Friday Round-Up: Has it been a week?

Hey Guys! It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since last week’s Friday Round-Up. I feel like I haven’t done anything meaningful this week, but maybe I’m just waiting until next Saturday and our holiday!

Ice cream
At Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire a few weeks ago

It’s been 2 years since we last went on a holiday of more than 3 days, so I’m really looking forward to just spending time on the beach and by the pool with my family. Unplugging, ignoring emails, eating LOADS of ice cream and soaking up the Vitamin D!

I’ve been to both Clubbercise and Zumba this week, and they helped somewhat in easing up my work-related anxiety. I’m so unhappy at work at the moment, so I’ve put in a flexible working request and if that doesn’t pan out, I guess I’ll move onto plan B.

I wore my fancy new Marks and Spencer tights and still love them! They are thick without being hot, have a great pattern and a drawstring – 10/10!

M&S Tights
Marks and Spencer Tights!
Cauli Rice
Cauli Rice – good grain size, long shelf life and no nasty ingredients!
Sauteed Veg
Sauteed vegetables (pepper, courgette % carrot) with cauli rice, later topped with baked chicken in a spicy marinade.
selfie
Tiny pigtails as my hair is just too short for a pony tail but it’s too hot to leave down during Zumba!
Pop Works popcorn
POP Works & Co Peanut Butter and Caramel popcorn. I wanted to love it, but it wasn’t sweet enough for me!

Happy Friday Everyone!
xoxo

Clubbercise

So you all know how much I love my weekly Zumba classes, but what you might not know is that I also love a good 90s dance anthem! The local ‘disco’ played all the best 80s and 90s songs during the late 00s (when I was actually ‘clubbing’) and it was soooo cheesy, but so much fun to let loose at the weekend.

Fast forward a few years and a very cute toddler later, I don’t make it to the “After Dark” much anymore, so imagine my delight when Clubbercise came to town!

The official website describes it as…

Clubbercise® – simple, fun dance fitness routines using glow sticks to club anthems from 90′s classics to the latest chart hits taught in a darkened room with disco lights.

 


 

After just one introductory session, I knew I was hooked! The routines were really easy to follow and built in intensity so you could get to know the moves before going all out!

There were some classic 90s tunes and some current hits, and it was a good mix of basic aerobics (like grapevines) with some more choreographed moves – so it was perfect for all abilities.

I think that doing it in the dark (wink wink) let people be a little less nervous about the first class, which really helped to get everyone’s heart rates up, and the glow sticks were just so much fun!

You can find classes on the website, and I couldn’t recommend it enough!

www.clubbercise.com

Recipe: Tropical Smoothie

A quick recipe today, and adding to my smoothie repertoire, I give you, the Tropical Smoothie!

Tropical Smoothie

Mango, pineapple and bananas blended with 0% Greek yoghurt and some water.

I used my smoothie 2 go blender and filled the cup 1/2 way with frozen mango and pineapple, then a ripe banana and two tablespoons of yoghurt. I added about 2cm of hot water as I find frozen pineapple hard to blend.

Whizz together until smooth and pour into a glass or bowl. I topped mine with some frozen raspberries and then added some Fuel 10k protein granola after I took the photo.

I’m definitely adding this one into my regular breakfast bowl rotation, and my toddler loved the “YELLOW SMOOTHIE”!

I imagine this would be good with some avocado or spinach blended too!

xoxo

Friday Round-Up: Let’s get real honest

This blog was created as a way for me to track losing weight. Since realising that losing weight isn’t a linear process, especially when big life changes happen, it’s evolved into a blog focusing on my personal attempt to find balance, health and fitness.

A big part of that involves mental health as well as physical health, and for the past few months I’ve been experiencing anxiety, that erupted in the past couple of weeks to make me physically sick and exhausted.

There’s a few factors behind this episode, including work stress, fear of flying and an upcoming holiday, and increasing guilt that I’m not there enough for my little girl (she’s just started ‘big nursery’).

