Arts and Culture, Running

This Week In Photos

Since Baby Turtle’s return from Hua Hin, Thailand a week ago, the Ninja Turtle has been spending a fair amount of time playing catch-up-over-Skype with her little sister. This makes for brilliant personal bonding, but lousy blogging material. As such, the following photos shall do some of the talking…

8 Mai a.k.a Victory Day celebrations in France, where American GIs (despite lack of actual proof, we highly suspect they are not really Americans, which kind of spoils the fun) in trucks roll through little French villages declaring liberation.

8 Mai a.k.a Victory Day celebrations in France, where American GIs (despite lack of actual proof, we highly suspect they are not really Americans, which kind of spoils the fun) in trucks roll through little French villages declaring liberation.

Meal of the week - an orange and fennel salad topped with sesame and walnut oil

Meal of the week – an orange and fennel salad topped with sesame and walnut oil

GodzillaPin's surprise gift to the Ninja Turtle, who has a serious tin box habit

GodzillaPin’s surprise gift to the Ninja Turtle, who has a serious tin box habit

Yet another producers' market the duo have been visiting; can one ever have enough of artisanal bread, cheese, honey, biscuits and wine?

Yet another producers’ market the duo have been visiting; can one ever have enough of artisanal bread, cheese, honey, biscuits and wine? (There is only one correct answer to this question.)

The Ninja Turtle was VERY bummed with the Rock 'N' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon was cancelled, especially AFTER she had booked her flights and accommodation, which came to an obscene amount of tourism $$ for naught. However, the organisers have sent this through the mail, which brought very little consolation but at least it's pretty to look at.

The Ninja Turtle was VERY bummed when the Rock ‘N’ Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon was cancelled, especially AFTER she had booked her flights and accommodation, which came to an obscene amount of tourism $$ for naught. However, the organisers have sent this through the mail, which brought very little consolation because what’s a medal without a race? At least it’s pretty to look at.

Since it's almost impossible to find English books in Metz, mail order books = happiness. The Ninja Turtle bought one for each race of the season as rewards.

Since it’s almost impossible to find English books in Metz, mail order books = happiness. The Ninja Turtle bought one for each race of the season as rewards.

The best for last: a new running route discovered! Can't wait to explore this area on the next scheduled long run.

The best for last: a new running route discovered! Can’t wait to explore this beautiful area on the next scheduled long run.

To wrap up, here’s a wonderful link the Ninja Turtle’s discovered: http://www.runsmartproject.com/calculator/. It works out what your pace is “in an ideal world with perfect conditions”. Of course, training doesn’t occur in a vacuum (or else you would unquestionably die), but it’s nice to hypothetically isolate certain variables and see how your performance is consequently affected. When one has been running against headwinds of 25mph (40kph) like the Ninja Turtle, those watering eyes are less the result of the wind and more because the resulting average splits look unbearably awful…

Have a fabulous weekend!

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Food

Lighter Meals for the Warmer Weather

Hello! Has it already been a month since our last update? The Ninja Turtle and GodzillaPin have spent the last few weeks making the proverbial hay while the sun shines – spring has sprung a whole 3 weeks earlier than scheduled, and at the end of February, we began having beautiful weather in Metz that we had to wait until early May for in 2012. Crazy seasons!

So, since the duo have found themselves walking around in T-shirts already, it is also of little surprise that they start craving lighter and cleaner tastes (you know, to make calorie allowance for the inevitable 6pm beer/wine/cocktails, now that the days are getting longer too). There is a bonus for the Turtle in all of this too – salads are relatively quick to prepare, and cleaning up is easy. Less time in the kitchen = more time outside playing in the glorious sunshine.

The following are a couple of quick and easy salad ideas for entertaining guests with – only a handful of ingredients, and pretty to boot. Enjoy!

Beetroot and heart of palm served on a bed of lamb's lettuce with raspberry vinaigrette.

Beetroot and heart of palm served on a bed of lamb’s lettuce with raspberry vinaigrette.

Sauté scallops with cucumber. Serve with a drizzle of walnut oil.

Sauté scallops with cucumber. Serve with a drizzle of walnut oil.

Cheat meal: leftover chicken pasta that actually tastes pretty damn good eaten cold the next day as a salad.

Cheat meal: leftover chicken pasta that actually tastes pretty damn good eaten cold the next day as a salad.

How does your menu reflect the change in seasons?

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Food

Salad Art – Keeping Your New Year Resolutions Delicious

Like everyone else, the Ninja Turtle and GodzillaPin have overindulged during the festive season. After all, drinks, hor d’oeuvres and endless plates of desserts become inevitable when one socializes. If you think that families and friends have a way of showing love with food, you are absolutely right. The Ninja Turtle was loved (fed) half to death after not seeing her friends and family for two years.

On top of that, travelling has a way of throwing off one’s dining routine. On shorter trips around the region, it is still possible to pack healthy snacks for the train/car ride, and a few items that keep well, such as bottled sparkling water, apples, mixed nuts, and the like. Not so when one travels internationally and has quarantine to deal with (all fruit in the bin or they may just deport you from Australia!), security checks that make you chuck out water bottles, and five weeks of moving from place to place makes it very challenging to carry healthy fresh food.

As they kept active during the travels, they could afford to indulge without causing much social fuss. However, as soon as they came back to France, it was damage-control mode. Neither of them put on an alarming amount of weight – GodzillaPin struggles to gain an ounce, and the couple of pounds that crept on Ninja Turtle dropped off quick smart during her bronchitis episode. Nonetheless, there were certain changes that happen on a cellular level, beyond the perception of the naked eye, that undoubtedly took place. The evidence? Poor running performance, fatigue, compromised immune systems… you get the idea.

So, whatever your motivation may have been to clean up your diet for 2014, here are some simple salad ideas to inspire your desire to keep up the healthy streak. You can’t continue something you don’t enjoy, and the Ninja Turtle and GodzillaPin want to share their belief that healthy food can be incredibly enjoyable.

Niçoise salad

Niçoise salad – a complete meal

The humble tomato and mozzarella

The humble tomato and mozzarella

Roast beef and avocado salad for a hit of protein and iron

Roast beef and avocado salad for a hit of protein and iron

A crunchy salad of radish and walnuts with beetroot

A crunchy salad of radish and walnuts with beetroot

Did someone ask for bacon?

Did someone ask for bacon?

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Keep up the healthy eating for 2014!

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