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Health and Wellbeing

Tuesday Relapse

I’m having ‘one of those days’, the ones where even my Monday motivation and deep breathing aren’t doing as much for me as the chocolates I’m scoffing down with extreme guilt but irresistible requirement. God damn it. Sugar craves sugar, bad things make way for more bad things. It’s generally a sweeping agreement in my subconscious mind, that should you start the day this way, what the hell! Let’s at least be reliable and continue it in this fashion. Even consciously pointing out to myself that, ‘one moment doesn’t determine your day – get back on track, eat an apple’ I still swiftly swipe it away to find myself with more room to consider my bodily aches and the urge for another sugar hit.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Chocolate Relapse - This week's struggle

Who are these people that say, ‘recognise your emotional eating and it’ll help’?

Here’s the thing: I do recognise it. Yes, I feel like shit. Yes, I want chocolate and to be in my bed and to watch a terrible movie. There I have recognised it. But still, NO, I do not wish to think of ‘other things’ or distract myself, I want the chocolate. And as much as exercise will probably cure my emotional ‘dip’ I am in the least appropriate mental place to find myself wanting to do any.

We all KNOW these things work, but the reality is, at times like this one, we don’t care. Actually, we don’t want these things to work – sometimes there is a little lusciousness in self pity, scoffing all the chocolates and feeling like crap. Leave me to it until I disgust myself enough (saaay 2 to 3 days) to come out of  my slumber and tread the pavements with my trainers once more in a feverous glory. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

The painful irony is that I know I feel unimaginably better when I do exercise and don’t scoff all the chocolates, I love fruit and feeling good, but currently I don’t want to help myself . What is this life? Where is my will power? Who are these people that don’t succumb to chocolate and self pity? I think secretly I want to be them, but for now I’ll eat chocolate until I am.

So basically I need someone to tell me to perk-up, shape-up, step away from the chocolate, do some star jumps and drink the smoothie. Any volunteers?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Chocolate Relapse - This week's struggle

Joking. Joking. I’m not that pathetic – I love all those things at the chosen moment.

Look – The key thing is, it’s OK. Life goes on. No one’s perfect. Every cloud has a silver lining. There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Didn’t mumma always tell you to eat your veg? Wait, off topic slightly there but, basically – calm down. OK?

It’s ok to feel crappy, it’s ok to eat rubbish on the odd occasion, what’s hindering your happiness is the twelve lashes you give yourself when you do feel better for being so weak willed when you weren’t at your best. Chill out. Let go and when the mood strikes, get back on it with no frustrations, just enjoy not feeling shit, instead of making yourself feel shit because you felt shit and ate shit. Because really, thinking about shit that much just puts you off chocolate & no one really wants that.

C.x

P.S. Bring me chocolate and duvet?

Saturdays at Primrose Hill Market

Saturday isn’t usually the day I’d associate with walking around a market, my memories of being at markets are early morning trips on Sundays and my Nan bartering down the price of bananas – which of course she always manage and then she’d buy ‘an ass load’, as we’d say, along with the broccoli, potatoes – a well known staple in every meal, yes we’re Irish – and a few onions, carrots and bits for the week, whilst my Grandad handed over the money and carried the bags.

There wasn’t much my nan didn’t buy from the market stalls, assured they were better quality and value for money. It’s a trend or a survival manner somewhat lost by a generation overtaken by far too much packaging and branding – it’s a shame to think organic is top shelf fresh produce, priced at a cost less realistic for today’s working families, where the cheaper food is modified for mass production, whilst markets that support local farmers and producers are a higher quality yet a less frequented option; with the fast paced lifestyles and so many convenient food on the move options we no longer shop for the week but for the situation.

This is where value is lost, if we all managed to take, what is in fact, extremely pleasurable and leisurely time at the weekend to visit a local market and spend an extra few pennies on the organic and locally produced products we would not only support small, local businesses and their families but we could start to feed ourselves more nutritious and wholesome foods for far less; if only we could resist convenience and posh packaging.

So if Sunday is your lazy day and Saturday claims you with a hangover, worry not and pop yourself down to Primrose Hill Market, there’s nothing stressful about wandering around here (or probably any local market you might happen upon). It’s more like a visual feast, sensory hug and a vibrantly gentle bustle of food education from the stalls, whilst amusing conversations exchange mostly inspired by the surroundings – “How do I cook this Kale?”, “Ooh shall we get some sausages for a sarnie tomorrow morning?”, “Oh look – I need that dog!”

