struggle with weight loss or if you simply want to know what diet would suit you best, I recommend you to contact a professional (dietician, nutritionist or your GP) for adequate advice.

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It has been a lovely break to write this entry, but time flies and I have to get back to my psychology books for a bit. August is here and my next study year will ‘unofficially’ open up in September so it’s about time to get properly started now. This summer has disappeared in a heartbeat really, but somehow I still feel quite energised and happy and ready to take on another year. My second last one, kind of mind boggling to be honest, halfway there and through plenty of hard work and determination I have managed to get distinctions only up to this point. Hopefully it will be a lasting trend, I would love to finish with a first!

Early morning run.

Woke up at 6 am this morning and could not go back to sleep for some reason, so naturally I went out for a morning run. As you do. Was quite tired in my legs since Sundays run when I pushed both pace and distance further than normal and on top of that I had a rather tough gym and cycle session yesterday. But it is all good, sometimes that ‘drowsy’ feeling in the body is the best start because I believe that I can actually feel how every inch of my body wakes up during the warm up. How the muscles realise that ‘oh right time for that again’ and how the heart and lungs recognise the breathing pattern, adjusting themselves accordingly and pushing me into ‘awake’-mode. There is a beauty in early mornings and slowly waking up your body with a gentle jog, plodding on leaving any worries behind enjoying the moment. I also love early mornings due to the silence of the world, the empty streets and the beauty of the botanical gardens which I have the pleasure to run past. Though today did not turn out to be my fastest run, it actually became my longest one as it was that enjoyable and I didn’t feel like stopping.

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Once back home, I fed the cat (we are taking him to the veterinary today as he’s had a cold for a bit despite being vaccinated so we are very worried about him as he’s getting quite old and also suffers from Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and decided to cook myself a warm breakfast containing mushrooms and sundried tomatoes (obsessed!) so incredibly good and simple. I love anything and everything quick when it comes to food, though I wish that I had more of my fathers skills and patience in the kitchen as I really do not. In my opinion, as long as I have ate my greens, kept within my calculated calories for the day, well then I am one happy little bean really.

Sunday Run-day, beating the pollen!

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Big post-run belated breakfast (mushrooms, spinach, 2 eggs – easy, quick, delicious!), couldn’t decide if it was a good idea to head out this morning or not which resulted in waiting a tad too long. My body is quite used to waiting for at least an hour with breakfast due to taking my thyroid medication in the morning and being advised by my doctor to wait an hour or so until I consume any food. But running on empty is not my favourite thing to do, everyone is different when it comes to this but I like to have at least a little something in my belly. However despite lack of food in my body and pollen reports indicating ‘strong grass pollen‘ my greatest nemesis, I decided to at least try. Figured I could always head off back home if need be, most of the time I tend to feel quite quickly if its going to trigger an attack or not. So I packed my rucksack which I always wear during running (except for the occasions when my boyfriend tags along on his mountainbike, then he’s a gentleman and carries it) since I always have to bring my asthma inhaler (triggered by the pollen unfortunately other than that I have next to none asthmatic problems) and my EpiPen in case I get unlucky and end up having an allergic/anaphylactic shock. I know what you may be thinking now, why do I even bother to run outdoors when I can go to the gym instead? The answer is quite simple, where I currently live there is no air-condition in the gym which means that everyone opens the windows (would be unbearably warm in the gym if not so I don’t blame them!) which means that theres just as much pollen inside as its outdoors. So this means that I may be one of the few that sit around each evening before my next-day run and wish for an abundance of rain! Anyway, went out today despite a few pollen-fears and made it just fine, the utter happiness! Difficult to explain, but the post-run high is simply tremendous.

A pink little box of heavenly blackberries.

Ever since I was a child blackberries have been one of my favourites, my parents and grandparents (on both sides) were big into gardening and farming in general. My father was a professional chef- and baker and was a huge nature lover. He had many prides when it came to his garden but perhaps his ‘kitchen garden’ was the one he enjoyed the most. He’d spend hours at end caring for his herbs and plants, skillfully pruning when needed and teaching my brother and me how to look after each and every plant and herb perfectly. Unfortunately my fingers aren’t half as green as my fathers were (he sadly and to my great despair, passed away, far too young in 2005) but the enormous love for nature (and wildlife in my case) and the possibilities to grow your own food or at least buy from local farmers is something I hold very dear to my heart. If my father and beloved grandparents taught me anything, then it is to get as close to the original source as possible when you cook. But also to take pride in knowing how to prepare, take care of your food – minimising waste products, and knowing how to make the most of what you have. Skills I treasure and find extremely helpful today, though my family is not vegetarians they were all big on eating (and cultivating) vegetables, root fruits, fruit and berries and as such it has always been a very natural part of my diet long before I became ‘somewhat of a vegetarian’ 20 years ago.

