The Detox Kitchen

The Detox Kitchen

The Detox Kitchen

Located wonderfully close to my office, The Detox Kitchen is a bright, fresh friendly cafe tucked inside Kingly Court, Soho. Offering a range of gluten free, sugar free, vegan, veggie and balanced brilliantly healthy food, not to mention the most incredible salad lunch spread (get there early before it all goes!). Luckily for my bank balance, I only discovered this gem a few months ago, and have been a regular ever since. Although busy at lunchtime, it’s a great breakfast or midmorning place to work, meet friends or hold a meeting.

The Detox Kitchen serve a range of foods that are designed to make you feel more energised, less stressed and lighter, helping to detoxify your body from persticides, chemicals and pollution.

My absolute favourite lunch from here is the roasted aubergine with yogurt and pomegranate, plus an avocado coleslaw and quinoa with roasted veg salad. There’s a range of proteins available, usually including salmon, prawns, chicken, plus vegetarian options. For breakfast, I highly recommend the Coyo yogurt with Q’nola popped quinoa granola and berries- so pretty and delicious.

The Detox Kitchen

The Detox Kitchen

 

The Detox Kitchen

 

As well as their deli, The Detox Kitchen offer a delivery service with food for the day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Options include the protein package (1500 cals, including fish, prawns and poultry), Vegan (1200 cals), Green with Protein (1200 cals), Green (900 cals) and Active Protein (1800 cals). I was offered the chance to try out a day’s worth of food- and obviously opted for the biggest portions and most cals! Delivered directly to my front door during the night, I awoke to a protein filled smoked salmon and avocado breakfast pot. Mid morning snack was a green juice, while lunch included courgette noodles, prawns, cashews and pomegranate seeds. In the afternoon I enjoyed chopped pepper with dip, whilst my hearty pre-preapared evening meal of chicken in a tomato sauce was enjoyed during a Biology lesson with minimum fuss! It’s not cheap, at £42.99 a day, however for a short term plan, and for inspiration every once in a while, it is a lovely idea, plus the food is high quality and carefully prepared. I wish I could afford to have it delivered everyday!

The lovely people behind The Detox Kitchen kindly allowed me to share their Salmon and Kale salad recipe- it’s a goodie.

Salmon and Kale 

SalmonKale Detox Kitchen

 

Serves 2

2 portions of Salmon, skin off

½ butternut squash, sliced

1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly

2 stems of kale, picked and washed

1 tsp fennel seeds

200g soya yogurt (or Greek yogurt)

1 lemon

Salt and pepper

Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan).  In a roasting tray cook the butternut squash with oil, salt and pepper and fennel seeds, until tender.

2. 5 minutes before removing the butternut squash add the thinly sliced fennel.

3. During this time season and lightly oil the Salmon, before roasting on a separate roasting tray for approximately 25 minutes.

4. Now quickly fry the kale in a very hot pan with oil, salt and pepper.

5. For the dressing simply mix the yogurt with the zest of 1 lemon, salt and pepper.

6. Mix together the butternut squash, fennel and kale.

7. Serve the Salmon on the bed of vegetables with the dressing drizzled on top.

The Fear of Running

Osterley Park Run

Osterley Park Run

Steph and I had the Osterley Park Run scheduled in our diaries for Dec 13th for months. We’d both wanted to enjoy a little run around the National Trust grounds, (especially after I ran around them after dark a few weeks ago) and I’d heard they had a lovely cafe for cake and coffee. However, in the lead up to the 13th, I started getting anxious about the run. (Anxious is my middle name at the moment). I worried that I wouldn’t be able to complete the 5K, that I would hold Steph back, that I wouldn’t be able to run and talk like I used to. Most of all, I was anxious that I wouldn’t enjoy it.

This might seem silly, I mean I ran my marathon PB at the end of September, but since then I’ve not done a huge amount of running or fitness. I read Sophie’s post last week and was glad to see I’m not alone with my running fear. Running isn’t easy, and for me it requires a certain amount of confidence in myself- a confidence that I’ve lost over the past two months.

About two weeks ago I went for a three miler with Tom, and cried whilst running over my lack of fitness. Tom’s about to start training for the marathon, so has been upping his gymming and is far fitter and faster than I am and this was the first time it was painfully obvious. And whilst I appreciate the idea and sentiment behind Advent Running that is taking over my twitter, instagram and Facebook feeds, the truth is, it’s making me feel bad about myself.

However, it turns out a 5K on a gloriously sunny morning with a friend was the perfect antidote to all of this.

Osterley Park Run

 

About 50 runners braved the cold to take on the three lap course around Osterley Park. The route took us along a gravel path before turning onto a very puddly path, then through a wood across a field and back to the start. The volunteers were incredibly friendly, as were the other runners (a few of whom we met and chatted with while we were hiding in the loo trying to keep warm!)