Open from 10am – 3pm there’s plenty of time to get yourself down there even after a lay in and it hosts some really lovely stalls, I took plenty of pictures to encourage you out of the sheets and down to the stalls, so take a walk with me and let’s discuss….
Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Arriving around noon the place is bustling with plenty of stalls already looking like their wares had almost sold out for the day – the bread stall is extremely popular – but there’s plenty more on offer here

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Something for the nutters out there, this peanut butter from Australia is.. shall we say, the nuts!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

If you still haven’t woken up yet, it’s time to smell the coffee – Pact is a new coffee supplier making a big caffeine hit in the ethical and ‘bloody delicious’ markets right now and this particular batch sourced in person from Guatemala – it’s a fruity and pungent little number – definitely woke me up!  

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s something about big wheels of cheese – strangely alluring and once again I find myself fascinated by the sheer volume and variation of colour, texture and flavour all from modest milk. It’s a marvel really.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Trying some of a few of their selection just confirms that the supermarket ‘cheddars’, mass produced ‘bries’ and from freezer to oven breaded ‘camemberts’ are really not cutting the mustard.  THIS is what Wallace and Gromit were flying to the moon for and it’s worth the trip, much better than a quick trip to Tescos.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cheeeeeeese Gromit!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

The cured meats and pancetta are vibrant and the scent of them sets the scene for tapas or a smokey chilli con carne dinner date instantly.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

What a bunch of tarts! These are freshly baked and all ingredients are locally sourced…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Usually out of bounds for me with all that pastry… shortcrust pastry…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Filo pastry…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And a vanilla and chocolate sponge.. all forms of gluten intolerant torture, but that of which I’m used to at markets

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

But wait! There’s gluten free! Gluten free tarts..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and gluten free cheeeeesecake… Gromit. Oh yes, and rest assured they had plenty more options but they’re clearly very popular.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

You might not have mush-room for the pate by now but buy a jar and take it home – this stuff’s both diverse and delicious!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Thankfully my pudding stomach’s still empty, because…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Oh. Yes. That is one bad brownie.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Another one for the nutty lovers…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And even something for the gluten free Goddesses out there

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s definitely a buzz about this place…

 

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All naturally flavoured honey…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All completely organic ingredients and the flavours are intense!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

The extra hot chili? Yeah, no messing about here – you just need to try it – this is amazing! I’d happily put this in a marinade, a salad dressing or in my chilli con carne.. it’s packing seriously good heat!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And this is a better alternative for the kids (and me) when it comes to treating your sweet tooth to chocolate

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

This place is a total honey trap!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Fresh produce – the colours, the smells, the textures, it’s hard to think why would you want to hide any of this in packaging? Pick it up, give it a squeeze, give it a sniff become more intuitive with your food – what do you actually fancy?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

If I was hungover this would be the perfect cure.. a cold craft beer or two?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and perhaps some fresh duck buns on the side? I hear they taste quacking!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Honestly, I’m opting for the fresh juice, lured in by the array of  vibrant colours – I feel better just looking at them.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Now it’s a shame they have to emphasise with the word ‘very’ but I can understand – again you see ‘free range’ frequently now, but sadly I’m not even sure I believe the packaging on most products in shops, their feed and quality of freedom is still up for debate if you ask me. These however, farmer’s own fresh and I bet they taste like very  free range eggs.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

And a real chicken stock, the perfect base to mix with your fresh veg for a homemade soup or maybe a casserole. Local and free chickens, surely there’s something satisfying in enjoying this produce that overwhelms the need for a quick trip to the supermarket or local takeaway? At least some of the time! I appreciate that life isn’t always so free to make the right choices and it definitely takes some forward planning to stay on track with it.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All the fruit and veg here is organic and my god it looks wonderful just all stacked and piled up everywhere

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

All shapes, sizes, colours and variations with a choice for as little or as much as you need

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

and some handy advice and tips on hand should you be wondering, “what on earth is that and how do I cook it?!”

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

A good reminder, if ever one was needed that all shapes, sizes, lumps, bumps and colours are equally beautiful without the labels and expensive packaging and more so it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Organically grown fruit and veg offer up so much more nutrients it’s quality over quantity and ultimately you’ll need less to attain the benefits.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Starving after having a good wander and some rather in-depth chats with the traders of the stalls it’s time to buy some sustenance of a high standard!  We all know eggs work every time when it comes to brunching..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

but this time I went really indulgent..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Toastits to the rescue – gluten free brown bread with goats cheese, caramelised onion chutney, chili, prosciutto toasted to crispy crunchy delight and spruced up with rocket… Yes, yes and yes.

Well having shared that with Rachel (trying to savour the flavours, but mostly just a two minute period of ooh and ahh and mmm’ing and between us it was gone) naturally it’s only fair to try the other one on the menu too…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Gluten free seeded bread with melted mozzarella, juicy sundried tomatoes, a little kick of chili (totally optional), rather crispy bacon and that ravishing rocket escaping from all angles.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Rockin’!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

Cat Foley Survival Survival Primrose Hill Market food stands and fresh produce

There’s so many local market’s around London, but I have to say I really would recommend popping by Primrose Hill to visit this one.. it’s lovely, the food’s beautiful and the people and the atmosphere is wonderful.

