Recipe: egg, courgetti and tomato breakfast salad

Salad for breakfast? Are you serious? Yes I am, and you will love this egg, courgetti and tomato breakfast salad as much as I do once you give it a go!

breakfast salad

I can sometimes get into a bit of a rut with my breakfast; sticking to something for days, weeks, months on end once I find something which I not only like but keeps me full and satisfied! But, when recording full days of eating for my Youtube channel I sometimes need to try and come up with different recipe ideas to share rather than just repeating the same thing over and over!

Recently I had been loving my veggie stuffed egg white calzone, but this morning I decided it was time to come up with something different! I was inspired by all the different things which Clean Eating Alice has been making for breakfast recently. So, I thought I would come up with something new, a breakfast salad!

I don’t own a vegetable spiraliser, and if I don’t buy it ready made I just use a speed peeler to cut a courgette into strands and make courgetti…not quite as aesthetic but still does the job!

breakfast salad

This bowl is full of flavour, from the pesto, sun dried tomato and feta. You could add some chorizo or lean bacon to the mix, which would both go really well in my opinion but unfortunately I didn’t have either in the fridge! The chilli flakes on top add a nice heat to the dish as well. You could poach your egg…however I apparently cannot at 29 years old, but frying and flipping I am okay with!

Recipe

Ingredients:
200g Courgetti
80g Mixed Salad Leaves
20g Feta
10g Sundried Tomatos
50g Plum Tomatos – chopped
10g Reduced Fat Pesto
1 egg
S&P
Chilli Flakes
Non stick cooking spray

breakfast salad

Method:
Put the chopped tomatoes under a grill with some S&P for about 10 minutes – checking that they don’t burn, but just long enough to soften them.

If the sundried tomatos need rehydrating then put them in some boiling water to soak.

Put the courgetti in a pan with the pesto, and stir until almost cooked, sometimes you may need to add a dash of boiling water to stop it from drying out.

Fry or poach your egg.

In a bowl, add your salad, then the courgetti mixture and roasted tomatoes. Then top with sundried tomatoes and the egg. Sprinkle with the feta and some chilli flakes and you are good to go!

breakfast salad

This breakfast salad is absolutely delicious, try something different for breakfast this week. Push the boundaries of what is considered the ‘norm.’ Surely this looks better than white toast and butter?!

Love Abi xxxx

breakfast salad

P.s. if you love the idea of this for breakfast you will love my Brussel sprout and chickpea brunch bowl as well!

 

5 INVESTMENTS YOU SHOULD BE MAKING IN YOURSELF RIGHT NOW

When was the last time you were selfish and thought about yourself? When was the last time you invested time or money in yourself?

venice canals

> You ate your favourite dinner?

> Poured yourself your favourite drink?

> Watched your favourite tv show in peace?

> Went out for a long walk just by yourself?

> Sat down and read a book for 20 minutes?

Treated yourself to a spa day?

I bet it was some time ago. I bet any sort of investments in yourself are pretty few and far between.

I am guilty too. Forever in the cycle of work, work, work and never just stopping, and chilling out. Taking just 20minutes out and thinking about me and what makes me happy.

But we should invest in ourselves if we want to be the best version of ourselves. I hate the analogy and phrase which I seem to have read or heard so much recently ‘Put your own life jacket on first before helping others,’ but it is so true. How can you help and serve others if your own house isn’t in order?

So here are my recommendations for 5 investments which you can make in yourself right now in order to become a happier and healthier version of you! Choose just one or all five!

1) Revamp your workout routine

From personal experience I know that I feel so much better when I have a good workout. All those post workout endorphins flowing through my body usually can put me on a high for the rest of the day. But if you are stuck in the same routine, or going to the same mundane classes every week, then it might be time to switch it up and try something different. 

Try a new class. Go for a run. Join a sports club. Get a Personal Trainer. 


abi durrant fitness
2) Go to bed 30 minutes earlier

How many of us complain that we are tired at least once a week? If not every day?! Go to bed 30 minutes earlier and get yourself 3 and a half extra hours of sleep per week! Just think how much more refreshed you will feel!

3) Plan the week out ahead and reflect on the one just gone.

I usually take Sunday mornings to do this. I wake up, make myself a coffee and sit down with my passion planner. Firstly I look on the week just gone and reflect on what I did well, and what I did not so well. Did I do everything which I wanted to, if not then why not? I then know what to focus on the following week and what areas I can improve on. 

