I am one of those spoilt people that live within a stone’s throw of the Thames in South West London and I wouldn’t switch it for the world. Everyone always says, “when you get older, you’ll want to move out of town,” but having lived in London for the last 10 years, I still can’t see it happening.
I have gradually moved a little further out over time, from Barons Court, to Parsons Green, to Putney and now Barnes. But that’s where it ends.
Barnes has that perfect combination of feeling like a village, having a lovely community feel but with the convenience of London on its door step. But for me, the real selling point is the river. Being able to break into a jog, hit the tow path within 50 meters of my front door and run along the river is my ‘quiet time’. Nothing beats it.
Whilst I’m an avid runner, I’m not a great runner. I don’t move much out of the comfort of a 9/10 minute mile and generally don’t run more than 6 miles a day, but the buzz I get from it is where the addiction comes. There’s something about just needing a pair of trainers, some songs on the iphone and off you go. Come rain or shine, you’ll find me out there, jogging the banks of the Thames.
I don’t enter the challenge races that most keen runners do, I’m not sure why beyond the fact that I have enough motivation just to run for the pure enjoyment I get from it that I don’t feel the desire to enter the races. In fact, the thought of the races puts me off the training. Totally ludicrous I know! The only organised run I’ve ever done was the London Marathon about 6 years ago which I did because I ‘pinky-promised’ I would run it with my sister and I wanted to tick it off the ‘must do this at some point’ list, but that was a one-time only, never to be repeated!
To be able to do the exercise and running that I do, food plays a really important part. Fuelling your body right gives you vitamins, nutrients and energy to keep going. Plain and simple.
I’m not saying I’m a perfect eater, not by a long shot. My blog is evidence to that fact. But, I try to eat right 90% of the time and have enough of what I fancy not to make life a misery! What’s the point otherwise?!
My weekends normally start with an energy rich breakfast before I disappear off for an early run to kick the weekend off. I’m sure nutritionists would say I should eat more protein for breakfast, but for me, if I’m eating before I exercise, then it needs to be oat based. Afterwards, I’m more than happy to load up on smoked salmon and poached eggs, but that just doesn’t appeal first thing.
I’m slowly developing quite a taste for coconut and after a Thai prawn salad on Friday night, I used the remaining coconut milk to soak some oats overnight, hoping that the coconut would provide a background flavour but nothing too overpowering.
I woke up early and took out the coconut soaked oats from the fridge, grated an apple, mixed through the Greek yoghurt and added some mango, raspberries and a sprinkling of pistachios. Delicious!
The coconut and mango was such a delicious combination and the raspberries gave a bit of tartness to the sweet flavours. There was that hint of the coconut, but not so much that if you’re not one of those ‘coconut water drinking types,’ you’d still like this.
I can’t help but add nuts to Bircher Muesli, although normally it’s pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. This time though the pistachios gave the crunch I was looking for and really complemented what might be my new favourite Bircher Muesli flavour combination.
With a satisfied tummy and a body well fuelled, off I went with an inkling that a new PB round the bridges was on the cards!
Coconut soaked Bircher Muesliwith mango, raspberries and a sprinkling of pistachios
(Serves 2 greedy runner portions)
100g rolled oats
200ml reduced fat coconut milk
179g low fat Greek yoghurt (I like Fage Total 0% Greek Yoghurt)
2 Braeburn Apples
20g Agave Nectar or Honey (if desired)
Handful of pistachios
Place your oats in a bowl (or Tupperware box) and pour over the coconut milk. Leave to rest in the fridge over night or at least 30 minutes before you want to eat them.
Stir in the Greek yoghurt and grated apple.
Pour into a bowl and sprinkle over your mango, raspberries and pistachios. Add honey as desired.