Making food shopping an occasion and don’t forget to bring a tote bag to carry home all your incredible goods for the week!

Happy weekend!

C.x

Links:

Primrose Hill Market

Primrose Hill Market Traders List & Details

 

 

Cultural Feasting at Camden’s Night Market

We all know Camden is a bustling centre for all kinds of London culture, fashion, music, craft beers! But what it also hosts is a selection of culinary cultures in the market. I should know, I have been a resident of the place, by which I mean Camden Town not the market, for the past three years and despite it always being too full with meandering and snap happy tourists – I can’t help but love it!

There’s nothing better than popping down on a Sunday to try an array of treats from the food stalls, ranging from all American burgers and ribs, to the British hog roast or something completely new like Ethiopian cuisine. One of my favourites is at the Polish stand, which has a stew called bigos served with dumplings- it is to die for and does wonders to warm up the autumn chill that seems to be whipping in so swiftly!

But whilst we’re just about clinging on to summer I will mention a few reasons you should pop down tonight to visit the Night Market. Aside from the atmosphere being electric there’s a bar and live music and no need to debate what you and your friends are going to eat; jump straight to dessert if you want – sweet crepes, cookies and cupcakes galore! Also, no need to worry if you have an intolerance or dietary requirements.. there’s plenty on offer. 
Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

A bunch of fabulous foodies and myself met up at Camden Night Market for an official #fdbloogersmeet to divide and conquer the food stalls! But not before trying out some of Camden’s finest gin!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Half Hitch Gin is distilled with the tea left in to give it a golden colouring. This is one gin you could justify sipping with your cucumber sarnies and cream cakes!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Trust me, it’s one worth trying – I tried it, obviously.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Plus, it’s made in Camden, the original home of gin – why wouldn’t you?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Sufficiently refreshed we headed out to the market to forage for food.. Well, there was hardly a foraging requirement, the struggle was more so what to choose! We passed by a LOT of tempting options..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Tortilla sandwiches from Circus Bros, one big mouth full of España! Photographed are the display ones, the fresh tortillas came out smelling and looking fantastic and I imagine they make a very satisfying meal.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

There’s two Polish food stands and this one does some big sausages! (But seriously, check out the bigos!)

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Indian naan wraps at Roti House…


Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

or you can find a range Indian dishes served with steaming hot rice

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Whilst these jerks were causing quite a commotion

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Superfood stalls are becoming popular and easily hold their own amongst the most indulgent options, yes it may be a food frenzy in the market screaming at you to ‘eat everything’ but there’s plenty of healthy options which are amazingly tasty too…

Chia – those little powerhouse seeds full of protein and omegas

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

A quinoa (say it with me, keen-wah!)  stall with an array of vegetable and salad options to make up your box

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers MeetVegan, no worries –  Laura from The Whole Ingredient –  wonderful vegan food blogger and recipe curator – found a freshly baked pizza from these guys..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Made in front of her and cooked within minutes… I’m assured it was delicious

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Whilst others went in for the kill with a good old pulled pork bun with *insane* crackling and apple sauce… Just follow your nose to this one

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Whilst I opted for fresh and seriously tasty Vietnamese from Love Fresh Vietnamese…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Either seasoned chicken, sweet soy pork belly or tofu (vegan friendly) on a bed of salad and rice or rice noodles (gluten free) topped with optional homemade fish sauce and chilli dressing (which I piled on, naturally)
Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Sitting down to eat we managed to grab a table (not always possible!) and embrace the smells and bustling ambience of the evening, which felt a little like you could be anywhere but in the middle of London!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Then came the time to reunite the whole #fdbloggers gang and refresh ourselves once more with a few drinks from the bar, listening to the band playing as we queued rather briefly…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

Then we settled down to share, yet more food, whilst chatting about the night and let’s be honest – the food! Because, who can resist a few nibbles of paella with prosecco?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Camden Night Market Food Bloggers Meet

A great night spent in great company in a very cool place – night or day! Catch the last Camden Night Market for the summer, tonight or every week day until 6pm and all day at the weekends.

Have you got a favourite food spot in London?

C.x

Links:

The Camden Market

The Whole Ingredient – Vegan Blog

#FdBloggers on Twitter

Half Hitch Gin

Carrying around some Kryptonite?

Here we are again, gluten my most beloved of enemies. Today is mentally challenging – my attention is ridiculously minimal, energy is low, creativity is being blocked by brain fog and while at work it felt like I was verging on narcolepsy.

