2017 New Years Resolutions

Thankgod 2016 is coming to an end – it’s been a pretty rough ride for the world, am i right? Whilst 2016 has been a pretty awosome year for me and instead of being sad that it’s over, I’m busy planning 2017 and setting my goals. In 2017, I will:

Complete dry January. In all honesty, I’m a bit cynical about the whole concept of going ‘dry’ for a month. I’m simply doing it to prove to myself that I can (expect I am giving myself a day or two off as I’m heading up to Nottingham to see one of my best friends as she has just come back from Australia). It’s so easy to say yes to free champagne at events or a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, and I’m egear to prove to myself that I can say no.

Master the downward facing dog. In 2016, one of my resolutions was to regually go to yoga classes, and whilst that goal was only really ticked off in September, I’m ready to master some of the poses. I want to be able to do the downward facing dog with both my heels flat on the floor.

Squat and deadline 70kg. I definately don’t push myself as hard as I could when weight training and I’m currently lifting about 30kg. I’m going to start by using dumbbells and doing a variation of each exercise at the beginning of every workout.

Run 10km under an hour. I ran my first 10km with my sister back in October and got a time of just over an hour. This year I really want to push that time down and I’m going to aim to do this by only having two running routes so I know what actually is a good time for that course. I’m also going to start to incorporate interval training at the gym so my body can learn to adapt to sudden bursts of speeds when I need it to during a race.

 

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There’s no sugar in my coffee anymore!

I’m a zombie without coffee, and it usually takes a couple of cups to get me going in the morning – with warmed frothy milk and 2 spoons of sugar. And that’s just in the morning! I’m also a massive tea junkie, and will always have a mug on the go.

I track all my calories using My Fitness Pal, but I wasn’t logging how much added sugar I was consuming in my hot drinks, and I’ve been consuming so many empty calories.

Someone once told me it takes 3 weeks to kick a habit and for your taste buds to change. I won’t lie, it was tough (especially after the Christmas party and all you can think about it have a sugary coffee to get your through the day).

I didn’t go completely cold turkey, first I made the change to just using sweetener, and then from two spoons to only one. Then finally, this December I decided to get rid of it completely. Since cutting down sugar my skin has gotten notably clearer and I’m much more alert – no more 3pm crash for me!

Here are my top three tips if you’re considering doing the same:

  1. Drink loads of water and also stop drinking fizzy drinks, otherwise you’ll end up replacing your sugary hot drinks for those instead (which are just as bad!)
  2. When you cut out sugar you mind find yourself reaching for sugary cereals. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, I usually have Avocado on Toast or a bowl of Porridge.
  3. Use full-fat milk and dairy. The low-fat stuff is usually sweetened and has a lower levels of vitamins.

10 Things That Happen When You Get Into Yoga

  1. You become one of those people who won’t shut up about your practice
  2. You develop muscles you never thought you had
  3. You’ll use any space to practice in – no matter how small
  4. Inversions used to scare you, but now you see how satisfying and challenging they can be
  5. You try to get everyone into yoga – even your dog
  6. Perfecting your vinyasa is at the top of your goals

  7. Your collection of to-and-from class shoes expands rapidly

  8. Other forms of physical activity now seem impossibly tedious
  9. You’ll start to spend loads of money on fancy yoga gear
  10. But sometimes, you really ARE just there for the savasana

 

I’m certainly no Yogi, but I’ve done a fair few classes now and I’m pretty familiar with many of the poses. I really started getting into Yoga after a summer series hosted at work and I’ve only properly started to understand it and learn how effective it can be.

At the start I was just trying my best to follow the teacher and copying everyone else, trying my best to get into the poses which all felt so weird – I was often leaving the class feeling like I didn’t work out but very relaxed. Now though, I really try to think about every part of my body when I’m getting into a pose, from lengthening, to how I should be holding my chest, to stretching out my arms. It’s only then that you get a proper sweat on, and really ache the next day.

 

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

These protein packed granola bars taste great, and only contains 6 ingredients – most of which you should stash in your kitchen already! These bars are wholesome and clean, and are incredibly easy to make and an inexpensive option to the shop-brought brands.

If you’re buying granola bars from the shop they’re most likely full of refined sugar and these bars are made with 100% pure maple syrup instead.

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This is a base recipe I use for all my protein bars and I love adding a cup of fresh raspberries to the mix.

