Yesterday was insane. Well, not insane as in flying hot air balloons, but I completed my second gym day and came back phenomenally battered but breathing. On my first day, among other antics, I was trying to do some version of pull-ups on the machines and making a total ass of myself, to the extent that one of the trainers ambled over and whispered “what are you doing?” So there’s that. Then yesterday I went to my first step class, which, up to now, I’ve foolishly imagined was a slow-paced up-and-down, sort of like walking up a few flights of steps with other people. Um, no.
My lack of hand-eye-body co-ordination certainly did not help, because when the instructor (who is above 50) said left foot my right foot kept on making squiggles like a dog being scratched in its sweet spot, and my hands were flailing to keep me from bashing into the person in front of me. I was amazed that some of these ladies (obviously in the front of the class) were bouncing up and down the entire time – as in their feet barely touched the platform and there they jazzed off again. Me and the other n00bs were dragging our feet by the end, sort of at the pace one undertakes when carrying five shopping bags. Yikes!
In fact, after my pathetic attempt to show my “rah plant-powered!” side, I’ve decided I need this, because being so weak is not cool. Man-thing even confessed he was tempted to push me into the lawn yesterday as we were walking back home because I’d just plonk over like a dead weight. Sigh.
Luckily my “misery” means my sad face got treated to a mini date last night after the brutal step session, and we trundled off to a local coffee shop for some toasty beverages. We discovered that leaving the house at night is actually not so horrible after all, and that there are a number of coffee shops around the corner that can just give us a break from our routine, which for the past few months has revolved around gathering together for meals and then dispersing so that Man-thing can mark assignments and tests and I can troll the internet or bake. Because he works two different jobs he is always busy, which is good in some ways (cuts down on boredom), but obviously it means he never gets a break, and looks at me with glazed eyes here by 21h00.
To combat this a little I’ve been making little treats and snacks, but I suspect he’s at the end of one pile of work and just about to start another, so I’ve decided it’s time to pull out the big guns and make cake. Cake kicks things up a notch, and should therefore act as a double dose of food-hugs and commiseration. I’m also chuffed to meet up with the ladies at work every Wednesday for a quick lunch so I had something to bring along for cheer (because there can never be enough, mid-week!).
Because I’m dashing about baking, cooking, gyming, dating, and petting the kitsy cat, I decided on very little originality in adapting a recipe, but rather being very well-behaved and following it to the letter (almost). I stumbled upon on Susan’s blueberry chocolate cake and decided it was fate, because it’s ridiculously healthful but indulgent, and because what better combination than berries and chocolate? Yum!
I only had blackberries in the freezer, but they worked just dandy! I think blueberries may be a tad sweeter, which is why my addition of a banana to the water/berry mixture, as recommended by Kristy over at The Kind Life, was rather key to success. I almost gobbled the berry-banana mixture just like that, because it looked like the best smoothie ever! I also ran out of delightful gluten-free flours and rye flour, so had to whip out my rather neglected nutty wheat high fibre flour from the freezer. To be honest, since trying out gluten-free flours in my baking I actually enjoy them a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, a fibrous muffin or nice and dense banana bread are great, but there’s something so fresh about GF that I didn’t expect. Still, with the nutty wheat and the general healthy awesomeness of the recipe, I felt no guilt in cutting up 8 fat slices instead of baking it in a square pan and serving up smaller pieces.
I also didn’t have time to make date syrup (boo hiss) so I used fructose, which again is not something I usually (if ever) use, but I’m not going to cry myself to sleep over that! It’s the first time I’ve used “sugar” in a recipe for a long while now, so I’m happy to rely on natural sugars 99% of the time and not flagellate myself if I don’t go into a froth because I forgot to soak dates :p
On the top I melted some chocolate squiggles (about 3/4 cup dark chocolate baking discs) and sprinkled some sunflower seeds and goji berries for shiny. The goji berries got really nice and squishy as they nestled in the chocolate, and overall this was a real delight to eat! I’m so happy I got cake and got to share it, because today is my day off from the gym and I figured it must be monumental in spoilage, but still healthy enough to let me jump back into action tomorrow without a sugar hangover. Life = grand!