My Fitness Routine & What I Eat in a Week: Summer Edition

Hello lovely people!

After posting about my Fitness Journey, a few people asked me to share my diet & exercise routines with you all. This post will be exactly that – what I eat in a week during summer and some of the workout routines I get up to at home. Full disclosure before I get into this, I follow a vegetarian diet and I’m not hugely pushing for weight loss, this is just my approach to an ethical and (vaguely) healthy lifestyle.

Monday

 

Breakfast: Baked oatmeal (cinnamon substituted for cacao powder), topped with strawberries, crunchy peanut butter & cacao nibs.
Lunch: Salad bowl with veggies, cous cous, boiled egg, chutney, hummus & lighter cheese, followed by a packet of Sunbites crisps. I’d just been to the greengrocers, and I always love a big salad when the veggies are still nice and fresh.
Dinner: Kidney bean curry with wholemeal rice, naan & sweetcorn. I wouldn’t usually go for naan but my friend had them left over, and in hindsight I probably won’t buy wholemeal rice in future – it’s pricey and not as nice.
Snacks: Apple with crunchy peanut butter (post-workout).

Workout: Leg day! Before all my workouts I do a quick cardio warmup (no more than 5 minutes of jogging & star-jumps usually) and stretch. I then move onto any workout I can find online, my current favourites being sexy leg toner (yes, cringy name) or HASFit’s butt and thigh workout.

Tuesday

 

Breakfast: Same as Monday. I’m loving this super filling breakfast! It’s great now that it’s starting to get colder too.
Lunch: Same salad as Tuesday, except I boxed it up to take with me whilst homeware shopping (and had to steal a fork from Asda to eat it with). Followed by Sunbites crisps (can you tell they’re on offer?) and an apple.
Dinner: Sausage casserole (made with Tesco vegetarian sausages & without the bacon) with wholemeal pasta & peas. I love this recipe so much, though the sausages tasted far too much like meat and it was a bit weird.
Snacks: Aldi Benefit Chocolate & Fudge bar, would not reccomend, they taste like cardboard.

Workout: Rest day! My only goals on rest days are hitting 10k steps and if I get time, going for a quick walk.

Wednesday

 

Breakfast: Smoothie bowl (frozen red fruits, spinach, water, banana, hemp powder) topped with strawberries, cacao nibs, chia seeds, granola & milled linseed. All these extra bits are mostly from Aldi by the way, don’t think I’m hitting up fancy healthfood shops.
Lunch: Tesco Healthy Living lentil & vegetable soup and two pitta breads. This soup tastes exactly like my Grandma’s, so I’m willing to forgive it’s high salt content.
Dinner: A second serving of the kidney bean curry, because when you’re living alone you just have to repeat meals.
Snacks: The curry was a pretty small portion, so I indulged and had pancakes made with soya milk for dessert (I regret nothing).

Workout: Run day! I’ve been working on increasing my distance, and I’m finding 6km my absolute limit at the moment. Not bad for a someone who detested running a few months ago.

Thursday

 

Breakfast: Porridge topped with banana & strawberry jam. Porridge is pretty much a winter student staple, it’s too cheap not to love.
Lunch: Pitta breads topped with hummus, fried veggies & 2 poached eggs. This is the epitome of “I don’t know what to eat for lunch so let’s just cook everything in the fridge.”
Dinner: A second serving of the sausage casserole because I defrosted it thinking it was chilli (I’m stupid). I had it with noodles though to change it up, because variety is the spice of life.
Snacks: Carrots & hummus (my favourite thing ever) and an Options white hot chocolate in the evening.

Workout: Rest day! I went for a pretty long walk to listen to an episode of Dear Hank and John, a totally awesome podcast.

Friday

 

Breakfast: Same as yesterday.
Lunch: Wholemeal wraps filled with hummus, falafel, veggies & lighter cheese, followed by strawberries and a Special K Biscuit Moments strawberry bar. This is an average lunch for a busy day at uni or work too, because it’s easily packable.
Dinner: Gnocchi with pesto topped with fried veggies and lighter cheese. This is a great quick dinner for busier days, as the gnocchi only takes about 5 minutes to cook.
Snacks: Apple & crunchy peanut butter, as I worked out in the morning and needed some post-workout protein. I also had a soya flat white whilst I worked in a cafe in the afternoon.

Workout: Arms & abs day! Sometimes I make up my own sequence using this chart or this one from Pinterest. If I want someone else to come up with my workout I use this abs & back workout, the muffin top melter (again, cringy), or something from Chloe Ting on YouTube.

