Detox diary: how to do a juice fast 

In a K&G first, we are handing over the keys to a guest blogger. 

Juicing blog
My partner in wine and girl gallantry since 2000 and Chaz’s twin Topshop shopper, 35-year-old former Batley brat Claire swapped (West) Yorkshire for (South) Yarra a few years back and now lives it up down under in healthy hipster haven Melbourne. 

We love hearing her tales of buzzy Aussie hotspots and she’s always ahead of the latest nutritional trend. Like us, she loves food and so when she announced she was embarking on a juice fast (public statement alert 🔊) we were all ears. 

Over to Claire to take you through the peaks and nadirs of her three-day detox. 

The background: why do a juice fast?

After a boozy cruisy trip home to good ol’ Blighty for Christmas, followed by a return to an Australian summer in the midst of full festival season swing, it was fair to say I was feeling like I’d blazed the candle at both ends by the middle of Feb. 

At around the same time, and on a friend’s recomendo, I went to a talk held by a natural wholefood doctor named Tyler Tolman on the benefits of water and juice fasting. As a kid who’s always loved her food I was entirely sceptical and also somewhat horrified at the idea of fasting. 

Two hours later, after hearing compelling empirical evidence and testimonials of the hundreds of lives this man had saved from terminal cancer, heart disease and diabetes, to name but a few conditions, I was a convert.

Here comes the theory

Fasting is an ancient medicinal method of curing all kinds of ailments that modern man has forgotten. When we fast on juice, our bodies get the opportunity to flush out all the toxins that build up inside us due to bad diet, exposure to harsh chemicals and the effects of pharmaceutical pill popping. 

At the same time, energy normally consumed by food digestion can instead be focussed on rebuilding and repairing cells, from reversing the effects of ageing to curing the body of cancer. 

The length of the fast can range anywhere from a few days to three months, depending on the severity of the illness or disease needing to be cured.

The execution: how to do a juice detox

Buoyed by enough enthusiasm to put my hunger fear to one side, I decided to embark on a three day fast.

It’s fair to say preparation is the key to success, so I borrowed a good quality juicer and juicing recipe book from a generous hipster friend, and spent a couple of days researching juice recipes and how much organic F&V I’d need for the three days. 

If organic’s not an option, due to either availability or budget, then you’ll need to buy a biggish bottle of organic apple cider vinegar to add to water and soak your produce in. Otherwise you’re still consuming the pesticides that coat the flesh and not really de-toxifying at all.

Most respectable juice fasts state you can have as much juice as you feel you need to maintain your energy levels. I stocked up on enough fruit and veg to make three 1 litre juices per day and found this to be ample. 

The kitchen looked like a harvest festival by the time I’d schlepped it all home, you need A LOT of produce to make a juice (the photo should give you a fair idea). I spent around $100 / £50 on F&V.

Juice fast preparation

Juicy couture


The effects of the juice fast were intense from the outset. I’ve captured the key highs and lows from my experience to give you an idea of what you might expect

The pros: benefits of juice fasting 

  • Most bizarrely of all, I didn’t feel hungry at any point over the three days. The first day was the strangest because you’re still adjusting to not having solids in your stomach. But the juice definitely nourishes you. In hindsight I wish I’d prepared for a seven day fast because I didn’t feel desperate to start eating again, even at the end of the fast.
  • I lost over half a stone and four weeks later I’ve maintained the weight loss.
  • I feel my appetite has decreased and I’m more inclined to eat only when I’m hungry than at prescribed mealtimes
  • I also feel that I’m eating better and craving juice, fruit and veg over animal proteins and salty junk food (an enduring weakness of mine)
  • I also feel I’ve had heaps more energy and I’ve bounced back from a couple of big nights that should have resulted in horrible hangovers, with almost no after effects.

