Happy Friday, hope you are all doing well! I am so ready for the weekend right now, I think its just been one of those weeks and the bad weather we’ve been having has just made me want to hibernate! Still, there has been plenty of things to lift my mood including these lovelies:

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Those would be my gorgeous Raw Nutella Brownie Bars and due to high demand here’s the recipe!

Raw Nutella Brownie Bars (adapted from CCK’s fudge babies and inspired by the Gourmet Raw Hazelnut Carob brownies, makes 5 large bars)

  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tbsp of raw cacao or regular cocoa powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Dried buckwheat as topping (optional)

Add the hazelnuts to a food processor and blend until well chopped. Add the dates, cocoa powder and salt and process until the mixture begins to clump together. Line a pan or lunch box with cling film and press the mixture down to line the container evenly. Sprinkle on the buckwheat if using and press down into the mix. Transfer to the fridge or freezer to cool and firm up before slicing into bars. Store in the fridge, or wrapped in foil in the freezer. These are so good and definitely have a healthy Nutella vibe going on!

As I’ve had a carton of Alpro Hazelnut milk on the go I’ve been enjoying more chocolate / hazelnut combos such as this chocolate hazelnut protein smoothie:

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I also made a chia pudding with the milk to take to work as a snack:

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Looks weird but was really delicious and exceptionally creamy!

Workouts this week have been pretty good again:

  • Saturday – REST
  • Sunday – Just under 9.5 mile run
  • Monday – Hot Pilates class at Yogalilies
  • Tuesday – Gym – 30 minutes cardio HIITs on the cross trainer, bike and step machine, Body Pump
  • Wednesday – 4 mile run
  • Thursday – AM Yoga for Runners podcast, half of Yoga for Detox podcast and foam rolling (working late so no regular Yoga class this week)
  • Friday – last weeks strength workout but with a 10 minute treadmill speed run at the end instead of the step machine and a 5 minute session on the bike to cool down

As I mentioned in my WIAW post, on Monday I took a Hot Pilates class at the lovely Yogalilies studio in Newcastle.

The studio space is very chic

I’ve done a few Pilates DVD’s and you tube videos (Blogilates is a fave) in the past but I wasn’t sure what to expect. It wasn’t as hot as it has been for my hot yoga classes but it was pleasantly warm. The class itself was brilliant and I can’t praise Lissa the teacher enough. I think I found muscles I never knew I had! The way that Lissa described a lot of the muscle movements really helped me to engage my core properly – something that I don’t feel I managed when just following a DVD. I think it reinforced that although classes are the more expensive option, you do get so much more out of them than just following a video at home and there’s no reason why you can’t do a bit of both! Suffice to say I am hooked on Yogalilies! Once I have the Great North Run out of the way then I think I will be investing more of my time and money in taking classes there as I’m planning on getting much more into that form of exercise. Until then, its hot yoga every two weeks without a doubt! If you are local to Newcastle Upon Tyne I would highly recommend you check out the studio.

Other bits and pieces from this week include:

Delicious breakfasts, starting with my Strawberry and Peanut Butter Green Smoothie:

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The final slice of my Banana Coconut Bread made with added chocolate chips from the freezer and eaten with blueberries, blackberries and soy yoghurt:

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I am now on a mission to make that bread again, it is fabulous!

I made a random but tasty Buddha bowl for dinner on Wednesday evening:

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This included chickpeas, quinoa, dried prunes, steamed greens, raw home sprouted alfalfa seeds and a yummy miso sauce on top. The leftover quinoa and miso sauce were mixed with some black beans and red onion and dumped on top of lettuce, spinach and more sprouts for lunch the next day:

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Earlier in the week I had also made a delicious bowl of courgette ‘spaghetti’ topped with soy mince in a tomato sauce with basil and olives:

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I love a good mix of raw and cooked foods in a meal like this, it was so satisfying!

On the Love List this week…

This morning I received this lovely parcel in the post from Hayley who blogs over at Oh my god is that from tiffany, she contacted me a little while ago after I commented on her blog –we have connected over stories of our engagements and thoughts on approaching 30! She’s living in Australia so has sent me some Australian goodies – Dark Chocolate Tim Tams, Paw Paw Ointment and a lovely body lotion. Thanks so much for your kindness Hayley! I can’t wait to get stuck into those Tim Tams and do a Tim Tam Slam! Also…

This article from The Guardian on why our food is making us fat – I really urge you to have a read, interesting and scary stuff! // foam rolling to ease my tight IT bands – going to blog more on this as a few people have asked what foam rolling is etc // The Festival Shop at Topshop for inspiration ready for Kendal Calling next month // treating myself to Yoga Magazine and Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday Cookbook

I love finishing the week on a positive note with my love list :-) In case you missed it:

How has your week been? Any plans for the weekend? I had been hoping to see the Olympic Torch Relay at the Angel of the North but if the weather stays as it is I think I’d rather be wrapped up at home drinking coffee and watching Chuck (James is obsessed with that show!)

What’s on your love list this week?