Saturday

 

Breakfast: Red berries smoothie (frozen berries, banana, hemp protein powder, chia seeds, spinach, water), and then when I got back from Parkrun I had a banana with crunchy peanut butter and an Aldi Benefit chocolate & fudge bar.
Lunch: Wraps filled with hummus, falafel & fried veggies, popped back in the frying pan to toast. The wraps taste so much better when they’ve been toasted.
Dinner: I forgot to take a photo, but I had a stirfry made with Szechuan tomato sauce, veggies & fake chicken. I also had a beer with it because hey, it’s Saturday.
Snacks: Not sure if this counts as snacks but I went out for drinks with a friend that night so liquid calories happened. I also got chips on the way home because I’m a fake fitness blogger.

Workout: Today I ran my first Parkrun! I had a great time; the Durham course is beautiful and the people there were really welcoming. I also got my best 5k time to date – 33:39.

Sunday

 

Breakfast: Feeling a little worse for wear I dragged myself up to a bowl of baked oatmeal with jam.
Lunch: Wrap pizzas (think normal pizza but using a wholemeal wrap for the base instead of dough) topped with tomatoes & onion. This is easily my favourite lunch, and super filling.
Dinner: I call this “everything in the fridge” curry. I was trying to get things used up before I go on holiday, so I fried onions, baby sweetcorn, carrots, pepper & chickpeas then added balti paste & vegetable stock, and it actually turned out pretty nice! I had it with brown rice.
Snacks: Crispbreads dipped in hummus and a Special K biscuit moments bar (I get weirdly hungry after drinking).

Workout: After 2 days of workouts Sunday was a well-earned rest day.

 

So, that’s how I try and stay healthy in my daily life! You’ll probably see that it’s not the strictest diet and portion control, because to be honest I’m not a health fanatic. I’m a foodie and I don’t believe in diet culture, I just enjoy fitness and good homemade food. I will make an updated post when I go back to university to let you know how I fit fitness around studying, but for now, tell me what your favourite meal is in the comments!

-Megan, listening to JAWS and having a chilled morning

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University 101; My Freshers Week Story

Hello lovely people!

I’m back in Durham, I’ve rebuilt my pasta stocks and town is beginning to fill up with returning students –  it must be the start of a new term. Those of you heading to university for the first time will be eagerly anticipating Freshers Week, probably feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension. The internet is filled with tips and tricks about how to get the most out of the week, so I thought instead of repeating that advice I’d talk about my experience in hopes that I can give you some peace of mind that it’s all going to be okay.

freshers

Every good story starts with an introduction, so here’s some context to my time as a fresher. I study Modern Languages at Durham University, and my freshers week was in October 2017. Freshers Week at Durham is a little different, as it’s a collegiate university, so most of the events are organised by the college JCR (think student body committee). I’m a student at St Cuthbert’s Society and lived in self-catered halls in first year.

Move-In Day

I arrived in Durham with my parents and then boyfriend who had come to help me move in, and I was terrified. After getting my keys and unpacking I completely broke down on my poor boyfriend, as even though I could not be more excited to start my degree I was very worried about making friends and settling in. But, after everyone left, I picked myself up and told myself it was going to be okay, and it really was!

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My room on day 1 looks so bare compared to how it was at the end!

My favourite story from that day is how I met my lovely Welsh idiot Ffion. She totally catfished me. I was in my flat corridor, when a random girl just turned to me and said “Hey, I know you”. I was extremely confused because I didn’t recognise this person at all. Until she said “yeah I know, I really don’t look like my Facebook profile picture”. Turns out we’d been talking for weeks beforehand after meeting on our college Facebook group chat! We continued bonding instantly, and Ffi became the extrovert I attatched myself to for the whole of first year.

I met the rest of my flat pretty quickly. We were 6 girls of 6 different nationalities, which has always been our little claim to fame. I bonded with my now college wife (more on that someday) Oana because she was wearing a My Chemical Romance t-shirt, and my American buddy Anna because I was belting out Hamilton far too loudly with the door open. You really do make friends in the most random of ways in freshers!

College Events

Each night throughout freshers my college organised a night out and a more chilled night. I went out I think 3 times; to a white t-shirt party (think signing shirts), a subject social and a space party. They were okay, but not really my thing, as I’m pretty uncomfortable going clubbing when it’s with people I don’t know.

 

 

Our white t-shirt party was the first event I went to, and took place in our lovely (and ridiculously cheap) college bar. That was the night when I met my now housemate Callum (you got your shoutout, do I get a pint in return now?). At that point I obviously didn’t know the bar has a card limit, so I ended up buying drinks for myself, Ffion and Callum when we’d only known each other for all of 5 minutes. I’m pretty sure we bonded over music, which makes a lot of sense considering at every party we have now it’s us two who dictate the music.