The cons: disadvantages of a detox 

  • The actual juicing process is a massive ball ache. The juicing machine needs to be cleaned between preparation of sweet and savoury juices, otherwise you’ll end up with some funky tasting juice. There are loads of bits and pieces to the juicer so prepare to spend a good few hours taking it to pieces, washing it, drying it and putting it back together. Also, it needs to be emptied regularly to stop it getting backed up with the waste fruit and veg 
  • Cut me and I’d bleed caffeine. I’m the girl who always gets a large almond flat white on the way to work, regardless of how late I’m running. So having to go cold turkey gave me a headache by high noon of the first fast day. Thankfully it lessened to a dull ache by day two but I can’t say I wasn’t happy to get back on the caffeine
  • At the height of the glorious Aussie summer I was reeeeeeallly cold throughout the fast (apparently this is a common side effect of juicing). Get your jumpers at the ready!
  • This last one dances the pro / con line. I woke up with staggering night sweats on nights two and three; my sheets were absolutely saturated with sweat and I was shivering from the dampness. This is a common way for your body to expel toxins so although it wasn’t pleasant and led to a few extra laundry loads, it proved the juicing was working.  

The verdict 

While the juice fast was not without its challenges, I would 100% recommend it to anyone that’s curious to try it and I’m both happy and proud of myself for taking the plunge. 

When we place ourselves outside of our comfort zone with these experiences, we’re able to ask ourselves if we’re making conscious choices over bad habits, and ultimately enabling ourselves to live a more mindful life.

Juicing FAQs

Q:​ How long can you keep the juice for?

A:​ Ideally, they should be consumed within 24 hours, otherwise the nutrients start to break down.

Q:​ Can you make juices ahead and freeze them?

A:​ Yes, providing you don’t use the microwave to defrost them, as this will also destroy the nutrients.

Q:​ What were your favourite juices?

A:​ Sweet: Half a watermelon with half a bunch of organic mint (so simple but so refreshing)

Savoury: 8 tomatoes, 4 radishes, a handful of kale and half a lemon.

Q:​ What’s the ratio of fruit juices to vegetable juices?

A: ​The split of savoury to sweet juices is about 50:50 over the course of the three days.

Q:​ Are you allowed to consume anything other than juice?​

A:​ As much still water as possible is recommended, and organic herbal teas are fine too.

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This month we’re…

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Pictures either taken by us or from… amazon.co.uk / idealhome.co.uk / Pinterest

  1. Eating… Our kinda takeaway from The Health Hut in Rawtenstall. It’s a Kings and Greens dream with salad boxes, protein shakes and build-your-own stir fries. I feasted on the halloumi burger and sweet potato fries last weekend. It ain’t so bad not having a kitchen after all! Highly recommended if you’re in the Rossendale area.
  2. Wearing… our faux-fur jackets now the weather has finally got cold enough. If you have enough season matching outfits there ain’t no weather you can’t face (I even don’t mind the rain since I was bought an amazing cloud umbrella a few years ago). I got Ali hers in the Topshop sale last Christmas and my multi-coloured unicorn inspired one is from M&S Kids last year – a good place to look for something slightly cheaper and that not many other people (despite actual kids) will have.
  3. Detoxing… with a shot of apple cider vinegar every morning. I’m not a fan of shots at the best of times but the health benefits of this far outweigh the interesting taste. I bought mine from One Planet in Accrington (other suppliers are available) and I was the third person who’d bought one that day, so it looks like it’s a popular way to kick start that January detox.
  4. Barking… orders at our new Amazon Echo Dot. Alexa got a bit of a beasting at our NYE party with a whole room of people screaming her name and demanding she play certain songs. It’s the perfect way to play music easily and allow party guests to contribute to the playlist, although Alexa won’t be responsible for any arguments that ensue over varying music tastes.
  5. Sipping… English country garden cocktails. This was the main culprit of my New Years Day hangover but it was worth it. It feels quite summery with elderflower cordial, pro pro, gin and strawberries so it’s the perfect antidote to the cold weather. If you’re after something more wintery try a dark and stormy (another NYE tipple of ours). Nice try, dry January.
  6. Dusting… off our dancing shoes and trying our hand (feet?) at ballroom dancing. We’ve been fans of Strictly for years so it was only a matter of time until we gave it a whirl for ourselves. Stay tuned for some awkward/embarrassing attempts (add us on Snapchat for the outtakes – alikingkong and charliequeso).
  7. Punching, lifting and jumping… our way to fitness with the launch of the new Les Mills classes at my gym. We are huge Body Attack and Body Combat fans and I’ve recently started Body Pump. My gym has an open weekend for the launch next weekend so I’m taking Ali along so we can re-live the days when we were Les Mills fangirls. Out of all the types of exercise I’ve ever done a Les Mills class is by far the most fun and leaves me feeling like I’ve worked the hardest. They have low impact options if you’re a newbie but once you know the routines you can’t help but give it your all. Faye and I even got Alexa playing one of the Combat tunes and did a routine on NYE. If that doesn’t make you a gym geek I don’t know what does.
  8. Trying… my hand at a bullet journal. I’m not the most organised of people and I’m still living in the past with my diarising and refusal to put it all on my iPhone (although apparently one of Alexa’s functions is to tell you your daily schej like a PA). I also have loads of funky notebooks I’ve amassed over the years so I’m going to try and start a bullet journal. Let me know if you have any tips for this, it looks quite easy but I do get confused by the simplest of things sometimes…
  9. Lighting… up my life (well, bedroom) with this lamp with marble and copper (both very in RN) from Aldi of all places! I spied this on someone’s Instagram so hot footed it down to my local store and snapped one up. They also do a floor lamp in the same style but Ric has had enough of my copper and marble obsession for the time being. My next purchase will have to be much more subtle so he doesn’t notice.