Now, it truly is my own fault, for someone so clued up on all things nutrition, there I was slathering my delicious chilli and lemon pimped avocado all over my super healthy crackers. Problem? Spelt. Catherine my dear. They. Are. Spelt*.

(*One of the most gluten heavy grains you can find – also, news to me.)

The effects haven’t hit me from having them for lunch today, no, I have been eating them last week and felt very similar in my disposition, but passed it off as post-festival fatigue. Which really is a ridiculous suggestion, you’ve never met three girls that had earlier nights or longer lay ins than us at that festival! Something’s amiss and as per usual it’s taken a good week of struggling through for me to now realise I’ve gone and eaten something with sneaky gluten in it. (Note to self: it’s significantly less sneaky when you realise spelt is jammed with the stuff, stupid.)

Before you think I may in fact be the worst coeliac sufferer ever, I am not a coeliac sufferer – I’m intolerant to gluten. It’s a love hate relationship; I love it, fresh bread, cakes and pasta, so I try to win back its affection now and again by having the odd crumb here, white sauce there – nothing as hefty as a bowl of pasta. I live in hope that I might just ween it back in to my diet, that it might miraculously shake hands with my digestion, apologise for its misbehaviour in the past and crack on like a good little grain (I visualise this playing out as a little cartoon in my head, like the ones you watch in school).

Back to reality. NO, love. There’s no chance. What am I thinking? I spend weeks coming out of my slug like state back to a bouncy, energetic, creative ball of energy, only to find the temptation to test myself once more. Problem here? I love a challenge.

This mass of spelt crackers for a good week have really put me back a pace or two and will teach me my lesson for at least another six months. It’s horrid and (sarcasm ahoy) the best bit is most of the time people are clueless and think you’re just exaggerating or attention seeking – believe me, that would be wonderful (and completely pointless) if I were, but the energy and creativity to do something like that is currently  lost on me, sucked up by a leaky gut and glum outlook.

The positives? The positives are that I am aware I have inflicted, accosted myself with spelt. I know it takes me a good week to feel bouncy again and mostly importantly, I know that I’m not having some kind of depressed mood swing for an unknown reason – because without prior diagnosis,  the effects of gluten on an uncooperative digestion can leave one to wonder what the feck is going on in their head, it’s not fun or funny or a fad, it sucks. Meanwhile, I’m not going to strain my eyes and visit the opticians only to find once I’ve cut out the gluten – and am feeling super, awesome, happy – I will also have regained clear eyesight! (Also something I’ve done before and I’d say candida overgrowth was also partially to blame.)

Gluten is my – what’s that Superman thing.. Kryptonite? Yes. Kryptonite. And I do feel a completely SUPER  when I’m not around it …or should I say, when it’s not around my digestive system. Most of the time that is, because  I’m not an actual superhero and it’s true that we all have those days, even Clark Kent.

So where am I going with this, apart from having my own little pity party?

Cat Foley Survival Survival Freeedom Mind GlutenFree Expression Buddha what you attract

Well I think what I’m trying to metaphorically say is that we all inflict ourselves with something, stress, pressure, other people’s pain or our own imperfections – as we perceive them. It’s a choice whether we hang around our own personal kryptonite or not. We can choose to remove it, to take a deep breath and change our mindset, walk away from the temptation, make the effort to do some exercise to honour our bodies, let go of a negativity towards a person or a situation to clear and settle our minds; it only needs to be a small step to be a move in the right direction.

Because through all this misplaced energy and negative self-critique, the only person we hurt is ourselves. We should all love ourselves a little more than to inflict these burdens. So love yourself above all, no one else can do it for you.Cat Foley Survival Survival Freeedom Mind GlutenFree Expression Buddha what you attract

What do you think, are you carrying your little krypto-rock in your pocket?

C.x

Blueberry Pancakes Brunch: Gluten Free Recipe

Some days you just need to get back into bed with a few too many blueberry pancakes. Sundays are the perfect kind of someday and I thoroughly enjoyed these in bed with an equally large portion of films yesterday. No, you will find no guilt here – I had to wait for them to digest before doing my yoga and house work, so all the extra maple syrup was well deserved in the end.

With a bank holiday fast approaching there’s no such thing as being too prepared for brunch, so stick this one on your repertoire!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Recipe Blueberry Gluten Free Oat Pancakes and Maple Syrup

Gluten free, quick and full of all the delicious healthy bits, yet they still tasty enough to fill that completely naughty brunch need, and so filling you won’t be hungry till dinner (note: I ate two portions.)  And really, if you want to make these a bit naughtier, I’ve added in a couple of ideas below.