Durham being Durham, we also had a formal and matriculation that week. It was the first and last formal I left sober, and I’m pretty sure I was hungover throughout the entire matriculation ceremony (that’s the fancy one in the cathedral that makes us officially Durham students). It was also absolutely pouring down on matriculation day, meaning I had my first experience navigating wet cobbles in heels. There’s a reason why you never see me in my formal pictures with heels on anymore!

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Can’t get over how different I look just one year ago! (I’m on the far left)

 

 

That time I cut my finger…

This is the main story I have from freshers week, and the one which still gets told at almost every house party. I cut my finger on a potato peeler whilst washing up, and then didn’t stop bleeding for 2 hours. 2 HOURS! The flat had me bandaged up with my arm above my head for most of that 2 hours, as the porters were largely unhelpful and basically left us to deal with it. Obviously I did eventually stop bleeding, but it was a pretty embarrassing bonding experience with my flat. Pretty sure I didn’t go out that night…

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Final feelings

Freshers week was weird. You’re thrown into a new city with a bunch of people you don’t know, away from everything that’s familiar to you. You spend a week introducing yourself time and time again and having to be up for social events 24/7, something that doesn’t quite work for my introversion. I have some good memories from the week, but I also spent a lot of time sleeping and hiding from the world.

My main piece of advice is not to put too much pressure on freshers week. Yes, if you spend the whole week hiding in your room you probably won’t get much out of it. But, by the same token, if you’re not into going out and partying all the time you shouldn’t have to. Seek out chilled events and chat with people in the canteen instead. Freshers isn’t a universal experience and should fit whatever you’re into, so have a good time!

 

-Megan, listening to Badflower (tiny band, would reccomend!)

 

 

 

 

A Day in York, England

Hello lovely people!

My travel posts have been few and far between recently, because as I said in the August Edit, I just haven’t been anywhere. But eventually sitting inside your house and doing nothing all day gets really dull, so myself and my friend decided to take a trip to York a couple of weeks ago. This is what we got up to!

york

We arrived in York at around 11am, after a couple of hours of driving and a shuttle bus. I don’t usually opt for park & ride schemes as I find them a little cumbersome, but this one was too cheap to say no to in comparison to the extortionate city centre parking prices. I know you all love a good parking-based money saving tip, that’s what you came to this blog for right?

York is much like Durham. It has a cathedral, cobbled streets and a river running through it, so I felt very at home. More importantly, its traditional vibe means the city has absolutely beautiful architecture. It’s definitely one to just wander around and see what you can find, whether that be the ancient city walls or pretty side streets. The big attraction of the city however is York Minster, an extremely impressive looking building. We didn’t pay to enter the Minster, but it’s worth walking into the area before the box office to check out some of the stained glass windows, which are just stunning!

 

I wish I’d had more time to check out the city’s coffee shops, as there were some awesome looking espresso bars and places with locally roasted beans. I’m a bit of a coffee nerd, it has to be said. We did make time for lunch however, at the cafe attached to the Lawrance Apart-Hotel. It’s vibe was a little more corporate than I tend to prefer, but the prices were surprisingly acceptable and the staff very friendly! I had a mozzarella, pesto and tomato panini (vegetarian cafe staple), while Thomas opted for a bacon sandwich, which was commended for it’s value for money!

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I took a picture of my food! Am I a real blogger now?

Our main love in York however was the bookshops – God bless my bank account. The city is full of amazing second-hand bookshops which have books on everything from the history of Unilever (one of Thomas’ choices) to the specifics of what the communists were up to in Paris during the second world war written in French (no prizes for guessing that was one of my purchases). We spent a good couple of hours wandering around these places and uncovering some real gems. I’d highly reccomend Ken Spelman Bookseller for their second-hand stuff and Minster Gate Bookshop for their bargain basement (£3/4 for brand new novels? Yes please!).

 

It’s not just bookshops that York is great for though, it’s the shops in general. If you shy away from the high street you’ll come across some really quirky independent places with really friendly staff. Of course The Shambles is included in this; York’s famously narrow medieval street which is lined with some of the most fabulous smelling food shops ever! Just off The Shambles there’s also a lovely market which was again nice to wander around.

 

In conclusion if you like walking around and looking at pretty things, York is for you. For the bookshops and cafes alone I’ll definitely be making a return very soon – it’s so worth the trip!

-Megan, listening to…. actually nothing for once – THIS IS A FIRST!