The sun is well and truly here to stay (or, it was, at least)! Whilst we Brits have a bad habit of complaining when ‘enough is enough’, I am definitely embracing this seemingly never-ending heatwave! Options are open with summer – picnics in the park, outdoor exercise and feasting on fresh foods can easily become habitual – so read on to find out how I’ve been enjoying the sunshine and to see one of my top summer recipes!

It’s Bye for Now

One of the reasons behind my sporadic, infrequent posts over the past few months has been my hectic work schedule whilst on placement. This should no longer be an issue (hooray!), as 27th July marked the official end of my placement year with British Swimming – a milestone that I can certainly say brought mixed emotions with it. I’ve loved supporting talented, elite athletes over the past year, and have been provided with so many opportunities to learn about various areas of sports science…especially nutrition! It really was heart-wrenching to say farewell to the athletes and coaches, but I’m also so excited to return to my final year of studies! I am lucky enough to be continuing with British Swimming next year by supporting training sessions and undertaking my dissertation project (nutrition-focused – what else?) with them! I feel so grateful to both Loughborough and British Swimming for supporting me on my journey to become a sports nutritionist, and words cannot express the pride I’ve felt when watching this summer’s European Championships in Glasgow. Whilst I was unable to go and support, I was just as emotionally invested from home, and couldn’t help but cheer on loudly when watching the incredible athletes I’ve worked with achieving such well-deserved success.

So whilst it’s a sad farewell for now, I can’t help but look forward to the exciting opportunities coming my way in the next academic year.

Home Sweet Home

After completing my placement it was time to return home for the summer – a nice change that would mean more time with friends and family. And it was full-on from the moment I got home! As per my Sunday tradition, I had to do a bit of breakfast baking, and whipped up a couple of batches of breakfast cookies to share with my family. Two batches – choc-banana and Nutella – were served up in our mini feast, and I can safely say that the Nutella ones went down the best. Find the easy recipe for these tasty treats below;

Nutella Cookies (Makes 6)

 

Ingredients:

  • 100g jumbo oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp plain wholemeal flour
  • 15g honey
  • 50g (around 3 tbsp) Nutella/hazelnut spread
  • 50ml almond milk (I used unsweetened)

Recipe:

  1. Leave the oats to soak in the milk for 5 mins
  2. Beat the egg, then add to the oats, followed by the remaining ingredients
  3. Mix all ingredients together until thoroughly combined
  4. Add 6 spoonfuls of the mixture to a lined baking tray (reserving around 1/4 for topping), ensuring that they are evenly spaced apart
  5. Add 1/2 tbsp Nutella to the centre of each cookie, then top with another spoonful of the oat mixture. The Nutella should be well covered to avoid burning. 
  6. Bake for 15 mins at 190degC 
  7. Enjoy fresh out of the oven when the centre is melted, or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen and then defrosted for use at a later date. 

For those of you who are curious on the nutritional side of things, here’s the nutritional label for the cookies, when made according to my recipe. If you go a little heavier on the Nutella then remember they’ll be a bit more energy dense! 

image (1)

Homemade treats can potentially be so much healthier than pre-made, and these cookies are a great example. They’re fresh, contain no preservatives, and they’re a great source of fibre and vitamin D! You can enjoy these with family and friends, knowing that they contain no nasties and are fuelling a balanced lifestyle. 

Bringing Back Memories

As the end of July marked my beautiful sister’s 20th birthday, it was only right that I treat my travel buddy to a little getaway…It was only a UK break, but it was exactly what we both needed! New Quay and Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, were on the agenda – the locations of many happy family holidays over the years. We may have only spent a short 3 days there, but we made the most of every minute, and most importantly, we laughed A LOT! There’s only 18 months between us – just one of the reasons why we’re so close – and we share similar interests, so trips away are always fun. It was amazing to just be able to spend time catching up after being apart for so long, and enjoy so many of our favourite hobbies: paddleboarding, sea-swimming, dolphin-spotting, coffee dates, eating out…fish and chips (The Lime Crab, New Quay is a must-go for the best version of the national dish!)… Being in the environment we’ve loved so much since childhood brought back so many wonderful memories, and of course allowed us to make a few more too. 

It’s always easier to travel with someone who knows you well, and nobody does know me better (well, with the exception of my best friend, who also happens to be the talented editor of this blog!). That’s why my favourite trips are spent with those close to me – the ones who understand my need to double-treble check bookings, my need for a coffee for the journey (come on, it’s a must!), and that I’m content just sitting and quietly taking in my surroundings… Breaks should be exactly that – a break! A break from the routine, a break from your normal environment, a break from the everyday. Our trip was definitely a break, and it just wouldn’t be right for us to be satisfied with just one break over the whole summer. Our next trip is already in the diary, and in a fortnight we’ll be preparing to say ‘hallo!’ to the spectacular streets of Rotterdam! This destination is my sister’s choice, so it’ll be amazing to explore what hidden gems it has to offer after Amsterdam set the bar so high when we visited last year. So keep a look out for a post on this trip sometime in September…I’ll make it a good one!

A few of my favourite pictures from the trip:

Top: New Quay Harbour

Middle (L-R): A traditional Welsh bakery in Aberystwyth, our coffee date (complete with a fresh Welsh cake) at Coffee #1, Aberystwyth, and ice cream on the harbour wall in New Quay

Bottom (L-R): Fish and chips from The Lime Crab, New Quay, view of New Quay bay, a beautiful coffee merchant’s – ‘The Mecca’ – in Aberystwyth

That’s it for this post – I hope you’ve enjoyed the varied content, and as always please get in touch in the comments section if you have something to share or want to leave a little feedback. Until my next post (hopefully something special coming soon!), take care and enjoy the sunshine.

-TheCookingYam

Written by TheCookingYam

I'm a BSc Sport and Exercise Science Graduate from Loughborough University, and also work as a Nutrition Advisor and recipe developer for organisations such as British Swimming, Colour Fit and Bam Organic. I'm passionate about all things food, health and fitness, and have an ambition to share my knowledge with others. Qualified with Grade Distinction in Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Sports Nutrition to support my interest in food and health for active individuals.

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