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My parents used to grow blackberries on the gable side of our villa, it was allowed to grow rather wild and free all over the wall up to the windows on the second floor (about 6 meters up or so). I loved how our garden was one big snack bar, apple- and pear trees, black- and red currant bushes, gooseberries (another of my all time faves!), strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and many more. Our house was popular among my friends, not only because my dad could whip up most anything in a heartbeat but also because we were allowed to pick and snack on whatever we’d like from the garden. How fabulous is that not? As a side note, I actually never ate sweets as a child, it was simply not appealing to me. I don’t mean to say that I never tried sweets because I did, but it was never high up my agenda when it came to snacks that I thoroughly enjoyed to eat. I don’t eat sweets these days either, but I do however eat a bit of chocolate and some ice cream every now and then. But for most part its fruit and berries that I enjoy, a tradition I am happy to continue but one that I also want to maintain for health reasons. Additionally, even as an adult I tend to get super-excited when I’m out in the forest and discover berries or wild herbs, theres just something beautiful about the free gifts that nature so lovingly brings forth.

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However, in all this happy I feel compelled to tell you all a little anecdote about when things go somewhat wrong due to growing up in a family where you are taught to enjoy nature and what it provides. As a small introduction I may have to tell you that it wasn’t only fruit, berries and vegetables that my father was encouraging my brother and I to eat. He also promoted edible flowers such as tagetes, marigolds, violas, lilacs – if you have not tried lilacs I highly recommend it, fabulous! I have a hilarious photo of myself as a 2 year old sat on the green grass close to the flowerbed happily munching away on yummy tagetes (it was my favourite back then apparently). I had a rather early start of enjoying the greenery I must say!

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Anyway, back to the story, since it was natural to me to be able to eat most anything in our garden I thoroughly enjoyed inviting my friends to do the same. I felt like a star knowing all the different herbs and fruit growing in the garden, however, what I did not know at the time was that though it is not life-threatening to eat rhubarbs raw (the stalk) it is not recommended in big quantities. Another thing I didn’t know was that you should definitely not eat the leaf, as it contains oxalic acid which makes it toxic. So imagine the slight panic in my dads face when he came out into the garden to find my best friend and I happily gobbling away on raw rhubarbs and possibly the green leaves too. You cannot deny that the leaves looks perfectly fine to eat, beautifully green and all. But oh dear, I cannot even begin to imagine how awful it must’ve made my dad feel at that point. Nonetheless, a quick visit to the hospital and luckily an all clear stating that we were just fine, we could happily return back home.

But still, adequate knowledge of what we put into our bodies is powerful – and sometimes I suppose you have to learn through trial and error as the case with food allergies tend to be. However, when it comes to herbs and berries and in particular if you enjoy to indulge in what the forest provides, make sure that you know what you are doing. Educate yourself, and take pride in that knowledge and awareness. Because even though there are a lot of beautiful and inviting herbs- and berries growing in the forest, quite a few of them should not, for health reasons, be consumed! However the ones that you do know, by all means – indulge! I certainly do.

Vegetarians, meat-eaters and my reason for eating seafood.

Finally Friday and though I didn’t get to go to Prague this weekend it’s still lovely to have some time off along with everyone else. I started my day with a gym session which was lovely, I definitely enjoy hanging out in the gym working on and focusing on strength training. I have however switched from rather heavy weights to lower weights and more repetitions. I don’t know if its the right way to go or not but a lot of people with Hashimoto (whom are trying to lose weight) argue that its more beneficial so I figured I should at least try it out. Additionally, it was a good change as well since I am, at the moment, mainly focusing on improving my cardio fitness and not so much lifting weights. I guess its difficult to miss that I have such a ‘runners-mentality’ at the moment and I can barely wait to get back out there between my sessions.

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Todays lunch was not vegetarian, but perfectly yummy nonetheless! As you can see in the photos, its a gorgeous mix of yellow bell-pepper (about 40 gram), leek (20 gram), cherry tomatoes (40 gram), spinach (40 gram) and some prawns (about 60 gram). Quick and easy as I simply fry it all up together, starting with the prawns first to get them just right and then adding the veggies. While frying I also add half a lemon (the juice) since lemon is yet another of my favourites in the kitchen. Not only because it has a fabulous yellow colour (💛) mainly due to its delightful flavour and ahhmazing health benefits.

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I do try to keep most of my meals vegetarian, but since I cannot eat nuts and many other important sources of nutrition due to allergy, I will forever remain somewhat of a vegetarian. Many people find this hilarious, and I constantly have to explain my reasons for not always eating vegetarian food. Sometimes its a bit annoying how the modern world has this constant need to position everyone in certain categories. My reasons are many, mainly due to allergies but also because of my Swedish heritage and growing up by the coast, being on sailing- and fishing boats since I could walk, and watching my grandparents catching and preparing fresh fish is linked to most loved memories of mine.

