Grain & Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Posted at 19:48 in Food, Progress, Recipe, Training

Hola blog friends, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break. I had a lovely 5 day weekend and I don’t want it to come to an end, I’m so not ready to go back to work tomorrow!

I didn’t indulge in any chocolate this Easter break as I’m not really a big chocolate fan. I have to really fancy it to eat it which isn’t very often. I’m more of a savoury person at heart but as an Easter treat, I offered to bake my boyfriend a yummy gluten free carrot cake, which he very happily said “yes please” to.

I make my carrot cake with almond meal which gives a lovely, dense cake. I find sometimes that cooking cakes with gluten free flour gives them a very ‘unique’ taste so I prefer to use almond meal where I can.  So if you’re a fan of paleo/primal eating, this recipe is for you!

Grain Free Carrot Cake

300g blanched almond meal
3 large carrots, grated
5 eggs
60g melted coconut oil
75g maple syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp Himalayan/Sea salt
100g walnut pieces

Combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, coconut oil and maple syrup.  Stir in the carrots and walnuts.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour the batter into a cake tin, greased with coconut oil. I like to make my cake in a loaf tin as the frosting is quite rich so you’re not getting as much on each slice.

Bake in the oven at 170 for around 30-35 minutes, until cooked and golden brown.

Cool to room temperature and then add frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

350-500g soft cheese (I used 500g which made a MOUNTAIN of frosting)
75g icing sugar
50g softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth, then spoon onto the cake. Sprinkle frosted cake with walnuts and set in the fridge until ready to consume.

We went to visit the in-laws yesterday for lunch and the cake was very well received :)

It’s been a very lazy Easter break really. Apart from training, visiting family and a quick walk into town, we’ve not really done a great deal. Sometimes those kind of weekends are the best – we’ve watched movies, read books and just enjoyed quality time together. We’ve also eaten some pretty awesome meals!

We did visit a new coffee place that has opened up literally across the road from our apartment. It’s a beautiful place and will give us somewhere nice to laze on a Sunday morning before hitting the gym…

We’re into our deload week now training wise, but here is a video of my Military Press from my last 5/3/1 session. I was really pleased to press my previous 1RM of 30kg for 4 reps :) Not the biggest weight but it’s a big deal for me and my piddly, unstable shoulders!

After this deload, I am switching up my training somewhat.  I’ll come back with another blog post to explain my reasons for this, I think it’s something that is deserving of its own post :)  But be assured it’s news I’m very excited about!

I’ll finish up the post with a snap I took earlier in the week of my legs/glutes – very happy to see how they’re coming along!

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Training update

Posted at 20:24 in Food, Progress, Training

Training is going amazingly well at the moment! I’m seeing lots of rep PRs on, well, everything! Deadlifts, front squats, bench press and even my military press, which is my absolute weakest lift. I’m so happy I started on 5/3/1!

I have a feeling I’ll be seeing some new 1RMs this year so watch this space!

It was my mum’s birthday Friday last week, so we went up for the weekend to celebrate with her. We had a fab time and it included an amazing meal out, where I devoured this bad boy…

20oz t-bone

Definite foodgasms!

I hit a new rep PR on my deadlifts tonight – 107kg x8! I can’t wait for next session when I’ll be pulling 113kg :-D

I’m keeping this post brief as I’m flagging and need to make food, but I’ll leave you with a little collage I made, documenting my progress. Sometimes you have to look backward just to see how far you’ve come :)

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If I could turn back time…

Posted at 20:17 in Personal

…would I?

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. In my late teens and early twenties, the thought of reaching my mid thirties was a kind of horrifying prospect. However, reaching my thirties wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined and I genuinely feel that my thirties have been the best years of my life so far. Not only is my life finally coming together but I’m so much more confident and comfortable in my own skin. Those insignificant little insecurities from my teens and twenties have disappeared and I’m a lot more satisfied with what I have. That’s not to say there are things I wouldn’t change mind ;)

So the answer is no, I would not turn back time. Because at the end of the day, age is just a number, and you know how I feel about numbers – they don’t mean squat!

I was looking back over my old photos the other day and came across a photo of me that I’ve shared on the blog in the past. It’s a picture of me at the tender age of 16 years old. Twenty years have now passed, but I think I still look pretty damn good…

And my body is definitely better than when I was a youngster…

This birthday was probably my best birthday yet. I had a couple of days booked off from work so I woke early and had a nice lazy morning, enjoying coffee and opening my cards and presents.

A few weeks ago, I (mistakenly?) told the girls in work that I’m aiming to grow my butt. Imagine my laughter when I opened up my birthday card from everyone…

Damn, I love those girls <3  I had another couple from friends in my office – they totally get my sense of humour and I love them for it!

I started off my birthday with a nice deload legs session. Even though it’s just a deload it still kicked my ass! I think because the weight is low, I compensated by making the exercise last longer, therefore having more time spent under tension. I also substituted walking lunges for split squats as my right hip flexor pinged again last week when doing walking lunges so I’m giving it a rest for a couple of weeks. Next session, I’m going to do them with the rear foot elevated, aka Bulgarian split squats.

After the gym, I had to pack my overnight bag as my wonderful boyfriend had booked us into the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa. This was such a lovely surprise to me as we’ve never actually been away together, just the two of us. We’ve both talked about how much we’d love to visit a spa and get some pampering and with how hard we’ve been training recently, it was definitely a well deserved treat.  Our room was beautiful, on the 11th floor with a stunning panoramic view across Cardiff city.

After we had unpacked and settled in, we made our way down to the spa as we had massages booked. We were shown to the beautiful serene “relaxation lounge”…

The massage was utterly divine. I’ve never actually had a massage that wasn’t a sports massage (if you’ve had one, you know they hurt like hell!) so it was nice to feel completely relaxed and pampered.

We had dinner reservations for the evening at the hotel restaurant and I had the most incredible coq au vin, which was made specifically gluten free for us by their chef. I didn’t take any pictures of the food, I’m not sure why, and I really wish I had because it was a real work of art!

After food, we went into the bar for a few glasses of wine, before retiring to our room to watch this week’s episode of Supernatural online – don’t judge me, it’s my birthday ^_^

This morning, for the first time in three years, I actually ate breakfast…

As much as I enjoyed every single mouthful, my body is SO NOT used to digesting food so early in the day! I felt sluggish and like I needed to go back to bed for a while afterwards so early morning eating is not something I’ll be doing again in a hurry.

At 11am, I had my first ever facial (fnar fnar) in the spa and it was a fabulous experience. My skin felt incredible afterwards, so soft and smooth and glowing. Afterwards, we donned our bathing suit and enjoyed the rest of the spa – sauna, steam room, hot tub and pool. Emz had purposely booked a late check out so that we didn’t have to rush off – he’s such a sweetheart!

When we got home, we unpacked and then made the short drive to Verdi’s in Mumbles for what has become traditional, birthday ice cream…

And now I’m sipping on a gluten free beer and getting ready to order gluten free pizza – cheers!


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