And now for some 2017 plans….

Dressing… to impress. My wardrobe is full of amazing clothes, yet I seem to throw the same things on all the time. I have good intentions of putting together a great outfit then turn all basic bitch and end up in leggings and Uggs. With living out of a suitcase the past few months after packing my wardrobe up I’ve really missed having a big selection of clothes to choose from so my NY res is to dress fancier and make the most of all the clothes I have bursting out of my wardrobe. Which will also help with…

Decluttering… the clothes I don’t wear. I’ve recently opened a Depop shop (find me here) and have decided that anything I don’t wear on a regular basis needs to be sold or taken to a charity shop.

depop

Meeting… up more with friends and family. This has got to a great start with a cousin catch up in early Jan, meeting up with a former colleague this weekend and the revival of the original gang being discussed via whatsapp. I make this resolution every year then life gets in the way but it’s something I’m determined to stick to this year.

meetup

Enjoying… a proper sit down family meal (preferably a good ol’ roast) once a week. Ali wants to get Q into good eating habits and get into a routine of chatting together round the table rather than staring at phones or sticking Netflix on. It’s also a good excuse for her to crack open the wine before baby bedtime, so win-win!

roast

The roastess with the mostess. THE best Sunday lunch I’ve ever had

Blogging… more! The end of 2017 saw blogging take a back seat for us with new houses, busy work schedules and a teething baby but it made me realise how much I actually miss doing it! It made more sense when we were marathon training and had a specific thing to write about so it’s time we got our mojo back and got back in the game. My NY resolution is to blog once a week so let us know if you have any ideas on what to blog about or want to let us know what things you like reading about.

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Happy New Year to all our readers. I love the fact that you take the time to actually read our mumblings and here’s to a blog-tastic 2017!

This month we’re…

 

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  1. Lolling… at My Dad Wrote A Porno. We’ve been recommending this hilarious podcast to everyone since our friend Niamh told us about it.
  2. Watching… Stranger Things on Netflix. I binge watched this in a few days and now can’t wait for season 2.
  3. Eating.. lentils, lentils and more lentils. I’m on a major budget which gives me just £20-£30 a week for food shopping, so I’ve been loving the lentils. Red, green, yellow – post coming soon on recipe ideas.
  4. Reading… Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. I’ve had this on my Kindle for yonks and only just started it. Anyone else read it?
  5. Venturing… to the cinema to see The Girl On The Train, one of our fave literary thrillers of recent times.
  6. Sipping… caramel lattes all day errrrrrday after Chaz bought me a Tassimo coffee machine as a new house pressie.
  7. Dining… in style when my new Fjord dining table and benches finally arrive from Made.com
  8. Loving… Mike Colter in Luke Cage (double Netflix love this month, sorry). Loved him as everyone’s favourite drug dealer in The Good Wife, love him even more as Harlem’s hero-in-a-hoodie. Marvel normally isn’t my thing at all but I’ve made an exception for him and the equally cool Jessica Jones.
  9. Listening… to Educating Ali King 3, the latest in a series of CDs made for me by our friend Faye to update my musical tastes as she sees fit (and speaking of fit, any excuse for a Zayn pic hey?).

