3 Hacks for Fitting in your Workout into a Busy Schedule

“You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce”

Hands up, who’s sacked off a workout because a) you’re staying late at work to finish a deadline, b) you’re too tired, and c) you’re just lacking that kick up the bum and all motivation appears to have evaporated.

Work, in particular, can really get in the way of working out. The more challenging (and exciting) a job gets, the more we struggle to find time to work out. And when work becomes harder, we can’t afford not to exercise as it releases endorphins which helps to reduce stress.

I used to hit the gym after work and by the time I had worked out, sat on a tube back to North London, washed and cooked dinner and actually sat down to eat it was often around 9pm. These days I’m squeezing my sessions into my lunch hour (or if I’m planning a longer workout I try my best to squeeze it in before work).

Here are my top three tips for squeezing in a workout into a busy schedule…

Meal prep

The night before take a moment to pack a lunch as it means you can avoid waiting in line at Pret later. You’ll not only save time, but you’ll also save money. Plus you can guarantee that you’ll have a healthy lunch after your workout.

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Work out your workout

The key is to know exactly what you’re going to do the moment you hit the gym – don’t waste time trying to come up with something there and then. Interval or HIIT training are the perfect 30 minute exercise. There’s loads of research out there with show you can achieve much more progress is 15 minutes of HIIT training (done three times a week) than jogging on the treadmill for an hour.

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Streamline your shower

Cut down on the amount of products you use to get office-ready. Have a speedy shower and freshen your hair with dry shampoo. Use makeup that doubles up, think tinted moisturiser, perfect for hydration and coverage. This will save you so much time, meaning you’ll be able to do that little bit more at the gym.

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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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4 Ways to have Porridge

It’s September, which means it’s officially Autumn so I can start having porridge again for breakfast. It’s warning and indulgent – low in calories but high in fibre and protein, so what’s not to love?

I love topping it with fruits and nuts and it’s a great way to start a cold day in London. To create the perfect porridge I use the 2:1 method – 2 parts milk, 1 part oats.

All

Banana, Raisins, Peanut Butter and Cinnamon 

Banana

Blueberries, Sunflower Seeds and Honey

Blueberry

Raspberries and Coca Nibs

raspberry

Strawberries and Maple Syrup 

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Meal Prep Sunday: What I’m eating this week

Thank god it’s finally starting to warm up in London! This week both of my meals are inspired by Asian flavours; I’ve made a Thai, Prawn, Noodle Salad and a Salmon Superfood Salad.

I love the fact that everyday at work I receive a free breakfast but all the cereals supplied are so high in sugar! This week I’ve made two portions of Mango Over-Night Oats and you can find the recipe here.

The Salmon Superfood Salad is my take on Pret’s Salmon, Kale and Quinoa Salad. It’s one of my favourite salads that they do and it’s so easy to recreate at home (and so much cheaper too).

If you’re like me, and you’re storing the salad in the fridge for a couple of days, don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to eat it.

You’ll need… 

  • 50g quinoa
  • 175ml water
  • 50g kale
  • 100g edamane beans
  • 1/4 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cooked salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

For the dressing… 

  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons seasame oil

Cook the quinoa in a saucepan with the water for about 10 minutes with a lid on, take it off the heat but keep the lid on and let it steam for 5 more minutes – just to ensure that it’s light and fluffy.

In another pan blanche the kale, edamane beans and broccoli.

Whilst everything is cooking, prerpare the dressing. Simiply combine all the ingredients and stir.

Once everything is cooked add the veg and quinoa to a salad bowl along with the spring onions and radishes. Mix the dressing in.

Flake the salmon over the top of the salmon and finish by sprinkling the seasame seeds.

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How I Stay Motivated

I know I’m not the only one who has started a new workout regimen only to get a little bit into it and then suddenly loose all interest. But at the same time, really wanting to improve your health, appearance and fitness. As this most things, you only succeed when the going gets tough.

Do not throw the towel in…

Workout Early 

I now have a job that I love, I pour all my energy into it. By the end of the day I’m completely exhausted and don’t fancy hitting the gym. Starting next week I’m going to try and incorporate some sessions in before the working day starts. I know those 5am alarms are going to be rough, but hopefully I’ll be able to get a little bit more out of my workouts as I’ll be more alert and focused.

Prepare

On a Sunday, I prep all my meals for the week. The weeks were I haven’t meal preped I completely fallen off the wagon. It’s a brilliant way of keeping costs down too. You can see a couple of the things I like to eat here and snack on here.

Create a Log

I try my best to keep track of what I’m eating and what workouts I’m doing. My Fitbit and My Fitness Pal and the two things I swear by – it’s so easy to keep track of everything with these two apps.

Active Wear

I always feel more excited to get up and get to the gym when I have something nice to wear. I love Active in Style and Lululemon for my gym wear – treat yourself. Don’t be put off by their prices because their stuff lasts!

Classes

Most gyms these days offer classes but I swear by using boutique gym classes as a treat. Now they are quite expensive, but it guarantees you’ll show up and that you stick it out for the full 45 minutes. My gym is near work and nowhere near where I live so booking myself into a class from 1Rebel or Another Space is the perfect way to get my arse moving on the weekend.

What are your top tips for staying motivated?

Meal Prep Sunday: What I’m eating this week

I’m always preaching about the benefits of meal prep. It really helps me stay on track, especially in terms of snacking.

This week I made some lamb kebabs with a carrot and mustard seed salad, and two portions of chicken with artichokes, rocket and quinoa. I got the recipe from this month’s Women’s Health Magazine – it’s so tasty and simple to make!

You’ll need:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 artichoke hearts
  • A handful of rocket
  • 20g Parmesan
  • 250g precooked quinoa

Mix the chicken with half the lemon, oil and garlic and place in the oven for 30 minutes at 180c

Meanwhile mix the quinoa, rest of the lemon, artichoke hearts and rocket.

When the chicken is cooked, place it on top of the salad and add some shaved Parmesan.

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I also whipped up some coconut slices for me to keep my sugar cravings at by – let me know if you want the recipe for them!

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Meal Prep Sunday: What I’m Eating this Week

A lot of people at work constantly tell me how healthy I am, they’re right… sort of.  I don’t think I have a bad diet at all – but my biggest downfall is eating out. I’m a huge foodie and I just can’t say no to trying new dishes and restaurants. During the working day I try and control my diet by cutting out processed food. I’m a huge advocate of meal prepping all my lunches and snacks on a Sunday. One, it saves money. And two, it’s so much better for you!

meal prep

This week I’ve made two portions of turkey and feta meatballs by Joe Wicks and a cashew stir fry by Madeleine Shaw. On Fridays I then tend to treat myself to either sushi or pho.

I’m also really trying to up my protein intake so I’ll be starting to incorporate some protein powder into my diet and I’ll be trying out MyProtein’s range.

my protein

If you’re wondering what snacks I eat to help conquer my cravings, check out my previous post here.