Bring Morocco To Your Kitchen – The Homemade Way

Whilst travelling around parts of Morocco, I totally fell in love with the cuisine. It’s not hard to do. Vendors, nestled amongst Artisans, sell the most aromatic and visually tantalising displays of herbs and spices, every spirally turn you take through the labyrinths of the Souks.

We tasted many a memorable dish, the best of them being cooked and served straight out of a families home in Marrakesh. We dined in their living room on the tastiest of mez dishes and the triumph of the night was their roasted chicken, served piled high with Cous Cous. Unforgettable.

This is a nod to my time travelling and I can guarantee it’ll leave your kitchen smelling divine. Your taste buds will be begging for more! The heady smells of the herbs and spices take me directly back to my wonderful days wandering the world. I hope it takes you there too !

The most amazing thing is, it is so easy to cook! Let’s go!

Ingredients:

Medium to Large Chicken

1tsp Paprika

1tsp Ground Cumin

1tsp Ground Coriander

1/2tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Onion, quartered

4 – 6 Cloves of Garlic (or more – Garlic usage should come from the heart)

1tbsp Butter or low fat butter spray

2 cups of water

Seasoning

Spoonful of cooked chickpeas to decorate

Fresh coriander (optional)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180•C.

Put the herbs and spices together in a bowl, stir.

Put the chicken onto a baking dish and rub it with butter, or spray with a low fat option. Next up, work the herb and spice mixture into the chicken well.

Generously twist some pepper on top and sprinkle with salt.

Around the chicken add your crushed up garlic and onions. Add the water.

Pop into the oven for an hour, basting generously. After an hour, cover the chicken loosely in foil, turn your oven down to 160•C and cook for a further hour.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with the juices. Add cooked chickpeas and fresh chopped Coriander.

Plate up and enjoy with some Raisin and Paprika Cous Cous, topped with coriander.

In addition, how about adding some braised Courgettes and Carrots to the dish?

This went down Mighty well at home. Seconds all round!! Bonus.

Here at Mums In Real Life, we’re always seeking out tips and love to hear your tales. Please comment or email us at:

hello@mumsinreallife.co.uk

Beetroot, Spinach And Aloe Vera – Michelle Inspired Mocktail – Let’s Talk Health Benefits

best-gourmet-food-delivery-service

Thank you so much for all of your feedback from our ‘Shake It Off’ week!!! We have received some lovely messages and can’t believe how many people followed it!! Thanks guys, here at Mums In Real Life, it means a lot!!! We hope you are all feeling as good as we do!

Several friends got in touch with us about the health benefits of Aloe Vera Juice. Thanks for pointing us in this direction 👍🏻

Benefits, to name but a few:

Liver function

• Hydration

• Clear skin

• Constipation

• Nutritional boost

• Aid digestion

• Indigestion relief

However, it’s very important to note that it can have Possible Side Effects/Contraindications. Take a read:

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-607/aloe

So, after reading all of this and weighing up the pros and cons I decided to give it a go.

Ingredients:

Half of a Beetroot (precooked)

Handful of spinach

Juice of 1 lemon

20ml Aloe Vera Juice

Glass of cold water

2 Ice cubes

Method:

Place everything into your blender and blitz!! Mine came out quite grainy, so I then sieved it into a glass .

Thank You!

Here at Mums In Real Life, we are so inspired by others. Thank You for all of your support so far 👍🏻

It’s the final countdown: two days and I’ll be at the start line!

Three months of training, and we’re almost there. I had my last training run with the lovely N last night, so now its prep and packing for the big day.

My running buddy and I have opted to stay in Brighton on Saturday night for minimal stress, so the husbands and kids and family supporters are coming up en masse on Sunday morning. My daughter has put the finishing touches to her banner, I just hope I can hold it together at mile 19 when I see her cheering me on from the sidelines (sob).

