When Did it Become February?

And all of a sudden it’s mid February. I’m not sure when that happened but for sure it crept right up on me. And the cheeky thing about February is that it’s a short month. I’ve spent a lot of my spare work time getting things prepped for when I’m away on holiday, to make things easier when I get back, and most of my home time training. And before we know it, it’ll be March!

I’m on a 9 month training plan (of my own making) to gain a bikini confident body by September when I go to Ibiza on my first girly holiday, and hen party. I have some kind of training planned for every day of the week apart from one which is a rest day, but I’m out on that evening anyway. I’ve maintained the same weight for the last 4 weeks and it’s 2lb under my topper most happy weight. So it’s all going well and I feel more toned and less wobbly. I’ve been taking progress photos and not seeing a huge amount of difference so far, but I’m only a month and a half in.

Eating has been the hardest thing at the moment, since discovering I’m lactose intolerant, all I want is cheese and clotted cream, but I’m experimenting with foods at the moment and seeing how they affect me. A lot of the stuff I normally eat is dairy free anyway, and I’m not having a hard time substituting ingredients in other recipes to create a dairy free version.

Since the weather has been so so cold of late, I’ve been really fancying soup for lunch, which is odd because I’m usually against soup. I feel like I need to digest something for my lunch and soup, to my brain, is just a hot drink. But I found a recipe for a lentil soup a while back, which I think I’ve mentioned before, and it’s so easy and filling (and healthy!) that I have been making a batch on a Sunday morning and dividing it between 5 tubs for lunches throughout the following week. I’m able to buy the ingredients and use any left over for other meals in the week, and also get a wholesome and filling meal in the middle of my way, all week! Win win. My affair with soup won’t last long, and as soon as the weather picks up a little I will be back onto salads, but it’s great for now.

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And speaking of the weather picking up, which it seems it might start to do from next week, it’s been lovely seeing all the Valentine’s flowers about and a recent visit to my Mum’s saw a lovely bouquet of tulips in her living room. Spring touches are out and about and it’s wonderful.

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G Man and I don’t really do much, or anything, for Valentine’s Day. I’m not about to go on about commercialisation and a fake holiday, but you get the drift. It doesn’t have any impact on us. And that’s not because we’re not romantic or we don’t love each other, but because we love each other just the same all 364 other days of the year and don’t need a card or stuffed animal to show each other that. But on that cynical note I hope you all had a lovely day. Our day was made more Valentine-sy but being invited over to our friend’s house for Valentine’s lunch and cuddles with their new baby.

Lunch was amazing – a huge spread of salads followed by afternoon tea cakes and scones.

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And of course the company was great and we got plenty of cuddles with little Leo. It made for a much more festive Valentine’s and we were able to spend it with friends we love!

So it’s all go here in the Mason house, with preparations for all kinds of trips and lots of eating, with some running and training thrown in to boot. Not at all bad!

Red Lentil Soup
This recipe serves 4, but I tend to add a little more boiled water once the stock has gone in, just so I can stretch it comfortably to 5 lunch sized portions. This doesn’t affect the thickness of the final soup.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lrg carrot, diced
1 sml onion, diced
2 lrg ribs celery, diced
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water or low salt broth
1 whole bay leaf
2 tbsp lemon juice
In a large non stick pan (with a lid), heat oil over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir to combine and then cover. Let vegetables sweat until onions are soft and translucent (about 5 mins). Add the lentils, water/broth and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, until lentils are soft and starting to fall apart (about 20 mins).
Turn off the heat, and add 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Stir and taste. Add the other tbsp of lemon juice, if you’re happy to. (You do need both as the acidity cuts through the creaminess of the lentils, but please don’t ruin your soup!) Add salt to taste (this also reduced the lemony-ness of the juice and it all blends really well).
Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf! This will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

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