To make a generous batch, trust me you’ll want them all, find yourself the following:

  • 1 mug of oats- blitzed up to make the GF flour (you can use gluten free flour or any regular flour if you fancy!)
  • a large egg or two medium
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tspn of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Water, or milk til it mixes into a pancake consistency (1 cup)

Leave to thicken for 15 mins and if using the oat flour add more water /milk to loosen slightly but not too much, they’re more like drop scones.

Optional extras I popped in:

  • Frozen blueberries
  • 1 tspn maca powder
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 2tspn flax seeds

But just chuck in what you fancy – chocolate drops maybe? Or keep the pancakes simple simple & top with loads of fruit and honey (or peanut butter, banana & melted chocolate is to die for!)

Put coconut oil (or butter, I did say you could make it indulgent if you wanted!) in a medium to low heat pan, make 3-4 small pancakes at a time, make sure there’s a few bubbles on top before you flip, they need a good ten mins to cook through.

I topped mine with fresh blueberries and a whole lot of maple syrup. Then get a complementary cup of tea, settle back into your pillow fort and rule your bouncy brunch kingdom!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Recipe Blueberry Gluten Free Oat Pancakes and Maple Syrup

Cat Foley Survival Survival Recipe Blueberry Gluten Free Oat Pancakes and Maple Syrup

 

I’m going to get a savoury brunch up soon because there really isn’t anything better than eggs in the morning!

What’s you favourite kind of breakfast, does it involve eating it in bed or are you more into a bliss brunch in the garden?

I’d love to hear some feedback if you decided to make these, tag me in your pics on instagram (CatFoley1) or tweet me (@Cat_Foley). I’ve also set up a Survival Survival Blog facebook page, on which I’m posting a few smaller daily thoughts and inspiration on – I’d love to see you on there!

Enjoy, brunch buddies!

C.x

Seasonal Superfood Salad

Since Autumn rolled in I decided that salads should be a bit chunkier, warmer and make use of the delicious seasonal vegetables we have on offer! This delicious superfood salad is high in protein, nutrient rich and has flavour that packs a punch!

Some of my favourite inspiration for food comes from restaurants, blogs… And M&S.

My general outlook on food is that freshly prepared is best. That’s it. My cooking tends to lean towards being healthier when choosing  ingredients because that’s my preference, it leaves spaces for the little indulgences like wine and peanut M&Ms.

Since realising that wheat, dairy and I do not make the best of friends I’ve had a great time exploring and trying alternative options, instead of reaching for toast, pasta or pastries. But I think the key element that has been lost in translation, as we have all become so enthused by diets and super foods, is to remember that fresh food and whole ingredients will always allow you the option to be as healthy as you want to be, with all the flavour and without adding all the bad fats, preservatives and salt to get there.Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

I say bad fats because I don’t think all fats are a bad thing, in fact they’re vital for our body’s metabolism and convergence of nutrients, but the good fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and oily fish like salmon and mackerel – not crisps, chocolate and meat. Sugar again is not a bad thing, if you chose the right type 80% of the time – I would never deny myself the pleasure of peanut M&Ms! The 80:20 rule is a healthy rule to live by, the idea that a little of what you fancy is good for you.Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

Food should enjoyed, the preparation and presentation make a huge difference to my personal satisfaction from a meal. That time taken to select and care for your ingredients and prepare it makes you savour it that little bit more than say, opening up a sandwich and packet of crisps. Plus,it’s fresh and filled with fresh ingredients, it hasn’t been sat on a shelf for hours or days. And you shouldn’t think that this takes hours to do, or that you have to be a chef to do it. You don’t. I make most of my lunches at work because, as much as I’d love to prepare them for the week or even the night before, I’m not always that organised and it really does only take minutes to throw together something satisfying.IMG_1212

That being said, I do, like everyone, buy pre made salads when I’m on the go and occasionally the odd M&S ready meal… I’ve actually become slightly addicted to one such salad. Whenever I’m in need of a lunch and there’s an M&S in sight, I make a beeline for their nutty superfood salad. Oh. My. Goodness. I love the stuff. Nuts, crunchy veg, beans and quinoa, all topped off with an ah-mazing dressing… Excuse me while I wipe my chin. So!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

I thought to myself that, instead of buying said superfood salad, I should make myself a batch for lunches, adding in a little bit more of what I fancy.
And here it is, really simple, pretty delicious and virtuously healthy.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

 

Ingredients

I cup of quinoa, red or white, I’ve got mixed for a variety in texture and flavour
I cup of mixed beans and peas – I used M&S frozen selection, including soya, peas and broad beans – defrosted
6-7 long green beans – lightly steamed then blanched and cut into inch long pieces
5 large florets of broccoli – cut into bite sized pieces, lightly steamed and blanched
1 regular carrot, uncooked and diced
1/2 butternut squash diced and roasted until soft with 3 whole garlic cloves

