Sprouts n Squats

Updates on everything…

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. It was one of my good friends engagement parties on Saturday night which was lots of fun but I really paid for it yesterday and spent most of the day recovering on the couch. I had meant to do lots of cleaning and food prep but with how I was feeling that just wasn’t going to happen!

Thank you for all the warm welcome back messages on my last post. I’ve got updates on everything for you so I will give a quick update on each topic and go into more detail on future blog posts. Sound good?

Let’s go!

Exercise

I’m still exercising on average 6 days a week and I’ve started going to a personal trainer once a week. He’s written me a weights program that I follow and I’m now on my second round of one of his programes, they last about 5 weeks.

So far I am loving it. He’s super fussy on technique and on a lot of key exercises like Deadlifts and Squats it turns out I wasn’t doing them correctly. So now I can’t recommend highly enough going to a personal trainer, for me it is not about motivating me to go to the gym but making sure I’m doing the exercises correctly and what to do on the days I don’t see him. So far I’ve already seen results particularly in my arms.

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Food

I’ve given up the 5:2 diet. Over winter Nick and I both said that we felt SO much hungrier on fast days than ever before and so both of us decided to give it up and just eat well on all days.

When I met with my personal trainer I had NO intention of getting a food plan, I just wanted to do my own thing but he said for me to get the results I wanted to I really needed to have a food plan too…..so I decided to give it a try and for the most part I’m glad I have. Again I’ve been following it for about 8 weeks now. It is broken up into 6 meals a day and for me I find the hardest part of it is not following it but just needing to make sure I’m organised with all the food prep. If I’ve done proper food prep then I find it fairly ok to follow.

Sleep

My sleep has been possibly not great lately, as in during the week I’ve not been getting enough. I find that I try and get too much stuff done and before I know it, it is late and then I’ve not given myself enough time to unwind and then I get up at 6am to go to the gym. It’s an area I definitely need to improve on.

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Travelling to work

I’ve started trying to walk to and from work most days, weather dependent and I am really enjoying it. More on that in another post this week.

Travel

Nick and I are planning a one month trip to Europe next year in July and I can’t wait! He is a huge Tour de France fan and we plan to see the race off in The Netherlands where it starts, we also want to travel to Switzerland, Italy, France and Spain while we are there. It can’t come soon enough, I think both of us are in serious need of a holiday.

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Work

I got promoted at work in July and since then work has gone from busy to insane in a quick second. I’ve been across multiple projects as well as been more involved with coaching/managing other staff which has been both rewarding and challenging.

Leisure

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately and always get great recommendations from my friend Jess. We share our recommendations to each other on Good Reads, my list is ever growing. I’m currently reading Secrets she left behind by Diane Chamberlain. It is a follow on book from her first book in the series Before the Storm and I can’t recommend both of them enough, they are page turners and I will definitely be reading more from the author.

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I’ve also been watching some very trashy tv shows to help me unwind from work. In particular Australia Bachelor and Big Brother.

Wellbeing

To help keep stress at bay I’ve been doing daily meditations from the Headspace app. It is guided meditation which I find much easier to follow than just sitting in silence. They start you with a foundation of general meditation and then you can do ‘packs’ of topics that last for 30 days, I’m currently doing a pack on stress and it is really helping me to keep calm and things in perspective if I find work catching up with me too much.

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Relationship

Since Nick and I have both been so busy at work we have started up our date nights again where once a fortnight we each take turns planning a date out. So far Nick has been winning on the date night front with better dates than mine, I’ve thought mine were good ideas but some of his have just worked better. We’ve been to a photography exhibit displayed in shop windows, to a cat cafe (like in Japan), to many new food places, on a historical train ride and to a new rooftop bar. It is fun planning them and it motivates us to try new things together.

Hobbies

On my blogging break I did a basic photography course to help me learn more about the fancy camera I got for my birthday a year ago. It was a great course and I hope to start using my camera now a lot more. I want to possibly do another course on something different like drawing, calligraphy or cooking just not sure what yet. I also want to get back into doing more craft as it has been a while, but I never seem to know what to make.

