SmarterFitter

I'm a freelance writer and web consultant who recently left London to live in a converted barn in the Wiltshire countryside.  I used to be overweight, but managed to lose 40 pounds (about a third of my body weight) over the last several years through diet and exercise.  Now that the weight is off, I'm figuring out how to keep it that way, without sacrificing my health or sanity.  As I'm learning, fitness isn't just about the weight.  It's also about being strong, able and most importantly, happy.  

 

“Rocky: A Dog’s Life” Tribute for Charity

If any of you follow me on social media, then you know I have a dog named Rocky who’s been my constant companion and an internet superstar in his own right ever since I rescued him in April 2012. I am sad to report that dear Rocky passed away last week following a (fortunately short) battle with liver disease. Rocky was already coming on in years when I adopted him, so I’ve always felt that every moment we had together was precious, which might explain why I’m finding his passing particularly tough ....more

Mom’s Pumpkin Pie with Oatmeal Crust

One of my all time favorite family recipes is mom’s pumpkin pie. She’s been bringing this dessert to Thanksgiving and Christmas parties for as long as I can remember. My version of the pumpkin pie with oatmeal crust is just a slight tweak on the original, because you really shouldn’t mess around too much with a good thing ....more

Induction Seduction

Today I’m talking about hobs, otherwise known as “cooktops” or “stovetops” to my American friends. My hob of choice is gas, but as I rent, I have been stuck with the electric hob that my landlords have provided me with… until now… Two weeks ago, said hob began to crack and so needed replacing. Surprise! ...more

11 Immediately Gratifying Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Health

Goals are hugely important and I’m a big fan of dreaming big and aiming high. But the thing about goals is that they involve time, and let’s face it, sometimes those goals seem so out of reach that it feels daunting to even get started. For that reason, it’s important to do little things on a daily basis that offer immediate gratification while also edging us closer to the self we dream of becoming ....more

Abby’s Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

This week’s Riverford vegbox contained two rare treasures: sweet potatoes and jalapeños, two foods that form the basis for one of my all time favorite veggie chili recipes: sweet potato and black bean chilli. This recipe is a total blast from the past. My friend Abby made it for her boyfriend (now husband) and I on a cold snowy winter’s evening in Milwaukee several years ago ....more

Goals 2015: The Original Mountain Marathon

In the last few years, my fitness goals have largely revolved around fixing injuries, but now I’m feeling pretty “fixed” for the most part (hurray!) and ready to set myself a challenge that will actually make use of my fitter better self and push me to, well, keep on pushing. My friend James recently completed the Original Mountain Marathon (aka ‘the OMM’) and posted a video montage of the experience. I totally want to do this! ...more

Late Summer Vegetable Salad with Tomatillo Dressing

It’s worth making this salad for the tomatillo dressing alone. Tomatillos are a rare treat here in the UK – I totally took them for granted when I lived in Austin and Chicago. Now they’re far more tricky to come by (and my attempts to grow them have been literally fruitless) ....more

No Churn Zabaglione Ice Cream

This recipe emerged after a stint of tiramisu making while I was visiting my family for Christmas in 2012. We made the entire tiramisu from scratch, including the ladyfingers, and it was a bit of a mission. The adventure left us with a lot of leftover marsala wine and whipped cream, which led me to this ice cream creation ....more

Plum Upside Down Cake

I have recently been the grateful recipient of a large quantity of Damson Plums thanks to the generosity of nature and my friend Gloria Nicol. Some of these plums have been turned into...more

Raw Double Chocolate Brownies

Here is a brownie that ticks all the right boxes – raw, vegan, gluten-free, paleo… – and they taste delicious too. The classic raw brownie is made by blitzing dates, nuts and cocoa in a food processor and mushing the mix together into a ball or bar. Though tasty, those raw brownies are also very dense and usually very sweet because it takes a lot of dates to hold the mixture together ....more