Honey & Mustard Glazed Chicken

At 34 weeks pregnant with ridiculous back ache, pelvic pain etc and the outside temperature sitting at around 30 degrees, cooking meals is becoming a bit of a chore. Tonight my husband has gone out for the evening. So I am well chuffed with myself that I have cooked something from scratch and not resorted to a take away and even better it is my own recipe!

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This recipe serves 1 but could easily be scaled up.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 tsp of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  1. Wrap the chicken in some cling film and smash the chicken breast with a rolling pin until the chicken is flat but double the size
  2. Whisk together the honey, mustard, vinegar, oil and seasoning
  3. Remove the cling film & place the chicken in a glass dish and cover in the marinade, move the chicken breast around and make sure it is completely coated
  4. Leave the chicken & marinade in the glass dish, cover in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour
  5. Remove the glass dish from the fridge 20 mins before you wish to cook to bring it up to room temp
  6. Oil a griddle plan and heat it up till it is hot.
  7. Grill the chicken 2 minutes each side and then another 3 minutes each side, adding more marinade each time your turn it (Total cooking time is about 10 mins, but judge it based on how thick your chicken is.) – BE WARNED THE HONEY WILL SMOKE, A LOT! SO OPEN YOUR WINDOWS AND HAVE YOUR EXTRACTOR ON!

I served this dish with roasted new potatoes (you could use sweet if you are wanting to be really clean!), roasted carrots & parsnips, leeks and peas.

It would work equally well with a crunchy, fresh salad!

H x

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Maternity leave from the gym…

And so the time has come to have a bit of a break from the gym. I knew this day would have to come eventually, although admittedly I thought it would have happened at around week 20 way back in April, not at week 34!

Yesterday I saw a physio as I have been experiencing some pelvic pain and more recently lower back pain. Turns out I have “Diastasis Recti” which basically means my rectus abdominis are starting to separate or in simple speak my stomach muscles are starting to come away from each other (nice huh!)

I can’t say I am too surprised. The warning signs were there, doming of the abdomen when I tense my stomach muscles, back ache, pelvic pain etc I had a small amount of doming in my first pregnancy and my yoga instructor spotted a few weeks ago my abs looked like they were struggling. It is a reasonably common ailment in pregnancy but not one you particularly want to aggravate. (I wonder if I will ever get the flat toned stomach I have dreamt of for so long and that I was beginning to get before that positive pregnancy test?)

So Jason, my personal trainer has said it is time to temporarily knock the gym on the head and I know that I have to listen to him as well as my body. Not going to lie it isn’t sitting easy with me at the minute but I knew it would have to happen at some point.

I seem to remember last time my yoga instructor telling me I would have to take post-natal exercise slowly and not hammer my abs to avoid permanent damage (I possibly took that a little too literally as it took me 3 years to venture in to the gym and get a personal trainer!)

This time is different though. I want to get back to it as soon as I am able to. Obviously I will seek advice from my doctor, midwife, health visitor and of course Jason but this time my mentality is different. I’ve already factored in that exercise and eating properly will be a part of my life post-birth, last time it didn’t even cross my mind! I’ve already factored in my gym costs and PT costs whilst on maternity leave to make sure I can afford it. I want to feel as good as I felt back in December, if not better!

It has been a long time since this post https://andthatsjustthewarmup.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/a-post-for-the-future/ and I have not forgotten that Jason still owes me “the most gruelling and arduous session you’ve ever experienced” , it’ll come I’m sure!

What has surprised me is how much my attitude towards ante-natal fitness has changed. Back in January I was apprehensive, unsure what I could do, hesitant to push myself, fearful of doing myself and even worse the baby some damage. That has changed, I know what I can achieve (within sensible limits and with support and advice). I’ve also been surprised at how frustrated I have felt when I haven’t been able to push myself as hard as I want. My mind set is so different to when I was pregnant over 4 years ago. It has shocked me a little.

I haven’t maintained my weight as much as I would have liked, yes I know pregnant women put weight on but I have put on way more than I wanted to. I know I will have some serious work to do post-partum, but it’ll happen.

My whole journey since January has not been about fat loss and smashing circuits and upping reps. It has been about maintenance and building strength in various muscles and as that journey has gone on my training has had to adapt to accommodate various ailments and my ever expanding stomach. This week is no different, I’m having to adapt again but this time it is about taking the gym out of the equation and focussing on yoga, breathing and swimming.