You’ll need…

  • 1 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup unflavoured protein powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Chill Time: 10 minutes

Start by toasting your oats and almonds at 180°c for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.

Put your dates into a food processor until only small bits remain. Then combine with your oats, almonds and protein powder.

Warm the maple syrup and peanut butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir and add the oat mixture making sure the dates are disperse throughout.

Once thoroughly mixed, transfer into a square baking dish lined with baking paper and press down until flattened. Cover with more baking paper and let it firm up in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Remove the bars from the pan and chop up in bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I’ve decorated mine by simply melting 2 squares of 80% dark chocolate and drizzling over the top.

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Women Who Lift | Shoulder Routine

I know the feeling of going into the weights section of the gym for the first time and bricking it. Thoughts racing through your head, “What will everyone think? Won’t I stand out? Am I going to make a fool out of myself?” A little over a year ago, I was that person.

The benefits of lighting weights are incredible: improved muscle tone, increased bone density, inner and outer strength. By stepping in there you will gain access to loads of equipment to sculpt your body and build your strength. So I thought I’d share you with my shoulder routine to help inspire you. So, what are you waiting for?

Alternating Military Press – 3 sets of 10 reps (10 per arm)

Cable Rear Delt Row – 3 sets of 10 reps

Alternating Arnold Press – 3 sets of 10 reps (10 per arm)

Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 10 reps

Barbell Upright Row – 3 sets of 10 reps

Barbell Front Raise – 3 sets of 10 reps

If you’re not sure what the above exercise is then head over to YouTube. They’re a great resource for learning which means that it’s so much easier to get started if you know what to do.

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I’m wearing both leggings and sports bra from Active in Style, Lorna Jane.

 

 

 

Meal Prep Sunday | What I’m Eating This Week

I can’t remember the last time I wrote one of these posts – It’s not because I’m not meal prepping, I’ve just gotten into a rut with my lunches and keep having the same thing over and over again. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have my Thai Prawn Noodle Salad.

With the weather getting bitterly cold I’m ditching the salads and saying hello to a Brown Rice and Prawn Jambalaya, and this Green Soup with Feta and Pumpkin Seed Croutons. Both are from Jo Pratt’s Cookbook, In The Mood For Healthy Food. It’s like my bible, if you haven’t got a copy, I’d seriously suggest going out and buying it.

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The Green Soup is a perfect winter recipe and it’s relativity light. It uses Sumac (a herb I’ve only heard of recently) and adds a spicy flavour to the Croutons. This Soup is packed with green vegetable goodness and the Croutons are a necessity – salty, crunchy and moreish.

This recipe make’s around three portions, and if I’m having a cardio day I’ll have it with a slice of rye bread.

You’ll need…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup peas
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 large handful of mint

And for the Croutons… 

  • 100g feta cheese
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sumac

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a baking tray with non-stick grease proof paper and sprinkle the feta, pumpkin seeds, olive oil and sumac.

Pop the croutons in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the feta is just starting to turn golden in places. Remove from the oven and leave to one side to cool.

Meanwhile, make the soup. Heat the olive oil in a pan and and the onions, fennel and garlic and gently cook for about 5 minutes until softened.

Stir in the leeks, courgette, kale, peas. Cook for a further 10 minutes.

Then add the stock and mint and gently simmer.

Remove the pan from the heat and using a hand-held blender, blitz the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve the the feta and pumpkin seed croutons.

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Run the River 10k

Last Sunday my sister and I took part in the Run the River 10k which was hosted by Edmonton Running Club. It’s an incredibly flat race around the Lea Valley  Reservoir, starting an finishing at the Lea Valley Athletics Centre.

It being my first ever timed race I made sure we arrived with plenty of time to spare. I won’t like – I found it tough and I never managed to quash the “I’m just going to stop now” voices. Around the 9km mark is where I started to really struggle and I didn’t realise you had to do a lap of the track near the Athletics Centre to finish. I was mentally done when I realised I still had that track left the run.

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As soon as I finished, I forgot all about the struggle but that’s always the way, isn’t it? This race was a huge learning curve for me. Next time I’ll be pacing myself much better, I’ll pack Compeed and I’ll be practising road running a lot more.

And afterwards? Amy and I obviously had to replace all that lost energy so we headed to Tottenham Green Market and got ourselves a huge portion of Souvlaki.

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