Unnecessary necessities

Happy Friday friends!  It’s been a busy week for me, especially the last part as I was teaching to the first year undergrads in their labs. A much welcome break from the thesis, that’s for sure.

Despite being so busy I did manage to fit in some great workouts form my plan.  Because of different commitments it has meant that I have had to chop and change a little bit.  On Wednesday I did my planned “whatever Sunday” workout by running 3 miles in 29 minutes plus doing my abs and core workout, push ups, one legged squats, lunges and the plank.  Yesterday was all about my strength workout, which I’m loving and this morning I did 50 minutes of intervals on the treadmill, cross trainer, bike and step machine and abs and core work.  I only had time for 50 minutes as I was struggling for time, but it really was a sweat fest!  Intervals ROCK!

I’ve also been enjoying some fabulous eats too:

Homemade Pumpkin Butter oats with plain soya yoghurt, mixed nuts, dates and dried cranberries.

Pear and Cocoa Almond Green Smoothie: 1 pear, 1 banana, spinach, 1 tsp of cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp of almond extract, hemp protein powder, spinach, water, xanthan gum and guar gum.  This bowl of green heaven was topped with Bear cocoa cherry crunch, hazelnuts, dried cherries and raw shredded coconut.

Chopped persimmon, figs, and apple and a pear topped with orange and walnut granola, pb puffins, crumbled coconut butter and cacao bliss.

A simple salad made from wilted black kale, spinach, bulgar wheat, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, sunflower seeds with a sweet chilli dressing.

Rustic Soup with Wild Mushrooms

The other night I made a lovely vegetable bake made from random veggies that I had leftover in the fridge:

*Leek, Cauliflower and Mushroom Cheezy Bake with a Bulgar Wheat Crust*

Ingredients  (serves 2, vegan)

  • 1 romesco cauliflower (normal is fine)
  • 1 chopped leak
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 cup of edamame beans
  • 250 mls of soya milk
  • dried thyme (or mixed herbs)
  • 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 cups of cooked bulgar wheat

Start to roast the prepared vegetables in the oven on a medium heat.  Meanwhile on the hob heat through the soya milk and add the nutritional yeast, thyme and seasonings.  Bring the cheezy sauce up to the boil and then allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.  Pour the sauce over the roasted veggies and top with the pre-cooked bulgar wheat.  Bake for a further 15 minutes until the bulgar wheat crust becomes crunchy.

This makes a great quick and easy meal or side dish.  I served mine with steamed greens and a sweet potato topped with apricot kernel butter…yum!

Last night my whole lab went out for a meal and drinks as a farewell “party” to the post doctoral researcher in my lab.  I’ve been working with him for 3 years and it was kind of sad that I won’t be hearing any of his funny jokes and I will miss our talks too-I hate good byes!  We headed to one of the bars on campus called the Dirty Duck.  I was really surprised by the menu as a lot of the places on campus are all about pub grub.   Although they still did that here they also had a great selection of other foods too.  I had the sweet potato and chick pea curry with pilau rice and naan bread. 

Gorgeous! 🙂

Dark chocolate soya pudding with Cherry Bakewell Granola and strawberries for dipping.

Talking about tasty food I received some lovely goodies in the post this week…

New Choccy Munchy Seeds with chilli and ginger!

All sorts of wonderful goodies from The Food Doctor.

I’ve been sent all of these lovely goodies to review for the blog and I cannot wait to try them all. 🙂

As well as these treat I also found squash in Lidl this morning.

They only had two so I bought both.  And the best thing is that the guy at the checkout couldn’t be bothered to check the price so put them both through as regular pumpkin for £1- bargain!

To be fair this is probably the only bargain that I have enjoyed this week.  Despite making savings in the food department my personal budget has gone through the roof this week.  I’ve had to buy a new dress for an even next week (more on that next week), plus it was Alfie’s birthday on Wednesday which we are celebrating this weekend with a meal and pressies.  Gah! I guess you win some and loose some. 

On the back of Laura’s recent post I feel that a lot of what she said resonates with me.  With my PhD funding finishing last month my money has been a little tight.  However, by cutting back and only buying the essentials has made me realise that a lot of what I thought was essential is really unnecessary.  At the end of the day all we really need is the essentials: shelter, food and water.  As long as we are happy and healthy- what else really matters?  Sometimes materialism can blind us and we forget what truly matters.  My family, boyfriend, friends and good health far outweigh the importance of this seasons latest fashions or a night out.  As long as I have them, I know I will be fine no matter what.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Do you think that you are too materialistic?


Filed under EATS!, Recipes

10 responses to “Unnecessary necessities

  1. Errign

    I honestly don’t think I am that materialistic, but I guess to an extent everyone is! I don’t run out and buy new things just because I want them, and I have had the same phone for two year. I have two ipods, but one is from 2006 and the other is shuffle for running. I don’t have a super fancy computer or a huge wardrobe and I’m totally okay with that 🙂

  2. Those kabocha look amazing! I honestly think I’m a little materialistic (having a fashion/beauty blog I’d be lying if I said otherwise) but I do try to be careful with my spending and the happiness you get from material goods is very short-lived compared to that which you get from friends and family. x

  3. Definitely; it’s a cliche but money can’t buy everything and I’d rather have good friends, health and family than win the lottery!
    I know I can be materialistic and think I have to have whatever, and I do give into some of it, but I know my limits and won’t let myself get into debt… I prioritise so if having a horse means hardly buying clothes or cutting back on non-essential food, I’ll do that without thinking twice… 🙂

  4. All of your eats look so fantastic, I especially love the figs on your cereal! I think I go through phases of being materialistic and other phases of realizing that I don’t actually need more 🙂

  5. The skins look a bit pale for Kabocha in that photo…they look more like Crown Prince, but maybe it’s just the light?

    I agree with everything you have posted: sadly I can indeed be materialistic, particularly with regard to coveting what others have. Blogging is obviously a very positive thing, but sometimes it makes me forget the true value of money, because I think some of us, myself included, do not appreciate how lucky we are and get blasé about ordering tonnes of American products to eat every day, or freak out about there being no squash (err, me!) when really, it just doesn’t matter, and I come across as very spoilt. I am ashamed of myself when I do that.


  6. It’s so true how some things we think are essential really actually aren’t – today Mum said we need to get more redbush tea, and we had truly run out and we do usually drink it every day. But ‘need’?

    Some seriously yummy eats 🙂

  7. Great post! It’s amazing how your priorities change when funds are low. I lived on a student diet for 5 years and spent very little on food. I wonder if i’d be able to do that again!

  8. I agree with you! It is easy to be materialistic in this world, and I know I can be. But Im definentely working on not being it! I spend my money on good foods, and try to not buy things I dont need. I love shopping, but over the years, I have started to go for quality instead of just buying a lot of stuff that wont last!
    Your meals looks good as always- love your combos!
    Happy weekend 🙂

  9. Great post and tasty eats as always! Thanks for the shout out too, it really does make you think. I’ve just got back from a trip to town and I managed not to buy anything apart from fruit, veggies and veg stock powder, I was so proud of myself! Everything I look at now I really have to justify to myself before I get my purse out. Have a lovely weekend x

  10. Reading blogs introduced me to loads of different foods and I wanted to try them all. Now I’ve naturally drifted back to eating more simply, although there’s a few “blog foods” I still love like nutritional yeast and molasses.

All of your comments make me smile :-)

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