Making a meal of it: how to use up cupboard lurkers

Raise your hand if you’ve ever bought some obscure ingredient, trotting round Tesco on your lunch with big plans to be the next Gwyneth as you wow your friends and family with your carb/dairy/refined/nightshade/lampshade-free culinary style and generally breezy wellness … only for the weekend to roll around.

Now, you find yourself consciously uncoupling from, in fact downright ALOLing at your pretentious midweek self as you serve up a giant bowl of pasta as a side to your Friday night glass (bottle) of wine.

It can’t just be us.

My friend Marie is as food-obsessed as us, to the point where we send each other daily emails detailing our next three meals and weekend eating plans. She’s more of a wartime warrior when it comes to cooking style (and a meat-eater), but we often share recipes and ideas and there is some overlap as she’s health conscious and likes trying new things.

A recent email chat with her alerted me to the fact most of us have a cupboard full of lurkers and therefore a multitude of potential meals sitting there waiting to be discovered. Most of the time we probably ignore them and dash to the shop thinking we don’t have anything in.

Lately, an economy drive prompted me to use up all of those weird and wonderful lurkers, to the point where I now have depressingly empty cupboards.

(No joke, I am actually so skint I helped myself to a half empty – or half full, depending on your outlook on life – bag of quinoa when I was at Chaz’s the other Sunday).

It was actually an enjoyable challenge and a good way to shake up the standard repertoire.

In my inherent boringness, I got really excited thinking up recipes Marie could try but lurkers’ potential is in the eye of the beholder, so you may suggest something completely different based on the same set of ingredients.

So in a Masterchef Invention Test style exercise, we decided to upload the contents of Marie’s cupboards, show you a few things we would do with the lurkers and invite you to suggest your own.

As I mentioned, Marie does eat meat and fish, so while I haven’t suggested anything non-veggie please feel free to – I’m sure she will prefer your ideas to mine if you do!

Help Marie #makeamealofit (before I nip round and pinch those pine nuts).

 

1. Coconut chia pudding

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This recipe on Popsugar sounds easy and delicious, plus can be made on a Sunday and grabbed on your way to work.

 

2. One-pot olive and pine nut pasta

I am about to try my first ever one-pot pasta on recommendation of our friend Jade, who gets recipes from Pinterest so I’ve suggested one to Marie to try.

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PIC: barefeetinthekitchen.com

This recipe from Barefeet In The Kitchen looks really good.

3. Lazy pepper and tomato soup

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PIC: DeliciouslyElla.com

I haven’t tried this before, but I’m pretty sure throwing the following into the Nutribullet would create a decent soup:

  • Passata carton
  • Jar of roasted peppers with the oil
  • Tin of chickpeas/any type of bean for protein and thickness
  • Italian herbs – basil, oregano, herbs de Provence
  • Salt and pepper

Here are a couple of similar recipes which I think would work with their cupboard rather than fresh alternatives:

Deliciously Ella roasted tomato and pepper soup

Italian Food Forever roasted pepper and chickpea soup

All of these would freeze well for quick lunches.

4. Red pepper hummus

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PIC: BBC.co.uk

Not a meal in itself, but a good thing to have in to jazz up other meals or use as an afternoon snack with carrot sticks and celery. The peppers could definitely be blasted with a tin of chickpeas and some spices and seasoning to make a quick hummus.

This BBC recipe looks like a storecupboard masterpiece and I’m sure you could use jarred instead of fresh peppers.

5. Tropical breakfast smoothie

Whizz up the tinned pineapple with a dash of coconut milk, frozen banana, a tablespoon of chia seeds and your choice of milk for a quick morning smoothie.