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There is probably much more to update you on but that feels like a lot for now :)

Give me an update on one or any of these topics…
Exercise..?
Food..?
Sleep..?
Travelling to work..?
Travel..?
Work..?
Leisure..?
Wellbeing..?
Relationship..?
Hobbies..?

 

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
Twitter -> @sproutsnsquats
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I’m back….sort of

Oh hi there….

So it has been almost 4 months since my last blog post.

I was feeling burnt out from blogging plus also life/work was starting to get super busy.

I also felt like I didn’t have the same passion for blogging that I’d had before and I lost the reason as to why day in day out I was continuing.

I think somewhere along the way it went from being a hobby to feeling on some days more like work.

That is because when it comes to blogging there is always something you could be doing.

Whether it is posting on social media, writing posts, replying to comments, trying to improve your blogs look, etc.

So for someone who likes to put in effort, I burnt myself out.

Now that I’ve taken some time off and re-evaluated I know I want to keep blogging…..

But I need to set myself some boundaries…

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To start I plan to post 1-2 times a week and see how I feel.

Apart from that I don’t have a plan yet…

I do know I want to keep sharing cat pictures

abf1429b87f346a90a11a6be4075c314I also know I want to try and put the photography course I did to good use and share more recipes

5dacdfa806c3d703354f52b5770d476e(Instagram helping me out pre-photography class with this one).

I also know I want to share what I’m doing with exercise.

And attempt to make you laugh.

So yes really no plan here ;)

I’ll catch you all up on what I’ve been doing over the next few posts.

Until then I just want to say I’ve missed you all and it is good to be back….sort of.

Catch me up, what has been going on in your world?

Ever felt burnt out from blogging?

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
Twitter -> @sproutsnsquats
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Taking a break

Hi all, just popping in to let you know I am taking a break. I know I recently had a few weeks off not that long ago from blogging but I feel ready for another one already.

I got that promotion at work and already things have been busier for me but that’s not my main reason for the break.

I’ve found I’ve lost some of my passion for why I blog and on some days it has felt more like a part time job than a hobby. I want to just take some time out to assess what I want to do with it and what I want it to be and hopefully connect back with its purpose.

I also want to spend time on discovering other hobbies that I haven’t done because I’ve spent so much time blogging.

I don’t know how much time I will take off, it may be a week or a few or a month but I’m not going to have a set time in mind.

I will still be on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and will still pop in to visit other blogs to stay in touch.

Wishing you a great day / week / month in the mean time.

Jan

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
Twitter -> @sproutsnsquats
Pinterest -> SproutsnSquats
Instagram – > sproutsnsquats
Bloglovin’ -> SproutsnSquats

Friday Favourites

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Happiest of Friday’s to you all and what a week it has been! The project I am on at work is in a particularly busy, crunch time where we need to meet a deadline next Friday, so although I am glad it is Friday I have to say I will be even more ecstatic when it is next Friday after 5.30pm :)

I am pleased to tell you that this week in spite of work being crazy I’ve run the furthest since having my arm cast taken off, 6km and at the fastest speed too, so I will take it.

This weekend we have a whole lot of nothing planned. In full disclosure I have gotten myself re-addicted to Papa Pear so I probably plan to spend way too many hours playing that. I have also got myself hooked on watching new school 90210 thanks to my friend Jess, so yes judge me but I will be watching that too. It is full on wintery cold weather here so indoor activities right now are bliss to me.

Anyhoo here are this week’s favourites…

Friday Favourites

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My favourite dish I want to make when we have people over are these beautiful Blueberry Pie Bites. Nom.

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My favourite quote of the week. Truth.

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My favourite dress of the week (no idea where it is from as it was linked to spam). I’m sure if I owned it the wind would blow up and be completely inappropriate but I like it.

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My favourite cat picture of the week….well second one after the top one ;)

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My favourite makeup tips of the week. I often look tired because I don’t get enough sleep during the week, or feel like I do so some of these are good ideas.

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My favourite movie moment of the week from one of my all time favourite movies How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

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My favourite photo of the week, both because sunflowers are my favourite flower and with the cold weather we are having I really want that sunshine.

That’s a wrap!

How has your week been?

