Friday Round-Up: #MoreInCommon

Let’s take a break from the whole healthy lifestyle stuff for a few minutes to celebrate how much everyone has in common with one another despite religion, skin colour, sexuality, gender, age …..

This past presidential election campaign has been pretty brutal in the US, and the EU referendum in the UK has stirred up some pretty hateful people as well.

During the EU referendum campaign, Jo Cox was murdered whist serving her constituency. This was a tragedy and her words, spoken during her maiden speech in parliament have never been truer

“…we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”

Keep reading until the end of a post for a thought-provoking video!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, and that’s health, yeah baby!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve fitted in a few workouts, some running and have been making more conscious decisions in regards to what I’m eating.

Homemade turkey burgers with spiralized carrots in a wrap.

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Homemade Turkey Burgers, spiralized carrots, sesame seeds, wrap!
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A very posed picture – but proof that I did fit a strength workout in!

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Wild rice and grains with slow roasted leeks, peas, chicken breast and some roast potatoes.
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Pasta with green vegetables, chili flakes, and Boursin (of course!)

Here’s some Friday thouhgts, courtesy of Jane Elliott, renowned teacher, lecturer and diversity trainer.

 

Blogs to Follow

Sometimes when you’re trying to find the motivation to put on your trainers rather than your slippers after a day at work, or to open some rice cakes instead of sweets, it can take some outside influence to keep you on track.

For me, I like to follow some health and fitness blogs who represent ‘real’ people all fighting the same battle (to live a healthy but FUN life)!

I’ve listed some of my favourite health blogs and online resources below, and please share your favourites in the comments section! You can click on the name of the blog to visit them directly!

Carrots ‘N’ Cake – Tina shares her health and fitness lifestyle with her readers, as well as some fun series such as “What I’m Loving Lately” and “High Low High”.  Workouts, Recipes, Lifestyle

Sarah Fit – Sarah is a certified personal trainer & fitness enthusiast based in Boston and her blog features lots of great workouts & recipes. She’s just had a baby so the blog also includes lots of maternity workouts and post-partum tips. Sarah regularly creates videos too.

Preppy Runner – Theodora started her blog as a way to stay accountable when trying to lose weight (sounds familiar!) and lost 50 pounds! She also works as the social media manager for Daily Burn. I love Theo’s blog as we share a love of wine/cocktails and she’s very honest in how hard she finds it to lose weight and maintain it!

Lazy Girl Running – this is a relatively new discovery for me, but I like the way Laura (who is also a running coach) tells her story as a teen / 20 something who didn’t exercise much to an ultra-marathon running badass! As well as being a personal trainer/running coach, Laura also writes a column for Men’s Running magazine and has written two books! #CRUSH

FitSugar – Part of the Pop Sugar group, Fit Sugar can almost be too much, they publish so many articles/videos etc. Some of them go copletely over my head, or just aren’t relative to me, but others are great, like the recent 30 minute cardio boxing and core video!

Inspiralized – Ali Maffucci is a true 21st century entrepreneur. She discovered the spiralizer in 2013 and hasn’t looked back, quitting her full time job, losing 25lb and writing 2 cookery books along the way! I love her Instagram accounts. @alissandrab is her personal account and @INSPIRALIZED is the blog account, and there’s @getinspiralized which Ali uses to record her workouts.

The Body Coach – Joe Wicks seems to be EVERYWHERE at the moment and his Instagram account contains some motivational before and afters, is home to the #LeanIn15 recipe videos, and he often doesn’t have a t0shirt on. What’s not to love, wink wink.

So, these are my favourite health and fitness blogs at the moment, remember to share yours in the comments!
xoxo

Olympics – My Favourite Moments so Far!

Week 1 of the Olympics is coming to a close this weekend, so I thought I’d round up some of my favourite moments! Now even though I’m british and we’re doing stonkingly well so far, I will be impartial so you’ll several nationalisites in this round-up!

Swimming

Canadian swimmer Santo Conorelli gives his Dad the finger before each race. What a pair of legends!

Santo Condorelli
(Photo taken from news.com.au)

Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui is one of the most adorbale characters from the Olympics so far. She’s enthusiastic, a little bit nerdy and looks like she’s having a ball! She even had to be told by a Chinese news reporter that she’s won the bronze medal!

Check out her Twitter Moment for some of the best GIFS.

 

Gymnastics

Team USA Gymnasts Aly Raisman & Simone Biles competing in the team all-round final and the individual all-round final (she’ll compete in the 4 individual events next week).

Both of these ladies are simple INCREDIBLE! I loved Raisman’s beam routine and both of their floor routines. In the words of Bring It On, they “stick it”!

Max Whitlock achieving bronze in the men’s individual all-round competition was also a highlight!

