Glendalough, one of the most beautiful places I have been….

I have really begun to love exploring the great outdoors on the days when I am not in work. When you live in Ireland (like me!) you are especially lucky, there are so many hidden beautiful walks, hikes and bike trails all around the country, you could see a new place every other day of the week. I was following Roz Purcell on Snapchat and noticed that she would be in Glendalough hiking with her friends from time to time, I saw the scenery all around her and I thought I need to be there, I need to see this with my own eyes. So thanks for that 🙂

 I had always remembering hearing about the round towers that stood so tall and untouched inside the monastic city in the old history books from Junior Cert and I had always meant to go but like everything, I forgot about and put it on the back burner till now…I have made a vow to make lists of everywhere I want to go and I am going to stop saying things and start doing things…stop saying ‘Shudda, Wudda, Cudda…’ and just get on with it!

We set off one Saturday morning. I packed a full picnic (recipes will be listed in a future post for picnic ideas) and we hit the road.

glendalough

Glendalough is located in the heart of Wicklow National park. The drive from the West is so scenic, we went through the Curragh and there are just stud farms and lavish dwelling studded (see what I did there) all over the countryside. We were very lucky the day we went as the weather was very cool and crisp with blue skies. When we arrived, it was very busy, hard enough to get a parking space. There was a great atmosphere around the place. The parking is free and access to the monastic city and walks is also free. There is a visitors center, which you pay extra for, you can get additional information about all the goings on back in the day.

When we went to reception and we were greeted by a lovely man who was so helpful. He spoke to us and found out exactly what we were looking for and directed us on the best walk , this happened to be the white trail.There are nine walks located in the national park so there is a huge variety for all fitness levels, time constraints or just the option to try a different one each time, they vary from 1KM to 11KM. You can buy a map of the walks for as little as 50 cents or they are also available to download online for free.

Image result for trail maps glendalough

Map Courtesy of:http://kiliforbeginners.blogspot.com/2010/05/first-hike-glendalough-spinc.html

The most iconic landmark in the Monastic City is the round tower and stands 33 meters tall with such a sturdy elegance, it is definitely something to stand back and admire. I found myself looking up at it and imagining how they got into it and what it would have been like to be looking out from the top. It was amazing to think that this was built almost 1,000 years ago! You can also spend some time here weaving in and out of the surrounding graveyard before taking off on your hike.

monasic-city

The thing that really captured my heart was all the different views, terrains and landscapes that you get to see as you ascent up the white trail. You are met by sheep, a long wooden/steel bridges, footpaths, waterfalls, railway sleepers, marshy bog, we even popped a squat in the middle of a river whilst sitting on bouldering rocks. I felt like a child at every turn there was something new to see. I couldn’t recommend the place enough. At the end of the walk it started to rain very heavily. What were we to do? We did what any Irish person does in the rain and went for a ’99 🙂 There are a few food truck-type-things available around the car-parks.

sheepsWe stopped here at this point (see picture below) to have a picnic. I went all out when I made the food. I made wraps with Cajun chicken, cous-cous, hummus and lettuce. Feta cheese and vine tomatoes with olive oil and mixed herbs,  a selection of mixed olives, little biscuits with raspberry jelly centers, trail mix. glendalough-lakes

Don’t eat the mushrooms!!!!

musherooms

There are so many viewing points, the picture below is a seat that looks down on the glacial valley below. Someday, I want to go back here and do some really cool looking yogi pose, like a full wheel or a headstand… I might fall off but sure if we get a few likes on Instagram wouldn’t it be worth it?

glendalough-looking-over

Do things that make you happy….

“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself—what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.”

~ Warsan Shire

Fairymojo*

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Granola for breakfast (lunch or dinner!)

 

I love to have granola with fresh berries and natural yogurt as snack or a bigger portion for my breakfast. Granola is packed full of energy from all the oats and nuts that are packed into it. I used to buy granola in the supermarket but I learned how much sugar was in it and it totally put me off! I decided that I was going to experiment and make my own, I wanted all the taste and less of the added sugar. The only thing that I use to sweeten mine is either honey, maple syrup, and a few raisins or dried cranberries.