For the toppings

Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Shelled pistachios
Almonds

For the dressing

2 tbsp Low sodium soy salt
1 tbsp Sweet chilli sauce
4 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Ginger paste

How to make your Superfood Salad

  1. Preheat oven to 200 and cut up butternut squash into cubes, place on baking tray and spray lightly with oil, throw in your three garlic cloves and pop into the oven for 20-25 mins depending on your size cubes
  2. Put one cup of quinoa into pan with two cups of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15mins, then remove from heat. The water should be absorbed by this point and the quinoa should have a curly white tail, this shows its cooked perfectly, leave in pan to fluff up.
  3. Chop the broccoli, long green beans and blanch  with the mixed frozen beans and peas – so they stay fresh and crunchy
  4. Check your squash is soft but not caramelised at the edges scatter in the pumpkin and sesame seeds to toast them for another 5 minutes, then remove from the oven. When cooled the garlic can be peeled out of it’s casing, I eat these as they’re delicious and sticky, but it does depend on how you feel about garlic! I love the stuff.
  5. To make your dressing mix all your ingredients well.
  6. Mix all your beans, broccoli and  carrots in with the quinoa and top with your roasted butternut squash.
  7. Drizzle over a tablespoon of dressing and scatter your seeds and nuts over the top.

Store your excess nuts and seeds separately from the salad as they will go soft if mixed in.

This salad is so satisfying and you can use it as a base for different dressings and you could make it a little lighter by mixing it through with rocket and spinach or a butter leaf salad, use different nuts or veg, I think I enjoy the sweetness of the butternut with the salty sweet of the dressing in this particular combo.

Enjoy and  if you come up with any variations I’d love to try them out!

 

You can buy the original Marks and Spencer Nutty Super Wholefood Salad here or in store should you ever find yourself looking for a quick lunch!

 

C.x

Words and photos by Cat Foley

 

Who Run The World!? : 10K For Breast Cancer Care

There’s something about running I have fallen in love with, it’s the post run buzz that I love, that feeling of satisfaction after you’ve pushed just that little extra bit before stopping.

So I signed up for the WomensOnlyRun in Richmond Park and I ran for Breast Cancer Care. I wanted to run, I enjoy running, but I figure that as everyone is still in shock with my new found hobby (I used to hate the idea of running!) that they would probably be rather enthused to sponsor me for my longest distance yet, a 10K run.

Waking up for the run, my partner in training and I shoved down a banana for brekkie,  I risked a cup of green tea and we made our way out of the flat at 8am bright and breezy, we might have also put on a touch of pink lippy to match the attire!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Breast Cancer Care Womens Only Run Richmond Park
After some seriously uncoordinated group warm up sessions (mostly me going in the opposite direction) to empowering songs- ‘Who run the world?! GIRLS!’ We did a few stretches and made our way to the starting line. 

Cat Foley Survival Survival Breast Cancer Care Womens Only Run Richmond Park

I would put up some action shots, but all I can say is that my running technique does not resemble that of a gazelle, I am more of a Phoebe, so you really wouldn’t want to see them.

Well alright then, just one..

Cat Foley Survival Survival Breast Cancer Care Womens Only Run Richmond Park

…See what I mean?

I am proud to say that 1 hour 56 seconds later we had sprinted ourselves over the finish line, after a non-stop 10K run

Who run the world?!  WE DO!

 ….Well, Richmond Park at least.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Breast Cancer Care Womens Only Run Richmond Park

We made our way to grab our bags and met a few of the other Breast Cancer Care runners.. Go team!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Breast Cancer Care Womens Only Run Richmond Park

After all the excitement and exhaustion of our success, we decided to refuel with a seriously tasty brunch.

I  scrambled the eggs, apparently my speciality,  whilst Hannah sauteed the mushrooms in garlic butter with some plum cherry tomatoes.. Washed down with some celebratory bubbles, but of course!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Breast Cancer Care Womens Only Run Richmond Park (1)

In total I raised 208% of my target and completed my longest distance run yet, not bad for a Saturday morning.

C.x

Find out more about Breast Cancer Care here

Take part in a WomensOnlyRun here

Chocolate Week: Cover Your Nuts!

We can all rejoice, it’s national chocolate week! That means it’s our national duty to scoff some, right?

The only problem can be that we scupper our happiness and end up feeling a little bit naughty rather than nice after all that indulgence. So I  thought, why not find something a little bit naughty but in all the right ways?

Introducing my Nutty Chocolate Cups… They’re Raw’cously  good!

I’m a bit of a nutter, and I also love nuts. Besides the fact they’re delicious and pair well with so many things, they hold so many nutritious properties and because they’re so high in protein and good fats they’re one of the most satisfying snacks or salad toppers you can find.