What are you doing this weekend? Whatever your plans I hope you have a great weekend! If it is sunny where you are please please please enjoy it on my behalf!

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
Twitter -> @sproutsnsquats
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Instagram – > sproutsnsquats
Bloglovin’ -> SproutsnSquats

Bloggers Recipe Share – June

Hi hi!! Happy Tuesday!

It is almost the end of June and I’ve not given you my latest updates of my Bloggers Recipe Share. For those not familiar each month I highlight recipes from a group Pinterest board I created called Bloggers Recipe Share

I created the board for bloggers to pin either their own recipes or recipes they like from other blogs to it so that we all end up with a nice collection of recipes.

Let’s go…

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Applicious Smoothie from Jess at Dear Healthyness. Nom!

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Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes from Tina at Fuel Your Future with Tina. I just want to dig right in.

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Steak and French Fry Salad from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest. Wow, this looks so amazing.

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Paleo ‘notato’ Salad from Andrea at Pencils and Pancakes. This recipe really intrigues me.

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Gluten Free Almond Muffins from Megan at The Skinny Life. I just want to eat one now.

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 Inside-Out Grain Free Oreos from Lee at Fit Foodie Finds. I love everything about these, the food photography, the short ingredient list and that they are grain free.

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Blueberry Lavender Vanilla Honey Baked Oatmeal from Cassandra at Almost Getting it Together. I definitely want to make this soon on a cold winters day.

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Sweet Potato Hummus from Jill at Jill Conyers. This is such a great snack idea!

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Green Tea Oatmeal from Marissa at Uproot Oregon. I love the creative use of green tea for this one.

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Cherry Sleeptime Shake from Lindsay at Cotter Crunch. I am very interested to try this as I have a lot of trouble sleeping from time to time.

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Peanut Butter Honey Granola Bites from Kim at Hungry Healthy Girl. I just want to dive in to a big bowl of these.

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Ginger Shakshuka from Shashi at Runnin Srilankin. This looks delicious, especially with those eggs.

That’s a wrap!

If you want to join the group board all you need to do is Follow me on Pinterest then leave me a comment below asking to be added.

What has been one of your favourite recipes from another blogger you’ve seen this month?

Best thing you’ve cooked lately?

Previous bloggers recipe shares:

May Bloggers Recipe Share
April Bloggers Recipe Share
March Bloggers Recipe Share

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
Twitter -> @sproutsnsquats
Pinterest -> SproutsnSquats
Instagram – > sproutsnsquats
Bloglovin’ -> SproutsnSquats

I will never be the kind of blogger who…

I will never be the kind of blogger who posts pictures of myself in a bikini. (I admire those that do though, I just don’t have that body confidence).

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I will never be the kind of blogger who doesn’t feel guilty if I don’t reply to all comments left. (I don’t always get to reply to all comments, but doesn’t mean I don’t feel guilty about it).

I will never be the kind of blogger who can post more than 2 recipes a week. << I really want to but I just haven’t been able to fit it in but I love lots of blogs that do.

I will never be the kind of blogger who participates in lots of link ups.

I will never be the kind of blogger who feels comfortable sharing all aspects of their life all the time. (But I love it when others do, like my one of my favourite blogs PB Fingers)

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I will never be the kind of blogger who doesn’t make an effort to interact with others on Twitter.

I will never be the kind of blogger who always consistently shares what workouts I’ve done and been doing. (I wish I was better at this but I forget, I applaud those that do).

I will never be the kind of blogger who doesn’t post A LOT of cat pictures. NEVER.

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I will never be the kind of blogger who doesn’t see the humour in some parts of blogging.

I will never be the kind of blogger who has all the answers to health and fitness. Or even some of them. (Unlike some bloggers I don’t have any health/fitness qualifications so definitely don’t feel like I know what I’m talking about)

I will never be the kind of blogger who always feels motivated to blog.

I will never be the kind of blogger who will always eat healthy.

I will never be the kind of blogger who doesn’t drink red wine.

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What kind of blogger will you never be?

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
Twitter -> @sproutsnsquats
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Friday Favourites

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Happy Happy Friday! Is that not the happiest cat you’ve ever seen? I thought I owed you some extra cat pictures this week since I have missed a few Friday Favourites.