Synchronised Diving

I missed the women’s events because I was watching the gymnastics, but the 10m and 3m men’s events were incredible! The emotion from both team GB pairs was great to see. Chris Mears & Jack Laugher on 3m winning Gold and Tom Daley & Dan Goodfellow on 10m winning Bronze.

The Chinese pair in the 10m event were unsurpassed and my favouriote name from the Olympics so far came from the Team USA pair – Steele Johnson!

Let’s not even mention the green pool!

Track & Field

I haven’t seen much of the track and field action so far, but there are two standouts, both coming from the 10,000 metre races.

In the men’s race, Mo Farah had a nasty tumble and then proceeded to get up, finish and WIN the race! Such incredible sportsmanship and his post-race interview for the BBC showed just how much emotion these athletes put into their sport.

I love Mo, and if you can access BBC iPlayer I would definitely recommend watching the “Mo Farah: Race of His Life” documentary. Watch it here.

Ethiopioan running superstar Almaz Ayana breaking the World Record in the women’s 10,000 metre race was amazing to watch as she flew around the track! She finished the race in 29:17.45 which is my average 5k pace! I cannot even fathom how it would feel to keep up that pace for over 6 miles!

That’s my round-up so far! The time difference has meant I don’t get to watch as much of the Games as I would like, but the BBC coverage has been excellent, especially with the red button.

I’ll do another post once the Olympics have finished with the rest of my favourite moments. Please share in the comments section what your favourite moment has been and why!
xoxo

Monday Runday (and meat – free dinners)

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So, my Zumba classes on a Monday were cancelled which made me sad, but then I realised that instead I could use that time for my long run!

And, a guilt free long run at that. During the week I like to spend as much time as I can with the toddler after work, as well as at the weekend. It’s my “mum guilt” for having a full time job and sending the toddler to nursery/nana’s throughout the week (which she loves, I just wish it wasn’t for so long). So during the months when it’s dark by her bed time at 7pm, I never want to go out running. That same mum guilt also makes me feel like I’m neglecting the toddler and husband if I spend time away from them at the weekend.

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Now that it stays light well past 8pm, I don’t feel guilty about dedicating two nights a week to getting in a long workout. So henceforth Monday will be Runday and Thursday will be Zumba night💃 (dancing emoji).

Tonight I ran 9.2km in 51 minutes which I’m very happy with considering my lack of training over the past few weeks. It was a lovely route along the canal, with lots of ducklings in the water and a newly covered path which made running nice and smooth!

I followed the run with a meat-free Monday dinner of vegetable satay stir-fry with courgette noodles.

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Red and yellow peppers, carrots, frozen soy beans, sugar snap peas and courgette in a nutty spicy sauce, delicious! 

I’ll be back on track with my posts this week so stay tuned for some eats of the week!
Xoxo

Friday Round Up: Switching it up

Happy Friday Everyone! This week I’m going to focus on the positive impact that change can have, and how I’ve been switching it up recently to try and break out of my mental and physical plateau!

Exercise
The benefits of switching up your exercise routines has long been touted as a way to break a weight loss plateau, wither by introducing new forms of exercise or increasing intensity. Here’s some examples of how you can switch it up…

  • Increase the weight you lift
  • Increase the speed or add hills to your runs
  • If you only do cardio, add some strength training and vice versa
  • Try a new class such as Zumba (my ultimate favorite), ballet fit or yoga

Buying new exercise clothes can also help to get some motivation, and I’ve recently bought this two-layer top from Mango (the outlet), and these pants from Forever21.
Forever21 leggingsMango top

Food
If you put yourself on a restricted diet, by cutting out entire food groups or drastically reducing your calorie intake, you may notice short-term weight loo (if that’s you goal) but it doesn’t tend to last. Why? You end up craving the things that you have cut out of your diet, which can lead to you eating more than you normally would and sabotaging the rest of your healthy eating.

You will be able to maintain a balanced diet of the right amount of calories for your goals (and no, I’m not advocating low-calorie diets, if you workout a lot or do manual labour, eat girl!) for much longer than you will be able to restrict yourself.

If you start noticing bad habits creeping back in, you may need to add some new recipes into your diet, or find healthy alternatives to your favourite treats. Nigella Lawson, Anna and Charlotte at Sustain the Glow and Ali Maffucci of Inspiralized all have delicious recipes!

I’ve recently switched up my breakfast from Strawberry Skyr yoghurt with granola to berry and banana smoothie bowls as I was getting board with the same breakfast over and over and had started to want my mid-morning snack earlier.
Smoothie Bowl

Environment
Sometimes all you need to feel renewed is a little bit of fresh air, and as Spring starts to appear (at least here in the UK) getting outside can really help you to be more active and switch up your routine.

