Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ireland travels - Cornucopia Wholefood and Vegetarian Restaurant, Dublin

The Cornucopia Wholefood and Vegetarian Restaurant has graced Dublin's streets since 1986, which means it is almost as old as me. It also means that if you are vegetarian or vegan and have been to Dublin, you may well have visited this place. If you haven't, it is very much worth visiting.

Cornucopia; the long take away queue, cozy seating, and salad selections

I had Cornucopia marked as a potential spot to visit and managed to fit two visits in over our three days in the Dublin area. Not a bad hit rate! It helped that it is centrally located in the south city area, around the corner from Trinity College. It also helped that there was a (non-veggie) crepe restaurant nearby. On the two occasions I got food from Cornucopia, Mr Bite had crepes. We ate in the grounds of Trinity College on trip one, and in the nearby St Stephen's Green on trip two.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ireland travels - Dublin and surrounds

Why, hello! I didn't intend to drop off the radar for nearly a week. However, Ireland has been rather lulling and between sight-seeing, 20 mile running and catch up sleeping, blogging hasn't really fit into my schedule. I suspect it will take me a while to work through our trip (and there are still 4 days to go), but I'm taking the opportunity to share some of our time in Dublin today.

Dublin's River Liffey

Ireland has been full of surprises thus far. It isn't as green as I'd expected, and there are sections of shrub and heath that almost remind me of Australia (although not quite). The people are amazingly friendly. The roads are generally wide and often empty, and there are lots of runners and cyclists. Houses are often painted in attractive vibrant colours.

Colourful architecture, near Dublin Castle

Thursday, March 19, 2015

5 minute banana peanut butter cake in a mug {London marathon fundraising}

When I compiled a list of popular posts from the last year, my healthier sticky date pudding in a mug recipe was second on the list. That reminded me of the concept of cakes-in-mugs and made me think I needed another one on this site! This banana peanut butter version is it. It probably doesn't even take 5 minutes to make, and it is delicious enough for dessert but healthy (and quick) enough for breakfast. Win, win, win.

I'm pleased to say that this has been a better week, health wise, than the last one. I downscaled last weekend's run from 22 miles to 12, but am feeling 99% fit again now and ready to tackle 20 miles on Saturday (in Dublin no less!). I have also revamped my plan to get the 22 miles in over the Easter long weekend. That will be the longest distance I run, and it's probably better doing it a little bit closer to marathon day anyway. I'm glad my training plan is stretched out enough to allow for reshuffling of schedules, and to include several attempts at 20 mile plus distances.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Green recipe round up, for Saint Patrick's Day

I suspect I'm revealing personal shortcomings by saying that, until this year, I didn't really know what Saint Patrick's Day was all about. I tended to associate it with reckless drinking and green. It wasn't a particularly big event in Western Australia (except as an excuse for said drinking) but now we live relatively close to Ireland, I thought I should learn what it's actually about.

As you probably know already, Saint Patrick's Day was made a Christian feast day back in the 17th century. Saint Patrick was (is) the patron saint of Ireland. He is thought to have died on the 17th March, lending that date to the annual festival. Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and whilst it is a religious holiday, it is also about celebrating the heritage and culture of Ireland more generally. So, there is rather more to it than alcohol and green...

Green spaghetti

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Devon and Cornwall part 2 - Polperro, the South West Coast path, and National Trust properties

In part 1 of my Devon and Cornwall recap, we saw Dartmoor national park and the Eden Project. Today, we have Polperro, coastal views and several National Trust properties.

Polperro, Cornwall

As a child, I decided I would live in Polperro when I grew up. I loved the colourful town with its narrow, twisting streets and smuggler history. I also loved a tree-lined walk high above the town and adjacent to the sea. My childhood plan was to buy a plot of land in the trees, build a cabin, and live happily ever after.

Things change, and I no longer feel a burning desire to live in Polperro. However, I was glad to visit it again after many years. It was as attractive as I remembered, if oddly quiet out of season. 

Polperro harbour

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chocolate, hazelnut and cranberry truffle balls {London marathon fundraising}

It has been far too long between fruit and nut truffle recipes. These go some way to making up for lost time. I think they are now amongst my favourite truffles (although I have a tendency to say that with all new truffle ball recipes!). The mix of hazelnut, cocoa, dried cranberries and coconut is gorgeously balanced, and utterly delicious.

Alas, my running this week has not been quite as perfect. I discovered the meaning of "hitting the wall" last Saturday, when I had an experience at mile 17 (of an intended 21) that I hope not to repeat in a hurry. My legs didn't want to move, I felt light headed and dizzy, and I wanted to sit on the pavement and cry. Having run 20 miles the week before, it was a disconcerting experience, only offset slightly by coming down with some kind of virus since. I'm glad to have a possible reason for my Saturday experience, but being unwell means I've missed some shorter runs too. I'm trying to remember that one disrupted week of training won't make or break the marathon, but it is frustrating.

Hopefully next week will bring full health and a smoother long run. In the meantime, these aren't a bad way to top up energy levels, irrespective of physical health.