6. Chickpea coconut curry

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PIC: jessicainthekitchen.com

I love a chickpea coconut curry combo and try a different variation practically every week. This recipe from Jessica In The Kitchen is now next on my list.

So, over to you. How would you combine Marie’s storecupboard lurkers?

Ideas in the comments please…

This month we’re…

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  1. Catching… Fleabag. If you haven’t checked it out yet, binge watch all six half hour episodes on BBC iPlayer.
  2. Eating… 23 inch Nino’s pizzas for Chaz’s birthday in our annual tradition (yet again no one managed more than a couple of slices).
  3. Visiting… Dolly’s Tearoom in Darwen and Callooh! Callay in Clitheroe for afternoon tea.
  4. Wearing… dungarees as seen on Chaz’s fashion crush Megan Ellaby (I stalked her Instagram and bought everything I could find for Chaz’s birthday and these were actually half price in the New Look sale… bonus).
  5. Joining… the new Fit4Life gym in Rising Bridge. It’s going to be on the way to work for Chaz once she moves house in a couple of months so the perfect location for an early morning workout (meanwhile, I am working out in my garage due to the new house swallowing up every penny I have).
  6. Savouring… rare Kate Moss audio in Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue.
  7. Listening… to Alec Baldwin’s podcast Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin on my Friday morning pram walks (got to love a four-day working week)
  8. Watching… Bridget Jones’s Baby for old time’s sake (and to compare notes) – anyone else think she made the wrong choice??
  9. Poaching… eggs laid by my very own ex-battery rescue chickens – Kim, Kourtney and Khloe!

This month we’re…

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  1. Tossing… these amazingly tasty protein pancakes for breakfast. Made from just three ingredients – eggs, cottage cheese and oats – they are so good and don’t even need to be saved for cheat day!
  2. Watching… season 2 of Grace and Frankie on Netflix. Finally! I binge watched this in a day however so now I’m back to looking for recommendations…
  3. Wearing… this Topshop skirt for wedding season – looks the part and separates are far more breastfeeding-friendly. Bonus!
  4. Planning… new running routes in our respective new neighbourhoods of Great Harwood and Rawtenstall. Any recommendations?
  5. Whipping up… Superbaby chia jam and other delights from my friend’s new Instagram feed @young_gums – all about feeding babies healthy, tasty food full of excellent tips for me and Quincy. Beth and her daughter Bea make weaning look so cool.
  6. Reading… Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield. This modern twist on Pride and Prejudice is the read of the month in Chaz’s book club and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon.
  7. Dining… at Maxwell’s Clitheroe – an old favourite with great healthy breakfast and veggie lunch options on the menu at the moment. Plus the wide doors and spacious layout make it pram-friendly for the mamas and papas out there.
  8. Baking… avocado brownies by Deliciously Ella. I made these last Friday night and they were wolfed down by Jak and his friend without even questioning whether they were “normal” brownies so they’ll definitely be making more appearances for guilt-free snacking.

Training Tales: our 28 mile weekend

It feels like I’ve been playing around with some 10 and 12 miles runs recently so this weekend felt like marathon training has officially started with a 15 and 13 under our belts.

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Fond memories of sunny 4 milers

We headed out bright and breezy on Saturday morning albeit with a few pre-run nerves. I haven’t run this distance for months and it’s the longest Faye’s ever run so we were both a bit apprehensive. Luckily I what’s apped her on Friday night and asked her to come armed with some good conversation topics (she’s in charge of sponsorship and talking, I’m in charge of training and nutrition) and she didn’t disappoint, so the first few miles went well. We’ve decided to not speak to each other for 2 weeks pre-marathon so we have conversation topics stored up plus it’ll be entertaining for our colleagues to think we’ve fallen out when we start passing each other in the corridor without so much of a glance (we’re going to take it very seriously). Although anyone who knows us well can testify that our fall outs only happen when one of us has had a few too many blue WKDs (I’ll let you decide which one).