Osterley Park Run

 

 

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Osterley Park Run

 

Our pace wasn’t fast- clocking in for our 5K around 28mins, but I enjoyed chatting with Steph and feeling like a runner again. Steph’s training for an ultra at the moment, so had already run 6 miles before meeting me, and added another lap onto the run at the end while I stretched and scoped out the cafe. I loved having those brilliant post-run endorphins that are unlike anything else, particularly after a frosty run! I can’t wait to go back to Osterley in the New Year for another ParkRun, or walk around the grounds. I highly recommend a visit, especially to Londoners who haven’t ventured out that far West before. It is truly beautiful!

I wore a jacket sent to me by Under Armour from their Storm range, and I have to admit, although I’m not a huge fan of the colour, it kept me toasty warm in the freezing cold. I can’t find the jacket yet online, but will share it when it does become available.

Osterley Park Run

Dancing with Darcey Bussell

Boots UK Darcey Bussell 4

Boots UK Darcey Bussell 5

Even Darcey Bussell can’t teach me to dance, although she certainly tried.

Let’s rewind. A few weeks ago I uploaded a photo of some friends and I after a Barrecore class onto Twitter using the Boots #specialbecause campaign to tell them how awesome my friends are. I didn’t think much more about it until I received a direct message from Boots on twitter asking for my email, and then an email from them telling me that my picture had been chosen and that I was in for a very special dance class.

I invited the girls along to join me but wasn’t allowed to tell them much about the class, or who was teaching us (Nadia had flown back from Florence, and Abi had travelled up from Cornwall so I’m pretty sure they knew it was going to be good!!) however I think they were all incredibly shocked when Darcey Bussell walked into the room!

I thought Darcey would be teaching us a Barre class, however she actually taught us a selection of mini routines from different genres, including 60’s, 70’s, the jive, bollywood and more. If you know me, you’ll know that this is actually my worst nightmare. I can never remember a routine and have zero dancing skills. My face must have visibly dropped as Darcey told me I looked worried, and reassured me that even her non-dancer friends enjoyed the workout.

Despite my malcoordination, and the fact that the Prima Ballerina was dancing in front of me, I had a lot of fun. Yes I got a lot wrong, and certainly never complete a full routine (there were a few moments where some of us at the back crashed into each other) but we laughed the whole way through. Photo evidence below of me doing something different to everybody else…

Boots UK Darcey Bussell 10

Boots UK Darcey Bussell 14 Darcey made the whole experience easy, giving the moves names like ‘swimming’ and the ‘John Travolta’ that were easy for us to remember. We worked up quite a sweat with the mini routines, each lasting only a few minutes, and with not too many moves in the sequence (anyone with an ounce of co-ordination would have been fine!). I have a new found respect for the Strictly contestants and will certainly be less harsh when judging them from my sofa on a Saturday night!

After the session we had a chance to quickly chat with Darcey and take some photos with her. She is exactly as she seems on Strictly, friendly, smiley and approachable. Her enthusiasm, friendliness and willingness to chat openly with us really made the evening all the more special.

I had to do a nerveracking mini interview with Boots for their campaign whilst the girls tucked into some fizz and had their feet massaged. I felt sorry for the poor girls having to touch our feet after the workout- mine aren’t pretty at the best of times.

Thank you so much to Boots for a wonderful evening and to Darcey for being a brilliant teacher despite some challenging students!

Boots UK Darcey Bussell 7

5 Fitness Bits on my Christmas Wishlist

I’ve loved looking through lots of gift guides this year, but decided to share with you what’s on my personal wish list fitness wise this year. Tom and I aren’t giving each other main presents, but we are doing stockings so I am currently thinking of all the marathon related goodies I can fill his with. Whilst most of these items might not fit in my stocking, I am hoping that I might receive at least one of these goodies under the tree (hint, hint!)

Patterned Leggings 

I love patterned leggings, and have had my eye on these Sweaty Betty beauties for a while, and rumour has it they’re bringing out some even prettier ones next season. My legging collection could do with a bit of an update, getting rid of the more transparent options for some less embarrassing pairs. Sweaty Betty patterned leggings

PT sessions

With new goals this year, I’d love to work with a professional to train efficiently, tone up and strengthen my body in preparation for the challenges I’m setting myself in 2015. I love classes, downloading workouts and group activities but there’s nothing like a tailor made plan with one-to-one attention to ensure you work hard and perform correctly. Tom’s had a PT twice a month for the last 6 months and he has come on leaps and bounds. He is fitter, faster, slimmer and stronger, plus he absolutely loves his workouts. I’d love a few PT sessions to kick start the New Year and plan my next few months of workouts!

Bike Turbo Trainer 

I admit it, I’m a fair-weather cyclist. Improving my cycling stamina, speed and confidence is high on my challenge list next year, so having a turbo trainer in the flat would mean no excuses not to be training even if it’s raining!

