Hey everyone! 

How are your weeks shaping up?  I can’t believe it’s the middle of the week already.  Yesterday I returned to uni and the thought of the amount of work that I have to do already made me wish that I was back on holiday again.  A thesis plan and a departmental talk to be completed for this month.  A poster presentation to prepare for the conference in Florence and start writing my thesis and research papers for publication too!!!!


The end of my PhD is nigh my friends and with it comes a hefty work load.  :(

And this is exactly what I have done! :D

Tuesday morning I had a huge bowl of cereal, making a mix from puffed rice and Dorset Cereals low fat flakes with some rice milk.

I always have to have a huge bowl of cereal with lots of toppings,  otherwise my poor belly just isn’t satisfied.  Lots of toppings and add-ins are also a must for me where cereal is concerned.  This bowl was topped with a pink lady apple, blueberries and coconut.

Lunches both today and yesterday were a variations of a hummus topped salad, just throwing in whatever fell out of the fridge and into my hands at the time.

Today’s included mixed salad leaves, tomatoes, courgettes, diced carrots and steamed purple sprouting broccoli topped with some Red Pepper Hummus.   I do love a hummus topped salad!

So so so good!

Dinner last night was tasty peanut butter and coconut stir fry.  Ahhhh…another love of mine-stir fries!

In went a sweet potato, pak choi, chestnut mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, red pepper, courgette, garlic, ginger, an onion and a leek.  The sauce was made by mixing water, smooth peanut butter, a little coconut milk and soy sauce.

Breakfast this morning was a enormous green smoothie made from, water, rice milk, spinach, 2 bananas, 2 kiwis, lucuma powder, xanthan gum, mesquite and coconut.

Adorning this green loveliness was more coconut, dried cranberries and omega mixed seeds…holy yum!

Green smoothie LOVE!

Tonight I thought I would experiment with a well known classic salad…panzanella.  It was so tasty I’ve made it salad number 5 in my Sex Up Your Salad Challenge.

*Asparagus Panzanella*

Ingredients (serves two)

  • 2 cups of fresh asparagus
  • 2 tbsps of canola or any oil of your choice
  • 2 slices of quinoa and amaranth rye bread
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 small red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of sun blushed or sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of olives
  • 1 courgette halved and sliced
  • 2 tbsps of capers
  • 2 tbsps of fresh parsley or basil

Prepare the asparagus by trimming the end of the stalks  and then season and cook the asparagus on a griddle pan.  This should take 3-5 minutes for the asparagus to become tender.  Next toast the bread on each side until it becomes crisp and then cut it into small cubes.

To make the dressing for the salad whisk the red wine vinegar, garlic, oil, and seasonings until combined.  Next add the asparagus, tomatoes, courgette, bread, capers and olives to the dressing.  Let the salad stand for 20 minutes or more at room temperature to allow the ingredients to soak up the dressing.


I’ve never had panzanella before, but this was a really quick and simple recipe that I will be definitely using again.  It’s such a great way to use up vegetables that you need to use up too as this recipe can be adapted to include pretty much any vegetables that your heart desires.  All my other sexy salad recipes can be found here. Afterwards I had some coconut yoghurt topped with blueberries, strawberries and granola.

Despite the hectic schedule I’ve also fitted in my workouts.  Yesterday I did 30 minutes cross country training on the cross trainer followed by 30 minutes on the bike, adaptive motion trainer, step machine and ab work.  This morning I headed to the gym and attacked my 10K plan and the bike, step machine and cross trainer at steady speed levels.  An upper body workout also included. 

I have a lot of work to do, but I’m not going to let in get me down.  They way I see it is that each piece of work or set of experiments is a stepping stone to my future.  I keep telling myself, “I know I will get there.  I know that I will make it.”  Now I just have to believe it.


Happy Hump Day People! :D


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  1. says

    Oh, I empathise a lot with the PhD stress, and I’m only in my first year! I can’t imagine how insane your workload must be but I think you’re coping fabulously and I know you’ll get through in the end with such a positive attitude (and your obvious intelligence, of course!)

    I’m amazed at how you’ve had time to create such delicious food and workout on top of all of the PhD goings on: your last post was aptly named, as you really are Superwoman :)


  2. says

    That stir fry looks amazing, I’ll be copying that soon! :)

    I can’t imagine how stressful a PhD must be! You seem to be coping with it really well though, and like you said to me, soon everything will just fall into place. I know wedding planning isn’t on the same level as PhD stress, but hopefully the same principle will still apply! :)

    • says

      i hope your wedding plans are shaping up well. I think they most must be stressful as the other, except with a wedding planning comes a huge celebration. My stress seems to be drawn out, but I will be celebrating at thee end!!! Oh Yes! :D

  3. says

    Now that is one amazing cereal bowl, I love how you topped it with so many fruits. And I love to make a good stir-fry, gotta get those veggies in! :D

  4. says

    I’m definitely the same way with cereal! No fruit + nutbutter = not one happy belly! (You bowl looks sooo much prettier then mine ever do though! I’ve been having hummus salads basically all this week…they are the! LOVE ‘em :) PS I LURVVVEEE that peanut coconut stirfry (HUGE YUMS!) and the sexy bread salad too. so clever!

  5. says

    I am also a PhD. student, so I know how much work it is sometimes! I hope you´ll get all the things right and with a positive attitude as you seem to have:) Your meals look tasty!

  6. says

    Finishing your PhD must be stresssssssful. I cant even begin to imagine!

    That peanut sauce looks liek heaven… I’m thinking it’ll go really well with my spaghetti squash this wekened! yum!

  7. says

    Ugh, you have my sympathy with the workload. I am struggling big time, especially after being ill for so long! This time of year is terrible, because the weather is so great — the last thing we want to be doing is spending all hours indoors at a computer! Good luck with it anyway.


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