Now I’m a positive person most of the time, and I like to see the silver lining in every situation, but I realised that I wasn’t getting better no matter how optimistic I was.

So this week I went to see a therapist who speacialises in all sorts of therapies, and she recommended hypnotherapy. After my first session I already feel so much better, and I’ve booked a follow-up next Friday. I won’t go into details about the session as everyone requires unique treatment, but I’ve felt calmer and less stressed since.

I’ve made the decision to stay in my current role and take the opportunity available to do further career development. Hopefully this will put me in a better position to go it alone in a couple of years as a marketing and business consultant. Stopping the constant job searches and cycle of negative feelings towards my current job has helped to alleviate some of the stress.

As for family life, I’m just trying to give myself a break on the mum guilt. Yes, I work a 9-5, but I also try to make the most of my time at home with morning cuddles, evening adventures and plenty of fun at the weekends. Getting to spend a week of uninterrupted time together in a couple of weeks will be great!

And let’s not forget that physical health = better mental health with endorphins and happy chemicals being released when we move. I didn’t do the Salford 10k on Sunday, I felt to sick, but I’ve let it go. This week I got back to Zumba (I’d missed it last week) and also did a new class called Clubbercise! I’ll do a post dedicated to clubbercise soon, but it was awesome!

Instead of putting pressure on myself to reach a goal or compete in a race, I’m going to spend the next few weeks just enjoying being active, whether that’s a run through the woods as the leaves turn to autumn, bopping it out at Zumba or Clubbercise, or getting my stretch on with some yoga.

So here’s to getting help when you need it. Give yourself a break, do something you love, and if in doubt, ask you doctor or a health professional. Trust me, there’s no shame in admitting that you don’t feel great mentally, and you’ll feel so much better when you start to workout why and how you can feel better!

Pics from the week…

M&S tights
Fancy new workout tights from Marks and Spencer – fit great, no see-through bum and perfect length!

 

courgetti2

courgetti
Oooh courgetti

 

Green Veg
A mountain of green veg (brocolli, asparagus, frozen broad beans, soy beans and leeks)
Green veg2
Vegetable mountain and my oils from Carluccios

 

Grown Up Chocolate
An AMAZING new chocolate discovery – The Grown Up Chocolate Company. Get in my belly!

20160907_200537

^^^Food porn right there!

Adidas SuperCloud
Putting my feet up after Zumba!
Anxiety
When you’re not feeling happy and then you Zumba and the endorphins kick-in!

Have a happy weekend everyone!
xoxo

Friday Round-Up: Body Blues

Happy Friday Everyone!
This week I’ve been feeling some mild ‘body blues’ due in large part, to the fact that I’ve totally pigged out for most of the bank holiday weekend and haven’t kept up with my training.

My clothes feel tighter, I’m feeling sluggish and unfit and I have very little motivation. The worst part is that I can’t blame this on anything apart from my total lack of willpower and dedication.

I have the Salford 10k this Sunday, which I entered as a way to keep working towards my goal of running throughout the year and getting faster, but I’ve let that go out the window! I’ll still run Salford, but there’s no way I’ll be near my time last year (54 minutes).

So, where do I go from here? I can either keep eating and keep being inactive, or I can try and find that motivation again to reach the 80/20 balance. And I’m going to do the latter!

I’m hoping to stay accountable by posting more regularly, whether that’s a quick update on my workouts, favourite gear, inspiration or a picture diary.

I’m going to bulk buy healthy foods that inspire me to cook interesting meals, like grilled satay and vegetables, cauliflower rice paella and courgetti!

Also, winter is coming (hello GoT reference) and whilst I’m still waiting for English Summer (it never really happened this year) I’m also really looking forward to Autumn/Winter fashion, and I don’t want to have to wear baggy jumpers and leggings because I’m not happy with my body!

In the meantime, here’s some pictures from my week!