But sometimes you can fancy something a little sweeter and so before you go indulging in the M&S honey roasted cashews (definitely still one of my favourite nutty treats) why not try something a little more virtuous and save the naughty treats for the cocktail bar or birthday cake? I promise these will be equally, if not more, satisfying and with none of the sugar and all of the good stuff.

The combination of sweetness, all deriving from natural, unrefined ingredients, with the satisfying texture and protein of the nut butter will mean these treats won’t only kill your cravings, they’ll pack a punch with the good stuff too… And I’ve no doubt you’ll be stockpiling these for emergencies.

So, let’s get on these don’t take long.

For the chocolate cups you will need the following…

  • 120ml melted coconut oil (extra virgin, cold pressed)
  • 62g raw cacao powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • a small pinch of sea salt flakes
  • I added in 2 tablespoons of maca powder for extra benefits – you could add 2 tablespoons worth of any extra powdered goodies here, protein powder, goji berry powder.. go wild!

For the filling…

  • 60ml nuts’n more peanut butter – again, this is my preferred brand because of the added protein and omegas, but any nut butter will work deliciously!
  1. For the raw chocolate cup you will need to combine all the ingredients and it should look deliciously gooey like this…Chocolate Week: Raw Chocolate Nut Butter Cups Cat Foley Survival Survival

 

  1. Take the melted cacao mixture and put a layer at the bottom of your case and roll it around to coat the edges slightly. Place this is the freer for about five minutes until slightly set.
  2. Take them out of the freezer and put a generous teaspoon of nuts ‘n’more nut butter on top of your set raw chocolate , you can experiment with any flavour but I don’t think you can beat the original salty peanut and chocolate combo. Also the ratio is up to you, I went for a good dollop, but put less if you’d prefer!
  3. Place these back in the freezer for ten minutes, et voila! Take them out and peel them out of their cases. I have lovely little silicone cupcake case which makes this a doddle!
  4. Because of the nature of coconut oil we used, our raw chocolate will start to soften and melt at a low temperature, so just keep these little beauties stored in a fridge to keep them set until you’re ready to enjoy them.

 

Chocolate Week: Raw Chocolate Nut Butter Cups Cat Foley Survival Survival

 

These are coming in handy as a post-run energy boost or mid-afternoon treat.. I’m sure you’ll agree they pretty damn moreish!

Get some nuts’n more here

Details on Chocolate Week here

Now do excuse me, I’m off to taste test some more flavour combos… Well, it is Chocolate Week!

C.x

 

Words and Photos by Cat Foley

Superfood Smoothie for the Hangover?

Saturday hangover smoothie? “Not on your nelly! Pass me the eggs and streaky bacon.”

Yes, I thought so, that’s why I made mine on Friday morning in an effort to be virtuous before the wreckage a Friday night holds, I’ve given my body the best chance of feeling ever so slightly less wrecked tomorrow and wholly super to kick off my weekend! That’s the actual point of these things, right?

It’s a all about a healthy balance, plus cocktails count towards your five a day and the important unwind from the week comes from the dancefloor therapy, not a yoga class at 6pm. I may be healthy, but I’m still not buying into it enough to give up my Friday nights.

I quite liked the idea of having a smoothie this morning, mostly because I’m a nibbler and I figured I could sip this throughout the morning and not attack the fridge at around 11…

…It didn’t work, I had a macaroon and coffee, but still, I had a good dose of vitamins and more so, it was delish! I also bought a few new superfood powders which I managed to sneak into it without having to taste them, as a result (psychosomatic or not) I’ve been on a higher level today, I’m telling you there’s definitely something behind this smoothing, juicing and powders malarkey.

So, what did my virtuous brekkie consist of? I hear you cry, well I shall let you in on the secret of a fabulous Friday, maybe even try it on a Monday, but I’m not sure what excuse you could make for being so happy and vibrant on a Monday without others wondering the worst.

These ingredients are pretty adaptable depending on your preference, but I went for the following(I don’t mind if you copy):

  •  2 small ripe bananas
  • 2 dates (totally optional, I added them for sweetness as my bananas weren’t that ripe)
  • 1/2 cup of mixed frozen berries
  • one carton of Wahta maple water – this stuff has ooooh so much good stuff in it! But if you want you can use almond milk or water
  • a teaspoon of nuts’n’more peanutbutter –  again, this has more than just nuts in it, with no refined sugar and added protein from flax and whey powder, this stuff packs a punch! But you could use any nut butter for protein or just add some whey protein powder
  • a big handful of spinach – get those iron levels up
  • 1/2 teaspoon of matcha – a refined green tea powder with super detox powers and a great caffeine boost
  • 2 teaspoons of maca powder – my new favourite, this powered maca root is brilliant for a wide range of things, including hormonal balance, energy, skin and a big dose of vitamins
  •  Some Chia seeds for the top – a nice crunch and full of protein and omega oils
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup, it’s a wholly natural sweetener and provides a small does of manganese, great for your skin and bones among other things
  • a teaspoon of cinnamon to keep your blood sugar level steady with all that fruit and curb hunger through the morning

 

Considering the amount of nutrients this hosts, the only ingredients you can taste is the fruit, I’d say that does pretty well in the super smoothie ratings!

