Before I start filling this blog with race reports and artfully-arranged salads (and to stop it all getting a little bit smug), I have a confession to make. I am a 23-year-old who is supposedly on a diet, but on Monday, I had ice cream for dinner. Not dessert, but dinner. I guess you could count the waffle as the starter, the scoop of Half-Baked as the main, making pudding the seconds (and thirds) I levered out of the tub as it rapidly melted on the patio ... Who am I kidding? Sometimes, despite the most careful planning and tracking, life gets in the way.
Although the heatwave we’re having in England right now has definitely turned it into a staple food group, not every day this week has culminated in ice cream. Temperatures endlessly pushing 30C definitely call for salad. Luckily, Weight Watchers has robbed me of the misconception that I'm not a salad person. Here’s one of my favourite salads from this week, and how to make it:
Chicken & Sweet Potato Salad. Preheat oven to 200C. Wrap a chicken breast in foil and place it on a baking tray. Cover the rest of the baking tray in greaseproof paper and cover it in a mixture of cubed sweet potato, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes. Spray with Fry Light or similar (or a small amount of olive oil.) Season with ground black pepper and shove it in the oven for about 20 minutes (it’s salad, it’s not an exact science.) Check the chicken is cooked through, then shred it using a knife and fork. Toss all the ingredients together with salad leaves, season with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. I love fresh herbs in salad so I try and always chuck in some freshly torn basil to lift the flavour.
Running in this heat has been a challenge, but I’ve really been craving it this week. On Tuesday evening I shook out the stress of a very long day at work with the kind of run that wipes your brain clean. Thought disintegrates and pales behind the immediacy of foot, leg, hand – the body turned machine and the legs as pistons, pedals, pushing you forward. Afterwards my body and mind felt so gloriously wrung out, like a lemon squeezed of every last pip. Running as anaesthetic.