Chinese Take Away
Chinese Take Away – lemon chicken, beansprouts and seaweed
Digestion Tea
Drinking tea to help with digestion before bed
Pasta courgette and pulled pork
Fresh Penne Pasta with sliced courgettes, pulled pork and smoked cheddar
Vegetables and Pancetta 2
Crusty bread with balsamic oil to sip, brussels with pancetta and an egg, grilled asparagus with pancetta, alioli
Vegetables and Pancetta
Brussels, asparagus and pancetta
Workout Selfie
A random post-workout selfie

How do you get out of a mental funk?
xoxo

 

Friday Round-Up: Bits and Bobs

This week hasn’t been out of the ordinary, and I don’t have any enlightened thinking like my post last week on Finding the much sought after work/life balance. So here’s a few bits and pieces from this week!

Cheat meal Extreme – Grilled chicken, pulled pork and smoked cheese in a brioche bun – called the Cluck Oink Burger from Oakleys in Skipton.

Cluck Oink Burger_2 Cluck Oink Burger_1

Another very sweaty Zumba session – and because the instructor is recovering from a cold, I led half of the routines #Proud !!!

Zumba Selfie_1 Zumba Selfie_2

Last Sunday’s tea looks sinful but is actually saintly! “Vegetable” pasta bake with courgette, asparagus, broccoli tips, broad beans and soy beans with fresh pesto and some smoked cheddar, topped with 2 slices of parma ham.

Vegetable Bake_1 Vegetable Bake_2

I ran a 10k on Sunday and then a 5k on Wednesday, and even though I’m no where near my time from last year’s Salford 10k, at least I’m feeling fitter than I was before Manchester earlier this year!

I’m very grateful to live in  my little part of the world, for many reasons, but they include the beautiful routes that I get to run around. This week I ran through Skipton Woods and along Skipton Castle walls. My pictures REALLY don’t do the views justice!

Skipton woods and castle_1 Skipton woods and castle_2 Skipton woods and castle_3

Homemade Turkey Burgers, y’all!
I forgot the courgette so these were straight up turkey breast mince with sesame seeds, fresh red chili and fresh thyme. I served them with sauteed vegetables (carrot, red pepper, asparagus and broccoli tips) and new potatoes.

vegetables_1 vegetables_2 Turkey Burgers_1 Turkey Burgers_2

This weekend is a bank holiday in the UK which means no work on Monday, whoop whoop! So, I’m taking advantage and will do a 10k on Sunday morning and then lots of active fun with the toddler!

Happy weekend folks! xoxo

Recipe: “Southern Baked Chicken”

In the UK Southern Fried Chicken isn’t as ‘big’ as in the UK, but I do love a KFC every now and again. Something about the spicy, crunchy coating and the tender chicken (I’m a boneless gal, 100%) with a little bit of heat is right up my alley!

But, this is a health blog, so no, I’m not suggesting we all go out and get a bucket to share. Instead, this week I created homemade ‘Southern Baked Chicken’ which had both crunchy spicy coating and tender chicken, without all the fat, additives and salt!

Southern Fried Chicken_3Southern Fried Chicken_4

Ingredients (Serves 2)

2 x chicken breasts
1 x Handful of tortilla crisps/nacho chips (crushed)
1 x Heaped tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 x Teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 x Teaspoon of chilli flakes

Method

  1. Tenderise the chicken breasts so they are about 1 to 1.5 centimeters thick (I have a mallet but you can use a rolling pin or even the back of a spoon)
  2. On a plate or flat surface, combine the chips, sesame seeds and spicesSouthern Fried Chicken_1 20160823_190256
  3. Lay a chicken breast in the coating mixture and press firmly, then repeat on the other side
  4. Repeat the above for the second chicken breast
  5. Place the chicken breasts onto a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.
    Southern Fried Chicken_2
  6. Check after 15 minutes to make sure nothing’s burning. If things are looking too dark, turn the oven down. If the coating doesn’t look at all crispy, turn the temperature up!
  7. Make sure the chicken is cooked thoroughly before serving!

I served mine with some veggies – roasted corn, mangetout, asparagus and some homemade potato wedges! And they made delicious leftovers the next day!

Southern Fried Chicken_5

If you make this let me know in the comments!
xoxo