I know this is controversial to some, but the way I see it is like this; I do not eat anything that I would not have the heart, ability and knowledge to catch and prepare myself. Simple as that.

There are huge differences between having the knowledge of how to catch and prepare your own food, and the many people walking the isles of supermarkets having no idea how the food ended up there, and even worse, find it morally acceptable to eat the meat once its packed up nicely but could not for the love of their life catch, hunt and prepare the food themselves. There’s no honor in that, and theres little understanding of the many negative effects our excessive meat- and fishing industry have on our earth as such. We have to be extremely mindful of what we eat, not only because it’s meant to fuel our bodies but also because its easy to become a hypocrite arguing one point and at the same time leading a completely different life.

Banana-pancakes and a bit of a Hashimoto rant.

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Banana-pancakes because…its Wednesday and I bloody well deserve it! I am having a great training week so far, but unfortunately not a so great Hashimoto (💀) week. Thus I have to head back to my doctor again and ‘force’ him to take a second look at my lab results (and take new ones) because something is not right. I do realise that I am very fortunate (so far) with only a few symptoms, but the ones that do happen are awful such as horrendous migraine esque headaches and the non existent weight-loss (due to an extremely sleepy thyroid) no matter how often or hard I train or how careful I am with my diet. And trust me I am not one to cheat, not a chance! I follow my recommended diet (and calories per day) to a tee! Mainly because I know that one cheat meal would ruin a lot more than that meal only. My sleepy thyroid does not burn anything and its a constant balance act to eat enough to cover vitamins, minerals etc but not so much that my thyroid will start collecting and storing. Trust me, it is very annoying! But really, the main reason to why I never cheat is because I respect myself, my body and the goals that I have put up for myself to achieve. Despite this, it is of course very dis-heartening when I over and over have to battle and try to accept the non existent results of my hard work. But I refuse to give up, so back to the doctors office I go…laboratory rat should be my first name really. They have taken so much blood from me by now that I most likely could donate to the entire population of Germany soon!

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Anyway, back to the pancakes right! I love banana-pancakes, they are free of guilt (and no, I don’t mean in the ‘sick’ way I mean guilt free as in no bloating stomach, fully calculated within my daily calorie intake and not bad for my Hashimoto!) and they are easy-peasy to make. Put two peeled bananas in the blender, let it blend till its rather smooth, add four eggs a bit (1 table spoon ish) of ecological vanilla powder and blend again. Heat up the frying pan and start frying. One difference that I have observed when it comes to ‘banana pancakes’ compared to ‘traditional pancakes’ is that they don’t need to fry as long. So keep an eye out and get practising on your ‘flip ’em over’ skills, I love doing that! Whenever I make banana-pancakes I usually make a batch which I can re-heat later in the week if I would like, but in all honesty, most of the time whatever I don’t eat usually end up in my boyfriends tummy. Sharing is caring eh!

Sunday vegetarian lunch.

When it comes to food I tend to stick to what I like to a great extent, this sometimes means that I repeat the same meal a few times during the week. I know that its not everyones cup of tea but I really don’t mind repetition as long as its healthy and something that I enjoy cooking and eating. I prefer meals that are quick, easy and based on raw products. As I’m not very skilled in the kitchen I don’t like complicated meals that take long to cook and may not end up tasting particular nice because you missed a small detail somewhere in the midst of things. Lastly, the meals that end up on my plate and subsequently in my body highly depends on what my local vegetable shop can offer at the moment.

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This week I purchased a massive bag of gorgeous spinach so that has naturally been a part of my daily intake, bell peppers (in various colours) and lovely tomatoes are always a part (hello glowing skin! 💫) of my regular food routine. For todays Sunday lunch I decided to leave out a heavier protein source such as quorn or soy products and instead cook a familiar and much enjoyed mix of leek, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers and a few sun-dried tomatoes filled with feta cheese. Seriously yummy and for us on a weight-loss regime, very lean and low in calories too!

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I have had such a lovely start to my Sunday, as my boyfriend is home from bouldering today due to a healing finger injury (climbing related) and as such we decided to start our morning with some gentle yoga. And what a fabulous way to start a morning that is! However, I did get a reality check on how much more I need to work on my different poses and flexibility but its okay I haven’t done much yoga in my life and we all have to start somewhere. I mainly want to increase flexibility but of course also gain strength that will benefit my running and help me avoid potential problems in the future. So this is a new routine that we have decided to incorporate into our weekly training schedules. Its also a lot of fun to be able to do something together as a couple since we for the most part train separately.