graffiti

Managed to find the time to do a bit of mid-run graffiti

The plan was to run 8 miles down the canal then turn back but our only stumbling block came as we reached Burnley and had to come off the canal and get back on. You’d think after having been confused at this point on numerous occasions (having to ring Jak at work during a 20 mile run once after realising we were well and truly lost) I would have known what I was doing here, but, as Ric tells me all the time I don’t pay attention to anything (I think that’s what he said, I wasn’t really listening). After asking a local, pretending we knew what he said while smiling and saying thanks, and being none the wiser we headed back the way we came knowing we’d have to make the extra miles up at the end. Once heading home, we decided that 15 miles would be enough as Sunday’s half marathon was taking the place of the planned 12.

mid run

Faye’s mad caption skillz

The conversation topics provided by Faye did us well, and managed to (kind of) take our minds off how thirsty we were. As we came to mile 13 we ran past the hairdresser’s where Faye’s mum goes and the lovely ladies in there got us a glass of water each. A quick pop into the butty shop next door to say hi to Faye’s mum, a wave to her dad in the car across the road (it felt like an episode of Coronation Street at this point) and we were on our merry way home. I thought I was going to have to offer to host Faye’s nephew’s birthday party in my living room as it looked like she wasn’t moving from my settee at one point, but she managed to get up eventually. Saturday afternoon saw a blister popping session, muscle soak bath and carb (cake) load and we were geared up for Sunday’s half marathon.

faye sleeping

Ready to party!

 

 

Sunday saw us complete the small but perfectly organised Valiant’s Half Marathon in Preston. Apparently there were only 90 odd runners on the day, which made us panic slightly that there wasn’t much safety in numbers. That being said, it was much nicer having a small walk to the start line (resting our legs and staying warm for as long as possible) and there was a great atmosphere between runners. We seemed like real amateurs however when we had to ask why people seemed to be setting off before the official start time when we were informed they were just warming up. Oops.

confusion

Start line confusion

The route was really nice and being a sunny day it was a really pleasant course. We passed some amazing houses and the scenery was a welcome change from the urban jungle of Burnley Road. All the stewards were really friendly and lots of locals came out to wish us well (one told us to stop arguing at one point as I got quite animated regaling an argument Ric and I had to pass the time).

scenic roads

The miles ticked along nicely and the conversation continued to flow well, until we were scraping the barrel towards mile 11 with how we wash up (Faye leaves her breakfast things to soak while getting ready for work, then it’s quicker to wash before leaving the house FYI). As always the final miles seemed to take forever to come, but we managed to keep the pace up and finish in 2 hours 1 minute, which we were both really pleased with considering the heavy legs and blistered feet we were nursing from Saturday’s 15.

finish line

It was great to see our cheerleaders Ric, Ali and Quincy at the finish line as well as Faye’s friends Louise and Martyn (who had competed too). We got some interesting treats in our goody bags (hence the beanie pics) and there was a free coffee and bacon butty to all runners. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone who prefers quiet country lane running to city centre races or if you just fancy a bit of a change and it’s a nice flat route if you’re after a PB.

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Beanie buddies

 

 

We’ve started giving our runs 3 word summaries so here’s the weekend:

Saturday

Faye: Thirsty, ploddy and daunting.

Chaz: Monotonous, heavy and blistery.

 

Sunday

Faye: Friendly, weird and green.

Chaz: Scenic, intimate and steady (words I like to use to describe myself coincidentally)

 

If the matching vests didn’t give the game away, we’re running the marathon for Meningitis, which our cheerleader Quincy had when she was born. Here’s the link to our just giving page if you fancy sponsoring us.

 

 

 

 