It has just dawned on me that pretty much the next time I enter the gym properly I should be a mummy of 2, ah shit!!!!!!!

H x

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Bacon Wrapped Tahini and Sun Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I’m always on the look out for new recipes and with new recipes comes new ingredients. I had never even heard of tahini before and had to Google it ( it is mushed up sesame seeds!)

 

This recipe was super easy and delicious.  I really recommend you check out Civilised Caveman’s website as there are some great recipes on there.

 

Tahini

We served this with vegetables.

http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/entrees/poultry/bacon-wrapped-tahini-and-sun-dried-tomato-stuffed-chicken-breasts/

 

H x

Sheftalia

One of my most favourite foods to eat is a Cypriot sausage called Sheftalia. I’ve been wanting to make these for a while and figured that they would be reasonably clean (Cypriots don’t muck about with their food!)

In Cyprus they are usually served in pitta with lots of fresh salad and herbs but we served them with vegetables and potatoes (baked in the oven as chips!) (You could use sweet potato if you were being totally clean but pregnancy hormones are telling me I need white potatoes -_-)

They were fairly straightforward to make although I avoided using caul fat for 2 reasons 1) I didn’t know what it was 2) When I found out what it was it made me feel really nauseous.  So we shaped in to sausages and fried them in a bit of olive oil.

Sheftalia
I would say they don’t taste too much like proper Sheftalia that you get in the old town in Paphos but they still tasted good 🙂

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1321634/sheftalia-sausage

H x

Unexpected conversations in the changing rooms…

It is an unwritten rule in the changing rooms that unless you know the person you are stood next to in the changing room, you don’t make eye contact and you certainly don’t engage in conversation. There are substantial amounts of boobs, bums and fanjos knocking about and the main aim is to get showered. dressed and out of there as quick as possible.

That’s why it always freaks me out a little when someone speaks to me. But today was a much welcome conversation (fully clothed I might add!)

My PT session today was hard. For no other reason that Im 32 weeks pregnant, knackered, tired, stiff, slow, hot and feeling like a baby hippo. As I entered the changing rooms I was feeling very weary and very conscious of my beetroot face. But a woman approached me and struck up a conversation.

“How long have you got left to go?” she asked pointing at the bump. “Another 7 long weeks!” I replied. She looked a little shocked and then responded with “Oh wow, I was watching you go through your circuits, that is really impressive that you are still exercising! Have you been exercising all the way through?” I replied that yes pretty much I have apart from those 8 weeks early on when I had to rest up. “That’s excellent, you’re braver than me!” she replied “Good luck!”

And then she went. It was a short, unexpected but very welcome conversation. The main focus of continuing to exercise throughout this pregnancy has always been about fitness, trying to maintain some level of exercise to keep moving etc It has never been about impressing anyone but there was a little part of me that was a tiny bit proud to get recognition from another gym go-er, proud that I have stuck with it and am still trying to stay fit and someone has noticed.

Happy days.

H x

Jump leads for pregnant women…

Before Christmas I made this post https://andthatsjustthewarmup.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/act-cool-its-fine-nothing-to-see-here/ about embarrassing/funny things that have happened in the gym.

Yesterday I pulled out another one to add to the list.

For the past few months Jason has had me using resistance bands as part of my circuits.

JumpleadsFor those of you who haven’t encountered resistance bands, they are rubber bands of varying strengths. You use them to work various muscles and they let you do some strength training but in my case without over stretching it. I like to think they are like jump leads (esp when using the red and black ones!). You can use them anywhere and I have been using them since my pelvis really started to hurt.

And so far I have used them without incident, until yesterday. Yesterday I hooked the green band around my feet and started to do some side steps. 1st circuit, fine. 2nd circuit 5 steps in and the band snapped. Now the tension on that band meant it pinged back and hit me in the face at high speed!

After the initial shock, I then thought “oh my god, I just broke the band, how much does it cost to replace?” then “Wow maybe I am really strong!” then my thought was “Oh my god I really hope no one saw that!” If anyone had been videoing, the could have easily got £250 from you’ve been framed!

Now I think back, it was hysterical! I wasn’t injured and it was just another moment to add to my embarrassing gym moments list.

The moral of the story, always check your equipment before you use it!

H x