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    London Kiwi Spotting

    Psst look what I found in Regent’s Street..

    Today’s workout: 40 minute steady easy walk through Central London from work to Picadilly.

    Are you as excited as I am for the Olympics? London Ex-Pats, have you seen your flag?

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    Race for Life – 5k

    Ever since I’ve lived in the UK,
    around Spring, signs go up for various 5k and 10k races, all raising money for
    charity, and I’ve harboured a secret wish to be able to complete one without
    passing out at the end.


    So, as one of my mini-fitness goals I booked myself and a willing
    victim
    friend in for a 5k, with the intention of running at least half of
    it, and training properly for it. (My next mini-goal is to walk up Big Ben in
    August – 340 steps).

    We also decided to enter the Race for Life as I have several close family member who have been affected
    by Cancer over the years, most recently my Sister-In-Law’s sister is just
    finishing Chemo for Breast Cancer, so it is something very close to my heart.


    Now, I’ve always been ‘OK’ fit,
    we often walk  for hours on holiday and
    whilst shopping, but to actually enter into an organised race, where people can
    see me in all my schweaty glory, and moreover tell people that I’m doing it,
    was massive for me. I even texted my old boss (maybe I would have raised more
    money if I hadn’t teased him about Ireland losing the Rugby before I asked for
    a donation!?) Bless him, he sponsored me anyway!


    The weather wasn’t exactly ideal, going from:
    

    
    

     

    … to raining so hard we couldn’t see.
    
    

    Ah, well, off we trotted!

     

    

     

    Can you believe it? We certainly
    couldn’t! We were unable to run it due to the monsoon conditions, which meant
    we were unable to see for the first couple of kms, then had to dodge the boggy
    muddy aftermath the rest of the way.

    

    These ladies had the right idea, wellies…



    Todays Workout: a 5km Mud slog with the added bonus of a 101 in 1001 goal completed.

    What are your goals – do you prefer to set short distance goals, or long-range?

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    Teppenyaki at Sen Nin

    We love sampling new cuisines so
    when an offer for Sen Nin popped up in my inbox for a Teppenyaki
    meal, we corralled a couple of friends and booked straight on in. Whilst in
    Japan on holiday in January (what an amazing place!) we tried Yakiniku which
    you sit around a table (we were in the suburbs, at a table not meant for our
    Western legs!), but this Teppenyaki experience was the full deal.

    We loved it – it was scrumptious
    and entertaining, our chef Ballam taking great delight playing with his knives,
    setting fire to the plate, throwing food at us, then preparing our feast.


    We started off with Sake
    cocktails (Mango or Cranberry), Miso Soup, and a Chefs Selection of California
    Rolls, shortly followed by crisp Tempura Vegetables whilst the hot plate
    heated.
    

    This photo does no justice to the flavour…

    




    I’m not going to spoil the
    egg routine, but we were howling with laughter by the end of it, and it wasn’t just
    the Plum Wine (oh how I love thee). Swiftly followed our main – Calamari for me, Chicken Breast for Hubby, Egg-fried rice and Stir-Fried vegetables. They even ask
    you how much garlic, butter and seasoning you like on your dinner. We finished
    with Strawberry Cheesecake & more Plum Wine.

    What more could you want?


    Todays Workout: Belly Laughing & Catching flying eggs – both of which I assure you is great for toning.

    Have you tried Teppenyaki? Attempted the tricks they use?

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    Roast Stuffed Squash

    It’s quite a struggle at times to
    make dinner that is quick, easy, healthy AND not cost the earth. May I present
    to you one of my favourite dishes. Stuffed Butternut Squash. As a’
    brucie-bonus’, it only makes minimal dishes.  I introduced hubby to it not long after we
    started seeing each other, and though a tad unsure at first about Butternut
    Squash, he now asks for it a lot. He even made it  a few weeks ago…!

    The soft sweetness of the pumpkin
    goes really well with the salty bacon, tomatoes and plum sauce, followed by the
    crisp cheese & breadcrumbs. Most of the ingredients can be swapped out for
    what you have on hand or tastes you prefer. We’ve never used a great deal of
    salt with our cooking, and find this dish is a nicely seasoned by the bacon.

    Coming from a New Zealand family,
    we have always been spoiled by the sheer variety and availability of produce
    which we have eaten (and a Mum whose cooking was amazing. But then everyone
    thinks that I think!). The only food I don’t like is Fennel, liquorice, Kale
    and Almond. I really tried to like Fennel & Kale – it’s full of so many
    healthy things, but, I just can’t.

    Hubby on the other hand had a bad
    experience choking on food as a child, which put him off eating anything that
    wasn’t of a soft texture. As a child he ate fish fingers, chips, vegetables and
    Shepherds pie. As he’s grew older he has broaden his horizons more, but s like
    3 meat and vege, and can’t quite understand when we have meat free dinners. His
    favourite meals of all time are (in order of importance): Shepherds Pie, Roast
    Beef & (bizarrely) Jacket Potatoes with Tuna & Vinegar. He also doesn’t
    like lamb (sacrilege!) ‘fishy’ fish, any kind of seafood,  fatty meats (understandable) or meat on the
    bone.

    As we’ve been together, we have
    begun to try and sample as much World cuisine as we can, often buying random
    ingredients to introduce (enter Tahini, Jamaican Hard Dough Bread & Wasabi
    powder) and planning trips to new Restaurants that serve more than Steak &
    Chips. I have also developed a love of Curry and are slowly developing a
    Spicier Palate.

    At home we use Squash, Pumpkin
    & Sweet Potatoes (Kumara) as often as we use Potatoes, so it has been fun
    introducing these as staples (“You can eat Pumpkin!? I thought it was only used
    at Halloween?”) to our meals.

    Stuffed Butternut Squash

    Serves 2 as a main, 4 as an accompaniment.

    Ingredients:

    1 Butternut Squash, cut in half
    lengthways, the seeds scooped out

    Cooking Spray or Olive Oil

    1 Red Onion

    6 chopped Rashers of Smoked bacon
    (trimmed of fat)

    A Handful each of Cherry
    Tomatoes, Button Mushrooms & Spinach

    Tbsp of Plum Sauce (available in
    most retailers in the Asian section)

    Breadcrumbs

    Mozzerella Cheese

    Breadcrumbs

    1. Preheat the oven to 200’C. Score the flesh of
      the Butternut Squash, making sure to leave about half an inch of flesh border
      against the skin of the Squash. Spray lightly with cooking spray, or with Olive
      Oil.
    2. Place the de-seeded butternut flesh side up on a
      tray & pop into the oven for about 40minutes, or until the flesh begins to
      soften.

    3. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, cook the
      bacon and diced onion before adding the cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach
      together to soften & wilt. Stir through the Plum Sauce.



    4. Scoop all of the flesh out of the Squash,
      leaving about an half an inch border of flesh against the skin.
    5. Add the squash flesh to your bacon mixture, and
      then replace in the squash. Sprinkle with mozzarella & breadcrumbs.


    6. Place back in the oven to Melt the mozzarella
      & brown the breadcrumbs (about 10 minutes).
    7. Enjoy.

    (Excuse the terrible pics – we
    were starving after a Gym session.)

    Today’s Workout: Treadmill – walking 30 minutes, Running 13 minute, Stair Machine 10 minutes.

    What are your childhood pet peeves? Have you found that as you’ve grown older this has changed?

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