The toddler and I now have long weekend walks where we explore woodland, rivers and trails. We might not be walking very fast or very far, but those few hours in crisp spring air really help us both to feel happy and connected, which is important as I work full time during the week so the weekends are our quality time together. It also enables development in the toddler as she learns about nature, science and her own abilities (jumping, skipping, running).

Question
What changes do you make when life feels stale either in terms of fitness and health goals or life in general?
xoxo

 

Friday Round-Up – Feeling Grateful, and Cauliflower Rice.

Happy Friday Everyone!

I’m feeling very grateful at the moment, grateful for my family and friends, for being in steady employment (and the recent raise, whoop!), for owning my own home and for my hubby and toddler especially! I’m also grateful for everyone who had liked a post on this blog or started following my posts. I’m definitely not the best example of a healthy lifestyle blog, as I fall off the wagon more times than not, but I hope that I represent a realistic account of what so many people go through when trying to get and stay fit/healthy/lose excess weight…

grateful2 Grateful

Anyway, enough of all that emotional stuff, here’s what I’ve been up to this week…
I had a very rare girls night out on Saturday with a meal at pizza Express (yum) and some prosecco/gin. I was very sensible and mixed my alcohol with water every other glass, and I think I danced off a lot of the booze! Apart from the dancing, I wasn’t all that active, so I squeezed in a 1 mile run on Monday, between putting the toddler to bed and then doing the ‘big’ food shop. Not much but a mile is a mile!

Zumba was my other workout so far this week, and I’ll try to squeeze in some Davin HIIT and another short run this weekend hopefully.

I’ve tried to stick to healthy eating for the most part this week, so I’ve been having balanced meals and lots of fruit for snacks. As the title of the post alludes to, I’m really digging cauliflower rice at the moment! This week I had cauliflower rice with garlic chili, baby spinach, smoked bacon and topped with an egg – so tasty!

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It seems to be paying off as I’m down another 1lb this week to 161lb, wahoo!

What are your favourite weekend workouts, and have you tried cauliflower rice yet?
xoxo

Review: Sportswear – favourite pieces of sports clothing

I’m a bit of a floozy (don’t you just love that word) when it comes to sportswear, I’ll try pretty much any brand and love it when I can recommend a brand based on experience.

My ‘sports draw’ has all sorts of brands in from Asics (my favourite trainer) to Nike, Adidas, and some non-traditional fitness brands like Gap, H&M, and Mango.

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The fact that ‘Athleisure-wear’ is no trendy means that many high street retailers are expanding their lines into sportswear, with mixed degrees of success.

Here’s some of my favourite items, and why I love them!

Asics Gel-Nimbus 16 – this is a pretty pricey trainer but when you’re running 10+ miles a week you want to make sure that your trainers are right for you. I tried on soooo many pairs of trainers before choosing the Nimbus, including Adidas (too narrow) and Nike (just felt weird). The Asics offer really good support and although they may not be the prettiest trainers, they come in loads of bright colours!

Asics gel Nimbus

GapFit gFast reflective fleece leggings – I scored this pair of leggings during the Black Friday sales (thank you for the import of this great sale America!) and they have to be the softest trousers I’ve ever owned. The fleece inside is soft without being too over-heating, and the high waist features a draw cord which is a must if you don’t like having to adjust whilst you’re exercising. The trousers feature a line of small reflective squares down the outside of both legs, ideal for running in the darker months.

Gap Fit Leggings

Mountain Warehouse running trousers – another for the cold weather, I never thought of Mountain warehouse as a sports brand, and truth be told, their range isn’t the biggest, but these trousers are so good I have two pairs! Warm, comfortable, draw cord, practical, they won’t be winning any style awards but for practicality you can’t beat them!

Mountain Warehouse Running Trousers

H&M long sleeve top – Another great find, H&M are really stepping up their game when it comes to sportswear, mixing function with fashion really well. I bought this long sleeve top ages ago, and wear it at least once a week for outside runs or some gentle stretching.

HM long sleeve top

Garmin 10 Running Watch – OK so it isn’t really clothing, but I love my Garmin! I used to use map My Run on my phone but it was just too buggy and I couldn’t find any other running apps that worked well. This watch is really easy to use and comes in loads of colours (I’ve got the purple one). I use it to keep pace, time and distance and then connect it with My Fitness Pal. The only issue is that it can be slow to find my location initially, but I use hat time to sort out my music/headphones/keys etc.

Garmin Forerunner 10

These are some of my favourite sportswear brands, I also have a drawer full of t-shirts from Nike, SweatShop, Next etc. that I use for my workouts but don’t really have a favourite. Next on my list to buy is a long vest with narrow arm holes (I don’t want my bra on show) that I can wear to Zumba, so that when I’m grooving and shaking it doesn’t ride up, anyone know where I can get one?

What are your favourite brands for working out in?
xoxo