This month we’re…

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  1. Tasting… some Chinese delights at Roots’ restaurant oriental night (there’s kale on the menu so it sounds like we’re on to a winner) then later in the month at Ling Ling’s supper club at Jade Garden. From the recipe testing pics on Insta we’re in for a treat here with some yummy veggie and vegan options too. Blog posts to follow!
  2. Watching… the hilarious ‘Chelsea Does…’ on Netflix (we really make the most out of our subscription). It sees her tackle controversial subjects such as marriage, drugs and racism with her usual quick wit.
  3. Staying… at Hotel Indigo in Liverpool for a night away over half term spending the Jamie’s Italian voucher Ali got Ric for his birthday (I’ve got my eye on his new chickpea and feta veggie burger). Healthy lunch recommendations needed!
  4. Reading… Second Life by S.J Watson for book club. After the success of Before I Go To Sleep (if you haven’t read or watched this yet, do it!) I’m hoping this lives up to expectations.
  5. Drinking… coconut milk lattes. We toasted Ali’s return to caffeine with these during our Kings and Greens planning meeting and will be having a lot more during February fikas.
  6. Experimenting… with these lean lentil burgers from the Body Coach. He seems to be all over Facebook at the moment so we thought we’d see what all the fuss is about and anyone who gives us a new veggie burger recipe to try is fine by us.
  7. Kitting… ourselves out in some new running gear to beat the winter exercise blues. My trainers have been on the road for a while now and having knocked out a few long runs over the last few weeks I think it’s time to retire the current Nikes.
  8. Wearing… this ‘Mother’ jumper from Selfish Mother, which has not only added to our slogan collection but supports a good cause too as all profits go to Women for Women International, a charity which helps to rebuild women’s lives in war-torn areas.
  9. Trying… some buggy bootcamp classes courtesy of Active Mums Hyndburn. Now it’s 6 weeks since Quincy was born Ali’s decided to go along to the classes so will be reporting back on post-baby exercise soon.

All pictures taken by us or from Pinterest

 

This month we’re…

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  1. Awaiting… the next seasons of some of our favourite shows. Fingers crossed 2016 brings back new instalments of Grace and Frankie, OITNB, Catastrophe and The Affair to name but a few.
  2. Visiting… some new eating hotspots we’ve been meaning to try. Number one on the list is Lolo’s in Ramsbottom, a vegan restaurant that opened its doors a few weeks ago.
  3. Booking… a challenge of some sort. Currently scrolling through Spring marathons and half marathons to get the training up and running (excuse the pun).
  4. Researching… into nutrition courses to get more clued up on things. Anyone know of any decent local ones?
  5. Dusting… off our dancing shoes and watching our 2015 faves in the Strictly Come Dancing live tour. Looking forward to getting our Gleb fix since he left our screens last month.
  6. Clocking… up the calories on my new Jawbone I got for Christmas. We also got Sandy a Fitbit so along with Ali’s Nike+ Fuelband we’ve got most fitness trackers covered.
  7. Juicing… with this new Philip’s juicer I got Ali for Christmas. No better way to beat the post-Christmas blues than a nutrient packed homemade juice.
  8. Wearing… our superfoods on our chests with this jumper that Ric bought Ali for Christmas.
  9. Smelling… our new Diptyque candles that Sandy got us for Christmas. Now she’s a dab hand at online shopping she’s excelling herself in her choice of gifts.

 

Photos taken from Pinterest, Lolo’s website and Etsy.com

A – Z of 2015

2015 has been a busy year for Kings and Greens so we thought we’d sum it all up with an A-Z of the highlights.

Avocados.

We couldn’t really have a post without mentioning our favourite food. Toast topper, cheesecake filling and T-shirt slogan, the humble avocado has served us well through 2015 and we’ve perfected the ultimate guacamole recipe.

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Breakfast.

The most important meal of the day has taken on many forms throughout 2015. We experimented with rye bread toppings in Feb (check them out here), enjoyed many a bircher throughout the warmer months (recipe ideas here) and packed our porridge full of protein as it got colder (see September’s porridge post).

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Coconut water.

Sipping it through a straw in Sri Lanka and then at Tanya’s in Chelsea were real highlights although Tesco’s bottled version has seen us through some thirsty times.

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Desserts.

Speaking of Tanya’s, we had the best dessert of the year (raw strawberry cheesecake) on our London trip in September . Other highlights include the vegan cakes we enjoyed in Hebden Bridge on our Mothers’ Day visit and Teacup’s pistachio cake which has been inhaled on about three occasions over 2015.  Some of our healthy alternative desserts are on this GBBO inspired post.

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Exercising.

Although running has been the main player this year, 2015 has seen us try our hand at other sports. Cycling, bouldering, gym sessions and at-home DVDs have enabled us to mix things up a bit.

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Facials.