We're going maca smoothie, it'll be the nuts!

We’re going to maca smoothie, it’ll be the nuts!

 

Looking berry good so far...

Looking berry good so far…

If you wanted more of a juice than a smoothie, maybe replace the banana with an apple and the dates with some grapes and cucumber and pour it through a sieve to removed most of the hard skin residues… I think I’ll be trying a few more recipes, so I’ll keep you posted.

& remember the nutrients and vitamins jam-packed powders...

& remember the nutrient and vitamin jam-packed powders…

Wahta-ever you do, don’t forget the maple water

The ingredients listed did make a much larger amount, this little portion (below) was just for show and I then drank it as a quick boost before I left the flat this morning, the rest decanted intp my travel bottle and I sipped on the go and finished itat my desk.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Wahta Maple Water Nuts 'n' more, Maca Powder, matcha tea, super smoothie

Super berry smoothie.. Chia later hangover!

Go, have fun, be merry, de-stress on the dancefloor and then recoup with a super smoothie!

 

Plus, if smoothies aren’t your thing I’d still like to introduce you to maple water.. I drink some after a run to rehydrate. Coconut water is still a favourite of mine as it’s so readily available, but if you can get hold of this stuff, it’s seriously good and holds a huge range of benefits! Wahta you waiting for?!

 

Cat Foley Survival Survival Wahta Maple Water Nuts 'n' more, Maca Powder, matcha tea, super smoothie

C.x

Words and photos by Cat Foley

 

Reasons To Run: Tri For Life

I took up the challenge of the couch to 5k a few months back, I thought that the slow and gradual program was just what I needed to get myself into running.

Now let me get this clear, I absolutely abhorred the idea of running, I used to walk past any runner and wonder what the hell possessed them to take on such a dull and tiresome sport.

I held true to this belief for the most part of my training in the build up to 5k, probably deep-rooted from the days back on the sports field running the cross country, which meant twelve laps around the field in the wet and windy weather whilst some girls managed to puke at the side from period pains or whatever rubbish they came up with to return to the warmth of the changing rooms. Whilst I trudged on with an ever enclosing throat and painful chest, apparently from my terrible breathing technique.. Something no one told me about until this year in fact.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Tri for life triathlon woburn abbey 2014

So! I took on the c25k, dubious of my potential. Little after reaching my 2k milestone, I was informed I would be the tri for life team  runner! In two months I would run 7.5k, competitively… In fact, in two weeks I would run 5k, after work, during a heatwave as I remember it (the hottest day of the year) on a Friday night. Now you will see why I have issues with the whole work, life, fun, sensible balance, one will always override the other and for the first time the healthy option had won.

cat foley survival survival tri for life london blog fitness charity run

Anyway my dear readers, the 5k run was a raging success, even in the heat, and a couple of months later I ran my 7.5k for three fantastic children’s charities, Rays of Sunshine, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Teenage Cancer Trust. We raised a whopping £4,807.51 and came 17th out of 70 mid-distance competitors. Hurrah!

Why start running?

The reason to run was initially to challenge myself, but soon the reason to run became more about challenging myself to make a difference, to find  reason to run beyond the self improvement physically, but more to allow myself time to unwind at the end of the work day without feeling guilty about being sat watching TV or going out and spending money at a bar or restaurant, not that they’re are bad, but sometimes it’s still not quite enough ‘you’ time, all these things involve distractions or other people. As soon as I started my couch to 5K I immediately fell in love with the ability to continue in a motion but ultimately allow your mind to drift away to other meaningless things, to daydream or work through the days stresses. I fell in love with it, and even when the love turned more towards heartbreak whilst I struggled to run through the stitches, I had the best possible reason to keep going and of course that was the charities… It was also the apparent I have a competitive nature that I have kept hidden away for the last twenty-five years, we were tri’ing to rank and dammit I was not going to be the team member to let us down, so on the day I managed my best time of 40minutes, even despite the lovely hill at the finish line!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Tri for life triathlon woburn abbey 2014

I’m taking on the 10k Women’sOnly Run for Breast Cancer Care on 18th October in Richmond Park, I’ve set up my JustGiving page for sponsorship if you would be kind enough to donate as little or large as you would like, both myself and the charities would be incredibly grateful.

 

C.x

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