WIAW: Wrapped up warm and a healthy cottage pie

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I’ve been enjoying getting wrapped up warm this week. Me and a friend were saying how we like the colder weather so we can wear jumpers, big coats, hats and wooly socks. My brown boots and cream wooly socks have been a wardrobe staple! These are my eats and goings on from Monday. The North East was lucky to escape the storm that hit England and Wales further south, but it was still windy and cold, hence the warm socks. I had the usual warm water with lemon juice followed by a couple of my maca coconut snack balls: 

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Then coffee:

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I was in my Pj bottoms and gym top as my gym pants were still drying on the radiator! Then it was off to the gym:

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I did 30 minutes of cardio on the usual machines followed by some strength training and a plank hold. I went a bit easier than my usual weights to make sure I didn’t aggravate my lower back which has been a bit sore for a few days. 

After the gym I came home, got showered and made breakfast:


A protein pumpkin smoothie (tinned pumpkin, vanilla whey protein powder, ice, almond milk, cinnamon, ginger) topped with peanut flour sauce and dried cranberries. I still love my smoothies even when the weather is cold as long as I have a hot drink to warm up afterwards! 

Lunch was some chickpea and chorizo stew I’d taken out of the freezer on top of a load of spinach:

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It was SO tasty. Need to make up another batch! Mid afternoon I snacked on some yoghurt:

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I had intended to eat this with a chopped apple but in my haste to get out of the flat in the morning I’d forgotten it! This was still very filling though.

After work I went to the shops for some groceries and as they had a toy sale on I actually made a start with the Christmas shopping! I was so chuffed to be able to pick up a few things. Dinner was really delicious. As I had enough time, I made a cottage pie:


I make my ‘lightened up’ version by adding lots of vegetables in with lean organic beef mince. Here I used a big onion, celery, mushrooms and courgette along with a pack of chopped tomatoes. For the mash, I used steamed and blended cauliflower with a dollop of cream cheese (try it, so amazing!) then added some parmesan on top. Served with steamed greens it was fab! I completely prefer this version to using mashed potato as it doesn’t sit in my stomach like a rock afterwards. I still made ‘lazy mash’ to top James pie – two microwaved potatoes with the insides scooped out then mashed with milk and butter. I made 4 servings so we had some last night as well.

I was well stuffed after that so was happy enough with a couple of hot chocs afterwards:


Just made with cocoa powder, almond milk and stevia! 

We had quite a fun night as I booked tickets for the Funk and Soul Christmas Special at the Boiler Shop Steamer, it’s usually a monthly pop up music and food event but they are putting on a special Christmas do with Craig Charles, our friends Smooth and Turrell (who we saw last year) and lots of great local food. I seriously can’t wait! 


Have you started your Christmas shopping? I usually don’t even want to think about it until after Bonfire night, but I do feel more organised for just getting started! What’s your favourite meal to make healthier and tastier?

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  • That’s my favourite way to make cottage/shepherds pie-lots veggies with the meat and cauliflower or root vehetable mash. So yummy and comforting!
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…{WIAW} Veggie breakfasts, Itsu and a warm buttery sweet corn saladMy Profile

    • Laura

      I need to make some root veggie mash, it’s been too long!

  • I have started my Christmas shopping- only some small bits but I bought for my Dad and brother proper laminated parkrun barcodes (you can use the paper one, but if you buy these ones they can have emergency info on them, plus I think they will cope better in a sweaty running pocket!). But I got one for myself too and can’t use it until I have given theirs to them!
    I am off Christmas shopping with some friends today, although we are going mainly to garden centres to see all the pretty displays so who knows, I might pick some more bits up.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Blustery dayMy Profile

    • Laura

      I keep forgetting about garden centres, you can get some lovely decorations and gifts from them can’t you. Lovely gifts for your Dad and Brother, handy when you know people run as there’s always different running related things to buy!

  • This is definitely a cozy time of the year in terms of clothing and eats. Boots and sweaters have become a staple, as have big bowls of comfort food. I had to google what a cottage pie was (again lol), but apparently it’s just a shepherd’s pie, which is pretty much the epitome of comfort.

    And girl, you’re looking at someone who usually starts their Christmas shopping the week before Christmas. I’d love to be more organized, but my problem is that I have a hard time keeping gifts a secret — I just want to give them to the person!
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. gluten-free snickerdoodle truffles .My Profile

    • Laura

      Hehe, I keep confusing you with the random British food! I think a shephards pie is with lamb and a cottage pie is with beef. I’m the same with gifts, also I just don’t physically have the space to store them until we get the tree up and can keep them under it!

  • I haven’t even thought about Christmas now, but I’m sure it will be here before we know it!! Loving the maca snack balls!
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…WIAW- Chickpea LoveMy Profile

    • Laura

      I’ve had to make another batch of maca balls, they are addicting!

  • I’m torn with the weather – it is such a joy to snuggle up in warm jumpers and boots but I loved the bright sunshine and flip flop days!
    I have bought my first Christmas present, I spotted something for my dad and as he’s usually impossible to buy for I went for it! I don’t usually start buying presents until November/early December though.
    Claire @ Flake and Cake recently posted…Stand-up, a run and some family funMy Profile

    • Laura

      I’m usually after bonfire night before I start with the pressies, but just with you and your Dad’s gift, if I see something I think I’d might as well get it :-)

  • Yes! Cauliflower and cream cheese is so good. I do prefer goat’s cheese but I never always have it, whereas I always have cream cheese in the fridge. And cottage pie is such a geat hearty meal!
    Arrghh I don’t want to think about Christmas yet. It’s not even on my radar….I’ve gotta run a marathon before then and that just blows my mind hehe.
    I love your boot and sock combo – I need to start rocking out my big woollen socks too.
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…Slow Cooker ObsessedMy Profile

    • Laura

      Wow, you must be so excited about the marathon! Loved your cottage pie stylie thingy in the slow cook, great idea :-)

  • Cottage pie sounds delicious, I haven’t had that in the longest time. I really like the look of your chorizo and chickpea stew too, it’s definitely given me the inspiration I need to get cooking again!

    • Laura

      The stew is so easy to make and so delicious, I need to get more chorizo I think!

  • yum it all looks so good, I must invest in a decent blender so I can make some energy balls! I have bought 1 christmas present so far, should probably start thinking about doing more!
    Tamzin recently posted…Lots of Leftovers and Homemade CurryMy Profile

    • Laura

      I think I need to make up some energy bars as well! I’m going to try and get some pressies when I’m down in Brighton soon – need to email you ;-)

  • I adore your boots!

    Your lunch looks beautiful, Laura.

    • Laura

      Thanks Nicky, they are just New Look ones from a couple of years ago but I love them!

  • sarah

    Observing your eats from the last little while, you seem to be really quite low carb these days!

    • Laura

      I wouldn’t say I’m really low carb – I get plenty of carbs in fruit, veggies, oats, beans and especially squash at this time of year ;-) I don’t tend to eat a lot of grains like rice or bread or potatoes because I’ve realised that a) they don’t make me feel my best (bloated etc), b) they aren’t the tastiest part of the meal and c) they do lead to weight gain on me at least, especially if I over do them later in the day. Got a post in the making about how I’m eating at the mo coming soon as well :-)