Favourite Healthy Pancake Recipe

I love breakfast. Couldn't do without it. I also love variety, and trying new combinations. I also love pancakes and forever flash back to my travels in America when our tour leader made proper american pancakes. I had 7.... Ever since I have tried to make my own american style pancakes but healthier. Feel free to add in a heaped table spoon cocoa/cacao powder for a chocolate hit, or peanut butter powder (my favourite) if you love a peanut flavour. Blueberries are also lovely in them. I imagine that protein powder would work but I haven't tried it. Top them however you wish! I love that I can have pancakes for breakfast but with the knowledge that I'm fuelling my body well and will stay full until lunchtime. These pancakes have the added beauty of customisation to your dietary needs whether they be gluten or dairy free or vegan.

(I tend to measure things in cups - sorry to disappoint anybody hoping for a gram method!)

makes 2 large or 3 small pancakes
1/2 cup oats of your choice
heaped table spoon cacao powder/ table spoon cocoa powder
small teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener of choice. You can make them as sweet as you like. 
1 egg/ 1/2 banana if you're wanting vegan
splash of milk - your choice
toppings - go crazy!

Method
blend your oats to make a flour like consistency 
mix all your dry ingredients together
add in your egg and whisk up
add in a splash of milk and whisk again - the thicker the mixture the better.
heat some oil in a frying pan
use a ladle or large spoon to place your mixture onto the pan
watch for small bubbles to appear on the top before flipping. You kind of get a good sense of when to flip the more you do it!
they'll be done when they turn a darker shade, and do not take long to cook through.

I genuinely love these pancakes, and I hope you do too!

How I began running and actually keep it up.

Less than a year ago, I hated even the idea of having to run. I had already come to terms with the fact that there was no chance of me outrunning a murderer or winning any races. I'd never been a runner at school and detested track and cross country and came last in every primary school sports day race. I tried to take it up a few years ago only to have a group of teens take a selfie with my tomato red running face and that put me off completely aside from making me avoid 'youths' even now! 
However fast forward to now and I run multiple times a week and actually crave, enjoy and gain things from it. Here's how I began it.

Starting slowly

The phrase learn to walk before you run has never been so true. Before I even began to run I started to walk. I built the miles up slowly, from 1 - 4 a day over a course of months. I would never have started to run properly and be able to manage what I do now if I hadn't have built up how far and quickly I could walk. 
I found that once I was walking 3 to 4 miles each day within an hour I needed to up my game again but I didn't have more time to add more miles. So one day, I went from walking to trying to jog. I didn't pressurise myself, it didn't matter how many walking breaks I had or how long the breaks lasted for because I just wanted to try. I think if I had of tried to pressurise myself or just go into it thinking I could just automatically run without needing to stop I would never be where I am now. 

Achieving

And from then again just like my walking my running slowly developed, from 1 mile etc. I take things week by week aiming for a long run one day a week and then 2 or 3 shorter runs. I still don't worry about the breaks I take or how quick my miles are I just gain a feel for my body and learn to tell when I truly do need to pause or when I just need to push past a mental block. I think the most important thing about my attitude to running is that I do not pressurise myself too much or set unreasonable goals, and I keep my routes as interesting as possible with different inclines and views. I completed my first 10k last Friday and although it wasn't the best run of my life and I may have gotten a little bit lost it was a huge achievement for me. I view every run as a success because I've made the effort to put on my trainers and go outside.

If you want to take up running my main pieces of advice would be:
  • Get your walking up to scratch first. 
  • Never expect too much from yourself, beat your self up or set unreasonable goals.
  • Think of every run as an achievement because you actually got outside and tried.
  • Always warm up and cool down or you will injure yourself.
Remember, you are capable of so much more than you think! 

*I am not a professional, do not take my advice as bible, I am only letting you know what I did in the hope that it could help you or inspire you!


Getting a dog changed my body and my life.

If I think back to 2013, I was not very happy with my looks and did not really think enough about the impact my habits had on my life. I'd gained weight and an unhealthy relationship with all the wrong foods. I don't think I really thought enough about it to make a big change, I had a partner who loved me and friends who would always request a Chinese. However, looking back the way I looked did have a huge impact on how I felt overall.
This way of life continued until January 2017 when my parents decided to get a dog. We settled on a Sprocker Spaniel called Fido. He is the love of our lives. But I have to thank him for so much more than that. Because he kick-started the changes I needed to make to have a better more fulfilling life. 
Dogs like Fido have to be walked. A lot. There is no denying that fact. If they do not get walked they do your head in. My working hours meant that I began taking him on his main afternoon walk. Now back then I was at a very low fitness level. I did not want to walk. I would huff and puff around the woods or up the fell near my house and I did not enjoy it really, especially not in the rain. But I had no choice. 
Then, gradually my attitude started to change. I started to walk faster, walk further, discover new places. I started to really enjoy my walks and now run as well. All from getting a dog. If you had told me not even a year ago that I could actually run for 5 miles I would laugh in your face. But here I am doing it - and actually liking it! 
Between January and now I have lost 2 stone 3 pounds. But more than the difference to my body is the difference to my life. I'm not exercising to lose weight or improve my looks, I'm doing it because I enjoy it. I enjoy how strong my body is and how far my feet can take me. I love being outside. I love walking or running and just enjoying what earth has to offer us. It's so important to find a way to switch off from all our thoughts, and just enjoy the here and now and for me this is it. 
All this would never have happened if we didn't get a dog. In my opinion he was meant to be. My work pattern means that I don't get to walk him like I used to but it's become such a habit and a joy for me to do it anyway that I don't ever want to stop. He was just the thing that I needed to begin a new journey. 
If you are reading this and wanting to get a dog then I hope I've given you another reason to go for it! If you feel unhappy about yourself then I encourage you to try new things to change the way you feel, push yourself. Learn to suprise yourself. You have no idea what you are capable of.