I get my mason jars in IKEA, they come in all different shapes and sizes. TK Maxx is also a great place to pick them up. You can also use them to store whey protein, oats and rice etc. I have made jars of this for friends as a gift too and they really appreciate it (shout out to you Laurie LooLoo!!!). Here is my recipe for fruit granola that makes a mason jar full that stays fresh as a daisy for up to a month. I will also pop in a recipe for an Apple Granola, this goes lovely with a low-fat toffee yogurt as a real treat when you are feeling peckish. This is so easy to bring to work in Tupperware, just be sure to pack it separately to the yogurt and berries or it will get soggy and you will lose all the crunch which is the fun part of granola!!!

Makes a 750g mason jar of granola.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of oats (I use jumbo oats)
  • 2/3 cup of mixed nuts (hazelnuts and walnuts work well here)
  • ½ cup of Desiccated Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. of Cinnamon
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. of Coconut Oil
  • 3 tbsp. Maple Syrup / Honey (or a mix of both)
  • ½ cup of mixed berries (Raisins, Goji Berries and Cranberries etc.)

Method:

In a large mixing bowl add the Oats, Nuts, Coconut, Cinnamon and Salt. Meanwhile in a saucepan melt the coconut oil, maple syrup/honey. Once everything has heated up in the saucepan pour it over the mixture in the bowl.  Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the mixture a few times throughout. When the mixture is nice and browned. allow to cool and then add in the mixed berries and store in a mason jar (as I said before it stays good for a month).

Add it to natural yogurt and berries for a delicious snack or breakfast.

granola-bowlgranola-jar

You can also make a delicious snack bowl: Add natural yogurt, fresh strawberries, chocolate chips and dollops of peanut butter and shower it with fresh granola, such a quick and tasty treat. See below:

snack-bowl

To make the Apple Granola, using the same recipe and method as above, simply chop up a crisp apple into small pieces and add 2 Tbsp. of cinnamon, and a few more walnut really complement the apple.

Fairymojo*
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My first blog …..PANCAKES!!!

So, this is a very exciting time for me as I start on a journey of blogging. It is something that I have always wanted to do but I never thought I really had anything to say that would be of much use to people. I found that whilst I was working shift, I wasn’t sleeping well, I wasn’t eating well and I generally just forgot to look after myself. eventually I got to a point where I realised that I needed to make a change. A huge thing that changed the way I thought about my body and mind was when I started practicing yoga.The more I got involved with trying to improve my personal life whether it be through cooking, exercise etc., I found that people had an interest in what I was doing and how I was doing it. So, why not share the wealth?

I have always had a huge passion for food. My eyes literally light up when I talk about it. Everyone is like that , right?? When I really started getting creative in the kitchen and bringing food to work people were curious as to what I was eating. I want to share my recipe ideas with people, mainly shift workers to help them realise that it is feasible to eat healthily, affordable and above all the food is tasty AF.

So what better way to start than with pancakes…everyone loves pancakes, chocolate protein pancakes. These are so easy to make, delicious, good for you and did I mention DELICIOUS!!!!! These are especially great as you can make them in advance for a day or two (just double the recipe) and eat them hot or cold at work. Protein pancakes are great if you are exercising or generally active. They can be quicker to make than american style pancakes.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Scoop Chocolate Protein
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp. Raw Cacao Powder
  • 1 Heaped Tbsp. Quark
  • Fresh Berries
  • Maple Syrup

Method:

Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and give it a few sprays of fry-lite. In a bowl mix all the ingredients (apart from berries and maple syrup) and give them a good stir until you get a smooth pancake consistency. Spoon a few small dollops of the mixture on the pan and when you see the pancakes start to bubble on the side facing you it is time to flip them. Repeat the process until you get 6-8 small toasty pancakes. Stack the pancakes and lather them in drizzles of maple syrup and bombard them with fresh berries. You can mix up this recipe too by using vanilla protein to give you vanilla pancakes. If you are looking for a real treat you can add chocolate chips to the mixture. You can also have yogurt/honey/bananas… the combinations are endless… Share you reproductions here with me!!!! I want to see you all getting creative 🙂

 

Fairymojo*

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