I’m determined to get back into shape and into my bikini for the summer. It feels like a long way off but February half term has just finished, the nights are getting lighter and March is in a week’s time, eek! Last week I upped my gym time, I’m doing two classes a week, one a sort of kettle bell class and the other a fitball and weights class, plus tap dancing once a week and I intend to start another tap and jazz class next week too. On top of that I’m taking advantage and upgrading to the personal training package at my gym, Racquets, in Thame with the aim of doing 3 sessions a week – Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning and crack of dawn on a Thursday.
So what does the PT package give me? One of the gym team to yell at me, make me use heavier weights and generally make my gym time hell, sorry, more focussed. I always thought that physiotherapists all had to pass an ‘evil’ test before getting into uni now I know it counts for gym instructors too. This morning was challenging thanks to the lovely Liam (!).
On top of this I need to tackle my food and cut down on carbs and fat. Last week the lovely Lucy from Clarion Comms, the PR agency who handle The Lake District Dairy Co sent me some samples of Quark so I’ve been playing.
I have to be honest, I’ve never used quark before and I’ve had lots of comments from the amateur physicists in the family along the line’s of ‘smashing atoms’ and ‘ didn’t realise we could eat subatomic particles’, etc. I generally ignore them, I know this is the way of dealing with this. This has been quite a revelation, the Naturally Fat Free version is 0.1% fat, is the consistency of creme fraiche and has a lovely lemony tang to it, the vanilla version is delicious and lovely on fresh fruit instead of Greek yoghurt. It can be used in place of Greek yoghurt, creme fraiche, ricotta, cream, mascarpone and all the other high fat dairy products.
I’ve been playing with a few recipes and come up with a low fat blackcurrant muffin (109 calories, 1g fat and 9g sugar), a low fat breakfast muffin (122 calories, 1g fat and 10g sugar most of which is banana, raisins and agave – no sugar in there at all) and Yorkshire Curd Cakes ( 200 calories. To give you a comparison, a standard blackcurrant muffin made with butter, semi skimmed milk and the normal amount of sugar is 163 calories compared with 109. Both muffins are half wholewheat flour and half white flour to add some slow release carbs in there too.
These all tasted fabulous, the consensus on the muffins from the rest of my family was that they were a little ‘bread-like’, however, you can’t cut down the fat and sugar and expect them to taste the same, if you want the same taste put up with the fat. There has to be a compromise somewhere. The Curd Cakes had a lovely lemony tang so I didn’t have to add the lemon zest that I usually add.
Next I’m going to try the quark mixed with some watercress and served with salmon, give it a try it was a revelation.