Today, there’s a last minute bit of prep (ironing on my name to my running vest – please cheer us on if you spot us! Packing my bag and double checking I have everything).

I’m also going to do some yoga to stretch out my muscles – my favourite is Yoga for runners with Adrienne

Also on the list is to hydrate properly, so I’ll be carrying my water bottle with me everywhere today.

Today’s carb loading menu looks like this:

  • Breakfast: Wholegrain toast, peanut butter and banana
  • Snack: Bounce Ball
  • Lunch: Crispy chicken salad with seeds
  • Dinner: Quorn Spaghetti Bolognaise with garlic bread
  • Snack: probably Turkish Delight 😆

I know to should be bootcamp today, but I’m giving myself a well-earned rest day. I’ll ask our friend Craig if he’ll share the exercises with us anyway (I’m sure he will).

Happy Friday lovely people.

Tahlia x

Simple Running Plan

So, I mentioned previously that Tahlia has inspired me to get my running shoes back on. This I have done and it’s been far more enjoyable than I thought it would be!

Now, hands up here. I’m not a complete novice. I have partially trained for a Marathon and with the help of a local running club, managed to regularly rack up 11 miles. However, the Marathon dream came to a gradual halt when I fell pregnant and said a very big hello to bad hips.

That was nearly 8 years ago. So it has been a while.

After talking to several good friends (who run a lot) & looking at some plans online, I pinched the following stock programme which is I have to say, really working for me.

Last week I started this simple (but daunting!) Plan and was so chuffed with myself for doing 2km. The following run I upped my game and shaved off nearly 3 minutes. Again, although I know it’s not that great a distance, I was so proud of myself!!

This morning…drum roll please…I achieved 3km without even realising it (I was catching up with a friend who was running on the treadmill next to me!) and inadvertently ran/walked 3km in less time than I’d ran/walked 2km last week. This is the sort of plan I like. One that makes you feel good, has positive impacts and at the same time sees you hitting achievable targets! Give it a go…👍🏻

Next up, the 5 day healthy eating plan for the kids has begun. Last week we drew up a menu which I hope encourages them to try a few new things 🤞🏻

First on the menu was Tuna and Pasta bake. Easy you might think? What’s innovative about that? Others might wonder. Well, it’s been off the menu for a while in our house (see previous blog). My youngest PROMISED to give it a go. My Eldest couldn’t wait to have it back on the table!

Full of goodness, easy peasy to make (will add recipe card) and the sort of meal you can add extra elements to jazz it up, this just needed to make a comeback.

I served it with mini corn on the cobs and lettuce on the side. After eyeballing the plate for a few moments, the verdict was in….

How to prepare yourself mentally for long runs

As you know by now, I’ve signed up for the Brighton Marathon this year. 5 weeks today in fact. 35 days. Eeeek! Enter self doubt and negative thoughts “What was I thinking?”.

For the last few weeks, my long runs have been on a Sunday afternoon. Kids are chilling out, dinner in the oven. Cue a bit of time for me to run. I’ve been trying to run at least 20k on a Sunday, and today was the longest yet. A casual half marathon just for fun (yep right).

Today’s run was VERY windy!!!!

This has given me a LOT of time to think. A lot of time to contemplate the enormous task which lies ahead (in the not too distant future), and a lot of time to doubt my ability to make the distance. Today, I was lucky enough to have the company of my wonderful running buddy to help me overcome the doubt and keep me running when I feel like giving up and calling an Uber to take me home.