I then schedule in all my major appointments such as PT sessions or client meetings for that week and then I write down when I want to work out as I know how important that is for me. I tend to leave the rest of the time blank and then fill in each morning as I don’t know what is going to come up each day. I make a list of 3 personal things I want t achieve over the week, and then 3 business things which I want to tick off. 

passion planner

The above is all in an ideal world, but when I don’t do it I feel unsettled so know that I am a better person when I take the time to plan and reflect.

Every night before I get into bed I have a diary in which I write down 3 things which I am grateful for each day. It only takes a couple of minutes, but even on what I may have thought was a rubbish day I make myself find something positive which has happened.

4) Take at least 20 minutes out of the day for you. Read, go for a walk, watch your favourite tv show, sit in silence. Just take 20 minutes away from the noise and focus on yourself.

I got into the habit of scheduling 30minutes to read every afternoon but if I am honest that has slipped recently and is something I need to start up again. I love going for walks and plugging in a podcast and that is something which I need to do more of now that the sun is making more of an appearance. 

week 13 learn something new everyday

One of my new years resolutions was to take more care of myself and schedule in regular nail appointments, facials and massages. I have been doing quite well at this but I am definitely due a massage!


5) Drink more water aka the elixir of life!

This one is self explanatory, more water is one of the best investments in your health which you can make! Read about the many benefits of water here.  

benefits of drinking water

I promise you that you will feel refreshed and ready to go again. Don’t neglect yourself, it is your life, so make sure you are living it to the full. You are in charge of every decision you make and every thought you have, so do what you want to do.

What investments do you like to make in yourself?

Love Abi xxxx

 

week 20 : what have I been learning about this week? Plus the trials and tribulations of a Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur in training

Here goes… week 20 began with more group training sessions last Sunday followed by a lovely day out at Malton Food Festival with my sister. It was the second year which I have been and it is a great way to spend a few hours, especially seeing as though the weather was so brilliant still last weekend. We sampled quite a lot of different offerings, from cheese to chutney, from brownies to ciders. It is made up of lots of different local sellers, food trucks and a large drinks tent. There are also demonstrations and talks on over the course of the weekend.

Malton Food Lovers festival 2017

For lunch we had a mexican tortilla bowl with pulled pork and chicken, it was delicious. Then of course we had to make a visit to Groovy Moos for an ice cream! This is simply the best ice cream which you will taste, and i should know as somewhat of an ice cream connoisseur. I had to use the opportunity to try out a couple of new flavours, rhubarb and custard as well as coconut and white chocolate. Beautifully indulgent!

Groovy Moos ice cream Malton

Bank holiday Monday was just a usual day for me, full of clients at the gym, although it was an earlier finish which meant that Laura could come over for tea and to discuss holiday plans! We were hoping to be able  to get away this week for a last minute sunshine break, but unfortunately couldn’t find anything. It is only 8 weeks until August when we are hoping to get something booked for Croatia and Montenegro. Has anyone been? If so, any recommendations?

After a few cancellations last week, this week has been the complete  opposite! Not one person has text to rearrange or postpone, which has meant another crazy week for me! The past couple of weeks I have blocked out Wednesday evenings from the gym. I was finding that after Monday and Tuesday, i was snowballing into the weekend without any time to get on with client plans, and business in general. Just by taking this evening away from the gym, I am able to set up at the laptop and just get on a roll and get stuff done! It has certainly helped not only my organisation, planning and business, but also my mind by giving me that mental break.

Speaking of business, I was able to speak to somebody who is much cleverer and more experienced than me in regards to my Youtube channel. It is something which I have been working on for a while but growth has been slow, and if I have struggled to get to grips with some parts of it. It was so kind of this person to give up their time in order to help me on some things and I now feel much better about certain things and how to create better videos in the future which people will find more enjoyable and useful (fingers crossed anyways!) Speaking of which, I vlogged the whole weekend last weekend and would love you to head on over to my Youtube channel and check out the full video! Link here. Any comments, i would love to hear from you!

I was writing a Facebook post about reasons why I became a Personal Trainer, and it ended up turning into a full blog post which  I published. Check it out here. 

abi durrant fitness

I have had some really good training sessions this week, whether it is the realisation that it is only 8 weeks until I put on a bikini or whether I have found some internal motivation from somewhere else, I don’t know but I am not complaining! I also found a photo on my phone from July 2015, this is the look which I am going to try and reach once again this year….well we shall see! Diet wise, it has been a bit up and down, a mini binge episode on Tuesday evening followed by 4 pretty good days. I know what I need to do, just sometimes the ice cream and chocolate scream at me from behind their respective doors. If this is something which you suffer from, I have a video on my top tips for getting over a binge here. 

Right, what have been learning in week 20?

28th: Peas are actually a fruit as they grow from a seed and picked above ground.