We started the year on a high with Christmas vouchers from Sandy for Ribby Hall, then treated ourselves at Champneys with the Naughtons and the year has been rounded off nicely with a treatment at Titanic Spa.

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Granola.

We’ve sampled a selection of granolas from Primrose Kitchen, piled our bowls high with the stuff on holiday in Italy and made our own buckwheat and ginger granola from Deliciously Ella and Honestly Healthy’s nutty granola with cashew cream.

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Home-grown veg.

Ric’s had his allotment since last year and Jak got his earlier this year so we’ve reaped the rewards of them throughout 2015. Spring saw strawberries and purple-sprouting broccoli, summer gave us tomatoes, courgettes and potatoes and we’ve ended the year with onions and leeks.

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Instagram.

This has been a great way to keep in touch with fellow healthy eaters, make new friends, find new recipe ideas and be inspired by all the amazing health nuts out there!

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Juice, baby!

We’ve been drinking our greens throughout 2015 and made the most of our London trip by stocking up on juices from Juice, Baby and The Good Life Eatery to see us through the following week.

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Kings and Greens.

It’s almost been a year since things kicked off as we first started the blog on February 2nd 2015 after umming and ahhing about it for months. Check out our first ever blog post here

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Lake District visits.

We’ve spent many a day in the tiny village of Caldbeck during 2015, as this is where Jak completed his second ultra of the year. We also managed to squeeze in a visit to our Dad’s to see the Boot gang on a few occasions.

Marathons.

Although we haven’t done an actual marathon in 2015 we did the ultra back in March and completed Blackpool half in February as training for the ultra. Plus we’ve had marathons of the Netflix variety with some of our faves being OITNB, Dexter, House of Cards and Grace and Frankie.

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Nut butters.

From peanut butter on toast to almond butter smoothies, these nut butters have been  a firm favourite in 2015.

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Online grocery shopping.

Ali’s been championing Ocado’s home deliveries for months now and we’ve both been regularly stocking up on healthy essentials from amazon.

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Protein.

The quest to meet our macros has been ongoing through 2015 and giving up meat has urged us to find alternative sources of protein. Lentils, nuts and beans have served us well and made us much more imaginative in the kitchen.

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Q…

until a few weeks ago this would have been dedicated to quinoa but that’s been demoted to our second favourite Q word after the birth of Quincy 2 weeks ago. We’ll have her batch cooking and signed up to a marathon in no time!

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Running challenges.

Aside from the ultra and the half marathon, we’ve completed a 10k, supported our friends (and Jak) through various races and set monthly goals to keep us going.

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Slogan Ts.

Our penchant for wearing our hearts on our chests started in September 2014 when I received the Kale jumper from Ali for my 3oth and has gone from strength to strength in 2015.

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Tea.

We’ve sipped our way through the year with some amazing teas from matcha to mint at various tea rooms as well as having a guided tour of a tea factory in Sri Lanka

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Ultra marathon training.

This took up the majority of the first quarter of 2015 and I think we might have mentioned that we ran Canalathon back in March?

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Vegetarian alternatives.

2015 has seen us tweak many a meaty feast into a veggie delight. Lentil Bolognese, chilli-con-quinoa and the ultimate veggie burger have been some of our faves. More thoughts on the veggie life here.

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Weight-loss stories.

Telling ours back in February this year has resulted in our highest number of views to date on the blog. Check it out here if you missed it first time around.

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Xmas running.

Deciding to run every day in December has really kept me going through the festive period and the highlight was running (pun intended) into our friend Sarah on Christmas Day morning. We were both dressed for the occasion so took the opportunity for a snap!

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Yoga.

Our friend Terri and I gave this a go a few times over 2015 and although we never found a class that suited us we enjoyed trying something new and it was a good way to bring some calm into our busy lives.

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Zucchini.

Using poetic licence here as I was struggling with the letter Z. We’ve enjoyed courgettes in many forms throughout 2015: courgetti, courette and halloumi falafel, courgette fries. Looking forward to experimenting some more in 2016.

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And that’s yer lot! Thanks to everyone who has read, enjoyed and commented on the blog in 2015. We’ve loved writing it and long may it continue. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016!