This weekend I am planning to go and see The Fault in Our Stars with my good friend Cara. I’ve read the book and know from many people that the movie is just as good and definitely will make you cry. I also have my best friend Amanda’s 31st birthday on, she’s planning drinks followed by dancing, I’m going to need to muster up my dancing shoes as it has been a little while!

Apart from that I don’t really have anything else planned but since the weather is colder (it’s officially winter) here I kind of go into hibernation mode anyway and just want to stay home more.

Here are my Friday favourites this week..

Friday Favourites

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My favourite frivolous want which I will never actually buy are these Nike Yoga shoes. Maybe if I bought them I’d be compelled to do more yoga just to wear them? ;)

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My favourite funny of the week. As I sometimes really hate answering my phone, I’m all about texting.

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My favourite healthy recipe of the week are these eggplant patties. I think they look delicious.

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My favourite fashion look of the week. I’m not sold on the shoes but I am really loving that scarf in particular.

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My favourite dog picture of the week. I know I’m a crazy cat lady through and through but I still love dogs too especially when they are really scruffy like this.

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My favourite running quote. I pretty much always run in the mornings, otherwise I too easily talk myself out of it if I delay it to the afternoon, especially if it is after work.

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My favourite necklace of the week is this Geometric Leather one from etsy. I am a sucker for anything with arrows or chevrons.

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One more funny just because I love a good pun!

That’s a wrap for favourites this week.

How’s your week been?

Do you go into hibernation over winter and just want to stay home too?

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
Twitter -> @sproutsnsquats
Pinterest -> SproutsnSquats
Instagram – > sproutsnsquats
Bloglovin’ -> SproutsnSquats

Take a look inside my brain


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Happy Thursday!

How’s that for a post title? Just trying to mix things up with telling you that I’m going to share a bunch of my random thoughts with you thanks to Amanda at Running with Spoons.

So let’s go….

1. Nick and I’s last holiday was back in January 2013 to Hawaii for 3 weeks. It was friggin awesome but afterwards we decided to take a break from holidays for a while and save some money. We’re now planning another holiday but as it is going to be a big one for 4 weeks to Europe in July 2015 it seems so far away. I’m excited to think about where we may go, so far our list includes France (we are planning to watch some of the Tour de France when we are there), Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, UK, Switzerland.

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2. I’ve had a seriously amazing run lately with reading multiple great books in a row. I read My Life Next Door, followed by What Alice Forgot and then Reconstructing Amelia another great book too – Thanks Cassie for recommending this one. I recommend reading all of them and also recommending me another great book so I can continue this trend ;)

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3. I’m thinking about entering a 10km race at the end of July here in Melbourne. I’ve finally reached 5km again in distance, since having my arm cast off it has been a hard road to increase my distance but I’m thinking I need some extra motivation to want to keep building it back up.

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4. I really really really want to get into doing a weekly yoga class. I feel like I’ve wanted to for ages but keep thinking of lots of reasons not to, like I still want to fit all my other workouts in too and don’t have the time and I haven’t found a class nearby that really fits my schedule but I just need to stop procrastinating and make it work.

5. At some point I need to do a redesign of my blog. I’ve been wanting to do it for ages and have just kept putting it off but I just need to get on with it and make time to do it.

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6. Thanks to watching Jimmy Fallon and Emma Stone lip sync (if you haven’t seen it you NEED TO WATCH IT), I now get Mr Roboto and Fancy stuck in my head. I don’t know if I would have liked Fancy if I didn’t associate it with this video but every time I hear it, I just smile as I think of that video.

That’s a wrap!

Tell me some of your random thoughts!

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
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Pay it forward

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Happy Tuesday to you all! I’m excited today to be given the opportunity to help someone else with their fitness journey and pay it forward.

As part of my partnership with Fitness First they asked me to select a reader to help them supercharge their fitness further. So they provided me with:

- A Fitness First Pay As You Go – 10 Visit Passport Pass

- $200 to spend on something fitness related to help a reader out.

I could have run a competition but I had someone in mind I wanted to help out as I truly related to her fitness story…that person was Katie from Glutes and Ladders.