29th: A captain can deliver a baby or marry people.

30th: A group of parrots is called a Pandemonium.

31st: By the end of this century, 70% of all known cold water corals in the entire ocean will be surrounded by sea water which is so acidic that it will be dissolving their coral structure.

June 1st: Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube river with the unification of Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, with Pest on the east bank in 1873.

2nd: Today was National Fish and Chip Day. There are around 10,500 fish and chips shops in the UK. Ninety years ago there were 35,000.

3rd: The Champions League was introduced in 1992 and replaced the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, or simply European Cup. The pre-1992 competition was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each country

I can’t believe we are up to week 20 already, I have just updated my photo a day for the year and that is now over 100! Crazy!

Love Abi xxxx

 

Week 19 : The trials and tribulations of  Personal Trainer/Entrepreneur ‘in training’

Week 19 began after a whistle stop 30hour trip to Stockholm in order to see Bruno Mars in concert at the Globe Arena. My friend Laura really wanted to go and see him, so as non of the UK dates were possible for us both, we investigated whether it would be possible to jump on a plane and see him elsewhere; hence why we ended up in Sweden’s capital for the night. He was incredible live. I wasn’t all that fussed about seeing him to be honest, but he surpassed my expectations and then some.

Stockholm is a beautiful city, and we were extremely lucky with the weather, sunshine and 24 degrees meant just walking around the city was so lovely and pleasant. We stayed on a boat. Yes you read that right. Our hostel was STF AF Chapman, an old ship which had been renovated and is now a hostel! Our ‘cabin’ was bunk beds. It was such a lovely setting on the water, spotlessly clean and certainly an experience. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Stockholm, check them out for sure! People had told me it would be expensive, and all I will say is I am glad we were only staying one night! But the people, the food (see restaurant recommendations down below!) and the ambience were fabulous and I would highly recommend to anyone (just make sure you have some deep pockets!)

stf af chapman

The weather has been absolutely beautiful in England this week, unfortunately I think I have only managed about 40 minutes sat outside though due to work and clients. However just having the back door open and the sunshine streaming in has been so nice and my mood certainly alters with the weather. I walked to work and back for the first time this year and it is something which I need to start doing more. Just the simple act of popping on a podcast and 10 minutes in the fresh air does wonders for me.

I don’t know whether it was the sunshine or just one of those weeks but I had more than a few client cancellations this week. This is quite rare for me. It makes me question everything and probably gets to me a lot more than it should. There is usually a valid reason for the cancellations and they do all get rebooked in again, but it just reminds me not to get too complacent as this is my livelihood, if I don’t have clients then I don’t get paid. It has forced me to really think about my business model this week and what I could be doing better to ensure things like this don’t affect me as much.

Speaking of business, I have been working away at planning for my group sessions which took place again in week 19. More new faces amongst returning regulars has been brilliant. I put so much pressure on myself to make these sessions amazing, waking up in the middle of the night fretting and worrying that they won’t be good enough and people will leave disappointed. When planning I can sometimes just stare at a piece of paper for hours and not get anywhere, but then other times inspiration will take over and I will come up with something which I am proud of.

I really do enjoy putting these sessions on. The ability to be able to get in front of and help more people is one of my goals. Without giving too much away, there may be something on a larger scale in the pipeline sometime soon…..

Week 19 was rounded up by an extremely proud moment for myself. My sister was home this weekend and took part in her very first powerlifting competition; Lift for Cancer at Scarborough Spa. Hannah has been training for this for months and she did absolutely brilliantly. It was a Bench Press and Deadlift only competition. There were a couple of hiccups in the Bench Press, but she came away with a 42.5kg lift which is brilliant. In the afternoon, she hit a new PB of 125kg on the deadlift which was one of her goals so we were both incredibly happy and chuffed. I train Hannah online, she is probably one of the best clients I have in terms of adherence and following a plan! But seeing her succeed and being so happy got me all emotional.

I am so proud of her.”

lift for cancer

What have I been learning in week 19?

21st: There is a car accident every 18 seconds in Barcelona

22nd: In 1903, Australia became the second country in the world to grant the vote to women, New Zealand was the first, granting it in 1893.

23rd: One in every three people sitting in jail in Berlin are there because they didn’t pay their fare on transport system.

24th: 95% of black people who go to Ivy League Universities in America come from Africa for their further education.

25th: 60% of the US population have less than $1000 in savings. 60% of NBA professional basketball players go bankrupt once they have retired. 40% of divorces in America cite money problems as one of the main reasons.

26th: Nestle uses a different chocolate recipe in each one of its chocolate bars.