Gym Tote 

Love, love, love these bags. They’re huge, have separate compartments for shoes, swim gear, cosmetics, plus space for an A4 pad. Considering I lug a gym bag around with me on most days, it would be nice if it was a bag I could be proud of, rather than using a hessien bag or shoving my clothes into my already overflowing handbag.

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Socks

I always lose socks- both my own and Tom’s! Yesterday I actually had to wear odd socks to a physio appt (for which he made fun of me). Sports socks, running socks and Pilates socks are always a winning stocking filler for me!

What’s on your wish list this year?

Cycling Tour of Vienna

Vienna Cycling Tour

One of the highlights of our weekend in Vienna was the 3hr cycling tour we organised with Pedal Power. They don’t run group tours outside of the Spring and Summer months, so we booked a private tour for four of us, requesting at least one cake and coffee stop en route (I think they thought we were joking!). As it was our first time in Vienna, we asked for a tour of the main sights, the ‘must see’ attractions so that we could get our bearings and decide which destinations to return to over the weekend.

I’d sent over our heights in advance, so getting our bikes hooked up was a quick process, with baskets for our bags (helmets were optional and most of the tour was on cycle paths). First stop was the Art History and Natural History Museums, built in 1880 these impressive buildings are designed to look much older. The Natural History Museum actually houses the largest collection of meteorites in the world. Outside these galleries is a statue of Marie Theresa, the longest ruling female Monach, and mother to 16 children, including Marie Antoinette.

Vienna Cycling Tour

From this view point, we could also see the air defence that protected Vienna during the Second World War (just a 5th of the city was bombed). These huge concrete towers are too strong to be destroyed, as they would damage too much around them if they were demolished. The British fighter jets couldn’t reach Vienna due to it’s distance from the UK, and the defence was strong when the US attacked from Italy. Any war damage that did happen is obvious however, as you can clearly see the different ages and genres of the buildings-pre and post war.

Vienna Cycling Tour

Interesting fact about the Opera House- the ground floor is shorter than the second floor after the government raised the level of the road surface when building the ring road. You can buy standing tickets to the Opera for 3.50 euros- well worth it if you are going to Vienna- you can always sneak out halfway through!

The Palace is beautiful, and huge. Each reigning emperor built an extra wing to avoid having to sleep in the same wing as the previous ruler. This is where Hitler gave his infamous speeches to the Austrian people, on the lawn infront of the Palace. Part of it has now been turned into a large public library. Sadly we didn’t get a chance to go inside, or to attend one of the Spanish Riding School performances. The horses stables are attached to the palace, and are well worth a look!

Vienna Cycling Tour

Vienna Cycling Tour

Next up was a visit to Parliament and the Town Hall. The Parliament building design is based on the Pantheon whilst we all thought that the Town Hall reminded us of Hogwarts when it was all lit up. In front of the Town Hall is one of the biggest Christmas markets, however in my opinion, it was one of the tackiest and busiest- maybe one to miss!

Vienna Cycling Tour

Vienna Cycling Tour

Vienna Christmas market

Vienna Cycling Tour

By this point in the tour, we were all beginning to feel the cold and were ready for a coffee and cake stop. Luckily there was a famous coffee house nearby where Sigmund Freud used to frequent while teaching at the local University. Our guide warned us that it was quite posh, what he really meant was ‘it will cost you 55 euros for 5 coffees and 5 pieces of cake’. It was worth it.

We all brightened up considerably after our cakes, and pedaled onward with gusto towards St Stephen’s Cathedral. It felt truly magical, and although we didn’t have a chance to go inside at the time, we decided it was worth a trip back the following day to explore the Cathedral properly and take the lift up one of the towers to appreciate the view over Vienna.

Vienna Cycling Tour

Vienna Cycling Tour

Vienna Cycling Tour

Our guide stopped off at a few of his favourite Christmas markets along the way, including an organic market, and a child friendly market with livestock and rides. These smaller markets were less busy, and although some of the produce was more expensive, it felt more authentic, better quality and had a nicer atmosphere than the market outside the Town Hall.

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cycling tour vienna

Our last stop to see Strauss- turned gold by an adoring Japanese fan club years ago who were upset that his statue was made out of black marble, and raised money to have him cast in gold! We loved our bike tour, despite the cold. Apparently our guide hadn’t given a bike tour for two months because people had been put off by the weather, but they shouldn’t be! Although it can be chilly, you stay warm by pedaling around- plus with plenty of bike paths and non-car roads, we felt safe the entire time. Our guide, Emmanuel, was incredibly knowledgeable, and we were able to show off to the rest of Tom’s family over the weekend with random titbits of information. I loved having our tour at the start of our weekend, as it really helped us work out where were and how to spend the rest of our time. I couldn’t recommend Pedal Power enough, although do make sure to tell them that you’re serious about the cake and coffee stop!

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