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Katie is an expat American living in Australia. Like me she struggled with her weight in her childhood and teens, in 2009 she lost 70 pounds (about 32 kgs) through Weight Watchers and became more passionate about fitness.

Katie selected the following things to help her supercharge her fitness:

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49606001A trigger point grid foam roller to help with recovery and the superbands to help with pull ups. I need to get better with my own foam rolling and knowing someone else is going even further and using one of these trigger point foam rollers inspires me too!

I asked Katie some questions about her fitness and how these are going to help her…

Q: Have you always been passionate about fitness?

No. Growing up, I always played sports but didn’t think much about being physically fit.  In the off season, I would have never done a workout for my health, only to improve my athletic ability.  It’s only been in the last 5 years or so that I started working out for my health and well being and to improve upon my fitness related goals.

Q: What’s your favourite kind of exercise to do and why?

Strength training by a landslide!  I love seeing the improvements I make every week.  I also find that it’s easier for me to push myself for a couple minute, then get a minute or two break between sets.  It helps me go hard knowing I get a break as soon as I finish.
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Q: What’s on your fitness bucket list?

Eventually I’d like to get certified to teach group classes or become a personal trainer.  In the more near future, I’d like to try out a crossfit class.

Q: How will the prizes you picked help you with your fitness?

I’ve recently started foam rolling after my strength training sessions.  It makes SUCH a difference in the level of soreness I feel the next day.  It helps me recover so much faster.  I’m hoping that by using resistance bands to assist with pull-ups, I’ll eventually be strong enough to knock out a couple unassisted.
Thank you Katie for sharing your story and for letting me help you pay it forward.
Are you a foam roller user?
If you were given $200 to spend on your fitness what would you buy? 
I’m kind of eyeing off those superbands myself as I am trying to build my upper body strength back up.

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Disclaimer: This post is written in partnership with Fitness First but all opinions are my own.

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
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Let’s catch up

hatemondays

 

Well hello there….long time no speak. I didn’t intend to take such a long break but I clearly needed that extra time off to grieve as well as to just take a break from blogging. I can’t thank you enough for all your supportive and lovely comments on my post. They meant so much to me and reminded me just what a great community we are in.

So let’s catch up MIMM style…

Marvelous is… celebrating my 5 year anniversary with Nick. We went to one of our favourite restaurants Hellenic Republic and had their set menu which consists of A LOT of food. The waiter complimented us on finishing EVERYTHING. One of the first things Nick and I connected over was our love of food and our ability to keep eating till a plate is clean regardless of how full we may be.

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Just one of the many courses we ate.

Marvelous is… finally getting to the 5km mark with my running. Ever since having my arm cast taken off every single run has been a struggle but getting to the 5km mark for a few runs in a row has made me feel like I am making progress.

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Marvelous is… fast days getting somewhat easier and seeing some progress. For those not aware I’m doing the 5:2 diet where on 2 days a week you eat 500 calories for the day and then eat normally on other days. I was thinking it really wasn’t working and then in the last few weeks my jeans and tracksuits pants have started to get really loose. I will give a proper update on this soon.

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Typical fast day meal for Nick and I, a baked quest bar each.

Marvelous is… finally having some more clarity on what has been causing my digestion issues. I will share more on this very soon.

Marvelous is… going for a 12km walk with Nick yesterday. He is thinking of doing the Oxfam Walk next year which is a 100km walk for charity that you do with a team of 4 people but you all walk the 100km. I’m not sold on doing it myself, I’ve heard it can be even harder than a marathon but I am keen to help him train with lots of walks and hiking.

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Marvelous is… helping my good friend Cara to celebrate her baby shower on Saturday. I didn’t remember to take any pictures but I helped her to organise a long lunch for 20 of her friends and family and it was so nice to be able to just relax and enjoy good food and some good wine.

So catch me up….

What’s been happening with you?

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Sprouts n Squats more ways to stay in touch:
Twitter -> @sproutsnsquats
Pinterest -> SproutsnSquats
Instagram – > sproutsnsquats
Bloglovin’ -> SproutsnSquats
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