27th: The most expensive flower in the world is the Kadupul Flower which is only found in Sri Lanka. It is a white flower which blossoms at night and survives mere hours, meaning catching even a glimpse of it is next to impossible. This near-mythical species has never been up for sale, making it literally priceless.

Love Abi xxxx

This week has been tinged with huge sadness after the events of Monday night at Manchester arena. All acts of terrorism are completely barbaric, but this one certainly seemed to hit home and affect me a lot more. The number of concerts I have been to at that venue and used that exit to get out, I would have been in that exact spot had I been to see Ariana Grande that night. A concert is supposed to be a fun night, an evening enjoyed with friends and family, not something which we will forever be worried about going to. Frightful of what may or may not happen. My heart is heavy thinking about the number of lost lives and their affected families. May they rest in peace. 

Stockholm Restaurant recommendations:

Barrels, Burgers and Beers: We had one of the best burgers I think I have ever had at this little restaurant in the old town of Stockholm. It was hugely popular but luckily we got there early and were able to get a seat without much waiting! You can also get your burgers ‘naked’ i.e. without the bun and served up in a huge lettuce leaf.

week 19 update - greasy spoon stockholm

The Greasy Spoon: This little cafe is run by two english guys who saw a gap in the market for a proper breakfast in Stockholm, and it most definitely is not what you think of when you hear or see the words ‘greasy spoon’! We had read reviews online and knew that this was the place for us. Serving up classics like Eggs Benedict or your full english, but with a modern twist, this hugely popular spot was just great. There was a waiting list when we arrived so we knew it must be good. I had the Eggs Florentine and then we shared the Apple Pie pancakes special. Hunt this place down!

Pharmarium: Fancy a cocktail to remember in a backstreet swanky bar? Then this is your place. We found this little gem out after the concert for a late nightcap. The bar also serves food, but the cocktail menu will blow your mind. I don’t think I recognised over half of the ingredients on the list, but on recommendation from one of the waiters I opted for what would be ‘The Best Espresso Martini you will ever have!’ After the first sip, I agreed. Must visit for sure if you are in Stockholm!

Fitness Trackers. There are so many of them on the market now as the health and fitness industry is still riding the crescent of a wave. But a new study published this week in the Journal of Personalised Medicine, from a team of Stanford researchers states that there is a much higher margin for error than perhaps the majority had thought.

The study looked at the accuracy and reliability of 7 of the most popular trackers on the market; the Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn, and Samsung Gear S2.

60 participants were asked to wear the fitness trackers and were monitored while sitting, running, walking and cycling, whilst being simultaneously assessed via telemetry and indirect calorimetry.

The results were quite shocking.

‘Don’t rely on fitness trackers to track number of calories burned.’ The Register 26 May 2017

‘Why your personal fitness tracker may not be all that accurate.Consumer Affairs 25 May 2017

‘Fitness tracker fail: Research shows devices off by as much as 93 per cent when counting calories’ National Post 25 May 2017

I have always been very cautious over recommending fitness trackers to clients or anybody who asks my opinion, especially when it comes down to relying on them for how many calories you have burnt. But even I was shocked to read that when tested, the margin for error for calories burnt was between 24-90%!!! That is a whopping difference, especially for those people who use them to ‘eat back their calories.’

An acceptable error range would be 5%, so even 24% (which was the Fitbit Surge) is very high.

The study stated that the devices ‘adequately’ tested average heart rate, but there was still margin for error beyond what you might expect.

In my personal experience (I do not own one but some clients do), I think they are great for encouraging you to get more active, to strive towards the recommended 10,000 steps per day, to remind you to get up and move if you have been sitting for too long. However I have never liked the calories burnt aspect of them, and usually disregard what they say and tell clients not to use it as an excuse to eat more.

Example:
Somebody checks their fitness tracker at the end of the day and discover that they have burnt 1200 calories that day, when in actual fact they have only burnt 900. They may have an extra piece of cake or a glass of beer since they think they have done well that day and met their target. Overtime though this adds up, that is an extra 2100 calories every week which the user thinks they have ‘deserved’. If your goal is losing fat then this is could certainly be counterproductive.

SO SHOULD WE JUST THROW FITNESS TRACKERS AWAY?

No.

Hold your horses.

I am not saying fitness trackers are useless and should be resigned to your top drawer. I am just suggesting that you start using them with a little bit more caution. Track your steps, make sure you are being active. If you like seeing what calories you have burnt, great, but don’t use it as your tracking for food. Use it in conjunction with other measurements and look at trends over time.

Do you own a fitness tracker? What has been your experience with one?

Love Abi xxxx

Ps Have you read my April favourites blog yet? Click here.