This time last year, I was gearing up for my first half marathon. I had the same thoughts as I’m having now, but managed to make 20k before the run which gave me the confidence to turn up on the day. This time, it’s unlikely I’m going to make the full 42.2 kms, so on my run today I was contemplating how exactly my head is going to wrap itself around such a mammoth undertaking. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Set yourself milestones for the run. By giving myself four or five key checkpoints, I can break down the run in my head which makes the distance seem achievable. Cue me and my running buddy scouring the marathon route for said milestones.
  2. Set yourself a distance for the run, and check the route distance before you go out. There’s nothing more disheartening than getting home with another 0.5km to run (my head at that point is done and my legs refuse to move any further).
  3. Take some gels/jelly beans/water – it’s not just for an energy boost but for me it also gives me a mental boost when I have a sip of water or a jelly bean.
  4. Power up the hills. I mean nobody likes hills (it’s quite hilly where I live and run) but put your energy into powering up the hill. See it as a way to get those kms down faster. Similarly, speed up on the way back down the hills (if your knees will allow)!
  5. Practice positive affirmation. Take time to visualise your run, to tell yourself that you can do it, that you are good enough.
  6. Make sure you get your miles in. Proper training will prepare you for the run ahead and give you confidence for the challenge.
  7. Last but not least. Run with someone who builds you up. Find your running crew and take them with you along the way (even if they’re not crazy enough to actually sign up for a marathon.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you prepare yourselves for a marathon. Please do comment, or add to the conversation on Insta @mumsinreallife.

Happy Sunday lovely people.

Tahlia x

How to keep your running motivation (aka find your crew)

SO, you may or may not know that I’m training for the Brighton Marathon. An actual marathon. No, seriously. I must be crazy.

Let’s clear something up first – I am not a runner. I’m not one of those people who wear compression socks and running vests and actually look like a runner (you know, proper runners). I’m a mum who started running. I wear mum gear to run in. I look like a mum running. I run like a mum.

I’m ok with that. Because despite the fact I’m not a runner, I have notched up some serious mileage over the last four years. My initial training for Dirty Dozen (see my first blog – how I got in to this running malarkey) started from 1-2k at a time, building up to 12k. I surprised myself and did it. So, what next?

An accidental Half Marathon

Well, next came the call on a cold (and hungover) New Years’ Day from a lovely friend of mine to say “Let’s do a Half Marathon this year.” Full of the optimism (and probably still a sizeable proportion of Prosecco) my reply was “Yes, let’s do it!” And so we did – we booked our places on the Hastings Half then and there.

The first four months of the year consisted of a lot of cold, wet night runs. Trying to build up strength, time and stamina over a sustained period of time. We motivated each other, we got each other up hills, and through muddy fields and we laughed, we screamed and on occasion, we cried. Then, on Mothers’ Day, we went for the big one. A 20k circuit – make or break time. During that run, we endured ice, sleet, and a climb over a 3ft wall of snow but we did it. We ran 20k. Together. Happy Mothers’ Day to us!!

A few weeks later, I found myself on an icy and dark drive to pick up my Half Marathon friend, and make the journey to Hastings. We were so nervous, we barely spoke the whole way there. And when we arrived, it was even more nerve wracking (cue me in a Portaloo – enough said. It wasn’t pretty). On the starting line, surrounded by the real runners it all felt a bit real. A bit too real. But a few kms into the race, fuelled by each other and the supporters along the way, we found our running mojo. We talked about anything and everything along that route, we experienced every kind of emotion. We dug really deep. And when one of us got to the end and was ready to give up, the other pulled it out of the bag.

Very proud of this bad boy medal!

That moment when you think “What the *@%!”

The last few kms were definitely the hardest – we could see the finish line, but it seemed so far away. It seemed like the longest part of the whole run but we did it. We crossed the line, together at a quite respectable time of 2:06. We were emotional, exhausted, elated.

That experience taught me so much about myself, about what I could achieve if I was determined and disciplined enough. But, what it also taught me was the importance of having the right people around me. About support, and friendship and following this journey together. With the right crew, anything is possible. Want to challenge yourself? Do it. Build the right crew around you, and you can achieve anything.

Next step for me, Brighton Marathon 2019. I’ve been sharing my experiences and runs on our Instagram page and will keep posting here – want to know how I ended up signing up for an actual marathon? Watch this space! Tahlia x